Friday, November 9, 2007

ashokan farewell

i've been in a very solemn mood lately. this song surfaced among my pile of music and i can't stop playing it...

it's nice when your circumstances sort of determine your next step for you. i think i always have a responsibility to make choices in my life, but sometimes the next step or movement (reaching out) just seems so obvious. I'm moving inward a bit. which is odd given my constant disdain and frustration with what seems to be a habitual self-focused orientation. but it's not really's more about knowing that i am than knowing i am good or noticed or attended to. just that i am here, whether i feel good or bad or lonely or giddy or lost or completely found...i can always know that i'm here.

today at coa i missed phoung. i feel such guilt despite all my efforts not to feel that way. i don't go so often anymore...i say school's picked up...but really, i'm just out late with friends and 6am's a little too early. but i never regret it when i do go. not once.
today there was one man who, when i plopped a ridiculous amount of eggs (we had lots left and it was almost 8) and 4 sausages on his plate, his eyes became enormously round. about 20 minutes later he walked up to the food line and said "i owe you guys an apology". i was taken back but just listened as he continued. he told me about how on the way here he was so hungry and he almost didn't come because he just knew he was going to be served a pathetic little bowl of bland oatmeal (not uncommon), and then he came, and now he can't even finish all the food he has. He said it was God's sense of humor. I just smiled and said you're welcome. Which felt weird, because i'm not the one that determines what's given or how much...but it still felt like the only thing to say really.

at church last sunday we were talking about blessings and the good life and the things we would have or the circumstances that would be in place if we were to consider ourselves living the good life. both the things we think are good and the things we know we expect but maybe shouldn't... As we were going around the circle I was hit pretty hard thinking about some of the people living out on the increasingly colder streets...sometimes the blessings they get and are so grateful for are nothing more than a hot cup of coffee, some eggs and the pizza crusts we had donated. i'm left humbled.

God bless Phoung and Will, wherever they are.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


this summer as a part of the internship we did a life-map. i came across mine the other day and laughed out loud because i had an identical moment of realization to the one i had when i first made this map. first, that I cannot predict my future, and secondly that i have no real ability to construct a permanently accurate picture of who i think i am.

When Kira explained the activity she stressed the fact that we were all pretty our maps really shouldn't have even take up half of the page we had. I had 4 icons on mine, representing major events and locations in my life. A minivan (car accident), a pirate's hat (highschool), a greek amphitheater (PLNU), and the 405 freeway sign (the past year +). When i first made this I was shocked at the discrepancy between how I had recently been summarizing all of the important things in my life and the actual span of all the things that have made me who i am. Not to get too wrapped up in self-psychology and the narcissistic trends of today's culture...but in an effort to know was relieving to realize that I'm more than the past year's struggles/changes/hard lessons. AND to realize...i'm young!!! Not only is there more in the past that I tend to neglect...but PRAISE GOD there is a future that I do not know! I remember talking to lauren laforge (my world-traveling friend who among other adventures did semester at sea) about the Pacific Ocean. A few years ago, we were on campus at loma...staring at the water, and I was overwhelmed by the magnificence and massiveness of the ocean. Of course she contributed her greater understanding by telling me about her trip from the coast of california to i was further baffled by the distance beyond the horizon that i could not comprehend...and then i realized...i can only see the top!!!! That's how i feel about life right now.
i'll probably laugh yet again one day when I look back on Long Beach and grad school days. maybe i'll still be here, maybe I won't...but I can look back and know that God is good. and I don't have to know what's next...because I know God is good...and the road is beautiful...and the path is my home. and while I've had many homes and relationships change and concrete markers of my own identity come and go...I am a daughter, and a sister, and a friend...and I am part of the body of Christ. And that is good. and I can rest and be still in that.

this very simple, beautiful song often gets stuck in my head...

I've been searching and finding, there's nothing but searching, searching for something to fill...
And in all of my finding, I'm finding there's someone, who loves me to sit and be still.

I'm in love with a savior, who saves me to love me, and loves me to stay by His side.
And I love to sing all the songs of His goodness, I'll sing them the rest of my life.

I love how you know me, I love how you hold me...I love how you set me free.
I love your love. I love your love.