Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I'm Feeling: relieved
Background Noise: Isn't It Love by Andrew Peterson

Mark made cinnamon rolls this morning, and although I was not able to eat them while they were still warm, it was a nice treat to sit at my desk and chew on sweet, sticky, cinnamon-y goodness.

Well, yesterday was insane, but good. It seemed like a lot got done, and I was still relatively human at the end of the day. DIG was fun - I love how some days, when I'm not necessarily feeling up to hanging out with 20 some middle-schoolers... I get there, and I'm just reminded of how funny they are, and how much they make me laugh, and how easy it really is to love them. So that was a blessing in my Monday night. Today - only 9 appointments (a breeze compared to yesterday's 22!) and then I have tanna'im tonight (kind of an in-depth bible study for a smaller group of YoungLife leaders for the area). I always like tanna'im... I just need to psych myself up to stay awake for it. :)

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Monday, August 29, 2005

me and my job

I'm Feeling: useful
Background Noise: Stand by Your Man by Tammy Wynette

That's me at my job today - minus the cool beanie, pants, and fun colored rings. It's the first day of classes at MSU, and campus is insanely alive! Students everywhere, lots of commotion - it's really fun, but a little overwhelming from where I sit. Mostly because no one is coming to see me for any fun reasons today - it's all scheduling/graduation/financial aid emergencies. I'm hanging in there - but I feel like I've earned my entire salary today alone! :)

This weekend was totally fun - really busy, lots of people, and even a tiny bit of time to relax last night. I'm grateful for those moments - got to take what I can get!

Friday, August 26, 2005

down to the depot

I'm Feeling: well-fed

Background Noise: Down in the River to Pray by Alison Krauss

Last night both Brooks and Kelsey stayed the night at our house (Brooks has been living with us for about 2 weeks, and Kelsey was just visiting for the night). We got to bed a little late - but totally worth it to stay up and laugh with such good friends. This morning we were all in our living room at 5:56am - we had a breakfast date at the Mason Depot (pictured above - 1889 and now). It's this fun little diner in town, totally mom and pop place with random stuff on the walls and those plastic picnic tablecloths. It's awesome. We laughed, ate good things like peanut butter banana pancakes and oatmeal, laughed some more, heard from Psalms and Acts (thanks Kels!)... such a good way to start the day.

Greater Lansing Young Life officially kicks off today with its welcome back picnic - then we're off to Okemos High School to watch the Mason-Okemos football game (it's a big rivalry, it should be a really fun game). A long day, for sure, but I think it will be really fun. Oh, and I get to have lunch with Kelsey, which basically guarantees a spectacularly fun time. Hooray!

My busy week update - well, it's Friday - I'm still alive and kicking, and I've had a great time. There were one or two moments when I had to convince myself I was having a great time, but it feels really good to get to the end of the week and look back with a smile.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

ride, pony ride

I'm Feeling: super duper, thanks for asking
Background Noise: some loud squawking down the hall about who knows what

Quick post, today is busy! I had fun fun fun yesterday with Kristen and the boys - it was good for me to have familiar faces - people I love!

Gave some presentations today on being a lawyer (I still think it's super funny that in the last year I've become "wise" about this - everyone is asking me what to do - since when do I know anything about law school?? :)) I'm off to some more meetings, a couple hours of calm at home (I think) and then a visit with Kelsey - yahoo! Thursday of my busy week is almost over, and so far - so good! Praise God for small miracles!

Thought for the day: Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened unto you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

dun dun dun....

I'm Feeling: great!
Background Noise: Higher Ground by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Today is freshman move-in day here at State - always a crazy day. Many more cars on the roads this morning, loaded up with pillows and TVs and crates and computers - it's exciting - sometimes it makes me nostalgic for Residence Life. But mostly I'm really glad to be safe in my office, dealing with the academic side of life at MSU.

Today I get to see some fabulous friends who moved away a little over a year ago (yikes! has it been that long?) Kristen, Timothy and Joshua will be visiting this afternoon/evening, and I couldn't be more excited. Kristen is a very dear friend, and I love her sons as much as you possibly can without being their parent.

Last night was fun - late, but good. So: two days of my super-busy week down... successes for both! It's kinda humbling to see how much less stressful I can make things simply by deciding to enjoy them - makes you feel like a bum for all those times you didn't rise to the occasion. But life is today - and I'm having fun today! :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


I'm Feeling: a good balance between pressure and motivation
Background Noise: God Only Knows by The Beach Boys

Some people are really good at reading situations, being a people - barometer - noticing others' body language, sensing stress and things like that. I don't know if I'm good at it, but I certainly like to try. Most of the time, it's really fun, and you learn a ton from sitting back and watching. However - sometimes, it can get me into "trouble." I'll read too much into a certain encounter or notice the body language of someone who doesn't communicate physically. I'm not going to stop doing it, but I do need to learn that I'm not always right. :) I guess I'm not quite the expert I'd like to think I am.

An update on my Monday - although I was a little stressed out around lunchtime, and really tired at the end of the day - I did enjoy myself. I met six new students yesterday afternoon and had a good time with them, and after work went to a picnic for YoungLife and WYLdLife in Mason and got to see lots of awesome families - faces I knew, faces I didn't. It was really fun to sit and talk to the girls, too. I'm awed by how much things have changed in a year. I truly am blessed to have the friendships of these middle school ladies. So... day one of my busy week - I would say I was pretty stinking successful at having a good time.

Monday, August 22, 2005

be an angel day

I'm Feeling: a little anxious, but ready to go
Background Noise: Let It Rain by Newsboys

Today is not just Monday, August 22, 2005. It's also Be an Angel Day. Not really sure what that is supposed to mean, except - hey, be real nice. It could mean that I'm supposed to affix wings to my sweater and stick a halo on my head... but I think I'll just stick with my original interpretation.

I'm in for a big week - both at work and in the evenings. Mostly, it should be really fun, although the time leading up to each event may be somewhat stressful. I'm trying to practice staying laid back and relaxed - I have a tendency to predict stress (which of course, usually winds up being a self-fulfilling prophecy). So this week, I predict that I will soar through my commitments with ease, enjoy myself, and be given all that I need from day to day. Take that! :)

Thought for the day: What are some things you wish you could do every day?

Friday, August 19, 2005

friday sandwich on birthdays

I'm Feeling: sooo happy for FRIDAY! :)
Background Noise: My Baby Loves Me by Martina McBride

So today is Friday, and yesterday was my big brother's birthday (yay!) and tomorrow is my little sister's birthday (yay!)... so that makes a Friday sandwich on birthdays! Weird, I know - but it makes me laugh. Happy Birthday to Adam and to Meg - I love you!! It's also Adam and Melissa's 4th anniversary today - yay again!!!

I'm reading this book right now called "Searching for God Knows What" by Donald Miller (the guy who wrote "Blue Like Jazz," which I also read this summer). I really like it - he has a funky writing style that sounds a lot like someone just kinda rambling at you - but he's rambling really impactful stuff. Reading books like that makes me want to write one myself, but also makes me think "I could never write a book like that..." I just really enjoy it when authors are able to make me think about something in a new way, shed some insight, make me think (as if I need any encouragement!). Here's an excerpt:

"If man was wired so that something outside himself told him who he was, and if God's presence was giving him a feeling of fulfillment, then when that relationship was broken, man would be pining for other people to tell him that he was good, right, okay with the world, and eternally secure. As I wrote earlier, we all compare ourselves to others, and none of our emotions - like jealousy and envy and lust - could exist unless man was wired so that somebody else told him who he was, and that somebody else was gone."

I don't think I ever was able to put those words to the thought before - but for me, it really does help explain the "gap" in our lives. It also convicts me about original sin - the idea that we are all born distorted - we are designed to get our identity from someone outside us (God), but that relationship was severed thousands of years ago. No one born on this earth is free from that.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, August 18, 2005


I'm Feeling: inquisitive
Background Noise: Forrest Gump Suite by Alan Silvestri

Today in History, in 1590, John White came back to the Roanoke Island colony in what is now North Carolina, to find the 100 colonists he left behind missing. To this day, no one knows what happened.

Stuff like that amazes me. How is it that we can figure out how to send people to the moon, or create tiny little devices that when you push buttons - allow you to talk to someone miles and miles and miles away as though they're in the room with you... but we can't figure out what happened to 100 people in 1590? Weird. Not that I know anything about any of these things, so I really am not one to talk, but still.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

i think too much

I'm Feeling: like I couldn't turn my brain off if I tried
Background Noise: Holding Out For A Hero by Bonnie Tyler

Jamie asked for a clarification on my profound thoughts from Monday... the confusion factor of the question I asked is probably directly correlated to the number of responses. :) Without going into too many hairy details, here's the basic concept.

I've been personally struggling with a few issues in my life for awhile now. They are not going away, or getting easier. In my experience, when you have an extended "dry spell" of some sort in your life, God is trying to show you something about Himself or His plan for you. This is what my head knows. And I've been trying to keep that in mind, and seek Him in these areas - trying to respond in a Christ-like manner, be proactive about the areas in which He is stretching me, and so on. One of the lessons I can tell He is teaching me is to rely on Him and not on people (however close or important they are to me). People will always fail when they try to love us as Christ does. Always. However, my attempts to learn this lesson and actually rely on Him, lean on Him, get my satisfaction and encouragement from Him - frankly, are not working. I think I'm doing it wrong. Maybe my head knows it, but my heart's not in it. Maybe there is something I can do aside from praying and reading the Word. Maybe I'm totally off-base about what He is trying to teach me (although it's a valuable lesson, and one I'm sure I need to get a better handle on, so I don't think that's it). I just don't know what it looks like (in a more concrete, practical sense) to truly lean on Him - especially during times when you really feel like you need an actual, flesh and blood person to be there for you. Am I not allowing Him to fill that? Is there a trick to letting Him?

I feel like I know all these "Sunday School" answers to life problems - read the Bible, pray, rely on the Lord... but I recently realized that I'm not sure I know what that really looks like - am I doing it right?

I am also well aware that the Lord makes everything beautiful in its time, and that His timing is perfect - so that could very well be part of my frustration - I'm not altogether a patient person (especially when there are situations at hand making me unhappy/frustrated).

I hope this long-winded explanation helps clear up my question from the other day. Last night I was talking with Mark, and I paused after a moment and said, "I think I think too much." His response: "Ya think?!?" I just thought that was funny. Because it's true. Oh, and the Magic Eye picture is because I was never any good at those things - I think I thought too hard about them, and then got impatient when I couldn't see the tigers playing hopscotch, or whatever the picture was. Nice allegory, huh? :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

one year

I'm Feeling: reflective
Background Noise: Only the Good Die Young by Billy Joel

One year ago today, I began working as the Undergraduate Academic Adviser for the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University. I was basically terrified - new jobs always freak me out - mostly because I want to do well and I don't want to look stupid (and it's pretty much inevitable that you will screw up something and look stupid at some point at a new job). I'm certain that I've screwed up and looked stupid, but I also think that overall - I've done well. Working full-time (while less fun than hanging out in college and sleeping in and all that) has it's own really cool rewards and perks. I feel competent knowing that I can provide for myself and my husband (who doesn't need me to provide for him at all, but I could if I needed to).

It always amazes me how much changes, and how much stays the same in one year. I know some people who hate change... other people that would much rather have things be different every day. I'm not sure where I fall really - change can sap my energy sometimes, but it's exhilirating and I do really like challenges. Who knows what the next year will bring?

Thought for the day: I'm bummed no one posted a response to yesterday's thought.

Monday, August 15, 2005

don't worry... be happy

I'm Feeling: Like I don't want to be stressed out, but there is a lot going on...
Background Noise: On My Cross by FFH

Mark and I actually spent the weekend at home, which is rare. It was good to just kinda relax and sit around - we got to talk to our neighbors, watch a couple movies, make lunch for friends, and play "Name that random 80s TV show just by hearing a few bars of the theme song" with Hammer. Not bad at all.

My funny calendar says today is Relaxation Day... so I picked a picture of a waterfall, because those nature sounds CDs with running water always relax me - now I'm trying to get that feeling by looking at a picture, imagining the noise, and then thinking "if I was really hearing that, it would be soo relaxing." It's almost as effective. However, I'm just not thinking that today is going to be all that relaxing. Partly because it's Monday (Mondays are never relaxing, unless you have Mondays off from work, in which case they can be wonderfully relaxing... like Labor Day!) Also - we are starting up DIG (Deeper In God) for WYLdlife tonight - which is totally fun and exciting, but hanging out with 20+ middle schoolers is the opposite of relaxing. Hopefully it's enthusiastic, noisy, fun, and comfortable - but I don't usually walk away having more energy than when I started. Finally - school is getting dangerously close - means the students come back, want appointments, need overrides, don't have classes scheduled... AND I have to teach a class!

Here's my profound, thought-provoking question for today (something I've been wrestling with in my head for awhile now): What does it really look like to put your trust in God, specifically when you are struggling with needs that generally appear to require people to meet them? I understand praying, finding hope in His word... but what does it look like to actually lean on the Lord when you really need someone to lean on? For example, if I'm feeling lonely, and praying/reading the Bible don't seem to ease that feeling, is it because I'm doing it wrong (I don't really mean it/I'm missing some immutable point God is trying to make)? I guess I'm actually just looking for some insight on your experiences with this... when you need a hand to hold, and there are no people around... how do you really reach out and grab God's hand?

Friday, August 12, 2005

go buck wYLd!

I'm Feeling: super
Background Noise: Chances Are by Bob Seger and Martina McBride

I walked in my front door last night, just after 9:00pm, after spending five days at TimberWolf Lake (a Young Life camp in Lake City, MI) with about 400 middle schoolers. It was awesome! From Mason, we brought 16 middle school girls, and I got to spend the week with them -playing games, singing, dancing, eating, talking, praying, laughing, climbing the wall, completing the high ropes course, tubing, making jewelry, and just generally having an awesome time. Girls heard and understood the gospel of Christ for the first time - light bulbs went off in their heads, ideas were challenged, and questions were raised and answered. I love these girls - middle schoolers are an entirely overlooked and underestimated demographic. It was just what I needed to spend a week totally concerned about sixteen other people and not given much time to let my thoughts wander selfishly back to my own needs. Rock on!

With no trips on our immediate horizon, one would think our lives were slowing down, but we are about to jump into the swing of the academic year (I think my life will forever be ruled by the school calendar). WYLdlife meetings will be starting, Mark will hit the road for HOSA, all the students will pour back onto campus and demand my attention, my class will start... it's exciting and overwhelming to me all at the same time. I just pray that God gives me the energy and strength I need to complete all my work with grace and patience and a good spirit.

Thought for the day: Government officials from around the world have gathered, and decided to add an eighth day of the week (after decades of moaning and whining about not having enough time...) You can do ANYTHING you want with that day - what would it be?

Friday, August 05, 2005

willie wonka

I'm Feeling: a little lightheaded from the paint fumes in our hallway
Background Noise: New York State of Mind by Billy Joel

My family (mom, dad and sister) are coming to visit this weekend, which makes me excited because they haven't been up to MI since March. (Meg has, but she comes way more often than the parents). The trip will be a quick one - arriving on Saturday just before lunch and leaving on Sunday after breakfast... but it will be good to see them. I think we might head to the movies to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory... I'm not sure how I feel about the previews I've seen - Johnny Depp seriously freaks me out a little, but it looks bright and fun. Hopefully it's a good time.

Sunday, Mark and I leave for Timberwolf Lake for WYLdlife camp - that should be a blast. I'm excited about it - get to see some kids I haven't really seen since May, have fun playing around, and watching them learn about Jesus. Sounds like a good week to me. And I'll get to see my friend Kelsey who moved to Grosse Pointe this summer - that will make me real happy too. Lots of good things going on - but I will be happy to have my life calm down a little - this summer involved a lot of traveling, a lot of busy-ness - and I love that, but I think my brain/heart/body need some downtime to rejuvenate and refresh. Then I'll come out swinging again. :)

Thought for the day: Everyone has a personality with things they'd like to change (or things others might like them to change). To what extent do you say "this is the way God made me, and He makes things exactly the way He wants them" and when is it appropriate to say "I'm called to be like Jesus, so that means working my entire life to grow and change and reach for that goal"? I love challenging myself to change, but it gets tiring sometimes... I sometimes struggle with giving myself a break v. not letting myself off the hook. Any thoughts?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

2.5 cups per day

I'm Feeling: efficient!
Background Noise: Blessed by Martina McBride

The good old food pyramid that I've known since kindergarten (or somewhere in there) has changed... check out www.mypyramid.gov. Not only does it involve vertical slices of the pyramid, but there is no straight up number of servings for each - now it depends on your age and gender - yikes! I'm not sure they'll be teaching this to 5-year-olds anymore. (although I'm sure it's much healthier this way)

I'm feeling efficient today because things that need to be done are getting done - I love that feeling! I emailed a bunch of folks yesterday (some I knew, some I didn't) to try to get some guest speakers for my PreLaw class this fall. I've already got 2 "for-sure" speakers - we're trying to nail down the dates still, but that's huge!! It makes me feel so much better already - I can handle the little details of the curriculum, but there are other people out there much better qualified to talk about law school - it's cool that they want to help out! I also made a bajillion new folders for new students yesterday, and am working on filing ridiculous amounts of inconsequential paperwork into these files - I know that doesn't sound too grand, but it's removing stacks of papers from my desk - and that makes me grin!

It's a little gloomy outside today - but I like rain, and I like the fact that it's currently 71 degrees outside instead of 91. Much better, in my opinion. Plus, my flowers are getting watered as we speak, so I don't have to do that when I get home tonight.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

friendship day

I'm Feeling: ruminative
Background Noise: the beeping, creaking elevators - I haven't turned on iTunes yet

Today is Friendship Day... and I thought this picture was appropriate on multiple levels. First, and most obvious, it's a picture of the cast of Friends. Second - it looks like they are on a ship... friend-ship! Gosh I can really crack myself up.

I haven't really met anyone who didn't like having friends. I also haven't really met anyone who has perfected having/being a friend. Some people are great at attracting people to them, but are lacking when it comes to creating real, intimate relationships. Some people take wonderful care of the friends they have, but stink at making new ones. Some people have one or two close friends with awesome relationships, but then they get jealous/possessive of those friends. Some people have a ton of friends, a large network of people to be with, but don't have the time to keep in touch with all of them, and spread themselves too thin. Some people have a huge desire to be with others but their busy lives seem to keep them away. Others won't reach out and jump in, thinking they are more comfortable at home, but really have no idea of the fun they are missing out on.

I think pretty much all time, our perceptions regarding this area of our lives are skewed. Either we think our friend situation is fantastic, but really, there are people we love who are feeling ignored/neglected in some way... or we think we have no friends but really have no idea how many people out there are loving us. Both are destructive, I think. And everyone can slip either way, depending on the situation.

Thought for the day: What is your personal tendency in friendships? What are you good at/not so good at? How can we get better at these things, and help encourage those around us?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

rhinovirus (aka common cold)

I'm Feeling: sleepy and sneezy... but happy! (3 of 7 dwarfs!)
Background Noise: Sanctuary by Jaci Velasquez

So that, apparently, is a picture of the virus that is inhabiting my sinuses and chest cavity right now. I have a tendency to get sick after really intense periods of activity and/or stress - like bible camp. I had a great time, but my body tends to poop out on me after spending so much mental, physical, and emotional energy for a week straight. However, I have to heal quickly - Mark and I leave for WYLdlife camp on Sunday!! Not much time to kick this one in the butt...

Upon recommendation by my friend Kristen, I recently read Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. That book basically knocked me over - I have to read it again. It was so densely packed with information, challenges, thoughts and perspective - that I know I missed so much of it. There's a companion book, a devotional, that Mark and I started last night - he hasn't read the original book, but seemed to like the first chapter of this one. It's really challenging - the idea that our actions should always come from a spiritual motivation - that we are called to holiness out of reverence for God. And since God is always worthy of reverence, we are always called to be holy, and therefore always called to love one another. "Any other motivation (other than holiness) is less than Christian." Yikes - that's what I call convicting. Do I love people for no other reason than because our Father is holy and worthy and that I am called to follow Him? Gee, let me think - no! I try, but I'm pretty sure that most times, I fail spectacularly. But what an awesome standard!!

On a separate note, I have a full schedule of appointments today - hopefully they all show up. It makes my day go so much faster, plus, it's way more fun. Maybe I'll get to practice loving people for the right reasons.

Thought for the day: What characteristics/personality traits (in yourself or others) make it hard for you to love other people? How can we overcome that in the name of Jesus?

Monday, August 01, 2005


I'm Feeling: slighted enough to blog for the second time today
Background Noise: You Ain't Nothing But a Hound Dog by Elvis Presley

In the academic advising world, no-shows happen a lot. Students schedule appointments, then forget, or don't feel like coming in, or are hungover, or what have you. I've either been a college student or worked with them for the past seven years - I know they are not the most reliable demographic on the planet. But seriously... every SINGLE one of my appointments today did not show up. That's ridiculous. Plus, I could have gotten SO much more done had I know that I had all day to myself. *sigh* The day is almost over... I can go home and relax a little soon.

Thought for the Day: What do your actions (or inactions) say about your character? Are you portraying the message you want people to see?


I'm Feeling: like I'm in the eye of a storm (a fun one)
Background Noise: It Is Well by By The Tree

(ps. I love that when I'm feeling like life is crazy, songs like that pop up on my iTunes and let me know God is in control!)

Yikes! Life's been busy the last few weeks! Last Friday, I went to Dana's bachelorette party - yay Tigers! I've never been to Comerica Park before - it's lovely, and I got to eat hot dogs and peanuts - what more could you ask for? Then Saturday morning Mark and I got up at 5am to head to the lovely Upper Peninsula for Bible Camp - we both counseled for a week, with campers that were 15-20 years old. Mark's been to this camp 6 times now, in various roles, and this was my first time. It was hard, fun, challenging, rewarding, lonely, and full of blessings all at the same time! Experiences like that are so rich - I usually have a deeper appreciation for things that you have to work for - and I definitely had to work at this camp! Everyone I met was wonderfully kind - you can really see the Lord in the workers there. My campers were really fun (although trying at times - I'm not used to high schoolers - I hang out with college students and middle schoolers a lot!) but I kinda miss them already! Camp ran from Saturday to Saturday, and Mark and I left at 7am to get back to Ann Arbor in time for Dave and Dana's wedding! It was really fun - they seemed to have a great time, which is exactly how your wedding is supposed to go. Everything was beautiful, and I got to see some people I love that I haven't seen in a long time.

Now I'm back at work - AOP is over, which is great, but it's suddenly August - and all those things that seemed so far away a week or two ago are looming!! It's good to be back in the swing - I'm a little nervous about the amount of work I'm facing, but I'm sure it will all go smoothly. Here's to jumping in with both feet!!