Thursday, December 18, 2008

This Is What Freedom Looks Like

5:15pm- Hand Greek final over to professor, walk out of classroom and do a little happy dance.

5:17pm - Dance in the rain

5:20pm - Drive to Cate's house to watch "Friends" giggling the entire time.

6pm - Dinner with Heidi

6:35pm - Attempted to use Heidi's cheap-crap umbrella and decided to just embrace the wetness that was yesterday.

8pm - Go see the first movie I've seen in the theater since... I actually have no idea what the last movie I saw in the theater was.... Well now you know just how non-movie seeing life has been for me.

3 hours later Heidi and I dragged ourselves out of the movie theater yawning and wishing we were in bed because it was almost 11pm and that's our bedtime.

I love not having homework to do :-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oh Sweet Freedom

I am one small greek final away from freedom. I can taste it. I could also care less about studying for this last final. It is a major problem when one's brain checks out and moves back home three weeks before finals actually happen. Forcing myself to study and "finish strong" has occupied much of my thoughts these past few weeks since Thanksgiving break. 

Finally, the day is here when I can burst through my apartment door and scream "I'M DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" My roommates are really looking forward to it. 

T-minus 2 hours and counting until final #4 is over and done with. 

Oh yeah, and about not writing for over a month or so... I apologize. 

Merry Christmas everyone!!!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...

My sisters and I talked last night about the most difficult part of our lives at this point. Making decisions that will effect the rest of our lives. Grad school, no grad school? Graduate, don't graduate (oh calm down, i'm just joking)? Will the decisions we make now be beneficial or detrimental to where we want to go in our lives? The questioning can drive you batty. All three of us agreed that this big decision making is just part of life, and something that will not go away. Yet, we still wonder how to make the best decisions for our personalities, future goals, desires, and God-given abilities. Thankfully, God pushes us in directions (be it ever so gently sometimes) that ultimately shape our lives. Coming into Biola at 18 I had a certain direction in mind. God has since changed that direction, while not quite giving me the rest of the picture.

I'm starting to realize that just as i'm quite positive i'm not cut out for a 9-5 desk job or the corporate world at all, i'm not sure i'm cut out for full-time vocational ministry either (which is where I thought God was leading me). I might be just a little to confrontational and intense for that life. Somehow I think that telling someone you're counseling that "their life probably would be better if they'd stop wining and make the right choices" wouldn't go over very well. I don't know where God is directing me, but I know that He is and I'll cling to that. I'll keep looking into ideas that pop into my head, and in a year and a half (Graduation day!) hopefully i'll have narrowed down some of my possibilities.

Sometimes I miss when life's decisions consisted of "princess of prairie girl?"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

He Leadeth Me

The hymn "He Leadeth Me" has become the anthem of my life recently. I find myself humming or singing it frequently and it's constantly running through my head. I've found it easier to not only get through the day, but to think about the future in a different light as well. The Almighty Creator of the universe, the One who creates all things, knows all things, and sustains all things, is the one leading and orchestrating my life. He is leading me even when I don't know where He's taking me, and He's leading me when I don't feel like i'm going anywhere.

I googled the hymn today to find out more about it. Joseph Gilmore wrote this hymn in 1862 during one of the darkest times of the Civil War. He was preparing for a sermon on Psalm 23, and the three words "He leadeth me" wouldn't allow him to pass over them. He was gripped by the idea that God Himself leads us. Over a conversation with his wife and family about this idea he penned the words to this hymn. They were (unbeknownst to him) sent to a magazine by his wife, published, and later put to music by William Bradbury in 1864. It wasn't until 1865, when he attended a baptist church and opened the hymnal to the correct page and found his hymn, that he discovered it had been put to music and was being sung in churches.

"He leadeth me, O bless├Ęd thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

(refrain)
He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.

Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
By waters still, over troubled sea,
Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me.

(refrain)

Lord, I would place my hand in Thine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since ’tis my God that leadeth me.

(refrain)

And when my task on earth is done,
When by Thy grace the vict’ry’s won,
E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
Since God through Jordan leadeth me.

(refrain)


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Favorite Things of the Week

It's a new week (well, the end of a new week) and it's time for new favorite things!

1). My classes
2). Greek Jeopardy
3). Teriyaki chicken
4). Wearing a dress from 1979 (thanks mom!)
5). Fall weather (minus today)

Be blessed!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Headlines

Headlines are the best. Enjoy:-)

"Angels players help fight disease"

"Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers"

"Milk drinkers are turning to powder"

"Iraqi head seeks arms"

"Death causes loneliness, feelings of isolation"

"Blind woman gets kidney from dad she hasn't seen in years"

"Autos kill 110 per day, let's resolve to do better"

I hope that made your day just a little bit brighter. :-) Enjoy the cold weather while it lasts!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Favorite Things of the Week

Lately, all I've wanted to do in life is browse through Martha Stewart catalogs and do every single craft she's ever made as well as learn to sew my own clothes. So! In light of the fact that crafts are the LAST thing I have time to do until after finals (6 weeks and counting!), i've decided to do a weekly favorite things list (Martha Stewart style!). Here is the first one (don't you feel special that you get to see this!)

1). Music played solely through different sized conch shells.
2). "I'm a fermata... hold me."
3). Heidi Seifert (Thanks for being a great friend, and laughing at my jokes when no one else does!)
4). The fact that Sunday holds the possibility of rain.
5). Diet A&W Cream Soda
6). My green sweater
7). Meeting Heidi's parents and hanging out with them
8). Red Shoes that were never meant for walking in but are oh so cute
9). Laughing a lot because everything is funny when you're this tired.

Have a fantastic weekend friends!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stories

I never thought I had a story or a testimony. I was raised in a Christian home with fantastic parents that really showed me what life in community and life as a Christian looked like. I never walked away from the Lord, I've never even had the desire to. Of course my relationship with the Lord has not been perfect, but it has always been there. I don't have a dramatic story of how God saved me from a life of drugs, sex, and alcohol, nor do I have broken relationships with my family.

I thought accepting the Lord at the age of 5, being baptized at 8, being involved in youthgroup from 6-12th grade, and being on worship teams for the last 5 years meant that I didn't have a story. My life was to good. It wasn't until a recent conversation with a fellow classmate that I realized that God did rescue me from a broken life; he just did it before it happened.

From the day I was born I, as a sinful person, was separated from God and needed redemption. By God's grace I was born into a family that loved Him and raised me to love Him, but this did not and does not diminish my need for a savior. My story may be much less broken than many others, but it still has moments of brokenness and the feeling of God being so far away. Once again, by God's grace those moments of feeling like He had given up on me pushed me to search for Him harder, not to throw in the towel and decide that He must not be there if I don't feel Him all the time. My story is a story of God's grace to perpetuate my life in Him, rather than to pull me out of something else and draw me to Him. It is the story of a good Christian girl who has realized lately that her testimony is exactly what she thought was not a testimony at all. I don't have a past without God, but my family before me does. God delivered me from what would've been a very different life with a completely different view of God had He not used some very interesting tactics to eventually bring my parents to Him.

The truth is we have all been delivered from somewhere or something, we all need a savior, we all need His grace in our everyday lives, and we all need His strength to persevere to the end. I am no better because of my life than the Christian with a "past". We are both sinners in need of savior, His grace is still sufficient in both stories, and He is more than able to accomplish whatever He desires.

"I need thee every hour..."

Thursday, October 09, 2008

To List or Not to List...

I have a question for you all.

Should single people make lists about qualities that they would like in a spouse as well as qualities or actions that are absolute deal breakers? Is this actually helpful or does it set people up to constantly fail us? As a natural listmaker I deeply enjoy the ability to cross something off my list, but is that how we should approach relationships? "Good relationship with his mother" -Check!

I am definitely not talking about the lists that consist of:
1). Must have dark hair and blue eyes
2). Must drive a truck
3). Must look like Brad Pitt (except with darker hair).
4). Must make at least 8 Million dollars a year

These are NOT helpful. However, I will admit that I can be kind of a car snob. I do pay attention to the kind of car that a guy drives, but hopefully I would never let it stop me from dating that guy (my father is partially responsible for the car snobbery. He's taken me to way to many car shows over the course of my life and talked about cars a lot as well... Thanks Dad! By the way, we haven't been to a car show in a while.)

I'm talking about character qualities. Should we need to make lists to know what kind of character qualities we should be attracted to or avoid? Shouldn't we be able to tell as thinking people that a guy who disrespects his mother is going to disrespect his girlfriend/wife, and a woman who bats her eyelashes and talks in a baby voice to her dad to get money is going to do the very same thing to her boyfriend/husband, without consulting our previously made list? "Hmm... is being a complete jerk on my list of deal breakers?" It might be a different story if she bats her eyes and talks in a baby voice and her dad simply looks at her and says, "Seriously?"

What do you think? Lists: necessary or unnecessary? Talk to me people! I'm trying to get dialogue going about these kind of things!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Don't Go Breakin' My Heart

Alright my loves. It's time to get your champion rear-ends in gear. WIN! You are NOT the Padres! You HAVE talent! (Sorry Padre fans, I just couldn't resist).

The play-offs are NOT a completely different ball game. They are the exact same ball game in fact. It's all mental!! You need to stop telling yourselves "holy crap we're playing Boston in the first round of the playoffs...AGAIN" and start telling yourselves "We beat their over payed, injured, hindparts 8 TIMES THIS SEASON!! By george we can do it now!" Than you should all start jumping around, slapping each other, and screaming (in manly voices of course) "THE RED SOX SUCK AND WE ROCK AND WE CAN CRUSH THEM WITH OUR PINKY FINGERS!!!!*insert manly grunts here*"

My heart is full of love for you and faith in you. I know you can beat them and take this series. It's time that you know that.

So, put your game faces on and WIN WIN WIN!!!!!

Oh, and what's with Youkilis' batting stance? Seriously... icky elf!

P.S. I apologize for all of the capitilization. I'm slightly passionate about this.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Take That Non-Winning Curse of Mine!

I won something for the first time EVER!

I entered a drawing at Chick-fil-a to win two tickets and meet and greet passes for the Third Day, Jars of Clay, and Switchfoot concert in Irvine... and I won!

Now the question is... who do I take with me? :-)

I'll have pictures on facebook by the end of the weekend i'm sure!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What's So Wrong With Dating Anyway?

Ambiguity drives me batty.

For the past two years i've been watching friends and acquaintances endure these relationships with the opposite sex that are some weird hybrid of friendship and dating. They are to deep to be considered "just friends" but to casual and inconsistent to be considered dating. What's up with this? The guys are so unsure about really wanting to be in a relationship and the girls, while often unsure as well, are just excited to be getting the attention that these relationships go on in a vicious cycle of frustration and hope.

I think one of the main problems might lie in the phrase "It's important for there to be a friendship first". Don't get me wrong, i'm all about friendship. I understand that the motivation for this "pre-dating" dating model is to protect hearts and minimize the need to change your status on facebook. However, to be perfectly honest most of what i've witnessed is frustration, and in the end the very thing we try so hard to avoid... heartache.

Is it so wrong to get to know someone by dating them? Wouldn't that be better than trying to manipulate situations so you get to spend time with some girl or guy you like without them knowing that you like them? Dating seemed to work for our grandparents and most of our parents, why do we think we're any different? I know what you're going to say... "but the times are different now. Dating is different." I'm perfectly aware of that fact. However I still think that maybe, just maybe, evangelicals could redeem dating.

Dating does not need to be a lifetime commitment! Going to dinner does not need to mean that you are commiting to this person for the rest of your life. Heck, you don't even need to be committing to another date with this person! I'm NOT saying that I think we should all just date whoever we feel like, without atleast the intention of a second date because I'm sure that would just leave people broken and bleeding a long the way. I am saying that I think we could all stand to grow up a little when it comes to dating relationships. I'm not promoting being a serial dater (i.e. dating more than one girl/guy in a single weekend... not that anyone has the time or money for that anyway!), I am however promoting the idea of asking that girl out that you've been interested in for 3 years but haven't had the chance to "hang out" with enough so you just keep waiting.

Men. Be brave!!! I understand that rejection sucks and girls are scary. It is true that we might reject you, but we will also respect you for having the courage to ask. Obviously I cannot speak for all women on this, but I can say that the women I have talked to about this would be incredibly impressed with your boldness. We are tired of dropping hints... please don't make us do it anymore! Also, your trash gets taken out more than the women of biola do. Think about it.

One last thing. Men, if you are not ready to begin a relationship... then don't. Not even an ambiguous one. Give the women around you enough respect that you protect them from thinking that they are only good enough to be one of your friends and nothing more, even though you spend more time with them than all of your other friends combined. Do us all a favor and be straightfoward with us.

Women, give the men a chance. Don't force them into anything they're not ready for and than expect them to step up. Understand that asking you out is difficult and give them some grace. Also, stand up for yourself! Don't allow ambiguity. Don't be a crazy person, but be strong enough to know where to draw boundary lines if you see yourself heading for one of those weird hybrid relationships.

No matter what. Be clear! If you want a second date, say so. If you don't, say so! Don't leave the girl/guy wondering about where this might be going. That only leads to stalker situations ;-).

I am by no means the authority on this subject, and I'm sure this is not a perfect solution to the problem. I would love to know what you people out there think about this. Do you think we can redeem dating and lessen the frustration? I do.

P.S. Guys, I know there is a lot of a pressure on you financially and creatively when it comes to dating. However that came about, I'm very sorry for it. The girls you really want to get to know are the type that don't care if your first date is at a fancy restaurant or a park, or if your second date is bigger and better than the first. You can relax. Look for the girls that will just be happy to be hanging out with you! 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sweet Community

"The solitary traveler may get to the end of the journey faster, and indeed he may gain riches along the way as he leaves the weak and the slow behind him and is not required to share what he finds. However, he will also know pits out which he must dig himself, unrelentingly cold nights, and lonely battles. He will in the end see no profits from it all, for the gain we make from our toil is found in the toil itself, completed in the context of our whole lives lived out before God and in the company of others to whom we are intrinsically and healthily connected as creatures of God. In community our lives are strong and enduring,, like the rope "of three strands." The fool's individualistic life is, by contrast, weak and destined to be broken." -Iain Provan

We need people. We have been designed for community and our lives are "meaningless" without it. Ecclesiastes clearly presents the contrast of the wise man and the foolish man (as does proverbs). Guess what, the wise man is the one who, while working as he should, does not strive continually after gain that is always just beyond his grasp. He knows the balance that must be found in life between sloth and toil. Our constant striving for more is not only a slap in the face of the God who gave us more than we need, but it is a recipe for certain disaster in the end. It is impossible to strive after gain for your entire life without trampling over the people around you. Families are broken, friendships are destroyed, and the individuals life, in the end, accounts for nothing. So you have great wealth, do you have someone with whom to enjoy what your work has brought you? So you have more than your neighbor, is your family bruised and bleeding along side the road of your life? In the end the same fate befits us all. Our wealth, possessions, and awards will not follow us into eternity. Life on this earth is but a breath and it is a wasted breath if it is not lived out under the joy of God; under the freeing, unstoppable view of his sovereignty. God is in control and no matter how hard we try we cannot change or stop what He has set in motion. What a comforting thought! Having wealth or not is not the important part here. The important part is how your life is lived. Is it lived in relationship or is it lived in constant discontentment and striving? So you may have wealth, is it worth forfeiting your soul?

This idea is hanging heavy over me. At the end of my career at Biola what will be said of me? Will I have fantastic grades, remember every detail about the Bible, know the Greek backwards and forwards (ha!) and be able to lord my knowledge over all of the "common people" (i.e. non-bible majors- please know that I am simply showing how rediculous the level of arrogance that is all to often associated with those in this department is, and that I don't think that!)? Or will I be known as a woman who sought the Lord with all her heart, a woman who loved as Jesus loved, a woman who spent these four years in relationship with the people that God has placed in her life, a woman who lived out the Gospel in relationship with others, even if it means not graduating with honors. Will I be part of a community that keeps each other warm on cold nights, fights each others battles, and helps dig each other out of the pits that life throws us in? By God's grace, yes.

I apologize if this comes off a little on the guilt-laden side, it really isn't meant to! Those who know me well, know that I am very passionate (to a fault sometimes), and usually end up having to apologize for what I say. I hope this isn't one of those cases :-)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

They Probably Think I'm Crazy

My RC and his wife came over for cookies last night, and while they were walking over I locked us out of my apartment.

True story.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Seriously?

Our screen door locked us in this morning until Heidi broke it.

I'm about to start running around campus and screaming "MAINTENANCE!!!!"

I love my major so much. I get to learn about the Bible for my school! No math, no science, no English (because I keep putting it off)... it's beautiful.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Our Pets Heads Are Falling Off...

After approximately a week in the Apartment it suddenly turned on us. It all started with the shower curtain.

We were all minding our own business when "BAM!" (no... not batman) the shower curtain comes tumbling to the ground, never to return to it's position for very long ever again. Turns out, that when the tile gets moist (as it is prone to do in a shower!) the curtain rod can't handle it and it falls. This wasn't too much of a problem until it fell on me. That hurt. So, now the shower curtain is serving absolutely no purpose at all and is actually hanging over a clothes rack in my bedroom so it can dry out until we can put it back up. Showering is quite a difficult task when one has no shower curtain or shower door. It's also very cold.

After the shower curtain fiasco, mirrors and picture frames began jumping from their positions on the walls and our beloved air conditioner decided it was taking Labor day off as well. It has yet to return. Next was the screen door. Now we have to very carefully close our door so that the spring that normally pulls the screen shut, does not put giant holes into our door. Oh yeah, and the first day we moved in our garage door broke twice.

After all of this stuff started breaking voluntarily, I started dropping and/or breaking everything I touched. A bag I was using to carry movies, a sandwich griller, and some cookbooks broke and the contents scattered across the floor. Fortunately, my RC (resident coordinator) was walking into the apartment complex at the same time and helped me gather up my belongings and bring them to my apartment. Right as he was leaving a bag that I had placed on my desk fell over and scattered caramel chex that my apartment-mate had made all over the floor. I just rolled my eyes. On my way back from playing tennis my bag broke, and I knocked a picture frame off the wall in my RC's apartment when we went to bring him and his wife a movie they wanted to borrow.

I'm so glad it's no longer yesterday. So far, today has been much less clumsy. Oh maintenence please come soon!

After all this all I can really do is just laugh. It keeps the tears from coming. Isn't life funny!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's Only Taken Me Two Years

I start my third year of college tomorrow morning at 8am. Most people fall in love with their school or at least some experience they are having in college within the first year (sometimes first week), but my experience has been quite different. My freshman year I wanted to leave more than anything, but stuck it out. Sophomore year I was fine, but still not really excited about it.

Sophomore year changed everything. God answered a huge prayer in my life and provided me with not only a small, close group of girls but also with a floor full of girls that brought so much joy to my life and I consider them very dear friends. God is so faithful and His timing is perfect. Freshman year I needed Him not more people and He knew that. Sophomore year, I needed those relationships along with Him. I'm so blessed by who God has placed in my life to be my closest friends. They are women (and some men) that follow hard after God and daily seek to fix their eyes on what really matters... Christ.

Junior year is starting out beautifully and I am full of hope for an even brighter next couple of years. I moved into my first apartment with my 3 best friends and already God is revealing his divine purpose and plan in it. We need each other and we know it.

My roommate and I talked last night about our feelings of restlessness and anxiety and she showed me an Amy Carmichael devotional she had just started reading. The page and a half was devoted to being at home in Christ. No matter where our physical bodies are, or how little we know about where we are going, we are home. May we daily be reminded of what really matters. Christ.

I had heard this before and saw it again on a friends facebook. It clearly sums up what our lives should look like as Christians. Be encouraged my friends, Christ is near and ever so capable of accomplishing what needs to be done in our lives and hearts.

"Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit, Christ when I stand, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. - St. Patrick

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Ocean Is Big And Powerful And There Are Sharks In It.

Day four has been lovely. We spent the day at two different beaches snorkeling, stopping for lunch and for icecream in between and then finished up the day at the pool.

Today has been another reminder of one constan problem in my life... My fear of (or healthy respect for) the ocean. I want to enjoy snorkeling and swimming but all I can think about is the fact that at any minute some giant sea creature could come and eat me and I can't swim well enough to deal with currents.

Now the hotel waterslide? THAT I have mastered.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Day 3 in Maui

I ACCIDENTALLY gave the pool boy my room key today. Luckily he's an upstanding citizen who informed me that that was not my towel card.

Good times.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Well Hello There!

Ok so it's been almost a month since I last wrote because since that last time I wrote I have done... NOTHING! My life has consisted of data entry, the gym, and eating back every calorie I just burned, and believe me you don't want to hear about any of those.

So why, you may ask, am I suddenly writing again? Did something interesting happen that I just absolutely had to write about? No! I just thought I'd tell all y'all that Saturday morning at 10am I am boarding a plane for Maui! Then I will spend the rest of my week swimming, relaxing, kayaking, hiking, running on the beach (ok, so that will probably turn into crying on the beach, but i'm going to try), and most importantly eating! I will return a week from Sunday and I will be very tan and relaxed and mostly likely have very frizzy hair.

The day after I return I will be moving into my apartment with my lovely new roommates who I am so excited to finally be living with. School starts the 27th which I am strangely also excited about... that will last about a month and a half and than mid-october will role around and I'll cry.

Maybe after all this I will have something interesting or atleast mildly entertaining to write about. Don't hold your breath.

I'm making pasta with zuchinni and tomatoes in a cream sauce for dinner. Jealous much?

Quote of the day: "I'm sorry I must have been sleep punching" -Afton

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Kern River is Cold... Cold and Awesome.

If you were wondering why I haven't posted in a week (which i'm sure you're not, since that's about how often I post anyways), it's because I have been in a lovely little place called Johnsondale. It's about 30 minutes above Kernville and it's fantastic. My family spends a few weeks a year at our cabin up there and I join them when I can. This summer we spent two of the three days I was up there floating in rafty things in the Kern River. Pop quiz! Where do mountain rivers get there water from? That's right! Melted Snow! It was cold. Cold but surprisingly relaxing. My sisters and I also spent some time singing and playing bluegrass music together (all two of the songs we know). One guitar (the other wouldn't tune right), one banjo, and two voices adds up to a lot of fun. We're thinking about playing both our songs at the Temecula Bluegrass Festival next year... ;-) 

But, it all seriousness how many times in our busy lives do we get to spend hours during the day floating around in circles, trying not to get carried down stream and the evening serenading our neighbors with "I'll Fly Away" and "Will the Circle be Unbroken"? Not many my friends, not many. Fortunately for me, now that we have rafty things I get to spend at least a few days a year floating in a river and hopefully we'll learn more songs for next year.

Life is good :-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

There's A Cookie For Everything

Today I bought a gingerbread cookie in what appears to be the shape of a manitee.

Why would anyone shape a cookie into a manitee on purpose (well, besides my manitee obsessed sister Cate)? I think it was supposed to be something else, but if it was, that person should be fired or told that their talents lie elsewhere... not in shaping gingerbread cookies.

So now i'm curious... What's the weirdest shaped cookie you've eaten or seen?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My New Favorite Thing

Two words: Google Earth.

I downloaded google earth yesterday and I've been having loads of fun since than. Today i've been to the Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, Kuwait (not my idea!), Outer Space, my sister's house, my friend Lydia's house, and Greece. It's been a busy morning. Don't worry, I promise I won't staulk anybody to much. Oh calm down, I kid! I won't staulk anyone at all!!

Yesterday I went to San Francisco. It was fun. Even though this is keeping my short short attention span occupied and entertained for hours, it's still pretty creepy. People can look at your house!!! My car is actually in the shot of my sister's house... weird. If you go to my parents house on Google Earth my sister's horse looks like a skeleton. It's gross.

Amanda just told me it was April and Afton just accidentally threw my mail on the ground. Carbon Monoxide leak? I think so.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Blah, Blah, Blah

Does nothing happen in my life or am I just bad at recalling stories in interesting ways? I can't figure out how to write on my blog regularly when there doesn't seem to be anything to say! I start to write, and than all that comes out is "And than she said 'bah bah bah', and than I hit her".

Seriously. I'll get back to you when something happens or I have a thought (thought's are not flowing very freely right now... its been rough). 

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Giftings

Everyone has a gifting... something they excel at, something they get a thrill from when everyone else wants to vomit when think about performing that task.

 I'm thinking about adding "ripping paper to make it look old around the edges" to mine. I just got very good at it. 

Friday, June 27, 2008

More Than You Wanted to Know About Not Very Much

Hello my loyal readers! (all two of you!)

I know it's been a long time since I wrote, I got bored with myself and just had nothing to say. But! I'm back! Still pretty much bored with myself, but I have stuff to say about the Saddleback Worship Conference that me and 8 others from our team attended this past week. Here is a condensed version of things I learned and experiences we had this week.

1). Leeland is cool and a he paces... a lot.
2). As much as I appreciate Gospel music, I can still only handle about 20 minutes of it. The repetition gets to me, but I love how God ministers to different people through different types of music. I like more of the rock stuff... David Upton anyone? 
3). Rick Muchow still dances
4). Christy Knockels and Buddy Owens preached exactly what I needed to hear.
5). I Went to some songwriting workshops and got some really good advice and insight into writing from some of the top worship songwriters out there.
6). Guys are gross no matter what age they are, but also a whole lot of fun:-)
7). Drums are so much more of an art form than i've ever known before
8). When 3,000 worship leaders and band members are singing along with a choir and full band you can't hear when the fire alarm goes off.
9). I ran into someone that used to be a leader in my Jr. High youth group who I haven't seen since Jr. High (Hi Bobby!)
10). Tim Davis hugged me
11). 90% of Erin Wible's jokes go right over my head.
12). I sang one of my songs at an open mic thing and wasn't booed off the stage! 
13). God is incredibly faithful

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hi, My Name is Ellie and I'm a Baseball-aholic


I just voted 25 times (the maximum amount allowed) for every single Anaheim Angel that was nominated for the 2008 All-Star game and entered a contest to win a trip to the game and the Homerun Derby. If you haven't figured it out already... I love baseball.


The All-Star game is in New York this year (Yankee Stadium). If I won that contest I could not only go to the All-Star game for free, but I could go to New York for free and get paid $2000! New York... Baseball.. $2000... free!!! YAY!!!!! Everybody do a little jig with me! The only problem is... I never win anything. Let's hope that changes because I've entered two contests now to win trips to games (one in Chicago which gives you $500 to spend). Everybody pray I win. Ok? If I win I might take you... actually, probably not. Please don't get angry. Just think good happy thoughts... See don't you feel better? Ok, where was I... oh yeah, baseball! Yay!


Both of these trips combine 3 things I love. 1)Baseball. 2)Shopping. 3)visiting big cities that i've never been to before and am dying to go to (i.e. NY and Chicago).


Until then, I will continue to loyally and fiercely love and defend my Angels (Vlad Guerrero in particular... i loved him before he became the face of the Angels by the way!)


Monday, June 02, 2008

Hospitable: It's easier to be than to spell

Paul has a very clear list of qualifications for elders and deacons of the church in 1st/2nd Tim. and Titus. How seriously does the church today take these qualifications? Of course we look at the negative ones like making sure he is not cheating on his wife, an alcoholic, greedy with his money, and has a bad temper, and we do our best to keep people who have demonstrated those characteristics out of leadership in the church. However, do we look carefully at the the characteristics he should be showing? Is he hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined? If he's not the negative things than he must be the positive ones right? Wrong. 

This post is going to be focused on the area of hospitality and how so many of the men and women who serve so faithfully in the church are often overlooking this one qualification. The early church and Paul knew what hospitality is. In fact, that culture still does. They would be appalled at our lack of an open door policy. Our western culture is so concerned with privacy and having time to ourselves that we miss out on the ministry that simply keeping our porch light on and actually being home is. Don't get me wrong, there is a balance that must be had for the sake of the family unit. Also, hospitality does not mean allowing yourself to be used and abused by anyone who feels like coming to your house at midnight and staying until they feel like they've been ministered to on a regular basis. Rather it is people who are really in need knowing that you are available, it is inviting your small group to your house for a barbecue more than once a year, it is opening your home to new people in the church and the community, it is taking cookies to your new neighbors, it is taking meals to the sick the poor and the needy, it is opening our eyes to the need around us and doing something about it even if it means we don't get that bubble bath we've been dying for because someone showed up and needs love. 

My prayer is that we as the body of Christ would take seriously the charge to be hospitable, and open our hearts as well as our doors. 

If you would like to see how the body of Christ can minister to people because of one woman's heart and ideas to reach the community around her for Christ and take care of the poor and the needy, check out these websites.

www.thebrooktemecula.com
www.randomacts245.com 

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Maybe Next Time...

My song was not chosen for the Songseeker competition this year, but that's ok. Seriously.

I'll keep writing and hopefully by next year I will have improved, and i'll enter again. I didn't expect to be chosen but the confirmation of it is still a little dissapointing.

No matter what, God is teaching me so much about Himself and about myself through the process of writing these songs. First of all, He has given me the ability to somewhat express the difficulty of the last few years and how through it all He is faithful and He is my hope in this life. As I play through or read through the songs that I've written over the last few years I can see a definite pattern. Pain, darkness, a desperation for Him, and in the end... Hope. Hope because He is faithful and loving and He is there with me whether I see or feel him or not. I can't tell you how many times I've felt like He was no where to be found over these past few years, but I can tell you that He was there. He IS here. He is the light that shines in the darkness even when we are blind to it. No matter how big the problem, no matter how devastating... He will carry you through. You'll see when the other side comes.

When the darkness consumes my day
and I feel like, you've turned away
when I'm straining to see
the dimming glow of your face
and it seems gone without a trace

In the darkness I'll believe
what you've shown me in the light
and I will wait, I'll wait on you
I will wait, I'll wait on you.

When the darkness consumes my night
I cant remember the last time I saw the light
But I remember the price
the price that You paid
So even if the dark never fades
I'll proclaim your truth today
(Copyright 2008)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Corn and Tijuana



Right about now you are probably asking yourself "How could corn and tijuana go together in the same post? Is she talking about mexican food?" Well, the answer is... they don't! and no i'm not talking about mexican food!


I was looking through some recipes because school's almost over and i'm excited to cook yummy stuff this summer and next year in my new apartment:-). As I was looking at these recipes I realized just how much I hate corn. I really really really hate it. I don't even want to look at it. Ever. Just seeing pictures of it in recipes or seeing the words "corn" in a recipe, or hearing about summer corn makes me a wee bit ill. I really hate it.


Now. You may be wondering what Tijuana has to do with that. Well, i'll tell you. NOTHING! I just got pictures from my trip to Tijuana with my church and I thought I'd share one with you. You're welcome.


Have I mentioned how much I hate corn? Oh, and that strange little square next to the picture is a tiny version of the picture that I couldn't figure out to get rid of.


Have a splendid corn free day!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Investments"



Isn't it absolutely beautiful? It's mine:-)

I'll be indebt to my father for the rest of my life, but hey, that was bound to happen anyway.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I Say It's Homeschooling's Fault

I have a need for freedom. Whether I choose to use it or not I still need to know it's there. 

I blame this on being homeschooled. Don't get me wrong, homeschooling is a highlight of my life but it messes you up for having to do things when someone else tells you to. By the time I was in 5th grade I had the freedom to do my school in about 2-3 hours and spend the rest of my time doing whatever I wanted. I also had the freedom to do my school wherever I wanted to or wherever my mom happened to need to be. The fact that I spent most of Jr. High and Highschool doing homework in a field near my house doesn't lend itself very well to class room settings. 

I had no problem adjusting at first, but the longer I'm in school the more this desire for freedom keeps creeping up. Being required to be in a certain classroom at a certain time is starting to drive me batty and the thought of a 9-5 job possibly being in my future makes me want to vomit and runaway screaming.

I do not see this desire for freedom and flexibility as a bad thing at all. I loved being homeschooled and I love that it allowed me to pretty much do everything I could possibly think of wanting to do as long as my mom could drive me, but 12 years of that type of freedom will sure make college start to feel smothering after awhile. I think my main desire to homeschool my kids comes from my desire to be able to just get in the car, find a field, start exploring, and call it science. 

Partial freedom in 1 1/2 weeks!!!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

David Cook Forever


David Cook rocks and should win American Idol and than the show should stop because they will never be able to top having an ACTUAL musician and rockstar win that show.
I mean seriously. Look at that!


David A. makes me incredibly uncomfortable. Anyone who seemingly voluntarily squints their eyes that much has got to be a little sketch.


Jason Castro is awesome. I love how he can barely finish a sentence and usually just ends up shrugging and smiling.


Syesha... broadway is waiting. Don't make them wait another day!

Monday, May 05, 2008

I Want to Learn Spanish

I went on a Tijuana housebuilding trip this past weekend for the first time. I can't even begin to describe to you the impact it had on my life, but i'm going to try anyway :-)


I had really no idea what to expect even though many of my good friends had been on trips like this in the past and I'd heard all about it, so I was a little nervous. Saturday morning we woke up at 6am, spent time in private devotions, ate breakfast, and than had a time of worship and teaching as a group (about 70 of us when we combined the two churches). That alone was a great experience but the real stuff started after that. 


We followed our fearless leader Steve (his last name was leader to!!) and the man who owned the property through the treacherous Tijuana streets (driving is frickin scary) to the place where he lived and where we would be building a 12x12 addition on to his house for his 4 boys to live in. 


The structure we built by any normal standard would have been considered a nice shack, but to this man it was the best thing that had happened to him in a long time. The pure joy on his face while we were building was like no joy I had never seen before. He eagerly helped when he could but would frequently sit back and just watch with that incredible smile on his face. 


A friend and I had the privilege of taking a break from building to play with about 15 neighborhood children. Laura was able to communicate a little bit with them, but for the most part we just gestured everything we could and they excitedly chattered away in spanish. A little girl named Lupita showed me her secret handshake and hugged me harder than I've ever been hugged by a 7 year old when I left. The joy these children had despite the conditions in which they live was inspiring as well. They love with a pure and devoted love that I pray I exhibit to those around me. 


After starting the project at 10:30am we finished around 5pm. After we finished we all gathered inside the house to pray over it. Once we were all inside Jorge (the dad) began speaking and while he spoke he cried. After he finished Carlos (our resident translator!) explained that Jorge had never thought this was possible with his resources and that he was so happy to see how God blessed him and his family and how much he loved each one of us. He asked for our names so he could continue to pray for us... I cried. 


I am so blessed. This I know. But I also know that I need to be a much better steward of what I have so that I can know the pure joy that being grateful for whatever God gives me brings. God has blessed us immensely here in America, let us be His hands and feet to those who need Him the most. 


"Let me live like you, may I sit beside those who cannot walk.
Let me live like you, may I not forget the poor and the needy,
may I stand with those who need you most
and let me live like you."

P.S. On a much lighter note... I ate Lengua (sp?). Do you know what that is?


Thursday, May 01, 2008

B-I-O-L-A

In two-ish weeks I will be done with my second year of college.

I started to list the good and bad from the past two years and I was so blessed to see how much the good outweighs the bad. When I first started at Biola I was miserable. I had great roommates, and some really good friends, but emotionally it was awful.

God has completely changed that around and I have really come to love Biola. It's not perfect, but it's a wonderful school and place to be for now. After I made it passed the crying, and not sleeping or eating part and came to terms with the new stuff I was learning about my own personality it all worked out.

I've learned so much about myself and I know I will continue to learn more, and God's grace and steadfast loving kindness will always carry me through the good and the bad. The past 2 years have been hard but God has shown himself faithful in greater ways than I could ever have imagined. I know that He brought me to the place of feeling absolutely alone in order for me to really know His touch and fulfillment in my heart and life.

God is faithful and the only who can truly fulfill the deepest caverns of your soul. It is God that makes us useful to Him, and He who gives us the power to trust him (yay Holy Spirit! woo hoo!). I'm so grateful that He gives me the power to do whatever He asks me to, because without Him it would be impossible. I'll let King David and King Solomon say the rest.

"I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live." - Psalm 116:1-2

"You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance." - Psalm 32:7

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." - Psalm 32:8

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rejection: Good for the Soul?

What is it in our make up that makes us so afraid of rejection? Seriously. What is it?

I took a huge step today toward what will quite possibly end in rejection. I sent in a song to a songwriting competition. It is now completely out of my hands and on it's way as we speak to Lake Forest. I'm terrified. I keep telling myself that it is good no matter what the outcome. I mean, I did it! I should get some points for bravery right? Even after all the time spent talking to myself I'm still terrified (maybe I should be terrified about the amount of time I spend talking to myself instead of the song... ey well).

Have any of you done something that absolutely terrified you but in the long run you know just the act of doing it made you a stronger, better person? All 2 of you who read this please respond! I want to know what kinds of rejection you risked!

Monday, April 28, 2008

What Do Beethoven, Mozart, Purcell, and Bach All Have in Common?

I haven't studied them enough.

I'm listening to Beethoven's 5th symphony right now in a last minute attempt to immerse myself in it before my test today, and my music major friend is going to help me out at lunch. 65% here i come! 

Note to the children: STUDY BEFORE THE DAY OF YOUR TEST!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Am I Missing Something?

Do you ever get that feeling that you are missing something terribly, terribly important?

I have that feeling everyday. 90% of the people I know at school are in freak out, living dead mode because finals are three weeks away. I, however, have precious little to do before finals and I'm getting a little nervous. I have the usual homework and a few little paper re-writes to do, but other than that... pretty much nothing.

I keep telling myself that it's because bible major classes tend to be top heavy and the professors have a general tendency to make you cry in the beginning and then assign absolutely nothing at the end... yet, i'm still not confident.

Is it because I dropped that one class? Does three units really make that much of a difference to one's stress levels?! Anyhoodle, since next year I will have a full load again I'm just going to enjoy this slow, mellow ride for as long as I can (i.e. 3 more weeks) and pray that I'm not missing something.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Was Kindergarten Really That Long Ago?

Question. Shouldn't juniors in college be able to write papers well?

I spent a few hours yesterday editing some papers for a class and I was surprised to see that although their ideas were good they just didn't follow the rules.

Isn't following the rules something we are supposed to learn in kindergarten?

Fact. People are lazy.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Please. No One Shoot Me For Saying This.

*Please note that this is not a broad statement about all missionaries, pastors, people in general... It is simply my experience and a question I have.

I spent three years in a highschool youthgroup that had a tendency to put those who were interested in or decided to dedicate their lives to full time over seas missions on a pedestal. Granted, missions is necessary and my proverbial hat is off to those who have this calling on their life and obey it. However, for those of us who do not have a passion for or feel a calling to this way of life it was always a bit frustrating and confusing. I'm sure the intention of our leaders was never to make those who weren't going into overseas missions feel as if they weren't serving God, but unfortunately, they brought in speaker after speaker who either implied that or said those very words. I believe that the missionfield is all around us and one person is not serving a higher calling than another simply because he/she is serving God overseas (or in Mexico).

After the second or third time a speaker made this intimation, I, being my quiet, timid, soft-spoken self, very patiently voiced my concerns and questions about this teaching. NOT! The truth is, I got really frustrated and marched up to my youthpastor and said, "what the heck?!" Yes. I know this was not the best approach, but have someone imply or say that you are not serving God in what you feel called to do and see how you react! I was never given a satisfactory explanation, and was told to examine why that bugged me so much.

So... I examined... and examined... and examined (ok, that's probably a slight exageration because, lets face it, i get bored pretty quickly and examining takes a lot of patience and insight that I didn't really have in highschool, and still am working towards).

I was still frustrated.

Why is this so often the case when missionaries speak? I have known so many wonderful missionaries, and I am so glad that there are people in this world with a passion to spread the name of Christ to every corner of this world. But why do so many lay on the guilt trip?

The truth is, God made each one of us differently and he gave us all different passions, abilities, and ministry assignments. Each one of us has been wired by God for different things. What would happen to Christians in the U.S. if every pastor up and left to minister over seas? What would the U.S. look like if every Christian grew up and left it? Every person on this earth matters to God, and therefore should matter to those who love Him. Every person. Including those in the U.S. America needs us to! Yes, we may have freedom, and money, and stuff... but does that mean we are not hurting and desperately in need of a savior? No.

I think I understand why those who decide to move to Afghanistan get more recognition than those who choose to stay in Orange County, San Diego, the Bay Area, and every other city with billions. It is more of a sacrifice to uproot yourself and move to Afghanistan, and granted much more dangerous and culturally difficult. But I would appreciate it if the same encouragement and appreciation was shown to those Christians who God has called to be pastors, school teachers, lawyers, social workers, musicians, stay at home moms/dads, etc. They are doing the work of the Lord, and they are equally as important to the body of Christ.

Please understand that I am in no way belittling the work that overseas missionaries do. That would be horrible of me. I am simply asking that we as Christians not be so quick to elevate one ministry assignment over another and to keep in mind that as much as the corners of the world need Jesus, so does your country. Pray for them and develop a passion for the people of America just as it is so easy to do for the people of much more less fortunate country.

Think about what a better place America would be for those refugees fleeing their countries to find safety here!

P.S. Sorry this is so long.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sad Realizations

No one reads this thing.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Family

A good family is a wonderful thing.

I spent this weekend in the mountains with my family and our close friends. We were celebrating my mom's birthday and generally enjoying each other.

When you can simply enjoy one another for who you are it really makes life interesting and joyful. The volume level this weekend would shock some people, but to me it represented the vibrant life present in our friends and family and the love between each of us.

I pray that I never take for granted the family I have been blessed with and the extended family that has been given to me through close friends. It hit me this weekend especially hard that I have been blessed with not only fantastic parents, but my parents friends and my Aunts and Uncles. They are people I have grown up with, love dearly, and have no doubt in my mind that they would love me and my sisters as their own if they ever needed to.

Even though I am pretty sure that none of them read this blog I still want to say thank you and I love you with all my heart!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Baseball's Back, Oh yeah!


The boys are back in town (well, actually in Minnesota... but soon they'll be back in town), and I will soon be at the stadium again. All will be well (wow. that's a lot of double L's).


The first game was a disappointing one. We had a chance and we lost it (yes, I refer to a team I have nothing to do with as "we"... get over it, it's what real fans do). I won't bore you with the details, but lets say I read about the game after in ended (stupid lack of cable!) and I wanted to cry.


We'll do better tomorrow, I just know it. Look how pumped K-Rod is!


P.S. I know you don't care, so just humor me. Oh, and I also apologize for the Backstreet Boys reference in my title, I just couldn't resist.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

If Only I Could Read Non-Ancient Greek


I know I promised that I would write more about the Spiritual gifts vs. Ministry assignments thing, but to be honest I'm bored of that right now.


Instead, I've decided to write about the places I want to go.


I've been fortunate to have a family that loves loves loves to travel. I, however, am not exactly in that category. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy seeing places and experiencing new things, and if anyone tells me "we're going to * insert name of tropical island here*" I will do whatever they tell me. However, I have a slight travelling problem. Well, it's actually two of them. One of them is that being in a new place (especially where they don't speak English) makes me a tad anxious thanks to the Heath family (my mom's side) genes. The other issue is that after about 2 hours (give or take an hour and a half) in a car, or a few hours in an airplane I start to lose my mind. I am getting better, but very few things sound worse to me than anything over a 10 hour plane ride (it's up there with looking at a snake and the dentist). I wish I was one of those people who could just settle in and read a book for 72 hours straight or sleep in planes/cars but I'm not. I try very hard, and I have been getting better... but I like to be doing things not sitting.
Inspite of all this, there are places that I would gladly overcome my self diagnosed ADD issues to visit.

Numero Uno being Greece. Who wouldn't want to see that?
My dad says it's dirty and he won't take me there, but that's ok. I'll go without him. Hopefully, some day I will be able to scrounge up the money (and someone to go with) and spend some time over there. Something about those white buildings with blue roofs over looking that beautiful ocean is completely irresistable to me.
Where do you want to go? I will keep posting places that I want to go until enough of you tell me where you want to go... and even than i'll probably keep posting.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Spiritual Gifts Vs. Ministry Assignments

Do you know what your spiritual gift is? More importantly... Do you know what a "spiritual gift" is?

We so flippantly throw around the term spiritual gifts in Christian circles today, but do we really understand what Paul meant in his letter to the Corinthians? Does each person have a special ability given to him by God that determines where he/she should be serving in ministry for their entire lives? Can we determine these so called "gifts" by 800 question assessment tests? I am more and more convinced that we cannot, and that we aren't even right in our interpretation of what a "spiritual gift" is. 

That's just a little glimpse of what is to come... I have to go to class now so i'll write more about the other option soon. In the mean time, what do you think?

Have a splendid almost spring but feels like summer day!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Use Your Words!

Why is there so much crazy in the world?
I am daily amazed at the utter madness that some people live in. Unfortunately, these people seem to frequently cross paths with me or someone i'm close to. It makes me want to scream "what the heck is wrong with you people?!", but i'm told that that wouldn't be a good idea and so I scream it silently in my head.

Why can't people just be honest and say what they are actually feeling? I know this comes naturally to some people and is completely impossible for others, but I feel like it is something that could be taught and learned. Yes, I know that it is not always a good idea to say exactly whatever you are feeling or thinking at the exact moment you are feeling or thinking it (believe me. I know.), but is it really that hard to do that most of the time?

If people could just say how they were actually feeling I believe life would be easier. Yes it may mean that you have less friends, but the ones you have would be true friends that actually like you for who you are not just what you can give them.

What do you think? The sky might fall on us and the sun might just combust (just in case you were wondering, that's an actual line of an actual song... Just for you Mike D), but would it be better to just be honest?

Ok. Bitter rampage over. For now.

P.S. Now that i've calmed down a little bit I will say that I'm grateful that I have people in my life that stop me from saying exactly what I think at the exact moment I'm thinking it... I know I have a problem. But lying is worse.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!


Today I decided that instead of being made more aware of my singleness by focusing on the fact that I have no adorably wonderful man in my life to send me flowers and do sweet things for me, and no adorably wonderful man for me to do sweet things for, I would buy red carnations and give them to girls who are in the same boat I'm in. My theory is that it's always nice to get flowers on Valentines Day whether they are from a man whose in love with you or not (the former would be better though...).


Since this day is about love and it is very easy to get depressed on days celebrating love when you are single, I also decided to read about love in the Bible this morning. I read 1 Cor. 13 (of course!), and 1st John 3. These passages remind us what love really is and how it acts.


So... if you don't have a romantic love do not fret! Jesus loves you more than anyone on this earth possibly could!!


Whether you have a romantic love in your life or not use this day as a reminder to love people in general and to actively share the love that you have been given from the Father of Lights who gives all good things to us (including that man/woman you get to love and who loves you!)


To those of you who make my life all the more special and full of love: I LOVE YOU!!


P.S. In regards to my last post, my sister is the one who originally put the idea in my head to drop the class. Just so you all know :-)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Quit!

I have never quit anything in my entire life. Whether it was the numerous kinds of dance that I did from Hula/Tahitian to Ballet/Tap/Jazz or the one sport I played (tennis), or piano lessons, I was never the one that ended these endeavors. My teacher/coach/mother (she denies making me quit hula to this day) was always the one that quit, stopped showing up, or told me we lived to far away now.

Yesterday, for the first time in my entire life I quit something. Even though it's only a temporary quitting since I will have to take the class later on, it was still quiting. It was new for me, but let me tell you... IT FEELS GREAT! Now, i'm not saying that this is going to be a frequent part of my life, because that's just not me... but it felt great to have the freedom to say, "nope. I'm not going to take that class anymore, I would like to have friends and actually retain what I learn in my other classes."

I felt about an 80 pound weight lifted off of me yesterday. I was free, smiley, giggily, and lighthearted. Also, for the first time in the last two weeks I woke up this morning without bloodshot eyes that look like i've been on crack for about 8 years.

All this to say, sometimes giving up is the right thing to do.

P.S. As I was writing this I remembered that I did quit something once. I quit one classical education program to move to another one.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

It's Almost Spring... And You Know What That Means!

BASEBALL IS COMING BACK!!!!

Those words bring rest to my soul. In two of the longest months of my life the sporting love of my life will return to me (and I mean baseball in general, not just Vladi... so no suggestive comments).

I discovered after the superbowl this weekend that I can not emotionally handle being fully invested in any other sport than baseball. It's too much. My mood for the day generally depends on whether the boys are winning or losing, and that is too much to carry through out the whole year. April to September (and sometimes October) is almost more than my big loyal and obssessed heart can stand. Maybe at some point in my life I will be able to handle being an avid fan of something other than baseball, but if I tried it now I might die.

Spring training starts this month and soon ESPN will be littered with news about the upcoming season, and it will finally be worth watching again.

I think I can already smell the stadium... it's a surprisingly peaceful smell (even the smell of the beer soaked people around me brings a smile to my face). It's all part of the wonderfulness that is baseball.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Obsession. It's not just a fragrance.

I know it's been approximately 8 years since I last wrote on this, but you'll forgive me won't you? Please?! Well, I'm going to write something whether you read it or not and hopefully you'll come to trust me again over time (please?).

I've always struggled with becoming fixated on certain things. I love planning, making lists so I can cross off the items on the list once I finish them, and thinking about whatever is on my little over stimulated brain. The problem here lies in the fact that these little thoughts and possibilities become obsessions. So the question is whether or not it's possible to change my "plan ahead" personality (and whether or not that is necessary), or attempt to control the things I focus on. Even though you didn't ask, and probably don't care, I'm going to tell you what I think about this. This is also a pretty new thought process for me, so it's not exactly perfect. Here goes!

Having a fixed focus is not a bad thing and I don't necessarily need to change my personality, just my focus.

The problem lies in what you are fixed on. The apostle Paul had a fixed focus, Christ! His writings frequently digress from what he was actually talking about to Christ. Granted, he's usually talking about Christ... but when he's not, the name repeatedly shows up in his writings anyway (Paul's writings comprise 73% of the times that Christ is mentioned in the NT). Paul was obsessed. His obsession drove his passion and his entire life.

Obsession and fixation is not in itself a bad thing. The danger lies in what becomes the object of our obsessions. Paul had it right. Fixate on Christ and all other passions, loves, and trials will be seen in the light of His will. I've always been amazed at Paul's attitude towards trials and pain, but now it's even more clear to me why he was the way he was. Christ and Christ alone.

Now, i'm not saying that we should sit in our rooms and read nothing but our bibles and never speak to anyone but God. That wouldn't be following the example of Christ. I'm just saying that maybe if we fixate on the right thing, the rest of what we normally obsess over will fade to a normal level of priority in our lives.

I'm going to be trying this over the next semester (and hopefully the rest of my life). I want my thoughts and desires to be of Christ and for Christ. His will for my life will flow out of that. My future and God's will for it no longer needs to be my obsession. My obsession can be Christ and the rest is just part of the perks of this life he has given me.

What do you think? Will fixating on Christ help us to stop fixating on other things (although they might be honorable desires)? Tell me!!

"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things... I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurretion from the dead".
~Phil. 3:7-8a, 10-11

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Coming Back

I have returned and I will return again soon.