(rocknroll_guitar of flickr)

Dear squeamish people: aren't you glad I didn't show the actual needle?



Also: I revamped the tiny post from before. Seems my photo hosting shrunk my picture because I wanted to make a 1-frame comic. You live and learn.


We have sinned and grown old
There's a quote by Chesterton that I just love:
A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them.
It continues:
It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

Defining Maturity
Sometimes people mature because they pursue maturity.  Sometimes people mature because life matures them.  For me, it was a weird mix of both.  People started telling me I had an "old soul" starting somewhere in Jr. High.  I was always "old" for my age, but now age is catching up with me (as it does with us all).

As a kid, I didn't laugh much.  For one thing, I didn't have a whole lot of reason to.  But for another thing, somehow I equated "maturity" with "solemnity."  I distinctly remember being twelve and forming the thought.  (Yeah, I was a weird kid).  In my pursuit of maturity, my immaturity had caused me to construct the wrong notion of maturity.  It's funny how that happens.

Just as it is important to have at least a working framework for defining manhood, womanhood, or what it means to help someone, I believe it is also important to have at least a general idea of what maturity is.  If we're going to strive for something, it's good to know what we're striving for.  Then again, this may or may not have something to do with the fact that I'm a law student who likes words and definitions.

Missing out
There is something my 10-year-old brain missed: that's there's an incredible amount of joy in life, and it's OK to enjoy it!  That's something that [most] kids understand.  They have an innocence about them that can appreciate the small things.  But somehow, we lose that.  We have been sinned against, and we have sinned, and we have grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

Now, if you run with the Chesterton quote too far, you'll probably end up with some funky theology.  However, it gives a great counter-point to what many conceive as mature, adult living.  We become cogs in a machine.  We wake up, brush our teeth, drive to work, clock in, clock out, drive home, veg on the couch, and go to sleep.  We forgot the excitement in life.  We're missing out.

I believe this is one of a myriad of reasons why we must come to Christ with the faith of a child.  Why we must be reborn.  Why Christ gathers the children to himself and fiercely protects them.  Because there is an appetite in infancy that aligns with the Divine Nature.  Because there is maturity in childishness.

Men v. Boys

Recently, my friend brought my attention to an article describing "Why You Need a Man, Not a Boy."   (Disclaimer: NOT a magazine/ website I would read on my own! hahaha)  To be sure, the article's title drew me in.  There is a dearth of men in the church.  There are too many boys playing "grown up" without really becoming grown ups.  And we ladies need to be able to tell the difference.

Boys: A Spineless, Pale, Pathetic Lot

However, how do we describe "boys," and how do we describe "men"?  An excerpt from the article describes the difference this way:

Men know what they want. Men own alarm clocks. Men sleep on a mattress that isn’t on the floor. Men buy new shampoo instead of adding water to a nearly empty bottle of shampoo. Men make reservations. Men go in for a kiss without giving you some long preamble about how they’re thinking of kissing you. Men wear clothes that have never been worn by anyone else before.

What I was used to was boys. Boys are adorable. Boys trail off their sentences in an appealing way. Boys get haircuts from their roommate, who “totally knows how to cut hair.” Boys can pack up their whole life and move to Brooklyn for a gig if they need to. Boys have “gigs.” Boys are broke. And when they do have money, they spend it on a trip to Colorado to see a music festival.

Getting Down to Business

So basically, according to the article, men are financially stable, have jobs, take action, and are sure of themselves.  Boys are the opposite.  Ladies, is this what we're going for?  Are we really going to define a "man" as someone who is successful and confident?  If you're not successful or confident, sorry- you're not a man.


That seems like a lot of pressure to put on the guys.  The economy kind of sucks right now, and a lot of good people are without jobs.  Does not having a job make a guy any less of a man?  (Does having a job make a guy any more of one?)

And plenty of guys don't have problems with their confidence- but maybe they should.  There are words for guys who are over-confident and inflate their egos, and these guys aren't "men."  In fact, I think that there's a good argument that it's the guys who aren't sure of themselves, who second-guess because they want to get things done right- those are the real "men."

Obviously, having a job and knowing what a person wants are indicative of other, very good traits.  I'm just saying that this isn't the measure of a man. 

Making a Man

Before I tear up the article too much, there is one part that I would like to highlight:

At this point you might want to smack me and say: “Are you seriously just another grown woman talking about how she wants a man who isn’t afraid of commitment?” Let me explain! I’m not talking about commitment to romantic relationships.  I’m talking about commitment to things...When men hear women want a commitment, they think it means commitment to a romantic relationship, but that’s not it. It’s a commitment to not floating around anymore. I want a guy who is entrenched in his own life. Entrenched is awesome.

This is an excellent comment from a secular viewpoint, and I have to agree.  Commitment isn't about committing to a person (although, we ladies would like that), but it's about a personality that can commit.

I want to push the definition, though.  It's easy to commit to something.  A person can commit to any number of things.  But does he follow-through?  Is he willing to sacrifice for the things/ people he commits to?  That, to me is what makes a man.  I don't want someone who is entrenched in his own life.  I want someone who is entrenched in the lives of others.

No greater love is this: that a man lay down his life for his friend.  If we ladies are looking for a man who will love and serve us the way Christ loved the church (and died for her!), the distinguishing quality isn't whether or not he has a job, or whether or not he has confidence, or even whether or not he can commit.  The distinguishing quality is whether he has the sort of personality that is willing to sacrifice.

Boys want a great number of things.  Men will sacrifice to achieve those goals.  He will make sacrifices to hold down a job, to pay the rent, to commit to a church, and commit to a woman.  Ironically enough, the thought of making that sacrifice should shake a man's confidence.  But the man of God isn't confident in his own strength, he is confident in the strength that God gives.  God's strength is made perfect in weakness for us all.

Are there too many boys and not enough men?  Absolutely.  Do I think this will become the downfall of society and the church?  Not at all.  Because God's strength is made perfect in weakness, and as boys understand and fall in love with Christ, who sacrificed himself for them, I believe that they will, in turn, be able to understand and emulate (albeit imperfectly) that sacrificial attitude in the other areas of their lives.  It's not about success and confidence, but rather the state of a person's heart.

(But having the strength of a raging fire won't hurt)

In Closing...

Ladies: what are you looking for (or have found) in a man?
Guys: did I get it right?  What's your take?
Bloggers: do you ever wonder which "real-life" friends/ acquaintances have made their way to your blog and hope that certain ones never do?  #awkward

How to care for your law student

Dear Sir or Madam:

Congratulations on your recent acquisition of a Law Student.  Please keep in mind that Law Students need a lot of love and care, but if you take the right steps, you can ensure that your Law Student continues to be strong and healthy.

Step 1: Ensure your Law Student is well-watered
Over the course of the year, your Law Student may make harmful decisions that leave it dehydrated.  Or it might simply fail to remain hydrated as the result of neglect.  Keep your Law Student well-watered and alive.

Step 2: Bring your Law Student into direct sunlight for a couple hours a week.
When your Law Student is not spending time with you or is making harmful decisions that leave it dehydrated, it is probably locked away in the basement of some building, surrounded by book stacks.  The only light it receives is of the Fluorescent variety, as well as the glow of a laptop.  If you are not careful, your Law Student may develop a Vitamin D deficiency or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), even if it is in Southern California.  Your Law Student may take some convincing, but take it outside every so often to remind it that what the open sky looks like.  However, do not leave your Law Student outside for extended periods of time.  Due to the amount of time your Law Student spends indoors, it cannot absorb too many UV rays at once and will likely burn.

Step 3: Speak to your Law Student
This may seem silly, but when you speak to your Law Student, your Law Student will soak up your words like Oxygen.  Law Students work with words 24/7.  They live and breathe words.  But many of the words they are surrounded by are dry, uninspiring, and lifeless if not bitter, anxiety-ridden, and virulent.  Speak gently and lovingly to your Law Student and breathe life into its lungs.

If you continue to take these steps, your Law Student will continue to thrive.  Furthermore, if you play your cards right (and your Law Student does not go into Public Interest), your Law Student may reward you with lots of green.

Take care, and enjoy,


I find ways to relate to people.  Or maybe they relate to me.  Anyhow, I end up hearing a lot of people's stories.  I have an ear for that.  And for those who know my own story, they have an ear for what I have to say.  We suffer so that we may support.  We endure so we can encourage.  I have developed entire relationships around this concept, and I do believe counseling is or can become a gift of mine as a result.

Sometimes, however, you find a story so great and troubling, that you do not know what to do.  Maybe it's a widespread global violation of a human right.  Maybe the individual is trapped by insurmountable circumstances.  Maybe it's a medical condition or other specialized problem to be handled by professionals but not by yourself.

There are so many things I want to do.  So many things I want to fix, but so many things are unfixable.  A very dear family friend is in surgery for cancer as I type this.  Another dear friend experienced lives across the country and experienced harassment at his own church.  Shoot, my own unsaved grandfather is in the hospital, and I have very little means of communicating with him and my family due to a language barrier.

Too much to do, and too little that can be done.  If I had a nickel for every time I asked someone for counsel and they looked at me, dumbfounded, and said, "Wow, I don't know what to say," or "Wow, that's tough," or "Wow, I probably would have sinned in your situation, so you're a better person than me.  Hang in there," I would be freaking rich by now.

Doing v. Fixing
However, I have been given a wealth of experience, and I will not be looked down upon because I am young.  I've been on both sides of the counseling table, and I know how this works.  So often we feel like doing equates with fixing and that's the first mistake.  Don't mix up the two.  Doing is listening and understanding, exhorting and encouraging, and praying.
  • Listening and understanding: Just be a friend.  That's it.  Listen and see from their perspective.  Don't even say anything.  Just sit.
  • Exhorting and encouraging: Do this AFTER Step 1.  You won't be able to encourage your friend if you don't know what they're struggling with and why.  But every struggle involves some sort of doubt, worry, and/ or lie.  Scripture is Truth.  Speak the truth in love.  (But part of loving is listening and encouraging first.)
  • Praying: It astounds me that people don't consider praying to be doing.  So often I hear the phrase, "I wish I could do more, but I'll pray."  PRAYING IS DOING!  What better way to do than to give the situation to the One Person who can actually change both external circumstances and internal realities.  Praying is doing.
Next Steps
Of course, after doing the above, perhaps the answer to prayer is some sort of intervention.  If you are called to intervene in a situation, than by all means, do so.  Don't sit back and say "Well, I've already done all this other stuff.  My job is done."  This isn't an excuse for laziness or shirking responsibility.  Do anything and everything you can.  Just start with the right definition of doing.