Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Humble Return

I've been absent for quite some time.  While I'm sure it was an absence not deeply felt, I can't attribute it to unbearable busy-ness, mundaneness of daily Beijing living, or even laziness.

This semester has been extremely long for multiple reasons- difficult students, boring curriculum, and adjustments to married life, being among them.  At the end of the semester, I had a bit of a meltdown when I realized how I'd let myself down in nearly all capacities.  I hadn't kept up my first home, or cooked enough, I didn't spend enough quality time with Chinese friends and students, I hadn't been the teacher my students deserved, I didn't exercise enough, and as we all know, I didn't keep up the blog.

I've started this blog entry about eight times.  Each time I did, the entry felt inadequate.  Who would actually be interested in reading about a new recipe I'd tried or the new oven we finally got, or my first disappointing trip I took to the ocean?  Who was interested in my photos when there are thousands of blogs out there brimming with DSLR gems and impressive angles?  And as I kept thinking about how overwhelmingly average I was, I found just another reason to delete my drafts.  And while this blog isn't truly an extension of my entire being, it seems that the inadequacy I felt about my blog stemmed from feeling inadequate myself.  Why would anyone be interested in anything I had to share when it would simply be disappointing?

Well, here we are, eight drafts later, and somehow I found something to write about.  Today, I was singing in the shower (Jason is away for two weeks, teaching at an English camp, so I indulged myself), and the song that kept coming back to me was one by David Crowder.

"He is jealous for me.  Loves like a hurricane, and I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy... He loves us, oh how he loves us."

I've heard and sung this song hundreds of times, but this time, I was struck by the amazing juxtaposition of those first two lines.  Overwhelmed by a love that is more powerful, wider, and weightier than anything I could possibly imagine, I am simply a sprout in the ground encased in the typhoon of his greatness.  His power transforms lives and maintains galaxies.  The creator of love, justice, mercy, and goodness.

And yet, he is jealous for me.  

He feels pain when I reject him.  He longs for my company when I am caught up in the little, meaningless things in life that too easily become so important.  In my underdeveloped sapling state, he fights for me, and finds me absolutely adequate.  More than simply adequate.  He finds me precious.

All this to say, life hasn't been especially interesting.  Yes, I do have a few things I'd like to share from the past few months that I haven't managed to post up on this blog.  But this necessary reminder forgoes any sort of China-anecdote or rant that my experience on this world could offer.  Because the experience of being pursued relentlessly by the Author of Love is certainly enough to get me to start writing again.

Because it's by His grace and love that I am adequate.


  1. Hi Grace, I'm glad to see you posting again! For someone who doesn't Facebook, I appreciate the tidbits of your life that you share, and I am continually amazed at how you're living a life that is out of your comfort zone. It certainly is a wonder what we can do with him as the source of our strength.

  2. I read. Thanks for the post. Kind of going through the same thing, and it's funny because that's one of the songs we sang for PW last Friday, and it was so good. Hope everything is well Grace.

  3. Oh, thank you so much for allowing yourself the courage to admit defeat and be able to look at life with the onion skin peeled off. Ouch! But you've got it. And, IMO, you are so lovely because of this, Grace, regardless of what a few added pounds might bring.

    Since writing 'Death By Chopstick' I've been going through severe writers' block like never before. I've hung up my muse for awhile and just plunged back into life, hearing the stories of my IELTS candidates while secretly longing for more adventure in my life and missing my Asian students.

    Life is always greener in our idyllic reflections, yes. Some say we international teachers are so adventurous. If they only knew. Hahaha. I look at what we do, and what all we've done, more as a calling. It's a multi-faceted gig, as you so aptly describe in this 'down time' of yours, this year of blahs and introspection. Yet this stage too is so needed. Needed for what? I often ask. We grow through all the tartness and bitterness like ripening fruit fresh for the plucking. And, yet, sometimes we rot. No matter, as we are those with the ability to be continually renewed within because we are neither washed over nor forgotten. We are rooted further and further, deeper and deeper, in love that, as you so powerfully describe, can weather any storm or survive the stench of putrid calm. :)

    You are not only adequate. You are powerful personified and a very lovely human being. Selah