mercredi, janvier 31, 2007
It's been over a year that you have allowed this cloud to hang. It is grey and empty, depressed, like a barren woman yearning for life to begin within her. For months and months now, I have been hoping that you would rescue me from this valley. At points along the way, there was sunlight, and I was so certain that you had arrived to rescue me. But the cloud came once again, the rays of sunlight disappeared, and I was still left clinging to this rope, praying for deliverance from Achor.
It feels like ages ago when I gave that talk about persevering through trials, realizing that circumstances do not define reality, but that You define what is True and what is Good. It seems like forever ago that I spoke about clinging on with the hopes of emerging from the darkness with even stronger faith muscles. Back then, I thought I was at the end of my rope. Surely, you would rescue me. Instead, in 10 days, it will have been eleven months since that day at York, and I wonder, is this what life is like? Should i struggle through it everyday?
I put on a smile as I walk out the door. Smile and nod. At the end of the day, I come back home, bleakness is still at my door. Where is the abundance you have promised? I am thirsty. How much longer can I cling on?
I miss you so much.
Publié par lowonthego à 11:36 p.m.
lundi, janvier 29, 2007
sometimes, i get mad at myself for not keeping on top of upcoming concerts. i cannot believe Augustana is in town tomorrow night, and i didn't even know about it until now.
i am beating myself up for this.
i must keep better track of these things :(
update: of montreal...is here march 13th.
someone be my friend on that day.
in other news, this is pretty funny... i don't know HOW they could say that i look like Halle Berry...i mean...she's black. or Hunter Tylo? Valeria Mazza? Jessica Stam? They're white. kyoko fukada and matsu takako are both gorgeous. but still..not chinese. haha. fun times.
Publié par lowonthego à 11:51 p.m.
vendredi, janvier 26, 2007
(this is a looong one!)
This song makes me laugh. Mainly the first verse, which goes something like,
"you know you're stunning
absolutely stunning and I'm running always running
and now I'm crying
you know only cause I'm caring
and if you were more daring maybe you'd stop staring
and come over and talk to me
and tell me about how you've been waiting patiently
and how you tried but I just turned away
and I'll say, "yeah well you know, I'm shy that way."
Oh, tristan and jason. You have hit the nail on the head in terms of the sentiments and actions of almost every girl in existence, with the exception of the super flirty girls that drop hints like bombs on hiroshima (thanks for letting me switch around your phrase, Jelena).
Lately, i have been bonding with many girlfriends. A recurrent theme which comes up, of course, is boys. duh. This seems to be how girls bond. Alongside this recurrent theme of boys is the story that Prettyman and Mraz seem to have described.
Girls, have you ever done this? i'm willing to put money on the table and say that almost every girl has done this. Some, admittedly do this more than others (and by some, i really mean, me). That's in large why the first verse of the song makes me laugh. What a verity in my life! In talking to my girlfriends, this has occurred to almost all of them in some form or another in their relationships with their friends who are guys. Which brings me to my latest thought in the realm of relationships.
as Christian girls, we have this notion of being romanced by a knight on a white horse, who'll brave dragons and evil stepmothers and witches to gain our affections. There seems to be this ideal of a guy who will pursue at all costs; the man who will pursue rather blindly, without needing hints or knowing the girl's affections, is highly esteemed. While some may not be as extreme as others in this position, there seems to be some sort of general consensus that a girl waits around, does her own thing, and somehow, hopefully the guy she is interested in will notice her. Of course, waiting around does not entail sitting around and doing nothing, the girl is to engage in growing to become a woman of God. Nevertheless, there seems to be disdain when a girl does any sort of "pursuing". Telling a guy she likes him, before he says anything, seems to be a mark of someone feisty and feminist in tendency.
While i say all of this flippantly, as though i do not agree with any of it, the truth is, i believe there is much goodness in the notions of being female and waiting patiently, and being male and stepping up in pursuance.
However, the question i ask myself is... do i subscribe to this notion of chivalry because i actually believe in it? OR, do i subscribe to this because it means that i need not put my feelings on the line and face rejection?
Here are my thoughts.
There is much to be said about letting men take the lead in relationships. i firmly believe that God has ordained different roles for men and women, and that leadership is a God-given role to men. Often times, women, in our impatience, snatch away this title from men, and then wonder why men are not stepping up. Thus, i believe that in romantic relationships, or those awkward "in-between" stages, it ought to be men who take the initiative with women. If a guy is interested in a girl, and would like to go beyond the "we're just friends stage", he ought to make it known that this is something he desires. Conversely, if a guy is not interested in a girl, but has a sneaking suspicion that the girl might feel otherwise, he should take the initiative to clarify their friendship and make it known that he is not interested in taking their friendship to another level. These are some examples of how men can take initiative in relationships.
This having been said, i want to leave some thoughts for sisters out there who read this blog. There is much to be said about encouraging men in their roles. Though some may not agree with me (and i think much of this is also a personal choice based on personal convictions), i think that remaining stoic puts both men and women at a disadvantage. Some girls don't believe in giving any hints to guys that they might be interested. It can be argued that this would signal pursuing, they would say. Many would also follow this with a statement such as, "If he is a solid guy, he will take the risk, regardless of whether or not he knows the girl is interested." However, i postulate, in my liberalness (i jest, i do not find myself liberal), that there is nothing wrong with encouraging a guy to pursue. Sometimes, we hide behind the idea of guarding our hearts, when in reality, it is not our hearts we are attempting to guard, but our pride. i think that it is alright to make it known to men around us that we wouldn't mind hanging out with them, and allowing them to take steps of faith, instead of shutting them down. i think its perfectly alright to give the guys we are interested some extra attention. If they are not interested, they can make it clear to us that they aren't interested.
i suppose, what i am trying to say is that sometimes, we remain stoic and "turn away", as tristan prettyman puts it, not because of conviction, or because we desire to guard our hearts, but because we are fearful of rejection. There seems to be some sort of idea of placing women on pedestals. Somehow, this strikes me as being unfair for men. What guy wants to fight a dragon if the girl on the other side doesn't want to be fought for? (well..Jesus, but that's a whole other story...or is it?). It is true, there will be some guys who will take the leap and pursue blindly. This is commendable. However, i do not think it is a staple, and i think regardless, us as women should concurrently be working on encouraging men in their leadership, not just expecting them to take leadership when it comes to relationships.
Publié par lowonthego à 11:17 p.m.
mercredi, janvier 24, 2007
so, not everything turned out nicely this time. most of this junk is out of focus. but the blue is so beautiful, i thought i'd stick them up anyways. oh holga. so finicky.
Publié par lowonthego à 4:12 p.m.
mardi, janvier 23, 2007
dimanche, janvier 21, 2007
when i first came to university, i was paralyzed with fear. fear that i would fail. fear that people wouldn't like me. fear that i would be lonely. fear that i wasn't good enough.
throughout university, God has really grown me; going on OEX was a real marker in my life. i came back, and it was though i had been released from my fears. i had stepped out in faith, and in doing so, i found that because of Abba, i could walk on water.
i've said it before, but i'll say it again. i have found this year immensely hard. His voice has become so quiet, and in the din of life, i can hardly hear Him. quiet times have been shoddy, and i feel as though i'm floundering somewhere deep in the valley. at times, the sun has peaked through, giving me strength to cling tightly in the hope that He will deliver me from this valley of Achor.
somewhere in the midst of the valley, i started listening to lies. fears that had not plagued me for over two years resurfaced. i've tried to ignore these fears, but each day, they scream louder and louder in my ear.
i'm scared. scared of many things. scared that i'll make the wrong choices. scared that things i say could affect what i do. scared that i won't be able to handle the silence for much longer, and that i'll end up like my roommate, abandoning everything i once held dear. i'm scared that i haven't been an effective steward in university. scared that i have not multiplied. scared that i've ruined my chances of joining staff. i'm scared that i am a failure. scared that in my tiredness i will end up disappointing everyone and anyone. that i will end up disappointing Jesus.
these fears have plagued my life for the past 5 months.
i've felt ineffective. tired. apathetic. and i've reverted back to that first year girl who allowed fear to rule her life. a couple of days ago, i broke down and cried, and confessed my fears to some of my friends. it was the first time i'd come face to face with these fears since they'd begun.
as my friends were readying themselves for bed, i was up late, and i decided to check out a link that a friend of mine had sent me.
this is what i read that night. as i read it, i cried.
somehow, he has used what little i had for His glory. this makes me weep. i am a frail person who offers so little and yet He gives so much; He is infinitely capable of multiplying what little fish and bread i have.
i won't lie. these fears still plague me. i'm scared that in reading this, you might think me neurotic and emotional.
but i know that there will be a day when i'll be able to write that i am no longer fearful, for i know that perfect love casts out fear (1Jn 4:18). there will be much rejoicing, and i am excited that you too, dear blog readers, will be able to rejoice with me.
Publié par lowonthego à 3:34 a.m.
mardi, janvier 16, 2007
lundi, janvier 15, 2007
you may have noticed thati am blogging again, even though i said i was going on hiatus. i took a weekend to mull over this; i seriously thought about it, and decided that this blog will
continue. there are things which will remain the same and things which i have decided to revamp.
in the coming months (hopefully), a layout restructuring will occur, but this is just a surface change. you may not have noticed, but i have started to space out the personal blogs, alternating them with light material like pictures or links to other blogs. this gives me more time to really reflect on what i want to say. thoughts whiz around my mind at a million thoughts per second at any given moment, but not everything needs to be said. i'm learning to process more before speaking.
in august, this blog will turn 4 years old, and today i received my 40, 500th hit. Compared to people like Tim Challies or the Mahaney girls, this is a piddly number. Nevertheless, it is daunting to think that there have been over 40 thousand hits here in less than 4 years.
when my friend told me that blogs that talk a great deal about relationships can be perceived as flaky, i was pretty hurt. compared to this friend, or other friends, or uber-blogger, Tim Challies, i do blog a great deal about relationships. but upon reflection, i do not find this flaky. i think there is merit in blogging about relationships, whether they be boy-girl relationships, friendships or my relationship with Jesus Christ. i think there is merit in being real about my struggles and sharing them with others. i think there is merit in writing about boy-girl relationships, because i do not want to wait until i am a girlfriend/wife/mother to think about these things. i want to contemplate them now. and perhaps, you should too. i think there is merit in blogging about my relationship with friends and with Jesus, because i think these things are relevant to people. Humanity was created to be relational. i am a relational being and you are too. if my recognizing this and discussing these things makes me flaky in one's eyes, then so be it. i'll take it.
all this to say, i have decided to keep this blog around, because i think that it is valuable to the blogging community. the reason for this is not because my words are somehow better than others (not at all!), but because i offer something few other bloggers do. there are many blogs that are great at teaching from the Word, and for these blogs, i am grateful. there are also many blogs that offer great book reviews and random tidbits. alas, there are few people who are willing to be even close to semi-personal on their blogs. i am not a perfect person, and if you read this blog often, you know that this is true. but there is worth in sharing my struggles and being honest about what i am going through. i think many a person can glean from these struggles of a simple, small-town-in-a-big-city girl.
that having been said, there are changes which will be happening, and i need you to know that. when i started this blog, i would use it as a tool to bash people all the time. the amount of profanity and bashing that once existed at lowonthego revolts me and simultaneously causes me to blush. a while back, i made a conscious decision that this blog would no longer be used as a tool to underhandedly tell someone what i thought of them. unless i am directly quoting someone, or am being facetious and discussing something light, i am going to refrain from using names. please, don't read this blog and automatically assume i am talking about you or someone you know. if i don't list a name, it is because i want to protect the anonymity of the person, and am purposely being cautious to do so. please do not come to me and ask me if i am talking about you, because i know many a person and i may or may not be talking about you. additionally, i can assure you that i am not writing about you or your faults, but perhaps my thoughts in dealing with a particular issue in a relationship or my perception of how things are in certain relationships (which admittedly are often faulty).
so, all that having been said, hopefully you stick around and continue to read this blog. i hope it sparks debate from time to time, but now that i am actually thinking before i write, i will take the advice of a dear friend of mine, and write unapologetically. i will not, however, start to capitalize the first word of each sentence.
Publié par lowonthego à 6:53 p.m.
dimanche, janvier 14, 2007
can we be honest here? who in their right mind would actually follow through on such a thing? this summer (and if i'm honest, even up to today) i really struggled in dealing with a particular friendship. i felt as though i had been constantly stood up by a friend, and that even though this friend claimed to want to spend time with me, she wasn't fully there whenever we tried to meet up. it was as though we had been friends so long that other people were more important because the underlying assumption was, i'd always be there. this is often akin to the way we treat our parents. by we, i mean me.
today, as i was talking to my brilliant friend j farq, who always makes devastatingly-heart- convicting-brilliant-filled-with-wisdom statements, i realized that this, again, is a pride thing! i felt as though i deserved this person's time and reciprocating affections. i felt as though this person had treated me/treats me unfairly, and i felt like rebelling; i felt like tossing in the towel and saying "this is over."
upon this realization, jesskah said something that cut like a knife to my heart. here's my attempt to relay her brilliance. it won't be half as good. but she said something to the effect of, "now imagine. this is what we do to God most of the time, and yet he still forgives us."
hmm. there's no pride in Jesus. like it says in Philippians 2, "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be , but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
after she said that, i told her i was going to continue to ignore this conviction. you know me! pure rebelliousness.
but at dinner, what she said made sense. all of a sudden, knowing my own depravity, i was able to forgive what someone else had done to me. continuing on the last post's theme, as we understand our own depraved and rebellious state, and as we come to comprehend the power of the cross, we are changed moment by moment and freed from those things that so easily entangle us.
Publié par lowonthego à 10:59 p.m.
jeudi, janvier 11, 2007
apparently, from the 15th to 18th centuries, people thought barnacles living on logs in water spontaneously produced ducks. So, whenever a duck appeared, they would say that an anatiferous process had just occurred.
this is what i pay over 4000 bucks a year to learn in school.
speaking of school, the LORD is good. i am a person of little faith. scholastically, i had a really hard semester. it was as though my mind was everywhere, and there was no place to study at home. when i got my midterm exam marks, they were the lowest marks i have ever gotten in university. This made me really stressed out over finals. i couldn't afford to fail any exams, or i would've failed my courses, and would have had to spend another semester in school. But, praise God, because i've gotten all my marks back, and not only did i pass..but my marks skyrocketed. Sure, if you take a look at them, i'm no einstein...but they were definitely undeserved.
i'm ashamed that i didn't believe God could provide for me.
at the core, i am such a person of little faith. not only am i a person of little faith, i am also a very cynical person. i constantly doubt God, displaying an unwarranted distrust in His goodness and grace. i get so tied up in my own sin that i tell myself that it isn't possible for God to forgive me once more. What an untruth!
for Christmas, my mum bought me a Holga. This is a "toy" camera from the 1980s which is fully plastic, including the lens. because of imperfections in the lens and in its structure, it allows light and dust to leak in, producing distortions in the resulting picture.
sometimes, it is so easy to allow our own lenses to distort the picture. How easy is it to let our feelings of guilt, cynicism, shame, happiness alter our perceptions of God. Perhaps this is what Jeremiah meant when he said that the heart is deceitful above all things. indeed, our sin is notorious for distorting what is good. we constantly fall prey to unrighteously distorting and suppressing the truth.
the only solution to this discolouration, of course, is Jesus and the cross. Thank God that He has revealed Himself to us through His Word. it is wonderful and amazing and a beautiful source of Truth. Praise God that it dispels any lies or untruths that we sometimes create or glean from others.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. ~ 2 Tim 3:16-17
Publié par lowonthego à 8:16 p.m.
mercredi, janvier 10, 2007
i am no photographer. i like to play around with my fisheye or my holga...but i am no photographer. however, i do enjoy looking at good photos. makes my heart feel warm and fuzzy. s'delightful.
so i present to you 5 of the photoblogs i enjoy the most.
1. daily does of imagery
3. cole rise
4. jon b
5. conor mcnally
i went to elem/jr./sr.high with the last two guys...and never even realized how talented they were.
p.s. if anyone who reads this blog is into photography...do you know where i can buy medium format slide film?
Publié par lowonthego à 2:01 p.m.
mardi, janvier 09, 2007
Tonight, Joe, Russ and i were walking towards Yonge and College from bloor street.
CityTV stopped us and asked if they could interview me. So, i said sure..
and the next thing i know, they ask if i i'm dating either Joe or Russ. When i said no, they asked if one of them would pretend they would. Then they grabbed Joe, stuck him right beside me and asked us to stand close together. Joe protested, and told them he wasn't dating me, but they ignored him, and proceeded to start filming. The question i had to answer was, "If you knew a really geeky guy, as a female, what 3 pieces of advice would you give him?"
i didn't really know what to say. so i told them that he should read pride and prejudice and take note of Mr. Darcy, that he should stop playing video games, and that he should check out the Bible, because there's lots of manly men there.
i wonder if they'll air it. if they do, i hope people don't get the impression that joe and i are dating. but i do hope that they air my last piece of advice. there ARE many manly men in the Bible.
Publié par lowonthego à 8:08 p.m.
dimanche, janvier 07, 2007
so, still doing some thinking. lots of thinking going on lately. about everything. not just blogging. while i think, however, i'll leave you with some shots i recently developed.
again, apologies for the poor scanning.
(click to see larger version)
Publié par lowonthego à 1:30 a.m.
vendredi, janvier 05, 2007
blogging hiatus. reevaluation after a revelation.
i have to think about why i write here and whether it is worth it.
a dear brother made a comment yesterday, re: lydia's blog. it stung, i won't lie. And after my short burst of anger had dissipated, i wondered why it bothered me so much. Granted, no one likes to be called flaky, but i'd usually laugh it off.
upon reflection, i realized two things:
a) i am a flaky person
b)i am prideful about this blog.
i love writing. i'd like to write a book someday, though no one would ever desire to read it. i don't just blog for myself, but in the hopes that people who read this would be challenged to think and react. lately, however, my thought life has become superficial, my spiritual walk superficial, my friendships superficial, and, as you have probably noted, blogging has become highly superficial. concurrently, i have also become prideful over this blog. the worst thing about pride is that you don't realize how prideful you actually are. becoming really hurt over my friend's passing comment told me that i am prideful (which was/is no big revelation. i am the most prideful person you will ever meet) and this blog is beginning to feed my pride. it's even worse to be prideful over a half-wit, flaky blog. this would be akin to me becoming prideful of my guitar skills, or better yet, william hung becoming prideful over his singing capabilities.
i need to do some thinking.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,but with the humble is wisdom. ~prov 11:2
Publié par lowonthego à 2:05 a.m.
jeudi, janvier 04, 2007
mardi, janvier 02, 2007
winter conference gleaning#1.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person-- though perhaps for a good person, one would dare even to die-- but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were still enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. ~Romans 5:6-11
THIS is the beauty of the Gospel. That we did not do anything to be justified. Our goodness could not save us, nor our attempts to grasp perfection. While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for us. What God would do this? What God would humble Himself to be trampled, beaten and scorned by the people that He created? What God would shed His undeprived blood, so that I, a sinner filled with depravity, might live? Why would He choose me to be the recipient of this grace? In the midst of the din during His slaying, my voice taunted, loud and clearly. This God is indescribable and undeniable.
At winter conference, one of the speakers said something that really resonated in my head.
if the cross of Jesus Christ does not change your life second by second, minute by minute, moment by moment, and day by day, you either do not know it, or you do not understand it.
This was a hard teaching for me to hear. i feel as though i have become very stagnant this past month. Truth be told, i teach the girls i disciple that there is no such thing as standing still. In our relationship with God, we're either moving ahead and deepening in our walk with Him, or fixing our eyes on the enemy, fascinated by the delights of this world. i am the greatest pharisee. In my own life, my eyes have not been fixed on the cross. This was a realization that i gleaned that night at winter conference. Sure, i had been promoting the Spirit-filled life. I claimed that i was relying on the Holy Spirit. But even the Spirit-filled life became about what i could do. Legalism kept me from truly relying on God; condemnation kept me from truly experiencing His grace.
Concurrently, i let myself believe the lie that since i didn't feel as though anything in my walk with God had changed, my relationship with God was as strong as ever.
It isn't. i stand before you, a broken person, and i confess that by my allowing stagnation to rule my life, rotting has indeed occurred.
This week, i had to come face to face with this fact, and it was a hard teaching to hear. Where am i at now? i am broken. humbled. i cannot say that upon receiving this teaching, i have suddenly restored the passion and closeness i once felt. This is impossible for me, by my own strength, to restore. Praise God! He who saved me from His wrath is more than capable of being real in my life. He is the ultimate carpenter, fully able to restore humanity. Where do i go from here? To my legalist self, i cry out that none of my efforts to grow deeper in love with my Abba add to the finished work on the cross. To my self plagued with condemnation, i freely admit that i am a sinner...the worst sinner... but i also preach to myself Romans 8:1.
His work on the cross was a beautiful, magical thing. May my life be cross-centered.
Publié par lowonthego à 6:29 p.m.
lundi, janvier 01, 2007
there's a lot of things that i want to share. cool experiences from edmonton, thoughts from winter conference... etc.
but, its been a hard week. a sad week. a week of gleanings. i've learned a great deal about myself, about my friendships, done some thinking on boy-girl relationships, learned about letting God truly take control, had my staff interview, laid my hopes and dreams on the altar....
its been quite a week. i am grateful for 3 brothers in particular this week. they are 3 of the best big/twin brothers that i have. thanks warren, adam and joel sherman.
anyways, obviously its been a crazy week.
so right now, i'm going to do some processing in my head.
maybe i'll start blogging on some of these gleanings tomorrow..
p.s. today, i became a winner of a 4-5 month bet i had with warren. he didn't think i could stay away from boy trouble for 5 whole months. but...i have! not only have i stayed away...i don't think that there's anyone who likes me at all, currently....
which makes me a.... SUPER WINNER! take that warren g! hahaha.
(this is all in fun, don't take this post script too seriously. haha)
Publié par lowonthego à 9:39 p.m.