Life

More Than The Song I Sing.

I need God.

I need even more of Him.

More and more….and even more.

It’s a scary but also a weight lifting reality to be unveiled from the illusion that I don’t need God. I NEED HIM. For His help. His comfort. His understanding. His mighty hand. His death and life through the son. His grace. His humility. His strength. His hope. His wisdom. His truth. His courage. His discernment. His patience. His fellowship. His joy. His wild ideas and his huge calls. His whole and complete love.

Do you see? All good things come from the Father.

Without Him, I can only have specters of such things.

This truth makes me want to burst. The passion, the compassion it creates. Oh friends, it is overwhelmingly sweet.

See, when I come to this place, when I get a glimpse of such complete unity with my Creator….. I just want everyone to know. I want everyone to have Him, to hold on to Him and to be held by Him.

I think about all the people I’ve passed by; all those souls I’ve written off, whether it be for my lack of faith or because of my overflow of selfishness.

I think about high school. All of the friends and spectators who were put in my path. Everyone who saw something in me, but never got to hear what that “thing” was all about.

I think about my best friends, their struggles, and my blatant apathy towards them.

I think about my family members who know nothing of grace but only of abandonment, rejection, bitterness and self-service. And my fear of them not wanting anything to do with me.

I think about my communities past, present and future. All of the broken pieces, the wandering and the dead bones.

Thankfully He is a God that cannot be tamed, and what He wants will surely come to pass. So perhaps all of the ones I’ve passed by have, are and will get to thirst after and taste reconciliation and restoration, and just a bit of His glory.

I know that some of those reading this are not about God or religion or Christianity. I’m o.k. with that. Please, don’t write me off. We are all apart of this big beautiful painting. Lets live this life together, whether you’re here in Lake City, Florida or you live clear across the globe.

Please, ask me any question. All the questions. Stir up the wells and the deep waters. Lets dance in the rivers and carry each other through the scorching desserts.

Go, and be encouraged this Monday morning. You are not alone.

Hallelujah.

A Whispy Wonderland of Tresses.

So I recently read a post on a blog called Letters To The Editor about natural hair care, thanks to my lovely friend Carrie. I had kind of always had a sneaking suspicion that the stuff we buy at the store was probably not the best stuff to be putting on our scalp, due to the fact that I simply cannot pronounce half the stuff on the ingredients list. I’ve also heard things, but nothing had really motivated me to ditch the suave and go for a more holistic route as far as my hair goes. Well, thanks to that post, all has changed. I didn’t realize that shampoo was basically a detergent that strips your hair of not only dirt, but all of it’s natural oils. It causes buildup which prevents the natural oils produced by the scalp from releasing, which is why we need conditioner. But because conditioner isn’t the real deal, it doesn’t hydrate and take care of your tresses the way your body’s natural process would. Now that doesn’t sound TOO BAD, but as I read on I found that there are other ingredients in store bought shampoo that can be harmful to us over a long period of time. The post is great, you should read it!

Anyways, I decided to use the recipe she provided to make some natural hair wash and rinse. Now friends, I am not about to just give you a little tutorial on something I haven’t tried. I’ve been using this recipe for the past week, and my hair not only feels clean, but it has gotten softer and has stayed clean longer! I’ve used the wash every other day, and the rinse only once.  As soon as I share the ingredients, you’ll probably think I’m crazy. But fret not! The hair wash smells good if essential oils are added to it and the smell of the rinse is immediately gone after rinsing!

First, go and read the article and then get these items out of your pantry:

Baking Soda

Apple Cider vinegar

Essential oils (not necessary, but will make your hair smell nice)

The recipe for the hair wash calls for 1 tbsp of baking soda per 1 cup of water. She does mention that everyone’s hair is different, so it might take some trial and error to find the perfect combo for you. But this mixture worked for me just fine! The rinse calls for 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar per 1 cup of water. Again, once it is rinsed out, there won’t be any smell. If there is a lingering odor, then you have used too much vinegar. This mixture also did great for me. Here’s what the process looked like:

I took an empty sparkling water bottle and got all the sticky off of it.

Broke out some of Martha Stewart’s craft paint (best craft paint I’ve ever used) and labeled my bottles.

I put 4 cups of water for the hair wash and 4 tbsp of baking soda. For the rinse, I only used 3 cups (since you don’t have to use the rinse every time you wash) and did 3 1/2 tbsp of vinegar.

I added a small amount of Lavender and Eucalyptus essential oils to my wash to give my hair the best smell (and the lavender also stimulates hair growth) It’s ok if you don’t want to add any oils.  Your hair won’t smell bad, it just won’t smell like anything.

And there ya go! Custom made, simple hair care products. Not only is it healthier, but man is it cheaper, especially if you have long hair.

Her post also includes recipes for other hair stuff like hairspray and hair gel!

 

Update: Here’s another really awesome, way more popular blog post about this from another woman seeking simplicity. She has been washing her hair with this for over 2 years now, and have a wealth of information! Also, after talking with a lot of people and hearing different takes on it, this method of hair care is not  meant for everyone. Don’t just settle for reading my experience, do some more research!

UPDATE AS OF JUNE 2015: I no longer use this as my main wash and conditioner, but as a treatment a few times a month. I have found that I like the combination of this as a treatment with quality shampoos and conditioners, particularly the ones that contain tea tree. I also do a warm coconut oil treatment once a month that makes my hair feel so smooth and strong.

Spilling Buttons.

A few nights ago while walking into my craft room, I knocked a jar full of buttons off of one of the tables accidentally. The lid wasn’t completely on and the buttons spilled everywhere. My immediate feeling was that of annoyance and a robotic-like desire to clean it up. But something stopped me, and I just looked at it. I must have looked at the buttons and the jar spread across the floor for 5 minutes. An illustration filled my mind. A picture being painted across my craft room floor that looked very similar to my soul’s current state.

Lately, my soul has just been knocked off it’s comfy hiding place and has been spilling out everywhere.

The more Daniel and I feel led to lead, and the more and more God pushes us to bigger things, great is the fear and anxiety that consumes me.

And I’m really starting to see that I cannot be a jar that tries to hold all kinds of buttons. I cannot have the holy spirit trying to fulfill its work inside of me but also have all of the past traumas, sins, memories and regrets. All of these buttons are eventually going to spill out and make a mess (as they have done).

God knocked me over a few weeks ago and it’s been some kind of awful ever since. The beauty of who I am is stifled because of what I choose to define myself by. I haven’t processed, accepted and let go of so many things. The fear and the anxiety are only symptoms of the deeper problem.

The night that God knocked me over I decided that I’ve had enough. I want to be able to watch a tv show with my husband without gasping for breath. I want to be able to let Titan in the backyard without this crazy need to lock the door. I want to be able to go up to a broken sojourner at church and make them feel welcome. I want to love my neighbor SO BAD. I don’t want to worship my family. I want to worship God and have an overflow of love for my family. I don’t want to worship safety. I want to trust in God so much that it compels me to abandon common sense sometimes.

These days have been yucky. The process of digging, exposing and pulling out of sin and buried memories is a violent affair. It looks terrible. It looks like screaming and ugly tears and cigarettes and migraines and exhaustion.

But each painful time it happens, I can breath just a little deeper. My vision becomes a little less cloudy, and the mission is more clear.

If you buy into the lie that in the moment of salvation comes complete sanctification, and are trying so hard to live like you are perfect, then please. STOP. This life that you have chosen to live, the God that you have chosen to follow, is HARD. It is messy. It is painful and often lonely. Suffering is inevitable but also a blessing, because it has an enormous purpose. The bigger the dreams you have, the more God is going to rip the nasty stuff out of you, so ACCEPT IT. It’s an incredible act of love that frees us up do to incredible things. To be big creators. To give, and to give and to keep giving. And ultimately to make room for only Him.

Be encouraged.