Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last post of 2008

Another year is almost gone and now is the time we spend reflecting on everything we've been through. It's funny how the turning of a year can invoke this ritual of reflection that inevitably leads to a consciousness of the need for change and self renewal.

In reflection of the past year, here are some of the highlights and lowlights.

  • I moved in with Naomi, Brittney, and Katie. We had ups and downs and even fought a little, but I think we walked out of it with relationships that are stronger than they've ever been and friendships that will certainly last for the rest of our lives. I love these girls.
  • I don't remember if anything significant happened in February.

  • I began the journey of weight loss with my 100 pounds in one year plan. Although I stopped making an effort with the plan, I lost 40 pounds in 5 months and went through high stress periods and holidays without gaining a single pound.

  • I passed all my classes.
  • I watched many of my close friends and the people I've known for four year graduate from Bethel. Good job guys, you made it, God be with you.
  • I started the most life changing experience I've ever been through, an internship with the church I attend. I learned a lot about youth ministry, but I learned more about the Kingdom of God, and I know that my life mission revolves around helping others to see and be a part of the Kindgom.
  • I attended a CIY event as a leader and had the opportunity to grow close to several of the girls in the youth group. We started an accountability group that is still going.

  • I had an opportunity to lead a small group geared toward helping young women to see themselves the way God does. I honestly don't know how much of a long term impact it made, but I learned a lot about the girls and I know our relationships are stronger for it.

  • My internship ended. I wish it would have ended differently than it did.
  • I returned to Bethel despite having doubts about whether I should return.
  • I lost a friend.

  • Spiritual Emphasis week happened. The speaker, John Vermilya, reiterated everything, and I mean everything I have learned this summer about living in God's Kingdom.
  • I met my roommate, Neisha. I love this girl. I think she is fantastic.
  • I spent a weekend on a camping trip with the house church I attend while in school. Went for a 4 or 5 mile hike, made it, felt good. Grew closer to those in the group.
  • My room at Bethel flooded, mildewed, took maintenance 5 weeks to do anything about it, started developing headaches.

  • Went home for Fall Break early due to migraine headaches.
  • While at home during Fall Break, my cousin Erica had a seizure and went into ICU.
  • Erica was taken off of Life Support and died. I came home a week after returning to Bethel to go to the funeral.
  • On the way to the funeral, Erica's sister Megan got into a car accident.
  • A financial mishap came back to bite me in the butt.
  • I went into the emergency room for severe abdominal pain. Made the hospitale staff laugh a bit, got a job offer, and completely baffled the doctors as to what was wrong with me.
  • Finally dropped out of school, came home, and started a job hunt.
  • Had to turn down my top two choices for a job because they were too far away with me not having my own vehicle.
  • Spent Thanksgiving taking time to get to know some of my dad's side of the family.
  • Rejoined the Bridge Builders Group.
  • Been struggling a bit with where it is that God wants me. I didn't fit at Bethel, and I feel like I don't quite fit here either.
  • Said goodbye to my friend Naomi and she got the awesome opportunity to teach English in Korea!
  • Spent Christmas getting to know my family on my dad's side a bit more.
  • My grandma Linda went into the hospital, details are fuzzy right now.
  • I'm still struggling a bit with life and all, but really experiencing God's providence in the midst of it all.

All in all, as the year comes to a close we realize that we will never see 2008 again, but the memories we've made will stay with us forever.

As I was growing up I stayed out of trouble by learning from mistakes others have made. Now that I'm older I'm finding that I am starting to learn from my own mistakes and that is driving me crazy.

Inspite of the lowlites of the year, I can't say that it was a bad year, nor can I say it was a good year because of the highlights. It was life and life happens and I'm blessed to be a part of it knowing that in all things I have the power to be content with what God has given me and where he has placed me.

The year 2008 is supposed to be a new beginning but that doesn't mean that the past is irrelevant. But I can enter the new year a little wiser, and with the knowledge that when the trials come, God does not abandon us, but will carry us through it holding us close, if we will let Him.

I've made no resolutions for the new year, and I am uncertain what the future holds, but I know that as 2008 closes and 2009 approaches, the one constant in my life has been God, and I will cling to him through it all.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Okay. I admit it. I'm feeling lonely right now. But it's not because I'm alone. I think it's because I feel like a few of my relationships are stressed, and that bothers me. But I'm also driving myself crazy with this insatiable desire to make things right, but I don't think it's within my power anymore.

Dear friend with whom I have a stressed relationship:

I miss you. I miss your friendship. I miss the way things used to be. And I'm sorry.

You'll probably never see this.

Anyway, my mouse babies are a little more than a week old right now and are incredibly cute. There's only six of them now.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Well... baby mice, within a few hours after birth.
(click picture and it should enlarge)
Amazing. They were born sometime between 8am and 11am yesterday. There are nine of them, but my mouse or her babies may have squished the runt. I'm not sure, You probably can't see it in this picture, but there is one that is laying under the rest and is a purple color and it wasn't moving. I'm not going to mess with it, but I'll take more pictures in about a week. I don't want to bother them too much or the mommy might kill them.
I had to separate the daddy from mommy or he could get the mommy pregrant again right away. the Daddy seems lonely in his own cage. Mice are social creatures. I feel bad for him, but the mommy mouse needs a break from him. Male mice are supposed to be good daddies and will take an active role in raising the babies (if they recognize them as theirs) but too many pregnancies is hard on female mice, especially when they're back to back. What to do...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Volunteer Opportunity

On Saturday April 18, 2009, Rebuilding Together will have a work day.

When I was a freshman in college, I did this and I had a blast. I want to do it again. I wonder if there is anyone who would volunteer with me. :-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Love and Forgiveness

Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.
Luke 7:47 (NRSV)

I read this verse a few days ago, and the last sentence really struck me. I know from the context that in this verse Jesus is saying that those who recieve little forgiveness will not love as much as one who recieves great forgiveness, but the first five times I read, I read it much differently.

The way I interpreted it the first time was more like: those who forgive little, love little; or in other words those who are quick to withhold forgiveness are not people who have a lot of love as opposed to someone who forgives more easily.

I don't know why I read it this way, but when I did it just struck me as true. If I am quick to withhold forgiveness, can I really say I have a lot of love?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Together We Can Change the World

I saw a commercial recently talking about how one dollar could give a person in Africa clean water for a whole year, and only 30 dollars could give several families clean water for a year.

It stuck out to me how they seemed to emphasize that it's only 30 dollars, or only one dollar can help one person for a whole year... They emphasize how little it takes on our part to make a huge impact on a persons life.

So I started wondering what it would cost to impact an entire community, a country, a continent. I don't know if its just me, but I wanted to see what an impact would look like on a grand scale. Sure I want to make a difference for the individual, but I want to do something much more grand than just that. I think a lot of people do.

Sometimes I just want to shout "Don't tell me how my pocket change can impact one life, tell me how I can sacrifice myself to really make a difference!" I think it's just the idea of doing something so much bigger than myself and being a part of the grand adventure. It's the idea that I see worth and importance in other people in such a way that I am willing to put them before my own needs and pleasures for a time.

I've been trying to do a little research on what it would cost to build one well in another country. has cited that $2,500 can build a well for a community.

For me $2,500 is an entire years wages. It's what I've been making every year working part time while at Bethel. For me that would be a large sacrifice.

For others, $2,500 is:
  • a tax refund
  • a years investment into a 401K plan
  • a super fancy big screen tv
  • a Carribean cruise vacation or a trip to disney land
  • a used car
  • a laptop computer
  • an engagement ring

I'm sure the list could go on. But if that's a small sacrifice for others, I wonder what $25,000 or $250,000 could do.

How much would it cost to provide an entire country in Africa with clean water? With a little sacrifice, I really believe it's totally doable.

Imagine the impact! It would be revolutionary.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Jeremy Kingsley- Be Last

I want to read this book.

America the Greedy; the greed epidemic

It might just be that I've never noticed it like this before, but it seems like there is more greed and selfishness than I can recall.

It bothered me last Friday when I heard about the worker who was trampled to death at Walmart. It bothered me even more when I was told the next day that a woman was trampled and lost her baby. And it bothered me today when I read that there are a lot of people who want to hold Walmart responsible for it.

Seems to me if greed were not in the hearts of those who broke down the doors, then the worker and the woman (and the other two people) would not have been trampled.

I was told that the day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday because it's the one day out of the year that stores actually make a profit (which I don't believe at all, otherwise half of the top ten richest people in the US wouldn't be Walmart heirs), but I really believe that Black Friday is called Black Friday because this is the day that exposes the blackness of societies hearts.

It's more than just Black Friday and shoppers though.
From consumerism to credit card debt greed and selfishness really do seem to be more prevalent.

From what I've been learning about the economic crisis, I have to pinpoint that it's because of greed.

God help me to be done with my own personal selfishness and greed.