The doorbell rang with a muffled echo behind the thick oak door. It was the first house he had to go to by himself, as Kevin had caught the flu from his wife the day before. The few seconds before the door was opened after the doorbell were the worst for him - filled with a sort of hollow anticipation to get it over with. He hated days where he had to do this. When he finally heard the light footsteps approaching, he took a breath and when the door opened --
He saw her eyes. The same eyes that would flood his dreams night after night in high school, the same chestnut eyes that flickered with honey whenever she smiled, the same eyes that he hadn't seen in 7 years.
"Eliot!" The sound of her slightly surprised but joyful voice unlocked a flood of memories in his heart, memories that he thought he dammed up years ago. He could already see the flecks of honey in her eyes and she started to smile at the sight of her old classmate. "What are you doing here? Man, how are you?"
His fingers froze as his eyes were lost in hers. A torrent of excuses raced through his mind: I was just in the neighborhood.... Our high school reunion is coming up, are you going?.... My car broke down, can I use your phone?....
"Are you --" He had rehearsed the lines in the car at least ten times but couldn't get them out now. He couldn't bear to unload the burden on her innocent eyes. "Are you Mrs. Noah P. Thurgood?" He finally spit out, his fingers nervously clutching the white slip of paper.
"Yes... I got married two years ago," she replied, slightly puzzled. "How do you know that?"
He went on. "Is your husband Sgt. Noah P. Thurgood? Social Security Number 485-67-8982?"
"Yes... Eliot, what's going on?" It was only then that she noticed the Army emblem on his uniform. "My God.... Eliot...."
"Ma'am, I'm sorry to inform you.... I'm sorry.... I'm so sorry, Katherine.." He felt his barriers plummet as the words came pouring out of his mouth, his heart, his soul. Her entire body shook as she leaned into the doorframe for support. She closed her eyes and opened them to reveal a lonely, rusty color as a single, dry tear rolled down her cheek.
And it was in that second, that life became that much more fragile...
what can make us whole again?
when i didn't even know you, when i was preoccupied with my own life, you came and prayed for me and loved me like a sister. sigh.
Wow... you guys made yesterday absolutely wonderful =)
[ Variety Show ] The only picture I could get of Midnight Rave = coolest ravers/nunchunk-ers :D
[ Skit Night] Skits and fellowship and coffee cake and the most indescribable Family and small group that God has given =)
[ Allister ] Last 10 minutes of the concert..... there was like a mosh pit up front o_O I'm surprised Dean Leverance allowed that. But hey, it was my first concert?
Tim, one of the singers/geetar players.
And after the concert..... we got to meet them backstage =D =D They are so laid back and just.... COOL! I ended up getting my ticket stub autographed, pictures with the drummer and bassist, and an autographed CD.... I would've gotten a shirt too, but I had no money left =( Man..... that was coool.
Man... Orchestrated Follies tonight anyone?? And Allister tomorrow night?? =D
Allister = <3
such a love
After a night filled with talent that was filled with talented guitarists, dancers, drummers, jugglers, singers, senior slide shows and MC-ers, I left the auditorium to be trampled by a minute blizzard of snow and wind outside. And it was in that second, when the shouts and cries of "Seniors Seniors!" became dimly muted, when I looked up in the swirls of snow and majesty and saw the moon illuminating such radiant light.... that I realized that I have so much to be thankful for in this mixed-up little life of mine.
When there's so much beauty in the world, sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. - American Beauty
more than a song
Pep rally Monday -- 2,400+ kids screaming out "H-I-N-S-D-A-L-E!!" to prep for Pack the Place. Variety Show. Allister/OrchestratedFollies/Mr. Horan's band. Turnabout. Pack the Party. Wondering what it was like at Urbana last year. Wondering what it'd sound like for 2,400+ kids to praise their Creator.
Mornings -- peaceful. Listening to Chris Tomlin, making sure I hadn't forgotten any homework, making coffee if I have time, looking in the mirror as I shove my contacts in and am reminded of the love for this disheveled child of Yours.
AP Brit Lit -- why do we read literature? Perceptives - others can tell you what they see, but they can't see it for you. Reminded me of v. 11. Am being shown more and more of Your miracles through John. Seeing vs. believing... hearing vs. listening.
Schedule -- filled to the brim with little reminders and to-do lists. So full, yet so empty. Tomorrow: yearbook food shopping, more yearbook, dinner, Variety Show. Thursday: Yearbook sophomores deadline. Friday: skits, dinner, Allister.. birthday. Wondering how much of the last 16 years has been just a schedule.
Room -- mess. Comforting mess. Every once in a while, my slightly hypochondriac-y side will come out, and I'll leave my room three hours later with a two trash bags, sneezes from all the dust, nostalgia and a dashboard or howie day song stuck in my head. But for now... the half empty bottle of Windex can stay where it is.
Gradutation -- sigh. June 3.
Music -- lifehouse. What gets replaced in that empty space? The things that'll shouldn't, won't, can't fill that God-shaped hole? For the times when my mind is a jumbled mess. -
too late to hide and too tired to care. take what You've left and forget the rest... take what You see of what's left of me. You know where I've been, and I don't want to go there again.
and I've seen the world
until You're everything
I have nothing but empty space.
and You -- amazing. Somehow, I stumbled across this yesterday:
Romans 14:13 -- Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. (NIV) You tend to criticize people. But your friends need to hear you like being with them. Your teachers need to be encouraged. Your parents want to know you still love them. Your siblings need to see you care. List five people you could "stop passing judgment on" today.
I don't understand it. I can't believe it. I can't bear looking at my own flaws - which, lately have been more apparent in this mess - yet You comfort me. You've put people in my life who love me... though I mess up time after time. Sigh... thank You, Dad.
It's more than a song: One desire.
with a whisper
I found this a few weeks ago.... an excerpt from October 29th:
I'm not telling anyone either... I'd rather worry about other people's problems instead of my own... which I even know can't be healthy, but I'm doing it anyway. I don't want to make a big deal out of things...
Because I want to show you i'm ok. I want to show you that I can be ok without being at church.... I want to still be an encouragement, the person who you can go to. I'm not the person who breaks down. I'm not the person who cries. I'm not a person who wears my emotions on my sleeves. I'm usually the person who prevails when hardships come..... please prove me wrong. Break my prideful nature.
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings...And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. - 1 Peter 5:8-10
I wonder what has changed after a year and some.
did you rise the sun for me?
Hm. I'm sitting here, typing this, listening to the Hillsong United CD and just talking online and trying to write a letter to future Wendy. Got back from a friend's going-legal party, where such conversation happened:
"I want to watch In Good Company!"
"Okay... we'll go on Monday."
Then it hits - we're second semester seniors. And while that means we'll just study a little less for tests.... until APs come up, at least, it's weird to think about. It's practically been the holy grail of the semester for so many. "Just a few more weeks, and we'll be second semester seniors..."
And now those weeks have passed, and we're here. And it doesn't feel that different? Except having a weekend that's been filled with watching the OC for the first time, Pirates, Giordanos, Harold and Kumar, Baja Fresh and drives in the snow (wow that's a lot of movies and eats). Sometimes I think I completely miss the point. The weekend so far has been... completely unplanned and filled with So what do you want to do now?'s. And me... being the usually neurotic about always having a plan with exact times and everything.... didn't worry about it :D Oo and driving in the snow for the first time... without scraping my back window. Trying to change lanes was fun.
I'm sitting here.. and realizing that I have so much to be thankful for in my silly little life. I'm so thankful that my life doesn't revolve around who's dating who like those in the OC. I'm so thankful for people, siblings, that you've put in my life to act as a Family that is just so.... God and love filled. I'm thankful for how You provide music.... like Hillsong, and the utter simplicity of their lyrics.
Can I feel You in the rain?
Abandon all I am to have You
Capture me again
Let the earth resound with praise
Can You hear as all creation lives
To glorify one name?
I'm so thankful for knowing that You're bigger than the appalling grade I got on my calc final. You've been shouting at me to get off this performance treadmill...... and if that's what it took, then so be it. I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend.... dwelling, basking, just being with You, Dad =)
a resounding shout to the heavens
It's not the grade... really.
It's not the fact that I'm getting more B's this semester than I have in my last two semesters combined.
Or that I've utterly screwed up my GPA.
But what does that mean? It means that I can't handle doing everytime. I don't have the time to study for so-and-so test... to make so-and-so deadline, to work on so-and-so assignment and maintain my sanity.
Why don't you explain that to your parents..? I'm sure they'll understand.
I know they would... they would gladly look at my schedule and start snipping away like they always do. Except this time, there's no difference between this year and last year.. except for church.
I am so scared of losing church, the youth group, you guys.... my precious Family that I've missed seeing for the past two years..... I don't care if it means that I get a 5.0, I just want... sigh. James 1:2-4 - For you know that the testing of your faith builds perserverance... And looking back, those lessons cannot be denied. I just don't want to go back there again.
You love me nonetheless.... even if I fail miserably and forget even the simplest of the TNEOMs, Your love transcends all of that. When will I be able to live like that?
..... When will I be free?
As I cram for the last finals (that count, anyway) of my high school career... wow. You amaze me....
sigh. it hurts.
where You lead
What is life?
A thousand roads, a thousand ways
Why am I, so afraid to move..?
It's been hard to sleep lately.
Which is funny, because lately that's all I've been craving... a period of rest, a break from the physics tests and psych definitions. Sunday night, as I tried to sleep, all I could hear in my head was the rumble of what seemed like a thousand voices in raucous symphony. Warnings, fortune cookie advice, mocking laughs, piercing shrills.... some from voices I had heard earlier that day, some from ones that sounded as foreign as my hall locker at school is to me.
There was another voice. Soft - easy to overlook if you weren't looking for it. It was His... His soft, majestic, precious and holy whisper that seemed to transcend the other sounds.
Last night was quite a night. But through it all... You are still You. Your voice still speaks.... and it's about time that those other voices should be muted. I have no idea how to leave them behind.... but I have a feeling that I'm not supposed to. For only You.. are You.
still on repeat.
am i being honest?
with You. with me.
what am i doing?
why have i been silent?
You see me. You know me.
in Your arms.
i want to stay here.
with You. near You. worshipping You.
am i worshipping?
craving home. wandering. confused.
and somehow, in the midst of a whirlpool of thoughts and emotions... You still manage to find me.
edit: hmm. another post i go back to and stare at, wondering if it should be deleted or not.
sigh... just in a period of a few hours... i'm so amazed by Your love in the form of people. it's been quite a weekend... but then again, You're quite a Father =)
reoccurring feelings, and then some.
"Stop.... just listen to the beat and play with that, k?"
She unconsciously rubbed the smoothed down part of the stick and nodded. The last thing she saw before she closed her eyes was the faded grey of the John Dunlop twirling in his right hand. A reluctant sense of comfort descended upon her rushed state of mind as the lone guitar strings swirled to create a simple harmony. She counted to herself - 5, 6, 7, 8 - then started to play. Starting to smile with approval, she opened her eyes to a familiar face of disappointment.
An exasperated sigh escaped from her throat as the melody took a screeching halt. "What now?"
"You're playing too fast again. Why aren't you listening?"
She sighed and put down the sticks on the drum in front of her. "Why aren't you?"
It's kinda funny how you think you know people. How you can spend hours talking to that person and really get to know him/her.... not just as an acquantinces, not just as friends, but as true siblings in Christ. How you feel that rushing sense of pride whenever a prayer is answered - the prayer that you prayed night after night - or the sting to your heart when things just don't fall their way. How you automatically get defensive whenever someone blantantly points out their flaws... even if you agree. How you've grown to care for, check up on, pray for, and just love a person.... for what you think you know. It's kinda funny how all of that sometimes... can be just a plastic mask.
I don't even know who you are anymore... and it scares me.
26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. - Romans 8:26-27
simplicity at its best
I have this song on repeat... over and over. The lyrics are astoundingly simple.... but I love the song. Majestic... YOU are.
So here I am, writing a book review about possibly one of the fluffiest books I've ever read (Time Traveler's Wife, a whopping 550 pages of it) feeling clearer than I have in days. It's amazing how calming His presence is... just sitting and stopping and letting things go. After feeling quite frustrated about losing WashU's interview packet, getting California's app. sent back AGAIN (honestly, that's making me want to go to California less and less), not finding my books, and just feeling all over the place.... I sat. In view of Your majesty..... sighs. You never cease to amaze me.
Still feeling quite unprepared about going back to school though. Not just about the schoolwork, but the people... atmosphere. I've spent the better part of the past two weeks with church siblings in all sorts of highs and lows, from camps to shopping to mounds of yummy sushi. But here I am... ready(?) to go back into the valley.
Majesty... worship His Majesty.. unto JESUS be all glory, honor and praise!
only stand amazed by You
The end of another year... and the start of another.
I started to xanga a month by month recap of 2004... but then thought it to be a waste of time and deleted it. I got to April by that time.
I just have this song on repeat..... Lead me in your Holiness, I will follow... I confess.
Where would I be without You?
As a person who spends a lot of time staring at monuments.... I find myself asking Him just that very question. Where would I be without the challenges of this year? The feeling of utter desparity at times of being alone at home for seemingly endless weeks in contrast to the feeling of unconditional love at church? Being utterly broken in relationships, friendships, only to start building them up not one week ago? Where would I be without these burdens that have made each step a little harder to bear, a little wiser, a little closer ultimately... to You?
Maybe... I dont want to know. Here are your thank you's and goodbyes, 2004. I'm sure 2005 has plenty to teach too... maybe I'll be a little more ready this time.