Our loft is all Christmas-ed out right now. It's rather merry. I'm enjoying it. And this time next week classes will be over and we all will be merrily studying for finals. Actually, we will probably be sleeping. And this time in two weeks I will either be already home or will be about to go home.
Sometimes its just so hard to live today.
I read this tonight in [Re]Understanding Prayer by Kyle Lake and thought you might want to too.
"Henri Nouwen said that when prayer becomes a way of life for you, it does not mean that you think about God in contrast to thinking about other things, or that you spend time with God instead of spending time with other people. Rather, it means to think and live in the presence of God. As soon as we begin to divide our thoughts into thoughts about God and thoughts about people and events, we remove God from our daily life and put Him in a pious little niche where we can think pious thoughts and experience pious feelings. Our instruction in 1 Thessalonians 5, 'pray without ceasing,' then finds new meaning."
It reminds me of a thing we did one Wednesday night last semester at UBC. We were in the midst of a series about the fruits of the spirit, and that night we were talking about peace. We walked into the room all quiet-like and instead of listening to someone talk, read words on a screen. We were told to take a piece of paper that had been given to us and write on it all the things that had been stressing us that week. Then, instead of throwing the paper away or setting it on fire, we were told to just bring those things to God. That when we pray, not to clear our minds of all distractions and focus only on God, but to bring all that stuff to God, letting God give us peace in everything, not just in "a pious little niche" of our lives.
That's cool. So is the name "Henri" with an "i."
Whoa, so I just googled Kyle's name and found it on Wikipedia. Interesting.
The printer I use at home doesn't print in color. So I'm printing the works of art that I need to study for my art history quiz without color, and making flashcards out of them. I'm doing this so I can memorize the names, artists, periods, dates, and countries of origins of said works and so be successful on my quiz next week. As I was looking at my freshly printed page of black and white pieces of artwork, the thought occurred to me that I hope this is not what art becomes to me-black and white-names, artists, periods, dates, and countries of origins. Colorless. Either knowing a piece's artist, period, origin, the names of the various techniques used, why it was made, either knowing all that will make it more beautiful, because I will understand its complexity, or less beautiful, because I will understand its complexity. Will taking away the mystery take away some of the beauty? I guess it depends on the work of art. It's like with my brother and music. Music that is kind of simple, like most pop music, Will doesn't really like because the it is so trite and not original and simple. Because he understands music more than me, some of it is less beautiful, because he sees it for what it really is. For that reason he can't really enjoy, say, Ashlee Simpson. But at the same time he can more fully enjoy music than I can, because when he finds something really good, he can really appreciate it, because he understands it. He comprehends its beauty.
So I guess I'm just learning how to appreciate art.
It's cool how writing out stuff can help one work things out in one's mind. Like the whole last part of that paragraph I didn't think about until I started writing it. The first part, the part about art becoming just names and dates to me, I planned on writing, but not the rest. It kind of just pooped out of my fingers.
Oh, and happy Thanksgiving.
I worked on a house with Habitat this morning and it was such fun. Before, I was doing Habitat for Humanity mainly just to feel good about myself. This semester I wanted to get involved in something, and I felt like it should be something service oriented, so Habitat seemed like a nice fit. I'd go to meetings and work on some weekends, but never really enjoyed myself, was just doing it to be a good person and all that that entails. But this morning was different, I don't know why. One thing I really enjoyed about it was I worked a lot with non Baylor people. I don't realize how much of a bubble I'm in until I step outside of it. Really, the only people I spend time with are people who are connected with Baylor. Even at church, pretty much everyone goes/graduated from Baylor. And that's great, I love Baylor people, but its good to step out of that and spend time with people or are totally different from me. Perhaps build a house with them every once and awhile. I also worked harder than usual. I used to be really tentative around the site, not wanting to do anything wrong and make myself look foolish. I kind of got over that today and just got my hands dirty. It was fun.
The only bad part is I whacked my left thumb pretty bad with a hammer. I have a sizable blood blister that formed next to my nail, and I can tell that under my nail polish, my nail is purple. Yes yes, sympathy is welcome.
Oreo's taste really good with peanut butter, I found out today. Really really.
In other news, I really don't like the tendency girls' have to obtain their value from boys. We all do it and it doesn't even make sense. Where does it come from? I partially blame chick flicks in which a girl is miserable and less-than until she finds the man of her dreams, such as in Bridget Jones and Sex and the City. Even in movies that I love, like "Garden State," the main characters are lost in life without their significant other. As sweet as that looks and sounds, its unhealthy. And annoying. I'm in a jaded mood today.
So my nails are red now. Bright red. I haven't painted my nails in awhile. I've recently been in this anti-doing-my-hair-or-painting-my-nails-or-tanning-or-doing-anything-girly phase. I've been wearing a lot less pink as well. But I now think its ok to be girly...every once in awhile.
This whole red-nails-thing will take some getting used to.
I'm in Lubbock right now. Sic 'em Lubbock!
We stopped in Dublin and had Dr. Pepper floats.
That is all.
"It’s too bad prayer comes bundled in a package of 'spiritual disciplines.' Really, we should see prayer as a spiritual privilege. We don’t do it as a callisthenic exercise to gain points with God; we do it, because it is good for us in every way. I quote the author Roberta Bondi who says so many people worry about “doing it right.” Hey, if you’re praying, you’re doing it right."
Philip Yancey in Relevant interview.
I don't understand prayer. I'd expand, but I have to go to class.