To introduce this blog to the thoughts that stir in my mind and play on my heart I have decided I would take excerpts from journal entries of the past weeks. Here is my glimpse….

Now this…this is surreal. This journal, which is my companion at Starbucks and Barnes and Noble in beautiful Colorado Springs currently sits atop a caramel marble tabletop owned by D’Bella Coffee Shop planted directly across the Townsville beach, known to the community as The Strand.

The coffee here is rich with flavor that most writers describe coffee as having and foam that reminds me of a mix between a marshmallow and a cloud.

The stars are different, the feel of my skin is different, even the way I hear music is different. My Lord is the same, we travel together and He whispers He loves me the same…in the gentle, creative ways my heart seeks for.

His kindnesses make their grand appearances daily: I just had a sip of my Australian coffee and after removing the smooth glass from my weeping lips the marshmallow cloud foam now has the mark of a heart within its glass home. He loves deep, continuously creating.

I’m used to hearing Damien Rice paired with the chattering voices of Starbucks and now his voice is accompanied by wild birds and the Australian wind which comes with much anticipation carrying the salt from the ocean and landing in my hair, on my lips. It is the same song, same melodies, same artist, yet my ears hear it differently.
The importance and glory of His character, which is never changing, now have a new brilliance in my mind.

Lectures have proved to stretch me greatly, continuously I am seeking His voice and to my astonishment He is ALWAYS answering, ALWAYS speaking…

This psalm I cannot let go from my mind. It plays over and over again. My heart and mind as two lovers dancing together asking the DJ to play their song one more time. I recite the psalm and dance too:

Psalm 104
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD my God, You are very great;
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak,
Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain.
He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters;
He makes the clouds His chariot;
He walks upon the wings of the wind;
He makes the winds His messengers,
Flaming fire His ministers.
He established the earth upon its foundations,
So that it will not totter forever and ever.
You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
The waters were standing above the mountains.
At Your rebuke they fled,
At the sound of Your thunder they hurried away.
The mountains rose; the valleys sank down
To the place which You established for them.
You set a boundary that they may not pass over,
So that they will not return to cover the earth.
He sends forth springs in the valleys;
They flow between the mountains;
They give drink to every beast of the field;
The wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
They lift up their voices among the branches.
He waters the mountains from His upper chambers;
The earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works.
He causes the grass to grow for the cattle,
And vegetation for the labor of man,
So that he may bring forth food from the earth,
And wine which makes man’s heart glad,
So that he may make his face glisten with oil,
And food which sustains man’s heart.
The trees of the LORD drink their fill,
The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,
Where the birds build their nests,
And the stork, whose home is the fir trees.
The high mountains are for the wild goats;
The cliffs are a refuge for the shephanim.
He made the moon for the seasons;
The sun knows the place of its setting.
You appoint darkness and it becomes night,
In which all the beasts of the forest prowl about.
The young lions roar after their prey
And seek their food from God.
When the sun rises they withdraw
And lie down in their dens.
Man goes forth to his work
And to his labor until evening.
O LORD, how many are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all;
The earth is full of Your possessions.
There is the sea, great and broad,
In which are swarms without number,
Animals both small and great.
There the ships move along,
And Leviathan, which You have formed to sport in it.
They all wait for You
To )give them their food in [g]due season.
You give to them, they gather it up;
You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good.
You hide Your face, they are dismayed;
You take away their spirit, they expire
And return to their dust.
You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;
And You renew the face of the ground.
Let the glory of the LORD endure forever;
Let the LORD be glad in His works;
He looks at the earth, and it trembles;
He touches the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
Let my meditation be pleasing to Him;
As for me, I shall be glad in the LORD.
Let sinners be consumed from the earth
And let the wicked be no more
Bless the LORD, O my soul
Praise the LORD!

My life has been one of great change for me. I live in a basement with 12 other girls. This basement was quickly furnished just weeks before we arrived. We have one shower, one refrigerator (which becomes increasingly full), and one washer. After washing our clothes we hang them on the line to dry. All dishes are hand washed.

I was in shock upon first arriving yet it has now become my home and it is the people in this shanty basement that makes me proud of what the Lord has given! I have often wondered what it would be like to live as this for the rest of my life – without the finer things. Surprisingly, I know that I could live like this for the true gifts (fellowship, quietness, serving, receiving, hearing, praying, worshiping) become illuminated as all other “gifts” (money, a nice wardrobe, a car, air conditioning) lose their potency. Nothing compares to hearing the voice of the Lord (not that one needs to be in a basement to do so), nothing compares to living with a group of women who share the same heart for the hurting and the social injustices of the world, nothing compares to kneeling down with someone you have only known for 4 weeks and petitioning the Lord for healing, for blessing, for His presence. My heart falls in love daily with the simplicity of life, the clarity of mind.

May we move forward to encourage one another, to draw near to Him, to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven,
Amen

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