Thursday, June 26, 2008

places of exaltation, loose ends, and a few good books

I have been so restless ever since coming home from Uganda. On the one hand, I can't forget what I saw there: the faces, the homes, the situations...but on the other hand, I feel as though I am quickly losing it all. The first weekend we spent in Uganda, I caught some virus and was unbelievably ill. I counted how many time I had to get up and be sick throughout the night, but I lost count at 15. That entire night and the following day I played the part of Jacob, wrestling with God, struggling to prove that I really was fully relying on Him and Him alone. He won, of course, as soon as I accepted the fact that He is the only constant in my life.

I think that experience is the reason why I never got homesick; I was able to see right off the bat that while God has given me beautiful resources in my family, He has called us to love Him above all else. By spending a night and day wishing for my mother instead of the comfort God could have provided, I ended up wasting all of my physical and emotional energy. At the end of that second day, however, I had all of my priorities in line, and I found myself closer to the heart of God than ever before. But that is precisely what I am afraid of losing. It had been so easy to seek God when I had nothing, but now that I am home I am losing my focus.

My last night in Uganda, I was reading My Utmost for His Highest, and that night God really spoke to me through Chambers' work:

"We've all experienced times of exaltation on the mountain, when we have seen things from God's perspective and have wanted to stay there. But God will never allow us to stay there. The truest test of our spiritual life is in exhibiting the power to descend from the mountain. If we only have the power to go up, something is wrong . . . We are not made for the mountains, for sunrises, or for the other beautiful attractions in life--those are simply intended to be moments of inspiration. We are made for the valley and the ordinary things of life, and that is where we have to prove our stamina and strenth. Yet our spiritual selfishness always wants repeated moments on the mountain. We feel that we could talk and live like perfect angels, if we could only stay on the mountaintop. Those times of exaltation are exceptional and they have their meaning in our life with God, but we must beware to prevent our spiritual selfishness from wanting to make them the only time . . . The mountaintop is not meant to teach us anything, it is meant to make us something . . . something even better than useful teaching, namely character ("the place of exaltation," october 1)"

This has been my personal struggle since the moment I stepped onto the Michigan-bound airplane in Entebbe. I did not want to go home. In fact, I was bitter--angry even, that I had return to the "valley" of America. I was so upset that I couldn't even nap on either of the plane rides. It was ridiculous. There are times when I don't even want to talk about Uganda because I cannot believe that anyone will understand. It's frustrating, but I know that I need to overcome this stumbling block; I refuse to allow Satan to mutate my "place of exaltation" into something sick and twisted. The only way that I am going to hang onto the changes in me is to contintue talking about them, so please encourage me to talk when you have the time to listen (you'll need the time, because I can talk for awhile once you get me started).

So now, on a completely different note, have you ever felt like you were supposed to do something, that you needed to tie up some loose and messy ends?
…me either….that’s at least what I have been telling myself, but a recent series of events has led me to believe that the sooner I take care of this “unfinished business,” the better.

In the meantime I have a slew of new books with which to fill my time. Sometimes I wonder why I am an English literature major, and that’s when I walk into the bookstore and drop $40 on a handful of books. I'm going to need a generous salary to fund my book-buying budget though, and seeing as there are zero careers in line for me, I could be in serious trouble.

That's all for tonight. My room is warm and I need to seek out a cooler spot so I can read Tuck Everlasting :o)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

o hai

i like to think that i am an optimist but there is a pinch of pessimistic realism mixed in, so i guess that makes me a possimist. nonetheless, i know that God's plan is perfect despite my own imperfection.

greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done, thus i have opted to move on from xanga since only 5 people on the entire plant still use it [see chris tomlin's God of this City for explanation of my blog's title].

so this is me, assuming the somewhat daring role of marianne dashwood [sister of my favorite literary heroine] who never fails to provide the reader with a great quote or two that may conveniently be used as URLs:
there is some blue sky, let us chase it!