31 March 2008


I graduate from college in 4ish weeks. I feel that this should be the prerequisite statement for everything that I say or do in the next few weeks, because it is essentially the best excuse that such a neurotic person as myself could ask for:
"Why are you spending all of your money on caffeine-infused beverages and chocolate-covered pretzels?"..."I graduate from college in 4ish weeks."
"Why do you randomly burst out in song and dance in your living room to Jay-Z's 'Big Pimpin'?"..."I graduate from college in 4ish weeks."
"Why are you rambling on about the intricate relationship between post-colonialism and the slow but inevitable extinction of the snowy spotted owl?"..."I graduate from college in 4ish weeks."
"Why are you writing blogs and playing on facebook instead of working on your Senior Seminar paper, of which the culmination of the success and purpose of the last four years of your life, nay!, your lifetime's educational experience in its entirety, hinges on?"..."I graduate from college in 4ish weeks."

Well, that was fun. I'm glad I'm using my brain power for such formative exercises. Jesting aside, I am operating within the chaos of my life with a graceful, soothing calm--I really should be living and breathing in so much more anxiety than I am. Perhaps it's because I've internally surrendered: I know that I am not going to finish this chapter of my life at the academic success that I have been holding myself to up until this point, and I'm OK with that. I will probably turn in papers rather late (a habit I've been perfecting lately, unfortunately. Thank you very much, Oxford. Thanks alot.), I will probably not do that well on this test or that exam, and I definately will not graduate with the institutionally-granted honnors as I had hoped too. C'est la vie.

But I really think it's something deeper: I think that I am operating within this hope and peace when I would typically be an utter wreck because, well, I've grown. I've grown to love. I've grown to hope. I've grown to pray. I've grown to participate. I've grown to wait, gracefully.

This semester has been a formative time of self-reflection, God-reflection, challenge, a little heartache, but mostly peace, comfort, and utter joy in the promises of Christ because of His Resurrection. Tonight at senior chapel, Brian (my old youth pastor whom I worked under while on PFB staff) spoke, and sitting in North UTCC hearing him preach made me realize just how far God has taken me: before, while still at his church, I would have listened but held an inner monolouge of critique and cynncism, or I would have sat in the back of the room, just like all of my friends on staff were. I have always dearly loved Brian, but I always thought, frankly, he was wrong and I was right. However, tonight, though there was extensive dualistic, "forgiveness of the individual soul" talk (as is the case in nearly every contemporary Evangelical setting in the West), I heard the truth and glory of God spoken clearly: "He is risen. Did that do anything when [the passage] said that?" Oh, did it. That is the hope we have in new creation, in the Kingdom of God, that Jesus, though a complete ineffective failure in this world, defeated death, evil, bondage, slavery, and the social powers that confine us and make us less human to each other and ourselves, is risen. And we only respond with, "He is risen, indeed!" once a year, and spend the rest of the time reminding people that "Jesus died for your sins".

I believe that if we are in Christ, there is new creation: both in ourselves, and for the whole world. How beautiful is that??!! All things are made new. I am becoming a new creation--a reality which I think is rather visible at this time in my life especially. When I spent the first portion of my spring break with my mom in San Diego, we had a really good talk (a treasured rarity) in which she stated that I am more like 'myself' than I have been in years. I replied with a long list of experiences, woes, problems, and downright terrible things that have happened to me in that time period which accounts for the way I am, and I would like to say that one of us in the end attributed this point at journey's end to the grace of God and praised God for that, but we didn't. However, I will now: I really do believe that "He rescuded me because He delighted in me" (2 Samuel...something. I failed Awana.). Praise God. Praise God that I now have eyes to see and I now have ears to hear the truth of the cross and resurrection, and that now I am learning to turn my eyes to cross and let the path of Christ direct my own.

I PRAY that this can be more than theological jargon that I spout off and become a reality, and soon. I especially PRAY (and feel free to joing me in this) that this intentional community/outreach home that we might start at Mountainside takes off, because I can't think of anything else that I would rather be doing for the next season of my life that living as church and being church to my local community, day in and day out.

Well, this is not the direction that I thought this blog would go--I thought I would just go on about how nice it feels to be whole and think good of yourself, how I love recently viewed Bridget Jone's Diary, because though Bridget Jones has virtually no redeeming qualities about her, Colin Firth still loves her "just the way she is" (and if that don't give a girl hope, then what can?), and how much I love my sister and how happy I am we had our short time together, but I didn't. Maybe I will in the future. Maybe I'll just tell you about it, if you ask. (I probably will--I just adore self-analyzing myself and talking it to others.) In the end, it all comes back to Christ, so I just took a shorter path to arrive at the place I was destined to anyway.

If this mess of words and thoughts gives you hope and makes you smile, then that's beautiful. If it makes no effing sense to you in the least, then I'm really sorry, I wish I made more sense to more people and could articulate myself with more grace and poise than I do. Blessings, either way.


26 March 2008

what i feel sometimes (all the time)

"And I think the world of myself
But the world doesn't think that much of me
" --Brandi Carlile

I really don't think it's a self-confidence issue--it's a lack of validation.

That's all.


14 March 2008

hole-y moment

ye-ye-yeah!!!!! it's been FOREVER since i've wanted to do this, and i finally punched a hole in my face tonight. i am my own person...well, I'm God's person, but i'm pretty sure God's ok with this.

I would like to thank Misty Jo and Naomi the pacifist Viking for joining me tonight, Squeeze at Anomaly for doing such a superb job with my left nostril, and all of my friends and others who have maintained nose hoops over the years, providing me the inspiration for doing this. (Oh, and hopefully mom and dad for not killing me when they find out.)


(Oh, i have $10 gift certificates for piercing there, if anyone is interested...)

08 March 2008

for a friend...

(less specific than the original letter)

I know it's borderline impossible to believe in a truth or element about yourself when you don't see it there, especially when a lot of your self-worth and self-knowledge hinges on it, but maybe we all need to learn how to step out of our self-perceptions and let our loving, supporting community--who we trust in--help develop our identity. I need your help in believing that I am worth it; you need our help to believe that you are too: that you are very smart, capable, intelligent, and wise. So don't worry about school [or anything else that anyone out there sheds tears over because they simply don't feel good enough]--of all of the things in life, it is not something that should hold much weight in your definition of yourself. I think that's why I get frustrated when people recognize it as part of my identity: it's just something I do, not something that makes me who I am. And if it's something that you just do, then it can easily be something that you don't do. Friend, you matter, and are so good in areas that are more important than school--I really believe God gifted you that way. And I know the world tells us school is something that we should be good in, that you aren't as worthy if you aren't as good at it, but you know what? Fuck them! We are worthy because of the cross, and we are good because of Christ. In the future Kingdom of God, it doesn't matter shit if you passed a certain class or whether or not you got good grades. From the perspective of the Kingdom, from Jesus' point of view, those things just fade into obscurity.

So, know that you are good, because of the God you seek to serve through serving others everyday; because of the breath and Spirit of God you dwell in daily, because of Hebrew letters tattooed on the wrists and neck of a friend, because of the crosses drawn on the feet of two brothers we know and love, and because of the Latin on my back that proclaims that we are all children of God. Any other qualifier is meaningless, so much so that in response we laugh at them, joyfully and hopefully like children who are delighted to run into the open arms of their Daddy (or Mommy). So, breathe. Smile. Delight in the rain. Do a cartwheel. Smoke a cigarette. Pray to believe in who you are, the whole and beautiful person made by God. You are loved so dearly by so many people--let that be enough to get you through the day. Let the comfort and love of God, the Father, Son, and Spirit allow you to sleep peacefully at night; and let the hope of the Cross and the Future Kingdom--that is here, but not yet--grace your heart that you can get up every morning and delight in each new day.

We are constantly being made new. What hope and joy and peace we have in that promise.

Someone moving in my heart told me to write this for a specific friend, but its love and sincerity is extended to all who read it.