Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I refuse.

My heart is about to explode. 

 I see it everywhere. I cannot turn to the left or right without it in my face. Every time I check out at a grocery store. Every T.V. Show from the 80s on. Every picture of every singer or actor. Every movie. Every advertisement. Even every fiction book that's written today. An obsession with weight and the "American Dream". It is so subtle and so infiltrated into everything we see and do that we don't even realize we're completely living in bondage to it. Go ahead and call me extreme right now. But keep reading, because I'm about to prove it......

I've gained weight lately. It's no secret. I may as well say it. It's not as if you won't notice by looking at me. Why is it that somewhere deep down, I feel ashamed of this? Why do I sub-consciously try to hide it?.......

A lot of people are asking me about my trip to Africa. If I'm going long-term. And if not, what my plans are. I realized the other day that when I respond, it's with very well-worded and cleverly thought-out "Christianese" answers. What I know will sound good and mature and impressive. Heaven forbid I should be anything but totally put together. 

Do you see it? Do you see the bondage here? I'm using myself as an example to prove that most of us are caught in it whether we think so or not. We are living as every other Amercian is. You may wonder, what's wrong with that? Why am I always speaking against living as a typical American? Why is this so horrible?

Look around you. How is Amercia doing?Are her citizens thriving? Filled with joy? Flourishing? Healthy? Victorious? Or are they busy? worried? striving? Running? Often getting sick? stressed out? being controlled by fear: Fear of failing? Not being good enough? Not being successful enough? Not having a title like everyone else? Not HAVING as everyone else does? Not looking the same? Are their lives filled with empty striving?.....

Just seeing how everyone else is living makes me not want it. We are miserable, hopeless, often ill, hating ourselves, obsessed with our sizes, and living in endless cycles of striving. This is absolutely anything but the way things are intended to be. This is NOT the way God intends His heirs to live. 

I refuse. I refuse to be like the 65 year old woman with flat-ironed hair and blush and lipstick in abundance just to be on that treadmill next to me every day. I refuse to count every single calorie that I put into my mouth anymore. And I apologize for the endless posts while obsessing over "fitness", which was actually living and breathing "skinny" and nothing short of bondage. 

I refuse to create some grandiose plan to sound great or put together when people ask me what the next step is for my life is. I'm done pretending. I'm done trying to appease those in my life who seem to think I need to have a plan. I'm done bending my back to our society who says I'm crazy for not having everything layed out. 

God's word says we are to love Him & know Him more. That's it. Period. I think there's reasons it simply commands this and nothing more:

1.) The more you know who He is and His heart, the more freed up you become of anxiety, worry, stress, comparison and self-rejection. Which, BTW, could arguably be the very deep and underlying cause of almost any known health issue. Yes. I went there. Yes. Knowing who God is more may result in better health. Let that sink in a bit......

2.)If we stop trying to figure out what to do, or what's RIGHT for us to do, and spend that time studying Jesus and Kingdom, we will invariably end up knowing what to do because we'll know where His heart is and Where He's up to things. It's all in The Word. Alive and active, folks. Alive and active. 

Hi. I'm Elisabeth. I'm going to be 31 this week. I have absolutely no idea where I'm going or what I'm doing with my life. I don't own a house. My car runs on grace. I make enough $ to survive. Period. And I am ridiculously in love with Jesus Christ. Period. I want others to get how free they can be. That's my passion. That's what I love. I'm not ashamed of where I am anymore. I'm radically loved by the King of Kings. The living one who hand-knit me together. Nothing else matters. Nothing else goes with me when I die. Jesus. Just Jesus. The end. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The effects of a summer spent in Africa, Little House, Mark Twain, and Downton Abbey.

I ache for some of the older things:

-Good, meaty conversation. 
-Learning a friend over lunches or teas rather than through Facebook, Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat. 
-That flip of excitement in your stomach when you open the mailbox and quickly recognize the handwriting on the return address, the envelope filled with carefully thought-through words intended just for you and your heart to read. 
-Spontaneous and adventurous roadtrips that are made up as they go. 
-And there's nothing I long for more than being in the theatre again. 

I want to purposefully get back to this. I want to rebel against the concrete jungle and busily packed days of California in 2013.  I am not any GOOD at rebeling against it. But I want to. And I hope there's at least one kindred spirit out there who would join me. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I have been told so often lately that I need to grow up & figure out my life career-wise. The response I keep getting to that from The Lord is "WAIT"! So I looked it up in Websters: 

to remain stationary in readiness or expectation
2:to look forward expectantly
3:to hold back expectantly 
4: to be ready and available
5 : to remain temporarily neglected or unrealized

Also, I did some research into the Hebrew word often used for "wait" in the Old Testament. The term means "to bind up". Back then, they often made thick rope by binding or weaving a lot of string together. The more time spent binding it, the stronger and thicker the rope when it was finally used. Get it?!?! 

Seems to me waiting may be one of the best and most aggressive things we could possibly do. He's got things under control. That's not our job. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

In the quiet.

It's in those annoying moments when you wake up much too early and you just can't go back to sleep. Or when you are laying in bad late at night seemingly unable to finally drift off to Neverland. It's that one stitch that acts up and the pain wakes you. 

In the quietness and very still moments between very late and too early, there is something special. Something different. Nobody awake to text or snapchat. Nobody tweeting anything new to read. Nobody around to talk with.  Except the one who probably woke you up. He is jealous for you. He wants you to seek Him, pursue Him. He waits patiently and hopefully for you to desire His presence. He wants to completely take your breath away and sweep you off of your feet. But He doesn't force Himself upon you. A true gentleman, He watches. He enjoys being stunned by your beauty and standing right here, at the ready to intimately sweep you off your feet and into something better than a fairy tale. All you have to do is let Him. Invite Him. Believe Him. Go ahead. Dive in. Everything is about to change. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I am an African

My friend Lisa sent this poem my way a while ago and I believe it's more appropriate now than ever before.....

I am an African
Not because I was born there
But because my heart beats with Africa’s
I am an African
Not because my skin is black
But because my mind is engaged by Africa
I am an African
Not because I live on its soil
But because my soul is at home in Africa
When Africa weeps for her children
My cheeks are stained with tears
When Africa honours her elders
My head is bowed in respect
When Africa mourns for her victims
My hands are joined in prayer
When Africa celebrates her triumphs
My feet are alive with dancing

I am an African
For her blue skies take my breath away
And my hope for the future is bright
I am an African
For her people greet me as family
And teach me the meaning of community
I am an African
For her wildness quenches my spirit
And brings me closer to the source of life

When the music of Africa beats in the wind, My blood pulses to its rhythm
And I become the essence of sound
When the colours of Africa dazzle in the sun, My senses drink in its rainbow
And I become the palette of nature
When the stories of Africa echo round the fire, My feet walk in its pathways
And I become the footprints of history
I am an African
Because she is the cradle of our birth
And nurtures an ancient wisdom
I am an African
Because she lives in the world’s shadow
And bursts with a radiant luminosity
I am an African
Because she is the land of tomorrow
And I recognise her gifts as sacred

Thursday, July 11, 2013


She was different. She was extremely beautiful. Not by worldly standards. But severely striking in a way that couldn't be denied. A way that required-commanded-you to notice it. Not that she ever realized it. But everybody around her did. They found themselves to have an unexplainable fascination and gravitation toward her. And the fact that she was so oblivious to it made her even more desirable to be around. She was boldly confident. Held herself with elegance as royalty who'd been trained would. That always made others wonder, Curious as to how she became this way and what her story was. There was a gleam in the corner of her eye that you almost didn't notice but sub-consciously took in. It told you that the confidence came from some kind intense journey of hard work to become the person she is. A story tucked away just at the edges. You just knew that someone doesn't become this way by accident of chance. 
The way that she held herself with mighty authority made you stand in awe. The power that she held. The way she approached Jesus when she spoke with Him. It rang strangely similar to a fully-armored and engaged soldier. Not idle, but as if in the midst of war. Speaking and checking in with fellow soldiers at regular intervals, all the while moving with ease and having a breezy and peaceful calmness. You just knew that whether she had shared it with you or not, she had helped the helpless. Gotten down into the ditch with the sinner. And laid hands on and seen the diseased healed. 
And somehow you knew that she was quietly changing the world. 

We can all be her. We SHOULD all be her. I'm done with excuses. I'm done with comparison. I refuse to continue watching and reading and looking at even the most normal material if it means being a "normal" woman, American, or Christian. If we put our foot down, dig in, and do the hard work, we CAN be this. We can overcome normalcy, complacency, our culture, boredom, insecurity, selfishness, and addiction. We CAN be stunning in a way that goes deeper than anything our society says. And we CAN change the world. We CAN. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

On the streets.

Today I was on the streets learning to connect with many boys who've run away. Former Agape boys. New boys. All kinds of boys. All on glue. All addicted. All literally living in dumpsters. All without any apparent future unless Christ is in the equation. Ah. But He is. And this is so basic. Yet when you are in the middle of watching Jesus do this in front of your eyes, it's mind-blowing. 

We literally ended up in the back-alleys of the slum. We walked right up to the spot where all the boys buy the glue they sniff.

And right before me I watched Jesus save two boys from the streets. Just like that. And it got me thinking.....

What stops US from living life in a pit? Any kind of pit? All the pits? Are we so special and have we done something to deserve a better life than living on a street  in the slums of a third-world country? Or addicted to drugs or alcohol? Severely mentally ill? Have we somehow come to DESERVE living in America? 

Absolutely not. Saved by Grace is all we are. Nothing more. And we need to stop acting like we're entitled. 

Today was an allegory for me. We all need to bend down, get into that slum and be willing to get dirty in the process of extending the hand grace to somebody else. And if we aren't actively doing this...... well, I worry. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

That hard-to-say stuff.

I had every intention of writing quite a bit while on this trip. But I'm discovering the very vibrant reality of not being able to actually put into words many of the experiences that are taking place. Sure. I could try to explain what things are like. And I'm sure I will at some point. (Mostly with pictures.) But it's impossible to "get" it without being here. Besides, more than anything else, I have one thing right now to say. And it may surprise you....

My resolve has only been deepened. The urgency with which I feel it quickened. A passion that burns out of control set dangerously ablaze. I will not lay off. Stop speaking about it. Or quiet down. I refuse to sensor my statuses and topics of conversation to avoid offending "friends".
And I stand cemented in my convictions. 

We need to completely quit living a friendly, convieniant, acceptable Christianity. Too long have we looked the same week in and week out. Too long have we lived a life so afraid of allowing the Holy Spirit rein that we end up becoming un-identifiable to the neighborhood except the 2 hours we are at church on a Sunday. Too long have we allowed complacency and easy choices to replace audaciously giving up all we have and walking with open hands and hearts into whatever He would
choose. Too long have we replaced healing others, powerfully stopping injustice, and teaching the flawless truth of Jesus Christ with 9-5, rush hours, break room gossip, and absolutely empty status updates. Too long have we lived as the rest of this world when we are supposed to live and kings and queens, walking every step of our lives filled with authority, beauty, and representation of an Ultimate King who is very much alive and active. Yet one we have the intimate honor of calling "Daddy". And too long have we been afraid of saying these things for fear of what our "circles" will think. 

It's time, church.
And it begins with me.