I made it to 32 days but I’ve given up. It’s un fortunate on two accounts: that I can’t do it and because it’s ’round the clock study time, I need the caffeine. If it’s any consolation to myself, I started Lent accidentally a week early because my calendar didn’t say when it was and then at church when he said something about Shrove Tuesday coming up the next week, I had already been fasting… so since Easter is next week, I really don’t feel that guilty. Sorry for letting you down.
A past dear and close friend of mine was deployed out to Afghanistan in the recent week and I was reading the news to see that a 22 year old Canadian soldier was killed today. Needless to say my heart stopped, though it wasn’t my friend, but I was reminded of him…and others just like him fighting in this very real world. I am hoping that you all could keep him in your prayers. It’s been a few months since I have talked to him, and many more months of inconsistencies, but it’s the same God looking after all of us, regardless of experiences, and I would appreciate it if you kept Grant in your prayers. I don’t know the details of his ventures, but I do know he is there now. It’ll be like leading our own warfare at home… to keep him, and others, safe. Thanks!
As pertaining to my last post, God’s been proving himself fairly regularly:
Friday night I went to rent movies for myself after dropping my roommate off at the airport. It was apprx. 7:45 pm that I got home from the excursion. I talked to Mark and Jes on the phone, roasted some vegetables, and settled into my little evening — not leaving the house the rest of the night. The next morning, Saturday, I woke up at a reasonable hour, did laundry, cleaned house, did some reading, watched some Discovery channel, and chilled out. At 1:15 I decided to quit being domesticated and go for a work out. I was going to treat myself and buy a Booster Juice on the way home, so I thought “I should make sure I have my sticker card in my wallet.” I went to check my wallet and the wallet was not in my purse. So naturally I figured I left it in the car, so I started walking outside over to the car, not too stressed. From our pathway I noticed something kinda of half near my car – half in the middle of the road… my WALLET. So I scream-ran over to it and lo and behold, nothing was taken from it. My cards, cash, license, important phone numbers, everything remained intact. I could not believe it. I don’t necessarily live in a sketchy neighbourhood, but I wouldn’t say it is the safest by Victoria standards…definitely if a wallet is strewn across the road, one of my lovely neighbours should’ve surely went and got the goods. But NO! Wow hey? I’ve been watching my visa account on the hour, just to be sure, but the only thing I am miffed about is that it poured rain, so my whole wallet/stuff is sopping wet. Can you believe it? AMAZING.
And to be thankful, I decided to pass on the Booster Juice [because I didn’t really need to spend $6 there] and still had a stellar work out.
Here is everything as it dries, courtesy of my camera phone — excuse the lame-os-ity once more:
The only reason I have stuff to write so consistently is because it’s the busiest time of the year and greatest need for procrastination…go figure.
I am also starting to desire a digital camera… my blog is very, very lame already, it doesn’t need the added lame-os-ity of not having any pictures unless my mom sends me ones to scan. Please don’t hold it against me.
As for roundin’ a corner, I want to encourage you today, my faithful and tenacious readers, to be patient. Fun hey? But I am serious.
See, lately I do just what I coin ‘enough’… especially when it comes to relationships…specifically, my relationship with those closest to me; my relationship with God. I am convinced that God is not a God of ultimatums… but I do them anyway. Convinced that if I read my devo, pray a bit, read some in the Bible, and try to be “good” all day, that I am in His favour. Don’t mock me, it’s the truth.
Monday morning though, to spare you the gruesome details, God made me very aware that this is not enough. See, I have the tendancy to rage-silently at my desires not being fulfilled. It’s safe to say that I wonder quite often at why God has placedthose desires and yearnings in my heart if He doesn’t intend to fill them! Please note my `audacity of feelings` entry (I think?). ANYWAYS. I have been learning a lot lately about grace and peace and how they are free for me, at that cost of His: His life. Please note Good Friday. But I torture myself thinking the reason my pesudo-needs have not been met is because I am not good enough at loving Him. Like Jesus is angry at me. ANYWAYS. I am roundin’ a corner from that… because in my naivety, I sometimes forget that I am fairly new at this legitimate Christianity side of my life… so it’s okay to be humbled by honestly not being aware.
But that doesn’t legitimize the fact that I’ve been neglectful. SO. On Monday morning I couldn’t deal anymore, and I decided I was surrendering it all… for real… the struggles I have with focusing on God when I am supposed to be, the emotional burdens I have of carrying other people’s burdens they share with me — which is awesome, don’t stop, I just internalize too much, school work, prioritizing properly, physical issues, desiring good and true friends, being lonely and my dreams, everything… and making a conscious effort not to touch Jesus but absorb Him, which isn’t easy for a control-freak like me.
So naturally, after this surrender I thought I would be devoid of everything bad…for even a split second…like a “fresh slate” only because Jesus is carrying it all beside me so I don’t have to. HOWEVER. Within about 20 minutes of my new-understanding, I found out that my appeal did NOT go through and I OWE UVic 300$ for a course I never planned to take (it’s a long story). So I realized, in the moment, that I was still ultimat-um-ing with God! Thinking that if I can, in an instant, be awakened to His desiring of me, than He should instantly fix my whole world. Apparently it doesn’t work like that.
I think once we dwell on the things that seem to eradicate our good feelings and good humour, those things eradicate our good sense. So while I know Jesus has a plan for why I owe the school money for something I didn’t do (maybe there is a lesson in there?) I don’t really know that I can’t expect immediate results. It also clouds the blessings He does send our way.
So needless to say, I surrendered this little dilemma to Him as well, deciding “You want it all? Fine! Take it all!” I don`t know how I am going to pay it, but I am not too concerned about it. I am REALLY not.
Wanna know the coolest part? God rewarded this corner roundage… because Wednesday night, Jocelyn took me out to thisa magnificent coffee shop… and we proceeded to have the best conversation I think we`ve had in the entire entirety of our best friend stint. I would not exaggerate this at all… and as some of you know, she`s so deeply part of my history and heart that it aches sometimes, constantly wondering if God wants me to let go of HER too (I mean, following Jesus is hard!) or when we`re ever going to be at the same place in life or grow up and recognize what we have in eachother or if she cares as much as I do… but in the quietness of the evening, and the gentle persistence of a God I am learning to depend on fully… He handed me something I thought I had already had in Joce: someone who convinces me that I am cared for, capable of things I am not always sure of, and that I can trust with all the workings of my heart. This is HUGE. HUGE! Joce is not a Christian…and I apologize profusely if she reads this and is embarrassed… but something seemed opened up in her that night… and I, for possibly the second time in my life, felt a feeling of two souls meeting in a forever moment. I don`t think this grin has left since she dropped me off and said “Wow, that was an awesome night…I missed us.”
SO. I think maybe I am just documenting this to encourage MYSELF. But I think God`s blessings on our lives require eyes to see them and patience to wait for them. Because I don`t think they are always abrupt… nor in the order we would like them to happen!
Be patient friends, and maybe I can learn how to be from you. Or together, we can figure this thing out.
To say the person I learn the most about, all the time, is myself…that would be an understatement. When I was in elementary school, I learned that to get straight As wasn’t enough, they had to be A+s; I learned that I was quite bossy. I also learned that I had a mouth that had to be curbed and that I always thought I was right and that sharing a bedroom wasn’t something I was excited about. I also learned that I was very intelligent and to be intelligent, meant listening to my parents and being kind to my siblings and not talking behind girls’ backs. I learned that I feared sleeping facing the door, I love stewed plums, that I wanted to be a teacher, and that I like to be left alone to my ventures. Needless to say, I learned a lot about myself.
In middle school I learned that I assumed nice girls finished first, not last. I learned that I like to have people around me, all the time, and I learned that I loved weekend hockey tournaments, not for the sport but for the cute boys that I was befriending at school. I learned I coveted the attention my best friend got. I learned that I need to work hard to make friends and even harder to maintain the existing ones. I learned that I wasn’t “feeling God” and I was okay with that. I learned that a little white lie could either help me out or get me in real big trouble. I learned that I love swimming in creeks, extra-buttery microwaveable popcorn, watching chick flicks, talking on the phone, and imitating girls [that I never would be like or wanted to, but I pretended]. I learned I enjoyed making my parents angry-ish. I learned that I was very insecure and in in turn, I learned that I know how to pretend I am confident [and do a good job of it].
Hitting high school, I learned that not only was I intimidated by people but that, if I wanted to, I could be intimidating. I learned that I was a hypocrite in many senses, especially as a Christian…so I stopped lying and stopped saying I was one. I believed in God, but I didn’t desire Him. I learned that I masked my fear of my imperfections by acting as though I had everything together. I learned that in a stressful situation, I maintain my cool. I learned that I am very organized and that I can hold down two jobs, grade 12, and grad council, and still have time for my vast social life. I learned that I have to study hard to attain the grades I want and that my priorities started with friends and ended with me… I learned that I don’t like thinking about my life much, it made me think about me. I learned that my mechanism for making friends was by being kind to everyone, and not letting too many people into my heart. I learned that I was a liar when it came to justifications for why I didn’t do things (date, drink, skip school): instead of being honest, I would come up with these very liberal reasons — trying to be original in a world where everyone was doing the same thing. I learned that I can play a mean first base in fastball and that my best friend and I made a good team. I learned my parents tried to humour me the best they could. I learned that I cannot stand un-real people, yet I was pretty un-real myself. I learned I like lattés with no sugar in them, my steak medium rare, my parents not to question me, my younger siblings to look up to me, my older siblings to be proud of me, and I reallllly like driving. I learned that I don’t flourish when I am stabilized, yet that I need stability in order to be me. I learned that no matter which way you spin it, I had nothing to complain about. Friends, family, money, activities, success, acceptance… those were the keys to the world…and as long as those were aligned, then confident-poised-intelligent I was too. I also learned that I cannot lie to save a life. I learned I was capable of doing anything if it meant fitting in… or more importantly, being the one everyone liked.
Now, coming up on the eve of the end of my fourth year at college, I’ve learned that I wear every emotion on my face. I’ve learned I no longer run from God, but as of Nov. 4, 2004, I attempt to run to Him. I learn I don’t argue with people if I know they are “always right”. I’ve learned that I struggle relentlessly with being good enough. I’ve learned that I am still slow to trust, quick to doubt, childish in my dreams, and old in my ways. I’ve learned that I am no longer bossy, I still struggle with intelligence, that I can get very stressed, and that I strive to be real. I’ve learned how to better take care of myself but I’ve also learned how to ask for help. I’ve learned that I can’t be a hero all the time, but I will never give up trying. I’ve learned that my head is noisy, loving is a choice, my heart is quiet, and relationships take work. I’ve learned that letting go is the best thing and hanging on can be scary. I’ve learned I am spunky, good at holding a conversation, and intensely serious when given the opportunity…or alone. I’ve learned that my future keeps me up at night because if I won’t get into education, I won’t know what I am supposed to do with my life. I’ve learned that I have to invest in my girl friends because guy friends don’t necessarily work. I’ve learned blond hair suits me better than anything, and that I like to be alone in the mornings. That I am very clean, easily distracted, impossible to not make smile, and irrational when someone I care about gets hurt. I’ve learned that I always hide behind my sense of humour, cringing every time I use it as a mask because it isn’t real. I’ve also learned I can’t talk about being a better person without trying to actually be.
I hope in the future I learn that I am a God-lover, a good wife and mother, content [as a person can be] on earth, and humble. I hope I can learn that I am valid in my feelings, not easily persuaded, and slow to anger. I am learning that I am pretty decent just the way I am… and that there’s always room for improvement, not an entire personality exchange. But I am working on those.
Yesterday I learned that I am wild at heart. Not in the book sense [I never read it] but in a way that I am mesmerized by this world, the people, the diversity, the suffering, the intelligence, the technology, the places… and though I don’t know if this is me yet, I hope that one day I can influence it in a positive, unalterable way. My heart still feels so young and immature and uneducated on what I am supposed to be focused on. I hope one day to learn that my zeal is harnessed and being used in a way that the wild streak is not selfish nor rooted in past or the dreams that haven’t come true yet… but rather wild and insane with love for Christ. I hope I learn that about myself tomorrow.
All in all, I see definite improvements.
So it’s day 17 since I gave up coffee and took up minding my own business. It’s been successful thus far. I believe I had three cups of coffee at Mark and Jes’ home (as per my contingency) and haven’t had a drop since or before. Not bad considering I am a feign. As for the take up resolve, it’s been pretty easy considering I’ve locked myself in my room for homework purposes and have been very selective on who I hang out with during this 40 day stint. Just kidding. I think next year I am going to give up chocolate almonds (apparently I love those) and I am going to take up not assuming things. I like to say it’s not my fault, but when I observe someone from afar or expect certain things to happen, it’s in my second nature to assume things, unintentionally often the worst things. But I will have to chew on that for awhile, I am actively trying to understand that even though my best friend is the most beautiful girl from my home town or that I don’t have a figure like Hilary Swank, that I am worth attention and love too right? So before I start formulating my next Lent resolution, I think I actively need to understand that I rock for my own reasons.
(I just realized that is the most un-connected paragraph ever…)
Now for my age. Lately I like to call things I do, that are out of the ordinary, coming of age moments. I truly believe that as I begin to make the merger from student to educated adult, that it’s ok to commemorate “older” things…and there is no reason I can’t start now. For example, last year I popped a tired on the way to Camrose and didn’t even call me dad in a panic. I bought a Real Simple magazine the other day, convincing myself that just because I am not a homeowner and married, I still like simple ideas for things and recipes. I drove from Penticton to Calgary, back from Smithers to Penticton, to Drumheller and Camrose from home, all by myself at certain points in recent years. I finally got my full license. I bring homemade French Crescent rolls to a “party” for a friend where they are too intoxicated to appreciate it. All of these, I consider, are coming of age moments. I tend to embrace these… and rarely do I feel anymore that I am “too young” for things, until the other night.
I went to my first Tupperware party. Ever. The lady was so passionate for her cause, explaining and literally caressing the Tupperware that she brought to the party to show off. So passionate that I spent the entire time telling myself to get psyched up over the product because that’s clearly what I shouldve been doing, along with the lady who was showing it. But I couldn’t. Iwanted so badly to buy something (very expensive) just to embrace yet anoter age milestone I’ve met, but I didn’t. Instead, I felt too young to be there for the most part! Not that the people there were old, mind you. Maybe it’s because I thought my own Mom should’ve been there. Maybe it’s because I didn’t realize that recycled sour cream containers aren’t good enough for leftovers. Maybe it’s because I went to a Mary Kay party the night before (they operate on the same principle: sell, sell, sell). But I really just kept kicking myself to grow up because I didn’t want to admit…yet…that Tupperware excites me.