no, that time stamp down there isn't kidding - it really is shortly after 3:00am at the moment. i woke up totally wired about half an hour ago, and when i asked God why, He said, "well, you've been wanting time to write, haven't you?" so i got up, checked my email, went to make an omelet and decided somewhere between fridge and stove that garlic buttered shrimp sounded better, and so here i am, writing and eating really good shrimp at 3:10am.

mmm. oh, wow. this is really good shrimp...

so i did something last night that i'm not sure i have ever done before. i went to rehearsal for Torch, had dinner with some friends (it was Torchfest, which is our end of the month "let's all bring food and hang out" night), stayed for the sermon - and went home. just about the time the band got onstage. i don't think i've ever not gotten onstage when i was "supposed" to unless i've been really sick. i actually wasn't "supposed" to be up there last night - it was a stereotypical two-people-called-in-and-no-one-knew-until-just-before-rehearsal night and so we all shuffled what instruments we were playing - the bassist took drums, the guitarist took bass (because otherwise it was going to be me, and i've never played bass in my life) and i took guitar and vocal because the girl who was leading this week told me she needed me to, and i was too tired to argue, and someone else stepped in and ran powerpoint for me.

there was a discussion time between the sermon and the musical portion of our worship, and a few of us were hanging out in the soundbooth talking. our pastor wandered by, and asked how i was doing. i said i was tired, and jokingly asked if it would be poor form if i went home. he said something to the effect of: "no, actually, i think it would be great if you did that. because godly women know when they need to walk away from ministry for awhile in order to abide instead. go home and get some sleep." and the next thing i knew, i was in my car on the way home. and i was asleep by 10:00pm. which is why i'm now up.... five hours a night has been the average for the past few weeks, and it's time for that to stop.

i've asked for some time off from ministry stuff. not because i don't want to do it anymore, but because i need to rest. re-root in God's presence. get my papers and the final done for the correspondence class i'm taking. sleep. learn to see straight again. i am really hoping they say yes. it would give me almost three weeks of freedom, and it would be so nice to just go to church...

this past weekend was amazing. it's not the biggest platform i've ever been on, but it's the biggest i've ever led from. and i got up there in my sockfeet and worshiped, and it was sweet. it was a bit of a weird zone, because the acoustics of the room prevent you from being able to hear the congregation singing, and the lights prevent you from seeing most of them, so it's almost like being in a really loud bubble up there, but i worshiped the Lord, and there were moments when i felt such joy bubble up in my soul as i sang. i didn't get a lot of feedback afterwards, but there were a few people whose opinions i value highly who let me know how incredibly sweet they'd found His presence that morning, and i was able to walk away knowing that i'd done my job well enough that i hadn't gotten in His way, and i was glad for that...

but at the end of the last service, i sat there on the edge of the stage for a moment, and i just started to feel a little depressed... it had been a good run. i think i can safely say that i didn't bomb it. i was really glad to be up there in my socks... but there was almost a sense of... "that was it?" it felt... anticlimactic. all that build up, and then it was done. it was great. but now it's done.

and i'm left with three songs in my head. The "so what we have learned" song from VeggieTales (along with questions about what i've learned from all this, which i will get to eventually, tho probably not this morning!), Jump 5's Spinning Around, and Charlie Hall's Marvelous Light. and... now what?

"spinning around, i've got this funny feeling, turning my whole world upside down..." (jump 5)

"lift my hands and spin around, see the light that i have found, oh the marvelous light, the marvelous light" (Charlie Hall)

and this:

jON has left an absolutely beautiful comment on one of my posts (Translucency), and i wasn't sure whether to laugh or weep when i read it, as it is so timely. this is what he said:

this brings words to mind from trent reznor.

"are you sure what side of the glass you are on?"

i think in my life, i was always facing the wrong way. god kept drawing me to himself, however, slowly but surely. it wasn't until he finally pulled me on the other side of the glass that i awoke.

why is this glass in my way?! what happened?! everything used to be so clear! now i don't know what's happening!

"turn around" he said.

then i saw it. the world in technicolor right before me. i was looking the wrong way the whole time. if i had turned around before, i would have noticed i was already encased in the translucent glass, never having seen truly before. and i would have known the instant i became free as a cause for rejoicing rather than fearing my entire world had failed me.

jON, that's beautifully worded. thank you.

i'm in that sort of a place right now. a place where i know if i just spin around a little further i'm going to be able to make sense of at least some of this...

what i wish is that i'd been able to ride the tide of worship that flowed through that room this weekend and been aware that i was riding it. i know i did - i just didn't feel it the way i wanted to. but the reality is that i'm so drained and so tired and so insanely busy that i am not habitually leading worship out of a place of abiding right now. God has blessed what i'm doing anyway - but He's also made it clear that it's time to shush for a bit, and draw away with Him for awhile.

There's a scene in Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time that's been kicking around in my head for days now, and I think it ties things together rather nicely... Meg has just found her father, who is (ironically) imprisoned in a glass column on a very dark planet. Within it there is nothing but darkness, but with the right lenses (Mrs. Who's glasses), the very particles of the glass that traps him shift, allowing him to escape. So he picks Meg up, and they go through the glass together:

"For a moment it seemed that the chill darkness would tear her from her father's arms. She tried to scream, but within that icy horror no sound was possible. Her father's arms tightened around her, and she clung to his neck in a strangle hold, but she was no longer lost in panic. She knew that if her father could not get her through the wall he would stay with her rather than leave her; she knew that she was safe as long as she was in his arms." (p. 139)

and on that note... i think i need to go abide in my bed awhile longer. :) Good night... er, good morning, rather. :)


Ruth said...

Hi Happy ~ I've missed you! I'm so glad to be back and to hear how it has been going for you.

I have to tell you something weird...when you kept quoting this Madeleine L'Engle I was going to ask you who whe was. I never heard of her. Well then I ordered the book "A Wrinkle in Time" through my kids book order because it was cheap. When it arrived I noticed it was Madeleine who wrote it so I googled her and read up.

So now me and my two girls are reading it together. (and dang, now I know what happened to the father) It's a wonderful book and an answer to prayer.

I have been asking the Lord to show me how I can pass an authentic faith and spiritual truths on to my kids. I think books like these help to get discussions going about truth and spiritual things while having fun with imagination.

By the way, I think you are wrinkling. The Lord is taking you on awesome and mysterious journey via an extraordinary way.

jON said...

okay. so ruth hangs out here. cool.

i've seen you around, happy, but i've never stopped by. i'm "touring" a little this summer and getting to know bloggers other than the ones in my immediate circle. i hope you don't mind. kick me out anytime. i have brough some french silk pie as a peace offering. hope you likey...

thanks for your kind words. i am both flattered and humbled.

i enjoy reading what little i have so far. i love your straight, honest, stream of consciousness style. i feel like i get to know happy the same way that happy knows herself.

and i think that's the best way to get to know someone.

Ruth said...

Hey Jon - Yes I do hang with Happy. You're right...she's pretty much an open book and that's what's so loveable about her.

French silk pie! - wow you really pulled out all the stops. I wonder when Happy's coming back to join the party?

Happy said...

I'm here, I'm here!!!! LOL... is there any pie left?!?! :)

you guys are awesome....

Ruth, I'm so sorry for the spoiler! Wish I'd known. I forget that not everyone hangs on every word of my favorite author's pen. :) I can't remember if I even know how old your girls are, but when they're in high school, get them each a copy of A Ring of Endless Light. I read it in 8th grade, and it's still an annual read. GREAT platform for conversations about theology and life.

Jon, welcome!!! You will never get kicked out. Stay as long as you like. I've seen you around too, and it's fun getting to know you a bit. I'm swamped with school still, but come May I'm hoping to dive back into my online reading again (I've missed a lot!), and I'm glad to know where to find you now. :)

straight, honest, stream-of-consciousness... yep, that's me. :) and this is the slightly *edited* version. if you could only see the real thing! lol...

thank you both for your kindness - and the party. :) GREAT pie. goes well with this 1/2 gallon of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream i'm chipping away at...

and Ruth - I have ALWAYS wanted to tesser. It's my secret wish... if I could have any superpower, that would be it. :)

Ruth said...

Well Happy you finally returned to join the party!

My girls are 7 and 10 so I've lots of time to introduce them to Madeline. And me too - I'm going to look for her books. I'm so glad you have been talking about her. It made me take note when I saw the book that I bought for my kids and realize that it was from the Lord.

You know - I think in a way we are tessering. Here I am in my little office in my home in Surrey while I'm actually suposed to be working, You are somewhere in the US and Jon is in Minestota. Yet at the same time we are meeting here in a virtual space having a party, enjoying one another's company and eating pie and icecream.

Happy said...

Hi, Ruth - I was reading thru old posts tonight, and came across this one; I don't know if you were frequenting the Shift when I posted it or not - but tessering came up, and it made me think of you tonight. :)

you can find it here

(i think... hopefully i got the html right...) :)

anyway, i suspect that Madeleine would agree with you. yay, i've learned to tesser... who knew?! :)

you should check out the Crosswick Journals for yourself... I'm about due for my yearly read thru them myself. :) The first one's called A Circle of Quiet - just stories from her life and what God taught her through them...

Ruth said...

So the post was about geckos? Am I missing something?

Yes the Crosswick journals sound like a good place to start.

We are enjoying "A Wrinkle in Time" and my girls are actually staying interested. Sometimes those older books loose them because the language is very descriptive and the vocabulary is rather foreign. I try to use a lot of intonation when I read to keep their interest. My 7 year old thinks its scary when I talk like Mrs. Which.

Happy said...

lol - i bet you do *great* voices. personally, i pull off a pretty great monkey, which is helpful when you read to preschoolers. :)

yeah, it was mostly about geckos, and the cultural strangeness with which some of the stories of the Bible can hit us sometimes.

you wouldn't believe how many people actually google the word "baldhead"... it's kind of hilarious...

but back to the topic at hand: tessering's always been completely a believable scientific concept to me because of stories like Philip "appearing" at Azotus (how did he GET there?) and Jesus walking into locked rooms (oh, to have seen the looks on the disciples' faces!). :)