Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New notebooks & folders!

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Do you ever get those silly little email/internet surveys that your friends send around (Full Name? Time you started this survey? Favorite Food? Any tattoos?), only so they can have the opportunity to answer the questions about themselves and inflict this meaningless information upon their friends (you)? Well, I'm a sucker for those. For some reason, I love getting them (only I actually do enjoy learning about my friends), I enjoy answering them, and I enjoy sending them on to people in hopes that they'll oblige and answer the questions. Don't hate me for loving them.

I'm a dork.

One of my favorite questions that is often included in these silly little surveys is this: What is your favorite day of the year?

Most people answer this question with things like, "My birthday. Christmas. Easter. The day my Income Tax Refund comes in the mail."

Not me. My answer is without question: The first day of school.

I've always LOVED the first day of school. What interesting people am I going to meet this semester? Who am I going to sit next to in class? What are my teachers/professors like? Who will I eat lunch with? Oh my goodness! I am about to make the first mark in my fabulous brand-new notebook! What? I have a matching folder, too? What a good day.

As previously stated, I am a dork.

Nonetheless, I am SUPER excited about the first day of class. It's just around the corner, and I've waited all summer for it. Bring on the work. I'm rested and ready. Just don't ask me how I'm doing on Day 2. Pretty much guaranteed that the excitement will have faded. :)

I'd like to know: do you have any memorable first-day-of-school stories to share?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Honest Blogging

Well, I've had a couple of requests for a blog update. I racked my brain and tried to think of something clever or funny to post, but I couldn't think of anything. I guess the obvious thing to do would be to post pictures and stories from our AWESOME time in California with our friends Jeremiah & Lindsay. But to be honest, I don't feel like fighting with to get my pictures posted. Some other time (Soon, I hope). So instead, I am going to post a brief excerpt from my journal, that I wrote 4 days ago. Not much has changed since then, so I'm about to lay my heart out there for you. Don't judge too harshly. This whole thing makes me a little nervous. But hey, the 6 (maybe 7) of you out there that actually read this thing-- well, you're people that I trust. At any rate, it's from my journal, so a lot of it probably won't make sense!


Today I am very tired and feeling very distant from the Lord, whatever that means. Whatever that does mean, it's a common theme in my life these days. For starters, I have a hard time getting out of my head the expectations I have for what my relationship with Christ is "supposed" to look like. It's funny to say that I feel "distant" from God, when just 2 days ago I was so sure I was in his very presence.

But the truth is, there are so many unanswered questions swimming around in my head, and like I've said over and over again, seminary has made the questions even bigger and harder to deal with. Some days, God seems miles away and to be honest, completely unreal. And other days, like when I am in the presence friends and am communing with them, God's presence is so heavy. I am wrestling with some very real fears... most of which I do not know how to articulate. So I won't. But just how does God enter into our lives? How does he guide us (if he even does at all)? The Scriptures... well, that's a whole different issue for me. Is God really sovereign? I really struggle with that, because I just don't see how it works out. Needless to say, it's hard to do ministry with so many questions in my head. Sometimes, this whole thing seems way too hard.

My friend Jeremiah says that when he's standing at the ocean is when he feels the smallest and God seems the biggest. I just stood at the ocean, too. A great big, seemingly endless ocean-- it's proof of the greatness of God, right? Love. Laughter. Life. This is evidence of God, right? Friendship. No, my questions have nothing to do with the existence of God. My questions never have. My questions are about his workings. I understand perfectly that there's a lot I'll never understand. But I feel like I'm in a somewhat fragile place right now.

I don't know how to pray these days-- for how are those prayers answered? Yet, I know that to pray is not just to share meaningless chatter with God and that to pray is to listen. But somehow, it's a lot harder than it used to be.

Is it something I'm doing (or not doing) wrong? I am not convinced of that. I'm committed to prayer and to the study of scripture. And the frightening (yet somewhat comforting)part of it all is that I know without a doubt that God has called me to do full-time ministry. He has also called me to this place called Asbury, and that's another thing I'm sure of. So all of these ridiculous questions in my head, although scary, aren't really all that scary at all. For I do know (sort of) what direction I'm headed... so that must mean I'll be able to work through this eventually, right? I guess it depends on how committed I am to what I know God has called me to do and how committed I am to real faith.

So how has God entered into my life lately? In the quiet and in the lonliness. Through my marriage and the commitment of a fantastic husband. Through the most ridiculously wonderful friends a person could ever have. By standing at the foot of the ocean, being reminded of the greatness of God's creation (And sometimes through theology. But right now, it's making me crazy).

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Garden Update

Well, we haven't killed anything yet. Since my first post about our new tomato and herb gardens, things have grown up quite a bit around our house. Here are the new photos:

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This is the herb "garden"

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Close up of our basil and parsley

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Our first tomato!

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The tomato garden (or should I say "forest"?)

We're quite proud of our little plants and can hardly wait to start eating and cooking with all of the deliciousness they will offer!