Thursday, July 30, 2009


"I spent my time on the empty and the fleeting,
I spent my life on much less than what I dreamed,
But I'm reaching out to you to make me new.
'Cause I am just a beggar here at your door,
I am just a shipwreck here on your shore
I come empty-handed ready to see
Your life for me changing who I've been
To who I need to be..."
--"Shipwreck" by Starfield

Currently Reading: "Daisy Chain" by Mary DeMuth
Songs I'm Loving (at this moment): "Fields of Gold" by Lisa Kelly (Celtic Woman)
"Shipwreck" by Starfield
"Slow Fade" by Casting Crowns
"Who Am I" by Casting Crowns
Books I Want to Read: "Informed Consent" by Sandra Glahn
"The Abolition of Man" by C.S. Lewis
"The Problem of Pain" by C.S. Lewis

I love the summer. Without classes in the way and schoolwork to worry about, there is just a little more time than usual to focus on important matters -- spiritual growth, fellowship, fun times...

Admittedly, I have been worried about the future. I'm wondering what will happen after senior year, what I should do this senior year, etc. Before, when I worried so incessantly not too long ago, I would try to remember Matthew 6:33-34 --

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Now I noticed that to avoid worry, or deal with worry, I don't reflect or meditate but rather I plunge headlong into certain actions as a way to hedge that field. It's nearly the end of July, which means August is coming, which also means school will be started in less than four weeks. I signed up for my classes, and I'm still pondering certain academic decisions. I used to not like seeing things so clearly ahead. What am I talking about? I still don't like not being able to see what's coming.

Going off of the Myers-Briggs, I'm an extreme "J." According to the Facebook application test I took a long time ago, my "J" level was at 87%, which is extremely high. I'm not defining my character/personality by this psychological test, because I know these tests are questionable in its accuracy and our charater is much more than some kind of test that we take. However, the result hardly surprised me as I realized how inflexible I can be to change and how much I enjoy residing in my purported comfort zone. I could claim that I can be spontaneous, but that's just another way of me saying that I like spontaneity as long as I know it's coming. That's not spontaneity. That's called control. I like a schedule and everything planned. I so desperately want to know what's going to happen because I hate worrying. Not knowing makes me worry, and it brings about anxiety.

So I come back to Matthew 6:33-34. Then there is also James 4:13-14 --

"Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."

How true does this speak of life in general? I should make wallpapers of these verses or something so I will always see them and remember them whenever I look at my computer. Then I can remember that life is short, and it's unpredictable. Worrying is fruitless and it takes away the much needed time we have on Earth. If we could abolish pointless worrying, the accumulation of those extra minutes could make all the difference.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Right Now

You want a change
It's written on your face
You feel alone, a little out of place
You hide away the scars and the mistakes
You've been tired, uninspired
Something's got to give
Right now He knows who you are
The light in the dark
He picks up your broken heart
Right now He's telling the truth
That you will make it through
His love can rescue you right now
--"Right Now" by This Beautiful Republic

God opens doors. God closes doors. But when doors are opened, are we supposed to walk through or stay back?

That's the beauty of God's love. He gives us the power of choice. I think many in this world are obsessed with their right to choose, yet they scorn the idea of God's love. The irony is that God supports choice -- He gave us free will to come to Him, to accept Him, or to even reject Him. And it breaks His heart, but He still gives us the choice because that is true love.

Even though I'm only a junior, right now I feel like there are many decisions I have to make. I don't want to be rash or impulsive -- my emotions are right and wrong on different occasions. I don't want to over-rationalize a decision either, because immersion in logic and sensibility will only lead to indecision. This summer is an example of a decision I need to make -- what should I do? God opens doors, and He closes them. I know I must put my trust in Him, but while I know this simple truth, I still struggle to let go. Let go of my fears, my inhibitions, and my selfish desire for control.

But God has always provided. I remember last year, around this time (a little later in the month actually), was when I received numerous rejections -- from a Washington DC fellowship program, from Haas, and some companies -- and I was dejected. The Haas rejection was especially difficult, not because I desperately wanted to get in, but mainly because I felt I had wasted two years of courses for something that was ultimately defeating in the end. There were other reasons too, but none that I wish to go into right now.

Nothing is ever a waste. Ultimately, I realized that God opens and closes doors, and He closed many last year. He closed them for a reason --I was not meant to walk that path. In retrospect, I realize how ill-suited I was for Haas. Looking back, I didn't really want to go to Washington DC that summer. Rejection hurts at the moment, but everything happens for a reason.

Yesterday, I spent some quality time with my small group sisters. We went to Hannah's apartment and ate a delicious dinner. As I am currently sick (I think it's a common's been recurring though), I found the beef soup especially nourishing. I was so thankful for the fellowship and love I could share with my sisters. Afterward, a few girls studied while the rest of us watched Bella, a movie released back in 2006.

The film was heartwarming and gritty, realistic and idealistic. It was a film of contrasts. There was hope written in the film, in this story of a woman who makes a devastating discovery before being fired from her job and the man who feels compelled to counsel her. There are no blatant Hollywood elements in here -- romance was hardly considered, the characters were far from caricatures. It was simply a beautiful story of two sort-of friends in New York City, trying to deal with their personal demons and coming to terms with life.

I highly recommend it to anyone. The film apparently won numerous awards -- mostly audience favorite awards.

Letting go is beautiful
There's so much more just waiting there for you
--"Right Now" by This Beautiful Republic

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Day

It's a new day
Oh, it's a new time
And there's a new way
I'm going to live my life
All the old has passed away
And the new has come
Thank God it's a brand new day

I wrote a 2008 ramble/reflection not too long ago, but I feel compelled to write some New Year's resolutions in here. I can only hope that I will stick to these resolutions. I may be a realist, but maybe I'm an idealist as well. Is it possible to be both? I've always been idealistic, but I tell myself to focus on reality so my feet don't lift off the ground and my head won't get stuck in the clouds. It happens.

Romans 5:4
"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. "

Why do we make resolutions? If I choose to be cynical, I can wonder why we make resolutions because there's this high probability that we're going to fail to accomplish any of them. But like I wrote in my previous entry, I am a realist, not a cynic. It is not cynical to be realistic, and realistically speaking, there is the high chance that our resolutions will not be accomplished. But are we perfect? We're certainly not, though many people in this world wish they were, or even believe they are.

But making resolutions signifies that we are people of hope, aren't we? We hope that we can resolve our issues through these promises that a new year brings. Even when problems plague our lives, even when difficulties arise, many are secretly optimists in a world of brokenness. As long as we place our hope in Him, then we will not be disappointed. As Romans 5:4 says above, God has poured out His love onto us, and His love is patient and kind, and it never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:13
"Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love."

1) Do my DTs consistently. When I say consistently, I mean every day. Devotional time was a concept that took a good while to get into my system. Thanks to the accountability of my leaders and small group sisters, it's integrated into my schedule, but I still struggle. Sometimes I neglect my devotionals, and I can certainly feel the difference between when I do my DT and when I don't. Reflecting in my DT journal, reading His Word, and praying are key to my spiritual walk, so I pray that I can be faithful and consistent in my DTs in this year.
2) Spend more time with my sisters. I've always valued friendship. In high school, I understood the importance of friendship because I realized that God blessed me with friends to keep me grounded in life. But I never experienced deep and true unconditional love and understanding through friendship until I became closer to my small group sisters as well as my roommate. It wasn't until 2008 that I realized how important fellowship is in a person's spiritual walk with God. God has blessed me with sisters in Christ to share my spiritual journey, and I pray that He will continue to strengthen our sisters' relationships in this new year.
3) Serve Him obediently, lovingly, and faithfully. What I mean by this resolution is that I wish to continue to serve Him not only through Acts2Fellowship Gold and Joyland, but also through my relationships with my sisters, peers, friends, and family. I hope and pray that He will grant me strength, wisdom, patience, courage, and love so that I may be a woman of character and a pillar of strength in my relationships. I pray that I may be a better daughter, sister, friend, student, and person.
4) Do my best in school. Academics is an area that I've struggled with all my life in many different ways. I remember at Junior Discipleship Retreat over the summer, one of my peers stood up and said (more or less), "God blessed us with this education at Berkeley and we should be stewards of it." How right my peer was, and how apathetic I was to this blessing! I was ashamed of my neglect, and it was a wake-up call for me to throw off my apathy and once again, be serious about school. The difference now? To not be consumed by my academics as I was before I turned to apathy for those few months. I would love to write a resolution about getting straight A's, but really...I don't think so. I'll stick with realism and maybe be a pessimist for this one.
5) Read more Christian books. I'm hoping to start the New Year by reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, which I received in the mail not too long ago. I'm also hoping to read more books to strengthen the intellectual portion of my faith, for I understand that a lot of times I'm very into feeling and not as much thinking. I am an INFJ, and my 'F' is incredibly strong. I'm looking for some balance in the foundation of my faith, and reading more Christian books to help with my intellectual (spiritual) convictions will be a good starting point. I also hope to finally read The Problem of Pain (which I've had for awhile, but had serious trouble reading it), The Abolition of Man, and reread The Four Loves (which I enjoyed reading, but seriously needs a reread).
6) Read the newspaper. I read the newspaper...sometimes. Usually I read it when I'm forced to in some way (class, parents, etc.). So I hope that I can at least skim headlines online at The New York Times web site or The Wall Street Journal site every day. While I place a secondary value on worldly knowledge, it is important to keep up with the news, especially with so much going on internationally and economically.
7) Exercise consistently. Yes, I wrote this. I need to exercise consistently because every semester, I start off with my RSF pass (and I should take advantage of its cheap price), and I go to the gym twice a week, and then what happens? Easy to guess. Last semester, I was actually pretty good with going to Abs & Back twice a week...and then midterms hit and I failed. I would like to actually continue going to the RSF, whether for the elliptical, Cardio Kickboxing, and/or Abs & Back even when midterms hit. Exercise is important and our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19)...I should take better care of mine.

So with all of these resolutions in mind...the one most important is this: to continue to grow in Him, and to be faithful to Him, to serve Him and love as He loved us first.

I'm excited for 2009. Gracepoint Live....Winter growing closer to Him.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Time Has Come

The time has come to stand for all we believe in
So I for one am gonna give my praise to you

With 2008 coming to an end, I wanted to recap the past year's events through a monthly timeline, but then realized that I was having extreme difficulty remembering specific events for each month. I don't know if it's just a memory lapse (I can't be THAT old right? Haha) or just so much happened that I can't immediately recall a monthly timeline. I suppose a monthly timeline would require more reflection, time and thought. I got the idea of wanting to make this entry a timeline from a Facebook note that one of my high school friends posted awhile ago, and thought it was a cool idea. Perhaps it is a memory lapse, but also this past year has been incredible. Praise God for all He has done this year, for so many things happened this past year, good and bad, things that changed my perspective on life or caused me to recommit and rethink my priorities.

Everything happens for a reason, right?

In January, I attended the College Winter Retreat, where literally everything changed. To describe my experience there would require a lengthier entry, but I was so blessed by the retreat, the testimonies that many of the leaders shared (particularly the ones from the sisters' sharing time), and Pastor Ed's lessons. This past year, I've heard so many of my peers' baptismal testimonies refer to that winter retreat as a turning point in their spiritual lives, and all I can say is praise God for all that He did just at that one retreat. My life really did change, for that's when I started rethinking my priorities in life, rethinking what was most important to me in how I lived and what I strived for.

Of course, changes in lifestyle don't occur overnight. It took a very long time, and it's still taking time, for me to adjust my priorities. But through much reflection and prayer, whether it was through prayer meetings, small group sharing, or DTs, I find myself coming face to face with my sinful nature. I took Survival Kit 1 this past spring, and the concept of old nature vs. new nature is one I keep coming back to again and again. I come back to my old nature and reflect on my struggle to change because I realize how worldly my thoughts and desires were. I wanted comfort and security, two things that I would never realistically achieve in this materialistic selfish world. It's difficult to surrender all to Him, but at the same time it's so easy. So what's holding us back? As Christians, what's constantly taking us back to the worldliness and frivolity of society? It's easy to give into the sinful nature and our personal desires. It's easier to live a life of selfishness, where you are at the center of everything and you're in control. But it's a more miserable life isn't it?

My thoughts are jumping all over the place, but I remember one of the message series last school year was The Pursuit of Happiness, where Pastor Ed explored how true happiness could be attained. And this was not through worldly achievements and possessions. How true this is...because when I got that good grade, that college admittance, that high score, that academic long did those feelings of happiness last? And it doesn't take much for such happiness to disintegrate by a bad grade, an insult, a rejection...

And how selfish are we, to put so much weight on these worldly things, on these self-centered achievements and disappointments when there are more important events and issues out there? What about global poverty? Disease? The dying environment? The world is slowly being destroyed by greed, because people can never be truly satisfied with their material possessions and achievements. They get what they think they want, but when they realize that their lives are not fulfilled, they want more. And the world is dying in so many ways...environmentally, socially, economically...

So true happiness can only be attained through Him. Because even if we are fulfilled through tangible objects, our hearts yearn for more. We desire spiritual and emotional fulfillment, and that really can only be pursued and reached by following and loving Him. That's something I feel like I've always known, but have never fully realized until this past year.

That is why 2008 was such a turning point. With this lesson in mind, this understanding, I can only pray that God will continue to strengthen my heart and my mind, to stand for what I believe in and live out my faith.

And it's hard. It's difficult. It's mind-boggling. But with love, patience, and hope from Him, all things are possible.

I'm constantly reminded of my old nature, when I'm at home and at Berkeley, which is a good thing. It's good to be reminded of my lifestyle before, what my values were before, because it's reminder of how empty and shallow my dreams and thoughts were in high school. But honestly, I was just a little bit sad when a lot of my high school friends thought I would be into the Twilight franchise.

I heard about Twilight awhile back (probably freshman year in college?) before the first book was made into a movie. I didn't care much for teenage romance novels (even though I read them in junior high school), so I ignored the hype surrounding it. When I heard a movie was being made, I wondered if it was going to be good, but again, I never thought much about it. And then when EVERYBODY (okay, not everybody) started making a big deal about the movie and the books and how the main male character was "this" and "that", I just rolled my eyes and shrugged. My brother even asked me when the movie came out if I was going to watch it, and my response was, "No, I have more important things to focus on like Thanksgiving Celebration and my research paper outline that's due in a few days and I've done zero research." 'Cause really...

But enough about that. I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised that my high school friends expected me to be obsessed with Twilight. After all, in high school, I was obsessed with movies and I was known to be the hopeless romantic. I loved romance movies and I was a sucker for happy endings (but not really cliched ones...except for the ending in Breakfast at Tiffany's, I'll admit).

Now, though I'll admit there is much of the romantic within me still, I've exchanged the 'hopeless' view for more of a 'realistic' perspective. I'm not a cynic, just a realist. But since I was the movie buff (I watched movies quite often in high school) and the hopeless romantic in high school, it shouldn't surprise me that people expected me to read the Twilight series and watch the movie. And though it shouldn't surprise me, it still did, and it saddened me to hear how my friends and my brother expected me to be intrigued and obsessed with this unrealistic and romantic sappy fantasy.

I guess it made me sad because it was a reminder of how shallow my thoughts were in high school. There's nothing really wrong with hopeless romanticism, but it's a problem when the ideals of a hopeless romantic start to twist your thinking and you become a little too interested in fiction and fantasy instead of focusing more on reality.

So I'm proud to say that no, I am not into Twilight, and it makes me happy to know that since I feel like it's an example of how I've changed since high school. But still...I was extremely depressed to hear that ALL of the high school friends I met up with and my brother thought that I'd be obsessed with that stuff. It just makes me even more disgusted and regretful at the shallowness of my high school self.

But praise God that I'm steering away from that stuff. And thank God that I'm aware of it too.

I was thinking about writing a list of all that I was thankful for this year, and maybe resolutions for the New Year, but I might save that resolution list for another time. As for all that I am thankful's not a memory lapse, really, but there is just so much that I am thankful for and that I can praise God that I think I'll make this entry super long. Plus, there really is so much that I don't know if I can list all of it out 'cause it's hard to verbalize in this blog.

But I will mention that I am thankful for the community that God has provided in my life this year. God has blessed me with this community at Gracepoint of leaders, young adults, and peers. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve through Joyland, to just really see a community completely centered on God at work. And my small group sisters...I love them so much, and I seriously just thank God all the time for the relationships I have with these 10 sisters. I used the word 'thank' a lot, but 'thanks' is perhaps the best word for me to use regarding my gratitude and amazement of how God has worked in my life.

So 2008 is coming to a close...and 2009 approaches. Happy New Year and God bless!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Come and Fill my Heart

Merry Christmas...Eve? It's still a merry Christmas nonetheless.

I mentioned yesterday how much I love Christmas. The love I have for the Christmas holiday has only increased as I've gotten older because there's this greater realization that the day is about what is important in life: love. The children fortunate enough to experience the decorations, candy canes, and presents look at Christmas with wide-eyed innocence, experiencing joy and love, but some never really take it in. How can they? When we are young, it's hard to really grasp the darkness that engulfs this world, the sins and regrets that plagues people's lives, so it's difficult to appreciate something like love.

I know that I was one of those kids who didn't take the meaning of Christmas in until she was older. Older as in...I guess late elementary school or junior high school. It saddens me to remember how wrapped up my life was in materialistic things, how it was still focused on materialism when I got older albeit in a different way. As a kid, I liked the presents, but now I'm older, I find I care little for presents. Material possessions only last for so long before they become worthless trinkets, or things that we just discard with apathy or disdain. When I became older, I became wrapped up by the future, and what the future could hold for me. It took several years for me to really grasp how empty my life was when I focused it on tangible rewards.

I am so blessed to be surrounded by family and friends. God has blessed me plenty with loving parents, a comical older brother, two awesome roommates who have seen the dark and light shades of my character, ten wonderful sisters in Christ who I have shared and grown so much with this past year, and a community filled with God's sacrificial and selfless love. And there is so much more that I'm thankful high school friends, who I saw just yesterday for a Christmas party. I do miss the high school days. Contrary to how many people feel about high school, I actually enjoyed it despite my academic anxiety and materialistic focus. There were a lot of lessons to be learned in high school, and it was a period of growth. Perhaps high school was preparation for the more intense growing and maturation I would have to face in college.

When I really ponder, and not just think on a superficial level, I remember that what is most important in life is following Christ through fellowship and service. I struggle so much still to not worry about the future, and it's difficult for me to just really let go of my anxiety and to fully trust God. It reminds me of a line from the Avalon song, "Come and Fill My Heart."

"It's hard for me to die to myself,
and trust my life to someone else.
So come, empty me out,
I'm no good without You inside of me"

I recently started listening to Avalon again. I was a huge Avalon fan back in junior year in high school (as in I listened to their songs continuously), but I think I got "Avalon"-ed out since I listened to them so much. Listening to their hit songs again like "Testify to Love" and "In Not Of", I realize how differently I interpret the songs now and how the lyrics have a much greater meaning to me. Before, I was filled with joy when I thought of Christ as my Savior, but perhaps the joy lacked substance in its basis. Now, when I listen to "Come and Fill My Heart" and I hear the lyrics, "I long for the day I believe that all You say You see in me is true...", I experience something much greater in my heart as I think of Christ as my Savior and Lord. I'm reminded of my past, my shallowness, and all my shortcomings...and it's a reminder of Christ's great love for humanity.

But it's hard. It's hard to strive for goodness and love, to forgive and love unconditionally as Christ loved us. It's difficult to throw off that feeling of selfish entitlement when I'm at home and to not revert back to my old nature. And I struggle, but it's not good enough. I just fail again and again...but I trust in Him, and I hope that He will fill me my heart with love, hope, patience...

So that song, "Come and Fill My Heart" by Avalon is really a prayer for me. That is my prayer to God, that He will continue to fill my heart with His presence. And it's not just a prayer on Christmas day...but every day.

Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The First Christmas?

I have been mildly successful with my winter break goals so far. Mildly is the key word there, but I still need to purchase Mere Christianity and Shadow of the Almighty.

On Sunday, I went to Jennifer's church, Lifesong, for their Sunday worship service and their first Christmas pageant. The Christmas program was unique from other ones I've seen in that it applied a multigenerational theme. The participants were not only elementary school children (which is what I've usually seen in the past), but the youth group, young adults, and elderly participated as well. Watching the Christmas pageant made me nostalgic for those many years ago, when I was in those Christmas programs back at New Life. The pastor said that the Christmas story is for all ages, which is so true. It's not just a celebration for young kids to perform, but it is one for everybody to take part in.

I love Christmas...always have. When I was younger, it used to be for the gifts and pretty decorations. After hitting sixth or seventh grade, I understood how things like toys, clothes, and money were really of little value. The Christmas spirit encompasses love, joy peace, and hope, for the first Christmas was a celebration of Christ's birth. With the modern times comes the bane of commercialization, where every holiday or event that had some significance became imbued with a superficial and frivolous nature. Christmas with presents, Thanksgiving with turkey, Easter with eggs, and Valentine's Day with flowers...all that wonderful materialism.

But this isn't a post to rant about commercialization of certain days. If it was, I'd have plenty more rants about commercialization of days...(i.e. Mother's Day, Father's Day)

This is a pretty random post with no clear direction as to what I'm writing. And since this is a random post, on a random sidenote, I was reminded yesteray of why I dislike listening to mainstream radio. I went to the airport with my mother to pick up my brother, and on our way back, I heard several of the same songs within the span of two to three hours. But then, I don't really know most of the songs playing since it's been ages since I've really listened to mainstream radio.

On another random sidenote, my brother was watching Mamma Mia! last night since my parents rented it, and we were both appalled to hear Pierce Brosnan sing. Nothing on the actor of course, and it's not like I can sing in general, but it's extremely difficult not to laugh. After all, "SOS" by ABBA is supposed to be a somewhat serious romantic song, but of course Mamma Mia! hams it up and adds the cheesy factor majorly. But then again, I expect too much from Mamma Mia! After all, it is a musical that was structured around hit ABBA songs, so can't expect much substance in the plot.

And one more random note: my gift wrapping and craft skills need some serious work. I pity my Secret Santa. Hopefully she'll like my gift when we do Secret Santa tonight.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'll be home for Christmas...if only in my dreams

Thursday night, after my final was done, the bathroom cleaned, and Sarah and I had raided our refrigerator for any perishable foods, I sat down with Esther and something just struck me.

"I can't believe it's been a year since our last winter break," I told her.

And I still can't believe it's been one year since the Fall 2007 semester ended. I know it sounds weird to calculate time in terms of breaks, and semesters, and that's not really how I look at time...but when I become nostalgic and I look back at the past 12 months of my life since last winter break, I am amazed at all the changes God has brought in my life.

There were incidences, good and bad, that occurred; incidences that caused me to despair (and in retrospect, I feel the despair was rather foolish) and incidences that have left me greatly perplexed. But they are just that. Those incidences (and there are many to recall) make up little markers in the chapters of our lives, and while they may bring us sadness, anger, or joy, the events still mold our character and help us to mature.

And I'm not done 'growing up' or 'maturing'...I still have a long way to go.

Coming home from Berkeley, I found myself poring over one of my favorite books of all time...A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle. I love that book, although there are some cliched and cheesy aspects of the plot (the protagonist confused over three guys is kind, though I think I can understand some semblance of the realism there), and I fell in love with the book when I was in eighth grade. Rereading the book again, I'm not sure why I was drawn to it initially. I couldn't exactly relate to the protagonist in terms of her family or her relationships with the characters in the book. Perhaps it was the themes of death and life that drew me in...whenever someone asks me what the book is about, I bypass the cheesy romance (though I do like the main male character, he's a complex and well-written character) for explanation and instead just say, "It's a book about how death is an affirmation of life." Because...that IS what the book is about, and it's simplistic theme (there are more complex themes layered within the pages) is one that really speaks to all ages, no matter how old or young you are, no matter how grown up or young at heart people perceive themselves to be.

I think I'm awfully fond of this book because I read it at a time where, while I could not completely relate to the protagonist in terms of her character and relationships, I was drawn to her plight of discovering light beyond the darkness. The basis of this book, apparently, was from this beautiful poem called "The World" by Henry Vaughan.

I saw Eternity the other night
Like a great Ring of pure and endless light
All calm as it was bright
And round beneath it, Time, in hours, days, years
Driven by the spheres
Like a vast shadow moved, in which the world
And all her train were hurled.

But nostalgia aside, I am looking forward to this winter break as a period of rest, relaxation, and enlightenment. And the reason for the title of my entry...I love that song. I'm not entirely sure why, but I love Amy Grant's version of this song. It's poignant and oddly heartbreaking. I never realized how mildly depressing this song could be with the lyrics "I'll be home for Christmas...if only in my dreams."

Listen to the song here. It's beautiful.

A few winter break goals...makes me wonder if I'll accomplish them since past experience has demonstrated my laziness over break:

1) Be consistent in my DTs
2) Read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
3) Read Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot
4) Reread I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris (very interesting book)
5) Make post-Christmas presents
6) Read a Jane Austen book (and since I've read most of them...I guess that leaves Sense & Sensibility? Though I tried reading that back in senior year and failed miserably...)
7) And of course...catch up with friends :-)

There are probably more, but I've forgotten them...

I watched this awesome miniseries this afternoon called Cranford. I'm a huge fan of period dramas (the BBC kind), and this one was no exception. I love Masterpiece Theatre's programs. Seriously, I'm glad there's no television in our apartment, but the only reason I think I would ever consider getting a television would be to keep up with BBC period dramas. Now if more movies could be like those...but they're not. I'll settle for the period dramas. :-)

1 John 1:5
"God is light, in him there is no darkness at all."