Sep 27, 2009

'til the soles of your feet turn black

Dear Patty Griffin,

Thank you for 1000 Kisses. My life wouldn't be the same without it to motivate me throughout the days.

I first thought "Rain" was the best.
Then I heard "Long Way Home".
Then I heard "Chief".
Then I heard "Making Pies".
Then I heard "Nobody's Crying".

Oh, and I can't forget Living with Ghosts and Children Running Through. And the other albums I haven't listened to yet.

You are a musical genius. Thank you.


P.S. Anyone who reads this needs to go buy the album now. Kthxbai.

Sep 21, 2009

Things I know

If you don't deal with problems in your heart, they fester. They may not show on the outside. You may not recognize them. But they present in your life. And the longer they fester, the harder they are to treat. But I don't think we are supposed to equate recovery in our hearts to treatment. It is all too scientific and medical. It's just the way my mind works, so bear with me.

I didn't realize that the things I saw this summer were going to leave me torn apart. I am doubting good, doubting God in some senses. But mostly, I am grieving. Yet most of what I grieve over cannot be written here. Some things are meant to be given to the world; some are meant to shared with those who need to hear them. Much of what was seen and felt and heard and experienced is left to be continually lifted up - because this is too much of a burden for a mere human.

I have this ever-present need to get away. I think that time in creation is healing. So I drove to Colorado and felt a little reprieve. Yet the need is still there; there is still healing left for me. And I can hope in that.

And I can hope in a God who has not forsaken me, nor the world, despite what things may appear on the surface.

Expose the doubt and dark in your heart, and there is peace to be found to fill the places that are left.

Hope is there.

Sep 20, 2009

how could you be so heartless?

". . . for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind." James 1

"And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh." Jude 1

Sep 14, 2009

Miss Independent

A lot of times we get ourselves into the pattern of believing things that don't quite exist. The aspects of fairy tales and stories hold something that resonate deep within us: that romantic encounter we search for, the adventure that leaves us on top of a mountain having conquered the world, the thrill of surviving a danger, having pressed the boundary to see how far we can go.

Ok, those things do exist. But not in the way we expect.

I could say a lot about how the world's idea of romance taints relationships, but I don't want to right now.

I want to talk about adventure.

I have some really neat friends. They do really cool things, like go to Amsterdam to study and explore the things she is passionate about; I have a friend who is living life in Port Townsend, living on her own and making a life for herself. I have friends who have gone to the most incredible of places - and I associate it with adventure.

Adventure resonates with me. I think of the freedom it instills. It liberates. In essence it releases the ties that bind and allows us to experience things as they are.

I moved to Washington by myself. I made friends. I figured out my new life and went tubing and played frisbee and learned how to be really bad at things and make it laughable. I was so happy in my adventure I never wanted to leave. I left, the adventure ended, and normal life restarted in Liberty.

Then I decided to REALLY challenge myself, and I went to Haiti. By myself. Twice. It has a nice ring to it. It impresses people. For some time I have relished the responses from people. I mean, isn't it cool how independent and adventurous I am?

I hate that I just wrote that for the world to read. Yet that is who I am. That is what I thought.

Tonight I realized that I have seen independence as a sign of strength. I have that sort of "I don't need a man by my side. I don't need anybody or anything. I can take care of myself." mentality.

Do you know why I loved Washington?
Molly, KaraLynn, Rebecca, Tyler, John, Kylan, Erik, Faye, Heather, Grandma, Jake & Michelle - on and on.

Do you know why I loved Haiti?
Diana, Mallory, Britt, and every person I met there.

The second time I went to Haiti I decided to climb the "mountain" behind the mission. We walked a short distance, and I regretted my decision. It was awful. It was so hard. And I made myself go to the top in order to prove I was strong, to stand at the top and see the view, and to feel alive.

It failed. It failed because I was so lonely. The view was breathtaking, and I was simply too empty to appreciate it.

I have had a lot of realizations this week. This last week has held more surprise, more stomach flips, more confused heads, more tired eyes. And I continue to see that I close myself off very easily. It was a process started approximately 1 year ago, and I haven't felt the need to throw this train in reverse.

So what does that have to do with adventure? I have fallen into the trap of seeking that Into the Wild type feeling - stripping down to the root of it all. And in the process I have isolated myself. I am trying to learn when to let people in again.

I haven't given up yet.

Sep 13, 2009

I will run, I will run

Something about this day has made me miss it. It could have been talking with one of my roommates about it; it may have been studying in the library, wondering what the point was; or it may have just been this search to figure out what matters, what is supposed to be at the heart of what I do in my life.

In Haiti there appears to be a trend. Some people say it is easy to lose hope in the midst of the need and struggle of life. As you grow up it seems that people seem to lose faith in good, feeling angry, upset at the injustice of the world. And then it turns into a quiet acceptance, a near resign to how life has become.

But for a few years at the beginning of life, there is a spark in an eye. There is spunk. There is spirit. There is laughter and energy and an endless amount of love. The kids there simply live: they are unencumbered.

I could be having the loneliest day. I could be upset with the group at the time, frustrated with how they disrespected me, annoyed by their lack of understanding, or just plain ready to be alone. But all it took was the first sighting of Benji or Sophie or Esther or Wendolyn or Lovelin - it all went out the window.

Because I believe we are drawn to the things that point to Truth. The Truth the kids lived out every day was joy and humility. They had nothing to their names and laughed in the face of it. And if it only lasted for a few days longer, before the brokenness of the world tried to beat it out of them, they lived and knew joy. And through them I knew joy. They pointed me to something greater than myself - they pointed me to what really matters.

Sep 11, 2009

Weekend Plans

The search for significance is on.

Sep 9, 2009

5 Minute Blog

Last weekend I drove to Colorado. I think the total trip was 58 hours - 19 of which I was driving. I think it was the best thing I have done in a long time.

Coming out of Haiti the second time was relieving. It is hard for me to admit that. I think I expected myself to love it completely. I think I lost sight of truth. I had this totally off perception that I needed to come home without doubt about the direction my life is headed.

I am doubting.

Not doubting in the sense of turning away completely, but doubting as to what God has for me. I thought it was Africa, then I thought Haiti, and now I think the whole prospect of a life plan is too much for anyone. I don't think we are supposed to follow a life plan because it boxes in what God is doing.

So for now, I live in Kansas City. I might see a baby delivered tomorrow. Someday I may go onto more school. It won't be next year. I may move away from Kansas City, and I may not. I will go when I know I should. I will stay when I know I am supposed to.

And for now, I have a lot of wonderful friends to live life with. I have a group of 7th and 8th graders I can invest in. And I serve a God who is asking for me to relax.

I am a serious person. I never really thought I was until a lot of people have pointed that out to me. In a lot of ways, it is good. In some ways, it isn't.

Out the window with plans beyond the place I am now.

I feel better today.

Sep 4, 2009

See ya, Be ya, CHRISTMAS

It's a nephew reference. Don't worry about it.

I am announcing an internet hiatus. E-mail me if you need me. I don't know when I will be back to mass communication.

Or you could always call. I'll probably screen your call, but I promise to do my best to call back.

That sounds harsh. I will most likely be so desperate for outside contact that I'll be dying to answer you.

See you on the other side.

Sep 1, 2009

Dreamster McDreamy

From a very young age I have been plagued with some unproductive tendencies. I mean, we all are, right? I think one of my primary ones is that I dream future plans often...and they are rather unreasonable. For example:

My first dream was to be a dolphin trainer. I would live on a farm in a red brick farm house with my family. I would have two kids: Luke and Mindy. Everyone would be amazed at how well I trained dolphins, and the dolphins would be my best friends.

Shortly after that dream came about I realized I hate swimming and knew nothing about living on farms. So that dream died.

I was convinced when they began casting Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone that I was the PERFECT Hermione. I only had to get to England for the audition, practice my NEARLY PERFECT accent, and crimp my hair.

Too bad it isn't close to perfect and Emma Watson came along.

In more recent years I have considered medical school, counseling, child soldier rehabilitation, army nursing (what the?), and starting my own orphanage. And today I became convinced I need to be a midwife.

The scary thing is that I have less than a year until my life has no plans. I need to make a decision. I have no idea what dreams are legitimate and what dreams are unreasonable. I have no idea where dating someone fits in, what happens if I want to have a family, what signing myself up to run an orphanage does to the rest of my life.

Isn't it a little sad that I haven't really had any indication from God, that I push Him aside in just feeling what seems exciting and right at the time.

What in the world is He leading me to do?

BUT IF IT IS TO BE A MIDWIFE, the following cities have good programs:
+ Seattle
+ Denver
+ Kansas City