Sunday, December 7, 2008


"Truth strikes us from behind, and in the dark."
Henry David Thoreau

That seems true for me here. I think I know what I am doing walking forward, and the brokenness, the despair of God's beloved taps me on the shoulder and says "look at me. Im here. Be with me in this." I have discovered God in a whole new way: through darkness.

"Those who believe that they believe in God, but without any passion in their heart, any anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only in the God-idea, not in God."
Miguel De Unamuno

Finding God in darkness, wrestling with Ultimate Truth in the midst of unimaginable evil, that is real. Being angry, feeling anguish, burning with passion for justice in the midst of incredible doubt, that is belief God understands. Apathy, deliberate ignorance, exclusion motivated by "faith", those are belief in the God-idea. God is not in that.

Thats what I think.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I have been an introvert this weekend. Definitely much more exhausting then being an extrovert. I dont know how people do it. Good to experience once in a while though.

Went to a gathering of important people on Friday night. I was a mess. All the walls are down for feeling things about people. This place has changed me. For the better. I can no longer hear a story and forget it, or not think about the people involved. I think its because the people telling the stories of injustice, or rescue and triumph, were actually there, and part of the solution. They know the people, and they are a part of their lives. I sit among some of the most brilliant minds in the business, and watch them become moved to tears by the stories of casework they were a part of. Not tears of triumph, or pride in their own abilities, but tears of overwhelming gratitude to God for doing everything. Complete humility. I said I wanted to be a sponge, well I am definitely soaking it up. These people have rocked my world. And for someone who thought she already knew it, that is quite a feat. I dont want to leave. There is comfort in being a part of the huge amount of action and good that this place churns out every day. Going off to what was before familiar and comfortable suddenly seems a difficult challenge that I do not want to face.

There is one thing I wish would have ended different. but I am going to be an introvert and leave it at that.


Saturday, November 1, 2008


Intimidating to be back after a very long hiatus. What do you say after spending two months on another continent living in poverty, then moving to a different coast and starting over with new people.

I am not as cool as I once thought I was. I have, somewhat unintentionally, currently surrounded myself by the smartest and most well-travelled people I have ever encountered. I feel very small and put in my place. Its hard because that is not the way it usually goes for me. I feel like I am shaping a whole new outlook on things, and learning what it is like to actively practice humility. I said that was what I wanted, but its hard. How do you know when a process like that has completed its course? Does it ever end (or get less painful)?

Relationships are different here as well. Different then ever before. People ask me different questions, treat me in a different way, and expect different answers. That is the best I can explain it, you will have to ask me in person. This is a pointless entry to everyone but me, and Im ok with that. At least Im back online again.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Things that made me happy in the last two days:
-free oreo milkshakes
-fashion shows
-my girls' laughter
-playing baseball in the hallway
-akwardly falling down hills
-filming movies appreciating people you like
-my yellow car
-old Steven Curtis Chapman cd's
-changing my opinion
-intitiating new people for leadership positions
-finishing important applications
-cards that sing
-Mr Ly
-coming to the end of something and feeling satisfied

Thursday, May 29, 2008


The "era" of my life that has been the past year is coming to an end. In two weeks, everything will be different and I will say goodbye to people that I will not see for six months. That seems like ages as a college student. I am sending in my app for the internship tomorrow, taking the LSAT in a little more then two weeks, and going to Africa in less then four. We passed down all our traditions to the new RAs tonight. It feels good to be satisified at the end of a time in your life where you feel that you worked extremely hard. I don't think I will have regrets looking back on how I led this year, and I think I was really refined in my motives for doing things.

I am wrestling with the passage in Mark right now about having faith and praying for things, then expecting them to happen. It says if you are not holding grudges or need to forgive anyone, then God will listen to your prayers and grant your requests. So, where is the line with that, because people obviously do not always get what they want. I think I will just continue to pray expecting things to happen, then watch as God blows me away by how he answers them in completely different ways.

Its time for the Lost finale. really profound I know.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I got to speak at this cool thing last Friday. It went well, and people talked to me afterwards and thought I was legit. In my limited experience with those kind of things, my coolness lasts for about two days, then people sort of forget and move on. I can see how celebrities or whoever could get hooked on that popular feeling of always wanting to feel wanted. I am glad people arent still talking to me about it, it is the 99% of my life when I am not speaking in front of people that lets me earn the right to share in the first place.

Things are coming together for my summer trip I think. Just when i give up and think there is no way I can do everything and get all the money and paperwork in, it happens. Its like I have to have that moment of total surrender before anything really good gets done. One month and twelve minutes from today is the day I take the LSAT. I am very confident it is what I want to do, and what I am supposed to do, but also very aware that I could crash and burn horribly because then I would have no control and no plan, and that is usually when God does something cool.

I am getting to the point where I see cool character qualities of God in people, and it is very encouraging. You can make manifest the glory of God within you sometimes without knowing it. My staff had bingo night and we dressed up like old people this week, it was genuinely fun, and I felt like the happiness and comfort was a simple thing from HIm.

This is kind of a worthless blog entry, but whoever you are as you read this, know there is something bigger then yourself out there. And He loves you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Why does stuff like this always seem to happen "over there." and why is it so easy to feel detached? This is about the only time when I feel genuinely frustrated with politics. The government of Burma and Myanmar have such tight controls they are not even approving the visas to let the relief workers in right now to help. Over 100,000 predicted dead. And countries are sending "condolence messages." That sounds super helpful. Yet at the same time, what are they supposed to do if the govenments of the suffering nations wont even accept help for their own people? Or wont handle the help with integrity? Dumping bodies into rivers because there is no where else to put them, little kids guarding food supplies in temples, trying to ration it to make it last as more people drift in, saying they have lost everything.

I wish i could drop everything and fly over there right now. If I had the money, I would. But what could I do? Other people are already trying. I hope they can make a difference, and that the government will let them in. Praying is about all I can do. I wish that felt more satisfying at this moment.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Last night at my staff meeting, people were sharing news stories they had heard yesterday. Two were mentioned, and neither of them were happy, and they seemed to completely change everyone's mood. It was strange. I kind of felt left out. I am constantly reading the news and learning about stuff happening in the world, and it mostly does not upset me. I dont think I am jaded, I think it is my personality to not be upset but to want to do something.

They just kept saying, "well see! This is why we dont read the news!" Yes, that is it follower of Jesus, live in complete ignorance of the world around you so that you dont have to feel uncomfortable or responsible for changing any of it.

It boggles my mind how people are so shocked by evil in the world. News flash: the world is messed up. But we get to help fix it! I dont want to make excuses, or be frozen by fear over how bad it is somewhere. People always pray for rescuers, but never are the rescuers themselves. I realize that some situations are horrible and you cannot do anything because of time or money or whatever, but dont just write it off and forget, hoping that "that other person" will do something for you. What if you lived life constantly trying to be people's answered prayer? Does that make sense? And if so, why is that so hard for people?

From Bob Bennett's song "Doing of the Thing"

Broken souls covered in broken skin
No resolution on the video screen.
Half a world away, somebody does our bidding
Beceause we like to pray, with our fingernails clean.

Mistake the nodding of the head
For all the words that can be said.
Mistake the sympathy we bring
For the doing of the thing.

Please dont be ignorant and close your eyes because you are uncomfortable. It is frustrating to people who have their eyes open on purpose.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I am living in alternate worlds at the same time. Not in a freaky sci-fi way, but I really feel like I am living two lives. I have the life I live at school, and as an RA and friend, and then I have this new life that has emerged, sort of living in my future with lawyers and court and LSAT prep.

I am struggling with this because, to remain sane this year, I have had to compartmentalize my life. I cannot think about all the stuff I saw and experienced in Africa, my future goals to become a lawyer, maintain all the new relationships I have made, and be an RA and be present and here with the girls. I have separated them and open up different ones when I need to. But now they are all coming up at once. A girl friend from Africa just told me she is pregnant, I am studying two horus a day for the LSAT, being a student and friend, and planning stuff for my floor. It is cool, but hard at the same time.

I went to a court sentencing on Friday. An actual sentencing. A guy came in in handcuffs, there was a judge, the whole nine yards. I wanted to be one of the lawyers so bad. I can just imagine being up there, fighting for people, seeing justice happen. Seeing people fail and succeed getting their lives back together. I have never felt more excited in my life about what is next.

So now, on top of everything else, I need to try and compartmentalize the future. I cant wait for it, but I must. And I want to really be here with what I am doing right now, because I know it is important.

Whew. Wish me luck.

Monday, April 14, 2008


I heard the dalai lama speak today. I am now someone that can say they have seen the dalai lama and heard him speak. pretty cool. A cop gave us free parking, and there were lots of Chinese people there protesting the dalai lama and talking about how politics and the olympics should be separated and that the dalai lama was trying to lead a secret revolution. I like seeing passionate political people, even if I disagree.

I know he is seen as a God, but he just seemed so approachable and nice, like my grandpa. It must be weird being viewed as a God. Then again, he has been raised to believe that. He kept making jokes about his bald head, and he seemed really real. His ideas on peace are very idealistic, but the crowd was loving it. The coolest thing I thought he said was talking about intelligence. He said that intelligence should fuel compassion, not hatred. That makes sense. The smarter we get the better we should be at treating each other (at least in theory). Instead I think we just get better and better at corrupting ourselves.

I talked to my favorite prof tonight and he mentioned how people of faith are written off for using God as a crutch that helps them deal with difficult things in life. Other people look down on those with faith as not being strong enough to handle troubles. My prof was making the argument that cynicism and lack of faith is also a crutch because you do not have to take love of yourself and your ability off of a pedestool, or admit that at some point you might be held accountable for your actions. Therefore the entire argument is dumb because both sides lose. I thought that was good.

Do I think world peace is possible? No. Do I like the dalai lama anyway? Yea, he seemed like a cool guy.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


A lot of healing just took place I think. Being an RA, I have watched girls change and grow and experience lots of things this year, and there was an event on campus tonight that might have finally broken (in a good way) several of the girls. I just had the most beautiful conversation with a girl who discovered before my very eyes that she has never really believed that God loves her, so she has spent her entire life feeling inadequate.

It is moments like now that I just step back in awe of the fact that I get to be with these women and experience these momentous things alongside them. What a privilege. We talked for a long time about her learning to love herself, and her fear that now is too late to finally trust that God loves her regardless of all the baggage she has. I can only imagine how beautiful she must be to God right now, limping to him carrying all this crap, but still trying to come anyway. Brokenness is where you find true beauty, and where real dynamic people emerge. I am amazed.

The new RAs for next year have been chosen, and I met my replacement today. She is very eager and excited, and I feel war torn and seasoned. I felt really old. You can only tell them so much about what it is really like because they are excited and there is only so much they will hear and understand. But nights like tonight make me miss this "job" already, and yet excited for her to be able to live intentionally as the leader of 44 girls trying to become women.

I am excited for the next few months, I think there is a lot in store.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


So my friend dragged me to her college group tonight and I was really cynical because the topic was sex. I hate the church sex discussions because they are always the same. The people go up there and give everyone advice on waiting, saying that "it is worth it." It all just seems so fake, its like anyone has to hide if they have ever actually struggled with anything. But people were really real tonight, and a lot of stuff came up that impressed me.

Anyways, this one I actually liked, and it was more of a discussion. This guy mentioned the verses in I think its 1 Corinthians about the body being a temple. He said that maybe that is not just your body in the individual sense, but also the communal Body of Christ. So being pure benefits the entire Body, just as being sinful hinders the Body. I liked that a lot, it makes it that much better if you stay pure, not just for yourself, but for the larger community of believers.

At UPC today, Earl spoke about the different meanings of the word bless. When it is people blessing God, the Greek word also means bow, and when it is God blessing us, the greek means stoop. I liked that difference. It puts the importance and "Godnesss" of God in perpective. It has been a good day today.

And Backstreet Boys is playing on repeat in the bathroom. Sometimes that just works with your mood, and right now is one of those times.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


So, my grades were not that great from last quarter. I hate that. As soon as I decide I want to do and understand that it takes perfect grades, my grades become the worst they have ever been. It is like some sort of twisted "trust in God" test where I have to look really bad and totally surrender that area to God and trust that stuff will happen anyway, regardless of my poor performance.
I was reading this book this morning and it said "if you are trying to serve God in your poor weak way, quit it; your duty is to serve God in his strong triumphant way." I liked that. It gives me permission to be really excellent at whatever I do because He is really excellent. There is nothing wrong with that.
Are you ever intimidated by the life path you have chosen for yourself? I have never been more confident that my passions and interests are from God and exactly what I am supposed to be doing, yet part of me is intimidated and the whole grade thing makes me question whether I will make the cut. And then where would I be? Confident of what I though God was calling me to, yet unable to get there because i am limited by my own ignorance or fear or simple inability to succeed on that level? That is scary. I have to trust that God knows what he is doing and is not some twisted higher being that gives me these dreams only to dangle them in front of my face, forever just inches out of my reach.
I wont let that happen.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Im done! With this quarter at least. It is so strange, I need a couple days to detox or something. I have been pushing and pushing for so long and now I have two days in a row with nothing planned and nothing to do. I dont know what to do with my self already and it has only been 10 hours. It is sad that I have let myself be busy enough to get to this point where I dont even know how to handle having nothing on my schedule.

My friend brought me a donut today. I love donuts. People dont bring me things often, and it totally made my day. People talk a lot about love languages and I love trying to figure out what people's are. I know mine is service, but no one ever thinks it is. I always want to love people through serving because that is the most natural for me and the way I show love. I have learned this year to see what other peoples needs are, then meet them in that way. i am not touchy-feely at all, but some of my friends really appreciate that so I hug them even if I dont feel like it. Just like how I am not a verbal processor. That has been difficult because people always want me to talk things out. I am amazed still by people who just sit and spill everything to me. They are thinking through it as they talk, that is totally foreign to me. By the time it comes out of my mouth, I have already processed it. Just goes to show you how communicating with people can be so difficult if you dont take time to see where they are coming from.

Basically the point of this is to remind myself that my way is not better and I need to love people how I want to be loved, but in their version. Does that makes sense? It does in my head. Like I want to be served and listened to, but in a different way then other people. I want to be able to see that about other people, and be the person who understands how they want to be loved and treats them that way. The bible was on to something when it said treat others the way you want to be treated...but its harder then it sounds. At least for me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Do you ever have those days where everything is just working perfectly? I found $10 in my jeans this morning (which never happens), then I was super productive and wrote a paper and aced two finals. And lunch was awesome in Gwinn, and I ran into peope I wanted to see and its oly 3 get the picture. You just feel like you are on the top of the world.

Huge change from yesterday. I read in Psalm 51 where David says basically, "God if you open my mouth I wil praise you." That is how I felt, kind of like, really God? This day sucks and I dont feel like praising you and things are hard so you will have to open my mouth. Pretty arrogant if you think about it. Those are the moments where the coolest things happen with God in my life. When I am really pissed or really broken and really honest, God does something cool. Its like that old song "We are listening for whispers, but we cannot hear the screams. The sun is blinding us and still we look for matches."

I usually have to get smacked over the head by a metaphorical two by four when I am happy in order to see God's goodness because I always think I got myself there on my own power. Yet, when I am sad or hurting, God is so visible all the time. I need to be more intentional at pursuing God on days like today because they dont last and God is faithful all the time. And he is the one that controls everything, good days and bad. Why is that so hard to remember?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I have a hard time with worship. It is so meaningful to so many people, but I dont really like it. Why do we have to stand and sing about how much we love someone? Why do we sing the same words over and over? And why is it so easy to fake? Are our hearts really in it all the time? Sometimes I think about how many people (at least me) often stand there with their eyes closed thinking about something entirely different then the words they are singing. Sometimes though, you catch a glimpse of someone actually experiencing something deeper.

In early september I was with a bunch of people on a staff and I have this distinct image of this guy. We were singing this song and the words included "Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me; have mercy on me a sinner." It was this sort of slow eerie guitar melody. And we were singing it over and over. I remember sitting there listening then looking over and seeing him. It was beautiful. He had this look of pain on his face and his hands were clasped on his head, it was obvious he wasnt really in the room. Why do those moments only come some time? How do I live like that all the time? I never experience that when I "worship"

In Africa last summer, everything seemed clearer. I dont know if this makes sense, but I tasted God's presence. I felt like the way that guy was probably feeling pretty much all the time. Being in a place of such brokenness, it was so much easier to see beauty. I want to see the world I am living in here through that kind of lense. And I think God deserves my worship whether or not I feel like it. I dont know what exactly that will look like for me, but I do know it is way more then just singing.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I had a really bad meeting this afternoon with a friend. It is one of those relationships that used to be intense but just isnt anymore. I am pretty sure it is just not what either of us needs but we are just too chicken to say it. It was rough, and i dont think she wanted to be there any more then I did. Why does that happen? Friends who were so close just drift away. It doesnt make what we had before as friends any less, but it is just weird now. Yet, I dont feel like I have the energy to care or do anything about it. I think its ok, we both have other people to talk to.

Why do things not work out for people you love? I have close people in my life who have been fighting for things for twenty years to still have minimal results. I want to yell and rage at the church for being silent and not doing anything. i just have to remember that my God (the God that cares about the marginalized) is not in the church, he is in people. It is not much of a comfort, but it is a small one.

I am ready to be done with school for a while. I realize more and more as I study for finals that I have made other things more important this quarter. I can see the kind of student I could be if I didnt place such a high prioirty on relationships, and its kind of annoying. I can look really good on paper, but when it comes to investing in people I often have little to show for it except a lowered GPA. Oh well, I guess that is not why I do it. Its going to be a long couple days. I hope I can make it to Saturday. It is looking grim from this end


Why does certain music just really make you happy when you listen to it? It is so powerful that it can do that to you. I am listening to John Mayer live right now and it is making me happy. Especially in light of everything I have going in my life. Its like music is a breath in between the chaos of life.
You know you meet with too many people when people become appointments. I have many people pulling on me from lots of different directions, and it gets really tiring. They all seem to want something from me and I don't feel like I have anything to offer them. I often figure out what people want and say the right things so they feel encouraged, but that is only the shell of me. I know exactly what to say so it sounds like I am being vulnerable even if I am not. It is like a twisted art form or something. I hate it, and I am geting better and cutting back so I dont get to that point as often. I see why people in ministry can get lonely really easily. Sometimes I can be surrounded by incredible people whom i love and who love me and I still feel like I am all by myself.
Just some scattered thoughts for the morning for you.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


I went to this cool coffee shop today. For the second time. I went yesterday too, and got free coffee. Its called Muse. It is really cool and has a bright yellow chair that I like and this amazing lamp in the bathroom that the owner has named "Mr. P" (I will not go into detail about why). I want to steal it and put it in my room. Going in there inspires me go to go flea markets and find really cool things that look expensive. Or maybe I will just make a lot of money and buy the expensive versions like this coffee shop has done. Heather came with me and we studied all day. Con Law is the hardest class ever, but it is my favorite. I am not looking forward to that final this week.
I gave up sugar four days ago because I have heard that four days is how long it takes you to break a sugar addiction. I think it worked, I havent craved it all day today. but then my friend came and took me to Lys, my favorite donut place. Good old Mr Ly. I will have to devote a whole blog to him later.
It is a beautiful night tonight, I love the view from my window. All the shades of purples in the sky, and the lights of the city seeming to battle for the attention of admirers with the clouds. It has been a good day, except I feel sick from my sudden sugar binge. Garden State is playing the background and I am sitting at my desk reflecting. It feels good.

Friday, March 7, 2008


So, a wise man I know told me a while back that his greatest fear in life is being stereotypical. I think that is mine too. I hate when people think they have me or anyone else figured out after only a few interactions. Really? At least give people the benefit of the doubt that they are more complicated then that, otherwise everyone is just really boring which would be lame. Today someone told me I seem really simple. He meant it as a compliment, but it is sort of like being put in a box, and he has checked it "already figured out."
I think I do that with God a lot. I know the basics (have heard them a million times actually) so I just assume I already know whatever it is people are going to tell me, or feel pride that I have already heard and understand what they are saying. My view of God is not big enough if he fits into my box that I have created for him.
So how do you expand a view you have of God? I have seen him do crazy things in peoples lives, yet I still doubt he can really do stuff in my own (even though he has). I have heard all the cliche church answers, but I want something real. And I know my God can handle my questions. I like that, its like I glimpse what he is really like, outside of church and western stereotypes and my own blinders. Seeing the real thing, I am pretty sure you will always walk away changed even if it only happens once in your life. Is that enough? What if it never happens but you know it can? Is that what faith is? Hearing cool things that God has done for other people and trusting? I mean, I know he has done cool things for me, but do I just not notice them enough? Hmm....

Thursday, March 6, 2008

This is weird. Having a blog and all. I feel like I am one of "those people" now. So, basically I think a lot about a lot of things, and I thought that maybe it was time to start writing them down. Recently, I was at a thing with a bunch of people way smarter and cooler then me, and the only reason I was there was because I could pull the "Im a student" card. This one guy said that he is often wrong but seldom in doubt. I really liked that. I think that is how I am. That is a good way to be right? At least I am not self conscious. It has taken me a long time to get that much.
I am really happy with my life right now. Lots of cool things are happening. And I am happy that no one knows I am writing this. its kind of for the world to see, but not at the same time. So if you are reading this, kudos for finding it. Get a life.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

By Donald MIller

"I once listened to an old Indian guide on television say that God was in the wind and the water, and I wondered at how beautiful that was because it meant you could swim in him or have him brush your face in a breeze. I am early in my story, but I believe I will stretch out into eternity, and in heaven I will look back on these early days when it seemed God was down a dirt road, walking toward me. Years ago he was a swinging speck in the distance; now he is close enough I can hear his singing. Soon I will see the lines on his face."