Where are Your Feet?

I have rock climbed in various forms since 7th grade.  It started with weekly classes in middle school, when I broke my arm I took a really long break before getting back into it later in high school.  This past summer my friend Allason and I would go climbing together.  Usually in the morning before she had to go to work.  We would take turns on a few top rope climbs before she had to go, then I would bolder until I was sore.

One week this summer I showed her a boldering problem I was having a lot of trouble with.  I explained to her where my hands were, what point I was stuck on, and what I had been trying to do.
Then she asked the critical question.  Where were my feet?
Too far down was the answer in that situation.
But it got me thinking.  How often do we reach for something that is just out of reach?  We stretch so hard to try and grab something that we want to be ours, all in vain because it’s just a bit too far.  What if our problem is not that what we’re reaching for is too far, but that our feet aren’t in the right spot?  The problem can easily be solved by adjusting our feet so that we can reach new heights.  Could it really be that easy?

To Worship You I Come

In speech bubble: We are the Children of the King
Under speech bubble:
more than anything
we are his.  Light of the world
City on a hill, and this city is the
city waiting to be changed.
Under eye:
And the Rythem of the Night echos in my 
head with the beat of the drum following a thum-
thum-thum.  I believe and I know you
are Kind of all.  King of me at least.
In my InterVasity chapter we talk a lot about how we can use our art as worship in some way.  This is what I came up with when I was given the space to do just that.  Both the eye and the crown have been re-occurring themes whenever I draw these days.  It gives me the idea that God is watching over me.  The crown reminds me that I am an heir to the throne of heaven, just because I am a child of the King.

My Way of Measuring a Relationship

A friend of mine had just entered a new relationship, and I called her to ask how it was going.  She chatted happily for a few minutes, but before long I got to ask her something.  “Is he Rob to your Laura?”I asked.  She laughed.  And laughed.  And then quieted.  She thought about it for a while, but said she would have to get back to me on that one.

Rob and Laura are television characters.  Specifically they are the husband and wife on the Dick Van Dyke Show, which my friend and I were practically obsessed with at the time of this conversation.  If you’ve never seen the show then you should, but for the sake of this post I’ll summarize their relationship in two words: absolutely adorable.  They are quite possibly my favorite TV couple ever (which is saying something).
The more I think about it though, the more I realize that this is how I measure relationships.  I compare a real life relationship, weather it be mine or someone else’s, to a fictional one.  Josh and Donna.  Angel and Buffy (or Spike and Buffy later).  Chuck and Sarah.  These people are fictional.  It is completely unfair to compare them to people who I know and care about, but I do anyway.  How can a fiction relationship — where any nuance can be answered away in a short scene and then never mentioned again — compare to a real relationship where brokenness and hurt feelings linger for days, weeks or even years?  The answer: it can’t.  But we do it anyway.
Some people are destined for each other.  Like Ross and Rachel.  But Ross and Rachel had a team of writers behind them making sure that everything worked out perfectly.  In real life it doesn’t work like that, no matter how much you believe in destiny.

What is my “destiny”?  What is your’s?  I believe that we create our own destiny.  It’s impossible to tell how our lives will turn out in the end.  All we can do it make the best choices we can, and trust that God will provide.  He always does.

Only You: Bananagrams Poetry

Only You
The Antwerp replies
Can fully interpret April’s cries

These pictures a quite old, but the meaning is still there.  I was bored, there were Banangrams tiles.  This is what came of it.  I hope very much that this can start happening more often as it was truly a jump start to my inspiration.

Under layers of beauty and laughter and rain
Comes finding the lovely in pleasure and pain
Rain makes the sun shine brighter
Paris and Rome have nothing on my San Francisco
Posted by Picasa

20 Before 20: A Disappointing Wrap-Up

As many of you know it was a goal of mine to attempt 20 new things before my 20th birthday.  Sadly my birthday has come and gone, and half the list goes undone.  I hold out hope for next year though as I am putting the finishing touches on the 21 Before 21 list, and putting in place plans to actually go do the things on the list.  Yeah.  Anywho, here goes; the list of 20 things that were done or not done by my 20th birthday.

1.  Have a fancy tea party.  Not done, but I threw one for my old roommate’s birthday which was immediately after mine.  Counts?
2.  Try out a crown braid.  DONE.  Has become a near-staple.
3.  Knit a hat. Not done, learning this winter from Elspeth.
4.  Bake a pie.  DONE.
5.  Read the whole bible.  Not done, on the list for next year and already working on it.
6.  Sew a pair of pants.  DONE.  Sort of, shorts count.
7.  Grow a herb garden.  Not done.
8.  Go on a hike.  DONE
9.  Go to a real concert.  DONE
10.Learn to navigate by bike  DONE
11.Send a care package.  Not done.
12.Organize a clothing swap.  Not done.
13.Learn to apply make-up.  Not done.
14.Be in a performance.  DONE  Sort of.
15.Go to a Critical Mass ride.  Not done.
16.Teach myself to play a song on the piano.  Not done
17.Post poetry online.  DONE
18.Skip class and go out to breakfast.  Not done.
19.Try yoga.  DONE
20.Go camping.  Not done.

Total things done: 9
Total things not done: 11
Things from this year on next years list: 7

Next week look for my new list of 21 Before 21.

Around Town: Austin

So, in keeping with tradition, I will do a post on my weekend trip out to the Austin neighborhood for my InterVarsiy chapter’s retreat.  I feel like I should put a disclaimer here that this isn’t a normal “Around Town / Around the World” post in that I didn’t go to Austin for a vacation like the other places I’ve written about so far.  Also, I am notoriously bad at remembering to take pictures, and since the weekend was so short I have no pictures whatsoever.

Now that all is out of the way let’s get down to it.  I went to the Austin neighborhood with a handful of other members of my school’s InterVarsity chapter.  We meet up with a handful of students from DePaul University’s InterVarsity chapter as well.  On Friday night we spent time getting to know each other, eating way too much cheep, off-brand candy, and talking about what God is doing in Austin.

And God is doing so much.  Austin is a neighborhood that was radically changed in the 60’s with white flight and is now a heavily black neighborhood where a significant percentage (I don’t remember the number) of the population is living under the poverty line.  I struggle sometimes with how I should be dealing with race in my daily life and this retreat was occationally uncomfortable in that I was usually the only white chick there.

Being the minority is a switch for me as in most other places I am the majority.  I was a good experience for me to be the one that looks out of place.  My school is big on diversity and is always bragging about our amount of diversity, but I find that it isn’t mentioned much outside of the admissions process and the office of Multi-Cultural Affairs.  The thing is though, that we are all broken people.  “Black”, “white”, “red”, “brown”, “yellow”, what-have-you, we are all broken somehow by the pain and hardships that come with living.

The amazing thing is the community that grows when people are in such tough situations.  On Saturday I went with a small team to a local church and we helped them with cleaning their sanctuary; sweeping, mopping, cleaning bathrooms and polishing pews.  I learned that the church building is nearly a hundred years old and was built as a catholic church.  The current owners of the building are a Baptist church, and they’ve been there for 18 years.  The church congregation has been meeting in some fashion for nearly 50 years in the same neighborhood.

Saturday night we went out for Soul food (am I spelling that right?), and debriefed with each other talking about what we’d done in the afternoon.  Once again we ate too much food.  This time it was more nutritious than candy.  That night I sang hymns because I freaking love hymns.  Love ’em, love ’em, love ’em.  Apparently this is abnormal for a person my age.  I don’t even care.  I could also talk for a very long time about stained glass windows, but I’ll spare you.  For now.  I feel like there will be a post about one or both of these subjects at some point in the future*.

My love of hymns was actualized even more so when we sang a few in church Sunday morning.  I was in awe of the love and peace that surrounded the church.  The sermon talked about a lot of things, but the part that especially stuck with me was the mention of tithing.  I needed that reminder and still do as I figure out my finances for the rest of the school year half based on the atypical month of September.  Which is now October and feels to be very officially fall.

The chill in the air followed me back all the way to the Loop as the whole lot of us took the green line home again, home again.  Beginning again with “normal” life was a bit of a strange experience.  There was homework to be done, dishes to be put away, and Doctor Who to watch (Umm, guys?  Doctor Who? Anybody?).  Good-bye Austin.  You’ve taught me much, and I wait to see what else I have to learn.  Thank you for letting me stay, and bringing me back.

*But I also promised a post on farmers market meals and an “Around the World” post for my Denver / Boulder.