Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Orphan Girl at the Graveyard

"Orphan Girl at the Graveyard"-Eugene Delacroix
"Delacroix is an extremely active artist. When he paint Orphan Girl in the Graveyard, she is not a tearful or passive orphan, but a vibrant young beauty, avid for life, alarmed and alerted by the nearness of death, but slack-mouthed and bare-shouldered as she looks away from the graves toward rescue. HEr eyeballs have the gleam of a frightened horse, but the tenseness of her neck muscles is completely healthy. She is not a victim, despite her label."

I wrote this in my journal this week and wanted to share it:

      Buddy Odom shared this painting and it’s description with me in the earlier days of Advent but she has follow me through the season faithfully. The girl is in a graveyard; a place of death and darkness, of hard memories and a lot of pain. She is alone, not only in the painting but in life. The girl is an orphan; no family, no place to call home. I imagine she is there, crouching down over her parents graves like she has done for days..months..maybe even years feeling the same ache in the depths of her heart that reminds her of a world that is not the way it is meant to be. Her eyes fill with tears for longing...groaning to be made whole again. To be called “daughter” and “loved.” Oh, how I long to meet her. We would have so much to talk about, so much in common. I know how she feels. I know her pain and her hurt and her brokenness. I know the longing for home that goes so deep in your bones that it makes you feel like you weigh a hundred extra pounds. When I first heard the name of this painting, I immediately started weeping because that is exactly how the past few months have left me feeling... Like an “Orphan at the Graveyard.” My heart longs for healing. My soul longs for comfort. I have felt the desperation for Christmas this year more than ever. 
But as the Orphan’s eyes fill with tears, something grabs her attention. Her eyes are full of fear and awe.  She looks up. She lifts her eyes from the hopelessness of the graves towards the “rescue.” It looks, to me, as if she is about to spring up from the ground and sprint towards whatever her gaze is lock on! Whatever it is that lights up her face, she wants, she needs. Oh, sweet Jesus I need you! I need your rescue. You have not left me in a cemetery to weep alone, you have not abandoned me. But you COME, O SAVIOR, you COME! You have come for me! I want to run to you, my Lord. I want to run as fast as I can out of this graveyard and into your embrace that is HOME. I want to hear your tender voice whisper “I love you and I am HERE.” Even as I write this, my heart leaps in excitement! I am not a victim, but a DAUGHTER. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

this Christmas.

"The only worry children have about Christmas is whether or not they can possibly wait for it to arrive.  Perhaps this is because only kids seem to understand the secret of Christmas: It isn’t really about giving; it is about receiving.
     According to the Gospels, the only person giving at Christmas is God. Everyone else is simply receiving this silent, holy miracle that breaks into the night.  Much later a few wise men show up with gifts, but their giving is only as an act of worship in response to what God has given us.
     Christmas is a poignant illustration of a dynamic we live with every day of our lives: we spend most of our lives trying to make things happen for ourselves and for the people we love.  But life is not reduced to what you give or know or achieve.  Nor is it reduced to your mistakes, your failures, or your sin.  Life isn’t even defined by whom you love.  Rather, it is defined by the God who loves you. In other words, you are not he central character—not even of your own life’s story.  This is not meant to demean you; it is meant to set you free."
 (Sacred Thirst by M. Craig Barnes)

Every Christmas since I was a baby was spent at my grandmother's house on my dad's side...and Christmas at my grandmother's house was a BIG deal. My grandmother passed away this summer and there is an estate sale going on at the house that I know to be lit up with Christmas lights and decorations and family this time of year. My mom, unlike my grandmother, has never really been big on Christmas. It usually takes a lot of begging from me for her to even bother with a Christmas tree. But this year we didn't bother. We didn't bother with Christmas lights or decorations. We didn't even bother with Christmas presents. Our family's only Christmas tradition has been to go to the midnight candlelight service at a church down the street from our house, but this year we didn't even do that. I went to church by myself on Christmas Eve. 
All that to say, this Christmas has been different to say the least. But this Christmas has felt more like Christmas than any I have known before. This season of Advent has been a hard one for me. I was READY for Jesus to come. To come and heal my in-pain heart. To come into my lonliness. To come into my broken and oh so dysfunctional family. To come into the relationships I have made messes of (and there is many). To come into my insecurities. Just to come save me!!! I have become aware of my groaning and longing and waiting so much more deeply than ever before. However, along with the groaning and longing and waiting was the excitement and joy of knowing that I was doing it all in expectation of receiving the best gift I could ever ask for, and I almost couldn't wait to open it!!!! It took all that I had to leave the gift unwrapped but it made opening it today sooooo much more than I could have dreamed! Today was not defined by what I got or did or said. It was not even defined by who I did or didn't spend it with. But today was defined by a baby that laid wrapped in dirty cloth in a dirty manger in a dirty stable. Today was defined by the GOD WHO LOVES ME enough to COME. To come after me and to rescue me and to SAVE me! Hallelujah, WHAT A SAVIOR! 
Merriest of Christmases to you, my people! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


"It is Christ who is to be exalted, not our feelings. We will know Him by obedience, not by emotions. Our love will be shown by obedience, not by how good we feel about God at a given moment. "And love means following the commands of God." "Do you love Me?" Jesus asked Peter. "Feed My lambs." He was not asking, "How do you feel about Me?" for love is not a feeling. He was asking for action."
-Elizabeth Elliott

"If you love me, obey my commands."
-John 14:15

I recently read a book that called sin "demanding-ness" and that is exactly what it feels like in my heart here recently. I want what I want when I want it. I want things my way. I want joy and life and adventure and love all on my time. I want to be happy. I don't want to feel pain. I don't want to feel like a mess or lost or confused. I don't want to question my identity or feel insecure. I don't want things to be hard, ever. And I definitely don't want to have to wait. I want control. So I cling to my life and my things and most of all my relationships. I hold them tightly with clinched fists. 
But Jesus comes. He asks me if I love him, and deep down, under all my selfishness and fears and crap, my heart says, "yes, Lord, you know that I love you." And he asks again and again, and it seems as if he is asking over and over not to assure or remind himself that I love him, but to remind me that I do. I love him so much. I love him because he loves me and is crazy about me. I love him because of the cross. I love him because he is GOOD and faithful and forgiving. I love him because he lavishes his mercy and grace on me. I love him because he is relentless and comes after me when I run from him. I love him because he calls me beautiful and wanted and HIS. I love everything about him. And when I really think about what I want, it all comes down to him. I just want more of him. And he will give me that if I open my hands to it. He wants to bless up with himself! He wants our lives, EVERY MOMENT of them,to be about knowing him and his love for us more so that we will fall more in love with him! 
Lord, though I will often fail or forget, my heart's cry today is to obey you. I will do whatever you want me to do. I will go wherever you want me to go. I will say whatever you want me to say. I will have whatever you want me to have. I will give whatever you want me to give. I will love whoever you want me to love. God, I want your way. I want your plan for me even if its painful, even if it messy, even if it means waiting and waiting and waiting, and even if it is hard. I will do anything you want if it means more of you. I surrender. I bow down at your feet rejoicing in your GOODNESS! Lord, may my faith be about action and not feeling. My I be continually moving towards YOU in everything I do. I am yours, Lord, all of me. May my life be about YOUR glory, and not mine.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

the stone.

My stone weights heavy in my hands as I flip it over and over.
I stare with fiery eyes at this sinful man and can't wait to throw my rock at his vulnerable body.
He deserves pain for the pain he brought in my life.
He deserves blood for the blood that he caused to pour from my mom's body.
He deserves to be alone and naked and ashamed in front of a crowd.
Years of living in a war zone instead of a house.
Years of wondering why I just wasn't good enough for my mom to pick me.
Years of broken promises, wounds that grew deeper, and walls that grew higher.
My emotions are a tangled web inside me of anger, disappointment, and resentment.
And if I'm completely honest, I hate him.
So I ask Jesus for the cue to throw it.
I ask Him because I know He loves me, I know He is good.
I ask Him because I think He might even give me more stones to throw after all this man has done and all the hurt he has caused.
I ask Him, and He replies,
“All right Lindsey, but only if you have never sinned you may throw your stone.
Only if you have never turned you back on me.”
I pause to take in his unexpected words.
My eyes now shift from the man to my stone.
My thoughts are going a million miles an hour,
somehow trying to justify my sins or convince myself & Jesus that I am better than this wretched man.
But as my mind can't seem to find an excuse for my sins,
My fingers begin to loosen up their tight grip on this stone.
And as each memory of times I turned my back of Jesus floods my brain,
the grip gets looser and looser.
And eventually the stone is falling to the ground.
And I am walking away.
And I'm the background I hear,
“Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” he said.
And then Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more."
I hear this man I once thought of as evil breathe with relief and thanksgiving.
I hear him weeping and worshiping and laughing and singing.
And then I hear footsteps, but not of walking or running,
but dancing.
He danced with Jesus in joy and love and grace.
He danced because of his rescued life and clean slate.
And as I listen to rhythm of their footsteps of forgiveness,
I find that I am dancing as well.

(my prayer is that I wouldn't stop dancing. that I would only getting more lost and finding more freedom in this grace-dance and I learn how to lay down my stones and watch them get laid down for me daily at the feet of the cross. prayers accepted! :])

Monday, March 19, 2012


"Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law." Romans 11:8-10

"Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them." Romans 12

"Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God." Ephesians 5:1-2

"I believe one day we're all going to find out that life was about loving and we spent too much time debating about what's right and wrong"- Liz Gilbert

I feel a little wrecked and a little uncomfortable, but a lot free.

For the past few weeks, okay months really, I have been battling with the large and crucial task of...wait for it...deciding my major. HA! When I say that now it seems so more unimportant than the Lord has already revealed to me it is. But its true. I have been putting my hope in the American Dream, in success and stuff and people and achievements in this life. I cringe as I say that because I know how fleeting and unsatisfying this life is. But the truth is that the future I have been trying to figure out how to achieve is so boring and empty and common and not really what I want at all. I want a life with Jesus. A life lived for His glory and doing His work. So then, being the controlling human that I am, I set out to "do" and to "achieve" for Christ, and realize that I have shifted from the American Dream into this sort of Christian Dream that is all about success and works and status. I found myself stuck and desperate. Desperate for the Lord to give me some sort of direction to go in, some push or nudge or anything!!! The Lord is a faithful teacher and rescuer and oh do I praise him for that. This battle of my mind and heart and a worries has consumed so much of me that I have been missing it...missing the point of this life.

I'm at the beach with 25 of my favorite people. The days so far have been full of sunshine and playing in the ocean. The nights have been full of good conversation and laughter. Overall, every moment of every hour has been full of the Lord's unfailing, never-ending, unconditional love. And in the midst of my problems that aren't really mine at all, He has spoken sweetly into my ears about what He really wants for my life in the future and for RIGHT NOW. He just wants me to LOVE. To love like he loved me. To spend all my time and my energy and my life loving. Loving HIM and loving OTHERS. He wants me to die to myself; to die to my American dream and Christian dream because both, really, are self-glorifying. And instead to love my neighbor as myself. To REALLY, REAL-LY love them. I am a selfish, selfish woman and there is an ugly sinful part of me that shies away from loving others because its hard and because I don't want to and because I would rather choose myself. And if I'm honest, a lot of times I do choose myself. But praise the Risen Lord that He died for that part of me. And praise him that he chose ME over HIMSELF He chose the cross instead of himself, and my prayer in this lenten season is that I would learn to do the same.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

my valentine.

I'm really starting to see that its all about you, Jesus.
Today, the desires of my heart are strong and deep and so apparent.
But something else that is so real to me today is how much I am loved ALREADY.
All my desires, all my wants and needs and longings, are met by You.
Jesus, thank you for connecting the dots today.
I watched friends be pursued with flowers and candy and gifts and dates to fancy places, but I got SOOOO much more.
Today you gave me sweet time with a friend that knows me encourages me fiercely. You gave me peace as I prayed about the worries of my heart. You gave me coffee and chocolate covered strawberries. You gave me roomates that serve me selflessly. You gave me high school friends at Central to live life with. You took the baggage off my shoulders and gave me rest.
You gave me YOU. You gave me your Son today. You gave him up on a cross. For me. For today. So that I might know you and know how much you love me. So that you could spend time with me and call me your bride. You gave me the sunrise today. And you gave me love that I will never understand.
I praise you Jesus, my beloved, because I am YOUR beloved.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


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