Saturday, December 31, 2005

Buon Natale E Felice Anno Nuovo A Tutti!!!

The above means "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!!" in Italian. Greetings from Rome! I don't have time to write much now, because other people need the computer. So that's all.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Break Part III

So the rest of Wednesday was a lot of fun.

Background: I met Libby when we were three; we met because our brothers were in the same Kindergarten class. Our moms met (Sue is Libby's mom). Anyway... Sue and my mom are still really good friends and Libby and I are still friends. So Wednesday night we had our annual Christmas get together. Libby pointed out the fact that we used to go to Bob Evans for dinner. This year we went to Tosi's - for those not in the St.Joe area, it's a super nice Italian restaraunt in town, where the cheapest entree is $18. So yeah, that was a lot of fun. I bought Libby some Alliance World Coffee (Costa Rican) for her, and some coffee mugs. She got me a yummy apple cider candle and Willy Wonka. (So yay r'neighbor now we can watch it whenever!)

Then today I almost finished the second book for my reading course. I have two chapters left.

And I talked to Christy on AIM a lot.

And I played on the 'net, went to some fun sites, googled some names. I think the best, for all you AU students out there, is to put Spencer Spaulding in quotes, and then click "I'm feeling lucky"

Then Krista and her sister and I watched Fantastic 4. It was kinda dumb, but still entertaining.

And Brittany (her sister) gets the quote of the day. There was some holly leaves on the blanket I was using and she said, "Hey Holly. What's on that blanket? Holly like whoa." and then she cracked herself up, which is what made it so funny.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Break Part II

So on Monday I didn't go shopping. But I stayed home and made the sugar cookies. Then when my mom got home from work, my grandma came over for dinner and then the three of us decorated the cookies.

Yesterday I went to my mom's school to visit. The kids all come from bad homes, like half their parents are in prison. One boy told my mom "my dad is in prison for attempted murder. But he didn't acutally kill anyone, it's just attempted."

When I went a kindergartener asked me if I drove with donut tires on my car. I didn't even know what a donut tire was when I was that young.

Anyway, then I went shopping and got a lot of stuff done. And came home and read a lot of the above book, which I've been reading for my independant study.

I finished the book this morning. Didn't like it so much. The first couple chapters were not challenging at all. Basically she was saying that a woman after God's own heart needs to spend time in prayer and reading the Bible. And I thought to myself, "well, yeah." So then I kept reading hoping it would get better. She wrote four chapters on how our husband needs to be our number one priority. Then four chapters on how our children are our second priority. Then four chapters on how our home is our third priority. Two chapters on our own spiritual growth (outside of Bible and prayer) as 4th. And ministry as the 5th priority, and others as 6th.

She was very redundant throughout. And while I agree that our priorities should be God, our husband, and then our children, I don't think it needed to be to the extent that she said. She even said at one point that if a friend in need calls and your husband is home, to tell the friend to reschedule for a time when your husband is not at home. I think that your husband can be home and you can be on the phone with a friend, and still have your husband be your priority.

It was definately written for wives and mothers, and so it was hard to read it as a single child-less college student.

And I think she put way too much emphasis on "making the house a home." While that is important, I don't think she put into consideration that not every woman is wired in a way that they can stay home all day, or that different women have different spiritual gifts and different personality styles.

So yeah.. those are my thoughts on that book.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Christmas Break Part I

So... I did not end up surprising my mom at the school. The girl Sara had to check out took like an hour to get her stuff packed up. Then, because the roads were kind of bad I went a different way home than normal and missed a turn. So it took forever to get home and by the time I got here my mom was home from school. But I still surprised her by being home a day early.

So Friday night my mom had a Christmas party to go to and I just stayed home and did some laundry and watched T.V. It was relaxing.

Saturday we took the train to Chicago to see my brother and the Christmas decorations and to do some shopping. I did not buy anything, but my mom picked up a gift for John (my brother). Fun times. We got home around midnight.

Yesterday my mom and I made three types of Christmas cookies: Church Windows (if you don't know what these are, you're missing out. It's mini colored marshmallows rolled up in melted chocolate chips and coconut shavings. Very yum.) Corn Flake Wreaths (basically rice krispie treats, but with cornflakes and green food coloring, and wreath-shaped). And Gingerbread Men. I think they turned out really cute - we haven't made them in years. I might take a picture. Sorry, no gum drop buttons.

Later in the day Krista and I went to Steak-n-Shake for dinner, then we went back to her house and watched Spiderman.

Today - so far I ate breakfast and made sugar cookie dough. But it has to chill. So I'm about to get ready for the day (shower, etc) and do some shopping for my grandparents.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Home for the Holidays

Ahhhh.... Christmas break. If Stacy is reading this right now she's probably thinking "Wait, I thought you left already." Well, kinda. I packed up my car and left the apartment a little after 9. I told Sara I would pick her up around 10 (from on campus). But I had to pay Tri-S and drop off some tupperware to Janet (my co-worker) and while I was there I said bye to the babies. Then Sara called and said she needed to wait until after 10 to make sure everyone was checked out (she's an RA). So yeah... I also had to give Beth her coffee grinder back (she works in the library) so then I decided to come in the lab and look up some directions.

I know how to get home. That's not what the directions are for.

My mom thinks I'm coming home tomorrow. She works at an elementary school (a small K-8 with like 80 students) and she keeps asking me to come visit. So I'm gonna show up at the school unannounced.

Yay for surprises.

Monday, December 12, 2005


I just returned from something I terribly needed. Today I had to turn in a take-home final, and on my way back I was walking through the Church of God campground that lies between campus and my apartment. It was in this moment, surrounded by His wonderful creation that I was reminded.

As I walked, I noticed the trail I was leaving behind in the snow. I thought of snow, winter, and Christmastime. I thought of memories of Christmas past. I thought of the pain of Christmas now that it is tainted by my father who chose a life seperate from my mother. I thought of suffering. I thought of the cliche that Christ has been where I am. I was reminded that, though Jesus never dealt with the divorce of Joseph and Mary, it was on the cross that he experienced all of my pain, all of my sufferings, all of my sin, all of my shit.

(If that word offended you, then you are not focusing on the point of this entry.)

I don't understand how Christ being beaten, mocked, and hung on a piece of wood can cleanse me of all that is wrong in my life. I don't have to understand. I just have to know. And in that knowing, I rejoice.

Today I encountered the suffering Christ. It was ugly. It was beautiful. It's funny how often in Christianity those two collide

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Proud to be an American?

The United States is the richest nation, or at least one of the richest.

In 2003, fourteen countries (including the U.S.) gave an average of 0.41% of their GNI (gross national income, I think) to Development Assistance (for developing countries). the 0.41% saying that on average, each country gave 0.41% of just their GNI, not that the countries gave 0.41% of the combined GNI's.

0.41% - that doesn't seem like a whole lot to me.

And you know what else? Guess what country gave the least percentage? Why, the U.S. of course, with a whopping 0.13%. Way to be 0.28% below the average.

Website of the day -

Tuesday, December 6, 2005


Well, in the past 24 hours I have accomplished more work than I anticipated, and I got more sleep than I thought I'd be able to have due to the amount of work. And not only that, but I've already been awake for 13 hours (note the current time: 6:16pm) and that is on 4 hours of sleep (went to bed at 1am woke at 5am). And I still have more energy than you would think. Granted when I woke up this morning I made a 8-cup pot of coffee and consumed all of it within two hours.

And yes folks, it is true; my roommate, Stacy, has been alive for 22 years as of today. Yay for my favorite r'neighbor and her birth

Sunday, December 4, 2005

Organic Ministry

Tonight was amazing. A group of 9 of us met at Matt's house to just talk about how God is moving in our lives and in our passions. I came not knowing what to expect of the night. I left not knowing what to expect of God, but knowing that is okay.

Loving the family "black sheep". Massage therapy for AIDS victims. Writing and sharing music. Nairobi. Community. Social justice photography. Community. Confronting and loving family. Giving. Finances. Claiming authority. Direction. Leadership. Writing. Passion. Speaking through art. Nairobi. Maternity shelter. These are just some of the things discussed.

The beauty of it all is that we are now accountable. Cherie is accountable to spend time with her uncle. Amanda is accountable to write music. I think most, if not all of us walked away with something tangible. The other amazing thing is how God rises up individuals who share the same passions. That is how Bound4Freedom started. That is how the Nairobi group started. I mentioned Social Justice photography. Rae mentioned social justice through art and photography. We're both scared and unsure of where to go. But we have each other to share that with. And we learned there are at least two other people in our church community interested in the same thing. We can talk to them and at least start talking. That's how it all gets started. It's ministry. It's organic. It's a community that allows individuals to say, "hey this is what I'm thinking" and then take it from there. It's not a communtiy that says "hey I this is what I'm thinking" and then calls people to join it. I don't know if that makes sense to everyone, but it makes sense to me, and I think it makes sense to those in my community. I love it. I so needed tonight. I'm so grateful for everyone who was in that room. I'm going to talk to Rae and Mac and Dale.

Saturday, December 3, 2005

"I Celebrate The Day" by Relient K

I posted this last year, but it's so amazing so I felt like doing it again this year.

With this Christmas wish is missed
The point I could convey
If only I could find the words to say to let you know
How much you've touched my life because
Here is where you're finding me
In the exact same place as New Years Eve
And from the lack of my persistency
I'm less than half as close as I wanna be

And the first time that you opened your eyes
Did you realize that you would be my Savior
And the first breath that left your lips
Did you know that it would change this world forever
And the first time that you opened your eyes
Did you realize that you would be my Savior
And the first breath that left your lips
Did you know that it would change this world forever

And so this Christmas I'll compare
The things I've felt in prior years
To what this midnight made so clear
That you have come to meet me here

To look back
And think that
This baby would one day save me
And the hope that
That you give
That you were born so I might really live
To look back
And think that
This baby would one day save me…

And the first time that you opened your eyes
Did you realize that you would be my Savior
And the first breath that left your lips
Did you know that it would change this world forever
And the first time that you opened your eyes
Did you realize that you would be my Savior
And the first breath that left your lips
Did you know that it would change this world forever

And I
I celebrate the day
That you were born to die
So I could one day
Pray for you to save my life
Pray for you to save my life
Pray for you to save my life

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Failed Attempts

First failed attempt: the all nighter did not happen. I did get some stuff done, but at 3 am I decided to stop. I wasn't really exhausted at that point in time, but still. I realized I could sleep and get stuff done during day time instead of the other way around.

Second failed attempt: society, media. Last night (or this morning) when I did go to bed I turned on the T.V., because I like to fall asleep to noise. I flipped channels for something sleepworthy (like music videos or something) and paused when I saw a commercial singing "Silent Night" that had pictures of babies sleeping. It was so beautiful. It ended up being a commercial for Pampers. The end of the commercial was just a black screen that said "Peace on Earth". So why a failed attempt? Because the very next commercial was one for America's Army video game.. a video game based on the U.S. Army, where the commercial shows screenshots of the game with soldiers choosing their weapons and killing people.

On that note...

Sleep in heavenly peace.