Thursday, November 3

we're gonna live, we're gonna live, we're gonna live at last

i can't believe this year is almost over. it's been a doozy, but there's still more left to it. the Lord has been faithful to the word i was given in january-- i have been propelled further and faster than i ever thought possible but you know what? it's not. over. yet. i want more! i want to be brought further don't want these last two months to pass by in vain. i just want to know You, Lord! i want solid foods, i want to stretch my legs and run the race well. my spirit feels like those twitch muscles just waiting to jump into action. be Thou my vision, Lord!

i want to be brave. i've just realized how many dreams i have given up on throughout my life. i'm listening to a teaching by steve long about dreaming with God. he goes on to talk about how he's challenged his church to write down 100 dreams, and i don't know if i even have a dozen. how sad is that? how small is my faith? i'm sick of this! i'm sick of every time life gets complicated allowing myself to wallow in doubt and pity, giving up on my dreams and forgetting the things i've been promised. i'm not going to stand for it any more! i'm going to claim what's rightfully mine, what's already been bought and paid for! i will run this race and i will not stop. i will hold on and not let go. i will plant my feet on this Rock and i'm not moving.

i'm mad at hell and i'm not going to take it anymore!!

Wednesday, July 20

does it deepen over time like the river that is winding through the canyon?

seek the depths. i think that's what this season is all about for me. never in my life have i had such a holy unrest in my heart. the Lord is literally digging His fingers down into the grit and sediment in my heart and sifting, shaking. there is fruit coming that is sweeter because of this season. and it's making me question my reasons for why i do the things i do and why i like the things that i do. this is hard but so so necessary.

marriage is on my heart a lot lately, as well. partly because i've met someone who embodies so many qualities that i could ever think to want (and more) in that hypothetical someone, partly because i'm giving it back to the Lord, and partly because i'm learning more about His pursuit for my heart. the ever-cycling refrain in my heart and mind and journal is that His pursuit of me is perfect and perfecting. it's insane to me that He can use two imperfect humans in a relationship to point back to Himself and His perfect love for us.

the trouble here is learning that i have a tendency to presume what He is doing. no matter what new thing He introduces into my life, i say oh this makes sense, this is what He must be doing. and it's not true. it does me the disservice of removing the need to be dependent upon Him to lead my steps because i'm trying to outguess Him. so i'm trying to hold things loosely, leaning on Him more heavily. because He's so worth it, worth all that i could give up or pour out. so i say yes, yes to the refining fire, yes to the layers being peeled away. i sort of imagine it like disney's fantasia with little spirit led brooms going about and sweeping up the cobwebs in my heart. he is worth making room for in my heart.

my prayer for that hypothetical someone is this: Proverbs 20:6-7 "many a man proclaims his own loving-kindness and goodness, but a faithful man who can find? the righteous man walks in his integrity; blessed (happy, fortunate, enviable) are his children after him."

my hope is for a marriage that isn't necessarily the start of a new life, but just an extension of what the Lord is already doing in both of us. same book, new chapter. i hope that we would be able to face what life has for us with a sense of humor, strength and an unshakeable faith in our High Priest. i pray that we can bring children into the world that see God and His beauty in all things, that love freely and have a creative spirit. but really this is all conjecture. He has ordered my steps and there's freedom in that.

Thursday, March 3

one will spread our ashes round the yard

Sophocles Karl Spyridon
January 1925 - February 2011

it is finished. dad, your time of suffering is over. i will miss you every day. i haven't really been able to process everything just yet, but maybe you're not really supposed to all at once. i know that i don't really believe in a mass breakdown that comes rushing at you out of nowhere. i think it's more like cracks along the surface, fissures that release pressure over time.

i don't know if i'll ever meet a man with such a tender heart and stubborn spirit. it was really hard for me to watch his decline over the years. not just physically, but also emotionally. dad was a fighter, but i'm afraid his battles left him a shell of what he once was. i watched him go from being a strong, healthy man to a frail, ailing old man, and from a vibrant, vivacious spirit to a withdrawn, grouchy, unpleasant person to be with. but i will choose to remember the older times, the good ones. i will remember the lessons learned, how i always felt loved by him. he has given me such a wonderful picture of the Father's heart. i look at pictures of him holding me as a baby, and it's so clear that he came alive after i was born. i brought joy and youth to a time in his life when he thought he had experienced all there was. he taught me my value, what it means to be pursued.

the Lord will heal me, and is healing me. His plans are to prosper me and not to destroy me. this journey has brought me to a point where all that is in me, everything i have and know, all i can do is lift my hands and say "Holy, Holy, Holy, how GOOD is the Lord!" and trust and believe that these things are true. i sort of picture everything that i know is true being written on a scroll and wrapped around the length of an anchor that i'm holding onto for dear life. the Lord is and will be my anchor.

Sunday, January 2

a grove to lie in and cry into the treetops

time is a thief, or, why i'm not thrilled about the new year:

my roommate has been making me watch the twilight movies, and we've made it to the second one. there was one thing that resonated with me in new moon, and that was bella's lack of excitement on her birthday. to her, another year was not something to celebrate, but something to dread. it meant being one step closer to her and edward's inevitable separation.

people, my family is dying. what do i have to look forward to this year with that fact in mind? one step closer to my father's funeral? to the inevitable devastation it will cause for my life? one step closer to the destruction of the one dream i've carried with me all these years? it was always my hope that my father would one day walk me down the aisle and give me away to the man God had intended to me. however, i was faced with brutal reality this past july watching my dad barely walk my sister down the aisle. After dancing with her and with my mother, he didn't have enough strength to dance with me. i will most likely never get to dance with my father again. how hard it is to be so thankful and grateful for my sister and her happiness, but at the same time so sad for myself.

so forgive me if i don't feel stoked about new years or have no interest in petty "resolutions" this year. forgive me if i don't feel like telling everyone that i spent christmas day by my father's side in the hospital, where he was barely able to acknowledge me. trying to make this year count, trying to make good memories felt like i was trying to sew all of these scraps of fabric together, only to have all that work unraveling behind as i go. i feel like i'm desperately trying to grasp and hold two sides together while unseen forces are on each side pulling them apart.

i feel like an open wound. i'm afraid to talk about all of this until i've fully processed it mentally.. how do you prepare yourself for something like this? how do you work up the strength to keep moving forward? i feel i've lost hope. inside myself, i know that God is still good, that i can't hold on to my dad or my grandma, or my aunt, that they've never belonged to me but belong to a God who can, and will, call them to Himself. how do i walk out this truth? how do i abide in it?

it's sad, but i can't think of one worthwhile thing happening in my life this year.

Saturday, February 20

and i'm nothing of a builder but here i dreamt i was an architect

i can't believe how much time has past since my last post. so much has happened and yet so little at the same time. you feel a bit transient like a small creek but you can't help but step back and see all those bunches of twigs and rocks that kept you from flowing smoothly on toward the river and eventually to the sea.

currently i'm trying on community living for a season and on the whole it has been a blessing. i definitely appreciate solitude in a different way. At the same time, there is a great freedom in forcing yourself to be around people all the time. Personalities can clash and things are messy, but I feel like it's a very holy messiness. There is grit and dirt and it's beautiful. It really makes you think about what are true needs versus wants.

Friday, April 17

reach out and hitch a ride and float on by

there's a sort of anticipatory shake all through my limbs as if i've been pushing up against a brick wall for a long time.

i have a bad habit of procrastinating on things, and i'm still unpacking some things in the place i've lived for months. i feel like this might have to do with an unease about getting too comfortable in one place. (maybe packing and hanging my art, maybe that will jinx it and i'll just have to pack up and leave again. disheartening to say the least!) well i've been going through some boxes recently and found an old journal of mine where i wrote down little prayers and notes from sermons on sunday. in some ways, i miss that girl:

"this book is mine. no one elses. You are a jealous lover and i love you like none other. who is like you, Lord? who else made the snow on the trees? who painted wildflowers so delicately? i want to read your Word. i want to swallow You whole or vice versa. only make me contented, You well-spring of Joy."

in a lot of ways, however, i think that girl seems too familiar. i know that i've changed in many ways, but it's remarkable how similar the things are that we both dealt with. our problems may have different faces, but are essentially the same. we both long for love in this world and struggle for contentment with the Love offered to us, and fear that we may give too much of ourselves to earn other people's affections. even as i type this, though, i can see how much i've grown and i'm encouraged. i miss the bravery and boldness i used to have, but i can see a new strength- an inward ember. i just need Breath and Breath and Breath to make it grow.

i have high hopes for the future. i have high hopes for pies and sun and denim cut-offs and bike rides down deserted roads.

Sunday, March 29

all down the sidewalk are these chalk ballerinas

people are funny things, and i'm convinced i might be the funniest of them all. and not necessarily funny-ha-ha, but funnyasin peculiar, odd, quirky... perhaps even 'weird.' but i sort of relish in my "strangeness" because i see it as sort of a specialized puzzle piece that maybe isn't as easy to place as a simple rectangle or circle might be. i don't think i'm a corner piece, either.

actually, i'm feeling particularly restless today with no real forseeable resolution. i'm antsy for spring, and things are blossoming over night, and i'm secretly hoping i might be one of those things. that maybe you'll wake up and see me blooming and brilliant...

how is it possible to feel at once both completely restful and satisfied, and anxious like words and hopes are stuck at the back of your throat? i've been doing a lot of resting, actually... resting in knowledge and peace, and fulfillment. but i've also done a lot of missing and hoping, lately, too. i miss things that i have no real need for... which is frustrating. like forehead kisses and thumb wars. and ice cream dates. but i can also say and claim i'm "fully realized" and fulfilled without those things. it's a strange jumble of conflicting thoughts... or probably more realistically, a jumble of logical thought ("you have everything you need") versus illogical emotion ("but.. but... nose kisses!"). i feel like i'm on the right track, though, and my hope is that the next entanglement my heart finds itself in will be one where our mutual satisfaction in Christ will allow both of us to be our perfectly imperfect selves... only when we put our trust in Him will we stop looking for another person to complete us. that love can only come from One Source. i look forward to that time when two people walk towards each other tentatively, awkwardly... guarding their hearts and watching something mutually unfold. i'm not looking for a perfect man, and i hopehope they're not looking for a perfect me because i secretly think she doesn't exist. but don't tell anyone i told you so.

oh. a list of things i'm looking forward to:
1. a new school quarter
2. a film festival i hope to finish something for
3. growing vegetables for the first time
4. finishing these song fragments bouncing in my head
5. looking for a new job
6. ice cream trucks!
7. riding my cruiser around the flat areas of my new town
8. putting my winter clothes away for a few months

a friend told me a long time ago that his favorite movies have sad endings. i always thought he was crazy, but i think i understand now. some of the most beautiful movies i've seen recently have been wonderfully tragic. but then again, my favorite movies still tend to have a positive ending, and, while i've recieved some flak for this, are "charming." but i don't really mind it if people don't "get it." i like "charming" things, ok? to me these things are usually extremely well-crafted, while maintaining some elements of handmade-ness. equal parts form and function. if that seems shallow or silly to some, i can't help it. these are just the kinds of things i like. although a part of me blames this "flak" i've recieved on my innability to describe things in a way that fully expresses the depth and various facets of how i see/feel things. reading an old issue of paste, neko case's descriptions of her favorite things really resonated with me, and i think if i could describe myself as eloquently as she does, i'd come off as less trite, superficial and... *cringe* cheesy... until then, i think the only hope for me is that people might take the time to get to know me, and see how genuinely and thoughtfully i truly enjoy the things i love-- "charm" be damned!

Monday, February 23

breathless, lost and too alive to stop

this weather brings me such peace and joy. i end up with the windows down, giving my city the gift of buddy holly as loud as i can stand it. it feels like a bird inside my ribcage that finally settles after banging itself against the gates too long. i really do look forward to spring and summer. i want to do so so many things, like catch up on my reading and cut pictures out of magazines... if these things sound boring to you, then i feel sorry for you!

it also brings such a smile to my face to see the spring love-fever hit all those around me. nothing makes me happier than seeing the ones i love meeting ones they really love. although for me, this season is a touch bittersweet. most of the time, i'm accepting of where i've been placed in the world, but i can't help get a little wistful when i hear my friends talk so excitedly and lovingly about another person. truly, i know that one day (one day of a day!) i'll be talked about like that by someone someday.. i'm looking forward to it. this is all well and good, but i've found myself too focused on the reverse. i must remember that i have been placed on this exact spot, each toe, for a purpose, and it is not not not because there is something within that is lacking. this is a hard concept to remember, and i struggle with writing it on my heart every time it aches a little bit. someone will see a girl striving to become the woman God has intended, and will fall in love with her, despite her strange ways of eating m&ms and her love of charming movies (to name a few things)

until then, i hope to bury myself under art and music and small joys daily. i'll stitch these things together like a patchwork quilt and hibernate until the time is ready (i'm percolating, not obsolete). i want to lose myself in the comforting smells of old books and rubber cement, the fulfilling act of making something out of smaller pieces. i'm done with pursuing and chasing. i have tired myself to no end seeking roads that end up dead ends, and i've finally decided to wait until someone tries to find me. i'm done with sticking my fingers in the batter before it's baked. i need to learn to wait for the finished product and remember not to grasp and attempt to control.

this will be a summer of renewal, of release from debt, of remembering the things that make me happiest. i will have my little garden plot and learn about the soil and learn to be self-sufficient.

subsistence livingbreathinghopinggrowing. bring your umbrella and let it rain.

Monday, February 16

i hope i die in the arms of a child in a meadow where the thistles grow wild

I gave a gift to a boy I can never get back. It was one that he didn't earn or deserve, one for which he could lay no claim. At first, the absence was inconsequential-- a hole in your pocket and you barely notice the .47 cents missing. Now, this false fulfillment of a promise long-ago made feels as though I have given birth to a still-born child.  Those long months(years!) of waiting only culminating in dead weight, all limbs and fingers and toes, and I'm swallowing the placenta to erase the memory of it.

Blanche DuBois said falling in love felt like someone had turned on a brilliant, bright light, but not my love.  My love was the chinese lantern over the bare light bulb, everything soft in glowing warm colors like a child's night light; only, the flashing light exposes twisted faces and blind eyes, writhing from the shock of sudden illumination. This lifeless bundle I've been carrying, so much like the real thing, a cheap imitation-- a ragdoll filled with ashes.

Friday, January 30

you stayed home, i should have done the same

there's something about the snow and ice, clinging to dead branches and glistening under the street lamps. i like to take walks after really big snowstorms when modern life has practically shut down... these modern conveniences are no match when streets are filled with too much snow to move our cars, when ice causes our private biospheres to lose electricity or *gasp* cable television(if that is apocalyptic, then i can't think of a more beautiful chaos). the streets are so quiet and the sun doesn't seem to sink completely, giving everything a rosy haze.

have you ever been so frustrated at your own behavior, but simultaneously unable to stop it? sometimes i get so nervousawkward around new groups i end up overcompensating. i have the worst track record with first impressions, actually. this has started to happen again, and i fight with myself everytime i open my mouth and just end up smacking my proverbial forehead. i think that the difference is, in the past when i've been in relationships, when we were in social settings together it gave me the confidence to just relax and be myself. it's almost like they are acting as a grounding force for my nervous static electricity before i shock anyone. i really want to capture that feeling on my own now. i've recently been given the opportunity to get to know a great group of people and i don't want to f-ck it up by being a total spaz. the one thing giving me comfort is knowing that 'nothing is beyond the long-reaching arm of God.' i can rely on His grace that these people will forgive my foibles and know that i am still in process and changing daily (even though i'm a major dork)... that is such a full-bodied, peaceful feeling, one that spreads throughout my body gradually but completely-- it feels like a glowing stillness. it is so good to be at rest.

my mind has been cluttered with images lately. i think of life in pictures. even with the smallest things like clothing- some people might see just a white dress, while i see frolicking in green grass with bare feet. i always have an image or idea of how i thinkhopewish things will look like... this time of year feels especially hopeful. spring brings so many new possibilities-- it's as if i'm the one covered with snow instead of the ground outside, and i'm just waiting to see what will bloom in the warm air.