The View from the Hancock Tower
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
As August approaches, I am trying my best to lean on faith and pray that this is not, yet another, broken August.
Two years ago, I posted this . August 2009 was one of the most trying months of my life in terms of discouragement. It set me up for a couple of years of adjusting to constant change and unpredictability in life. I remember it being tough, but I also remember the good times that went along with it. I recall long walks around Williamsburg. Taking the bridge to church so I wouldn't have to buy subway passes. Baking baking baking.
I learned so much about leaning on the Lord, and he, of course, provided. This has been evidenced over and over in the past couple of years. That said, I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to be doing in August, and it's scary.
Come September I can get back into routine with School Professionals. Fine. But August is a challenge. I need to find something else to do with my time to bring in more dough anyway, and August is the perfect time to do that, but it's easier said than done.
Also, I'm getting that whole "I'm 25 and what the junk am I doing with my life" complex again. All around me my friends are growing up. I got yet another call from a friend today who made a very adult, life changing decision. I feel like a mid-twenties teenager. I'm not moving forward right now, and though I'm trying to rest in the present, it's difficult not to wonder when I'm going to start hitting normal strides. I've been craving a normal life lately. It's a bizarre feeling for me, as I tend to enjoy instability and adventure.
I want normal. I want to have a career. I want to have a family. I want to know where I'm headed, but I'm don't. I have none of the above, and it's kinda freakin' me out.
So all that to say, I think it's time for me to get back to New York, settle down for a little while, and pray hard about the next steps, how they're going to happen, and what that's going to entail on my part.
I pray I do not have yet another broken August.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
As I was before the 2007 season, I am super primed up for football season (and well all know what happened then). The following link explains why:
That year, I argued that we were preseason #2, we had a tough schedule, and if we got through it, we were guaranteed a spot in the BCS game. We got through, barely, with two losses, but we won. This year, I've been arguing superstition about always playing in the BCS game when it's in New Orleans. I argue tough schedule like last time as well, only with a #4 ranking this time around. Let me explain.
6. Boise State
7. Oklahoma State
8. South Carolina
9. Texas A&M
11. Notre Dame
12. Ohio State
13. Florida State
15. Michigan State
16. Penn State
17. Virginia Tech
20. Mississippi State
24. West Virginia
Now, that MIGHT be the most obscure top 10 of all time, but we start the season playing #1, we can make that work. Then, we have to play two more top ten teams over the course of the season. NOT TO MENTION the five, count 'em FIVE other top 25 teams we must beat. If we can knock out Oregon in that first game and set ourselves up for greatness, we are guaranteed a spot.
I'm not gonna lie, I really wish I was in grad school at LSU for this. I'd be at every game just like 2007. But I guess we all gotta grow up at some point. This...is...gonna...be....awesome.
Plus, a National Championship in New Orleans for the third time in a row. We own that place. Lets make it happen.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
So I've realized I've become really complacent in my prayer life. This is something I've been struggling with for a while, and I've not been intentional in fixing it, which is really the problem itself, if that makes sense.
Allow me to explain.
I read a book a few years ago about praising God through the everyday blessings, and I got really good at it. So I do this, constantly, and it keeps me close to him.
I also have had LOTS of good thinking time since I got to Chicago, and so I've tried super hard to be so enamored by the Lord that my thoughts default to him in these times. But they don't. I want to be closer, I want to direct my mind to him, but I always get distracted. It's driving me nuts.
Also, I've realized that I don't come before the Lord in a way that allows me to truly be still in him. I always tell people I will pray for them, and then I pray for them once or twice, like, right on the spot, then I forget altogether about what I'm supposed to be praying for and I end up only praying for my own requests - most of the time at least.
I often pray for people/places/things (nouns) whenever I think of those specific people/places/things, but it's usually a quick prayer like "Oh yeah, God, take care of that." I don't truly take time to enter his presence, praise him, and present my requests.
I think I got so satisfied with simply praising him over the little things that I forgot to set aside special time for him. Both are necessary.
Human Example: Jess is my best friend. I text her little thoughts and jokes and stories throughout the day. Same with my parents, grandparents, and other friends, but mostly Jess. Does this constant form of communication mean I do not have to make time to actually call or spend time with these people? Absolutely not. I have one day off in Chicago and my first thought was "You better spend it with Jessica." We meet for lunch whenever we can, and when we are in different cities, we make time in our busy schedules to call each other. If suddenly Jess were to stop calling or stop trying to hang out with me, I'd be kidna paranoid, I'm not gonna lie.
So, why do I think I can still have a deep relationship with the Lord if I don't take time to truly sit and spend time with him. I mean, I read the word every day, and I have a little prayer time, but not like I crave, not like I should, and I want that to change. I want to be intentional in my prayers.
That is all.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Though I expected to be insanely busy while in Chicago, I'm actually facing the opposite dilemma.
I'm spending most of my time in deep thought, which is not always a good thing. We have INSANE amounts of time to chill, and though I have desperately needed that in my life, it's about to twist my head into all sorts of knots.
I'm overwhelming myself with thoughts of my next steps and how to make them happen, and it's scary. I'm daydreaming even more than usual, and that's dangerous.
My time here has taught me some valuable lessons, for which I am super thankful. Primarily, I've learned to relate to an ENTIRELY different demographic of kids, and I realized that a lot of the struggles of teenagers are universal, BUT there are unique circumstances faced by each demographic that fall into their own category. I'm also reassured that the group with which I primarily have experience is DEFINITELY the group I am called to be around. I feel a little lost in this mix, but I'm enjoying the experience nonetheless.
I'm also EXTREMELY blessed by my living circumstances. We have the most amazing location, and even though I'm a little tired of looking at the same restaurants and high-end stores over and over, I will probably never live in a neighborhood this classy again, so it's great to enjoy in the meantime. I'm two blocks from the famed Water Tower, and that means I'm steps from the Magnificent Mile (which is really only magnificent if you have a magnificent bank account). I am forever admiring the architecture in this city - and it's pretty famous for it.
Of all the coolness in my hood, there are two things that stand-out the most.
One, I can walk to the beach, which means I can run on the beach, and the fact that Chicago's beach is right in the city makes it my favorite beach of all beaches. There is not much more in the world that is more beautiful to me than a city skyline, but throw in some blue water and sand, and you've got quite the masterpiece.
Two, call it what you want, but one of the many nicknames of my neighborhood is the "Cathedral District." There are BEAUTIFUL churches all over, and when I'm on town duty, I like to plop myself down on their stairs and entranceways. The other day, I stumbled in to Fourth Presbyterian's afternoon jazz service, which sits in the courtyard between its French Gothic building and it's English Gothic building. There I was, worshipping, to jazz, on a BEAUTIFUL Sunday afternoon with the shadows of skyscrapers like the Hancock Tower keeping me cool.
I'll post some pictures of some of my adventures as soon as I get them uploaded to my computer.
In the meantime, I still want you to send me stuff (see address below).