Saturday, January 26, 2008

Man's True Nature

I know that I didn't blog regularly last week, for which I do apologize. With four English classes, there's just a lot of reading and that's sucking up my every spare minute. Not that I'm complaining, mind-I love the classes. They're so much fun, and many of them are with my favorite people on the planet. So the work is worth it. However, the fun doesn't mean that the classes aren't time consuming. They do provide excellent fodder for deep thought, however, as my old friend Nathaniel Hawthorne made clear this week. We've been reading his short stories in my American Lit class, and they've been absolutely fascinating. One of the things we've discussed is the fact that Hawthorne reveals mankind's true nature, his very heart. Dr. Jenkins said the most amazing thing-most authors try to reveal the heart to show its goodness, while Hawthorne seeks to show all that is wrong and cruel about it. We don't want our true hearts to be revealed, because we don't want to know what we ourselves are capable of doing. And if you think about it, that's absolutely correct. I'd like to think that I'm really a good person who very occasionally does bad things, but thanks to the Fall and to our sin natures, I think it's the exact opposite. I'm really a bad person who very occasionally does good things. That's a scary thing to think about...we think that we can never be capable of real evil, but tweak the conditions and quite possibly there's nothing that we wouldn't do. Humans don't want to face that reality, and that is what makes Hawthorne so disturbing to so many. In his stories, pastors become adulterers, good men are corrupted by the devil, and fathers treat their daughters like experiments. Thankfully, there is a happy ending to all of this. God swoops in like the chivalrous knight of old, and offers mankind a loophole in the tragedy of life. He gives us grace for our sin natures, and offers a place in heaven for all those who do the absurdly simple thing of sincerely praying a prayer. Isn't it marvelous beyond contemplation? It certainly is for me.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Wonderful, Wonderful Day

So, today was just one of those normal, glorious days that makes the rest of life worth it. Nothing terribly special happened, yet that just made the normalcy of it all the more precious. I slept as late as I wanted this morning, then got up, did some housework, and got ready for church. I met Julianne (my soul mate-I swear, we're so much alike it's scary) at Starbucks, and we talked for a while before we left to go to college group at this church I've been visiting some. The service was all right-I agree most of the time with the leader, if not with the actions of some of the other people in the service. Why do people have to wave around and act so....weird? I know it's all about worship preferences, but it just seems like a way of getting attention to me. In any case, the sermon was good. It was talking about Pentecost, which is never an easy subject to speak on. After church, Julianne took me back to my car, and I drove home, stopping briefly at Wendy's to get a frosty for Mom. (She's been sick all week, prayers would be nice.) After putting on jeans and a hoody, which was absolutely marvelous, I went downstairs. Pretty soon, Julianne and Rachel came over. We talked, ate entirely too much food, and watched two movies as well as the end of "Pride and Prejudice." It was SO much fun. Mom made us a fabulous dinner, and we talked for at least an hour. God has been so good about bringing wonderful friends into my life, and I never cease to be grateful for them. Kind of a lazy day, but very much appreciated after how hectic last week was with getting home from Florida and starting school. I hope all of your days was just as enjoyable as my own. Blessings! Love, Me.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Learning Slowly

Most of you know that I have been struggling pretty heavily this past year with my future, most especially, with my future partner in life. Thankfully, God has been gently working with me to remove this fear and to make me realize that His time is truly best. However, I did find myself pretty depressed the day that we were in Magic Kingdom. The whole place smacks of love and happily ever afters, which I haven't found yet. It was the hardest when we were (miraculously-I'll tell that story later) able to meet three of the Disney princess, Cinderella (my personal favorite), Belle, and Sleeping Beauty. The actresses were perfectly lovely and did a great job with their roles. However, the experience was an excessively bitter one for me, because I was sitting there watching them coo over Jordan and talk about Shelby's prince, after which they would invariably look at me and ask if my prince was there as well. No, I would smile, haven't found him yet. But their manners just seemed to say that by this point in my life, I should have a prince, and that not having one was some sort of deficiency on my part. Of course, these rather extreme feelings on my part passed and I was able to enjoy the rest of the trip.

Still, the echoes of this were still with me when we stopped at a lovely, lonely beach on our way back home. I was standing there looking at the endless beauty before me, and I haven't experienced such peace in a long time. I've always associated the ocean with heaven for some reason, probably due to Tolkein's influence on me. It's endless, unfathomable, and leads to places unknown.

In any case, I was standing there just trying to figure things out. And I could feel God gently speaking to me, prompting me. "Katie, this is dumb," He seemed to say. "You are strong enough on your own, and your self-worth is not defined by whether you have a "prince" or not. I love you, and that's enough." As of course I must, I was forced to acknowledge the truth in this, and I finally felt a sense of release. I picked up a seashell that was lying there, and threw it out into the water, telling God that I was letting go of this fear as much as I could. A minute later, another shell washed up at my feet. It was smaller than the one I had let go, and a little jagged. Still, I tried to break it in my hands, and it was too strong. It was a small promise, but one that He would not break. He would be enough for me, whether I ever found my Prince Charming or not.

Strangely, since then I've found that I haven't been bothered by my single status nearly as much. I find myself almost hourly grateful that I've never dated, because I know that by the time when, and if, God brings that special gentleman in my life, I will be heart whole. Purity is about so much more than body, it's also your mind and heart. I don't care if I only date one man in my entire life-dating has never been about conquests to me. It's been about finding your soul mate. Apparently I'm not ready yet, in which case I will do my best to wait patiently and ask God to continue to teach me the lessons I need to be worthy of whatever future He brings me.

Friday, January 18, 2008


For those of you who know me, I have two great philosophies in life that I live by. They are as follows: Life has enough angst without adding more to it. I am extravagant in only two things on earth: bedsheets and jewelry. After careful reflection and conversation with others, I've decided to add yet another philosophy: Simplicity in all things. Even the saying is simple. Why add a lot of fuss and bother to things that don't need fuss and bother? I decided to put this philosophy in motion while we were in Florida. MGM had a humongous light show, something like three billion lights that took the power from three other states to run them. I was walking down this crowded lane with all these lights shining garishly and almost abominably, and I kept thinking, "Why bother? This is too much, this is the kind of stuff that can cause seizures. A few simple white lights and garlands would have been exponentially prettier and undeniably far more elegant. However, there is one sight that doesn't require any work on our part. Want to see lights of incomparable beauty? Just go outside one dark night and look at the stars. It always leaves me feeling at peace with my world, for it reminds me that I am apart of only one small piece of time.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Purple Mountain's Majesty

I'm sitting on my hotel bed in the complete dark because Shelby was ready to go to bed and I wanted to get online and talk to my friends. So we compromised, and the room's dark except for my laptop. I'm currently in the not-so-grand state of Georgia (I keep thinking about how it was originally intended to be one giant penal colony) on our way to lovely, warm Florida. This time tomorrow, and I will be in Magic Kingdom! Woo hoo! Thankfully, the trip so far has been relatively uneventful. We got up very early this morning, and were actually almost on time leaving the house. We only stopped a few times throughout the day: once to get lunch, once to get ice cream, another time to get gas. Other than that, we drove all day and didn't land at our hotel until close to ten. It has been a looooong day, ladies and gentlemen. But fun...I got to read "The Blue Castle" all the way through, listened to tons of music, did quite a bit of singing with Shelby when it got dark and we were bored, and did a fair bit of story-planning and day-dreaming. About midway through the day, we went through some gorgeous parts of Tennessee. There were all these beautiful mountains and valleys and rivers. I loved watching it so much...listening to Josh Groban at the same time added a lot to the experience. Later, though, we went through Atlanta. We were passing these really tall, elegant sky scrapers, and all I could think was, "These have nothing on the mountains. Men have spent years and untold dollars on these buildings, and they don't even come close to what God created in an instant." It was very humbling. Anyway, tomorrow involves more driving, stopping at a MASSIVE outlet mall, and Magic Kingdom. I'm very excited! I think I should get some sleep now, but hopefully I'll be able to update at some point tomorrow. I don't know whether I'll be able to get wireless at the condo or not. With much love, Me.