Monday, November 24, 2008

My dishwasher sounds like a space vehicle.

Stress does really crazy things to me. Or really, just makes me eat strange things.

I just ate a waffle + frosting + whipped cream. I am now drinking water to detox, but man, it was good.

Yesterday Greg talked in church about authenticity. He read a quote from the paper that said that we have a "cultural obsession with a perfected surface". I cannot stop thinking about that. Greg talked about how when we encounter God, our smallness is exposed, and our identity becomes that we are loved by God.

I wish that I could step out of my neurotic self, and embrace who God has made me to be. I wish that I could remember that what is taking place in my heart is what matters so much more than my looks or the way I appear to people. I wish that I could be genuine and authentic, loving people in a real way. And I wish that whatever I did wasn't somehow all about me. I am so self-centered, and so inconsistent.

I suppose I will turn those wishes into prayers.

Oh Christ, evaporate my false identity. Let me find myself only in you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I do a really terrible job of focusing on school work when there are no people around me. Tonight Amanda is in Jacksonville with her fiancee, and Ann is at a birthday party. I had offers to do things tonight but I declined them to do school work, and here I am. I should pack up my lap top and go to the Green Bean, but I feel like that takes so much effort and also that would put me at my 3rd cup of coffee today.

Yesterday Dad came up and took Ann and I on a date. We went and saw the "Boy in the Stripped Pajamas". It was an amazing film and I cried several times. I don't want to give anything away, but it is such a beautiful, tragic story about the son of a Nazi officer and a Jewish boy in a concentration camp who become friends.

Today in my reading for Sunday School tomorrow I was looking over Numbers 13 and 14.
As I read, I just really got a sense of God's heart for his people. He provided for them a wonderful land, and they get caught up in logistics. They cried and wept all night. They demanded that someone take them back to Egypt. They questioned God's heart for them. As I read, I got more and more sad. It's my own heart that is just like that. I don't trust God as I should, I assume that he doesn't have my best at heart. Joshua tells the people not to be afraid because God is with them, and they pick up rocks to stone him. God grows angry with his people and Moses still pleads on their behalf. By the end of the 14th chapter, the people have realized their sin, and ask for God's forgiveness but they can't go into the promise land, but they try anyways, and they are defeated. What a sad story.

Please tune my heart to yours. Help me to realize that you are leading me with my best at your heart. Help me to trust you, even when it seems crazy! Help me to be like Moses, focused on you always and a advocate for people.

Currently listening to: Bright Eyes
Currently reading: The Great Divorce
Currently eating: Mac and Cheese

Friday, November 21, 2008


I realize that up until this point I have been rather adamant against snow. It is cold and wet and for that I must dislike even a little. But today as I sat in my car, attempting to defrost my car windshield so I could go to high school, I got a phone call from my fellow-teacher-to- be, and delightful roommate, Amanda, letting me know that Guilford County had a two hour delay. I am sitting in my living room, eating a pop tart on a plate, drinking my coffee out of a mug, not a TRAVEL MUG, and taking my time.

I think that God made snow because it makes everything stop, and take it slow. We are all in too much of a hurry to get to the next place.

This is how we feel about snow here in the Green House:

This is how Ann feels about the snow melting:

Also, she looks like a babushka.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"For the first time in my life, I saw love at work. Not movie love. Not Cindy's sparkling eyes when I tell her were going to the beach on a Sunday afternoon. But love like something alive and tender, asking nothing in return." - Robert Cormier

currently listening to: the working title

Monday, November 17, 2008

Why can't you just trust God?

Well, it does seem to be a bad habit of mine to blog when it is absolutely trivial. But, to give myself some credit, I just got back from the high school and I am cooking lunch. I guess I am allowed a few down moments before I pack all my earthly belongings up and go to campus til 8.

I am wearing a strange sweater. I'm always worried to wear it, but today I decided to put on my Lorelei Gilmore sense of being and just wear what I want to. Proudly. But, believe it or not, this sweater, delightful as it may be, is not the reason for my blogging today.

Whenever the Israelites had something they needed to remember, God would have them build an altar to be a physical reminder of what He had done in their lives. Sometimes I think of blogging as a linguistic altar, of sorts. I would like to take a moment to record what God has done in my life over the past four years to bring to where I am today, as a Senior.

When I was a Freshmen, I began to tutor across the street in a neighborhood called Glenwood. This neighborhood isn't as affluent as other parts of Greensboro, in fact many people are afraid of it. I had friends warning me not to go to Glenwood. Fortunately, I didn't listen because I really didn't know any better and if I had, I have no idea what God would have done differently. God doesn't write stories of would beens, so I will never know that. ALL I know is that I found myself in a room full of children, vastly different than I am, and so completely alike. I fell in love. As began to tutor, I began to realize that so many of the kids had trouble reading. Originally, I came to college to get a degree in Psychology. I was going to become a psychologist, or a lawyer, or a librarian and make my parents proud with my brains and money making capabilities. God changed my heart, and after working with the kids for a few months, I changed my major to English, secondary education. (I am cooking lunch and I most definitely cannot find a single cooking spoon, I have no idea where my roommates have put them, so I am definitely cooking noodles with a whisk, which is ridiculous and so funny.) As I went along, I had more and more experiences with the neighborhood and spring break Sophomore year, we spent the week in the neighborhood. My friends, Nicole and Veronica and I decided that when we graduated, we wanted to move in. Jesus modeled a life of simplicity and gave up Heaven to come and live among the poor in spirit, and well the physically poor, because let's face it, He come from Heaven. If you read the Bible, and take it seriously, you see how serious God is about justice and how we should care for the poor. Cities are such unique places where people are forced to come into contact all the time, how much more a neighborhood. And when you live in a place intentionally, people want to know why. I have this vision of sitting on the hypothetical porch and having conversations with neighbors passing by, and children* sitting at the table doing homework, and taking walks to pray for the going ons of Glenwood. So now, I am graduating in May and I actually can move into Glenwood and I can finally get a teaching job.

* Here's a visual aid of the children I love so dearly.

But of course there was a wrench. And the wrench was me. (That sentence is epic.Like "I am the Walrus".) Let me explain. Senior year rolls around, and I am living it, and so I began to make lists of all the things I could do. You know, teach in Kenya, go on staff with InterVarsity, Go hold orphan babies somewhere. All my life I have been interested in missions and ministry and I just wasn't sure where God was leading. Then I remembered something that I'd found last summer when I couldn't go to Kenya for the summer and I was looking for alternatives. It was called the Pink House, in Fresno, California through InterVarsity and it was a ten month internship in Urban ministry. I was in California for fall break and Fresno is 30 minutes away from where I was born/where I was going for a wedding and so Mom and I dropped by the Pink House. It was very spur of the moment so they didn't know we were coming, and after asking directions from firemen and other such upstanding citizens, we found our way. Perhaps you know that I am not a spur of the moment girl. I am a planner, and I lists. We pulled into the parking lot and I wasn't prepared to go knock on the door, because it wasn't in my planner, and I sat there for a minute when I realized that I will never be in Fresno again and so I went and knocked. No one answered the door, so Mom and I proceeded to the wedding. At the wedding, Mom mentioned to Kim (Mother of the bride, Mom's best friend.) that we'd been to the Pink House and Kim got excited because the who was emceeing for the wedding had just finished his internship year at the Pink House. Perhaps you know that I am very reluctant to talk to boys that I don't know. I have two sisters, and I am really good at talking to girls, and I just have never seen the need to branch out. I guess I've gotten better since coming to college, but that is beside the point. The point is, I didn't want to talk to this boy. So I didn't. But when I got back to Grandma and Grandpa's I printed off the application and filled it out on the plane and I was certain that I would get the internship.

But then I made a pro/con list. Fresno, California vs. Greensboro, North Carolina. Do you know who won? Pokey, dear Greensboro won by a landslide. This made me very confused. I went home that weekend and I was very quiet, which worried Dad, so he asked if I wanted to talk. I pulled out my pro/con list and held it out to him. Dad looked it over quietly, and said, "Well do you want an adventure, or do you want to stay where you are." And I realized in that moment that no matter what I chose, it would be an adventure. I realized that out of all the people in InterVarsity that shared about the mission trips they went on over the summer, that when Joey shared about living in Glenwood for the summer and how around 11 kids accepted Christ this summer at Glenwood camp, I had tears falling down my face then because my heart is with those people and my heart is in this city. God has set me up so beautifully for next year, I have an internship where I will hopefully get a job teaching and I have friends who want to room with me in Glenwood, I have relationships with people in the neighborhood already blooming, and I have a church here. I realized that in California, I didn't want to knock on the door and I didn't want to talk to the boy and if the Pink House had been something that I really wanted to do, I would have. I started tell all this to Dad and he looked me in the eyes and said, "Well...why can't you just trust God?" That question has rolled in my mind. Why can't I just trust God?

When I was a little girl, I guess middle school, I was so sure that God had called me to be a missionary in China. I don't really know about all that anymore. I do know that God has called me to be a light wherever I am and that America is just as needy for God's heart as any other country. Maybe in a few years, God will finally allow me to go overseas, but for now I am so excited to see how God will move. I just try to think of it as a year at a time. For next year, you will find me down the road. There are things I need to trust God about for next year and I cannot wait to see how He will move to provide all that I can imagine and more.

I don't know where you are right now, or what you're struggling with, but I challenge you to talk to God about it. He is trust-worthy and He will make Himself known if you seek Him with your whole heart.

currently listening to: The Pernice Brothers, Clear Spot
real time: 11:53 AM

Sunday, November 16, 2008

When God Writes Something Else

Raise your hand if you've read your share of Passion and Purity, I've Kissed Dating Goodbye, or When God Writes Your Love Story type stories. Well, I'm afraid my hand is raised. Our culture, even our Christian culture, is obsessed with falling in love and being in love and loves love and apparently it's awesome but I have being thinking a lot about it lately and I think that we humans put a lot of emphasis on this loooove thing and I just don't know if God places the same emphasis. (That was a long sentence, guys. Thanks for bearing with it.) Today in church Greg talked about Hosea, a book that I so clearly displays God's heart for us. He talked about how deeply God loves us. He talked about how if you think that Jesus died to simply keep you from Hell, you would always operate out of fear. He said that when Jesus died, he died to invite us into relationship. God's idea of love is so much more deep than ours. Something else Greg said during his sermon was that our wildest dreams about God are not wild enough because we know but a fraction of God. God's plan for us is so much larger than hooking us up with some boy. (Although, honestly, sometimes, I think that that would be nice.) God's not just writing our love story. Or rather, he is. But I would like to motion that perhaps the love story is the one between us and him.

Enough exposition on such. I need to write some lesson plans. I have finished the poetry lesson plans, and I need to write three writing assignments for the Odessy, and I need to write a week of plans for a short story called the "The Sniper" and I need to write a paper on Chaucer. Yes.

Word of the day: dragooned: to coerce
Currently watching: Gilmore Girls, Season 7.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cause vs. Force

Oh hello, friends.

I was very frustrated today. One of my ninth graders got a zero on his vocabulary quiz. I just can't imagine why that is because he had the words all week, he had to do activities with the words and he had five minutes before the quiz to review. How do you cause a student who doesn't care about grades to care about learning? I am certain you cannot force a child to learn.

I decided to explore this concept further by looking up some words, as I like to do.

force: "strength or power exerted upon an object"
cause: "end or purpose for which a thing is done or produced."

To cause a student to learn is to give them a purpose. Today I sat in a chair and knitted after I was done at the high school and prayed for my students. And I prayed that God would teach me to connect with them, and that God would show me what makes each child excited. I know that God cares deeply about our minds. And I know that God has connected our hearts and minds. I think that if I can get students' hearts that I will be able reach their minds. And I am certain that only God knows how to do that. I am so excited to see how He will use me.

currently listening to: Lydia, This is Twice Now.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

[Some favorite photos from the California trip]

Pretend we're getting coffee.

It would go down a little something like this:

I am in a fairly expositional, thoughtful, people watching mood. Also, I have a lot of thoughts running around in my head, so hang on to your hats.

A) I am so at peace and restless all at the same time. I have such a confidence that God is going to work things out. But I think that it's normal to also feel a little restless, I know that I am in God's heart and in His hands, but I am always wanting more.

B)I think that kids have to challenge you to know your love. It does make sense. You don't know that you can trust someone to love you until you give them opportunity not to. I really need to internalize this.

C)I want to live a life of open-ness. Open to God, to people, to opportunity, to new-ness. And yet I hate change. But God asks us to live open handedly. I don't know how to, maybe. Or maybe I do and I'm afraid to.

D) I have been struggling for ever so long with reconciling how Jesus' burdens are light and easy while at the same time He tells us to take up our cross. In my mind it goes something like this, Jesus' burden = cross, we take Jesus' burden = we carry the cross, which does not = easy or light. Everything within me revolts against cross carrying. I know that carrying the cross is a part of discipleship. Bonhoeffer says, "God is a God who bears. The Son of God bore our flesh, He bore the cross, He bore our sins, thus making atonement for us. In the same way, His followers are also called upon to bear, and that is precisely what it means to be a Christian. Just as Christ maintained his communion with the Father by His endurance, so His followers are to maintain their communion with Christ by their endurance. We can of course, shake off the burden which is laid upon us, but only find that we still have a heavier burden to carry- a yoke of our own choosing, a yoke of our self. But Jesus invites all who travail and are heavy laden to throw off their own yoke and take his yoke upon them- and his yoke is easy and his burden is light. The yoke and the burden of Christ are His Cross. To go one's way under the cross is not misery and desperation but peace and refreshment to the soul, it is the highest joy. Then we do not walk under self made laws and burdens but under the yoke of Him who knows us and who walks under the yoke with us. Under His yoke we are certain of His nearness and communion." [Well, Detrich, I'm not sure I get it.] Only I think that Bonhoeffer is saying that somehow the yoke is lighter because Christ is carrying it too. I guess even if I don't get it, I'm in good company because Luther says, "Discipleship is not limited to what you can comprehend." I do not comprehend this, quite.

I wrote more in my journal, but I will keep a little to myself.

currently listening to: the get up kids, overdue

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lesson plans are becoming a way of life.

listening to: the hush sound

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I have bunkered down in my house with coffee and pie and Gilmore Girls and...Chaucer.

I hope I get something done.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I am terrified of graduating. I am so terrified of losing my community. For four years, I've been loved and challenged by InterVarsity. And When I graduate all my friends will move away and I won't be able to go to IV anymore. Sophomore year, I tried to become involved with my chuch by joining a small group and my efforts were not rewarded. I asked to be placed in a small group with older women but women wanted to be in small groups with their husbands. I was placed with a group of older girls. The small group coordinators asked me to lead the small group but I felt awkward doing so because I was the youngest, and the girls turned out to all know each other and didn't have any interest in knowing me at all. I just feel like adults don't want to know me. I don't know how to relate to adults. I'm not sure I want to. I hate the thought of pushing through life by myself, trying to force people into community with me. I'm so afraid that I'll be lonely. At least my friends that are getting married will have a friend to push into the awkwardness with and one that will understand how they feel. I'm sure when the time comes it won't be so bad as what I've made it out to be in my head.