Thursday, September 11, 2008

Plan B

You can e-mail me at
I won't be able to respond but every few weeks, but that is free for me, and this costs me money!

Also e-mail me if you haven't already and have not gotten the updates I've already sent out (I only sent out one or two)

I leave Brazil tonight for Namibia!

Love you all.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Floating Waltz

3 days left in the states. I have absolutely no clue whatsoever as to what my life will be like this semester. I have never in my life lived on a boat, nor have I gone out of the country with a group of people who were not a christian affiliated group other than once to Jordan for 10 days. This is an entirely new situation. I am studying abroad, but I am very much so also on a cruise ship. That is strange. I am living with a bunch of people who are not affiliated with Christianity innately. That is also a first in college. Meanwhile, most of the people who have impacted my life deeply the past few years are all collecting in a little place called Upland Indiana, where they will begin a reunion of love and hope (also known as the fall semester at Taylor). And I am distraught with emotion and am letting the emotion run through my veins as much as possible, so as not to build up walls of apathy to hide any hint of sadness in my choice of absence. 

Ok... I'm rambling. I'll write more as I feel it necessary, or as I have thoughts to give each of you. 

Know, that you are deeply loved... by one who will NEVER leave you for 3.5 months. He will never leave you nor forsake you. 

In that love, and in his peace,


Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Well, in 14 days I will be in the Bahamas. In 1 month I will be on the ship, on my way to Africa, after spending a week in Brazil. That is the future.

This summer I worked at God's House and Cracker Barrel. I fell in love with Marion, and I was scared to death by an impending relationship. That was this summer.

Now I have two weeks to soak up as much time as possible with a couple of friends in the Chicago area, with the not-so 'impending' relationship and to prepare for travel. That is where I am living at now. 

I cannot believe how excited I am to go on this trip, but I cannot believe how much I've learned this summer about community. I am so excited to learn more about COMMUNITY through other countries. But more than that, instead of running from communities here... I'm going to learn from these communities and try to bring a lot of the beauty in other cultures back with me. What a beautiful world.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The birth and death of day.

This morning I woke up to what seemed like a storm of paparazzi in my room. It was dark, but the flashes came and I fled for cover. Good thing the covers were already up to my neck, I just had to grab them with both hands and pull them six inches higher over my eyes. I tried to guess how early it was. The lightening storm made the sky gloomy and dark between strikes, so it seemed early. I guessed 6AM. Ha, I looked at my watch; 9:30. Could I really have been up until 3:30AM?! Between family dinner and games, after E and S had gone to bed, saying goodnight to Ron and Dar (my parents for the summer), writting letters to people I love before I leave, and staying up late talking with GA some more, I just rolled over, laughed out loud twice, and realized that if I wanted to take my sleep more seriously I couldn't start thinking that quickly and to that extent so early in the morning. I shut my eyes and realized that my brain was already up, and tugging at my body to get up like a 7 year old would in the summer mornings when all an at-home parent could possibly wish for is another 2 or 3 hours of sleep. Shoot. Ok, fine. To the kitchen. And such was the morning.

How did the rest of the day go? Well, I fear that I would legitimately bore you. But I spent a beautiful day with two beatiful young women, played Clue with the family and GA (and I won... mind you). I said goodbye to Ron today. He's leaving at 5AM to go swimming as he usually does before work. I wonder if Ron will ever know how much he means to me as a father figure. But then again, I really don't wonder. There is no way Ron will ever understand, because he matters more to me than most men in my life. He really is right there under my own father. I also know that it is different now that you are 20, and I can't just say things like that. Well, I will not lie- after that thought I had a sigh of relief. It makes everything a little bit cleaner cut if people don't know how much they matter to you. Shoot, after that thought I got choked up. E, D and S will be wished a goodbye tomorrow morning. Don't even get me started. How do I ever attempt to say goodbye to these roses in a life plagued with thorns (ok, my life isn't 'plagued with thorns' but I thought that sounded cool).

All I know, is at the end of the day, I was at R and J's house listening to R talk with God about me. It was a strange sound, but holding hands, J, G, R and I held hands on the ground and talked with God. The small elephant in their laundry room was slightly distracting, but I'm sure it will get tired and eventually dry their clothes. But over the distracting broken drier, I could feel God respond to R. I could feel his love and his gentle presence in the room right infront of me, just staring at my face; and his creation. I could sense his presence and knew he heard us and saw us gather and trust him some more. On the ground at R & Js house was where I knew God was. He was there 4 months prior when R talked with God about my trip to Jordan, and he was still there now. But the thing is, I knew it wasn't just because God had taken residence in the carpet of my friends house in this town, but rather that God was with me.

It was kinda like when you get in a fight with someone stubborn. They know it isn't best for you to necessarily walk away and put up walls, and they don't just sit and 'talk it out' so they just don't let you leave their presence. They will wrestle you, push you, hold you... whatever they need to do just to let you know that they love you, but they won't explain away or let you go. That is where God and I are now. He won't let me go, but he's not explaining himself. He just goes where I go. He doesn't let me build up walls from him, he loves but doesn't explain his love right now. I am stuck on the recieving end for now.

Well, now here I am, summarizing those thoughts. I'll be in Naperville tomorrow night. I cannot hardly believe that. C, DJ, J, R, E, S, D, R... and anyone else in the Marion area... you are loved.


Monday, August 4, 2008

I'm Home Hurray!

Well, Wednesday morning I will be loading up and heading to the Chicagoland area. This place has a piece of me. It has taken ownership of a large part of me and I cannot pretend that I can reclaim that piece as mine. My Marion family, my friends on Washington Street, 10th, Spencer and those on 6th and boots have stolen my heart. I am so excited to be back in this place when I am next.
This has been by far the best summer I've had in years... and possibly ever. I cannot believe the absolute fun I have had this summer, along with the absolute transformation God has taken me through. Things that were concrete before are not just being shaken but have been bulldozed down in order to make room for new thought, for walls that are further reaching than before. God has enlarged my heart to fit him in a little bit more. Now, the next few months he will be enlarging my mind. 24 days and counting until I will be on the ship. In one month exactly, I will be 2 and a half days from the port of Brazil. I will have already spent one full week on the ship.
I hope that God is shaking you beyond what you thought your capacity was previously. I hope he is constantly stretching you so that you are constantly aware of your need for him. I hope when I get back to Naperville, I am met by family that is being stretched also, and by one or two friends who have found a way to survive in such deep waters with the bigger fish in the suburbs who are out to kill. May peace go before us all, and may it be the peace of God that makes peace, instead of just 'keeping' it. You are Loved.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mistakes We Knew We Were Making

I seriously have lived an entire season of my life that could have been labeled by the statement above. But this is a new season, and I am encouraged by the hope of intentionality, truth, honesty and light. Those things bring hope where dark places only brought a sense of prolonged failure and a sense of abandonment. Over the past year, I really feel like... (oh, I cannot BELIEVE I am using a phrase like this, never in my life...) I've found myself. I don't know what that means, but I just feel like I actually have an identity. I know things that I like and things that I don't like. I know what I value (and what I don't value) and I have opinions and convictions about things. I naturally get along with some people and really don't with some other people. I lived a large part of my life trying to make everyone else happy. I'm still just learning as God gently pulls (actually, pretty authoritatively rips) my hands off of the controls. My white knuckles are turning a more calming shade of skin pigment and I am reminded yet again, that the best part of me letting go, isn't in the 'perfection of release' in which I have mastered some brilliant task of 'trusting God', but rather, when I find myself stuck in the muck, white knuckled and ready to fight God, when I realize that he never wanted to fight. It is in my moment of the largest admission of my humanity and lack of perfection that I hear God whisper, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek
, for they shall inherit the earth...". I see myself in the disposition of failure and I rejoice in my poverty of spirit, my own lamentations, and in my own timidity or compliance to others out of weakness... because Jesus made it clearly common sense that he would only help those who "need" it. 
      Kristin left this week. She went home after finishing up her Greek classes. We spent all Saturday together- that was incredible. From Canoeing to baking to jumping on a trampoline all the way to swimming (I suspect in a pool filled entirely with chlorine). Church was encouraging on Sunday, as was dinner with Eric Sague. I won't see him until J-Term (like most people now). Monday's practice with the band was INCREDIBLE (though there was no kristin, canoe, cake or chlorine pool). Nevertheless, I was thrilled at how the band worked together to learn a new song. It was incredibly encouraging. I then went to Mounds State Park which was an absolute blast... seriously, and then celebrated with Eden B. on her birthday yesterday. Eden is the daughter of the people I'm living with. I bought her a detective/spy kit. She really wanted one. Magnifying glass? check. Finger Print Stamper? Check. Note pad? Check. Disguise? Check. No worries... I got everything BUT a trench coat. I hope she liked it. Oh, and all the time between these things? Yes, well that has been spent on the phone calling about my loans...etc. for Semester at Sea. Exhausting but worth it. 
      I won't be speaking with the people in this life who know me best for about 4 months coming up pretty soon. In that situation, it is and will be a constant declaration to God of how I need him and my gratitude for his presence. And, though my need may be declared,

I recognize my need, but not in intentionally stupid decisions anymore. No longer in mistakes I knew I was making.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

OK... getting down to business

I leave for the Bahamas the 27th of August. That is in 42 days. Hard to believe. I found out a few months ago that I am allotted 250 minutes of internet for the entire 3.5 month journey. That is approximately 1 hour a month for those of you trying to figure that out (around 70 minutes/month). Seeing as I will probably need that for my classes, I will not be able to keep in contact very much while I am away. I will continue to update my blog once a week, and I will read any and all comments made on it. I would LOVE to have people leave comments just telling me how they are doing, but do realize that other people can and will be reading those. Unfortunately I will not be able to promise anyone private communication for the next 4 months. But I would LOVE to be updated on how you are in 'comments'.

If you would like to write letters (no expectation of this WHAT SO EVER) I am listing some info websites below that explain how to do that. You would HAVE to send letters via Airmail (I think that has to be expensive) and they say to expect the letter to take 2 weeks to arrive to each port. That is weird because sometimes that means if I get a letter, that you sent it when I was 2 countries away from the port... by weird, I meant AWESOME.

I'm sorry this is so business like. Here goes:

letter info:

my itinerary:

So, while I'm dancing in Brazil, Camping in the desert in Namibia, Rafting and Camping in S. Africa, living in a Dalit Villiage in India, spending a few days in a villiage in Ha Noi Viet Nam, going on a night safari in Malaysia, listening to lectures in Hong Kong and Beijing, Hiking through Mt. Hiei and Mt. Rokko and visiting Hiroshima all in Japan, Rafting in Costa Rica... or just looking to love the people I'm around (students and indigenous people)... know that you are loved.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Home is where the heart is.

I have no idea what that means. Because frankly, that means that my heart is in Texas, Ecuador, Jordan, somewhere in Michigan, Chicago, PA. and MARION.. ALL over the states. So I've decided to try and go... home.

Heading up to Michigan for family camp this week. It is so good to be around my family. Jack is adorable. I love him and I cannot wait to spend more time with him... when he's not taking naps (he's got to grow up a bit). I have to be a bit emotional about the past few weeks- they have been amazing. J-Higgs came over to Marion the other weekend which I already wrote about. Last weekend, I drove to Ohio and picked Kristi up and she spent the weekend hanging out with me, Kristin, Blades and Grant. It was lovely, just lovely. SUCH a good memory chillin on the roof of the house I'm staying at with coffee, cookies, music and friends. God, soooo good. These people- these people are my home.
Monday, Kristi and I woke up, went to Joann Fabrics, bought material, went to Wal-Mart and bought a rap CD and some HUGE sandwiches. Then we blasted rap music and ate our huge sandwiches in the car (looking RIDICULOUS) and went to the riverwalk. We arrived and spent 20 minutes climbing on each other trying to reach the mulberry tree branches. After literally about 20 minutes, a man showed up and asked us what we were doing. We explained. He promptly went to his truck and offerred to us a mulberry picking rope (at least, that is it's new designation). Now, we lasso trees and eat from them freely. We collected the berries and returned home to sew, bake berry pancakes and laugh a lot. This is my favorite part: I haven't listened to a Dashboard Confessional song in probably over a year, but this line kept popping up in my head, "hands down this is the best day I can ever remember...". Wow. That's pretty stinking cool. These women from 2North... (sigh) I have so much love for these dearest friends in my soul.
I got home last night and leave in a few minutes for Michigan. I spent last night on the roof of a building in Naperville... illegally of course. Playing guitar, and other instruments, and laughing with friends. We ran in the rain also and sang songs, and called Abraham Buditama to let him know that we care. I wish he was a larger part of my life. I had breakfast with my mom at 6:30 in the morning and laughed a lot again. Then I got 4 shots in preparation for my trip around the world that is now 7 weeks away. Then I found out the my car died- for good.

Alejandro Rodrigues Julio Schavez Garcia lived a good 10 years and was treated with love and respect. The last 2 months of his life he was a bit dirtier than usual- I should have seen this coming. So Alejandro- a toast: to you. You were a good car, and were well loved. Thank you for taking me and friends around Marion, Chicago and to Florida! I'll never forget you.

Haha. ok, Jack is in my lap right now... so i have to go because he wants to type!

Adventures... I embark! and Home... here I come.
I cannot describe the love I feel for Rich and Jaymie, Courters and DJ, Joel, Katara, Ryan... the list goes on. That is a large and stable home. I'm not used to stability where the heart is.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Purpose to Life

I'm getting my sewing machine fixed.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Moon Is Down

wow- going old school on ya huh?!

This week has been way too full of adventure. I will spend a few short paragraphs probably just bringing you up to speed. I ran into a fellow at paynes (coffee shop) while reading last week. He introduced himself and saw that I was reading "Jesus for President". Well, we got to talking and he mentioned that we was going to the PAPA festival (event focused on poverty). I talked with him briefly about it, got his information and said I'd e-mail him to hear how the event went. Well, long story short, I called Brock and we talked for a while. Then I told Brock he should go, but he said he works every weekend. He called me the next day to tell me that he was off ALL weekend. WELL... after several hours of confusing calls and texting while I was at work, Brock googled all he knew about the event (that it was in a Mennonite Community 2 hours from Chicago)... found one, and went. Ha. Within the first 30 minutes of being there he said he'd already seen or run into Shane Claiborne and heard the psalters playing. Pretty sweet. MewithoutYou played the following night. That was an adventure... even if I wasn't on it.

My friend J-Higgs came to town this weekend. That was SO good (such a blessing). It was beautiful to see her and be near her for a while. I really loved it. We hung out whenever I wasn't working. We had some TU people over after church for lunch, and ate well together.

Monday I went on quite the adventure to Alexandria Indiana. My friend Austin lives there and I drove down and then we embarked on a bike ride. We biked from about 1-5 or so I think. It was really nice... until he patted me on the shoulder WHILE biking (I still don't know what he was thinking) and I fell. My knee is still gushing strange liquid. But it was so good to be around Austin. I cannot believe how much I miss that trio (Austin, Grandma and Mark). So good. I laugh so hard when I am around them, and Austin seemed to laugh too... which is always good. What a Monday.

Then, yesterday I spent the morning with a lovely friend. A miss Kristin Eckhout. That was great. I played some piano in the recital hall, and thought about how strange it is that I have lead worship in that room: that I lead worship in general. Then Grant, Maija (ehhh.. spelling?) and I headed out to Indy to enjoy an evening of friends, speaker, music, food, and more friends. We heard Shane Claiborne speak. It was cool to hear the Psalters and to know more of exactly what Shane is doing and his goals include, not just through a book. One of the Psalter's dog's got out of the bus and went missing. After a short break it was announced that his dog was hit by a car. Pray for them. I feel like that is worth mentioning here. He seemed really sad about it. That is only day 2 of their journey too!

I went back to work today. I love it here. I love it in Marion with my family, in Marion with my church, in Upland with my friends. I have dear friends in these places. But next week, I will be with my FAMILY... with my FRIENDS. and I am excited about that also. Oh dear, I am so excited. Torn between two different worlds! How does one handle such a split? Easy... just leave and go around the world for 4 months. ;)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wrinkles, freckles, moles and warts.

All I know in this life is that I aspire to learn how to see with Jesus' eyes and love with his heart.

I think I might be at the pre-req stages of this phase, and it scares the shit out of me. Not because it requires more of me, but because it might require... less.

I think it requires less of me than the way our paraochial understanding (my paraochial understanding) of a successful, valuable life is. It may not require me to make my Grandparents proud. Maybe seeing and loving like Jesus requires me to meet people where they are at... or just running to them like the father did to the prodigal son ("he saw him while he was still far off and he ran to him"). It is radical that a distinguished father or just a grown man in that time would run to his son. His pride had to be stabbed to death and then removed off of him. My pride needs to be stabbed to death as the cancer that it most certainly is, inside of this soul. Maybe loving like Jesus will have nothing to do with global decisions and the UN or USA... maybe all these passions for other peoples are just here to increase my sight to be that of Jesus', in turn allowing liberation for me to then love different types of people as he would, in smaller more relational ways than the UN ever could. I think, maybe Jesus would love the people the UN couldn't touch, or has never protected from the start. Maybe seeing like Jesus did, involves idealism, and a new found HOPE and FAITH in Jesus Christ AND his church, when I have been so close to giving up on his people (as a church, globally speaking). Maybe this faith involves seeing his church (or people) the way Jesus did. Maybe that involves seeing those people as ONE body, that the CHURCH of this WORLD would be our world police or UN or justice force. That, when any other identity in this world would be in need, the church would be the one to work when the state's hands are tied (not the other way around).

and I think maybe -seeing like Jesus did- means trusting him to do his work his way. Instead of turning the stones into bread, or coming as Israel's king, he came as a LOWLY man, who loved women and lepors and sojourners alike with those pharisees who were seeking and others of the community.

Today, maybe seeing more like Jesus and loving more like him involves caring about my fellow employees and bosses: REALLY, and about the people in my life. Maybe it involves sacrificing my time and money and energy on the people here and now in my life. But I think TODAY, it necessitates GETTING AWAY IN A QUIET PLACE AND CRYING OUT TO MY FATHER, in all honesty, asking that this cup would pass. Jesus did that every once in a while. I think that is what this means right now, today and tomorrow.

I just thought I should share that.

Oh God! That you might be made known to your people, that I could TASTE and SEE you GOD (1 John 4:10...). That you would increase me, to be a blessing to others. That I would be a vessel for your use to declare your love. Give me opportunities to SPEAK and SING of my experiences and of your love. Yearning, I ask for more of you in these places represented by the eyes of those reading.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


there were lots of mistakes on that post... but i'm on an old school computer, so I cannot fix them. The end though... should definitely say 'by' Jesus, not 'but' Jesus. fyi. also, I think there is an ever when there should be 'every'. I don't know... just let there be forgiveness there.

"I love you".

This week- wow, what a week. I really cannot talk about people or events this week. This week the only relationship I can talk about is the Lord. Ever situation and circumstance of the week has derived from his work through others into me. God has given a community and individuals here in Marion and Upland a vested interest in my life. That is a big statement, and it makes no sense. The main reason is because I don't really open up to any of them. I am very careful in regards to who I relate to and how much I relate, but God has really just given me friends who love me before I ever give them any reason to. Its kind of unbelievable.
This week God has really revealed spiritual warfare to me. He has revealed my false sense of humility in my life. This humility is incredibly unhealthy and is involved in probably every decision I make. I realize there are ways that this humilty is being used to mute the gifts the Lord has given me (specifically musically). So, there are more tangible things to understand in that issue, but we will all see/hear about that played out more this summer.
I'm learning to trust God now. I mean, could you imagine if the disciples didn't drop everything and follow Jesus because they didn't trust God? Why did they trust him? I think maybe it was just a sense in his immutability that was stunning to them. How does that immutability touch us though? Those of us that were not on the earth with him? Through others? Well, what happens when others DO change? When they leave? Does that just add value to God not changing? I don't know. I just know that the disciples trusted Jesus, and so I want to also. However, wanting to trust God and trusting God are two very different things. VERY different.
Today a guy walked up to me in Paynes and said he was going to some poverty event in Chicago. He came up to me because I was reading 'Jesus for President' and he had read it. His name was John. I was stoked. I wish I could go to this event also. Anyway, he reminded me so much of my friend Brock, and reminded me how much I missed Brock that I called him. We talked for a while. I hate that I lived around Brock for so long, but we were not friends. However, we never could have been or should have been during that season of my life (just speaking on behalf of myself here). But when we hung up, I was thinking about the body of Christ, and about his Kingdom. I thanked God in my soul for giving me a friend like Brock, who I can trust. A guy that has proven himself genuine in this friendship. I told Brock that I loved him. He said that he loved me too. It was great. I think, God's kingdom came in a small way today.

...but perhaps God never wanted his kingdom to come in a big way. Maybe if he did, he would have turned the stone into bread, or been a king to Israel. Instead, he did it his way- by entrusting his son to begin bringing it. Begin you ask? Crap, that means we might be responsible to continue bringing it huh?

as Mr. Claiborne would say, "More on that later".

I miss my friends deeply. I'm working about 50 hours this week at the CB. I'm gonna slow it down next week, but know that I am aware that I have been a horrible friend to some of you, and I recognize that. This week should lighten up a bit. Please know, you are loved so deeeply, but Jesus... who would never be like this to you. Love him for that.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sugar Lows and High Fives

So, filling everyone in. I feel like this week was less doing and more reflecting. It was good though. I worked a lot. Overtime and the Barrel of Cracks and then spent a lot of time figuring out loan document stuff. But it was a good week. I biked right around 35-40 miles yesterday. I biked over to Taylor and then said hello to Mr. Bobbie Lay (am I allowed to say that? I'm just used to hearing Dave Voss say that in Inductive so much, but I'm no christian ed. major...). We chatted it up and then I went on a bike ride to visit this crazy cemetery where there were graves from the civil war. While walking around the grounds of the cemetery, the person I was biking with said they would like to just have initials on his gravestone. That's it. So, we will just refer to him as 'G.A.' from this point on. Anyway, we biked to Paynes from there where I treated myself to a peach smoothie (love 'em). God has just blessed me with the most incredible relationships this summer. Between 'G.A.' and K.E. (Kristin Eckout) and a few from God's House, I am overwhelmed by the... "sincerity" of these friendships. And for that, I am incredibly thankful.
Well, that was essentially my only day off so far (tomorrow is my only day off again until next week) so I thought I would share that. Oh, there have also been tons of storms coming in, and funny enough, most of them come while I am at work. So while a tornado flies by 3 miles away on 18, I'm asking if you want white gravy on your Country Fried Steak. Hey, look- somebody has to hold the fort down. Here, I AM(said with a certain... 2nd North attitude).
To finish off the post, I'm leaving right now to go get instructions concerning the sewing of my first skirt. I bought the material yesterday night, which was WITHIN my budget I'll have you know (I have a SMALL spending budget this summer). Anyway... here I go!

AHH, ok I forgot to explain the title. So clearly I mentioned biking a LOT yesterday. Well, I am used to making a point of eating when I run a far distance... because I've trained a lot. But not biking! So, in the rush of yesterday... I guess I just didn't eat enough. So today at work, I was freaking out. My mind wasn't working correctly. I asked my first table if they wanted 'cheese on their bacon'. WHAT?! Needless to say, I was told that my blood sugar was probably low? I drank some OJ and was golden (well, not really... I came home and slept for a long time too).

and High Fives? I suggested that the worship band high five after every song we do on stage on sundays. In my head, picturing it... was funny.

Ok, you are loved friends. Love others well, or at least aspire to.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

...Tearin' it up at the CB

SO, I realized with my post yesterday that I didn't really fill you in on my life like I said I would do weekly (like I am trying to do weekly). So, allow me to try that again...

Some of you knew that I was considering other work this summer, but I am indeed (and have) returned to the Cracker Barrel in Marion. I work 40 hours there, and work 20 hours on the side for CEO Focus on the internet. I am also helping out at God's House regaurding their worship ministry. Well, I now have been biking to work (11 miles one way) and unfortunately it has seemed to be rather rainy every time I've made the trip. But no worries, today on my way back after a long day of work the rain lightened up after about 10 minutes and it was a great ride back. I've also been biking anywhere else I can get to in order to conserve resources (that is right, with my 20 dollar race bike from the 1990s). It has been really great. I also finished reading Kite Runner and am moving onto Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne. I'd like to hear him speak on the 23rd in Indi, but I want to finish his book first. SO, a lot of reading to go!
Well, I don't want to bore you with random facts about my week, so a short story.
Ok, so Sunday I went to church, had a picnic with some friends and then spent the afternoon outside attempting to play frisbee. At 5:00 I went to work. Well again, I am a waitress at CB. There is another waitress there named 'Cheryl'. She is about 50+ years old, a heavier set woman, beautiful greying hair (really, she's beautiful). She's kinda a 'ma-ma' type lady... if you know the type. She's very sweet. Well, I'm in the kitchen getting a tray ready to take to a table, and she comes into the kitchen B-E-A-M-I-N-G. She looks at me with a look of utter championship on her face and states, "I got their appetizer out in 60 seconds FLAT... that's right, I'M THE SHIT".

Ok. Can we stop for a minute? Picture this in your head. Picture this sweet older woman, coming into the kitchen and yelling that SOOOO excitedly.

Well, needless to say, that has already been the suggested summer slogan for the Gas City CB. I thought that was hysterical.

I have also made a decision about some goals I have for the summer. One, to learn how to cook (and then to cook resourcefully). My 'house dad' (the dad of the home I'm staying in) is a very resourceful cook. He knows how to cook well, and knows how to use left overs in a meal for the next night. It is really cool. Secondly, I spent 3 dollars today on an investment. What type of investment you might ask? A pattern for sewing skirts. After much thought and contemplation as to what the real reasoning is, I have decided to learn how to sew. Here are some reasons:
1. It's a skill that is useful in any community I'm in
2. I think it would be sweet to make my own clothes
3. I want to reuse the fabric I already have in T-shirts and other clothes instead of throwing them out when they get old
4. I am getting so sick of researching clothing companies that I spend my money on, and finding out that they are connected with child sweat shops in other countries... or other ethically frustrating situations. So, I will buy clothes occasionally when I need to and when I do, it will be with a company I trust.

Wow. Ok, that is a lot. Those are my thoughts.
Cheers; to J-Samp tearin' it up... and then sewing it back together. ;)
Wow. Really... Wow.

Monday, June 2, 2008


I was thinking about the book, "Technopoly" that Dr. Cramer assigned us to read for COS104. We discussed the definition of technology and whether it was necessary or beneficial for us beyond our desires for instant gratification. I was thinking about that, but not really. What I was really thinking about was 'shortcuts'. Technology really is just a short cut isn't it? It just speeds up relationships. Sure it allows for business and communication that couldn't happen otherwise, but it is in a major way, nothing more than a short cut.
Of course I have relationships that are dependent upon technology: without a highway or roads it would take me considerably longer to get home to Chicago (well, unless I flew... exactly). I don't usually want my relationships built via internet or phone, but I understand that some seasons they just are, and I can make adjustments for that. Writting letters is another way to keep in touch, but it is still technology. So, perhaps it can be used in a way that is not merely instant gratification, because in our day and age snail mail isn't instant anymore anyway! So it isn't just 'instant gratification' or for the sake of it, but it is also still a sort of short cut isn't it?
Then I was thinking about shortcuts (relationally speaking). Are they ok? Is it ok to build a relationship or friendship via facebook or e-mails? Is it necessary? Are short cuts defined, or does it depend upon each relationship and circumstance? Are shortcuts expected now a days? I feel like I am constantly feeling the pressure of shortcuts. I feel like people just want to get to know me as fast as they can to determine what place I can fit in their lives. If I cannot fit a place, they want to know as soon as possible and get out without wasting time, energy, money, or other things of value to them (perhaps vulnerability?).

I don't know what I think about all these things, but I know who they make me think about. They make me think about Jesus. I don't think it would have necessarily made a whole lot of sense for the writters of the gospel to include stories when Jesus just listened, because they didn't see that as his teaching, but I think it had to be. Jesus knew everyone on this earth before meeting them physically, and he still spent time with them, spent time 'getting to know them better'. He didn't declare their poor motives each time they had them. He listened to them, and was patient with them. He loved them, and he knew what was best for them. I may not know what is best for my friends, but I think I can aspire to listen, have patience, love them, and embark upon this life with those around me for this portion of it.

These are some thoughts I have had since aquiring some new friendships this summer. Friendships at God's House, friendships with some playas in Upland, friendships with my Grandparents, and continued friendships (or failed attempts of them) after sophomore year at TU. All I know, is that God is throwing some incredible people into my life. People I am honored to know, and aspire to build lasting friendships with as time progresses. I don't know that anyone reads this other than Whitney (just because she posted), but if you do, you are probably in these categories. Thanks, so much.

You are Loved.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Portugal, Spain, and the Pope. Oh Treaty of Tordesillas!

I repent, I repent, of trading truth, for false unity.    -Derek Webb

I was thinking about how Christians have constantly made compromises for the sake of the organization continuing. The pope making two Christian countries sign treaties so they would not fight over the land they intended to acquire. I think also about the tolerance churches and denominations have made room for in their pews for the sake of unity and continuity. The problem I have with this is a misunderstanding of exactly what tolerance is. We consider it tolerance when two peoples come together in our country and get along by ignoring their differences or points of conflict. What are you tolerating then? Tolerance is when you both clearly address points of conflict or disagreement, but still continue to work together ACKNOWLEDGING those diversities; not destroying them or melding them into one view. That being said, for people to continue to make the point that 'all religions lead to the same place' is not really tolerance at all. It is one of two things as far as I can gather: either ignorance, or another religion! Nothing is being tolerated. There is nothing you can strongly disagree with and yet tolerate in that statement. I have no real idea as to why I was thinking about this, but I was. I need to start thinking more about the purpose and usefulness of tolerance. Then I will better understand when it can be used properly because there are time when tolerance is not beneficial. 
Well, anyway... one week in Marion is done! I cannot believe I've been here for a week. Church was encouraging yesterday. I am challenged to embrace the dissonance in my life and learn amidst it. I had an amazing dinner with Kristin and Grant Friday night (two students who are taking Greek at Taylor this summer). I think (and hope) that an intentional community is being made between the three of us. Perhaps, that community will enlarge this summer, or while I'm gone in the fall. Nonetheless I am so grateful to learn about the love that is entirely Christ's from them that night. How Christ's love is always direct and intentional because he abides in us. 1 John 4:10-... good stuff. I went to my grandparents house this weekend and spent time with my family and with Genna! She came up with them. Jack is so great, and it really hurts to not be around him much. He's 15 months old this week. My grandparents are full of insights and make me think... and if you know me, you know that I love that. 
     Well, I'm back at the house, and am cleaning up a bit before the Marion Family returns from their weekend vacation. I am going to go for a run, go chill at pastor's house, and aspire to almost finish Kite Runner tonight. It is exciting to read the arabic in it and recognize some of the phrases (like 'tubla' or 'inshallah')! I am reading a book about Africa and it's political, historical, social, and economical problems showing both sides of each debated issue. That should be good. 
       So what do you think? How do we stop China from providing arms and money to the Kharatorum government in Sudan and hurting Darfur? Do we refuse to provide aid for the earthquake? Is that fair? To hold back relief for them for political reasons? Well, divesting isn't being done in a big enough way to change their influence in Sudan yet, and even that will first affect the people of China- the same people we'd be holding relief from. Either way, it seems like anything we do would first affect the people of China instead of the government. I don't know... any thoughts? Will the Political statements made at the Olympics be enough? I fear that they will not do anything. These are some of my thoughts for the day...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My bike is... IN MARION!

Exciting news everyone! My father and I stepped outside Friday morning, onto our driveway and were conversing. What were we conversing you may ask? Well, we were conversing about the garage sales and the potential to find a bike. As we stepped outside, I realized that I needed to get my tires rotated, change the oil in my car, wash it, vacuum it and get an emissions test that day. I didn't really have a lot of time to chill in my neighborhood looking for bikes! Well, as we stepped outside, we both naturally glanced to the neighbor's houses. Suddenly...


Either the sun's light descended upon the frame of the race bike in their garage, or I entirely made that up, but emotionally my heart fluttered as if I'd seen the sun shinning on it. Our neighbor was having a garage sale and selling his race bike! Now, the bike is 15 years old, but in perfect condition, and it was custom built for him (250lbs and 6ft tall)... so it should fit me PERFECT, right? Well, we took the extension out of the seat, had the tires fixed up, and it was as good as new! A race bike that cost me... 20.00! 

So here I am, sitting in the Union at Taylor University, writing about my race bike, and thinking that God really answered the prayer in the previous post! I don't have internet a lot, so I will probably spend most of my time just updating on this blog... not necessarily checking facebook as much, but I'll get there! Post on here if you'd like! I'm taking one week off and just reading and getting settled in my house. The family I'm living with is wonderful. I really enjoy talking with them and getting to know them better! Anyway, family is coming in this weekend, and worship band practice went down last night. It was all great. I road my bike over to someone's house today and we just chatted! It was really fun. The Lord is stretching me right now. Seriously, I could use a lot of prayer. Maybe, if you are reading this, could you just stop a moment and pray for my relationship with Jesus? I cannot tell you how much I would appreciate it.

You are Loved. 

Oh, also: I would really enjoy keeping in touch with some people via snail mail! If you have any desire for that, e-mail me and let me know what your address is!


Friday, May 16, 2008

Home is... where my bike is.

I've  decided to try and blog a bit through my summer. This is in attempts to carry the interest of my friends, family, and maybe even a prof or two (shout out to Dr. C.. and Dr. L). This is also due to my desire to do better keeping people informed in how my life is going. Especially next semester. Anyway, here I am, home for a day. I am going to my cousin's wedding tomorrow and then I will be back in Marion on Monday.
      I'm moving in with a family from my church. I am terribly excited about it. I am attempting to purchase a street bike for cheap this weekend, in order to bike to work (about 10 miles) and anywhere else I go this summer. This way I can save gas money. The family is wonderful (as far as I can tell in the 30 minutes I've spent with them). That is at least a good sign right?! I am also very excited to tell you all that they do not have television. They have A television, but no cable: it is only useful for watching DVDs. I am so excited to not have to fight a TV while I am reading all summer (I really only had to do that when my brother was home though).
     Anyway, I will be working at Cracker Barrel, as well as working on a side job online, and at the church. I attend God's House. It is not the type of church I would typically desire initially (regarding liturgy and a whole list of other things), but they are an inner city church that loves people who live in inner city Marion, and they do it well. I am honored to be a part of this church. 
     I love my family so much, and I will miss baby Jack (my dad and stepmom's son) so much, and my parents. But I need to get out of the suburban lifestyle. I am sick of watching wealthy people drown themselves in television and shopping because they have a break in shifts at work. Mostly, I am sick of wanting those things also. They are temptation to me and I don't want them. I spent last summer fighting those things, but I just don't think it is worth the fight anymore: I just don't want to be around these temptations. 
      Well, hopefully next time I post will be at Paynes again, after biking to work and jumping over to paynes to do some internet work. Lord, you heard that prayer. :)

You are Loved.