Thursday, May 29, 2008

@ San Pedro Sula, Honduras

After mom dropped us off at O'Hare this morning, I told Josh I felt like this was the first time I'd ever been on vacation. Yea, pretty much, he agreed. It's just totally different traveling sans parents. The new passport I got only yesterday now has its first stamp! Hooray!

I did a double take as our cab drove past a gas station that read 64.09, surely a sign of the end times... The official exchange rate is about 16 although the locals will give you about 19. There are lots of Wendy's here.

Everything is en Espanol and I'm realizing that ¿Donde estan mis pantalones? really is only useful when I've lost my pants. Good thing Uncle Tim can converse in his Spanish/Portuguese jumble. I'm all confused -- what time is it? Miami was CST + 1 hour and here is Miami -2 hours? Not sure. International flights are like time travel.

After a long day of airports and airplanes our first meal of choice was McDonald's, which in Honduras has menu items such as Pollo McCrispy (Fried Chicken... better than Harlem. Word.), McNifica (something between a Quarter Pounder and a Big Mac. Almost Whopper-like), and of course Cajita Feliz (Happy Meals). The Coca-Cola here tastes different, it's flavored with cane sugar instead of obesity I mean HFCS. Like the yellow-cap kosher Coke bottles they sell in NY certain times of the year. The sandwich bread was different (better) as you can see in the picture, unfortunately the fries were stubby and sub-par.

Instead of a drive-thru this McD's had a walk through, just in case you were walking by and wanted to order from outside instead of the nicely air conditioned insides. I don't quite get it. I'm looking forward to the 80/90 degree weather here though the air is already starting to feel heavy.

Ronald McDonald is as creepy as ever. I hate clowns.

Homeless people everywhere, and mobs of men loiter on the streets... I thought I left Harlem last week.

The frazzle still is following me from last week's NY-Baltimore-NY-Philly-Naperville and then spending all of Tuesday at the Chicago Passport Agency... Last minute packing, drugstore & bank runs on the way to the airport this morning... Got home 1am Sunday and my stuff did on Monday at noon with my brother & his Budget truck, so we spent the day unloading. I've barely even unpacked yet, so packing was a bit difficult.

Man am I looking forward to a good week of (hopefully) unwinding. That's if I don't die of malaria, stingray, dysentery, or exploding lungs. Or melanoma. Police around our hotel have carbines strapped to their legs (real comforting). I'm all ready and armed with SPF70 and DEET. Haha that means tomorrow I will smell like brain damage.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

At Last!

Hellloooooooooo home. =)

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Driving! Oh how I have missed thee. GPS is real confusing; keep left then keep left... Road signs are worse. How the heck do you get onto the Qboro Bridge? The rental Toyota Rav4 V6 drives nicely and just about fits all my things. My skin turns Elphaba green the less sleep I get but I'm past the point of no return. The rents and Aunt Ruth snore in the background. Today my right index fingy incurred a blood blister = noob + folding umbrella. What to do? Feel like there's slug in my finger. Took mumsy and padre to Grand Sichuan, TKettle, Veniero's... Unfortunately they decided to saaaaaaaaaalt all the food at the restaurant and blah, the rents gave me the task of complaining to the waiter which I've never really done but it was quite liberating. On the walk home from dinner/breakfast what? at Tom's Restaurant I thought of that weird worship thought clone moment and funny thing is I think I am the subject of amazing pity love. Oops jokes on me. Packing up to go home. All year long I thought today would never come and here it came and went. Familiar is the tension, irritation, restraint, lack of. A relief. I know how this works I can handle this. I can restate what he just said to you so you hear it even though it's his thought. I can ask you into wanting to do what she wants even though you thought it was a really dumb idea. Can you guys please stop gnawing at each others' necks. Picked up at Vav today, where last I stopped. Finally played with camera today. Many loose ends to tie up at 10027. Contacts have been in since Monday morning.

5/21-5/23 Baltimore, MD
5/23-5/24 New York, NY
5/25-5/27 Chicago, IL
5/28-6/4 Roatan, Honduras
6/6-6/11 Hawaii
6/12-7/2 Taiwan

Mommers woke and told me to go to bed.


Monday, May 19, 2008

What Proof Do You Have?

A facebook note by a girl from my high school asking evidence for God's existence. Ophelia says, "I might as well know before I check into hell." Check in? My dear, I'd like to tell her. Without God, you're probably already there... Okay, yes I realize there are many flaws in that statement.

A little thread from this discussion:

George Beadle (Biologist): "Is it any less awe-inspiring to conceive of a universe created of hydrogen with the capacity to evolve into man, than it is to accept the Creation of man as man?"
I don't think you'll prove or disprove anything from an evolutionary perspective... Though we may dig deeper into regressive causes, there is no way to escape the irrationality of an impersonal original cause.
As you put it, "one will keeping looking for answers until a reasonable conclusion is reached" and you know... Several rational minds have found such a satisfactory answer in God's existence.

And yet, so have they found answers in God's non-existence. :) To each his own, I say. (To each his own? No absolute truth? *shudder*)

Sure... Both reasonable conviction of God's existence and of His non-existence require a leap of faith. I guess your rationale is respectable, but just please consider a little bit of what we've agreed on the next time you reduce belief in God to folly, a crutch, for the uneducated and simple-minded.
The answer of His existence might never be evident and acceptable for all...
Perhaps a creator-God so far above our ways, with thoughts that are not our thoughts, or in your words "far, far superior, intelligent" really does "just completely overshadow" what our minds can conceive. What are created beings to know their creator, as though a puppet should understand the intricacies (or even the existence) of the marionette, or a lump of clay its potter!

I don't think I was trying to get across that belief in God is something horrendous; though I myself disagree with the idea that there is a deity, I do respect others' beliefs. Besides, I know where you're coming from. Not long ago, just half a year, I was a pious believer.
I haven't had to offer "proof" (is there such a thing for this matter the way we understand the word?) on many occasions. Probably because I rarely take the opportunity to share or defend my faith. I definitely know that it is tiny, and that I am most often not articulate enough, not sure enough, not consistent enough in my actions... Though if I really sought to promulgate the power of God and the sufficiency of that message in itself and not the wisdom of men (i.e. my eloquence, logic, morality)... Well, nevermind that's like saying if I had more faith I would be more faithful.

My friend tells her, "I wouldn't really worry about it, Ophelia; your time can be better spent on other things." Really, Ally J? Here's your shoutout, since you're like 1 of 3 people who read this thing. While the question of God's existence might never be exhausted no matter how much time is spent in pursuit of the answer... I can think of no worthier pursuit. What can matter until you at least consider the verity of God? If you decide He is false, a creation of man, then yes, anything you spend your time on would be more important. And of course if indeed that He is creator is true, He is of infinite importance, He is life itself. I already know you disagree. Thanks for your lovely comments here... They are always welcome, no matter how scathing (I'm inviting your dissent, homie... jump on it).

What proof do you have that God exists?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Oh Dad

Somewhere along the way I bought a lie that You're a disciplinarian in the business of withholding good things from Your own children for sport.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Dear you. Thought about all the reasons I had for not wanting to go -- would rather settle down at home for a week before more hectic travels, would rather not risk lung explosion, would rather catch up with the girls, would rather frisbee with the home on the Wednesday we'd get back, would rather not waste money and exploit the land and indulge in so many lavish things, would rather not as you say beach and drink and tan. But none of those reasons factored you in and come to think of it, there's not too much I would love more than to unwind on a beautiful island with you and spend some time away, because we won't have so many chances together anymore and I could never buy back time I wish we'd spent discovering someplace new. Today you told me of losing conscious control of your faculties and then I started experiencing the same of my lungs, can you see those hands that held you back? I heard the sounds of hell, of you being mastered though you were died for to be freed. When will we snap out of this. If I say these that you don't want to listen to, you wouldn't even hear anymore so I'm not sure what can be said to or done for you but by God alone and when you ask where He's at I also wish He'd be slightly more obvious and severely more deafening for you and for me but maybe I can start with just simply being by you again and maybe when we're totally immersed in splendidly created seas we might for a moment together have no doubt about their Creator.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

One Day I'll Fly Away

I want to see from Your side of the sky.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dear You

Tonight you told me of your account -- pieced together by your scattered recollections and your friends' filling in of the blanks -- of losing conscious control of your body that night. The heroic fantasies, the fake? real? seizing, cutting up your hands trying to climb out of the elevator, convincing your friends to hide in the bushes with you. Them not knowing to take you seriously. My stomach tied itself in a knot. I heard the sounds of hell. When will we be free.



Why are You silent?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Heart Halitosis

Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee

Jesus You breathe life
. You exhale power, freedom
. words laced with life
My speech
. rolls from razored tongue off unclean lips
. reeks of death and fang decay,
. the disease of mineralized sin
You said to extract it
. long before
. the festering yeasty build-up built up
I said no thank You
. my teeth are very useful and
. I rather enjoy the plaque.
. And look! The shiny destruction leaks. Fetid deceit,
. the rotted fruit of schemes and plots.

If You bottled Your saliva, I should invest...
A life supply, stat!
I hear Jesus-spit is good for eyesight too.
I can see the shiny TM already... JesuSpit!
Fresher breath by frenching Jesus! Imagine that...

Salt. Didn't people used to brush their teeth with it before toothpaste?
You said to let our conversations be full of grace and seasoned with salt.

I thought about divine mouthwash after feeling the burn of a too-long swig of Listerine. My tongue is still a little numb. I imagined each little bacterium catching on fire... Serves 'em right. Gosh I wish I could connect all these brain farts into a long... melodious... sonnet (what were you thinking?? ew!) instead of little toots.

Mad respect for writers of spoken word or freestylers, iuno how you guys do it like that. (Cue oldschool DCT: How do they do that?? H-ha-ha-how do they do that?) HAHAHA!

Ooo that's it! I'm gonna write a sonetto. Here's Brooke Fraser on the writing of "Hosanna."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Adri & I pulled off our BME220 presentation this morning about drug delivery & molecular imprinted therapeutic contact lenses and gosh I'm glad that's over with.

IV end-of-the-year debrief today was the highlight of my day.
"You know... As I've gotten to know you better this past year I definitely see glimpses of how God has wired you in ways and capacities that haven't been realized here..."

-- Savina
My staff worker said this among many other disarming mind-reads laced with Spirit. Her exhortations to reclaim the joy, identity, & security which she recognized I'd lost were much needed. Granted I constantly misplace all of the above, and have seriously needed to be robbed of my sin... But when I've missed the part about trading all those sorrows for the light & easy (I feel like that's a yogurt?) it's been really... I don't know the word. Can't wait to feel like me again.

These past few days I've logged onto gmail only to see a friend's status "hate my life" and a few days later "hate my life still" and I'm not so sure why that weighs on my heart so, and why it's like... nails on chalkboard to see those words next to the red dot. Maybe because I'm often so tempted to say the same... Though everyone expects me to (and I also wish I could) just suck it up and get on with life. Why can't we see past our stuck-ness... It does suck to be there but today is new and merciful.

Very curious... The people that God's introduced into my life here.

Lord give me contact lenses for the soul. Ones imprinted for sustained residence time, for permanence in the tear film, for steady Truth drug delivery.

Did some major trespassing today to retrieve my frisbee that was thrown over a 12' fence. Got yelled at and apologized and called her "Ma'am." Where did that come from?? Better watch myself in case "mammy" or "nyge" slip. And yea the Ultrastar was worth it.

M2M's spicy philly cheese steaks are really fantastic, esp with Shawn & Viv. And mango mochi ice cream.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Becoming Esther

The end of year 1 is nearly here. Some days the coming of the end seemed... one really elusive carrot. How did we make it this far...?

A year ago there was confidence that this would mean that college was at least 25% through. A year ago, life (or at least school) was comfortably measured, boxed in. All was to the plan. And by "the" I meant Esther Liu's.

Did you know her then...
Esther Liu of Naperville, IL?

You'd have to squint to see her now
after the layers of comfortably calloused heart
have lost out to holy sandpaper
because in her place is the beginning of someone new.

Thank God for new.
New skin stings like new.
Raw & freshly sensitive.

Follow me... A tiny glimpse into how becoming came to be.

This article by Charo & Paul Walker spoke to me of

Bootcamp & the wilderness.
Wandering &; wondering His will.
Harlem & the harem.

I have always been amazed at the kind of preparation that the future queen Esther had to go through... Imagine the possibilities! One year set aside for one sole purpose - becoming all you can be for the [O]ne you love the most. Precious time to cultivate beauty, to make an investment in education and etiquette, to strengthen virtue and build character.
As waiting relates to singleness... I think of Simba and his impatient song, "I Just Can't Wait to be King" but I could write another whole essay on how I am just the same when it comes to queening.
The preparation of Esther reminds me of that precious time between the awakening of desire... For many, this time is seen as nothing more than a time of waiting... sitting on the shelf while life passes them by... on the bench while others play...

They do not realize that they are wasting the most important time of their lives, they are robbing themselves of great joy and reward, they are robbing their future husbands of a more virtuous woman, and they are robbing God of a servant through whom He desires to do great things...
To look back and remember how God enabled her to wait on Him and that He was faithful... Still an even greater joy for her to know that her time as a single woman was also a time of seeking God and being faithful to Him and His purpose. That she did not for one moment wish to flee that state, but desired only to trust in God and wait upon His gracious sovereignty.
Haha I only wish I could say I haven't had to fight the constant urge to run. But I'm thankful that for the many times I've caved, there've been refuges: the sanctuaries, the suburb, the moms, the sisters, the teachers, the brother, the letters, the burritos, so many more. And at last when I come to my senses, and give in rather than up... there's entrance into joy, the Refuge & wing of God Himself. For the times He's brought a smothering mothering shelter to cover me before I could/would crawl into it myself, I'm also grateful.

As for the wait, in-the-moment-unpleasant preparation, & grueling slimy treatments that are sometimes necessary when God takes to sanding and buffing calloused hearts, they write
It should not be considered a mere circumstance or a miserable curse from which one should try desperately to flee.
Rather, the season -- though it seems an awfully in-between time before life resumes, and though its treatments and lessons can be rather unpleasant -- is as much a God-ordained part of life and part of the Plan as any other. And by "the" I mean His.
A time to learn of God and of ourselves.
A time to discover who we are in Christ and to grow in Christlikeness.
A time to be zealous for good works and involved in ministry to others.
So I just realized that a number of the writings I had in mind to link to when I said "follow me" aren't publicly viewable. Hah... to both of you who read this thing... you'll just have to ask if you want to know.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Psalm 119:32

I will RUN in the
way of your commandments when
you enlarge my heart!

High School

I used to wake up right about now.