Musings

/Musings

it smelled like the august of 2013

I stepped outside and the scent of sunshine, of warm wind, of a very specific olfactory sensation hit me. It made me think of hope and memories yet to be made from late-night dorm talks, the smell of change and excitement and bewilderment, of discovering twenty one pilots and having eyes wide open to every experience happening to me.

I felt 18 again for a moment.

I’ve always been the type of person to take in everything and savor it, remember it, feeling the weight of the small hours and seconds that make up our lives. Sometimes a small voice shouts in my head, Remember, remember this!  when a this tangibility happens, a snapshot that I ought to grab and file away and hold.

2020 has been one large roller coaster of weirdness, fear, hope, and curiosity. No one could have predicted what has happened in our world. I’ll never forget trying to plan

it smelled like the august of 20132020-08-17T15:33:54+00:00

valleys of shadow

It’s a quiet day at the desk here. I’m minding the phones but my mind is in a faraway place, pondering great human suffering and the broken, dismal bleakness of our world. I made the mistake this morning of reading a book I found in a pile our receptionist left behind. It is a fiction-ish narrative about a Holocaust survivor and I knew that it would be dangerous, one of those can’t-put-it-down novels that will leave me thinking down a hole and feeling heavy sadness for a while.
My heart shuts down at the brutality of human beings and the atrocious horrors experienced by real people in real time, fellow image-bearers who all had names and faces and favorite colors and loves and special talents and unique laughter. All I can say is, “Lord…?” There really aren’t words for such things.
In the darkest events of human history, it’s easy to shove
valleys of shadow2020-08-17T15:20:44+00:00

0.6 miles of holiness

Every evening around 10:30pm, if you’re hanging around a certain Chicago street corner, you’ll see a couple emerge from a yellowed apartment building, usually holding hands. They begin a 0.6 -mile walk in the twilight, cutting through some neighborhoods and past the parks, to a squat, brick two-flat on a one way street. She unlocks the door, he kisses her goodnight and assures she is safely inside, then he turns around and re-walks the 0.6-mile path in the dark.

It’s an inconvenient dance where I’m living out of a suitcase and sleeping on an air mattress in a near-empty apartment while my fiance lives a 15 minute walk away in a fully-furnished one. We aren’t getting married for another five weeks, and the back and forth is annoying and tiring.

Why make the harder choice? Why deal with the inconvenience of going home each night? This is stupid, many would say.

Nobody ever

0.6 miles of holiness2020-08-01T17:24:28+00:00

100 Days

In 100 days, I’m getting married.

 

What will the world look like in 100 days? It’s not something I’ve ever thought about before. Time usually just rolls on like normal. We don’t expect major bumps and blizzards and bizarre changes that completely curtail our expectation of the next several months. No one really wonders if restaurants will still be open in 100 days or if we will be allowed to leave our houses.

And yet, for the first time in my life, I and the rest of my friends, family, and community, are forced to take everything one day at a time. The coronavirus has crumpled our little wall calendars into magnified accordions where we can really only see today, honestly not knowing what will happen tomorrow. What kind of world will I wake up to in the morning? Will I be quarantined, will the grocery store close, will my roommate wake

100 Days2020-03-19T18:42:00+00:00

Modern-Day Siloam Towers

Everyone is human. And that means everyone is broken – we all struggle and fight in this life, whether it’s circumstances, others, or our own selves.

I never thought Kobe Bryant would be the one to move me out of my long writing hiatus, but it’s been a strange week, and I’ve been wrestling for a while with thinking that I have things to say, but there are so many words already out there, that it doesn’t really matter in the end. But it kind of does, and keeping thoughts in my brain don’t usually serve a good purpose for anything besides my own mental filing cabinets.

Some would call the death of basketball star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna tragic. I would agree to an extent – it seems so senseless, a helicopter crash that shouldn’t happened, an absolute star and his little girl and a group of friends taken

Modern-Day Siloam Towers2020-02-01T05:09:07+00:00

Hang your hat on this

I was at a wedding last weekend for a friend. I was there from day one, and watching the ceremony reminded me of the striking weightiness of marriage. To unite with another soul for the rest of your life, covenanting together to take up the mantle of displaying Christ’s relationship with the Church to the entire watching world, committing to forsake all others…the joy of it is consuming. The heaviness is stifling, a beautiful unity of seriousness and absolute happiness as one considers the institution and how everything changes in a man or woman’s life upon entering that holy union.

Do I fully know what this signifies? Am I ready for this? Well, not really – there is always a sense of unknown as two people grasp hands and jump off the cliff of life into their intertwined future walking along the path as one

Hang your hat on this2019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00

in whom you find pleasure becomes your treasure | john piper

What does it mean to delight in God? I think if you ask the average Christian, no one quite knows what to say.

I just finished listening to a sermon on the subject from Pastor John Piper. It was from a conference recently, and the title captured my imagination because I didn’t know how to answer that myself.

I enjoy pizza. I enjoy family and friends and writing and work and cooking and reading. And then when I think about enjoying God, my default is to list all the things I do: I read my Bible and pray and go to church and…I have affection toward Him, I think?

Pastor John makes this amazing connection that I need to ponder for a while. We delight in God by getting to know His beauty and person through His

in whom you find pleasure becomes your treasure | john piper2019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00

the relief of springtime

This past winter has probably been the most difficult I’ve experienced so far in my short time on earth. It was brutally cold, so cold that the office shut down for two days in a row and our furnace couldn’t keep up. My roommates and I hunkered down most of the winter in blankets and restlessness.

The cold seeped into my spirit. Anxiety, depression, apathy, and frustration with myself and life made a messy home among my fragile emotions and hopes for the future. My spiritual life was a battle – it was a fight to have focused times with God and actively stay in the Bible.

My body became my enemy. I was diagnosed with a chronic condition and faced odd complications that didn’t get much of a clear answer. I was shuffled around to specialists and tests. I railed against

the relief of springtime2019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00

I Want You to be Happier

I wish I had found out earlier in my life that God was happy. Oh, how that would have changed my perception of him!

Yes, he is eternally happy, forever delighting and loving within himself as the Trinity. And yes, that means when we know him, we are brought into that beautiful, ever-flowing Source of joy forever. In him is the fullness of all things, and he reigns over all things on heaven and earth.

I’ve been studying Colossians recently in tandem with Randy Alcorn’s superb treatise on a theology of happiness. What a surprising, undiscussed doctrine! Our eternal Grace and peace and hope flow from our God, and is the preeminent one over all creation (Col 1:3, 5, 15, 17).

Our God is the source of all delight and exudes all delight. He is the

I Want You to be Happier2019-02-01T04:06:47+00:00

October

“…for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’”

I’d like to confess some sin.

I’ve been working at a prominent church serving in various roles, with hands in multiple ministries, graduated from an amazing Bible college. I read my Bible daily and pray, I love my God, and I yearn to follow Him in obedience. I meditate on Scripture. I lead a small group of women. I pursue humility as a posture and attitude, with the Holy Spirit’s help. I’d like to think I’m doing pretty well in my Christian life. Many common sins don’t phase me: lust, or lies, or lack of conviction, or unclean speech. My media choices are well though-out in light of God’s call to holiness.

But part of my heart is not devoted to the Lord. An idol rules my life in a particular area, and that area has started to dominate my entire life.

It’s one

October2019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00