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Thursday, November 26, 2009

A taste of that yet to come...

It is a gray day today in Wisconsin. It seems to be the perfect setting to stay in eating turkey, sipping hot cranberry tea, and playing some Christmas music. I wonder what the next year will bring, and I am excited and terrified all at once at the possibilities. Short-term, the next few weeks are probably my favorite time of the year. I will bake cathedral windows and cookies. There will be parties to attend, hats and mittens to wear, snow to play in, and a few traditional movies to watch. I will sing "Santa Baby" at the top of my lungs whenever I want and don a ridiculous paper crown at Christmas dinner (as is the British custom). I will eat one (understand me, ONLY one) piece of Christmas pudding, and I will spend at least one evening laying on my bed watching the lights twinkle in my room.

And if anyone by the name of Josh Spicer ever reads this:
For the next three weeks, I hope you blast Tchaichovsky every night without avail!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ode to Season III

I have always loved my birthday. But it's not for the typical reasons. I actually dislike getting gifts, and I prefer a good pie to birthday cake any day. In fact, the sole reason I love my birthday is because of the autumn season in which it falls. I love autumn. Everywhere I go, I can taste the sweet spicy odor of the new season. Pumpkin pie. Crunchy leaf piles. Chunky hand-knit scarves. It is the season of quiet expectation, expectation that a new year is just around the corner and that Christmas is coming. There is something about the autumn that soothes my soul and reminds me that things must die before new life can flourish. It reminds me of my need to die to myself as God prepares to mold me and give me a renewed life.

In this spirit, I'd like to confess something I have discovered about myself. I have always been a very loyal person. When I learn to love someone, I love them deeply and wholeheartedly. And when I say "learn to love someone", I mean it takes a lot for me to open up to someone. I don't love readily, and I'm working on this. But more importantly, a wound to my friend hurts me more than a wound to myself. I don't mean this in a spirit of martyrdom; instead, I often struggle with judging other people based on their damaging words to a friend. And while there is a place for righteous anger, I pray that I will not let anyone's past actions taint my image of them. For now, I'm mourning with those who are mourning. And truly, that's all that the Lord asks of me.

"Get up, get out, get away from these liars.
They don't get your soul or your fire.
Take my hand, knot your fingers through mine
And we'll walk from this dark room for the last time."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Proud to be a Raider-hater

This has been a week of firsts. It's my first week as an RA. It's my first week as an official senior (though that barely counts because I was a senior last semester). It's my first week with a new roommate. And it's my first week with half a heart, the other piece having been left somewhere in Haiti. This week has stretched me to my limits, and yet, I feel frighteningly refreshed and joyful.

For a long time, I struggled with the concept of joy. It wasn't that I was sad or depressed. I just never felt the desire to be "Miss-Sunshine-radiates-out-of-every-pore-of-my-being"- girl. More than anything, I was annoyed by those who were constantly happy because it seemed unrealistic. I mean, seriously, who is that happy all the time? And now, I fear, I have become my own worst nightmare. I have realized that my joy comes in my security and assurance of Christ's overwhelming love for me rather than my meager feeling of happiness. The funny thing about joy is that it keeps growing and developing in spite of itself. I love it.

I'm drowning in my attempt to process my trip to Haiti. I have never felt so at home, even when I go back to Colorado and my family. It was different, in fact, from my trip last year to South Africa. While I loved Africa and can still see myself working there temporarily, leaving Haiti was like leaving my home and yearning to go back as quickly as possible. I feel as if God has opened the doors to Haiti and said, " I love this country more than I can express. I died for my children there. And I have given you the gifts to show them this." I ache for the poverty and sadness that envelops Haiti, yet I have such a strong desire to love the people there. Stay tuned for what happens with this!

In lighter news, 'tis the season for NFL! I can't wait to have a standing Sunday night date with CBS once more. Go Broncos!

"Hello world, Hope you're listening.
Forgive me if I’m young, speaking out of turn
There’s someone I’ve been missing.
I think that they could be
The better half of me..."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Why yes, I am William Velez!

Today is one of those days where you wake up and feel as though it is a dreary, rainy evening. I love the dark skies and the soft hum of the rain that will continue, I’ve learned since living in Kentucky, for several days. I want nothing more than to cozy up on a couch somewhere with a steaming cup of Tetley and a good novel. Sadly, however, I have to sit in a cubicle and feed cancer cells, wearing a lab coat that belongs to a man named William Velez and bemoaning the fact that my fingers are too long to fit into small-sized gloves. C’est la vie.

The summer is quickly drawing to a close and my heart is slowly starting to break. I have loved staying here at UK, living at the Wesley Foundation, and meeting the people who have become my family in these past few months. I have been unequivocally welcomed into this group of people and invited to join the ministry being pursued there, and it has been wonderful.

I have been challenged this summer. I have learned that cooking for yourself takes time and effort, and I have learned that growing up in a large family has ill-prepared me for cooking for only myself. I have learned that gardening heals the soul, and that homegrown vegetables always taste better. I have learned that it’s never too late to change your mind about your plans and that it’s always better to let go of your own volition in favor of God’s fantastic plan.
Now it’s off to Haiti…I’m beyond excited!

"Tonight maybe we're gonna run, dreaming of the Osaka sun, Oh dreaming of when the morning comes..."

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's only the rest of my life...

Week six of Summer 2009: I have discovered a few things. First and foremost, I believe that, if given a choice between spending the rest of my life at a desk job and earning good money or traveling aimlessly and barely scraping by, I’d take the latter. While I love doing the actual research for my project, I’m not a “sit-around-and-do-busy-work” person. Honestly, who voluntarily signs up to write papers for a living? Secondly, as seems to be the theme of my life, I am in awe yet again at God’s provision for me. I have attempted to fundraise many times for missions trips over the years, but within 2 days of spontaneously deciding to go to Haiti I had raised over half of my money. I say this only to tell you how stunned and affirmed I feel when I let go of my own plans.

The truth will come out eventually, so you might as well hear it from the source. I, Samantha Elizabeth Hargett, will most likely not be going to medical school. Even as I type this, I’m flooded with relief over this fact. I am prepared for the onslaught of questions and utterances of “What is she thinking?!?” and I understand the confusion. I myself have gone over and over in my head the reasoning behind such a decision. I’m not afraid of failing my MCAT, or not getting in to my best school, or getting spattered in blood. What scares me most is thinking that I’ll wake up in ten years and not be fulfilling my purpose. I already see the disappointment pooling in the eyes of those I have told and hear it dripping from my mother’s voice. I know it sounds crazy, but I don’t think medical school will make me happy and (more importantly) I don’t think it is where I’m supposed to go. I want to get outside my culture. I want to live everyday with a husband and children instead of missing out on their lives. I want to risk comfort and apathy and wealth. It will involve tiring, thankless work and sick, bleeding, broken people. But none of that will really matter. I will be living the life to which I’ve been called.

“And from the ball room floor, we are in celebration,
One good stretch before our hibernation…”

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lexington and pancakes

This summer, I am residing in Lexington, a far cry from the tribal village known as Wilmore. In Wilmore, I fall asleep to silence or the occasional train. As I go to bed in Lexington, my ears fill with police sirens and possible gunshots. The weird part, though, is that I love being here, meeting new people and vicariously living like a UK student. I am inspired everyday by the group of people I live with, mostly because they live out their faith without the temptation of hiding behind false religion and the name of a Christian school. Don't misunderstand me, there are people at Asbury who also inspire me; but here, it is more difficult to be half-hearted about your beliefs.

In lighter news, I absolutely love my lab co-workers. Most of them are international students and smarter than I would be if I studied full-time for a hundred years, but they are patient with me and show me great kindness. Communication is always an adventure, however :)

I know this summer will be a growing experience; indeed, it has already challenged me in many ways. For now, I am thanking God for the small provisions, like the "pancakes-and real-maple-syrup"-lunch I am now going to enjoy with my friends. As a parting gift, I will share the best quote I have ever read...Henry James seems to know me better than I know myself.

"Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blog failure

Let's all agree that I'm a bad blogger. I have a horrid time of collecting my thoughts well enough to write a somewhat occasional post...a year later, I'm giving it a go.

Today I read an interview with Susan Boyle, the overnight singing sensation from Britain. Honestly, this whole story has given me little more than a laugh for the past three days that it has been plastered on every news channel and blog post. But something caught me eye as I was reading, and it made me truly think about what this woman was saying. During the interview, the reporter asked Ms. Boyle whether she would get a makeover and she replied she wouldn't be changing who she is. Then she said that "one thing would definitely change"....that she would no longer be lonely.

Really? How heartbreaking. It took this woman getting on a reality show for her to feel part of something, to be pulled out of her isolation and finally be seen as a person. This whole thing makes me question what I'm doing. Am I reaching out to people...do I ever make people feel as though they are all alone in the middle of a crowd? Do you? I can't honestly say I'm great at it, and I know there are times I have been pushed away by a friend's unwillingness to reach out through my sadness. I don't know why this simple statement struck me, but I do feel convicted about whether I'm loving as I should. I hope you do, too.