Saturday, June 9, 2012

Extraordinary Love

If love is contingent on perfection, on having no fear, anxiety, or worry, on never doubting and never expressing such emotions, it is not strong enough to handle the tumultuous currents of life. If love cannot survive the obstacles in relationships, cannot strive against the scars and demons instilled by life’s traumas, then it has no hope to confront the harder trails inherent in a world of brokenness. If love has no sway against the temptations of pleasure, dissipation, and instant gratification, it has no chance of survival in a world of darkness triumphant.

If love is dependent upon the strength of the human will, it is a hopeless case. Humans will always give up, lose hope, change their minds. We are unreliable creatures at best. A love dependent on human emotion will be as changing and unstable as the sea, pushed here and back through the gravitational pull of sentiment. Such a love would be focused on our survival instincts, on getting out of the relationship only what we need, and offering only in return what we think we can spare or what we think the other person deserves.

It is with great relief, then, that we know what love is. Love comes from God, and is God. It is his divine intervention in our life, an ever-flowing fountain which pours into and out of us to those around us. We need never depend on ourselves for the endurance of such emotion because Love is stronger than emotion. It is action. It is a commitment to a way of life, rather than a commitment to a biological state of being induced by chemicals. And so we stand relieved of the burden of creating within ourselves a perfection which is contrary to our nature.  We are given perfection from the only perfect one, and only through Him are made perfect, and his love dwells within us.

True Love is contingent upon our connection with Him, our source and our strength. His Love is strong enough to confront the tumultuous currents of life, and say “Be Still.” His Love faces the obstacles in relationships, and the demons within the human psyche, and wades through all the pain to touch the core within, bringing light to the center. His Love sees the temptations of the broken world and stands firm, because it knows the greater good beyond. His Love cradles us in our weakness, bolsters us in our strength, shares with us in our sorrows, and celebrates with us in our triumphs. His Love connects us to one another and to himself, covering over the multitude of our wrongs. And so in this triangle--man, woman, and God--we are created once again in his image, a triumvirate of perfect Love. 

1st Corinthians 13:

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.

Thursday, January 12, 2012



It's funny how when you think you have things figured out, that's usually when something hits you and you're back at square one--not knowing anything. I had that moment last week. I was feeling good, better than I had in a very long time.

Then, a bunch of things hit me at once. Suddenly I wasn't sure if the path I'd chosen was right at all. What if, in my hurry to drag myself out of my pit, I had set myself to run in the completely wrong direction? Because how arrogant was it, really, that I had decided that I was this special person who was going to do something extraordinary? Who was I to think that the plan I had created for myself was what God wanted for me?

Luckily, during one of these attacks of self-doubt, this song came on the radio. 
"Cause He who is in me, is greater than I will ever be, and I will rise."

It was exactly what I needed to hear. Because I am not extraordinary for any of the things I have done, but I am as I am because of He who is in me. And it is He who placed these desired on my heart. I believe that my Dreams and Aspirations are in accordance with His plan for me. I also believe that he will correct me if I'm wrong and none too gently.

Eventually I began to see this spell for what it was: an attack. The same doubts and worries that preceded my fall into the pit were grasping my ankle, and trying to eradicate any progress I had made. 
So here is the song I have on repeat on any of those days where I can't seem to believe in myself. 

"I will Rise, out of these Ashes, Rise, From this trouble I have found and this rubble on the ground, I will Rise." 

Rise--Shawn McDonald

Friday, January 6, 2012

An Extraordinary Poem :)

This is one of my favorite poems by Maya Angelou.
I figured it fit with the theme, and just wanted to share. Enjoy!

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
Maya Angelou

Thursday, January 5, 2012

On Becoming Extraordinary

"People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things."   --Edmund Hillary.

I stumbled across this quote the other day, and it made me stop and think for a while. It seems a bit contrary with what I've decided to do this year.  But after thinking about it, I do see his point. The people I deem "extraordinary" are that way because of the things they did that defined who they were. 

With this in mind, I decided to think about the extraordinary things I want to do with my life.  Some of them are actually pretty average, if a little crazy, and others are borderline impossible. The list I've managed so far seems like it's just going to get longer every day. So here are some of my long term crazy goals. 

I want to:

  • Backpack through Europe
  • Try bungee jumping and sky diving
  • Jump out of a helicopter, onto a snow-capped mountain, and snowboard my way down. 
  • Own a loft apartment and live in it with just me and a Husky I will call JD
  • Live in NYC for a couple years and then move somewhere even crazier
  • Attend the Carnival in Venice, Italy
  • Paint/draw something truly remarkable
  • See the ball drop in Times Square and get kissed at midnight
  • Change someone's life for the better
  • Be as faithful, passionate, transparent, and effective as Beth Moore
  • Write something that Matters
  • Own a publishing company or become a CEO
  • Last, but not least, to hear the words "Good and Faithful servant, well done." 

I guess what it all boils down to is that I want to LIVE: with purpose, with a sense of adventure, with a desire for new experiences, and the will to accomplish them. Granted, most of this list may never get checked off. But I have to start somewhere. 

So here are some of the smaller things I'm starting this new year so I can be a more effective person. Baby steps, if you will :)

  • Apply to 5 publishing jobs every week until I get one
  • Work out 3-5 times a week so I can be more healthy, and so that I can board more effectively
  • Eat right
  • Read at least 1 nonfiction book every month to improve my mind
  • Study God's word in my personal time so that I can be transformed by the renewing of my mind
  • Become a better friend
  • Learn to live out The Four Agreements
  • Create my Life Plan
  • Do the things that bring me Joy: reading, writing, drawing, singing, etc.
The list I've created seems simple, but I have a feeling a few of the items on it are going to be harder than I anticipated. At the very least, it's enough to get me started. Extraordinary is something that takes some building up to. But I plan to. Even if it takes the rest of my life to do it. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Extraordinary: beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or established. exceptional. remarkable.

The start of a new year always provides the perfect excuse to begin new things, to start fresh, to try something new. But to be honest, resolutions and I don't get along. I normally call them New Years Inclinations because, to be honest, I never follow through.So I'm trying something different this year in the hope that this will be the year that it finally sticks.

Thanks to my sister, I found this awesome site called, where instead of listing resolutions, people are committing to one word. This word embodies a change or many changes each person wishes to achieve in this New Year in becoming the person they wish to be. Much more manageable, in my humble opinion.
Care to guess what my word is? You got it. Extraordinary. I have chosen this word in an effort to remind myself exactly who I am and who I am not.

I've spent the last four or so months living to the best of my ability an ordinary life. Quite frankly, the only thing it's done for me so far is sink me into a deep and lingering depression. In an effort to be ordinary, I have been chopping off, suppressing, and ignoring parts of who I am. The result? Not pretty.

This brings me back to where I always find myself--the unalterable and inevitable realization that I am not normal! The status-quo and I have never gotten along. I have a lot more in common with anti-conformity. Granted, I've taken anti-conformity to extreme lengths in the past. But this brings me to my next realization: Being myself is Enough.

The result of my "ordinary" experiment is not pretty because I really am beautiful the way I am. Granted, I am not everyone's cup of tea, and I get that. And that is A-okay. It's okay because the creator of the universe himself crafted me, to be me, exactly the way he designed me. The acceptance of a few people here and there, I can finally do without.

So this year i am embracing myself as I have imagined myself to be: Extraordinary.