Friday, April 13, 2012

trusting god for the water

A few nights ago, I was talking to one of my friends on Facebook. He's currently stationed overseas for his job, and we talk often about different stuff--usually writerly things, and occasionally we stray into more Biblical matters. This night, I was telling him about my deadlines and how they stress me out, and he made a very interesting analogy.

When I was fundraising for China, it was relatively easy. I mean, there were still times when I was tearing my hair out, thinking, God, this isn't going to work. But it always came, and I was fully funded days before my trip. But this time around, for Romania, I'm finding it infinitely more difficult, for whatever reason. To contrast these two, I needed $6,000 for China. For this trip, I'm needing about $2,500. Big difference there.

This friend, Travis, likened my struggle to that of the Israelites while they were wandering in the desert. They had no water. They'd run out. And here they stood, shouting at God and Moses and each other and anybody else who'd sit still long enough to be yelled at. Crossing the Red Sea had been so easy! Had God brought them here just so he could starve them? Was this really His will--for them to wander in this forsaken wilderness and slowly get dried up to death?

Of course, we know how that ended: Moses struck the rock as God had told him, and water came out. Maybe God's simply making me wait for my rock. (I do wish he wouldn't, but if there's one thing I've learned about God, it's that he doesn't particularly care about my wants most of the time.)

- Kyla Denae

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

my life is ridiculous

But that's okay. Emma and I are trying to fundraise like crazy--which is a lot less fun than it sounds like. You see, I've been comfortably crazy for quite awhile, and getting even more so isn't quite pleasant. Other than that...does it make any sense at all that it's proving harder to raise $2,000 than it was to raise nearly $6,000? I mean, really? In what universe does this make logical sense?

In other news, I want a birthday cake like this:

Maybe for my eleventy-first birthday. Maybe I'll go to the Shire. And then I'll travel to the Grey Havens. And that'll be fun /nerdism

- Kyla Denae

Sunday, April 8, 2012

the power of the grave

In church this morning, our choir will have sung a beautiful song called "I Will Arise". It's one of my favorites (and I'm slowly getting over the fact that I'm sick today and so didn't get a chance to sing it one last time. Alas), mostly because the words are just so amazingly beautiful. And the music is good. And it's stirring and wonderful and I love singing it because it's in this really nice middle-range, and... okay, I'll shut up now.
I will arise
like the sun at dawn's first light
I will arise
You can bury me that day
Seal the tomb and turn away
but the power of the grave will be denied
I will arise
Sometimes, in the midst of typical American Christianity, we forget the truth of the resurrection. It becomes just another one of those holidays that we celebrate with special church services. We go to church, say "yay, Jesus" and then go home for food and naps and go on with our lives. And we miss that moment, that one little moment, of just standing in the presence of God and saying, "You're the most amazing thing existence can offer. Thank you."

We forget how amazing his promise and its fulfillment was. Can you imagine Jesus' disciples sitting on a hillside somewhere in Israel, being told by their beloved friend, leader, and teacher that he's going to die? And not only is he going to die, but then he's going to come alive again? Maybe the second part didn't make as much of an impact on them. He couldn't die--he was God! They believed this with every bit of themselves, or tried to say they did.

But then he did die. Jesus Christ, their friend, died. Jesus Christ, God of the universe, died. Petty concerns faded. All at once, they were faced with the indisputable truth that they were going to wrap him in burial clothes and stick him in a borrowed grave, roll a rock over the door, and go back to their mundane existences. They didn't want to let it go; they gathered in a rented room instead, clustered together and clinging to one another like the last refuge of sanity. Afraid that the Jews would come get them, too. Alone. Feeling like there was nothing in the world to cling onto. Perhaps praying within themselves, shouting at God and asking why he'd let them waste three years of their lives if he was just going to take it all away from them.

They'd forgotten. They'd forgotten the promise he'd made them. Either that, or they'd simply discarded it as idle fancy. God can't die, they might have thought. Jesus died, hence we must have been wrong. Perhaps some of them still clung to faith in the face of uncertainty, not willing to let go of the knowledge that somehow, some way, Jesus would make it right because that's what he always did.
Death will have no victory
the grave will have no sting
the promise of the living one
the whole world will see 
Four women picked their way through a dark garden. The sun hadn't yet risen; it was just the right hour for them to know that it was no longer the Sabbath. They were following God's law to the letter, still going through the motions of life while heading to say goodbye to the dead. Joseph of Arimathea had given his own tomb up for their friend, a fact they were thankful for. The thought of leaving their friend and son and brother to be married in an unmarked criminal's grave was too painful. At least, this way, they'd be able to say goodbye properly, like good Jewish women.

Perhaps the first thing they saw were the two guards, slumped over in the pathway. Perhaps not. Perhaps the guards had already woken and picked themselves up, running away in fear when they saw the open grave. Perhaps the gaping hole left by the stone's absence was the first thing they saw. Either way, their first thought was obviously not that Jesus had fulfilled his promise. It was that he had been stolen, that some thief had come and taken away his body. Only later would this first impression be corrected, when Jesus came to visit them in their hideaway, appearing out of nowhere.

And even today, two thousand years after four women first discovered an empty tomb and then saw their risen Messiah, we still remember that event. And whatever we call it--Easter or Resurrection Sunday or whatever--the whole world has indeed seen and will continue to see the promise of Christ and his redemption.

Happy Easter.

- Kyla Denae

i'm operating on a deadline here

Last night, my sister and I went out "canvassing" in a neighborhood a few miles from where we live. Basically, we went door-to-door and sweetly asked if our kind neighbors would be willing to help us fundraise for Romania. In fifteen minutes of walking and knocking, we came away with about $50, which was really good. Of course, most of it was on her side--she got over $40, while I was stuck with $10. Apparently my almost-adult face doesn't inspire as much confidence as her sweet little stuttering self.

Oh well.

Of course, I have a deadline. So does she, to be technical, but meh. We both must have over $1,000 in our accounts by this Friday. And, predictably, I am sick this Sunday. I got queasy last night, and almost got sick a few times. And it stuck around 'till this morning. Really?

God, in case you hadn't noticed, I'm trying to do something for you. I mean, what's the deal? You say I'm supposed to go to Romania, and then promptly make me sick almost non-stop from December to March before then making me sick on the last actual fundraising day I have before my deadline. Not to quibble with the creator of the universe or anything, but that seems kind of silly.

So whatever your plan is, I would greatly appreciate it if it went into effect soon. Y'know.

In other words, dear readers, I would greatly appreciate prayer. I'm trying to do more praying than worrying, and trusting God in all this, but...well, you know me.

- Kyla Denae

Friday, April 6, 2012

and then i wrote this thing

Her robe billowed around her, the morning wind catching it just right. The black fabric, patterned with the delicate gold embroidery that she knew had taken had so much labor, was heavy enough to swallow her. It weighed at her shoulders, the huge sleeves fluttering around her carefully manicured hands. She focused on this, watching the pleated hem of the garment flowing away to her feet in lieu of concentrating on anything else.

If she thought of anything else, she'd surely go mad.

Barefoot, garbed in the light, gossamer pink of the Virgin, the two young women flitted around her. One finished pinning the matching pink streamers to her belt, letting them fall to the ground after the robe, to be detached in just a few moments. The other, her sleeves puffier than her long hair, arranged the robe's hood.

A crown on her head.

Slippers on her feet.

This was actually happening to her. Her hands were taken and she was slowly led forward, step by step, across the lawn and through the belt of trees that hid the Virgins from the world outside. She was led to her future.

- Kyla Denae

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

so i got bored

And I decided I'd change my blog title. Once, this was "Teenage Musings". Now it's "enough" least for now. I might change it again. We'll see.

As to the significance of 'enough'--I was listening to "Your Grace Is Enough" by Chris Tomlin today, and I decided it is one of my favorite songs. And also, I love this verse, and the context around it, right now.
It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. - Matthew 10:25
So there's that. We will return to our regularly-scheduled program as soon as I actually get a real post written.

 - Kyla Denae