Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Great Sin

I had a friend tell me that he immediately thought of me when he saw this clip. He thought I should go watch it.

I watch the video...I score pretty high on the pride test. As much as my spirit flinched when I was told this test brought me to mind, I knew I would fail any test on pride.
I don't want it to be an issue, but I know this is a huge struggle for me. 
CS Lewis has some great words about The Great Sin

So many aspects of my personality and mannerisms are competitive, full of debate, and intense. I know that I'm prideful. I get mad at myself when I start getting super competitive, then friends/family can tell I'm worked up and assume I'm even more into winning than normal (that's a big amount). It's a slippery slope. 

My biggest fear: embarrassment
Games I hate: charades, acting/singing in front of others unless it's worship music
My safety net: jokes or making fun of myself so no one else can first
At the core, my fears and my quirks are rooted in not wanting to look dumb. I want to appear put together. I don't want to feel stupid. If I truly believed and lived in the belief that Christ was all, the opinion of those around me wouldn't hold such merit in my everyday life.

As I study the humility of Christ, I see how far from that I am. I see that my pride is ugly. The core of me is utter depravity. I need Jesus more than ever. Oh that I would set my pride aside, humble myself, and ask God to do a mighty change in me. That I would recognize that my pride shames the Gospel. That the glory of God and wishing to honor Him with everything would be my motivation to surrender my great sin to the Lord. 
To be bold FOR JESUS. 
To seek attention FOR THE CROSS OF CHRIST.

Call me out. Help me wage war against myself.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thanks Self

I was watching "The Time Traveler's Wife" on TV the other night. If you haven't seen the movie, the premise is that a man travels through time. It's the story of how his time travel impacts his family etc.  Sometimes he travels forwards or backwards, meeting himself and other people in his life at different stages of past or future. One thing that stuck out in the movie is the way the protagonist teaches himself lessons and gives himself advice to get through whatever he knows is ahead. 

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to meet myself in 10 years. What would I tell me? Or to go back to middle school. What words would I give myself if I had 3 minutes to lay it all out there? 

I've been blogging and/or journaling for a long time. I started wayyy back in the day when xanga webjournals were all the rage (well, not really-but they were for me! Want to meet high school Anna? Other than that, pen and paper prayer journaling has been an on again off again trend since early college. I'm not a daily "dear diary" girl, by any means. I write down prayers/lyrics. I take sermon notes. I just try to keep it all in one place so I can know where to look back if I wrote something down. I decided to pull out my journals last night and read through some of the old entries. It's like time traveling, only through letters and prayers. Suddenly my 19 year old self is speaking gently to my heart. My desperate cries of surrender and wrestling with my idol of self sound so familiar. 

As I read the words that poured from the depths of my deepest pain and height of my soaring victories, I found myself amazed. How easily I forget that this isn't the first time God has taught me these lessons. He gently reminds me through myself that my independence is a precious gift, but can be an idol as well. That learning to surrender is a battle that I need to wage daily. That I am precious.

Thanks self.
I needed your wisdom today. I needed to pray with you. I needed to hear your authentic cries for help. I needed to learn your humility. I needed to rest quietly in God's presence with you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


My birthday came and went. It was hard this year -- not because of turning 25, but simply because it seemed unimportant. It was just another day of class, another day at home, another day with friends. There were amazing facebook wishes and high fives from a few random people in class that heard it was my birthday--but nothing that seemed special

I think the blah of this year was partly because last year was so epic. Surrounded by friends in Austin - old missional community, new missional community, best friend flew in from Minnesota, work friends, roommate, choir friends - they brought wine and cooking gifts. Not because I told them to (well, I did tell them to bring wine), but because they KNEW me and my quirks. We ate and drank and mingled. It was easy. Flowers at work, dinner at my favorite winery with my besties. I miss that life. 
Steph flew in.

Flowers at work last year   

Party last year

Work friends

Through the dull pain of change, the Lord is teaching me to wait. To rest on him. To see His GLORY and BEAUTY in the hope of spring. The gentle and sometimes violent rains that usher in the flowers. The deep, dark soil churned up by farmers ready for seed to be planted in. Then we WAIT. Eager anticipation of harvest.
James 5:7-11 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
Learning to rest and hope and trust is a process. Clinging to the promise that the Lord is compassionate and merciful. Dancing in the rain. Taking joy in this season.

I'm so glad to have friends here in Ames that can love me through that process. Friends here to talk through Scripture with. To laugh at jokes with. To sing at concerts with. To banter during Catan with. To delight in the waiting with me. So thank you - to the Texas friends that I miss so dearly and to the Ames friends that I'm enjoying the NOW with.
Connection Group guys at the Matt Wertz show

The Annas and Vanessa at the show

Gungor Show with Danielle