I'm Dreaming of a...Grey Christmas?

That's right. Despite my most fervent prayers and denial of the weatherman's foretelling, there was no snow on Christmas. We did, however, get a lovely blanket of fog. Grey, dismal, horrible fog.

To combat the weather's reluctance to comply with my traditional Christmasy desires, I took on the joy of the holidays anyway and hung out with my family. Our Christmases have never been traditional, but this year was at an all-time...high?

I think I was nine when my mom decided we weren't going to have a Christmas tree anymore. For a few years we also didn't have gifts. Those are back now, but the tree never made a re-appearance. After that, my mom decided that she wanted to create a Christmas tradition that we would want to come home to when we're old and married. So for the last several years on Christmas Eve, my mom and dad and brother and I get together to slowly evolve our version of a family Christmas. This year, it looked someting like this: we start at 5 with fondue, and as soon as that's winding up we throw some appetizers in the oven. When those are finished, we throw some more in, etc. It goes on and on until dessert. Aaaaand then we throw some more hors d'oeuvres out on the table and eat until bed. Somewhere in the middle we also watch "It's a Wonderful Life" and usually play a board game. Then in the morning, it's up for any food we didn't finish the night before and home-made cinnamon buns and presents (this year we're doing renovations, so the pile of presents stood in the middle of the living room, sans tree of course, as the only thing in the room besides our new couch). And thus the new family tradition.

After that, we go to one side of the family Christmas night and the other on Boxing Day. Basically, it's three days straight of only eating and sleeping. It's wonderful.

But besides all that, even though it's wonderful to get to spend so much time with my family, one important truth remains: Jesus is the reason for the season (ahahaha, oh my but I do love clich
és). Sure, He probably wasn't actually born on December 25th and where the tree and Santa fit in we'll probably never know (and a reindeer with a birth defect that makes only his nose glow? Heaven help us!). BUT, this is the time once a year that we should be taking some time to remember that He came, how He came, and why He came. He came for me.

The mist killed my white Christmas dreams, but that was about it. It's actually quite beautiful when I stop and get over my delusions of "what Christmas should be" and just...stop. Breathe. Accept that this is how it is, and be okay.


I've Got a Feeling

Not meant to refer to the song. I wrote it, realized, but knew that this couldn't be titled anything else.

I'm sitting around, waiting on a miracle. Sure there are things I could be doing to pass the time so I don't have to think about these things so much, but unfortunately it always seems to creep up through my subconscious. Money has never been something I've ever had trouble trusting God with. He's always come through, and I've never doubted. Yet suddenly, when my back account is down to $7.92 and my pay cheque is not what I was hoping and it's only a few days before Christmas with gifts left to buy, tuition is only 3 weeks away, and my first rent cheque is due in 2...well I've been a little nervous. Especially when other people are telling me to plan for the worst and be prepared that I may not get the money I need. I try to explain that that is just not the way I operate, that faith is what I've chosen to live by; they don't understand the way I'd hoped they would.

All I know at the moment is that I have enough to get me through today. Probably enough to last me until the New Year. So why worry? God has pulled more amazing stuff out of His infinite hat before; $3600 is nothing to Him.

I just have absolute peace that some way, somehow, He's going to make this happen. So who am I to doubt? ...and maybe my faith in this area of my life will help me to trust in other areas as well. I'm not letting go of this hope.


It Went So Fast, and Now...

I don't have time for this right now, but if I don't make time for it then it will never happen. This is my first blog of December. I didn't know what to write until now. Now is as good a time as any.

I'm moving off dorms today. Most people have already been gone a week. I said it's because I'm working near here and there's still so much to do, but truth be told... when I leave, it's for good and I'm scared. This has been my home for almost a year and a half, and every step I take is a reminder of times gone by. Maybe this will be good for me, to finally shake the ghosts of this decrepit building and move on with my life. I feel like it will be a good in between, the basement suite; close enough to be able to walk here any time I want, far enough that I can ignore this place whenever I want.

This was not a good semester for me. It could have never happened, and I don't know if I would have noticed. I wrecked a lot of things, hurt myself and hurt others. I gained a lot of close friendships, and that in itself is worth it, but I wish there had been more. I'm walking away with a sense of dissatisfaction instead of accomplishment. I wish I could go back to September 8th and restart all over again. Maybe then I wouldn't have to face this person every morning.

There have been underlying things going on that I'm not going to go into detail about. As far as I can tell, everyone has underlying crap and if they don't ask about mine, it's not that they don't know it's there...they just don't want to know. Sometimes I guess it's easier to believe the worst about people instead of taking the time to find out the "why"s.

Stripping this room is going to feel so good. Knowing I never again have to take a shower in one of these can't-maneuver, no-pressure, burning-hot-to-freezing-cold-without-warning excuse for a shower, well, it's a beautiful thing. These mattresses are out of my life for good. I get a full closet to myself. There will be privacy when I want it. No curfew. What I want to eat, whenever I want it. TV all the time.

And yet. I'll never again call this place home. No room to run up to quickly for a sweater or my homework or nail polish to help boys with their guitar playing. No aframe downstairs where I know that no matter what's happening up here, down there will be good times. And as much as I hate the meals, I love the community feel of it. Truth be told, I'm really going to miss this place.

I have some incredible memories here. Maybe leaving will make them that much sweeter. That's all I can really hope for.


True Therapy

My roommate has this awesome habit of letting one simple fallback help get her out of any bummed-out mood. Whether she's too sleepy or too awake, too angry or too passive, or too stressed or too laid back, she has a shower. I don't think I'm one of those people. To me, shower means stress and lots to do and my routine and trying to stay on time and not letting the shower head point in that weird way that sends it over the curtain and trying to keep the curtain stuck to the sides of the shower by not touching my legs. Showers do none of the lovely things she claims. I am, however, an advocate for the after-shower therapy session.

Last year my roommate and bathroommates liked to make fun of me because I liked to get ready naked. I would blowdry, straighten, primp and preen with as little on as possible. Steph even wrote a song about it. Realistically, I was usually more clothed than any of us would ever admit, but it's fun to look back and pretend it was more scandalous than it really was.

But truthfully, I do my best de-stressing when I'm breezy and free, doing the simple tasks of getting ready while jamming out to my fave band of the morning. My favourite activity? Blowdryer dancing. Crazy, I know, but nothing does it for me like that does. I'm hooked for life.

I need more moments like these to grace my days. Even once a day is just not enough, especially when they're either interrupted or have that potential. Hopefully this Christmas break will be the perfect opportunity for just such times. I picked my courses for next semester today, and I'm taking a course by correspondence over the break in the hopes of lightening my over-the-top load for January (self-inflicted of course). I am drowning, and homework will be my lifeboat. And in May? I don't know, maybe more courses by correspondence, throwing myself headlong (and detrimentally) into ministry again, or maybe even a full out break out where I just sit around for four months and write. What else is there?


The Greatest Discovery Ever

Today I finally gave up on trying to keep my hair dry. You'd think that having lived in Vancouver all my life I would have gotten used to it by now. Nada.

My pink umbrella died in one of several windstorms last week. It was a day of laughter for some; for my laptop, clothes and hair, tragedy.

Thus, venturing out without my umbrella, I took on everything from mist to golf-ball-sized droplets and braved the dangers of the slick walkway between my cozy bedroom and the safe haven of classrooms some fifty feet away. And then it happened...or should I say, didn't happen? My hair stayed the same. No frizz. No fly-aways. Just...flat hair. Day old hairspray is a beautiful thing.

Today I got my work schedule. Work? Me? Yes. I'm a Salvation Army bell girl, collecting donations outside of London Drugs no matter what the weather conditions may be. Rain, sleet, hail, freezing rain, snow, or meteor strike, have no fear for I will be there, ringing my bell and telling all the warmly bundled shoppers to have a Merry Christmas. Between this Friday and next I am working 39 hours. 39 standing hours. 39 standing hours exposed to all the elements. Oh my devious.

I am an umbrella kind of girl. I like to use them no matter what the weather. My umbrella is dead. I must walk in the rain.


Scattered Impressions

I don't know how it started, but the following are 17 different notes to 17 different people, all anonymous. Some of these people would probably surprise you; I was surprised to find myself writing about them. Mostly it's the people who get me or the people who I just really need to say something to but can't find the words when we're together.

You are the most brilliant shade of blue. And I, as always, am indigo. This rainbow ain't what it used to be, and we're stuck at opposite ends of the spectrum. I miss you so much it hurts.

I miss midnight talks with you, and spilling things on the carpet, and being ridiculous. Lies; I just miss you.

It's been over three years now. I don't know what to believe anymore. You made promises, or so I thought, and I chose to believe them. Foolish? If I talk to myself, then yes.

Your eyes always lie to me. They say one thing while your mouth says another. I don't even know if I'd want it anymore if I could.

I feel like all I ever do is dump on you, but I think you feel that way too. I'm sorry. I love the way we're growing and you make me feel like I can make it until the end of the day. I miss you when you're not around.

Come back to me. I need your hugs more than you'll ever know.

I can't say enough how much I value our friendship. Some days I don't know where I would be without you.

You think you're alone, but you're not. I still care. I might not always show it, but I do. You make me laugh uncontrollably and warm my heart to the nth degree.

I never thought we would get to this point, but here we are: friends. No envy, no guessing, no enmity; just friends. I'm really enjoying this.

I love you, but to say something like that to you just wouldn't connect. I want you to know God so desperately; I think that would be the icing on top of a beautiful friendship.

You are the sister I never knew I had. Being with you is like a breath of fresh air after being closed off from the world; ooooor like a hot cup of tea with a friend after being locked away in my dorm room all day.

I don't tell anyone because they wouldn't understand, but I miss you. Sometimes life just does not turn out the way we plan, despite our best intentions. In spite of it all, thank you, and I wish you the absolute best.

We don't see each other often enough, but I don't think that changes anything. You can always come to me, that won't ever change.

You have no clue how much it means to me when you tell me that you love me. It might be a simple gesture and one that comes with being siblings in Christ, but I appreciate you and your love every time I see you. I'm going to miss you so much when you're not around.

I love you like no other person on this earth, and no one else could ever take your place. Don't ever believe otherwise.

You don't know me very well yet, but I feel like we're starting something great. You make me smile, and that's worth a million bucks right now.

You are not the person I thought you were. You've changed more than I would have liked in the past few years, and not always for the better. But I'm not giving up on you...just one more round, always one more round.


Sometimes Exactly What I Think I Need is...Well, Exactly What I Need

The dawn is breaking
A light shining through
You're barely waking
And I'm tangled up in you

I don't usually like to start blogs with song lyrics. I only use lyrics to title blogs when the song is what I cannot get out of my head. However, once I picked this picture there were no other words on my mind.

Today is Saturday. Last night I left for Birch Bay for a weekend retreat with my second family, aka my church leadership team. We're here until tomorrow morning, and it's been so refreshing to just...rest. Yesterday was my first in a new installment of Sabbaths that I'm hoping will grace my every Friday. To take an entire day off from school work and responsibilities is something I haven't done in...years? Years. (deep breath) ...that is a very long time.

On this first Sabbath of many to come, I slept in until 1, had a mandatory but relaxed meeting with my lawyer, watched a movie, and left for the retreat. And all day today has been nothing but church planning and vision casting and just hanging out. I feel like my smiles are genuine today. This is refreshment.

Tomorrow is back to responsibility and ministry and homework and laundry, but for now I can take it one day at a time and just...be. I'm finally realizing who I am and it's wonderful to feel free to be me right now, and nothing more.


This is Blog

You've taken away my words. My breath too. My sanity.

I am alone.


Oh How He Loves Us

God has been exceedingly clear. He loves me. Enough to hug me in my despair, enough to romance me with a rose and a love letter, enough to give someone else the perfect words at the perfect time. Oh, how He loves me.

And yet.

I know He has to be my everything, but it is such a lonely road. Every day is a struggle just to get myself out of bed, and I don't understand why He allows me to live this way...one moment at a time with no hope that morning will ever come.

I am in the middle of a desert, winter season. One or the other is bad enough, but both is nearly hopeless. Frozen cold with no end in sight, it is to be utterly alone.

I am done with the plastic smile stapled to my face; it has begun to fade over the last several days, and I think it's finally gone. I'm so exhausted by the energy it takes to be outwardly happy to make everyone else more comfortable. I refuse to sacrifice myself any longer so that your comfort is not disturbed.

I really am going to be okay. I know this. And they tell me all the time. It's just going to take awhile.


One Year

It's been a year since my first blog entry. I read back and can't help but think how witty I was back then, how self-assured. I thought I was on top of the world.

Don Henley once told me, "You can't go back, you can never go back." He was right. So rather than mourn the loss of the person I used to be, I'm going to take the time to celebrate the love and laughter and God revelation I have divulged here.

I sincerely hope the pendulum starts swinging back towards happiness; this dull gray is almost more than I can take. But I guess that's what this is here for. It's a photograph out of time that takes me back to where I was and reminisces on the natural ebb and flow of of the joys and sorrows I experience. It's encouraging to read back and see the pain or heartache and to know that I survived. All I need to do is push through one more day, make it through one more night, and I will be one step closer to pulling through.


It's That Time of Year Again

Yes, it's Halloween. Trick-or-treating, dressing up, candy, zombie movies...it doesn't get any better than this.

I've only ever been in a relationship over Halloween once. I was 16 and we went to a party at his friend's house. My friend got introduced to his friend and soon enough they were making out somewhere. That's all I remember. It was romantic.

I want to take my kids trick-or-treating. I saw a monkey and a bumble bee and an incredible hulk. I know it'll be a couple years before I can do that, but it just makes me...ache. How the heck do I be patient when there are so many things I cannot wait to have, that hurt because I don't have them?

I don't know if I can see it anymore, the end. I don't know what to make of that.


Maybe I'm Just Making Myself All These Things

Today fit the pieces together and suddenly it starts to make sense. It's probably not your fault. Inconveniently, I don't really think it's mine either. I'm just crazy. Perfect.

God, it's so hard to say that I need You. I like to be strong. But I cannot do this on my own anymore.


You're Making Me Furious

What words could possibly get across what I feel towards you right now? Oh, right. Fury. Disappointment. A general loss for words as to how someone could be as stupid as you - that about covers it.

I don't know where this is going, why I should even need to write it, or why there is a party giraffe as my picture.

There are only two things I need to say:
1. Don't you dare put this on me.
2. You lied all along...at least admit it now, in the end.

I'm frustrated, exhausted, and you...you aren't worth another word.


You're Making Me Angry

Sometimes it's just fun to write in giant, purple letters.

It's been a rough few days...and weeks...and months. Thankfully I can stop there. I never want to have to say years. I want to stop this streak before it gets there.

Someone told me tonight that I hide it really well. I think I'm painfully obvious...especially here. I might just explode. Or implode. Which is worse? Well, we can wait and see which one happens to me and that's probably it.

The last time I felt this way started with a death and ended with a boy. This old blog entry signals when it ended, I think.

Originally posted: December 10, 2006

So today I was listening to some songs that brought back a lot of memories.
And it got me wondering if I'll ever fully get over those things.
I guess it made me realize that I probably will never completely get over some of the past,
whether it be people or events.
I know it's for a good reason that I remember;
this way I don't repeat the same stupid mistakes or forget what I came from.
But at the same time, I think it would be so much easier just not to have to re-live it all every day.
I've made a conscious decision to let go, though.
The past doesn't control me anymore, and I'm ready for my new present, and the future that comes with.

YOU don't control me anymore.

Things will get better. They have to.


Some Pages Turned

I should probably be studying right now. By "probably" I really mean: "I have a Hermeneutics midterm tomorrow that I haven't even over-viewed yet, I'm still weeks behind on almost all my reading and this weekend will be busy enough without this wasted-time's worth of homework on top of the workload I'll have anyways." I should really be studying right now.

Despite that, today has rocked me once again with wave after wave of realization. I cannot live my life around boys...men...people of the male gender who barely find time to remember me in theirs.

Sidenote: Our generation has had a cloak of uncertainty thrown over it that no generation has before. We are unable to define exactly when it is that we move from being girls to women, boys to men (no lame boy band reference intended). Especially as women, we seem uncomfortable using the term on ourselves or our peers, unless the one being referred to is our parents' age or older. Why this inadequate feeling? From now on, none of the above paragraph's stuttering. Men and women, the end. Unless, of course, I'm actually referring to someone under the age of 18 or a person who acts as though they are under the age of 18. In the case above, "boys" would probably do the trick nicely.

I cannot live my life around boys who barely find time to remember me in theirs. I say boys because real men aren't so foolish as to tell a woman everything she wants to hear but not to come through on the promises that accompany such proclamations. Or maybe I'm just a stupid girl who would rather believe in love and fall than to be jaded and resentful, spurning love before it ever has a chance to blossom.

I became sloppy with my heart again as of late, and I promise it will happen again. I cannot help myself. I will not die with a life only half-lived, and I cannot settle until I have and have been fully loved.

Originally posted: March 9, 2007

I hate the way I spend every casual moment looking for you.
It doesn't even make sense, and I thought I would've been over it by now.
I guess some things you simply never get over...

A Day of Epiphany

Today was a day of epiphany. Say it enough times fast and it's not even a word anymore.

For the last three days I have been sick with H1N1. Hooray for being a part of a global epidemic; a story to tell my grandchildren. The first night it wasn't quite as funny, however. Somehow, what with the huge news coverage, people's fears ringing in my ears and the way it has been talked about like the second Black Plague (as well as a disturbing scene from a super old re-run of Touched by an Angel that we won't get into), I was terrified and completely convinced that I was going to die in my sleep.

My mom asked me the next day why I was so afraid (and I already knew why she was asking: if I'm a Christian, what do I have to fear in death?), but I couldn't explain it. Part of it was fear for the people around me and what they would have to go through, but mostly it was knowing that my life still remains very much unlived. I spend 90% of my thoughts these days on the future and when things are finally going to slide into place.

And then the epiphany. I came back to school today, and within minutes lost my cell phone. I would occasionally hear it buzz from its unknown hiding place, but I couldn't find it anywhere. This in itself is a huge feat, as anyone who has lived in these dorms will know. My area of the room is about 5 feet square (being very very generous), so there's not a lot of places it could be. I checked everywhere obvious half a dozen times, checked the most ridiculous places twice just to be sure, and finally gave up. As I went to go back to whatever it was I was doing before my search began (possibly straightening my hair?), I saw it. Lying on the ground, in the middle of nowhere for no good reason, was my phone. And it hit me. I go out of my way to look for how God is going to handle my life. I do everything in my power, going around to the "obvious," hoping I will discover His master plan. It is not until I give up and surrender to going on with life as normal that I see what He's been doing all along. I cannot find what He's doing until I live my life with Him and find His purposes in it.

Maybe this isn't hitting you as hard as it did me, but I was blown away. Who knew that misplacing a cell phone could give me such a perfect look at God's heart for me?


Uno, Deux, Three

My favourite blogs usually start when I have nothing to say. Tonight is one of those nights.

I do my best thinking alone in my car (bathroom, bed), talking myself through life. Reliving the past, contemplating possibilities for the future and coming up with wishful ridiculousies for the present are some of my most cherished activities during these times. Tonight, I talked with someone (slash they weren't actually there, although I do think I could play them rather convincingly on stage if ever called upon) about the intricacies of love from my point of view. It took a lot of explaining, but I think he got it in the end.

Tonight was my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary. 50 of us gathered together to toast, roast, and (best of all) love on them. As the night wore on, more than once I caught them smiling into each other's eyes and realized that it takes more than luck to find a love like that. I was beyond happy for them, yet sad in a way I can't possibly describe.

As I explained my thoughts to my friend in the car on the way back to school, I realized some key things about myself. Uno: I am not crazy to be scared. Deux: It's probably all my fault. And three: I want someone to really see me before they love me.

The more I look around, the more I talk to God, and the more I converse with Invisibles, the more convinced I am that this has to be part of the plan.


Romeo, Romeo, Where Art Thou Hast Been For So Long, O Romeo?

Today was a horrible day.

Things just did not start out right. My phone died so my alarm did not go off. Normally this wouldn't be a problem because my internal clock would have woken me up, but only three hours of sleep tends to get in the way of that kind of thing. By the time I woke up my second class was already going and I looked and felt like the dirtiest sludge of all time. I proceeded to get ready in a hurry so I could do all I was supposed to do and be everywhere I was supposed to be...only to be horribly disappointed when I failed to accomplish any of this. I got nothing done and was left with feelings closely mirrored in movies such as American History X and the Exorcist. Needless to say, not my day.

BUT, oh glorious surprise, we had Broccoli Chicken Cheese Bake for dinner!! With delicious apple pie. And then I had an awesome meeting and got to watch some awesome Office with carrot sticks and popcorn. Upon returning to school, I found my early Christmas gift: EMILY! She has made everything brighter. The chilly autumn evening has been magically transformed to bright, sunlit, aframe afternoons and mystical days of shower hugs. Oh my love, why have you been away so long?

Today was a wonderful day.


When You Know, You Just Know

I had an enlightening conversation tonight. I talked and talked until somehow the truth came out and I was amazed at my own eloquence. Nostalgia, of course, mixed with hindsight and the truth of every circumstance, eventually coming together in perfect harmony.

I say "no regrets" a lot because a few years ago I decided that I did not want to turn into the kind of person who always regrets and spends her life looking backwards. Despite my best intentions, tonight sounded a lot like regret. It is not often that I break down over non-mistakes.

My wall is littered with photos of "I'm sorry"s and "remember when"s and "life was simpler then"s. I want to take fewer of those this year. I would much rather save friendships than pictures.

I don't know what to do to be different. How do I stop myself from becoming that person I both hated and somehow couldn't let go of? Even now, it's a struggle every morning to disentangle my fingers from the deceptions and temptations that so easily ensnare. So far the last few days I have been successful, and it's giving me a new sense of hope. Is it possible to only rely on God for love and fulfillment, or am I doomed to constantly fall? Today says the former, and I really want to keep it that way.

Originally posted: June 29, 2007

Sometimes I think our hearts don't even belong to us.
They do exactly what they want, even if everything inside of us is telling them it's not worth it.
Then they break. And we break too.


Meet You There Someday

I was reading through my old blogs from another site last night, from when I was 15 through 18, and it amazes me. Even then, in the heart of my rebellion, God loved me and was shaping me for His purposes. If all my dreams back then had come true, my life would look very different. He has been so faithful even in my pitiful mediocrity. I think that for the next little while I'm going to end each blog with an excerpt from back then, just for kicks.

My life is going down a very different road than I imagined. Sometimes the life I planned for feels so close I can taste it, but I know it's just a fantasy. I listen to this song and feel both more alive, more hopeful and more nostalgic than at any other time. The only thing that comes close is when I walk through the empty campus in the early morning, looking out over the misty beauty of the fresh sunlight and I feel so close to what once was. It's magical.

I'm on the road set out for me, and I don't know where it will lead. Sometimes i hear the faint whispers calling out after me: "When the world is right, I'll drive all night, meet you there someday..." and I have to take a deep breath and let go all over again of what might have been but never can be.

Originally posted: October 3, 2006

when I think of fall, I think of you
crunching leaves, holding mittened hands
falling in
love and falling apart
dying to you was like dying to summer:
swift, chilling, and perfect in its emptiness.


Grapefruit H2O

Somewhere in the confused suffocation of last week, I forgot what it feels like to breathe. I tell my lungs to inflate, I stare a hole through my chest at where they should be...and nothing happens.

How do I explain the journey of the last few days? There are no correct words. I fought, I smashed, I surrendered; I got up without waking, walked without seeing, talked without communicating; I dreamed, and then was smacked into reality. I am breaking into a million little pieces.

Tomorrow is a birth-place, a thinking space, an unknown face, and a resting place. It underscores my desire to never be alone, whilst drawing back into the wretched sanctuary of my bedroom. Will tomorrow find me courageous or terrified, standing tall or hiding low, faithful or heartbreaking...or just unfeeling?

I have forgotten what it means to draw a deep breath, let it melt into every crevice, and release the dust of ruined dreams. Tomorrow will be better.


Blog Numero 93

That is a lot of blogs. I don't know why I'm celebrating today rather than on number 100, but somehow it felt fitting.

I am at a fork in the road. Across the valley, through the woods and over mountains spread the tines of choice. Is this the end for me, or do I continue on and complete my four year program? Should I skip out tomorrow and go plant my dream church? Do I follow my heart, my gut or my head? Do I settle? What is settling? So many options and so few roadsigns.

I don't want to regret. Living out of that fear only brings me a life that isn't as full as it could be. It leaves me dangerously in view of a mansion on the side of the river called "settlement of the settling." It's beautiful from the outside, straight from a fairy tale, but the inside is gutted; the stillness echoing through the empty rooms is deafening. It's my dream, but that's the problem: it's mine not His.

The most current route marker has informed me that I'm going the right direction, but down the wrong path. Do I turn around? Can I?

One day I'll change. Some day I will listen and be willing to turn things around. Unfortunately, I don't think that day is today. I'm sorry...I truly am.

You're On Fire When He's Near You

When I say that I want to be on fire for You, it's usually in a moment of passion that quickly dies like cooling embers in the winter wind. I ask You to empty me so that You can reign, and I wake up the next morning wondering what it will take to finally get to a place where I want to want You to empty me.

If this were the fight for my soul, this "thing" or my salvation, would it be easier to give up?

When I say that I want to be on fire for You, I don't think I realize the implications. I got an awesome picture tonight of a heart on fire, and I realized that I have not been holding up my end. When a building goes up in flames, I don't get to shout directions from the street below about what will stay and what will go. I don't yell to the fire: "Hey! Be careful of those family photos, they mean a lot. Sure, burn the rest, but I'd really like to keep my CD collection." No way. I stand aside and watch it burn to the ground. This should be the same. If my heart is truly consumed by Your inferno, everything else should be burned up: my selfish desires, my longing for "the old country" as Hebrews puts it, my hopes and dreams and failings and weaknesses. They should all evaporate in smoke, falling away in the wake of Your love inside of me.

When will I finally want to want You to empty me?

"Come be the fire inside of me..."


Sweaty McSweater Pants

This week has been called many things: Hell Week, No-Sleep-Week, and The Week of Death. For me, it's some inconclusive combo of the three. It's hot as "that place" in this classroom, I have had more class hours than sleep this week, and I've definitely felt on the verge of death for several days now. I have barely ventured out of my room except to trudge through the rain to yet another class that I will barely stay awake through, and I desperately search for any spare moment to get some more Old Testament reading done. By the time I finally finish class and move into homework mode, my brain is so fried that you could cook an egg from a block away.

So why am I blogging when I obviously have no time? First, I desperately need to write about something non-hermeneutical to retain some semblance of sanity. Second, my brain is dead and there's no way I'm taking in any of this anyways. Third, maybe if I explain myself and the way I've been lately, at least some people will understand why I am the way I am.

Normally I take great joy in looking decent. Hair done, contacts in and make-up on is usually a given, as well as clothes that match and smelling delicious. This week I honestly couldn't care less. I can't remember the last time I picked up an eyelash curler or shimmery lipgloss, or how long it's been since my underwear matched my t-shirt. I've been wearing flipflops in the rain so that I can more easily take off my shoes in class, my sweaters can't recall what it's like to match the shirt beneath them, and perfume is but a long-gone memory. It's pretty pathetic.

It's only 44 hours of class in a week. I guess that's not so bad. I mean, who am I to complain? It's not as if I go from 8am to 5:15pm every day or lose my Saturday to a class I hate. Oh, wait.

Sweet, sweet last year, where have you gone? I miss you and your carefree days. Somehow 19 credits worth of writing was so beautiful compared to 16 credits of reading. Let's look on the bright side, though: it's Thursday. On Tuesday, I didn't know if I would ever make it here; this is cause for great celebration. I love you, Thursday. Your name tastes scrumptious on my classroom-silenced lips.

Today is also the first day of October. September is already gone, and it makes me sad. I haven't put the same effort in this year; I have barely made new friends and it makes me feel like I have been wasting my time. Hopefully this realization will help me get my butt in gear. When I think of where I was this time last year (here I go with the comparisons again) and it blows my mind. I have come so far, and yet I cannot make myself believe that I'm better off, except in my relationship with God. That's a lie. Yes I'm better with God, but I'm also HUGELY better off because of the people who I've come to love. Right now, the number one person in my mind is Emily. She'll be here in two weeks, and my heart already knows it. I can feel myself growing lighter and the sadness dissipating. I love her so much it makes me ache.

Tomorrow will be better. It will be Friday, which means: the week will be nearly done, I will be almost finished with my scrub lifestyle, and I'll only need to survive through a day of two intensives. And on Sunday, oh glorious Sunday, the clouds will part and the sun will shine and this heaviness of heart will depart (hopefully). Just that knowledge already makes me feel so much better. This "sweatpant sickness"
will pass and I will feel human once more.


Where You Are

My most sincere moments of clarity always come when least expected. For one clear, shining moment, I can see the truth that has evaded me for so long and I am completely at ease with the unfiltered view before me.

Today is the first day of fall. Today is a beautiful day just like last year, which feels like yesterday. Today I sat in the middle of a field and cried in the sunshine. Today I had the opportunity to choose, the same as any other day.

Every day is a new day, yet I hopelessly cling to the days before, usually in punishment. I tell myself that there's no point in turning around now because I've already come so far and screwed up so bad. I look in the mirror and don't forget who I see when I turn away; she haunts every succeeding step.

I cannot remember who I was twelve months ago. I cannot remember where she came from or her motivations for anything she did.

I am on the edge of falling flat on my face. I feel as if I am sitting on a very thin line that is supporting my entire weight. If I stay above the line, I am safe; if I dip below, I will crash and burn.

I don't know where this is leading or why I suddenly needed to get it out or why I sound so emo lately. But I don't know how else to express myself. Words fail me. Yet, somehow, my fingers magically transform the beating of my heart into rhythms of voice that are comprehensible on a page.

I don't know what you want from me, Lord.


So Close, and Yet So Very Far

This isn't quite it, but it's almost the truck from my dream last night. In it (the dream, not the truck), God laid waste some of my biggest, most secret hopes, but also gave me the closure I've been longing for. How often do you get to say goodbye to someone and have them say it back without the repercussions of them remembering the time spent together? It was beautiful and heartbreaking, left me waking with real tears, but was exactly what I needed.

Today I got incredibly sunburned; it was so worth it. Lounging in the sun on a blanket doing homework, I remembered a day almost exactly a year before when I felt exactly the same, and, somewhere in the cavernous recesses of my heart, I knew that things were going to be just fine. Taking in the glow of the September afternoon, the world was suddenly transformed into something beautiful again.

Tomorrow I will probably awake to less peace than I feel right now, but that is okay. I will be able to look back on this entry and know that, at least for a second, my heart was happy to simply rest in God and trust that He knows what He's doing.

I feel as though I am dishonouring memories when I let go and the pain gets easier and easier to handle, but I am finally starting to realize that life must go on, or it will run along without me and I will be left with nothing. So bring on tomorrow, with all its pain and tears and mysteries and excitement. I'm ready. I don't know why and I don't know how I got here, all I know is this: I love God, He loves me, and in this moment that is all that matters in the world.


Burning Up...and Out

This past weekend was Rockridge Round Two. I met new people, hung out with a new set of bathroommates, and, thankfully, was in a general state of "just okay" because I didn't have a hundred million memories hanging over my head the way that I do when I walk the paths of this haunted campus. God touched me in a way that I've never felt before; He was finally able to obliterate the wall I had set up between Him and my heart for supposed safety, and was able to show me that the greatest safety is in the comfort of His arms. I gave up a lot to Him, and I threw away all of my excuses, now rendered useless by absolute Truth, for why I should not be the woman He created me to be.

Sometimes it still hurts. My own Great Sadness still trickles out of the past and muddies my vision with its lies and "what-could-have-been"s. My focus used to be on the past, then shuffled to the future to ease the heartache, and is now desperately clinging to the edges of the present in the hopes of finding peace. But peace never came from holding on; it's in the letting go that God can bring peace to my heart.

Facebook never fails to give me a good slap, Skype brings the futile desperation of holding back tears, and my uncracked window reminds me of days that will never come. Sometimes I think I hold on so that I have something to draw from in moments when I need to feel human or want to express myself through writing, but other times I think it is simply because if I really do let go and let God come in and completely heal my heart (not just bandage or stitch it up, but actually heal), then I won't have the Sadness to cling to. Without the sadness, am I really even Me anymore?

This year will be a good year. There are wonderful people, fantastic classes and the hope of a possible future at this school beyond the next several months. I know, in my head, if I let go of last year that this year has the potential to be just as good, if not better, but my heart can't quite grasp that yet. I'm getting there, though.

I've finally realized that sometimes you lose the good things in life to make room for the great things.


Splat (aka The First Day of School)

Today is the first day of school. I didn't have classes, but that doesn't stop my former statement from being true.

Life here is not the same. Was I naive enough to expect that it could be? For sure. I just saw two people I haven't seen in at least 5 months and, it, too, was not what I thought it would be. There are some people that even time and a healing heart cannot replace.

Tomorrow I start classes and life goes back to "normal." I have homework, find a job, somehow squeeze in church, and what is supposedly normal returns to my life. If only I could somehow let go of how much last year meant to me. My relationship with God crashed, burned, and was built up again stronger than ever; I met some of the best friends I could ever hope to find; I found love that didn't demand more of me than I could offer and I lost it; I finally found the person I've been searching for all my life...myself.

And here I am. On the brink of a new cliff, trying to decide whether or not to jump. Only the next few weeks will tell. Do I stand around waiting on a parachute that will never come, or do I just take the leap and pray I don't SPLAT my body on the rocks?


Not How I Pictured This at All

I have been struggling with a sense of failed character as of late. As my good friend once wrote in a little book called Romans: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." I hate what I do.

Yesterday was a test of character and I failed miserably. Not only did I continue in a pattern I thought I had finally broken, I also hurt myself immeasurably. I have never felt so alone in my entire life.

I do not know where to go from here. How do I break a chain that has held me most of my life, despite recessions of years? I feel hopelessly lost in a sea of disillusionment and self-judgment that refuses to let me come up for air.

Today I spent the better part of the afternoon scrubbing myself clean of who I used to be (literally and figuratively) because I refuse to be that person anymore. I will not be someone I hate behind closed doors. I cannot lead a double life forever.

Only two chapters earlier, my friend wrote about how perseverance will develop proven character. I don't want character that is up and down and all over the place like a Pop-a-Mole game; only proven character is acceptable to me and to my Father, so that is what I will strive for. With His help and some perseverance, hopefully I will get there. Tomorrow is not a good enough place to start. My change starts today, I am running full-speed towards my Savior and the life He has planned for me, and the old ways will not catch up to me now.


Burn, Baby, Burn

I am officially burnt out.

Today I finally lost it. Something, a nothing, went wrong and I just collapsed and cried. Every lost minute of sleep and each setback and argument and heartache of the summer finally caught up with me and I just couldn't breathe anymore. Part of this has to be that I cannot see an ending to the madness. My internship ends Monday, and then I work pretty much every day til school starts, which ushers in a life packed with too much school, a lot of church and (if I'm lucky) two jobs. There is no end in sight until Christmas, and I don't know if my body and emotions can take it.

Everything I committed myself to suddenly feels like a burden rather than the joy it started out as. I want that back, but right now every part of me is just...exhausted. I need a vacation, and I don't think that is ever going to happen.

Tomorrow is a day as busy as all the rest, and I'm already dreading trying to just make it though. Thankfully God is strong for me when I am weak, because right now I need him just to get out of bed in the morning.

God, I'm going to need You through this because I cannot make it on my own.