Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Eden vs Gethsemane

This is from A.W. Pink's commentary on the Gospel of John. The words are his, the formatting is mine.

"The entrance of Christ into the Garden at once reminds us of Eden. The contrasts between them are indeed most striking. In Eden, all was delightful; in Gethsemane, all was terrible.

In Eden, Adam and Eve parleyed with Satan

In Gethsemane, the last Adam sought the face of His Father

In Eden, Adam sinned

In Gethsemane, the Redeemer conquered

The conflict in Eden took place by day

The conflict in Gethsemane was waged at night

In the one Adam fell before Satan

In the other, the soldiers fell before Christ

In Eden the race was lost

In Gethsemane Christ announced, 'Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none' (John 18:9)

In Eden, Adam took the fruit from Eve's hand

In Gethsemane, Christ received the cup from His Father's hand

In Eden, Adam hid himself

In Gethsemane, Christ boldly showed Himself

In Eden, God sought Adam

In Gethsemane, the last Adam sought God

From Eden Adam was 'driven'

From Gethsemane Christ was 'led'

In Eden the 'sword' was drawn (Gen 3:24)

In Gethsemane the 'sword' was sheathed (John 18:11)"

The stage was set for death, but the promise of life was ready to be made complete

Saturday, April 27, 2013

His Desire is For Me

I actually wrote this post on Friday, but I was too busy playing track to type it up. It combines a whole bunch of my current obsessions, including the Aaron Keyes song I blogged about earlier, which got me thinking about the idea that God delights in me, seen in 2 Samuel 22:20 and Psalm 18: 19

He brought me out into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me. 

I wear a ring that I usually forget to think about. The ring features SOS 7:10, but it's divided into two parts. On the outside, it says, "I am my beloved's", a declaration that I am dearly loved and that my identity rests securely in that love. The inside, what no one else really sees, continues with the second half of the verse: His desire is for me.

There is a level of sacred, holy, intimacy that grips my very soul at play here. 

I sit back and flip through our story, my story. God, three in one, had perfect community. He did not need people. He would still be if we were not, foe He is I AM. And yet, He desired us. He made us out of His own will; He wanted to share His world, glory and presence with us. 

And when we sinned, He kept up His pursuit of us, revealing His everlasting love for us in His law, in His commandments, in His justice. 

And in Christ, when we couldn't go back to our Father, He came down to us. 

Love. Came. Down. 

Jesus' desire for relationship with us was greater than His desire to remain in the presence of His Father. 

His desire for us was greater than His desire for power or wealth or prestige on earth. 

His desire for our salvation was greater than His human desire to avoid suffering. 

His desire for my heart, for my life, was greater than His desire for His own. 

I've been slowly reading through the Jesus Storybook Bible, just two stories a day, and my thoughts on the Lord's desire for me were stirred by the re-telling of the prodigal son story from Luke 15. Quick recap on the story: A father has two sons, and the younger one decides he wants to take his inheritance and go out on his own. He squanders the money, living in excess and partying all the time. Eventually, he runs out and has to get a job tending pigs. He realizes that his father is still out there, and he decides to go home and ask to be hired as a servant. He knows he's messed up and that he was irresponsible and that his dad could say "I told you so". And here, I'll pick up with the JSB version: 

"As he starts for home though, he begins to worry. Dad won't love me anymore. I've been too bad. He won't want me for his son anymore. So he practices his I'm-Sorry-Speech. 

All this time, what he doesn't know is that, day after day, his dad has been standing on his porch, straining his eyes, looking into the distance, waiting for his son to come home. He just can't stop loving him. He longs for the sound of his boy's voice. He can't be happy until he gets him back. 

The son is still a long way off, but his dad sees him coming. 

What will the dad do? Fold his arms and frown? Shout, 'That'll teach you!' And, 'Just you wait, young man!'

No. That's not how this story goes. 

The dad leaps off the porch, races down the hill, through the gap in the hedge, up the road. Before his son can even begin his I'm-Sorry-Speech, his dad runs to him, throws his arms around him, and can't stop kissing him. 

'Let's have a party!' his dad shouts. 'My boy's home. He ran away. I lost him - but now I have him back!'

Jesus told them, 'God is like the dad who couldn't stop loving his boy. And people are like the son who said, 'Does my dad really want me to be happy?' '

Jesus told people this story to show them what God is like. And to show people what they are like. 

So they could know, however far they ran, however well they hid, however lost they were - it wouldn't matter. Because God's children could never run too far, or be too lost, for God to find them"

I've read Luke 15 a lot. I've probably written about it more than once. But I love it. And there was something about reading this simple version of it that really struck me. I like how the son is afraid of what might happen, and then his dad goes far beyond his greatest hope. I think of how we can be afraid of God because we don't really know Him or trust His love and grace.

But He delights in us.

He desires us.

The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17 

If the Mighty One desires me, can anything shake my peace? My joy? 

May His desire be enough for me. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How'd I Do?

At the first InterVarsity meeting of the semester, Casey had us write letters to ourselves. I've done things like this before, and when you write it, you always think you'll remember what it said.


I didn't even remember writing the letter! I blame thesis.

Anyway, I feel comfortable putting my letter out here. I asked myself a lot of questions that will help guide me in my reflections on this semester, but I also want to ask you, my readers, particularly ones who see me around regularly (though if you have an idea based on my writings, I'm not opposed to your contributions) on how I did. I find it really hard to be a fair judge of myself, so I would welcome any input you might want to share.

One note before I go, is that I thought I'd be receiving this after graduation for some reason, so I congratulate myself on that. There's also a verse at the end that I had to look up when I read it because it's something that God laid on my heart right as I sealed the letter up. I have linked all the verses referenced to the Amplified, because although I've been more in the English Standard, I know that I had the Amplified that night based on the one verse that was originally written out completely. So here it goes:


Dear Kate, 

Your last year has been an explosion of growth and the Lord has timelessly proved His faithfulness to you. You were feeling funky about your return to Beloit, but congratulations, you have graduated. 

What kind of mark have you allowed the Spirit to leave? What seeds have you planted? Have you shown yourself to be real, devoted, in touch, and loving? Do people trust you? Are you known for loving your neighbor even when it's hard and it hurts and they're as messy as you are? Did you serve with eagerness and joy?

How have you lived out 2 Corinthians 12:15? 
But I will most gladly spend [myself] and be utterly spent for your souls. If I love you exceedingly, am I to be loved [by you] the less?

Learn from your successes; what worked? Did you rest in Christ and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit? Learn from your failures. You can be intentional anywhere you are. Be willing. Be quiet when God asks you to be quiet, and unashamed when He wants you to shout His name from the rooftops. Be the first to apologize, to confess, to volunteer to help someone out. Be a joy (Psalm 16:11; 1 Peter 3:14) and be someone others know they can trust. 

Confess your own sins, and don't be afraid to admit that you come messy and ashamed to the cross. Know that your life is to the praise of Christ's glory, and that His word will not return void. 

Love people when it's hard, love God even more when it seems impossible. 

<3 (I drew a real heart, duh) Kate

Matthew 12:7 - from God. How'd you do? 


I just handed in my last undergrad paper and did my last undergrad group presentation and played the last round of c-haus/stevehaus trivia. This is too crazy.

I also have too many things to rsvp to all the time. Double major problems I guess.

I am so excited! A little apprehensive and nervous and sad too, but mostly excited. I love Beloit! And one of the professors that I've consistently nominated for teaching awards won. Congratulations, Natalie Gummer.

Here's a picture of my invitations that I had to deal with today:

Props to Beloit for caring about their seniors I guess.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Learning Things

Today, I did not go to class. Besides the fact that I don't actually need to, I didn't want to so that settled it. I did write my last undergrad paper, though.

No, this post is about a different kind of learning.

This semester, I've been an official rotating member of the church worship team, and it has been the craziest, most challenging learning experience I've had in music in a long time. My worship pastor is 59, and has been leading worship almost twice as long as I have been alive. He really loves the Lord and understands what worship is, and is also highly gifted as both a leader and a musician (he doesn't even play my instrument, but he knows enough about music to make it all work). He writes his own music, and is always pushing us to be creative and do something new.

I really appreciate him as a teacher and a mentor; he's worked with me to be a better musician and a better worship leader. At first, I would get frustrated when he'd look at me and ask what key would be better or if the tempo was ok. I thought he was vastly overestimating my skill level and knowledge. As I reflected on it tonight (my last rehearsal with Pastor Tom!) I realized that he had a lot more confidence in me than I did, and that's what he was trying to pull out.

I have been so blessed to be able to learn from him and I hope that I can continue to grow in this area.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Raised Me Up

It's a musical kind of Sunday. Let's do another song, shall we?

I discovered Aaron Keyes while I was skyping my friend Courtney and she was giving me ideas for tunes for the airplane trek to Dakar, and by giving me ideas I mean she was skyping me albums. Dwell by Aaron Keyes was one of them and it is good indeed. The title track, Sovereign Over Us, and Song of Moses were instant favorites in my book. Raised Me Up was noted by me only a few weeks ago, but it's been making its way into my brain, out of my mouth, and onto the pages of my journal consistently since then. I love it because it's a really clear depiction of our need for God and His ability and willingness to satisfy that need. Keyes' lyrics are always saturated with scripture and truth in general.

You raised me up from the wreckage
Pulled me from the sea
Took me from the hand of the enemy

You have delivered me
'Cause You delight in me
You are my rock, my only security
You come and light my way
When I call Your name

You raised me up from the wreckage
Pulled me from the sea
Took me from the hand of the enemy 

You set the earth's foundation
Call the stars by name
Shield me with salvation
Stole my heart away
You stole my heart away

You raised me up from the wreckage
Pulled me from the sea
Took me from the hand of the enemy 

Where else could we go 
We come alive in You 
We believe and know You are the Holy One

You have delivered me 
'Cause You delight in me 
You delight in me

You raised me up from the wreckage
Pulled me from the sea
Took me from the hand of the enemy 

He brought me out into a broad place;
    he rescued me, because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:19 

He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
    out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
    making my steps secure. Psalm 40:2

For great is your steadfast love toward me;
    you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol Psalm 86:13

He has redeemed my soul from going down into the pit, and my life shall look upon the light. Job 33:28
Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands. Psalm 102:25 (quoted in Hebrews 1:10) 

He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Psalm 147:4

Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth? Job 38:33 (God questioning Job) 

Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. Isaiah 40:26 

A lot verses. See what I mean? 

Happy Spring Everyone!

It's a really beautiful day, so get out and enjoy it!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Love Is Practical

As I typed the title of this post, the side of me that understands where I'm going was excited. The side of me that was interpreting how people who don't live in my head would view it was troubled. Because in a sense, love is the very opposite of practical. Practical is often used in a way that makes it synonymous with boring or unimaginative, and that is something love is certainly not. 

I'm most drawn to dictionary definition number four of practical: adapted or designed for actual use; useful. There is an element of action in true love and this is what necessitates practicality as a descriptor. 

I was reading A.W. Pink's commentary on John 14 this morning, and he quotes a Mr. P.W. Heward as saying, "Love is practical, or it is not love at all" 

You can say that you love a person, you may genuinely enjoy their companionship and existence, but if when the rubber hits the road, you give up and disappear, it makes love conditional, which isn't love at all. If your love can be drowned, how was it ever love to begin with? 

This is not to say that action is automatically equated with love. Paul writes of the danger of doing so in 1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. (Verses 1-3)

It is possible to do a lot of things without actually loving. But I still think there is an element to understanding love's usefulness that is of value. It has to be expressed, it has to mean something, it has to be tangible in some aspect or another. 

This is one reason why I love the 5 Love Languages Test . I strongly recommend taking it because it will help you understand how you express and receive love. I also recommend having those you are close to in your life take it as well - your family, friends, housemates, etc - because understanding how they express and receive love enables you to demonstrate that love to them in a way they understand. Further, it works the opposite way: it enables you to appreciate their expressions of love even if it is not one of your top love languages. Abigail is a great example of this for me. Her top love language is gifts, and it is my last. However, because I know that it is her primary way of expressing love, I sincerely appreciate it when she gives me a gift because I know what it means for her to do that. 

I think the first time I took the test the breakdown was something like:

12 - words of affirmation 
10 - quality time

7 - acts of service 

1 - gifts 

0 - physical touch 

But now, because of some of my experiences abroad, as well as other stresses and events in my life, things look a lot different

10 - quality time

7 - words of affirmation 

7 - acts of service 

5 - physical touch 

1 - gifts 

It's really neat to see the ways my relationships and experiences have contributed to my perceptions of what love means to me. 

Love's practicality at work. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Semester of No Shame Realizations

A few points from today that characterize  #semesterofnoshame

Alex and Theresa: Kate, your hair looks really great. It's so shiny.

Me: Thanks, I showered after practice.

First thesis meeting: red shoes, black sweater dress, pearls

Last meeting: jeans, running v-neck, denim button down, glitter knowledge scarf

Thunderstorm --------> canceled W.O.W. ------> crafting and cocoa -------> purchasing gown and cap to decorate -------> rivals ---------> trying to figure out what side the tassel goes on --------> sort of crafting -------> pizza salad on not pizza night


My advisors duped me!

I thought we were just meeting to talk about my draft of my thesis, and then I'd do edits for next week.

But they talked about my journey over the last four years, and they were so impressed with the feedback from my symposium that they told me I could be done!


Just trying to take to heart everything that they said. They wanted to encourage my passion and my talent and my voice and they have done so much for me already. Liberal arts in practice! It was a great celebration and we all cried a little and I can honestly say that they have made my Beloit College experience all the richer.

I'm so happy!

And it's spring day!

It's a really great day to be a beloiter!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Moving On

It's been a hard two weeks, but this weekend I got some really great rest, and I decided it's time to just move on and enjoy my last few weeks here. Betsy said today that it seemed like a weight had been lifted off my soul. And I should probably have just had Kelly Clarkson around to sing on cue

But for real, I got back on track with my John/commentary reading...I'd still been reading the Bible and the Jesus Storybook Bible, but I also hadn't been doing worship every day. Oh, and I cheated (I did "10" days in more like 3) on the Love Feast from Dannah Gresh's latest, Get Lost and that was really soul moving. I like spiritual disciplines. They actually do help me grow closer to God and help me abide in Him.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Personal Project

Ever since I can remember, I have engaged in some kind of extensive personal growth type activity aside from the Jesus kind of things. Sometimes these projects also benefit another person, most specifically as gifts. I work crazy hard on them; they usually span over a number of months and I spend hours doing them! Like writing people illustrated books for Christmas presents. Or reading within a certain subject I don't know much about - like in high school when I read about economics.

In any event, I am making a ton of progress on a certain project I started in January. It's starting to come together, but I had to do a bunch of math today to make that happen. I am a perfectionist when I come to these projects and the math problems  have made my brain hurt a whole lot. If I didn't refuse to use a calculator, it might be easier...whatever.

My break on it today consisted of going out to the bench swing on campus and reading awhile and then I just ended up singing some hymns softly to myself.

I also feel like I'm more back to normal. This was a really great Sunday, the kind I'm more used to having.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Love Perseveres

At my symposium today, I said that love perseveres even when it's not reciprocated.

I love love love 1 Corinthians 13 and all that it says about enduring love.

It's yadda love

Everlasting love

But sometimes, it's hard.

It's hard to care about someone who gives you one-word responses and tells you to stop checking in every day. It's hard to continue to devote yourself to someone who thanks friends profusely for spending an hour or two with her and doesn't acknowledge what it took for you to be at her reach for an entire week, holding her hand and feeding her ice chips at 4am and throughout a sleepless night.

I was reading through my personality profile again, because I remembered something about my ISTJ style (introverted, sensing, thinking, judging)

"ISTJs have a strong sense of loyalty and responsibility to their families and relationships.

They tend to express their caring through actions rather than words and assume that others will notice.

ISTJS may have difficulty making sense of needs that differ widely from their own. However, once they are convinced that something matters to a person they care about, that need becomes a reality they must deal with, whether it makes sense to them or not; they then will go to generous lengths to meet the need"

I really like this part of my personality. It's a built-in reminder that love will persevere no matter what.

Love never ends. 

Sweatpants Jeans

Sweatpants jeans: a noun referring to a particularly baggy and/or worn pair of denim, best suited to use when changing out of a fancy outfit into a more comfortable one.

Example: I finished my symposium, and then put on sweatpants jeans because I'm going to take a nap but I will eventually need to leave my room again and look somewhat presentable.

Being in public this week has been particularly exhausting. Mostly life has been exhausting and then on top of it people want to talk about my symposium and my sister, and although I have occasionally fooled people into believing I am an extravert, it is simply not true.

 I like fleece blankets and non-emergency cups of coffee. I like instrumental hymns. I like quiet, soft, calm, intimate, steady.

I like the awe

For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty! Grain shall make the young men flourish, and new wine the young women. Zechariah 9:17

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Hard Eucharisteo

Sunday was the most meaningful communion of my life and I was too exhausted to write about it and process it then, but I think I'm ready now.

Earlier this year, when I read One Thousand Gifts, I knew that it was going to be the most life-changing, non-Bible book I've ever read. And over the last months, it's continued to echo reminders of grace in my life.


I had the kind of week no one can prepare you for and no one ever wants to have. It started with the kind of phone call no one wants to get and sent me to places no one wants to be in.

In the early morning, I read.

Lean into the ugly 

Whisper thanks 

Give thanks for all things

At all times 

Because He is all good. 

Finding ways to give thanks in the darkness didn't mean it wasn't the hardest thing I've ever done. It meant I was receiving the grace to do it for another minute, hour, day. 

And the grace strung those days together, turning fear into gratitude and desperation into hope. 

Until, it was time to face the eucharist on Sunday morning. 

The ultimate giving of thanks. 

I walked into church and I saw those communion plates shining gold right up in front and my heart went to my stomach. Tears flowed freely and my neighbor wordlessly acquired a box of tissues. I sat in the church at the cross and let the lament happen. Everything I didn't let myself feel all week poured itself right out of my heart. And then I took that bread - the Word of God - on which I survive, the Body of Christ broken for me, and looked around at my family, my church family, doing this together. We took the cup - the Blood of Jesus - poured out for our salvation, our life, and how do you not rejoice? 

And that's when I felt it the realest I ever have: eucharisteo joy is not just about giving thanks when things are common or good or great, it's about giving thanks when it's as dark as it can possibly be and we're just hoping for one candle to be lit. It's about believing in a light that will shine in the darkness and not be overcome. 

I've found myself wishing I had three hands because then I could play guitar and raise one hand up in lamenting worship and express my honesty and eucharisteo physically as well as with my heart. 

I read Hosea this week and it solidified its place as my favorite book. I read it and I see who I am and who I'm not and it stills me. 

Therefore, behold, I will allure her and bring her into the wilderness, and I will speak tenderly and to her heart. There I will give her vineyards and make the valley of Achor [troubling] to be for her a door of hope and expectation. And she shall sing there and respond as in the days of her youth and as the time when she came up out of the land of Egypt. Hosea 2:14-15

That just makes me fall deeper in a sea of love. The valley of troubling becomes a door of hope. She will sing. 

I drew them with cords of kindness, with bands of love, and I was to them as one who lifts up and eases the yoke over their cheeks, and I bent down to them and gently laid food before them. Hosea 11:4

I knew (recognized, understood, and had regard for) you in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. Hosea 13:5

To be understood when you are confused, to be found when you are lost, to be known when you feel so very small, this is the river of eucharisteo satisfying the aching dryness of a weary soul.

But I think the hardest part of the hard eucharisteo is coming to terms with how selfish I am and how little I think of other people, and then when I do, how hard and foreign it is to put myself last over and over again. I don't know how to do that, and I don't like how it feels and I don't like that I don't like it. I am selfish and foolish and I only want the good and I can't see that God is good at all times. 

And so I sit with the body and the Body and the Blood and I weep and I give repent and I give thanks and I lament. 


Return to your rest, o my soul
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. 
Psalm 116:7 

Let the Waters Rise

For the third day in a row, I've woken up to rain. It's been nice.

I love this. Infinitely.

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. 

Let the Waters Rise - Mikeschair

Don't know where to begin
Its like my world's caving in
And I try but I can't control my fear
Where do I go from here?

Sometimes its so hard to pray
When You feel so far away
But I am willing to go
Where you want me to
God, I trust You

There's a raging sea
Right in front of me
Wants to pull me in
Bring me to my knees
So let the waters rise
If You want them to
I will follow You
I will follow You
I will follow You

I will swim in the deep
'Cuz You'll be next to me
You're in the eye of the storm
And the calm of the sea
You're never out of reach

God, You know where I've been
You were there with me then
You were faithful before
You'll be faithful again
I'm holding Your hand

There's a raging sea
Right in front of me
Wants to pull me in
Bring me to my knees
So let the waters rise
If You want them to
I will follow You
I will follow You
I will follow You

God Your love is enough
You will pull me through
I'm holding onto You
God Your love is enough
I will follow You
I will follow You

There's a raging sea
Right in front of me
Wants to pull me in
Bring me to my knees
So let the waters rise
If You want them to
I will follow You
I will follow You
I will follow You

Monday, April 8, 2013

Jesus Storybook Bible

When Christina visited me, she introduced me to the Jesus Storybook Bible. It is, as you may have guessed, for children. It highlights a lot of stories in the Bible, and shows God's plan for salvation, hope, and life in Jesus from the very beginning. In short, it's amazing.

I had it on kindle, but I loved it so much I wanted a hard copy, and it came today. It is real, biblical truth, in the most simple, concise form. I absolutely love it. It's the perfect study break or way to relax after a hard day.

I have a lot of favorites in here, but one is from the story of Leah and Rachel. Jacob works for seven years to have Rachel as a wife, and then his father tricks him and gives him Leah instead. He works another seven years for Rachel as a second wife, but he loves her best.

"'No one loves me,' Leah said. 'I'm too ugly'.

But God didn't think she was ugly. And when he saw that Leah was not loved and that no one wanted her, God chose her - to love her specially, to give her a very important job. One day, God was going to rescue the whole world - through Leah's family.

Now when Leah knew that God loved her, in her heart, suddenly it didn't matter anymore whether her husband loved her the best, or if she was the prettiest. Someone had chosen her, someone did love her - with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.

So when Leah had a baby boy she called him Judah, which means, 'This time I will praise the Lord!' And that's just what she did.

And you'll never guess what job God gave Leah. You see, when God looked at Leah, he saw a princess. And sure enough, that's exactly what she became. One of Leah's children's children's children would be a prince - the Prince of Heaven - God's Son.

This Prince would love God's people. They wouldn't need to be beautiful for him to love them. He would love them with all of his heat. And they would be beautiful because he loved them.

Like Leah."

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I Went Outside

After I got over the fact that it was sunny, I decided it might be kind of a good idea to leave my bed.

*Despite the fact that it was 60 degrees out, I somehow managed to spend almost 4 hours wearing leggings, a long sleeve, and a sweatshirt, and laying underneath jersey sheets (which are the best because they feel like your favorite old t shirt), a comforter, a double-layer waffle fleece blanket, and a single fleece as well*

Even though the first attempt at doing so was not that great, staying there for the rest of the month is not an option.

I also thought eating might be a good choice. I was very ambitious and picked Bushel and Peck's because I figured they would have a decent soup. I ordered a cup of vegetable soup and it was gross. It was probably very good to a normal person, however, to me, it was not, so I stopped.

I sat on a bench by the river on the way home and read some Anne of Green Gables. Downloading the Anne books onto my kindle was a very good life decision. I read all of these books in fifth grade and they were my favorite thing; I liked them even more than jump roping and doing gymnastics to freak out the aids at recess.

Then I went to Pearson's and bought a Sierra Mist. Another good idea.

And I ate oatmeal and I didn't hate it.

Things are looking up.

It's Sunny

Today is a really beautiful day. Really, really beautiful.

I went to church but I am still tired and anxious and processing. I feel like I put up a wall between me and everyone else because I didn't want to get too close

I came home and put on afternoon clothes and got under all my blankets. I stayed there for almost 3 hours. When I woke up, my thought was, "Is it really still sunny?"

I was actually irritated by that.

Is it graduation yet?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Pact

About two months ago, I re-read The Pact by Jodi Picoult. I was repulsed. I've been contemplating sharing what I wrote in my journal about it for awhile, and I figure now is as good a time as any:

I'm reading The Pact and it's really making me angry. Before, before I had any reason to be trouble by it, I had liked it. I had been swept up in the love story. I had liked Chris. But now, now that Jess attempted and her boyfriend helped stop her, I hate Chris. He sucks. He should've told someone. Emily had problems and needed real help. If Jess had confided in someone, and that person hadn't told anyone, and she'd died, I would never have been able to express the depths of my anger towards that person. For months after, I had nightmares. Even now, I still do. I've dreamed she was trying to tell me something and I was too concerned about myself. 

Suicide affects everyone it touches, forever. No matter how well the person is doing now, no matter how good you feel about where she's at, you will never ever forget that moment, that heart on the floor, gut wrenching moment when you realized your best friend was in such pain that she thought no life was worth living, and you didn't know how to help her. It is a club no one wants to belong to, and even worse is the club for those who are left when someone "succeeds". I've always found that expression unbearable. Success. As if anyone wins here. Why are the dead winners and the living failures in the statistics? No one wins. 

I have now officially finished. I read all the way through - the acknowledgements, the critical acclaim. My stomach dropped reading the praise. You might tell me, maybe I need to get over it, maybe it's just a book, but I wonder how many of those people would have said the same great things about this book if they'd woken up at 3am, 4,000 miles away from their family, sweating and in tears because they couldn't figure out if their sister had actually killed herself or if it was just another nightmare. I wonder if they had spent hours kneeling in prayer for their friend's sister and family. I wonder how many families they have watched be eaten alive by their worry and fear. And it makes me realize how hard it is to be compassionate. Because I was like them, recommending this book, applauding Picoult's craftsmanship, falling in love with its main character (who is also arguably a rapist); I didn't know on the other side of things. But now I do. I know, all too well. 

Hard Tired Meh

Well this was definitely the hardest week of my life so far and I don't particularly feel like talking about it all that much but I am exhausted and this will be my first night in Beloit since Sunday night when I was exhausted from Easter and still stressed about the first issue.

It's raining, though, which is nice.

I had a lot of great support this week and really appreciate everyone I have in my life.

I think I'm going to bed.