Sunday, July 19, 2015

The world is broken. But God.

This has been a heavy week. 

My second cousin, Jayden, had his second heart failure of his young life. His parents made the impossible decision to take him off life support this week. 

My friend, Christina, broke the news that the trial for her mom has been set. 

My group leader's dear friend has been fighting an incredibly rare form of breast cancer. His wife told me this morning that she passed calmly into her next life. 

I got into my car after church and Come as You Are was on. I broke down completely. This world is not fair. It is so clearly broken. 

Little kids shouldn't die of heart failure 
Young moms shouldn't die of cancer 
Young dads shouldn't be widowed 
Little boys shouldn't lose their momma 
Moms shouldn't kill dads 
Kids shouldn't see their mom resist arrest 
Young women shouldn't fear for their/family's safety 

And yet

Earth has no sorrow that heaven can't heal. 

Let that sink in. 

Earth has no sorrow that heaven can't heal. 

The brokenness is real. It's hard. There are sharp jagged edges that leave scars. And it is so clouded now, so hard to see, but there is no pain here that will not be fully usurped by joy in heaven. 

Remembering this one - what we have in Jesus cannot be shaken, no matter how hard our world turns

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counselor of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:11-14 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Mountain top meditation

Honoring my commitment to myself, I hiked the Kendall Katwalk today. Honoring commitment to the pole vault community, I invited former Grinnell vaulter Sachi, but unfortunately she was unable to attend. I was glad to have a redo on this one, as the cloud cover was pretty significant when I did it last year. 

I was not disappointed. 

I have been rendered incapable of sleeping past about 5am so I got an early start and beat the crowds. I had the top of the Katwalk to myself and climbed up to enjoy the view (and lunch!) I read Ephesians for the 11th time and set a timer for 10 minutes so I could take everything in. 

This is what I got - 

You know. If this is what a creation groaning for redemption looks like, what will full restoration be? It amazes me to think of Gid forming this land, His hand carefully crafting each peak and ridge. His care, His beauty. It's nothing short of spectacular. Miraculous. Awe-inspiring. I'm so in love with my Jesus. 

Ah Lord God, thou hast made the heavens and the earth by thy great power 

Ah Lord God, thou hast made the heavens and the earth with thine outstretched arm 

I also finally finished Tim Keller's Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering. It is a rich, layered book that builds a robust theology of suffering. I highly recommend it. If I had to summarize it in one quote, it would be this one, read today: 

Peace comes from a disciplined thinking out of the implications of what you believe. 

When suffering comes, and it will, our reaction is to ignore it or try to make it stop. But that will only leaves us empty. The harder, more fulfilling approach is to turn in. Turn towards your heartache. It is there that you will see Jesus more clearly and completely than ever before. 

I love the church and I love her history and I love her liturgy, including this first question and answer from the Heidleberg Catechism: 

"What is Thy only comfort in life and death?

"That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, hath fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him."

If you believe that God is sovereign, that Jesus reigns, this is indeed your comfort and nothing in all of creation can separate you from the love of Christ your Lord. 

You keep in perfect peace him whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 

(And yes, this was indeed two posts for the price of one) 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

What does it mean to be good at yoga?

This morning at I Love Hot Yoga my favorite sub-status teacher was there. I love her. She is short and spunky and breaks all the "rules". The last time I had her, she announced she was setting her intention as "kick ass". Her energy is amazing, and she oozes enthusiasm from the minute she walks in the room. It was a smaller class today and when she said we were going to have fun, I knew it was true. So I set my intention to have fun and got ready to play.

And I did.

I hit more handstands than I ever have in one hot yoga practice before. And they were nice handstands, controlled, held.

Dozens of handstands, chin stands, smiles and a couple of flying pigeons later, class was over. The woman who had been next to me said,

"You are the handstand queen"

"Not always. But I had fun today", I awkwardly replied as I tried to laugh it off.

"Well, you're good"

"Thank you. Have a great Sunday"

Then Morgan, the instructor, caught up with me.

"Girl! You rocked it! What's your name again? I know I've seen you before"

"I'm Kate. I love your class. I just had you one other time but I saw your name come up and I just had to be here. It was so fun."

"I could tell. You were smiling and having a great time. And girl. Those handstands. Every time. Have you been practicing awhile then?"

"Since January"

"What?! So do you have a background in gymnastics or something?"

"Yeah, I did it through high school but it's been over six years since I trained"

"Well you are amazing! Keep an eye on the schedule so we can come play again. And let me know what you want to do and I'll give you a shout out. I got you"

"Will do! Thanks again, Morgan"

And then, later, much later, when I returned for yin.

I checked in at the front desk and the gal said,

"I saw you in class this morning. You're really good. How long have you been practicing?"

Always, awkwardly, "About six months. I did gymnastics all through high school though"

"Still! Six months of yoga. You're great. It's so fun to watch"

"uh, thanks"

These interactions always make me a bit uncomfortable, but even more so lately. I've been reading a lot on yogadork about how yoga has been made to be something trendy and cool and glamorous. I already hated lululemon but I started hating them more the more I read. I totally agree with bloggers who talk about how yoga culture is all about big, fancy, loud poses and combinations.

And is it really cool to hit all these handstands? For me, yeah, it is. It's a great feeling for me. But so is finding moments in warrior 2 where I feel so strong that nothing can stop me. It's also a beautiful thing when I don't think about anything but my breath for an hour straight (that's a very rare occurrence, I promise). I love when I find savassana and feel a complete release. I love how my back pain has no hold on me when I'm on my mat. I think what bothers me about being told I'm good at yoga is that being "good", whatever that means, is not the point. Not for me anyway. I am a yoga baby, but I would say it's far more about discovery and playing and enjoying than anything else.

And I am so excited to see what else I find.

Friday, July 10, 2015

What's new?


Summer session is in full swing. It's my favorite time to work at the gym and even though my roommates aren't with me, I'm having fun and being stretched and challenged in new ways. 

After 4 months of cycling through some crazy eating and exercise habits, I have now made it two full weeks of normal eating. I think going back to see my parents gave me an emotional release and's hard to describe because my experience was so difficult in so many ways. I'm just going to chalk this one up to a Romans 8:28 thing and call it good. 

I'm in 2 Samuel reading about the life of David and if he isn't an example of how God calls rebels to be his sons I don't know who is. I know a lot of people are praying for Tulian Tchjivdian and his family and church right now after he and his wife both confessed affairs. I think the story of David should be fresh in our minds as we pray for those discipling them and calling them to repentance. Your past does not exclude you from ministry. How many of David's psalms do you think were written after the Bathsheba incident? And that ministry is an ongoing treasure for us today. Affairs are horrible and heart wrenching but those who have them are not exempt from grace. 

Elizabeth is in Germany and everyone obviously misses her because she's beautiful and clever and hilarious and just someone fun to have around. 

Oh and I got a kitten. His name is Malachi and he already has throngs of adoring fans. 

First day home. That bed is rarely right side up. 

Malachi only likes going to bed with me. His bedtime is approximately 9:15. If I am not in bed at that time, he will look longingly at the bed and then at me until I acquiesce. The problem with this is that his wake up call is 4:30am. Which is kind of cool because then I am very awake for 6am yoga but he also licks my face which tickles. 

This is a child made by a child roommate Jordan nannies. Her and her sister adore all of our household pets. 

My cat's first people food was scrambled tofu. The second was hummus. Clearly his mommy is vegan. 

I think that's about it for now