Oh how should I start this post…once upon a time…no. There once was…no. Okay, how about this.
Beginning with a ruckus and ending with relaxation, having refreshment and reductionism in the middle, today was the bee’s knees.
There we go 🙂
For some reason, my alarm didn’t go off this morning or I slept right through it. Despite this, I woke up fully rested and in plenty of time to get ready and talk to God. Before I got out of bed, however, Lin’s phone started going off. She did the EXACT same thing I did about a month or so ago, when Anita called me at eight o’clock on a Saturday morning: Lin launched herself out of bed, fell to her knees, got up, saying she was okay, fell again, and then answered her phone in a calm and composed manner.
This morning, 8:00AM came rolling around and my iPod was turned up to full volume; my alarm blared through the room and made me jump out of my skin. I quickly grabbed the iPod, turned down the volume, and went back to sleep. Then, ten minutes later, my alarm went off again, louder this time. I finally just shut off the alarm so that it wouldn’t go off anymore. Once this deed was done, I went back to sleep, again.
“But my rest was short-lived. My phone began ringing obnoxiously from my desk at 10:00AM, waking both me and my roommate with a start. I dramatically untangled myself from my quilt and my pillows and jumped off of my bed. Now, my bed is very high off the ground, yet I thought my legs were strong enough to catch me. However, my legs weren’t entirely awake just yet and did not catch me like I thought they were. Surely enough, when I landed on my feet my knees buckled and I skidded onto the floor, skinning my knees on the carpet. I yelled “I’M OKAY!” and launched myself toward my phone. Quickly composing my voice in only a few seconds, I answered the call with a sweet, “Hello?””
–Innocence blog post
I sat there, rather shocked at how crazily similar the memory and the scene before me were. Don’t worry; I asked if she was okay. She seemed too tired and disoriented to answer or even care, so I just let her sleep.
Today was freezing. I really thought it was going to snow. But then, on my way to the subway, the sun came out and warmed the atmosphere. When I arrived at church, it felt more like spring than nearing the beginning of winter.
The service this morning was about forgiveness. I feel like some kind of emotional paper cut on my heart stings whenever I hear that word. Genuinely forgiving people who have wronged you is really difficult, especially when it’s an act of betrayal. I think of all the people who have wronged me, and how emotionally draining it was to jump over the wall of my pride and forgive them. Forgiveness shouldn’t be so taxing. We should do it by default. After all, we spat in God’s face, cursed His name; we crucified Him for crying out loud! And yet He forgave us and forgives us still as we mess up on a daily basis. Come on now. Make forgiveness a practice rather than a preference.
The other thing I think about when I hear the word forgiveness is how much I’ve been wronged by others. The quote “if you’re always a victim, then you’re never a victor” was used in the sermon today. How true! If we’re always feeling sorry for ourselves, allowing our own hurt to grant the one who wronged us free access to our lives and emotions, how will we ever be able to get over ourselves and start living again? Holding a grudge does nothing but keep you chained to the person you should forgive. Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Okay, maybe that was a little graphic, but you get the point. Something I never thought about is that choosing not to forgive someone damages not only you but also those around you. Just a thought.
Between services, I was going to go to KFC with some friends but then decided against it because they were taking the bus, which required metro card usage. If I could just walk somewhere for lunch, I was going to just walk. So I hung around and mingled a little bit, thinking about going to Dunkin Donuts for lunch. My friend Grace and I were talking to Maria when Grace asked me where I was going for lunch. When I said Dunkin Donuts both she and Maria put on this look like, “Honey, you be in New Yowk Citay; you can go to Dunkin Donuts anywhere.”
Needless to say, Grace and I went to a southern restaurant called Dogwood. I would just like to say that I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a “southern restaurant.” That’s just such an odd concept. It’s like going to the south and eating at a “northern restaurant.” It was a relatively small place, quaint and modest. The water glasses were jam jars and the sweet tea was served in mason jars. I was pretty happy 🙂 AND the sweet tea was legitimate, not like McDonalds. Grace ordered a Southern Benedict (poached eggs over corn bread and collared greens, southern potatoes, and some kind of salad) and I ordered the burger (medium rare, arugula, Russian sauce, roasted red peppers, fancy cheese, and hand cut fries). All of the food was fantastic, and for a nice restaurant, the price was just right. I was able to explain a southern fun fact to Grace: the “cornbread” baked predominantly in the north is actually called Johnny cake, because of its sweet flavor. Southern cornbread is more, well, corny, with very little sugar.
We paid the bill and grabbed warm drinks at Dunkin Donuts (appropriate for dessert but not for lunch, got it). By this time the weather had spoiled and the sky was dark. While we were walking back to church it began to rain. We really thought it was going to snow.
The second service was about why we need to physically go to church, why we can never outgrow the church experience. I totally got this. I can honest say that, without church and the fellowship of my present church family, I don’t know where I would be. I probably would’ve given up this whole city thing, because I would have no physical sanctuary. God didn’t intend for church to be a chore; He intended it to be beautiful. After all, the church is the Bride of Christ, isn’t it? Church is a place to learn more about God, about how He wants us to live our lives. It’s a place for fellowship and encouragement, a place to find mentors and godly advice. The body of Christ is a platoon, a troop, a team, not a prison cell that you share with cell mates.
When I got back to my dorm, my Mama messaged me about what I wanted to bake for Thanksgiving. Every year, since I learned how to make these, I’ve baked these creamy caramel pecan rolls that are basically just cinnamon rolls with pecans and soaked in a powdered sugar glaze rather than frosting. They’re really good 😀 She also asked me what I wanted to make for our big family dinner (my immediate family has a dinner the day before Thanksgiving, and then all of the family including grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles come together to celebrate on the actual holiday). I couldn’t decide, so I asked her what she thought. The result was a Nilla Wafer Turtle Pie. Oh gosh my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Did I mention I can’t wait to go home for Thanksgiving? Because I’m seriously excited.
Well, school again tomorrow. I hope all y’all’s week goes well and that your nails stay polished, your Fantasy football stay solid, and your faith stays strong 🙂
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:18, ESV