Happy October 21st everyone! Aw, in typing that I just realized some sad news. I won't be in town on October 27th. Why is that sad news, you may be asking. Well I'll tell you. Many years ago when the world was still flat I was over at my bestest friends' (Paul and Gina O.s) house on October 27th. As always, we were entertaining ourselves with randomness. On this particular occasion we had dressed up in silly makeshift costumes just for fun. However, we didn't want these costumes to go to waste. It just so happened that Paul's brother Clint lived in that same neighborhood a street or two over so we decided at around 7pm to have our first annual October 27th Day Parade: destination Clint's house. We made a sign on poster board that said OCTOBER 27TH, put in on a stick, and our friend Rachel carried it at the front of our 5 person parade. We marched out of the house and around the neighborhood chanting OCTOBER - OCTOBER - OCTOBER 27TH! We arrived at Clint's house within 15 minutes or so and let him in on our new tradition. Every October 27th since then we have either had our parade or at least called one another to wish a happy October 27th. I am sad the parade is not an option this year due to my absence, but I will be calling to say Happy October 27th dear friends. Don't let the dream die.
I need a vacation... a real one. No agenda, just me and a couple close friends, a beach, a city I've never been to, a nice place to stay with lots of windows, a lot of cash, a bed with a down comforter, some new outfits, nice locals to meet, and some good food. That's all. . .
I am so not motivated right now to blog, but I feel obligated to so that I don't just give up on this thing from the beginning. There is just so much to do right now. I'm really looking forward to Christmas break. Oh, FYI if you were wondering, in regards to my post Facebook, Terrorists, and Unanswered Questions I messaged that guy. I said I was going out on a limb and saying that he didn't realize he was messaging me, etc. But he messaged back that I was wrong and he did know it was me. We've caught up a bit but I still think it is funny that was our first conversation in eleven years.
Something weird just happened. I was perusing Facebook when a message popped up from a friend. Let me give you some background info before I tell you the message. Firstly, my status right now says - Carrie is ready for change-. Secondly, the message was from one of those people that I have accepted as a Facebook friend but have not messaged, posted on their wall, or talked to since we became Facebook friends. In fact I have not spoken to this person since high school eleven years ago and apparently he is now an actor in New York, NY. Moving on, a message popped up that says - whatever, change = terrorist... just kidding don't hit me-. I obviously and instinctually messaged back - you are a terrorist-. Then I received a message that said - whatever, I am going to bomb you later, you are so unpatriotic-. To which I responded - This is an odd first conversation to have after more than 10 years but, I bleed red... white and blue-. But to my dismay when I hit return it said [Unnamed Person] is no longer on line. Could it be that Unnamed Person thought he was messaging someone else all along and freaked out when he realized it was me, a friend he hadn't spoken with in more than eleven years that he is now accusing of being a terrorist? Or did his computer just quit unexpectedly? Did his internet disconnect? Was there an emergency he had to attend to? Was there a personal terrorist attack on him? Does any of this matter?!
Are there any other folks out there willing to admit that they talk to themselves on a regular basis? To me this is natural, not weird. I honestly do not understand what it would be like to not talk to myself when I am alone. What would I do to entertain myself? I don't mean that I talk to myself as in I have serious conversations with myself. Rather I say straight up hilarious stuff and act super silly and often make myself laugh. I sing ridiculous songs about what I'm doing or thinking and tend to find myself laughing out loud. I think I'm probably the funnest and funniest person in the world to be around when I'm by myself. There in lies the rub. It's almost always only when I am by myself. No one else has the pleasure of being around this core part of me. I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe I am afraid others some how won't find me as funny as I know I am. It takes a special person to appreciate me. I'm not sure I mean special in a good way. So far there is only one person that I feel like I completely let the hilarity out with. Her name is Gina Ann Marshall Osbon and her title is My Best Friend for Nearly Fourteen Years. Gina is pretty much a riot in her own right. May God bless you by allowing you in our presence one day. Together we are unstoppable. Over the years I have called Gina many silly nick names. One day I called her genre. When I asked her how that made her feel without skipping a beat she said, "Categorized." Oh man that girl is quick and witty! To all of you who talk to yourselves and make yourselves laugh, I salute you. We've got a lot of funny things to say. It just so happens that sometimes we're the only ones there to hear it.
I'm sitting on the floor with the sweetest little mini dachshund in my lap. All day I had a piercing headache but somehow managed to breathe. I say somehow, but I know it was through the grace of God. When I say breathe I mean find some peace. I use breathe a lot when I write. Often I find myself anxious and tense without even realizing it, not breathing deeply because my stomach is so tight. Breathe moments are when I can stop for a second, take a deep breath, and know that everything is ok. All is well. Sometimes days and weeks go by without one of these moments and it is so refreshing when it comes. Today was a breathe day. With the exception of this morning I could think clearly most of the day. Everyone seemed ok with me. This is such a relief when almost constantly I am plagued with the lie that someone or another must be mad at me. I'm grasping a deeper sense of who Jesus is, feeling more free in light of it. Now is not so cool, but I have hope for a future. Channeling my thoughts and soul into writing for God to use however he chooses. Knowing that he will because he quite deliberately put this passion for it in me. Maybe a new leaf has been turned over. Lord, let this not be a phase, but instead a new glory.
I hate the Enemy. When he sees we have freedom in one area he attacks in another and his attacks are relentless. God says resist the devil and he will flee from you. Is there a time factor for that? How long must we resist in one area before it gets any easier. I woke up this morning struggling with the same old thing, condemnation. There are so many reasons why I am "bad" right now. All I can see is my selfishness and insecurity and am certain that everyone else sees it too. Surely people are mad at me, and that makes me mad and bitter and insecure towards them. I know this stems from a lie and am and have been fighting it for a while but it isn't getting better. So we come back to the same old questions. Is there unconfessed sin in my life? Is there something wrong with me? Will today be any different? And the loop of lies is still playing. No one loves you or likes you enough to see you through this. No one wants to hear about it any more. Everyone is annoyed with you. You won't get better. There is no hope. I pray and pray and occasionally can see a small glimpse of truth like a break in the clouds. It's all in my head. It is the Enemy's lies. I am free. Everything really is ok and I am not alone. But these moments are fleeting. However I am not ready to give up. God's promises are true and his timing is perfect. He has not left me as an orphan and I am not too much for him. It is safe to hope in him and hope does not disappoint. Just take the next step. Persevere.
Please say a prayer for me if you're into that sort of thing. I need a break through.
Jesus loves who we are, not who we pretend to be. The title of Christian cannot validly be substituted with Perfect. Why do we act like it should? I for one am fed up with buying into the enemy's lies of shame and fear, causing me to believe that I must hide who I really am in order to be accepted by God and, even more so, by other Christians. Let's call a spade a spade. Jesus died for me, not for fake me. So I am ready to be the real me. Messed up and reflecting God's glory. This blog will mostly be poetry and journal entries I've written that reflect my desperate need for my Savior and how I am becoming more and more like him. (Mostly the need though!) My hope is that I'll be increasingly this real me not just in blog form, but in all areas of my life. And that having someone go first will help you do the same.
Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
I was raised in a christian home in church all my life, but even in that environment somehow missed the real gospel for 26 years. I subscribed to being saved and following a list of rules, though not too closely. There was no life in it. There was no loving Savior in it. Just fear and failure. I'm just now getting to know the real Jesus; a loving, forgiving, accepting King. Somehow in our western culture we have missed the mark in who we are portraying Christ to be. And even who we say he is doesn't line up with who we act like he is. I'm reading a really good book right now called Wholly Jesus, by Mark Foreman. It talks about how Jesus came for the whole person, not just our souls.
In the current Western definition of salvation, Jesus is largely limited to the heart. This is not true of the largest portion of believers outside the Western world. But stereotypically speaking, when a western-minded child is asked, "Where does Jesus live?" the expected answer is, "In my heart." This is all well and good if the child grows up to understand Jesus also lives through my words, my actions, my attitudes, my fantasies, my goals, my finances, my relationships, etc. But sadly, for many Jesus never makes it out of our hearts. He stays inside while the person passively waits for heaven. - Mark Foreman
Pop-Christian Jesus (as Foreman calls him) remained locked safely in my heart for 26 empty years. And I cringe to think how much damage I've done by preaching this little Jesus to so many desperate-for-the-real-Him friends. No wonder they were uninterested and unchanged.
Good news, I'm beginning to grasp and share the real Good News! The real Jesus Christ is standing up in my life. God says when you seek him with all your heart then you will find him. He's no liar and his work in me is proof of that.
Wholly Jesus also touches on how Western Christians try to get people's souls saved, get them out of this fallen world, and up to heaven. But when God talks about heaven in his Word he always promotes bringing heaven, the kingdom of God, here to earth. The kingdom is near.
Freedom. The Savior I have longed for, even as a Christian, is reality. I'm finding myself as I'm finding him and my prayer is the same for you.
Well, what to say? I'm probably more like you than we know. I'm imperfect, pursuing wholeness, and finding it in Jesus Christ. I love to laugh and appreciate honesty. I'm fed up with hiding who I really am and hope you are too. There's a better Way!