I Am

I am organized… ish.

I wonder what my life will look like next year.

I hear pens going across paper.

I see notes and schoolwork.

I want strong relationships.

I am working to find my identity in Christ.

~

I pretend that I’m totally on top of things.

I feel all over the place.

I worry about organizing my time well.

I cry when no one is looking.

I am a Moody student.

~

I understand a lot less than I think I do.

I say what I’m thinking… sometimes.

I dream about being a teacher.

I try to do what I think I should do.

I hope I’m doing the right thing.

I am a little bit confused.

(Completed as a part of Human Development this morning.)

~Natalia

That Will be Funny

I think you should know

that I have a funny sort of flaw

or actually, maybe it’s a bonus.

Either way,

however you want to judge it.

You know how sometimes

to build team unity or relationships or trust

or whatever

they go around and ask everyone to share an embarrassing story?

And people laugh and blush and hem and haw

and they tell their most

embarrassing moment?

This particular exercise is rather the bane of my existence

because

I don’t generally remember my embarrassing moments.

I occasionally have painfully vivid flashbacks

of horrible mess ups

and mistakes

but when the moment comes

that I actually might want to remember

something that happened,

something I said,

I cannot.

My mind is blank.

My subconscious has successfully erased

any and all uncomfortable situations that my memory might possibly

have retained.

It’s weird and convenient, and rather a relief,

this odd gift/curse of Embarrassing Moment Selective Memory Loss.

But I really just hope

that when I get to Heaven

there will be an opportunity to watch my embarrassing moments

replay on God’s TV screen

because I think then,

with the perspective of being in the presence of

the Creator and King

it will be easy to see the

hilarity of the moment.

So that will be funny.

~Natalia

Glorify

Three days into the school year and it feels a little bit like someone took small doses of nearly every emotion known to mankind, stirred them together, and has been pouring them in small doses into my life every day.

Happy. Sad. Confused. Angry. Scared. Nervous. Amused. Frustrated. Guilty. Humble.

I’ve been all over the place, and I’m honestly not sure why.

But actually, maybe I do know why. Because God didn’t create blocks of wood with stone hearts. The Creator of the Earth and of you and of me didn’t create us as passive objects, emotionless mannequins.

I’m all over the place because God created my heart and mind, and yours too, with a vast capacity for emotion. For feeling. For joy and hurt and brokenness.

Sometimes, I hate the real, the soft, the feeling. I know that God has created us to feel, created us to learn and grow and experience, and I doubt His ability to have done so wisely.

I feel some of the depth, a slice of the breadth, of emotion and feeling, a cracked reflection of God’s ingenuity and glory, and I shrug.

More than shrug, I recoil.

Because there is so much vulnerable, so much real, so much depth in all that feeling, and surely a God who is so powerful, so real, could have invented some way to spare all that, to avoid all that.

He didn’t do well, didn’t plan wisely, and the vast array of human emotion is the result of His lack of foresight on the whole issue.

But that’s not true.

Not true at all.

I’m a creation, and treasured Child of God, and you are, too.

The up and down, in and out, of what I feel, what I experience day after day, is not a punishment, or a fluke that God let slip when He crafted human beings.

It’s a way to glorify Him.

Glorify Him when words cut and jealousy burns.

Glorify Him when I’m excited, sucking in breath and grinning.

Glorify Him when there’s a big pile of books and the pit of silent stress pulls my stomach down.

Glorify Him when my abs ache from laughing and I hold my sides and brace myself, because it really is funny.

God didn’t screw up when He created my heart, your heart; He knew exactly what He was doing.

He created, He knows.

There’s a trace of Him in each thought, each wondering, each feeling,

and for that, I glorify Him.

~Natalia

Life Right Now {#27}

20120829-013222.jpg

Two little sisters

one mother

and one dear friend from Paris

visited yesterday

for a quick lunch

and a little room tour, too.

~Natalia

Aren’t There

I’m not sure what I write about tonight.

The things I write here, the words and paragraphs that fill these pages, are a representation of my life and my heart.

I tell you, share with you, the things that are important to me. The things I’m thinking about, the things I’m experiencing, the lessons I’m learning.

I’m thinking now. We’re all constantly experiencing. I’m beginning to suspect that the lessons I have in store this semester are much more than what’s on my six syllabi.

But sometimes, the things that cycle through my mind and heart don’t immediately appear here. Sometimes, it takes a little while for emotion to become thought to become word to become characters clicking across my computer screen.

And tonight, on this evening of the first day of the school year, the thoughts just aren’t there yet.

~Natalia

Leave It At That

I shuffle quietly around the room, exchanging leggings and a tank top for a skirt and top. I deliberate for a moment over my choice of shirt, kneeling over my drawer, flipping back and forth between a white and a brown shirt. Silent moments pass, and I finally pull the brown shirt off the top of the stack and kick the drawer shut gently.

Dressed for church, I step over to my bookshelf, pale brown shelves balancing books and notebooks. A blue bag of makeup sits on the top shelf, propped between a tub of lotion and a metal basket containing a random collection of toothpaste, shampoo, and bars of soap.

I fish around the makeup bag for a moment until I find the right eyeliner and eyeshadow, and I’m on my way back to the mirror when something outside the window catches my eye.

I step closer to the window, beauty products still gripped in my hand. Six floors below me, across the street, the motion that had caught my eye is in the Parking Lot.

I’ve told you about the Parking Lot before. Directly in front of my window, the Parking Lot is a small square of city space featuring a sign that reads “$10 Parking All Day”. There are no lines on the bumpy Parking Lot pavement, and the cars, which seem to appear out of nowhere, and leave without my taking notice, pack the space.

I’m intrigued by the Parking Lot, and I like catching glimpses of the funny, whimsical beauty of tens of cars haphazardly, and yet so very neatly, filling the Parking Lot. A real live game of tetris, right outside my window.

But it’s Sunday morning and the Parking Lot’s not full at all. A smattering of vehicles line the edges of the Lot, but the majority of the faded pavement is exposed; huge grey squares under the pale morning sun.

There aren’t many cars in the Lot this morning, but there is movement. A man and a woman stand in the middle of the Lot, separated by a yard or two. I watch as the man flings a tennis ball, away from himself, away from me.

A white dog jumps excitedly at the sight of the bright yellow toy, then takes off running after the ball. The dog returns proudly, the ball in his mouth, and the man retrieves the toy, no doubt a little more slobbery than previously, just as I turn away to put my makeup on.

A game of fetch.

Minutes pass and I step back over to the bookshelf, slipping the makeup back into the disheveled blue bag. I pause at the window on my way past, expecting to see the dog and man still involved in their game, but instead a different scene meets my eyes.

The man and woman remain where they were, rooted rather apathetically in the middle of the asphalt, but the dog is nowhere to be seen. I watch the pair begin to glance around, imagining the growing uncertainty and concern they might feel as the seconds pass and their four-footed friend remains missing.

Then a streak of white motion appears behind one of the cars, and I watch the dog weave his sneaky way around his people, slipping in and out of the few cars still in the Lot. Moments pass and the two individuals become more concerned. I watch as they begin to move, taking slow steps here and there, looking around for their furry companion.

Then, slowly, their search brings then back around to where they began and just as I did, they catch sight of the animal. I lean forward to watch the relief on their faces, and then step away from the window again; the misty sun is rising higher and I need to go.

But there’s a lesson, a comparison, a beauty, in the Parking Lot. In the dog. In searching for something that’s still there. There’s desperation and beauty and hope in my position, too. Standing in a window, six floors up, knowing that the dog is there, knowing that it will all work out, and completely unable to communicate that to anyone.

There’s something there; beauty, hope, grace, desperation, maybe a lesson. But I don’t know exactly what it is.

And for tonight, for once, I’m going to leave it like that.

~Natalia

Spider Boy

This small fellow is standing on my desk currently.

Minus the apple.

My planner, my computer, my little box from Target that contains my neatly organized pens and folders, and Spider Boy.

Spider Boy, headless, gripping a mini candle that yes, does indeed light up, with a fat rubber tarantula hanging from his right hand, was rescued from the dumpster at the end of last semester.

He appeared on various desks throughout the last weeks of school, his little arms clicking mechanically as they swung back and forth. Pale hand brandishing his little candle, the faint orange glow sliding back and forth as his arms moved.

Much to the general delight of our floor, Ellie took Spider Boy home with her over the summer and brought him back to the floor this fall.

He waited patiently, headlessly waving his candle back and forth, for Mary to arrive on back on campus on Tuesday. He spent this morning on The Neighbor’s bed, reclining on the bare blue mattress while we waited with bated breath for her to return.

The Neighbor’s back now, and I returned from an evening engagement to find Spider Boy sitting on my desk, proudly and rather mildly swinging his little light (now extinguished, for whatever reason) back and forth.

The Roommate’s gone tonight, but I guess I have Spider Boy to keep me company.

~Natalia

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