Sunday, October 14, 2012

blog is cheap

I almost gagged when I saw a news blurb on the TV about "how not to go into holiday debt this Christmas." Holiday debt... does this seem like an oxymoron to anyone else?  Don't worry, I'm not going to go into a whole "Jesus is the reason for the season" spiel, ‘cause He wasn't even born in December anyway....but don't worry, I'm not going to go into that whole spiel either.  I'm tired of all of that.  I'm so tired of hearing or reading about all of the controversy...on both sides.... about all issues.  Seriously, I'm tired of even hearing myself think.  I don't mean to be unloving, but enough is enough already...

I've always been fascinated by theology and even considered going to seminary at one point.  I was born pondering the why?, how?, and who? and something just felt intriguing about the thought of listening to (usually grey-haired) men go back and forth about the attributes of God or the truth of the gospel over a warm latte' and a cigar- or maybe a scotch on the rocks or something....yea that sounds just edgy enough ;-) (not that this is what professor's in seminary do, its just in my dream land, okay? Just go with it).
While I still think seminary could be cool, and I have nothing against it, I've begun to have distaste for the thought of so much discussion about God over becoming the very movement of God on the earth.

I know that talk is cheap, and you know what, blog is cheap too.  There are an innumerable amount of bloggers trending cool vintage looks while tweeting some thought-provoking quote from A.W. Tozer and insta-graming pictures of the gluten-free cake they just made for their son's vegan birthday party.... What? …Too much stereotyping in one sentence? Well, don't get too offended, because I am one such blogger...well not really. I am in theory, minus the fan base and the vegan children (my one-day children will be carnivorous). 
I can't live up to the coolness- seriously, I can't- and I'm sorta tired of trying to.  I know I can tend to go overboard sometimes (like Peter in the Bible...whoa! get he did out of the boat)...totally unintended pun.  Anyway, I know I can.  My passion can get the best of me and before you know it, I'm pointing Uncle Sam's finger at YOU from a platform, (which nobody gave me), and explaining why you should be drinking raw milk and why refined sugar is the reason that everyone dies.  Okay so maybe I don't go that far, but I do have thoughts about certain things...but just like Faith without works is dead, conviction without personal action is a dead man walking.  I wonder why God gave me such strong convictions, not just about raw milk, but about issues like racism and abortion, yet He really gypped me in the area of will-power or self-control, which really makes it difficult to change the world through my own efforts....and maybe that is the point…that I can’t.
Maybe, I'm getting better as I grow?  Maybe God will think of me as "a rock" by the end of my life....or maybe He is seeing me through different lenses, and He thinks of me this way, even now.  

You know what would be truly cool?  If I could just lay my life down for a friend…That is the greatest love.  I'm tired of reading books and being introspective.  I'm tired of trying to eat the exact right things. I’m tired of feeling so overwhelmed at the ABUNDANCE of choices, when I have to go into a Babies R us to shop for a baby shower gift.  How have we managed thus far...without wipe warmers and pee-pee tee-pees? (If you don’t know what those are, then you haven’t been to nearly enough baby showers lately, my friend)   
I do better with fewer choices and less talk. I mean if I was in Uganda right now, there wouldn't be much theology to quarrel concerning the gospel, because I would be too busy living the gospel.  I'm not saying we can't do that here in the states, but it is definitely harder...harder to be in need of God, or at least to recognize that need.  The need is covered up by the fluffy pillow I am sitting on and the bowl of cherry cobbler that my neighbor just brought over...dang you, refined sugar! You will be the end of me! ;-)  Don't misunderstand me to be saying that we must take a vow of poverty or do penance by depriving ourselves of anything comforting.  I don't believe that to be true. I do, however, wonder what Jesus meant by, "Sell everything you have and follow me," and if I am doing any such thing.  One thing I do know is that I am altogether unsatisfied and I have plenty. The satisfaction that I seek is not fulfilled in cherry cobbler or a hot shower, though those things do bring comfort for the moment.  I hesitate to type this, for fear that I will be wishing I hadn't in a few weeks...but I have decided not to buy any new clothes for a year.  This idea came as I was cleaning out my closet and was embarrassed at the thought of how many people I could clothe out of my one closet. 

Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing?  No, but I so want it to be. 
So I'm going to start with this and try not to despise my day of small beginnings, because if I am faithful in a little, I will be entrusted with much.  I have a lot of "little" to go, but maybe the "much" will be me surrounded by precious orphans someday. 

Embarrassingly, abundantly clothed…

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Holy Conundrum

I don't think that it would come as a surprise to anyone that I have always felt a bit misplaced in my family.  It was once described to me that I see the world in 5-D, when the people around me are seeing 3-D...that may be so, but it makes me sound way cooler than I actually am- like I have the power to go see certain movies without having to wear special glasses or something- but I don't have these powers. 5-D people tend to be honest to a fault.  They throw their heart out on the line when it is un-safe territory....which can make for a great adventure....OR a huge flop.  Because of the many flops, I learned to cover my passion in shame.  It still physically hurts when I see a kid who seems to embrace the world with a fire in their eyes, only to let it fizzle the first time they experience the sting of rejection.  In reality, the fire in their eyes probably mirrors the flame in God's, but because... back in the garden, sin introduced us to shame....we now allow the flames to be overtaken by shame's drowning wave.  We really do make fun of these types of’s like this, biblically speaking: Peter vs. John.... let's elaborate:

Team Peter: Passionate, tactless, zealous, fiery, yet called a "rock" by Jesus

Team John: Thoughtful, gentle, confidently terms himself the "disciple that Jesus loved"

Now both of these teams have their strengths and weaknesses, the difference is, Peter's weak moments seem to be showcased in our minds.  Am I right? We tend to remember the guy who zealously got out of the boat...only to sink for lack of faith.  We remember the guy whose fierce passion caused him to cut off the ear of the guard who had seized Jesus....only to have Jesus publicly correct him and gorilla-glue that thing back on....supernaturally of course.  For real, can you imagine that scene!!??  How lame did Peter feel after throwing his whole heart out there to fight for his friend....and then he just straight up "got SERVED."  Truly, Peter's faults are infamously known.  Though, I'm telling you, in this day and age of passive aggressive-ness, the zealous guy is a breath of fresh air! If a little girl was being attacked in an ally, we wouldn't want a gentle John trying to assist her by persuading her attacker to stop through the use of some fluffy Shakespearean sonnet-language, would we? .....NO!  That's when we need a brave heart like Peter on the scene to start slicing some ears off!  I know this is an exaggerated example, and that I have stereotyped these two men into categories, but only for the purpose of making this point: though one is a bit more misunderstood, they BOTH display attributes of the heart of God. 
He is zealous and fiercely protective of us, while being full of gentleness, kindness, and patience.  He is not a contradiction....He is just whole.... He is a Father to the fatherless, He fights for those who have no voice.  He is jealous for our hearts and patient with us in our weakness. He is just and will not force us into loving Him, but allows us the free will to choose to do so, or not.  To us He is: a Holy Conundrum.  He is the "best of both worlds," to try to put it into terms that make the tiniest amount of sense. Because we cannot contain Him, we try to fit Him into a right-brained, artistic, peaceful, poetic guy, or the left-brained, disciplined, steady man....when He is actually...the Creator of the very brain we use to try to grasp who He even is.  He is the reason our hearts come alive at the idea of characters like William Wallace in Braveheart or Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice...but Oh, He is so much more that we merely cannot digest... until we get our glorified GI tract...
It reminds me of some lyrics in a song called, "What do I know of Holy"...

"What do I know of you, who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood, but the shore along your ocean?
Are you fire are you fury...are you sacred are you beautiful?
So, what do I know? What do I know of Holy?"

If you want to listen:


Friday, October 5, 2012

Orphans...minus the details

Ok, here's the deal.  I don't feel particularly wordy at the moment, but I'm inspired.  Sometimes I feel that I have so much to explain that if I try to do so, my eyes will bulge like a coo coo clock, my tongue will fall out, and that will be the end of I'll just try to give the facts....minus the details:

- In college, some extraordinary instances happened which would allow me to believe that I would possibly, involved with Orphans....somehow. 
- A few years ago, I went to India and spent some time in three different orphanages.  It was amazing.  No, these children were, amazing is not even a word that comes close to describing these tiny human beings that made me a believer once again, in love at first sight...well, them and my high school boyfriend, Buck. (Wow Julie, you just went there....on the internet)
- I am in Massage Therapy school. Where am I taking this? I'm not sure, but if I tried to explain....again, I remind you of the coo coo clock image....let's just not go there, okay?
- My Mom said to me the other day that she found out that my second cousin is a Massage Therapist and she works in Vietnam massaging infant Orphans...which is one of the most admirable things because many studies have shown that without human touch and nurturing, babies can die.  Compassionate touch is so extremely vital for their wellbeing.  So my response when my Mom told me about my cousin: gulp.....are you kidding me?  It's like my passion and my skill got married, had a baby, and the whole scenario was covered in white chocolate.  Are my analogies even making sense to anybody right now?  Seriously...I didn't even know how to respond to this- it just makes so much sense to me.   

- So some of you might remember that my computer died....and I am currently extremely frustrated with this "hp pavilion ze4800" laptop I am using. Oh, you've never heard of the "hp pavilion ze4800?" Well, lets just say that it is right up there in the Technology hall of LAME with my Mom's first car phone, and it is seriously slower than a horse and buggy.  Honestly, if I literally took a horse and buggy ride to where you are right now to deliver this message to you in person, it would most likely make it there faster than I could get this blog published on this piece of....Oh, whoops.....  Julie, lets not forget what we are writing this blog about-Orphans....yes, Orphans who are lucky if they have shoes....much less an, "hp pavilion ze4800" laptop :-/  Let us pause for a moment of thanks as we get our perspective on. _________________________________Thank you Lord, for this "hp pavilion ze 4800"...even now Lord, as it delays to even bring up the letters I type until I am already on the next paragraph.

-So what will I do with these thoughts about Orphans? I'm not sure yet, because Orphans do come with a lot of details and right now, I am still just trying to keep my room clean, trying to learn not to be so selfish, trying to remember to get my oil changed in my car every once in a while, trying to have patience with this device on my lap that doesn't even deserve to be termed "a computer," ...
BUT thinking of them sure does make me want to get my life right so I can love one, or two, or a billion of them..... they sure do get my heart a'dreamin'

In other baby news:
- My two nephews, Lucas and Lex, were born! Yay! Pictures? huh, yea right....on the "hp pavilion ze4800???" That'll have to wait until I get my hands on a computer from this century. Welcome to the world you little heart melters, and job-well-done to my sister-in-laws...but I will miss your bellies :-( BUT the joy of my new nephews outweighs the sadness over the loss of cute bellies. :-) I just think that pregnant bellies happen to be awesome and I can't wait to have one.

- I cut my own hair- with a razor comb from Sally's Beauty supply. This, apparently makes me too legit to quit, according to my friend Laura, who in response said that I should, "start my own hair cutting business!"  I like to just think that Laura has a rare disease where when I anounce some modest achievement to her, she follows it with unimaginable affirmation! 
               Julie: "Hey Laura, I recorded a little bit of a song on youtube"
               Laura: "Oh my gosh Jul, its about time! The world should hear your should go on American Idol!"
  She even made up something called, "leadership night" at our church  and said I should sing at it.  This is how that went:
              Laura: Hey Jul, when are you going to sing at church instead of just play keys!?
              Julie: I dunno, I don't really want to be at the front of the stage singing, I like to be behind the keyboard all incognito in the back as I sing my little heart out.
             Laura: You should sign up for a leadership night!
             Julie: We have that at our church?
             Laura: Well, I mean you should just do it...just say you want to lead and just do it
             Julie: Wow La, I don't think that is how it works, and you totally just made up Leadership Night and made it sound like something I could sign up for in the lobby.... that is so NOT a thing!

Haha, I love her. She believes in people. What a great quality!  The funny thing is, she is so crafty and makes lamps and other crafty things and she totally DID start her own business! Way to go La!

Boy, I'm starting to think that the title of this blog was a bit misleading...I guess I'm not great at subtracting the details...
Well I will end with an exerpt from an article about Orphans and their vital need for touch.
My prayer is to be able to love Orphans. I want to give them love that would seep down deep into their roots so that when they grow up and learn who they are, they would be rooted and grounded in love and know that they are a wanted child of God.

"A hundred years ago, about 99% of babies in orphanages
in the United States died before they were
seven months old. Orphanages were an everyday part
of the social landscape. Unwanted babies were deposited
in these institutions, where modern antiseptic procedures
and adequate food seemed to guarantee them at least a
fighting chance for a healthy life. But the babies died,
not from infectious diseases or malnutrition; they simply
wasted awayin a conditioncalled “marasmus.” Sterile
surroundings didn’t cure it; having enough food made no difference.
These babies died from a completely different kind of
deprivation: lack of touch. When babies were removed
from these large, clean but impersonal institutions to
environments where they received physical nurturing
along with formula, the marasmus reversed. They gained
weight and finally began to thrive.
Touch is vital for survival in the very young. Everyday
in our nation’s hospitals sick and premature infants, isolated
in sterile environments, are given the touch therapy
of massage for fifteen minutes, three times a day."

Here is the link to the full article if you care to take a gander:
With love and details,