How deep is Your love?

I took the summer “off” from writing. My reasoning was complicated:

1)  Most days I honestly didn’t have words to articulate the mixed bag of hope/ pain/ joy/ nausea/ excitement/ roller-coaster-y grief that my heart had become as I transitioned from Alaska to Iowa to Colorado to (and through) Asia and back again.

2) Traveling through 18 homes / hotels in 5 countries and 7 states in 2 1/2 months felt exactly like the run-on sentence that this is; it was exhausting. Plus, that much transition didn’t exactly lend to a stable internet connection or quiet writing space.

3) And probably most intentionally, my absence from writing was due to the fact that I had the glorious opportunity to stop analyzing the world around me for a while and simply experience the Lord’s beauty in it first hand.

And experience it to the fullest, I did.

I now know what it’s like to run through knee deep flood waters in a Cambodian city late at night shouting, “We’re on a mission! We’re gonna die…” all while laughing hysterically. Our insane laughter was partially because we were being splashed by motos (barely) passing us with a foot margin and partially because I was nervous about stepping onto a downed power line in the murky water below me and electrocuting myself to death.

That night as lightening crackled in the sky overhead, I ran through the streets of Phnom Penh with my co-leader and one of our 16-year old students. Our student had heard the Lord ask him to donate his guitar and book of worship music to a college-age sister-in-Christ (whom he had met only once) so she could start a worship school in a country where only 1% of the population knows Christ; he was thrilled that the Lord had called him to partner with her endeavor and couldn’t even wait until morning to selflessly give up his prized possession.

We arrived at her apartment sopping wet that night and stood in the rain, throwing pebbles at her window, screaming, “Ravii! Ravii come to the window! It’s the Alaskans! Come down! We have a gift for you!” as though we were in a movie or something. Eventually she emerged from the front door and stood with her jaw dropped as my student presented her with the guitar and sheet music. “God is good,” were the only words she said. I stood back and smiled as she stared at the guitar in her hands, saying those words over and over and over again.

IMG_5909I now know the depth of laughter that can cross language barriers when you’ve been befriended by a tiny first grade Thai girl who has chosen you to color with her on the sidelines of her friends’ game of tag because her club foot doesn’t allow her to run. Conversely, I know how absolutely hopeless it feels to stare into her deep brown eyes and pray for her foot to be miraculously healed, only to see that God clearly has other plans for her. At least, for the time being.

This summer the Lord turned strangers on cross-country flights into new friends. He blessed me with the opportunity to hear their stories of courage and redemption as they’ve escaped realities of war I don’t even want to imagine.

There were nights where I sat silently, holding three different women– all of whom are incredibly dear to my heart– as they cried and grappled with the unexpected death of family members. There simply aren’t words in those situations, no matter how frequently they come your way.

IMG_5880Throughout June I prayed as I stood in the Indian ocean, above the border walls of “closed” countries, in school yards, in markets, and under surging waterfalls. In those moments I heard the Lord speak louder than ever before. But I’ve also been face down on the floor, begging Him to speak and heard nothing but silence in return.

The list of things I saw the Lord do this summer seems infinite. While I wish with everything in me that I could relay those stories to those of you reading this… I simply can’t.

There aren’t enough words in the English language for me to explain just how deep and powerful the Love of Jesus has proven itself to be in my life; there aren’t words to do the glory of the Lord justice.

The best way I can explain these last few months (or really, this last year) is to say that adventuring in the benevolent affection of the Father for any period of time is a lot like what I would imagine scuba diving to the deepest depths of the sea to be. There are things down there that don’t (and won’t) make sense to those who have only ever swam near the shoreline or sat in the ocean in a boat.

In my imagination and this metaphor there are fish with lights hanging off of their faces Finding-Nemo-style and majestic unnamed organisms few people have ever seen. Similarly, in reality, there is spiritual battle and victory in Christ, pain and miraculous healing that does take place (even if I’m not the one to see it), and abundantly more grace than I could ever convey.

I understand that as I write this, my words could come off arrogantly, but please know that is not my heart. I long for you to don your own scuba gear and dive into the deep, dark metaphorical waters and explore them with the Lord so you too can see and experience the things mere words cannot explain. For those types of experiences aren’t likely to happen in our comfort zones where we feel safe or from boats where can see the shore.

The risk associated with following the Lord to unfamiliar, deep, dark places is great– regardless of what that looks like for you. But I dare say the risk of not going, of being lulled into complacency and comfort, or “staying put” because of fear, is much greater. 

Because yes, adventure is out there, but adventure for the sake of itself is not the point.

The ‘point’ can be found only in Jesus’ Love and it is beyond what my heart can comprehend or my brain can explain. All I know is that we begin to discover the depths of Christ’s love when we’re willing to go to the deep places where we feel like our faith may fail.

(In fact, your faith likely will fail. Mine did, more times than I would ever care to admit. Like the night before I boarded the plane to Asia when I dumped everything I owned on the floor of the Yarrow House and bawled, asking God the scariest series of questions I’ve ever asked in my life. Alas, that is a story for another time…)

But our loving Abba-Father? Our Jesus? He will never fail you.

His love only deepens, the further you dive in.

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith– that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

(Ephesians 3:14-21)

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When the proverbial plane crashes

I knew the Lord had brought me to Alaska, but the end of first semester was a train wreck. (Or to be more “bush-correct”, you could say it was a proverbial plane crash.) By the time it was over, I was beyond burnt out. I was struggling with what I can now recognize as compassion fatigue and PTSD. I was spiritually overwhelmed, constantly feeling like I was losing the battle against the strongholds of addiction that raged in my house. By the time I’d realized just how far in over my head I was, it was too late. My little TLC plane had fallen out of the sky and was in flames around me.

I sat in our house with my face down on my kitchen table and my hands entangled in my hair, sobbing at one in the morning. Every few minutes I would catch a word or two from the serious conversation between my boss and one of my students in the other room.

I pulled my face up off the table and caught a glimpse of myself in the window. The woman staring back at me was gaunt; the way her black mascara had dripped over her sunken-in cheeks scared me. I stared in shock. Who is that woman in the window? That can’t possibly be what I look like. I tried to turn my head to examine myself from another angle but my muscles were so tense my neck wouldn’t turn. Instead I laid my forehead back on the table and ugly-cried until my stomach hurt. What are you doing Lord?

Eventually I ran out of tears and simply stared at the grain of the wood in my table. I couldn’t figure out where my “good” God was. I couldn’t bring myself to believe that He would ever lead me (or had actually led me) somewhere that felt so unsafe.

Lord, have mercy. Please. Where are you? I pleaded on repeat, as if those were the only words I knew. The first half of David’s Psalm 77 rang in my ears.

My boss eventually emerged from the other room. Lowering himself into the chair next to mine, he asked how I was doing. Unhealthy. Unsafe. They were the only words I could choke out, even though I knew they didn’t make sense as an answer to his question. I tried to focus on the logistics of what I needed to do with my student, but as his lips moved, my brain wandered. I’m ‘doing Your work’, Lord. You brought me here. You gave these girls to me, and me to these girls. Yet I feel like I’m dying. How could you let this happen?

It’s every missionary’s worst nightmare—that moment when the prayers for protection and safety, the ones that people back at home prayed over you before you left, seem to have worn off.

In that moment I was left to wrestle with the fact that because God is sovereign, that this was exactly where He wanted me. He knew this would happen. He knew I would feel unsafe. He knew it would be dark and I wouldn’t be able to sense His presence, but somehow I had to trust that He was still there…

He had called me to the depths of myself—my deepest fears and wounds—in His loving goodness, for His ultimate glory. I knew the theology, yet there I was, weeping, begging God to show up and replace my suffering with a feeling of safety, even though I’d always said I would do whatever it took for the people around me to know the love of Christ…

~~~

Around these parts, we pray for our pilots in church on Sunday and before almost every meal. To us they’re not just pilots—they’re family, my friends, my friends’ husbands, my bosses, my students, me.

I’ve learned a lot about trusting the sovereignty of God from hearing pilots and their loved ones pray. Our pilots all have their fair share of plane crash stories—some minor, some major, all mildly terrifying. Yet when they pray, they ask for wisdom as they fly, not for safety, even though many of them understand what it feels like to be in a plane that’s going down.FlyingSidewaysThese men and women have been there; they’ve felt a complete lack of safety akin to what I felt in December.

They’ve all said, “Yes Lord, I want to follow you. I want to serve the people of Southwest Alaska by bringing them their groceries, the fuel they need to survive, and their loved ones, no matter the cost.” (After all, none of us could live and minister where we do if it wasn’t for our valiant bush pilots.) And thus, we cover our pilots in prayer, just as my church family in Colorado prayed for me as they sent me out as a missionary.

But even within that covering of prayer, many of them have walked away from a plane with it’s landing gear folded or it’s wings ripped off.

They know what it’s like to question God’s plan with every fiber of their being while simultaneously fighting to trust the theology and truth of His sovereignty. They’ve managed to praise God just moments after feeling the least safe they’ve felt in their lives. And they still wake up every morning and fly despite all of this because that’s what God’s called them to– even when it feels dangerous.

The prayers of our pilots have challenged me to stop praying for safety, and instead pray to be exactly where God wants me to be— even if it seems horrible and hard, maybe even traumatic at times.

What if we all prayed that way? For wisdom rather than safety, for His will rather than our own? It seems strangely reminiscent of The Lord’s Prayer if you ask me…

After all, Jesus never promised His disciples they wouldn’t suffer or be unsafe (Look at the life of Paul if you doubt me.) Similarly, the Lord never promised David that life, even life as a king, would be easy. (The beginning of Psalm 77 is pretty solid evidence that it wasn’t.) But God did promise He would be David’s refuge when the excrement hit the stone-age ventilation system… He never promised me that living in Alaska would feel safe, but through His word He has promised to be my refuge and physician when my proverbial plane crashes and I’m left climbing from the burning wreckage.

~~~

I woke up the morning after our proverbial plane crash, disheartened and dehydrated from crying every spare ounce of fluid out of my body. But being the stubborn woman I am, I was determined to salvage something (anything) from the wreckage. I threw my Bible and journal on the table I’d wept on just hours before, and got brutally honest with the Lord: “I don’t feel safe. I need to feel safe if You want me to stay here.”

Do you? Is safety the call I’ve put on your life, Kacy?

Etched below God’s rhetorical question in my journal are the words that I pray I’ll be able to live my life by, everyday–

Alright Lord, things might not “get better”. I’m coming to terms with that. It’s a very real possibility that You’ll continue to ask me to walk into (and live in) places that are hard and desolate, almost completely devoid of light, and call me to expose all of my pain so Your light might shine through this brokenness.

You might not deliver me from living in an unsafe environment, but I know this mess is a part of Your plan. And Abba, if You are going to use this hot mess to draw people in and glorify Yourself, then dammit, this is exactly where I want to be; safety or no safety…

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsake; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in You.”

(2 Corinthians 4:8-12)

 

25 Ways You Know You Live in the Alaskan Bush

It only seems right that the first person to ever “guest post” on this site would be the lovely and talented Kathryn Bronn. After all, she’s been one of the greatest creative cheerleaders in my life, regardless of whether I’ve been in a season of slathering melted crayons on canvas in my living room with a blow drier, or being glued to my laptop, furiously typing out everything I feel like the Lord has placed on my heart. Oh, and did I mention she’s the way Jesus originally duped me into visiting (and later moving to) Alaska? Yeah. She’s kinda been a big deal in my life over the last few years. For her friendship and creative partnership, I am eternally thankful.

1397130_10208479645409207_920408222672515338_oKaBronn James, as I like to call her, is a native Coloradoan who moved to California to escape the cold, before the Lord laughed at her and placed her in the middle of the Alaskan Bush for two winters. She’s a sun obsessed city girl rejoicing that the Lord is moving her to be a Reach Global missionary in Costa Rica. (I recommend following her blog and supporting her ministry as she prepares to head south of the border.) However, until that day comes, I’m simply thankful for the nights we can sit at her kitchen island and collaborate on lists about the hilarity of the bush that has somehow become our reality.

~

“Since I want to take the time to fully appreciate the quirks of Alaskan Bush Life before I move to civilization, I have composed a list of 25 of my favorite common occurrences (with a little extra help from some neighbors).  YOU KNOW YOU LIVE IN THE ALASKAN BUSH WHEN:

When all the 2 year olds say “99”, “Navajo” or “Caravan” as their first words, rather than just “airplane” like all other children.

SteveHavs
Processing a moose: with both the baby and the pistol holstered.

 

When all major life decisions and purchases revolve around “Does it come with free shipping on Amazon Prime?”

When everyday things for city folk are huge luxuries and treats: donuts, ice cream, deli fried chicken, fancy coffee creamers.

When the speaker in church uses very specific aviation analogies for Bible stories and every single person nods in complete understanding.

When it’s completely acceptable to wear waders to church, or your “good Carhharts”.

When it’s completely normal, everyday, nothing special to see 6 people, a dog, and a kitchen sink on a 4wheeler driving down the runway.

When grown men drop everything to watch the fuel plane land, just one more time, because it’s huge and seriously awesome.

When we all count our days until the internet rolls over, because bush internet is LAME and way worse than any third-world country.  And it’s very limited.

MailRun
Mail day would not be complete without a beaver hat or sitting in the Amazon box of dog food.

When it snows and you know that no airplanes are coming in that day: no groceries, no mail, no Amazon Prime. Only weeping in every house.

When there are exactly 5 subjects the men talk about: hunting, fishing, airplanes, guns, and their women.

When the typical “Friday Night Out on the Town”/”Date Night” consists of a school basketball game.

When you can walk into the General with a rifle and no one bats an eye.

When it’s completely commonplace to see a 10 year old driving a snow machine with a huge sled attached, toting his 7 siblings and/or cousins.

When the rhythms of life revolve around the hunting seasons and salmon season.

When you not only keep the front door unlocked, but you don’t actually know where the key is? Do you have a key?

CeremonialBurning
Spring cleaning with a side of s’mores, anyone?

When burning things is a perfectly legitimate solution to cleaning house, especially if you don’t want to pay to ship things out to town.

When you (and every 5 year old in town) can identify airplanes by either their pilot or their tail number. “Oh, there goes Lyle.”

Furthermore, when you also feel free to ask what said pilot is up to as you identify him. “Oh, there goes Lyle, I wonder why he’s flying to town at this hour?  I wonder if everything is okay.” “Oh, there’s Levi, he just got his license and can’t get enough time up in the air.”

When there are more guns in homes than most anywhere else, with greater justification than anywhere else too.  Hello, brown bears.  Caribou for dinner.  Moose, so delicious.

When the children say “Mooommmm, do we have to eat SALMON AGAIN??”, and we who were not raised here say, “Shut your mouths, this is WILD CAUGHT ALASKAN SOCKEYE, and it’s stupid expensive everywhere else in the country.”

MooseProcessingD
Where even the children put on their “game faces” for moose processing. We’ve all got to eat, people.

When the men compare who has more animal skins and pelts hanging in their house.  And mounted heads.  PETA would just DIE if they saw any home here.

When everyone is out running around in the dark yelling like children because the Northern Lights are out. BEST. THING. EVER.

When carrying a blowtorch and a hatchet around in public is not even questioned.  For any reason, ever.

When mud season has completely different connotations than anywhere else in the world. 6 inches deep of MUD. For 2 months.

When Xtra Tuffs or Crocs are considered appropriate footwear for any occasion. In fact, they are rather fashionable.  Why would we need any different shoes?

Muddy, messy, and grace[full]

It was one of those days from the second my feet hit the floor… ten minutes late.

I shot out of bed after realizing that I’d slept through my alarm. I sprinted for the shower, then ran downstairs, tossing on clothes and running a brush through my sopping hair. I couldn’t find my glasses, and well, without my glasses I couldn’t see to find my glasses… (Life is full of vicious cycles such as this at 5:45 in the morning.) I felt through my blurry medicine cabinet, popped contacts in my eyes, and flew out the door.

I was late to Bible study (barely, but none-the-less). From Bible study I raced to work where I sat in a classroom of screaming little ones– all sick from the cold going around the Street School. After a few hours of cranky babes and being thrown up on twice, the dismissal bell rang and I left as quickly as my frazzled feet would carry me.

I dropped off one of my students on my way home and raced inside to change into my running clothes. Two miles later, I was happily out of breath, running just barely behind schedule. I ran inside my front door and grabbed my water bottle, remembering that I needed to get to the bank before they closed. After digging through my purse for a minute, I realized I’d left my wallet in the car earlier in my haste to change out of my work clothes.

I glanced at the time. 4:45. Perfect. I’ve got 15 minutes to get 3 blocks to the bank before they close. Easyyyyy.

I ran out the back door of the Yarrow House, locking it behind me. Just as I slammed it shut and took a step off the porch, it hit me.

My keys were inside the house… the house that I’d just locked myself out of.

After a few frantic texts to my roommates, it became apparent that I wasn’t getting in the house or into my car for at least an hour.

Well, the garden needs to be weeded and at least the shed’s not locked today… I thought. If I’m not gonna make it to the bank, I might as well be productive in a different way. So I sat and dug dandelions out of the little fenced off dirt plot in the yard, laughing out the majority of my frustration.

As I laughed and yanked the weeds out of the earth, my wild post-run hair fell down over my eyes. I attempted to sweep it out of my face with the back of my hand and I realized I’d made a mistake just as everything went blurry.

I’d swept my contact right out of my eye, into the dirt. With no way to make it inside to rinse it off, I declared it a loss and buried it with my finger.

Growing more frustrated with my situation, yet still determined to make the most out of my time locked out of the house, I shut my contact-less eye, squinted at the soil, and continued to pull weeds.

Alright God… Not funny. I have a million and one things to do to prep for Alaska and a million and two things on my mind, and now I’m essentially a prisoner in my own backyard– a sweaty, windswept, partially blind, mud caked prisoner.

That was not how I saw my Tuesday going.

The night before, I’d laid out my clothes with grand plans of being graceful, put-together, professional, and productive… the type of woman I usually feel like I should be. But my Tuesday had been a not-so-delicate reminder that that is not the kind of woman God has created me to be.

I’m perpetually late. My clothes usually don’t match. My glasses (if I can even find them) usually have tiny finger prints covering them from working with tiny humans and their mommas all day. I’m spacey and lose things more often than I find them. I’ve been described as a hail storm– wild, unpredictable, and noisy– when I sprint into a room just a few moments behind schedule. I’m a hot freaking mess, and most of the time I’m okay with that.

However, even on my best, most confident days, comparison can creep in and leave me feeling insecure and worth-less (not worthless) because I am not some put together, graceful princess.

As I sat, barefoot in my weedless garden that afternoon, aimlessly tracing lines in the dirt, I thought about all the people I consider to be graceful and it dawned on me that, dang it, I am graceful. Or at least I strive to be grace full; full of grace.

It’s an awkward kind of grace for sure, but it’s there. And it’s there despite all my clumsiness, tardiness, blindness, and well… general mudiness…

Grace is in there somewhere because Jesus is.

It’s not the type of grace that I could exude or perfect by being timely, well dressed, or less of an overall space case. No, it’s the kind of grace that is purely a gift from God because of who Jesus is and what He has done for me, for all of us, on the cross:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth... For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.(John 1: 14, 16)

Jesus came to this mess of an earth, lived a perfect life, died a death that I deserved, and then conquered death to raise Himself back to life. It’s the gospel of perfect love and grace that I hear all the time. Yet somehow I forget it’s just as true for me, (the one who simply can’t seem to get anything together, ever) as it is for the ones I constantly compare myself to.

I may not be able to get my ducks in a row or be graceful by the world’s standards, but I’m sticking to my revelation that I am indeed, full of grace because He has allowed me to live out of His fullness. Even though, I’m weak and a mess, in the awareness of my disheveled state I’m able to rely on His strength and perfection by and because of His grace to me.

Theodore Roosevelt wisely said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I know that to be far too true, but I’m slowly realizing that if I let it, comparison can also kill my awareness of His grace…

263 days after writing this, I found myself walking down an airplane runway in Port Alsworth with Kathryn. As we meandered our way to a friends’ house, we talked about the unpublished draft of this very blog, laughing at how dramatically different my life looks a year later, but how much of a mess I still am.

This draft mentally resurfaced on our walk because I was wearing contacts yet again, as I’d woken up that late morning (way after my four alarms) unable to find my glasses. (Which I swear had to have been stolen from my room in the middle of the night by gypsies or something, because their location still escapes me…)

The million and one things that were on my frazzled mind in that garden have all been worked out in the beautiful sovereignty and grace of the Lord. Clearly, I eventually made it back into my house that evening and to the bank sometime later that week. The million and two support letters that the Lord used to bring me to Alaska were sent out, perhaps a few days (or weeks) later than I’d intended, but that didn’t impede upon God’s faithful provision or plan.

Sure, I’m still a hail-storm of a human. And no, maybe I don’t have a car that I can lock myself out of these days, but I did almost back a 4-wheeler into a house last night… I digress to simply say (mostly to remind my own fickle heart) that there’s nothing I (or you) could ever do to disrupt the grace-full sovereignty of God in His bigger story or tiny details.

While I’m reminded daily of my shortcomings and weaknesses, that has never stopped God from reminding my hot mess of a self that everything is accomplished by His grace and goodness, not the world’s expectations of what grace should look like in me.

Glory be to God.

“For You are good, You are good, when there’s nothing good in me…”

(“Forever Reign”, Hillsong United)

Rising: Post-Alaska plans

Can I just say, I’m astounded by the amount of food that teenage guys and men in their early twenties can eat without it affecting their waistline at all. Sometimes I sit at “family meals” here at TLC and just laugh to myself as my boys, fresh from their carpentry and aviation jobs, scarf down plate after plate of dinner.

To keep up with their voracious appetites (and because we don’t have the luxury of buying bread from a grocery store) I spend one, sometimes two afternoons a week baking bread for my students and staff. My students have gotten spoiled with homemade bread for sandwiches, toast, and to eat with the copious amounts of homemade soup that Tom and I feed them, and as much as they joke about becoming addicted to my “white people” cooking, I absolutely love having the time to spoil them a bit by baking them bread “with love”.

On a more selfish note, I love that my afternoons of baking give me an excuse to blast my worship music and twirl in my oven-warmed kitchen like a fool while breathing in the sweet scent that reminds me of my Tia’s kitchen on holidays. Baking has always been a stress reliever for me and I absolutely love that it’s become a part of my job description for this season of life.

RisingThe alchemy that occurs when I pour the ingredients into a mixing bowl, knead the dough that subsequently forms, and watch it rise in the ancient metal pans I found at village swap-meet astounds me. It just doesn’t make sense to me, this magic of baking, but it’s taught me a lot about life over the years. And if I’ve learned one thing this year through baking enough bread to feed a small army every week, it’s that you can’t rush the process.

When I try to hurry through my “memorized” list of ingredients, I inevitably forget the salt.

When I get over ambitious and try to make all six loaves at once, at least two somehow get screwed up.

When I convince myself that I need to rush, I don’t let the dough rise for long enough and my bread loses its beautiful, smooth top and its light, fluffy texture.

For someone who is, in the words of my car-obsessed grandfather, “All gas and no breaks”, spending time allowing my bread to rise seems like a waste, but it’s essential. The sitting and waiting, the patience, the “down time”… it’s essential in baking bread and I’ve been reminded that it’s essential in my walk with Christ.

In the last week or so, the Lord has brought me to a place of “rising”.

Since roughly December I’ve felt like someone put my brain inside my Kitchen Aid and turned it on high. As March has approached (aka the time of year when teachers usually begin signing their contracts for the next school year), my post-Alaska plans have been at the forefront of my mind. And in the last few months, the Lord has dumped what feels like nine million opportunities in my mixer with me and watched as I’ve spun and stressed and struggled, trying to figure out which is the “right choice” for the next season of life. Stressing and edging God out of the equation is so often my default reaction to seasons of change, even though I know deep in my heart that all I need to do is quiet myself before Him and ask (slash trust Him) to lead me.

I debriefed all of this with one of my most dear friends today (while our day’s worth of bread rose). She laughed and fed me the exact advice that I’d given her last summer when she was stuck on spin-cycle with Jesus.

“I don’t think God is going to tell you where He’s leading you, Kacy. I think He’s just going to let you sit and enjoy your time with Him, and then He’s going to take you there. I think you just need to wait and see; be silent and follow as He leads, one step at a time.” (Ironic advice given the number of times Exodus 14:14 has come up in our conversations with and prayers for each other throughout the last several months: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only be silent.”)

As I sit at my kitchen table this afternoon with pans of bread slowly rising next to me in my window sill, I know this to be true. This is to be a season of patience and listening, waiting and “rising”– not hurrying to get to the next thing on my to-do list or rushing my proverbial “baking”process… (or running full speed ahead into the obscure darkness, which almost seems like a shame because I’m SO much better at all of those things. #sarcasmfont)

I’m not gonna lie—I’m hungry and am anticipating eating the magical smelling bread next to me, almost as much as my heart is anticipating seeing what the Lord is going to do with my life next. As it currently stands, there’s a very good chance that three new countries and the ability to help found a non-profit that Denver drastically needs are in my immediate future… But all of that seems to be another blog for another time. Plus, I need to get off my tush and put this next round of bread in the oven before no one has anything to eat for dinner tonight.

I would love it if you would join your hearts in prayer with me as I wait and “rise”, sweet friends. Jesus is up to something… I have no idea what it is, but in the words of the United Pursuit song that I love so much, I know “It’s gonna be wild, it’s gonna be great, and it’s gonna be full of Him.”

PS: If you need to find yourself needing to breathe and pray, to quiet yourself and bake some bread today, here is the recipe that I’ve fallen in love with, courtesy of the lovely Mrs. Sarah Wardell.

Basically Manna from Heaven Recipe

  • 3 c. warm water
  • 2 tbsp. active rise yeast
  • ¼ c. agave or honey
  • ¼ c. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 5-8 c. flour

Mix warm water, yeast, and agave in your mixer for roughly a minute. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to allow the yeast to proof. Slowly mix in the flour, oil, and salt until your dough forms. Mix/knead the dough with a bread hook for five-ish minutes. Spray your bread pans with non-stick spray and allow the bread to rise for thirty minutes. Bake at 375* for thirty minutes. Makes two sandwich loaves. (Disclaimer: This temperature and time works well here at sea level; you might need to adjust it a bit if you’re baking in the high-altitude promise land of Colorado.)