Saturday, May 28, 2011

Something heavy, something light

Self deception is a tricky, prickly thing.  I bumped into an old acquaintance recently, and I was reminded of the dangers of that kind of thinking--whether intentional or not.  I know of some who very deliberately deceive themselves, whether to help squish a bad habit or to come to terms with a very difficult choice.  I've been there, too.  On more than one sad occasion, each lasting far too long, I've tricked myself into believing that I was of little worth, and thus accepted being treated as such.  It's frightening to realize that our own minds have the ability to change our perception of reality in very real and sometimes lasting ways.  Thankfully God has come to rescue me from that place each time, reminding me that I am esteemed by Him as no less than a child of God.

The saddest part about bumping into this old acquaintance was that he is fighting daily to rid his mind of those deceptions--he has for a long time.  He has bravely faced fears and changed behaviors, even if living honestly meant living a more uncomfortable life.  Unfortunately, there are some issues still at stake in his life that he holds to, not knowing (or caring to know) how truly he has deceived himself, making all these other choices futile until he overcomes these grander things.  Pride, sneaky unperceived pride, creates cruel barriers between who we are and who we are made to be.  We must take up arms against it daily and fully expect pride to fight dirty, while we we fight to win honestly.

This will read like a pile of bologna unless you know this about yourself and/or a loved one.

On a totally different note, I have a summer list of things to do (for myself, but borrow from it, by all means!):

1. Find a friend with a pool and enjoy it.
2. Wear sunscreen.  A lot of it.
3. Dive into a Bible study (join me?  Even if you're long distance!  I'd love that!)
4. Read.  Ravenously.
5. Visit home, visit a body of water, visit an old friend, visit a new friend
6. Plan this second India trip!!!
7. Firmly establish myself as #1 girlfriend by kicking Jared's upcoming quarter-century birthday in the pants (metaphorically)
8. Study French
9. Paint
10. Learn to play a few things on the guitar

If you have any interest in joining me on any of these adventures, comment, call, message, visit, smoke signal, or telegraph me.

Love you.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

September 2011 -- The Return To India

That's right.

You read that correctly.

God willing, I am making plans to return to India in September of this year.

Story time!  Here's my game plan complete with supa-brief back-story (for the rest, check out the India posts!).  In January I went on the trip led by Gina to India.  I also started seeing this great guy named Jared.  He lived and worked with a missions group in Bangalore, India for about a year and a half, so we bonded over our love for India.  After I got back from the January trip working with Native Ministries, I faced the fact that God was ALREADY calling me back to India for Native's Grace Sathuluri Conference for Women in Hyderabad India.  When I mentioned this to Jared, he told me that he'd been praying for a while about an opportunity to go back to India to meet up with his boss, Mr. Holland, and he'd been considering going around September.  What a great opportunity to serve the Lord each in our own capacities!  We contacted Sue in Memphis and began planning through her leadership. I will go to the Women's Conference and work with Native, and he'll go to Bangalore to do business with Mr. Holland and ProVision Asia (he totally designed their website-- proud girlfriend) , and visit with the dear friends he made there. After the conference he will pick me up and we will travel together back to Bangalore for a week to visit with friends and talk with Mr. Holland about what a potential life together in India would look like for Jared and me, if that turns out to be a possibility in our future.

Dad, Mom, and Jane, don't panic at that last line.  Neither of us have any intention of living there very long.  We like cleanliness and peace and quiet too much to stay in India for more than 2 years, max.  But it is, nonetheless, a very real possibility.

In the meanwhile, I'm working my caboose off, recruiting summer preschool Sunday School teachers, scratching up substitute teachers for the remaining few weeks of the spring session, preparing for training, helping Meg do wedding stuff, babysitting sweet baby Anna, trying to keep up with Alyssa's summer book stickers, and watching Brothers & Sisters (I watch the Walkers' insanity to help maintain my own sanity--don't hate).  I have a blog post simmering in my head, complete with pictures, Hyperbole and a Half style, but it's going to take a little more time to fully percolate.

Reader, I need you to know something.  God is good.  And he's really big.  Not like, "Dude, that guy is the size of a house" big.  More like, God is actively creating art 10 billion light years away from where you're sitting right now, on the same canvas that WE are a part of.  And He is actively seeking after your heart at the same time.  We know that all things work together for the good of those who love Him, and those who love Him are called for a purpose (Romans 8:28).  That doesn't mean only good things happen to those who love God.  It means that both the good and bad serve a purpose in His ultimate glory.  I want with all my heart for you to know this as you face every event in your day, from a paper cut to a promotion, from a tragic loss to a brief peaceful moment--God is good.   And He loves you passionately.