Friday, May 30, 2014

Learning About Blood and Spider Guts and Squishes

Linking up with Emily from Chatting At the Sky for this "educational" post. Ha.

I learned that there is a reason for the rule about washing new jeans before you wear them. Specifically, this is a rule of thumb if you typically rest your thumb on your legs while you work. Whatever color your jeans are, so also shall be that thumb.

I learned a new vocabulary word: squish. Not like Dory's Squishy, but squish the noun. Here, look, proof:

I learned that opening cans is dangerous, even if they have a deceptively easy handle to remove the lid. On Sunday before Memorial Day, I was cooking mexican lasagna for the next day, and when I opened the can of corn, the lid sliced into my pinky. Ew ew ew. I didn't faint, but I definitely felt woozy and light-headed, so my sister came over and after we determined that it had been bleeding for an hour, we went to Urgent Care. NO STITCHES! Praise God! I'm still wearing a band-aid, but I'd wear a band-aid for three weeks if it meant no stitches. 

After overhearing my bestie's skype conversation, I learned/had a revelation/lightbulb turned on/heavens opened up to reveal that I actually want to pursue something verrrrry different than what I had thought. 
After telling some friends and hearing their overwhelming "Bek, absolutely you can do that!" responses {thanks, everyone!}, I learned that this is what Eleanor Roosevelt meant when she said: "Do one thing every day that scares you." 

Finally, I learned that a vacuum is the best tool ever in terms of spider killing. If you know my history with spiders, you know that of my little flat, it is my flatmate who kills spiders, not I. But last night she was out, and there was a spider on my ceiling, and I didn't want to go to Zumba and come back and not know where it went, so I got my vacuum and sucked it up {literally - ha!}. Clean ceiling {not like that was a problem before}, dead spider, and peace while at Zumba = win win win. 

That's all, folks! See ya next month for some more learning. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Not Alone Series: Social Media

Linking up {a day late} with the awesome Jen of Jumping in Puddles and Morgan of Follow and Believe.

Our lives tend to revolve around social media and knowing what's happening in everyone's lives. How has this affected your life? In your experience, has social media made dating easier? Harder? Example: judging or not judging a guy by what you see on Facebook or Twitter.

Oh, social media. The double-edged sword of blessings and curses. I love social media for its ability to keep people connected over time and distance. I hate social media for bringing out my tendency to compare. I love social media because I love people. I hate social media because I love people.

Since I've never been in a dating relationship, I won't speak to social media's ability to affect a relationship. This study is rather interesting, as an aside.

Personally, I get discouraged when I'm hanging out with people and they are constantly on their phones. My love language is quality time, and when your face is towards your phone instead of your friend {hint: I'm your friend}, I don't feel the love. Like Morgan, I really dislike hanging out with people who act like they'd rather hang out with their phones.

I try not to have my phone with me at all times; part of this must be a genetic gifting, because my mom is the queen of leaving her phone in her purse in the closet. My sisters and I call Dad and ask to talk to Mom, and he complains, "Why don't you call her phone?" And our response is always, "We did. She didn't answer." Of course, my dad only answers his phone when he wants to, so yeah. {If I sound slightly bitter about my parents' and their communication habits, it's because they're in the midst of 3 weeks in New Zealand and they didn't bring me. Boo.}

Have I ever stalked a boy on Facebook? Heck yes! My sister is actually a better and faster stalker than I am, and I'm always grateful {if not slightly embarrassed} by her mad skillz. Do I think a Facebook profile can predict the success of a relationship? Heck no! Quoting Morgan again: social media only shows one facet of who we are. I am much more than the movies I like, the books I've read, and the pictures I'm tagged in. Social media should be a small part of our relationships, as it is only a small part of our lives.

Finish This: Week Twenty-one

Linking up with Becky at The Java Mama, Lisa at Coastlined, Jen at The Arizona Russums, and Nicole at Three 31. Hop on over for some link-up fun!

The best mistake I ever made was not working seriously on my college application during Christmas Break, 2007. Because of my slacker habit, my application was rushed and probably sloppy and unimpressive. I did not get accepted as a freshman to our big university, so I went to the community {now full-fledged} college a couple miles from my home. It ended up being the best possible thing, because from that community college, I transferred to Berea College and I know that's exactly where God wanted me.

From this mistake, I learned that God's plans are so much better than mine, and that I can only see a teensy piece of His plans at a time. When I was working on my application in 2007, I never would have imagined myself going to a small school in the middle of Kentucky. I couldn't have foreseen the amazing relationships I'd forge with my bosom friend and my roomie and others. I wouldn't have believed you if you told me that in 2012, I'd cry many, many hot tears as I left part of my heart in Kentucky. And I would have laughed if you told me about all the crazy trips I'd take to visit friends and the trips they'd take to visit me. The moral of the story is, God's plans are WAY cooler than mine :)

When I'm anxious, I tell myself that God is sovereign and He's working everything out, and hey, remember that I don't know everything. Also, I text/chat/talk to my bestie, and then I go to Zumba class, because that makes everything better.

All I really want to do is oh boy. More details coming in the career vein. I'd love to be able to travel instantaneously, like Dorothy - click my heels, and bam! Not in Kansas, but Kentucky! Or Europe, or Mexico, or anywhere. I really want chocolate to become a calorie-burning superfood. I really want to pierce my nose, but only if I could take it out and have the hole be invisible. Sometimes nose piercings just don't fit the situation, so if I could have the advantages of both the piercing and non-piercing, that'd be bomb.
I must have interpreted this question as "what do you wish was invented?" so let me give you a few that aren't fictitious. I really want to read, all. the. time. I really want to call my friends {or better, travel to see them!} way more frequently than time commitments allow. I really want to vacuum out my car {hey, that might actually happen soon!}. I really want to hold babies {this should be happening soon, once I go through volunteer training at the hospital}.

There you have it! Join the link-up with your own post, or answer the prompts in the comments. See you next week!

Friday, May 23, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Jealousy, Weekend Plans, and Rwanda

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes!

1. In case you missed it, my neighbor got mad that he wasn't invited to Book Club, so he set his car on fire. Ok, that may not have been his exact motivation, but it certainly seemed accurate since the flames started approximately 40 minutes before Book Club started. #jealous?

2. Speaking of Book Club, I've barely started a post about Sarah Bessey's Jesus Feminist. But it is coming, I promise. And while you wait for my thoughts, you could read the book yourself. It really is awesome.

3. So it's a three-day weekend! Woot! I have grand plans my washing machine. The idea of cleaning my oven crossed my mind, but then I realized that I have nail polish on and it looks good and I'm going to keep my nails looking good for as long as possible, so I absolutely cannot do any scrubbing of ovens this weekend. Another time, maybe. But these directions for cleaning a washing machine do not involve any scrubbing {unless you want the outside to look clean, too, but I think that's overrated} so I will be partaking in this fun activity.

4. Since cleaning a washing machine is just so much fun, I decided to make my three-day weekend a four-day weekend and head down the coast with a couple friends. We are going to the beach!!!! Our days will look like this:

5. Since we are wise women and don't want to spend allllll our weekend moolah on eating out, I'm going to be making Mexican lasagna for us. This will be the third time I've made it, and you know that the third time is the charm. Excitement abounds. 

6. In case you missed it, Natalie and I "interviewed" each other yesterday! It was totes fun, and if this is something you want to try, let me know! 

7. Finally, Rwanda. Noonday Collection and International Justice Mission are teaming up for a trip to Rwanda with a bunch of amazing women, and they've saved a spot on this trip for me. Well, almost. There is an extra spot on this trip and the person filling it will be determined by vote. I applied and you can read my entry here when you vote or here in my initial post
Voting is only open until Wednesday, May 29th, and you can vote every day from your device{S!}. If you would take just a moment and vote for me, I'd be so grateful. This is a blogging trip, so I'm asking for you, fellow bloggers, to vote, pray, and vote again for me and this trip. 
As of the halfway point, I was in the top third of votes, and things have changed even in the past two days. To be considered, I need to be one of seven entries with the most votes, and it's going to be close. Thank you in advance for your votes!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Welcome, Natalie!

Today I'm excited to introduce Natalie of "Here I Am, the Handmaid of the Lord." A little while ago, Natalie posted about growing blogging relationships, and a few emails later, here we are, "interviewing" each other!

So here's how this works: Natalie and I each came up with five questions and we each answered all ten questions. My answers are all over on Natalie's blog and her answers are below. The first five questions are Natalie's and the last five are my questions. I've really enjoyed corresponding with Natalie over the past couple of weeks, and I hope you enjoy this interview!

1. Why did you start blogging?  I honestly started blogging on a whim.  I read so many blogs that it dawned on me, wait I can do that too.  And almost two years later, here I am still blogging.  (haha didn't even mean to have a pun on my blog name)

2.  Dog lover? Cat lover? Both?  Dog lover all the way.  I grew up with dogs and cats freak me out the way they stare at you.

3. What is your current favorite scripture verse? Psalm 90:14 "Satisfy us in the morning with thy steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days."

4. What is your favorite pair of shoes (picture encouraged)?  Now that the weather has warmed up, 85% of the time I will have my much loved rainbow flip-flops on.  If you haven't heard of these shoes yet they are leather flip flops that are constructed the same way they construct parachutes, so these shoes aren't falling apart.  I used to have a ton of sandals for summer, now I just have these, a pair of Birkenstock I picked up in Assisi and a pair of Chacos I got for a great deal on ebay and I wear for mission trips, hikes, playing outside and the like.

5.  If you could have any career where time being educated and pay didn't matter what would you do?  This is hard because I love being a nurse.  I think I would be a midwife right now rather than having to go back to school.   But if I were going to give you another career direction I would have to say event planner, caterer, or inspirational speaker.

6. Describe your family {big, small, loud, quiet, crazy, etc} I grew up in a family of four with my mom, dad, and brother who is four years younger than me.  I don't know if this has ever come up on the blog but I also have an older brother who was stillborn 19 months before I was born.  My mom was 39 weeks along when my parents lost my brother, Michael Stanley.  We like to play board games, spoil our two dogs, visit my grandma and enjoy dinners out.

7. If you had a whole day with no commitments or responsibilities, how would you spend that day?  First things first, I would enjoy my morning cup of coffee preferable on a deck or porch with scripture.  The rest of the day I would spend with friends, hanging out, Mass, hiking, creating meals, and hopefully a nap at some point.  It would include good conversation with deep roots.

8. What are your favorite books? If necessary, separate by genre.  I am not the kind of person who has a book they just can't get enough of.  If you want to look at some of the books I have read over the last year and a half check out the reads link on my blog.

9. What do you love most about blogging? What do you love the least?  I cannot get enough of the relationships I have formed through blogging.  They have brought more blessings to my life than I ever could have planned.  I also enjoy when someone informs me that something I wrote really inspired them, enriched their life and brought them closer in their relationship with the Lord.  It is because of those things that I keep going.  The things I dislike about blogging is the time it takes to actually write a post and when technology goes wrong.  I periodically reevaluate if I want to continue blogging and it is always at that time that one of those good things happen and I keep going and keep investing my time.  

10. If you could live in any location, where would you live and why?  Somewhere warm where I could have my flip-flops on all the time and not be cold.  This might be the lingering of the rough winter of 2014 talking but the idea of being outside in the warm sunshine with a breeze blowing is like pure bliss.

Thanks, Natalie! This was really fun, and I'm so glad that we got to do this. You can check out my answers to these questions on Natalie's blog. Thanks for joining!

P.S. In case you missed it, we are halfway done with Phase One of voting me to Rwanda! Please take just a moment and vote now! Thank you thank you thank you!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Style for Justice: Halfway Point!

Hi friends! Thank you thank you thank you for voting for me to go to Rwanda with International Justice Mission and Noonday Collection! Y'all are the best!

It is the halfway point of the first phase, and the powers that be have arranged the entries in order of the number of votes. Thanks to YOU, my entry is on the 5th of 15 pages! We are so close!

Here is some information straight from the email Noonday Collection sent:

  • voting is on a 24-hour clock, so if you vote at 2pm today, you have to wait until 2pm tomorrow to vote again.
  • the first phase of voting is open until Wednesday, May 28th. The top seven advocates will be announced on Thursday, May 29th. 

Thanks, everyone! Please feel free to share this link anywhere and everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, your blog, yes and amen. Shameless begging right now, but isn't an opportunity like this worth it?

You are awesome!

Finish This: Week Twenty

Holy guacamole, Batman! We are at Week Twenty already!!

Linking up with Jen at The Arizona Russums, Becky at The Java Mama, Lisa at Coastlined, and Nicole at Three 31 to answer these fun prompts.

new image created by Becky!

My favorite recipe is crack popcorn to make myself, and my mom's enchiladas to enjoy without the work beforehand. When I'm a real live grown-up, I will attempt to make those enchiladas, but for now, I will just invite myself over when they're on the menu.

I believe in the grace of God to save me daily. I believe in long walks on the beach, wine recommended. I believe in Doctor Who. I believe in making my bed every day. I believe in dining outside whenever possible. I believe in friends and their ability to make me think more deeply about any topic of conversation. I believe in chai lattes. I believe in getting out of my comfort zone to make a difference. I believe in painted toenails. I believe in the ability of bosom friends to stay connected across 2,000 miles via a couple of phones.

I need to set boundaries when it's all work and no play. My tendency is to not turn away a job opportunity {babysitting or tutoring, etc.}, but I'm realizing that things that are important to me are actually important, and so I'm making them more of a priority.

I began living when I started watching Doctor Who. Just kidding! Life really began when I got serious about my relationship with Jesus around age 12. On a practical note, I realized I was an actual adult when I moved into my own place with my bestie.

There you have it! If you want to join this link-up fun-sesh, you can add your link on Nicole's blog or finish these prompts in the comments.  Thanks for coming!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Not Alone Series: Making Friends

Linking up with Jen at Jumping in Puddles and Morgan at Follow and Believe!

We LOVE the NAS community, but creating a real-life community is essential to our lives! What have been your struggles in making friends as a young adult? Do you have any advice for those struggling to build community post-college?

This is such a great prompt! I love it because this feels very practical. A few months ago, my friend Yvonne and I did a blog swap about making friends as adults. You can read my post here on Yvonne's blog, and her post is here on my blog. In case you don't want to read the whole post, let me summarize it in a picture:

When I first started considering how this whole "make new friends" thing worked, I realized something. Making friends is hard work. Being a good friend is hard work. Hard does not equal bad or painful; it means that friendship requires effort.

For a metaphor, let's pretend that I like gardening. For my garden, I'm going to dig holes and plant seeds and water the pile of dirt where I think I left the seeds, if I remember correctly the seeds are, and I'm going to pull weeds. Because I {hypothetically} like gardening, this is not a painful chore but a pleasant activity. And you know what? Seeds grow and they bear fruit {or flowers, depending on what kind of garden you've got going on, but whatevs}. And then you can enjoy the yummy fruit {giving you the benefit of the doubt that you planted something yummy} while continuing to maintain the plant. It still needs water and weeds still have to be removed, but it's all good. Friendship is the same way, except don't eat your friends.

So because I can be OCD, let's make a list of good advice for making friends. If lists aren't your thing, then consider reading the above links on friendship, because Yvonne and I are both full of good ideas. 
  1. Make friends with your friends' friends. Use the "hey, I'm a friend of Susie Q, and she told me you're {a really cool person, working at a puppy shelter, going to Scotland, etc.}" line and see what happens.
  2. Let go of preconceived ideas. I mention this in my post on Yvonne's blog and I mention it again: there were some people I didn't want to be friends with because I thought they were rude/stuck-up/awful/judging me {wow, revealing my own insecurities, are we?!}. And I was wrong. And I'm glad I was wrong, because now I've got some awesome friends.
  3. Forget your fears and try something new. I went alone to Notions for my very first time, knowing that I would recognize one person for sure; everyone else would be strangers. But you know what? All it took was two introductions, and the next thing I knew, the group had welcomed me into their fold like a creepy man offers to give you a ride home... juuuuuust kidding, although that kind of is an accurate description of the group. But now I'm a part of it, so what does that say about me? I don't know; let's move on.
  4. Make the first move. If you want to be friends with someone, initiate a conversation. Invite someone over, or ask for a coffee date or something. Samara and I wanted to get to know some new people from church, so we invited them to our New Year's Eve party where there were lots of other people and everyone would be meeting everyone else, so it was less awkward.
There you have it! Ways to make friends and build a community {outside of our fantastic NAS group going on}. Oh, another way to make friends is to vote for them to win a trip to Rwanda! *hint hint wink wink* If you want to learn more about the trip, check out this post and pretty please vote here. Thanks, friends {see what I did there?}!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Some Slightly Burnt Cookies and A Really Burnt Car

This weekend was full of exciting and adventurous activities. A group of ladies met and discussed Sarah Bessey's book Jesus Feminist, I finished Emma for the first time, Cami got to see a new "Miranda" episode, I baked cookies with notenough flour...oh, and our neighbor caught his car on fire. Just a day in the life.

I'm sure you all are dyyyyyyinngggg to hear this fantastical tale, and most assuredly I'll tell it unto you, but if you wanted to click this link riddy riddy fast and vote me to Rwanda, that'd be freaking amazing. Thank ye, thank ye. {Bonus: you can vote every 24 hours per device, so if you wanna hit this up on your mobile, work computer, iPad, library computer, etc., that'd be fantastical!}

So, obviously the most important part of the story is... cookies need ONE and 3/4 cup flour, not just 3/4 cup flour. What was I thinking? So while those were melting and crisping in my oven, my neighbor across the driveway was "fixing" his car. And by "fixing" I mean he was also in the melting and crisping mode.

First crisis first. My cookies were melting and crisping! Book club was starting in 45 minutes! I didn't want to go to the store!

While I mourned the first dozen cookies, Samara glanced out the window. And noticed flames. Big flames. Under the neighbor's car. And on top of the car. And there was smoke. Lots of smoke.

Suddenly, cookies seemed a whole lot less important.

The question of "what is the explosion radius of a car?" crossed my mind, and when I approximated the answer to be "really freaking large," I grabbed my phone and called 911. Samara had the presence of mind to grab our fire extinguisher {we had one in our laundry closet}, and we found that a random family had been driving by and stopped when they saw the vast amounts of smoke.

The guy grabbed our hose, but then decided our fire extinguisher was a better option. We unrolled the hose while he extinguished, and then he grabbed another hose to connect to ours so it would actually reach the car. My sister Ellen walks up the driveway at this point, and I thought, I can't let this car blow up because I don't want my sister to die and then, So much for book club. #dramaqueen.

As many of you firefighting experts know, water doesn't do a whole lot of anything when fighting fire and oil and gasoline, so another extinguisher was desired. Our condo had one in a pretty little box on the other side of my next-door neighbor's unit, and Ellen was trying to open the box without success {why why why don't those boxes just have normal opening latches, for the love of pete!?}. I ran inside and grabbed the hammer from our tool collection {thanks, Dad!} and Ellen was a total badass and broke the glass and got the fire extinguisher out.

This whole time, I'm on the phone with the 911 operator. "No, there is no one in the cars. Yes, there might be people in the building. No, the building is not on fire, but there is a heck of a lot of smoke...gray, dark it's white. They just used the fire extinguisher. It's ok, I can hear the sirens."

The firefighters got the hose going and finished putting the fire out, and all was well with the world. The building had some smoke stains on the side, but nothing else caught on fire and nothing exploded. As you may recall from October, car explosions are one of my irrational {but now justified!} fears.

The best part of the whole adventure was after the fire was put out {obviously}. The guy who had stopped with his family came over and was all "thanks for letting me use your hose. Sorry for freaking you out" or whatever, and we told him "thank YOU for stopping!" He and his wife waved goodbye and starting walking back to their car and their son noticed my slippers and hollers victoriously, "Doctor Who!" with a big smile. Samara and I cheered "yeah!" and Ellen rolled her eyes at us all. Twas great. Whovians saved the world, one crisis at a time.

Making memories, that's what we do best up in here! Later this week I will hopefully be sharing about Jesus Feminist and our discussion, so stay tuned. And thanks again for voting!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

As Promised: Funny Saturday

Thank you thank you thank you! So many of you have voted faithfully the past few days, and I am beyond blessed and thrilled and grateful for you all. Thank you!

Today's funny story occurred on Mother's Day. I was in childcare with what turned into the 2's, 3's, 4's, and 5's class, and our craft was fingerpainting a card of moms. Our sample card had a flower painted on the front and then a poem on the inside with a place for us to sign the kids' names.

I showed the kids the cards and told them we were going to paint the front for our moms. Indicating the front of the card where a flower was lovingly painted, I said, "We're going to draw something for our moms. What do mommies like?"

And most of the kids answered in chorus: "Flowers!"

But one awesome kid says, without even missing a beat, "Mommies like kissing all the daddies."

True, but that's a bit challenging to fingerpaint. A for effort and truth, kid!

Just in case you haven't saved this link to your browser yet, you can head over here and vote for me to go to Rwanda with International Justice Mission and Noonday Collection! Thank you thank you!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Funny Friday: Laugh and Then Vote!

I thought about posting this story on Saturday, but then I went to Zumba and never looked back at my computer, which was rather nice.

For my mom's birthday last month, it ended up that both my dad and I bought tickets for my mom to go see Carol Burnett. Great minds think alike, right? So my aunt joined us for a fun evening of "laughter and reflections with Carol Burnett." It was really great!

She shared some clips from her show, and of course the most famous is her "Went With the Wind" spoof.

The focus of the evening was audience members asking Carol questions about anything, basically. My favorite interaction went like this:

Guy in audience: "What happened to all your wonderful dresses? Did you keep any?"

Carol Burnett: "Why, do you want one?"

She was brilliant.

But this is not the story for Funny Friday! Nay, this is mere context. Now let me set the scene.

Carol is on the stage. I'm sitting with my aunt on my right and some older dude {probably 60s} on my left. Throughout the evening and the clips Carol showed us, this dude keeps making comments to me and the girl on the other side of him. At first I thought they were together, but then I glanced over at her and she looked like she was a) my age and b) not amused by this guy's commentary. I was getting a little annoyed, too, so I tried to just ignore him and give him - literally - the cold shoulder.

When the evening had first started, I noticed two people dressed oddly {even for downtown Seattle} and wearing what I thought were white sombreros. They had something to ask Carol, so when they got their turn at the microphone, I was really intrigued. It turned out they were two men dressed as nuns for some order or society that probably has a session at ComiCon.

Sister-Who-Is-Really-A-Brother: For all your work and life, Carol, and for bringing light into the lives of so many, we have a proclamation of canonization.

Audience: *applause applause applause*

Carol: Thank you, really, thank you.

Guy next to me: "That's so cool! They're going to make her an honorary citizen of Canada!"

Me: ...

SWIRAB: We hereby canonize you as a living saint, Saint Carol Burnett!

Audience: * applause applause*

Guy next to me: *wild applause because he's so excited to be in the same room as Carol Burnett that he has no embarrassment over his error*

True story, peeps. 

Happy Friday! Please please please pop over here and vote for me to go to Rwanda! Remember that you can vote daily, so if you want to save this link in your browser and visit it daily, that'd be awesome. And as a thank-you {because I know you're voting right now even as you continue reading} I've got a Funny Saturday post ready for tomorrow! Woot! See you then!

Yes, I did link to the voting site 4 times in 4 sentences...and now it's 5 for 5... #ashamed #butnotenoughtostop #sorrynotsorry

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I Need Your Votes, So I'll Give You A Story

Hey friends, remember way back to yesterday when I applied to go to Rwanda with International Justice Mission and Noonday Collection? Well, since you can vote every day {read: I'm begging you to vote every day because you can}, I'm going to try and nag motivate and incentivise you with a post every day! I realize this may be a turn-off to some of you, so please just click the link and vote and don't even bother reading further :D

Today's post is inspired by the fantastic necklace my IRL friends Ashley and Kayla gave to Samara and me! We had them over for dinner last night, and it was quite a laughter- and fangirl-filled evening.

Here's the necklace:
Sonic screwdriver + a key to the TARDIS

And here's three of us wrapped up in the Doctor Who scarf I crocheted! Note: this is only HALF the pattern I'm following... gulp!

Ash, Kay, Bek

Yes, the three of us are wrapped up in what is only the first two columns of the pattern. I'm 8 rows into the mustard color at the bottom of the third column, meaning I'll be done with this scarf about the same time that my first grandchild is born. 

Also Whovian-related, my dear friend Dahlia gave me a TARDIS shower curtain and I hung it up this week. People. A shower curtain that's a TARDIS. Shut the front door. 

Yes, my bathroom now looks like this image

As you may have seen on Facebook, I told my mom about this {incredible and awesome} gift, and she compared me and my TARDIS products to becoming a crazy cat lady. And all the Whovians scoff! 

"But Mom, it's only a blanket and slippers and a shower curtain and earrings and now a necklace and oh yeah a scarf!" 

My dad chimes in: "That's what cat ladies say to the first three cats...then it's six cats."

Oi vey.

Anyway, show a fangirl some love and send her to Rwanda! Please and thank you, friends!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Style for Justice

This morning when I woke up, it took me a little longer than normal to get up and get moving. When I opened my eyes this morning, I had no idea what the day had in store.

Checking blogs is one of the highlights of my day, and finding a new post from Jen Hatmaker is always a joy. I saw the word "Rwanda" in her title and became even more excited, because Rwanda is where my sponsor child lives.

And then I read the full title: I'm Going to Rwanda with Noonday...And Maybe You Are, Too.


I don't have all my words back inside of me yet, so I don't even know how I'm going to answer the application prompt, but I do know this much: I'm going to answer it, and I'm going to ask for your help. See, the process is I submit my answer, then rally my community {hint: you, dear readers!} to vote for my answer. The seven entries with the most votes get reviewed by the IJM panel and narrowed down to the top three. These top three entries rally their amazing communities again to earn the spot on the trip to Rwanda. The official explanation of it all, with dates and stuff, is on the Noonday page.

According to Jen's post, people can vote every day. There are prizes via random drawings for everyone who votes, so there's incentive! *wink wink* I know I can't ask for your votes before you've read my response {and you can't read it until I've written it - ha!}, so instead of voting right this instant, I'm asking that you pray for me and for this trip and for the lives that are going to be touched, no matter what.

Pray that God would open and close doors and that His will be done. Also, please pray that comparison doesn't fill my mind with thoughts that are not godly. I am not any person other than Bek, so I want to strive to be all that God has called Bek to be, not all that He's called someone else to be.

I'll be updating this post soon with my response to the prompt: Tell us why YOU want to join us in winning people's hearts to chase a global vision of economic empowerment and justice!

Update: Here is my response to "why you" and right here is the link to vote! Please share and share alike :)

When I was nineteen, a man came to my church and prophesied over me. He said a lot, but if I were to summarize all that he declared over me with his powerfully humble voice, these are the words I'd use: mother - travel - nations. I had no idea what God was going to do, but I was excited to find out.

Four years later, I completed my bachelor's degree in business administration. I learned a lot about economics and business topics, but I learned a lot more about caring for people, understanding more than two sides of an issue, and God's heart for the world.

It's been two years since the chapter of college closed in my life story, and I think I've learned more since graduating then I ever did in school. Books have been my main teachers, but people were and are my motivation. When I finished school, I read Kisses from Katie and was tearing my hair out because I wanted so very much to do something. Ann Voskamp wrote a blog post about sponsoring children, and that very evening I began sponsoring a little boy in Rwanda. Because of him and his beautiful notes, I started reading about this beautiful, broken, rebuilding nation. I started learning how truly powerful forgiveness is, and I began to see how God can use just one person who is willing.

Why do I want to join the Style for Justice team in their incredible trip to Rwanda? I want to join because I believe in its mission of empowering families. I want to see cycles of poverty broken, which will help restore families who will then change their nation to be a force for justice. I am a believer in the power of discipleship and "teaching someone to fish" and enabling women to make a living wage. I am passionate about sustainable business models and protecting the vulnerable and mobilizing normal people to do great things. Like Isaiah, I'm declaring, "Here I am, Lord. Send me."

Finish This: Week Nineteen

Joining the link-up fun with Nicole at Three 31, Jen at The Arizona Russums, Lisa at Coastlined, and Becky at The Java Mama.

A lesson I learned from my mom is always unplug the curling iron or straightener. I can't tell you how many times my family has been driving away from the house but had to stop so one of us could run inside and double-check the curling iron. Mom had this thing when I was growing up where, uh, she didn't want the house to catch on fire. Idk if any of your moms were like this, but it was important to my mom, so now I am a double-checker and unplugger of my hair straightener.

To burn calories, I head to a Zumba class! I've branched out and tried aerobic dance {my favorite! I'm now a regular attendee} and a circuit training class. Or if there are no classes happening, I'll put on my walking shoes and head down to walk out on the dock near my house. If I'm really dedicated/know that I've been lazy, I'll do this ab workout, but that's only when I've got a death wish pumped myself up for it.

My best hair day was in May in Kentucky - the humidity there is perfect! I know lots of girls fight the whole humidity thing, and while I don't like sweating in it, at least my hair looks fabulous!

I am grateful for one thousand things! For my parents, sisters, friends, church, home. For a car that runs. For living in one of the largest library systems in the world. For the ability to walk, move, dance. For freedoms and rights and the ability to initiate change. For favorite sweatshirts. For yoga pants. For nail polish. For Target. For new journals and old journals. For Jesus Who died for me.

Thanks for joining the fun! The hostesses requested that participants invite another blogger to partake, so today I'd love to invite Ashley! If you are not Ashley and you'd like to join, all you gotta do is add your post to the link-up or answer the prompts in the comments. Done and done. See ya next time!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

NAS: Religious Life

Linking up with Jen at Jumping in Puddles and Morgan at Follow and Believe!

While most of us feel called to marriage, it is important to see the beauty in all vocations! If/when you were discerning religious life, which communities interest{ed} you? What do you see as the positives of that vocation?

Tempted to pull out the Protestant card for 200, but I'm going to hunker down and respond to this prompt as best as I can because we've all had The Question strike: what if I stay single to infinity and beyond???

When I was a kid, this question didn't really bother me; in fact, I don't think I ever asked myself this question. In my mind, I knew I was going to grow up, get married, have a daughter named Jessie and a collie named Lassie, and teach ballet lessons. Done and done.

Except not.

When I was in high school, The Question started whispering to me, especially in youth group. So many times I got the impression that God wouldn't let me get married until I was completely happy staying single for the rest of my life. And that scared the living daylights out of me, because I wanted to get married and didn't want to stay single, and if God knows my innermost thoughts, He'd know if I was faking happiness. So obviously I was doomed to be single.

Some of these ideas stayed with me through college, but part of me realized that relationships, not just marriage, take a lot of work and that college wasn't the right time for me to jump on that train. So I learned to be really content by myself, and to rejoice with my friends, even when the diamonds on their hands sparkled more than the diamonds on mine {because diamonds from your parents are guaranteed to have less sparkle than one from a TDH, especially when all your friends are paying attention}. But with my awesome roomie and wonderful friends, I was able to shush The Question for the time.

And now I've been out of school for 2 years and life is whirring at 75 mph and God is taking me all different directions and when I catch my breath and The Question catches me, I usually have an answer. If I stay single to infinity and beyond, it will be okay. I will probably just keep doing what I'm doing, working, volunteering, being with friends and family and church family, watching "The Office" and reading lots of books, cooking new foods, making blogging friends {like you, readers!}, and loving Jesus. My life won't end if my marriage never starts, and I think that's the answer to the untwisted version of The Question that has been chasing me all these years.

The Question may sneak around some more, but instead of listening to it, I'm going to keep living life with Jesus. To infinity and beyond.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Roomie Adventures

As I mentioned last week, my college roomie came for a visit! It's hard to believe we met 4 years ago... only God could have placed a gal from Seattle and a gal from Missouri in the same dorm room in Kentucky!

For our adventures, we had fantastic weather {again, thank you for your prayers} and, as promised, here are some pictures. Let's start with a "then and now" pic, shall we?

Orientation Weekend, 2010

visiting the beach, 2014

So now that you've got photographical proof that this visit transpired, let me describe to you what went down.

Thursday was a scorching {for this northwesterner} 85*, and it was glorious! Catherine and I took the bus to downtown Seattle and played the tourist card for all it was worth. Pike Place Market, the waterfront, the original Starbucks, the Space Needle, Ivar's, Dick's Drive-In, the works! We also missed like 4 busses because apparently May Day = Protest Businesses Day in Seattle and so the busses were all slow, full, and completely off-schedule. Oh well. It makes for a more memorable experience!

Friday, we woke up mid-morning and got on the eastbound road. We spent a little time in Leavenworth, touring The Hat Shop...

and then we met my friend Dahlia for some gelato.
overheard at the gelato shop: "Congrats, dude, you're an international drug dealer! Come work for us!"

We went back to Dahlia's house and took a walk up the mountains - glorious! Then, because we are responsible adults, we headed home so we would be over the pass before dark. Quite successful!

Saturday started off with a fantastic brunch, if I do say so myself. I made French toast and bacon and Samara made mimosas and fruit salad. Scrumptious!

We had several fabulous views of Mt. Rainier: ain't he just studly!?

After brunch, Catherine and I packed the car and journeyed southwest-ward towards the beach. Pacific Ocean, here we come! Catherine blogged about the ocean in this beautiful post. We spent the night in a cute little inn...several funny stories came out of that night. 

For dinner, we walked over to this dive bar that got really great reviews, but apparently they had stopped serving food last summer. No bueno. So we went next door to the Mexican restaurant: success!  

The inn had an indoor swimming pool, so we grabbed our suits and headed that direction. I don't remember what my expectations were, but they were probably bigger than the pool. It went from 4 feet deep to 5 feet deep, so that was something. There was one jet...we took turns. Oh, and there was no real filter on the pool, which kinda grossed me out. Showers were had post-swim, for sure!

Sunday was really chill and relaxing. We went to the jetty at the end of the beach, we went shopping, we got coffee {practically implied}, and then we headed home. We may or may not have indulged in Dick's Drive In again on the way home, but since they're only in Seattle, we had to make up for lost time on Catherine's behalf. See how well I justified that?!

Monday was Catherine's final day in the Pacific Northwest, and we spent it at Target, Walmart, and on the couch watching Doctor Who {finished the first season and watched David Tennant's first Christmas special!}. Since it was Cinco de Mayo, we met my family for dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. So yummy! We hung out at my parents' house for a couple hours and introduced Catherine to "Miranda" - such fun! Then it was time to go to the airport, concluding this awesome roomie adventure. 

Catherine, thank you so much for visiting! It was a pleasure to host you and drive all over the state with you. Please come back!

Finish This: Week Eighteen

Joining the link-up party with these lovely hostesses: Jen at The Arizona Russums, Nicole at Three 31, Lisa at Coastlined, and Becky at The Java Mama.

I feel an adrenaline rush when someone says they want to watch Doctor Who for the first time, when my sisters and I all get to hang out together, when a new book comes out from a favorite author, and when the ramp meter gives me the green light to get on the freeway.

I feel energized when I have more than two loads of laundry to do. I know, this is weird, but there's something about being doubly efficient {one load in the wash, one in the dryer} while doing something else {productive or not!}. I also feel energized after spending time with people - extroverts, holla!

I feel small when driving next to semi-trucks, hugging my dad, gazing at the ocean, and of course checking out this stud:

 I feel big when I hug my mom. She's 4'11", so my 5'4" height actually seems tall in comparison.
When I was about 12 years old, my mom was doing my hair in the bathroom on the ferry. There was a little girl in the bathroom also, and she said to her mom, "Look, that lady is doing the other lady's hair!"
My mom told her, "Oh, she's not a lady. She's my baby. I'm her mom."
And the little girl responded with, "Look, Mom, it's a little mama!"
So that is my nickname for my mom: Little Mama.

I feel indestructible when I'm rocking out during Zumba class. I know I don't look indestructible, but I definitely feel it!

I feel stupid when I paint my nails. How hard can it be to apply two layers of polish without smudging the anything? Impossibly hard, apparently. 

I feel smart when tutoring my student in pre-algebra. I feel smart, and I hope I make her feel smart, too, because she really is getting good at the whole math thing!

Thanks for joining the fun! Add your post to the link-up or respond to the prompts in the comments, and then comment on someone else's post! Also, per the wonderful hostesses, I'm inviting Laura at A Single Drop in the Ocean to join the Finish This link-up. You're welcome, Laura :) 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Not Alone Series: #ProtestantProblems

Linking up with the fabulous and busy Jen at Jumping in Puddles and Morgan at Follow and Believe.

Today's prompt: Who is your favorite saint related to marriage, chastity, etc.? How has he or she helped you during this time of singleness?

What card will Bek pull out of her hat today? That would be the Protestant card for 100, Alex.

Yeah, um, I don't really have a favorite fact, I don't think I could name more than 2 without googling, so yeah. #ProtestantProblems

  1. St. Francis of Assisi {I visited Assisi and got to see his little chapel - amazing!}
  2. Mother Teresa {aaaaand I just learned from Laura's post that she's not yet a saint...#failblog}

But I will reduce, reuse, and recycle one of NAS's older prompts {Jen, I have so enjoyed stalking creeping reviewing your archives with all the excellent NAS topics!}. Coming at you Throwback-Tuesday-style, with the prompt of What Brings You Peace? Jen's post is here, just to prove that I'm not making this up ;)

So what brings me peace? Let me give you the bullet-point edition so as to end this as gracefully as possible.

  • talks with my bestie
  • laughing with my sisters
  • catching up on life with my mom
  • dates with my dad
  • calling Grammie {and listening to Grandpa's commentary in the background}
  • going for walks around the beach near my house
  • phone dates with my bosom friend
  • holding babies, or being around kids in general
  • reading birth stories, especially from Grace's link-up
  • reading blogs
  • finishing blog posts
Wasn't that a smooth transition? *pats self on back* Thanks for stopping by!