Monday, December 25, 2006

a very merry christmas indeed...

Have you ever been sitting somewhere, and in your mind, all of a sudden, you find that everything is moving in slow motion. You notice everything...even tiny details of a person's facial expression. You see everything through different eyes; it is like you are trying to imprint a permanent picture of the scenerio into your memory. You fully recognize and appreciate the moment in which you find yourself....

That has happened to me several times this Christmas. I must say, this could be one of my favorite Christmases ever. What has made it so great? It wasn't the presents, and it wasn't the food. It wasn't that I had an abundance of activities to engage in... I really haven't done much with anyone other than my family. (I did go to a nice little get-together with the college kids from Central for a couple hours one evening, and I visited Huntsville for a couple of days.) Yeah, at a glance, especially compared with past years, this Christmas break could appear to be somewhat lacking... and that is what I kinda expected of it.

Then what was so great? Let me list some of the moments that stand out in my mind.

Saturday we had our big family Christmas party at Mamaw's house in Englewood. Every year we all get together, and every year the party is pretty much the same. One can always count on the sausage pinwheels and chocolate oatmeal cookies. There is always the revealing of the Secret Santas, and there are gift games. The kids exchange their gifts and play the famous gift games, and then the adults will exchange their gifts and play their games. For the past couple years I, along with the other cousins my age, have been included in the adult game. This year I noticed that there are almost as many of the "kids" participating as an adult as there are "parents." We are all growing up. This fact brings many new faces to the family as well... there are the new members that started off coming as boyfriends and are now husbands, and there are also, of course, the new little kids we've got running around. It's always crazy to see how much those little ones have grown.

Here's a breakdown of who all we've got at this festive occasion:

Mamaw. She has 5 children (my mom being one of them). All 5 are married with children. There are 12 grandchildren total. 5 of the grandchildren are now married. There are now 5 great-grandchildren and 1 on the way. That is 33 people crammed into Mamaw's house.

Usually everyone divides up. Women around the kitchen table and others on the couch, some of the men watching football, others on the porch, others mingling. Little kids running around outside and in the back bedroom, and older kids mingling with the adults and in the front bedroom. It is always fun, but you never really feel like you spend quality time with everyone. This year was different. By the end of the night everyone was piled in the living room...and I mean piled in. Crammed into doorways, sitting on each other in the floor... We were watching ourselves 15 years ago. Aunt Cheryl had made Mamaw a DVD of home videos from Christmas 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994. I can't describe how that felt. To see myself at age 6, and then turn and see my cousin's little girl who is now 6. To watch my aunt's eyes well up with tears as we watched Papaw open presents with us little grandkids helping him. Having to wipe away my own tears as I looked around the room... having to wipe them away even now... Wanting to take in everyone's reactions... wanting to take in the smiles, the tears, the laughter, the jokes... Knowing that a video or a photograph could never capture all that I would want it to... It was........ yeah....

Sunday was a special day too. Christmas Eve. Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Paula came over around 5 and we had some fingerfoods and desserts. It was a nice visit, but it was not nearly as special as what happened after that.
Grandma and Aunt Paula are members of the Luthern church, so every year they have a special Christmas Eve candlelight service. This year, we decided to go with Grandma to the candlelight service. She was so so so excited. It absolutely made her Christmas to have her family join her. And that was special. To top it all off, Grandpa decided that he would come with us all as well. If you only understood how beautiful it was too have us all sitting together. Grandma's face beaming as she introduced her family to everyone.... And being there with Grandpa.... a very big thing. Such a good Christmas present!

Today: Christmas Day we woke up and had a good time exchanging gifts and being the silly Lupos we are. After a relaxing morning, we headed over to Grandma and Grandpa's house for our Christmas there. (It is just a street over, not a far drive at all.) We ate, and exchanged gifts, and yes, played gift games. It was a very nice afternoon. However, my favorite part of the day came after all of that.

I love my grandpa. He is a quiet man. Simple. He always wears his kaiki pants with his dress shoes, dress socks, and his brown colored, plaid, button-up shirts. He watches and plays golf. He has trouble hearing and he doesn't enjoy loud noises. His catch phrase of my life is "quiet: the baby's sleeping." I am fascinated by my Grandpa. I find myself just watching him, trying to figure out what he is thinking...trying to imagine what he was like 54 years ago when he met my Grandma in a classy dance club in New York. Yeah, my Grandpa's a Yankee. He doesn't usually say much, but tonight was one of those special nights where we got to learn more about Grandpa.

You see, Grandpa is an artist. For my 16th birthday, I asked him for a painting made special for me. As the oldest grandchild, I started a tradition. :) For as long as I can remember, I have been in awe of Grandpa's art studio. It is the special room in their house where he enjoys his solitude and his art. One day I will have a room like that. Tonight Dad, the sisters, and I ended up in the art studio with Grandpa. He told us all kinds of stories about his life and growing as an artist... how it started when he was in the 6th grade... about the famous artist that gave him lessons for 3 years... He even showed us his work from those lessons. It was an amazing evening...

So those are three things that made this Christmas the best ever. And the break is far from over... Wednesday I get my wisdom teeth out, Friday my dad turns 50, January 3rd the sisters and I are going line dancing with Grandma and Aunt Paula..haha... I guess we shall see what other surprises this Christmas break has for me.

I hope you all have had a wonderful, blessed Christmas!(And I am thinking I need some plans for New Years if anyone has any ideas.)

Monday, December 11, 2006

One to go...

One down, one to go...

Today: I took my Biblical Interpretation final and then finished/turned in my Vocational Christian Ministry final.

Tomorrow: I have a Great Books V paper due-- Wait... I was responsible and turned it in a WEEK in advance. Yes, I am excited about this major step towards overcoming the snares of procrastination.

Currently: I am trying to complete my research proposal. It is due Wednesday. Yes, we've been working on this since mid-terms. Yes, I slacked off in this area, so it is my fault this is last minute... I can't overcome procrastination all the time.. baby steps. :)

Thursday: My last final final. It isn't going to be too big of a deal.. Studies in the English Language.

Well, this week completes the first semester of my last year... one down, one to go.... Craziness. Well, I am going to get back to my research proposal. I know this blog isn't very interesting, but it had been a few months, so I decided to write something. :)

Monday, October 09, 2006

the view from my window...

I noticed recently that I only blog when I am in a bummy mood. And that's no good. That makes me look like I am always sad, and that is just not the case...

Right now I am sitting at my desk, the iron and wine song on my profile is playing, my window is open just enough to feel a little breeze. The sun is shining. The sky is blue. The color of the brick of the apartment I see in the corner of my window contrasts perfectly with the bright green trees that are highlighted with a golden hue just at the's that time of year... and that is just refreshing to me. The autumn air is crisp. I'm excited about going home in a couple of weeks. By then my East Tennessee mountains will be bursting with color. I always get chills as I go over the mountain just outside of Chattanooga. Going home in autumn is my favorite. Could I possibly reiterate the fact that I absolutely love autumn?!

I don't have too much more on my mind... casual thoughts of midterms and papers drift into thought, as well as plans for the summer and the upcoming year...but I'm not too worried. I'm feeling pretty relaxed. I will get my work finished as I sit in front of my window....and as for everything else... I am confident things will fall into place...

I want to paint... When midterms are over, I am going to go to ACMoore, buy some canvases, sit on my porch and paint... that sounds nice...

There. I leave you with some peaceful thoughts... I am experiencing some relaxing contentment... I encourage you all to go outside and breathe in some autumn air...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

This is me feeling a bit negative...

So I sat down here at my computer, and I started typing this blog. And I was just going at it... being completely cynical and blunt, and I was ready to just rant about all the frustrations and questions and uncertainties, and insecurties, and fears, and...... then I stopped. And I am listening to this song on repeat... and it basically expresses my thoughts.

And I like these words better. Because they say what I feel, but honestly, they don't reveal too much. You see, I am a pretty easy to read individual. I am told this quite often. I get it now, so I am easy to read. However, I don't always want to be read. Sometimes I'd rather people not know (or not think they know) what I am thinking or feeling or meaning. Assumptions suck. You know why. Because it is in assumptions that communication is lost, and when communication is lost, connections are broken, and when there is not connection, things get fuzzy, and the message is no longer clear, and then the original thought or intention gets lost in the translation....

I could ramble on some more, but what's the point. Here are the song lyrics; this is how I feel. And I am listening to this Switchfoot song for the 9th time right now...

I wish I had what I needed
To be on my own
'Cause I feel so defeated
And I'm feeling alone

And it all seems so helpless
And I have no plans
I'm a plane in the sunset
With nowhere to land

And all I see
It could never make me happy
And all my sand castles
Spend their time collapsing

Let me know that You hear me
Let me know Your touch
Let me know that You love me
Let that be enough

It's my birthday tomorrow
No one here could know
I was born this Thursday
22 years ago

And I feel stuck
Watching history repeating
Yeah, who am I?
Just a kid who knows he's needy

Let me know that You hear me
Let me know Your touch
Let me know that You love me
And let that be enough

Friday, August 25, 2006

Tag, I'm it.

Well, it has happened. I have been tagged. Here you go Sunny! This is for you! :)

1. One book that changed your life:
flashBANG by Mark Steele. I read this book over Christmas, and I have made reference to its content on many occasions. It helped me see the difference between making an actual impact and just being a lot of noise and lights... a flashbang if you will. I am aware of "the show" of things, and I am better equipped to actually be an influence. I'd say that's life changing.

2. One book that you've read more than once:
The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. I attempted to read it my freshman year at Faulkner, but for some reason I couldn't really get into it. That summer I buckled down and read it. I loved it. Underlines everywhere... It was incredibly eye opening. I better understood ways that Satan was attacking me, thus making me aware of some specific sins. Since then I have been able to work (not perfected) on those things... pride for example. I read it again last year and wrote a paper on it, and it is on the required reading list for one of my classes this semester. Good book.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island:
I am with Sunny on this one... The Bible. Maybe I need to be deserted on a desert island with it for a while. That is one of my goals for this semester. I have got to get The Word in me... probably the biggest thing missing in my spiritual life. (Hold me accountable)

4. One book that made you laugh:
The Word on the Street by Rob Lacey. This is an interesting paraphrase of the Bible. Why is it funny? It is pretty much the ...hmm... ghetto paraphrase. Maybe it is wrong of me to laugh... nah, this is just the paraphrase of the Bible. I just keep thinking about the time Laurel got her copy in the mail last year... I remember some random people.. standing in the parking lot.. laughing hysterically. What were we reading? Here's how Rob Lacey introduces it:
"Back when he was a young romantic, Solomon writes love letters to his lady and she writes back. Some people read it from a different angle- that they're love letters between the Liberator and his people...whichever, it's hot stuff... -Rob"

5. One book that made you cry:
There have been many books that have made me cry over the years. Let's just face it, I am a crier. I cry in movies, TV shows... I guess I am sensitive to people or something. I cried in A Walk to Remember (both the movie and the book) and The Notebook, but that was nothing compared to The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis. This is the final book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. In case you haven't read this book, I won't tell you why I cried.... but man did I weep. Beautiful story. Incredible allegory... amazing. Thinking about it made me want to read it all over again... I think I will.

6. One book you wish had been written:
A book outlining my life. Step by step guide to where I've been and where I'm going. No one would really need it but me. It could be called, Jenna's Life for the Dummy Herself, or something like that.

7. One book you wish had never been written:
When Dreams Come True by Eric and Leslie Ludy. I don't actually wish it had never been written... that is a little harsh. I do wish that it was not a part of my personal library. I've never even read it actually. I mean... the book is basically a play by play of their wonderful, perfect, God-directed relationship. How depressing. I was told that I should read When God Writes Your Love Story my senior year in high school. Good book, I liked it. I've found that the most useful chapter for me is Chapter 10: "Can the Sweeter Song Be a Solo?"
(Note: I really don't hate this book or these people. I'm sure they are great. This was written with slight sarcasm, mostly because I couldn't think of a better answer. But I'm still not going to read When Dreams Come True.)

8. One book you're currently reading:
On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius. It is the first book we are reading in this Honors class I am taking this semester. Should be good. I am very interested in the books we will be reading. Dr. Young said that this is the "most pointedly Christian formation course" of the 5 Great Books classes. I've only read the first few pages at this point, but ask me later and I'll let you know what I think.

9. One book you've been meaning to read:
Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller. I loved Blue Like Jazz, and the title itself proves that I would connect with the book... I just haven't gotten around to it. I need to just knock it out one day.

10. Tag five others:
Alexis, Carie, Shannon O'Keefe Smith, Rachel, and Jennifer Ford. I'd like to hear what you all would have to say.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road...

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life....

...Here I am. I find myself at another turning point. Today is the day that begins a new year...a first year... a last year.... And as I am waking up to this new morning, I feel somewhat unprepared to make the turn. It's not that I don't want some of the changes to come. I am so excited about this being my little sister's first year in college! The family is on their way as I type. In about two hours I will be moving in her stuff, helping her organize her closet, and running around like a spastic mother making sure she has everything she needs. As excited as I am, I am also feeling a bit anxious. I feel a little extra pressure on me... I want to be the best big sister ever. I want to help her have an amazing freshman year, especially because she had such a wonderful senior year... I don't want her to have regrets about leaving home. But I have to remember I am not God. I cannot be in control here. I cannot make sure everything goes perfectly, I cannot be the one always fixing things, and telling her what steps to take.... (I am so scared of being a mom one day) because I know I have a tendency to want to guide her through my experience, and her experience is going to be different. So here I am, completely excited, but so nervous I am going to stress myself out and ruin her life (slight exaggeration).

This is my last year of undergrad work... I graduate from Faulkner in May... 4 years here.... I remember when I was moving in that first day.. crazy. A little anxious about this graduating thing. People keep asking me all these annoying questions like, "what do you want to do with your life?" and "oh, maybe grad school? what do you want to study?" and "don't you think you should start figuring it all out??? you are done in May.." (naw, duh) Stop asking me questions PLEASE!! I ask myself 7500 times a day! When I know for sure, believe me, you will find out. And while I am on this subject of questions, there are many unanswered questions in my life--- here's how you can help--STOP ASKING ME ABOUT THEM!! If I need advice, I will ask. I am not afraid of asking and I talk too much anyways. (Can you sense the frustration?)

This year brings new classes, new friends, old friends, new adventures, new drama (I hate drama), old drama (I really hate the drama that is getting old here at the ole F(C)U... new opportunities, new disappointments, new successes, decisions, fun, stress.... and at the end of this year another turning point...

So basically this is me saying that life is moving and I am just wanting to put it on pause for just a little while. I'm sure most of you can relate to that feeling.

Well, I'm going to go make this a good day. :) adios

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I'm satisfied..

For any of you that might have been checking my blog every week in anticipation of some sort of report on my Malawi trip, I apologize. You aren't getting on one here... There is just too much to say! (And if you have seen the magnitude of pictures, you know this too be true!)

Let me start off with some key things about Africa so you can feel somewhat informed.

1) I absolutely loved it.
2) I learned so much about God's faithfulness. He is faithful, even when I lose faith...
3) I felt at home. In Africa. It was hard to fathom that I was, actually, half a world away from where I live. I guess the song is true.. "anywhere is home, if Christ my Lord is there.."
4) I love Malawian children.. from the little ones I helped babysit during the women's morning devo, to the school-aged children I would sing and dance with before lunch, to the kids at the hospitals we cleaned, to the older children of the village we had devotionals with at night... I love them all. And I really miss them.
5) American Christianity is not the only one that has issues to deal with. We (the human race) really are a broken people.. the only thing that makes us (Christians) different is that we recognize who loves us in and save us from our brokenness.
6) God answers prayers. I watched Him answer MANY while I was there.
7) Tuna fish can be a luxury meal in another country.. and pizza... I have never been so excited in my life about pizza...
8) God is active. All over the world. In so many people. I am just a small part of a bigger effort... man, God is good.

There are just a few thoughts for now. If you want to see pictures, I am certainly more than willing to share them!
Now for the 2nd part of the blog... the part that goes along with the title.. I was not really excited about this summer. I had no idea what to expect. I hoped for some good things, but didn't really expect them. Well, this summer exceeded my expectations. And now that summer is drawing near to an end, I am sad to see it all close... but at the same time, I am satisfied.

Many adventures, many new friends.. basically, this has been a really good summer. And it is my last summer in "college-kid world." And I am satisfied. I have been able to do a lot of things... go to Massachusetts, the coast, London, South Africa (well, the airport), Malawi, another country beside Malawi that I can say but not spell (well, we stopped and used the restroom there)...

Pizza and subs, antique bookstores, crazy Boston traffic, fun with the Paces, crawfish on the pier, crazy video's with Laurel's youth group and an armless man harassing us, work in admissions, lunch bunch at Cornerstone cafe, car wash, a couple of days at the lake, suntans, sunburns, smoothies, hippos, spagetti that won't boil, best friends, airports, not showering, clothing sorting in warehouse, cooking chickens.. whole, card games and tennis, television and movies, clowns and birthdays, laundry and text messaging, late nights with Nikki..... I could go on with the random words that will only mean anything to me and the people that happen to connect with those random words..

So here is life's update: I am satisfied. :)

Friday, June 16, 2006

It's overwhelming...

"I wanna sit at your feet, drink from the cup in your hand, lean back against you and breathe, feel your heart beat. This love is so deep, it's more than I can stand. I melt in your peace. It's overwhelming."

Yeah. It's overwhelming. Unfortunately this overwhelming feeling that I get is not usually one that gives me so much peace I just melt. I'm not leaning back against anything with the time to breathe. I've felt this peace. I've been overwhelmed in this beautiful way, but not really right now.

It's been a crazy week. I have been sent on errands for the Admissions office to Atlanta and Birmingham... yeah, not quite across town. Instead of my usual 12 hour week, I've spent over 24 hours doing stuff for them. This is just a crazy week in that office. That is the load I had to bear.

My computer is in coma. Wednesday she decided she wanted to give up the ghost. I'm still fighting for her. The harddrive might have failed, but I am sending her to a place where she will recieve the best treatments. There might be some memory loss; I'm just glad she's still under warrenty. ;) This interesting dilemma consumed much time and energy. I still have to box up and mail out that tower. Blasted computer.

My sister left for Nicaragua this morning. I didn't get to talk to her before she left. I was so distracted by the crazy College Bound demands, that I neglected to call her. I am a horrible sister.

I leave for Africa in a week. One week. Exactly. One week from this very moment I will be on an airplane. I haven't packed. I haven't been to WalMart. I got my last shot today, and I got blood drawn so I can know my blood type. I figure that's kinda important. I may need to know that. Yeah, I know I'm an idiot for not knowing my blood type.

I really wanted to go home for Father's Day. But I can't. I am really homesick. And I'm not just talking home--Cleveland, TN-- homesick. I'm talking indescribable no where feels like home, where am I going and who am I and what should I be doing and when will this wandering homesick feeling be gone... that kinda homesick. I guess you can't understand that one unless you've felt that way before. Surely I'm not alone on this one.

When will the curve balls end? When will all that's gone wrong in the world be made right? When will life be normal? When will everything be happy? When will some of the pain around me heal? When will I be able to help? When will I have a clue what I am even here for. When will things calm down? When....

Today I spent about an hour and a half leaned up against a wall in a room. I journaled my prayer, and I didn't make the handwriting pretty. Life is not perfectly formed rounded cursive letters right now. It's doesn't fit in the college ruled lines. It is rough and jagged and illegible and it takes up 2-4 lines.

Funny how much better you feel when you actually stop and take time to sit as His feet, drink from the cup in His hand, lean back against Him and breathe, feel His heart beat. That love is so deep, it's more than I can stand. I melted in His peace, and it was overwhelming.

I don't have to have answers. And I don't have to feel all together. I am broken. But I know who is holding the pieces. Cheesy.. I know.. but there you have it.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Back in town

This past week was wonderful. Sure it was rainy. Sure we got lost a lot. But you know what, we had SO MUCH FUN!

Where was I and who is we? I was in Concord, MA with a small group from Faulkner's English department: Mr. & Mrs. Pace, Amelia Cortlez, Robin Johnson, and Heather Waller. Boy, did we have a blast!

We did so much, and even though I am bored and should be writing about it all right now, I am not going to because I have some extreme packing to do. I have to be out of this apartment by early Monday morning (therefore Sunday night) and into the other one. This is going to prove to be difficult seeing as there is a lot to move, and I am just one girl.

If there is anyone in Montgomery who would be willing to help me out after church/lunchtime tomorrow, that would be amazing! Please let me know if you can.

If I can get moved in time, I will try to write details about the trip tomorrow night. I might even learn how to post pictures! We'll see. But I have to have help first.... :) Thanks!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The day has come...

Well. Here I am. In my apartment. Sitting at my computer. Alone. Laurel, Carie, and Kyle have all packed up and are gone. I must admitt, I shed a few tears. Man, if you are reading this opening paragraph in the tone that I am writing it in, than it must be a pretty depressing read.

Time to shift the tone. This summer is not going to be bad. It has potential to be good. I have big plans to stay involved with the LCM, and it looks like we are going to combine on Wednesday nights with the youth group, and that is going to be cool! It will be neat to get to know the teens.. maybe I can get more involved there. I will probably get to hang out with a wide variety of people on campus, and it's always fun to randomly hang out with people! Maybe I will find someone to play tennis with! (NOTE: If you play tennis-- I want to play with you! I need exercise! Plus it's just fun! :)

I am going to Malawi for two weeks and that is going to be great, I am going on this trip to New England this upcoming week. I am going to visit my friends on the Coast. And I am going to visit my fam. I still need a job, but that will come (NOTE: If you know of someone who is looking for an all-around great girl to work for them, let me know! ;)

The other day, Laurel and Carie read me a definition. They told me that immediately upon reading the defintion of this work they thought of me. What is the word I am refering to?

OVERACHIEVEMENT: a condition in which perfectionism, fear of failure, compulsive behavior, and anxiety drive a student to exhaustion and eventual inefficiency

Yay for me. I am killing myself and growing only towards inefficiency. That is not good. So I made a decision...I am going to work on that. I will be an achiever, not an OVERachiever! :) That means I can't do everthing, but what I decide to do, I will achieve. Without unneccessary pressure, without it having to be perfect to every detail... So there you go. You all heard it from me.(hold me to it!)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Yeah... so I got tagged...

25 Things I Love

1. Music. "Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." -Victor Hugo
2. Good conversation.
3. Depth-- not neccessarily intellectual depth, but personal depth. People that are willing to let you see past the surface... people that will see past the surface of me.
4. Smoothies
5. Summer 2005 w/ the Mayfair Youth Ministry
6. Pictures- photo albums, picture frames, scrapbooks, slideshows...
7. Getting my back scratched
8. Tennis-- on the rare occasion I have someone to play with
9. The Chronicles of Narnia
10. Best friends
11. My amazing down feather comforter
12. Window seats
13. My family-- I miss them today.
14. Pretty stationary and Pilot G2 ink pens
15. Painting in the living room with the windows open on a rainy, spring day.
16. Growing
17. The movie- Pride and Prejudice
18. Making a difference
19. Analogies
20. When my apartment is nice and neat.
21. Having time to relax and enjoy what I have been blessed with.
22.Camp... the park... playgrounds.... basically the outdoors
23.When the people I care most about understand how much I love them
24.Playing with babies
25. When I am able to clearly express my thoughts

25 Things I Hate

1. When I can't transfer my thoughts from my brain to my mouth efficently.
2. When I feel like the people I love most don't understand the extent of that love.
3. Being an overachiever
4. My tendency to overcommit myself
5. When people think I am not sincere
6. When I catch myself not being sincere.
7. When I can't help someone that is hurting.
8. Clutter
9. Regular coffee
10. The fact that, no matter how long I work at it, I just can't seem to get this patience thing down
11. When I get jealous
12. When I don't do my best (Like that paper... the worst grade I have ever made on a paper..... sigh.....)
13. A lot of things about this past semester
14. Being misunderstood
15. Sweet tea-- sorry, I just don't really like tea
16. Not interning this summer
17. Wasting time filling out this blog thingy when I could be sleeping
18. That I never finished learning the guitar
19. Faulkner University's pledge week
20. Ping pong (the analogy... I love the real game... I hate the analogy game.. I guess only those that know the analogy will understand this one)
21. Being put in a box-- I don't like to feel limited or underestimated
22. How we put God in a box.... and we do it so often
23. Overwhelming "To Do" Lists
24. Being in a bad mood
25. Getting knots in my shoulders... like the past couple days...

If you read this blog you are tagged-- I think there are only two people that actually read this blog on occasion....

Monday, April 24, 2006

Blog vs. 20 page paper

It is 8:20. I have been sitting in the newly-made-to-be-extra cubicle in the admissions office all day. From 11:00-1:15, lunch break, 2:00-3:00, class break, 3:45-now.... yeah.. all day.

I am no where near finished, but I have made so much progress compared to where I was this time last night. And as I write this I think-- you still don't have a paper written-- you still have way too much work to do. That mindset doesn't help anything. I have accomplished much, and with that confident attitude of productivity I will continue until security comes in this office to kick me out. I am just that dedicated. I am forcing myself to be motivated. (I mean, the book I am researching has been pretty convicting.) I am going to do this. I will survive this week. I am making it through today. I am on my 4th diet coke. (This can't be healthy.)

And as I sit here talking about my productivity, I am wasting my time writing this stupid blog. Rambling like an idiot. Oh, but it is so much more enjoyable than actually doing the work-- talking about doing the work (again, a concept Screwtape would be encouraging).

I am going to end this nonsense right now.

(Let's see if this works.)

I am motivated.
I am writing an incredible 20 page paper.
I am not distracted.
I am completely focused.
God is happy when I write my paper.
So is Dr. Walker.
I want to please both.
I am learning a lot about vice and virtue as I write this paper.

Is procrastination a vice?

I should get off this blasted website right this minute.

(Have I been driven to an extreme level of complete insanity?!?! And this is only Monday.... oh brother....)

It is now 8:32. I had better get back to work. Pray for me! (And everyone else that I know because apparently Faulkner University has it out for its students-- it's like they want us to learn or something.. What's the deal with that??!?! 8:33... bye

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Words from C. S. Lewis

"No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and the clean clothes in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one's temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us: it is the very sign of His presence."

Letters of C. S. Lewis- 20th January 1942

"You must therefore zealously guard in his mind the curious assumption 'My time is my own.' Let him have the feeling that he starts each day as the lawful possessor of twenty-four hours."

Written to Wormwood from Screwtape- The Screwtape Letters- Number 21

"Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters."

Spoken to Jill by Aslan- The Silver Chair- Chapter 2

Just some interesting things I ran across in my research. Maybe these three quotes will grap you in some of the same ways they have me. I won't say anything else; I'll just leave it up to your own mind to extract something from it.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Where is the sun?

Mood I am in: aggrevated, tired, frustrated, angry, and a number of other adjectives that I really shouldn't dwell on...

Mood I want to be in: awake, thoughtful, determined, calm, peaceful, optimistic, intelligent, happy, thankful, awake, modivated... oh... this list could go on and on.

Why am I writing this at 3:45 in the morning? I'm not sure that you really want to know. First of all, when you read this you are going to think, "Jenna, why the heck are you on myspace?" Then you might think, "I'm glad I'm not you!" Now you are thinking, "This outta be interesting!"

Well, here's the deal.

Tomorrow morning, at the bright and shining hour of 8:30, I have a class that I must attend. And in this class I am to turn in a 6-8 page term paper. MLA format, 12pt font, Times New Romans, minimum 3 sources... the whole shebang (althought it is nothing compared to the 20 page paper due next week!!!). As of right now... I am barely on page 3. Let me remind you of the time. 3:45. I have been attempting to write this thing since 8:30 PM!


That is why I just took a break. I showered and got ready for school (I am going to wear my pajamas to class, watch me!) and now I am trying to convience myself that that 20 minute power nap was a good night's sleep and it is a decent hour of the morning and my brain is a paper-writing-machine! (I hope this works!!)

When you see me, give me a hug. I might need one! And a nap. And ice cream and a diet coke. Because all of those things make me happy. And then tell me that Jesus is going to come this weekend and I don't have to do anymore homework. (okay, that is a little---all right---a lot selfish of me)

Well, back to my critique of "This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison."

Good morning! : D

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Ukupita kuti? ("Where are you going?" in Chichewa)

It is interesting how, with God, everything is connected.

Over the past year and a half, many of my goals have involved a desire to remove clutter from my life. There was a point last spring when I realized that a decluttering movement was neccessary. There came a point this summer (actually it hit me over and over again) that I decided I was really going to do it. Declutter. Eliminate excess. I put it into practice, and it was not always easy. I stepped away from some things (good, fun things) that were just taking up space. I wasn't just trying to declutter my schedule but also my heart, my mind, and my spirit. I decided to allow myself to be refined by the Lord, so he put me in the fire and burnt away the chaff. That hurts.

One day I thought to myself, it has finally goal accomplished...I have eliminated the clutter. I was wrong. When you stop the cleaning process, things naturally get dirty again. So here I am, ready to do some more spring cleaning.

I've been thinking a lot about where I am headed. What does my future hold? Where will it be found? Where am I going? Of course I don't know the answers to those questions, but I do know some of the steps I will be taking in the near future.

For one, I am headed to Malawi, Africa this summer. I am going where "hurry up" is not heard too often, and "busy" does not describe the people's lives. Clutter is not a luxury they can afford, and personally, I think they are richer for it. A selfish prayer of mine is that this trip, these 2 weeks, will make a permanent impression on my heart; I want to absorb as much of attitude as I can. Because I don't know where I am going, but I do know what I want to be of most importance in my life, and I promise you it is not how many things I can cram onto my resume. It is not my level of productivity or progress, and it is not a job title. It may be my nature to be driven towards all of these things, but I no longer live for my nature. I said I was going to give that up years ago.

Colossians 2:20-22 says, "If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations...according to human precepts and teachings?" Our culture pushes for productivity; it drives us toward success here on earth. Well, I have died to that. I have been released from its chains of bondage. It is about time I live like I am free from those chains. I do not want to be restricted by my culture any longer.

So here we go again-- how in the world am going to do this? I suppose it won't be me doing it, as usual.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Vulnerable Honesty

Sometimes I feel like a bundle of conflicts. What do I push myself toward? What direction am I moving in now? Why does that seem to oppose everything I want for my life later?

I am driven to succeed. I want to make the best grades possible. I want to accomplish a lot. I like to move forward; I enjoy reaching new places. Not because it places me above others. That is not it at all. Because it means I have stretched further, I have reached higher, I have aimed for my best and found it. I want to fulfill my nature. I want to live up to my potential. I have specific gifts. I want to use them. I want to be a positive influence on the world around me. As cheesy as it sounds, I sincerely want to make a difference.

Do I find that in my grades? Do I find that in various honors? Will I one day find it in a job? Do I find it in leadership roles? I don't think these things in themselves matter that much. Grades are worth nothing if I don't use the knowledge that I gained by pushing myself. Honors will not follow me into eternity. Those things in themselves will end; they are temporal.

My job can be a place where I make a difference, but I don't want a big, powerful job. If I start to try to move up some sort of ladder, pull me down. I don't want that. I live a busy life. I enjoy being a part of all the things I do at school, and that takes time. However, when I have a family of my own someday, (and I want that so badly) I DO NOT want to be that busy. I do not want to be a successful buisnesswoman who is so wrapped up in her job that she doesn't even have time to cook her family supper or go to her kids T-ball practices. I don't need riches; I really don't want them. I don't need glory; any glory I could find here can't compare with the glory of God...I don't want to settle for an imitation of what glory really is. Give me a job, give me influence, but help me stay humble.

I am scared to death of graduating, finding a job, being alone so then pouring my entire being into this job and other things that will keep me busy. And then some 15 years later finding myself stuck at that place, but higher up in some kind of ranking. That would be so lonely.

I am scared of being left behind. I am scared of having my closest friendships taken away from me. I am scared of the options. I am scared of my decisions.

I am strong, but I am so weak. I'm diplomatic, but sometimes I just want to be honest. I don't want to be misunderstood, but I don't always want you to know exactly what I am thinking. Sometimes you can read me like a book, but sometimes you misinterpret.

Sometimes you just have to get your thoughts out there. You may read this and know exactly what I am talking about. You may read this not have a clue. You may even think I am just overdramatic and crazy. I guess that is what I mean by vulnerable honesty.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Interviews, Jobs, Etc.

I just finished updating my resume. Yep. I am going to an interview tomorrow. At the art museum. How exciting is that? If the interview goes well, and the lady decides that she is going to need additional workers this summer, then I could find myself working as an art teacher's assistant for the museum's community outreach summer program. How awesome would that be?!?! I could go 2-3 times a week and help kids at a community center with their art projects! Pleasant memories of 1st grade art class are flooding my mind as we speak... This could quite possibly be the best summer job I could ever find in the city of Montgomery! I guess we shall see what comes of this interview... (please mention it to God for me in your prayers)

As most of you know, last week I went home for spring break. Cleveland, Tennesse-- the most happening place to be-- yeah, I'm am not telling the truth on that one... However, there is one thing that happened quite often. I got asked some questions by everyone I ran into. Here are some favorites:

How is school? Where are you again?

Do you have a boyfriend? (Why do people ask that question? Honestly... if the answer changes, I'll bring it up... you think they would get tired of asking...)

What are you studying?

(And here's the big one.....) What are you going to do with that?

(sigh) A job. That word does not scare me in the context of finding something to do for the summer. It isn't a complicated word, and it isn't even hard to spell.... but something about that word in the context of my life.... it pretty much scares me silly. What do I want to do? What is going to be available? Where am I going to be? What if I can't find one? What if I hate what I find? What is out there for me? What is God going to do with me, and how is that going to fit into my vocation?

It is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of chaotic questions, but I am going to choose to take a step out of that whirlwind.

I have had the opportunity to do many things. I have worked in the office of a construction company. I've been a librarian, photographer, and babysitter. I have served as a youth intern (my favorite job so far), and I have been working in the admissions office at Faulkner for 3 years. God has given me many opportunities. He has led me to and through many different things. Why do I let myself think that graduating means I am on my own. I'm not. I've still got a God who wants to use me, and as long as I am willing-- He will. So that's it. No more worries. I will think. I will watch. I will seek. I will plan. But when it comes down to it... I will follow, and I know He is going to lead.

(besides, I still have a year... a lot can happen in a year... this should be interesting....)

Monday, April 03, 2006

Things that made me smile today...

~The extra hour of sleep this morning (sure, it was because I overslept, but it was still nice)

~Getting my Malawi letters put in the mail (another important thing to check off the list, always worthy of a smile... especially because it has to do with this exciting opportunity)

~Smoothies with Laurel and Carie... while on the tailgate of Laurel's new car... it was a lovely hour... there is nothing like quality time with good friends

~Advanced Comp class... I got my 10 page paper back. I got an "Outstanding A." After the dream I had that I made a 49 on it... there was a big smile on my face

~The nice chat I had with Heather Waller at work today. She is an amazing girl! I love when God leads me to an opportunity to share good conversations with people!

~Talking to my cousin online, even though it was just for a few minutes. (She lives in California.) I'm glad she knows she can talk to me and that I am here for her.

~The wonderful friends that were there to calm me down after a very stressful and frustrating SGA meeting... Have I mentioned that I have some of the most wonderful friends?!?!

~The funny phone conversation I had.. I won't say anything else, fortunately it all worked out... just know... when I get mad (it is very rare that I vocalize that anger) I can be a litte frightening...or maybe it is funny....ask Brittany and Carie... oh and Tex.

~The last thing that is making me smile today... It is 11:39, and I still haven't started some of my homework... way to go Jenna.... It really is the end of the year... senoritis is already kicking in...

So now I will smile, get off of this computer, and do my homework. Good night! :)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Why Becoming a Better Writer Stinks

Why Becoming a Better Writer Stinks
(written with a bit of sarcasm)
by Jenna Lupo

I remember writing a paper about Jack Nickolas, the golfer. This was in fifth grade. I remember doing my research in the elementary school library. The World Book. It contained everything I needed. Read it, then write it. That's how it worked. I had never even heard the work "rhetoric." Oh--for those days.

I recall the semester my sophmore year in high school that I had English II Honors. Mrs. Schlager. She found my narative essay to be quite funny. She liked it a lot. "Ice in the Floor, Suds in the Kitchen, and Other Mishaps." I got an A. I was quite fond of that paper. I think I used it again another year for something else. It was simple. It was funny. It was practically effortless. Who needed research? It all came from within. Oh--for those days.

I remember my junior year. English III Honors with Mrs. Lemons. The year of the research paper. My favorite American author. Caroline B. Cooney. I had read dozens of her books. This would be a breeze; I wouldn't even have to read any extra books. Look up some info online when we had time in the computer lab. Procrastination. I wrote that 12 page paper the day before. I rememeber seriously regreting my procrastination that Sunday evening. Yet, I pulled it off. Another successful assignment. Oh--for those days.

It used to be so simple.

Then I got to college.

At first, I was able to play by the high school rules. I was even in Great Books, but I was good. Procrastination pushed me-- I could still pull it off. Oh--those were the days.

And then came Advanced Composition class. I now stare the word rhetoric in the face everyday when my eyes meet the cover of my textbook. I now have to listen to examples upon examples of good or bad logic, persuassive or pointless arguements, etc, etc, etc. I now need to spend hours in the library researching, which leads to days in front of my computer. I can't settle. I must meet the standards that I have been taught.

Now I find myself with 11 papers to write before the end of the semester. Do I need to repeat that? No, it wasn't a misprint. ELEVEN papers. Some 3-5 pages long, others 4-8, a couple 10 pagers, and a 20 page research paper. I have 5 weeks. Not enough days....

This is why becoming a better writer stinks.

Monday, March 20, 2006

So I took a personality test...

(Not really a of those dinky quizzes online..) This is what is said...

Your view on yourself:
You are down-to-earth and people like you because you are so straightforward. You are an efficient problem solver because you will listen to both sides of an argument before making a decision that usually appeals to both parties.

The type of girlfriend/boyfriend you are looking for:
You are a true romantic. When you are in love, you will do anything and everything to keep your love true.

Your readiness to commit to a relationship:
You are ready to commit as soon as you meet the right person. And you believe you will pretty much know as soon as you might that person.

The seriousness of your love:
Your have very sensible tactics when approaching the opposite sex. In many ways people find your straightforwardness attractive, so you will find yourself with plenty of dates.

Your views on education
Education is very important in life. You want to study hard and learn as much as you can.

The right job for you:
You're a practical person and will choose a secure job with a steady income. Knowing what you like to do is important. Find a regular job doing just that and you'll be set for life.

How do you view success:
You are afraid of failure and scared to have a go at the career you would like to have in case you don't succeed. Don't give up when you haven't yet even started! Be courageous.

What are you most afraid of:
You are afraid of things that you cannot control. Sometimes you show your anger to cover up how you feel.

Who is your true self:
You are full of energy and confidence. You are unpredictable, with moods changing as quickly as an ocean. You might occasionally be calm and still, but never for long. - Try it yourself if you want... I never know what to think about these things....

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Calm of the Storm

Last night was pretty crazy. The wind was blowing; the power kept going out. The weather wasn't the only thing that went crazy. I felt like there was a storm brewing in my mind.
Maybe due to the stress of the day. Maybe it's because I couldn't help but think about all of the things I really need to do this weekend- there's a lot so it is an overwhelming thought. Maybe it's because I have obsessive complusive tendencies when it comes to my living space (currently the apartement).

(Let me briefly explain what stresses me out about the apartment. I kinda consider my home to be my sanctuary- a place for me to escape the madness of everyday life. I can remember being in high school and just locking myself in my room for hours. I'd do my homework (first thing I listed, but definitely not the first thing I'd think to do), I'd... I'd come up with all sorts of things to do, even if it was simply listening to music or looking at pictures. If my room got too disorderly, I would clean it. Not for the simple reason that I wanted it clean- I cleaned it because the disorder would get to the point that it was disrupting my sanctuary.

The apartment is my home. I share this home with 2 other people. Our rooms are our own. We keep them how we like them. The living room/kitchen we share. We do our best to keep things orderly. We take turns doing the dishes (even if none of the dishes in the sink are our own), we take turns taking out the trash, and we try to straighten up after ourselfs. Doesn't seem that that should be too difficult of a task. Yeah, if only 3 people lived here... it gets harder when about 7 other people consider our apartment their 2nd home. With the increase of people comes an increase of disorder. Note: I love all of you guys SOOO much, and I'm glad we can all hang out in the apartment. Please keep that in mind!!! I just get a little overwhelmed when I enter my apartment and there is more chaos inside than in the world I escaped.)

Okay. Enough of that. I'm sure you were all get the feel for why my mind was as crazy as the weather outside. Which leads me to the real reason I am writing this blog.

I needed to escape. I needed a resting place. Nowhere was calm. Even my room was messy- not calm enough to relieve me. So I went to the one calm place I could think of... the extra bedroom. I brought my big, puffy, white, goose-feather comforter and curled up on the "window seat." I opened the window a bit and listened to the rain. I watched the clouds that were quickly moving across the sky. I just stayed there. And I found rest. I felt as if I had escaped the chaos of my day by running away to this quiet place, but I didn't feel alone. There was another in my presence- or should I say, I was in His presence. I was comforted by His presence. I was calmed by His presence. The storm outside became a lullaby. The to-list didn't seem nearly as important as just sitting there. He calmed the storm that had disturbed my peace of mind, and I fell asleep in the arms of my Comforter.

So I may be crazy. My life may get crazy. And my apartment may become the definition of crazy sometimes... but I know who brings peace. He is my sanctuary.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A decision has been made...

Ladies and gentlemen... boys and girls...

A decision has been made. After a couple stressful conversations, a few headaches, several helpful listening ears, and quite a many prayers there is peace. Well, at least a basic answer.
I am not going to London to study abroad this summer. (and I'm not near as heartbroken as one might think...I'm actually relieved!)

Instead I am going to take my classes during Faulkner's 1st summer class session, then I am going on a mission trip to Malawi, Africa for 2 weeks, and then I will return to Montgomery to continue working and writing my thesis. (This is the basic skeleton of the plan... details will follow in time.)

I am really excited about this new plan and how God is going to work through it. There has got to be a reason why He thought it would be a good idea to shake everything up here at crunch-time, and I am looking forward to watching the Lord work! So there we have it... everyone can sleep a little bit better now.

I'd like to take a moment to thank the people that helped me out through this insanity: The girls of the APT (those that live here, and those that practically live here ;), Kyle (we could probably group him in that 1st category as well...), my mom and dad (nothing like advice from the rents...good stuff!), Jason Bybee (the best mentor ever) and Corey Trevathan (I miss these two youth ministers!), Wes Gunn & Nathan Capps (Wes for letting me join the Malawi team this late in the game, and Nathan for advising me to get a loan ;), Sarah Beth (I never got around to actually filling you in on everything, but I know you were praying), and finally my adopted parents at Landmark- David and Susan Clark (they listened/talked to me and Brittany for about two hours and helped to guide us to our decisions.. plus the banana pudding was amazing!). I am so blessed to have so many amazing people in my life, and there were so many more I could have called. I love being a part of the family of God! There is no greater security, that's for sure!!

Now all I have to do is break the news to Dr. Hicks... (I'm kinda afraid... please be praying about that!)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

This is harder than I thought...

This day has been a rollercoaster- that or the spinning teacups- and now I am left feeling incredibly dizzy. Do you ever have a plan, then find yourself revising that plan, then realizing that the new plan is not quite as perfect as you thought? You are left without all the details, confused, frustrated, stressed, and completely drained. It's like you run around trying to get things in order, only to find that you have been running in circles, and you haven't accomplished anything. There. That is how I feel right now. And the sad part is- most of you have no idea what in the world is going on.

In the long run, what I do this summer is not that big of a deal... but in a way it is. And I have no idea what will be decided, and no idea what I want to happen. Please be praying about this for me. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed about it all. If it just involved me, I could make a decision, but there is more that plays into it... so please pray that the best choice will be obvious. This really is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Something on my mind...

So I've had this plan for the summer. I mean, these plans were carefully sketched out and molded to where they are exactly what I want and need, right? So I thought. However, today (and many other connected things that have led my thoughts to where I find myself today) has presented another option... more options even.

What was this plan? To go to London to study abroad (taking 2 classes there) and then taking a class at school while working on my thesis. This extends onto my Sr. year plans... etc...etc... It fit perfectly. It sounds great, doesn't it?

Well I am here to tell you that my plans could be changing. And I am really excited about that possibility. Because I don't know anything definite, that is all I am going to write. Please be praying that I will make the best choice for myself and for all the others involved. God is at work. I just have to follow Him.

Friday, February 24, 2006

i wanna sit at Your feet
drink from the cup in Your hand
lean back against You and breathe
feel Your heart beat
this love is so deep
it's more than i can stand
i melt in Your peace
it's overwhelming
i need You more
more than yesterday
i need You more
more than words can say
i need You more
than ever before
i need You more
i need You Lord
more than the air i breathe
more than the song i sing
more than the next heartbeat
more than anything
how long oh Lord
will You forget me forever?
how long must You hide Your face from me?
how long must i wrestle with my thoughts of doubt
and insecurity
there's no one to blame
but i love You the same
i love You the same

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Guess we'll never know...

... You can't really read what the cloud says. If you are curious about the cloud, go to Jason Bybee's blog, Already & Not Yet, and see his. It's pretty cool.

What does my cloud say?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Overcoming Exhaustion

This weekend was amazing! I was blessed with the opportunity of going to Winterfest with my favorite group of teenagers in the world- the Mayfair youth group! It was such an encouraging weekend full of inspiring and informative lessons, uplifting praise and worship, and snow flurries that were beautiful!!

I would take the time to go into greater detail of this weekend (and maybe I will later), but right now I am just so exhausted! I might be getting sick. I feel kinda achy and I am so sleepy. But I CANNOT get sick! There is too much to do this week.

I spent 4 hours in the library researching for my paper that is due Wednesday. (The rough draft was due today, but I missed that deadline.) I have a test tomorrow, more reading that I MUST catch up on, a test in British Writers at 8:30 in the morning, a midterm Thursday in counseling class (not to mention a lot of work to catch up on in there)... then there is the constant work responsibility. I would have way too much going on the 1 week that I am lacking the energy to handle it.

But I am not going to worry. Stress and anxiety never helps a person feel better. I'm just going to take it all in stride, get all I can done, and hope that I am met on all ends with patience from those that I may disappoint this week. On that note, I am going to end this blog and get back to work... because I refuse to stay up past midnight.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


This is a poem I wrote last year in Creative Writing. I was just thinking about how I had so much on my mind, but none of it wanted to form into words. Therefore, I decided to go to something I had already written, and though this doesn't encompass all of my thoughts, it depicts some of them.


dreaming dreams
striving for reality
falling short
getting up
pushing harder

dreams shattered
hopes scattered

afraid to speak
to say out loud
let others see my dreams?
makes failure harder

glimmer of hope
a chance
a possibility
is it worth it?
risking it all?
allow such vulnerability?

to step off the edge
into the unknown
nothing to grasp
to soar?
to crash?
which will it be?
will I attempt it?

dreaming dreams
striving for reality
falling short
getting up
pushing harder

Friday, February 10, 2006

A song from Psalms

I am so thankful for the life that the Lord has blessed me with. I am thankful for the people that He has placed in my life. It's like every person is a song. Since that is the case, there is a lot of different music I am surrounded with. Each one unique, each beautiful. I am thankful for the songs I walk with each day.

Right now I want to share a song with you. She has blessed me so much. Words don't describe. I won't embarrass her, so I won't identify her by name. However, I want to show you part of her song. These lyrics are taken from Psalms. She picked them out and pieced them together, set them to some guitar chords, and created something amazing. Here are the lyrics from one of my favorite songs.

(v 1)
How long oh Lord, will You forget me forever
How long will You hide Your face from me
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts of doubt & insecurity

All day, every day, I go about mourning
Remembering my songs from better days
And at night I stretch out untiring hands
To a God who won't reach back at my demand

Look on me and answer me if You're out there
Give light to my eyes or I'm gonna die
Sinking in the mire but my desire is for You
Choking on these tears for food

(v 2)
Your arrows have pierced me, Your hand on me's heavy
My heart has turned to wax and melts away
I'm poured out like water when trouble's near, You're never here

You've shaken my life & torn it all open
Mend up it fractures cause it's quaking
You've shown Your kid desperate times
Now I stagger like I'm drunk on wine


Will the Lord reject forever?
Will He ever show His favor?

Has His unfailing love vanished?
Has His promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful to me?

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God
For I will praise Him yet

(chorus- repeat)

Words from one of my favorite songs.... I'm just blessed she lets me sing along.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Lipscomb Life

So I drove up to the good ole Lipscomb University in Nashville this weekend. I'm currently sitting here in Sarah Beth and DeeDee's dorm room. This has been the most random and eventful 2 days ever so far. Well, maybe not the most eventful EVER, but nonetheless, this has been a really fun weekend!

What I thought would be a 5 hour drive turned out to be merely 4... a pleasant surprise indeed, and even though it quickly became a cold and rainy day in Nashville, we had a lot of fun! I got information on the Masters program here at Lipscomb, ran into 7 people I knew within a 30 minute period (so random!!), and then Sarah Beth and I walked over to this cool bookstore across the street from campus. I have never seen so many books crammed into one small store! It was beautiful!

More events from the evening:
dinner at Baja Burrito- it was sooooo good! ("of course it was" says Sarah Beth) It was funny because it was freezing outside, but there was no room inside so out we went to sit under the umbrella tables. Good fun, funny conversation!
Art show at Hillsboro c o c- this was a really neat event! I liked it a lot! And good things came from this art show! While we were there, Stan, the college minister, asked us if we would be willing to stay the night at the building to protect the art. Of course we wanted to!! So that led to...
A crazy night of old school lock-in funness minus the chaperones- Yes. 7 college students. A projector. Movie, DDR, and Nintendo. A dark empty building that was dark and scary. And a room full of art to protect. It was indeed, quite a night. Good times. Good fun. Random memories. (oh, and ice cream, cookies, and hot chocolate)

So far today we have had a nice nap, Smoothies, and now we are about to go buy groceries for a BYOM party. (Bring your own meat) I am pretty excited. So now I am off to Kroger.

(and it might snow!!!)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Contracts and a Thesis

So I am a Junior here at Faulkner, and I was a part of the Great Books Honors Program my 1st two years here. However, this summer I made the decision that I really didn't care to continue and have to endure the stress of the dreaded thesis. I didn't know whether or not I could handle it, I didn't want to be even more cluttered...I had a number of reasons...good ones at that. However, things have changed.

Yes, things have changed. I managed to eliminate quite a bit of clutter (and I am enjoying life...still have a lot to do, but it is a load I can handle. I can breathe easier this semester.) and I have realized a lot of things about myself. I have realized that I don't always strive to reach my full potential. I am a smart girl, and I have been blessed greatly with many opportunities and experiences. Yet I could be so much more. I could do so much more. Not for myself, but for the higher purpose. As I make decisions and goals for my future, as I dare to dream big, I need to be willing to take a step out of the comfort zone and be bold enough to reach for something. I have decided that I am going to reach out for this Honors degree. Not because I need it. Not because I want to build myself up. But because I think that if I am going to fulfill my true nature, if I am going to use the gifts God has given me, I need to push myself academically while I can. Who knows what all I am going to learn that God is going to use.

So that is the first concrete decision I have made about my future. I am going to learn to think. I am going to learn to speak. I am going to learn to listen. I am going to be pushed and stretched and molded. And God is going to use me. The way I figure it, if my body is a living sacrifice to the Lord, I want to do all I can to make it an acceptable sacrifice. (The beautiful thing is that I have already been accepted. None of this is neccessary for my salvation. If it was neccessary, it wouldn't be a gift.) I have been forgiven. I have been justified, sanctified...I have been redeemed. Jesus mad e the sacrifice for me. Now I want to live my life as a gift to God.

(Big concept right there. My words did it no justice. Let your mind expand those thoughts so that you can get a glipse of this amazing idea that I have just barely been able to take a peek at... wow....)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Funny Event of the Weekend...

Okay, so I had the most random, funny day in the world Saturday!

This weekend the campus ministry at Landmark participated in another Extreme Home Makeover service project. A single mother of 2 young children was in need of a new home, so she found one, but it was in REALLY bad shape. That is where we came in. A man from our church and his construction crew were in charge fixing the big stuff (like putting up some new walls, etc) and we were in charge of the inside. We cleaned,scraped, and painted all of the rooms, and the carpet should be in by now. It was great to be involved in such a big project. (this is not the funny part...)

After we were finished painting Saturday afternoon, we decided to grab some food before going back to school. (this is where the random funniness starts) Now of course we look horrible. Paint all over us...dirty Tshirts and painted scrubs...bandanas over some pigtail braids... we just look out of place driving through Montgomery apparently. Cars were passing us, and the passengers would be staring at us. It was kinda strange, but nothing too weird. UNTIL this one car passed us. It was full of young teenage girls (by young I mean they looked to young to be by themselves in a vehicle) and all of them had turned around in their seats to stare at us as they drove by. We couldn't figure out what the deal was!

A few minutes later we pulled up beside that car at a redlight. Not meaning any harm by it, just trying to be funny, we all turned and looked at them...not even staring, just smiling at them! Well they didn't like that too much. The next thing I know, we are being cursed at!!! These too-young-to-be-driving preteen girls were flipping us off and screaming curse words in our direction. Now we were just laughing cause we had NO IDEA why all this was happening! It was crazy!!!

The light turned green, the car sped off, we just keep driving towards Sonic, thinking the moment had passed... but oh no... Those girls were not finished with us! As they were waiting to turn into the mall and we were passing them to get to Sonic, the girl on the passenger side rolled down her window and held her arm up flipping us off. She kept it up until we were out of sight. WHAT?!?! How CRAZY!! And sadly enough, that wasn't the end of the craziness. From the preteens at Sonic that didn't approve of our fashion statement (paint is not cool), to the game of pass the pigs with the old people (this was actually the funnest thing EVER), and the hair dye catastrophe in the midnight hours... Saturday was definitely the funniest day of the New Year so far.

And that is my story. The End.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Flexibility or Fear?

For some reason I have become so apprehensive about limiting myself. I am scared of making decisions that will box me in. I have become scared of putting anything in a box. Especially myself. Especially now. So much is much I limit might mean to miss out on something that gets left out of that box. But at the same time, I want to find my place. Even if that place limits me... but where is that place? How do I find it? How do I choose? So many directions I could go.. so many things I could do. What do I want?

I have faith, and I want my goals to be faith-full, but the fear is crippling. It leaves me with so many questions left unanswered. So many thoughts that won't form into words that could form into questions that could obtain answers.

That is what I feel like I am this year. An abundant mass of thoughts all tangled up.. a lot of words that don't do the job.. don't express the bundle of thoughts...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Goals vs. Flexibility

"What do you want to do when you graduate?" ~a large # of people
"I am not really sure, but I'm not worried. I know God will provide me opportunities. He has so far, and He will. I'll just be flexible... I figure, really, that's the best way to do it- just have faith." ~me

Well, I have come to the conclusion that I was wrong. Wrong to let that be my blanket statement...a security blanket.. yeah, that is not faith.

I need to set goals. Strive for them. Because flexibility can only come when there is a plan to modify. As of now. I haven't had a plan. And that is not good.

Working on that....

Rhetoric... I think I am going to like this class.

Thank you Jason Bybee for commenting on my last post. Someone does read this thing!! Well, has read. haha

This was my first journal entry for advanced comp....

Rhetoric is an art/discipline that I really want to master. It is quite possible that this class will advance me further down the path to becoming an advanced rhetorician than I have ever imagined I might go. If I fully take advantage of this class, it will be a launching pad for me; it will only be the beginning of the adventure.

I like the fact that rhetoric is refered to as an art and a discipline in the first sentence of chapter one. (I already read the first chapter. I thought it was our homework for Wednesday.) I like that it is refered to as both because each description appeals to me in two different ways.

Rhetoric as an art creates a mental image that excites me. One that sends an inspiring chill through the core of my being. I like to mold and shape things. I love to harmonize. I love to blend my voice with another in ways that both contrast and compliment. I love to hear a violin as it is being tuned. The hand of the musician slowly shapes the sound until it is beautiful. I love seeing myself as a piece of clay being molding in the hands of a potter. I love art. An artist of words has much influence; I want to be an artist of words.

Rhetoric as a discipline doesn't invigorate me with the same sort of passion, but it puts reason behind that passion. It puts a concrete element into the equation, and an individual needs to have something concrete to stand on. Discipline seems to be the foundation that the rhetorician can build his art on. That image excites me as well.

I know that I can become an advanced rhetorician. It is in this class that I hope to be prepared, tuned, and molded.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I don't think anyone reads this... but..

The new year has begun. Diets are already being broken, exercise machines have yet to be assembled...another year of resolutions.. resolutions that last long enough for you to write them down and tell your co-workers all about them. But what then?

I decided this year, that I wasn't going to do a list. And I like lists. But I decided against it for this year. You see, I'm always trying to fix something about myself anyways. Practically everyday of the year. I suppose that is a good thing... recognizing faults... working to improve...

I have decided to take things a step at a time. This semester. I have managed to de-clutter, which was a goal of mine before this past semester. Now my goal is to learn to love. I am going to end on that note for now, and then come back later and elaborate.