The Coming of the Northern Winds...

    A "skill" I've come to acquire during my time in the Dominican Republic is an acute sensitivity to the weather. Alright, so that's a little be exaggerated, but truly, I notice things that I never did before. Like what the winds are telling you.
     You can tell a storm is coming when the wind gets moody and anxious. It kind of rolls like waves on a seashore. The other day while I was out with my little brother he mentioned the trees. "Listen! Listen to them sway." And, indeed, the wind was making the trees bend and whisper together. But this wind was not like other winds. I feel like Autumn is approaching.
    Now, you must understand something. There is no Autumn here. There's no Fall or Winter seasons. We are much too close to the equator for any of that. However, there is a period of what we will call Relent. For about three months (or four, if you're lucky) of the year, there is a time when the winds change and it grows cooler. Cooler, not cold... especially not by any American standards of the word. But it is pleasant.
    Even now, a cool breeze comes in my room, breathing in the morning...

    Just after I got back from Israel I stayed at my grandfather's house and went on walks through his lovely neighborhood. I often prayed on these walks alone. It was during one of these that God revealed another little piece of Himself to me.
    I cannot tell you what I was thinking right at the moment that it all occurred to me. It wasn't by process of personal theological argument or rationalism that I came to this conclusion. I suppose there is a time and a place for those things. I am not condemning them. But I want to make the point that it wasn't because of anything I did that allows me to know Him. He makes Himself known. I just -- well, I happen to be there.
    While walking and thinking back on my experiences in Israel... somehow I come around to the topic of adventures. I love adventures. They are a sort of personal challenge on my courage and fortitude. (It's interesting to note that those things imply a mental or spiritual strength.) Anyway, it's also just plain fun.
    Like cave diving. What is it called? Spelunking? It's great!
    Or... like exploring a new city. Or taking on a problem as it comes at you. How do you react? Which way do you go? I know a lot of people don't like to get lost. However, I perpetually live in this state, it seems. For example, I was with a friend on their college campus. I knew I was in the United States, in a particular state, in a particular city, on that particular campus. Sure. I even knew where it was in relation to other cities. But could I get you back to where I just came from? No way. I could guess. I have a pretty good sense of direction. Maybe I just don't pay attention enough... But here's the thing: I don't get flustered when I get lost. It's kind of like, "Okay, there has to be another way. Now it's just finding it." An adventure.

    Time out: Let's not get crazy. If it was my wedding day and the driver can't find the church or something like that and I'm already late because - after growing up in an event-oriented instead of time-oriented latin culture - my hair appointment went over time, so I know everyone's waiting on me and I can't help the driver because I don't know where I am...? I'd be a little frustrated. That's when I'd pray and ask for directions. God forbid that ever happens. :)
    Moving on...

    I have a love for adventure.
    A love for the newness of things.
    The unexplored.
    And I remember on my walk being disappointed all of the sudden. I can't remember exactly why. Perhaps the idea of "nothing new under the sun" came to mind. Maybe a cynical, dreary thought crossed my consciousness: Those are special cases. Cave diving. Visiting new lands... That's not what your life will actually look like. Maybe it was the idea that everything or everyone could eventually be known and the mystery would be gone. I don't know what it was. But a sad feeling came over me.
    Suddenly, I looked up. Did I hear that right? Can it be true?

I Am your Adventure.

    My heart began to flutter and my mind swirled with the thought.
    No matter how long I may search God or know Him, no matter how deep I go, I can still and forever go deeper. "We are tiny grains of sand on an eternal shore, the waves of the infinite ocean are falling, rushing towards, meeting us with the slightest kiss, then rushing back out to the unsearchable depths, begging us to be swept in and away. And a thousand miles in, we've only just begun to know..." -B.W. Murray

He is my constant.
And He is my adventure.

    God has forever been the same, but we are just knowing Who He is. That's the adventure. Our whole lives can be spent getting to know just parts of Him. Small parts. Each experience is an opportunity to learn something new. What is He trying to tell us? Not about us or for our own sakes. What is He trying to tell us about Himself? 
    And do you know? That's what is so amazing about fellowship. When you get together with other people and begin to know them, they share some of those other revelations of God with you. They have other pieces to the puzzle. Time spent in fellowship with other believers buried in the Scriptures is as sweet to the soul as honey is to the tongue.
    We seek and we find. 

    If I'm right, the season of Relent is coming. Perhaps in more ways than one... Who knows? God knows. All I know is: wherever He may be, I want to be there. No matter where that is. Why? Well... it's sure to be an adventure.


Heroic Ages and Hundreds of Pages to Go...

Has it already been almost a month since I've been back from Israel? Really?

As of late, I've been doing more reading than writing. I have random bouts of that it seems.
I recently went to a yard sale and bought, oh, probably 8 books or so. A couple of novels, some philosophy, a history book or two. My biggest challenge is my Humanities textbook. Oh it's interesting... that's the problem. 599 pages bigger than my head, and I'll want to read and psychoanalyze every single one. As fascinated as I am with all of this faddle on the Heroic Age of ancient Greece... there's just no time for it. I have work to do. So much to do!
But a wise friend once told me: "You don't have any more work than He has for you." And He has never given me anything I couldn't handle before... (Oh no, we're not getting into that whole lesson of time management again, are we?)

I should write with purpose if I'm going to write at all. So why am I writing all of this? I never meant for this blog to be a sort of journal. Perhaps a collaboration of thoughts... Perhaps hints of inspiration. Certainly something that will at least get you thinking for a little while. Maybe all of this jumping around is due to my lack of writing as of late.

I've also been reading an old blog of mine from a few years ago. I like to go through things like that from time to time. It's almost like visiting an old friend. Some of the things I wrote, the truths I understood and related with such conviction... is it possible to forget such things? My hope is that when those moments of understanding take place and then flutter away, that somehow they took root in my soul though they've left my present and immediate consciousness. That they are tucked away deep in my heart. Written. Carved into my very being.

My last journal entry before I left for Israel says, "The girl who writes on the next page might not be the same girl who wrote on this one... or perhaps a more realized version of her... or a renewed and transformed one."
I'm only hoping that happened. That something took root. Maybe I just have to water it (or let it be watered), and it will soon bloom into something.
I don't feel any different, but it's not about feelings anyway, is it? I have never felt different. As years have gone by I have been me, though my understanding deepens and my knowledge grows. My essence remains.

I am beginning to feel like Israel wasn't the beginning or ending of anything. Though the sun set in the picture above, my last snapshot of the Holy Land, it hasn't set on this season. (Though this season is beginning to feel like a winter in the Arctic Circle. Or is it summer?) What I mean is, it seems to be a transition... or something. A shift of sorts. A realignment, maybe. I don't know yet. I'm still trying to figure it out.
Because it's been a different kind of challenge. Not a struggle, not a breeze. It's like a meandering twist of unexpected turns rather than a horizontal movement. And I'm wondering how many pages I have to go in this chapter until it starts making sense.
But oh, the paradox of me! How I love a mystery.

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