Three things that have changed since I started blogging:
1. Our church officially began holding services in early September 2005!
2. I started a job at Winthrop University shortly after the blog commenced, in October 2005.
3. I began taking classes in graphic design in August 2007.
I can't believe the major life changes that the past three years have brought. Feel free to think back to YOUR last three years and post a comment about what has changed in your lives!! Perhaps three years ago, you have never even HEARD of a blog!! Visit the "Archive" on the right to view old posts...and take a stroll down memory lane.
If you're still a bit unsure about all of this blogging stuff, check out this WALL STREET JOURNAL story about the history of the blog and some important people's perspectives about them. My google search for "blog anniversary" generated over 3 million hits. Crazy. Thank you for dropping by to celebrate the blogoversary with me.
I know first-hand the need for rain. We have been in exceptional drought conditions for over a year now in South Carolina. Silly as it sounds, I had to watch my sweet little plants wither up to nothing because we felt the need to conserve so we could do things like brush our teeth and clothes. I remember watching the red clay earth dry up and crack open last summer...then, when we had a 10-minute flash shower after months of nearly nothing, I remember running outside and doing a rain-jig on the front lawn (this is not a metaphor...I literally was doing a jig! The Tall One didn't know whether to laugh or commit me.). I remember another day that some threatening clouds came overhead, looking as if they might release the needed water onto our thirsty ground. I sang this song at the top of my lungs as I stood in my doorway, hopeful and expecting.
And my soul has been singing this song for months, years, maybe my whole life. And the Lord is faithful to answer the cry. And recently, I think, He has loaded the rain clouds with His truth and grace and power. But I wasn't expecting to get such a flood. There's nothing worse sometimes than being caught in a rainstorm unprepared...you just have to resign yourself to complete drenching. Typically, you resist by trying to find something just to cover your head...an overhang...a newspaper...you try to protect your cell phone...etc. But even if you're not expecting it and it seems a pain at first, you give in. Let the mighty truths of God come crashing to earth, splashing all around you. The big ideas of His grace falling all around, soaking you from stem to stern. You know that it will wash off your make-up and ruin your hair...but that's quite the point. Instead of hiding from the rain of God, we should run out into it, embracing all the possibilities that it brings for growth and its life-giving power...it will heal the dry cracks in our soul...we focus on little more than the rain itself...washing away the stilted air and filth that has built up in the drought. And the beautiful thing for a crier like me...no one even notices your tears in the rain! And then, after the rain...abundance!
Isaiah 30:23-26 (The Message)
God will provide rain for the seeds you sow. The grain that grows will be abundant. Your cattle will range far and wide. Oblivious to war and earthquake, the oxen and donkeys you use for hauling and plowing will be fed well near running brooks that flow freely from mountains and hills. Better yet, on the Day God heals his people of the wounds and bruises from the time of punishment, moonlight will flare into sunlight, and sunlight, like a whole week of sunshine at once, will flood the land.
LET IT RAIN!!!!!!!!
I started this thought in an email to a friend today...and liked it well enough to elaborate...
Oh, to be able to dance upon His clouds of grace without fear of falling! Instead, we trudge in meadows of mud, finding delight in what we can see on the ground...getting bogged down more often than not. We admire some nice flower or a moment of sunshine as a ray kisses our face. Content with a fleeting moment of beauty in an otherwise sloggy hike. Imagine the freedom of dancing on clouds of grace...lighter than air! Which one would you like to describe your spiritual "walk?" Will we rest in his grace and his ability to maneuver us, or will be be content to have small moments of grace and continue our striving with heavy feet? I want to be consumed by His grace, close to His face. Close enough to know when He turns to the right or left. To feel His breath. To know that however He consumes me, it will be for my good. But if He does not consume me, I am destined to the misery of the in-between.
It's interesting to watch "community" dynamics. Wherever that community may happen--in a class, at a job, on a committee, or at church. It is in all of our natures to compare and compete to some degree. You may never say it, but often you think "My idea was better than his..." or "So-and-so isn't working as hard on this as I am..." What I have to remind myself: we are all learning. We all have some valuable ideas. We all have contributions. Even the people that I may think are in left field...we should all be open to listening and learning from those whom we think have nothing to teach. Competition among a community is a killer. It kills ideas and creativity. It creates drama. It is the face of selfish ambition. Instead, we should find a place of encouragement and inspiration...a healthy competition to do one's personal best while making the rest of the group look good at the same time. Selfless ambition. Lofty goal. Hard to attain. Let's try, shall we?