April 29, 2011

that’s how i feel since i’ve moved here. completely inundated with new information, people, ideas, experiences, and challenges. it is good. it is hard. it is a blessing. here’s a tip of the iceburg…

❤  community. it’s hard. you have to work at it. you will get from it what you put into it. openness is so crucial. you can’t ignore conflict or pretend that it doesn’t exist, that makes things miserable for everyone. you have to be very intentional about solitude and silence in community. it can be a very holistic way of living life. i value so much about life in community and hope to take much from this experience into the next season of life.
❤  faith. it looks different for everyone. you can’t put it in a box. there are so many unique and beautiful expressions of it. the power and grace of God are much bigger and more mysterious than i’ve always given him credit for. i think heaven is full of surprises.
❤  anxiety. “anxiety is God’s gift to you to say that what you’re putting your hope/faith in is not powerful…not enough…not working out…it’s not him.”
i’ve been doing a lot of learning and seeking as to what in my life brings me anxiety and why. my conclusion has been that when i feel out of control, i become anxious. (re: relationships, illness, future, situations, experiences, etc.) also, when my hope and confidence are rooted in temporary and worldly things instead of Christ, i will be let down, worry, and not be at peace. how do you find inner peace when everything around you seems to be chaotic and loud and out of control? i don’t have the answer. but i am sure seeking it.
“you keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”  isaiah 26:3
❤  mental illness/challenge. i don’t really know where to begin on this one…other than that i feel like i’ve learned a ton in the past seven months, yet i feel as though i know hardly anything about it. it is heartbreaking and beautiful. it’s a mystery…one that the more we research and learn about, we realize how little we understand it.
❤  presence. being fully present emotionally, mentally, spiritually is so important. it is the only way to truly experience people, moments, life. otherwise, you are cheating those you are with and whatever it is you are experiencing. if my thoughts are consumed by so-and-so in such and such place…or about august and what it holds…then i am virtually in those places/times with those people/things. and i am not HERE, NOW. i am learning that my presence in moments is a way to love and live more fully. I have a desire to be everywhere with everyone at all times. this is not possible. i am one person. i can not do it all. i can not be all things to all people. i am not called to be.
❤  larche. it has taught me so much. and i believe it has so much more to teach me. it is my community of friends. i miss them when i am not with them. they bring me life in beautiful ways.
❤  long-distance relationships. these are very hard to maintain. you have to be really really intentional. i fail a lot. i miss a lot of people. thankfully, i have the opportunity to talk to and see loved ones a lot. (thank you, skype)
❤  grace. “the grace of God means something like: here is your life. you might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. here is the world. beautiful and terrible things will happen. don’t be afraid. i am with you.” – frederick buechner
grace is where freedom lies. in a society where you have to work for everything that you get…earn and measure up and prove…grace is a foreign concept. i am no exception to the difficulty in understanding this beautiful gift. grace has been given to me, and it is mine forever. i didn’t and don’t deserve it, but it’s mine. i don’t have to work for it. i don’t have to work for it. i don’t have to work for it. his mercies are new every morning. i am free from guilt.
“may we be set free from the tyranny of believing that we are what we do…”
❤  identity. this one is huge for me lately. i’ve been learning so much about identity. who/what i identify with and why. what that says about God, allison, and how i think of and love people and this world. identity is so important.
❤  vocation. [call]  [direction]  [force of attraction]
“there are things you do because they feel right and they make no sense and they make no money and it may be the real reason why we are here: to love each other and to eat each others cooking and say it was good.” – brian andreas
the ideas encompassed in this saying have weighed heavy on me this year. i am very far away from all of my family and the friends i have had previous to this season. yet, i believe i am where i’m supposed to be.

about the northwest…
it’s wet here. all the time. you can’t just sit in the grass at a park…even if it hasn’t rained in a couple of days, it will still be wet. moss grows on everything…houses, sidewalks, trees, cars if you leave them for too long…you name it, green, spongy moss probably grows on it.
people here don’t generally assume you are a certain way or believe certain things. and you can’t assume anyone else is…there is quite the array of people in these parts as compared to the good ol’ bible belt.  most people are quite open to the possibilities of you, who you are, what you hold inside, and what you believe.
everyone here recycles. EVERYONE. it’s really great. also there is an opportunity to recycle at most public places. and a lot of disposable materials are made recyclable or compostable.
i go on walks to meet up with friends. lots of people here go on walks.
there are a lot of parks. lots of trees. lots of tall trees…tons of evergreens.
it’s generally grey here. supposedly as of a week ago we had had 6 days of sunshine in the past 150. it’s still regularly in the low 40’s all day. it doesn’t generally rain very hard here…just a often. we don’t have thunder and lightening storms. it’s just grey. grey grey grey.
there’s a really cool sense of the importance of community here.
people here don’t really have accents…and they notice when you have one.
the outdoors are very important to a lot of people here. everyone has outdoor hobbies and whenever there is a nice day…EVERYONE is outside. i love it.
most days i can’t see rainier…even though it’s so close that on a clear day i can see it from my bedroom window. however, most days you can catch a glimpse of the smaller cascades. that’s pretty amazing thing to be a part of my daily routine.
it’s no florida…but it has its charm. 🙂


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