Where one is the only number. Where there is only one of every thing. There is one apple. You bite into it, and you savor sweet. There is one eagle. You watch it fly, and you see swift. There is one harp. You listen to its song, and you hear harmony. There is one candle. You put your hand near it, and you feel fiery fervor. There is one flower. You sniff its scent, and you smell spring’s splendor. There is just one, so you experience good for what it is. There is no second apple to compare which is sweeter. There is no falcon to fly beside the eagle and prove its superior speed. There are no other instruments to create an orchestra to drown out the sound of the lone harp. There is no other source of fire to compete with the candle. There are no other flowers in the garden to mix with the smell of this flower. Because a sweeter apple, a faster bird, another beautiful instrument, a bigger fire, and a differently scented flower do not invalidate the goodness that is in the original. The comparison that the latter is superior does not make the former inferior, more good does not correspond with bad. Goodness is good. Truth is truth. Nothing can shake that. Nor dispute that.
There is a world where the sweet apples grow together on a tree. Each one is a little different and each one has a different mouth to feed, and they nourish the world together. There is a world where the eagle is fast and the falcon is faster. Each bird is fast and its majesty is there for all of creation to see the majesty of the Creator. There is a world where there are many different instruments, all beautifully made and each producing beautiful harmony. Each instrument complements the next until as a whole, the individual harmonies create an excellent symphony, and so each becomes an instrument of bringing great enjoyment. There is a world where fire can be sustained by candle, firewood, fuel, et cetera. Each method is unique to the earlier, and each creates warmth, sometimes when an alternative couldn’t under the circumstances. There is a world where various flowers grow in the same garden. Each flower brings a different sweet smell, and when spring comes there is a different scent to be enjoyed with every step through the garden.
There is a world where there is one you. And you are beautiful. There is a world with many of us. And when we recognize the beauty in the one, our thinking is beautiful.
I haven’t posted in a long time. Sorry, everyone Josh. So hello again, reader (Josh). I really need to get this off my mind, because it’s frustrating me. And I don’t usually stay frustrated for long.
About a week and a half ago, I heard about a job opening for the Global Business Center at school. I happened about this information through a simple conversation with a girl that I met while volunteering at a global competition here. At the time, I didn’t think I needed a job. But the next day, I realized it would be a great opportunity to take up. At the time of volunteering, I had the perfect contacts all at my fingertips, since almost everyone from the Global Business Center was helping to organize this competition. As someone volunteering closely and devoting many hours, they would’ve known me well and it put me a step ahead of other people who may have been candidates for the job. I got really excited about this job opportunity, but I had other things on my mind and kept putting back talking to someone about applying to the job opening. Over the next few days, I got a lot of encouragement from different upperclassmen to go for the job opening and give it a try. By the time I finally talked to one of the advisers in the center, the job was already taken. It was taken by another freshman girl, who is actually in my freshmen business class.
I’m not sure why, of all things in life, this is what has frustrated me to the point of not being able to get it off my mind.
But the thing is I am sure why. God set this up for me, set up this golden opportunity. Right place, right time. Unexpected, unimaginable. Those four things are God’s recipe for something incredible. And I didn’t do my part. I waited, I procrastinated. I succumbed to laziness, I succumbed to fear. I let myself lose. And I know the reason why I’m bitter is because this isn’t just my fault, this is a situation where God’s hand was in it, and my heart wasn’t. And it just makes it that much worse to know that God is good and God is here, but if I’m not willing and obedient, He can’t carry out his plan.
But God’s hand was in this. And God’s hand is in everything. To remember that I’m in good hands always gives me hope. My mom bought me this verse-of-the-day mini calendar thing. I thought it was cheesy and so not me, but I’ve been using it. And daily, it brings me encouragement. Some days more than others, but today especially. March 13th reads:
But he (Jesus) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I (Paul) will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power my rest on me.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
That’s good, real good. Jesus says to me, “I am grace, I am perfection”. His power rests on me. So maybe I’m like a bitter melon. This Chinese vegetable, that when translated directly is bitter melon. It’s so bitter on the inside when you take a bite, but on the outside it’s a pretty green and shaped like a beautiful flower when sliced and stir-fryed. I’m bitter on the inside right now, but Christ washes over me with his beautiful love. Grace, perfection, power. It transcends my bitterness.
So I’m heading to the undergraduate career services now in the business school. Let’s see what comes out of this. His grace is more than what I think is sufficient. His power is perfect in my inefficiencies. I boast in His power. And I will obey when He calls.
1. Wow. I’m so glad I’m here. Of all the many places I could be, like at the foot of the rolling mountains of Wenatchee or under the faithful sun in Kenya or surrounded by the serene waters of Shuswap or in a simple apartment in Shanghai, I’m glad I’m here. Just sitting in a dorm room, quiet melodies playing through earphones, untouched by anxieties, on a Saturday morning, tumblring, thinking about all that has happened and what is to come. It’s incredible. It’s been incredible, it will be incredible. There’s always so much to look forward to, so much to be grateful for, so much to live for, so much greater good to contribute to, so much more to learn about people’s lives. This place is a pool of unending possibilities for just that. I don’t think my heart can hold all of this and not write it down.
2. Working with excellence pays off. Sometimes at the expense of no sleep. Often with a blindsidedness to failure. And always with the support of others. I’ve learned in the past few days that when you’re working with a good team there are unspoken rules about motivation and hard work. There’s no complaining or wanting to “just be done”; it’s all honesty and openness. It’s the moments where you laugh and admit you were on facebook, but just as quickly you’re ready to get working on the powerpoint again. What I realized was that it doesn’t matter what your team looks like on the outside - all girls, all Asian, all freshman - but what matters is the skill sets represented by your team. I used to be so caught up in diversifying my team so that we would make a good first impression, but in the last few days for my case competition I worked with a team that didn’t have much diversity on the outside. However we had a diverse range of ideas and skill sets. And funny thing is, we were talking it up about diversity the whole time. Go figure? I loved my team. There was this natural unspoken agreement to work hard and to care a little more about the process than the end result. We truly saw it as an experience we could learn from instead of an experience we could win from. In fact, we recognized how hard it would be to win as the only freshman team up against 11 other upperclassmen teams. And I think maybe when you’re met with challenges like these, it drives you to be more creative and produce more excellent results, because there’s nothing you’re taking for granted when you know you’re up against giants. Maybe this is why the underdog wins, despite the times when no one roots for them. And this is how the underdog has faith, even when they don’t realize it themselves. I’m dang proud. This happy buzz is going to take a while to wear off.
3. Whoa, honesty is really good. Always. I don’t care what kind of situation you’re in and if you have a fear of confrontation, being honesty is probably going to undermine a lot of misunderstandings that you didn’t know existed, but existed all along. It’s a serious game-changer. And when you hear the truth, and the truth sets you free, you can only laugh. Laugh at the irony, at the simplicity, at every wrong little thing that you thought was the truth. Being real often brings along your fear, but taking that step with fear leads to much greater freedom. The kind of freedom that overcomes and overpowers fear. I mean, what other way do you explain it when you thought someone believed you gave up on them so you swore inside of you that you would treat them with all this crazy unrelenting love so that you could prove them wrong. Then someone convinces you to tell the truth, to tell them that you read what they wrote about you, and that you want to do anything to make them believe otherwise that you do love them and that you didn’t mean to give up and that you don’t want to give up and that you are doing these things to make them see that. So you call and tell the truth, and it turns out that thing you read wasn’t even about you. So they didn’t hate you or feel such great hurt from you. So you don’t have to live your life feeling like you owe someone, and acting in love because you really just want to prove to someone that you won’t give up. So now you can embrace what the point of loving people is: freedom and knowing that there’s no such thing as enough when it comes to love. Love is active, and manifested in action. It is honest, and always takes the extra step that no one can see coming. Love is so awesome. But it’s only true and whole and free and genuine, when it comes hand in hand with honesty.
4. Social entrepreneurship is where my passion lies. I believed so deeply in high school that business is good, because it solves problems. I still believe that, even though I see the examples where business has created problems. But maybe the problem is that business was always meant to solve problems, and a lot of what business has done in the first world is fix the minor problems, eliminate the small inconveniences, and improve on what is already quite efficient. And that is totally okay, no one should complain about more efficiency and technological advancements. But I think it’s a bit of a problem that the major problems are overlooked, just because they often aren’t in our own domestic boundaries. Business was created to solve issues, in a sustainable way. It’s unlike charity, because that’s not going to last when the donor dies, and the funds run dry. Business is effective and efficient as a motor for change. It was meant to be change for the good and change to solve problems like poverty and lack of necessity. So, why don’t I be the one, of many who are turning this generation back to its roots, to redefine business in a way that really just goes back to the earliest and most rudimentary meanings of business. I know I’m simplifying everything, but things are meant to be simple to begin with. So let’s begin.
5. Love does. Yes, it’s that simple. It’s kind of crazy how simple it is, but the best part is that often simplicity has the result of breath-taking. The littlest things about love make the biggest differences. I mean, that in the smallest extra acts of love, people are taken aback. It’s kind of a beautiful thing. I do believe that love is more powerful than hate. I am sure of it. Whether we can see it or not, love wins. Jesus heals. Those who are healed help. I am sure that my faith is not just a religion, not just rules, not just words on a page. It is more than that. Christianity is not meant to be things spoken without teeth, or intentions without actions in release, or what the world thinks without the other side of the story in a defendant’s brief. Christianity is not what you think it is, often it’s not what I think it is, what I thought it was, what I expect of it. Because love does. It’s not a thought; love is action. It’s not a state of mind; love is a state of being. It’s not a phrase; love is manifested in how we go for the extra, and we don’t stop. I want to love like that. Small things in great love. I am sure that it matters.
“I have driven myself mad, and lost many nights of sleep thinking about whether this and that relationship is God-ordained, begging to marry at 24, and starting a family by 26. If I could do those nights over again, I would make myself not mad and sleep instead.”— A good friend, who is called Haley by her kids
1. Romantic relationships involve an interesting balance that I don’t know much about. I think it usually is a question of am I letting go of my own desires and letting God or am I chasing God’s call for me with relentless pursuit? At what point is it about me and at what point is it about pursuing God’s call? In thinking about balance, there is no line to cross or definition to achieve, that’s for sure. But there must be a way to be intentional about pursuing someone and still putting God in the forefront of life. Because to be honest, I don’t want to end up in my senior year and still not know who I’m going to marry. I mean if its God’s will, then yes by all means. But there’s still a very human side of me that says, please don’t make me wait that long. I don’t know if my confusion will mean anything to anyone, but if there’s a way to sum up what I’m getting at it’s that I’ve heard and agreed that dating is not bad, actually it is quite good. What it comes down to is intentions and timing. I’m not encouraging anyone to jump into things, but if you don’t pursue anything, then aren’t you just aimlessly sitting and waiting? And just to clarify I’m not thinking of any particular person or judging that someone isn’t doing life right, it’s just an idea about how it’s okay to do more for people, to fight for people’s hearts, not to win them over, but to remind them of their worth. Because I think when God calls us to be patient, He very much still asks of us to take action and be intentional in some way.
2. I don’t think I’ve ever considered myself to be a nonconfrontational person, but that’s cause I’ve never had to test that theory. Put simply, my personality has always repelled drama. I always stayed away from it, wouldn’t put up with petty things, and it just never came up. I have a pretty high tolerance level of being annoyed until I reach the point of getting mad. But I haven’t been in a situation where I have the option of being honest in a way that could undo hurt. Well, maybe not undo it, but build a bridge to have that happen. So here I am choosing to be completely genuine and honest, and being held accountable to it. I’m not sure how you’ll react, but I have faith that everything is in the balance of God’s hands. Meaning things will go back to the way they were, somehow better even. It could be a healing process that takes decades, but hands down, I will fight for that. Because all of it isn’t in my hands to begin with. I’ve caused the hurt, I recognize that I’m responsible to make amends, but I’m not the great Healer. He is.
3. All my life I’ve always thought that I’d have kids at a super young age so that when they grew up, they wouldn’t be the 5th grader with parents the age of most their friend’s grandparents. I’m definitely rethinking that now. I know it should be the least of my worries as a freshman in college, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and I’m at the point where I can’t envision how kids could fit in the picture early on in my life, maybe even ever? Well, I don’t want to say never, but in the back of my head here’s what’s happening: I’ve been reading in Small Things With Great Love by Margot Starbuck about how it’s so easy to have a big heart for the poor and take action when you’re young and free, you know, being responsible for only yourself and thus feeling like its easier to take on the burdens of the world when the only other burden is yourself. She writes about al the friends she had when she was in college who all had huge hearts for creating change. But then they get married, have kids, buy a house, and it becomes all too easy to get sucked into your own life and family. It’s natural to hold close a skewed concept of the American Dream, which sometimes has us convinced that since I earned it, I own it, and I deserve to keep it because it’s rightfully mine. And these aren’t bad things. Starting a family is such a wonderful and beautiful and valiant effort to take on, society needs people who will devote time to raising the next generation and doing it well. But the responsibility and effort it takes is what gets to me. I never thought about it until now, how for the first 18 (actually more) years of a kid’s life, they’re immature and can’t really stand in your shoes, knowing and seeing why you do what you do for them. Also, you can’t just call it quits when the going gets tough, this is as long-term commitment as it gets. So what’s hard for me is not that I wouldn’t find with and enjoyment and fulfillment in being a mom; I’m sure it would be extravagantly worth the time and effort. The problem is the chance of getting sucked into mundane family life where I am so concerned with my family’s needs that I stop noticing the needs of the world. I’m scared of that because I want to address the needs of the world, and I don’t know if I can drag a family into that vision. I don’t know if they’d find enough worth in sacrificing their own wants for the needs of rest of the world. I don’t know if small children should have to sacrifice their childhood for me. And is it my vision or God’s vision here, nectar the difference matters? I don’t want to be selfish in this vision. But I want to help the orphans who don’t get a chance at what my family could be like, the poor who never get a chance to be indecisive about what to eat for lunch today, or the waterless whose daily purpose in life is not to find happiness somewhere but to find water while being some of the happiest human beings I’ve met. I want to give them hopein Jesus. And I want that vision not to be about me primarily, but more about them and mostly about God’s vision for them. I’m just unclear about how family plays into that with more help than hindrance. But who knows, God always makes a way.
We wonder why He came as a baby. We expect that since God is so grand, he would’ve come down as some extravagant ruler or arrived on a flashy flaming chariot just to prove himself and announce that the Messiah has come. That’s how we’d get the job done. Or something along those lines, right? Be obvious and show your power to everyone, we’d say. But instead He came out of a womb, as a baby, just like each of us. God became a human and experienced what we have all gone through. He made us and then He became one of us, experiencing the design of His own creation. And He did so in such an inconspicuous way. In the most humble of manners. (I don’t know, but were you born in an open barn?)
It’s been said before, but God’s way of coming to meet with us and of sending the Messiah is so shockingly ordinary. In a way that’s not only simple, but grossly unappreciated by man. Jesus is visited by shepards, who were by no means highly regarded, just eternal wanderers on the earth with their sheep. Yeah, the wise men visit, but Jesus is hidden away from the king in the midst of all this. You’d think that maybe it would be okay to get all up in the face of a king ruling over a mere empire if you’re the savior of the world, but Jesus has to lay low for the time. There’s really no rational argument against Jesus’ arrival NOT being strangely unimportant and unanticipated by the vast majority. I mean, His parents aren’t even given a decent place to stay. Essentially anyone whose heard from Joseph and Mary about the baby being conceived by the Spirit has turned away from them thinking this couple who was once their friend is insane. None of those people are excitedly telling everyone that a Messiah is on the way. Yeah, we can’t really understand God’s decision here, except to say that God’s plan here reflects His desire to meet us in person and not as some far off being or separated power.
However, this odd and unexpected turn of events is mightily powerful. I think we miss the truth of this in a particular way. As I was at the Christmas Eve service tonight, I was inspired by this wonderful possibility. This is what I was thinking: there are so many moments in the Bible where God gives us free choice. When He created Adam and Eve, He gave them freedom. The first humans weren’t created robots, and none after were either. From the beginning, God offers freedom, we are never obligated or forced to follow Him. God says love and obey me, God says there are consequences for all our actions, but His grace and forgiveness are even greater than that in the long run. Look at Solomon at the end of his life in 1 Kings. Solomon doesn’t obey God’s command to stay away from marrying multiple women. God knows the women will become his idol and completely overshadow Solomon’s heart after God. God says Solomon must be punished, but God honors His promise first and foremost. God fulfills the promise He makes to David, Solomon’s dad, so Solomon still lives a good life. (But his kids won’t as a consequence.) And even then, God’s grace appears in various ways to Solomon’s descendants. Another example of God’s freedom in creation is the fallen angels. Lucifer, the most beautiful angel at one point, turns from God and take many angels with him. Obviously, Lucifer is banished, but God doesn’t get rid of Him, which He has the power to do. Sin enters the world, as a result of God creating freedom. And maybe you’d start to think that freedom could be a bad thing. After all, we misuse it and the results are often monumentally detrimental. And you could begin to believe that sending Jesus to earth in such a quiet way is a bad idea, because now Satan can use the doubts about Jesus to his own benefit. Maybe you’d imagine that an inconspicuous arrival means less people are saved, because less people see the full glory of God.
But you need to stop thinking that. Those ideas are from the devil, who wants you to see God’s freedom as an opportunity for Satan to deceive more people. Satan wants you to think that the more time that passes before Jesus returns, the more chances there are for him to drag people with him to hell. Satan wants you believing that people will choose him over God. And above all, he wants you to think that freedom is a terrible thing, because look at all the bad that people have used it for. But don’t you see? If Satan has free reign, so do we. This is where the wonderful.possibility comes in! While Satan has the freedom to destroy and hurt, we have the freedom to love and build up. You see, power comes with freedom. Someone who chooses to love Jesus has much more conviction than someone who is forced to. God knows that love works better than fear. He is the creator of it. He knows that love roots deeper than fear ever can. And because of that freedom works to our advantage. Freedom means our faith is always relevant, because our faith makes sense in the context of any kind of pain or joy. Freedom means we are freer than any bond that the devil can try to trap us in. Freedom means God loves us enough to let us choose, because when we learn, we grow, and that allows us to understand our relationship with Him in an unshakable way. Do you understand the goodness of freedom? It is delicious.
Another look into why Jesus came in a not-so-obvious way which I’ll explain in a recent day scenario. Let’s talk about an imaginary top-notch a-list celebrity. If this celebrity wants friends who actually appreciate them as a person and not a “friend” who is out to get personal gain by leveraging the reputation or connections that the celebrity has… will the celebrity boast about his/her career and status? Probably not… even if they’re proud of what they do and really enjoy acting. Chances are they will instead keep that part of their life on the down low until they can gain the trust of people. Then when the celebrity knows that they’ve made a genuine friend they’ll reveal that part of their life, which the real friend will understand in a truly interested and selfless way. I think it’s similar for the position that Jesus was in, not that he didn’t want people to be sure that He is the Messiah, but that he really wanted to change people’s hearts towards God, not just their mind. You see, if Jesus came all obvious-like, people would miss the real reason of following him. In fact, they would probably follow Jesus just to go to heaven, just a one way ticket kind of deal. They wouldn’t ever change their hearts toward God, or understand the point of faith, except that it gets them security in the afterlife. In the Gospels, when Jesus casts out demons, some of them declare that He is the Savior in a mocking manner, and Jesus silences them from giving away his identity. In the story, it is not time for Jesus to reveal his identity so blatantly. But this story speaks back to the devil’s goal of manipulating God’s creation of freedom. See, why would the devil of all people help reveal Jesus’ identity? Quite possibly, it’s cause if people heard the devil declare Jesus as the awaited Savior they would be fearful and follow Jesus out of fear. And doing something out of fear doesn’t work; it’s forced and it’s not genuine. I think the biggest disservice that Satan does to us all is making us scared of hell, which takes the focus off of being excited for heaven. Hell is unimaginably terrible, but heaven is not enjoyable for people who dont love God or don’t care about being reunited with God. It’s bad that some people want to go to heaven, just because they don’t want to go to hell. The devil is so good at showing us how bad badness is that we forget to notice how good goodness is often times. To anyone who was willing and seeking to see it, Jesus’ actions and words displayed his position as the true Messiah. His humble arrival as a baby was a great gift to us. A reminder of freedom. And a reminder that God has a plan, that is good. Emmanuel, God with us. What a blessing! Case closed.
1. I would totally call you my best friend here at college, but you probably have lots of those already. So I’ll just be one of your many friends then. Thanks to tumblr I can be your close friend from afar. Also, you’re hilarious in a way that makes me more calm.
2. It fascinates me how some people come into your life for such a short period of time. And that’s just how it’s meant to be. It doesn’t matter if it could have been something more. And that’s okay. It’s good and life moves on for the better. Well, I hope you liked my card.
3. Thank you for telling me I’m beautiful. I never realized how much that reminder could help me. Sorry for being an annoying pain though. Sometimes I really frustrate myself. And I hope I don’t appear a worse person to you now. I guess at some point I need to accept that everything I do at every moment makes up who I am as a whole. No more blaming it on a mood or a phase.
4. Thank you for always calling me. Even though twenty calls later, I still have not picked up. You are precious. You’re a serious trooper. Keep fighting for wisdom and for love. I regret that I’ve missed so much of your life, but so grateful that you always want to catch up. I guess we will always be friends because you always put in so much effort and you don’t deserve my silence, so the least I can do is respond now.
5. Your laugh is freedom. It’s validation for people to know that they are appreciated and noticed. Your talent is valuable and not credited nearly enough, though I’m sure you’re always giving the credit to the Big Man. That hard work and long hours invested into your talent have paid off. And on top of that, you have a really compassionate side that is part of you all the same. Surely, He has someone good for your future. Keep on in the right direction.
6. I just want you to know that you’re not doing it all wrong, even though I once thought you were. No. You really are doing it all right. I’m so glad you’ve found this guy. And it was so unexpected. I love your enthusiasm and I want you to be free. Truly free. So here’s to the next years of our lives growing together. You have a great heart that is alive to the world.
7. Okay. Wow. The fact that we are so close now is nothing short of a huge blessing. You are so wise. The world could use more people like you: the perfect balance of fun playfulness and reasonable judgment. You have a way with words and storytelling that is unparalleled to what I can achieve. I’m honored to live life with you.
8. Oh, the passion that you have at your age. That fire in your heart. God’s gonna use that. Wait, He is using it. Even now to reach so many lost. You are really blessed to be a blessing. I admire you immensely. I can’t help the smile that grows on my face when I read your words. Later gator.
9. You know me. You know people. You understand other people before you even understand yourself. Your humbleness humbles me every time we talk. Don’t forget your scars. You’ve come from ashes to beauty. Yes, you’re beautiful.
10. I love you. I always will. Even when you confuse me. And I can’t believe you still love me even after I let you down. But that that is the beauty of your love. And I will dwell in it.
This Thanksgiving weekend has been so much better than I expected.
I kicked off the end of classes by going downtown to feed homeless people. The experience in itself was fascinating. Some of the impoverished people I encountered were unappreciative, some had accepted their situation, some had given up on believing they could get out of poverty and off the streets, some had eyes glazed over from being high on drugs, some were independent, some traveled in pairs, some independents sought out to help other independents. These faces of the poor were so different from the ones I saw in Kenya, and yet in other ways they were similar. It may sound high and mighty to say so, but much of the homeless people here are privileged compared to those in Africa. Living under the idea of the American dream, people here have attitudes and believe they’re entitled to riches. In Kenya, poverty is a reality among most and relationships are more important than anything else. There was one situation where we gave out sandwiches to a group of young homeless. We told them they could take as much as they needed, so they took more than they needed and started using the sandwiches for a food fight. What do you say to the needy when they take things they don’t need, but then you realize you’ve been doing that your whole life? Like the girl from Dago and the crayons. What do you do? I think you have to realize that they have the same human thoughts and desires as us, but in the environment of poverty. However, as humans we have the capability to believe in and fight for hope. This is the thing to dwell on. In another instance, we told a man he could take as many sandwiches as he wanted to and he literally took the whole box of them. After he left, we figured we probably shouldn’t do that any longer. Little did we know, that we’d travel to a park known as a dwelling place for the homeless who don’t make it into shelters and meet him again there. We’d find out that he had took the box of sandwiches and gone to this area to bless others like him. Sometimes timing is so funny. It reveals things that we’d never even think of. So, thank you Fred, for your grateful heart and for spreading realistic selfless hope.
On Thanksgiving day, my family for the first time ever did not just have Chinese food x3 for the night. We actually made traditional American food. There was no turkey. But hey, ham is a step in the right direction. (I still want rice & gravy, but maybe next time if we continue on this trajectory. :) On top of that, I received so many unexpected texts from friends wishing me a happy holiday. It was a small gesture, but really nice in that moment, and even more impactful when they add up. Thanks Daniel for sending something short and personal and leaving an impression.
Black Friday was successful to say the least. I went in with a mission and came home with many things that I actually genuinely really like and will wear for a long time. But more than that, work that night was so good. Yeah, I had to stay until midnight to close and clean the store, but it was worth it. One of my favorite people at work is leaving at the end of this week. And I had the coolest conversation with him. At one point he said, “I guess I have to grow up at some point”. At the time, I laughed and agreed. It’s a bit of a sad truth sort of statement. But I realized today how true and good it is. One of my friends was telling me this morning at the waterfront how she realized looking back that even though she wanted to stay in a place in life that she was used to, she realized in retrospect that going to a new place was what she needed. And now having to leave that place, she has realized that we can never stay in one place. We are meant to move from different parts and phases of life to others, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel at first, because that’s what makes us grow and learn and become wise. It allows us to compare life now with life before and see how much good has taken place in the time that has passed. And it all comes down to the way that God’s timing is so funny and so perfect. How you want things to go a certain way, but they don’t because it’s the wrong place or the wrong time. The thing is, if it’s meant to be, it will happen eventually. And when you miss an opportunity, another one will come along and fill this hole. So to be quite honest, yeah, we do need to grow up. We always do. We can never stop doing that. But on the other end of that spectrum, we need to find a purpose in our growing. We need to reflect in order to look towards the future. We need to realize that how things are now is not how they stay forever. And though it’s sad that one of my co-workers is leaving, it’s best for him. And people come in and out of your life for a reason, so I just have to let it be. I must wait. Patiently wait and see. Thank you Matt and thank you Christine, for helping me come to that realization. I love you both.
This break has really showed me how distance makes the heart grow fonder, and how good it is to see people that have been important in your life once again. Seeing their smiles and being in their presence and reuniting altogether, there is so much joy and refreshment in that. This post does not do anything justice, but this break has been seriously so sublime. (Now about homework, and sleep…)
“And the truth is that these are only the children I know, in a very small fraction of a very small country. The truth is that there are children like this all over the world, sick, starving, dying, unloved, and uncared for. The truth is that the 143 million orphaned children and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases and the 8.6 million who work as child sales, prostitutes, or under other horrific conditions and the 2.3 million who live with HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children. And though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 billion people on this earth proclaim to be Christians. The truth is that if only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left. This is the truth. I have the freedom to believe it. The freedom, the opportunity to do something about it. The truth is that He loves these children just as much as He loves me and now that I know, I am responsible.” -Kisses from Katie
Yeah, you did. Took me from ashes and breathed life into me again. Stole me from sadness and showed me joy. Freed me from selfishness and into making others first. Redeemed me from my destructive silence and pointed me towards confidence in you. There isno onelike you, Lord.
And because of that no one deserves glory butyou. Everything starts with you and thrives in you. Everything belongs to you and glorifies you. I am nothing. I deserve no praise. It’s all you, Lord. Rid me of myself, my selfishness, my jealousness, my lost wandering. Replace it with you. Not your plan for my future or of things related to you, butyou. Just simply you.
I cannot keep you in my walls, for You are so much greater. I cannot contain the glory of Your name.
Office hours with my TA and friends included some clarifying of questions, funny international relations jokes, and deep family history stories
Chilling in my cluster lounge with wonderful people from my FIG that I am so blessed to be in a group with, who I can study and laugh with
Grabbed lunch with a girl who I have come to know because God has brought us together with the most unexpected timing and placement. Had the most amazing heart-to-heart and raspberry macaroons
Randomly ran into a few other small group people I know with the person I was getting lunch with and got to connect with them. Learned more about their lives and their opinion on being freshman direct students
INTRAMURAL VOLLEYBALL TEAM WON OUR FIRST GAME - Literally my joy is about equal to if I won a year-long supply of otter pops; it is through the heavens!
Heard from prominent business professionals about International Business. Very insightful to hear their advice and see what their life is like on a normal basis
Felt like I totally belonged in a fellowship where God has specifically put me, and just love how there are SO many people yet to meet and SO many that I have already established connections with - plus the worship and talk is always so filled with truth and diversity
Back in my dorm safe and so excited for what tomorrow brings
Was seriously with friends every step of the way …. in my day (I was a poet and I didn’t even know it moment). These are people that I haven’t met until college
Today is one of those days where I can’t deny that God is so good.
What? There’s more! Just had the coolest conversation with my RA for an hour. How am I worthy enough to receive these blessings?
(Now compare this to the list I wrote at the bottom of the page, almost exactly one month ago. Whoaa, God is so good.)
Isn’t it interesting how when we don’t think things can change, we settle for less? We become fine with the injustices and allow them to be perpetuated. We decide that things are this way, were always this way, meant to be this way, and are best staying this way. There’s no better solution, so let’s just settle for what we have now. There’s no need for improvement, because there’s no way to fundamentally change things. It’s not worth it to try, because it won’t make a difference or it will take too long or it doesn’t matter because other people won’t change.
This is what happens all the time, we turn a blind eye. Or we complain and sit complacent. Or we get angry and break windows. Or we cry and list the unsolvable problems. Or we crucify others and find no fault in ourselves.
Or we think about how to do something about the problems. This is what I try to focus on as I learn about how workers in foreign countries are exploited in factories and on farms, about their low wages and how they’re just going to drop lower out of competition from all corners, about how companies care more about hitting quotas than improving the standard of living for all people they serve - the people they provide products for and the people they provide jobs for. I know big business has a bad name for a reason. And I know things are complicated. I know there are worse systems than capitalism, and that this is the lesser evil. Churchill says something along the lines of capitalism being the best option for now, because there’s no better solution. Utopias are nice in theory, but people are selfish, so they aren’t going to work. Heaven is nice in theory, but is grand in reality, because it’s not created by human imagination even if that’s the only way we can try to understand it.
Basically, it’s late, so I probably don’t know what I’m talking about. But all I’m concerned with is the fact that since college has begun a month ago, I have been utterly clueless regarding what I want to do with business. I know I want to pursue international business. I know I’m going to pursue a Mandarin track and take advantage of my heritage and background. And I know Kenya will always be on my heart. I’m just hoping these things will all collide into something beautiful, and I have hope they will. But always forever, I want to keep a grasp on the balance of the world.The complicated balance of lives grounded to the soil of the earth.I want to know the whole story, I want to understand. I want to hear from the biased and the passionate, I want to hear from the ones who think they can change the world, I want to hear from the ordinary, from the ones who don’t even understand. And I want to share a dream. A dream to make lives better, to give business a better name, to be transparent and honest, to put communication above competition. I don’t know how I’ll do it yet. But first, I don’t want to lose sight of this dream.
One day I will envision it in the cavities of my brain. And it will pump through the chambers of my heart. And then I will see it before my very eyes. With all the glory to my Father.
“All I want from you is to trust me with what little you can, and grow in loving people around you with the same love I share with you. It’s not your job to change them, or to convince them. You are free to love without an agenda.”— Wm. Paul Young,The Shack (pg.183)
After a long, exhausting, and fulfilling few hours I slowly walk out and into the hallway. My ears pick up a tune. Instinctively I know it’s a Christian tune. But my common sense grabs a hold of my heart. I’m just confused, it doesn’t make sense. As I continue taking off my future career’s clothing - I know. J e s u s rings throughout the hall. So I wander over to the lecture hall. As I open the door I see Truth displayed on the screen that normally display’s man’s truth, and I see the outline of figures worshipping the King. The light from the hallway makes heads turn, so I quickly and gently close the door. But not too fast - I am still reassured. In the most unlikely of places I stumble into God. Who would have guessed? Just another daily reminder that He is in control. He plans out every detail. Even in the most unlikely and hidden places, God is being found.
Okay, God. Yes, I know where I am supposed to be. Your voice is ringing true.