tonight i went with some friends down to north college hill for a hip hop class. too bad the spring term ended a couple days ago and the summer one doesn't start for a couple weeks. so, no hipping or hopping to be had. but we didn't let that get us down- we went to half price books and got some mexican food. what a fun night.
1 I cry out to God without holding back. Oh, that God would listen to me! 2 When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I pray, with hands lifted toward heaven, pleading. There can be no joy for me until he acts. 3 I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help. Interlude 4 You don't let me sleep. I am too distressed even to pray! 13 O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? 14 You are the God of miracles and wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations. 15 You have redeemed your people by your strength, the descendants of Jacob and of Joseph by your might. Interlude 16 When the Red Sea[a] saw you, O God, its waters looked and trembled! The sea quaked to its very depths. 17 The clouds poured down their rain; the thunder rolled and crackled in the sky. Your arrows of lightning flashed. 18 Your thunder roared from the whirlwind; the lightning lit up the world! The earth trembled and shook. 19 Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters-- a pathway no one knew was there! 20 You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep, with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.
1 I wait quietly before God, for my salvation comes from him. 2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken. 3 So many enemies against one man-- all of them trying to kill me. To them I'm just a broken-down wall or a tottering fence. 4 They plan to topple me from my high position. They delight in telling lies about me. They are friendly to my face, but they curse me in their hearts. Interlude 5 I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. 8 O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. Interlude 9 From the greatest to the lowliest-- all are nothing in his sight. If you weigh them on the scales, they are lighter than a puff of air. 10 Don't try to get rich by extortion or robbery. And if your wealth increases, don't make it the center of your life. 11 God has spoken plainly, and I have heard it many times: Power, O God, belongs to you; 12 unfailing love, O Lord, is yours. Surely you judge all people according to what they have done.
i was primarily on the register at work today, which apparently is a good spot for reflective thinking and learning lessons.
as most anyone who has worked in the customer service industry, it is clear that you have a multitude of conversations with complete strangers each day. most of these convos begin with the worker asking how the customer is. this is where my thinking initiated.
i noticed that everyone: moms running errands, young people going to their waitressing/waitering jobs, people that work for the man, the man himself; every one of them seems to respond to the question of their state of being negatively. even on a beautiful 75 degree day. "ohhh, my errands are going slow and i'm tired..." "well, it could be better if i had the day off..." on and on we go.
so i was thinking, what would it take for people to be happy, right where they are, doing what they're doing? what would it take for me to be content behind the counter, "just making coffee?"
Jesus said he came so we could have life, and have it to the full. there are times that i have seen that- this is one of those times it's a little more fuzzy. so i guess i'm trying to figure that out- how to be content and positive about my current state.
it'd be nice to respond to the next barista that asks me how i am, "i'm just right. how are you?'
so really i have nothing to say- i just don't like my last post and am sick of seeing it.
i miss rio a lot today- brasil's been on my mind more recently. i've been having portguguese conversations in my head all day... or maybe just translating what i'm saying in english into portuguese... whatever. i miss it, and i've been remembering a lot.
so last night i went to see over the rhine with my friend kendra. the show was at crossroads, a big church in oakley, and a benefit for ava's hope. so we had really random seats off the right side of the stage pretty far back and decided to relocate to the left side and much closer. this couple came and sat next to us and said they had relocated too, and if we wanted their seats, they were FRONT ROW CENTER and we could have them. score. so kendra and i didn't miss a single facial gesture that karen or linford made, and kept grinning at eachother through the whole thing. it was great. what a fun time.
so my day wasn't *bad* per se, but it has been one of those.... you know what i mean, everything you touch you drop, you're late everywhere you go, people say just the wrong thing to make you want to cry. one of those days. ah, the service industry- it can be a dangerous field sometimes.
i knocked over a venti mocha in the midst of trying to make like 6 drinks today. sweet. and put whip on some guy's frappucino who was pleased to inform me that he had said he didn't want whip. fancy that.
so i was all grumpy and i came home and what do i read: john 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
nice one, God. :) i feel like everything i get worked up over, everything that gives me stress or i decide to worry about, God speaks to directly. be it through friends, what i'm reading, scripture, you name it. don't worry about it, Laura. it's all under control. you think you need to work it all out. you couldn't if you tried. leave it to me.
so, there's that.
confidently waiting. i like that. that's my new take on things. so what are you doing with your life? confidently waiting.
"'We in our faith work,' she said, 'stumble along toward where we think we're supposed to go, bumbling along, and here is what's so amazing-we end up getting exactly where we're supposed to be.'" -Anne Lamott's pastor, Veronica, in Traveling Mercies
"Why does God always use dreams, intuition, memory, phone calls, vague stirrings in my heart? I would say that this really doesn't work for me at all. Except that it does." -Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies
........................... "It is only when we are in touch with what is going on inside us that we can come before the Lord. Then I can experience the real me connecting with the real God. It is not a case of apologizing for my emotions. They are as pre-moral and innocent as feeling cold or shivery. When I bring those feelings to consciousness, as the Psalmist does with his anger and despair, then prayer becomes authentic." -Sacred Space
i think the novelty of this blog is wearing off. and i'm getting more uncomfortable with writing what i'm thinking all the time. i think i'm writing always wondering what readers are thinking- if they agree or disagree- if they think i'm crazy... that kind of thing. hopefully i can continue on in spite of those insecurities.
so i've been pre-closing at starbucks lately. which means i clean a lot. there are these three big sinks, one for rinsing, one for washing and one for re-rinsing. having my elbows deep in water in those big sinks makes me think of doing laundry at the moc (the missionaries of charity home i volunteered at in rio)- the day i washed loads of laundry in that weird smelling water, wondering if the sheets and clothing i was washing had been peed in :) haha. that was a neat day- doing what the sisters do everyday, learning about real self-abandon and sacrifice. plus that was the day we met marcos for the first time i think. oh marcos, he was a trip. i don't have constant memories of that time anymore. so i love when something triggers, i just let myself give into the memory and all the faces and experiences that are associated with each one. i wish i had a picture of moc- it's such a serene place, with it's high walls and open garden, calm yellow walls and the sweet sisters in white and blue.
i had a fun night last night with friends. we did all kinds of stuff. i haven't been out and done anything in a long time... ha. so it was a good time. hopefully more of those to come. ohhh, our group that is small. :)
i think the whole patience and obedience thing is being reinforced in me, and i'm being reminded to trust God- He knows me. this is what the prayer contained yesterday on sacred space:
John 10:10 the thief comes only to kill and steal and destroy; i have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
"ask Him to help you to place yourself fully in His care, to abandon yourself to Him, knowing that He always wants what is best for you."
then, this afternoon i was reading in compassion by nouwen. the chapter was on patience.
"But true patience is the opposite of passive waiting in which we let things happen and allow others to make the decisions. Patience means to enter actively into the thick of life and to fully bear the suffering within and around us."
"Patience is a willingness to be influenced even when this requires giving up control and entering into unknown territory."
"Patience allows us to take ourselves less seriously and makes us suspicious every time our many altruistic and service-oriented plans put us back on the time line of our clocks, watches and calendars. Patience makes us loving, caring, gentle, tender, and always grateful for the abundance of God's gifts."
i am tired. i got up waaay too early waaay too much these past several days. and maybe stayed up waaay too late (for me, at least). but it was a good weekend, full of my dear friend and running partner courtney- we had to get good and sick of eachother bc she's headed back to st. louie tonight. we ran the 10k for the flying pig weekend and it was really fun and i think we did fine. and the rest of the weekend was filled with coffee and hanging out and cooking out and talking and all kinds of fun. good friends. good times. sigh.
i've also had plenty of thinking time; like when i was mopping the cafe last night at the bucks. :) this little brain never shuts off. i have a settled feeling lately- one that makes me feel unsettled, ha. i didn't want to get settled, or cease to have that urgent feeling i've had for months. but, lately my desire has been to be obedient, no matter what (scary) and to have peace about that. so maybe that's what this is. and maybe i'm just too tired to get worked up over anything.
welp we just had another small group meeting. i love our small group, it is the funniest thing. we're reading a book that we discuss about every third week, and usually our primary initiative is to share some laughs and stories from that past week over something sweet. i love it!
here's what i think about small groups and book discussions: i would much rather take part in discussion that flows naturally out of time together, being serious or silly. sometimes when there's set time for "deep" talking or whatever the case may be, it's forced and uncomfortable. but then, when you're buidling relationships and just being together, real talks come out of that, and it's good processing and sharing and all of the things that are wanted out of a small group, but without the forced hour set aside. i don't know, maybe that doesn't make any sense.
anyhow, i really like this group, and i think we're slowly becoming a true community like henri nouwen talks about, one that is drawn together. we like eachother, support and encourage eachother, take part in things that are important to others in the group, share meals and prayer times and just talk about what's going on in life.
there's a norah jones song, and in it she says, "it never rains when you want it to... you humble me, Lord." I really felt the truth of that yesterday, listening to that song and driving to indianapolis to visit with friends.
saturday night was the global night commute. it was interesting. the turnout for cincinnati was shabby, and i think the news coverage was about the same. it's unfortunate, but i think it went well across the world. i'm anxious to hear more about the results. i heard something in the thousands in grand rapids, mi. cool. so anyway, we're in ohio, and it's springtime, so it rained. the interesting thing to me was my initial reaction to the rain ("c'mon, God!") and the reactions i continued to hear throughout the night and with more vibrato as the rain grew stronger in the wee hours of the morning... "thanks, God!"... and such. but why should we, the suburban college and high school kids who sleep in a cushy bed every other night of the week, get to compain about bad weather or be entitled to a nice clear starry night for the night we CHOOSE to sleep on the street? it's not like people who actually are without shelter each night get to choose their weather. it was just an interesting perspective; we think we're so deserving, because that's what we've been told our entire lives. hmm. well, thanks, God for the rain. (really.) it taught me something.
so yesterday afternoon i went to indy to visit with 3 of the people i spent 4 of the best months of my life with, and it was wonderful. the worst part of the trip was when we had to part ways, not knowing for sure the next time we'd see eachother. sad. it felt like old times, just hanging out, sharing what's goin' on, eating:) there was a point when in a bookstore ben was telling us about a movie, and i had to remind myself we would not be going back to manguinhos (his neighborhood in rio) to watch this movie together.
it's a weird realization, to know that something so precious will never happen again. like living in hang ten with the girls from miami, pizza nights in rio, and so many other wonderful times. thank goodness the end of a wonderful time doesn't mean the end of all good things. there a more to come. can i get a PTL for good times? :)