This Fall. Book a Screening. I just might be coming to your school.
(I can’t believe I just said that, minorly freaking out)
Life is Life.
Faces covered in chocolate, squeals of joy from a four year old, and a birthday gift for a friend. When it’s too hot to go outside, this is what summer is about.
Exactly one year ago today I handed over the library keys to the head teacher at Anaka Secondary School. It was one of the proudest moments of my life.
Invisible Children just posted an article about it this morning. I wasn’t expecting a library to bring me to tears, but when you relive crazy memories alone on your couch, thousands of miles away, strange things happen.
Look at it today.
Then maybe stop by your town library today, pick up a new book or simply find one on your bookshelf that has been collecting dust. It’s good for the soul. Books change lives.
Until this morning I was under the impression there was one way to make this good stuff, apparently I was incredibly wrong.
I had to prove it to myself.
and to no surprise…
The Pioneer Woman was correct again.
Never did I imagine that a week after graduation I would still not know my plans for the fall. I’ve faced a lot of “ends” recently, more “good-byes” than I’d care to say and to be honest I’m ready for some “hellos”. Yesterday I had a minor panic attack, I was casually asked, “where do you go to school?” This seemingly simple question caught me by surprise and I didn’t have a response. I stood there confused. Where do I go to school? How was I supposed to answer that?
From turning in my keys to the church and saying my grad sunday message or signing yearbooks and taking finals, I’ve been in a whirlwind of transition away from something that had become comfortable and safe into ____________. Yes. Blank. I don’t know what I’m transitioning into. I don’t know where I’m headed, it’s unknown territory.
I was in Berkeley this past week and stumbled into my favorite little shop. There is a small table in the front full of incredible pieces by an artist from San Francisco. Every time i’m there, i pick up this mug. You can feel the imperfections in the clay and see where the artist placed her hands, It is beautiful. I always convince myself I don’t have the money to buy it, so I once again colored within the lines again and walked away from the table. My birth mom however saw it and went straight to the cash register. To make a long story short, for the past week I have started my morning sipping coffee out of this masterpiece.
Patience. I need more of it.
It’s thrilling at times to be surrounded by such uncertainty, that thrill is wearing off. I’m beginning to catch my breath from the intense celebration and chaos that consumed the past month and as I do, I’m starting to absorb the reality of what the future holds.
Life simply will never be the same. As beautiful as it is, and as much as I’ve boasted about how ready I am, I’m scared at the same time.
Scared and impatient. What a wonderful combination.
So for now, I convince myself the wait will be worth it, appreciate my friends more, enjoy chocolate cake from Sideboard often, and spend intentional time with family. Oh ya, and continue my borderline unhealthy obsession with my mug and Philz coffee.
I did a little dance when this arrived on my doorstep. Definitely the coolest graduation gift I received.
It’s a Scratch Map, you use a coin to remove the gold foil which reveals the colorful places you’ve traveled to. (insert scream of joy)
Beautiful Things- Michael Gungor
"In the minute it will take me to write this paragraph, 7 people on average will die from water-borne disease or dehydration. 6 of these human beings reside in a developing country. Within the hour "casualties" will reach 410, again on average. Nearly 10,000 people will die in the next 24 hours, just because corporations don’t profit from building a well in villages that have nothing but their hands to offer to the world economy. How’s that for a damage report?
The worst part is that these are people we’re talking about. I have to put something into perspective for you.
The total estimated mass of the universe is about 1.256*10^52 kg. That’s 12,557,770,359,564,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms. The average mass of a man’s body is 70 kg, a woman’s is about 60 kg. Assuming the world population is about 6.91 billion and is split 50/50 between men and women (it isn’t actually, but it’s close enough for these purposes), the total mass of the human species is approximately 449.15 billion kg, or 449,150,000,000 kilograms. Compare this to the aforementioned number of kilograms in the universe.
Assuming humans are the only intelligent life in the universe, the ratio of matter that makes up intelligent life to matter in the entire universe (only including protons, neutrons and electrons, mind you, none of that elusive dark matter) is 449.15 billion kg to 1*10^52 kg. When I plugged that ratio into my calculator, it spit out an answer of zero. Virtually nonexistent.
There’s something extremely humbling about being told by a calculator that your entire species does not exist.
The percentage of matter belonging to the human race is virtually 0, too small to calculate with the average calculator. One would think that this human matter would be extremely precious to us, valued more than an HDTV or a Mercedes. A higher end HDTV costs as much as the construction of a clean, filtered water well in Africa, about $6,500. A Benz costs about 10 times that amount.
And yet nearly 1 out of every 1000 of us die per year because water, H20, the kind of molecule that covers 71% of this planet’s surface, is in short supply or filthy quality on much of the land that covers 29% of the same surface.
So next time you’re driving next to someone and you know you’re about to exchange one of those awkward side glances that everyone experiences, realize how rare it is for the atoms in your bodies to be bound together in a such a way that allows you both to function intelligently; appreciate this incomprehensible amount of good fortune. Instead of an awkward glance, try a smile. Or at least a nod of recognition or assent.”
Life is just a bowl full of cherries.
This is my message for the grad sunday at my church. it was a mighty challenging step for my to process these thoughts enough to put them into words on paper. And an even scarier one to speak the words into a microphone for people who’ve know me for years to hear and then once again for me to put it up on this blog. However there is something convicting about it, something that keeps me accountable and adds life to the simple sentences by knowing they’ve reached ears beyond my own. I need to say the truths in this post.
It isn’t the easiest thing for me to admit but when I’m honest and vulnerable with myself I can say that standing here as a senior, I’m not who I thought I’d be or who I wanted to be.
It’s been a difficult year to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, life’s been incredible. Friends, family, blessings all around. However my spiritual walk has been a rough road. More or less, I could sum it up with the word ‘Doubt’. I’ve been filled to the brim with questions and as I’ve struggled to figure out who God is in my life as I started to discover the beauty in this world and people beyond the church.
As other corners of the world and people from different walks of life have been revealed to me I’ve been confronted with other options, different possibilities of what following Jesus is and I’ve Struggled in deciding what I wanted my faith to look like.
As the image I wanted to create for myself changed I felt like I was drowning in who I was and who I was becoming. Maintaining the spiritual “high” life that I called my own for the bulk of my Christian walk became impossible and simply put, I had a unattainable reputation keep up. I couldn’t be everything to everyone any longer, wasn’t a healthy option.
God taught me to be the real me this year as I was left capable of being nothing more. That was a significantly more challenging lesson than I was prepared for but I was empty and exhausted after living a life to please others, so this lesson was necessary.
I worked to redefine myself and lost the stability of the identity I stood on for so long. Through that process I began questioning and doubting one of the largest pieces of that identify, my faith.
Without getting too far into detail, the ups and downs and abounant frustration that consumed much of the past months have lead me here. I’ve come to the point where I believe a beautiful balance can and does exist, where one can be fully confident in God and full of doubt at the same time, I haven’t reached that beautiful balance, but I’m learning to embrace the reality of it’s existence.
Ultimately, I have to remind myself that despite how our relationship “feels” I need to remember what I know, because no matter the circumstances he doesn’t change. When I feel far away, I’m the one who’s moved.
I believe without a shadow of a doubt that A God that loves me created me, and that God didn’t go away, and even when I come to that place, which I come to frequently, where I simply feel empty, like I have nothing left to give God, and the only prayer I can send is a request for him to help me Love him more, at that moment I am just as much his child and a follower of Jesus as any other point. And when my walk with him looks 180 degrees different than those around me, and I’m frustrated with who I am and confused about who he is, the truths I know about him remain constant. That fact alone, I can find comfort in.
And that is a powerful truth for me to grasp. So as I grow from the challenges this year has brought, I’ve learned to embrace the frustration because I’ve discovered that maybe it’s okay to be upset with the way things are, to be uncomfortable with ordinary and long for greater. That is what pushes us to pursue more and dig deeper, to defy the dimensions we put on God’s box and the parameters we apply to our capabilities. God didn’t design us for apathy and at the core, I believe our doubts are proof that God matters, and as I search for answers I realize how much I do care about my relationship with him. So with those truths in mind, I set out for an adventure in college to discover how to better love God and love people.