Thursday, April 30, 2009

looking back already

I have been learning a lot about myself in the context of dating Jason. Already, so many insecurites have popped their ugly heads up and I have seen fears that I never knew existed come into my mind taunting me. But I have also been happily surprised by many of my reactions to different issues. For example, I have realized that I am much less jealous than I had thought I would be.
And this week's lesson: I am not good at long distance. For all the hours I spent in high school talking on the phone with boys, I am no good at long distance relationships. Jason and I spend a good amount of time talking on the phone each night (it's a good thing we have Verizon in-minutes!) And we talk about everything from the mundane to the deep. I am SO blessed to have a guy who can handle, and maybe even enjoy, the mad stream of thoughts that go through my mind. So we are learning that we are very different in many ways, but we also seeing the benefits of being together, of balancing each other. So we got in a discussion a few nights ago that really didn't mean much, but I left the conversation really wishing that I could have ended that conversation with a hug. I need him to be here (or me to be there!) so I can see him, hug him, you know, all that cute corny new relationship stuff. I actually get sad when I think about it.
But I was praying about it today and God gave me a confidence that someday I will look back on this stage in our relationship, this stage of long distance, and I will be grateful for it. I will see the blessing of having a month apart, just to talk on the phone. Already in this time, my heart has changed so much toward Jason. I feel myself becoming more tender toward him each day, and each day I miss him a little more.
For those of you who know him, you can agree that I snatched probably one of the most eligible bachelors at Westminster. And really, I'm not sure that I could have asked for more. For all the little silly things we differ on, there is so much that we see eye to eye on. I still can't quite believe that we are together. It seems a little surreal. But the moment I start to think about the craziness of it all, I just remind myself, "It's just Jason, just with different ground rules". And its true. Our friendship has so easily transitioned into more. And our time spent talking each night is such a treasure to me. Even when we disagree. I know, no matter what happens, that this time is a blessing from the Lord.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Change of Heart

So this post is a little overdue, but as I have learned in the last few weeks, God is never late in His timing.

A few weeks ago, I came to the realization that one of my good guy friends was interested in something more. His name is Jason and we have been friends for about a year and a half. He is also a student at Westminster, and we have both attended New Life Glenside Church for the last year. The picture below is from last year's 4th of July parade. (If you look back in this blog to last year July, you'll find the original posting of that photo!) So, back to the story, I realized that Jason was interested in more, but on my part, I had never seen him as anything more than a friend. A good friend, one that I really enjoyed, but nonetheless, just a friend.
So a few Sundays ago, after a conversation with Jason, where I realized he was interested in more, I began to ask myself why I had never considered him an option. After a few days of real hardcore prayer and heart searching, I realized that I was interested, I had just been blind to the possibility before.
There are so many little details to this story that I would love to share, and hopefully someday I will get to share more with you. But for now, it is suffice to say, Jason and I each took time to pray, to talk to people we respected in our lives, and to each other. And we decided go for it- to date. So there you go. After all these years writing on this blog about boys and singleness and all the madness that surrounds the single girl's heart, this girl is no longer single.
Now, what does this all mean? Well, one of the biggest effects this relationship has on my life right now is that we have decided that I should move back to Philly. So, in June I will be moving back to Philly. I will (hopefully) get a job and maybe even take a class at Westminster. And honestly, what I am looking forward to the most, is just spending time with Jason, as his girlfriend. I'm looking forward to making dinner together, and watching tv together, and just enjoying each other.
Anyways, I'm not sure how the whole blogging about a relationship works since it is no longer just my heart that I will be writing about, but his as well. But this blog has been about my adventures, especially in matters of the heart. So I would like to continue to chronicle here what goes on in this silly heart. So bear with me. I will try not to become one of those girls who suddenly has NOTHING else to discuss outside of her romantic life. But I also know that for all the times I have blogged about being single, this is a great time to share with you some of the reflections I have on being in a relationship. Already I have learned so much. I have seen the Lord so dramatically change my heart over the last few weeks. And I am sure there is more to come. So stay tuned...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good Friday Prayer

This is a little something I wrote in my journal last night at a Good Friday service...

"Tonight we celebrate Your death. Such an odd event to celebrate. And yet it is exactly that horrible death on a cross that is my hope and my joy. My whole hope is in Your death, for on Your cross my sin was crucified. My death happened that Friday so long ago and today I celebrate it. For in death, life was born. You oh Jesus, bore our deaths. Bless You, oh Savior of the World, Lamb that took away our sins! We praise your name forever!"

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Great Desires

(Warning: this post is just as scattered in topic as my brain is emotionally scattered right now. If the train of thought presented here doesn't make sense to you, you're normal.)

I've been thinking about desires alot this week. I have so many dreams and desires in this life. Some of them are old, going way back to when I was a kid. For example, I remember as a little kid, before I was really a Christian, wanting to be a rabbi's wife. I think my mom would have rather me be a rabbi myself. But I wanted to be the wife of the religous leader. As I have grown in my faith that has translated easily into a desire to be a pastor's wife. I could explain why, but that would bore most of you, so just take my word on it, I would love to be a pastor's wife. But up till recently, I haven't narrowed down who I would marry based upon their vocational calling. I would have happily settled with a teacher, an engineer, or even... an accountant!
The last 6 months I have become more and more aware of my desire to do ministry. It runs so deeply in my veins and I can't imagine life outside of it. And this realization has brought another: I don't think I could ever marry someone who didn't share that calling. So what does that do to my expectations of a husband? These are all unanswered questions that I don't really expect answers to, but I hope when the time comes, I act in wisdom.
I have been under the impression for the last few years that I was more or less free of major issues. I thought, "I'm not that complicated. I've basically got it all together". Umm... well this week proved me wrong. The Lord allowed me to be tested in some ways this week, and I saw how truly messed up I am. How spastic I can get. How I have a hard time accepting love from others, especially unconditional love. Wow, this week, I was a mess. But I'm seeing the Lord teach me through all of this and His patience is immeasurable! I just pray that I have patience with His process. And that when these moments, these challenges occur, that I may act in wisdom.


The girls
with their Matzoh and bitter herbs Reading part of the Hagaddah

My roommate Rebekah and I (and yes, sometimes its confusing having two girls with the same name in one apartment!)

One of the girls jumped in and joined us for the photo fun.... and Rebekah didn't make it into the whole photo, oh well!

So this was the first year in many that I actually celebrated Passover with a Jewish family. Josh (my boss) and Annette Sofer had a few of us over to celebrate the fun feast. It was great, a little tradition thrown in with a little not so traditional... awesome. It made me look forward to the day when I hopefully will host seders for my own family. Who knows, I may turn out to be the next June Cleaver, or at least, the Jewish Christian version of her... :)

Visit to the old stompin' grounds

Taty, me and Heather

Danielle and Chris

And Danielle and I looking at the baby cows after devouring the yummiest fresh made ice cream!

Here are some photos from Danielle and my visit to Philly last week... good times!

Monday, April 06, 2009

One of the posters in the subway train had this provoking quote on it:

Out of the crooked timber of humanity
nothing entirely straight can be built.

-Immanuel Kant

Thoughts anyone? Disagree? Agree?


So this week has begun with some heaviness on my heart. It's a heaviness though that is good because it is teaching me SO much about my heart, my mind, and the insanity that exists between the two. Anyways, this will be a week of meditation on the Lord's promise to guide us, to teach us to worship Him in holiness and to pursue His glory.
The next few months will be filled with decisions to be made, in every sphere of life. If you wanna know how to keep me in prayer, please pray for wisdom.

A little something from a Puritan Prayer:

Let thy Spirit help my infirmities,
for I know not what to pray for as I ought.
Let him produce in me wise desires by which I may ask right things,
then I shall know thou hearest me.
May I never be importunate for temporal blessings, but always refer them to thy Fatherly goodness, for thou knowest what I need before I ask.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Puzzle Pieces

Last night was the second of two bible studies that I got to lead while my boss is away. Last week went so well and I was excited to teach again. The bible study is the regular Jews for Jesus bible study on Tuesday nights, open to anyone. Usually there are about 12-15 people there and the people are as diverse as you might expect in New York. Some are Jews, some are Gentiles, some have been believers a long time, some not so long. Men, women, businessmen, students, manual laborers. It's a very diverse crowd. Before last week I had never taught a co-ed bible study before. I had led, kinda, women's studies, but always with my friends and not more than 5 or 6 of us. This was a whole new experience.
At Westminster I had taken a class on preparing a sermon, and another on how to counsel someone with the Word, but never on how to lead a bible study. Bible studies are not as personal and specific as counselling, but they also are more didactic than preaching. They are somewhere in the middle of these two forms. I have learned SO much these past two weeks in preparing for these bible studies. I studied the passage hard, looking at the Greek and what some others have said concerning the passage. And then I wrote out a general flow of where the study would go. I had the points I wanted to stress, the main message of the passage and some kind of movement into application. But as I learned last night, somethings are hard to plan for.
So last nights passage was an introduction to the parables, Mark 4:1-20. It was a difficult passage to begin with, one that opened up a lot of questions.
I had my flow chart ready. I knew the passage well and knew how to answer the questions that I thought would come up. And the questions did. I found it really hard to stay on my flow chart. To bring it back to the passage, to focus in on what the Lord would teach us out of this particular passage and not get caught up in the various side topics that could so easily distract us.
For all the frustration with my under-developed study leading skills, the Holy Spirit encouraged me beyond belief last night. I asked the group, What is the mystery of the kingdom of God? Jesus told his disciples that to them had been given the mystery of the kingdom, and it had NOT been given to the outsiders. So what was this mystery? Well, it was Christ Himself. Now, all that I went into the study prepared to share. But then as I was explaining it to the group, how Jesus is the mystery who has been given to us beleivers, the coolest thing happened. I was given an illustration to explain it that made the whole concept come to life. It has to do with puzzle pieces. Let me see if I can explain it again:
The Jews had been awaiting the Kingdom of God, when God's order would be restored to the whole earth through the ruling of Israel as the good King over the land. There would be the seed of David who would overthrow the oppressors and take the throne. And they waited with great expectations for this king. They had the puzzle in front of them, but the key piece, the Messiah, was missing and they were looking for him. The problem is that the key puzzle piece, who is Jesus, when put in the puzzle, redefines the whole puzzle. It is a glorious picture, but not what the Jews were expecting. So when Jesus showed up on the scene, He wasn't the piece they expected, he didn't make the puzzle look like what they thought the puzzle would look like. He is the mystery of the kingdom, and in order to see the kingdom as it really was, you have to trust that he is the missing piece. Once you place your faith in Him, you see the puzzle in all its glorious newness! You see the Kingdom of God is here, not as we had expected it, but better! The scribes denied that Jesus was the missing piece, all they heard in the parables were stories. Empty, foolish stories. But to those of us who recognize Jesus as the mystery of the kingdom, the parables are full of life.
Praise God for being in control of all things and giving us the words to say when we are teaching His people!