Desire: An inward groan

media.giuntiscuolaWe have our way

We have our minds

We have our desires

And I believe I know better than God…

Any good prayer is a prayer you don’t want to pray.  Its either too hard, too big, or too illogical.  I believe we are afraid to tell God our inmost desires, or even confess our terrible thoughts.  Or, at least I am.   

Wind has a way of teaching us who is in control, and how to listen.  I was racing through my mind on a walk a few days back, and the wind told me to turn my head.  The wind was loud as I continued to walk straight ahead, but as I turned my head it fell silent.  There was no noise, and I could hear clearly.  My mind stopped, I stopped.  I realized sometimes you need to do something which seems not in your best interest. 

Im working out right now, and it sucks.  It’s hard, I want to quit.  There is sweat, pain, I got hurt the other day, and I do not like it.  But then I do.  There is something about that breath you take when you are finished with a good work out.  It is satisfying.  Your body thanks you, your brain is stimulated, and you are satisfied.  It is a breath of obedience.  You don’t want to put on the gym shorts, you don’t want to lace your shoes, but when you obey all those seemingly hard things you do before you go to the gym are worth it.  It is hard in the beginning, but it is worth it down the road.

We all have a picture of what we believe our life is supposed to look like.  And then it all gets stripped away.  Whether we like it or not.  Our rights become lefts, our mountains become rivers, and we don’t know which way is up.  The days begin to stream together.  The collaborative attempts of your friends have no power, and then there is a moment where you begin to understand.  We begin to understand that His ways are not our ways.  Jesus has a way of working in the illogical, non commonsensical, and not our way.  And I am starting to be ok with it. 

I believe we are to confess our desires, even cry out to God, but then believe He knows whats happening.  Our desires can be overwhelmingly strong and the only way to pray is to groan.  And it’s ok.  Can we believe He truly has our best interest at heart.  Believe He is doing something with this time in our lives.  It is ok to tell Jesus what we want, what we want for others, and ask Him, for we will know Him better by our honesty.  We often look for a tangible God.  We pray tangible prayers, or prayers that seem to be logical.  And with these prayers we get to know Jesus more like a friend, and less like customer service agent.  We start to know He does care, and He isn’t a derelict.   

“When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more.  Your desire can never be satisfied.  But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, ‘O yes-I already have everything that I really need’” Dalai Lama

I want to have my way, in Him

I want my mind to be like His

I want my desires to be what He desires

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Your Will, not Mine be done

beautiful-rain-fertilizer-deliveryIf you don’t start soon, it doesn’t get easier…

We all have things we would like.  We all have stuff in our lives we wish were different.  Maybe you want more hours in the day, maybe you want more friends, maybe less friends, maybe you want a different body.  What ever it is, I need to say what I am thinking.

“His ways are not ours”

“He has a plan for your life”

“Not as the world gives does He give”

Maybe God’s will is different than our will?  Maybe the desires of our hearts have been placed by our culture, and not God?  Maybe the person we believe we need is not a person, but Spirit? 

We believe a lot of crazy things following Jesus.  We believe in Him there is life.  We believe in Him there is peace.  And we believe He has a plan.  Maybe He does, but I get it confused with my plan.  I (like you) spend a lot of my time thinking about how I want my life to look.  I struggle with wanting my life to be a certain way.  I believe I deserve a specific lifestyle, a specific type of relationship, and a specific amount of money.  I am not sure when I started to dream and believe these ideas. 

I just got off the phone with a good friend of mine (He reads these on occasion but not all the time, so its safe to write about him).  He is living part of a life I want.  He has things I have dreamed of having.  He cares for a wife the way I would one day like.  But He said something which struck my heart as true and good.  The best part is my mentor tells me this all the time, but coming from my friends mouth was somehow different…. But He said, “It doesn’t get easier Trevor”. 

We can see our future lives and believe it has to be better.  My dreams of the future smell of laughter, tastes of rain, and are crammed full of good warm memories.  It is a utopia of adventures with a family, quirky trips with unstoppable belly laughs, and mid afternoon rain showers while dressed in oversized sweatpants drinking warm hot nilla chia. (I don’t really know what that drink is. I made it up in the future and it has the power to take away anxiety). 

Truth is, today is as good as the future (I don’t fully believe that last sentence, it was hard to write).  Full life, life abundantly, is available right now.  Life to the Max is found in appreciating what you have, being thankful for all things under the sun, but also hoping for the future.  Today the grass is greener, today.  I will live in this moment.  I will believe today, God’s plan, my plan, and the life I live is His plan.  He is in this mess.  He is able to comfort me today in my struggle, in my flesh and blood, and His plan today is good.  His will for my life is to seek Him today.  That is His will every day.  With all my heart, mind, and strength.  Maybe he does have good things in store for me later in life, but He also has great things in store for me today. 

You are alive today, the world was made for you now, not for future you. 

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When nothing works

TFS-diaries-0021-2glgf8cIt takes faith

You have to be willing

And you have to be able to see

I watched two documentaries this week.  They both scared me.  One was about being a Christians in the South, and another was about a cult.  They were both scarily similar.  The part I loved was how they were filmed.  Un biased, and open.  They simply observed the worlds in which the camera caught, and told a story. 

I wish we could be this way. 

We judge from the outside.  We put our own opinions and beliefs on others from the outside.  I had a conversation with a Mom a few weeks ago that made my heart break.  I had no clue what had been going on in her life. It all started with a harmless question, but it opened an hours worth of conversation. 

How much of life is different than it used to be?  Do you have things in your life you never thought you would?  Do you have experiences you can’t explain?  And what are you supposed to do when everything falls apart and nothing works anymore? 

I went through a deep depression a few years ago.  Nothing worked.  I would pray and hear silence.  I would read the bible but still hunger.  I would try and worship but there were only empty tombs.  I would journal but my pen would fall flat.   I would talk with friends, but feel as though all I knew were strangers. 

We are quick to put our beliefs on those who need love.  We put our conviction on those who need comfort.  We put our ideology on people who are hungry.  We pray for healing when we ought to pray for pain, and we become complacent when there is no answer. 

So when did I feed you Lord? 

When did I clothe you Lord? 

When did I take you in?

Can we be people who are quick to listen and not harsh to judge?  Can we be those who are slow to speak, and quick to be generous?  Maybe someone you know needs lunch today?  Maybe there is a conversation you have been waiting to have?  Maybe you haven’t written that letter?  The only reason we do or do not resides between our own two eyes.  Strengthen you mind, have faith.  God is bigger than you will ever comprehend. 

Some days I am great at this.  Some moments are better than others.  Some Trevor’s screw up, and some Trevor’s get it right.  I do not believe in a God that keeps a record of wrongs I accumulate.  I do not believe we are anything other than what Jesus says.  We are His.  More than conquerors, saints, sons, and daughters.  We are beloved, He is Good, and we need to bless those around us.  It is pure, it is simple, and yet it can be messy. 

We all go through this life.  These problems, hurts, trails, and even joyful moments truly are real.  They have a place.  Enjoy the good, and enjoy the bad.  Welcome loneliness as an old friend.  Fall in love with silence.  Ive started to accept and become comfortable with not knowing.  I started to get out of bed.  I started putting one foot in front of the other.  I began to recognize the little triumphs and absorb the beauty deep within the ashes.  Which is where He is. 

Be Blessed

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The other side


Sometimes you have to be honest

There is nothing better than honesty, and there is nothing better than being true to yourself.  We have a habit of lying to ourselves.  We tend to be our worst advocate.  We tend to be our own worst nightmare.  We do not let ourselves believe.  We don’t let ourselves trust.  We don’t let ourselves feel, or obey.

Jesus said a lot about building ourselves up.  Jesus spent most of his time telling people who they truly were.  And I spend most of my time tearing myself apart.  I rip into my flesh.  I speak evil, and I war agains’t my own flesh.  The same flesh Jesus is proud of.  The same flesh Jesus has hope for. 

I was given a gift a few weeks ago.  I didn’t deserve it.  There was nothing to warrant the gift, and yet it was so beautiful.  Someone had listened to me, and through the gift I was given hope.  Hope for life now, and hope for life in the future. 

I tend to obey and follow Jesus because of the “because”.  I will obey, or not obey because.  Because He will bless me, or He will take away.   I think this is most of us.  I will give away my money because in return I will….  I will feed the homeless because in return I will receive…..  And I am not sure this works for me. 

I’ve always been a big guy.  Broad shoulders, nice calves, and my stomach…  But nothing could motivate me to lose weight or look better.  There were moments, I had inspiring glimpses of why I should, but in the end they would fail.  I needed results, I needed motivations, and I needed someone telling me good job.  Part of it is true, and part of it isn’t.   We do need to help spur each other on, but also our motivation needs to come from a place of purity.  I need to try and be the best me.  I need to treat my body for how it was made.  

And so I am writing this for myself.  I need to stop bad habits for Jesus.  I need to be Christ focused, and lose myself in his awareness.  I need to be obedient for Jesus.  Not because there is some eternal reward.  Not because my life will be better later, when I am older, but because Jesus is worth it.  What happens when you obey and the next day you don’t feel better, or you don’t feel his blessings?  For Him I will live and breath.  For him I will move and rest.  Can I find this pain of suffering, advance through, push the limits, and my reward be more Jesus?  Can that be enough?  Will I allow myself to hurt, be lonely, and rest in Jesus?  At times I can’t.  At times it isn’t enough.  I succumb to my flesh, I give into my desires, and they always leave me feeling empty and more unsatisfied.   My motivation can’t be to not feel bad about myself.  I do not want to make obedience into a mechanical device that I can check and balance.  I want to obey because Jesus is worth it.  Because, He is. 

There is hope, there is obedience, and there is all of this because of Jesus.  I need to stop believing the lies.  I need to build myself up, and stop tearing myself apart.  I need to have pure motivation.  And so I will go on with dissatisfaction and consider it pure joy, with not an ounce of “because”.  

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Dust and Spirit


I don’t get it.

It doesn’t make sense. 

I don’t understand why it is so hard.

Whether we believe it is good for us or not, we tend to do whatever we want.  Whether it will bring us life, or death, we do whatever we want.  And nothing stops us.  Im not sure where it comes from.  Rebellion or non conformity run deep in our bones.  My will power is directly opposed to my wellbeing. 

Don’t touch, so you touch it.  Don’t eat, so you eat. You shouldn’t hang out with them, makes you…. We get the point, but it doesn’t make sense.  We tend to do what we ought not to do.  The things that bring us death tend to be exactly what we desire. 

In my tween years I believed I would be married by 25, living in my career, and have 2.5 kids.  I dreamed of mowing my own lawn (in whatever shapes I wanted), taking my wife out on crazy adventures, and reading my kids to sleep.  But as life has it, none of those beliefs have come to fruition. 

I fully trust Jesus with some aspects of life, and there are some I do not.  I am not sure why some parts are easy to trust and others not.  I am not sure why I act out of my flesh in one moment, and be of the Spirit in another.  It is truly baffling.  Some days it is as if I don’t even know Jesus.  Some days it is as if we are one.  I get upset with Jesus, and in the same breath thank Him for how great my life is.

And that is ok. 

Why do I do the things I wish I didn’t do?  How can I love and hate this life I am living?  How can I trust God with big bold circumstances, and yet run in fear with small insignificant happenstances?  I can only begin to wonder and believe I am normal, and we are all like this.  Right?  Am I crazy? 

We all have moments of pure joy, where everything seems right in the world, and there is no place you would rather be.  And we also have, in the same day, moments where the world is coming to an end, and you don’t see the reason why.  We have moments of clarity alongside moments of deep darkness.  We have powerful days of purpose and place alongside days of anxiety and depression.  We have love alongside heartbreak, and trust alongside doubt.  We are humans, and this is who we are.  Fickle, finite, illogical, irrational, nonsensical, meandering, beautiful creatures of dust and Spirit.  It’s mysteriously wonderful, and poetically depressing all at the same time.  My flesh will always war against the spirit. 

Im not sure we will ever truly be finished, complete, or fully satisfied.  If we were we wouldn’t need Jesus.  We wouldn’t need each other.  We could be self sufficient, and there is no life in that.  We are called to be human.  We are called to wrestle with Jesus through life in a brilliant display of color and darkness.  We are beautifully designed to touch, taste, and create.  We are image bearers whom are able to trust and believe while full of doubts and questions. 

It’s ok not to get it.

It’s ok, life doesn’t always make sense.

Life is hard, its worth it, and its perfectly fine to not completely understand!


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Old Spice


I just bought a new body wash.

Every time my hand comes close to my face I can smell it.

I cant tell if I smell bad, or different, OR the body wash somehow mixed with my skin and chemically changed to smell like BO…

But like most fragrances, I’ll become used to it.  To the point where you no longer smell it.  We get accustomed to fragrances, and…. Life. 

We are creatures of habit and absolutes.  Like most humans, I have a lot of habits.  Some good habits, but some really bad ones.  I bite my fingernails.  I sleep on my stomach.  I sneeze in three’s (any more, or any less and somethings wrong).  I get in and out of my car the same way every time.  I wash my hair, then my body, and dry off the same every day.  I go to the same starbucks, and I like it.  I like my way.  I like the way things work, I like my routines, and they like me.  Interruptions are why we have and use cuss words.  Appropriately of course. 

If you’re like me you live in absolutes.  I don’t have much room for anomalies or inconsistencies.  First impressions are big, and I hardly give second chances (not totally true…that sounded harsh).  If something works one way once, I believe it should work that way every time.  When I take a stance or I position myself on an idea it becomes a part of me.  And if you have a different opinion, stance, or position it feels like you are against me.  It gets personal.  It is often hard to see a different side, or hear a differing opinion.  Even if it is as petty as how to wash a dish, or which way the toilet paper rests (Over the top of course).  But it also goes as far as your beliefs, and second chances for people in your life. 

Sometimes life is unforeseeable.  Sometimes life changes.  Sometimes people change.  Sometimes habits stop, and new ones form.  And, life. Keeps. Going. 

I write people off.  I put people in categories.  Some may stay forever, but sometimes people change.  I spent a month with a guy who I despised.  It was my first summer staff in San Diego a long time ago. I watched this guy treat people poorly, use women, and all in the name of the Lord.  He couldn’t see what he was doing as wrong, or harmful.  So, I wrote him off.  I hoped to never see him again.  But as life has it, I saw him.  All the time.  Three to four times a year.  And I watched him change.  I watched him soften.  I watched him become great. 

I want to be more open.  I want to be less absolute.  I want to see interruptions as the spirit moving.  I want to give all people a second, third, or a hundredth chance.  I want to be uncomfortable.  I want to be in the habit of growing and changing body washes.  Not truly changing body washes all the time (thats expensive), but I want to live life like my new body wash.  I do not want to become numb or used to one way of life.  I want to smell the world differently.  I believe we can become accustom to a certain way of life, living, or comfort.  Changing my body wash made me realize something.  I do not smell bad, it is just different.  Right now I believe I smell bad, but it is simply something new.  New can sometimes smell bad, or be uncomfortable, but after a while it becomes normal.  The new will become the normal.  The new body wash will become my ordinary smell.  We will all become use to my new smell.  It will become me.   And then I will get a new body wash, or soap, and it will begin again. 

Interruptions, new ways of life, other ways of thinking, being open to opinions or stances could be healthy and good.  Could we be stuck in a specific way of thinking, and trying out a new openness smell bad right now?  What is making you uncomfortable?  What habit is hard to form, or break?  Who have you put in a category, or written off?  What interruption seems unbearable, but could truly be what you need today? 

I want to live

I want to smell different

I want to stop living in absolutes, and create a habit of openness, and uncomfortable. 

Maybe you can join me?

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Contingent Joy


Who are you?

We all wonder about this.  We will always wonder about this.  It is not easily answered.  We tend to use actions to define us.  We tend to not know.  We tend to constantly change.  And we tend to be confused. 

My friend came over the other day.  He just came over.  We didn’t have a plan.  There was no agenda, and we didn’t have a time frame.  He just came over.  We used to do this as kids.  I would call my friends and ask them to “come over”.  I used to actually ride my bike to my friends house and knock on the door.  They never asked, “what are we gonna do?”, “How long?”, or “Why?”.  My friends would just come over and we would play.  We would build forts, get bored, and simply be together.  We just were, and it was beautiful.

I believe we need to start defining ourselves by who we are not what we do. 

I am

A human

A human being

A son

A brother

A friend

I tend to be hard on myself.  I tend to define myself with negative thoughts.  I could make a long list of the things I am not, or wish to be, but I think we get it.  We are usually negative and harsh on ourselves.  I don’t do enough, I don’t have enough, and my happiness is usually contingent on something.  My happiness is not solely based on being alive.  And that is where I stumble.

“Happiness that is contingent on something is another type of misery.”-Chopra

“Do not let your happiness depend on something you may lose.”-Lewis

It’s hard to just be

It is hard to think rightly

It is hard to live

It is hard to not want

It is hard to be uncomfortable

But I believe there is hope

And I believe Jesus thinks we are something greater than we can imagine.  I believe Jesus keeps no records of our wrongs.  I believe he casts our sin as far as the east is from the west.  I believe He is for us, not against us.  I believe He came for the sick not the healthy.  I believe we are more than conquerors.  I believe he loves us for who we are not what we do.  I believe we can start to believe this as well.  Help us in our un belief. 

So who are you?  What defines you?  Are you defined by something you can lose?  Is your happiness contingent on somethings or someone?  Mine usually is.  I believe I can only be happy if.  “If” I have, “if” I am with, “if” this person responds, “if” money comes in, “if” I get……  “If” is in the business of robbing us of life NOW.  “If” stops us from being happy, or alive.  “If” starts to define us and our desires. 

I wonder if we can re-capture who we are in the context of who God believes we are?  Can we be happy because we are alive?  Can we experience joy because we are breathing?  Can we simply “come over”.  Why do we need reasons?  Why do we care so much in the things we can simply lose?  There are far greater things to worry about, far greater people in front of you right now, and a far better mindset to have today.

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