Each character in Chinese was originally a picture.  Over thousands of years, the pictures have become standardized into the characters recognizable as modern Chinese (中文/汉语)。  Many of the stories have been preserved and Chinese teachers (中文老师) often share these with their students to aid memory.

Many Chinese words come from combinations of characters.  For example, crisis (危机) comes from two characters, one meaning ‘danger’, and the other meaning ‘opportunity’.  Some are pretty funny, like the Chinese character for ‘home’ and ‘family’ (家) which involves the character symbolizing a roof and the character for pigs.  Because if you are in a place with pigs under your roof, you are at home.

Some have very profound undercurrents.  The Chinese word for ‘tolerant’ involves the characters that represent a heart and a knife.  My teacher (我的老师) explained that tolerance is represented this way because when you open up to people, when you care about them, when you are willing to accept differences and truly get to know someone, you risk getting hurt.  More than risk, its almost guarenteed.  But you do anyway.  You take the chance to reach out where it would be easier to ignore.  To practice tolerance and understanding where it would be easier to blindly hate.  To love even when it seems like it makes no difference.  To bare your heart to a drawn dagger.  It takes strength and courage.  But when has God (love) demanded any less?  Especially when the strength and courage he requires from us is all his own.

It is beautiful (美)to interact with a culture that holds so much depth, culture, and tradition.  Maybe Renaissance artists had the right idea, setting off on a world tour to experience other cultures and influences.  To learn from other societies, other traditions, other ideas.  Maybe every field could stand a bit more of a global perspective.


being more

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery


My professor starts EVERY class with “Alright, good afternoon class!”

With the exact same intonation. Every time.

Tsetse fly and tsetse fly population control.  Its a complicated issue that someone has to think about.

I have a love/hate relationship with science.

My life be like ::rap music::

I wish.

I’m wearing my favorite pair of jeans.  The ones that are almost worn out and are getting to the ‘too worn to be good looking’ stage, but they are still so comfortable.  My (now) dark brown hair is pulled back in a loose braid and my bangs are constantly falling in my eyes.  I’m bundled up against the 24 degree day in a red sweatshirt with two fuzzy white scotty dogs on the front.  With rhinestone collars and hearts in between.  It looks like something a fourth grader would have worn in ’86. The only reason I’ve showered this week is because I bathed a flea infested dog yesterday.  Its the kind of dog that Jesus would have adopted. But my legs are reasonably clean shaven.  It’s a good feeling.

I’m last minute considering studying abroad for a month in China this summer.  Late May through late June.  Take some of my language credits.  Maybe an Asian history course or Asian art.   Then spend the rest of the summer working, probably in Ames.  Save up some money for my semester in Scotland that next fall.  It would mean two international experiences pretty close together, a shorter summer near the places I love being when not in K’ville and my first summer away from RLBC since I was in third grade.  But also an amazing opportunity to be immersed in my language and in a culture for which I’ve long had a passion.  I’m not sure what I’ll do.

I’m realizing how busy my next month or so is going to be.  And how I’ll actually have to practice time management.  It feels good to be accomplishing things, however, so I feel like I’m ready for it.

I’m feeling like a very mixed bag of opinions, emotions, and passions right now.  I’m really frustrated with my situation here at the HotMW sometimes and sometimes I feel like I can take one day at a time, find the right attitude, and totally handle this season of my life.  I’m realizing how I have no idea where my life is going.  I might be in another country in a few months.  I might study abroad and not come back to Truman.  I’m in a major with no idea what I’ll do post graduation.

I’m completely unable to see my path ahead of me.  And that seems to be a theme.  And God seems to do that on purpose.  And I’m doing well.  Life is good.

Whatever.  In the best sense.

God’s hands are tied by love.

Lately I’ve been questioning the nature of God.  His character.  Why he acts the way he acts.  Why he does the things he chooses to do.

I picked up the Sacred Romance this morning and some passages stood out to me.

“God’s problems is not that God is not able to do certain things.  God’s problem is that God loves.  Love complicates the life of God as it complicates every life.” -Douglas John Hall

“Suppose there was a king who loved a humble maiden. The king was like no other king. Every statesman trembled before his power. No one dared breathe a word against him, for he had the strength to crush all opponents. And yet this mighty king was melted by love for a humble maiden who lived in a poor village in his kingdom. How could he declare his love for her? In an odd sort of way, his kingliness tied his hands. If he brought her to the palace and crowned her head with jewels and clothed her body in royal robes, she would surely not resist-no one dared resist him. But would she love him?

She would say she loved him, of course, but would she truly? Or would she live with him in fear, nursing a private grief for the life she had left behind? Would she be happy at his side? How could he know for sure? If he rode to her forest cottage in his royal carriage, with an armed escort waving bright banners, that too would overwhelm her. He did not want a cringing subject. He wanted a lover, an equal. He wanted her to forget that he was a king and she a humble maiden and to let shared love cross the gulf between them. For it is only in love that the unequal can be made equal.

The king, convinced he could not elevate the maiden without crushing her freedom, resolved to descend to her. Clothed as a beggar, he approached her cottage with a worn cloak fluttering loose about him. This was not just a disguise – the king took on a totally new identity – He had renounced his throne to declare his love and to win hers.” – Soren Kierkegaard

We are loved by Jesus Christ, but he desires our love as well.  He doesn’t want fearful subjects.  He doesn’t want a people who obey him out of fear.  He wants his bride.  a new Jerusalem.  Zion, the city of God, beautifully adorned with holiness and the love of the Bridegroom.

And because our God isn’t willing to settle for less than this, he can’t always do what would be easiest, what we might think would be best.  He can’t overwhelm us with miracles, he won’t march down with an army of angels to prove beyond any doubt he is Lord.  But he will meet us.

He will and did come down and show his love.  Jesus Christ came down, humbled himself to become like us.  And left us an reminder of his radical, undying love for us.  And everyday God is still pursuing us.  And because his love is real, its almost impossible.  There is no way, in our world, we can know the fullness of God’s glory and love for us and still choose to serve him out of love and not fear.

God is walking a fine line in his pursuit of our hearts.

New Experiences

I have had my first real intimate encounter with a corpse.  Yes, a corpse.  I am thrilled.  A deer corpse.  Now, I’ve seen them lying by the side of the road before, many a time, but this was my first, personal, walking down a path, ‘hello dead deer’ moment. And it was a beautiful one.

I was out walking a dog in the grounds around the Adair County Humane Society shelter and we decided to leave the normal areas and trek out.  Followed a sketchy dirt path I’ve been desiring to walk down for quite some time.  It led into a bowl like area where the trees grew up all around the edges so you couldn’t see the road or any buildings or any evidence of the outside world.  It was like stepping into the 1700s.  I felt like the Apache tribe or the Sioux were going to step out of the bushes at any moment to claim their deer.  And there it was, just lying by the side of the road, decaying and mangled.  Probably attacked by a wolf.  That was the scenario that made the most sense given the environment.

I’m not sure why a dead deer lying by the side of a dirt path in this out of the way beautiful spot outside of Kirksville seemed so glorious, but it really did.

I make lists.

things i’m falling in love with:
baptism. eating meals with people.  songs that don’t rhyme.  worshipping in a group.  hair and faces.

things i’m frustrated with:
needing to express myself and not knowing how.  being an example.  normalcy.

On my mind

John 9:25
He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know.  One thing I do know.  I was blind but now I see!”

A man born blind, healed by Christ.  Questioned by Pharisees.  Caught up in things so much bigger than himself.  Rejected, insulted, and ignored by many. Healed, valued, and loved by one.   They would see a man born blind and call him a sinner.  Not only a sinner, but the child of sinners.   Maimed and broken.  Dead and dying.  Hopeless.  Godless.  Worthless.  He saw a man born blind and called him a demonstration of the work of God.  Worth loving.  Worth healing.  Worth revealing Himself to.  Worth dying for.  They were the teachers.  Christ called them blind.  He was a blind man, Christ called him Beloved.

The blind man didn’t know what this was.  Who this man was.  All he knew was that in His presence, things were different.  The blind see.  Debts are paid by the creditor.  Losers win.  Slaves become heirs.  Life was found in His death.  Life IS found in His death.  Nothing is the same.

Love is given to the loveless.  Sight is given to the blind. Life is given to the dying and truth is found in the mouths of children.  What He is, we don’t know.  What we do know is that in Him, life is changed and life is found.

“One thing I do know.  I was blind and now I see.”

woah buddy

I just found out I can get an art minor from Truman.  All I have to do is take Drawing I and Design I and then 3 upper level art courses (aka, fibers, ceramics, photography, etc.)  I strongly desire to do this.  However, Vis Comm is a major time suck.  Especially Drawing/Design classes.  It would add a double minor onto my plans.

Dear Lynnea,
Please remember how much you want to graduate from Truman in four years.  This might not be the best choice.  Tempting as it seems.
Love, Lynnea


“meat made us human”

This is what my prof just wrote on the board.

This is apparently scientific fact.

I don’t know if it is appropriate to laugh when someone shares scientific fact with you.  But I did.

I love meat.  I also support vegetarianism.

This is all.  Back to paying attention.