Friday, August 26, 2011

Uhhh…. it’s been a while…

Crazy recap time! Let’s see, the past two weeks in a nutshell.

Two Sundays ago, some friends and I went to see Les Miserables. GAH!!!! So incredible. It was a wonderful time with my girlfriends, and we even had crepes for dinner- how french! Here is a pic of the sign outside the theater, courtesy of Char.

Then I started packing… and packing. I was packing for 1) heading back to school and 2) Family Camp with my church. So there was a lot of packing!

Wednesday, my sisters and a friend drove up to Family Camp- it’s about an hour north of our home. It was fun to ride with my friend, because we have that great kind of relationship that if neither one of us is talking, we’re still comfortable. But since her sister just became engaged, there wasn't a whole lot of silence. ;)

Camp was WONDERFUL! I missed it last year due to Orientation for school, and I honestly had forgotten how marvelous it is to be literally surrounded by people you know and love. And our guest speaker was amazing as well. All around, a grand time. Sadly, I don’t think I took any pictures the entire time… you can see from this blog how usually I’m never separated from my camera… oh, wait.

Saturday evening, my parents and two sisters and I drove home. Then I finished packing {mainly putting dirty clothes into a separate bag} and realized I had left my wallet {meaning my driver’s license, my debit card, and, most importantly, my student I.D.} in my sister’s car at camp. Oi. Mom dug out my passport and Dad promised to mail my wallet as soon as it got back to the house. Phew. Crisis averted.

Bright and early… actually, it wasn't yet bright. It was just early. Early on Sunday morning, my parents drove me to the airport, waited through the LOOOONG line to check my bag, and then said goodbye. Sigh.
I had two carry-on bags, and as I was trying to open my new headphones, I heard the flight attendant say that if people wanted to gate-check their bags, they could pick them up at their final destination. Score! I went over to the desk immediately and got the sticker on my bag, and then I got to board early. Sweet! So it was very nice for me not to have 2 bags to worry about, especially since they both rolled = awkward! Praise Jesus for free gate-check!

Anyway, flights were pretty uneventful… I dozed most of the way and read for a bit. I landed 5 minutes early, and my ride was already waiting for me! She took me to my stuff, which was being stored at a church friend’s house. They were having small group at another family’s house, and so there were TONS of kids on the sidewalk riding bikes and scooters and skateboards all over, and my friends were there! Ahh… it was so great to see all these people!

Monday was Group Advising Sessions, which basically meant an hour of hanging out with the freshmen in my group. The instructor and I met before the meeting, and I’m really excited about this semester. The students look like a good group, maybe a little overloaded on information at the time {who isn't after 3 days of orientation!?} but overall a fun group.

Tuesday was TA Training, and I have several friends who are doing the same job as me, so it was great to go to different training sessions and entertain each other. Lunch was catered by the local Italian restaurant- ohmylanta, it was amazing. I had fettuccine Alfredo with chicken, plus they gave us a “bread stick” which was really like 3 rolls baked together… and the famous pop out here- in a glass bottle- can it get better???

Yes- they had ice cream for dessert. Heck yeah I love being a TA! :)

Wednesday was the first day of classes! Augh! LAST first day of school!!! Woot!
It went very well… I know at least one person in every class, which is so nice.

Thursday, I just had one class {GSTR 410-meh}, and I checked the schedule; the class is in Presser Hall, which is the Music building. I thought, weird, and there’s no room number, so I thought maybe it was in the concert hall. I head over there with time to spare, and there’s no other classmates that I recognize. I ask the lady in the office, and she doesn't have my class listed as being in the building. Uh oh. So she lets me check my schedule according to my class list, and I find out the class is in the Science building. Across campus. And it’s 5 til. Blast.

I was only a few minutes late, and the two guys that I knew in the class were giving me weird looks, because they know I’m usually on top of it. The instructor finishes taking roll, and then says, I don’t like this classroom. Let’s meet in the Art building, Room xxx in say, 15 minutes? And I’m like, great, let’s hike all over the place! Haha. So as soon as we’re out of the classroom, one of the guys is like, what’s the story? Cuz I knew as soon as you weren't here that there would be a story. Haha, thank you, I’ll be here all semester. :-p Anyway, the class was fine, and those two guys and I are gonna try and be a group for our big project. It should be fine.

Today is free!!!! That’s right- I have Fridays off. Score! It pays to be a senior. :D
Well, you pay in homework, which is what I should do. Thanks for reading my ramblings! Peace out, yo!

Friday, August 12, 2011

There are some weird things to think about while getting a massage….just saying

It’s totally true. Ok, for me it’s true. My mind just wanders along during a massage, unless she’s working on my sides- then my mind is pretty much on my sides! But anyway. I was lying there, letting Miss D. work her magic, and I recalled a conversation I had with a new friend. We were talking about life and convictions and men, and alcohol came up. My friend, Miss N, has decided to not drink alcohol, because, as she puts it, “alcoholism runs in my family.” Her sister had pointed out to me earlier that it is one person in her family, but N’s conviction stands strong.

N is pursuing a career in nursing, so she definitely knows way more medical things than I do, but her comment made me pause and think. Now, as a further disclaimer, I am neither scientist nor theologian; I am simply a girl contemplating these ideas.

Personally, I do not think that there is any such thing as the disease of alcoholism. I think that people choose to drink alcohol and then alcohol becomes their god, or alcohol takes control. I think that there are spiritual and willpower issues at work, but I don’t believe that there is a disease.

Now, one might argue that there are researchers who have found evidence of the alcohol gene or something in DNA that inclines or disinclines certain people to become alcoholics. There are two thoughts that come to mind in response to these claims: first of all, these researchers are probably working from a humanist worldview, which means that the researchers believe that mankind is basically good.  This is a false presupposition, but if you base your research on it, of course you’re going to “find” evidence to support that belief. Secondly, hellooooo generational transfer! If you grew up in an abusive home, statistics say that you will be in an abusive relationship later in life. If you grew up with an alcoholic or drug addict, chances are you will be a user.

Anyway, I know that this is a random post, but I just had to get these thoughts out of my head and onto “paper.” Thanks for letting me clear my head. :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Well, let’s be deep for a sec

Last night I had an intense journaling session. There weren't any tears or screams, or big black marks on the page (btw, my journal is GORGEOUS!!!!!) but I just let it all out, and probably wrote for 15-20 minutes straight. I was just kind of sick of myself, honestly, and I had been antsy for several hours. I finally was like, God, what should I do? {I should have asked Him first, of course, but you know me- I like the hard way}

And He was like, chill, Bek! And I realized I had been stressing over ALL the things on my seemingly never-ending to-do list, and so I wrote out my plan for today, and went to bed. I was literally asleep before my sister came to bed, and her movie had like less than 20 minutes left. Wowza.

So I got up this morning and grabbed my Bible and journal and Blood papers and headed to the kitchen. Right as I poured my cereal, the phone rang. Mom had accidentally taken my sister’s car keys. The only keys to her vehicle. So that meant that Sister-Dearest and I had to take a road trip to the office to pick up the keys. Well, so much for the plan! Actually, I was like, God???? And He said, seek Me and you’ll find Me. Listen for Me.

And so I decided that today was going to be a great day, even if we had to leave way earlier than planned and even if we were both late for work (not really a big deal for either of us) and even if Grandpa got stuck in several “loops” today. Today is going to be a great day even when I missed one turn and then took the next too soon. Today is going to be a great day even if I don’t get the other half of my paycheck until the end of this month… thanks, Bek. You have to hit “submit” if you want to get paid. heehee. Anyway, I am on the second-to-last item of the to-do list, and today IS a great day. Sigh of happiness here.

Here’s to great days, readers! :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I’ve been meaning to write about this…

New music: Josh Garrels! His album is really eclectic, with some tracks reminding me of the good ol’ South, and some making me choreograph in my head. My BFF introduced me to him, and his album Love and War and the Sea in Between is on noisetrade if you want to take a listen.

Book review: Return With Honor by Captain Scott O’Grady. It’s the story of an Air Force captain who was shot down while enforcing a no-fly zone over Bosnia in the 1990’s. Captain O’Grady tells his story with great details. There is an excellent balance of main story and background/biographical information. He is vulnerable and lets the readers in on his inner thoughts, yet we know he makes it out alive since he wrote the book. :) And this was an easy read, which is saying a lot, because military stories aren't that high up on my reading list. :)

Countdown: I go back to school in 11 days! Classes start in just 2 weeks, which is amazing. Sadly, I found 2 more textbooks that I need. I ordered one for a mere $0.01 (+$3.99 shipping), which is fine; the title was alarming, though: When Religion Becomes Evil by Charles Kimball. Um, ok. I thought that this was the teacher who was nice and easy. We’ll see.

The other textbook is about $90, which is more than I really wanted to spend on ALL my books, total. But because of faculty changes, I don’t know who’s teaching the class, so I can’t email anyone and ask about an older edition. Yet. I will. Patience is a virtue. Good things come to those who wait. And the third edition can’t be that much different from the fourth, except in price. :)

Congratulations: I would like to congratulate Dahlia on passing one-half of her teacher’s exam! Read all about it on her blog. Way to go, Dahls!

What I’m Currently Reading: The Shack by William P. Young. Again. Gosh I love how God uses that book to totally throw down all my previous ways of thinking. If you haven’t read it, I HIGHLY recommend it. For real. And I think that’s how I’m going to spend the rest of my evening. Happy reading!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ok, this is random, but I’ve been haunted by this all week…

And it’s not really one thing that’s been haunting me, but there is kinda an overall theme…

I've been pondering, wondering, contemplating, brooding over a few things recently, and certain pieces of information, fictional and real-life, keep bringing these ideas into my head.

Like the fact that 31 SEALS died this weekend. I have two friends in the military. My family rented jet skis from a place RIGHT next door to an Air Force base. As we came off the freeway, I noticed that the overpass was covered with yellow ribbons, and right as we pulled up level to the street, I saw a soldier in uniform walking across the overpass. The scene literally made me catch my breath: a soldier walking next to a row of yellow ribbons. Wow.

And then there’s this whole thing with this guy…. God told me that he’s not the man for me, and I’m great with that, but I still think back to the 2-hour conversation he and I had about God and living life for His purposes or our own, and I wonder, how could I keep on living if I didn’t know Jesus? Seriously, life is depressing without the love of Jesus!

I guess that’s what’s been haunting me, the rumor of life outside of Christ. I think of the families mourning all the soldiers killed, and all the children around the world who have been sold into some kind of slavery, and all the people around the world simply existing because they know no other way of life. How do ordinary people keep putting one foot in front of the other without Jesus???

To the chagrin of my parents, I've been thinking about getting a tattoo. And although I’m not absolutely sure of how serious I am, I know what I would get. I want the word grateful on my left wrist, because I want to always be reminded of all the things I have to be grateful for, and because I know that there will be circumstances in life where I will have a choice, and I want to choose gratefulness. {Just so you know, Mom and Dad, the tattoo would be small enough to be covered by one of those Italian bracelets we have… and it was our lovely senior-most pastor’s wife who inspired the design.}

Change of subject: I miss my friends!!!!! My BFF is in England {!!!!!!!!!!!}, two of my friends are both in the military and, while thankfully still in the States, are far away, my adventure buddy is in the National Guard and had training for 2 weeks, leaving me one good friend here at home… and then my family went on vacation and I haven’t seen her for at least a week. Sigh. I guess this is the sucky side of becoming an adult. But I am choosing gratefulness, because my BFF will return in just a few short days, and I got to see my military friends this summer, and my adventure buddy is back and we’re hanging out on Thursday. Yipee!

Thanks for listening to my ramblings. Soon I’ll be back in school and the most dramatic thing I’ll write about will be the ginormous papers that I’ll have to write (knock on wood!). Anyway. Goodnight, dear readers! I’m grateful for you!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Family Vacation so far

Ohmygosh that was amazing! I did not think that getting soaked by a 48* river would ever qualify as “fun” but it totally was! The guide had one of my sisters sit in the front of the raft, to weigh it down, and so whenever we went into a really big rapid, the front of the raft would go way down and we would get soaked and the back of the raft would go up and then they would come down and be not so soaked. So fun. So wet.

We got the jet skis for tomorrow! Super excited… I guess I don’t come across as a speed demon usually, but sometimes it just comes out and we’re going 90. Ask my dad where I get it… or you can ask Mom… neither of them know. ;)

Well, we had an amazing pizza for dinner tonight, and now my sisters and I are going to walk it off before we watch a movie. The sun is setting and the temperature is still nice, and the dog is excited. It’s gonna be epic. Toodles.