just a thought.

and i wish that time would just slow down…

we are SIX weeks into the semester already. we have two little bitty blink-once-and-they’re-over weeks until spring break. (seriously. you people need to stop blinking so much. you’re speeding my life up and i don’t appreciate it.) i’m still writing 2010 on my papers and saying the words “this semester” referring to the fall, and the spring is almost over. this has to stop.
don’t get me wrong, i want summer to come because i want to be at camp, but i like my friends a lot too. i don’t want to spend three months apart from them and i don’t want to get closer to the day when we’ll live all over campus instead of in the same building.
not that most of my friends are freshmen actually. there’s a whole lot of people i can’t wait to live apart from, now that i think about it. it’s sadder thinking about all my friends that are graduating. i have more of those than i realized. and i can’t stop kicking myself for not coming here in the first place. then i would have known them for two years instead of just one.(but i would have had the same complaints about the ones that were seniors last year and i never met. wow, that is sad…i’m shutting up now)
and i also have no plan for next year, and i like plans. they’re comforting. like a cheat sheet. i don’t know where i’ll be living or who i’ll live with and i don’t want to decide any of it this soon.(calm down. yes i’m staying at ciu. they don’t make any other schools this awesome, why would i leave?)
there are already so many things i don’t like about next year and it hasn’t even started yet. but since it’ll be starting tomorrow, i may as well come to terms with it now, right?
i like my roommate(probably changing). i like my soccer team(half of it, plus the coach, will be gone and different). i like my schedule(i got lucky and worked out my classes so they were at the same times as last semester, but i doubt if i can do that for a third time in a row) i like my room(i have a creeper window, it has carpet so i never have to sweep it, i don’t have to climb any stairs to get to it, heck i don’t even have to walk more than 5 feet down the hall to get to it. why would i want to give that up?).
i want time to stand still long enough for me to enjoy and appreciate things the way they are, maybe even get sick of them, and then i’ll be ready for new stuff. last semester crawled by slower than dances with wolves(longest, most boring movie i ever saw, and i watched it when i was sick so i couldn’t even do anything else at the same time) and by the end i was ready for everything to change and flip inside out. this one is NOT cooperating.

just a thought.

stories about life and God

good enough.

[if you don’t know what any of this is referencing, it’s probably because you haven’t asked, and that’s okay because i don’t want anyone to ask. in a week, everyone will know. for now, in the nicest way possible, i’m begging everyone not to talk about it.]

i really don’t know what to say about any of this. all i’ve done since 9:19 am yesterday morning is either 1)cry, 2)yell at God, 3)try to stay away from all those involved so they won’t ask about it, or 4)cry some more. (just one more reason i keep trying to be by myself, because i never know when i might start crying again, and i hate crying in front of people unless i’m at camp)

there’s no situation that i don’t get a little bit of freedom from after writing about it. so i’m just gonna write.

i don’t WANT to try to pull a life lesson out of this, because i don’t WANT to be dealing with it. i just want to push it under the rug and forget about it. but i keep feeling like it has something to do with this little thing that i’ve been thinking about all semester. this thing of being good enough.

i hate the idea of being inadequate, weak, or just plain “not good enough”. i hate that i’m not good enough in school for my family to talk about me to everyone like they’re proud of me. i hate that i’m not good enough at soccer. and mostly for now, i hate that i’m not good enough for this other deal that’s had me in such a mess the past two days. i try. i try so much it’s painful to watch(so i’ve been told; once referring to dance, once about my grades at csu, and once about the nameless broom game. that last one i actually laughed at and still do[inside joke from the old days of youth group]). but most of the time that only frustrates me more, and makes me feel even more like i’m failing everybody.

as i’ve been reading more of captivating, i’ve been resting in the fact that God thinks i’m good enough, and i don’t have to do anything to be that, or even to stay that. He does not need me to fix anything. and i was so close to letting myself believe it. or at least act like i believe it(you know how some things make sense in your head, but they just don’t feel true? it’s like that. it’s up in my brain and just needs to sink down to my heart).

i’m working so hard to focus on that. and to remember that God has better things. things i’m perfectly good enough for and will be even happier with than i would have been if my other plans had happened.

but for now it just sucks. i can’t imagine something better than that. i don’t want to have to try to imagine something better. i hate that i’m so upset about what i expected to be fine with, and i hate that i was so shocked by it. i thought i was prepared and i thought i had accepted it, until it happened.

“you had hopes. you know you did.” yes. i did. but i didn’t know it until too late. my heart is stupid and unteachable.

anyways, while i was going on a walk to hide from more questions, i took out my ipod and told God to just please give me a song if He wouldn’t give me an explanation. so i scrolled through, felt like tenth avenue north, put their newest album on shuffle, and this song came up first. the water works started again at the third line. (i can’t have it. why can’t i stop wanting it?)

i’ve got voices in my head, and they are so strong, and i’m getting sick of this.
oh Lord, how long will i be haunted by the fear that i believe?
my hands like locks on cages, on these dreams i can’t set free.

but if i let these dreams die, if i lay down all my wounded pride
if i let these dreams die, will i find that letting go lets me come alive?

so empty my hands, fill up my heart, capture my mind with You.

so these voices speak instead, and what’s right is wrong, and i’m giving into it.
please Lord, how long will i be held captive by the lies that i believe?
my heart’s in constant chaos, and it keeps me so deceived.

but if i let these dreams die, if i could just lay down my dark desire,
if i let these dreams die, will i find you brought me back to life?

cuz my mind is like a building burning down, i need your grace to keep me, keep me from the ground
and my heart is just a prisoner of war, a slave to what it wants and to what i’m fighting for.

so won’t you empty my hands, fill up my heart, capture my mind with you.
i need you my Lord, i need you, i need you now Lord…

stories about life and God

a little newsboys, and a lot of God.

turn the page, can’t turn the light out
every word, every page, carries to my soul.
dark letters on a page, singing so loud
where did i go wrong not to hear You?

see, i’m really dense when it comes to God telling me things. i prefer writing on the wall, He prefers making me blind for a while. but what happens is, eventually i see that what i thought was one thing was actually God giving me the answer i’ve been looking for. 

eighteen years, i guess it was all right
i’ll let you do the thinking and i’ll just bide my time.
father to son, sunday hand-me-down
where did i go wrong not to hear your song?

for real. it’s been being sung all around me in so many different ways, and i’ve only just started really listening to it in the past few months. 

it’s a beautiful sound, moving through the crowd
voices lifted up on high to you.
it’s a beautiful song, we’ve only just begun,
to understand rediscovering you.

that’s what my whole year, and especially this semester, has been about. rediscovering God. figuring out who He really is versus the God that i squeezed into my own mold, my preferences, the God i wanted versus the God i need(who turns out to be better than the one i thought i wanted anyways. it’s a win-win deal)

to have found You, and still be looking for You
it’s the soul’s paradox of love
you fill my cup, i lift it up for more
i won’t stop now that i’m free.
i’ll be chasing you like you chase me.

i’m only just now realizing how much God wants me. and now i’m wanting Him more than i ever have, and i still feel like i don’t want Him enough. but i’m in on the chase now.

something tells me it’s all right.
you know it’s gonna be all right.

yes. it’s all right. i’m all right again. i had forgotten what that felt like.  

stories about nothing and everything

mondays/more homework, please/spiritual claustrophobia/the idea of "talk to me, not about me."

1. i like having a real day of the week where i get a lot done but am not totally required to stick to any schedule. aside from soccer, i have no place that i need to beat any certain time. i could sleep in if i wanted, even though i wake up extra early to have an extra good quiet time and eat breakfast and work out, and i could take the day off and not work at all, even though i usually do most of my homework for the whole week today. but it doesn’t mess me up too bad if none of that happens.
2. WHY did i listen to ADS when they told me i shouldn’t take 18 credits? i know they keep telling me i’m a “very special case”, but i KNOW myself, i KNOW i’m really good with time stuff and i KNOW how to make myself get things done. for me, the more balls i have in the air, the better i work and the better i sleep at night.
what people usually say to that is “but even if you got everything done, you still wouldn’t have time for anything else.” not true. even with herm, 15 credits has me bored out of my life and is still leaving me plenty of time for whatever else i feel like doing. (my only rule with work is that i have to have enough to keep me busy but not so much that i don’t have time to spend with people, because if i make it to the end of the day and have done a week’s worth of homework but haven’t gotten any good conversation in, i feel like i wasted my day)
3. there are two things that are not meant to be done in enclosed spaces: running, and spending time with God. i feel more “with” God when i’m surrounded by things He made(i prefer water, but if i have trees around me and the sky is really pretty, that works too). when i’m outside, i feel more like i’m having a face-to-face conversation, whereas if i’m inside, i feel more like we’re skyping(or even worse, if there are no windows it’s like talking on the phone. heck no, no thank you.)
and then running, well, the whole point of that is to get you places. treadmills stifle all that’s important to life, and they hurt my already bad knees too much(and they make me feel fat. i don’t want an inanimate object to tell me i just ran for an hour and only burned 200 calories). what’s the point of running if you can’t smell the outside, or feel any wind, or have a destination in mind?
4. i’ve been having some really great conversations with God the past week(thank you, chaplains’ chapel). this morning i was sitting and realizing that i talk way more ABOUT God than i do TO God. it’s one slight disadvantage to Bible college. i study Him so much that i forget to have quality one-on-one time. i’m actually like that with a lot of my friends; i think about them and wish they were with me so much that i forget to talk to them.
so i figured out that while not in the same way, “talk to me, not about me” applies to God too. if you never talk to him, you have no reason to talk about him or act like you’re bff. true it actually is a good thing to talk about him, unlike with people, but just like with people, it’s more important to make sure that you’re talking TO them and investing in a real relationship.

and now i’m gonna have a good monday, and do the rest of my homework for the week. and try not to bounce off the walls while waiting the next 7 hours and 40 minutes for interviews tonight.

in case you’ve missed me posting my countdowns on facebook(i think most people are glad for the break, hehe), there are: 98/33/19/16/11/7 days until camp/our first game/spring break/res life announcements/ridge haven/my return to facebook.

stories about life and God

God has not given us a spirit of fear…

the main point of the post is everything in blue.(HA. it’s a blueprint…yeah i think i’m so happy i’m getting delirious.)
the things that i feel i need to explain, but are mostly unnecessary in other people’s minds are in green. you can skip them and still totally get what i’m trying to say. but if you have time or just feel like it, read on.
and the good stuff that’s on subject, but not absolutely necessary for getting my point, is in red.
all that being said, you get the full effect of my thought process if you read the whole thing, in order, but if you get bored easy or are just in a hurry, then just read the blue.
for a few months i’ve been on the long, scary, uncertain climb up the hill, not able to see when it would end, sick of being on that particular part of it, and now, i feel like i’ve finally gotten to the fun hill on my roller coaster of a year where i get to relax and breathe and remember how much i love it.
i just thought of that concept as i wrote it, and i really like it, so i think i’ll write a whole new post after this just on that. but that isn’t the point of this one so i’ll bookmark that thought.
[side note: i love windows 7. it’s so much easier to write when you can post-it your thoughts to your desktop and remember to write about them later, it keeps me from rambling like i’m doing now and fixing to stop]
this morning as i was walking out of our last interview(best day EVER but that’s one other thing i’ll write on in a few weeks), i got that verse ^^^ in my head. see, here’s what happened.
over the past few weeks i’ve been really figuring out how God works. specifically how to distinctify between His voice and all the others in my head(not in the crazy way, but i think so much and about so many things at once, plus i’m always replaying things in my head that people tell me, so it seems like i never have just my own voice in my head). 
i’ve always had a lot of trouble with this, so much so that half the time when i end up obeying God, it’s not even on purpose, it’s more like i just happened to want the same thing He did but didn’t even ask Him for an opinion. a lot of times i can want a good thing so much that i just assume it’s what God wants.
so a couple weeks ago, as i was filling out my FLT application(something i’d been excited about since like september), i was freaking out thinking of all the reasons why i’m not good enough. and i was wondering if maybe that was God telling me i wasn’t ready yet. then these words, said to me when i first applied at camp, flashed in my mind:
satan is scared of you.
see, what she meant was that, in that case, satan didn’t want me to go to camp. he knew what great things God would use me for, and he was using whatever means he could to make sure that couldn’t happen. he wanted nothing more than for me to ignore the thing i was made to do. 
i’m sure he has his different ways of scaring all of us. in my case, if you point out my weaknesses or my chances of failure, i panic. and sadly, most of the time i end up running away.
as i thought of that, i wondered, couldn’t God also use that to show me that something wasn’t His will? how can i tell satan messing with my head apart from God gently pointing out that i was going the wrong way?
and then i thought of 2 timothy 1:7. i realized, fear is never from God. yes, God does have ways of telling us when we’re hearing Him wrong, but fear isn’t one of them.
then i flashed back to last year at this time. remember the guatemala debacle? yeah, i’m not bitter…anyways. i am still confident that i did the right thing. if i had gone, i think i would have regretted it.
i won’t go into the whole story; ask me if you really want the details. i like telling it.
the difference in that situation, and others that i’ve run away from and regretted? i wasn’t scared. i was completely ready and willing and so excited. i had absolutely no reservations, and then one by one, doors started closing until i came to the conclusion that God was telling me to wait.
even though i was angry and disappointed and confused at Him for saying no, underneath all the other things i was feeling, i felt this overwhelming peace. just because you don’t like having to do it doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing the right thing.
peace is from God. fear is not.
so i realized that the only thing keeping me from applying was my fear of my being weak and inadequate and not good enough. when i turned my focus off of myself and onto what i thought God wanted, it was crystal clear that i needed to do it. so i did.(plus, if i have satan trying to get me to not to, then it’s probably because God has something really amazing in mind.)
last night i was laying in bed thinking about the next day (which is now of course today) and i was telling God how even though i was sure that i was doing the right thing,(and of course i do WANT to be an FLT, i was just really stressing about the steps to get to that point. it’s like wanting to go to oregon but not wanting to drive all that way. not that there’s much to see in oregon, but it was the first far away place i thought of) i was sick of being scared and i told God to please just grab hold of my stupid heart and flip it inside out; change my attitude and help me to trust that the interviews would go just the way He planned and to help me to be okay with however everything turned out.
He actually interrupted my prayer by knocking me in the head with this almost dizzying wave of peace. and paul knew what he was talking about when he said that the peace of God transcends all understanding. because i didn’t get it. i thought, wait, that was too easy, why am i suddenly not worrying? then i started laughing. yes, out loud, by myself and at myself. yes, at 1:30 am. i haven’t had many prayers answered so instantly. and when i realize awesome things, i laugh.
i kept on thinking and realized more and more about how God’s will works, and how it’s good for all involved if they just sit back and follow it, and next thing i knew it was 7 am and i was too excited to sleep anymore.
all morning long i was cruising along in this Jesus-filled crazy happy mood, and besides having a whole lot of fun with it and getting to know some people better, the more time went on the more i settled into resting in God. 
i have no idea whether i’ll get in or not but i do know that God has this whole deal in His hands, and He knows exactly who He wants on res life next year, and as much as i want to be a part of it, i more want God’s plan to play out in the best way it can.
so if i’m one of them, i’ll run screaming down monticello rejoicing(calm down. you know i’m kidding), and if i’m not, i’ll be kind of disappointed, but at peace. i just want what God wants.
i love this. i’m betting i’m more content than any cucumber ever was. not that i ever understood the phrase “content as a cucumber” anyways.
stories about school

"why IS ciu awesome?"

someone asked a few days ago where i thought of my blog title.
good question.

i started this the day after i moved in here.(my first post was originally written as a facebook note, then i added it here, if you wondered what it was doing there. if you’ve read it you know what i mean) originally i only planned on using this to write about things God teaches me here, and just fun stories of all my random adventures. so i knew the name would have to have something ciu related in it. and even though i have friends from 11 countries(mexico, chad, hungary, indonesia, japan, belarus, england, canada, china, thailand, and korea), there still aren’t a whole ton of internationals, which i always thought was funny even before i came here, so, the best i could come up with was to take out the international and replace it with my lame attempt to describe how much i love this place.

after i finished a rant to that effect, she asked why exactly it was awesome. and i did a pretty sucky job of explaining, i think. you know how it’s hard for me to talk about camp because i love it so much? so i write about it instead. (and even that isn’t good enough, i don’t think) ciu is pretty close to that. and i realized, i write so much more about camp here than i do about the initial subject of all this.
so i’m doing what i do best and making a list.
disclaimer: this isn’t what i would put on a list of reasons people should come here. this is just why i personally think this is heaven on earth.

1. people are NICE.
i remember jamie saying that our first night here, and she didn’t even have csu to compare it to. but really. i had met about 30 people in my first two hours. i didn’t even make that many friends in my whole year at that other place.
2. upperclassmen actually like freshmen. (i know i’m not one, but most people think i am, and i count myself in with them a lot since i do live with them and we’ve been at ciu the same amount of time)
i was so surprised the first day that all the old students moved back in, and these two seniors come up to my table, and they’re like “are you guys freshmen?” and i was like “well, almost” and they get all excited like they just met a celebrity and they’re like “can we PLEASE sit with you?” (still one of my favorite moments of the whole year)
3. people actually act like Christians.
i know i shouldn’t be surprised by that, but again, i had a horrible example of a “Christian school” before. so i figured, it can’t be as good as it sounds. see, like 5 days before we moved in, i came to ciu to fill some stuff out and talk to mike thompson, and kimberly gray was in the office and she showed me around and i was asking her all this stuff, and everything she was telling me i kept thinking, this isn’t real, this is too good to be true, something has to give. but i still haven’t been disappointed, and i really doubt if i will be now.
4. everyone likes it here and wants to be here.
i know everyone’s getting sick of the csu comparisons, but that IS the biggest reason i like ciu so much. i never hear anyone hear say they’re only here because it’s close to home, or because it’s the only place they could afford(that one isn’t really possible to say here), or because their parents wouldn’t pay anywhere else(that is probably true for some people, but it’s not the only reason they’re here). i know everyone has things they don’t like about it(yes, even me, as much as i go on and on about how great it is), but not enough that they’re constantly whining about it.
5. it’s so tiny.
after about two weeks, i had seen every face at least once. by this point i even know most people’s first names even if i’ve never talked to them. i never wanted to go to a school where i was always seeing people i didn’t know. i love the family feel of campus. plus, i never got lost in my first week here, but even if i had needed to ask some senior where something was, they NEVER would have laughed at me. (see number 2 above) not that i speak from experience or anything…rrr.
6. the professors, and even the president, want to and really try to get to know their students.
dr jones knows my name. i can’t even tell you what csu’s president looked like. most of my teachers know my name, and even if they don’t, they at least recognize me if i come to their office one day. if i walked past most of my teachers at the other place they wouldn’t be able to tell you if i was in their class or not.(with the exception of those from public speaking[that teacher only liked me because i was funny, my speeches sucked], english[woman thought every word out of my head was golden, i’m pretty sure everyone in my class hated me], and my advisor who also taught my general psych, child psych, and freshman seminar[she’s still one of my favorite old ladies ever, i could sit in her office and talk to her all day if i was lonely])
7. it’s the perfect distance from home.
this doesn’t apply to many people, but whatever. i get to have whatever level of separation i feel like. i can go home every night or never. it’s actually in my control here. (i had thought 2 hours away was ok, but when you have no friends and no license, you may as well be 2 states away since you still never leave except on breaks)
8. they don’t make us write papers much.
i know i haven’t taken many classes here yet, but even from what i hear from upperclassmen, most classes have a lot more reading than writing. heck, csu even made us write papers in math class.
9. God wants me here.
obviously, anything will be ten times better when it’s smack in the middle of God’s will. but when you understand WHY God wants what He wants, it’s even better. now, as much as i hated it there, i am still convinced that God did call me to csu. even though He didn’t plan on keeping me there, but that one year was still part of the plan. but i didn’t understand why He did that to me, and sometimes i’m still not sure. here, i totally get it. and i’m never leaving. i’m gonna write a whole other post on this now.

stories about life and God

this is the gist of my "flight."

i hate the bumper stickers that say “God is my copilot.” i love the ones that say “if God is your copilot, switch seats!”
yesterday i was thinking about planes(i don’t know where it came from either), and then i thought of my life.
and i’m not sure either of those bumper stickers makes sense.
i think that we’re like pilots without licenses. we’re in the cockpit and everything, but we have the best pilot ever sitting with us telling us exactly where to go and what to do and how to do it. sometimes we don’t get why He’s giving us certain directions, but if we follow them, then we see eventually. sometimes the sky is clear and it’s so easy to navigate that we feel like we’ve got this and we forget to listen. sometimes it’s foggy, or storming, and we get really crazy sounding directions and don’t want to do them. but the sooner you follow them, the sooner you get out of the storm.

my life makes a lot of sense. because God was there for the whole thing.
here’s what happened.
when i was seven, God told my dad to move us to south carolina and work at ciu. so he did. it was real hard on most of my family(i remember being excited about the warm weather, and having air conditioning, and being closer to myrtle beach, and i don’t remember missing virginia much at all), and i remember them all not always understanding why we had to go.

that was so that ciu would be a part of my life for a long time.

as i got older, i said i would never EVER go to school there, even though it was practically free. see older posts of mine for my ridiculous reasons.
when i was sixteen[almost seventeen since it was summer], i met ashleigh newell and she told me about csu. a few months later i felt God calling me there. more loudly than i’d ever heard him call before. so a year later, i went.
you know the story. it was and is my idea of hell on earth. while i was there, i didn’t understand what God was trying to do. but just like Job, He just had to keep letting more and more crap into my life until i figured it out.
spring of 2010 rolled around and i discovered that since i was failing half my classes, i wouldn’t be able to afford to come back the next year. my family jumped on this and said i could go to ciu the next year. i was NOT happy with God. i started begging Him to give me a way to stay at csu. anything to not have to go to ciu. yes, i wanted that bad to not come here.
God said no.

that[the bad stuff that happened that year] was to show me how good i could have it at ciu.

in may, i started applying. as i got the essay(600 words on why i wanted to go to school there), i almost decided to live at home and work for a year then go back to charleston. i thought i would have to completely BS the whole thing. so i started doing just that. i started mentioning things that i thought other people liked about the school, reasons why other people might feel God leading them to go there, and as i wrote, my heart started shifting. i remember i was in the car on the way to north carolina writing it on the back of an old flyer for some youth group thing. i stopped midsentence, and laughed out loud. i realized that i actually MEANT everything i was writing. i DID want a small school where i would know everyone, i DID want teachers who cared about me and were committed to Christ, and i DID think that God would grow me and teach me here more than anywhere else. (i was so excited i ended up writing a whole other page and had to edit it down to 600 words)

that was to show me that God really did want good things for me, even when i didn’t always realize it.

then in the middle of that summer, i called my mom one tuesday night from camp and asked if i had gotten accepted yet.
she didn’t have good news.
remember how i sucked at life and didn’t do all that well at the other place? it didn’t look so good to ciu. they sent me a letter saying that they couldn’t accept me because i didn’t meet the academic requirements, but they were sending my application to be appealed.
i didn’t get it. i had finally WANTED to go, and now God wasn’t letting me. i talked to someone that night about it, probably jenna but i can’t remember who exactly, and they said “wow, and i thought you hadn’t even wanted to go that bad, and now you’re begging God to find you a way to go?”(not in a mean way. they were just surprised at how much i had changed)

that was God showing me just how much i really did want it.

obviously i did get accepted eventually.
and from all that, i have yet another testimony of romans 8:28. God took all of these potentially bad things, and in the end He guided them so they turned out more absolutely perfect beyond anything i could have imagined for my life.
a lot of times i think about what i would do if i were given the chance to go back, knowing how it would all turn out. would i go to ciu my freshman year?
no. i wouldn’t. because there was a little more to it than just showing me how bad other places are.

that was because God planned, the whole time, for me to come in at this time, with this group of people. to be on this hall, with these girls. everything would have been different if i’d come last year. it would have been good, but it wouldn’t have been the best.

every little detail had a purpose. and EVERYTHING turned out exactly how God wanted it. nothing happened by accident, and nothing could have gone differently and still turned out the way things did. He didn’t want me to just have it good. He gave me the best. the who-even-knew-this-level-of-perfect-existed, best.
all because He just plain loves me. how crazy is THAT?
my life is so beautiful. and it’s barely even started.

stories about camp

"why do you want to return as a camp la vida staffer?"

i am FINALLY buckling down and filling out my camp application(jenna won our bet). and this question gets me every year. first of all because it makes me laugh; asking why i want to come back to camp is like asking the sky why it will be blue tomorrow: it’s just the way things should be. i belong at camp. camp is home.
and second of all, because it should be the easiest part of the whole form. but i have trouble knowing where to start, and how to keep myself from writing three pages. how do i fit a good enough explanation in a paragraph?(i did it, but it was hard)
so, since i have no limitations here, i’m gonna list every reason i can think of.

i want to come back to camp because…
1. i miss my girls. so much. now and then i wake up in the middle of the night and for a split second i think to go check on them, but sadly, i don’t have any. or i start to walk out my door and(i did this the other day actually) i turn around to start counting to 12. i miss their off the wall thoughts, i miss their questions in Bible study(both the profound-beyond-their-years kind and the kind that make me laugh until i cry), i miss them fighting over who gets to hold my hand next, i even miss the homesick ones. i miss letting them know how special and wonderful they are, especially the ones who don’t hear that at home. i just miss getting to love on them every day.
2. i miss my friends. i miss encouraging them, i miss getting hugs, and i miss telling all our stories on fridays. i miss weekends where we have near death experiences on the way to columbia, or tori steals my teddy bear in the middle of the night, or we spend a sunday in the admin eating my sour patch kids and watching youtube and dancing in the parking lot in the rain.
3. i love being in the middle of nowhere, with no cell phone, no facebook, no twitter.
4. camp is God’s summer home. i don’t miss Him much during the year now that i found where He is when it isn’t summer(ciu, if you couldn’t tell), but i still feel a different kind of closeness out there.
5. it’s the most beautiful place in the world, rain or shine, and i want to wake up every morning and walk through spider webs and hear birds and smell pine trees everywhere.
6. i don’t want to live at home and get a real job. i don’t care if it would make me two or three times as much money(and i doubt if i’m even exaggerating much), i’d rather do something that makes a difference than make pizzas all day.(daniel could get me a job at domino’s right this minute if i asked him)
7. i love missions, and i love missionaries. i love their stories and their kids and i wait all year long to hear from them and hang out with them every day for ten weeks.
8. i laugh a lot at camp, and the more you laugh the longer you live, and i like being alive. so basically, i’ll come to camp again because i don’t want to die yet. hehe.
9. i like mail, and i get lots of it at camp. i also like sending it, so i’m sure my friends would appreciate me being there because that means they get letters, and i write awesome letters.
10. every year i wonder what God can possibly teach me about Him, myself, or life in general, and every year He shows up and serves up a new lesson about all three. i am bouncing off the walls waiting to see what He’ll think up this year.
11. i’m happier at camp than i am anywhere else.
12. i really like having a walkie in my bedroom. i wish we had those at school. wouldn’t that be awesome? imagine at 1 am: “lauren, switch to 2” “i’m here” “go make the girls in the bathroom shut up” “ok, back to 1”
you know it’d be cool.
13. i miss flory and miss minnie’s cooking, a lot. i wish they ran the cafeteria here.
14. i don’t have a low ropes course in my backyard.
15. or a pool. and i wouldn’t have little kids to play in it with if i did.
16. i don’t get a flag or bragging rights for cleaning my room at home, all i get is a list of things i still need to fix.
17. worship every night. nuff said.
18. there is no other place where random singing is completely acceptable and strongly encouraged. do you know what kind of looks i would get if i busted out in the beaver song in the middle of walmart?(tori, let’s do that this summer. winnsboro could use a little excitement.)
19. shower races!
20. i like to walk. we do that a lot there.
21. we don’t compost at my house. shameful.
22. i learn more from my girls than i do from my friends at home.
23. i love hugs, and they’re a big thing around there.
24. i am having SERIOUS slushie withdrawals.
25. it’s my calling and my purpose and my passion. like that runner dude in chariots of fire, i “feel God’s pleasure” when i’m there. i’m playing a part in something eternal, something bigger than just me. i’m serving God the way i was made to, and that’s the most exciting feeling in the world. i haven’t found that anywhere else yet.
26. i just plain love it. and that’s enough reason right there.

stories about nothing and everything

play doh vs concrete.

i hate change probably 86% of the time. even the littlest things. i don’t like setting my clock back and forth, i don’t like getting new shoes unless i can keep the old ones, and when i was little i even hated getting a new toothbrush.
but as much as i dread and resist change, there are some that are just what i need.
i was talking to someone the other day about high school friendships never lasting. and i know why that’s true of most of them. they either try too hard to keep things the same, or they see that they can’t stay the same and just drop out of each other’s lives.
without even meaning to or thinking about it, me and my best friend didn’t do that.
it’s pretty simple, we’re just two dr pepper addicts with identical minds who understand how life works and don’t freak out about it.
i think that life is like a hill that people roll down together. most people’s friendships are like a big ball of concrete. it’s soft at first, but the longer it stays together, it sets to where it won’t move anymore. so once it’s like that, the further down the hill it rolls, it starts to break. but play doh on the other hand, while it’s still made of the same stuff, its shape changes to compensate when it bumps into something.
i used to say we were like crazy glue, sticking together no matter how life tries to pull us apart, but i came up with the play doh concept a couple minutes ago and fell in love with it.(i don’t care if most people think i’m crazy, God gave me the coolest brain ever. how do i come up with this stuff?) we do stick together, but we move along with life at the same time.
and we aren’t even trying. it just works. this thing that we refer to as “us” is just a great big blessing straight from heaven that i will never understand. and i’m pretty sure that no matter what our lives throw at us, we’ll always be like that. our conversations in sonic parking lots will just change with the years and they won’t be at 2 am anymore.

stories about nothing and everything

a great big happy list.

100 things that make me smile…

1. Jesus.
2. being outside.
3. sunshine.
4. rain(on tuesdays, thursdays, sundays or saturdays at least…)
5. HUGS. lots and lots and lots of hugs.
6. pasta night.
7. goalie-ing for fun. just the sheer joy of seeing the ball coming, jumping, catching it, and falling in the mud, and hearing how happy i made everybody. i don’t need anything else. no pressure. nobody waiting to tell me what i did wrong whether i saved it or not. no one yelling words at me that i don’t understand. not even a score. just me and the ball and the ground.
8. the after-practice smell in my room.
9. my ipod.
10. pictures.
11. snowglobes.
12. walker b.
13. chapel.
14. hall meetings.
15. mail. real, handwritten mail. especially in box 1094(hint hint hint ;] )
16. being encouraged.
17. encouraging other people.
18. christmas.
19. laughing.
20. friends. (those amazing wonderful awesome people)
21. friends. (the best show in the world)
22. full house.
23. sleepovers.
24. popcorn.
25. the smell of daniel’s car. (domino’s delivery guy=permanent pizza scent on the passenger seat)
26. people.
27. hearing people’s stories.
28. hermeneutics.
29. eggs. not the ones from the caf with the weird yellow stuff dripping off of em. my own scrambled eggs. (i make great ones)
30. song lyrics that perfectly fit my day.
31. the days where i feel like all i need is Jesus and no one else.(i know i should feel that way every day, and wish i did)
32. thursday nights.
33. my twin. ;]
34. the smell of new pointe shoes.
35. sunrises.
36. camp.
37. little kids.
38. summer.
39. warm weather.
40. the beach in september.
41. the ocean.
42. downtown charleston.
43. scrapbooking.
44. ultimate frisbee.
45. acoustic#3 by the goo goo dolls. (it just came up on my itunes, and i do love it a whole whole lot, so i added it.)
46. being me.
47. riding in the gator.
48. the lake at camp. at any time of the day, but preferably around 7 pm in the summer.
49. my walker b sweatpants.
50. pajamas.
51. the princess bride.
52. owl city.
53. my bed.
54. the number 54.
55. the number 7.
56. cabin 56!!!!!!!!
57. jenna. =]
58. guatemala. or the idea of it. i’ll make it there someday.
59. books.
60. paul.(as in, the coolest missionary ever, or you might know him best as the guy who wrote all that great stuff in the new testament)
61. north vs south.
62. blue slushies.
63. making people feel loved.
64. monkeys.
65. the energizer bunny.
66. dashboard confessional.
67. singing in the car with people who don’t care how any of us sound.
68. spontaneous road trips.
69. facebook.
70. writing.
71. journaling.(i really don’t put ALL my thoughts online, as much as it might sound. [i have lots of thoughts.])
72. swings.
73. baseball.
74. midtown.
75. thinking.
76. seeing people who i haven’t seen in a long time.
77. happy people.
78. meeting new people.
79. talking for hours about nothing and everything. (like every night of welcome week in sarah and paulina’s room)
80. prayer days.
81. water.
82. jumping in pools when it’s freezing cold out.
83. mudsliding.
84. the color yellow. (my favorite color is actually blue and purple, but yellow just looks so happy it’s hard not to smile around it.)
85. being wanted.
86. chocolate milk.
87. countdowns.
88. twitter.
89. glee. watching the show or listening to the music, doesn’t matter. i have never come back un-smiling from either.
90. running into campers in random places around south carolina.(one of them is on my brother’s cross country team, and i didn’t even know it until months after their season had started) especially when they recognize me and i hear a voice screaming “MISS LINDA!!!!!!” and then i turn around and get tackled by a little girl smiling her face off. it’s the best feeling in the world.
91. yellow highlighters.
92. unexpectedly finding out an absolutely random thing i have in common with someone.
93. my cat.
94. just ciu in general.
95. my roommate, my RA, and my FLTs. coolest people ever to live with.
96. bloons tower defense 4. (go to ninjakiwi.com and play. it’s addictive)
97. my grandma.
98. baking cookies with matthew.
99. stars. when you’re out in the middle of nowhere(like camp, or the farm, or fripp island) and you can see all kinds of em. like sugar all over the sky ;]
100. my soccer team. (i really love yall. a lot.)