i feel like...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Rain Dance

Everyone do a rain dance so I can come to Cinci this weekend!
We have our first little softball tourney on Sat, which I am really excited about - but I am also excited about roadtripping it and coming to Cinci to see some of my favorite people!!! BUT I can only roadtrip it with some fun people if our tourney gets cancelled.
So we need it to rain lots and lots so that I can come. And we need it to rain a lot tomorrow night so they can cancel it tomorrow night and not just Saturday morning. That would suck.
I feel like the odds are against me today so I have a feeling that I'll get the call Sat. morning that our tourney is cancelled and by that time it'll be too late to make that awesome trek across 70. Then I'll be missing out on both - Coops bday and the start of our regular season - and that would make me just so bummed out!
Yes I am being pesimistic right now. Yes it is totally the opposite of me to think like this. Yes I am going insane because I dont know what the crap I want to do with my life. Yes I will trust that God knows what he is doing in all of this junk...rain, softball, cinci, life...but in the mean time, do a little rain dance :)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I love the Murphy's. They are two (five if you count the kiddies) of my favorite people on the planet.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

sean this post is for you

I just want everyone to know that I got a thing in the mail today saying that because my DRIVING RECORD IS SO GOOD, I may be eligible for a lower payment.
Yes, it may be a scam, but who the crap cares because someone thinks I drive well!


Here is another one of my dilemmas. I think we were created to live in community. To live with other believers - to know them, to be known by them - learn to grow with them. But I think that we are also supposed to be ok with Jesus on our own. I think?
When I look back on my life, my sweetest moments with Jesus were my sweetest moments with people. Late night talks in the "nook" with my HOM roomies, bible study with Annie, conversations in the car on the way to Cinci with Kristen, arguing with Stef about my issues, thinking that Jill is going to kill me so that we can go to heaven, praying before the semester of club with my teammates, laughing with Katy about weird faces we make, living in a house with 13 other people at Saranac - all of these times were some of the times that I have felt closest to Jesus.
I moved to Altoona for a couple of reasons. One of them was that I wanted to learn how to be in a relationship with Jesus on my own. Without my discipler from high school, without my roomates, without living in a heaven like place. I moved here not knowing anyone - and it was really exciting, but scary as crap too. These three years living here have been so sweet between me and Jesus, but I haven't had as many "community moments." I have had some great conversations with some of the girls, with Tiff, with Tim - with a lot of people, for sure. But my relationship with Jesus has been more contingent on just me and him and not as dependent on everyone else around me.
So, I think both are good. I think that we need alone time with God and I don't think we were created to make it on our own. I guess both ends are dangerous - all people and no God isn't good and all God and know people isn't that great either. But what about the monks? They are all God all the time - on their own, no speaking, just them and God. What's better? Maybe thats why Jesus summed up the greatest commandment in two parts - love God, love people. Both are important?

Monday, March 27, 2006


I am obsessed with Young Life camp. I don't know if I ever could or will get sick of it. Each week we are at camp is my favorite week of the year. I just love it. We are trying to figure out how many spots we need for this summer's trip. This is such a hard process at times because what high school kid knows what they are doing next week, let alone in 4 months? So it's tough, but we have to have a good estimate, because this week we need to put our money where our mouth is and put a deposit down on our spots. In the midst of this, I really want our campaigner kids to see what a great oppurtunity this week at camp could be for their friends. Some of our campaigner kids met Christ at camp, so they know how awesome it can be - I just want them to think like that for their friends and not think about the fact that they have to shell out $550 bucks - that's a whole other topic!
I decided that for campaigners tomorrow morning we are going to look at the passage where it shows the transfiguration of Jesus to get them pumped up. During my weeks at camp I think that I have had experiences almost as cool as this. Jesus is just revealed so clearly! I just LOVE this chapter in scripture. It's so amazing - some of Jesus' closest guys got to see him for who he truly was - God! How awesome would that have been to be there???

Ken Gire describes the event like this:"The bewildered disciples spring to their feet. Is this a dream? A vision? A hallucination brought on by the altitude and fatigue? They wonder these things as they shield their faces. Until the light grows more intense and hurts their eyes. They not only see the light, they feel it. They then know. It is no dream. It is no vision. It is no hallucination.
Until now, the tent of Jesus’ humanity has largely concealed his identity. But now the flap on that tent is lifted, and these privileged three are given a glimpse of his glory.
In the light of that glory all things around them have paled. The rocks and boulders, once bold and jutting, are now washed out of both color and character. The tufts of grass sprigging out from the rocks have lost their green. The dirt has surrendered its brown. There is no depth or dimension to anything around them. Everything has blanched and paled."

I love how Ken (and scripture) says that in light of Jesus' glory ALL things around them have paled. NOTHING is as awesome as Jesus' glory. I am challenged that Jesus can reveal his glory in other places besides at Young Life camp. I think he can do it everyday. I think that he lets us be a part in that. I love that we get to experience that - even just a mini glimpse of his glory.
How can we always be revealing Jesus' glory in our lives so that the things of this world pale around it? I want to be a part of that.


Saturday, March 25, 2006


I love my job. Can I please tell you what I got to consider work in the last 48 hours??!
Yesterday I woke up at 6, had coffee/bible study/accountability time with my best friend in Toona, Tiff - who is also a volunteer leader. Then I went to the gym and saw my other best friend, Julie who is also a volunteer leader. Then I went to breakfast with the other two guys on staff in our region for two hours. They are amazing guys and it was fun to just talk and not talk about only Young Life stuff. We traveled to meet for lunch with my boss and his wife, who I love, and our new Vice President. So we had lunch with them for two hours. Then I got to go to softball practice with some of my fave girls of all time from 3-6. I got to meet one of my fave girls Courtney after practice for dinner and chat time. Kelsey came to meet me at the coffee shop where I met Courtney and we had one of the best conversations we have ever had until about 10pm. So yes, I did work from 6am-10pm yesterday, and I could potentially write off all of it except for the 15 minute power nap I took in between lunch and softball - and I loved every second of it. Yes, some of it was challenging, but most of it was so good. I just LOVE to talk to people and I had people to talk to all day.
Today I got to sleep in a bit. Drive up to State College. Go into Starbucks - (please realize that I had to drive an hour to a stupid starbucks) and read my bible for an hour. Then I got to go to Barnes and Noble and read books for hours until I had to come home for softball practice. Every month, according to Young life, you are supposed to take a "day away with Christ." I have been on staff for three years and I think I might have taken 1.5 days away. I have taken more days than that off, but not intentional days away with Christ. So today I took a half day to do that (yes I am a control freak). And it was awesome. God is just seriously really great. Starbucks is a sanctuary to me - I see God so clearly every time I go there.
But alas - all of this constitutes what I get paid to do - love people and love God. I am just so blessed to have had days like these back to back!
All in a days work....and I want to be a teacher now?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

John the Bap

I wish I could be more like John the Bap (that's John the Baptist or JTB for all you nonabbreviation folks)
One of the stories that kicks my a in the bible is when JTB's walking down the street with his disciples and he's like, hey, there's jesus, leave me and go hang out with him. His WHOLE purpose of living was to prepare the way for Jesus. One of my favorite teachers at a training thing, Dale Bruner, would fall on his knees and point away from himself to demo how JTB lived. He talked about how he always pointed the focus away from himself and onto Jesus.
I think I suck at that.
I think consciously I'm like, oh yea, kid who I just told about Jesus, go follow him. Don't pay attention to me, I'm nothing, he's really the hot deal. Yes. Consciously I would say that but I wonder if I am saying that because that's the right thing to say.
I have taught campaigners on JTB maybe 14 times. I love it because it describes what our campaigner kids should be like - paving the way for their friends to know about Christ. It's what all of us should be about I think.
BUT subconsciously I think I want people to follow me. I look at a lot of the girls that I have led or mentored or just talked to about Christ a lot - and we did just that - we talked about Christ a lot. So I thought I was doing a really good thing, but I don't know if I was always pointing to Christ - I think I was always pointing to me with Christ. I dont know if this is going to make any sense, but I need to process it "outloud" to get some sort of grip on it.
I think in the process of me "mentoring" them I focused so much on spoon feeding them the right answers and guiding them through what it means to have a relationship with Christ in my experience that I missed showing them who Christ truly is. Their relationship with Christ is SO much more important than their relationship with me.
I saw the results of this today. I met with two of my favorite girls of life today and both of them (who were SO excited about Jesus like 2 months ago) were like, I'm not even really sure what I believe anymore. The fire just isn't really there like it was at the beginning. Which TOTALLY makes sense because when you meet Christ you're normally going to be on this spiritual high for awhile, and then reality sinks in and you're like, crap - this might be harder than i realized. But I think it was a little bit more than that. I think they were feeling that way because they were like, this really isn't all it's cracked up to be. Not that Jesus isn't all he's cracked up to be, but what I showed them about being with Jesus isnt all that great.
I kind of feel like this isn't making very much sense. I just really want my focus to be more on showing kids Christ than on showing them me with Christ - because me with Christ will fade, it gets boring, and it's not their lives. So part of me is SO glad that they are experiencing this disengagement because I know they'll come back around and be excited about Jesus. I know they will - I totally see it in them. And this time it'll be them with Jesus - and not me in the middle of them and Jesus. I hope its that way at least.
I just really want to be more like JTB - always pointing away from me and towards Jesus. I just think that it is so much harder than I realized...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I have a question. Can you really know someone based on the internet?

I'm not talking about freakoid weird people who pretend to be 15 when they are 53 but I'm talking about everyday people who just write on the internet and read other people's stuff.

I was thinking about this and talking about it with my friend Stef yesterday. Here's my dilemma. When I read someone's blog, I read it with a certain bias. Like, when I read Sean's blog I can hear him talking and I understand what he is talking about (usually) because we have had previous conversations and experiences. When I read Sean's friend's blogs, I think oh they must be pretty great if they are friends with Sean. Is that weird that I think that? When I read Stef's friend's blogs from people at Mars Hill Grad School, I think, oh they are really spiritual and really understand the human psyche, so this should be interesting. I always wonder what people think about when they read mine or read my comments I leave. I sometimes feel weird because sarcasm/joking and tone can not be heard over the internet. People always joke that when they read my emails they can hear me talking because I write like I talk. But, what about someone who never has heard me talk before? Then do they think I'm just a big jerk because I was joking about something and they didn't get the joke?

I think I may in the top five of most judgmental people on the planet - which I hate to admit and I hate that I am like that! I think I have said this before that when I meet someone I like to analyze and figure out their issues, what they are like, etc.. I do that on blogs too. I'm SO interested in whether or not I'm right or not. I'm usually pretty good in person, but on a blog - that's a whole other animal!

So what's up? Can we really be us on here? Can I really know you? I'm always about knowing people. Like really knowing them - I get down to the nitty gritty (what is that expression) pretty quick in relationships - I think it's my whole need to know/need to be involved/need to feel significant issue. So I get a bit obsessive about knowing people. So sorry if that annoys the crap out of all of you :)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

la musica

Normally I wouldn't do this I don't think, but ALL of you need to listen to The Fray. They are my new favorite band and I just love them. If you get a sec download their songs - in this order
1. Over My Head
2. How to Save a Life
3. She Is
4. the rest of their songs
SO SO SO good - I am obsessed with the music and the lyrics - I know I get obsessed easy, but I think they are just awesome.
Their website is www.thefray.net and you can listen to some of their songs if you click on the player in the top right corner...these three songs are the first three!

good stuff

ok I was getting stuff done on my car this morning (surprise, surprise) and decided to catch up on my magazine reading. i read what i'm about to post and it kicked my butt times 100. So yes, I am totally stealing this - but it is really good stuff...

"I need to talk about contemporary Christianity. There's something that concerns me. We've seen so much abuse of the term "Christian" lately that many of us are now hesistant to be associated with it. We may serve God and be followers of Jesus, but we don't want to be associated with the bigoted right-wing extremists who are known only for their judgmental statements and boycotts.
We believe Christians should be known by their love. (I think John 13:35 says something along those lines.)
We cringe every time we see Pat Robertson on the news. So, we do everything we can to not be identified as one of those Christians. We try to get outside of the Christian bubble, love others, be open minded and live in freedom. So we drink-but in moderation, of course. We cuss, but just for humor or effect. We watch movies that our pastor wouldn't, but it's because we're a lot more in touch that he is. We criticize TBN, cheesy Christian music and everything else about the Christian subculture. We hang out at bars and clubs, originally to be "light in the darkness," but now really just for a good time.
And here we are, without even realizing it, living exactly like the world. Please hear me, I am not advocating closed-minded, hate-filled Christianity, and I do believe we have freedom in Christ. Moderation is a God-given right. But truly following Jesus is not found in either extreme. After all, Romans 12:2 does say, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world."
So where does this leave us? It's not an issue that can be resolved in this column's 600 words, but it's one that all of us must personally and deliberately answer, because without clarity on how we need to live our lives and impact the world around us, at best we will be inconsequential and at worst, harmful to those around us....
We need to not only embrace grace and freedom, but remember that we're called apart, that what we have in our spirits separates us from the world. We are supposed to be in the world, but not of it. We have a hope and a freedom and a faith that the world is looking for, and they need to see that difference in us. Otherwise, what's the point?"
-RELEVANT magazine

Saturday, March 18, 2006


I took some of the Toona girls to my parents house in OH-IO this weekend and it was SO fun. They got to meet my parents and bro, see Hudson - and why its the best, and I got to share with them my life prior to meeting them. It was so great. I love those girls so much.
Last night we went to a concert in Cleveland - Casting Crowns with Nichole Nordeman. It was a really great concert. Some of the lyrics to the Casting Crowns songs were really great and multiple times throughout the night I was like, man these guys really get it. They really get how to love people and they sing about how the church needs to be loving people better and deeper.

Then it happened.

After intermission this guy stood up and did a gospel presentation for about 20-30 minutes. He was extremely clear in the process of salvation and at the end of it a lot of people "signed the consent form for a new heart" and stood up to show for it, BUT it was SO hard for me to stomach the whole thing. The guy had a bracelet on that looked like a medical bracelet, which he was using to describe Christ and he was like, look, now non Christians will ask me if I'm ok, because of this bracelet, and I will tell them how I was just in for a heart transplant. The bracelet has the acronym L.I.F.T. on it. When people ask about the bracelet, you can go through the acronym with them. L means you had a Life changing event - you realized something was missing. Then you found out you had a terminal Infection in your heart. Then a Famous person came and gave you their heart so you could have a Transplant for a new heart. So by "signing the release form" in theory to have this crazy operation, you were committing your life to Christ. Then they had people raise their hand if they wanted to do that, and then stand up and they had them sign up to get a free devotional in the mail so that they could help you with follow up.

Now, more than once the guys talked about getting involved in your local church, they were VERY supportive of local churches being involved in the people's lives who were at the concert. So I definitely give them props for that, but seriously during the whole presentation thing I was sick to my stomach. I will admit that I have more times than one explained the gospel in a manner similar to the LIFT acronym. But lately I just hate the thought of explaining Jesus like that. He is SO much more than that and there is so much more to us than agreeing to sign a release paper. I give props for these guys for being so bold. I give props for these guys for trying to reach the masses and using oppurtunities like last night's concert for doing that. But I have come to the realization that I hate ministry like that. Jesus was relational. He talked to people individually. He knew their hearts. He went to where they were. He was on their turf. He wanted to know about them. I just think we put him into such a box and make a relationship with him look so cheesy when we present him in a way like was presented last night.
I really struggled with writing about this on the blog. I struggle with writing a lot of stuff because of my motives, but I just couldn't stop thinking about it. There was a time when I was all about living in a Christian subculture - Living with my safe Christian friends, in my comfortable Christian house and listening to my nice Christian music and saying and doing all the "right" things. But last night I was really struggling. I LOVED that I was with those girls and Im so glad that we got to go to that concert, but I kept thinking about all the hurt people that were out last night celebrating St. Patrick's day and I felt a little weird. I found myself wanting to be out there with them. I want my life to be messy. I don't want to be safe. I want to go into the battle without my little LIFT bracelet and really love people - love them because Jesus loves me like that. I want to be there in the midst of their pain and struggles, and joys and tears and love them.
I feel SO judgmental right now - I'm sure the people that spoke last night had great intentions and I am sure that some people actually began relationships with Christ last night that will last for the rest of their lives - praise God for that. I just feel like God's bigger than our formulas and our simple explanations about how to enter into a relationship with him. Life with Jesus is easy, but it's not. It's great but it can be really hard. I just don't feel like LIFT bracelets are the answers to everyone's problems - I think loving them the way Christ does may be a start though...

Friday, March 17, 2006

faves in toona town

sorry about all the pics...Im kind of obsessed because I just figured out how to do it...
this is my tribute to altoona...

our cabin at camp last summer - thanks for the best week ever!!!!

some of my faves...

these are my "adult and non married friends" - they only exist on college breaks

kay and ash - HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAYLEE!!!

these girls thinking that they are tough by going BACK up the hill at Rbridge :)

my two sistas - lex and lish - their family adopted me when I moved here and I LOVE them

don't you worry - there are more to come later :) hope you are having a great day!!!!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

baseball and dancing

Yesterday at softball practice we were practicing batting. Some of the girls on our team are REALLY good and some of them haven't ever really played before. So during batting practice, I was trying to teach some of the girls what they needed to do. It was interesting to watch some of them because you could tell they were really thinking about what they needed to do. But they still couldn't really hit. I think part of it was because they were thinking SO much about it. There thoughts were consumed with well I need to put this foot here, do this with my hands, swing the bat this way, follow through, etc. Because they were thinking of all the mechanics, they missed really hitting the ball. Then I would watch some other girls who just got up there and swang. It was something that was in them. They just could do it - it looked and felt natural. I think part of that has to do with experience, etc., but they were just hitting, it was actually really cool to watch. You could tell that they loved the sport and they were having fun. Whenever you watch a professional baseball player, I'm sure their thoughts are not consumed with the "mechanics" of hitting. When you watch people dance, like really dance, they aren't thinking about what's happening, they are just moving their body to the music. It's so great to watch. It's usually quite beautiful.
I think that we can learn a lot about our relationship with Christ through watching batting practice and watching people dance. I don't think God wants us to be consumed with the questions and thoughts we bog ourselves down with. This relationship isn't about what we should and shouldn't be doing, I don't' think. It's not always about doing. It's about dancing with Jesus. This might be a weird pic for guys, but I have always loved this picture. It's about living in harmony with him and experiencing the joy that comes from just being with him. Just being natural, not trying to be something that we're not - not always thinking about the "mechanics." I think the mechanics come into play for sure - because without them you won't hit the ball - but there's something to be said about stepping up to the plate and swinging and loving it while you do it. I think God really wants us to enjoy being with him.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


ok here are some of my REAL faves...
jk love you steffy :)

ashbobash and kelso - two of my fave altoids

jill me and katy visiting "the ghetto"

stef and i being fake in this pic with jill because we HATE the other person's team
she's such a band wagon jumper - we DID go to college with Ben...
jk - we all know who won that game though

my best friends in La Toona - tiff and jules

katy stef and me at one of the best places on earth - ROCKBRIDGE!

annabelle and grif dawg :)

me and stef - this pic kinda shows our personalities :)

thanks for being the BEST friends in the world guys!!! more to come when i get my other pics!!!! i only had a few on my comp, so just you wait if you weren't up here yet!
have a GREAT day!

here is one peep i love.


Seriously...why can ONLY Stef post stuff on my blog?
I've tried from multiple different computers and it won't let me - it says cannot find server when I try and upload the pics...
HELP you expert bloggers! Thanks :) I want to show you guys the peeps that I love!

The Calling

The Calling is a pretty great band. My friend in college was obsessed with the calling...I have recently come to really like them. Their song our lives is awesome
I've been thinking about the idea of our calling for a while now. I'm wondering what influences "our calling" the most. Is it other people's comments? Is it that whisper we think we hear from God? Is it our subconscious that has idealized situations in our mind? Is it a billboard? Is our "calling" actually a real thing or do we just make it up to feel better about the direction that we go? What or who is it that plants ideas in our mind?
Through the wise council of many of my faves, I have heard things like, seek God's face and love others. Love God. Love others. The end. That's our calling. I wonder if God really cares about more than that...Like cares in a sense that he's ok with all of it, not that he doesn't care about us.
Does God care where we live?
Does it matter to him what our job is?
Does he have one perfect person created just for us?
Have the events in my life followed his perfect will for my life?
What the crap is God's will in my life?
There are times in my life where I have felt a definite pull and a push towards and away from different things...but what was that? Was it God, me, the universe, what? I have NO definite answers for this. I dont know if I ever will - that kind of hurts my brain

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

why is stef the only person who is able to post pictures on my blog?


I have ALWAYS prided myself on how laid back I am. It has at some points in my life defined me and the past few years it's been actually kind of hard for me to break that streak of acting like nothing bothers me or I don't care. But this past little bit of my life I think I have reverted in the opposite direction. EVERYTHING causes me some sort of anxiety and I have been more high strung than I ever have and I think ever will be. It is so weird and SO annoying. I hate being high strung, I hate being around people who are high strung hence my striving to be very laid back my whole life. I think my true self (high strung self) has been shining through recently - I can't fake it anymore. I'm not as laid back as I have always claimed...
I started thinking about this this morning because everything is a dilemma to me. My good friend Donnie owns a coffee shop in town. It's SO great. Comfy couches, wireless internet, good location, good food, good coffee. It's fun to go in there and chill out, talk to him if I want, or talk to God, talk to myself whatever. Coffee shops have often been at times my sanctuary - I have seen God so clearly with a vanilla latte more times than I can count! But here's the dilemma. We are getting a starbucks in Altoona (literally less than .5 miles from my house)!!!!!! Starbucks might be in my top five favorite things in life. So normally I would be doing cartwheels and trust me, I am SOOOOOOO excited about the 'bucks vanilla lattes, BUT I feel so bad going to the "competition." I KNOW this is ridiculous. But I was seriously I little bit stressed out about it this morning. I think this is my people pleasing mentality shining through as well.
So during the car ride from campaigners this morning to the office I thought about how stupid this dilemma was. This is seriously ridiculous. There are MUCH greater things in life to be worried about and to spend my time thinking about. I think I spend my time thinking about dumb stuff like vanilla lattes so I don't have to worry about the big stuff - defense mechanism maybe? Who knows. I think I need some more coffee - it's early.
Sean, you are not allowed to comment on the ridiculousness of a $4 cup of coffee - I am hearing you loud and clear 300 miles away :)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

jr. high

God's really good - really great night and I'm actually not tired - I think I am just SO glad that it's over because I have been having anxiety over that day/night since January.

I hung out with a kid who I swear has some sort of psychoism. Is that a word? Werirdest kid I've ever met - ever - hands down. Made the night VERY interesting though - Picture prozac on crack and you've got the kid in mind :)

Oh how I love junior high. We were never that weird and awkward were we?
Thanks for loving

Saturday, March 11, 2006

pray for me

I get to hang out with junior high kids from 9pm to 9am tonight. I think I am on the verge of freaking out and it's 3:28 pm. I can't wait until this time tomorrow!! Pray that time flies faster than it has my whole life!! Junior high kids are great...but all night long when I'd rather hide under the covers and cry...yea this'll be a fun one! Who'd idea was this again??? Love you guys :)

Friday, March 10, 2006

exploding pens

I LOVE exploding pens. They might be my most favorite thing ever. I love how ink gets on your hands, on your face, on your pants and then on your pants again when you cross your legs and don't realize you have ink on them, and on your id, beautifully covering up your face. You look so professional and on top of your game. I love that little 10th graders insist on telling you all about the ink on you. All of them. I LOVE exploding pens :)

the goods

God is really good. Actually he is really AMAZING. I love his timing and I love the way that he works!
If some of you had read some of my previous posts about what the crap I am doing with my life, this might make a bit more sense, but if not, praise God for being so cool anyways. So as I struggle with if this is a turning point in my life or not, God has pointed out some pretty great stuff. I LOVE and will forever be greatful that he chooses to use us in his redemptive plan. I know that he doesn't need to, but I love that we get to because in that process we get to see him more clearly and love him more deeply. I love being in "formal" ministry because I get the blessing of seeing it lots.
Here's some of the cool stuff....
The same day my brain is consumed with my discontent and unease about the direction I am pursuing, was the first Young Life club of the semester. Let me tell you how much I was praying that God would make this day go quick. I was so not excited or focused and I felt horrible about that. But club was amazing. Not necessarily mechanically did it go well, but kids felt loved. I got tears in my eyes more than once that night because God has blessed me with some great relationships with these kids. I love them so much and I just love seeing them interact with their friends, have fun and as one kid said "this is the only place in my life where I can let loose and be me." I LOVE that he feels like that. I LOVE that guys were belting out Spice Girls and people were laughing maybe the hardest they would that week. I love the fact that one of the girls who I've prayed for since I moved here called and asked if we could go to dinner because she feels like her life has no purpose (I don't love that she is feeling sad, I love that God's doing something:)). I love the fact that another one of my loves was like, hey I need to talk to you about my relationship with God - I want to get it back on track. Not many high schoolers seek me out to talk about God - I'm usually the initiator! I just love that God shows us distinct examples of what he's doing when we ask, but also sometimes still whispers in the background.
I still have no idea what I will be doing or where I will be in one month , six months or a year, but I will continually try to seek God's face and love him and serve him where I'm at the best I know how. And I will do it joyfully and excellently, not out of duty or because I have to, but because I want to and because he is just so stinking good.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

boys and girls

I have another posting coming today but I've been trying to figure out how to put that one in words. It's in response to my last few...so more to come on that later...but I HAD to post this cause I LOVE thinking about it!

I have a slight obsession with Pride and Prejudice - I think I may have said this before and I've only been blogging for like a week! I want to be Elizabeth Bennet. She is so beautiful, caring, witty, compassionate, I mean seriously, who wouldn't want to be her? But I think the main reason I really want to be her is because of the way that Mr. Darcy loves her. She has "bewitched him body and soul" and he loves her. Guys, every girl wants to be loved like this, well this girl atleast...
The whole book/movie you think they hate each other - or she atleast can't stand him. Watching it you think he's a jerk, that he has no feelings, but in reality he is so in love with Elizabeth he doesn't really know how to act. But when he figures out how to act he jumps on the oppurtunity to tell her. She totally rejects him because I think she is in shock. There are huge misunderstandings between the two of them and the last thing she thought he was going to tell her was that he loved her. The moment in the movie that she hates him the most he just busts it out. Despite the rejection he continually pursues her - he loves her and he's not afraid to let her know that.
Everytime I read/watch the movie I imagine living in that time period. I think I would love it. The way that men treated the women is sooooooo different than it is now. I think in some ways that is really good, but in other ways I think that now men tend to wuss out a bit. We saw contless examples of the guys in the movie going all out and risking so much for the girl. One guy says to a girl, "I'm going to stay by you for the whole night," guys will claim their love for the women even without the hint of it being reciprocated. Why doesn't that happen now? Why have the times changed so much that it seems to take soooooo much for a guy to risk? I am not putting all guys in this category, because I know some pretty great ones - but that's been my experience for the past few years. And maybe this does still happen more than I think, just not to me!!!
I've been trying to come to grips with this all day. Are women more hurtful now? Can a guys ego not handle any sort of rejection? Are women harder to understand and not as open to relationship? What does it seem like? I feel like it's hard for me to take risks in relationship so I kind of get that it is hard for guys, but I am still a girl. I guess I'm just old fashioned and feel like I should wait to be pursued. But I guess in waiting, I might just have to marry my postman!!! So I'd LOVE comments on the subject. Is it harder for guys to pursue? And why might they not? Or do they still and I'm just missing the boat?!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

ahhh life

Ok so here is my struggle. How do my desires and God's will/plan for my life work together? I think that they can work together because God created me with certain desires to be and do certain things but right now I don't feel like I am doing what I always desire, but I don't feel out of God's will for my life. When I finally made the decision to move to Altoona, I didn't really have any doubts. It was one of the scariest decisions that I have ever made and one of the biggest leaps I have ever made, but it's been great - and I felt great doing it. I know I will not look back on my life and claim this as my most favorite happiest time, but I have learned SO much about myself and God since I have lived here. I feel like I am starting to figure out who I am and what I want and I don't think I could have fully gotten to this place unless I was in La Toona (that's Altoona for you commoners - I like to spice it up a bit :)) I have made GREAT friends, I have a great boss and a great job, it's just been a hard 3 years.
But now I feel like I am at a turning point. That's my struggle actually, to see if I am at a turning point. I've made this commitment to myself that I'm going to be here for atleast one more year because I really want to see these girls that I met when they were freshman graduate. I love them so much and I really want to see them finish high school. I have been pursuing a full time teaching job for the past six months and there is a possibility that I could get a job. That is out of my hands though. I just kinda had a freak out on my way home from Cincy on Sunday because I have been planning on staying here for another year, but what if I'm not supposed to? My desires point me to move - I want to be in a place where I don't feel like an alien with the way that I think, I want to get married, I want to be a soccer mom, I want to have more than one mall to shop at, I want to experience new things, I want to live in Ohio, I want a roomate, I want a lot...
So, what am I doing? Is God calling me out because my desires have shifted so much lately? Or is God calling me to push through and finish my commitment that I feel like I made to myself and to him? I kinda feel like I'm not supposed to know yet. One of my bestest friends Jill said that it's not supposed to be that confusing. I think when it's right, I'll know. Kinda like when you meet the person of your dreams, you just know. (I'll let you know when and if that happens :))
I guess the conclusion I'm coming to is that I am going to take it day by day. I'm going to love God and serve him in the best way that I know in La Toona, and wait for the answers to so many whatifs in my life. I just hate waiting. I'm so sick of it. I'm TOTALLY an instant gratification girl - hence my never ending credit cards :) So I'd LOVE it if God sped things along, but maybe that's not the point...

Monday, March 06, 2006

stef's issues

So sometimes I feel like I have the gift of discernment. When I started college I was obsessed with it. I would look at people and be like, this happened to them when they were younger and this is why they are the way they are. I might not have ever talked to them in my life but I would analyze every little detail of what they would say and do and apply it to their past in some way. I feel like I was probably a bit annoying because I wouldn't always keep my thoughts to myself. I act like I have the same "gift" now. In working with high school kids, I look at them and what I know about their story and analyze why they are the way they are and adapt my relationship with them based on my conclusions. The girls I am close to always make fun of me because when they are telling me about problems with their friends they always quote me by saying "I know, look for the deeper issue." I ALWAYS try and find the deeper issue. I am usually quite good to. So now as I am out of college and perfecting my "issue finding" I find it a lot harder with people in my same stage of life. I always wonder why some of my friends are still single - what's their issue? and I wonder why some of my friends don't want to have babies - what's their issue? I wonder why some of them are so selfconcious - what's their issue?
One of the people who I love the most in my life is Stef. She was my roomate for all four years of college and I dont know if I can count on one hand the amount of real conversations we had in college. Most of them occured because of me having a crush on her exboyfriend and hanging out with him all the time (oops!). After those episodes our freshman year, not a ton was discussed and let me be the first to say we had LOTS of issues in our own lives and within our relationship as well.
Since graduation, we have had more real and hard conversations than probably I have ever had with anyone. I have ALWAYS tried to figure out her issues with her parents divorce, with the guys she dates, with the guys she's wanted to date, her house burning down, her working for Young Life, the list goes on and on. It's gotten harder. She seems more shut off. And now that we are more mature (maybe :)) she has become my personal conselor and the tides have changed to her figuring out my issues, which can be quite annoying when you're not expecting it or ready to deal with it. So I'm wondering if the tides have changed because she wants more control. She has shut down from most emotion in her life, if not all and she is now the one obsessed with figuring out everyone's issue. I'm not saying she is emotionless, she has a ton of compassion for people in her life, but when it comes to her own life, she is hardened. I'm struggling with what causes that.
Lately I have become stuck on different thoughts for days at a time. Last week I was obsessed with coming to a conclusion on whether or not we have to sin. This weekend I was obsessed with whether or not the internet can show true authenticity or if your own personal bias plays in while reading about others. Last night I was obsessed with what it means to die to your self and also lose your life to save it - Does that mean I am destined to Altoona forever? Today I am obsessed with Stef's issues. I want to make her crack. I want to help her to feel for herself again. Not because I want the control back in our relationship, but because I want to be her friend. You are truly blessed if you have the friends like I do. Who else knows ALL your junk and loves you more because of it besides Jesus?
Now I want you to go back and count how many times I used the word issues. Sorry bout that! I just loooooooooove to "talk" things out on here.
Love you guys.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

and we're off...

so God decided to bless me BIG time today! I have been waiting for this day all week because tonight I get to start what I know will be one of my favorite weekends of 2006. (I know it will be tied with my fun weekend in Colo with StefShaf and JillWit and JillWit's bachelorette weekend in April!!!) Tonight I get to see one of my fave people of life, KateB and tomorrow I get to see some of my other fave people, the Murphys (who I wish lived in PA still SO bad - you guys would have had a snow day today, how fun is that?!)
So yea, I need a relaxation weekend and these people are just WHO I needed!
But here's the fun thing. Last night I went to bed thinking, man, I can't wait until tomorrow is over! BUT today I woke up to the best news ever - 2 HOUR DELAY!!!!! That's right, I got to sleep in and go to school 2 hours later, and still get paid for the full day! THen I got out to my car this morning and it was in a little ice cocoon. It was seriously such a cool thing. I would put the windows down and the ice would stay up. It's the little things in life, ya know?
I'm subbing in a room that has a compute which equals reading blogs and emailing people all day, so that's fun. God just let me have my fun weekend start now! I am excited!
Hope you all are feeling blessed today!!