Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I'm here again, in Grandma's sewing room, the golden sun sinking through the blue, and I'm listening to Mandisa, "You Wouldn't Cry." She talks about Heaven, and being "Home" sounds so good. Not talking about my physical home per se, but my Home. That place where I no longer try to wrestle down the past, where I'm not filled with bullet holes of failure or maybe just the regrets and the feeling of not being good enough, where I'm with Jesus . . . where all of the yuck, all of the disgusting, all of the crude and cornered pours out, where I recognize the full extent of His Love and the strength in His arms. But for today, I'm stuck within this restless twilight . . . the darkness is behind and this murky morning is rising from the east. I don't know what to do. But maybe, just maybe . . .

. . . it's now. Now that I listen to my own words spoken on graduation day, the being still, letting go, sinking deep, relaxing, quieting myself. And knowing that HE, that You, Jehovah, that YOU, Protector, Provider, Best Friend, Father, Life-Giver, Deep Healer, Shepherd, Judge, Creator, Star Maker, that You, YOU are God. You are in charge. You know. YOU KNOW! [hallelujah] And maybe You can heal the deep stains in me. If You healed the woman with the flow of blood, could You heal me from the flow of myself? The flow of apathy, self-worship, self-hatred. I KNOW You can. Please . . . where are You that I may touch the threads of Your garment?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Substitute for the Negative: Thanks

I'm typing this post in a place in which I've never blogged before . . . my grandma's sewing room. :) The room is lavender purple, and I'm filling it with one of my favorite songs right now, "Empty Me" by Jeremy Camp. (It's worth a jog to youtube to listen to it here) The sun is spilling out over this other state that is not mine, and the wind ripples through corn stalks and Grandpa's trees, Grandma's flowers. The humidity isn't even yet strong. And it's time for the giving thanks. You know, I told my sister to help keep me accountable . . . no complaining. Ah, I want to be cured of that disease. :) I think part of that is done with the substitute of gratitude. So, let me aim for honesty as I say thanks:

616. For the peaceful music (now Fernando Ortega) playing from youtube.

617. The good weather here in Iowa today

619. That fellow travelers and I made our connecting flight . . . with only 2 minutes to spare. God is good, no?

620. That I got a raise in scholarship! Praise the Lord!!!

621. Meeting Lisa, my college admissions counsellor, in a little Bakery/Eatery near my home, chatting, her answering questions, surprising me with the scholarship news.

622. Grandpa and Grandma Z.'s laugh

623. Grandma's oatmeal, apple cake ;)

624. Grandpa's sense of humor

625. That two of Mom's cousins met us at the airport here . . . nice surprise.

626. Staying with my cousin before the airport, chatting with her.

627. Jesus seeming to tap my heart . . . it's time to be courageous, danae.

628. It's just the beginning . . . we can go together, maybe make a difference, Jesus?

629. Dad packing lunches, tucking love notes inside.

630. Seeing that morning star, the sun rising early early.

and one last desire . . . to be with You, Jesus, to follow Your footsteps, to be fresh air and new songs wherever I go. Starting now. amen

Monday, June 21, 2010

Second Week of Summer Thank You's

Summer . . . I am so grateful for it! It is a wonderful thing to step away from the school books and some of that chaos and do other types of work and plenty of types of relaxation. A good thing.

Jesus? Thank you . . .

601. For the sunshine today! Glorious . . . and it's the first official day of summer, huh?

602. For the buckets of berries . . . strawberries & raspberries. Picked today, a good picking day.

603. Seeing that little skunk family . . . and that they weren't too close to our house.

604. Vacation Bible School! The opportunity to lead kids in music and motions and throughout.

605. The answer to prayer that two little kiddos could go with us.

606. Kiddo number one's laugh and his cousin's giggle.

607. Finishing the book Treasure in Earthen Jars by Faye Hooley Byers Taylor. It's a book written about Faye's mission work in Mexico. My youth group stayed at the camp that Faye started while doing our mission work in Mexico and also worked at her daughters' church there.

608. Two new books from the library. An Annie Dillard one (I'm trying it . . . love her descriptive writing. What talent) and a bio on Harriet Beacher Stowe (someone whom I admire SO MUCH for her ingenuity and heart in writing Uncle Tom's Cabin. BRILLIANT!

609. Meeting friend in town and chatting and seeing other classmates unexpectedly! Fun!

610. The little goose calling me "Mar" . . . short for "Mary." ;) Even after 6 months, the little stinker. I love that 3 year old girl!

611. The money and card and gift blessings that keep blowing in. People's heart and kind generosity.

612. Laughing with aunts and uncles around a Father's Day dinner.

613. The delicious food for that dinner!

614. Seeing that beautiful bird of black with parts of red.

615. Watching Pastor play the part of Joseph in VBS. Good times.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

danae + summer = more blog time?

Today is Wednesday, my first Wednesday of summer vacation. What a sweet thing! :) Though I don't feel like I'll be able to write a long post today, I'm excited to hopefully get the chance to write more here during these summer months.

I am so excited for summer, for more memories and adventures. This week has been filled with VBS. Sadly, yesterday had to be canceled due to a power outage. I was pretty bummed yesterday. I so enjoy helping with Bible School. This year, a group from the youth (including me) are leading music. It's fun to lead the kids in crazy motions. :) Isn't this what Bible school is made of? Well, you know . . . :) I also get to help lead a group of crazy munchkins. :) Very fun. Honestly, I wonder if helping with VBS is maybe even more fun than being a VBS participant, but hey. What do I know, and that was a few years ago that I was in the kids' shoes. :)I just hope the kiddos are having a good time in Egypt.

The theme this year is Egypt. On Monday, our lesson was based on hope. When Joseph was in the Egyptian jail, it didn't seem like he had much hope at all, but because He relied on the Lord . . . there was hope. God's plans for him were good. God's plans for us are good as well if we're willing to follow Him. Anyway, I better go . . . I think I'll actually take a nap. I'm exhausted. I took mom to work today, came back home and actually jogged & walked [YES!], and then I went back to the school that my mom takes her patient to --- Mom's an RN that watches over this little special needs guy. It was so fun to be with those kiddos with special needs. They're all so beautiful, so needy for love. I've talked about them more in past blog posts. Maybe I'll tell more sometime.

Anyway, hopefully this is the beginning to more consistency in my blogging. [Though hopefully this isn't a sample of my blogging . . . this is a pretty lame post! ;)] I hope all you readers out there have a lovely day. :) Look for Jesus in your day! I bet you'll find Him . . . ;)

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Two Week Strand of Thanks

Last Monday, my class and I were enjoying our last big adventure as a class on our senior trip, and thankfully, I really had no access to a computer (a very good thing). :) But I have a lot of things to be thankful for from two weeks ago to now, and I probably couldn't even name all of them, but here are a few. :)

566. The finishing of school finals

567. Senior's Countdown, us all packed in that little office, yelling those numbers. 10. 9. 8. 7. . . . 3. 2. and 1. And we were off. There were a few tears by some . . .

568. The arrival at Drift Creek Camp. Senior Trip time.

569. Playing old camp games in the chapel together as a class.

570. The beautiful sunshine at the camp and coast . . . what an answer to prayer, a gift.

571. The strong waves of a surging ocean on a sunny day.

572. Him coming and talking with me at the coastline.

573. Friend checking up on me, just talking, taking me home.

574. Her telling me I've been different, letting me cry and talk things out. Crying with me.

575. Hearing classmates' testimonies.

576. Being able to run and cry and speak some of the anger out in the woods, and Jesus, You being there to chase after me and remind me of Love.

577. The warm fire when I was drenched.

578. Playing catch with one of my teachers and friends.

579. S'mores on the beach

580. Getting sun-burnt while taking a nap on a playground by a lake.

581. Riding out on a canoe with a beautiful friend. We didn't even get tipped over! ;)

582. Bulwinkles. Playing laser tag with friends. :)

583. Drenching classmates during bumper boats. And, . . . well, being drenched. :)

584. Friend sitting on the bus with me, talking on the way home, encouraging me.

585. Breakfast at Shari's with classmates, and the waitress giving me and J a free half of a cinnamon roll because we were the only ones not eating! What a special, sweet gift!

586. JP asking me to walk with him for graduation.

587. Finishing speech for grad and poster. Grace. <3

588. Mom taking me to get my hair done with her for grad . . . so fun to have curls. :)

589. Graduation ceremony . . . celebrating with classmates.

590. Handing out a rose to my mom, and saying thanks to the rest of my family, breaking down. I love my family so much.

591. The peace during my speech.

592. Teacher's personal verse for me.

593. The way he blessed me beyond measure, telling me why he appreciates me. I'm gonna miss him and so many others.

594. Graduation party with family afterward. Good times.

595. Graduation party with church friends and other special people and all those that showed up, and those special people that couldn't but sent the cards.

596. Teacher's unexpected check and special letter. His words meant a lot.

597. Her gift of soap and funny card, made me laugh. :)

598. All the money and sweet gifts that poured in and the sweet, encouraging words and cards.

599. A Costco cake . . . my first costco cake. :) Kinda fun. :)

600. That summer vacation has officially started. SUMMER IS HERE!!!!! :)

You've swamped me with gifts, Father! I don't deserve them. Remind me of that. Teach me self-forgetfulness and sincerity. I've got a lot of growing to do yet . . .