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To Hell With Boxes

That's how my prayer ended this morning. 

To hell with boxes. 
Which seems strange, because boxes are innocuous, right? Usually they're pretty helpful. They keep us organized. They help us both start and end chapters of our lives as tools when we move. They allow us to store things, so we can become sentimental packrats (anyone else?)
But it's those intangible boxes I'm talking about. The boxes that tell us who we are, or who we should be. The boxes society dictates to us, based on innumerable factors. The ones we put others in so we can try to understand them. The ones we put God in so we can try to understand Him, which is a fruitless task as He's infinitely beyond our understanding. 
This morning I was praying over the depression and anxiety I've been living in lately, struggling with where I am vs where I want to be, who I am vs who I think I should be, all I long for vs what I have. Struggling over what I think others believe about me, over their expectations o…

He Kept Saying...

Lately it feels as though the news is one horrid story after another. But this week two exceptionally repulsive things happened. First, a candidate for governor in my state is driving a “deportation” bus around, campaigning on the promise to round up immigrants because they are “murderers, rapists, kidnappers, child molesters, and other criminals.” Second, the President of the United States, in an interview, called immigrants who are in the country illegally “animals.” And though the White House clarified that the comment was  about gang members and not all undocumented immigrants, it’s still wildly inappropriate. All people – gang members or no – are made in God's image, and no one should make these statements about another human beings.**

These are just two statements in a long line of incidents targeting minority groups in our country. Over and over and over again, stories emerge recounting how our neighbors and community members are targeted because of their class or gender or …

Two Years Later

Monday, Facebook Memories showed me this picture. It's from March 19, 2016. It's the day I moved into my apartment; really, it's the day that everything in my life began to change.  It's the day I moved into a neighborhood where I am the decided minority (in more ways than one), where I surrounded myself with people I literally don't understand, because we speak a different language. The day I decided to follow God into something bigger, something more; the day I decided (again) that comfort zones weren't all they were cracked up to be.  It's the day I began to meet a lot of people who have become so dear to me now. People and families who are friends, kids who have adopted me as a surrogate teacher and some form of big sister.  It's the day I began really learning exactly how much I still don't know. When abstract thoughts and theologies and ideologies became decidedly less abstract. Because I jumped into a community with people whose cultures and bac…

Full

So, for the past few years, I've joined in with picking a word as a theme for the coming year. I haven't *strictly* followed the rules: two years ago it was the chorus of a song, last year I actually had 3 words. 
I tend to feel these themes or words stirring sometime in the fall, as if my spirit can sense where God is leading, or God is preparing me for what's coming. I think He just knows I need lots of preparation and process time before He throws me into something, and He's gracious enough to give it. 
This year was *mostly* no exception.
Later in 2017, I felt a stirring in my heart for joy & delight. I needed more of it in my life and I needed to understand God's heart for these things. I also needed a better understanding of how He views us -- me -- through a lens of joy and delight. That's a longer story & maybe I'll tell it one day, but it's not for now. 
These words resonated deeply in my soul, and I was convinced they were where God was le…