Monday, December 31, 2007

End of One Year, Beginning of Another

Okay, so maybe the next year hasn’t "begun" quite yet, but just another three or so hours and it will...

Each New Year’s Eve/Day, I find it hard to grasp that it has been a whole year since the previous December/January. Sometimes I don’t think it has been long enough, and sometimes I think it’s been too long for only one year. This year it’s the latter. I think back to January 1st, 2007 and all that happened that month. And then I look to May, and they seem so much further apart than five months. I look from May to September. . .Only four months? Impossible! Not really, but still, those months seemed so long... And from September until now, I think it’s been so long, but at the same time (unlike the others) I think it was just yesterday.

So, that all equals: 2007 was a full year. Very full.

Want it in a nutshell?
- I fell away from God.
- I got two new siblings.
-I fought change tooth and nail.
-I fell down, and even further down.
-I lost hope.
-I watched friends, saw them at places with God I was not, I saw some reach that place when before they weren’t there... They all affected me greatly and God used some of them to call me back to Him.
-I found new hope.
-More struggles,
-Then I finally started focusing and surrendering to God.
Since then, its been uphill (work) but still up, not down. . .So different.

Nutshell over.
I will now continue to ramble and think, be warned that I like to talk. =)

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was watching my friends, seeing how they lived. The friends I’m talking about have come from different circles, but they all cling to God. None of them pretend to be perfect, which makes them even better friends, because I know that I don’t have to be perfect either.

Over the summer, at my lowest points, I wonder now what I clung to. I think it was a knowledge that there was more than darkness. That there is light. Also what has been reinforced all my life, as long as I can remember; God is real. And God is good. I didn’t give up believing in Him, I just stopped believing Him. Does that make sense? I knew He was real, but I gave up hope that I could find peace in Him, that I could really make it out of darkness. So, even though I lost hope, I still clung to the things I considered facts. I wasn’t ready to let go of them. And during the time I seemed like I was just about ready to let go of them, to forget that there is light, I received hope. I’m not sure what exactly happened. It was during communion at church, and I found myself assured of God’s presence. At that moment, there’s was no doubt. That kept me going for another month, when some other things turned the tables and helped me start heading back uphill instead of downhill.

Daniel and Camila... I look at them now, I see their smiling faces, I hear about Camila saying (while talking about Mom and Dad) "And they love us!" And I don’t regret. I don’t regret going through the pain, I don’t regret the times they’ve lashed out in anger and hurt me. They were so hurt, they had so much anger built up within them, and they still do. But slowly that has come out, the hurt has begun to heal. They’ve grown more secure, and there’s no way I would want them to go back to their old life. What did they have for them in Colombia? Really, I can only see very dark prospects, I shudder to think of where Camila might have ended up, and Daniel.. He was definitely headed for a bad life, he likes gangster looks, he used to think stealing was cool/fun. I am so glad they have a new life here.

All I can say, is that the more I think of last summer, and then now, the more I am grateful to my Creator. It has been a hard year, for all of my family, but it’s been good. People say "Being in God’s will is the safest place" I would change that to the best place. Safest makes you think of easiest. God’s will isn’t always for the cushy and easy life, I would venture to say that it’s normally not. (Who sacrificed his only son?)

There is so much more to say about this year, but that would take way too much time and space. And besides, this isn’t a diary. ;)

Now next year... I wonder what it will be like? I was introduced to some many new things in 2007, but what does 2008 hold? I pray that I won't forget the things God has taught me this year during the next year.


I just thought of another name for this blog entry, "Midnight Confessions" I haven't really talked about this year nearly as much as I did in this entry, and it's almost midnight... By the way, Midnight Confessions is the name of a song, but the song doesn't really fit.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Mixed Langauges

"Hey! No quit my jacket!"

Now, the quit may seem like the give up kind of quit, but it's really pronounced "Kit" and it's a tense of the verb Quitar. Spanish for take off, I believe. It may also mean cut, not positive. But either way, it's used for things like "quitar your shoes" and such. The quote above was Daniel's response when I pulled off my jacket from the chair he was leaning against. He turned around, saw it was my jacket and not his, and apologized. You may not realize it, but that's a big improvement. Used to be you'd never hear a sorry coming from him unless it was forced, or if he was doing something like saying sorry and then bumping into you. (I think he was getting it confused with excuse me...)

What's the point of all that? Simply this, I was observing today how mixed our speech is around here, and how I accept it as normal.

I didn't even blink when he said that, I understood him and didn't think anything of it. It wasn't until later that it dawned on me that unless you know spanish it might have been a little confusing. Daniel and Camila use quit a lot, and also lo. Which means it. So they'll say things like "give me lo" or "throw lo." There's probably other spanish words that they mix into their speech, but none of them come into mind.

So, that's just my little thought of the day. =)

Monday, December 17, 2007

"Further in and further out"

Okay, so I've been told several times by both Julia and Sarah that I need to blog... I've been back online for what, over two weeks now?

I suppose y'all probably want a report on how my time offline went. Or maybe that's just what seems in order. Except, half the reason I haven't blogged yet is because there really isn't anything to say about the time offline. At least, nothing big. But does there always have to be something big for the time to have been good? I don't think so. Yet I'm not even sure saying that the time was good would be true. Well, without some explanation that is.

Okay, enough rambling. (I like to think through things a lot) It was good to be offline. It was wonderful to feel free of the 'need' to get on and coordinate my time so I'm online when my friends are. I had hoped to refocus on God during that time. It didn't work that way. Why? I don't know.

These past two weeks though. . . I don't know exactly how to describe it, but I know that God has been doing something. It's been a rough few weeks, I've felt like I'm fighting something and I didn't know what. Bit by bit, God has been bringing things up, pointing them out, and slowly teaching me that I do know what to do with the knowledge. Ever tried to get away from something with the excuse of "I don't know how"? I sure do it a lot.

I feel like God's been calling me to go further in with Him. (Kind of like in the last book in Narnia... "further in and further out" or something like that) Eric Ludy said life is an endless frontier, I agree. God's been saying "Okay, you got over trying to completely forget about me, now I want you to fall in love with me." I've learned that life without Him is worthless, miserable, and lifeless, now I need to learn what life with Him is like.

Last night, one of my friends asked what I was up to while talking in G-chat. One of the things I listed was "thinking." It was then I realized that I really have been thinking, that there's been a lot that I've been sorting out and trying to decide how to react to. Writing in my journal last night about what I've just said here, I started getting excited. Last time God gave me things to mull over, like now, and I felt the conflict I've been feeling, things changed. And I'm so glad they did. I can smile now and mean it, who knows what's in store next? I want to give in to God's will, because He is so much more capable than I am, and I know that He always has great things in store. Whether or not they're painful doesn't matter. He is so amazing, I want to live for HIS glory.

Now, I will leave you with a poem I wrote last week.

Have You Seen?

Can you see the clouds outside?
Up in the sky they reside.
Casting shadows and filtering sun.
So beautiful and wonderful each one.

What about the night sky?
Stars shining and a meteorite on the fly.
So calm, so peaceful and mysterious.
The bright moon, so imperious.

And the sun on a clear day?
Bringing hope in many a way.
The blue sky so clear,
chasing away each fear.

Have you seen the rain falling?
And as you watched felt a calling,
to go and walk and dance in flurries,
to let it wash away your worries?

And on each amazing day,
do you ever stop and say;
“Thank you, Lord,
for this world.”