the art of promise-keeping

A hesitant return.

Last week, Kenzie and I went to a meeting for our school’s online magazine because we wanted to help. We think they do great work, but that it could look more professional with a little editing. So we sat down to a lunch meeting, and 45 minutes later we were in charge of an entire section of the next issue.

 

We were a little muddled coming out, but after taking a day or so to think and pray about it, we realized we actually wanted to jump in with both feet. It sounds like a good use of our skills, a good thing for resumes and grad school applications, and even though it’s not the best timing (starting something like this in the last half of my last semester of college), I’m excited about it. 

 

I’m letting you know about it here because I have a feeling that this will become something of a sounding board for all the ideas and discussions that are already bouncing around and need a place to go before they get published for the world to read. The particular topic we’re working with for the next issue is gender– what it means to be a man or a woman, especially in the church, and what God wants from us as beings with built-in differences. Endless hours have been spent talking about this in my circles of friends recently, and I’ve found myself thinking of the whole subject completely differently than I did a year or two ago. I’m not coming back to this blog in order to make it completely about gender, though. Not at all.

 

Lately I’ve been realizing just how much of a box I put myself in every day. It’s bad. And I’ve been asking God for ways he wants me to break out of it (that don’t make me panic and want to hide in my bed. Baby steps), and to stop believing lies about myself. One of those lies, I realized, is that there is a constant voice inside my head telling me no one wants to listen to what I have to say. I firmly believe that it’s better not to speak much of the time, but not for any legitimate reasons. Of course I’d say it’s because I value listening and I like hearing others’ thoughts, which is perfectly true, but the bigger, more motivational reason is that I fear being judged or, worse, simply being shut down. 

 

And as weird as it is, I felt an intense pull to come back to this blog and learn to say what I want to say. I doubt a single post that’s on here right now has escaped being deleted, hidden or edited at some point. I’ve come back to remove personal things that I later regret saying, or to fix mistakes that someone pointed out, or any one of another million things. I overthink it, obviously. So this is the beginning of my attempt to stop doing that, and to be honest, whether anyone is listening or not.

Five things I like right now.

Things I like right now:

1. Evernote. Yes, I had to pay $5, but my recipes are now 100% organized by meal, contents, categories, etc. It’s brilliant. I’m also using it to catalogue other projects I want to do and books I want to read. I’m generally pretty organized, but this is the only thing I’ve found that allows me to have so many different things organized in one place.

2. Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies. I made these several times over this last semester, and they never lasted longer than about ten minutes after coming out of the oven. They’re a commitment, for sure, because they’re the equivalent of at least four normal cookies, but it’s so worth it. And I’m going to make them tomorrow.

3. Pushing Daisies. Alex and I are watching through this, and while we think Chuck is kind of obnoxious, I like the show in general a lot.

4. This lady:

So what if this picture is five years old? You’re not the boss of me.

5. The Avett Brothers- The Gleam. Speaking of five years ago, I like hearing what they sounded like then. It’s pretty great.

That’s all! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.🙂

Summer 2011

In my extreme fear of being as bored this summer as I was last summer, I started a summer to-do list when I decided to come home rather than stay in Portland. Here is that list. Several of these items will, at some point, warrant their own full post (as implied by #7, topics will be needed).

1. Find at least one job. These prospects are actually looking really good at the moment, but so as not to jinx anything, I may or may not explain later.

2. Summer classes. Yay, more gen eds! Doing the equivalents of philosophy and critical reading & writing online this summer so I’ll have more room in my schedule next year for electives.

3. Cook twice a week (ideally using both recipes I already know and ones I don’t).

4. Make a recipe book.

5. Find furniture for our suite next year. This is so that my dear roommate Amy and I can have a coffee table, and maybe something to put the TV in.

6. Read my Bible every. Single. Day.

7. Blog twice a week.

8. Finish one craft project per week.

9. Switch to using as many homemade products as possible. Baking soda shampoo has worked well enough that I’d like to see what some other alternatives are like.

10. Rearrange my room. I don’t have any floor space.

11. Summer student ministry. I won’t lie, I don’t know what that’s going to be yet.

12. Learn to make bread.

13. Learn to use my dad’s camera.

14. Read. (This one is a given.)

15. Make an apron.

16. Fill up a notebook. Doesn’t matter with what.

17. Learn how to budget. I’m really bad at money, and I’d like to change that.

18. Don’t eat sweets unless I made them (or I guess they can be homemade by someone else). To clarify, this isn’t to change my eating habits at all. It’s to get me to bake more.

So that’s it! Wish me luck getting all these things done. I have high hopes so far.

gold

“To think that this is my twentieth birthday, and that I’ve left my teens behind me forever,” said Anne, who was curled up on the hearth-rug with Rusty in her lap, to Aunt Jamesina who was reading in her pet chair. They were alone in the living room. Stella and Priscilla had gone to a committee meeting and Phil was upstairs adorning herself for a party.

“I suppose you feel kind of sorry,” said Aunt Jamesina. “The teens are such a nice part of life. I’m glad I’ve never gone out of them myself.”

Anne laughed. “You never will, Aunty. You’ll be eighteen when you should be a hundred. Yes, I’m sorry, and a little dissatisfied as well. Miss Stacy told me long ago that by the time I was twenty my character would be formed, for good or evil. I don’t feel that it’s what it should be. It’s full of flaws.”

“So’s everybody’s,” said Aunt Jamesina cheerfully. “Mine’s cracked in a hundred places. Your Miss Stacy likely meant that when you are twenty your character would have got its permanent bent in one direction or ‘tother, and would go on developing in that line. Don’t worry over it, Anne. Do your duty by God and your neighbor and yourself, and have a good time. That’s my philosophy and it’s always worked pretty well.”

meditation for today

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened wih power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith– that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.”

-Ephesians 3:14-21

summer

Advice.

I didn’t think I’d have anything much to say on this subject, but after thinking about it for a little while, I do have a few pieces of (hopefully) wisdom for my recently-graduated friends. I’m aware that, in spite of my junior status, I’ve only been away from home for a year, so I don’t know much of anything just yet, but here is what I’ve learned from the trial-and-error of that year.

1. Make good friends before making drastic life decisions. It’s important to have people in your life who know you well enough to tell you when you’re being an idiot. Never underestimate the value of a friend’s well-founded opinion.

2. Take the hard classes. Seriously, don’t bother with the easy ones. They aren’t worth your time, because you won’t learn anything, and at the end you’ll just wonder why you wasted the opportunity truly to learn something. And there’s nothing like the sense of accomplishment you’ll have when you’ve finished something challenging. Trust me, most of the time, your social life and mental health can take the extra strain. Take a chance and find out what you’re capable of. You’ll probably be surprised.

3. When you find yourself disliking someone, befriend them. I realized recently that most of my friendships have come about because I disliked the person when first meeting him or her, and decided to combat that by being nice. I think it’s because I only instantly resent a person if I feel like I could be jealous of them, and I hate that feeling, so I make friends with them in order to prevent the jealousy from ever taking root (because I don’t typically have that problem with people I know well). So maybe this one is just me, but personally I think it’s an awesome strategy. They usually turn out to be the best friendships, and you don’t have to deal with a bunch of people you don’t like. Love as many people as you can, as well as you can.

4. Trust God and work hard. I don’t think much explanation is needed here. Do everything in your power to succeed, but when things are out of your control, that’s okay. You were never really in charge anyway.

Congratulations, class of 2010!