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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Closed door/Opened door

I get so tired of feeling this way.

Why do I struggle with this sense of sorrow on a regular basis? Why do these feelings always make me mad at myself?

I know there must be a reason behind it all, but I can't see why right now. I try to make my heart like the Lord's, desiring the things He does, yet I continue to struggle.

Why do these feelings plague me, year after year?

I'm walkin' through trees where the path has been worn
Where hearts have been ripped out trampled and torn
And I'm sorry - I'm sorry once again

A hopeless romantic but nothing feels right
A ship full of lovers that sails out of sight
I wait for the answers to fall from the sky - to fall from the sky
A perfect beginning but why does it end
And when will I learn to let someone in
I wait for the answers to fall from the sky

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fabulous Fotos (with an F, because I like words to match)

Just wanted to put up a few photos of the trip to Union. See my last post for other thoughts and details on it.

The Miller Bell Tower on campus. The right side was left damaged, showing the time the tornado swept through and hit campus.


The crew from SEBTS. Sorry it's so bright!


See where the sidewalk ends and that plastic fence begins?
That's where I lived this time last year.


New dorm going up super-quick


Me and some of my lovely sorority sisters, rooting for Zeta at V-Show


My little duck family! Alison (grand-little) and Jessica (great-grand-little)


Me and Rose --> love her.


Love this one too: Stefie, after dancing (and winning!) with a broken toe


It was so good to see Merry! We missed our other two roomies though!


This is how I learned to break into a car with a wire coat hanger. Thanks for the lesson, Mer!


Yay! She did it! Now she can get into her car.



Ummm.....I guess I was frustrated I couldn't get the coat hanger OUT of the door. Not sure why else my face would look like this.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Life ain't always beautiful...

Thursday was a bit of a surreal experience for me.

I left my apartment in WF at 5:30 am, to meet up with Southeasterners going to Union for landscaping. Around 12:30, we stopped for lunch in Knoxville, at the Chick-Fil-A across from the Olive Garden I worked at while at home for breaks from college. Around 6:30, we pulled into Jackson, the town I spent four years of my life in for college at Union.

More than combining all three of my homes into one day, a feat I have never done before, it was surreal being back at Union and seeing how much is the same and how much has radically changed. My friend Rose picked me up from dinner and took me to campus. After watching the Zetas practice for variety show, she and I walked out onto campus - allowing me to see the damage/regrowth of my dear campus after the tornado for the first time. To mildly explain the emotions I felt, I cried that I had lost so much of the campus I loved, and praised God for what he is doing there.

Union was hit by an F-4 tornado on february 5, a little over 2 months ago. Today, they are well on their way to completing 6 new dorm buildings to be opened in the fall for students to move back into. The student body, though scattered, is truly experiencing revival and joy at the mercy of God for sparing every life, all 1200 of them.

Standing in spots I have stood in many times over the last 4 1/2 years and looking in the same direction, nothing looks the same. From this sidewalk here, I should be able to see the Sugar Shack. See where that sidewalk curves there and joins up with the plastic barrier fence? That's where my dorm room was. Where do students, who largely don't live on campus anymore, hang out now, now that the sugar shack and the commons have been demolished? In Barefoot's Joe, the new coffee shop in the old student lounge. It is amazing, and so cool, because it has a progression of pictures of tornado aftermath events. The final "picture" is a window that looks out onto the construction zone, and will soon look out on the new dorm complex.

Where there used to be an open field, filled with students playing softball and my friends laying in a hammock in the shade, there are now gigantic buildings that future generations of Union students will call home.

Though I know Union is not about buildings, it's about the people who are Union, I can't help but feel sorrow over all of the good memories I had there, and the fact that that place will never be the same. I still feel regret over the fact I wasn't close enough to do anything meaningful except pray during those following weeks. However, God is moving in mighty ways around the campus and students and the leadership.

There are a lot of thoughts rolling around in my head about the weekend, not all of them coherent. It was a hard trip, seeing how life has moved on and having bittersweet memories. I'm emotionally and physically worn out, but as I get rested, I'll share some of the more joyful moments of the trip. Meanwhile, please continue to PRAY for those students: They are resilient, and blessed, and amazing, but also still recovering from the shock of losing so much in a matter of seconds. Pray God will continue to guide them and to guide those who will lead them into a new generation of Union.

It's been a beautiful ride.

Friday, April 18, 2008

One year Benniversary!

As of Saturday, I have had Ben for a whole year! I told my parents, surely the first year is the hardest and it will be smooth sailing from here on out! He's a bit of a terrorist at times :) Look how sweet he was as a pup, though!


This was the first day I got him Our "one year Ben-niversary" picture. Trying to simulate the pose, but he's much bigger and rowdier now!

In honor of a year with him (complete with a few months of trying to find him a new home, then deciding to keep him), this weekend/post was all about Benny!

Friday he and I went to the river, our first time to go here in NC. We used to hang out at the river in TN as I worked there and we kayaked a lot, but hadn't made it out to the Neuse since I moved here. It was a gorgeous day and a gorgeous area. We hung out down around the boat launch, which totally made me wish I had the $$ for my kayak right now. Half of summer will be gone before I get to enjoy it! :(

But, I DID enjoy watching my crazy pup. You'd think he hates water the way he panics when his stick goes in too far for him to reach easily. He's only just begun swimming for it, at over a year old. He's a cautious one, that Benny o'mine. Here's a funny little video of how he tries to entice the stick to come back to him: Paw water first, then bark, then hop a little and hope he can swish it over his direction!


video

I wanted to post some pictures too of his new bed I made Saturday...

I thought it turned out cute!
Two layers of fleece, "tied" together with quilt batting the middle

Checking out his new digs...aka, a new toy.
Let's see how long it takes him to try and rip it up. Hopefully he won't succeed!

Weekend fun projects

Here is what I plan to do this weekend:

1) Sleep and rest. Always a top priority.
2) Clean the apartment in anticipation of having someone else stay there next week.
3) Go garage sale-ing Saturday morning. This may or may not happen, depending on the demands of #1
4) Go buy my bridesmaids dress for my BFF's wedding....Can't believe she's getting married!
5) Be crafty - specifically, I am going to try my hand at making Ben a new bed. I'll post some pics and stuff of the process and when it's done, if it gets done :)

Also, we may head out for the lake this afternoon. They're calling for 85 and sunny, and nothing says "Start the weekend!" like dedicating a gorgeous afternoon to the pooch.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

So long, SPIG

Sad news today. SPIG is now a no-no.

For those of you who have no idea what SPIG is, know that it is the most strenuous form of office basketball ever enjoyed.

With its demise I am left with so many questions. How will I break up the day? How will I get exercise? How will I humiliate the boys with my mad ballin' skills?

*sigh* So long, speed PIG. May your memory remain strong, and may we hope for a day you can be reinstated.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Deep Thoughts from D

Today has been a weird day, which seems only fitting since this time last week I was feeling out for sorts and funky too. Maybe it's a Monday thing? I have been letting little things get to me, when they really shouldn't.

So tonight, I am driving home from a banquet I had to be at for work, and I was flipping through the radio stations, when I heard one of my "favorite philosophers:" Delilah.

She said something to the effect of, "Are you hosting your own personal pity party and feeling blue about your life? If you can hear me, if you're driving a car, if you can breathe, you ought to be thankful. We live in a country that doesn't shove a dogma or religion down our throats and where we have the ability to pursue our dreams. For all of those things, be thankful."

So, thanks D for your deep thoughts. I know I shouldn't take love advice from a women thrice divorced, but I thought this advice on happiness was worth listening to and noting.
In the vein of being thankful despite feeling snarky about things:

I am thankful for my job, which enables me to sit down with great men and women of God and hear their hearts. In the last week or so, I have interviewed both Dr. Akin and Richard and Gina Headrick, who are donors and big supporters of the school. Both were really neat opportunities, and I am so thankful for the chance to have sat down with all of them, been infused with their passion for the Great Commission, hear about how people can help and hear stockpiles of stories. So, for that, I am thankful.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My alarm clock


Mornings have never really been my thing. I love lazily stretching and rolling out of bed whenever I choose to do so. Real life doesn't function that way though, I know. Hence, I have an alarm clock I use all the time, though it works only marginally now. I have since begun setting my phone alarm clock, and when I'm really desperate, the alarm clock on my iHome in the bathroom.

The most effective thing at waking me up though is the darling face you see here: my dog Ben. Nothing like a warm tongue licking your arms when they emerge from the covers to jolt you awake. If that doesn't work, he also enjoys pouncing on me, or squirming underneath my bed, getting stuck and growling at me to get him out. If none of that is effective, he paces and whines, making me think he has to go out and pee RIGHT NOW or he'll make me regret laying in bed for so long.

Anyways, just thought I'd share the sight of what I see nearly every morning. (He's gotten the hang of sleeping in on weekends, which is good.) He makes me mad sometimes, but he's so darn cute. Who couldn't love that goofy face?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Funny Friday office conversation

If you haven't figured it out by now, my office is pretty fun. We play games, jokes on each other (really, they are mostly all on me) and have random conversations. We had one such conversation today that I'd like to share, just for giggles.

My friend Amanda and I love the Faithful Men, a men's ensemble here at SEBTS. We really do. We get excited when you all sing (great voices!) and when new people join the group. In light of this fact, I asked the boss if I could do an article about them. From there, it snowballed into a conversation about creating a reality show with them....It went something like this.

Boss: Wouldn't it be funny if we put the Faithful Men all in the Manor House together and taped it? (laughter). That would be so good. Can't you just see all the Faithful Men living together in one house? It would be the hit new MTV reality show!
Sarcastic Co-worker: It would be even better if it was a reality show about The Making of the Faithful Women!
Me: Yeah, Bachelorette: SEBTS style. I volunteer. (Hey! I like a man who can sing or is otherwise musically inclined. So sue me.)
Sweet Allison: Some of them are married.
Me: They're kicked out. Time to recruit some new Faithful Men.
Boss: What about if we did it at Mag Hill (the President's house)?
Me: Oooh! We could make it into Southern Baptist Cribs.
Sarcastic Co-Worker: How about we pimp it out instead, while no one is there?
Boss: Pimp my President's House. I like that name. Or we could pimp his office.
Sarcastic Co-Worker #2: Hahaha. We could pimp Dr. A's ride! (more laughter)
Boss: Can't you just see the Cadillac with a new paint job?
Sarcastic Co-Worker: It has to be purple.
Sweet Allison: Oh my goodness.
Sarcastic Co-Worker #2: And we can airbrush the shield on the hood of the car! (laughter)
Boss: There definitely has to be wings and flames too...That would be sweet.

More was said, but you get the idea. Somehow, Janice Dickinson was nominated to be on one of the shows. Her role? I'm not sure. Regardless, I really think we've got the makings of some great, new, hit TV shows here....Stay tuned to find out dates for the premiers.

P.S. The topic of Southeastern Cribs just got brought up again.....creative minds at work, I tell ya!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tag - You're it.

This must be the new version of e-mail "quizzes" and MySpace bulletin surveys....Oh well. They're fun, and who doesn't like to talk about themselves? Here we go. If you read this, then you do it, k? Good.

What I was doing 10 years ago: (1998)
I was probably crying about how I didn't get along with my girlfriends. Middle school does that to a girl. My mom was my best friend, and I was into horseback riding and drama.

5 things on my to-do list today:
-E-mail one more person about an interview
-Look through some state papers for work
-Type out an interview I did yesterday
-Unload & load my dishes
-Leadership meeting

5 snacks I enjoy:
-Avocados
-Peanut butter M&Ms
-Spicy Guacamole Pringles
-Mashed potatoes
-Brownies

5 things I would do if I were a billionaire:
-Give money to a lot of good charities
-Buy a couple homes around the world
-Buy an airplane so I could travel on a whim
-Fund some missionaries
-Adopt several children

5 bad habits:
-Checking Craigslist and Facebook a lot
-Interrupting people
-Making snide comments in the name of "humor"
-Being late almost everywhere I go
-Not loving people like I should

5 places I've lived:
-St. Petersburg, FL
-Maryville, TN
-Jackson, TN
-Cuenca, Ecuador
-Wake Forest, NC

5 jobs I've had:
-Pet-sitter
-Carhop at Sonic
-"Tubing/Kayaking specialist," aka River Rat employee
-Marketing Associate
-News & Information Specialist at SEBTS

(I'm adding this one!)
5 things I would do with a year off from "real life":
-Relax
-Take my family on a vacation (probably a cruise)
-Spend several months in Africa
-Backpack Europe
-Read some books I have been wanting to read

Your turn- if you have a blog and read this, it's your turn! Let me know you've done it by leaving me a comment and I'll come check it out!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Attention: Blog stalkers

I know you're out there, reading my blog and never commenting. For shame.

Here's to you, people-who-keep-up-with-my-life's-happenings-via-my-blog-but-always-fail-to-leave-a-comment. Here's your chance to shine, and it will be oh-so-easy and painless. All you have to do is hit "Comments," type something witty, sarcastic or the like and tell me who you are! I want to know; really. And, if you don't have a Blogger/Google ID, that is FINE! You can just type your name in, no registration required.

Even if this is your first visit, I'm sure you'll be back, so go ahead and comment. Thank you kindly.

Monday, April 7, 2008

I don't even know.

Today is Monday and I must have a case of the Monday blues. I just feel blah or a shade grumpier than blah.

Maybe it's because I haven't seen sunshine in who-knows-how-long, and I'm not talking about the kind the choir brought at church last night. It stopped raining today, but it's still dreary and dismal, which seems to be rubbing off on my mood.

I beat the boys in 2 games of Speed PIG this afternoon, so that made me feel a little better. Not much, mind you, but a bit....Gotta love office games.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Purse-onality?

I was blog cruising and happened upon a funny video that was a clip from Good Morning America. This woman (Anita Renfroe) has come to apparent fame for her analysis of purses and what they say about a woman. She seriously hits the nail on the head, over and over again. That sucker is nailed down when she's done!

In the video, they mention that the average woman has 10 purses, weighing an average weight of 3.4 pounds each, carrying an average of 67 items. I would have to admit several things in relation to this:

- I have 10 purses, including the current one I carry. The other 9 sit waiting in my closet, and I have more at home that I guess I left there, for whatever reason. This is after I sold about 12 at a garage sale before moving to my apartment. I have calmed down a bit, but for a while there, I was a purse-aholic. As a wise friend of mine once said, "I love accessories. No matter how fat you get, they still work for you."

- My current purse, which I have (regretfully/joyfully) stuck with for about a year and a half weighs 6.5 pounds on a normal, full day. It is large, I'll grant that. However, I once heard that having large accessories makes one appear smaller. For a girl of 5'8'', this may explain why I drive a big SUV, am obsessed with getting a Great Dane someday, and adore my large bag.

- I counted, and I have 47 items in my bag right now. (Notice I am now calling it a bag. I just remembered a friend recently told me "bag" or "handbag" was the proper term, and "purse" is no longer haute couture. My bad.) So, while I am planning on downsizing in the future, I currently have 47 items in my bag. That is 20 less than the national average. Hurrah! However, I ought to mention that number does not include how many things are hidden inside little pouches (example, my lip gloss pouch was counted as 1, while it has about 8 tubes of stuff inside.)

Here's a general rundown. Keep in mind, this list is not complete, as a woman's purse is "sacred" and not meant to be revealed to all!

1) 1 pair of reading glasses: Rarely used.
2) One wallet with coupons and old cards (gift, credit, etc.) Comes equipped with a mirror.
3) The top piece of my camera. My camera is usually in here, but not today. This piece doesn't stay on anymore.
4) A jump drive, for storing all my important, top-secret documents.
5) My lip gloss pouch. Inside it has 7 tubes of lipgloss/chapstick/lipstick. Also, a random handgun keychain.
6) Tubes of lipstick, chapstick and softlips that wouldn't fit into the pouch.
7) Raspberry Lemonade mix. Leftover from Guatemala 2 years ago, I think...
8) Some sucky-doesn't-really-moisturize-lotion. Also a remnant of Guatemala!
9) Some Kleenex travel tissues. Those came in very handy last week on a hike in the woods....
10) 2 paper clips of differing sizes
11) Three bobby pins (Left over from some formal, no doubt!)
12) Two notepads with months-old grocery lists
13) A comb I used a lot this summer when I drove to work with wet hair.
14) Some green tea pills left over from a "weight loss" kick a year or so ago.
15) A broken pair of earrings.
16) Travel-size Germ-X. Repeated use of this could explain the need for crappy lotion (see #8)
17) An almost-empty bottle of Excedrin extra strength. I'm going to need a refill ASAP.
18) A ton of old receipts that will never be stored or used in any useful way.
19) Lots of old gum/mint wrappers (don't worry, no old gum wrapped in them!)
20) 3 Highlighters - 2 yellow ones, and a green for the days I want to mix things up a bit. Did I mention I rarely ever use highlighters at all?
21) Lots of pens in various stages of functionality.
22) An old, dried-up Tide To Go pen. I just found the lid and for whatever reason, put it back into my bag.
22) Tanning goggles, minus the face strap. I don't even know when I last went tanning.
22) My Vera Bradley wallet. Inside: Credit/debit cards, business cards, driver's license, ID card, and occasionally, cash. Today is one such lucky day.
22) Set of spare keys/office keys.
23) A random floater key for something at Union. Considering it is not my dorm key, I am guessing it was to the newspaper office or the photo house.
24) A random key to a lock. Maybe from when I locked my bike up to the stairs at UU??
25) Car and apartment keys.
26) Harris Teeter VIC card that is free-floating.
27) My hot-pink, "fashion" Bible, as my boss calls it. It has more stuff stuck in the pages, but we won't go there.
28) An umbrella. It has come in VERY handy lately! People bash the big bag, but look who stays dry during an unexpected thunderstorm. That's right....Me. So there.
29) Instructions for a video game I got from Adam for Christmas.
30) The face strap for the tanning goggles. Maybe I should attach the two.
31) Leftover coupons from Ben's obedience school days.
32) A list of people to contact to start an ESL ministry.
33) 3 checkbooks....Odd, considering I only have 2 accounts!
34) My new, tres chic Amanda Bynes sunglasses. Love 'em.

So, there's the (incomplete) list. A stranger recently commented that I could fit a small child in my bag. No sir, just a small dog. Been there, done that.

Based on this analysis of my bag, I would say I am option #1, as presented by Ms. Renfroe: "More is more better." I like to be prepared for whatever comes.

Watch the video and let me know which type you are!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Lily - Update #723

Last time I blogged about Lily, my still-new-to-me XTerra, she was in the shop after I rear-ended someone, causing $5,000 worth of damage to my own car. The shop ordeal took a month. In the meantime, I had 3 rental cars: Cobalt #1 that got a flat tire and was switched out for a sweet minivan. The minivan was then taken from me (after a good long run without incident) and was replaced with another Cobalt, this one with 4 functioning tires and automatic locks.

On Wednesday of last week I said "So long" to the Cobalt. Thursday morning I picked up Lily from the shop. It was a very exciting time, but a little nerve-wracking driving it again. She drives like an 18-wheeler, though I wouldn't know that from personal experience. It's what I imagine a trucker feels like: Sitting tall and being large and in charge. So, a few days of readjustment and enjoying having it back.....wha-BAM!

Lily broke down last night.

I was taking Ben to the dog park when a fan belt apparently slipped off its track and started making this wretched noise. You know the sound when you have mud stuck all up in your tires after off-roading? Once again, I don't know that from personal experience, but it's what I imagine the car would sound like. That clack clack clack noise was banging loud and suddenly, only it wasn't coming from the tires but the engine.

Fabulous.

Tyson (my now-familiar tow truck driver) came and towed her over to H., who took a look at her, fixed the problem (let's pray!), and sent me on my merry way with a new fan belt.

Oh, to go back to the days when I didn't worry about breaking my car every time I got behind the wheel!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I am a dreamer!

Blame it on the weather (rainy, dreary, & chilly), but my head and heart have run away with me the last few days. It has made me feel both domestic and restless.

Being here in NC is great, but I long for the day when some of the things I know the Lord has called me to come to fruition. Currently, I am so excited for the day (in the future) when I:
1) Get an assignment from the IMB to serve overseas somewhere.
2) Can adopt babies from another country.

Obviously, those things are a ways off, but I think both things are evidence of the fact that I LOVE this beautiful world we live in, and have a passion to see the heartbeat of the nations beat in tune with Christ.

I am so excited for the day when I get to experience it even more. The Lord has blessed me (so so so far) above what I deserve by allowing me to travel around the world, on mission trips, vacations and "study" trips. When I actually live overseas and get to adopt babies from other countries, I will be unbelievably grateful for the opportunities the Lord has blessed me with (I am grateful already, don't get me wrong!!).

Oh, to be so loved and beloved by the King of this world to be able to join Him in reaching every tongue, tribe and nation with the story of his incredibly love for us. To be able to extend that love in a very tangible way to children who were not born into the "lap of luxury" that I, as an American, was born into. I can think of no greater callings than to serve the Lord with my life and career, and to serve my family, whenever God sees fit to bless me with one.

My heart beats in anticipation of my future. Praise God for His calling on my life! I am humbled that he has given me such a clear sense of direction, and honored that I can serve the Kingdom!