Tuesday, December 28, 2010


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*


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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


(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.
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?


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.