Sunday, September 30, 2012

to myself and maybe humanity

Dear Jenn.

It's kind of a letter I needed to write myself.  Something that's on my mind that I constantly think about without ever...well...thinking about it.  Something that's a lot easier to start with a "dear Jenn" and a lot harder to continue with.

Dear Jenn.

When your life is too busy for God, it is too busy.  Don't make out like you don't have time to set aside for God.   He doesn't want to be a part of your time.  He wants to be in all of your time.  He wants to be with you at 5:30am when you really hate yourself for staying up so late.  He wants to be with you when you're this close to falling asleep driving.  He wants to be with you in class while you're diligently taking notes, or having a group discussion, or taking an exam, or (let's be honest) trying not to fall asleep, or trying to avoid that guy that's creeping on you.  He wants to be with you sitting on campus on your computer while you browse facebook when you're supposed to be doing homework.  He wants to be with you when you finally find time to grab a bite to eat.  He wants to be with you when you're out snapping photos, for an assignment or for fun.  He wants to be with you when you're at play rehearsal dancing or chatting or rolling your eyes at someone or doing homework or bored to tears.  He wants to be with you when you find another classmate that's as obsessed with Les Mis as you are.  He wants to be with you when you're up all hours doing French homework or finishing that project or talking on facebook way too late when you just know you're going to hate yourself at 5:30am the next morning again.

You're not going to be happy without him.  Sure, you may have a great day.  But I mean, ultimately happy.  Truly purely genuinely surpassingly happy.  It doesn't happen without him.

It doesn't happen because you know cool people, or do cool things, or go cool places.  It doesn't happen because people think you're cool either.  Don't--please don't--find your affirmation in people liking you.  It's easy, I know.  But what does it mean if you're focusing on finding fulfillment in the fact that she made a point to hang out with you or that he gave you a hug or that was the first time (or the last time) she called you her best friend?  What does it mean if it makes your day when someone talks to you or compliments you or tells me they love you?  What does it mean if you end up going to that person or those people first, before you go to God?

It means your priorities need to be screwed on straight.

Dear Jenn.

You're not going to find fulfillment in any of that.  It feels good.  Yes.  Yes it does.  And hugs and talking and love--I'm pretty sure God thinks those are really great things.  But as much as it hurts to say, it's possible to have too much of a good thing.  When it becomes an idol.  When it usurps the number one place in your heart that Jesus wants so desperately to fill, if only you'd let him.

When something really sad happens, and the only thing you can think of is how you need to talk to someone to get support or comfort, that's great, but shouldn't you go to God first?  When something really happy happens and the first thing that pops into mind is that you really can't wait to show or tell everyone, even if it's something about how great God is, isn't that a bit hypocritical?  Isn't that a little bit like lip service, talking about it, but not actually talking to God about it?  Shouldn't presenting it to him be first on your mind?

Shouldn't thinking about how much Jesus loves you be the first thing to make you smile every morning and the last thing to make you smile every night, and the biggest thing to make you smile all the rest of the day?

Dear Jenn.  Dear Jenn and anyone else who maybe just needs to straight-up look themselves in a mirror and hear this too.

Don't put above him your need to look good in front of people, to make sure people are happy, to make sure you preserve your image.  Don't put above him you feeling happy, or accepted, or loved, or important, or especially, comfortable.  Don't put above him your school, or your work, or your hobbies, or your social life.  And don't put anyone--anyone--above the mind-blowing privilege you have of having a relationship with the God of the universe and the fact that he wants that with you no matter what.

Dear Jenn. Dear world.

Don't forget what Jesus did for you.  Don't get too busy to remember.  To talk to him.  To let him be your everything.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

i have been...

listening ... to twenty one pilots, especially their softer stuff. like this. love.
seeing ... campus, all day erryday.
feeling ... the warm days of summer finally slip into a chilly autumn. I think I'm ready. bring on the socks & sweaters & scarves.
believing ... truth.
waiting ... to get contacts. meanwhile I've started wearing my new glasses full-time, and it's messing with my brain (and my...vanity...).
loving ... people. ever have that feeling where you love someone so much that you literally don't think you can contain it inside yourself because your love for that person is so big? like it'll just burst out in a dance or shout or song or maybe something as simple as the biggest smile you've ever smiled. but it just swells up inside till it feels like it has to explode out of you. yeah. that's a good feeling.
learning ... a lot about growing up. also the ukulele, thanks to my brother.
missing ... my sister, a lot.
hoping ... to get a pumpkin spice latte soon. it's killing me. just kidding guys, I finally got one yesterday! perfection.
doing ... school. work. theatre. photography. early morning drives. laughter. singing. procrastination. plan-making. late nights. life.

Friday, September 7, 2012

and so it ends.

so what ends? you ask.

well.  summer.  it's for certain now.

but also camp.  labor day camp.  the last time it was at the location it's been held at for years, marking it as the end of an era so to speak.

one of the best things that happened at camp: this skit.  it's to the song "everything" by lifehouse.  I was privileged to be in it (the main girl...yeah. intense. and if I ever get ahold of the recording of our version to stick on youtube, I'll be sure to show you guys).  listen, I'm the first to admit that I'm hardly a humble person, but being in that skit humbled me.  broke me.  I...can't even describe.  it's still emotional for me to watch--like, in the very best of ways--but wow.  powerful.  God was at work that night.

there were lots of other things that happened at camp.  things that were good and hilarious and fun and wonderful and memorable and full of Jesus.  there were also things that were hard.  things God showed me.  things I'm still processing.  things I could use a lot of prayer for.  I'd appreciate it.  He is good.

shout out to some of the best friends I could ever, ever ask for.  (like these.  and lots more.)  and I shall leave you with this: "my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  I know you've heard it before.  but this time think about it. Savior is amazing.  amazing to me.

sometimes Jesus blows my mind.  I don't think I let him often enough.

have a lovely weekend, my friends. xo

Monday, September 3, 2012

back in Montreal

I can think of...let's see.  Oh, just a handful of people that I actually would/could/do get sappy about.  (Oh man, you should see me in my sappy moments.  Actually on second thought no you shouldn't.)  Anyway.  The first and foremost is my one and only true love/other half...guys chill out, I have no love life.  Geez.  No.  My sister.  Cassie.  I'm convinced I can't ever get married till I find someone that completes me like she does.  (Cue aww-ing.  But no really.)

Moving on.

Back in the middle of August Cassie turned nineteen. It had officially been more than two months since we'd seen each other (and it's approaching three months here in a couple days...).  So what did I do?  I hopped in a car with my mom to drive up and surprise her for her birthday.  Okay so it wasn't just hopping in a car--we had to talk to a bunch of French speaking people first to work it out.  And let's face it, one doesn't take that long of a drive lightly.  Thirteen hours, hoo boy.

So we got there the night of her birthday, when a bunch of her friends up there were planning a surprise party.  And we were the extra surprise.  I admit, Cassie had kinda a clue, but only because she rudely HACKED MY FACEBOOK and saw a message I sent.  Rude.  Sisters, who needs 'em.  But she didn't know when or why or how or what, so it was still fantastic.  Yeah we both cried.  I warned you that I was a sap in some instances.

I got to meet all of her lovely friends that I heard so much about.  And then said friends reminded me that they'd also heard loads about me.  Oh that's a frightening thought.

One of said friends got Cassie off work for the few days we were there, so we had a full glorious three days to wander about Montreal.  It's such a great city, and Cassie was so proud of it showing us around.  Adorable.  We did exciting things like shopping and eating.  And I finally bought a pair of colored skinnies (dark turquoise, baby), and we visited Old Montreal where I had been last year, and we climbed Mont Royal to see a view of the city.

Funny story.  On Mont Royal, Cassie basically forced me to take pictures of her.  You know, it's really rough for her not having me around to supply her with new facebook profile pictures.  I always was her little photographer minion--it's probably the only reason she keeps me around.  So on top of Mont Royal, we proceeded to be very loud and jovial in our photo-snapping.  We were getting interesting glares from people.  Also, apparently I have a loud laugh.  Oops.

Also!  We saw Wicked!  Again.  I saw it for the first time...oh, probably a year and a half ago now.  It's one of my favorite shows for sure.  So good.  So good.  I sing the music alllll de time.  So this time around, there were screens by the side of the stage translating all the dialogue into French (because Montreal is perfectly bilingual folks--it's crazy), and we actually got amaaaazing seats (rather than the nosebleed seats I sat in last time I saw it) because we got cheap tickets right before the show!  Man alive I think I was smiling the whole show.

The same night we saw Wicked it was settled that Clara would come home with us for two weeks, so she spent some time with us in Montreal too.  (And we all watched A Knight's Tale together.  Which apparently I didn't realize, but from the comments on my previous post, it seems very popular.  Well...I loved it.)

Then thirteen hours back we went.  You know something?  At customs on the border between Canada and the United States?  Those guard people make me nervous.  They're always so nice, but it's like they hold my life in their hands for about two minutes, and it freaks me out.  Anyway.

Clara left today.  I drove her to the airport.  I honestly wasn't expecting to be so sad about seeing her go.  We have had grand times.  Times I need to tell you all about, though I realize I've been rather absent/distant from the blogging world for awhile.  There's been a lot of things going on, in both my life and my head.  Labor Day Camp ended today (so depressed) and it was a weekend to remember.  Maybe I'll tell you some about that too, but right now it's too fresh and raw in my mind and heart to repeat anything close to coherent.

SO ANYHOO.  Basically life is weird and insane and crazy and great and interesting and funny and unusual and happy and sad and odd.  Am I right or am I right?