Sunday, May 1, 2011

Flesh & Bones

am so  HUMAN.
I can't help but be anything else. 

Why do I even try to be something other than myself? It's so, ridiculous. I am so fragile. And yet, am forever-attempting invincibility. Strength. Flawlessness. Anything but pure, unadulterated, humanity. I trip, I break things, make items fly across the room and then I cry, "I don't even know how that happened!!!!!" (And seriously, I really don't - call me butterfingers), I sneeze in a room full of silent people, I laugh so hard I wet my pants in the kitchen, I say "look ma no hands" and promptly fly over the handlebars, I forget my cell phone and get stuck somewhere for hours...I am nothing but a very real, very natural, pitiful, painful, sinful, human. I often forget just how human, and how like me  the rest of the world is. And then somebody else does something I would do and says, "I am such a wreck!"  And I think, 'oh, thank you, Jesus; I'm not the only one! Other people are human too!' That's right - we're all part of the same species. Fearfully & wonderfully made, and yet very, very human.

"After all, we're only human - always fighting what we're feeling, hurt instead of healing..."

That's Jon McLaughlin - he's such a passionate musician. He plays like he's never sung the song before.  I want to be that passionate about something I love - something I've poured my whole self into, that people know me for. That 'one thing that makes you different than anyone else' as Gerry says in P.S. I Love You. The thing that makes  me - that defines me - that fills my soul to brimming and spills out onto everybody who comes in contact with it. So that all may see - sounds something like "being on fire for Christ". Essentially, yes. That's the root of it. Yet, there's an unrest that's in me that wants something earthly  to be so wholly passionate about. Something I can live for, full-force. Like making music with a harp - or painting with pastels - or the inner-workings of a cell - or nurturing little ones - or gardening - or the early church - or the civil war - or the life of Blaise Pascal - or rock climbing around the world. A niche - something I am interested in. No, interested is too commonplace a word - something I am overwhelmingly fascinated by, and would die doing. Something that I could do, and know  that when I am doing it, I am doing it because God made me for this. This  is my purpose. God made me so I could bless through this thing,  this art  - this piece of myself,  this bit of beauty that I have created for the world. Like Eric Liddell - "God made me fast, and when I run, I feel his pleasure.

I so desire to sense God's intense, profound pleasure when I do something, I adore, doing. 

I've always felt this way. I want to 'live a life worthy of the calling', and for me, that means living so richly, so fully consumed with the Great Love that has redeemed, and so wholly living in and through that freedom  of the soul. A winsome, gracious, thoughtful life, full of a passion and a beauty that displays the Lord's splendour at every turn and fork in the trail. Even  when I can't speed through it on a bike and feel the wind in my hair, because it's just too rough a ride - or I'm stopped up for who-knows-how-long by a tire burst on an unforeseen thorn, which very well may be attached to a rosebush when I can finally see through the flying rubber.

JESUS, make me into the type of person who proclaimsYou - 
- and givesYou  the honor that you deserve. 

I want to live for You, because of You, in You & through You. Like a great, big sunflower that lifts its face up to Yours every morning with a vibrant, grand intensity - like it's giving all  it can muster to the One who created it. Just the One.  Not the ten thousand others, but; One.  You, Jesus. My Creator, my Joy, my Crown. Be all my hopes, be all my dreams. Be all my delights; be my every-thing!   Thank you, Saviour, for giving me a passion for & sheer delight in the life you've given me. 

I am pitifully, painfully, sinfully, human, and yet You love me. 
I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

"Away she hurried; not beautiful, not supremely brilliant, but filled with something that took the place of both qualities - something that can best be described as a profound vivacity, a continual and sincere response to all that she encountered in her path through life."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Birthdays, 21 & The City

Aunt Penny, Kaileen, Natalie and I went to San Francisco for my birthday, which was March 27th. It was SUCH a fun day - the perfect way to spend my 21st. Here are some pictures that document our day:

 The Golden Gate Bridge: we walked almost all the way across, and back.

A friendly pier shack worker gave me half a crab, because it was my birthday: incredibly delicious.

More to come!

The Big White Envelope Has Arrived

The contents of that big, white envelope were the highlight:
The packet came in the mail from from California State University, Chico - I am ACCEPTED into Chico State for this Fall!

After a full year of trying, I am in. At this stage of our economy, it is really a gamble of who gets in when you're a transfer student; I am upper-division transfer student (meaning I have over 75 units completed). I received my Associates from Barclay College last May, but Kansas requirements for AA is different than California's: so, rather than attending CSU Chico last Fall, I had to finish 3 courses this year at Butte Community College. I am enrolled in my last required course (Statistics) and thus am eligible for acceptance to Chico State - praise God, they chose me! I am so excited. I'll be studying Child Development, with the intent of working with children with special needs. I am minoring in journalism - I love to write, and dream of being a freelance editor.

That envelope answered a load of unanswered questions and a year of prayers.

Friday, February 11, 2011

New Beginnings

I updated my blog - it is now better suited to me, I think.

I passed the assessment test - I am in Statistics. And I can 'continue on with my educational goals' next semester, by going to Chico State. Praise the LORD. He is so good: he has bestowed on me a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of PRAISE instead of despair.

Natalie gave me a big potted yellow mum for celebration. (oh, happiness)
Now I have a live flower on each surface in my room: I can't get enough of Spring. It is officially my favorite season: "The earth laughs in flowers" as Ernest Hemingway says. Chico is full of gardens - lilacs, lavender, wisteria, camellia, rhododendron, and I am reveling in it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

There is no title, because it kind of represents my life. I don't know what my title is. I don't know what I am doing, what I am here for, how it will end. I have absolutely no idea. None. Squat.

Situation: I have to take Math 18 or higher in order to go to Chico State next fall.
I took Math 124 (Intermediate Algebra) last semester and got a D. The teacher was practically horrible, and I haven't even taken Algebra I, even in high school. So I skipped a level and had almost no support. I am already not good in math, and then this set me behind in the worst way.
Then, I decided to re-take 124 this semester with Mark Mavis, who is just excellent: the math chair at Butte, long time friend of the Johnson's, and a bomb-good teacher. I also wanted to enroll concurrently in Math 18, or, Intro to Statistics. Somehow I thought I could enroll concurrently in a non-transfer and a transfer level course, one of which requires the other as a prerequisite...
On top of all this, I had to crash both courses, who already had a maxxed out waitlist. I got on to register a week or so after registration started and the classes were already full.
(Whole other bother: initiation. Follow-through. My complete lack of it.)
I was able to get into both of these within the first two weeks (today marks the 2nd day of the 3rd week of school), which is totally awesome...not, of course, without huge prayers and communication with profs.
So, when I went to register with two signed add-cards in hand, I was informed that I had to a) take the assessment test or b) request special permission in order to get into Stats without passing 124 with a 'C' or better. Determined to continue with my educational goals of next semester at CSUC, I chose to take the assessment as the first step to acquiring transfer status. Failed it. Miserably. I'm re-taking it on Thursday (that means going out to Butte via bus for the fourth time this week...and I did that for the test last week too...) So I'm really, really hoping to pass it this time. But who's to say I will, with the score on my last test - and essentially, my knowledge of the subject isn't exactly up to transfer level either, but I must transfer in order to go to Chico State next fall...and finally begin my major requirements at the start of my so-called senior year of college. (And I would have been graduating next December had I stayed at in, done, without any need of any more math at all...but that is clearly not where God wants me, and not where I want or need to be.)
Then in Stats class tonight the professor didn't call my name during I went up afterward and told him my name - no sign of it on his sheet, go figure, even though I've been there, everyday, 'sweet, squeaky wheel' and all. I told him in brief what I'm trying to do (assess, et. al.) and he said "if you don't know by Thursday, I will have to drop you. You really should have done all this in the first two weeks" (OK, yes, I understand that, but I didn't even know I was in the class until two weeks ago Tuesday, then I went in on Wednesday morning and found all that junk out. And have been going through the process as quickly as I could.) So, I will email him tonight (after the multitude of other responsibilities that must be pushed between the hours of 8pm and 12am each night, for those are the only hours I am home for more than 20 minutes put together this semester) and explain to him my situation, and see if he will be gracious and understanding and flexible. He's a kind man, but I don't know what his policy-ritual looks like.

So there is the situation I am stuck in. Stuck. Jammed. Crowded. Wholly Uncomfortable.
(did I mention Butte College is at its all-time high in enrollment?
And Chico State has turned away much brilliance for lack of space and funds?)
I want to know now,

what on earth is God doing with all of this?

So many facets to figure out and loops to jump through and unknowns and failures and falling-throughs.
I don't even know where to begin when asking the Lord to help me through all of this - I find myself praying "Kierie Eleison" a lot. "Lord Jesus, have mercy." Breath in, Lord Jesus; breath out, have mercy. Repeat. (Thank you, Dave Williams) It's one of the only things I know how to pray in this circumstance. 

And then, because at every turn I have found adversity and an unsettling chunk of information I have to do something with, I wonder if this is even where I am supposed to be. Is it, Lord? I feel so unsettled. If there are so many set-backs and hardships and failings in everything, is it really wise to continue on in this vein...
will I get into Chico in the fall? What if I don't pass the assessment test? Could I even get special permission to get into Stats? And will I pass Stats in the end? I hardly even know what he's talking about...yet. I will, in due time, but without the book (If I'm not in the class for sure yet, I don't want to be spending $60 on the book, so I have to go to the library and use it every time I have homework...) it's been tough to understand these new concepts.
I so want to be using my mind well and gaining an education and a degree, but is this really the right thing to be doing right now? And if it is not, then how do I not know that already? I am asking the Lord to show me, but have really no idea how to hear his voice - but I am seeking to, so I believe he will make it known to me. I would like to know what I should be doing, so I can get doing it. If not school, then what  should I be doing? Just working EDC each day? And - or - getting the directorship at EDC? And that will be my occupation for the next two years? Instead of studying children in the classroom, will I be studying them on the playground? Is that how God wants me to use my passion for kids? But I want to travel! I do not want to be tied down! I want to do God's work - overseas - in China with BMH - or in awesome places where he will lead me...with awesome people he will have me meet...(I keep thinking: Paul at Tarsus...Amy Carmichael...Hudson Taylor...wait, wait, wait) How do I reconcile my adventurous spirit and desire for change, experience, risk - with the necessity of being financially stable and keeping responsibility where I already have it? 

How do I reconcile? 

There is so much to reconcile in my head and heart at this time and place in my life. I don't know how to go about it - or what it is supposed to look like - or where to find it, whatever it is. 
In my head and heart, there is a constant jumble of ideas and interests and passions - and failures of myself and my abilities - and absurdity of the educational system I am trying to figure out, finagle, and get into - and most of life. Most of life is on it's ear right now, spinning like a top - so fast that if you a) tried to stop it or b) knocked it over, it would spin topsy-turvy all over the room in an out-of-control fashion that has no rhyme or reason to it, no order, no consistency. Just a bunch of crazy mismatched turns that make your eyes bug out. But, it is not spinning fast enough for the multi-color face to look  like a blur of one color: you see all the colors at once; in a twisted-upset-unique type of way; it is a sight you do not see very often, and should probably enjoy the look of, even though your eyes are going a little kookoo staring at it. Definitely worth remembering, but darned if you could make out all the colors blended in to that one short spin of the top. So much variety. So much time, and yet seemingly little time. So much life. So much Jesus - - - so much me.

There are none.

Except that if you could please pray for me - 
That I would pass the assessment test on Thursday. That Mr. Bigler would be gracious and understanding. That I would get the directorship. That I would get into Chico State. That I would be able to go back to China this summer. That I would know how to pray. Know what to pray. Know how to hear God's voice. Know what I am supposed to be doing. Know how to get to where I'm supposed to be. Know if I am right where I am supposed to be. Know how to initiate. Know how to completely follow through in my responsibilities. Know that God has it ALL in his capable, enduring, work-worn hands - everything, especially the things that are spilling over the sides of my hands and heart and mind and life.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The FB Profile

Religious Views: Truth and Grace
I have so many passions; here's a little list:

Family: older sister, two younger brothers; a loving Dad and Mom. It's a beautiful thing.

If I could do three somewhat out-of-the-ordinary things all day, they'd be:

Playing with Kids.
Swing Dancing.
Ice Skating.

LOVE those things.

My deepest passion is to help people express themselves. Be they handicapped and unable in the most common ways, or outcasts who aren't allowed to express themselves, I want to help people--kids, too--express themselves through all kinds of things, be it speech, writing, art, music, dance, or animals.

I adore children--especially special needs children. I love children who are deaf, and those who are autistic. My cousins are some of the most special and precious kiddos I have ever met.

I love to write--I'd like to become a freelance journalist for a children and families magazine after college. Thus, my major at Chico State (once I graduate this year from BC with my AA,) will be Child Development, and minor; Journalism.

My blog is:
Check it out!


I love to travel--I've been to Europe thrice; I adore it, and would like to go back. I've travelled around America with my family numerous times; all over, but particularly the midwest, which is where I live at present. China is an incredible country; I adore it, and desire to return.

I love adventure--mountain climbing, rock climbing, motorcycling, mopeding, horse-back riding, paragliding, cliff-jumping, boating, water sports; skiing, tubing, knee boarding, snow skiing and sledding, biking...the great outdoors is my home.

Three of my favorite ideals are:

Love, for the love that my Saviour has showed me through His death at Calvary. Through this majestic, gracious, beautiful love, I have life, hope and joy.

Hope, for the hope I have in my God; he who sustains me and loves me, and has heaven in store for me. Through this hope I am able live a life that looks Heavenward.

Joy, for the joy that I have because of the hope I possess. This joy is what makes life livable. Without joy, I would not be who I am. I thank the Lord for the joy He has set before me.

Beauty, Creativity and Passion are three ideas that I think about often.

I strive to live my life in a way that is a simplistic expression of Christ.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Passport, Passeport and Pasaporte

I am 20 years old.
I have 7 stamps on my passport, all from different countries.
My passport is expired.
I got it at 15.
I have been to 12 countries in 5 years: 2 of them twice.
Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Italy, Greece, China,
Belgium, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, France, Mexico.
THAT is an awesome list.
I am so blessed.
Time to renew my passport, so I can travel to new places!