April 19, 2011

A List! Because Goodness Abounds!

you know, if i'm good at anything, i'm good at dwelling in anxiety. i can spend all day in a cloud of worry, and i can spend all night dreaming about the same stuff (in fact, i had a couple of dreams about staffing last night - it was ridiculous).

but for all my worry and fear, for all my doubts and uncertainty, there are many wonderful things in my life. and rainy tuesdays are good days to list the things in life that are simply awesome. so here are a few:

- spicy and delicious homemade ginger syrup, used to make equally spicy and delicious ginger lime cocktails, to be shared with awesome friends.

- mario kart marathons. and if you think this is going to be the only nerdy thing on this list, think again. you clearly don't know me. 

- good beer by way of a reasonably priced victory variety pack. hop devil, golden monkey, victory pils, and victory lager - yum. 

- God's providence with staffing, as more and more people (especially dudes) submit applications for a summer of ministry.

- job stuff is...well it's not all gloom and doom. there are good options on the table. if i could just surrender my anxiety, things would really be looking up!

- a brand new, totally soft, really warm micro fleece with the ligonier logo emblazoned on the front. for cheap! i love it.

- enjoying the extended editions of the lord of the rings via netflix, while simultaneously re-reading the books (i told you there was more nerdiness to come!).

- time spent with lots of friends - neighbors & visitors alike, who are encouraging, funny, and just all-around wonderful.

- conversations with amy, who patiently listens and faithfully prays for me, even while abroad in germany with her own worries.

- little people (dylan and james, duh) who shout and run to say hi every time i see them. it consistently makes my day.

- netflix. i just...i love netflix. that's all. 

- bread pudding, wii fun, and good tv for tonight!

- simple photoshop tutorials that make my point and shoot camera look like a dslr of awesomeness.




grapfruit edit

- green returns to the trees! spring & the promise of summer! warm days! thunderstorms! delight!

- the promise of vacation, mere weeks away

so things are good. great, even. today is a quieter day in the office, but things in life are happening the way they should - which is to say, as God has set them out to be. my prayers for patience, trust, and courage are answered at the right times. and there are plenty of blessings to temper my anxiety - i just need to take the time to see them.

April 12, 2011

No Coward Soul is Mine

i went home this weekend to see the mercersburg area community chorus perform their spring concert. one of the things i miss most since moving from home is being able to sing with the chorus, so seeing the performance was bittersweet.


sitting in the chapel, hearing an orchestra and gorgeous choral music - i understand it's not for everyone. but it made me long to be up there making the music with everyone. i imagine athletes must feel this way when they watch someone else play their sport: it's fun to watch, but you'd rather be in the game.

the concert featured two major works: the first, haydn's famous oratorio the creation, and a newly commissioned piece by ola gjeilo entitled no coward soul is mine, whose lyrics are drawn from the poem of the same name by emily bronte. gjeilo composed the piece for the community chorus this year, to honor their 35th anniversary. i got to hear it performed for the first time -- and it was beautiful. its first performance has been uploaded to youtube - here it is:

the lyrics (or the poem, i suppose) felt especially poignant to me while i'm in a season of waiting, wondering, doubting, and more waiting. so here it is:

"no coward soul is mine" 

no coward soul is mine,
no trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere:
i see heaven's glories shine,
and faith shines equal, arming me from fear.

o God within my breast
almighty, ever-present Deity!
life -- that in me has rest,
as i -- undying Life -- have power in thee!

vain are the thousand creeds
that move men's hearts: unutterably vain;
worthless as withered weeds,
or idlest froth amid the boundless main,

to waken doubt in one
holding so fast by thine infinity;
so surely anchored on
the steadfast rock of immortality.

with wide-embracing love
thy spirit animates eternal years,
pervades and broods above,
changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.

though earth and man were gone,
and suns and universes ceased to be,
and Thou were left alone,
every existence would exist in Thee.

there is not room for Death,
nor atom that his might could render void:
thou -- THOU are Being and Breath,
and what THOU are may never be destroyed.

- emily bronte