just got back from a 3 day mini-trip within this bigger trip. good to be back in civilization. i was literally in the middle of nowhere--but i was also in the middle of God's creation...which was equally cool.
thursday morning we packed up the car and headed umm....headed out of Phoenix and into the desert. we drove and drove and drove for 3 hours--just the car and the road with sagebrush and cactus to keep us company. we stopped the car in a little (and i do mean little) place called Golden Shores where DeAnna's parents live. stayed there almost 3 days--no cell phone reception, no internet connection...didn't really even see any other people. BUT don't get me wrong, there are 4 good things that happened on my journey--really good things.
#1. i read-- alot! it was peaceful there. oh my it was peaceful. just the wind. no noise...no smog...no cars or buses or planes. just the wind. i sat outside for about 4 hours and read Wild at Heart. at the end of the day i'd read cover to cover--the whole thing. and then i wrote. i wrote and wrote and wrote. i'll post bits and pieces of my writing tomorrow...i was truly inspired. and in my bubble of inspiration, something adorable happened...which leads me to #2.
#2. little boys. alec, in particular. he drives me crazy and makes my heart melt. he was full of energy on thursday night. FULL of it. i made a big pile of couch cushions on the floor and he was jumping off the back of the couch onto the pile. then we played some Pokemon game he made up (we used to call it 'hot lava' or something of the sort)...so he and i were leaping from cushion to cushion...until he pushed me off. he shoved his hands in my face when i was trying to read and ran over my toes with his remote-control car (this is the drive me crazy part). but a little later, after he'd settled down a bit he made my heart melt--completely. i was sitting in the corner by the lamp reading. i'd tuned out the sound of the TV and talking and his GameBoy music that usually resembles the song-that-never-ends. i was enthralled in my book--in my own little world. but then two little arms came around my neck and a warm little cheek was next to mine. and then alec sighed...and whispered [in a cute little voice], "oh sissy...i think my heart is in love with you" . see what i mean?? heart melting.
have to go check in with the family this new year's eve. can't believe 2005 is almost over--about 4 hours left here, actually. lots to reflect on tonight. and perhaps more to look forward to :)
Saturday, December 31, 2005
just got back from a 3 day mini-trip within this bigger trip. good to be back in civilization. i was literally in the middle of nowhere--but i was also in the middle of God's creation...which was equally cool.
Monday, December 26, 2005
my little brother is so stinkin' cute (and stinkin' in the most literal sense of the word as well).
driving in the car today:
Alec [talking to me]: hey sis. can you do me a favorite? [Alec-talk for "can you do me a favor?"]
me: yup. what can i do for ya'?
Alec: can you just hold that [handing me his new Pokemon game] right there willy (kid code for 'really') carefully?
me: got it. not moving.
Alec [talking to DeAnna]: hey hun? sissy is holding my game for me. just wanted to tell you.
and that was it. that was his whole conversation--mostly with himself, but that was that whole thing. it drives me crazy when he calls me 'sis'...i really don't like pet names...but at the same time, i absolutely love it. so endearing, really. to be that young again....to have the world that huge again....to be full of that much wonder again....wow.
on another note, a bit more serious but just as 'cute'...i went hiking today :) this is what i saw:
wow, huh? drove down to Sedona....walked around a little....ate lunch....asked our waiter about hiking...hiked for almost 2 hours...got stabbed by a cactus (with blood stains on my jeans to proove it)...totally reconnected with God. i was really looking forward to climbing up this huge rock hill by myself and having quiet time at the top, but my dad came with--which turned out to be a blessing as well. good to spend time with him...even though we didn't get to talk too much. the hike was SO great. did i mention i enjoyed the hike?
oh man. God is so cool. just thought i'd remind you...in case you'd temporarily forgotten. :)
Posted by j... at 9:45 PM
Sunday, December 25, 2005
we drove around tonight for about 30 minutes looking for a place to eat in Phoenix. no luck. we ended up right back where we started from--at the hotel restaurant. seems like life's journey is that way a lot of the time...we search and search for the perfect place, the perfect things to fill ourselves with...and we end up right back where we started--empty and tired. but that isn't my point tonight.
we sat down to dinner and my brother--being the 7 year old boy he is--yelled across the table at DeAnna, "hey woman....whatcha got there?". it was all in fun...it was totally innocent. he got in a bit of trouble for calling his mother woman. but woman is exactly what came to mind. one woman, in fact. one woman named Mary. one woman who just happened to be the mother of Jesus.
i think Mary is forgotten about too often; she gets pushed aside in all the hustle and bustle, in all the ooing and awing over the Christ child. and though the Child does deserve each compliment and cuddle, Mary is on my mind tonight as a true Saint--in every sense of the word.
can you imagine being that young, that innocent, that unknowing? can you imagine being handed the fait of the world--to carry inside you, care for, and nuture for 9 months? can you imagine how she felt? did she cry? tremble? did she run to her own mother for advice (i am sure she would have called her if cell phones would have been around)? what did she do?
i am reading Captivating right now (great great book, by the way). as it explains, the true heart of every woman yearns to be beautiful; to capture and radiate Beauty. we, as women, find an intimate beauty in an intimate relationship with Christ. so if Christ is Beauty, if Christ represents everything about beauty...then didn't Mary carry Beauty itself in her womb? is that not a crazy thought?!?! Mary, in the blooming age of adolesence, carried the person--both divine and human--inside her...the person that would grow to teach the nations, heal the sick, comfort the broken-hearted, save the world. Whoa.
so not only am i thankful for the Man that, quite literally, saved my life...but i am grateful for his mother. a woman--young as she was--who had a faith, trusted God, took a risk, had a baby, and saved the world in her own way. and you know what? that is exactly what God asks of us too....
...well...maybe not the baby part for all of us. i guess men are exempt...
Posted by j... at 7:20 PM
Saturday, December 24, 2005
sometimes i forget that i am blessed with 2 families. families that love me very much, that want to spend time with me. two families that i have been freely given...sometimes i forget, in my familial-abundance, that some have not been blessed with even one family to share their joy.
sometimes i forget the power of forgiveness. i am not exempt from guilt in the wounds i have created in my distant past. i am not exempt from scorn or shame--or a broken heart. sometimes i forget that my parents aren't exempt either...that all the outbursts and lashings were actually anchored somewhere; sometimes on their hearts. i forget that, just like me, they too were hurt; they too felt pain and scorn and shame. sometimes i forget that they have made their best efforts to forgive me--and that, at the very least, they deserve the same from me.
sometimes i forget about the small, impressionable boy that holds part of my heart. i forget about his vulnerability, his innocence, his youth. sometimes i forget the adoration i hold as a much-older sister...even if i don't understand Yu-Gi-Oh or Pokemon (or Star Wars, for that matter!). i forget what it is like to play with no inhibition, to speak with no obligation, and to imagine with no limitation. i forget what it is like to be seven...missing teeth and full of life.
sometimes i forget that there was a man born 2000 years ago that would change the world forever; i forget the importance of His birth, His life. i forget that he was born for me...to save me. i forget about his ultimate purpose: that he was born to die. to die a shameful death...to die for me...because of me. sometimes i get too wrapped up in his divinity and forget about his humanity; forget that he was human too. that he experienced my pains, my wounds, my heartbreak. that he was tempted--that he resisted. i forget that he was pure--totally and completely pure. can you even imagine that?!
so tonight i want to remember. remember all that i too-often forget. my families. my forgiveness. my brother. my Savior.
and tonight i hope you remember too. remember your blessings...remember your Savior. it is His birthday tonight, you know. i can't think of a better reason to celebrate :)
Posted by j... at 3:39 PM
Friday, December 23, 2005
i don't deserve what i've been blessed with. not at all.
i don't deserve such a unconditionally loving, supportive family. one that holds me up, boosts me up, picks me up. one that never questions the magnitude of support--mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically--or the motives behind it. who puts up with my lows and tolerates my highs. i don't deserve my family...who takes me back every time with open arms and willing hearts. who welcomes me and loves me for who i am and who i am becoming.
i don't deserve such an amazing new person in my life (you know who you are dude). don't deserve his patience with my exploration of unchartered territory. don't deserve his delighfully humorous company. don't deserve to hear his incredible God-gifted musical talents (although i haven't heard all of them yet...ehm). and especially don't deserve as many hugs as i get...but i'll take 'em anyway :)
i don't deserve the grades i got this semester. thinking it'd be one of my worst, God totally (and i do mean TOTALLY) surprised me. i am kind of in shock right now actually...okay really in shock right now. don't deserve them at all....but thanking the Almighty above that He employed Ghostwriter to change the letters around and make them better....yup...pretty sure that is what He had to do---no way i earned those.
i don't deserve the weight off my shoulders for all the mistakes i've made. don't deserve forgiveness again. don't deserve the unconditional love and affection and grace that flows through me daily. don't deserve the commitment from Christ, the sacrifice and the pain that He endured...
i definitely don't deserve any of it.
but since it has been gifted to me...i am daily thankful for the millions of blessings in my life.
how did i get so lucky?!?!?
[probably won't post again until around January 2, 2006!!! happy holidays!!!]
Posted by j... at 12:19 AM
Thursday, December 22, 2005
gosh. that God dude.
ever wonder if He just sits up there laughing at us...how totally gullible and temporary we are?
ever wonder how many times He tries to stop us from doing something He doesn't approve of--something we end up doing anyways?
ever wonder how many times He'll say I love you when we don't deserve it at all?
small speedbump earlier this week--a speedbump that has, thankfully, been smoothed out by prayer. but God wasn't done reminding me of it....
this morning i opened my "verse-a-day" calendar for Thursday, December 22. this is what i saw:
if you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose. your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. -2 Tim. 2:21 NLT.
wanting me to remember that speedbump, huh God? wanting me to remember that you've got an ultimate purpose for my life that my actions can't interfere with.
so i'm praying that i'll be used--in every sense of the word. used by God for his purpose. used until i'm all worn out and empty...because then, & only then, i will be made whole.
Posted by j... at 9:32 AM
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
learning about my own character. and currently feeling led to pursue God's.
learning that i am somewhat of a half-empty-er person. that i'm not as scared of things as i used to be. that following God's will in purity and full faith is much harder that i initially thought. learning that i am changed by people, influenced by those around me more than i ever imagined before. that i am not the entirely independent person i was just 6 months ago. learning that i need to set boundaries for myself and stick to them. learning that i have to follow God...not my heart or my head or my own two left feet. that i can't predict my future--that i shouldn't want to. that God has already accounted for my many many mistakes and mishaps, bummers and blunders. learning that no matter what i do, God will love me anyway.
feeling led to get to know God more. get to know Him as a Creator, an Almighty, reverent, eloquent power. get to know the Wrath, the Fury, and the LOVE. feeling led to get down to the knitty-gritty, caloused palms, firey voice of the Lord; to identify with the grits, appreciate the palms, and recognize the voice. feeling led to know the One who made me, who changed me, who continually changes me, who saved me, and who will raise me. feeling led to know the one i call Father, Lord, Jesus, God, Savior. Divinity. Humanity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. wanting to know more about Him...grateful my heart strings have been tugged.
Posted by j... at 1:59 AM
Monday, December 19, 2005
so bummed out right now. had high hopes of developing all those glorious pictures i took in SunRiver over Thanksgiving...took the well-protected roll of film to WalMart today. walked around the store for an hour gathering random things i didn't need and risking my life to old ladies with carts when crossing the aisles. bought toothpaste (and got $.75 off will my coupon). talked with Christine--oh she is great.
65 minutes after i dropped off my precious roll of film, i went back up to the photo counter. and GUESS WHAT?!?!?! only 4 pictures turned out. 4! f-o-u-r. can you even believe it?! there is something seriously wrong with my camera. ugh. these photos were amazing through the lens. apparently not so amazing because they didn't make it onto the film. ugh. have to get it repaired. totally bummed out.
thought i'd share at least 2 pictures of the 4 that actually came out.
yes...SunRiver is that beautiful. and yes...that is me sleeping on the back of the couch post-turkey. i did sleep there for 3 hours and i was totally comfortable.
Posted by j... at 4:12 PM
Sunday, December 18, 2005
nice, deep breath. feel anything different? no? try again.
there is something different--very different....SCHOOL IS OUT!!!! first semester of my senior year is over. crazy. always saw myself beyond this point in life. but at the same time, never imagined i'd get here. it always seemed so far off. so much that is going on in my life always seemed so far off....now that it is here, i am feeling....well....oldish.
at least it is oldish and exciting, though. totally enjoying each new day. totally. enjoying no scholastic obliagations. enjoying [thinking about] sleeping. enjoying spending more time with my very special friend. enjoying work even! enjoying icicles (looking at them from a warm place, i mean) and chai and soup, warm blankets and scrapbooking and reading fun (yup...you read that correctly folks...for fun).
so much new right now. applying to med school--which by the way, is also crazy. thinking about the possibility of moving across the country. new people. new places. new milestones. new transitions and responsilibities. new challenges.
always believed i'd make it. but never thought i'd be here. so much exciting. so much new.
Posted by j... at 10:31 PM
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
i can tell you how oxygen flows through your body, why your heart muscle continues to beat but your skeletal muscles give out after exercise. i can tell you why light reflects off particles in the atmosphere to make the sky blue, why the magnitude of refraction is larger in water than in air--which is what makes a straw look crooked. i can tell you about the cascading effects of hormones activated in the pituitary gland and hemoglobin binding affinity to oxygen under variable conditions. i can tell you about Freud, Jung, and all the other crazy psychologists who thought they had life figured out; about Darwin who changed the face of science permanently. i can tell you about HIV Protease Inhibitors and the prospect of hope they provide for patients with AIDS.
i can tell you more than you'd like to know. and i'm grateful for my education--so grateful. but, when joy is lost in the journey...what is the journey worth?
i am reminded of ecclesiastes 2: 3-11:
With the help of a bottle of wine and all the help i could muster, i tried my level best to penetrate the absurdity of life. i wanted to get a handle on anything useful we mortals might do during the years we spend on this earth. oh, i did great things: built houses, planted vineyards, designed gardens and parks and planted a variety of fruit trees in them, made pools of water to irrigate the groves of trees. i bought slaves, male and female, who had children, giving me more slaves; then i acquired large herds and flocks, larger than any before me in Jerusalem. i piled up silver and gold, loot from kings and kingdoms. i gathered a cloud of singers to entertain me with song, and--most exquisite of all pleasures--[edited for lack of point-related content]...Oh, how i prospered! i left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. what's more, i kept a clear head through it all. everything i wanted i took--i never said no to myself. i gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. i sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task--my reward to myself for a hard day's work!
whew! long passage. but so relevant right now.
i feel like i've worked so hard...poured blood, sweat, tears, and a whole-lotta sacrifice into learning about what i used to love. but the marrow of pleasure is gone (but if you'd like to know, i'd be happy to share the function of marrow with you!!).
is this my reward? is this it?!?!?
i know that in the grand scheme of things, these tests--this finals week--does not matter. i've kept my stress level low--knowing that God has already accounted for my failures and falters this week.
praying for more JOY next semester. praying that i'll find education pleasurable again. praying that i'll be more grateful for these blessings.
Posted by j... at 2:05 AM
Monday, December 12, 2005
i want a renewed faith.
a faith so big that it dives, without reservation, into the depths of God's immense love. a faith so wide it wraps the world in its arms. a faith so high that the angels recognize it as mine when they are flying among the heavens.
i want a faith so immense, so immeasurable, so pure and righteous, that God Himself smiles.
i want a faith that is brave; one that faces dangers and fights battles and expands beyond all measure.
i want a faith that trusts; one where there are no wrong turns or mishaps. a faith in which the who-what-when-where-why-how questions are not only left unanswered, they aren't asked at all. a faith where any direction i am taken is the right one--be it around the corner or across the world.
i want a faith that is pure; that is untained and whole, untouched by the world, by the temptations of the flesh.
i want a faith that is humbly prideful, quietly loud, and measurably infinite.
i want a faith that reflects God's love, God's sacrifice, God's grace. a faith whose imagination has no restrictions, whose magnitude is unfathomably great, and whose purpose is purely heaven-sent.
i want a renewed faith. a faith that is deep and high and wide and long and short and big and small and short and tall and infinite and finite. a faith that covers all grounds, rounds all corners, faces all challenges. a faith that captivates and consoles and creates.
a faith that holds God's attention.
Posted by j... at 12:11 AM
Saturday, December 10, 2005
long day yesterday. was in 4 states actually: virginia, north carolina, colorado, and washington (duh!). was iced in and delyed even. SO glad i'm back. SO glad the interview is over. again just trying to trust that i'll be where God wants me to be. mind boggling to think about travelling. the fact that a machine can defy gravity and fly at 300 mph (or faster?) across the entire U.S. in one day is amazing. oh i love airplanes. i love the people they bring together. i love the crazy thoughts you have to conquer to even begin to understand them.
good day yesterday. interview is over. i am home. will be done with school next wednesday. had an awesome welcome at the airport and got to spend time with one of my newest favoritist persons too!! [is that proper english?!?]
yesterday. another day. another day well spent, mind you. very well spent if you ask me :)
today. lots to do. papers and problems and reading. almost done. i can almost feel the freedom. ahhhh. so excited!!!
Posted by j... at 10:37 AM
Friday, December 09, 2005
taking a deeepppp breath this morning. sitting in my hotel in virginia--my parents just left for their flight to phili to visit friends. i fly home later this afternoon.
i woke up this morning and forgot why i was here. couldn't remember that i had an interview yesterday--an interview that could, possibly, maybe, potentially change my life. crazy to think like that. i am really just trying to trust that God will put me where He wants me. i guess my biggest fear is that He doesn't want me anywhere--at a med school anywhere i mean. i keep asking questions...keep searching for answers that i know i won't find.
gonna be honest. was totally doubting yesterday. totally doubting my motivations to apply. totally doubting my ability to succeed (still am a bit). totally feeling pegged and a bit criticized by my interviewers. totally doubting that this is really, truly what i want to do. walking through the halls of the school, it totally felt homey (sp?). but the feeling of hesitation superceeded any feelings of comfort. do i really want to spend the next 2 years studying literally 21 hours every day? do i really want that for my life? but then again, i love the subject matter. love the people.
i'm probably not making any sense. just my thoughts bantering back and forth, back and forth. looking forward to sleeping after finals. deep breath for finals too. i have SOOOOO much to do. SOO much. and then....glory, halleluia....i have 1 month off for the first time in 12!!
Posted by j... at 6:33 AM
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
my patience is thin tonight. running on about 3 hours of sleep....plus 2 hours on the plane. my parents are amazing--sometimes just overly concerned about me. and so my patience is thin--praying for a new attitude when i wake up in the morning at 6 for my interview.
i'm in west virginia, by the way. crazy. c-r-a-z-y. never been over to this side of our grand country. it is absolutely beautiful here. the woodlands, open space, and rolling hills--WOW. kind of unreal that i'm here. kind of unreal that i was invited here. kind of unreal that i could, maybe, possibly, potentially, someday over the rainbow live here. do i like it? yup. a lot actually. feeling blessed that i am fortunate enough to be able to afford a trip over here. feeling blessed that i have such generous parents. feeling blessed that God has given me sooo much--including an incredible hotel to stay in tonight.
we are staying at the Greenbrier...one of the oldest hotels in the country! not far from here about 250 years ago, a woman came and was treated for rheumatoid arthritis. she claimed she was healed...and started an pilgrimmage of people to this place in Greenbriar county. since then, the land of the Greenbrier hotel has been a plantation (with slaves) and has expanded into a monsterous building with pretty much the most amazing Christmas decorations and landscaping i have ever seen. the christmas trees inside the building look like big bunches of ribbons and flowers--not quite sure where the actual tree part is sometimes. and there is an indoor pool (huge...with hand painted tile inside) and an indoor bowling alley (my mom won...we played a game) and a movie theater inside and about 10 lobby's and probably 200 old people walking around in furs and suits (not kidding you...a jacket and tie were required to eat in the dining room...since we didn't bring the right clothes we had to order room service). and then there was me: with jeans, airplane-hair, a down vest, hiking boots, and my HUGE backpack waltzing through the lobby like it was a hostel or something. i don't think the old Southern Belle's appreciated it much.
anyway. i am headed to bed. totally beat from this day, this week. praying for patience and a new attitude when i wake up tomorrow. praying that the weight on my heart tonight will be lifted. praying that God will sit next to me--maybe be my ventriliquist (sp?) tomorrow during my interview. praying that He will direct my path...whether it be paved to here or elsewhere.
so tonight i will fall asleep trusting. trusting in His plan. for my life. for my future. for my relationships. for my family. for my education. for my travel. for my faith.
Posted by j... at 7:33 PM
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
you see my imperfections
and you say i'm a masterpiece
the marvelous reflection
of yourself in me
you paint with strokes of grace
undoing my disguise
the beauty lies...in the true story.
i think stress might be an understatement to describe the events of this week. totally stressed out. totally exhaused (about 28 hours of sleep in the last week or so). totally thinking about my future.
my interview is on thursday. blessed with so many completely supportive people around me. SO thankful for that. feeling that God has equipped me with what might be sufficient for doctorhood (!)--only He can determine it. He's the man who has got the plan--and i struggle daily to trust that. and who knows...it could be something totally unexpected. knowing that the future will work itself out (with the help of the Big Man Upstairs) is one of the most unsettling thoughts to me. ironically, however, it is also one of the most comfortable.
the fact that i don't have to strive for perfection. that God has created me just how i am--take it or leave it. that i don't have to try to be something i am not; i just have to try to be more of the person He created. the fact that i am full of flaws and imperfections--all of which He has taken into consideration and will use to carry out His will...the masterpiece with my name on it.
Posted by j... at 3:41 PM
Monday, December 05, 2005
stressed. kinda high-strung this week, actually. warning: might be minutely moody.
med school interview #1 in approximately 74 hours (ahhhh!). cross-country travel in approximately 42 hours. SOO much to do between now and then.
sleep? naw...who needs it anyways. can't catch up on it...might as well not get it!
my weekend? awesome. (thanks for asking, wink wink). probably stayed up too late, got up too early, didn't get enough homework done--but it was worth every minute. every single minute. feeling so blessed. praying for God to be the leader and director. praying that i'll keep trusting Him without hesitation or reservation.
so despite my exhaustion (sleep total the last 5 days: not much) and my stressed-out-self, this morning i am grateful for new things (and new people)...hopeful for the future...and totally counting my lucky stars.
Posted by j... at 10:32 AM
Thursday, December 01, 2005
okay i know. kinda grossly graphic title. but that was the word that came to mind.
i feel like i am in a constant state of suspense right now...just waiting and wanting and enjoying.
God and i just had a little date in my room. pretty great guy that God dude. i was journaling and realized that i have filled up about 1/4 of my new journal since november 8th. apparently i've had a lot to say. lately i've just been itching to write. itching to express myself--to preserve the precious things that fill my life.
last night i was laying in bed contemplating: sleep or read...sleep or read. and then...i couldn't take it anymore. i had to read my Bible. it was like there was something that God had to have me see (and, by the way, there was!). lately i've been itching to read it more and more and more. totally something i've struggled with for so long--but finally, after many many many prayers--totally diving into God's word, His Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. pretty cool.
p.s. it is snowing outside right now. how did God think of this white stuff anyways? (and...if you were wondering--which you probably were--the water in snowflakes is in a semi-crystal lattice structure and the molecules are more spaced out than in liquid but less spaced out than in ice....now you know!!)
Posted by j... at 3:36 PM
a snowflake fell on my cheek today. i think it was God's kiss from heaven. and while chicken little might have felt the sky falling, i was feeling totally inspired. inspired by the magnitude of the sky. inspired by the idea that God blows each snowflake down from heaven...and that He aimed one right at my cheek.
i said a prayer today. i think God gave me a hug when i was talking to Him. it was that warm, cuddly feeling...like hugging a puppy or snuggling on a couch or taking a nap under a big, down blanket. a warm, cuddly feeling that was a nice change from the nipping frost outside. a nice change from the sharp attitude of professors this time of year. a nice change from what life throws at you sometimes...if only down blankets shielded us from life, from challenges, from tests and trials.
my heart was thankful today. it cried out to God--and He totally heard me. between the pitter-patter of my heartbeat, i sang a new song of joy for life. a song of joy for undeserved blessings. for unchartered territory. for new things. for discoveries and friends and "special friends". a song of joy for art and creativity. for science and knowledge. a song of joy for gifts and dreams and futures. a song of joy...and a song of praise.
praise for grace. praise for patience. praise for snow (even if i don't like the cold). praise for the people in my life. praise for my education (no matter how stressful it is at times...times like now). praise for chocolate and running water. praise for knowing the truth about Jesus.
Posted by j... at 12:08 AM
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
had big plans last night. big plans to do homework--lots of it. big plans that i didn't quite get to carry out. and boy am i glad i didn't.
watched the polar express. loved it. loved the movie. loved the company even more :)
during my devotion last night i was reading 1 corinthians. never really took the time before to absorb what Paul was trying to say. definitely did last night. definitely.
"And don't be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. " --1 Cor. 7: 17, The Message
ya'll think God was speakin' right to me? seriously...how much more could this apply to my life right now?!?!
no no...i am not at all wishing i was somewhere else and definitely not wishing i was with anyone else. but Paul's reminder that THIS PLACE, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW is exactly where God wants me to be. this is His place for me.
i can't try to find all the answers. can't try to reason my way through decisions. can't try to figure out the future. just can't. but i can live in the present...obey His direction...and love the life He has blessed me with. right here. right now.
Posted by j... at 9:24 AM
Monday, November 28, 2005
i am giving thanks for this thanksgiving. (appropriate, huh?)
my week was amazing--a much needed rest for this weary soul.
took a walk (pictures coming soon).
ate A LOT.
slept. (on the back of the couch, actually...kinda like a cat)
skied. got stuck in a snow bank.
sat by the fire.
braved the semi-blizzard on the mountain.
worked on applications (4 more done!!!).
enjoyed much-needed time with my family.
i am SO blessed!!!
not looking forward to the next 3 weeks. have LOTS to do and not much time to do it in. just dawned on me a couple nights ago that my interview is in about a week. HOLY COW. (what is a holy cow, anyway?). getting a bit (okay... alot) nervous about it. but excited.
excited about what is around the corner. excited about unchartered territory. excited about what God has planned for next week, next month, next year. excited about the blessing of life right now.
Posted by j... at 2:09 PM
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
sunrise...sunrise...looks like morning in your eyes
looks like no sleep in my eyes. yup. got to watch the sun rise today. thanks God, for turning on the lights again. don't get to do that very often. kinda cool, actually.
it was pretty crazy, really. i have no clue what happened to my day yesterday. somewhere between 12:30ish and 7:35 this morning, i:
ate PBJ toast
ate a piece of cheese
totally jammed out in my room (more than once)
write on my blog...twice!
took a 30 minute nap
talked about poopy floors with Alli for about an hour
took a shower
folded 3 loads of laundry
wrote a 15 page paper
ate a potato
made a 50 minute Power Point presentation
watched what seemed like a bazillion video clips online trying to find the right one for my presentation...found one!
drank vanilla milk
peed...only twice (is that bad!?!)
smelled our disgusting gerbles
watched the sunrise
squished a spider
drank 3 HUGE cups of cold water
sent ~15 text messages
packed for thanksgiving (well, okay...not completely)
AND....DIDN'T SLEEP A WINK!!!! (minus my 30 minute nap)
i can't help but wonder how many days i took off my life by staying up all night. only my second complete all-nighter in history. don't think i have it on my calendar again anytime in the near future. ahhh...sleep :)
headed home tonight with alli. pretty excited for our drive...coffee and christmas carols are in the works--and guarenteed we will talk the whole time (how does that always happen?). then hair appointment tonight (brown anybody??). so looking forward to spending time with my family.
probably won't post again until sunday.
keeping Todd (uncle) in my prayers. dedicating the rest of this week to ask for direction and contemplate what has been on my heart lately....totally excited :) ahhh...to be in nature again...Sunriver here i come!!!!
Posted by j... at 10:30 AM
second long break tonight..my list of "yums", as promised.
on page 11 of my paper! yum.
vanilla milk i am drinking right now. yum.
cold cold cold water i am drinking right now. yum.
thanksgiving in 2 days!!! yum.
my theme song for the night: Wave on Wave (by Pat Green). yum. [reason for this choice as my theme song: feeling that my papers has come in waves--i just wrote about 2 pages in 20 minutes but stared blankly at my screen for previous hour.]
excited to play with my camera in the snow in Sunriver. yum.
new people in my life. yum.
also loving "Somebody Like You" by Keith Urban right now. yum.
Zach Morris from Saved by the Bell (ha! that one is for you Jon!) yum.
erase all the "yucks" from before....my life is one big "yum". so much to be thankful for. so much i totally don't deserve.
Posted by j... at 12:45 AM
Monday, November 21, 2005
just taking a quick moment to rest my brain.
woke up this morning exactly 12 minutes before i had to leave. yuck.
pulled some crazy muscle in my back in ballet because our teacher doesn't let us stretch before we have to do backbends. yuck.
last 4 hours spent outlining and citing for my paper due tomorrow. yuck.
currently on page 2 of my 15-page Psychology of Trauma paper (that, by the way, is the one due tomorrow). yuck.
probably won't go to bed tonight. yuck.
my feelings about school right now. yuck.
don't worry. "yuck" doesn't sum up everything in my life. there are lots of "yums" too. maybe the next time i rest my brain tonight i will write about my "yums".
Posted by j... at 4:39 PM
Sunday, November 20, 2005
early morning tomorrow--um, i mean today.
its been an amazing weekend. a weekend i am so thankful for. thankful for so many things. but most of all thankful for moments.
sharing. caring. discovering. laughing. stories and fun and dancing. talking and feelings and talents and moments. moments that i will never get again. moments that i cherish. moments that i remember and smile.
totally relishing in my moments. but also realizing i am missing some very important moments in the lives of two very special young ladies. so....praying for all their moments--that they might be filled with God's love and grace and discernment, that they might follow Him with ever fiber of their being, and that they too will learn to appreciate the moments. because the truth is that when 50 years of time and trials have passed, what will remain are the moments.
Posted by j... at 2:52 AM
Saturday, November 19, 2005
remember sesame street?
i do. i loved it. loved it. still do, actually.
love big bird and oscar and cookie monster and most of all elmo and grover. love the silliness and randomness and quaintness of it all. love that they give so much credit to letters and numbers.
today gets letter credit too: this day was brought to you by the letter 'j'.
jlyn. yup. that's me. continually thankful for God's presence in my life; for all that He has brought me and all that is coming my way. thankful for the lessons, the fun, the opportunities, and yes, even thankful for the hardships. thankful for His grace and mercy and power. thankful that He is so incredibly generous. continually growing and learning and changing. striving to become more of the woman God has planned for me to be. continually realizing that i know absolutely nothing about this world..and continually thankful that i know the One who knows everything.
jumping beans. well...they are mexican, right? and salsa dancing is mexican, right? so...thanks to philosophy 101 we can deduce that they are somehow related. and although this day had nothing to do with jumping beans, it had everything to do with salsa. salsa on my southwest chicken wrap at dinner. okay, not absolutely everything--but i did go salsa dancing today!! i went with jon (another 'j'!). it was way fun....way way fun. definitely want to go again. soon.
jesus. saved the best for last. but He shouldn't be last at all...He should always and forever be first--a concept i continually strive to improve in my own life, in my own walk, in my own faith. so much credit goes to Him. undescribable, really.
so i'll leave it at that. leave it at jlyn and jumping beans (& jon) and jesus. leave this day dedicated to the letter 'j'.
jiffy peanut butter on my toast this morning.
joyous that it is the weekend.
jubilant that i am alive.
jackets (warm ones!).
jabbering the night away.
judgement--or lack thereof...thanks to Jesus
jumping into something new and totally trusting God.
Posted by j... at 3:20 AM
Thursday, November 17, 2005
my finger hurts. really bad. wanna know why?
well....long story, actually. so i'm in this not-so-great class called Comparative Physiology. a class where we dissect live frogs and mix up their brains and throw their bodies away while their hearts are still beating (wow...that sounds really morbid). and in this not-so-great class we have these less-than-great independent projects where we pair up with people in our lab and independently create an experiment, maniuplate varibles, and carry our planned experiment proposal out--collecting, statistically analyzing, and interpreting data. pretty fun.
so this project of mine. kinda silly idea really...my idea to stick needles in myself 4+ times a day to measure my blood glucose level (i.e. my blood sugar...like diabetics do). and well, the most logical place to get blood is from my fingertip. which leads me to the part of this story: MY FINGER HURTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! really bad. i have poked it--in the same spot--9 (yes. you read that correctly N-I-N-E) times today. ouch.
but other than my throbbing finger right now...things are great :) really great actually. thanking the Lord that i am not diabetic. totally new sense of empathy for them. totally.
Posted by j... at 7:49 PM
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
totally needing an outlet right now. ugh.
tired of school. tired of homework. tired of not liking what i'm learning. tired of listening to teachers ramble on and on about nothing important at all. tired of trying to remember words and definitions and equations for things that are obviously common sense. tired of cramming my brain full of information and not remembering any of it when the time comes to regurgitate. tired of trying so hard. just tired.
wondering if this is supposed to be a sign. maybe God is trying to tell me something about my pursuits of higher education...(i.e. medical school)? wondering if maybe, just maybe, this is supposed to be a sign to never again pick the teachers that i have (with the exception of one). honestly wondering what the heck God was thinking when He decided to give me this semester. ugh. ugh. and ugh.
i am so looking forward to christmas break right now. YES! first break from school in 12 months :)
Posted by j... at 9:32 AM
Monday, November 14, 2005
definitely woke up this morning filled. feeling good about this day, this week...the prospects for the rest of this year. feeling good that i have no reason to worry (although i am guilty of doing so anyway). feeling good that God is totally in the drivers seat right now. its an amazing feeling--to be so out of control and yet so at peace. kind of ironic really.
talked with my mom last night (and today...twice). her support is unending. so thanks, mom. your love and unconditional acceptance is more appreciated than words can express. oh, and by the way, you totally inspire me. (just thought you'd want to know...if you ever get around to reading my blog).
another side note: totally looking forward to this weekend...hopefully weather will cooperate so i can shoot a couple rolls of film :)
Posted by j... at 10:43 PM
Sunday, November 13, 2005
just like promised...another good day today.
incredible sleep last night--about 10 hours of it. thank the Lord (literally) that sleep was invented because it is just about one of my favorite things ever.
"BBChem" (i. e. BBQ) this afternoon at Dr. Cronk's house (my biochem prof). funny group of science nerds getting together to eat denatured protein (i.e. hamburgers) cooked with heat + oxygen + propane (i.e. a BBQ). realizing that with all that science claims to prove, i am thanking the Lord with all my heart and soul that i am blessed enough to know Him.
LifeCenter tonight was truly the 'cherry on top'. Pastor Joe has found his gift--and i am so grateful i am fortunate enough to be a receiver in his ministry. the sermon was on What God Has Done. kind of realizing how much i don't realize what God has done.
trying to remember the last time i prayed to seek God Himself more...not seek His plan, not seek His favors, not seek what He can do for me..but just to truly, purely, honestly seek Him. of all things to pray about, that should be the first on my list. because it is in seeking Him, knowing Him, having an intimate relationship with Him, that i am complete and whole and satisfied. i am good at seeking His plan...good at praying to seek His purpose...good at asking for favors from Him--not so good at humbling myself to seek Him.
and speaking of seeking....totally seeking God's will this weekend. amidst my heaviness and heart-cries, i am aiming to let it all go. every last bit of it, every morsel of humanity that is left of me. every desire, every wish, every dream, everything that is me. aiming to let all of me out and to let all of God in. hoping that i'll be emptied so God can fill me up. fill me up with hope. fill me up with purpose. fill me up with life and appreciation and energy for Him. fill me up with His dreams and desires and get rid of all of mine.
dreams and desires about my future. about my education. about friends and relationships and family. about where i will be in 8 months. about where i am headed. about my life.
so. going to bed tonight emptied. going through my day tomorrow empty. and the day after that.
waking up tomorrow filled. living tomorrow filled. and the day after that. and the day after that.
Posted by j... at 10:50 PM
Saturday, November 12, 2005
good day today. good day.
took some "me" time. finally.
listened to some amazing music. read. reflected. journaled. thought. laughed (at my mom who called me from the 'emergency' nurse phone @ Camp Ghormley and told me something ridiculous she did). cleaned. finished a paper. studied. lots done. good day.
my heart is slowly calming down. it's not as heavy today. thanks Jesus.
coming to grips with the fact that worrying isn't helping me. coming to realize that my future will work itself out...it has thus far, right? coming to learn that when i reflect and pray and ponder and rest, i see things in a different light. and most importantly coming to know that i'm not in control of anything at all. not my plan. not my productivity. not my sleep schedule or homework. not my friends or family or relationships. especially not my future.
not counting on anything my heart desire's right now. not med school. not good grades this semester. not a predictable future. not a family of my own. nothing. not counting on anything my heart desires but counting on everything His plan dictates.
preparing myself to be ready to accept where the road leads. preparing myself to be vulnerable to any decisions that are out of my hands--which is all of them. preparing myself for new things, a new journey, new paths. preparing myself for another good day tomorrow.
(above picture found on Google images; edited by me :) )
Posted by j... at 11:48 PM
Friday, November 11, 2005
heavy heart tonight. one that is not at all calm.
can't quite seem to settle my thoughts. been trying all night, all day...all week, really. trying to have faith; to know, and to rest assurred that all will work out for the best, but can't let go of myself enough to totally hand them over to God. knowing that i need to. knowing that i have no control. knowing that He does.
asking why. asking how. asking who. asking all the questions i am not supposed to be asking.
questioning God's timing. questioning my heart's motivations. questioning why He has given me this passion for medicine and then set my biological clock tick tocking away. questioning, more than anything, why.
so many of my prayers have slowly been answered after struggles and trials and tests. wondering what God is planning on doing with His answers.
so i'm praying for trust. praying for faith. praying that i might be able to let myself go--and not want myself back (making sense?). praying that i might give my heart over to the one who knows best, lay my load on him...for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Posted by j... at 11:30 PM
so i am a planner.
i am an appointment book-keeper, list-maker, clock-watcher. i am a want-to-know-what-happens-next sort of person who is always wondering, always questioning, always wanting to know where i am going and wanting every answer to the who-what-when-where-why-how of each new journey.
but i realized tonight after talking with margi that i can't know. i can't plan. can't watch the clock or keep a list of my future; because duh...it hasn't happened yet.
but these thoughts, this need to know is driving me crazy crazy crazy. i went to dinner with peter tonight...he told me that my biological clock was ticking (his exact words were "tick tock tick tock"...thanks peter). but you know what? he is right.
i am starting to notice kids more. starting to think logically and realistically about my life in 10 years--even 10 months. do i want to be going to school? do i want to be across the country? do i really want to devote the next 6 full years and the rest of my life to this career? is this really the path God has chosen for me? what about a family? do i give up the next 6 years and guarentee a secure future for myself and my family (assumming i'll be blessed with one) and risk the lifelong sacrifice of time with them....or do i choose the other path and see what else comes my way?
ugh. so many questions. and for this particular future-oriented, answer-seeking person, i am not waiting patiently. i'm trying to have faith...knowing that God has a future for me...wondering when i'll know--or if i'll know. wondering what to do, where to go, who to pursue, when to trust, how to go on.
i'll guess i'll find out soon enough.
Posted by j... at 12:02 AM
Thursday, November 10, 2005
change is in the air. i can feel it. i can feel it in my hands and in my heart.
the leaves have changed; once alive with green, now to colors of Sahara sunsets and crimson flames. gentle reminders that we must be willing to give up our own lives--our own greenery--in order for God to change the color of our lives a little. reminders that sometimes we must fall from where it is comfortable, high in the trees or high on our worldly pedestals, to a place of lowliness. reminders that God has something much much better in mind for our fallen leaves, our fallen souls and hearts and lives. reminders that the sun will rise, the cold spell of winter will end, and life will bloom green again.
the air has changed. once laden with the sounds of new creation, the air has gotten colder--and quieter. in the morning the new frost nips at my skin in vulnerable places; in the afternoon the barely-moving molecules tease warmth and sun and summer, and in the evening i am reminded of the comfort and blessings that fill my daily existence. the frost--its playful, daily changes--remind me that i am vulnerable. vulnerable to the elements, vulnerable to hurt and change and disappointment. vulnerable to what life might throw at me. that i might be warmed ever-so-slightly by the pleasures of this earth, but that those pleasures are purely temporary. that when evening falls again, when trials or temptations or difficulties fill my days, those pleasures won't sustain me. but then, just like frost in the evening, God nudges me and sends love for my humanity and trials for my personal growth, for the realization that this earth is temporary, and for the reminder to be grateful.
but more than the leaves and the air, i am feeling my heart is changing. maybe daring to journey on a road i've never dared to travel before. daring to question my plan...daring to expose God's plan. and so tonight i am praying for God's desires. for my future. for my life. for my attitude, my plans, my heart's new journey. praying that my desires will burn away and reveal His desire for my life.
Posted by j... at 1:09 AM
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
i'll admit it. i am a bit emotional this week. i think it is because life can be so overwhelming at times--so frustrating, and so uncontrollable. sometimes i dare to wonder how much more i can fit in my 24-hour days...but then i remember that my brain needs a break just as much as my body does. its a constant challenge...taking care of myself physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.
i'm not so good at the emotionally part. i tend to let things build up, hold it all inside until i burst (usually in the form of sleeping). but this week...this week has been different. i think my mom would tell me that God turned on my "leaky saline". you see, i'm not usually a crier (as in one that sheds tears; not a town-crier of sorts). i do, all-too-often, hold everything inside making myself entirely stressed out...let it all out in the company of only myself and life goes on. and while i have been keeping to myself quite a bit like usual, the crier part of me has also surfaced more often than normal.
i studied for over 15 hours for my physiology test on friday. i felt like i was about at an 8 on the 1-to-10-confidence scale. i had put in the time, the effort, the lack of sleep; i had done it all. and then i looked at the test. it was like my brain dropped on the the ground and ran away right out the classroom door yelling "ha! good luck sucker!!". okay no, not really. but the test went horribly. i went to talk to my prof afterwards and was totally overwhelmed by my frustrations. i think in the history of my experience in academia, i have cried 4 times--including this most recent incident. needless to say, shedding the salt-laden drops didn't do much for me except make my eyes red and lower the total NaCl concentration in my body...my test grade is still the same.
sitting in church on sunday, i was totally taken aback and i actually surprised myself. probably a combination of the incredible sounds streaming through my cochlea (haha..had to throw a bit of science humor in there; interpretation: ear), or perhaps witnessing more than a dozen people publicly proclaim their commitment to Christ through baptism, or maybe it was the powerful message of the need for my personal conviction that made my eyes leak. whatever it was, it was quite out-of-the-ordinary for normally-composed me.
and then today. after about 4 hours of sleep, i am officially tired. i have a ridiculous cough that is driving me crazy (i can't even talk to people sometimes), and i am more moody than normal--which probably bugs me more than anyone else.
but i was driving this morning at 7:30...on my way to school to take my test @ 8 a.m. the lyrics of a song by Shane&Shane (currently in my CD player) caught my attention in the midst of my drinking tea-looking at my study guide-defrosting my windows-driving.
i delight myself in the riches affair
trading all that I have
for all that is better
a garment of praise
for my heaviness
You are the greatest taste
Your the riches of faith
and it was then that i heard a little voice. and it was then that i realized that in the grand scheme of things, this test, this class, this semester is one small portion of my life--a life that God already has planned for me. how freakin' cool is that?!?! a life that i know holds SO much more than what i can see or hear or feel right at this moment. a life that i have been gifted--a life free of guilt and shame and blame. and you know why? because God wanted it that way. that's it!! not because he had to have it that way...my existence isn't imperitive for the survival of the universe (although i forget that rather important fact at times)...but God willed it to me, sacrificed for me, and continues to bless me. wow. i can't ask for more than that.
so forget about the tests. the grades, the tears, the emotions, the moodiness. forget about the trials and mundane frustrations, about the mess-ups and hesitations. because really...in the small milifraction of eternity...life ain't got nutin' on me. now that, my friends, is PERSPECTIVE.
Posted by j... at 4:44 PM
Friday, November 04, 2005
She doesn’t know just yet
Where she is headed tomorrow
She constantly questions her God
b/c she is wanting answers…
and patient He listens in waiting
to the cries of her life
and says child you aren’t yet ready
b/c I’ve got something better in mind..
and still she waits
wanting an answer
waiting to make a choice
and a world apart
he sits in peace
with the silence as his voice
her life isn’t going so well
she’s overwhelmed and tired and worn
her ears are getting harder
b/c she doesn’t think he hears
but he hasn’t left her side
while he prepared her heart
for the life she has coming
for what what he’s about to start…
and still she waits
wanting some answer
waiting to make a choice
and a world apart
he sits in peace
the silence as his voice
and then when she least expects it
he opens up his hands
and out it falls
into her life
his perfect plan…
she hears it loud now
she has her answer
she was patient to make a choice
a world apart
he sat in peace
with silence as his voice
Posted by j... at 10:04 PM
Thursday, November 03, 2005
in the midst of cold weather and first frosts and winter jackets this early in november, i am finding warmth in hot chocolate, big blankets, and naps.
in the midst of decisions about life and medical school and going or not going, i am finding direction for my life.
in the midst of studying for 5.5 hours tonight for my test on friday, i am finding humor in sunflower seeds and "receptor adaptation".
in the midst of a new direction for my heart, i am feeling God totally in control.
in the midst of running errands and homework and work, i am finding creative outlets and relief.
in the midst of learning and cramming my brain full of endless information that many times i doubt i will use again, i am finding more and more room to fit it in.
in the midst of change, of uncertainty, of indecision, i am finding west virginia medical school interview invites in my email inbox.
and in the midst of daily life, with all the distractions, complications, and lack of assurance, i am finding God.....and the pretty flowers he made.
Posted by j... at 1:53 AM
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
ever have something happen...something so weird and out of the ordinary...something so catch-you-off-guard that it couldn't have been chance? know what i'm talkin' about?
well...this event, this one happenchance--or God-sighting, as i'd prefer to call it--happened on sunday night and i can't seem to get it out of my head.
on sunday lifecenter just concluded their sermon series on GRACE. grace for the sinner, grace for the enemy, grace for the outcast, grace for everyone. it was an amazing closing sermon--displaying the magnitude of Jesus' unending love and understanding and (go-figure!) his GRACE! totally tugged on my heart-strings.
so jon and i were driving back to GU where my car was parked and chit-chatting it up, he missed the turn we were supposed to take. anyway...as the car weaved in and out of neighborhood streets in who-knows-what part of west spokane, we turned a corner and....
low and behold...GUESS WHAT STREET WE WERE ON!?!?!?!?
yup. GRACE street.
happenchance? i think not. God? yup, pretty sure. the message is loud and clear, God: grace for everyone.
Posted by j... at 9:30 AM
Sunday, October 30, 2005
isn't it funny how 1 word in the english language can have so many meanings? i read a funny article once on the perils of using spell check--it concluded that it was quite detrimental to spelling-mastery. good thing i don't want to be a master speller...so i guess i don't have to worry ; )
well my mulit-use word right now is exposure. yesterday--quite a day i might add--i had 3 separate epiphanies. yup, all in 24 hours. wow...God must have had a lot to tell me!
i am currently in the begining stages of my love for photography. the magic of a closing shutter--a moment in time captured on film. it is truly amazing.
i love playing with light, with focus, with contrast. and although i have absolutely no clue how to work my camera, my knowledge is coming--i promise. through the eye of the lens, i feel comfortable. it is like the world is new, opportunities abound on every surface, with every texture, at every moment. looking through the lens, the world changes for me. i am exposed to new things, new opportunities...i even see new light. okay, obviously my photos aren't world-renouned...not even close. but i love them. and the excitement of getting them developed..i can hardly handle it.
i picked up my exposed negatives yesterday at a great place of monster-sized daily items called Costco. although i was quite disappointed with how many turned out (i was trying to play with the fancy settings on my camera...didn't work to well), i got a good one of my little brother the alec-dude. one picture that captures the essence of youth, the energy and playtime and cheesy smiles and tooth fairies.
last night was the premiere of the fantana's. well, not the official fantanas--my roommates and i the fantanas (photos coming soon). we had been planning for quote awhile (okay, i'll admit it..months). our costumes came together quite nicely--despite the fridgid weather outside and me freezing my butt off. so strawberry and grape (i'll refer to us by our 'flavor' names) in the company of Peter Petunia, a MLB player, a gnarley 80s rocker, Hugh Hefner himself, Batman, and Quailman, all decided after a long night of walking around that we should go to the bars (exit Batman....). I, pineapple, and orange spent about oh, maybe 20 minutes in the smokey i'll-get-cancer-because-of-the-second-hand-smoke Bulldog when orange's friend called and asked if she could go to a party at her house. wanting to save my lungs, i agreed to go.
sidenote: high school was, well...high school. full of cliques, drama, and ill-attempts at self-discovery. i'll admit, rather reluctantly so, that i was part of the drama-filled jock-dates-cheerleader clique: aka the 'popular' kids. but i really tried to stay neutral. i was on the outside of the "in crowd" and had lots of friends that cliche told me i wasn't supposed to have. no doubt i was happy in my own little world of friends and homecoming queens and star athletes. i guess i never took the time to notice the so-called "outsiders"--the kids who didn't have a place to fit in, a clique to call "comfortable". and so they slipped through the cracks, trying hard to make friends, to make a name for themselves (because reputation seems to be all high school offers you) and to make it through another day of the teasing, taunting, and awkwardness of [not] fitting in.
so last night at this party, it was like a revelation. i'd always considered GU an extremely welcoming place where people were friendly, doors were held open, and most everyone found their 'place'. and i was right--kind of.
after high school graduation, i just assumed that the slip-through-the-social-crack kids just found their forte..their "comfortable" clique. that they didn't have to try any more, that their lives just automatically got easier because they were no longer restricted by school districts in college. this party that i went to (with the orange fantana) was a total eye-opener. i looked around the room and saw the faces of all the kids from high school that i never took the time to notice--or didn't care to notice in my own happy world. i saw the faces of the "band nerds", the "geeks", the "fat girls" (cliche, mind you)--all the slip-through-the-social-crack kids gathered, together, in one place. and for the first time, i realized that GU isn't the place i thought it was. sure, social interests and extracurricular's separate people. but i never realized just how separate they were. it was a life-changing social exposure; to realize that there will always be people that try their entire lives to find a place that is "comfortable". that there will always be those girls, those so-called "fat girls" who were teased in high school that forever bear the scars of rejection. there will always be "geeks" who were never granted the chance to fit in, never given a mentor for social exposure and who will try their entire lives to find one.
last night, this party, was complete exposure to an underground world of GU that i am so grateful i saw. this world, full of high school's mis-fits, has finally found the beginnings of a place where they fit in. among eachother, with all the scars caused by people similar to those i called my friends. and i feel like i am partially at fault. why didn't i reach out? why didn't i care more? why didn't i take the time to realize that people were hurting, crying, even dying, for somewhere "comfortable"??
but God planned that i went to that party. He wanted me to see it. He wanted me to realize that the division never really ends, that the separation will always be there. He wanted to tell me that i am not exempt from even just a little blame. He wanted to remind me to love everyone. and most of all, He wanted to inspire me to heal their wounds.
probably the hardest exposure experience for me thus far in my life. i've always had trouble with trust. maybe a result of my parents' rough separation, the unpredicatability of my childhood, or my hesitation for dependence. but God has blessed me with amazing friends--friends that i totally trust.
but i'm feeling like God wants me to step out on a limb. to take off my guard that is always always up. to just TRUST Him, His plans. i'm feeling like i have to expose my heart in a new way. with my best friends, with the people i know, with the people i am just getting to know, even with the people i don't know.
last night, it was almost like i heard God whisper, "Jlyn..take off your masks, take your guard off...i'm guarding your heart for you, you don't have to worry anymore".
thanks God, for sufficiently guarding my heart. for allowing me to trust you. for planning my life according to your will.
Posted by j... at 12:24 PM
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
ballet this morning. physiology @ 11--actually understood what was going on today!! break. lunch (PBJ). biochem--didn't understand anything today. costco run to pick up my pictures that they were supposed to have but didn't. work. college group. homemade soup for dinner. talked with amy (wedding party invite--yay!). now homework.
i did get a bit stressed today. things just starting to pile up...and it just really hit me today. sooooo much to do--term papers (x3), comprehensive exams (just to test on the last 3 years, no biggie), finishing my WSU summer class (yikes!), secondary applications...the list goes on (& on & on).
but oddly enough, i am totally at peace. totally and completely satisfied with my life at this point. kind of wishing i could bottle this time and open it again in 50 years, 5 years, even 5 months.
excitement. changes. new things...new people. anticipation. comfort. faith.
try as i might to catch time, i know that i can't. and so i go on. trying to appreciate every day. trying to live up to the standards of God, and no one else. trying to be myself in a world full of temptations to be something i'm not. trying to become the woman God wants me to be. trying to be valuable--not visible.
Posted by j... at 9:52 PM
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
i woke up this morning grateful. grateful for life. grateful for changing colors.
grateful for patience and God's never-ending grace. grateful for this amazing weekend with my family. grateful for an amazing sermon by Pastor Joe @ LifeCenter.
grateful for friends, for coffee, for happenchance meetings and conversations. grateful for the internet (when it is working...especially at school).
i am grateful for my senses: my sight (20/20), my hearing, my sense of smell...my connection to the world.
but most of all i am grateful for the opportunities that i have lately begun to notice everyday; the photographic, artistic, unique, service, committment, friendship, and growth opportunities that i daily encounter.
so thanks God. you really ARE amazing....and you make me grateful.
Posted by j... at 10:56 AM
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Live by faith, not by sight. --2 Cor. 5:7
i just got back from one of the most incredible concerts i have ever been to. another one to chalk up to God's glory and amazing sense of knowing. He totally knew that i hadn't connected with people, with old friends, with Him in too long--and so He brought me to this concert.
bethany dillon...is truly a light in this world. God has provided her a maturity beyond her years, a gift of writing beyond what we call talent, and a passion that is out of this world. truly amazing.
the afters were equally incredible. i admire their unending faithfulness and their true desire to share the Word with the World. they chose the small path and made it big. i pray that they will continue to chose the path God wants them to be on--and that their hearts will be guarded from the temptations of this world so that they might be beacons of hope and grace and God's true love.
but jeremy camp stole the show. i saw him this summer @ CreationWest; this time the show was, like, 15 times better. he has a gift, a story, and a heart to share--and man, does he do it well. God's presence was all over the place tonight in LifeCenter--and it was good to feel that comfort again.
more than the music, though, was the amazing message that reached not only my ears, but my heart tonight. lately i have been so wrapped up in "me". in my future, in my grades, in my interests; i haven't taken the time--or haven't wanted to take the time--to figure out what God truly wants me to do and where he wants me to be. sure...i am walking by faith--but on my walk do i realize how broken i really am?
think of this. one afternoon, i decide to take a walk. i am confident in my ability to make it all the way to the top of a large hill and back down--safely, mind you. and so i set off on my journey. but when i try to take my first step, i fall--flat on my face. i get up. a little while later i might trip and fall again, this time injuring myself in the process. i can't keep going!--but i do. i keep walking. thinking i am fine. thinking i am cool. thinking i am getting a good 'workout'. but in reality my thoughts are all misperceptions.
the fall i took in the beginning might have been God's gentle way of telling me that i was starting out on the wrong foot--quite literally. i fall when i think i can control it all, when i think i know it all, and when i think that i am all. subsequent falls might be the falls that i make myself in life--the bad choices, the stabbing words, the ignorance, the sins. each of them is a fall--and each of them makes me broken. but lately, instead of realzing just how hurt and broken i really am, i have just kept on keeping on. i just keep on walking. how stubborn am i?!? i keep falling and don't even want to realize that each fall is breaking me.
tonight jeremy called it our carpet-time. when we fall flat on our faces, he said, maybe that is God's way of telling you to "stay there" and that He wants to make you whole again. BUT that can only happen if we rest, keep our noses planted in the shag of the rug, and trust Him to heal us.
so thanks, God. thanks bethany and jeremy and all the afters. thank you for your music. for your words. for sharing your gift. you touched a life tonight--my life. and you touched my heart.
Posted by j... at 10:57 PM
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
it was a trying day...can you tell? every hour seemed to bring something new that tried my patience, my sleeplessness, my future, my attitude, my stomach, my positivity, my outlook...etc. etc.
but i made it through.
another day. another bunch of moments. i enjoyed it--and all its trying.
Posted by j... at 7:55 PM
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
@ the airport. pretty much one of the coolest bands ever! made of up of some of my favorite people. they rock my world....literally.
had the privledge of watching them perform tonight. hats off to all of you--you were amazing...and i mean it.
trying to study. not working so much. following through with my secondary apps---God be with me :) taking life as it comes.
Posted by j... at 9:22 PM
Monday, October 17, 2005
much needed weekend. worked on sunday. no school monday. ahhh....short week ahead of me.
got some homework done. got some sleeping done. got some socializing done. got some cleaning done--what didn't i get done!?!
God totally took all my anxiety away about MCAT's and future, etc. such a blessing! i had an amazing dream last night about my future--it felt....peaceful. and it was wonderful.
roommate got engaged tonight! what an amazing thing! two people committing their lives to one another (or committing to commit). so excited for her :)
email from one of my favorite people EVER in my inbox tonight. pretty much made my day--as if the engagement didn't do it already. God has filled my life with amazing, encouraging, and loving people--thanks God!!
finishing up some homework (brownie point for me) and crawling into one amazingly clean and comfortable bed. finally.
Posted by j... at 9:50 PM
Sunday, October 16, 2005
i was reflecting today. reflecting on my attitude, on my faith, on the events of my week. i was reflecting on how i have been feeling lately and concluded that i am not living what i believe.
last week at the Casting Crowns concert, Mark Hall was speaking and said something absolutely true-to-life:
"You may say what you think, but you will always live what you believe"
although at first i thought what Mark said only applied to those hypocrites who are "Sunday Christians", who show up at church half hung-over. for those who talk the talk but don't walk the walk. i am totally not one of those, i thought. i always live what i believe...
have i lately been a living example of my faith in God's plan for my life? no. have i been a light to others' lives through the confidence i have, by faith, in my own? no. have i been optimistic about the future God himself set forth for me? no.
bottomline: i haven't been living what i believe.
i haven't been trusting in God's plan. i haven't been giving all circumstances and situations to Him--the ultimate planner. i haven't been showing confidence in my faith because i have been doubting my potential and my strength in trusting Him. time to change. time to start doing all the things that i haven't been, to turn my life and my actions and outward optimism over to God. time to start letting the Leader lead my life.
[note: went to Lifecenter today--awesome sermon by Pastor Joe :) you can listen here (click on Part 5: Grace for the nobodies)]
Posted by j... at 8:27 PM
Saturday, October 15, 2005
got my mcat scores back. wasn't the greatest. wasn't the worst. not black. not white. just gray. doesn't help my decision making much--but i think that God wants me to leave that up to Him.
i am really relaxing and learning to accept the fact that i don't have to know everything, or anything, right now. i am grateful for my friends, for my incredibly supportive family, and for my many many blessings. i have so much to be thankful for.
the following verse totally hit home, made me think, and gave me a new perspective. i think God wanted me to hear it because he knows i am supposed to be struggling right now in order for him to develop spiritual maturity in me. things aren't supposed to be black and white--i am supposed to find God in the gray and trust that He'll bring me out on top. i am supposed to embrace what He is doing for me, in my life, right now--even if it makes it difficult to make decisions. His words were just what i needed.
the verse of the day on the radio today came from romans 12
So here's what i want you to do, God helping you: take your everday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed form the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly repsond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (The Message)
Posted by j... at 12:21 AM
Thursday, October 13, 2005
today i really. noticed the changing colors. only a hint of green left among the amber and crimson and pumpkin colored leaves. vibrant dancing on the surface of the trees. squirrels preparing for winter. me getting wet when the sprinklers were being blown-out at school. i love fall.
today i got a talk from my psychology professor. we shouldn't stress out about graduating, he said, this is only one of many transitions in life. great, i thought. that means there are lots more coming--don't know if i can make it through. but i will--people do it all the time, right?
today i went to the mall with christine. she is great. we are j-tine. i didn't buy anything. good for me.
today i calmed down about my future. i realized that i can't worry. because worrying is distracting and unhealthy and it gives me zits. so no more worrying--as much as i can control it.
today i bought egg nog. yum. christmas is coming!
today i am going to sushi with ben. pretty excited. haven't talked with him in awhile--always good to catch up with old friends.
today i am going to do homework. didn't get much done yesterday. and i am going to spend some time with jesus. priorities.
tomorrow i get my MCAT scores back. scared a lot to see them. kinda determine my future.
no no. i take that back. they are a mere part of my future--God determines it.
Posted by j... at 7:13 PM
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
i've made a new pact. with myself. with God. for my future.
i am going to try to live today as if it is the only day left in my life. no past. no future. hour by hour, minute by minute.
i am going to try to breathe in deeply, love purely, smile wider, sleep better, and focus more. i am going to try to appreciate, to observe, to take-in, to experience every good thing.
because who knows. this might be the only day left in my life. i guess i should be ready to make the most of it.
Posted by j... at 8:37 PM
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
just talked to my mom.
she told me a sad story about a young life lost, a young man gone much too soon--too much life ahead. somehow part of me thinks it is unfair. so much life gone, wasted, in one split second.
but as tragic as it is, stories like the one i just heard serve as constant reminders to covet each day, each moment, each memory.
i've been having trouble with motivation. either i've caught a serious bug of senioritis or my brain is full--i am assuming it is the former. my hours blur together into unproductive nothingness. my days are hardly remembered because not much gets accomplished. and so my memories are left hanging, floating at the mercy of the wind.
i opened my Bible tonight during Bible Study and found a little blurp i had written inside when i bought it this summer:
Purchased with hope of renewal.
ahhhh. what a refreshing word: renewal. something i need right now, something i want right now....something that i haven't asked God for yet.
my lathargy is taking a toll on my life; my schoolwork, my daily life, even my floating memories. i know that God is the only One who is capable of that renewal, capable of taking my broken life and repairing all the pieces, capable of curing this case of senioritis, and capable of leading me along the path He has planned. i just have to ask. i just have to say the word.
and when i say that word, i know my life will turn around. each hour will be important, each day significant. i will be living for each day--not through each day. i will be able to cling to my memories, save them from the wind, and i--finally--will be renewed.
Posted by j... at 10:01 PM
Monday, October 10, 2005
i keep waiting for my brain to turn back on. daily. hourly. nothing.
i think i'm tired. tired of school. tired of constantly working on learning (i.e. cramming info into my overflowing brain). i've lost my drive. lost my will-power. lost my motivation.
funny thing, too, because of all things, my motivation should have stayed intact. i just applied to med school. i just applied for 6 more years (not to mention a lifetime) of work and learning and knowing and spewing knowledge. so now, to say that least, i am having serious second thoughts. do i really want this lifestyle? do i really want to sacrifice this much? is this the gift that God is slowly revealing to me? is my God-given gift in medicine?
what if it is. then i'll eventually (even if it isn't this time around) get in. God will find a way to carry me through the studies, the trials, the exams, the competition, the long hours, the sleepless nights, the huge sacrifices. if medicine is my calling, i am willing to answer.
but what if it isn't. what if it is something entirely different? something like art. like painting. like drawing, or graphic design, or (gasp!) just being a mom. what if i am following the wrong path, listening to the wrong voice?
it is the what-if's that i'm not comfortable with. my personality doesn't permit their survival. i want the answer now, no waiting, no procrastinating. i want to know who and what and when and how. i can infer the why myself.
but then again, maybe my inferences are the problem. i fabricate the why's when i really should be asking the One with the answers. i try to control where i am going when i really should be trusting the One driving.
the why's. the giving-up control. its a daily challenge. daily. hourly. trusting.
Posted by j... at 10:34 PM
Posted by j... at 7:26 PM
Sunday, October 09, 2005
God never ceases to amaze me.
just when i think that my hunkey-dorey okey-dokey life is under control (my control), He gently reminds me that i don't know a thing. that i have no control over anything. and that that is the way it should be.
i love my job. and i worked all day on saturday. but spending 9 hours with scrapbook-driven women can be a bit challenging at times. moods flare. words exchange. smiles cease. not pretty. but my search for grace was the first time this weekend that God gently reminded me that this life is for Him, not me.
and then after work on saturday i picked up Keegan. we drove to Yakima--him visting his family and me visting mine. with the exception of 1 poor little field mouse, no road kill was my fault last night (praise God). up late talking to parents getting the latest scoop on grandpa stan's house (alzheimers has finally taken its toll) and the latest drama within family. God's second gentle reminder that i can't control anything; that death and disease is the curse of Eden and part of life; and that this life is for Him, not me.
up early this morning via a poke in the eye from little Alec. i miss him so much--wishing he could share some of his spunk. over to grandpa's house to sort through 40 years of living in 1 incredible house. so much history--so much accumulation--so much stuff. all the stuff was God's third reminder that i can't take anything with me and that this life is for Him, not me.
back to spokane in record time (no speeding--uhh). keegan slept a bit on the drive home--giving me time to silently reflect. reflect on grandpa. reflect on the incredible nature that stretched out before me. reflect on the majesty of my Lord. the silence, the stretching landscape, and serenity of being in God's presence: a fourth reminder today.
on to the Casting Crowns concert @ 6pm. incredible music. incredible message. their songs speak right to the heart--and touch on the biggest problems facing Christians and the Church today. the lyrics themselves were enough to bring me to tears. God was truly in that place tonight--and i totally felt His presence. and when they played Who Am I ("who am i? that the lord of all the earth/ should care to know my name/ should care to feel my hurt...."), it was God's fifth reminder of the day that truly i am no one. that God wants me, He doesn't need me. that i don't have to be perfect, planned, or even precise in my life. but i do have to be honest. and accountable. and truthful. and that the voice of truth will tell me a different story than the world--it will tell me my story.
and then i opened my bag to unpack from Selah and out falls an envelope full of money from my family. totally unexpected. totally appreciated. i know how hard they work. i know that things are tight right now. and who am i that deserves this? i briefly reflected on the World Vision video they showed at Casting Crowns and pictured the children in Africa. no money. no parents. no food. no homes. no lifesong for Jesus. and i felt convicted. yet another gentle reminder that this life is His, not mine; that He has a bigger and better plan than i could ever imagine for it; and that no matter what i do to try to change it, God will ultimately get His way--which is exactly how it should be. the sixth reminder of the day.
and now i am sitting here. reflecting on my weekend. looking to another week. wishing that my life didn't consist of constant homework, no sleep, worrying, wishing, hoping, dreaming. and then realizing that life wouldn't be life without wishes and hopes and dreams and work. that life wouldn't be life without challenges and heartbreaks. that life wouldn't be life without the incredible sacrifice that was made just about 2000 years ago. and i am reminded again, for the seventh time today, that this life belongs to Him.
Posted by j... at 11:53 PM