Thursday, May 21, 2009


I woke up this morning with a heavy heart. The things that kept me awake last night didn't disappear with the morning light. Upon arriving at the office, I turned to today's page on my daily calendar. Here's what it said:

"He who dwells in the shelter
of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty."
Psalm 91:1

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

leavings, happenings, & readings

Ladies and gents, this is me and five of the most amazing girls in the whole wide world without end, forever and ever, amen. (Front row: Rose Mary, April, me, Lisa. Back row: Emily, Amy.) I couldn't have asked for a better mentoring group. The sad thing is that it feels that we're just getting to the good part, and the year is over. These girls have seen me act super goofy. They have seen me cry. They have taught me so much about God's unconditional love for me as they loved me through some of the most difficult months of my life. They have entrusted me with their dreams and sorrows. I love you, dear girls!

And here's to Dorm 3! ("Whaaat? Dooooorm THREE!") Leann, Joanne, Emily, me, and Ruth Anna... I have no clue what like at FB would have been without Sunday morning "coffee party, coffee party, COFFEE PARTY!" and late-night talks and pedicures! Shoot, I hate saying good-bye! Can you honestly imagine what it will be like after Jesus returns to heal the earth? Can you imagine never having to let go again? A huge part of me wants to just hold onto the next week and not let go, but time is too intangible to restrain. (That's probably a mercy, actually.)

After this crazy week, we'll be on choir tour. Yay! Happiness!

After choir tour, I'll have to say good-bye to almost everyone and stay at FB. Suffice it to say that is not going to be fun. After a lonely week here (in which I plan to visit one last time the haunts around here in which I'll leave pieces of my soul), I'll move back to my dear Lancaster city! (And the ghetto girl in me does a "yeh-yeh, yeah!") I can't wait to spend time wid kids on my block and be back with my youth group!

In the course of this past week my family has experienced a significant growth, three new members being welcomed with open arms. My family of books, to be specific. After displaying a monumental show of discipline in the abstaining from the procuring of books for three entire months (I'm sorry about the glare in your eyes; that would just be my halo), I bought The Shack and Surprised by Hope. I'd borrowed and read The Shack this past winter, but I want to read it again. It's a phenomenal look at humanity, God, suffering, and love. I keenly identified with Mack's misconceptions about God. It's a beautiful and deeply moving book. Surprised by Hope, by N.T Wright is a refreshing and renewing look at the reality of the Kingdom of God in the earth today and the incredible implications the resurrection of Jesus has for both humans and the rest of God's good creation. Parts of the book were assigned readings for Melvin Lehman's "Kingdom of God" class I took during Winter Term, and the excerpts I devoured far from satiated my appetite. ;) The reality of Redemption and the part we as Kingdom citizens are invited to play excites me and energizes me. Wright is incredibly insightful, and I can't wait to read the book from fore to aft. And, today, Irene gave those of us in her mentoring group The Incredible Journey of Edward Tulane. Ruth Anna read an excerpt from it to us girls one evening. It's the story of how Edward Tulane, an entirely self-absorbed china rabbit, learned how to return love. Technically, it could be a kids' book, but I was extremely touched by the calamities (such as being snatched from the little girl that dearly loved him, stripped of all his clothes, excepting his hat, and being thrown into the ocean where he would have drowned had he been able to do so before a fisherman rescued him, only to be later buried in trash and hung by his ears) that befell Edward to open his selfish heart. After he had finally learned to love and experienced the pain that loving and losing entails (not even the hint of a pun here, of course), he determined never to love again. A china doll told him he might as well jump off the shelf on which he was sitting in the doll store if he was determined to live such a hollow existence. "Someone will come for you," she said. Once Edward began to hope, someone did... and it was the person he never dared imagine would come.

Friday, May 15, 2009

happy things

  • [happy thing #1] Julie, Laura, and I went on a jaunty galavant last evening, doing a photoshoot in Meadville for their graduation pictures. I rediscovered how much I love photography... and how much practice I need. Hmmm... maybe when I'm big I can afford a Canon Rebel like the one Lisa so graciously loaned me for the evening. :) I'm not a pro, but we had fun.
  • [happy thing #2] I made a grand discovery: . They offer metallic paper for prints, cool things like gallery wraps, photobooks... amazing quality for meager prices. I will definitely be using them again.
  • [happy thing #3] Almost every Saturday, on my explorations of Meadville, I buy flowers from a lady who sets up a stand by the Market. Meadville is such a romantic town, pardon my sentimentality. In two words, shabby grandeur. Cobbled streets, trees, old buildings regally wearing the tatters of their previous glory, wrought-iron streetlights... I am going to leave a piece of my soul in Meadville when I go home. (But I was talking about happy things, right?) One of the pussy-willow branches I bought a few weeks ago has rooted! I'll have to pot it until I have a place to plant it, but I have always wanted a pussy-willow tree. Happiness and excitement. :)
  • [happy thing #4] This evening, the students and volunteers who are NOT deserting FB for the weekend are going up to Erie to play sand volleyball, watch the sun go down, and revel in God's amazingness.
  • [happy thing #5] Tomorrow I am going to Ohio with Bekah and Lisa in a desperate attempt to spend as much time together as possible before we part... and in the afternoon I am planning on meeting with T. Alan Kirk, a local artist whom I have come to greatly admire. These websites offer a small taste of what he does: and .
  • [happy thing #6] Tim has offered me the dream-come-true opportunity of having my own art show in July, so we're meeting to formulate a publicity profile the event. I can still hardly believe I'm doing this!! A big shout-out to God for making this happen and to my friends who have more than encouraged me every step of the way! :D One of these days, I want to scan some of my drawings and post them on here for your criticism. Oh, and Jemglyn has told me what she did about her dilemma, so I shall have plenty of blog fodder...
My heart is so full.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Lord Jesus, we want to know you

In our searchings, guide us

We are in desperate need of You

You are the Shepherd, we the sheep

Give us ears to hear Your voice

Calling us to follow You

When we are close to You is when

We are at peace

Make us little children

So You can take us in Your arms

Hold us on Your lap

Close to Your heart

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I wish I could capture
This moment;
Put it in a little glass cube
So I could be reminded
All the time
Of the wordless Ecstasy
Of being in Your
Frighteningly holy
Encompassingly loving
Embracing a waterfall
Lying safely between a lion's paws
Sitting atop a rainbow
Without falling through...
But still I am wordless
And need
To resort to

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Jemglyn, the Spider (Part 1)

Once upon a time, in a land where the sun rose and set in predictable cycles, there lived a spider named Jemglyn. Jemglyn was, to the eye of the casual observer, a fairly mediocre spider of an unpretentious species. Nothing about her stopped mere passers-by in their literal tracks. Only those who sense things their eyes don't tell them remembered Jemglyn for more than a few minutes after they had made her acquaintance, which few took the trouble of making.

But Jemglyn had hatched with a strange discomfort that few noticed or understood. To be fair, even Jemglyn didn't understand it. Some days she built her web and ran about with little thought for much else, as every spider should, but even on those days the discomfort chafed at the bottom of her soul. Other days, Jemglyn loathed her web and the conventional runnings-about. She wasn't sure why. She just did. The discomfort was stronger those days, and, though she usually built her web and ran about on those days as well, it was only because she wasn't sure what else to do. "Bweakulb", as she named the discomfort, waxed so strong those days that he barely allowed Jemglyn to do so, but, as I said, Jemglyn wasn't sure what else to do. Bweakulb told her that something was dreadfully wrong. The other spiders told Jemglyn that something about her eyes made them feel creepier than spiders usually feel.

Her neighboring spiders, even the ones that liked to have Jemglyn's approval, didn't really like when Jemglyn talked about Bweakulb. It made their legs twitch a little in their intricate webs and the breeze in which their webs swayed seem somehow menacing.

And so, Jemglyn rarely talked about Bweakulb. She felt him. She thought about him at night when she stared at the stars that sometimes seemed close enough to touch with her foreleg, and at others so far away that she wondered if she only imagined she was seeing them. The nights the stars seemed furthest away were the nights she wondered why she had been given Bweakulb, why Bweakulb couldn't go away and let her live like her blithe, unbothered kin.

(to be continued)