2 weeks of stress ahead of me. papers and papers and take home tests and doctrine statements and more papers. but then vacation and i cannot wait. this is my last fall semester. woot! i applied for graduation today, it feels weird to already be here almost done but i'm ready.
i'm ready to move on with my life. i'm ready to be done with school. i'm ready for austria. i'm ready for working in a coffee shop in a foreign country and doing ministry. i'm ready to figure out how and where i can do that in the states.
i need to learn the power of words and how to speak up for myself. i won't be caught in a cycle of abuse ever again. because i know i have worth and i will no longer let anyone take that truth from me.
i feel distant from things i want to feel close to. i feel distant from people i have always wanted to love but have never figured out how more than an email here or there or an occasional care package. i try to like the telephone but i just don't. i like the people in my life i just wish there were some people who were in it more often and less periphery. what happens when i leave the country?
it's hard to see us sinking when we are light enough to float...
last night i went to a show a local coffee house. there was an eating contest that consisted of one man eating a jelly roll and another one eating a lightbulb (i'm not kidding he at a lightbulb, he's a circus performer so that makes it normal, right? right.). there was also some awesome hip hop artists free styling and they wore cardigans and they talked a lot about Jesus and it was good. there was also some amazing poetry that brought tears to my eyes. there was also this wonderful musician kelli schaefer her music was phenomenal, you should listen to her song "carry us over".
i have to break a friends heart tomorrow. i have to admit that my actions at times were misleading. i'm learning how to be friends with boys and sadly someone has to be a guinea pig, i'm sorry you are going to get hurt because of me. i've never had to do this before and it sucks. and i'm afraid we'll never be friends the same way again. and you knew everything, all my shit was laid on the table and you didn't run away. people keep asking why i don't feel for you and i don't really know, there is just something missing. there is something missing, the key thing i would need to know that you are more then just my friend. i made some mistakes and tomorrow i have to face up to them and i'm sorry.
but i also need to say thank you. God has been teaching me that i am not my past and i have been trying to learn this lesson. he has been showing me that my bad decisions are not me and that i am enough for him. God has been showing me the love he has for me through the Son even though i have fallen so far so many times. and that is why i need to say thank you. thank you for showing me that someone could still want to be with me even after they know everything. thank you for not being afraid of my failures and for not being afraid for my baggage. thank you for showing me that i am good enough and that i can be loved and that someone can want me.
i don't think i realized how fast i have been holding to the lie that i am not enough, and the lie that no one could love me once they really know me. i have made that lie truth so many times that i couldn't tell the difference anymore. i have believed that happiness wasn't meant for me and that i had my chance and i screwed it up. but i haven't missed my chance. and i do deserve happiness. and i need to let people know me, really know me.
so, i'm sorry i have to hurt you tomorrow.
but, thank you for showing me i can show people the real me and i can still be loved.
thank you for showing me i am good enough.
thank you for not even realizing that God was using you to expose the lie i've been living.
there are some people i will never fully let go of. i still carry you with me. my backup, no. my wish, maybe. i feel like i never really got an answer. but i don't know how to ask the right question now, with so much time and space between. perhaps someday i'll know. or maybe i'll forever carry a torch for you. or at least for who you were and where we were and who i was.
and i mean real fine. this month has started off wonderful. back in classes and loving it amid all the stress. we are talking about the doctrine of humanity in theology and that has got to be one of the most fascinating things ever to me. exploring what it means to be human to be the imago Dei, the image of God. for me this has always been a very prominent question in my life and i know that it steams from being a woman and now even more so being confronted with the realities that i am not seen as an equal. thinking about what it means to be human changes so many other things in my life and in my theology. and. i. love. it. this month is also the tail end of all of the summer festivals and street fairs and summer concerts and so it is a busy month with things to do and people to see and life to enjoy and experience. goodness is abounding. new friendships. possibilities. i really like september. new favorite month. maybe always favorite month. fall. how i love thee.
the approach of fall brings with it cloudy saturdays and a renewed love of oolong tea and water color paintings and dawn landes and angus and julia stone ringing in my ears...this is going to be a good fall...
cups of coffee steam, fresh on the dewy grass as i wait for your arrival to our place. you already smell of coffee, and last nights sleep still clings to your eyelashes as i watch your approach. sleek as a fox with your slender steps, measured, careful in your arrival as you think my eyes are averted towards the sun, willing its warmth to dry the grass. but i see you, and i enjoy watching you watch me, behind my sunglasses and my hair, carelessly piled in misdirection, asking you to touch and run your hands through. your hand grazes the tips of my hair as you sit taking the coffee i hand you. no words pass between us, because morning is our time to be, to enjoy, this space and each other. this moment reminds us why and so i let my fingers reach out and rest on top of yours as the sun touches our skin and we lay back together for as long as this will last.
(i dream this almost every night, always the same thing, always the same person, always these words running inside my head)
do you remember those choose your own adventure books? i loved those books as a kid because i loved to envision myself on crazy adventures doing things i could never imagine in real life. i also liked the fact that i got to decide where to go and what to do. and yes sometimes i would cheat to make sure i wasn't about to fall off a cliff or meet a grizzly bear in a cave with no weapon. i wanted a happy ending. not much has changed, i still want the happy ending. i can't cheat in real life though and so i hold back at times, but not anymore i have decided.
in one year i'm moving to a foreign country for 6 months on an internship. that's a pretty huge adventure and so i have decided this next to have mini adventures constantly. i have the resources and the time so i'm going to do it. this is going to manifest itself in trips mostly but i want it to be other things to relationships, cooking, reading, speaking, everything. this next year seems important, i don't know why yet but it does and so i'm going to make the most of it. places i'm planning on visiting: missouri, texas, colorado, and some place really tropical for my 25th birthday/graduation from graduate school...this is just so far i want to add other trips and adventures to my list. i don't want to forget people this year and i just want to live.
so i am choosing to adventure and i don't get to cheat and i'm ready for what's next...not really but i'm doing it anyways and it is going to be awesome.
grains of salt on hardwood floors smelling of orange oil to keep their shine buy they aren't mine i just rent them to produce my melody my rhythm my flow to you as the grains stick to the bottom of my feet how generous of you to dust them off but you don't you can't see me skipping beats or hear them missing in my words just part of the conversation just part of the dance i don't like this dance i've been dancing for so long only know how to shimmy and shake you aren't a shimmy or a shake
i love sitting across from you over sunday night drinks. discussing openly and honestly your frustration with girls and how you see us. complaining that we never go for the good guys, even when we say that is what we want. all the while i stare at you and laugh knowing that i like a good guy and yet he is oblivious, most likely just not interested, and tells me i do not want a good guy when i want him. the problem is not the good guy or his lack to act but my lack. i am not that good of a girl. how can i possibly deserve a good guy like you? so i'll just laugh at your jokes and feel my stomach flutter at your hugs but stay silent because you are a good guy who is not interested and i'm a girl trying to be good and trying to deserve a good guy...trying to appeal to you.
Something I think I want to do with my life (or at least something similar):
Not For Sale is an organization I have been researching but more importantly have began loving and really think I want to be a part of. This picture is one of a lovely woman name Lucy and she runs a house on the coast of Peru where street kids can live and get education, health care, stability, a family, value, arts, and surfing. She gives these kids a chance and a future. (you can read her whole story on the website) I've realized that I want to do this. If not exactly this then something very much like it. I want to love and I want to give children a chance who wouldn't have one before. I know I won't be doing this alone, but who will be doing it with me is still up in the air. This plan is about 2 years away there's time to plan but not plan too much because planning never works really. I'm excited. The possibilities are there and I want them to be real.
Some first steps: learn how to surf better, contact lucy and the not for sale people, figure out if not in Peru then where, get other people excited for this as well.
All of it was good though because this past week was amazing. I get to spend time with friends in really sweet ways. I made new friends as well. I need to spend more time with these people. Once maybe twice a year is not enough. I'm going to try and go up to camp for at least one week. Caitlin and I are planning road trips (that will happen). Things are in motion and life is sweet and full of love. Even if a lot of it has gone back to california there is lots to love in oregon.
-iron and wine has filled my spring and i foresee it continuing into summer with their new CD "around the well" my heart is light with the sounds of it.
-why i love my brother: Jacob: "sam do girls really just wanna have fun?" Me: "what?! (while trying to suppress laughter)" Jacob: "well i have a song that says that" Me: "yes, jacob girls just wanna have fun (still laughing)" Jacob: "oh, ok."
-i've decided to be more constructive with my poetry. i'm practicing challenging myself in my writing by having a goal in mind when i sit down to write. there are still spontaneously inspired ones but i'm trying to reflect on people and it is an interesting process filling me with joy and sadness.
-i am excited beyond belief for the wonderful people who are going to be staying with me soon.
i love my small evangelical seminary. i love that i am not conservative and that it is ok. i love that my thoughts have value and that i have learned to value myself enough to say them out loud. i love that i am becoming me in a place that is becoming my own.
things in school this semester:
-i wrote statements of beliefs on doctrine of God, doctrine of revelation, and doctrine of the person of Christ
-sixteen weeks of studying prayer
-read through the prophets and the gospels
-studied the story of the hemorrhaging woman in Mark 5 and wrote about her and loved her and her story and began to see myself in that story and loved Jesus even more because of that story
-i got to interview my sweet friend/mentor Gelayol and learn about her life in Iran and about what it was like to move to the United States
-i taught a room full of graduate students how to make tambourines out of paper plates and lentils
-i wrote a paper on the implications of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and what it is communicating to our culture and how the church needs to respond (it may surprise you what Twilight is communicating to youth i know i was surprised, it was interesting)
things in life:
-discovered the joy of hot rollers allowing me to have curly big hair whenever i see fit
-really getting to know my sweet friend Rachael i live with
-discovering the joy of new music almost daily
-joined a gym
-learning more how to love myself
-drinking more coffee then is necessary
-learning to love being single
-making my new house my home
-discovered i don't like shirts with sleeves
-making cards is an absolute joy, sending them is even better
-trying to figure what to say to tell someone i'm done
-Christian Camping International, hopefully
-taking pictures on disposable cameras because my digital is broken
life is crazy right now. 2 and 1/2 weeks of school left until a break before summer classes start in june. i'm learning a lot though and feel blessed in my classes and in my new living situation. i just finished a paper on the unity within the person of Christ, asserting that you can't legitimately separate the historical Jesus from the Christ of faith, because one does not exist without the other. next week for one of my intercultural classes i'm teaching the class how to make tambourines out of paper plates and lentils. it should be a fun time, talking about being joyful in worship and this translates well to children of all cultures. it looks like 2 years as a youth director is coming in handy ;) two more doctrinal statements as well will be being written and thought over and thought on and discussed as i figure out how to say what i believe.
more then any of that though i am living. i am going out. making food with (the new roommate and most importantly friend). not letting my school dictate my life but living because this is it, i've only got so much time in portland. there is no way i am rachael going to waste it on days it is beautiful to sit inside. life is moving so fast and it is crazy to think that i have already be living here for almost 9 months.
so, i'm working on living and laughing and cooking (without fear).
Do you really have to go out of the country? Could you please go some place less dangerous?
These are the questions my family regularly asks me when we discuss my internship for the fall of 2011. I'm going to be in South or Central America and this terrifies my family. I don't see any other option, for me at least. I want to work with children who need love, who need a chance, and a way out. It's either South or Central America or Africa for me. There's never really been another way. This is where I am going. Part of that is because we have to do an internship in a foreign country and the other part is because I want to. I have always wanted to. And everything I learn I am going to bring back and put it to use with children in this country. I am getting a masters in intercultural studies and most people assume that means other cultures but I feel it transcends that and moves into the subcultures around us. That is where I am going to work, much to the dismay of some. I am going to love and work on healing this earth. Because what else can I do?
In music news: If you go the Iron and Wine website right now you can download for free (my favorite word with regards to music) 8 acoustic tracks from The Shepherd's Dog album. Do it! They are fantastic!
sometimes i wish i had a secret. something good. not the list of bad secrets i hold close, but a good one. one that makes me excited to keep secret. one that is just for me. i had one and it was nice until it turned into something else. still good. a friendship came out of it. almost humorous really. oh secrets so good and so bad. so many secrets yet to be had. in other news: Caroline Smith and The Good Night Sleeps make my life happy and sound very much like spring.
That sweet man in the picture is my grandfather. I love him (and the sweet woman next to him my grandmother). He can't see to ever be well and it's hard, it's hard to watch him getting old. Needless to say I'm really glad I'll be home in 6 days and I'll be able to spend some good time with the two of them. Getting old is not for the weak; I just keep telling myself he's strong enough.
This time of year I get a little lonely for calvin crest, I'm not going to lie. I miss the atmosphere and the weather and the way it feels.
I miss these ladies. (but i get to see all of them soon)
I miss team meetings.
I miss this being considered work.
I miss this being my view.
But I'm really excited to be here in Portland this summer. I'm excited to hike Mount Hood and pick every possible kind of fruit I can. I'm excited to frolic through fields of lavender. I'm excited to possible go to Argentina. I'm excited to ride my bike everywhere and where skirts and drink iced americano's. I'm excited to live with Rachel and develop that friendship. I'm excited to figure out even more how to live.
it's hard to look at the pictures of people who don't want to be a part of your life. and never tried. and still don't try. it shouldn't matter anymore. it's always been this way. but it does. i shouldn't have to fight back tears in the coffee shop right now. i have good defense mechanisms. but i am still very fragile. i probably should get this fragility looked at. i've been hurting long enough. i don't have to hurt.
In my theology class we are currently talking about the Doctrine of God. Which is so good because we are talking about the greatness and goodness of God, the trinity and trying to wrap my mind around that is amazing. BUT, I am having some issues with the Doctrine of Election. If you don't know what that is I'll give you a brief definition and I'll explain more as I understand more later. The basic definition is that the salvation of a person depends on God electing them, this manifests in many different ways the main ones being Calvinism and Arminianism. I am having a hard time making sense of this doctrine in light of who God is. I have no problem believing that people don't choose God but to think that God doesn't choose some people just doesn't make sense for me in light of who God says He is. I haven't made any concrete decisions about this yet and I'm still learning a lot and studying a lot. I think the Biblical evidence shows both sides and so I'm trying to figure it out but I'm wrestling.
I believe in God. I know God is real beyond a shadow of a doubt. And I know that in some ways I will never be able to understand the mind of God or the plan of God. But this idea that God calls some and not others makes me cringe because then I have a hard time seeing God as giving the world hope through Christ and loving the world by sending the Son. Why doesn't it just say that God gave His chosen hope and loves His chosen. And I know we say that God doesn't send people to hell (whatever that means) only their sins do BUT if God is choosing who are the chosen then isn't he destining some for hell? I know God is just and I am not saying that but this one of the ways where I see the doctrine of election coming in conflict with God's nature.
I have a most wonderful friend up here in Portland. Here name is Rachel and she is fantastic. We met at a time when i really needed a friend. She is one of those people you just can't help but love and I cannot wait until we move in together this April.
Last night she called me up when she got outta class and we ended up going to a little bar down the street from my house and shared a pitcher of beer and listened to some live music and just talked. It was so wonderful. We share life when we are together not just meaningless conversation and I greatly appreciate her and her heart.
I've always had a hard time making friends. I tend to be shy when I meet people which makes it hard but once you get to know me shyness seems silly in many ways. I long for the close friendships I see around me that I am not a part of. But, because I was so preoccupied wanting what someone else had I didn't even realize the wonderful friendship I do have. I have four wonderful girl in my life whom I am with right now and I am so thankful that they folded me into their lives, let me live with them, and the fact that we continue to share life even though I have moved to Oregon.
It doesn't hurt that we have had sunshine and I have been able to let my feet be free in flip flops. It's also been windy so I've let my hair be wild and blow in the wind. I'm taking my first theology class and I am reveling in the amazingness of it all. I get to write statements of belief and I am excited for that because that means I have to think about what I believe and why I believe it.
I've also started swing dancing.
I think I could live on apples, sandwiches, and cups of stumptown coffee.