Don't have too much to say, so a list will do

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

1. Watch "Pirate Radio" if you love British accents and classic rock.
2. Listen to Mumford and Sons, especially "Little Lion Man"- parents, it does drop the f bomb a bit, but has some marvelous banjo playing- redeeming in my ears, but perhaps not that of your impressionable young children. YouTube link:
3. Whenever I hear the word rum, I automatically think of pirates.
4. I've had conversations with 2 different people about baleen/whalebone (the thick, thready, teeth-like stuff in certain whale's mouths) in the past few days. And full-blown conversations. One ended in us talking in Whale. And me going home and watching "Finding Nemo." The other was interjected with "I can't believe that we're actually having a conversation about how whales eat." That was the other person, not me. Obviously, for me it's completely normal.
5. I think I've decided what my perfect man is: tall. well educated. able to have conversations about baleen. and pirates. thinks I'm the most awesome person ever. loves being outside. reads and writes well. religious and not a zealot. I'm flexible on actual occupation, hair color, eye color, and whether or not he owns Chacos (a plus). If you find one of these men, just lying around, let me know.
6. I'm listening to ZZ Top now. Don't judge.
7. I finished "Falling Angels" by Tracy Chevallier. She's a great author, but it wasn't my favorite book of hers. Last book I loved was "The Secret Garden." Everyone should read it and then find a friend like Dicken. And roam the English moors.
8. I'm so glad it's finally getting warm and that means no more ties at work starting March 1. You have no idea how wonderful that is. Considering that I've ruined 2 ties already. And have 1 left. Hey, it's the little things in life.
9. I just finished one of the best birthday presents I have ever bought/created. It doesn't get much better than this. AND I'm going to Charlotte to give it to her in person. Hannah C, you are one lucky duck.
10. I have two days off in a row starting today, since it's 3 something in the morning. I've really got to switch up this sleeping schedule to a more normal pattern. But what to do? My room is moderately clean and I think I'm good on laundry.
11. I love bananas, but only when they're still kind of green on top.
12. I really am losing it... it's late and I guess I could really... I don't even remember what I was going to say or how to even finish that sentence which means I should really finish this post. Okay, goodbye!

A Lovely Chat

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I had a wonderful call today from a YAGM alum who told me all about her experience and answered all of my silly questions. It turns out that she went to Jerusalem! So naturally, I wanted to know all about that and she was more than happy to oblige. She worked in a school there that was run by the Lutheran church. We talked about why she went, why I want to go, what it was like, how life is different now that she's back- a million little things. A good 45 minute call. So naturally, I'm even more excited than I thought I was. Knowing even more about it has somehow got me more excited. Funny how that works. So now I'm biding my time until my phone interview and checking up on my references. This is all really exciting! I cannot accurately convey my emotion of thrill through words, as I am now learning, looking back on my writing. Perhaps more exclamation points? I'll work on that while I'm waiting.

In Celebration of Valentine's Day

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oh Valentine's Day comes with so many mixed emotions. It's never the same 2 years in a row. Facebook illustrates the differing opinions: A is "single", B is "in a relationship" with C, D is celebrating "Singles Awareness Day", E is "having the perfect Valentine's date!!!!!!!" via Blackberry, F's valentine is her newborn baby, G "HATES today", H "thinks everyone who is single should not be complaining about Valentine's day just because they don't have someone to go out on a date with" (H is in a relationship, by the way), I is trying not to sit by the phone and wait for that guy to call, J's crush went out with another girl. I am secretly glad when it's over each year. Yes, I am that person who makes handmade valentines every year. It's the same feeling I have when the winter holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years) are over. I'm not totally against the day and to prove it, here's a little bit of love:

Song of Solomon 4:1-8 (NRSV)
The bride's beauty extolled

How beautiful you are, my love,
how very beautiful!
Your eyes are doves
behind your veil.
Your hair is like a flock of goats,
moving down the slopes of Gilead.
Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes
that have come up from the washing,
all of which bear twins,
and not one among them is bereaved.
Your lips are like a crimson thread,
and your mouth is lovely.
Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate
behind your veil.
Your neck is like the tower of David,
built in courses;
on it hang a thousand bucklers,
all of them shields of warriors.
Your two breasts are like two fawns,
twins of a gazelle,
that feed among the lilies.
Until the day breathes
and the shadows flee,
I will hasten to the mountain of myrrh
and the hill of frankincense.
You are altogether beautiful, my love;
there is no flaw in you.
Come with me from Lebanon, my bride;
come with me from Lebanon.
Depart from the peak of Amana,
from the peak of Senir and Hermon,
from the dens of lions,
from the mountains of leopards.

Maybe one day I'll find a guy who will write me something like that. Then he's a keeper. Haha, Happy belated Valentine's Day, one and all.

Oh Bah Humbug!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I hate having crummy days. It doesn't seem to matter who's there or what you're doing, things seem gray. It didn't help that the world outside was gray too. Yesterday wasn't so stellar either. I think part of it is that I feel a little lost. I've been working on/thinking about this application for months and thinking about the program for years. Now it's not in my hands anymore. Literally. I found out that the latest I could hear back would be March 25. That seems like forever away. I also found out that the priority deadline doesn't mean anything since they don't consider applications on a rolling basis- so why was I hurrying to get that finished? Still don't know the answer to that one. They start considering on March 2. That's 19 days from now. Good news: I know they have the application. I sent back another 3 page pdf that they sent me when I got my application and I got confirmation that they have that one. I did hear from an alum of the program and she's going to call me within the next two weeks. So I guess that's one big thing to look forward to. It'll give me a chance to ask some questions from someone who's been through it. Now I have to think of some questions! (Insert short pause here) I just wrote down 15 in 7 minutes. I'm sure we'll think of something to talk about. :)

My neck has been so stiff the past few days. I don't know what I've been doing wrong, but it seems to crack whenever I move my neck back or to the side. Weird. I also can't seem to get enough sleep. When I'm awake, I'm very much alert and not drowsy, but I feel like I could drop off to sleep the second I lie down. Which is not true because for the past few nights, I've been restless, not able to get in the right position or I'll just stare at the ceiling. Meh. I just must be off schedule somehow, just in a bit of a funk. I'm sure I'll be right in a few days time. I just need to find a new project- something to do or focus on. I'm sure it should be cleaning my room, but that has never been an appealing notion. It is when I'm procrastinating on something else, but the drive to do it when there's nothing else to do... lacking. I should probably get back to working on my quilt. At the moment I couldn't tell you where I put it last. Taxes! Ahh I have to do those too. Ugh. I dislike paperwork. And I have a book I'm supposed to read for my pastor. So I have been procrastinating. And I didn't even know it. Perhaps my room really will get clean...

Awkward and Anxious

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

So I've had a lot of questions from the residents (catch up: I'm working at a retirement community as a server) about whether or not I'm going back to school or what I'm doing this fall (they must really plan ahead, it's only February). I've told a few about my application and word has spread (they're big gossips). So now's the part where I stand around anxiously, looking at my phone and waiting for a call with a Chicago area code. Not that I even know what a Chicago area code is. Besides the point. So I'm just going to leave you with a Psalm today about doing God's will- I think that's appropriate for the time.

Psalm 40:1-11 (NRSV)

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.

Happy are those who make
the Lord their trust,
who do not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after false gods.
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
they would be more than can be counted.

Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
but you have given me an open ear.

Burnt offering and sin offering
you have not required.
Then I said, "Here I am;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart."

I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.

Do not, O Lord, withhold
your mercy from me;
let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
keep me safe forever.

It really is the World Wide Web!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I'd like to give a little shout-out to my international following. Yes, this blog apparently has attracted the attention of all those people across the pond(s). Amazing! This month alone, I have had (via this page) visitors from Germany, Poland, Russia, and Sweden! WOW! Hello there people from across the way! The fact that anyone reads my blog at all makes me excited, but it is true, I am a little extra excited that people from really far away read this. Sorry, fellow Americans. You're important too. While exciting, this also makes me feel like I should have something really important to say. Which I don't, most of the time. I'm thinking, but nothing has gotten under my skin lately and so I have no rants. Come to think of it, I've been a pretty happy person and the only thing that's disappointed me today is the rain.

In the interest of writing interesting things, I'll give you an essay that I wrote for my application to YAGM. I'm going to believe that none of you out there are going to steal it, pass it off as your own, and in general, be incredibly stupid. That goes for any of the stuff on this blog. Plus, this one is "How would you articulate your Christian faith and how does this faith inform who you are?" and if any of you have ever had this EXACT SAME FAITH EXPERIENCE, please contact me and I would really like to talk to you further. Also, this application has already been sent in, so if you do try and pass it off as your own, they already have a copy in their office and you will look silly.

My faith is centered in God. My faith is a conversation. A conversation between me and God, a conversation between me and my friends, a conversation between me and my pastor, and a conversation between me and the world. It’s very honest and real. I don’t make it out to be anything that it’s not. I’m imperfect in every sense of the word. I don’t read the Bible enough, I don’t pray enough- just like everyone else, my faith is real. And real often doesn’t mean perfection. You have to strike a balance in your life between your gifts and your sins. Sins happen, they are there, but my identity is not in being a sinner. My identity is being a child of God. I have been through the good and the bad. An illness I didn’t want, people around me who have died too young, a life that’s made me more dependent as I’ve gotten older, rather than independent. Yes, I could say that all of this isn’t fair. Why should I have to go through things that most people haven’t by the age of 22? But my faith is unwavering, dogged in it’s pursuit of answers and comfort and the feel of belonging to God. Though I don’t believe God always causes the “bad” or the “evil,” he is still very present amongst those things. I firmly believe that. In a very genuine way, going through the hard things made my life far richer. He taught me through the bad things and the things I got angry about that I could grow into a better person, a stronger person because of what I’ve gone through. It’s “why me?” but also “why not me?” My struggles have turned to lessons and experiences I can share with people, but I’m the biggest pupil. I’m learning to share my experiences in such a way that does not lament over the struggles, but rather glorifies God as he helped me to overcome and live with them. I think that any conversation with God is a good conversation with God. Even when I’m angry or complaining, the answers that I get are still constructive. He has patience when I do not. I’ve connected with people on different levels; I’ve connected with God through conversations that seemed unreal at the time. My faith is obviously completely focused on God- He’s my father. He’s also my number one fan- the voice in my head always, unfailingly telling me “You can do it! You can make it through!” My faith is also connected to people. I’m a firm believer that God makes himself known, incarnate, through people. I believe he can speak through them (like a sermon), he can love through them (mothers and fathers), and he can express emotion through them (support). I could rattle off dozens of names of people I just know he works through. It’s not just clergy, it’s my best friends and my parents and my mentors and professors and just about anybody who comes into my life and makes His presence known. So my faith is also relational. As I said previously, my identity is as a child of God. That means having a father figure beyond my incredible earthly father and it means having an extended family of billions of people. It’s having a home to return to- as physical as a church or as abstract as a group of people. It means being forgiven for the sins I commit and being saved from darkness, evil, and sin. I have the capacity to be receptive to grace and I believe that I am saved by grace. As a bumper sticker I have says “Grace Happens.” It happens to me and to everyone else. I’m saved from the consequences of darkness, evil, and sin, but not from the realities. I still go through them, but I’m guided and I know I can reach out, and He’ll be there. I’m also saved for the service of the Lord, through my community, the church body and all people I come into contact with. Being a child of God is being born into a family of responsibility, but also a family of love.

There's an exception to the rule

Sunday, February 6, 2011

When I said I didn't like poetry, it's true. I don't like most poetry. My main philosophy on poetry is: stop beating around the bush and say it already! However, there is one poem I found that I do like a great deal and I shall leave it for you here. Since it was written in 1875, I don't believe I'm messing with any copyright restrictions. It's by William Ernest Henley.


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever Gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

yeah, yeah, yeah, i know

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I know, I know it's been forever and you've probably forgotten that I had a blog (apparently I did too). Things I have done in the mean time...
1. I lost 30 pounds.
2. FINALLY mailed my application for the ELCA's Young Adults in Global Mission.
3. Went on a date.
4. Got Planet Earth for Christmas and have slowly been watching it and it's AMAZING.
5. Bought too much stationary. But you can never have too much if you write a lot of letters. And I do.
6. Bought a lizard watch that makes me happy and makes me look like I'm 12 even though I
7. Turned 22.
8. Just completed 4 months at my current job!
9. I am having my first weekend off in 4 months!
10. Went about having some confidence in my general demeanor.
11. Sent secrets to PostSecret.
12. Look for my secrets every week.
13. Got Netflix and am working on catching up to the rest of America's movie love.
14. I love it makes me sooo happy.
15. Found some meds that work!
16. Grew out my hair/Never got it cut - whichever way you want to look at it
17. I am almost done reading The Secret Garden and it is completely wonderful.
18. I tried to like poetry.
19. I failed at trying to like poetry. Again.
20. Found more ridiculously big words to use.

So all in all, it's been a good few months and I promise to write more often!