Dreaming of Fireflies

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“Since we met, my life’s been so up in the air…” July 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 10:23 am

As I prepare to move to a new town (still without a job or a place to live!), I think about how crazy my life has been since meeting the two loves of my life who are leading me there- Benjamin and Jesus (one a chronic procrastinator and conventions-resistor, the other who also likes last-minute surprises and turning the world’s ways and expectations upside-down). In light of the spontaneous adventures and misadventures that have resulted from said relationships, I post this song. I would follow them anywhere and I don’t think this newest adventure (or any of them) is a mistake at all, but this song makes me laugh at the roller-coaster ride of life with them.

Mistake of My Life by Caedmon’s Call

I’m in love, never been so sure of anything
Then again, could be a tumor in my brain
Tricking me into thinking that we were meant to be
Either way, I’m about to shock my family
And my hometown again
‘Cause this time I’m leaving

~

But once I’m gone I cannot look back
I’ve got to trust this is right
Maybe I’m on my way to find you
Or maybe I’m gonna make the mistake of my life

~

Since we met, my life’s been so up in the air
Here today, but by next week I could be there
On the street, struggling to support my newest vice
With a sign that says ‘I will work for love advice.’
‘Cause I will mow your lawn
If you’ll tell me what I’m doing wrong

~

I’ll leave the car runnin’
And I’ll leave half the boxes packed
For the slim chance I’ll come right back

~

But once I’m gone I cannot look back
I’ve got to trust this is right
Maybe I’m on my way to find you
Or maybe I’m gonna make the mistake of my life

~~~~~

P.S. It wasn’t until posting these lyrics that I realized it says “I will work for love advice”, not “I will work for love and rice”! Either way, I’ll still mow your lawn (if you’ll pay me for it).

~~~~~

Along those lines, here are some of my favorite verses about God doing the unexpected:

“Think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things and the despised things and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” -1 Corinthians 1:26-29

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” -2 Corinthians 12:9-10

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven… If you love those who love you, what credit is there in that?” Matthew 5:43-46

And there are so many more! When the world valued men and firstborn sons and religiosity and status and wealth… God chose women and second-born sons and Samaritans and little children and the poor. Jesus came as a poor child of an unwed teenage mother, growing up to be a young, controversial teacher who defied conventions, spent his time with sinners, the sick, and the outcasts, preached love, turned little into much, and ushered in a Kingdom far different from the military glory most Jews were expecting from the Messiah. He was a servant-king who willingly died for his friends and for his enemies, defeated death, and continues to turn the world upside-down by looking not quite like what people expect. The truth is, if we can learn to see on that level and know him and his kingdom, it is far better than what we expect or imagine, and will one day be fully carried to completion. I’m looking forward to it. But for now, I delight in these little mysteries, for He has shown us the secrets of the kingdom.

~~~~~

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Song of the Day July 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 3:22 pm

Or song of the decade, for me…

When the Mountains Fall
by Mark Schultz

You stand on the edge
You followed the call
No turning back, you are risking it all
He whispers your name
In a moment of truth
The rocks fall around you
The ground starts to move
You step out on faith
It’s all that you know
You jump into darkness and hold onto hope
~
When the mountains fall
When the rivers rise
Security crumbles before your eyes
The one thing you know:
In faith you’ll find something to stand on
Or you will be taught to fly
~
So dream your dreams
And live your life
Knowing there’s more than to merely survive
Don’t give up, don’t give in
Fight through the rain and lean into the wind
‘Til you come to the edge of all that you know
Run right through the dark knowing you’re not alone
~
When you walk through the fire
It will not consume you
Though the water will rise
It won’t overtake you
Though the mountains may fall
Oh still I am with you
I’ve called you by name
And I will not leave you
~
I’m learning to trust You
I’m learning to die
I’m learning to trust You
I’m learning to fly

 

Poetry in Motion July 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 10:03 am

Recently I realized that I was thinking in blog posts on occasion throughout my day, composing potential posts rather than normal thoughts. My first thought was, “Maybe I really am a writer at heart.” A happy thought and one that certainly may be the case, although I don’t claim to possess incredible talent or formal training. I’ve just always enjoyed writing, ever since I wrote a set of poems about the seasons for my fifth grade teacher, and when a classmate  saw them and accused me of plagiarism. I faked some other things in my day, such as chicken pox (a.k.a. chalk circles on my arms) to get the attention of a boy in first grade (why I thought chicken pox would make him like me, I don’t know) and pretending I knew cursive to get the popular girl to like me in first grade (I remember clearly her declaration that it was nothing but “chicken-scratch”). Geez, first grade was a tough year… But anyway, of all the things I faked, my writing was not one of them, and writing is something that is a part of me, something I thought to be confirmed by my strange blog-think.

But when it happened again last night, an alternate explanation occurred to me. Maybe I have become a recluse and the lack of social interaction leads my mind to formulate thoughts specifically for the medium that is my only contact with the outside world! Ok, maybe that’s a little extreme. But it is kind of startling how a different perspective can totally change the meaning of an occurrence, isn’t it?

Speaking of writing, I have recently found some encouragement and fresh inspiration as a writer from a very gifted poet friend of mine (you know who you are. 😉 ). I used to write a lot of poems for friends, both funny and serious ones, and share my other poems with people as well, but some time ago it became something more private for me. Most often they have been spiritual poems that feel like a private form of worship or dialogue between God and me, so I have mostly kept them to myself. I am still unsure whether I will share most of them with others, especially on a blog for the world to see, but seeing as the creation of this site was inspired by a poem, I thought it would be nice to post one.

So here is one of my old poems about my personal and spiritual journey and my relationship with God. The poem was sort of foundational for me, with a lot of my subsequent writing making reference to this one. Maybe you’ll get to see some of those in the future? But for now, here’s a glimpse:

10/03/04

~

I am a butterfly, transformed

but I don’t know how to fly.

I long to praise you with the colors of my wings

To flutter across the sky

To soar for you

To soar to you

But I crawl along the ground

Unaware of my strength, unaware more still of my beauty

Unaware that I can fly

with your strength the wind gliding under my wings

Why do I fear the inevitable flight?

The flight I must take if I am ever to do what I was created to

If I am ever to really live.

Why do I grow increasingly restless on this ground?

My heart begins to feel

I don’t belong here anymore

I will sit lost in contemplation

Drowning in my dreams

Until one delightful, intoxicating day

When the fear of staying will become greater than the fear of flying

I will look up to the sky

I will trust, I will believe

And I will finally soar

~

” He is what creates, and we creatures are in the act of becoming.” -Carlo Carretto

 

Quotes of the Day July 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 9:30 pm

Ben: “My finger just scared me. I thought it was a bug on the couch!”

~

Mortgage lady: “What kind of animals did you see in Costa Rica?”
Ben: “We saw some poison dart frogs that were pretty cool.”
Mortgage lady: “Do they shoot poison darts at you?”

~

Olivia (2 year old niece): “If Uncle Benjamin needs help going potty, I can wipe his butt for him.”

 

:-/ July 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 10:45 am

Way to get covered in mosquito bites the night before your interview, Jen.

My life never ceases to amuse me…  😛

 

Jobs I am considering… July 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 10:00 am

Here are some jobs I found in the classifieds. Could one of these be the job for me???

-General Laborer

-DJ/Personality

-Compliance Engineer

-Certified Pet Stylist

-Carpet Cleaning Technician (actually, I’m going to clean my parents’ carpet today!)

and my personal favorite…

– Senior Subject Matter Expert

 

The Illinois Tollway System: Building Character, One Girl at a Time. July 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 3:33 pm

Anyone who drives in the Chicagoland area knows how much patience such an endeavor typically requires. Luckily, traffic was great for once as I drove downstate last weekend. However, the open roads did not prevent it from being a painfully character-building experience for me, and not because I was headed to visit my new hometown for the first time ever and apply for jobs, or because the cigarette lighter was broken, rendering both my iPod and GPS useless…

Before I left on my last-minute journey, Ben informed me that Illinois is beginning to enforce speed limits strictly in construction zones, using cameras and issuing $375 tickets to drivers going even slightly above 45 mph. While I am supportive of the idea of protecting the lives of construction workers who do a dangerous job to begin with, when there are miles and miles of construction zones on a 3+ hour trip, usually with not a worker present, I’ll admit that the money was my primary reason for slowing down. And I did. I drove 44 mph through each construction zone, much to the dismay of my fellow drivers. As I received stares and the occasional honk, I tried to console myself with the thought that I was the prudent and fortunately well-informed driver among them, pitying them for the $375 they may have to shell out when their tickets arrive in the mail. But inner strength and self-consciousness warred within me, and due to another unfortunately embarrassing situation, the self-consciousness was winning out.

See, Ben and I have had trouble with our iPass transponder pretty much since we got it. I won’t rant now about the never-ending phone calls to reverse hundreds of dollars in fines, even after we exchanged it for a new one. We have since discovered that something about the slight tint in the windshield of our Caprice prevents the signal from being transmitted properly (or whatever the proper technical explanation would be). Therefore, we were advised to try holding the transponder and sticking it out the window as we drive through tolls. After finding that, however annoying, this technique was a successful one, we have chosen to resort to this mildly humiliating method instead of all the fines, phone calls and frustration.

So… you can imagine the intensity of my inner battle to maintain a sense of dignity as I crawled along at 44 mph with cars going 65+ speeding around me, their drivers catching a glimpse of me in their rearview mirrors as I wave my iPass out of the open window. What thoughts ran through their minds I do not know, but the kindest were probably wondering what kind of freak or foreigner does not know how to use an iPass OR how to drive like a Chicagoan.

Despite the mild sting of humiliation, because I appreciate the efforts of the Illinois Tollway to speed up traffic with the iPass and to protect construction workers, and because I am continually on the journey of letting go of my pride and reputation, I am going to chalk this one up to a character-building experience. And hey, it was good for a laugh.

Illinois, can I charge YOU a toll for a laugh at my expense?