Posts Tagged ‘life’

the things i value

Just a list, because I’m being sentimental 🙂  :

  • friendship
  • hugs
  • self-esteem
  • intelligence
  • knowledge
  • kindness
  • generosity
  • sincerity
  • creativity
  • originality
  • life and living
  • nature
  • silence
  • listening
  • scripture
  • written words
  • poetry, music, art
  • exploration
  • discovery
  • adventure
  • courage

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I’m so sorry I haven’t posted as frequently as I’d like.  Things have been busy around here.  I’ve been busy packing, which is taking a lot longer than I had originally anticipated.  First, I was worried that I would not have enough room to put my things into the suitcases.  I found that I was able to pack them in pretty well, but another problem arose: the weight restriction.  After shifting, weighing, reshifting, and debating what things I would leave behind, I had decided that I would send myself the books I wanted with me through USPS Media Mail.  That is, I had decided that until my mother came home.  She worried about the price of sending a package of the size and weight that I had.  After a long and irritating debate over price and convenience, we decided that we would take another suitcase (I am allowed to take 2 on my flight without charge, and her baggage check-in would be $15) and go to Andover Newton from the Logan Airport in Boston by cab.   Tomorrow, I have another bag to pack.

I had a minor freakout earlier about the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority), also known as the “T.”  I realized that the deadline for the discounted semester Link Pass had already passed me unawares.  By a long shot, I might add.  It was due August 5th.  Not wanting to miss out on the 11% discount, I emailed the Housing Director at Andover Newton to see if I could get it still.  Turns out, all the stress was for nothing.  ANTS was not able to get enough people who were interested in it to be able to get the discounted passes for this fall semester.  haha.  Well, I guess at least I can say is that I’m grateful for friends (or in this case, a particular friend) who are able to calm me down when I’m stressed.

I have a busy day tomorrow.  Meeting a college friend for lunch, setting up a CD account at a bank, having dinner with an old friend, and then hanging out with the friend who’s coming back from the east-coast late evening tomorrow.  And finding time to pack somewhere in between.  Oh goodness.

Oh, yes, I was also my father’s birthday today.  🙂   He and I went to Wal-mart.  Then to Bargain Books.  I got 2 DVDs on sale: Munich and A History of Violence.  I was happy about that.

Life is good even if it is stressful.  And God is good whether or not life is stressful.  🙂

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scambling here and there

My father’s birthday is around the corner. YAY!!! I love him. 🙂 We’re going to be having a cookout for him, and hopefully, a few people will be able to make it. For me, this means that I will be helping my mother prepare food this Sunday. It also means that I have had to do some house cleaning. Unfortunately, this inevitably results in the need to sort through my things and start the packing process. It’s amazing how many things you begin to accumulate after 4 years of being away from home. And trying to put your life into 2 suitcases and a carry-on is more of a challenge than I expected. When you consider that I need a comforter, sheets, and pillow, my winter coat, a laundry hamper, hangers… it just goes on and on. But, in about a week, I’ll be in Boston. Crazy.

Sorry for not having posted much. In truth, not too much excitement has been going on except for the removal of my wisdom teeth. But that’s not fun excitement. As good as it is to be home, I am anxious to be elsewhere. I find that I have become increasingly unmotivated by not having anything that I need to do. I think my highlights of being home — believe it or not — has been church. They have both Wednesday night and Sunday morning services, and it has been a type of refuge for me. It’s given me a source of refreshment that would otherwise be missing from my life. And I’ve gotten to meet a couple of people and that’s never bad as well. 🙂

I’m just thankful that no matter what situation we are in and no matter how we feel, God still finds ways to speak to us.

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I get my wisdom teeth removed tomorrow morning. I am not looking forward to it much, but I would like it done sooner rather than later. Oh sigh.

I feel a bit out of sorts lately. I’m not quite sure why. It’s strange, a feeling of a slowness tinged with loneliness. It makes me a bit anxious… or restless. For what, I am not sure. It’s a little disconcerting at times, and the truth is that I want to want God more. I want to desire him greatly at all times. The reality is that I often don’t even when I wish to. Even knowing that nothing else will satisfy, I do still pursue those other things. But… the fact that I feel some sort of desire for a passion for him it is something. Maybe it counts for a whole lot more than I give it credit for. At least I have some sense of direction, and I know that direction is true and reliable.

How does something seem so near and far at the same time? It doesn’t make much sense. But I hope… I wait upon him and upon his Spirit.

“A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” ( For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
– John 4:7-15

“After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
– John 6:66-69

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I am back home again. Currently, I’m in the process of sifting through my things, putting some stuff into bags for Goodwill. 3 bags so far and more to go. Gosh, I think I come from a family of packrats. We have so many trinkets and stuff we never use that’s cluttering up the house. My room still looks like chaos since I have not been able to put things away (the closet has been taken over by my mother’s things). I guess that’s what happens when you go off to college for four years. 😛

On a new and exciting note, I was able to register for classes today. They include:

:: M.A. Colloquium
:: Spirituality, Seminary and You: Spiritual Formation
:: Introduction to Scripture I
:: Introduction to the History of Christianity I

Additionally, I plan to register to a Harvard Divinity School course called Religious Dimensions in Human Experience. I’m excited and nervous and wondering how I will like the community.

On a new but not-so-exciting note, I will be getting my wisdom teeth taken out soon. I am not thrilled about it, but it’s just one of those things that will have to happen. It’s one of the reasons I came home early. I guess it means that I’ll look like a chipmunk for a few days after I get it taken out. On the bright side… maybe it’s a good excuse to eat excessive amounts of ice cream?? 🙂

I feel like I should say something new and innovative. But I have nothing. All I have is the thought that occupied me while cleaning the house: My God will never leave me nor forsake me. This is true no matter who else comes in or goes out of my life. This is true no matter what life throws at me. This is true no matter how often or not I fail and succeed. Knowing that is like a breath of relief. It has a way of realigning things. As important as those other things are in who I am, my relationship with him will always be more important. It puts who I am in him above all other things, and this is strangely comforting and terrifying at the same time.

“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” – Joshua 1:5

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

“Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'” – Hebrews 13:1-6

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While packing away some of my things in preparation for the upcoming fall, I ran across some things that I had not looked at in a while. Old letters, pictures, etc. Usually, these sorts of things bring out the sentimental side of people. Everybody loves to reminisce and think about all the fun times that were had. Everybody but me. I’m not usually one to put a lot of stock in the things past and would almost always rather be thinking about what is and what will be rather than what was. Those things just aren’t “me” anymore (though they make up parts of the current “me”). I suppose they should be valued as markers of progress, and I do try to think of them as such. But other times, old memories have a way of bogging us down from the person we’re becoming, and in those cases, they can be a painful hindrance rather than help. Nostalgia is the temperamental ghost that drifts in and out of your life.

Needless to say, I’ve been having a strange couple of days. They have been days in which the low is so low that it has cast me into despair, and ones in which the high has never seemed higher and my soul stretched into the unknowns of infinity. The contrast is stark, poignant, leaving me utterly at a loss of what to do. I just don’t know how to feel at times… But in the midst of it, I was given an epiphany for which I am extremely grateful. And here I will share a small corner of that epiphany: The God who loves me is the one who forces me to be the person I need to be for my ultimate good even when I am ready to turn away from living up to my ethical code.

This truth has been painfully wrought, forged with fire and hammered down by steel. In my rebellion, I had struggled against him as he dragged me to where I need to be. It wasn’t fun. But at the end of it all, I can only say that I am grateful. I am grateful that he is what I cannot be on my own. I am grateful that he will do what I do not have strength to do. The why still eludes me. I do not know what his has in store, but what I do know is that he is creating me to be who I ought to be for whatever that purposes he has in mind. How can one fail to be optimistic in light of being in relationship with a God who is relentless in fulfilling his purposes? Hmmm… I feel like this is déjà vu from a past entry… but maybe it just means that this lesson is still powerful no matter how many times I experience it.

I am as Israel refined by God for his glory… it would be good to remember that our God is an all-consuming fire…

Isaiah 48:9-11
For my name’s sake I defer my anger,
for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,
that I may not cut you off.
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
for how should my name be profaned?
My glory I will not give to another.

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In the midst of the rush of life, it’s so easy to disconnect. In those moments of buisiness, in the new and exciting, the tendency is to focus on what is ahead. And yet, how often we miss what is in front. The presence of God is in our midst, and yet we look past him, and see what he have wanted to see. When the exciting comes to a crashing halt, then what? What are we left with except a sense of emptiness in the space that new and exciting things have once occupied?

The vacation has offered me both the fast-paced excitement and the slow-paced meditation. It’s the way a vacation should be. I am caught between the sharp contrast between the two states that only a vacation can offer. Though there was always much good in what the exploration and the discovery, how easy it is to let excitement overtake us and push aside our God in the process. The God that envelops all suddenly becomes enveloped by our (proportionally) small circumstances. But likewise, we are apt to ignore God just as much in our ennui, in extending our minds and bodies to nothing good. Our natures are such that in whatever circumstance we may find ourselves in, our eyes turn to ourselves. Our inward thoughts and desires stay centered around ourselves instead of on the source of our lives, and this is a sad state indeed. But anything beyond takes much effort, discipline, an intentional stepping back from our world and our pleasures until we come to a place where we are acutely aware of the presence of the One from whom all things exist.

But hear him call. Persistently. Patiently. I run into the arms of my Beloved. For truly beloved he is and will always be. He never leaves nor forsakes me. I place my face to his neck and he embraces me. He tells me, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10) and “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…” (Is 49:16). That I am thus loved is too great for me to bear. I cannot pay it back in turn. So I simply accept. And belong. 😀

The last few days before returning to IN have been filled with visiting friends. My trip here has been mostly uneventful. The drive was smooth, and I have the house to myself now. How fun! 😀

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