China

I remember when I was younger, I would pack weeks in advance of heading to Riverside for a week of Bible camp. Now it is the day before I will leave for five weeks in China and I’ve thrown a few things together and done most of my laundry.  When did I grow up?

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Its her hair and her eyes today…

My cousin is getting married at the end of June.  I’m really excited for her.  Her fiance is a great guy. Today is her family bridal shower.  My aunts always throw a shower for babies or weddings of my cousins.  This is probably the last event before the rehearsal that I’ll be able to go to, since starting Tuesday, I’ll be in China until right before the wedding.  Worst bridesmaid ever? No, actually…probably not.

I finally got back to Cafe Diem last night.  I can’t remember the last time I was there.  Cafe Diem plays its music louder than the other coffee houses.  I like that.  For a while last night, they were playing a jazzy type of music that reminded me of Alice in Wonderland.  I wonder what it would be like to fall into a Disney movie. Or into the real versions of the stories Disney uses to inspire their movies….

I need to go learn the song Kelsey and I are singing for Ashley’s shower this afternoon.

“…its frightening to be swimming in this strange sea, but i’d rather be here than on land…”

French Press, Ladders, and Lemonheads

The theme for this blog’s title is : Things Candace and Lynnea [will have in their] Apartment Next Fall

The theme for this blog is:  Things about which I am Unhappy (note the correct grammar and incorrect capitalization) and Things about which I am very Pleased.

Lets get the first out of the way:

  • HarperCollins has given a book deal to Sarah Palin.  It is due to hit shelves in the spring of 2010.  Lets see if I could be anymore unexcited…no.  I couldn’t.  Expect lots of “golly gees” and “oh fer cutes” to be cut in the final draft.
  • A tornado hit Kirksville tonight.  Uh…guess its a good thing I wasn’t there.  We were never the best of friends but I still don’t like Mother Nature hatin’ on my K’Vegas.
  • When I’m at home, I have a huge bed and I can’t fill it up.  So I always end up sleeping on half of it and throwing random junk on the other half.  Right now its storing my guitar and a huge pile of blankets.    Maybe I should try sleeping in the middle.

Now on to the postive:

  • Home equals infinite possibilites for bubble baths.  Which equals infinite possiblities for positively reeking of manufactured floral scents.  This is one of my favorite things.
  • I got to see Candace today.  And then I realized, I get to live with Candace all year.  This is good for my soul.
  • Also in the category of things that are good for my soul: coffee shops.  I love them.  I love the environment, the atmosphere, the people who work and pass time there.  I plan to get back to Cafe Diem soon.  Its been too long.
  • My niece loves being outside.  And she sticks out her tongue a lot.  Often when she is outside, she sticks out her tongue.  It reminds me of a lizard.  Also, she can’t tell me to stop singing, so consequently, we often go outside, I start singing, and she sticks out her tongue.  Its a great combination.
  • I currently have braided hair and am wearing jewelry and fine clothes.  So, its like my own private Pauline rebellion.  Which feels pretty good.  ; )
  • Never again will they hunger;
    never again will they thirst.
    The sun will not beat upon them,
    nor any scorching heat.
    For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
    he will lead them to springs of living water.
    And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
    (Revelation 7:16-17)

Final Moments

Peeling pictures off my walls.  The tape sticks, the paper rips a little as it comes off.

Leave the paintings on the walls, the photos stuck to my closet, the flowers in the vases where they’ve been all along.  I’d rather do this, but I can’t.  Instead, I unplug all the cords, clean off the mirrors, vacuum up the detritus of a year of my life.

I’m bad at goodbyes.

The Beginning of the End and New Beginnings

This is it.  I’ve taken my last tests at Truman.  My parents are on their way with a van to pick up all my stuff (of which I have WAY too much.  Simplicity.  Sigh).  I’m sticking around for one more night in the ‘ville, graduation tomorrow, and then I’m heading out.  Its a bittersweet feeling.  I’m so excited for ISU.  But for better or worse, two years in Kirksville does change a person.  I’m leaving a lot behind.  Okay.  Thats okay.

Life is constant motion.

I’ll be home for a couple of weeks, training for Cafe B, unpacking and repacking and then heading to China for five weeks.  I’m ready.  Estoy lista.  Bahaha.  I have one more meeting with Professor Minn, something about visas and swine flu.  Sigh.  Pigs always get a bad rap.  I have no idea what I’m getting into with this China trip.  We’ll find out.

Moving on.  Taking whatever comes my way.

I need more stamps.

Thats just a solid fact.  I have two 41 cent stamps.  Sigh.  I could put them both on one card and have 82 cents of postage.  Above and beyond.  But then thats still only one letter I could send.  Postage has become my biggest limiter in being a good pen pal.  I really should just get to the post office.

I’m stuck in this middle ground and I’m so ready to be out of it.  4 more days.  3 more tests.  1 paper.  One more event.  Graduation.  Pack up, move furniture, check out, head on to whats next.  Right now, I’m here, but I’m not.  I’m leaving. And I’m not coming back.  Half of my clothes, my books, my shoes are packed away in boxes, half are still strewn about my room, waiting to be packed to go home.  Half of my life is packed away, ready for Iowa, well more than half of my heart as well.  But so many things are still tied up (voluntary or not) back here.

I’m just ready to be in one place.

我不会中文可是我很好。

I was reading outside in the Sunken Gardens this afternoon at TSU.  The air smelled like rain and they have finally planted flowers in all the beds.  It was so still and so beautiful.  The only thing that seemed to be moving were those little ants that crawl all over sidewalks everywhere you go.  They may be the common factor the world can unite over.  Miniature ants.  Where ever I go, if I sit on the ground, I always find these guys crawling all over my feet, my hands, my books.  They are always so busy.  And I’m just a surface in their way.  An obstacle to be overcome.  Its humbling and beautiful to know how much more there is living and moving and breathing in the world.

I feel much more at peace than I have for a while now. I’m preparing for how it will feel to finally leave this place.  I’m leaving a lot here.  And taking a lot with me.  I think this will be hard, but right.  I’m learning a lot about myself and my heart lately.  It feels good to be still.  I need to take that time more often.  We all do.  Slow down.  Be.

I watched the Disney Channel last night to provide background noise for my studying.  And laughed.  A lot.  And I watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants during my studying today (I guess I’ve been in a Disney girl mood?) and felt more moved by that movie than most sermons I’ve heard lately.  I guess God speaks truth in unusual ways.  Haha.  From the mouths of infants?  Or Disney…

William Fitzsimmons is making my 中文 studying much more tolerable.  Look him up.  Good music.  (Thanks Xndr)  Back to the books now.

“And if you ever came near, I’d hold up high a mirror.  Lord, I could never show you anything as beautiful as You.” (mewithoutyou)

They will know we are Christians by our love…

Sometimes, I think we get it all wrong.  They won’t know we are Christians by our ability to follow the letter of the law.  They won’t know we are Christians by our ability to mold our secular society into a religious one.  (One which seems to have nothing in common with the early church of Acts 2:42-47/4:32-35) They won’t know we are Christians by our ability to win arguments, to be wise, or to raise ourselves up.  They will know we are Christians by our love.

When did it become godly to argue and judge?  Why do we spend our time arguing and protesting government policies instead of feeding the hungry and taking care of the widows and orphans?  All things considered, just looking at the Bible it seems like God looks favorably on those who care for the poor, who love the unlovable, and who work to bring peace and healing.  We are called to be light bearers, not interrogators, not judges, and not torturers.

Any place that holds the presence of Christ should be a place of love, healing, acceptance, and peace.  If you look at the gospels, Jesus condemned those who couldn’t let go of the law.  Who couldn’t see the bigger picture.  Who couldn’t see that the law was just a means to love.  The sinners?  The screw-ups?  The “dirty people”? He ate with them.  He healed them.  He spoke with them.  He touched them.  He loved them.

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?””No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared.

I think we’ve lost sight of our purpose.  I think we’ve taken the wide road and ignored the narrow.  When did this become our way of living out Christ’s call to love?  When did the details become the design? When did the church become so powerful, so corrupt, and so blind?  What happened to the heart of a servant?

I don’t mean to say I’m any better.  We all fall short.  I have such a hard time loving.  But I hear the church tell me I’ve got to preach Jesus to people to save them from the fires of hell, and sometimes I wonder, is the church any less on fire?  Is this a place where His yoke is easy and His burden is light and we can find rest for our souls?  I know people need Christ, but sometimes I hate to give them Christianity.

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
-Mahatma Gandhi