Monday, November 26, 2007

inspiration

The desire to write has been developing in me over the past couple months. I've always liked to journal my spiritual life but something in me is being altered. I find myself writing on scraps of paper in the car or getting up from almost falling asleep to jot down the thoughts and insights that God gives me. Sometimes I feel like my thoughts are a running commentary or a speech being spoken before a huge crowd of people...the latter may be because I would love to speak at a conference one day. My inspiration comes in seasons. Some days and weeks are not filled with anything to blog about...I still journal but there is no great breakthrough. Then there are days that I could write three blogs a day or have the idea that I could indeed write a book.

There are a couple people who have inspired me lately to write more...one being Shauna Niequist. I'm currently reading her book cold tangerines...she writes with a genuine heart and eloquent language. The lessons that she has learned through her experiences are enriching to me. Shauna shares honestly and admits to her shortcomings humbling...this life is all about becoming who we were made to be. Another person who causes me to write is a friend's mom who blogs. I occasionally go to her page and take part in the insights to life that she has. There is wisdom gained through trails and what you do with experiences and emotions. She is one who asks hard questions and wrestles with ideas that require much thought. Funny how I can be so influenced by someone who I have only met on one occasion. The final person is my mom, a former English teacher. I secretly want her to write a book or at least right down stories of her life and what God has done. Even in her emails depicting events that have gone on in our family are brought to life through her words. Her wisdom and knowledge of the Word runs deep...she has so much inside that she needs to keep sharing. She is so gifted and I'm proud to call her Mom...

As I reflect on this frigid day, I am warmed by the fact that God has placed me right here in this moment to be impacted by other writers he has awakened. He's rising up this element of myself that I am new at and trying to become familiar with. Some of the words that I've written and the emotions I've expressed on those scraps of paper are so candid that I just shake my head in awe. When you begin to dig deep into the areas of your heart, you get more of a glimpse of who you really are and what defines you. This journey is not a deserted trail. There is a community of believers who can be challenged and influenced by one another through the use of words. May we begin to uncover the deep experiences and thoughts of the heart and stand back in awe of how intricate God created us!

people

I have a passion to know people. I'm not content with a "hi, how are you?" relationship. There needs to be more than passing a person on the sidewalk on the way to class. I want to know what motivates them, what makes them tick, and what experiences they have to bring to the table of life. Yet we tend to be so guarded and iffy of a person's intentions...like if someone starts to get to know another, suddenly they have to be dating and the pressure is put on. So ridiculous.
My friend Traci once told me that my friendly is her flirting. Sometimes I can come off as flirting when I really have a genuine desire to get to know someone. I wish all assumptions could be put aside. Jesus called us to be a community of believers...So my challenge for myself this week is to get to know someone, ask them what they are really all about. And also to find something new out about an old friend...friendships and the intricacy of humanity is so precious in this life.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

car rides

I was in the car for 10 hours today...we were driving back to Hope. At the New York customs, Tim (a guy from Hope) and I decided to entertain ourselves while we waited for almost an hour. We would look at the people in the cars around us, name them, guess their occupation, and tell an interesting fact that they must have done in their life. Needless to say, we were judging by only what we could see...for example: Janet, a woman who probably spent too much time shopping because she looked tired and had a lot of bags in her car. We guessed that she has quite a bit of debt from that shopping...all those darn grandkids! Brain, a guy in back of us who was in a band that didn't quite make it so now he just works in a coffee shop.
I must confess that this was quite fun but then as we kept driving, God revealed to me that he really cares about each and every one of us. He knew those people and the details of their lives, just as he knows mine.
Have you ever spent time looking at people? They are fascinating, especially when they don't know they are being watched. There are some that aren't quite so attractive to me and still others who take my breath away...but that doesn't really matter. Every creation of God is beautiful in His eyes. I contemplated this as I rolled myself into a ball to sleep...it was going to be a long trip. Funny how it is when you're confined in a small car and yet each passenger can be miles away.
There was a brief moment that I awoke, looked out the window, and saw the sun glistening on a lake with the trees swaying in the breeze. It was so beautiful...and I knew that moment was a love note from God. We need to be aware of those...it really made my day.
Now Thanksgiving break has come to a close and I need to focus on finishing the semester off strong! Two weeks of classes then some finals...then break! phew!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving at the Thompson house. It's the big holiday with my family because it's time when we are all under the same roof...Mom, Dad, Eric, Joel, Julie, Nana, Grandpa, and Uncle Greg. There are such precious memories surrounding this holiday like the years my brothers would have a roll eating contest. Eric's record was around 15 while Joel ate about 13. This was also the first Thanksgiving without Faithful, our wonderful black lab who had to be put to sleep after being with us for 14 years. We would always give her a full Thanksgiving meal...she loved it!

This year, I marveled in the fact that it was nice to sleep in my own bed and get woken up by my mom...we got to cuddle for a while and talk. Finally, I put on my glasses and wandered into the kitchen where I was met by my grandpa...who had been up since the crack of dawn. My dad worked on the Thanksgiving meal as I finished a book that I had started the night before, as Joel and Julie worked on a 3-D puzzle by the fireplace, and as my grandpa watched the football games (a sport that I don't fully understand the rules of and don't care who wins)...throw wrestling in there with my brothers, meaningful conversation, a lot of eating, and a lot of doing really nothing and you have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

One of my dance teachers challenged me a couple weeks ago and said, "To whom much is given, much is required." That has stayed with me. And though I know that I have much required of me, especially with the end of the semester closing in, this day I am choosing to focus on all that I have been blessed with. I am blown away by the grace that I have received...Thank you, Father, for such a fulfilling day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

the boy in the striped pajamas...

I must say that one of my favorite times in history to learn about it World War II. Well I'm not sure if it's a favorite time but one of the most interesting to me. It is probably due to the fact that it is a war that I can understand or maybe it's because I can relate to it. My grandpa was a captured during the Battle of the Bulge and was made a prisoner of war at the age of 19. Christmas spent in the snow after walking for miles was not what he had intended. Yet, God saw him through it.

It's the stories that are shared that intrigue me about this time. Books such as Number the Stars, Diary of Anne Frank, and Corrie Ten Boom have been imprinted on my heart. The majority of the books are from a Jewish/prisoner perspective. I recently finished a book by John Boyne called, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. My suitemate suggested the book to me after she finished it for her literature education class. The perspective is of a German boy who's Father is a German soldier. Due to his Father's honor of being deemed Commandant of a POW camp, Bruno and his family move out of Berlin to the country. This new place has no one for nine-year-old Bruno to play with...yet he discovers that in the distance, behind a fence, there are little people in striped pajamas.
One day as he is exploring, he comes in contact with a boy his age that is a prisoner...their relationship is quite unusual. Bruno is so naive and curious as to the people wearing pajamas and why they are so skinny. I won't tell you the ending, just in case you read it...which I think that you should! It's an easy read and it was very eye-opening...and that is my tribune to history for the week.