Sunday, September 30, 2007

Endless Song

there is an endless song,
echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring
and though the storms may come,
I am holding on,
and to the rock I cling.

how can I keep from singing Your praise?
how can I ever say enough?
how amazing is Your love?
how can I keep from shouting Your name?
I know I am loved by the King
and it makes my heart want to sing

I will lift my eyes
in the darkest night
for I know my Savior lives
and I will walk with You
knowing You see me through
and sing the songs You give

how can I keep from singing Your praise?
how can I ever say enough?
how amazing is Your love?
how can I keep from shouting Your name?
I know I am loved by the King
and it makes my heart want to sing

I can sing in the troubled times,
sing when I win.
I can sing when I lose my step,
and I fall down again.
I can sing 'cause You pick me up,
sing 'cause You're there
I can sing 'cause You hear me Lord,
when I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
sing for I know
that I'll sing with the angels,
and the saints around the throne

how can I keep from singing Your praise?
how can I ever say enough?
how amazing is Your love?
how can I keep from shouting Your name?
I know I am loved by the King
and it makes my heart want to sing

-Chris Tomlin

Amy played this song on the piano this afternoon and we belted out the words from my apartment. Though the brisk, chilly weather calls for hot chocolate with jet-puffed marshmallows, we ate fudgesicles like it should still be summertime.

Being 'chosen' by Chrislyn to be her 'model' for her photography assignment made my day. She took pictures of me while I sat on a swing and sang along to my ipod - a lovely combo!

"The Office" season premiere brought 14 friends over for a nacho feast and homemade cookies, not to mention loads of laughter at Michael's absurdity.

I took Samba dance lessons last night and then watched "Freedom Writers" - I recommend both. :) Long phone conversations with friends 5 minutes away and friends far away leave me feeling loved and ready to love.

My new job, piano music, fudgesicles, "The Office", photos, dance lessons, conversations...
These things really do make my heart sing. I know I am loved by the King.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

All good things come to an end

...and so does unemployment! In just 16 days, I'll be starting my dream job as the Area Residence Coordinator at Northwest Christian College in the Oregon Duck-crazed city of Eugene. I'm thinking about adding two things to my wardrobe upon my arrival: a green U of O sweatshirt and an NCC Beacons t-shirt. You know, the necessities. :) Maybe my 4 months of non-shaven Bolivia legs will help ease the transition into this hippie culture?

100 students live on campus and I get to know them all! I'll work with 7 RAs and live on campus in a cozy apartment inside the dormitory. There are several quirks that accompany the close proximity of the U of O campus. A frat house neighbors one of the dorms. My apartment is across the street from a bar. I'll get a true taste of college-town life where establishments are hopping past 9pm, although I will miss the familiarity of seeing 9 Fox students at Fred Meyer at 10:56pm because it's the only place still open for another 4 minutes.

Weeknight and weekend commitments, one on ones, deep conversations at coffee shops, the college cafeteria, quiet hours... all to be part of my life again. Only this time, I'm not studying for exams or attending classes. This has been my dream since my sophomore year as an RA. I sat on my fold out bed on Ed One across from my AAC. I shared my dreams with her, and even as a naive 19 year old whose major was still "undecided", I was confident in my calling to Student Life. I remember thinking it was so cool that there was a job where "someone gets paid to take college students out for coffee." Granted, there is much more to this job than drinking coffee, and I'm pleased to say the love for this caffeinated beverage extends to student life professionals everywhere! (I was treated to coffee during both of my visits to NCC.)

I'll soon pull my "trunk-o-funk" out of storage to dress up for various activities. My favorite jeans, zip-up hoodie and sandals will soon be replaced by professional garb as I start work in an office. This means a paycheck (yahoo!), my very own parking space, and a business card. This all sounds very career-ish.

I'm shaking my head in disbelief and a smile is appearing on my face as I think about God's impeccable timing. All the closed doors up to this point meant God was preparing the perfect match for me.

There is something to be said about waiting for God's best and trusting the desires God has placed on your heart. An email from a good friend in Mexico encouraged me today: "I remember you sharing a verse with me that you like. Trust in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart -- Psalm something or other. And when you worked at Tilikum you came across a different version that said something like obey/do what the Lord wants and he will give you what YOU want. Don't remember the exact words but LOOK!!!! God was totally holding out on all those other jobs because he had something better in store for you. Something that was a DESIRE in YOUR heart and something that YOU wanted!!!! Wow, the stories never end with God's faithfulness."

Psalm 37:4 - "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Delighting means serving and seeking wholeheartedly. My friend is exactly right; God has never failed me and the stories of His provision in my life keep getting better. I refused to settle on a job that didn't excite me; trusting the desires God placed in my heart left me available and ready for the best.

Now I'm waiting for God to provide a 3rd roommate for the amazing amazing amazing girls I've been living with, furniture to furnish my space in Eugene, a new church, a spiritual mentor/teacher, and friends to compensate for the families I'm leaving in Grants Pass and Portland.

At least I-5 North and South will lead me right to people I love... just a couple hours away. :)

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Sitting on the carpet with my laptop in front of me, I look ahead. The side door to my apartment stands open, tempting me to visit the concrete patio of our tiny "veranda" which offers a stunning view of the parking lot. I imagine myself venturing outside, my bare feet soaking up the cool ground, the breeze gently awakening my senses and dancing through my freshly washed, untamed hair. I imagine the butterflies in my stomach spreading to my whole body where I uninhibitedly dance about, shouting at the top of my lungs, waving my arms above my head, letting the laughs erupt and the tears escape. It's a comical image that has been in my daydreams for a few weeks.

I feel alive. And I'm pleasantly surprised. :)

Very few things in my life make sense right now. I'm caught up in a perpetual state of searching - for where I belong, for a job, how to integrate the discomforts of Bolivia into the comforts of the United States, and how to find peace in the midst of so much tension. In this place of seeking, I'm keenly aware of my emotions. My senses are heightened. I am facing the challenges of sacrifice, abandonment, surrender, trust, and obedience. My faith is real.

Maybe it all makes more sense than I like to think.

If only the view of the parking lot weren't quite so grand (I'd much prefer a vast meadow, Tilikum Lake, a far away view of city lights, or a glorious mountain range), my neighbors not so near, and social norms not so restricting.