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Monthly Archives: November 2008

It’s hard for me to understand why people look forward to the food at Thanksgiving dinners. In the first place, turkey never appealed to me. The flavor is so bland, and the actual meat is so dry. All of the other foods are boring as well. The only thing I mildly look forward to is the mashed potatoes, and, most of the time, even those aren’t supreme.

I suppose part of my lack of luster for this holiday’s dinner is because I’ve always been immersed in a cross-cultural Thanksgiving feast. The majority of my 18 November dinners have been a hybrid Laotion-American mix; only once, I think, have I ever had a straight “American” Thanksgiving dinner, and that dinner wasn’t that great either.

When people talk about how they stuff themselves around this time of year, I wish I could too. Just so I can partake in this delectable delight, I’ll design my own Thanksgiving dinner. It’s probably only about 10 years from now that I’ll be having my own feasts.

  • Mashed potatoes
  • A flavorful turkey or some other meat
  • Pud Thai, Lo mein, Fried rice, Larb
  • Thousand Island Dressing style pasta
  • Fruits and fruit salads! How can Thanksgiving dinners be remiss of fruits?!
  • Swedish Meatballs
  • Steak, medium rare
  • Muffins and cookies
  • Jello
  • Assorted drinks. Highlighting: Thai iced tea, young coconut juice, and Shaw tea.

I never want to be part of the Black Friday fiasco again. This morning I stayed up until 5 and went to Target to pick up the first Narnia movie. In addition, I bought the new Miley Cyrus CD; originally I had no intention to buy Miley’s CD, but I saw it and it was on sale.

The thing that gets my goat about Black Friday is the surge in materialism, and the selfish manner in which that lust for material goods is obtained. It’s obscene and pornographic. In contrast, I suppose it is pretty dark of me to condemn those shoppers, but I think Black Friday really is a dark day.

But I digress, and I am thankful. . . for Narnia, my family and friends (especially my very good ones at Marquette, and especially especially the ones in Intervarsity), my home and room, my mom for putting a new bed in my room, my Audrey Hepburn posters, my awesome God, the New York Giants for being 10-1, my education at Marquette, the people on my floor in my dorm.

There are a lot of things to be thankful for. I think if we all can focus on one thing we are thankful for each day, our lives would be significantly more fulfilled.

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Mmm. John 14:6 ((Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.)) nurtures my soul. I’m alive again you guys. I’m revitalized, refreshed, reignited, rekindled, revised, and alive. I’m in stride with God. I can feel Christ’s light glowing inside of me like the rocks at the rock show. ((There was a “rock show” with literal rocks at the InterVarsity retreat. They glowed in the presence of UV light, and it made for a nice biblical metaphor.)) I’m on the right wavelength, and I never want to leave unless I can decrease the frequency of the wave. ((And this is assuming that a longer wavelength is more desirable.))

The InterVarsity retreat this past weekend was phenomenal. I’ve never been on such an impactful retreat. I came into it very apprehensive; there was so much homework and studying to do back at home. I didn’t want to drop all of that and focus on God for three days. It seemed illogical. That’s one of the most beautiful parts, though. What we see as illogical often isn’t. We’re only seeing maybe 1/5 of the map, whereas God made the map.

I devoted myself to focusing on God for the entire retreat. There would be no oogling over girls, fretting over my studies, or complaining. I devoted myself to getting myself back with God. I’m so glad to say that it happened. Even before I started college, I found myself cutting God out of my daily life. I’d push prayer off for weeks, and I’d go through days without recognizing Him. It was draining, and I knew I had to and how to get out of the rut, but I couldn’t.

This retreat was the rope that I needed thrown down to me. I vividly remember when I knew that everything was back; it was a “click”. The second morning we had our track/specific study meeting, and I was tired. We split off into our quiet time, and I grabbed my backpack and rested my head on it while I was on the ground. I stayed there and stared at the ceiling for at least 10 minutes with the clearest mind I have ever experienced since starting college; it was just me and God, and I didn’t want to be anywhere else. ((Comically, I had begun to doze off into a sleep and apparently started to snore. How embarrassing.))

I’m alive again and I want to stay alive. On the ride back from the retreat, Emil said that we were back in the real world now. How true, and how frightening. I was honestly scared to be back in the real world. It was beautiful being on the mountain top with God, but it was time to get back down into the valley. This retreat was the first time that I was genuinely glad to have gone, frightened to come back, inspired to react, and consumed to dedicate.

Listen to John Foreman sing a part of Relient K’s Death Bed. It’s right at the end, and it is a beautiful translation of John 14:6.

I am the way / follow me and take my hand
and I am the truth / embrace me and you’ll understand
and I am the life / and through me you’ll live again
for I am Love

Mmm. I’m fully alive — like we were all meant to be.