Peppermint Tea

Nothing soothes the savage beast quite like peppermint tea.
The beast was (and is) primarily composed of Motivational Presentations and its accompanying accoutrements, 1 John translations, a headache, nausea, and oh, yes. Life.

Thankfully, Michael Buble and Nat “King” Cole are also soothing my sorrows.
So is an early bed time.

Good night, all!

Daddy Love and Fundraising

It was a Monday, y’all, but a good Monday.

I’ve been loving my hair, despite horrifying all the men in my life (with the exception of my father) and causing all the women in my life to drool. You see, short hair has very different effects on the different genders. Women love it because all they can think is, “That must be so easy”. And yes, it is. But I also like how it looks and feels, in addition to how easy it is. Guys are just…shocked by such scantily clad scalps on us women. Which is alright. Because there are a few, a very few men out there (like Daddy) who actually like short hair on women. And that’s the kind of man I need to find. Simple as that.

Last year, for my dad’s birthday, I wrote a long post dedicated to him. And I’m not this year because I just can’t repeat. I can’t sum up, or outdo, or truly express in words how much I love that man. I got to talk to him today on the phone, and the sound of his voice just fills my insides with this warm, cuddly feeling of security.
He is who I first learned true submission from. Submission that doesn’t even feel like submission because you love someone so much, and know they love you more than their next breath, that whatever they ask you to do must be good. It feels like a pleasure to obey, and you almost forget you’re obeying. He’s who taught me what a man loving his wife (and daughters) like Christ loved the church really looks like.
He taught me I don’t have to settle. That there are men out there who love, respect, serve their wives. There are men who make you laugh, who laugh at and with you, who can cry with you. Who are supportive, strong, and yet allow you to see their vulnerabilities, who let you be a helpmeet.
I want that.

I can’t wait to see my dad in three weeks.

On a slightly different familial note, I have started fundraising for an MS walk. It’s through the National MS Society, and will happen on May 3, at Furman University. I set a basic goal of $125, primarily to raise money from one of my classes. I am supposed to give a motivational speech that requires a specific action of the hearer. And I thought that $5 from each student would be an achievable goal, and something that I could really strongly support. I’m…a tad passionate about MS research, for obvious reasons. I posted to my facebook my goal and the link for donating, not really thinking anything would come of it.
But because of two generous donors, I already have exceeded my goal of 125. Which means I’m raising my goal.
And that God is good.

Scattered Reflections

Last night in prayer group, Kweeta mentioned something about Satan not being able to keep Jesus dead. That there was no way for Satan to win. And a thought struck me: because there was no way for Satan to win, he couldn’t have kept Jesus from dying, either. Jesus was going to die. He was going to pay our penalty. He was not going to stay dead. He was going to be our Savior. Nothing Satan could do could undo God’s divine plan. I’m not sure if that makes sense to anyone but me, but I love that Satan couldn’t keep Jesus from dying for us. He couldn’t taunt Christ off the cross.

Every Easter, I’m struck anew by God’s amazing love story to us. The older I get, the more wondrous it becomes. Because I’m more intimately aware of all my downfalls, my purposeful perversities, my sinful desires, how far I am from God’s perfection. The bafflement from the question “Why would the God of the universe choose to die such a horrific gruesome death for ME?” is only topped by its answer, “Because He loves me.” How can I possibly comprehend that kind of love? That totally unmerited favor?

I’m struck by how it must have seemed in the moment.
From the Garden, a Savior was promised. As the years went by, the prophecies became more specific, to a more specific people. After a while, the promises were no longer just concerning our spiritual salvation but the redemption of the world: an establishment of perfect world order. When the Jews were enslaved, that was the part of the promise they clung to, that grew larger than life, the part that seemed the most necessary.

Then the Messiah appears. It’s almost too good to be true, especially since this is the worst oppression Israel has ever faced. It’s too good to be true, because this isn’t even a king, He has no army, and He’s an unknown. But people were willing to deal with that, because He had power. Not just over the elements, but demons and even death itself. That was enough for the disciples. They knew He didn’t need an army. He had God on His side.

And then the Transfiguration. Two disciples got a glimpse of Christ’s true glory. They saw the future: a glorified King, coming to rule and reign over the whole world. One who would set things right. Heal the sick, feed the hungry, punish the wicked, reward the faithful few. This was exactly everything the disciples wanted.

But then there was the betrayal, the crucifixion: their one Hope nailed to a cross, belittled, destroyed, forsaken seemingly by God Himself. Even Christ called out to His Father, bemoaning the fact that His face was turned. How could this be their Savior? He didn’t even take use of the multitude of angels at His disposal. After hours of torture, He simply “gave up the ghost”, and died.

What happened next should have been a sign-post: if not of a coming Kingdom, of something supernatural. Because there was an earthquake. The veil in the temple (yes, that massive, impressive, weighty piece of tapestry) was ripped in half from complete top to bottom.
Even more astonishing? People, who had been dead and buried in tombs came to life again and started testifying to their family members.
Dead people came back to life.

But the disciples were too destroyed to notice. And so terrified of what the Roman officials might do, that they couldn’t concentrate anyway.

So here’s my favorite part: The tomb is empty. The women have gone back to finish attending to the body, to pay last respects, something. And the tomb is blatantly empty and graveclothes are folded and what is going on. And Mary, tears blurring her vision is searching desperately for Jesus. How dare someone steal a body? This is the part that gives me chills: when she questions the “gardener”, he simply answers by saying her name. And with a lightning flash she understands. I cannot imagine the euphoria, the amazing, genuine joy that must have erupted as she realized that everything that they had hoped and dreamed and prayed for was real.
God had come.

And the salvation He promised was so much greater than just from the Roman Empire. He promised freedom from sin, death, guilt, Satan. He promised eternal, intimate fellowship with Himself. He promised that nothing would ever make Him love us less.

So many songs, so many wonderful words and I can’t even begin to express how much they mean to me. Because my Savior lives. He chose to rescue me from the miry clay. He sealed His promises with His resurrection.
How can I not give Him my life and all?

Ups and Downs

I slept really well after I finally fell asleep.
And then I realized there was light on the ceiling. Which is not a good sign. Because I typically get up before the light goes on MWF.

So I got to sleep in this morning AND my boss forgave me.
I got a ride to work.
But when I got out of the car one of my sandals broke.

Work went smoothly.
I got stickers!

I was elected for the Vice President office of my society!
But my other shoe broke in society.

I got to eat lunch with friends.
I finished my Greek translations in time to take a nap.
But I couldn’t sleep because I kept coughing too much.

Class went extremely well.
I got a package, from my aunt. It held tissues, candy and k-cups. It was so touching and unexpected, but it was her note that made me cry. It was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever gotten.

I finished a take home test and walked through the rain to deliver it. It sounds dreadful, but it really is a beautiful evening.
A man stopped, turned around and ran me between two covered walkways, so that he could shield me with his umbrella. It was terribly sweet.

I got to Skype my family. We talked school, more degrees, med school, finances, the beach…

Such a full day.
It’s Good Friday.

The grief, frustrations, blessings and graces…all of them are so inextricably linked and melded that I can’t even tell you whether or not today was a good day. I think it was.
And Christ died for me.
That’s enough.

He Promised.

See, from His head, His hands, His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet?
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small.
Love so amazing…so divine!
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

This is passion week. We are reminded that the God of the universe became flesh and dwelt among us: feeling our pain, healing our sorrows, tempted, tried, forsaken and hated. He promised from the very beginning of time to redeem us from our sin.
He promised to save us from the punishment we so desperately deserve.
He promised.

He came so that we didn’t have to pay. He died a miserable, bloody, humiliating, criminal’s death. Beaten beyond recognition, suffocating and hanging on a cross, a crown of thorns shoved onto His head.
Because He promised.

As He bled and suffocated, He was cursed. Cursed by the same people who needed Him more than life, because He is life. But instead of condemning them to hell as they, and I, so richly deserved, He cried for God to forgive them.
Because He promised.

After He was dead and buried, the disciples were lost in a daze of terror and heart-wrenching disappointment. How does one move on from such a defeat? How do you just forget the One who was supposed to redeem the world, free us all, give us life? How could the Life Giver be dead?
Because He promised.

And because He promised, He did not stay dead. He came to life, to give us hope, to give us passion, to remind us that He promised. That He will always keep His promises. That we can be free. That we are redeemed. That we have true, lasting, refreshing and eternal life.
He promised.

How, how in the face of that love, that devotion throughout millenia, that sacrifice, how can I say there is something I cannot do for Him? Whatever He asks of me is good, and how could I be disappointed? In the face of that mingled sorrow and love, my petty doubts, woes, and little heartbreaks seems as nothing. And it’s not because He doesn’t care.
It’s because He cares too much to let me settle for ‘lesser than’.

He promised.

Prosaic Prattlings

I write to you with fingers that work, a nose that doesn’t and one bleared eye peering from beneath a swollen lid. An adequate representation of my visage would be the cartoon character Quasimodo from Notre Dame.
In other words, “attractive” is my middle name.

I am brooding over a cup of warm, honeyed tea, having recently finished “translating” parts of 1 John. I use the quotation marks with much purposefulness. When translating, I find the kernel of the sentence: main verb and subject. I start extrapolating from that data, pinning down prepositional phrases, direct objects, adjectives, participles…It is all masterfully mapped out and then I start the monumental task of converting to English.
Except most of the time, my English versions of the text sound like some illiterate drunk who knows not Greek nor English.

I sigh.

The ever deepening pile of kleenex by chair is not actually kleenex, but bits of thin, transparent, and oh so delicately scratchy toilet paper that I removed from our joint bathroom. It is more economically sound than real nose tissue at this point.

I received two thank you notes concerning Risk today. One was from the producers (the dolls. I love them), but the other is from a woman I’m not sure I’ve heard of and whose name I can’t quite read. It merely said that I added to the charm of the performance.
I was touched.

It rained today. Hopefully, that will help cleanse the earth of this vile pollen plague and my eye and sinuses will resume their regular size and shape.
Until then, fair dreams to you, citizens.

Pollen Sunday

I am having a mildly heretical moment and wish to rewrite a hymn:
Like a river glorious
Runs my blessed nose…
Over all victorious
Is my Claritin D.

Okay. I’m done now. Yes, I’ve had a lot of medication today.

Today, I also made my own neti pot out of a paper cup. Nothing like red-neck jury-rigging. For those of you who are not wise to the ways of netifying, I shall briefly and delicately describe the process. Generally, the neti pot is a small, teapot-shaped receptacle filled with warm salt water. Inserting the spout in one nostril, one angles one’s head to channel the flow of water through the sinuses and out the other nostril. This keeps one safe from sinus infections and helps release congestion.
It also feels like snorting hot ocean up your nose.

Anyhoo, I’m pretending to myself that it helped matters as I inhale gallons of eucalyptus oil.

I cannot wait for the golden dust that is blessing us all to just go. Away.
For all eternity.
This stuff makes me forget how much I love trees.

OCP is Coming for Me

I need to trim my fingernails.
Because you needed to know that.

Dad and O came to my morning classes with me, and my sister did just about as well on a test as I did. I realize that she’s a theatre genius, but really. Really. That’s just a little ridiculous.
We all managed to stay awake in chapel for a very good message.

Dad and my Modern Cults teacher nearly started playing “The Game” before class. “The Game”, for those of you who don’t know, is where two people who have never met before settle into discussion about hometowns and relatives and, if they play properly, eventually find out exactly how they are related to each other. It’s a southern thing. Dad and Mr. Eaves only got as far as the home town level, but they had a pretty good round of it. Dad doesn’t seem to think the odds of winning The Game were very high in this case, but I think if they had worked at it long enough, we might be related to Mrs. Eaves, at least.

After that, Dad and O went home to lunch, and I continued with my last three classes of the day. Then speech rehearsal. That went remarkably smoothly somehow. I was shocked. Even with not being able to be in the proper classroom or even building, and having to figure out computers and projectors and seating arrangements…We managed to get the speech DONE and also sounding pretty good.

And now that I’ve spent over an hour formatting the formidable book which is our collective outline and bibliography (gosh, that makes it sound so tame…), I think it’s time for bed.

Goodnight, Greenville.

1 John and Flooding

Like the thousands of my predecessors in Greek, I have now commenced my translation of 1 John. Honestly, I’m thrilled. And on the one hand, all I can think is “I don’t understand any of this” and on the other, “Oh. Got it. This makes perfect sense”. Apparently, my bipolarity is as healthy as ever.

Last night, Mom told me that there was a high chance of rain today. I wasn’t overly worried, since, SURPRISE, it’s Greenville: it’s rains all the time. She told me to take an umbrella, and was worried I didn’t have one with me. I poo-pooed her fears, considering the fact that I run to classes in the rain all the time.
Luckily for me, she ignored my objections.

This morning, when I stepped outside, it was as if the second Flood was upon us. I was mighty thankful for that umbrella. I’ve seen it rain like that here MAYBE three times in my entire BJU career. Leave to my mom to always be right. You’d think I’d be used to that by now.
She’s amazing.

I love her very much. As I sit here, writing this blog, I look around, and see my family. And I honestly don’t know how I make it for 9 months out of the year not living with them. But God is enough.