stories about memories

"that was so long ago."

i was trying to remember ridge haven ’08 the other day. i realized how fuzzy my memory is now. i have all the really general details, but i can’t remember any specific conversations or much of what we did.
and then i started thinking of other things that are like that now.

1. in the case of my first ridge haven, of course i remember being there, and how it rained or at least was clouded over the entire time until sunday when the sun was out and it was perfect(it would be the morning that we left that it would be nice), and sardines on saturday night(i like that i can laugh now at the reason why i remember that particular game). i remember who i spent the most time with(that makes me sad now) and how i had the car that everyone was jealous of(and it’s still my favorite group of all time: beth driving, with aaron healey, jonathan, josh z, melanie, shane and me). but i can’t remember what we talked about. except my hate for beef jerky. and that was the day i started learning how to solve a rubik’s cube.
mostly i just remember loving every minute of it. and that makes me happy, even if i don’t remember any of those minutes.

2. my first time at camp is the worst memory ever only because it frustrates me to death that i remember basically nothing about it. all i know for positive is that it was june 2003, i was in cabin 12, i forgot to bring a camera so i have no pictures from it, and my cabin leader was short and had brown hair and was really mean(i forget her name. i am 90% sure that heather smith was my unit leader though, and i remember meeting lucy, because no one can really forget her). i went by myself that year and the next year i brought my best friend at the time(we were no longer best friends after that week. i went alone every year after that because of it). i’m pretty sure i did adventure rec, because i only remember doing ARC once and i know i’ve never done anything but those two. i forget the missionaries and my cabinmates names, and what free times i did. there’s only one thing i remember every detail of.
it was wednesday night and the OLS girls had gotten sent back because it was storming. everybody finally went to sleep and then around 2 am, the girl who was sleeping in the cit bed went to the bathroom, and she comes running out screaming, flips on the light and screams and cries that there’s a spider. the cabin leader comes out and she’s yelling that we’re gonna be cleaning the unit building during pool time if we don’t hush and go to bed right now. the crying girl says real quiet like “but there’s a spider?” and the cabin leader turns and grabs the first shoe she sees, stomps into the bathroom, we hear one quick BANG like she smashed it real quick, then she comes back out and goes back in her room without even looking at us. and i remember the other girls looking terrified and getting back in their beds without making a sound(i think they thought she was serious about the unit building thing) while i shoved my face over my pillow so i could die laughing.
i guess the rest of the week wasn’t particularly amazing if that’s all that stands out to me.

3. my first year working should still be clear in my head. june 2nd will make three years since my first day, and three years is practically yesterday. but most of it is a blur.
i remember feeling so young. we haven’t had any 16 year olds since that year, even though we’ve had a good many rising 12th graders, but i’ve always been young for my grade. with the other younger ones we’ve had, and even the others my same grade who worked in ’08, no one cared about their age. mine made things hard.
and i remember the staff being the most important thing to me. if i didn’t have their approval(and from 90% of them, i didn’t), then i felt like i wasn’t doing my job. the campers loved me even though i was little, but it wasn’t enough. now when i’m always preaching at everybody about focusing on the campers and not the staff, i wish someone had been there to tell me that.
i remember it feeling like it lasted forever. every year it feels like a long time, but that was the longest. when you have other summers to compare it to, it’s not such a long time. back then, even a week felt like a long time.
i remember the worst birthday i’ve ever had  having a terrible birthday(my 18th was actually my worst) looking back, it was really stupid for me to let that ruin my day, but all bad things seem worse when they happen on your birthday.
i remember sitting in cabin 8 and hearing God call me to csu.
i remember the drama. no worse than any other drama, but i was young and innocent. i didn’t know the staff was that cruel to each other. now i’m able to totally ignore it and focus on my girls(it’s such a normal part of camp that i got numb to it, everyone does after a while), but it was just such a shock to my still-a-camper-on-the-inside, baby self.
and most of all i remember july 6th; it’s one of the worst days of my life. the day God took away my life jacket and threw me in the deep end. but everyone knows what happened so i won’t repeat the story. i don’t like to talk about it anyways.
wow. that really makes it sound like a horrible summer, but it really wasn’t. it’s just kinda sad that my only really vivid memories are bad ones.
i’m pretty sure i have the most selective memory i’ve ever heard of. i remember names, numbers, colors, and bad things that happen. but western civ terms, where i set my keys/phone/backpack, and details of really good things all fall through the cracks.
is it self involved of me to say i fascinate myself? because i seriously wish there were two of me so i could use myself as a case study for something.


so many thoughts…so little time. a little preview.

i’ve gotten through the worst of #3!! week!! i can write REAL things now!!
but not for long, since i also finally have time to sleep. and i know that tomorrow morning, i’m less likely to kick myself for sleeping than i will for writing all night.
i have too many things i’ve been wanting to write about, and i don’t have time to expound on any of them tonight, so i’ll write a little bit about each and will soon get full posts out.

1. writing is like breathing: if it isn’t part of my day, my thoughts don’t make sense. ok. breathing is a little more important. but really, i don’t understand anything unless i have written words. and when they’re my own words, that makes it even easier. i love my words and even if it sounds really big headed, i love to see my own thoughts on a page.(note, i do like seeing other people’s thoughts better) just because they make so much sense that way. [i’ve written enough on this, so this is not one of the things i’ll be posting later, but it was my first thought and i’m big on stream-of-consciousness blogging]

2. i want to be more like paul. and being the unbelievably humble person he is(which is one trait of his i wish i had), if he were to hear me say that, he would be correcting me and saying i should strive to be more like Jesus. but then i would explain that that’s WHY i’m trying to be more like him, and i hope he would take the compliment and hush. i’m already like him in a whole lot of ways(i SWEAR that man had ADD. have you ever tried to make a mechanical layout from any of his stuff?), but with the most important ways, it’s heartbreakingly convicting to read about. definitely more coming on this.

3. i use the phrase “that was a long time ago” (in my “dadgum it how is that possible” tone[yes i have one of those, you’ve heard it before]) a lot. there are so many great things that i can’t remember anything about, other than the fact that they happened. i have a post-in-the-making sitting in my drafts.

4. i’m one of the most dense people in the world when it comes to poetry, or in this case song lyrics(i’m still real upset from when i found out about “here’s to the night” by eve 6. i refuse to admit that it’s about anything other than saying goodbye to old friends), but there are some things that i just get. the other day, i was on pandora(i made a station for dave barnes’s “little lies” and it’s my new favorite, i have yet to have my ears assaulted by the beatles on that) and “brick” by ben folds five came on. i’d never heard it before, but i listened, and right away i knew exactly what they were talking about(i don’t want to say, because it might make me look bad to have picked up on something like that right away…if you’re about to jump and listen to the song, just know beforehand that i have not been in anything even close to the situation they’re singing about). i even googled it to make sure, and every site i checked agreed with what i thought it meant.
(take THAT mr jones, who says i have no interpretational skills or can’t “think beyond the literal or obvious”?[he did, however, applaud me when i was the only one who found any deep significance in that poem about the plums])

5. i am just ready to bounce off the walls waiting for camp. i’ve never been this excited or impatient about getting back, and i’m hoping this means God has something really big and awesome planned. which is always the case, but it can always get bigger and awesomer.

stories about nothing and everything

new books smell better than new cars.

i’m ranting about books today.[note: “today” is march 8th. i was almost finished then i went to dinner and forgot to publish it]

1. i love books. who wouldn’t? they smell good and they tell stories. well, at least most of the ones i read do, but i like the kind that teach me about things too, as long as no one is making me read it.
i don’t like the reading mr wenger makes us do, and i hate anything that i need a dictionary to understand. i was not one of those homeschoolers who read shakespeare at age five and memorized the lord of the rings prologue in fourth grade. i’m simple.
i like characters. i like good stories that entertain me and maybe relate to me without forcing me to think. (now i don’t mind thinking, but i don’t want to be required to think in order to get what the story is about. i’ve lost a lot of sleep over mystic river, for instance, but it’s not the “what the heck did i just read” kind of thought provoking.) so as much as i get laughed at for it, i’ll proudly state that the sisterhood of the traveling pants and the princess diaries are some of my favorites. i gain some of my dignity back when i mention all the creepy things about cops and lawyers that are also on my mental bookcase(that’s all the books i would own if i had money to buy them). i’m random in my favorites.

2. you may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you CAN judge a person by the books on their shelf..
not everything about them, but a few things. like what kind of person they are. i LOVE going into any teacher’s office and guessing what they teach by the books i see. dr crutchfield has a million bible dictionaries, dr farrah has all kinds of uncolorful psych related ones, and i’ve never been inside mr wenger’s, but he has tons of comic strips all over the door, so the inside probably has dr seuss books intermixed with the ten pound volumes of boring stories. heck, even academic services has a predictable shelf, theirs are all about learning styles and clep testing and stuff.
i do the same when i walk in my friends’ rooms. their bookshelf is the first thing i look at. i guess which classes they’re in and then i move on to everything else.
mine is a good picture of who i am. it’s chaotic in a controlled way, like everything in my life, and it has a little bit of everything. on the top shelf you’ve got all my Jesus books(and glancing over them you can tell what i either struggle with or just really love reading about because i have at least one on everything), then my camp journals, and of course there’s holes, a series of unfortunate events and the sisterhood of the traveling pants. the bottom shelf has my textbooks. like in life, the fun things are on top. even its position in the room(it’s set up so i can reach everything from my bed) shows something about me.
and none of that was on purpose. (i just figured all that out this morning while i was getting ready and that led me to think about books all day)
i love the look of a whole lot of books lined up on a shelf. even if you don’t read them, you have to admit it makes for a nice decoration(but i don’t understand people who can see books and not want to open every one)
in my house there literally isn’t a single room without one(except the bathrooms, which i’m totally changing when i have my own house)
if everybody starts reading all their books on a screen and keeping them in a little electronic box, there won’t be anymore shelves for me to look at. which brings me to my next point.

3. the kindle goes against all that’s important to reading.
every time dr. jones speaks in chapel he tells us he likes the sound of pages turning, so if we’re reading on something electronic, turn the pages of our friend’s bible so he can hear it. touche.
i love the smell of books, new or old, i like the sound and the motion of turning the next page, and i focus so much better when i’m holding something than looking at a screen. plus, in the case of my Jesus books, i write ALL over them. i’m sure there’s a way to highlight text on a kindle, but you sure as heck can’t write notes in the margins, and even if there was, it would be typed and impersonal looking. i LOVE my own handwriting, most people can’t read it, but it’s comforting and familiar. and i really like seeing how it changes over years(see, i’ve had the same Bible since i was 15, and when i read my notes from 11th grade, my writing is a little bit different than now).
and people can’t borrow kindle books, as far as i know(there’s probably some way if they have their own kindle, but most people don’t have one which creates a problem). what if i don’t want to buy a book until i know i like it? i can’t steal it from a friend and read the first chapter if it’s stuck in a screen.
also. if that sucker gets stolen, you lose all your books. whereas, if you have one real book in your hands, and you lose it, well, it’s one book. not much of a loss unless you’re like me and it has notes in it that you’d be real sad to lose.

all this to say. i like books. i like my teacher’s offices because of their books. i don’t like the kindle. the end.

stories about life and God

the tylenol of life.


i don’t like pain.
not talking about physical pain. that makes me feel accomplished. the more battle wounds i’m sporting after soccer, the happier i am because it means i worked.
i’m not a big fan of the sick kind of pain, but i wait as long as possible and let it get real bad before i start reaching for the drugs.
i mean the kind of pain that life gives me. that kind is never okay. i run from it. i deny it. but mostly what i do is numb it.
i am a big advocate of keeping my mouth shut about things. if you don’t say it, it’s not real. there are a lot of things that exist only in my imagination that i don’t say out loud, so why not treat the real things, that i wish were only in my head, the same way?
and it works. nothing seems real that i don’t speak out loud.
today is march 9th. i have been waiting for this day since december. but i’ve known since february 22nd that this wouldn’t be the happy day i expected. and i did such a good job of convincing everyone else that i’m fine, that i believed my own lie.
and like albus dumbledore once said, numbing the pain will only make it feel worse when you must finally feel it. i used to read that line and ask, why do you ever HAVE to feel it? like a sore throat, you just keep popping pills, and even though it’s still real and present, you don’t feel it, and eventually it goes away without you ever having felt it. but i suppose dumbledore is smarter than me again.
writing it on a page is the same as speaking it out loud, and i don’t think i could make the words come out anyways, so this will have to count.
i’m not going to be an FLT. next year is now an uncertain, unexciting blur. and i don’t understand any of it. God was nice to me in keeping everyone from asking me about it two weeks ago, and i still don’t want to talk about it. but that comforting numbness i worked so hard for is wearing off.
i feel it today. and none of this is okay. i’m not okay, and i don’t understand what the point of any of this was. i knew, i knew, i KNEW that i wasn’t good enough, but i believed everybody else who said i’d be perfect, and i wanted it so bad that i thought God wanted it for me. and now i know that i should never have tried at all. why open the door that would just get slammed in my face eventually?
ok, i lied. i can’t let myself believe that God didn’t call me to apply. He didn’t want me to make it all the way, but He had a point and wanted me to go as far as i did. i meant what i said when i talked all about that peace after every step i went through. but that just makes it harder for me. i would rather this all be my fault. i wish that God had said NO don’t turn in that paper, NO don’t go through the interviews, and i’d gotten mine for doing it anyways. but since i know i was obeying, now i’m stuck admitting that all this is 1)not under my control and 2)beyond my understanding.
you know i don’t like that. i’m a control freak. i like having the ball in my court, doing things on my terms. and i HAVE to understand everything that happens to me(although i guess that falls into the category of being in control too). i don’t like being confused. i want to KNOW things.
the day i got the email, i left class to go to my happy place with God. i picked up my Bible, all the while screaming at God in my head until the only word i could think was WHY? and then i looked at the page, expecting it to have fallen open at psalms since that’s in the very middle, but i was at isaiah 55:9.

as the heavens are above the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

a it made me mad at first. i had been hoping for a psalm to go with my pity party. but now i see it was the perfect answer to my question of why. who am i to demand an explanation? of course i don’t understand yet. and maybe i never will. but that’s okay. it’s just the way things are. i’m slowly, very slowly, accepting that.
s i’ve been writing, i’ve had the desert song in my head. i tweet the different verses a lot, whichever one fits how i feel that day. this is today.

this is my prayer in the fire, in weakness or trial or pain
there is a faith proved of more worth than gold
so refine me Lord through the flame.

i’m not sure at all of how i’m supposed to be refined here. but i should assume that this is like everything else; in a week or a month or someday, i’ll get it, and i’ll be back on here saying how glad i am that all this happened. but that doesn’t mean i’m happy about it now. but instead of yelling at God about it, i need to admit isaiah 55:9, and try not to forget my favorite line in the song: 

ALL of my life, in EVERY season, 
you are STILL God,
i have a reason to sing, i have a reason to WORSHIP.

rambles on ciu sports · stories about nothing and everything

i am the queen of spontaneity.

[i just now checked the dictionary to see if i spelled that right, and i did, on my first try. score.]

i never plan things. and if i do, i don’t do them like i planned.
i’ve never met a plan that i didn’t want to change.
the only thing i’ve ever planned for a long time, and then did, was work at camp. but even then, i always said i would never ever be a cabin leader, and now that’s all i want to ever do.
other than that, most big things i do are spur of the moment ideas.

when i was eight i suddenly wanted violin lessons.
when i was ten, i took up softball. (and i’ve been obsessed with baseball ever since)
when i was twelve i randomly decided i wanted to take dance.
i got bored and watched the oscars when i was thirteen and a half, and that’s when i started watching real movies.
and even though it was followed by an actual call from God, the idea that i wanted to go to real college instead of film school was pretty sudden. (what i was supposed to do there and where i would go came popping into my head pretty quickly after that)
probably the most random was when i woke up and thought “i think i’d make a good soccer goalie.” i played later that same day and figured out i loved it.
so three days later i took a great big leap and decided i’d join the ciu team.
and so i did. i still don’t know where the thought came from, but i’m glad it did, even if it only turned out to be half true.

rambles on ciu sports

not accidents. pleasant surprises.

somewhere, back in the deep dark depths of my brain, hanging out with my ability to focus for more than 30 seconds, is this little thing that knows how to be a goalie. i mean KNOWS. like it tells me right exactly where the ball is gonna go and knows how to get me there in time and everything.
and just like my concentration mechanism-ish-ness, this thing comes out now and then and does awesome things that i never knew i was capable of. but also like my focusing superpowers, it spends most of its time making a game of hiding from me, taunting me with the fact that i don’t know how to make it work all the time.
so every time i do something good(we’re talking about soccer now, not my common sense), everyone is all shocked. i try to hide the fact that i’m just as surprised as they are. then two minutes later i’m back to sucking. i think i’ve only made maybe three really good saves on purpose. the others(and i remember all of them, partly because there aren’t many, but mostly because i’m happy for like an hour after i make one) were accidents. i wish just as much as my team does that i could do that all the time. but that inner goalie is real shy i guess. i don’t know where the switch is to make it stay around all the time.
actually, i lied. i do know what it is: the “switch” is a pressureless, fun and games, nobody cares what i do, situation. get me in a game with my friends, and i’ll stop 9 out of every 10 balls that comes at me. everyone actually wants me there. i’m a hero with those guys. even when i do miss it, i can laugh it off and pop right back up for the next one. i just don’t care about anything. i’m happy and i’m having fun.
then you get me in practice, with everyone yelling at me, and i can’t do anything. (i’ve stopped counting the shots i miss because there’s exponentially more of them than there are saves; my orders are to focus on my victories and not acknowledge my faults) except when that good goalie in my head comes out for a split second. and for that little bit of time, nobody’s mad at me. i always wish i had time just to lay there in the dirt with the ball in my hands and cement it in my mind how much i love what i’m doing.
and i really do love it. no one believes me, but i love it. i don’t care that i suck, i just want to PLAY.