Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lazy Love

Remember those seeing eyes I was talking about?

Well, I think a pair of listening ears would help those eyes out a whole lot.

If you know me, you know I talk a lot. If you have known me for more than a short while, you know that I talk less than I used to, and have calmed down a bit. I also am more careful in what I choose to tell people. If there is something impactful happening in my personal life, I usually share details with close friends, but sometimes I keep them to myself until I have had time to process and discern whether or not it is worth sharing. Some details of our lives are intimate between us and God alone.

Other times, my lousy pride gets in the way of my best intentions and I disallow the Holy Spirit to restrict my speech and I just blurt out whatever I feel like saying.

Sounds kind of like...a clanging cymbal.

And that's the opposite of love, in case you aren't tracking with me.

My sister was reading 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, tonight, and in verse 1 it says,

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal."

This made me think back over my day...sadly, I cannot think of an instance today when I was actively concerned with others and made a conscious decision to let Christ's love flow through me and touch someone else.

That saddens me. I feel like a really lousy Christian. An imitator of Christ is NOT concerned with his/her own interests, but only with the interests of Christ.

Basically, in all of my talking about whatever I may have been talking about, I was being lazy in my love for others, and probably sounded like a clanging cymbal - or in other words, just like noise. By speaking rather than listening to the hearts of others through their words, I not only became deaf to the needs of others, but I also became blind to the ways in which Christ wanted to use me.

I used my gifts of sight and speech to be self-serving rather than people-serving. This is not what God created me for.

Tomorrow is another day. Another opportunity to deny myself and take up my cross to follow the One who rescues me from eternal death and a meaningless life on earth.

I am praying my heart will be softened and changed; I am praying that I may be humbled and shamed by my selfishness so that my love will not be lazy, but it will mirror the love Jesus taught us to have for each other.

I also pray for you - reader - that you may know this love and may give this love to others. Let's keep each other accountable, shall we?


Sunday, November 28, 2010

With Seeing Eyes

My bed is gone and my room looks rather naked. It's the futon for me tonight.

Thus, begins the moving process.

Last time I posted, I didn't know where I was moving, but now I have a destination. Thank you, Jesus! God's timing is always perfect, so I'm not sure why I forget that and get worried about things, such as where I will live. He provided a place in a basement apartment of a family from church. There will be about a week between the moving out and moving in, so I will be chilling with the family and perhaps crashing with the grandparents for a night, just for fun.

So here's a mind-blowing fact: I have exactly 6 days of classes left and then a few days of exams until I am finished with this semester.

I feel like I just got back from HoneyRock, but obviously I've been back for a while since Christmas is in less than a month and all.

My three months in the Northwoods seemed a lot longer than my three months living in Nashville, working in Donelson, and going to school in Murfreesboro. (If you are a stalker, you know three places to find me. But if you are a smart stalker, you already knew those things because the internet tells all.) For that, I am grateful. Not because these past three months have been bad, but because my experience in Wisconsin was invaluable and was really a life-changing experience. If I haven't told you about it and you want to know, or if you have had any doubts about God - any at all - please email or call me and we will get together and celebrate what God did in my life and how He works miracles even now if you are looking with seeing eyes.

I have a secret to tell you.

I have fallen out of step with what I know and believe to be true. How have I done this? For a split second, I took my eyes off of Christ and allowed sin and humanity to claw at my desire for God. And I slipped. The intimacy I felt with Christ began to be less until I felt very far from God and very ashamed that I stopped looking to Him, because it destroyed me inside. Once again, I discovered the hard way that self-sufficiency does not work. Because of the way in which He so personally spoke to me this summer, I was ashamed at falling away so quickly by not intentionally looking with seeing eyes.

Here's something I excerpt from my journal entry the other day:

"I got back here (to Nashville), and it was hard, but still, God showed Himself to me in every day things. Then my focus shifted inward, and I focused on my impurities rather than His glories. It was then that I felt most separated from Him."

Why do I share this?

Maybe because I believe being transparent about sin and struggles and ways in which we fall short fosters a greater trust. Maybe because I believe hiding our struggles makes us even more spiritually ill. Maybe because I believe God wants more from me and from you than our impurities.

So how 'bout it?

Let's do this.

Let's start every day by focusing our eyes on Him so we can really see and stop feeling dead inside.

I have to go buy stamps because this bill is due in a few days and I need to get re-acquainted with Shakespeare so I can write an impressive paper and maintain a good grade, so that's all for now.


ps I'm not starving myself...the Prague diet was a joke. But I am grateful for your concern. :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm Prague

That is what I like to call a "contraction sentence." It's a contraction for "I'm moving. And I'm traveling to Prague." But I was fairly certain you would click on the link if I used this strategy, and guess what? It worked.

It's been a while since this blog has received any attention, but my mind has not ceased to produce ideas and questions and wonderment, so welcome back into the inner workings of my mind. Oh yeah...and I'm bad at communicating happenings in my life to all the people I care about, so this is an easy way to get the word out:

I'm moving. Again.

I'm not really sure where I'm going, but I will be out of my place by the end of the month, boxes and bags in tow. My family lives nearby (that's relative...within a 40 mile radius), so I can always rejoin them. The problem with that is they are currently building a basement in our home, so going back "home" would mean staying at the neighbor's house, which is quite lovely, but I would still feel displaced.

The purpose of my migration out of Nashville is to save money for my Prague excursion in July, because as invaluable as I know the experience is going to be, there is a definite price tag that requires some sacrifice on the front end.

I've already embarked on the "Prague diet," a budgeting strategy.


Go grocery shopping once every three months, spending no more than $50 per trip.

Eat the same thing for a week, two if you can make it last (pasta, for example, or grilled cheese, because it's simple).

If you wake up between anytime after 8:30 am, you might as well wait until lunch time to eat. If you don't get around to eating lunch until 1 or 2pm, you might as well wait until 3pm and make it an early dinner too.

See how easy that is? I just combined 3 meals into one meal.

Then, if you're hungry around 8pm, you can have a snack, or run by Taco Bell because it's cheap and filling.

Bam. The Prague Diet.

I'm also having a garage sale. Proceeds will go towards the trip. I figure if I keep enough clothing to last me a week, I can mix and match and become creative and sell the rest of my wardrobe. (Okay, so that was a joke, but maybe not such a bad idea....)

I'm going to miss Nashville a ton, but every time I pick up my phone with the background of Prague at night, I smile and think "this is so worth it." (So if I'm doubting this two months down the road when I'm living out of my car again because I live so far from EVERYTHING, please remind me that I once thought it was worth it.)

"Why Prague?" you ask. "I thought you wanted to go to South Africa."

Ah, so glad you asked.

Yes, I do want to go to South Africa, but the long and short of it (did you know Shakespeare coined that phrase? Well, he did.) is that I have to leave the country to get credit for my global studies minor but if I go during the school year, I have to go to a Spanish speaking country since I will be taking Spanish for the next 3 semesters to fulfill another graduation requirement.

That takes South Africa out of the semester-long equation.

I could go for a winter or summer term, but there aren't any (or many) summer trips to South Africa, at least that I could see. Besides, I want to write a book while I'm there, and one-two months is NOT enough time to do enough interviews and research AND take classes AND write a book. So that is now a post-graduation goal.

The Czech Republic wasn't on my radar until this summer, when two dear friends told me about their ministry experiences there. Then, my professor told me about her summer experience when I returned to school this semester. I immediately dismissed the possibility of my involvement because I knew it would be pricey. However, for whatever reason, I researched it and was instantly like, "Okay...I'm supposed to be here for this." So now, I'm doing crazy things to make it happen, like sub-letting and moving out by the end of the month, which I decided to do last week.

I guess it's not really that crazy.

I'm used to living with unpacked boxes by now.

So there you have it. The update. I would ask that you pardon my sneaky title to get you to read this, but a pardon would require remorse which would require regret, and I harbor neither. Until next time!


Friday, April 23, 2010

empty jar

what form of broken is not worth replacing
how many signs does it take to see
how many ways can i run away from me

when does the notion that something's not right
the restless days and the sleepless nights
inform the mind to find salvation

empty jar without a purpose
questioning its maker
just like all the other jars
wanting to fill its insides

how many tries does it take it succeed
at what point do you let the wind steal your dreams
so you can live realistically

when the torment seeps into your soul
breaking you up til you're no longer whole
who do you know that won't run away

empty jar without a name
hiding feelings it can't contain
even in the empty space
a pit of sorrow and shame

what do you do when the nightmares come
when you can't explain the sinking feeling
that has your whole heart reeling

who do you find that won't condemn
then how you know what to say to them
when you've forgotten how to speak

empty jar fell of the shelf
cracked in pieces, many shards
should have been like other jars
content with being empty

Monday, April 19, 2010

Obviously my ambitious "day by day" of California posts failed after day two. Oh well. If you really want to know, shoot me an email, and I'll fill you in. It's too late for me to process everything in a creative fashion. That season has passed.

Currently I am tired; I want to take a long nap and not wake up until tomorrow morning.

Have you ever been plagued with heartache for no apparent reason?

I've been feeling that way lately.

I am not always sad or upset, by the way. But those moods often inspire me to write.

School is 2 weeks from completion and I should be stressed, but I am avoiding work instead of getting it done. (Okay, I am stressed. Just passively so at the moment.) I wrote something today. A letter called "Dear Summer Mentality" which basically personified my summer mentality and told him that I loved him, but could he wait for me for 3 weeks more, because he came a bit early this year. It's like Senioritis all over again (okay, not that bad). I really want to be done but I need to draw some will-power from within so I can finish all of my classes strong.

Meanwhile, Earth Day was this weekend and I stayed in Nashville Friday and spent the whole weekend with some awesome friends. It made me miss the city like a fish out of water misses the ocean. I want to live there so much, but it's the expense that scares me a bit. It's easier being able to work without shelling out half of my paycheck for rent. But I think I need to decide if I'm going to travel or not. Because if it's "or not," I might as well move to the city. Geez. All talk and no action. Where's that will-power I was talking about?

In other news, I got a scholarship the other day, which is really exciting. That takes a bit of the financial stress away.

I hope to have lots of coffee dates or just good talks as soon as school lets out.

That sounds nice.

This is rather mundane and monotonous, so I quit for now.

Til we meet again.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chapter 2: hey tommy lee jones, nice truck

We rose at the beautiful hour of about 11am, which was about 1pm for me, and while it may seem like a day could be wasted (maybe it was 9am- same diff), we definitely made the most of Day 2, without regard to time. Zach was headed to Universal Studios for the day, so it would just be the three amigas.

First stop was CVS because my camera's memory card was full. After one night of being there (plus other pictures I couldn't bring myself to delete), it was full. Great.

Then, we hit up the infamous $0.99 store native to the sunny shores of California where we purchased fake goldfish of two varieties, Lifewater, bears and icing for dunkaroos, more bread for PB&J sandwiches, and some other food items.

Next - and don't get bored yet, it's about to get exciting - we drove to the gas station in Burbank and on our way, TOMMY LEE JONES turned in front of us. In his old, beat-up truck. I was stuttering out "Look- that face - famous - he's - look, look- in front-" and then, since I couldn't think of his name, Melissa spit it out for me "That's Tommy Lee Jones!!!"

After a couple minutes of screaming and laughing and congratulating ourselves for our celebrity sighting in Burbank, no less, we pulled into the gas station and pulled out our phones. Okay, I'm gonna script this for your visual comprehension and entertainment.

Me: I'm gonna call my grandmother.
Melissa: I'm gonna call my mom.
Courtney: I'm texting my mom.

(all whip out phones, Melissa and I begin to dial)
(brief silence as dial tone rings)

Melissa: Hey mom!
Me: Grandmother-
Melissa and Me: Guess what?
Melissa and Me: We just saw Tommy Lee Jones!!

Melissa's mom asked if there was an echo on her phone, my grandmother was excited, but it was a bad time for her to talk, so we ended our calls and cracked up because we literally said pretty much the same thing at the same time.

Then Melissa pumped gas and we cheered for a little longer and headed to Yogurtland for lunch.

If you have never tasted frozen yogurt, I first pity you and then I reprimand you. You who have computer access to view this post certainly have enough control over your own life to scout out your local frozen yogurt joint and indulge yourself. So do it. And finish reading this later, because you are wasting precious time. Your taste buds are bound to grow bitter. (pun definitely intended)

As we carried our cups of frozen yogurt to the car, we knew great things awaited us. We were going to the cliffs and then we were going to the beach. I hadn't been to a beach in who knows how long. Swimsuits tucked beneath t-shirts and shorts and chuck taylors on foot, the three of us set off on our adventure, with Melissa's trusty GPS to guide and misguide us.

We arrived at the beautiful "park" around 3pm, though I perhaps invented that time to give the story more significant detail. Surfboards atop the car, we parked her in trusty view of all, and stepped out of the car into the beautiful sunshine and glorious....wind. It was pretty breezy, which meant hoodies were a must. Eventually, though, through our tree-climbing shenanigans and cliff hiking, we shed articles of clothing, such as the cumbersome hoodie.

The best way to sum up this experience would be to show you.

After our climbing and hiking and meeting a drunk guy from Honduras under the dock and talking to him for a while, we headed back to the car. The surf boards were still there and time was expiring. The beach was not going to happen, at least not like we planned.

We had an appointment with destiny in Mission Viejo, which was about an hour away. We were meeting Courtney's family friends and eating dinner with them. After making a pit stop at McDonald's to change into real clothes and discard the bathing suits we didn't really use, we arrived at the house of Ed, Roxanne, and Irina. After some delightful conversation and learning more about California, Roxanne must have heard our stomachs growling.

And then...the two words that I loved most.

"Fish tacos."

I suppose surrounding those words was something like, "Hey Irina, why don't you take them to get fish tacos at Rubio's? My treat."

Melissa and I were smiling ear to ear, as was Courtney, because she did not have the privilege of sharing in our experience the night before. We decided we would grab some tacos then drive to Laguna Beach, since we were so close.

Three fish tacos and a smile later, we were back in the car on the way to Laguna Beach.

Irina gave us this delicious gum after our wonderful meal, and I discovered I could blow some great bubbles. I told Melissa and she decided to try. What happened next was entirely spontaneous and ridiculous, but it happened, and must be noted. Every time we blew a bubble, we counted. So it turned into a competition, and by the time we hit Laguna Beach, I had blown 100 bubbles and Melissa had blown 101. She won. Our jaws were sore and the gum had lost its flavor, but it was an incredibly spectacular little event.

When we got to the beach, it was pitch dark (as it had been when we left for Rubio's), and the beach was pretty much deserted. So we walked and goofed off and played on the lifeguard deck and walked through the restaurants and messed with locals.

Then we drove Irina home, stopped at McDonald's for some caffeine, and got back to Melissa's apartment sometime around midnight. Aka 2 a.m. in my Nashville head. Sooo tired. But such a remarkable day!

We were out like a light in no time. Fish tacos swimming in our stomachs satisfactorily once again.

Chapter 1: that fish would look good in my face

If there was one word to describe what I wanted to be over spring break, I suppose the word would be daring. I wanted to defy my own expectations, cut loose, and meet new people. So I booked two flights and one train ride for my California-Chicago adventure.

I suppose the easiest way to do this would to be to give you a day-by-day bullet point list of my journey. But I fear that would stifle the inner-writer and would not be half as entertaining as the stories I could tell. However, I fear you would not read all of it if I told it to you in one block of text. So I am going to break it up into chapters. Because blogs are meant to be read with the most recent information at the top, you may find yourself scrolling down to read my adventures in order. I suppose if you read them out of order, it would not confuse your comprehension too much. So do as you like.

Consider the following chapter one.

CHAPTER 1: that fish would look good in my face

I arrived at the Nashville airport on the afternoon of Monday, March 8th. One checked bag, a full backpack, an airport water bottle, and a Reader's Digest later, I was aboard a five-hour flight to Los Angeles.

Upon arrival, I noticed that had I not been standing in the shade of the arrival tunnel, shorts would have been a viable option. The palm trees I could see protruding from the stretch of sun-touched grass just beyond my tunneled waiting bench was enough to stir anticipation within me. I wanted to touch the palm trees if only to convince myself it was not a mirage.

My getaway car pulled up and I hopped in and sped away with my friends Melissa and Courtney and a guy named Zach who I didn't know. We shook hands, exchanged names, and sped out of the airport along with the others flying at 15 mph.

We were off. The adventure had begun. We arrived at Melissa's gorgeous apartment nestled in the Hollywood area, deposited my stuff, made some PB&J and were swiftly off to climb the hill of the Hollywood sign.

The view from the top was gorgeous- the sunset was altogether too remarkable to be explained. Perhaps pictures can do the explaining that my words cannot.

After hiking down, meeting a boy named Archer, freezing because it does get a bit chilly at night, even though it's Cali, we drove back to Melissa's apartment, said goodbye to Courtney when she left for dinner with her cousin, then the three remaining explorers scouted out a dinner spot to cater to our hunger cravings.

We found a delicious fish taco spot that looked like it might be closed, but it wasn't, not yet, so we went in.

Up until this trip, I had been slightly repulsed at the thought of fish in a taco, but I will try anything once, so I thought, "Heck, why not in Hollywood?" And that is how my infatuation with fish tacos began.

Minus the stinging then burning then flaming then searing your eyeballs out of their sockets sensation from our spicy guacamole (WTH?) we drank our exotic drinks, courtesy of the owner, and I guzzled my Squirt drink (yes, it was hot enough for two beverages) and we exited the premises, smiles all around. ("This will make your face smile, and I like when your face smiles.")
We proceeded to travel to Amoeba music, which is kind of a big deal in LA. It is this HUGE warehouse of sorts with thousands of CDs and DVDs for sale, some used, some new.

Post-Amoeba, Melissa, Zach, and I drove to Hollywood Blvd where they were taking down lights and decorations from the previous night's Academy Awards. The road was closed, but the sidewalks were opened. We parked about 4 blocks away next to the vehicle we swear was used in the Indiana Jones movies, and arrived in time to see Spiderman posed like he was ready to pounce on a ledge of the building on the boulevard.

We of course explored the area behind Kodak Theater, put our hands in the prints of Johnny Depp and our feet in the soles of Hugh Jackman (that man has HUGE feet). Then we walked back to the car, grabbed an In-N-Out Neapolitan shake on the way, and headed back to the apartment.

Slightly jet-lagged and worn out from the days activities (I'd only been there since 3pm California time! That's 5pm Nashville time), I sluggishly hung around with the others for a couple of hours before hitting my sleeping bag and going to sleep.

Day 1 was amazing. Who knew what Day 2 had in store...

Monday, February 15, 2010

thumbs up

Okay so it's been a while since my last post, but I just wanted to give my audience a thumbs up. I'm doing so much better. I'm running towards God more, which is where a lot of stuff lines up, and am not as stressed at the moment. Just a quick update, for those who approached me with worry.


Monday, February 8, 2010

wall of impossibility

I have never wanted to cry more in my life. I think somewhere along the way, my tear ducts dried of from lack of use, so this powerful urge has not been satisfied yet. At the most, my eyes can produce tears for 65 seconds, including the moment they start watering to the moment they stop. It's sad. So sad it's worth crying over.

This sob story is not inspired by any truly grievous act that has catapulted my heart into mourning, but rather a series of overwhelming small events combined with a dry soul and a body that wants to physically run from everything right now. My exact feelings? I would like to pull a Tom Sawyer on life right about now. Maybe not the whole dramatic feigning of my own funeral (though I admit, I always have thought that would be entertaining), but at least the running away to an unknown, uninhabited island part. But then again, I am keenly aware that would not solve my unrest.

I have been stressed by a number of things, a few deeply private that I am unwilling to admit to anyone, which may have contributed to my inner turmoil of late. Admitting serious personality flaws or struggles to yourself is hard enough, but admitting them to others is nothing short of suicidal. At least that is how I perceive it.

So far, this is comprised of a bunch of words about nothing. I'm not sure I'm really saying anything. The underlying point is that I am intensely overwhelmed (work has been a major aggravating force which brought about this feeling) and am not sure how to voice my frustrations or struggles or how the heck to make my eyes water to relieve some of the tension.

I'm pretty positive my back is more tense than it has ever been, and I am on steroids (not the cool muscle-building kind) for a pulled muscle to prove it. Thank you, backpack.

School is pretty good, but I get to the point where I wonder if I'm exactly where I should be with life coinciding with school. I feel like I could be making money through writing or photography (maybe not...still a newbie) or something I enjoy doing and would also be productive and improving a skill. Many internships are unpaid and those that are paid are mostly full for this semester, which is to be understood. I just feel stuck for some reason.

Stuck in my faith, stuck in my work ethic, stuck in a lack of motivation, stuck in a mode of searching in vain for hope or joy or something that will fulfill me. The funny thing is, I know exactly what I need to do to find that fulfillment but I feel like I want to try stuff out first and make sure my fulfillment can't come in that. Lame, I know. Many journeys are dead ends and many of mine will probably lead me to a wall of impossibility.

Maybe I am crippling myself with this mood right now and while I wish I could have a "good cry" (I am still not sure what that means, much like I don't understand the term "daddy's girl") and shake it off, I'm not sure that these feelings can be resolved that easily.

So I sit down, I type, and I solve nothing. Just another voice in print in an infinity of cyberfeelings.

I rest my case.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

the kids

The kids have been gone for about a week now.

This has been the longest week ever with work and all, and while it has been really nice to have adult time, play cards with the neighbors, laugh out loud past seven o'clock without the risk of waking a sleeping child, I know they are going to be gone for good soon. So I would like to see them again. At least the baby, because she was in my dream and when I woke up,

she was gone.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Last night was kind of a rough night with an unexpected shift at work, trying to figure out which Middle Tennessee town I would be sleeping in, and willing my eyes to stay open while I drove there. Yet for some reason, when I lay my head on my pillow, sleep would not come.

It absolutely would not.

Thoughts bombarded my mind. My own voice kept shouting a million different thoughts into my mind's ear. My voice multiplied and a thousand random thoughts screamed for my attention when all I wanted was to sleep for the six precious hours I had.

Still, sleep would not come.

I think it took me about an hour to finally fall asleep and get my mind to shut up. The next few hours were spent trying to sleep, but between random dreams and waking up, I'm not sure how successful my attempts were.

Towards the end of my "slumber," three words, really one phrase, kept running through my mind. P____-___-P______. I was really confused because though I knew the words (I forgot once I woke up) I could not figure out what they meant. I work in a video store, so I thought maybe it was a video title that I had seen among the few hundred titles I had handled that night.

The name kept running through my head. Literally spelling itself out, waking me up a few times. Still, I was confused, not knowing what it was, not being able to grasp the meaning of the phrase.

This morning, awake, despite my body's struggle to get out of bed, I drove to school and sat down to finish an assignment on the earthquake in Haiti. The school computers are set to use a search engine other than what I used yesterday afternoon to start my assignment. After typing in "causes of the earthquake in Haiti," the first subject that greeted my eyes was "Port-au-Prince."


That was it. That was the phrase that kept waking me up sometime early this morning. I was completely positive. That was it without question. Port-au-Prince. How could I have forgotten the words?

But now they had meaning.

I have no idea why this was waking me up. I would love to believe it was the Holy Spirit trying to communicate to me. Maybe telling me to wake up and pray. But my prayer life has been rather shoddy of late, so even if I knew what it was, maybe I would have been skeptical in my drowsy slumber. Yet this morning, I see those words on the computer screen, and while I could believe I just thought of them because of my assignment, that wouldn't justify the words waking me up more than once in attempts to discover their meaning.


A region wrecked with pain and destruction.
A broken people, far from God, yet drawing on their pain
and looking for some sort of redemption.

I would love to go to Haiti right now. However, I see school as a definite obstacle to that wish. That and a lack of funds, or a selfish desire to salvage the small savings I have for life here in the privileged US.

I don't know. I'm not saying that being awakened mulitiple times by the name of a suffering town means I am supposed to go to that place. But I wonder what it does mean.

Maybe I will get some follow-up, some peace of mind, some answer to my unwritten question, but if not, then hopefully I will be more cognizant of the pain of those in Haiti and will be more in tune to praying for the people of Port-au-Prince daily.

The privileged white girl goes to school while the black children oceans away are suffering immensely, with little hope to lighten their load.

Something seems so wrong about that.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

the juggling game begins

So......I was thinking about recycling my journal entry or some poetry (I need to come up with a word other than that to define my lyrics/poems/whatever they are) I've done recently for this post.

Alas, a real update is in order.

Today marked the 2nd day of what I have come to call the 12 hour school day. It is titled as so because I must wake up at 6am and my last class wraps at 5:45pm. Okay, so my math is a little's more like 13 hours! (Driving back home...duh.) Fortunately I've had the company of my friend Rachel through this early morning ordeal and have her to vent to for the upcoming days when my schedule is sure to become overwhelming.

17 hrs of schoolwork + 20 hrs of work + sleep = better be enough time for driving out to the B-mont and spending quality time with friends here and there.

EXCITING STUFF!! I met with a study abroad advisor today and am in the process of mapping out my study abroad to South Africa (!!!) next spring. Ready or not, here I come - spring 2011! I'm excited about it but am really bad at planning and getting truly excited this far in advance.

This post is super boring, so I'm going to stop while I'm ahead and try to make it exciting next time instead of cramming it in like a sloppy homework assignment.

Much love!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Okay so I know I wrote about how I was going to write more and all that jazz, so here is just a quick update...I have not neglected writing. I have instead disciplined myself to journal every night for the past six (I am a horribly inconsistent person, so this is a good step for me). That said...perhaps I will post excerpts from my journal in the coming days.

I start my spring semester on Thursday, so I'm trying to gear up for that, but really, trying to plan ahead in my head is like trying to work a maze with a thousand dead ends. So we'll see where all this planning gets me.

Meanwhile, all my Nashville friends are beginning their descent into the city that isn't the same without them. Excitement for that!

Questions? Comments? Leave them here or email me at in case I'm not here for a few more days. (I totally hope that looked like a computer-generated disclaimer. That's what I was going for...)

'Til next time!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Looking Ahead

So we're starting a sales competition at work this month. We have three or four teams and my team is going to dominate, yes we are. As of now, our team name is the glourious basterds (I work in a video store...reference to Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, if you weren't sure and thought I spelled two words wrong consecutively). That is something I am excited about. Working with fun people. I want to be able to be a witness in my job setting too and not just have fun, so be praying for chances for that for me if you think of it. And pray that I will speak and not be silent and just settle for having fun at work.

In other news, I am going to sleep in my own bed tonight for the first time in about a week. I was house-sitting and dog-sitting for my neighbors while they were visiting family out of state. I really enjoyed being able to chill in a peaceful house and would watch their dogs for them again in a heartbeat! I am glad that I'll be in my own room again tonight.

I guess there's not really anything eventful happening to me right now, but life is good and I cannot complain. I had a great time with friends and family over the holidays and am about to adjust myself to the school mode as spring semester begins next Thursday. I am not really looking forward to it but I am looking forward to spending time with my friend Rachel who will be on campus this semester too. I'm also looking forward to meeting new people because that is one of my favorite things to do!

Ohhh I guess I do have something that isn't really happening right now, but I need to get the ball rolling. I am planning on studying abroad in South Africa next fall and would be leaving mid-July if everything goes as planned. I have some hesitations and I don't want those to hold me back because I want to embark on this adventure, but that said, I've been hesitant to get the paperwork process going. Looking at the program excites me - there are some awesome classes and I'm sure my time there would fly, but while I love exciting adventures, I fear losing familiar stuff. I have awesome friends here and I know lasting friendships won't keel over and die if someone goes out of the country for a few months but I'm still a little afraid of stuff changing, ya know?

Anyways...that's kind of churning around in my head and I need to be pro-active about applying as certain deadlines are closing in.

So that's it in a nutshell! My family just got a projector so for all of you who have been to my house, you know that means more summer drive-in movies out at my place! For now, we're gonna have a mega-screen indoor showing. Exciting stuff. :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

resolving to resolve

In the past I have not made a big deal about New Year's resolutions. Okay, that would be undermining the situation. I have not made resolutions, period. Last year I scribbled a couple of pages in my planner about where I wanted to be a year from that day, but I didn't really write specifics or acknowledge particular goals.

So the new year is upon us and once again, I have not given resolutions a thought. The reason I don't make them is because I fall short, or have in the past. But my memory of a past when I actually wrote and attempted goals in my life at the start of the year is entirely obliterated from my mind. Therefore, I'm thinking of making some.

I don't know if I have much of an audience in the blogging world. I haven't been very faithful to my blog, so I'm going to start with that. I need to write or journal or something and somehow I cannot discipline myself to scribble in one of the many journals I have, yet I constantly find myself in front of a computer monitor. That said, I resolve to blog at least once a week. I need some discipline and consistency in my life and audience or no audience, it's something I need to do for myself, whether there are people holding me accountable or not. The form of this blog has been a mixture of old JRoad posts, poetry/lyrics (call them what you will) and some storytelling. I want to incorporate more of a "day in the life" kind of approach, but we'll see how it goes.

In terms of other resolutions, I hate to say exercise, because that is so cliche, but it is something I need to be doing. Maybe I'll find an exercise buddy or a good music playlist.

Next on the docket, I got a job (I worked consistently for 2 1/2 years then took off last year to do the school thing at Belmont where I enjoyed myself immensely and spent a lot of time being unproductive, then I nannied this summer and made some money back which I have been living on until now, and I just got a job at a video store in the town in which I currently live). This means I will have a steady income. Which means I can still pay for gas, can build up my savings account again, and maybe can get my car fixed *groan.* I really want to move into an apartment in the Nashville area (any place west of L-town and north of the boro) but haven't been proactive in that search besides spending large quantities of time on Okay, so that's because I didn't have a steady maybe we'll let that bank account nourish itself and then re-visit this subject.

Alright so here's my big thing...I need to be more creative. Or at least have an outlet for my creativity so it doesn't dry up. I used to write a few songs every week. Then I went to Belmont and grew intimidated because everyone seemed so confident in their work and accomplished. So I practiced in the safety of gazebos on warm nights and in the stairwell when I felt either confident enough to be heard or motivated enough not to care. I did a craft of sorts recently that I thoroughly enjoyed and that made me want to scrapbook or do SOMETHING this year that is both expressive and captivates memories or stepping stones or something. Again, specifics are not in order, but that's just me for ya. Always the visionary, never the one to actually do what I say I will do. So that is why I am going to maintain this blog. As a sort of accountability to myself and my friends (if I do indeed have friends or strangers reading, both welcome).

Oh and sidenote: my sister got me four canvases, some oil paints, and some brushes for Christmas. I do not paint. I have attempted once and while I enjoyed it, I do not consider myself a drawing kind of artist. But she apparently thinks I have it in me (because she shelled out a lot of money!) so painting is something I want to learn this year. I don't want to mess up the canvases though, so hopefully I won't not paint anything because of that. And I started this little portion off with songwriting...I want to lock myself in a room with 6 different instruments and compose at least one finished, full-length song one day. Record it too once I bring in more people to play the instruments simultaneously. Or I could layer the track and play them all. . .

Another thing....Facebook has got to go. Or at least be limited. I think I'm searching for something that I will never find in others so I am using their lives as inspiration but instead I'm stifling whatever originality is within myself. With words (i.e. blog) I can express myself whether anyone is reading or not, so for a while I used facebook as a venue for my lyrics/poetry (whatever you want to call it). Then I took most everything down, saved it to my computer, and moved on (and stopped writing as much...whoops).

So I need to limit my facebook interaction, have more coffee dates, unleash my creativity, complete a project, oh yeah -- and exercise. Maybe that will happen while I'm chasing a full course load, a job, a life and all this other stuff in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, at the very least, I want to be more confident in myself at this point next year. I feel like I have changed a lot in the past couple of years but I don't know how much I have actually grown. Sometimes I think I was a stronger person as an awkward 10 year old who was sure about everything than I am now as an awkward adult who questions absolutely EVERYTHING.

Only time will tell. . .thank God for awesome friends who are a constant source of strength and support and for innovations such as the blog that allow me to express what I cannot verbalize, even to myself.

ten steps back

my feet were so determined to walk heels-first
to an unknown destination
only to avoid the one you planned

my mind was so convinced it knew the heart
the heart was uncertain
so the mind won her over

then there were little signs that told the mind to stop
warned the heart to challenge the mind
warned the feet to walk toes first into tomorrow
but the ears didn't hear

my selfishness believed satisfaction was an arm's length away
my eyes thoughts something was missing from the picture
my heart stayed silent, fatefully so

my sickness told me I was beyond a cure
my pride told me I was self-sufficient
my soul told me I knew truth all along

then there were little voices that directed my rebellion
away from the way I chose
away from the destruction I wanted
and the ears began to forget the mind's agenda

speech undermined intellect by becoming lazy
actions undermined integrity by becoming abrupt
intention had gone to the wind and carried me with it

the feet had stopped working backwards
the knees bent and the body fell
unmoving to the ground, to try and gather meaning

trying to gather meaning when the meaning is so clear
is more than pitiful, yet it's what we do best
ignoring the voices that taught us to think
the ears told the mind to go back to truth

my feet are beginning to remember how to walk
toes pointed towards the destination
my mind needs some encouragement
from the heart that's holding out