03 December 2006

at home

even as i start this post, i'm listening to air1.com & they're playing the song 'drifter' by DecembeRadio. the chorus talks about drifting away and making his way back home to God.

we use this phrase a lot: make yourself at home, i'm going home, i feel at home here. i've been thinking about where i feel 'at home' as i've been in my own apartment for a few months and spend time with my parents on the weekends. last night, for example, i had dinner and watched a movie with them. so many times before, i would have just gone to my bedroom to go to bed. but last night, it dawned on me, probably really set in for the first time, that i don't live there anymore. my bedroom is not at their house anymore, and every time i go over there, the door is shut. of course, it's practical so as to keep the heat in the center of the house.

i've been thinking about where to call my home lately. and i don't know what God has in store for me. it's possible i could be anywhere next year; for now, it seems like i'll be in madrid, spain. but after we closed the seris on 'go' at church, something inside me has been stirring all the more. last night, i had a dream that i was about to go on a trip overseas, and i had to pack, but i couldn't find my passport. i always have this dream before i go on a trip, but i'm not planning on travelling internationally until next year. why would i have that dream the night before the church is made aware of specific ways to get involved in missions?

i like to think that i'm an easy-going guy--that i feel comfortable in most any place. but i really feel 'at home' overseas. whenever i've stepped off the plane in the madrid airport, i feel like i've come home. when i went to honduras this summer, i felt 'at home'. i feel just as 'at home' talking spanish as i do english. is this the start of something new? am i on the trek to a whole new direction in my life? steve mentioned that sometimes we don't act on what we would love to do, maybe even something prompted by the Spirit, because we don't have all the details worked out. well, maybe this is one of those things. i don't have any details worked out, but i'm praying about going to find my home.

16 November 2006


no, not the dmb song, but i feel like i have a lot of stuff crashing down on me. if one were to take a step back and actually look at it, it probably wouldn't seem like that much, but to me, it seems like a lot. oh, i'll get it done, but i don't have a good attitude about it. more like a dreading sense of drudgery and general apathy but i'll end up grudgingly doing it. i know, this is no attitude to have, and i should work to the best of my ability.

but i'm going on vacation on saturday to visit my bro & fam in arkansas, and i'm super-excited!!! yay for vacation!!!

see, that made my night better. :D

12 November 2006


this morning, a video of my testimony about my illness and the past three years was shown at church. because i lived through these things over a period of time, it seems so shocking to think back about what happened and to actually see and hear me talk about it candidly onscreen. i prayed it would be something that would lift up God, and i was humbled that steve said that my story reminded us that we don't have to face our giants alone; our church family and our Father are there with us no matter what. after the service, i got a lot of hugs, and i met a lot more people. at first, i was nervous at this baring of my soul. in the past six months or so, i've just lived my life as a part of truenorth; i don't think i had every really sat down and told anyone my story. i was pleased at how the video turned out, and i pray that God uses me how he needs me. i realize that we all have a story to share about the giants we face. and how we overcome them is how our lives are changed.

10 November 2006

mirror, mirror

i've been reflecting on my life lately, and i've been pondering where i have been and where i'm going. where was i and where will i be? it's such a confusing thing to have to do through at any age, time, situation. but why me? why have i felt the need to feel especially reflexive. (no, it's not because i'm teaching reflexive verbs in spanish class--in case you were wondering.)

part of it is really establishing myself on my own two feet, which has been such a terrific experience these past few months! of course, there's the rent, but that means that i have a little stake in the american dream. i have two floors of wall-to-wall carpet, electricity, heat & a/c, a refrigerator full of food (note to self: get milk), and i have been blessed with the job to pay for it. when i was in honduras, i saw entire families living in two rooms without electricity or indoor plumbing and glad to have concrete floors put in. no, not to replace the old one, but to cover the dirt floor they had.

from inside my american bubble, i'm looking at going back out into the world that almost killed me three years ago. as i continue with residual weakness, i still wonder what it's going to be like once again. well, it's been three months on my own and no catastrophes, so that's a plus. ;) besides, the key is, as my parents always taught me, is to connect to a church. i have been blessed to be raised in the church and to have the peace of the Holy Spirit guiding me. it really is a peace that passes all understanding! i revel in that peace no matter what goes on around me or how i feel or standing in front of my own insufficiencies. and boy, i tell you, those insufficiencies can mount up and up until you can't see over the top of them. but God's love shines through them and the power of Jesus' blood broke through those bonds. he carries us in his arms, and though he doesn't promise as gentle ride as lexus, he still gives me the peace and the strength i need for today.

tomorrow has enough trouble of its own.

09 November 2006


let's play the recently game:
-i went to facedown at tnc & had a blast worshiping & taking communion
-i went to atlanta to visit with a friend from school who was just through for the day
-after having a week to reflect on facedown and its impact, i wrote some
-printed out the papers to apply to my doctoral program
-not yet sent them in (even though they're almost finished, it just seems so final!)
-thought i was having a stroke, but really didn't (the most expensive migraine i've ever had!)
-finding new ways to be creative in my classes
-trying not to get bogged down in the mundane, but taking time to celebrate God's glorious creation and gifts

that's all for now. thanks for playing.

26 October 2006


today was the day o'awesomeness for two reasons: 1) a student in my french class at the high school told me today that in preparation for reciting a memorized poem for my class, his mom surprised him by signing him up for an open mic night reading unbeknownst to him. i told him i had to meet his mom! 2) i gave an exam tonight in my college spanish class & they had all passed out green pens before i arrived, so they wrote their exams in green ink. at first, i just thought someone only had a green pen--no black nor blue--but then i saw another exam come in with green ink, then looked up and saw everyone using green pens! of course, it's not that hard to find out that i like green since my big ol' bag is green & the dry erase marker i use every class is green. i just thought that was too cool that they did that.

o happy day.

22 October 2006


i've had a burst of creative energy lately, and i don't quite know how i can make the most of it. i've written a few things--or at least tried to when the iron was hot--but my creative energy has come lately in the form of seeing things artistically. now, i'm no ansel adams, but i like to take some fotographs, but the times that i've wanted to snap a photo, i haven't had my camera with me. perhaps i need to either invest in a camera phone or carry my camera with me always. ok, maybe i need to take my camera and a small notebook with me so i can snap a photo or write a poem as i need. or i could get one of those camera phones with a voice recorder so i can record my creative thoughts, then transpose them later.

ok, who's got a camera phone?

16 October 2006

looking back

i came to asu tonight to work--you know, grown up things like research and write papers and look at ways i can get published. but now, i'm working in the library as an instructor, and i'm sitting in the very spot i used to sit at when i was a student here. it's kind of weird looking at the young faces around me, knowing i was once one of them. how many more have passed before me, and how many more will pass after me, into my classroom, or just generally on campus?

15 October 2006

in my brokenness complete

'here i am at your feet, in my brokenness complete'

that was the last chorus that we sang this morning at tnc. it really touched me especially because after two weeks of having difficulty walking, was i was able to stand during the worship service. it was also especially moving because i played ultimate frisbee for the first time in over 3 years yesterday!! in gearing up for a series on facing the giants next week at church, i just faced one yesterday. i played with some new friends--i'm sure God put them in my life--for about 3 hours. this is extreme rejoicing in my family!

three years ago, i said goodbye to regular use of my legs. in 2004, i was in a wheelchair with limited use of my arms as well, in addition to times of altered speech (which persist). in 2005, i was walking pretty steadily on crutches (either 1 or 2). now in the fall of 2006, i'm walking pretty well, sometimes with a limp, sometimes getting a little tired, but what i have learned through all this is that though i may not be able to play ultimate frisbee again, for those hours, i was soaring on wings like eagles!!

i cannot adequately describe here the sheer exhiliration i felt at running, huffing & puffing, and ducking to grab the frisbee. it was something i grieved, something that set me apart from others, and just last week, i was feeling down because i couldn't fit in with other guys my age. because of my illness, i don't fit the typical 25 yr old guy idea, and that had been bothering me. in being a part of a church that encourages us all to be an integral part of the church body, which something i deeply believe in as well, i didn't know what i could offer. i realized just this morning during that last chorus that all i have to give is the life Christ gave to me (thanks to third day's song 'offering').

here i am at your feet, in my brokenness complete.

12 October 2006


they're always telling us to invest--ira's, stocks, bonds; invest in people, invest in the future of your children; invest your time. what is our return? now, i'm looking at taking the next step in my education, and in looking back at where i've been, i'm looking at what i've invested and what more i have to invest. how will the amount i invest in certain things change over the years as i mature, continue in my career, invest in a family? how will my life change with each of these steps? how has it changed already?

in the eyes of my youth (and probably those of my students), my life seems like it's been so long already, and in looking towards the end of it all, it seems even longer! it's sobering to think of my life as having the potential of being so long. so many places to see or left unseen, so many stories to tell or hear, so many lives to touch and to be touched by.

i guess becoming an uncle makes one introspective. ;)

03 October 2006


wednesday night i was a journey team, and we were telling our stories. it came to be my turn, and i said it had been three years since i'd been ill. as i sat there recounting my story, it really hit me how long it has actually been. in the smally scheme of things, three years is nothing. i was in high school for four years, in college another three, and it took me two to do grad school. i was a teenager for, what, nine years. so why is this *three* so significant to me?

it's probably because of how great a turn my life took. not being able to move your body for extended periods of time will do that you. being in and out of a wheelchair for a year and a half or so will do that to you. not being able to hear your own voice at certain times will do that to you. walking fine one day, then not being able to at all this weekend can have an effect on you. i still struggle with the question 'why?', but it doesn't matter to me as much as it has to those around me. i've gotten better at being on my own two feet, and i'm very proud of that and thankful that God has given me the strength to be independent. i have a great job, and i'm active my church, which has accepted me so openly partly because they don't really know me any other way.

but, why does a feeling of insignificance still crop up despite all i've been able to do these past three years? at times i believe i'm living a full life. other times, i feel like i'm still trying to reclaim what i lost. how much did i lose? i think i lost pride in my own abilities, and i've gained a new sense in relying on God. i have to rely on Him in order to get out of bed in the morning, to make my breakfast, to not fall down. i have to rely on him to give me the words to say.

i'm extremely thankful to everyone who has had an impact in my life over the past three years, and i truly cherish our relationships. thank you for your strength, which reflects our Father's.

11 September 2006


so, you can see that i've been dealing with my identity from reading the past few posts. (actually, it's been almost three years.) i'm a Christ-follower, a teacher, a friend, a brother, a son, a writer, a singer, a disabled person. i know God made me in his image. i revel in the fact that i am loved by my Father and that he has put me exactly where i need to be in order for his purpose, and i'm excited at discovering more about what it is! i wonder how i can reconcile all that i am as a witness.

05 September 2006


i can't hide in anonymity any longer. by the fact that i grew up in augusta, i can always run in to people i knew from back in the day. the fact i'm a teacher makes me recognizable to my students when i'm out on the town. that became ever so clear this past weekend as i was at first friday, and several of my students came up to me to say hi. then i have my disorder, which causes me to walk a little differently than others, so i can't really blend into the crowd. besides, i'm tall and have a dark beard, so that sets me apart from the fair-skinned blondes prevalent here.

even though i can be spotted from fifty paces by an acquaintance, i am dear to God. he knows my name, he knows what i'm feeling. he knows when i'm not feeling well or when i need help, and it's at those precise moments that he sends someone my way who may not realize the part they play in my life.

you're not anonymous; God knows your name.

04 September 2006


the following is part of a lyric by a spanish group called jarabe de palo. the song is called "emociones" ("emotions"), and it pretty much sums up what i'm feeling now.

emociones convertidas en canciones en miradas en / temores en olores que se escapan /emociones que decoran donde se esconden encerradas en / prisiones con muy poca vigilancia. / emoción por despertar las emociones / por revelar las emociones / que recorren mi cabeza.

basically it's talking about all the emotions that are going on inside the singer's head, and he can't quite get them out, but not for lack of trying; it's just there are so many in there, it's almost like they're imprisioned.

i've been feeling swept up in a lot of emotions lately--excitement being the biggest, but also some fear, some lonelieness, happiness, uncertainty, and desire. i think about gavin degraw's song "i don't want to be", and at times i feel like i can take that as my manifesto & just be me. then there are other times when i get to comparing myself to others, and i find myself somehow missing some crucial thing that they have which would make me a better person.

ah, if only i could repress the desire for comparisions that thwart my individuality.

24 August 2006

wake up and smell the coffee

i know it's been just over a month since i last posted. this past month has been a roller coaster ride of new things, and i'm glad to have experienced them. in this past month, i started a relationship with a girl whom i think is wonderful and she thinks i'm wonderful, too! (we won't tell her that i'm really not, but just let her keep thinking that i am.) and that's wonderful, too--that she sees my faults, knows i'm not perfect, is discovering my weaknesses, and decides/pursues/desires/chooses me! it blows me away.

a new school year has started, and i had to prepare for that as a teacher. i have the bulletin board set up, the monthly calendar, and my students are settled into a good routine with learning. overall, it seems quite calm now. however, at the beginning of the year, everyone is feeling out the system, so we'll see. i hope to maintain a good learning atmosphere for my students at the high school. my class at the uni started this week, and my students are very receptive and laugh at my jokes, so that's a good thing. ;)

during my blog hiatus, i've also moved into a place of my own, thus taking a giant step in making it on my own two feet. it's a two story townhouse very centrally located, and i'm getting used to it. i haven't lived in a two story house in 20 years (no, seriously, it's been 20 years), so i'm adjusting. i like waking up in my own house and making my own coffee in my own kitchen in my underwear. (just had to throw that in. sorry for any scarring from that mental image.)

most importantly, i've learned more about myself and how to prioritize what i have to do. no one else is helping me now; it's all on my shoulders, so if i drop the ball, the ball stays dropped until i'm able to pick it up again. my family rejoices with me that i am recovered enough to make this move, but i'm still reminded of how i need to rely on God's strength for every movement. i take refuge in the verse that says that when i am weak, He is strong. indeed, when i am weak, i feel like i am more able to receive God's word, to listen to his guiding, to revel in his love and glory.

something steve said this past sunday, "God delights in me," really struck a chord. God delights in me. he knows my faults and my weaknesses, and he created my strengths. that just makes me a little happier! :D

grace & peace.

19 July 2006


thanksgiving came early this year. i went to atlanta yesterday, and spent practically the whole day in and out of restaurants. i started a new relationship. i spent two hours in borders reading poetry. i heard a girl whisper poetry to herself; i thought i was the only one that did that. and, yes, we spent a good bit of time eating.

we went to see rob bell of nooma.com talk about the creation and how everything that God created relates to everything else. everything is connected. everything is spiritual. he spoke two hours straight and used up the entire space of a white board about 20 ft long. his energy was electrifying and spontaneous, yet he spoke with such authority! he even talked about the space-time contiuum, which i had used as an example for teaching verb tenses. i think we could be friends.

how do we mark new beginnings? with muffin tops from atlanta bread company or coffee cups or certain robes. a friend said that Jesus should be a major occurrence, not a minor disturbance. how do i mark a new beginning? how have i shown that i have had a major encounter with Jesus Christ?

17 July 2006


new things are happening in my life and in the lives of those close to me. church is fantastic. i've developping new & deeper friendships, i looked at a flat today, and i get to spend all day tomorrow with a pretty girl and see rob bell from nooma.com speak. i've actually got butterflies.

13 July 2006


i was listening to the rent soundtrack tonight, and two songs hit me, just like every time i listen to them. i hold onto these songs because i feel like i'm just 'renting' this body. they're short songs, so i'll include them here below.

i find some of what you teach suspect because i rely on intellect, but i try to open up to what i don't know because reason says i should have died three years ago. there's only us, there's only this. forget regret, your life is yours to lose. no other road, no other way. no day but today.

will i lose my dignity? will someone care? will i wake tomorrow from this nightmare?


10 July 2006

things are happening

Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful. Romans 12:12 NLT

i've been hearing other people talk about life changes in addition to what's going on at church, and i thought this verse from radio station air1.com really fits. how are we finding our way in the midst of all these changes? kevin wrote a post about change being the only constant, and i can totally relate to that. to close with a quote from that wonderful movie lone star state of mind, baby says 'if you're not living, you're dying.'

05 July 2006

living sacrifices

Romans 12: 1: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. (emphasis added)

by having a neuromuscular disorder that causes muscle weakness and difficulties with balance and gait, i struggle with how i can fit into society--secular and christian--as an independent and potent man who can take care of himself. but on the ride home from journey team tonight, Romans 12:1 hit me: i should offer my body as a living sacrifice, which is my spiritual act of worship. if i offer my body to God, weak legs and all, then i am worshipping him! a sacrifice is something that was offered once--burnt on the altar to God. the fact that we are LIVING sacrifices means that the fire continues to consume us, purifying us to be more like God as we are made in his image. our spiritual act of worship takes away all trappings of our physical nature. as i heard once, we are not physical beings having a spiritual experience, rather spiritual beings having a physical experience. what matters to God is my heart and my spirit coinciding with his will. man looks at my crutches, but God looks at my heart.

i got to thinking about how i interact with others, or what i do in order to show others Jesus living in me. i was doing just fine earlier today and was able to accomplish things i wanted to do. but as it drew nearer to the time to go to Bible study, i was feeling weak. there's a spiritual war going on around me, and i can feel that the more intensely i want to be with other christians, the the weaker i feel.

Lord, i offer my body to you as you made me and with the weaknesses you permit me to have. i thank you for the community i have that supports me and spurs me on to worshipping you! you are all-powerful, and i worship you for your great rule over the universe, but the fact that you care about knowing me intimately blows me away. you are holy, and i want to be wholly yours.

28 June 2006


i recently e-mailed a girl i hadn't talked to in about a year. we have a long history together, and it's a new beginning/continuation of our friendship. she's been extremely patient with me as i've grown into who i am right now. since i've been on vacation, i've been doing a whole lot of nothing. just reading, reflecting, listening to music and hanging out with friends. as you can see, it's been a whole month of r&r--very deserved for a teacher. :)

but in my community groups, i keep hearing the phrase 'know your heart', and i've been thinking about how i project myself and how others perceive me. how real have i been lately? i've been thinking about that as i went through some of my writings from over the past five years--things written in joyous times and times when i've been at the end of my rope. in reading about those dark times, they're such distant memories, almost like another person wrote those things. it's like i don't know that person anymore.

am i still that person, have i tried to hide that person, or have i understood the changing power of God's grace? these are questions i've been pondering.

grace and peace.

23 June 2006

back to my roots

last week someone challenged me to start writing again. he's not the first one that has suggested i write as a type of catharsis. as a matter of fact, he's one of several over the past couple of years, but the most recent that really made me think. i've been journaling throughout my illness, and i've written a few poems here and there, but i have purposely not written anything creative in the past nine months or so for two reasons: 1) i've been mentally exhausted after teaching all day and 2) i haven't wanted to creatively discover what might have been hidden so deep. blogging and journaling seemed to be a safer route to catharsis than the truth of poetry.

since last week, i've read through some of my work from the past five years, and i've tried to look at the world around me through a poet's eyes like i used to. i wrote so many essays in grad school that i think my poetry skills have become a little rusty. especially word placement, not so much diction because my diction has always been frank; well, i dance around the issue a little, like in real life. not like that of my poet friend michelle. she was my comrade during our years in undergrad. absolutely astounding how she manipulated the english language.

but i did write a short something about my glasses sitting on my desk. :) and i unearthed the novel i started five years ago. i guess i'm a writer again.

ps: please note "apart" is the act of being separate from something. i know you mean "a part".

15 June 2006


probably one of the greatest books on vulnerability i've read is His Brother's Keeper by jonathan weiner. it's about stephen who has lou gherig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or als) and his brother jamie who takes his every passion and puts it into developing a foundation that will raise money for research of a cure for als. his goal is to cure als, and weiner does an excellent job at describing the scientific and economic venture that ensues, but he mixes it with jamie's personal goal: saving stephen.

a passage i'd like to share comes from weiner's own interaction with stephen:
It was painful to watch him strain. I wanted to turn polietely away, but if I did then I could not understand what he said. I had to keep my eyes locked on his and watch him carefully. This forced me to face what he was facing and hear what he was saying, and he was putting all he had into saying it. [. . .]
Stephen was as sensitive and observant as ever, concerned about everyone around him. He often thought his disease was harder on others than it was on himself. (p 345)

weiner continues on p 346: His illness was a normal accident, and he refuesed to mythologize it.

i do not have als. i do not have a life-threatening disease. my muscles are not wasting away. though i do not know what my illness is, it's fairly certain i will not die from it. i have learned to live with the uncertainty of it as well as living with a level of vulnerability. i have tried to hide my vulnerability as much as possible lately. however, i was paralyzed at community group last night, and it was extremely awkward for me. perhaps i needed a reminder that i am not in control. what has been more painful for me from the beginning has been watching those around me feel so helpless. i like the part about stephen's illness being 'a normal accident'. in learning to live with my 'new' body, have i reduced the entire mystery of my illness to a simple brush-off, thereby actually making others helpless when they ask me if i need anything when i am physically vulnerable?

13 June 2006

in my head

i woke up early this morning with a searing headache, was able to get back to sleep, and later awoke again with this phrase of a song in my head. i'm not sure if it's an original song or if it is something that I heard yesterday but here is the phrase: Holy holy Lord God Almighty / Be still, behold your God.

it's probably a composite of two other songs i've heard in the past couple of days. perhaps this is an incentive for me to start writing again. wherever this phrase came from, it's a strong reminder for me to be still and behold the Lord as the central focus of my day.

*this post was written with Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice-to-text software.

05 June 2006

on my own two feet

so i'm in the middle of a very important decision, which is a process that has been going on since last october--moving. yikes! since i came back to augusta from spain, i've been up to middlebury, vermont, twice to finish my studies while living in the dorm there; i started two new jobs; and i researched buying a house. but now i'm looking at renting an apartment--something i haven't done in two & a half years. it's so weird how i found a flat in 4 days (with my roomie, of course) in madrid, and here i am agonizing about a flat that's PERFECT (except for the brown carpet) in the very area i grew up in. now it feels like i'm hesitating to have the one thing i lost: complete independence. it's a beautiful feeling to have options, but sometimes the options can be scary.

i looked at the flat for the first time on friday, and i'm looking at it again tomorrow. i'm going to take some pics and measurements, and who knows? i may even sign a lease. not too bad. my life has been a great big lesson on patience and looking for the will of God. i truly pray that i can use my new place for God's glory, since it's He who has given me this blessing.

15 May 2006


while tony bennett may have left his heart in san francisco, i left my legs in madrid, spain. that's where i got ill. that's where i was just starting out in life. that's where i had been the happiest so far. that's been the changing point of the entire direction of my life. and now that my friends over there at middlebury in madrid have finished their year, i sit here thinking about my own experiences 2 1/2 years ago when i was over there, and it seems like just last year.

i'm also at the end of my first year of teaching after earning my master's from middlebury. it's very different being on the other side of the desk, but i'm looking forward to continuing my education. i'm looking at middlebury again so i can get some closure in living in madrid. i want to go back to madrid in order to sort of reclaim my legs.

in the meantime, i'm excited about the opportunities i have here! i'll make it over there, don't worry.

12 May 2006

mythical numbers

i just heard a news blurb about a $70 billion spending bill. it seems so strange to say that it's almost like bilbo welcoming everyone to his 'eleventy-first birthday'. they even kind of sound alike.

simple things amuse me.

09 May 2006


i've been thinking about this word this past week as i wasn't doing too well. i've been thinking about being a spectacle and not wanting to stand out as totally different. this led me to think about a theatre group i once saw in high school called "theatron"--the word is anglicized from the greek θέατρον, which means something to be seen/watched/contemplated/observed in addition to the place where the action to be seen takes place. this is the origin for our word 'theatre'.

i think about my part in this huge cast of humans on earth, and i wonder if i really do stick out as much as i think, or if i'm just one more person on the stage of the world or as part of the song 'reasons why' by nickel creek says: 'And standing on a darkened stage / Stumbling through the lines'. i think about walking with a heavy limp, a crutch, having to manually position my legs while sitting, and talking differently. and then i think of how Jesus was made a spectacle on the cross. they beat him, didn't believe him, cursed him, and killed him.

i just get funny looks.

for more information on the origin of theatre:
"The term “theatre” which we currently designate as the literary genre as well as the physical space where it takes place comes from the Greek word θέατρον (theatron), which came to mean “place where you look” or “what you see”, so it is a noun created from the verb θέομαι (to see, look, contemplate, observe). So, what was in the beginning “the place” where one saw something, the θέατρον (what you see) also came to be “the group of spectactors” and, even more so, came to refer to the literary genre based on the representation where the spectators contemplated something (the θέατρον) which is what is contemplated (the θέατρον) in a space ready for such contemplation (θέατρον)" (-from http://club2.telepolis.com/mandragora1/ [originally in Spanish]).

01 May 2006

doing battle

it seems like so many around me have been touched by illness or personal catastrophe recently. please keep those that you know in prayer and pray for the strength and healing of God's body here on earth. pray that it may be a powerful witness to those that are lost.

28 April 2006

trial run

so, i've been house-sitting this week. not too bad. had to call in sick to work on tuesday because i was paralyzed, but overall it's been good to see that i can make it on my own two feet. that's a good thing.


22 April 2006

mainstream God

i was in express men today looking at the t-shirts, and i noticed that though they were marketing a sort of artistic element for today's modern man, the slogans were fit for battle: strength in valor, not in arms; fight for justice and respect all mankind; valor is paramount, etc. these t-shirts struck me because you could see them as just an ordinary t-shirt, and think, 'cool, it's from express'. but it reenforces God's intent for man to seek him and to be strong and courageous, as we are made in his image.

i also thought of the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe, which i saw last weekend (apropos for good friday, no?), and i've been pondering two things: 1) how aslan decided to take edmund's place as a sacrifice, and 2) how peter developped into a leader. sure, he was the big brother looking out for his younger siblings, but he trusted in the power of aslan as true leader and redeemer of narnia. i need to watch that movie again and re-read the books (it's been about 15 years or so) to see the parallel of aslan to the Lion of Judah and his redeeming power.

i bought a necklace at the third day concert i went to two or three weeks ago, and it has the brittish lion logo on it. it reminds me of the power of the Lion of Judah and how he lives in my heart, saves me from my sins, and fights for the souls of the lost. it has made the Savior of the world more alive to me, especially this week after easter, and i feel more empowered. Jesus protects me and fights for me, yet--to draw the parallel back to narnia--he gives me the choice to follow him and to fight for what i, too, believe in.

sometimes following means not knowing where you're going...

17 April 2006

new beginning

note: i posted this as a comment on another blog, and i liked it so much, i thought i should post it here, too.

in looking towards easter, i've been focusing more on what it means to be a christian & to follow Christ. for the first time ever, i've been concentrating on lent as a time of spiritual preparation for the celebration of easter. not because a religious leader told me to, nor to deny myself something, but to mentally & to spiritually examine how i've been living my life for him. it's been an enlightening 40 days.

14 April 2006


i just found out that good friends of mine who are serving as missionaries in spain are pregnant, april is finishing her master's over there, and then they are moving back to madrid next march! my brother was just here this week, and he & his wife are expecting their baby in early october, around the same time as my friends kelly & april. i'm one step closer to getting the job of teaching at georgia's governor's honors program this summer, and transitioning to teaching a french class this fall, too. on top of all that, i'm seriously contemplating placing membership at a new church, and i'm looking forward to more opportunities that can come from that.

i'm enjoying my place right now, and the changes are welcome. it's about 6 more weeks until the end of school, and it's been a good year for me to be on my own two feet in a certain sense. my twenties have been tumultuous so far, but, all in all, it's been a good ride.

i'm looking forward to going back to madrid in a couple of years, Lord willing, but in the meantime, i'm excited about more changes. i'm getting butterflies in my stomach now just thinking about them, but i wonder what else is in store.

06 April 2006

la vie passe

voila une phrase que j'ai entendu d'une chanson de "le roi soleil": "la vie passe, et je voudrais la passer avec toi."

ce n'est pas belle cette phrase? le video est absolument incroyable; il me semble un theatre musical base sur la vie du roi soleil, evidemment. j'ai entendu que c'etait un theatre vraiement tres, tres bien fait. j'ai vu ce video-ci, et je voulais rappeler cette phrase.


04 April 2006


i attended services at a different church this past sunday where the preacher spoke about prayer and if prayer really works. it was eye-opening to me because he said that prayer was 'communication with God', not merely talking to him. by defining prayer as communication with him, that implies a give-and-take relationship. it opened my eyes to the fact that i've been trying to listen more to God without really giving him something to go on, ie my talking to him. my prayer life has developped into more of a play by play to God rather than asking him things and getting responses. i make this distinction because i think that i have listened too much, and in order for God to bless me, i must ask him for something!

in getting on my own two feet, i must ask him in faith for what i want to happen. i want to move, but God knows what i need when i need it, but i can still ask him for it. i want to work at ghp, but even though i know that & God knows that, why shouldn't i ask him for it? i want to have consistency of health--prefereably total healing--but why have i not asked him for it?

this last thing is something that i've struggled with for the past two years--why have i not specifically asked God to heal me? everyone else has. my prayer has been that i be content and that i rely on God in my times of weakness. are these conflicting prayers? is God getting mixed signals? i know that God can heal me, and i know that i want to be healed, but i realize that God has a plan, and i must abide by it. i must submit myself to his plan, but that doesn't mean i have to live a life dejected because i can't run anymore or maintain balance on my own. God has given me so much back from the initial onset, that i am grateful to him for what i have regained. i'm not 100%, but at a certain point, i'm content with that.

23 March 2006

i'm trying

i'm trying to get back on my own two feet. of course, that is the purpose of this blog--the journey to get back what i once had, but i wonder if what i had is once again attainable, or if i'm to get something different due to my circumstances.

because of my illness, i'm physically weak, which is the primary reason i had to leave madrid. but now that i'm working full-time at the high school & part-time at the uni, i feel like i have more control over my physical situation. that's a great feeling...to be a separate entity from my illness which confines me sometimes.

yeseterday, i fell. like out and out my legs went out from under me. it was a private moment, and for that reason, i'm glad because people still don't know what i live with. my weakness still persists, but i have to continue my life despite my weakness. i can't stop living my life just because my legs don't want to work. i guess i'm stubborn that way.

or maybe it's because i know that God watches over me that i can persist and persevere. i've been struggling with my faith and finding my place over the past two years. i guess that's what grad school does to you--you don't just learn your subject; you learn about yourself, too. i'm at the crux of getting on my own two feet in many senses, and it has to do with moving.
1) moving to a new house
2) moving to a new job
3) taking a summer job at governor's school
4) moving to a new Bible study &/or church

so, here i am at these forks in my road. they all seem to be rather large forks, but i think once i pick one, then the others will become smaller. i thank God that he makes the decisions for me; i definitely couldn't do it all by myself! like when i applied to grad school in the first place: i applied to ONLY two places--something unheard of in academia. i was rejected at one and accepted at the other. it was on faith that i wanted to go to grad school, and it was by faith that i moved to spain. so, i have to realize that God knew i was going to get ill in madrid, yet he led me there anyhow.

that's something i hadn't really contemplated before: God knew i was going to get ill in madrid, yet he led me there anyhow.

04 March 2006

this week

on monday, i decided to clean the kitchen. ok, no big deal. it needed to be done since i cooked using three or four pots and several bowls for preparation, so i needed to clean it. besides, the sink was full of dishes that wouldn't go in the dishwahser. i'm cleaning for a couple of hours without any problem. i go the other side of the kitchen, and all of a sudden, my legs go out on me. so here i am, left only supporting myself in a corner of the kitchen, holding on to the counters. i'm essentially frozen in the kitchen (awkward choice of words, i realize), and i need to get either to the couch or my bed--both are on the other side of the house. there's no way i can walk, so i let myself down to the floor and proceed to crawl to my bed over the next 30 minutes. that was some hard stuff to do, but it needed to be done. no one else was around, and since my house isn't wheelchair accessible, that would've done no good to get my chair. i'm tired and frustrated of the inconsistency of my body and my illness.

i went to my doctor on thursday, and since he didn't see my right away, i decided to lay back on the exam table where i was paralyzed for about 40 minutes or so. he examined me while i was paralyzed. this was actually a good thing, so he could see firsthand what i had only been telling him. he suggested i get a psych consult to rule out 'somatoform' syndromes. he mentioned the possibility of a genetic predisposition for me to get this illness, and he did recognize that my symptoms are real, not imaginary, which is reassuring.

i realize that i've got a lot going on in my world right now, and things are not exactly perfect. i feel trapped, frustrated, and feel like i'm spinning my wheels in relationships, my job, and at church. i'm not seeing the results of progress.


23 February 2006

so, lately

so, lately, i have been using my cane much more than in the past three or four months, and people ask me what happened. i simply say i have arthritis because it's so much easier to say that to go in to the entire illness that completely changed my life. the cool thing is that they are satisfied with that answer, and i'm really glad that people see me through my illness.

i have an appointment with my internist next thursday. i don't know what he'll say, but i'm going to discuss my medication and possibly changing doses as well as refills. i need a good recommendation for a neurologist because i think i should go to one again...at least to see what he has to say and to monitor my condition. my internist has been great at understanding my position, but when every test has been done and nothing comes up as showing abnormal, what else is there to do but to sit and watch it?

this is one more step towards 'big-boyhood' because i have my own insurance now, and i just turned 25. i'm praying for a good year! since i turned 21, things have been going pretty well--on the up and up, actually. but my 23 year and halfway into my 24th wasn't that great. in may, i started a whole lot of changes like graduating with another ba (in french), finishing grad school, getting a job, and now that i'm 25, i'm looking for even greater changes. like, greater in the sense that things are bigger and better, not necessarily that they are 'better.'

one thing i'm going to work on is compiling my posts. they are all private until this point. i want to publish them, but am not quite sure how much i want to publish or put out there now. i have a specific collection that deals with the past two years.

i look forward to the changes.

18 February 2006


so, this is the initial post for the blog 'on my own two feet'. it's dedicated to my own catharsis to my neuromuscular illness that has affected, primarily, my legs and feet. it affects gait, balance, and muscle control. initally it was just lower body, accompanied by severe arthritic pain in the lower joints, but has 'spread' to include partial paralysis and weak function of my left arm. at times, i am totally paralyzed, but temporarily. all this happens at odd times, and i cannot tell when it will happen next.

this started while i was studying in madrid, spain, for my graduate degree, so madrid has a special place in my heart. i say i left my legs in madrid. but this is not at all a 'pity me' blog; rather, it's a place where i share my thoughts, feelings, and enjoy the cathartic process of having a neuromuscular illness of unknown origin and inconsistent nature. i've journaled a good bit about the process, so perhaps i'll share some of that here.

currently, i am instructor of spanish at a high school and a university. during my illness, i have been blessed to be able to complete not only my ma in spanish, but during initial recovery, i completed another ba in french as well. academia has played a good role in my rise to a stable level, so i'm glad to be a part of it now.

i owe all glory and honor to God and his church, which have helped me though the darkest times of my illness as well as have given me the spiritual strength when i have little physical strength.

thanks for stopping by. i appreciate your comments.