just a thought.

i am…

jamie’s roommate.
elizabeth hodges’ friend.
someone on lauren’s/sarah’s/paulina’s hall.
and probably a lot of other things that i just haven’t heard yet.

just an observation, not a complaint. though i do wonder, how many people here would know who i was if i weren’t associated with all these high-on-the-radar people?

just a thought. · parts of my whole story.

lonely.

(this isn’t one of my complaining posts.[although what’s funny is i’m actually alone while i’m writing all this]but i couldn’t think of a better title, and it fits.)

i am the most extroverted person i know. not because i’m the most outgoing, but because i need people more than anyone else i know.
i can’t sleep if there’s no one in the room with me.
i never like movies, or especially tv, half as much when i watch them by myself.
if i’m upset, the first thing i do is look for people to either distract me or hug me.
if there’s just me and another person in a room, i’d rather be right next to them than sitting across the room from them.
i feel claustrophobic and cut off from the world when my door is closed and there are people talking in the hall.
when everyone goes to bed at night and i’m still awake, i miss them even though i’ll see them the next morning.
i start to feel like i’m suffocating if i go a few hours without a hug.
at camp, when the girls would go to bed and amber would leave the cabin for the night, i would miss her for a few minutes. or even when jenna would go to sleep, i would miss her. even though there wasn’t even a door or anything between our rooms(just a wall and a doorway).
and whether anyone is talking or not, to me or each other or whoever, i always think better in a room full of people.

i’m never the pathetic/miserable kind of lonely like i was at csu. my definition of ‘lonely’ here would be ‘happy, but a tiny bit less happy than i could be if there was someone else around instead of just me’.
but, while this isn’t necessarily a bad quality(although it annoys me sometimes, now and then i wish i were one of those people who didn’t always need to be with someone), there’s a quote from my most favorite devotional book ever, that i tend to forget a lot.

“time spent alone is really time spent with God. don’t waste it.”

i NEVER forgot this at csu. it was there that i discovered that maybe at home, my friends had been something of a distraction. it wasn’t that they were a bad influence or anything, not even close. but pulling myself away and spending quality time with God was a hard habit to get into. so in that miserably lonely prison called charleston, God was really the only friend i had, so it was easy to have my quiet times every single day. now and then i would even thank Him for taking away my friends and my formerly outgoing personality so i could learn how to be alone. plus, it was so hard to find Him anywhere except my spare closet where i had my Jesus time, it made me want to spend a lot more time with Him.
i guess that would be the only down side to the fact that all through every one of my classes, and in chapel, and even in random dinner conversations, i get to hear from God all day long; i forget how much i need, and love, those alone times. it’s hard sometimes to make myself pull away from my friends and the outside world, and just be with Jesus.
i just need to remember that i’m never actually alone.

just a thought.

stories about school

i am BLESSED.

i have a school where…
the teachers care whether we pass their class,
the res life people take the time to give us really good roommates,
people act like Christians and actually WANT to be at a Christian school
i can go home whenever i want, but i can keep my distance if i feel like it too,
i have awesome friends who love Jesus, and help me study, and play in the rain with me,
i get to go to chapel 4 days a week, and everyone actually wants to be there(it’s not like convo where it’s every other wednesday and everyone uses that time to do homework),
and Jesus is EVERYWHERE. i don’t have to wait until tuesday nights to be reminded that he’s still out there.

i absolutely love my life.

stories about camp

there’s nothing like it.

i miss camp today.
[side note: something they said in chapel the other day got me singing if you love jesus. while i hate that song and had happily forgotten its existence, it sparked a flood of camp memories and i went straight to my room and cried for the first time in weeks.]

they said at the end of the summer “you’ll leave a piece of your heart here when you drive out that gate.” now i’m thinking, maybe that’s why i miss it so much more than everyone else. i leave my whole heart there and count down the days until i can come back to pick it up.
my heart hurts when i try to explain it to people. i’m already better at putting things into written words than spoken ones, but for something to be so big that i can’t even write about it, means it has to be pretty huge. so it shouldn’t shock me as much as it does to see that no one understands. no matter how many summers i’m gone for, no matter how many weekends i come home with more amazing stories to share, they don’t get it. the worst was one point in the middle of the summer, when i was talking to a friend who will remain unnamed, and i was venting about some things going on, and she replied to my rant with “you need to get out of that camp, it’s not good for you.” oh no she didn’t…
replaying this conversation in my head makes me want to cry. for several reasons.
first off. you do NOT refer to my personal heaven as “that camp.” those are fighting words.
secondly. true enough, you do have to experience camp la vida to really know the beauty of it, but how can they not even have a HINT of what it’s done for me, what it means to me, how many lives God changes through it every year, etc etc etc? even the things that happen that i hate, i see as part of the perfect puzzle that is a summer at camp. and to still love it as much as i do, when so many other people leave because of the bad stuff, just shows me more that it’s where God wants me. if you’ve seen how happy i am there, you wouldn’t dare say it was anything but good for me.
and finally, my friends at home do in fact mean more to me than anyone i’ll ever meet at camp. i am not there for the staff. if i were, i would have quit july 6, 2008 then and there. i am there because of my girls. there’s nothing like getting to know them,watching over them for a week, and becoming a small part of their life. i love them so much and i love seeing them grow in Christ. especially the ones that keep coming back year after year, seeing how they’ve grown up a little bit, having them come and tell you how they missed you over the past year. the idea of being to them what my cabin leaders were to me is incredible(and a little scary), and i wouldn’t give any of that up for anything.
so to answer any questions, of COURSE i plan on going back next summer unless God calls me(okay, more like drags me, kicking and screaming) to serve him someplace else. i don’t care what i’m missing at home. i don’t care that i’ll be away from my other friends. i love you guys, but it’s camp. no one who claims to care about me would try to keep me away from it.

anyone who understands this is so far away. i want a great big, classic 3 second camp style hug, and a SP note, and maybe even a day with the awesome cone, with a round of “if you love jesus” playing in the background of all of it. but i can’t have that  for another 250 days.

stories about nothing and everything

and, time for another one of those posts where i just think out loud for a while.

i feel like i need to write something happier than yesterday. but while i’m having a much better day, i can’t think of anything to write about…so, i’m just gonna write whatever comes in my head, as i think it.

1. i need to study for world civ.
2. the social network is gonna be AMAZING. it’s been so long since i’ve seen a really good movie, and by really good i don’t mean i liked it a lot(since the only movie i’ve seen recently is salt, which i loved), i mean good like what you would call art. i miss movies.
3. chapel is my favorite part of the day.
4. i added about 10 quotes just today to my list of crutchfield-isms. i’ll be posting all of them at the end of the semester.
5. i still need to post all of my quotes from dr barrier and dr martin from last semester…
6. i HATE being treated like a freshman, even though i technically am one, that’s only by credits. this is still my second year in college and i do know what i’m doing.
7. the one thing i do love about being considered a freshman is getting to live on my hall.
8. cross country races are the most boring things EVER to watch, scott had better know i love him.
9. i miss coaching basketball.
10. the south girls are gonna dominate the ciu bowl.
11. my dodgeball team is amazing.
12. i’m legitly going to study now.

one last thing: so i was just thinking the other day that maybe i should go back to facebook, because nobody is reading this. everyone read my facebook notes when i still wrote on there. but then i found that you can see how many views you’re getting on here, so i clicked, and oh goodness, 248 in just a month. that’s like, 20 some every day. so, so, encouraging. i like knowing that i’m helping a few people. =]

stories about school

hide and seek.

you know those days where all the little things that wouldn’t irritate you on a normal day are all piling up to where all you want to do is sit someplace, not talk to anyone, and cry until you laugh?
i never understand these days. and i don’t like feeling ways that i don’t understand. but i also don’t understand the words to this song, which is why it’s so calming when i have those horrible days, so i listen to it over and over. and i couldn’t think of anything else to write about, so i’m posting these words that make no sense but make me happy anyways. enjoy, and hug me hard next time you see me.
i hate tests.
 ——
where are we?
what the *heck* is going on?
the dust has only just begun to form
crop circles in the carpet
sinking feeling

spin me round again
and rub my eyes,
this can’t be happening
when busy streets a mess with people
would stop to hold their heads heavy

hide and seek
trains and sewing machines
all those years
they were here first

oily marks appear on walls
where pleasure moments hung before the takeover,
the sweeping insensitivity of this still life

hide and seek
trains and sewing machines (oh, you won’t catch me around here)
blood and tears (hearts)
they were here first

Mmmm whatcha say,
Mmm that you only meant well?
well of course you did
Mmmm whatcha say,
Mmmm that it’s all for the best?
of course it is
Mmmm whatcha say?
Mmmm that it’s just what we need
you decided this
whatcha say?
Mmmm what did she say?

ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut outs
speak no feeling no I don’t believe you
you don’t care a bit,
you don’t care a bit

(hide and seek)
ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut outs

(hide and seek)
speak no feeling no i don’t believe you
you don’t care a bit,
you don’t care a (you don’t care a) bit

(hide and seek)
oh no, you don’t care a bit
oh no, you don’t care a bit

(hide and seek)
oh no, you don’t care a bit
you don’t care a bit
you don’t care a bit
–imogen heap

stories about life and God

it’s ok to be weak.(a post within a post)

i’ve never liked the idea of being weak, inadequate, not good at a certain thing, etc etc etc. i’m competitive. i like being able to do things on my own. i like helping people. i like for people to think that i’m strong. i don’t like being less than the best, i don’t like asking for help, and i hate when i’m not able to help people. and it drives other people crazy when i beat myself up about not being what people need me to be. and worse than anything, i hate letting people see how much i’m hurting.
but God is working on me. several recent things going on have been teaching me.
lauren and i were talking a while ago, and she mentioned 2 corinthians 12:9. it’s talking about how paul rejoiced when he was weak, because God uses weak people and glorifies Himself through them. God doesn’t want perfect people, people who have everything it takes to do a certain job. He’s strong where we’re weak. He wants people who know where they need to trust Him.

now, the thoughts that led to this post. two weeks ago i had written a post titled “beth, what can i do?”(you know, like the song from glee) venting about how hard it’s been for me. but i waited and put it away in my drafts for a while, and then the next week, God got to me. so this next is kind of a tweaked and nice-ified version of what i had originally written.

i’m fixing to be brutally honest. i’m done with being fake and pretending like this is easy.
i hate my church. i hate the emptiness i feel as soon as i walk in. i hate the ugly, picture-less walls. i hate how nothing is the same anymore. as much as i feel like God wants me to help put the youth group back together, my heart is not in this. nothing is changing. things aren’t getting easier or better. i haven’t gone a single sunday without crying. usually i make it until i’m back in my room, but two weeks ago i got up in the middle of jay’s lesson, went in the bathroom, curled up in the shower, and sobbed for twenty minutes. i told God i couldn’t do this anymore. and i heard no answer, so i had no idea whether or not that was cool with Him. but i didn’t know how to tell elizabeth, so i decided to come one more time last week. when youth group was over, i ran outside, sat on a swing, and cried, asking God why it’s so hard for me, why exactly He wants me to do this, why He would choose me when i have nothing left in me, why i can’t let go of the way things used to be, and why it’s so hard for me to hide how much i’m still hurting over this.
His answer shocked me so much i almost fell off my swing. actually it wasn’t quite an answer. like usual, he gave me a song.
“are we happy plastic people, under shiny plastic steeples, with walls around our weakness, and smiles that hide our pain? well if the invitation’s open to every heart that has been broken, maybe then we’ll close the curtain on our stained glass masquerade.”
i played stupid and tried to act like i didn’t know what he was saying to me, but that never lasts long.
it’s ok to be weak. it’s ok to hurt, and it’s ok to cry(because, as much as i hate it, that’s just how i am). and as much as i fought it, i realized too that it’s ok to let people see that i’m weak and hurting. i shouldn’t have to go in every week and try to look happy. because that isn’t what the church is for. they’re there to help me. it doesn’t matter that everyone else is fine with this and no one understands what beth meant to me. they still need me to be real.
and it doesn’t matter if i can’t fill the space beth left behind. i’m not supposed to. more wisdom from lauren: “you don’t have to try to fill beth’s shoes. you can let God use you in your own shoes!” so basically, i need to stop trying to do what i can’t. true, it’ll never be the same. but it can still be good. we have to make it work with what we have. just like camp without britnie reid.
i’ve been here, done that, bought the t-shirt. i should be used to this. why, with every drastic change in my life, does it get harder to let go, not easier?
again, it’s ok. God doesn’t expect me to heal right away. i’m not sure that He minds if i complain a little. as long as i’m not trying to deal with it on my own anymore.
final ps to beth: if you read this, none of this is directed at you. i love you and i’m on your side.

stories about school

sometimes good things DO come from mindlessly checking facebook.

so after green light night(we watched taken, made so much more entertaining by crystal freaking out every five minutes =] ), i come back to my room, and i’m about to just take a shower and go to bed early, but like i usually do when i’m either bored or just can’t think of anything better to do with my life, i sit down to check facebook ‘real quick’. and i see melissa says ‘sardines in founders, meet in ten minutes!’ and i think, well hey, i’m not even tired, why sleep when i can play sardines? so i go. we play a round and a half, then we all kind of migrated to the parking lot in front of WMHK and just sat and started talking. like most random conversations at ciu, we turn to talking about things God has been doing in our lives, sharing stories, and other such awesome stuff. people came and went, some just walking by came and joined for a few minutes then left, and this just went on for two hours. and as people start getting up and leaving, saying they had to go to bed, victoria points out something totally awesome: “won’t it be great when we’re in heaven, and we can just sit and tell stories like this and never have to sleep?”
then i thought of matthew 18:20. it says if two are three are gathered in God’s name, he’s there with them. and i looked around and thought, hey, there’s like 14 of us. think about it.
i can never say it enough times or write it enough ways: i love this place with all my heart. this is exactly where God wants me. and my friends are amazing people.
how have i only been here for 4 weeks?

stories about school

i am full.

i have way too many thoughts in my head. but they’re all good ones. i couldn’t decide on one thing to write about, or one title for this post, then i sat back, and like all good psych majors, thought about how this week is making me feel. and i decided, i feel full. like after thanksgiving dinner kind of full. only it’s my heart, not my stomach.
i am full of…
joy.
leftover excitement from the beach trip.
love.
and thanks and praise to God. how in the world did i deserve such an incredible life? He sent me to a school that i thought only existed in either my dreams or heaven.

it’s Christian life conference week. which pretty much just means that we get to hear the same awesome speaker every day this week. we went through a series on exodus. i have a whole new perspective on the book now. i love how much i’m appreciating the old testament the more i’m here.
i’ve been so unexplainably happy all week long(not that i’m complaining, but i like understanding why i’m feeling how i’m feeling). then me and victoria decided yesterday that the awesomeness of the beach trip still hasn’t worn off of either of us yet. i think i’ve thanked God for it about twelve times a day since sunday morning.
today was our first prayer day. i’ve been excited for this since the day we got here. i didn’t know quite what to expect, but it was pretty much just a relaxing day full of, well prayer. and worship, and an extra hour of sleep(side note: since when do i consider 8 am sleeping in? this place is doing strange things to me), and two talks from the same guy that’s been doing chapel. (ps, did you ever think about how when pharaoh said “throw all the baby boys in the nile”, he forgot to say, “don’t put him in a basket when you do it”, so technically, moses’s mom wasn’t really even doing anything wrong? yeah, we all loved that.) walking around campus this morning and seeing people praying together everywhere was amazing to me. i’m not sure why i keep being surprised by how much i see Jesus here. i keep thinking it can’t get any better, then it does.
i love it here…

stories about school

me, Jesus, my awesome friends, and the beach.

only a week before beth left, i had been craving a youth group retreat. they’ve been the highlights of my year since 11th grade. getting away from life, and spending a weekend hanging out with my friends and getting to know God better, it just doesn’t get any better than that. or so i thought.

well, then this weekend happened. indescribable amazingness. and it was so much better than any retreat.

the place where we stayed was so beautiful. we had the ocean in our backyard. as in, literally. at low tide, there was sand, but most of the time, if you walked halfway down our back steps, you were right in the waves. there were rocks we had to walk over to get to the actual beach(our house was kinda parallel to the ocean), i sat on them with jesus and watched the sun come up the first morning.
we slept outside the first night. and while i was laying there, looking at the stars, listening to the waves splashing on the rocks, i tried to think of words to thank God with. you know those times when you just want to praise him, but you’re speechless? so you just hope he can look past the lack of words in your head and read by what you feel in your heart. i had a lot of those moments there.
saturday night a bunch of us sat out on the porch and worshiped together for a while, then we came inside, sang some more songs, and a few people had awesome stories of how God had used them that day. it amazed me; we may be kind of in vacation mode and we may not have purposely set out to go do missions, but if we’re ready, He’ll still work through us.
sunday morning we got up and had a sunrise service on the beach. the tide was out so there was actually sand to walk on outside our house. just like at camp, worshiping outside is my favorite way. it’s like God is more real to me when i see nature around me instead of walls.
while we were all sitting at breakfast talking about the weekend, i looked around and started thinking like JD does at the end of every episode. if my life were like scrubs, and i was JD, and the weekend was an episode, this is how the monologue would go.
there are 57 of us. half of which i had never met until friday. but i’m figuring out more and more that ciu is the perfect picture of the body of Christ. everyone just loves each other. i feel like i’m with family everywhere i go, even if i’ve only had a 5 minute conversation with them. i don’t even know what the best part of this weekend has been, between getting close to so many new people, getting away from the real world to enjoy creation, feeling God’s presence everywhere…it was just the best 3 days. such and answer to prayer in so many ways.
thanks student union, you made my semester. =]

ok. now the fun side.

what we’ve learned over this weekend:
1. we DO have 17 people with us!
2. don’t confuse the baby turtles!
3. when you walk on the beach at night, your footprints sparkle.
4. eggs not only wake up, but they need to drink milk.
5. my name is spencer.
6. melissa’s name is linda bob, but she goes by bob, she’s a grad student, she’s from alaska, and she’s one of ten kids.
7. looking up a doll’s skirt is never the best idea.
8. owl city is the best stuff to listen to when you’re lost in florence.
9. elephants are awkward.
10. spoons is a traumatizing game.(sorry dav ;] )
11. your eyebrows have no use except for facial expressions.

QUOTES:
amelia:[to me] hey princess!
sam: [also to me] hey spencer!
[long awkward silence in which i’m wondering if he’s kidding and i just don’t get it, or if he’s talking to someone else, and sam is wondering why i’m not saying anything]
me: ok, why is my name spencer?
sam: wait, is that not your name?

amelia: we found a bath!
me: a bat??
elizabeth: a bag??

sam: GET UP GET UP GET UP!
me: SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!

[these next are all from arpit]
“the stars are like sugar in the sky!”
“i don’t want to see anymore food! *victoria hides her leftovers* *5 minutes pass* mm, BROWNIES!”
“but…deer season, is in winter?”
“if you’ve heard that indians are cheap, well, we are.”
 “don’t leave me behind! if you take away the flashlight i’m going to snuff all of you!”