manos arriba
I am a worrier.

As I broke my fast today after just over 24 hours without food, I was praying and asking God to make my “lurking sins” clear to me—what’s the junk in my life that isn’t blatant enough for me to always notice, confess, pray for? 

I am a worrier. I have little faith. I am impatient. My actions reflect a lack of trust in God. I panic over making money. I act in safety. I don’t allow room for God to do crazy things.

I don’t know how to grow my faith, but I guess it’s sort of like that scene in Indiana Jones where he has to cross the huge gap and he just steps out and there are invisible steps there… I guess I just step. What do I think God wants to do with me? I think he wants to minister to young women and he wants to speak to people through my music. So my steps for now will be to be more outspoken in my music, to schedule more shows (even if I don’t know how to get people there), and to be more aggressive in pursuing relationships with girls I can minister to. 

If you have any ideas for practicing faith, let me know :)

Fast Update 1

As the article that I posted earlier suggested, I am trying a juice and water fast for these 24 hours because it’s my first time AND because I’m a very active person—my body’s used to a decently high caloric intake. 

I just went outside for my first official quiet time of the day and brought my little bunny Waggit out with me so she could run around. I started out writing in my prayer journal in the ACTS (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication) format and praising God for nature. It was so fitting to be outside under a tree, feeling the wind, watching the trees all around shaking as the wind picked up and the temperature dropped, and seeing my little bunny scurry around. I felt like a page out of a C.S. Lewis book, thinking about God’s imagination and creativity in making such funny little creatures. Then the trees started to look like ents moving and I was just overcome by the thought of God’s power seen in nature. It was just really cool.

I prayed for deeper spiritual intimacy, a heavenly identity moreso than an earthly one, and a reliance on spiritual things rather than earthly things. I prayed for my boyfriend and thanked God for the wonderful man he is and is becoming. I thanked God for the clear evidence of his blessings in my life, and asked Him to make me more aware of all the ways I’m blessed. 

On another note, I’m really hungry. But I feel like this sort of “retreat with myself” is giving me plenty of time and reminders to seek out God and pray intently for the people I love. 

First fast.

http://www.ccci.org/training-and-growth/devotional-life/personal-guide-to-fasting

From today (it’s now a little after 2:30) until tomorrow at the same time, I’m going to try out my first fast. It seems like such a big thing but after reading the above article I feel really confident about it. He writes that one reason for fasting can be intercessory prayer, which is a large part of my motivation on this occasion. I think it would be awesome to see more people do short term fasts, just to exercise their spiritual muscles and practice self-denial in a self-indulgent culture; I hope this practice will remind me that I’m not part of the world and that my fullness should come from the Father. I’m going to pray especially for my friends who seek fulfillment in food rather than from God and for my friends who are tempted by pornography. I encourage anyone who reads this to do the same for the next 24 hours and for the next week. I will be encouraging my e-mail prayer group to try it out as well :) I’ll post on here how it goes!

seeing that your last post was from 5 mo. ago, you may or may not actually still be using tumblr.
i was tumblr browsing today and stumbled upon your page. hows the second hand clothing deal going? that was my new years decision and i have to say that its pretty hard! but i hope your still keeping it up :)

Wow, I completely forgot about this when school started last year and now I’m reading the things I said back then and I am totally in love with starting this back up haha. Basically, I made it to… May? of this year, I think. The weird thing is, when I finally did buy these three items of first-hand clothing (which cost less than 20 all together anyway), I didn’t feel bad about it AND I have not had the desire to buy first hand clothes (other than workout clothes or mission trip clothes from WalMart) since. It’s COMPLETELY changed the way I look at spend money, and these days I’m well past the one year mark and it’s become more of a habit than a conscious daily decision. I hope that your quest is going well :-P

Community of Prayer

If anyone is interested in becoming part of a group of people who will share prayer requests and commit to spend time praying for others in the group, please e-mail me at community.of.prayer@gmail.com. It’s a great way to share your burdens and your victories with other believers as part of the “big c” Church. Think of all the times you say, “you’re in my prayers,” or “I’ll definitely be praying for you and your family,” and how easy it is to forget those promises. Instead of forgetting those people and situations, e-mail your prayer request to community of prayer, and you’ll receive a weekly reminder to pray for them—as well as the assurance that other believers across the country will be doing the same! 

Until next year.

My last regular clothing purchase was on or around July 21st. From now until July 21st, 2011, I’m going to challenge myself to one year of second-hand clothing. Since this is my first time experimenting with this, I’m excluding shoes from the (self-imposed and therefore entirely symbolic) rule. Needless to say, I’m investing in a decent sewing machine in the next few weeks :)

Sibling Rivalry.

I struggle immensely with sibling rivalry. 

When I was little, my brother Joe and I were at Jordan and Kendall’s house. We had all known each other more or less since birth, and yet we were all predictably nasty to each other every now and again, being around 4-7 years old at the time. On this particular occasion, playing in Jordan’s basement, we discovered that everyone there, except for me, could do a cartwheel. I don’t know if the other kids actually made fun of me for it, or if I just felt ashamed without their help, but it was a terrible feeling for me. When my dad saw me crying about it, he came downstairs and taught me how to do a backwards somersault so I could regain my place in the kiddy pack. When I showed the other 3 my new trick, they were impressed and excited and wanted to know how to do it. My instinct was, “No! This is MY trick, and MY daddy taught it to me, and it’s MINE and I can do it better than you.” My dad’s reaction was, “Come on, guys! I can teach you all how to do it!” I was extremely disappointed when, at the end of the exchange, everyone in the basement could do a backwards somersault, but I still couldn’t do a cartwheel. I wasn’t happy that now we all had something in common or that my dad had just invested so much time in us. I was just jealous and angry. Well, I was jealous and angry for the 2 or 3 minutes that any little kid can really retain a single emotion.

I haven’t grown up, really, since then. 

When I was 16, my dad took my brother and I on a trip to Nicaragua with several other people from our church. It was a turning point in my life! At home, I wasn’t very popular or pretty or successful, but in this oasis, I had a place. I could speak Spanish! I could communicate and play and laugh! I could do a backward somersault, even if I couldn’t do the cartwheels everyone at home could do. Soon after that first trip, I found out other kids from my area had started going to Nicaragua, too. Over time, the list grew and grew; the people who were going weren’t even people who I knew as “Christians”, or at least not the kind I was aware of then. As a Christ-follower, I subscribed to a faith in which all other believers are my brothers and sisters. But when my Father taught them all how to do backward somersaults in Nicaragua, and I still couldn’t do cartwheels in Virginia, I wasn’t excited that I had people to share that joy with. I wasn’t happy that my Father had invested so much time in us. I was just jealous and angry.

I’m honestly still jealous and angry. My head knows full well that it’s a magnificent thing that so many people I know personally have invested their lives in a place and a people I care about. My head knows that Jesus is smiling like crazy when he sees us covered in sweat and craft supplies down there by the equator. But my heart is sad that I can’t stake my claim on this land and hoard the treasure there. My selfish, selfish heart wants recognition for fulfilling some of the bare requirements of my faith. It’s petty sibling rivalry that is taking over a potentially beautiful part of my heart and freezing it over with jealousy and the lies of our world. 

This is a terrible part of me that I want to confess and give up. Shannon Rosedale, Hillary Unis, Jessica Morningstar, and tons of other girls I have encountered over the past few years: I am dead jealous of you all and for that I want to ask your forgiveness. You are my sisters, not figuratively, but literally. We’ve all chosen the same Father and I want to get to know and love you so that we can all do somersaults together with our brown sisters and eventually unfreeze my selfish heart and let God grow it back. 

Que Dios les bendiga y que El me quite los celos antes que se me olvide amar.

I am a sinner.

I carry grudges against about 4 people in particular who have “hurt” me in the past.

I get jealous when other people talk about Nicaragua without me.

I judge other people on a regular basis and hide behind a self-righteous persona.

I let anger motivate me more than love.

I keep Sammie’s clothes even if she just accidentally leaves it at my house. 

I am too proud to befriend a lot of girls at Belmont because they’re better at music than I am.

I trash-talk Taylor Swift ALL the time.

I disobey my parents on a regular basis.

A huge part of me has always wanted to be a billionaire so freakin bad. 

I don’t entrust my money to God; I hoard it for myself.

I keep to myself because I’m too selfish to take others’ day-to-day problems seriously. 

I’ve done way more embarrassing things than this but I’m too proud and worried about what others will think to actually admit how human I am. I am a sinner and almost every part of me directly contradicts everything Jesus asks me to be. Please pray for me, that He will grow that tiny part that is still in His image.

Whoa.

I know it’s getting old for me to post things that Shane Claiborne says, but soon I’ll be done with this book and it’ll stop :) 

"And the lives of the thirty thousand children who die of starvation each day is like six September 11ths every single day, a silent trunami that happens every week."

In this chapter, he’s talking about our earthly allegiances, our familial ties, and the Kingdom’s idea of loyalty and love. He is ultimately trying to say that once you join the family of God, every other label ceases to exist. 

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. The he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:31-35

I am not an not of Welsch descent. I am not an American. I am not a York. Above any of those labels, I am part of God’s family. I inherit life from the same source as Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa, Adolf Hitler, Sarai Gomez, Saddam Hussein, and even Alex Branower: our Father in heaven. 

But back to that original quote. All I have to say is that it’s really disturbing, personally convicting, worth thinking about, and even more worth acting upon.