Sunday, August 01, 2010


My Japanese friend Junichi and I have an interesting story. During his year in the States, Junichi and I both were part of Christian Student Fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Although we both went to Wednesday night Bible study and Sunday night candlelight worship service, I do not think that we talked once until right before he was about to leave.

But that Sunday night, Junichi, a couple others, and I were in a small prayer group together. The details are blurry in my mind, but I do remember that we sat on the wooden floor by the west door and shared prayer requests. Junichi must have felt off; Amber asked if it was because he was about to return to Japan soon. I remember that the atmosphere as we prayed was so full and so loving that I lay my hand on Junichi as I prayed for him. We later discussed what happened that evening and agreed that something special had occurred. In any case, I was now bonded to Junichi, who then returned to Japan.

From time to time, Junichi and I will email, catch up on the other’s life. I love those magical moments of life that – though hazy – you know something incredible is happening, and you are a witness. Dimmed lights, wooden floor, a heart frantic and caught between two countries, and the Holy Spirit among us.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Oh the letters

I love letters. AEIOU. I like vowels, but I suppose if they were people, they would be cocky. The jocks or cheerleaders. What about P? I think P would be a quiet girl who wears glasses and reads lots of books. She would be intimidated by the vowel clique. H would be an overweight boy. F is immature, short, and insecure, telling P and H, “It takes both of you to do what I do alone.” I bet R, S, and T would hang out with the vowels; they are pretty popular letters if you think about it. S’s are vowel groupies. Y is unsure, a girl in puberty, without a solid identity yet. She fits with the vowels – but only sometimes. V is the metro boy who wears tight pants and is a mystery. Even the vowels would be secretly jealous of V. V, you must know that you’re distinctive, above the others. Go write your poetry, your song lyrics, a love song for a beautiful girl. Remain a mystery to the others, but share yourself with her.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

mail vs. voicemail

One of life’s joys: getting the mail. It is something I look forward to every day (well, except for Sunday ... Sundays a little disappointment passes through me each time I realize there is no mail delivered that day. Not getting the mail is one of the worst parts of holidays.). When I pull into my apartment’s parking lot, I think, “Ah ha! The mail!” and I get this little thrill, a slight rush. Who knows what could be coming in the mail? Books and earrings and other purchases, letters from my three Compassion kiddos, rewards from my credit card. I buy things online and then feel even MORE excited to get the mail. Sometimes I decide to track the packages online, and sometimes I just let myself be surprise, almost hoping that I will forget that I ordered anything and then, “Oh wow! A package in the mail!” like an unexpected kiss on the cheek.

I have a friend who abhors getting the mail. He feels the way about the mailbox the way I feel about voicemail: stressed, apprehensive, certain that it will be full of bad news or rejection. He checks his mailbox about once every other week. I am trying to be better, but I sometimes save up a month’s worth of voicemails before listening. Isn’t it bizarre how people react so differently to the same situations? I greet the postman like he is sunshine on my face; my friend regards him as the Grim Reaper. My friend loves voicemail and listens immediately, eager for whatever message a friend has left. I am certain that I’ve been fired or have done something wrong, hurt someone’s feelings, that someone I know is in the hospital or needs a favor that I really don't want to help with. Lots of my friends don’t leave me voicemails anymore. I’m glad.

Send me a letter. :-)

Monday, July 26, 2010

i'm off to a ... um, bad ... start

I started off this morning by oversleeping.

I leave for work at 7:45, and I woke up at 7:35. Whoops.

Nevertheless, I still made it to work by 8:05. Sigh.

Then the day went CRAZY. First of all, I got a promotion (not today, just recently) which means I am in charge of hiring and training, and we had our new hire start today. Since I have been in Chicago at a work conference Wed-Fri of last week, I had zippo prepared for him. Great. Awesome.

Then there was a drop in in the afternoon. I spazzed and said I was too busy to take it. My co-worker's eyes got really big and filled with fear, so I had to explain that I wasn't yelling at her, just very overwhelmed. She gave the appointment away.

Then someone else dropped in. And needed a tour. And since everyone else was doing appointments, yours truly gave the tour. My co-worker came back to my cubicle to ask, and she very obviously did not want to ... I think she thought I might explode on her or something.

(For all those interested ... I did not. I smiled kindly at my terrified colleague and said, "No problem." Aren't I so sweet?)

Then I gave a tour. Then I came back and worked an extra hour and a half.

I sound like such a whiner. I shouldn't even post this blog. Well, I'm going to anyway, but let me spin it here at the end to reflect the good news of life.

I love my job. I love my co-workers (even when I go ballistic on them). I love the teenagers and families I serve. I am super blessed. And goodness gracious, I got a promotion! That's pretty sweet too. And ... when you think about it ... I even got extra sleep this morning and no harm done.

In addition to all that good stuff, I bought a bunch of stuff online last week and it just came in. I ADORE THE MAIL.

And even better ... I am covered in Messiah-blood and am seen by God through that lens.

Friday, July 16, 2010

little bit lost but mostly found

first of all, i got a haircut today:secondly, what do i mean by the title of my blog?

I have felt depressed for a couple of days ...

and I have felt sad and lonely and dumb and unproductive and unexcited and tired and angry and ugly and listless and annoyed and not creative.
I have felt loved by God
If you're a believer, you know what I mean. If you're not, this post won't make any sense to you, but you should still ask me about it.
Loved by and in love with my Savior,
jackie lea

Friday, July 09, 2010


I love the characters in my book. I want them to be real people.

You know how you were in high school and you fell in love with Gilbert Blythe?

Wait, that happened if you are my age ... if you are younger: remember when you were in high school and you fell in love with Edward Cullen? :-)

I want to play soccer with Rudy Steiner. I want to have a long discussion about redemption with Edmund Pevensie. I want to discuss OCD with Sam from Kissing Doorknobs. I want to listen to Stargirl's winning speech "I Might Have Heard a Moa." I want to reminisce with Molly and Schmendrick. I want to babysit Harry and Ginny's children.

On a non-fiction note, I posted "Why are we not dating yet?" on Donald Miller's Facebook wall the other day. For real. No response. He doesn't know what he is missing out on.

Friday, June 25, 2010


I guess I will just write about whatever comes into my head at this point. I am thinking a little bit about color and about beauty, but that’s seems drastically whimsical and even annoying. I do believe that there are real, weighty, important statements yet to be made about color, but I’m not sure that I’m the one to make them or that tonight is that night. It is interesting to listen to writers talk about words, and in the same way, to artists talk about color. I have a new friend named Will who is an artist, and when he talks about color, I know that he has a relationship with color the same way that I have a relationship with words. They are our territories; they are our joys.

Words, to me, are possibilities. I think of all the many ways that words can line up, like a puzzle that has an infinite number of solutions, and about the way that particular words in particular orders can create a light or dark tone, the way background music makes a scary movie even scarier. A writer’s job is to align the words to her desire—whether that is in the most pleasurable way, or the most disturbing, or the most endearing.

Today I met with a prospective student who said that she liked to write. I immediately got excited (as I always do) and took a break from discussing the college search and possible majors to discuss what truly interests me – what kind of writing does she like to do, what are some of her favorite books, favorite authors? When I taught a class at camp last week, I asked the campers to introduce themselves and to share what they were passionate about. When someone would say, “books,” or “reading,” I wanted to pause the entire class to have conversations about our mutual friends – Lucy and Edmund, Harry and Hermione, Liesel and Rudy and Max.

I know that there are some people who read a book once and then the book is over for them—they cannot enjoy it again because they already know what happens. I feel sorry for those people. I love to re-read favorite books. It is like spending time with an old friend, reminiscing. It is, of course, wonderful to discover new favorites, to be on the edge of one’s seat, not knowing what is coming next, but I find that I get so into old favorites that I end up on the edge of my seat anyway. I am stressed literally every time I relive the end of Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s a little ridiculous, but I wouldn’t change it. I experience books. Sometimes something lovely will jump up off the page and tap me on the shoulder, and I have to stand and admire it for awhile. I hope that, in time, my own writing will wave to people from the page, will make them stop and stare.