Sunday, January 11, 2009


Something seems to happen to me lately as I attend worship that I can't fully explain. Its sort of like the relief you get when you're thirsty as you gulp a glass of cold water, or the rest you find after a long, exhausting day when you fall into a warm, soft bed. When I hear worship music, something in me wells up and tears come for no cognitive reason. And actually, its more than just the music. Sometimes its Scripture, or a simple truth I've somehow misplaced that the pastor lays out in a sermon.

This makes me wonder if after leading worship for a year on a nearly daily basis, if after immersing myself in an environment of Christian thought and scripture and community, that it now feels that much more like coming home when I am in that environment. If now, my soul longs for worship that much more deeply, and the scarcity (by comparison) of my time spent in worship makes it seem all that much more precious and needed.

All I know is that suddenly, tears that well up from I-don't-know-where leak from my eyes every time I go to church, and I can no more control it than I can my intense focus on the scripture and sermon, or my voice joining along with the songs (whether or not I know them!) I suppose a thirst really is the right word, although its somewhat an overdone analogy, being Scriptural and all. Its deeper than my human brain really understands, and its not the thoughts in my head that cause the tears, its more like my soul trying to express through my simple bodily functions (i.e. tears, not other bodily functions) what it feels to be in worship.

Perhaps this sort of unexplainable longing, more than anything else I can articulate, is part of what is urging me to find a path in this life which will fulfill that need on more than a weekly basis. Perhaps I should see if in these next few months of working insane hours with numbers & memos, I can figure out how to worship God more than just at church in a way that satisfies my soul, so that it doesn't feel the need to soak my shirt every time I walk into a church. Or maybe, I should just appreciate the physical affirmation of the importance of worship & let the tears come.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


First of all, I hate the word "resolutions," because for some reason it has bad connotations for me. If I resolve to do something, its usually something I don't like that I feel I should do anyway. So, when people ask: "What are your New Year's Resolutions?", my response is to bristle just a little and try to respond with something I plan to do in the new year because I love it, not because I feel like I should.

All that said, I love the opportunity the end of each year brings to look back and look ahead, which is both important and dangerous. For me, the year 2008 brought more joy, more pain, more challenge, and more adventure than any of the twenty-five and half before it. Looking back I can say with complete confidence that I LIVED in 2008, and I learned and grew more than I thought possible. Now, what do I do with 2009? I get to live 2009 as the person I became last year, and that is how I can look ahead with anticipation to the coming months. I've included a list of the dreams I have, big and small, for 2009 in hopes that the people who read it will gently keep me in line with them should I risk missing the opportunities I have to fulfill any one hope:

Live with joy in every moment, both good and bad
Travel somewhere new
Begin seminary classes
Spend time with the Lord in some way every day
Go on an official date
Take runs as often as possible
Keep my toe nails painted
Live more simply with regard to: clothes, food, gas, & coffee
Read LOTS of books of all kinds
Find a local charity to support consistently
Write new songs
Learn to cook something new
Swim in a lake
Go sailing with your dad
Take more walks with the people you love
Journal whenever you can
Answer your phone whenever possible
Find a great roommate
Love better today than you did yesterday

Thanks to Susan, who suggested our morning walk today. I was so blessed by the time, and look forward to many more!