Friday, July 29, 2011


(This picture is from, from a project that everyone should look at and, if they're lucky enough, be a part of.)

"These are the fragments that I have shored against my ruins." - T.S. Elliot

The picture and the quote are two things I have been thinking about this evening. The picture because the first night I saw it I could completely identify with the guy picture and his thought, and I still do. I love that he's wearing a coat and a backpack which makes me think that even while the picture was being taken...he was searching for home. I feel a lot like that.

The quote showed up in my email today because of The Happiness Project daily quote. The quote both makes me smile and makes me a little sad. I think it was sent out in the spirit of...remembering the good and brilliant bits of light and color in your life, but all I could think was that it's sad that we have to collect anything against our ruins.

But that's what we are...right? Ruins.

You are the fragments.

The world will be brighter yet.

I Will Worship While I'm Waiting

Tonight I am tired. It is late and I have work in the morning. I am wondering how long this will be, and hating myself for wondering.

I keep hearing the words echo back through my head from a song I heard in a movie once, "I will worship while I'm waiting..." I remember feeling a deep longing as the guy sang those words, and at that moment I knew exactly what he meant, and I knew that that was exactly what I wanted to be able to do. I want to worship while I'm waiting.

I was hoping to be able to post something incredibly hopeful and deliriously happy about how I would be heading back to ABC in the fall, as if there was ever any doubt, and that life was truly moving along perfectly. That's what I wanted to post. That I was silly to have ever wondered.

What's really silly is that I'm still surprised each and every time God changes my plans for something better.

Does this mean I am not heading back to ABC 3 weeks from today? No. It simply means that I don't have clear cut answers like I was hoping for. I asked God for a sign, and He gave me something unexpected. I told him that whatever the college told me they felt needed to happen, I would do that, and I would do what I could to accept it gracefully. Yeah...that didn't exactly work. The college did answer me, but not, so much, with an answer as with a new question.

I responded, and we'll see what is said further. At present, I am trying to come up with a new to-do list so that if I end up in an unexpected place, yet again, that I will actually use the time to my advantage and share my joy. I do not want to become the bitter, frustrated version of myself that I was the last time I came home from college.

A week or two ago, I posted a play list from a cd that I made my friend Jordan. It was a play list meant to inspire him. To lift him up a bit because I know that the last bit of July and usually on into August are rough for him. I am feeling this toll as well. I've been listening to that cd on repeat for the past several days.

It's hard to recover from the high points when you seem to drop so low after them, and tonight my mom reminded me of that. She walked in to tell me the good news that my grandmother (my beloved 91, nearly 92, year old grandmother) was back home and out of the hospital. She's doing just fine. And I, being the bit of a wreck I am, blurted out everything about the email and the payment plan and the contract and the requirements and the job I don't have down there and the money I would have to come up with and how upset I was and how confused I was and how much I felt like a failure as an adult all over again and how angry I was feeling because this seemed like a painful echo of the last time...

But my mom said no, this is not the same. The last time was not my fault even a little, and that this time just happened. That this is all happening right after I was so full of crazy hope and optimism because of FUEL and that it's after those highs that we tend to sink down to the lowest of the lows. It's life's way of rebalancing everything. She said it would be okay and that God has got it. She said she could always arrange my marriage to one of the Bliss boys or maybe even the one of whom I refuse to speak because he's always trying to marry everyone and it makes my right eye twitch just thinking about it (and Nikky, it wouldn't even be worth it once, not even a little). Mostly she said she was sure that this would work out somehow in the end. It always has before. God's got this.

And she's right. She's always right.

But it's still hard.

Jordan told me to punch the college registrar with a weasel into a wall. I said I wanted to punch one of the three. He improved it. He always does.

Kimmie sent me hugs and told me that she's praying.

I know Jay's praying.

And I know Nikky is too.

I just wish that sometimes I didn't have to make a Venn Diagram of my heart. That I didn't have to separate the pieces and realize that I was going to only get to keep one side and the middle bits for now. I don't like that my home is split into several places. It makes life strange at times, and I don't know what to do with it.

I do know this: if I stay, things will work out. I was offered an additional job. I will have a part time job at the pharmacy as often as they can find me work. I will continue to write for Tramp Imperial Travel, and I will work at Basket Beginnings as often as Linda finds use for me. I will make baby blankets for all the beautiful new little ones that are coming into my life and the lives of the people I love. I will send care packages to the people that I love down at ABC and several other places to because I refuse to be forgotten, ignored, or simply not missed (I WILL BE MISSED, DANG IT!). And I will buy myself an iPod so that I can text Amber and Sam and Jordan and Kimmie and Jack as often as I am capable of being near wi-fi. I will help with the youth group and go to Joel's band concerts. I will help Forrest adjust to his first year of college and try to spend more time with David and Kels. I will continue to get to know Amy, and I will spend time with Morgan and Chelsea whenever they are available. I will keep making Jay laugh until he cries because we are talking way too late at night and we've consumed way too much caffeine. I will learn to quilt/knit/whatever else I can manage. I will go to the play my mom will be in this September, and I will spend as much time with the little ones at church as I can. I will write long emails and spend a fortune on postage so that people will know that I love them enough to send them real mail (and the aforementioned emails). I will work hard. I will save money, and I will find a way to get my butt back down to the college to finish as soon as God allows (if not now, January? Please, God).

And I will continue to daydream about a boy with blond hair who plays drums (and guitar and piano and...) and wears t-shirts part of the time.

Mostly though, wherever I am. Here or in GA, I will do my best to be what I call others to be: full of joy and thanksgiving. I will find ways to serve others (big and small) and I will find the things God brings into my day each day to be thankful for (because I am blessed).

I will worship while I'm waiting.

ps. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame." - Romans 12:9-11 (MSG)


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Merry-Go-Round, for You, for Me

Amy trying to make sure she didn't throw up (as per my request), and despite the look of semi-terror, she had a great time.

Jay spinning me around on the merry-go-round. Bless him. He does a really great job of spinning you REALLY fast. Maybe the extremely long legs help.

Jay took this sweet, sweet picture of the merry-go-round in Lowell Park the other night after we were just about done spinning on it. Such a glorious good time.

Jay enjoying himself on the merry-go-round.

As you can see, I have been up to something lately. I'm actually a bit behind in talking about the things I'm thankful for, but I'll skip around a bit.

All these pictures are from a trip to Lowell Park down in Dixon this past Sunday with Jay and Amy (as you have already seen). Amy and I had discussed our mutual love of pointless, spinning, semi-dangerous playground equipment. We had a wonderful time at MN Camp playing on the Witch's hat. If you are unaware of what this glorious playground item is, look it up. They're like a much sharper, more painful merry-go-round. Most of the girls in our cabin were bleeding at one point or another due to that particular device, but all of us had to get back on. As a result of our realized mutual love, I told Amy that Lowell Park still had a great functioning merry-go-round.

I hadn't been there in a few years. In fact, the last time I was there may have been the night that Nikky, David, Kelsey and I decided to go eat Taco Bell for dinner and then get on the merry-go-round. That ended in all of us laying on the merry-go-round while David slowly pushed with one foot while we all talked about how miserable we felt and how one of us was definitely going to puke. Miraculously none of us did, but that story will definitely go in my eventual (read "inevitable") memoirs, Caffeine & Bad Choices. As a result of this mistake (though hilarious), I had told Amy that we needed to go play on the merry-go-round with Jay, then go to Taco Bell for dinner, then go to Jay's to watch "Anchor Man" (because Amy hadn't seen it yet, and...well, it sounded like a GREAT way to end a good evening).

So we did. :)

I am thankful for this. I am thankful I have a couple friends up here that are willing to be a little immature for an evening and spend some time spinning on a merry-go-round in the perfect sunlight of a quiet Sunday afternoon in July. Spinning in the gold light and forgetting all about the things we have to face in the real world come Monday and beyond. I am thankful we were allowed this brief escape. I am thankful for Jay and Amy. I am thankful for reckless behavior and outdated playground equipment. I am thankful for perfect gold sunlight on Sunday afternoons.

Mostly though, I am thankful for this life I have been given. Crazy and confusing as it is some days. Reckless and wishy-washy as I am some days...this is a beautiful life. I am thankful it's mine.

Good night, my loves.

Ps. What are you thankful for?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

To DREARHAM: For August & All Else

1. What I know - Parachute

2. Back to You - John Mayer

3. We Got Tonight (Say It Again) - Sleeperstar

4. You'll Think of Me - Keith Urban

5. Talking to the Moon - Bruno Mars

6. When I Decide - My Terrible Friend

7. Motorcycle Drive By - Third Eye Blind

8. Lead Me - Sanctus Real

9. Spotlight (Twilight Mix) - Mutemath

10. Your Love is a Song - Switchfoot

11. Saints & Sailors - Dashboard Confessional

12. With My Own Two Hands - Jack Johnson feat. Ben Harper

13. Moving On - Timmy Curran

14. Tonight and Forever - The Damnwells

15. Slide - Tyler Hilton

16. Love is Here - Tenth Avenue North

17. All I Got - Newton Faulkner

18. Put Your Records On - Corinne Bailey Rae

19. I'll Be OK - Sondre Lerche

20. Morning Has Broken - Cat Stevens

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Seek the Good

Favorite things of this very moment (11:36 am CST):

  • The Damnwell's...How I love them so

  • Handmade flower hair clips that I bought for myself and others I love today (I have one in my hair, it's adorable)

  • Knowing that tomorrow at this time I will be on my way to IN to see a lot of the people I love most in the world to spend a week with them at Manchester College for FUEL ( )

  • Life

Life is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

This week has been a series of surprises. I found out my good friend, Jeff will be coming down to ABC in August as will a really cool guy named Max who is from Omaha who I'd like to become better friends with. Plus, a girl who has been like a little sister to me for years, Jessica, may be coming down as well. Plus, a bunch of my friends from Omaha are coming to FUEL after all. None of them thought they were going to be able to make it, and now a whole group of them are and I can't wait to see them.

Plus, the girl that I'm terrified of being around because I know I'll say something horrid...she won't be at FUEL. I might have a real conversation with Sam for the first time in months if this is true. I miss our conversations, but then again, this may just be God proving to me time and time again that this will never work out. Who knows. Regardless, life is beautiful and He's got this.

I decided the other night that I would be enjoying life in August regardless of the situation I found myself in. My friend, Jordan and I were discussing that often August is a rough month for us. I decided we need to rename August something special. Ardently Amazing August. Affable August. Something. Something exciting. Something that will remind us to seek the good in each and every day. We need to see the good. Everyone needs to see the good.

Let me suggest this: let's make August an extremely great month. Let's see every day as a unique and beautiful gift. Every day has good in it. Every single one.

Let's seek the good.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bring it Around Again

I've seen you in various states
of dress and undress
The shirtless mornings
The t-shirts
The jacket you gave me when you wanted to warm me after we ran through the rain
I've laid next to you
on a hotel bed
And I dreamt of you each night
But you've held onto your virtue
and I've held to mine

When I think of you
(which is often)
I think late nights, caffeine, and your voice
-singing along with mine, your guitar in hand; or laugh or telling me your secrets-

But, the night you told me
Where your loyalty lay
(Your Happiness First)
I've questioned mine
Fights break out
Did my words break your hear?
("Well, that's why we're different. My loyalty is to others first")
Could you hear the heartbreak,
the regret,
the reproach in my voice?

You are held to higher standards
Not a prince or a knight,
but a man

Show me your loyalty renewed
Your love, strength
Be the man,
the man I love.
The one I know you can be,
You are.
You're meant to be.

Light up,
Light up the night for me.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Night Thoughts

Favorite things of this very moment (10:28 pm CST):

As you may have guessed, I'm working on my rewrite for Tramp. I decided to start by retrieving more information and taking more time to look at all the pictures I could find of Hassan II Mosque that I could. It's a beautiful building. I'm Christian, but I can greatly appreciate the beauty of any house of worship. The mosque definitely deserve to be seen by all. Such gorgeous mosaics and windows and carvings and floors...I mean everything about the place is class and detail. Two things I greatly appreciate in good architecture and design. Honestly, I would advise you to take the time to look at the pictures, or, even better, if you are ever in Casablanca, Morocco, take the tour. They have several tours throughout the day Saturday-Monday.

Well, now that I've sounded like a travel company informercial...

Life is going.

I recently read in a Real Simple that the best advice one woman had ever been given was that she should never try to solve problems at night. She was told that it's always harder to solve problems facing the darkness. Everything is easier when you get to face the morning light. I thought that was kinda cheesy at first, but in the past few weeks, testing that particular bit of advice, I find that it's true. When I start worrying at night, I write a list or a quick note and then leave it for the morning. I tend to work out problems as I type away at work. It gives me more time to think about life and to reframe the problem. Things really do feel a lot less scary when you deal with them in the light. I highly recommend trying this one out yourself.

And with that...Good night.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cure...Maybe, Cure.

“Authoritatively, and in a doctorly manner, Wayan ticked off on her fingers the six elements of her Fail-Proof Broken-Heart Curing Treatment: ‘Vitamin E, get much sleep, drink much water, travel to a place far away from the person you loved, meditate and teach your heart that this is destiny.’”
-Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

I'm currently following the drink much water and travel to a place far away from the person you loved part. I need to get more sleep and try the Vitamin E. I haven't done much meditating, but quieting my mind down would be helpful. It's the last one that I'm struggling with the most. Destiny. Ugh.

On the other hand, I really want to be able to do this:

“Launch yourself into all the things you’ve been putting off for all the wrong reasons. Make room in your life for a puppy. Learn to navigate by the stars. Revive the lost art of conversation. Practice kissing. Bathe in the innocent bliss of daydreams. Do the things that make you the sort of person you really want to hang out with.”
-Bradley Trevor Greive, The Book for People Who Do Too Much

I mean, that's what I want to be. I want to be a kind person and fun. That would be nice. Someone even I would want to hang out with. I need some work. Seriously.

Being that this is the 4th of July, I am reminded of the fact that just a few years ago I was sitting around worrying about whether or not Jay would show up and disappointed when he didn't come, but thrilled to have met a new friend in Brandon Clark ( ) who played his guitar on my porch and sang his beautiful, beautiful music and made life great. A year later I was worried because Jay WAS coming to the house and I was still working on just being myself around him, but he came and we had a great time and Brandon came back with our friend Jessica once again to play music late into the night. Every year since then...the 4th has been something of an anomaly and wonder.

Today will be no exception. I have long since stopped being infatuated with Jay, but he has become one of my best friends. Instead today I am in the process of trying to figure out life, yet again, but the sunshine, perfect weather, good food, wonderful music, and brilliant friends make any hint of darkness light up with the glow and power of every star in the night sky. God is an an amazing planner. I don't know what He's got up his sleeve for the future, but He keeps changing my plans and life just keeps getting better and better.

May your 4th be something full, glowing, magical, and beautiful like the fireworks and sparklers we'll be seeing tonight.



Favorite things of this very moment (3:51 pm CST):

  • The smell of grills around the neighborhood getting warmed up and cooking 4th of July feasts

  • Josh Garrels ( ) ...I've fallen in love with this angel man's voice and his beautiful music and lyrics that write the words of my heart...

  • My camera

  • Working on Nikky & Yan's wedding stuff

  • Knowing I should get to see friends this evening during my families annual 4th of July cook out

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Why I Need a Passport ( Or I Am Worth a Second Look)

Morocco, I long to visit thee.

Today I wrote my first article for a really cool company called Tramp Imperial Travel ( that takes people on tours through Morocco. If you're wanting to travel there, check them out. I know I want to travel there. This, as I'd like to point out, is one of the reasons I need my passport. How does a person get to be 25 years old and never own a passport? Ah...This needs to be changed.

It's also exciting to be able to say that I am a freelance writer. I never thought I would be afforded an opportunity like this, and I am hoping that this will blossom into something good.

I also had a good talk with my mom this evening about one of my exes. I talked to him today for the first time in a long time. I miss the friend I had in him for years, but the guy I talk to now is never that guy. He's someone I don't recognize, and I sometimes wonder which version of himself he'll be when we talk or which version of him is even real. He's a human emotional personality chameleon. Every person he's dated has caused him to take on a new persona. It reminds me a lot of Julia Robert's character, Maggie in "Runaway Bride." He tries to become exactly what the other person wants. With me he was a hilarious and good Christian guy. After me he became a guy very interested in art and becoming a starving artist by drinking and doing every drug he could get ahold of (maybe he still does), then a guy super interested in health and vegetarianism, and then a guy who was obsessed with film and all it's aspects, and now he's a health nut who works out.

I miss my version, but at the same time...I'm glad that ended. In the past few weeks, I've been reminded of all the things I didn't do. Most of them were dreams I had that he told me I wasn't capable of, wasn't talented enough to do, wasn't pretty enough for, didn't have the right body type for, was too clumsy for...that I wasn't good enough.

But do you know who I am? I don't. And I'm actually a little excited about that. I've lived for many years thinking I was less than I am, but I'm something special. I'm worth a second look, and someday someone is going to say, "Hey let's go to Bali" or "Let's go to Canada or Paris or anywhere..." When that person comes along...darn it, I'm going to have that passport.

One last thing, because I haven't done this in awhile:

Favorite things of this very moment (10:24 pm CST):

  • Unsweetened ice tea

  • Sanctus Real's great song "'Til I Got to Know You"

  • Knowing I fixed my computer speakers on my own

  • Knowing my family is in the living room watching Disney's lovely cartoon version of "Robinhood" at this very moment

  • That I finished and turned in my first writing assignment for Tramp Imperial Travel

  • That I am actually, for real, no joke, a freelance writer

  • Having several jobs (Tramp Imperial Travel, the pharmacy, Basket Beginnings, the last of which I probably forgot to mention, but I am working there off and on to cover for people over the rest of the summer starting with tomorrow afternoon)

  • Owning my own copy of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows

  • Hope