Monday, May 07, 2007

a million thoughts

There are a lot of things going on in my head right now. I'd like to be able to write a coherent post on each of them, but I can't seem to get all the thoughts to stop colliding long enough.

I graduated almost five months ago. I never have to go back to school again. Ever. Which slightly makes my head spin because now I really can get on with the real life I've dreamed about.

Which makes me wonder what real life is. I thought my life would look different when I was approaching 26 1/2. I'm a "grown up" now. Whatever that means. Maybe I should do grownup things. Take a trip to Home Depot or something. I thought I'd be married by 27. I thought I'd take myself way more seriously. I thought I'd be able to sit still without giggling or fidgeting.

Instead, I find myself doing a whole lot of having fun/nothing. I know some pretty amazing people around here. I'm pretty much always amazed at how great a community that God has put me in. I don't know what I'd do without these people. Whether it's all hanging out together or sitting on the porch talking to a few people, it's just good.

Even when it's not. Even when I'm upset by things people do. Even when I feel all alone and like I've got no one to talk to. Even when I feel all dark and twisty like Meredith Grey. I know that I have to get over myself and open up and that people around me love me anyway.

I feel like I talk about myself alot. I feel like I use the word "alot" alot. I don't like to bring attention to myself. Please don't misunderstand that. (ok, and I feel like I'm misunderstood all the time.) It's just that I'd rather focus on other people.

Which means that I actually like doign things like cooking for people or whatever. And I think that's scary to some people. It's too much somehow. I try to tone it down, really, I do. It scares people. (And by people, I mean boy people.) I'm not exactly super-ready to be all house-wifey or anything but isn't it supposed to be a good thing that I can handle domestic things?

I've started looking at buying a house. What an adventure that's starting to become... more on that another day. For now, let's just say that I'm excited. Even thought i have absolutely no clue as to where I'll be in 2 or 3 years.

All this makes me wonder just what God is up to in my life. I'm pretty confused right now. What on earth am I doing? I can go anywhere and do anything. Missions? Peace Corps? Rose Fellowship? Keep on working? Does it matter? Is working for a non-Christian group okay if I do humanitarian work?

Because right now, I can't have what I want. And I don't like not getting what I want.

I don't like being called overdramatic. I don't like feeling overdramatic. I want to be taken seriously. I want to be feminine.

I've been stuck in the boat lately. And every time I feel like stepping out of it, I feel myself getting pulled back in. For so long, I talked about jumping out of the boat and holding onto Christ's hand and just going. I'm getting tired of paddling. I want the faith to get out of the boat.

Friday, February 09, 2007

near... far...

(if you know what childhood show the title is from, you win.)

Who is your neighbor?

That's what has been asked lately, along with some insight on the good Samaritian story. Jeramie and Jeff have both had really good things to say. And there have been some cool discussions as a result.

Lately, I've been torn between being here in the States or being in sub-Saharan Africa.

Either way, I have a pretty rough idea of what God will have me doing. I'm not real worried about that. It's just a question of where.

[As a side note, I don't often like people to know that I went to NC State. It has nothing to do with sports. In fact, I don't want people to know that I have too much education. I'd much rather be seen as a godly woman rather than a career woman. Long story short, God has long since been leading me to meet people's needs. I have the ability to create spaces and built environments that can help other people help people. I don't do relational ministry. I'm not a teacher. I'm not a doctor or a nurse. But I can help those people change the world.]

Seeing poverty here in the US is hard because it's in stark contrast to most of the rest of us. How can the richest, most powerful country in the whole world have people who are going hungry? It's hard to see people go to work and struggle to keep their families fed and warm. But I'm not sure how I fit into making a difference. I don't do politics or policy. I'm not good at relational things, which is what I'm finding is a huge need here: some people to take the time to invest in a person's life and help teach them and encourage them toward some good decisions. Are there plenty of ways that I can help those people do that? Probably. But thus far, I haven't had the opportunity to do so. (Maybe not entirely true. The project I designed just needs funding. And is held up in city policy limbo.)

I don't know if it's frustration with the way poverty is handled here or if God is leading my heart in a different direction.

Here's where the confusion sets in: I leave for Africa in a few weeks. And I am more excited than I can possibly handle. I get to do what I've been talking about for so long. The more I read about Africa, particularly Sub-Saharan, the more I know that I cannot possibly stay here. I wish I could explain it better. Maybe God will explain it to me while I'm there.

Because that's almost a total 180 from what I've been up to the past few years. A while back, some of us started hanging out around Chavis Park near downtown. We've had a few cookouts, done some daycamp, mostly painted a house, and adopted a few families we met. All really great stuff. I guess I kind of started alot of it. I worry that people see me as the local outreach girl. And lately, I haven't been comfortable with that. So I've been real excited to see at least one home group at Visio Dei really jump on getting involved down there. Perhaps all I had to do was get the ball rolling and now other people can take it on without me.

Regardless, I'm here full time for the next few years. I should at least finish my internship hours. (A few more years of experience is probably a good idea. We don't want things falling down on people.) And if I got that far, I should maybe just go ahead and take my AREs. If I'm legal in the US, I should be legit pretty much anywhere.

Ideally, I'd never have to choose. I'd spend part of my year here and part in Africa (and maybe other places.) If poverty is a global problem, why can't I approach it from different angles? Logistically, I have no clue as to how that might actually happen. I think that's the part I'm looking forward to: seeing how God has it all planned out. Because part of that definitely involves some huge life decisions. And that's exciting.

I'm ready for some serious revolution in my life. I think this is a good start.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

cell phones

Generally, in order to get a new cell phone, you have to sign a two year contract.

You have a phone. It probably doesn't work very well. You'd like one that works better. You realize that you could have a better one. You know there are better ones out there.

Instead, you settle.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

not a burning bush, but still pretty cool

Read this last night:
"You want to know why seeing stark evil hasn't made me rough or bitter? Remember, I said it was God who was prying the little girl's hands off her eyes. As if He were saying, 'I can't use ivory-tower followers. They're plaster of paris, they crumble and fall apart in life's press. So you've got to see life the way it really is before you can do anything about evil. You cannot vanquish it. I can. But in My world the battle against evil has to be a joint endeavor. You and Me. I, God, in you, can have the victory every time.'"
Christy by Catherine Marshall

Crazy how God speaks in random places. This is a fiction book that I've been reading. (It keeps finding its way to the top of the stack of serious Christian books I've got.)

I've been praying alot about why bad stuff has happened to me. And why God would want to use me if I'm such a mess. And why it is that I see the bad stuff and feel compelled to do anything about it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I don't like being ignored.

It hurts my feelings. I take it way too personally.

I assume (perhaps wrongly? not sure) that I'm friends with the people around me. So when I get treated differently by one of those people, I freak out.

What happens is that I decide that I must have done something to make them dislike me. Which makes me more awkward than I am on a normal basis. And then it's all downhill from there.

It makes me feel invisible. Like I don't matter. Like it wouldn't matter if I was there or not because they want to avoid me anyway.

It's been a battle. Me versus Satan. Frankly, he wins way more that I'd like to admit.

I know that it doesn't matter what other people think of me. That I shouldn't care because God loves me and that's all I need. But it still bothers me to think that I ever did anything to push someone away from being my friend.