Sunday, December 26, 2010

seemed kind of significant.

well, i just checked up on the ol' blog for kicks and turns out the last post (and only post) was EXACTLY a year ago. well, pretty much. seemed kind of significant. so, here i am. one year later. my hair is long again, my heart has been to hurtville and back, (it's good for you) a handful of new melodies have come, a pocket full of goals and dreams have grown and become more real, and i've stumbled upon some incredible, incredible lifelong friends, new and old. it happened in a blink, didn't it?

this year has been quite a life changing one. i suppose they all are -- but this one has included my first time to move away from home, alone. in early june, i moved to nashville for the summer, into a house of a couple of strangers who weren't strange at all. they were welcoming and generous and kind. i looked up to meet friends around the neighborhood who i'd spend every waking second with, all summer long. we're talking some of the most incredible people i've ever met. some of the most encouraging, lively, hopeful, and exciting people i've ever met. i recorded, co-wrote, wrote alone, played little shows, went to shows, went to church, just went, in general. everywhere i went, there somebody was. somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody who knew me. people are so incredible. every single one of them.

seriously, how incredible.

i wish i always remembered how incredible everybody is.
you and i each have our own world of wonder. no one has exactly what you've got and no one has exactly what i've got.
how completely thrilling and liberating to understand that!
lately i've been completely wearing myself out with measuring myself up against everybody else. i don't realize im doing it at first. it's miserable. have you done it? compared everything you have, every ability to someone else's? it gets you no where, and it's so easy to do. tricking yourself into thinking you have to prove yourself as excellent, good, worthy of love and attention? oh my goodness it's exhausting.

and then, when im tired and silent, finally, some thread of grace sews its way into my inmost being and reminds me of the simplest truth that i so easily forget : there is nothing i could ever do to earn love. to be worthy of it. there is no use in trying to prove myself. there is no use because i don't have to prove myself at all. there is no use, because on day 1 i was loved. without doing a single thing. without writing any song, without treating anyone with any small bit of kindness, without doing anything excellent, without encouraging anybody, without being intelligent, without being beautiful. i was loved on the first day of my life because i was God's creation. i am loved today because i am His. and i will be loved on the last day of my life because i will still be His. when the fact that God loved me and loves me defines who i am rather than any other measure of anybody else's attention for me, life gets easier. joy gets easier. i mean really. what is the the thing you are good at? what's your thing? what's the thing you use to make you feel like you're great? take it away, do you still think you're great? because you are. it seems like a childish lesson, and it is. i didn't even know i was doing it. im a child, and i need this lesson over and over and over. ill need it when im 90.

so if by chance, you're trying to prove yourself by being good at something or by being beautiful or unique or intelligent or brave or witty or successful or likable-----stop. God made you and thought you were incredible on day 1. let that define you, not anything or anyone else. not how good your next EP is. (what?) not how good your grades are. not how people categorize you in their minds. not how many dates you go on. not how funny you are. you are incredible and worth saving. he saved you from boring. from comparison. from regret. from tallying up compliments. from measuring success. from wanting what somebody else has. don't make yourself miserable that way. i know you've heard it a thousand times, because i have too. God loves you. how cheap have we made that statement? how old has it become? it even sounds and looks cheesy, because it's been said so many times without realizing the weight of it. CHEESY. but it's not. it's the heart of the matter and it's the truth that has the power to change the way you and i live. it is new today and tomorrow and yesterday. there is no reason to fret. you have an entire empire of mystery and beauty within you, because you have the very spirit of God in you. that is AMAZING. and when you do the things you're good at as a response to realizing that you're already loved instead of trying to win the approval of the world, it changes people. it changes people, and it frees you from comparing yourself. this is why people are incredible. absolutely incredible.

this is why you are incredible.

ephesians 4:6 --one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Monday, December 28, 2009

can't stop thinking about this

hi, i literally can't stop thinking about this so i'm going to write it down. i don't claim to have anything all figured out or perfectly profound or to write anything completely worth reading, but typing this out forces me to think about it so maybe it'll help my thought process and maybe you'll be entertained or something.

tonight i'm thinking about all types of love. tonight i'm thankful for all of it. i heard someone say once (i think it was kels, one of my dearest friends and singing mate) that we love people in different ways. in the way that fits and that comes naturally. what i'm thinking about is how it is all such a privilege to be a part of.

do you ever find yourself thinking that you're missing out? like, "if you're not head over heels in love with somebody - well, too bad, you're missing the good stuff. maybe later you'll really hit the jackpot and find that... but not now, no. now you're just in the meanwhile." i've done that before. i've put value on one type of love and discounted all the other types before. when we do that, i think we are making a huge mistake. epically huge. life-changingly huge.
for some reason i am suddenly able to give everything i've held great, deep appreciation.

this is what i mean by all kinds of love. for example, the kind when you think someone at some point in time is genuinely the most interesting person and you can't wait to be around them again. or the kind when you think exactly alike as the other person and find so many things in common it's insane. or the kind when you are so different from the other person that you are so deeply intrigued with who they are and why they do things. or the kind when you forget everything "unworthy" about someone and remember only the beautiful, of-course-i-love-you things about them. or how about the kind when when that all happens, but it's not reciprocated? what about the kind when they have different feelings for you then you have for them? all kinds. the kind when you can't figure out why it doesn't work. the kind that works for a little while. the kind that you wish would happen but doesn't. the kind that comes out of nowhere. the kind you and i don't deserve. the kind that wakes us up in the morning. the kind that hurts a lot. the kind that there is no explanation for why it didn't work out. regardless of what kind it is, it all has to do with knowing something about someone and chasing it.

it all has to do with knowing somebody and believing they are worth your questions.

even if you try it and it doesn't seem to create anything but a few awkward months or a slowed friendship, it is still under the umbrella category of "all kinds" of love. i don't think that something "not working out" is a failed relationship. it's just a mismatching of types of love. and truthfully, when i think of it THAT way, it is exponentially easier to be content. i have loved and i've been loved and i'm better for it. i am privileged to be mismatched, and perhaps i'll be privileged one day to be matched to the same kind. it is incredible to look around and look at my experiences and everyone elses' and really believe that i'm not missing anything, by being at this place in my life. i am right here, alive, and i'm knowing people.

i am deeply soaked in love.

i am certain of this because i know love! because i am loved for nothing i have done or could ever do; i am loved solely based on that fact that i am His creation. God's. i think being grounded in that love is what enables me to love and be loved with all kinds.

so. . .i'm thankful to those who've let me love them. i'm thankful for those who love me. but that's STILL not the point. that's good, but i am taught that i am still sorely mistaken if my love and thankfulness for love ends there.

matthew 5 reads "if you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? even corrupt tax collectors do that much. if you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? even pagans do that." and in john 13 jesus' words are recorded: "so now i am giving you a new commandment: love each other. just as i have loved you, you should love each other. your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."

so it turns out it's about loving those who love me and loving those who don't love me. it's gotta be both. i want it to be both.

so this, this is my great hope. that i would love love love love love and keep on loving, with that sweet, life-giving love jesus loves silly little self-absorbed me with. because love is not about ME and what i get from love. what a sad love that would be. so to recap: all sorts of love are perfect for me. every single kind i hope to never take for granted. i hope to be a lover of, a fighter for, and a crazed seeker of the Love that gives all the little kinds meaning and worth. may my life never be about what God can do in my life, but about how i can be a part of his life, loving with his kind of love that make all the other kinds worth it.

do you think i'm crazy? i am. goodbye, go love. realize that you are cherished, and you''ll cherish everything.