Monday, October 31, 2005

So church was good this morning. Well, I didn't pay attention to the entire sermon because I got caught up in journaling some thoughts that other parts inspired. But anyway, Matt talked about freedom this morning. And so I started thinking about my personal freedom. I'm not free. Well, at least not as free as I could be. And then last night I was reading some of the above book and it is so good. Okay, so the author, Don Miller ("Blue Like Jazz) when he was in his twenties, he and a friend left home (Houston, TX) one day and started driving to Oregon. And basically that journey is what this book is about. So, off of that, and off of this morning, I have some conjoined thoughts. And here they are...

I think all through high school and my first years in college I was in my own prison. My prison where I became comfortable in the fact that this was what I knew. I knew the four walls, the concrete floor, the stale bread. I knew that somewhere beyond the prison there was something better, but I think I lied to myself about what it was. Because, I didn't know what it was like out there. I didn't know what the air felt like, smelled like. What freedom was. And so I chose the known prison. Because you see, the door to my prison cell was unlocked the whole time. And I knew that. And I knew that at some point I wanted to walk out of the prison and into my freedom, but I was too afraid. Too afraid of the journey.

But I think this past year I did it. I got up, opened that door, and took a step outside. My first taste of freedom. But it's been a whole year and I'm still standing there, right outside the door. I haven't begun my journey yet! I feel like... I'm in the parking lot outside the prison, and there are all these cars out there, and I have the key. I just don't know which car to take, which road to travel, which destination to aim towards. The freedom is a bit overwhelming. So that's where I'm at in my journey right now. I so badly want to leave, go to some great place (spiritually, mentally, physically, and geographicaly), I just don't know where.

And so I leave you with these Don Miller thoughts, word for word the majoity of the Author's Note of his book. I know it's long, but it's so worth reading.

It is true some do not do well with conventional life. They think outside things and can't make sense of following a line. They see no walls, only doors from open space to open space, and from open space, supposedly, to the mind of God, or at least this is what we hope for them, and what they hope for themselves.

I remember the sweet sensation of leaving, years ago, some ten now, leaving Texas for who knows where. I could not have known about this beautiful place, the Oregon I have come to love, this city of great people, this smell of coffee and these evergreens reaching up into a mist of sky, these sunsets spilling over the west hills to slide a red glow downt he streets of my town.

And I could not have known then that if I had been born here, I would have left here, gone someplace south to deal with horses, to get on some open land where you can see tomorrow's storm brewing over a high desert. I could not have known then that everybody, every person, has to leave, has to change like seasons; they have to or they die. The seasons remind me that I must keep changing, and I want to change because it is God's way. All my life I have been changing.... everybody has to change, or they expire. Everybody has to leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons.

I want to keep my soul fertile for the changes, so things keep getting born in me, so thinkgs keep dying when it is time for things to die. I want to keep walking away from the person I was a moment ago, because a mind was made to figure things out, not to read the same page recurrently....

Everything we were is no more, and what we will become, will become what was....

I sometimes look into the endless heavens, the cosmos of which we can't find the edge, and ask God what it means. Did you really do all of this to dazzle us? Do you really keep it shifting, rolling round the pinions to stave off boredom? God forbid your glory would be our distraction. And God forbid we would ignore your glory....

No, life cannot be understood flat on a page. It has to be lived; a person has to get out of his head, has to fall in love, has to memorize poems, has to jump off bridges into rivers, has to stand in an empty desert and whisper sonnets under his breath: I'll tell you how the sun rose A ribbon a time...

And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children at play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning ot love others more than we do ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?

It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.

I want to repeat one word for you:

Leave.

Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn't it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don't worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I just had a dream. My dream was that I was in Fair Commons in my apartment and the fire alarm went off (I wonder why hahaha.. for those who don't know it went off Sunday afternoon and Tuesday evening) and I was sooo angry. I was yelling to Jen (she was the only other one in the apt) stuff like "not again I hate this stupid building" etc. So we run downstairs and we're all going outside - the whole building, everyone was there. Jen and I are the 1st two people out, and the next person out is Cassie. She asks me if I think she should tell Jill (our RD) what happened. I said I didn't know and asked her what happened. She said that her neighbhor knocked over her (Cassie's) candle and that it was a really fancy candle from her Grandma. (This would result in Cassie getting a fine for having a candle.) Then Jonah and Sara came (even though they don't live in F.C.) and Jen tells me that she just had a dream that they were solving crimes and that this was the "crime" they were solving. So we're all standing outside Fair Commons, except now we're all located at Warner Camp, only it doesn't look like Warner Camp (b/c that can happen in dreams) and someone runs up to us and says "there's a hurricane!" and we all just kind of stand there looking at them. And then she yells "get on the couches! Sit down! Heads up!" Which, if you're in a hurricane I don't think that helps at all but okay. So we sat down on couches and now I'm next to Stacy Lantz (she doesn't live in Fair either) and then someone comes around asking if we need water and we look out the window and it starts hailing and then I wake up.

So, I wake up at 5:15 all panic-y and can't go back to sleep b/c my adrenaline is rushing.

Now it's 5:45 and I'm still awake, though calmed down.

What is it about dreams that cause our body to react physically? What is it about dreams that are so close to reality? Like, when I woke up I had to lie there for awhile to make sure the fire alarm wasn't going off or anything.

I'm really tired but I still think that by the time I'd actually fall back to sleep I'd have to wake up again right away. Ugh.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

"Freedom is interesting. We celebrate it. Pledge allegiance to it. And we say it's what sets us apart. But the prisons of materialism, individualism, and even the pursuit of this American dream can leave us in more bondage than when we started. My prayer for all of us is that we learn what it means to be free in Christ and have that play out in all of our lives." - Matt Conner

Friday, October 21, 2005

Yesterday I ate cereal with a spork.

Today it's raining.



Coincidence? Most likely.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

How can my God destroy a people group (Ex 20:23) and at the same time not want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9)?

How can my God, a good and perfect God create a good and perfect world (the Garden, pre-fall) and look on it and say "it is good", but then (still before the fall) say "it is not good" (for man to be alone)?

My God has always embedded His reign in culture. He values culture. He is resistant to culture.

In everything of God, there is a both/and. He is both vengent and loving. He is both/and.... everything.

On one side of the spectrum there is order. On the other? Chaos. I need to live in the tension of the two.

How?

What if my faith is a trampoline, not a wall? (Rob Bell - "Velvet Elvis") - What if instead of building a wall of faith that has doctrine as bricks, I have a trampoline of faith that has doctrine as springs? What if instead of defending my wall I invite others to play on my trampoline? What if instead of my bricks being questioned (resulting in them falling out, the wall crumbling), my springs are questioned (resulting in them pulling, flexing, bending, moving, growing)?

what if i live in the tension?

what if i find myself in the tension when i am in the empty spaces?
Tomorrow is the 2nd Annual Sara Spitters/Holly Frees Fall Fest!!! Activities include: eatinc chilli, eating corn bread, eating pumpkin pie, drinking cider (oops! I forgot to buy that!), knitting (or crocheting), watching a movie (Last year I think we watched "Mr. Holland's Opus" and this year we're watching "Mona Lisa Smile"), and hanging out! Tonight I'm preparing by making pumpkin pie... and Meagan, my roommates don't like it so there will definately be leftovers for you!

Side note: I've been reminded to live in the tension. More details to come.

Monday, October 17, 2005

So I ended up getting ready a little earlier than anticipated, so I have time to update you on my fall break.

Thursday evening hung out with Stacy - "Rat Race" and Spiral Mac & Cheese

Friday morning - WalMart (work on car), Starbuck's (Java Chip Frapp)
Friday afternoon - Played with babies (worked 2-6). Baby story of the day: Kade loves me, it's true. He laughs at me whenever I hold him, and he smiles whenever I come to get him out of his crib.
Friday evening - Hung out with Stacy - "The Village" and Pepperoni/Green Pepper pizza (Dominoes)

Saturday morning - LEFT at 7:30 am, Starbuck's run (Carmel Latte and Blueberry Scone), drove 3 hours to Michigan City
Saturday afternoon - lunch at Red Lobster in M.C. w/ Stacy, mom, and grandma. Flounder, rice, house salad w/ rasp. vin. SHOPPING!!! At the outlet mall!

Shopping success story: Despite not finding a good pair of jeans (my main goal), it was still very successful. 60% off a trench coat (which I was wanting) from the Gap, 30% off two long sleeve T's from Casual Corner (one brown, one celery w/ a cool neckline), and 75%?? (originally $59, I paid $14.99) off sweater from Casual Corner, and 50% off bracelet from Aeropostle. Would have bought more, but didn't have the $ hahaha.

Saturday evening - drive to St. Joe, supreme pizza (Dominoes) w/ stacy and mom. Video store - previously viewed DVD's, $9.95 each - "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Mona Lisa Smile." - I had to decide amongst about 10 that I wanted. Chocolate Cafe w/ Stacy, Krista (wanted to update there, but RiceBunny didn't let me) - Missed Pishy. Home, "Eternal Sunshine", Krista and Stacy slept over.

Sunday morning - Mom's monkey bread.
Sunday afternoon - Chan's Garden w/ Stacy, mom, grandma - three hours driving back to AU, directly to Bath&Body Works where I worked until 1:30am.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Another day Another page
Words and lines to fill
In the empty spaces
Empty spaces of my life
Where I'm forced to think
And listen to
My heart
It speaks without
Words
And cries without
tears
It laughs without
A voice
Busy. Things to fill
My day
My life
So I don't have to
listen to the words
or
feel the tears
or
create a voice
I need empty spaces

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Currently Reading
Praise of Folly
By Desiderius Erasmus

Okay, so I'm reading this book for History of Christianity, and I thought it would be really boring, but it's actually really good. You can even ask Stacy and she'll tell you that sometimes I laugh out loud. But these quotes aren't the funny ones. These are ones I just want some opinions on. I have to write a paper on the book by Friday, and so yeah... just give me your thoughts...

* "First of all, everyone knows that by far the happiest and universally enjoyable age of man is the first. What is there about babies which makes us hug and kiss and fondle them, so that even an enemy would give them help at that age? Surely it's the charm of folly, which thoughtful Nature has taken care to bestow on the newly born so that they can offer some reward of pleasure to mitigate the hard work of bringing them up and win the liking of those who look after them."
* "Friendship, they're always saying, must come before everything. It is something even more essential than air, fire, and water, so delightful that if it were removed from their midst it would be like losing the sun, and finally, so respected (if this is at all relevant) that even the philosophers do not hesitate to mention it amongst the greatest of blessings."
* "Just think: winking at your friend's faults, passing over them, turning a blind eye, building up illusions, treating obvious faults as virtues which call for love and admiration - isn't all that related to folly?"
* "Let's have it repeated, three and four times over, it is folly, and the same folly, which alone makes friendships and keeps friends together. I'm talking of ordinary mortals, none of whom is born fautless, and the best among them is the one with fewest faults. But amongst those stoic philosopher-gods either no friendship forms at all, or else it is a sour and ungracious sort of relationship which exists only with very few men - I hesitate to say with none at all, for most men have their foolish moments, or rather, everyone is irrational in various ways, and friendship joins like to like. But if ever some mutual goodwill does arise amongst these austere characters it certainly can't be stable and is unlikely to last long, seeing that they're so captious and far keener-eyed to pick out their friend's faults than the eagle or the Epidaurian snake. Of course they're blind to their own faults and simply don't see the packs hanging from their backs."
* "Consequently the delights of friendship couldn't last a single hour amongst such Argus-eyed folk without the addition of what the Greeks aplty named '[enter Greek letters here]', a word we can translate either as "folly" or as "easy-going ways.""
* "Nothing is so foolish, they say, as for a man to stand for office and woo the crowd to win its vote, buy its support with presents, court the applause of all those fools and feel self-satisfied when they cry their approval, and then in his hour of triumph to be carried round like an effigy for the public to stare at, and end up cast in bronze to stand in the market-place."
* "First of all, it's admitted that all the emotions belong to Folly, and this is what marks the wise man off from the fool; he is ruled by reason, the fool by his emotions."

Again, just looking for thoughts to all or some of the quotes. Thanks!