Monday, June 24, 2013

good friend || life

Life has gotten extremely busy. I get tired easily with work, commuting and keeping up with family and friends. I have two more months of this and then it's off to school again. 

I want to share this with you. I've been thinking a lot about friends, friendships and how it all works. I'm still figuring it all out. Learning to be a good friend and wanting to be a good friend has always and will always be a priority for me. 

In grade 8 we had a huge assignment called the "HOW TO" project. We had to teach the class how to do something. People had things like "how to make the perfect cookie" or "how to write a good story" or "how to draw". I decided to do "How to be a good friend" I should go find that and see what my 13-year old self suggested in being a good friend because I can't seem to really figure it out. 

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” 
― Henri J.M. NouwenThe Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey

“A friend is more than a therapist or confessor, even though a friend can sometimes heal us and offer us God's forgiveness. A friend is that other person with whom we can share our solitude, our silence, and our prayer. A friend is that other person with whom we can look at a tree and say, "Isn't that beautiful," or sit on the beach and silently watch the sun disappear under the horizon. With a friend we don't have to say or do something special. With a friend we can be still and know that God is there with both of us.” 
― Henri J.M. Nouwen

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

this love || life

“This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience - it looks for a way of being constructive.
Love is not possessive.
Love is not anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own ideas.
Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage.
Love is not touchy.
Love does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. 

On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails.
Love knows no limits to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that stands when all else has fallen.”

- Elisabeth Elliot

Saturday, June 8, 2013

a beautiful mess || faith

I originally had a long, rant-like post queued up to post but couldn't, for one reason or another, press 'publish'. I feel like I'm facing all these broken little pieces in me and it's finally time to pick them up and do something about them. It's nearly impossible to put them all together to make what was. Instead I hold on to 2 Corinthians 5:7 'Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old is gone, the new is here!'

“When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games. Aristotle said I am a rational animal; I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer.

To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God's grace means. As Thomas Merton put it, "A saint is not someone who is good but who experiences the goodness of God."

The gospel of grace nullifies our adulation of televangelists, charismatic superstars, and local church heroes. It obliterates the two-class citizenship theory operative in many American churches. For grace proclaims the awesome truth that all is gift. All that is good is ours not by right but by the sheer bounty of a gracious God. While there is much we may have earned--our degree and our salary, our home and garden, a Miller Lite and a good night's sleep--all this is possible only because we have been given so much: life itself, eyes to see and hands to touch, a mind to shape ideas, and a heart to beat with love. We have been given God in our souls and Christ in our flesh. We have the power to believe where others deny, to hope where others despair, to love where others hurt. This and so much more is sheer gift; it is not reward for our faithfulness, our generous disposition, or our heroic life of prayer. Even our fidelity is a gift, "If we but turn to God," said St. Augustine, "that itself is a gift of God." 

My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” 

- Brennan Manning 'Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out'