Friday, April 11, 2014
"How can I serve You, my sweetest Friend.
I'll never go back, now I know.
My eyes looking forward to You instead; desperately waiting..."
Tears flow down my face every single time I hear the words "how can I serve You, my sweetest Friend." It just touches my heart in the deepest places. This whole morning as I have been sitting here, trying to prepare for speaking events all this week. I have two tomorrow morning, one tomorrow night. Speaking at a school next week. I have been speaking two to Four times a week for the last month. In all of that, somewhere along the line, sharing the Gospel; sharing the story, I haven't had an honest moment with the Lord. I haven't had an honest moment with just me and Him and things cloud my mind; fears, sins, things from the past. They always come forward in those moments to condemn me and to change me and to destroy my heart and my mind. I start looking at them, start condemning myself; feeling a ton of shame. "All I want to do is serve You, my sweetest Friend." I grip the chair and just let it ring out in my heart, the voice inside is screaming the words. Just thinking those words, "How can I serve You, my sweetest Friend?" The tears are flowing even harder now. I look to the left and I see a lady staring at me. "I need to get out of here." I start collecting my things and throwing them in my bag and as I try and rush out of the Panara Bread, My eyes fixed on watching my own feet. I don't want to make eye contact with anyone and i don't want anyone to see me. I swing the door open way too wide and almost hit a lady. I don't stop. I cant. I get in the car and I turn it on and I turn up the music as loud as I can and I sing as loud as I possibly can to the Lord, "How can I serve You, my sweetest Friend? I'll never go back, now that I know." It is so hard to not go back to the past; always condemning myself.
All that leads up to this; I am ready to get back on the road. I miss those times when I am out there on the road and it's just me and the Lord. I've come to depend on that alone time with Him and I didn't know it. I don't know how it happened. I don't know when it happened. I don't know when I got far away, or I got distant or I stopped listening. Even in the midst of all this ministry, of all of this sharing, of all the speaking, of all the amazing things I have seen, somewhere in the last couple weeks I've gotten far...I've gotten far.
But how wonderful is the Lord to always draw us back in. I wasn't trying to get close. Trying to hear something from the Lord. I was Looking for anything to get me ready for my week ahead. I was Looking for anything to prepare me. Inspiration. I wasn't looking for a relationship with my God and king But this song; the Lord had to deal with me. I couldn't just get information to share. I couldn't just get inspiration. The Lord had to bring me to the foot of the cross. He had to open my eyes and say, "You can't just be a good speaker. You can't just use the Bible, my love letter to you as information; as a topic to speak on. You need Me."
All of the speaking events went amazing. I really felt lucky to be apart of what the Lord is doing but even more than that I'm am grateful to have him cares about me. Want to be close with me. more over wants me to be close with him.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
I had been in Denver for a couple of days now, and today was all about meeting up with friends. Long before I started this walk I had been in a band and toured through here quite a few times. I was really excited to meet up with them and tell them all about this new adventure I was on so I contacted a few of my local friends to let them know I was in town. Only one of them came out. My friend Liz. She was somebody that has always been around. We ended up staying at her house during a tour eight years ago.
I thought back to the last time we hung out. The band I was in had a few days off in Denver. A group of us ended up going to a swing dance club. It's located in downtown Denver somewhere in an old brick building. It was the only thing that hadn't been torn down in the neighborhood. The brick building was on the northeast corner of the block surrounded by parking lots. The bottom floor was a restaurant that was split into two parts. The entrance to the building was on the corner. I walked in and on the first floor there was a poetry reading going on. It was dripping with teenage emotion and not pretentious words, but just people that are trying way too hard to be cool. I stood there for a while before going up with the rest of the crowd to the swing dancing on the second floor. I was listening to the people basically trying to rap without music. It literally was the most awkward thing I had ever heard.
I stood and stared at the overweight kid wearing skinny jeans and a polo, a beard, glasses and he had kind of like a fro thing going on. Standing there on stage, the shape of his body looked like an ice cream cone. He definitely was the flavor of sherbet in my mind. After subjecting myself to the most awkward thing on the planet, I couldn't choke down another bite of this ice cream cone and eventually went upstairs for swing dancing.
Yeah, that's right, I can swing dance. Liz was there. We danced a few times. Liz is quite a bit taller than me. I have to stand on my tippy-toes to do some of the spins. That's no lie. But back to the story. Liz and I sat inside Starbucks and caught up. She's a super sweet girl. While we were talking we decided to check out a Rockies game. We got a goat sitter; a place to take LeeRoy and we went to a Rockies game. It was great to hang out with Liz and catch up and share stories. She is a missionary now, well not a missionary, but something like a missionary. She does work for the Gospel and raises support for it. So yeah, I guess she is a missionary. Anyway, it was a great time. The Rockies lost which I am okay with. They lost to the Marlins. Their mascot is a fish. Like, I don't get it. Is the Marlin a wild attacking fish? I don't get it. The Marlins beat the Rockies; sad day. I gotta say, maybe one of the most uncomfortable moments in my life happened at that game. There was the most annoying guy behind me yelling the whole time; totally inappropriate stuff; socially awkward situation. The Marlins hit a home run into our section. A pregnant woman catches the ball and she keeps it. Now in some stadiums there is a tradition. If the guest team hits a home run and a fan catches it, they throw the ball back onto the field out of disgust. You are not allowed to keep it for a souvenir. This guy behind us stands up and starts yelling at this pregnant woman. He starts chanting "Throw it back, throw it back" She doesn't want to throw it back. But this guy won't stop yelling at her. And now he is getting the crowd to start chanting at this woman. Now, I am the most uncomfortable in these situations. She takes the ball and sits down in her seat while everybody is chanting at her and she shakes her head no. In my head I am thinking, at what point do I stand up and say shut up to this guy, leave her alone? I glance back at the lady and I notice an usher coming down to tell this guy to leave her alone and to quiet the crowd. The only problem is that she is a 70 y/o woman and she can hardly yell at all. She comes down the steps to his row and she is saying something, but you can't hear her. I had to do something. So with the emotional courage of five teenage girls, I whip my head around, throw my hands up and yell in my sassiest voice, "come on, leave her alone!" I don't know how effective that was, but I certainly felt more uncomfortable and awkward by the second. As the crowd eventually starts to die down and watch the game again, I definitely have to give up some man cards for not being stronger in the situation.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Ya want to know something I find a little crazy…. Through most of my 20’s I only slept about 4-5 hours a night and I loved it. But since I’ve been back for the winter I have slept up to 9 hours. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. It’s more like almost 8 hours. Haha. I wake up around 6 or 7 no matter what time I go to bed. Ok, that’s not true either. I can sleep in till about 8 or even 9 if I go to bed past 2 in the morning. Making it to 9 in the morning I feel like I have slept the whole day away. And that kind of leads me to my story…
First a few little facts.
Everyone told me that the state of Kansas would be the worst to walk through. However that was not my experience. I loved it. Believe it or not, there is a town about every 10 to 15 miles. Ok town is strong language. It was mostly like a few houses and a grain silo, post office maybe a gas station. Maybe. Nonetheless, there was something. A few times there was a gas station that clearly had been shut down years ago, but it had a working soda machine out front. Haha. Thinking back on this… I remember walking into a small, small, SMALL town late at night and seeing the glow of a lit up soda machine. There was an emotional reaction that went on inside of me.
Ok, this may sound so crazy. When I was 15 my parents sent me to a desert program thing for “troubled and at risk kids” (to this day I still don’t know what those terms mean AND I hate that label). It was called called Treks. It was so sucky. Just about the craziest time of my life. The other boys there were soooo messed up. The counselors messed with your head. I remember them trying to break us. Get us to cry. Yelling and cussing at us. It was scary. One night after some crazy emotion and mental manipulation I laid out in the desert in my sleeping bag and I had to make a decision. Beat this or let it beat me. I made a decision that I was the only person I could trust. I do remember my faith in that moment, but I didn’t know how to use it. I didn’t know how to look to God for strength … so I made a plan. It’s only 3 years till I’m 18 and then I’m free. In my mind it was jail. And I wasn’t going to let them take any more from me then they already had. I would make it out of this indestructible.
Anyways, after the desert program I was being transported to a boy’s ranch in Clarkfork, ID called Elk Mountain Academy. On the way there we drove through my hometown: Spokane, Washington. As you drive into Spokane from the west on hwy I90 you come into town from the top of a hill and you get a great view of Spokane. There is was HOME. My eyes welled up with tears. I couldn’t believe how much I loved this city. How it had made me feel safe and joy and I realized right then for the first time that is will always be my home.
No I know this sound crazy, but as I walked up to that soda machine in the middle of Kansas I almost had that same kind of feeling. Like the soda or the machine gave me some kind of deep emotional comfort.
Ok, that was a bit of a tangent…
So instead of a few facts I just give you that one… For now.
Ok back to my story… oh ya I don’t sleep a lot. But in this story that is a really good thing and here’s why.
As you come into Denver, CO on hwy 74 there is a town called Golden, CO. LeeRoy and I had just walked 16 miles on a back road called old hwy 40 that followed hwy 70. We spent all day walking. Like always at about 5 I started looking for a place to set up my tent. I had found what looked like an apartment development area. It was right on the edge of a hill I could see Golden, CO. I had thought I better stop here for the night. I didn’t want to get too deep into the city and not find a place to sleep. Let me paint you a picture. As you look north you can see a Golden and some kind of small factory and what looked like the night shift coming on to start work. to the south are big, big parking lots and a gas station. To the west, high mountains and to the east was a main road. The development areas was about 4 blocks square completely level and ready to break ground for the foundation. We set up camp and LeeRoy and I stayed up late and talked.
Me: So tomorrow is Denver. We made it.
LeeRoy looks at me as he slowly chews on his cud.
Me: It always gets crazy. You know how the cities get… I was thinking we should take some time off here mostly cause it’s going to be a long, long way to KC.
LeeRoy uses his horns to itch a spot on his back towards his tail.
The conversation went on. I told him I was proud of him and I can’t believe we made it this far. I reminded him of all the people that doubted that a goat could walk as far as we have. We shared a granola bar.
I sat with my back up against a big concrete drain pipe that was randomly out there … Looking at the glow for the city lights of Golden and Denver. Leeroy eventually laid his head in my lap and I itched behind his ears. We sat like that for a while. I let my mind wonder and dream.
At about midnight I went to bed.
Sometime in the night I wake up. I open my eyes and focus my ears to investigate what’s around me I see the faint outline of LeeRoy against the glow of the city lights. His tail is straight up and I can kind of see the hair on his back is standing up. His ears and eyes are pointed. Dead set on something. Now I know those are all red flags. And when I’m fully awake I am on it. But as I lay there it’s taking me some time to analyze the data in my head. I laid there another minute with my eyes closed. The picture still in my head. I don’t quite understand how I figured it out but then I was instantly awake. Full on, full scale ready for battle. I grabbed my head lamp and immediately shined it in the direction the LeeRoy was looking and not a minute too soon. There were 8 sets of eyes glowing and staring right back at me … all I could see were the eyes… they all start howling at the top of their lungs. I jump to my feet and start yelling at the top of my lungs. But not any word just AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I put on my head lamp and throw my arms up to look big and scary. And yelling like I was a wild animal myself AHHHHHHHHHH
BUT NOTHING they didn’t move. They are howling and yelling. HA! Now I don’t know why I did this, but at one point they were all howling in tune and I started to slid my voice up to match them. For a second it felt like we are all in perfect pitch. Unsure of what would happen next I threw a few rocks their way. And they scattered…
But they didn’t go far.
I kept throwing rocks and started say. “Scat skedaddle” … eventually they left and I laid back down after the coast was clear. I laid in my sleeping bag replaying what had happened.
I laughed out loud …I really need to work on my tough talk… hahaha.
My grandmother used to say that. I laid there and thought about her in the kitchen saying scat and skedaddle to me when I would try and steal a bite of whatever she was cooking. She would always have some hostess ding dongs in the fridge. I can hear her now, “Put that back! You’re going to ruin your dinner.” I slowly put it back and she shoos me out of the kitchen. “Now scat! Skedaddle!” haha
HERE’S TO YOU GRANDMA…. Hahah SCAT SKEDADDLE... R.I.P