You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2011.

1. I love Jesus, but usually fail at showing His love.

2. I already know what I want for my second tattoo, even though I haven’t gotten my first yet.

3. I’m known for being organized and I do not like it.

4. I’m still figuring out how to be girly.

5. I’m really sensitive on the inside.

6. I think nectarines and avocados are some of the most seductive fruits ever.

7. I’m a choc-aholic.

8. For awhile, I thought I was allergic to oatmeal, but now I don’t think I am.

9. I can listen to the same song/album over and over again.  Until it makes everyone else crazy.

10. I’ve journaled since I was 13.  That’s 15 years.

11. I only cry about once a year or two.

12. I really love the Harry Potter books.  Someday I’m going to Harry Potter World.

13. I want a puppy.  Preferably a toy poodle.

14. I write poetry.  I don’t show it to anyone because one time, I won a contest and had to read my poetry at the NW Bookfest.  It was traumatic.

15. I only started buying DVDs about a year ago.  I own 38.

16. I am in love with Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You.

17. I would pick Mr. Knightley over Mr. Darcy any day.

18. I want to be published someday.

19. I love the color pink, especially raspberry pink.

20. I keep my Amazon Wish List updated and categorized.  That said, if you ever feel the need to buy something, let me know.

21. I really like the smell of old books.

22. I have a thing for musicians.

23. I like to use Canadian spellings when I can.

24. I ruin almost every outfit with my choice of shoes.

25. I really like country music, but I don’t own any.  I only listen to it on the radio.

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I went “home” to my folks’ house this weekend to visit friends (and see new babies) and to celebrate my brother’s 30th birthday and one of my niece’s 4th birthday.  And three things are uppermost on my mind from my visit: snow, friends and family.

One, I cannot believe how much it has snowed this weekend.  It’s the end of February; this is uncommon.  My hope is for clear roads as I drive home (to school) tomorrow.  I like snow when I get to stay inside.  Not when I have to be out and about with crazy drivers who don’t know what to do with snow.  At least I have my four years in Alberta.

Two, I love being home and seeing friends.  I’m still finding my niche at school, so I haven’t developed a friend group like I have here.  My entire weekend has been one social engagement after the other, and if I had more time, I know there would have been more friends to see.  It reminds me that there are people who love me for me, who think I’m worthwhile, who enjoy my company.

Three, if there is one glaring area where I need to work on loving people, it’s definitely with my family.  I try so hard, but find myself failing so miserably.  And it’s not that I don’t love my family, they are my family after all, but that I need to show that love in a Christ-like manner, instead of becoming impatient or frustrated or whatever reaction I may have.

I’m glad I got my homework done for next week before coming home because I didn’t get one thing done.  Oops.  But it has been a very good weekend.

Ice

The way that I
like to have tea
is water freshly boiled
steaming hot
poured into a mug
with a tea bag
already in it
steeped quickly
adding two packets
of sugar

and after I save
the tea bag
on a plate
for a second use

I like to gently drop
one cube of ice
into my tea

just to cool it down.

I was chatting with someone last night, and they mentioned making a video for one of their friends to encourage said friend to allow love into her life.  The summary was that “she needs to man up and let love in” (although I am sure the video did not have those particular words in it).  Apparently there is a boy who likes her, that she likes back, but she is too afraid to let anything happen.  And the problem with this is that if she is not willing to take the plunge, ever, she will end up alone her entire life, which she does not want.

How is it that something we are so created for, we are so broken in?  God created us with the purpose of relationship.  It is clear throughout the entire Bible that we are not intended to go through life alone.  And this does not just apply for romantic relationships.  I believe that hesitancy in that realm generally will transfer over to friend relationships.  In the end, intimacy is intimacy, and if you are afraid of it, this problem is generally not held to only romantically inclined relationships.  (I think the difference is that you’re not required to be as vulnerable with a friendship as with a romantic relationship.)

Eight years ago, for my birthday, one of my dear friends gave me an empty journal she had decorated for me with pictures, sayings and so on.  It’s the journal that I use to record special occasions, significant verses, quotes, poems, etc.  On the first page, she wrote me a letter that I’ve read several times over throughout the years.  Part of what she wrote is, “Look to God for perfection, not people.  But never cease to believe that there is good in them.  Never lose faith in the possibility that whoever you met yesterday could be a blessing today and a lasting friend tomorrow. ….  Find your confidence in God alone.  But remember, He has not made you to be alone, rather, He has made you for fellowship.  No man is an island!  Love without reserve.  That is what we are made for!  We were made to reflect God.  And God is a God of unconditional-free-love.”

What she wrote is true, and it represents a life-long struggle for me.

Genesis 2: 18a “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone.'”  And we can take this to only refer to marriage, but as Adam was the only human around at the time, I think it speaks far more to the relational aspect for which God created us.  We are meant to be in relation with those around us, to be vulnerable, to be real, to be engaged with emotions, faith, life.  None of us should walk through life alone.  However, there is, in my opinion, a greater intimacy that you can have in marriage.  Two becoming one is not something that happens in friendships.

Clearly, so clearly, this is something God is working on in my life…  In just the past month, I am amazed at how much it has come up.  And I am trying my best to listen and to learn.

I certainly am not referring to anything in the academic sense, although trust me, I am learning a lot academically.  Rather, it is becoming clear to me that, once again, my principle purpose in being here is not necessarily to get a degree (although that, also, is true), but that I am here to grow and learn, personally.

It is comical to me that I will tell people, and actually believe, that I am an open book.  This is true if you are one of the chosen few whom I have decided to trust and confide in, but even then, there are times where I am rarely forthcoming.  So, what has been pointed out to me recently are all of my walls.

Now, I thought I got rid of a lot of walls in Bible college, and those who knew me then and before can attest to that truth.  But apparently God still wants more.

I can tell when I’m projecting a false front, when I’m doing my best to keep people at an arm’s length.  It’s just that I almost have no control over those moments when being vulnerable feels like baring my soul to people who will only take that information and use it against me.  Clearly that is rarely going to be true, and while one should be careful with what one shares and to whom, there is more benefit in allowing oneself to be true inside and out.

My inside person is not always who the outside sees.  Not half as often as it should be.  Any hint of threat (in my mind) and I immediately shut down and tuck away.  But generally, these threats are only perceived, not real at all.

I’m going to work on it.  I suppose like everything else, it’s practice.

But now, I will leave you with a poem.  One that I liked when I first read it, but through subsequent readings, found it kind of sad.

Teodoro Luna’s Two Kisses by Adrienne Rich
Mr. Teodoro Luna in his later years had taken to kissing
His wife
Not so much with his lips as with his brows.
This is not to say he put his forehead
Against her mouth–
Rather, he would lift his eyebrows, once, quickly:
Not so vigorously he might be confused with the villain
Famous in the theaters, but not so little as to be thought
A slight movement, one of the accident.  This way
He kissed her
Often and quietly, across tables and through doorways,
Sometimes in photographs, and so through the years themselves.
This was his passion, that only she might see.  The chance
He might feel some movement on her lips
Toward laughter.

With a week to go until the end of the month, and no progress on my thesis, I decided to sit down tonight and give it some actual thought.  I want a topic that I will not tire of in the 7 or 8 months I will likely spend on it.  I want a topic that is meaningful to me.  I want a topic that will interest me and teach me and grow me.

Then I remembered James 1:27, which has been a significant passage for me in my view of Christianity.  And having been reading over blogs (both from this and my old one), I notice that the theme of homelessness pops up frequently.  Additionally, it is something I am often in a quandary over, wanting to be effective and to act correctly, but never quite knowing what to do.

What if I write my thesis on homelessness?  I am not sure of what direction that would take, but that will come as I research.  (Although, as I am supposed to have a first level outline and a methodology paper by the end of the month, I suppose that direction had better come quickly!)

I think I’m going to go with it.  Ideas?  Thoughts?  Suggestions?

[Also, on an unrelated note, my friend told me if I am going to get a tattoo that represents my faith, I should get it somewhere it will be seen and not hidden.  He liked the idea of on my wrist.  Yes?  No?]

I want to get into writing again.  Other than my little blog here and my school work, I haven’t written a thing since starting seminary.  Not one sketch, not one short story, not one poem, nothing.

In honor of that, I am committing to myself to work on my Princess Story (for lack of better name at the moment) that I’ve been working on for a friend of mine.  I’m not even sure she remembers that I’ve been writing it, but my goal is going to be to finish it by the end of the summer.  Yes, that is a long date for a short story, but…  I am in school, after all.

In addition, I might start posting a poem here and there, not that I’ve written, but that I enjoy to read.  To start, here is one by Mark Strand:

Keeping Things Whole
In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

A big thanks to my roommate who made banana bread and shared some with me this morning for breakfast.  That with my D’Anjou pear and coffee was a great morning meal.  And just so you can have the full picture, my musical selection this morning is Straight No Chaser’s With a Twist.

Life’s been full of ups and downs lately.  I suppose that is how life goes.  But it feels exacerbated by the fact that I’m in something of a transition scholastically.  As in, I have no idea what I am doing here, other than the fact that God has me here.  Is that how life is supposed to be?  I can’t seem to get over the idea I had as a young child that once you become an adult, everything is figured out. What a lie!  C’est la vie.

An upside to all this: Greek is a constant in my life.  I can count on it, and I know it will work.  And I get all sorts of enjoyment out of translation.  Plus, in just a few short weeks, we get to start translating 1 John.  I am so excited to finally start in the Bible.

Now to actually do something with my day.

“Developmentally, a young person at this age [18-30] is in Erikson’s view principally concerned with the issue of intimacy versus isolation.  Although these terms have fairly definite meaning in relation to each other in Erikson’s thought…their meaning in wider usage can serve to enrich his particular definitions.  Intimacy derives from the Latin intimus, and refers to the innermost place in oneself at the core of one’s identity.  Here one may say correctly, ‘You may know what it is like to be me, but you will never know what is for me to be me.’  In an intimate relationship, what it is ‘for me to be me’ is disclosed as openly as possible, each one to the other.  When each side receives the other with accurate empathy, then a synergy is generated that can make such a relationship feel almost like an interpersonal trance.”

“Isolation as a basic ego posture represents the chronic absence of intimacy and is constructed by the ego in response to repeated betrayal of ‘intimacies’ risked in past relationships.  The sensitive recoil into isolation from a wounded or betrayed intimacy recalls the etymological similarity between intimacy and intimidate, as in, ‘Why am I afraid to let you know me?’  The pain of betrayed intimacy thrusts the ego back into the sense of void and nothingness, so isolation becomes increasingly a fortress against future betrayal.  This fortress is built on the assumption that betrayal always haunts interpersonal relationships.  Thus, ironically, it builds into its defense system what it would prefer to be rid of.”

From The Logic of the Spirit: Human Development in Theological Perspective, by James E. Loder, p. 60-61.

Does the ship sail at 30, or is this just more of a general time frame and it won’t be too late?  No wonder I have angst.

But Loder also writes, on p. 265,

“The most powerful intimacy comes from the presence of the Spirit of God. ….  The spiritual presence of Christ is not dependent on the development of the ego, but it is a sanity-producing intimacy that does call forth interpersonal affirmation and openness in a psychological and spiritual sense.  This is, of course, the satisfaction of the deepest longing of a person for presence implied in the significance of the primal longing for the Face, the Face that will not go away.  This satisfaction occurs at a level deeper than the psychological intimus, the innermost being of the person.  At the very point where I know what it is for me to be me, I discover that it is the spiritual presence of Christ that knows better than I do what it is for me to be me.  This realization produces the potential for freedom for intimacy at other levels.”

So I suppose there is hope for me.

I think I’ve finally decided what tattoo I want to get.  I’ve wanted one for the past 11 years; I’ve just never settled on it.  I knew I wanted something to do with my faith, something I would want forever.  For awhile, I looked at Celtic designs, but two things held me up: the pagan associations with most of the designs and the fact they are so bulky.  (Don’t get me wrong, I still love the Celts.)  I finally came across the Chi Rho (forgive me for linking to Wikipedia, but it’s so easy).  Now I only have a few things to do: think about the design (plain, more detailed, with a wreath or not), decide it’s location (probably upper back or shoulder blade) and figure out where I should go to get it done.  After that, all I have to do is muster up the guts to actually go through with it.

With all my commitment issues, this is sure to be a good step.