26.9.11

Thoughts

Today is one of those days that motivate you to have the best intentions, but ultimately, nothing productive is done come 6:21pm.
Carrot cake has been made, flatmates birthdays have been organised, essays remain unwritten. Monday is my Sunday.
This weekend was strange. Beautiful, relaxed, lonely. Isn't it funny how we can be surrounded by people constantly, yet still feel so alone, consistently?


Letting my walls down is the hardest thing I have ever been asked to do. It's a constant raging sea...often I am basking in the warm waters, being held up in euphoria. And then, the storm rages and I struggle not to instantly grab my lifeboat, reminding myself that the storm will wane; that I am not alone and unprotected. I am loved. You'll be ok, Liv. You are brave.


Women have finally been given the right to vote in Saudi Arabia. 111 years after New Zealand passed the Electoral Act. A few months ago I wrote a blog post about gender inequality in NZ...despite the clear inequalities we still face, I think I tend to forget how blessed I am to be living in a country so full off opportunity. Far out...Saudi women can't even drive yet, or go out without a male chaperone. Yet here I am, owning my own car, living in the city by myself, free from the oppression so many women, children, men face daily around the world. Why is that so easy to forget?


I miss home.


This breaks my heart. But seriously...NZ is"developing a brown social underclass"? More like Europeans have created a brown underclass. Colonisation, not to mention the 'pepper potting' policies of the 60's and every other example of abjection and urban revanchism seen in our country, has shoved Maori and PI communities to the corners of society, and only now we complain and write Herald articles on it?

Ball



Central House '11



23.9.11

Books.

So, the BBC put out the BBC's top 21 'Big Reads'. I have a new goal...to read them all!
By brother-in-law's blog gave me the idea...I love books, and I have intended to read or started to read every book on this list, but I am the worst person ever for time management and I have a shocking habit of starting 5 books at once, and subsequently drowning in literature and university readings, never finishing any of them!
The ones highlighted in orange, I have already read. The ones in green, I have started but ever finished...


1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

By the time summer is over, I will have read them all. Excited!

20.9.11

Spring!

I love spring! The flowers are out, the air is crisp, the water a silky blanket over the harbour, the frost in the mornings melts away in the sunshine...
I love that the tui sing more at this time of year. That the flowers are blooming, that the mornings are fresher, that when I walk to my classes I feel my nose go pink in the cold, yet I close my eyes and the sun warms me from the inside out.
I love the little tufts of grass that peek out from under the tired, grey pavement, hoping to catch a glimpse of the light. I love that coffee tastes richer, that eggplant are back in season, that the Sunday morning vegetable market is back in full swing!
I love that when I go home for the holidays, I will be able to hear the sound of the lambs calling out to their mothers echo across valley. That I will be able to lie in the grass, smelling the earth, listening to the bees in the gorse. That I will be able to dive in to the water, swim to the rafts, and bask in the sounds of my river...


15.9.11

Imperfect beauty

I feel like I should be a morning person, who bounces out of bed at 7am every day, drinks a healthy fruit smoothie, goes for a run, gets her entire to-do list ticked off by 11am, studies enough to get A+'s in every single assignment at the same time as balancing a perfectly healthy social life. I feel like I should be able to take on 5 200-level university papers without cringing, like I should be able to remember all my friends birthdays, like I should never complain about being exhausted.


Perhaps I would be able to play the piano, or sing beautifully. I would be gracious, beautiful, always there for anybody who calls my name. A perfect friend, a perfect lady, preferably with legs like Jessica Alba.


I would be the perfect girlfriend - kind, generous, confidant, selfless and not 6 hours drive from him. 
I would be the perfect daughter - proactive, loving, present.
I would be the perfect student - disciplined, hard-working, successful.


The problem is...I hate mornings. It takes me half an hour to gather the strength and motivation to get out of bed before 10 30am. I drink my coffee black and strong, and I never eat enough fruit. I leave things to get done for weeks, I forget to pick up my mail, I delay returning my library books. I never quite get A+'s. I neglect my friends cause I am chained to my desk studying every night. The knowledge that I need to do 5 200-level uni papers per semester next year makes me want to run away to Hawaii. And I am always tired.


I can't sing. I cannot play the piano. And perfection is found only in the God I call upon daily for strength.


Why is it that we are so determined to be perfect? Why are we so set on the concept of success? Why am I so afraid of failure? Christ is the one who makes me perfect. In my weakness, I am made strong in him. I am not striving to satisfy Him; I am striving to love Him as He calls me. The world calls us failures...and Jesus calls us to his feet, and out to bring his love to the world he grieves for.


"This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.We love because he first loved us."   1 John. 


O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is discord, harmony.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sorrow, joy.

Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not so much 
seek 
to be consoled as to console; 
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; 
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

11.9.11

Weary and wondrous.

It's a lonely road, a long and hard road. A beautifully terrifying road.

The floodgates have opened, and months of brokenness wash over me the few moments in which I allow myself to be vulnerable...
To imagine that years of sin and selfishness, years of insecurities and fears, could hunt me down and find me as I hide in my little city. To think that, after years of surrender and forgiveness, many nights repenting, I am still consumed by them, slave to them, leaves me with the thought. Where else is there to go?

I kneel, head bowed, fists clenched, tears escaping down my cheeks. I am reminded of Peter in his desperation...“Lord, we have left all we had to follow you!” I have nothing left - without Him, I have nothing. Without Him, I am nothing. I cannot see Him in me, but I have to hope, fiercely, that He is working in me. Without that faith, I have no hope. He is my life, my wairua.

In my arrogance and frustration, I cry out to my God. Where is He, in this moment of weakness? Why has He loved me all along, but not now? And He whispers to me...I have loved you all along. I want you. I still want you. It is you who continues to run from me. You lament that you cannot recognise me, yet you have refused to meet my gaze for so long.

I am alone. If I were gone tomorrow, what would happen? Nothing, in the grand scale of things. Yet He still accepts my tears and frustrations and curses and my humble return to His feet. And I am hopeful. I am made worthy.

“I lift up mine eyes unto the hills — from whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2)

I read a book a few years ago, called 'Mister God, this is Anna.' It is a childish and enthralling book, one of the best I have ever read, with a fascinating perspective on who God is. And what stays in my mind is when little Anna says..."People can only love outside and only kiss outside, but Mister God can love you right inside, and Mister God can kiss you right inside, so it's different." To think that someone so Holy would want to kiss and heal something so messy...


Where is the sense in this crazy gift called grace?

9.9.11

Kia ora.

I have never been so proud to be a New Zealander.


The Rugby World Cup 2011, New Zealand. We just put on the most fantastic opening ceremony, and the All Blacks are about to kick off against Tonga for the first game of the Cup. I  cannot breathe for excitement.


The thing that gets my heart racing is the beautiful display of unity amongst us Kiwi's. The ceremony has been full of displays of Maori culture, with haka, karakia, and for the first time in 21 years, a fleet of 26 waka paddling in to the Viaduct harbour. For once, we are celebrating and displaying the culture that is New Zealand's, the culture of the people that came before us. And we are one, hosting the greatest event in NZ history!


Looking at this video, my heart pounds for Auckland. My home. It is truly beautiful! It's strange, thinking that in 20 or so years when my kids ask me where I was in 2011 when NZ hosted the Rugby World Cup, I will say..."I was flatting in a little box of an apartment in the centre of Wellington City that year, rugged up from the cold wind with my flatmates, screaming at the TV and crying during the New Zealand national anthem." I wonder where I will be whilst saying that....


Hopefully, making a difference. being Jesus' hands and feet. Empowering the powerless. Loving someone, and being loved. Maybe with a bub or 6! Who ever knows...either way; I had doubts as to whether NZ could do the World Cup justice, but we have exceeded expectations. America isn't the only overly-patriotic country in the world this month!


Love from, the greatest little country in the world.


update: We won the first game against Tonga. Chyeah, that's right.

6.9.11


Sometimes I just wish I was super cool and could do more than an ollie on a skate board.


Chet Baker has accompanied me in my non-productive evening...I come to the conclusion that heroin, whilst being a destructive class-A drug, must have done something for Chet, seeing he has produced such fantastic music.


What is it about 1950'S skaters and wearing long white socks with stubbies? I remember in form 2, that was a fashion, but Mum refused to let me wear it cause it look too trashy...good one Mum, I can thank you for that now.


$250 million in a conservation fund co-managed by the four Tainui tribes and the NZ government to go towards the restoration and preservation of the Waikato River. About time we healed something, if anything.


Do you think in 10 years, we'll look back and think "Life is good"?


I hope Jesus wakes us up. Restoration.

2.9.11

Homesick.


This video makes me cry...
and miss one, maybe six, people.

The reason death sticks so close to life isn't biological necesity - it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it.