Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Finals and Winter Break

(This is my desk, preparing to study. And taking pictures
of my studying, rather than actually studying.)

My last post on here related to procrastinating from studying for finals. That seems so very long ago! I am happy to report that I made it through finals week in one piece, and arrived safely home Friday evening (despite a short and tumultuous "scenic route"). I opened the door to our house and was greeted by a roomful of giggling girls. Abby was having a Christmas Tea for her book club, and I had the pleasure of watching the girls enjoy themselves, serving them tea, and watching The Scarlet Pimpernel with them. It was a nice evening, and the house looked so wonderful and Christmas-y, it made me feel warm inside.

Saturday was spent puttering around the house, getting comfortable once again in our large home with the many people who reside here. We also spent a significant amount of time readying ourselves for the Christmas Ball that night, put on by a group who does English Country Line Dances in Salem and Rolla. Mum, Dad, Abby, Zeke, and I all went - we dressed up and had a wonderful time.

Sunday night, we had dinner with our friends Jan and Gary Bloom - an exciting, thrilling dinner of course - and then went over to Rolla Bible Church to see their annual Christmas program. I had been invited to go over to the Hickles' house afterward, and didn't think anything of it when Mark seemed to take a while to leave the church and head back to his house. We walked into their kitchen, and I noticed a cake on the table - before I had time to process why, my friends jumped out from all over and yelled, "Surprise!" And boy, was I surprised! My 18th birthday was celebrated in grand fashion that night, with cake, Apples to Apples, basketball (in the cold, with the girls watching like old times), and wonderful time with friends. What a perfect evening - and what wonderful friends I have!

Monday was another great night - our family went caroling at two nursing homes with the Hickles and Nisbetts. It's the first time I've ever been Christmas Caroling in four part harmony, and I must admit that I stayed silent a lot of the time, just so I could listen. Do you remember going caroling when you were a kid? If you're like me, everything was fine as long as you were singing - but then the adults insisted that you walk around and say hi to the old people. That was the worst! They smelled funny, and always wanted to hold your hand, and you never knew what to say to them, because they were complete strangers! Well, I've grown out of that - actually, that's the part I look forward to now. To see their faces light up when you walk over, and you're the one who reaches out for their hand. . . Definitely worth it. Try it sometime - maybe even not around Christmas, but just sometime when you're feeling down. After caroling, we had dinner at Hickles' and then played games for a while. Then, I went over to the Quakkelaars' house and played Santa Claus, wrapping up presents for their early Christmas celebration the next morning, while Mr. and Mrs. Q did some last minute shopping. It was fun to imagine those kids opening their gifts the next morning, and praying for each of them as I wrapped up their individual gifts.

Here are some random pictures from break so far:

Umm - this handsome guy is my little brother.
Girls - stay away. I will fend you off with a fork.

This is me with my two little sisters.
Don't ask about the hair.
One got curls, the other got blond - me?
I'm stuck with straight and brown.
(Okay, I lied - the curls aren't natural, but still!)
Oh - and this here is Andy. My only older sibling.
I think he is helping Mum in the kitchen.
Or rather. . . not helping. Mum in the kitchen.

Then Tuesday morning - bright and early off to Georgia! (More on that to come. . .)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Procrastination is a Beautiful Thing

Hi everyone,
I'm procrastinating! Unfortunately, my friends are all responsible, and are busy studying. But I'm needing a break - more like a forever ending - from my math studying. So blogging it is. No brilliant thoughts have come to mind to blog however. I made this creation on Liz's head several days ago. She is a good sport.

Ummm. Not sure what else to say here. I basically can't wait to come home. It's going to be wonderful to have 3 weeks away from school! I hate pre-calc with every bone in my body, but hate the fact that I'm lazy and not studying right now even more. Deep sigh. Okay. I'll try to study some more.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Temperature, as I walk to class this morning: 1 degree, "feels like" -11 degrees.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Elementary Functions Fail

"Is there anything the Math and Science Department could have done to improve your math class experience this fall?"

Where should I start?
No matter: only one class and a final left!
Then Math shall be effectively obliterated from my life.
Forever, Amen.

Alexander’s Birthday Adventure

Alexander turned 20 years old yesterday. Apparently last year, when he was a freshman, no one did anything about his birthday because it fell during finals week, and no one really knew about it. When he told me that, I felt this insanely strong mother-instinct to make his birthday at least somewhat special this year. So, I made cupcakes and my friend Amanda bought him a birthday present (a really fake looking tie from the Dollar store that has a button that plays music. Just what he needed). Several problems came up though – I realized that we couldn’t light his candles indoors without getting in trouble and causing the entire dorm to evacuate, which is never fun. So, we took the cupcakes outside. It was snowing!! SO beautiful! Here’s Joseph holding the cupcakes (and Greg, freezing because he didn’t realize we were going to be outside for an extended period of time and didn’t grab his coat).100_0189

Jason trying to light the wet candles in the windy, snowy weather.

We got one lit, and then sang really, really fast while Alexander blew it out. :) Oh, and contrary to the proof presented by these pictures, Joseph does NOT always have a strange look on his face. It just happened.100_0190

Alexander, blowing out his candle. It might or might not have taken him several tries. :)100_0193

Amanda and her mini-snow man!



Joseph Lieber takes a slide, after running around the entire math building without his shirt on.

He was home schooled, which I think explains this picture entirely.

100_0195 We spent a while playing in the fresh snow, then came back to the dorm for some hot chocolate. All in all, a rather successful evening. Happy birthday, Alexander! Never stop laughing (because then we wouldn’t be able to find you ANYWHERE on campus just by taking a moment and listening for you, like we can now).

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Heart- Shattered Lives

"I've been out of step with you for a long time,
in the wrong since before I was born.
What you're after is truth from the inside out.
Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.
Going through the motions doesn't please you,
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
don't for a moment escape God's notice."

Psalm 51:6, 16-17

A thousand times I’ve failed
Still your mercy remains
Should I stumble again
I'm caught in your grace
Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades
Never-ending, your glory goes beyond all fame

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing you praise
Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades
Never-ending, your glory goes beyond all fame

My heart and my soul
I give you control
Consume me from the inside out

Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love you from the inside out

Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades
Never-ending, your glory goes beyond all fame

And the cry of my heart is to bring you praise from the inside out
oh My soul cries out

Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades
Never-ending, your glory goes beyond all fame

-Inside Out by Seventh Day Slumber

Monday, December 7, 2009

First Snow

This one was taken from my window on the fourth floor (through the screen, pardon the lines, please). I wish I had a camera during the fall, because the trees out my window were beautiful.

They Rock my Socks. Literally.

First chance to try out my fantastic new rainboots? Check.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

“Tonight’s gonna be a good night. . .” – Friday Nights at Truman

So, Friday nights are technically the prime time to go “out” here at college. But who  needs to go out when you can have a fun and crazy evening staying “in” ?? We made snowflakes, played MASH, colored, and talked. Kettle corn and water were consumed, and fun was had by all.

Shandra and Amanda, proudly displaying their work.100_0130


Amanda, attacking Shandra for eating all her Kettle Corn100_0133


Liz, preparing to tell Amanda about her future, via MASH. A very accurate source, by the way.100_0143100_0137100_0154100_0151

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My Only Bedroom

Several weeks after coming to college, I got an e-mail from my Mum, informing me that my bedroom had been converted into a haven for the young ones in our home. I now sleep in the guest room. However, this is not as sad of a story as it may sound! Because, lo and behold, I have yet another bedroom (which is now my only bedroom)! And here are pictures. First, this is my roommate’s side. She was in a car accident in the third week of the semester, and has been living on the first floor in the handicap room ever since. She took most of her stuff with her, but will be moving back come Spring semester! I can’t wait.100_0042

And this is my side of the room. I really need to rearrange my pictures on the wall , and add some color, but I’m going to wait until Blair (my roommate) moves back and we rearrange furniture so that her bed isn’t lofted. Then, I’ll know better what kind of wall space I have to work with.100_0045100_0047 100_0048 100_0051

100_0054  100_0049

So there you go! My room – quite thrilling, actually.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Who Am I - Casting Crowns

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 wondering 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 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 calm the sea,
Would call out through the rain,
And calm the storm in me.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Moment We've All Been Waiting For!

I got a camera! Mum and Dad bought me a small, fit-in-your purse one for my birthday, and I was every so grateful. This way, if I do decide I want something higher quality later on, I will still have my own money to spend on it. Here I am, in my room. I also have many pictures of the dorm-room to post (even though I distinctly remember saying I would not do that), but that will have to be another night. Homework calleth. But I promise, cross my heart and hope to die, that I will take pictures of my friends and our activities (is this a good activity?) and post them until you are sick and tired of Truman. And me. And my friends. And such.

Thanksgiving Break and Such

A whole week off for Thanksgiving - what a luxury! One of my professors didn't even know that Truman was getting an entire week this year. This is the first year they have and, as he put it, "That was totally not on my radar. At all" (he told me this with a bewildered look on his face). I think he needed the break. I know I did - three tests and two papers the week before quite wore me out!

The weekend before break I spent in Peoria, Illinois, at a National Missionary Convention. It was great - I mostly enjoyed, the time spent with friends, talking about missions and all the possibilities we, as young people, have before us right now. God could do anything with our lives!

After the convention, most of the week was spent relaxing at home - and I do mean relaxing. I'm afraid I was rather lazy. We watched movies, and played games, took walks and naps. Thanksgiving dinner was spent at our friends the Q2s' house, along with Mrs. Hazell, Zephan, and Alida. Lots of food and laughter - friends just make everything in life that much more wonderful, don't they?

I turned 18 on Friday, with very little ceremony. Kind of humbling when you have an unassuming birthday - but I did get to go on a long walk, talk quite a bit with God, get a hug from a very special girl, receive a wonderful birthday present shortly after I was legally 18, and watch A-team late in the shed with the guys.

The weekend was very exciting - we are now the proud borrowers of a horse! When my cousin asked to hear all about it, I told her all I knew - "It's brown." If you are one of those special people who wants to know every detail, my sister and Mum both blogged about it as well. I just have some pictures. My little family of cowboys (and girls)! Aren't they precious? I think Andy was cowering in the basement at this point, asking himself what we have become. :) Just kidding - he was as excited about the horse as anyone . . . just not quite as ready to entirely forsake his California roots.

So over all, a very successful weekend home - even though I didn't shoot a gun, play racquetball, or watch Beauty and the Beast with a certain someone who has never seen it. But there's always Christmas break!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Hurray for being 18 and mature! What a great week I've had home with my family - I'm so thankful for the many blessings I have, and my family and friends definitely top the list. God has surely lavished His love on me through them, and for that I will be ever grateful.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Oh Give Thanks!

Ah, Thanksgiving Day at last
When we mere mortals break our fast
And all of us, both great and least,
Sit down before a bountiful feast!

We lift our prayers to God on high,
Then stuff ourselves with pumpkin pie
Cranberry sauce and candied yams,
Homemade rolls and turkey hams
Taters mashed and giblet gravy
Beans of green, and stringed, and navy
Turkey breast and cornbread dressing
All get munched after the blessing.
Until it comes out of our ears,
Our noses, our pores, and then through our tears!

We eat a lot, and then some more
While keeping one foot on the floor
We eat until we're all done in
And then sit down and start again

Thanksgiving Day, ah what a treat!
To eat, and eat, and eat. . . and eat.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


There is nothing that calms the soul on an overwhelming evening quite like a warm cup of tea, catching up with a dear friend, and studying for math tests.

Minus the studying for math tests part.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On Overcoming Sin. . .

I'm full of myself—after all, I've spent a long time in sin's prison. What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary.

But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

Romans 7:15-25

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Day in the Life. . .

Today -

An accomplishment: Walked 1.25 miles to Hyvee for groceries. Walked 1.25 miles back from Hyvee, carrying those groceries.

Poem, compliments of my Chem teacher:
Johnny was a Chemist
But now Johnny is no more
What Johnny thought was H2O
Was H2SO4

"In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life." - Romans 6:11-12, 22

Owned Face At:
My Math quiz
Waking up before 7 am

Two batches of cookies

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Water Spilt Poem

Please, oh please, still work

Even after this initial


Of testing

Because otherwise

I will be sad indeed

~ Yes, even you work, little tilde key

Or whatever you are called

@ the 2, the water seems to have not had effect

Tab ahead seems to be functioning



"It seems God continually brings me to the end of my endurance,
both emotionally and physically, to reveal the truth about my heart.
What's revealed in those moments of pressure is usually something that needs addressing,
like selfishness, insecurity, jealousy or bitterness.
Getting split apart isn't pleasant.
In fact, it's often painful and embarrassing.
Yet, it's required if I want to become a true follower of Christ."

-Proverbs 31 Ministries, Daily Devo

Friday, October 30, 2009

Remember When. . .

So I look exactly the same. . . but everyone else looks so young here! They've all grown up so much. This was taken May 2007, at our youth group float trip. The Hickles were gracious enough to organize it, and a great time was had by all. Oh, the carefree days we used to pass! Back when we wore crocs. . . Sigh. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mid-Term, Sunshine, and Fall Leaves

Well folks, it's mid-term. Do you know what that means? I'm 1/16 of the way through my college adventure! (I'm also currently taking the last math class of my life, so these next 8 weeks may be your last chance to see me use fractions in a blog post.)

Life is truly good - today, I've had a grin on my face ever since waking up. I am happy because. . .

1. I wasn't sad coming back to Truman. The last time I was home, and coming back up here was really hard emotionally. But this time, I'm actually glad to be here. I'm slowly beginning to genuinely enjoy my life here, and it's good, really good.

2. I locked my keys in my room today. I laughed at myself so much - I can't believe only 4 days home got me out of routine that much!

3. My friends Virginia, Laurel, and I have a date to go on a walk tonight. Always a fun time - and on a related note. . .

4. It isn't freezing outside! In fact, it's a beautiful fall day and I think I may break out the roller blades and skate around the neighborhoods behind our dorm this afternoon.

5. My math teacher was sick on Wednesday, and because we missed a class, he has postponed our test until next week. I would have had 3 tests this week if he hadn't, so that definitely made my day brighter. Did I mention this is the last math class I'll ever take?

6. I had such a fantastic, refreshing time home, during Fall Break. It's funny, because even though I definitely didn't catch up on sleep at all, I feel so rested now, and much more ready to face the day-to-day challenges that come my way. There is something to be said for spending time with friends and family - I think God uses those special moments of comfort and security to refresh us emotionally and spiritually, and I'm ever so thankful for that.

7. Um, fall leaves. Is there any person in the world that isn't made happy by fall leaves? Amyoplasts, I love thee so much.

8. I had a fun office hour at SAB this morning. Normally, I don't do much, since I have an office partner, and there isn't really enough work for two people. But today, I got to help cut handbills, and run things back and forth between the Mall and the office. So yes - it was a good time.

9. I won $50 extra in "Dining Dollars" in a drawing last week, which can be used at any food place on campus. I already have quite a few extra block meals in my account, just because I don't eat 3 meals a day every day, so I'm not going to have to worry at all about food this semester! I'm so excited - especially because it means I can use the dining dollars towards warm coffee drinks in the SUB. Yay!

10. God is good, and His love does endure forever . . . I have so many friends, real friends, and several best friends, all of whom care for me and show it in so many ways. My family is incredibly supportive (and functioning healthfully without me at home, a testimony to the great structure my parents have worked to create), and so very loving. My classes and teachers are tolerable, and the weather outside makes me feel like there is sunshine bursting in my soul (which Colin claims I don't have). My heart is rather full of feelings, and for the first time in my life, they aren't just dreams of what could be. And most importanly, He is working in my heart - slowly, but surely, He continually points out inconsistencies, and brings along people in my life to encourage me as I strive to live for Him. What more could a girl ask for? Except maybe lunch. Which I shall now go eat.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pining for Photographs

Now you all know me (presumably). You are probably aware of my aversion to cameras. Or rather, cameras being pointed directly at my face. I've developed amazing reflexes relating to this (See Exhibits A-D).

Now, do not in any way imagine that this aversion has been altered in my 7 weeks here at college. Not by a long shot. (I'm afraid the title of this post may have mislead you into believing this, so a brief clarification was in order.)

I want a camera. I want to make my blog posts interesting and fun and exciting! But alas, I have not a camera. So I am pining - pining for a camera, pining for pictures to post. And this post has absolutely no value whatsoever. IF I had a camera, I would have posted something relevant to my life, something inspiring or amazing, or wonderfully beautiful.

That's all.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Fruits of Laziness

“We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith
and patience inherit what was promised.” Hebrews 6:12

The following are thoughts or attitudes that create a lazy spirit

I am not very careful to what I expose myself.
I often quit too soon.
I often revert to entertainment in order to put my mind in neutral.
I often choose activities that require no mental exercise.
I often choose activities that require no physical exercise.
I often feel that there is no value in hard or difficult work.
I hate disciplining myself and I often make excuses not to do it
I make very little effort to control my thought life.
It is way too difficult to “take captive every thought.”
I put more value on activities with people than solitude with God.
I normally reward myself with food or sleep.
I have convinced myself that spiritual disciplines are not needed in my life.
I often do not complete things on time or at all.
I “date” procrastination regularly.
I often waste precious time on meaningless things.
I strongly dislike “character building” situations.
The “snooze” button on my alarm clock is in danger of wearing out.
I take shortcuts when no one is looking.
My lifestyle shouts, “I do as little as I can to get by.”
I hate being held accountable for work.
I blame my undisciplined lifestyle on my work or schedule.
I hate being stretched or challenged.
I tend to hang around people who are “just as” or “more” undisciplined as I am.
I consider disciplined people extremists.
I tend to avoid activities that require diligence and perseverance.
I normally allow my schedule to control me instead of me controlling my schedule.
Most of the time, I make excuses not changes.
Compared to some people, I am really disciplined.
Much of the reading I do does not require me to think.
I normally take the easy way out.
When given the choice of neatness or messiness, I normally slide to messiness.
I normally allow “not making a decision” to be my decision.
I think that my undisciplined lifestyle is really cute or attractive.
I have often thought or said, “I don’t have to perform for God.”
I am counting on God’s grace to cover over my undisciplined lifestyle.

Dean Trune – Impact Ministries International – 4642 Arrowhead Road, Okemos, MI 48864 – 517-349-7783

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Prayer Request

As many of you know, our family has been involved in some mission work down in the country of Ecuador, where my grandparents were missionaries when my mom was a kid. One of the missionaries names is Dr. Manuel, and he has asked for prayer, reagarding regarding road closings that have occurred in at least seven of the Ecuadorian provinces.

The road closings, demonstrations and marches are being undertaken by the indigenous nationals in protest to the government and concern water rights, etc. They are setting up roadblocks with burning tires and other means of blocking the highways. You can check this out on Because Dr. Manuel works as a traveling doctor/missionary, he heavily relies on being able to travel to the areas in which he works. He was in Tombo yesterday where the International Church Planters (ICP) from Arkansas are about to complete the pastors six weeks of training. The main road (rt. 35) was closed so he had to travel very dangerous roads to reach Tombo and back. This coming weekend a team of 24 will be arriving in Ecuador to do evangelism and medical care. I believe they will be based in Tomba and will need to be traveling in some of the provinces where roads have been closed. Dr. M. will need to travel back and forth between Cuenca and Tombo several times, over these very dangerous roads.

Please pray for the safety of Dr. Manuel, Juan, Pastor Lucas, and mission team who will be working and traveling. Dr. Manuel and his work are very near to my heart, because of the connection with medicine - I'm hoping that one day, God will decide to use me and my nursing skills to help him in some way down there in Ecuador. :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Confessions of a College Student

I have poor time-management skills, and a bad habit of over-committing myself.

Phew. Glad that's off my chest!

In our Bible study, we were talking about priorities in life, and asked ourselves what we really put first in our life. Our leaders presented a way for us to honestly evaluate this - we were given a sheet with a chart that had all the hours in a day. They suggested that we pick any typical day of the week, and fill out how we spent each hour, then bring it back to Bible study next week and talk about it.

I was too busy to fill it out.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Little Things

I've been feeling rather under the weather since Sunday. Just normal cold stuff, and by this morning, I felt a lot better. However, by the time Math class came around, and after nearly 4 hours of classes, I started feeling feverish. I figured it was the room, or the clothes I'd chosen - after all, in this transition from warm to cold weather, buildings can have trouble adjusting! But an hour and a half later, as Chemistry Lab had just gotten started, I finally admitted that it was a legit fever.

Normally, this wouldn't be that big of a deal to me. I act like a baby when I'm sick, but it typically isn't nearly as rough as I portray it, and I would have been just fine on any typical day. But, when I got back from Chem at 3:30, I knew that the number one priority in my life wasn't R&R and getting over my fever. . . it was studying like crazy for my Math exam at 7:30. I hadn't studied yet, and had been stressing all week about how challenging it was going to be. (I've discovered anew this semester that Math is not my strong suit, in any sense of the word. Basically - this class is kicking my butt.) So I put on my pjs, curled up on the floor, and studied. And studied. I only lasted about 2 hours before falling asleep on my floor. When I fell asleep, I was still feverish, feeling overall horrible, and pretty darn sure that I was going to fail this rather important exam.

I woke up shortly before test time, got ready, and walked over to the room. I sat down, and realized that I was totally at peace. No stress. No worry. Just ready for the test, and whatever would come of it. As I sat in my hoody and jeans, I also noticed that I didn't feel weirdly chilly or warm anymore. Hmm. . . then I got the test. And what would you know - I got through it with very little trouble! I worked slowly, but felt like I know what I was doing every step of the way, and even caught myself on a few little mistakes that normally would have goen unnoticed. I walked out of that classroom fever-free, confident about my test, and feeling on top of the world.

I've been a child of God for a long time now, and yet, it still amazes me how much He cares about the little things. A math test, a little fever and exhaustion. . . what are these things, that they would concern the God of Creation? And yet, He loves us so much that He reaches down and shows us grace each and every day, and grants His peace to our weary souls. A shout out to those dear friends who have been praying for me lately - even with the little things, the Lord hears us! Thank you so much for you prayers! And thank you Jesus, for you attentiveness to our lives, and our worries - you are my everything.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Desires and Delight

"The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this. . ."
Psalm 37:4-5

Have I ever before thought about the fact that the Lord delights in me? Honestly, I haven't. And now that I am, it puzzles me so very much. What is there in me that is delightful? Out of all the beauty He has created, why would the One who is mighty to save take note of me, much less find pleasure in me? And yet, He does. Pause, and think about this. Does it make your heart soar? In His majesty, the Lord of all chose me.

How is it that I do not delight in Him in the same way? Last Sunday, the sermon was about how our God wants to fulfill the desires of our hearts, every last one of them. The speaker stated that every desire we have begins in God - granted, they can be twisted into pervert, and sinful things, but the roots of every last one was created in our hearts by our Heavenly Father. He wants to make those desires come true, so very much!

But we, in our foolishness, try to fulfill our desires in our own way. It doesn't work, and God has to crush those desires, so that we don't harm ourselves. I hate it when God does this in my life, and my plans don't turn out the way I had hoped. More often than not, it causes me to question Him and His goodness. How utterly ridiculous of me!

If only I could learn to give my desires to Him in the first place, and ask Him to fulfill them for me - then, my focus could be on delighting in Him, and remaining in Him. I wouldn't spend time worrying about how the things I wanted would happen, if I truly let that be up to Him. My faith is so small, Lord. I must admit that I doubt your ability to fill the desires of my heart better than I can. Would you take my desires, every last one, and fill them in your amazing and beautiful way? I realize that many of these secret wishes won't be brought into completion on this earth, and that's okay. Bring my gaze to you, so that I can delight in you and allow you to have your way with my desires, each and every day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Little Joys

I was sent an e-mail by Truman today with a health survey to take. As a good citizen, I felt as though I ought to do so, although I really, really, really didn't want to.

The first question was "In agreeing to take this survey, you are confirming the fact that you are a student enrolled at Truman State University and are 18 years of age or older. Select yes to begin the survey."

I clicked no.

It said "Thank you. Your survey is complete."

Ahh. 17 is such a refreshing age to be!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The SAB!

I'm on the SAB!!!

Wow, I'm so excited, it's hard to type. This evening, I heard a knock on my door - I got up to answer it, and a group of about 30 people were standing in my hallway shouting, "You're on the SAB!" That was about an hour ago, and I'm still excited (and if you know me well, you know how hard it is to get me excited!).

Let me back up a bit. In coming to college, everyone I talked to encouraged me to jump right in and get involved. They said it made all the difference in their college experience. I decided to take their advice, and went to the student activities fair with my eyes wide open. The only thing that really caught my attention (besides CCF, which I had already decided to be a part of) was the SAB - Student Activities Board. They are responsible for planning basically all the events that happen on campus, from comedians, to drive in movies, to concerts, etc. You know - it's the group of people who are the first to arrive, and the last to leave. Who put in countless hours planning, preparing, setting up, cleaning up, all so that other people can have a good time.

Well, needless to say, this sounded basically amazing to me. The board is only made up of 35 students, so it's very selective. They had a pile of applications on their table, so I figured it couldn't hurt to fill one out and turn it in. I almost forgot about it, and ended up turning it in at the last minute - I also forgot to check the posted list to see if I had an interview, and got an e-mail asking if I was still interested, because I'd made the first interview round. The first interview was on Friday night. I wasn't nervous a bit, since I really hadn't done any kind of interview before, and didn't know what to expect. I think, however, that had I not been otherwise distracted, the fact that attire was "business casual" should have clued me into the fact that this wasn't going to be a cozy little chat.

Boy, was it intimidating! Sitting in a conference room on one end of a long table, with 6 people at the other end of the table looking at you. . . I'm surprised I formed words at all. They asked some really interesting questions, thought-provoking questions. By the time I left, I was shaking. Some one should have told me that I should have been nervous!

Saturday morning, I checked the posted list, and saw that I had made the second interview round that afternoon. That surprised me. But I went, once again, in business casual attire. It was a group interview, so definitely not as scary as the first one. I walked out of there entirely uncertain of how I'd done. I knew that they were taking 6 new members, and that there were 12 of us who made it to the second interview. They said that they'd contact us sometime on Sunday to let us know.

9:00 pm rolls around, and I hadn't heard anything, so I logged onto the Truman website, found their page, and sent an e-mail asking if maybe I'd missed something, and was supposed to do something else? Shortly thereafter came the knock. . . and the rest is history. :) The president of the board asked what I had been thinking, since I hadn't been contacted, and I told her about the e-mail. Her response, "Oh, that's terrific! You would, too."

I'm on the "Research and Development" committee, fondly known as RAD. I'm really, really excited about this, but it's going to be time consuming. There is one weekly meeting with the whole board, and each committee meets weekly as well. The events, of course, take so much planning, and staffing. And also, each member is required to have 1 office hour during the week. I'm nervous and scared, but SO excited! Pray that this would be one more way God would use my life on campus!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Psalm 139:23-24

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me, and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Isn’t this a scary thing to ask of our Lord? Do we truly wish Him to see the honest state of our heart? To know those anxious thoughts, those things in our lives we are not willing to surrender and trust Him with? To reveal those ways we are being offensive to His commands? Being transparent is a challenge. It’s hard to admit that we aren’t perfect, that we need God to lead us in His ways. And it’s hard to surrender, when we know it will mean cleansing and a change of direction. But I so want to follow in the ways everlasting! I want to be given life by the Lifegiver, the Lover of my soul, and I cannot do that unless I allow Him to know my heart and work in me as He would.

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Compromise only satisfies the dying part of you."

Stellar Kart

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Chemistry Prof

Quotes from class last week:

Regarding the use of Excel and spreadsheets -

“We aren't about the cosmetics, but the deep beauty of truth.”

Discussing dry erase markers -

“When I was a kid, these things were toxic. It's good that my mom told me to stop smelling them, because otherwise, I probably would have gotten high and died. I just loved the smell.”

He gave us the dimensions of a book, and had us calculate the mass. Apparently, the dimensions were rather arbitrary, because after we figured it out, he looked at it quizzically and said -

“This is probably an unrealistically fluffy book. Stewart Little could take a ride on this thing and he'd float right up.”

Saturday, September 12, 2009

3 Weeks

Well, here I am - 3 weeks into my college adventure! Some moments, it seems as though I've been here forever, and yet at other times, the hours seem to drag by. Don't you hate that?

Academics: Classes have picked up quite a bit, and I now have homework. Yay! I'm taking Chemistry 100, Biology 100, Pre-Calc, and Dimensions of Professional Nursing, 14 hours total. For the most part, I enjoy my professors, although my Chemistry prof is a little eccentric (more on that later). I think that this semester, overall, shouldn't be too challenging, although I'm finding myself very rusty on some of the basic algebra things we're reviewing in Pre-Calc. But that's what studying was invented for, right?

Socially: Wow, there is so much to do at Truman! Everyone always said to me in my pre-being-a-student-here days, that the events on campus made up for the sleepiness of Kirksville itself. They were right - the activities fair on the Quad totally overwhelmed me. Some of the things I've done so far have been. . .
2 times a week Pilates class at the Rec, as well as doing lots of running/elliptical/biking. Some of the girls on my floor are pretty into getting exercise, so we go nearly every day.
Swing Dance Lessons! I've only been able to try this once, and didn't really get the hang of it, but it was fun going with other girls and laughing at ourselves together.
Games - I've been to one men's soccer game, and one football game so far - and I'm really looking forward to seeing some volleyball soon. So far, they've only had away games.
Theatre productions - A friend from my nursing class and I go to these whenever they come up. The first one we saw was called "Murdered to Death" and it was great - a spoof on Agatha Christie-type murder mysteries. It was fantastic! And then last week, we saw a production put on in a black box theatre. The plot was deep and thought-provoking and the acting incredibly solid.
Reading - the library here is full, and I've had the pleasure of reading a book, simply for the sake of reading (something I hadn't done in far too long!). Okay, so I realize this isn't social, but anyways. . .
Walking - to and from classes, to and from lunch, to and from the Rec, and even just for the sake of taking a walk! It's a great way to have conversations with people, both casual and more serious.
Farmer's Market in the downtown square. It's really cute!
Java Co. - cute coffee shop in the square.
There are so many other things going on that I haven't mentioned. It really amazes me that, if I wished, I could have a totally full schedule when I'm only planning things for myself - I'm used to a family of 8, which quite naturally means a busy life. Social math however, states that if you minus 7 people, then add moving away to college, the end result is the same.

Spiritually: This almost goes along with social life in many ways. There are many, many Christian organizations on campus, and it's almost too much of a good thing. I've been mostly doing things with the CCF group, but I also plan to check out the Lutheran Student Fellowship, and a friend of mine has invited me to Campus Crusade for Christ. The CCF here has been such a blessing for me! They have Sunday morning and Wednesday evening services, as well as small groups and miscellaneous social events throughout the semester. The services have been great - since the speakers are specifically addressing a college audience, I find that everything they say isvery (if not easily) applicable to my life. I've joined a Ladies' small group called "Live Like You Were Dying," and I'm looking forward to the encouragement and accountability of that. Several upperclassmen have befriended me, and it's been a lot of fun getting to know them and spend time with them. This past weekend was the fall retreat - very refreshing, and a great opportunity to get to know more people on a little deeper level. There are over 200 students involved in CCF, so it can be a little challenging to develop relationships in the larger group settings. Personally, I've had so much more time for pursuing God on my own - and I find that exciting and scary. Exciting, because isn't this what everyone dreams of - extra time to spend, just on God? Scary, because there isn't any excuse of "being busy" to blame my poor spiritual life on. It's been a learning and growing experience, and I pray that it continues to be so.

Relationships: This has been the hardest thing so far. I miss my friends and family in Rolla so very much. Often, I just wish I were home with them. But that desire is just about my comfort and security, and I need to realize that it's not what God has for me right now. He has given me new relationships, here and now, to use for His glory, and I'm excited about that. The girls in my hall are really fantastic - they have their quirks, but overall, we get along great and love being a "family." I've gotten close to 3 or 4 in particular, and really enjoy the chance to get to know them better. Community style bathrooms definitely take getting used to, but it's also a good place to catch up with girls you don't see as often, even if it's just a "Hey, hope you have a great day!" We haven't yet proved the existence of boys on this campus, but I'll keep you posted if we ever do. :) Just kidding, there are guys here and I think I now officially have met. . . four. I do find it challenging to be around primarily peers all the time - sometimes, I long for a little person to hold close, or a home school mom to talk with. My roommate is amazing. Those of you who think I'm neat - she's neater. Those who might consider me a good cook - she's better. You think I mother people? - she's worse. Scrapbooking, and anything crafty - she owns face. Blair is Blair and she is amazing. If you ever send me cookies *cough*, you should add a note that says hi to Blair.

Food: The cafeterias are really good, definitely no complaints there. Except maybe for the fact that they have dessert available at every meal. I've used the dorm kitchen twice, once to make cookies and once, spaghetti. I've gotten involved with the food ministry for CCF so I don't go into complete withdrawal from lack of creating delectable delicacies. I am not going to disclose my current weight, or a comparison of that number with my weight before August 22nd.

So yeah! That's my life right now, or at least what the past 3 weeks have looked like. I'd appreciate your prayers, because I know with total confidence that they are what has kept me going thus far. And please, feel more than free to send me prayer requests of your own - I'd love to know what's going on in your life, and lift my thoughts of you to the Father on your behalf.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

22. Oh, Monopoly, How I Despise You

I failed. You may recall that on my packing list from this summer, one of the items was to "complete a monopoly game with Zeke." Well, I played a monopoly game with him this past weekend, but we didn't really complete it - he allowed me to forfeit. I probably would have won, but after nearly 2 hours, it was just too much. We had pretty equal numbers of properties/houses/hotels, and I felt like we just kept switching money. Eventually, I suppose one of us would have gotten out of luck, but then you have the fun of selling off houses and mortgaging properties, and that just takes a ridiculous amount of time. So I forfeited. But I'm still counting it, so there.

Thank you, my brother, for allowing me to be lame. Someday, perhaps I will discover the same love for monopoly that you have. Or, more likely, someday . . . you will be a Realtor.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

I was blessed to be able to catch a ride back home to Rolla for Labor Day weekend (thank you SO much Sam!). We met up with my family in Jefferson City, and I hopped in the minivan to head over to Camdenton, where I got to see the Rolla Royals’ first volleyball game! Here’s Abby, my favorite player.100_5915And the whole team, with Coach Sarah, after the game. 100_5929

The girls have come such a long way from the first years of our team – it’s great to watch them play!

Then Saturday, we had a BBQ with a few friends – and with homeschoolers, a “few” friends always turns out to be around 50 people. What a great time, though! I have found that it matters very little to me just what we do when friends come over – I just so love being around them. Here are the lovely mothers – each of these ladies has been such a wonderful role model for me, and it was so nice to see them again. 100_5936

Of course, volleyball was played. Thanks Dad, for fixing the net. You know, it wasn’t long ago that I was incredible uncomfortable playing volleyball. Now, I guess I just enjoy my friends so much, I’ll do anything for them. :) That, and I’ve gotten used to everyone laughing at me.100_5937

Cute girls! Oh, I miss kids so much! College students aren’t nearly as interesting.100_5938

Ashley, enjoying a turn with the Quakkelaar’s new baby. So adorable! Us older girls were discussing that holding small babies was rather dangerous for us nearly-adult aged young ladies. :) Too tempting.100_5939

And here, we have the largest poker game/fullest living room award! What a great group of people to spend time with – Thank you, Lord, for fantastic friends. 100_5941