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.