Tuesday, December 12, 2006

World AIDS Day

I realize that I am a bit slow in getting this post written, considering World AIDS Day was Friday, December 1st. I was blessed to be a part of planning, what I thought turned out to be a beautiful day. A colleague, and friend, felt convicted that we as an institution need to acknowledge this event. She worked hard to be sure that everything came together.

We received 200 pictures of children from around the world who have been affected by the disease. They could have lost family or neighbors. We attached these pictures on stakes and placed them around campus, under trees wrapped with red ribbons. We also posted HIV/AIDS facts on the trees.

Our chapel program was phenomenal, if I do say so myself. We commissioned one of our amazing drama students to write three monologues to be performed in chapel. She wrote powerful testimonies, one was a sister of man who died, one was a mother and wife who discovered that she and her baby were positive, and a young woman who discovered that she, too, was positive and dealing with the abandonment by her family. I was blown away by the performances of the three talented actors who played these women. We interlaced the monologues with a slideshow of people who are living with AIDS and those who have passed on. My friend, C, gave a little information about each person's story in the slide (name, age, diagnosed in ..., lost spouse in...etc.). We carefully orchestrated music and read two excerpts from two stories. To end the program and lace all of the pieces together, one of our professors stood up in silence for as long as he could keep the attention of the students. He quoted UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, saying about the AIDS crisis "silence is death". As Christians, we cannot remain silent. As humans, we cannot remain silent.

This day challenged me and I pray it challenged our students. We are responsible for those around us. We are called to love those around us and show compassion for them. We are not called to judge or decide who is worth of our attention. I think if Jesus were on earth today, he would be in the AIDS hospices and in villages ravaged by this non-discriminating disease. He would be loving them and telling them that his Father loves them. I hope I can do the same.

I am challenged to find my voice to fight for those who need attention. I don't know what this looks like in my life but I feel called to not remain silent.

Silence Is Death.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Where Have I Been????

I realize it has been quite some time since I have had anything to say. I will give you a quick rundown of life's happenings. Perhaps in the near future I will actually have something interesting to say.

* moved in with the 'rents (not the most exciting thing at 30)
* spoke in chapel twice the week before break. Once to the women and once to the entire student body (we told stories of Thanksgiving/Thankfulness)
* working on a AIDS Awareness chapel with 3 colleagues for World AIDS Day (Fri, December 2nd)
* had last week off for Thanksgiving. I was in desperate need of vacation.
* looking into grad school for next fall (this is why I moved in with mom and dad)
* went north this weekend to visit Jean and her husband
* read A LOT last week
* helped Mike and Janna move into a bigger place
* spent Thanksgiving at Mike and Janna's new place. I had so much fun with my neice and nephew. They are amazing!
* went to a book signing and had the pleasure of saying hello to Ellyn Burstyn (she is SO beautiful and classy)
* went to a show with a friend (I always forget how much I enjoy live theatre)
* went to NW 23rd with a couple of friends last week. We had lunch and shopped around. I was inspired into Christmas spirit. Also, I love Moonstruck truffles. YUM!
* I can't believe that it is approaching December rather quickly. Another year flies by!
* I'm sure there is more but I need to get back to work! Another entry soon I hope.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Post Number Two From The Road

I am getting myself ready to head back to Portland in the morning. I will sure be glad to sleep in my own bed! I had a great trip. I enjoyed seeing others who do this work with students and being affirmed in the work I do. I am blessed to have some allies on campus who know what kind of work I do and in a lot of ways, I think I have it better than other campuses simply because we're smaller and we aren't fighting so many battles with administration and faculty. I do however feel like we've used our size as a cop out to not do the best work we can do for our students. I know I have. I've used a lack of funding and resources as my excuse to not come up with creative solutions to our problems and have not felt entitled to fight for what is good and right for our students.

I feel empowered to develop my own skill set and focus on my own professional development. No one is a better advocate for myself than myself. I want to be better equipped so that I can better equip. There is much for me to process and I will be able to this on my journey home tomorrow. Please pray for traveling mercies as I venture back to the beautiful city I love.

Portland, here I come!!!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Note Number One From Trip

Two quick notes about online mapping:

1. Be thankful that rental car man asked to look at directions before you left Detroit so that I didn't end up in downtown Detroit without a clue as to where to go because they've closed the road you were told to take!!!

2. Don't assume directions are accurate. It's always hit and miss. They got me to and from Target with ease this afternoon (to get contact solution that was confiscated at airport) but this evening when trying to meet the rest of the group here for the conference, totally dropped me at the wrong location. The directions left out about 10 miles of the trip. Awesome. :) Clearly I figured it out when I called the other hotel. They got me to them and we had an excellent evening. I am now back cozy in my hotel room. Praise Jesus.

Had a great first evening with everyone. We were able to catch up and meet new people who have joined the club.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Off to see the Wizard

I know I know it's been quite some time since I last posted. Life has been crazy and weird. There is much I could say about what has been going on with me spiritually and emotionally but what I can say right now is that I am doing better.

I am heading to Rochester College in the Detroit area for few days. I am attending a Student Service Conference where I will be hanging out with several people who do what I do. It's a great time to learn from each other and receive encouragement for our work. It's a fun time. This is my first trip by myself. I usually have my boss with me. I'm kind of glad because then I don't have to come up with random small talk while we travel. Thanks!!! This gets to be down time to read and relax. I even brought season 5 of Gilmore Girls, just in case there is a DVD player in my hotel room.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tag You're It

Big Mike tagged me to play the booklist game:

A book that changed my life: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Totally changed the way I understand God's love for me and all humankind.

A book I've read more than once: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (romantic and girly); Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding (hilarious and more like my life, except for the sex, someday maybe); Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers; Sacred Romance, Curtis and Eldridge

A book I would take with me if I were stuck on a desert island: Celebration of Disciplines by Richard Foster (this would be an excellent opportunity to practice them)

A book that made me laugh: Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs (I'm not done with it but I have to say that most of my laughing from this book has been more nervous and horrified laughter)

A book that I wish had been written: The story of my life written by God so that I knew what my life would be like. I'm still hoping He will publish soon.

A book I wish had never been written: Anything by Rush Limbaugh (that guy is a troll)

A book I've been meaning to read: Well, let the list begin...currently on my to be read list, there's always more:
Confessions, Augustine
Lighting the Way: Nine Women Who Changed Modern America, Kareena Gore Schiff
Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities, Alexandra Robbins
College of the Overwhelmed, Kadison and DiGeronimo
Generation Me:Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled--and More Miserable Than Ever Before, Jean Twenge
No Perfect Christians Allowed, John Burke
I could keep going so I'll stop now...

I'm currently reading:
Running With Scissors, Burroughs
Streams of Living Water, Foster
Devotional Classics, Foster
Best Friends: The Pleasure and Perils of Girls' and Women's Friendships, Apter and Josselson

Tag, You're It:
Rebecca Marie
Sarah Parker
Amy Fennell (eventhough I know you don't have a blog that you use)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

My People Are The Best Gifts

I don't even know how to begin to describe the feeling of love I felt as my friends and family celebrated my 30 years with me. I am blessed beyond words with the most amazing people God could ever give to a human being. At a time when I needed love and affirmation most, my people met me there.

What an amazing night. I spent a week doing new student orientation, I was tired and spent. I got home from the Oregon coast around 2pm and went and had a manicure given to me by my parents tp relax and shift from work to personal life. I went home and got ready. I put on my pretty party dress and was picked up by mom and dad and off we were to the party. They drove me to an undisclosed location (a home of some friends). We pulled into the driveway only to be met by a beautifully decorated yard. I opened the door to everyone yelling "Hooray!!!!". I was overwhelmed!!! Totally and completely blown away at this beautiful site. Now, I knew that Paula wouldn't mess around but HELLO!!! Her husband greeted me with a freshly made beverage and I began hugging and saying hello to my friends. I got a plate of food (YUM everyone!!!!) had a seat and began having great conversations. People kept arriving as the next hour or so went on. My mother told us later that she counted 45 people present. Eric wrote me a fabulous birthday song (Paula, you were a wonderful mic stand) and after blowing out the candles on my gorgeous birthday cake (thanks Rici!!!!), I got to open my presents. FUN!!!! I was humbled by the generousity of all of my friends and family. I want everyone to know that I DID get the KitchenAid mixer that I have been asking for for several years now (thanks Paula and her clan). I was so touched by the celebration of me. I've always known that I am loved but I knew, really knew, that night how much I am loved by the people in my life. It is easy to forget because the world is always screaming words of inadequacy. I don't say I felt loved because they gave me fantastic gifts. The gifts were an amazing bonus but my heart was so touched by the heartfelt words written in the cards and the words and stories shared in conversations. I was so overwhelmed while sitting on the deck and looking down at all of the people who are in my life. I am so blessed to be loved by so many wonderful people. The timespan represented all of the years of my life. My family, college friends and cherished relationships that have developed in the last few years talking to one another, coming together all in one place.

My soul was satisfied that night. My heart overflowed with joy and peace. I felt calm, serene...content. I imagine it must be what we will feel when we are reunited in heaven. For me, my 30th birthday was a preview of what I will feel when I am reunited with all of my loved ones in a more beautiful and precious place. I thank God for the people who were with me that night. I thank God for the friends and family who were unable to be with us. I know that the same love is shared with them. For as much joking as I made about turning 30 and wanting to be celebrated like those who marry, I am serious when I say that every person deserves to feel the way I felt that night. Every human should have their souls touched the way mine was that night. What an amazing and overwhelming feeling. I imagine this is the way one feels when they meet the person they choose to spend their life with. There is no doubt in my mind that I am valued and important to people in this world. There is no doubt in my mind that those who share Jesus have a much deeper connection than those who do not. In a world where selfishness is prized, I pray that we spend our lives trying to make others feel the way I did on my birthday. If we each made this our goal, I think the world would be a better place because more people would know Jesus.

Thank you to all of my amazing and wonderful friends and family who worked so hard to make me feel so special. Words will never adequately express the way I felt and still feel. I am still wiping away tears so that I can see to type this post. These thoughts do not do justice for what you deserve to hear. Thank you. My heart is overflowing.

Monday, August 14, 2006


I don't think that I will have much opportunity to post here for the next few weeks. Life gets crazy this time of year with the students returning to campus and all that it requires. I hope to have moments here and there to update you on how life is going for me.

We are adding a new element to our freshman orientation program this year. We are requiring them to do something academic! I know, I know. You would think at an institution of higher learning it would be a given but there aren't many schools that use a book as a part of their orienation program. I am reading through the text right now. We are using Donald Miller's Searching For God Knows What. I am enjoying it. He focuses on the relational aspect of God and how our relationship (separation from Him) changed in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were deceived by Satan. In some ways it reminds me of a book I read last year by John Piper called Don't Waste Your Life. Both authors focus on the fact that we were created to be in relationship with God and because of the separation that occurred, we look to other things to meet that natural need. Miller talks about how devastated Adam and Eve must have been. Think about it: You were in the presence of God. There was no need for anything else because you could talk to God face to face at any and all times. He was your companion. The Creator of the Universe and then stupid conniving Satan deceives you and immediately, IMMEDIATELY your relationship with God is forever changed. How they must have felt! To go from being with God to being separated. Miller says he can't even begin to imagine what they must have felt. I could keep going and I'm only half way through the book! I look forward to hearing what the students have to say about it. College students always have interesting insight. I think we've chosen a great book for them to read.

Ok, off to make nametags and other exciting things!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Part of My Past

At one time in my life, I wanted more than anything to sing opera professionally. I had a gift and felt like I could make something of my life using that gift. I trained (not as much as I should have, I wasn't that driven) and even got into a music conservatory. Now, when I say I got into a conservatory, it was definately not Juilliard or the New England Conservatory of Music but when I just googled music conservatories, the school I attended was second on the list (not that it means anything). I wanted to dress in ridiculous costumes and wear too much makeup. I wanted to use my dramatic personality for good and not for evil. I was caught up in the glamour and sophistication. I wanted curtain calls and roses delivered to my dressing room. I wanted to move people to tears.

I have to say that I honestly don't know what happened other than God had a different plan for my life. More accurately, I was scared of not actually being good enough to make it and so it was easy to "blame it" on God's plan and not work hard enough to be successful. I was 18 and I wanted to play with my friends not study the stupid piano or learn music theory(how I regret not doing these things). I've always had a good story when people ask why I didn't pursue it. I can honestly say now that most of my decisions were made out of fear. I hate that about myself. I hate that I let my fears drive my decisions rather than honor God by being fearless. I know that I was given a natural ability to sing but my brothers were always hands down better musicians than I could have ever hoped to be (you should have heard either one of them play their chosen instruments back in the day). I was afraid that I would never be able to overcome my lack of natural musicianship, never be as good as them musically let alone all of the other people I was competing with in school. There has always been a joke in the music world that you can be a musician or you can be a singer. Never both. I was definately the singer.

In the last few days, as I've been giving Paula information for what I'm assuming is for my birthday, I've been mourning the loss of the career I didn't have. She wanted to know what my favorite song is. Simple question, right? Wrong! As a music lover, there is NO WAY you can pick one, but I immediately thought of an aria (I won't disclose in case it's part of a game or something. No questions, I promise, Paula). Everytime I hear this aria, I am moved to tears. As I've been thinking about this, accompanied with the knowledge that I'm about to turn 30, I wonder where I would be if I had finished my studies in music. As a Christian I can't discount God's hand in my life. I also cannot imagine my life without the move to Portland and knowing the people I know now. My life is forever changed because of my decision to leave the conservatory for both good and bad reasons.

I can't help but wonder what my life might be like today if I had not changed schools. I haven't thought about it much in the 11 years since I made this decision. I don't listen much to classical music because I begin to miss it and regret starts to creep in. I don't have many regrets in my life but when I sit down and think about it, I do regret this one at times. I try not to think about it and have avoided it as much as possible. When I do think about it, I begin to wonder where I would be living and what I might be doing. Would I have made it professionally? Was I good enough? Could I be singing in opera houses around the world? Would I have seen Paris and London, New York City? Would people recognize me on the street? Could I pay my bills? Would I be driving something other than my 92 Corolla? Would I be a waitress still hoping to be discovered at the right place at the right time? Would I be happier? Would I be more fulfilled? Would I be considered successful by the world's standards? Would I have a relationship with God or would I have forsaken Him in order to move up the ladder of success? I knew even then that I was capable of turning my back on Him. One of the reasons that I left that world was because most people you interact with on a daily basis have no appreciation for opera. How many 18 year olds do you know that are passionate about Puccini and Mozart, Wagner and Rossini? Do you even know who they are (my family and Sarah Parker are not allowed to answer this question)? In many ways, I felt like an outsider and I was desperate to fit in. When I moved to Portland, there were even fewer people around me who had any kind of understanding or appreciation for opera so I put this part of my life on a shelf. I never gave a recital in college even though I planned two and came up with great excuses both times. I came very close my senior year but my voice teacher left unexpectedly. If I really wanted to do it, I could have. In post-music life, I still never really fit in. My voice was difficult to blend because it was big, there was a definite classically trained sound that didn't work for a small group trying to sing contemporary worship music. I only really got to showcase my talent on the few occasions that a soloist was needed with the choir. I wish that, though I decided to give it up as a career, I would have continued to persue it for personal enjoyment. I wish I would have chosen to continue to train and coaxed friends into going to see the Portland Opera perform each season, just to give them the experience (even if they didn't like it). I wish I had given myself a little more credit and not been embarrassed by the voice God gave me. I wish I had enough confidence to develop the gift I had been given. I hated the people who came across so arrogant about their talent and didn't want to be one of those people so I, in many ways, stepped into the background and didn't acknowledge this part of who I am.

The impending big 3-0 has unleashed all of the pent up emotion and desire about this long lost passion of mine. Who knew that Paula asking me a simple question about my favorite song would open up so much inside of me that I didn't realize was being stifled for so many years? I am going to proudly embrace this part of myself without apology! While I can never attain the career that could have been, there are many ways to feed this part of my soul and I'm gonna! I am going to blast operas when I'm at home, I'm going to save up my money and buy tickets to the opera and I may even start taking voice lessons again! Maybe I'll get up enough guts to audition for the Portland Opera chorus or a community choir!

Thank you Paula for asking me about my favorite song.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


For a few years now I have joked that if I was unmarried by my thirtieth birthday, I was going to register for gifts. Please understand that while I love gifts (who doesn't?), I don't expect people to buy me presents. I don't feel anyone owes me but I thought it would be funny and I have a theory about the single girl that has recently been confirmed by Carrie Bradshaw. Single people get the shaft when it comes to celebrating them!

I am admitting to one of my guilty pleasures tonight (ok two...I am watching a tape of tonight's Big Brother episode while I type this). I love to watch Sex and the City. If you haven't watched it, I think that it is a great show about women's relationships with each other and their relationships with the men in their lives (obviously as the title implies). I wish it didn't have such blatant sexual overtones but its candor is appreciated. I LOVE watching the girls interact with each other. They do a great job of conveying the reality of a group of girlfriends.

Focus Rebecca.

Carrie (the main character in the show) is invited to a baby shower for a friend, a character played by Tatum O'Neal. Carrie gets to the party and is asked to remove her shoes, a beautiful pair of Minolo Blahniks, because they want to minimize the dirt and germs brought in to the children. Carrie tried to explain that her shoes were an important part of her outfit but in the end, she respected their request and added her beloved shoes to the pile. When it was time for her to go home, her shoes were gone! How does that happen? Did someone actually steal her shoes? Tatum's character lent her some hideous keds or something to borrow for her walk home assuming that her shoes would eventually show up. Her shoes never showed up and when she spoke to her host, she offered (eventually) to pay for her shoes. When Carrie told her how much the shoes cost ($485) she didn't feel like she should have to pay for Carrie's extravagent lifestyle. Here is how the conversation went:

"I shouldn't have to pay for your extravagant lifestyle choices"
Tatum's character.
"But you used to spend this kind of money all of
the time for shoes" Carrie responded.
"Well, that was before I had kids, before I had a
real life where you have to think about kids and mortgages..."
Carrie was stunned and left.
A few days later walking down the street with her
friend Charlotte:

" What happened to our friend? Why does she think her life
is more important than mine? Lifestyle choices??? I've done the
math...I have spent approximately$1200 celebrating her lifestyle
choices...engagement gift, wedding gift, three baby gifts...where's my gift???
Where is my 'Congratulations you didn't marry the wrong man' card?" Carrie
"hmmm...maybe you're right...ooh! Birthdays!"
Charlotte exlaimed.
"Nope, married people still have birthdays" Carrie

Charlotte nodded in agreement.
Later that week, Carrie left a message on
Tatum's machine announcing that she was getting married...to herself and she was
registered at Minolo Blahnik.
Carrie received a replacement pair
of shoes in the mail (it was the only thing she registered for).
So, in celebration of single gals everywhere...I am sharing my wish list with all of you. You can find me on Amazon.com*. Shop away in celebration of me! If you aren't interested in buying me a gift for my birthday, I would love to receive "Congratulations on not marrying the wrong man!" gifts. Here's to turning 30 and not getting the gifts that others get when their lifestyle choices are celebrated! I want a Kitchenaid just like all the married girls!

*I actually created this list in an effort to remember books I wanted to read, movies I wanted to watch and evolved into a Christmas list for family. I promise!!! It's a great tool for remembering all of these things. I recommend it if you have an aging brain like mine.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I'm Bored

I'm one of those people who would like to rearrange my furniture every 6 months but my stinking apartment is too small to do much reconfiguring so I feel ansy. All of this to say...I am bored with the look of my blog and would like for people to suggest a change. Would everyone participate in a competition to chose a new skin for my page? Any takers? What should the winner win?



Monday, July 10, 2006

Reflections On My First Day Back To Work

My first day back at work was fine. I came in and couldn't log onto my computer. I was hoping that it got damaged by the water leak while I was gone but it wasn't. I had a bad network card. Someday I will find a way to get a new computer!!! It took all morning for our IT guy to figure out what was going on (he did keep getting called away. I promise he's not dumb). I talked with my coworker for a bit but then decided to respond to emails from one of our other office computers. I managed to come back to only 4 voicemails. YAY! I hate using the phone, in case anyone was wondering. I would much rather reply to 10 emails than return 1 phone call. I don't know why. I am fine on the phone. I know how to talk on the phone, I have a fantastic professional voice but I just don't like talking on the phone (this, however, does not stop my mother from calling for absolutely ridiculous reasons, or no reason at all for that matter). I did learn something today and what I learned today is that sometimes taking a vacation is not beneficial. There were several conversations that happened where all I wanted to do was yell: CAN I HAVE ONE DAY BACK BEFORE YOU DROP THIS ON ME??? I got over it.

I only have 5 weeks left until the freshmen move onto campus. Yikes! Things will still probably be kind of crazy for the next couple of months. Things always slow down after the students get here and get settled in. How did it get to be time for me to say these things again?! This year seems to have flown by. There have been good things learned about my work. I do enjoy what I do. I'm thankful for knowing this. I know this is what I want to do so long as I have to work (where, oh where, is my sugar daddy?). This is a big deal! I never thought I would find something that I love to do. I feel like I'm mostly good at what I do. Obviously, there are good days and bad days. I make mistakes, I say the wrong thing or make the wrong decision in a situation but more days than not, I am proud of my work. I feel like I do something that matters. I feel like I'm making a difference every single day. How many people get to say that right?

I am going to go finish watching this MSNBC show on Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. There are some very seriously ill people in prison. I'm rather intrigued by the program. This is where my psychology nerddom gets a little attention. In case you didn't know, my degree is in psychology and I love watching programs on unconventional mental health work and other "rehabilitation" programs and whether or not they seem to work. A professor from Indiana State University has been volunteering her time for over 20 years. She is teaching the inmates Shakespeare (specifically Macbeth). Talk about doing something that matters. I find this kind of work brave. Ok...gotta go.

Good night.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

to do: list of things to do before i leave town

  1. wash dishes (or stinky apartment is what I will come home to) - done
  2. water plants - done
  3. pay rent - done
  4. get oil change - done (and radiator flush so I wouldn't blow out the radiator)
  5. pay car insurance - done
  6. return movie to blockbuster online (stick in the mail) - done
  7. return recycling if time
  8. wash car(tired of bird pooh on my car) - done
  9. wash car windows - done
  10. vacuum car interior if time - jiffy lube fellas did it for me...YAY!
  11. pack - done
  12. select CD's for drive (perhaps I'll listen to the Prince and Johnny Cash cd's I "borrowed" from rebecca marie) - done

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

And again today...

I have no doubt in my faith but these horoscopes are weird:

"You have been very busy telling other people what to do, dear Virgo. Why are you criticizing and thundering about so? Could it be that you are dissatisfied with yourself at the moment? Could it be that your job is causing you some problems, or that your colleagues are being too intense these days? When you get into moods like this, you know the source is often internal. So stop telling other people what to do and start to think about what you should do."

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sweet Release

I'm back at my desk at work totally exhausted. We had a great weekend though. I wish I had been able to enjoy more of the festivities rather than troubleshooting and organizing table assignments but someone had to do it. I've mostly only heard good things. Oh, there will always be grumpy people who find something to complain about (at a free event for 600 people) because that is all they know how to do, but overall it was a great success. It's always nice to see something come to fruition that has occupied so much time. It's nice to know that all of the hours of work and lack of sleep and socializing with friends was worth it. Our academic dean suggested this morning that this is "clearly the most significant event to EVER happen on our campus"! It's nice to think that you had a hand in making an historical event happen.

So, in the midst of 100+ temperatures, I will be drinking lots of coffee and water and thinking about my vacation next week. This will be the only thing that gets me through this week. I hope that I will have some level of productivity for my REAL job now that the reunion is over. I may actually get to see some of you again soon!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

my horoscope today from msn...some might find it a little creepy

Are you a part of a religious or spiritual organization, dear Virgo? If so, is it something you really enjoy? There are many opportunities to get involved with your spiritual community that can bring you greater satisfaction. Check these out. There's also nothing saying you can't try out a couple of different organizations to see if you find a better fit for your personal needs if you are less than satisfied where you are. Expand your horizons today.

Quick Updates

  • I have great friends.
  • Monday night I got to hang out with Rebecca Marie. She made me dinner and gave me a pedicure. THAT is a friend! We were able to hang out and do some catching up. It was so nice.
  • I was really crabby yesterday morning. I didn't feel very good.
  • Big Mike stopped by the school and we went to lunch (cheaply!). Thanks Mike! It was nice to talk with him for a few minutes.
  • Last night I got to go see Hairspray. It was FABULOUS! It was a great time to hang out with the Preuit's and Miss Fennell. Thanks for the ticket Leah! Sorry you missed it but I had a great time.
  • Heather helped me make table assignments yesterday so it's not so terrible. I have a big floor plan hanging on my wall and we are having fun playing musical chairs. We should get it mostly done today! YAY!
  • I have incredible friends who have been doing such a great job of encouraging me and a giving me a good dose of distraction and relaxation. I appreciate all of them helping me feel calm. In all of this, I have to thank God for all of them. I am sure that if I was not a Christian I would still have fabulous friends who took great care of me and loved me but I can't help but think that God is in all of it. I believe that he has orchestrated people to come around me when all I want to do is quit my job!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Random Stuff

  • The College's big 50th anniversary is this next week and there will be 500+ people who come through campus.
  • I'm tired.
  • I just found out that one of my fabulous friends is planning me a 30th birthday bash! She's keeping secrets which I'm not a fan of but I'm excited because I know it will be fun whatever happens.
  • I am taking a vacation! That's right, baby! One WHOLE WEEK off in July. Jean, I may want to come up and hang out for a long weekend or something. Let's talk!
  • I hate making table assignments for 500 people I don't know.
  • I need to get my brakes done.
  • Grad school is looking better and better everyday.
  • I'm glad my friend Rici's baby is ok.
  • I'm enjoying Plan B by Anne Lamott.
  • I desperately want a pedicure.
  • How do you talk to an angel?
  • I think I am taking a class in the fall from my old boss, Billy boy.
  • Just when you think nothing good could possibly happen, you remember that your nephew's birthday party is on Saturday and that means you get to see the kids again.
  • I miss seeing my friend Rebecca Marie. I feel like it's been 80 years and she lives 10 minutes away.
  • Everyone...Yes, I said it, EVERYONE is having a baby.
  • Except me.
  • All I've been seeing lately are enlarged uteruses.
  • Uteruses is a weird word.
  • Why do birds suddenly appear everytime you are near?
  • I'm kind of addicted to "So you think you can dance". I don't think I can. wish I could.
  • While I don't have a very good computer at work, they had a laptop I could use this week so I can do work at home and not be stuck in my office 12 hours a day.
  • Albertson's generic Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream is really good. It has the good kind of chocolate shavings in it. Not actual mini chocolate chips. Gross.
  • I watch The Hills on MTV. I admit it. Lauren's friend Heidi is really really dumb. Like for real.
  • Who are you going to vote back into the Big Brother house?
  • I watched Britney Spears on Dateline last night. She cried. While I realize she is a real person, I still find her odd, like real people are. Also, the paparazzi is really weird. The whole concept. They showed her trying to lay out on the beach and there were like 20 people hovering around her trying to take the exact same picture of her. I would be angry too (I probably wouldn't be laying out on the beach trying to tan, let alone in a bathing suit, though).
  • I keep making bullets so I don't have to go back to work. I guess I should go back to work.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The First Step

The thought of grad school scares the dickens out of me. It's a big commitment. I am saying that I am more of an "expert" in this particular field and kind of obligate myself to this kind of work. I know I wouldn't have to do it forever but it would be more difficult to walk away from it. The idea of acquiring more student loans scares me and the thought of working for another college weirds me out a bit. I am comfortable with my current employer and I know my current environment. It seems strange to think about going elsewhere to work. The thought of starting over somewhere else makes me nervous rather than excited. These feelings may come from a place of insecurity (feeling ill-equppedto do my job well). Who knows, maybe with a master's degree in my field, I would have more bargaining power with them or I would feel like I can go anywhere and do my job wonderfully.

Yesterday I requested information about a graduate program in my field of work. I know it doesn't seem like any kind of commitment or big deal but I have been thinking about it for a couple of years and after must frustration with my current situation I thought it was time to do something about it. I love my work. If I have to work, this is what I want to do. However, in my current job, I feel like I lack the necessary skills to do what should be done for our students and I don't know where to start to make the appropriate changes and improvements. I have so many great ideas but I have no information to show that they would be successful or beneficial and have no idea how to execute them if I were given permission to do so. I also want to make a better life for myself and with graduate level education, I would have more options available to me.

Here's to the first step in making a change for the better!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

short-lived rant

While on my lunch break, I need to vent to the world for a minute. I have just spent 3 hours today trying to get one of our offices computers to work with a scanner. Why is this so difficult? Oh, perhaps it is because we have computers that are as old as me! What a waste of my time. I have more important things to do than mess around with a dumb scanner. Just when I think it works, no go! I'm so frustrated!!!!

I'm hoping that I to throw a big enough fit to be able to get at least one reasonably working computer in the office. I think that it should be reasonable to have one computer in the office that will burn a CD for a slideshow that I do every year. My student workers end up taking it and working on it on their own personal computers because they are nicer and do more. This is silly to me! I'm not asking for the nicest computer on the market just one that meets the demand of my job.

That's all. I'm done. Back to eating lunch.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Who Are You?

Which Classic Female Literary Character Are you?

You're Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen!
Take this quiz!


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Saturday, May 27, 2006

totally loafing about

I haven't done a stinking thing for the last two days and I feel pretty ok about it. I finished a great book that I had been reading, hoping it would help me with my work. It's hard to say if it will actually help. The colleges and universities that the author visited were a totally different demographic than the students we serve. However, I believe we have some of the very same issues on our campus. Anyway...not the point of the post. I did finishing reading that book and decided to pick up The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It's been on my list of books to read for years now. I'll let you know what I think later.

Today I am at mom and dad's house doing laundry. They are out at their church's family retreat so I have their house to myself today. I'm watching free on demand movies, washing my clothes, and surfing blogs. It's great. This morning I watched WAY TOO many episodes of the Laguna Beach marathon on MTV. I get sucked in, I can't help myself!!!! Please promise to still be my friends. I tried to watch Hannah and Her Sisters but I got bored. I think Woody Allen makes strange movies.

Well, back to pointless movie and TV watching, perhaps I'll get lucky and there will be some reruns of What Not To Wear or The Gilmore Girls...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

4 day weekend here I come!

One of the perks of working at the college is that full-time staff get a total of 6 weeks paid vacation each year. The new policy allows an additional week of paid time off if you sponsor a mission trip (so potentially 7 weeks). How cool is this?! I think it's pretty rad.

Three of our vacation days come in the summer in the form of Fun Fridays. For each of the summer months: May, June and July every full time staffer gets a paid Friday off! Thank you very much. I didn't take one for May yet so I have to take tomorrow off, on the eve of a 3-day Memorial Weekend. I'm totally ok with this!

I'm out...

I'm out so hard.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

stupid cars and money

I am no good with cars. I think it's something I would like to put on my list of things I look for in a husband. :) I hate dealing with them. I just want to turn it on and drive. I don't want to think about how to deal with a car when it has problems.

Last month I was supposed to re-register my car (get new tags, some say tabs, which do you say?) like a good citizen. I had to go through DEQ, which I didn't pass.

"What do I do next?"I asked the nice DEQ man.

"Here is some information about what could be wrong", he explained "and a list of mechanics."

"OK, thanks."

This was the first time I've ever had a failing car. So, before I got myself all worked up, I call dad and tell him the news. He tells me to come over and he'll look at the car. He thinks that I probably need a tune up. So, I go to the DMV and purchase a trip permit ($20) so I don't get pulled over and get a ticket($100?). I take my car into a mechanic and he says it definately needs a tune-up ($250 for diagnostic and tune-up). My parents say to spend the money, it is worth it. So, I take it in, they do all the work. Yesterday I went back to DEQ with my newly tuned car and guess what? NO PASS!

"WHAT? I just spent $250 that I don't have on the stupid thing to get it to pass", I said, fighting back tears.

"Well, I don't know what to tell you", said the snotty DEQ lady, "It's still not passing." Another test that they run failed this time.

So, I call Tony, the mechanic back and said "I failed the NOX test this time."

"Bring it back in and we'll see what's going on", he says.

He ran tests yesterday afternoon again and he said it needs a new catalytic converter ($180). He said that he didn't test it before but with the new spark plugs, it was burning off more oil or something and now it's emitted more than it should. URGH! Can you sell enough plasma to pay for this? I can't afford to make monthly car payments so I know it makes sense to put the money into it but how do you know when it's time to let your car go and figure something else out?

***Update***Tony took my car through DEQ and it passed this time! YAY! It is stickered and ready to go for a while now.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Also, may I live here, please?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

more effecient blogging

Thanks to Rebecca Marie's telling of this cool thing called FeedBlitz, I don't have to actually LOOK at every blog EVERY day to see who's posted something new. THANK YOU! I never knew until you mentioned it at home group on Tuesday night. This is going to make my life so much easier!!!! I now have time to look for random new blogs to add to my list! I am going to drown in blogs!!!! This is my new plan.

I've actually stumbled across an entire blogging community of college professors and staff that have very interesting insights into the world of higher learning. I'm totally addicted to what they have to say.

I always wondered why your blog asks to subscribe to you. Hmmm.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Akeelah and the Bee

Go see it. It's all the cheese that a PG movie can offer but good stuff. As a self-professed geek, it was inspiring and made me want to go home and read the dictionary (sorry mom for ever making fun of you). Also, I love the quote that was used throughout the movie. I actually read the book that it came out of but I don't remember reading this:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are we to not be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

Chew on that for a minute. Are you afraid of the power that you hold as a child of God? Are you afraid of what you were made to be? I have thought about this all week. I find it to be true. If I truly embraced the power that I have as God's child, I would be capable of anything and there would be no fear of inadequacy. I know darkness, I am comfortable with my sin and I believe the lies that Satan tells me about myself. The choice to live in and embrace the reality that I am light and "powerful beyond measure" is frightening. I don't know how to do that. It is scary to give up what you know and live in a way that is different. That is powerful. That is the glory of God.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Jumbled Thoughts

Some thoughts that I have been mulling over (some by myself, some with other co-workers):

I work at a small college and we need everyone (faculty, staff and students) to be involved in order to pull things off. How do we motivate people to get on board? How do we get people to stop complaining and be a part of the change? How do we effectively equip the members of this community to see it for what it is...a community? How do we as a body of believers see past the messages of our culture, the culture of self-induglence and isolationism? How do you communicate to college students that have agreed to be a part of a Christian college that there are going to be expectations and "rules" that you have to live by in order to uphold the community and the title of Christian institution? How do you teach a transformed life and freedom in Christ to a community of hubris youth who want things to always go their way and can't see past their own desires? I think it's getting harder and harder to do all of these things as we become a more and more individualized society.

I love my job and I am passionate about the success of the college and the success of the students that join us here. I want our students to see that we believe in them and we want the best for them. I have been prayerful about the changes that I feel we need to make as an institution in order to empower them to live to their fullest potential. I want them to be what God created them to be. I can't imagine doing anything else with my life at this point. My greatest desire is for each and every student to come to know Christ in the most authentic way possible, a way that leaves no room for doubt of his power, love, grace and passion for them. I want our college community to be the breeding ground for learning and expressing love, grace and passion for Jesus and his people. I want them to thrive here so that they can go out into their communities when they leave here and be a positive influence for Christ, passionate for him and those who have yet to choose him and I want them to have a good time doing it! As I learn how to be in relationship with The Christ (that was for you, James) I'm finding it to be fun and adventurous! I never know what He is going to do with me, teach me, challenge me with and I never expect Him to love me as much as he does. I always find it surprising and maybe I shouldn't because He continues to be faithful to me even in the times when I am so unfaithful to him.

Please pray that we as a college share a vision of cultivating passionate Christians who are in a continual state of transformation, trying each day to look more and more like Christ.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

No esta aqui!

I am taking tomorrow off because my little brother Timmy is taking the plunge and saying "I do" to Kori on Saturday. I will miss all of you dearly but I will see several of you at the wedding.

Also, totally biffed it on the sidewalk at work today and can barely type. I'll tell the whole story later, when my hands work again. I'm mostly hoping that the spot on my chin where some of me landed doesn't turn into a horrid bruise for pictures on Saturday!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Chinook Court

Chinook Court is a long standing tradition here at the college. It is an opportunity to honor God by honoring 5 ladies who have chosen to live out the call to be in relationship with God. These women are known for their Christian leadership and spiritual maturity. Last night was our coronation ceremony. These ladies are so special in their own individual ways. They each were given a different personality, life circumstances, their own kind of personal relationship with God and they each have their own way of living out their faith. They are definately individuals created in a special way by God. He designed each of us to be different and I think it's pretty neat. This activity each year reminds me that there isn't one specific way to be in relationship with God or that being a Christian means altering your personality. God designed us to be who we are and I think it would make him sad for us to try to fit into one specific mold. We all have special gifts and talents that can and should be used for the glory of God. I am so thankful that we are all different and that we don't have force ourselves into a cookie-cutter mold in order to be considered a Christian. I think we honor God when we honor our differences and individuality. I pray that you live in your skin, with the personality given to you by your Creator, with confidence knowing that He wants you to be you. He loves who he made you to be.

Be blessed.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Why Me, God?

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.
-Philippians 3:7-8

There has been an idea floating around in my life in the last few days that I have been thinking about and I don't know that I actually have any answers or anything of worth to offer but I feel like perhaps if I talk about it, I will feel better or maybe someone has some insight to give. I've been reading Stacey Rich's blog for probably about a year now (check it out in the sidebar). I don't know her but I feel like I do (amazing how the internet thing works, huh?). She is reading a book right now called No Perfect People Allowed (brother Big Mike also recommends it). In reading this book, she has posted some questions, thoughts, what-have-you on some fairly heavy God/Christianity/Jesus stuff. One of the questions she brought up was "What about other religions? What about people who have never heard about Jesus? Yeah, I got lucky and was raised in a home where I was taught about Jesus -- but what if I'd grown up in Saudi Arabia or something? What then?". The same conversation came up with a couple of students yesterday at work. I guess it's been on people's minds lately. So, yeah, what then? Why was I born here and not somewhere else? How is it fair that not everyone has the opportunity to know about Christ if he really is the one and only way to God? I guess the only answer for me at this point is: I don't know. I don't know why this is the way the dice fell (I'm guessing it isn't a matter of dice falling to God but it is to me) for me.

This answer raises these next questions for me: What am I going to do about it? What am I going to do with the information I have about Christ? Am I going to make my goal in life creating a comfortable existence in suburbia or take risks and be bold and make sure that other people are afforded the opportunity to know Christ? A gentleman responded on her post today about religiousity and how we have harmed people with our arrogance, intolerance, etc. I think it can apply to these ideas as well. Here is what he said: The "Truth in Love (Grace)" angle would say, "First of all, I don't have all the answers, and I am a flawed human being in need of a Road of Truth…in need of grace and salvation. Through my life, in everything I've tried to fill with the Truth-shaped hole, I keep finding that Jesus is the only Road that is undeniably the all-encompassing, FULL-FILLING way or truth that fits perfectly in that hole....and here's part of my life story to explain why."

As I learn more and more about Christ, I am acutely aware of how my life is no longer my own when I choose him. I have to be changed or the cross was all in vein. My life has to be about Christ and making him my treasure, above all things on this earth. Above relationships for my own pleasure, above financial comfort, above personal praise and recognition, above what my desires are for my life. I must be bold and passionate about Christ. This is what it means to live. This is what each of us was created for. Knowing all of this, there are character traits that I need to change. I need to be more loving towards people I don't want to love, I need to forgive those who have hurt me, I need to tear down the wall that protects me from vulnerability (which doesn't really protect me anyway) and the fear that my vulnerabilities will be used against me. I need to stay in the word so that my zeal will not grow old.

The more time I spend in the word, the more I crave it and oh, how I don't want to lose that! I need it. My life has never felt more complete than when I am with him.

I need to get home, so, I will hopefully have more to share later. Oh, the post that I did about feeling aimless in life, all of these thoughts have helped me to not feel so aimless. Now, I just need to get off my butt and make the necessary changes. My life is good. I have Christ. I don't need anything else. My purpose is to make much of Christ. I have to allow him to change me. I think it's working. I'm a work in progress. I will probably be on here next week however with a "woah is me story". Isn't life funny? At least I know this much about who I am. I am flawed and messed up but He saw something worth dying for.

Be blessed.

Monday, February 20, 2006

A Dose Of Reality

Today I realized how ridiculous I have been about something going on in my life. I got myself a little crushy-poo on someone. He is a great guy but there is nothing about it that makes any amount of sense. He is too young, so not going to happen. My wonderful friends who encourage me to dream the impossible dream say things like: "Why wouldn't he love you, Rebecca? You're a great girl and he is not your average young person" While all of this is true, I think I've needed someone to say something more like this: "Really, Rebecca?" All of you who know me, know the tone in which that should be said.

I'm a little embarrassed at my ridiculous imagination sometimes. This whole thing makes me feel totally foolish. I try really hard to keep myself grounded in reality but he is REALLY neat. I mean, if all of you knew him, you would totally know why I wish it were a possibility. He's fabulous. He is one of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever met. He loves Jesus. However, when I stop and think about it, it's so absurd. We are in totally different places in life. I guess ultimately, I want to find my husband and when I meet a young man who is phenomenal, I can't help but think...where is my phenomenal man? The one who fits. I want that companion. I want that person who totally makes me feel comfortable in my skin. I want to know that person who knows every nook and cranny of my screwed up head and says that he loves me still, loves me more, even. I guess sometimes it's easier to dream and live in a fantasy world than to face your current reality. I feel like my current reality is loneliness and no matter how many people are around me, I very rarely feel connected to someone. So, I guess, I'm just always hoping for companionship and for people to know me and love me. Isn't that what we all want?

I am continually prayerful that God is blessing me with the exact thing I need right now. I have to trust him. It's hard for me to do so but the more I get to know God I know that He is not interested in making me uncomfortable or doesn't want to keep from me the very things I desire. Sometimes though, we don't always get what we want and most often that is a good thing.

Friday, February 10, 2006


It is 4:43 on Friday afternoon. I don't have a window in my office and it is sunny outside. How is this fair? I don't want to do anything and have spent most of the afternoon doing absolutely nothing. I've talked to a few students, answered some emails, and had a very important meeting with some of my colleauges (not really but we did have some good laughs). I am looking forward to this weekend.

I am really into the book I'm reading right now (Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper). Secretly, I want to cancel my plans for the evening and go home and read my book, but I won't because I need to be around people sometimes. I'm all about supporting my students tonight. Our resident assistants are doing a dinner/fundraiser for student activities so I am going to that and then our students are doing a play this weekend, so I'm bringing my friend Afa with me and we are going to see my lovely students perform this evening. THEN, I will go home and read my good book. It is challenging me to think about everything I do and why I do it. The author suggests that everything I do, EVERYTHING be about magnifying and exalting Christ. I've been feeling the sentiment that every aspect of my life should be honoring to God lately and so this is just encouraging and stregthening this thought. He suggests that if I am not honoring Christ and his cross then I am wasting my life. We were made to magnify God and if we aren't about that, we will always feel empty. Hmmm. There were so many gems last night. I can't wait to get back to it and get some more!!!!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Pardon Our Dust

I got bored and want to change the look of my blog, so, please bear with me while I make some changes.

Friday, January 20, 2006

I wanted to be a superstar!

I've been thinking a lot in the last year about what my life is and what I had hoped it would be. As a young girl, I had all of these aspirations of being famous, traveling around the world singing to the masses and wearing beautiful clothes and having people take care of my every need or whim. I thought my life would consist of multiple episodes of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. The world would be jealous of me and want my life. Of course, I would also have a gorgeous husband and maybe a couple of cute kiddos running around my feet. I wanted to be a star! I wanted everyone to love me and think I was the greatest thing that ever happened. Watch out Whitney Houston (great role model, right?). My hopes for what I would be were great. They were all pretty selfish too. I could hang out in my room for hours dreaming about what my life was going to be and how fabulous it would be.

I am realizing at 29 that my life is nothing I'd hoped for it to be. I have great friends and family, I have a pretty great job, I have a great church family but I feel as if my need for more is never quenchable. I never feel satisfied. I need more for my life. I feel like I am missing something huge from those dreams as a little girl and it's not about the money. I know that money will not make me happy. It isn't about the fame, I know that it won't satisfy. This is about knowing that God created me for great things and I am not living up to that potential. I feel like I am wasting the life I am supposed to be living. I feel like I am not making a difference in the world. I keep thinking about Meg Ryan's character in You've Got Mail and the struggle she has about what she does for a living running the children's bookstore her mother started. As her livelihood and the thing that matters most to her is threatened with closure by the big bad chain store, she wonders whether or not her life means anything anyway and whether or not it's worth fighting for. She wants so badly for her life to mean something and I guess right now I'm feeling the same way. I want to live my life and when I come to the end of it have people say that I was brave, that I did things that mattered and I wasn't afraid. I am afraid of so many things. I am afraid of failing, I fear that my life is pointless and that I haven't been kind enough or loving enough. I feel selfish and think only about myself. This isn't the life God created for me to live. I'll talk more later.

Have a good night. Talk to you soon.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Random Conversations

Yesterday at work I had a student stop by my office. Now, this happens quite often with the work I do. It is the best part of the job. The reason I felt this was worth posting was because the student that stopped by was one of the least likely to stop in for a chat. You have the handful of consistent stop-in students who want to catch up about life, ask questions about college policy or tell me about the date they had on Friday night. There are even the students who stop in sporadically to "confess their sins" and ask me to pray for them or hold them accountable because they want to change these parts of their life. There are also students here with some animosity towards the office I work in because we have to do the disciplining of students who violate the rules (this is the least fun part of the job). This student is one of those "we know you're doing stuff that isn't the best but we can't prove anything" kinds of student. He usually avoids us and doesn't do much socializing with any of the faculty or staff. I was just struck by the fact that he came in for a chat. He was in my office for a short amount of time (5 minutes maybe) and we didn't talk about anything particularly deep but I keep trying to figure out why he stopped in. Is he really lonely being here on campus and was desperate for human contact? Does he feel guilty about something he did and wants to see if we've heard anything about it (we have students who get struck with paranoia at times)? I have been working here for three years and I have never had a real conversation with him. I was confused but excited about the exchange. I don't know why it happened or if it even means anything but I can't stop thinking about it. I could very well be trying to analyze it way too much.

What random conversation have you had that made you think, think about why that conversation happened or made you think about the way you thought about something or someone, made you change a behavior or even change the way you felt about your faith, about God, about humanity? I'm curious to know if anyone else has felt this way.