*disclaimer* I posted this on thirty travelers as well, because i'm assuming that different people read the two. If i come to find that the only people who read this are fellow thirty travelers, then i will promptly end the short-life of this blog. If you are reading this disclaimer and you dont know what thirty travelers is, don't worry about it. You are my reason for posting.
So. I’ve had a little bit of a time-management problem at work lately. But not in the way you might think. I have too much time. I tend to finish things rather quickly, which may mean that I’m not being thorough enough, but honestly I don’t really know how to do it differently, and I fear my brain might explode if I just try to edit things over and over again for the sake of thoroughality. My hours go by a little bit like this: check work email. Respond. Check gmail. Respond. Check google reader. Read. Check work email. Hark! Something needs my editing expertise! Print. Edit with pen (my favorite! Oh the red marks are glorious). Make changes in document. Save. Back to gmail, and the cycle continues. What I’m getting at is this: well, it’s a few things actually. One, is that I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately. Blogs are funny. They are a selective glimpse into people’s lives. And people probably only bother to blog about things that are cool and exciting. But the result is that it makes everyone else’s lives look cool and exciting. Just today, peeking into other people’s lives I’ve dreamt of becoming a photo-journalist (even for a local paper), moving to any number of fascinating cities and countries, working for a
(pause…a button for a website needs my copy editing …11 words in length…big job folks.)
47 seconds later. The big question is: Will I ever be truly content? And, am I the only person who feels this way? It just seems like there are different venues for our discontentment, for mine, they change in seasons, but that tugging, nagging feeling…does it ever go away? Is there this magical place where I will someday live, doing something magical, surrounded by magical people, where I will never long for something else ever again? And would I even want that? I mean, how many years did I spend focusing that discontentment on the prospect of finding my media naranja. (the Spanish term for soul-mate that I much prefer…it means half-orange). Now I have found him. I love him, and I’m SO thankful for the incredible peace and contentment that has flooded that little nook in my heart. What fulfilling companionship! But it doesn’t change that part of me that looks ahead and plans and longs and dreams.
I guess one thing I could learn from all this pondering is that if finding “the one” didn’t make me magically and completely fulfilled, then finding the perfect job or place to live or calling probably won’t either, right? And when I say that I’m discontent, please don’t hear that I’m sad. I’m not. I’m very very happy and I love life in Birmingham right now. I just can’t help but look forward to more. I want to really “make a difference” as cliché as that sounds, and I want to really spend all of my time in the nitty-gritty place where humanity, and community, and creativity, and justice, and love meet. now why isn't there a google map for that place?
At my core, I trust that God treasures these desires in my heart, and He is the one who will fulfill them. I just don’t know if it will be in this flesh-laden lifetime or not.
A saturday in march begins with soft snow fall.The still quiet of the falling blanket breaks with excited chirp-songs of birds who dont quite know what to make of the cold white stuff landing on their feathers and new flowers of premature spring. It's bound to be a lovely day.
Snow days are so special. It melted by noon, but we didn't care. In celebration we went to what is quickly becoming one of our favorite spots in birmingham, a coffee shop called Urban Standard. If I could dream of a coffee shop, this would be it. Perfect, european-style coffee; a constant stream of city-dwelling regulars of all ages; awesome rustic/vintage/urban decor; and some of the tastiest food-fares I have ever encountered. A few of our friends work there too so it has an extra friendly atmosphere. On this delightful morning we sipped french-pressed Primavera coffee and ate grits with cheese and smoked sausage, and croissants with ham and poppy-seed mustard. I really like it here.
After breakfast, it was time for business. Keith and I like to use saturdays to be productive so that Sundays can really be days of rest. Its nice. especially since we've started going to church in the evening. Sundays are becoming as sweet and relaxing as they should be.
Later we went to an international dinner at our friend Young-Bin's house. He hosed an international pot-luck of over 20 people. There were sushi, summer rolls, quesadillas, mexican dip, chilean salad, potato pancakes, brats, and matzo-ball soup. We brought couscous. Did i mention i really like it here?
To top off a day such as this may seem like a challenge. Which is true. But it was accomplished. Some local musicians, a scene that includes a lot of our friends, were playing a show at a book-store/coffee shop in Mountain Brook. A band from Birmingham called The Triceratops, in which my friend Jeanette rocks out on the violin (and I really mean rocks out), played with These United States, who are on tour right now. These United States are touring the country and playing with different local bands in every city they go to. And when i say "playing with" I dont mean they just do a show with them, but both bands actually play together after just meeting the night before. So last night they played with Triceratops. This experiment, as they call it, is brilliant. It was really one of the most enjoyable shows i have ever been to. And all of the musicians were really friendly and down to earth. It might have been the only time i can remember that i bought a cd at a show without even thinking twice about it. You should definitely check both of these bands out. And if this experimental tour is coming near you, I don't recommend missing it.
I found this old picture of keith and i from the night before i left for college. A few weeks ago, during a long, late drive home, we read from my journal from senior year. for those of you that dont know, i was pretty in love with keith back then too. it was so nice to read that journal--to laugh at the high-school-ridiculous of it, and our sweet awkwardness. but also, to see that the place that we are really has been planted in out hearts for so long. that our Father knows us and our hearts and desires because he made them and created them for himself. to know that david keith and i were really made, knit together, to be joined to one another. and that our soon approaching marriage is just part of the story of faithfulness, love, adventure, sanctification, and purpose that God is weaving from out lives.
part of that story is the continual veil of uncertainty that following Christ seems to take on. we are learning to rejoice and rest in what it feels like to not know the next step. to not make out own plans and strive for our own security. but it is a struggle. we become anxious. we become impatient. we slip into planning mode. but we are held and drawn into trusting. and it is an exciting place to be. and we are learning to pray.
some days i miss europe. some days i want to go to asia. some days i long for guatemala. some days i long for dirt and humidity. some days i want to decorate our apartment like a page out of IKEA. some days i want to speak spanish all day long. some days i want to be a teacher. some days i want to make art. some days i want to go. and some days i want to stay here.
I want a holy ambition.