Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray..."

Well, it's day 4 of spring break, I've been in Nashville since Friday night. It's been fun, but a little bit weird... for the first time ever, Nashville really doesn't feel like home anymore. I think because last semester it was the first time I'd been back, so it still felt a little bit "homey." But this time it feels different. Like, there are certain people here that are like family to me, and I feel at home with them, but I really don't feel like I have a home here... which was to be expected, since I don't have a home here. This was bound to happen eventually, it's just weird and a little bit bittersweet. I'm really excited to go to Knoxville tomorrow and see my sister. It will be good to see real family... I haven't seen her since January. We're gonna have lots of fun!

The good thing is that for the first time I think I actually miss Jonesboro. Not that I don't love visiting Tennessee, it just gets a little bit old living out of my car. I've decided the ranger is my "home on wheels"... I feel like I need to write a funny song about it. I think it's good that I miss Jonesboro, because I think that might be a sign that I'm actually starting to love it there. And it also might be good that I'm not feeling at home here, because it's making me miss my family, and my "real" home, I suppose... which will make my summer a little bit easier. So, although it's a little bit sad that I'm slowly becoming detached from Nashville, I'm glad that I've found reasons to miss Jonesboro, and I'm glad that I might actually be content with Texas being "home" now. Maybe I have 3 homes now... and the ranger really is my home on wheels. I can be a wanderer... why stay in one place? I've got "family" everywhere!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"tough love"...?

Oh, what a week... it's been easier than I thought it would be. I've been kind of sad about my family being on vacation without me, but life has kept me busy and unable to dwell on it too much. Brittany is in town, which is a great distraction! =) Love her. And Leland comes tomorrow, so I've had something to look forward to.

I was reading my daily devotional today, and it got me thinking about some things... this is what it said:
"Rejoice in the one who understands you completely and loves you perfectly. As I fill you with My love, you become a reservoir of love, overflowing into the lives of other people."

So, let's break that down. Sentence number one: rejoice in the one who understands you completely and loves you perfectly. The phrase "understands you completely" is enough to write an entire book on. God knows everything about us... yet he still loves us PERFECTLY. Perfectly. There are no conditions, just this never ending love. It goes back to him being "omnipresent"... he's always there, always knowing. I mean, I think even if the people who love me the most, my family and closest friends, knew absolutely everything wrong that I've ever done, especially things that would hurt them, they wouldn't still love me unconditionally. Even if they tried, they're human and they wouldn't forget those things that I did to offend them. Yet I do things every day that aren't pleasing to God and he still loves me unconditionally. That's pretty incredible love. 

Then it says this: as I fill you with my love, you become a reservoir of love, overflowing into the lives of other people. That sentence hit me hard, and it made me ask myself, am I allowing God's love for me to overflow into my love for others? I don't know... I hope so.

Last night I was watching "Across the Universe" with my friend Kelsey. If you haven't seen it, it's a musical using only music by The Beatles... it's flippin awesome. You should watch it. And if you don't like the Beatles, you're a sinner. It's funny, because there's this underlying theme of unconditional love in the movie, and it's a very "secular" message of love. Like, just listen to some of the music, the lyrics are beautiful... Paul McCartney and John Lennon were poetic geniuses. They wrote about this undying, unconditional love in so many of their songs. They even went as far as saying that, "love is all you need." And this is what amazes me: the way the world loves is the way Christians should be loving. I firmly believe that we should love and reach out in a very "liberal" way, and a lot of Christians won't do that. We see the way people are living and we automatically shut them out. And then we wonder what's wrong with the world--maybe WE are what's wrong! Maybe Christians aren't doing what God told them was the greatest commandment--we aren't loving people. Not all of them, at least. We love the ones who we think are good enough for our love.

If we're gonna be honest, we're not even loving other Christians the way that we should. We judge, and we decide what we think people should be like, and we make ourselves bigger than we are, and we shrink God into something that we think He is, when really, we can't even come close to really knowing what He is. He gives us this simple commandment, and just tells us that He wants us to love Him, and love each other, and so many of us aren't doing that. And I really believe that we won't love other people the way that we should until we love Him the way that we should--with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. So my prayer for myself, and my prayer for Christians is that we would get that straight. That we would fall so deeply in love with Jesus that His love overflows into the lives of others. Because honestly, right now, the world is loving people the way that Christians should be loving them. And if Christians were loving that way, maybe the world wouldn't view us as such hypocrites. Just a thought...

Sounds of laughter shades of life 
are ringing through my open ears 
exciting and inviting me 
Limitless undying love which 
shines around me like a million suns 
It calls me on and on across the universe

-Across the Universe

Nothing you can make that can't be made. 
No one you can save that can't be saved. 
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time. 
It's easy. 
All you need is love.
-All You Need is Love

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A new chapter, I suppose...

A little tidbit from my daily devotional, "Jesus Calling":

"Knowing that your future is absolutely assured can free you to live abundantly today. I have prepared this day for you with the most tender concern and attention to detail. Instead of approaching the day as a blank page that you need to fill up, try living it in a responsive mode, being on the lookout for all that I am doing. This sounds easy, but it requires a deep level of trust, based on the knowledge that My way is perfect."

"The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in His way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand." -Psalm 37:23-24

...that's so encouraging. "Your future is absolutely assured." Why do we ever worry that it isn't? Here God is telling us, all you have to do is trust me. You don't even need to worry, let tomorrow worry about itself (Matthew 6:34). It's funny that it mentions in "Jesus Calling" that we often approach days as a blank page that we need to fill up. Today I went shopping for a new journal with my friend Erin, and I just got done writing on the first page that I can't wait to write down this next chapter of my life in it. But really, what I should have said was that I can't wait for Jesus to write this next chapter of my life... all I have to do is live it! Ultimately, He is the author. I think it's easy to forget that at times. So instead of being the deep-thinking writer who is constantly trying to fill each blank page of my life, I'm gonna try to start just being responsive to what God is doing in my life. He's probably a better writer than I am anyways... haha.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Case of the Mondays

I need to get a new attitude this morning... weights on Monday morning always gets me. I am NOT at all a morning person, and the time change didn't help me out at all. Last week I had so much to look forward to, so it helped make the days go by... now I'm suffering from post-Leland visit depression. And I'm starting to get a little bit sad that both of my sisters start their spring breaks this coming weekend, and my whole family gets to be together for a week. Meanwhile, Sara will be in Jonesboro, having "testing week" with the soccer team. Woohoo! I'm really missing my family lately... it's starting to wear on me that I haven' t seen any of them since January 1st. I need some sort of a pick-me-up to get me through the next two weeks until spring break.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Let's see, ways that I saw God today...

1. I woke up to a text message from Annie Thomas, an old Young Life leader in Nashville, just encouraging me with some scripture to focus on throughout the day. During the fall of my senior year when I was really struggling with some things, she would text me every day with a verse and some words of encouragement, and now every time she sends me an encouraging little text, it takes me back to that time in my life when she reached out to me when no one else did. The relationship I have with Annie is without a doubt one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me, and hearing from her this morning was such a great reminder of that.

2. I walked into the caf this morning after class, and ran into a teammate of mine who was on her way to go pack and leave for home for the weekend to spend some time with her family. Her mom was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks ago, so this will be her first visit since then. She walked up to me and said, "I need a Krimm hug right now." ...and just told me how she was kind of feeling emotional about going home. So I hugged her, told her I loved her, and to know that she was being thought of and prayed for while she was gone. And this is the one girl on the team that I directly compete with for playing time, who I could so easily keep at a distance and not want to have a relationship with, but this semester God has really done something special with our growing friendship. Our brief moment this morning was a great reminder of that, and it was a reminder that when I put my pride away and just love on people, God uses that in pretty awesome ways. I got a text message from her about 15 minutes later saying how much our friendship has meant to her, and thanking me for the hug.

...a few hours later, after I had run into another friend of mine (and naturally, given her a big "Krimm hug"), I got a text message from that friend saying thanks for the hug and that it made her day a little better. Which doesn't seem like a "wow" God moment at first, but I feel like the fact that two people within just a few hours of each other told me how much just a hug changed their day, was God trying to tell me something. It's a simple act of love that goes a long way... and if just a hug from an insignificant person can change the course of someone's day so much, that says something about the magnitude of God's love and the changes that it makes in our lives.

3. After Dark tonight was just one big God moment. Obviously a free Matt Wertz concert is a gift... haha. But Joe White's message was really awesome. And to see hundreds of people line up and go nail their "issues" up on a cross on stage was pretty incredible. It was just all-around awesome, it's really cool that they're changing that many lives on college campuses. Made me miss Young Life camp a lot... and it really made me miss my Dad! Anyway, God was most definitely there tonight, and it was pretty fabulous.

...so those are kind of my "big 3" I guess. It was definitely a challenge to try to be constantly conscious of God's presence in my day. There were times when I was definitely feeling like he was in hiding somewhere. But, we're not supposed to have perfect days. If we were, we'd all be living in heaven. Every day is full of imperfections, but God showed me his love in so many different ways today. He showed me how much he loves me through Annie. He showed me how much he loves that I love other people through Megan and Kristen. And he showed me how much he loves all of us, no matter what our story is, at After Dark tonight. Those are 3 aspects of "God-presence" that I'd love to be reminded of every day. His love is pretty awesome...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Different Look at Romans 12...

My older sister always says that Romans 12 is her favorite chapter in the whole Bible. She says she could read it over and over. I was reading it tonight, and the version in The Message really got me thinking.  I love the way just the first few verses are worded...

"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."

I mean, how much of my every day life--my sleeping, eating, going to class, going to workouts, etc.--do I spend actually being intentionally conscious that all of it is a gift from God, and I should give every bit of it back to Him? So my challenge for myself is to spend one day, just one, trying to be constantly conscious of His presence. And after that one day (I'm doing this tomorrow, by the way), I'd like to look back on the "God moments," and be able to reflect and just spend some time being reminded of His constant presence. I think it's so easy to go about our daily lives and forget that He's ALWAYS there. He's not just with me when I have my morning quiet time, or say my bed time prayers. He's there when I'm sitting in class hardly paying attention, and when I'm dropping f-bombs at practice when I get frustrated. It's actually a little bit intimidating when you really think about him being "omnipresent." But at the same time, it's awesome!

So tomorrow I'm going to do my best to be conscious of God's presence the entire day... starting at treatment in the morning, through class, soccer, and whatever the rest of the day brings. Tomorrow night I'm going to list my "God sightings" from the day... and we'll see what happens! If you're reading this, I want to challenge you to try to do the same. And like it's written above in Romans 12, "Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out."

To be continued tomorrow, I guess...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

All you need is love...

So this blogging thing is kind of new to me... I journal a lot, but this is very public! Although I guess it's only really public if people are actually reading it, so I won't flatter myself by making that assumption just yet...

It never ceases to amaze me how God can take a situation and completely turn it around in my favor. Like, I think he sits up there and laughs at me a lot. Cause here I am, thinking I've got things figured out, and he does something to show me that I was totally wrong, and I just have to go, "Well, I'm an idiot. Thanks God, I get it now." For the last few months I've just been struggling with being so far from home, and feeling like my life is this broken record of meaninglessness. (is that a word? oh well.) Like, I just go to class, and go to soccer, and go to church on Wednesday and Sunday, and that's it. I'm not really growing in any area in particular, and I feel like I give little pieces of myself to each area but never my whole heart in anything. 

So my first thought was, "OK, maybe I'm not supposed to be here. Maybe I shouldn't be here, just playing soccer, and not feeling super spiritually fed, and living this empty, boring, not really Godless, but not really God-full life." So I start looking into transferring, either to Tennessee or Texas, and as I started to apply, I found myself in this bizarre situation. My family moved from Tennessee to Texas in August, so according to the "admissions definition" of residency, I actually don't belong in either place. Like, I am not considered a resident of either state right now. I am officially homeless. It's kind of funny, but at the same time, I was like, "Wow... I don't have a home." So I just was like, God, if this is where you really want me, I need you to show me why... because I'm drained, and I'm exhausted, and I'm not understanding why you want me to feel this way. It's like that song... "If you feel lost and tired, this is your song..." that was me.

So over the last few weeks, God has just been showing me that He's really got me here for a reason, and it's bigger than soccer, or school, or anything that I could imagine. I spent this last weekend on a retreat and got to really get to know some of the people I've been meeting and starting to hang out with at church this semester. And I really believe that God brought me there this weekend to say, "Sara, stop searching for a home. I have one for you here. Here's your family, just stay here, and love these people, and be loved by these people, because this is why I've brought you to Jonesboro." And I can't even put into words the amount of peace that He's given me after this weekend. And it isn't going to be easy... I'll always be busy, tired, and drained... but everything that's worth it comes with a sacrifice, and I think if Jesus can die on a cross for me, I can deal with some adversity and be in this place that He has so clearly picked out for me. And if I just give my whole heart to Him, then that's all that matters... school, soccer, relationships, etc... He will work those things out. I don't have to feel torn, and pulled in a million different directions all the time, if He's the one that ultimately holds my heart. What a comforting concept!

I'm so thankful for the love that God has surrounded me with here. I can't think of a single person in my life here that I haven't absolutely fallen in love with, and I know that that's God at work in my life. I read a verse today that puts it into such perfect words... I like the way it was worded in The Message. It says:

"This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples--when they see the love you have for each other." -John 13:35

God puts us into certain places and certain situations for a reason, and He gives us people to build relationships with, and love each other like He intended for us to love each other. And if we're not taking advantage of that, we're wasting the greatest gift he's given us.

Thank you Jesus, for the love you've given me here, through the people you've brought into my life...