Author Archives: greatgibbs

a few hours out on the trail…

Despite what some might think, I do tend to get out of my house, my office (and even my head) sometimes and wander around the woods. I haven’t done much of that in the past 15 months and it shows; not only physically but emotionally and even relationally. But this shall not only be the start of a new season, but a new adventure.  

Hiking. Camping. Seeing all that God created and placed around me. Getting back outside and to one of my first loves…outdoor adventures.

 

Okay. Enough with the intro. Let’s get on with Thursday’s adventure. 

 

I took the day off and made plans to go for a hike up at Max Patch with a close friend. (It was her challenge to me that woke me up a few months ago. She has no clue.) 

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 It was so gorgeous. Being on top of a bald with amazing views all around was the best thing for my tired soul.

 

Apparently I’m very out of shape. We had to stop several times so I could catch my breath. Guess I need to say goodbye to the cigars and work on my cardiovascular and stamina… 

 

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But…

Conversation flowed. 

Hammocks were pitched. 

Acorn tops were collected. 

 

It was what I needed, despite the cool conditions and crazy wind on top of the mountains. 

 

I wanted to sleep in Friday morning and hit another trail, but things like work and thunderstorms convinced me otherwise. 

 

I can’t wait to get back out there and see what else that God created is awaiting to be discovered. It’s good for my soul. 

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Timing and Seasons

At this moment, I have been thinking a little more about moving from one season to the next and what exactly does it look like for me. It always looks different, but the feeling of transition within me is the same.
It’s weird.
It’s also hard to think that I’ve been fighting God the past few months over this latest transition…but it is true. If I’m honest, I didn’t want it to happen. So I fought against God; denying it, trying not to see what was happening, even telling him that I didn’t want anything to change. Life had been so grand back in June and I wanted to go back to it. Then I started bartering with him; saying that I was done with that old season as soon as January had past or it was done when I had the final say.
Yes. I am prideful and foolish too often.
Then everything came flooding to the surface at 7:30 am on a cold Saturday morning two weeks ago, while I knelt in front of a fire that had just been started by my hands. All the selfless prayers written out, all the words that were never said; it all ended up in the fire.
Then I told God that I was ready to move on.
I was done with fighting him.
I didn’t want June and all of the seemingly good things, which actually led to my downfall, back.

I was done with trying to make a deal.
I knew what I had to do.
It took me three days after that Saturday morning to get back on track. The temptation to turn back to Egypt, to that idol was too great to try and ignore its pull. So I made the decision to kill all but one of my social media accounts.
And to think that all of this rambling comes from the song “Winter In My Heart” by The Avett Brothers. I want to leave this coldness that has been in my heart since August. I’m ready to move on.
Conclusion:
Comforting sins are too easy to turn to in your weakness.
And I would rather say “see you later” to those I care about than try to rebuild a bridge that I torched with flame thrower.

The end of Lent

Confession moment: I decided to do Lent this year on a whim…well…more like within a moment of desperation.  I was anxious, stressed out, insecure, and a whole mess of other things.  I needed Jesus and fasting all social media for Lent was a great idea, but I wasn’t sure if I could make it all six weeks.

 

Looking back, I think it was the best thing I have ever done.

 

I made it all six weeks. Being off social media caused my insecurity levels to drop almost down to 0%. Stress and anxiety has melted.  And I’m closer to Jesus and much more honest about where I’m at in all areas of my life.

 

Am I perfect? Have I arrived?

Hell no.

But I know what distracts me when I try to focus on Jesus. And I know that there’s so much more stuff that he wants to work on in me.

Three Years?

There are days that you will always remember; memories that stay in your brain.

I remember this night three years ago.
I remember how I spent the week before this night three years ago.
The memories still flood my brain when I pause long enough.
I had managed not to cry until 5 minutes ago, when I realized how much I missed my dad.

I still miss him terribly.

A quote from “Who Do You Think You Are?” By Mark Driscoll

More narrowly speaking, if others form our identity, then our personal relationships become unhealthy. The propensity to find our identity in others is commonly referred to as giving in to peer pressure, people pleasing, codependency, and having a fear of man. Practically, this explains why we’ll often change our appearance and behavior depending on whom we’re with and whom we seek to impress.

  Obtaining an identity from our relationships can manifest itself in the idols of independence or dependence. With the idol of independence, we rightly fear allowing our identity to be determined by others. Unfortunately, in the midst of our right fear, we wrongly avoid close relationships because we don’t want to risk being emotionally hurt – which means other still control our identity.
  Conversely, those of us who serve the idol of dependence simply cannot be alone. We have to be in some sort of deep friendship if single, or place unrealistic expectations on our partners of married or daring. We cannot bear the thought of being alone. While this may look loving, when we struggle with an idol of dependence, we’re in fact not loving people as much as we’re using them to fulfill our need to belong, be liked, and be desired.
  This explains why some friends and family members can be so demanding, smothering, and needy. It also explains why we’re so easily inflated by praise and deflated by criticism. It’s as if others have the ability to determine our identity for that day based on a word or even a glance. In giving this power over our lives to others, we give them a god-like  position to rule over us and define who we are. And in the age of technology, when folks can wield this power public ally for others to witness online, a low-level, constant anxiety slowly robs us of peace and joy. (p. 10)

Favorite Music from 2012

Let’s do something fun today and not be so self-focused and introspective. (That becomes tiring after a while…)

Music. I enjoy music. I even play it from time to time. And my taste in music is diverse and…incredibly picky. Even hipster-ish. And for me, music and memories tend to go together. Certain songs and albums can remind me of certain times and memories, some good and some not-so-good. That’s why I can’t listen to Switchfoot’s Learing To Breathe. Yes, I am strange.

Anyways, here’s my five favorite albums released in 2012…and one added on for good measure.

1.) Will Reagan and United Pursuit – Endless Years
-This one was a no-brainer, despite being released at the beginning of December. Will and his UPB friends have KILLED IT with this one. I don’t know of any other album where every song has hit my heart and caused me to tear up within the first 24 hours of listening to it. It’s that good.

2.) Jonathan David and Melissa Helser – On The Shores
-These guys have been huge in my worship times and when I finally listened to their latest, oh man. I still choose this album when it’s time for worship and reflection.

3.) Mumford and Sons – Babel
-They had me hooked from the first chorus:
“Cause I’ll know my weakness, know my voice
And I’ll believe in grace and choice
And I know perhaps my heart is fast
But I’ll be born without a mask”

And there’s much more goodness on their Deluxe Album. “Where Are You Now?” is some solid evidence of that. I could go on and on…but let’s move on.

4.) The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
-I wanted to put this higher on the list, but between the first three albums and the fact that this album hit so many deep and personal areas of my life, it hurt to listen to it sometimes (if that makes sense…) Even when they released “Live and Die” as a single, it hit me deep. The hardest song to listen to is “Through My Prayers”:
“Feels like no one understands
And now my only chance
To talk to you is through my prayers
I only wanted to tell you I care”

5.) The Lumineers – The Lumineers
-This album quickly moved from being an inside joke to my summer jam. And I’m talking about the whole album being my summer jam. It was perfect for the summer days when the top and doors were off the jeep and it went alongside albums from The Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons perfectly. And everytime I hear “Classy Girls”, memories and inside jokes come flying back.

Added on for good measure: Paper Route – The Peace Of Wild Things
-I wanted to put this on at #5 due to the fun memories that come up when “You and I” plays, but the painful memories that this one tugs at is too much to recover from.

And…album that will be released in 2013 that I already have: Charlie Hall – The Death Of Death
-I will admit that I’ve never been a huge fan of Charlie Hall. I’ve liked a few of his songs, but that was about it. Then I decided to back his Kickstarter project a few weeks ago…and ended up with his new album two weeks before it was released. Ummm…WOW. This might be my favorite album for 2013. And that’s saying a lot.

So there you go.

Three Years Ago

My woozy-headed father is on oxygen now…they cut back on his meds since it’s affecting his balance and he and my mom will meet with the doctor on Thursday and talk about whether or not to continue the chemo for his liver.
Posted on Facebook 12/15/09 9:07 pm

Just lost one of my black plugs for gauges down the drain. Cuss cuss cuss cuss cuss.”
Posted on Twitter 12/15/09 10:46 pm

I read these two posts from three years ago this morning and the first thought that came to mind was “I was a dumbass. While dad was dying, I whined about losing a piece of plastic down the drain.”

It’s proof that even at 28, someone isn’t mature. I had been on a streak of immaturity that had been going for years and I was okay with it because I was lazy. The friends I hung around with were lazy and immature too; but three years ago, that started to change.

It’s amazing what trials and testing and the shaking that God does will do to someone. Onward we go on the path to maturity.