Wednesday, July 30, 2008

woohoo!!

I have successfully finished exam 1 for my hermeneutics course. yessss. two more papers and one more exam to go! It wasn't hard at all. They give you two hours: i finished in 30 minutes. you can only spend so much time on 50 multiple choice questions. TWO HOURS? Come on! By that point, you KNOW what you don't know.

I think i did alright. I feel better about the course, for sure, having one exam under my belt :) Now I just need to locate an interlinear and a lexicon or two so I can start to tackle the papers. I'm actually excited about it. One is 8-10 pages on a passage in 1 Corinthians and the other is 5-8 pages on the parable of the lost (prodigal) son. Hmm. Should be interesting.

I have a pounding headache. man. yuck. i even drank coffee AND took an exedrin. no good.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

my hands look dead

probably because they are stained from blue and purple tie dye. I finally did my bed sheet for the dorm next year! woohoo. i'm pleased. there's always something i wish i had done differently but such is life.
have i mentioned before that i love to tie dye? It's quite relaxing. today i listened to xavier rudd while I dyed. great combination, no? si.

alrighty. I am working hard to study for my first independent study exam tomorrow!! what fun what fun!


Monday, July 28, 2008

Christmas in July

CIJ was a great success :) haha. Allie and Hannah came over and we watched Home Alone and Elf!! We had a little Christmas tree with presents, made christmas cookies, listened to Christmas music, talked about our favorite Christmas traditions, etc. It was a blast.

I was reminded (probably for the hundredth time) that "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" is my favorite Christmas song.

All the smells and the sounds around the house made it really feel like Christmas. Weird. I'm excited for Christmastime in Chicago...with snow and lights and carols!!

This morning was a lazy morning...hard to wake up. We all sat around and read in the living room for awhile, drinking tea. The girls have left now and I am about to get started in on my class again. I MUST take a test this week!!

Enjoy a bunch of pictures. We laughed SO HARD over the ones that look like i'm giving birth to the tree. we quickly remedied it but had to keep a few for good measure. i love these girls!!














Sunday, July 27, 2008

Just so you know...

working a wedding does NOT help the "i want to get married" bug. It probably only increases the desire.

sigh.

10 hour shift today, though. That's nice. and viva's breakfast burrito B after a long day at work is still one of my favorite things :)

tomorrow is "Christmas in July" with allie and hannah. I'm sure i'll be posting pictures soon.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Community. Sweet Living.

I long for it like it was in Mbabane. Actually, I think my whole self just wants what was experienced in the "Africa days," when souls were laid bare and all concerns and new revelations were brought not only before the Lord but before each other. We shared life together. "You need prayer?" and we would bow together in prayer. "Let me encourage you," and we would laugh together, cry together, enter the throne room together. In these places of rich community, the power of God is shared together. The glory of God is enjoyed together. I don't think there's a more beautiful kind of life to live. We were created for community--hence the deep desire for it and attraction to it. We were made to share and help carry one another along in the Lord. We were meant to experience, love, and enjoy God together.

Have I mentioned before how much I appreciate Henri Nouwen? How much I deeply enjoy his writing. I'm sluggishly making my way through his "Genesee Diary: Report from a Trappist Monastery." It's phenomenal. My thoughts resonate with his so often and he expresses what I cannot but long to express. This morning I read some of his thoughts on community:

"In times of doubt or unbelief, the community can "carry you along," so to speak; it can even offer on your behalf what you yourself overlook, and can be the context in which you may recognize the Lord again."

"We need the support and love of our brothers and sisters to prevent our doubting person from becoming dominant and destroying our capacity for belief."

Mm. Can I just say that I think the gift of community might be the greatest gift (of relationship) God has given us outside of His very Self. What glorious day when we, as the Body of Christ, are able to explore, discover, uncover, and SEE God through community. We are drawn closer to Him.

Let us live to push one another on to Him.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Xavier

xavier rudd video . amazing. WATCH HERE.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

oh my goodness!!!

so. exciting news!! Xavier Rudd is coming to Chicago and playing at the Vic Theatre on Septmember 20th. Guess who's going to go? Yep. I just need to make some new friends that like him as much as I do. OR, hope against all odds that hannah will find a super cheap ding fair and make it out for another visit.

oh man. super exciting.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I thought the world had forgotten...i thought I had forgotten

This is the first Burma has been in the headlines in a long time. RECONSTRUCTION PLAN.

So much is needed. The task is HUGE. Sometimes i wish I didn't have school to go back to in the fall. I could take a year and spend it in Burma...

God knows why He's asked me to stay, and I know little bits of it. Yes, it's "worth it," but its hard to sit on my butt when something like this is hanging over me.

I keep thinking of when Jay went to do relief work. Sigh. I really want to do relief work. Perhaps that's where a nursing degree will come in handy. Hmm. Still thinking...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

life's surprises...sometimes fall right on you!

on my way home from work a vulture picked up a flabby (flappy?) piece of bloody rabbit from the road in front of me and flew up into the air. the piece of rabbit fell...ALMOST on my windshield. Gross. I jumped and yelled and then laughed at the possibility of a juicy piece of roadkill landing on my car...practically on my face! disgusting. Thank goodness it missed...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Woot Woot

Going to the midnight showing of The Dark Knight tonight!! (or, as hannah suggests, The Laughing Joker. haha. oh man...). I just took a two hour nap so i SHOULD be ready. Mark's for dinner and everyone for coffee before. FUN! I'm ridiculously excited.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Just read Wendy's recent post and it echoes a lot of feelings in my own heart. thought i'd give a link for those of you who want to read her wisdom :) (Wendy's Blog).

I've been in the house all day since i got off work this morning...putting around, cleaning a little, trying to think, trying to read, etc. bleh. I need to get out. gas is so expensive. I think i'm going anyway. maybe i'll go sit at borders and peruse the bookshelves. that sounds nice.

peace out.
(haha)

I Am a Poor Pilgrim of Sorrow

"I am a poor pilgrim of sorrow,
I'm tossed in this wide world alone,
No hope have I for tomorrow;
I've started to make heaven my home.
Sometimes I am tossed and driven, Lord
sometimes I don't know where to roam,
I've heard of the city called Heaven;
I've started to make it my home."
(taken from the appendix of "A Sacred Sorrow" by Michael Card)

There are times you find that this world doesn't have what you are looking for.

Anywhere.

If it is "Christianity," even this earthly religious system is going to leave you wanting. It is Christ. It is Christ and His heavenly city your soul is craving. What joy for those whose hearts are set on pilgrimage--in whose hearts are the highways to Zion! We have no abiding city here. So...even earthly joys and pleasures given for our enjoyment...are reflections of an eternal reality that our souls are craving: REDEMPTION.

Redeemed pleasure. Redeemed joy. Redeemed love, passion, beauty. We see shadows and illusions. Dim reflections. THEN we will see clearly. Behold--OUR GOD. Wow. Sometimes my heart painfully longs for heaven.

I've been very "overcome" this week by the realization, yet again, that the world is crying for more. Everyone around me is ACHING FOR MORE.

Also been blown away by the truth of Christ as God's gift of Himself. Jesus--"God with Us." The Holy Spirit--"God in us." Remarkable stuff.

Somehow, this is a beautiful, heartbreaking mystery. Because there is sorrow and joy so mixed together in this world...

Monday, July 14, 2008

there is a man

who bikes along old spanish trail. he has no legs but has made a bike that he "peddles" with his arms. every time I see him i am, to say the least, in awe.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"China 'is feulling War in Darfur'"

finally got to read the full article this morning. wow.

read article HERE.

Friday, July 11, 2008

hits you when you aren't looking

that sick feeling...the "punch in the stomach." A longing, desire, sorrow, whatever.

i miss africa. like crazy. i feel like my stomach flipped upside down and inside out. i didn't know such an ache and longing were possible. and it always seems to hit me when i'm not looking. the power of it always catches me a little by surprise. "of course i miss it." But then i really FEEL it... gah. it can't be explained. no use trying.

right now i am missing the faces. funny how certain days can be so full of images and others entirely empty of them. i haven't seen their faces in a long time.


current favorite song: Flightless Bird, American Mouth by Iron and Wine.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

a fellow "crazy"

Wendy is an amazing friend. We finally got to talk on the phone and catch up on a million things. It was wonderful.

she's one of those people that says the things that need to be said--that everyone else is too chicken to say. its really good. she challenges and encourages me. always.

its so beautiful to recognize in another close heart depth and insight that push you towards God. it becomes an immediate privilege and honor to journey through this life with them--even if you're only with them for a short time.

Wendy leaves for Nepal on August 12th. She's following the Lord...on an open-ended ticket. Exciting? Yes. Thrilling? Yes. Terrifying? Yes. Beautiful? Yes. We don't know yet what the Lord has for her "on the other end" of it.

She flies into Calcutta, India and spends a few days at Mother Teresa's mission--hanging out with a bunch of nuns. If you knew Wendy, this would make you smile. It's been her dream to go to India. From there she takes a bus into Nepal.

Nepal is a huge mystery to her and full of unknowns. All she knows for sure is that God wants her to "know Him more" which, in itself, is an endeavor altogether thrilling and mysterious. It's all that matter in this life. As she gets to now His deep richness more, it will spill and splash out, showering others with grace and blessing. The joy of knowing His glory--and sharing it with others!

Great challenges and joys lie ahead. Selfishly I do hope she'll come back to Moody my senior year. After all, crazies should try to stick together a little, right?! It would be wonderful if our paths crossed again in this lifetime. The beautiful thing about journeying through, though, is that even if our paths DON'T cross again in this life, eternity awaits us. Wow. Life is incredible, you guys.

All this writing to ask you to be praying for Wendy! Pray for Nepal. It's a country spiritually hungry and relatively open. The Spirit is moving and guiding...bringing people into the country to love and pray in redemption! Wendy gets to be a part of it. So do we, through love, prayer, encouragement, support, etc. The Body is a BEAUTIFUL thing.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

all things new

when it rains i feel like the world is being washed clean....all things made new. i love it.

i sat on the couch watching the sky grow dark and the raindrops fall. beautiful. it makes my heart feel refreshed.

i am grateful for the rain.

Monday, July 07, 2008

i am definitely a "quality time"-er

quality time with people is one of my favorite things. Right now, I am thinking of the past 24 hours...

1. hangout time with mark, allie, and hannah yesterday at Mark's house.
2. slacklining with hannah in the dark last night. and talking :)
3. dinner at PEI WEI with Luke tonight. eating, talking, and then watching MI-1 at home
4. a two-hour phone conversation with mariah...FINALLY (after missing each other for weeks!). so good to share hearts...

Man. I am incredibly grateful for the people in my life!! Blessed seems such a ridiculous and shallow word right now.

beautiful life

"I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11

Trying to wrap my HEART around this one. I so long to live to proclaim this...not simply with my mouth but declaring it from my soul.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

fun with friends

we're all at mark's house: drinking coffee and "reading" (or, studying...for those of us who have classes to finish). I took Hannah and Allie with me to work to get my schedule. They wanted to see it and see Dave, who was bartending. Haha. It was a secret spy mission. Completely ridiculous but fun.
I work Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday next week. Not bad for how dead things are right now...

Mmm. Mark is grilling chicken and it smells sooo good.

I hope it rains today. it's been raining every afternoon. I LOVE it. Yesterday i sat out on the porch and journaled while it sprinkled.

i wonder what I'll do with my next two days off. I have to work on my I.S. class but other than that....hmmmm.

The Global Church is Singing

Don't miss out on the global event of what God is doing in our day! Don't miss out. Open your eyes.

Piper's sermon last week was "Declare His Glory Among the Nations." You can listen to it HERE.

It's really wonderful. I encourage each of you to listen to it.

Holy Spirit, descend upon our hearts...through all its pulses MOVE.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

patriotic songs. hmm.

So...last night was the Tucson Country Club BIG 4th of July party. Cost: approx. $60 a head. Number of people: around 900. It was crazy. It rained on us a few times. I served 5 tables. It went super well and I had a TON of fun. I got to be (and feel) a little more "on my own" but still had Sharon and Luis as neighbors to help or answer questions. Clayton was also nice enough to put me in a section near the main bar...great for many reasons: 1. i didn't have to carry drink trays far 2. i got to "hang out" near the bartenders :) 3. it's just a good place to be!

There was a fire dancing show (which wasn't all that impressive. I decided i could have worn a red and silver sequin dress and done almost as good of a job).

I had the most amazing table of older folk who drank A LOT and stayed out in the pouring rain (which, consequently, meant i got SOAKED). There they were, ordering drinks and eating off of plastic plates that looked more like little black ponds. Two of the gentlemen were in wheelchairs so their wives held the umbrellas. The entire area cleared out (under buffet tents or into the main banquet rooms) except for my little party, who decided to enjoy everything despite the rain. It was amazing. I laughed a lot.

the TCC, apparently, has the largest private fireworks show in the state of Arizona. Impressive. I must say, i was super excited to see them because its been years since I've watched fireworks (though, it will take A LOT to beat last year: small firecrackers purchased in Africa from a small chinese store :) ).

You know how they always play cheesy patriotic songs during the fireworks show? Yeah, well, this year the lyrics started popping out at me...and i found myself continually asking, while everyone whistled and cheered, WHAT THE HECK THESE WORDS MEAN?!?!

For example:

"Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay. It's independence day."

"I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free."

"Come into America today."

The whole event just got me wrestling between my freedom v. other people's "bondage." The privilege of living HERE...how do I handle the privilege? Everything I take as a "right" that really isn't a right...transportation, health care, grocery stores, relative safety, peace, etc., etc., etc. You get the point. Never has a fireworks show provoked so much thought--and even a little sadness.

In spite of all my worry and complaining about the big fourth of july party, it was tons of fun. So i apologize to any (or all) of you who had to hear it from me :)

hope you all had a wonderful 4th!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Kingdom

I just finished watching The Kingdom with my brother...
oh my goodness. wow...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

finished ecclesiastes

i finished ecclesiastes today. I forget how much I like that book until i read it again. frustrating how the beauty and truths of scripture seem to be easily "lost" or forgotten...but at the same time wonderful that each time is "new" as it is alive!

i just feel like I relate with the author a whole lot, especially because of the environment I am working in, etc., this summer. the meaninglessness of life without the Lord...and the beauty of life enjoyed in the Lord. The contrast is interesting. Sometimes it is night and day; other times it isn't. Satan disguises himself as the angel of light...so...sin doesn't always feel or look unpleasant at the get go. and following the Lord isn't always perfect, easy, and beautiful. i'm learning to live in this paradox (not the contradiction), if that makes sense :) If it doesn't make sense, ask me more in person. It's late and i can't really articulate it.

i like how everything builds and finishes with the last chapter. 12:1 reminds me to not forget my Creator in the excitement of my youth. Hmmm. "remember...remember...remember..." (ch. 12).

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

oh man, i love this hymn

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and bless├Ęd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

deeply sighing

its been a good day, but it feels like its been a looong day. Probably because I've been up since 3:45 am.

I'm super tired.

tonight:
i am going to tie dye
i am going to call a good friend
i am going to relax and sit around
i am going to crash into bed

currently:
enjoying watching the dark thunderheads roll around above a *greener* desert landscape. ah. i love it!