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I went to my friend’s church today instead of my own.  I’m not sure what possessed me to go, because I’ve been before and I knew it’s not where I should currently be.  But I felt the need to go, to remember I don’t mind the drive to my own church, etc.  And you know what?  God had me there for a reason.

The sermon was fantastic.  It was about making decisions by faith instead of sight, so relying on what God sees instead of what I see.  And it was just what my heart needed to hear.  As I sit in the midst of all these decisions, it was so good to hear that God has a plan, that He is in control and that I just need to be content to wait on Him as He directs my path.

Sometimes I’m confused by the doors God either opens or closes in my life.  But I can rest confidently in the knowledge that I am in the palm of His hand, that He is taking care of me every step of the way.  He has been and always will be faithful; He has never let me down, nor will He.

Praise God that He can see everything when I only see a small window.

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I am practicing showing my heart instead of my walls.  And you know what?  It feels good.  I like feeling as if I can be happy, as if I can be real, as if I can be a bit more vulnerable.  I like feeling as if I don’t have to posture or pretend.  I want this to become normal for me, to become a habit instead of living out of bad habits.  I want to live in the love of Christ, fully.  I want to be the woman God created me to be.  And I think that day by day, I will come closer to that goal.

Since May, I’ve been reading my Bible (in English) almost every day.  This is the first time I’ve done that since I went to Bible College in 2003.  (Embarrassing, but true.)  I’ve been working on a read through the Bible in a year plan, but I started in 1 Samuel.  It’s been so good to be in the Word every day, to re-read familiar and unfamiliar words.  It feels relieving.

Reading the Bible in the original languages has also been a breath of new air.  Especially in Greek, as we’ve been working through Mark.  He’s so narrative, so relational… reading the text in Greek has made the colours brighter, the details to pop.  I feel like I’m in the story instead of just reading about it.  I am sure that as I become more proficient and comfortable with Hebrew, it will feel the same.

God has been doing some cool stuff in my life, and I like it.  It’s hard, but it’s so good.  Praise God for His infinite and new mercies, every day of my life.

[Side note: I read through Song of Songs today and recognized a bunch of verses that are used in children’s Sunday school songs, and I will never see them the same way again! haha]

All my midterms are done, praise God.  I did better than I feared I would do.  I am just so glad they’re done.  I cannot express my relief.  Three in two days was too many.

But my theology and ethics course is starting to make sense (big picture stuff), and Hebrew finally feels like a language (instead of symbols and gibberish).  So I feel like the semester is on the up and up.  Finally.  Now if only I can hold onto those feelings and extend it through the end…

Phew.

The next big thing on my 30 before 30 list is to throw a party.  Technically, I have thrown a party before (for my sister when she had her uterus removed… a Uterus Retirement Party with her best friends…), but not an honest to goodness party where I invite my own friends and hope they come.  So I’m nervous and excited.

I’m going to have an Appetizer and Dessert Party.  Doesn’t that sound delightful?  And everyone brings either an appetizer or a dessert to share, which means there is very little I have to do, other than make my own to share.  (Incidentally, I am going to make two different appetizers, because I have a feeling most people will bring desserts.)  You all know I’m a planner and organizer to the -enth degree, so don’t think that’s all I’ve thought about.  I’ve purchased Fall themed paper plates (little square ones!) with napkins.  I’ve created the invitations (as most will be invited on facebook, but I’m inviting the single seminary apartments, and I am not friends with all of them).  I’m going to ask folk to bring a favourite game (if they are so inclined) in case there is a want for something to do other than eat.  I’m considering going through my music to create a playlist of good background music.

It’s not until two weekends from now (the only weekend that worked for me until next semester), so I’ll put out the actual invites next week.  I’ve started mentioning it to people, though…  I’m a bit of a nerd, I know.  But it is on my list.  Interestingly, I only assigned it 20 points.  (Oh, those arbitrary points…)

I don’t expect everyone to show up, but I do hope that more than five will.

About a month or so ago, I blogged about being part of the National Marrow Donor Program and how they contacted me about being a potential match.  I finally got a response, and apparently I’m a suitable match, but the patient isn’t ready to receive a transplant at this time.  I admit I only partially understand the implications of that, so I’m going to call and ask what it really means.  The letter says if he becomes ready, I might be contacted, but that I’m officially back on the searchable list for other matches to be made.

I would encourage you guys to get on the list.  It’s easy to do (they send a kit for you to take saliva samples and mail in) and you then have the opportunity to be a match for someone.  And even with the new procedures they have, the experience itself is not that terrible looking.  Plus, you could be saving a life, prolonging a life, increasing the quality of life for someone.

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In other news, a fellow in flannel plaid brought me a delicious, black coffee yesterday.  Seriously.

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I recently had a single friend who brought up an interesting point.  If it is socially acceptable for infertile couples to lament and mourn the children they will never have, why is it not socially acceptable for singles to mourn the children and the relationship they will never have?  Just as many married couples hope for their own children, many singles hope to be married and potentially also have children.  But we are supposed to either stay in a perpetual place of want (and thus be rendered as desperate) or are to be 100% happy with being single (and alone).

That said, I am tired of going through life alone.  Tired of making all the decisions. Tired of being the only one my life affects.  I’m tired of eating every meal alone, of cleaning up alone, of watching movies alone.  It’s lonely. I don’t see marriage as a fix-it-all (I am well aware of the additional problems marriage can bring), but I do see the companionship that marriage can provide.  It is a natural thing to desire relationship in our lives; we were created for it.  But how do those of us who are perpetually single compensate properly for that in our lives?  How do we reconcile where we are with where we hoped to be?

Sorry about all these weird, personal, emotional posts lately.  I think I’m getting back on an even keel.  At least, I hope I am.

I’m feeling optimistic about school and homework, even though I suspect I am behind.  But I’m getting there, catching up (again) and maybe this time I will stay caught up.  I am also going to ETS this year, which is great.  I’m currently a week ahead in my Greek translation (thank you reading break), so that means I will stay ahead until ETS, then I can skip doing Greek that week in good conscience.

I got my abstract back from my prof and his comment was “This is very good. A great start on a very important subject.”  And the only other comments/marks on it were few and positive.  I was surprised, but perhaps I shouldn’t have been.  I got ideas in my head, and it seems that they’re not entirely accurate.  I am going to try harder to be fair to this prof (in my estimation of him).  I want to have grace for others, just as I hope they have for me.

Now I really need to get a solid thesis statement and outline down.  I told myself if I can get it done by November, maybe I can still manage to graduate this year in May.  I will have Christmas break (4-5 weeks) to really work on research and writing.  But I must have an adviser before then, so…  How quickly time flies!

It’s interesting how it doesn’t take much to completely take you aback, to force you to consider and ponder.

I’ve been working on changing how I’m perceived.  That’s something I’ve been working on for awhile, but it’s slow going, as is most change.  The change has to come from allowing myself to be seen as who I am instead of the walls I project.  It’s easier, albeit worse, to only show my heart to those I deem trustworthy.  I don’t mean all my deep dark secrets (whatever those are), but I mean the essence of who I am, what I care about, what I want, what my passions are.

So I want to be vulnerable.  More so, that is, than I am now.  And I want to stop saying things I don’t mean.  I want to be true to me and with that, hopefully those around me will have a better understanding of who I am.

Part of what makes me realize this, other than what I talked about in my last post, is how I frequently have folk telling me their vision for my life.  First, I’d like to say that it’s ridiculous that anyone else should try to tell you what you should do with your life.  Unless, that is, you have asked them, they have that role in your life and they have earned the right.

Yesterday, I had a friend tell me that another friend (what is it with people refusing to tell me things to my face?) thinks I need the following in my life: IF I got married, it would have to be to a mover and a shaker, someone who is going places, potentially in politics.  But I probably shouldn’t get married because although I think I like the domestic life, it would be a waste of who I am.  I should travel, I should be experiencing life in a big way.

Here’s the problem.  None of that is what I want.  I actually told this friend that I thought their perception was wrong and that these are what I would prefer: IF I am blessed enough to get married, I want to marry a man with whom I can resonate and partner.  Preferably an academic.  I don’t necessary need to be the spotlight, but I want to come alongside him in his life work (as he would come alongside me).  If we had children, that would be my first priority (after God & husband), but I would never want to be wholly consumed by my children (which is unhealthy in any situation).  The ways that I want to change the world aren’t on a grandiose level, but on an individual level.  I want my home to be open, hospitable and safe, so that people are welcome and know they are welcome to come.

I don’t think that my dreams are worse or better than the other ones, but they’re mine.  They’re where my heart beats and how God has given me desires.  But apparently I’m not communicating my heart.  So I’m going to work on that.

I never knew how many people disliked me until recently.  Apparently everyone who has never (or only barely) talked to me thinks I’m a jerk (potential exaggeration as some of those people don’t know I exist).  I’m not sure how to remedy that because I’m not sure where their ideas come from, as they can’t come from actually knowing me.  Some of it is from the friend who dumped me last year and defamed me to the entire campus.  Some feels entirely random.  All feels like a complete attack on who I am as a person.

I’m trying to not let it bother me, but hearing that some of my friends have been asked why they’re friends with me and that multiple people advised my roomie against moving in with me (fyi we get along great) only serves me to make me feel quite vulnerable.  I can pass it off in public, pretend I don’t care, but when I get alone, it eats at me.

What is so wrong with who I am?  Why on a Christian campus can’t anyone take the time to get to know me and hear my heart before judging me?  And what on earth have I done that is so terrible?  Other than not being a conservative complementarian.

And who are these people?  Are they nice to my face and terrible to me behind my back?  Am I being duped?  Do I have genuine friends on this campus?

I can’t give up on not caring because that’s likely the problem in the first place.  But what am I to do?  Go up to each person and ask them to have coffee with me and hope that, one by one, they will realize I’m not a terrible person?

People shouldn’t be like this to each other.  Especially not Christians.

I stole this from one of my previous professor’s facebook status’.  Clearly I changed his use of a personal pronoun and his daughter’s name to make it make sense (and to preserve anonymity).  She’s just a little gal, maybe four at the most?  (Kids are great.)

Monday evening at dinner.
Daughter: “The Lord told me I need to have a half a cup of milk every day.”
Dad: “The Lord Jesus?”
Daughter: “Yeah.”
Dad: “When did he tell you that?”
Daughter: “Yesterday, Sunday.”
Pause.
Dad: “Oh.”

I think I used to be able to make decisions.  But that ability has long since disappeared.

For instance, the ETS annual meeting is in about a month.  I have an invite to drive there with one of my profs, and there is another student with whom I could share a hotel room.  Two of my favourite profs from undergrad will be there and one of the gals I was friends with, but haven’t seen since graduation.

And yet.  The time!  The money!   I should say no, but I want to say yes.  Someone else make the decision for me?  (OR give me the money so it’s an easier decision?)