Thursday, April 24, 2008


Laura Jo's dad sent me a book of 101 famous poems, mostly because there was one poem that I absolutely loved in the book. I'm going to share it with you, because right now I'm feeling empty and without anything to say.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies
Or being hated, don't give way to hating
And yet don't look too good, nor talk to wise

If you can dream-- and not make dreams your master
If you can think-- and not make thoughts your aim
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on."

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue
Or walk with kings-- nor lose the common touch
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you
If all men count with you, but none too much

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it
And-- what is more-- you'll be a man, my son.

-Rudyard Kipling

Friday, April 18, 2008


I wasn't going to write about this, but it's weighing too much on my heart not to. I'm struggling being in Intervarsity right now. I feel like I have to be this upstanding, amazing Christian in order to be considered "okay." I don't know exactly how to explain this.

About a month ago, I went to Greene Street, a club. I didn't drink and I don't plan to before I am twenty-one. I didn't do anything that I ought to feel guilty about, but people in IV have let me know how "displeased" they are that I was even there in the first place... I get that I'm not suppoesd to be "of this world," but it's not the same thing.

We talked in our small group about coffee (I promise this relates) the other day, about how if someone's never tried coffee before and you invite them to try it, you'll either give them an iced coffee or some hot rich blend. You don't give them lukewarm, room temperature coffee. Right? Right. We all know that iced coffee is good. Hot coffee is good, but the stuff in the middle is terrible, and we don't wnat someone to be completely turned off to coffee just because of one bad experience, so we want their first experience to be good. It's the same way with Christianity, we discussed. We need to be passionate about what we believe, because the completely worldly side looks pretty good too. It's the people in the middle, who call themselves Christians but hurt others so deeply that turn people off to it. The hypocrites, the liars, etc who say they are Christians make it difficult for people to give Christianity a second thought.

But, I argued, because the whole issue with IV is still fresh in my mind, we can't be scalding hot. We'll just burn people that way. We have to admit that we are weak, sinful and self-consumed. We have to admit we are broken, and in need of a savior. I think that's my frustration. That people around me talk to me, and probably to people not in IV, like they have it together, and don't commit "big sins."

Let me give one more example, and then I can be done. My friend (non-Christian) has been asking me questions about God and earnestly seeking answers. Then she made a bad decision with some serious consequences. And you know what? In both instances she talked to me. And I started thinking while she was talking to me about the choice she made... if I had made the same type of mistake with the same types of reprocussions, who would I turn to? And I wasn't sure if it would be a Christian or not... and that made me deeply sad.

Yes, we need to be passionate about God and our faith and stand firm in what we believe. BUT we cannot make our lives a long list of rules and regulations because we think that makes us a good person--- because we're all hypocrites if we believe that... the ones who think they're healthy don't ever go see the doctor. I want to be hot coffee, but not hot enough to burn the people around me.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.

The one thing I have felt a longing for, this year especially, is to be so deeply passionate about something. I want a purpose, a drive, a calling, a sense of why I am alive. I want to be thoroughly excited about something... I feel like for a lot of people it's whatever lifestyle they choose. A lot of people are passionate about their jobs, their families, their mission field, etc... Some days I think I'm passionate about social work, about "working myself out of a job," but other days, I don't know exactly why I am getting a degree in social work.

My small group had a discussion last week at the end of our time about the three things we were passionate about. I didn't have three. In fact, I didn't have one at first...

Laura Jo says my passion is justice. That I have this sense of wanting people to be loved and well-cared for. That I want to see "on earth as it is in heaven" more of a reality... I don't know though. Sometimes I mix up justice and idealism, I confuse reality with false hope. I'm frustrated because I want my heart to be on fire for something in the Kingdom... I don't want to just sail through these days...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Upheaval and unease

I feel like my life is in upheaval right now. Every thing seems to be changing at a rate I cannot keep up with, heading in an unexpected, and sometimes terribly wrong, direction in an out-of-control-feeling way... I told Laura Jo this and she said, "But really, Linds, it isn't." I didn't so much like that answer... but I realized that she wasn't trying to invalidate my feelings, as I initially thought, so much as trying to comfort me and remind me of the reality of the situation(s).

"The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
At your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
-Psalm 16:5-11

I like the phrases "secure," "not be shaken," "not abandon," "beautiful inheritance." THIS is the reality, and even though my feelings are valid, God's not off his throne, He hasn't and won't abandon me, and His plan is divine and perfect... so upheaval can only be at most, temporary and earthly. That may not be any great revelation for you, O Reader, but it was for me.