Monday, December 12, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Born Beautyful

They confused us with propaganda songs and happy, marching children
And even though we hardly understood their speeches we followed them
We bought their free gestures of benevolence with our free support
And then it became hard to realize what was happening
Because whatever the case our hands were in with theirs
So we were grateful for the blurred lines of justice
And tacitly ignored our collective guilt
                What if the beautyful ones have always been here
                But the waters were too murky for them to see their reflections?
They told us to be quiet and we were quiet, cheer and we cheered
We lined the streets waving, smiling as they drove by
The lingering dust thinly settling on our clothes
And disregarded  the questions forming in our hearts
Of broken promises and lost ideals
We couldn't ask them for what we had always known they wouldn't give
So we stood by them choosing to be loyal fools over powerless intellectuals
                What if the beautyful ones have always been here
                And our visions were too distorted to recognize them?
When another set of children are born
We will see the better tomorrow we were supposed to create in their eternity-sized beautyful eyes
But they will watch us squirm from the truth and hunger after lies
They will inherit our fear
And when the circle becomes full again, bursting with new hope
They will expect of their children what we expected of them
To be beautyful without a blueprint.

** Peom inspired by Ayi Kwei Armah's novel "The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born"**
 The novel expresses the frustration many citizens of the newly-independent states in Africa felt after attaining political independence. Many African states like Ghana followed similar paths in which corruption and the greed of African elites became rampant. Corruption in turn filtered down to the rest of society and the 'rot' that characterized post-independent Ghana in the last years of Nkrumah is a dominant theme in the book. The novel provides a description of the existential angst of the book's hero who struggles to remain clean when everyone else around him has succumbed to 'rot'."
** Little known fact: The title of Armah's book is inspired by jazz artist Branford Marsalis' album also titled "The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born". I love the "Y" in beautyful! And I love this album cover too.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nigeria: A Scattered Travel Log (Part 2)

A store in the mall, with black manikins of course ;-)
On the bus, during the 6 hour drive to the village, I searched for a book I had bought from the mall, and remembered visiting it with some friends. Silverbird is the most popular mall complex in Abuja, the capital city, followed closely by Ceddi Plaza. It offers just about everything you would see in a western mall, with the obvious exception that it replaces snacks and foods with the Nigerian alternatives. When we arrived I was a little surprised that I had to stand in line to get inside. Wondering what the wait was for, I looked around the line to see a man entering through a metal detector and then collecting his belt, cell phone and some other contraption. It was a security checkpoint very much like the one at the airport. Confused, I turned to a fellow line-waiter and asked why we had to go through a security checkpoint to enter the mall in my now close-to-natural Nigerian accent. I was impressed with myself - the pidgin flowed out of my mouth as if I'd been speaking it nonstop for years. I smiled on the inside, reassured that I wasn't a foreigner after all. "You must be a visitor." the lady behind me remarked to my shock and dismay. "What... why?" I asked, laughing a little, trying not to sound too offended. "Everybody has heard about the bombings, its in all the local papers. These Muslims want to spoil our country." she continued. I turned around nodding. I had heard about the bombings.

They were carried out by members of "Boko Haram". Their aim - to instill Shari'ah law throughout Nigeria - is not popular among the general population, Muslim or Christian, so they gain attention through sporadic bombings. Nigeria's latest terrorist group was giving Nigerians a new reason to be afraid, Southern Christians a new reason to hate Northern Muslims, and Northern Muslims a new reason to be defensive about their faith. It is not as though they can't stand each other, on the contrary, the Muslims and Christians coexist well with each other, and are happy to do so. But there is always the random act of violence, usually spurred by propaganda and/or powerful people with ulterior motives, that rocks the steady boat of peace. To be honest, Nigeria's tumultuous history of Muslim-Christian hostility is complex, caused by numerous events dating all the way back to colonialism, and since nobody wants to deal with it, it is tucked away and labeled confusing - foolish to attempt an explanation for.  

Black soup & Pounded yam. Looks can be deceiving OK?
I couldn't find the book, so I looked outside the window. Buildings had started appearing, and people were bobbing up here and there. We were in Lokoja. We stopped for the 30-minute break at a popular inn in Lokoja rightfully called Lokoja Inn. We went in along a winding staircase into the overcrowded dining room and I looked at the menu. At my dad's suggestion, I selected black soup and pounded yam. What happened next can only be explained by facial expressions. I have never tasted anything so wonderful yet so unassuming in my entire life. Pounded yam appears as a white ball of fleshy, starchy stuff, kind of like an extra thick sphere of mashed potatoes, and black soup is quite literally black soup. The taste represented what every good meal I've ever had has tried to accomplish and fallen short of. It was extremely spicy, full of pepper in fact, yet I couldn't stop eating. I would pause for gulps of water and air and then resume - a most unattractive sight. Before I had finished, the bus was ready to go and I had to leave plate there. I vowed to return at least one more time.
On the bus

My favorite thing about rural Nigeria is the trees. Not because of their artistic loveliness's or their great contributions to the planet but because people can gather under them to socialize. The largest trees got to spread their generous branches over groups of people, young, old, male and female who would sit, fanning themselves, laughing and making small talk. One village woman had on a green t-shirt with the words "Talk less, say more" paired with a traditional wrapper. A wrapper is a beautifully designed African cloth, wrapped around the waist to form a long skirt. Somehow, these phenomenal women manage to tie it in such a way that they can still take long strides as though they are wearing trousers, without showing a bit of skin. Besides the extremely green trees, deep red earth and clear blue airs, something else stood out about this southern Nigerian village. Unlike in the sophisticated city of Abuja, the village allowed for small errors such as misspelling the name of your business. "Fate Medical Center", I was informed was supposed to inspire faith, not dismay. A large wall had graffitied on it "no yourinating please" and the local eatery offered "soft drins" and "supergetti" instead of their rightly spelled counterparts. After she glanced through the menu, I heard a woman at the next table yelling at the waiter for their lack of professionalism. 

Nigerians are a very "say it like you mean it" kind of people. An "uncle" I met held back none of his thoughts as he grinned at me, looking from head to toe commenting without reserve on how "sweet" I looked. I met a young couple who I was related to and as I took their picture for memories sake, the lady did not hesitate to tell her husband to change his pose because, and I quote "you will spoil the picture if you look like that". While it made things a little embarrassing if you happened to be on the receiving end, at least you knew exactly what everyone was thinking. It was hard to come across a fake smile or hear an "I love you" in that light, airy voice that belies its honesty. When it came to interpersonal relationships, at least the kind that don't involve money, the people just didn't know how to lie. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

When David Ran

"For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol (the grave); Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever." Psalm 16:10-11

Background Info:
This was written by King David, the unexpected candidate that God handpicked through His prophet Samuel to be king over Israel. He made a couple of enemies, and when he wrote this, he was running and hiding from some of them to save his life. 

There are times in life where we are in a bad situation. For one reason or another, things aren't going well and we are usually filled with unrest and insecurity, confused about what is going on and wondering what it will cost us. At those times, we turn to a couple of the usual suspects - fear, anxiety, worry, stress... the list goes on. God called David "a man after his own heart" and this probably had something to do with why. When David's life was in danger, He turned to God to help him, but even in his anguish, he still remembered that God was not some far away Higher Being who looked down at his life to examine it every now and again, who he was held accountable to at the end of his life - no, he realized that God cared. God was interested in everything that went on with him and was with him even while he was suffering. He says that although these people are trying to kill him, and he is running away, he knows that God will not ABANDON him, will not allow his enemies to get the best of him. Where most would have accused God of leaving them alone, he believes that God will show him the way to safety, and looks forward to the joy that he experiences when he is safely in God's presence.
When we follow the rest of the Bible stories about David we see that God did save  him from this (and many other) trial(s), and David spent many years writing more Psalms talking about the goodness of God. 

We don't have to worry about our lives and what will become of us, if we are God's, then He cares for us as His children. Whatever we go through in life, it's a blessing to remember that God is faithful to all who turn to Him, and whether it feels like it or not, He is concerned for our well-being even more than we are, and He protects His own!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Quotes I Like: Fashion Edition

Remember that always dressing in understated good taste is the same as playing dead. Susan Catherine

Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy. Albert Einstein (love this guy)

On the subject of dress almost no one, for one or another reason, feels truly indifferent:  if their own clothes do not concern them, somebody else's do. Elizabeth Bowen

"When in doubt, wear red." Bill Blass

"You don't have to signal a social conscience by looking like a frump.  Lace knickers won't hasten the holocaust, you can ban the bomb in a feather boa just as well as without, and a mild interest in the length of hemlines doesn't necessarily disqualify you from reading Das Kapital and agreeing with every word." Elizabeth Bibesco

"No one in the world needs a mink coat but a mink." Murray Banks

Friday, November 4, 2011

12 Things I Love Today

1. These Giuseppe Zanotti pumps that cost an arm and a leg.
Gotten from:

2. My first attempt at Butternut Squash Soup

3. The Book of Luke

4. This Song by Sean Hayes

4. Peaches, blueberries, avocados

5. The Show F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

6. Hoodies

7. Almost every Bob Marley song. "I wanna know, wanna know, wanna know now..."

8. Honey-nut Cheerios

9. This Song by Jesus Culture

10.  Bedtime

11. Skype

12. Commercials that introduce you to great music

13. Daydreams

Thursday, October 13, 2011

5 Ways to be Like Jesus

I've been reading Luke with the help of Mr. Matthew Henry (a complete beast at interpreting the Word of God), and here are some things that stood out to me.

1. Get Casual & Lose Your Bubble...
Jesus spent a lot of His early life being surrounded and almost trampled on by crowds of common people. The first time He sent his disciples out to do the work we are all supposed to be doing as Christians, He said "Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece." Luke 9:4. He didn't want His disciples traveling with anything that would weigh them down, or make them look fancy. A silk suit would not only have made the crowds intimidated by Jesus, it would have been restricted how much He could do and how close the people could get to Him. Imagine the woman with the blood problem grabbing onto Jesus if He had on a robe of pure gold - not likely.
2. Spend Yourself On People Who Can't Help You...
The idea that we circulate today is that we should make friends in high places. Make friends with important people who can in turn connect you to other important people, and that way you will have lots of influence. It's so much of an obsession to know the Who's Who's that we disregard those who we consider beneath us. Preferential treatment for the important/wealthy can be seen everywhere, even in the Church. This is to our disgrace and shame. Jesus, the Holy and Anointed Son of God, hung out with fishermen, was in the company of prostitutes, and visited with the most common people of the time. When His Mom and brothers came to see Him, He didn't abandon the crowds to hang out with them, instead He continued to talk to the people who needed Him the most (scripture). He even agreed to dine with Simon the Pharisee, knowing fully well that the dude was not a fan of His, and was a very gracious guest. Our associations should be based more on who we can help, than on who can help us. That's what Jesus says here.

3. Take Things from People...
We have taken "It's better to give than to receive" and made it into quite the mantra. From the little I've seen, it's kinda dangerous to take one principle of the Bible and apply it more strictly than it was intended by the Author. Yes it is better to give, but it is not bad to receive. When we refuse the gits and service of others, we are taking away an opportunity for them to be blessed. Jesus, who clearly owns everything (see Psalm 50 lol), had a bunch of women He had healed following Him and His disciples to help support them here. He also told His disciples that when they were sent out they should stay in people's homes and eat what they were given. When you are going to do good for people, it takes special humility to let them serve you too. 

4. Shine Your Light Or Lose It...
Imagine if Jesus had come to earth, and then for fear of failure, or fear that people would think He was being prideful, He decided not to do anything until it was time to die. That's how a lot of us think. I know I do. "Well, I know that God has a plan for me, and when the time comes I'll do something for Him, but for now I'll just keep a low profile and observe what happens." Or worse still "I won't cheapen my gift by using it often, I'll keep it until the right time comes for me to showcase it, then everyone will be amazed". Jesus was a very nice person, he was always responding in love to people. In Luke however, this is how He responded to this attitude: Luke 8:18. Seem harsh? Well the hidden things of God's Kingdom are revealed to Christ's followers so that they can be revealed to the rest of the world through us. If we then insist on hiding them, then naturally, our wickedness will tick God off. In Matthew 25, He shows this. We should share what we've been freely given without fear or boasting.

5. Touch People...
Leprosy is not cool. And it's not a pretty sight either. However, when a leper approached Jesus for healing, this is what happened : Luke 5:12-13. Now, Jesus healed a lot of people by saying a word, or even while He was far away from them like the Centurion's servant. But he touched this man. He reached out and touched him to show love and compassion, instead of disgust at his condition. Jesus would touch an untouchable because He cares enough. Again the personal bubble really gets thrown out of the window when life is more about letting the hand on God mend people's lives through ours than anything else. May God help us not to distance ourselves from people who the rest of the world shuns.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Love Letter (A Poem)

I sent you a letter in the mail.
Posted that is - two days ago
I know you'll send me one back soon
And your words will be like gold dust - unbearably radiant yet as fleeting as the wind
But you'll get another from me.
And we'll continue to reciprocate cliches and allow ourselves meaningless flatteries
We'll exchange I (can't possibly) love yous And I miss (being honest) with yous
Until one of us gets bored or afraid of boredom from the other or both
And because we thought we'd alchemized confusion into love 
Reality will be our heartbreak.
But we'll remember the thrill and find worth in the pain somehow
Because it will be so much harder to be honest about why we so easily destroyed ourselves
So we'll vodka away our sorrows
Tell ourselves that the pain is not a signal from our bleeding hearts begging us to stop 
But just a part of life
And we'll cry on the shoulders of the vultures who get to us the fastest 
Becuase self-pity is how everyone else copes these days.

      Love you, miss you
              - Sadie(st)
Unknown Object

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Nigeria: A Scattered Travel Log (part 1)

The plane landed
I paused, inhaled and tried to feel like I was at home.
But I didn't.

The interesting thing about being away from a country for so long is that when you arrive, no matter how strongly you want to embrace the culture, people and everything else that comes with it, you still feel foreign. To be true to yourself, you would have to admit that the food tastes strange in your mouth, the smells catch you off guard and the surroundings have you spending short bursts of time just standing and staring to take it all in. It didn't help that the security man's face twisted into a retort as I handed him my passport. "Ah ah, what brings you to Nigeria?" "I'm here to see my dad." "Oh kayyyy... so he's a diplomatic somebody eh?" "No, he's Nigerian." "So, where is your Nigerian passport?" "Well I don't have one, my mom is Gambian and I..." A swift reply "My friend, you are a Nine-gerian, what is Gambia?! Come, you have to get a Nigerian passport oh!" I laughed genuinely at his tactless, yet goodnatured humor.

Street in the Village (which is pretty much a town now)

The official language of Nigeria, contrary to popular belief, is not English. It is Pidgin. Pidgin is a sort of "broken English" that everyone in Nigeria speaks. I love the language, and have managed to keep my fluency away from my Fatherland. I held an entire conversation with the taxi driver before the 6 hour bus ride to Ibadan. Everything is funnier in Pidgin I realized, as the man quipped, "Officer want take all my money finish, say im no get lunch, see im belle like oil rig" shortly after delivering a bribe to a jolly looking police officer. The police are something like the scum of Nigeria. Their pockets go deeper than the frequent potholes that decorate the highways and they will ask for a bribe as easily as they will ask for licence and registration.

As we started off on the highway, a passenger surprised me. "Make we pray" he said loudly and bowed his head along with the other passengers on the bus. I was the only one looking puzzled, and so I quickly copied my fellow bus riders and bowed my head. What followed is best described as a Sunday church service - nothing exluded. The volunteer prayed and prayed and prayed, quoting various scriptures that were applicable to journey mercies, safety, protection, and other related things. At the "Amen", I began to look up, and another passenger cut me off with a prayer of her own. She covered all the things Volunteer One had covered and then some, and ended her prayer by leading us into a series of songs. When the worship was over, I wanted to be like the rest of the passengers and settle into a comfortable position but I was too stirred. I spent the rest of the ride trying to figure out who had gotten the whole "freedom of religion" thing right; we or the western world. 

Craft Market - that's snake skin :-/

The most fascinating thing about returning to Nigeria after fourteen years was going to the market. I had not completely lost my ability to haggle with prices, so I was able to leave the country with some money in my purse, but I could tell I was getting ripped off. You can only ever get them to go down as far as half of the "original" price, so the first price they give you is enough to let you know whether you will be ripped off or not. Of course, being a visitor, I couldn't bank on being able to buy whatever it is that I wanted later, so it was then or never. It didn't matter whether I dressed in traditional garb or intensified my accent, somehow they could tell that I did not run fluidly with the rest of the nation, that I was out of sync, albeit by a few milliseconds.  

 I bought a painting (another sure sign of being a tourist) from the craft market for double of what any God-fearing individual would have charged and beamed as I took it home. Somehow, I felt that they were justified in charging me so much. After all, here I was, able to travel abroad and able to shop and have an expensive cell phone, and they were only trying to make ends meet. This is another touristy trait. The sense of guilty pity you have for the true sons of the soil that causes you to smile and shrug as they bleed every penny out of your pockets. I had not been cheated, I reasoned, I had only done my share of alms giving for the day. In reality I was not doing anyone a favor. Not my dad, who had dished out the cash, and not even the seller. Who was I to make someone who was working for his living into a beggar for my own self satisfaction?

Obviously a foreigner.

(To be continued)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

On Being Transformed

Consecration time! Whoop whoop! 

I can’t lie – conviction is a painful thing even though it is good, and for my good. I was reading Leviticus a few days ago, and God began to show me that the purging of the Israelites and their sanctification was for one purpose; to be holy, because God is holy. The first time I read Leviticus 20:26, I was a little younger and I couldn’t understand. I thought it was kind of over-the-top of God to expect us to be like him in holiness, I mean come on… after all, we are but dust! 
But in His great love, we are given the opportunity to be filled with the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19). I.E. we are given the blessing of being transformed so that we can do away with our sinful nature, and look like Christ on the inside (Romans 8:29), thus evading condemnation. The purpose of all this is not just because God wants to ruin our good times, it is so that the Holy Spirit can dwell in our midst. Unholiness grieves Him and He’s not going to change His nature for us, so if we can be holy, then He will not be grieved. For those who have tasted and seen the goodness of God, we love the Comforter, and want him near, so holiness is a good idea.
Well, how do we go about becoming holy? It doesn’t happen in our own strength. God has informed us that because of our many sins, all our righteousness is like filthy rags before him (Isaiah 64:6). So working hard to achieve holiness will get you nowhere. In fact, as my Pastor elaborated on today, it will get you a little less than nowhere; it will get you to a place of extreme bitterness. Once you realize that you are working extra hard to attain holiness, but don’t feel the strong sense of God’s pleasure over your life, it gets very irritating to see other people living in righteousness, peace and joy. What then do we say, the Apostle Paul comments (Romans6:1)? Do we give up, and just live however best we can, since there’s nothing we can do anyway? Absolutely not. What we do is realize that God has called us HIS possession, HIS people, HIS children (Psalm 2:7). He has said that he delights in us, and that as our Father, He longs to do great things on our behalf (2 Chronicles 16:9a). So what we do is give ourselves over to him. We tell Him – Father, I want to be holy like You, but we both know that I can’t do that. Then He tells us – It is not by your power, or by your might, but by MY SPIRIT. If you will humble yourself under me, and allow me to be Lord over your life, I will do this and much more for you so that My name may be glorified.
So consecration time! Whoop Whoop! Today God brought my selfishness to judgement. I acted in a very inconsiderate manner towards a friend, and thought absolutely nothing of it (Jeremiah 17:9) but it came back around to face me later when she confronted me. At this time, the Holy Spirit was convicting me since I had asked Him to come and refine me and I had two options – I could ignore Him and come up with a half-valid excuse to make my friend leave me alone, or I could HUMBLE myself, admit my wrong and move forward without being hypocritically sorrowful about it to invite pity. This might be easy for some of you, but for me it was a fight. Satan reminded me that I was making myself vulnerable and putting myself in an embarrassing situation. God was telling me that I should act according to the word of God. I listened to the Spirit and apologized. When I got over myself, and stopped sulking, I realized what had happened: Spirit 1- Flesh 0. More of Him, less of me. I realized that by the work of the Holy Spirit, I had just won a mini victory over sin.
Do I pat myself on the back for this? No, because I am fully aware that it only happened this way because of the grace of God. The next time I hear a convicting message, do I gloat in my mind over the people who I know are inconsiderate? I had better not - Romans 14:4. That would be attracting judgment to myself, something I would rather not deal with. Instead, I thank God that one hurdle is passed, and humble myself again, to be broken again over another fleshly desire, fixing my eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of my faith, as I run my race to take hold of what He saved me for – Christ-like-ness.

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Redemption

A poem...
We are lacking a vital element, they say, and they want to help us find it                         
But I know they think that we are poor and dysfunctional                                                 
Because we don’t think the way they do                                                                        
We don’t spend every second being lovey-dovey                                                            
We don’t try to protect each others feelings and all that nonsense,                                   
So they think we are dysfunctional, these people                                                            
Because they want everybody to be just like them                                                          
It annoys me                                                                                                                 
And I find no solace in the fact that                                                                                
My tears won’t behave, but leave me willingly                                                                
At every mention of love, care, self-worth, family                                                          
They are everywhere in my head now, with their perfect, stifling way of life                   
I can’t escape wanting it                                                                                               
To somehow replace the dark hole underneath my left lung                                              
Distributing the toxin throughout me                                                                              
My weak limbs shocked into life by selfish, self-loathing blood.                                        
I don’t know what to do                                                                                                
Now it turns out that I’m not reacting out of self-preservation                                          
 No nobility in my non-conformity.                                                                                 
I’m not a rebel against hypocrites, the revolt is on me                                                     
Pride driven, rage flowing through my veins, me.                                                           
So to sweeten my bitter                                                                                                
I go to the padlocked depths of me where I find a cancer.                                               
A lump of pride.                                                                                                           
My throat locks up, stunned into hollowness.                                                                   
I want to escape into anything else                                                                                 
But Anything Else eludes me                                                                                           
I am dysfunctional and desperate not to be                                                                     
 “What does one do, in the wake of the discovery that one is flawed beyond relief?          
I have hosted a pity party already - nobody came.”                                                         
“Beyond relief?” They search me for the answer                                                             
I nod, look away.                                                                                                          
I want them to give me a penance, a finite sentence                                                       
But they point my face to Him Who Sits On the Throne                                                    
And I look.                                                                                                                   
hibiscus flowers, fine lilies, lavender waters, warm snowflakes, sweet hallelujahs,   honey butter, bright colors, rippled rainbows, running rivers, righteousness is      mine, sunshine, moonshine, starshine                                                                  
“It Is Finished” he says, an outstretched hand lifting me.                                                  
My tears waterfall out of cupped palms as the waves from the Well of Living Waters          
Suddenly rush my hollow heart and overpower me.                                                         
Drowned in light, I peek at first Love                                                                             
That liberates in places I didn’t think freedom could ever live                                          
Jealous love, that pierces, and sets free.                                                                        

"Come now, and let us reason together, says
the Lord, though your sins are as scarlet,
they will be as white as snow..."

This is an expression of my experience with God. Getting saved/being born again/giving your life to Christ is more than a name or phrase. It's more than walking down the aisle in front of a bunch of people. Its even more than being able to one day live with God for eternity. It's making the decision to give God unlimited control of your life everyday. It's acknowledging Him in every decision you make. It's being dependent on Him, and consciously letting go of the "put yourself first" mentality to put His will first. It's making the honest statement: the life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God. Its the best decision I have E.V.E.R made (and I've made some pretty good decisions lol), and it's been very, very worth it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Ups and Downs

My last semester of college is coming to a close, and I'm sure that has something to do with the emotional schizophrenia that I've been cycling through for the past two weeks. Thinking about future dreams and looking at the present is something that has gone from being exciting to frustrating for me very quickly.

I guess the fact that everybody tells me to dream big, and that the future is large, and that they're so excited about what I will become puts a lot of pressure on my current, unachieved self. It's like being told "One day you're gonna make a car speed really fast on a highway and cause people to get to and from where they want to go" when you're only a newly made car battery. You're thinking, "I'm a square-shaped box that can't even move on it's own... what do you mean I'm gonna do all that? HOW?" Thats where the frustration comes in. It comes from not understanding what you're made of, and what the other parts of the puzzle are. At this point, all you can see is yourself, then you start feeling inadequate because you think you need to make yourself able to do all these things that you are obviously not going to be able to do.

You don't see the mechanic that is going to take you and place you in a car, you don't see the car (or even know that it exists) and you definitely don't see yourself as being part of a car. Away from the car analogy, and back to me - I don't see anything past the next two weeks, so the dreams, the promises all serve to make me feel that a beautiful impossibility lies ahead of me. One that I am not equipped for.

I think part of it too, is that you think I don't think of my future as involving other people; when I think of myself doing something in the future, the image in my head is me walking through the vast expanse of the desert alone. I always forget that the gifts of the child of God is for the body and to be used in the body of believers - thus alongside other people, like a team. The poor car battery would probably become suicidal at the thought of carrying people back and forth if it was unaware of the car seats that made up its team.

Obviously I know that God is in control, and I know that He doesn't need to give me the whole picture, and I just need to live by faith and walk by the Spirit. However willing the Spirit is though, the flesh is weak (can we just get rid of this thing Lord? :) )
So my ups are my faith and belief in the One who promised, and in His faithfulness, and my downs are my constant battles with my human nature. Its kind of like a thorn-in-the-flesh situation, so I think its a lifetime battle, that I will just keep getting better at as He gives His grace.

PS. Funny story, remember that dream I had, well two weeks ago I cut off my hair! My own personal epiphany I guess lol. No, I went for it because I think they are adorable, and I'm loving it right now!