Wednesday, February 27, 2008

energizer bunny

That's me! I swear, I can hardly remember the last time I was this busy (I won't say I can't--I probably could if I tried). The past three days I've had appointments from early in the morning to late at night with maybe a half an hour to myself. I know it's my own fault, but I just don't know what to do.

I do know how to say "no". This is a skill I finally picked up last semester when I was dying in Joel Willitts's class on Paul. Well, not dying in the class, just because of it since I was always doing homework. Anyway, turning people down is not the problem. I simply have too much that I need to do. What with writing conferences, tutorings, homework, class, and work, I've dropped my sanity in the cracks!

I have set aside Sunday after church and before work (odd, no?) as time that I'm not scheduling ANYTHING. I need a few moments of sleep and/or sitting and staring at the wall.

So this post was essentially to calm any angry readers and to let you all know that I'm still alive. I am indeed here, breathing, but I likely won't be on again until Saturday unless no one comes into work tomorrow night. That said, I pray that all is well with you and that you are enjoying every moment!


Saturday, February 23, 2008

dreamer I: radical love

What does it mean to love radically?

Let's start with love. What is love? My favorite definition of love comes from M. Scott Peck's The Road Less Travelled--"to love" means to actively work toward the emotional and spiritual well-being of another human being. This is specifically human and specifically active. Love is a verb, folks, no buts about it. I think we can tell when we are loving someone in this way because we become more aware of their needs and have an irresistible desire to help them become the best "themselves" they can be. So that's human love.

But to love radically? How is this different? Loving another human being to the point where you desire to aid in their happiness seems radical enough. Working toward another person's personhood is fantastic and possibly even "radical," but working toward another person's divinity is going to be the dividing point between really awesome love and totally radical love. And what is this divinity, you ask? I do not mean divinity in the sense that some do, that each of us has a little bit of God in us. I don't believe that is true. When I say we need to recognize someone's divinity, it really means that we need to attempt to look at others through God's eyes. Loving radically requires us to step even more outside ourselves to look at everyone--our friends, family, enemies, the rejected of society--and try to see them as God sees them. With this view, we must then begin to perform actions directed toward others' well-being as the beloved created of God.

Loving others consistently and faithfully is something that I have been trying to do better, but I have been failing miserably. Let us all pray for each other that we might be more inclined to love our neighbors by trying to look at them through the eyes of God.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

not the series

This post is not the beginning of the new series. Unfortunately I did not have time today to begin that, though I really meant to! Thursdays are so long and busy and I KNOW this, and yet I continue to set unrealistic expectations of myself. Why? The ultimate question...

Anyway, I wanted to let everyone know that the new series would not be starting today. Oh, and in case anyone's wondering, I just started reading Jewish Believers in Jesus by Oskar Skarsaune on Tuesday, and after 104 pages I am officially in love with early Jewish Christianity. Like I wasn't already enough of a nerd.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

a series? what?!

Yes. Hopefully, I will soon begin a series entitled "dreamer" which will be based on the University Ministries covenant that we established for the term. The topics will be as follows...
*radical love
*audacious hope
*total honesty
*true freedom
*relentless humility
*profound compassion
*authentic diversity
*gracious integrity
*perfect peace
*passionate devotion
*spontaneous mercy
*prophetic justice

I am expecting some discussion on these issues, either through the blog or in person, so be ready to share! First post coming soon.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

so about last night

I'm feeling quite a bit better now. I was a little cranky in my last post, but I've realized that I should be rather grateful that I don't have to learn anything new at the moment.

Anywho, last night was great. Melissa and I watched "Take the Lead" with Antonio Banderas and it was FABULOUS. There's nothing like a good dancing movie to get you feeling chipper. Then I read some. That was refreshing also--I read a few chapters of Matilda (yes, the one by Roald Dahl) before going to bed, and I have to say that no matter how many times I read it, I just can't resist another go! She's just this crazy-smart little girl and all of the adults around her are idiots and she punishes them. I mean, seriously, how awesome is that?! And then she's adopted by her teacher, which is kinda weird, but given the circumstances and the author, it's also completely understandable. Honestly, fantastic. I believe it's on my fave books list to the right...

I'm also reading Chesterton. I wanted to read Orthodoxy, but I found The New Jerusalem first so I've been chewing on that for a few days. The book itself is an eighty-seven year old copy and it flakes all over me while I'm reading it--just these little pieces of paper floating down out of the inside of the spine...mmm. And it smells all old-book-ey! As for the actual writing contained in this wonderously ancient physical book, I have not yet read enough for a thoughtful reflection, so you'll have to forive me. I'll get to it later.


Saturday, February 16, 2008


I'm doing my music theory homework right now. Or not doing it. I'm just stalling now because I have the opposite of desire to do this, mostly because we already learned about modulation last semester and now we've been "reviewing" it for three weeks. All we do is go over homework that covers the exact same material we've been looking at, and I have NO motivation. I had to make motivation for myself--when Mel and I are done with our homework, we're watching a movie. I can't wait.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

singles awareness day

What color is the ribbon for that, anyway? Singles Awareness. Hmmmm. I got that from my Aural Skills professor this morning--our class (of mostly singles) had a very nice chuckle.

But really, Valentine's Day? I mean, I completely forgot about the holiday because I live in a box. I haven't been to a store since...umm...maybe early January, and of course they had stuff out already but I've slept since then! I have some serious and not-so-serious objections to Valentine's Day.

Objection #1
Why should we celebrate romantic love for one day of the year? If you love each other, celebrate it every day because you have something that many people are longing for. Enjoy it ALWAYS.

Objection #2
What about single people? The notion that you can give your friends little valentines and that this fills the empty void that rears its ugly head on SAD (Singles Awareness Day) is preposterous. Do you know what happens to those little valentines? I hold on to them for a week or so and thank the people who gave them to me--despite my grumblings, I do appreciate the thought, though I find it unnecessary--and then they end up in the recycling bin. Sorry, y'all.

Objection #3
It is obvious that someone wants me to get fat. I've been avoiding this since the beginning of my high school career (way WAY back) and I would like to keep up the trend of general fitness that I've enjoyed all of my life. But today I've eaten so many chocolates that when I was offered MORE chocolate by my beloved and very caring roommate earlier this evening, I said, "No thanks, I'm all chocolated out"!!

So basically, Valentine's Day is just plain weird. I'm all for having a day where we celebrate love, like worldwide LOVE, the kind that Jesus was talking about. Or something. Whatever, I'll stop whining now. Someday I'm going to be in love and Valentine's Day is going to be the greatest thing EVER...maybe...


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

worship wonderings

I had an interesting experience at chapel today. I have always enjoyed chapel, and I was especially excited about worship today because we've started a new series on worship and to coincide with our topic, we've begun having different types of worship services every week. This was the first week, and all of the chairs were placed in a circle with a large cross in the middle. We also read scripture together and the worship team was mixed in with us so it was more like we were "all in this together." That part of the service I enjoyed VERY much and I wish it was more like that all the time. Side note: For my senior recital, I will most certainly be asking for the stage to be lowered to floor level--I don't need to be towering over my audience! But this is a discussion for another time...

Back to chapel. So, things were great until the sermon--not that I don't love Pastor Judy, I think she's the best thing since sliced bread--but I felt a little funny about what she had to say. We read together in the Psalms the "as the deer pants for the water..." passage, and as soon as she started speaking I could tell that she was going to tell us to be grateful that we can come to worship so often, that we don't even know what's is like to hunger for God...etc. But it didn't stop there. I fully agree that we are blessed in this country in that we are free to attend whatever church, synagogue, mosque, or whatever else and worship as we choose. This is a blessing and a privelege that we enjoy. I would argue that regardless of this freedom I have indeed experienced a hunger for God that would have driven me to "drink from any ol' stream" as Judy said, but until about eight minutes in, that was the only small disagreement I had. No problem.

Then came the portion that was most disconserting to me. She was talking most specifically about different worship traditions, and how people "shop around" for a church that suits their preferences. Some disagree with this practice, but I do not--a fact which is perhaps relevant but for which I am out of space here. However, the most difficult part for me was not really any specific statement that Judy made, but a general attitude that she had toward our culture. The basic proposition was this: "We live in a society and attend a school where we are able to access worship whenever we want it. We can participate in small groups and in all kinds of service projects, attend chapel and CollegeLife, and we never go hungry or have an almost visceral desire for God. As the community of this university we can worship God wherever and whenever, but we are never fed because we are never hungry." This would not have been so upsetting had it not been for the fact that she did not provide a solution to this problem. It seemed to me that she was suggesting that we shouldn't take Bible classes or do devotions or come to chapel and CollegeLife or that we can be hungry?

I agree that we have an excess of choice. There is something a bit unnatural about our economy--the constant consumeristic wanting more--and that I don't always NEED to go to church on Sunday. Yes, we are picky about worship and we are choosy about sermon topics and tradition. I agree. There is something wrong with the way our country works. But how do we fix it?

What I do not agree with is the view that the very fact that we are able to choose what worship style we participate in is a sinful thing. She said that we are living in this sinful lifestyle of wanting specific things out of worship services. Is it sinful to have this opportunity and to take advantage of it? Or is it sinful to have the opportunity to worship God freely and NOT take advantage of it?? Are American Christians supposed to just sit by and make people be hungry for God by not planting more churches? What about those who have never been to church because it's uncomfortable and they don't like what they see when they're there? They certainly are not going to keep showing up if it doesn't suit them! Are we not supposed to have variety? God's people experience Him and experience worshiping Him in different ways.

I'm getting a little off-topic. What I'm trying to say is that I don't believe that we can condemn a "consumeristic" approach to finding a church home as sinful because it does not cause us to hunger for God. I don't believe that searching for the most comfortable church is the issue here--the issue is that many people in my society have forgotten what it is like to desire God almost viscerally, to want to be in his prescence. Why? I'm not sure. But I don't like having the word "sinful" tossed about without any suggestion for a solution.

Anywho, I'm going to leave this tangled mess for now. It's your turn. I KNOW there are people out there reading this (you know who you are!) who never comment. I even know that some of you check this blog every day and never comment on a post--well, here's your chance! What do you think? Is it sinful to participate in a consumption-based society by attending the church most suited to your worship style? How can we solve this problem? Do you think my argument is ridiculous (or unclear...umm..)? TELL ME.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I love getting packages in the mail. There's nothing like ordering a textbook for far too much money, and then waiting long enough to forget about it, then suddenly it appears! And then you get to open the boxes or the envelopes and see what's inside. I've had quite a few packages this semester since many music professors are loath to post the required textbooks, therefore the bookstore doesn't know we need them, therefore we must order them...I had to order one book that's less than two hundred pages, paperback---it was almost sixty dollars. For a PAPERBACK! But I was still happy when it showed up!

Basically, this post was inspired by my roommate--she walked in this afternoon with a rather large pile of packages. She got three of the same textbooks that I've already received for our Baroque Music History class--yes, three. Actually, one of the "three" is a 6CD set, the first volume of two. And one of the books is also the first volume of two. So, we don't even have all of the books that we will eventually need for music history! Both of us are now the proud owners of "A History of Western Music," "The Norton Anthology of Western Music Vol.1," and "Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music Vol.1."

Yesterday I did receive some packages myself--my business cards finally came, and they are absolutely georgous! And they were free plus shipping and handling. And I designed them myself. Yay! Also, my little "Singing in French" paperback appeared (which cost me fifty dollars for 215 pages) and my printed Anthology of Western Music. I'm still waiting on a Scot McKnight book...hopefully it will come soon!


Sunday, February 10, 2008

lenten update

So I haven't been on Facebook since Tuesday, and I have to say that it hasn't been that difficult. I fully expected my Facebook fast to be this huge deal, struggling with temptation every second spent on the computer...but it's not. The hardest thing, really, is that I almost type "" into the browser by habit and have to catch myself before I actually do it. So I haven't been much tempted, per se, but I have almost accidentally broken my fast.

The soda thing is going well also--it's also a matter of habit, so there's not a whole lot of temptation there, either. It helps that nearly all of my friends have also given up soda, and my roommate's boyfriend has given up "all drinks except water and milk"--so there you go. I hope it stays this easy! Haha...


Friday, February 8, 2008

i wish...

Aside from it being the start of many a Sondheim tune (umm, Into the Woods, anyone?), "I wish" is also what I say today. I wish...that it was Spring.

I love Spring. Spring, Summer, and Fall are definitely my favorite season. Mostly Spring, followed shortly by Fall. I especially love my campus in the Spring because we have cherry trees with their little white blossoms, and lots of flowering bushes and giant flower beds. AND everyone sits outside to study and read, or we all get together and play games. Before finals in May, we all bring out our blankets and snacks and study for hours. I studied for ten hours outside one day last Spring and it was FANTASTIC (except for the studying part).

I wish it was Spring, but I know that my wishing and the mounting tension I feel between my desire to walk around barefoot and the reality of the frigid cold and snow will eventually vanish, and that when it does I will be the happiest gal around!

That said, I'm going sledding again tomorrow.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

sledding extravaganza!

As soon as I have pictures, they're totally going up. I went sledding tonight (last night? I dunno, four hours ago) with one of my seminary friends and a bunch of her friends that I hadn't met before. IT WAS AWESOME!

We went to this huge hill in a nearby town known as Mount Trashmore and went down it on normal sleds...and pool floating devices, Tupperware lids, Tupperware bins, those roll-up sleds...and it was crazy fun. The pool thing was the best because it was so incredibly smooth and you couldn't help but fly down the hill. Plus, it was so slippery that you almost fell off of it yourself and there was nothing to hold on to. A few of us went down on that lying down, or with two people---so great. There were also some very creative moments, like the trio of saucers or the two smallest girls trying to go down the hill in one of those bins that you keep craft supplies in...good times.

We were sledding for about an hour before three people we didn't know showed up (there were seven of us--now ten) and we started yelling with them and admiring each other's great sledding ideas. After about an hour of this, we went with these two guys and this girl (I think their names were Dave, Mike, and Maria, but I'm not sure) to IHOP. Turns out they're from a nearby school. It was super-fun hanging out with them, and the best part of the whole night is that it was just totally random. I got this surprise email from Sarah, then I tried to invite some friends and it didn't work out. Then I showed up and recognized one girl and met everyone else. After all of this fun randomness, we me these other people--then we all ended up at IHOP. Eating pancakes.

SO GREAT. I will remember this evening forever. I obviously could not detail everything here because it would take forever and I have class at 8:50 this morning, but you get the gist. Good time.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Mmm'kay. What that says is "Super Duper Mardi Gras Tuesday" with VOTE mixed in. Because.....


Yep, that's right. I voted. In the primaries. Today.

It was so great. It took about two minutes and I've been on this fantastic high all day. It's liberating! It's fun! I am absolutely amazed by how cool that was. And I REALLY want to hug all of the wonderful women (and men) who came before me and made it possible for me to vote today. I felt like I was a part of this huge and wondrous legacy!!! YAY!


Okay, vote rant's over. Lata, peeps.


pre-Lenten babblings

I didn't really used to understand Lent. We didn't participate in Lent at my first church (way way back in the day), and the church at which I spent the majority of my formative years didn't really celebrate it appropriately. I don't remember much about it except that I always gave up chocolate, and my birthday was always during Lent, so my mom would let me "cheat" and have a chocolate cake on my birthday. It was a time of irritation for me more than anything else, and not much changed until last year.

Last year was my first year truly observing Lent. It was finally explained to me, and now that it has been made perfectly clear that Lent is preparation for Easter, it all makes sense. We fast and pray to prepare ourselves for the joy that comes from Christ's resurrection. It's amazing that I wasn't aware of this for so many years growing up in the church. I honestly don't believe that many of the people from my church knew what was happening!

Anyway, this year I am giving up Facebook...sigh...because I spend far too much time on it doing nothing important. I should be spending that time with the real people I have right next to me all day long! So don't look for me there!

I may post some updates on my Facebook fast. We'll see.


Monday, February 4, 2008

i'm totally trying too hard

That's what I realized this weekend. I spent last weekend practically wallowing in all of my sins and personal faults (that lead to more sins, more often than not) to the extent that I actually WANTED to go home. I don't usually have a particular desire to visit my parents, not that I don't love my family, I am just incredibly happy at school and have a fantastic time living life with my friends. We laugh, we cry, we eat, we do homework, we sleep....mmm'kay, listing is over. But the last weekend of January was just so icky that I felt like I would never snap out of it, like I was in this pit and nothing could drag me out. So I prayed and cried and prayed and stared at the wall and prayed and called my mom. I tried to explain without crying (which, thankfully, is much easier over the phone) but she was worried enough to say, "You should come home this weekend" in that grave, I-am-your-mother-and-you-will-obey-me tone.

So I did. It was quite pleasant because I got to take the train(s). Two hours split between the El and Union Station doesn't sound to most like a pleasant way to spend the afternoon, but I always find public transportation to be a most fantastic place for "me time." Public transportation is designed in such a way as to make everyone participating in it suffiently awkward to the point where no one speaks to anyone else and occasionally I enjoy taking advantage of the uncomfortable silence. I know, it's not very Christ-like loving of me, but let's not dwell on that for the moment. I just got over the crappiest weekend that I've had at school for cryin' out loud!

Actually, I was feeling much better before I left for my parents' house on Friday, but that's not really all that important to the story. So there I was, at home, doing wonderful things like sledding--watching my father go down the hill on that tiny purple sled from when I was five was just about the greatest thing EVER--shopping, and just lazin' around watching movies, and I got to thinking about why I started on that nasty self-disdain kick.

To make a long story short, I was feeling immensly stressed because I looked ahead to the rest of my semester and saw a whirling mass of obligations and responsibilities that I wasn't sure I could or even had the desire to handle (I was so tempted to write "handel"). Then I began to wonder if I was happy with the way things are going for me, and that led to "Am I happy with myself?" which when one is in such a mood is always a terrible question to ask. If you are ever feeling horrible about your life, by all means do not ask yourself if you're happy with yourself. If it does not send you into a nasty bout of self-loathing, I commend you for either your ignorance or your nonchalance. But I digress...

I discovered something through all of this that is actually not as profound as I've led you to believe--I'm actually not that busy this semester. Yeah. I mean, sure, I'm taking ten classes (again) and I have my degree approval jury, a recital, four term papers, a composition, my job, etc., but I really don't have much to do. It sounds crazy to you but that's because did not experience my last semester. Now that was crazy. And I thought this would be worse, but my workload truly is lighter because my Dialogue class (that crazy writing thing I was talking about) is a piece of cake and my music classes really don't require that much homework. So all I need to worry about is keeping my performance-related business together and I'll be fine. *sigh*

The point is, I got all worked up over nothing as usual, and I'm all better now. I really should just RELAX. If you remember to pray for me, pray for peace. As always...


hee-hee, number 45

I just think it's funny that this post marks the fourty-fifth post of this blog--that's how many I got through on my old (very lame, don't check it out) blog before it died. I don't think that'll happen this time.


Friday, February 1, 2008

surprised by...C.S. Lewis!

It's odd that I'm writing this now since I finished the book about two weeks ago, but I guess "better late than never" applies here! Two weeks ago I read C. S. Lewis's Surprised by Joy and I must say that it was the most beautiful work of his that I've read thus far. And I've read a lot of Lewis.

The concept is so simple--here is my life leading up to my conversion and the specific events which led to it--but his story is so interesting and well-written that I was having trouble putting it down! I've been reading Lewis's work since middle school so I was always aware that he was a great Christian writer. I read his essays and lectures and learned that he was a great thinker. Then, I read his autobiography and discovered that not only is he a great writer and thinker, but a very candid, honest man. He shared surprising details of his young life and revealed an unhappy relationship with his father and early death of his mother. Very beautifully written.

I have to say that while I have always enjoyed Lewis, and that while it pains my anti-conformist streak, I am now and forever a faithful fan of his work.