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the best bad day ever.

this story has a happy ending; i only complain for a paragraph or two. just a heads up. =)

let me tell you about my day.
i woke up with a ridiculous headache.
the caf was out of cinnamon raisin bagels at breakfast.
i drove to bi-lo, which isn’t even five miles from school, and this crazy woman behind me honked at me for going “too slow,”* which scared me for a split second, which was long enough to almost make me hit the guy turning in front of me.
i found that bi-lo charges six bucks for my toothpaste.
i narrowly missed being hit by two cars at once(like t-boned on both sides…so i guess figure 8-boned, if we’re naming it after the shape my

and that was all before 9:30 in the morning.

fast forward through a lot more of the kind of small events which by themselves would only be a teeny bit upsetting, but which seem like the end of the world when they happen one after the other like a domino chain. the usual first world problems that i whine so much about.

through all this i’d kept telling myself, “there’s soccer tonight, there’s soccer tonight…” but then even that started going wrong.

this is where the story starts to get happy; don’t get bummed out and quit reading yet!

at half time we were only down by one goal, but after the day i’d had, letting in even one shot, much less four, made me eight times as mad as it normally would.
as i was walking back to the field, i thought, “God, can you just please give us a win? this has just been a terrible horrible no good very bad day.”
all he answered was, “no good?”

then the whistle blew, so i didn’t have time to fight with him. but not thirty seconds later, we scored, and as i jumped up and down and yelled for my team, the lightbulb came on.
God is ALL good, and he is EVERYWHERE. so no day is ever “no good.”

we won the game, and i was all thanking God inside…but then our second game happened.
if i go into details i might get upset again, so i won’t. but it was a very bad game, and it made me very sad.
and i was mad at myself for being sad, because i’d been so determined to be all “God is still good” and everything even if we lost.

as soon as i got back, i threw my stuff in my room, kicked my cleats down the hall, and ran outside as fast as i could.
i ran until i was too tired to run anymore, and more importantly, too tired to think. i fell right in the cold grass and i bawled my eyes out.
then i just laid there and listened.
i heard all the cars on the bridge way across the river, and i looked at all the stars in the sky, and i thought two semi-deep, mostly obvious thoughts.
1. there’s people in those cars who are just as important as i am, and a lot of them had way harder days than i did.
2. the stars would fall out of the sky if God weren’t holding them up. and if he can keep the stars from squishing me, which would be a big problem, he can totally handle my life, which is only a tiny problem.
then i started to tell God i was sorry for being all upset…but i stopped.
i realized, it’s ok to feel bad about bad things, and it’s ok to feel good about good things. i just have to remember to trust that the good is always bigger than the bad, and thank God for that instead of fussing at him about the bad.
he never promised there wouldn’t be bad…but he does promise to never make me go through it alone, and that he’ll make sure i always make it out of it.

i sat on that thought for a minute(laying on the grass was getting cold), and all the good things that happened today started popping into my mind, and then my sad, angry, frustrated tears turned into some good kind of tears that i don’t even have a word for.**

yes, i’m sad that we lost.
yes, i’m angry that the ref and the other team were so awful to us.
yes, i’m frustrated at myself for the five goals(between both games) that were my fault.
BUT.
i’m also thankful that i’m able to play and that my team is so great, and i’m totally at peace because no matter what, good day or bad day, win or loss, rain or shine, i still belong to God. and the mail will still come. however that quote goes…

the point:
God is good. and when your life is full of God, there is no such thing as a day that is “no good.” even if there may be terrible or horrible or very bad things in that good day.
*meaning, the speed limit was 35 and i was going 40.
**i’d call them joyful/thankful/peaceful tears, but to call them that would be like looking at a purple wall and saying “that wall is red and blue,” because i wasn’t feeling them each separately. i felt all those things so overwhelmingly at the same time that i couldn’t tell them apart from each other. finally i decided that God was doing one of his weird philippians 4:7 things, and just went with it.

stories about life and God

proof that God believes in Aldrin Justice.

two things that anyone who knows me probably knows, and that anyone reading this blog needs to know in order to understand me:

1. i have a slightly obnoxious tendency to relate tv to real life.

2. How I Met Your Mother is my absolute favorite show.

if you don’t watch it, then you don’t know what i’m talking about, so let me explain Aldrin Justice before i tell you how God used it on me.

in season 2, we learn that lilly has her own personal justice system wherein when someone is mean, she takes one of their “toys” and won’t give it back until they learn to be nice(she’s a kindergarten teacher for most of the show, aside from this episode where she gets a job in ted’s office, and she started this idea with her kids but eventually found it works with everyone).

God has been doing this to me recently. in a lot more than just this situation, but it was this morning that made me realize what else he’s been doing.

i get in my car to go back to school, and the tape player(yes, my ghetto car has one of those. i love it) keeps spitting my ipod adapter back out at me. i couldn’t get it to work, but i can’t focus in silence either, so i switch it back to the radio…and it won’t come on.

i decide, ok fine. i need something to keep my mind working, so i guess i’ll just have to pray.

me and God were having a nice talk, and when i was almost to the interstate, i told him “this is the most we’ve talked in a long time…that’s really sad. i don’t wanna only talk to you when i need you to help me drive.”
but i was going down the on ramp by the end of that sentence, so i really needed his help.
after i made it on and over to the middle lane so the crazy drivers coming out of malfunction junction couldn’t squish me,  i said, “ok, thanks God. hey, if i had music right now, i wouldn’t have been thinking about you, and that little fiasco would have been way scarier. did you plan that?”
as he always does when i ask him a question i know the answer to, he didn’t say anything. but you know how sometimes you feel God instead of hearing him? well right as i said that, i got the same feeling that i do when i’m with a friend and i say something stupid and obvious like that and we laugh together. instead of answering, he let me know he was lovingly laughing at me.
i laughed out loud and said “thanks for making my car quiet today.”
and he said “you needed it.” i hadn’t known it, but that was most definitely exactly what i needed.

as soon as i parked at school, i hit the button on the radio one more time just to see if it would work. and it came right on.

in short: i was bad. God took my music. i started being good. God gave it back.

i know that this isn’t always how God works, and i’m not saying you should start trying to overspiritualize every little thing that goes wrong with your day. but for me and my experiential learning style and my love of metaphors, God does use little things like that to teach me things a lot of the time. something that isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, but that i’ve let become a distraction, will go missing from my life, and instead of finding that missing thing, i find God. and when i remember that he’s more important, i usually get the small thing back, but even if i don’t, i usually find that i didn’t need it that much.

there will soon be a part 2 to this post about what God might be doing with a bigger thing in my life. i still have a lot of thoughts to get together, and i’m still waiting to hear from the doctor.

UPDATE 4/9
annnnnd part 2. =]

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why i write[at night].

i’m so resisting the urge to quote spongebob right now…if you know why, say so in the comments, because we should be friends. =]

anyways.

i wrote this post my freshman year. my reasons for writing have changed a lot since then, but that isn’t what i’m talking about here.

then i read this tonight. i did agree with it, and there were a good many reasons i hadn’t thought about before, but i have some to add.

1. more people are online at night, hence more people will see when i post something.
again, i know only my mom will see anything anyways, but i do what i can just in case.

2. when i’m too tired to think, i do my best work.
my soccer coach sophomore year told me “no think. play!”(he was from kenya, and he was awesome) and just like in soccer, i can’t write well when i’m thinking too much about it.
so at the end of a long day, instead of going to bed, i open up my computer and pound out my thoughts. i wake up the next morning and read them to find that it’s better than anything i’ve written on purpose, so i publish it.

3. i’m just a night person.
i have been since i was a little kid. i had trouble sleeping because i’d lay in bed and my mind would be so full of things to think about, and since even that long ago i was still the dysfunctionally extroverted person that i am, i’d have to get up and tell my mom about them.
that kind of contradicts #2 up there, but that’s just because college has forced me to get tired at normal person times.

4. i sleep better when i’ve just finished emptying all my thoughts onto a page.
knowing that i’ve finally done something productive with my thoughts, and that i’m no longer the only person thinking about them, is surprisingly relaxing.

since it’s night right now, i’m going to stop writing and go to sleep now. sadly i can’t find the guy who wrote that anywhere…but you can still find jeff goins, so you should check him out.

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a temporary recommendation of a so-far absolutely wonderful book.

when i find something i like, the first thing i want to do is share it with people. in the case of books, i try to read the whole thing first, because what if i read the first chapter, love it, assume the whole book is that great, tell all my friends to read it, then i finish the book and find that it’s actually awful and should never be opened by anyone ever.

but i love this book too much to keep it to myself. so just imagine a disclaimer removing all responsibility from me for how the last 74% of the book turns out(for once, i didn’t make up a number; my kindle actually says i’ve read 26%).

Don’t Let Me Go is about this 9 year old girl(grace) with a negligent drug addict for a mother, and this 30-something guy(billy) with agoraphobia, and how they help fix each other up. from the description on amazon, i was afraid it might be depressing, but so far it’s been anything but that. the story isn’t about their problems, it’s about the people behind them(and they’re wonderful people), and how each of them experiences grace from the other characters as they go through those problems.
it’s told in third person, but the chapters alternate being told from billy’s perspective and grace’s(i think the big literary word for it would be “limited omniscience;” the author only lets you into one person’s head at a time). not only are they both clever, witty, all-around lovable people, but you can hear the author’s heart too in the way she tells it. first person stories are usually my favorite, but i love that this way i’m getting to know three voices instead of just one. i feel like the author puts parts of herself in each of them. as much as i like when the characters in a story are likable, i really love when i can get to the end and feel like i’d like being friends with the real live person who made them up, and i already feel that way about this even before being halfway done.

i want to go finish the book now. i’ll let you know you if i change my opinion when i’m done.

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#TheWorldMadeSenseWhen…

…i spent more time at beth’s, my friends’ houses and church than i did at home.

…my biggest worry in life was who would be playing at winterjam.

…camp staffers were just that, and weren’t yet real people with their own problems.

…the only reason i couldn’t sleep was because i’d watched a scary movie the night before.

…the only money-related decisions i had to make were whether i should buy new shoes or another season of Friends.

…it didn’t matter to me whether anyone read anything i wrote, because i only wrote for myself.

…graduation was 965 days away, not 275.

semi-random reflections · stories about life and God

family reunions.

my church is my home and my youth group is my family. by that, i mean they’re everything to me that a literal family is.

they made me who i am. i’ve had the best times and the most terrible awful times with them. they’ve changed and so have i. but they love me and i love them, because they’re mine, and always will be.

over the last few years i’ve found that finding a new church doesn’t make my “old” church not my home anymore; it’s just like growing up and getting my own house. it’s normal and it’s good, and i’m still welcome back home anytime.

which is why once a year, i get what i call a reunion.

of the six times i’ve gone to ridge haven, i was only actually a student for the first two of them. but it’s still the same every year.

we laugh. we eat. we play catchphrase. we eat some more. we murder each other, we play capture the flag in the dark, make smores, slide down hills, roll in dirt, throw shaving cream on each other, wave at strangers, and sing in public bathrooms. and then we eat a little more to top it all off.

everyone gets to be who they are, and everyone gets to be loved for it. it’s the safest place in the world.

just like in a real family, the “big kids” grow up and start being all responsible someday, but in the end, the important things stay the same. it doesn’t matter if you’re 12 or 21.

it’s still home.

“yeah everything goes away…but i’m gonna be here til forever, so just call when you’re around.

SOCB's · stories about nothing and everything · stories about school

if you put a scared-of-the-dark-insomniac in a single room…their whole hall will smell like burnt plastic.

if you put linda in a single room, she will be unable to sleep in the dark.

if linda is unable to sleep in the dark, she will sleep with the lights on.

if linda sleeps with the lights on, she will be unable to fall fully asleep.

if linda is unable to ever fall totally asleep, she will google “how to fall asleep.”

if linda googles “how to fall asleep,” she will find that she needs a dark room.

if linda needs a dark room, she will try to make her room as dark as possible without cutting off the lights.

if linda tries to make her room as dark as possible without cutting off the lights, she will wrap her movable-flower-petal lamp up as tight as she can with a white t-shirt.

if linda wraps her lamp in a t-shirt, the heat from the lightbulb will all get trapped inside.

if the heat from the lightbulb gets trapped inside, the plastic flower petal shell around it will melt.

if the plastic flower petal shell melts, it will make the whole hall smell like burnt plastic.

and so, that is why if you put linda in a single room, her whole hall will smell like burnt plastic.

to put it simply: i am scared of the dark. i mean legitimately, cripplingly terrified. if the lights are off and i’m alone, i start to have a panic attack.
but i also have insomnia, so good sleep is a rare but necessary thing for me. apparently it’s really really bad for my sleep patterns if i sleep with lights on. like, even having a digital clock in sight can mess me up. i never knew that had anything to do with my waking up constantly throughout the night, since i’ve always thought i was one of those people who light doesn’t bother, but after reading about it, it explains a lot.
so last night i decided to make the best of both worlds: i’d make my lamp dimmer by covering it up. that way i still wouldn’t be in the dark, but the light also couldn’t get to me and wake me up.
what i hadn’t considered was the fact that lights get hot when you leave them on all night, and that heat needs to go somewhere. when it doesn’t have anywhere to go, it’ll just bounce around and burn whatever is around it.

well i wake up this morning to this awful burning smell. i automatically assumed that something was wrong with my heater, so i cut that off.

it wasn’t until i was unwrapping my shirt from the lamp that i found the problem.

so not only is my cute lamp ruined(well, two of the five petals; the switch lets you have either two, three or five on at a time), but my cross country shirt has burnt plastic fused into its fabric.

thankfully i’m sleep-deprived enough to find all of this hilarious. =]

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moving day…

blogger has done one too many annoying things to me, so i’m finally letting go of my hatred for wordpress and all it stands for, and giving it a second chance.

i just figured out how to use this feedburner thing, and it didn’t transfer my pageviews or followers from blogger to here…which is really sad and almost kept me from switching, but it’s a small loss compared to no longer having to lose all my work on a post just because i’m logged into my ciu email. anyways if you were following me through a google account, you have to subscribe to my feed, or in some other way follow this site, if you want to keep following me. still figuring out how that works around here…

you know how when you move into a new house, and you get all your stuff in there, but it’s not unpacked yet?

if you’re one of those lucky kids who lived in the same house all their life, well, i’m jealous for 304 reasons.

either way, that’s how my blog currently is. everything has been trucked from blogger to wordpress, so it’s all here somewhere…it’ll just take some time to get it all organized. categorizing them(they give me SUBCATEGORIES! my chaotic thoughts finally have a home as complicated as they are!), going through and fixing all the links so they point to my posts here rather than my posts on blogger, finding a layout that does exactly what i want it to, learning how to post things…it’ll take a while, but eventually this will look much much better than my old site.

just like moving into a new house always seems like it sucks at first, but after a while, usually, it turns out to have been the best decision.