circumcision of the heart.

tonight was V&C (my church’s vision and commitment class) and the teaching was on Water Baptism.

so amazing.

 

now let me explain… i’ve been going to church since i was born, and i was infant baptized in a lutheran church when
i was itty bitty and then we switched to a baptist church where i was raised and at the age of 9 years old i was baptized
again, because i wanted to be and i knew i was born again… but from then until one year ago, my life did not reflect that
and i’ve questioned if i was even born again to begin with… but that’s a discussion for another time. if you ask me when
i truly got born again i will say one year ago when i got filled with the Holy Spirit. that is when i believe my life TRULY
and RADICALLY changed.  i can actually say i know God now, i don’t just know about Him.

soooo Tim was teaching tonight on water baptism and if you go to:
http://teaching.onechurchministries.com/?page_id=76

you can listen and view what i’m talking about!
well, Tim got to the part about circumcision of the heart and being a new creation in Christ
and i just KNEW that i had to do it. let everything from the past die in that water with my old self
and rise completely new.

i’m getting water baptized on Sunday. 

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the caterpillar and the butterfly.

we all know the familiar story. it’s a simple one, we see it every year.
bitty little caterpillars show up suddenly one day and then a week later you see them again and they’ve tripled in size.
it’s nothing too crazy to pay much mind to, it’s just a simple worm right?
wrong.
it’s a caterpillar.
a caterpillar is a worm with a purpose.
it births, it eats, it grows, it moves and it grows some more.
it knows more life in the short time it lives it’s wormy existence than most insects do.

i mean, i think it would be pretty great to live as a caterpillar.
feeding on whatever you desire (of course ultimately knowing which foods are to eat and which are to avoid)
living itself would be pretty care-free: climbing on things, eating, soaking up the sun and eating some more…
however there is the real danger that a bird could snip you in half at any moment.
but… i don’t think caterpillars live thinking like that.
they’re designed to have one goal in mind.

the cocoon.

all of their lives, this is what they hope to aspire to, this is what their purpose of living is FOR…to surround themselves with this cocoon material and lose all shape, become completely unrecognizable.  i know i’ve seen broken cocoons before (a. because i was a curious child and b. because i had brothers growing up) and to be honest, my first goal in opening the cocoon that i did destroy was simple out of eagerness to see the caterpillar again…except i knew what was coming for it and i wanted to see it changing.  unfortunately, for the said critter… the cocoon exists for protection for a reason.  once in the cocoon, as caterpillars go through the change, they lose shape completely and look like goo.  at first my dismay was only shown by the disgust on my face. “GROSS.” i announced to my younger sister. “i think it died.”

that’s just it.
the caterpillar DID die.
but it was still very much alive.
it was just changing form, growing into something different.
something better.
something that was designed to be greater for that caterpillar all along.
he just had no idea what it would look like.

“And just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it turned into a butterfly.”

that’s how it is with how God changes us.
i can say this right now because i am in that cocoon, i have become a disgusting unrecognizable blob.
i don’t even know me anymore.  at times it’s been completely painful, many pieces of who i once was have
been stripped away and are left stuck to my shell, forming my cocoon.  a lot of times i’ve hated it. i haven’t
understood why it’s had to hurt so bad and therefore i’ve gotten angry with the way it feels, momentarily forgetting
that i’m just living in the moment and there is a bigger picture.  a lot of times i’ve felt very lost, not knowing
what to do or who to be or how to be, it’s those moments i cling to the bits of myself that i do still know: my name,
my story, i ground myself.
It’s easy to forget what comes next.
It’s easy to look at what is currently happening and believe the half truth “this is it, i’m just dead.”
It’s VERY easy for discouragement to settle in when you’re looking at how things are in the moment and not maintaining proper vision.

but we all know what happens to that caterpillar.
we know that that small blob of goo isn’t finished yet.

he’s only forming his wings. 

my place. ***MY*** place.

let me start this post off by stating a fact: THIS IS MY BLOG.

this is MY blog.

This is my blog.

this. is. my. blog.

 

Okay, got it? My blog. My space. My thoughts. My writing.
Great.

Now that we’ve covered the most important part of this blog, let me also state something concerning this blog:
i am grateful for this blog.
thankful i have a place to be honest through words when i forget how to speak them.
thankful that when i’m afraid of what i’m feeling i can tap it out on a keypad and store it here until i’m ready to face it.
thankful that i can communicate what i think or what i feel even if it is not correct. or truthful. or even coherent.

some very shattering events happened in my past and for those of you who don’t know,  i was left without the ability to talk to people for a very long time. years.  luckily, for me, i could still write. even if i couldn’t say things in person, i could write.  don’t get me wrong, i didn’t lose the ability to think for myself or to have emotions, i just couldn’t communicate them.  i might be utterly livid at one of my siblings but instead of voicing how i felt, i would stand there with tears behind my eyes, completely silent and stoic.  in my head i would be screaming but on the outside i was unbreakable.

in years since then, i’ve been slowing pecking away at the shell that surrounded the guard i put around myself, my defense.
for a long time after i moved to Kenosha i continued to write but only rarely posted things publicly on my blog, the number of journals i have is slightly alarming.  then i created this blog and told myself i would write at minimum, once per week…and as things go i didn’t maintain that.  THEN there was a period of time where what i was writing was honest, but when confronted about it in person i couldn’t speak it.  to be sure, i still can’t always own up and face the things i am willing to face when i write, it’s still something i’m working on and writing is still something that helps me.  my hopes in writing this post is to clear that up for the people who read along with my ponderings and walk with me through the unfamiliar paths of my world– just because something may not be true or just because you personally may not agree with it does not mean you need to attack me about it or create a painful confrontation.  there are ways to talk about but honestly if it’s brought up bluntly and catches me off-guard, it’s a very easy way to trigger my defense wall and i will shut down in my ability to voice what i’m thinking.

a breaking day.

it might not make sense to anyone, anyone other than the select few who truly understand me anyway, but, you see, it’s been a breaking day. the kind of day where the tears show up inexplicably and the aching in your chest never really ceases. it’s a day when a happy song will break you and a sad song won’t even affect you. these are the hard days to get through and usually they’re spent in my room, doing something to keep me sane and remind me who i am.  very often it’s art that grabs my attention on days like this or music…but then again music can be painful so that has to be taken into consideration, just depends on the day really.  and then… on days like today, there are books. and stories. right now it’s the final book in the hunger games trilogy.  there’s something about returning to familiar characters and places, people who feel so real and seem to be friends…something about all of that that helps remind me that i am Liz Schanke and i may not be 100% right now but i am grounded and that is the important thing.

today has been one of those days.

and today… in the middle of a very enthralling chapter, my phone lights up. a text message. feeling very empty and hollow, i hesitate to pick up my phone because i don’t want anymore pain.  hoping it’s something stupid i can write off (such as a lame tweet or forwarded message)
i lift the phone into my palm and click the worn buttons until i can read my message.
my heart leaps.
it’s a tweet from a very important person in my life.
just saying he cares.
making a joke about a photo of me that makes me grin.
smiling? i’m smiling?
when did i decided that was okay?
why does my chest feel warm now?
when did this happen? i don’t remember allowing it.
and then i’m writing. clicking out words and phrases as quickly as i dare

because i don’t want to forget it and because i want to share myself with other people.
i have no idea what it will accomplish or result in, more pain in the end i suppose.
but at least, this way, when i cannot find the words to explain, i already have them waiting.

What I’m Listening To: January edition.

so… a bunch of my friends do this like once a month or so and several of them have asked me if I would do it and so as I was just listening to some of my current favorites, I thought I would post them as my “what i’m listening to” for January.

1. One Thing Remains by Jesus Culture
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8l_jrjd2agU

2. Cover Me by Alkeme
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8JqB9_xkrU

3. Sing Me A Love Song by Barlowgirl
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i3hnVSTci8

4. On The Side of Angels by LeAnn Rimes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkxsQzZcFsc&list=FLY_eg0CpkIYXg2eV2ASH9Jw&index=9&feature=plpp_video

5. For Those Who Wait by Fireflight
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckP_zgnN1TU&feature=relmfu

6. How Can I Help You Say Goodbye by Patty Loveless
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFYizG3n-Jw&list=FLY_eg0CpkIYXg2eV2ASH9Jw&index=122&feature=plpp_video

7. You Found Me by The Fray
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFg_8u87zT0&ob=av2n

8. Trust Me by The Fray
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9xzi1e8z0Q

9. Every Teardrop is a Waterfall by Coldplay
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyMhvkC3A84&ob=av3e

10. Calamity Song by The Decemberists
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJpfK7l404I&ob=av3n

DIY.

i want to be more of a DIY-girl.

things i’d love…

–a sewing machine

–more talent & skill at crocheting

–better at doing my hair

–better at wearing colours.

–MORE VINTAGE STYLED & CUTE SHOES!!

 

 

newness.

there’s something about a new year, a new month, a new day, a new season…
and i do believe this is a new season of sorts for me, kind of like a sub-season.
i’m always confused when i get pulled under and then i resurface… and by that i mean
from a place of depression-anxiety-unhappiness to a place of peace and joy.  it’s so strange.
every single time….though i must say, it’s a LOT harder to go under now that i’m Kenosha.
i honestly think it has happened maybe only 3 times since i first moved here a year ago (almost
a year ago!!)  that is an amazing thing to me…and the times that it’s happened, God has used
people i know and love to help pull me out, i mean, ultimately, yes, it’s Him doing it and me
letting Him, but He has intricately used people each time.

let me explain…

being “under” is quite a lot like almost drowning– like being under water.
–you can’t really breathe because you feel so heavy
–everything is fuzzy: thinking, activities, even sleeping is strange.
–it feels like a dream that you can’t wake up out of

but waking up is how i imagine it feels to be born for the first time from the womb.
it’s BREATHING. it’s laughing. it’s seeing everything freshly.
it’s like waking up from a too-long sleep and being fully awake.

 

the awfully annoying part of it all for me is, you see, i can’t just “snap” out of it always.
most times, something has to happen to trigger me coming out of it or something along
those lines, usually praying in tongues really helps keep me from being too “under”
but talking to God doesn’t always and then it gets tricky.  my next step is to attempt to
spend time with friends and laugh or just DO things together and that’s what i did this
time, it really helped even though i wasn’t totally sure about it. i basically went to church
yesterday morning, absolutely nothing was going on and to be honest i wasn’t into it.
i mean i definitely was communicating with God but it was really…dead.

so then after that i went to lunch with my friend and we ended up going back to her place
after lunch and just hanging out. literally doing absolutely nothing except laying on the
couch and watching movies, which, both of us were super tired & she REALLY fell asleep
for awhile and i won’t lie, i dozed off a bit too.  after that, i came home went to walmart and
ended up going BACK to her place to hang and watch another movie, seriously so bizarre for
me. and after that… i felt SO different.

so i came home and went to bed right away since i had to be awake at 5am because i had to work
at 6am (floorsets are EVIL i SWEAR) i am not a morning person normally, let alone in the winter
and coming out of a depression spell…yeah so i didn’t hardly sleep. fell “asleep” (i say that SUPER
loosely because it was a super anxious sleep, like, i would pass out for like 10-15 minutes and then
jolt awake again breathing hard for whatever reason) and so i woke up, at 4. my alarm was set for 5
but there was absolutely no way i was going to be able to go BACK to sleep after that…i wasn’t really
asleep anyway.  so i got up, went to work and was there for 8 hours. let me tell you ALL the crazies
were out shopping today.  anywho… i came home, took a nap & tomorrow i’m awake early again.

it’s super strange. the whole reason i was talking about work was to bring up the super random text
i got while i was at work today…from my homegroup leader whose number wasn’t in my phone for
whatever random reason, i swear half the time they don’t save when i click “save” but whatever haha.
basically, he signed me up for V&C and initially i was annoyed cuz it was a do and then tell later, i
wasn’t aware of it until today… but after thinking about it and talking it over with a friend i realize it’s
absolutely right for it to happen… now if my work schedule will adapt and change everything will be set.

change and boldness and stepping bit by bit into newness. that’s what is coming up.

oh yeah!! The Spark is releasing their “shine brightly” album SOON!!!!!!!

oh i cannot WAIT!!!!! “shine through us” is definitely my favorite worship song.

hello january.
hello 2012.

BRING IT ON.

 

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