i feel like...

Friday, April 28, 2006



Have a great weekend my friends!

**Just a little note - Jill and Scotty have been engaged for a while, but we are celebrating this weekend in Columbus with some fun times!**

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I've got some pretty great friends. They are actually really amazing. And even though I was DREADING my long 9 hour drive home from Saranac, I think I talked nonstop on my cell phone for the last 5 hours of the trip which was AMAZING because I caught up with a vast majority of these pretty great peeps in my life. SO....if you didn't get a phone call tonight, expect one tomorrow night, cause I'll be calling you when I am driving to CINCY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just love you guys...thanks for being awesome

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

good advice

This is going to be a GOOOOOOOOOOD week!
I am in one of my favorite places on earth right now - Saranac Lake in upstate New York at the Young Life camp!!!!!! And this weekend I get to see some of my fave peeps in Cincy and in Columbus!! I just love Ohio too!

I just love Saranac. This is where I met Christ, where my bro met Christ, where I truly understood what it meant to be in love with Jesus. I just love it.
But I heard some really fun advice about marriage, that kind of hit me in a way that never has before, even though I have heard both of them!
1) Marriage is not about you. It's not about what you're going to get out of it. It's about you loving and serving someone else the best way you know how. That's how you will glorify God the most. I feel like I have lately thought about how great marriage is going to be for me....but it's SO not about that! It's about how great it will be for my husband and ultimately glorifying God
2) Marry your best friend. You don't split up with your best friend. You have fights, you make up, and you move on. You know you'll be friends forever. So marry them. Which is kind of fun. I know with some of my friends who are girls that even if we fight like crazy, sometime soon we won't be fighting. I even said that to one of them the other day. I was so hurt, but I was like, whatever, I know this will be done in a little bit. No, I'm not going to marry my girl best friend, but it was a cool picture to think about.

So there's my advice for all you out there. It's not mine, so if it sucks, sorry! But if it's great, just know who passed it on ;)

Monday, April 24, 2006

giving it up

One of my bf's of life came to La Toona this weekend...it was sooooo great to see her. I just love hanging out with people that know me better than I know myself sometimes and I can just talk and talk and I know it'll be ok.
After Jilly left, PW came to town. PW Gopal did a little concert in La Toona, which was SO fun as well. You can check out his music here. I sent an email to all the YL leaders around the area and some of them brought some of their kids down to the concert. He did a cover of I'll Be by Edwin McCain and it seriously made me about cry. At first I started thinking about my future and who I'm going to be the biggest fan to - I just want to support someone and love them like that so much! But then I think God showed me that life isn't ALWAYS about that and I got to see something just, if not more awesome.
A couple of years ago I read this book called Windows to the Soul, by Ken Gire. I of course was obsessed with the book. He talked about stopping when you're about to cry and looking at what is causing that. Tears are a window to your soul. Getting goosebumps is a window to your soul. What gives you the chills? What makes your heart ache? What makes you want to burst because it's so beautiful?
Those are windows to your soul. Those are pictures of what really matters to you.
So I thought I was crying cause I want to be married, blah blah blah. But I was looking at all these leaders with all these kids. Some of the leaders were with the kids for 12 hours yesterday and 6 hours this morning and then they drove an hour to come to this concert with kids. It was like this all day affair. They were these high school kids' biggest fans. They showed me a picture about what it means to literally give your life away. All day, all night, all the time, giving your life away. These guys happened to be doing it for high school guys. They love them so much, that they were around them for 24 hours this weekend.

one of my fave people of life, sean mm really pushes this idea. I really don't get how he gets this vision across so well. He did it in Mtown...He did it in State College...He does it all the time. Everywhere he goes, this "idea" is passed on. And it sticks with us forever. I'm really excited to see all the people who are in heaven because of a direct and what will be even cooler, an indirect connection with Sean. Thanks for always giving your life away.

So stop and look in your windows at your soul...what are you going to give your life away to?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

true colors

I've been thinking a lot about who we really are as people. Not who we are on our blogs, not who we are in our church, not who we are to our family or friends, but who we really are as people. I've always said that if you put all the people in my life together than you'll see the true me. Not a ton of people know everything about me, but all my friends/coworkers/family/people on the street combined probably could get a pretty good picture. Not that I am inauthentic (is that a word) or something, but you just are diff around different people. Am I off base?

My friend's Grandma is in a nursing home because she has alzheimers. My friend was telling me when her grandma first started getting sick she went back to some of her previous thoughts on things in life. Like, she started being racist and she started being really anal about certain things. Before she was sick she wasn't these things at all, but when she got sick, I wonder if her true colors showed, or if it was the disease distorting things. I don't know enough about Alzheimer's to know for sure - and her grandma is an awesome lady, by the way.

A dear girl Abby was in a really bad car accident a few years ago. She was in a coma for awhile, had some brain damage, and is still on the way towards recovery - but seems to be doing awesome. What is really cool is really quickly after she woke up, when other parts of her personality weren't there, she was still really excited about Jesus. She was concerned with whether or not the nurses knew Christ and her passion shined through what the accident had done to her body. I love that even though major parts of her body were recovering, she still had Jesus in her core and that wasn't going to change.

I guess my question is what's in your core. IfI get old and show signs of alzheimers, what are people going to say about me? Is Jesus so far infused into who I am that if all other parts of my personality disappear if I get in a car wreck, will people still know I love him? I sure as heck hope so.

My friend Elliot describes our cores as "our clocks." Who are you really down at the core? Who are you when everyone in your life combined puts their image of you together? Who are you when you are by yourself? Can you ever really be known? This stuff is just soooooooo interesting to me. I LOVE knowing people and I love the process behind becoming known.

I love that God knows. I love that he created the depths of my soul and knows me better than I know myself. That thought used to kind of freak me out - but now I just am so comforted by it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

story of my life

So I am subbing today for this teacher that is in charge of the resource room. If people want to get help on a test they come up here and I help them. Pretty easy. I also get to teach like 3 classes which require me pushing a cart around the school - which if any of you know of my driving record, it's about the same as me driving a cart. I think I hit like 6 kids - those things are really hard to control! So yes, I feel like a tool walking through the hall, but whatev, what are you going to do?
So two girls were in here discussing their WEDDING PLANS!!!!!!!! They are JUNIORS IN HIGH SCHOOL!!! What the heck is up with that?!! I just don't get it. Now granted, one of the girls bought her wedding dress at goodwill for $25 (it was originally $50 but she went on half off day). That is not my idea of a dream dress, but I grew up in Hudson - blame it on my environment. Wow that sounded materialistic and snobby. So yea, the one girl is engaged and is waiting for 3 years so she can have a kegger and actually be able to drink it and the other girl is getting married a year from May 19th! May of her SENIOR YEAR! Seriously?
Last night we had club at this girls house who happens to live next to this kid I had in class for like the last 10 days. I pull up to the house and I get out and Lou is smoking his cigs. (He's 15). He exhales and kinda looks at me funny. I just smiled and kept going in the house. Then I was very intrigued because soon his whole little group joined him and they all were smoking and I swear I saw a drug deal. I SOOO badly wanted to be like, hey want to come to club, but I am a wuss, so instead I waved and said hi when we made eye contact again. Loving them where they are at right?
Now I have had two thoughts on these kids.
1) My life was SOOOOOOOO different than theirs. I grew up in white upperclass suburbia where the biggest problem you face is that your shirt from j.crew shrunk, went to Miami University where your biggest problem was that your shirt from j.crew got stretched out. Ok I'm being stupid - people had lots of problems, they are just waaaaaaaay better at hiding them. But I would NEVER have smoked outside my front porch, (I used to have smoke routes I would take so that I wouldn't get caught, but I still got suspended from the vball team. Sweet.) and I would have NEVER smoked in front of my teacher. I think I would have started crying if my teacher saw me! I just want to understand this community I live in SO bad, but I wonder if I ever really can because their lives are SO different than mine.
2) How do we get these kids to a place where they can hear about Jesus. I LOVE Young Life and I have seen it work countless times again and again, but is club really for these kids? Yes they would be welcome but they wouldn't love it. I think that's the point. Club isn't the point. The relationships that we build with these kids and the fact that I get to meet like 100 new ones each time I sub is the greatest. I just want more ways to get inside their world. And I want to not be such a wuss about saying hi to my drug dealing sophomore kid who I really like - he's way up on my list cause he gave me a pizza of their pizza when they ordered it for a party day.
I dont know...
I just really love high school kids. But I think I've got a long way to go before I can get in their world and really go to where they are at.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


So I got Walk the Line in my easter basket - which I was VERY excited about because I love that movie and I love Reese. My bro got King Kong and since I had never seen the movie, I was REALLY excited to watch it.
I was bummed out though because I didn't love it. I usually love the whole love movie thing, but not this one. I liked a lot of it, but I sort of felt like it was Jurassic Park with a big monkey. It did bring up a few questions I have about love and relationships though. So here they are:

Question #1:
Can you make someone love you? Can you love someone into loving you?
King Kong fell in love with Ann. Ann fell in love with King Kong (which was really weird for me). It got me thinking about if we could make someone love us by loving them and showing that love for them. King Kong saved Ann's life numerous times. He protected her, cared for her and they had some sort of connection. Ann loved him back. I kept trying to imagine being Ann, but I couldn't imagine loving a big monkey. I did love how Jack Driscoll loved Ann though! But anyways, I wonder if Kong loved Ann into loving him. Is it possible?
For example, my friend has this guy who has always been around. He seems to be totally just in love with her. Her family loves him, her daughter loves him, he would do ANYTHING in the world for her - and does, but she's just like, oh he's a great friend. Even though she has a boyfriend now, I always think in the back of my mind that if this guy continually pursues her, she'll break and realize how much in love with him she is.
One of my YL leaders in high school had this guy that was really into her. She was always like, eh, no, it won't work - I'm not really attracted to him - I keep telling him no when he asks me out. But now they are married. He pursued her until she realized, wow, I really do love this guy.
Now, I'm not talking about some weird stalkerish infatuation. I'm talking about if you know someone is truly in love with you, will there come a point that you feel drawn to them too? I've never seen it not happen - I'm not saying it doesn't, I've just never seen it.
I kind of wonder this about God too. I go back and forth about being a Calvinist because there are some parts that I am in agreement with 100% but other parts that are a lot harder for me to stomach. But if we are really exposed to how much God loves us, why would we not love him back? Do we have the option to resist that love? It's this overwhelming, amazing, powerful thing to be loved like that. I think it can also be overwhelming and amazing to be loved by a man or woman like that. But, is it irresistible?

This kind of leads to question #2:
Why are people scared to love and to be loved?
I don't know exactly how I feel about this statement: 'Tis better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all."
I used to live by this statement. I still think I kind of do, but I'm wondering if subconsciously I don't because of being burnt in the past. Life is about putting your heart out there and loving someone no matter what the outcome might be. We don't know what the outcome is - so why are we so hesitant? I think we miss out on so much good because we don't risk. But that's the point - it's risky. We're afraid of getting hurt, we're afraid of losing that person, we're afraid of our own feelings, we're afraid of the pain that breaks us if stuff doesn't work out. But what if our fears are keeping us from something amazing? What is it does work out?
I do NOT have all the answers. I am saying these things right now, but do I live this out in my life? Not all the time. Not recently. I am just really interested in everyone's thoughts on the subject...

It's scary stuff this love business - but I TRUST it can be greater than we can imagine.

Friday, April 14, 2006

good friday

I kind of feel a bit crazed right now, but I am obsessed with the bible. I LOVE how stuff is written in the old testament that directly foreshadows the new testament. How amazing is that?? 700 years before Jesus was even born, Isaiah described his death. We read this in campaigners last week, and there are parts of it that just really hit me...
I really hope you get to reflect on what this weekend means...God's really good, I mean really, really good...

1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Isaiah 53

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

shout out to annabelle

This post has nothing to do with Annie. I just love her and miss her and wanted her to feel cool cause her name is in the title.

So sorry about my fast from blogging. I feel like my life is kind of spinning out of control right now and this past week I have been so consumed with making things come together that I haven't had time to think about it. The fact that my computer is broken is another reason - I usually post stuff in the morn or night when I am relaxing in my bed - which I promise is the most comfy bed in PA.
I guess I just lied. I have been thinking about what to post, I just haven't done it yet. I feel kinda crappy lately. I have recently come to the realization that I am the most selfish person on the planet. I want to tell you a few things about my life lately
-I am currently subbing for this guy - it's a weird situation, I have to call everyday to see if I have to come back the next day. I get to teach advanced geo, prob and stat and reg. geometry. Which I SUCK at prob and stat so I have been needing to reteach it to myself so that I don't have kids say to me "um, I think that's wrong." Yes. That has happened like 3 times. But I have to get up at 6, go to school 7-3, and then...
-I get to coach softball. Which I LOVE - but I sometimes forget why I am actually coaching it. I do love the game, but my whole point in coaching is so that it can be part of my ministry. The whold point is so that I can love these girls! I want them to know about Jesus. Who cares if they lead off the base wrong? Who cares that they strike out looking? Is me getting ticked at them showing anything about Jesus? Nope. I dont think...
So after school I get to go to practice or a game then...
-I get to go to something Young Life. Every night for the past 2 weeks we have had something formal for YL like club or campaigners, or I have made plans to hang out with kids to try and make up for the time that I spend at school, so that I dont feel guilty for getting paid to be in this ministry still.
-On top of that I am taking an online grad class, my computer is broken, I am trying to get organized to go out of town/have something big every weekend until June 25th and I'm trying to have some sort of a social life. To say the least I feel very...stretched is the word I think.

BUT in the midst of all this....Does it really matter? Why are my problems all so much bigger than everyone elses? I feel like every time chaos happens, no one else has any other problems to deal with. I am the center. Be empathetic towards me. Understand what I feel like and help me out. I HATE THAT I AM LIKE THAT! I hate being the all about me person. I hate looking at people and pointing out what is bad about them and how I am awesome compared to them. I hate that one of my best friends' whole family was sick and I was more concerned about my schedule for that day. I hate that I have to tell my other friend a time that I will call them to talk about what they are really upset about in that moment because I am more concerned about what is going on with me. I hate that there are starving people in africa, that some people don't have 2 parents that love each other, that some people don't have homes and friends, but that I am SO much more concerned about what the crap I'm going to do with my life and what the HECK is going on in it now. My dear friend Sar puts it best when she said "everyone's gotta bitch every once in a while" and yes we do, BUT I want to allow others to do it first. I want to be more prayful about other people's problems than my own. I want to seek to love others before I can see what I gain from them. I want to hear what they have to say first - not call them up and say, "hey listen to what happened to me - ok bye. " Why are my issues always so much bigger?

I feel like this is a whole bunch of repeat, but I have just been really convicted of my "it's all about jana" attitude. And the thing that sucks is that this post has been all about jana - I really don't think I can get beat this - which maybe is the point. I can't do it on my own.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

must love dogs

I want to marry John Kusack's character on Must Love Dogs. He is hilarious - are people actually like that?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

steffy shaf

i love this girl. she is my therapist.

Monday, April 03, 2006

a few dets

a) i think i should have given up blogging for lent. i am sad to admit that i am obsessed

b) sometimes i feel like i am schizophrenic - it's like i have a dual personalities because at the same time that i am fantasizing about what life could be the other personality can see the ridiculousness of my thoughts and it's like they battle or something - is that weird?

c) i LOVE abbreviating things and seeing if people can figure out my abbrevs

d) i'm supposed to be writing a club talk right now, but my brain is just on another planet - any help out there? what should i tell the youth of america about

e) i keep asking people for advice but then i get annoyed when they give it to me - what is that?

f) where's the line between selfish and healthy? between what you need to do for yourself and also that you're supposed to die to yourself?

good night.

clive staples

My friend Kevin (who I confess is much wiser on this issue than I) gets really frustrated about this "emerging church movement." He thinks that the people involved are making up new theological ideas and he is frustrated because he thinks that the church should stand on the shoulders of our historical church fathers and not on people who are hip and trendy and writing interesting funny books today. We always get into arguments about this issue because I don't think that these "emerging pastors" are necessarily disagreeing with our founding church fathers, I think they are doing exactly the opposite - trying to take the church back to what our church fathers had at the very beginning. I think the church has changed SO much from what it was at the beginning. I think that these "postmodern pastors" are trying to get the church away from the awful t-shirts, Four Spiritual Laws tracts, WWJD bracelets and bring us back to what matters - loving God and loving people.
(Kevin, sorry if I have your opinion way screwed up - I'd love to chat more on this matter)

CS wasn't writing an extremely long time ago, but I consider him to be one of our "church fathers." (Sorry about all the quotes, but I'm just not sure what to call all the different people.)
I am obsessed with this passage from The Weight of Glory. I think that this passage takes us back to a little bit of what life and the church is all about...
"...It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may on one day be a creature which, if you say it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and expolit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendours...our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner - no mere tolerance...Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbor, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat - the glorifier and the glirified, Glory Himself is truly hidden."

P.S. I am naming my first son Jack because of this man - I am obsessed

Sunday, April 02, 2006

not enough dancing

So you guys let me down. Thanks a lot. Thanks for rain dancing your heart away :)
I'm kinda kidding...I just REAAAALLLLLLLLLY wanted to go to Cincy this weekend, but it didn't rain so I got to see ALTOONA WIN THE SOFTBALL TOURNEY! So that was a good way to make up for it!!
I just wanted to share with you that I almost got kicked out of the game today. Yes, people pleasing, can't say no, always aware of self, pink nailpolish girl, me, got yelled at by the ump, that if I couldn't calm down and keep my comments to myself I was going to have to go to the bus. If anyone ever says I lack passion, I want them to come see me coach.

I wonder if people who were around me today knew that I was as passionate about Jesus as I was about the ump's lack of a strike zone...

sorry i couldn't post this on your bday...I left this morning and got back now and it's past april 1!
i wish i could have been there to celebrate your big day with you!! love you little buddy - can't wait to see you!