Monday, December 28, 2009

Cheap Entertainment

I have two cats, both of whom have strange personality quirks. However, they share an odd obsession with boxes. They sit on them, climb inside them, dig in them, fight over them, and will flip them over to meet their needs.

Their obsession comes in handy when I need to put them in a carrier for any reason. I bring it out and they immediately start fighting over who is going to sit in it and they're generally happy to be in the carrier because they think of it as another box. Having cats that love being in their carriers is such a huge blessing when one moves as often as I have. :-)

Last night, Posie (a 12.5 pound Tabby-Siamese mix) spent twenty minutes trying to fit in a box far too small for her. She could sort of sit in the box but became frustrated when she tried to lay down and didn't fit. This resulted in her getting up and walking around the box multiple times, digging at it, and trying again (hoping it had somehow expanded since the last attempt). Finally, she tilted it on the lid and laid down on that while still digging at the bottom (now on it's side). See below for pictures of the early part of her attempts.

Today, I had to move some things around to get to some craft boxes. I finally found what I was looking for in one of the boxes and haphazardly put the lid back on it and focused on the project at hand. Not five minutes later, I looked over and Posie had removed the box lid and was sitting on top of the contents, in the box.

After the last twenty-four hours, do you think she's on the hunt for a new box to claim? I would feel badly for her, except that she has her very own box that she completely fits in and is allowed to tear apart. In fact, she routinely jumps in her box, known as "Posie's box," whenever I come in the door. Oh well, at least her toys are cheap: boxes! :-)

As you can see, she barely fits in the box.

But she's so proud of herself for fitting. :-)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I love when I'm overwhelmed by funny and sentimental memories from childhood. Not that I want to live in the past, but sometimes it's just fun to remember the silliness and excitement of being a child on Christmas morning. Family traditions are so interesting to me. Each family develops their own and makes them unique, yet there's usually something common to so many of the traditions we share.

One of my favorite childhood family traditions on Christmas morning was how my parents made my brother and me wait to see our tree with all the gifts. We had an enclosed staircase with a landing part-way up. My parents would hang a dark sheet from the ceiling and make sure that we couldn't easily see around it. Even if you did see around the sheet, all you could see was the rest of the staircase. My brother and I would wait upstairs for what often seemed like hours (and as we got older, it was usually hours) before being permitted downstairs to start celebrating Christmas as a family. The anticipation and excitement would build to the point that we could barely tolerate it.

I hope the anticipation of Christmas has built to the point that you can barely tolerate it today! Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

One Year

One year ago today, my grandmother passed away. It wasn't a peaceful passing but I'm confident she's at peace, pain free, and joyfully spending an eternity with Jesus. I didn't really get to know my grandmother until I moved to Indiana in 2005 and spent many weekends with her the year I lived there.

I'm so thankful that God allowed us to really know each other and used her in my life in so many ways. Grieving over the loss of her in my daily life has been different than the process I experienced with my dad and my grandfathers. I find it interesting how grief is so unique to the individual relationship, that no one process is identical to another. And yet sometimes, I wish there was a formula for it.

I miss her wise counsel, her laugh, her gruff tone when she'd had enough football viewing for one day (and insisted I change the channel to something else), her encouragement, calling her with recipe questions, and the way she could read through my facade. But I think most of all, I miss how she loved each one of her family members and friends. She had a way of getting to know someone so well and understanding what they needed and how they needed to be loved in that moment. I hope that someday I'm able to love others that way as well.

I'm thankful for the time I had with her and the way God has used her to shape my life. It's amazing how even when someone is gone from our daily lives, God can continue to use them to shape us into who He created each of us to be. I can still hear her reprimanding tone as she yelled at my grandfather when she'd catch him pesting someone or plotting some prank or scheme, "George!" :-) Everyone within earshot would just laugh, knowing he'd been caught and managed to achieve his goal of pesting someone (her) without having to actually prank anyone.

Today, I miss her and I'm flooded by hard memories of a year ago. Usually the better memories occupy my mind, but it's understandable that some difficult ones are there today too.

Below: Grandma with my cousin. Grandpa with his "Four Red Roses" (all the granddaughters). He was probably about to tickle all of us. :-)

Friday, December 18, 2009


I finished this (crazy) semester on Tuesday. That day involved working nearly twelve hours and driving more than two hours in traffic to and from my internship. I still have some writing to do for the project, but for the most part it is done. As is typical for me, I've been obsessively checking for my grades since Wednesday. :-)

As wonderful as it feels to not have homework to do today or tomorrow, it also hasn't sunk in yet that I have at least a month of no classes. I'm praying that I pass my classes and am able to graduate this semester, but it could be another two weeks before I know if I passed and apparently it can take up to a month for the graduation application to go through. It's so easy for me to obsess and want to know right now. One friend asked what I was doing to curb how often I check on my grades and I replied that I've been able to start only checking every two hours. ;-) She suggested I find other things to occupy my time and distract me, which is usually what happens. It just takes me a few days to get there and settle into the wait.

Overall though, this has been a really challenging week for me. God is definitely moving in my life and working on some things that He couldn't while I was in the middle of classes. Unfortunately, I've been struggling to be in the Christmas spirit so far. I've been so busy with finishing school and trying to graduate that I haven't had the energy to focus on anything outside of that. I've been trying to bake goodies this week and I need to move furniture and decorate.

I know people would say that Christmas isn't about cookies and Christmas trees; and, they're absolutely right. But, it creates and continues the feeling of mystery, wonder, and joy that Christmas embodies for me. It's the ambiance, it helps me focus on Christ and the gift God gave us in His Son.

And I know that I'm especially struggling with that this year as it is the first celebrated Christmas since my grandmother's passing last year. I miss her terribly and I know that if I don't fully celebrate Christmas this year, a bad pattern could be established where this time of the year is only associated with her instead of properly focused on Christ. There's a balance that needs to be found and I'm still working on it.

Yet, I know God will provide what I need to be able to focus on Him and His Son this season. Perhaps for me, the season of Christmas may only be a few days this year. But that's longer than the season I experienced last year. I hope that God's provision (which is really what Christmas is all about) never fails to amaze me. I hope that I always see His provision, acknowledging it when I see and experience it, thanking Him for how deeply He loves me and each one of us.

After all of that and looking back on this week, I think I need a good laugh. I present, Reindeer Posie and Santa Izzy...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What Faith Can Do

Kutless - What Faith Can Do

I heard this song the other day and it is so applicable to recent events in my life. I hope it encourages you the way it has me.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Trusting Again

These songs have been on my heart and are pretty descriptive of how I've been feeling lately. Recently, a friend hurt me deeply. They cut me to the core and I've questioned everything I thought I knew about them and our friendship. Accepting that God wants to restore that friendship hasn't been easy for me. Sometimes I still struggle with putting that into practice, specifically when it comes to trusting that friend again. However, I'm choosing to trust God and allowing Him to guide this friendship. By trusting in Him, He's made it possible for me to trust my friend again. Throughout this process, what I needed to hear over and over again was that God's character is consistent and nothing rattles Him; He is in control. I know He's trustworthy and I need to live that out.

Phil Stacey - You're Not Shaken
From the album Into The Light

I am sinking in a river that is raging
I am drowning, will I ever rise to breathe again?
I want to know why, I just want to understand
Will I ever know why?
How could this be from Your hand?

When every little thing that I have dreamed would be
Just slips away like water through my hand
And when it seems the walls of my belief are crashing down
Like they're all made of sand
I won't let go of You now, because I know You're not shaken

I am trembling in the darkness of my own fear
All the questions with no answers still grip me while I'm here
And I may never know why, I may not understand
But I will lift up my eyes and trust this is Your plan

When every little thing that I have dreamed would be
Just slips away like water through my hand
And when it seems the walls of my belief are crashing down
Like they're all made of sand
I won't let go of You now, because I know You're not shaken

When I am in the valley of the shadow of death
You're not shaken, You're not shaken
You're right here beside me and You have never left
You're not shaken, You're not shaken

When every little thing that I have dreamed would be
Just slips away like water through my hand
And when it seems the walls of my belief are crashing down
Like they're all made of sand
I won't let go of You now, because I know You're not shaken

You're not shaken
You're not shaken

Mark Schultz - He Is
From the album Come Alive

Father, let the world just fade away
Let me feel Your presence in this place
Lord, I've never been so weary
How I need to know You're near me
Father, let the world just fade away
'Til I'm on my knees
'Til my heart can sing

He is
He was
He always will be
Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
He is

Father, let Your Holy Spirit sing
Let it calm this storm inside of me
As I stand amazed
Lift my hands and say

He is
He was
He always will be
He lives
He loves
He's always with me
Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul

Through every fear
And every doubt
In every tear I shed
Down every road
I'm not alone
No matter where I am

He is
He was
He always will be
He lives
He loves
He's always with me
Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
Be still and know
Be still, my soul
He is

Saturday, August 8, 2009

You know your hair is too long when... close the car door and it gets stuck. roll up the car window and it gets stuck. sit down and try to turn your head and can't because it is stuck. gets stuck under your armpit or someone else's when you give them a hug. need to tie it back in order to keep it out of your food when you eat. takes 20 minutes or more to dry your hair.

...after you shower, you wrap your hair in a towel and it sticks out the end. play with it by reaching around your back. reaches under your chin and you can tie it. can tie it in a knot and it stays for a few seconds. can re-enact Catherine Zeta-Jones' sword fight in The Mask of Zorro. bend over and it touches the ground.'s longer than your shirt sleeve.

My hair has been driving me crazy lately. Not all of these are true for my hair, but enough are that it was funny. :-)

Thanks for some of the ideas, D!!

Monday, August 3, 2009


I've been back from Cologne (Koeln) for a week and am finally thinking the jet lag may be behind me. My stomach has been the toughest thing to overcome. For some reason it has been very sensitive and I wasn't able to eat much last week. I had no problems with the food in Germany, so I find it a bit odd that I started having issues when I returned home. But I was able to eat two full meals yesterday, which is a huge improvement from last week! Today's goal is three meals!

I'm planning on writing more about my adventures there, but haven't had a chance to since I'm still finishing up my last summer class this week. Fall semester starts in a month and I need to finalize my schedule. There's so much to do!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Recent Revelations

The last several months have been difficult and yet I've been enormously blessed through the pain. I've seen two of my close friendships end in the span of six months. Both were very painful experiences and they left me hurt, battered, and broken. One in particular has been very challenging for me to endure. Accusations have flown about my character and I felt as though that person was permitted to emotionally abuse me while mutual friends just sat there and observed, doing little or nothing to stop the abuse. I know the goal of the mutual friends was not to contribute to that pain, yet they did unintentionally. I've also learned that there were times when they did defend me from the abuse, I just wasn't made aware of those situations until later. They stepped in between us at great risk to themselves and I'm grateful for their love and support. The entire situation has been painful and unfortunate, on all sides. The ending of that friendship deeply shook my world and has altered most of my other close friendships.

Through God, those altered friendships have grown deeper and richer; which was not my former friend's goal. And those friends have become a huge blessing in my life. I continue to be amazed at how God takes an incredibly painful situation and turns it into something of beauty. Through the loss of those two friends, I've drawn closer to Him and to others in my life. He has continued to take down walls that I built years ago. He has used those deeper friendships to help tear down some of those walls and I'm learning to lean on others in times of pain and joy. He has made something new and marvelous in this process.

In the midst of all of this, He started asking me how much I trust Him. Trust seems to be the area God works on in my life the most. It constantly comes up in various ways.

This time last year, while I wanted to eventually be married and have a family, I believed I was too damaged and broken for those blessings. A complete lie and one I believed for years about myself. Thankfully, God has changed that this year.

Also, around this time last year, I ultimately wanted to work as a university archivist. At many (or most) universities, that would require me to go through the process of gaining tenure. This often requires 60 hour work weeks for at least 5 years, often longer if you start out in a lower ranking job where you have to climb the ranks. At the time, this didn't really bother me; I was living with the lie that I would have little to no life outside of work, so I might as well put all of me into work. Again, that is no longer true.

While I would still love to be a university archivist, I'm no longer willing to spend the amount of time it would take to achieve tenure. Also, I believe God will bless me with a husband and family someday. He's reshaping the vision for my life to match His and while I'm excited for that, it also leaves me a little uncertain about how this all fits together.

As I was accepting those altered plans, God started asking me if I would really follow Him, to possibly live in a foreign country and serve Him. To be honest, I didn't really see that question coming. For weeks, I struggled to discern if it was really God's voice in my life. Once I determined it was, I had all kinds of questions and excuses to pose before Him. However, in the end, I agreed that I would follow wherever He leads me, even to a foreign country. I have no idea what that would look like. Would I be there as an archivist, as a missionary, or in some other capacity? Is He asking me to go soon or in several years? What does that mean for library school? The only answer I have is that I need to finish up library school. I have no answers to the rest of these (and other) questions.

I've never been on a mission trip in my life, let alone one to a foreign country. In fact, the only foreign country I've been to is Canada - once when I was 6 and again when I was 18, on a band trip. I'm not experienced at sharing my faith with others. I often feel completely incompetant in just about everything. I don't have many Bible verses memorized. The list goes on and on of how I know I'm not prepared or qualified for such a calling.

I've always wanted to travel around in Europe and at one point wanted to study abroad for a year. However, I've never had the serious desire to live in a foreign country long-term. This is a huge shift for me because that seems to be where He's gently leading my heart right now. And while I trust Him, there are moments of absolute confusion about all of this and days that I spend a large amount of time asking Him to tell me more about His vision. So far, He's been silent beyond just asking me if I'd go (and that I need to finish my degree).

One friend's cautionary advice is that God may not be calling me overseas at all. He could just be testing me to see how much I really do trust Him with His vision for my life. Or He may be working on another area of my life and I'm not seeing it yet. And while I've had the same thoughts over the last several months (on several occassions, I've actually hoped for this to be the case); the idea of living overseas continues to come up. And I have increasing peace with the idea even though I have absolutely no answers to serious (or frivolous) questions on the topic. Which, I will admit, drives me crazy!

I believe the opportunity for me to go to Cologne later this month is part of this process. Granted, I'm going as an archivist with a small group of other archivists, not on a mission trip. Yet, I have no doubt this was completely orchestrated by God and He is at work here.

I just finished reading Captivating. In it, John and Stasi Eldredge spend some time discussing how God invites us to join Him on His journeys and adventures. They use the Cinderella fairytale to illustrate the amazing things that can happen when we accept His invitation, one that may be completely unexpected. They do a much better job explaining this, but here it is in a nutshell: Her life was set on a specific course and she accepted it dutifully. Then one day, an invitation to a grand ball arrived and at great risk, she attended. Later, even when she was punished for her actions, she again accepted the invitation to try on the slipper. Her willingness to accept the invitation forever altered her life and the kingdom's, in a positive way.

Right now, I feel like that's what He is doing in my life, gently inviting me on a journey I've not seriously thought of taking before. I have friends and family members who have felt God calling them to serve Him in foreign countries, in various capacities. And while I have enthusiastically supported them, I have never really felt God calling me to that. I have no idea how it will play out, what His vision is for this. I do know that I trust Him with my present and future, wherever He leads me.

P.S. I felt led to blog this morning and share some of what's been on my heart of late, but this is not what I planned to write. I have kept these new revelations mostly to myself, only sharing them with my closest friends. I'm a little apprehensive to share them with those of you who don't talk with me daily. Apparently, God had a different plan for what He wanted me to share today.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I heard back from my graduate school and have been accepted as part of the team going to Cologne, Germany next month!!! I'm so excited!! I haven't been able to focus on doing actual coursework at all today. :-)

Quick Update

The Cologne Archives approved SOIS (my graduate program) to help them in the next phase of document recovery! I submitted my application packet and am waiting to hear whether I'll be part of the team or not.

On a totally unrelated note, I love the uniqueness of cats. I'm sitting with both of my cats curled up next me, wanting to be petted. They're also both purring! However, they like to be petted in very different ways and trying to pet both at once is a little challenging. I love that they have such unique personalities! Admittedly, they're both a little odd, but I think most cats are odd. :-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cologne Archives

I heard about the sudden collapse of the Cologne Archives back in March and was shocked by the vast destruction, like so many others. I've always wanted to visit Germany or Austria and have taken many years of German language classes (though that was a while ago). However, those countries have been increasingly on my heart over the last six months.

Much to my surprise, I opened an email on Friday that my graduate school is looking at sending five students to help with the recovery process at the Cologne Archives in July. Initially, I thought I had missed the deadline to indicate my interest. Then I saw that the date initially provided was incorrect. I responded that I wanted more information and the application packet was sent to us today. I also learned that the initial recovery process may have ended and only "professionals" are now wanted for the recovery process. The organizer is still trying to determine if graduate students qualify as "professionals."

I have no idea if God really wants me to go and assist in this project, but it would be so amazing! I'm excited at just the thought of possibly going to Germany, even if it is to sift through dirty and damaged documents for a week. I'll keep you posted on what happens, if I'm chosen to be part of the team and if a team is even able to go.

Monday, May 18, 2009


So, I realize that it has been almost a month since the last blog update. There has been a lot going on in my life. Some of which I feel comfortable sharing and some of which I don't, yet. :-)

I finished the spring semester of school last week! I wasn't sure how well I would finish, I'm still waiting to hear about my grade in one class. But so far, I've passed them and am still on track to graduate in December. God is so good! I start my practicum and summer class in a week.

I was actually failing one class throughout the semester and only became aware that fact in the last month of the course. A couple simple mistakes landed me in that situation and I never seemed able to catch up, until the very end when God provided everything required to finish and showed me grace in the situation.

I spent much time in the last month crying about multiple relationships and seeking God through the challenges in my path. While I am still without some answers to big questions that continue to puzzle me, I have a new sense of peace and calm about the situations. I don't feel like I'm in the midst of a great storm anymore! Every so often, a big wave will seem to come at me and while I may momentarily lose my balance, the peace remains.

I'm so thankful for the work He's doing in my life, for the areas He continues to reveal that need improvement. But mostly, I'm thankful for the peace that comes from learning how to truly trust Him. I've also learned how to have faith that He continues to work in my life, molding me into the person He designed me to be!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

History or Invasion of Privacy?

I really should be doing homework. I'll say that now. I have two papers due today (neither of which I've written) and another due in a few days. But, I'm a procrastinator and this is bothering me. I'll (try to) be brief though.

The title links to an article I saw on MSNBC this morning about whether President Lincoln's supposed brain matter (or blood) on a pillowcase in a museum should go through a DNA test to determine if he had a specific type of cancer that possibly would have killed him within a year of his assassination.

I understand testing the remains of unidentified bone fragments to determine if they really belonged to the Romanov's. It is one thing to test human remains to determine someones identity or to determine how they died. As the article points out, the remains of two former Presidents have undergone testing in the last two decades. Thomas Jefferson and Zachery Taylor (I actually remember reading about Taylor's when I was a child). Jefferson's remains were examined about a decade ago. However, solving those historic mysteries is completely different to me than the reasons put forth by the researcher in Lincoln's case.

Let the man rest in peace! He was our first assassinated President. We know how he died. We also know how he lived. The researcher's argument that he wants to know how Lincoln lived is misguided in my opinion. While knowing what genetic disorder permitted Lincoln's unique physical appearance would be fascinating, it is not worth disturbing his place of internment or destroying (albeit grotesque) historic materials. Robert Lincoln (the last surviving son) made it perfectly clear that he wanted the public to back off and allow his father to rest in peace. He took step after step to try and ensure that would happen.

Publishing private letters between individuals is not at all on the same level as testing brain matter for DNA. And to the researcher: Lincoln's choices regarding the leniency and mercy that he showed others were exemplified throughout the man's entire life! Look at his court cases when he served on the Illinois circuit court. Examine the cases he took later as a well-to-do lawyer in Springfield. His behavior then mirrored his behavior and choices as our 16th President. Did he alter his opinions throughout his life? Yes. Don't we all? I know I do.

But Lincoln's desire to show mercy and provide a way for the Confederacy to rejoin the Union was not made in the vacuum the researcher seems to think it was in. That was always his goal: to have one nation, one union. That would only be possible if they were shown mercy at the end of the most horrific war America has ever witnessed on its own soil.

Also, it is well-documented that Presidents age drastically while in office. Lincoln just happens to have been the first President so heavily photographed as he entered office, during office, and at the end of his life. He was a unique man with amazing leadership abilities and served our country during one of its most trying eras. But he was just a man.

The request to test his DNA is not historic research, it is an absolute invasion of privacy and I sincerely hope the Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Library bars the request. Don't even get me started on the destruction of historic material...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Run to You

I heard this song on the radio the other day and its been stuck in my head ever since. The line, "When lies become the truth, that's when I run to you," caught my attention. It's so true for my life lately.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Trusting Pain

The last several weeks have been pretty emotionally taxing for me. I feel God working in my life and pushing me to move outside my comfy boundaries in some areas. I have shed countless tears and had several restless nights of sleep. I so badly want to write about a couple specific things going on, but know that now is not the time and it may never be appropriate to share those experiences in this format. I've had some difficult conversations lately, but in the end know I obeyed God and have sought to repair and restore the relationships involved. Coping with the pain of one particular relationship has been very challenging and brought many of the old lies to the forefront of my mind and life.

On top of the personal relationship issues going on, I've also started to stress out about this semester, a summer internship, summer classes, taking the certified archivist exam, fall semester, taking comps, and graduating; all of which are supposed to occur by the middle of December. Then, I need to find employment-which kicks the stress up to a whole new level! I've been overwhelmed and my mind quickly spins out of control worrying and thinking about these things. These times are when I wish I didn't have an overactive imagination!

I was reading in God Calling again this morning and this passage from a couple days ago caught my eye:
March 26
Follow Your Guide

I am with you to guide you and help you. Unseen forces are controlling your destiny. Your petty fears are groundless.

What of a man walking through a glorious glade who fretted because ahead there lay a river and he might not be able to cross it, when all the time, that river was spanned by a bridge? And what if that man had a friend who knew the way - had planned it - and assured him that at no part of the journey would any unforeseen contingency arise, and that all was well?

So, leave your foolish fears, and follow Me, you Guide, and determinedly refuse to consider the problems of tomorrow. My message to you is, trust and wait.
Trust. Typically, my eyes quickly shift to the floor and I emotionally hide when I hear that word. I've had a couple conversations with people lately about trust. It's a huge issue in my life, one that repeatedly comes up. I don't easily trust anyone, including God. I think I'm getting a little better about trusting Him, but trusting others remains an overwhelming challenge.

There have been situations in the last year where I thought I trusted someone. In fact, if you'd asked me, I would've said that I trust specific people in my life. Yet, my actions and reactions to situations reveal quite the opposite; which grieves me. There seem to be several things that trigger what I perceive to be trust to almost instantly erode in my friendships and when the crisis passes, it returns. Not a good thing to happen and it means that it isn't real trust.

I've seen this reaction occur a couple times in the last year (to varying degrees) and only one person has called me on it, though others have echoed similar concerns when I inquire. I'm not sure what to do about it. I want to trust others and for that trust to be deep and strong, not fleeting and fragile. Right now, I don't know how to get there. I do know that I can trust God and need to do so while I wait for His guidance. So, that's what I'm going to do, though I know it won't be easy... I guess trusting others will only start to occur once I learn to trust Him.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mr. Bean -Library

Thought I'd share this video with you. I'm slightly horrified by the antics, but it's still funny. It was actually assigned by one of my professors for class this week. Hope you enjoy it! :-)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Smiles Are Good

This week has been one for the record books. I needed something that would make me laugh and then this came on the radio. It didn't quite make me laugh, but at least I smiled!

I'm Still a Guy
Brad Paisley

When you see a deer you see Bambi
And I see antlers up on the wall.
When you see a lake you think picnics
And I see a large mouth up under that log.

You're probably thinkin' that you're gonna change me.
In some ways well maybe you might.
Scrub me down, dress me up,
Oh but no matter what remember I'm still a guy.

When you see a priceless French painting
And I see a drunk naked girl.
You think that riding a wild bull sounds crazy
And I'd like to give it a whirl.

Well love makes a man do some things he ain't proud of
And in weak moment I might walk your sissy dog,
Hold your purse at the mall but remember I'm still a guy.

I'll pour out my heart, hold your hand in the car,
Write a love song that makes you cry.
Then turn right around knock some jerk to the ground
'Cause he copped feel as you walk by.

I can hear you now talkin' to your friends sayin',
"Yeah girls he's come a long way from draggin' his knuckles
And carryin' a club and buildin' a fire in a cave."
But when you say a back rub means only a back rub
Then you swat my hand when I try.
Well now what can I say at the end of the day,
"Honey, I'm still a guy."

And I'll pour out my heart, hold your hand in the car,
Write a love song that makes you cry.
Then turn right around knock some jerk to the ground
'Cause he copped feel as you walk by.

These days there's dudes gettin' facials,
Manicured, waxed and botoxed.
With deep spray-on tans
And creamy lotiony hands you can't grip a tackle box.

Yeah, with all of these men linein' up to get neutered
It's hip now to be feminized.
I don't highlight my hair, I've still got a pair.
Yeah, honey I'm still a guy.

Oh my eyebrows ain't plucked
There's a gun in my truck.
Oh thank god, I'm still a guy.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

How Many Years?

My family moved to Colorado in March of 1992; which means that as of a couple days ago, I have lived here for 16 years!! I always tell people I was 12 when we moved, but technically I was 11. If you think my math is wrong, I spent a year in Indiana after graduate school.

I remember being angry with my parents and devastated that we moved less than two weeks before my birthday. I couldn't understand why waiting two weeks wasn't possible. They did everything they could to make it up to me, but truth be told, I didn't let them off the hook for years. Once I started to make friends here, I was less upset about it and embraced being a "transplant." Unfortunately, that took two years to happen. Yeah, I have a temper and know how to hold a grudge. I'm Irish; what do you expect?

It still seems odd to me that I've spent more of my life here than in Ohio and yet so much about Ohio still defines me. I think I'll always be partly Midwestern in my heart, though I have fully embraced the spirit of the West.

It's crazy to think that this time next year, it is likely that I'll be living in another state. A far-fetched idea is that I could be living in another country. Totally possible, but not very probable. I have no idea where God will call me to move; I could remain in Colorado for all I know. But I feel like I'm being prepared for some grand adventure, the likes of which I haven't yet experienced. I'm excited to see where He takes me and what He has planned for me there! For now, I'm going to enjoy being here and am so thankful that my parents followed when He called them to Colorado 17 years ago!! Living here has been one of the biggest blessings of my life!

Saturday, February 28, 2009


People who know me well know that I operate with a pretty big screen that blocks others from having a clear view of my political opinions. Over the years, I've learned this is an area where I'm the opposite of most of my friends and acquaintances. Most people I know quickly share their political opinions but shy away from talking about their personal story. It usually doesn't take much for me to tell my life story to those around me, but ask me about politics and I tend to shut down. I'm opinionated; I just rarely share what I think about politics with others. I could tell you how to get me to share my opinions, but really don't want to. :-)

This isn't really political, but it's in the area so it counts for me. Yes, the screen is that big.

I don't want this to sound disrespectful or morbid, but I'm thankful that this week Secretary Gates announced a plan to lift the ban on coffin photographs of service men and women who have given their lives for this country. The plan is in the early stages, but it sounds like family members will be permitted to decide how much privacy they want regarding this issue.

I think I understand the reasons this ban was instituted in 1991; however, the entire story of war should be documented and reported on fairly in this country. I include photographs of our wounded and dead in that documentation, coffin or otherwise. Matthew Brady and others who followed in his footsteps have given us an honest and balanced perspective of the casualties of war this country has fought in the last 100+ years. If we can't tolerate those images, we have no business being at war.

I could go on about this, but won't. I've said what I wanted to and felt I should say, back to life as usual with my political screen firmly in place!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

10 Years

My life changed forever ten years ago today. At the age of 43, my dad died of esophageal cancer. He had been diagnosed five months earlier, by then it had metastasized to the liver and stomach. Diagnosed at stage 4, he was given a 5% chance of surviving 3 years. The doctors said that the cancer was probably only 4-6 weeks old when they caught it. Given that he had no prior history of smoking or drinking, activities generally associated with esophageal cancer, the doctors said they were lucky to catch it as early as they did.

Throughout his illness, he was convinced God would heal him. He never lost that hope, confidently clinging to it on the most difficult days. He insisted that everyone around him believe he would be healed too-completely trusting God to meet his needs. Thankfully, the worst day of his illness was his last in this world. God blessed my entire family by taking him home peacefully and quickly.

One of my friends was sharing part their life story with me last week when they said, "God showed me He could've done [x], and then didn't." It stuck me that God did the same with my dad. After a round of chemo and radiation, the tumors drastically shrunk. The doctors said they had never seen anything like it; they began to believe he would go into remission. Of course, my dad used it as an outreach opportunity, sharing his faith with whomever he encountered. God showed that He could have healed my dad, but in the end didn't.

It took me eight years to fully grieve his loss in my life. This year's anniversary feels different for several reasons. While my heart still hurts, there's peace and acceptance that overwhelms the pain. I also want to rejoice in the man he was:
  • He loved and served God throughout his life.
  • He loved and protected his family and close friends with a passion that sometimes overwhelmed people.
  • He was fun and mischievousness.
  • The family that does yard work together...gets frustrated and mad together! I don't know how many summers we spent landscaping different parts of our yard in Colorado.
  • He spent countless hours tinkering with his 1961 Chevrolet Bel Air. I don't know how many antique car shows the family went to over the years, but we had fun at them!
  • He loved computers and new technology. He would be beside himself with all the technological gadgets we have now.
  • And my absolute favorite: He was only ticklish on the bottoms of his feet. Tickling him of course meant the entire family had to tackle him! Eventually, my brother and I were able to tackle him without my mom's assistance, but it generally took quite a bit of strategy and coordination. :-)
Today, I miss my daddy more than usual. I'm having a hard time believing that I've lived a decade without him. In the end, all I can say is: God is good; His plan is perfect!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Lately, I've had a several conversations with people about dating. I blame Fuse's next study on the Song of Solomon for this. ;-) When people ask about my dating status or whether I date, I usually give this vague and simple explanation, "I'm single and don't currently date because God's made it clear that's not His plan for me right now." While true, it doesn't fully explain what God has revealed to me about this area of my life. A friend got me thinking about this last night.

It's no secret that I was involved with a church during college that rejected the concept of dating. From the pulpit (or stage in their case), they preached the gospel of courtship according to Joshua Harris and others in his ideological camp. The concept of "guarding your heart" was openly discussed, wildly embraced, and frequently (at least on my small group) applied to people's lives in extreme ways. Many people I knew failed at this, including me-with sometimes disastrous results. It isn't a bad concept, I just saw and experienced it applied legalistically; not a good thing. Random comment: I don't want to hear about the nature of our hearts/relationships in comparison to tape ever again! I know that's a lot to ask and probably isn't possible-but it makes me cringe.

I attended a (women's) prayer meeting in college where a girl revealed she was no longer talking to God because she wanted to be married to a guy in the church, only he wasn't (openly) pursuing her. She was angry at God because she wasn't getting her way-she was convinced this was the man she was supposed to marry. (This type of thing happened somewhat regularly in the church, it just wasn't often revealed in larger prayer meetings.) It was honest and brave of her to confess where she was with God, but she was letting a man interfere with that relationship, not wise. Less than a month later, the girl was engaged to said guy, they went on their first date, and got married six months later-in that order. This became fairly common in the last year (or two) that I was part of that church. To be clear, I found this practice rather disturbing. What got to me was that couples like the one in this story were held up as good examples to follow, as they guarded their hearts prior to being engaged. Huh? I think I have mental whiplash from that logic.

As I saw (and experienced)-having been in one official and several unofficial (or as my friend calls them-fake) dating relationships-people who managed to get engaged prior to officially courting or dating failed to guard their hearts. To be willing to commit and marry someone without ever having officially or openly spent one-on-one time with them, getting to really know them with a shared understanding of the relationship's purpose, and growing closer together as you grow closer to God means their hearts were wrapped up with each other somewhere along the road without the verbal commitment. That's dangerous, no matter how you look at it. While things worked out well for the above couple, that wasn't always the case. *slowly steps off the soapbox*

So, back to my original topic... It would be really simple for me to explain my own not dating stance by blaming it on the guy who assaulted me. I did that for years, it's too simple and no longer true for my life. I also used to explain that I was too damaged or messed up to ever be in a relationship; I don't believe that anymore either. In the past couple of years, several people (mostly guys) were patient with me as I relearned how to communicate and trust others-usually by chatting with them online. Hiding behind a computer screen works well for me. (What filter?) ;-) I never met most of those people, but I did meet some; others were "old" friends. The trick has been taking what I've learned and applying it to real life. I'm not so great at that part of it-more patience has been required during this process. I think it's slowly getting there though.

Last year, I was lamenting to God about not having a boyfriend and how lonely I was. I found ways to correct that on my own, but eventually gave them up as I realized that wasn't God's plan for me. It was a tough year, I slowly returned to God, and experienced much loneliness throughout that process. I wanted several deep and close friendships; I had one. Most others remained on the surface for a variety of reasons. I was driving to work one morning when it struck me: I can't be in a dating relationship with a man until I know how to truly and wholeheartedly love and serve God; I needed to date God! This actually applies to all of my relationships, but at the time it was specific to men.

My relationship with Him needs to be grounded, strong, and successful before a man can enter into the picture. So, I'm letting Him pursue me; it's why I finally stopped running. I'm not doing this so that I'll eventually be married, but rather that this is what God wants from me. Regardless of what His plans are for my future, I want to know Him at a more intimate level.

I heard and applied this to my life in college, but utterly failed when it mattered most and I ultimately placed my small group and friendships above God. This time around has been different. There's a new perspective on it for me. I've made some mistakes along the way over the last year. "Austin" is the first that comes to mind. I don't always spend as much time with God as I'd like to. However, I don't beat myself up over it and I'm content with where things are right now, confident that He is guiding and leading me. There are still times I struggle with being single, but a peace remains throughout the struggle that has never been there before.

I also routinely ask for God to guard my heart. Yeah, who thought I would ever pray that for my life again? Not me! I think my perspective on this concept is more balanced now. It doesn't mean exactly the same thing to me that I was taught in college.

Am I opposed to dating? No, I just know that right now God wants me to focus solely on Him. If it's His will for me to enter into a dating relationship, He'll shift me in that direction in His own time and for the proper man. Do I want to be in a relationship that someday leads to marriage? Yes, but that is no longer my life's singular goal. Are there times when I wish someone was there to hug and hold me, to comfort me? Yes, that's when I seek God and sometimes spend time with the incredible women He has placed in my life. God has revealed that dating is not part of His immediate plan for me. Right now, He just wants me for Himself.

My family jokes that God will have to drop a man out of the sky and onto my car for me to notice him. I should sell my old car soon-what if He puts him on the wrong one?! ;-D It's not that I don't notice men, I do. I just don't notice if they notice me, which works pretty well. It isn't foolproof and there have been some negative interactions as a result of this approach; however, it's better than me looking for the signs of interest and getting all giddy over nothing. Yeah, I'm a mushy girlie-girl, I hope someday someone will embrace that about me; for now, God protects it.

I'll take more notice of a man and date when God makes it clear that is His plan and the man openly pursues me (no more fake dating!); or drops out of the sky onto my car... It's a white... ;-)

Sunday, February 15, 2009


This is the first quilt I completely finished. This is the best picture of it, even though the binding of one side isn't seen. I wonder what my favorite color could be... ;)

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I read this passage the other day in a devotional I use. From God Calling "The Lifeline:"
Think of My trees stripped of their beauty, pruned, cut, disfigured, bare, but through the dark, seemingly dead, branches flows silently, secretly, the spirit-life-sap, till, lo! with the sun of Spring comes new life, leaves, bud, blossom, fruit, but oh! fruit a thousand times better for the pruning.

Remember that you are in the hands of a Master-Gardener. He makes no mistakes about His pruning. Rejoice. Joy is the Spirit's reaching out to say its thanks to Me. It is the new life-sap of the tree, reaching out to Me to find such beautiful expression later. So never cease to joy. Rejoice.
When I read that a couple days ago, I thought about how nice it would be for that to be true of my life someday. I woke up this morning and began to realize just how much God has healed me in the last six months. I know there's still work to be done, but I feel like spring may actually come to my life again! Sometime soon!

I can't believe that of all places, I seem to be thriving in Aurora! I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I still am. In chatting with a friend today, I mentioned how I was struck by this. They pointed out that I finally stopped running. I'm finally willing to sit still long enough to let God catch me and heal me. It's true, so many things have been going on around me lately. Things that I've really struggled with and have questioned. Even a year ago, several of these things would've caused me to pick up and run as far and as fast out of dodge as possible. I haven't done that here. I've stood firm, trusting God to move me where He wants me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stuck in My Head

I think this song sums up my week or even the last month pretty well. It seems like it's on the radio whenever I'm in my car lately. You think there's a reason for that? ;-)

Whatever You're Doing (Something Heavenly)
Sanctus Real

It's time for healing time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
All I can do is surrender

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Reevaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow your will
or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is you want from me
I give everything I surrender...


Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to to release all my held back tears

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly
Something heavenly

It's time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I don't have too many "moments" (anymore) as my friend generously called my meltdown this evening. Love you, Sweetie! ;) However, it took me less than an hour to go from being totally focused on school to completely distracted and needing to talk with a friend to return to reality. Hours later, I'm still a little flustered but should be able to finish my homework tomorrow. Stupid overactive dramatic imagination.

*Sigh* After talking with friends, I feel calmer. I'm still anxious about what sent me over the edge today, but realize this is out of my control and for now I don't need to act on anything. I always forget how upset some people get about my story when I first tell it. Or rather how shocked they seem to be. But don't we all have stories like that?

I think it's time for bed... According to Anne Shirley, "Tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it yet" (Anne of Green Gables). Yay!!! I can't mess tomorrow up yet! :-D

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Drinking walls

From time to time, different parts of Aurora trigger my memory. I realize that I learned to drive here and should have a better grasp of how the streets are connected and the various ways to get places. However, I just don't seem capable of figuring it out (I also don't try very hard). Recognizing everything based on physical landmarks instead of street names probably doesn't help. :) Most of my points of reference are 10 years old, another hindrance.

High school has been on my mind a lot lately. I was on my way to a friend's house the other day when I realized that if I turned left onto a certain street, it would go to my high school boyfriend's house. I don't know the name of the street, I just recognized the entrance into the subdivision. Difficult to believe that I spent as much time there as I did and now I barely remember where it was or how to get there. I rarely have that problem with my friends from Mission, but that's because we routinely caused trouble there; of course, living there probably helped too! ;)

I've been rather nostalgic lately. Particularly about the men who have been part of my life. Only one guy qualifies as an official "ex" but there have been several male friends and family members who greatly altered my life, both positively and negatively. I've been reminiscing about those relationships and the person I've been over that time span.

I was out the other night, celebrating a friend's milestone! After a lovely dinner, some of us went to get a drink. We wound up at what I consider to be a bar/club. Not my type of place; I'm more into quite pubs and shooting some pool, a more relaxed environment. I don't like the feeling of being in a meat-market. I haven't been to a place like the one we went to since grad school. It usually took 3-4 drinks to get me to loosen up enough to leave whatever seat I parked myself in. I also never met guys at places like that, I was there to have fun with the friends I arrived with. Oh, the stories from those days; the S&THC at it's best! ;)

In grad school, I spent a year drinking several evenings a week with friends. Later, I realized that I was drinking to avoid the emotional pain of grieving. At the time though, I enjoyed the numbness and it was the only way I knew how to cope with the overwhelming grief of losing almost every friend I'd made in four years. I know how devastating those choices were for me, but sometimes the idea of running away (even just for a couple hours) really appeals to me. Which is probably why my close friends seem to get a little concerned when I mention that I want to get drunk (like the other night). However, I was DD-no drinking for me!

All of this to say, someone asked me if I was alright with what went on at the bar. I am, I had fun; it was interesting to see people in a different setting and things didn't get too out of control. I was in full protective mode and the guys with us were awesome and made me feel so safe in that situation. Yet, the whole thing made me realize just how thick my wall is. Part of that was the environment, but most of it was me not trusting people (or myself). The guys who were with us don't know my story; they have no idea why I backed up a foot or more when they tried to dance with me. They were unaware that the idea of them touching me, even just my arm had me on full alert.

I'd love to blame it all on the environment, but I know that's not true. I really noticed it several months ago with how I reacted towards friends who have always been completely respectful to me. Its taken me years to just be me around girl friends again. After being a hermit and completely gun-shy of men, I finally talk to guys (at least); however, one of them touching me still sends me into a mild panic. Sometimes I think I will be standoffish the rest of my life, which breaks my heart a little.

I keep hearing, "You learned your lesson too well." Yet, I'm not sure how to correct the path on this one. I want to find a comfortable balance and actually be me, no matter whether I'm with men or women. To be completely honest (this is a little embarrassing to admit), I've been waiting for my own Prince Phillip to slay the dragon, scale the walls, and wake me up to actually live my life. Yeah, I'm a dreamer (and love Disney fairytales). I know that I can't rely on a guy to fix my issues, only God can heal what's still broken in me.

I miss my friends from college, I miss the person I was to those friends. Many of those friendships had a painful ending, but those people knew me well and for that period they were dear to me. Those people knew me as someone comfortable giving and receiving hugs. A person who had no problem sitting on a couch next to them and putting my head on their shoulder. Someone who felt safe falling asleep in their presence. The woman who crammed into a pillow fort on the living room floor with 10 friends. A person who actually turned to friends in times of distress for support, whether it was during grief or suspenseful movie scenes. I trusted them with my dreams and failures.

How do I get back to that level of trust and openness with people again? God has taken down so many of my walls. Yet, it seems like each time one tumbles to the dirt, a new one is revealed. It was previously unseen (or ignored), but now becomes the primary mode of protection. Will it ever end? Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be completely healed. What needs to happen so that I am?

If this post feels rather disjointed, I suppose it is. However, it makes sense to me. I see the path from the girl I was in high school to the young woman I became in college and the woman I am now. The relationships that I let destroy me were overwhelmingly with men-family and friends. There were plenty of female friends and family members who hurt me as well, but that pain healed relatively quickly. God has laid on my heart something that I need to do to reopen the lines of communication with one of those men. I'm scared to death that he'll just crush me again, it really wouldn't take much. Yet, I know I need to obey and do as God has asked...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Master of...

Procrastination! I've had all week to do my readings and coursework, yet here I sit trying to cram it into one day. Next week will be better! It always takes me a couple days/weeks to get back into the swing of being in school. This semester is looking like it will be pretty demanding of my time, more so than last semester. I also have to weigh what to do this summer. I need to have fieldwork experience, but may also have to take a second class with it. Do I stay and graduate next May (2010) or try to be done in less than a year from now (Dec 2009)? Too many things to think about. Today, I just need to post for class and get it over with!

I'm still procrastinating by blogging instead of writing for my classes. :-) But at the moment, I need a mental break. I've had a lot on my mind this week, which has significantly contributed to my procrastination. I don't really feel like going into all of that right now, but it's been a strange week. I've contacted old friends out of nowhere and am overdue in responding to others. I'll get back to you, I promise!

For those who've asked, I am sleeping better now. The solution is somewhat childish, but it works. That day will probably haunt me for a while, the way my dad's last weekend haunted me. But, I have a peace about it that I didn't have a couple weeks ago.

One friend "kidnapped" me for lunch this week and it was really great! We sat and chatted, catching up. I wasn't permitted to bs my way out anything (though I certainly tried). So many of you have been patient and understanding with me. This particular friend was just what I needed that day as they said, "I know you'll come out of your bubble when you're ready; in the meantime, I'm here for you." This little push to rejoin society and let me know how much they care meant so much to me! When left to my own devices, it takes me a long time to emerge from my bubble, but gentle tugs from friends are so welcome. Trust me, I'll let you know if I really want to hideout from the world!

Before I forget, you should check out my friend Angela's blog! She came over Monday and sketched the cats for her portfolio. She's so extremely talented and her blog is full of interesting art things going on, that I'm completely oblivious to without her!

Alright, I'm going to work on school stuff...really! ;-)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


*Sigh* Real life has invaded my vacation. Well, it wasn't a true vacation; however, I was enjoying not having any coursework to complete and being able to watch old movies. I spent much of my free time rummaging through decades of things I have accumulated. My family decided to reorganize our storage unit so my belongings could be moved out of the garage and my mom's car move in. We managed to empty a large portion of the unit (mostly by getting rid of an old tandem bike) and some large tools that belonged to my dad and grandpa. The car should now fit! Well, it looks like it will fit, I have a feeling that we'll have to move some of the remaining boxes and tubs around before it will actually fit.

Classes started yesterday for Spring Semester 2009. Bah! Actually, I'm pretty excited about my classes this semester. One has me scared, I think it may be statistics for librarians. Can you hear me crying from where you're reading this? Math and I rarely understand each other. I barely survived high school math courses and then took one math class in college-one! I haven't had math in nearly ten years! Granted, I've brushed up on my geometry skills over the years for the GRE (evil exam) but that doesn't really count. I'm calming down about it. There's no point in getting all wound up until I really get into the readings and see how it goes.

That said, I'm off to "attend" class... Maybe I'll take a nap first; I managed to turn my days and nights around over the weekend-not fun!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A New Year

Well, its been almost a month since my last post. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's!

For those who haven't yet heard, my grandmother passed away a couple days before Christmas. We didn't feel like celebrating the holidays, though we did once we were back in Colorado. Much of the family was present when she passed, including me. To be honest, I wanted to be there and I'm glad I was; however, it was more traumatic for me than I thought it would be. I won't go into graphic details, but I've had a difficult time sleeping. Earlier on the day she passed away, I watched a spooky German movie from 1936 about an insane criminal who died and then possessed the body of his doctor; I don't think that movie has helped me sleep. Late at night, my brain combines the two experiences into one and I have awful nightmares about it all. And people ask why I don't watch scary movies...

In other news, my brother is staying with us for a couple of weeks. It's nice to have him here, though a 2 bedroom condo with 3 people and 4 cats is a little crowded. He brought the complete series of a Japanese drama/comedy for all of us to watch together. It's entertaining and we've enjoyed the show. He's had to explain quite a bit about little things, like what food is being eaten in various scenes and the show "25" the protagonist keeps watching. Last night we were fascinated that an entire episode revolved around fireworks and the best place from which to view them in the city.

I finished my first semester of library school! My grades are better than I anticipated and it's nice to have part of it done! Spring semester classes start later this month, one professor already has a class section posted. I thought I struggled with some portions of the curriculum last semester, one whole required class this coming semester is on an area I don't understand at all. That ought to be fun! ;-)

Ohio State is playing Texas tomorrow in the Fiesta Bowl-OSU really needs to win! That also means I need to make buckeyes for us to eat while we watch the game. Guess how I'm spending a portion of my day.

For those who've known about my family, thank you for being so supportive and patient with me the last couple of weeks. I know I've been more and more in my shell lately. I appreciate how you've continued to reach out to me even when I take a couple days to return phone calls and haven't felt like rejoining the world. I made it to church and Bible study today; I'm hoping that will help me get back into my routine.

I think that's all for now. I'm off to try and get some rest! Have a wonderful week!