#navbar-iframe {display: none !important;}

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Totally Different Approach

He knelt and set the pan of water at her feet and eased the shoes off. All the way back, she had imagined him gloating and taunting, rubbing her face in her own broken pride. Instead, he knelt before her and washed her dirty, blistered feet.. His hands were so gentle. He took such care. When her feet were clean, he kneaded her aching calves. He cast the dirty water outside and poured more.. He took her hands and washed them as well. He kissed her stained, scratched palms and worked salve in. Then he wrapped them with warm bandages.

We all love love, don't we? We all want to be in love, have someone love us deeply, return that same love to that same someone. We were all born with that desire because we were all born in the image of God. We need each other. We live in this intertwining dance of dependency.

But I don't think love is what we think it is. It's not Hallmark cards and riding off into the sunset and perfect marriages and Hollywood 'you had me at hello.' In the middle of reading 'Redeeming Love' by Francine Rivers, I think it's a little more like that. It's running after each other, it's SACRIFICE, it's a CHOICE, it's fighting, it's heeding the voice of God above your own. It's washing feet when all you want to do is scream. It's, if I'm being honest, crazy.

It's Jesus teaching a totally different approach.

Right after Jesus has told the disciples (for the third time) that the Son of Man would die, James and John approach Him asking for a favor. They say, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory" (Mark 10:37). In other words, when you take power, make sure we're there!!
And Jesus, in all His calm and wisdom, replies, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink from the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?"

You do not know what you are asking.

Tim Keller in 'King's Cross' writes this, "What was Jesus' moment of greatest glory? Where does Jesus most show forth the glory of God's justice? And where does he reveal most profoundly the glory of God's love? ON THE CROSS. When Jesus is at the actual moment of his greatest glory, there will be somebody on his right and left, but they will be criminals being crucified. Jesus says to John and James: you have no idea what you are asking."

Glory looks a little bit different. Love looks a little bit different. Glory becomes giving yourself up. The cross and love are synonymous.

If we want to follow who He was and live in His heavenly glory and learn from His teachings and be His disciples, THEN WE MUST DIE. To ourselves, to others, to sin. We can't love the way He did until we sacrifice the way He did.

Do we know what we're asking?

Keller says that "all real, life-changing love is substitutionary sacrifice. You have never loved a broken person, a guilty person, a hurting person except through substitutionary sacrifice."

I think we all except love to be some kind of feeling. Something that makes us feel good. The 'can't eat, can't sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, world series kind of stuff.' We use love to heal us, to make us whole, to drive out our misery. And while its attributes can fulfill that, I think Jesus is saying it's something else entirely. He's saying it's sacrificial. It's substitutionary. He's saying it heals us and makes us whole, but not without a price. He's saying it's carrying others burdens. He's saying it's real and it's life changing. He's saying we have no idea what we're asking for.

The thing that gets me the most is that this love is daily. It's day to day. I always assumed substitutionary sacrifice was an actual physical death for someone else and while I say I'd die for my family and friends, when will I really ever get the chance to do that? But Jesus is saying this isn't a one time thing; it's EVERY DAY. It's waking up and knowing you're living for someone else. It's loving the people who hurt around us; that's a sacrifice. It is an over and over, constant, every day, way of life thing.

For me, this feels like a call to expect love to be radical. This feels like a call to humility, to vulnerability, to let my walls down, to put on the armor of God and set people free to feel worth sacrificing for. For me, it's loving people regardless of how they respond to me. Forgiveness, reconciliation, doing the right thing aren't always easy. It requires some pain, some dying, some loss of sanity, some loss of self for a far greater reward. It's not what I can get, but what I can give. Believing that He makes me into a better version of myself every time I choose Him. For me, it's not doing things that make a good story or erasing the things that don't. It's believing that my story is His and His story is mine.

My friend Todd writes, "It was love that moved God to send Jesus to save and free us from sin through his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead."

It's a crazy kind of love. It's a totally different approach.
I want to ask for that.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


If my life was on Twitter : here's what's trending.

#carowinds : I just got my season pass and have already been twice in one week!! I went last week with my friends Sara and Claire, who were my companions on my first trip on the Intimidator. That ride is incredible!! I will pretty much always panic on the way up and wonder what I'm doing.. but the rest is one crazy thrilling ride! My dad and I went out there today to celebrate Father's Day and just like old times, we cruised our way around with no maps, obligations, or cell phones. It's way cool friends.. get yourselves out there.

#adele : I can't stop listening to Adele! Her voice is sultry, smoky, powerful, strong, passionate : if I had a voice like that, I probably wouldn't ever stop singing (which means I would change my 'would you rather' answer from always speaking in rhymes to always having to sing). My current favorite songs are "Someone like You," "I Found a Boy," "One and Only".. and just about every song on her 21 album.

#romans8 : Always trending.

#mykindle : I've fallen in love with books all over again.

#maryaustinslate : My friend Mary Austin is one inspiring woman! Over coffee, burrito bowls, bad movies, Kindles, Hunger Game and Peeta love, she's taught me so much about having a gracious, gentle, God-loving spirit. Her heart for Christ and her cornerness are spilling into my life in a big way.

#baseball : All-stars coming up!

#newmoleskine : New journal (and it's red)!

#leshers : These three (+ one) continue to show me a family centered on Christ, how we should serve each other in community, and what surrender, trust, patience, humility, and friendship looks like. I'm so grateful for you Todd and Abbey who have made the Gospel so clear through words, actions, and genuine corner. Feels so good to be fully known and so fully loved!

#ephesians6:10-18 : put on that armor of God!!

#restinJesus : After some recent days of wrestling, I reached a point where I started questioning what I'd learned, couldn't figure anything out, and kept ramming into dead ends. When I reach that point (frequently), I essentially give up and decide Jesus is my only option. But as I wrote down in my journal "rest in Jesus," that looked a little.. cliche to me. Rest in Jesus? What does that really mean? What does that rest provide me? Those aren't just words of comfort! Wanna see my list? I rest in Jesus because.. He saves my identity. He is All-Goodness, All-Loving, He is Perfect. Because He LOVES. Because He went to a cross and died to save. Because He understands. Because He is with me every step of this journey. He is the God and King of this universe. Because I could never reciprocate the love He gives or the life He led.. and I AM LOVED ANYWAY. Yes, I'll rest in the beauty and peace of Jesus.

#mystory : In progress.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Little League Champions!!

This past Thursday, my dad's Little League baseball team won their league's championship!! Winning a championship is a big deal in anything, but look at those kids and tell me you're not pumped for their accomplishment!

There's something about baseball games that relaxes this hyperactive, mind racing, talk-a-mile-a-minute girl. Even in the most intense game (championship game: bases loaded, no outs, extra innings!), that baseball diamond puts me at ease. Some people go to the spa, some people get coffee, some people go to the movies, some do yoga: when I'm stressed, I go to the ballpark.

Baseball I love, but it's always Little League I prefer. Kids are my favorite people to be around and when they play my favorite game: I think there might be a Little League in heaven. Before the egos, the money, the steroids, the 3 1/2 hour nine inning games, there is Little League: a more perfect and simplified version of a game that, let's be honest, most adults can't handle.

So.. these kids rock! They practice hard, they play hard, they work hard as a team, they HAVE FUN, they're who we forget we were. My dad is a champ: he's so passionate, compassionate, loving, knowledgeable: you just look at the way the kids listen and respond to him and know he is a man who's loved. It's been such a great experience seeing my dad respected, admired, and someone you want to win for: you should see the way those boys' faces light up when he coaches them.

These families are a part of my community. It's been so fun to create relationships with moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents with the common bond of watching their kids learn, succeed, grow, hit grand slams, and strike out a batter in a crucial inning! I can't think of a better way to get to know someone than to share memories and experiences.. and to sweat over a close game.

I think I'm a storyteller at heart: I connect to people through stories. I love to tell them.. and I love when you tell them! Jesus told parables, didn't He? So if I tell too many stories about this team, it's because I'm proud of these kids, I'm proud of my dad, I love these families, and I cherish these memories. And who doesn't like winning a championship?

Monday, June 6, 2011


I've never been a big birthday person. I've never been good at reacting when I open gifts, which I think is key to handling your annual day of birth. And when you get older, it's hard to know how to celebrate. My ideal day? Playing a pickup game of softball. Not your typical 24 year old birthday celebration.

But this year was.. amazing! For 24 hours, I felt so loved. Surrounded myself with community, friends, family, baseball: it was a day where I had to ask.. is this for real!?

7:30. If you know me, you know I don't often see 7:30 am. I am not a morning person. And I so desire to be, but the morning hours were not something my body was wired to love. But on June 2, I was who my body fights against being!

8:00. Orangina + yogurt and granola at Dean & Deluca + time with my mom!! So fortunate to be raised by that wonderful woman and to learn from her as she walks her journey.

9:00. Real Linds catches up: I can't keep my eyes open.

10:00. My main babysitting gig: Helen turns five! The latest Disney movie, Tangled, is one of the cutest, funniest, awesome movies this side of Emperor's New Groove and was the inspiration for Helen's celebration! Six preschoolers decorated long blonde yarn braids, threw spaghetti at a huge Rapunzel poster board, played tag, and hit a tiara pinata!

1:00. Lunch with three of the most amazing people I know. Hudaks and FT: I cherish you. Time in my corner is worth more than anything. It feels so good to be known so well.

2:30. An afternoon with Mel! We went to Dish it Out and painted pottery: that sister knows how to paint! And as a recent coffee convert, I'm pumped for my handcrafted mug.

6:45. Game time. My dad coaches a Little League baseball team of 9-12 year olds and you should see his passion and love for those kids. Baseball is one of my favorite things and heading out to Freedom Park to watch those kids play a simplified version of an MLB game is my way to relax: especially at tournament time! After several lead changes, a grand slam, two more home runs, we sealed the deal with a 20-9 win (I may write a separate blog post: that's how much I loooove what my dad does).

9:30. Putting sesame chicken in my stomach makes me one happy girl. Takeout Chinese food with my family + ice cream cake: the perfect way to end the day!

11:00. Time with myself: time in the Psalms. Psalm 30 says, "Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.. Joy comes in the morning!! You have turned for me my mourning into dancing.. you have clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!"

(Added bonus: got to spend Friday night with some dear friends of mine at Amelie's!! Their food is to die for. Shared brownies, stories, laughs, and debates of Would you Rather: you girls are so precious to me. Turns out, I don't have a mind that thinks like the rest: I failed miserably at the Would you Rather board game. Here were our most controversial ones:
Would you rather.. be mediocre all your life or know you were supposed to be great and never achieve greatness?
..be lost in the woods with a knife and no food or four cans of spam and no knife? (my Hunger Game friends: answer this like Katniss).
.. trust everyone or trust no one?)

What a day: what people I know: what a song to sing! The most important part of the life I live and every year that I add is that I live it in the Gospel. I am justified, saved from God's wrath, and reconciled to God through Christ and His work on the cross. That work on the cross is elevated through the power of community and through the friends that remind us Who to choose and remind us that living in shame is paralyzing and not who God saved us to be.

I praise, glorify, serve, worship, and fall to my knees while lifting my eyes to the Giver of Life.

Welcome 24: may I praise His name forevermore!