Sunday, January 29, 2012

On cheese

      This evening 10 freshman girls (from my small group) came over to my apartment and we had a single goal in mind: to read the Bible? Neg. To watch a movie? Boresville. To hang out and have fun? Closer...
To eat cheese.

      I am telling the honest truth when I say that we went to Martin's grocery store, bought at least 7 different kinds of cheese, plus grapes, cherries, bread and crackers, took them back to the Shire and had a feast of cheeses. Now, depending on who you are that either sounds delicious or revolting. Well it was a combination of the two. 
      The night started out in total excitement-- at our previous Bible study we had all agreed on how much we loved cheese. So, my brilliant idea was to have a "cheese party". 
So tonight as the spread was slowly getting devoured we were raving over this fabulous idea & how scrumptious the various cheeses were. 
      It did not take long before stomachs were churning, heads were hurting, and noses could not stand the scent of a single slice of cheddar, nor the smoky aroma of Gouda, nor the potent garlic herb wedge. 
      However, this did not stand in our way of having a rip-roaring good time. 
Amazing how the eveing began with quotes such as, "guys you seriously don't understand how much I love cheese" and "Oh my gosh sharp cheddar, yes!!" and "you can never have too much cheese". By the end of the night I heard such exclamations as " I will never eat cheese again" and "What does this much cheese do to your body?" and "Let's have a different themed party next time, like ice cream". 

No regrets. I still love cheese, and because of it I love my small group EVEN MORE. 

but seriously. What WILL this much cheese do to my body? I feel ill.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On Humor

HUMOR. It's great. 

Humor is like wine for the soul. Or maybe just alcohol in general. Wait, this is taking a turn down a street I'm not comfortable with. 
Anyway, It makes you feel good, when you have it you're cool, and without it life can get boring. (Did she just basically say alcohol makes you cool & without it you are boring???)

Humor helps me cope with so much. In an entirely healthy manner. My family might use humor concerning serious or sad situations, but it is only so we do not just avoid the subject altogether. 

Being able to make light of something can be a big replacement for the following: irritation, wallowing, stress, anger etc etc. 
For example, sometimes when something is so sad- I laugh. I am not kidding. It is as if the situation is so utterly ridiculous and pathetic that I HAVE to laugh!!! It even happens at inopportune times! Like with someone else's problem! I might start to grin, or suppress a giggle during their hard stuff because I find it humorous!! Their pain is not what is humorous, but something in me chooses to find it funny that life can be so cruel sometimes. I mean, take this entire blog for crying out loud! I write letters to Life using sarcasm, wit, and humor to comment on often sucky circumstances.
My old Young Life teammate once said he loved that we can laugh about how we would hate going to visit the school in the morning. Even though we were willingly giving up sleep to "love on kids" at the crack of dawn, we still joked about "ending it all" by swinging my car into a 16-wheeler. Morbid, but hysterical to us at 730am.

I grew up with brothers who could make a joke in church, while my parents were fighting, at a sentimental wedding, at an awkward family function with relatives we hardly know, or right after a bad break up. You name the setting, Trevor, Matt and maybe Joel had a comedic remark ready in their pocket to break the tension. I am thankful for that. It really is how I cope with things, to laugh at them. And I don't hate it.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

On little things

Dear Life,
      Sometimes it's the smaller kindnesses in [you], or the little experiences together. 
Today, on a gloomy snowcapped afternoon, after waking up at 730am on a Saturday to go into work, I returned to this

      My dear friend Amy Callahan had left me a sweet gift on the doorstep. We haven't had hardly any time to spend with one another, and it really stinks cuz we love each other. But this cute letter and a gift that has a funny/special meaning to both of us was just what I needed. I often say that gifts are not a love language of mine. But, when they are so specific to me/my preferences, and are a surprise, then I feel loved. :) 

Also, the previous night Annie, one of the lovely girls in my freshman small group came over. We ate burgers from my favorite place, watched a movie, and baked cookies from scratch. I really love hanging out with Annie. And, it started snowing last night so she spent the night and I tucked her in bed and read her a golden chapter from a good book. 

It's the little things we take the time to do for people or give to friends that can often mean so much. 
I am usually not so cheesy, but hey, I do LOVE cheese.

fondly yours, 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sobre una bendición

It is possible that I am about to make someone feel awkward. 
And that Claudette Monroy. Mi mexicanita. 

Claudette is a huge blessing in my life. You know how we use that phrase "people who point us to Christ"? Well, Claudette has a way of being a big green exit sign, and the upcoming ramp- leads to Truth. She is a small package filled with wisdom! ;)
I feel so privileged to be someone Claudette wants to spend time with, and not just to have fun, but to really talk and share. I never feel judged with Claud. She is so comfortable. And she will share her brokenness with me, and also listen to my own shtuff and yet still see the best in me. What a gift. 
It doesn't hurt that she is way funnier than she probably realizes. 

Before she goes off to be a scholar in a foreign country I hope we can continue going strong with our friendship- all facets of it. 

Te quiero mamacita. 

p.s.- voy a seguir orando que me acompañes en Mascota, Mexico en Mayo!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

On answers

I don't have any. 

When I get together with girls in my small group (or anybody, really) and hear about hardships, or questions or worries, I find that lately I have no real insight or answers to offer. This is a different stage in my faith. It is not bad, necessarily, but as I said it leaves me a bit blank. My curse of needing to be "authentic" and "not fake" means I cannot give an uplifting anecdote or an encouragement that everything will work out, because currently, I am not there. I won't say it if I don't believe it. Or lately I have found myself telling someone something and immediately after I say it I think to myself "wait, do I even believe that? Is that just what I have always been told, or what I feel conditioned to say?". Honestly, it has been a...I am not sure struggle is the right word, just confusing. This is a full year. Full of changes, full of decisions, full of endings, full of tragedy (more in the lives of others around me, a lot of sickness, death and heartache in the lives of loved ones).
So, I am listening a lot. I always listen, but usually my listening can be followed by a spiritual notion or advice. And as a leader or friend the counterpart in the conversation might expect that, but I do not know if I should share my views right now, cuz I am still mulling things over. Still wrestling it out with God. Still discovering what my personal relationship with the Lord looks like. Not the relationship everyone in my home church has, not the relationship a young life leader has, not the relationship my friends have, and not even the relationship of a 22-year-old American female. MY personal relationship.

I just do not have answers. It is only frustrating because I do not want to be blank with my girls. It has nothing to do with needing to be wise or appear holy or some hogwash. I also just want to hear from the Lord. I'm looking for something concrete. Something tested by the fire to be true.