Vanilla Pudding? No.

People are individual.  We live in the dichotomy of being one body but many parts.  We’re a group, a community, a global village, a world united by our humanity.  But within that, we are radically different and beautifully individual.  It is because we have such a strong bond of unity that our individuality is able to flourish.

A lack of definition provides a lot of freedom. Black and white is restrictive.  Love is grey.

Alis Volat Propiis.

So beautiful

At 2:09 this morning, MaryJane Sophia Grulke made her way into the world.  After a long day of anticipation and much pain and effort on the part of Kelsey and Carl, I can definitely say, this girl is worth it.  She is absolutely beautiful.

By the River

Updates:

Baby Incredible is on her way.  Seriously.  Today.  As in, she is making her way through the birth canal as we speak.  No more waiting.  Baby Baby Baby Baby Baby.  X-citing!  Really.

Accepted at ISU, registered for housing (with Candace Wetzel, bahaha), and learning how to bleed cardinal and gold.  Or something like that.  School spirit will be a new concept for me.  (I mean…um, Go Bulldogs? Ha.)

After a month hiatus, Awaken is starting back again.  God planned my life pretty well for this semester.  I’m finding out his timing is good.

“There’s a place beside the river we meet
At a time when the summer has found its heat
Under trees that form a canopy
Look around you
With those around you”

like Jazz

“Other people had feelings and fears and my interactions with them actually meant something.” (Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz)

I was thinking about this today as I was walking.  Thinking about how God isn’t vindictive.  He’s not sitting up in heaven, shaking his head, thinking “you idiot, I can’t belive you messed up again.”  He is loving and merciful.  Forgiving and faithful.  And I wondered, if I was in a relationship with this kind of a deity, why do I feel the way I do when I make mistakes?  Where does guilt come into play?  Why isn’t each moment of forgiveness a moment of feeling completely new?  If God is who he is, and I am who I am, shouldn’t it just be like a runner who took a wrong turn?  You find out and you turn back to the right road.  And life goes on.

But its really not that way.  Not very often.  Because our actions don’t just affect us.  They don’t just affect God.  They affect everyone around us.  For better or worse, every action we take affects others.  Its a beautiful concept that relates us all in mutual need.  We are inseperable from humanity.  There is no “other.”  But it also means we cause people pain.  And its not as easily healed.

So we go on.  We keep walking.  And we keep trying.  We love.  Because He first loved us.  And we don’t do it very well.  It gets messy.  Its never the straight and narrow.  And its easy to lose hope.  To lose boldness.  To lose heart.  But we go on.  We keep loving and He keeps healing.

I stubbed my toe again.

I went running today.  Going barefoot reminds me that “reality is harsh to the feet of shadows”.  (C.S.Lewis)

I ran out northeast from my campus and ended up on the edge of Kirksville.  I found this old cemetary (Highland Park Cemetary) and decided to walk through it.  As I was walking, I realized that walking was perfectly manageable and even comfortable on the rocky paths.  I could easily avoid any sharp rocks or awkward places.  But had I been running, I would have found this much more difficult.  Running on the smooth, paved roads was fine, but when it came to gravel paths, I needed a little more time and focus to make it across uninjured.

And I think its the same way in life.  There are sometimes when our road is paved and wide and easy to follow.  And in those times we move so quickly, we grow so much, we run.  And it feels good, like we’re finally making progress.  We’re finally getting the hang of this thing.  But then sometimes our path is narrow.  And sometimes its rocky.  And sometimes we can’t see where it is going.  And we still try to run.  But its not as easy.  We scrape our feet, we stumble, we take the wrong turn. Because we’re moving too quickly.  We think that just because we had it all together when the road was smooth, we have to be that put together, even when the road changes.

But I don’t think thats what Jesus is asking of us.  When the road is easy and wide, yes, I think he’s encouraging us to take advantage of that.  Run.  Feel the wind in our hair.  Laugh and enjoy it.  Know that he is running with us.  But when it gets rocky and hard to navigate, I think he wants us to slow down.  Lean on him.  Spend more time looking where we place our feet.  Know that even if we are moving slowly, and sometimes even standing still, we’re still making progress.

And sometimes, those moments when we have to slow down to navigate the rocks, sometimes those are the only moments we have to stop and take in the beauty around us.  Because its not about reaching the finish line first.  Its about running the race.

Updates

I just realized today that the next time I see my sister, she will have a child.  Oh my word.  I’m so excited, but its so surreal.  Wasn’t Kelsey just sticking my hair in a vaccuum?  Are we really all growing up?  Jesse is graduating and getting a real job. Kelsey and Carl are having a baby.  Holey Cow.  Wholly Cow.  Holy Cow.

Right now.  Right now.  Right now.  Phrase of my life.  Right now.  Right now.  Right now.

Matthew 6:33-34
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Job 38:4-7
Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone-
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?

Some days…

It was absolutely gorgeous today.  I got some good work done.  Went to JavaCo.  Spent a good three hours journaling and reading in the sun.  Good start.

Then I went to the library and the article I needed to read wasn’t there.  Strike one.

Then I got really sick.  I assume from the expired hummus I ate earlier in the evening.  Strike two.

Then I got my last Chaucer paper back.  C+.  “Slapdash” to quote Professor Harker.  Strike three.

I promise, I’m really trying.  I mean, I suppose I could put in more effort, but can’t you always?  And really, I feel like I’m working pretty effectively.  Ugh.

What do you do with days like this?

michael j. fox had the right idea

I have always hoped that one day I would learn how to freeze time, so I could pause the world, sleep, then unfreeze things and continue on my way.  That way I wouldn’t waste any of the time I could be spending time with people.  And I would always be able to get enough sleep without ever being late.  But today, I discovered a flaw in that plan.  Even if I just froze time to sleep, I’d still age approximately at a rate of 1.33:1 compared to those around me.  I would not appreciate that.  Time to rethink this thing.