toss me the life vest, would you? i'm kinda drowning here.

i couldn't sleep tonight. my alarm is going off in five minutes, but i've been awake for the last hour and a half (yes, it's 4 am).

my thoughts, while i lay awake in the darkness, ran the gamut. confession and prayer, analyzing yesterday's conversations and planning potential ones for today, figuring out my schedule this week and two months from now, all my bills and budget, all the junk i have in my apartment that i want to get rid of, several changes i want to see happen in my life .... all these things were keeping me awake.

(my alarm just went off and it totally make me jump! wow.)

apparently i'm having some trouble with where the rubber meets the road in the whole "don't worry about tomorrow" thing. i can't STOP worrying about tomorrow. and today. and next year. even when i theoretically entrust it to God, i don't stop thinking about it.

and what i really think it comes down to, for me, is priorities.

i came unglued last night (sorry to all five people who called me during my unglued-ness .... i'm sure it wasn't pretty). and i think that 90% of the reason why i came unglued is because i don't KNOW God enough to know that i can trust Him. ok, this is what i mean: i know that, at some point in my life, i have known His character enough that i trusted Him at that time. but currently, in this state of affairs, i don't know Him intimately and i certainly don't trust Him. yet in my most miserable moments i want nothing more than to bring all my cares to Him ... just as i have always done. but how can i do that if i don't trust Him because i don't know Him?

my priorities are revealing the idolatry of my heart. i have not made it a priority to bind myself so closely to Jesus, to walk with Him devotedly, to love Him purely, to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.

and so, of course, everything else is falling apart.

and the whole reason these thoughts are pouring out of me right now is because, while i couldn't sleep (so i was french braiding my hair), i saw a picture of my youthworks staff team from three years ago. that was a time of rich intimacy, a time of clearly hearing the Lord's voice, a time of deep prayer and true worship and total dependence and pure trust.

and i can barely believe it ever happened. i don't recognize myself anymore. probably because i look a lot more like rachel and a lot less like Jesus. and let me say: it hasn't been the most flattering look for me.

oh Lord ... could You change me from who i've been lately? i know i'm nothing without You.


i need my Savior.


failing at failure

i do believe that it possible to fail well. failure doesn't have to be the final word on whether or not a venture was successful. this is a cognitive block for a lot of folks, myself included, but it's true nonetheless: failure is not necessarily the obliteration of success. it's all a matter of perspective; what i THOUGHT success would look like might not be the end result, but that doesn't mean that nothing successful was accomplished.

the bottom line is that God reigns. God reigns over all things. my car. politics. my job. the weather. life and death. money. poverty. starvation. destruction. growth. aging. desires and passions. depression. pain. suffering. joy. relationships. geography. every hair on my head. every breath that sustains my life. every blink of my eyes and every word of my tongue. every sound that i hear, every touch that i feel, every moment i live. every moment you live. every moment they live. God reigns.

and what He calls success often happens in the midst of what the world would call failure. so the question is: do i look at God through the world's perspective of my circumstances, or do i look at my circumstances and the world through God's perspective?

this is where i fail at failing. because when i 'fail' according to MY terms (which are aligned with the world), instead of embracing the opportunity for growth and intimacy with the God of all grace, i mull and wallow and burden myself with guilt and despair. whereas, if i were willing to take my pathetic failures and cast them before the all-able cross of Christ, i might see a phoenix rise from the ashes, more beautiful, more new, more wonderful, more successful than i ever could have imagined. or done on my own.

for it is only in the face of Christ that i can be victorious even while i am in the throes of utter defeat. it is only in the embrace of Christ that i can see success when i am plagued by chronic failure. it is only in the all-powerful reign of Christ that i see pure, true, beautiful GOOD come from the darkest, most corrupt places of my heart.

and if THAT doesn't throw me to my knees in wonder and adoration ...

... then i have really failed.


the lie.

it is tantalizing. it feels right. it makes me smile and laugh. it gives me something to look forward to. it assuages my lonely and sorrowful spirit. it makes me feel just lovely.

it's not worth it.

anything temporary and fleeting, anything that is good for awhile but then is gone, anything that will change and fail and falter in what it does for me is not worthy to be compared to the eternal weight of glory that will fall upon my head and crush me to the ground.

but right now,
i'm not crushed.

and i'm having some trouble believing the trade-off.


the loveable loose cannon

it's the most wonderful thing to be me.

it's the most wonderful thing to be the loose cannon, the failure, the frequent foot-in-mouther, the oddball, the one who is gun-shy and undisciplined, the one who let them down ...

... and still be wanted. still be loved.

there's just nothing like in the world.
thank you, my friends.

"but God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." --romans five:eight--


all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.

The new day dawns,
And I am practicing my purpose once again.
It is fresh and it is fruitful if I win but if I lose,
Oooooo I don’t know.
I will be tired but I will turn and I will go,
Only guessing til I get there then I’ll know,
Oh oh oh I will know.

All the children walking home past the factories
Could see the light that’s shining in my window as I write this song to you.
All the cars running fast along the interstate
Can feel the love that radiates
Illuminating what I know is true,
All will be well.
Even after all the promises you’ve broken to yourself,
All will be well.
You can ask me how but only time will tell.

The winter’s cold,
But the snow still lightly settles on the trees.
And a mess is still a moment I can seize until I know,
That all will be well.
Even though sometimes this is hard to tell,
And the fight is just as frustrating as hell
All will be well.

All the children walking home past the factories,
Could see the light that’s shining in my window as I write this song to you.
All the cars running fast along the interstate
Can feel the love that radiates
Illuminating what I know is true
All will be well.
Even after all the promises you’ve broken to yourself
All will be well.
You can ask me how but only time will tell.

Keep it up and don’t give up
And chase your dreams and you will find
All in time.

All the children walking home past the factories
Could see the light that’s shining in my window as I write this song to you.
All the cars running fast along the interstate
Can feel the love that radiates
Illuminating what I know is true,
All will be well.
Even after all the promises you’ve broken to yourself,
All will be well.
You can ask me how but only time will tell.

All will be well.
Even after all the promises you’ve broken to yourself,
All will be well.
You can ask me how but only time will tell.

You can ask me how but only time will tell.

--gabe dixon--


it's really kind of amazing.

apparently i have turned around rather suddenly
and become something of the person i've wanted to be.

it didn't happen in an instant.
it didn't happen because i thought it out strategically.
it didn't happen because i tried really hard.

it actually was
an outpouring
from the overflow.

and now i know:

i can turn around on some unknown future day
and have become more of who i've wanted to be
not because i knew the exactly right way to do it
but because i walked by faith that only He could do it.

[if only these moment weren't so few and far between.]


wake me up when september ends?

september FLEW by ... does anyone else feel like that's true?

i'm excited, though, because i am fantastically head-over-heels in love with the fall. and with the turn of the calendar, the weather has magically rounded the bend into fall, and seemingly over night, too.

transition. people have told me that we have 'transitional phases' in life. what happens when you feel like the previous two years have been one big long unending transitional phase? what if you feel like you don't want to be done transitioning, because you know this isn't your landing place? how can i be a temporarily permanent nomadic resident? see what i mean? gosh, it's hard. and i hate moving.

i have been brought to some incredibly interesting places recently. relationships are changing ... new ones forming, old new ones becoming deeper, formerly intimate ones becoming more distant with time-space and life-space and different habitations. it's bittersweet. make new friends, but keep the old ... one is silver and the other gold. it's hard to abide by the nursery rhyme in real life, though.

like i said yesterday, i'm getting used to louisville ... but i don't love it. yet. i suppose i could, eventually. and i'm definitely trying to keep an open mind about it, because if i expect it to suck, it definitely will. but i think what is hardest is learning how to find my residential identity as a louisvillian without being in college. butler did a great job of acclimating me to indy ... in spite of its bubble-i-ness. but i'm on my own here ... and i'm not surrounded by tons of other people my age who are also new and wanting to explore. and i do so much love to explore with other adventuring companions ... but alone, not so much. so venturing out to discover all the treasures that louisville has to offer has only been happening at a minimum.

here's a thought that has been on my mind since i got a pretend, free, e-harmony account. (yes, i know. i know. i'm not paying for it, so i can't even communicate with anyone .... for now, it's just an .... appetite supressant?) anyway. here's the thought: i am not the christian i used to be. i used to be mostly right-out-of-the-box, but a thinker at the same time. i thought very carefully about which box i came out of, and whether or not my box was missing some ingredients, or even had superfluous ingredients that i wouldn't need to put to use. but nonetheless, i was a cookie-cutter-christian.

now i'm much more loosey-goosey. not that anything goes (geez, how many cliches can i throw into one paragraph??), but i think that i'm realizing that sanctification goes completely outside of the box. i'm a freakin mess, dudes. i'm a walking disaster. and up until this point in my life, i don't think i've ever fully embraced that. what does it mean to know that my effed-up-ness ... and believe me, it's effed up ... is not beyond the saving and sanctifying hand of God? Lord, there IS none like You.

and e-harmony is reminding me of that, because the people i've been matched with would either think that i'm a really sucky christian if they actually met me, or they would think that i'm a crazy calvinist or something. i can't seem to find anyone, anywhere, who transparently embraces their own brokenness while straining for sanctification on a day-to-day basis in every relationship, conversation, thought, job, and moment. well, except for people who aren't christians ... they seem to know they need it more than those of us in the holy huddle do.

it's all a-jumble in my mind. i'm trying to sort it all out. i hope i get there soon.

but it's totally ok if i don't. i can still breathe.


true confessions.

confession: i often start a blog post without knowing exactly what i'm going to say, but rather i start with an overwhelming need to express.

confession: i love music, but i am more passionate about other things. and it shows, especially to people who believe me to be a music guru or something.

confession: i am happy with some things in life right now. but in most things, i could definitely be a whole lot happier. and for some reason, knowing that but not knowing what to do about that has been really hard.

confession: i sometimes experience momentary jealousy of people who are amazing musicians. also, of people my age who are recently married/1st-time-parents, and of people my age who have really cool, creative, successful careers.

confession: i'm getting used to louisville, but i don't really like it.

confession: i don't evangelize in the traditional sense. but i evangelize every single day.

confession: i want my theology to meet my reality in all the places it doesn't currently.

confession: i have no clue what i want to do with my life. i have some ideas, but i could really go in any direction.

confession: i am pathetically undisciplined.

confession: i would really, really, really like to get to a healthy level of in-shape-ness. biggest hindrance -- see above.

confession: i like my new apartment. i don't love it. i wish i did.

confession: sometimes i wish something huge or tragic would happen to me ... just so i could see how i would react.

confession: i secretly sometimes wish that i could be a successful singer/songwriter.

confession: even though i'm only 23.5, i'm starting to feel very, very old and rather unaccomplished.

confession: i don't behave like a 'typical' christian. but i'm certainly not afraid or embarassed to tell people that i am one.

confession: sometimes i miss the college years so much that it hurts.

confession: serving and leading out of brokenness is waaaay harder than serving and leading out of self-sufficiency, but it's also waaaaaaay more rewarding.

confession: i ebb and flow.

confession: i sin, and it doesn't always make me sick. which makes me sick.

confession: i want to do the children's moment at church sometime.

confession: i'm exhausted most of the time.