only help my unbelief

Not done learning
April 28, 2008, 3:04 pm
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Last night Christian and I did what was probably one of the most fun things we’ve ever done together.

He’s teaching me classical Greek.

Last night we went over the alphabet, which wasn’t too hard because I’ve taken Russian, and the alphabets are very similar. Then he had me practice reading out loud. The first passage I read was hard, but the second passage (from the book of John) was actually not too bad. There were a couple letters I kept mixing up, but I think with some more practice my pronunciation will be pretty good.

I’m really excited about this. Now that I’m done with college, I think I’ll miss that learning process. And Greek is productive, too, because I won’t be surprised if God calls us to the mission field to do translation work. At least that’s where my heart is right now.

Anyway, I’m excited about more Greek this afternoon. These past few days in Sewanee have been heavenly.


One last day
April 24, 2008, 10:22 am
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It’s 6:22 a.m. on a Thursday morning. I went to sleep a little less than six hours ago, but woke up twenty minutes ago unable to sleep.

I’m not a morning person. I remember people telling me about going to bed early so they could get up in the morning and do homework. That never worked for me. I knew that if it wasn’t done before my head hit the pillow, it probably wouldn’t get done.

Yesterday was a hard day at school. It ended up well, and I felt a sense of accomplishment, but it took much perseverance and all the grace God had to offer me to get through it.

And now it’s over. I’m heading to school for a few hours this morning to help everyone get their stories online, but then I’m going to get in my car and drive to Tennessee. And it’s the last time I’ll ever have to make the drive alone.

It’s the end of an era. An era of late night phone calls that leave me weary in the morning. An era of six-hour drives and weekends that end too soon. An era of countdowns and separations. An era of saying “One day, it won’t be like this anymore.” Because that one day will be here in two weeks, and this trip up to Tennessee is long taste of that new life.

It’s been just over two years since a similar Thursday morning when I woke up having hardly slept. For days I had been counting down, tying up loose ends. And then the day came, and I spent the morning at work mostly unable to contain my excitement. When I had been in the car for about four hours, I made the first of many phone calls to a now memorized number. And after that very first six-hour drive, I pulled into the driveway of a quaint brick building with a German flag hanging from the balcony and a tall, charming guy standing in the front yard.

A lot accumulates in two years. By the grace of God we’ve survived my depression, his busyness, my lack of spontaneity, his six months in Germany. And our friendship has grown, turning into something more beautiful than I ever imagined.

I know I’m going to be tired on the drive up there, but I don’t care. It’s the last time.

Frederico Astaire
April 23, 2008, 2:07 am
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Katie and I just finished watching Dancing with the Stars: The Results, and we both cheered when Cristian de la Fuente was saved from elimination because of his awesome foxtrot last night.

As Cristian said himself last night – just call him Frederico Astaire.

April 22, 2008, 2:26 am
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Tonight I went to my girls’ Bible study for an end-of-the-semester hoorah. We had ice cream at a delightful place in Five Points and then went to some of the girls’ house and played Catchphrase. One of the phrases to guess was wrist wrestling.

Does anyone know what that is? We tried for a long time after we played to demonstrate what we thought wrist wrestling was, but I don’t think we ever really figured it out.

Wouldn’t you know…
April 21, 2008, 9:18 pm
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…that when I finally came up with something to write about, I didn’t have my computer?

Still, HP turned around my machine really quickly. I dropped it off at FedEx Wednesday morning, and it was back in Columbia by Saturday. I couldn’t pick it up until this morning, though, which meant a weekend of checking my e-mail over the phone with Christian’s help. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but I did have some good ideas for blog posts.

But I can’t remember them now. For inspiration, I’m listening to the soundtrack for Les Miserables. I went to see a high school production of it with Katie last Friday night, and it was wonderful. I saw it in middle school, but at the time I couldn’t appreciate the artistic and musical beauty. I just downloaded the 10th anniversary recording on iTunes, and it is already worth the money I spent on it.

I have two-and-a-half days left at the Carolina Reporter. We actually have some work to do now, as we’re writing a story Wednesday in three-person teams. I’m working with my current assistant managing editor, Brian, and another girl, Karissa. I think that we’ll make a good team, and we already have a working story idea – we’re going to cover the annual undergraduate research day. It’s not until Friday, but we’re going to do an “advance” and see what kinds of research everyone is doing.

Even though I didn’t really enjoy my days as a reporter, I’m kind of looking forward to Wednesday, because I’ll actually have something to do. And then I’ll just have to deal with Thursday morning before I head up to Sewanee.

It’s hard to believe that by this time next week, I’ll never have to attend another college class. As excited as I am about Sewanee and the end of this semester, it will be hard to leave on Thursday. I’ve had a really good time this semester, even with all the frustrations and challenges. And I am looking forward to my internship this summer, but the comfort and familiarity of college will be missed.

Three more mornings of the stale smell of the coliseum. Three more days without windows. Three more days of Macs. And three days from now, Lord willing, I’ll be with Christian.

Bring it on.

Mother’s Day haiku
April 17, 2008, 4:02 pm
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I entered these in a contest to win $1,000. The task was to write a haiku about your mom for Mother’s Day. I love my mom dearly, and it wasn’t hard to think of a way to honor her with my words.

1. “You can’t see the growth at first”
Like the rain that falls
On soil. Years later, the trees
Grow because of you.

2. “Help me find my way”
Sorrows, pains or tears–
You navigate with ease through
My complexities.

3. “I’m not embarassed to need you”
At twenty-two, I
Wonder if I’m too old to
Call. You say I’m not.

4. “I only have the good memories”
I remember when
You sang in the kitchen. I
Still know all the songs.

Do I need to live?
April 14, 2008, 1:04 am
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A few weeks ago while running I was listening to the song “All My Tears,” originally by Emmy Lou Harris, but covered by Jars of Clay on their most recent album “Good Monsters.” I was struck by the lyrics:

When I go, don’t cry for me;
In my Father’s arms I’ll be.
The wounds this world left on my soul
Will all be healed, and I’ll be whole.
Sun and moon will be replaced
With the light of Jesus’ face,
And I will not be ashamed,
For my Savior knows my name.

It don’t matter where you bury me;
I’ll be home, and I’ll be free
It don’t matter where I lay:
All my tears will be washed away.

I’ve been thinking about those lyrics a lot, about not being afraid to die. And then this morning, my pastor preached on Colossians 2:8:

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

He went through some of the “traditions of men” that keep us from sanctification, and then he started talking about the elementary principles of the world. “Elementary” is the Greek word that connotes the basics, the ABCs, he said, and so in that verse God is referring to the things the world automatically assumes is right and true.

One of the elementary principles he mentioned was only having as many children as you think you can afford. He said that one of the primary reason for having only 2.5 children is economic, and, ultimately, selfish. That’s a topic for another day and another post, but the principle that hit me the most this morning was the following:

I have to live.

The world says living is the most important thing. You should step on people, manipulate and take advantage if it keeps you alive and improves your quality of life. But we don’t have to live our lives in such a way that our desire to live is first and foremost. In fact, we should live as though we are prepared to die at any moment.

I don’t live like that. I fear the opinions of men, even though on their worst days they wouldn’t kill me for the things I do or say that resemble Christ. And so I know that if the threat were death, apart from God I would never be able to act in such a way that might get me killed.

And so my prayer for this week is to not be taken captive by the principle that I have to live. I want to give up the whole world and gain my soul, that I might be more like Christ.

Don’t forget to taste and see that the Lord is good.