"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."
(John 15:5)

Reminded this past week that when the Lord isn't in my plans they do not succeed.
It's such an interesting process to unlearn the natural human response to make things happen and instead sit back in prayer.

Lord teach me to be your vessel. To learn to sit with hands open and hold your goodness and power not attempt to harness it.


dark though it is

Despite the shadow that follows the rain on days like today it seems inappropriate to turn lights on in the house.
Here is to dark days, rain, and prayer with friends on muggy screened-in porches.

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridge to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water looking out
in different directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
in a culture up to its chin in shame
living in the stench it has chosen we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the back door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks that use us we are saying thank you
with the crooks in office with the rich and fashionable
unchanged we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us like the earth
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is"

[W.S. Merwin]


All in due time.

The past few months have in a nutshell been some of the hardest. I have dreamt big dreams, almost given up, been frustrated beyond belief, been unrelentlessly aware of my sin and depravity, and known the grace of God. Yesterday things finally came together and I was given the opportunity to do what I love with two organizations that I consider family. One is a Housing First Non Profit where I did my senior internship and research project and the other is my church. Beyond being ecstatic about the fact that my "almost" job is my passion, I have come to appreciate the process of this whole gig. If nothing else, this waiting period has shown me that this idea is the Lords and not my own and that dreams from the Lord are not swayed by time, rejection, or discouragement. On the nights when all I wanted to do was go find a normal job, I would go to sleep so spent and emotionally drained only to wake up with the overwhelming notion that I just couldn't let it go.

This week I have seen more than ever before that it is a privileged to love the homeless, not some quality of my own character. I do not see the homeless with my own eyes, but through the Lords- and today more than ever I realize that I am unworthy to serve even the "least of these".
It can be incredibly hard not to pat myself on the back for doing "social-worky" types of things...I mean when people are constantly telling me I'm such a good person and that I have such a good heart I start to give myself all kinds of undue credit.
The second I start to believe all the "do gooder" compliments I am ruined. (Friends-please take me off my high horse when I start to mount up again)

For those of you who have lived life with me these past few months, who have seen me at my best and often worst, who have seen me try to keep things together when I am falling apart, who have challenged me to be real and honest and to fight for what the Lord has instilled in me- Thank you. I appreciate your bearing with me through this more than you know and thank you for not being afraid to challenge me. Things are FINALLY coming into fruition and I couldn't be more excited about what is to come.


The “I would like’s”

I would like to blow dry my hair with colored air...
see life through the lens of an awesome camera...

and cook with a little bit of kindness.


Blog Names Change with the Times

One of my friends asked me a few days ago why I periodically changed the name of my blog. This post is a result of that conversation.
Name changes are never planned for me. It's always a spontaneous thing that happens and then I realize the significance after the fact.
When I first began giving blogging a shot I created "The Fishbowl" (see picture below)
The fishbowl was titled so in that I felt a bit like a blog put me in a fishbowl of sorts- the world could get a nice look at me from any angle. You get the concept. Kind of like a display case. - which now makes me kind of nauseous.
About a year into the blog I grew up a little bit if you will and realized that the point of my blog was no longer to display my thoughts for the world to see but rather to tear down the image I had created for the world to see and reveal the nitty gritty dirt that was a part of my life. I wanted to focus more on what I was learning, what was painful, the challenges, the lessons etc and less on the appearance I was trying to give off. Thus, the blog name changed to "The Crumbling Facade" (see picture below)

And now the reason for the name change is not so much that my aim has changed but just that change itself is happening. I renamed it Technicolor Dreams and The Stages of Sleep because (get ready for me to get all deep and silly on you) I feel like life in general (specifically the spiritual journey) is very much like the stages of sleep. We are in this process of learning to know the Lord and who he has created us to be. The idea of the name is just to promote progression in that journey- you dream in the final stage of sleep (REM). That is where I want to be. I want to discover what dreaming in color is like in Life with the Lord.
Yay for new names!



I have always had this love hate relationship with money. (Don't we all?) In the past few weeks I have been learning a lot about the difference between being able to afford something and the need for something. In general I feel like I do a pretty good job with budgeting and not spending much but I have started to notice more and more my attachment to things...regardless of their worth- in that most of the things I am attached to are thrift store finds or homemade gifts. It's interesting how things hold power over people.

A wise older woman that I know once told me about a lesson she learned where she felt that the Lord was asking her to give her things away to her friends. For instance, when anyone complimented things in her house, things she wore etc she would give the complimented item to the person that paid her the compliment. She said it was very freeing, hard, but a good look into idolatry and insight into her attachment to things. I tried to imagine what it would look like for me to do that and I automatically started praying, "Lord, please let no one like anything that I own" hah. On the other side of things, I'm trying to find the balance between enjoying the beauty of things- the Lord gave me great taste(in my opinion :p ) and being idolatrous. It's not really the money value of things, it's the thing itself that poses the problem. So I'm in this place, trying to discover healthy giving and healthy buying, healthy sharing, and healthy sacrifice.


The Question of Where...

It's a weird, weird thing when you realize that for the first time in your life you can go anywhere in the world.
I'm through with school.
I don't have a job lined up.
I have no obligations.

The size of this realization is so enormous that I don't even know what I want... and more importantly what I need.

Up until this realization I had assumed I would stay in Knoxville. I love Knoxville. Funny how you plan things just because they make sense and then you realize that you haven't even prayed about it.

The predicament isn't what to do... it's more of a where do I do it? I feel like it's such a huge question that I don't even begin to have an idea of how to pray into it.

I tend to stress out and worry about if I'm making the right decisions but lately I have come to see that the Lord does not put that on me...he gives me desires, he guides me, he allows me to make decisions...and if they are wrong he lets me know.

The fear of messing up or choosing wrong has kept me from many adventures and I don't want to look back at this moment and think..."I wonder what would have happened if..."


Give it a week...someone is bound to get hurt

I have been thinking a lot today about church. The church is supposed to be the temple of the Lord-a place that ignites community, vulnerability, honesty- reality. Church should be the most raw places of places. ANd often it is. Many times the rawness isn't pretty at all. People get hurt, angry, pissed, bitter, frustrated AND Lord willing, people also get redeemed, loved well, restored, encouraged, and fed. But we are humans. And the church is made up of humans. And humans fail. A LOT.
It makes me incredibly sad when people that I know and love get hurt by the church. The hardest part is that when you join a church you become a part of it. If you leave it, you often leave broken. I know the Lord is faithful but it is so hard to know that there are times that I have hurt people and put the Lords name on it. The Lord does not speak truth harshly, he does not condemn, he does not shame, he does not guilt trip. I have spoken truth all too harshly, I have condemned, I have shamed, and I have guilt tripped people. .. And in the name of the Lord. God forgive me for writing your name on things that have nothing to do with you.
I believe in a God that can redeem even the worst screw ups. I fully believe that God can handle all of the mistakes I have made. I trust that peoples hearts will not be crushed because I didn't handle myself in the best way. I have faith that those that have felt attacked or betrayed by their family-their church can and will be redeemed. I'm claiming it. Amen.


I like to think of myself as a wild flower...

(photo cred. to some cool blog that I can't remember the name of)
I'm graduating in a few weeks. This season has been filled with a whole lot of fun...not a whole lot of time for reflection. But regardless....

I'm learning a lot about myself...about my flaws...I'm kind of like my front yard-which is full of broken glass (the previous renters apparently loved breaking beer bottles all over the yard). I spend hours picking it all up and then it rains....and a whole new set of broken glass surfaces. I'm finding that I am much like the yard...I put lots of effort into cleaning myself up, working through my baggage and just as soon as I think I'm making progress the rain comes and up comes a whole new list of areas that need work. Thank you God for being patient :)

May 14th is in 23 days. I have no idea what I'm doing.
But what I do know is that there are leaves growing on the trees.
I am successfully keeping three flower boxes of marigolds alive...so surely I can hold down a job right?
There isn't much measure to my madness....I'm just learning to live.
Everyday brings new adventures, new frustrations, new mistakes, new amends.
Did I mention that I love people. Sometimes I feel like the Lord gives me a sneak view of how he see's people. I have this uncanny love for strangers and skitzo's, my neighborhood, my city, and crack heads. Trust me...it's totally unnatural. Not me at all....it's the Lord.

I don't know what my "job" will end up being. I am in the process of applying for 3. But I know that my purpose is to love well- whether that means loving the earth, loving my neighbors, my housemates, my family, my friends, my co-workers, the homeless, the downtrodden, the business owners etc.


When did we forget the power of the Word?

I'm reading a book by Brennan Manning right now and the last chapter I read really got me thinking.

It got me thinking about how we live in this world where our churches think it's our job to sell Jesus to the general population...we offer "live music" instead of real worship, we build massive buildings with bookstores and indoor playgrounds, the latest technology dripping from the ceilings, we spend our money on the appeal of the sanctuary, we have the cutting edge graphics, the "NOW" look.....but where is our Jesus?

Jesus never dressed the part of a revolucionary. He didn't appeal to the masses. He wasn't brushing the truth under the rug to avoid stepping on toes. He loved everyone...but he remained true to himself and true to his Father.

The chapter in the book talks about the sad reality of the fact that they church has lost faith in the power of the word. When I think about it... I realize that of all of the churches I have visited at one point in time, very few of them preach the actual word. Very few of them rely on the power of the living word. When did we begin believing that sugar coating things would bring people to Christ? When did we begin writing our own perfectly packaged devotionals and thoughts for the day instead of reading the word of the Lord that is alive, living, and eternal. The Bible doesn't get out dated....it doesn't lose it's power in today's culture. If we have no faith in it then how can we expect it to move people? We are so afraid of saying it how it is because we don't want to offend anyone. Let's be honest, the Bible isn't a pretty little story about how were all going to be happy on this earth forever...it's full of pain, sorrow, and conviction...BUT it is also full of grace, mercy, and redemption. It has become so easy to mention the good things and overlook the seriousness of the God we serve. He calls us to the narrow road, the long way around, and he never promises it will be easy- he does promise that all of our mistakes will be covered by the blood.

My two favorite quotes from the chapter are,
"Preaching Christ crucified without any histrionics or theatrics calls the Spirit to life. "

"For Christ's sake, don't come to the cross if you're playing a game. Come back tomorrow, or next year, or twenty years from now, but don't make a mockery of the greatest Lover the world has ever known. We've got too many phonies and fakers in the church already honoring Jesus with their lips and denying Him by their lifestyle."


Do not forget these things!

I heard this quote from Bobby Kennedy tonight and it's one of the most life giving and motivating things I have ever heard. (I know it's long, but it's totally worth reading if you haven't heard it before.)

"It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one - no matter where he lives or what he does - can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on and on in this country of ours.

Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr's cause has ever been stilled by an assassin's bullet.

No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of reason.

Whenever any American's life is taken by another American unnecessarily - whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence - whenever we tear at the fabric of the life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.

"Among free men," said Abraham Lincoln, "there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs."

Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far-off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire.

Too often we honor swagger and bluster and wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach non-violence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.

Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.

For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is the slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.

This is the breaking of a man's spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all.

I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered.

We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this, there are no final answers.

Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is not what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of humane purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.

We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again."


Feel how you feel with the understanding that hope is what gets you through

I'm reading Brennen Mannings book "Souvenirs of Solitude". He quotes someone in the book and says that we must learn to trust the Lord in our suffering...not this "PollyAnna optimism"B.S., but seriously and serenely trusting.
" Our hope, our acceptance to the Lords invitation is not based on the idea that we are going to be free of pain and suffering. Rather, it is based on the firm conviction that we will triumph over suffering...this is not the kind of hope that yields to discouragement, defeat, and frustration. On the contrary, Christian hope stands firm and serene, confident even in the face of the Holocaust, even in the face of terminal cancer. However serious we believe Good Friday is, we are confident that Easter Sunday lies ahead of us. What if we die? Jesus died too; and if Jesus died, we believe that now He lives and we shall live too."
What did it look like to trust the Lord and his goodness while staring the Holocaust in the face? What does it look like to trust the Lord while being a hostage of the sex trafficking industry?
When I think of things that are so large scale (The Holocaust, Sex Slavery etc) my petty troubles seem so very insignificant. But for many people, life is not full of Holocausts and literal slavery BUT our seemingly trivial in comparison sufferings do matter. It may be a death in the family, it may be a broken heart, a really hard friendship, a divorce, emotional confusion etc.... I'm learning that the Lord doesn't look at my hurts and troubles and say "Gah.. suck it up Caroline... you have it easy". Anything that hurts my heart hurts his, anything that makes me cry makes him well up with the urge to comfort me. Yes, I should be thankful for the mercies and grace that I am given and don't deserve but it doesn't mean that I shouldn't feel how I feel and be real and honest about what hurts, what sucks, what makes me sad etc. How awesome that we have the freedom to feel how we feel. How awesome that our God is trustworthy and that he cares about people that the world calls insignificant.


Unless the Lord builds the house...

Lately I have been learning a lot about working to fills needs vs meeting needs only when the Spirit directs me. Someone brought to my attention a few weeks ago that when Jesus walked the earth he did not heal every sick person. Jesus did not feed every hungry human, he did not meet every need. I find my self so quickly agreeing to anything and everything that is asked of me only to be dissatisfied, burned out, and spent. It began to occur to me that even if something is good and needs to be done, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's my job to do it. When I attempt to meet a need that is not mine to meet I am stealing the opportunity for someone who IS called to use their gifts to glorify the Lord. I can't be in every Bible study, I can't read every book, I can't pray with every friend for hours every night, I can't be on every team or join every volunteer group. I am trying to learn how to distinguish between the "want to" and the spirit's promptings. I don't think I have a problem saying no when I don't want to do something but I do have a problem saying no when I want to do it all.

"Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchmen stays awake in vain."
Psalm 127:1

I don't want to build houses that the Lord isn't building with me. I don't want to labor in vain. I want to do things that matter, things that I am called to do. I can build one hundred churches, feed one thousand people, and cure cancer but if the Lord does not lead me to do it then it's all meaningless in the end.


do wild things always run?

They say, "Don't try to tame a wild thing"
.... I think I may be a wild thing.

The caged feeling comes all too quickly.
I am getting tired of being a "wild thing".

Is it possible to ever be tamed without losing the feeling of freedom?
I think so.... but I don't have the slightest idea of what that's like.

Natural Submission maybe?
Something so right that I don't even notice when its happening.
Maybe I will wake up one day, realize that it's happened,
And love it completely.



I had a conversation about work last night.
not my work per say... just work in general.
How many people are doing there dream job?
Not many.
I don't know that work was ever intended to be anyone's dream.
Obviously some people like what they do a lot more than others...and I suppose some people really do have their dream job, but who says your occupation has to be what you do?
When I graduate I plan on doing lots of things that I love....while my job may be simply what pays the bills.

This morning I was talking to God and decided to read Ecclesiastes 3 and I found that the Lord has a lot to say about work...

"What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil- this is Gods gift to man. I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away. Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there is wickedness and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness. I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the children of beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts. For all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to the dust all return. Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast foes down into the earth? So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?"