I've decided to get a new blog name. gotta-keep-singing.blogspot.com was just getting too annoying to type, so I've made a new one.
Wednesday, May 7
Monday, May 5
This post of Tersie's describes by exact situation.
Lately, I'm just feeling emotionally exhausted. Disconnected. Distant.
At least I'm not so deep in this crappy state that I can't talk about it with perspective. I am recognizing it, saying it's a problem, and that it will eventually end.
All I know is that something needs to change...and when something does (notice my abundance of patience), I'll write about it on this thing.
by anna at 2:50 PM
Tuesday, April 29
i am a girl of doubts.
lately i have actually doubted the realness of God's plan.
i have been bitter and angry.
pleading for God to just make ONE THING work out for me.
i went to see The Color Purple on sunday and everytime the cast sang "look what God has done", it was as if i were the only one in the room.
look what God has done.
millions of things.
in my personal life, and in general--things i just get to look at and somehow be a part of.
people really do care about me.
i can have healthy relationships in my family.
i have endless opportunities to help people in my country.
life is so confusing and can be so unbelievably hurtful.
but look what God has done.
by anna at 7:46 AM
Tuesday, April 15
Of course there are happenings in my life that are much more worthy to blog about, but I am choosing to hold off on them for a while. I have found that blogging in the midst of crisis causes me to lack perspective. I will eventually blog about my aunt Joanie, my summer plans, my new thoughts about peace (not really a crisis), and of course, my amazing, amazing grandmother.
But for now, I have some thoughts about something on a somewhat lighter note. I really don't want to rant. I don't want anyone to remember me as a "ranter", so one of my goals for the current time is to set aside my soapboxes and learn when to shut up. So here is my attempt to speak politely about my issues with something I would normally angrily rant about:
Every year at SSU, student representatives from various clubs and organizations participate in "Shantytown". It's an all day/all night event to raise money for the local homeless shelter by and to raise awareness for the homeless in general. Students build their cardboard castles in front of Massie Hall, go to their classes and jobs, then sleep in the shelters they have created for the night.
In attempt to understand what it is like to be homeless, I suppose, they only eat what is donated by students and faculty on campus, and also "beg" for loose change from those.
The organization raised $800 or so, and I think the contribution to the shelter is fantastic. In my opinion, the simple fact that people from my university even bother is great. Really. I have no doubt that most of the students participating in this event have the best of intentions.
I do have negative feelings toward certain aspects of the event...how the students I have come in contact with have either boastful attitudes or an air of righteoussness and how if I were a homeless person and witnessed this I would be both offended and disgusted, but more importantly, I think, is this:
Is this really what we qualify as "reaching out"? Is that it?
I realize that not all, if any, of the students participating in the event are doing it because they are followers of Jesus.
But it seems that we have limited ourselves to our way too safe comfort zone. Like handing over a dollar cheesburger and a "God Bless!" earns us our Jesus points for the day.
I love the Message translation of Corinthians 13:3:
"If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love."
So what would it mean to not just give to, but to love the homeless in our communities?
I laughed out loud today when I thought about what could have been the equivalent for Shantytown in Jesus's time.
Jesus and his disciples roll in the dirt then gather in front of a temple with "UNCLEAN" written on their foreheads for Unclean Awareness.
by anna at 6:50 AM
Wednesday, March 26
I am so thankful for laughter.
You would think that after a while, I would get tired of Jordan's humor, but it seems I never stop laughing when he's around. He may be the funniest person I've ever met.
Today while I was in lecture, I started thinking about this stupid ritual he does when I'm leaving his house at night, and I lost it. As if the people in that class don't already think I'm a nutcase. He has been doing this stupid thing as he escorts me to the door for TWO YEARS, and I still almost pee my pants every time.
Also, there is something truly hilarious about potentially ruining someone's hair.
Here's what happens: these crazy girls trust me to color or cut their hair--something I am far from qualified to do. I ALWAYS talk them into doing something more drastic than they intended, and we ALWAYS just go for it.
And laugh so hard at the results.
I fear a day when I might not be able to have perspective and laugh at certain situations.
by anna at 12:44 PM
Thursday, March 13
There were parts in particular that I found brilliant.
One is when she's describing her depression and lonlieness, as it hits her even when she's in beautiful Rome:
"Depression and Loneliness track me down after about 10 days in Italy….They come upon me all silent and menacing like detectives, and they flank me. Depression on my left, Loneliness on my right. They don’t need to show me their badges, I know these guys very well. We’ve been playing a cat-and-mouse game for years now, though I admit I am surprised to meet then in this elegant Italian garden at dusk. This is no place they belong.
I say to them, “How did you find me here? Who told you I had come to Rome?”
Depression, always the wise guy, says, “What, you’re not happy to see us?”
“Go away”, I tell them.
Loneliness, the more sensitive cop says, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I might have to tail you the whole time you’re traveling. It’s my assignment.”
“I’d really rather you didn’t” I tell him.
He shrugs, almost apologetically, but only moves closer. Then, they frisk me. They empty my pockets of any joy I had been carrying there.
Depression even confiscates my identity, but he always does that.
The Loneliness starts interrogating me, which I dread, because it always goes on for hours. He is polite, but relentless, and he always trips me up eventually.
He asked if I have any reason to be happy, that I know of.
He asks why I am all by myself tonight, yet again.
He asks, though we’ve been through this line of questions hundreds of times already, why I can’t keep relationships going…
He asks why exactly I think I deserve a vacation when I’ve made such a rubble of my life.
He asks why I think running away to Italy like a college kid will make me happy.
He asks where I think I’ll end up in my old age if I keep living this way.
I walk back home, hoping to shake them, but they keep following me, these two goons. Depression has a firm hand on my shoulder and Loneliness follows close behind me with his interrogation. I don’t even bother eating dinner; I don’t want them watching me. I don’t want to let them up the stairs to my apartment either, but I know Depression, and there’s no stopping him from coming in if he decides that he wants to.
“It’s not fair for you to come here” I tell Depression, “I paid you off already. I served my time back in New York.”
But he just gives me that dark smile, settles into my favorite chair, puts his feet on my table, and lights a cigar, filling the air with his awful smoke. Loneliness watches and sighs, then climbs into my bed and pulls the covers over himself, fully clothed, shoes and all.
He’s going to make me sleep with him again tonight, I just know it.
by anna at 11:04 AM
Wednesday, March 5
I was offended when my therapist/friend told me I wear my heart on my sleeve. Realizing that was, in my opinion, a negative label, she rephrased:
" You are emotionally invested."
Although this seemed more appropriate, I was still hesitant to accept.
Emotionally invested? How completely pansy is that?
Since then, I have been squinting my eyes every once in a while trying to convince myself that this could not possibly be true.
But it is so, so true.
In fact, I am emotionally invested in nearly every aspect of my life:
-I never just kind of like an artist, movie, or a musical.
-When I meet someone whom I find interesting, I want to be GREAT friends with them.
-If a song invades my soul, I want everyone else to experience it, even if it means attempting to sing it, humiliating myself at River Valley.
-A great book? I will read it over and over until it doesn't make me cry anymore.
-And words...I analyze, dissect, chew and rarely forget the things people say to me.
-I will forever be deeply scarred by hurtful relationships.
I emotionally invest. The most risky way to live.
Sometimes it hurts so bad.
But I don't think I wouldn't have it any other way. As cool as the aloof, don't-give-a-damn type of person looks on the surface, I can't imagine living that way.
I guess I am willing to take the risk.
It feels a little more like living.
by anna at 2:16 PM
Thursday, February 28
I am just so sad for us. For our country, for those who claim to be followers of Christ, and more, for those who don't.
I have realized this before, but today in particular all I can think is "We're ruining it".
Our God must be looking at us, his children, and weeping.
We are pathetically in a constant battle of rising above everyone else:
I am "more Christian" than you because I vote conservative.
I am "more Christian" than you because I am a [enter denomination here].
I am "more Christian" than you because I don't drink, smoke, or do any other "sinful" activity.
I am "more Christian" than you because my church attendance is up to par.
This list of lies goes on and on. Satan must be so proud.
Why does ANYONE think they're qualified to make assumptions like this?
No one comes out and says it, of course. But you know they're thinking it. They make it obvious.
We are ruining it.
When people hear "Christian", they cringe.
When I am at school, and someone mentions being Christian, it's like a toxic gas of awkwardness looms over the entire room making everyone terrified they will be choked with judgment.
It has become a club. That only the righteous and disciplined can enter. Anyone else is automatically on a lower level of being.
I don't know much, but I know that this isn't what Jesus wants. It can't be.
We need to be a community of people who are in this thing together, not in a constant battle of who is doing it better than the other.
I am so, so sad for us.
I am so, so sorry, Lord. Help us now. Because we are ruining it.
by anna at 2:32 PM
Wednesday, February 27
Tuesday, February 19
I been tagged.
I never thought I'd be a reader, but in the last few years of my life I have really found it to be a passion of mine.
1. One book that changed your life
Pretty much every book I have read has changed my life. But here are the ones that made me, like, freak out.
Jesus with Dirty Feet by Don Everts
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lammott
The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne
2. One book you’ve read more than once
I have read Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis three times. Once for a bible study, and I was so completely gullible the first time that I had to read it again to make sure I really loved it as much as I thought I did. The third time, just for good measure.
3. One book you’d want on a desert island
I would say the Bible, obviously. But let's just say I couldn't be so cliche...I would bring Eugene Peterson's Solo.
4. Two books that made you laugh
He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lammott
5. One book that made you cry
Jesus with Dirty Feet by Don Everts
This book started a revolution for me. Maybe the first book I read having anything to do with Christianity. It is incredibly simplistic and brief -- I was a pure mess after reading it.
Everybody Wants to go to Heaven but Nobody Wants to Die by David Crowder and Mike Hogan
6. One book you wish had been written
Not sure about this one.
7. One book you wish had never been written
8. One book you’re currently reading
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read
I am anxious to read Jesus For President by Shane Claiborne
by anna at 8:04 PM