Saturday, July 19, 2008

they unknowingly took it...

so, i have had a request that i write another blog... i never thought that would happen. like i have said before, i dont really consider myself a writer; therefore i dont see myself as a "real" blogger... but here we go.

for people who happen to stumble across this blog through random chance, i will just preface myself here and say that i love africa. i love that entire continent. i went twice when i was a teenager; at 15 and again at 16. since that first trip, i have never been able to get my heart back. the people of africa unknowingly took it and i willingly gave it to them.

i find myself looking at pictures, watching documentaries, reading the news and my heart just longs to be there. it becomes all consuming at times. it is strange to actually say, but i even love the dirt. i see the red earth and wish my shoes were stained with it. the crammed markets, the classic white trucks, the kids in their school uniforms... god, i just want to go. sometimes it is so much a part of my daily thoughts. other times, i feel as though i have forgotten. whole seasons have made their way through my life and made me wonder if it was all just a phase i went through. but the fact of the matter is: my heart is not entirely my own. when i go looking for that something missing, i always come back to africa.

so many people ask me why? i dont really have an answer. i dont have control over what i love; what desires my heart was formed to hold. those were placed there - without ever a thought of consulting me. i am not my maker. he is. so why did he choose to give part of my heart to africa? for what purpose? i guess my answer to that question should be, "i dont know. ask him. he made me."

you know, i dont even have a clear idea of where this love for africa will end up taking me, but i just have this deep, always there type of feeling, that indeed, it WILL take me...

and to be honest, sometimes i dream about it and my entire self just wants to be there. other times, i try not to think too much because i am afraid that maybe i really will get there. and what does that cost? what if i get what i ask for? how much am i really willing to give up? it is like i have one foot here and one in africa, and it is not an easy burden to have an ocean between your steps. i try to find that balance between knowing that god blesses us and not getting caught in consumerism. between wanting earthly things and knowing eternal truths. it is such a struggle at times. id like to say i frequently succeed. the truth is i have lost the battle more than id like to admit. that "extra" for me or fresh water for them?

im sure as time keeps coming at me, pieces of a puzzle will come into sight. and its as if im supposed to put this puzzle together without having the box to look at. i dont know what the whole picture looks like, just a general idea. ill probably put some of the them where they dont belong. but trial and error is a part of any puzzle. and there is a plan, a bigger picture. i just have to figure it out as i go. i think im just frustrated because i am still working on that bottom left corner.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

friendship, realizations & progress

so i think that in the last year and a half of my life, i have truly begun to realize the value of a friend. i have thought a lot about what a friendship is. what is takes. what importance it holds. the neccesity for community and deep connections. i have thought about the friends that i surround myself with. the friends that keep me in their lives. friends from my past. i have thought about what qualities are most important to me in a friendship. i have begun to appropriate where people "belong" in my life. not everyone "deserves" the same "place". that inner place, that is earned. it takes time, proving, and faithfulness.

sometimes i use the terms "friend" and "true friend" as if they hold two definitions. but i was thinking about it, and shouldnt someone worthy of the name friend already be true? yes, we need to place people into different levels or catagories (or whatever you want to call it) in our lives. but it seems to me that the word friend has lost it's meaning; it's value. we call co-workers "friends" because somehow "aquaintance" seems too informal... we throw around the word "friend" because there really isnt anything else to call someone that we know and connect with. our casual relationships are somehow called "friend". and although i do this myself, i dont think i like it. yet, i dont really have a solution either.

as a close friend always says,

"trust is earned. and it is hard to earn, but easily lost."

i have realized that placing people in your life according to how much they have earned is wise and healthy. i am not saying that i have started some formal rating system for my friends on how much "value" they have "earned" with me. i am saying that it is wise to guard your heart. one thing my mom always said when i was little, was that having one good friend is better than a million aquaintances... and although i have always believed that, i now understand it.

“a man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” proverbs 18:24

another verse that i am so in love with is proverbs 27:6. "better are the wounds of a friend, than the deceitful kisses of an enemy." i have realized - even more so recently - that i have some really great friends. the roots are deep. and that verse rings true. better are the wounds of a friend...

another version says faithful are the wounds of a friend.


how much peace is in that word?

i have had friends, and some i poured too much into, without them earning it. but you learn from mistakes. and i have some friends that are true. really true. and i feel extremely blessed at this point in my life, because although i have somehow survived some pretty bad hurricanes, i am coming out realizing that i have a significant number of true and real friends. they have been faithful to me through everything. and i am so grateful. they have been a part of my lifeline. i value and appreciate them beyond words. when i think of them, my heart is glad.

and those people, they are truly worthy of the title friend.

Monday, May 12, 2008

life in my head: the current

so here i am. not really sure why. i have just had this compulsion to write. i am not a writer by any means... actually i have been told that my writing is like me just talking. but i have decided that i think i need to. for me. for my journey. as my record. i am a pretty private person as far as "sharing" myself with others, so i have hesitated about blogging at all because i feel that i dont need the world to see me, but i feel like i should write. i dont want to share my deepest thoughts, but i dont want to be all, how's the weather, either. so i guess i will figure it out. and i am not even sure if any of this will be open for the world to read or not... hmm. we will see.

me, right now:
searching - afraid - hopeful - grateful

searching: god. the true undeniable love of god. i know him. i want to know more. i am searching for truth about myself. who am i? why am i the way i am? why do i perceive myself the way that i do? for answers. answers for all of my inquisitive brain. everything from the most controversial issues in christianity to why is the sky blue?*

afraid: this one is a deeper part of me. hard for me to answer here. there are a few pretty large fears that, if you know me... you know why and what. trust. failure. abandonment. i will leave it at that.

hopeful: i am. because of jesus. honestly, he is my hope. and sometimes when i seem to forget that, which happens more often than i would like to think, i have my close friends that remind me to look and remember. which leads me to the next one...

grateful: no matter where i am in life, my true friends have held me up. i know, sounds like a cheesy hallmark card, but truth is truth. the value i that hold for my close friends is deep. i am so beyond grateful. true friends: trustworthy & faithful.

*i have always been the inquisitive one. my father has told me over and over that when i was a kid that he couldnt take me in the car because they would become "why rides"... i would ask a question, he would answer, and my response over and over would be, "why?"