Aug 1, 2003

Thinking about Katie Gail tonight. I'm sad she won't be there when we all go back to Flagler. We'll miss you, Katie!!!

Thinking about Adam and how we were friends once. Haven't spoken to him in.... in two or three years. Wow.

Thinking about how some friendships are permanent, while others are so brief. I'm thankful for the brief ones, but sometimes I wish they could have lasted longer. Some of the briefest friendships I've had have also been some of the most meaningful. People's lives take different paths, though, and you can't live in the past. Nor can you force two roads to intersect a second time. Most roads only intersect once.

Thinking about where my life will take me in the future. I have no idea. I've been thinking on this one for a few days now. Who, When, Where.... mostly just who. I'm too curious for my own good at times! But God and I have been conversing about this topic this week, and I know I have to leave it up to His timing. Rushing usually equals ruining.

Friendship. How intriguing.

Jul 31, 2003

It's so awesome how God puts people together with such obvious intention. I was reading a post at Sisters' Weblog by Katie, which was completely inspiring. She and Susan have an incredible story of how God put them together and continually uses each of them in the other's life. It always seems that if you have someone in your life who you feel blessed by, they often feel the same about you. It's cool that God makes it work that way.

Jul 30, 2003

I keep posting and then I keep remembering things I meant to post about. Today at work a Deaf lady came through my line. There were two hearing people with her, so I was under no obligation to communicate directly with her, but I somehow felt personally obligated since I am capable. Well, "capable" is relative. My real-life communication skills in ASL are quite limited, which one only realizes when confronted with certain situations. Anyway, she was the paying person of the group, so I felt if I did not communicate with her as much as my average customer I was in some way discriminating against her, since, once again, I am somewhat capable of communicating with her. As I rang up her merchandise, I debated in my head what I should do: say something (sign) at the risk of messing it up horribly, or stay "quiet" as if I knew no sign at all. Above all, I refused to communicate "second-hand" with her by telling the hearing woman whatever I wanted to say to her. In the end, I decided it was best not to try to say more than I knew I was able to, so I simply asked her for her signature on the receipt and told her thank you as she left. She seemed thrilled that I said thank you, so that was a bit comforting. I still feel like it was a cop-out, though... like I should have said more. But I guess if I knew some French, I wouldn't be obligated to have a conversation with a French-speaking person; I would only be required to do what was necessary for my job. In my situation, that's what I did, as best as I was able. I mean, I really have no clue how to ask her if she "would be interested in saving 10% by opening an Old Navy acount," so I didn't bother trying that one. (I might be able to get all the words out, but I'm pretty sure it would "lose something in the translation"!) Anyway, that was my eventful moment of the day.
I'm lifting a phrase from another sight because I liked it. It described doing God's will simply as proceeding in righteousness. I like that. [find it here under the comments section.]

Jul 29, 2003

How do you like the new font? I thought it was time for a change. I refuse to put a "normal" font on my blog because it reminds me of school books, and I see plenty of those as it is! Besides, this one makes me feel like I've really "written" something rather than just typing it! So, do we keep the new one, or return to the tried-and-true?
I was driving home from work today, and I turned off the music to spend some time in prayer and thought. It was beautiful. After praying for a bit, I began thinking about why it's always "something huge" that's going on in people's lives. I mean, why does it seem that there are never little problems, only life-altering ones? I concluded that it is because we are far too prone to think we are self-sufficient. At least, I am. If we faced "little" problems, we would think we were perfectly capable of taking care of them ourselves, at which point we basically no longer "need" God. God allows "huge" things to happen so we will KNOW we are incapable of handling them, and that we MUST rely on Him. The problems are huge to reveal the hugeness of our God. That excites me because it makes me all-the-more confident that the outcome of tough situations will be incredible. God doesn't typically pass up an opportunity to reveal His power in the lives of His children. Think about that the next time "something huge" comes your way!
Linsay over at Wanderer:Worshipper:Lover of Leaving said the following in a post of his, and it really describes how I've felt lately:

Perhaps I will always hold my theological understanding and Christian worldview loosely, in open hands … recognizing that my mortal understanding will never remotely grasp the truths of God.

I am comfortable with ambiguity … I no longer feel a need to have an opinion on absolutely everything … I no longer feel a need to have an answer for every single question.

But, despite all of this, I recognize that deconstruction is not the end goal. I am not satisfied to just continue tearing apart aspects of my faith and analyzing them. There comes a time when I must reconstruct a faith/theology/spiritual understanding which is more pure, raw, and vigorous than that which I have been deconstructing. This is what I find most difficult at this point … it has become easy to criticize the church and challenge my former way of thinking … but it has become more difficult to develop a new and healthier faith.
I had this revelation today about life in general, which when I say what it was, everyone will be like "well, duh!" I realized that you CANNOT live off of minimum wage. Obviously, I've sort of realized this for a long time now, but today I was figuring up (again) how much an apartment will cost, and for the heck of it, I tried to figure out if I could afford to live totally on my own (not that I want to). I realized that even if you make like $8 an hour, you'd be lucky to pay rent on the cheapest of places, and you can forget about eating!!! No wonder people are on welfare!!! All I have to say is that if I wind up getting a teaching job after I graduate, I'd better get married quick so there'll be two incomes cause I sure can't live off one! How sad that we HAVE to work jobs for money and not just because it's something we want to do. How unfulfilling. I could really go off on that. I mean, there's like a million things I would LOVE to do in life, but they cost money initially, and then if you get really good at whatever you do and get a job in that area, the fun jobs don't pay squat. Like musicians, artists, teachers. And don't get me started about how rediculous it is that teachers don't get paid well. SERIOUSLY... without teachers, there wouldn't be doctors, lawyers, movie stars. Teachers practically raise children for half of their waking hours of their first 18 years, on top of teaching them academics and how to be functioning members of society. It's just rediculous. Anyway, I'm a little depressed right now about how dependent we are on money.

-Danny preaching Wednesday... he's gonna do something totally unexpected he says
-day trip on Thursday
-THE EDGE on Saturday!!!!! Yay! A whole bunch of us are going. Well, at least my car load, and possibly a few more.
-the "all-church orchestra concert" Sunday... looking forward to? Well, yeah, I guess I am. I haven't played in over a year.

Jul 27, 2003

Dad's not thrilled with the fact that I have decided to move out. He has such a strange view of the world. He told my mom (who tells me everything) that when people get apartments that's when they start "partying" and all that stuff. My mother, being the logical one, reminded him who he was talking about (me) and wanted to know if he really thought that's how I'm gonna be. Besides the fact that I've already lived away from home for a year. Somehow he thinks it's easier to "get into trouble" in an apartment than in a dorm. I "reassured" my mom that I've had plenty of opportunity to get into trouble already, and that it doesn't take an apartment to become a party-er. But she knows I've not done anything that they would disapprove of, nor do I plan to when I get an apartment. My mom's pretty cool... she's always supported pretty much anything I've wanted to do. Not so much in a verbal sense, but she's just never really stopped me from doing what I want. But then again, I've always been pretty practical, so there's been no reason to stop me. I don't know the value of this post, but here you go.
I was thinking tonight during the evening service at church how silly it is for me to strive for the things I think I want becase I'm usually miserable when I do that. Relief only comes when I give total control over to God and His will. Earlier in the year I remember I was miserable for a while because I was seeking my will over God's. Rather than just relaxing and letting things happen the way God intended, I spent endless hours wondering and worrying about what the outcome would be. Actually, this applies to a lot of situations I've been in! Anyway, I'm not saying that we don't have a responsibility to do certain things in order for us to take the path God has chosen for us; I'm just saying that we should relax a little and just let things fall into place, because if God has planned for something to happen, then it will. Our worrying will not change a thing. "Who of you, by worrying, can add one inch to his stature?" And like Wes says, we like to call it "concern" rather than worry, as if we're less guilty if we don't call it what it is. Sit back, relax, and obey and everything will be fine.

(I just spilled my sweet tea and came about an inch away from completely drenching my laptop.)

Today I had to explain to some friends (again) that I really don't plan on coming back next summer. That's tough. These are people that I really care about so it's tough telling them that Christmas will be the last time they'll see me for any length of time. Then, I was thinking about what a tough decision it really is to move away permanently. The decision itself isn't hard at all because that's what I really want to do, but what I will miss most is my church. It's weird because I love my church here and I love my church in St. Augustine, but both for completely different reasons. I love Westside for the preaching and the choir and the people I've always known. I love Anastasia for the awesome worship, the fresh approach, and the growing college ministry. The two are so totally different it's unbelievable. Yet I miss each of them when I'm away. It's killing me right now not to be able to go to Anastasia's awesome worship service every week. Yet when I'm there, it kills me that I'm not at Westside singing in the awesome choir. Hmmm. What to do. Sit back, relax, and obey? I suppose that sounds like a plan.

"The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example."
-from my fortune cookie today!