i forgot i had this song... i love live versions of songs.
and i just realized that live could be two different things. to live... to dwell, to be. to experience, to try, to fail, to learn. or live. not a recording. no rehearsals, no playbacks, mistakes and all.
we might mess up. we might break a string, miss a beat, accidently hit the wrong note. but such is life... it's a live version of the song that we long to play in our hearts. and when we're longing to perfect this song... we lose the joy and life that comes with singing with our souls.
Lord.. we want more of YOU...
living breath of life come and fill us up.
how long will it take?
i need to quiet down and just stop
after the caffiene is slowing wearing off
smashing back into reality.
God, all this stuff is worth nothing if it's not rooted in You.
your playlist makes me so hyper o_O
... or maybe it's the huge cup of coffee i had at barnes tonight while cramming for psych.
okay. so i have.. this, this, and this left to do. that doesn't seem so bad. the grass is always greener when there's caffiene. tomorrow night is the art studio thingy, then thursday night is nhs. then tomorrow is part 2 of physics final, (i think today's went okay..) and thursday and friday, psych finals.
... but tell me, am i free?
i have eyes... but tell me, can i see?
He replied, "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind, but now I see!" - John 9:25
In fact, you can shield yourself from electric fields simply by surrounding yourself with metal! - Princeton Review book for AP Physics
in the stillness
this song came on my ipod last night while i was trying to fall asleep. last night, i realized while listening to an all american rejects song that specific songs hold really strong memories for me.. and perhaps the strongest memory i have attached to this song is of you.
we were sitting in one of the last pews of the sanctuary on a friday night after small group. everyone outside was chattering, laughing, but the sound was all muffled when the door was closed. the front lights were dimmed on account of it being so late.
it was the first time we talked in person for a long time.
it was hard to get the words out. and we sat. on that pew, in an awkwardly full silence.
then mahko came in, gathering up worship -- now music -- team stuff, and sat down at the piano, and began to play overflow. that's when i couldn't keep the tears inside anymore. thats when you told me that you believed in love... that everything would be okay. and that's when i gave you the last bits of trust that i had after everything we went through.
God has lead us pretty far from then... huh?
eight steps up, eight steps down.
when we first moved here, i counted the steps on my stairs. eight up, eight down. why? i don't know...
last night when i was journeying downstairs in the dark, i found myself counting to 8 while going down the stairs. it's dark... and who knows, it's easy to trip and fall if you're sure of not of what's coming.
one, two three....
maybe i'm used to the predictability of stairs.
And every single heart that I have held
In my hands, in my clumsy hands
I fumbled them around until they fell
It's much safer ground just keeping to myself
sometimes i like these days of withdrawal. where i'm allowed to be by myself, away from the world and all the hurt that it encompasses. there's a lot of time to think and reflect. and pray. can't forget prayer.
and i guess it finally hits, after i mailed back the cornell letter and the $400 deposit -- i won't be here. orientation starts august 19th. this year has been a whirlwind of emotions and revelations and junk and praises and songs and stories and... in a month, i graduate.
trying to remember 1 peter again, especially when it first convicted me a few months ago. what it means to travel alongside with a Family. and thanks especially to you guys last night for thinking of me while i was at home. i wish i could've been there too... but there will be other nights, other basements.
it is spiritual warfare. and when we start getting caught up in things with each other, it becomes difficult to look up. when we start getting ensnared by the sin we so long to rid ourselves of...
there is a holy longing, despite all the mistakes and sins that we as humans are bound to make... set it free. let it FLY.
i'm desperate for You.
Your love can make these things better
and i guess, i'm realizing more and more the extent of emotions the human heart can feel. that being in a Family of true brothers and sisters means holding out that heart, eyes closed, not knowing what would happen. trusting in God that even through the prods and pokes, things'll be okay. because without the deepest cuts.... it'd be hard to feel the joys.
feeling.. quite thankful for Family. through the good times and the bad.
... thanks for the phone call today, brother. it meant more than you'll ever know :)
look at the time
to the ends of the earth
if i had wings i would fly...
'cause all that i need, You are...
i woke up at 4:30 again. but this time.. i fell back asleep =)
the sky outside's coated in a wool blanket of gray
and it's stormier than it has been in a long time
and i'm listening to the to the ends of the earth hillsong cd
and letting the words resonate within
because .... this is who You are, God.
can you hear it? it's the sound of faith.
from the heights of the heavens
and i wonder
why it's so hard to be honest
to be truthful
to go towards Nineveh and not flee for Tarshish
... more ponderings on another morning where i woke up before 5. i don't know why i'm waking up this early. i dont think there's been one night in the past week where i've gotten more than 4 hours of sleep...
but i can't stop thinking. and looking for something that i can't do on my own.
it's not about me, God.
She heard it. Enveloped in the voice of a sister's, she heard His voice. The grays slowly sharpened into the faces of a brother and sister from church - they found her.
'You need to stop running.'
She bit her lip. 'I don't want to.'
Her sister reached out for her, with a wisdom in her eyes that went far beyond her years. 'You need to speak the truth. You know what it is...'
'... I don't know if I can'
'It's okay. Speak.
She woke up with a sudden jerk, gasping in the breath of the real, morning air. The same, distant voice echoed in her mind.. Rise.
sometimes i fear
Don't let my doubts prove true
Draw me close and hold me near to you
Keep me strong until the day you...
Cast all my doubts, please prove me wrong
i woke up 15 minutes ago and i'm wide awake.
your words are still haunting me
this weekend has been exhausting and
more vulnerable than i'm used to
maybe i'll go back into hiding now.
and if You can before i bail... prove me wrong.
ithaca is gorges.
and i sit here. trying to breathe in all of the last two days. trying really hard not to get soaked up in the excitement that comes after finding a college that i'm actually excited about - where i wandered around by myself for a good half of the day, attending a real professor's lecture (engineering calculus II) and actually being able to follow along. after meeting people who would be in the same graduating class. after seeing the dorms and trying to picture where i'd put all my stuff. after finding out that our tour guide, Jenny has a job at NASA over the summer working on moon landing gear... and she's a sophomore. after wandering around the White Room and figuring where would be the best spot to plop down with my labtop and a book. after standing on the bridge on East street, looking at the waterfall, and wondering what God would do in my life and in the lives of those around me if i went to this one school....
and i get pulled back into reality. i loved the school. my parents didn't.
when i was in california, all i could think about was how much i missed people, things, objects back home. how friday night went, how sunday morning/afternoon went, what people were doing. and when i came back... it was an overwhelming sense of displacement, like i was exactly the same but everyone else moved on.
ithaca was not like that.
it's that same rush when you know you're being pulled into the unknown where nothing is certain except for the presence of God. especially after a ... uncomfortable morning? at the baccalaureate meeting, seeing people there, having to give a message with people with whom have those 'bad' reputations, who i've quietly ignored in the hallways. and finding myself saying... hey, let's look at this passage. hey... let's get together next weekend to pray for us, for this ceremony, for our school. and walking out of the meeting feeling strangely excited.
i walked to uris library, looking around, wondering about the churches in the area. thinking about the friday night yg, but not.. worrying. praying. knowing God'll do great things regardless of whether i was there or not. ready to sign that acceptance admit and send it in. ready to apply for housing and dining plans, because the food there was quite yummy.
maybe i'm getting ahead of myself? =/
trying to remember His faithfulness in my past, the broken, battered shards of a life left behind for something greater. trying to follow Him, when i don't like where it's going. when i finally don't want to go to UIUC. God's the same anywhere. maybe i'm being selfish when i want to be with Him at cornell =/ trying to... pray.
as we drove back
a mixture of orange and blue
swirled in a magnificent mixture
and i begged the sun not to set
... but on michelangelo... because you're not supposed to have loud music playing in libraries -- especially in totally awesome ones like the Uris library at Cornell!!
there's this White Room here... and it's absolutely breathtaking. i could spend hours in there, reading, journaling with michelangelo.... wow. wow. the campus here is so nice. there's coffee everywhere, the library tour (yes, the first tour i went on was the library tour :P im such a dork..) was so mexcellent, and i've yet to try the food... but the cafeterias are so spiffy! it's such a glorious day outside, and i wish i could post pictures, but i dont have any cords with me.... such a big, open blue sky :)
ithaca is gorges :D
i woke up listening to this song. about three hours before school started. because you're not a cheap bean, you're a lovely, caffienated coffee bean =) i had coffee today for the first time in two weeks. correction, i had three cups. (who can say no to free refills?)
lost in Your waves
held by Your truth
behold all of You
i wanna get carried away
i finished can you keep a secret? by sophie kinsella. i can't quite remember when the last time i sat down to read was. to immerse myself completely into the shoes of another, laughing when she laughs, slightly embarassed when she realizes that a complete stranger knows her secrets. 200+ some pages in one sitting. and i wonder how easy it'd be. to be honest. to be completely honest, not with just those around us, but with ourselves. with God. and how hard it is to look into the depths of our own hearts, quick to forget that He's been there, seen that, and still loves us the same....
and i've changed the song i'm listening to about 5 times because i keep deleting and wondering what to post and what not to post. what can be seen in this space i can call my own online, and what should stay in this 9x12 sketchbook. and on shuffle comes 24.
there's 24 reasons to admit that i'm wrong. with all my excuses... still 24 strong.
leaving for cornell tomorrow after physics. i wonder if it's the same as before i left for california.
back on saturday.
dear best friend,
i wonder how you are. do you remember camp? me, the girl giddily excited for those five days to pass so i could go on my church's youth retreat, and you, just coming back from your student council leadership seminar. me in my finding nemo tshirts and nalgene bottle, and you in that faded, red mets shirt from when you were younger and various piercings (wow, i just realized you had more than me....insane).
and so for the first seven minutes of class, we became "best friends." two completely opposite people. i found out what you did during your leadership seminar, from a recent breakup to that girly bracelet on your wrist. you asked me about the cross i was wearing, and i bit my lip before sharing about my friday nights and sunday mornings. you told me about your crazy busy schedule - baseball, student council president, peer leadership, and on top of that newspaper editor and chief: the perfect poster boy... and how you were sick of doing activity after activity. i told you about my worries about college and my attachment to grades - you told me not to worry, that i could always go to MSU :P i wonder if i should tell you where i'll be ending up.
... then you told me what you worried about. how you drank a few weeks ago, and how you didn't know how to approach the freshman you were mentoring about it. how guilty you felt, and how you wish you'd never done it, just so you didn't set a bad example for him. and i told you my worries about being true. how i wanted more than anything to be honest with people, showing my flaws and concerns, my hope and my joy, and not hiding. you told me that was being ambitious. i nodded.
not bad for knowing each other for 10 minutes, huh best friend?
i wonder if you still have that red bracelet. yeah, the same one you got for wearing that baseball hat on 'hat day'.... i havent taken off my white one yet. wow, i just realized this summer, we won't be going back. no more journalism camp. three years in a row - you could call us veterens now. but senior year's almost passing by... too fast sometimes. hey, i wonder if that kid Dan ever got into Northwestern. he loved it in evanston...
and i wonder how your staff turned out this year. if you were able to "rule over them" with them just fearing you :P (you knew that could never work) if you actually learned anything in class instead of goofing off :P i'm sure you did. i really love the yearbook staff this year. we took pictures for the last spread today. wow. last spread. last deadline. last proofs. last book. i wonder how everyone's staffs turned out this year. we dreamed big.. for those five days, that room next to the ice cream machines were jammed pack with creative ingenuity. and 20-some editors became more than that, we became friends.
i wonder if i'll see any of you again. there are days i wish i could go back to michigan, if not for camp just for the memories. it's funny how sometimes, a place with no real significance holds a threshold of memories and lessons for a person. best friend, i'd thank you for challenging me to be true. i still struggle with that, but, i'll look at this white bracelet and rememeber michigan and little glimpses outside the chinese takeout box that you all provided for me. (well, okay i lied, it's kinda dirty. it's not so white anymore. but i call those... experiences that shouldn't, wouldn't be forgotten.)
best friend, take care of yourself, okay? in college, in life and beyond. you said you went to church.... maybe i'll see you one day with our Dad. if then, remind me to thank you.
until later, best friend.
i really love this song.
i kept singing yesterday, i will not be silent anymore
... whoops. maybe it'd be easier if i just opened up my mind to ... speak
something i found that i wrote a few weeks ago.. wonder if it's still applicable?
Chewing on the tip of her black ballpoint pen, she thumbed through the pages of her assignment notebook, looking for an an empty spot where she could tutor her friend for an upcoming Pre-calc test. It seemed like the time slots of her week had been already been crammed with things that needed to be done during the week: Pick up tickets for Charity Dinner, 7:15 - National Honor Society Meeting, 5:00 - Stanford Interview, Monday - Yearbook deadline. With a quick scan, she could tell that there was little white space to be given to logistic functions... but with a sigh, she penciled in "Barnes and Nobles tutoring - 7:30" on Thursday night.
"Don't look at your schedule. It'll just make you more apprehensive about the coming week." He always worried about her. The book that he bought her five months ago so she could be more organized was something that caused a certain level of discomfort in his gut.
"You know I can't just not look at it.... " she flipped the pages the 17th and recited the scribbles out loud. "I have to work on an Othello paper, then a MVC test. Oh, then dinner with Susie and Ellen... hmm, not bad for a Friday."
He stopped flipping through the shuffle on her iPod and raised his glance. "You forgot about small groups this friday..."
"Oh shoot. Can you hand me that green pen?" She furrowed her brow without looking up, flipping back and forth from the 17th to the 18th. "I guess I can work on my paper on Saturday..." She felt the pen being dropped into her outstretched hand, and haphazardly scratched out 'Othello paper.' The scratches and scribbles slowly faded with her musings, as the buzzing silence of her room became increasingly sharp.
He looked back down at the blinking screen. "Nothing. Let me see your schedule." She bit her lip and slowly closed the the pages. "Okay..." He held the worn out schedules in his hands. Hundreds of hours, planned out to the minute reigned over her life. With a sudden burst of disgust, he flung the book out the open window, watching the projectile disappear into the night sky. "You don't schedule God in."
The book landed outside with a soft thud. Its outline from her second story dorm lay like a broken snow angel in the freshly fallen snow. The howling wind from an impending winter storm claimed the book as its own, as it slowly disappeared under the swirling vortex of cold.
"... I can't believe you just did that."
There was a silenced air of disappointment surrounding his words. "Fine, whatever. Go fish it out then. Don't forget to pencil it in. 6:47 PM - Retrival of schedule from snow."
When that great thing happens.... you don't take the time to pencil it in. You let it happen.
don't be a sniop
... Susceptible to the Negative Influence Of People :)
something i told myself at the beginning of last summer was to stop focusing on me - because when things start going wrong, i have a tendency to hide away and just mope about it. the things around me attach onto me, and i let them. i stop looking up. thursday night, after a deadline where everything that could've went wrong did, and when the highlight of the night was probably being "apprehended" by the hinsdale police for the second time this year after someone called 911. the night before, i was listening to You are My King on repeat.. dwelling in His word, trying really hard to pray. and so on thursday, when i tried running away because things were just too much.... the second song that came on the radio was You are My King.
amazing love, isn't it? :)
The strokes of Your beauty
Brushed through the clouds
Light from the heavens
Touching the ground
small group last night was such a huge blessing. the last time i temporarily "took over," i thought i had everything together - it was summer, i decided to put all the things of the school year behind me... and this time, in the midst of mess and overflowing emotions, He still finds me. and i had to tell myself again last night during worship to stop making it about me. and... wow. He doesn't just stop at finding me, He holds and comforts and blesses tenfold. i'm still kinda in awe of the presence of God with us last night... this entire week. wow, monday seems like such a long time ago.... and maybe too much, so much has happened since then. maybe this just just a snapshot, but looking back? i'm seeing little glimpses of You in my week, through the mess. and i'm glad i was able to thank You for that last night :)
Imagination runs wild
And breathes the breath of life
and now i'm wanting to wrap myself in the blue skies and starry nights and rejoice in the fact that You've created it all.
The sound of Your voice
The works of Your hands
You do all things well
didn't You see?
and it's becoming harder to check my email because i'm so scared and the words from the past week keep repeating in my head cutting through my heart and i feel like i've failed you and i've failed You and that i can never be good enough and this being honest and vulnerable business is tiring and it's not enough and it's never enough and i can't stop just to rest because there's always more to do or something more to say and i'm just so tired of pettiness of high school and people and just being and
i guess that's all i can say.
i need You
for Your glory
... You made me beautiful. it's always been easy believing that God loves the whole world. but that He loves me? sin-infested me? that he's known every lie i've told, every emotion i've hidden, every person i've hurt.... and He still came? He still came... for me?
And by Your blood that washed over me
By Your grace that came down to kiss me
You have cleaned my heart and my soul
For Your glory You made me
Made me beautiful
Giver of grace, filler of souls, anointed One
bring Your healing upon us
... don't let me hesitate
"did you watch the game last night?"
"no, i had to drop megan off at swimming... i listened to the first 5 innings, then stopped during after the 5th inning when they dropped behind 5-3."
"me too.. i stopped watching after the 7th inning. it became hard to watch =/ they ended up losing!..."
"what's so bad about losing?"
"they're 1-1 now..."
"you know, i predicted they would... they were bound to lose sometime =P"
thank You for conversations with teachers like these... just hanging around an empty classroom with Cubs posters and banners all over the room during a stressful 10th period. for reminders that... baseball teams lose. "you win some, you lose some." and even if you're like me (and hopefully not the cubs this year) and you lose a lot... this is what makes us human. thanks for blessed minutes like these to see teachers as people... for that day a few weeks ago, talking with my old writing center teacher about poetry, california and life in general. i'm getting a little excited about touchdown the bear...
to live is to feel
and it'd be foolish to hide from all those emotions.
to live is to feel, and to feel is to be human. to claim the barrels of emotions, the ups, the downs, the joy and the pain, the comfort and the disappointment, the emotions that come crashing down like waves that make the human heart.. oh so very human.
and i guess it's these valleys that show us how high the mountains really are. these storms that show us how big God really is. these places of dark and coldness to remind us of Your light.. Your warmth. from times like this afternoon, jumping around an empty house with songs like Better Than Life and O Praise Him blasting. or like last night.. when a single crack breaks a seemingly perfect mask. from lifting sisters up for healing to making fun of brothers and the "women" they meet over dinner. from conversations like these, that bring what feels like a contagious smile to my face:
me: i stand before You, Lord
me: and give You alll my praise
brother: my life belongs to You
me: You gave Your life fooor me
me: Your grace is all I neeed, Jesus You're all i need
brother: hold me in Your arms
brother: never let me goooo
me: i wanna spend eternity with You!
me: and noooow that You're near
me: everything is different
me: everything's so different, Lord
brother: i know im not the same
me: my life You've changed
me: i wanna be with You
brother: i wanna be with YOU
to conversations that... break.
but as You've shown us, Dad. there will be storms. and though it was hard seeing and driving through yesterday's downpour... there's hope today. after the storm.... comes the sun.