January 30, 2013

College - The Daily Routine

Fresh. Clean. New. 


Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17) 

I have been people watching this morning. My small perspective on this little corner of the world covers a few college students inside our little basement hang out place called "Pops". We are all here before our various classes, a mixture of homework and socialization is being done. 
Daily routines.
Seniors.
Freshmen. 
Students from all walks of life.
Stories. 
Avarilla and I have been studying and eating our breakfast wraps with our SmartWaters. 
This is normal, predictable. 
Nothing out of the new.
And yet, as I look around me at all of my friends, I am reflective. 
I love college. 
I love these faces around me.
I love hearing the loud laughter of Curtis two tables behind me and Avarilla's voice as she talks with them. 
Years from now, when I think about college, this is what I will remember. 
The daily life.
The ordinary moments.
The experiences that define my existence at SNU. 

New. 
Fresh.
Clean. 
God makes beautiful things out of the dust. 
We all have our stories.
We have our experiences with the restoration that comes through Christ.
I am reminded this morning, in the few minutes I have before I have to rush off to class, that this story is alive. 
Our stories, our futures, our testimonies, they are changing, developing, fluid.
Where we are right now, where wewill be next year, and everything in between...it's unknown and new.
And yet, we write papers.
We study for our quizzes.
The routine is familiar. 
Through these routines God is at work, building and shaping us. 
So we work with purpose. 
Drinking our SmartWaters and talking away. 
Newness. Adventures. The past is gone. 


However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9) 

January 24, 2013

A Post of Late Thankfuls

There is a very high chance that Thanksgiving is completely over. It is highly possible that we're overwhelmingly leaning towards "closer to Easter" then anywhere near "Thanksgiving is soon!" 
Regardless. A cup of thankfulness has been served to me recently and counting your blessings is always beneficial. 
May 18th is just a New York minute away, New Years Day and all its adventures are almost a month gone, and January 1, 2012 seems like yesterday. Last year was jam packed with living. Pure, emotional, adventurous, lesson learning living.
And I am thankful. 

I am thankful for my parents. Every day. Every time I'm with them. Every time that I am not. Time moves on, dynamics shift, the faces around the dinner table grow older and there are new faces added. I'm the baby in the family...which means that there are no more teenagers coming home from youth group talking about the ins and outs of their day. The scenery has changed in our family. And yet, it hasn't. The relationships are so good. The give and take of wisdom and enthusiasm are balanced. The blessings tremendous.  I'm thankful for my parents hospitality. My dad's examples of what generosity looks like. My mom's prayerful heart. The jokes that we play on each other and the knowledge that we are  a family, thick or thin, forever. The older I get the more and more I am thankful for this blessing, because I realize that it is unique in our society these days. 
I am thankful for encouragement. People who are blessed with this gift and who have showered it on me this year. This past semester was a semester where I wasn't able to give myself to so many of the relationships and activities that I was a part of last year. New jobs, new concerns, and new "real life" priorities entered into the picture, and I have often felt so weary and run down from putting my best effort into necessary but unrewarded areas. But the friends and people who have stepped in and said, "You are where you are supposed to be. You're doing a good job. We love you. We support you. We're your biggest fans even when feel like you're thrown under the bus and don't know where to go." People like that have come from unexpected places and have really lifted my spirits.. 
Along the same lines, I am truly thankful for good friends. The friends that prove their friendship time and time again. The friends that back you up, defend you, are there for you when you're barely hanging on. I'm thankful for the friends who recognize that friendship is a give and take, and the ebb and flow of that process changes from season to season. Sometimes you are the one giving, sometimes you are the one who needs so much more than you ever have before. I'm thankful for the friends who I would do anything for when they are in need, and for their generosity to be there for me when I have needed their uplifting spirits and helping hands. 
I am thankful for a slowly fading cynicism towards love. Thankful for a man who has entered into my life and changed my perspective on what love in the real world looks like. A man who forgives quicker than I do, has more patience then I possess, and acts much goofier in public than I would ever dream of acting.
Late thankfuls. Thanksgiving is long gone, but my heart is filled to the brim. I'm reminded tonight that life is much better when your heart is exposed, in the thick and especially in the thin. Vulnerability opens the doors to love. Love is hard. Love is messy. Love is a choice. Loving people isn't ever black and white, but it is always worth it. That's what I'm thankful for, every day, every moment. The people who bless my life so tremendously with their love. 

January 14, 2013

Words and Fragment Sentences

Tap. Tap tap tap. Click. Tap. Space. 
Again. 
Again. 
Words thrown on blank space. 

Hello reader. 
Whoever you may be.
I have a lot of viewers on this blog. 
More then these words deserve, you can be most assured. 
I write with fragment sentences. 
Poor punctuation. 
I don't know how to use a semi-colon. 

I write words that are read by a few. 
Words that mean more to me than I'm sure they do to anyone else. 
I pour my heart into the tap tap tap and the click click click of this keyboard. 

Tap. Tap tap tap. 
Again, I write.
I was on duty tonight.
This dorm was quiet, the silence broken up by various sounds.
The beep of the fob as students opened the doors. 
The music from a movie playing in the basement.
A laugh.
A cough. 
My own sneezes.
Bracken noises.
Hellos. 
Goodnights.
"Can I have some toilet paper?" 
Oh life. 

Conviction.
Solid, heart changing, conviction.
It began with a $5 bill at church tonight.
Then a story. 
Then a trial.
And now?
Now it ends with words tossed on web space. 
This road that I am running on, it's unpredictable.
I have a lot of unknown variables in my life right now. 

It's not black and white. 
Grey. So grey. 
Or gray. 
Depending on where you're from and all. 
I thought that perhaps, the ducks would line up. 
A nice little row of them. 
First 1, then 2, 3, and followed by 4.
Instead... 3499457208. 
The order is all out of whack.

Jobs. 
Security.
Homes.
Houses.
Africa.
Hours.
Classes.

UNKNOWN. 

Seven letters.
one little word. 
So many things hanging on that thought. 

And then?
Then there comes a bigger thought:

TRUST.

quickly followed by:

FAITHFULNESS. 

I thought that the ducks would be neatly aligned.
Engagement brings a stability to life.
Blake drives me absolutely mad in the craziest sense of the word. 
It's wonderful. 
It's fantastic.
It is anything but predictable.
Life with two requires a little more planning then the vagrant gypsy my heart claims that it is would like to admit.
My wanderlust streak is strangely satisfied to be claimed so resoundingly. 
My point?
There is stability in my life.
As every other color in the surrounding spectrum twirls and blends. 
If a+b=c ...then I have the "c" part figured out, but a+b is getting switched up every other minute.

Attitude changing moments.
As everything else is our lives has been thrown into a blender and turned on high speed...
there is the tiniest part of my heart that giggles.
The smallest corner of my soul whispers, "Isn't this fun?! A challenge!"
Trust. 
Trust in the faithfulness of God as you practice faithfulness to God.

Something about that $5 bill in the offering plate tonight opened my eyes.
My prayer changed.
My heart thirsted for more. 
To be faithful in between the rock and hard place.

While the trip deserves a blog of itself, needless to say I spent 10 days in Costa Rica this Christmas break.
Following Chesney and Luke over and under rocks by a waterfall, far away from the rest of the group...I slipped.
Two rocks.
A drop beneath. 
My leg pinned for a moment.
Deep breath. Twisting motion. 
Freed leg.
And a bump the size of my fist on my shin.
The swelling went down, although it's still there.
And all I can think?
That was a rock and hard place if I have ever seen one.

God is faithful in those moments.
The slip ups. 
The times when our haste to get where we're going results in cuts and bruises.
Wouldn't it be grand if this were the year when I practiced faithfulness in the same radical way?

Click click click. Tap. Tap tap tap. 
Words.
Letters.
Too many fragments.
My story.
Messy.
Bruised.
Faithful.
Why shouldn't it be grey and grayer?
Black and white is basic.
Fine tuned.
Predictable.
Why shouldn't there be changing variables?
I've always loved adventure.
Why  not in the real game of life?

I can skydive.
I can zipline.
I can parasail over the Pacific Ocean.
Those are all adventures that I've looked for and have found.
But what about this one?
The unsureness.
The nerves.
The unpredictability. 
Isn't that the best sort of adventure?
The unknown type.

Tap. Tap tap tap.
Words on paper. 
And the night grows late and my eyes slip shut.
Words.
Just words.

With a smidgen of pure honesty to wrap them up nicely.