Tuesday, July 28, 2009

bahh how cool

i can't sleep. so i picked up my Bible. and turned to Psalms. and started reading chapter 33.
do you know what it says in verse 15??????

"He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do."

ok, for some reason this really caught my attention. it's one of those things that you've heard and you know but then it jumps out at you when you actually read the words on the page and you're like whoaaaaaa. the Creator of the universe made my heart and knows my heart and understands why i think the way i think and i do the things i do and i say the things i say. because he MADE ME THAT WAY. and he understands my sin and how sometimes it overcomes me and sometimes i am entangled by it and sometimes i feel suffocated by it. he UNDERSTANDS. it puts God at this level of not just high up in the air above us all holy and mighty and majestic and blameless and perfect and sovereign, but also WITH US. his spirit is IN US. his son walked AMONG US.

He knows us.

When no one else on the planet can really truly understand what's going on in our hearts and minds, HE DOES.

so cool.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I am 20 years old today.
So long teenage years; I am glad you are over.
But I thank you for shaping me into the woman I have become.

Therefore, an "ode" to my teens:

Here's to high school, marching band, and spirit week.
To dances, first kisses, and hugging in hallways.
Three cheers for scooping ice cream, watching gilmore girls, and talking to crushes on AIM.
Here's to truth or dare, movie nights, and shopping at the mall.
To clarinet lessons, youth group, and campus life.
To listening to punk rock, sleepovers, and eating too much cookie dough.
Here's to dance parties, conversations about God, and praying with the wonderful women of my wing.
To allowing my heart to open. To mistakes. To wrestling with God. To wanting to throw in the towel and give up. To healing. To growth.
To God never giving up on ME.
It's been a great ride thus far.

Bring on my twenties!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

a "Julie" version of something you've probably heard thousands of times

"Why are you striving these days?
Why are you trying to earn grace?
Why are you crying? Let me lift up your face.
Just don't turn away.
Why are you looking for love? Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough?...."
-Tenth Avenue North

The beautiful and wonderful and so dearly missed Taylor Grimes introduced me to that song this past spring and since then I keep hearing it on the radio...

I seem to get somewhat desensitized to songs after a couple plays, but this song...this song has the ability to speak to me every time. The lead singer of Tenth Avenue North, Mike Donehey, speaks in the voice of God (ok, not God's actual voice...but as if the lead singer is God speaking to us--all of humanity). I feel like this approach is so much more direct and powerful if the artist's goal is to get people to wake up a bit and really radically change their thinking, or question their lifestyle. I think it's great when Christian artists write about their struggles and how their faith is carrying them through and write their songs from a personal standpoint...

But songs that speak from the perspective of God talking to us directly kinda make me crawl and squirm and revisit a state of humility and deep thought and conviction.

And this song more than I think any Christian song has in the past, really tugs at my heart every time. Because I am so guilty of what Mike sings/writes...

Why do I continue to strive to be someone I'm not? Or maybe not so much that, but strive to a better version of me? Why does jealousy and perfectionism and images of "flawless" women on TV and in movies seem to seep heavily into my thoughts? Why do I strive to have my life put together and plans figured out? Why do I have these visions of my Junior year in my head--some that even cause me to stress--when God will take care of it all if I surrender control to Him?

The lyrics "Why are you looking for love? Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough?" hit me the hardest. Such good questions, loosely paraphrased and extracted from verses in the Bible, though one of the primary messages that is found in the Bible:

He is enough. God is enough. "I am enough."

Why do I search? Why do I daydream so frequently about earthly posessions and build up a stupid romances in my head and dwell on these THINGS that don't ever completely satisfy??

What I want to remind myself and remind you is...we need to be in God's word. We need to be in prayer. We need to search and seek and try to grasp ahold of His awesome majesty. Why do we search for earthly things, even earthly friendships and relationships, to fill us up when they will never satisfy the deeper longings of our heart? And we are fools if we think they are all we need in this life.

I feel like once again my post is rather devoid of profoundness and originality because a "message" such as this is most likely preached by thousands of pastors across the world every Sunday....but I hope maybe the "Julie" in this post made it worthwhile to read....and at the very least I got something out of it by writing it ; )

Happy early early early Tuesday morning. Yikes. I must go to bed now.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What is My Purpose?

You're probably thinking: "Dang, you're going to be contemplating your life purpose for your first post? This woman just dives right in."

Haha. Or maybe you're not thinking that. Regardless, this is not a post questioning my purpose in life, but rather questioning my purpose in creating this blog.

I have just spent far too much time today reading friends' blogs and found myself thoroughly refreshed by my peers' thoughts, stories, feelings, questions, and quotes from literature. I felt I got a better glimpse of who they really are and felt this kind of interconnectivity to the Taylor community as I found myself saying "so true," and "yep, I've totally felt that way," and "wow, that's really been on my mind and on my heart as well." I think sometimes I focus too much on differences between people and I judge and scrutinize and try to pick them apart from occasional meetings, conversations, sightings on campus...I forget the longings of our hearts are pretty darn similar. Our stories are not too different. We've all been hurt, abused, and mistreated. We're all just trying to figure out this crazy, messed up life and we're trying to see into our future through blinded eyes.

So I suppose the purpose of this blog is to join in on sharing my own ponderings and happenings and passions. It's partly for me and partly for you. Writing has this ability to free me, as I tend to have trouble verbalizing what all is on my mind and in my heart, or just choose not to.

So there you have it. An introduction not all that profound to a series of blog posts that probably will be equally unprofound, but hopefully at least fun and interesting and easily relatable.

Noteworthy things:

1. I will be 20 a week from today
2. I got a new phone yesterday
3. I get my top wisdom teeth out tomorrow
4. I'm pretty proud of my blog title...I came up with that after sitting on my couch for like 15 minutes, brainstorming various titles in my head like it was the most important thing in the world. I think that title really fits though...I am daily cleansed by God's grace but I am not living gracefully. I so often stumble and fall and am blinded and careless...praise God for his faithfulness.