Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

never thought i'd be living it

when I read Vanauken's "A Severe Mercy" years ago, I sort of hoped my life would reflect certain pages in his story but never imagined it actually would. I always pictured their little gatherings in the upstairs apartment talking late into the night of theology, politics, religion, philosophy, literature, poetry, etc., while sipping wine...it was so enthralling. as i find it, my life (at least at certain times) does reflect those "magical" moments...

I have always enjoyed good, "deep," conversation. But I have also seen that some people spend much of their lives TALKING about a lot of things but not actually living them. What good is talk about honest things without an honest living out? Dry.

So for as much as I value and deeply enjoy good, honest conversation, I don't ever want to be a "talker for the sake of talking." I think conversation ought to drive and encourage fellowship and godly living--the pursuit of God and holiness. I've been blessed with so much grace-filled fellowship. Conversation is so meaningful and I don't think we ever will understand how much words matter--and how much the time spent exchanging words matters. May we spend it well.

I think of coffee dates at school--trudging through snow to spend a warm couple of hours sipping coffee with a friend. I think of hallway conversations late into the night--hushed whispering. I think of blessed conversations on the EL on PCM nights. I think of "catch-up calls" on the phone that are a welcome surprise. I think of lounging around on couches at home for breaks--talking into the wee hours of the morning. I think of early morning breakfast conversations at the dining room table or curled up on the living room couch.

i love community. as difficult as it is. as much sacrifice as it requires. i really, truly am so grateful for it. if we seek the honest circle--the grace to seek the deeper bonds--we will walk together through the mud and the muck of life; through hours of dancing and days of joy; through weeks of sorrow and years of mystery.

Life is a good good gift.

Friday, December 26, 2008

i love nights like this

hannah came over and we hung out for a bit. it was wonderful. she got me zen tea and the most beautiful nepali/hippie skirt for Christmas/birthday. I LOVE IT. Then we watched White Christmas and laughed a lot. Mmm. Wonderful. Friends are amazing :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas (Eve) Everyone!

It's a warm sunny morning and if not for this darn cold i would feel a lot better about the day. But, i'm dealing with a lump in my throat that seriously feels like an apple, a leaky eye (you know when you have a cold and your eyes get teary?), a stuffy (or else runny) nose and a bit of a horse throat. I have to work tonight. 3-9:30 at the club and there are going to be sooo many people! I won't be able to go to Christmas Eve service with my family OR spend a quiet evening at home. sad. but i'm trying to remember, in the midst of it all, what it is I truly am celebrating and why the anticipation is a reflection of something beautiful--a hopeful longing every heart painfully enjoys.

the christmas tree is beautiful. maybe i'll read for a while this morning. i think i'm going to have a bowl of cheerios and a cup of hot tea. sigh. i really hate being sick. Especially now. tonight is going to be a bummer. I think i'll be quarantined because we can't risk kristen getting sick with baby or jay (they won't let him in the delivery room if he even has a cold!).

i hope you each have a blessed Christmas day.
The Morning Star has shown upon us--a GREAT light! Emmanuel, God with us.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

22 years

I feel like that's a long time to be alive. not that i am ready to die or anything. its just that 22 seems like a long time. but time keeps going faster and faster. whew.

i had a wonderful bday. As much as I am a "traditionalist" in a lot of ways (holidays, celebrations, etc) i am all for new, spontaneous, out-of-the-ordinary bdays. Even though my bday landed on finals week, it was full of random fun: wonderful notes, hugs, christmas lights, "ice skating" (on a pond frozen over the leaves: beautiful), THE ZOO (dude, how long have i wanted to go to the zoo at night), santa (and his lap...eew), christmas music (dance party), good friends, hot tea, ALIAS. sigh. very wonderful. I am so blessed and have the most amazing friends!!!!!! I love you, girls!

enjoy some pictures.

i go home tomorrow. so ready. so excited.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


i spent 9 hrs. in the library today. wow. that's a first, I'm pretty sure.

and i ate a REALLY GOOD apple on my walk back to the dorm. It had rained and the sidewalks were all shiny in the lamplight.

i am pleased.

i am exhausted.

i am going to make cinnamon rolls for church tomorrow.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

I saw it last night. I highly recommend it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rock of Ages

There's a line in this song: "Rock of Ages, Your will be done." I can barely even whisper it. Maybe, if I in the same breath I whisper "give me the faith." I'm re-learning His grace in so many ways right now. Little graces and big graces. Perhaps that sounds weird. But I don't think it is. I think there are eternal extensions and "the gift" of grace (the cross) but there are daily graces that teach faith and surrender to hearts that have a tendency for self-living. He's breaking my will daily--that's a whole lot of grace :)

I've been challenged and awed by His love over the past days. He's loving me tenderly and wildly--in ways so uniquely "needed." What faithfulness. What undeserved love.

Wish I was a faithful lover.

I guess I'd know little of grace if I were.

Sandra McCracken wrote a good blog post. You can access it HERE if you have time to read over it.

Are you living LiFe as the short gift that it is? I pray GrAcE over you for the task...faith to walk the road :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

days go on

last night at small group Hue gave each of us a copy of "Sit, Walk, Stand" by Watchman Nee. I was so surprised--mostly because he's been on my list (recommended and such). The book is meant to parallel Ephesians, which we are studying as a group. Small group was at Kristin's apartment last night. She made beet soup served in acorn squash halves. The presentation was beautiful and tasted yummy. It made me all the more eager to move out of the dorms and start cooking for myself. I have a library of recipes i want to try :)

I walked to whole foods this afternoon to pick up some valerian root tea. It's a natural, herbal combatant of sleeplessness/restlessness. I'm anxious to see how it will work :) I've heard good things and we have friends that use it with good results. It definitely beats the unnatural forms of sleep meds (which scare me).

classes are over. strange. i always feel rather "melancholy" when things are about to change. Not that it is a bad thing. Actually, i think its a healthy part of life. BUT I'm also learning what it means to move into "new things" with lessons learned from the old...That's probably why I've felt reflective. There are certain classes I am glad to leave behind. There are a few, though, that i am really sad to let go of (even though next semester's will be wonderful).

I have two more papers and only one exam. Not bad. i am reading a lot for my OTBT paper. I've been thinking a whole lot about impassibility and divine pathos. Does God suffer? How? Why? When? Etc. The issue is very "close" to my heart in many ways. In other ways I feel overwhelmed by the subject. Who am I to even approach it? It seems so *huge*
I've found some incredible articles and finished The Suffering of God by Terrence Fretheim. There are a couple other sources i'm trying to get my hands on. The frustrating thing is that the paper only needs to be 5-7 pages and I don't know how on earth I can contain the subject. sigh.

i think I'm going to go to the Art Institute tonight. It's free and i sort of feel like that would be a wonderful way to *end* the semester. I haven't been there in a long time!

The days have been clear :) I LOVE it. Even though cold, nevertheless clear. sigh. Couldn't ask for anything more. I am excited to go back to AZ, though. yessssss.

Alright. I have to run to the library.
may you all do well during finals and such! Take breaks to enjoy the beautiful weather, reflect on God's presence around you, drink a cup of hot chocolate, be intentional about quality conversations with friends, and goofy adventures with others:)
Keep perspective. Love you all!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Reflections on OTBT


Genesis undergirds the Sinai covenant.
The creation account is a "standard" mythic account with God's theology put in it (Ancient Near Eastern myths included: darkness, chaotic waters, etc.).

Days 1-3: Naming
Days 5, 6: Blessing
Day 4: not blessed--no dignity of names to heavenly bodies (sun, moon) because these were worshipped in A.N.E. (distinctions drawn).

Creation is a series of separations. God allows the collapse of His universe in the flood: a mixing; falling together.

Term "good" communicates that intention is met of God's created design.

Notice the Semitic nature/setting (esp. w/ regard to creation of man--joining of woman):
Father observes need; finds wife; brings wife forward to man; stands over "wedding" (joining).
Man doesn't speak until there is someone to speak with. By dialogue man is created for dialogue--made for community.

The sin of man spoils the created order. We never sin in a vacuum.

We cannot speak of creation apart from redemption. Why have we separated creation from Redemption?
In Christ's own death, the sun went dark and the earth convulsed.
We don't have a theology of creation because of dualism and distinctions drawn. Pantheism reacts to our silence on the subject.

Of the creation account we ought to ask not HOW (as the evangelical tradition is so prone to do) but rather WHY and for WHAT. We don't always really read what IS there in the text.

Friday, December 05, 2008


the week is almost over. whew. i have one more paper to finish and turn it at 2 and then my Church History class (4 of us) are going to Wheaton on the train for pizza and a movie at our professors house. I'm super excited about it.

we're having a door decorating context on the floor. Lacy and I aren't particularly competitive and due to a huge lack of mulla, we did it the cheap way: brown paper bags and paint!! I like it... simple but nice. here are a few pictures.

so my christmas reading list is now at three. I think that I should cap it off there because I need to get hermeneutics done also. I'm reading the Mary Pipher book, Gilead, and now The Sabbath (by Abraham Heschel). I am so ridiculously excited to read the Hesschel book its not even funny. I got it in my CPO box today (can i just say surprises are wonderful) and CAN'T WAIT to read it. It looks wonderful and the cover is beautiful (see below). I'm a sucker for good book covers.

and if you read the back cover i'm pretty sure you'd get chills, like i did. maybe not. maybe just because it seems to speak to much of what i've been thinking about on and off throughout the semester. i love good books :)

ok. i really ought to go finish up some work and then run to the bank. blessings on your weekend!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

i love my brother

oh the conversations we have... he's so full of profundities and wisdom, let me tell you.

me: "my birthday is coming up fast."
luke: "i know. you're getting old."
me: "i know! 22 and single..."
luke: "you don't want to be married. who needs stupid relationships..."
me: "uh. not all relationships are stupid."
luke "i guess that's true. but still, you don't want to be MARRIED right now, do you?"
me (frustrated): "luke, I didn't say anything about a husband, just SOMEONE."
luke: "i'll be your someone. oh wow. that was a mom thing to say."

22 does sound old. it's always interesting to reflect on a year. so much happens, you know? some things turn out "as expected," and some things don't. it's always an adventure. i won't do to much reflecting before the actual day but i just want to say that this has been a year worth praising and praising for. It has been incredibly tough--with the return from africa and all. So much Divine faithfulness upholding my frail heart. It's been a year of silence and solitude. But we learn a lot in places of silence and solitude. God has graciously taught me so much.

i'm ready to go home and be with family. on the agenda: sleep-overs with coffee and star toast at Jay and Kristen's, rock climbing and slacklining with Luke, camping with friends, baby shower, early mornings in the living room with mom, biking with dad, dates with parents, movie nights with friends, coffee dates, christmas things, catching up, hanging out with friends doing nothing special but spending time together, reading in the living room...mountains and sunsets...warm weather!!

almost. just under two weeks. sigh!!

New Reading

"The Middle of Everywhere: The World's Refugees Come To Our Town" by Mary Pipher. It's about resettlement and placement of refugees in America. I've been thinking about this more and more recently...especially with my PCM (which i LOVE). This is such an important reality the American church needs to take a hold of.

I've been wanting to read this for awhile. Finally can! I got it cheap on Amazon a while back and finally got it in the mail today. woohoo!! I can't wait. I'm sure there will be future musings inspired by the stories :)
stay tuned

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Dr. De Rosset said once that we are "plodders for the kingdom." I like that.

this semester has most definitely been a "plodding" one.

and still You lead me on. walk on. walk on. walk on.

excited to be auntie

I miss family. a lot. I am ready to go home now...

Thursday, November 27, 2008


happy thanksgiving to all! Hope you have grateful hearts and, I am sure, full tummies. We are eating at 5pm so i'm still trying to hold off...it smells soooo good.

my travels were fun and uneventful. the train was lots of fun, roadtripping with Jay and Kristen (and Jay's mom!!) was also fun. we met Matt for dinner last night at the Side Door Saloon--amazing! It was a really cool place. The drive up north was long but not bad. The weather was nice and the roads were clear...but it was dark so i couldn't really enjoy the scenery. I will on sunday when we drive back down.

Grandma's is amazing. sigh. I love this house so much. It's still so strange that Papa isn't here when I visit. I am bombarded with a million wonderful memories of him in this place and it is hard to remember him gone. This morning I had coffee and "star toast"--a tradition. It was so good :)

today I set up Grandma's tree for her. It was wodnerful :) It is snowing big fluffy flakes and I love the view off the back balcony. Mmmm. Winter holiday's up here are wonderful.

I've been sitting in the warm living room sipping tea and working on homework all afternoon. I'm finally making some headway on this debate paper. hurray!

Eventually i will post pictures of Kristen's growing belly. It is SO CUTE and oh my goodness I love to touch it! haha. I feel the baby kicking around and it is sooo incredible. Gosh...

Alright. I should get going. More to read :) I hope you all are enjoying break and/or just simply enjoying this good day.
Love you, Friends!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

remembering when

its been pretty much impossible for any of us to keep motivated a couple days before thanksgiving break. seriously. last night none of us could focus on homework. I finally went back in my own room to tackle philosophy. about a 1/2 hr. later mariah came busting in "guess what we're doing?? come!!" BLANKET FORT!!!! Man oh man. It's been too long.
So we made a blanket fort in Sarah and Mariah's room.
Sarah looking through her ipod to find "childhood" music: "I can't find anything. i think i lost my childhood." We ended up listening to Nsync on Pandora. haha. what fun!!

for your benefit: blanket forts are highly conducive to studying.

this morning after breakfast I sat up in Joe's and looked at the Christmas tree. It's a big beautiful one with white lights (i like the simple). I can't wait to go home to ours!!! It's also supposed to snow today. Already it is sleeting...

tomorrow I am OFF! Ah. I am so ready to get out of the city for awhile. Joy and I are going to the train station together. I must say, I am super excited for a solo adventure on the trains. I love traveling :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

hot chocolate on a cold night

Mariah, Sarah, and I went down to Michigan Avenue tonight to watch the Festival of Lights. Every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving all the Christmas lights on Michigan are turned on. There's a parade and a whole ton of people go out to watch it. It was super cold but we bundled up and it was fun.

1. Good friends :)
2. White lights in the trees
3. Funny people to watch
4. The cutest little girl who was so simply enjoying herself "isn't this the greatest parade? i saw mickey and minnie!"
5. A little boy in front of us on his dad's shoulders whose butt crack kept reappearing in our faces... pull 'em up!
6. Hot chocolate and marshmallows back in the room

It was a super fun night.
Now I am pooped. Just two more days and I will leave this city for a few days. Whew. I look forward to it. Hurray for a real home to spend thanksgiving in. I am blessed. I get to see grandma and uncle matt...and the sister and big brother...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We've been Elfed!!

I love my family :)

see the video here: The Childs' Elfed

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


i really love thanksgiving. i think it might be my favorite holiday. i like it because it holds a lot of the joy of christmas traditions (home, family, grateful hearts, food...) but not all the gifts. it's less of a consumer holiday. i appreciate that. but at the same time there is the anticipation of christmas--there is an expectation of the Savior come. i still get excited and a little anxious. Less so over the "magic" and the gifts and more because of family and the hope that is Christ. what a remarkable time of year. and I've been thinking about the anticipation and expectation--how we celebrate a Savior COME but look forward to a Savior RETURNING. There is, even still, a hope in something coming. A kingdom coming that will replace what we see around us.... ah, so exciting!! There's a wonderful poem I wanted to post by Barrie Shepherd called "Advent Awakening" but I can't find it online. I'll keep looking. It's absolutely beautiful.

today grounds crew started putting up the red ribbon and christmas lights around all the light posts. It looks beautiful. I can't wait to see them at night :)

Mmm. I am dropping off my resume at an after school program in a few minutes--hopeful, hopeful!

I went to Trader Joe's today and saw a woman walking a dog that looked just like her. I love seeing pet owner and pet look-alikes. It reminds me of that one scene in 101 Dalmatians. You know the one...

I hope you enjoy the beauty of this holiday season! May grateful hearts overflow in prayer for a world that desperately needs Him. Out of our plenty, Lord, teach us to pray honestly and brokenly for those that have little. Work it into our hearts...

Monday, November 17, 2008


It's always nice and enlightening to meet with someone who will tell it to you like it is.

I spent time with Dr. De Rosset today. It's been awhile and so was nice to catch up. It was also hard...she tells it like it is. She really helps me identify things and recognize what i'm trying to put into words but can't articulate. Quote of the day: "Andrea, you need to lighten up." I suppose context matters but i don't feel like disclosing the whole conversation. It was kind of a smack in the face, though, because i get so caught up in myself and all that wanders in and out of my own head. It's easy to lose a true perspective and understanding of reality when you are the main voice to yourself. It is then super helpful to listen to older, wiser, trusted voices. I told mom that whenever I talk with De Rosset I come out thinking "it's really so much easier than I make it out to be." I am so grateful for her. I can't wait to have her next fall for message prep. Mmm!!

Am arranging things for a directed studies course in the spring with Dr. Schmutzer and other friends. It's going to be so wonderful, i think, and I am really just so very grateful for this opportunity!

Have been blessed to be going to Church in the City now. Finally. Last week after church we went out for lunch with Lacy's small group and ate together at Mark and Courtney's. Yesterday after the service Chris and Nancy invited us over for the most AMAZING pot roast. Sigh. A wonderful, home-cooked meal in a real house and hours of afternoon visiting. Good for the soul :) I've been missing this.

Looking forward to a slow week. Lots of the Theology and some Bible profs are out of town at a conference. That means lots of cancelled classes! woohoo. I look forward to time for "fun things," quiet hours of directed prayer, and diligent studying. I am in need of all three...

It's hard to believe I'll be home in less than a month! I see Jay and Kristen in a week! woohoo. Gosh, time goes by so stinking fast!!!

I forgot how cold it gets here. It's rather miserable, actually. bummer...

Alright. enough of my rambling thoughts.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"I know what you need"

I like it when friends "know what you need."

Tonight I painted with Melinda. She's got much more than I do. I tried acrylics for the first time. And she has a bunch of small canvases. Mmmm. We hung out in Joe's for two hours painting and talking. It was wonderful. She was right...i needed the artistic release :) Mixed with good conversation. I'd say it was the perfect way to spend a Thursday evening.

I painted a bright red, orange, and yellow sun with bright green behind it. It's been grey here. It's going to be grey for a very long time... It definitely affects me. I feel sad, tired or depressed for no reason when it is consistently grey. Some days are harder than others. It sounds ridiculous. Almost laughable. But then when the sun comes out my disposition totally changes. Grrrr. So I painted a sun to hang on my wall. Already it makes me smile. It's to remember the gift of God's big beautiful ball of fire that is somewhere always out there--even if I don't see it for days on end. Sigh.

I think I'm going to read a book. I just had an apple with cheese. Yum. You know what I feel like?? I feel like running through a big, wide open field!! Spinning until too dizzy to stand and falling down to stare up at a big blue sky. Hm. I have a hunch that I am feeling suffocated in the city. haha. what gave it away?? Oh dear...

So. I am going to do a directed studies course next semester with Dr. Schmutzer. I am super excited about it. I'm meeting with him tomorrow AM--more details to follow.

I read The Picture of Dorian Gray for De Rosset's "Forbidden Knowledge" lit course. It's the first book i've been able to read all the way through this semester (b/c I'm auditing). I am so glad I read it. It's a really incredible book. I recommend you read it. It is, as De Rosset said, a dissection of the human personality. It is a case study of narcissism all the way--somewhat horrifying because it is pretty awfully a picture of our culture. Man...what a time we live in. The world has always been deeply steeped in sin and brokenness but do you ever have moments when you feel like you have just "woken up" to it? Or, at least, are awakened anew? This semester has been very revelatory for me in that sense...very much with regards to my own heart and life but also to the world at large--humanity large scale. Can you honestly deny the fact that something is ridiculously messed up and in dire need of a HOPE to live for?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Girls Day Out!

Making memories :) :)

Friday, November 07, 2008


Oh how grateful I am for encouraging, quality conversations.

I really, really love my friends :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

oh the things you hear

at the dinner table tonight i heard this from two of the brothers:

brother #1: "hey, when did you get a girlfriend?"
brother #2: "oh, sometime in the summer."
brother #1: "uh. cool."

i was rather disgusted. "get" a girlfriend? umm. yeah. that's really flattering. i'm sure that's what every girl wants...to be "gotten." its like getting a new pair of shoes or maybe even like buying a new toothbrush. oh wait, we get those in our stockings at christmas. darn...

sometimes watching "relationships" makes me feel ill. i just want to yell really loud: "grow up!" and sometimes the way guys talk about girls is disgusting. sometimes the way girls talk about guys is also disgusting. lately i've been feeling like I'm in junior high again. bleh.

my hands look like a dead person's

yep, its because i've been TIE DYING!! woot woot. I don't have gloves here and plastic bags only work so well before they get super irritating. so i am left with blue/purple/dead-looking hands. oh well...

I love tie dying. i did it in my room last night. I'm not entirely sure i'm allowed to but there is nothing obviously ruling the possibility out :) so I did. halfway through i did have a little freakout as I imagined what would happen if i accidentally bumped one of the bowls of die over. i would probably cry. Joy (who visited me :)) said i would sit down and cry in full recognition of the fact that i'd be "ruined." we laughed about it (with a shudder) and i successfully didn't make any kind of a mess!! The sweatshirt turned out amazing, i might add. something about tie dye...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Today is soup day.

It's supposed to snow on Saturday.

I'm excited.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Trees Ablaze

The trees along LaSalle are turning RED! I thought the best color was over with but I was definitely wrong. Everything started out yellow but now there are dark shades of burnt orange and red. i LOVE it. agh! So so beautiful. Honestly, I love autumn. It is glorious and I am so pleased to watch it come. It was 70 degrees today. I wore flip flops in November. Doubly pleased :)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Old Testament Biblical Theology

It's a new passion. The class with Schmutzer has been phenomenal. The learning curve is high and, as he told me this morning, is intended to push and challenge. My foundations have definitely been rattled. I was very honest with him about where I am and what I am feeling--overwhelmed but deeply excited; full of joy but with enough "terror" to keep me sober. My eyes have been opened to a lot of "new" things through this class. I find myself asking "why don't I see this being taught from the pulpits and not just in academia?" He mentioned that I probably find myself asking why I was never taught the Bible this way. As I heard him say it my inner self screamed "that's an understatement!" I asked him what I ought to "do" now. I wrestle to respond well because I so desire a transformation that affects everyday life. He told me, basically, to hang tight till the end of the semester, as the course is heading in the direction of pastoral and practical application for the "life after" these 16 weeks. I always appreciate talking with him.

I also inquired about my next paper. We have to write a "contemporary theological address" on a topic of our choosing. I asked him how I could somehow incorporate the immanence of God--since its a topic our circles don't address, unless to warn against forms of pantheism or pagan religious thought. But how do we wrestle with the reality that God IS 1. transcendent but ALSO 2. immanent (in our midst; living among us). So anyway, I think I'm going to write something to the effect of: "Immanent Hiddenness: God's Presence in Suffering." We'll see how it hashes out. I want to invests a lot of time into this project. I went to the library and made some copies from Brueggemann's books. He says things so well. I don't agree with everything and am sure, as I read more, I will find more I do not hold. But all in all I appreciate his fresh and provocative use of language--that ultimately and rightly seeks to point the seeker to God. He unveils the glory of God in some really profound ways. I am anxious to do some of the reading and research for it...

Read a phenomenal chapter last night in Waltke's Old Testament Biblical Theology on Liturgy. It was so rich; so inspiring; so motivating; so NEW. I love that I am hot with wonder once I've read these pieces about Deuteronomy, Leviticus, and Exodus. The books that everyone always shies away from. The books that are "boring" and so we are taught, from a young age, to skip over them. The books that form the foundation of God's covenant love for (and with) Israel. AH! As the riches of these stories are uncovered, I find myself wanting, thirsting for more. I told Schmutzer, "I leave your class wanting to go away and study MORE to learn MORE to discover MORE. How can I be a life-long student of the Bible while excepting the reality that I will not be a Biblical theologian" (in the most formal sense)? He recommended I invest in a few good books... I've added them to my list.

There's so much brewing in my soul these days. I feel that I am living, more than at any other time in my faith, in a very broken reality. I am broken in myself, broken over the state of the church, broken over the world. Ultimately, I am broken to God...and I find that this makes my days lived in a funny awareness of Him. I say funny because it isn't comfortable or easy. It is the sort of existence that is joy and sorrow; light and shadows; beauty and horror.

Today every time I went outside I couldn't stop smiling. It seems the trees have reached a new height of color. The reds and oranges are deep. It is as if the air itself is vibrant. I collected a handful of the best :) Something about the changing of the seasons feels like the world is trying to whisper something to the passerby. I can never quite catch it but it is mysterious and beautiful and I am blessed to be alive and grateful for the gift of enjoying such a spectacular world. Praise you, Lord, that you are redeeming this place and these people. The world is caught in curse, lagging behind the beauty of heaven. So we pray: THY WILL BE DONE, on earth AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.

We love you, though poorly, our faithful Lord.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

i think hot chocolate should stay brown

we've officially tried the halloween "witches brew" hot chocolate. It was WHITE powder (i think probably white chocolate) and then turned orange in the hot water. mmm. i think i'm partial to old-fashioned brown hot cocoa. this stuff sort of tasted like yaks milk. Or, as i put it, "milk from an animal" to which lacy flipped out. haha. yay for long study nights!
Alright, i have to get going. Here are some picture from the past few days.

i think people thought i was "in costume" but i wasn't. I just like my overalls. whatever. they can think what they want :)

lacy's halloween work (starbucks) costume.

to the books!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

i can't sleep. again.

It's weird. i FEEL like I drank caffeine but i didn't!! gggggrrrrrrr.

right now I want to live on a ranch. just for a while. I want my "fix" of mountains and cowboys and dirt and horses and wide open fields, plains....hmmm. think maybe I'm a little tired of living in the city? just a little...

Karen called me tonight when I was asleep. She left a message to say hi and that everyone at work misses me...they know i'm coming back soon for christmas and look forward to it. haha. oh man! Sometimes i get really nervous about working there this winter. Other times I get excited to see everyone again. It will be very different than this summer. and a whole lot busier. hmm.

today kyle baril came into town and we went for coffee. It was wonderful to spend a few hours with a good friend. there's a "comfort" in being with someone who has known you for a long time and with whom it is easy to talk to. it was a good visit.

i didn't do a single bit of homework today. i know--not good. but i just putsed around and it was nice. slept in, cleaned, hung out with kyle, talked with mom, worked on my scarf, organize, figure out loan stuff, etc. Odds and ends of things. Like the weekend b/c i feel like I am putting things "back in order" from a busy week before the new one begins. Mmm.

I really can't sleep. Maybe I should read...? I don't know. This is kind of frustrating!

Friday, October 31, 2008

like a kite

have you ever seen a kite dancing on the wind? when there isn't much but a dying breeze, it sort of just floats quietly down to the ground. But it moves so beautifully through the air--up, down, up. It glides and falls; soars and dives. there's something deeply honest about it. it moves at will, unafraid and, perhaps, unaware, of those watching. it is completely itself, fulfilling its own created purpose and enjoying it. it is lovely. it cannot be bothered. it takes its time. it will necessarily take its time, floating down, down, down.

i watched a kite down by the beach today. it lingered there, against a clear blue sky. i couldn't help but smile.

i couldn't help but wish, for a moment, that i was a kite.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

blessed is this life, and i'm gonna celebrate being alive.

i can't sleep. it's 12:04 and I got into bed at 9:40. I was up at 10:30 for awhile and back into bed at 11:20 or so. But I am up again. Bah! I really wanted to get good sleep because I have a philosophy exam tomorrow morning I've hardly studied for. I was soo tired tonight and had a headache so i went to bed with the intention of getting up at 5 to study more. I'm still going to...i just wish I could SLEEP a little before then. grrr. perhaps getting some of the thoughts out of my head will help quiet my mind :)

I'm so blessed. Life's been challenging as of late--mostly spiritually/emotionally. I've felt really "sucked dry" by all I am realizing, learning, etc. But the past few days have been encouraging for simple reasons and i am grateful that the Lord has so blessed me... Friendships are wonderful. I'm challenged not to take them for granted...

late night phone conversations in the hall
conversation with a new friend from another culture
girl time and laughter
study nights at starbucks
discovering a like-heart and talking about life instead of researching as planned
unplanned run-ins
coffee dates
catching up with "far-away" friends

There is so much to be thankful for, not only in relationships but in everyday life...

sunshine and crisp, clear weather
a cup of hot tea or coffee on a cold day
anticipation of family reunions
hard lessons learned from good books
smiles from a stranger
crunchy leaves to step on :)

And then there's the life of the mind and deep stirrings of the soul...

the mysteriousness of His love for me
new revelations of sin in myself and the world
immortal horrors made beautiful but nevertheless sinners: learning to live this side of eternity
a big world and an eager heart
hard disciplines learned slow
spiritual apathy and the desire of LIFE
learning heady truths with heartfelt sincerity
longing for whole self transformation not just information accumulation
who am I?

Sitting in a place of awe-filled wonder and sometimes terror...

what will my life hold?
what will the experiences of this world bring?
how shall I now live?
can I rightly hold the beauty of this life?
what should I speak/not speak?
how should I act/not act?
my days are lived in view of eternity ... we are but passing shadows...

Maybe now I can sleep. Peace to all. I hope you are also being challenged to live life intentionally--hard days and all. It isn't easy living here when, as Lewis identified, we've been made for another world.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

my heart isn't understanding this love of a "Jealous Kind"...

I built another temple to a stranger
I gave away my heart to the rushing wind
I set my course to run right into danger
Sought the company of fools instead of friends

You know I've been unfaithful
Lovers in lines
While you're turning over tables with the rage of a jealous kind
I chose the gallows to the aisle
Thought that love would never find
Hanging ropes will never keep you
And your love of a jealous kind
Love of a jealous kind

Trying to jump away from rock that keeps on spreading
For solace in the shift of the sinking sand
I'd rather feel the pain all too familiar
Than to be broken by a lover I don't understand
'Cause I don't understand

One hundred other lovers, more, one hundred other altars
If I should slow my pace and finally subject me to grace
And love that shames the wise, betrays the heart's deceit and lies
And breaks the back of foolish pride

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

does the weather set your mood?

I don't mean ENTIRELY but, you know, certain weather inspires certain activities, etc?

I am loving the fall weather. I think its because I never really experienced fall growing up. We didn't really have seasons. My "first" fall at Hillsdale was incredible--definitely THE MOST spectacular fall I've ever witnessed.

I'm drinking a hot cup of coffee. Today I bought a pair of red underwear with white snowflakes. Can I just say that I am ridiculously excited about them??!!

I love the colors of fall. I love the scent of fall. I love the anticipation of winter (even though in the city it's a rather dreary thought)...the picture in my mind of desolate fields with grey, naked trees in the distance. Houses with candles lit or fires in the fireplace...and family. I love seeing family. This year we'll have Jay and Kristen, which is a pleasant surprise. I am eager for the time to spend at home. I can't wait to sit in my pajama's at the kitchen table drinking coffee and watching the family wake up--kristen on the couch, mom in the kitchen, dad puttering around. I'm so thankful. SO thankful. A lot of people don't have times like these...

I've been asking myself how much I take for granted. How much I "enjoy" without thinking about it...and trying to be truly grateful for such rich blessings. Even something as simple as the colored leaves falling to the ground or a hot cup of coffee. Is the enjoyment of such pleasures wrong? No. Last year I really wrestled with these thoughts--because I was just back from Africa, I think. Here I am, coming up on ONE YEAR being back in the States. Crazy. I guess I've just been thinking about all that I've processed and learned since then...some things learned the "right" way and some things handled unhealthily. God's a patient teacher. So are my friends. Sigh.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

tonight i don't feel like studying

BAD! I need to...I have a Church History midterm tomorrow. Grrrrr..... all I want to do is learn Greek. I've been wanting to so bad lately. I think i'm going to start teaching myself and then take it next fall. Mmmm. I miss having a language.

Tomorrow I don't have class until 2pm! Woohoo. But I'll probably be studying :) Mariah, Zach, Anna, Mark, and I are going to see Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde tomorrow night. I love plays!! Can't wait. Zach borrowed a car which means ROADTRIP and getting a little bit out of the city is always a welcome relief :)

I've been itching to rock climb lately. Man, city life feels so constricting sometimes. I miss the mountains.

I've been TRYING to think about a lot of things recently. yeah, that sounds weird. it's true, though. I've sort of been feeling like i'm "dying" inside. That sounds dramatic but its the only way I know how to explain it. Melinda said its because I need to paint :) She gets that feeling sometimes, too. She recently bought a big ol' canvas and told me we need to find a place to stretch it out and splash around with some color. Maybe she's right. I also think I need to write. I haven't really been able to... its hard to articulate my heart my heart right now. I think I'm on the verge of a breakthrough. You know when things feel like they are starting to come together but aren't quite there yet? yeah...kind of frustrating.

I feel like I'm talking in code. haha. oh goodness...

I'm really really hoping to get up to grandma's for thanksgiving! I just need to find a ride. I'm praying for something to come through here.

Ok. I suppose I should start making good use of the night: sleep or study.

Sleep well, all! Enjoy your friday and ENJOY THE WEEKEND :)
Take time to stop and enjoy the little things God has around you...so many simple pleasures, little blessings...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall Break Continued...

Yesterday was sunny but the air with CRISP. It was beautiful. I had a pumpkin latte while studying at starbucks. After that lacy and I came back to the room and got "crafty." I made a new lanyard for my I.D. and she painted our window (we mentioned it a while ago but haven't ever gotten around to it. She has the acrylics now so the deed is done. It's wonderful). After that I still wasn't really tired. We listened to David Wilcox and I got in the mood to bake. So I made wheat/granola-honey muffins with craisins in them. They are so good.

Mariah has been nannying all weekend. She's sleeping over at their house and so this morning Lacy and I went over after she took the kids to school. Quite the experience. They have a HUGE house that is in a building that looks like an apartment building. But its a 5 bedroom house. Crazy. It was fun to be off campus and in a house, even if it wasn't super "homey." We studied for awhile, made breakfast (french toast with sliced strawberries and stewed apples). It was very tasty :) Then we all piled onto the bed together and watched tv for awhile. The weather turned grey and rainy--perfect for snuggling. Now I really ought to go to the library. I'm taking Carly and Candace to the Grand Lux for their first time tonight after dinner. Fun!! I'm sure pictures will come soon...