Showing posts from 2014

I Can't Even Dream

I had the random realization today that I've never run a marathon. This is not a particularly odd fact. Many people--most people, probably--have not run a marathon. But I was writing an email and watched myself type the following: "I can't even dream of running a marathon." Which is of course very bad vocabulary to use when you are me. Because there is this part of me that pounces on statements like that. It is one thing for me not to want to do something. That's fair. I don't have to do everything in this life. {Besides, I can't.} But it is another thing for me to look at a thing and realize, "It isn't that I don't want to accomplish this thing, it's that it seems so impossible that my subconscious has refused to dream about it." I try to keep those things to a minimum, but today I found one I hadn't realized existed: "I can't even dream of running a marathon." When writing this email, I went on to say

The Time of My Life

Well, I'm back. Back in the States. Facebook has exploded with congratulatory posts affirming me in my summer and return, commenting on how great of an opportunity I had, and generally remarking that it was the "time of my life." I only get one? That was my first thought upon seeing such a statement. What a glorious opportunity for you! Glad you enjoyed it--now it's time to settle down and reach for that mediocrity and normalcy we all long for. I'm sure that wasn't what my friends meant. They meant to be encouraging. They meant to be supportive. And I'm glad they said it, because it got me thinking and putting into words what I've always known to be true about myself: I intend to have the time of my life all the time. Having a great time--enjoying everything life has to offer--has nothing to do with where I am, what I do, who I know, or how I got there. My enjoyment and appreciation of my life is controlled by one thing: me. If I wake up,

Learning New Things Is Hard, Part I

I'm taking an upper-division chemistry course this semester. I don't have all the pre-requisites for it. I'm not majoring in chemistry. {The reason behind my enrollment is my research, which takes place in the chemical engineering department.} It's not the hardest of classes, especially not when compared to the upper-division physics I surround myself with. But it has a lab section. I have never in my life taken any sort of chem lab. My first task on our first day was to inventory my allotted drawer. I stared at my list. I stared at the contents of my drawer. I went up to the TA and said, "I've never taken a chemistry lab before. I've worked in one but never taken one, and I don't know what half this stuff is." I then went on to utterly fail when I wrote my answer to an assigned question on the board. I hadn't known we had assigned questions. It was a bad day. I walked out of the chemistry building almost in tears. "I don't know any of

The Dress Story

I wrote this the evening it happened but delayed posting until I returned from Germany.  The story you are about to read--happened. If it bothers you, it's okay, because it bothers me, too. If you think it's weird, that's also okay, because I also think it's weird. If you're not sure where it fits into your theology, well, I can't help you with yours, but I can tell you that mine doesn't exactly have this sort of situation spelled out in black and white, either. A preliminary fact: There are things I wanted to do during my summer here that I haven't had time to do. Now, with money dwindling alongside time, things are being erased from my list without occurrence. Three things I wanted to do that I hadn't told anyone about: I wanted to buy a dress in Europe. I wanted to go on a Treasure Hunt in Europe. I wanted to take a picture of Wuerzburg's very own piece of the Berlin Wall. Today, I was walking home through the city, having had oth

Loving God's Masterpiece

"Can you love someone who hates God?" -- Eric Johnson (July 2014) I don't know why it is so easy for me to genuinely love the secular world {easier than it is for me to love some people in the church, sometimes, that's for sure} and so hard for others. I don't know why I make friends with the liberals, the atheists, the socialists, the evolutionists, the Democrats, the antitheists. You name it, I probably call that person a friend. Why? I swear, up and down, I swear, it is not because I walk into a situation, meet people, and think, "Oh, these poor people. They do not know Jesus. I must love them so that they experience Him." Heck, no. There have been times when I've done that, but those occurrences are few and far between nowadays. I walk into a situation, meet people, and think, "Wow, that person is really funny. That girl was really kind to me. That guy--he likes soccer. That other guy, he's really wise. That girl over there, sh

Language Barriers Are A Curse

I've been thinking a lot about this thing called a language barrier. This week, my two other non-German-speaking labmates have been out of town. It has just been me, which puts English-only in a significant minority. On Wednesday, lunch was entirely in German. So was coffee break. It was not fun. I swung into the bathroom and cried. It was the second time I'd ended up crying in a bathroom after lunch. The first time, I blamed a sudden wave of inexplicable homesickness. This time, I was not so sure. I wasn't missing home at all. I wasn't missing Texas, or even English. Nor was I mad at or hurt by my labmates. They're the nicest people ever! So what was wrong? I'm going to take a quick detour and talk about road kill. You heard me. Every time I see road kill, I'm reminded of death. My spirit cringes, not in fear, but out of distaste. And every time, I feel like God says to me, "This is not how it was supposed to be, Melody. That's why it mak

The Piercing Story

I will first tell this story from my perspective. I’ve wanted my cartilage pierced for quite some time. Being in Germany was opportune; it would correlate with physics and also commemorate my time here. Numa also had wanted her tragus pierced, so we decided to go to the tattoo parlor and accomplish these great things. Joseph, Miquela, Robby, and Victoria came with us. I mentioned to them on the way there that I hoped I didn’t faint; looking back, I’m not sure why I did, since at the time I 100% correlated my former 2 fainting spells post-needle to the fact that they were medical procedures either taking blood or injecting antivirus. Everyone agreed that I wouldn’t faint. We got to the place, and the piercing artists (both female) took Numa and I to separate rooms; Miquela came with me, Victoria went with Numa, and the boys waited outside. I stared at a giant poster of Audrey Hepburn as she pushed a needle through my ear, then stuck the earring in. It did hurt, and I squeezed Mique

My Bush-Bush

When I decided to major in physics, everyone thought I was crazy. Including myself. No one saw that one coming. Neither did I. It didn't make sense to anyone. It didn't make sense to me. I felt like God told me to go, so I went. I didn't go to be a missionary. I didn't go because I felt called to "preach the gospel to all." I didn't go because I had this "burden" for the campus. I didn't go because I liked physics, or was good at physics, or felt like I had some future in physics. Damn it, Jim, I'm a writer, not a physicist! I didn't go for any sane reason. And when I say that God told me to go, that's the sum of what I mean. I felt like He said, "Go. There." So I went. There. I had no "calling" past that. I know now that I went to be a missionary, but I didn't depart that way. Not like my friends, who feel called the share the gospel with nations and so embark on journeys. I embarked on a journ


I've been thinking a lot of about mistakes recently. On one of our first days here, our international tutor texted me and informed me that the buses to our dorm didn't run very late. She used military time in her text, which I'm still getting used to, so I didn't retain or pay much attention. That night, we got off one bus to find that the one that would take us to our dorm had already gone to bed. Goodnight, bus. So we walked up the hill to our apartment complex. It's about a fifteen-, twenty-minute walk. It's not too bad, though it is uphill--and the hills here are significantly higher and steeper than those of the "Hill Country" of central Texas. And now I have a healthy respect for the bus schedule. Especially after that night we stayed out late at a friend's and ended up walking practically all the way back to the city. And then up the hill. My point is, I was informed of all of this before it happened. But I didn't really understa

Red Sea Moment

{This post was written in the JFK airport when I was deciding to have my personal blog be on our previously used Red Sea Moment blog . I've since changed my mind for logistical reasons, but this adventure continues to be a Red Sea Moment. Enjoy.} My last glimpse of Austin was a gray one. Gray fog, gray clouds. We took off into a flat, gray sky. I debated over using this blog or creating a new one for this trip. This trip to Germany didn't meet the Red Sea Moments, I thought. My definition of an RSM was one where you felt God called you to do something impossible...and so you did it. That was what going to Bethel School of Worship was for me. Impossible. Germany has never felt impossible. I guess on paper it was; it's not cheap. But it fell into my lap before I had a chance to worry about logistics. Have you not heard this story? I've known for some time that this Germany trip existed. I knew of people who had gone. I put it on the back burner of idea