Wednesday, June 17, 2009

last spring

I find it so interesting how people can take something said by another and perceive it in so many ways. Two people (both guys, I wonder if that has something to do with it) both said, "I thought you liked it here" when I said I was planning on moving back home as soon as possible after I finished my Master's Degree. I laughed and shook my head. I tried to think of a single time when I was thinking, "wow, I'm glad I'm in Virginia." I couldn't think of a single one. I guess that's kind of sad and mildly pathetic because I want to be where God has called me and I want to live for Him and live joyfully. I need a lot of grace and I cannot for the life of me see how I someone in my circumstances (without God) could ever be the slightest bit happy about Virginia.

I do like traveling, but I would hope that I would do that if I were living at home. When I think about it, it's probably not as true. There is a lot nearby on the East Coast, everything is so close together. (I'm trying my best to think of benefits to living out here. My mind quickly jumped to... 'well, there's not really a need to go to another state because we've got everything in California anyway.' Like I said, I need a lot of grace. God really needs to change my thoughts because I can't do it.) The more I contemplate and attempt to find good things about living in Virginia, the more discontent I become. The more I want to go to a South American or Central American country and live amongst the people and help them. The more I want to take BART or ride my bike to the water. The more I despise driving and loathe trying to stay awake on my commute to and from work much less when I'm traveling somewhere.

These pictures are from Hatteras, North Carolina - known by the people here as the 'Outer Banks' or 'OBX'. It was quite comical to me that I drove over 200 miles to camp with people I had met once and ended up hanging out with a girl I just met on that trip and am now really good friends with. I am often so amazed. God really has a sense of humor. One of these days I will look back and thank God that I lived in virginia. Maybe all of the mosquito bites are building up my immunity and reminding me to put on bug repellant so I'll be ready for the rain forests when I go to Costa Rica and zip through the trees. There are so many possibilities. Here's to 54 more weeks.

-run for life

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

mersh, chicken, & attic journals

Reminiscing the 'good 'ole days of San Luis Obispo conjures up memories of First Presbyterian Church SLO.  It was there that I walked into the church not knowing a soul except for Christ Himself.  I can only say that it was Jesus Himself that prompted me to go alone and sit next to a couple with whom I am still in contact with every now and then via email and letters that I dearly enjoy.

I remember getting to know some of the college students who attended the church and meeting at the Hokits, the pre-Front Porch days including a worship-washed out by the ocean-bonfire.  Fun nonetheless.  Mersh was the Youth Director and oversaw the college students during the transition time... I remember going into her office and plopping my life story into her lap.  A relief to get it off my own shoulders, things I'd been carrying alone for so long.  God tells us to "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." -Galatians 6:2

We became good friends over the years from youth group to when I cleaned her house when she lived behind the health center and got Santiago [chicken] for the first time.  I remember when she decided to begin making journals and still have the 'Fat Men from Outer Space' journal she gave me for helping her cut pages for all of the journals.  [Am I glad that paper cutters were invited!]

Attic Journals was born in a small house on East Foothill Boulevard behind Cal Poly's health center in San Luis Obispo, CA when a woman named Michelle Sanders who had a dog named chicken decided to start making original journals using children's book covers.  What a fabulous idea!  She's very creative from house decorations to sending people random objects in the mail.  Journals are something that we use to express ourselves.  However, not all journals are meant to be read by the world which means that the cover must tell a little something of ourselves but not bare our souls to the random passerby.  Thus Attic Journals are a perfect solution to the query of which journal expresses your inner child and joyful spirit the most yet remains affordable and stylish.

There is something about writing your thoughts that allows you to process them and re-read them later, almost like a history book of your life from your perspective.  You can learn from your mistakes and see patterns in your life that you might not have noticed so easily.  Online blogs are the journals of today... but nothing beats sitting by the ocean writing your thoughts, hopes, and dreams in a handmade journal that you can physically hold in your hands and stash away for another time when profound thoughts will flow from your pen onto the paper in front of you.

Honestly, I prefer handwritten journals to blogs because you can carry them with you anytime anywhere and you don't have to worry about who may come across your entry.  I'm a doodler and while taking notes on a sermon or message I tend to draw pictures with my notes and it's not the same on the computer.  I tend to feel like I'm writing a paper for school when I am tapping away on Jac's keys [my Mac is named Jac if you weren't aware yet].

Remember the good times, learn from the not-so-great and share with one another in order to lighten the load and fulfill the law of Christ.  I miss SLO.  I find myself a little jealous of the people who are left there in the small town where biking is widely accepted and even encouraged during bike to work week.  The beach less than 12 miles, hiking across town, rock climbing down the street, and friends sprinkled across town.  I suppose that's why they say you should enjoy college while it lasts because there's nothing like it.  It's true, especially when you've lived in a place like San Luis Obispo and 'learned by doing' at Cal Poly.  There's so much more to say, but it's past my bedtime.  I miss home.  I miss my family and friends, the Pacific, the glorious dry heat/weather, and hypoallergenic atmosphere.  One more year.  God will see me through until the end.  He will never leave me nor forsake me.

- run for life friends

Monday, June 1, 2009

may '09 recap

I missed the entire month of May! I love May most, I guess I just got too caught up with life and everything to do. I went camping at Douthat State Park with the Richardsons and Doody CG the first weekend of May, then to New York for Rachel's birthday fiesta and worked the third weekend. NEXT was Memorial Day weekend and I just worked this past weekend as well. I made it to my 3rd MLB park this 2009 season (San Diego, DC, & Baltimore so far) with more to come. I love traveling and baseball. When they're combined, that just makes it so much better.

I feel like I am plagued with lack of sleep and a lot of neck pain in a addition to my usual aliments. I wonder if it's because I'm older or because I am just as injury prone as I've always been. June is already filling up with (hopefully) 2 weekend trips to the beach, a working weekend and Seattle for Paul's wedding, the Rock 'n Roll Seattle Inaugural Marathon and a Mariners game at Safeco.

NEXT was good (the new New Attitude). I had been dreading it, with lack of communication and not really knowing anyone who was going (due to lack of communication, it turned out there were about 70 people from our church, I just had no idea until after I was already there). It worked out better though. I hung out with new people and made new friends. I prefer that, rather than only hanging out with friends I already know and see all the time. Not that last year wasn't good, it was, I just like meeting new people.

My favorite speaker was Kevin Deyoung. He is a pastor from Michigan and he is HILARIOUS. I definitely want to get and read his book, 'Just Do Something!' He went through the latter half of Luke 8 and I was impressed with his simplification and break down.

He went through and noted (my notes not his, this is what I thought was important):

1) You do not rebuke something unless you believe it's going to obey.  Clearly, Jesus knew who He was while everyone else was just beginning to understand.  [ex-Jesus and the storm, he said 'peace be still' and it stopped].

2) the disciples and witnesses were MORE afraid after Jesus performed the miracles [the demon called Legion scared them, the storm scared them, and the girl dying was sad, but they were MORE afraid that Jesus was able to control all of these things, instead of feeling better or impressed: they were filled with FEAR-clearly he was more than human].

3) These miracles were not a test of Christ's power. Jesus barely says a word and miracles happen. [they were simple/easy for Him].

4) Christ's holiness is more powerful than your uncleanliness. If you touch Jesus -> you become CLEAN! [ex-woman who touched His cloak and stopped bleeding after TWELVE YEARS! The law said that you're unclean if you're bleeding and if another person touches you-you became unclean as well. Not for Jesus. He is so holy/pure/clean that you become clean if you are unclean and touch Him.].

5) You cannot exhaust God's grace [ex-saying, 'I can't forgive myself = MORE SIN, YOU CAN'T FORGIVE YOURSELF, HE MUST FORGIVE YOU! It's not that you feel bad, it's that you don't feel BAD ENOUGH.]

Finally, my favorite point. (6, I guess) Deyoung states that Christianity is 'anti-Disney' which I never thought about, but it's true. He says, 
"You will NOT be a Christian unless you stop believing in yourself."
Which is a great statement. We must believe in Christ, we must believe in His power. We need to remember that Jesus is the Lord and Savior. "The closer you get the more you love Him & the more you get a little scared." - K. Deyoung

Another good point he had, "the goal of youth group is boring testimonies!" He also says that the sins biggest in the church today are 1) sexual sin and 2) self righteousness. Being tormented by Satan is better than being proud [ex-Paul with the thorn in his flesh-God gave it to him to keep him from being conceited].

D.A. Carson and Sinclair Ferguson were also very good. I am too tired to write about all that, but I definitely need to re-listen to the messages.

God please help me to make it through the last 4 weeks of these 2 classes and finish them with satisfaction that I glorified You in the process. Please help me to prepare for my summer class and do well in that. Lord You know what I need, please help me to sleep more and be content in all areas of my life. Thank You for leading me and guiding me and saving me from what I cannot handle.

- run for life