Category Archives: extemporaneous notions

“Some things in life may change and some things they stay the same”

Introspect verb: to consider one’s own internal state or feelings, to look into or examine (one’s own mind, feelings, etc.)

After almost years of abandonment, yes, I am going to start this blog off with the cheesy and highly overused “quote the dictionary” trick. I haven’t been as committed to this blog in the past few years thanks to a few other adventures – traveling the world and getting married. It seemed they needed a blog of their own. Yesterday though, I glanced through these past “articulations” as I liked to call them and found a part of me that I had lost.

Recently, one of my supervisors referred to me as “introspective” which I’d never heard as a description of myself before then. It took me off guard, and I honestly did have to look it up to truly discover what it meant. Although it was said offhand, I can’t forget it or what it meant to hear it.

Despite the last few “adventure” blogs being a hit with the general public, it leaves me with no place to declare some of those examinations of my mind, feelings, and internal state. Does that mean those blogs are more shallow? Maybe. They were written for an audience, one that I must have deemed unable to handle the random and seemingly complex thoughts I once wrote. Maybe I felt they were too private to share with strangers. Or maybe I just wanted to voice my thoughts consistently, focusing only on one topic at a time. Either way, I stopped sharing some of my personal revelations.

As I am now married and thanks to an overwhelmingly limited amount of PTO, I don’t think a wedding blog or travel blog have much staying power. So what next? Find another topic to pour into? Consider my life and decide what will make the best blog? Revert to this long forgotten blog to record those ambiguous thoughts that occur throughout the day? What am I saying, and who is listening?

I want to convey, reveal, and even “articulate” the observations I make and the realities I discover. I want to write in a way that convinces someone to consider, forces me reflect, and alters any preconceived notions. I want to do what I’m meant to do.

Lyrics from Older Chests by Damien Rice.

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“Going to the chapel…”

Since my last adventure of traveling to ten different countries things have changed. I am happy to announce that I am engaged. A completely different setting than traveling the world and running into other nomads, I am now looking at apartments with my husband-to-be. It was such a great experience to travel and to be honest, if I hadn’t done so, I never would have been ready to settle down. My life is different now, but change is good. I am very excited for what marriage may bring and have had quite the time planning a wedding thus far. As with all my adventures, a new blog can keep you informed.

Lyrics from The Chapel of Love by the Dixie Cups.

“Empty handed, surrounded by a senseless scene”

In a week I’ll be packing up my alloted one suitcase, one carry-on, and purse. A week from tomorrow I will kiss loved ones goodbye and get on a plane to China for the next month. 

No, it’s not a mission trip.

I am very sure in my faith and if the opportunity presents itself, you can be certain I’ll share what I believe. My Bible will be with me at all times and read frequently. I will be praying for whatever God’s will is for this trip, and I implore you to do the same.  

Overall, I want to travel. The trip is through study abroad, and I’ll get some college credit for going. I know of others also going to China this summer through a campus ministry and that is great. I will admit however that sometimes I feel slight dissonance about being a Christian and going on a trip that does not revolve around missions. 

Perhaps it is my own projected apprehension, or maybe there actually is a sense of disappointment among certain circles. Regardless, please know that I have not abandoned my faith, but I have learned a lot from short term mission trips in the past. In my experience, I’ve probably gained more from those trips than the people I helped. Through such experiences I have grown both spiritually and as a person. Short term missions have a definite place and are important, however there is also a point in ones life when you want something more. 

I don’t want to spend only a week helping kids that see dozens of church groups a year. In my opinion, mission trips should not be used for travel. While there are people all over the world in need of love, there are several people equally deprived of knowing God’s love here, in the middle of Iowa. You have more than a week to love on them and pour into them. In fact, you can be their friend all the time, not for 10 days. That all being said, I do not think it is wrong to go on mission trips. I understand and believe that some people have a heart for overseas missions. Maybe one day I’ll be in a place in my life to do that long-term. Otherwise, I’d hope live my life as one big mission trip… to nowhere but where I already am. 

Hence, my travels will be primarily for educational and personal purposes. I have no doubt that God will have a significant part in everything I do abroad. I am unsure of what will happen or even how much contact I’ll have with those in the states. My goal is to be open to new understanding and to grow in my experiences.  You are welcome to follow my journey (as internet availability permits) on my newly created blog. Otherwise, I hope all of you, my fellow blogging friends, have an excellent summer wherever it may be.

Lyrics from See the World by Gomez.

“My deepest concerns will stay buried and unspoken”

When you are a child, your parents hold the power. You do as they tell you to do. You might kick and scream the whole time, but they make the final call. The idea behind this act is that they know what’s best for you, and you are not capable of making reasonable decisions at such a young age. In the book of Proverbs, it says “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”  The ultimate goal of parenting is to raise their children to learn what’s best and how to make those decisions on their own. As these children learn and grow, they do not need to depend quite so frequently on their parents.

Therein lies the major dilemma. Parents know how to play a particular role our entire lives. They know how to hold our hands, make our most important decisions, and tell us when it’s past our bedtime. Of course, this is hardly an exhaustive list, as the responsibilities of a parent are numerous and done sacrificially out of love.  It does become tricky however if they’ve raised us to the point where we are capable and intelligent and no longer need their constant assistance. There is a total separation in the relationship based on the change in roles. Their question becomes, “What part do I play in my child’s life?”  

The best part is, this question is never answered. Many parents struggling how to answer this question were once or probably still are wishing their parents knew the line between “help” and dictating how their lives should go. So how to deal? Some parents take the friends route. 

While this route may be a decent one to take, it still carries its own downsides. You can’t be friends with your parents. It sounds harsh and ridiculous, but think about it. Your friends act differently than your parents and likewise so are your relationships. You can try and be friends, but after a certain point a line is crossed. Without meaning to, someone reverts back to their previous roles and the friendship is not a friendship. Quite simply, a child cannot talk to his or her mom the same way he or she talks to her friends all the time. 

A few of my friends call their parents everyday, but they are the same people that still heavily rely on their parents. This is not wrong, but it is not independent either. They are so close to each other because the parents are still able to carry on the same supportive role. I find it especially interesting to see the same sort of conflict with those a few years older than me. They are a little more settled down and have careers and whatnot, but still they struggle to find this balance between friendship and over-involved parenting. 

If nothing else, I think it should be acknowledged and understood that there has to be a balance and continual effort. 

Lyrics from No Phone by Cake.

“Is there any point in wondering why, any point in wondering why”

There is an issue in the church that has to do with a lack of boundaries. You’ll probably find it in most churches, and it is an epidemic that could very easily wipe out any church population. The main crisis at hand is the fact that the church does not function as it should. What needs to happen is everyone should contribute…on their own free will. 

What I mean by this is that there are certain gifts bestowed upon each person, however not every person actively uses his or her gift. Because of this, those that have graciously given of themselves are left with the burden of all of the responsibilities of the church. 90% percent of church-goers are suddenly relying on the remaining 10% to get everything done. Unfortunately, there are countless consequences of this effect. 

Some of these may include – an over dependence on a small portion of the church yields less work, those doing all of the work are burned out, those not contributing feel outside of their own church, and people are easily taken advantage of.

I’m only going to rant about one of the consequences, but please note that there are several. People get taken advantage of – at church. Imagine! Is saying no to someone at church being selfish? The answer is no, yet people are constantly feeling the pressure and suddenly in over their head. Volunteer yourself, don’t drag me into this. 

Then the trust is broken. Awkwardness at church. It is no longer a safe haven or place of worship, but rather feels like somewhere to avoid. It is such an awful set-up. There needs to be a lesson on saying, “No” or “I have enough on my plate right now.” But more importantly, there needs to be the kindness from those cornering others…maybe no more cornering? 

So much babble for an issue that will never be resolved. If nothing else, it needs to be recognized. 

Lyrics from Another Little Hole by Aqualung.

“When it isn’t just a game, it’s the way we come undone”

March 20th, just one week ago, marked the beginning of spring. With spring comes change, new life, new rain, new love. The darkness of winter dies while the warm air embraces us. Each morning the sun shines earlier and brighter as we awaken to the birds singing nearby. Although New Years Resolutions start to fade, this is the time when transformation really occurs.

Blush a little, look across, coffee date

Seek advice, look around, find a mate,

Reconsider, look again, contemplate 

You decide, look away, must we wait?

Get engaged, look at rings, save the date,

Say the vows, look no more, celebrate

I can’t help but notice the rapid relationship changes sprouting all around me. Some are starting, others progressing, and some are done. It seems to commonly occur around this time, but I’ve never been able to put my finger on why. Jump on the bandwagon,  it’s going to be a bumpy ride. 

Lyrics from Snakes and Ladders by Basia Bulat.

“So I crawl back into your arms…”

I have flaws. I am inadequate. I let people down. I hurt feelings.  I make inexcusable excuses. I make mistakes. I make compromises. I fail. I can’t live up to your standards. I can’t give in to your demands. I run out of time. I run out of energy. I fall behind. I can’t get it right. 

At a point of exhaustion I find it impossible to get back up. I will and no doubt have, but unfortunately I don’t accomplish everything I wanted to along the way. It’s then that I wonder if I have ever done something right. All in all, it is a frustrating thing. I want so badly to do everything, but can’t. I was not called to be humanly perfect.

My only consolation is Martha and Mary. In Luke chapter 10 it talks about these two sisters. The first one is “distracted by all the preparations” and she wants her sister to help her. Jesus simply replies, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed..”

I want to focus on one thing. That’s all. My house might not be clean and dinner might not be picture perfect. Just give me Jesus.

Lyrics from Warning Sign by Coldplay.