Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Step-by-Step to becoming "Classy"

This is a condensed list of the steps to becoming a classy individual.  This is inspired by a real article on  Wiki-How accessible right here -->

This definitely made me smile a little at how shallow people can be. But they are some generally good rules to follow.  And remember, stay classy (:

1. Use the Golden Rule
                You can't be truly classy if you are mean to the less-classy girls out there.
2. Choose your battles, Choose your friends.
                Not a whole lot is worth fighting for. Stand up for people who need it and stay away from mean
3. Choose your words.
                "The classy individual listens more than he/she speaks."

4. Do not Insult, Gossip, or Slander.
                Obviously these things are not nice or classy.
5. Be Independent.
                 a.k.a. be nice but not a push-over.
6. Be stylish but do not give in to trends.
                 nobody is going to consider you classy if you are wearing your p.j.'s to class but going broke    
                 because you want to buy everything that is currently in style is also not classy.
7. Ask for help and seek wisdom.
                 Even a classy person can't know everything.
8. Be responsible and considerate.
                 This is also a good idea for anybody living in a college dorm.
9. Be knowledgeable and aware.
                 Watch the news and read a newspaper.
10. Be real.
                  Except if you were really "being real" you wouldn't be reading a "how-to" on becoming a classy 
                  person. /:

Brought to you by Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday

All the World is a Hot Mess

I was almost scammed today/last night.
That would have been terrible...they could have taken all of the $100 dollars in my checking account!
And it all started with one stinkin' dollar. 
Actually, it all really started because I wanted to watch Sons of Anarchy online but FX won't let me.
So anyways,
I was trying to find it online, and signed up for a website that would let me.
It said it was free, and you just had to pay per episode...
So I went against better judgement and signed up, giving my card number.
I then proceed to search for my show with the hot bikers in it,
and came up empty.
I continued on with my life, did boring college things, at some wings, an went to bed.
Waking up this morning, I had an e-mail from the bank
"your card has suspicious activity on it, it was charged by and international account"
Well, shoot.
It was only $1. But that could have turned into a whole lot more.
So I called the bank at the lovely time of 6:50 a.m.
And they fixed it.
Then I called the stupid internet-fraud-charge-you-without-permission-company
And cancelled my "free" subscription.
And now I feel like a big fat donkey-butt.
Because an 18 year-old college student should definately know better than that.
Luckily, my $100 is safe and sound
And I didn't have to fly across the sea to get my $1 back.
Thank goodness for 24-hour customer service.

My question is this:
What kind of person makes a fraudulent business?
My answer is this:
The kind that I will probably not be meeting inside the pearly gates of heaven.
Then my brain told me this:
That's not nice, take it back and stop being judgemental.
They did try to take me for all I'm worth.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

If You Really Knew Me...

I did a post like this over a year ago, and I am currently searching for who I am/want to be, and I think this will help me along the way...
I encourage everyone to try this out and leave it in the comment section, on your own blog, or in your own head. It truly is a fantastic self-assessment and way to get things off my mind.

If you really knew me you would know...

If I could choose to spend a day alone or with a group of friends, I would rather be by myself.
I am currently wishing that I would have chosen a school closer to home, but am too stubborn to transfer.
Even though it may seem like I have my life under control, I am seriously lost at sea right now.
I used to hurt myself, and even though I don't anymore it is forever going to be a part of my life.
I'm pretty sure that it is impossible for me to let anybody stay close to me for a long amount of time, I'm a fantastic people-pusher-awayer.
I have lost sight of my faith. I have become one of those hypocritical Christians and I am disappointed in myself for it.
I only recently came to terms with the fact that you and I are not/will not be together now or anytime in the near's like getting my heart broken all over again.
Nobody can really know me, because I have yet to know myself fully.
I oftentimes feel completely alone in this world, even when I am surrounded by people I know love me.
I hate the way my body looks currently, but I am not motivated to take action to change it.
The longer I think about my dream, the less realistic it's becoming...
I do not want to live to be old, I don't think I will pass the age of 60.
I struggle with anxiety more than I would like to admit. Some days are unbearable.
I do not like college nearly as much as I want to/should and when I say I want to drop-out I'm only half kidding.
My insecurities consume the largest part of my time/life/thoughts.
As much as I want to be a carefree, happy-go-lucky person, I have come to terms with the fact that I am actually a very grounded, very serious person...the kind I never wanted to be.
I will never be good enough.
I will never stop wanting to be more.
I have a terrible time giving up anything, including my pride.
I don't think I'm deserving enough for earthly love right now.
If you really knew me you would know that my insides are in shambles and I'm not entirely sure how to fix it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

B is for Blind Trust.

From the very first moment, the very very first.
I knew with absolute sureness that
you were someone, someone I could give it all to.
It took less than fourty hours, just under two days
for me to believe that you would never, never hurt me;
that it was out of your grasp to cause me pain.
Blind trust, an uncontrolled belief in you.
You, of all the people in the world, in the universe,
with your honey-suckle eyes and lips chapped from the wind.
You, always you.  
Nobody else has come close to grabbing my heart the same way.
Nobody else will ever see me so frighteningly exposed.
You caused me to close my eyes, to close my eyes and fall.
and just believe you'd be there to catch me.

This little bit of my mind was brought to you by Mrs. Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

wishful thinking

forgiveness is one of the hardest things for me to accomplish.
how does one forgive another for hurts they caused?
how does one forgive oneself for the self-inflicted hurts?
my body's scars remind me daily of my previous self-hatred.
my heart is full of the memory of others' cruelty.
how does one forgive? how does one forget?
i don't have an answer, not even for myself.
it is a prayer i constantly repeat.
(when i even remember to pray.)
forgiveness is a spirit-fruit every person yearns for,
but only few achieve.
the rest of us just try our best to grasp at the
shirt-tails of it,
hiding the resentment behind false smiles, false apologies.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A is for A Beginning.

A fresh start.
      A turned page.
           A brand-new, crisp fall morning. 
                A beginning.
           A baby's first look at life.
                 A morning-breath ladened kiss.
                      A small giggle in the middle of terrible things.
                 A  beginning.
                         A night of quiet love-making.
                 A secret-wish made real.
                         A closed door hiding it all.
                                A beginning.
                         An open door, uncovering secrets.
                 A tear shed, a bag packed, and a heart-broken.
          An engine starting and disappearing.
A beginning.   
          A snowflake harmlessly landing on a nose.
                 A baby's wail for an absent father.
                         A miniscule hope for something better.
                                 A beginning.

Brought to you courtesy of Alphabe-Thursday and Mrs. Jenny.  (This week is letter "A" if you could not tell.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An Eye for an Eye

There are terrible people in the world, people who have hurt others and caused permanent damage.  
There are also people who believe that terrible people should be killed for their actions.
There are people within that group who believe it is right to celebrate when a terrible person’s life is ended.
Personally, while I do believe in justice, I do not believe it is my job to say what justice should be dealt to others, or even myself.
I do not believe that a person’s death should be rejoiced and celebrated.
I do not believe anybody has the right to end another human being’s life, under any circumstance at all.
Life is a beautiful gift.  Life is unbelievably precious. Life is something that God has given, and that God can take away.

“an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
It honestly makes my stomach hurt to imagine people rejoicing over anothers death and ill fortune.
Maybe we should realize that humans do not become monsters without a cause, and monsters do not revert to humans without help and understanding.

p.s.  Vinz is the most amazing person...ever!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Termite Tuesday: Making Assumptions

Termite [tur-mahyt], noun
1.any of numerous pale-colored, soft-bodied, chiefly tropical social insects, of the order Isoptera, that feed on wood, some being highly destructive to buildings, furniture, etc.   (from
2. any of numerous ideologies or ways of being that eat away at a relationship or persons moral. (from me)


When a person assumes something about another person a few things will follow: 
         a) the assumption will most likely be wrong
         b) word will get out about it
         c) feelings will be hurt
         d) a fight will occur.

Maybe it’s because I am living on a floor with forty odd other people, but assumptions have been very prevalent in my life recently.  Girls assume what other girls are doing/thinking. Boys assume girls are “easy.”  RAs assume that if they let things slid people will like them better.  People assume partying makes them cool and not partying makes them not cool.  Words fly around, turn into rumors, and come back to slap the original gossiper in the face.

A healthy relationship cannot happen if we assume things about each other and only ask when it’s already too late.  Don’t assume your boyfriend is talking to other girls when he doesn’t answer your call and don’t assume your best friend is talking behind your back when she is texting someone else.  Relationships are built on trust, and trust gets broken when we assume instead of communicate.

Friday Night Football

The sun was non-existent that October night, but the field was brightly lit by several artificial suns. The stands were congested: parents cheering sons and girlfriends cheering boyfriends. The pep band played obnoxiouslyloud. I held my breath and prayed; something terrible was going to happen, I could feel it.

The ball was kicked and all the players took off. The stands were a mess of noisy, oblivious people. I was so afraid for him, for what might happen to him. The only thing running through my mind was,
"everything will be ruined by a friday night football game"

Brought to you courtesy of Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus

The rules of the game:

WORD COUNT - 100 WORDS PLUS THE THREE WORDS OF THE PROMPT. Total word count not to exceed 103 words.



THE PROMPT THIS WEEK IS: "Friday night football"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Termite Tuesday

Termite [tur-mahyt], noun
1.any of numerous pale-colored, soft-bodied, chiefly tropical social insects, of the order Isoptera, that feed on wood, some being highly destructive to buildings, furniture, etc.   (from
2. any of numerous ideologies or ways of being that eat away at a relationship or persons moral. (from me)

Termites are icky, nasty bugs that invade a home and wreck it's foundation.  They are bugs that need to be found, killed, and never again let in.
Each Tuesday, I am going to write about one termite that I think eats away at a relationship or part of the world. 

Week One: the "It's not my problem so I shouldn't have to fix it" Termite

In a relationship, there is no separation of problems.  If one person is in debt, it becomes a problem for both.  If our country has a rapidly increasing poverty rate, it affects even the wealthy people. 
Someone has to fix the problems in a relationship if they want it to continue, and the person with the problem probably isn't capable of doing it alone.  We cannot expect to maintain a healthy, thriving relationship/community/home if we worry only about ourselves and our own problems.  That will cause the foundation to crumble.

"If everyone is moving forward together, success takes care of itself" 
-Henry Ford

Friday, September 30, 2011

7 weeks.

After my first seven weeks in college, I think it's safe to say that I have already started to change as an individual.  From my experience, here are the changes a college freshman experiences before fall midterms:

A solidification of ideas and morals:  
Where you stand on things like underaged drinking, sex, manners, and what is "right"or "wrong" will go through a metamorphosis. You realize that somethings you thought were okay really aren't and visa versa. Can also apply to politics, but most freshmen don't care yet.

Religious beliefs:
Christian? Muslim? LDS? Atheist? Buddhist? Islam? Animalism? Polytheism?
Whatever religion you previously affiliated with  will either become start to have a stronger part in your life or disappear almost completely. Most freshmen would rather sleep in on a Sunday.

Use of independence:
Freshmen very quickly find out how much independence they can handle.  Sometimes, the ability to party every night and skip every 8 a.m. gets to be too much.  Especially when the first exam is a fail.  They also learn about setting up a schedule, time-management, budgeting and studying.

Family values:
Homesickness will set in, or at least friendsickness.  Freshmen learn that maybe they miss home more than they thought they would, and regret  how quickly they said good-bye on move-in day.

Human relations:
Dealing with people who have opposing beliefs, contrasting personalities, and abrasive characters can be difficult.  It can be down-right impossible if your roommate is the one with whom your personality clashes.  College forces you to deal with people in a civil manner and allows you to become more accepting of differing personalities.

In my seven weeks I have become a more organized person.  I have also solidified my beliefs, realized that maybe I need my mother more than I thought, have had to deal with some pretty unruly people, and have found a church that I love to get up in the morning for.  For me, a night in the dorms with my girls is more fun than a night in the forest with a bunch of drunkards.  I have found time to indulge my love for volunteering through Habitat for Humanity, and I have realized that I really am more of an introvert than an extrovert.  

College is great, just don't go into it expecting anything less than for your perspective on life to change completely.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

X is for Xanax (Alphabe-Thursday)

Life is one giant ball of
mixed with the much preferrable
Don't deny it, everybody has hated their lives at one point or another, we aren't perfect.

For the days/weeks/months full of the less preferable string of words, we all just need to sit down, take a Xanax, sip some wine and relax.

At least, thats what soap operas and sitcoms aimed at a teenaged audience teaches us, right?

Disclaimer: for those of you who do not know me, I neither drink nor take Xanax.  This is purely fiction.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

V is for Voluptuous

"If you got it, flaunt it."

Well sometimes, "you" got too much,
and should just get rid of it.

There comes a point in Voluptuous just turns into plain Ginormous.

Ginormous Butt
Ginormous Thighs
Ginormous Ta-Ta's

Now, if you love your Voluptuous-on-the-verge-of ginormous butt/thighs/ta-ta' all means let it all hang out, or keep them all in with too-small clothing.

Just remember that the rest of the world is looking at you, too.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I am ridiculously frustrated with being sick ALL of the time.  You may think that I am over exaggerating, but I'm really not.  My heart is irregular and it causes me to feel run-down, sick, and tired every minute of every day of every week of every month...since November.  Some days are better than others, for sure, but even on those "good" days I can barely walk the mile to my class without feeling lightheaded or go up the 48 stairs to my floor without legitly being out of breath.

I am stuck in the body of a 70 year-old...and I hate it.

Hopefully it will get figured out eventually, and by eventually I mean like, tomorrow...because I can't enjoy the "best years of my life" when I have to spend it all feeling like a zombie.

sorry for the rant.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"Love is old, Love is new, Love is all, Love is you"

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,  it became a butterfly"

You and I, we struggle every day to be able to look through the hot messes of our lives and see the beauty inside of it.  Some days, we lose the battle and are overcome by the nastiness of the world.  But every once in a while we come across a perfect day full of beautiful things and people and ideas, and those are the days we try to achieve over and over again. 
The world is full of beauty, it wasn't created to be anything less than perfect. So, why do we pollute it with our ugliness -- our anger, our jealousy, our hatred, our selfishness, our words, our gluttony?  If we want lives full of beauty, we need to stop suffocating it with our own ugliness.
We deserve better than a world wrapped up and suffocating in ugliness.  We deserve a metamorphosed world, beautiful and perfect in itself again.  Not a world speckled with beauty, but one that shines so bright it almost hurts.  
&& all this has to start from the inside out <3

Friday, September 9, 2011


Sometimes, it takes a heated debate to make a person open her eyes and actually see the big picture.  My honor's course involves a game in which we have to pretend we are ancient Athenians in 403 B.C.  We have to decide how to rebuild our city back to former greatness through debates. Wednesday, two boys' heated discussion ended like this:
"Think of it this way: The 30 were just the little heads on a great big body.  If you chop off all of the heads, the body becomes useless"
"The body still has talons, it could thrash you when you least suspect it!"
"...Try thrashing without a head!"

I'm not completely positive why that stupid part of a conversation has caused me to rethink things, but it has.  I realized that I am unhappy with my current roommate situation, that I need to involve myself more, and that I already want to change my major.  My priorities are completely off-kilter, and I hate feeling like I do right now.  I've lost my faith, my biggest definer.

The thrashing, headless monster has nothing to do with any of those things, except that once it becomes headless, it needs to adjust to being blind and brainless.  YOU try thrashing without a head, and let me know how it goes.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

pooooooooor grammar

When I first saw this picture I couldn't get past the fact that they used "to" instead of "too", the lack of apostrophes, the random capitalization, and the comma splice.   But then I reread and reread it again and decided that I REALLY liked it.

"If you go too fast in life and don't have any speed-bumps, what's to keep you from crashing?"

We all have at least one moment in our lives when we have nothing to say to God except "Why?"  Those moments are the "speed-bumps" in our lives, the things that we need in order to slow down and look at the bigger picture.  We need these things to redirect ourselves and revamp our ideas of what we should be doing/being. 

Imagine if nothing bad ever happened. Sure, we would all be free of negative emotions and emotional scars would be a non-issue, but would we truly be happier?  Don't we get washed with the greatest waves of gratitude after a not-so-pleasant experience?  What if we never had a reason to look at the special parts of our lives and honestly appreciate what we have?  I'm pretty sure we would be much worse off, not better off.

That's just where my minds at. <3

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Straddling the line.

Last night, I was trying to help a friend understand why, as Christians, we cannot both share the gospel and party or engage in any other sinful nature.  How are people supposed to believe that God is a life-altering, love filling, amazing guy if we do not seem to be changed by him on the outside? Partying, cheating Christians that still try to share God with others are the reasons that Christians are considered hypocrites.  It's so frustrating to me, and I struggle with it too.  We cannot straddle the line between a Christian lifestyle and a secular lifestyle.  With God, it's all or nothing.  So, we all really ought to just pick a side, hopefully the Christian side, and praise God with all we have.

Psalm 145:1-12
I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They will celebrate your abundant goodness 
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
All you have made will praise you, O Lord;
your saints will extol you.
They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might,
so that all men may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

Monday, July 25, 2011

In another's eyes...

I've been so out of it lately.  I'm not sure where my faith went, where my hope went, where my love went.  I have been feeling a lot like I did when I was hurting myself, as if I'm not in my body but instead watching from above.  It's such a surreal feeling, to be "living" yet not being able to feel anything from it most of the time. If that even makes sense.

The truly sad part is that I was fine with that feeling, it was like being fourteen again and being able to feel nothing but everything at once.  Nobody notices, nobody can ask, and it makes me feel good....its selfish.

The past couple of weeks have really opened my eyes to my own problems, my own self.  Working at Camp Friendship, a camp for mentally disabled people, caused a realization inside me of how much a soul is worth to our Lord.  Every person has feelings, every person deserves to be loved.  Who am I to say that I'm not worth it, that I'm not good enough?  Who is anybody to say that? We are made in his perfect image!

My very last TEC weekend was honest-to-goodness one of the best things I've ever done.  The people and the environment were perfect for personal growth.  I had to face the fact that I'm not okay right now, that there are things and people in my life I'm not okay with right now.  I had to face the fact that my faith has all but disappeared somewhere in the past half year...what a terrible thing to have to admit.  Yet, at the same time, it's exactly what I needed when I needed it. 

So, through all of this pointless ramble, what I'm trying to say to whoever reads this is that you are worth it and I am worth it and everybody is worth it.  We need to love each other and love ourselves and we can never let ourselves lose what is most important to us, whatever that may be.
Sorry that this is such a hodgepodge of nonsense.  Love you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Word of God Speak

We had our first thunderstorm of our spring of two-thousand and eleven. It was ah-mazing.  I have always loved storms, for as long as I can remember.  I like to open up my bedroom window so that I can smell the storm coming and so that I can hear the rain and the thunder.  Every single thing about a thunderstorm makes me smile, makes me relax, and makes me just want to cuddle up with a book and a cup of steamy hot tea or cocoa. 
I have never undersood, though, how one could have any doubt that works of nature (thunderstorms, sunsets or sunrises, rives, oceans, rainforests,  everything)  come from our all mighty God.  When I'm driving and I see the sun rising or setting and the fantastic, undeniably gorgeous colors...I cannot help but see it as God sending a message to us. "Hey guys, just a reminder that I love you and I want to make everything in you lives beautiful, Love your Father."  Its just really a beautiful thing to think about.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

easy as 1, 2, 3

Lately, it has really hit me that I have been procrastinating...a lot.  I always start things with good intentions of getting things done, but I always get side-tracked by other things. I have to do research for a paper? I get distracted by Facebook, or emails, or blogs, or college stuff.  I have to practice my speech?  I have to catch  up on my shows.  I want to pack a lunch for the next day? I take a nap instead.
Does anybody else run into this problem?  
A good friend once told me her pastor told her that procrastination was a sin for him. I've never thought of it that way...but really it is.  In the pastor's life, procrastination had him scrambling to get his sermon's written on Saturday night and he didn't have time to really listen to what God was telling him to  preach.  In my life, I get so busy with nonessential and trivial things that I put of schoolwork, practice, and planning to the point that I can't get it done.  So what are we supposed to do?
Eliminate all distractions: turn off the T.V., shut down the computer, remove Facebook as the homepage on our computer, and put the phone in a different room.  Having less stimulus around while trying to finish a paper, project, or study helps people focus in most situations.
Give yourself a goal/reward: tell yourself that after you finish one scholarship application you can spend fifteen minutes on facebook before working on the next one.  Or...after I complete the worksheet for English, I can spend a half an hour reading the new romance novel I checked out of the library.  You get the point.
Make a list AND check it off:  this will give you a confidence boost and a little push to finish the next task on the list.
So...stop making excuses, getting distracted, and wasting time and just get things done. I know I'm going to.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Where is the Love?

Before I truly became a Christian, I was a really messed up person truth be told.  My saving grace during that time however, were my two best friends.  They were both Christians and they both wanted to see me get better. Long story really short, they basically told me they wouldn't be in my life until I changed.  So, a while after that I did change, I found my faith and I got better....but when I turned around to tell my two friends, they had lost their faith. The two best people in my life are no longer even a part of my life, and they are just falling deeper into their personal sins.
I am so afraid of becoming like them, of being so strong in my faith and then just losing it and reverting to everything I've worked so hard to get away from.  Tonight I texted one of those girls, and it resulted in a fight.  She told me that she lost her faith because Christians are "closed-mined, hypocritical a-holes" then continued to say things like this.. She ended in telling me that we aren't friends anymore because she's gay and because I'm a Christian I obviously can't like her anymore.
Some days, it is really hard to hold the title of "Christian".  When people hear the "C" word they automatically associate us with a million negative things, and only a handful of positive.  We are kind of like pitbulls: because the light only gets shown on those of us that mess up, we are all given a negative reputation.

                                                              So, how do we fix it?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Embarking on a Journey...

I decided tonight, after doing much research and listening to a sermon, that I really need to fast.  I found a twenty-one day fast geared towards youth which I am going to follow, and I would love it if you followed it with me both for the encouragement and for the accountability it will give me.  The days are listed below with a daily verse to study. Of course if one of the days doesn't apply to you (no meat doesn't apply to me because I'm a vegetarian) feel free to mix it up. 
Day 1: video games  Matthew 12:9-13
Day 2: television Genesis 24:11-8
Day 3: junk food/fast food Philippians 2:1-4
Day 4: Daniel Fast (eat only fruits and veggies today)  Luke 10:19
Day 5: facebook/twitter/myspace/blogger  Romans 8:37
Day 6: video games 1Samuel 17:34-35
Day 7: television Exodus 20:1-7
Day 8: sweets Joshua 1:9, Romans 8:35-39
Day 9: facebook/etc. Mark 12:30-31
Day 10: texting with friends  Proverbs 13:20
Day 11: No Meats  Proverbs 29:15
Day 12:  television Matthew 7:24-27
Day 13: facebook/etc. James 4:5-17
Day 14:  fast food/junk food 1 Corinthians 4:10-13,20
Day 15: sweets Matthew 25: 14-29
Day 16: Daniel fast 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
Day 17: television Proverbs 18:21
Day 18:  liquids only (water, juice, smoothie) Matthew 26:41
Day 19: facebook/etc. Galatians 6:7-9
Day 20: video games  Galations 5:22-23
Day 21:  T.V. and all social networking sites  James 1:19

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Lesson in Benevolence

I hear it, feel it, and immediately wish that it's not happening.  But it is--my tire has gone flat.  Drawing a deep breath, I quickly strategize, evalutatin my options.  Steering to the right toward the curb won't obstruct traffic, I reason.  So I ease the car onto the shoulder and begin looking for help.
On the sidewalk are hurrying pedestrians, some talking on cell phones, others deep in thought--all of them too preoccupied to notice my fate.  On the road cars speed past with drivers rushing frantically to their varied destinations.
Silently I pray, "Father, send someone. Anyone!"
Momentarily I'm distracted by two familiar figures just a few feet away--a woman and a young child.  The woman, dressed in an ankle-length jean skirt and faded yellow blouse, displays a homemade sign with crooked letters in bold black that spell "Homeless" followed by the words "Please help."  The child, a litle girl who looks to be about five, clings to the woman's skirt and holds a Raggedy Ann doll.  They've been standing on the corner now for at least four weeks, collecting change in a tin can from pedestrians and passing motorists who happen to be stopped by the intersection's traffic light.  I, too, have dropped change or an occasional dollar into the woman's can, reasoning, like so many others, that these two need help.
Then I remember that a man, lean and balding, with a similar sign hanging from a rope around his neck shares the same corner. But today he's missing, and despite my own troubles, I wonder for a moment where he might be.  Soon honking horns disrupt my wandering thoughts and force me back to my present dilemma.  Observing no available assistance, I walk to my car's trunk, hoping and praying that someone might stop.
"Need some help?" I hear over my shoulder.
Turning t omy left, I see him-- the man bearing the homeless sign.  I look him over and try not to appear startled.  I reflect on his daily request for help, which other people, including me, have selectively ignored.  His tenor voice repeats the question, clearly the offer I've been waiting for.
I back away from the trunk and allow him to open it.  It is an awkward moment, but I permit a weak "Thank you" to pass my lips.
A closer look at the man's features suggests that he is actually prematurely bald and much younger than I had always thought.  he is nearly six feet tall with a considerably lean frame and has a limp.  There are holes in the knees of his jeans and in his faded green T-shirt.
"I...I appreciate your help," I say, breaking the silence between us.  He nods, and I wait for permission to continue.  He never looks up from his work, so again I speak up, adding, "Thank you again for changing my tire."  After more silence, I muster more courage. "I've seen you at this corner for a while."  This time I wait, hopeing he will say something--anything to indicate that he's heard me.
This time my wait is short and rewarded with a sour, "I've seen you too!"  His tone suggests that more is coming, so I wait for an indictment to pass his lips.  But when no such accusation surfaces, my thoughts shift, and I ask if he lives in a shelter.
This time he looks up, briefly catching my eye, and I think twice about what I've asked.  This answer is even shorter than the last-- a polite, "No, ma'am."  After a seemingly long pause, he continues, " I lost my job more than si months ago, and do to a chain of bad luck, well, I--" he stutters--"well, I...I ended up on the streets."
"What kind of work do you do, or did you do?" I ask.
He proudly responds, "I'm a mechanic."
"I take it you've been looking." I stoop to catch his eye as he continues to work.
"Yep, every day.  But with no fixed address or phone, it makes it hard for folks to get back to you.  Where they gunna call, if they want to hire you?"
He pauses as if deep in thought, then adds, "Folks that come through here every day probably think I can do better.  But ma'am, I'm trying, I'm really trying."
He finishes changing the tire, pats his hands on his already dirty jeans, and closes the car's trunk.
I fish though my purse looking for a dollar or two, but instead I decide to empty my wallet and give him all its contents-- $15.00.
He smiles, saying, "I'm not charging you."
"I know," I answer, "but I insist that you take the money." After much urging, he thrusts the bills into a pocket and starts to walk away.
I again say thanks but motion for him to wait while I ask one more question. "Why did you coose to help me, when I've rarely helped you?"  He looks at me, and without batting an eye answer, "'Cause it's the right thing to do."  With that, he walks back to his street corner,  and I drive away, knowing that I'm not the same.
The next day, I see him.  He smiles, and we talk while waiting for the light to turn green.  Before leaving the intersection, I drop a dollar bill in his cup.  He says thanks.
The following day I do the same, and the next day too.  On week two of this new routine, I leave a bag of fruit and a sandwich.  He again says thanks.   This continues for another two months.  Then one day he tells me that he has a job and will start the following day.  I wish hiim well and see him no more.  And again-- I'm not the same.
--Yvonne Curry Smallwood

This story really hit me.  It reminds me of the story of the good Samaritan.  It came from A Cup of Comfort for Christians ...I got this book at the Dollar General. (good investment)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lord, how many times should I forgive?

Harsh comments are always hard to hear.  People who say they are unaffected by what others say about them to their faces are not telling the whole truth. But there is a difference between a mean comment from an acquaintance or stranger and one from someone you know or respect.
Having someone you love/respect tell you you suck, well it hurts a lot.
"You are too bossy." "You think you know everything" "Don't be so dumb, that's a terrible idea" 
Words. Hurt. And nothing can change that, not even an apology.
It is hard to forgive a person for hurting you repeatedly with their words, but that is what our Lord tells us we have to do. Here is what Matthew 18:21-22 says about it...
At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, "Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?"
 Jesus replied, "Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven. 
I don't know about you guys, but I really truly struggle with this.  It is soooo hard to look at someone who has torn at your heart and say "Oh, its okay, I'll just sit here and let you do it again if you want."  And hey, maybe it was a one-time deal, but I think that a person who hurts you once will do it again. and again. and again.  especially if you never say something.
But, being yourself is all you can do, besides pray about it and follow the word of God.  So smile, you are beautifully, uniquely you.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

This little light of mine...

This little light of mine, I'm gunna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I'm gunna let it shine
This little light of mine, I'm gunna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
Most everybody has heard this song before, the main part at least if not all of it.  It is such a simple song, one that we learn at vacation bible school or Sunday school when we are still too small to see the top of the kitchen counter.  So why is it so hard to match our actions to what we are singing about? 
I don't know about you, but it is HARD to let my light shine when I am in an environment that is cynical and mean about anything that might make those around me uncomfortable.  It is so much easier to shine when I am by myself or with a group of friends that I know loves God as much as I do...but God doesn't want us to only shine for ourselves.  What would be the point? He wants us to shine to people who have possibly never seen the result of a person who is filled with the Holy Spirit and not afraid to show it....that is how we witness to others and share the gospel, the good news!
But....its hard, I know, and I would be a hypocrite if I said that I was a bright, shining light in the hallways of my high school right now.  However, I might just start trying to be.
At church today, the pastor mentioned that the paster that was at the church before him used to encourage people to share the gospel with others, and to light a candle when they did to signify that they are spreading the word of God.  He wanted his congregation to make a physical, touchable (though it would hurt) light for everybody to see that signified God....I thought that was cool.
So, I guess its time to stop hiding my light under a bushel (or in my bedroom) and get out there to share it with others by being positive and more Christ-like.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

If you really knew me...

A speaker came to our school today to teach us about sportsmanship or something equally irrelevant to my life, and for the second half we were split into random groups.  So there I was, sitting with a group of people who I (with three exceptions) have probably said about 10 sentences to in my life, and the speaker tells us to answer this question: If you really knew me you would know....
Ho. ly. Crap. I was scared, and I had no idea what to say.  We went around the circle, everybody obviously uncomfortably and not sharing anything like a brainless zombie, I followed suit and said, "If you really knew me you would know that I plan on spending at least another year in Honduras." Sure, this is true and it is important in my life...but it's not what I should have actually said. After the whole exercise was over, I thought of a list of things I should have said:
If you really knew me you would know that I believe in Jesus Christ and that he is the only way to true happiness.
If you really knew me you would know that I used to hate myself, but I don't anymore.
If  you really knew me you would know that I grew up without a dad because mine is an alcoholic and abandoned me.
If you really knew me you would know that I truely believe that we don't have many years left on this Earth.
So, If I really knew you, what would I know?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Taking the Plank Out of my Own Eye.

Today I was forced to think about all of the times that I have gossiped about other people without meaning it to be that way.  I have never considered having a legit conversation about someone gossip if you aren't saying anything bad or judging them, but today I found out how it feels to be examined like that.  Today I was informed that two people who I have no bad feelings towards and even talk to friendly all the time, talked about how I am a hypocritical Christian (If you read Ali's blog, this probably sound's familiar).  And, I totally get where they would get that impression, if they were only looking at my past (see Fusion talk). So no, I don't really blame them for having this impression, but it still hurts that they think that and would discuss with other people that that is what they think.  No, I don't think they meant for it to hurt me, they didn't mean to gossip, but that's what happened.
So, where do I go from there?  How do I show them that I'm not a hypocrite, that I was hurt by them saying I was?  Maybe I don't...maybe it's best to just drop it and let them think what they want, hoping that my actions speak louder than anything I might say. 
 "A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel." Proverbs 15:18 
I guess all I can do is focus on bettering my life by becoming more Christ-like and less human-like in the hopes that others take notice and understand that Christians make mistakes and have pasts too. So, no more gossiping for me...what about you?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Left Behind.

So, I'm currently working my way through the Left Behind book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.  For those of you who don't know (and I'm guessing that most of you don't), it is a series based on the book of Revelation and what is going to happen after Jesus comes back to rapture the church.
The book of Revelation is so hard to read for me.  I'm one of those people who reads really fast and can absorb it all and then think about it later, but the final book of the Bible just doesn't allow for that.  You have to actually, like, study it.  Not that you shouldn't study all of the Bible, but Revelation is just a bit more, high maintenance.
Which is why I love the Left Behind books so much.  Though they are fictional, I really think that they have all of the facts down pat, and they are really helping me figure out the whole "Jesus is coming back and he's rapturing the church and those left behind have seven years and seven tribulations and seven scrolls and the three horses" etc. etc. Revelation is full of symbolism, and Mr. Layhaye and Mr. Jenkins really figure it out for us, in their personal view I guess.
The end of the world is not something that most people want to think about seriously because is flippin' scary.  Think about it: one day (in my opinion before I am a senior citizen...that soon) our Lord and Savior is going to come back to Earth and rapture the church, taking all of the "true Christians" to heaven.  Then the world is going to be taken over by the anti-christ, and it is going to be put through a bunch of terrible things, which eventually lead up to Jesus making a final appearance, a final judgement.  That stuff is scurry....I don't want to be left behind, and I'm sure you don't either.
But anyways....these books are really good....find them in your local library, or download them on your nook/kindle/sony reader. (:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

5:30 Sunday Morning

Last Sunday was an interesting day...full of things that made me think.  My day began at 5:15 when I had to get up and get ready for work. While I was driving to work at the beautiful hour of 5:40 I noticed that my car was the first one to drive on the slippery, snow dusted stretch of Highway 22 that goes North from Kiester, and I was hit with my first thought:  This must be how it feels to be the only person on Earth.  Now, that may not seem like a huge thought...but it is if you believe (like I do) that the world is going to end soon. No dears, I'm not talking about 2012, I'm talking about Jesus Christ coming back to Earth to claim the true Christians and leave the rest behind to face what comes next.  As I was driving all alone in the world, I could totally imagine that that would be the world after we are taken away. But almost immediately after that thought, I realized that more people will be here than will be taken, and that sucks.  I wish that I could reach everybody, take them with me...but I have no idea how that could ever ever be possible.
My second thought of the day happened around 6:30, while I was talking to the cook/activities director in the kitchen of The Shepherd's Inn, an assisted living home where I work.  We were talking about a resident who has Alzheimer's and how her family has stopped visiting or taking her to church on Sundays.  Lauryne, the cook, then said something that really hit me,
"Once you get old, you turn invisible."
and the sad thing is, it's the truth.  I had always kind of known that, but after working at The Shepherd's Inn for a year or so,  I know it's true.  Families just throw their mom's or their dad's into some home or another, and then they are "freed" from all responsibilities and hardly give them the time of day anymore.  This thought stuck in my head for that whole day as I helped my old ladies get ready, eat, and relax.  It stuck with me from then until now...and it's so sad.  I'm not too worried about it, because as I said earlier I believe Jesus is coming back, and soon.

So those were my two major thoughts for Sunday...just a little food for thought.

My FUSION talk...

So, I wrote this six days ago, and I gave it to a room full of people five days now I suppose I'll share it with the World Wide Web. Enjoy (:  (please excuse all of my grammatical errors.)

    Some people love when opportunities to tell the stories of their most grotesque scars pop up. Stories of illnesses, surgery, dog bites, childhood falls or accidents, fights, and plain old clumsiness are always beefed up a little to make the story better. Scars are permanent place marks on the time lines of our lives. We can look at our bodies and see reminders of our appendicitis, chicken pox, the time we jumped out of a tree thinking we could fly, and the time the dog down the street took a bite out of our shin.
When my friends get on the topic of scars, or a facebook note asks me about where my sweetest scar came from, I usually refrain from giving an answer. I always figure that telling people that my most grotesque scars are the ones I have inflicted on myself and the ones that nobody can even see will put a damper on the almost-always bubbly moods of those around me. My stories aren't the cute, funny ones everyone wants to hear, but they are honest, and they are my life.
       The deepest scar I have, and the one that has probably had the most effect on my life, is the one that my dad has caused. My dad left a blistered, purple mass on my heart from the many times he abandoned me and gave me false hope through my childhood. I grew up always wondering why I wasn't a good enough reason for my dad to stop drinking and doing drugs and going to jail. I always wondered why he didn't love me enough to stay and watch me grow up. Matthew 5:39 says “But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person, If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also,” This verse pops into my mind when I think of my relationship with my dad and the countless times I have tried to help him. However, as true as I believe this verse to be, both of my cheeks are too sore to offer to him anymore. I have grown up without a dad and although I am alive and okay today, I have always felt as though I missed out on something big because of it. It wasn't until I truly accepted God as my savior and Father that the heartache I felt from my dad eased. It was as I began to read my bible and understand it that I started to realize that I had a father all along, but he was just one that I couldn't hug or see. If any of you have grown up without a dad or without a mom, you understand when I say that God isn't a substitute for the “real thing”, but He is always here, and his love is forever. Matthew 11:28 comforts us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”. No matter who has hurt us in life our heavenly father will restore our strength, will, and peace of mind, even if the person who hurts us is us.
      When I first began to read my bible, my favorite book was the book of Job. I loved the story of God testing Job, his loyal son, to show Satan that Job was blessed by wealth because of his faith, not faithful because of his wealth. I found comfort in Job's shouts of self-hatred, wishes of death, and when he scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery because for years I was really, really depressed and I felt much like Job may have. In eighth grade, I was out-casted from my grade for reasons unknown to me and I had no friends. I never talked about how much this hurt me ( I never really talked about things that were too serious) , and eventually all of the terrible feelings I was cooping up turned into depression. Because I didn't want to worry my mom, I pretended to be happy.
      The summer after that year we moved to Kiester, and my depression packed itself in my boxes. I was becoming numb, as though I was no long living life, but instead watching my body go through the actions from somewhere else. I began to do terrible things that would temporarily distract me from the numbness that I felt: drinking, smoking pot, having sex, cutting, anything self-harming. This lasted two and a half years, during which I struggled with Christianity, which I never grew up with. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 speaks about self harm, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” Obviously, I was not honoring my body by tainting it with illegal substances, boys, and razor blades, and my body is scarred on both the inside and the outside from what I put it through. However, we don't have to take such drastic steps to taint God's temple. Watching explicit movies, listening to music with a bad message, saying things that are not uplifting to someone else, and filling our minds with bad thoughts are all ways to disrespect God. The more that we stray from his word and his direction, the more we hurt our bodies, our souls, and the Holy Spirit within us. I realized this when I attended a traveling ministery and accepted Christ as my saviour for the first time, but trying to expel secular, or worldly, things from my life was terribly hard.
      As I began to build a support system of friends who helped me get my life together and become a happier person, I also began to become a stronger Christian. The road wasn't easy though, and I sometimes went back to cutting when I had a bad night. I went to TEC in the fall of my Junior year and that weekend was the true turning point in my life. I suddenly had this huge group of people who loved me and wanted the best for me, and I could trust them. I had a greater knowledge of God and who I wanted to be. I had love for myself. Now, I'm not trying to promote TEC or convince you into going, because its a personal choice. I'm just saying that my experience at TEC saved me from myself. Yet, I'm still not perfectly okay, and I still have to work on fixing myself and being happy every day. The scars on my thighs and on my heart from those three-odd years of my life are still visible and still healing, but I wouldn't want them to disappear. Every time I see them they are a reminder of who I used to be and how far I have come from that person. Sometimes, when I wear shorts or a swim suit, people ask me what the scars on my legs are from, and I always get really nervous and its awkward and I can't look them in the face and say “I used to cut” because I am too scared of ruining the image that they hold of me. But as much as I regret putting my body through the things that I did, I like to think my trials were similar to Job's in that God was testing my faith, even before I had one. Everybody has to experience a trial or two in life, hopefully not one like mine, and it is sort of God's way of reminding us that we need Him, I think.
      “ The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believer. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” reads Romans 13:11-14. These verses are pretty powerful. In order to keep our bodies from inheriting more scars we need to lay down all of our addictions, our sins, and our harmful habits, and replace them with goodness, joy, and a servant heart. If we live for Jesus and not for ourselves, just imagine where our lives and our world would be now.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Jesus.

Less than two weeks ago, I was leading a group of teenagers, some older than me even, on a journey to discover who Jesus is, what he means to them.  It didn't seem like such a big deal at the time, but is. Being at my high school, I continually notice all of the secular and sinful things that are surrounding me.  
Teenagers today are not innocent. 
Teenagers today are not naive. 
Teenagers today are not compassionate.  
Teenagers today are brutal. 
 And that sucks, because everybody deserves to know the Lord, and instead many of us just throw away the opportunity for a second chance. If only it could be as easy as to lead an entire school body through a T.E.C. weekend, so that they can see their version of Jesus.
How do we show people Jesus without scaring them off?
How do we let ourselves shine without scaring them off?
How do we not give up hopes without scaring them off?