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?


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:

Monday, September 20, 2010

May I Offer You Some Hope?

(This a picture my beautiful young cousin Kendall took of herself with Nikky's phone a few years still inspires me and makes me smile and feel hopeful)

The following is a poem my Uncle Jon pointed out to me in a book he once used for a class he taught called God at the Mall by Pete Ward. The poem was written by Anna Chakka George & Fiona Macleod. So here goes:
Some people say - life is a circle -
you're born - you grow up - you work
you grow old - you die.
Some people say - what will be, will be.
Some people say, "There are no jobs
so no one will want me."
Some people say, "There will always
be war -
what can I do about it?"
Some people say, "There will always be homelessness -
tis a shame."
Some people say, "The world's a terrible place
and I want no part in it."
Some people say - "Who knows what my life will be like
tomorrow, I'll just wait and see."
Hope says "Bullshit."
Hope helps you see a different reality,
a world where anything is possible
not just for tomorrow but for today.
Hope helps you see, not just what things could be like
but what today is like
in a different light.
Hope is not an empty promise
or a dream of escaping.
Hope changes the color of
the world we live in.
Hope changes our faces from
the faces of the bored and the defeated
to the faces of those who
see life as an adventure.
Life requires risk, experiment,
adventure, possiblity.
In short,
life requires hope.
If there's no hope, there's no point.
With God there's never no point.

Ficticious People I Would Marry

Seriously, I would marry any of these people were they real:
  • William Hayes from "Definitely, Maybe"
  • Prince Philip from "Sleeping Beauty"
  • Mr. Darcy (how could he NOT be on this list)
  • Jude from Nikky's Until You Come Around Everything Is Nonsense
  • Carter from "In the Land of Women"
  • Jacob Black (a child. a child. a child. a child.)
  • Algernon from "The Importance of Being Earnest"
  • Joe Black from "Meet Joe Black"
  • Crash Davis from "Bull Durham"
  • Pete from "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton"
  • Rusty from "Ocean's 11"
  • Niles from "Fraiser"
  • Capt. Benjamin Franklin Pierce from "M.A.S.H."

Yes...these are the things I think about in the middle of the night. And on that note, I'm headed to bed.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Words in Response to Nikky's "Love Me Like the World is Ending"

I was rereading your old blog entries again today (because that's the kind of creepy best friend I am), and this makes so much sense to me. I think of a lot of things when I think love, but I'm realizing it usually involves some kind of "at home" feeling.
You're right when you say that most of the time we aren't thinking about the other person in the relationship. We think of us...I know that's what I do. Even now, I'm feeling like a jerk because at 2am in the morning (and throughout a good portion of the rest of the day) my head flips through guys like I flip through pages of a favorite book. I know the pages so well, but I don't know where to begin or where to stop.Why is it so hard to just find one thing to focus your love on? And why am I constantly trying to fill the void in my heart with the love of guys or with poptarts instead of with God? No wonder I am left feeling empty. No wonder I can't stand myself about half the time. No wonder I have trouble being truly good. I want to be able to give real love. Wherever it's needed...why instead do I wallow in this selfish neediness?
I think it's time to rethink love and how I'm going about getting it. If I work on focusing on getting this love from God, on actually letting myself be loved by a God who truly loves me...I think I would be able to start loving myself and loving others for real. Not just this selfish facimile.
Thanks for your thoughts, Nik.
I miss you.
I love you.

Where Soul Meets Body

Jaymin Cheatwood sometimes hates everything. Well, not really. Obviously she doesn't hate you.

Mostly I just feel tired. Tired is fairly normal for just before 1am, but even so...

I'm listening to Death Cab for Cutie sing about twin size beds and passenger seats and oceans. So many things to divide us and bring us together. I don't feel like I'm keeping up with all of this.

"Soul Meets Body" may be my favorite of their songs at this point, and I find it ironic that in my Christian Ethics class we've been discussing Thomas Aquinas view vs. Augustine vs. Plato vs. Plotinus, etc., etc. So many views on the soul. So many views on "the good life." So many views on morality and ethics and priorities and God.

I am a soul and a body, all wrapped into one. When I die, I'll be dead. I'll hopefully be ashes that make some beautiful flowers or trees grow, and those ashes will wait till Christ returns before they do anything else.

As I am the Lorax, I think it would be incredibly cool to help some trees grow. I wonder how I can do that. Hmm...I guess I'll have to look more into cremation and the laws concerning the dispersing of ashes.

I guess these are just my errant thoughts for tonight. I'm pretty sure this also signifies my need to sleep, so good night sports fans.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ache, Tree, Time.

(The amazing tree that Joel took a picture of at our Great-Grandparents's house in MO)

Favorite Things of This Very Moment (7:44 pm EST):
  • "We'd all do the same thing when faced with giant golden turtle birds." - Mike Nelson
  • RiffTrax
  • Jaysen's joy at me finding him some baking sheets for shrimp (*shudders* know how I feel about this, Nik)
  • Ice tea from Chick-fil-A
  • Knowing that I have a movie watching party to go to in a few minutes

Hmm...I want to be someone's "Perfect Fare."

There are no words to express the weird tired feeling at the top of my spine. It keeps working up to my head and then back down to the base of my spine. This is a night where I will have to convince myself that I want to go to this party.

Why is it sometimes it's super hard to convince myself that I want to deal with people? I know that once I go it'll be fine. I'll have a good time and it will be worth this, but in the meantime I will be struggling to convince myself that this is something I want to do.

This is a night where I wish I had someone here that was on my side. Does that make sense?

For instance, if Nikky was here that would be great. Or perhaps the guy that shows up in my dreams from time to time. The one that I can't identify, but I know is somewhere out there.

Moving on.

This party will be fun. The ache will go away, and life will go on. It'll be a good night. You have a good one too.

In the meantime...I'm going to look happily at that tree. It's a beautiful one. I think it looks a little like me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lucky Penny

(The 3 pennies I found yesterday at various points...I think they were lucky)

Favorite things of this very moment (4:14 pm EST):
  • Hearing the ridiculous guitar riff that signals a text from Jordan
  • The Textfree application on Amber's iPod
  • Having one of the world's coolest roommates (honestly)
  • Italian Blood Orange Soda
  • Crayons
  • Having a clean kitchen
  • Knowing I am blessed

Right now I want to email my mother.

This is not a physical impossibility nor am I trying to say that she is unable to be reached by email at this fact I would probably hear back from her before the end of the day if I emailed her right now. The problem is, it makes me homesick.

Living 800+ miles away from the other 5 members of your immediate family is a difficult challenge. Especially when you've lived with them for all but 9 months of your 24 years of life.

My mother is an incredible woman. In her email to me today she reminded me that God did not get me this far away from home only to leave me and abandon me. God knows what He's doing, even though I haven't a clue.

My mother is, as always, very right.

God will not leave me, He will not forsake me, and He will provide for me. I am following His call, and He does not disappoint. He does not fail to keep his promises.

God is good.

I know my mother is right for a variety of reasons, but let me just point out the most obvious examples of the truth she reminded me of:

My friend Jake (who is also my amazing roommate Amber's boyfriend) is here in Amber & I's apartment for almost every meal. He practically lives with us, and that's not an issue. Having him around is actually pretty great, plus, Amber and I both have a tendency to want to feed everyone all the time.

For the past few days I have been wondering how on earth I'm going to be able to help Amber buy groceries because I still haven't found a job and my bank account is dwindling. Amber had already come up with a plan, but that mainly was just her way of saying she'd cover our groceries until I found a job. Incredibly sweet, incredibly generous, but I didn't want to have to do that unless there were no other options.

And God blessed Amber and I both.

Last night as Amber and I are getting dinner together, Jake announces he's decided it's his turn to buy groceries. I just remember staring at him for a moment. Amber did too I think. He said since he was always here, and we tend to try and feed him that he wanted to buy groceries this time around. He said we just had to make sure we had a list and he'd take care of it.

Last night God provided Amber and I with groceries through the kindness of a friend. Thank you, Jake. And thank you for your creative provisioning God.

But then something else happened.

My friend, Calvin has been using my car to get back and forth to work the past 2 days (and will the rest of the week if he'd like to) because I thought it would be the easiest way to go. I didn't think too much of it. I just wanted to make sure he got safetly too and from work.

When he came in last night to drop off my car keys, he asked how many gallons of gas my car holds. I thought it was an odd question, but let him know, and he said that this made sense. Apparently he'd practically filled up my gas tank last night just because he could. I had been wondering for the past few days if I would be able to pay to put gas in my car...

Thank you, Calvin. And thank you God for providing me with what I needed to keep moving. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

God takes care of me. Every single day. In so many, many ways. Most of the time I am sure I overlook them and take them for granted...but these were just so lovely. So obvious. So wonderful.

I feel really blessed right now. I'm surrounded by wonderful people: Amber (one of the kindest, funniest people I know); genuinely honorable men of God like Jake, Mitch, and Calvin; Regina (who is always willing to help); and Nola & Bob and Uncle Jon, Aunt Sarah, & the kids (my wonderful, wonderful family). Not to mention having a really kind set of "adopted" parents in Randy & Rhonda Barton.

God is so, so good.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Flower

I see you opening like a flower,
and I think you're beautiful

Budding and green
Opening, stretching, quiet

Do not be afraid, little bud
My heart wants to break
from the beauty of your petals
as they gently unfurl

I touch each petal
as they open
more and more revealed
I have never seen a flower
more glorious than you

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Changing the Rules

Favorite things of this very moment (2:43 EST):
  • My balcony
  • Sunshine
  • A breeze
  • Good music
  • Time to think
  • My fingers

Life is good. God is good. No matter what.

I have now been in Atlanta for 3 weeks. A little more than 3 weeks actually. It seems unreal. My classes are wonderful. My roommate is awesome. Life is good.

The only thing that would make this better would be to find some gainful employment so that I could pay my bills, but God will provide, so I'm not as worried about that as I would have been in the past.

Beyond that, I'm being challenged to grow. More so than I have been in a long time. I'm working on letting go of my preconceived notions of people and trying to be a bit more open about things. I'm trying to let go of all the hopes I have been holding onto so tightly and realize that maybe God has something better out there for me. He seems to be pointing me in that general direction.

I'd also really like to be kinder. I don't think I'm a horrible person or anything, but I do think there are a lot of things that I could improve on. Kinder words, gentler behaviors. People deserve more love from me, and I need to own up to my insecurities. There are so many.

Life is an adventure. I'm going to try to enjoy all that I can in each day.

With love, J