Wednesday, January 30, 2008

known, and loved.

i wrote this email to a friend a while ago and never sent it...but i came across it today and it's still true...

have you ever sat in someone's office for 2 hours, talked back and forth about everything important in your life and theirs without any fear or censorship...and just let your wandering mind spill out of your mouth knowing that you were understood and loved? and felt so absolutely welcomed, appreciated, known and cared for...known for who you were as an immature, apathetic freshmen 5 and a half years ago; an obsessive compulsive, perfectionistic, competitive stress case 4 years ago; a frustrated, confused mess of questions about the world and God 3 years ago; an impassioned, driven senior in wonderment and in love with life; a lost, scared, homeless post graduate who isn't sure how to be happy or loving but just knows she's in need of love; and now as someone who's slowly figuring out life and finally seeing some congruency between thought and heart and action if only in small windows of life and seeing some beauty in the whole mess of it all...???? to sit in this man's office, surrounded by the presence of someone who has known your heart through so much pain, joy, struggle, triumph, fear, confusion, and peace is i think a very very microscopic piece of what it is to be known by my father in heaven. which is nuts! because it feels so tangibly real...and the whole world i live in today can be contained in the hole that remains when a single blade of grass is plucked out of the ground in heaven... As much as long beach really is becoming home...i haven't felt more at home in a quite a while than i did yesterday in an office filled from floor to ceiling (literally) with old books and the presence of a wonderful servant of God. to be have hard questions asked of look into someone's eyes and know the question that's being asked without it actually ever being have someone I have a respect for that I attempt but fail to explain, take such care with the things he says to preface the truth that he's about to speak with "i don't feel the privilege to speak to very many people in this manner...." he considers it a privilege??? and to be trusted with his life...his family...his thoughts and wisdom! i want to learn to love like this man.

anyway...that's one story from my life lately...the rest involve a suspended bridge, stopping traffic, long talks with an old roomate as i drift to sleep, colors and music and dancing and a happy marriage for two friends...the beauty of the earth, rain that soaks your clothes, and baskets made by some villagers in oaxaca, mexico. ya know...the usual.

everyday i wake up is beautiful in a new way lately...not always happy or secure or really understandable...but beautiful (even if it takes me a few days going by to appreciate it).

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

simple wonders.

with a million things on my heart lately and rising levels of anxiety about the future, my family, school....i retreated to a park by the water Sunday afternoon. I don't know how 5 hours went by. i never dozed off or anything...but it wasn't until the sun started to set and the air became cold that I thought, maybe i should walk those 2 miles back to my car now...
Amidst my questions and fears I saw God. In a little girl playing chase and laughing with her mom, bees moving from flower to flower at my eye level as I lay in the grass, the sound of the water against the rocks, the warm sun on my skin, the couple speaking to each other in German not far from me, the words I read in a book that seemed to give language to my own heart, the voice of my sister on the phone: "where are you?" "a park" "alone?" "yeah", "what's up?..." that's love. that's being able to respond, hearing what's never said, and desiring to be there with someone in their distress. I'm so grateful to have someone in my life who gets me like that...who knows what only someone who grew up alongside you could know.
:) i was struck the other day with a childhood memory. this is the typical series of events that would transpire whenever we would be sent to our rooms as punishment for fighting with each other: a maximum of about 5 minutes would pass before one of us would hear a tiny voice rising from the air vent in the floor. the other one would crawl over to the corner of her room, remove the metal box and through the shaft that connected our rooms we would tell each other we were sorry and we loved each other...I'm so grateful for my sister. she's been through what i've been through. she sees what i sometimes can't, we have seasons (some last years, some days) of trading off in our roles as nurturer, receiver, learner, teacher, voice of reason, and voice of idealism. and as different as we are...our souls are very much connected.

I saw God in the fact that time continues to move forward and all things always seem to rest in the hands of someone bigger than me. and as I let that time pass by me, I sat in wonder.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

and then?????

why are we always worried about the future??
couple of thoughts...a while ago i was in the office of one of the most influential people in my life. he was my pastor when I was 4 years old, my professor and pastor again during college, and now a dear friend. He's known my family's situation and has listened with love and patience as I shake my fists at God, find peace in some new bit of wisdom, and (recently) planted new seeds of direction to think about. with only that requirement, that I think about it. I live 1700 miles away from my family. and i'm the only one at Christmas who doesn't live within a 20 mile radius of my mom and gramma's, dad, and gramma's house. ahhhhhh. my gramma's been a nurse all of her life....and now she's my dad's care-taker...and it's visibly wearing on her. my mom works overtime just about every week of her life. my dad watches baseball and keeps life interesting for everyone else. and this past christmas home had my mind reeling with the question, why am I in california?
I'm so happy here. i love my life....and when I go "home" to oklahoma, i don't feel like myself. I'm loved and accepted and appreciated...and i love my family. but I often can't talk about the issues i'm passionate about without eyes glazing one wants to go for a run through a park...there isn't a population of need like the one i love to serve out here. I can't ride my bike to school and work....i can't get anywhere really without getting in a car...that's just due to distance...forget the crazy oklahoma weather. i'm a different person there...oddly enough home is no longer home...
the idea's in my head...and even if i don't really like it, I'll go where God leads. i've got a few years to let that one sink in i think...

i just spent a few hours searching for full time jobs. on you pick categories of interest....i think my problem is i'm too interested. isn't there one category for homelessness/women's issues/children/education/green living/and mental health???? i graduate in now I'm tossing back and forth weights on the grad school scale again. private school: integrated theology and psychology programs like rosemead and fuller that i would love to be in, but more time, more money, maybe closer to home so i wouldn't need to move again... public: less time, less money, ability to see the real world outside of my christian bubble....but i don't really think i've lived in a christian bubble since loma at all....hmmmmm.

for now, i'm a shrimp shack waitress. i live in a green house. i love the people i serve in my city. i'm trying to learn about empathy and compassion and share what i find with the world. i have beautiful friends who teach me how to love better everyday by the way that they love. home is a pretty relative concept at this point.

i'm at peace.