Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Soul Longings

In a completely spontaneous moment, I ran into my best friend from elementary and middle school at church.  Seeing her brought me back to my wistful, ten-year-old self who knew every Point of Grace song by heart and wore (all too regularly) a favorite, intentionally-over-sized t-shirt that said, "People Use Duct Tape to Fix Everything.  God Used Nails."

Obviously, I was completely ridiculous.  The Christianese has escaped my vocabulary, and the poor fashion stays in the closet...for the most part.  For these changes I am thankful.  The twelve-year-old nostalgia brought back more than memories of awkward fashion, and I realized that at this age, my family traveled abroad, and I went on my first missions project to Morocco.  I failed to appreciate the cultural experience, and overall the trip was awful.  When I wasn't fighting with my mother, I threw up every five seconds.  I can't name half the cities we visited or names of people we met, but with complete clarity I remember what I thought while holding sweet, baby Karim, and listening to the story of how his adoptive mother found him next to a dumpster only a few months before:  if I hold baby Karims for the rest of my life, I will be content.

It's odd, I think, what sticks with us as we age and change.  I can't escape the desire to find the Karims of the world.  Some people refer to it as a "calling," and others call it "vocation," but I like the term "soul longing."  It's the idea we can't explain despite the passage of time or our efforts to try other things.  Somehow everything makes sense in the context of those moments, even when we have opportunities more advantageous, logical, or prestigious.  Most importantly, in those moments we feel most alive.  When we are not experiencing a soul longing, we're chasing after one.

In the story of Jesus' early life, Scripture says that his mother, Mary, watched him and "treasured" all the moments "inside her heart."  I'm not a theologian, but when I read that, I think that Mary's soul felt a bit like my own while holding Karim.  Mary knew that giving life to the world's savior was her deepest calling and the experience that would forever define her existence, her very own soul longing.  She treasured those moments, because she knew what they meant and implied for the remainder of her life. 

Remembering that 10-year-old me makes me long for those moments and places where I feel that completeness more than ever.  In that place there are no professional hoops to jump through or frustrated desires.  Just being.  But then I consider that while in that state, there's no longer necessity to get better. Essentially that's the end.  And I am so far from being ready for the end.  And that alone motivates me to jump through the hoops, try things on for size, and make some horrific blunders.  Because if I'm not doing that, I suppose I'm not living at all.

So my hope for you, for me, is that we stay quiet in those moments when our souls long and find the courage to chase those longings without thinking too hard or feeling too little until Christ decides to complete us.


Friday, July 1, 2011

When I'm Not Blogging...


... I am doing these fun summer things!! (or wanting to do them before grad school begins in September) You gotta have a little listy-list to make the time worthwhile.

1.  Go on a vacation.
2.  Run a 5k.
3.  Finish the Millenium trilogy.
4.  Camp in the sanddunes.
5.  Roadtrip somewhere.
6.  Pick fresh berries.  And make some homemade jam to give to my new neighbors!
7.  Host a backyard party!  Cocktails and Yummies
8.  Run every day of one week.
9.  Make organic cleaners.  (Away with you, awful toxins!)
10.  Tube down the river.
11.  Obtain a kick-ass suntan.  
12.  No TV for a week.  (Netflix has destroyed me!)
13.  Brew wine.
14.  Have a girls' sleepover then go to Snooze for breakfast the following morning.
15.  Hike a 14er.
16.  Go to one of those wine tastings for singles... shame, I know, but then I can say I've done it.  And I'll get to wear a sexy dress.
17.  Visit Mesa Verde.
18.  Go to the Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs!! :)
19.  Learn how to make sushi!
20.  Hike to a listen to a concert at Red Rocks.
21.  Tour New Belgium brewery.
23.  Paint something worth hanging on the wall of the new apartment.
24.  Kayak at the pretty lakes up I-70.
25.  Take Dad to a Rockies game!

And plenty more.  What are you up to this summer?

The Birds and the Bees sing in the trees.  La-da-di-do-da!