Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dickens

Since my senior year of high school, it has been my tradition to read Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities over Christmas break. I confess, I start to tear up at the last book every time I read it. The third to last chapter and the very last chapter make me weep. I LOVE SYDNEY CARTON. {Spoiler Warning: read the book, and then read this post.}

Sydney Carton loves Lucie, knows he cannot have her, knows that the other man is better for her, knows that he doesn't deserve her, and knows that nothing will ever change. And he keeps on loving her. He promises her that one day, he hopes to be useful to her or to those she loves. When Darnay is condemned to die, and nothing Doctor Manette does will save him, Carton steps in. He has been close by, watching her, but he leaves her in peace. But when she needs him, before she even knows that he is there, let alone that she needs him, he is already there, taking the initiative to make plans and carry them out.

He could have let Darnay die at the hands of the Revolution, and stepped in to comfort Lucie himself. He could have held her as he longed to do! But he didn't. He gave his life so that she could live in happiness. I don’t think it was ever about saving Darnay’s life; it was about doing anything for Lucie.

I love Carton. He is my favorite character, and although people argue that Darnay is a fine fellow, I can’t stand him. Even the first time I read this tale, without knowing the ending, I loved Carton and abhorred Darnay. There’s nothing wrong with him, but he has no complexities, no depth. Lucie, too, seems a bit flat until the middle. Doctor Manette, so deep and so troubled, but restored because of his daughter. Carton, though, oh! Carton is the character I long to know more about, to read a “prequel” about his life; I want to understand why nothing can be changed, but still I think something did change, or never changed initially. Carton died for Lucie, and that pure love was not tainted by any flaws in Carton’s character.

Dickens, well done. Readers, any thoughts?

Almost the Last Day of 2010

I’M HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve- where did that come from!?!?!??!??! I was totally just deciding where to go to college like last week! What the heck!? This year has FLOWN by, and if you want a refresher on what each month held for me, read my earlier post.

This break has been a bit challenging, but so much fun. I've been challenged in relating to my sisters, but after a few good, long, intense conversations with them and our parents, I think that we can really bond and appreciate each other. It’s also been challenging to get to spend quality time with my many amazing friends. I want to be a part of the group again, and at the same time, I love the intimate conversations that come from one-on-one times. So far I think that I've been able to maintain a good balance, and as soon as one friend returns from visiting her sister, I think that I will have hung out with everyone at least once.

God and I are getting really close… I should rephrase that and say that I am drawing near to God, and He is keeping His promise and drawing near to me, too. I love how faithful He is- no matter how far I stray, or how long it’s been, He always tells me that He loves me. Ahhh!!!!

Speaking of God being awesome, my family is so blessed by Him! I can’t even describe it, but basically we will look back at this year and say, wow, God, thank You! When my parents got married, they received a prophetic word that their life testimony would be “God did it.” This year’s testimony is exactly that!

Eventually I’ll have the time and freedom to write out all the things that God has done, but for now, just rejoice with me and praise the Lord!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My, My, Time Flies!

How on earth is the 12th of December!?!?!??!?!?

It seriously feels like this year has FLOWN by… honestly! When I consider all the big things that have happened this year, and everything that has changed since this time last year, I am stunned. Let’s recap:

In January, I turned 21.

In February, I applied to my first, second, and third choice colleges.

In March, I found out that I got into my first choice college.

In April, I was hit by a car.

In May, I visited my first choice college, and then decided that my parents and I were hearing God and that I was moving 2,000+ miles away.

In June, I worked my last day at my job with kids.

In July, I went to Washington D.C. and Seattle to work 2 Microsoft conferences.

In August, I said goodbye to my family and friends, and started my junior year of college.

In September, I got to see my dad!!!!

In October, I went to my friend’s home for her nephew’s birthday.

In November, I began my countdown to go home, and here we are in December!

I take a final and turn in my final draft of my research paper, and I get on a plane and go home! 4 months went by so fast; this whole year zoomed by!

This time last year, I was praying about applying to colleges. Christmas morning, 2009, I opened up a Matchbox airplane representing the visit my dad and I would take if I got accepted to my first choice school. That trip was in May.

In August, 2009, I was running around Family Camp, teasing my friends about being the Night Watchmen, and realizing that if my friend got his wish, he wouldn't be at Family Camp 2010. The ironic part was that he was at FC 2010, but I wasn't, because I was flying across the country to start school the next week.

4 months ago, I knew almost no one in this new state, in this new school. Now I have so many deep relationships, and I won’t see them for almost another month! I can’t believe how God has blessed me… He’s given me friends, families, and a fridge for my dorm room! God, You are so good, and I am ever grateful.

How has your year been? :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Momentous, I guess…

This is my 100th blog post, but it’s taken me a while to get this many. So in one sense it’s momentous, and in another, not that big of deal.

I get to go home in 17 days!

I spent my first Thanksgiving away from home this year. It was strange… it almost feels like I “skipped” the holiday, yet I know I didn't. My family missed me, and I missed them, but there were so many new experiences and new people and new kinds of food that I almost forgot that it was Thanksgiving and I am more than 2000 miles away. Weird, huh?

I get to go home in 17 days!

My BFF posted a list of things that she has done or not done, and I feel a) somewhat inspired by it, and b) bored and uninspired to do anything else! Haha!

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea 14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child {SOMEDAY!!!!}
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise 33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied 38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing {indoor}
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight 46. Been transported in an ambulance 47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business {haha, a lemonade stand!}58. Taken a martial arts class 59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies {Do tee-ball cookies count?}
62. Gone whale watching {it was unintentional… the whale came to me}63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt 73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone 78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person 80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s {eternal} life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant

I go home in 17 days! Can you tell I’m excited???

God has been highlighting recently how blessed I am. My family loves each other, and we don’t have any big problems or issues. We can get together for the holidays and not even think about getting into a huge family fight. We've never had to worry about putting food on the table or turning on the light switch. There have been things that we've not had so that we could have something else, but those have usually been convenience items, not necessary requirements.

I've never realized until recently how blessed and full my life is. The thing that I’m really wrestling with is this: I didn't do anything to deserve this life, and it’s not a matter of God loving me more than other people. If it was a matter of deserving, I would have nothing. If it was a matter of God’s love, there would be no want or worry. So I guess I’m learning to trust God about this, too, that He has the perfect plan for my life, including what I have or don’t have, and He is in control. Not bad for my 100th post, eh?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What’s New?

God is so good! No, that’s not really new… He’s always been good, but this week it seems that He is showing His goodness to me more than ever. Now, I’m not saying that this was the best week ever, because it wasn’t. Kinda far from it, actually. But I realized that it was God using circumstances to show me His goodness, and helping me choose Him over other things (like stress, sleep, friends, homework, etc.).

This weekend I have not that many assignments, but lots of things to do. I have a test on Monday over 5 HUGE chapters (thank God for the study guide that narrows it down!), and I have a 12-15 page paper about monasteries in the Middle Ages, due Tuesday. Yeah.

I’m so grateful for the ability to exercise and read simultaneously. It really helps me get my nervous energy out while not wasting time by not studying. I love the elliptical machine! Textbook, water bottle, and elliptical- perfect!

Also, well done Pixar on the movie Up!, and specifically to the soundtrack team! It made reading those chapters a bit more fun!

Can I just say that I love popcorn… it’s the best. I know it’s going to kill me one day, but I don’t have it as often as I used to, and is there anything out there that won’t kill me? :)

I’m sooooooo excited for Thanksgiving!!!!! My roomie and I are going to spend it with one of my newly-adopted families, and then she’s going to see a movie and come back to the dorms, and I’ll spend the rest of the weekend with the fam… I’m especially excited because AJ asked me if I wanted to help her decorate the house for Christmas!

Woot! BEST part of the year! My roomie and I have already been listening to Christmas music AND we put up Christmas lights in our room… they are SO cool! Too bad we can’t have candles in the dorms; otherwise, we would totally have Christmas-scented candles in the room to make it smell yummy!

I go home in 24 days. I’m so excited! My dad called me yesterday to tell me that he and my sis put the bunk-beds together so I have a place to sleep when I come home! Woot! My sis even washed the sheets for me! I can hardly wait to sleep on them! And my MC class is having a Christmas party the weekend after I get home, so I get to see almost everyone! I just counted… there will only be 6 people that won’t be there… that means 75% of the class be there! Whoa!

Well, I should go write that paper and enjoy my popcorn… hey, one more post until 100! :D

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bummer

Well, I emailed the people in charge of credit for ASL. They said no.

I’ll admit, I cried. I was disappointed. Were the past two years of overloads a waste? What was the point of my taking 20 credits for over a year? Why didn't they understand? Was my email not clear? What more could I have said?

But I talked to my dad, and he reminded me that God’s plans are higher than mine, and those years weren't a waste. I’m fluent in another language! And I’m going to learn how to belly dance!

Also, I should make an amendment to my previous post. I was contradicting myself when I said that I was going to strive for excellence but not freak about this paper. I AM going to work excellently, and I DO care about it. My work is a representation of who I am in Christ, and so I will do all things to the glory of God.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Holy Canoli, Batman!

So I was reading my friends’ blogs, and I realized that it has been almost a MONTH since I’ve updated you! This should not happen! So let me tell you some fun and not-so-fun highlights from the past month…

My friend joined the Marine Corps (SO proud!) and I was kinda bummed because when I left home, his “D-Day” (D meaning departure) was in February, so I was going to be able to see him and say goodbye to him over Christmas Break. Well, the D-Day changed. To like the middle of October. As in, October when I’m still at school. As in, won’t see him at Christmas. As in, BUMMER!!!!! I was still really excited for him, because I know this is where God is calling him and he was uber excited to go, but I was still a little sad.

Then, the day he left, I checked my email and there was something from him! Happiness! I read it, and was kinda tearing up because I knew that as I read, he was getting on a plane, and then I read something that made me jump for joy- his secondary training is only 2.5 hours from my school!!!!! Ahhhh!!!! I would get to see my friend here!!!! I am so excited! I don’t know when he comes, but I’m definitely taking a road-trip to see him, or vice versa.

My mom won’t be able to come out to spend Thanksgiving with me, which is a bummer. However, my roomie and I are going to spend Break with a family that I ADORE, and I’m really excited that (a) I’ll be with a family (instead of just staying in the dorm), and (b) my room-mate and I will be able to spend some good quality time together. Only another couple weeks till Break!

Speaking of Break, I have to write a 12-15 page paper on monasteries in the Middle Ages… BEFORE Thanksgiving!!!! Augh! I’m meeting with the teacher tomorrow to go over the outline, so I feel a little bit better about that. But last night I realized that to some extent, it doesn't matter what grade I get on this paper, or even in this class. For one thing, this class is NOT a part of my major AT ALL. The other thing, no one will care or even remember my GPA in a couple years, or even months after I graduate! While I know that I will still work diligently on this paper, and I will strive for excellence, it’s really freeing to not have such an immense pressure hanging over me. I know that I put too much pressure and too many expectations on myself, so this revelation was really quite liberating. The only bad part? I still have to write this paper!

I love Pandora!!! I think my favorite station is Michael Buble… omg, I love that style! If I lived in the 1950’s, I’m pretty sure I would have a crush on Frank Sinatra!

I registered for classes yesterday. I was planning on taking an overload, but then stuff went wrong with the system, and I’m on the waiting list for one of the classes, and when I went to my boss, who is in charge of stuff like that, she made a phone call and then told me to email these two people about getting credit for ASL. The class that I was on the wait list for would fulfill my International Perspective, and I’m hoping ASL will fulfill that and then I won’t have to overload! I just sent the email this morning, and I believe that God is going to give me favor and I’m going to get credit. Amen, Lord, amen!

I love college! It’s stressful and busy and challenging, and I love it! Sometimes I hate it, but most of the time I love it! And it’s really funny- sometimes I can’t believe that I’m going to be DONE with COLLEGE in another year and a half…whoa! I’ll think of my elementary school years, or even of two years ago, and realize that back then, when I thought of “now,” it never looked like this! I love that God is so cool and mind-blowing!

I GO HOME IN 34 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope that this update satisfies for a little while… please pray for me when you think of me, and I hope to see you when I’m home for Christmas!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thoughts

The next 48 hours are going to be so jam packed, and then the 48 hours after that are going to be the most fun EVER, and then I’m pretty sure that next week is going to be sooooo busy I might fall over…so yeah.

Tomorrow I’ve got 3 classes, except I’m skipping one to go on a Business Dept. field trip to a distribution center. Then in the evening I’ve got a House Council meeting… those are always, um, interesting. Stressful, to say the least. My VP has been VP for the past 3 years, so she can bring “experience” to the table, but usually she’s a nay-sayer and it gets old really fast. Thankfully the other girls on Council are pretty good about saying “we’re gonna do it anyway and it will be different this year,” which I really appreciate. I’m not afraid to say it, but I want to be careful since I am president and she is VP because she lost the vote for presidency…thin ice.

Friday is going to be CRAZY!!!!! Swim test in the morning, work for 2 hours, a doctor appointment, class, RENTAL CAR, AND DRIVE TO FREEDOM!!!! WOOT! My friend and I are driving to her home town about 4 hours away, and we’ll be there in time for her brother’s football game that night, and then it’s her nephew’s first birthday the next day, and then church on Sunday and then drive home. And then STUDY my brains out for a marketing test the next day.

I’m really excited about this weekend, because I've been looking forward to it for so long. At the beginning of MC, Pastor Norm spoke to my class about anticipation and potential, and how events and experiences really rise or lower to meet our expectations. So I’m really looking forward to this weekend!

I found out yesterday that my 12 page paper on medieval history is NOT due at the end of the semester like I thought. No. It is due before Thanksgiving. Wonderful. Ugh.

Well, I need to study for that marketing test. I’ll let you know how this weekend goes!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Life So Far

In my writing class earlier this week, my teacher informed the class that Christianity oppresses all other religions. I literally had no words.

I emailed my mentor and told him about it, and he replied with some great responses that I look forward to using in class. If my readers would like to read his comments, I can add them. He told me how to articulate what I was thinking, so I feel much better about the class.

Please pray for me to have the boldness and discernment to speak in class, and for the exact, Christ-like words for me to say.

On a lighter note, I love college!!!!!! :) I love the campus, and classes, and friends, and even dining in a cafeteria! I’m learning so much about my future, my personality, my friends, and life in general.

Also, tomorrow {October 15th} is To Write Love on Her Arms day. Check out their website to see what it’s all about. I’ll hopefully post some pictures sometime next week, so check it out and participate! Let’s make people aware!

Love you all, and miss you… thank you so much for your prayers and support.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Up To Speed

Ok, friends and fam, here’s what’s going on in life RIGHT NOW.
My sis turns 18 tomorrow… omg I feel old! :)

I LOVE Pandora. Wow… all you have to do is give a song a “thumb’s up” and it plays more like it, and it’s wonderful. Sigh of contentment.

I’m now the president of my dorm, which also makes me a part of the SGA, so this weekend I’ll be going on a little retreat with all the SGA members. It should be fun, but I don’t get to go to church with my usual church fam, and I won’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked with my friend’s family, because Saturday is Family Day and her family is coming up to see her. But I know that God works everything for His good, which means my good too, so it will work out.

Classes are quite exciting. We’re starting to work on our midterm projects, which is completely crazy to me, because most of my college friends at home haven’t even started school yet! How can I be working on things for the middle of the semester when they haven’t even had their beginning????

It looks like I’ll be studying abroad in the summer, which will be amazing if my BFF and I are in Europe at the same time (!!!!!!!!!!!!) but will be a bit of a bummer if I don’t get to come home at all… I really don’t want to miss another year of Family Camp, and I don’t want to miss my sis’s high school graduation. Still praying about this…

My adviser asked me to think about not doing a double-concentration. I’m a business major, and there are 4 concentrations one can choose from: accounting, economics, marketing, and management. I was planning on concentrating on marketing and management, which basically means I need 3 “more” classes than I would need for a single concentration. I’m trying to work it so I can do both and still study abroad and still get my degree in the next 3 semesters. Still praying about this too….

I need to sweep my floor. My roomie and I joke about our responsibilities and stuff, but we usually sweep the floor, take out the garbage and recycling, and generally polish up the room on Fridays. That would be tomorrow. I think I may get started early on this! :)

I misssssssssss to pieces my BFF!!!! You know who you are, Lola, and if I could hug you right this second, I definitely would, for approximately the next 5000000000 seconds!!!! Just sayin’.

I really think a goldfish would be an awesome addition to college life. It’s the only “animal” we’re allowed to have in the residence halls, and I’m totally considering it {in a half serious, half crazy way}. The only issue would be asking my roomie to feed the fishy on the weekends, since I’m usually off-campus Friday through Sunday. We’ll see. I’m not going to spend $45 on a stupid fish. But if I can work a deal, and lord knows I can deal, then maybe I’ll get one. I will keep you posted on this, and will include pictures if necessary. :)

Sisters, when you read this, and I know at least one of you will, please tell Mom that I miss her pasta. Her noodles and sauce and bread are soooooo much better than the mass-produced glob of pasta and soupy/gravy “sauce.”

I wear a pedometer now, because of my PE class. Coach said that we should be walking an average of 10,000 steps a day, and that if she ever sees us getting on or off an elevator, we’ll be in trouble. Take the stairs! I like wearing a pedometer, because I can check my progress throughout the day and see if I’m on track or if I need to walk around the dorm room a few laps. :)

Saturday night, my roomie and friend and I are going to have a movie night. We discovered that the library loans movies, and we figured this was the most amazing thing ever and why not take advantage of it??? So far we’ve got our choices “narrowed down” to Les Miserables, Return to Me, or one of the BCC’s Chronicles of Narnia. Yes, we are random. Yes, these were my ideas. Yes, the choices are dependent on what we find in the library! Yes, there will be popcorn. :D

That’s all I can think of right now. I hope this gives you a taste of what life has been like, and I hope that your life is just as full and fun as mine is. Blessings!











Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Outraged

I’m reading the book Readings for Diversity and Social Justice, and it just plain pissing me off! All it has talked about in the first four chapters is how oppressed certain people groups are, and how the whole system of society is oppressive and dominating one group over all the others. AUGH!!!

This bothers me, first of all because it assumes a victim mentality, secondly because of its grouping of homosexuals with those who cannot change their life, and thirdly because even as the book says issues aren't issues until they’re issues, they are MAKING issues the issue!!!!!! The inconsistency is killing me.

Yes, I can understand that there are some people who have not been raised to show kindness to everyone, but at the same time there are people who make themselves feel oppressed. It so frustrates me that people agree with what this book preaches. I’m angered by all this perceived oppression and by the idea of privilege.

I am truly at a loss for words; all my emotions and passions and convictions have taken the place of coherent thought right now. I’ll try to be more verbose and thorough another time. Right now it is all I can do to simply finish the reading.

Please leave your comments and thoughts- I’m really looking for some Kingdom perspective here! Thank you!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What I’m Up Against

Yesterday in Writing class, we played a game, if you can call it that. The class is focused on diversity in the college and the country, and the teacher explained that in order to understand other cultural groups, we must first be able to identify our own. So the students stood in a line across one side of the room, and the teacher read some statements, one at a time. If the statement applied to us, we were to walk across the room and face the rest of the class still at the original line. Clear as mud? So here we go.

“If you or any of your friends have ever been victims of sexual harassment or violence.”

“If anyone in your family has ever made a derogatory statement about another racial or ethnic group.”

“If religion is important to you.”

“If you have ever had derogatory statements made about you because of your gender.”

The list went on, and I was surprised at how many people responded to so many of the statements. There was a girl who went forward for almost all of the statements about derogatory remarks because of race, income, gender, religion, etc.

One of the last statements was “You believe a woman should have the right to choose.” What this has to do with diversity is beyond me, but my class doesn't seem to be too diverse on this issue. I was the only person who did not move to walk across the room. The rest of the class stood and looked at me, and in between heads I could see the professor looking at me, too. I held her gaze. It seemed that she held the silence for an extended time, but I don’t think she did it intentionally. Maybe she did. I don’t know. But then she said “thank you” and the rest of the class came back to stand with me.

The professor’s very last statement was “You felt uncomfortable answering any of these questions.” I am glad to say that I didn't cross the room for that, either. I was totally comfortable being the only one who wasn't pro-choice, and being one of a few declaring that religion is important to me. I am fine that people know my high school wasn't very racially diverse. I don’t really care what my classmates find out about me through this “game” because they’re going to get the same views when they speak to me.

Please pray for wisdom and discernment for me, and pray that I am an accurate representation of Christ and Truth. Thank you.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Catch Up, Continued

Continuing from where I left off…

Sunday, Mom and Dad and I got up and went to church. The directions we got from the church website took us to the Baptist church- not exactly what we were looking for! So Dad called the pastor, and got updated directions, and we were there in no time. We walked into the building with the pastor, and I saw immediately a girl from another MC that I knew, and so we started talking, and then her mom came over and talked with my parents, and then the pastor’s daughter that I “met” on Facebook came over, and then all of a sudden church was starting. We worshipped, and then the pastor introduced us, and told the congregation that they were my new church family!

After church, my friend’s mom and my mom were talking, and I was informed that I could go over to their home any time, any weekend; I was more than welcome! It was very encouraging to have all this excitement and support, and I began to feel not as lost as I had been.

My parents and I went out to lunch with the pastor and his wife, their daughter, her husband and three kids, and my friend and her sister. Afterwards, my parents drove me back to campus, and on the way, they said that they were very happy with this church and the pastor and the families. They told me that they felt confident leaving me here with this church body, and that they knew I would be well taken care of. That gave me a sense of peace like none other!

Now here comes the sad part: I had to get out of the car and go back to my dorm room, and my parents had to drive to the airport and fly home. I can barely think of that moment without tears coming, because it’s so fresh and tender, but I will do my best. There were tears all around, and both my parents told me that I was going to succeed here, and that this is God, and that they are proud of me, and they love me very, very much. I could barely stand to walk down the long sidewalk to my residence hall, because I knew that I wouldn’t see them for at least 3 months, probably 4. I think I turned and waved 3 or 4 times before the rental car was out of sight and I reached the door.

I walked inside, and my Hall Coordinator asked me if I was ok. I could barely speak without tears, but I managed “I just said goodbye to my parents.” She came over and gave me a hug, and I smiled and nodded and walked up two flights of stairs to my room. I was alone, and I put my head on my new comforter and cried out loud. Then I tried to unpack my backpack, and then after I put one thing away, I would cry some more, and then I’d put a couple more things away, and then I’d cry some more. This lasted about 20 minutes, and then I had to go downstairs and do some orientation stuff.

That evening, I had been planning a “homesick party” so I got out my Bible and journal and letters from two dear friends, and I wrote in my journal and read the Word and the letters, and I cried a little, and then I went to bed. After that, I was fine! I don’t think I cried the rest of the week! I think I got too distracted by new friends and finding locations and getting lost and laughing to remember to miss my family, which is fine by me!

Wednesday was Labor Orientation, where we got trained in our jobs. In the morning we had general sessions about how labor is an integral part of our education, and then we went to 3 different workshops on different topics. For lunch, we dined with our supervisor, and then we went to 2 sessions that our boss chose. I’m working on the budget for a specific department, which is nice because it’s a little different, but at the same time it’s challenging because I am NOT an accounting major! But we’ll see how God uses this.

Thursday was the first day of classes, and they went pretty well! I have 3 classes that are T/Th, and then one that is M/W/F. My PE class is Monday nights. Last week was a great week for classes- just 2 days! I think I’m going to enjoy all the classes; the challenge will be to juggle everything. But I do appreciate having a day to do homework, since all my classes are every other day. I work on M/W/F, for a total of 10 hours a week, which is required.

On Saturday, I slept in, and then did homework while hanging with friends. We actually went to the gym, and since I can read on the elliptical machine, I did! I finished my marketing chapter while working up a sweat! My friends thought I was crazy, reading and walking/climbing stairs, but I love that I can be active and still get work done. I feel doubly productive!

Saturday evening, I went to my new family’s home. They had another one of my friends over, and he totally surprised me by being there! Our joke is that he’s stalking me, so it was quite humorous that he was there! We all talked and hung out and started to watch Emma and drank margaritas. We went to bed around midnight, because the friend that was visiting had to drive an hour and a half to get home.

The family I stayed with has a Sunday morning tradition of dad making breakfast and everyone eats together before church. That was really fun! And then church was exciting- the fire alarms kept going off! So part of church was outside in the shade of a giant tree, and I got to hold the pastor’s granddaughter, who is just starting to crawl. I tried holding her in my seat, but it was not successful, so I moved to the side of the sanctuary and sat on the floor so she could roll and rock and push herself up without falling off the chair.

At home, my new family had another family over for lunch, and so there were a LOT of people at the table, and a lot of kids in the kitchen! My friend drove me back to campus, and I finished the small amount of reading I had to do, and then talked on the phone with a couple different friends, and then Mom.

Oh, it killed me to say goodbye to Mom, and I called her back at 11:30pm! I had tried to go to bed, but I couldn't stop crying, so I called Mom back and talked to her for another 30 minutes. Before I called her, though, I prayed and wrote in my journal and heard the Lord reassure me of His perfect timing and placement. I felt much better after hearing God and hearing Mom, and I fell asleep almost instantly.

Today was sort of lazy, sort of crazy. My first class on Mondays isn't until after lunch, so I got to laze around a bit, then go to class, work, dinner, and PE. It was a little stressful getting from work to dinner to PE, because the dining hall and the gym are on opposite sides of the campus {intentionally, I think!} and so I was worried about being late to class. But I actually had plenty of time to eat and get over there, and I was even early!

Since I have an 8am class tomorrow, I’m going to bed now. I hope you all enjoy this update, and I will try to keep you up to date of my thoughts and classes and interesting things that happen at college. Goodnight!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Catch Up

Goodness, readers, has it really been more than a week since I've written? Has it been that long? For me, yes! It has been long, but at the same time, the past week and a half have flown by. It’s totally God, because if the days were dragging, I would be miserable. I would miss my family… but let me back up and start at the beginning of the journey.

Wednesday night, I had to say goodbye to all my friends, and to my sisters, which was really hard. We hugged, and then I turned around to hug someone else, and when I turned back my sisters were all crying. And so we had to hug again, which made us cry harder. It was really, really difficult to leave everyone.

BFF, I know you’re reading this, and I miss you and love you tons, and I smell your note often! Sis {I know you know who you are!}, I miss everyone more than I thought I would, and that was a lot, so yeah.

After we said to goodbye to everyone, Mom and Dad and I went home to pack. Mom {aka, Superwoman} got everything into 3 suitcases. Ok, I had done a pretty decent job, but she squished and pushed and weighed and condensed, and we got it! We flew out Thursday, and then went shopping on Friday. I got the cutest bedspread and sheets and pillow and soft blanket- check out the pic!
bed

After Mom and I had finished shopping, we went to the airport to pick up Dad. We went to dinner, and then back to the hotel.

Saturday was move-in day and orientation! We got to the dorm at 8:30am, and thank God the elevator was unlocked! When Mom and I had toured the dorm on Friday, the RA told us that the elevator only went down; no one could ride it up because there are offices in the basement and the first floor, and they don’t want creepers riding the elevator up to the residences on the 2nd and 3rd floors. But thank goodness she had unlocked it for the first few days so that we could take the suitcases up to my room on the 3rd floor!

We separated the beds and raised them so we could fit our dressers under them; that saved us a ton of space! During the arranging time, my roomie came in! Yay! She and her mom were there, and once they saw the room and us, they went back downstairs to bring up her luggage.

After we had dropped our luggage off, we went to do orientation stuff. Thankfully, I had got my ID printed the day before, so I didn't have to stand in line for that! There were some papers to sign and some people to meet, and that took us a few hours. FINALLY it was all done! We went back to the dorm and began unpacking in earnest.

It was a little crowded at first, but once my roomie put the desk where she wanted it, and got her dresser under her bed, we had plenty of room. Except for the several suitcases. Mom and Dad and I got everything put away, and then it was time for the group orientation.

It was really weird being there, because it was HOT and most of the students there were freshmen and their parents, and they all looked more worried and scared than my parents and I did! After we played some games {the parents got to go inside and be reassured about the safety of their children}, we met with our advisers, then went to the Ceremony of Dedication, which was pretty interesting. All the faculty got dressed in their graduation gowns from their highest degree, and there was a song sung, a prayer read, a couple speeches given, and then it was over.

That was the last event that parents and family could attend; everything afterwards was for the students. Mom and Dad went back to the hotel and I went to dinner with my adviser and others in the same department. It was fun, and afterwards our “small groups” met again with our advisers and we just talked of general things.

I was exhausted after that, but there was more! We met in our dorms {actually, I didn’t; I met with other transfer students in the Alumni Building} and we talked about general resident-hall policies. We got done early, thank God, and Dad came to pick me up. Our hotel room looked empty without all of my suitcases! All I had was my backpack and my purse, and my clothes that I was going to wear to church tomorrow. We went to bed pretty early Saturday; I think we were all mentally and emotionally exhausted from the day.

I’ll tell you about church on Sunday later. Thank you for your prayers!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Counting Down to the Wrong Day

Yes, readers, it’s true. My count-down is wrong. You see, I've been counting down the days until I fly away, and that count is accurate. But I should have been counting down the days I have left with my family and friends, because that is one day less than my flying countdown. Also, I should be counting down the days until I meet my room-mate, which is two days after I fly.

Friends and family, I’m sorry for neglecting your countdown. Only one more day! I wish I could spend every minute with every one of you, and believe me, I am going to miss you beyond words.

Roomie ~ 5 days!!! I can’t wait to meet you face to face, to see how our stuff compliments or clashes, to realize once again how God has totally orchestrated our rooming together. Good luck travelling, and I’ll see you Saturday!

That’s all I have for right now… guess I’ll see what else I can pack!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Prayer

Today was my last Sunday at my home church. My last worship with familiar songs and singers, my last announcements in the traditional and not-so-traditional way, my last message with my amazing senior pastor. Oh, it was bittersweet.

After the service, my dad and I went to the front of the sanctuary to get prayer for me and this phase of my life. My senior pastor, my MC director, and my former teacher and current pastor prayed for me. It was truly amazing, because these men of God prayed for me exactly what my heart has been crying out for in regards to this journey. They prayed that I would change the campus, instead of the campus changing me. They prayed that I would remain firm in my identity as a confident, outgoing woman of God. They prayed that I would become a deep, connected part of the church body near my school, and that I would always remember “the rock from which I was cut” and remember my roots at my home church. They prayed that I would press deeper into the Lord as I experience all the new things that I’m going to experience.

And with those prayers, I feel a finality come over me. It wasn’t entirely real to me until today. Even at a week left, I was still in a little bit of a haze about the reality of my leaving. But now that I've been prayed for and sent, and that I've said goodbye and “see you at Family Camp" to almost everyone I know, it’s really real to me. And I don’t know how I feel about that.

My BFF is deeply saddened, and I’m sorry to leave her.  My parents are more quiet about me leaving; they make comments here and there so I know they do feel it, but I’m honestly dreading next Sunday. I know that there will be tears on both ends, and I think my parents and I are all the kind of people who cry more when they see other people cry, as if we weren't crying enough by ourselves!

And to top this all off, this evening I saw my grandparents for the last time before Christmas. As I wrote about previously, my grandpa has Alzheimer’s, so it’s difficult to say goodbye. And my grandma has been so incredible and strong, and I had to say goodbye to her, and it just about killed me. If I didn’t have a friend over, I probably would have gone to my room and sobbed.

So as much as I’m excited for this new adventure, I’m dreading saying goodbye. Wednesday night and Sunday night are going to be the hardest… I really don’t know how I’m going to get up the next morning and keep going. BUT GOD is good, and so I know that, somehow, I will get up and keep going.

On that happy note, I’m going to finish this post and go read Les Miserables. Ironic, I know. I’m not miserable, though. Just missing people…goodbye for now.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Down to a Week…

Alright, readers, the countdown is down to seven days. In one week, I’ll be boarding a plane for a far-away place. In a week from Saturday, I will meet my room-mate. Woot! And in a week from Sunday, I will say goodbye to my parents and watch them drive to the airport to board the plane home…without me. And in two weeks from today, I’ll start classes at my new school.

Alright, I admit: I’m scared. Not just nervous-excited, but good ol’ fashioned petrified. Terrified. Scared stiff. Worried. Concerned. Horrified. Trembling. Shaking in my boots. Dreading next Thursday, and pretty much everything that comes after it.

But at the same time, I’m so excited to see what God does! I’m excited to meet new people, make new friends, be considered the girl with the funny accent! I’m thrilled to have a dorm-room experience, to have a job on-campus, to be considerate of time zones when I call home. I’m excited to unpack my suitcases, to put pictures on the wall instead of taking them off.

Yes, I’m definitely going to miss my family and my friends and my church and the weather here at home. But simultaneously (if possible) I am filled with anticipation of what God is going to do on campus. I can’t wait for the revival that I know is going to be started, just by being a Burning One for Him. I can’t wait to have those deep, intense, tear-filled conversations with people as we struggle together and come to know Truth. Aughghghgh!!! I can barely wait!

Thank you for your prayers, readers! I’m grateful for you, and I am so excited to begin blogging about this new phase of life!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

End of the Book

I finished my summer reading today. It took me less than 24 hours to read, and I don’t know if I’m glad that I finished it. It was a good story, and the characters were well-developed. It’s the story of a ten-year-old boy in the summer of 1976. His dad is back from fighting in Vietnam, and his aunt was a war-protester, so there is some friction there. His father has nightmares of the war, and times when the war comes back and takes over him, so to speak. That was a confusing time period, and as a ten-year-old, Eli has some keen insights into the adult world.

I’m glad I finished it. I can’t say that I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was a good, well-told story. It made me think, so I can respect it for that. I don’t agree with the author’s worldview… too much emphasis on the trees “speaking.” At the end of the book, Eli protests the Iraq war, and I don’t agree with protestors. But then as I think on it, I guess I don’t dislike his protest so much as I disagree with what he was protesting.

I’m grateful that Americans have the rights to express differing beliefs… I differ with the author on this one.
If you would like to read this book, please let me know, and I’ll loan it to you. But hurry: you’ve only got 8 days!

Summer Reading

Yesterday, I received in the mail a book from my new college. It’s called Eli the Good by Silas House. It’s rather interesting so far… there’s nothing wrong with it, per se. It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth, mentally, you know? I’m in the 4th or 5th chapter, and already there’s been a few scenes where I read a line and then stopped and considered just shutting the book right then. Finally, I just shut the book and picked up Les Miserables, the classic by Victor Hugo. I needed some redemption in my mind!

I asked the Lord about the summer reading book this morning, and He told me that it’s practice for when I go to school. Things aren’t going to necessarily be bad or good, but they’re ok. He told me that I need to know that He is speaking and listening all the time, so at any point while reading, I can pause and get His perspective. He also told me that I’ll probably want to declare His Blood over my mind after each reading, and that’s what I plan on doing.

One of the things that bothers me about this book is that the sentences are not totally clear. They’re not easy to follow, which makes reading it more laborious. Also, the book is written in the typical American style, and other than Mark Twain and Laura Ingalls Wilder, I can’t say that I’m a fan of the American style. Sorry, USA, but it’s true.

Here’s my goal: not just to finish the book, but to finish it and have Father’s perspective and answers to the issues the book raises, and then be able to discuss His answers with the other students who have read it. Who knows, I may even be able to discuss His perspective with Mr. Silas House himself, since I’ll have the opportunity to meet him at Student Orientation next week.

Golly, it’s next week. This is my last weekend at home…I keep saying “last” like I’m never coming back, but in reality, it’s just for 4 months at a time, for 2 years. I can so handle 4 semesters! If my God is for me, then who can stand against me?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ten Days

Ten Days. In 10 days, I'll be flying to my new home, 1,300 miles away. I can't believe it's this soon!

Everything felt close when I started my countdown at 30 days...10 days seems like tomorrow! Most of my belongings that are staying here are already packed. Today, in order to get some headway on my closet, I pulled out a suitcase and began packing winter clothing that I obviously won't need for a few more months. I'll have to pack the rest of my clothes the day or so before I leave, because I don't want to live out of a suitcase in my own room. So that will happen probably Tuesday or Wednesday of next week...gosh, I can't believe how time has flown by!

On Saturday, my mom and sister and I went to Macy's to shop their big sale. I got two gorgeous tops, a long sweater, and then two t-shirts to wear under tops that need just a little more fabric. I feel pretty well prepared, except for shoes. I'm sorely lacking in the sandal department! Flip-flops are about all I have in abundance...I'm not sure I can live in those all the time, though. We'll see.

I don't know if I'll have the guts, time, or desire to write anything more between now and The Big Day, but I promise to update you once I get settled. Thanks for your patience and your prayers!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

EEG

Today, I went to a doctor's office and had an EEG.

Now, first of all, do not ask me what EEG stands for; I only know what it does and feels like. I have no idea if EEG is an acronym, and abbreviation, or something doctors say just to sound cool. But I can tell you how my EEG went, and what it felt like.

The lady asked me to lie down on the table, and to flip my hair over the pillow. She asked me why I was getting an EEG, and as I told my story, she began marking my face, scalp, and chest with what I assumed to be marker. She then followed each of those marks with some cold, gunky paste, and then the small circle of rubber attached to wires. This whole process took several minutes, with her turning my head to one side and then another in order to mark up and attach what felt like my entire skull.

Once that was finished, she told me that I would have to not talk, keep my eyes closed, and not fall asleep! No problem...right. I lay there for a while, and every few minutes, she would say "Open your eyes. Now close them please." Then she told me, "Ok, I need to to hyperventilate. Ready, go!" And so I began what I assumed was hyperventilation: breathing fast and hard, but not getting enough oxygen for a while. After what felt like forever but was probably only a minute, she told me "Too hard! Slow down please." So I slowed down and waited for her to tell me to stop.

After an eternity, she told me "Good job! You're halfway done!" And I thought, "Halfway!??!?! What the crap??" So I kept going, and then she FINALLY told me to stop. But little did I know, after the hyperventilation is worse than actually doing it.

My body felt like it was in motion; my left hand and forearm went numb and tingly; my head felt as if I was shaking it violently back and forth. Oh, it was bad! But then it got WORSE! She had to flash the strobe light on my face, to see what my brain would do then. I thought it was just going to be the one series of FLASH...FLASH...FLASH. Done. WRONG! It would flash faster, and behind my eyes, it looked like there were two giant circular saws closing in on my face. And then there would be darkness. Phew, I thought, it's over. Wrong again!

The flashes continued for probably five minutes, and each blurred image behind my eyes would be more and more painful, and the blessed relief in between lights was only a tease. FINALLY it was over! Then more aftershocks. My head felt like I was falling backwards; my arm was still numb, and my right arm seemed to be waving back and forth. My legs felt like they were on the "very dry" cycle of a laundry dryer. All I wanted to do was shut my eyes and lie down...and then I realized I had my eyes shut and I was already lying down. Yes, it sucked.

 Then it was over. She turned on the lights again, and got a warm washcloth to wipe my face and hair as she pulled the wires off and cleaned the gunk off of me. She recommended I shower. Um, duh? Just a little.

The only real downside was that she knew, right then and there, if I was having sub-clinical seizures or not, but she couldn't tell me. She had to send the results to my doctor and they would discuss it, and then my doctor would call me. So after all that torture, I have to wait to find out what my poor brain is doing. But oh well. It made for an interesting post, didn't it? :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Roomie!

Yesterday, I "met" my room-mate over the phone! It was so exciting! I think that we get along great... well, at least we had a great 23 minute conversation! :)

 Based on that 23 minute conversation, I think we compliment each other pretty well, and I'm so excited to meet her on Saturday, August 21st. That's when we'll see our room, too, so it will be a giant culmination of anticipation in one small room! I can't wait! We're both transfer students and both juniors. We both love Jesus. We were both homeschooled, and both of our jobs were taking care of children. Neither of us have lived terribly far from our families, so hopefully we'll be able to bawl our eyes out together and then cheer each other with laughing fits.

 On Facebook, we're asking each other questions back and forth so we can get to know each other a bit before we start school. I loved doing this a few years ago with some of my MC classmates, and even with one question asked and answered, I feel like I know my roomie a bit better. I'll keep you posted about this amazing transition time.

Friday, July 30, 2010

So much for THAT idea...

Well, readers, so much for writing 9 posts before tomorrow! :-p It's ok, though... I'll definitely have more than enough to write about once I make my move to school...in 20 days!!!!!

 I honestly cannot believe that in less than 3 weeks I'll be moving more than 1500 miles away to live for two years. Yes, I'll be back home for Christmas and summer, but that's still a long time! Thankfully, I'm already "in the loop" with a church family back there... thank God for facebook! The pastor and his daughter have made me feel most welcome, and I'm really excited for August 22nd, because that is the Sunday that I'll get to meet all these fabulous people that I've only seen on facebook and heard about through friends. 

Thankfully, I know 2 people already. They are Master's Commission students from this church, and I got to meet them just a couple weeks ago. I'm really excited to see them again, and to start this great adventure that God has planned for me!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Just Because

In the year 2009, I wrote 43 posts. It's July of 2010, and I've written 33 so far. This will be 34, and the little bit of me that's competitive and OCD makes me want to write as many posts in the first 7 months of this year as I did in the entirety of last year. But I still want to make these posts meaningful, so here goes.

You've probably heard the expression "boys and their toys." This can be used to reference classic cars, tools, generally anything with an engine, or video games. This post will be about the latter.

I know there are too many articles and books written, and too many studies done, and on and on about people who spend their lives in games. We are all familiar with the evils of continual gaming; I remember a Lizzie McGuire episode when Gordo got caught up in a gaming community. I'm not going to get on the soapbox about lifelong gamers... I trust that since you're reading a blog, you're not struggling with intensive gaming. :)

However, I want to spark a curiosity in you about playing games in general. Or even watching movies or TV in excess of 4 hours a week. Why? Why spend your valuable time, made even more valuable by my presumption that this is your free time, playing a game? Why lose yourself in an alternative, imaginary reality when you live in an amazing reality? Why watch a screen when you can live your own adventures? Why listen to special sound effects when you can make your own soundtrack? Why blog when you can just talk to people?

I know. Not all of my questions and reasoning is fair. Great values can be found in some films and shows, and playing games can be a good bonding experience. I understand all this, and yet something in me holds out as a "purist," so to speak. Really, face-to-face interaction produces better relationships, and focusing on a screen during your interaction detracts from the bonding experience. I wish there was a part of me that could accept a happy medium, but right now I can only think in black and white, and I'm not even describing the extremely extreme!

Sorry if I'm rambling, dear readers, but this is what is battling in my head, and maybe you have some thoughts that can clear me up... thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

In the Midst of the darkness, I'll look for the Light...

I leave in 30 days. I just met with a neurologist today, and he mentioned seizures. I have so many things to do at school, and nothing can be done until I get there. My room looks half-naked, because I've packed up what is staying into boxes to go downstairs. My grandpa gets confused so easily.

There are so many dark things around me these days, in the midst of this summery sunshine, and I have been thinking that I need to focus on all the things that God has given me right now that I can appreciate them in the now. So here's my list.

I love...

  • red nail polish on my toes
  • the smell of pineapples
  • blue skies and sunshine
  • having a job that pays well
  • getting to see my sisters
  • my mom's dinners
  • my dad's birthday cake
  • shopping with my sisters for my dad's birthday present
  • my new jeans that my BFF helped me pick out
  • thinking about my new school
  • seeing my grandpa smile when I hold his hand
  • petting my dog
  • folding clean towels
  • visits with friends 

There! Just by making this list, I have realized how much I have to be grateful for! Thank You, Jesus, for my life. I know that You hold me in Your hands.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's Official!!!

It's official now! I just got the email from my college... I'm a junior!!! Woot!!!! There were some concerns that not all of my credits would be applied towards my degree (the downside of transferring out of state and to a private school), but it is officially official that I've done 2 years of college already! Thank You, God, for working some miracles! I'm so looking forward to seeing Your hand in more of this adventure!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

This is what happens when you sit at a desk all day with no job...

I'm working for at a conference right now, as a temp, and my job is to sit at a desk and radio for help when people need help with their exhibition booths. So after checking facebook multiple times, and checking my email at least once an hour, and reading for approximately two straight hours, I have decided to put some of my thoughts on this blog.

Please note: these thoughts, separated here by an extra line or two, are not at all related. They are just in the same post because I have a thing with posting four or five posts in the same hour. My OCD gets the better of me sometimes! ;)

So here are my thoughts on a few varying topics. Please comment and agree or disagree, support or tear apart. I would love to hear from you, and I'd especially love to hear your own thoughts!

Topic #1: technology can't make judgments.

At the conference I'm working right now, the bathrooms are ENTIRELY automated. Toilet, sink, and soap. Oh, and a few of them have the air hand-dryers. All automatic. The purpose of these automated objects is to be healthy and germ-free, and to conserve water. Nice idea, in theory. But in practice, these automations tend to waste resources. They are motion-sensitive; how many times do you move in the restroom? Not to be crass, but my point is that when washing your hands, you could be moving your arms to rinse all of your arms, but the soap dispenser will sense the motion and release soap. Not wanted. Not needed. But wasted.

I'm sure most of us ladies have experienced the toilet flushing its own water when we open the door to leave the stall. How does that save water? I'm not on an environmental rampage; I don't agree with a lot of what the environmentalists are selling.

My point is this: technology cannot make judgments. These motion-sensitive machines detect motion and do their task, but because machines cannot "decide" if the motion is the "right" one that requires a course of action. Machines can only respond to their programming, but they cannot judge the motive, intent, or situation.

Topic #2: politics

How can one enter into politics and remain strong in their specific convictions about public policy, but not be too extreme so as to repulse voters? I'm thinking specifically of the conservative party: there are some conservatives who are definitely not liberal, but they are not extremely conservative either. How does an extremely conservative politician appeal to those voters without losing his extreme views? Take abortion. You're either for it or against it. I don't understand how people can say "I'm against it, but I think it should be legal." WHY!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

I don't understand how people won't use their place of influence to influence the arenas where they have convictions. I guess this is a matter of prioritizing. If I agree with a candidate on most issues, the big issues, then I'll probably vote for him or her. But what if I don't agree with one of the big issues, but I do agree with all the others, and the alternative candidate is definitely not going to get my vote? I think this is where civil activity comes in, and I would send the first candidate a letter or email and try to persuade him or her to my side on that particular issue. This seems like a case of picking the lesser of two evils. Thoughts, readers?

Topic #3: community

My pastor has been speaking recently about the importance of remaining in community, versus living in isolation. I was reminded of his message during a conversation with my co-workers. The gentleman was saying that he and his wife burned all their wedding pictures, because they realized the wedding was for other people. He said they had a little ceremony of their own after that, and if they had to do it over again, they would have just eloped. There was a time when I would have agreed with him. I have been torn, when considering my own wedding {off in the waaaaaay distant future, just so you're all at ease!} between a grand, cathedral-style wedding, or a small ceremony on the beach with just our immediate families.

After hearing my pastor's messages, and after listening to my co-worker's opinion, I had to reconsider. I definitely could do a small wedding on the beach, but is that really embracing the community that I've been placed into? I would have to shake my head and say "no." Now, I'm sure there are situations when the small beach wedding fits the families and the couple better, and I understand that weddings are seriously expensive, and I'm not condemning people for keeping a budget! No, I commend you!

But my point is this: community is good for us. It keeps us seeking the Lord, both with and for the people we are around. So the next time you have a choice to be alone or be with a group of covenant friends, or your family, or even co-workers, I'd ask the Lord and choose the group.

Ok, those are my 3 topics that have been hovering around my brain for the past three days. This is the last day of the conference, and it is the end of this post. Please comment and let me read your own thoughts on any or all of these topics! :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's Real

Ever anticipate something for so long, but then in the midst of your anticipation, you realize that the thing you've been anticipating is actually going to exist, and then you think maybe this wasn't such a good idea and what on earth have I gotten myself into and how do I leave and where do I run?

That's pretty much how I feel right now. I'm about to go on an approximately 1,500 mile journey and leave my family and friends and the familiar for over 4 months. Am I crazy!?!?What was I thinking when I said this was my first-choice school!?!?!? How am I going to survive?

And then comes the quiet peace, and Holy Spirit whispers, "It's ok. I'm going with you. You will not be alone, and you are in My will." And then my being sags a bit, as if all the air of a balloon was let out, and the stress and nerves that had me so wound up tight have been released. For now.

You see, tension seems to build itself in me, and I don't realize it until I think about leaving, and then the tension starts building a mansion, instead of just the little burrow it previously had made in my mind, and all of a sudden the mansion is taking over. Thank God for His Holy Spirit!

I got a letter today from my local school. They have some financial aid for me, which is great, except I'm not going! I don't know if they don't know how to take 'no' for an answer, or if they want to convince and entice me, or if they simply haven't received my 'thanks, but no thanks' letter. I'm not sure. I don't really care, though. I'm not going to their school; I'm going far away into the loneliness...

What if I stayed here and went to the local school? How would my life be different? Besides the obvious lack of distance in relationships, there's the not-so-obvious lack of new friends to be made. I'm not saying that I won't make any friends if I stay local, but I feel a calling, an urging to go to this far-away school, like I'm going to change the world by going there. And who knows? I just might. God knows.

Well, thanks for letting me spill my guts again, dear readers. I can't wait to regale you with tales of my far-away adventures...even thought simultaneously I'm dreading leaving.
"I'm going with you..."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Future Life?

A few days ago, I started reading Laura Bush's Spoken From the Heart. Why am I reading this? Well, my discipler told me, on our very first meeting, that she heard the Lord say that I am like Mrs. Laura Bush. So, being a diligent, if delayed, disciple, I ordered the book from the library, and it just arrived late last week. As I've delved into the first hundred or so pages of the book, I began pondering my own life. If I'm like Laura Bush, doesn't it follow that I too will write a book about my life? And if that is true, why shouldn't I get a head start on it, since I am obviously alive, and the past 21 years are a part of my life.

And that thought made me pause.

You see, I've thought about writing books before. I've considered writing fiction, or a children's book, or a devotional, or even just giving my journals to my children, when they're old enough. But I'd never considered writing an autobiography, because I'd never thought my life would be public enough for an autobiography to be necessary. But as I read Laura Bush's book, and as I consider that I could live a life like hers, with the influence she has, I realize that my life will definitely reach far and beyond what I thought possible. And that scares me.

But it also inspires and convicts me! If my life is going to be so public, and my influence is going to be so great, how must I live now so that my testimony later is as powerful as possible? How can I live today so that tomorrow my life can be examined and found to lack nothing? What choices can be made in the present so that the future will give all the glory to God?

It's like applying to colleges. You keep your MySpace and Facebook page as good-looking as possible, you volunteer for all sorts of events and organizations, and you don't get speeding tickets. But on a much bigger scale, how am I interacting with people today so that in 10, 15, 20 or more years, they will remember me and say, "She was a godly woman even in her twenties." I want that!!! I want the people who know me now, or even those who know my face or name, to later be able to say "When she was in college, she had integrity," or "When she worked for this or that employer, she made the company look good," or "I took a class with her in college, and she made class fun." What am I doing today that will be positively remembered later?

I hope that my life so far is an example of trusting the Lord. I know there are specific points in my life that I was so scared to let go of control, but I know also that overall, my testimony will be that I trusted the Lord, and He has done great things.

I hope that so far, I have lived a life of risk. I hope that I have risked something or everything so that someone else may encounter a piece of Jesus. I hope that some small act of boldness on my part changed someone else's life for the better.

I hope that I have been an encouragement to those around me. I hope that the people I see or talk to regularly have been uplifted by my words and actions, and I hope that I have supported my dear friends in their life battles.

I hope that I have made others welcome. If you were ever "the new guy" in my presence, I hope that I made you feel welcome and included. I hope that my icebreakers weren't too awkward, and that you were able to join the group with no hesitations.

These are some of words that will describe my life, I hope. If you have any to add, please feel free to comment on this post. I'd love to hear from you.

Pulling

Have you ever felt two completely different emotions at the same time? Welcome to my world!

I'm sooooooo excited to go to this new school, but it's so far away from my home! I'm thrilled to be doing something new, but I'm petrified to leave the old. I'm anticipating making lots of new friends, but I'm definitely going to miss the old ones. I'm looking forward to living in a dorm, but I'm nervous about sharing a room with a stranger.

 My emotions are flipping back and forth, pulling me from one feeling to the next. And while I don't want to be led by my feelings, I know that I need to process through them and talk with my parents and friends as they come. My discipler gave me a great analogy of this time in my life: preparing to go into labor! It's something I've been expecting, and the time comes when I'm ready, but when the moment comes, everything is katiwompus!

She told me that when you go into labor, your whole being shakes with adrenaline! This time of transition is so similar, because everything in me is shaking and vibrating and is focused on the now. I'm excited to begin this process, and I am definitely nervous, but as a wise man once told me, each progressive year is the best year of your life! Aka, it only gets better! Look up, readers, look up!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some Lists...


Ok, readers, this is a lot, because all this information and all these thoughts have been swarming around my head like bees around Winnie the Pooh. So here goes my attempt to clear my brain just a tad.

I have a lot of things to pack before I leave, and then I have an even longer list of things to buy once I get there. With airfare prices what they are, it will be cheaper to just fly with my clothes and personal items and then purchase the generic stuff. I'm just letting you know, because if I don't say at least something I definitely will go completely crazy.

When I pause and ponder things, several things jump out at me as "be a part of that!" activities. But when I sit down to write them all out, my brain goes, "just kidding!" and won't tell me! So be looking for a list of activities I want to participate in, because it is definitely coming!

One of these said activities will be something about helping bring about restoration to girls held captive in prostitution. Another will be donating HUGE funds to pro-life lobbyists and clinics. I would also like to sponsor a child, or three, or seven, from around the world, and I would definitely want to meet these kids.

I want to be known for my hospitality. When I have my own home, I want people to feel completely welcome and at home. I want my friends to feel comfortable staying, or leaving their kids. I want my kids to be great hosts and hostesses, and I want their friends to feel like this is their second home.

I think that this is a part of the reason I'm studying business: I want the flexibility and the means to host people for any length of time. This is a God-given desire, I believe, and I know that if it is, He will totally make it all happen without me having to do anything!!

Thanks for listening, readers, and be watching for more lists coming soon!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Things I'm Going to Miss

So, readers, today I took my last final. I'm done with school in my home state, and as I've been getting more and more excited and nervous about going away in a few months, quite a few things have stuck out to me as things or people or places that I will miss tremendously. 

So here, to show my appreciation for these items now, I'm going to make a list. These are in no particular order, and if I miss you as a person, please know that (a) it was completely unintentional...remember my brain is still in finals-mode! And (b) I will miss immense amounts of people, and no blog will ever be big enough to show my love and appreciation for you all.
Things I will miss:
  • My sisters!!!! 
  • Mountains! 
  • Tall buildings 
  • The ocean 
  • the kids I work with!!!!!!! 
  • my co-workers!!! 
  • playing tanks on the wii 
  • my puppy dog
  • not having to worry about the air conditioning 
  • my BFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!! 
  • not having to worry about time differences {for the most part}
  • Blue skies, blue water, green trees
  • my sisters' last few years of high school {as in, I will be absent for them... I personally am glad to be done with high school! but for their sake, I'm sad that I can't be here when they're experiencing it}
  • My mother's cooking
  • My sister's brownies
  • My sisters' birthdays :(
  • my church fam!
  • my discipler
  • home group
  • the library here at home
  • bookshelves in my room
  • having a car to drive! ahhh

This is all I can think of for right now. I know I didn't add a whole lot of people, but it's mainly because I'm in denial right now. I don't want to admit to myself that I'm leaving the people I adore, and there are a lot of you! So please, I'll add you to my list. In fact, YOU are the reason I'm making this list: by focusing on the small things, the big things kinda fade. But you are not forgotten! Really, you're the sharper pain... I'm trying to dull your presence by thinking of landscapes, but you are still there, and I will miss you more than I miss my library or tall buildings! Thanks for letting me vent just a little, and I know there will be more to come... not sure if that's good or bad, but it is. Loves!

Monday, June 14, 2010

OMW


Dear readers, please take my advice: unless there is a genuine NEED to move finals, don't! I moved two of my finals, and with those movements, have 4 finals and 1 speech and 1 HUGE project due within 3 days. I'm officially crazy.
Why, you ask, would I do such a silly thing? Am I going out of town? Out of the country? Out of my mind!?!?!? Yes to the last one.

The reason I moved 2 finals is so that I can go see Toy Story 3 in theaters at midnight on Thursday, and I didn't want to take finals on Friday morning. So here I am, keeping my head above water and praying that this movie and experience with friends will be worth it.

I know it will be. I'll be done 2 days before the quarter is over. I won't have to worry about school AND work at the same time (day camp starts on Monday, and we have all-day care on Thursday and Friday of this week), and my sis will be home, so I am free to go hang with her. It's just a little crazy right now. But I can do it! Jesus told me this morning that His grace is enough, and His strength is made perfect in my weakness. Of course I can do this!

Right now as I write, I'm already done with one final and my speech, and I'm working on the project. I should be done with the project before I go to work today (hopefully!), and then tonight is study session central!

Thank you for taking time to read my venting. It helps me clear my mind, and I'm sure it helps you appreciate your finals schedule! :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ponderings


Yesterday was a party celebrating my grandpa's 90th birthday. His birthday is tomorrow, but Saturdays are just better for parties, you know?

My grandpa has Alzheimer's. He gets confused, and forgets conversations and other things. It was a lovely party yesterday, and a lot of friends and relatives came to celebrate. 2 of Grandpa's nephews surprised him and came from across the country! I was glad all these people could come and celebrate, but in a way, it almost felt like a goodbye, and I'm not sure how to process that. It wasn't officially "farewell," of course, because he's still alive! But with his mind going before his body, I know that the Grandpa I grew up with is leaving me.

I'm glad all the family and friends could come and see him, and I'm really glad that he recognized and remembered everyone! There was just a sense, or a sense of a sense, of goodbyes being said. I'm sure that could be said of ANY 90th birthday party, especially with so many far-away relatives, but it felt different this time. Maybe it's because I live close to my grandpa, and because my dad is his son and there's the responsibility that comes with that. I don't know.

All I know is that it's hard to mourn someone when they're still here...yet at the same time, not. I don't know how to explain it, but I hope that you will pray for my family, especially my grandma and my dad, as they are the primary caregivers for my grandpa. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pot Boiling Over

Today was just one of those days.

Nothing actually went wrong, but everything was hard.

I took a test yesterday, and the day after the test is just plain agony, especially when the tests are not returned.

I took a test today, and actually think I did good. I'm still not going to become an accountant, though!

I gave a speech today. I barely made the time frame, although she gives you 30 seconds plus or minus, but again, getting to the goal was a struggle.

God told me to go out and census for a while, but I chose not to, reasoning that I only had an hour and half before work. I accomplished nothing instead.

I went to work, and because it was raining, the kids had to be inside a lot. And of course they were rowdy, because they've been inside all day. They went swimming, and then later we went outside, but it was a long day.

I met with my census boss, and he was surprised I hadn't done as much as he thought I had. Guess what my weekend looks like?

I argued with my sister over where my loofah should remain: in the sink or in the tub. And then I yelled at her because she didn't put my towel back where I wanted it. How trivial!

And to complete my skewed day, my favorite show, the only one I watch, has just ended. No, excuse me, it ended last week with a "to be continued." As in, continued next season! Just force agony upon me! It wouldn't be so bad, except I had been expecting this week to be the last, so there was a week's worth of disappointment in me.

I missed His grace today. I think if I'm going to shower in the morning, I need to get up earlier so I can spend time in His Presence first and foremost, because if I don't right away, I won't at all. And I can't go without Him.

Maybe that's the lesson I need to learn today. I need Him more than anything else. If my pot is boiling over, maybe it's the signal to jump into the fire and burn for Him.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's Official


The day has finally come. The decision has been made. The Lord has been sought, and He has poured out His favor.

I'm going to my far-away first choice school!!!! My parents and I were praying about for a while, but then the letter from the second-choice, local school came, and they wanted their money this week. So Mom and Dad and I looked at each other and said, "OK, we'll just hear God this week!"

I'm beyond confident that this is where I'm supposed to go. I nervously waited for Mom and Dad to tell me what they had heard, and when they said "yes," I was thrilled. My heart is so at peace, and I'm really excited and nervous and shaking and smiling and I wish it was August already!

On the other hand, I'm a little sad. I know that I will miss my friends and family, and the familiar. This will be the first time that I don't go to my home church for an extended period of time, and I'm nervous about what the church there will entail. But I know that God is good and He has great plans for me, and when I'm in His will, there's grace. I have been praying for His Spirit and His conviction to be with me when I go, because I'll be alone, so I'll need Him to guide me.

He shared some things with me yesterday, and I realized what a huge step this is for me. One wrong decision, and I'll have no one to blame but myself. I could get in very bad trouble, or I could stay straight with God and get His heart for everything! I plan on doing the latter. Thank you for sharing my excitement. I'll keep you posted as I register for classes and get my free t-shirt! :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

We're Together















This week has been all up and down for me. You may know that I was accepted into my first choice college, many many miles away from home. You may also know I applied to my hometown college, a few miles away. I got in there, too.

But let me back up. After I had applied to both, I wanted, oh so badly, to go far away to school. I wanted it. I breathed it. I dreamed it, and I didn't even have a mental picture to dream about, so my mind made one up so I could dream about it! I was praying that I would get it while I was trying not to get my hopes up, since I do live so far away and the odds of me getting in were slim. I tried to force my heart to be ok with going to the hometown school, and I tried and tried to like it. But I couldn't. I wasn't on the alter. I was holding my heart with both hands covered, not willing to let God mold it as He chose.

 But then I found myself on the alter, and I found myself way more at peace. I had asked Him, even against my own will, to have His way. And suddenly I realized that no matter what school I went to, I could worship my Lover. He had eased my grip off my heart, and then He too it gently in His own palms and kissed my heart. I found complete peace, and I loved His will. I told Him, "Whatever You want, do it. I choose You." I would have been completely happy going to my hometown school; I actually began believing that I would, because there was no way in God's green earth that I could get in to the far-away school, but hey, let's see what God does.

This went on for about a month, while I waited for a letter, a postcard, something from either of these schools. It was agony, but I was at peace. Funny how God gives perfect peace, but sometimes there is pain in the peace, so the pain doesn't hurt that badly, but it's still there, but the peace is never marred. God is so cool.

Well, I got a letter. Actually, it was a BIG envelope with a letter and a scholarship from my first-choice school. Yes, I got in. Against all odds, I got in to this amazing school several states away. I made it. They want me. I was thrilled! And so my dad and I went to visit this far-away school, and I fell in love with it. Small school, small town, friendly people, beautiful campus. Yes, this is pretty much Heaven on earth. And I still hadn't heard from my local school, so why not dream? Well, I think in this dreaming, I reclaimed my grip on my heart. Going to my local school seemed an incredible chore. I got in where I wanted; why should I care about this other school? "I care," God seemed to say. "I care, because I want you to trust Me completely. What if I ask you to stay local? Can you still worship? Will you be mad at Me? What if?"

Again I am forced to surrender my will to His, and I'm still in the process of getting to the peace. Both of these schools are prestigious, and I should be honored and grateful that I was accepted at my local school, because it's very competitive, but to be completely honest...I was disappointed that I got in. I was pretty sure I would get in, and I felt bad that I was accepted when other people that I know were not. And I was a little mad at God for still keeping both doors open. He reminded me, though, that to Him, it's about relationship, and if I got my decision in a letter, I wouldn't have to press in to Him and ask Him.

But because I face an immense decision, I am forced to give my heart back to Him and surrender my will back to His. My parents told me that they are pretty sure that I'm going to the far-away school, and when they said that, I almost melted. To have their support is huge. But then something else replaced the weight of uncertainty: I'm leaving. I am moving across the country for two years. I will live in a dorm with someone that I have never met, and I will go to school with people who are used to a completely different culture than I am.

Sadness, maybe? Nervousness? Anticipation laced with timidity, sprinkled with excitement and salted with reality? Probably all of the above. I'm still open to God telling me to go to the local school, and I'm still working on relinquishing my grip. My head knows that I will be MUCH better off in His will than mine, but my heart is slow and rather stubborn... it's a process.

I will leave you with this: trust Him. He wants the best for you, and more than that, He just wants you. If He can have relationship with you while you're going through hell, then hell is to His glory, and He will bring gold out of the fires of hell. When He gives you peace, no pain can dull it. When you know that you know that you know He adores you, it doesn't matter what school you go to. It only matters that you and Him are together. We're together.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Looking Back to Go Forward

I was thinking the other day about how the number one question adults ask kids is "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Think for a moment... every answer reveals a deep part of a child's personality. Some careers are for helping people, some are for taking care of others, some are for sharing compassion, some are for having fun. Doctors, nurses, teachers, astronauts, cowboys, race car drivers, even dinosaurs (as one little boy I know is convinced he will be when he grows up!), all play characters that little boys and girls want to embody.

Now that I'm older, I'm asked a different version of the same question: "What are you studying?" "What are you planning?" What do you want to do with that degree?" and so on. I've been thinking that hopefully my current dreams are a reflection and a maturation of my previous dreams. When I was younger, I wanted to own a dance company and teach ballet.

Now, I'm studying marketing and management, and I want to run my own business. You can see the correlation: owning a business, and telling people what to do! :) What were and are your dreams? How are your past dreams reflected in your present dreams? Are they remotely related, or still the same? What part of your childhood dreams do you still want to embody, and how can you intertwine that into your present goals? Take a look backwards, and see if the past can shed some light on your future.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Communication really is key

For my ASL 6 class, I'm doing a presentation on Deaf education. I also "borrowed" this topic for my informative speech in Public Speaking class, and so recently I've been reading a ton about the history, culture, and language of the Deaf.

Currently I'm reading a book called A Journey into the DEAF-WORLD by Harlan Lane, Robert Hoffmeister, and Ben Bahan. This book is bringing up a lot issues to contemplate. One of the main challenges Deaf people face is the fact that approximately 90% of Deaf people are born to hearing parents. Hearing parents are often advised to go to speech therapy and audio-specialists, etc, but are never told to sign with their child. Because the Deaf children's parents don't sign with them, they miss out on the most crucial language-development years.

There is a lot of frustration from both the parents and the child, and I think I realized the reason behind the reason for this. Parents and child are frustrated because they can't communicate with each other; this is the obvious reason. But the heart of it, the reason behind the reason, is that communication is the key to relationship, and relationship is the key to every person's heart.

Without relationship, where would we be? People need to love and be loved, and to know that they are loved. Communication is the means to relationship. I guess that's all I wanted to share... love on someone today!

Monday, May 3, 2010

I figured it out!

Yesterday I was watching The Young Victoria (for the third time!!!) and all of a sudden it hit me.

The movie opens with Victoria explaining that every girl wants to be a princess, and I agree with her. Then at the end of the movie, viewers see Victoria enter the room as the Queen of England, and I thought to myself, why do little girls grow up wanting to be a princess... but not a queen? And then I realized, because this is what Victoria also realized, that queens have a great responsibility and many pressures and pushes and pulls and duties, etc. Princesses, on the other hand, do not. Princesses have their daddy, the king, to bear the burden of all the ruling responsibilities. {"Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." ~ Matt 11:28-30, NIV}

This revelation struck me for a few reasons. First, when Daddy is on the throne taking care of all the "boring meetings" that a ruler must attend, a princess can play dress-up. She can be beautiful. You may say, why is this important? Read John and Stasi Eldredge's Captivating. Beauty is deep in the heart of a woman.

Secondly, King Daddy can train His princess and give her some responsibilities and duties, but if she makes a mistake, He can always fix it. There is no shame, because Daddy rules over shame.

Thirdly, and related to the second, princesses don't rule...the King does. And isn't that how reality is? Our amazing Father King rules, but gives us authority. Princesses are royalty, because their father is the king. We are royalty, because our Father is the King! These are my musings on princesses, dear readers. I hope you find these simple revelations as delightful as I do! :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Amazing...

The Lord has prompted me to pray the Blood papers over myself more and more, and so the other night I was getting ready for bed and decreeing His truth over me. I was led to a few declarations that don't sound like much [feet and footsteps, paths and doors, tent and possessions, and time and work], but I found some AMAZING Words in these declarations!

"I declare the power of the Blood of Jesus on my paths and doors: The doors shall be opened before me. {Is. 24:7,9}

He opens for me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them and I will praise the Lord. {Ps. 118:19}

He keeps my doors open because He opens and no one shuts. {Take that, impossible-to-get-into colleges!!! Rev. 3:7b, 8}

He preserves my steps in His will. {Ps. 37:23}

I want to show you the English Standard Version of that last verse, because I read it and was jumping up and down while wanting to cry with joy.

Psalm 37:23-24 ~ The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in His way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.

AUGH!! Amazing!!! This has fed me for the past two days, especially as I try to hear the Lord's voice about His will and my life. Ahhh...thank You, Jesus!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Testimony

Hello, readers, Well, some of you may know this and some of you may not know this, so I will tell you all once and for all what has happened to me in the past week.

On Wednesday, April 14th, 2010, at 6:40am, I was waiting to catch my bus to go to school. Oh no! I thought. I forgot to pray the Blood papers this morning! Usually when I forget, I can remember the ones that I pray all the time, like my mind or my heart or my affections. Today I remembered only the very end: "The Lord is a wall of fire all around me. The angels of the Lord encamp around me." I declared this promise over myself and boarded my bus, onto another day of school.

After classes, at 10:20am, I hurried from my classroom to the bus stop. I had some errands to run before I went to work at 12:30. At 10:21am, I was attempting to cross the street to get on the bus when I was hit by a car. The car hit my on my right side, and I went onto the hood, and then fell from the hood to the hard road below, landing on my left side. My left elbow bears testimony to the intensity of the fall.

I was able to stand up almost right away. The Lord is a wall of fire all around me.

I realized I had not broken any bones. Then angels of the Lord encamp around me.

A stranger came over to me and asked me if I was ok. I said yes. The Lord is a wall of fire all around me.

He asked if I knew what day it was. I said Wednesday. The angels of the Lord encamp around me.

He walked me over to the side of the road and helped me sit down. He asked if I wanted to see a doctor, and I said yes. He told me he would get Campus Security. They came in their truck, and after making sure I was not too badly injured, they called for an aid car. A fire truck came. After examining me, they repeatedly told me I was lucky. I smiled and said, "I know." The Lord is a wall of fire all around me.

The medic placed me in a C-collar to protect my neck, and then they strapped me to a board on a stretcher. I was placed in the aid car and then had to face probably the most painful part of my adventure: calling my mom. The medic dialed the number and then handed me the phone. "Mom?" I hesitated, not sure how to tell her. Do I tell her to sit down first? I wondered. Just break it to her, I concluded. "Mom, I'm in an ambulance..." Mom joined me in the ER a few minutes after I arrived. The nurses were feeling my body and checking my heart rate and blood pressure. "Everything seems fine," they told us. "What happened?" "I was hit by a car," I told them. The two nurses both gasped. "Wow," they said, "you're really lucky! It could have been a lot worse!" The angels of the Lord encamp around me.

I went home only two hours after getting to the hospital. Nothing was broken; I only have bruises and soreness. I missed one day of school and two days of work. My elbow's bruise is fading every day. I get massages! The Lord is a wall of fire all around me. The angels of the Lord encamp around me.