Friday, January 23, 2009

somedays I hate the Sun.....

a small ray of Sun peeks through under the curtain in my bedroom.  i squint my eyes and peer in the other direction.  the light still permeates to the opposite side of the room in which it enters.  i curse at its brightness.  i curse at it saying "its too bright. my head hurts.".  somedays i hate the Sun.
i stepped out of my house yesterday only to be attacked by a streaming ray of light. it was early. too early.  i tried to escape reality the previous night but as i stepped out of my house it peers down on my like a hammer.  it sends spikes through my eyes forcing them closed. its sends piercing pain from the front to the back of my head.  i have no time to be concerned with the sun so i curse its existence, and carry myself Gracefully down the stairs.  
the Sun still stares at me as i race down the road to make it to work on time.  i feel as though i escape from the Sun for a moment in my windowless office at work.  im handed envelopes to carry to a building across campus.  DAMNIT! the Sun. the Sun.  
it rains down on me showing the holes in my skin. it rains down on me forcing light through me. around me.  under me.  it embraces me entirely.  
leave me alone!! i just want to be alone.
i know what ive down. i know where ive been. You know too. You followed me there.  You held me when i fell to the ground keeping your light piercing. 
You show too much of my weakness. You show too much of my pride.  You are so persistant. so damn persistant. 
why? whats the point? i know You were there before me, after me, and always. i know You were there streaming light all day.  a moon mirror in the night. a beakon. a shiny, peristant, piercing, constant, bright, forceful, beakon.  
i cant run from You. i cant hide from You.  i am forced under Your presence everyday.   my hold world turns black. my body takes on heat.  my heart picks up speed.  my mind races in greek.  my hands turn to clams and my feet to stones.  every mark. every scar lies naked before you.  every joint burning under my skin. every drink solid under my tongue.  my arms are forced outward with the piercing pain of everything  being driven in my hands. the weight of it all is terrifying. trees ache. every hope absences itself from my being. my legs dangle. my feet still made of stone.  screeches nailing through my ears.   the clouds roll in. thunder strikes. lighting streaks. the screams i make can not be heard about the ripping shrouds and falling castles of broken dreams. casts made of broken mirrors given to me by cinderella, Queen of Cheetos, drunken sailors and tired mothers.  i scream and no one hears.  i scream but no one sees.  where did you go? you are absent from my sight, Sun.  You abandoned me, because im naked? Drip. Drop.  the rain hits the marks and scars on my body forcing them open into pools of red beneath my feet.  it falls to the ground and i scream out to those who around. giving for-th to them my last words of hope although most has drained from me. i bow my head towards the ground and the water streams down my hair and my neck to my feet.  my body feels limp.  
I lay motionless on the ground, You are there.  holding Me.  embracing Me. 
Gracefully, I carry Myself back up the stairs.  I look at the sun and realize that you are there. the sun.  it shines bright.  a beakon. a shiny, persistant, piercing, constant, bright, forceful, beakon.  
up and down the stairs i go.  Gracefully. Gracefully.  washed by the rain.  cleansed by the light. 
 covered in the Sun.  embraced by the Sun.  sometimes cursing at the Sun.  always passionately in love with the Sun.  

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Swimmer's Ear

As a child, the vast majority of my summers I spent in pools, well one pool in particular. My grandmother, my father's mother, had a pool in her backyard. It is here that I learned to swim. Learned to dive. Learned to backflip, as well as various other tricks. I actually went to the olympics every summer competing in both swim and dive competitionsI played Mermaids and dolphins and pirates (a make-believe game). I raced my friends and my brother. I was an underwater-dancer. I dived for treasures. I gave boat tours around the pool to look at the local wildlife. There were some pretty fascinating species. I became a chemist checking the pool for adequate chemicals. I was a frog-advocate allowing them to escape the depths of the skimmer. Fastest times and 10's across the board. You know, thats how I row. I would swing with my "Nana", as I called her, and she would tell me about Native Americans, Tarot Card Readings, Yin/Yang and numerous other topics. As a child, I was pretty sure she was the most fascinating woman alive. She only ate cheetos, cereal and coke. Fascinating species. She was an ex-dancer, ex- figure skater, broadway-hopeful, wife of the 50's, 5 kids, fashionista turned nightgown. Its a rarity for me to have a true childhood memory that does not involve that pool in some fashion.

With my experience with swimmer's ear, and you can imagine thats a lot, there was a cloudy hearing. Like I could still hear, but almost as if it were through a towel or having a phone conversation with someone in china.

I wonder today how much of my childhood is mystified with this cloudy hearing, and on top of that whether I want to know. Whether I really did spend a significant amount of time at the pool on Tyler St., or if I merely remember to have because most of my experiences from this time were peaceful yet exciting. I am almost certain that my Safaris around the pool were complete with feral cats, schnauzer dogs, occasional ant, corn-eating squirrels, and the rare occurrence of sober fathers. I wonder how toxic the chemicals were to my brain, and perhaps how many times I saved the same stupid frog. The treasure that I sought after would have not bought me a piece of gum. I've certainly never been to the olympics. I wonder if my fabulous grandmother suffers from manic depression. Locking herself in her room for days and days, eating only minimum, telling fantasy filled stories of Broadway and figure skating. Overly intuitive. Obsessed with matriarchal duties. I wonder now about Swimmer's ear.

Do my experiences make my experiences or the perception of my experiences make my experiences? I would hope for the latter, but would be uncertain to think it true. If a child is abused by adult, yet remembers none of it, does it affect them? If a child is raised in a home with an alcoholic father who beats their mother, yet remembers none of it, does it affect them? Even if a child is burned in a fire and retains the scars, yet remembers none of it, does it affect them?

I question whether my swimmer's ear still persists today. I am certain that my perception of an experience would reflect how that experience affects me. I am certain as I walk into a bar, sober-minded, a bar in which I had entered before intoxicated, that my perception of the experience is different. I am certain that my emotions cloud my judgment. I am certain that my past experiences, clouded or not, affect the experiences I have today.

I once saved the life of my friend who was being pushed off the plank into the vast ocean below. We stole the pirates treasure and afterwards we traveled to Africa. We caught a glimpse of lions, hyenas, groundhogs and poisonous insects. We raced to Europe by sea and along the way made friends with dolphins and mermaids. We got caught at the top of a snow-capped mountain but we used our magical powers to melt the ice and slid down the mountain back into the ocean below. We ran from drunken-sailors and had cheetos with the queen.

We perceive our certainties and count our blessings. We move pass our misfortunes and seek sanctuary in each other. We ignore wars and find a world of peace. We are ailed by clouds and rain, yet the sun is all we see. We listen to the birds and flowers just the same. We experience our experiences and love is all we need.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Drug induced Flight (Frequent III)

I recently read a National Geographic article about a girl who decided to travel to Peru to find a "religious experience" from a shaman.  She took a drug administered by a shaman. Although the experience that she had on the drug (hallucinogen) was a negative one, she said that the following day when she awoke that the depression that she had been dealing with her whole life was suddenly lifted from her. She had seen a number of therapists ranging in types and in this short experience with a shaman and the hallucinogen her fight against years of depression was won.  Below is a passage  that she wrote in an article that was featured for National Geographic: 

I grew up among fundamentalist atheists who taught me we're all alone in the universe, the fleeting dramas of our lives culminating in a final, ignorable end: death. Nothing beyond that. It was not a prescription for happiness, yet, for the first couple decades of my life, I became prideful and arrogant about my atheism, believing that I was one of the rare few who had the courage to face life without the crutches of religion or worse such outrageous notions as shamanism. But for all of my overweening rationality, my world remained a dark, forbidding place beyond my control. And my mortality gaped at me mercilessly.

The search for happiness is undeniably something every person attempts at some point in their life. I would say it is a commonality in most peoples lives, but I dont want to over generalize.  Some people find happiness in long hours of work. Some people find happiness in hammering down at walls of the church.   Some people find happiness in the walls of church. Some people find happiness as a parent. Some people find happiness by traveling to Peru and have a drug induced escape of reality.  
Where does this search for happiness end?  Where is the ultimate happiness for you? Although I believe and have faith that I have found that true answer.  That true happiness in which is the beginning and the end to everything.  That true happiness that is not concerned with clothes or money or appearance.  I have found the happiness that endures all things, believes all things, hopes all things.  A happiness founded in truth, justice, mercy, honor, compassion and love.  What is your ultimate happiness? 

Monday, January 19, 2009

cinderella on board.....Frequent flyer miles Part II

I have absolutely nothing to wear. I used to say this as I cried and screamed in front of my closet door the night before free-dress day (we wore uniforms in elementary and high school).
Although if I sat in front of my closet door today and screamed this my roommate might look at me as though I were crazy, I feel this way daily.
I am not one who wants (or do I believe is) concerned with material objects. About a year ago, I tattooed the word "Simplicity" on my foot. Although it has many meanings to me, which will call for a separate blog, part of the meaning is to be free from material possessions.
But there is a struggle inside of me, that I am disgusted with myself. As I stand in front of my closet, I do see nothing to wear. I see a small rack of clothes in which some dont fit or the weather is not suitable or they are so old that I'm afraid at any minute they might unravel. I fear that I am like an eating disorder patient looking at their body, but for me its my closet. I see whats not really there, but my true fear is I AM seeing what is really there.
In the previous blog that I wrote yesterday, I discussed a struggle I have with money. I discussed my anxiety towards spending money. Well clothes, makeup and other items used for style or dress, are at the top of my anxiety list. I know that if my mom sees me in a new outfit or new clothes that she will question me about where it came from and why I bought it. It often seems that I have to run around my integrity and lie to her in many instances so as just to avoid a fight or continue a battle that we have been fighting for years now.
I sometimes wish that she would come over to my house and look at my closet and see what I see. I struggle with my weight so I have clothes that range from a variety of sizes so many of the clothes I own at any given time do not fit me (another cul-de-sac adventure).
I wish that she would realize that often I feel that I look like crap. Often I wish that whenever I go out with my friends I could have something to wear in which I feel appropriate and good about myself.
The struggle is that what I am wearing in general reflects my attitude about myself. And in turn, my attitude is reflected in all areas. I have put on this persona of not caring what I look like. Hippy chic or sometimes just plain grundge. I took on a 6-month no buying spree, and although it didnt last I believe it was put into place so that I would have an explanation for my grundgy appearance. I do this so that I can hide my true problem. What is my true problem? Im not really sure. Im not really sure if the way I look affecting my attitude isnt something that everyone feels. Im not really sure if my weight issue is actually underlying and that clothes are just the personification of that issue. Im not really sure if my money issue is actually the issue and that I have just come to realize that my anxiety about that issue is increased when it comes to dress articles.

So cinderella has made an appearance on my plane. She sits next to anxiety in row 23 seat A.
Every ten minutes or so, she opens who suitcase and screams.
No fairy Godmother. No Prince Charming.
She turns to Anxiety and asks "I forgot, where are we going again?"
Anxiety turns to her and grins and says "WEAR we always go, one more trip around again, Bippity boppity BOOOO!"

"Cul-de-sac nightmares, and open fields of dreams. Waking up another day, in falling castles and broken mirrors it seems"

Frequent flyer miles

Do you ever get the feeling that you have been in a place before?  Like it doesnt matter how many strides you take in a positive direction or how long its been since you might have been in that place, you realize that your life is bound within a cul-de-sac and its inevitable to eventually be right back where you originally began.  
It seems as though this circumvention of my life seems ever present in many aspects of my life.  We will start with money considering it to be the bane of my existence.  I will self-pour out on to this glass table of truth so that you will further be able to understand the intensity of my circus ring.  I at one point was given a credit card by my mother.  Perhaps a mistake on her part, yet she is not the one to blame.  My obsession nature and illusiveness to repercussions allowed me to rack up a bill of over $7000.  With the money I received from my father's death, I removed myself from this debt.  It is not something of which I am proud nor something that is easy to tell you, but I write in order to be healed.  I, also, over drew many times and at one point was over $500 dollars in the negative in my bank account.  My mother pulled me out of this whole and for this I am very grateful.  This financial mess that I placed on my family is perhaps my greatest regret, and at the same time my most flashy weakness. 
There is something about objectively spending money that charges or energizes me.  
So here I am once again. Not with a $7000 dollar credit card bill. In fact I own no credit cards.  Not with -$500 in the bank.  What has circumvented is financial anxiety.  
I receive a $2000 dollar stipend every semester from my scholarship. This is my last semester to receive it.  I am putting it into an account to pay my rent along with money I receive from my roommate to do the same.  But my mother is angry. She is angry that she recently had to pay my entergy bill which was due because I did not have the money to pay it because my stipend had yet to come in. She is angry that she paid our January rent because our stipends had yet to come in.  I know that I am blessed to have a family that is financially stable enough to pay my rent while I am waiting for a stipend.  I know I am blessed to receive a stipend at all. 
But the real issue is anxiety.  I am so anxious that I cant sleep. I am so anxious that I cant concentrate in  meeting. I cant concentrate on school work. Its like this money monster eats at me all day long.  Gnawing on every inch of me.  I know that this is an issue in which I will have to deal with, but I have lost ideas. 
I work two jobs with a total of 16 hours a week.  I know that this is not a great number of hours and many college students work way more than I do, but this is me and with the classes I am taking and my other responsibilities I know that I can work no more than this amount.  The money I make which equals about $400 dollars a month goes towards food, any cleaning supplies, toiletries, clothes, entertainment, and cable for the month.  I receive no money from any other sources and have not been handed money from my mom in over 6 months.  I do not over draw anymore and using my mothers words "I believe I am living inside my means".  
But for my mother, this is not enough.  I am not really sure what she is expecting from me.  Because I work hourly based positions, sometimes the income is not steady. For example, the campus where I work was closed for almost 2 weeks during the Christmas Holiday and then I was sick for the week following. As you would guess, this removed almost 3/4 of my monthly income.  
Today, my mother told my brother to tell me "That if I went out to eat with the group I was meeting with then she would stop payment on the bill that she just paid for me".  I feel as though I am trapped by anxiety.  Although she told me that today, I will think about that tomorrow and the next day and the next day.  I am fearful of spending money because I associate spending money with my mother screaming at me.  I associate spending money, any money, even if its for food to survive, with being a bad daughter.  I associate spending money with ruining my mother's life.  

This is my last semester in college and I will graduate in May.  I want to be able to leave this place this cul-de-sac behind me.  I am at a loss as to what to do, yet I am tired of running circles.  I have gained so many frequent flyer miles on this plane, but consistently only buying one way tickets.  I feel as though I have left and then realize Im right back where I started. I want freedom from anxiety. I want freedom from fear. 
I believe that I was placed on this earth to do great things.  Maybe small things in great ways but still great nonetheless.  My dream is to run from this cul-de-sac of burdens.  These past mistakes which still wine on my daily, weekly, yearly existence.  These current upsets that place anxiety rather than joy into my life are feeding the flame of failure.  They are feeding the flame of other burdens that exist within my life.  
I like to book a flight please.  A one-way ticket, free of charge, to any place but here.
"We're experiencing a bit of turbulence, we love you all"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tough Skin

Tonight I preached for the first time at church.  I feel like I have to say that again in order too actually believe it : Tonight I preached for the first time.  
First thing I want to say is that I had a rockin' time.  I truly believe before I say anything else that this is my calling in life.  I felt like a niche was filled in the world. I felt that almost I was incredibly nervous I felt like I was in my element.  
I WILL continue to work towards this destiny, not necessarily viewing it as a destiny but as a journey that I hope never ends. 
With that being said, I would prefer to discuss tough skin.  After I got off the stage, and sat down I received hugs from two women whom I respect and love both of which told me I did a great job.  After we prayed, I moved to go sit with my four friends who came to see me preach. They all hugged me and told me I did a great job.  
I went to small group and once again I was told good job.  After small group I was told I did a good job.  But this is where the tough skin comes in.  I began to talk to more people like my brother and the youth group leader and some other friends. They began to tell me I moved my hands to much. Said umm and ehh too much.  "Could tell that I was nervous". 
It is among this group of friends that we have the saying "iron sharpens iron" and there is nothing in my being that wants to deny that.  There is nothing in my being that doesn't want me to continuously get better.  
My friend, Cody, in high school once told me that the song that most reminded him of me was "Sensitive" by Jewel.  I believed then just as I believe now that this song truly announces everything within my being. 
I am very sensitive.  I dont necessarily dislike this about myself, but I do not want it to hinder my ability to take constructive criticism.  
Before I started my sermon, during the worship time, I prayed that I might lose myself so that all my insecurities, my fears, and my ambitions. I wanted an out of body experience. A place where my skin was removed and  I prayed that his sermon would not be something of myself (being of the world), but something of the divine with my lips merely being administrator.  
I suppose that as I walked off that stage, I took back on my flesh. I took back up all my insecurities and fears of inadequacies.  I took back up my own ambitions.  
These things that I were hearing I was taking them to my heart. They cut like knives through my skin in which I have already told you was sensitive and although the kind words were like lotion to my skin it simply made it easier for the knifes to skin me.  Wow a little bit dramatic. Im honestly just trying to be descriptive. 
I am looking at this from two different ways. I believe that in tie perhaps my calluses will build that my sensitive "skin" will grown tough and thick so that I can take what I am to learn and run with it rather than dwell on what is said to the death.
The more likely of the scenarios is that comments will continue to soften my skin.  One pretty cool guy once said that God never puts us anywhere to stay but that he is constantly calling us to move and be moved. We are made uncomfortable so that we may continue to make strides and create change in this world. 
Perhaps my skin was made the way it is so that I can grow deeper rather than thicker. So that I may grow stronger rather than less sensitive. 
I don't know a lot of things, but I do know that I'm not going anywhere, preacherwomen and men! I am hear to speak truth, create change, call for justice, act humbly, and work for a world of good and justice.  
Skin or no skin,  Im bringing the word, living the truth, and loving them all. 


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Working it out.

Here I am. Once again. My week defined by just that: the week. When did drudging become a part of my life? Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday Thursday. Thank God its Friday. SATURDAY. SUNDAY. Oh here we go again.
I never wanted to be that kind of person. I would rather be moved by the wind. By the changing seasons. From snow cap mountain to shining sea. I would prefer my velocity be measured in steps across the vast terain and not hourly wages or intoxicating homework.
I want to be free more than anything. I painted my skin with the word "Simplicity" so that daily I would be reminded. Yet, everyday, in this frigid winter I put on my socks and shoes, pick up my backpack and turn the key yet again. Am I forgetting who I am or doing what I need to do?
I figured this morning that I am not a fan of individual journeys. I embark in life to be loved and to love. It is as simple as that. Life holds no purpose in salaries or degrees.
I love to roam the world unannounced. To be free from circumstance and lost in experience. Faith is not about understanding its about believing. Its not about a bureaucracy or a creed. Its about love simple and divine. So simple, so divine, just like nature or the wind.
Much different than my drudgery. Much different than my fall.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Newer Beginnings

Hey guys,
Ive broken down and gotten a blog, and by that I mean a public blog as opposed to the EMWOMEN site that only allows members to see. I posted past blogs. My newest blog, TIME, is at the end of all the past ones. Some of the past blogs are obviously from the summer, but I just wanted to get all of them in one place. This will also probably be what I update when I go to spain and if i have internet when I go to Honduras just to let you know how my life is and such. Right now Im still laboring away at school junk. Two Spanish Classes. Two history Classes and Bio seminar. My final project however might kill me, but Ill be sure to keep you updated. But if it all works out, I will graduate in May. If you are still in Little Rock, Im going to be preaching this sunday (scary scary) at FUMC Maumelle at 6:30 you are welcome to attend :), however, if you are not already volunteering and you show up I might con you into staying forever just so you know. hehe. Please be praying for me 'cause Im really scared.
I hope you continue to enjoy my blogging world.
Much love to all. PEACE!
Alli Marie

First Blog ever

Wow! I've always wanted to blog, and today marks the first time ever!

Ever since I started college, I have been a Big journal writer and have absolutely loved it. So it makes since, that blogging is "write" up my alley, but being concerned with privacy issues I have neglected to start.

E.M. Women is a great site, and I feel this is the most opportune time and place to begin my blogging endeavor.

It perhaps is also the worst time....

It seems that I have either signed up for the worst or best summer of my life.

Perhaps I should not say worst. Let's just say busy. very busy.

I am doing research this summer for my undergraduate final project for the Honor's College. This is a requirement I must meet before I graduate in May and therefore the fact that a professor has given me the opportunity to do research with her is amazing.

Every morning (7 days a week), I am responsible for feeding butterflies and caterpillars. Collecting eggs laid by Butterflies. Collecting plants in a cow pasture. Making sugar water (nectar mimic). Checking for parasites. The list goes on and on.

The even more difficult task is writing the proposal that goes along with the research. Although I am already in full swing of the research project, the proposal must be submitted to the "Donaghey Scholars Policy Board" for approval. I am doing things a little backwards, but considering everything I am sure it will be ok.

I have written 7 drafts so far of the proposal and am still in the process of writing another. Perhaps, my reasoning for starting my blog today is underlying procrastination which leads me to my next topic of discussion: Balance.

Recently, during a worship service activity, I was asked to draw "What God is to me today". I decided to just start drawing and not really "map out" my final picture. The picture ended up being three balls that seemed to be suspended in the air. It looked much like someone was juggling sans the juggler.

My absent-minded drawing actually was both disturbing and insightful. I often feel as though my whole world is spinning out of control. It seems as though if I spend time on one aspect of my life, others tend to fall to the ground in shambles.

I have spent much of my time on my research proposal and research that I have been neglecting church, my family, my health and other aspects of my life.

My professor told me that I must plan my life around my research and not my research around my life. Understandable indeed because this is perhaps the greatest opportunity anyone has ever given to me, but how long must I put my life on hold to complete this project. The summer? a semester? or until the project is completed in May?

I often feel guilty when I do other tasks such as go to church, talk on the phone with a friend or even write this blog. I feel as though if my research is not a part of my every thought, action or word that I will be performing unacceptably.

And as far as the absent juggler goes, I have a few theories about that. I am guilty at many points in my life to exhibit the flight portion of the "flight or fight syndrome". I will often run from my duties rather than face them head on. In my last few years of college, I have come to learn this about myself and have made great strides towards overcoming my constant migration from my fears.

My other theory is that in my constant running I have not succumb to Jesus Christ and allowed him to be the "juggler" of my life. In fact as I said earlier, I tend to put him on the back burner even feeling guilty when I try to spend time "being still", praying and reading my bible.

I know that the time I spent in quiet with Jesus will be my most productive. I pray that I will learn to be still and allow him to take over my juggling.

I am so excited to have begun blogging and I hope to recieve comments from you about my blogs.

Until we meet again,

Alli Marie

New beginnings

Here I am at San Francisco Bread Company once again toiling over science journal after science journal trying to finish this proposal. This would now be my eighth version of my proposal that I just emailed in to my professor.

Procrastination has once again set in and I find myself daydreaming. I decided to put my daydreaming to better use by blogging it out.

A larval caterpillar spins a Chrysalis, sometimes mistakenly called a cocoon, in its final larval stage. It incubates for 12 days and then emerges as a very different looking, adult version of this same animal. Anyone who has ever seen this take place, would agree that it seems impossible for a caterpillar to go in looking like it does and come out in its adult butterfly form.

As I mentioned in my blog from yesterday, butterflies and caterpillars are my life these days and I find myself contemplating every stage and aspect of their life histories.

I talked to my boyfriend on the phone earlier this afternoon as he scurried around packing for the youth retreat he will be a director for this weekend. Ironically, the name of the retreat is chrysalis. The idea of the retreat is that youth arrive for the weekend as a caterpillar. Chrysalis acts as their well “chrysalis” preparing and forming them into future leaders and adults in the church. They leave chrysalis as a Butterfly.

I find connections like these in my life on a daily basis. They act as little reminders that God has a bigger plan for me. It seems as though he is saying everything you do brings fulfillment to my plan.

Despite my busy hectic schedule, I pray that God will lead me and I will follow him every step of the way.

Last night, I met with my student pastor and three fellow college students (including my younger brother Tyler) who preach in our student ministries. I find myself being drawn to the ministry and have been praying that God will give me the strength to do the things that he calls me to do. I find that my eye for detail would be more beneficial in ministry than in a field in Costa Rica.

I think about the Barlow Girls song “Surrender”. She says that God is whispering gently to her to “surrender” her dreams for those things that God is calling her to do. I pray that although I might feel as though we are surrendering, we are actually gaining more in return.

I know that in his time, I will know what he wants me to do with my life. I know too that he will give me the strength and tools I need to do what he asks of me. And although It may seem impossible as I look at myself in the mirror, I know that God is every day transforming me into a butterfly and in him only do I trust my flight.

Shoes. OMG. Shoes

Although the title of this blog is somewhat misleading (partially due to the high-rated marketing value placed on the word Shoes when relating to women), I hope that you will continue to read my blog and realize the true fit of the "shoe".


I find myself at the end of most days thinking back to the beginning of that particular day and thinking....did that really ALL happen today? It's amazing sometimes the amount that one person can accomplish in one day or simply the displacement one body can make in 24 hours.

My day was originally supposed to begin at 4:30 a.m. I am an Orientation Leader at my university and we are meant to be there promptly at 7:00 a.m. You might ask " well then why in the world would you be getting up at 4:30?" And then of course I would be obliged to answer: As I have mentioned in my earlier two blogs, I am doing research this summer. Although normally I arrive to work on my research project at 9:00 am, because there was an orientation today, my research colleague (who is also an orientation leader) and myself had to arrive at 5:30 a.m to get everything done for the research that day before having to be at the orientation session at 7:00 am.

O.k. So...I woke up at 5:53. This time was much later than my original 4:30 a.m wake up call, and considering I was already 23 minutes late to meet my colleague, I became somewhat of a basket case. I called my colleague and said that I would be on my way soon. I hopped in the shower for a quick scrub-a-dub, dried my hair, and was out the door by 6:05 a.m...impressive if I do say so myself. As I was on my way to the University however, my colleague called me and said "All of the milkweed is dead". I'll explain. Milkweed plant is what we use to feed the caterpillars that I am raising to butterflies to do my research. Caterpillars eat a lot (more than probably a teenage boy), and without a constant supply of milkweed the caterpillars will die. On any other day this would not have been a problem, but considering I had 55 minutes to go get milkweed (which includes a 1/4 mile walk through a cow pasture), arrive back at the university, feed the caterpillars and check in by 7:00 am, I was quite nervous.

When I got to the field, I was running through the grass. Since it was 6:00 am, the grass still had a lot of dew and my pants were soaked from mid thigh down (luckily I decided to not wear the pants I needed for orientation). I had never gone to get milkweed by myself and much less at 6:00 am in the morning, so worse case scenarios were flying through my head. I kept thinking about the 5 foot wide creek I had to cross to get to the milkweed. I was praying that there were no snakes and trying to remember if I ever remembered my zoology teacher saying that they were more active in the morning time.

When I arrived back at my car, I looked down at myself. First, admiring my soaked pants and then next my shoes. Shoes I was planning on wearing during orientation that day were completely soaked and had grass all over them. What was I going to do? It was not 6:35, and I definately wasn't going to have time to go back to my house to get new shoes. I called my mom, and by this time the water works had begun. I cried to her saying "It was the worst morning ever". She said that she wouldnt be in town for another two hours. Once, I had calmed down I decided to call my roommate. Since it was 6:40 in the morning I knew that she would be asleep and felt awful waking her up at this time. I asked her to bring me my shoes, and after a little while of drowsy conversation she said she would.

I will save much of the detail of the next 30 minutes since it consists mostly of me driving too fast, thanking my roomate profusely, feeding caterpillars and then finally appologizing to the orientation leader director for being 11 minutes late.
The rest of my day has gone pretty much as planned. Orientation went off without a hitch, I recruited at the Greek orientation mixer following orientation, I went and ate dinner with my roomie, and now I am blogging to you fine people.

I began writing this blog with no title, and concurrently added one after writing the story of my day. As I was writing, I kept thinking to myself there are so many lessons to be learned from my day that I couldn't even define one in particular.

Because shoes were the defining apex in my problematic morning, I decided that the best lesson could be learned from my very own closet.

We wake up every morning, and the shoes we decide to wear very much defines our day. When wearing flip flops, we might assume that it's summer and perhaps we will be visiting a pool or beach later. When we wear tennis shoes, we might be going to work out or planning along day of shopping. There are so many pairs of shoes that define our life as women.
We might put on a pair of shoes in the morning thinking it looked great with our outfit, and then midday we have a blister the size of Arkansas. Lessons hurt sometimes, and sometimes you have to continually wear it out before it ever gets worn in.
We may put on a pair of shoes in the morning and after running through miles of wet grass, realize that perhaps more than one pair of shoes will be needed for that day. My life is full of concurrent lessons, and no one ever said growing up would be easy or simple.

Lessons can be old or new, dirty, stinky, clean, muddy, borrowed, worn-out, favs, tall or flat, pointy, classic or modern. They can come is all shapes, styles and colors.

One thing I know for sure though is that lessons, unlike shoes, will never be too big or too small.

God works in our lives in mysterious ways. We may come across lessons in our life that we think nothing about, but later on they are grandiose and we realize their true power. Other lessons we have learned, we may think that we will never be strong enough or big enough to handle, but God is always their leading us through it all, and he will never give us a burden to great for us to handle.

So lace up your converse or strap up your stilletos, because its time to take on the world. We are women chosen to make a difference in this world, and their is no "heal" that we can't handle.

And one more thing to note, us arkansan girls never go barefoot.

to sleep or no this blog is about something I've been struggling with for a while. I have mentioned it off hand to some people, but never in a serious tone. I am not really sure if I'm alone in this or if many other women think about this too.

I would love to hear your comments.

Sleeping. obviously something everyone does. Most doctors recommend for a healthy lifestyle to catch 8 hours of good zzz's a night.

My life is full of guilt, and one thing I feel incredibly guilty doing is sleep. Crazy some of you might think, but it is the God's honest truth.

Even if I am absolutely exhausted in the middle of the day, I try to hold off sleep. And an even more guility feeling of mine is that I am often jealous of those who are able to sleep in or catch a few zzz's in the middle of the day.

I have a theory as to why this might be so.

I feel responsible for a large amount of different things. Performing well in school (more extensively my research project), being available for my family and my church family, staying in contact with friends, working two jobs, keeping a clean house (not my greatest gift). With the addition of my research, I am responsible for arriving at the university at 9:00 am every morning However, out of all these things that I feel responsible for their is one particular responsibility that I often neglect: myself.

From eating healthy, to working out, to getting enough sleep, and so on and so forth, I tend to neglect my needs and wants when my other responsibilities begin to add up. And on top of neglecting them, I feel guility for doing them, thinking that there are more important things to do or to worry about. On top of these things, I often feel guilty reading for pleasure, blogging, face-booking, shopping and so on and so forth.

My entire life has become a set of chores. I never am relaxed long enough to enjoy the moment. I pencil in to the minute time with friends and sometimes regretfully, I am thinking about all the other things I have to do next rather than enjoying what I am doing.

I feel as though I need a vacation. Something to get me away from everything else in my life just for a week or even a few days. I need some R &R. A time to catch up on some good reading (anything not related to amino acids or butterflies). A time to get a few good days of sleep, eat a few good meals, a few bubble-baths and some good exercise (some hiking or kayaking would be marvelous). However, I feel as though this is not in my near future nor do I think this would change my guilty conscience. Infact, I am even worried to go on vacation; afraid that I might only be worried about what I will need to be doing rather than concentration on healing myself for what is to come.

I have research every day for the rest of the summer. Also, with working two jobs, it hard to get vacation time with both much less continue to support myself after missing work for a week. Right after my research is finished, I will be back to school for my final year of undergraduate college.

Although, I wish that the perfect answer to this struggle could have come to me while writing this blog, I am sad to say that it has not.

Although I can work on taking better care of myself, the guilt associated with shamming out on my other responsibilities still overrides me.

I am relying on God for help, and I believe he will take care during this next year of my life. However, I do feel that something must change but I am at a lost as to how to do that. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I am struggling with balance, and I am afraid of those unexpected things that might happen that would cause everything to go in shambles.

I am not sure what to do, but I am definitely looking for answers. If anyone has any I would love to hear them.

knock know...whos there

This morning as I was on my way to get milkweed for my caterpillars, there was an ambulance behind us. Dylan, who was driving, pulled over to the right hand lane and let the ambulance pass us. In Little Rock, this is a daily occurrence and I didn't think much about it.

We kept driving a little bit further following the ambulance and a lady ran out in the middle of the street waving down the ambulance. She talked to them for a minute, and then the ambulance pulled off. The lady stayed in the middle of the street and began to walk towards us waving her hands in the air. Dylan and I looked at each other confused as to what was about to happen. The lady ran up to my window and began knocking, loudly. Dylan nor I rolled down the window so she continued to scream through the window. She had a large bump on her head, and she was asking us to drive her to the hospital. I was in shock and did not make any gesture either way. I didn't see Dylan, but I later asked him if he gestured to her in any way and he said no.

She continued to walk past us obviously seeing no response and we continued to drive. As we drove around the corner, we saw where the ambulance had went and where we then assumed the lady had come from. There was a what seemed to be one car wreck at the bottom of a steep driveway. We later saw a jeep a the top of the hill that had also been wrecked.

Dylan and I talked about how awful the wreck looked, and questioned as to why the lady wouldn't have stayed at her car if that was in fact where she had come from and we didn't say much else about it.

However, it has consumed much of my thoughts since. I feel as though I am being pulled in two different directions. I would have wanted nothing more than to be able to get that lady to the hospital in hoping that she could be treated for whatever injuries she had sustained. I prayed that she hadn't been in some awful situation and had gotten away from it by wrecking the car and was now running from someone who had been trying to hurt her.

The counter direction that I am being pulled is more selfish. I too am human and bleed just the same as others. Although, I wasn't driving I would have made the same decision to not pick up he lady out of my own protection. I'm sure my mother would be happy with my decision.

I hate that my availability to help others is stumped only by fear. Fear drives much of my life, and I have yet decided if this is a good thing or not. Many would agree with me that I should not have picked up the lady, but how far will fear hold me back. And when will it be "safe" enough for me to help others.

Did Jesus fear for his safety when helping others? Did the martyrs fear for their lives when helping others?

Is their room for fear in faith?

Broken hearts....old

Four things before I get started with this:

First of all I love him. There is no question about that.
Second of all, I would love to be able to write a blog that would absolutely change peoples lives more namely Josh Anderson. But I know I am not that good of a writer and writing only changes peoples lives in the movies ( Never Been on and so forth)

Third, he dumped me.

and Fourth, this is my way of dealing and healing.

So lets get started.

I truly love him. Some may say love is something that must grow over time, but I would beg to differ. He and I, in these past 5 months, had been through so much together.
You might tune me out right now thinking 5 months?

Josh and I have been friends for about a year. We met at church, and I swooned from the first time I saw him (funny story).

During the 2nd month of our relationship, he was in a horrific car wreck where he very well could have killed himself, and almost did kill his little brother.
There is something about coping through a tramatic experience like that that will bring people closer together. And it did.

He told me he loved me first, and I told him soon after. He was (well is) the man of my dreams. He is a strong christian with deep moral values that run to his core. He is a free spirit (much opposite of me). He is a musician and plays for youth on sundays at the church. He is a deep theological thinker and probably the nicest guy you would ever meet. He is respectful, loving, caring, and considerate. He is always open to help people and very outgoing (again opposite of me). He has strong family values and loves animals. He is extraordinarily talented, and has so many awesome gifts. He has a beautiful soul, and he is quite beautiful.

We had our small disagreements, but we never fought. He was kind and never hateful. He only used his words, and was never derogatory or demeaning.

I wonder now, after giving a short description of him, if I even deserved him.

Yesterday was like any other day. He had just gotten back from a youth camp chrysalis and I was very excited to see him. I drove out to his house (35 minutes from mine) to see him. We watched a movie and baked a cake. We ordered a pizza for dinner and Josh and I went to go get it. I will spare you the next 30 minutes, but I will tell you that we never fought. He insinuated that he wanted to break up and I asked him "Do you want to break up with me?"

He said "yes", and I began to cry. He tried to console me, I think, or atleast tried to explain himself, but I just kept saying that I wanted to go home.

I went inside his house, got my things, thanked his family, and left his home. I drove off quite upset for my 35 minute drive home. I called my best friend first, and she said she would meet me at my house and we would go to dinner and talk. I had calmed down halfway through the drive, and I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to know why. I called him and he didnt answer. He sent me a text message asking " what do you want to talk to me about"

I told him I just wanted to know why, and he neither responded nor texted back.

So I am left without any answers. The man that I previously described to you sounds nothing like the man that I dealt with yesterday night. He was disrespectful with not answering his phone. HE BROKE MY HEART.

I have two theories. One is that this was pre-planned. That he was planning on breaking up with me today and that was the most opportune time. But if this were so, why would he act like nothing was wrong? Why would go through normal daily activities as if he still wanted to date me. And why would he have me drive out to his house 35 minutes from my home knowing that I would have to drive back upset?

My second theory is that it was spur-of the moment. I find this the more hateful of the two. After 5 months, why would he break off our relationship on a whim? I was there for him when his brother was in ICU. I was there for him as soon as I heard about the wreck until the wee hours of the morning. I was there for him when he was trying to decide to go back to college or to take the job at the church. I was there for him when he needed me and spur of the moment he decides that he wants to break up. I supported him. We learned together, we prayed together, WE had FUN together. We went and saw plays. We have mutual friends. We were in love, or so I thought.

Yesterday, I was upset. Today, I am mad. I am mad that he would throw this away.

With so many questions left unanswered, it consumes my thoughts, and my dreams (nightmares). I am trying to blame something, but most of the time, since I hold him in such high esteem, it boils down to me. I guess for now I wont know.

But to him incase he reads this blog:

First of all, I love you. and there is no question about that.

Second of all, you probably wont even read this blog, and youre not coming back. Right now, I'm not sure if I still want to be friends with you.

Third, you dumped me.

and fourth, this is my way of dealing and healing. I not ok yet, but I will be. I hope you will be too. I hope you do go to college this fall. I hope you succeed with whatever it is you decide to do. I hope you find love that you did not find in me. Mostly, I hope you are happy.

Peace and Love.
Always and Forever.

Concentrate on what im saying...

Honk Honk. Ruff Ruff. Click Click Click. Chitter Chatter. Pitter Patter. Wahhh. Ahhhchoo. Cough Cough. Blah. Smack Smack Smack. Sip. Slurp. Burp. (Flagellant). Snore. Beep Beep Beep. Shhhh. AHHHH. Ouch. Vroom Vroom. EEEEk. Shrieeek. BAM. Click Click. Click. Stomp Stomp Stomp. Scribble Scribble. Snip Snip.

HEY! Be Quiet. Easier said than done right?

Constantly everyday we are bombarded with noises. Right now I a listening to a cell phone ring, boxes being moved by a UPS man, voices in the other room, the clicking of my computer and even my own breathing.

Let me be the first to admit, that I am the world's absolute worst at being still, being quiet and being by myself. The ex-bf use to say (in a joking manner) that I was high strung. But maybe, just maybe....I AM.

So how do I get there? How do I remove myself from all the noise? How do I be still? How in the world do I stay still?
(and not fall asleep?)

But once you remove yourself from all the noise, then the self starts talking. Once I learn how to still myself, I must then still my brain. I believe that an idle brain is dead brain. I believe one's mind is more powerful than any tool or weapon one could ever hold. My mind is constantly one step ahead of my feet and my mouth. It is on to the next adventure where as I have yet to finish the first. I don't think this is ideal health either. With my mind constantly racing forward, I sometimes miss the moment, the here and now.

Perhaps, this is my fault in relationships. I am constantly thinking about the next thing that we are going to do together, that I don't enjoy what we are doing then.

Im going to make like molasses....and slow down. The world is racing by, but do I have to? I have one life to live and I AM GOING TO LIVE IT!!

I am going to love myself. Take up yoga. Lay in the grass and smell the air. Pray every chance I get. Swim for four hours. But I am also going to learn. Read. Soak in all the knowledge that I can. Dream Big. LOVE GRAND. Be me. Follow Him. and Believe

So when all the noise stops and I breath my last breath I will know that its ok to

Be Still

For God so loved the world....

God so loved the world that he gave his only son.

I got off work today and I was driving to meet with my student pastor and some other youth.

I drove to an intersection where I saw a man in a fast food restaurant outfit standing on the side of the road.

He had two canes and his legs were deformed. He crutched to the button and then walked back to the side of the road, and I couldn’t watch any longer. Each step he took was painful to me.

My light to turn left changed to green, and I started forward, and he too started forward. I couldn’t help but look back and I saw him running across the street. He winced with each step, and I could not hold back my tears any longer.

Some people ask why people have faith in a higher being? Why we believe in God when the world spins out of control? When babies cry hungry in the streets and when men suffer in agony from illnesses they’ve had since birth?
If your God is so powerful then why does he allow bad things to happen?

My question to those people is how could you not. How could you live each day and see the pain in this world and not believe? More significantly, how could you feel pain and not believe that God the father almighty has a plan for the world and that the pain that you are feeling is merely a thread in the greater tapestry of the world?

My faith in God does not rest that he will always bring me good. My faith is based on the fact that he is a God who is always good and that he will lead me through the bad.

My mind wandered to what God wants for me. I am fine with not knowing the plan. I am fine with living under him and with him all at the same time. He is my ultimate authority and my best friend. He leads me and I will follow.

I shamed myself for complaining about cleaning the dishes when moments before I had food to eat on those same dishes. I shamed myself for complaining about homework when I am granted the opportunity to seek the knowledge of this world and to become a greater temple for him. I shamed myself for complaining about not having enough time when all the time I have is a gift from God.

I pray that I will allow God to push me. When he calls me, I will respond with my mouth open, my foot steady and my arms open. I pray that he will lead me so that I can take care of his people. That I can hug and love on the rest of his creation.

I love him. I love his creation. I love this chance at a life that he has given me.

I’m on board. I’m ready. Take me where you need me.

oh to be a college student...

Oh my gosh a Quarter! ok...25...35....40.....$2.04 ...perfect the exact price of a bagel with cream cheese at San Francisco Bread Company. Dinner!!

I never thought that what they always said about college life was true. A life where free food is like manna from heaven. Finding a quarter notes a celebration much like I would assume the people who found the titanic celebrated. Ramen and Spaghettios are a well rounded meal. Note cards become a daily accessory (and they match any outfit). Counting the number of hours you slept in a week is quite easy because you have way more fingers than you would ever need.
Your life becomes almost a game of making it too the next paycheck. Counting quarters, signing up for biology club for the free food. I have actually withdrawn $1.50 cents from my bank account. It's a life where robbing Peter to pay Paul is tempting.

My mom always says that I should make a budget, but subtracting 0 from 0 always seems to come out the same.
I have made my fair share of bad financial choices in college, and I have learned a great deal about personal finances.

First of all, debit cards are the devil. My suggestion to any college student is to cut up and throw away debit cards. Often, checking accounts these days have bounce protection meaning you can keep withdrawing sometimes up to $500 dollars in the negative! And with each withdraw over, the bank is taking $30 as a fee. Now, do you really want to buy chapstick for 97 cents and end up paying $30 for it. Yeah me neither. I am very much ashamed to admit it, but Ive been there!! I no longer have a debit card or checks, and I have not overdrawn once!!

Second of all, credit cards are also the devil. Do not trade in good credit for a free pizza! Often credit card companies will walk around campus offering free pizzas if you sign up for a credit card. If a parent gives you a credit card, dont carry it with you all the time. If you can get away with it, don't even accept it. Credit cards are great for school books and perscription medication, and that is it.

Third, those shoes are not that cute. Although you might not believe it, I have never gone naked as a college student. Even though I have thought that I have needed a certain outfit or couldnt buy any clothes for months and months, I have never ever been naked. Credit cards from stores are also the devil.

And last but not least, if you are in financial trouble do not wait to the bitter end to tell someone. I am lucky to have a mother who helped me out with my finances when they were so far gone I was never going to be able to get back on the right foot, and I am thankful for that. There are way too many stressors that you have in your life to have that added on top of it. Be free from financial stress: live within your means.

I have a theory that if you can live your life with simplicity, you will find true happiness, no matter which way your finances take you in life. William Henry Channing once said "to live content with small means....this is my symphony" Isn't this so true? To know that the true value in life is not the value of your savings account.

So I'm gonna keep counting, because I know what really counts.....25....35...40 .....

when i was a boy..

Driving home tonight, after a fun movie night with the girls, (we watched Definately, maybe), a song came on my ipod. It was one that I had obviously heard before, but something made since about it tonight.

The song is called "When I was a boy..." by Dar Williams (hints the name of the blog). The songs talks about her adventures as a child. One day, Peter Pan came to visit her and she told him she was a boy. They saved each others lives out on the pirate deck and lived a whole life in one night. She knew the tricks that all boys new.

When I was a child, I had a neighbor named Sam. He was a boy and everyday he wore wranglers and cowboy boots. Sam was a few years younger than me so he was a little bit shorter. Every day we would go play outside on the trampoline.
Sam was too short to get on the trampoline by himself. So I would get down on my hands and knees, and he would stand on my back to get on the trampoline.

Did I mention that Sam wore cowboy boots everyday? It was painful. Im not gonna lie. But he was my friend, and how else were we going to both be able to play on the trampoline.

Listening to Dar Williams made me think about Sam. It made me think about my childhood. Life was easier then. In fact, the only thing I could probably tell you I didnt like when I was a child was E.T. and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Today I have grown out of my fear of E.T. and love peanut butter, but I could list a multitude of people and things that I dont like.

Things are of lesser importance. I hate mandarin oranges and shake and bake chicken. I detest olives and bill paying. All these things I can either get over or deal with because I have too.

But what about the people. People who have stepped on my back to climb higher. People who have stepped on my back for no purpose what so ever. People I have allowed to step on my back and them only turning back around and giving up.

Sam never meant to hurt me and in fact if I told him that it did hurt we probably would have found another game to play or perhaps a step ladder.

When did the world change? Somewhere between learning to tie my shoes, tying hairbows, and tying up loose ends, I am no longer a child.

Peter Pan doesn't really exist. E.T. is merely a movie. Sam grew out of his cowboy boots. I still hate jelly.

and it still hurts when people step on your back.

"But you were just like me, and I was just like you"

and we can save each others life out on the pirate deck.

allison unpub.

i put your picture there. the one when you had lots of hair.
i put it in the front. to be sure id see it. i made you important. most important. i put you first. that was my mistake.
you are worthy. noteworthy. you deserve greatness because you are greatness.
just thought i would tell you that.
to you, more so in you, i find no regrets.
regrets perhaps of that i did. i shouldve loved you more. held you more. said more, said less. doesnt matter.
i am not unhappy and this flows easy.
you taught me something. something of worth. value. Gold.
a friend of mine you are, and a friend of mine you will stay.
monday night often is cold and black. but tuesday always seems a little bit brighter.
you enjoy that moment. this moment. every moment.
holding on for longer as i got pulled away with boredom.
hands locked showed no signs of our strength.
cracked ribs and skinned knees. it felt like that i promise.
you say i've never been there, but i tell you now that i have.
broken glass is merely a parted sea. moses knew that liquid moved slow.
experience would have done us some good. but experience was not something you gave me.
i asked why and you said youth was something that was of worth.
i scorned you and pleaded. you cried and fleeted.
you dream of much, but with dreams you seldom soar.
i dream of little, but am mounted on those of others.
you know what you want, and dont arise to the day.
i know nothing of want, and greet it with misfortune.
i know nothing of this plan, young man. boy.
20 dollars a week i put towards hatred. you love it.
i do not smoke. i boil sponges on a bunson burner.
O to the H belongs only in that order
with in the scarlett gravy of this world.
bears agree with me. infact, their spouses would agree.
you do too and so does the cowboy.
People. love. us. remember it's worth.
walgreens is open. crowd surfers loved october. we won't see the costumes.
the treats on me. or was it the trick.
finders keeper. losers weeper. i guess you know who the loser is.
i knew nothing of your cake delight. i knew nothing but that butter went on bread.
and that was it. fireworks. fireworks and cows. how was i to know?
pizza face. home is neither a place i was or where im going.
my friend loved the story. i delight in telling you that.
crazy yes i agree. no apologies. the name of the game is bed. you made it.
sleep, my long haired friend.
keeping up with them was never my game or yours. that alone i thought we could exist on.
you spoke of peas or was it peace. i spoke of chemical free scarfs and traveling with no shelf life.
or was it half life.
you knew i couldn't write that purty. oops purity. you knew that my brain existed partially in you.
i will give you this. you did warn me.
but running away with half was something i never thought you would do
so brigther days i saw again and brighter they still get.
room knees are awakening and breathing gets easier yet.
"i feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest" he and she both said.
only he was the only one that felt just that.
believe in it is what im trying to do, believing in you was the daily special.
we moved on to a new brand of goodness with only 120 calories a cup.
that is it. the story is told once again. today it was changed to yellow.
it spoke truth and falsehood. truth reigned.
you still inevitably exist but only in adventure land.
i spoke of him and them to them and they accepted the texas franc.
no feelings show. no world spinning madly. its silent.
you knew i was afraid of that.
apparently you knew a lot. i give you too much credit
i spoke high and you sat still
oh crap that wasnt you. focus executes my mind.
im retrograding into a past existence.
i just wanted you to know that ive kept your picture there. the one when you had lots of hair.
i keep you in the front. to be sure i see it. you are important, because He puts you first, and you were not a mistake.
you are worthy. trustworthy. you deserve greatness because you are greatness.
just thought i would tell you that.
All Rights Reserved.

Any lad or lassie welcome

ast night, I had one of most amazing experiences of my life.
One of my greatest friends, Cody, called me a few days ago and asked me to go to the "Monthly Irish Jam Session" I know right?
I agreed that I would go, but was unsure of what to expect.
I met Cody at his apartment in Conway, and road with him to the coffee shop. We arrived to an old run down coffee shop. The building was green and white with chipping paint. We got out of the car and walked towards the door. A large bay window. I saw a group of middle-aged men and women with all sorts of instruments. I heard the faint sound of an Irish jig, but the sound of their feet stomping the ground was very distinguished.
We walked in the door. There was a young, college aged girl smiling brightly in front of us. She welcomed us and asked us what we would like to drink. I asked her if the smoothies were good. She suggested the blueberry-strawberry-mango, and that is what I got. Cody got Jasmine green tea, and we went and sat in the room with the circle of musicians.
Cody got out his guitar and banjo (named Lefty-Marie after me) and went to sit in the circle. I sat in the table next to Cody and listened. One of the 10 people in the circle start the song and the rest follow behind. Paintings draped the walls and the nude figures seemed to dance with the Irish sounds.
They wore rash flag shirts and hippie skirts. They closed their eyes and took in the music. Audience members dammed along on the tables.
Looking through the bay window, Cars drove by outside with people talking on their cell phone. I felt wildly disconnected from the world outside, and as the outside got darker, the disconnect became greater.
They played on and on and I ignored the fact that I had other places to be. Slowly musicians would leave. These old friends, who were only connected for their love of this foreign music, wished their families well and a happy 4th. With still a few musicians left they put away their instruments. A man diagonal from me began to sing in the old language of their beloved Ireland. After, he had finished his song others followed singing songs from the home of the Leprechaun.
Cody quietly packed up lefty Marie and Carrie the guitar. We wished them well and a happy fourth and they continued to sing as we walked out the door. I walked past the bay window one more time. I still heard the distinct sounds of their feet tapping and saw two men with their mouths wide open. But I had rejoined the world that just moments before I had been so disconnected. I began to answer the phone calls and text messages that I had received and refused to answer during the jam.
I can’t wait until next month, to be back in the old country, Irish through and through.

I am 10000000 women

When I was a kid, and I lived at home, my mom would say " I'm not a maid, I'm your mother".

My mother is right. She was not my maid. But don't you feel as though, despite whatever title you like to refer to yourself as (mother, daughter, wife, sister, etc), that there are so many other titles that go along with that.

You are a single woman, and yet often it feels as though you are representing 10000 women in your everyday life.

The other day, I went to research in the morning. I am a student. I am a researcher. I am a scientist.
I then drove to Maumelle where I helped my brother with his computer. I am computer technician.
I talked with my mom and then my brother and I drove to North Little Rock. I am a daughter. I am a friend. I am a sister. I am taxi cab driver.
In North Little Rock, I met with a group of my peers who preach on Wednesday and Sunday nights in the junior high and senior high environments. I am a dreamer. I am a Christian. I am a thinker. I am a note taker. I am a leader
After, we left there, I drove back to Maumelle where I met with the youth director for the church. (I am a singer-shh) I am a friend. I am creative. I am a bad driver. I am a texter.
I drove to conway to see "Irish Jam Session". I am a patron of the arts. I am a smoothie connoisseur. I am a friend. I am a dead-beat drummer. I am a passenger.
I drove to Willy-D's piano bar to see some friends. I am a friend. I am a giggler. I am impatient. I am an 80's music junkee. I am tired.

Other days you might catch me being an employee. A sister. I am sad. I am angry. I am happy. I am pet-friendly. I am a babysitter. I am a crier and a laugher. I am a maid. I am a servant and I am served.

I love all these things that I am to all these different people. I sure I could have come up with many more, but you get the idea. I am also sure that you too could think of all the millions of roles you take on on a daily basis.

i am all of these things. titles. people.

I have heard more than one sermon concerning "I am" statements of ourselves.

And yet each one ends the same.

They say that of all these roles that we take on. Out of all these things we use to define ourselves. Our "About me" sections on Emwomen or facebook or myspace.

In the rush of fulfilling our roles and deserving our titles, do we forget what titles we should esteem above all the rest:

I am my Savior's. I am His. I am my Beloved's. I am a daughter of God the Father Almighty.

This is enough for me. These titles given to me by the grace of my Lord are not deserved. They are given to me by grace through faith.

When we revere these titles as the most important, all of our other titles will be the temples by which we spread the good news.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! He is the headline, and I am the ink!

So that when all other things go away, we will know our most authentic title, the one that will extend past all titles of this world.

You will always be your Beloved's, and He will be yours.

Milk trumps computer

I will start from the beginning, because I often find that is a very good place to start.
Last night as I was climbing into my ever so comfy bed and I rolled over to set the alarm for today, I decided that I was not going to set an alarm.
Fridays I do not have class, and I am suppose to be at work at nine. I knew that it wasnt nessecary for me to be there right at nine because today was a special conference and everyone would be away that generally has work for me to do. (Further more, I was right because right now I am sitting in my office righting this blog having done nothing all day except twiddle my thumbs)
I decided that since generally on saturdays I rise early to fight my homework the rest of the day that this Friday I was going to just sleep in a little bit.
I woke up today at 8:50 feeling very rested and ready to great the rest of my week.
I got in the shower, got dressed. you know general morning routine. I looked at the clock and since it was already 930 decided I would pack some breakfast to eat at work.
I got together essentials for the day including my computer, some books to read, my day planner, purse etc.
I packed some lunch and then some cereal. I put some milk in a tuperware bowl and put all of my food for the day in a lunch box. I was a little worried about the milk spilling so I made sure to carry it down extra carefully to my car. When I got to my car, I made sure to place the lunchbox upright and through in my gym bag, purse, and backpack.
When I parked at school, I opened my backseat to get out my stuff. I looked down on the floor at my backpack and suddenly realized, that it was upside down and that was the bag that my computer was in! I pulled out my backpack and other items and began walking to work.
Thats when I started thinking, how was it that I paid so close attention to make sure that my milk didnt spill that I neglected my computer?
But isnt this what we do in our daily lives? Dont we often get so overwhelmed with the nit picky little things that we forget about whats really important.
I knowthat I am definately guilty in this beyond the recent milk trumping computer experience.
I look at my schedule and realize that I have scheduled out down the minute ( part of my anal retentive nature) everything in my life. It's not a matter of just doing it but checking it off. I am actually guilty of writing down on my calendar call Ashley on the day of her birthday and checking it off after doing so. The same goes for my volunteering, school, work and sometimes even showering. It seems as though I get so caught up in finishing a task rather than actually enjoying it. When will it be that I will actually write down "pray" or "read bible" only to add a BIG CHECK after completing.
Life is so precious and each day is a gift from God. He is the most important thing, but sometime I know that I put other less important things in front of him. Never do I want to check off God from my list. I want him to be real, active and present in every way and thing in my life. Isn't that the beauty of grace in that it is always just these very things "real, active and present". God seeks us from the very beginning and he never ever gives up on us. God's love is unending and POWERFUL. AMen?

The bed bug ate my sleep

have grown very fond of sleep these past few weeks. Not excessively, but I have felt much better in greeting the day when i get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
I work in the morning at 8 and so tonight I laid in bed about 1030. I didnt have any problem getting right to sleep.
You may be looking at the time of this blog and be thinking its 2:45 in the morning!
Well you see what happened was...I left my phone on my bed stand (which I seldom do) and I received a text message at 130 (which also seldomly happens).
So here I am, one hour and fifteen minutes later, a clean apartment later, and soon with another blog under my belt.
So bed bugs. I remember hearing time and time again "Sleep tight, dont let the bed bugs bite" as a child.
Now, Ive heard that bed bugs exist although I hope to never see one or much less get bit by one, so why is it that we tell our children this? It's not like it brings on the most pleasant of dreams. The idea of a bug biting you while you sleep? In fact, it seems a little nightmare-ish.
And furthermore, we add sleep tight. Now I dont know about you, but if i had bugs biting me in my bed the last thing I would want to do is sleep tight. This brings the image of not being able to get away from them once you realize you are being bitten.
Even if bed bugs were figurative, I cannot imagine that symbolically they could mean anything too heartwarming. Perhaps bed bugs are worries, to-do lists, errands, or text messages. I dont remember having things like these run through my head or interrupt my sleep as a child.
But maybe thats just the trick! Maybe when parents wish for their children "Sleep tight", they are allowing for all of their worries and such to fade away for a good nights rest.
So for you I wish in a most figurative way.....

Overly idealistic

My most recent blog, prior to this one, was entitled intimacy. I hope before reading this blog you may take a few minutes to read the previous blog so that you will understand where I am coming from, but in summary the blog talked about marriage.
My friend teresa read my blog via email and this was what she said:

In a perfect world I love everything you said.
What is your thought on Divorce? How do you interpret what the Bible says about it? What if the guy isn’t living up to the vows he made? Where do you think the line is drawn there? I am curious to hear from another young Christian woman and share these thoughts with my friends.

Idealistically, I would like to say never when it comes to divorce. That divorce should never be an option and that there is never a line. Stay with me now because I am not much of an idealist. I would believe, although I am not much of a bible scholar, that the bible calls us to love one another. And since in my last blog I said that marriage is our chance to love how Jesus loves us, wouldn't it go without saying that that love would be unconditional?
Perspectively, I have been in love twice in my life. I can honestly say that to this day, despite coarse words and rocky histories, that I still love these men just as much as I loved them then. I, also, can say without a doubt that we do not need to get married. Was there a point in both relationships when I considered marriage? Yes. I believe divorce comes back to the simple ideal of free will. For certain, God makes no mistakes, but for certain, I as well as the rest of humankind make plenty.
Now, what is that line? I am always shaky when it comes to lines. Lines concerning dating are absolutely an anomaly, and lines concerning divorce are no easier. I would imagine that to be a Christian woman your relationship would consist of three individuals. You, your spouse, and God. I believe the point at which divorce could be considered would be when only you are left in that mesh of wires. I don't believe a marriage can last without God because I believe to know God is to know unconditional love because God is love 1 John 4:7-8.
Embrasively, I would approach marriage idealistically. I believe that divorce has become an all to culturely friendly term, but also quite necessary at times. So first, neglect divorce as even an option. In fireproof, Caleb's father gives him a book called the love dare. It's some what of a "last straw" kindof deal. "Love is not a fight, but it is something worth fighting for", and call this naivity but I believe love will never die, only fade. Realistically, divorces will happen, and at many times for worthy causes. I do not believe in action without prayer and time. Jesus faught till the death for our salvation, so don't we owe him that same fight?
I would never condemn or judge a divorce. One beauty about this amazing creation is that we are all unique and that we all live our own lives in this beautiful world. Naturally, it makes it impossible for us to know everyones situation. I do believe in a most awesome God who is weaving day by day a tapestry of each of our lives, and just as there is a place for death, defeat, destruction, and disease; I also believe there is a place for divorce. I am not called to judge, but to teach. I am not called to condemn, but to love.


It's been a long wait but its finally here.
The movie fireproof comes out this friday, and I am uber excited. I already know that this movie is one that I will purchase and keep on my shelf to hopefully watch in the future with my future spouse (God-seeking and willing), for friends who are having trouble in relationships, and perhaps someday for my children when they are considering marriage.
I find myself some what of a paradox when it comes to the sanctity of marriage. I am very liberal in many fews both economically and socially, however, when it comes to the value and sanctity of marriage I am much more conservative. I run around with many friends who consider marriage to be a convention of the past. That marriage is something brought onto us by our government to control taxes. But marriage is much much more than this. Marriage is a rite that was deemed holy by the church. I believe that in saying vows with another you are locking yourself in a relationship good or BAD, beautiful or UGLY, life or DEATH. I think that Marriage gives us a chance to love how Jesus loved us. He did not look at the tax collectors or aldulterers or sinners (as we all are) and condemn them, but rather he loved them and never gave up on them as he still does today with all of us.
However, I believe there are many misconceptions about marriage. I dont believe that marriage closes the door on mistakes. I dont believe when you put on a ring that that ring signifies perfection of the other person. I believe that that ring signifies that you are entering into a perfect relationship with God holding the hand of another wretch just like yourself. Rather than closing doors, you are opening yourselves together into a relationship that will be deemed blameless in the sight of God not in its perfection but in its journey towards perfection. It opens the door to forgiveness without persecution. Love without judgement. God loves us a most perfect way, and in marriage we have the opportunity to love each other this same way.
Although I am simply rephrasing : I have more than a miles distaste for most conventions, but marriage is something most precious and holy. This past week my preacher said something that touched me at my core. He said that in life your two most intimate relationships should be one with Christ and two with your spouse. Isn't this a beautiful thought? and doesnt it also put things into perspective?
Youre most intimate relationships should be with Christ and your spouse. Considering this level of intimacy, one of the most important parts would have to be time. I hope that as I grow older and grow in both my relationship with Christ and also with my future spouse that I will use this as a key as to where I spend my time. Our most intimate relationship is not supposed to be with our boss, or our friends, or a bartender, or a coworker, or with your teachers, but isn't it true that most often we would spend more TIME with these people that perhaps with Christ or our spouse.

I will be praying for each of you as you journey in your relationship with Christ, your spouse, your future spouse, or in your single life, that you will be seeking perfection!
Post hoc ergo proctor is God. Marriage is love. God is love. Marriage is God.
God bless your life, your marriage, and your spouse!


If you had to choose locations for yourself where would you stay for the rest of your life (your home), for one month, one week and one day?

Hemmingway once said " You can not get away from yourself by moving from place to place". Although, I agree with Hemmingway I also find truth in saying that the world is an open book and if you dont travel its like only reading one page of it.
I find it very interesting that Toni entitled this question "Niche", because Niche not only requires your accpetance of the environment but also the environments acceptance of you.
So rather than continuing avoiding the actual question, I will progress.
If I were to live anywhere for the rest of my life, it would be Costa Rica. I often joke with people saying that it would be my dream to sleep in a hammock and eat fruit for the rest of my days on this earth. Although this is often said in a joking manner, its actually truth. I am addicted to the Costa Rican culture and their motto of "Pura Vida". Everyone just seems to move at a slower pace and the nostaligia of a time long before me creeps up when noting the lack of interstates, cell phones, and internet. The landscape with mountains, volcanoes, rainforests, and beaches is like what I might imagine heaven to be like. The siting of animals in natural habitats and the large variance of little critters everywhere is enough to make me explode in excitment. The "ticos" love for the outdoors is much like my own and their idea of fun and adventure is highly intriguing. You just can't help, but love Costa Rica. If I were to live there, I would want to be a white water rafting instructor. Sidenoting the amazing adventure of each day, I would be able to meet new people and educate them about the changes occuring in our world. For one moment, I could maybe touch their lives and help them realize that the world is not something to be owned, but to love.
When traveling away from my permant home in Costa Rica, I would love to spend a month or even a summer or two in North Carolina. The same ideal of adventure and love of nature extends through much of North Carolina. The Carolinians that I have met, especially those from the Asheville region, have volunteer simplicity to an art and understand the idea of being free. My ideals of the peace, granola culture extend through my very soul. It's a beautiful idea to escape from culture and embed yourself in being just yourself. The music that comes from the Asheville region speaks to me deeply and has walked me through the darkest valleys of my existence.
When vacationing for a week or two, I would love to visit Tuscany, the region in Italy. The italians, too, have the slow nature down to an art, and their love for vino is shared by me as well. My intrique of Tuscany began with the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun". Her life seemed so simple, yet so elegant and worthy.
Perhaps the hardest part of this question is where I would want to visit for a day. I suppose I would have to say the Grand Canyon. I have never been there, but I have a feeling I would love it. God's magnificient power radiates through his creation, and I believe the Grand Canyon would be one of those places in which his power would be intoxicating. I would also love to ride a donkey.
In closing, however, despite all of these idealisitc perceptions that I have of all of these beautiful places, the most important part would be to have my family and friends beside me. And, although, my incredulous belief that travel is necessity, I find God, my family, and my friends to be life-giving. My life would not be complete without them. God, family and friends are the true secret to "Pura Vida" no matter where you reside.


Once upon a time, there was a young girl. Every week in a room much like this one she would come to youth. She would pray in a little box. She would worship in a little box. She would listen to the sermon in her little box. She would sit in her little box during small group time. Never stretching out Never stepping on anyones toes. Comfortable wtih where she was.
And then one day....something happened.
Transformation. Change. The act of changing. Something we do in our every day lives. Everyday we make changes, see I'm going on the notion that hopefully atleast all of you change your underwear, right?
We make small changes like the foods we eat, the clothes we wear. And we make bigger changes like where we go to school, the friends we have, the places we live. But often we dont make the same changes or any changes in our spiritual lives. We get so comfortable with where we are that we make no changes and much like the girl in the story we just sit in our box.
But i have NEWS for you. Now your going to have to listen closely, because this will not be easy to hear. Faith is not about being comfortable. Our faith is about constant change and not sitting in our box. If we are consistent about our belief in Jesus Christ, then we are consistantly changing.
When we are washed in the baptismal waters, We are changed, TRANSFORMED. When we accept Jeus and surrendor our lives to him. We are Changed, TRANSFORMED. But once we get comfortable with our faith, why is it that we cease to continue changing.
This is your wake up call to be TRANSFORMED and to MOVE!
Our faith calls us everyday to live bettter and we must model our lives after Jesus. But you cannot commit to this by staying in a box. Jesus ate with taxcollectors and aldulterers. Murderers. Sinners. This is not Comfort. Jesus was crucified under the weight of all the sins of all of humanity THIS IS NOT COMFORTABLE! Martyrs have been slaigned because of their faith. Still today people are persecuted because they are praticing christians in a country where it is illegal THIS IS NOT COMFORTABLE. The girl from Columbine who said YES I BELIEVE when she had a gun to her head. THAT WAS NOT COMFORTABLE.
These people allowed Jesus to transform their lives and this allowed them to step out of thier box. Out of their comfort zone. Out of their own lives and into a life of Christ.
This is not comfortable.
We can start small.
We must transform our speech. Transform our speech to reflect truth. We do this by gaining knowledge and wisdom in both prayer and by throwing our selves into the word of God.
We transform our faith. Transform our faith by continually walking in Jesus footsteps. By stepping out of our comfort zone. By knowing what we beleive and preaching that both with our words and our actions.
We transform our purity. We strive everyday in our appearance to appear modest. To dress modestly. Have an attitude reflective of truth. To speak slowly and think quickly.
We transform our love by not only loving those with which it is easy but loving those with which it is hard. Those people who are different. Unfed, unclothed, unloved. These are the people Jesus calls us to love. The least of us. Our love should not be judgmental but extravagant. Never catious but constantly moving at breakneck speeds.
We transform our lives by MOVING in all these things. We use the transformations and spread them to others. We ACT in faith rather than have faith passively move through us.
We are like butterflies. After, we are transformed we do not sit by our box but we FLY away spreading the good news flower to flower. Pollinating the earth with the Good news of Jesus Christ.
So that young girl who sat in that box. She is me. She is you. and you and you.
But when we are transformed, our story has a happy ending.

Religion fiend

Friend writes:
I got stuck on this whole religion kick a few weeks ago, and then I found that there is just so many things that don't sound right about it, and the wars started over it... I mean it just seems far from a good thing. (besides the whole going to heaven thing)

so i started reading stoic philosophy and I'm in love with it, but I'm having a hard time applying it to modern time.

I write back:
food for thought: the problem with stoicism is that it creates for "feelings" that are not real. perhaps feelings is the wrong word, but rather feelings that are merely illusions of your rationality. it seems to me that stoics were looking for truth and merely were able to hide behind stoicism, or more intrinsically rational thought, in order to bide there time.
In the modern world, content-ness is often something that people are constantly seeking and rarely find. Mind you if content-ness is what you are looking for then stoicism is definatly for you, however, if you are looking for raw feelings. true gut wrenching feelings that are both good and bad then i would imagine stoicism is not for you.
However, in throwing stoicism away, seeming that you are looking for a method of feeling and have already discounted religion as your anecdote, then, my friend, i am a girl without any answers and have thus rendered any hope that you perhaps might have had free into a world where good dogs and bad dogs are waiting to chew on your raw emotions at the minute the dinner bell rings.
but with so much madness who needs method. Love. anger. happiness. sadness. embarressment shyness. joyfulness. all the same eat it up. love it. when it comes to emotions allow for them to be fully enjoyed. neither covered up. eaten up. or thrown up. it is with emotion that we truly experience life. it is how you use your emotion that gives you life.

True wisdom is when both emotion and thought can exist, one with the other, never hiding the person, but rather manifesting the person that exists and develops both.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Time. Its something I deal with everyday both on a gradiose scale and a minute scale. As I roll over when my alarm clock abruptly awakes me in the morning, I think about the least amount of time it could possibly take me to get ready in the morning. I think about time concerning assignments for school. I wish time away as I sit at work and twiddle my thumbs avoiding reading Montaigne or do Spanish homework. Time is a valuable commodity, but cannot be sold, borrowed, stolen, or erased. Ive heard some say they have killed time, but it seems to be quite alive to me.
Rarely, however, do I think about time in seconds. Seconds. It seems so juvenile. Impertanant. When you are an overly motivated individual such as my self, and the value of time is equal to accomplishments, there seems to be absolutely nothing productive that can occur in time period of seconds. I understand that it is with seconds that we gain minutes, hours, days, and years. But lets, (just for a giggle), consider each second a consumer of its own. Each individual second just as important as a year. Each second wanting to be stolen, borrowed, erased and sold just the same as any other scale of time. Its probably a lot easier to kill a second considering it is much smaller than its older brothers the day or the year. As small as it seems, a second is actually quite mighty and what you do with your seconds could actually make or break you. The time from when you inject your arm with a needle to the time heroin reaches your brain is 4 seconds. After a drag off a cig, its takes half that amount of time...2 seconds. It takes seconds to shake someones hand, smile, and say "Hello, How are you?" and recieve a response. It takes seconds to put your seatbelt on. It takes seconds to say "No" to a child who is asking to play with you. It takes seconds to say "yes". It takes seconds to pull a trigger on a gun and shatter a life. Seconds to flood your mind with words of hate.  Faggot. Nigger. Dike. Bitch. Whore. And once again, seconds to flood your mind with words of love.  Beautiful.  Intelligent.  Gifted. Exceptional. Unique. Prosperous. Influential. Life-changing.  Seconds. What you do in these seconds, can infact have greater impact on your life than an entire year. Dont you agree? Every second counts. I would even venture to say that what you do every seconds could define your life more than 10 years. 20 years. Who is the stronger time span now? Seconds create ripples. These ripples you might define as minutes, days, hours, and years. But just the same, they started as seconds.  
Approach every second as if it were the moment to define you.