Something to be Treasured – Better than Books

26 Jun

I haven’t written in about 5 years, a lot has happened.  I am now a wife of a godly man named Thomas and a mother to three beautiful girls.  I’ve been meaning to start writing again for awhile but have been waiting to see what God was stirring up in my heart.  I was able to go to The Gospel Coalition Woman’s conference this year(2018) and God moved my heart in so many ways but I wanted to write about one thing that God sweetly convicted and encouraged me of, to treasure His Word, The Bible.

Sometime last year I accomplished something big, I had FINALLY read the bible all the way through.  As a busy mom of two daughters(only 13 months apart), I had managed to turn a one year Bible read through into a 2ish year reading plan.  I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be to keep up with my devotions and Bible reading as a new mother(not that I had been much good at it before having kids either).  But when I finally finished a full read through it felt so good, like such an accomplishment.  I’m sure I had read all of the New Testament multiple times through and the Psalms and Proverbs and the “easier” Old Testament books but now I could finally say that I had read the whole bible.  At a church community group, one of my sisters in Christ asked me how my bible reading had been going and I was able to tell her that I had finally finished reading through the Bible for the first time!  My Pastor had overheard and jokingly remarked, “So you’re done with the Bible now, you’ll never have to read it again.”  Which I laughed at but didn’t realize the bit of truth there was to that joke until recently.  I think a little bit of me would carry on in my Bible readings and think, “I’ve read the whole Bible, I’ve read Leviticus and Deuteronomy and (insert any of the hard to pronounce books of the Bible here), I won’t need to read those again in my studies, they’re too hard and won’t really benefit me.” I don’t think I would have ever admitted that or even believed that to be true at the time but I found myself continuously going to the New Testament and Psalms and Proverbs, maybe Genesis or Esther or Ruth or Job or Jonah since those are the “easier” books of the Old Testament.

Another thing that I more easily turned to in my hunger for growth and knowledge and wisdom were books, Christian books written by solid brothers and sisters in Christ.  We are so blessed to live in a time where there is so much information available to us, books, blogs, podcasts, vlogs, inspiring Instagram posts.  And so easily catered to our different seasons in life, I have numerous books on motherhood and marriage on my shelf.  Don’t get me wrong, these are incredible gifts and good things(and I won’t stop reading them) but I find it so easy for us to let this replace our search for growth, knowledge, and wisdom in the true living Word of God, the Bible.  It’s like eating junk food all day instead of eating food that you truly need.  Junk food tastes great but eventually, your body is not going to function properly without the nutrients it truly needs.  Sure a Mcdonalds burger may have some lettuce on it, that’s kinda good for you right?  But it’s not going to sustain you in the long run.

I was definitely feeling the pangs of hunger for more before the conference started.  God was turning my heart to His Word, with a desire to dig in. One morning I miraculously woke up before my girls and sat down on the couch to read His Word, it was a beautiful half hour.  Likely the first intentional “quiet time”  I had since becoming a mother.  I asked God to wake me up like this more often and He did, sometimes I only got 10 minutes but it still refreshed me.

When the conference came I was so excited to soak up all that I could from these brothers and sisters in Christ, these fellow saints.  At the conference, we went through the book of Deuteronomy(gulp).  I’ll admit, I was worried that the teachings might go straight over my head since it’s a “harder” book but God was so good to sweetly speak to me through the words of all the speakers.  Mary Willson was introduced before she spoke on Deuteronomy 1 and acknowledged for her Ph.D. and her biblical wisdom and I was intimidated, and honestly a little discouraged, I thought I would never be able to get to a level of wisdom similar to hers. As Jackie Hill Perry spoke on Deuteronomy 5:1-6:3, there was so much to gain from hearing this message, I was reminded that she has a three year old and newborn at home.  If Jackie can write such a beautiful message on one of the “hard” Old Testament books than surely I can study the Old Testament(and the Bible as a whole) and gain much. Jackie ended her message with the words, “Today and for the rest of your life, listen to God, believe God, and please obey Him.”  And how else can we do that if we do not read and study ALL of His Words?  His same Word is available to people going for their Ph.D. and available for the stay at home mom.

Kathleen Nielson spoke on Deuteronomy 18:15-22, she reminded us that our lives depend on the Words of God, and throughout the Old Testament He continued to speak to His people through Moses and the other prophets who all spoke of the coming (perfect) Prophet, Jesus Christ, The Word made flesh, and she spoke on the beauty of God’s Words throughout the Old Testament. Then John Piper came out with his gray hair crown of glory and spoke on Deuteronomy 29&30 and told us, “If any of you women do turn to God and you find rising up, in these days, in your heart a love for God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength, God did that!”  As my heart was stirred up to treasure God’s Word and to study it, I knew that it was God who moved my heart to that, not myself.  Piper also said, “Just be Bible women, would you please? Just be Bible women!” This was just a side comment but the words have been echoing in my heart ever since.

Since being home I’ve been more encouraged to treasure the Word of God.  As a busy mom two little girls running around the house and one kicking around in my womb, I know it’s not easy, I know there is grace.  But I was so heartbroken when I realized how much I was using my children as an excuse to not dig deep into the word.  I pray for God to sustain me with His words and provide times for me to feast on His Word and even snack with 10 minutes in the morning.  If I can teach my daughters anything I want it to be to treasure the Word of God.  I want to buy them a beautiful new bible and see it worn down over time.  I would rather my girls grow up seeing their mom sitting on the couch with a Bible open up in front of me instead of bingeing  Netflix or scrolling through my phone.

Another sister in Christ asked me a while back that well-known question of, “If your house was on fire and your family was safe what would you run in to grab?”  My beautiful floral study Bible came to mind but then I dismissed it because I could so easily buy a new bible or access it on my phone.  How blessed we are to have such easy access to the Word but how devastating is it that we take such little advantage of that.  I recall hearing a story of people who were imprisoned for their Christianity and how before they were separated they secretly divided one Bible into parts to distribute among them. I used to feel bad for whoever got stuck with Leviticus but now I think praise God that they had God’s living Word with them to sustain them through that time!  And now I think to myself, praise God that He can open my eyes to read the book of Micah and get teary eyed when I read of God’s justice and mercy and the promised coming of the Messiah!

 

 

I wanted to mention that there was so much more to gain from the messages of those I mentioned(and didn’t mention) above, these were just small snippets that I gained that God used to turn my heart to treasure His Word more.

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I Want to Go Home – A Different Kind of Homesick

22 May

I haven’t written in months.  So much has changed.  Part of the reason I haven’t written is because I’ve been busy with lots of changing and adjusting, but also I’ve just been unmotivated and have procrastinated for forever.  In my last post I wrote about my decisions on not going to college and I also touched on the newness of life that I was about to experience as I was leaving my nannying job.  Well…this is what happened.

I moved to Washington in September of 2012 to become a live in nanny, which was a really great experience but after a few months I felt that nannying wasn’t the right fit for me and though I loved children I just longed to have my own and I was no where near that, so I decided I needed a break from kids for awhile.  I also felt like I lacked a big community around me, I knew a few people here and there but there was no community for me.  So I decided to try to find another way to live…somehow.  This was very hard because my current nanny job was a trading job, which means I traded childcare for room and board.  The whole time I was nannying God ALWAYS provided for me in the craziest ways,  I went the whole 5 months with a constant $500 in my bank account, an explainable $500.  Now this soon to be jobless girl was looking for an apartment of some sorts, and Seattle is not known for cheap housing.  But God provides.

Rewind here for a moment. Although I tried very hard to stay single because I had plans that worked best as me being single(God had other plans….so did Thomas), but thanks to the kindness of the first woman I met when I moved to Seattle I was invited to a family Thanksgiving meal and unknowingly set up with her son who continued to pursue me even though I was absolutely a weirdo, crazy, hippie girl.  Fast forward to February when I’m about to be homeless.  Thomas, my very recent boyfriend, gives up his room in a really awesome church community living situation for me and moves back in with his parents.  God ALWAYS provides(not always how you expect).

So I pack all of my possessions which isn’t much, two suitcases of clothes and a few boxes of random things into Thomas’s car and we drive to a house and unload my stuff into an almost empty room.  I was now living with 11 other strangers ranging in ages of 1-30s.  They were some of the nicest strangers I had ever met, so loving and caring and interested.

No, this was not a cult, though many people do ask.  It’s just a group of Christians doing life together and caring for one another, living together, learning together, and having fun together.  But it’s been really hard for me to get used to this, even now, it’s uncomfortable to be real with people. To openly talk about failures, to be open to advice, to let people really know you.  I’m learning that I don’t let people in easily, I don’t let people really know me.  I love sharing stories, I love hearing peoples stories, but it’s hard to go deep sometimes, especially with people who you’ve just met.  But even in my struggle to grow deep relationships with people, I still really loved and cared about these people, each and everyone, the whole church and not just the people in the house.  I knew I was supposed to be there.  I was growing, learning, changing.

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I went home(Massachusetts) a few weeks ago, my sister Naomi got married.  It was one of the most beautiful weekends I’ve ever experienced.  Just a small ceremony with just family.  It was so precious to spend those moments with my family.  Staying up late and playing games together.  Laughing together, dancing together, singing together.  Staying up late hours talking with my mom.  Running around and playing with my little brothers.  Sleeping with my sisters the night before the wedding, our last night as being the complete “Nye Girls.”  Watching my sister marry a man that I know will take very good care of her and love her so well.  Deep conversations with my Dad as we drive to the airport. These beautiful, beautiful moments that I will only get once. These moments that grow farther and farther apart from each other because I am having this other life on the opposite side of the country.  It was such a tease of a visit, a short weekend with my family.

Then I was flying home(Washington) again.  I am always leaving my home.  It is becoming harder everyday, everything.  Especially since I’ve returned to Washington after the wedding.  I miss my family but I know I am supposed to be here.  When I am in Massachusetts I am so glad to see my family but I miss my church family.  It’s as if I live in two different worlds, and they can never be together, they can never be the same.  No matter where I am, a part of my heart is aching.

When my sister starts having kids, I’m not going to be there to watch them grow up.  My brothers are all still in school, I don’t get to watch them still grow up or be as much of a part of their lives as I want to be.  My other sister is dancing and speaking at women’s conferences and I’m missing all of that.  I have fallen in love with a man who I hope to marry someday, and he is a stranger to my family.  I am so excited for what the future holds for him and I but my family only gets to see that through small windows.  It’s so hard.  Sometimes I wake up and wonder how I even got here, so far away from everything that is familiar.  Sometimes I think that it would be easiest if I just continued my travels, never staying in one place long enough to build deep relationships, always continuing on to a new place and then stopping in my one home when I felt lonely and homesick.  That would be so much easier than this!

I always think, “Why me God?  Why would you pick the shyest girl from my family to just move clear across the country?”  I don’t know why I’m here always.  Some days God gives me great peace about it, like last night during community group.  I can absolutely trust Him with my life, and I get to trust Him because it is so hard for me to comprehend and only God can make sense of it for me.  It also births this great desire for my real home, Heaven.  Everyday I learn that this world is not my home.  These things here won’t last.  But even so, the things that I do have here, the people I know, God has blessed me with.  God has blessed me with two groups of people that love me deeply, my family and friends in Massachusetts as well as my new family in Washington.  What an amazing blessing it is to know these people.

So as I am homesick on earth, my homesickness for heaven increases, and I want to go home.  I also know that there is more to do here on this temporary home, more people to reach out to, more relationships to grow, more worshiping my Lord, more laughing, more dancing, more beautiful God glorifying moments that are yet to come.

My hope is in heaven and not in this world.

My Version of College – A Different Learning Style

12 Feb

Some days, I struggle about writing multiple things and then resolve to write about one.  This one has been plaguing my mind for so very long and even though my life is completely being flipped upside down even more right now, I have to write about this topic.  Maybe I’ll write the other really soon(but maybe not since I procrastinate like everyone else in the world).  So here goes….

This has got to be my least favorite question, “Where are you going to college?”  Which is often times followed by, “Why aren’t you going to college?!”

Most people nearly have a heart attack when I tell them I’m not going to college and I don’t ever plan to.  [Excuse me for the venting that is about to bleed through into this blog…]  So most people assume that I’m a bum when I tell them this, they assume lots about me.  They assume that I’m dumb, lazy, foolish, and that I have no direction in life.  I would have to disagree with them.  I know I’m not the smartest but that’s not why I’m not going.  What would they think if they knew that I had passed up a 4 year full ride scholarship to a College in upstate NY(that’s another story you can ask me about for another time), “Foolish, completely foolish!”  I know.   I sometimes hate the second question but also I find it as a place where I can defend myself from these assumptions and argue a point.

So let me answer that question:
I am not going to college because I plan on being a wife and a mother someday.  That is what I want to do with my life, that is what I want to be good at.  I don’t feel as though me going to college would make me a better wife or mother.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissing college or people who do go to college.  I think college is a really great thing if you are striving for a degree that is needed for the job you would like to pursue.  I just feel like there is so much pressure on the high school students and young adults that they NEED to go to college or else they will be worth nothing.  I know so many people who have gone into college not knowing what they want to do with their lives and get so frustrated that they have to chose now in that very moment.  So much money is placed on top of that pressure.  I just don’t think it’s necessary.  And now that everyone is expected to go to college, almost every job has a degree that is required for you to even be considered for the position.  I mean, I was applying to work at Trader Joe’s and they wanted all of their employees to have degrees and such.  A degree is hardly worth anything anymore.

I’m also not opposed to continue learning and using things I’ve learned in high school.  Just because I’m not going to college doesn’t mean I’m not exercising my brain.  I love writing, so I do that a lot.  I blog, I write short stories, I write newsletters, I write letters.  I read books, mainly the bible.  I learn in different ways than you can in the walls of a school.  I learn from living life.  I was a nanny for 5 months, almost daily taking care of children, young children, learning important things of what it looks like to be a mother.  I taught kids a bit older ballet classes and interacted with them.  I love talking to older, married, godly, couples and hearing their experiences.  These are the kinds of “college courses” I am taking in my version of college.  This is how I will learn.  Most importantly I look to the bible for passages about parenting and mothering and being a wife, Proverbs 31 has been one of these great passages that I have been studying for some time.  And I pray that God will lead me to be a good mother and a good wife that he will give me the knowledge that I seek.

But even more importantly, the bible is so important to me, it’s my textbook on life.  Even more than I want to be a good wife and mother, I want to be a good follower of Jesus, I want to lay down my life and live, live in a way that brings glory to God.  So I want to dig into the Word more and learn more about Him because that’s all I’m really living for.  It doesn’t even matter if I never become a mother or a wife, as long as I am bringing glory to God than I will be content in that, content in what He has planned for me.  But I do have this feeling that I will be a wife and a mother because I think that could bring glory to God.    I don’t care about report cards, sometimes I’ll fall down, sometimes I will do really well, but all that really matters to me is how God sees me, so I don’t really care too much if you make assumptions about me not going to college.

I’m signing up for some “new classes,” everything is about to change for me.  I am so excited and I know I am going to learn so much from all of what is in my future.   I’ll let you in more on that and how it goes next time. ;]

Wind and Blindfolds – Trust

13 Jan

“But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.” -Francis Chan

 

People who talk to me a lot will notice that I often times say things like, “Oi vey!” and “What is my life?!”  and I’ve been saying these things a lot more lately, probably because my life has pretty much just done a 180.  I don’t even really know where to begin this blog, or where to end it, or what to put in the middle of it but I guess that’s how all of my posts are, random, jumbled, and all over the place.  Here goes nothing..

So as you may have read in my other posts I was offered a really cool opportunity to move across the country to work for a missionary family as a nanny in exchange for room and board.  Pretty crazy!  And I know God’s hand has been in all of this.  He brought me to this new place and all the while has been molding me more into the person He created me to be.  It’s funny because he is working even when we feel like He is doing nothing.  Sometimes we feel like we have to constantly be doing something but sometimes God says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”  and sometimes he blows great gusts of wind in our faces(I’ll get to that).  Sometimes it is in the stillness that God is doing some of His biggest works in us.

So I am actually back in Massachusetts right now, I have been for 5 weeks and I’m flying back to Seattle in two days.  And it was while I was back home that I was able to look back and see what God had been doing in me while I was in Seattle.

Moving to Seattle was a big deal for a formerly painfully shy young lady like me, it was the last thing I would ever have pictured myself doing.  It was overwhelming, then exciting, then lonely, then very draining, I got burnt out, then I got mad at God.  I was mad because I knew why I was burnt out, I had no community but I wanted it, my community was on the other side of the country.  I remember Skyping with my sisters and seeing their roommates and other women from my home church there and I just about lost it.  All I could think about after I had turned off my computer was all the times people had said, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8) and so I decided to go out and meet God, in the middle of the night.  I went out to the docks and started talking to Him, about how lonely and empty I felt.  How I didn’t know why He had brought me here, how I didn’t feel as though I had any purpose there or any direction from Him.  I felt stranded and hurt.  Hurt by how He could let others hurt me.  All of these things, these lies I was believing, I screamed into the darkness.  “Where are you?”  I asked.  “Do something, say something!” I yelled.  And then a great wind blew into my face and nearly knocked me over.  “That’s NOT funny!”  I yelled(but I actually think it’s hilarious now).  I fell back onto a bench behind me and began to cry, why couldn’t I feel Him?  Why were His arms not around me?  Why?  I don’t know how long I sat there but then I started speaking out what I believed.  “I believe you are God, I believe you know me, I believe you have a plan for my life, I believe you are here with me now, I believe in hope, I believe you didn’t bring me here to be alone, I believe…”  Then I walked back to the apartment in the dark with this strange feeling that I can’t explain.  The next day I did something I hadn’t done in years, I fasted.  When the kids(remember I’m a nanny) finally went down for their nap I dove into my bible, soaking it in, spending time with Jesus and talking with Him, asking for direction –Guys, just so you know prayer, fasting, and reading your bible really is a good thing, it does work, stop being lazy and asking God to give you a fortune cookie with the answers to your “problems”–and then that night God would use a new grand friend to speak into my life.

Sami was one of the first people I had met in Seattle, one of the first people I really had connected with.  That night when we hung out we had a really crazy conversation that God was directing the whole time, my whole life was about to get flipped upside down.  Yet again, God was going to completely break down and take away everything that I had planned, everything that I thought was set in stone and things that I didn’t have to worry about.  This of course would be my job, my living space, my ticket to live in Seattle.  God, yet again had other plans for me, bigger and better plans for me.

I won’t go into too much detail on this part because I feel like I’ve been writing for a long time and I have so much more to say but I will say that this means that instead of staying for the year with the family as I intended, I am only staying for roughly 6 months, which means I will be done working for them sometime in February/March.  This also means that I have no place to live, or a job.  And since this nanny job doesn’t pay and is very time consuming I don’t have any money nor time to get another job to make much money.  Right now my income is an average of $40 a week for teaching one ballet class and some very random support I get here and there from friends and family back home.  So I really have no where to go, and many reasons to be afraid or worried.  The funny thing is, I’m not afraid, or worried.  I have no idea what’s next, all I know is I’m out of a place to live and that God wants me to stay in Seattle.  He has things for me to do here and I’m not even all that certain what they are yet but I know He will reveal them to me in His perfect timing, and He may have started to reveal somethings already, we’ll see.

You can probably imagine some of the reactions I’ve gotten coming home and informing my loved ones about my current situation, you yourself probably think I’m foolish/flighty/young/(whatever other words you’d like to through in there).  And this is how I’ve been explaining it to people, “When you are blindfolded by someone you don’t trust, it is a very very scary thing!  But when someone you love and trust blindfolds you it becomes very exciting, like there is a surprise waiting for you.”  I’ve been in a situation pretty similar to this where it’s felt like the floor was taken from beneath me and I panicked, I didn’t know what to do, and I think I reacted like that because I hadn’t fully trusted God, I had put these plans ahead of Him, they were my idol.  But now, God has taken a lot of my idols away(I think that’s why He let me be alone for so long in Seattle, to get rid of those idols I have with putting community before my relationship with Jesus) and I trust Him and I love Him and when he takes things away from me I know He has something else, something better for me and I am so excited to find out what it is!  And if you think I’m crazy, good!   If the world thinks I’m crazy, good!  I’ll be crazy for Jesus for the rest of my life.

A Love Revolution – Because Jesus Said So

21 Nov

So I haven’t really written in a month because my mind has been all over the place.  I’ve been questioning a lot of things, America, the “Americanized Church”, humans.  Why are we the way we are?  My world view has been growing and changing a lot lately.  There’s been a lot of thinking and not much writing lately, partly because I don’t know how to put any of this into words.  Even now I don’t feel like writing, I don’t feel like I can capture my thoughts(especially without offending people or sounding angry, but this is life).  I’ll bet you I jump around a lot in this post.

I just reread one of my favorite book called The Irresistible Revolution(read it!).  The first time I read it, I fell in love but at the time I was living at home.  Reading it again when I’m on my own, big difference.  I can actually take more of these things into consideration and see where they can fit in my life, especially since I am only staying with this job and family for a year(leaving next September).  My future is wide open.

So what is this book about?  Well, I can hardly scratch the surface of it in this blog but mainly it’s about community, churches in america, loving people, taking the bible seriously, loving people and loving people.

So I did manage to write something one night, at a ridiculous hour(which is my brain’s favorite time to decide to become a writer), and it went a little like this:

You are a 19 year old blue eyed girl.   You are a good person.  Wear makeup.  Go to college.  Get a job.  Build your wealth.   Be successful.  Drive a nice car.  Get a boyfriend.  Vote.  Hide your weaknesses.  Tell everyone you’re doing fine/good/well.  Stay away from “dangerous” people.

Do not hitchhike.  Do not talk to strangers.  Do not give homeless people money.  Do not walk alone through the city at night.  Do not love your enemies.  Do not smile at strangers.  Do not question people’s lifestyles.  Don’t talk about Jesus.  Do not stand out.  Do not talk about your faults.  Do not pay attention to the man behind the curtain, or the characters that come in and out of your story.  Do not pass go.  Do not collect $200.

Temporarily Yours,
The World

This is what the world has told me, and I will do just the opposite.

This is partially what my world view has become(except I have yet to pass go and collect $200, or hitchhike), there is more to it but for now I’ll give you this.  This is how I have been trying to live my life, I am questioning the world and trying to look to the bible for answers.  I am trying to see what Jesus told us to do, and that is what I am trying to live out in my life.  The problem is, when I look around me I can’t find many people living this out.  People in America seem to be selfish, “Christians” seem to be selfish.  American’s and their dreams, the American Dream.  Everyone just wants to make money for themselves, everyone is so greedy.  It is hard to live in community with greed.  How were we supposed to live then!?
 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[a] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.  Acts 2:42-47

When I talk about this with people, they either tell me that it’s a really cool idea or that they admire my want to be do that and “wish” they could too, or just call me a dirty hippie or a communist.   So lately, I’ve just been wondering do christian’s actually read their bibles?  Do they actually take it to heart or do they just look at it and say, “hmm, that sure would be an interesting way to live.”

You know, I’ve never been on a missions trip where they just shout bible verses at people or pelt aggressive non believers with scriptures and maybe it’s because I think the only people I want to throw bibles at is Christians.  *Wham!* “Hey, have you actually read this!?”  And I’ll admit, I’m no saint who reads the bible 3 hours a day and has a perfect bible study laid out, I’ve not even read the whole thing yet but when I do read it, at least now when I do, I try to take things seriously and live it out.  I mean, I figure of all the people in your life who tell you to do things, I’m pretty sure Jesus is “for real” with what He’s asking you to do.

One example that comes up a lot for me, especially living in the city is homelessness.  On my way to the bank, with lots of cash in my wallet, I walked past a homeless girl and gave her an Orange, it felt like a robotic interaction, I dropped it into her hand and she said, “Thank you!”  I kept walking and then stopped dead in my tracks.  Here I was with cash in my pockets from teaching dance as well as from some people who had been financially supporting me while I’m away on “missions” and there she was sitting in the cold with nearly nothing.  I turned around gave her some cash, explaining that I really didn’t need it and then I hugged her after she thanked me again and told me, “God bless you.” And I continued on my way but the farther away I got the more my heart broke.  How many people had lied to her face and told her they “didn’t have any money/food/etc.”  How many times had I lied to a homeless person about what was actually in my purse.  How much extra food is in our homes?  How much money is in our bank accounts?  How many scarves do you own?  And I kept wishing I’d asked for her name, or what her favorite color was, where was she born, how did she get here?  Why should God bless me?  I already have so much.  It’s completely different when you give out of guilt than when you give out of love.  But no one ever said love was easy, loving is hard to do, it hurts sometimes…it hurts when the people you love are hurting but people sometimes need people to hurt with them.  But at least you can feel it and it’s not just a numb robotic motion.

I think people have created a homeless stereotype to keep the feeling numb and make themselves feel ok about not giving anything to the homeless.  It goes something like this, These homeless people are lazy and it’s their fault that they are where they are today, and we don’t give them money because they will just spend it on booze or drugs.  But honestly, I know people who have become homeless and they weren’t being lazy, and it’s not their fault and they don’t spend all their money on booze or drugs.  Yes, that may be the case for some people but NOT everyone, and wouldn’t that mean you’ve judged them(I know I’ve done it before).  But it doesn’t matter, Jesus tells us to give to the poor, He doesn’t say only give to those who aren’t going to buy booze……I mean how can you even tell?  Yeah, maybe they will, but maybe they won’t.  It frustrates me even more when people say they don’t give because they think they’ll just spend it on booze or drugs when they themselves will spend their money on that, because they are so fortunate to have money and a place to live it’s ok for them to spend their money on that stuff?   Do what Jesus tells you to (1 John 3:17,  Matthew 5:42, Hebrews 13:16, Acts 20:35, I can keep going…).  Homelessness is just one of these issues that I’m having with the world, but I can address more in other posts.

I used to think I was alone, I would talk to people and they would seem uninterested but then my friend came down from Alaska and visited and we talked, and she reminded me, “You are not alone.”  The more I talk to people, the more I choose to love people, the more I can see that, I am not alone.  There are so many people out there just dying for love, to be heard, to be known, to not be alone anymore.  I am one of them and I’m learning that I’m not alone, neither are you.

Imagine what would happen if we all just started loving each other, seeing and filling each others needs, being shoulders to cry on, causes of laughter.  You can’t change the world but you can change lives, you can love people to life and it will become contagious.  I know I’m being harsh right now but I get angry when people are selfish and don’t love, I get angry when I’m selfish and I don’t love, I’m yelling at myself as much as I’m yelling at anyone else.  But how much more beautiful could the world be if we just loved?  It’s not easy but it’s worth it.  Love brings change.  The Irresistible Revolution is love.  Join the Revolution.

Out of the Rubble – Dreaming

24 Oct

Sometimes there can be beauty in destruction.

When everything you dreamed up has been taken away from you it can be hard to dream something new up.  You decide to live in constant spontania (which is not actually a word), living only in the present moment.  This is what I had been doing when I moved to Seattle, everything was new and exciting but exhausting (as I wrote in my last post).  I had no direction really, I was just living a day at a time.  I was afraid to establish new plans in my life for fear that God would send them tumbling down all over again.  But I didn’t want to stay here forever, here as in this unknowing, unimagining place.  I had always been somewhat of a dreamer but now, I was boring, I felt boring.  What was I living for?  “God” I would tell myself but was I actually doing that?  Or was I just sitting still in this moment of fear to be wrong.  Now I thought that I had become this fearless woman, especially after moving across the country all by myself, and I will say that God had made me more fearless in order to do so.  But I still couldn’t let go of the fear of what could happen if I rebuild, I wanted God to do everything, I wanted to be lazy about it.

I knew God led me here to Seattle but I really didn’t know what I was doing there or what I was supposed to be doing.  I love the family I’m staying with, and they say I can stay here for as long as they’re in Seattle but even if I did stay here that whole time that was only two more years than I had planned.  What would I do after that?  Would I find myself and caving and going to college like everyone else I knew, a place that I truly never wanted to end up.  Would I find myself being swept off my feet and just becoming a wife?  I’ve been changed this summer into an almost completely new person….who is this Lindsey Nye girl and where the heck does she want to go!?!?!?!

One night I was missing home terribly, I needed my sisters but due to the time difference they were probably sleeping.  Thank God for the people I live with, I had a heart to heart with the woman I live with and her husband joined in the conversation as well.  And then I began to realize, I do have dreams.

It is such a beautiful thing when from the rubble of the destruction God picks up your old dreams and gives them back to you.  Some people thought I was crazy for moving across the country by myself, well they’re about to think I’m insane because God is still making me more fearless.  So what is this crazy girl dreaming up now?  Well for now, I’ll tell you it involves some traveling, eventually.  I’m here for now, I know this is where God wants me to be but I know I’m not going to be here for forever.

I used to limit myself with my dreams but with my God there are no limits.  If He wants me somewhere He can get me there!  I was very inspired by this documentary with a pretty questionable title, Beware of Christians, since watching this one of my old dreams has come back to life, backpacking in Europe.  This dream especially surprised me when it came back to me because of how my older plans fell through, I never thought I’d do this without my past plans working out but here I am unafraid of it and ready to work hard to get there.  Those aren’t my only dreams right now but that’s what I’ll write about…I’ll write more about them in other blogs to come. ;]

But I don’t plan on just mindlessly traveling because I want to, no.  I’m not just taking these dreams from nowhere, God has been placing them into my heart and helping me rebuild my dreams.  If He is in my dreams than these dreams can come true because He is an unstoppable force and I don’t have to fear how I will get there.  Jesus always sets me free, I get myself all wound up about something silly and Jesus always untangles the mess I’ve made.  I want to share this freedom I have with other people, this joy, this love, this Jesus of mine.  I suppose some people would call this a “missions trip” but I don’t think I would.  I don’t plan on throwing bibles at people, I plan to connect with people and be honest about my life with them my good moments, my bad moment, my struggles and what got me through it.  I just want to know people, to love them, to connect with them.  And if these are the dreams God is giving me now then I’ll follow them, I will get there, and if they come tumbling down like before I just lean on God and rebuild them with Him. ❤

 I love the bible, it’s definitely living.  I’ve had Proverbs 16 circled and highlighted in my bible for nearly a year and I’ve been studying it trying to make sense of it and wondering why I have to try to make so much sense of it, and now it’s starting to click.  It talks a lot about the plans that we make and that God is the one who establishes these plans.  I used to read it and little pieces here and there would make sense to me and then a verse would pop out and I’d be like, what is that supposed to mean!?  But now when I read it, I just smile…because it makes so much sense. 🙂

The heart of man plans his way,
But the Lord establishes his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

Looking for Familiar – What Remains

11 Oct

fa·mil·iar adjective \fə-ˈmil-yər\
1 closely acquainted : intimate <a familiar family friend>

obsolete : affablesociable
a : of or relating to a family <remembering past familiar celebrations> (see 1family)
b
 : frequented by families <a familiar resort>
a : being free and easy <the familiar association of old friends>
b : marked by informality <a familiar essay>
c : overly free and unrestrained : presumptuous <grossly familiar behavior>
d : moderately tame <familiar animals>
a : frequently seen or experienced : easily recognized <a familiar theme>
b : of everyday occurrence <a familiar routine>
c : possibly known but imperfectly remembered <her face looked familiar>
: having personal or intimate knowledge —used with with<familiar with the facts of the case>

What is familiar here?  Nothing, almost.  My life recently has been constantly new, everything new.  New things to learn, new things to see, new people to meet.  Everything so exciting, so new, so breathtaking.  But at times it feels like I’ve forgotten to breathe, like there is no where to sit down to rest.  Where have all the familiar things in my life gone?  Have I left them all behind me?  Everything here is so beautiful(the only thing I might be not so fond of so far is the ridiculous amount of spiders), and I do truly love it here but I can’t help but to feel lost sometimes.  At times I so want to just feel something familiar but there is nothing physically around me to do so.  I suppose I could look in the mirror and catch my reflection but it is not the same, I have never been away from myself and I am always changing.  I’ve brought things from home with me but they are no longer kept in their familiar places, and I’ve collected several new things since being here.

I miss people the most, my family especially.  My younger brothers all crazy and lazy, my loving parents who are unbelievably silly and loving,  and my dear sisters, they are treasures to me, always making me laugh and cry, how I miss them all.  I used to be able to run down two flights of stairs and jump onto my parents bed, run stealthily through the living room past my brothers and drive half an hour to hang out with my sisters.  Now I am thousands of miles and hundreds of dollars away.

No one here knows me like anyone back home knows me.  They can hear about my past and imagine it but none of them have experienced it with me or been by my side when any of it was happening.  I am not familiar to them either.  There are no inside jokes to be shared, no secret handshakes, nothing old.  There have been several times where I want to shout out a “Naomi Joke” but no one here would have any idea of what I was getting at.  I so badly want to walk down a street and see someone familiar, to have someone recognize me, but these familiar people are too far away.

It’s funny when you move away how people from your past just come out of no where to start talking to you.  People from way back in my life, several of them.  Online and through letters, I am reconnecting.  It’s funny, once I leave people come back into my life.  I only wish the reconnecting had come sooner before I had left but either way it only leaves more familiar things to miss.  There is something beautiful in this though, things, familiar things, that have nearly been forgotten are brought forward in my mind, I am able to laugh at these things but still, I’m laughing alone.

I am constantly looking for familiar things, things to bring me comfort.  I am an idiot, and I have to laugh at myself.  Why?  Well, I’m just going to start typing.

I went for a walk yesterday, I was needing some coffee(we don’t have a coffee maker in our apartment).  After my coffee I was getting close to the apartment and I was not ready for my quiet walk to be over.  I continued my walk and of course, I started to miss everyone at home again.  So I started praying for them as I walked, and I felt the closest to everyone back home then I did at any other time since moving here.  Then it hit me, I found my familiar.  It is always there.  God!  Told you(I am an idiot).

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That sounds so so so so so familiar.  I mean really Lindsey?  He’s been right there this whole time.  He knows my whole history (not to mention my whole future), He’s in on all my inside jokes, and best of all I am familiar to Him, He knows me, every part of me!  No matter where I go there will always be this God that remains familiar to me.

As for all of this new stuff that keeps coming at me….
What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done,
    and there is nothing new under the sun.
                                          Ecclesiastes 1:9

This stuff may be new to me but it is not new to God, He has already seen what has happened in the past before it happened and knows what is ahead of me before I am even aware of it.  What crazy, mysterious, exciting, familiar, lives we have to live.  And what a beautiful God!

Dear family, I miss you so but I know God is with you as He is with me and that is comforting to me.

New friends I’ve met and have yet to meet, in time you will become familiar to me I’m sure.

What a random, jumbled, unorganized blog post.

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