Thursday, October 29, 2009

On a Day of Joy


Awakening at nine to the buzzing of an alarm. Reseting the alarm for nine-forty five. More sleeping.

Finally rising at ten, taking a shower, putting on clothes.

Meeting grandpa and cousin for coffee and conversation.

Walking Dewey in the crisp grey morning air.

Five hours at work. Dying of hunger. A visit from Holly, Lara, and Jill.

A secretive phone call.

Thirty minutes (only seven of which were used getting ready).

Dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory with Ben, filled with laughter at everyone around us.

Orange lillies. Aly Quatier, and curling up in the papasan. A quick kiss in the stairwell.
Small group, with more stories than Hosea. Much marshmellow munching.

Happy five months.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On the Papasan

I fell into this chair a moment ago
And realized it smells like you:
Tears bite at my eyes, curling into a ball,
Fingernails cutting into my palms,
Face against green fabric; at war with myself.

I cannot live like this because
I hurt you.
I hurt her.
I am not real.
I cannot love.
Not now.
Not like this.

Psalm 42:11

Friday, October 23, 2009

On Flying and Crashing

What is wrong with this week?

It has been the most emotionally horrible time I've experienced in years. I can't remember how many times this week I've come back to the room, shut the door firmly behind myself, kicked off my shoes, dropped my book-laden bag, and dissolved into tears.

I hate sorrow without reason. If you're going to be sad, have a concrete reason behind it, ok? And the grossest part of this week is there have been moments when I couldn't have been happier. Like church on Sunday, seeing Allison on Friday, small group last night. But at these other times, I am so wedged and crammed inside my own thoughts, I can hardly breathe.

Balance, come back. Sanity, I desperately call for you. Stability...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

On Prayer at group


Jesus, here is my plea: I need you in my heart to carry my always. I am so unstable on my own. You are faithful and just. I need Your joy in my heart in order to show Your love to this world, to those around me. God, I desperately want to be filled up with You.

Take my heart, my anxieties. I trust so much, Lord, that You are holding me. Help me to live each day being fully present; to make each word I speak intentional.

God, I cannot stress enough how unstable I am without You. Please, God, You do not call us to lives of comfort, ease, and security. But You promise joy and peace to our souls. Please, Lord, help me to dwell in You, in the utter stability of Your love.

Can I plainly scream, "Come, Lord Jesus, come"?

I give this heart to You, God, day after day. Rip, mold, form it as you must in order that Your will (oh, the importance) might be made plain, might come to action and fruition through these thoughts, words, movements.

God, speak to my heart. Give me the reassurance that I am where You need me to be, that You want to use me here and now. Teach me how to talk to You, how to listen to Your voice, how to seek Your word, and utterly desire Your presence by my side. Capture me again, Jesus, and do not let me go. I do not want this stagnation and lack of movement. Your call to love is a call to action.

Stop internalizing. This is a cry to myself. We are the body of Christ, the united Church; not individuals in our faith, but collectively the children of light and of love. My focus is so narrowed. Come into my mind, Lord, and break through the walls which constrict thought and emotion. Allow me to hear where You are calling me to serve.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

On Rain

Just returned from a study trip to the Queen Anne Starbucks. Now, sitting at my desk, eating oatmeal, listening to the rain, and unable to pry my eyes off the beauty of the red, orange, yellow, green trees outside my window. Seattle has been living up to its reputation these past few days. And I could not be happier. The rain. It's amazing. It makes me want to breathe, and sigh, and close my eyes for just about forever. Listen. Oh, thank You, my Lord, for such beauty. You know when you're walking in the early afternoon and the rain is falling fast and steady and a wind blows through the perfect autumn tress, and suddenly leaves are cascading down like flurries of snow? I love that. This week has been a struggle, though. And I'm not sure why. I've not been spending the time with Jesus that I should, and I've sort of curled up inside myself. Some thoughts on that from Wednesday:

I am selfish and tired and antisocial in this moment. God, can you please take the focus off of me? I don't have the capacity to exist in these diverse and conflicting mindsets demanded. I am such a small, grumpy, closed-up, detached, judgmental person. This running commentary in my head, it's disturbing. I don't know what to do with these thoughts of hatred and impatience that are so far and foreign from the person I claim to be, yet so intrinsically tired to my heart. I need You, God, to reach inside me and rip out my selfish heart of stone. I don't care if it'll hurt, God: I need You in my heart, and You only to make me whole. I've been struggling a lot lately with impatience. I think it's because I have a hard time understanding people's minds when they don't exactly conduct themselves as I would. For example... I don't necessarily thrive on attention; in fact, I avoid it as much as possible. And when others strive for attention more than anything else, I just get really confused. Why do you long for others to focus on you? What validation exactly are you looking for by having all eyes, all ears, turned toward you? I can't fathom the depths of your mind. "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."
Colossians 3:12-14

Saturday, October 10, 2009

On Words and God

Sometimes, I feel like I have multiple personality disorder. It's through the writing that these voices scream.

From Matt:

We sit in these rooms and question truth, strive for knowledge, yearn for understanding. We live our simple lives, laughing together, growing up slowly, experiencing what we feel is pain and heartbreak when it comes along. We are beautifully blind. We need to be shocked back to life [clear]. We need to take our first breath and open our eyes and realize the complete paradise we live in. Comfort. Safety. Privilege. I don’t know what to do to reconcile this. It isn’t fair. I don’t want these privileges… but at the same time, I’m terrified that they’ll be stripped away.

I loved how perfect you were, with that one fatal flaw. When your lungs crumpled up, cracking and squeezing your chest into a writhing pit of pain. I can’t watch you then; it makes my heart splinter. I know that I am weak; this is why I cling to you. But when you are breaking, my world is sent spinning. If you, my savior, need saving, what am I to do? I am not strong enough, with this book full of heavy condemnation slung about my neck, and an increasing scream of judgment echoes in my ears. With you, I can hide away from that which tortures my mind. How is this sin? God calls us to love; I love you desperately. Tell the church to fuck itself for saying that love is sin. Hypocrisy is sin too, you bastards. Fuck off.

My ears burn. “Free us from that which binds.” Stop banishing me to Sodom. I can’t fit that mold. Please: you’ve already silenced me. Just let me be. I am so tired of these same words, over and over, these same archaic stories that have no relevance. Why are you allowed to dictate how I live just because you heft this old book? Yet, it breaks me in pieces when I see him walk into that sanctuary, when I watch him stretch his hands in worship, when he stares at me with eyes of such conviction. Don’t look at me like that, like you’re pitying me. Imperfection on display. How do you know me so well? Stop reading my mind; you’ll only be disgusted by what you’ll see. “I will sing to and worship the King who is worthy.” I stand in silence, letting my mind sprint, my eyes stayed on the perfect hair of the bass player. I’ll just stay here, waiting to get what I deserve from our ‘just’ God. Your justice is twisted. “Give me a new heart. Take out this wreckage of stone.” I’m so tired of your words. Your God is so twisted, so selfish and jealous and wrathful. How can you talk about mercy and forgiveness and grace? Ask the Sodomites about God’s love. Talk to the Egyptians about mercy. Genocidal, unforgiving, legalistic bastard.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

On Living

Take one quick second and breathe in. Close your eyes, hold that breath. Tilt your head up toward the ceiling or sky and open your eyes as you blow it out.


One week of classes is finished, and it feels like nine. Don't finals start tomorrow?

In some ways, this year feels exactly like a continuance of last year. These friends who've been separated by a summer coming back together seamlessly. Hours of laughter and stories and homework and sharing meals and curling up together to listen to the wind.

In other ways, this year feels completely foreign. Who are these faces at floor meetings I don't recognize? What is this absolute mountain of homework fallen from the sky? Where did this beautiful room and completely perfect roommate come from?

I love it. I love this year. And yet, at the very same time, there is still so much anxiety in my heart at all times. I cannot relax.

I've run into a complete conflict of interests in my life. I feel so at home and so comfortable and safe here at school. I am so happy taking my classes, reading my ancient literature, living day by day, studying and eating in Gwinn.

But I don't know what I'm doing with my life.

Plain and simple, this terrifies me to no end.

One of the very first questions anyone asks in college when first meeting you is, "What's your major?" With the answer of, "English, creative writing," what surely follows is, "Oh... What are you going to do with that?"

I don't know.

Please stop asking.

I just know that I'm doing what I love. I don't have some magic career in mind that will keep me off the streets.

I live with two conflicting perspectives: that of eternity, and that of everyday. But I'm not planning out my future. And while I feel this is the correct mindset to have, to leave everything wide open for God to act, it scares me none the less.

Can I believe without fear? Does a lack of courage discount my faith at all?

With pressure on all sides to find a future vocation, know my place in the world, be ready to set out and change everything, I feel myself slowly shrinking. You have lofty goals. You know exactly what you want to do and where you want to do it. You know who you're going to marry.

I know... what I'm doing this afternoon. A bit of what'll happen next week. That's all.

I've seen God, though, take things in my life and turn them around. I've experienced being dead-set on a certain outcome and having God say, "No." But while I don't want to forge forward into an unknown future, I also do not want to sit by idly, waiting for something to happen. I know that God works through our actions.

It is this balance that I need of prayerfully asking about opportunities, taking tentative but strong steps forward, but always keeping my hands open for God to take the reins and lead to... anywhere.

Notes from last Sunday:

This is our life: we set out following a plan, and things change.

How do you find a path that leaves room for the Holy Spirit's intervention? How do you plan, but be open?

We must learn to lean into our desires, praying for discernment as to what we should hold onto and what we should let go of.

We think we know what God wants for us, but then we're forbidden by the Holy Spirit. This is the Christian life for you: there is always a little bit of uncertainty.

I want to be the one place where He wants me to be.

And notes from today:

How can I offer you Christ as the answer? By knowing your question. By learning your culture.

Our witness doesn't begin with a chasm of difference, but with finding a bridge, with building relationships, with love.

Are you going to step into God's story or stay in your own?

Today I will stop waiting and begin to live.