Friday, August 29, 2008

Week one. downnn

Today I took myself to the doctor. I hate going to the doctor's by myself. It feels scary and horribly lonely. And very grown up. And did I mention alone? Ahead of me was an old, old couple. They were adorable. The man's name was Raymond. He called me a dear. And his wife said, "Are you spelling it d-e-e-r or d-e-a-r, because there's a difference, Ray." They hugged the nurses when they were done. They were old and wrinkly and had long toe nails, but they loved each other and you could tell by how they interacted together and how they interacted with everyone else. I want that. I think that growing old with someone is a great adventure.

It might not be an adventure that I get to have, but there are other adventures to be had. If only I could think of it that way always.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Psalm 17:15

As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Psalm 73:22-28

I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.
Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand.
You will guide me with your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry. But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works.

and a little Henri J.M for you,

"Keep deepening your conviction that God's love for you is enough, that you are safe in His hands, and that you are being guided every step of the way."

currently listening to: the dogs next door going crazy and Spoon
currently reading: New Bible Commentary, The Only Necessary Thing by Henri J.M Nouwen
real time: 10:04

Friday, August 22, 2008

To pray unceasingly is to lead all our thoughts out of their fearful isolation into a fearless conversation with God. Jesus' life was lived in the presence of God his Father. Jesus kept nothing, absolutely nothing, hidden from his Father's face. Jesus' joys, his fears, his hopes, and his dispairs were always shared with His Father. - Henri J.M. Nouwen

listening to: When You Thought You'd Never Stand Out, Copeland
current time: 5:55
currently worrying about: lots of upcoming change, and how focused I will have to be on school this semester even though I'm a Senior.
currently looking forward to: Fall kick off and the IV booth on Monday and meeting with my Pastor Greg on Monday and classes starting on Monday. Monday.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The madness that is college has begun.

For the past three days, I and other wonderful InterVarsity students have helped move the Freshmen in. I cannot even begin to describe to you how tired, sore and bruised my body is, but it was worth it for the opportunities that we had to talk to people. I think people were encouraged by our presence. I gave two girls my phone number and offered to show them where their classes are and I hope that I can begin to build relationships with the incoming Freshmen.

I am way too exhausted to write further. Things are crazy and busy. I hope that God will be honored by our efforts to love our campus and that we will love tirelessly. NSO (New Student Outreach) has just begun and classes begin Monday. Bring it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I really want to grow.

Sometimes I feel like my heart is being stretched and it hurts.

I want to be past where I am. I wish I could see what God was doing and where He was taking me.

Jesus, help me to be like you.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I have to keep reading this over and over, maybe you need to too.

You don't need a man by your side to validate you as a woman. You are already loved and valued. You're good enough exactly as you are. Do you believe this? Because it's true. You have limitless worth and value. If you embrace this truth, it will affect every area of your life, especially your relationship with men.

You are worth dying for.

Your worth does not come from your body, your mind, your work, what you produce, what you put on, how much money you make. Your worth does not come from whether or not you have a man. Your worth does not come from whether or not men notice you. You have inestimable worth that comes from your creator.

You will continue to be tempted in a thousand different ways not to believe this. This temptation will be to go searching for your worth and validity from places other than your creator...You are already loved...As the woman says in Song of Songs, "My own vineyard is mine to give." In the ancient Near East, a vineyard was a euphemism for sexuality. She is saying that she doesn't give herself to just anyone. She is fully in control of herself, and she is not cheap and she is not easy.

Your strength is a beautiful thing. And when you live in it, when you carry yourself with the honor and dignity that are yours, it forces the men around you to relate to you on more than just a flesh level.

You are worth dying for.

excerpt from ROB BELL, SEX GOD


I feel like I babysat my week away, which was excellent, but I pretty much don't want kids til I'm 80 this week. I'm not ready to be a Mom, as much as I hope to one day be one. Tonight, I lay in bed with Hudson (age 2) in his new big boy bed, until he stopped crying and until he fell asleep. I read a chapter of the Hardy Boys to Lawson (age 8), and two chapters
to Riley of some book about a girl needing glasses and no longer being the class pet because of a new girl (age 10). I had finally settled into a chair in the living room and began knitting on the baby blanket I'm knitting when Lawson came into the living room and sat on the couch. He couldn't sleep. So he sat there and talked and talked. He asked me if I was knitting, what I was knitting and how big it would be. I let him talk because in all my life I have never wanted to go to bed. I felt his pain. Finally I pulled out my phone and said, "you have two minutes to say all you have to say and then you have to go to sleep." He made a face and then chatted and chatted. Two minutes were up. "Time for bed, Lawson," I told him. "Can I see it?" he asked. I showed him that his two minutes were up. He talked for a few more minutes.

"Lawson, believe me, I would much rather talk to you than sit here by myself, but you've gotta go to bed."

He reluctantly, slipped off the couch, and into the dark hall. Then I heard a whisper,"Riley...guess what." it was quiet for a second. "She knits!"

I couldn't stop giggling. What little boy is captivated by the hobby of grandmothers? It was all I could do to get some amount of stern-ness into my voice so I could say, "Lawson, get in bed."

note 1: dear downstairs neighbors, please do not scream because it really freaks me out. I also don't know whether to call the police or not. I'm sure you wouldn't want the police to come and break up your party all because you think screaming like you're dying is funny.

note 2: I think when I finish with the blanket for the McCluskey's, I will make a baby hat for Karen and Robert. It will be maroon and orange because it would be good for the Howe baby to blend into Blacksburg. Plus, it's really cold up there and so that baby can't possibly have too many hats.

real time: 12:12 AM
currently listening to: Switchfoot, Let That Be Enough

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

emotional lust.

I am re-reading two books currently. I was trying to read War and Peace, but it's just not holding my interest 150 pages in and there are 1636 pages. Maybe someday I will try again. I have the want but I just feel so distracted. So I've decided to go back to two good ones that I know I like and that are relatively fast reads: Sex God by Rob Bell and Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.

I went on my roof tonight and looked for meteors, but I think the street like messed that up. I do a lot of thinking on my roof. It's quiet and still and removed from the world. I can just be. I've been thinking about friendships lately. It seems like when I get close to guys, I end up just being frustrated with where I end up. I get jealous. I jump to conclusions and am paranoid. I say and do ridiculous things. Rob Bell in the first chapter of Sex God talks about lust. The type of lust that he talks about is more like physical lust, but I submit humbly and reluctantly that I too lust, though not usually physically. I lust emotionally. I desire someone to be there for me. I desire someone to prefer me over else. I want to be thought of as beautiful, smart and wonderful. I get jealous because I assume that when my guy friends hang out with another girl, they will like her better than me, and they will want to hang out with her more than me. I become paranoid because I suspect that there are always more engaging girls than I and that my friends would prefer to be with her.

I think that lust is a form of idolatry. Wanting support, or love isn't bad, but when it becomes your focus, your false infinite and your god, it is.

We all have lies about ourselves that we believe. I have several. They all center on how I am not enough. Not good enough, not special enough, not beautiful enough; in every way imaginable, inadequate. I have freakishly high expectations of myself. I am completely able to be gracious to you, but for me, from me- there is no such thing as grace. I expect perfection, thus I will never be enough. It might be oldest child complex, whatever it is, it's crazy.

The truth about me? On my own, I am terrible and horrible. Through Christ, I am redeemed, treasured, beloved and enough.

I know that all I need is in Christ, but I still seek for affirmation from people, and from boys. It's like my soul is crying, "Tell me that I am enough!"

There's no life in that, no hope.

I repent from that. And I apologize for placing the weight of my soul on my brothers.

I don't quite know how to approach relationships with guys I guess, but I suppose I can begin by being more guarded. I don't know what else to do.

[Some day, maybe I will get married and it will be a little different, but Father, I ask that I never place anything over you. You alone will have my heart. Help it to be like yours. Help me to love you more. I'm sorry that my heart is so easily distracted and restless. I want to trust and love you. Help me to trust you with my life.]

Listening to: The Luckiest, Ben Folds
current time: 1:32 AM

Friday, August 8, 2008

I met a guest at the inn today who tried to discourage me from becoming a teacher. Unfortunately for her, I'd been hearing such things for years and have become a seasoned ignorer.

Thanks for your concern, Ms. Horner; you are too late.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I cried myself to sleep last night.

I watched a movie called Water yesterday. It was set in India in 1938. India was still ruled by England but Gandhi and his followers are beginning to "fight" for independence. It begins with a little girl named Chuyia, who is eight years old, being widowed. Her husband was much older than she was and so he died and she was sent to live in the widows' house. Widows had three options, to burn on their husbands' burial pyre, to live in the window compound, never to remarry, but instead live a live of discipline, or to marry their husbands' younger brother. This little girl was so lovable and spunky. I loved watching it in the beginning because she was so cute and so funny. You couldn't help but fall in love with this character. Chuyia meets another widow who is in her 20s. Her name is Kalyani and she falls in love with a man, Narayan. Kalyani is very beautiful and so one of the women in change of the widows' house forces her to prostitute herself out to a rich man in the city so that the house will be provided for. Kalyani and Narayan plan to be married but as he is taking her to meet his family, she asks who his father is. His father is a man who she is forced to sleep with, and so she tells him to turn around. She tries to go back to the window's house, even though she was kicked out. The woman in charge tells her that she can go to Narayan's father if she wants to come back. Kalyani cannot handle that and in desperation, she drowns herself. Because Kalyani is dead, the woman in charge needs someone to prostitute out to the Narayan's father so that they continue to recieve his support. She tells Chuyia that she is sending her home and sends her to the house. Chuyia is told that she is there to play and then they will take her home. Chuyia walks into Narayan's father's room and says, "I'm here to play." with all the innocence of an eight year old little girl. When Chuyia comes back she is bruised and can't even move. One of the other ladies puts her on a train with Narayan to get her away from the widows' house, so it ends "happily".

Last night I couldn't stop thinking about that precious, innocent little girl. I tried to tell myself 'it's just a movie'. But it's not. I couldn't stop crying. I can't remember the last time I cried that hard and that long; My eyes were all red and puffy and I looked crazy. My heart was completely broken over the complete and utter injustice and I just couldn't get over it, all I could do was cry and cry. I was /still am/ at a loss of what to even do. I kept thinking, "That was absolutely unjust. How could God let little innocent girls be raped?" But at the same time, I didn't question His goodness. It's a strange place to be, to know that God is completely good and completely in control, but to know that horrible, terrible things happen all over the world. And it makes me wonder why my life's been so good, perfect really. How is it just that 8 year olds, little baby children are abused and I have had a beautiful existence with no major road bumps to speak of? Not that I'm wishing for such things, but couldn't the horror be spread out?

I just don't know. I might never get over it. And I hope I don't because that would mean that I was desensitized.

currently listening to: Terminal, Foster; train sounds
real time: 1:23
currently needing to: fold laundry, and fill out my application for a street parking permit

Monday, August 4, 2008

For the first time ever, I think God had a face for me. Greg, my pastor, asks us sometimes how we think God looks at us, angrily, impatiently, indifferently, kindly, etc. God never really had any expression for me. It was almost as though He himself was confused about how He should view me. But yesterday during church it was different. I went to Alex and Lydia's wedding on Saturday and it was beautiful. I thought about how Alex's face lit up when Lydia entered the sanctuary door and I realized that that is how God looks at us. Greg's talked about how the only person who could walk fearlessly into the Oval Office was John Kennedy's son, John Jr. Jesus does the same since He is the high priest, He just walks into His Father, knowing that He will be heard. Hebrews 4 says "let us come boldly to the throne of grace." We too can walk into the "Oval Office" without fear. We a delight to our God.

Alex and Lydia. What a good wedding.

real time: coffee time, aka 11:09