Friday, February 26, 2010


I am claiming victory. This morning did not go like yesterday!

Last night I procrastinated like it was an Olympic sport. First I won bronze, then silver, then gold. Then I went to bed and decided to get up early and try the paper again, because His mercies are new every morning. That's a promise, right?

I kid you not, I set four alarms. FOUR. Also, I have discovered a way to conquer my sleepy mind. If I set my phone alarm to ring with my phone-call ring rather than the usual wake-up ring, my brain jolts awake. Haha, got you, brain!

Also, I prayed. When I have to wake up in the morning, I ask the Lord the night before to help me, because goodness! sometimes waking up is hard to do.

So I was awake at 4:40, got time in the Word (I think not doing that would have been a fatal blow to my day. It makes SUCH a difference!!), and then went upstairs, lit the candles, turned on my computer, started the coffee pot that I prepared last night, and began on the paper. Things got done, and I am so thankful. There's more to do, but I think I have plenty of time. I also got to read Antigone for my 10am class, and have breakfast at the table with Jena and the kids. This morning is surprisingly fantastic.

Hmmm, maybe I should wake up at 4:40 every day. Other than the fact that when I stop moving I feel as if I might fall asleep, this feels great!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I have been sleeping an abnormally normal amount lately. A full 8 hours is unheard of at my stage of life, I believe. Perhaps I should mention that I hardly ever set my alarm for 8 hours after I drift off, but I usually hit snooze for about that long.

Anyways, to get back to my story. I mean, to start my story.

This morning's two alarms (I always use 2 alarms) were set for 6:15. Figure in the time with the Word, figure in time for a shower, and be on time to my 8 am.

That's not the way it went down, folks.

Instead, I hit snooze at 6:15 and again and 6:27. After that I heard my phone clonk onto the chords sitting on the floor and ignored it. Actually, I must have picked it up, because I heard it clonk again. Realizing that someone had probably texted me, I picked it up and read a message from Jena: "R u up?" Um, up? Look at the time, it's 8:12. EIGHT. ONE. TWO. My class starts at EIGHT ZERO ZERO.

I start whimpering: "Oh no, oh no" (that's what I do when I'm alone and get worried), grabbed my glasses, and ran out my door, up the stairs and burst into the kitchen. Chris and Jena are standing in the kitchen and look at me, shocked at my bursting through doors and such and I start to cry and say: "what do I dooo?!"

Jena: "Oh, your 8am? [pause] Are you crying?"

Yes, people, it was probably one of the more dramatic mornings of my life.

On the trusty advice of people who successfully graduated from college, I went to class late. In fact, it was only 9 minutes from my leap out of bed to walking into the classroom. The teacher only half-way publicly shamed me and all was well. We usually have a quiz at the beginning of the class that you cannot make up, but today for the first time in the semester, there was no quiz!

And that was the beginning of my day. Stay tuned to hear how it ends. (Or more specifically to hear how successfully I write a paper on something I know hardly anything about... don't be shocked. Behind every good blog post is a paper sitting around procrastinating.)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rest Assured

For some reason, I often think of a tweet that Katrina sent one day last summer. We were on our way to Chipotle, driving along Blue Ridge Boulevard (my favorite! Oh, j'ADORE), and I made a comment about how unsure I was of the next year:
KStyles On my way to chipotle w/ @Anniepeterson. She made a comment about not knowing where she'll be this time next year. I grunted grumpily back.
I've thought about it, and thought about it again, and though about how funny it is that I STILL don't know when I'll be doing a year from that day. It was June 1, and June 1 of this year? I have no idea.

It's not that I don't have ideas, and it's not that my imagination can't think of enough options. Oh trust me, I've thought of options. But I have this suspicion that there's one option that's better than the others, and one God who knows what that option is.

So I wait. Waiting for Christmas morning is nothing compared to this. There are so many things that the need for patience and wisdom applies to. I'm waiting to know how long to be in school. I'm waiting for lots of my friends to meet Jesus. I'm waiting for others of my friends to get healed. I'm waiting for my husband. I'm waiting for my children. I'm waiting for my orphans.

I'm waiting for Jesus to come back. I'm waiting for injustice to be vanquished from the earth. I'm waiting to be fully known. I'm waiting to be presented blameless. I'm waiting to be free of the struggle with sin. I'm waiting to live forever with the One I love.

But the waiting, the waiting is beautiful, because rawness is beautiful. Throwing yourself on the surety of the goodness of God -- that is beautiful to Him. A weak heart that says yes -- that is beautiful to Him. And your waiting is not in vain; you will not be put to shame. You, in your waiting, will not be put to shame.

You will not reach the end and look back and say: "Wow, that was silly. What a waste of time!" or "man, I looked really silly having no idea what I was doing!" or "boy, maybe I didn't really need to wait on God to tell me every step; I could have made some up on my own..." No, friend! God's word promises that you will not be put to shame when you wait on Him. Wait with obedience, wait without passivity, but do not fail to wait.

Patience is not passive; on the contrary it's quite bold. So be bold and wait. The fruit will be good and plenty.

Friday, February 05, 2010


Last night I went to an engagement part for two people that are just full of awesomeness. Then, in true girl form, a group of us stayed at said party until after midnight, wigging out over wedding magazines with the bride. She was delighted that the first thing that needs to be done is: dress. I mean, who wouldn't smile at that?

Since I didn't get home until 1am, I didn't read my chapters of Homer. I know, I know.

Then, in class, for the first time in my college career and maybe only the 2nd or 3rd time in my ever-school career, we had a pop quiz.

About the chapters I didn't read.

And I guessed that there hadn't been a talking horse in the reading.

But there had been.

His name wasn't Mr. Ed. And he bothered Achilles (not the tendon).

Now I'm going home, and I will probably eat food. Hopefully you're going home and will probably eat food. And hopefully you don't feel like you wasted the last 40 seconds reading about the quiz where I denied the existence of a talking horse.

Actually, I still deny the existence of a talking horse. Au revoir.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Pray Continually...

Mike Bickle has this little saying that has always seemed qualified and excellent but I hadn't really put into practice. You know those things you hear and you say: "Hey, that's a great point!" and then walk out of church and don't think about it again for the next week or month or decade?

"Never underestimate the power of 30-second prayers."

It sounds so simple, right?

The other week, the Holy Spirit started nudging my heart to pray in the small moments. See a few desperately broken classmates in the coffeeshop, walk out with my white mocha, and cry out for their salvation down the sidewalk on the way to work. Remember your friend who was having a hard time last Saturday? Right then and there ask the Lord to show them His face. No more "oh, I should pray for them!" Do it! With your 30 seconds! Just do it, and don't underestimate the power of it. Nothing is too small to pray about!
The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16
I found that the two or three times I did it during my day made such a difference! My heart felt lighter as the hours passed. Imagine walking down a road and passing heavy stones. You pick them up, one by one, and put them in your bag. Eventually when you get to the end of the road you are ready to lay your head on the pillow out of sheer exhaustion rather than the sweet reward of rest. Lifting up the little things that were burdens on my heart during the day kept my eyes on Jesus and my mind constantly on Him. What would His perspective be of that situation? If you're praying about it, that's what you'll be thinking. If you just let it sit in your mind and weigh you down, you'll forget to ask what He thinks. Hand Him your stones.

The God of all the universe hears your words, and He inspires the prayers in your heart, and when you open your mouth, His ears are open and His attention is on you. Right now, the attention of God is on you. What do you want to say to Him?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I Will Wait.

The theme word for this week, the message that has been preached on repeat in my heart for days, the thing that has occupied my thoughts and my pen, is patience.

Patience. What a word.

Before this past month, it was just that - a word. A word I found here or there, a word that drifted across my eyes when I wanted a little girl to put her shoes on faster, a word I could sing in a song and get a warm fuzzy feeling.

Now when I think of patience, there's more of a wrestle-in-the-mud effect. I have hope that this wrestle will end like Jacob's did.

Saturday night, I read about Ronel, and my heart broken into a million pieces. On the floor. At the library. I couldn't get this picture that Randy tweeted from Haiti out of my mind. My thoughts raced - what if I really left school and just went to Haiti? What could I do? What could I DO? Something turned into my heart from "One day, I am doing to be a mom and adopt orphans and they won't be orphans anymore" to "anywhere children are alone, I belong." To steal a flow of logic from my friend, it's a good thing I don't have any money or else I might have gotten on a plane to India right then and there. I texted Christina:
What would you do if I got on a plane right now, went to India, found a house, and took in 50 kids?
She replied she'd come with me. That's my partner in crime right there, folks.

I went to sleep with tears dropping from my eyes and "Oh, Jesus..." from my lips. I got up the next morning and tried to share the heaviness of my heart with Chris & Jena. Jena tried to encourage me with answers: "see what degree you need to help them!" "Pray! You might hear a story in ten years of a little kid getting out of Haiti today and look back and remember that you were praying." Finally, she identified the 200 pound weight my heart had been trying to lift for the past few hours:
It's frustrating to be filled with passion and compassion about something and not be able to do anything about it.
You see, the next words out of my mouth after "Oh Jesus, save that little boy" had been "God, why am I here?" It was so hard to reconcile the fact that my arms that could hold so many of these little boys and girls were instead filled with works of Homer and textbooks on politics. That my feet could be dirty with the mud of Port-au-Prince but instead pounded the glistening pavement of my stellar university campus. That I could burn for hearts without homes while I slept in a room that could fit at least two cribs in it, maybe three.

All that to say, Jena also identified a key aspect that I had been blind to:
You're angry with God. You're angry that there's injustice in the world and you can't do anything about it right now.
How scary. She was right. The thing is, being mad at God scares me, but it doesn't scare Him. He's willing to work with me, guide my heart, speak to me, and forgive me when I come repentant. This is where patience comes in (perhaps you were wondering!).

I walked through the evening air crying on Monday, pouring out to Christina how my heart felt tied in knots and I just didn't understand, and how could I be angry with God? She spoke some oil of personal experience and solid truth that brought peace instantly:
Annie, I don't like it. But Jesus did it.
He did! He went to school to study the Scriptures that he wrote. The one who crafted the world built chairs and tables until he was 30. THIRTY! He was a boy. He was God, and lived with people who had no idea. (Christina, I hope I'm not stealing a blog post here! :)

Then, to follow it up:
A good friend told me a little while ago: 'Jesus requests patience of me, not as an act of obedience, but as an act of love.'
That friend was me. The Lord began speaking to me as I prepared to come back to Tacoma that love is patient. 1 Corinthians 13, authentic, deep, lasting love is patient. Somehow, in the rustle of a few days, I had lost sight of it. I want to love Jesus with real love, and real love is patient.

So I am here. In Tacoma. With so many things waiting as dreams in my heart, not the least of which is the fatherless of the world, and Jesus is teaching me to be patient. I will be patient for Him to bring about the dreams He has etched in me. I will be patient for Him to perfect my faith. I will be patient for Him to show me the big picture. I will be patient.

And the only reason I can hope to love Jesus with a love fueled by patience? Jesus' love for me is patient. I can love Him with this authentic, patient love only because He loved me first with authentic, patient love.
But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience... ~1 Timothy 1:16
He loved me first. I feel as if I could shout it to the world.

Oh friends, He is patient. I am learning to be patient, but He is the kindest teacher I know. I trust Him. I committed to trust Him with everything, to throw my life on the surety of His goodness, and I am committed to that promise. Thank God He's committed to me.

Isaiah 40:31
They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles;
They shall run and not be weary;
They shall walk and not faint.