Sunday, November 15, 2009


There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain, 

a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Not only is the season literally changing, but I am feeling a change in the season of my life. It's not altogether a pleasant feeling at the moment, either. When seasons change, I tend to look eagerly at the next season, but part of me always is a little sad that the one season is over. For example, when summer turns into fall: I get excited when I start to see the leaves change, when college football starts, and when the hot summer air turns slightly cooler. I realize, though, that fall means busyness of school, fewer hours of sunlight, and colder weather on the horizon. There are positives and negatives to every season. And the seasons must change in order to experience those joys. I need to bear with the negatives if I want to revel in the positives.

And so it is with season changes in my life. Right now I'm feeling some of the negatives internally. I don't know exactly why I'm noticing this change right now, when it's been gradually happening for the past 2 years probably...but I do notice it. There's a point in your life when childhood friends lose touch, when high school friends grow apart, and when college friends cease to be a part of your daily life. It's as if two people, friends, who at one point in both of their lives fit together like puzzle pieces, perfectly matched for such a time. Life moves on, though, and people change or move or start other relationships and those puzzle pieces change slightly with time. Before you know it, they just don't fit anymore, or there's no room to stay attached. Each time I realize another person with whom I had one of those friendships has become a mismatched puzzle piece in my life, I get a little sad.

...a friend that I grew up with, the first guy I kissed, my college roommate, my best friends from middle school, my first friend in college, "my sophomore", even some of my Life Group girls from college...all these people were very important pieces of my life at one point, and are now gone/gradually's time for seasons to change, I suppose. I know there are other people in my life that are more of a fit right now, but part of me will still miss those friendships lost over time and distance.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

On Humility and Admitting You are not Self-Sufficient

Last week I accepted an offer that my mom and step-dad offered: give me a loan to pay off my credit cards so that I don't have to continue paying the ridiculous interest rates charged by the credit card companies. Some background: Ever since I've had a credit card, I paid it off in full every month. Every month, that is, until I moved to Virginia. The moving costs were significant, I didn't get paid right away when I started working, and the money in my bank account was used for security deposits, etc.  So anyway, I established some credit card debt buying groceries, some basic furniture and classroom supplies. I've slowly been chipping away at that debt, paying as much as I had left at the end of each just wasn't going down very much, though. My parents were generous and willing to give me money to pay it off in full and allow me to pay them back at a much lower interest rate.

My first thought when they offered this deal was, "That's not fair for them *at all*. It's my fault I have this debt, I just need to keep working to pay it off..." and several other thoughts along the same line. Then, when I started to think about actually taking the money, I thought about what percent interest they should charge me, and how much I should pay them each month in order to pay it off as quickly as possible. Basically, I continued to try to "figure out" and plan my way through every little detail.

Something that I've realized through this ordeal and decision to accept help from my parents, is that I have some pride issues in the area of independence and self-sufficiency. I don't think it's abnormal, to want to be independent from your parents when you're in your mid-20s, and to feel like you can support yourself and figure things out. I do think it's a problem, though, when the reasons I was considering not accepting this offer were because of my desire to not be dependent on my parents.

As a Christian, I'm not expected to be self-sufficient. The core of my belief system is that I *cannot* do anything in my own effort. It is only because God first loved me and sent Christ to die, paving the way for me to have a relationship with him. Why is it, then, that my first instinct with my finances is to think "I have to figure this out myself! I don't need anyone's help!" Arg. I'm learning to rely on people for the right takes humility.