Saturday, December 31, 2005

peaceful land & a little boy

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 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) 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 :)

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 have the world that huge be full of that much wonder

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 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 case you'd temporarily forgotten. :)

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 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...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

sometimes i forget...

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 save me. i forget about his ultimate purpose: that he was born to die. to die a shameful 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 :)

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!!!]

Thursday, December 22, 2005


gosh. that God dude.

ever wonder if He just sits up there laughing at 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.

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.

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.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

so much new

ahhh. breathe.

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 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 ( 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.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

i can tell you...

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.

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.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

long day. good day. yesterday. today.

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!!!

Friday, December 09, 2005

deep breath

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!!


Wednesday, December 07, 2005


my patience is thin tonight. running on about 3 hours of 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 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.

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 the true story.
(Ginny Owens)

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 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.

Monday, December 05, 2005

count my lucky stars

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.

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 you know!!)


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 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.

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