Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Math for a Torrey Student

550 pages of Dostoyevsky to read + a computer that doesn't work well + lots of paperwork to fill out for the BSA + decisions to make + needing to watch a softball game sometime before the season ends + cancelling on my GYRAD date + Kierkegaard's existential philosophy + being told my writing skills need work + jury duty summons + tax forms + not enough money + feeling inadequate for my future career + being homesick + worry about friends + less sleep than I like = 1 stressed Torrey student (stressed about too many little things that she can't control)

"When I talked about this with one of my other classes, one student kept saying, 'I don't want to be in pain or alone.' All I could think of was the opposite: what is that worth?" ~Dr. Peters

The easy life is fun, but it isn't worth anything. It doesn't help me grow. It doesn't teach me to endure. It isn't surrendered to God. That's what keeps me going.

The Truly Human Things

I am convinced that the majority of what we do as humans is not meant to be the crux of our existence. I (and many of my peers at college here) have spent most of this semester filling out paperwork, writing and editing papers about topics we usually aren't passionate about, scheduling time into our lives to breathe, worrying about finances, worrying about having enough time, worrying about what the future holds, worrying about whether our majors are applicable in this economy, trying to fix stubborn computers and trying to fit a lot of classes into a very short amount of time. I don't think this is what I was made to do.

I was made to grow, to learn, to think, to pray, to love, to read, to write, to share, to have joy. Instead I find myself forgetting about all of these things for large chunks of time. I forget that God wants me to be joyful (not happy, but joyful). While humanity was created to work, I think we are meant to enjoy our work. College is a time to do this. It is the one time in my life where I will work closely with people who genuinely care about me and my personal growth and where my "job" of being a student includes meeting with those in authority over me to talk about how I'm growing as a person and follower of Christ. I am incredibly thankful for this oppurtunity, but at the same time I wish it wasn't all crammed into four years. We are so busy making the most of this oppurtunity that we don't have time to love, to be loved, to rest, to think, to mold our hearts into lovers of what is good, true, and beautiful. Instead I am too busy worrying whether I will have time to finish everything (and I'm not even taking a full 18 units this semester) that I don't have time to stop and just be.

A few months ago I wrote about how I was sick of just "being." I wanted to move on to doing something. I now want the reverse. I want time to be an Torrey student who actually understands the text for once. I want time to go to the beach. I want to talk for hours with my friends and not feel like I'm neglecting the 500 pages of Dostoyevsky that still need to be read. I want to return to the truly human things. I want to read good books, talk about theology, wade in a creek, dance, bake bread, laugh, drink tea. I want to be human, not a machine that must finish task X before five o'clock.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"I don't have a fairy tale marriage, but my marriage has fairy tale moments."

~Mr. San Nicolas

Saturday, March 26, 2011


"We shall come, rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves."

Friday, March 25, 2011

More of God's Gifts That I Have Noticed Lately

21. Having my Torrey paper turned in!

22. Power adapters.

23. That I didn't have to pull an all-nighter this semester to write my paper.

24. Irish music.

25. The fact that no matter how terrible my paper is, Jesus still loves me.

26. People who like to bestow monetary blessings on college students.

27. Quadratus.

28. Jelly beans.

29. Texts that make me laugh.

30. Inspiring people.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Know It's Paper Week When...

  • My best friend is the thesaurus.
  • My power adapter for my laptop quits during the one time in the semester where I consider pulling all-nighters.
  • I spend more time in the library than anywhere else.
  • Torrey students are preparing to take over the SUB at approximately 9 pm Thursday night and will not release their hold until about 7 am Friday morning.
  • For once, no one wants Friday to come any sooner.
  • I experience immense guilt every time I post on my blog because I know that time should be spent editing my paper.
  • Six hours of sleep becomes "enough."
  • I consider taking an extension on Torrey reading.
  • My friends no longer greet me with, "Hi, how are you?" but instead, "Hi, how's your paper coming?"
  • Tea with caffeine late at night becomes a blessing instead of a curse.
  • I forget what day it is and start thinking my paper is due tomorrow.
  • I am much more thankful for the little things.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"On Gmail, whenever I click 'Save Now,' I think 'Hosanna!'... 'Autosave' insn't biblical."
~Dr. Sanders during our discussion on Psalms

I love my professors.

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Thing

Tonight I got to chant Psalm 18 and Psalm 114 in Gregorian chant style.

It was beatuful to hear (not my chanting specifically, but the roomful of Torrey students chanting with me).

Monday, March 21, 2011


11. John Donne's divine poetry

12. The abundance of computers in the library

13. Friends with cars who drive me to Best Buy

14. Sleep

15. Ways to save money

16. A summer job!

17. Laughter

18. Tea

19. The combination of sunshine and rain

20. The mountains

Sunday, March 20, 2011

1,000 Gifts

One of my friends told me about a book called One Thousand Gifts that she is reading and how she is starting a project: listing 1,000 things she is thankful for. So, I am going to do it, too, and remind myself of what God is giving me each day.

1. Rain.

2. The smell of the world after it rains.

3. People who offer a ride home from church so my friends and I don't have to walk twenty minutes in the rain back to campus.

4. My church at home.

5. My church in La Mirada.

6. Being in Torrey.

7. My friends and family.

8. God-pleasing couples around me.

9. That Biola people are honest and turn in the flash drive I left in the library to the lost-and-found instead of taking it themselves.

10. The words to the hymn "All I Have Is Christ," specifically this verse:

But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Surprised by Joy

I sat in my room, reading Psalms while sipping blueberry pomegranate tea and crunching on granola, listening to Rachmaninoff after having talked and laughed with some of my friends in the lobby just down the hall: a perfect end to any day. I was happy, joyful, excited for Missions Conference tomorrow, thankful to be in Torrey, and intrigued by the recent Torrey mystery.

Then I stumbled across a verse that described exactly how I felt.

"...in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy."
~Psalm 63:7, ESV

Those words describe what I feel. Even though I'm still unsure what I will be doing this summer, how I will pay for the next year at Biola, or if I'll get the jobs I hope to, I will sing for joy, if only because I live in the shadow of His wings.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Quoting My Professors...

I am known to quote my professors when they say humorous or profound things. Especially the Torrey professors.

"Only the government could steal an hour of our sleep and call it Savings..."
~Dr. John Mark Reynolds

I think the funniest part of this quote to me is that I read it on the Scriptorium Daily blog (http://www.scriptoriumdaily.com/) under the new Twitter feed they added. My professors tweet. I find that a weird mix of scary, hilarious, and ironic.
The depth of the human soul amazes me. Yesterday (and into the wee hours of this morning) I spent 10 of my 18 waking hours talking with people over meals or just one-on-one about all kinds of things: theology, our past experiences, love, the nature of humanity, our purpose in this world, family, the future, God's provision...

And after 10 hours of talking with these people, I don't fell like I know them, even though I have "known" them for almost seven months. I want to get to know them more even after spending hours talking with them. The human soul is a glorious thing to be so deep that it takes years for us to uncover, and even then, I'm not sure we fully uncover the true entity of the soul.

I thank God that college gives me the time, the energy, and the excuse to stay up until 2 am talking about life.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Modernist poetry is like hipster clothing: its purpose is not to be beautiful but to be "unique."

Friday, March 11, 2011

On the Idea of Self

I am sick of myself.


You would think that constantly being wrapped up with myself, I would have gotten sick of myself sooner, but I haven't. What does that say about my ego?

I wish there was somewhere I could go where there would not be the perpetual reminder from the world saying, "You are the important one. You are what your life is all about. You are what the world is all about." But it has been so ingrained into me, that even if I go somewhere without advertisements, billboards, self-help books, and coffee shops, I will still have this mentality. I will still think that everything is important in relation to me, not that I might be important because of Someone else, not because of myself.

I am glad that I am in a place where I get this feeling. I feel inadequate, inept, and humbled. I thank God for putting me in a place where I am intellectually humbled. I am not all that important. God does not need my help, but allows me to help in His grand plan. The world is not waited with baited breath to find out what is on my mind. Others are more important than I am.
Inspired by this (http://firstthings.com/blogs/evangel/2011/03/on-hearing-about-an-earthquake/) post by Dr. John Mark Reynolds.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Highlight of My Day...

...was singing my absolute favorite hymn, "Come Thou Fount," surrounded by the group of people at Biola that I love most.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Church in the Wildwood

There's a church in the valley by the wildwood
No lovelier place in the dale
No place is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the dale.

How sweet, on a clear Sabbath morning
To listen to the clear ringing bells
Its tones, so sweetly, are calling
Oh, come to the church in the vale.

Oh, come, come, come, come
Come to the church in the wildwood
Oh, come to the church in the dale
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the vale.

I really, really miss my church. Old hymns, potlucks, people who have known me since I was four years old, babies and expectant mothers, my pastor, the sound of the creek as we sing the opening hymns, the kids that I miss watching as they grow up, the old-fashioned love for Jesus without any "new-and-improved" methods.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Music and Memories

For some reason (and I know exactly why), "Wild World" and "Miles From Nowhere" by Cat Stevens and "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd make me really miss my brother. And I haven't missed him in a long time. I think "Summertime Dream" by Gordon Lightfoot, "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles, and "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey make that list, too. He introduced me to these songs (and other "good" music) during our daily driving to school adventures.

I don't appreciate my family enough. And college is teaching me to. I just wish it hadn't taken me so long to learn that lesson.

I have also been humming the first few chords of "By the Rising of the Moon" and it makes me miss my dad. It's an Irish freedom song, and he used to play it for me on the guitar when I was little. I used to beg him to play "the moon song." "God Bless the U.S.A." also reminds me of him. He has an unwavering loyalty to America, and this is the only song I've ever seen bring him to tears. It reminds me that he's human, too.

"Forever in Blue Jeans" by Neil Diamond makes me miss my mom. She loves Neil Diamond, and even though its sappy, my dad still bought the CD for her.

"Church in the Wildwood" (especially sung by Johnny Cash) and "Daddy Sang Bass" by Johnny Cash make me miss my church in Woody. I miss the old hymns, the people who have known me and watched me grow up, and the fact that it is in the country with cows and a creek right over the barbed wire fence.

Music brings back memories. God knew what he was doing when He created it.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Quote of the Day

I found this quote scribbled on a piece of paper in my desk. I wrote it down the second week of last semester, the day after our first Reynolds session.

"Why love if losing hurts so much? I have no answers any more. Only the life I have lived. Twice in that life I've been given the choice: as a boy and as a man. The boy chose safety, the man chooses suffering. The pain now is a part of the happiness then. That's the deal."


Friday, March 4, 2011

My Week Has Been...

  • Working all weekend and all week on homework and realizing that I'll still have to work long, hard, and late to get all my homework done on time.
  • Hitting the ball in softball class.
  • Seeing Kayla.
  • A second Reynolds session in one semester.
  • Encouragement from Mary Kate.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Facebook-free.
  • Canterbury Tales, As You Like It, and Hamlet.
  • Funny dinner-time conversations.
  • Friends who will be RAs in Sigma next year.
  • Naps in the middle of the afternoon.
  • Shoulder-length curly hair.
  • Strangers who walk up to me and ask if they can pray for me.
  • Sees candy.
  • Singing worship songs in Spanish.
  • Paper-writing, note-taking, test-passing, and too-much-stressing.
  • Being very frustrated with Turabian formatting yet again.
  • Sweaters and scarves.
  • Weird rumors about famous people applying to Biola and Torrey.
  • Tea and cookies in class.
  • Friends.
  • Friends who let me use their phones when AT&T cell reception shuts down for two days.
  • IT Helpdesk.
  • Southern gospel music.
  • Humor.
  • Prayers.
  • Being reminded that God will provide.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tonight Quadratus had their second Reynolds session of the semester...

My brain is exhausted, my heart aches, but my soul is encouraged.

I am very glad I had the foresight to take a nap before session today.

Laughter is good and brings people together.

I love hearing Dr. Reynolds talk about education.

And all this after I promised myself that my next post on my blog would not be about me.