Just a little bit of guns & dresses

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Clear Eyes Full Hearts

Per usual, I was talking with a friend today.  Some days, I have a lot of thoughts.  When I say a lot, you really have no idea what you are dealing with.  Rain Man.  Luckily this friend is in for the long haul and has amazing listening capacity.  So I was in the midst of processing/blabbing.  And a thought popped into my head.  (This is the problem- sometimes they come out of no where, un invited, and come right on in.)  Today was full of them.  Any way.  Proverbs 4:23, the guard your heart one.  This one keeps coming back to me.  So I think I'm going to pay attention to it.  I kept pushing it away, because frankly, I may be too good at guarding that thing.  It's a steel trap.  I like to keep it close.  Sometimes probably too close.  Fortunately/unfortunately I've not lent it to anyone.  It's ok.  It's important.  But, I think about my heart a lot.  Spiritually it is HUGE piece of the framework.  We are called to love and I don't want to be loving with a tainted heart.  I want to love people/God with all of my heart.  I pray that I would be kind hearted.  Good hearted.  Whole hearted.  Scripture (you can fact check me if need be, but I've checked) says it is where life starts (The Message).  So I totally get the whole guard your heart from the world, from people, from hurtful things etc. Don't throw your pearls to swine etc.

Here is something I thought about today.  We live in a fallen world.  I'm a sinner.  Even though I keep my heart close, I've let things into my heart that the Lord never intended to be there.  Hurtful things, hard things.  Things known and unknown.  We all have our junk.  There are things that I would love to cut right on out.  But sometimes I get stuck.  Sometimes I like to skip over some of the bad because I don't want to man up and deal.  Because it can be hard and let me be frank- it can hurt like hell.  (Maybe you do this sometimes?? please say yes.. so I'm on a 1 woman hot mess express..) There are things that I have let barge right on it and set up camp.  Hurt feelings, resentment, bitterness & disappointment.  But, I've also let in the good.  Love, trust, friendship, faithfulness, grief (the good kind).  Things that have grown my heart.  Today I realized that while guarding my heart, I may also be guarding it from letting those hard things out.  I wonder how cool it would be to trash the junk and guard a whole heart??  I want to have a heart of God.  I want to love people like God loves.  It's hard, but I think it's what he ultimately wants.  He wants us to be more Christ like.  That's having the eyes of God, the ears of God and the heart of God. 

So that's where I am today.  And whether you know it or not, maybe that's where you are.  So here is what I will do.  Starting today, I pray that you and I both would know the heart of God more and more each day.  I pray that He would (gently) show us some things that he would like to take from our hearts.  The things not of Him.  Things we have believed about our selves or each other that are not of Him.  I pray that He would help us to be more like Him.  I pray that we would love Him whole heartedly.  That we would love each other with the heart of God.  And that we would fully know the heart of God and that we could wrap our heads and our hearts around just how much we are loved.  Keep in mind- this is a struggle of mine.  But, I want to guard a clean heart.  And I want you to as well.  When I do let people in my heart, I want to let them into the heart of God.

In the words of my all time favorites,
Clear eyes, Full hearts,

Read Proverbs 4:23:)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Belated, but still Incredible

Mumford and Sons.  I've tried to remain low key about this.  But, alas I cannot.  The reason I have wanted to remain low key is that I flat out just want to brag.  Solid self here.  The week leading up to it I kept seeing posts about people seeing the Mumford posse and I kept thinking "you know not what you are missing..."  I'm all glad for these friends to see them.  And here comes the but.  BUT, I was dealt an amazing hand by a dear friend.  Gentlemen of the Road Stopover: St. Augustine.  4 shows in the USA.  Lots of bands and 2 days of music.  Yes. Please.  And here begins one of the most magical times ever.

Thursday we headed out on a delightful road trip south.  This friend and I trip together well.  Talking is never an issue... plus some Mumford jamming.  I should also mention that an hour before we rolled out- I GOT A CAR.  THAT SEEMS TO BE GOOD.  MIRACLE.  END THAT SHIZZY CHAPTER.  So we headed south.  Got there, got settled and waited for it to be Friday.  Or at least I did.  I wanted to sleep next to the tickets. Still was not sure this was all real. 

Friday came.  We ventured in to St. Augustine.  Very cool.  The whole town was decorated with Mumford stuff.  City hall had huge mustaches plastered and store front windows were decorated.  We even went to the hotel where our pals the Mumfords were staying.  We walked around.  Ate a glorious lunch at the Floridian (where I ranted about side salads) and then headed to the field.  I'll just say- it was hot as shit.  There said it..  We chilled under a tree for a bit.  I'll admit my 27 yr old self was exhausted.  My feet were killing, they had turned black with dirt and my moral was dropping.  But, my veteran friend said it was time to move.  So we began our dissent into the crowd.  I had no idea we were on a mission to the front. After much moving and scooching we made it.  We found some nice people to stand in front of...  And so began the music.  So cool.  By the time the last band, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and their cult band took the stage, we were basically 3rd row.  Pretty sweet.  We rolled out right before 11 pm and headed to City Hall.  We got to then watch Del McCoury and his band play.  SOOOOOO Cool.  The fiddler and another banjo player from Mumford came out and played as well.  I think we rolled out around 1 am.. I'm not sure.  I can't even remember the drive home or walking back into the hotel... Due to exhaustion.  Just so we are clear.

Saturday. Game plan discussed.  Headed into town.  We got through the gates and it was like James Bond.  I went one way.  She went the other.  We were in desperate need of a shady spot to basically camp all day.  We found our tree and set up camp.  Only 9 hours until Mumford.  Game on.  Of course, I immediately fell asleep...  I was awakened by a new favorite band, Bears Den.  Check them out.  AMAZING.  I think I had a crush on all of them.  Then my next favorite came, Half moon run.  So cool.  There were some other bands in between here and there.  At about 6 we made our move.  We packed up camp and headed into the gauntlet.  I am too passive at this stage of the game.  Thank God my friend is much bolder.  We calmly made our way into the mass of 30,000 people.  We watched The Vaccines and moved on.  Then the surprise guest came on.  JOHN FOGERTY.  From CCR.  AMAZING.  His house band?  MUMFORD AND SONS.  AWESOME.  I did not want it to end.  Loved seeing Marcus on the drums and Winston on guitar.  Plus the others:)  SOOOO Cool.  Then came show time.  The Mumfords came back on after a short break and blew my mind.  I wanted to cry the ENTIRE time.  Every song was incredible.  The covers, the originals.  Everything.  I still can't believe I saw them so close.  I couldn't even drink beer all day in fear of screwing something up and not being able to fully take it all in... Priorities people.  They covered I'm on fire, Come Together and an awesome accapella spiritual.  When they sang Below my Feet I thought that I was going to combust.  I'm still on a high apparently...  I am 100% sucked in.  Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers are AMAZING.  Sorry I'm not sorry.  IT WAS INCREDIBLE.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”—2 Corinthians 4:16-18(NKJV)

I don't know how I could have possibly missed this verse.  Not that I read the Bible on an incredibly regular basis, but I feel like people throw verses around left and right and for some reason this one has never stuck.  Until tonight. 

I'm leading a small group/Bible study with a friend and today was our first one.  I was honestly petrified. I felt like I was going to die on the spot.  I would rather get up on a stage and do some type of self deprecating skit than have to prepare something spiritual and share it with the safest people around.  But, alas, the Good Lord likes to challenge me.  And challenge He did.  I wanted to throw up almost the entire time (hopefully it will get easier), but I think it went as best as it could.  We shared about seasons/stages of life.  As I was trying to explain mine (without being a downer) as of late I realized some things.  It has been hard.  I have gone through it kicking and screaming and hope to never return.  But I will.  Life is messy.  We love people and we lose people.  I hate it, but it will happen.  I never thought I could handle it, but I've learned that I can't.  Only He can.  If I actually let Him.  Now, knowing what I have learned, I am so eternally grateful.  Grateful to have been surrounded by my people.  Grateful to have had to let things go.  Grateful to have had to answer when I least wanted to.  Grateful to have seen a depth that I didn't know was there or was even possible.  I saw something that I never would have.

I think the above verse is killer.  My outward self was dying (dramatic I know).  I think it was headed that way regardless of the last few months.  The process was just sped up a little faster than I would have liked.  But, truly I tell you, the inward has changed.  There are things deep inside of my heart that I did not know existed.  Good and bad.  And it has been hard/terrifying and cool trying to hammer them out.  My heart feels renewed.  My faith feels renewed.  Now this isn't all the time.  I still have all the hard thoughts, but there is an underlying current of grace.  And peace.  It's too hard to begin to describe.  So just disregard most of this. 

Time.  I was talking to a friend a about time just this afternoon.  How one year felt so incredibly fast.  Yet, so much has happened.  When I think about it, it is full of moments.  ( I am a savor the moment kind of gal) Moments that I would not trade for the world.  The things unseen that have happened are priceless and I'm sure I'm still not realizing all of them.  Heck- some of the ones seen, as crummy as some were, have taught me the most. The thought of there being more cool unseen things is so cool.  To know that these moments are eternal is pretty damn awesome. 

No idea if this made a lick of sense.

Peace and blessings..

Monday, September 16, 2013

The coolest

No words can describe this past weekend in St. Augustine. I will muster them up later. 

I have to give a big shout out to my friend Sally.  I went down to Red Bluff with her a few weeks ago to visit our friend Biz.  She was taking legit pics for something and I just tagged along.  I was coerced into some pics (I usually like to stay behind the camera) and I love them.  I've never actually seen a pic of my own self that I thought actually captured me.  I don't know how to explain it.  But I thought these were pretty damn cool if you ask me.  You can tell by my constant laughter that I was definitely about to die...  But, Sally rocked it.  It was so much fun!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Freaking Out

I AM FREAKING OUT.  Here is why.  At some point this afternoon, I will be getting in a car with a dear friend and heading South.  To St. Augustine.  Why?  Here is why I'm freaking out.  We just so happen to be going to attend the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in St. Augustine.  What is that?  It's basically a 2 day Mumford and Sons music festival.  Yes.  You would freak out to.  25,000 tickets.  Sold out 3 days after it was announced.  I honestly did not think for one second that this would go down.  And then, boom.  We were going.  I have suppressed my excitement, due to my pessimistic personality, but today is the day and I can't sit still.  AHHHH.  It is going to be incredible.  I have stalkerishly watched about 500 videos of Mumford and all of the other bands playing.  I've been praying that this would just be awesome. And that my boy Marcus won't wear his wife beater.  Peace out.
Marcus MumfordMumford & Sons | Live at Red Rocks was one of the best shows I've ever seen.Mumford & Sons

Monday, September 2, 2013

These Words

"God allows in His wisdom, what He could prevent in His power."

I have read these words a lot.  I keep re reading them and they hit me every time.  So, the last few months have been less than stellar.  This is a fact.  But sometimes I catch myself taking in what I have learned.  I never am one to catch myself learning at the present time, but sometimes, much, much later, I realize that maybe God was showing me something.  (I always realize these things at the most random times) I say this now with a good attitude.  If anyone else were to say this to me (along with several other words that do not help any situation) I would have to restrain myself from tackling them.  Plus, I can be told something 1 trillion times, but it only works if I figure it out.  Well here are some things I have learned:

You can feel two completely different emotions at the exact same time
Sometimes God has to knock me over the head with things
My faith needed some definite growing
We need JOY
We need to find what we love and do it
We need community
We need good people
You can feel distant from God, but close at the same time
He wants us to ask Him for more

And then I read these words. Game changer.  I have been praying and praying and screaming and asking and begging.  (This sounds dramatic, but its not.)  I have been questioning, doubting and asking up a storm.  And I was hearing zilch.  So then I would get mad. And the cycle would continue.  Before I read these words, I was kind of getting to a rather tough spot.  When I first read these words I did not like them.  At all.  But then I kept reading them and I thought wow.  I thought of all the things that have been tough, there have been places that I have learned so much when I didn't even know that I needed it.  I keep thinking how able He is.  How wise He is.  How powerful He is.  How knowing He is.  I forget all of these things when it all goes to Hell and a hand basket.  But, on the back end, they come around.  As much as I don't want to believe that He knows everything that is happening, He does.  As much as I want to be in control, I know that I shouldn't be and He should.  I don't always know it right at the time, but I usually figure it out the hard way somewhere down the line.  

For now, these words are heavy.  They carry a lot of weight. They give me assurance.  Maybe I don't need to be saved or rescued from something.  Maybe he is trying to teach me something. Maybe he is teaching me to wait.  To trust.  To dig in.  He could fix it.  But what is he teaching me by not?  That's the million dollar question.