Monday, October 22, 2007

Write About Jesus 2007

A Couple Cool Moments from Write About Jesus

It was Saturday morning and we were having a praise and worship time after breakfast. We were all singing our guts out to “Here I Am to Worship”, which is a song I’ve sung a hundred times, but this time the Spirit applied it in a new way. As I was singing I was able to say to God “Here I am, in St. Louis, at Write About Jesus, to worship. To worship by using my talents, by writing songs, by building relationships, by serving others.” We always talk about how worship isn’t just singing, but it’s a lifestyle. So it was really cool to connect the singing and the living in that moment, as God reminded me why I was ultimately there: to worship.

I had a moment this weekend that was potentially head-swelling, and I realized that as soon as it began. I sensed that it was a moment that would reveal to me a lot about where I was with the Lord and songwriting, so I was very attentive to how I would respond- not in action, but in my heart before God. So while this moment was happening, I began to pray that I would be faithful and have a heart-response that was glorifying to God. I thought I’d try to turn this blessing back to Him, so I started to thank Him for allowing me to write songs and for giving me this particular song. He promptly interrupted and spoke as audibly as he ever has to me (which isn’t audibly at all, it's just in my head). He said “It’s not about you. It’s not about the song, or even that I gave you the song. It’s about what that song says about Me. It’s about the truth, and it’s about My glory.” Instantly my prayer expanded, like a camera lens focused on a single blade of grass pulling out to reveal a sprawling countryside. My thoughts shifted from what God had done for me or in me or through me and I just starting praising Him for who He was and for the truth about Him in the song that was playing on the CD player.

A Few Things I Love about Write About Jesus

I love how nobody there dresses to impress. We’re all in tee-shirts and jeans and whatever we feel like. I love it that I can wear the same pair of jeans all weekend and not feel judged for it!

I also love how you never know a songwriter by the looks of them. I’m continually surprised! We had a winner that was in high school and a winner that could have been my grandmother. That is way cool.

I love being around people who really get me. I forgot how much I enjoy the company of several of the people there.

I love being able to feel things again. Seems like at home with the way life is, I just go and do and try to keep my head above water. It wasn’t until maybe Friday afternoon, but I remembered what it’s like to feel and to drink it all in. I plan to change that about regular life if at all possible.

I love writing songs, and if I want to keep loving writing songs, I need to make sure I only write songs because I love to write songs. If that makes sense to you, than you are SUCH a songwriter. :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Amazing and Wonderful Matthew

Feeling very restless today. I get on a plane Thursday morning and head out to St. Louis for Write About Jesus, a songwriting workshop that I’ve attended for a couple years now (for more on that, check the archives. I think I wrote about it last summer). I don’t know if it’s having three kids this time around, or if it’s not having gone to Estes in August, but this year the thought of three and a half days away seems even more refreshing than in years past. I’m anticipating a great weekend of freedom and creativity and spending time with like-minded friends. Best of luck to the babysitting team that will be here at home, handling the three-ring circus while I’m gone.

I was talking to my friend Hayley on the phone a few minutes ago about the trip. She commented on how wonderful of a husband I have that he would enable me and encourage me to do things like this. I must say, she is quite right. Matthew is wonderful indeed.

A lot of folks have heard our crazy story of how we met and began dating, about how I ran and ran and ran and Matthew just pursued and pursued and pursued. It was pretty simple from my end. I didn’t want a boyfriend because I didn’t want a husband. From where I was standing at the time, seventeen years old and full of angst, getting married meant giving up your freedom, limiting your ministry, compromising your dreams, and possibly even losing your identity. Not interested, thanks.

A lot of that pursuing that Matthew had to do was actually convincing and proving. Convincing me that my view of marriage was perhaps a bit skewed, and proving his love for me was a love that would never want any of those things for my life. I was scared of losing myself, but he reassured me over and over again that he wouldn’t let that happen. He would protect me. He committed to support and even cultivate my passions and dreams, and he has more than lived up to that commitment ever since. Of course I gave up some freedom with marriage, and especially with having kids. But I know I’m more to this world than a dishwasher and diaper changer, and Matthew makes sure of it.

This weekend while I’m out basking in creative fellowship, he will be here, knee-deep in diapers, eating out of the freezer, and driven mad by toddler talk. He’ll have some help from the grandparents, but the majority of the burden will fall on him. So if you see him at church on Sunday and he looks a little frazzled, it’s because he is an amazing man and a wonderful husband who is fulfilling his promise to his bride. Feel free to tell him he is amazing and wonderful, and I will be sure to do the same.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

If This Were the Mob, They'd All Be Goners

In a couple of hours we’ll be heading out to game 2 of the National League Division Series to cheer on the Diamondbacks. It’s been a wild ride on the MLB train thus far, and we expect nothing less from the post season. Should be a great game.

The problem with baseball was in my first sentence. I had originally typed “our” Diamondbacks, but quickly changed it to “the”. I wish I could say they were my Diamondbacks, but honestly, it’s tough to get to that level in our relationship anymore. I have trouble attaching, trouble bonding, to my home team because every year they are an entirely different group of guys. Just when you spent all season getting to know every player on the roster and his strengths, weaknesses, and quirks, they pull the rug out from under you and trade those guys like they all have “Upper Deck” embossed on their foreheads.

I think this is particularly a problem for female fans as we tend to get more interested and involved as we get to know the players and their lives. Once we get to know them, we grow pretty fond of them, and soon, we want what every woman wants: commitment. I want to know that when I turn on a game, it’s going to be relatively the same bunch of players that I know and love. I want to know that they’ll be there, year after year, ready to make another run at a championship. But at the start of every season, I have to deal with a flood of betrayal when I turn on the TV and see my favorite players wearing other team’s uniforms. It cuts like a slider down and in, I tell ya.

I don’t want to root for a name or a logo or a mascot. I want to root for people. It used to be an identity, what team you were on. You were a Cub or you were a Brave. But it seems now that the only thing that makes you a team anymore is wearing the same color. So I find myself adapting, trying to get behind the team without getting too attached. I end up rooting for players on all kinds of teams because they were Diamondbacks once. So I guess it’s okay. Not ideal, but what can you do? Buy your ticket, eat your peanuts, and hope the jersey you just shelled out $75 bucks for will still be good next season.

Go D-Backs!