Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Find


I don’t know who or what I’m writing this to tonight, but here goes:

I don’t know who I am. I know that I am a 24-year-old girl who loves to read. I know that I get sucked into the Internet and facebook more often than is probably healthy for any single person. I think I’m going to have to take a day off from facebook every week. I have no idea when or how I will force myself to implement this, but it would be good for me.

I know that I am dangerously overweight, and I’m feeling pathetic because I’m watching my beautiful mother become healthier and healthier as she gets older, and I’m the one falling apart. I also know that part of this is this weird selfish, stupid longing of mine to have someone fall in love with me while I’m in this fabled “ugly duckling” stage of who I am. Somehow I seem to still think that having someone decide that they love me would cure me instantly of this bizarre inability to eat like a healthy adult. I’ve seen bits of myself that seem to really do just that because I’ve fallen for people that I thought I could change for, but the fact of the matter is: I don’t love myself enough to change.

I know I am selfish. I am foolish. I feel guilty every time someone is willing to help me pay off parts of my tuition at ABC, and I never feel like I am capable of expressing my thanks the way I should. So, so many people have been kinder to me than I could ever believe I deserved, and yet, I know that as Donald Miller says I am not above the charity of God. This past 6 or so months of my life have been a lot of me learning that when I commit to trusting God for providing for me that He will come through for me.

I know I feel like a failure every time I see people I went to school with or when people ask me what I intend to do with my life because I have no idea how to tell them what I’m doing. How does someone explain that they’ve decided to reattend a school that told them they couldn’t come back for a second year because they were so broke they couldn’t pay for anything and that the school doesn’t provide Bachelor’s degrees in anything that you could ever make any real money with? How do you explain that you have no idea how to be an adult and that you feel like a complete failure in that? You watch people you grew up with get married and have kids and buy houses and date like normal people and become beautiful people and productive members of society, and you feel more like a fool and a pariah and a teenager every day.

I also know that it’s insane for me to feel this much aggravation to myself. People are constantly trying to cheer me on and I know that I am capable of good. I will never be able to express my gratitude for the faith my parents hold in me or for overhearing my mother telling people how blessed she feels to have four truly intelligent children. Knowing that my father is excited to have me back home because I’ll make him pies, for my brothers to get excited because I’ll be around to play board games with them, and to simply talk to the oldest of my brothers because…well he missed me.

It’s also been completely strange because I’ve realized “home” isn’t really here anymore. The strangest part of that was realizing what caused this…well, realization: the lack of lighting. I had no lamp here. Not a real one. I can’t be in my bedroom here at the house and not have a lamp. It throws off everything about my night. When I noticed that there was no regular lamp for me, I realized this wasn’t home anymore. This makes me feel silly, but it’s true. Plus, this room doesn’t feel right. Sure, there’s still a huge number of pictures and papers hung on the walls, but they don’t feel like home. There are bare shelves and half-packed boxes everywhere. Within the next year or two…this room will no longer be mine. It will be a guest room, and I will come and stay here when I visit. But this is not home.

A month or two ago I was reminded of this cool website that shows a collection of Polaroid pictures of people and at the bottom of the Polaroid people state something that they wish to accomplish before they die. The one that hit me hardest was one of a young guy probably around my age who simply said that before he died he wanted to feel like he was home again. This didn’t break my heart, but instead, it encouraged me. I am not alone. I know that many people go through a stage of wandering. Nothing feels quite right to some of us. We’re full of wanderlust and dreams. We just want to find where we belong.

I wonder how long it takes to find home.

And is home a place or is it a person or an idea? Is it finding what I want to be? Is it falling in love? Is it the right location? I guess I’ll know when I find it.

A friend of mine was recently told that the guy she liked couldn’t be with her because he needed time to figure out who he was and what he wanted to do with his life. I can see where he’s coming from a little, but I think he was using this time in his life as an excuse. I don’t think this is right. Sure, I’m screwed up, but if I [have] found/find the right guy, I will do what I can to make it work out. I’m not going to waste my life wandering around when what I’m longing most for is right in front of me. I think her ex-boyfriend is a jerk who just doesn’t know how to tell her that he doesn’t really want to commit to her or love her like she deserves. He’s just not into her.

Today I was talking to a couple that I’m close to, and I was struck by something they both said. They were talking about how they had both thought relationships would be a lot harder than they are. Not saying that relationships aren’t a great deal of work and compromise, but they both said that their relationship isn’t filled with the drama that so many others are full of. They are upfront about everything. They don’t lie or try to make their arguments into battles to be won by one or the other. They just lay their cards out on the table as soon as a problem arises and they deal with the issues at hand. My friend said that she just doesn’t understand why people make it more complicated. She doesn’t want to fight with the person she lives with. She doesn’t like fighting with her husband and she doesn’t want to make life more complicated or fight to win. She instead just wants to get through whatever disagreement they’re having as quickly and honestly as possible. They have one of the healthiest and most stable relationships I’ve ever seen. I want that. The thing he said that stuck with me most was that it was so easy. Not marriage, but finding his wife. He is older than she is by several years and said that this might have really helped him, but he knew what he wanted and when he found her, he went for it. He was honest and upfront about what he wanted in everything, and in doing this, they didn’t have to wonder what the other one was thinking or wanting because they already knew. It eliminated a lot of heartache, questions, angst and drama.

Again, I want that.

I’m just going to keep my eyes open and pray. Hopefully when the right thing comes along (or if it is already present) God will give me the eyes, heart and brain needed in order to recognize love where I find it.

Hopefully I’ll also be able to come to terms with the fact that I’m a messy, ridiculous kid and that I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. I just want to follow God’s lead and find courage and hope in every day and His provision.

Maybe I’ll start a God box and put all my wishes, hopes, prayers, and dreams in it to trust them to God and put them right out of my mind and into God’s hands.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Wish

It's Christmas Eve.

Maybe you don't know this, but this is my favorite day of the year. Don't get me wrong, I adore Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter, but Christmas Eve is the best day of the year. Why you may ask? Well, that's very simple. It's the anticipation.

Knowing that Christmas is tomorrow makes everything more exciting. Christmas Eve is the day that I usually spend with my folks and my brothers. I help Mom with all the last minute cooking and baking endeavors. (I have become the pie maker for the family. In awhile I will be making our Pumpkin pie. It will be delicious.) I listen to my brothers arguing out trivial things like who gets to do the vacuuming and who gets to shovel and whether or not they'll both do a bit of both (which is probably what will happen). We wait for my dad to get home from work just after lunch, and today we are watching the snow fall. It's been falling all morning. I love it.

I've been trying to get some merry Christmas-ing to people this morning. Sent some emails, left some notes, but I've realized there are quite a few people who I'd like nothing better than to have a teleporter so that I could just hug them. I feel like phone calls and notes are almost worthless for Christmas greetings. They'll do an alright just for now, but someday teleporters will be invented and then I'll get to see the people I love quickly and without issue. It will make everything so much nicer.

You have my love and good wishes this year as we once again celebrate the joy of a baby boy born so many, many years ago. A child who would grow up to save the world. A child who causes the sorrow of death to be dissolved into a hope for a brighter more miraculous and beautiful hope than any of can fully imagine. We are so, so blessed.

So here's my Christmas wish for you:

May your Christmas be filled with joy. May you get the joy of family and/or friends. May you have tasty foods to eat, wonderful music to hear, smiles to share, people to hug, smells to savor, presents to give, optimal weather conditions for your personal happiness (in my case, lots and lots of white, fluffy snow and nowhere to drive to), lights to twinkle, warmth and a rememberance that Jesus was born to save us all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Grace Canfield


Favorite things of this very moment (4:28 pm CST):

  • Being home
  • "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"
  • Having located a wi-fi network that my computer can hook up to
  • An email from Nikky
  • Having dinner plans tonight for Alfano's with Kimmieboo, Miiitch, and Morgan (some other people too I think)
  • Ice water
  • Neon green socks & Forrest's sandals
  • "It is Well with my Soul"

Today I had to wtch one of my best friend's sing at his very much beloved grandmother's funeral. I can't describe how hard that was to watch, but I was glad I was there. He looked wonderful and even though I could hear the heartbreak in his voice, he sang beautifully. He sang "It is Well with my Soul" because a few weeks back his grandmother told him that when she died he wanted her to sing that. He was amazing. She would have been so proud of him.

I've realized I want to be like Grace. She was incredible woman. She believed in God, family and the beauty of nature. She was an avid gardner and baker. She will always be remembered for her amazing pies and her cookies, as well as her beautiful singing voice and her thankful spirit. She's a great example of what I want to be when I grow up. Someone who understands the beauty of the little things and doesn't take for granted anything God gives. I want people to be able to say that about me, and I want to touch lives forever in the amazing way Grace did. I feel blessed for having known her and I am grateful for her influence in the lives of her children and even more so in the lives of her grandchildren. I know Jay loved her very, very much.

Maybe we should all be a little more like Grace. I can't wait to see her again.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Death, Life, Boys, Wonderment & Stuff

(Sam playing djembe and Jordan playing his gee-tar, yep. Oh, and Jake's arm and part of his face)


Favorite things of this moment (12:21 am EST):

  • Amber singing along with the mix she's working on
  • Coffee (even though drinking coffee after midnight when you have 2 finals and a sermon to deal with in the morning and should be sleeping is a terrible idea)
  • Jordan's Christmas gift (it's keeping me entertained...oh yes)
  • Crayons (they're a thing of beauty and a joy forever...at least for me, I really hope that never changes)
  • Knowing that my last sermon will be delivered today and then I don't have to think about it anymore...
  • The mix I'm working on...ha
  • Knowing I get to babysit for Caleb on Thursday morning! Hooray small amounts of Christmas present buying money! Again, hooray!
  • Nikky & Amber & Jordan & Jake & Regina

My last post was obviously a bit more depressing than I really try for normally. I'm sorry about that, but I was super upset. I'd just found out about Michael and I needed a good place to express that. I've realized I'm fairly terrible on the phone, and really all I wanted to do was cry and cry and cry. And that's what I did. I wrote that post and I talked to God and cried.

I don't know if the crying is completely gone, but it's stopped for now, and that's a good start at the very least.

Now if I could just convince my spastic brain to shut up about everything else in my life. Jordan, Nikky, and I have come up with some great plans for getting a couple of my issues out of the way. Burning down whole states, tequila as truth serum, truth serum as truth serum, and then Amber made cake.

The last part of that last sentence really didn't fit, but I'm leaving it.

I've decided to throw out the past month. Not entirely because a lot of it was good, but the insanity and pointless attachment I formed for someone who I'm not even sure is the person I have thought they might just be...

Let's say that differently: God and I had another talk the other day. I gave Him this situation with Sam and with everything connected to him because clearly I have no hand in this. I said the one thing I was hoping would help him see that he's asking to have his heart broken and to hurt someone, but it apparently did nothing at all to him. Outside of maybe make our friendship a little weirder than it already is. I mean, who meets someone and within a week has had them become one of their favorite people and closest friends. I think there's something wrong with my brain. Not my heart though, I think my heart has good intentions and high hopes for most people it meets. Sadly, sometimes my heart is freaking insane. Or at least it gets so excited and carried away when it finally finds someone it can talk to that it assumes things. And we all know what happens when we ASSume. *sigh*

Ha.

I have no idea where life is going at this point, but I'm hoping that when I go home for Christmas (which is happening on SATURDAY!) that it'll give me perspective. The past few days have already helped me recognize a few things, and I think God just needed to hit me upside the head again. This happens so very often. So, so, so very often. I swear to you if God wasn't a part of my every day existence I would go crazy because I wouldn't have anything to hold on to for hope and to keep me believe that things will work out in the end even if I don't have a clue how and can only hope they'll work out well.

And they WILL work out well. I just don't know how yet. But God does, so we're alright.

Night, my friends. May your day be filled with good luck, good things, good dreams and laughter. Mine looks like it's going to be filled with laundry, finals, a sermon, sleep deprivation, lots of coffee, and a good bit of insanity, but I think I can handle that. God's with me and I have wonderful friends to see me through.

Love to you all, J

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why, O Death, Do You Take the Young?

Dear God,

Right now I'm feeling brokenhearted. I'm struggling to understand why yet another one of the kids I watched grow up has died.

I remember Michael in youth group. I remember he drove me crazy, but I knew he had a good heart. He just wanted to be loved. We all want that. I remember hoping that he'd get along with the other kids because I knew that if he could make friends with the kids in the youth group that he would be set for life. Sure, we're all messy and screwed up, but the kids from the youth group tend to hold together and build each other up for all of their lives.

Lord, did He remember You? Did we fail him?

Right now all I can think is how young he was. He was only 19, and this happens two weeks before Christmas. Why?

Why did this happen? I don't believe You caused this to happen or that this was some sort of punishment. I think bad things happen because we live in a world that is fallen and messed up. I don't think Michael Ebens should have died. He was just a kid. Just a year older than Forrest. That scares me. All these kids I love, Lord...why do so many people have to die?

I hate crying, You know this. I hate that this has happened, and I don't know who to call? I hate that I can't be home for the funeral or the visitation because of finals and all of this. I hate that I'm already feeling guilty because of this.

And what I hate most is that I feel like I should have been spending time with this kid. I hadn't seen him in ages, and now I will never see him again. Should I have said something more the last time I saw him? Was there something else to be said? Did he know that even when he drove me crazy, I still saw him as a good kid and a kid to be loved? He was one of Your children too, and I loved him for that. I loved that Michael always got excited about things and tried so hard to always have the answer. He was a smart kid, Lord.

Why?

This just breaks my heart today.

Lord, please take care of Michael's family and his friends. The kids he went to school with, the kids in our youth group, all of us who helped teach...we're in shock. We don't understand, and I know we might not ever get an explanation, but please, God...help us. We are hurting and breaking because someone else has been taken from us. Heal our shattered hearts. Make us whole again, Lord so that we can help heal others.

And Lord, please help us to find good, even in the sadness. Help us to hold tight to You, and please, please, please, use even this darkness to create new light.

Thanks for listening, Lord.

Love,
J

Birthdays, Brilliant Friends, Lying, & Poor College Kids

(Uncle Jon is the man in the nice maroon shirt who appears to be trying to locate something on the floor...the creep who is giving me his best evil villain stare is Jake...Yep)


Today is my Uncle Jon's birthday. I'm going to go have lunch with him after he's done teaching his class in the morning. I'm looking forward to this. He's making his potato soup that I've heard so much about. Few things could sound more promising. I just find it kind of funny that he's making lunch for a group of college kids on his birthday. This is just one more of the many, many things that make him one of the coolest people in the universe and definitely one of my favorite people.

Two o'clock in the morning is going to find me sitting here at my table staring at the stacks of books, the old newspaper, and the mugs that seem to collect out of thin air wondering when exactly I should attempt to sleep. When I woke up this morning at 10 so that I could attempt to make my friends breakfast before they left, I briefly considered going right back to sleep. It was very tempting. This became even more tempting when I realized that when I got out of the shower that I heard them leave the apartment. Yep. Right out the front door they walked before I even got to see them off. I understood their need to leave, but it made me sad that I didn't have the abilities to wake up early enough to actually see them leave. Bummer. Plus, this meant that I had gotten up long before it was necessary. This is always a bit sad.

Nevertheless, I did manage to make some delicious monkey bread for Amber, Jake, Mitch and I. Miiitch actually came by at the exact right time to pick up the key Josh had left, and therefore ended up getting fed and entertained before he went home to sleep. It was a good time. I know I enjoyed it.

Today was filled with very little in the way of anything really. Amber and I went and visited Cheat, Seth & the girls this afternoon and played some Bananagrams (which I swear should start paying us because we are getting everyone around us hooked on the game).

This period also had me reconsidering my position on Swedish Fish. They actually don't taste so bad when they're fresh and if I forget that they have a super weird and waxy texture. But I think I could actually eat them if they were offered to me. I'm beginning to wonder if I had just connected bad memories of Jeff & I's relationship to Swedish Fish and somehow that changed the way I was approaching them as a snack.

Ha.

Amber and I also managed to wrangle together the rest of the groceries we would need till leaving at the end of the week. We are broke. So, so very broke. If you want to donate money towards our patheticness or you want to give us bags of chocolate and Sun Chips, we'll be more than willing to do accept donations.

Just a thought.

This evening I also was made to realize once again the epic that is Jordan M. Durham. EPIC. I'm consistently amazed at the random knowledge he possesses and the range of conversations we can have throughout the course of a day. I look forward to the day when we live in the same area so that I can have these bizarre daily conversations with him face to face and not just over Facebook or texts.

Sadly, tonight also saw me rethinking and evaluating the truth in a friend's statements. If I end up being proven wrong about someone I have greatly admired I will be furious. There is something incredibly disturbing about putting faith in someone only to have them take the trust you place in them and crushing it. I genuinely hope that my faith is justified.

Do me a favor? Don't bother to lie to me. As crazy as it may sound, I will find out. This may sound conceited, but I tend to figure it out. Just be honest. I'd rather be wounded by a friend than have someone betray me someone. I don't handle that well. Really.

Just some things to ponder tonight/today. And wish my uncle a happy birthday.

Love,
J
ps. I would like some truth serum, good hand lotion, and actual sleep.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I am a Jerk.

(My friend Josh, this was actually taken the last time he was visiting. He was posing for future merchandising possibilities. There will be mugs and t-shirts and blankets. Oh yes. Remember this face!)


Moments ago I realized that I am, in fact, a jerk.

Some of you may be thinking, but we've know this for years...Sadly it didn't necessarily occur to me. I still want to think that this is not always the case, but I certainly have moments where my sarcasm and apathy are overwhelmingly apparent. In those moments I don't even think about the tone or manner in which the words I say happen.

This is how it went down...

My friend Josh is sitting on my couch staring at the ceiling it was appears to be near-comatose boredom while I sit at my table typing away on my computer listening to music that he could very well hate while reading more of http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/ and laughing manically off and on. When I finally realized that this was occurring, I asked him if he was doing alright (in a sarcastic tone...because that's what happens virtually all of the time...) he said he was fine. Kaitlyn also realized that Josh was zoning and asked if he'd like a coloring book. I let him know there were several next to him on the floor. Then without thinking about it I said the following:

Me: Or...if you'd like, you could choose one of these lovely DVD's [motioning to the shelf behind me] and we could teach you how to turn on the TV and watch one.

To which Josh replied: I am not totally incompetent.

Which was about the time I realized I sound like a jerk. Maybe deep down I'm not really a jerk. Maybe it's just that when I speak, I sound like a jerk. Or perhaps an idiot wrapped in jerkdom. I don't know. I just know that I didn't mean to sound so rude and that my sarcasm is verging on ridiculous. Thankfully Josh is a nice guy and I think he realized the sarcasm was not meant to be cruel...it's just my ridiculous form of self-expression. It's what I do.

*sigh*

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What Are You Suggesting?

(Yes, that is a flamingo. What are you going to do about it? And it's from Cheat's house. Yep.)


Tonight's post will have to END with my favorites list because it's been a weird one and I need to get that out of my system first.

One: Within the past 15 minutes I was asked to sleep with someone. Yep. By a guy I haven't seen in about...hmm...2 years maybe. Maybe less. He's super lonely and apparently he thought that I'd be willing to sleep with him when I'm home in a week. Yeah...I can't say that's ever happened before. Wow. I'm actually super glad that we had this conversation before I came home because I don't know how weird that would have been in person. Still pretty shocked that this just happened. I actually think that he is still trying to convince me that this is a good plan. Wow.

Did I mention that I'm struggling to believe I am actually having this conversation? For several reasons: a. He hasn't seen me in several years. b. I don't think I've ever given off the impression that I wanted to sleep with him. c. No one ever expresses interest in me. and d. This is just too strange for me to comprehend late in the evening.

Two: The guy I actually want to be with is in Arkansas for a week. It bothers me. For a number of reasons, but I think my favorite at this point (can I call it my favorite?) is the fact that he didn't tell me he was going to AR. I talk to him literally EVERY day. How did he just never mention that? More importantly, he's been telling me he'd try to come visit this coming week...obviously I misunderstood. Or he was actually afraid to tell me.

Why on earth would he be afraid to tell me? It's just me. I'm not terribly threatening and I've done nothing but try to be kind about everything. Honest, but kind.

Three: I currently feel a lot like throwing up.

And now...for a much brighter ending...

Tonight was Miiitch's Epic Christmas Party. Last Sunday Mitch came running into Amber & I's apartment to tell me that he'd decided we needed to do Secret Santa and have a Christmas party on Friday night. I agreed.

On Tuesday we all drew names and got things going.

But tonight was the party. We all went over to Miiitch's and he'd prepared a bunch of crazy games. Mitch is genuinely awesome at these crazy parties. We had tasty food, he had games with bizarre prizes, and we played wacky games and watched Christmas movies. It was awesome. Mitch & I even had a sword fight. That was lovely. So, so much insanity and near death. I actually would like a great deal more of that in my life. I thoroughly enjoy laughing so hard that I can barely breathe and so hard that I'm in tears.

Mitch is a party genius.

And last but not least: my list.

Favorite things of this very moment (1:39 am EST):

  • Looking through pictures from this evening's party
  • iTunes shuffle
  • Regina & her ridiculous comments on my pictures
  • Facebook
  • Unsweetened ice tea
  • Having a place to say this even though sometimes what I say is just kinda insane
  • The penguin sticker from Kendall & Cam that is on the front of my phone
  • Knowing Nik has a new phone!
  • Chocolate
  • Christmas lights
  • The approach of sleep...I seriously hope
  • And http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wishes & Space Goat Avoidance.

(A picture of my Amelia just after we'd gotten her. As silly as it may sound, I'm looking forward to seeing her in just over a week...even if she probably will bite my toes and tip over our Christmas tree or something crazy...And she's also about 3 times the size of the tiny monster pictured here)


Favorite things of this very moment ( today pm EST):

  • Coffee...a gift from God.
  • The following definition for love that R. S. Ballard gave me earlier: "Love: A compassion for an individual not based on that person's actions but on their humanity."
  • Having the first paragraph and thesis statement done for my ethics paper and feeling like it has the potential to actually be good.
  • The iPod
  • Conversations with Sam

I was again asked today what I want for Christmas...I have no idea. Well I do, but humans aren't really wrapable, and I don't think that's ethical either. That one I'll just have to wait on.

So here's my Christmas list for the year (if you care to know):

  1. I want to be more important than video games to someone. Doesn't need to be everyone. Just one person.
  2. A more thankful heart.
  3. Self-confidence for every day use. Not just special occasion self-confidence.
  4. The right words and a discering heart to show me when and how to use them.
  5. Texting.
  6. Snow. It can melt the day after Christmas, but on Christmas...can we please have some snow?
  7. More hope please.
  8. Soft, attractive sweaters. Always more of those.
  9. A job, or something close.
  10. Love for others.
  11. Courage.
  12. More time with him please.
  13. That guy...maybe. Unless, of course, there really is someone else...and if that's the case, please find me a patient heart in the meantime.
  14. Who the heck am I kidding, I could use the patient heart regardless
  15. All of Glee. Ever. Always.
  16. Working defrost in my car.
  17. Blank cds. And mix cds. With anything.
  18. Tickets to see "Hadestown" in February with Jordan!
  19. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
  20. You know what, just surprise me. I'm a fan of surprises.

Yep. And now you know. Who knows why you would need to know this, but I'm not very good with traditional Christmas lists at the moment.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Papers.

(Burning by Andre Jordan, http://www.abeautifulrevolution.com/)



Favorite Things of This Very Moment (6:41 pm EST):


  • Being done with my paper for tomorrow.
  • Conversations with Sam (even when we're both a bit overloaded and he's a bit frustrated with life)
  • Andre Jordan's beautiful work and words
  • Cold peppermint tea
  • Isaiah 65:17-25
  • Christmas lights
  • Easybib.com
  • Nikky
  • The following quote from Jordan: "I'm like MacGuyver. Where some people see owls, I see possibilities."

Orange, blue, pink, green, red, and then we start over again. I'm staring at my Christmas lights. I'm sure Jake is wondering why. He's sitting across the table staring at his computer trying to work on his sermon, but my erradic behavior probably isn't helping. Lucky for him, I have my headphones in so he doesn't have to listen to my endless iTunes shuffle of bizarrity jumping from The Beatle's song "Dancing with my Girl" to Muse's "MK Ultra" to "This Rhythm is Good for Heat" by This is Cinema and everything around and in between.

I've been working on a paper on the "Intriguing Bits of the Millennial Kingdom" since a little after 11 am this morning. I can't decide if that should shame me or give me hope. I put together a mini and rather vague outline of what I wanted and collected my sources along the way. There have been two main texts that I'm working out of: Isaiah 65:17-25 & Revelation 20:1-7. For years I have been interested in this particular topic, but I'd never really considered trying to pull my thoughts on it together. Lots of work.

The paper I'm actually really worried about though is my paper for Christian Ethics on Friday. I'm thinking I'm going to try to take on the topic of the ethics of homosexuality, but I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to go about doing this. That worries me a bit, but I think I'll find a way to pull together my thoughts and research in order to do just that.

I can do this.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Is Anybody Listening?

(An old picture of some of the first crocuses blooming in my front yard...so much hope in crocuses)

An odd place for a note. A wonder for the taking.

My nonsense is coming through tonight. Right now I'm requestioning my hopes, dreams and fears. I mean, who really fears talking toys & robots even if they did read a lot of Isaac Asimov as a kid and mistakenly watched "Gremlins" at 4? It's silly.

And who dreams about someone they're not sure they've met? I had another one of those last night. We were running. We were together running. Not sure what we were running from, but I know I wasn't scared. He was there. What was there to be scared of?

So much hope though. Always hope. I've learned to pull hope out of anything. Perhaps this will come back to bite me. Because my heart ties up in the chords of guitars and beats out its own rhythm. Will this serve me well or darken everything?

Before I die I would like to learn to surf, play guitar, and speak Italian. I'd like to go with Jordan to see "Hadestown" because every single one of the songs is beautiful and somehow manage to touch my heart. Music tends to get inside of me and rattle everything.

I've been talking to new and old friends a great deal lately. Both show me new things and I'm grateful. They've showed me so many beautiful things and helped me see how lucky I really am. ( Maybe I really do have the luck of Elizabeth Bennett after all, Uncle Tony...) I've also learned about a million things in the past few weeks, most of which aren't really things that the average person will ever be able to use in every day life. For instance, I learned about the reproduction systems of birds. I don't plan on studying birds, but now I know how that works thanks to a weird game of late night Bananagrams with Amber and some Internet searches. Dovesex is also not a word.

Amber's status notebook may not be growing so quickly any more, but maybe that's for the best. Sometimes we say crazy things and our future children would blush knowing their parents were this nonsensical.

My mom recently asked me if part of my current issue was due to the fact that I'm constantly surrounded by couples. It was a legitimate question, and I couldn't deny that this could be affecting my over all thought process. Who doesn't want to be loved? But I don't think that changes the way I am feeling. Just because I'm surrounded by couples doesn't mean that it's greatly changed the way I view things. It really doesn't. I have always been a hopeless romantic, and this is hard to change or amplify. Perhaps it will be amplified when there's a place to let go of all this sweetness and light. Conceited as it may sound...won't he be lucky?

I'll wish tonight on all the twinkling Christmas lights and the few stars visible in the shining cold for the dreams and hopes and fears to work themselves out. Sing myself to sleep with Anais Mitchell's "We Build the Walls" or "Flowers" and maybe have some new dreams myself.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December Confessions

(I found this perfect picture at http://www.goodmorningandgoodnight.com/?cat=4)

Tonight I was talking to a good friend, and we were talking about how healthy it is to be completely honest with others. At least from time to time. I told him I often wish I owned truth serum and could give it to people when I really needed to know something. Like how someone really feels about me or the reason they're doing something crazy.
For instance, confession 1: I wish I could give truth serum to my friend Sam because I just want a straight answer for why he is moving. I'm fairly sure I understand, but I just want him to look me in the eye and tell me the truth.
But onwards: if I'm honest, I'm also really fond of Sam and wish more than anything that he was moving to ABC in the spring. I want him around all the time to talk with, laugh with, cook with, and just to hang out with. It's just the truth.
Also, NyQuil totally knocks me out. The liquid stuff. I hate the taste more than almost anything in the world, but even so, when I'm really miserable, it's easier to drink that stuff and know it will start working than to take the pills. I have no idea why it works that way. Maybe it's entirely in my head, but whatever the case, it works.
I'm not kidding about being completely creeped out and disturbed by talking toys. I hate them. I still blame "Gremlins." I watched it on IRiff this afternoon, and it's still just as creepy. Nikky, I also have to confess that I deleted it as soon as I was done watching it. Even with the ridiculous songs and great comments, I will never be able to watch that one again because no matter how old I am or how ridiculous I know it is, gremlins are still completely creepy. Ick.
My current favorite sound in the world is a bike bell. Yeah...
I wish I had the money to put Christmas lights all around our apartment.
I currently have $8 to my name (roughly) and about $4 on a Wal-Mart gift card. Yep.
I desperately wish I had a job, but still haven't found one. It's discouraging and I let myself get the better of me in this. I need to hold on to hope and keep looking.
Even though I watched "Pride & Prejudice" last night, I am finding myself wanting to watch it again tonight. It's just such a pure love story.
I think my friend Jordan may be my musical soul mate. Bet you didn't see that coming, did you Jordan?
The book Agnes & the Hitman is one of my favorites. I bought myself a paperback copy a little over 2 years ago (maybe less?) and it looks like it's been through years of abuse because I've read it so many times already.
I wish more people wrote real letters, and I also wish I had a limitless supply of envelopes and stamps. It would make my life much easier and then EVERYONE would know how much I love them.
I'm still fairly terrified of being out on my own. I still don't feel like an adult about half the time. One of these days I'm going to have to either be cut loose or to cut myself loose and I still wonder if I can make it.
I fully believe that Ryan Reynolds deserved the Sexiest Man Alive award from People this year. Yep.
Taylor Swift's music frequently makes me happy. It's just the truth.
Yesterday I had my first real bra fitting. So much personal space violated, and yet, I feel better about myself today than I have in a long time.
Considering the number of colds and cold-like things I've had so far this winter, I'm starting to think it would be beneficial to buy stock in Zicam.
Xkcd.com is my favorite webcomic. I have Ben to thank for that.
I rarely take enough pictures of things that are really worth taking pictures of.
I'm still trying to get over the fact that I don't have a single picture of Zuni and I together. I'm scared I'll lose someone else and have to go through that all over again. I have no idea why this scares me. They're just pictures, it shouldn't be a big deal...but somehow, it still is.
After years of talking against texting because I could never see a point, I want it desperately. I realized my winter break is going to be killer because I won't have the iPod to keep me connected to a couple of people I love, and that will make me a bit frustrated and a bit lonely. I may actually have to get myself texting sometime soon. Ha.
Good night.
Love,
J
ps. Got any confessions of your own? Maybe you should send them out into the void like I am tonight.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Where is this Hope?


Favorite things of this moment (11:34 pm EST):
· “Pride & Prejudice” on DVD
· Knowing tomorrow I shall have a new outfit to wear and the possibility of new confidence to go with it
· New Christmas lights on the balcony courtesty of Regina & Cynthia and new Christmas lights around the kitchen because of my own happy purchase
· Mr. Darcy
· Tea. Blessed tea.

I wish very much that I was more like Elizabeth Bennett and quite a bit more like Jane Bennett. I wish I saw people the way Jane does, but had the tenacity and spirit of Elizabeth. And more than that, I wish I had Elizabeth’s luck in love. Its sheer beauty is beyond what I could expect. Of course, I also wish I could be as lovely as Elizabeth and Jane.

“We are all fools in love.” – Charlotte Lucas in Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice

Is it odd that I have frequently worried that I am more of a Mr. Collin’s than anyone else in these books? Am I so awkward and forward that I terrify others? I frequently feel that way.

I want someone to tell me not to give up. I want that every single day. Where is this hope? Who can remind me of this? Who do I ask to remind me of this?

Blessings...Truly


Favorite things of this very moment (1:19 am EST):

  • The new shelf Amber and I were given today by my Uncle Cheat which has managed to make our apartment suddenly seem like a place we actually live as opposed to a place we're just staying in. I have no idea how it managed to do that, but it really does make all the difference in the world. Now we just need to get that gorgeous swan painting Nikky gave me up on the wall and we'll officially live here.
  • Conversations with Sam
  • Oldies on my iTunes (ex: "These Eyes" by The Guess Who)
  • Kleenex
  • Knowing I can sleep in tomorrow morning without guilt or interuption
  • My letter from my Uncle Harvey

It is late. I should probably go to bed, but I'm just in this lovely mood where though I am tired, I don't really want to go to sleep just yet. Instead, I just want to be.

God is beyond good. Beyond what I could ever have expected and definitely far beyond what I deserve. I've been trying to pull together the money to finish paying off this semester of school, and because God is incredible, He has been touching the hearts of the people who love me and I have been getting a lot of support. I've been blown away by the generosity and love shown to me by my family and my church family and friends. Everyone has been amazing, and I feel overwhelmed by this.

"Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me." -Psalm 42:7

That verse in Psalms has been many things to me over the years, and tonight I think it fits again. I feel like my heart has been calling out to God's heart, and as a result, He's overwhelmed me with His love, faithfulness, and provision. I am blown away by all of it.

Life is great. God is AMAZING. And I am grateful.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This is the Time of Times

(Sam and Josh wrestling the die from Jake)

Favorite Things of this Very Moment (11:42 pm EST):

  • Ryan Reynolds in "Definitely, Maybe"
  • My camera
  • The New Moon blanket
  • Pictures to remind me that I am not crazy and that I do have amazing friends and that there really is something going on in my life

How do people survive this?

The crazy and the lonely and the waiting? I don't know how this works. I have never done this before, but I'm losing it.

Sure, I thought things had changed and happened before, but this is ridiculous. Again, I wonder if I am losing it.

I wrote a letter last night to a friend trying to say all the words I couldn't think of before. The words that he needed to hear and that I needed to say. I wonder sometimes why we're brought into the lives of other people, and even more so why sometimes you have a connection with someone that is deeper and crazier than you imagine possible. Why is it that sometimes you meet someone and you know they are something special and different? Maybe you don't know what role they will play in your life, and maybe you're just meant to be there to help them out...but you know they're something.

Something. That's a start.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Friends, Trust, and Provision. Thank You, God.

(An old picture by an old friend)

Favorite things of this very moment (11:01 pm EST):

  • My gray sweater
  • Amber's lovely iPod aka. my texting device
  • Good mail
  • "Father Figure" by George Michael (it's catchy, what can I say)
  • God providing in unexpected ways
  • Encouraging friends
  • Earl Grey tea

Tonight I realized there are several people in my life all willing to fight for my honor. It was one of those things that you really don't expect and it came from a situation that seemed both silly and stupid, but it was nice to know I have people around me who not only care about me, but also are willing to offer to hit someone in the face for me.

I realize this sounds a bit barbaric and ridiculous, but who doesn't want to know that there are people willing to protect them. I know I need this. The ironic thing is, I was the one person in dealing with this incredibly stupid situation that wasn't initially upset. I just felt bad that so many other people ended up involved, but we'll find a way to resolve it without anyone getting hit in the face. It will be alright.

God was in the business of showing me that my hope is best left in Him today. I've been wondering where money would come from again, but had managed to stay calm. Staying calm in a situation like that is nearly impossible for me, or at least it always has been, and so this is amazing to me. I keep seeing God provide for me in crazy and unexpected ways. It's beautiful. Today this came in the form of a card from friends who both encouraged and provided for me. I now have a little something to keep me afloat. God always provides. Just never how I expect. I am so grateful. So, so grateful.

Life is so unexpected...and I'm okay with that.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Certainly.

(This beautiful picture was colored by Sam for Amber & I's fridge. It's lovely. I love it.)


"I'm certain of this and I'm not certain of anything." - Conor Oberst, "Motion Sickness"

Favorite Things of This Very Moment (2:00 pm EST):

  • Being fairly certain that when I'm done writing this that I will be able to take a nap
  • All the pictures from this weekend
  • Sam
  • Coffee
  • "Motion Sickness" by Bright Eyes
  • Knowing the kitchen is clean again
  • Me & music. Nothing more.
  • Sunshine, blue skies, and lovely weather
  • Black tank tops & old plaid shirts
  • HOPE

There are so many moments from this weekend I'd like to hold onto forever, but it's hard to explain.

This weekend was EPIC. And I really do mean that. Sam, Josh and Kaitlyn came down from SC to see Harry Potter with the ABC crew on Friday afternoon. That turned into a ridiculous event. Only 3 of us got to the theater on time. The rest of us got stuck in traffic and it was a crazy event. We did get to see the movie though. It was good, but it was nothing compared to the rest of this bizarre and wonderful weekend.

It was one of those weekends where you wish all time could just stop and this could be your whole life. Surrounded by people you truly adore and love and can't stop laughing with. It was like living in the silliest, most entertaining commune ever. We cooked together, we laughed together, we went shopping together, we watched movies, colored...it was a great weekend.

The irony is just when I thought my hope was truly going to be tossed out a window because things will not work out like I wish they could, I was reminded in a round about way that if things are truly meant to happen, they will. I just need to be patient and find joy in everything. I am thankful for what I have been blessed with through these people.

I've always decided to really work on encouraging the talented people in my life. In being with some of the people I love most in the world, I realized that I'm not the only one still searching. I have no idea what I'm heading towards, but I know I'm heading forward and doing something. This weekend, I realized I wasn't the only one, and I found that encouraging.

There is so much hope here. So much hope for the future. There's a lot that I'm not certain of, but I think I found some certainty in this.

God is good, and I'll make it because even while I wait, I'm going to keep working and striving and becoming the best me I can for God and for me and for the future.

It was a GREAT weekend.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Blue Skies & Words to Say

("Mutual" from xkcd.com)


Favorite Things of This Very Moment (4:01 pm EST):

  • Unsweetened ice tea from Moe's
  • Amber's handy-dandy iPod
  • Knowing someone who cuts hair
  • Having so many excellent weekend plans
  • Being almost completely done with my homework for the week
  • Zicam
  • Sounding like a hysterical Muppet or Disney movie villain when I laugh
  • Head phones

My voice is currently crazy, and Amber just a few minutes ago got to deal with my hysterical giggling for a good 10 straight minutes. I was just trying to comprehend some of the things that my life has recently run into, and it just wasn't working out. This is not a bad thing, not at all.

Life recently took some turns that were totally and undeniably unexpected. Wonderful, but completely unexpected. I'm still trying to reconcile myself to the realization that life can change so dramatically in such a short period of time.

I keep asking if life is really supposed to be like this. Are people supposed to walk into your life and throw you this far off balance? I'm not sure if this is rational or normal, but I guess I'm fairly okay with it all. Sure it makes me nervous because some day soon I will fall off this crazy balance beam I'm walking on, and the real question will be whether or not there's anything there to catch me. I sincerely hope so.

And so I leave you with a mix.

Love, Me

Blue Skies & Words to Say:

  1. For Blue Skies - Strays Don't Sleep
  2. Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.) - Monsters of Folk
  3. Wordless Chorus - My Morning Jacket
  4. Borderline/Open Your Heart - Glee Cast
  5. Going to California - Led Zeppelin
  6. My Winding Wheel - Ryan Adams
  7. Dream On - Matthew Morrison & Neil Patrick Harris
  8. Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime - Beck
  9. Don't Move - Butch Walker
  10. Hideaway - Karen O and the Kids
  11. Twenty-Seven Strangers - Villagers
  12. Million Faces - Paolo Nutini
  13. Heavy In Your Arms - Florence & The Machine
  14. I Believe In You [Acoustic Version] - Tyler Hilton
  15. Alone - Heart
  16. Holy Roller Novocaine - My Terrible Friend
  17. Lie In The Sound - Trespassers William
  18. Hard to Love You - The Wreckers

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hawk

(Ironically, picture by J.A. Goodrich. From the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter)


Favorite Things of this Very moment (9:32 pm EST):
  • Random capitalization
  • Knowing Amber is still on my side
  • That Mitch is done with his crazy faux-counseling session with me for today
  • The Black Keys singing "Give Your Heart Away"
  • Remembering the insanity of this week's episode of "Glee"
  • Amber's iPod
  • Tea
  • Having my sermon done, even if I'm not sure how it's going to go tomorrow...
  • Jake dancing badly while Amber hums along to whatever is playing on my iTunes

Considering how high-flying I've been for about a week, I'm feeling a bit low at the moment. I think it will get back to normal fairly quickly, but it's like I'm a plane that's circling low waiting to refuel, or better yet, I'm a hawk. A hawk that's flying low because I am trying desperately to find something to eat. I need something to fill me up so that I can get back to flying.

How do I do this? I really think the best thing is praying, but I'm still feeling low. I don't think this is unusual or unhealthy. It's part of life, right?

And so is reevaluating your goals. Is this really worth it? And when you think about it, you know that it is. You have no idea what is driving you on at this point, but you know you think you're crazy. Let's face it, I am crazy. I want something that is nearly impossible to have, and I'm just going to have to wait it out.

Can I do this? Do I have the strength and patience to wait?

I think I do.

In the meantime, I'm going to try to give up. Maybe that sounds crazy, but I really am going to try to let go of a bit more of my life. Try to pull my fingers off all the things that I grasp so that God really can work in all aspects of my life and not just some of it.

Lord give me strength.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fight With Honor You Will Win

(Sam and Jake playing some sweet, sweet music together this past weekend)


Favorite things of this very moment (3:34 pm EST):

  • Knowing that at some point this afternoon/this evening I will work out
  • Having some kind of crazy plan
  • Nola being beyond kind and generous with her time, consideration, and love
  • Texting capabilities based in Amber's beautiful iPod which spends most of its time with me these days
  • Sunshine and perfect weather
  • Having a functional camera with which to take pictures of Mitch when he comes in and randomly collapses on our living room floor and then takes the next 10 minutes or so to eat green beans and a brownie while laying on the floor...
  • Having Amber on my side
  • Prayer, so, so, so much prayer
  • And Hebrews 6:19 which starts with these words, "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul..."

I've spent a lot of time this week thinking about honor. Anyone that's been near me for the past month or two has probably heard me yell, "Fight with honor! You will win!" at least once. It's become something that is a running quote in my head. I find this both hilarious and encouraging. It's hilarious because it comes from Jackie Chan yelling those words at Owen Wilson in "Shanghai Noon," it it's encouraging because I'm realizing those are the words I need to be remembering.

Recently I've started finding myself in a series of strange situations. Situations that require me to decide how I want to proceed. I can go the easy way or I can choose to fight. Maybe you're an advocate of peace regardless of the situation, and if you are, I'm sorry that I cannot say I agree. I'm not fighting anyone physically, but I am fighting.

In my family honor, truth and love were the things we were taught to seek above all other virtues. Maybe you don't agree with that either, but I am glad my parents taught us to do these things. And no, I can't say that I always do the honorable thing, but I do try.

Especially right now. Since coming to ABC this semester I have encountered a series of situations in which I've had to decide whether I was going to allow myself to be pushed around, lied to, talked down to, and more recently, forgotten. You'd think that some of these things I should be able to just avoid, but I've realized that it would do little, if any, good to do that. I've come to a place of testing.

Right now I'm watching my boundaries be tested. I'm working on maintaining proper boundaries between myself and other people so that I neither shut them out, but I also don't let just anyone into my life.

Right now I'm watching my heart be tested. I'm trying maintain purity of heart and strength. I'm working hard to hold God first in my heart and let all other things fall into place after Him.

And I'm trying so hard to trust. To trust that God will protect my heart as long as I let Him hold onto it. That He'll provide for me. I think that's the hardest part. The trusting. It's not my strong point, and I know I need to be better about this. Plus, God hasn't failed me ever. And lately, I've been seeing Him work in my life more and more. It's not that He hasn't been before, it's just that I know I haven't been listening or watching for it.

And now I'm fighting so hard to stay on the radar. To not be forgotten. Ever. In fact, I'd like to be a priority eventually.

Hope though...that's what I'm really working with. I'm stepping up and fighting with honor. I'm holding onto the hope that recently showed up in my life for dreams I've been fighting and/or ignoring for awhile now.

Hope is the anchor of my soul.

Fight with honor, my friends. You will win. With hope, I will too.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Drums


In taking a page yet again from the brilliance of Andre Jordan's "Ordinary Love Stories," I feel it is time for me to tell you a new one.


I have fallen-head-over-heels in love with a boy named Drums. He smells of old card decks, coffee, and late nights.

I never expected to talk to him because he was so beautiful, and he seemed unapproachable. Things changed when I helped run interference between him and a girl. Suddenly I found myself discussing Whitman, God, college, relationships, and drums with him into all hours of the night. Watching him play cards and listening to his musical laugh could keep me entertained forever. It took only a week and a half for me to realize that I had never wanted anyone more and could be more than happy spending every moment with him forever.

I never thought this could happen, but it seems to be. He gives me something to hope for.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

(Beautiful picture of trees that Cynthia took while we were in Ohio)


I'm looking at my life, Lord
and my clouded heart
and I think to myself,
they're just children
and I've known this from the start

And I think to myself,
am I better?
And I think to myself,
or I'm worse?

And is this ease a blessing?
Or is this ease a curse?

I won't deny the love I have
for discussing all these things,
for feeling like a grown-up,
and all these other things

But I worry about my motives
as I'm discussing your beautiful hair
Where am I going with this?
Why should you even care?

And I ask God lots of questions
and have more sleepless nights

And I wonder to myself
are you worth the fight?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Black Heart




My fickle heart consumes
and takes up all the room in me
faces in my head
ideas that should be dead
and I question where it leads

Why should I allow
my heart to follow a broken path?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Harvest-Candy-Ween

(This is a picture of Amber enjoying a marshmallow, and I feel this is a good example of what Harvest-Candy-Ween should be)


My roommate, Amber and I decided to create our own holiday. Neither of us are real big on Halloween because neither of us like creepy/scary-esque type things, but we both love fall and candy. We decided to create a holiday called Harvest-Candy-Ween. This holiday is going to be celebrated until we can figure out when we really should celebrate it. Meaning, we're currently celebrating Harvest-Candy-Ween even though this evening we're not really doing much of anything.

We do plan to have a party sometime soon that will include tasty things. Cookies, breads, candies, etc. We'll see what happens. We plan to have a variety of tasty things and hopefully people will bring junk over. It will be lovely.

If you guys come up with some ways you feel we should celebrate, you let me know. I think we're going to watch "A Very Potter Musical" and just dance badly and eat a lot of tasty food. Thoughts? Ideas?

Go, be free. Celebrate.

You have my love,
J

Friday, October 22, 2010

Old Man

I keep seeing this old guy
on the side of the interstate
He holds up his sign

And says he'll do anything
for some money
Anything

I've see him twice
Each time I've been alone
And I wonder

What should I do
for this old man
sitting on the side of the road?

I have barely
enough money
to make it through a week

Do I give this to him?
Do I bring him what food I have?
Do I just keep praying?

I do pray
Each time I see him
But that can't be enough

And now
I find myself thinking about him
more and more and more

I know
that if I see him again
I need to do something

Action must be taken
help must be given
The love of God must be shown

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dealing with Dementors

("One Day" by David Shrigley)


Today is a day when, for some crazy reason, it's as if dementors were real, and not only that, but that they're following me about and sucking the joy right out of me. Why is this?

Though I'm not sure why, I do know of one thing that is a good plan for me, I'm going to make a list of the good things from today. That should help my crazy brain.

Good things from this Thursday:

  • Finding out I got an "A" on my Christian Ethics exam
  • Feeling pretty sure of my topic
  • Listening to Jake singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen even though I'm trying to shut him up
  • Watching several hours of the "Corbert Report" this morning while watching Caleb
  • The incredibly beautiful fall weather
  • Jimmy Muffin, my Uncle Jon's family's stray cat (he adopted them) who decided today to follow me into the house and curl up on my lap and purr until after the girls got home
  • Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
  • Life

I have no idea where my life is heading, but I know this one thing: it will be good. And the damn dementors will leave me alone.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Brighter Than a Dream

(Above picture taken by Brandon Clark with his iPhone...amazing)



Let me go
and as I walk away,
please don't cry

You think this is forever
but the world is too small
to hide me from you

Sooner than you think
I'll be back
brighter than a dream

The fear is overwhelming
but this burning strength,
it's stronger than I can bear

There's no time to argue
Only time to change
I've got to go

One day soon
I'll fight my way
back to your arms

When the rubble clears
and time stretches on forever
you'll find me here

By your side forever
and never again will you worry
because you'll have my hand forever

And my heart,
though it's always been yours
will always be close enough for you

to touch and hold
These thoughts will protect me
And they'll bring me back to you

Go Serve

Favorite Things of This Very Moment (11:34 am EST):
  • The last of my Vinnie del Rocco smoothie from last night's Planet Smoothie run with Cynthia and Mitch
  • Knowing that within the next 12 hours I should be hanging out with my very most ridiculous, awesome, hilarious, wonderful, best friend, Nikky
  • Being completely done packing
  • Knowing the apartment is clean
  • Go Serve plans being finalized (or as finalized as they can...)

In about a half hour I should be driving over to the ABC building to meet up with the rest of the Go Serve team to head up to OH. I am stoked.

Go Serve simply means we are heading to a community and we're going to do what we can to serve their needs. On this particular trip we're heading up to a community in OH and we're going help with a church youth group, help an elderly couple deal with some trees that are causing them problems, helping clean up a camp for winter, and serving a meal at a place called Rainbow Table. There may be some other projects along the way, but whatever the case, I am excited about this trip.

I get to stay with Nikky while I'm there, and I should be seeing my niece and nephew at some point along the way. Life is good.

I'm often amazed by what God brings into your life.

Go Serve is actually what brought me back to ABC. They came up to my church last year to help with a variety of projects, and I asked if I could help while they were at the church. I ended up spending a Saturday with this group, and I don't think I will ever regret that decision. The passion they showed for serving others and showing God's love through their service was mind blowing. Here was this group of people in their early 20's all excited and working to do their best to serve God and love people, and I wanted to be a part of this.

Being with them gave me the push I needed to head back down to ABC. I saw God speaking to me through the kindness and joy of this group, and it was incredible. Completely and totally incredible.

My hope is that our love and joy as we go and serve this weekend will be inspiring to people in OH. Although, the people in OH seems pretty incredible to begin with, but then again, can't we all use some encouragement?

I hope you all have an amazing weekend. I know I will.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gold Guns Girls

(This picture was taken by my friend Pauline Hauling while she was in Dubai.)


Oh, Metric...sometimes you have all the words.

Today I was listening to Metric's song "Gold Guns Girls," and I started to question it. I'm sure you've all sat and thought to yourself, "How can I look at these lyrics? Surely they can be deep and meaningful or have meaning from more than one angle..." Yeah, so maybe I'm alone in my thoughts, but this is what I think.

She sings, "I remembers when we were gambling to win/Everybody else said better luck next time/I don't wanna bend like the bad girls bend/I just wanna be your friend, is it ever gonna be enough?"

As I was listening to this tonight, for whatever reason, I realized this could be me. I think the original intention was probably that the question was directed to the guy she's supposed to be singing to, but I started thinking...maybe she's asking herself that question.

If she is, that could be me.

I remember when I was gambling to win. Everybody else said better luck next time. I don't want to bend like the bad girls bend. I just want to be your friend. Is it ever gonna be enough?

Can I deal with the fact I'm probably going to lose? Will I be able to handle people knowing that I lost yet again? And I don't want to be a "bad girl" just to get what I want. I don't want to be a "bad girl" at all actually. I definitely don't want to "bend" as they do. I want to be wanted and liked for what I am already.

And will being their friend ever really be enough?

Is that enough?

No.

Monday, October 11, 2010

This & That

(The above picture is one my friend Brandon Clark took recently while he was traveling. His note with this picture was that it's a picture of the last road to St. Joe. Whatever it is, I think it's beautiful)


Favorite Things of This Very Moment (11:04 pm EST):

  • The cast of Glee singing on shuffle on iTunes
  • The 25 cent ring happily, ridiculously displayed on my left pinky given to me by Jordan and Amber
  • Knowing that tomorrow morning will be spent with Caleb and Abigail
  • Getting an email from Dar considering that I wasn't sure how best to get ahold of her to tell her that I was in fact not dead
  • Amber and Jake being back home
  • Knowing I get to see Nikky on Saturday night!
  • Life

Sadly, Jordan didn't get to come visit us, but I do know that we'll all get to see him at the end of the month, so it will be alright.

I'm, again, filled with words, but none of them seem to want to show themselves to anyone. Why is this?

Today I made a wish at 11:11 in the am. I consistently impress myself with my silly habits. I am highly aware of the craziness or imaturity of this particular tradition, but I feel like some of those are good to hold on to. You need to blow bubbles on the balcony and wish on stars. You need to color in coloring books and take the time to enjoy pudding or watch kids movies. I think sometimes this is the healthiest release a person can have.

Maybe that's just me.

A friend of mine posed a question this evening that I'm still working on finding an answer for. She asked who I am? Who any of us are.

I am many, many things. I told her that this was not a question to be answered all at once. That's something that would have to be answered over time. I'm still working on how all of this works. How do you go about explaining who you are? Is there a proper way to go about doing this?

Then again, I'm not terribly "proper" to begin with, so that probably won't work.

Eh.

I think I can safely say this much: I am a woman who is still trying to figure out what truly catches and holds her joy and passion. I am trying to figure out what exactly God is trying to convey to me, what He is saying in my heart and life. I am a girl who loves coloring books, sharpies, and books, books, books. Especially if the books are used and have someone else's notes and writing in them. I love reading other people's love letters, and I love writing my own to a man that I have yet to meet. The little things in relationships are the ones that touch me the deepest, and I like writing thank you cards because you never know when that may be exactly what someone else needs to hear. I am envious of my best friend, Nikky's mad language skills because I have as of yet to get myself to learn one languange let alone 4 or 5 (what's the count now, Nik? It always amazes me). I am a major weeper (as Jude Law says in the Holiday). Scary movies of any variety really aren't something I want anything to do with because I feel like life is scary enough and if I wanted an adreneline rush, I'd learn to cliff dive (I so want to). I am magic and light. I sometimes speak in poetry and wish I was more like Shakespeare or Whitman or Edna St. Vincent Millay or, possibly the best of the best, Pablo Neruda, but then I think, God gave me the words I have...why wish they were someone else's?

I know I'm cryptic at times, and I know so many other times I say things that are so transparent, but do you hear what I'm saying?

I do not know the extent of who I am. I am trying to find that out.

Do you know something about me that I don't? Do you see something that I don't see?

Just some questions to throw out into the night, but I'll take any answers you can supply. And with that, I say good night.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

You, Me, Advice, & Some Tea

Favorite Things of This Very Moment (7:49 pm EST):
  • John Mayer singing "Who Did You Think I Was" through my laptop speakers
  • The hope/possibility/joyous thought that perhaps Jordan will be able to visit
  • Knowing I'll get to see Nikky sometime this coming weekend (I'll explain, Nik)
  • Tall, blue glasses full of unsweetened ice tea and ice
  • Hope. Real hope.
  • http://www.abeautifulrevolution.com/blog/love_stories/

Tonight I've been reading and rereading "Ordinary Love Stories" on Andre Jordan's "a beautiful revolution" blog. They're both inspiring and heart wrenching.

I think what I love the most is that these stories are about everything. A momentary infatuation, a hope, a dream, a best friend, a husband, a boyfriend, a lover, and Ex-es. I love all of it. Each one says something different, and each one is something to treasure.

Sometimes I wonder how many of those relationships have known the magic that the stories say. I know the one I wrote encompassed all my hope for a future that, in looking at it now, I know will never become a reality. You have to wonder how many relationships could be saved, expanded, renewed if only the writers showed this kind of love and poetry in their real relationships.

Then again, maybe the love and poetry they felt was only something that could be said in an ordinary love story. Maybe it was more of something meant for a story and less of something they intended to live or could live.

I've spent a lot of time this week talking about death, and though it may seem weird to bring this up, I can't help but believe they're connected. I just know that if you've experienced loss and the deep, utter sorrow connected to it, that you should also understand when I say that it makes you want to let go of your inhibitions and live.

I think perhaps what we all need to do is just work on seizing the joy and wonder in life wherever we can. Not only that, but I want to express the poetry, tell the stories and say the words that most people try to hide from because God only knows how many more days I will have to do any of this.

Don't hide it. Don't let it become an ordinary love story best suited as a tale on someone else's blog. Live. Passionately, joyfully, ridiculously, while we still have breath.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Lot of Words I was Desperately Needing to Hear


I initially thought to myself: I want to title this post as "I'm Mad as Hell and I'm Not Going to Take it Anymore!" but then I thought...that really doesn't apply to what I want to say.
I'm not really sure all of what I want to say, but I can say this: He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo is like a smack upside the head tonight. The movie was excellent, but the other day I realized Amber had a copy of this fantastical book, and as she's disappeared on me for the weekend, I decided to commandeer the book and read it. I don't think I'll regret this.
In fact, with any luck, I'll actually think before I act. Miraculously, the first thing they try to impress on their readers is that if a guy likes you, he'll find a way to get to you. He'll do whatever it takes to call or get to know you. I already know this. I've learned this over the years. The guy needs to make the first move. Maybe you meet them somewhere and you really like them, but until they ask for your number or ask you out or find a way to get in touch with you...there's no point.
Don't get me wrong, I've heavily advocated making the first move over the years. For crying out loud, I've been the one making the first move for years. I meant no disrespect and I certainly didn't mean to throw off the groove of the guy I liked, but I also am not good at sitting around and waiting for a guy to pursue me. The thing I've learned though is that if I make the first move, the relationship never really works. Something always falls apart. Part of that is probably the fact that I never felt desired, but it also seemed like the guy was even less likely to do anything. He seemed almost lazy about everything between us.
I deserve better than that.
So do you.
I just finished reading Chapter 3 "he's just not that into you if he's not dating you: 'Hanging out' is not dating," and it really hits home. This sums up...everything. I can't deny that I like having guy friends. They're great, and I don't want to change that, but this chapter also pointed out that it's not worth waiting forever for a guy that says you're his "best friend."
This is when it hit me: I am the rule. Dang.
I realized that I've grown up with the belief that I am exactly like my mom. That my fairy tale relationship would probably be born under the same circumstances. That I would be some guy's "best friend" and that I'd spend all my time with him and he'd probably date other girls and confide in me, and then suddenly --like lightning!-- he'd realize I was the only one for him. This is what happened to my parents. They dated for a week, broke up, were best friends for about a year, and then my dad suddenly realized that he couldn't handle the idea of being apart from my mom. They were married 4 months later.
My mom was the exception. I on the other hand...I am the rule.
Dang.
Again, I'm not going to stop being friends with guys, but I am going to try to stop allowing myself this crazed fantasy that if I just hang around long enough that a guy will change his mind about me. It doesn't work that way. If a guy actually wanted me, he'd pursue me.
I have to believe I'm worth that though. That I am valuable and worthy of love and, just as important, that I am desirable. The last one will be the hardest for me to really wrap my head around, but I think if I could do that...I could actually do this waiting thing.
I am worth it. I am serious business, and someday soon someone else will realize that, and then I'll be glad I didn't waste my time with the rest of these jokers.
Just so you know, you're gorgeous and worth it too. Someone out there is madly in love with you, and you'll know it when they find you. I will too.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Darkest Hours Hold the Brightest Dreams

I miss this day. This was a few years back during a ridiculous summer when Nikky was staying with me for a little while. We took David and Kelsey in to Chicago with us to visit Jeff and to wander IKEA and all the crazy little shops we could think of. It was a good day. There were some things about it that I wish I could erase from memory, but I've realized that even the best days have a bit of weird, rash, or painful mixed into them.
Today I am recovering from a lot of NyQuil and a lot of sleep due to something weird I started feeling at some point yesterday and was completely miserable from. If you're wondering, I'm doing alright, but it left me in that almost hungover feeling that coming out of a lot of cold meds seems to induce. I've also realized that I'm pretty sure that it also helped me question things. Maybe I should just avoid all cold meds and perhaps I should just sleep more and question less.
I should definitely question less.
Unfortunately that doesn't happen. I'm pretty sure that no matter what I do questions follow.
After a week of wondering what the heck was wrong with the iPod, I finally got to talk to Jordan via the texting on the iPod. Yeah. That was a good time. It may sound silly, but going for that long without our ridiculous Room Service Game made me incredibly antsy, and I was pleased to talk to him on Friday and know he was very much still alive. Nothing could have pleased me more at that point.
Today though I started wondering, (sorry about the lack of segues) if perhaps the reason that I struggle with people anymore is that I cannot talk. I try not to talk on the phone. Facebook and this crazy blog are really the only places I open my stupid mouth. Probably for that exact reason too. Whenever I start to talk to other people I want to sing John Mayer's "Stupid Mouth." All the frickin' time.
How on earth are you going to meet people or get to know people if you never say any words? Really? Is there a way to do that? I haven't found it so far.
Sure, I think writing letters would work for that, but how are you supposed to do that at this point? No guy I have ever met has ever wanted to write a letter back. Can I blame them? No. Because it's probably pretty lame to most people or even if they like the letters they probably never feel like they have the words.
Do any of us really have the words?
I have so, so many words. I just am never sure they're the right ones.
Then again, maybe I'm just too much of coward to find out. Maybe I'm afraid I'm not enough.
There's a line in the song "The Time is Wrong" by Tickle Me Pink where he sings, "the darkest hours hold the brightest dreams..." I'll find them. Those dreams.
The night will get brighter again, and the darkness will sleep with my dreams.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Want a Box of Kleenex, Sleep, and Self-Confidence


I should never ever ever be online or alone late at night. It's bad. Well, being alone late at night really isn't bad. I just don't like being the only person in my house late at night. I feel pathetic saying that. I'm 24. I should be able to handle living alone. And being alone.

Aparently no.

Why do I suck at this?

Is it because I am use to living in a house with 5 other people and 2 cats? Is it because she's just a big wimp or something?

Probably.

Perhaps I'm just not meant to be alone.

And really, I'm not alone. My beautiful Bible is sitting right next to me and I have the promise of tomorrow to look forward to. I'll get to go see friends, and God is, as always, filling my heart. Even late in the evening when I feel very much alone...there's always more.

On a random note, I will now make a list of things that I have recently managed to try/do/teach myself for the first time:

  • Taught myself how to use the Ice Tea Maker Regina gave Amber and I
  • Used a garbage disposal
  • Been into every room of our apartment (I didn't touch Amber's stuff, but I did just walk through her room, it felt weird to have never done that before)
  • Hung out with just Jake by myself (including being in the car with him just by myself)
  • Babysat for Zach & Zuaquis
  • Had dinner with Bob & Nola by myself
  • Went to SC (FINALLY!)
  • Taken advantage of someone actually offering me a place to stay
  • Used a GPS system to get somewhere
  • Taught myself how to program my coffee maker
  • Watched "Glee"
  • Stayed in my apartment by myself
  • Slept on a bed with a memory foam topper (I want one)
  • Asked my father for advice with guys
  • Asked my uncle to talk to someone for me so that I didn't have to fight the urge to hit them
  • Driven Amber's car
  • Had blisters the size of quarters develop on my feet (that one better never happen again)
  • Get someone else hooked on poptarts
  • Toasted marshmallows on the stove
  • Babysat for some turtles (Did you know that turtles can actually get excited to see people? It's true. I've seen it.)
  • Let Mitch and then Calvin drive my car
  • Talked to my cousin Hillary on the phone (and it didn't even feel forced or awkward. I forget how completely cool she is.)
  • Protect a baby snake from being attacked by a bunch of scared girls
  • Texted
  • Had the world's most epic game of Roomservice (I love the ongoing game, Jordan. It's something I really look forward to on an almost daily basis)
  • Admit that I'm scared of going to the fitness center here because I pretty much constantly feel like a cow
  • Emailed my father on a pretty regular basis
  • Watched "A Very Potter Sequel" on YouTube with Amber & Jake
  • Asked Nikky if I could have one of her paintings (I've wanted to for a long time, but I didn't have a good excuse, and now I have big blank walls in desperate need of her brilliance and color)
  • Started reading Wild at Heart (Thank you Uncle Jon for happily giving me your copy so that I can write all over it...woohoo!)
  • Had an "adopted" family: the Bartons are AWESOME and having Jaysen as an "adopted" brother is a unique experience
  • Having a gift card for Macy's (Thankfully Amber will be going with me the next time so that maybe I'll walk out of the store with someone more than a small thing of chocolate and a $2 pair of earrings...even if they are super cute)
  • Paid for a meal in all change
  • Got a hug from my former Moe's manager (which actually really made my day)
  • Tried brisket (mmm...)
  • Had someone actually realize how weird I was about touching other people without me even having to say it
  • Put stickers on my phone (hey, they're penguins from Kendall and Cam, I can't pass that up)
  • Made a friend from the Bahamas
  • Started saving my weird spare change for a future with someone special (whomever he is)
  • Made a bracelet out of guitar strings
  • Drew my own version of Trogdor (twice actually)
  • Received a hand drawn picture from Macklynn Rager that is now proudly being displayed on my fridge: