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...