This day

For today, see Kelly’s post aptly titled, Today. A quote she missed: “Do you know how to… pick watermelons?” Oh, and:

Me: This heat is excessive. What was God thinking?
Kelly: Maybe it was accidental.
Me: Oh man, talk about change of worldview.
Kelly: Wow, yeah…
Me: So, that takes the meaning out of your wedding now, doesn’t it?
Kelly: [censored]

Needless to say, I cracked up hysterically, and Kelly was thoroughly embarrassed that Watermelon Lady heard it all.

Also, go see Elizabethtown.

Escapism

Back in Shawnee! For a few days. It’s really funny how excited I am to be back when for my entire time at OBU I couldn’t wait to leave. I stayed overnight in Arlington with Rani. So much fun, staying up until 2 AM just catching up and being DATA nerds. DATA totally turned us into internet junkies; we are corrupted.

Every time I drive through Moore I think of “O” words, because once when I drove through there the person with me said there weren’t many words that began with “O.” Only, or, ostentatious, oxen, ornery, oak, order, odious, ogre…

It was great to put in Laura’s Circus Runaway mix and just drive. It’s always one of the first CDs I put in on road trips. Funny, too,¬† how music brings back different memories… my first NaNoWriMo, driving from DATA to my internship at Marketecture, driving past the airport on my way to SAC for summer classes, the first time I moved to OBU.

I’m here at the house before Kelly. She warned me that the house is empty, transitory, and it is. But it’s still These Four Walls–the black and white tiled bathroom, the maroon living room, the two-roomed kitchen. I’m waiting for her, sitting on the green futon with my feet propped up on the coffee table. Just like normal. Even the boxes stacked up under the clock are normal, since the last month in Shawnee, my boxes were there. Now Kelly’s. Labeled things like “Books E-H,” “Books to Donate,” “Marvelous Books,” “Excellent Books,” and “THROW AWAY.”

Wake up, sleeper

This post is to say that I’m retaking control of my life. It’s startling how things can spin out of reach when you are too depressed and stressed to pay attention. Last week I discovered that I had lost yet more weight, the culprit being that I’m a stress not-eater. It was the wake-up call I needed to start reclaiming my self. Now is when my stubbornness is a virtue.

Lots of thinking yesterday, and waking up this morning with the incredible sense of sun breaking through the clouds. To simultaneously dance at the edge of the universe, knowing that grace is an invitation to be beautiful, and to pause and stare out into the black with steely eyes, clenched fists, a stubborn heart, and to say with defiance into the void that threatens to devour all, “His grace is sufficient for me.”

I just showed up for my own life
And I’m standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright

I’m going to live my life inspired
Look for the holy in the common place

Open the windows and feel all that’s honest and real until I’m truly amazed

“Just Showed Up For My Own Life,” Sara Groves

One heart

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Alex and Julie De Hoyos!

After eight years, finally! ūüėÄ All things in good time. It was a very elegant and simple wedding held in Unity Hall of our church, very spiritual too. I can’t express how happy I am for them. I wanted to cheer when they finally said, “I thee wed.” Huzzah! Hooray!

As usual, I find faith to be a curious thing with impeccable timing. One of the passages read was Colossians 3:12-17.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

For the hundredth time I’ve said today: amen and amen.

By the sea

I’ve always thought that I would love to live by the sea
To travel the world alone and live more simply.
-“Life for Rent,” Dido


(photo by Christopher Davy)

On the other side of the castle is the English building, and beside that, my house. I can’t wait. (Though it all hangs on my appeal. I send it off today lovies, prayers/thoughts/crossed fingers, eyes, toes¬†would be appreciated.)

More nonsense

Caspian is at the Apple Store, where he will be getting a new keyboard. Poor Caspian! But he’ll be better soon. There’s just something about the Apple Store that makes me happy–maybe it’s the quirky, shiny, computer geekiness that appeals to my DATA days. Anyways, to continue the motif of heroes, Mario the Genius was wearing a t-shirt that said, “not all heroes wear capes.” He was excited to hear that I’m going to study medieval lit for grad school. I was impressed that he knew Chaucer was written in Middle English (most people say “Old English,” sigh). Good job, Mario!

There was a quintessential moment in the Apple Store where suddenly I was aware that Spanish was being spoken on one side of me and English on the other side, and the rhythm of both was so perfect and natural that I was so glad to be back in South Texas. I’m glad to have grown up in a predominantly Latino city. I can’t imagine growing up without such an extensive Hispanic influence.

Of Names and Reeds

I’m so thankful for Megan: though she is half a world away, even still I can talk to her about how I’m doing spiritually, what I’m reading in the Bible, what I’m thinking about it. We have to use code words, but the accountability is still there. This morning was one of the few times we were both online that it wasn’t midnight her time, so we got to talk a little longer than usual.

This morning, as I was reading the Transfiguration in Luke 9, I was thinking about the parallels and nuances¬†between “chosen” and “love” (you’ll have a seminarian out of me yet, Danielle), and the word “love” reminded me of my name. Several summers ago, I was the most dangerously depressed I have ever been, and I was sitting on a bus in Arizona on my last choir tour, listening to Chris tell the others about Perelandra by C.S. Lewis, and staring out the window. He knew I had read the book, so he would ask for details from time to time, but mostly I just listened. He got to the part where Ransom, who was in pursuit of the devil incarnate, was worn out and discouraged. God came to him and asked, “What is your name?” “Ransom,” he answered. God went on to say that Ransom was named that for a reason, as a reminder in his time of need that God gave his life as a ransom for him, and that Ransom’s life is not his own but God’s. Ransom drew strength from this, and rose on to continue his pursuit. Almost audibly on that night on the bus, God asked, “What is your name?”

Chera. Beloved. If I am loved by no one else, I am loved by God. And my name is a reminder (and enforces, to me, the importance of naming). That night a star broke through the darkness.

Thinking about that summer, and this summer, I thought more on my acquaintance with melancholy. Bruised hearts led to thinking of bruised reeds:

“A¬†bruised reed he will not break,
      and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
   till he leads justice to victory. 
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Matthew 12:20-21

Which I later shared with Megan. We weren’t sure what to do with the word “till.” Perhaps by that time, the reeds will have healed, and the smoldering wicks will have reignited, and when justice comes to victory all will find fullness in Christ.

Ours is a God of hope.