Wednesday, March 24, 2010

consider the ravens

It's almost impossible to answer people when they ask me, "How was your spring break?" If I answer truthfully, "Incredible," they automatically assume I had a blast somewhere on a beach or a big city or something. "I'm so glad you had fun!" they usually say. Oh...that just doesn't cut it.

One of my professors, who knew my state of being before spring break, asked me genuinely, "How was your break?" I answered, "Great. Unexpectedly great."

I learned a lot of things this past week. I learned that the Lord provides often what you don't even realize you need. Two weeks ago I had wanted nothing but to go home. How was I supposed to give to my teammates and the people of Atlanta when I felt I didn't even have enough to keep myself running? But when I voiced this to one of my team leaders, she said some very simple words that completely dictated the results of my week: "The Lord knows what you need."

Wow. Isn't that silly? I seem to only remember all the times I passionately tell the Lord, "I want to serve You," and forget all the times He tells me, "I will be with you."

This week was an incredible time of giving and receiving, being exhausted and being filled. As hard as the Salvation Army floors were, as early & cold as Atlanta mornings often came, as old as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches got, and as emotionally trying, stretching, and draining the days and nights so often were, I was not ready to be done. I don't know where the Lord is taking me, but if it includes as much true, genuine, and unexpected joy as I experienced this past week - even amidst, and often because of, the hardships - I cannot wait to go.

I love these people.

"Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." - Matthew 6:8
Thursday, March 4, 2010

hair, and the people who cut it

I got my hair cut today. It was not exciting. I played with a 4-year-old girl named Kaylee who wanted me to try her can of Minute Maid orange juice. "You'll like it," she said, nodding coercively. (This is the most peer pressure to drink something I've experienced since high school.) I told her I wasn't thirsty, even though an hour beforehand I had just consumed a plate of sweet potato fries and was, in fact, thirsty. We put together a puzzle of the United States, and, try as I might, I could not get her to understand that the Atlantic Ocean did not fit between Texas and Colorado. We looked high and low for Montana until I gave up and told her that Montana had gone on vacation. Then she got up to get something and I realized she'd been sitting on Montana the whole time.

While the hairdresser was dressing my hair, I thought about my past haircuts. My favorite, by far, was done by none other than my roommate's mother, in my laundry room, one night when I told her, "Just do whatever," and her "whatever" turned out better than any selectively styled, celebrity-mock-ups I'd ever attempted in the past. She lives in Virginia, however, and I can't afford a 1oo-dollar haircut in gas money to drive there and back again (a Haircutt's Tale, by Heather Kraussins).

Over the summer I got my hair cut at a salon in Salt Lake City where everyone wears black and looks chic. They played oldies music and my hairdresser and I chatted about Doris Day most of the time. I didn't particularly love the haircut, but not only did my hairdresser message my neck and scalp as she washed my hair, but she gave me hand messages with lemon oil while the conditioner conditioned my hair. You might guess by this description and the salon's wooden flooring, and that even their light looked like it cost more than regular light (and that everyone wore black), that it would've been an establishment for those rich people who live in a canyon and have heated driveways and waterfalls in the middle of their living rooms. In fact, it was $19. I would definitely go there again, if it didn't cost me a round-trip ticket + $19.

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