Monday, 15 December 2008

ta DA!

well, i have done it. i have graduated from college! and not just any college, but Texas A&M University. it has been 2 days, and in those 2 days i have had plenty of time to think, to gather my thoughts, and to figure out how i feel about it all. to be completely honest, it's such a strange mix of feelings. i don't even know where to start!

i don't think it really hit me that i was GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE until i was lined up and ready to walk out into reed arena. even the night before, i wasn't nervous, anxious, or excited. i just...was. i got extremely nervous as i was about to walk across the stage - i was wearing heels and i am not known for my grace, so in my mind all i could see was disaster. but then he called my name, and all that nervousness just went away. it was so weird. i walked across the stage in front of THOUSANDS of people, DIDN'T fall, and walked straight into my "i am a grown-up for real now" life. after i got my degree, i was super bored and ended up moving 2 rows up to be with katie, so we could just goof off and talk :)

after it was over, i felt proud - proud of everything that i have accomplished in the past 3.5 years at A&M. and SO proud to be an Aggie! SO proud to be inducted into the association of former students! it really is true, what we say: "From the inside looking out you can't explain it, and from the outside looking in you can't understand it." it truly is one of the most amazing feelings ever. it is such an accomplishment! then during lunch and on the drive home, i just felt normal again. and i still do. maybe it still hasn't completely sunk in that i am a college graduate. or maybe it's like katie said: student teaching enabled me to slowly disconnect with A&M. i haven't lived in college station in 6 months, and i didn't have classes this past semester. no classes, papers, quizzes, midterms, or finals. i was administering them, not taking them! and i was in a different city. so i didn't feel like a college student anymore anyway, because i wasn't living a college student life anymore.

if i think hard about it, i realize how strange it is that i am graduated, and how incredible it is at the same time! then i get extremely curious about my future and what God has in store for me. but if i don't think about it, i don't feel any different.

we had my graduation party at my house sunday afternoon. 10 members of my family were able to come, so it was a small party, but it was really fun. seriously, my family laughs like our lives depend on it! i was really sad about something, though - i invited 10 people to come (10 not family people), and not one of them came. not one. none. nada. seriously?!

for now, life has not changed too much. still living at home. still working at my old dead-end job. still trying to learn humility about working at the old job. after all, i went to college so that i WOULDN'T have to work at a place like that. but for now, that is apparently where i am supposed to be anyway. still singing in choir (which, by the way...our Christmas services were this past weekend...over 14,000 people came! i sang in 2 of the most packed services...it's mind blowing to think that i helped lead worship for about 10,000 people in a matter of 3 hours! incredible!!). still tutoring.

this can either be really exciting, or really stressful...it's my choice. i pick exciting :)

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

news

well, after a month of calling the doctor's office over and over again trying to figure out what was going on (am i going to the cardiologist or not...???), we have finally made some progress! i now have an appointment on the 22 of this month....6 weeks after i was supposed to go in! wow. i mean, my doctor said she didn't think my condition was serious...but what if it was? is this how they would treat someone who had a serious health issue?

things are rather difficult for me at the moment. i still have no promising job for the future (or at all, really). i have had to go back to my old job...a job that i very much dislike, because i can't just not work. i have put in several applications and have heard nothing back. it's very discouraging. another discouraging thing...i can't seem to find my place. i don't know where i belong. where do i fit in? what am i going to do with my life? am i going to enjoy my job? where am i going to live? how much longer will i have to stay at a dead end job that i don't like?

tonight my family and i went out to dinner, and afterwards i felt like going to see a movie. you know how sometimes you just want to DO something? outside the house. for fun. that is how i felt, and a movie sounded good. well my mom and grandma were too tired to go see anything, and my brother just refused (he and i are polar opposites when it comes to movies. anything i want to see he absolutely hates). so when my family doesn't want to go do something, and i don't want to go alone, i am pretty much stuck. i have been living in this city for the past 4 months, and i still have no friends. no friends! what the heck?!?! all my friends live in a different city. or a different state. heck, i even have more friends in ENGLAND than in this city. how is this even possible?

it's odd...sometimes there are things we want so badly and the Lord just shuts the door. i don't know why. i don't understand. but i have to trust Him! maybe something better will come along. maybe He will reopen the door at a later point in time. but right now it seems that everywhere i turn, doors are being shut in my face. it's hard not to feel discouraged. it's hard not to feel defeated. it's hard to watch others enjoy the things that, for now, the Lord has said no to in my life.

please pray that i learn to have a better attitude about my job. after all, it is a paycheck! pray that i pay attention to what God is trying to tell me, and that i do His will. pray that i don't lose hope.

good news: I GRADUATE IN 4 DAYS! :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Sunday, 30 November 2008

adjusting

adjusting to life after student teaching has been a rather difficult process. i still wake up in the morning and think about my students. what are they learning today? how are they doing? i miss them!

after having 801 things to do every single day and not stopping at all, a period of not having to do anything in particular is rather confusing and boring! i have had some down time...some time in which i have done a lot of reading and some movie watching. i have slept a ton! but you can only have so much r&r before you begin to go CRAZY.

hopefully tomorrow i will have a job lined up...i need the money terribly!

also tomorrow is a visit to the gastrointerologist, and then tutoring. busiest day in a while!

i did tackle my room today, which made today quite productive! it was crossing the line of messy, and i can't stand messy and unorganized. so for about 3 hours i sorted, organized, got rid of things, threw things away, read paperwork, took care of paperwork, vaccuumed, dusted, and put up my mini Christmas tree! while i was doing those things, i was also putting music from my itunes onto cds...productive afternoon!

and final tidbit: as of today, dairy queen is carrying their yule flip peppermint chip blizzard! this is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE! i actually called them to see if they had it yet (hey, no sense in driving out there if they don't have what i want!)!!! yummmmmm......... :)

Sunday, 23 November 2008

matters of the heart

about a month ago, i had a really stressful weekend. it was full of drama and misunderstandings, and i was REALLY upset about it. when i went to sleep that sunday evening, i was still very unsettled, and waking up the next morning proved that it was still an issue! i made it to school alright, but i felt like i was on speed (note: i have never done drugs, but i would imagine this is what it feels like to be on speed). during first period (our off period), i started wondering if i was having a panic attack - my heart was racing, i couldn't breathe, i was all shaky, and i felt like i had just chugged 14987973 cans of red bull. within an hour, the feeling somewhat subsided, but not completely. the rest of the day i just didn't feel well. i checked my pulse during our teaming period (keep in mind all i was doing was sitting) and my pulse was 102. just sitting. not moving. (most people say "that's not high!", but for me...it kinda is. normal for me is in the 70s) i checked it again during aim, when i was just standing in the back of the room, leaning against the wall, not moving. it had gone up to 108. i never checked it while i was up moving around actively teaching (hmmm wonder why?!) but i am kinda glad i didn't - probably better not to know ;)

after school i was still feeling odd and my pulse was still high, so i called the doctor. they were able to get me in that afternoon and they ran all sorts of fun tests on me. they took my blood pressure (excellent) and did an ekg (mostly normal). 2 things they noticed on the ekg - 1) my pulse was still quite high (i was almost asleep when they ran the test), and 2) i had some strange, random heartbeats. it was like my heart was beating normal, but then it would just spaz out and beat really hard all of a sudden, and not in time with the other beats. this is apparently normal, but for some reason, my heart was doing it more than what it should.

my doctor proceeded to ask me questions such as: "are you on any flu or cold medicine?" (no...i am not ill...), "have you had a lot of caffeine?" (no...i actually haven't had any...i don't drink coffee, tea or soda), "are you stressed?" (yes...now that you mention it, i think i am!) she decided it must be stress but wanted to run some blood work to make sure i do not have a hyperthyroid disorder (i have also lost between 10-15 pounds since moving, but have not really tried). to conclude our appointment, she put me on what i fondly refer to as my heart-stopper pills (some medicine to slow my heart down) and sent me on my merry, shaky, spastic way.

a week and a half later the medicine still had not seemed to fully kick in. every morning before i got out of bed, my pulse was already over 90 and my chest was beginning to hurt pretty consistently. so i called the doctor again and explained my situation. they doubled my medicines and told me to schedule another appointment. i doubled my medicine, and my pulse was STILL above 90 before i got out of bed every morning, but my chest didn't hurt so much, and i didn't feel like i was going crazy anymore.

this past tuesday i went back to the doctor and they checked the vitals again - blood pressure (still excellent), pulse (still high), and oxygen levels (because i always feel like i can't breathe...but they came out normal). she asked me all the same questions again: "are you on any flu or cold medicine?" (no...i am still not ill...), "have you had a lot of caffeine?" (no...i actually haven't had any...i still don't drink coffee, tea or soda), "are you stressed?" (yes...i suppose). then she followed up with a new question: "are you taking any supplements or natural herbs/remedies?" (no...). she was clearly at a loss as to what is causing my problem. she informed me that she doesn't believe i have any serious condition (always nice to hear, especially when your heart is concerned!), but she wants to send me to a cardiologist for an echocardiogram, which will tell us if my heart is anatomically correct. supposedly the cardiologist was supposed to call me (i don't even know which office it is), but that never happened. therefore, i get to call them tomorrow and see what is going down!

the strange thing is, i don't feel stressed. i don't sit here and think about all my troubles all day long. i don't worry. i am still on double my initial dose of heart-stopper pills, and my pulse is still high, and my chest constantly hurts! so...please pray that i get a hold of the cardiologist and they figure out why my body refuses to work the way it is supposed to! :)

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

they say that breaking up is hard to do

it's 11:13 on a tuesday night. and i am awake. i am awake because i do not have to get up at 5 tomorrow. i do not have to get up at 5 tomorrow because i do not have to go to school tomorrow. i do not have to go to school tomorrow because i finished my student teaching...yesterday.

i cannot even begin to explain how strange it feels. this morning i woke up at 8:30. i spent 2 hours straightening out certification stuff, paying fees, and registering to get fingerprinted. then i took a shower and went back to my old job to talk to them about possibly working there through Christmas. we will see how that goes....... :/ then i went and tutored one of my students, and came home. no papers to grade. no lesson plans to think about. after living the crazy buzy jam packed life of a teacher for the past 3 months, i just didn't even know what to do with myself today. granted, i did a lot of things, but it just didn't feel right!

like i told my best friend last night, i feel like i got dumped! those teachers that i worked with, the school, the classroom, and ultimately those kids were what my life revolved around for the past 3 months. i got to know them and came to love them and think of them as my students. it was bittersweet to hand them back over to jean on monday. it was all such a huge chunk of my life, and now that it's over, i don't know what to do!

i spent most of sunday writing goodbye notes to all my students, and then distributed them on monday. most of them came up and gave me hugs and told me they were going to miss me. it was sad because they didn't really understand why i was leaving. however, it was so sweet just to know how much i meant to them!

after school monday i packed up my things, took a good look at the room, and walked out. i will be honest - it has been a long, hard semester. probably one of the hardest i have ever experienced. it has also been one of the most blessed semesters, and i have by FAR learned the most these past 12 weeks alone then i have learned in all the other semesters combined! stress levels went through the roof (going back to the doctor tomorrow to figure out what to do about my heart)! drama was plentiful, but it wasn't always bad ;) i was blessed with a patient mentor teacher who put up with my ridiculousness! when i came into the student teaching semester, i really didn't expect to make any friends. maybe because my mentor teacher from methods was not exactly my friend (don't get me wrong, she was great, but we were never really friends). but i walked away with a lot more friends! and obviously my mentor teacher is the best of the bunch! like i said, SO BLESSED!

here are some pictures i took of my corner on monday:

sad that it is my last day...and that i am about to tear down my "me" corner
my desk - it wasn't always this messy but i had already started to take things apart and move them around


my pictures that i feel do a good job of summing up the essence of me ;)

a bigger view of my corner. so messy right then!

and folks, that's it. what does my future hold? i don't know. but i was greatly encouraged today. i saw a verse in my mom's kitchen on a flip calendar, and it was from Psalms. it talked about how the Lord had every page of my life planned out before i was even a day old. that was just so reassuring - God knows what is going to happen next even if i don't! just because it appears to me that my life plans came to a screeching ugly halt does not mean they actually have. it just means i am very nearsighted. even though i don't see definite plans and i have no clue what is going on, God has definite plans for me and i don't have to have a clue right now. He can take care of it!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Youniverse

my mom sent this visual DNA thing to me - you just pick pictures and it gives you a profile of your personality! it was fun! i think it was actually pretty accurate!

Mood: Dreamer - you're and adventurous person with a limitless imagination. you like space to think and see beauty even in the most inhospitable environments. when it comes to art, you find beauty in the world around you. nothing is more precious than natural treasures. as for music, it's the soundtrack to your world. an open road, your favorite tracks - just sit back, put your foot on the gas and enjoy!

Fun: Escape Artist - You love physical activity - you've got serious wanderlust. keeping a clear head and healthy body makes you ready for whatever life throws at you. for kicks, nothing beats being out in the open. you are fascinated by the world around you and love to immerse yourself in nature. when it comes to holidays, fun is top priority. you love it when everyones' having fun - a special magic time with treats and smiles all round. and what turns you off? you can't stand vanity. when you scratch beneath the surface you need to find something else.

Habits: New Wave Puritan - you appreciate the simplicity of nature and the beauty of the world around you. it's important to slow down and retreat from frenzy of life. your choice of drink shows that you care about your health and make sure that you're putting the right stuff in. as for the home, you're a bit of a traditionalist. it's not just about function - style is a definite priority.

Social: Fun - you don't like to take things too seriously. for your friendship is all about enjoying yourself and seeing the funny side of life. when you think of freedom - you think of living for the here and now. you're open to new experiences and take any opportunity that crosses your path.


so what do you think? me?

you should try it...so fun!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

curious

does the president get to vote?

do the candidates get to vote for themselves?

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

aaaannnnd....i still don't know!

life is so crazy right now! i am having to learn to depend on God for every little thing! i don't know what i will do after i graduate. i don't know where i will live. where i will work. if i will have insurance. how to get it. if jose (my car) will live much longer. i don't know a single thing. to me, that's a little scary. it didn't get to me before, but now it's stressing me a bit. this constantly forces me to re-evaluate myself, my attitudes, my motivations, my actions. it makes me pray and i just have to trust that God will come through, because He always does! while it is hard to wait and see what is up and coming, it is also exciting just knowing that SOMETHING is coming! God is going to bless me somehow! and that makes the waiting more endurable.

money is so tight that i am just barely going to make it through student teaching! obviously when i live at home and have virtually no friends in the city, there is not a whole lot i want to be spending my money on. i mean, there are the obvious things (for me, music and plane tickets)...but they are not necessary. for example, i would love to fly to colorado next month for a friend's wedding, but can't afford to, unless some incredible last-minute-bargain-ultra-discount-uber-cheap-how-did-this-happen deal comes along. however, God has been so good to me in the financial realm! even though i don't have much, right now i don't need much. and He provided what i need! i have been tutoring one girl on thursday afternoons, making $30 for the hour i tutor her. i learned this morning that i now have another tutoring job lined up for another student, and will be making $30 for that hour of tutoring! so i am going to be making $60 a week now - that is double what i have made these past 2 weeks! :) as i said, God is good. He knows what i need and He provides!

i have had to sit back and evaluate myself a lot, especially today! i am beginning to wonder if i have somehow ruined my attitude on teaching - if it was a subconscious choice that soured the prospect. i don't remember what changed my mind, and i don't remember when it happened. i think a big thing for me was, when i started student teaching, i just didn't realize how much work went into teaching! sure, our profs told us all about it, but it wasn't a reality until it started CONSUMING MY LIFE. as education majors, i am sure we just sat in our seats and said "yes, i am sure it is time consuming and hard", but i don't think we got the message that "yes, it consumes most of your time and is the hardest job EVER." oh how we misunderstood! i think i was completely overwhelmed, and let myself panic. i didn't ask for help right away (read: i asked for help today...with 3.5 weeks to go...). i also need everything to be COMPLETELY ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUSLY ORGANIZED AND STRUCTURED. although jean's classroom and her management techniques are indeed organized and structured, i still don't think it is enough for me to function at full capacity. BUT, she has to run her classroom the way it works for her, NOT the way it will work for me! after all, i will not be in her classroom much longer! if i do teach, i will need to buy 2394898 of everything the container store has. i will need to label everything, make 973876 lists, and color code everything. i know, it sounds ridiculous, but i promise you i can't function otherwise.

on this note, if you have any strategies for how you keep your classroom organized, stay on task, not get behind, and not overwhelmed...PLEASE LET ME KNOW!


maybe, if i can figure out what happened, i can get back to where i was. i think i would enjoy teaching. i really think i could. ESPECIALLY if it was science! maybe i just freaked out. maybe i panicked. maybe i had a melt down. maybe i lost it. maybe i started doubting myself. i don't know. please pray as i prayerfully seek God's will in my life and what my future holds!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

3 LITTLE WORDS

CRAZY SOCK DAY

i love this day

it's red ribbon week (drug awareness), and today was "sock it to drugs" day.

i totally ate it up.

my students either think i am completely awesome or a total lunatic. i'm fine with either ;)

tomorrow is wear a tie day.

this will be fun!

i have no clue how to tie a tie.

the following photos are inspired by my crazy sock wearing self.





aaaaand....jack got scared and wanted to be held....so i took pictures with him, too ;)

Saturday, 11 October 2008

bonsoir!

well, i have officially completed 7 weeks of student teaching! this past week was my first week of full responsibility, and i am relieved to say it went off without any major problems. i don't think i can take the credit for that, though - God has been so good to me! i only have 5 more weeks of student teaching and then....?????? this is where it really gets hard for me to trust the Lord. silly, but true. i just don't know what is going to happen. i don't even have a vague idea!

for the past month i have been involved in the church choir, and i have really enjoyed it. i didn't realize how much i missed singing with others who share the same passions for Christ, loving others, music and singing. until last weekend, though, i had only been going to practices - i wansn't ready to sing in church just yet. you see, my church, it's kinda big. i don't mind the lots of people thing. i've done that since i was 8. i was a little apprehensive about going up on stage because it is like announcing to everyone "hey, i am back! i DO live here...you just had no idea!" like i have said in previous posts, there are some people in this city who i would rather not run into - it would just be awkward with some of them, and possibly dangerous to meet one of them. one of the "awkward" people goes to my church, and happens to be best friends with "dangerous"...hence the fear of appearing on stage ("awkward" sees me, tells "dangerous", "dangerous" puts 2 and 2 together...)

things with jack have improved greatly! he acts completely normal, and as of thursday, we have been taking him on short walks and playing with him like usual. hopefully we can keep him from re-injuring his back. we don't know what happened before, but really, he is 5 and that is the first time we have had a problem with it.

i have realized i am really going to miss my students when i am done student teaching. they constantly make me laugh (which, if you know me, doesn't take much, but still...).

i ate at la madeline with my mom tonight - i ate a croque monsieur, which is something i haven't had since i was in france! needless to say, it wasn't as good, but it was still awesome! i also had ceasar salad and a french vanilla and fruit creme brulee dessert. i very much miss france.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

recent-ness

i figure i owe those of you who read this an update on my dog. he is doing well - still taking pain meds/anti-inflammatory pills. he is really smart about pills - he can find them when you hide them in food, so you have to be extra sneaky about it. i decided to get some hamburger meat, roll it into balls, and boil them so that they were little pill hiding meatballs. it's been about a week and it still works like a charm. am i a genius or what?!! ;) he seems to feel great, but that just makes it harder for me to keep him from running and jumping and playing. i am going to talk to the vet on monday and see what he says.

yesterday marked the halfway point of my student teaching semester! from here it is all down hill! i am really excited about this! i LOVE the teachers i work with - they are so fun and they think i am funny (i LOVE making people laugh!!!), and they are just great to hang around. i LOVE LOVE LOVE the kids, too! i think that is my favorite part about student teaching. students i like. teaching not so much. but that's ok. it does make it especially difficult for me since i am not 100% passionate about this. i have a routine every morning where i pray that the Lord would just use me to reach my students - to show them His love and grace and mercy and basically to be like Jesus. i also pray that He will remind me of what Ps. 118:24 says - "This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." i think this is my theme verse for the semester. God has given me each day of this semester. i need to take it and run with it! love like the Lord! act like the Lord! each day is a blessing, and if the Lord has made it, how could it be anything but good and blessed? i need to remember this otherwise i will walk into school with a bad attitude. the other thing i must do in the mornings is listen to KLOVE on my way to school. it helps me get my focus where it should be - on praising the Lord. then for the rest of the day i have a praise song stuck in my head and i can't stop singing or humming it...and therefore it's message is stuck in my mind as well. quite effectice.

another new development...i joined the choir at church! i have been going to rehearsals for about a month now and 2 weeks ago i decided to make it official! i absolutely love choir. i love music. i love singing. hands down, if i could do it all day, i would. tonight marked the first night that i sang in a service with the choir. before i was a little apprehensive because i didn't quite know the songs yet. i was also afraid that a certain person would see me and notify another certain person that i am singing in the choir and therefore must be back for good and then that person would try to contact me. i feel like i have made a huge progress in not letting those 2 people run my life anymore. although, i can't really take the credit for it - it's all God. He is gently showing me how ridiculous and foolish i can be.

i graduate in 2 months, my future is still up in the air, i will lose health insurance in 3 months, and sometimes i just feel like i am going to get left behind. i miss interactions with people my age, but at the same time i am almost glad that i don't have friends in sa because if i did i would never get to hang out with them (read: student teaching = time consuming).

through it all i must remember God is good God is good God is good God is good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He loves me. He wants the best for me. He has plans for me. He is giddy about the plans He has for me and waiting for me to stumble upon them is probably like Christmas morning for Him. He is merciful and forgiving and gracious. He will provide. He will sustain. He is enough. He is the only sure thing.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

in my 30 years of practice, i've never seen this...


this week has not been the most fun week i have ever had. in fact, it pretty much sucked.

actually, the first part of the week was ok, but wednesday night everything went downhill. i got to bed at 10:40, which is much later than when i usually go to bed (gotta get up at 5...need my sleep) and jack (my dog) wakes me up right around 12:40. he was kinda pacing and whimpering, so i figured he had to pee. i took him outside, but after he peed, he kept running around kinda hunched over all funny looking. i brought him back inside and things only seemed to get worse. he cried harder, he got all panicky, he was restless, running around like crazy, and hiding under my bed (which he has never done). he would jump in my arms and then cry and leap out and continue actind strange. i woke my mom up around 1:15 and she and i just watched jack and tried to comfort him. i looked on the internet to see what might possibly be wrong with him, but to no avail. i called the 2 emergency clinics that i could find in sa, picked the closest one (which was also cheaper), and took him over there around 2:15. the doctor saw him and thought he had pancreatitis, which is complicated to explain, so i won't. he recommended running some tests on jack, but when they ran the estimate, it was almost $500. now, since i don't have a job (read: student teaching consumes all your time and pays nothing) money is a bit tight. we explained to him that i was on a limited budget and he suggested waiting until the morning and taking him to his regular vet to have the tests run, because they will be cheaper in a non-emergency clinic at not 3:30 in the morning. he gave jack some sub-q fluids (they injected some fluids right under his skin) and sent us on our way. in the sub-q fluids was a pain reliever, but it was not strong enough to totally take away jack's pain. every 20 minutes he would get up and freak out like he did before we went to the vet, then he would calm down. needless to say, i didn't sleep. because i am student teaching and am responsible for teaching all periods but 2 (we have 6 teaching periods and 2 team conferencing/planning periods) i couldn't just not be there. my dad graciously agreed to take the day off and take jack to the vet, which was supposed to open at 7 - i checked online during the night (or morning, technically, since it was 4). i drove to school and cried more than i have cried in years...i didn't even put makeup on before leaving the house - i took it with me in case i calmed down enough to put some on. on my way to school i got a call from my dad who said the clinic OPENS at 7, but the doctor doesn't get there until 9!!!! this made me even more upset because that is dumb. so dumb. i felt like the website was misleading. grr. i made it to school and jean (mentor teacher) saw me and knew i looked all kinds of a mess, and i started crying again. she told me after i tutored the kiddos that morning (i tutor kids thursday mornings before school starts) that i should go home. i said "no, i don't want to go home unless i get some bad news." honestly, if i went home, i would just be doing nothing and thinking of how my dog is dying from something and i can't do anything to help him. so i stayed at school and for the first half of the day, gave the appearance of being a zombie. i started to cry twice when i was tutoring in the morning and had to turn away and compose myself. jean was then insistant that i go home at the beginning of 6th period, to which i also said no (read: if i miss a day i have to make it up by adding another day at the end of my semester....no thanks!).

i finally got a call from my parents saying that the vet was keeping jack all day and that they were running all the tests. later, we learned that jack has an extra vertebra in his lower back and something had caused it to become compressed and inflamed, hence the extreme pain. i went to the vet directly from school at 3:30 and picked him up, and they gave me the canine equivalent of advil to give him. i took him home and fought with him for at least 10 minutes trying to get him to swallow his pill, but jack HATES medicine and is very smart - he is so on to the whole hiding the pill in the cheese thing. i eventually hid it in a piece of chicken, which he didn't even chew - he inhaled it. i won! the meds seemed to kinda work but not a whole lot, and by friday evening the meds were wearing off a full 2 hours before it was time to give him the next dosage. it was horrible because he was running around miserable, and looking at us like "can you DO SOMETHING?!?!" until i finally gave him his meds.

saturday morning jack woke me up at 4:15 because he was in pain, so i iced his lower back for an hour and then my dad woke up, which distracted jack for about 10 minutes. after dad left, i took jack back up to my room and he slept for 2 hours...and so did i! hooray!!!! unfortunately, he was due for his pain pill at 6:30, and we got up at 7:30. meaning....ouch. i gave him medicine right away, and when the vet clinic opened at 9 that morning, we were outside waiting. my mom and i just weren't convinced that what i was doing (watching him closely, icing his back, and giving him pain pills) was quite enough. just wasn't cutting it. thankfully, the vet saw us first thing free of charge even though he had a packed schedule that day, and gave us some muscle relaxers to give jack. we also received more instructions on how to take care of him.

jack had not been eating or drinking, so he told us to get some canned food and add some water, heat it up, and serve it to him like soup. jack is a BIG fan. so is penny, our cat. i have to stand by the food bowl while he is eating and fight her off. annoying cat, but so determined. he told us to give jack 2 pain pills at once instead of one twice a day, and give him a muscle relaxer every 8 hours. he told us jack's activities must be completely monitored, as jumping at all will further agitate his condition (which we don't want, because that means surgery). he is, for all practical purposes, on bed rest. we had to buy him a kennel....i leave the house at 6:50 every morning and don't get back until 5 in the afternoon. i am usually the 2nd person out the door every day and the first person home. i am gone for a good 10 hours, which is a lot of time for jack to be completely unsupervised. therefore, starting tomorrow, we have to put jack in the kennel when i leave, and i can take him out when i get home. we have been trying to get him accustomed to it by letting him sleep in it while we are still here. we put his favorite toy in with him (a pink teddy bear almost as big as he is...and filthy to boot) and his favorite blanket to try to make him more comfortable. i hate putting him in the kennel. i hate not being able to cuddle him or run with him or play. i have to pick him up and put him on things (like the couch or the bed) so he won't jump, and always be alert so when he wants to get down he doesn't jump - i have to gently set him down on the floor. he is such an active dog, and it's so depressing to keep him from doing anything.

however, this must continue for 2 weeks. i have no idea how it will all work out. 10 hours in a kennel is a long time. hopefully someone can come home and let him out during their lunch break so he can stretch and go to the bathroom, but that someone can't be me because it's a 25 minute drive to my house from school, and my lunch break is 30 minutes long (theoretically...it usually ends up being more like 20). i have to keep constant watch on him for 2 weeks. sit with him and ice his lower back for 2 weeks. trick him into eating pills for 2 more weeks. not get enough sleep for 2 weeks. try to make him understand that these hellish next 2 weeks are for his own good and because i love him. this is an excellent opportunity for God to shine through and make everything ok. and i have to trust that He will, or...i don't know what.

i am thankful that at this point, his condition is not life threatening. however, it's not very reassuring when a vet assistant says to you, "in the 30 years i have worked with dogs, i have never seen one with an extra vertebra." thank you lady for your wonderfully encouraging and motivating speech. however, she did give us the name of the best surgeon in town in case we do end up needing the surgery.

i could use some prayer. while my parents are supportive (and they have helped me tremendously with the expenses....no job, remember?), he is my responsibility and his care and recovery is primarily up to me. i am struggling with seeing him like this, not himself. it's almost like a different dog. and when the medicine is working, it's hard for me to really believe that something serious is wrong with him. i need prayer for my rest and for my resolve, that the Lord gives me the strength to do my best to heal him and to do what's best for him, even if he and i both hate it.

on that note, jack could use a lot of prayer. his little body needs healing and he doesn't understand what's going on. pray that somehow he will stop jumping on and off of things and that he will be okay in his kennel. and in general.

i know this all may sound so trivial to some, but he really is like a member of my family. i got him when i was dealing with a lot of depression issues in highschool, and he has been a constant comfort and companion these past 5 years. i can't stand seeing him in pain.

"when the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul." Ps. 94:19

Sunday, 21 September 2008

WAHOO!!!!

i am so excited - i have finally figured out how to beautify my blog! is this revolutionary or what?

this evening my mom and i went to JAZZsaLIVE...and got to see Dave Brubeck (but now he is 88...and still incredible!!!)! it was pretty neat (and free!). unfortunately, the park that hosted the festival was small and there were a LOT of people there! there was a lot of smoking going on, and people talked so loud it was hard to hear the music at times. however, mom and i munched on some muy delicioso fried pickles (one of our favorite snacks) and shared a margarita which was more like a cup of sugary syrup, ice, and no alcohol. scariest moment of the evening - when mom was off to get our fried pickles, a woman suddenly appeared next to me...and she had a beard. omg i almost peed.

many people got their aggie rings yesterday - hooray for them! my dear friend heather was one of those people, and i am so excited for her! i am sad that i could not be there on her special day, but i am currently unemployed (rather, i have a full-time job...i just don't get paid for it) and just don't have the money to travel (or really do anything).

i am 1/3 of the way done with my student teaching! WHOOP!!! my university supervisor came by to observe me on thursday, said i was doing a great job, then told me she would be back on october 1 for my MIDTERM EVALUATION! what the heck?! so soon?! but really, i am so ready. so ready. i love the students - they are the best...but i just don't think being in a classroom all the time is for me. just doesn't work. and i am just not passionate about it. still. but you know, God knows what He is doing, and i just have to remember this! i do have a funny story from thursday, though. jean (my cooperating teacher...also the volleyball coach) left at the beginning of 8th period for her vb game, so i pretty much had the class to myself (kristin, the inclusion teacher, was in there too). i really had to sneeze, but i couldn't, so i was talking all funny with my face scrunched up, and then proceeded to tell the class that i had a sneeze stuck in my face....it didn't occur to me how...unintelligent it sounded until after i said it. but the kids thought it was hilarious!

i am also quite proud of myself - i am less than 100 pages from finishing The Silmarillion! seriously, this book is so hard to read! i tried to read it while i was in highschool and i think i gave up after about 20 pages (if even that). this time around, i am reading much slower and using the handy-dandy index of names in the back! it is actually a really awesome book, just so hard to follow! once i finish this, it's on to C.S. Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet! so excited!

on another note, i still have no idea what God has planned for my future - where i will work, where i will live, etc. i'm not that bummed about it right now, though. God is good, i MUST remember this!

last, but most certainly not least - the first day of fall is monday! and it will be october in exactly 10 days! october is my favorite month, and i think halloween is tied with Christmas for my favorite holiday! YAY OCTOBER!!! :) :)

Saturday, 6 September 2008

oh my goodness

it has been so long since i last posted! forgive me for being so inconsistent! i read peoples' blogs all the time, but seldom update my own!

a large part of the reason i have not posted in so long is that i have been so busy! i was in colorado for 2 weeks for my best friend's wedding (which was probably the most fun wedding and reception EVER) and came back to begin student teaching. i am student teaching at a wonderful school here in sa, and i have a great mentor teacher. i am teaching regular and pre-ap math (6th grade). i will be honest, i am only 2 weeks in and it is quite a challenge for me. the teaching isn't the hard part - i am not bad at what i do. the problem is that i am not passionate about it. i hear all my friends from A&M who are also student teaching or doing the internship talking about how much they love what they do - they are reminded of why they chose education as their major, they have found their life's purpose, they love teaching, etc, etc.....and i just don't feel that way. i feel bad for not feeling that way. you would think (and probably hope) that if i was going to be an educator that i should be passionate and excited about it...and i'm just not. i don't hate it. i don't necessarily dislike it. i just don't LOVE it. honestly, it's just kinda...there. this really disturbs me.

another confession - i have not posted in a while because i am scared. i moved back to sa to do my student teaching. i am living at home and it's great. while i loved growing up here, i don't want to stay in sa after i graduate. anyway, i have been literally terrified of putting out the news that i was back in town. before i moved to college station, i had a friend (whom i later learned was no friend at all) with which things went horribly wrong...and this person still lives in sa. a lot of strange things have happened since things went wrong with this person, and i know what they are capable of and the lengths they might go to if they found out i was back. i was....am...afraid that this person might have found my blog and will locate me. i am scared to leave my house and go to certain areas of town for fear that someone i used to know will see me and notify this other person that i am in town (which has happened before). i know i shouldn't be living in fear. God says so. my parents say so. my pastor says so. but i am scared. however, i am determined not to let that fear govern my life anymore. the truth is, if i want to blog and let my friends know what is going on in my life, then i will do so, without leaving out details for fear that those details might connect me to san antonio. God will watch out for me. i will be honest though - i am still fearful. i just refuse to let it determine whether i go to the grocery store or write in my blog.

i think right now i am in a searching and seeking phase of life. i don't know what God has planned for my future. what job will i have? where will i live? will i get married? when will i know anything? why am i graduating college as an education major if it's not what i love? if it's not what i am passionate about? how the heck am i going to use my degree if i don't want to teach after i graduate? why am i not excited about teaching? why don't i love it?

i ask too many questions.

friends, i am struggling a bit at the moment with these things. gonna be honest. i'm feeling discouraged. i mean, it's not a suffocating or overwhelming struggle by any means (except possibly the fear issue), but i could use some prayer!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

wondering


today is my dad's birthday! 55! woo!!! anyway, we watched a family favorite after dinner - ROCKETMAN! seriously, this movie makes me laugh so hard!

anyway, the movie got me thinking a bit. you see, after i went to paris last summer, i have thought about it almost every single day. i miss everything about france. it is so strange how just one week can affect me so profoundly! i loved every minute there, and now at least once a day i think about going back. but in movies and in photos, i see images of france and paris, and i think "i have been there!" and then i think about how cool it is that i have been there.

so, i wonder how astronauts feel when they see images of space. do they say, "hey, i've been there!!!" and what about the astronauts who have been on the moon? do they look up into the night sky and think, "oh my goodness, i walked on that tiny white shiny thing in the sky!!" how surreal must that sensation be! to look at the moon; to be able to see it every night from every place in the world, and know that once upon a time, you walked upon that globe. i bet that is one stragely awesome feeling!

and how cool must it be to tell their kids, "hey, you see the moon? once upon a time, i walked on that. i was there!"

ohhhh my goodness, that must be SO cool!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

for ali

and because i am so sick of studying botany.

i could probably throw up whole plants and giant algae formations right now.


video

be kind, this is completely embarassing.

but i am tired of botany.

and what better to cure it than singing?!?!

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

reminding myself

i reminded myself today that i enjoy drawing! sure, i doodle all the time in class (it helps me pay attention..!!!) today i got a text from heather that said "i want to have a harry potter nite. and watch them all." of course i love this suggestion, but there is no way we can watch them all! however, me being the procrastinator that i am, i decide that making a sign for our front door (announcing the harry potter party, of course) is much more important than reading the 2 chapters of botany i have!!!! i set off to find a good logo that i can study and draw, sketch the title, and then draw a snitch and color it all in.

it was in doing this that i remembered - hey, i like to draw! i used to be good at this once! my brother loves art, too, but he is more imaginitive in his art, and i am more...i don't know. i can draw things i see, but i don't usually think up very many fascinating things to draw on my own. i think it's because i pay so much attention to detail that i am able to replicate things. and this is what i drew this afternoon:

and here is what heather saw when she walked in the door from work:



someday i would like to be able to draw most things well, instead of things other people have drawn first.

and on a completely unrelated but most certainly necessary note:

i saw a fireman playing the bagpipes at the firestation today.

not a show.

he was just walking around playing the bagpipes at the station.

NOT EVEN KIDDING.

it was awesome :)

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

music

i honestly believe that music is one of the greatest gifts God ever gave to man.

music can touch the soul in a way no words can.

perhaps music is in itself a language.

music can embody one emotion or a thousand emotions at one time, and not lessen the value or intensity of those emotions.

music can move us to laughter or to tears without us really even knowing why.

i think there are parts deep down in each of us that know what God intended when He created us. i think we know He intended nothing but the purest, most innocent, selfless, joyful, rapturous world, in which love abounded and all was good. i think because this was the way God intended it, our souls still suffer when we realize how far this world has fallen from the paradise that God initially created.

some songs, musical pieces if you will, move in me and make me believe that it is still possible. some arise a new hope in my heart that it will one day be returned to its prior state (and we know that eventually, things will be perfect!).

some songs make me feel brave and adventurous! some songs make me sad in a happy way, if that even makes sense. some songs make me want to fly off to another world! i love how music makes me feel!

close your eyes and really listen to these songs (seriously, don't watch the videos - most of them are kinda lame, but the songs are beautiful). tell me how the music makes you feel!









Tuesday, 27 May 2008

changes

I found us in a photograph
Saw me and I had to laugh
You know, I'm not who I was


most people have heard brandon heath's song, "i'm not who i was". sometimes i feel like i could have written that song because it describes my life to a tee.

tonight i watched parts of my highschool graduation (but NOT the message by the speaker...WAY too long for me!). i watched myself be terrified as i sang on stage to so many people. i watched as my entire class (all 26 of us - WHOOP for homeschool graduations!) fooled the audience and then exited the auditorium to the cotton-eyed joe. i watched the photo slideshows. i laughed. i cringed.

after i watched that dvd, i went to my closet and pulled out my box of photos. i have not looked at this box in quite a while, that is for sure! i saw so many pictures from so long ago! the most recent pictures in that box are 2 years old.

when i was watching my graduation and looking at my pictures, i just marveled at who i was and who i have become. some of the pictures were incredibly painful to look at, because they brought back either memories of good times that i miss terribly or memories that i wish i could erase.

there were the pictures from prom that reminded me of what a nightmare that was. in case you haven't heard the story, i had broken my finger about a month and a half before (it was a really serious break that actually required surgery to fix...go figure) and had on a BRIGHT GREEN CAST with my DARK RED dress. good thinking, self. i showed up alone. my friends had dates. they were busy dancing with their dates. no one asked me to dance. hardly anyone talked to me. the guys i was graduating with tried to convince one of their friends (also graduating with me) who had come without a date to ask me to dance, to which he vehemently refused. i think they were doing it as a joke - "hey, go ask the wierd girl with the bright green cast and dark red dress to dance. it could be funny!" ugh. to top off the evening, they recognized the seniors, but they forgot to mention one. can you guess who that senior was? most definitely me. the whole night was a disaster - i called my mom crying and left prom several hours early.

there were so many pictures of rachel and i as we grew up together. we did everything together. that girl is like a sister to me! as i looked through those photos of her and i, i couldn't help but smile, because her friendship is one of the greatest blessings in my life. even though she moved when we were 12, we are still as close as can be, and that is something only God can do. i honestly see her more as a sister than a friend.

there were photos of the first time i was at camp eagle - the second week of february 2001. how could i ever have known when i signed up for that retreat that God would lead me to a place that would change my life forever, a place that i would come to love more than just about any other place on earth, a place where i would make lifelong friends who showed me what it meant to be a true friend. and here i am 7 1/2 years later, still involved at camp eagle, and the people there still very much involved in my life. wow. God so knows what He is doing. and He so has a sense of humor!

there were photos of when i was a swimmer and was toned and tan. man oh man i miss those days.

there were photos of when i was struggling with anorexia. even though it wasn't a severe case, it was still a struggle for me for a while. i was so much smaller then...

there were photos of when i struggled with binge eating and was fat. ew.

there were photos of me when i didn't know who i was, and i was struggling just to be loved.

as i looked back on all these photos, i was lost in thought. up until this past week, i have tried to forget so many things that have happened to me when i was younger. i have tried to forget so many of the mistakes i made, people i knew, things i did, and things i didn't do. i have tried to forget the hell that was my life for so long i didn't even know it was hell. but in trying to forget everything negative, i was also forgetting about how GREAT, LOVING, MERCIFUL, and POWERFUL God is!

by forgetting my past, i was forgetting what He saved me from.

by forgetting my pain, i was forgetting how He healed me.

by trying to forget my mistakes, i was forgetting how much He has forgiven me.

by trying to forget it all, i was essentially trying to forget my testimony.

sure, there are some very difficult times in my past that i don't want to think about, and that i don't want to remember. but all the same, if i don't remember them, then i can't tell people about God's marvelous display of power in my life.

people who knew me in highschool or even before then can tell you that i am a new creation. i am a new person. the old has gone, and the new has come! God has transformed my life in a way that i never would have thought possible - oh how little faith i had! the person i used to be is dead, and i am so thankful. i know i have hope for my future because God is good (check out Jeremiah 29:11 - that's reassurance for ya!)!!!

i know i am not perfect now. i know i still make mistakes. i know i still fall short. i know i still struggle. sometimes i strongly dislike myself. but the Lord is faithful. i am so thankful that my salvation is not based on my works or my abilities - it is based solely on His loving sacrifice for me. WOW. just like there is NOTHING i can do to earn His love and my salvation, there is NOTHING i can do to lose it. DOUBLE WOW.

i like the song "marvelous light" by charlie hall. i remember the first time i heard that song. summer 2006. camp eagle. heck yes. i feel it also describes my life to a tee. i am running out of the darkness and shame of my past and the person i used to be, and i am running into the marvelous light of my wonderful Savior! i am running towards freedom, love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, and joy! Praise Jesus!

Into marvelous light I'm running
Out of darkness, out of shame
By the cross You are the truth
You are the life
You are the way

Friday, 23 May 2008

i don't take heat exhaustion seriously enough



seriously though, i really don't. i got off work last night at midnight and stayed up really late. when i woke up this morning it was 11:15, so i did usual morning stuff - take meds, read Bible, pray, make bed. when all that was said and done, it was noon, and i wanted to go running.

i have a strange relationship with running. some days i love it and all i want to do is run. other days i hate running and i will cry if you suggest it.

today was definitely an "i love running!!!" day! and i really wanted to run. so i put on running shoes and begin my stretch, to find that i am even less flexible than i used to be - a feat i never thought possible*.

after my stretch time, i proceed out my front door and go running through my neigborhood. see, because i am not taking summer classes at a&m, i am unable to use the rec center, and therefore air-conditioned running tracks are almost as unaccessable to me as the first class section on an airplaine.

what i forgot was that i live in texas. and it is summer. and it was also noon. which means it's hot. really hot. and humid. and i want to run anyway. i was out for a good 30 minutes, and as i ran, i eventually got dizzy, and my eyes got hazy, and i got to feeling really nauseous (although, i did take a water bottle with me). but i didn't stop...nope, not me. i tend to think that stopping is giving up and being weak, and i know i am better than that! this resulted in me taking a cold shower (it was marvelous), turning on the ac and the fan in my room, and not moving much. and i was really nauseous.

this was a problem for me in highschool, also. i would volunteer to mow the front and back yards by myself in the middle of the summer, and i would do it in the middle of the day. i love being outside, working in the hot sun, working hard and breaking a sweat. and i loved the tan! heck yes you got a great tan mowing the yard!!! and a workout! when i eventually came in, i was purple, dying of thirst, drenched in sweat, and so hot that i was freezing cold and shivering.

things haven't changed much.

i think it's an issue of pride.

which means it needs to change much.

so tomorrow, i plan on getting up earlier and therefore running earlier. maybe tomorrow i won't put myself at risk of getting ill.

and maybe me learning not to be so prideful in this area will help me to lay down my pride in other areas...

*my joints have too much elastin in them, and therefore are very floppy, so all my muscles are SUPER tense and tight to compensate. hooray!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

expelled

i went to see this movie with my family this weekend, not really knowing what to expect. i had heard something about it once about 3 weeks ago, but other than that, i had no idea what i was walking into. this movie was an intriguing documentary about evolution vs. intelligent design. it is important to remember that intelligent design doesn't necessarily mean creationism, though. ben stein, who starred in this documentary, is a Jew, and therefore believes in the Old Testament God, and yes, He believes in Creationism. however, all he wants to do is learn why evolutionists (an American society in particular) are so opposed to even the theory that some deity (not necessarily the God that I know and love) somewhere somehow created the world. even if mr. stein doesn't imply that the Judeo-Christian God is the one who created the world, it seems as if almost all the people opposed to i.d. automatically assume that is the only God in question (honestly, i am not sure if they care much about the gods of other religions or if they are as vehemently opposed to them as the Christian God - the one and only true God).

it was absolutely fascinating and horrifying to hear all the stories of people who have been ostracized for even merely suggesting that some intelligent being might have designed the universe. it was mortifying and heartbreaking to watch and listen to these lost, hurting, confused people adamantly cursing God and denying His existence, and calling those who do believe in God fools and idiots with no common sense.

i remember last semester when jill and i took biology together. before taking biology at A&M, i had taken it in highschool, and as i was homeschooled, i took it though a co-op. therefore, i had never really been taught evolution; i had been taught everything but evolution, in fact. i was severely disappointed in the class at A&M, though, because it truly was like taking "evolution 101" as opposed to biology. at the time, jill and i laughed at the ridiculous ideas that were being presented to us. there were so many holes in the theories, so many things they had no evidence to support...but after watching this documentary, i realize the seriousness of the situation.

one cool thing that i realized was that my opinion of evolution mirrors many experts' opinions, which is this - if you use the textbook definition of evolution, it claims that all life on earth descended from a single molecule, and that through natural selection and adaptation, all the species on earth have come about. what evolution fails to explain is how the single molecule was formed and how it has resulted in trillions upon trillions of life forms. one molecule? really? therefore, i don't believe in the textbook definition of evolution. however, if you define evolution as change over time, then yes, i think it is quite clear that our world has changed over time. species have changed over time. however, i do not think it is out of the Lord's control. because of the fall, the world was forever changed. because of the fall, we no longer live in perfection. we live in a world that is decaying and dying. yes, ALL creation suffers as a result of adam and eve's sins in the garden. because God is all knowing and all powerful, i believe He either gave species the ability to adapt or changed them Himself when He saw the need to.

ben stein earned my respect in the way he dealt with every single person in this documentary. he asks many experts in mollecular biology and other fields about their views, and no matter what they say, he always remains respectful and level-headed. even if the other person is being really rude or unreasonable, mr. stein doesn't even flinch!

our hearts should be broken for the lost. for the people who adamantly proclaim there is no God. for the people who ostracize and condemn anyone for their belief in any kind of intelligent design. for people who are so angry and they don't even know why. we should be praying. we should be loving. we should be doing. so what are we doing?

Thursday, 17 April 2008

ouch


today is one of those low self esteem days. you know, the kind that seems to crush your spirit? to be honest, i still don't really know how to handle these days. i know i still handle them in the wrong way. i don't know how to change that. i know i just need to hand it over to God and let Him deal with it, and i know that's hard for me. so now what?

Saturday, 5 April 2008

mystery!



my future is so unsure. i don't even know if i'm guaranteed tomorrow! God willing, i finish up school in a little less than 3 weeks (!!!), work, take summer school, be in my best friend's wedding, and move home until i graduate. once i graduate, i have no idea where God will lead me. sometimes this is really exciting for me, and at other times it is incrediby frustrating! i am so curious! so eager! so excited! and yet, i don't want to grow up. why is it hard to trust God with this? i know He has it under control. i know He knows best. and yet, i want to take it into my own hands. or at least know what's going on. gotta be patient!!!

Thursday, 27 March 2008

meet my new friend katie



sometimes i feel like this happens in my classroom.

"yes, very good...."

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

honesty, honestly

honesty is something i value extremely highly.

i hate it when people are dishonest with me.

i get very hurt and angry when people lie to me.

lately i have just been learning that i am not as honest as i would like to think that i am. i try to be honest with God and with myself, but there is also a lot that i just don't mention, don't think about. one thing is that i don't share a whole lot about what i am going through with anyone. this is an attempt at doing that...this is much more difficult for me than most realize, so this post will be more...scattered (?) than usual..

something that has been made abundantly clear to me is that i function very differently from most people that i know. this can be a blessing, but most of the time it's easier to think of it as a curse. apparently i put up a very tough exterior, and i don't show a lot of emotion other than happiness, amusement, frustration, and anger. this has led people to believe i just don't ever feel sad and that nothing can really hurt me. sometimes i wish this was true, but it's really not. i just express things differently. i almost never cry, and most people will never know when i am sad or hurting. it's just how i function. i'm confused about it. it bothers me. it bothers others. it confuses others.

i am not strong.

ohhh it scares me to say that (and when i say scares, i really mean terrifies).

i think (if you haven't caught on by now, i think a LOT...my mind is always going) part of my tough exterior and part of my "i-can-do-it-myself" mentality is that i don't want others to know i am weak. if i am weak, then i am vulnerable. if people know i am vulnerable, they will take advantage of that. they will hurt me. to this, i say "no thanks". but the truth is that i am not strong, and to pretend that i am is just a lie. i am not used to needing people. i am not used to confiding in people. i am not used to seeking advice, or seeking help. i am used to doing it by myself. all the time. this is wrong.

i think God is trying to break me.

i think i am resisting.

i don't want to.

i don't know anything else though.

i think there are like 3 people who read this blog. so you 3 people, i ask you to pray for me.

through it all, i am convinced that God is good, and i know He is acting out of love for me. i know He will not do anything to harm me. i know He is great. i know He can handle all my problems and more. i know i need to let Him.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

twinkle twinkle


i absolutely love star gazing. so much so that i open my sunroof while i drive at night and stare up out (yes, i am aware this is rather...unsafe...). the stars and the planets amaze me. the majesty of one of God's most mysterious creations takes my breath away. the intricate designs of the galaxies blow my mind. our God is great! our God is big! our God is a wonderful and purposeful Creator!! He placed each star where it is for a purpose, and HE KNOWS THEM ALL BY NAME! He told them to dance about the sky in perhaps the most graceful and complex way possible. i wonder what His names for them are. i wonder what He would call all the stars and planets. i wonder if they respond to their Creator. i am in awe! completely breathtakingly mindblowingly amazing...

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

go hug a tree!

there are a few trees on campus that i find particularly beautiful! i don't know what they are called, but i love them! i think there are 2 or 3 total, and i absolutely love these trees!!! so, the other day, i decided i was going to be like a lame freshman and take my camera onto campus, and take pictures of this tree. i think there are 2 reasons i like these trees so much:
1) they remind me of the tree of Gondor
2) they remind me of Japanese cherry blossoms
neither of those reasons are particularly impressive...in fact, the first is downright geeky and loser-ish of me. but i must be honest, i do like the lord of the rings (the books and the movies). but either way, when i look at this tree, i feel like i am not in blah college station texas. for those of you who don't know, i have an EXTREMELY active imagination, and use it often...will i ever grow up?!


so, God has been doing a lot of things in my life as of late! i don't quite know where to start - there is so much! He keeps reminding me that i can make plans, but He ultimately guides my path. He is also teaching me a lot about trusting Him when things go wrong. a lot of things have gone wrong, a lot of my plans have been changed (and some changed back)...but through it all He is still good and sovreign! seriously, diving into the Word the first thing in the morning is probably the best thing ever - it just gets my day started off right! i had been one of those people who thought spending time with God at night was fine, until it was revealed to me that when i gave my evenings to God, i was just giving Him what little i had left at the end of the day! God deserves way more than just my leftovers!!!!

He is also working in my relationship with my roommate a lot, and for this I am thankful. I love my roommate to death, and am so blessed to have such a great friend as a roomie! God has been teaching us both about loving each other as He calls us to love everyone! because of this, we never fight, and we don't let ourselves get upset over small things like trash, dishes, or the thermostat. i am excited because i know this is how things are supposed to be - after all, He says the world will know us because of the love we as followers of Christ have for one another!

Monday, 18 February 2008

love as a lifestyle

well, i have so many things to do...so many assignments, lessons to plan, games to come up with, and studying for a HUGE exam (this coming saturday). so naturally, i am not doing any of it...instead i am writing on a blog which all of maybe 2 people read. technically, i am multi-tasking right now - "watching" a video and writing my comments on it...while writing in my beloved blog.

i got a new plant. it's fun. it has no flowers. the leaves are a nice color green along the edges, but are mostly a light pink color. it's cool, kinda like a trippy dalmation plant. i like it! today, i named her wendy. like in peter pan :)

at hope group tonight, tommy (hope group leader) prompted us with a question: "what is the greatest display of love you have seen from one human being to another?" i had a really difficult time with this question because i couldn't really pinpoint just one huge example. for a little while i was getting worried, wondering what the heck was wrong with me. why could i not think of any great examples of love?! all i could think of were the different instances in which Christ scooped me up and rescued me from what i beleived to be certain doom! then i realized later, after much thought on the subject, that where i see love the most (besides my family) is through my friends. when i think of love, i think of the laughter and joys that my friends and i share together - just finding happiness in the simple things. i think of sharing sorrows and bearing each other's burdens. i think of spurring each other toward Christ and love. i think of so many different faces and memories. and to me, that's love.

at the end of the night, 3 conclusions were put forth that stood out to me especially:
1. all the acts of love that were shared were just small manifestations of Christ's love
2. love is completely about the other person and their needs - it has NOTHING to do whatsoever with self. in fact, you must humble yourself and put yourself last in order to truly love others.
3. we should not strive for acts of love, we should strive for a lifestyle of love!

it's so true that love is all about others and nothing about ourselves. i have heard so many people say that you cannot love others unless you love yourself. i am not sure if i subscribe to that theory, but i do know that when you love others, you must consider yourself unimportant! your needs, your desires, your feelings...they must all be disregarded in order to love to the fullest extent. Christ loved us with everything He had - literally. He did not consider His health or wants above His mission..His love for us! as Christians, we should follow in His footsteps and sacrifice ourselves for the sakes of others. why is it so hard to humble yourself? why is it so hard to put yourself last? why is it so hard to consider others more important? even if you understand you are not perfect; even if you are disappointed in yourself as a person...it's still incredibly difficilut to consider others first. why?!

this last point is the one that struck me the hardest. it just seemed the most profound to me! yes, we are called to love others - it truly is a calling! i cannot just love one person one time in one way and say "i have loved like Christ has loved. yes, i have done my duty!" my desire should be to love all people in all ways at all times! this should not just be my desire alone, but it should be all peoples' desire! so from now on, i will strive to live a lifestyle of love. instead of living a selfish lifestyle with the occasional act of love, i will seek to be more like Christ, living TO love.

"If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn't love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God's secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn't love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn't love others, I would have gained nothing."
- 1 Cor. 13:1-3

"Life a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God."
- Eph. 5:2

Monday, 11 February 2008

God speaks in strange ways...



it's not really a secret, i am a harry potter fan. i have the books, i have the movies. a while back i was really struggling with something and i have always been really independent, so as usual, i told no one. i seem to isolate myself in times of trouble, and it really does no good whatsoever, no matter what i think at the time! well, i was feeling especially alone one day, and i was watching the latest harry potter movie. there is a scene where harry and luna are in the forest talking, and she points out that his enemy, voldemort, probably wants him to feel alone because if he is by himself, he is not as much of a threat. i realized this is true in my life, as well...i think satan wants me to feel alone because alone i am much easier to attack and defeat. i realize accountability is so important in our lives, but i really don't have someone to keep me accountable with everything. it's not that i WANT to be independent, necessarily...it's just the way i have been my whole life. i grew up fighting for myself, and it's really the only way i know how. i also think God speaks to me through dreams...although not the one i had last night! (i dreamt i had to have surgery...and for some reason they had to break my leg. i woke up this morning thinking my leg was broken and that i couldn't walk...) my dreams are so real most of the time, and i do wake up honestly believing they happened a lot of the time. some days it's really hard to get me back into the "real" world. the thing is, i think sometimes God uses my dreams. i know there have been several times where i have dreamed something only for it to come true later. i don't think this is a dejavu, because in a dejavu you just feel like it has happened before...but i can usually tell you what will happen next because i swear i have dreamt it.

so often i wonder what God's plan for my life is...what His purpose is. how am i supposed to use my talents to bring Him glory? how do i even really know what my talents are? is prophecy still a gift? is it possible that i have dreams and visions sent from God? sometimes i think people think i am crazy. i told my mom the other day why i am afraid of the dark - that i sometimes see things that i shouldn't see...and i told her i think that i can sometimes see demons. it's not like i physically see them...it's hard to describe. sometimes i find my eyes open to the room around me, but i see something completely different. i sometimes wonder if my eyes are opened to the spiritual realm sometimes, or if i just imagine things. or maybe i am going crazy. i wonder if something is wrong with me.

one thing i do know is that God is teaching me a lot, and things are changing. and i still don't understand myself at all.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

now is most definitely one of those times

sometimes i just wish i could quit people.

now is one of those times.

sometimes i just really don't like people. at all.

now is one of those times.

sometimes i just lose all my faith in people.

now is one of those times.

Monday, 28 January 2008

the night my toilet went crazy


so tonight was definitely an adventure. all day today my toilet has been sounding a little bit runny, but when i came back from hope group at 9, it sounded like niagra falls had been relocated to my bathroom. heather attempted to stop it (she is quite skilled with toilets), but for some reason, tonight it was even more rebellious than usual and began spewing water an entire foot into the air. that's right, an entire foot! it was INSANE! so it being us, we started laughing hysterically and began to frantically call our landlady and the maintenance man. supposedly we are supposed to page him for a maintenance emergency, but we have not heard a thing from him or the landlady. what use are they if they don't answer during a maintenance emergency (specifically an exploding toilet)?!?! finally i called my good buddy adam and he instructed me to do some things which made it stop freaking out - i owe him my sanity!! it's not completely fixed, but it's good to know i will most likely not be waking up to an exploding toilet in the morning (or the middle of the night, for that matter...)

on another note, heather bought some lip stuff for cold sores, and put it all over her lips believing it was to be used as a preventative chapstick. unfortunately, it was supposed to be applied only to a cold sore...it most definitely had numbing agent in it! so she told me, and of course i take it from her and put it all over my lips for a good laugh. needless to say, we had a really good laugh at our numb lips for quite a while! :)

Sunday, 27 January 2008

disciple now


this weekend got off to a bit of a rough start - i worked from 6-2:30 on friday, and then as soon as i got off work i ran home, changed clothes, and then audrey and i headed to houston for dnow. we got to the church one hour before the kiddos got there, so it was a bit hectic, and i learned that my group would be the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade girls. oh goodness. the weekend was full of girls who ate more than their weight in spaghetti, hot dogs, donuts, cookies, and every form of high fructose corn syrup possible. they then proceeded to have burping contests and farting wars. they also made sure to exercise their voices by screaming as loud as possible as much as possible. to be honest, i didn't mind except these things didn't quite stop when we were having Bible study or when we were supposed to be sleeping. overall it was a really good weekend, and i enjoyed it a lot. it's difficult to be a Bible study leader for a group of girls knowing that i am in one of those proverbial "valleys" - i guess i just don't feel like i should be leading anyone or anything when i am feeling distant or struggling. who knows. because i am used to being a counselor type person for an entire week, it's odd to only have a group for a weekend - it's just so short!

the wonderful thing in all of it is, even though i feel distant (or at times just don't feel anything at all) and am dealing with a lot of things, i know God is still good and He still loves me. i know He won't leave me, and i know i am not alone in it all. and i know these things to be true, even if i don't feel it.

and now, i am about to pass out from serious lack of sleep. :)

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

and the concept of love is so hard to grasp why???

God has taught me a lot about love over the past year or so, and i have learned so much about loving people. honestly, i have learned to love others - or at least i have improved. i am not saying by any means that i have perfected the art, but i have most certainly progressed! one key thing that i have learned from my pastor, butch (such a heart for the Lord!) is that i have to love others as they want to be loved, not how i want to love them. this is quite challenging because as humans, it only makes sense to us to love others the way we want to love them - often the way we want to be loved. but this is almost always not the way they want to be loved! it's as my friend adam says - it's simple, but it's not easy!

enter new challenge: letting others love me. who would have thought this would be harder than loving others?! but to be honest, i had no idea that i had such a difficult time letting others love me. as of now, i am still very unsure of how this works - i feel this will be even harder than the first lesson. but i guess that makes sense.

i encourage ya'll to love each other as Christ calls us to love - selflessly and wholly, no strings attached. i also encourage ya'll to encourage each other, cuz let's be honest...this is hard! but as walt disney once said - keep moving forward!
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