Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Location: Indianapolis, IN

I couldn't fall asleep very easily last night, partly because my hands still reeked of hair coloring product, and mostly because Chad and I had just finished jumping up and down while Reggie Wayne caught the winning touchdown for the "Rivalry of the Decade" game. And it seems strange to me, recollecting now, that I'd be so excited. But that's a good example of the rather ruinous effects of marriage on my individuality in these brief, yet well-filled 5 months. Errr...almost 5 months.

I'm not an advocate of sports in general, but since marriage, that's changing. I have found myself rather proud of the Colt's 9 & 0 record. I even went a game, the opening game, no less. I tuned out about halfway through, but that's to be expected with so many people all around to observe and analyze.

I'd been educated enough in Colt-ism to know that the Patriots are our least favorite team, and last night, I can genuinely say I was sick to my stomach when we are at the 30 yard line. (Impressive, isn't it?) I drove downtown to work this morning, and almost wanted to high-five everyone who was wearing a Colt's jersey. And then I remembered, I have no idea what I am talking about. Please note, my irritation with girls who momentarily attempt to look like sport's fans via facebook, twitter, or in casual conversation has yet to wear off. I openly admit, I don't really care.

Another change, albeit not so subtly, has been to my tastebuds. For four years in college I prided myself with existing solely off of Common Grounds frozen drinks and McAlister's PB&J's. Here in Indy, we only have mainstream coffee shops. Like Starbucks, or Seattle's Best. I've been amazed at the money I am not spending. Shock of all shocks, I've actually locked up my habitual craving for mainstream food in general, with or without the PB&J. Chad and I now scour any strip mall for ethnic restaurants. Dishes of choice: Pad Thai from Jasmine Thai...a mix of rice noodles and chicken, sprinkled with crushed peanuts. Chicken Tika Masala from New India: chicken smothered in a delicious red sauce steaming over white rice...and over course, the Indian specialty flat bread Naan. I simply cannot get my hands full with it as often as I'd like. Perhaps the most expected turn in tastebuds has been to Lebanese food. Bosphorus downtown serves up the best hummus I've ever had. I now lick the plate. And for an entrée, I love me some doner (it's kind of a twist of lamb and beef shaved and seasoned) One Lebanese dish that cannot be stomached, however, is Kidbi...the raw meat dish. I'll leave that to my husband.

I apologise for listing sports and food first, but I can't deny that sometimes, that seems to be the order of our interests right now outside of friends and our personal favorite, the strange and very unexpected work God's doing in our hearts. More on that another blog, when its more tangible and something I can actually articulate.

Week life for Chad and I is getting pretty "normal" feeling lately. He has been elevated to the position of hiring manager at Freije, and so he reviews resumes and sets up interviews and hires people all day long. As the social man that he is, he's content.

After a few months of doing nothing except listening to Bill Johnson sermons, reading books about revivals and the church, and researching some pretty outstanding worship music-- I finally found a job. Or, two.

I've managed to set up my schedule so that I still feel like I in college, with my Monday, Wednesdays and every other Friday being occupied one way, and my Tuesdays and Thursdays another. It's actually really refreshing. For those who work 5 days a week at the same job and are hating it, attempt the luxury of change of pace.

I start my week off driving downtown to Monument Circle, the hub of downtown, and I spend my days at the Emmis building working for Indianapolis Monthly magazine fact-checking: perusing already submitted articles for any factual errors. It's like being an investigator, except I do it for free and the pace is considerably less draining. Occasionally, the dining editor and possibly one of my favorites here, offers me a some word space for a particular restaurant, which means I drag Chad there and we eat a free meal. (I don't actually drag him there, he's really quite eager for anything free, especially food.)

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have the distinct privilege of nannying for Jack (5 months), Kathryn (4 years), and John (5 years). I'm a bottle filling, diaper changing, board game playing machine while I am there, and I come home plastered with baby vomit and spit. Sort of disgusting in a heart-warming way.

The biggest item on our proverbial plate is our move. Although our closing has been postpone not just twice but thrice...I am excited about getting out of our apartment and moving into a house. Not that we'll be able to furnish it for the next ten years, but it's something I like to think of as an investment. And all in all, Chad and I enjoy life, enjoy friends, and enjoy marriage. We are, I have to believe, living in the most blessed period of our lives thus far.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring is right outside my window. She came so quickly this year, and I am still marvelling at her. I hope every year it will suprise me. There are these tender, tiny, precious buds of green on all the emaciated branches, and suddenly the sky seems more blue too. The sun has changed too. It's more proud, less uncertain. It's got generous rays and warms the ground and little birds are chirping, hopping, and wobbling about beneath freshly burgeoning oak trees. I can't help but be happy. I am thrilled to walk outside today, and I have to hold back a gigantic laugh. What a relief that things change-- that life dies so it can come back a more pure, a more beautiful life than the year before. I am not sure if spring does get prettier, but I think I appreciate her more every time I meet her again.
There is a spring time in my heart I am hoping for. In winter I am cozy, warm and safe inside of things familiar. Steadfast things, and predictability. Christmas comes, and its nearly the same as the one before. Flannel pajamas, warm sheets, good cups of coffee tucked inside of a home. And then suddenly its spring, and things are new and fresh and enormously spontaneous. I have no idea what to expect of the future, when to expect things to bloom, when to anticipate a full garden of hope and love and friends. But it's marvelous, really, to watch the process. To watch the uncertainty, the viperish arms of trees suddenly erupt in tiny whispers of green hope. And that same for me, something smells like spring time in my heart, and there is a glow to this whole season that I hope I relish.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I had to stop tonight and wonder at myself. I am so busy making sure I am who I say I am, and that my indentity is not stolen by anyone. Things I say, things I wear, things I do, all compiling into this image I am constantly trying to emit.
And if ever someone encroaches upon my idea of myself, either with too similar of characteristics, or with disdain for how I've made myself appear, I get deffensive. Walls go up, and my heart grows desperate to maintain my idea of self.
What if I stopped trying so hard to be the woman I think I am? What if I yielded to be unseen, to be undefined, for a season. To let the world pass me by with it's identity crises, and to simply live and love God and others.
Franis Chan once gave a sermon about when he went home to Hong Kongand had relatives and strangers alike say to him, "You so big". Being 5'9", and living in America, Chan knew he was only big in comparison with the people he was surrounded by in Hong Kong. In America, he was average, to say the least. I find myself in similar situations all of the time. Depending on who I am around, either I am so big, in my identity and giftings and abilities, or else I am simply struggling to maintain average.
I'd like to alleviate some of my stress, and simply be Charis by obedience to God. To let someone else steal my loves, perform my giftings better, and display more passion for my interests. What is so bad about being outside of a box? Why not love God, love others, and leave and entrust the details of my own identity to the One who knows me best. He doesn't see me in comparison to those around me. He sees me. He knows what makes me the Charis He created.
May we be content to know our Maker knows the secret to our identity, the depth of our passions, and the extent of our giftings. Let's aim to please Him. He can surely put us back on our feet.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

the following is an excerpt of an email i wrote a year ago:
"sometimes when i am against Chad's chest, and i did this when i was little on my dad too, i listen for his heart beat. it is so sobering to hear it and realize that's the only organ pumping life into someone so precious to me. and then when i hug him and feel how he's just flesh, it quiets me down. no need to be so busy idolizing another human, eh?"
there is nothing like this season in my life. it makes me think of hammocks and summer time and watermelon so juicy it runs down my chin. it is like sticking my fingers in a bowl of rising bread dough, so full of life and potential and possibility.
and this is my life, now. something is stretching on before me and i am not sure what it is going to look like or what it will be, but i know whatever it is i am in.
i am not sure if there are a few great men in the world, but i know i have at least found one. and there is something so good about realizing i've been loved well, and it is just the beginning of it all.
i've learned so much about myself through loving him. somethings i hate, somethings i love, but everything makes me feel more alive.
i am sure people who never get married feel alive too, and realize awakenings like this one at distinct times.
i am sure one day i will wake up because of some other love, some other passion that has nothing to do with romance.
but for right now, this is my season. it's glowing and bright and supple and rich. ah, to drink deeply of the fullness, the failure, and the feeling of human love.
and in moments when i realize he or i have failed, that we may continue to fail all the days of our lives, i'm pointed toward the unfailing. and its not cheesy or romanticized then. it's humbling and unmistakeably, poignantly true. only One love meets all loves, is all love, and fulfills all love.
"i am itching for something more than just the heart and the bones of a man. i have a longing in my heart for someone to put my arms around for eternity who is indestructable, and whose love for me will not change. that sounds selfish too, but i think you know what i mean.
c.s. lewis says in a book i am reading for class that he believes the longings for satsifaction and contentment and eternity come because there exists such a thing that will meet those longings. i can't wait for heaven, if that's the case."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I started to read Ruth this morning. There was a quote in an Amy Carmichael book I came across, and it reminded me of the story of Ruth. My focus, however, has been on Naomi. Ms. Carmichael was focusing on Naomi's lament when she enters Bethlehem after her loss, where she announces to her friends that she has returned empty, to call her Mara "bitter" instead of Naomi "pleasant".

I began in Ruth chapter one, where Naomi and her husband are pushed out of Bethlehem because of a famine in the land. Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem after ten years, and three deaths, because she heard "The Lord had visited his people with bread".

A woman broken in spirit, in hope, and without provision, goes on a journey to follow the movement of God. Jehovah was providing for His people in Bethlehem, and so she follows the shadow of His provision. I wonder how Naomi heard about it, or how she decided she'd go. I imagine out of that place of desperation, Naomi packed up her belongings, however meager, and set out to seek the providing hand of God.

With the Lord I so often play games. Lord, I won't stalk you. I won't even seek you. You have to pull me out, pick me out, and summon me before You. I am not bold enough to "come before the throne of grace with confidence".

I want to be like Naomi. To follow the one whose invitation is clear. Onward toward Jesus. Whereever there is rumor that He has presented Himself, I ought to seek that place.

Monday, January 12, 2009


There is this commercial, for some kind of insurance agency, that has a beautiful whale exploding from water, and somehow the sight of that water and that whale convinces audiences to trust in the insurance agency. I never thought about it much before, but I wonder if that isn't somehow significant. Maybe this agency is on to something, and maybe that something is the idea that people are drawn to the reality of the beauty of whales and created things, simply because they are undeniable artifacts of life. There is a truth to the idea of beings existing with or without our notice, and they go on living, and have lived, since before we were conscious of them.
Mom read me a quote from a book she read over the break, something about how most times people who know God act as if He is some great depth that they must only venture into a few times in a day, and that the shallow portion of life is where they most often ought to remain. The truth, Mom told me with glittering eyes, is that God has invited us to spend most of our time in the deep place with Him, only venturing into the shallow portions when it is necessary. Somehow it all connected in my brain to this whale. People pay a lot of money to go whale watching, and they go for a few seconds, maybe mulitple times, of a whale's surfacing. But they never leave the watch thinking, "Geesh, I wish whales spent most of their time above the surface...that way we'd really get a good look at 'em."
The glory of a whale is that the surface is NOT its home. It makes it surfacing all the more exquisite, shocking, undeniably loud for the watching world. How often I live like I can only handle so much depth, and that the world watching me needs me surface level. What if we, who profess to know God, mimicked those glorious kings of the sea? What if we lived in the deep places of God, and only momentarily broke the surface, to wow and convict and convince the watching world that our glory depends on the fact that we are not surface-level. We go deep. Oh Lord, let me go deep.