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Benediction [05 Sep 2007|09:02pm]
May God bless you with discomfort

At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships

So that you may live deep within your heart

May God bless you with anger

At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,

So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears

To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,

So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and

To turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness

To believe that you can make a difference in the world,

So that you can do what others claim cannot be done

To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

counting crows

school so far, musings, etc. [04 Sep 2007|08:58pm]
Etc is my new favorite word (you should see my class notes), sorry for the overuse.

Sooo, let's see here. I had a great weekend, even though I am struggling to remember exactly what I did. Man, what a bad memory! Roger was in town from California, so I made a point to go to church Saturday to see him even though I jet out early to meet Seth, someone I've been talking to online, for dinner. After that I stopped by Chase's for a bonfire and ate too many smores. Sunday I believe was the Brunsting's party that was a total blast. I did good, I didn't spend the whole time with Tony and Beau and other people I knew well, I actively tried to talk to new people, probably the most interesting of which is Katie and Sara's brother Josh. He's a psych major, I'm a soc major, so I definitely enjoyed the chat. Stuffed myself with amazing fruit salads, dutch donuts, and deviled eggs... so yummmy. Funny moment was around 11 or so I was watching Hitch on tv because it was too buggy outside to sit by the fire, and Tony walks in and sees me sitting amongst like 6 plus guys.. said something about that being typical of me or something, but it was funny. See, when I say I get along better with guys I'm not making it up! Anyhoo I was out super late and had a ton of fun. Yesterday was great too, had a yummmmy breakfast with Jon at Burnt Toast and then later in the evening, I saw "bourne ultimatum" with Roger and two other girls from church. It was a fantastic movie! Maybe my favorite yet. Sidenote: Matt Damon is SO hot.

Now for a little more contemplative blogging. School so far is going pretty well. I love my new bike, it gets me around campus so fast and I think it's getting me in better shape. I already feel my calves getting a lot stronger. I feel extremely certain of my sociology major finally, given my interest in the classes I'm currently taking. In my foundations class we have been talking about sociologic mindfulness, basically training our minds to look at the larger picture and to take some emotion out of our opinions on sensitive subject matter to really examine the subject. All the times people have told me I'm so liberal and things like that (and meant it less than nicely) I've realized is a good thing, because a lot of the way I think - like trying not to believe so much in absolutes and black and whites - is sociologically mindful, and that is fantastic for my schooling and the career I hope to have.

Beyond that, I was driving home tonight listening to the mix cd Roger gave me, what a doll, and was thinking about how I was the first semester I was at NIU. I believe I was 18 years old, and I was plagued with mental and health problems, as well as a lot of questioning about who I was at that point. A lot of my emotional distress probably centered around acceptance or lack there of. All factors in my dropping out of there. I found it hard to speak up in class, was afraid of sounding stupid, and was fearful of how I was perceived. Anyway, these days at NIU I feel like an entirely different person. I don't shy away from raising my hand and speaking up. I walk down the halls looking in front of me, not at my feet. I don't even mind coming in out of breath and sweaty from my long bike ride to my 3:30 spanish class. Those might seem like really small trivial things but to me they really are proof of the period of growth I've gone through since I was 18. It also kinda makes me want to encourage my friends that are new freshman and younger than me by 4 or 5 years, to chill on major life decisions. People change so much from their teen years to their mid-20's.. I had no idea of that when I married (and divorced) so young. I believed my character was cemented and that it would go through small changes but nothing completely life altering. I was wrong. We have our whole lives to be thrown into responsibilities, commitments, etc... and I've found out it's advisable to postpone as much of it as you can (like having children, especially, and huge decisions like that) until you are older and yes, wiser. I suppose not everyone goes through so much whatstheword... upheaval... as I have, and mine was most definitely NOT due to immaturity, but I have honestly never met anyone in their mid-late 20's or early 30's that doesn't recognize in retrospect the immense changes they went through from teens to adulthood. Anyway, that's my rant of the day. And also... not that anyone will probably read this or care to hear this... but it's OKAY to not know who you are in your teens/20's. It's OKAY to not be certain of your purpose or what your future looks like. I think more people need to realize that so they can live without the kind of shackles those expectations come with.

Hope everyone is happy and healthy.
counting crows

rants & God questions. [27 Jun 2007|09:03pm]
I'm hiding in my room at the moment with my Anberlin (who I should be seeing tomorrow at Cornerstone but can't afford to go, sigh) blaring. My mom is watching this freakshow televangelist who updates weekly regarding progress on Biblical prophesies and the rapture and a bunch of other crap that really upsets me. He said the biggest promise in the bible is the rapture. I was just thinking how damn ungrateful you have to be to focus your religion on that. This guy never once mentions how fortunate we are just to be alive, he just talks about this fallen, evil world. There are so many people who would love the chance to be here a little longer, who would actually appreciate the life God's given instead of spending all the time talking about some vague life to come. Whatever helps you sleep at night, I guess.

I had a bad job interview today. It was for an administrative job that I was definitely not qualified for. It would have been great because it's at a retirement home who also just recently got into the hospice business as well, so that could have been great networking. Anyway three ladies interviewed me asking me all sorts of intricate questions about my past experience and projects I've completed and taken the lead on, and I couldn't help thinking all I've done the 7 years I've been working is take direction from other people and follow through. I'm good at following orders. Now I find myself in a job environment where it's not enough just to be a good worker and listen to your boss. I felt like a 10 year old interviewing with them, in my 30 dollar pinstriped pants and 12 dollar Payless heels with them in their designer suits and stuff.

I don't take well to feeling inferior. I guess I've felt it so much in my life growing up I thought adulthood would be different. It's not. I was wondering today what I would have to show for my life if I died tomorrow. I couldn't come up with much, nothing that seems significant anyway. It makes me think of the Bible verse in James that talks about our life being a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. In its context, it is a warning against boasting about tomorrow and the things you will do, assuming you have control over tomorrow. I can't help but wonder if the verse means we're pretty inconsequential – we're here, and then we're six feet in the ground, to be remembered for a couple generations and then forgotten. I suppose that is okay with me, too. Then on the other hand maybe it is just human to want to a nice little list of accomplishments (or things to "show for" my life) to show I succeeded at anything. That seems like a pretty egoistic thing to want and maybe that is missing the point. When I think about a list of what I have to show for my life all I come up with are things I have failed at. I wonder what God would have me think about my life, if God was here to talk to me in the midst of all these ponderings. I kind of hope God would rip up the list and tell me I am not my mistakes. I bet God would say something like, I can tell you're trying here but refraining from making waves so that people won't dislike you isn't exactly what I made you for. That is, if God is the God I think he (or she… heck, I think God transcends gender but I'm so used to "He" that that's what I'll use) is. I wonder a lot if God is disappointed in our failures or proud of our attempts. If anybody has any thoughts on this subject I would love to hear them.

By way of venting, I have been a big mess of emotion lately. I wish I could blame it on female related issues but I certainly can't. Yesterday I woke up after a terrible dream and spent most of the morning having random outbursts of tears, and then cried probably every couple hours the rest of the day. I cried over Simon Birch (Bri, do you remember making me watch that movie? I think you're the one who forced me to see it…) and then watching Veronica Mars with Niles. Then today I cried cutting onions LOL – not my fault – and watching One Tree Hill when Peyton's birth mother dies. I haven't cried hardly at all in the last months so perhaps I am making up for all the times I held it in. Either way I would sort of like to not be a mess anymore. Here's hoping.

Oh, I did do a couple things well today. I made great brownies from scratch and I made meatloaf. I looked through a cookbook to see if there was something I could make in the next couple days but it's kinda hard when you only know what half of the ingredients are or where the heck to find them in a grocery store.

1 are *counting crows

[12 Jun 2007|08:17pm]
I hate when you spend hours and hours reading a book only for it to have a really sad ending. Then again, shame on me for not expecting it. Hemingway wasn't exactly an optimist. The ending of A Farewell to Arms was too abrupt. I hate when a book is tragic and then ends without explaining how the character got through it or what happened next.

Oh well.

I also hate that I have to go to work tomorrow. While I took a sick day Monday for sanity's sake, tomorrow can't be avoided. I want to quit but I need the money, so won't quit til I find something else. Hopefully that will be soon.

Also... any recommendations for next book to read would be appreciated. I think I'm going to get The Sun Also Rises and perhaps On the Road by Kerouac or however you spell it. Both I've always wanted to read. I want to take the summer to catch up on some classics I should have read years ago!
counting crows

[07 May 2007|08:48pm]
Thought I'd type up a little entry here in the ten or twenty minute break I'm giving myself. I've been studying politics for a solid two and a half hours and at this point I'm mixing up who said what. Too bad this class isn't just on Socrates, I would be so much less miserable. Or even Machiavelli. He was interesting as hell even though he basically said Christians are the root of all evil.

Today was actually a really great day! I woke up at 6:30 at home in Elgin after literally almost ODing on muscle relaxers last night (very sore back), so I slept like the dead and woke up feeling rested. I had a nice big coffee for the road, traffic was a breeze, and I got to the dorm in time for a blissful shower. After politics class, I called Jennifer, a friend from my dorm and she was at Starbucks. I decided to walk over and meet her. Problematic: not realizing how far away it was, and being in thong-type flip flops. I can't even put into words how sore my feet are now. But the coffee was good and the walk was nice after my feet went numb. When I got back to campus, I saw my friend Lauren sitting on a big blanket in the greenspace and joined her. Greenspace is where our library used to be til they knocked it down and put it further away on campus, and it is lined with trees and flowers and is in the center of our extremely beautiful campus. I spent the ENTIRE day laying out tanning, studying, and giggling with my friends; followed by a trip to the local cafe for an amaaazing raspberry smoothie. At dinner I remembered why I love summer so much: I hardly eat a thing! After dinner I took a very cold and amazing shower. I stood there with the water on my face for probably ten minutes and it was the best feeling in the world! So, that's been my day. I've been studying since dinner. I have a lovely tan, though more on the pink side of tan which will fade soon. I'm taking a break now to type this up and listen to some of my favorite summer tunes - Better than Ezra - "Coyote", "WWOZ", "Wallflower Girl"... they are my summer songs. Songs I listen to in my pool splashing around on a float drinking Mike's Hard Lemonade. That scenario is the absolute joy of my life. Especially when my Ty is sitting on the deck by the ladder of the pool smiling.

Man, can't believe how alert I am for having been up since 6:30. Maybe I should get up that early more often!! Hope everyone had as amazing of a day as I did.
counting crows

Insomnia [04 May 2007|01:48am]
[ mood | bored ]

Hello from 2am central time.
Insomnia: 1
Melissa: 0

Right now, my roommate is snoring obnoxiously and I am wondering if this is grounds for justified homicide. Thoughts?

Well, thought it might be time I gave a brief update. First and foremost, instead of asking me "Are you still dating whatshisname?" -- the answer is unequivacally no, regardless of which whatshisname you're talking about. Not so much of a dating hiatus as a methodical kick-all-their-asses-to-the-curb type thing. And no, I don't want to be set up with your brother, cousin, friend's-friend either. I can find my own terrible dates, thankyouverymuch. Ohhkay.

It is finals time here at North Park. You can tell because everyone is ten times rowdier than usual and their ritualistic mating behavior is on the rise. And for me, you know it's finals when I am blogging at 2am. I am fairly certain I will be bombing all my finals despite my studying efforts; when you never really learned the concept to begin with and it's built upon all semester, it's a liiiiittle hard to catch up in two weeks.. call it a lesson. The GPA is in the shitter but fortunately I'm going to NIU and they seem rather accepting of varying degrees of mental capacities there.

One more week at this place and then summer break will be here. Not as though my parents will allow me any real break, because in their "real world" they don't get summer vacations; and you know, the cornerstone of parenting is to make your children as miserable as you are and my parents are nothing if not successful at that one. I am looking pretty hard for a summer job that I can continue into next semester. My schedule for NIU is only Tuesday and Thursday, which I thought gave me a great deal of time for homework and staying sane but alas, my parents have made it clear any day that is not filled with class shall be filled with work. Thus sayeth the Lord, or something... I dunno. I am sad to be saying goodbye to this beautiful city school. I will miss beach days and coffee runs at the local coffeehouse and the amazing snickerdoodles they make there and movie nights with girlfriends. I will miss Laura, Col, Lauren, Tim, Michelle, Ju, Katie, and Kassie. I will miss the dorm when it is quiet and the view from my third story window down the lights and buzz that is Foster Avenue. I will even miss my Spanish professor who sees fit to ask me "Tienes novio?" all the time and tell me there are many eligible bachelors within our classroom. I will not miss the fact that this school's programs do not fit my needs whatsoever. I will certainly not miss my politics class taught by my neocon Bush-supporter professor who enjoys calling me a cultural relativist and explaining that truth is universal (oh yes, he believes his opinion applies to the world... perhaps he should teach in the lecture hall next semester to accomodate his gigantic ego?).

The thing that gets me now at 23 is retrospect. In retrospect, the grass was never really greener on the other side. [Note: I am listening to the sound of a Jewel cart being wheeled down the block by our resident homeless man. And my roommate snoring.] The grass was just different on the other side. So, moving on to NIU, I have very little hope that it will improve my life in any significant way. I'm not sure if this is being jaded, but I'm going to label it realistic. To expect is to be disappointed, and believe me, I've already got that one covered historically and currently. I have no expectations for the fall except for possibly taking classes I give a shit about.

One thing that I am excited for is Niles coming home. He will be home for good in a week or so, and I have hopes that we will have fun together this summer and maybe create a more normal friendship minus a three hour distance. This will give me the excuse to hang out in Wheaton, enjoy scrambled egg & ham stuffed crepes at Egglectic, peruse for tea at SereneTeas, and spend some time around his family, whom I love. They give me hope that a normal, functional family is possible. Plus given my current single status it might be nice to sneak a few kisses on his couch watching a dvd. I'm done beating myself up for still wanting the guy.

That's all, folks... oh, except, did you see Grey's Anatomy tonight? I think Addison is getting her own show which totally means she and Alex aren't going to be a thing and that bothers me. That thing with the elevator talking to her.. that would happen to me, for the record.


counting crows

[26 Apr 2007|07:04pm]
counting crows

[26 Apr 2007|07:04pm]
counting crows

[18 Apr 2007|12:52pm]
[ mood | contemplative ]

Today hasn't exactly been an ordinary Wednesday thus far. It began on a serious note in my Politics class, where my professor wanted us to discuss briefly the tragedy at Va Tech. He admitted to us that it brings up a lot of sadness for him because he lost his son years back, as he was hit by lightning, so he can identify with the grief of the victim's families. For some reason when terrible things happen, a lot of people turn to me and ask me why. I am not sure what makes people think I have an answer, maybe because of my faith. I have already had a few friends ask me how I can believe in a God that would allow things like this to happen. Watching the news has made me very sad, especially seeing the picture of the first girl killed at the dorm. I saw an interview on our news here about a Chicago guy who was shot in the engineering building; he said that he looked into the face of evil, but he also saw immense good that day, too. I suppose that is how I can believe in a God that "allows" these things. While one sick, angry individual turned a gun on his fellow students, people like a 70-something year old professor sacrificed his life for the lives of his students, as he apparently tried to block the door while his students jumped from second story windows. The RA in the dorm who was killed trying to protect the girl who became this sociopath's first victim. Because in the midst of all this, people were still heroic and beautiful despite being in one of the worst situations imaginable. That is evidence of God in tragedy. As humans it's only natural to ask why. But there will never be an answer good enough to understand that which is incomprehensible. Tragedies like this remind me of something that is more pleasant to ignore: There is a struggle going on beneath the surface in every human heart. God attempting to win us over, and the forces of evil in this world determined to make us stumble at every turn.

I turn 23 tomorrow, and all I can think of is the suffering going on everywhere. It is a month of sad remembrances. The 13th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda was on the 6th. The Holocaust on the 15th. Slaughters in Cambodia on the 21st and the Armenian genocide remembered on the 24th. The current genocide occuring in Sudan while we drink our coffee and talk about Virginia Tech and the war in Iraq and whatever else. I have no doubt that God is doing redeeming work in the midst of all of this suffering. But I also believe that these tragedies should effect us, stir our souls, and cause us to cry out for justice; especially for those that are not in a position to do so themselves. I hope everyone will join me in sending a note to Alejandro Wolff, the US rep to the UN, to ask them to take action in Sudan. Visit:

On a compleeeeetely unrelated subject, I finally got the book Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love, and Lose at Both. I spent most of yesterday reading it instead of things I should have been reading for class, and it pretty much had me in tears a good chunk of the day. Partly because I found myself identifying so strongly with these high school and college women making their way through life in this "hook up culture", and partly because somewhere I know that it was never intended to be like this. Reading these girls' stories, I can see that most of them thought it was originally possible to hook-up without residual emotions or attachments; they sought out hook-ups because it seemed easier and more available than real intimacy (isn't that the truth?!), but they all came to the conclusion that there are real emotional consequences for that kind of behavior. They craved the sense of control hook-ups on their own terms provided, only to realize that stress was almost always present during and afterward. I was thinking reading this that somehow our culture has come to view emotional attachment on par with need, and need equating to pathetic. Maybe it has to do with America's focus on invidualism and our desire to never "settle". But as a result of all this, there is an entire generation of girls out there now who have no idea what a healthy relationship should look like. Hell, including myself. They are told not to settle, to pursue their dreams and chase perfection; to get into the best schools, succeed at juggling schoolwork, sports, and other extracurricular activites; and then move on to get the best internships and the best job after school. Rarely do our mothers urge us to allow a happy relationship to be part of this equation. In fact, thinking back, my own mother did little but encourage me not to become too attached, to constantly be on the look out for warning signs that there is something "wrong" with the guy, and to be aware that all men really want is sex. This is the same thing many of the women in this book were told by their mothers. Is it any wonder we are leery of relationships? Anyway. I am determined to try to correct the misconceptions I harbor. I am in the very early stages of dating someone, and while I want to be clear and level-headed and not rush into things, I want to try to date in a healthy way. For me, not "keeping my options open" is one of the absolute most difficult things for me in a relationship. That makes me think it might be one of the most important. Fear is what keeps me one step out the door in many situations, fear of settling, fear of a relationship ending badly... but it occurred to me reading this book that these fears are what make women opt out of relationships entirely and turn instead to random hook-ups and stuff. All right, I am done rambling about all of this. I have to study Spanish for at least a little while and pick up the room. I still can't believe there are only a few weeks left for me here at North Park...

3 are *counting crows

[13 Apr 2007|11:55am]
[ mood | confused ]

There is crazy stuff going on in my life right now. There is this guy who is absolutely crazy about me, which of course freaks me out. I’ve been trying to get to know him and go slow and see if anything happens naturally and so far the only thing I’ve felt is indecisive. I decided last night that not knowing is an answer in itself. I told him right now I’m just not ready and just want to be friends, which is absolutely the truth. It was hard on him to hear, and the guilt of that kept me up all night. Then again I am also taking myself off my sleeping pills and taking natural sleep aids that last night were not enough to cure my anxiety. I’m also halving my anti depressant so that could have something to do with it. Just trying to be a little healthier I suppose. Anyway, that’s been a complicated situation in my life lately and I’m hoping it becomes less complicated now.
I think I am still dealing with sadness over Niles. I wish that would just stop, it has been so long since that supposedly ended and it’s still so hard. Telling this guy last night I’m not ready for a relationship was true; but contrarily it makes me think about Niles and how ready I was to be with him. There were never doubts in my mind. I don’t know why it was so different with him, and maybe I will not feel like that again with my indecisive nature. Who knows?
Maybe all this confusion is wrapped up in my not being able to even glimpse my future. I’ve always liked to picture my life years down the road – and with my birthday coming up I get even more contemplative about these things – and now I honestly cannot even get even the slightest mental picture. So how do I know a certain person is going to fit into my life down the road when I don’t know where that road is going? This has nothing to do with a specific person at all and I would hate for this guy (I’m just trying to be vague in case he reads this, don’t want him to think I’m blabbing our business all over) to think it’s his fault… it is mine only. Stability is not really something I feel in my life right now, and I am not sure how to invite another person onto a rollercoaster ride I do not even want to be on. I think that is what it comes down to.
I cannot handle any more heavy thoughts this early in the morning, especially after my night of tossing and turning.

1 are *counting crows

what a feeling [07 Apr 2007|11:48am]
[ mood | confused ]

Life is only halfway in our hands
Years have passed while I was making plans
And I could never find the words
I always felt absurd, and always outside
But now I know I shouldn't care
There's a song already there
Waiting inside

What a feeling, what a feeling
The laughter that was dead is coming
What a feeling, what a feeling
The laughter that was dead is coming

That song is majorly stuck in my head and probably for good reason. I think God works in really funny ways sometimes, through things you'd think are completely unrelated to religion.

Things are going a bit better than my last entry. I am still dealing with a ton of uncertainty, but at some point you have to let go and wait to see how things fall. I'm in the process of trying to do that. The things I hold on to too tightly just seem to crumble in my hands. Like that Heather Nova song says, life isn't entirely in our hands anyway.

Lately I have just been trying to focus on my friendships and trying to enjoy my remaining time at North Park. My roommate and I have been getting a lot closer and have had some great heart to hearts lately. I can't believe in less than a month this season will be coming to a close. I am starting to doubt my decision to leave but it's entirely based on the people there that I love. If they are true friends and meant to be in my life though, I know they will remain in it. I am trying to put off any other major decisions til after the semester... including guy-stuff. At the moment it doesn't seem like a boyfriend would easily fit into my life, but my life is going to go through a huuuge change soon and I have no idea how someone would or would not fit into it then.

I am less than thrilled about Easter this year. I don't get to do what I want to- am being dragged to Mom's church that I can't stand and it's meeting at a freaking ampitheater to join all the various campuses. I wanted to spend Easter morning at Niles' church, their Easter service was beautiful last year. But I'm doing it for Mom. *sigh* My family has been nuts lately, too. David was over the other night and he could even sense the tension. And I'm going to be commuting to NIU next semester and living at home...what am I thinking? Hopefully I will have plenty of places to escape to (Brianna? Jen? lol).

I am at work so I better go pretend to do so! Happy Easter.

counting crows

[02 Apr 2007|06:15pm]
[ mood | apathetic ]

So, I talked to Niles wanting closure of some kind, and his response was:

Missy, I like you a lot, and I love that you're my friend, but you're not really what I'm looking for in a girlfriend.

Why was I so delusional in thinking his response would be exactly the opposite? He's never come straight out and said that. It's always been some little excuse. Never that it's me. Just that he doesn't want me. Even when I asked if it was me when he originally broke up with me he said it wasn't. It hurts... I'm not sure how to deal with it. All this time I really believed it was beyond just what I wanted, but something that was somehow meant to be. Especially the last time we were together. Then I thought well maybe he just doesn't know it yet, or he knows it on some level and is scared. Give him time. Let him grow up a little bit.

Guess I was wrong. At least I know now.

1 are *counting crows

happy April [01 Apr 2007|11:32am]
[ mood | blah ]

happy April to everyone.

my life is really weird right now and busy, it takes a lot of effort to procrastinate in the amazing fashion that I do. after I fail two tests tomorrow I'm going to get back into school mode and start really keeping up so I don't get to the point there's no way I can catch up. Niles, does this sound familiar? xo.

in 19 days I'll be 23. that's odd. tomorrow I register for my classes for NIU in the fall and then it'll be fairly official.. leaving north park and moving on to something that may benefit me for grad school. just as I've made more friends at npu, too. it's funny how I hate change yet pursue it so often. I can never stay with anything long enough to get comfortable.

I miss a lot of people. especially this girl from pennsylvania, who knows who she is. I am a terrible friend. as change kicks me repeatedly I get absentminded and the days start going by too quickly and by the time I look up I realize I've lost contact with people I never intended to. then it is too late.

yesterday there was a party at work mostly for kids, we had the easter bunny here and lots of fun stuff for the kids to do. I held more babies in one day than I have in my entire life and people kept telling me how good I was with them. it made me think about the future. someday i will have to get comfortable probably if I ever let myself stop being afraid of that.

there is a new someone in my life. we recently met so I'm not going to post stuff about it for a while and dont even know if it is anything yet. I still don't know if maybe I am too bruised and beaten up from past relationships for it to be kind to be with him. really just a month ago I was thinking I might be texas-bound and realized that I just can't change my life that drastically on a "maybe". I'm afraid things might have changed too quickly and now I am very overwhelmed and have no idea where my life is heading. this time I'm not afraid of being hurt but am terrified about hurting him. my life soundtrack right now would be fingernails on a chalkboard, probably, from me holding on for dear life. maybe with some fall out boy in the background. thanks for the memories or music or the misery. or sophomore slump ("are we growing up or just going down?") somethin' like that.

easter is coming up so quickly and I don't feel like my mentality is anywhere near what it should be around this time. i've always valued being *present* through life and now I feel like I'm wearing a veil or something that is obscuring a lot of the picture. my gut is telling me it's there for a reason and maybe something is ahead that will rip that away. we'll see.

okay, I need to do work at work now. or study spanish. there's no way I'm gonna pass the test though so why bother wasting the time.

again, happy april to all. I hope everyone knows how much I love them, and if we haven't talked lately - we should.

counting crows

[01 Mar 2007|12:19pm]
[ mood | bored ]

I had the worst nightmare ever last night! Normally I would just wake myself up but for some reason I just couldn't. It involved basically being followed by a creepy guy while I was lost on the road in a thunderstorm in the middle of the night... it started out with me walking across campus to get my car... and the light was on in it and I KNEW I hadn't left it on. So, I was creeped out. I saw a shadow that freaked me out and got in the car and drove off.. no clue where I was going, but I got totally lost. I called Niles (my knight in shining armor? I dunno, subconsciously I must think so!) because I was lost and he found me on Mapquest... and I told him I thought someone was following me cuz I had pulled into a subdivision to turn around and so had the car behind me. He was like, pull into a well lit area and call the police. So I was speeding down the street and got pulled over by a cop... I told him I thought I was being followed and he was like, ma'am you're the only car the street. so, I thought I was nuts til I saw the same car again on my way home. I called my mom to tell her I was freaking out because I had to park down the street from the house (which was actually where my dorm building is, but it was my parent's house instead) and she called a security guy from the school to have him meet me at my car - cuz my parents were out of town and the house was empty. So, he did, and he told me he hadn't seen anyone and as I was thanking him at my front door, he was like, "get in the house NOW." he followed me inside, told me he'd seen someone, so we locked the door and both sat down out of view of the glass-paneled front door. Then I saw a palm on the front door and saw the door knob turning and moving and he was kicking at the door, trying to break the glass (which for some reason was that really thick glass that doesn't break easy).. security guy told me to call the cops on my cell.
I made myself wake up at that point.. it was thunderstorming like hell outside and I was shaking so hard I could hardly shut Ju's window. It was so wet inside the window, oops. I didn't want to go back to sleep and I kept myself up for a solid hour or so, listening to Jars of Clay songs (somehow "Much Afraid" just seemed to apply, so that was on repeat for a while), holding on to my favorite stuffed animal (the purple elephant that Jon and Andrea helped me win on my birthday from an arcade) and praying hardcore because I was so petrified. I even made sure the windows were locked and our door was locked, and checked the closets, I was so spooked. All I wanted to do was call my Mom but it was like 4:03 or something and that wasn't gonna happen. I didn't want to go back to sleep but I fell asleep anyway and continued the damn dream:( This time the scary guy was chasing me down the street and followed me into an office building..but the good news is I hit him over the head with a huge flashlight I found in someone's office and called the cops after I realized that hey, this is MY dream and I have the ability to make it have a good ending. It was kinda funny. Anyway I have not had the kind of dream where I was scared to sleep again since I was a little girl so it was a majorly rough night. Not really the mentality I wanted to take my Stats test with this morning, but I think it went all right. Probably not the B I was hoping for..maybe a C.
On the way back to the dorm from class it was raining like hell, and for the first time ever I was wearing my jean jacket without a hoodie. I decided since I was going to get wet anyway I would find some puddles to jump in on the way back. I guess sometimes you just have to splash around in puddles right? My makeup was smeared everywhere but who am I trying to impress anyways?

I'm at home now, I didn't want to stay all day at the dorm with nothing to do. I am literally a week or two ahead with homework and have NOTHING to do whatsoever. So, I figured I'd come home and hang out with my doggie and do some laundry.

Tonight I'm going to see a play with Brian from church. It should be cool, I like theater a lot. OK, that is all:)

counting crows

:) [21 Feb 2007|12:23pm]
This morning was really great. The first words I heard were the lyrics "It's going to be a beautiful day!" I stirred a little and then pulled up the blinds. I rested the top half of my body against my teddy bear on the ledge of the window and watched the cars speed by, and felt the sun on my face and the breeze coming through. I smiled, closed my eyes, and I felt like the morning was promising me something. I'm not exactly sure what, but it was a feeling of blessedness and well-being. I just laid there a while in the breeze until I thought my roommate would think I was nuts, and I finally got up. I'm in class now, rather tuned out. I have too much else in my head to focus on John Locke. I can't wait to get out of here and go work out and have some lunch. I have a lot of homework to work on tonight with Laura, because I am determined to pull up my stats grade from a C to a B.

Yesterday was an amazing day. I had prayed to God to reveal how I can be helpful and kind to people this week, and my roommate came to me to ask if I could drive her small group leader to a modeling gig in Aurora. I didn't really want to but I rarely say no, so I agreed. Waiting for her downstairs at the security desk, I had a random conversation with the desk attendant. We talked about my transferring, and also about love. She said she had an issue with her boyfriend, broke up with him, and then she felt like God told her all she had to do was let down her guard and receive the love that both God and her ex were willing to give her. I needed to hear that. I also needed to hear what she told me about her opinion on my transferring. She said that it doesn't mean I'm a failure and it doesn't matter what "excuse" I have for getting out of here, but that I should be proud I am listening to my spirit, and any reason I have to leave is good enough because it is my own. Some things in life are just meant to be a season, she said, and only you know when it is done.

For some reason, hearing these things has changed my feelings about this semester to one of "trudge through" to "cherish this." My season here is closing, but it's not done quite yet. There is more to learn here.

Meeting Caroline was also amazing. She is a great woman, strong, outspoken, and my good deed turned into something that was good for me too. She told me it is okay to be lost right now, that I have so much time to figure out the details, and what I should be focusing on is just loving myself and listening to my spirit. That's funny because that is what hit me over the weekend, and what I've been focusing on so far this week. Randomly too, they asked me to model. It was the weirdest thing ever! I said no, because there are a few things I'm not – a model, a cheerleader, etc. It was funny because in that moment when I said know I realized I know myself pretty well.

I had a great time at home waiting for Caroline; I walked Ty and he dragged me through puddles in my backless tennis shoes… I finally said screw it and started running through them with him giggling, tripping in some snow that was melting, and I was soaking wet and muddy by the time we got home. Ty and I took a shower, and it was hilarious! He's such a good boy. I transferred a bunch of my stories and my music from my computer to my laptop, and last night I stayed up for a few hours writing more of a story I've worked on for years. It's sad I will probably not show it to anyone, unless Laura wants to read it. She is the only one I trust with my writing.

Anyway, yesterday I had a really great God moment. I was driving down a country road, the window down, and the sun was illuminating the road ahead of me… I smelled burning leaves, one of my favorite smells, and I felt God's presence so strongly in that moment. It was like he was saying, where you are right now is okay. You are going to be okay.


PS - If I have the energy I am going to take my first yoga class tonight at 7! I figure I should practice as I know John will want to drag me to his Y to do some yoga:)

PPS - I ran on the treadmill today for five minutes. I never thought I could do it but I did:)
counting crows

[19 Feb 2007|12:18pm]
It's going to be downright balmy this week! I wore only a hoodie today and it's a little crisp but 30-somethings are finally going to arrive this week - possibly up into the 40s! I can't remember ever looking forward to spring this much. I'm just so tired of being cold all the way to my bones! Spring is going to mean a lot this year. Expectation of change and progress and...hope. Which I desperately need! I'm looking forward to the sun on my face and the wind not stinging:) Spring holds the promise of hope for me, too...
There is so much on my heart right now. What does God want me to do with this one life I was given? I feel his calling for me all boils down to mercy... how I can show it, what I can do, to love and be compassionate towards those who maybe aren't super easy to love. I feel I can relate because I don't think I am easy to love either. I don't have a need to be loved by the masses, but I definitely have a desire to be loved intensely and completely by someone. I suppose I thought I didn't want that anymore... I was uncertain love even existed. But then I see my own ability to love very deeply and that gives me hope. After all the emotional beatings I've taken I'm still ready to not withdraw and to expose myself in a way that scares most people and doubly scares me. So, I guess I got lucky with that. Anyway... spring makes me really think about subjects like love and peace... and purpose. I just want to feel like I have one. When I see the flowers growing and the sun shining, I think about God resurrecting the dead... renewing life...and realize that is offered to me as well. Why is it that God offers such profound renewal and we so rarely accept it? Short-term, all I want is to get through my current situation til May. I suddenly feel like I can do that. I just need to show myself a little more kindness and make sure that translates into kindness to others.

The weekend was rough... but seeing Niles (and "Lady in the Water") and drinks with Bri and church Saturday made up for it. Some of what was said really gnawed at me - regarding showing no prefence between who we deem unacceptable or acceptable... I remembered some specific people I've avoided and felt awful. Ouch, talk about painful conviction. Anyhoo, Bri and I are talking about possibly doing a humanitarian type trip next year, maybe to Africa. I hope it pans out. I'm going to start looking into some organizations and such. I can't wait for her to get back in March, as she and I have such common ground on a lot of things and that's something so positive in my life -people that I have commonality with. Like John;) Who I desperately want to talk politics with:)

I have a feeling things are going to start looking up soon.
counting crows

more church & randomness [07 Jan 2007|10:52am]
[ mood | calm ]
[ music | Jack's Mannequin - Last Straw, Arizona ]

Well, today is not so bad so far. I'm sitting here at work drinking my frappucino, enabled by my boss who gave me a gift card to starbucks cuz she hates coffee; and listening to the acoustic versions of some of my fave songs on the Jack's Mannequin page. I just love how he sings "I'm gonna send the rain your way.." on "Kill the Messenger." So beautiful. I'm hoping to go to their show next month if someone will go with me.

Anyhow, last night's church was pretty powerful. Gene Apple did the message about the new year and what we want our legacy to be in it. I already have a pretty good idea of what I want to be remembered for when I am gone from the earth... maybe I'm so morbid that these are things I actually think about. I want to be known as welcoming and compassionate and loving and kind. My life verse has always been, "Religion that God accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in distress and keep yourself unspotted." Anyway.. they showed this news story about a woman whose husband died in a small-plane crash. She had four boys and was pregnant with her 5th, and only months before his death, her husband had a dream that he died young. He felt prompted by the holy spirit to get out of bed and record a message to his friends and family. It was a 40 minute video and we were only privy to the very last minute or so as he broke down in tears and explained to his wife how the best days of his life were the day they met and they day they married, and the next best days were each of his children being born. He just kept repeating I love you. I had chills throughout my body and was on the verge of sobbing the entire time. The dvd he recorded was such a comfort to his wife and supposedly contained advice for his children and statements of his faith and wanting the tape to be proof that God had spoken to him through his dream and that God exists, etc. Our pastor encouraged us with three words, start right now. Which is kinda contrary to my usual procrastination. That's what tomorrow is for, right? Heh. Well, after the sermon I think I'm going to be doing a lot less of putting things off, at least when it comes to saying how I feel and to being the best friend I can be right now, and to not wait to mend relationships, whether with family or friends, to not wait any longer to forgive...

After church, a big group of us went over to Portillo's. It reminded me a lot of summer, we had such a great turnout. I had a nice conversation with Paul (who was our Living Room leader before they canned Axis) and his wife Tara. I met a few new people, too, which is cool. After that a big group of us headed over to Judson College to see Greenroom, an improv theater thing. It was so funny being back there because I took a couple classes in high school there when I was homeschooled. Didn't do me a hell of a lot of good because it was too expensive to have the credits transferred, but both classes were way fun. I had always wanted to go to Judson, but their statement of faith including promising you are not homosexual made me not sign it. I have friends that are gay and if they cannot go to Judson without lying about who they are, neither will I. I ended up sitting with Amy, Terrica, Fernando, Beau and Tony. So, the improv was absolutely hilarious! At the very end they were going to do "scenes from a building" and I suggested castle, and it was perfect, they were soo hilarious! Fernando was like, man you were laughing so much. Can't help it.. once I get started giggling, I can rarely stop. My face was hurting from it. I got home around 11 and sat down at the computer and wrote John a long-ish message containing some things I needed to say. First being that I'm sorry for being so angry with him, and secondly wanting him to know that I'm not saying bad things about him to people we know. Some other stuff too I'd rather not share. But, I just want him to know that even though I was/still sort of am upset, I still really love the guy. I can't control how other people feel or don't feel about me, I can't control their actions, but I know I can control my own. Even if he doesn't write back, even if he hates me now, I did all I could.

I totally did something I'm ashamed of last night though. There was this one guy who creeps me out, but he is.. we'll just say there is something not right with him mentally.. who needed a ride to the improv night and he asked me while I was on the phone and I kinda brushed him off and was like no, no, I'm going with Amy, etc. I felt really bad. He got a ride from someone else, but I mean, I'm fairly sure he's harmless, he just annoys the piss out of me. He tried to hold my hand during a movie once and ever since I've tried to stay away from him. Plus, the guy always requires a ride home and there was no way I was going from Elgin to Arlington Heights. It was still shitty of me to be dismissive towards him, I should have explained more why I couldn't. I feel bad. Some job I'm doing of being loving, huh?

I don't know why I'm so exhausted right now. I think I'm getting nervous about my classes this semester starting so soon, and the new roommate situation. Though I was reading this book called the Alchemist (brilliant, but new agey, book - completely worth the read) and it has a line about "this was not a strange place, it was a new one". It reminded me that things are scary because we make them that way, not because they are innately that way. Anyhoo I can't wait for it to be 4 so I can crawl in bed and turn on Magnolia which I recorded a few weeks ago. I don't think I'll get out of bed the entire evening:) That makes me happy.

I hope everyone is happy and healthy, and starting right now whatever it is they need to accomplish spiritually, physically, emotionally.... xoxo!


ps - good quote: "There are some things I'll never understand: why the country needs a God and a woman needs a man."

3 are *counting crows

[06 Jan 2007|12:45pm]
[ mood | blank ]

So, despite not wanting to go out at all, I went to the worship night last night for the 20-something group. The theme was Reflection, and the point was that what we see looking at ourselves is completely unlike what God sees. How our only true reflection can be seen looking into God's eyes. We were encouraged to think of the lies that we have believed about ourselves that are toxic to our souls and our relationships. It was interesting that was coming up because the other night I sat down and wrote one of those little things where you take the letters in your name and label characteristics: example - M: Misunderstood E: Easily forgotten... you get the point. So, I already had a good idea in my mind of what those lies were. Of course, they don't always feel like lies. People are always walking away from me, and ever since I was a child I felt forgotten, abandoned, unimportant, and inferior. It's hard to say that it is a lie I am those things when that is what experience has taught me. But last night we were encouraged to take a look at what God has to say about us in the Bible. Forgiven, free, friends, beloved, remembered, etc.

We had a really great worship leader last night, and my favorite part was a little cover of the song "I'll Be Missing You" - changed some stuff around and it ended up something like, "every move I make, every breath I take, every single day, you'll be watching over me..." something like that. The other thing that stood out to me more than ever was this song and these lyrics:

Come thou font of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount I'm fixed upon it
Mount of thy redeeming love
O to grace how how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness like a feather, bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above
prone to wander, Lord I feel it,
find me lost in Your wonder.

Anyway, it was great. Even though I had absolutely no desire to worship or to be around people going into it, I really enjoyed myself. Roger and Janet were there, so I didn't end up sitting alone either. I told Roger that things didn't end great with John and he was like, "Because your personalities are so different?" I kinda laughed, I had thought we were so similar but he didn't see that at all. It was funny.

After it ended, Shane said there were some people willing to pray up front with anyone who needed it and how he wanted to make it a more central part of the community. I never go up for prayer and I rarely ask for it either, especially from someone I hardly know, but I was so tired of people asking how I was and saying "good, good" that I just had to be real with someone. I hate talking about this stuff, but then I kinda told him everything. Everything being, my dad's unemployment, my brother just losing his job yesterday, John and I falling apart, worrying that my dad is depressed enough to kill himself, worrying about Mom's not wanting to take care of herself like she has some kind of suicide wish also.. just all this stuff. I was more wanting him to pray for my family and he was just like, well, what is all this doing to your soul? And it was funny because I hadn't been that concerned for my own soul with all that's going on, because I seem to be the only one strong enough to get through all this stuff okay. So I admitted that especially the John thing reinforced how unimportant and insignificant I feel, and how my family being so torn and hurting right now is making me feel very unstable and angry.

One of the lines in a favorite worship song of mine is you give and take away... you give and take away.. my heart will choose to say, blessed be your name... and I just told Shane that I am really tired of God being the God that takes away, whether it's people or jobs. Yet I have a sneaking suspicion that God would like to get the message through that we are supposed to trust God even when life is not completely peachy. I'm sure God isn't yanking things away like Haha you can't have this anymore, but God has definitely allowed things to happen to my family, whether it's a result of behavior/attitudes or something that just happened unfairly or otherwise.

Some other things really inspired me last night. They had quotes around the room on screens and taped to tables and one that I found so true was:

Our original, shimmering self gets buried so deep we hardly live out of it at all..rather, we learn to live out of all the other selves which we are constantly putting on and taking off like coats and hats against the world's weather.
-Frederick Buechner

Another one...

"Busyness substitutes for meaning... efficiency substitutes for creativity... and functional relationships substitute for love."
-John Eldredge

That one hit me really hard actually because it applies so much. Accepting less than what is best and healthy for me... it seems like the most I ever hope for is "functional" probably because I am so accustomed to being disappointed. Last night when I got home I decided to not have any noise or anything surrounding me, so I kept off the tv and radio and curled up in bed with a book and some candles. It was so strange to focus on one thing, rather than multi-tasking as I always do. It felt good. I think our generation has no idea how to concentrate because of all the noise and media around us, and that's one skill I don't want to lose. I had no idea you had to *practice* quiet but that appears to be the case.

Well, I'm sitting here at work with boxes piled on my desk that I need to put away so I better go.

1 are *counting crows

New Years Poem 2007 [31 Dec 2006|11:32pm]
[ mood | calm ]

the strike of midnight,
ushering in 2007...
twelve months of blank pages ahead,
new stories to be written,
poems to be penned.

possibilities piled up,
and the limitations feared
are only self-imposed.
passion and effort
create from nothing,
finding beauty
in the ordinary,
even in the brokenness
of which I am intimately familiar.

tonight, midnight is a reminder
that time moves only forward,
stopping for none,
never rewinding.
there is mercy in this…
the only person
holding me hostage
in my regrets is myself.
time forgets with grace.

chances abound,
but often slip past silent,
like a shoreline in the darkness.
some remain unseen,
while others reach out to you
calling - there is hope here!

I have tried to capture in my hands
so many things
I should have released…
yet despite it all, I cannot find fault
in loving fiercely the way I do,
and persisting
in disregard of reason.
I will not apologize any longer
for who I am.

no excuses to be found tonight,
regrets tucked neatly
into boxes and photographs,
ready to be forgotten –

only gratitude remains.

counting crows

[18 Dec 2006|10:29pm]
[ music | Tori ]

Every finger in the room is pointing at me
I wanna spit in their faces then I get afraid of what that could bring
I got a bowling ball in my somach, I got a desert in my mouth
Figures that my courage would choose to sell out now

I've been looking for a savior in these dirty streets
Looking for a savior beneath these dirty sheets
I've been raising up my hands
drive another nail in
just what God needs,
one more victim

Why do we crucify ourselves
I crucify myself
Nothing I do is good enough for you
Crucify myself
I crucify myself
and my heart is sick of being in chains

got a kick for a dog,
beggin for love
gotta have my suffering
so that I can have my cross
I know a cat named easter,
he says will you ever learn
Youre just an empty cage girl
if you kill the bird

I've been looking for a savior in these dirty streets
Looking for a savior beneath these dirty sheets
I've been raising up my hands
drive another nail in
got enough guilt to start my own religion

Why do we crucify ourselves
I crucify myself
Nothing I do is good enough for you
crucify myself
I crucify myself
and my heart is sick of being in chains

Looking for a savior in these dirty streets
Looking for a savior beneath these dirty sheets
I've been raising up my hands- drive another nail in
Where are those angels when you need them?

counting crows

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