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.