Thursday, December 20, 2007


So, school has been out for a few days now. Thank the Lord God Almighty. It was beyond time, I believe. It was without a doubt the hardest semester I've ever had. All I can say is, I'm glad I survived.

Now I feel like I can get into classes about stuff I really want to know. Stuff I will actually use. I'm looking forward to be able to possibly help people with what I'm learning. It's invigorating. I know I said before that I was sure about what I wanted to do, and was wrong. Twice. I do believe this is what I'm supposed to do. However, if it is not... I'm going to deal with it. Haha. Seriously, I can't change again. No more, promise.

Dick's Sporting Goods has taken over my life next week. I'm working Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Gah. I have to miss Nanny's Christmas lunch on Monday because of work! Boo that. And I won't get to see Lauren much while she's home. Boo that even more. At least I can remind myself that in January I'll be traveling to Oregon to snowboard!! :D I can't tell you how tempting it is to buy all the snowboarding equipment I can at work, especially since I get a discount.

Changing the tone entirely... We put Sandy down yesterday. We decided it was time. She had practically no feeling in one of her legs, and the other was barely responsive. She couldn't keep down anything she ate. She also seemed to be trying to get away by herself; she got stuck in the ditch several times a day week before last. The old saying that an old dog will go off by itself to die seems to hold true. We tried changing her medicine, but it didn't do much good. She was fifteen years old. That's crazy. She'd been with us for three fourths of my life. Poor girl. I hated to see her like that, because I remember how she used to be. I also remember Cajun and Magnum - Magnum, who we lost last year, and Cajun, who we lost the year before.

When we were having our house remodeled, Sandy would be right in the middle of the workers, begging for food. Magnum would walk all the way around the house when you called his name just to avoid running into any of the workers. Cajun was almost always penned up so that she wouldn't get too worn out for hunting, but if she heard the four-wheeler start up, she'd start having a fit. Sandy would greet everyone that came to the house by nosing them in the butt. Haha. One time I carried Magnum from the driveway to the pen because some dog across the street was in heat and he wouldn't come for me to put him up. Another time a dog was in heat, he kept getting out of the pen and we couldn't figure out how. So after I put him up again, I watched him. The fart ran in a circle then dove between the fencing and the bottom fence post! How he figured that out... And Cajun was smart enough to stick pills in the side of her mouth so that even if you closed her mouth and blew on her nose, the pill wouldn't go down. She'd spit it out after Mom walked away.

And now we're left with Honker, who is one of the sweetest dogs ever. Well, he can be - when he's not too excited. Last night we let him in the house, which is definitely not unusual. Looking at him, I thought about all the dogs we've had. My dogs, anyway. Ha. The ones I can remember, the ones that really mattered. And I wondered if it was worth seeing them gone to have them for just a little while. I decided it was. Watching Sandy slowly pass away was so painful, but what a life she had. And how did she improve mine. It was watching a family member go, knowing they had to, knowing it was time and they would be happier. Knowing that you couldn't handle watching them struggle anymore.

Even being the "adult" that I am, I wondered if dogs went to Heaven. Ha. I don't think I believe that they do, but when I have kids, and we have dogs that have to die, I think I want to tell them they do.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

How Common of Me

I totally read the wrong thing for the extra credit thing in Calculus II. Therefore, I wrote an essay on the wrong thing. Furthermore, that means I did not get the extra credit.

Oh, well.

Friday, December 07, 2007


For Calculus II, Lunsford offered us an opportunity for extra credit by reading and writing a short essay on "The Weight of Glory" by C. S. Lewis. I'm not sure why I even did it, because I believe at this point it may be irrelevant. However, I did it anyway, because it wasn't like I had too much to do.

"The Weight of Glory" is a sermon done by Lewis in Oxford about the true meaning of glory. I won't go through all of it (I'm strongly suggesting you read it for yourself), but the gist of it is human life is infinitely valuable. He says that we are sitting on the fence between unimaginable glory through being recognized by God and eternal damnation in which God forgets us.

God forgetting? Is that even possible?

Think about the weight of that. God recognizing us, alone, is incredible. You've heard from the Bible that when we come to the gates of Heaven we will either hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant," or "I never knew you. Depart from Me." How...scary is that? We are standing on the brink of both possibilities. How important is it, then, that we help each other along? Lewis suggests that we should worry more about helping others achieve their glory than struggling to find our own. We should take each other seriously in all that we do, recognizing the worth of each person, that each and every one of us is on the same fence - without exception. We must respect that in one another.

The people that are important to you, the people you can't live without: Do you not want to remember them? More than that, do you not want God to remember them? I don't believe we understand the overwhelming weight of what this means! Imagine yourself forever erased from everyone's memory, like you were never there. Ignored and left to pity your own fate. You would have memories of a life, but what does that mean? What are memories, ultimately, when you've no one to share them with? And to be rejected by the very God who created you, who had a plan for your life that you neglected, who unconditionally loved you when you did nothing but rebel against Him because of your own pride; what are you then? You're not even a faint glimmer of a memory. You are nothing.

But being acknowledged by God! How we long each day for someone to look at us and say, "You know what, I'm glad you're here. I'm glad you're alive." How incredibly uplifting that is! And how many times do we say it? We long to be recognized. We desire to be thought of as worth someone's time. It is so despairing to wonder if you are truly wanted, if anybody even sees you - really, truly sees you. If we so deeply care about what people think about us, how much more should we care about how God sees us. The epitome of rectification through acknowledgment lies in God. We do things for God's glory, but it is also adding to our own. That is not to say that some will have more glory than others; such is not the case. We are only truly glorified through God.

I feel as though I go from day to day seeking validation. I wait for someone to notice me, to want me around, to know who I am and to love me all the same. And I'm sure you do the same. Everyone waits for the words, "I'm glad you're here." It is then that we find life worth living. It is then that we long to turn our attention to others, because it is then that we feel we have something to offer.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Almost Done

I am beyond ready to be done with my classes this semester. Engineering is just not for me. I realized today that I do not care enough about school to spend all my time doing homework and studying. Well, that's not really a huge revelation; you could have known that from watching me NOT doing those very things. The relationships I build here are more important, honestly. Call me lazy - I know I am. If I need to work hard for something I care about, I'll do it. But that's it: I need motivation. I am horrible at self-discipline. But anyway, I am looking forward to doing psychology, because it's something I can use in the area I care most about (people) and it won't take over my life completely.

Two and a half more weeks doesn't seem short enough.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Excerpt from "Searching For God Knows What" by Donald Miller

"I know there are people who have actually gone from misery to happiness, but they didn't do it by walking through three steps; they did it because they have a certain set of parents and heard a certain song and knew somebody who had a certain experience and saw some movie, read some book, had something happen to them like a car wreck or a trip to Seattle. Then they called on God, and a week later read something in a magazine or met a girl in Wichita, and when all this had happened they had an epiphany, and somebody may have helped them fulfill what this epiphany made them feel, and several years later they rationalized this mystic experience with three steps, then they told the three steps to us in a book. I'm not saying they weren't trying to be helpful; I bring this us only because life is complex, and the idea that you can break it down or fix it in a few steps is rather silly.

The truth is there are a million steps, and we don't even know what the steps are, and worse, at any given moment we may not be willing or even able to take them; and still worse, they are different for you and me and they are always changing. I have come to believe the sooner we find this truth beautiful, the sooner we will fall in love with the God who keeps shaking things up, keeps changing the path, keeps rocking the boat to test our faith in Him, teaching us not to rely on easy answers, bullet points, magic mantras, or genies in lamps, but rather in His guidance, His existence, His mercy, and His love."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Forever Friends

This weekend I went to a lodge in Natchez Trace State Park for one of my great uncle's birthday get-together. A lot of my dad's side of the family was there, including, as is required of such events, a lot of people I do not know. It was fun, though, because there were also people there I knew but hadn't seen in a quite a long time.

It was for Uncle Kelly's 80th birthday, which is just crazy. You know? That seems like such a long time; it's FOUR times as long as I've lived, but I already feel old. Haha. At some point Friday night, some of his friends showed up. I think they were actually more of Aunt Olivia's friends, who is Kelly's wife. They met Aunt Olivia in college, and they had been friends since.

It was surreal. We've always heard that the friends you make in college could be friends for life. Sure, we've always believed it, but it's so weird to actually see it. These women have been friends for almost sixty years! Isn't that insane? I still can't fully wrap my head around it. I think it's absolutely amazing. There's no telling what they've been through together. gives me hope.

It can be done. People can be friends forever. We always say that when we're in primary, and middle school, and high school - but by the time we get to college, we find it a little harder to believe. Because it's then that we realize things change, people change. I actually have friends from high school that I believe will be a part of my life for a long time to come. I pray that they are. But it's still hard. At college I've had two really close friends, and I thought each time that we would be "best friends" all through college. And each time it turned out badly. It's okay now, but it's nothing like I thought it would be.

It's also sad, though. Because I want to keep everyone. I would love to stay in touch with all of the soccer girls after I leave Union, but I can't imagine that happening. Not staying in constant touch, anyway. I believe there will be several that I will, but trying to keep up with all of them...phew! Ha. That would be a job in and of itself. I love all of them, but I'm being realistic. As much as I can be. But you know, maybe I will somehow by the grace of God keep close to the bulk of them.

My freshman year I wrote a paper on friendships in college. I interviewed Lauren (my sister) in order to get her perspective, since she was already out of college and a couple of years into pharmacy school. She talked about how in college you meet people who have the same heart as you, who have that same desire to follow God. That connection will bring you closer than any other. That is a connection that does not easily break. I have found those people, and I have been truly blessed by each of them. I cannot imagine my life without them and believe myself to be stronger having known them.

Those are the ones I want to keep. Those are the ones that have a place in my heart, no matter how far apart we get or how many years go by. They are the ones I would not have survived without, the ones who held me up when I couldn't hold up myself. The ones who were sent by God. I can't thank Him enough for them, but I try. And I can't tell them how much they mean to me, but I try. Because I know how much it means to be told you matter, to be told that you are someone special, that you made a difference in someone's life. To know that you are noticed, and someone is glad you are here.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Diving Back In

Back to school... Oh, boy. I am definitely thankful for the break we had, but it doesn't seem like enough. Not when I feel like I'm struggling to breathe with everything that's going on. I'm drowning in two of my classes, and I know I'll have to work my butt off the rest of the semester just to pull a decent grade. The worst thing is, I have no desire to do so. The only thing that drives me to keep working is the threat it poses towards my GPA if I slack off completely. I should have more time to dedicate to school now that soccer is over. I'm sad about that. Now I'm just waiting for the spring.

I wish I could change my classes for the semester, since I want to change my major - again. I wish I could drop Calculus II, Statistics; that would be absolutely amazing. However, things are never that easy. I'm ready to take classes that truly interest me. Classes about something I can really care about. I plan to get into that next semester; right now I have to get through this one.

Along with school comes all the effects of the people around me. The good, the bad, and the ugly. If I said it didn't affect me, I would be lying. And I hate lying. Like John Donne once wrote, "No man is an island unto himself." Evidently there are people who do not understand that. The thing is, it is something you have to learn for yourself. I had to learn the hard way that I cannot make it on my own. I depend on people in my life - to listen, to guide me, to tell me the truth, to tell me when I'm wrong, to tell me when I'm right, to support me, to love me. I need that; I need them. As much as I may want to do it alone to prevent pain, I need them all: The good, the bad, and the ugly. I want to help them as well, but I can only do that as I am permitted. And sometimes that is severely limited. Which leaves me to stand by and watch as they destroy things I hold dear, including themselves. But they will learn; I pray that they learn before it is too late.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My Stint As a Forward

We traveled to Madisonville, Tennessee, to play Hiwassee College. We left at seven this morning and had a five hour bus ride. Well, it was supposed to be five hours, but we got turned around (as usual) and added another thirty minutes to the trip. I'm pretty sure we've gotten a little lost every trip we've made for the JV team. Anyway, we got onto the field at 1:25; the game was supposed to start at 2. I actually liked the shorter warm-up. We used less energy.

Julie scored in the first half, and we ended the first half up 1-0. We were dominating, but, as usual, we were having a little trouble finishing. Just a little, this time. The field was a little jacked up; you were never quite sure what the ball would do because of the major unevenness and even tire tracks found on the field.

At half time, Isaac set our amount of goals goal for the second half: Three. So we went out and scored within the first two minutes or so. I don't know exactly what time, but I know it was not long after the whistle blew to start us off. We scored another one some time after that, making the score 3-0.

I was given a substitute at some time (as in the first half), but I was feeling great. On defense we weren't running a whole lot, because they honestly weren't getting the ball over the half-line - minus a few runs. They got three shots the whole game, and only one on goal. I was on the sideline, and I said, "Isaac, I want to play striker." After a pause, he asked, "Did you play forward in high school?" I replied, "I played it up until high school, actually." He was like, "Okay. Just give me about five minutes and I'll put you in for Rachel." I got so excited. I've been thinking about playing it, mainly because I would love a chance to score. However, I decided long ago that I have a much more defensive mindset when it comes to sports. Mom is like that, too. I was also a little nervous, because I wasn't sure how well I could do. But I decided I couldn't do too much damage at this point. ;)

When I went in, I told Jamie, "Talk to me, tell me what to do." She said, "You're playing forward?" I answered, "Yep," with a big grin on my face. "Alright!" I had fun, even though I was quite unsure where I was supposed to be the whole time. At one point, I had an opportunity to take a shot, but I think I got knocked off by a defense player. I'm not sure what happened; I do know that I fell and banged my head pretty good on the ground. I stayed down and felt the ball hit my butt. I had no clue who hit it (I found out it was Jamie), but I thought, "Why didn't I get up?!" Man, I almost had one. Haha. It wasn't really that close, I know. I didn't feel dizzy or anything, so I just told the ref I was okay and went on playing. Another time the ball was put through in the air, and I turned to run onto it...right into a girl on the other team that had jumped to cut off the pass. She had her leg even with my head. It scared the crap out of me, and I let out, "Oh, shhh!" I promise I didn't finish that. It didn't hurt to hit her (which of course is what happened), it just startled me so badly. Lol. I think I only played for like 5-10 minutes at forward; Isaac put Rachel back in. I had a fun run.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Random Thought...

Seriously? Saw FOUR?! (I'm talking about the movies, if you're confused.) I refuse to see any of those movies, and I don't see how people can stand them. I get that there are people who enjoy that kind of stuff, but I actually think it's kind of sad that THAT many people want to see that much carnage... and for what? It just goes to show how far we've fallen. We have a large portion of our population that loves to see extreme violence and people being mangled and killed.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Game Plan: Honor God

Looking back on my blogs from last year when I had surgery, I talk about how happy I'll be to play again, and play for God's glory. I said,

Despite the junk, I don't regret this. You have to get through junk to get to the good stuff. I don't have to keep telling myself that this is worth it. Now I do look beyond the crutches, the bandages, and the inability to do simple stuff. I see me training in the summer, looking forward to the season. I see me at soccer practice, keeping up with everybody (ahead of some). I see me playing in a game for as long as Coach needs me out there, not hindered by pain. And, most of all, I see me doing it all for God, because I know what it is to not be able to do it at all.

It always starts with good intentions, doesn't it? The thing is, I'm not real sure who or what I'm playing for now. I've been focusing on being injured, but evidently I'm no longer injured. My knee seems to be miraculously healed after nagging me for a good while. I'm definitely not complaining; I'm thanking God for it. However, am I showing that in how I play?

Saturday I kind of got frustrated, because my touch was severely lacking. I maybe got off a couple good balls. Despite not playing well, I should have had a better attitude. Getting frustrated did not make me play any better.

I have to move my focus from just playing well to playing as hard as I can because God has given me this ability to play soccer. I always cherish it most when I can't play; I need to be thankful for it when I am healthy, too - even more than when I'm not. I should have the attitude that I am blessed to be able to play soccer, and play it at a collegiate level. I believe we continuously forget that, and just complain about 6 am practices, ridiculous amounts of fitness, playing time, and/or petty feuds with the team. I pray to God that we remember why we are here.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Weekend

Huntingdon STOMPED Houston County Friday night. I mean literally. 49-7 stomped. Kellen played a lot, and even caught a few; I got to see a few of my good friends from home.

Saturday our JV team beat Hiwassee 2-0. It should have been a bigger defeat, but oh well. I played for almost forty minutes, and my knee (either one of them) didn't give me a bit of trouble. Now my main concern is fitness; I have a lot to catch up on in that area.

We didn't go camping Saturday night. Whatever. I still went home and spent time with Mom watching a movie and some Grey's Anatomy, ate Mexican with Mom, Kellen, and his girlfriend, and had an awesome talk with Mom about various things. Love nights like those.

I was about to leave home this afternoon when Kala called me and told me they were playing ultimate frisbee. I couldn't resist; I had to stop by for a little bit. It was fun playing, even though there were only six of us. Getting a little fitness in...

I'm trying to do homework now. Classes are making me feel stupid, and it's frustrating me. Physics, Calc II, Stats, Engineering... Blah.

From 8 am tomorrow till 8 am Tuesday, I will be without technology. That will include my cell phone, computer, and iPod. I'm not sure if I can use a calculator, watch, or alarm clock. I'm waiting to hear back on those items. It's for a friend who is doing an article in the Cardinal and Cream (UU's school newspaper) about students and their technology. I'm a little excited. Haha.

So, I have to do part of my physics test that's online tonight, because tomorrow I'm not allowed to use the computer. I'm getting on it...

Friday, September 21, 2007


Tonight I'm headed to Huntingdon's homecoming game to watch Kellen play in his senior year. The boy has grown up so much, it's amazing - and a little scary. Yeah, it makes me feel old.

Tomorrow we have a JV game against Hiwassee. I'm not sure if I'm playing or not, because I may be redshirting the season. I need to talk to the coaches today to see what's going on. After the game, I've asked the girls (the whole program) to come to my house for camping! Of course, it's not hardcore camping. I mean, we have a hot tub. Haha. It's going to awesome; I can't wait. Several of the girls seemed excited by the idea as well, which just makes me happier. :D

Oh, and I got Eisley's new CD and John Tucker Must Die. So sue me, I'm weak for media.

And chocolate.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Joy In Trials

This past Wednesday, I was scheduled to see Dr. Antwine once again about my knee. It had locked up on me the previous Thursday, which scared me quite badly. They took an MRI that evening, and we found out the results Friday morning. Despite the opinions that it might be a torn meniscus, it was not. My IT band showed up on the MRI as the only complication or injury. Which is good, really, but I was disappointed. I wanted something that could be fixed. Something that had a definite end in sight. What I got was a problem that doesn't want to go away, that isn't fixed with surgery or a brace. So I kept asking myself, what am I supposed to do with this? Wednesday morning, it hit me: I was supposed to accept it.

It's not a matter of saying, "Man, I'm injured. Guess I'll just hang on the sidelines now." It's about my attitude. That's what it's always been about, I suppose. This whole time I've been struggling with why this is happening to me. How can I make this about growing in Christ and not wallow in my own misery? I had no idea. I'm still not quite sure, but I do know that there is a reason for it. We don't go through hell on earth for nothing.

In church this morning, I began to think about why we go through trials. Don't think that I'm about to go all prophetic and expose a great revelation; I think this is something I just kind of realized. It's something every Christian has thought about, I'm sure. Especially when we come across verses like Romans 5:3-5 --

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.

I was first confronted with these verses in my freshman year by my boyfriend at the time. I was struggling with major frustration stemming from my calf issues (the eventually discovered chronic compartment syndrome). He gave me these verses, and it hurt me in a way. I thought, "How on earth could I be joyful about this? I just want to get through it, be done with it." However, they were in a way inspiring; I would be stronger because of what I was dealing with. It was a promise.

What if we didn't have trials? We would slide along through life with no speed bumps, no potholes, no worries, no frustrations.

But where would we end up?

We are born in sin. Just to curb that soapbox, we basically create our own trials - in a way. I won't get into that now, because that is not my focus for this spiel. Anyway, as a Christian, I came to the realization that I needed something more than myself to live and live well. I was hopeless without Christ. And having gone through what I've gone through, I know without a doubt that without my Savior, I would not be here today. I'm not saying that I have had even a halfway rough life; I am saying that I would have given up trying to make sense of everything - given up even trying - were it not for God pushing me forward, holding me up, telling me to keep going. There have been a few moments when I asked God to make me get back up, because I couldn't do it on my own. And He did. He made me return to my feet, fully leaning on Him. Do you know what that feels like? Sitting at rock bottom, waiting for something to appear, a foothold to reveal itself - and God takes your hand and pulls you back up. Just knowing that He wants to do that, yearns to do that, is in itself incredible. God was (and is) the only one who could save me. I couldn't do it, my family couldn't do it, my friends, anyone. No one but God. And although I went through fire to feel it, I believe I would do it all again: Because feeling that was feeling close to God, feeling His ultimate and unending love for me. And who am I to get that? Who am I to know what it feels like? NO ONE. But He wanted that for me. He had it all in His plan. I questioned Him, and He stayed faithful. He doesn't question me. He knows my soul, my heart, my all. He knows what I can handle, how much I can take. When I'm pushed past my breaking point, HE IS THERE. When I am weak, He is strong.

There is more to going through trials than the getting through; there are the moments when you get to use your experience, your heartaches, to help someone else. I've been talking with one of the younger soccer girls and have been able to say, "I know what you're going through, " to something she is struggling with. It's fulfilling. I am always looking for chances to help people, to be there for people. To know that I can encourage others that might be going through the same things I once went through is exciting. I have something to say! I have advice that comes from experiencing these things firsthand! So it's humbling now, to know that I have to be strong and faithful no matter what, because I want to be able to say that I did my best. I took the situation I was in and I found my way to God, I put my trust completely in Him. All that makes me thankful for my trials, for I realize now that it's not just about me. It's not just about me growing personally or spiritually. It's about touching others and helping them make it through - maybe even better than I myself did the first time around. This is the part where I assist others in learning from my mistakes. Why should I be the only one to learn from them?

So this past Wednesday morning, I was thinking about what the doctor would say. I was practically certain that I would be told to rest for a month or so. I was worried about it and thinking about how I would talk to Coach about redshirting the season. Then I stopped. I thought, this is ridiculous. Why am I spazzing about this? God has it in control. I don't know what He wants to do with this, but He always has a reason. Although I don't know that reason yet, I have to trust in Him and His plan, because He knows what He is doing. So I prayed that He would give me peace about the situation. I prayed that I would accept whatever happened - out for the season or not. I prayed that I would take this and grow and learn from it. I didn't know what was going to happen, I didn't know how I would become stronger through this: But I laid it down. I went to the doctor and he told me I could possibly play in a week. I wasn't positive that my knee would be better that soon after all this time, but I once again let it go. If God wanted my knee to be healed in a week (or less), it would happen. If not, so be it. I trust in my God, and my God alone.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Running Out Of Time and Reasons

The list for the split between JV and varsity was posted today, and to no surprise of my own, I am on the reserve team. Unlike last year, we were given the choice to go talk to Coach; last year we found out which team we were on by individual meetings that lasted forever. I chose not to go to Coach. I didn't want to hear that it's about my knee. I was given that excuse last year, and I didn't want to hear it again, even if it is the case. I guess I also want to believe that that is the only reason I was put on reserve. So that when I heal from this, I can trust I'll be on varsity. Of course, that's not really safe; I'm going to get my hopes up before every varsity game thinking I might be on the list. Then get bummed real bad every time my name isn't there. Such was the case last season. Anyway, I told one of my friends that it sucks to get what you expected but not what you wanted. I've been down about my knee - another injury to hold me back, another reason for me not to play. When do I have enough reason to quit?

At the beginning of the summer, I was bound and determined to work my butt off and come to preseason ready to play, ready to show that I do belong on varsity. Instead I came into preseason hurt, out of shape from being sidelined, and incapable of playing. And all I can think is that I might have made a mistake. Maybe I should have never had surgery to keep playing; maybe God doesn't want me to play. Maybe I'm being stubborn by still playing after these injuries, thinking I have to keep going.

But I want to be able to say I played all four years of college soccer. I want to be able to say that I kept going, despite having these obstacles. I want to be able to say that I played with the Union University women's soccer team in the first four years of the program: That as the first player to sign, I was one of the last to leave.

But what will that mean? What will it mean if I'm not doing God's will? What if I am? And how do I know?

My sister asked me a great question: If I had known I would have to go through all the injuries, all the disappointments, everything I've had to go through from being on the soccer team...would I still have done it? I answered that I would. I wouldn't trade the friendships of any of the girls for anything. And I've learned a lot from going through this stuff. I know that it's a part of learning who I am, what I'm capable of. She also asked me if I'd felt like I'd missed anything because of being on the team. I don't feel like I have. I feel like I would have missed out on so much by not being a part of the team.

Another thing I keep thinking is that I have only one more year left. After this one, of course. I mean that I only have one year to work hard in the summer, come in for preseason, and give Coach cause to put my name on the varsity list the first time around. Because I know I can do that. That is, if I don't get some other random injury or stupid syndrome that hinders me from being the player I can be.

But I'm still going to fight this year. I'm going to work hard and try to gain a spot on the varsity roster for at least three games. Maybe more. That's my goal. As many varsity games as possible. I have to keep believing that I belong there. I have to be stubborn in not giving up. I have to keep running even after it feels like I can't do any more.

And I have to keep praying to God and ask Him to tell me if I'm doing the right thing.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Moving On

Come Monday I will be back at Union, ready to dive into preseason - as much as you can when you're injured, anyway. I love preseason. I enjoy hanging out with just the girls, without school, having the campus to ourselves...minus the running part. I do usually enjoy the soccer part, playing scrimmages and such.

I remember coming in freshman year, not really scared but more excited than anything. It all came in a rush: Meeting the girls, getting to know their names, playing Assassin, starting college soccer (for real). It was so reassuring when everyone else came on campus, and I already had a whole team of friends surrounding me. Of course, I made friends outside of the team quickly, especially with two non-soccer roommates. But I was always closest with the team, and always knew I had a group of people I could turn to. Freshman year went by before I realized it - before I could miss it.

Sophomore year I came in knowing what was in store, and psyched about it. It was a little overwhelming coming in to meet what seemed like a whole new team. A whole new group, with more amazing people. Drama happened, I got on a roller coaster and found that I couldn't make it just leaning on myself. With its ups and downs, that year will turn out to be one of the most defining of my life.

This year... I come in wanting to know each girl - old and new - for who they truly are. I want to do this year right. I want to try my hardest - and be content with where that gets me. I want to guard my heart while not letting fear guide my every move. I want to let go of the past and hold on to what really matters. I want to give it all to God, remembering that if not for Him, I would have quit like I wanted to so badly.

I don't think this year will be easy. What year is ever easy? There are always the good, the bad, the ugly, then the absolute miracles. I expect myself to know my boundaries and to have learned from my mistakes - and the mistakes of others. I want to stay strong while being vulnerable. Strong in who I am; vulnerable in the way I should be in order to become close to those I care about without throwing it ALL on the line for the wrong person - or reasons.

I feel like this is the year I prove myself to have grown in God - and become a woman. It's strange to think that that is where I am: Womanhood. Am I truly there yet? I want to say that although I am, there is so much more I have to learn. And I have my whole life to do it. But that doesn't seem like enough time. I know that I will never learn everything; only God knows that, and that's only because He's been here for it all, through it all, created it all.

It's daunting to think that I have this knowledge that must be passed on to those around me, yet exciting to realize that I do have that knowledge. I do have something to say, something that might help someone else get through the pain life sometimes brings. Something that will give someone courage to keep fighting, no matter how bleak and desolate it looks from where she is standing. For me to be someone who I wish I had had... Someone who I longed for, but did not truly search for... Someone who was there all along, waiting on my heart...

Isn't that why I'm here? Isn't that how I can serve my God? Isn't that what He calls me to do, to be? Isn't that my heart's deepest desire?

I am here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For...

I ended up getting the job I thought fell through. At first I was glad; now I wish it was over. Haha. Ten hour days are ridiculous, and I plan to never do them again. At least the pay is pretty good. And I like the two older women that I work with in the back as an inspector. We have several good laughs throughout each day.

Because of work, I cannot wait to get to preseason. Evidently our Ohio trip was cancelled, so the move-in date has changed. It wasn't a big deal to me, until I was working yesterday. I was inspecting an order and just thinking about random things when I realized: I can go to Richard's wedding now! Haha. The day we were originally to move-in was the day before his wedding, and we were to leave for Ohio the day after we moved in. But now it's moved to two days after the wedding! I kind of said, "Oh!!" while I was working, and Diane (one of the women I work with) looked at me confused and said, "What?" So I told her what I had just realized. She laughed and said, "Well, we know where your head is now!"

I've been having problems with my knees since I started my summer training. My right knee is just the cartilage under my knee cap being worn, so I knew I would just have to deal with that. But my left knee is something different. Mom and I looked it up on the internet, and we came up with the IT (iliotibial) band being too tight. Anyway, long story relatively short, I saw Lee Ann, our team athletic trainer my freshman year. Thankfully I still had her cell number. I met with her Saturday, and she confirmed that it was my IT band that was the problem. I'm working with her now to get it right, so we'll see how it goes. I need to get rid of this now before preseason.

You know, I want lasik surgery. I'm tired of using contacts and/or glasses. I went to the eye doctor yesterday, and I asked him about the surgery. He says I should wait four years! :( However, I AM the perfect candidate. Haha. That's what he kept telling me. I don't want to wait that long, but I also don't want to get it done then have to get it redone or something. Evidently your eyes continue to develop or change until you're in your mid-twenties. And there's a good chance mine will get worse in the next four or five years. Anyway, he did give me some new contacts; mine were giving me problems. Of course, with all the crap from material floating around in the air at work, it's no surprise my contacts always feel like there's something on them when I put them in in the morning.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Quickie...Well, In My Terms, Anyway

Just a few quick updates...

Vacation was pretty sweet. As always, white water rafting was awesome; our guide was the greatest and was definitely a major factor in us NOT falling out of the raft. The hot air balloon ride was something new and interesting. They inflated the balloon, took off, and and landed on a boat. Ask me for more info...

The job fell through. Evidently they found someone who would be able to work past the end of July. Therefore, I am looking again, but not looking too hard. It's just hard to know what I should do, where I should go...

Online calculus is difficult. And confusing. Half the time I'm not real sure if I'm doing the class right; I'm not even sure I have the right book, because for some stupid reason Jackson State (through whom I am taking the class) didn't have it! Ridiculous...

I'm missing some friends from school. Most are so far away! At least I can hang out with at least a couple in Memphis...

Goal for the summer: Hang out with some people from around here that I haven't hung out with in a while. My close H-don friends are few, but they are definitely worth my time.

Now if only people from school would CALL ME BACK!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


I am finally in Incline Village, Nevada (right on the shore of Lake Tahoe), after what seems like four days. Haha. It was a long trip. Our original flight plans got totally rearranged, which definitely caused some frustration; however, we made it alive and in relatively good moods. Believe me, the making it alive part seems like quite a miracle after a crazy (but probably typical) taxi driver flew at 80 miles per hour in Los Angeles with five of us in his van and our last flight landed right side first (which we were told was actually a landing tactic that prevented us from hitting the ground and flipping over...who knew?). We did get to see a tiny bit of L.A. and Santa Monica Pier. And I sat next to a really nice lady flying from L.A. to Reno. She was asking me questions and stuff, and she said, "Well, aren't I being nosy?" I just laughed and said it was perfectly fine. I didn't mind. She grew up in L.A., so we went through the same routine I go through with every other Northern/Western coast person I meet: My "unfamiliar" manners, the accent (it's cute, not too much), the apparent presence of their own accents (which other people tell them about but they don't quite believe). You know, the usual. ;)

As we came up and down the mountain, we were bombarded with snow. I told the family, "Everywhere I go, I bring the snow with me!" First Indiana, now Lake Tahoe. It should warm up considerably by the weekend. I think it also gets quite a bit colder here at night. We were told that yesterday it was up in the 90s. Wow.

Sounds like Tennessee!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Trust, Friends, and a Spastic Intro

I've almost got a job for the summer, working at a sports clothing factory in McLemoresville. I'll probably start after we get back from vacation. Speaking of vacation, that should be pretty cool. We're going to Lake Tahoe; I don't know what all we'll do. I want to do things like rent jet skis, waterski, and such. Whatever we do, it'll be fun. On to more serious matters... ;)

I think sometimes I believe I'm the only one who cares. I mean, in friendships - sometimes it seems one-sided. I'm discovering more and more that's not the case. It is just another stupid belief I tend to have. It probably has something to do with this sort of fear I have: I don't want to impose on people; if they don't want me around, I don't want to make them be around me. I want to be with those who want to be with me. In a way, it basically gets down to having people like me. Or, rather, a fear of people not liking me. I guess. Haha. Anyway, it's possible that I have begun assuming that people don't want me around, that I'm a burden. Even though I know that's not completely true, I'm sure there are some people that don't really care to be around me. Not a lot, anyway.

So, back to supposedly being the only one who cares, I just am never sure how much people truly like me. I don't know how much people enjoy me being around. I promise I'm not fishing for compliments here; I'm just telling you how I think it goes in my head. It probably also goes deeper, into me not trusting people. I don't trust people like I used to.

For spring break this year, I went to a friend's house in Indiana with another friend (all from the soccer team), and we were just hanging out one night. We pulled out the cards from a game I have, Would You Rather. Not a bad game, but it's actually more fun to just read the questions and discuss them. So, that's what we were doing. The question comes up: "Would you rather trust everyone or trust no one?"

I couldn't really decide. When you trust everyone, you open yourself up to a world of hurt. People disappoint you by breaking your trust; a lot of people find out a lot of things about you that aren't necessarily things you need to share with everyone. Trusting people means letting them in, and letting them in makes it easier for them to hurt you - whether they mean to or not. Those you trust are, well, trusted to hold parts of your life, your heart (wrote a blog about that a while back, by the way). And those are fragile. So, trusting everyone is not really the smartest thing to do. Nor the safest.

But trusting no one? It's hard. And it may actually hurt more than being hurt by being betrayed through your trust in someone else. It's separating yourself from everyone and not allowing anyone to help you get through life, and life is tough to get through. I tried trusting no one, and where did that get me? Miserable, weak, self-loathing - rock bottom. John Donne once wrote, "No man is an island unto himself." How true that is. We are all affected by one another, and thinking we can get away with shutting ourselves off from everyone is ludicrous. Furthermore, thinking that trying to go it alone is better than leaning on everyone else is plain insanity. It can cause you to lose your mind - or almost.

So what then? What are you supposed to do? I assume there's some kind of balance; a middle ground that, while not perfect, allows you to exist halfway comfortably. You know who you are and who your true friends are. There are those you like to be around, but don't confide in. When you have a crisis or problem, you know who you can turn to, who will tell you the absolute truth without sugarcoating it, who won't laugh at you for thinking the way you do.

I've basically been at both ends of that spectrum, between trusting everyone and trusting no one. Both hurt. Both have downsides and upsides, just like everything else in life. Now I'm trying to find where I'm supposed to be in the spectrum. Where is my utopian balance? That's what I want to know. I also want to know who cares. There are those obvious people: my family, certain friends that have stayed by me, no matter the distance - physically or metaphorically.

But there are also those who are not so obvious; those I didn't know cared that much for me. It was amazing to discover that there was a friend who wanted so badly to be one of those people I called a best friend. You don't know what that meant to me. Maybe I thought I was the only one who stalked people (JUST kidding) I wanted to get close to. Sorry if that kind of creeps you out; I promise it's not obsessively weird or anything. I promise. It's that I didn't think anyone wanted that of me. Like, who am I to be sought after? I can't think of the right phrasing for this, but I think you probably know what I'm saying.

It's nice to know who your real friends are, but it usually hurts to find out. It hurts to lose friends, especially those you thought you could trust, those you thought would be there for you. Sometimes it turns out that it depended on what you needed them for. And being there for's one of my biggest desires in life, but it can be so difficult. Finding the right words to say is not easy for me, not really. And sometimes, it hurts to stay. You want to be there, but it may take all you have to do it. Is it worth it? When is enough enough? When does the time come when you have to simply walk away? Or does that come? Did someone just say that so that they could take the easy way out?

The easy way out. It looks so good. And, well, easy. But I'm stubborn. And I like to fix problems, even though this is not really an issue of fixing a problem. At least, I don't think so. As to what it is an issue of, I'm not real sure. Maybe I'll think of it tomorrow. For now, I'm going to bed.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Summer Has Come!

It's finally summer! Of course, it's kind of been summer for a few days - for us Union students, anyway. The last week has been crazy; even after my finals were over. With finals week, there is always the necessary last minute hang out times. Haha. That is in-between the studying, of course. ;)

I'm glad to be out. Not that everyone isn't; this semester has just seemed really long to me. Thankfully, though, now it's over. As for the summer...I have no clue what's in store. I'm trying to get a job somewhere. I applied at Wal-Mart, but I haven't gotten an answer yet. I forgot to put a number for my last job, so maybe that messed me up. They won't take me! Haha. We'll see what else I can find.

I'll also be working out a LOT this summer. I've gotta get ready for preseason and "new and improved" fitness tests! Woohoo. Yeah, I was real excited when Coach gave me the summer packet and I discovered the new times for our fitness tests come preseason: 10:42 for the mile and a half and 20 seconds for each of ten sprints. Yay. We'll just see if that happens. My main concern is being as game-fit as possible. I honestly don't have much faith in passing those fitness tests, but I can be game-fit before I can pass one of those tests. The CCS (chronic compartment syndrome) won't allow it. It's easier for me to play a game for ninety minutes than it is for me to run five miles. Or four, maybe even three. Therein lies the conundrum. I want to come into preseason as fit as possible; I just don't know if that means being able to pass the fitness tests. I guess we'll just have to see about that as well.

My room is almost habitable. Almost. I've been sleeping in Lauren's room (as I believe I will tonight as well), because there has been WAY too much junk on my bed to even consider moving it. Nor was there enough room on the floor to put any more stuff. Ha. My room was a disaster area. Mom and I got a lot of stuff done in there today, but it's still struggling.

By the way, I hate the internet at home. I love living out in the country, but when it comes to high speed internet, it ain't happening. It's slow as molasses. It means I won't be checking everything as frequently. At school I checked constantly because once I turned it on, it would stay on. And it took all of five minutes to check everything and reply to whatever I had. Now it's a completely different story. I'll be lucky if I check it two or three times a week now. Although, I really don't expect to get much in the way of wall posts, comments, or e-mails that aren't from companies.

I believe I'm catching up on all the sleep I lost from the last semester. Which is pretty awesome, but it seems as though I am way behind. This may take a while.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Growing Up

Ethan Cole Duncan has entered into the world! Cynthia had him about 2:30 this afternoon. I got to see both mother and baby soon after. It is amazing. HE is amazing. He's six pounds, ten ounces, and twenty and a half inches long with practically a head full of black hair and big feet. Haha. I got to hold him, too.

I was with Cynthia in the labor and delivery room yesterday afternoon. She was having minor contractions as I talked to her. And while I was in there, I thought: "How did we get here?" I mean, how did we get from worrying about prom and graduation to having kids? Don't freak out, I'm not having kids...yet. Cynthia and I graduated together, for those of you who weren't aware of that. Since when are we old enough to start families? Since when are we adults? I don't consider myself to be an adult; I turn twenty in ONE WEEK, and I am anxious about it. Seriously, I am a little nervous. And I'm not even sure why! I'm getting older. It just keeps hitting me. I'm supposed to be "grown up", and half the time I don't even know what that means! What does it mean? Getting married, having kids, having a job, paying taxes? Honestly, it scares me. I feel so...unprepared. Like I don't have a clue what I'm doing. Of course, most of the time I'm pretty sure I don't.

However, I am kind of looking forward to it. I want to get married, definitely. And watching Cynthia over the last two days really made me think about the (possible) day that I'll be in her spot. That's absolutely scary to think about, but also quite invigorating. I can't explain it. I want to have children; I have no doubts about that. As for the job and taxes, those can wait. ;)

As I stood in the hospital room with Cynthia, Ethan, and their family, I began to cry. I'm overly emotional, as you probably know, so this is not unusual. Seeing Cynthia holding this brand new life was just unbelievable. I'm not quite sure I believe it yet. As I texted to Mom and told Cynthia, it was just crazy.

So, this growing up thing is scary and exciting at the same time. I just hope I figure out what I'm doing as I get older.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

This Is the Time

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to rebuild.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak up.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

It's Hard

It's hard, this living thing. This getting up every day and being with people and doing work/school and dealing with problems and trying to make sense of it all - it's hard. Sometimes it seems too hard. Sometimes you feel like you can't deal with this right now and if anything else goes won't make it. Some days you just lay in bed and wonder if you can make it through the day period, much less without breaking down. You wish you could just lay there and skip that day and whatever problems it may entail. You wonder if it would make a difference if you didn't show up to class or just ran off somewhere and disappeared for a little while; would anyone notice? Would anyone worry or really be concerned about you? Would someone take the time to try and reach you in some way; not because someone else told them to or they felt obligated to but because they truly want to know how you are.

So many days I wondered that. So many days I've wasted wondering if I could just skip out; could I run away from this situation, this problem. And knowing that that is a childish way to deal with things and definitely not a solution doesn't change the fact that you don't think you can get through it for one more day. How many times did I wonder if people around me saw me - really saw me? I was walking, talking, and breathing, but oh the pain involved. Every breath was a trial, every word was a fight, every step was exhausting. Who saw that?

Buckle in; this is a long ride.

I was angry. I've never thought of myself as one to hold grudges, but I believe I've changed that opinion. It depends on what was hurt. My pride? Puh. What pride? Shoot down my pride till it has no wings for all I care. I don't need it. My intelligence? I don't much believe in it anyway. ;) My heart? That's another matter. I give you my heart and you throw it away? Oh, the grudges I can hold. The anger I can repress, the bitterness I can direct. It's hard, having your heart forsaken and undervalued. Especially when what matters to me is that I can share my heart with you in order for you to share your heart with me. When you shut me off, when you turn me away - you break my heart. But tell me the truth! Don't act as though I am something to be protected from the facts at all costs; don't undermine me. I can take pain. And I HATE lying. I hate false love. And never tell me we will be friends forever, because it doesn't happen that way. Not always, and maybe never. I haven't found out yet, but I have found that you should never say something you can't guarantee. You may want to be friends forever all you like, but you can't back it up. Not truly. I can tell you that that's how I want it to be; however, I will never tell that that's how it WILL be. Because I don't know. Only God knows, and He's not telling.

So many things to be concerned about... It's hard. I have to think about being at Union for another three years, who my fourth roommate will be for next semester, trying to be an example for others, supporting my friends the best I can, and thinking about having to step into a position I don't believe I am yet equipped to occupy. But what can I do? I have made a choice to keep going. I have made a choice to not run away, not take the easy route. Maybe there will be days that I regret that - and those have come - and wish I hadn't been so stubborn, but I know that in the end I made the right choice.

What about the end of the day? What if I got to the end of each day and was able to say, "I made the right choices today. I did the right thing and didn't take the easy way out. I did what I could to be who God wants me to be and didn't make excuses for it."? A sense of accomplishment would follow that realization. I don't know that I've ever had a day where I could really say that I made all the right decisions that day. How many people could? But there are days that I have moments in which I can say, "I did it. I did the right thing. It was hard, but I did not back down; I stood my ground." And though that's all I have, that is what I will take. I don't often feel good about myself, so I have to relish those spare moments.

I think about those bad days and those good days. And I wonder if, truly, neither of them are wastes. There have been long periods of time in my life when I have been mad at the world, having an extended pity party, and/or struggling to get through each minute. At one time I considered my whole first semester as a senior a waste, because I was bitter and had a horrible attitude about everything - all because my "best friend" betrayed my trust. But was it? It makes me appreciate these times, in which things are okay - I'm okay - but hard. It's always hard. No matter how well things are going, something always comes up. Something always doesn't go exactly as planned. And maybe you do take it in stride, but it is still a bump in the road - and who likes bumps? However, we are supposed to enjoy life, every day of it. It is a gift from God. So, those days where we feel like life is stupid and this is not worth the pain and we should run away from our problems instead of facing them...that is not us enjoying life. At the moment, we're resenting it. We ask, "Why am I here if all I do is screw up? Why can't this be easy?"

God never said it would be easy. He also said that we would screw up. Constantly.

So try. Try to be someone trustworthy. Try to be someone you would hang out with. Try to help others. Try to put others before yourself. Try not to worry about what people think. Try to see those who are hurting and reach out to them. Try to be there for those who refuse to let anyone else be there for them. Try to bring people together. Try to be a peacemaker but also a revolutionary. Try to be a leader but also a devoted follower. Try to be an amazing friend. Try to find people who love you for you and don't ask for anything else. Try to do the right thing. Try to be your best. Try to be yourself. Try to be who God wants you to be. Try to do what He wants. Try to follow His plan before forming your own. Try to take things in stride and deal with issues wisely. Try to think before you speak. Try to do what you can. Just try.

Trying doesn't guarantee results. It definitely doesn't guarantee you'll get it right. But without trying...what are you doing?


And what will you get from that?


Yes, giving up is an option. But what excuse do you have for quitting? Yes, it's hard. But what reason do you have for it being otherwise? We bring this upon ourselves, no matter how much we whine about life being unfair. Of course life is unfair; we make it unfair. We make the good bad and the bad good. We let things slide until we can't ignore them, but then it's too late. We make innumerable mistakes, then expect our accomplishments to make a dent in the cities of degredation? 897450987023 + 41 does not equal zero; how can you expect a lifetime of wrongs plus three years or so worth of good deeds to come to a different sum? The thought of earning your way to Heaven is absolutely ludicrous! There cannot be a scale on which God weighs our good and bad; one side would hit the ground every time. The same side. Don't ask why life is hard; ask God for His mercy and grace to get through it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


It's not easy
Stepping out
Stepping up
Bring us together

There are wrongs
In and out
But don't mistake me
There are rights

What to say
And what to do
They all elude me
Clouded mind

You say what you will
But, oh, what you have
And now - what you do
What is there left

Not a choice
No way to abolish
Take up your torch
Bear it as you can

So much to fix
Too much to know
And where to start
Only God knows

But - we can try
Start it slow
Build it through trial
Do something - anything

Letting it slide
Waiting for self-resolution
Is simply asking for
Implosion eventual

So here I stand
Asking you to try
I don't know what else to do
When you sit idly by

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Best Friend

When I was really young, I would sometimes wish for a friend that didn't talk. All he or she would do would be to listen to what I had to say, without interrupting me. I wanted someone to hear my thoughts; I could talk and talk and never stop. Now, I was a pretty quiet kid. I didn't talk as much as my brother, who could never seem to shut up. Lol. We've kind of switched now, but that's how it was back then. I guess I just had all this stuff to say that I didn't think people would understand or want to hear, so I held back and restrained my words.

These days, I don't wish for that. That would be boring. I could talk to myself all day long, but where would that get me? I realize now how that wish was a little ridiculous, but, come on - I was just a kid! Sometimes I still feel like a kid, though. Sometimes I remember that time and wonder what that would be like. Things get to accumulating in my head, and I want to just ramble on about everything that flits through my mind. Writing it takes too long - not if I want to get it all down. And it's not that I just want to get it out; I actually want people to hear it. I doubt that it would make much sense, though. I always do, I am digressing. I will continue on my original path now...

Now my desire is to have a friend that shares his/her life with me. It's a mutual thing; it's not just me talking about what's going on in my life. I want to hear about the other person's life, too. And, thankfully, I have at least one friend with whom that happens. Which is great. However, we don't have the chance to spend a lot of time together, and we miss out on a lot in each other's lives. As a result, it's not an ideal situation.

But what if there is someone who can be the perfect best friend? Someone who has seen everything you've been through, and is there in every moment of your life? Someone who can read your mind - even better than you can? If you haven't figured out who I'm talking about, I'm talking about Jesus.

When you meet new people and become friends with them, no matter how close you get to them there are pieces of your life that they just haven't shared with you. They may know about your past, but it's what you've told them, not what they've been through with you. They didn't truly see the effect things had on you, how different you used to be. How different you are now. I've found myself wishing that some of my newer friends could have seen me before - before I got to college, before I grew up in a way, before I was this damaged. I wonder how they would look at me now if they knew my past. Would it change anything? I don't know. But I wonder.

There are moments in your life when you experience ultimate joy or depressing sadness, and you wish that your best friend was there to share it with you or help you through. Describing it to them later just doesn't cut it. They had to have been there.

Jesus was there in my past. He is here in my present. And, of course, He'll be there in my future. He has seen everything I've been through and knows how it affected me - much better than I myself understand. Every moment of every day, He is here. Countless times I take this for granted. I take it for granted more than I even think about it. Honestly, I think I don't get it. I can't really grasp the idea of Him being by my side constantly. Can you? The only experience we have with someone "being there" is with people who come and go; we can't comprehend an eternal presence beside and inside us. It's beyond our understanding.

On to another part of this: When I was having a hard time last semester, I shut myself off from basically everybody. I felt like I didn't have anyone to talk to and didn't really feel like talking to anyone. Because of that, I felt as though I didn't have any friends. Then I would think, "I have God." But that thought actually did nothing but make me sad. Why? Because I wanted someone who would also talk to me and tell me about themselves. Sure, I could talk to God all day, but I didn't believe I would get a response. I didn't expect to. That was my mistake.

God does respond. And He does tell us about Himself...if we listen. I have to confess that I still am VERY inexperienced in this area and have no clue how to go about it. I just know that it happens. I thought God couldn't be my "best friend" because He wouldn't share Himself with me, but I was oh so wrong! We go through hard times in life, because we have to learn to lean on Him. When we do so, He brings us close to His heart and shows us the lesson in the fire. He gives us a way to grow and mature - in Him. Jesus has been on this earth, and He knows how it is. Why do we continuously forget that? I know I do. One more thing I take for granted, among so many others. He does share Himself with us, because He shows us how limitless His mercy, grace, and love are.

So, in essence: Jesus is the perfect best friend. He is perfect, after all. And, of course, there is that little fact that...

He is God.

Monday, March 26, 2007

One of the Best Weekends EVER!

How glad am I that I decided to be in the Variety Show? Pretty dang glad. Haha. I'm also very glad that Jen helped me get backup singers/dancers! I'm almost positive I wouldn't have won without them. Seriously. I had so much fun; I felt like I hadn't performed in forever, and I keep forgetting how much I love it. There is a complete difference between performing someone else's song and performing your own or even just playing guitar. I like playing the guitar, because it gives me something to do with my hands. Haha. Without the guitar, though, I get to let loose. And wearing a dress most people would never imagine me wearing? Yeah, I'm a different person. But still entirely me, if not more than usual. Make sense? It's another side of me that doesn't get out often. ;) It was really funny afterwards when people said things like, "You didn't tell me you could sing!" Sorry, I forgot to introduce myself properly: "Hi, I'm Daron! I can sing and love to do it. What's your name?" Lol. I will try to stop neglecting to mention that fact whenever I meet someone new. One of my friends about died when she saw me before the show. She was laughing. I believe it was a shocked kind of laughing, like she didn't know what else to do and couldn't believe it was me. It was pretty funny. I know about 90% or 95% of the Union community has never seen me with makeup on, much less with such a dress on - so I'm sure it was a shock for those who know me. Anyway, it was a blast and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Not so much makeup next time, though.

Saturday was a slow day; one of those good slow days when you can just chill. Last week felt so hectic and I was feeling the need for spring break, so Saturday was a good slow down day. That night we had a softball game, which we actually won! I don't know what happened; I mean, we were actually hitting! Haha. We ended up killing the other team 22-5. Harsh, I know. We scored 17 points in one inning! It was crazy. Everybody on the team was like, what the heck is going on? We're really hitting the ball and scoring! Of course, there were many fielding errors on the part of the other team, so we can't take all the credit. I'm going to stop, cause I don't want to sound mean or something. Oh, yeah...I slept in until 12:30, and I felt AMAZING. Finally, I felt entirely rested for the first time in a long time.

Yesterday - Sunday - was a good day. I went to church, made lunch, hung out outside, wrote my YoungLife talk for today, hung out in the commons, then went back to the room to get ready to go to the FLYLEAF CONCERT! I bought tickets for Brittany's birthday, which was last Monday. They played at Newby's in Memphis. It was quite an experience. Haha. I've never been around that many people with beer; I've never been around more than like three people with beer. Lol. And cigarettes. Oh, man - Brittany and I wanted to punch this one girl who was smoking...and looked about eight months pregnant. I coulda smacked her so hard. And her boyfriend/maybe husband was looking stupid with his shirt off - not that he was the only one. Also, there was almost a fight that went down like right in front of us. Evidently one guy didn't like getting involved in a mosh pit. There was never a hardcore mosh pit; it was just a small group pushing each other around. I thought about jumping in, but I decided not to. ;) Brittany and I both had beer spilled on us, which was definitely unpleasant. Besides all that, it was AWESOME!!! There were four bands that played, with a half hour in-between each one to change sets. It went from seven until eleven; we were standing the whole time. The first band was Resident Hero, who was the only unsigned band on the tour. They were pretty good. Next came Fair to Midland, whose lead singer either was or just acted like he was high. Half the time he would kind of stand there looking like he was lost, and the other half of the time he looked like he was having seisures and convulsions on stage. I didn't really care for them as much, and it wasn't because the lead singer was crazy. After them, Skillet came on. Now, I've heard of Skillet, and I'm sure I've heard their music, but I loved them! I thought it was so sweet that they had girls on the drums and a guitar. The lead singer looked pretty good, too. ;) I'm going to have to get hold of their stuff now...

Finally, Flyleaf came on! Oh, man. I can't even describe it. I have never been to a rock concert - not a real one. You know, I've heard Christian rock bands at youth retreats and stuff. This was entirely different. One difference was the fact that the sound was absolutely deafening; I'm still struggling to hear in my left ear. Haha. It was cool. Lol. I really can't explain it; you just had to be there. What made it even better was the fact that Flyleaf (and Skillet) is a Christian band; it was surreal that they were in this place filled with people drinking, smoking, and possibly doing drugs. They get in these places that so many conservative Christians condemn as hellholes and won't touch. I'm not saying that we should all go on bar ministries. But I will elaborate...

There is this opinion voiced by some conservative Christians who believe that the only truly Christian music is gospel music. I'm not bashing gospel; I honestly don't care much for gospel. Anyway, they believe contemporary Christian music to be something from the devil or say that it doesn't belong in the church. Think about those people that won't come within five miles of a church, yet go to concerts religiously. How can they be reached with the Good News? We have an obligation to reach out to unbelievers and show them our faith; what better way to do that than through music? If you don't like Christian rock, don't listen to it! Don't go judging the Christians in the band or the ones who listen to them. It's not sacreligious to have drums, basses, or electric guitars with the Christian message. It's another ministry that is doing so much more than we know. Sorry, I found a soapbox to jump up on, and I'll stop now.

After the concert, we drove back to Jackson and ate at Steak and Shake, because we hadn't eaten since lunch. It was so much fun to spend that much time with Brittany; it doesn't happen very often. I got into bed a little after two. I thought about taking a shower before I went to bed, but I'd already taken two that day. I definitely got up earlier today in order to take one; I smelled like smoke and a little beer. I ain't putting up with that. The smoking pregnant girl's boyfriend/whoever turned around at one point and accidently blew smoke directly in my face. I gave him a face like, "Excuse me! What the heck do you think you're doing?" That's what it said. Lol. I waved my hand in front of my face, and he mouthed something that could have been, "I'm sorry." The music was going on, so there was no chance of me hearing him unless he put his mouth to my ear and yelled, which is what Brittany and I had to do. And we still couldn't hear each other most of the time! Still one of the greatest events of my life...

So, that about wraps it up. It's Monday, and there are FIVE DAYS until SPRING BREAK!!!! WOOHOO! I'm excited. This is the best I've felt on a Monday in a while; it's because I'm still floating on the cloud from last night, and spring break is so close I can taste it. Mmmm...

Spring break tastes good.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Good Half Week

It started on Thursday when I sang at Moe's for Moe's Union Night. It felt like I hadn't performed in forever! I was just the tiniest bit nervous - as I always get when I sing my original stuff on the guitar. Even though my throat was a little messed up (sinus infection that started), I did well. It was fun, and the completely relaxed atmosphere was awesome. There were a lot of people there, several of which were only there for me - how special did I feel! Thank you so much to everyone who came!!

Friday night some of us cooked dinner in the commons and had a sweet meal. Some time later another group of us took a walk to Sonic, taking some pictures along the way. That was interesting. Lol.

Then yesterday, the weather was pretty great. Several of us went outside and messed around - playing basketball, throwing softballs and a football, breaking windows... Okay, just one window. And it wasn't me. And we told commons, so it's okay. Haha. We also had a soccer game that - even though we lost - went pretty well. Everyone still has to work on conditioning; especially considering we have fitness tests in ONE WEEK. I'm....gonna die. I mean, I am SO messed. Anyway, we played a really good club team from Canadia (yes, I know I spelled it wrong) and lost three to one. I have this huge strawberry on the outside of my right thigh from sliding; it's a serious strawberry. I also have a few new bruises, as well as a devastating rejuvenation to a week-old one. Right after the game I rushed to the locker room to change then went back to the dorm to begin getting ready for the Swing dance, courtesy of Union SAC. Mind you, the game ended at 7:15, and the dance started at 8:00. I got ready fairly quickly, and we all (Emily, LJ, me, and our dates) got to the dance around 8:30. I ended up going with Emily's brother, Cooper. That was so much fun. LJ told me that I was no longer allowed to skip out of our dance parties and park on the couch, because I could dance. I wouldn't bank on it... We all had a blast and had good dates. Haha. Afterwards we went to Steak and Shake, cause I hadn't eaten anything since lunch. I was a little hungry.

Those were the high points. There were other things that happened - good, bad, in-between. Aren't there always? There are. Which is why we have to hold on to the good things and appreciate them. I have so much to be thankful for in the last few days than I've even come close to touching on in this blog. How is it so easy to forget how things could be when we get down? Maybe we just want to dwell on what's going wrong. That is so easy to do. I guess it could actually be considered easier than trying to focus on what has gone right. Maybe we're all pessimists at heart; I know I basically am.

But I am thankful. I am thankful for people who care about me. I am thankful for the gifts I have been given. I am thankful for the opportunities to use them. I am thankful for random plans. I am thankful for every friend I have. I am thankful for every friend I've lost. I am thankful for reconciliation. I am thankful for full disclosure. I am thankful for every person in my family. I am thankful for my family's willingness to support me in anything and everything. I am thankful for breathing. I am thankful for living - and I wonder how I could ever question its value.

Thank God.

Friday, February 23, 2007

"Blue Like Jazz" Love

I have been reading Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. Absolutely amazing. If you haven't read it and/or heard of it, it is a series of essays on different topics concerning Christian faith. Miller is so candid and unreserved about everything; he does not hold back. (Yes, I am promoting it. READ IT.) I just finished one essay he wrote on love, "How To Really Love Other People." He talks about how it used to bother him that churches seemed to exclude and judge people who didn't fit in - those who didn't live right or weren't Christians or believed the "wrong things." He was attending this alumni social at a college, and the speaker, Greg Spencer, talked about relationships and the metaphors we use in talking about them. Spencer asked the crowd for phrases we use referring to relationships. As the crowd called out things and Spencer wrote them down, Miller began to realize that all of the metaphors being used were economic metaphors. Miller goes on to say:

And that's when it hit me like so much epiphany getting dislodged from my arteries. The problem with Christian culture is we think of love as a commodity. We use it like money. Professor Spencer was right, and not only was he right, I felt as though he had cured me, as though he had let me out of my cage. I could see it very clearly. If somebody is doing something for us, offering us something, be it gifts, time, popularity, or what have you, we feel they have value, we feel they are worth something to us, and, perhaps, we feel they are priceless. I could see it so clearly, and I could feel it in the pages of my life. This was the thing that had smelled so rotten all these years. I used love like money. The church used love like money. With love, we withheld affirmation from the people who did not agree with us, but we lavishly financed the ones who did. The next few days unfolded in a thick line of melancholy thought and introspection. I used love like money, but love doesn't work like money. It is not a commodity. When we barter with it, we all lose. When the church does not love its enemies, it fuels their rage. It makes them hate us more. ... I replaced economic metaphor, in my mind, with something different, a free gift metaphor or a magnet metaphor. That is, instead of withholding love to change somebody, I poured it on, lavishly. I hoped that love would work like a magnet, pulling people from the mire and toward healing. I knew this was the way God loved me. God had never withheld love to teach me a lesson. Here is something very simple about relationships that Spencer helped me discover: Nobody will listen to you unless they sense that you like them. If a person senses taht you do not like them, that you do not approve of their existence, then your religion and your political ideas will all seem wrong to them. If they sense that you like them, then they are open to what you have to say.

That is my favorite part so far. We show our disapproval of others, trying to change them. That's why we hear of people rejecting Christianity because they despise Christians; when Christians show nothing but loathing for them, how can we expect them to respond to the Gospel with such representatives? Why would they want to be part of a group that shows nothing but disdain for them? We must love them - unconditionally - in order to win them. My favorite Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 9:19 - "Though I am free from all men, I make myself a servant unto all, that I might win the more." We must respect them. We must truly be Christ-like, loving everyone. It is our responsibility as Christians to love others, especially enemies. Loving them means not judging them. What right do we have to judge anyone? As a Christian, I know the truth, but that does not make me better than a nonbeliever. I do not have a right to be proud. I could be in their position; I was in their position. It is only by the grace of God that I am alive today and alive in Him.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Some decent weather! I was a little disgusted with the constant cut-to-the-bone winds of Tennessee winter. Check that, I was majorly disgusted. Thank You, Lord, for this beautiful weather! This is the kind of weather I love; fall is my favorite season with the almost-chilled winds and gorgeous sunshine that isn't too hot. I know it's turning into spring, but right now it's reminiscent of autumn. Spring's pretty nice, but fall stays on top because of the colors of the leaves and soccer. That's just how I feel about the whole season situation. ;)

Friday, February 16, 2007


I get so tired. So tired of fighting. So tired of crying. So tired of trying to do what's right. So tired of going from day to day feeling like I'm lost and completely clueless. So tired of feeling lonely. So tired of people and dealing with them. So tired of dealing with myself and my mistakes. I get worn down and fed up. And sometimes it makes me want to quit.

When you have homework that you're still working on until past midnight and you are still having trouble getting it, you keep going. You try to finish a paper that's due the next day until three in the morning, and you trudge through it. Why? Because you know that after your homework is finished and after you turn in your paper, you get to rest. Your work is done. It may not have been your best work, but you did it.

That's what I need to remind myself sometimes. I have work to do. I have things I need to accomplish. And although I screw up and make many mistakes, it has to be done. I have to finish what was started. No matter how tired I get, I have to keep pushing through doing the best I can, because, in the end, I get to rest.

Of course, I have to make a decision as to whether or not I do get to rest. Going to hell does not offer rest; it offers the exact opposite. Only God offers us rest - true rest.

Now, you and I both know that there is so much more to all of this, but I'm trying to put it simply here. We don't deserve rest. We don't deserve anything. We don't deserve it, but, personally, I want to do whatever I can to try to be at least a little worthy. Not that I think it's possible, but is it not the least I can do? I do believe that trying to be godly and do what is right is part of the deal. It's part of our end of the bargain. Obviously, God has to seriously lower the standards for us to even be considered. However, He wants us to rest. He wants us to be happy. He wants to offer us His rest, eternal rest.

So if I have to fight my way through every day, I'm going to do it. If I have to cry from pain and sadness, I will do it. If I have to try my best and still fail constantly, that's what I have to do. I fall short. I mess up. I walk away from God. I ask selfish things of Him. I think of myself first.

But, sometimes....

Sometimes I reach out to others. Sometimes I help people. Sometimes I walk back to God. Sometimes I don't ask anything of Him. Sometimes I think of others before myself. Sometimes I do something right.

And those are times worth living for. I know I can never rectify any of the damage I've ever done, but for just a moment I think of God smiling. I see someone picked up. I see someone that I've helped. I see my effort DO something. Seeing that...seeing that makes me forget - for just a moment - that I am a failure.

One day, I will rest. One day, my work will be done. One day, I will be free from every scar, every pain, every tear, every mistake, every burden.

I will work for that day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Valentine's Day Blog

I love intramural basketball. I suck, but I still have fun. When people take it really seriously, I hate it; some people get SO mad. Why? It's a GAME. It's NOT a big deal. Anyway, my team had our first game last night. We're in the lower division, which is where I belong. It was a good game. I'm pretty sure I didn't score a point, but I don't care. I'm an absolutely horrible shot; my specialty is being aggressive and diving on the floor for the ball. I'll do that all day. I love it. We have three teams of girls from the soccer team: one in the upper division and two in the lower. So far our record is 3-0 overall; the other lower division team has won both of their games, and the upper division team has their first game tonight. They should do well. We may just have a dynasty on our hands here...

This week has been pretty good. It's definitely been better than the first week and a half of school. I contribute it all to going home over the weekend. I needed a break from school, and home was just great. I got to sleep in, saw two of my best friends, hung out with the family, and got to really talk with Mom. I was pretty sleep-deprived when I got home, but I caught up quite well. Although now it's pretty much null. I slept better Sunday and Monday night, but it was too hot in the room last night. I didn't go to sleep until 2:30! I hate when that happens. Maybe I'll catch up on my sleep again some time.

Mom, Dad, and Kellen came to the intramural game last night, and we went to eat before the game. Mom brought me my Valentine's Day gift, which consisted of CANDY: Reese's, Mini M&Ms, and Sweetart Hearts. And a $25 gift card to Walmart, which is always great. Two of my roommates also got me some candy, so I am loaded down now. And the temptation is going to bring me down! I am so weak. Who can resist the stuff? I definitely can't. I don't even try most of the time. Lol.

Spring soccer training has started. I like the spring, because we get to work on foot skills and stuff - things I need to work on. We do weight training all semester, too, so I like that as well. Amberly and I are going to try and complete the "10, 000 Rep Challenge" at the Wellness Center. Basically you have to get 10, 000 reps by June 1, and you get a prize. We should have started last week (when we actually started weightlifting), but we didn't think about it then. Hopefully we'll make it!


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Schedule Woes

Since I am changing my major after this semester (officially), it has been necessary to make changes to my schedule for the semester. I had planned this semester around still being an English major with a Professional Education minor. However, I didn't want to waste my time taking classes I don't need and instead take some I do. So far I've added and dropped twice, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to drop again. The last day for adds has already come and gone. I switched Developing Reading Skills (an education course) for Microeconomics, and Spanish II (thank the Lord!!!) for Plane Trigonometry. I also plan to drop Literary Criticism and Analysis; I don't want to waste my time taking that class when I won't need it, no matter which major I change to. There's too much work involved and the definite chance of getting no more than a B that makes it not worth it.

I did quite a bit of running around yesterday and Monday trying to work all this out. I was especially worn out after Monday, because I talked to my English advisor, then went and discussed classes with someone from the Engineering department, then went back to my advisor to look at which classes were available, went to Union Station to change it (where the class I wanted was not open, so I now have EIGHT O'CLOCK classes every day), then returned to my advisor to tell her that I had changed. Whew. Yesterday when I went back to Union Station to change my classes again, the woman said, "There was someone in here just the other day thinking about changing to this class...was it you?" I replied, "Yes, ma'am, that was yesterday." To which she said, "I thought I recognized your pretty little face!" Lol. I thanked her quietly for that... Soon I will return! Haha.

Friday, February 02, 2007


I thought I would never get out of school for a day in college because of snow; in college they are more sophisticated or something and have "snow schedules" instead of just giving us a complete break. That was yesterday. If only my eight o'clock on Tuesdays and Thursdays was moved back to nine every time...that'd be great. Very wishful thinking, I know.

However, this morning I wake up and turn on my computer to find that CLASSES ARE CANCELLED! Oh, yes. Bliss. I definitely went back to bed and got another two hours of sleep. I could have stayed in bed all day, but I decided to go ahead and get up. I might go back to bed later anyway. I am going to workout today, though. We are supposed to go on a YoungLife retreat for this weekend, but I doubt it's going to happen now. It was halfway cancelled last year because of snow. I need to check on that...

I've decided that I like to walk in the snow - when it's actually falling - almost as much as I like to walk in the rain. Although, I guess rain has to stay my favorite because it happens more than three times a year. Or could that be the other way around? It could. However, it is not necessary to my enjoyment of either; therefore, I will not turn myself inside out to debate it. Yeah, okay - that is going nowhere. It got nowhere.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Finished! For, like, four days...

I have completed Jan term! Woohoo. Lol. I believe I did okay, and it's possible I pulled As in both my classes. We'll just have to see...

I was shocked when I received my final for Athletic Injuries in my e-mail and found the multiple-choice answers at the bottom. Score! Also, I didn't finish my journal reviews because of a crazy day yesterday, but he allowed me to turn them in later. Everything's cool!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

An End and A Beginning

Jan term is basically over. How sad! No, seriously, I believe I'm gonna miss it. Finals are tomorrow; I don't expect them to be real difficult, so I'm just messing around. Yes, I know - I'm irresponsible when it comes to schoolwork. I'll be fine.

After tomorrow, it's four days of break then back to school for spring semester. Which is just crazy. I just wondered if last year January lasted longer than it did this year... I honestly don't know. I want to say this January felt like it lasted longer. Hm. I've had a good time in both of my classes. Athletic Injuries was very interesting and cool; I love Dr. Van Neste, whom I have for New Testament. He's just awesome, and I really feel like I've benefited mentally and spiritually in his class. How can you beat that??

As for the question of what I want to do, I'm still kind of blurry on that. I want to think further about being an architect. (Sorry if I just kind of threw that on you, since you might have had no idea I was even thinking about it.) Athletic training would be fun and I believe I would enjoy it, but I just don't think it's where I need to be. Whew. I flat don't know.

I think this next semester will be interesting. I'm not going to say good or bad, cause I don't know and don't have a feeling either way. Or rather, I have feelings going both ways. Whatever - anyway, it's coming so soon. I know I am for sure looking forward to more crazy times with my roommates; that's what I'm looking forward to the most, definitely. My only complaint and desire would be... no more Christmas caroling. No. It ain't happ'nin. I love y'all, but nope.

There'll be nothing to do but wait and see how things go down... or up. ;)

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Last week Mom told me not to plan anything for the coming Wednesday. Okay... She wouldn't tell me what she had planned, but she did - several times - tell me that she was excited about it. I love surprises, so I was excited, too. Yesterday she picked me up at 1:30 after my classes. Mama Jo was in the car, too, but we were just dropping her off somewhere. As we were riding to Mama Jo's destination, she asked me if I knew what Mom had planned. Of course, I didn't have a clue. She said, "Well, I think your mama oughta tell you...y'all are going to the gynecologist." I said, "What?! You can't be serious." Thankfully, she wasn't. She said she thought it would be funny; I told her that it was a good joke, just not fun. Lol. I was scared for just a minute. Then I told Mom that if she ever did that to me, I would be furious and might have to jump out of the moving vehicle.

Anyway, we dropped Mama Jo off and picked up something to eat for me, then headed towards the mall. We were going to meet Lavon at the place. We pulled up to Jackson Massage and Day Spa. Score! My gut feeling earlier was correct, and boy was I happy. We all got a full body hour long massage and then a facial. It was absolutely glorious. Afterwards, we sat in the "Relaxation Room" and just chilled. We were chill. Lol. I had planned on working out yesterday, but I wanted to stay that way for a little bit.

I've already told Mom "thank you" like six times, but I'll take the opportunity to do it again: THANK YOU, MOM! I LOVE YOU!

P.S. My mom's the coolest; I'm telling you in case you didn't already get the memo. :D

Monday, January 15, 2007

My Life and a Random Analogy

Bear with me and picture this: You're doing a report for a class. Let's say Written Comp II, and it's your biggest essay yet. You haven't been doing so well - you're struggling to keep a B - and have to really pull out an A to keep from drowning for the rest of the semester. When you finish, you breathe a big sigh of relief; you can finally get rid of the stress you've been feeling. The next day you turn it in, proud of your work and ready to get it back, expecting an A. A couple of classes go by, and your teacher returns everyone's essays. Without even looking at the comments, you excitedly flip to the last page to find.... D. What?! How did that happen? The teacher must have gotten my paper switched with someone else's... Nope, it's yours. Dumbfounded, you turn back to the first page with the teacher's comments. "Good ideas, but you need to read the directions more carefully." Still confused, you pull out the assignment sheet for the essay. You begin to read, thinking there's no way you missed anything... Wait. Huh? How did I miss that?! Suddenly the anger towards your teacher turns toward yourself. A simple mistake screwed up everything.

Now, that analogy doesn't exactly fit a current situation I've had, but it does resemble it. It does fit others; even very similar ones in class. When something goes wrong, when we mess something up, when others hurt us - we want to look for the cause. Of course, the first place we look...usually isn't in the mirror.

To stray from that a little, think about when you've been hurt by others. Did you blame yourself? Or did you just wonder if you did something that turned them away from you? I did. I questioned everything about myself, pondering what made me the person people turned away from. I analyze things badly enough already; I got worse, and I got pessimistic.

What does it take to get over those things? Once upon a time, I thought that I didn't hold grudges. HaHA. Now I find that pretty funny. However, I believe it depends on what it is. If it's something trivial, I get over it pretty quickly. If it's something that rocks me to the core and truly disturbs's hard. It's really hard. And me trying to fix it just makes it that much harder, because I'm not relinquishing control to God, who knows what to do. Also, it's not just about "getting over it"; it's about forgiving it. I thought I was over it, but I was still letting it control me by not forgiving it. Not forgiving it only hurt me, because I was (and still basically am) the only one who really knew about it.

I've decided that walls are definitely not for me. I can't handle them; keeping things holed up inside only keeps me from letting them go and feeling better. I will be more reserved and in tune with what God wants me to do as far as talking to people about things. I was afraid of being hurt again; not that I'm still not, but I now realize that in order to be truly happy sometimes you must be truly hurt and broken. You have to know the difference. Avoiding one keeps you from the other. That's why we hurt: to know what it feels like to be restored. I've been wishing for quite a while that life was just simple, and I could just get away from stuff. But I can't. And I don't want to. Going through crap makes me appreciate what I gain (and keep) from it. Someday I'll look back on this and think about how much I've grown from this point. And I pray that I will.

It's not going to be easy from here; I know that. I'm not naive enough to believe that. I believe that God can make everything right, but only if He wills it. I don't think He has at this point. I have work to do.

Sorry I started out with a real random analogy that ended up not in any way (really) being related to what I talked about for the majority of this blog. That's just the risk you take when you read what I write. ;)