Friday, February 25, 2011

shout and sing and roar.

Listening To: For Love of You by Audrey Assad
Lyric Obsession: "I gave you brokenness./ You gave me innocence."

Hey there gorgeous types. I'm going to wait and post Part 1 of my most brilliant interview with Jenny B. Jones on Monday, instead of today. Because technology and I are having a duel.
*brandishes light saber* And everything I try to paste over to Blogger gets formatted to the high extent of wackoweird. Thanks for being patient!

Don't forget to leave a comment on Wednesday's post for a chance to win a copy of Jen's new novel,
Save the Date. And if you have some time, or you need to look busy for awhile, do scroll through those comments. They will make you want to read, and watch movies, ALL weekend long. I wish we could have a massive movie watching party, in fact. Nothing beats a good love story. *sigh* Thanks so much for participating in that discussion! What a fun turnout for a giveaway.Other than trying to finish up a massive-ginormous-super-sized piece of writing, this is the scene around my house today:

* Silver storm clouds are rolling across the sky, quick-like. A storm parade.

* A box of Girl Scout Cookies is presently open on my table.
Glory. (But I've limited myself to 2 a day. I deserve some kind of medal for this. Or cookie badge. Did you know I won the cookie badge for most cookies sold back when I was a Girl Scout? Quite an honor, I'd say.)

* Biscuit is squeaking her favorite new toy, a fuzzy red bone she got for Valentine's Day. I would like to point out that she is squeaking this toy
constantly. (And don't even make fun of me for giving my dog a valentine. I feel no guilt.)

* The wind is howling down the driveway. I hear the steady
scrrrrrrape of old, dead leaves. But I hear birds singing too. Slowly, slowly. Spring is finding its way back in.

* And Madeleine L'Engle is making my heart soar.

Necessary Backstory: I've been working through
A Heart Like His, Beth Moore's Bible Study about the life of David. I'm in my 8th week and, I kid you not, I wake up every day excited about doing this study. A Heart Like His is, so far, the best Bible Study I've ever participated in. The study is geared toward women, but I wouldn't hesitate recommending it to a guy. David's story will captivate you. Snatch up a copy of that book for yourself (and another for your bff, your mom, or your crazy Aunt Thelma). But make sure you snatch up the actual workbook study; the one you can interact with. That makes the whole process ten times more fun.Ever since I was a little girl, I've been fascinated with David. Crazy, crazy fascinated. I think most kids who grow up in Sunday School get psyched about a "little" guy defeating a "big-ol'" giant. But I never stopped loving David even after those years.

I think this is because I am constantly learning, and re-learning, to stare down my giants. Do you remember the part, when Goliath is taunting David, and David looks up at him and says (paraphrase): "I've taken down wild animals who tried to hurt my sheep. You're no different to me than that."

Makes. Me. Shiver.

Do you remember when David came back to his palace dancing all wild and undone before God? And his wife got embarassed? And David said,
"I'll become even more undignified than this."

Makes me cheer. Makes me wanna dance ;)
Girly admission: At some point, in my very dreamy-schemy high school/college years ... I decided David probably looked like Tom Welling. I have no clue where this thought process started. As a dreamy-schemy high school girl, I think my mind finally pinged to the fact that David was "ruddy and handsome." Also, I started loving that he was a poet. I still find loads of encouragement in the Psalms because they are gut-wrenchingly honest poems.

I like the way David came undone before God; and how that same wildness trailed over into his writing too. I started loving David the warrior. David the rocksong writer. David the foolish. David the brave. David the dancer. David the husband. David the father.

David the screw-up.

David the redeemed.

God called him this:
"a man after my own heart."
I really, really like David. I like him because he fought and he danced and he fell and he prayed. And his prayers are so raw that sometimes they're hard to read. But I want that kind of prayer life. I suppose that's why, the older I get, the more I love David. The more his story matters to me. And resonates with me. I want to stare down my giants. I want to walk in forgiveness, not in regret. Most of all, I want the kind of relationship with God that he had.

If you sometimes get bored reading the Bible (and who doesn't?). Or. If you tried to read through the Bible in a year starting on January 1 and you did great UNTIL you hit the wasteland of Leviticus (anybody else?) ... then you should try David. Start again, in 2 Samuel, and hold on tight. David will leave you breathless.

His entire story reads like a movie. It's like you are watching a movie in your mind. The giant? Is pretty much at the beginning. The whole lifetime of a story that comes after has been rocking my soul for weeks now. Eventually it will end. I will be in a funk all day when it ends.
At this point you are probably thinking: Swell. But what the durmstrang does this have to do with Madeline L'Engle?

Madeleine L'Engle is one of my favorite writers. I'm a big fan of her poetry, especially. And in a book of her poems called, The Weather of the Heart, she includes a poem called

And it makes my heart whirl like
I love it. I've kept Madeleine's book beside my David study and I've read it over and over as I've been reading about David's life (and holding my life up against the same kind of grace and courage that David found in his God).

I'll post Madeleine's poem at the end of this post. It is long, but it is so worth reading. I hope you read it up against whatever storm parade is blowing wild around you this week.

Be undignified today. ;)

by Madeleine L'Engle
(Originally published in
The Weather of the Heart, also available in The Ordering of Love, Shaw Publishing, 2005)

Your altar smelled of the slaughter house
the innocent eyes of tender beasts
Lost in the confusion of laws and vows
Was the high price paid to you for feasts.
They had to be men of iron, your priests.

And so did I, born but to sing,
To tend the lambs and not to kill.
Why, my Lord, did you have to bring
Me down from the safety of my hill
Into the danger of your will?

I learned to fight. I learned to sin,
I battled heathen, fought with lust;
When you were on my side I'd win,
My appetites I could not trust.
I only knew your wrath was just.

What I desired, I went and stole.
I had to fight against my son.
You bound my wounds and made me whole
Despite the wrong that I had done
I turned from you and tried to run.

You took me, also, by the hair
And brought me back before your altar.
You terrified me with your care.
Against your rage, I could but falter.
You changed me, but refused to alter.

So I grew old, but there remained
within me still the singing boy.
I stripped and sang. My wife complained.
Yet all my ill did I destroy
Dancing before you in our joy.

My God, my God, is not not meet
That I should sing and shout and roar,
Leap to your ark with loving feet?
I praise thee, hallow, and adore,
And play before thee evermore.


  1. Kindred spirits, you and I.

    Madeleine L'Engle is one of my always favorites. At the moment, I'm finishing The Young Unicorns. It's the last book in the Vicky Austin series that I have still to read.

    I've loved her since I was nine and my dad made me read a Wrinkle in Time and I loved it.

    Two of the big things on my bucket list are reading all her books and meeting her someday.

    It makes me happy that you love her. :)

  2. Lovely poem! The last stanza (that's what it's called, right?) reminds me of Narnia, Aslan, and Lucy.

    I read "A Wrinkle in Time" years ago and picked it up when our B. Dalton was closing and having a big sale. I really do need to read it again.


  3. I love how excited you are about reading the Bible! Your passion for it shines through your words. I wish I had that kind of passion. I wish I saw it like I see my favorite book that I can't put down. This post was really encouraging and inspiring! :)

  4. 1. i LOVE audrey assad.
    2. i'm definitely need to check out this beth moore study.
    3. & love love love this poem.
    thanks for sharing <3

  5. Audrey Assad is the best. :)

    I am currently trying to read A Wrinkle in Time; but I keep getting distracted by the million other books I have. I need to get through it though.

    I definitely want to do this Beth Moore study! It sounds so great!!!! :)

  6. You just made my day of being at home, sick so much better. What wonderful words. Thank you for sharing :)

  7. Hi Natalie ~
    sounds like you read my review of Ann with an 'e' & commented at Renee Ann's, so i missed you at FHC! tea's on if you'd care to pop back and comment... THX!
    enjoyed your review & post - seeing you in your writing ")

  8. I love David too! I want that Beth Moor book now!

  9. Okay, that poem is gorgeous - thank you so much for sharing! I have also been fascinated with David's life - I need to do that Beth Moore study! Did you watch the TV show Kings a couple of years ago (it was only on for one season)? It was a modern retelling of the life of David, and I found it fascinating how the scriptwriters translated David's early life to the small screen.

  10. I had to comment today because this is the first time I've ever recognized the music you're listening to! I love Audrey Assad :) Ought to Be is probably my favorite song of hers, but they're all good.

  11. Great post! Amen about the cookies. Those thin mints get me every time. Last weekend I had the girls over and we finished a WHOLE Package. It was terribly wonderful. I regretted it the next morning when I woke up without brushing my teeth afterwords. (tmi?)
    I might pick up the David book. Beth Moore is great. I watched/was at a live webcast she did this year about kindness. Her words still speak to me.

  12. Love this post! I've worked through that Beth Moore study. It's one of my favorites. And what a beautiful poem! I have to share that with my high school English class.

    I enjoy the way you exalt in David's story! Even tho' I love David's heart, in recent years I have found it so painful to read his betrayal with Bathsheba and Uriah. I would think, "What about Uriah, Lord? He seems to be only a small part of some other man's story." But I guess even David is only part of God's bigger story . . . I wonder what David and Uriah's first meeting in heaven might have been like . . .

  13. This:

    What do you think?

    Peeta gets me every time. I'm so positive I'm Team Gale, and then something like this happens.

  14. David and his story are lovable indeed...I love how he had to be taught and re-taught, just like me. I love that he danced *like no one was watching* I love that he told God exactly how he felt...and how he praised Him with passion. Great stuff!

  15. Thanks for sharing your joy in the Lord all the time! It's so encouraging!
    I did your want more life devotional a few months ago and I was so pleased to find your blog when I finished it :)
    I just started going through it again with my sisters. My little sister is having some pretty serious struggles and since it helped me so much with similar issues I thought it would help her too!
    Pretty inspired to revisit David's story aswell now lol!
    Cheers :)

  16. Oops lol! Left that comment from my mums account! How odd!

  17. Emily - thanks SO much for letting me know what the devo meant to you! That one has been out so long that I don't hear about it very often these days :) I love, love, LOVE knowing that you're doing the book again with your sisters. I'm super close to my sister too. (I want to be just like her when I grow up.) I bet your sisters love the time they get to spend with you most of all. Thanks for sharing all that with me. So sweet to know someone else can relate to the struggles (and the victory moments) in that little book. You made my weekend!

  18. :)! Someone got it for me before I gave my life to Jesus so it sat there for a while but it's being well used now lol!
    Thanks for writing back! My sisters and myself very much appreciate it :)So cool to be able to read about and message the author who helps us to understand more of Gods word each day.
    Looking forward to reading more blog posts!