the greatest gift

so this past weekend was my church's annual womens conference. woah, there is something about a room packed with women. so comforting. 

i must admit, i kinda decided that i liked joanne geerling long before i even heard her preach. i remember hearing her husband paul geerling preach at a view church conference a year ago and i really liked him. he was kind and gentle and real. i like those.

so joanne...she turned out to be really inspiring. and like her husband, she is real and honest about her life and faith. much respect!

she suggested writing down all the things God spoke to us during the conference, as a testimony and an account of God's revelation and work in our lives. so here goes...

the first nite joanne spoke on the woman in mark 14 who comes to anoint Jesus' feet with expensive perfume, upon which some comment that she is wasting money that can be used for the poor.

Jesus answers,
why criticise her for doing such a beautiful thing?
I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world,
this woman's deed will be remembered and discussed.

joanne spoke about the woman who grabbed Jesus' attention and what it was about her life that made Jesus look at her differently than the world did.

one point that she made really got me thinking,
'giving isnt about how much you have, it is about the condition of your heart.'

this women's heart was for Christ, to please him, to worship him. it was about way more than some chanel no5 perfume :) (or marc jacobs if you please)

often I don't pour myself out to God and to others completely. yet perfume's fragrance is only enjoyed once poured out.

i often keep the lid on what God has given me.
cos of fear. insecurity. doubt. laziness! can i get an amen?
but often, it's just because im not sure what exactly it is God wants me to pour out.
confusion is a huge pause button.

not pouring out my life to God, to others, just means oil in a pretty bottle right?
when it could be a beautiful scent.


but i asked God
what is this perfume Lord?
what have you placed in my hands that i can give that will please you and will bring enjoyment to others?

if you're like me, you often ask yourself, what is my gift? my calling? my ministry? 
I know what im good at, but what does God want me to do? how? where? when?
i end up facing question marks wherever i turn (and my face kinda starts looking like a question mark) and again...the pause button. ugh.

so im asking God these things.
frustrated, trying to direct all the passions and desires of my heart into a 'destiny'

but then...
is that not the biggest gift God has given us to serve Him and others with?
is love not the biggest gift we can give?

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart
and all your soul
and all your mind
this is the great and first commmandment
and a second is like it, you shall love your neighbour as you do yourself
these two commandments sum up and upon them depend all the law and the prophets

(it seems so simple...
but HOW Lord, how do I, so imperfect and incapable of loving, fully love others?

it is such a hard task and i know that i am going to fail at it a million times over
i am so far away from living a life of love)

I will fill you with My Love,
I will love you,
I will teach you,

make yourself available, pour your life unto Me, and onto others, even if imperfectly
and I will fill your heart
for apart from Me, you can do nothing

don't ask me how, but im trusting Him to teach me how to love. 



One Flesh || Elizabeth Jennings

Lying apart now, each in a separate bed, 
He with a book, keeping the light on late, 
She like a girl dreaming of childhood, 
All men elsewhere - it is as if they wait 
Some new event: the book he holds unread, 
Her eyes fixed on the shadows overhead. 

Tossed up like flotsam from a former passion, 
How cool they lie. They hardly ever touch, 
Or if they do, it is like a confession 
Of having little feeling - or too much. 
Chastity faces them, a destination 
For which their whole lives were a preparation. 

Strangely apart, yet strangely close together, 
Silence between them like a thread to hold 
And not wind in. And time itself's a feather 
Touching them gently. Do they know they're old, 
These two who are my father and my mother 
Whose fire from which I came, has now grown cold?

I Held You in the Square || Ben Okri, 1986

I held you in the square
And felt the evening
Re-order itself around
Your smile.

The dreams I could never touch
Felt like your body.
Your gentleness made the 
Night soft.

And even if we didn't know
Where we were going,
Nor what street to take
Or what bench to sit on
What chambers awaited
That would deliver us our
Naked joy,
I could feel in your spirit
The restlessness for a journey
Whose beauty lies 
In the arriving moment 
Of each desire.

Holding you in the evening square,
I sealed a dream
With your smile as the secret pact.