my bad. It was closer to 18,000. We "climbed down the mountain" today and if you were just in San Antonio, TX, you'd know what I'm talking about. I got in around 10pm, when the Hans got home, we congregated on my bed for some much needed girl talk where we recapped everything that happened this weekend, focusing mainly on the men. jk. or am I? Joking aside, we still feel chills when we think back to worshiping our God, with a stadium filled with believers. I couldn't hear my own voice in a stadium where the seating stretched into the sky but there was no doubt in my mind that our song stirred the angels to join in my deepest praise. It's hard to not cry when I think about how it'll feel to worship God one day in heaven. It's hard not to sob and laugh and dance and freak the heck out. One day I'll bow with every knee on earth and sky. One day we will all declare that Jesus is Lord and that God is love. I'm going to sob right now...
Before we left for the trip, our preacher told us to prepare for repeated themes in the classes and sermons. God speaks simultaneously and individually to each of us and I was determined to listen hard for my theme. It's breaking 3am and I have to be up in about 3 hours for work but my mind is going so fast I feel like if I allow it, I can levitate right back to TX. Feeling overwhelmed would be a gross understatement. And here is my repeated theme: I'm blessed.
I feel so grateful I can hardly stand it...
1. this city that never sleeps, taxi-cabs and coffee houses. millions of souls right at my finger tips. how very very exciting to dream big here for God. What would the city look like if every soul came home to the Father?
2. my tiny studio in the heart of the east village where you can find the best of the NYC restaurant scene all within a 7 block radius. My inner fat kid comes out every weekend (and week nights that I get home too exhausted to cook). What kind of flavors are at the feast in heaven at Jesus's table? I believe the mangos in heaven are depitted and cut up into perfect squares. They will burst with flavor and I will laugh and eat and laugh and eat and la...
3. two amazing women of God who share my home, my life, all the silly giggles into 4am, and my worst moments. They watch me sin. They catch me with unrighteous speech and jealous comments. They see me seethe with envy and pride and they love me so deeply that they ask me to apologize and to repent. Every Sunday night we have a potluck dinner (mostly I cook and the girls try to show up on time) and they'll be darned if they didn't try their very best to lead me closer to our Lord to instill in me the unfading beauty of a godly woman.
4. a father who selflessly sacrificed everything for his family. He is a man who loves his wife with un-wavered determination and children almost to a fault. After watching the movie "Taken," He told me that if I were ever abducted by human traffickers, he'd do everything Liam Neeson did and more to get me back and I believe him and I feel very scared for any guy, animal, and spirit who tries to mess with the three of us. He shows me a human display of the ferociously protective nature of our God. He is papa bear through and through and you'd be foolish to think that only mama bear kill to protect the cubs.
5. a mother who's gentle and quiet spirit will be one to imitate as long as I live and then some. She is a true partner and helper to daddy and a woman that loves deeply with her action. She's not flashy and was never one who made other women feel threatened but her undeniable sparkle attract men, women, and children alike like bees to the comb. Her husband is blessed and her three children praise her name every Mother's Day, Birthday, and the rest 363 days in between. She's not perfect but she is SO worth it. And when I read Proverbs 31, I know that's mom.
6. The twins. Ah the twins. I've prayed for siblings (or a puppy) as soon as I learned to pray and after years of perseverance found out mom was pregnant with two. 36 seconds later, I finished mourning my puppy and knew with gusto and fervor that God loves giving gifts. Those rugrats are my whole heart and when I met them I knew my heart would forever walk outside my own body. I love them so much it hurts.
7. Joy. Women can't be trusted. I didn't grow up well received by women. I desperately desired tea parties and hair braiding for sleepovers and gossip. I gave my heart again and again and learned that women aren't genuine but poisonous and deeply insecure. I learned that a man will never hurt me as deeply as a woman can and does because we know, just where to land that perfectly placed smirk, judgment, or lie. I grew shallow and manipulative and so protective of my heart. Instead I looked to men (the gender, not the species) for approval, self-worth, and love.
The first time I talked to Joy, I did so out of obedience. I had broken up with a boyfriend of 8 years when he told me he did not love God nor did he have any interest in making Jesus the Lord of his life. I had been advised to call Joy, whom I had never carried on a conversation past "how are you?" and confess everything. I paced around the hallway outside my door and word vomited for a good two hours. We've been best friends ever since.
God sends us angels. Other times, God sends us Joy....Han.
8. A God who loves so deeply that he wants to be involved in MY life. That Jesus hung on the cross and thought about my face, my life...that his desire to bring me home some 2,000 years later held him obedient. How quickly can one angel destroy at God's command? How loud the silence after legions of angels avenge Him if he beckoned? That he should forget all my transgressions and call me pure...that the King calls me a daughter...that he calls me royal...that he gives me life... that I'm home.
Thank you daddy....