No Flow, Stream Of Consciousness

Akaka Falls, Big Island, Hawaii 2008
As you can see I haven’t been writing that much lately.  I sat down to write a blog the other night and it just didn’t flow.  

I’m not a very consistent person, although I’d really like to be.  People who know me, know that I’m either super passionate about something, or I could care completely less.  Its either 110% or 0.   

I’d love to be super disciplined, aka consistent. It’s something that I’m working on.  I’d love to have a solid routine.  Consistency isn’t something that Jess and I have had a lot of.  We’ve lived in 4 different states in our 3 years of marriage.  And since we’ve been here in Hawaii since March, we’re in our 4th room, in 3 different houses.  That’s 4 moves in 6 months.  

I like it better when things flow.  And with all of our moving, there has been a natural flow.  For me it’s always been clearly evident what the next step is when it’s time.  God makes it easy on us, there’s no real other options.  I’m not complaining that we’ve moved that many times.  I feel it was clearly God’s leading, but it hasn’t always been easy.  I’m thankful for each place we’ve gone.  Along the way, we’ve learned a lot, met a lot of people, and been impacted and felt we had an impact on those around us.  

Here’s a funny story that I don’t think I’ve ever shared with you.  So here you go.  

It was 2006 or 2007, I don’t remember exactly.  I had just returned from a week or two in Latvia.  (Eastern Europe)  I was sitting in my office at the high school I worked at.  (I had really nice offices when I worked at the high school.)  I got a phone call from one of the guys I had been mentoring.  He had just been kicked out of a discipleship program in Tennessee.  I booked a ticket that day to fly to Nashville and help him sort things out and be there for him.  I met with him and I met with the leaders.  We then went on a mini-road trip, asking God to help us make sense of the situation and for direction for my friend.  We ended up in New York where I left my friend on another friends couch, thinking that would be the best place for him to be.  

As I was leaving town I stopped at a red light.  I put my hands on my head, reflecting over the past month and thinking about how crazy it had been.  I said out loud, “God can I just have a normal life?”  Immediately after I said that, the car behind me rear ended me.  I got out of my car uninjured and walked to see if there was any damage to my car.  The lady driving said “theres no damage just go.”  I double checked and there wasn’t any damage so I got back in my car.  It was just a love tap.  A love tap from Jesus, reminding me that I wasn’t created for a normal life.  

There’s not much a flow to this post.  Or maybe there is.  I’m not sure what I’m trying to say.  Thanks for reading while I’m trying to get back into the groove of writing.  

I think I just realized, that even though I like structure, and structure is mostly more efficient and effective, that in the midst of  seemingly random things God is still there.  It’s the random things that make the best stories.  Getting away from the plan takes longer, but is the most memorable, maybe having even more impact than what would have been would this blog post been short and structured.  

I’m in starbucks right now, I haven’t sat here and worked in a while.  I came here because it was hot at the YWAM base, the interent wasn’t working there and someone was cutting down a tree with a chainsaw right outside my “house.”  Not the best environment for just about ANYTHING.  

It’s freezing in here, but at least there is reliable interent, and a hard chair.  I drank a grande iced soy chai latte with light ice.  The caffeine and sugar had me feeling pretty motivated but it’s only temporary.  I can actually start to feel a bit of a crash.  

I made a phone call today to a friend who has been struggling with some stuff and needed to talk.  It would be awesome to have an office where I could have some privacy.  You should have seen me, hunched over talking on my phone.  I was sitting at a long table with 3 other people.  I had my phone to my ear, and an ear bud in my other blasting white noise trying to drown out what was going on around me, so I could actively listen and make sure that my friend felt valued as he expressed some of his struggles.  

I work best in an office where I can be alone and not interrupted.  Clean surfaces, tidy.  Cool temperature, but not freezing like it is here.  I’d love to have options for all three types of lighting, indirect low lighting for “mood”when I need to be creative, natural lighting, windows for meeting with people, and then just blindingly bright overheads for when things had to get done.  

But no such office exists for me right now, I’ll have to do what I need to do on the move, and make the best of the things around me.  Like an intimate phone conversation in the middle of a starbucks.  

I’m big on atmosphere, I’m more productive when I have an atmosphere like I described above.  I feel better when things are clean.  Think metropolitan home.  Our current living situation is far from that, but that will be for another blog post.  Life is easier when you can be in control of the atmosphere.  Making do with less than desirable circumstances would be easier if you could have your desired circumstance most of the time.  But really, these are highly evolved, sophisticated, first world problems.  There are people that haven’t eaten a meal in days.  That’s a much bigger concern than what “comfortable productive atmosphere or interior decorating” I have.  Let’s keep things in perspective.  But that perspective doesn’t keep me from longing for some sort of safe haven, some comfort of “home.”  

I don’t know what home is.  I don’t think I have since I was 18.  I’ve travelled the world, slept on couches and floors.  I’m blessed to have a wife that is more concerned with following Jesus’ call on our lives than the comfort of “home.”    I hope someday I can give her both.  But maybe those two things are mutually exclusive, or at least at odds with one another.  What do you think?  

Yup… the cheesy but true answer is… heaven is my home.  I’ve got some things to do before I get there though.  I’ve got some areas of my character that God is going to LOVE out of me and change me more into His image and some more lives to impact with the truth and love of Jesus.  

Stream of consciousness blogging.  This is how my myspace blog used to be.  Haha, myspace.  A bunch of random thoughts, more like a public journal than a web 2.0 Michael Hyatt style blog.  

Like it?  Love it?  Hate it?  Let me know if you want these types of longer blog posts from time to time.    I’m sure this is one of the longest posts I’ve posted on this blog.  I also can’t make it happen, it just happens.  

No formal engage, this isn’t that type of blog post.  I just encourage you to engage in this open conversation, what stood out to you most in this post?  What did God highlight?  Comment, I dare you.   (haha that was so a formal engage, I just didn’t put “engage” in bold there like I usually do.  dang.)
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LindseystumOctober 5, 2012 - 4:33 pm

I really like this style of blogging, the stream of consciousness. It’s nice, like a secret little insight into your life.

And I totally get what you mean about home. Home for my whole life has been in Columbia. Even though I would leave, I’d be back. Now I’m gone for a whole year, much longer than ever before. But at the same time, I’m not in one place long enough to build a new “home”. It’s like a year of (relatively) solitary wandering. But I can already see how much God has done in me thus far, in a way, as lonely as I sometimes feel, it’s kind of exciting to know that it’s just me and God right now.

Haha wow I had no idea I had so much to say. I guess I really related to your post!

jimjessbakerOctober 5, 2012 - 7:34 pm

haha, you must have liked it, i think this is the first comment you’ve posted on the blog? maybe?
yeah, a missionary in latvia told us that when we come from a culture, we’re a certain color, like red… and when we visit another culture (blue) and spend time there and learn about it and start to love some things about it we come back purple, where we don’t fit in either red or blue really.
We have been walking through this process with some of our 12 students (all non-Americans) struggling with their cultural identity after spending time around so many other cultures.
Jon Barnes uses the term “culturally homeless”

thecompositionofOctober 6, 2012 - 3:42 pm

I understand the feeling you’re describing! I do like the longer blog posts, and p.s. it was 2006.

Rachel JurkowskiOctober 6, 2012 - 7:22 pm

one of my favorite posts you’ve written, jim! miss you, friend. it’s good to hear a little of what’s going on in your life.

jimjessbakerOctober 7, 2012 - 4:07 pm

thanks jurkowski. shoot me an e-mail and let me know whats going on in your neck of the woods.

jimjessbakerOctober 7, 2012 - 4:10 pm

thanks jihan, 2006 oh yeah that was the first time we spoke, in the media trailer in adams TN haha.

LisaOctober 10, 2012 - 3:48 pm

It’s the random things that make the best stories.-> I love that line! I just told my house-mate last night that the most annoying thing about having a lot of time with Jesus lately is that He’ll throw the most random things at me at the most inconvenient moments. And I’ll be trying to do or deal with something else, and He’ll just keep putting something on my heart until I pause what I’m doing to share something with someone or write something down. But it’s so random. And, while I say “annoying,” I wouldn’t trade it. I love that God does that.

jimjessbakerOctober 10, 2012 - 7:56 pm

amen. God interruptions are always good if we allow ourselves to be inconvenienced :)

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