Friday, December 31, 2004


1. Ame
2. Schmamy
3. Amers

1. ankaylor
2. schmamy318
3. anglprncss318 (a joke...long story)

1. thoughtfulness
2. openness
3. hair (not the cut, but the texture/etc)

1. perfectionism
2. inability to take criticism well
3. tendency to say/do stupid things

1. sleeping in my house when no one else is home
2. rodents
3. people close to me dying

1. hugs
2. music
3. fuzzy slippers

1. engagement ring
2. favorite jeans
3. old white tank top

1. Nichole Nordeman
2. Stacie Orrico
3. Third Day

1. Dave Barry's column
3. a long list of friends' blogs

1. marriage!!!
2. eating healthy
3. a regular exercise routine

...THINGS I WANT IN A RELATIONSHIP (love is a given):
1. Christ-centeredness
2. building each other up
3. laughter

1. eyes
2. smile
3. muscles

1. give blood
2. give my kids mullets
3. stop journaling

1. journaling
2. singing
3. reading

1. be married
2. lose weight
3. get organized

1. homemaker
2. editor
3. freelance writer

1. Hawaii
2. Europe
3. Israel

1. Stacey
2. Faith
3. Micah

1. be married
2. have kids
3. fulfill my God-given purpose

**a special shout-out goes to Kinky for inspiring this blog entry :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Switchbacks and Tree Growth

A postscript to my earlier post (Grace and Tulips) about mountains and growth...

When I imagine the spiritual metaphor of climbing a mountain, I always picture someone headed straight up the steep side of a mountain. But did you ever stop to think that no one ever climbs a mountain that way? Whether you're driving or hiking or however you intend to ascend, you always use switchbacks. Sometimes they're circles around and around the mountain, slowly rising. Othertimes it's just back and forth, back and forth, gradually up one side.

My point is, how many times in life have you felt like you're going in circles--like you've been here before and have learned this lesson in the past, but apparently not well enough? Trying to get the same lessons over and over? Reality is, it's not quite the same lesson you learned before. Your elevation is a little bit higher, you're a little bit closer to the summit--just following the switchback, coming to the same spot at a higher level.

Another provocative, and vaguely related (at least in my head) thought: Did you know that the strongest trees are the ones with tiny bands of growth each year? If you check out the enormous trees out West that are hundreds of years old, the sturdiest, most solid trunks are the ones where each year's rings are narrow, almost insignificant.

And the strongest trees are the ones that have gone through strong winds. The ones that have survived long dry spells, forcing their roots to go deep.

Things that make you go "hmm"...

Monday, December 27, 2004

Jokes That Make Me Laugh

Here are my current favorite jokes (i.e., the only jokes I can remember). They crack me up every time, even if my fiance doesn't think they are very funny. At least my cousin Bekah does. They're funnier if you're tired :)

Q. Why are pirates blind in one eye?

A. They just ARRRRRRR!

Q. What's a pirate's favorite letter of the alphabet?


Q. What's a pirate's favorite bird?

A. A parrot.

And a close runner-up:
Q. How many kids with ADD does it take to change a light bulb?

A. Hey, wanna go see a movie?

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Road Trip to Schmichigan

Schmamela, Schmamanda, and Schmamy!

I took a quick road trip up to Kalamazoo yesterday to see two IWU friends, Pam and Amanda. I hadn't seen either of these beautiful ladies since May, so it was a fun (though short) reunion. Good times were had by all :)
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In Memory

Blake Charles Thomas, August 17, 2004 - December 14, 2004

Monday and Tuesday I had to do one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life: Attend visitation and a memorial service for a four-month-old baby. I've never seen such a tiny casket. It was so heartbreaking...

After he fought so hard for four months (his second open heart surgery wasn't going to be until sometime after the first of the year), Blake went back to Riley last Monday for a routine procedure. When it was over, his oxygen levels suddenly dropped, his heart stopped, and after CPR and infant life support that kept him going until Tuesday, they lost him on Tuesday afternoon.

I don't really even know what else to say. Please pray for my family, especially his parents--my cousins Rebekah and Kevin. Blake was their first baby.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Never, Ever Again

...will I wait until December 21 to begin my Christmas shopping.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Here's one of our engagement photos! I'm trying to set this picture as my profile's not working :/ We just passed the 200-days mark--not that I'm counting down or anything :) Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Grace and Tulips

I'm in the middle of learning a really tough lesson about grace these days. I say "in the middle" because a) I haven't learned it yet, and b) I'm hoping there is indeed an "end." I won't lie, it's not fun. For a long time now I've been feeling very broken and empty. I have had some guidance from my incredible, God-sent mentor Diane, and that's helping, cause she's amazing. So is my incredibly patient and compassionate fiance. But I'm at a point where I'm wondering, what do I have to do to "get it"?

You'd think after growing up in the church my whole life, and actually walking with the Lord for almost eight years now, I'd understand grace. Not so. How do I reconcile the concept of God's unconditional love with His holiness? How do I rest in knowing that my status as His beloved daughter doesn't depend on how I perform? Questions I'm wrestling with these days. Diane says one of these days I am going to have an aha moment--a grace awakening. I hope so.

Tonight at Bible study we were talking about kind of a related concept (at least in my head), living in victory over sin--and how we believe the lie that we can't overcome sins in our lives. I know I feel that way sometimes. As my pastor talked about a few weeks ago, I see this gap--more like an enormous chasm--between where I am and where I want to be. So I grunt and push with all my might, believing that if I just try hard enough, it'll narrow.

It doesn't. Must be because I'm not trying hard enough. So I work harder. I buck up and throw all my weight against that gap. Still nothing--now I'm exhausted, defeated, and convinced the gap will never close.

What I'm trying to understand is that I'm right--I CAN'T. That's the point. Only when I realize that I'm powerless to close the gap can it be closed on my behalf. Exercising strong will and "choosing" to change won't do it. Accountability from others won't do it either. The only victory will come when I learn what it means to give up, to utterly submit to the Spirit and let Christ do it through me, in me.

Sounds straightforward and simple enough. But I'm still wrestling.

Two side notes, thoughts from others, that I found insightful tonight: First, we are to walk in the Spirit. Notice it's not sitting in the Spirit (being passive). But it's also not running in the Spirit--we aren't going to get there immediately. Second, did you ever stop to think about the fact that plants grow in the valleys? There's no growth on the mountain peaks; it's barren up there. Growth happens in the low places.

Right now I'm hoping to make it to the summit, so that I can actually look back and see the living, breathing plants. It's like planting tulip bulbs in October, and having to wait until spring to enjoy them. Are they really growing under that cold, hard earth? Sometimes I wonder. But I wait, and a small part of me dares to hope.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Compassion at Christmastime

Meet Marcos Morais Silva. Eight-year-old Marcos lives in Brazil, and he's on the waiting children list for a Compassion sponsor. I'm shamelessly using my blog to advertise.

My goal this month is to find a sponsor for Marcos. I have been sponsoring a little Indonesian girl for four years, and it has been a great experience. Leni writes me letters a few times a year, and it is always exciting to hear from her. What a joy to know that such a small sacrifice on my part can provide so much for her! Compassion is a wonderful organization that's doing so much to help needy children around the world. I think you'd discover that it's a blessing to be involved.

I really encourage you to check out this link and consider sponsoring Marcos. What better way could there be to participate in the spirit of Christmas than by sharing Christ's love with a little boy like this?
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I'm Glad Abstinence Education Has Come a Long Way Since 1990...

My boss got out some old curriculum today that she had when she began abstinence education in 1990. Throughout the book, there were these little boxes with catchy slogans about abstinence. And they had me rolling on the floor laughing. What do you think about these for new Project Respect bumper stickers? --

"Control Your Urgin' - Be a Virgin!"


"Pet Your Dog...Not Your Date"

NO, I did not make those up, I swear to you they were in the book...hahahahahaha...I'm still laughing :)

Monday, December 06, 2004

Have I Mentioned That I Hate Cooking?

Cause I do. And considering in less than seven months, I'm marrying a man whose mom is Supermom...this is not a good thing :(

When my future mother-in-law makes chocolate chip cookies, they are puffy and soft and generally perfect. When I made chocolate chip cookies last night, they were dry and flat as pancakes.

Generally I manage to go long enough between cooking attempts that by the next time I try, I have forgotten how disastrous and frustrating it usually is. So I get all ambitious and think, "Yay, I am going to be all domestic and it will be wonderful!" Umm...that's not so much the result, usually. What actually happens is, either the recipe is incomplete/unspecific/impossible to follow, or the baking time is ambiguous and I'm at a total loss as to how to know when it's done, or it takes hours longer (prep and/or cooking time) than I planned for...or any number of other undesirable results. I end up frustrated and feeling like a failure, and ranting about how much I hate cooking. Of course it doesn't help matters that I am a) a perfectionist, and b) sometimes a drama queen.

My mom, in a futile attempt to make me feel better, tries to reassure me that when my grandma got married, she didn't even know how to boil water. (I can't help but wonder if this is a family myth--I find it impossible to believe that anyone could be that inept, since even I am not that helpless in the kitchen.) It doesn't make me feel better.

All I know is, 1) the thought of preparing meals for a husband, and then a family, for the rest of my life fills me with dread. I WANT to want to do that...but I don't want to. and 2) it is a really good thing that I am marrying a patient, easygoing, non-picky man.

Easy Mac, anyone?

Yessssss!! Dave Barry's Gift Guide

Still have some Christmas shopping to do? Look no further.

What in the world am I going to do in 2005 when Dave Barry stops writing weekly columns???

Friday, December 03, 2004

"You Didn't Convince Me"

I taught four classes on "boundaries" today at a local high school--freshman and sophomore health classes. Quite a different experience from the sixth graders I blogged about a few weeks ago. Instead of the positive, sweet and innocent evaluation comments from them (though I did get positive evaluations today), I got these:

(from a 14-year-old girl) "I have already been sexually active with my fionse before we were even engaged. I have no regrets. Amy made it seem like if we have been sexually active then we regretted it. I do NOT. I love the person I'm with and I wouldn't change any decision I've made."

(also from a 14-year-old girl) "It's my life and although I am a virgin, I'm in a very happy healthy relationship w/ a person whom I am going to spend the rest of my life w/, & personally I think it's ok if I have sex before I'm married. 'You didn't convince me!'"

Honestly, I'm speechless. It's so hard. I don't want to do this anymore...

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I Found a Dress!!

How excited am I?!?! I know that 90 percent of you reading this could not care less that I finally found a wedding dress I love. But after three shopping trips, six stores and probably upwards of 50 dresses tried on...this is a momentous occasion :)

Mom and I went to Indy yesterday--where, as an added bonus, we got to have lunch with the lovely Sandra Andrews, who I hadn't seen since graduation!--and hit two more bridal salons. I finally got to try on the dress I found a picture of online and had been in love with ever since. But I didn't love it like I thought I would. I started to get pretty discouraged, wondering if I was just being too picky or if I would ever find something.

At the next store, the third dress I tried on brought tears to my eyes, and Mom's. And the price tag brought tears (of joy) to my dad's eyes :) Whoo-hoo! Now I can finally get more excited about wedding planning. It was hard for me to care about cakes and flowers when I didn't even have a dress to wear. Let the planning really begin...

P.S. A picture of my dress can be found here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Step-Dig, Step-Dig...Jazz Hands!

Went to the Christmas dessert preview for my old high school show choir tonight. What a trip. For one thing I felt OLD--a kid I used to babysit for when he was, oh, probably about five is now in the group. Also kids that were fifth-grade munchkins when I was in The Wiz in high school. Whew, where does the time go?

It also made me miss show choir. Only those of you who have experienced it can truly understand :) Such good move on, and of course the IWU Chorale was a hundred light-years beyond the sound quality...but there is just nothing like singing and dancing with a cheesy smile plastered on your face, with some of your closest friends. Ah the memories...

Monday, November 22, 2004


So it's been a while, huh? Does anyone care? Did anyone miss the regular updates on Lavender *Sparkles*? Comment and make my day :) Eh, maybe I'll make this a long post tonight to make up for it...

"Random" is one of my favorite words. I don't know why. One of my all-time favorite professors, the wonderful Dr. Mary Brown, hated when my classmates and I used it all the time. She said that the things we called "random" weren't really random at all--in the literal sense of being completely accidental and by chance. Oh well, we used it all the time anyway. That said...a few completely random and unrelated thoughts tonight, to catch you all up on my life:

*First, Chrysalis, for those of you who are wondering how it went, after my last pathetic post. Well...I am not sure. Honestly if you asked me on Friday or on Saturday, I might have said it was terrible. Sunday, I kind of came around. I wouldn't say it was the most positive experience for me personally--but it wasn't supposed to be about me anyway. The girls at my table had a great time and seemed to get a lot out of the experience. I am still trying to process the whole thing. I kind of wonder if I had to feel like I was useless the whole weekend, so God could really make the point that what got accomplished through me really had absolutely nothing to do with me, and I could take no credit whatsoever. Hmm. There was some drama on Saturday...a certain United Methodist pastor who basically spoke heresy in a Q&A session. Whew, it was awful. But that's another long story...

*I have recently discovered the message boards on The Knot, and it is dangerous. Thousands of brides and newlyweds all over the country, who have nothing better to do but talk all day and all night about wedding ideas and relationships, etc. I know, it sounds dumb. I thought so too the first time, but now I have been sucked in. Argh.

*In other wedding-related news: A happy-anniversary shout-out to Sandra and Kevin Andrews, who are celebrating one year of married bliss today. And congrats to Janet Maddox, who just got engaged. Unfortunately she is one of many who got engaged after me, and is getting married before me. Enough of THAT already, people :P

*Try looking up yourself on Google, or MSN or someplace. It's kind of interesting what comes up. In a Google search, lots of legitimate stuff comes up for me--articles I've written and such. But it also indicates that I am 1) pregnant with twins; 2) manager of the Special Olympics in Illinois; 3) a North Dakota 4-H champion; 4) involved in a Supreme Court trial; 5) winner of a Maryland high school essay contest...and the list goes on. Who knew?

*When I am feeling sorry for myself not getting to see Steve often enough, I think, "it could be worse. he could be Crossing the Globe (dot-com)...seriously, check out this site, a couple of guys I know from school are doing this around-the-world adventure that just makes me jealous of all they're seeing and experiencing. Pretty cool.

Umm...guess that's all for now. I have a million other things to do rather than blog about them :)

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Prayers for a Broken Vessel

In a few hours, I head out of town to serve on the team for the girls' Chrysalis Flight this weekend. Never in my life have I felt more ill-equipped to serve. I feel like I am a mess these days, so what business do I have serving as a shepherd and mentor to a group of high school girls?

All I can do is trust that God, in His sovereignty, knew what He was doing when He put this team together. And if He hadn't wanted me on it, He could have easily stopped that. He knew where I would be when this weekend came around. So hopefully, in my extreme weakness, He will show His power.

I don't know what possesses me to be so vulnerable with the whole world. Mostly I'm asking for your prayers. Please lift me up to the Father this weekend (Thursday night-Sunday night). Pray that somehow, some way, He would use this cracked pot, this broken vessel, to minister to the hearts of girls who need a touch from Him. You could even pray that He would use this weekend to fill up this empty jar of clay, too. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Nichole Nordeman

Currently Playing: Nichole Nordeman, Woven and Spun

This is one of my all-time favorite CDs, as in, would-make-the-list-of-CDs-I-would-take-with-me-if-I-had-to-live-on-a-deserted-island-and-could-only-bring-ten-CDs :)

A certain Southern roommate of mine overplayed it a bit this summer at work ;) I haven't listened to it in a while, but I broke it out tonight and was reminded of why I love it so much. So, I'm feeling compelled to share some lyrics tonight...

"Even Then"
So I put aside the masquerade / And admit that I am not okay / Which may not be the thing to say / But I'm not ashamed to need You more each day / So, thank You, Jesus / Even when You see us just as we are / Fragile and frail and so far / From who we want to be / So, thank You, Jesus / Even when the pieces are broken and small / Dreams shatter and scatter like the wind / Thank You, even then...

"Take Me As I Am"
Oh, for a heart that does not ache / For a backbone that won't break / For some steady feet or sturdy ground / A road that isn't gonna let me turn around and run / For a thousand tongues to sing...But the gap grows wider / Between who I am and all I aspire to be / I never could be good enough / To measure up / But You want to take me as I come / You're the only one that can / Take me as I am...

"Mercies New"
Is it fair to say I was lured away? / By endless distractions and lovelier attractions then / Or fairer still, my own free will / Is the better one to blame for this familiar mess I've made again / So I would understand, if You were out of patience / And I would understand, if I was out of chances / Your mercies are new every morning / So let me wake with the dawn / When the music is through or so it seems to be / Let me sing a new song, old things gone / Every day it's true, You make all Your mercies new...

Send some rain, would You send some rain? / Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again / And the sun is high and we are sinking in teh shade / Would you send a cloud, thunder long and loud? / Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down / Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid / But maybe not, not today / Maybe You'll provide in other ways / And if that's the case / We'll give thanks to You with gratitude / For lessons learned in how to thirst for You / How to bless the very sun that warms our face / If You never send us rain...

Good CD. Thanks Nichole.

Go Figure

So I picked up the rest of my paperwork today from the school where I taught for Project Respect last week. And the teacher who intimidated me the most, gave me the highest rating on the evaluation out of all the teachers. Figure that one out.

Back to Work

It is so nice to have a job that you enjoy to the point where you are anxious to get back to it. The past few weeks, I have been so overwhelmed with Project Respect that I have not had any time to work on the curriculum writing project that I'm doing with Kingdom Building Ministries. This week I have finally been able to settle back into my work for them...this afternoon I had to run some errands and as I drove back home, I found myself thinking, "I can't wait to get back to the computer and spend some more time on this project." I believe so much in it and I am so blessed to be a part of what God is doing at Kingdom Building Ministries.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Eighteen Things

I Love...
ice cream drumsticks from the mom-and-pop place down the block from my grandma's
turtleneck sweaters
fall colors
novels you can immerse yourself in
Billy Collins' poetry
encouraging, helpful, understanding bosses

I Hate...
Sunday School answers
getting up when it's still dark outside
that sinking feeling when you realize you said something you shouldn't have and hurt someone
toenail polish that chips
wearing socks and real shoes after many months of flip-flops
being so busy that you feel like you're struggling to keep your head above water
computer viruses, and people who are malicious enough to create them
feeling intimidated

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Some of the comments I got on my evaluations from the sixth graders this week (reproducing exact spelling and all):

"I think Ms. Kaylor is great. She's not embarrassed to talk about sex or STDs. (yeah, doing this for a living quickly takes away any inhibitions you have about discussing these subjects) ...She should get the college education in no time." (what?!)

"I think Amy Kaylor is a great person and I hope everythings goes okay with her marrage!" (that one still makes me smile)

Then the serious ones that make you go, okay, it's worth it: "This presentation has helped me alot! Thank you!"

"It was good but uncomfortable."

Last but not least, perhaps my favorite: "I think that Mrs. Kayler was very brave to come and talk to us about it." :)


Well, somehow I survived my first four-day teaching series on abstinence on my own. No more observing, no team-teaching--just me and a roomful of sixth graders, four times a day for four days.

I'm glad I'm only doing this until May.

Seriously, it wasn't all bad. Thanks to an exceptional memory (which obviously I can't take credit for--just a blessing), I learned most of the kids' names and was able to really connect with many of them. Many of the classes went more smoothly than I feared. I got to share personal stories and talk about the love of my life--nothing like a job that allows you to do that :) I think being young in this job is a positive thing. Though I may be inexperienced at teaching, it hasn't been long since I was where these kids are at. And abstinence isn't just a word to me--it's a choice I'm still having to live by. So I'm not just another adult telling them what to do, and I like that. And it's gratifying to get evaluations back and see the vast majority of kids circle "yes" for the statement, "I have made a decision to save sex for marriage."

But...then you've got the couple of kids who heard all the information, and still didn't make that choice. The obnoxious, immature boys who give the opposite answers of what you're looking for. The annoying chit-chat that doesn't stop. The class who gives you blank stares when you ask questions. Or off-the-wall answers that aren't even in the ballpark. Rising levels of impatience when it's all you can do not to blow your top. The teacher who intimidates you. The lesson that seems jumpy and disconnected and makes you fumble over your words. Tired feet, a hoarse voice...the sheer unpredictability of it do teachers do this every day?

But I survived, by the grace of God. All I can do is hope that the seeds I planted this week are cultivated and watered somewhere along the line...that the commitments those sixth graders made this week stick, by His grace...and that somewhere along the line, they find Him.

So there you have it: More than you ever wanted to know about my first full week of abstinence education. Whew. Maybe later I'll post some of the kids' comments from my evaluations, for a few laughs.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

My Thoughts Exactly

How I feel about cooking (scroll down to the entry for Tuesday, November 2)

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

If Kerry Wins...

Hahahaha...check this out. Texas knows what it's all about...

Thursday, October 28, 2004

One-Issue Politics

Yes, call me a single-issue voter if you like.

Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places

Qdoba Mexican Grill and Miss Kathryn Kimbrell...what a combination!!

Last weekend I went to South Carolina for a short visit with my favorite southern belle :) Kathryn and I have been roommates the last two summers in Denver and it was such a blast to catch up with her. I got to meet a few of her friends, experience her church, cheer for her intramural team at an Ultimate Frisbee game, and eat an amazing home-cooked dinner--she went all out for Sunday lunch!

Before taking me back to the airport in Atlanta on Monday, we had a little adventure: Qdoba Mexican Grill is one of our favorite places and we ate there all the time this summer in Denver...but sadly enough, there are no Qdobas in Ohio or SC! But, there's one in downtown Kathryn and I braved rush-hour Atlanta traffic and found our beloved Qdoba. So fun!

So, I had a wonderful getaway weekend. I love the South. I don't know why. I love Southern accents and just the feel of life down there. And I love Kathryn! Good times.

P.S. - Bonus points for anyone (besides Kathryn) who knows where the title of this post comes from...
Posted by Hello

Lesser of Two Evils

I'm as sick as you are of election propaganda. Trust me, I live in one of the top so-called "battleground states," where there are commercials on TV about every thirty seconds, and I get fliers in the mail literally every day.

But this article from Boundless webzine is a provocative commentary on voting for the "lesser of two evils" and deciding what the most important issues are at election time. Check it out.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Contemporary or Traditional Music: Which is Right?

Food for thought here.

What I'm Listening To

Just got a new CD this week: Casting Crowns. I'm a big's one that can stand up to repeated cycling in my car. My current favorite song is "Who Am I"...

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me

I am Yours
Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
Cause I am Yours
I am Yours

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

C.T. Studd

"I am getting desperately afraid of going to heaven for I have had the vision of the shame I shall suffer as I get my first glimpse of the Lord Jesus; His majesty, power and marvellous love for me, who treated Him so meanly and shabbily on earth, and acted as though I did Him a favour in serving Him! No wonder God shall have to wipe away the tears off all faces, for we shall be broken-hearted when we see the depth of His love and the shallowness of ours."

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


So my old roommate used to begin her sentences with "so" all the time, and it's a contagious habit...and now every time I do it, I think of Stephanie, and I love her :)

So my computer has this dumb virus, thanks to a bad link I stupidly clicked on AIM, and I don't love that. (A note of warning: Avoid clicking any link that contains the words "bestfriends.scr"--it will screw up your computer.)

So I hate my job. Project Respect, that is. It brings out the absolute worst in me sometimes. I know God called me to it. So I can't quit. But at this point I am glad I'm only doing it until June. I think this is the first time I can remember God clearly leading me to do something that I don't even want to do. It's a new experience. I know I just have some growing to do these next few months.

So that's all for now. Just a few random thoughts from yours truly today.

Sunday, October 17, 2004


My plant is dying.

Lindsay told me that if it died, it was no longer a metaphor for my personal growth. But I'm afraid she was wrong. More days than not, I feel like that little potted ivy plant: shriveled up, dry, turning brown around the edges.

Weeks--no, months ago, I knew it needed to be repotted. The roots were beginning to poke out of the bottom of the plastic container. Instead I kept putting it off, even when I knew potting soil was available (for free). Instead I halfheartedly dumped some water in the pot every now and then, when I thought about it. And I pretended that my little ivy plant was doing just fine.

Now it's dying. I suddenly noticed the shriveled brown leaves last week--that startled me into action, so I finally repotted it. But maybe it was too late.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Quote of the Week

"You're in a battle. Let the Lord arm you. You can't face the enemy in spiritual underwear."

Sometimes the most profound (and funny) wisdom comes from fiction books. Thank you, Francine Rivers :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Diverse Beauty

"Whom do you know who models the beauty of Christ in her spirit?"

This was one of the questions at Bible study tonight, and God has blessed me to be able to come up with a long list of women. There are so many beautiful women in my life who immediately came to mind! But what struck me as I scribbled down a few names was how different they all are. Some are quiet and gentle; others are boisterous and outspoken. Some are married, some single; some my age, some more than three times my age. Their personalities and interests, talents and skills, are as different as their physical characteristics.

I love to think about that: "modeling the beauty of Christ" is not a cookie-cutter image! All these women are so different, but they all model Christ to me. And I don't have to look exactly like any of them to model Christ to others.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Blake the Thinker

How cute is he?!?! Even while he was mostly sleeping, Blake kept us cracking up with his funny facial expressions and his goofy poses with his arms. Looks like he's deep in thought...maybe this is the next Einstein, who knows? :) Posted by Hello

Blake Charles Thomas

My newest cousin! Mom, Josh and I took a trip to Fort Wayne tonight to visit my cousins Bekah and Kevin and see their brand-new baby. This little guy was born in August with "hypoplastic left heart syndrome." He's already survived a month in the hospital and his first of three open heart surgeries, thanks to the prayers of many and the fact that he's a fighter. SO cute!! Posted by Hello

Monday, October 11, 2004

All Things New

A new week, a new template, a new language for the datestamp. What can I's autumn, and change is in the air.

More than new formats on my blog, I'm thankful for the God who has made me a new creature in Him...and whose mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness--even when I'm unfaithful.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Use Your Imagination

Still a little early in October, but Steve got home last night and decided he was in the mood to carve pumpkins. So he and I went and got three--one for each of us and one for his little brother--and put our "artistic talents" (I use the term loosely) to work. Steve went for the "scared" instead of "scary" jack-o-lantern look; I decided to be a bit more abstract and carve (what's supposed to be) a sunrise over mountains. Ben (my 13-year-old future brother-in-law) looked at the finished product and cracked, "Well, I can tell what it is, but I have to really use my imagination." Thanks a lot, Ben :) Oh well, we had a good time. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Voters Should Know

For those of you out there who are voting for "anyone but Bush" (few voters, I'm convinced, are actually voting for John Kerry) should know that three infamous late-term abortion doctors have recently contributed $7,000 to Kerry's campaign. Why would they do this? Hmm...maybe because they know that "during his 20 years in the Senate, Kerry has been an absolutely consistent defender of abortion."

"Early this year, Kate Michelman, the longtime president of the National Abortion Rights Action League, told the New York Times, 'Even on the most difficult issues, we've never had to worry about John Kerry's position.'" Do you really want this man to be our president? Read it here...

Things I'm Wondering:

*Why I accepted two part-time jobs when, let's get real, they are both turning into full-time jobs. 15 hours a week at Project Respect, I kept telling them from the minute I interviewed. Yeah right.
*Why God didn't make it a little more clear to me that I shouldn't accept both jobs, if it was going to turn out to be a big mess.
*Why I got a significant haircut right before engagement pictures.
*Why AIM doesn't have an icon for me rolling my eyes at the person I'm IMing. Because I do that a lot.
*Why I got so cranky and snappy today at nice people, and why I am in a bad mood still.
*Why I ever got started "rewarding" myself with food to make me feel better when I'm in a bad mood. Like an M&M blizzard on my way home from work today as I scowled at the world.

Monday, October 04, 2004

The Awkward Years

Oh, how I do not miss junior high. Can I get an "amen" from anyone out there? I don't know if you all had a rough time during those middle school years, but I sure did. My best friend dumped me for another girl I was close friends with. Suddenly the two of them were best buds and wouldn't give me the time of day. I had braces, bad skin, towered over the boys, and had just grown out the mullet that my wonderful parents had given me throughout elementary school. (No, I am not kidding...I actually had a mullet. It was awful. Incidentally, one of the seventh-grade boys I saw today had a mullet...but I digress.)

Today I was at a junior high school for Project Respect, observing one of my co-workers doing a presentation there. Boy that brought back some memories. The odd smells of strange cafeteria food. Utter chaos in between every period with kids pushing their way through crowded halls, lockers so skinny you could hardly squeeze a winter coat into them, boy/girl drama, cliques and popularity contests...and you know, kids are so cruel! In one of today's classes, a girl who had a learning disability gave an answer that was, admittedly, kind of strange, and the rest of the kids in the class all kind of snickered and exchanged these looks among themselves that just made me feel awful. Especially when I stop to think that there were probably times I was one of those cruel kids.

I don't really have a point, but this is my blog, and no one's forcing you to listen/read, so that's okay :) I was just reminiscing about junior high today and feeling glad I don't ever have to relive those days. Whew. Here's to adulthood and outgrowing the awkward years!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Another weekend, another bridal shower, another trip to Marion...

I have so many beautiful friends! This weekend was Katy's shower (the one on the left)...she's getting married next month, and I won't be at the wedding, but I was glad to be able to be a part of her bridal shower. It was great to see her and Micah and catch up with these crazy and fun girls.

I also had a great time visiting friends at IWU. Strange to be back on campus as a visitor, not a student...but I crammed as many people into 24 hours as I could, and was blessed by so many wonderful people. And I got some free coffee and food out of the weekend! It was kind of nice to be a mooch and use other people's points after having bought coffee and meals for so many others. What goes around comes around ;)
Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

"Man does not live on bread alone...

...but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."

I read those familiar words (Matthew 4:4) the other day and had this kind of revelation: For thousands of years, men lived on the Law and the Prophets. God's Word was their sustenance. But suddenly, when the Messiah, the Christ, finally arrived, "the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us" (John 1:14). And men saw that not only could they not live on bread alone, they also couldn't live on God's Words alone. The standard was too high. They all fell short.

Ultimately, men could live only on the WORD made flesh. Because of Him, we truly live--life abundant, and life eternal. "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." We live on all the words leading up to (and foreshadowing the coming of) Christ...and then finally on Christ Himself, the perfect, final Word.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

What I'm Reading

Third Watch, the third book in a new series by Bodie & Brock Thoene called the A.D. Chronicles. And wow is it good! The first (First Light) started off slow, but got excellent...the second, Second Touch, met my expectations...and this one is matching if not surpassing those two. They're set in the time of Christ, but stories are told mostly from the perspectives of countless minor characters in the gospels: a blind beggar, a Roman centurion, lepers, etc. And such rich Jewish history and information--I am learning how much we miss out on by not knowing all the Jewish heritage that laid the foundation for our Messiah! If you're looking for a captivating fiction read, I highly recommend these. And now with the close of this commercial, back to my book.

Just Call Me Grace

So today at work, I was talking with my co-workers (imagine that) and we were reminiscing about the training we went to last week in Chicago. One of the presenters was Miss Virginia 2002, and she was obviously a beauty pageant queen. Not because she was drop-dead gorgeous (though she was very pretty), but also just because of the way she carried herself. She smiled like a beauty pageant contestant, she talked and walked like one...I know I'm stereotyping here. I have nothing against beauty pageants, really. Anyway, I was talking about how in a demonstration, she even turned around in circles like she was in a beauty pageant. And as I turned in circles across the office to imitate how she had done it, I tripped over a chair and fell down. This, apparently, is why she was in a beauty pageant and I was not. Oh well, it was good for a laugh :)

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Me? Miss Spontaneity?

Who says I'm not spontaneous? Normally, I would: this extreme "J" on the Meyers-Briggs indicator thrives off of plans, routines and schedules! But on Saturday, I threw that out the window and took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Marion. First I got to visit Maria briefly...then I went to my friend Amanda's bridal shower! (She's the one on my left in the photo.) It was so great to see friends from school--we snapped this picture of former Sojourn staffers. Yea for spontaneous road trips! And yea for a fun evening with my old roommate Stephanie in Fort Wayne after that. Posted by Hello

Thursday, September 23, 2004


I'm kind of in a funk today. Incidentally, every time I use the word "funk," I am flooded with warm memories of Lakeside. These come from the wonderful camp tradition of waking up every morning to the sounds of Pure Funk--"Brickhouse" and "Everybody's Kung Fu Fighting" were the favorites--and from the lovely Katie Andrews. I'll never forget Katie's comment after a long night of no sleep and no showers the next morning: "Guys, I have a funk." Love you Katie :)

So I guess a funk can't be all bad, if the word itself makes me smile because of those fun memories. I feel better already. Here's a shout out to all my old camp buddies who might read this. Section Porch forever ;)

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Twelve Things

I Love:
being mentioned in others' blogs
old friends who know all your history
sweet pea
massage chairs
cranking the CD player in my car

I Hate:
hot, humid bathrooms where you can't dry off after a shower (right Kathryn? :)
cheap TP
sinus headaches
alarm clocks
feeling overwhelmed and stressed on a new job

Wedding Date

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a wedding date! Finally! After much drama, we've booked a photographer and settled on July 2, 2005. Let the countdown begin...

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

In Remembrance

A friend forwarded me this site today:

It'll take a long time to download if you have a slow connection, but worth checking out--it's moving. Hard to believe it's been three years...

I Am

Currently Playing: Ginny Owens, "I Am" (from Something More)

This is not a new song...but it's been on repeat in my car lately and it still gives me goosebumps every time.

"No, Lord," he said
"You've got the wrong guy.
Simple conversation gets me tongue-tied
And You're telling me to speak with a maniac king
Or could it be I've lost my mind?"
"And besides, I am weak
Don't You want someone strong
To lead them out of Egypt
When they've been there so long
And anyway they won't believe You ever spoke to me..."
"That's not your problem," God replied.
And the rest is history

"There's a bigger picture you can't see
You don't have to change the world, just trust in Me
I am your Creator, I am working out My plan
And through you, I will show them I Am."

"Now, Lord, are You sure?
He's just a shepherd boy.
Too small for battle gear, with a giant to destroy
What on earth can he do with five stones and a sling?"
"It's not your problem," God replied.
"Cause I can do anything!"

"There's a bigger picture you can't see
You don't have to change the world, just trust in Me
I am your Creator, I am working out My plan
And through you, I will show them I Am."

I am the first, I am the last
I am the present and the past
I am tomorrow and today
I am the only way

"Great Lord," she said,
"I'm just a simple girl
You say that I will bring Your Son into the world?
How can I understand this thing You're gonna do?"
"That's not your problem," God replied...

"There's a bigger picture you can't see
You don't have to change the world, just trust in Me
I am your Creator, I am working out My plan
And through you, I will show them I Am."

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The Sex Lady

I started my new job today...Susan, the girl who's training me (I got hired because she's moving in two weeks) informed me this morning that kids may refer to me as (because they have called her) "the sex lady" or "the sex police." That made me laugh out loud...ah, the joys of abstinence education :)

It was overwhelming, but I had to keep reminding myself that the first day (actually, the first several days) of a new job is always overwhelming. Lots to learn and absorb and get used to. The day did start off with an eye-opening meeting--a task force for "teen health issues" in our county. It's frustrating, Susan explained, because we are the only people on the task force who actually promote abstinence-until-marriage only. The others would say, Well, abstinence is best, but the kids will do it anyway. So we need to give them contraceptives and equip them to have safe sex.

Okay, first of all, it is not safe just because you're using a condom or whatever. SafeR, maybe, but not safe. And second of all, how ridiculous is that? This is the equivalent of telling children, "You shouldn't play in traffic. But, we know that you are so dumb, you will anyway, so we will teach you how to try and dodge speeding cars." Hello!!

Thus ends my first day as "the sex lady."

Sunday, September 12, 2004

"Nudity Builds Community"

Another quick note: this made me laugh and I can't resist passing it along. A certain college friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, informed me that she has been running around her dorm floor in skimpy pajamas, informing the residents of her (all-female, don't worry) hall that "Nudity Builds Community." Hahaha...yeah, I'm going to resist further comment and just leave it at that.

Only in America

On Saturday I saw something that I have never before seen in my life. I am pretty sure it is unique to "small town America"--or to be more specific, "The Middle of Nowhere, Indiana." I went to the Grabill Country Fair with some girlfriends (shout out to Jaala, Sara and Aeron if you're reading this :) and we saw...

Lawn Mower Square Dancing. To quote Dave Barry, I swear I am not making this up. This event featured eight old people on riding lawn mowers. While the loudspeaker blasted hee-haw music, a woman on the stage called out the square dance, and these lawn-mower-riding-dancers would drive their mowers in circles around each other according to the appropriate movement: do-si-do, promenade, swing your partner, etc. They even had headsets on so that they could hear the music and the dance calls over the roar of eight lawn mowers. It was unreal.

Wow. Only in America.

Friday, September 10, 2004

You're Hired!

It's official: after a formal interview with members of the CPC board today, I have been hired as the field coordinator for Project Respect in Williams County! This means I'll be establishing and maintaining contacts with the schools in our area, setting up meetings and presentations, serving teachers, providing curriculum--and ultimately, going into the schools (junior high and high school) and giving presentations that promote abstinence until marriage. I am really excited!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Reason #358 Why I Hate Being a Girl

Uncontrollable crying for no apparent reason.

I had my first wedding meltdown today :( I'm in the process of trying to schedule a photographer, which on the surface doesn't sound that hard or stressful. But the lady we wanted, who comes highly recommended by two of my best friends, isn't available on our original date. So that means calling the church and reception site to check other dates, calling other photographers and getting their availability, pricing info,'s a headache and a half. Add that to the fact that doing the long-distance relationship thing just gets harder every minute, and the fact that I'm naturally incredibly indecisive and hate making decisions, and I was a little stressed and frustrated today.

I know most of the thoughts and emotions I was having were irrational, selfish, unfair, etc...and yet I still cried! Why do girls do that??

Fourteen Things

I Love:
snail mail
pizza subs from our hometown pizza shop
Hallmark's "fresh ink" cards
county fair food
New York City
French manicures/pedicures
sleeping with lots of covers

I Hate:
movies where the actors mumble incoherently
DQ blizzards without much candy in them
the fact that my cell phone only works in my bedroom, not in the kitchen
when girls wear immodest clothing
stores and catalogs with classy, attractive, modest clothes I like but that are way overpriced
rodents of all kinds
cleaning showers

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Confessions of a Judgmental Jerk

I saw this guy tonight who made me think about blogging about men wearing short shorts...we're talking cutoffs so short that the pockets were just about visible at the bottom. But then I realized, that would be a bit hypocritical since this was in the middle of a presentation by Danny & Jessica Wuerffel (Danny the former Florida and NFL player, Heisman winner--his wife's from the area and they did a youth event tonight) which they mentioned a few times 1 Samuel 16:7--"Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." Don't get me wrong...I still think men wearing short shorts is gross...but who knows but what that guy had an incredible heart and is an awesome guy? And I'm going to look down on him based on his shorts??

Yeah...this just brings me to a larger lesson I've been reminded of again lately. Talk about lessons God has to teach me over and over...I think I started learning a version of this lesson back in sixth grade at church camp. I have vivid memories of my cabin hating this other cabin of girls. At church camp! I don't know why--by the end of the week, we didn't even know why. For no apparent reason, we just decided they were snobs and we didn't like them. We even made fun of one of the girls because she had a really deep voice. How cruel were we? And wouldn't you know, the last night of camp we discovered that these girls were awesome, and we had a big slumber party with the two cabins together. Now granted, part of that is just middle school girls' cliquey-ness and drama. But part of it is learning not to make snap judgments about people.

I find that every time I do it (you'd think I'd eventually learn), I end up feeling rotten about it once I get to know the person better. We all make decisions about people based on the way they look, on what others say about them, on superficial interactions with them...But when you learn to see past some of that, and begin to find out what's going on deeper inside that makes them act the way they learn a funny thing called compassion.

Over the years I have been a jerk to a lot of people. I wish I could apologize to some of the kids I probably hurt just as badly as others hurt me in middle & high school. And perhaps just in my head, I've been plenty unfair and unkind to countless others since. So as I go through "Superficiality and Judgmentalism for Dummies" yet again, I hope maybe someday I'll learn to see others with a little more of God's vision, and love them with a little of His love.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Patience for Dummies

I've always been a fast learner--started reading at a young age, and ever since, learning has typically come pretty quickly to me. This is no credit to me of course; it's just a gift God gave me. But when it comes to learning life lessons, or character development, it seems I'm on the "slow learners" track.

I find that unfortunately, God often has to teach me the same lessons over and over again because I guess I didn't get it down well enough the first time. Right now He's on patience. To put it simply: "Patience is a virtue I just can't wait to have." (A friend of mine said that, but I can't credit them because I can't remember who.) I have never been patient. But with ten months to go until the wedding, I am definitely going to learn.

Steve and I have been offered a cash payment to elope: my dad says he'll give us a substantial lump sum of what he'd spend on the wedding, to run off and get married without all the hype. He's kidding of course. But we're only half joking. I would like to find the man who made engineering at UC a five-year program, and give him a piece of my mind :) June 2005 seems so far away...but apparently God sees this as a perfect opportunity to take me through "Patience for Dummies."

Haircuts, Part Two

Speaking of haircuts...yesterday I gave my very first home haircut. Yes, that's right. Steve went out and bought a clipper/trimmer with all the different lengths, and actually trusted me enough to give him a haircut. This came about mostly because the barber he normally goes to was not working this weekend, and he really wanted a haircut. So, he figured, "why not invest a little money in a clipper (is it "a clipper," or "clippers"? It's not really plural...who knows), and I'll never have to go to the barber again?"

Good plan Steve. After about an hour, changing the comb attachments about ten times, and a lot of nervous laughing by me, his hair is in fact shorter. Actually the good news is, he looks totally normal :) Yea for me! We're both hoping I'll get better (and faster) with practice.

Anybody need a haircut? I'll only charge $8...

Friday, September 03, 2004

Reason #357 Why I Hate Being a Girl


When a guy gets a haircut, it's simple. Really, there are hardly many options--and if by chance it gets cut just a tad too short, well in a week it has grown out about a centimeter and looks normal again. And styling? Ha. Get out of the shower and go. Maybe throw a tad of gel through it.

Girls, on the other hand...The options are endless. And typically, a haircut that looks good on someone else, that you really like, may not look good on you because your hair is different. And even if you leave the salon liking your haircut, chances are very slim that you'll actually be able to achieve the same look when you try it the next day. Even if you go out and spend $40 on the hair products that the stylist used to make your hair look good. And if you don't like it, well, you're out of luck for at least a month or two until it starts to grow out.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Green Thumbs

I've never owned a plant in my life, until my last birthday. When I turned 22 last March, my wonderful roommate Lindsay gave me a cute little potted ivy plant. I loved the gift--I like ivy, and Lindsay's plants had added a certain degree of "homey-ness" to our room all year long. (Lindsay has two green thumbs, along with a lot of other domestic skills I wish I had, such as cooking, sewing, decorating, etc., etc.) Anyway, she promised me that my new ivy plant would be hard to kill :) And in my birthday card, she wrote that she liked plants because they remind her of spiritual growth (she also reassured me that if my plant did die, not to worry--at that point it was no longer a symbol of my spiritual growth).

Six months later, my ivy is still alive--and has grown so much I need to repot it (though, seeing as how I don't even own any potting soil, I have still not done so). Earlier this summer, I hadn't really noticed that it had grown at all. But lately I'm noticing just how much bigger it is. And then I realized that Linds was's a good metaphor for my spiritual growth this summer.

By mid-summer, I really didn't feel like I had done much growing. I'd maybe learned a lesson here or there, but nothing earth-shattering. I was ashamed to feel kind of stagnant--if someone had asked me, "What's God been teaching you lately?", I probably would have felt kind of sheepish and fished for an acceptable answer. But now that I'm reflecting on my summer, I realize just how much God has done in me over the last few months. I'm in a good place right now, and I'm excited about what He has in store. Slowly but surely, like my little ivy plant, He's growing me into something beautiful. Perhaps not profoundly signficant in the world's eyes, but noticed by Him--beautiful and important to Him--and able to be used by Him.

Word is spreading!

People are visiting my blog! Can I just tell you how excited that makes me?? And I just discovered, to my delight, that my wonderful friends Jeff and Aeron--whose blogs are under my links list--have both mentioned me and linked to my blog in their blogs! So fun!

Okay, I need to get a life :)

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Kathryn, my roommate (for the second summer in a row)--so fun! Can't wait to go visit her in South Carolina in October! (You can't tell in the picture, but she's holding up the chicken parmesan loaf we attempted to make at the beginning of the summer. It looked awful...but it tasted yummy :) Posted by Hello

Silas and Aynsley, the other two adorable and hilarious kids I spent time with this summer Posted by Hello

Here's Diane, my mentor, with XinXin (their brand-new daughter from China!) Posted by Hello

Micah and XinXin...two of the most precious kids ever! I spent a lot of time with these two over the summer; their mom, Diane, was my mentor. Posted by Hello

Summer pictures

I thought it might be fun to add some pictures to this new that I downloaded the software and am figuring out how, here come some photos of the amazing people I spent my summer with...Man I miss them already!

Souksakone the Prophet

When I was in eighth grade, for a brief time I had a classmate named "Souksakone Soisaleumsack." The funny thing was, no one could pronounce that, so she only went by "Sou" (like Sue)--and everyone knew who that was. This was especially humorous when they called students to the office over the loudspeaker: "Suzy Jones. Bobby Hancock. Ryan Jackson. Sou. Ashley Michaels...." But I digress. I promise I do have a point here. (At least I think I do.)

Also when I was in eighth grade, I made an end table with two shelves in Industrial Arts class. I painted it light purple (my favorite color at the time) and had all my classmates sign it with a silver pen. This little table still serves as my nightstand, and last night as I was looking at it, I had to laugh when I saw this inscription: "Souksakone Soisaleumsack. Have fun with Steve K."

I remember being so upset with her when she wrote that, because the truth was, I did have a crush on "Steve K." And though she only meant it as a joke (I don't think she even knew I liked him--she just thought we would be cute together, for whatever reason), I was so embarrassed that anyone who saw that might think, or find out I liked him. (Ah, the mind of a junior-higher. Does anyone really miss those days??) So Sou at least added a little "(J/K)" at the end of her note on my table.

Fast forward eight years. I'm now engaged to be married to Steve K. If Sou only knew...

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Project Respect

So I just spent all day in training for Project Respect--abstinence education in the area public schools. I heard about this a few weeks ago, and when I called, the lady said they had already hired all they were going to hire, but that she didn't want to turn me away, you never know what might happen, etc. So she asked me to send my resume, and we scheduled an interview for this morning. She even invited me to come to the first training session today--keep in mind, this is all without actually having a job for me to fill.

Fast forward to today. I go in for the interview, and what do you know? One of their Field Coordinators just found out last night that her husband is being transferred to South Carolina and they're moving in a month. Talk about "coincidence"...

So the point is, I basically have a job if I want it. I would be doing PR and contacting schools in the area, then going into the schools to do presentations in health classes, etc. promoting abstinence until marriage. This comes on top of the other job offer on the table right now for me to continue writing for Kingdom Building Ministries for six months. Both are part time, the question is, do I want to do both? Or just one or the other, and if so which one? It's a nice problem to have, for sure...But still a bit of a dilemma.

If anyone out there actually reads this blog, would you please pray that God would give me wisdom and discernment?? Whew...what a day.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Humble yourselves

Some wise words from the man affectionately known at Kingdom Building Ministries simply as "Pastor" (David Robertson, staff pastor and father of president Dwight Robertson):

(giving a devotional from 1 Peter 5:6): "'Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.' Notice it says humble yourselves. God can do it--you can ask Him to--but that's really not the way you want to do it."

I've learned some really good lessons about humility lately. Like the fact that you can say that you need or want to cultivate humility, but practically, what does that look like? And when an opportunity arises, you're almost definitely not going to want to. And it's often really not fun at all when you're doing it. But...also I've learned that when you do humble yourself and trust God to take care of the results in another's amazing what He does, in the situation and in you.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Does anyone out there speak Russian?

So I just changed my blog settings to display the date in Russian. Why? Frankly, I am not sure. I don't even speak Russian. It just seemed like a good idea. Maybe I'll try a new language every week. Or maybe I need to get a life and stop blogging every ten minutes. Man, this is addicting...

Selling books on is WAY more complicated, time consuming and annoying than buying them. Here's hoping I get buyers on at least half of the 32 books I listed tonight. Otherwise, what a waste of a perfectly good Sunday evening :/

Les Miserables

Tonight I went to a local production of Les Miserables--one of my favorite musicals, done by the best high school students from around the area. Two thoughts:
1: I really miss musical theatre. And why didn't they do that when I was in high school??
2: Being able to distinctly hear sharping or flatting of pitches really makes listening to music painful sometimes...

Begin with the End in Mind

"Imagine your family and friends are sitting around a table after your funeral. There's no pretense, no need to impress or be eloquent. They begin to share how they sincerely felt about you, what they remember most about you, and what you were really like. What would you want them to say about you?"

Answering this question recently has provided me with a lot of motivation and inspiration. If you "begin with the end in mind," suddenly you have a goal to shoot for. Not only have I clearly articulated what kind of legacy I want to leave--what I want my life to be about, and what I want to be remembered for--but now I realize that I have to do certain things NOW in order to make that happen. It's easier to get motivated and excited about spiritual growth and disciplined, daily life if you know why you're doing it--if you have the end in mind all along.

My number-one goal for this summer was to figure out my life mission statement, and in the process of discovering this, I went through a fantastic study called "Charting the Course." It uses Ephesians 2:10 as the basis for discovering your destiny and developing a life plan. Your history (where you've come from) plus your identity (who God made you to be) plus your ministry (what God has for you to do) equals your destiny: God's sovereign purpose(s) for you.

I'm excited to say that I wrote a mission statement, and you know what? It's inspiring! (I'd be glad to share it with whoever wants to know.) The point is, instead of aimlessly wandering through life, hoping to find meaning and fulfillment, you have to proactively seek out what it is that God has for you to do. And here's the key: There's nothing you could do that would bring God greater glory, would bring you greater joy, or would more significantly advance the Kingdom than for you to fulfill the sovereign purposes you were created for!

Home sweet home

Finally back in Ohio...I'll definitely miss the Rockies and everyone in Denver, but it's nice to be home. And the best part? I do not have to pack or unpack (except for a weekend trip here or there) for TEN MONTHS. It has been four years since I've been settled in one place that long!! Praise the Lord. Another bonus: my parents finally invested in wireless internet instead of dial-up...which means I can be on AIM and blogging, surfing, etc on a regular basis :) More updates coming soon...meanwhile, if you haven't talked to me in a while, give me a call or drop a note, cause I probably miss you!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

After a nine-month hiatus...

Nothing like starting a blog, then not posting on it for nine-plus months. Argh! The truth is, keeping a real journal, and emailing nearly all my thoughts to my fiance, keeps the motivation to write them out yet again in a blog pretty low. Plus let's be honest, I'm intimidated that my blog will never be as good as Jeff's ;)

Seriously, I've read so many fun blogs, and love the idea, that I think I actually want to get this one going. And now that I'm no longer in the bubble at IWU, this could be a good way to keep anyone who cares posted on my life. So here's to the first post since last November...and hopefully I'll be at least a little more consistent from here on out.