May 28, 2010

There's a difference between "I want to understand you" and "I want to be understanding," isn't there? I so much want to not respond out of my own desire to be seen as understanding, or able to show sympathy, but to really care about the other person.

This question of how I need people is one of the hardest to answer. I do know you are needed, I need you. And yet... I also know, and try to believe, that seeking God will not disappoint me. ("Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing...")

I keep telling myself that I need to read more of Phantastes so I can have it finished before Nationals... but I find myself scarcely reading it so far.

I've been thinking a lot about friendship... and both recognizing, and hoping to see past, habitual "roles" people fall into. Not to ignore that some people are wiser than me, nor to neglect being more of a role model to others, but... to approach people freshly, willing to see them as they are.

May 22, 2010

"Directness wins over tact with the people I love."

Yet I don't think I'm going to be very direct, because I'm not sure exactly what I am saying. I will try to explain what I've been thinking about over the past few days. Hopefully, in explaining to you, I will also explain to myself. And of course I will question what should be said as I write this.

I have a hard time knowing how to love people. More specifically: I have a hard time knowing how to communicate with my friends who live far away. I believe in comfortable silences, and have peace about not knowing exactly how all of you are at any given moment. Still, I don't want to pull away from real friendships. Most of all, I want to live righteously. I don't want to sacrifice whole-hearted devotion to God for a feeling of being understood by my friends. I don't want to seek attention for myself in the way I write. I don't want to mistake impatience and hungry self-gratification for building up my brothers and sisters.

But I also don't want to refuse to bear the burdens of the body of Christ, because I don't have the courage to love.

I'm meditating on...
"Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." [Galatians 6:2]

"For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another." [Romans 12:4-5]

...and wondering how to apply them. I feel like it's harder to love through the internet. But, I know that I've been encouraged by the truth and empathy you - my friends - have given me, so it must be possible.

So I was reading Colossians today. Colossians 1:9-10: "we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God." This is exactly what I want. (If you pray for me, you can pray for wisdom to live in a way fully pleasing to God.)

I wanted to tell you how I am, even if that means being meta.

(I want to learn how to see myself as a part of a whole: speaking my questions without fear and being there for you when God wants me there)

[why I am] moved.

sob ; grieve
even for characters on a screen
where magical worlds are unbelievable

for all that was ; for life
the light shining
which falls to darkness

May 19, 2010

deeper

Fighting to establish evidence
Remembering what I have seen
And holding on to hope;
Is my faith based on its confirmation?

Certainty questioned
But I know full well that my mind falters!
To challenge strips me of being
But is it a lie to remain?

Reluctant to leave life
For feeble listening's sake;
But even as my mind is unresolved
My heart cries Your name



[response to this]

May 18, 2010

[Revelation 3:17-18]

For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 
Thinking about trials and holiness. Wondering what salve looks like. Praising God for being near.

May 16, 2010

surrender

I'm thinking right now about double-sided metaphors.

So, for the past few weeks my family has been having an ongoing conversation about relationships between girls and guys. I'm not really meaning to talk about everything it's made me wonder about, but, one thing I was struck by is the thought that marriage is a picture of how God loves the church. And I hadn't very much thought about ...purity? as a way to love my possible future husband before, only as a way to have undivided devotion to God.

Then today I started reading "Stop Dating the Church" by Josh Harris. It compared Christ's love for the church to a husband's love for his wife. Obviously, this is a scriptural idea. But it left me looking at two metaphors used to describe each other.

I don't think I've ever heard other metaphors being used like this: who says that just as Christ is the head of the body of believers, we should let our heads guide the rest of our being? I think, usually metaphors are earthly, practical things, things that we've seen in our everyday lives, that help us understand spiritual things. Oh, another one is the idea of the family of God. The church should be like a family... except that families don't always work like they're supposed to.

I stopped typing to wonder what you people reading this think of me. I suppose having many of my thoughts center on how to relate to people makes talking about what I'm thinking about rather meta. ... I try not to be afraid.

Ah, fear! that reminds me of my question last week, "what does it mean to fear God?" I was thinking about it first because of Psalm 34:9: "Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!" Probably, because I was feeling that I lacked something? I'm trying to remember. I also was thinking about it in a Proverbs 31:30 way, "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." I think, sometimes the fear of the Lord is used in a general sense, somewhat like the command to glorify God. It's like, "well yeah, but how do you fear God with the way you live?" But... I don't think fearing God just means obeying his commands. I think it must have some heart state to go along with it. I've heard people talk about fearing God as honor, and respect, and awe. Perhaps that's it? Perhaps it's something like Zach (someone I know from my homeschool group) said, "where we know that that God is awesome, and we are not." But that was his definition of worship.

Maybe fearing God is worship! ... I have a hard time distinguishing love and fear in this sense, now. Let's see... worship - awe - greatness - "knowing God evaporates all pride" - humility ... (sorry about all the elipses)

I think to fear God means to know him as he is. It then turns to let us see ourselves as we are. Knowing how to think about yourself (and hopefully how to not think of yourself at all ... but that might be using the word "think" in two different senses... I don't know ... shoutout to Catey because I'm intentionally leaving this ambiguous)

[writing reminds me of so many of my friends at once, I love it!] {of course I also wonder how many references to include...}

Anyway. Now on to another thing I want to tell you. Half of me wants to tell you because I want you to know, and the other half of me wants to tell you because I like being told about the same kind of things. This is about plans (if they be God's will...).

On Wednesday my mom and I had an exciting, scary discussion about my future. The plan is:
This summer I want to learn more. A lot more. Wheatstone is part of that. I am reading a lot of books, and answering apologetics questions I never took the time to understand. Another part of this learning is hopefully going to prep week (the two weeks when interns prepare for the conference tour).

I'm also going to apply to go to college in the spring. I've thought about this a lot, about how I dearly don't want to be callously leaving behind NCFCA people. Because, I've been in that position - not that I really can explain it very well - it has something to with being very attached to people who are graduating, and feeling left out, and frustrated, and ripped apart. I am fairly sure I haven't learned all there is about letting go of people, and now here I am in the reverse position, looking for peace about leaving, not being left.

Another thing is that I don't want to seem like a cocky overachiever, though that might be inevitable for people who want to see me that way. And I'm also thinking about surrender. Surrendering Lincoln-Douglas debate, a possible humorous interp, my dream original oratory, and, apologetics. And people.

Nationals is going to be interesting, my last NCFCA tournament as a competitor. But, the good news is, I hope to come out to round robins and tourneys. (Here's hoping for a conducive class schedule.) Hayley, Micah, tell me what tournaments you're coming to, if you are, so I make sure to come to the same ones!

I'm smiling because I write such ridiculously long blog posts, but I still have more to say. That is, that I'm planning to apply to intern with a communications organization for the 2011 tour. This is, a surprise to me.

I was concerned that their vision wasn't applicable, and not central enough to what I believe. I find that it isn't about speaking for it's own sake, but communication for truth's sake, for love's sake. And so it does relate to me, and I want to share my thoughts on all types of communication: through art and actions, withing families and friends, not just your standard speaking on the public platform.

I was afraid, for the longest time, that interns weren't authentic. Last year, I saw that they were real people, and this spring, I found myself able live like myself while coaching. I told Michael after the Flood the Five conference that being an instructor there didn't answer all my questions like I thought it would. But perhaps, perhaps it made me realize how little there was holding me back from right out deciding. I suppose, I think slowly. I think it helped me see myself as an intern, and appreciate working as a group.

There's still quite a bit up in the air. I wonder about opportunities: how most people get involved in non-profit organizations; looking for more places to serve. I think about not needing to be original in my desire to be an intern. (It can feel lame, you know? Like it's what everyone does... but I don't think that it's necessarily bad to be drawn towards an organization your family has invested themselves in. And I've not been brainwashed, I daresay. It's been a hard sell.) And I'm sure there's more to think about...

I'm praying for peace, and surrender.

May 13, 2010

I second-guess myself too much.

Someday, I should tell you people about my plans for the next year of my life.
I also considered blogging about what I was thinking about on Tuesday, when I made my video.
but time passes, and my state of mind passes.

I find it interesting that the blogosphere is the primary way I stay in touch with my friends. Maybe that's why I felt like saying something today. somehow breaking the silence.

May 11, 2010

Foreignly, I'm thankful for longing. "I am with you in Spirit."
...to seek Him for His own sake, not simply because I want to be with you.
I am richly blessed.
I like psalm 34.

May 1, 2010

voice / awareness

(how to begin?
I wanted to write a post about awareness. I wondered how Kmac could write posts that conveyed information and opinion, and musing, not necessarily situated in time. somehow themed posts - like this one [links are because I have friends who don't all know each other]  work for her. our voices are different.)

Francine Prose: "we're willing to accept the loopy poetry of a consciousness that registers 'mutilated' luggage..." 
her calling the presence of a consciousness "poetry" is what makes me love this quote from Reading Like A Writer.

much of what I write is the expression that travels distances stretching out to where I want to be. I can get emotional and wax fluidly about feeling insecure, guilty, too attention-seeking. all of which is for myself, not for anyone else, because it's too steeped in its origin for them, that by the time I've been released their minds are still caught, or rather tangled up in fishing-line.

I wonder how much of life should be spent aware of what you do and how you are and the subtleties of those around you. to be aware of individuals feels refined, not refined as in refined sugar, or refined culture; rather, as if you're capable of being moved by the tiny waves of personality emanating from everyone. as if the world is full of color and you live every day in an art museum.

and still, I've left unanswered this question of awareness, "what you do and how you are." & I doubt that that's really what I'm asking.

sometimes I suspect that I'm writing for its own sake. oh the pleasure of feeling like you're creating something, of being able to ramble among clouds and then pin down your frothy daydreams and feel satisfied.

"one day I will sit down and paint clouds, lots and lots of them. and then I will display them and call them art. then people will ask me what they mean, and I won't tell them."


i feel so self-indulgent today that I'm quoting myself and not bothering to capitalize...

One day I think I should like to write a poem about a fictional character. Or perhaps I should write more fiction. The easiest fiction to write are the conversations that happen in my head, between different parts of my mind in dispute.

"I'm being obnoxious."
"No, you're not."
"YES, I am! Annoyed yet?"

I think, (I've picked up unconventional comma usage - I like to write in a way that conveys how the words sound in my head [oh, and I keep trying to find places to use semicolons; it's only sometimes effective]) I think this post has to do with Hayley's blog post today. (I don't know what I think about talking about people! it's so hard to convey what I mean without it, but it feels all prickly and glaring to reference them. I suppose I take on tedium to attempt to record the journeying of today's mind.) To summarize it (because rephrasing other people's words is my way of making it make sense) : this moment exists in all eternity, so "take hold of that which is truly life!" {Strange, how the act of writing can sometimes halt you amid a moving world, and other times, be the only thing that breaks the stillness.}

anyhoo... how this relates to awareness. Seldom (I like the world seldom, but it's not the right one. :restart sentence:) Today, and probably yesterday as well, I haven't thought much of choosing to live life. I was pressed forward, nearly catapulted, from one thing to the next - not catapulted physically, or by the constraints of time, but all was pressing towards the goal. Of this morning's test. (this is something I was/am insecure about, the fact that I've mentioned it so much, makes me afraid I am asking for attention or pity or praise. perhaps I say what is on my mind too much? perhaps I feel that I will be more secure if I have people's prayers, and - what feels like that which is not mine - time taking up their thoughts. I wonder why I say anything if this will be the result.)

Now I have to make choices again. I don't have as much time now as I did when I started this post, but I suppose I do have something to show for it. How much of life is this awareness: feeling and making others feel? Asking for an act of attention, or making one yourself? I may be like a fly, caught in the sticky of thought. There is intellectual activity, but it feels hollow to simply engage in it when it's not needed at present. ...

John Mark Reynolds: "Our problem is not questioning, but where our questions start."


I'm hoping to leave, to be moved, to seek and to find.


["Take me away from here" by Olena S.]