Sunday, December 17, 2006


"Being a Christian doesn't mean you sin less; it means you take your sin to the foot of the cross faster."

Living on my own,
thinking for myself
Castles in sand,
temporary wealth
Walls are falling down,
storms are closing in
Tears have filled my eyes,
here I am again

And I've held out as long as I can
Now I'm letting go
and holding out my hand
Daddy, here I am again,
will you take me back tonight?
I went and made the world my friend,
and it left me high and dry
I dragged Your name back through the mud
That You first found me in
Not worthy to be called Your son
Is this to be my end?
Daddy, here I am
Here I am again

Curse this morning sun,
that drags me in to one more day
Of reaping what I've sown,
of living with my shame
Welcome to my world,
and the life that I have made
Where one day you're a prince,
the next day your a slave

And I've held out as long as I can
Now I'm letting go
and holding out my hand
Daddy, here I am again,
will you take me back tonight
I went and made the world my friend,
and it left me high and dry
I dragged Your name back through the mud
That You first found me in
Not worthy to be called Your son
Is this to be my end?
Daddy, here I am
Here I am again

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I think they're singing...

"Yesterday's challenges are lost in today's joys...and tomorrow's dream becomes today's courage." -Max Lucado

"But you are strong, strong in Christ and you need to trust that He is bigger than all of it."-Laura Jo

Picture (left to right): Sammie Jo, Mary, Laura Jo

Monday, December 11, 2006

I am blessed by friends

"When I find myself fading, I close my eyes and realize my friends are my energy." -Anonymous

"Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself--and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to--letting a person be what he really is." -James Douglas Morrison

"Friends are those people who know the words to the song in your heart and sing them back to you when you have forgotten the words." -Anonymous

"Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.
Walk beside me and just be my friend." -Albert Camus

"I have learned that to be with those I like is enough." -Walt Whitman

Friday, December 08, 2006

It's times like these...

Last night (Thursday), Amanda 3, Mary and I went over to Karen's house around 7. I got back to campus (note that I had an 8am exam on Friday) five minutes before midnight. But I realized just how happy I am here. How happy these people make me. How happy I am because I am myself around them.

A little birthday cake, a little bit of good, hard-core rounds of Mafia, a little playing with Jonah (the long-haired, Doxin, cocker-spaniel mix), a little eating cookies that weren't completely cooked, a little Taboo, a little organic milk, a little creepy ornaments, a little secretarial work, a little decorating the Christmas tree, and a lot of laughing and talking.

It's times like these when I realize that I love this place, I love these people and I love this life.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Lighthouse Law

  • Love God more than you fear hell.
  • Once a week, let a child take you on a walk.
  • Make major decisions in a cemetery.
  • When no one is watching, live as if someone is.
  • Succeed at home first.
  • Don't spend tomorrow's money today.
  • Pray twice as much as you fret.
  • Listen twice as much as you speak.
  • Only harbor a grudge when God does.
  • Never outgrow your love of sunsets
  • Treat people like angels; you will meet some and help make some.
  • 'Tis wiser to err on the side of generosity than on the side of scrutiny.
  • God has forgiven you; you'd be wise to do the same.
  • When you can't trace God's hand, trust His heart.
  • Toot your own horn and the notes will be flat.
  • Don't feel guilty for God's goodness.
  • The book of life is lived in chapters, so know your page number.
  • Never let the important be the victim of the trivial.
  • Live your liturgy.

"To sum it all up: Approach life like a voyage on a schooner. Enjoy the view. Explore the vessel. Make friends with the Captain. Fish a little. And then get off when you get home... It [is] good to be reminded again that this journey is a brief one. That Jesus knows how I feel and that he'd scramble off a mountain and walk through a storm to convince me of that."

"Salvation is God's sudden, calming presence during the stormy seas of our lives. We hear His voice; we take the step. We, like Paul, are aware of two things: We are great sinners and we need a great Savior. We, like Peter, are aware of two facts: We are going down and God is standing up. So we scramble out. We leave behind [our sinking ship] of self-righteousness and stand on the solid path of God's grace. And, surprisingly, we are able to walk on water. Death is disarmed. Failures are forgivable. Life has real purpose. And God is not only within sight, He is within reach. . .For a season of surprising strength, we stand upon His promises. It doesn't make sense that we are able to do this. We don't claim to be worthy of such an incredible gift. . .Most of us, though, face the wind of doubt. . .And downward we plunge. Heavied by mortality's mortar, we sink. Gulping and thrashing, we fall into a dark, wet world. We open our eyes and see only blackness. We try to breathe, and no air comes. We kick and fight out way back to the surface. . .And we hope that the same Christ who called us out of the boat will call us out of the sea. . .[There is] one God who'll walk through hell or high water to extend a helping hand to a child who cries for help." -Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm

Monday, December 04, 2006

And it got me thinking...

"Yesterday's challenges are lost in today's joys." -In the Eye of the Storm, by Max Lucado

"Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen." -2 Corinthians 4: 16-18

"Life's mishaps and horrors are only a page out of a grand book. We must be slow about drawing conclusions. We must reserve judgment on life's storms until we know the whole story... For it was the Carpenter who said it best: 'Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.' He should know. He is the Author of our story. And He has already written the final chapter." -In the Eye of the Storm, by Max Lucado

Thursday, November 30, 2006

He's Always Been Faithful- By Sara Groves

Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

Morning by morning I wake up to find
The power and comfort of God’s hand in mine
Season by season I watch Him, amazed
In awe of the mystery of His perfect ways

All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me

I can’t remember a trial or a pain
He did not recycle to bring me gain
I can’t remember one single regret
In serving God only, and trusting His hand

All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me

This is my anthem, this is my song
The theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long
God has been faithful, He will be again
His loving compassion, it knows no end

All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful, He’s always been faithful
He’s always been faithful to me

"He's Always Been Faithful" by Sara Groves

"Getting into You" by Relient K

when i made up my mind
and my heart along with that
to live not for myself
but yet for God
somebody said
"do you know what you are getting yourself into?"

when i finally ironed out
all of my priorities
and asked God to remove the doubt
that makes me unsure of these
things i ask myself
i ask myself
"do you know what you are getting yourself into?"

i'm getting into you
because you got to me
in a way words can't describe
i'm getting into you
because i've got to be
you're essential to survive
i'm going to love you with my life

when he looked at me and said
"i kind of view you as a son"
and for a second our eyes met
and i met that with a question
"do you know what you are getting yourself into?"

i'm getting into you
because you got to me
in a way words can't describe
i'm getting into you
because i've got to be
you're essential to survive
i'm going to love you with my life

i've been a liar and i'll never amount to
the kind of person you deserve to worship you
you say you will not dwell on what i did
but rather what i do
you say"i love you and that's what you are getting yourself into"

i'm getting into you (getting into you)
because you got to me (because you got to me)
in a way words can't describe
i'm getting into you (getting into you)
because i've got to be (because i've got to be)
you're essential to survive
i'm going to love you with my life
i'm getting into you (getting into you)
because you got to me (because you got to me)
in a way words can't describe
i'm getting into you (getting into you)
because i've got to be (because i've got to be)
you're essential to survive
i'm going to love you with my life

you said "i love you and that's what you're getting into"

Monday, November 27, 2006

"More" by Matthew West

Take a look at the mountains
Stretching a mile high
Take a look at the ocean
Far as your eye can see
And think of Me

Take a look at the desert
Do you feel like a grain of sand?
I am with you wherever
Where you go is where I am
And I'm always thinking of you

Take a look around you
I'm spelling it out one by one

I love you more than the sun
And the stars that I taught how to shine
You are mine, and you shine for me too
I love you yesterday and today
And tomorrow, I'll say it again and again
I love you more

Just a face in the city
Just a tear on a crowded street
But you are one in a million
And you belong to Me

And I want you to know
That I'm not letting go
Even when you come undone

I love you more than the sun
And the stars that I taught how to shine
You are mine, and you shine for me too
I love you yesterday and today
And tomorrow, I'll say it again and again
I love you more

I love you more
Shine for Me
Shine for Me
Shine on, shine on
Shine for Me

I love you more than the sun
And the stars that I taught how to shine
You are mine, and you shine for me too
I love you yesterday and today
And tomorrow, I'll say it again and again
I love you more

And I see you
And I made you
And I love you more than you can imagine
More than you can fathom
I love you more than the sun
And you shine for me

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Lots to be thankful for

Thanksgiving is always a stressful time for my family-- I don't know why, exactly. It usually begins when my parents start trying to divy up time and try to agree on what is "fair" in regards to how much time my sister and I spend where. The stress continues as we prepare to go visit my mom's family for a half day or so. This year was especially stressful because it would be the first without my grandmother, and the family had been through some rocky times when my grandmother's health was failing. Amd then of course, there's the stress of switching houses, whichever I go to first. And so on...

This year, we celebrated Thanksgiving with my mom's family at one of my aunt's houses. Everyone was supposed to bring something-- we brought pumpkin cheesecake and broccoli salad. I think I was laughing the entire time I was there. One of my uncles had said he was going to come and grab a takeout box, and leave (in reality, he didn't...). And then there's my cousin who announced so sweetily at the table that he is homophobic (you could hear the crickets churping after he said that). And another of my uncles talked for thirty minutes about kidney stones, what you can/can't eat, what the actual medical explanation is, etc. And there were a few moments when everyone at the table was listing what they thought I should grow up to be: peace corps volunteer, journalist, politician, preacher, etc etc etc. Ah, yes, I love my extended family. I am reminded of how strangely normal we are.

I'm in my dorm tonight, Saturday. It's quiet on campus. The dining services are completely closed. The elevator has remained where I left it, when I used it to bring me and my load from home up, all night. There is one other person on my hall, and maybe a handful in the entire building. I like it. Tonight, I am thankful for:
-the quiet, peaceful atmosphere and time to regroup
-kidney stones because I am reminded that it could be so much worse
-an AC system that tries to work, but fails, because it means that when I get it fixed I will be warm for the winter
-all the work I have to do and the exams I have coming up, because it means I can afford to go to school
and so on...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Never a dull moment...

This weekend was certainly an interesting one. On Friday night, I went to dinner at the Caf with Miriam and Amanda, and then we decided to take my car to the mall. But first, we picked up Laura Jo. So the four of us spent two hours or so at the mall, just walking through stores and hanging out.

After we got back to campus, we drove Miriam back to her dorm and dropped her off. Then, Amanda, Laura Jo and I went to Laura Jo's apartment to hang out and play Nintendo. Around midnight, we started watching Friends episodes, and that was when this incredible pain started. I tried to sit still, but I couldn't sit comfortably. My lower abdomen and lower back were in the most pain I have ever experienced. By 12:45, I finally told Laura Jo and Amanda how much pain I was in, and I started kneeling on the floor, in an attempt to get comfortable. Laura Jo gave me Advil, but it didn't help. I was in tears by the time one of Laura Jo's roommates came in, who immediately said this looked like the pain she has from her ovarian cysts. So she gave me half of a hydrocodon, which Laura Jo okay-ed...(she was a pharmacy technician). By 1:30, the hydrocodon hadn't kicked in and I was still in really bad pain, so Laura Jo and Amanda asked me what I wanted to do. They agreed to go get my car and drive me back to my dorm, so I could try to sleep.

On their way back to LJ's apartment to pick me up, LJ called me and said they had changed their minds. "We're taking you to the hospital." I didn't fight it, as I had all night. We got to the Emergency Room a little after 2am. I got checked in, gave a pee sample, and answered a ton more questions. Soon, the nurse came in to draw blood and hook me up to an IV, which I was just a tad anxious about. The IV immediately started pumping Demerol into my body-- that's a med they usually give to cancer patients for pain. The Demerol gave me a really, really bad headache at first, but then it made me dizzy and I started falling in and out of sleep. They were also pumping anti-nausea drugs into me to keep me from throwing up. They did a CAT scan, and about two hours later, they told me I had two kidney stones, one on either side. They prescribed medicine (Oxycodone) and sent me home, with a souvenir pair of socks. I can't have anything with caffeine until I pass the stones, which, as I write this on Sunday evening at 10:50pm, I have yet to do. I'm supposed to, and have been, drinking lots of liquids in order to speed the process along, but thus far, I'm still in pain. The pain, though, is a lot less than it was Friday night, but sitting is still painful (which is all you do, pretty much, in college).

So, that was my weekend. I spent Saturday helping prepare and serve a Thanksgiving meal to kids in a local low-income neighborhood, with my small group. Then Kelsey and I went to Seussical and sat in the Interpretor Section, and got to watch the show being signed. Then I got sleep! Then I went to LumberJack Ball, which is an annual InterVarsity event. By midnight, though, the drugs had knocked me out and I was fast asleep in front of a HUGE bonfire. This was not before I participated in cricket-spitting, SPEW (the alkaseltzer game), and Chubby Bunny, which I WON! My friends are awesome, all of them. They've been taking very good care of me and praying for me and doing whatever they can to help!

And Laura Jo is riding to Chapel Hill with me on Tuesday evening!!! YAY! But she might be driving my car, because if I'm still taking these pain killers, I can't drive. That's all.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Never Let Go

Can you lay your life down
so a stranger can live
Can you take what you need
but take less than you give

Could ya close every day
without the glory and fame
Could you hold your head high
when no one knows your name

That's how legends are made
at least thats what they say
We say goodbye
but never let go
We live, We die
'cause you can't save every soul
You gotta take every chance to
show that you're the kinda man who
will never look back
will never look down
and never let go

Can you lose everything
you ever had planned
Can you sit down again
and play another hand

Could you risk everything
for the chance of being alone
Under pressure find the grace
Would you come undone

That's how legends are made
at least that's what they say
We say goodbye
but never let go
We live, We die
'cause you can't save every soul
You gotta take every chance to
show that you're the kinda man who
will never look back
will never look down
and never let go

never let go
You gotta take every chance to
show that you're the kinda man who
will never look back
will never look down
and never let go

We say goodbye but never let go
We live, We die
'cause you can't save every soul
You gotta take every chance to
show that you're the kinda man who
will never look back
will never look down
and never let go
Never look back
Never look down,
and never let go.

-Bryan Adams, Eliot Kennedy and Trevor Rabin (at the end of the movie, The Guardian)

Friday, November 03, 2006

That's what it's all about...

Top: (Eric, dressed as his roommate Kirk, and me)
Middle: (Kelsey, a latin dancer, and me)
Bottom: (Laura Jo, as...I don't know...and me)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

And Your arms are open wide,
But I drop my gaze.
You offer me forgiveness,
And I turn away.

I know I am unworthy,
And I know You paid the price
But the truth is, I just haven't learned
How to accept Your humble sacrifice

So once again, I avert my eyes
Steer clear of acknowledging Your grace.
It isn't that I don't believe,
It's just so hard, these days.

It's a daily battle, a forever struggle
To bow before You
To allow Your grace and love
To cleanse me anew.

I believe Your grace is sufficient
And can cover every little thing,
But sometimes I feel like
I just can't forgive me.

So, what I wonder, Lord
Is how I learn to let it go
To let myself by cleansed
And Your love to fully know.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gonna be a long week

I'm sitting on my bed right now, the pink, green, orange, blue and purple stripes beneath me. And I wonder how exactly I'm going to make it through my second day on crutches. Every joint, bone, muscle and inch of my body is in incredible pain. My wrists are swollen, and my underarms have nice black and purple bruises.
I spent all day Saturday and Sunday trying not to miss out on anything that was going on around me: the Gathering of Outcasts conference, playing Nintendo at Laura Jo's apartment, going to church, going to a small group meeting, etc. It was after dinner with my small group that the breaking point came for me. We were going down the stairs from the Caf and, I was refusing to use the elevator, as usual. So I was hopping down the stairs on my good foot and my knee buckled and I fell. Yes, Reader, I fell on my good ankle. The pain was only temporary, but my other ankle was still swollen and bruised. I finally decided to go to Student Health Center and have someone look at it. I didn't think it was anything more than a sprain, but they obviously thought there was a possibility it was fractured because I had to get it xrayed. That was pretty painful because they make you put your ankle in really awkward and painful positions.
They put me in an air cast and gave me a pair of crutches. So I traded in having one part of my body in pain for having every part of my body in extreme pain. I am not so graceful on crutches, and it takes me six times as long to get anywhere on campus.

In other news, It's HALLOWEEN!
IV is having a Halloween party tonight. I'm going as Pippi Longstocking On Crutches. I'm very excited. And tomorrow night, my small group is going Reverse-Trick-or-Treating. We're going into a low-income neighborhood to give the kids personalized goody bags with candy and other cool stuff. I'm very excited about that too, though I think I'll probably have to hang in the van the whole time, while every one else delivers the stuff. That's okay, I guess.

Friday, October 27, 2006

My ankle, the Cafeteria, and all sorts of fun stories

It's Friday night at 10pm as I lie on my bed typing this. It's dark, chilly and rainy outside, here in Greensboro. I was supposed to babysit tonight from 7:30 until about midnight. In fact, I was on my way, walking down a slippery sidewalk to where my car was parked. I didn't see a small hole in the sidewalk and my left foot went into it, turned over completely and I fell down, all my weight on my turned ankle. For a good three minutes, I just sat there, in a lot of pain, trying to figure out whether this was one of those times when you'll feel better if you just keep walking, or whether I had sprained it. Then I started crying, in pain, in fear, and because I was wet, cold and I didn't know what to do. I straightened up and got on my cell phone. I called my roommate and one of our hall mates and they came after about eight minutes to help me hop back to our room (not an easy feat). My foot is swollen and purplish, and it hurts, but it'll make a good story in a few months.

Last night, we had a "carnival" in the cafeteria, complete with popcorn, kareoke, candy apples, sno cones and cotton candy. Apparently we were celebrating Halloween...

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Friend

One day a man was walking along, when he fell into a huge hole. The man tried but was unable to get out. A doctor walked by and the man yelled to him: "Hey, mister! Can you help me?" The doctor wrote out a prescription, threw it down into the hole and kept walking. A preacher walked by and the man yelled up to him: "Hey, mister! Can you help me?" The preacher wrote out a prayer on a sheet of paper and threw it down into the hole and kept walking. Then the man's friend walked by. "Hey, buddy! Can you help me?" The friend looked down, and without hesitating, jumped into the hole. The man looked at his friend. "Are you crazy? Why did you jump into the hole with me? Now we're both stuck down here." His friend smiled and said, "Yeah, but I've been down here before, so I can show you the way out."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Carolinian

The Carolinian is the campus newspaper here at UNCG. A few weeks ago, I sent in a submission for the Life section of the paper, about Christian community. Every Tuesday (the day the new edition of the paper comes out) since, I've been checking the paper to see if my submission made it into the paper. And for three weeks, I've been disappointed every time. Today, I grabbed the paper, not expecting to see my article since it was so long ago that I submitted it. But low and behold! It was in there! I'm going to copy and paste the article for you below...

On Faith: Living in a Christian Community
Lindsay Widenhouse, Special to The Carolinian

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins..." He said to the paralytic, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!" (Mark 2: 1-12)

What amazing friends! These friends worked tirelessly, arduously to carry their hurting friend to Jesus, and Jesus forgave this man's sins because He saw the faith of the man's friends. It was hotter than hot in Capernaum, so everyone was sweaty and smelly. There were bugs. The crowds were massive and the friends could have given up when they saw that it would be nearly impossible to get to Jesus. Instead, they managed to carry their paralyzed friend up to the roof, where they dug through a mud or thatched roof and lowered him into the house! Imagine if every time you were hurting, every time you felt broken, lonely, sad, or heartbroken, your friends would drop everything they were doing to help you feel better. They would comfort you, love on you, pray for you, cry with you. What an awesome community that would be.

UNCG InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, along with a few students from GTCC and Salem College, got the privilege to fellowship with one another and learn about God, evangelism and Christian community for an entire weekend in South Carolina.On Saturday evening our topic of discussion was Christian community. David Payne started off by sharing a little of his experience. He emphasized the difference between caring about someone and caring for someone.

InterVarsity Staff person Karen Gupton then continued the theme as she talked about her experiences with Christian community and read the above passage from the book of Mark.She said we find so often that we merely ask our friends about classes and stress levels, and go on about our own business. We don't feel as though we have the time to help them. We don't have the energy, the patience, whatever. But the blood of Jesus Christ, sacrificed for us on the cross, to atone for our sins, has bound us together in a community. Whether we choose to accept it or not, Karen told us, the community will continue to exist. We will continue to be one in the Body of Christ.

When we see brokenness, we must carry our friends to Jesus to be healed. And when we are broken, we must be willing to be carried as well. Both aspects are part of being a member of this community. To accomplish both of these things, we must be sensitive and receptive to the brokenness and hurting that exists, and we must not be ashamed or afraid to ask for help or support when we are the ones who are broken. When others are full of joy, we can and should rejoice with them. And when their hearts are broken and they weep, our tears ought to fall as we share in their sadness.

In his book How to Stay a Christian in College, J. Budziszewski writes, "Christian life is about being in love with God, and Christian social life is about letting that love break out into your relationships with other people? Christian fellowship is like a family in which we can bear the burdens of others and urge each other on? We can also hold each other accountable? and help each other confess [sins] to God and get back on our feet."

The Christian community that we are a part of should break out into our campus life as well. We should be excited to share Christ's love with others. Christian community is something to be celebrated and embraced, something that should be evident to others when they peer into our lives. It should be a place where we are comfortable and vulnerable, challenged to grow, loved, and supported, and where we are actively giving all of that back to other members as well.

After Karen's talk, we broke up into smaller groups, of maybe 15 to 20 students, divided by gender. And then we shared what we were struggling with - relationships with people, family issues, spiritual struggles. We prayed as a group for each person after they shared, but what amazed me was the way people reacted. People were not apathetic or displaying a small amount of sympathy. As someone shared, choking back tears, so did the others. The girls around the circle were crying for each other.

For the first time in my life, I felt I was part of a community that was truly acknowledging the bond Christ had placed on us when he died on the cross. People I barely knew, people I knew fairly well, and people I had just met that evening were crying with me. Their hearts broke because mine was broken. They were hurting because they saw me in pain. To be able to come to one another, vulnerable, hurting, sad, angry, ecstatic, frustrated, and to find a place of love, prayer, grace and support is what Christian community is about.

so...yeah...that's my very first appearance in The Carolinian. In our newspaper, there's a lot of articles about drugs, sex and other immoral type behavior. I really wanted something uplifting and something that spoke TRUTH into people's lives. I guess that's all for now.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. -C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

No one warned me about this!!!

I went home this past weekend (Friday through Tuesday) for fall break. It was wonderful to get to spend time with my family and we did a lot of fun stuff. We had a yard sale, which started way too early on Saturday morning, but I finally got my 3-year-old laptop sold. I got some much-needed rest, and picked out my courses for next semester. On Sunday, we went to see The Lion King at Memorial Auditorium.

The costumes, props and set/scenery were amazing! The acting, singing and dancing were amazing as well, and I had goosebumps the entire time from the quality of performance.
On Monday, my sister forgot her bookbag when she drove to school, so she called and woke me up at home and I took her bookbag to her. This was frustrating, but it was also nice because I had an excuse to go back to my high school and say hello to my old teachers and my friends. Mom and I went out for Indian food for lunch and that afternoon, I babysat for baby Sofia, who is now a grand total of 6 weeks old! And what a good baby! After that, I got overly-productive (as is my problem sometimes) and did all my Spanish homework for the next month. That is one of the nice things about getting a syllabus-- you can do your work ahead of time. :)
Tuesday, today, Mom and Sherby left for the airport early this morning, and I sort of said goodbye from under the covers. Then I got up and played with the dogs. Then I had lunch with Jennie. Then I drove to C-H to visit with Dad for a while. Then I made the trek back to Gboro, half happy, half sad. I love it here, but when I go home, I realize that I miss it more than I allow myself to know while I'm at college.

N one warned me, however, that when I came back home after staying away for five weeks that I would feel different. When you're living out of a suitcase and your family has to fill you in on their everyday activities, you realize that the dynamics have changed some. It's not that they are treating me any different, but they have had to learn to exist without me around 24/7 just as I have had to learn to live without them. So when we're all back together, we have to re-learn how to co-exist and then we have to catch each other up on our lives. It's not exactly how I expected it, but I think that's a huge part of college, and certainly a part of growing up.

URBANA 2006! Very excited about this...more to come on it later.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I had the blessing and privilege of going on an InterVarsity retreat to Garden City (the beach!) South Carolina this past weekend. I'm going to try to do the weekend justice but I can't promise you'll completely understand the amazing experience I had.
It's funny, you go on a retreat expecting to learn a few things, maybe make a few friends, but what I never saw coming was a sense of community unlike any other.
Saturday night, especially, changed my life. Karen Gupton, IV Staff Leader at UNCG, talked about the healing of the paralytic. A quick synopsis of the story: Jesus was surrounded by people, so much so that four friends, who were carrying a fifth on a mat because he was paralyzed, could not access him, except by lowering their friend through the roof. Karen said to us, sometimes you have to let yourself be the friend who is lowered through the roof to Jesus, to be healed. And sometimes you get the privilege of carrying others to Jesus in their brokenness.
Then we broke into small groups of 15-20, (there were ninety of so people on the retreat) and we were also split up by gender. We then were encouraged to share things we were struggling with in life, whether it was a relationship, our Christian walk, school, family, or whatever. After one person would share, we would all lay hands on that person and pray for them as a group. What amazed me was the way that everyone was crying. Person A would share something she was struggling with and everyone, whether they were really close to Person A or had just met her, would be weeping for her, sharing in her pain. It was amazing the sense of community that we experienced that night. I have always had people in my life who loved and cared about me, but so often we get caught up in our own lives and our own worries, that we might not get further than "How's it going?" "Busy." "Me too." "Later." "Take Care." But Saturday night, my heart broke for my friends, my acquaintances, my sisters in Christ. My tears were for them. My sobs were because they were hurting and it hurt me to see them hurt. It was an amazing feeling, that I can hardly explain.
That's our group picture above.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Best Weekend EVER!

We left mid Friday afternoon, in various cars, not really caravaning, though. I was riding with Amanda #3, Ann and Kelcy. Kelcy and I were in the back, signing, singing, whatever. Ann and Amanda were in the front, Amanda driving, Ann giving directions. One thing they realized very quickly, though, is that I go to the bathroom a lot. A LOT. Anyone who has ever ridden in a car with me for any length of time can attest to this, and Ann, Amanda and Kelcy certainly can after this weekend.
We stopped at Burger King with Mary, Emily and Holly for dinner. Quick, but good. (I realized I haven't eaten Burger King in a LONG time...)
We finally arrived in Garden City, SC around 9pm. It was dark and a lot of the IV kids had already arrived and claimed beds. Kelcy, Amanda #2 and I claimed beds quickly after arriving. Amanda and I slept on neighboring bottom bunks, and Kelcy got the bed above mine.
Worship and our first talk started at 10pm. We sung and then Bobbi gave a quick talk. We broke into small groups...mine was John (C-H Alum), Slav (GCC), Rachel (UNCG), Lee (UNCG), and Brittney (UNCG).
After small group time, we broke off and headed out to play. Kelcy, Liz, Summer, Brandon, Amanda #2 and I played Encore for thirty minutes or so and then headed to our respective bunks to get ready for bed. At 1am sharp, Karen Gupton, IV Staff Leader at UNCG, came to each room and personally turned off the lights, but not before saying goodnight!

The next morning, breakfast was at 9am, followed by worship, another talk, devotional/quiet time, and then small group time. Then we ate lunch. After lunch we had free-time until 6pm. I slept and played Settlers of Catan (THE BEST GAME EVER!!!!) with Bobbi, Karen, Katie, David, and Kenny. I lost terribly, but it was really fun.

Dinner was at 6pm...this was an experience. We were told to eat with our small groups...and what Karen meant by that is...We're going to give y'all yarn and you have to tie your wrists together, so that you are basically in a circle...each person tied to two other people, one on each wrist. And then you had to try to eat. It wasn't too hard until people in my group, myself included, needed more drink or more food, which meant that our circle had to move through the dining hall, to the counter and serve the food or pour drinks...try doing that, while holding the cup or plate, with your wrists tied together.

Then we had worship and another talk, this one given by Karen. She talked about Christian community. And then I experienced on of the most amazing examples of Christian community ever...we broke off into groups of all girls or all boys, groups of maybe 15-20 (there were probably 90 students on this retreat). Then people talked about what they struggled with-- be it a relationship that they couldn't get out of, a friend who was going wild in college, or something like that-- and after one person said something, we would pray as a group for that person. What amazed me more than that was the fact that everyone was crying for everyone else. Everyone's heart was breaking for someone else. People who had just met were moved to tears at the pain of their new friends. People who had known each other a week or two were weeping with each other, because the pain was shared...not that everyone understod what each person had been through, but pain is universal and the fact that we can share with each other, cry with each other, shoulder the burden with each other, opened my eyes to a real kind of Christian community. It wasn't about forming a deep, long relationship and then opening up. It was about being willing to be vulnerable and allow others to love on you and care about you and cry with you. It was truly amazing. The experience is something that I can try to describe but that must truly be lived through to fully grasp how powerful, amazing and moving it is.

Then we played more games and ate ice cream. More Settlers of Catan!!! We had breakfast, one last talk, worship and small groups the next morning before cleaning, taking a group photo, and partaking in a tradition before we left...I cannot accurately describe the tradition, but it was more/less a participatory song that you run around and dance crazily during.

Then we drove back. And life resumed, but I am maybe life is only continuing, and there is no resuming, just a continuation with a newness inside of me that I can share with others now.

Photos to come, I promise!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

On Being Alive

So I was having a conversation with someone online and it really made me think... here's a snippet...

Them: What did you do today?
Me: classes, nap, small group
Me: Nothing exciting
Them: what qualifies as exciting these days?
Me: hmmm...i don't know.
Them: isn't being alive excting enough?

And I realized, with the sky a brilliant blue and the leaves just beginning their yearly color change, and the air a crisp but not cold wind-blown feel, that it is enough. It is enough. There's a song I really like, a country song nonetheless, that I'll post some of the lyrics from:
It's a great day to be alive,
I know the sun's still shinin' when I close my eyes.
There's some hard times in the neighborhood,
But why can't every day be just this good?

I think that regardless of the troubles we see every day, or the hardships we experience, each day is what we make of it. If it's a gorgeous day, great. If it rains, that's okay too. The laughter, the fun, the small successes, the budding friendships, the hope, the love, the ocassional decent food in the cafeteria, and we realize that the small things make life exciting, vibrant and wonderful.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Quick Update

So I started tutoring at an elementary school this week. We work with more than fifty kids and help with homework, play games and eat snacks. Then they get driven home. I had K-2 this week, which is the current age group I'd like to work with for a career. I absolutely fell in love with the kids and it really confirmed my belief that my major change was the right move.

I'm heading to the Garden City, S.C. on Friday with InterVarsity for a retreat. I am very excited because it will be a wonderful opportunity to fellowship, grow and take a break from college life to truly basque in God's love. I'll try to post the pictures from the retreat after we get back.

In a little over two weeks, I have fall break! So from October 6-1o, I'll be at home. There'll be tons to do though. I will head back to the high school to visit, get my hair cut, have a yard sale, go shopping, and rest. Hopefully, I will also get to hang out with friends and have some quality time with family, because I miss everyone so much when I'm here.

I lead a class discussion tomorrow on a book (Waiting for the Barbarians) in my Human Rights class. Next Wednesday I have to make a class presentation (in Spanish) on Chile in my Spanish class. VERY NERVOUS.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Major

So, I'm changing my major. Actually, I haven't declared a major yet (you do that second semester of sophomore year...), so I guess the correct phrase is: I'm changing my mind. I'm not sure that I'm meant to teach high-school history...Don't get me wrong, I love history. I've always known that I wanted to teach, at least for a few years, but it was just a matter of what grade, and what subject. Somewhere in highschool I decided to be a history teacher because my history teachers were the ones who taught me to love history and made me passionate about it. (Or maybe I was always passionate, and they just opened me up enough to discover that about myself). Their passion, certainly, was contagious. I can actually say that about most, if not all, of my teachers in high school, regardless of subject. And there was something about the history classes and the teachers that made me want to go to class, made me want to do my homework, made me want to learn more, read more. And maybe I'm a dork, or maybe there really was something unique about their classes. I'm pretty sure which one it was, but regardless of which you believe, I decided I wanted to teach history. I decided that if you're passoinate about a subject and you're enthusiastic, you ought to at least teach for a few years.

But I also realized that I was doing this on the assumption that I could teach at MY high school. I wanted to be in the environment where it was expected that students wanted to be there, where citizenship and a rigorous academic curriculum were the norms. Any old high school, I realized the other night in the shower, simply wouldn't do. And I can't build my life on "Assuming this happens..." or "I'll do ____ if _____." And I certainly am not going to spend four years of my education assuming I'll get my first choice in teaching environments.

So that is to say, that I know for a fact that I love younger kids, know that I can impact their lives, and interrupt a cycle of a failing system before it's too late...So, I have decided to switch to Elementary Education (with possible concentrations in: Spanish, Psychology, Dance or History.) Nothing is of course set in stone; it hasn't been ever, because you can't declare a major yet. But I'm feeling more and more comfortable with this "decision." I woke up this morning feeling different, like I wasn't reaching for something that might or might not happen. So, that's the long way of saying that I went from a History major with a license in social studies education (and a minor in Spanish), to an Elementary Education major with an undecided concentration and still possibly a minor.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

It Rains...A LOT

There's something about Greensboro that makes me want to rename it-- Grayboro or Rainyboro or something of the sort. Seems every day it's rained, drizzled, poured or just been overcast. It's kinda depressing actually, though I was excited today when my rainboots got shipped in. Now, I don't go to class with pants that are soaked from the cuffs to my knees. So I kinda clunk around school in these boots, looking like a Jedi Knight, with my brown pants tucked into the boots. But I stay dry-- between my parka without a hood, my LA ball cap, my umbrella (which is rainbow and makes me happy!) and my new boots, I'm all set for the 3/4 mile trek three or more times a day to and from class and to the cafeteria.

I'm reading this really good book called Kite Runner for class. I HIGHLY recommend it.

That's about all to report in Rain-land. I do have a new addiction--- applesauce. I've gone through phases the last few years where I get super addicted to applesauce for a while, and I'm back in that phase again!!!

I finished two papers this week-- one on my theory of the university education and the other on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm glad to have them finished. I have to presentations to worry about now-- one on Chile and one on a book the class is reading, that I must lead a discussion for. BOO. Actually, I've read the book before, so I'm not too worried about that. My presentation on Chile, however, has to be in Spanish so I'm a little worried about how that'll go. But I'll stress about that later. For now, Today's worries are enough for today.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. -Matthew 6:34

Saturday, September 09, 2006

All I Need to Know About Life I Learned At College

1. Showering at any time night or day is perfectly acceptable, no questions asked.
2. There is always something going on on-campus, even if you wish it wasn't that.
3. Just because you think you are entitled to have a life outside of school-work doesn't mean your professors agree.
4. Facebook, cell phones and IM are essentially vital to having any sort of social life.
5. The food in the cafeteria is what you make of it, but stay away from the vegetables at all costs.
6. Having a pet fish in your room does NOT mean you will stop missing your dogs and cats at home.
7. You only need to wait fifteen minutes after the start-time of a class for the professor to show up. Then you can leave.
8. Follow the older kids on campus when they cross the street. They know when it's okay and when it's not. Besides, if there are a handful of you walking, chances are the cars aren't going to run you over.
9. Playing Settlers of Kahtan until 1am on Friday nights is like the best use of time, ever.
10. A 95 on a paper is O.K. It's nothing to stress over.
11. Sleep whenever possible.
12. Use your time wisely. Got five minutes until your next class and you can't fit a powernap in? Good, do some reading or some homework.
13. Don't use shorthand in your notes unless you're sure you'll still know what it means in two days.
14. Take laundry home when you go.

yep. I love college.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A Wonderful Weekend

I went home this weekend for Labor Day...I never imagined it'd be so hard to come back. Don't get me wrong, I love Greensboro, but I just had a really, really awesome time at home.

Friday I wasn't feeling well, but Mom and I had time to just hang around the house.
Saturday we got up and had lunch with one of mom's friends and then went to see her other friend's new baby (now officially 7 days old!!) She's absolutely precious.

Then Mom and I went shopping, which was fun quality time, even though I don't think we ended up buying anything. Haha.

Sunday I got to go to church and see a lot of my friends!!! And Sunday night I got to go to Raleighwood with Ben to see The DaVinci Code. I'd already seen it, but I did pick up on a lot more this time. That was fun hang out with Ben and go to a movie.
Today, on my way back to Greensboro, I picked my sister up at my dad's house and we went and had Chinese together. We've never spent much quality time together, but today was wonderful. I cried after I dropped her off. She's growing up...and changing and I'm not around to see it, which breaks my heart. But it certainly makes me a lot more grateful for the times I do get to see her...(even if she is planning to turn my ENTIRE room into a home theater...grrrrr.)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Spartan-land Update

So, there's not a whole lot to write about here in Spartan-land. Amanda #2 and I climbed the rock wall, which was a blast. I went to a luau with InterVarsity, and at every club meeting or function I feel more and more like I belong. There are days when I feel like I've known these people all my life.
Everyone on campus is sick with a sore-throat. So I've been putting on hand-sanitizer and washing my hands like it's my job.
I have officially learned the value of power-napping in college. I have about an hour between classes, but my dorm is about 3/4 of a mile from the buildings where my classes are. So it takes me about 8-10 minutes to walk back to my dorm. At that point, I have exactly one hour until my next class starts. I can then sleep for about 30-35 minutes and then power-walk back to the buildings where my classes are. It's nice to get that extra exercise and the naps, however short, are refreshing.
One thing I've noticed about a lot of the people in campus ministries is that they are completely welcoming of me and others. They are eager to have lunch with us, hang out, talk online, or just call to see how I'm doing. It continues to amaze me how welcome I feel when Tiffany and Brandon stop me in the cafeteria and have a 10 minute conversation with me, just because. Or when someone says hi to me as I'm walking to class or when someone asks if I want to have lunch with them...I guess I had assumed that they would welcome me when I was at meetings, but beyond that their "job" would be "done." But it isn't and it isn't a job to them. It's really nice to feel like people know you, care about you and want to hang out with you.

The next step is to get a job so that I have something to do with myself on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons.

Mondays I thought would be the long days, and they are, but they are certainly nothing compared to high school. In high school, I went to classes from 9am-2:40pm with a 25 minute break for lunch (I know I shouldn't complain, because most kids start hs at 7:30am...). But here, I have class from 9-9:50, then a break until 11. Then class from 11-11:50, then a break for lunch. Then I have class from 1-1:50 and a ten minute break until my other class from 2-3:15pm. That schedule happens on Mondays and Wednesdays. Then I usually have some downtime in my dormroom until later that evening--- every other Monday I have another class from 6-8pm, and on Wednesdays I have InterVarsity small group from 7-9pm. I'm busy but I love it. I would like for my day to start later than 9am, but other than that I really, really love my schedule. And thus far, my classes are going well.

And the work load? As of the third week, it's still easier than high school. We'll see if that lasts, though!!!!

I hope you never look back, but you never forget

All the ones who loved you in the place you left.
I hope you always forgive and you never regret
And you help somebody every chance you get.
Oh, and you find God's grace in every mistake,
And always give more than you take.
But more than anything, yeah more than anything...
My wish for you,
Is that this life becomes all that you want it to.
Your dreams stay big,
Your worries stay small.
You never need to carry more than you can hold.

And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you,
And wants the same things too...
Yeah, this is my wish.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

This week has certainly been fun. We had a pink-eye scare earlier in the week, when I kept waking up unable to open my eyes because of the crud that had accumulated overnight. But my eyes never turned pink, so ultimately I decided it was simply allergies. Then there came another problem, I kept getting dizzy and I fell a few times, as a result. This scared my mom like crazy, but I continued to deny it was a problem, and eventually the dizziness and consequently, the falls, subsided after about two days.
My classes are going well. I found out in Spanish, after my first quiz of the year, that when a quiz is over, you simply leave. There is no bell to dismiss you after the full fifty minutes. It was kinda fun--- to get to leave class as soon as I finished my work.
I got to play volleyball with one of the campus ministries here at UNCG last night, which was fun. There were a lot of bugs and the sand we played in was nasty mixed with sweat, but it was a great time nonetheless. And my team didn't seem to care when my serves failed miserably or when I hit the ball in the wrong direction.

There's a song by Carrie Underwood that has lyrics that I really like, especially at this point in my life, and I wanted to put a few up here:
"And just like every Sunday,
I called Mama up last night
And even when it's not,
I tell her everything's alright.
Yeah I still feel like
I'm where I'm supposed to be
But don't forget
To remember me."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Ever wonder...

Do you ever wonder...
-What the world looks like to an ant? A giraffe?
-Why certain songs get stuck in your head?
-Who decided we should bathe, wear deodorant, etc?
-Why we buy pens and then have to buy white-out...pencils have the whole writing, eraser thing in one package!!!???
-What your first thought was when you were born?
-Why smell is connected to memory?
-What the future holds?
-Why women like to grow their hair and shave their legs, and men like to have shorter hair (gross generalization) but don't shave their legs or their faces?
-Why you can hardly taste food when you plug your nose?
-If you can, in fact, actually, truly make a difference in the world?
-How long you could go without sleeping and still function normally?
-If an ocean wave ever falls in the same place more than once?
-Who decided that green would mean "go" and red would mean "stop"?
-Why we sometimes have the sudden urge to get up and dance?
-Who you'd be if you weren't you?
-Why liquids go up the nasal passage when we laugh?
-If people's expectations, criticisms and labels of you greatly or minimally affect who you become?
-What makes us feel sad about some things and happy about others?
-If there really is one right person for you out there?
-What it would feel like to fall passionately, deeply, madly, hopelessly in love?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Still Adjusting, but Loving It!

Last night proved to be the most challenging so far...and it had nothing to do with UNC-G at all. It was hard for me because Thursday nights are basketball nights at church during the summer. And it wasn't that I needed to be there, or even really wanted to be there (though I admit that I did kinda want to be there), but I am used to being there. So for whatever reason I struggled all day with this nagging desire to go back to Chapel Hill, just because that's what I do on Thursday nights. This sounds stupid to many of you, I'm sure. And I'll admit it's odd. But it's a lot like how I felt the day after the last day of school--- I had an urge the next morning at 7am to get up and get ready for school. I didn't want to be back in class doing gobs of work, but I think for many people there is some comfort to be taken in a routine. But I allowed the time yesterday evening to pass without going and getting in my car...and I went to InterVarsity at 7pm. I had a wonderful time and met a really awesome girl named Amanda from Roanoke Rapids. She and I instantly bonded and hung out for a good hour or so after IV was over. We talked about guys (with some giggling involved), and college, and classes, and our homes, and our families, our roommates, our churches, our youth leaders, and also we talked a lot about how difficult we're finding it to be to meet people that you think you can have a meaningful friendship with. Needless to say, we found each other's company to be just what we needed as we near the end of our first week at college.
About my comment on meaningful relationships...I guess that sounded kinda haughty of say that it was hard to meet people I wanted to have a meaningful relationship with...and that's not how I meant it at all. The truth is that I've met people here that I am more than happy to be friends with and that I will socialize with, but as far as really being able to talk to them about deep, important (to me), hard stuff, I'm not sure I've met those kinds of people yet. Amanda is definitely one of those people, though, and I think we're going to become great friends. She is going home this weekend, (so it's tempting for me to drive toward my home too...but I'm resisting the urge...I'm still trying to spread my wings and I don't need to let them rest just yet), so I'm on my own for the weekend, but that's okay. There's plenty of work to do and plenty of rest to catch up on.
I guess that's about it...
Well, actually, for those of you who don't know, I had to drop one of my classes...Actually, I didn't have to, but the teacher thought it was probably going to be over my head as a freshman. And, whether she's right or not, I think that I've got enough difficult classes and curriculum and there are seven more semesters to take that I dropped Sexuality in Historical Perspective and added Religion and Contemporary Culture, which, after only one day, seems like it'll be interesting enough.

So my weeks now look like this:
9-9:50am (20th Century World)
11-11:50am (Spanish)
1-1:50pm (American Politics)
2-3:15pm (Reli. and Cont. Culture)
6-8pm (Honors Pro-Sem)

11-12:15pm (Int'l Human Rts)

9-9:50am (20th Century World)
11-11:50am (Spanish)
1-1:50pm (American Politics)
2-3:15pm (Reli. and Cont. Culture)

11-12:15pm (Int'l Human Rts)

9-9:50am (20th Century World)
11-11:50am (Spanish)
1-1:50pm (American Politics)

Yes, if it looks like my MWF classes get fewer and fewer as the weeks progress, you're right. Monday is my busiest day with five classes, and Fridays I only have three...Wednesdays I have 4 and T-Th I only have one...It's actually not a bad schedule! :)

I guess that's about it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

So this is what they were talking about...

I think I realized today what everyone's been talking about...College--- It's wonderful. I mean, yeah there are hard things about it, like the noise and some of the people, but I realized today that I love it. I really do.

I got up this morning at 8:15, took 15 minutes to get ready and then I headed to my nine o'clock class. My classes are all about 3/4 of a mile from my dorm, which is fine. I don't mind the walk, but I just have to be sure to allow for time to get there.
My first class, at 9, was The World in the Twentieth Century. Mind you, I've already taken a class called 20th Century Topics, and from the syllabus, I don't think this class is going to be a problem for me. I really like the professor, from what I saw today.

Then I had an hour to kill before my Spanish class--- not quite enough time to go back to the dorm and piddle around, so I just went to the cafeteria and got a quick breakfast and then I went to the library and hung around.

At 11am, I had Spanish. Turns out I'm the only freshman in the class, so that was a little intimidating at first, but again, I really like the professor, and from the levels it seems that everyone else is at, this class isn't going to be a problem either.

Then it was noon and I was a little hungry, but not much, so I headed to the cafeteria, because again I had one hour before my next class. I was just reading my Spanish homework and nibbling on some lunch when this girl came up to me and asked if I wanted to come eat with her and her friend. I was like, Okay, why not? So, I have two awesome new friends: Cody and Anna. They are sooo much fun to be around. I think we spent thirty minutes laughing about everything and nothing. I'm so glad I met them.

Then I had American Politics. The professor is awesome, again. (Wow, this is lucky, for sure), and he's pretty funny too. This class I can't judge the difficulty of because I don't have anything to base it off of, and I haven't really looked at the books that carefully yet-- but these books are textbooks, as opposed to the books for 20th C., which are novels, autobiographies and such.

All I gotta say is: I LOVE LOVE LOVE COLLEGE... and LIFE IS GOOD.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Well it's my first real day here at UNC-G. We had a service project this morning, and then Amanda, Kaitlin and I have mostly been just hanging around campus. I think all this down time will suddenly vanish once classes start, but that's okay with me. In fact, I'm in my dorm right now, alone, while Amanda goes to the tech center, and I can't figure out what in the world to do with myself.

There was a dance last night for freshmen, but not many people showed up. Amanda and I, and our two new friends Christina and Kaitlin, were the first four out on the floor...I had a blast and I'm really glad I went, because it gave me the opportunity to meet new people and really realize that campus life can be fun.

I guess that's about all I have to write about. The hardest thing for me so far is remembering to take my keys when I walk down the hall to the bathroom. Haha.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I moved in to the dorms today. I really think I'm going to like college, though I suppose it's hard to tell after only ten hours or so. So far it feels like a mix between camp and middle school, though that's hard to say too because I never did go to an overnight camp. My dorm room is's not nearly as small as I thought it would be, or at least it doesn't feel that way. I've started tacking pictures (like at least 500) up all over my walls (Kudos to Emma for modeling this idea for me in her room...) and the desk fits all my books and supplies nicely. The bed is a little higher than I'd probably like, but the nice thing is that it (at 3 feet off the ground) can store not only my suitcase, but also two chests of drawers.

I only slept for about an hour total last night, mostly because I was so excited. So today, after driving my car up here, and organizing, unpacking, rearranging, shopping, eating and talking and just being around my parents, Jennie and Sherby, I was a little overwhelmed and overstimulated. I was, however, a little nervous about how I would handle it when the time came for everyone to leave, but it turned out that I was fine.

Dinner was a little crazy because they gathered all the freshmen together, or at least all those who showed up, to eat with our counselor/leader people from orientation. We didn't actually get to eat with our groups, though. Everyone could just eat with whomever they wanted. Okay, so being tired, a little unsure, and not entirely confident, I ate alone. I am happy here, comfortable and loving each passing moment, but I'm still, in some ways, the person I was at home-- a little unsure of how to just butt into a group of people who are already eating together, who clearly know each other, etc. I'm sure there were other people in my same boat, but I honestly didn't have the energy to find them. Oh well. I've got nine months of freshman year to figure out how to do that, and I have a feeling it will get much easier with time, especially when I'm not tired and overwhelmed and overstimulated. haha.

So, I also wanted to post what I remember of some funny conversations I've had recently. They make me laugh anytime I think about them.

"So, are you all done packing?"
"Yeah, mostly. I've got a few more clothes to pack, but I'm almost done. I packed all my favorite books and picture albums."
"You're such a girl. Us guys, we just pack a few pairs of clothes and the playstation."
"Was playstation around when you were in college?"

"You're the only person I know who laughs while biting into her burrito."

"You've got issues."
"I know, but I love'm."
"Yeah, I'm kinda partial to mine too."

"I'm going to go home and comfort my dog. She's probably a little weirded out by that girl who kept telling her she was cute."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Okay, I'm posting the lyrics to my favorite song from my favorite childhood movie "I have confidence" from The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews. I think this song is really fitting for this week. I boldfaced the lines that I particularly like.

What will this day be like? I wonder.
What will my future be? I wonder.
It could be so exciting to be out in the world, to be free
My heart should be wildly rejoicing
Oh, what's the matter with me?

I've always longed for adventure
To do the things I've never dared
And here I'm facing adventure
Then why am I so scared?

Oh, I must stop these doubts, all these worries
If I don't I just know I'll turn back
I must dream of the things I am seeking
I am seeking the courage I lack

The courage to serve them with reliance
Face my mistakes without defiance
Show them I'm worthy
And while I show them I'll show me
So, let them bring on all their problems
I'll do better than my best
I have confidence they'll put me to the test
But I'll make them see
I have confidence in me
Somehow I will impress them
I will be firm but kind
And all those children
They will look up to me
And mind me
With each step I am more certain
Everything will turn out fine
I have confidence the world can all be mine
They'll have to agree
I have confidence in me

I have confidence in sunshine
I have confidence in rain
I have confidence that spring will come again

Besides which you see
I have confidence in me

Strength doesn't lie in numbers
Strength doesn't lie in wealth
Strength lies in nights of peaceful slumbers
When you wake up -- Wake Up!
It tells me all I trust I lead my heart to
All I trust becomes my own
I have confidence in confidence alone

I have confidence in confidence alone
Besides which you see
I have confidence in me!

Monday, August 07, 2006

3 DAYS! That's how many more days I have in Raleigh/Chapel Hill before I leave for Greensboro. I keep thinking that one morning I'm going to wake up and flip out, but I have yet to do so. The million little things that still have to get done aren't weighing me down; the idea of living on my own isn't a daunting task lying just ahead anymore; I'm excited about my classes and whatnot. The truth is, I'm not worried. And I thought I would be by this point. I'm not stressing out. And I thought I would be by this point. And for those of you who've traveled with me (L.A. and Costa Rica) or who know me really well, I FREAK/STRESS/WORRY about every little, itsy-bitsy, teeny, small, microscopic thing that could ever possibly happen.
But here I am, on Monday night, moving in on Friday and I'm not worried. This newfound, non-worrying Lindsay, (not so much non-worrying, because I still worry about inane stupid things) is beginning to worry me. Isn't that strange? I'm not worried about college and that's worrying me. Isn't that dumb? That I'm not stressing about a huge change in my life, and that's beginning to stress me out.

So, I was reminded Saturday night, sitting in the church parking lot, after 11pm, over Frosties from Wendy's, that the people I care about are always going to care about me. They're always going to love me. They're always going to be here for me. I'm not sure I ever doubted it, but it's always been in the back of my mind-- what happens when I leave? Will it be different to come back? Of course it will. But the people and the way we feel about each other aren't going to change. And that's really cool to know.

So, just one more thing before I call this post finished. I've always wondered because it always seems to be this way-- you really like a person. You don't think it's possible they could ever like you back. You don't know how to act around them or what to say. But nonetheless, you can't do anything else with your feelings because no matter how unrealistic, that fluttering in your heart when you see them doesn't just go away. Sometimes I wonder why in the world my heart has no handle on reality. It would be soooo much easier. :) It's funny that I should think of this, but I think the only to-be-taken-seriously quote in Talladega Nights was "The human heart is a mystery," or something to that effect, about how Ricky Bobby keeps on loving his father, even after so much let-down and disappointment from him.

Friday, August 04, 2006

I remembered something someone said to me one time and I wanted to blog about that tonight, because I think the concept is really important. My former track/cross country coach (from freshman year), and one of my many mentors and people I look up to said to me, regarding something I asked her about:
"It's a wonderful thing. Don't second guess it all the time."

It didn't hit me until I was thinking about it and reread it where I had written it down years ago, and after the mission trip and some conversations that I had then. It really makes me think now. Because I think a lot of people do that, I know I do-- this whole second-guessing of good things in your life. It's different than an unappreciation. It's almost this inability or unwillingness to believe that good stuff can happen to you, whether you think you don't deserve it, you're scared you'll screw it up down the road, or you're afraid to believe it's true for fear it either won't be or it will vanish. But I realized that if we're ever to find even a piece of happiness here on earth, we have to relish the good things and allow ourselves to revel in the feeling. It's scary; it's unnerving; it can even make you feel guilty, but I think it's healthy too. There ought to be a part of all of us that allows ourselves to believe, if only for a little while, that we deserve good things. We can handle having good things happen to us, and we can also accept and move on when the good things disappear. I also think that the whole moving on and letting go thing would be a lot easier if we allowed ourselves to fully appreciate and enjoy the good things while we have them, before they're gone. I don't know. Just something I was thinking about.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

So...COLLEGE! It's hard to believe it's a week away. I still feel like I'm reeling from shock-- and I probably will be for at least a few minutes after my parents drive away from campus. But the honest-to-goodness truth is that my emotions are officially going haywire. When people ask me if I'm excited I always say yes. And I am. And when they ask if I'm nervous, I always say no. And I'm not--- at least I didn't think so. I mean, I'm not moving far away, as my parents have reminded me far too many times, and I can certainly come back on weekends, as they have also told me. They have however insisted on a month-long initiation period, where I am not allowed to drive to Chapel Hill or Raleigh for any reason-- not to hang out, not to see them, not to go to church, not to whatever...I'm not too worried, I don't guess. I am not worried about finding my way on campus; I'm not worried about the work load. I'm not worried about getting involved or making new friends. I'm not worried about adjusting to life in a dorm with a roommate. I'm not worried about foot fungus from the shower and I'm not worried about having to eat cafeteria food. I just worry about missing my friends-- people that I allowed myself to get close to. That's one thing about the L.A. trip that I didn't expect nearly as much-- I got A LOT closer to members of the team than I ever thought I would. It's frustrating to have to not be around them all the time now, but I guess if I was in school in Raleigh that wouldn't be happening but once or twice a week anyway. It's just a new feeling that I'm going to have to get used to-- this feeling of living away from the people that I've been around for years...

Okay, now on to exciting stuff. Here's my schedule:
The World in the 20th Century (M,W,F- 9am)
Spanish 301 (M,W,F- 11am)
American Politics (M,W,F- 1pm)
Honors College ProSeminar (M-6pm)
International Human Rights in Literature and Film (T, Th 11am)
Sexuality in Historical Perspective (T,Th 3pm)

Sooooo excited about that.

I guess that's about all for now. More later, I s'pose.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

If this doesn't break your heart...I mean, I understand that the Chinese government is really afraid of rabies-- we all are. But there's something to be said for taking precautions in the first place and not jumping to conclusions...I would go insane if anyone ever grabbed my dogs' leashes out of my hand and then beat them to death or hurt them in any way.

Monday, July 31, 2006

FIDEL CASTRO, president of Cuba since 1959 has relenquished power and given it to his brother. He underwent surgery for gastrointestinal something and at that point he provisionally handed power of the state over to his brother, but according to MSNBC news, he has now fully relenquished his power as president.
The younger Castro is four years younger than his brother, who turned 80 recently. Once the Castro brothers are out of power, the United States is likely to lift it's trade embargo against Cuba.

I guess we'll see...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

I took a bajillion pictures during our beach trip, but none of them will upload, so I'm going crazy trying to figure out what's wrong. But I'll try to sum up our beach trip without pictures.
We stayed at this condo place that actually reminded me some of the place the mission team stayed at Topsail. It was my mom, my sister, her two friends (Denise and Meghan) and me, which made for an interesting four days, to say the least.

They wanted to hang out-- or rather, lay out-- by the pool and make subtle eye contact with the lifeguards they thought were hot. Was there any flirting or gazing on my part? Sure, I'm eighteen, remember? But I was much more interested in either riding down a pretty cool water slide (though it couldn't compare to Carowinds) or walking on the beach. I have a thing about sitting-- er...lying-- still.

The most interesting day was, without a doubt, Friday, when we were scheduled to go to a reception that my mom's conference was having. We were all hanging around the condo, getting ready and watching TV when the lights, TV, AC and fridge went out. The sun was shining brightly outside. That is to say, there was no storm. Mom was asleep, so the three of them nominated me to go downstairs to the office and complain. Now, I'm a pretty good whiner/complainer, but I hate confrontation and complaining to people I don't know. I did go down, though, but just to ask if it was just our room or if it was the whole complex. It was the whole complex. Good to know we didn't blow a fuse with the three hair straighteners and dryers those girls had going. LOL. So, relieved, we pile into Mom's car and drive to the hotel where the reception is, glad that there'll be AC there. We're driving the five miles down the Island, only to find that the stoplights are out and the stores' lights are all off. the reception gets cancelled because the ENTIRE ISLAND is without power. Apparently the two power companies that provide service got completely overwhelmed and went Capoot on us. Four hours and a trip off the island for dinner later, we were in the pool trying to stay cool when the lights came back on! Cheers went up throughout the complex as TVs, AC and lights came back on. Luckily, we didn't have to spend a night without AC, though after Cali, I think I woulda been just fine. :) It was reminiscent of the night in Durham/C-H when the lights went out-- that was 5 1/2 years ago. If I remember correctly, something at Duke Power exploded and the entire city was in darkness-- I was at a youth group function, making cards and getting ready to go sing at a nursing home. We ended up just eating pizza in one very dark church. Time for Sardines!!!! (it's a better game than it is a pizza topping...)

I took a few walks alone on the beach, thinking and pondering and just enjoying the ocean. I've always loved the ocean, for sure. And it reminded me of the Sunday morning during the mission trip retreat, when Carlye slept in while Eli and I went out on the porch to watch the sun rise. Having a ten-month-old in your arms, while you watch the sun rise over the ocean is one of the most exhilarating experiences I've ever had. Lee Ann Womack sung, "I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean..." and I am always reminded of that song, as well as Pslam 139: 14-18, which was especially moving to me when I was holding the baby that morning.

Here's the passage I'm referring to:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

Anyway, when I figure out about the pictures, there'll be more to post. We also went to play Putt-Putt, to see Fort Macon-- again!, and to the outlet mall in Selma-- quite an interesting story from there. :)

12 Days and Counting! :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

There's not a whole lot new to post about, but I figured I would write briefly about Carowinds adventures today!
I went to Carowinds with the youth group and a few youth staff members. The car rides were pretty awesome to begin with, but the theme park was even better. So, I went around the park with Emma, Lauren, and the three leaders: Ben, Locoya and Miranda. First they rode Borg, then Top Gun, then Thunder something-or-other. They had it in their heads for a while that I should ride a roller coaster-- yeah, not for me. So, then we decided to go to Boomerang Bay, the waterpark part of Carowinds. But Emma's swimsuit was in the car and Lauren and I hadn't even brought our suits so we bought boys' board shorts at this shop thingy and wore those to ride water rides in-- quite the experience. LOL. First we rode on Crocodile Run, which is basically lazy river, but the lifeguards would only let us go around once since there was such a long line. It was really fun even though I was stupid enough to use my knees for brakes on the bottom of the pool-- yeah, I'm feeling that stupidity now...We also went on Down Under Thunder, the Great Barrier Reef (the wave pool...) and Pipeline Peak, which is a series of four different slides, two with rafts and two without. The two without are probably comparable to Twin Twisters at Emerald Pointe, and I was really excited about going on them until we were almost to the top of the tower where you wait in line. I was getting pretty nervous, and then Emma and I decided to go down on the two separate ones at the same time. We get to the top, a few of our group were down at the bottom, a few were behind us, and then the lifeguard guy showed us how we had to cross our legs and put our hands behind our head. I curiously, but stupidly, asked if it was a big deal if your legs came uncrossed during the ride. The guy goes..."uh, well, you might break your leg," and I look at Emma nervously. She goes, "It's okay, he's just kidding." And the lifeguard guy pipes up that "No, actually, I'm not." Then I was really hesitant. But eventually I did go, and as Ben predicted, I got down to the bottom and wanted to go again, so Lauren and I did. :) (Reminiscent, for those of you who know about or were there, of the Extreme Retreat and repelling that weekend!) I guess that's about it.

NO! Wait! I forgot. So everyone was really convinced that I should go on at least one roller coaster, but for someone who doesn't like them, roller coasters can be pretty freaky. So Ben decides that Carolina Goldrusher is the ride for me. Of course, this is one of those roller coasters that you can't see the whole track like at all, so you have no idea what you're getting yourself into. But Ben assured me--- like a hundred times--- that this was a very low-key, easy ride. I think I was shaking when the ride started, and probably still begging to get off. Okay, turns out, and I admit this fully, that he was right. Goldrusher has a small dip that can't even be considered a drop, and it's top speed is 30mph. But, I was kinda still reeling from the shock and fear of being on a roller coaster at all when the ride ended so my enjoyment of the actualy moment may not have been to the fullest, but after I recuperated, I decided it had been lots of fun. But I want to say, so there is no confusion, Goldrusher isn't really a roller coaster. It's more like a train. But why get caught up in the specifics? I rode a roller coaster, people! :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Okay, so I have this "brilliant beyond brilliant idea" (that's a quote from the Parent Trap, the one with Lindsay Lohan). No. That actually has nothing to do with my idea/my newest project. I mean, it's unlikely it'll ever come to anything or that I'll ever get around to doing it, but I thought it was a cool idea nonetheless.
So, Indonesia has fallen victim to two tsunamis in less than two years. We all remember well the December 26, 2004 event that ravaged southeast Asia, killing more than 200,000 people. There was another tsunami just days ago that killed more than 500 people, and more than 200 are still missing. Yes, that was a much smaller-scale tsunami, but it still claimed lives and I, for one, believe that those lives could have been saved. reported that "Indonesia has no nationwide tsunami warning system," but a Hawaii-based warning center and another warning center in Japan both issued warnings to Indonesia's government about the possibility of a tsunami, as a result of a magnitude 7.7 earthquake. An interior minister in Indonesia has said that while the government did receive the warnings, it merely text messaged 400 officials, and somewhere along the way, guess what? The message never got to the civilians who were on the 110-mile stretch of beach.

Okay, so now about the project. I was thinking, you know how a lot of beaches have public-notice signs, whether it's about a lifeguard not being on duty, or a "swim at your own risk sign" or whatever? Well, I was thinking that ever 1/2 mile of so on Indonesian beaches, we should just put up signs that list the warning-signs of tsunamis. There are very obvious signs-- like when the ocean recedes 1000 feet, or there's a red glow in the horizon, or the water is hot or bubbly or stings the skin, there is a smell of rotten eggs (hydrogen sulfide) or of petrol or oil, or there is a loud boom heard, or an earthquake is felt. Then, after listing the warning-signs the sign would advice people to head for higher ground immediately if any of these signs are noticed, and not to go into houses because tsunamis are often powerful enough to destroy houses completely.

I don't know. I don't have the money, resources or an Indonesian translator, so this will likely never happen, but I just thought that if the bureaucratic system is going to continue to cost people their lives, maybe we should just educate the public. I mean, it's not like tsunamis just happen. There are obvious warning signs that I think people would actually take notice of. Okay, that's my project. You can all procede to tell me how crazy I am in the comments section. :)

Monday, July 17, 2006

So one of the hardest things in L.A. was figuring out how to make a difference, and even if you could. I think sometimes the problems faced by people there, here, and everywhere seem overwhelming to the point of inaction. Let me try to give an example. One morning, about 3/4 of the way through the trip-- a trip where we were mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted, where we hadn't had air conditioning in 9 days, where we slept on the floor every night, where showers were hurried (my quickest was 1.5 minutes long...) and where we were going hard from about 8am to sometimes midnight-- about half the team got up at 4:30am to go serve at a local soup kitchen. We had gotten home from an exciting pro-soccer game the night before at midnight, so few people had slept more than about four hours, and I personally hadn't fallen asleep at all. But nonetheless, all thirteen of us piled into the van and headed into downtown L.A., before the sun was fully up. We were driving slowly, in that tired-driver, tired-passengers, we-don't-really-know-where-we're-going sort of way. As we drove toward the mission where we were to serve, I saw something that changed how I looked at the trip, my life and the world. Lining practically every square foot of the sidewalks for blocks were sleeping bags, tents, shopping carts, plastic bags, blankets, clothing strewn about. And in those sleeping bags, those tents and those blankets were people, people asleep, whose earthly possessions were packed in around them. There were hundreds of people. And it's not that I didn't know that people were homeless, but there's something overwhelming about seeing them all asleep and realizing, without being able to deny it or ignore it, that this is their life. But how do you help all those people? Can any one person actually make a difference? (I'll get back to that in a minute, first I want to talk about the soup kitchen). I must have thought outloud about what I was seeing, because Ben, one of the leaders said, "makes sleeping on the floor in no A.C. for two weeks seem not so bad, huh?" I responded with "makes everything seem not so bad." And it did. We went to help in the soup kitchen, where we washed and chopped thousands of green onions and layed out 125lbs on bacon on cookie sheets. Some of the members of the team got to make homemade ranch dressing or do other food preparation. I also got the privilege of actually serving the food. It was an amazing experience that really opened my eyes to a reality that many of us don't want to believe exists.

Okay, so can one person really make a difference? I'll admit I've been tempted to think not, in my life. But I heard this story about a man walking along the shoreline on a Mexican beach. Hundreds of thousands of starfish had washed up onto the beach, and so the man was picking them up one by one and throwing them back into the ocean so they wouldn't suffocate. Another man came upon this scene and said to the first man, "Excuse me, sir but what are you doing?" The first man replied, "I'm throwing these starfish back in the ocean, because otherwise they'll suffocate and die." The second man said, "But, sir, there must be hundreds of thousands of them on this beach and this is probably happening on beaches all over Mexico and even more beaches all over the world. Don't you see you can't possibly make a difference?" And the first man stooped down, picked up yet another starfish, threw it back into the ocean and smiled, "Made a difference to that one."

Something to think about.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Me and Elisha

There was a LOT of painting to do!

We got to see a professional soccer game on July 4th

The Chinese restaurant: Emma, Me, Evan, Patty and Elizabeth

This is what it's all about right here. :)

Kindergarten: Michael, Taraji, Joanna, Zoe

I promise there was absolutely NO goofing off on
this trip! :)