Sunday, October 31, 2010

Life's Not Fair.

I don't know what's gotten into me...two poetry posts in a row. :)  Maybe it's the colder weather or maybe it's a sign of how good I am at procrastinating on homework.
Life's Not Fair
One baby gets to go home from the hospital right after he's born, healthy and happy.
Another baby stays in the hospital for months after he's born, fighting for a chance at life.
Life's not fair.

One man is born into a life of wealth and ease.
Another man works 2 jobs to try and feed his family.
Life's not fair.

One student is given a world of opportunity and skips more classes than he attends.
Another student wishes there was a school where he could learn to read.
Life's not fair.

One person gets a diagnosis and treatment plan months after symptoms first appear.
Another person waits years with no answers at all.
Life's not fair.

One child throws most his breakfast away because he "didn't want it".
Another child goes to school hungry, waiting for free lunch.
Life's not fair.

One couple longs without ceasing for a baby to call their own.
An young women gets pregnant with a child she doesn't want and aborts.
Life's not fair.

One person hides their faith because it's "uncool"
Another person dies for their faith because it's illegal.
Life's not fair.

One world deserves to die for it's sins.
One Man dies so that they don't have to.
Life's not fair.

jep 31.10.10

Monday, October 25, 2010

You Never Promised

You never promised it would be easy
You said it would never be more than I could handle.
I just wish You didn't think I could handle so much.

You never promised I wouldn't ever be lonely
You said I would never walk alone.
I just wish I could feel you more.

You never promised it wouldn't hurt
You said that You would bear my pain and my shame.
I just wish I was better at giving it to you.

You never promised to give me all the answers
You said You had a plan for me beyond my wildest dreams.
I just wish I had more trust in your plans for me.

You never promised that it would all be sunshine
You said that the rain would end.
I just wish I could dance in the rain.

jep. 25-10-10

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What Dreams are Made of...

I woke up this morning and rolled over to look at my clock.  Before my eyes could focus on the glowing green numbers, the light began to flash insistently.  It was time to get up.  I hit the snooze button (simply because it was easier to find than the alarm off button and achieved the same end), hit the button to turn the light on and found the alarm off button and shut the thing off.  The next thought through my mind (so really, my first thought of the day because shutting the alarm off did not require thought- hit big blue button, hit big yellow button, hit little black button) was "I am the hungriest pirate in the world"  Once I digested that thought I had another:  "I have got to stop hanging out on RazzleFlabben Island during the night!"
After that, the thoughts came thick and fast.   RazzleFlabben Island.  I don't remember the last time I heard of that place.  It is a pretend place (don't tell Marvy Carvy Snuffleson III that!) that exists in the the children's audio drama series Jungle Jam and Friends.  It is inhabited largely by RazzleFlabben ( Wikipedia defines them such: "Originally two peoples, the Razzles and the Flabbenz, they united after Mr. Snuffleson helped work out their centuries old dispute.  Though humanoid, they are exceptionally tall and covered in brightly colored fur. They highly prize eggplant parmigiana") and a few other species (side-winding furbellies, whistling furchettas, etc).  The only way to get to RazzleFlabben Island is through a mysterious flash flood that carries you and your bed away, usually after you've gotten in trouble and been sent to your room.  You get to spend a day on the Island and then blissfully float back home on your bed in time for dinner. It's probably been a couple years since I last listened to a Jungle Jam episode with my siblings.
It made me wonder where dreams come from.  I had not been thinking about the RazzleFlabbenz.  I had not gotten in trouble and been sent to my room.  I had not been crying, nor had it been raining (two things that often cause the mysterious flash floods).  My window had not been open and I had not been washed out onto the high sea...or had I?    The last thing I remember as I drifted off to sleep was my bed gently rocking back and forth, like a boat.
Where do our dreams come from?  Does it matter?  I don't know. I just know that RazzleFlabben Island is a wonderful place and I was back in my room in time for breakfast. :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Allergy Fun

Some of my friends like to pass the time in a grocery store by trying to find food that is Joy-friendly.  Others get super excited when we discover something new that I can eat (Like teff-based wraps, or funky cheese).  Others take a different approach to having fun with my allergies.  Recently I was at a gathering of friends and some one wondered if we could find something I couldn't eat/was allergic to for every letter of the alphabet. Collectively we came up with a list (some things are a bit of a stretch...some letters are tough).  This is not the exact list, but the best I could remember/come up with on my own.  If you have additions to any of the letters, let me know and I'll update. If I've got to have allergies, I'm gonna have fun with them!

The ABC's of Allergies:
A: Almonds, Amoxicillan (Antibiotic)
B: Bananas, Beer
C: Corn, Crayfish, Cats, Ciprofloxacin, Compazine, Cefprozil (The last three are antibiotics)
D: Dairy, Dramamine, Dilantin (the last two are medications)
E: Eggs
F: Famotidine (medication), Food coloring
G: Gluten
H: Hazel nuts
I: Ice cream, Ibuprofen (advil)
J: Jelly Beans
K: Kiwi, Keppra (medication)
L: Latex
M: Milk
N: Nuts
O: Omlett's
P: Pineapple
Q: Quiche
R: Ravioli
S: Shellfish
T: Tomatoes
U: Upside-down cake
V: Vodka
W: Wheat, Whipped Cream, Walnuts
X: XX(some kind of beer I'm told)
Y: Yellow food coloring
Z: Zanisomide (medication), Zebra Cakes (a snack involving chocolate and cake type stuff)

Monday, October 04, 2010

Lessons from a sunset, or lack thereof...

One of my favorite things (I have a lot of favorite things) is to watch the sunset.  I love the bright colors, the uniqueness of each sunset.  I especially enjoy watching sunsets over water, since I have almost always loved water.  Fortunately for me, Lake Macatawa is only about 8 blocks west of me and there is a nice bench there for watching the sunset.  Watching the sunset at Lake Macatawa also means I get to go for a walk, which is another one of my favorite things. 
Here's one of the pictures I took at Lake Macatawa shortly after arriving here in Holland:
August 31, 2010
Saturday night I was sitting at my desk doing homework (and facebooking a friend) when I glanced out my window, which faces north-west-ish (more north, so maybe north-northwest, if you want to be all technical...I left my compass at home, so I'm guessing based on the sun), and saw the colors playing on the clouds.  My heart got excited and postponed what I was doing and grabbed my camera, water bottle, iPod and gloves (it was chilly out) and headed for the lake.  I snapped a picture of the clouds as I left my apartment:
My past experiences with sunsets had taught me that some cloud cover enhances the beauty of the sunset so I was super excited. When I made it to the lake however, I was initially disappointed.  Either I was too late or the cloud cover was just too much.  There was no spectacular sunset. This is what I saw when I got there:
October 2, 2010
Since I was already at the lake, I decided to sit and listen to my music and watch the clouds for a time. I really didn't want to be doing my homework anyways.  And maybe, just maybe, the clouds would break and I'd get my spectacular sunset.  The clouds never did break.  Off to the side though there was some color.  See?
Mostly though I just watched the clouds and listened to my music. At one point I was talking to G-d and complaining a bit about the lack of a spectacular sunset after I'd walked all the way to the lake to see it. I talked to Him about some other things too...asked some tough questions  And then I just sat and listened and played with my camera.  As I listened I heard (in my's hard to explain how one hear's G-d, but you know when you hear Him) Him speak to me.  I'll try and reproduce our conversation (at least the parts I'm willing to share) in English the best I can. (G is G-d, M is me :) )
G: Is the sun setting?
M: of course the sun is setting...the sun sets every night
G: but you can't see the sun setting.  All you see is the clouds and darkness.
M: but G-d, some things never change. The sun sets every night whether I can see it or not, whether I'm paying attention to it or not.
G: Exactly.  

I sat there with that for awhile.  Some things never change. Whether I can see them or not, whether I'm paying attention or not, some things never change.  G-d never changes.  The eternal truth that He is always in control, never changes.  The truth that light comes after the darkness never changes.
As I sat with it, the words to a song a friend had sent me earlier, came to my find.  I won't post the full lyrics here, but if you want them just click here.  The first two stanzas are: 

Do you wonder why you have to,
feel the things that hurt you,
if there's a God who loves you,
where is He now?

Maybe, there are things you can't see

and all those things are happening
to bring a better ending
some day, some how, you'll see, you'll see

If you'd like a youtube video of the song, with lyrics, check this out.

Somethings never change.  And sometimes, G-d uses a clouded over sunset and the words of a song to remind me of what I really need to know. Sometimes, the biggest blessings are those that come in disguise.

PS:  This isn't the first time G-d has used a sunset misadventure to teach me a lesson.  Check out this post for another sunset lesson