Friday, December 24, 2010

Humble Things

A part of a prayer that Jesus prayed while He was on Earth in the flesh reads like this:

"I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants." (Matthew 11:25)

In another place we are told that "God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God." (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)

God values things differently than we do. The things that we see as being the humblest or the most useless may be the very things He is planning to use for His glory. He tells us that we must be like children in order to enter into His kingdom (Mark 10:13-16). Yet we worry about silly things such as our dignity, our reputation, whether or not we appear strong and wise to others.

In this season of giving, what is the best gift? The biggest one? The one that cost the most money? The one most likely to impress the recipient with the generosity of the giver?

The greatest gift of all was another mouth to feed for a poor family. The greatest gift of all was bought by the pain of a woman in labor and the obedience of a Son to be humbled as a human baby. That obedience would later lead Him to pay the greatest Cost in a painful and humiliating death. The greatest gift of all was given entirely with the recipients in mind, without regard to the Cost to the Giver.

We try to make it all so complicated with our guilt and selfishness and worldly minds. What does Jesus want from us except to follow Him? What does God want from us except to love Him and to love our neighbor? What does He want from us except our love, our obedience, our trust, our selves? What does He want to give us but His love and His best?

This Christmas, may you and your family be given to God and may all be blessed by it. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Letting Go

Here's something I've been thinking about for awhile, for all you fellow control freaks out there.

Is there something in your life that you've been frustrating yourself about, beating your head against the proverbial brick wall, futilely trying to "fix"? Is it something that you actually can make happen through perseverance, effort, and skill, or are you pitting yourself against something that you can't actually do anything about?

Have you been frequently unnecessarily angry, annoyed, and frustrated with yourself and those around you without a readily apparent reason? Do you know why? Is there something specific eating you, such as bad news or a difficult task, or are you stressed about the fact that you aren't in complete control of your life and you can't make everything perfect?

Yes, I'm describing myself. Here's a line I wrote in a conversation with my mom: sometimes we should give up on things that are not going to work.

Example: due in part to a childhood obsession with the book Melisande, by E. Nesbit, I've always wanted to have really long hair. I mean really long hair; waist length, for sure, if I could have more I might want more. For years I've been in the process of attempting to grow thick, healthily-looking waist-length hair. It's not going to happen for me, though; everybody's hair has a certain point past which it will not grow and still be full and healthy, and mine is only a little below my shoulders. Boo hoo! So, I finally gave up and cut it above my shoulders, declaring that, okay, I was never going to have lovely waist-length hair, and therefore I needed to figure out something that I could do that I would like. Now, I think that was one of the best decisions I've ever made; it looks nice, it's ridiculously more convenient, and I'm finally content with the hair that I have!

Now, if only I would start applying that in other areas of my life . . .

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Sometimes the pace of life is too fast. Sometimes all that needs to be done in what seems like so little time is overwhelming, sometimes even friends and fun and a busy cafeteria all seem like so much extra noise. Peace is something that I often find hard to come by, and I think sometimes, finding it again is as simple as being still and quiet until my thoughts and feelings have had time to settle themselves.

Be still, and know that He is God. Do I think that I don't have time to pray? It's always a lie. Do I have time to talk to my friends? Do I have time to listen to my teachers? Do I have time to check my e-mail? Then I have time to pray. If the voice of God is still and small, then I need to be still to hear it. I need to take the time to be still.

Trusting in God, truly trusting in Him by being at peace with where He has me right now, is hard for me. My internal panic button can be hit very easily sometimes. Is there something I can do to change that? I think so. I think taking the time to be with Him and remember Who He is regularly could be one of the smartest things I could do.

I've been a Christian all my life, even a Christian of the reading the Bible every day type all my life. But there's a difference between a five-minute rush through a chapter (not that that's not worth something!) and actually taking the time to be still in the presence of God, to tell Him what's on my mind, to pay attention to what I read in His Word. Occasionally, I have a spurt where I do take that time regularly, and it helps so much. I seem to take a long time to learn my lesson.

Something from the Word:

Do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble." Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

James 4:5-10

ps a note on the part in those verses about being miserable and so on: in the context, it is clear that this is written towards people who are having a problem with worldliness, lust, envy, etc. In other words, these are instructions to a particular group of people at a particular time and should not be applied unless applicable. It should be noted that there are other verses in the Bible that tell Christians to rejoice.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Love, off the record

The world won't bend enough
For you to see that love
Is worth all the trouble . . .

So sings Leigh Nash in the song "Blue." I wrote those lyrics on the wall weeks ago (not directly, I wasn't vandalizing, don't worry) because the song was running through my head, the lyrics seeming perfect for things that I was thinking about.

It only hit me today that the one who really needed to hear that, the one who really needed to change some things, was me. I was the one, despite all my talk about how important it is to live in love, who had a subconscious list in my head of things love wasn't worth. I'd like to negate it now, in writing.

Love is worth waiting patiently and peacefully for God's plans in my life to come to pass, without being angry with Him or other people about what hasn't happened yet, and without being jealous of people who seem to be "ahead" of me.

Love is worth trust. Love is worth being vulnerable to hurt and disappointment. Love is worth being humble enough to let other people's actions have an effect on my feelings, humble enough to let them see that effect (when appropriate).

Love is worth laying down pride and selfishness by loving someone even if I don't know how they'll respond, even if I don't think I'm going to get anything back.

Love is worth taking the harder path when the easier is so obvious. Love is worth being honest with someone when I think they're going down the wrong path. Love is worth biting my tongue when I want to say something that would not be for the edification of the moment, that would not be true and loving.

Love is worth leaving my baggage behind and not judging every new thing by that one thing in my past that went badly. Love is worth believing the best about other people that I can.

If I love God, then I should trust Him. If I love Him, I should obey Him. If I obey Him, it means loving other people. If I trust Him, it means I can put loving other people over protecting and defending myself. If I realize that He loves me, I can be secure enough in that not to be so insecure about how people see me that it clouds my judgment.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Love, Strictly Speaking

One night a few weeks ago, a friend and I were talking about what our mission in life was, trying to reduce it to a simple phrase of two or three words. The only thing I could think of seemed to me incredibly vague, but neither my friend nor another person or two I talked to about it thought so. Perhaps I only think it's too vague because I, as do most human beings, am committing the error of supposing that other human beings think about things the way I do. Perhaps the phrase I thought of is actually a good definition of my life's mission:

Spread love!

However, the only way I can say in good conscience that that statement is not vague is to define it further. Before I try to define love, though, I want to make my argument for why everything that everyone--especially every one of those who say they are Christians--does should be done in love.

Why do I say that? I say that because, as the song "Jesus Loves Me" states, "the Bible tells me so." 1 Corinthians 16:14 reads, "Let all that you do be done in love." Galatians 5:13-14 says that we "were called to freedom . . . only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" And 1 John 4:7-8 tells us "let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." As if all the verses in the Epistles were not enough, in the Gospels (Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-31) we find Jesus Himself clearly stating that the greatest commandment and second greatest commandment are those which say that we should love God and love our neighbor.

As a disclaimer, I'm not trying to say that everyone should think their main mission in life is to spread love. I just want to make the point that, regardless of whether you would want to encapsulate your whole life into a phrase that uses the word love, the idea of love is central to the Christian life.

The question remains, what exactly is love? The question is more confusing than it might sound. For my attempt at an extended definition of love, I'm not going to go to a dictionary, and I'm not going to talk about feelings (not that feelings aren't great, but if I'm talking about my life's mission, I want a practical set of guidelines of what this means I should be doing). And yes, I know it's been used a gazillion times before, but I'm going to go to 1 Corinthians 13. Sometimes there's a reason that the same passage gets quoted over and over again on a certain subject.

Here's a list of things that love is described as being and doing: patient, kind, not jealous, not bragging or arrogant, not acting unbecomingly, not seeking its own, not provoked, not taking into account wrongs suffered, not rejoicing in unrighteousness but rejoicing in the truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things.

Here are my personal reactions to a few of these (maybe in another post I'll go into more). Patient? Oh, my, I fail at that one. Not in the sense of waiting an afternoon or a day or a week to hear back from someone or go somewhere or get something. But if you want me to wait indefinitely on something I really really want? Ouch. Not jealous? OK, I'm getting better on that one than I used to be. But show me someone, especially someone close to me, who already has something that I hope to have someday (or want but don't know if I'll ever have) and I will show you at least some level of jealousy going on inside of me. Not seeking its own or taking into account wrongs suffered? Hmm. That sounds superhuman. Or at least countercultural. Bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things . . . I don't even know how to start applying those. It sounds like the characterization of a very patient and persevering person. Someone determined to see the best in everyone and encourage it. Someone who's willing to put up with a lot.

Getting discouraged? So am I. Therefore, I'll close with a mention of Someone else's love for us:

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

PS Obviously, this is by no means exhaustive, even of what I personally could say on the subject of love. I hope to write more later.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Night has always seemed to me an excellent time for reflection, for quietness, for solitude. I've always been fascinated by the feeling of night. I used to lie awake in bed when I ought to have been sleeping, with a very still body and a very active brain. Imagining out stories, music, poetry, etc. I suppose you could say I thought it was a good time to be creative!

As I got older and the more unpleasant parts of life became more of a reality to me--and as I turned into a moody teenager--the night changed, or rather my relationship to it. Lying awake at night became something quite different; staring at the moonlight on my wall, trying to face or forget or accept what I could neither change nor control, quietly overwhelmed by things that were too much for me, or at least too much to let me sleep normally during those nights.

By the grace of God, that phase did not last forever. And, as I've gotten older still, while night has kept its capacity for beauty and creativity without relinquishing its ability to sometimes be the time when thoughts that I keep at bay during the day come to the surface against my will, I have discovered that it has yet a third face in my life as a time to be social, either in late-night girl-talks or in hanging out with a larger group for fun.

However, I still think that primarily night is for memories, reflections, and quiet indulgences in feelings that don't need to be spoken aloud. Oddly, it was not a night but a memory of a night that sparked the desire to write about night--one night over the summer, walking around a city after dark with a friend while she took pictures, we talked, and the atmosphere was one of goodbyes. It was a beautiful night, one of many memories from a summer that I hope to remember forever.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


For a long time, Psalm 42 has been my favorite psalm. In a way, this seems odd, because there are definitely parts of it that have yet to apply to my own actual life experience. The odd part is that I'm pretty sure more of it applies than did when I first decided it was my favorite. Oh wait! I just realized that more applies than I thought! While I was writing this . . . I'm not kidding.

I don't necessarily want to get into details about why I love different parts of it or what they mean to me in my life. I think that the main point of why the psalm is so important to me is . . . well, we all have negative feelings, right? Sadness, bad moods, days we got out of bed on the wrong side, a day somebody broke up with you, a day you got bad news, a time of your life when it seems like things are ganging up on you, trying to get you to do nothing but sit around and think about all the worst things that have ever happened to you.

In other words, bad feelings happen. Nobody's happy all time. The question remains, what do you do when you're down in the dumps? Do you deny it and pretend, stuffing it all inside you to deal with later? Do you sit around and mope? Or do you ask yourself the vital question:

"Why are you in despair, O my soul?"

Which is followed by the best advice ever: "Hope in God"

The person speaking in this psalm is not pretending that everything is puppies and sunshine and he hasn't got a care in the world. He's also not giving up. He's pouring out his soul to God, reminding himself of God's goodness and faithfulness, and he's reminding himsef of something very important that I still forget as many times as I have read the verses: the thing he's really hungry and thirsty and longing and empty for is God and God alone.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A break from our (ir)regularly scheduled prose . . . *

I try so hard to find the words to say
What's on my heart, so You can make it new.
I'm trying every day to find a way
To force myself to be as good as You.

Perfection is the goal, or so I feel
And that's where I am failing every day;
If this is me, why would You put Your seal?
If You can use me, I don't see the way.

The comfort in Your Word is very clear;
Your love is strong and will not leave my side
Your Son's death bought me freedom from all fear
And to my sin and shame I'm told I've died.

And yet I see the struggle still is there;
I won't be perfect on this side of life
And I will always wish that things were fair
And that our hearts could be quite free from strife.

*see Romans chapters 6-8

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Giving Up

Have you ever completely given up on someone or something? Have you ever wanted to?

I know I have often wanted to give up--on myself. Sometimes I think my life is too much and too hard for me, and I want to just cop out of everything and, I don't know, go curl up alone in a hole for the rest of my life? (I've never been completely clear what it is I would do.) But I never have. However, I don't take any credit for that fact. In those times when I have really truly wanted to give up, it has been something from within me that is *not* just me (the Holy Spirit?) that has popped up and said, "No, you are not going to sit there curled up in a ball crying forever. You are going to get up and keep trying." I've fought it, but it's there, and it won't let me give up.

I think that God has been incredibly patient with me. No matter how many times I get melodramatically pessimistic, no matter how many times I have entirely the wrong attitude, He sticks around. And when there's something He's trying to tell me? Does He tell me once or twice and then leave me alone? No. He keeps telling me until I finally listen. He keeps teaching me the same lesson over and over, and I'm the one who gets frustrated about the fact that it seems to take me about eighty thousand repetitions of the same lesson to actually learn it.

One thing I realized just this morning is that one of my fears is that God will one day say, "Oh, she'll never get it, why am I wasting My time?" and walk away. I'm afraid of this because I'm foolish enough to think that God might be like me. It's perfectly obvious to me that in His place, I would eventually give up and walk away.

Thank you, God, for not being like me. That is what makes You so worthy of all my praise and worship, all my life, all my heart, all my thoughts. I'm sorry that I fall so short so often of giving You all that I am.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Weird is the new normal
Terrible is the new good
Crazy is the new sane

I have always hated change. If something is different, if I am going to do something I have never done before, if I am leaving what I consider to be my normal zone of existence in either time, place, or people, I am sure that that means something terrible is happening. I've heard it said that change is the only constant, and it has often seemed that, for me, that was going to translate into "fear is the only constant". Not surprisingly, I have never thought that constant fear sounded like a good way to live. I only thought I might be stuck with it.

Now, there is nothing in the Bible that instructs us to live in fear. The Bible says of fear that "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7)and that "perfect love casts out fear . . . and the one who fears is not perfected in love" (1 John 4:18). Nor does the picture given in the Bible of what God wants for our lives leave room for fearfulness. Jesus says of His sheep, "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10), and He also says (in a passage where He is giving instructions on abiding in Him, in His Word, and in His love) "These things I have spoken to you that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full" (John 15:11). I don't know about you, but I don't find living abundantly and having my joy made full to be compatible with living in fear.

But, I think to myself, to *not* be afraid would be a big change. And I don't like change. So, right now, I'm in a really good place: laying down new and better patterns, having more confidence and less shyness, just generally being a lot happier with my life the way it is. And that's great. But it's so different that I find it downright disconcerting. That's why I'm writing this--to remind myself that change can actually be good--to show myself that a more joyful and abundant life *is* God's will for me and not some wacky innovation of my own.

Therefore, I can feel free to enjoy it, and to trust God that it will not be merely a phase.

PS: a note on the three lines at the top. It is an expression of how disoriented I feel. My new normal is quite different from the old one; I am enjoying things that I used to be afraid of; I am living in a way that is more intense and "out there" than usual. Here's hoping it lasts!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Scenic Route

As I was learning my way around a new city this summer, I got lost quite a bit. What can I say? I don't have a good sense of direction. I didn't mind getting lost, though, partly because I knew it was inevitable, and partly because I know that is how I orient myself in a new place. I remember that last time I got lost because I went past that corner instead of turning, so this time I know better. Oh, I see that road ahead? That means I already went too far. My map was my best friend: I would consult it several times in one trip, because I couldn't hold its contents in my head for long enough.

Of course, later in the summer, I knew the city a lot better. I knew the shortest, straightest ways to the places that I went every day, and I didn't have to get lost, not even necessarily if I was going somewhere new. A good look at a map beforehand and I was probably going to be OK. Still, I wanted to see more of the city, and I wanted to see just how good my newfound sense of orientation was, so I found myself turning off on unfamiliar roads and trying to find new ways to get to the same places. And when I did that, I realized that taking the long way, while less time-efficient and more confusing, was an excellent way to see things that I otherwise wouldn't see and, well, generally enjoy life more.

For someone who has repeatedly found herself taking the long-drawn-out route to everything from graduation to getting over illnesses, and has always therefore felt as if she was a bit backwards and stupid, this was an amazing revelation. OK, so I graduated high school later than the average. So I'm not where the conformist in me thinks I should be considering my age. Aren't I in a really good place right now? Haven't I made friends that I wouldn't have made if I'd started college a couple years sooner? Haven't I learned things that I wouldn't have learned if I'd accomplished things more quickly and easily?

Maybe I shouldn't give myself such a hard time for being "slow". Maybe slow and steady really does win the race, but, even if not that, even if I can't tell yet if it's going to be a path to success, why can't I just think of it as taking the scenic route through life?

Saturday, August 7, 2010


If you could choose just one superpower, what would you want to be able to do? I suppose it's a question for fun conversations, for laughing and joking around, because of course it's not for real. But I think the way people choose to answer this question can say something about who they are and what they want to be and do.

I used to know what my answer was, always, without thinking about it. I would want to be able to turn invisible. I'm afraid I'd probably use it mostly to spy on people . . . can you imagine how much you could learn that way? It seemed like the perfect tool for the girl who liked people, liked watching them, had a curiosity for knowing what was going on inside their heads, but didn't want to draw attention to herself, didn't want to be looked at, and didn't like the idea of other people knowing what was going on inside her head. To see without being seen seemed like a great idea.

This morning, I realized that my answer to this question has changed. I don't want to be invisible anymore. I'd already noticed that my answer had changed a little bit: I wanted to be able to be invisible sometimes, but when I was visible, I wanted people to see me! But today, I asked myself the superpower question and was about to give the usual answer, when I realized that it just wasn't true anymore.

Which, obviously, led to the question: what superpower would I want now? I don't have an answer yet. I'm not sure I actually want a superpower anymore. I was thinking about it, and--this connection of topics might seem strange, but it wasn't premeditated, that's just where my brain went--I started thinking about showing people God's love, convincing them of His truth, shining His light. That's not a desire for a superpower. That's a desire for the Holy Spirit. That's a desire to be a servant of the Lord.

I don't want anyone reading this to think that I'm some amazing person who's always going around sharing the Gospel with people. To be honest, I'm terrible in conversations like that. Nor am I some amazingly spiritual person who set out to spend the summer growing in my walk with God. I'm growing, but I don't take any credit for that. I didn't seek God this summer nearly as much as He sought me.

What is true is that I am realizing that serving God is the thing that I want most to do with my life. I used to say something else was that, although I won't say what. But I've realized that that was not the right priority. The thing that I like least about my new highest priority is that it's so vague. Well, not vague, but it doesn't exactly answer the question of where I'm going to be living and what I'll be doing 15 years from now or even 2 or 3 years from now. At this point, all I know as an answer to that question is: whatever God wants me to be doing.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Not knowing

This morning, I was reading from At the Back of the North Wind, by George Macdonald (I haven't read it before). In it, Macdonald writes about a little girl's dream in which she opens a box out of curiosity, and her action has unpleasant consequences. The box was something that, if she had really listened to an authority figure and trusted that person to know best, she would not have opened.

This post is going to sound a lot like my first one, because it's about being content with not knowing. Not, in this case, specifically not knowing why, but not knowing what's going to happen next. If I had to say what my greatest fear is, I would have to say "not knowing". Not knowing what's going to happen next, or not knowing what's going on right now. Unfortunately, I'm a human being with a finite brain, someone without the power to read someone else's mind or see into the future. To me, this seems like an issue, a problem that I ought to solve. I'd like to go around as a detective until I know what's going on; I'd love to get God to show me His plan for me, or at least a little bit more of it than I can see right now.

But, like the girl in the book, or Pandora and her box, or Eve and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (I've never found the word "knowledge" in that name so significant before), if I trust God to know what is best, if I trust Him to take care of my future, if I trust Him to let me know as much as it is good for me to know, then I should be content.

I've got to stop trying to open that box.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Awhile ago, I started noticing that when someone wins or loses in a competition of any kind, it doesn't necessarily have the effect on their feelings that one would expect. I was also wondering about what the best attitude to compete with is, because it obviously makes a big difference what your perspective is.

There's a verse in the Bible in which Jesus asks what it would profit a man to gain the whole world, but to lose his soul (Mark 8:36). There are a lot of verses in the Bible that make it sound like "winning" in the world's eyes, having worldly success, and "winning" in God's eyes, becoming one of those people to whom He will say, "Well done, good and faithful servant," (Matthew 25:21) are two very different things (Matthew 20:26, 20:16, etc.).

Several years ago, when I was in my most angst-ridden teenaged year, I did a drawing in which I wrote in the margins something to the effect of: What does it profit to lose the world and gain your soul? This wasn't a rebellious query; I was struggling with questions about what it meant to be a believer. Did one have to lose the world in order to keep one's soul? Did I have to be miserable in this life in order to go to heaven in the next?

Now, I see it a little bit differently. Yes, in a way I think I was right. There is a lot of worldly sacrifice involved in the Christian life, and we as Christians do indeed have to "lose the world," if by that we mean "surrender ourselves and our world to the greater cause of God and His glory," but I don't think that the Christian life need continually be one of worldly loss, lack, and misery. Matthew 6:33 says that if we "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness" then we will have the worldly things that we need. Jesus said that He came so that we might have abundant life, and I think that is something we can have here as well as in heaven.

I guess a lot of our happiness is based on our attitudes and what we're choosing to focus on. Waiting for circumstances to change before we can be happy doesn't work, because then we're basing our happiness on circumstances (such as winning a competition, getting a good grade, getting a boyfriend or girlfriend). If we base our expectations on our circumstances, we'll always be disappointed. Circumstances change, aren't necessarily what we're hoping for, and even if they're great, don't give us the stability and joy that we really want. Only God can do that. Only God is a rock to stand on; God is the only thing we can stand on that comes with a true guarantee that it will not fail.

In other words, I don't necessarily need to give up everything, and I don't need to give up all hope of getting certain things that I want, but I need to be willing to give up everything but God. I need to seek Him before all else. I'm still trying to figure out what that means.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


We all have a lot of questions that begin in "why." Some of them are big: Why did this happen to me? Why didn't I get what I was expecting? Why do I believe in God? Why do I exist? Some of them smaller: Why don't I have a facebook? More importantly to me, why does society at large think I should I get one, and why should that matter to me? And, at the moment, why am I blogging?

Sometimes, we try to answer these questions. People come up with explanations for the big questions involving things like free will, providence, and the fall of mankind. They give rationalizations for their decisions: I don't have a facebook because I don't like socializing on the internet (preferred methods: face to face, or not at all. e-mail and phone, when necessary), because I'm not looking for ways to waste time when I could be practicing or studying. And yet, I think everyone sometimes does things for which they have no good explanation. For instance, this blog. Is it because we've had a lot of snow days, so I've had way too much time to think? Or is this something I've been thinking about doing for a long time, feeling as if God was pushing me towards it, but I was reluctant because I couldn't think of a reason why?

For me, a lot of the big questions also have no concrete, compact, neat, rational, simple answer. Providence as an explanation for everything? Free will and the fall of mankind as an explanation for everything bad that happens, but the intervention of God as what makes those things to have good consequences for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose? Some strange combination of the will of men, the will of the devil and the will of God that our brains are far too puny to understand? I don't have an answer. My answer is: God is good. In the face of everything I don't understand, that's all I have to say that I know is true.

It's not that I don't want an explanation for the things that happen. It's just that--whatever it is that God is asking of other people--I think He is asking me, primarily, to trust Him more than I do, to trust Him with a faith that is simple and humble and knows nothing but His goodness. He's not asking me to do that because it's easy for me, but because it's hard. I'm the kind of person who wants to know everything and understand everything, to always know what is going on and what to expect. I don't. God wants to give me peace anyway, and the only way to find it is by trusting Him and giving everything up to Him and being content with the knowledge He gives me.

And that's why I'm blogging. Because I've thought for a long time that God wants me to speak up on the internet, but I've never figured out why or what about. I've finally decided to just jump in and hope that He will somehow use me, even if I don't understand it.