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! :)