I have a final in two hours but I… just really want to write this.  Can I just write right now?  Haha here we go.

Ever since my friend recommended and lent me Culture of Honor by Danny Silk, a pastor from Bethel in Redding, I’ve been praying for the culture of honor in my house.  And more than that, I’ve been thanking Jesus for already bringing it.  So what is the culture of honor?

What God has been doing in Bethel is pretty apparent, something good, really Good is coming from that community of saints, as Pastor Danny puts it.  This book basically exposes the reason for the visitation and habitation of God in their midst.  As his people, we have the ability to welcome and cultivate an atmosphere, a space for him to dwell.  That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t show up if the culture of honor is not in effect; he is not limited.  But when his people gather in one place and honor one another in the grace and love of Jesus, there is immense power and presence.  God cannot resist such a place because that place is one that reflects his heart.  For example, in the book, he brought up an incident in which two second-year students of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (or something like that) who had been seriously dating and the girl was impregnated.  The “normal” response, the one I’d grown up with, would be immediately be shocked by the gravity of the situation, of the sin and find a way to protect the rules I was accustomed to, which usually came by punishment and heavy repentance.  Not so with Pastor Danny.  From the initial conversation with the two students, he simply asked them questions, helped them realize the root of their actions (the girl was too insecure (surprise!)  and wanted physical reassurance and the boy was fundamentally weak to the anger of others, so much so that he couldn’t hold onto what he knew was good and true) and thus empowered them to act and resolve the situation.  In the end, they had the child, the school blessed them and the child and everything was bombtastic.  I’m sure it still is.  If this topic sounds interesting to you, please read it.  My summary is not even a summary hahah, it’s just a glimpse into the book so I could explain to you something else: what’s happening in my life.

So.  Yesterday my brother asked to use my computer to use the Internet and Facebook and Youtube.  The moment he asked, I groaneddd in my spirit hahah I probably groaned in real life because this always always always ends the same way: my mom frustrated and naggy (she really doesn’t like him using the Internet because it’s a waste of time, he turns really nasty after and so on.  Her sentiment towards him being on the comp is legit but to me, it’s a bit much.  Anyway…), me trying to act in the middle and as a disciplinarian (although not as much as before for sure) and Jed, poor Jed, is left powerless and endures the brunt of our frustration, annoyance and he can’t do anything about it because… I will always win. (:  Hahaha no that does not deserve a smiley face but I thought it was the appropriate illustration of my brattiness.  Anyway.  So it ended up the sammmmme exact way it always does.  It’s a given that I was really mean and a betch to him even though I felt justified.  Eventually he retreated to his room.

For about twenty minutes my heart  cultivated this desire to apologize to him.  This is not new, folks.  In my relationship with my brother, I’m apologizing in about half of our conversations.  Yes, welcome to my life.  As time passed, the desire grew.  I knew I was going to.  And it wasn’t because I felt that he was right and I was wrong.  It’s a bit deeper than that, no?  Relationships are minimally based on the physical actions and more about the heart, at least to me.  I just really really really wanted to say sorry because it hurt him.  I just really really really really didn’t know how to go about it.  But as I marinated in whatever I was dwelling in, I was determined.  I didn’t have to know what to say.  I just wanted him to know my heart.  So I found myself walking to his room.  I knocked once and that fool didn’t even answer.  I knocked again and got a “what” in the flattest voice possible.  Haha man only the love of God and the grace of Jesus and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit kept me from tearing ish apart.  And I know it was all three of them inside of me because it wasn’t even hard not to.  Anyway.

I went in and stood in middle of the room (he was sitting on the bed reading).  I didn’t wait for him to say anything and anyway, it was my prerogative so I said, “I’m sorry for being mean.  I’m sorry it’s always like this.”  I turned to leave, after all, I’d said all that there was to say.  Job well done, Grace.

“I’m sorry for slamming your computer like that” softly crept into my ears (earlier, that fool had slammed my laptop shut, my precious aging Mac.  Ugh).  I smiled (inside I think haha) I turned back around and walked up to him and pulled him to his feet to properly hug him.  In my family, hugging is serious business, yo.  We don’t do that one second tap.  We hug hahaha.  So we just stood there and I heard myself saying, “Thanks for always forgiving me” and friends.  Let me tell you something.

In that moment I was physically aware of the culture of honor in our house.  I’d always spiritually known it by faith.  But here it was.  As soon as the words left my mouth I felt him sort of loosen his grip, not to get away from me but in release, in surrender and brokenness.  He breathed a little harder and I knew, as I’m so familiar with it on so many occasions, I knew he was crying.  I continued, “Seriously thanks.  In this relationship, you have more grace than I do.  Thanks.”  Where were these words coming from?!?!?!  It must have come from my heart because I so so so genuinely meant it, every word, every syllable.  And I just wanted him to know how much I love him and how much I hurt, how hard it is for me to give him that freedom and love because I’m steeped in my own pride and anger and temper.  I think he knew.  It was a miracle on my part to be saying those things but to me, it was a bigger miracle that he really received what I said and let it be true to him even though I’m kind of the worst sister in the world.  We stood there a tad longer until we pulled away, I don’t know who pulled away first.  He def had tears in his eyes.  I wish I had some in mine too so we could just make it a complete dramatic moment but alas you can’t have errthang.

We small talked a bit and then I left.

Later he dragged allllll his blankets (he has three, so it’s no joke) and plopped onto my bed to read his book (which I picked for him heehee) in my room.  With me.  Oh my.  I can just die now.  It’s so ridiculous how we wanted to kill each other and… an hour later want to be in the same room just to be near each other.  My mom came in and saw him in my room and her face showed her immense confusion.  “What’re you doing in here?  What’s he doing in here?  Why?” Little did she know that our house, our home, our family was, is and is being invaded by Heaven.  HOLLA.

Yeah.  And this is one incident of a few more.  Perhaps I will actually study for my Spanish final now.  Hahah.  Think it will be a bit easier now that I got to tell it to all 3.2 people that read this blog.  AAAAH.  Thank you Jesus.  Thank you not just for everything but for… just being your amazing self.  I like you.  A lot.

Okay bye guys.  And to end on one of my fave verses (you’ve might have heard it from me before):

Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth holds nothing I desire besides you.  My heart and my flesh [will] fail but you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Yeyayy.

P.S. I AM ON THE VERGE OF WINTER BREAK.  OH MY GASH.

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