Monday, December 29, 2014


So. A little note on shoes. Weird, I know, especially coming from a girl who is currently trapped for another 6 hours in the Edmonton airport. But really, I'm serious here.
I put on some shoes earlier today that I regret putting on. I'm here at the airport wondering what the heck I was doing. I KNEW they were uncomfortable, and I KNEW something like converse would be much more travel-worthy (not to mention, they look an incredible amount better than these old Keds here I'm wearing--vain, I know... whoever said vanity was at the bottom of my list of things I need to work on?) Anyways. Back on topic. It dawned on me that these shoes were THE WORST thing possible to happen to me and would ruin my entire trip. Yes. My entire one-week trip. Drastic, I know, but unfortunately my mind works like that. It gets one minuscule thing attached to it and never ever ever lets go unless I either a. go back home immediately and discard of the old shoes, putting the new ones on, or b. finally explode in a massive fit of rage and buy the first pair of shoes that I see, ugly though they might be, in attempts to cover the perfect flaw I created for myself. Because yes, in my mind, I made the mistake of a century and everyone is going to notice and HATE me for it. Okay, so option "a" is obviously not possible because I'm already several hundred miles from home, and option "b" is, well, a little impossible because it's kind of the middle of the night and most of the shops at the airport are shut down until the morning. So I go with the only possible way to keep my mind from exploding its guts everywhere and grossing people out. Drink coffee, write rage entries in my diary, and read a very very very helpful passage in the Psalms. Like, oh my goodness. Look at this: "It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect." I circled the word "perfect" several times in my Bible. (Psalm 18 is amazing, go read it right now)
You see, I have an alternate reality that is very much present in my mind and it is called PERFECTION. I like picturing the future and imagining what I might look like meeting some people I really really admire with like, the perfect clothing, right down to the shoes I'm wearing. And if something doesn't feel right or whatever, IT'S NEVER GOING TO WORK. The perfect scenario IS RUINED FOREVER. Drastic, I know, but that's me.
Okay, so why exactly am I telling you about my inability to be happy with the shoe choices I've made? Well.
Today's sermon was basically... Don't let your heart deceive you and actually examine the paths you're walking right now and see if they're God-glorifying or just doing what the flesh desires. Also, HANG ONTO INSTRUCTION FOR DEAR LIFE.
Um. Yeah. So for the past few weeks, there's been stuff I've been doing and thinking and actually believing that is not me to do and think and believe. I wanted it to be me, honestly, but it wasn't. It could never be me, no matter how much I wanted it. People were telling me I was wrong, but I wasn't listening. There was a choice I had to make and I wanted the easiest way out, the shoes I thought were the most comfortable for the path I was about to embark on. I wanted perfection basically, but in the easiest way possible. Turns out sometimes even that which appears easiest in the beginning is in no way easy in the long run.
Those shoes. They're the easiest to take on and off, making security a million times easier. Yet... They've turned out to be super uncomfortable to travel in. My feet are cold all the time! They don't support my already horribly flat arches!
Same with this decision I had to make. I wanted to believe that a particular choice was the easy way out of some crap I'm going through, but actually... Yeah, pretty much the opposite. Probably. I mean, I'm not 100% sure either way, but all I know is one way looks easy and has turned out to be complicated. The other way is SO much harder on the outside, but I've seen positive effects from it. Sometimes the long way 'round is so worth it. Just taking that extra time to do pretty important stuff is lasting and valuable.
Simply put, life is hard. Feeling okay about your choices depends on your mindset and where your heart is at. Anyways, that was my middle-of-the-night rant. I'm feeling better about stuff now. Trying not to let my choices become me. I played a grand piano in the airport. That was different and cool. Yay!
Peacing out for some Doctor Who.

Monday, October 27, 2014


Dirt. Flaws. Did you know that flawed people are actually beautiful, not ugly? It's 'cause they've come through the flaws, pushed through the mistakes, and if they actually learned something, have developed into something marvelous. The mistakes are there to add a sweep of grace. Bet you don't often stop to think about the beautiful dirt, the perfect messes, the hatred turned love. I'll bet you even shun the dirt and block it from thought along with the rest of the world. You're probably completely obsessed with staying clean, maintaining order and perfection, running as fast as you can away from the grime and filth and general suckiness of falling into turmoil.
Guess what? Don't be afraid to fall because the only way you'll find light is if you step at least partways into the darkness. True, some people might never make it out again, but if you do find your way back, keep the fire burning and use it to keep others warm.
Think for a moment. Housemoms: They spend every waking hour sacrificing themselves for their kids. They feed them, change them, clean up after them, train them and equip them for survival as adults, nurture them... Housemoms. Not perfect, but perfectly flawed. They most definitely make the world a warmer place.
Dents in a well-driven vehicle. Perhaps this car is owned by a single girl who travels two hours away from home twice a month to try to bring hope to her dying grandmother. She knows she can't offer much, but it is precisely this acknowledgement of a flaw that keeps her going. Beautifully flawed.
Scabs and scars on the hands of the dad who provides for his family day after day, only stopping to eat, to sleep, and to spend a few hours of quality time with the ones he loves. Flawed, but rewarding.
The businessman who juggles more clients in a day than sanity allows, even through a blatant headache, meeting demands almost impossible to fulfill, yet striving to keep the business alive. Flawed.
The mud gathered up around the rubber boots of the little boy running out in the rain to fetch the mail. Showing up on the doorstep with a grin on his face and giving his mother reason to first stare in shock at her clean floor dirtied up, then laugh. Lack of dirt brings lack of character.
The rough draft of a novel. Without roughness, we can't scrape through and polish it and find the beauty inside. Without the flaws, we can't wring out the message.
Dirt makes patterns. Art. It can touch lives. We relate to those who have gone through similar circumstances. We gain hope when we see how far they've come.
As human beings, we love imperfectly. But I think that's the point. That even though we're imperfect and we know it, that doesn't stop us from loving. We still love and we care and we learn from the mistakes of our past.
We learn to see the flaws, recognize them, and without hesitation, remove them. We ask God, our friends, even our enemies, for help.
We are beautifully flawed. To have a flaw does not mean we're utterly weak and helpless. It just means we're that much closer to being strong.
Flaws are okay.
We're okay.
Dirt is necessary.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Titleless, but Important Stuff nonetheless

I honestly have no idea what I'm going to write about. I just know I have to write a blog post. I'm sitting here in the dark on my bed at 12:26 AM, a Wednesday morning, so tired that tears are coming out of my eyes. Yet the caffeine I consumed roughly six hours ago is still ravaging through my system, refusing to allow that thing called sleep to overcome me. I know exhaustion will soon enough take over, but for now I remain awake, aiming to talk about something deep and thought-provoking, and yet not really knowing where I'm going.

It's August 27th. On this day, one year ago, I was probably lying in bed sleeping, or sitting in bed rocking myself to sleep, trying to convince myself that no, no we were not moving twelve hours away from home, to a new province, a new church, an entirely new life. Trying to convince myself that it wasn't true, that in a month I wouldn't be gone from the home I'd lived in for eight years, that I would not be torn from my best friends and placed in a land full of strange and unfamiliar people. It was too wild for me. I'd already gone through so much change as my best friend, my older sister, the one person who knew me and understood me, got married and moved away. That summer, I also graduated with a few of my closest friends. That summer, I experienced the relief of emotions for the first time in two years. At least I harbored no more bitterness in my heart.

Here I am. Same family, different life, different job, different me. Well, the same me, yes, but different. More shaped, yet also more confused. Somehow, I'm okay with this confusion. Somehow, I can push through it and trust that God knows what He's doing. I'll admit it's hard most days, but I find enough hope in the little things and in the people around me, that I really don't need to worry. God's there. He puts specific people in my life to meet specific needs. He never ceases to surprise me with the unexpected moments.

This summer, I became an aunt. I traveled to Alaska to visit my sister and my darling niece, Cassandra. This summer, I also traveled to Kansas for my second time, carting my brothers along with me. We attended the 2014 OYAN Summer Workshop. We came home early to witness a funeral of a dear brother in Christ and to be there for those in mourning. I got my license after the fourth try. I found people to call my own people and to smile about all the time. I lost my grip on reality and snatched it back again. I played soccer a lot. I hiked a mountain.

Once again, I have no idea what I'm writing about. All I can say, really, is this. If you can't put your hope in the big things, if you find hope in general just scattered, if you keep on losing your way, look deeper because there are always the little moments. Whenever I get overwhelmed and confused in a crowd of people (introverts ftw), I always look for one person to migrate to. Doesn't really matter who, just one person so that I don't stay lost and so that I have some kind of focal point. Do that with moments in your life. If you're having a crappy day, but there was this one thing that happened that made you smile... Think about it over and over and over and over again. And smile each time.

Honestly. Do it. Goodnight.