Saturday, November 5, 2011

Greyhound Ragamuffins

Traveling for over 24 hours on a greyhound is not for the faint of heart. One must be able to tolerate uncomfortable seats, very little leg room, and brakes so squeaky they wake you up from whatever short uncomfortable rest you got. One must not get upset over witnessing bad cellphone ettiqutte and bad parenting. One must not be bothered by gassy old men, the smell of weed, or talk of the best prostitutes in any given city. One must be okay with frequenting gas stations and sketchy bus stops with locks on the doors and bars on the windows where at any moment a fight may (and did!) break out.
For many single, 22 year old, white, Midwestern girls, traveling alone, this trip would probably make them super uncomfortable.


I could write about all the crazy stories I now have, but instead, I’ll let you know my main take away. Have you heard of the book The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning? So far, I’ve only read the first couple chapters, but I know the book is about God’s grace, and how it is for those who are lost, dirty, and messed up---otherwise for us all. It’s not only for the very hygienic, the church goers, those with the same values as I. It’s for the unshowered, the pot smokers, those who just got out of prison. God’s grace is for people. For all people. In the same way that He wants me to know the depth and power of His love; he wants everyone else to know that too.

“If you look down on anyone on the planet, you don’t understand the Gospel.”-Steve Treichler

On my ride, I met those who were dirty, drug dealers, pot smokers, nomads, migrants, homeless, young, old, veterans, and a few men recently released from prison. People who God wants to know His power, His character, His love. My goal at the beginning of this week was to talk to strangers more. We are called to love people, and how can we do that unless we talk to them first? On this trip, he gave me to opportunity to have great conversations multiple people. I got to learn about their life stories and how they ended up on a Greyhound. From that I got to ask about their dreams, their hopes in life, and their view of God and validity of the Bible. Mainly, I got to listen to people who needed someone to talk to; someone to care about them. I got to be that person, and I love being that person. I may never see any of them ever again, but I hope they will remember our conversations as I will. I hope I impacted them as much as they have impacted me.

And from this point on, I hope to start talking to strangers more. On the bus, on the street, in class, everywhere. I also hope to finish reading The Ragamuffin Gospel, but I’ll need to borrow someone’s copy. I had the opportunity to give it to a man who just got out of prison. He had asked me what I was reading and seemed very interested in the topic. Pray that he reads it and pray that I don’t forget what I learned and keep talking to strangers. 

Life Update :)

Oh hello my little blog!
                I’m sorry it’s been so long. I’ve missed you! I’ve been meaning to write, but sometimes life gets so dang busy, ya know? Oh, I’m not complaining. I’m loving this season that I’m in. Let me tell you about it:
                I’m still living in Minneapolis, but now I’ve joined the trendy/cool/hipster kids that live in Northeast. This is my first time living in a neighborhood…well, EVER. Born a country girl, and then four years in dorms and apartments, I’m finally in a house with a yard and neighbors all around. And TREES! Right now they are red, yellow, orange and beautiful. Em and I were on a pretty carpet of them on our walk this morning.
                I live with Emily, Jessica, Katie, and a lovebird named Sully. It has been wonderful. We all get along great (except Em and Sully…they’re working out their differences.) We live in a house that is very comfortable and inviting, and many nights people are there for small groups, pirate themed study parties, or dinner/brinner/coffee/tea. (Soon a Let’s-party-like-it’s-1999/Jessica’s-B-day party) So much silliness; I love it.
                Grad school has been fine. Honestly, its not much different than my undergrad, except I care less. Maybe five years is too long to be in school. Or maybe I’m just ready to start applying the things I’ve been learning about for years. I may actually get a chance to soon!
                This season of my life has been so busy mainly because on top of school, small group through Hope, volunteering with Navs, working, and having an awesome social life, I have been trying to get my boss’s job. Although that sounds conniving, I assure you it’s not; it was just time for her and her family to start a new chapter in their lives (great for them, sad for us, so, the group home I work at is now without a Residential Supervisor BUT we do have a Residential Supervisor Assistant (me) who would like to step into that role. My company is very particular about who they let do that job and has pretty intense training before the position is even offered. Currently, I am in that training. I keep getting the question, “So, did you get the job? When will you know?” My answer is always, “Kinda/Sorta/Not yet.” And “I don’t know.” Though this state of limbo isn’t exactly my most favorite state to be in, it’s good. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t know, and realized that I don’t need to know; what I need to do is do my job and do it well. What will be will be.
                So that’s what I’ve been up to, little blog. I am so blessed. Not every day seems fabulous…but in the middle of craziness I try to remind myself that a) tomorrow will be better and b) I really am living the dream. My dream at least. Life is good.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Beautiful Life.

I love my silly, beautiful life. 

I love my jobs. I love my churches. I love that my family lives so close and that they are so awesome. I love that I've managed to switch my wardrobe to basically all solid color v-neck t-shirts. I love that I have a bookshelf full of half read books and books to be read. I love that Minnesota summers make up for the terrible winters. I love that even though I drink too much coffee, my favorite cups are during good conversation with good friends. I love that I am moved into a house in which I will live with three amazing girls. I love that I live in a city that has so many opportunities for me to try new things. I love that I have a passion to learn. I love that I'll be starting grad school in a subject I care a lot about. I love that this is a stage of life for me to figure out who I am and who I want to be. I love that I have a God who cares about the mundane details of my life and who knows my heart completely. I love conversations with friends about issues that actually matter. I love sweet potato tater tots. I love that I am growing and changing in so many different areas of my life. I love that I'm excited about my future; where I'll go, who I'll meet, and what will happen. 

My life certainly isn't perfect, but I don't want it to be. It's the challenges and the silliness of it all that have made me who I am. 

My cup overflows :) 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Favorite Place on Earth

A couple weeks ago I got to go to my favorite place on earth, Camp of the Woods. Ever since my first time as a mission camper in 2004, I jump at any opportunity I have to go back. Between summer and winter camp, the longest I've been away in the last seven years has been a year. It is such a great place, with great people and a great mission. I could talk for days about everything Camp, but as my fingers would get tired, and you would get bored, I'll summarize in list form :)

1. Ever since my first summer, I've got to watch God be faithful in the most practical ways. Almost every year there has been an almost shortage of staff, yet God always provides.Literally, one year we thought we would be short guys staff, when a guy unexpectedly drove into camp for the week and said, "What? You guys didn't get my application? I sent it months ago!" ---This year, I got to be an answer to the prayer of more staff AND I got to meet and bring someone awesome with me. So, we had even more help and my mother was pleased I wasn't driving myself. AND I got to go in a car that didn't have transmission problems nor 275,000 miles on it...but that's a whole different story.

2. For a moment I thought I would be going up as support staff...but nope! I showed up Sunday night, and Monday morning I was in a cabin with a co-counselor and 10 ten and eleven year old girls, as well as a co-team captain with 16 seven to twelve year olds. It was awesome. I prayed that my cabin would be okay with being silly and wouldn't be too cool for me. We got to be silly.  Though it may have been the first time Journey and The Black Eyed Peas made an appearance at camp, let's just say we had the "best dance party of all time." After spending so much of life doing adult like things, I was SO BLESSED to hang out with kids again.

3. New friends and old friends. Even by only being there for a week, I could tell that this summers staff was stellar. Top notch. Awesome. Meeting all the cool newbies made me wish I had been up there all summer. One of the great parts about camp, though, is that we WILL meet again. That's just how it works. In my week up there I got to connect again with friends, who though I don't see often, we can pick up just where we left off last time we were together. It's awesome. So good for my heart. AND since staff are from all over North America, I have great excuses to travel. Possible TN trip coming soon? I think yes :) 

4. Downtown Minneapolis vs. 40 miles from the nearest town, only people on a lake, trees, wildlife, stars, quiet, beautiful. Enough said.

5. FOOD. Three square meals a day. Homemade. Delicious. Fantastic. After a summer of sporadic eating habits, that was phenomenal.

Again, I could talk about camp for days straight. If your interested in hearing more, or just want to give me an outlet to talk and talk and talk, let's grab coffee and I'll tell you some great stories :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

After Blatant Eavesdropping.

“True wisdom is being able to entertain an idea without accepting it.” -Aristotle

I do love a good theological discussion (not argument, mind you.) I don’t even need to be a part of it; I sometimes merely love to listen to what people have to say about things that really matter/issues of the human spirit/purpose/things below the surface. It is so easy to get caught up in polite conversation. Deeper questions don’t get brought up nearly as often as one would think, considering their importance/implications. It’s too politically incorrect. Bringing up deeper issues could easily turn to argument, and no one wants to offend anyone, or make a situation awkward; it’s much easier (safer) to talk about the weather and the newest box office hit.

Today I blatantly eavesdropped on a theological discussion. These two guys, both Christians who just met each other (and who I also had recently met) started talking about all sorts of things. I didn’t catch all of the conversation, but I was so impressed with them. Both held different views on God’s will, predestination, Calvinism, etc., yet they were still able to discuss what they thought/believed, and did so without attacking each other; merely presented different view points.

One part of the conversation I found particularly interesting was about humans and our continuous search for satisfaction/fulfillment/lasting happiness. Many think that if they had more money, more possessions, or a significant other, then they would find that satisfaction/fulfillment/happiness. Unfortunately, those things ultimately don’t satisfy us. Maybe for a short time, but we are always left wanting more.
Instead of spouting off my theories of why I think this is (or why these guys thought so) I pose some questions to you, oh reader of my little blog:

What does it take for a human to be satisfied/fulfilled/happy? Is there anything, or are we doomed to always keep searching without finding it? Is it part of our nature? Designed by God? What do YOU think?

Leave a comment. I’d love to read it :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Life doesn't always turn out like we think/plan. I recently have finished my undergrad, and I've had some time to think about what my expectations were going into college. Here's some things I assumed when I started:

1. I would graduate as a Baylor Bear in the great state of Texas. 

I loved my time at Baylor. I think it was great for me, and I met some awesome people. I assumed I would be there for all four years, but I ended up transferring back to MN halfway through my undergrad career. Private school in Texas to public school in Minnesota? Woah. Talk about a big change! 

2. I would earn my degree in entrepreneurship and be on my way to opening a coffee shop and a bookstore. 

HA! One semester of business classes and I was done with that. I still would LOVE to own/work in a coffee shop/bookstore. I mean, coffee and books? Come on. If you know me at all you'd know that I'm usually surrounded by both. Unfortunately that's why most of my books have coffee spilled on them, but I digress.. I've graduated with a degree in Elementary Education...basically the opposite direction. 

3. That I would know what I want to do with my life.

One would hope that since I'm about to start grad school, I would be super convinced in what I want to do. I do love working with kids and I love working with people with special needs, and I can't wait until I can do more with both, but honestly, I'm loving life right now. I'm enjoying working two jobs, exploring the city, hanging with friends, being a poor college student...I kind of love it. I feel like even when people get degrees, the job they end up with somehow just falls into their lap. A lot of people don't even do what they have their degree in...but I also believe one has to be in motion instead of just sitting and waiting for that perfect job to fall into their lap. I'm in motion and excited to see where I'll end up. 

4. That I would graduate with fiance, serious boyfriend, boyfriend, or hint of a relationship.

I'm not alone in this. There is a reason the phrase "ring by spring" is in happens a lot! A lot of us girls assume that we will meet our future husband in college. I'm pretty confident that I haven't met him, which is sometimes disappointing, but then I remember this: I'm only 21! I'm just a baby still! I'm waaaay to selfish to care about another person the way I should care for my future husband! And with a husband brings the chance of children. WHAT? Are you kidding me? Sure I like kids, but for now I like other peoples' kids. Kids are a lot of work, and they mean I can't be out til 3 am if I want to. I'd have to grow up way more than I want to right now. That is a LOT of commitment. Hitting the "delete forever" button in my spam e-mail makes me nervous...forever. That's a long time. ANYWAY, I'm single. And lovin it. And for all you single ladies (and gentlemen) out there, cherish this time :) 

As we go through life, things change. We change. Life isn't what we may expect, but that's beautiful. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ten Highlights.

1.        Summer! Lots of work, but no homework. Score!

2.       Northside cleanup- At the end of May a tornado came through North Minneapolis. There was a lot of damage, but it was awesome to see the amount of volunteers that bonded together to help with the clean up process. The first day I went, they had a “problem” of too many volunteers. Pretty sweet problem if you ask me. I am so glad I got to be one of those volunteers! We went out and cut up some fallen trees, piled the branches by the side of the road so the city could pick them up, and offered to help people anyway we could. Not only did I get a good workout, but I met some awesome people and got a new heart for North Mpls.

3.       Fishing- I love days by the lake with my family and grandparents. Peaceful. Relaxing. I not only got my first tan lines of the summer, but I also got the biggest fish. Large mouth bass. No big deal ;)

4.       The Davinci Code- It has been on my list and on my bookshelf for quite sometime. I got a chance to read it, and I could not put it down! I was hooked from the beginning. Dan Brown is a very creative author. I understand why the book has been a point of contention, but I personally thought it was a great work of fiction and would LOVE to discuss it with anyone who wants to. 

5.       Walnut Staff (ACR)- I am so blessed to get to work with such fantastic ladies! Gosh, I love working with people who care so much about what they do. These women have such awesome hearts and it has been so fun to live life alongside them these past two years! Keep it up Walnut!

6.       Hillary in MN!-  Hilly, a friend I met at Baylor, came up for an art conference  and got to spend a bunch of time with me! After a year, it was so great to see her! I got to give her the “Annie Brock Tour of Mpls,” which included stops at the Guthrie (for the view) and Sebastian Joe’s (for ice cream).  We went to Grand Ave, Cupcake, a birthday party, The Sculpture Gardens, and downtown where we discovered a free outdoor concertt, and of course we hit up MOA J It was such a fun and relaxing time with her here! Maybe I’ll see her for Baylor’s homecoming in the fall? We’ll see.

7.        Hope Small Group- I love Hope Community Church. The people and the preaching has been such a blessing in my two years in the city! I have been wanting to get more involved, but I didn’t want my time to be too much divided between Hope and the Navigators. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m ready to jump head first into the community at Hope. I am now involved in a small group on Thursday nights. I’ve only been to two so far, but I am loving the study and the people. I can already tell it’s going to be phenomenal.

8.        Becky’s Bachelorette Party- Dancing the night away. With old friends and family. What could be better?

9.       Mom’s surgery- Well, I guess the fact that Mom had to have surgery isn’t a highlight (she’s recovering well), but the amount of time I’ve gotten to spend with my family these last two days has been awesome. When we were little, we fought a lot, but now were in the phase of realizing that that we actually like each other. It’s pretty great. So the waiting room was quite exciting with all of us siblings, my dad, and my brother’s girlfriend there. We like to have fun, no matter where we are, and we LOVE to laugh. We are probably some of the only people who play games in hospital waiting rooms and laugh hysterically…while trying to be respectful of course. (This may have led to some laughing at inappropriate times…. But we won’t get into that…;)…)

10.  Psych- I’m halfway through season one of Psych. It’s great J

The End. For Now.  

Monday, May 16, 2011

Summer Goals.

1. Join a small group through Hope Community Church
2. Find somewhere to regularly volunteer.
3. Make a budget and stick to it. 
4. Cook more. Try new recipes. Invite people over to test out my experiments.
5. Read a book about the history of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
6. Get a bike and use it. 
7. Subscribe to the Star Tribune and read it daily. 
8. Write letters to my friends who will be all over the country and the world this summer.
9. Spend time with God daily, memorize verses, and spend more time in prayer.
10. Explore. 

I'm a little nervous about what this summer will bring. I don't want to look back and realize that I've regressed. I want this summer to be one of extreme growth; both spiritually, and into the adult that I want to be. I want this summer to be a summer where I actively develop those traits that I want to have, but have felt like I haven't had time for...such as being more politically aware, staying in contact with the people who have made me who I am, and actively pursuing my relationship with Jesus. It could be so easy to slip into a state of apathy and complacency, but I want more than that. I want a challenge. I want change. I want growth. So, send me your address or a recipe, recommend a life-changing book, sermon, or blog, volunteer to test out my experiments and/or accompany me in exploring, or give me more ideas. Most of all, join me in prayer that this summer not be wasted. Thanks friends! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


So why is it that relationships with other people seem to bring out the worst in us? Before I had boyfriends, or roommates, I thought I was basically perfect. Gosh, was I wrong! For the past four years, I have been knocked off my high horse, realizing different ways that I am certainly NOT perfect. In relationships, I've seen how selfish I can be. That's really the problem, isn't it? We're selfish people. We are the center of our worlds. We are the people we are thinking about constantly, not others. We're thinking about our own well-being, our own satisfaction, our own interests. How is that working out for us? For me, it sucks. Why? Probably because I am (we are) called to something different:

"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."-Philippians 2:3-4 

Gosh, so much of my life is doing what I want to do, when I want to do it, based on my feelings.

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."-John 15:12-13

Sure, I'd lay down my life for my friends and the people I love, but would I give up some of my little "rights" or things I think I deserve? Like giving up the remote after a long day when I just want to veg out with my favorite show? Like having to prove that I'm right, even when it really shouldn't matter? Like not acting on my impulses when others' feelings may be involved? Like having a good attitude when I feel I have the right to be crabby? Blargh.

Honestly, I don't have the right to those things. As a follower of Christ, I am to lay down those rights for other people. This doesn't mean being a pushover, but it does mean focusing on things that are eternal, instead of temporal. Only three things are eternal; God, His word, and peoples' souls. Lord, help me. 

Monday, April 4, 2011


So today the real world started sneaking up on me. Well, actually, it came right up to me, handed me a paper, booklet, and a free pen, smiled, and reminded me of all the money these last four years are going to cost me (plus interest of course). Wowza. Hello loan exit interview, and hello realization that I will still be living on pb&j for the next ten years at least. Was it worth it? 

I could have worked for a while before going into college. I could have joined the military to get money for it. I could have lived with my parents and gone to one of the local schools. But no. First I, a girl with no more than twenty dollars to my name, decided to go to a private school in Texas. Then, after two years of that, I transferred back up to a public school in Minneapolis, where it would take me an extra two years to get the degree I wanted...though I could have gotten a degree in special ed in only four years at a different school.

And now. Here I am. Four years. Three majors. Two schools. One degree (almost). No license to teach. Just as confused as ever as to what I want to be when I grow up. Was it worth it?  

Yes. A resounding yes. It most definitely was. I don't know if I can even begin to explain how much I have learned, changed, and grown over the last four years. College life has exposed me to so many new people, thoughts, ideas, ways of living, opinions, research, stories, cultures, and experiences. In learning about all those other things, what I really learned was about myself; who I am, what I think about things, how I react to different situations, relate to different people, and think about the world. College has stretched my mind, my comfort zone, and my passions. It has helped me to realize who I am, why I am the way I am, and who I want to be. It has shown me more of the world than I have ever known before, shown me its problems, and asked me to step up and do something about it. And I want to. I'm ready. Not to solve the world's problems, but to identify and deal with the problems that lie within me, while simultaneously living for something more than just me; bigger than myself. 

For those who are contemplating college; do it. Live on campus if you can. Get to know people. Get involved. Get out of your comfort zone. You just may love it and discover things you wouldn't otherwise. Home will most likely still be there if you decided to return. Don't be scared of change. 

As for me, I'll be making huge payments towards college loans for the next ten years...but realistically, if I finish in 10 years, I'll be done paying them off by the time I'm 31. That's not old at all. And besides, I happen to LOVE pb&j :) 

Friday, March 18, 2011


"Think Global; Act Local. Glocal"

Gosh I love that phrase....even though the hybrid "Glocal" seems like a bit much.

I moved to Minneapolis in September 2009, and to be honest, I didn't really expect to like it. I mean, I grew up in a house in the country where we couldn't even SEE any houses from ours, I knew every one I graduated with, plus all of their families, and there wasn't even a single stoplight in my town. So, to move from the country to a dorm that held more people than the entire population of my town, was intimidating.

In the past year and a half I have grown to love Minneapolis. I love the energy that is in the city, the mix of cultures, the exchange of ideas and information. I love that you can go anywhere in Mpls and never be more than six blocks away from a park. I love the bike trails and the fact that Mpls is number one in bikers (...well, since I am bike-less I more so like the idea.) I love that I see such high interest in sustainability, eating organically and locally, and recycling. I love the music/galleries/theaters and all the outlets for artists' expressions. Gosh. I just have loved being in Mpls!

The beginning of spring break, I took a "trip" with some Navigators (the ministry team I'm involved with.) We decided to stay local this year to see how we could volunteer in our city. Best Spring Break Ever. Not only did I come to love my fellow Navigators a ridiculously lot more, but my heart for this city grew so much. It grew, but it also broke for Mpls. Gosh, I have always thought that I would like to travel to another country and work in an orphanage or something....which would be cool...but this spring break, my eyes were opened to the idea that the things we go far away to help with, are happening in OUR CITY. We helped renovate a building to house women getting out of prostitution and sex trafficking. (Did you know that the Mall of America is one of the biggest sites of sex trafficking in the U.S.? Crazy right?) We heard stories from people who are in Minnesota Teen Challenge's rehab program after their lives and relationships were broken on account of addictions. (They are looking for mentors, btw...) We helped at a food shelf that services people in South Minneapolis. (Hunger is not just a problem in third world countries.) These are all problems that are happening in OUR CITY. OUR STATE. What are we doing about them? What am I doing about them? Food for thought. Let me know what you think :)

City Vision:


Breaking Free:

Community Emergency Services:

Minnesota Teen Challenge:

The Navigators:

Feed My Starving Children:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rosie's Worst Day Ever

So this week has been ridiculous. Unusual. Peculiar. Out of the ordinary. Strange. I got a rejection letter, left a class livid, worked 16 hours straight, had some unusual interactions with people, pulled three all-nighters for work, and  this morning,  my car, affectionately named Rosie Carmine, drove what may have been her last drive. In all honesty, I think all of these events coming together may be God trying to tell me something. What? I'm not sure. Whether you agree is up to you, but here's my story.

Last night I worked an overnight awake shift. This meant that I didn't drink any coffee yesterday so that I could take a nice long nap yesterday evening from 2-8pm. Then I got up and made it to work by ten. I have the best job ever, and it allows me to do homework (or watch TV...depending on my motivation) all night long, as long as I get done the things I need to for work. Last night I spent most of my time studying for my linguistics test. By the time 6am rolled around, I still had a lot to study, as I haven't paid attention in the class since the last I decided to go back to my apt and get ready for practicum, before heading over to Caribou to study for a bit. On my drive back, I spent awhile trying to determine where to park my car. I had three options: 1) in my parking spot behind the building...the farthest option from Caribou. 2) in the Caribou parking lot, which I was feeling guilty about, since I wasn't actually going to go there first and their parking is already limited. 3) on the street in between my apartment and Caribou. The meters didn't go into effect until 8, and I knew I would be leaving at 7:30. Perfect right?

Side note: Going to Caribou in the morning is nothing new. Pretty typical. But the fact that I was supposed to drive to practicum was unusual. A friend usually picks Jessica and I up, and this is the first time I was supposed to drive this semester. Another side note: I got an e-mail last night saying I was supposed to be at a meeting this morning from 6:30-7:30am. Knowing that going to that meeting would add more stress than it was worth...I told them I wouldn't be in attendance.

So, I skipped a meeting, unusually parked in the street, ran up to get ready, came back down about 30 minutes later and there was poor little Rosie, pushed up onto the curb, her trunk mutilated and scattered along Washington Ave. Behind it was a man in, what I later discovered to be, a 2007 Kia Rondo with the bumper disheveled and the hood a bit rumpled. Poor guy. All he was trying to do was go to work, he went around a van, straight into a parked car. Ouch. I'm certain that wasn't how he hoped to spend his morning.

We exchanged information, assessed the situation, talked to the police officer, chatted about his job and family. The police officer told me that he would arrange for my car to be taken to the impound lot. He said that from the looks of it, my insurance company probably won't put the money or effort in to get it fixed. Which makes sense. We said goodbye, and I finally made it to Caribou :)

What was cool about this whole thing, was that it didn't stress me out at all. It's super convenient that I don't have to work for over two weeks ( I had just given a shift away) and with spring break coming, I was headed home anyways. Lets just say I was probably one of the most calm and collected people at the scene of an accident ever, if I do say so myself. And I only do say so myself because it surprised me. Honestly, this past week, I've been on edge, on the verge of tears, tired, stressed, emotional....but as soon as I saw poor little Rosie, all I could do was shake my head and laugh. And laugh. And laugh. Mary-Kelly and Jessica can both attest to this...they probably thought I had finally lost whatever marbles I had left. Maybe I did. I learned something today....sometimes all you can do is laugh, because life is often just ridiculous.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Inner War.

Ever do something you know you probably shouldn't? Ever make a decision you know you'll probably regret eventually? Why do we do these things? Why do we do things that our mind tells us not to? What creates this disconnect between our reason and our actions? Is it those darn emotions I previously mentioned?

I'm reminded of a passage that I've been reading a lot in Romans:

" I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
   So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."

And the best part, Romans 8:1-2

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death."

It's kind of nice to know that I'm not the only one who struggles with this. I mean, it might be nice if I saw everything as black and white, or maybe just always acted with wisdom, but I don't. Now I'm not saying this passage gives me an excuse ever time I make a poor choice, the rest of Romans speaks to that, but I am saying that its nice to know that perfection isn't expected 100% of the time....cause that's certainly a standard that I could never reach. I would love to go more in depth, but once again, its 5:30 am....two hours until bedtime. Livin the dream :) 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Sometimes I wish I was more in control of my emotions. Today, my professor made me cry. Once I start, there is no stopping me. Annoying. I'll spare you the details, and instead, focus on the interesting phenomenon we call emotions. I wonder; do animals have emotions, or just instincts? I think dogs get sad, and I'm pretty convinced that Dad's little Sweet-Pea gets jealous, but that's merely speculation. I think our emotions are what distinguish us so much from the other things on the planet. Why do we have them? What do they do? What's the use? And why do other people have such control over them and I seem like I have no control over them? I mean, when I think a guy I like may text me, and he never does, I'm disappointed. When a teacher completely belittles me, I get so upset I could kick a puppy. (Well, no, I couldn't...but hopefully you understand the analogy.)

I'm reminded of a C.S. Lewis quote:

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

While looking for that quote, I came across the one below. Now I may not be in complete agreement with him, but I certainly understand his point.

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”- Neil Gaiman

I certainly don't hate love, but it resonates, doesn't it?

So, is there a way to not let people have so much control of my emotions? Not care so much what they think? Be more confident in myself? Be more confident in who God made me to be and care what He thinks more than others?  I think we are emotional beings because we are made in the image of God and He Himself is emotional. Probably not in the same overtired or PMSy way that I get, but He has emotions still the same. Interesting. Emotions. Weird. The End for now. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Doors Closing?

Before today, I was not concerned about what I was going to do next fall. I was in the application process for two prestigious programs and felt very confident I would be accepted to both and would succeed in either one I happened to choose. Boy was I startled when I realized that I had spaced on a major part of the application process of one of them. This part of the application was a written activity and was due a week ago! Failure to complete it was “grounds for dismissal.” Drat. I wrote a very apologetic e-mail asking for another chance, but I know if I were them, I would “dismiss” me. The second application I had been “working” on for months, is due tomorrow (well, today.) I transferred to this state and to this school with the specific intention of applying for this particular program, and that was two years ago. Yet, somehow, I managed to wait until the night before to finish applying. Now, to this competitive program, my references will be late, as well as my transcripts. Double Drat. The two programs I originally thought I was a shoe-in (shoo-in?) for, may not even take a second glance at my applications before sending me a courtesy rejection letter. Sigh. Talk about getting knocked off my high horse.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about God being graceful to me. I am reminded more and more every day that there is nothing that I do that earns his grace, but that his grace is a gift, given just because He loves me, He created me, and I am His daughter. He doesn’t withdraw it when I make bad decisions, or ones that are disobedient to His word, even if I think he should.

I have also been noticing lately that God doesn’t like it when we give ourselves credit for what he has done. I was pretty confident that I would get into both programs because I deserved to, because I had worked hard to be the perfect candidate for either. That’s the wrong attitude to have. Instead, I should have been thanking God for who He made me to be and asking Him about His will for this next phase of my life. The cool thing is though, that I know that if I get accepted to either program, it was only by the grace of God, since my efforts were less than admirable. It’s up to him. He has (and has had) the power to shut or open whatever doors he wants in my life. If he wants me to get accepted, he can encourage the applicant reviewers to be merciful. If not, maybe there is something else I should be doing next year. Either way, I know that everything will be just fine.

This leaves me with a lot of questions to sort out. Alas, since it is 5:30 in the morning and I am about to finish my first awake overnight shift at work, I’d better leave it at that.  More to come later….

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Beginning

Hello Friend! 

Welcome to the start of my blog. In all honesty, I'm not sure how I feel about blogs. What is this new craze of writing ones thoughts for the whole world to see, whether that be blogging, Facebook, or Twitter? Is it good? Is it healthy? What will the repercussions of this tailored transparency be on our generation? I'm conflicted, but I think that's okay. That's mainly what this blog is going to be about; me, wrestling with my thoughts in a way that forces me to articulate them. That is, after all, the way I learn best. This blog has three purposes: 1) for me to organize my thoughts,  2) to let people know what I'm up to, and 3) to hopefully encourage others. Warning: this semester I have learned that I am certainly not an English major, and I won't pretend to be. I will have oodles and oodles of grammar errors and spelling mistakes, as well as a bajillion made up words and as many sound effects as a room full of eight-year-old boys. There may not be a rhyme or a reason for the topics I write about, or any sort of consistency to when I write them, but as I've never been a blogger before, we'll just see what happens! I'd love to hear your inputs. Thanks for reading!