June 27, 2010


I love this song because like her, it has taken me many hard lessons to realize what love is all about. Thanks to the Great Teacher, and to my 'other' teacher- my other half, or "la otra mitad de mi naranja"

Love, I made it mine
I made it small
I made it blind
I followed hard only to find
It wasn't love

Love, of songs and pen
oh love of movie endings
takes out the break
leaves out the bend
and misses love

Love not of you
love not of me
come hold us up
come set us free
not as we know it
but as it can be

Love's reality
is not a passing bravery
it holds out hope beyond what's seen
the hope of love

Love not of you
love not of me
come hold us up
come set us free
not as we know it
but as it can be.

"Love" by Sara Groves

June 6, 2010

Remembering Egypt

So I've been thinking a lot about the phenomenom of romanticizing the past... and I came across a strikingly appropriate song the other day, so I thought I would share.

It seems easy for us to look back on certain past times in our lives with a sense of longing. Usually those times were not perfect, and may not even have been altogether good, but it's as if the sentimental part of us clings only to the most positive of those memories- whatever security, comfort, joy, friendship, or simplicity of life we found there. And we long for a part of it. It's alluring to us.

I've also been thinking about the Israelites in the desert. Funny I realized I've blogged about them 3 different times. I guess there are so many parts of their story that strike a chord with me. As Rob Bell says in Velvet Elvis, "Their story is not just their story.... it's our story".

I wonder what it was like for them, all those years wandering in the desert with nothing but a promise. At first they were only looking forward to the future and the freedom God had promised them, a land flowing with milk and honey. Yet once the road started getting tougher, it was easy for them to look back upon where they came from, Egypt- a land where they had been held captive, with longing.

"Why is the Lord bringing us into this land... would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?" (Numbers 14:2)

Despite the fact that they were in captivity there, despite what God had promised them, the Israelities longed for Egypt.

"We remember the fish we ate in Egypt... at no cost!" (Numbers 11). It amazes me how ready they were to go back to the captivity of Egypt... because they remembered something so comfortable there that they lacked in their present circumstance- food.

But Egypt wasn't what they really longed for, was it? They longed for what they remembered of Egypt, not the reality of Egypt. Their memories clung only to what they missed in the present. The future was just a promise that required faith, and it was too difficult to put their hope in it. It was more comfortable to remember the past as something it wasn't.

I have been listening to a lot of Sara Groves lately, who quickly has become my favorite Christian artist because of the honesty and poignancy of her lyrics. It was pretty cool how one song of hers deals directly with this tendency. The chorus goes "I've been painting pictures of Egypt, leaving out what it lacked... cause the future feels so hard and I want to go back" and continues with the line "but the places that used to fit me, cannot hold the things I've learned."

It is easy for me to look back on some periods of my life, times like my Crossfire summer, internship at Wesley, an incredibly close friendship, or life-changing trip to Guatemala, and experience longing for pieces of those memories in my life now. It's always easier to long for the familiar when the future is unknown. But God takes us through seasons, and the things that used to fit us can no longer hold where we are... and who we are. And his promises for who we will be are always better than who we once were.... "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory." (2 Cor. 3:18)

One of the people I admire the most in the bible is Caleb, because he held on to God's promises of Israel. He didn't let go. He didn't let the alluring familiarity of the past keep him from the freedom God had for him. And he led a whole nation to their new promised land because of this faith. I think of Caleb as one of the most courageous men in the bible. A history-changer.

Painting Pictures of Egypt
I don't want to leave here
I don't want to stay
it feels like pinching to me either way.
And the places I long for most
are the places where I've been
they are calling after me like a long lost friend.
I've been painting pictures of Egypt
leaving out what it lacked
cause the future seems so hard
and I want to go back.
But the places that used to fit me
cannot hold the things I've learned
and those roads were closed off to me
while my back was turned.
The past is so tangible
I know it by heart
familiar things are never easy to discard.
I was dying for some freedom
but now I hesitate to go
caught between the promise and the things I know.
- Sara Groves

June 1, 2010

The Adventures of...

Ok I realize this picture is kind of creepy... ok really creepy. But it's perfect for this post!

So Ben's been in physician assistant school for 2 weeks now. I've attempted to take on the Super Wife role (hence the picture). This includes working full-time, doing all the cooking, the shopping, the finances, (most of)the cleaning up, all the laundry, plus the administrative household duties such as keeping up with our health stuff/car maintenance/insurance (you could say I'm slightly OCD, I prefer the term ultra-organized :).

I realize that many of you already do all of these things (plus raise 3+ kids), and it's not that big of a deal to you. Humor me.

In the past, Ben and I would usually cook together and split the other duties up (I have been blessed). However, since he now has to spend all of his time studying, I (voluntarily) took on the other tasks.

So far, it's gone better than I thought. I'm used to having more free time, but that's the way life goes. I've enjoyed making meals much more than I thought I would. I used to not really enjoy cooking meals. Honestly, I think baking is more up my alley. I like being able to pop something in the oven, clean up while it's cooking, and know exactly when it's going to be done. Less hectic. That's the Type A personality coming out.

Back to what I was saying... it has been going pretty well so far. I can't guarantee I will feel that way in, say, two months from today. But I hope I will. I figure it's not much to support someone for 2 years when they will be supporting you and your family for their entire lives, right? Then again, I'm a selfish person and don't always remember this. Ben even made the comment that he was surprised and happy that I've been so understanding and not demanding of his time. He probably pictured himself struggling between his studies and a needy wife. I bet he was pleasantly surprised to see how independent I can be. Granted, it's only been 2 weeks. But I say the outlook is good.

And Ben has been loyaly committed to those pesky things I despise- killing bugs, taking out the trash, calling HP when my printer stops working and I'm about to have a breakdown if I have to punch through another automated phone system and talk to the HP lady for an hour.

I'll let you know how the future goes... hopefully I won't end up like Amy Adams from Julie & Julia, collapsed on the kitchen floor sobbing with a botched dinner job... he he. If I do I'll be sure to tell you about it, friends (ok maybe not).

So here's to all you REAL superwives out there- who do so much for your families every day! I admire you and aspire to be like you :p

Now what I really need are some new recipe ideas...