Monday, August 30, 2004

Please Don't Pinch Me

I could have put this post together with the last one, but I'm so overjoyed to be feeling creative and coming up with great subject names that I just had to make two posts. Wow, that was a long sentence.

As I was walking across campus this afternoon towards the "Old Main" building, which is where the bookstore, admissions, registrar, president's office, chapel, and other various offices and classrooms are, I realized how beautiful this campus really is. It's so weird to be walking around here as a student. Of course I had pictured it when I visited in April, but I had pictured myself on every other campus I had visited as well. So to actually a student knowing I'll be here for the next 3 years, well, it can catch me off-guard at times. After getting past the initial horrible first week, I'm so glad I'm here. Even though I know things won't go great all the time, and there will be times that I won't want to be here, I'm so glad I am here. I have such a great feeling of joy knowing that I'm where God wants me.

So please, even in the bad times, don't pinch me. I don't want to wake up. Simply remind me that this to shall pass, and I'll choose joyfullness. I don't know what the future holds for me, but as I've been grieving over some situations with people this week, I'm even today feeling God whisper to my soul that I am His beloved, and I'm right where I need to be. Even when I don't understand people, God understands us all, and He loves us. So today I choose to do what is right, once again forsake and forget about my past sin, and live as His redeemed daughter. I'm a daughter of the King, a princess. I'm HIS Princess. Princess Beth.

Tattoos, Piercings, Commercials, and Other No-Nos

So apparently now that I'm in a much more joyful mood all of my creativity is coming back. If you don't think this is creative, well, you're probably right. So this could very well just be the second of many posts today. Anyway, wait, before I begin I would just like to say that yes, reality has hit, and I do know how much work I have to do, but I'm still ok with that. Ok, back to your regularly scheduled blog.

Anway, I was told a while ago that I would look cute with a nose ring. I've always thought that anything other than having your ears pierced was pretty unnecessary and nasty. I was in the process of changing my mind until I read and thought about this fact. When I'm 70 and have more wrinkles than a bulldog being blow dried, I don't think I'm going to want a tattoo even on an invisible part of my body. And when my own kids are old enough to ask why Mommy has a hole in her nose, do I really want to explain it? Therefore I choose to be content with my four ear piercings. Two in each ear thank you. All in my ear lobe per Pillsbury regulations. That brings me to my other similar topic.

At the girls' dorm meeting Thursday night our Dean of Women, Mrs. Drexler, bless her heart made the comment that unless we already had a tattoo which we had gotten while unsaved or not walking with the Lord, we could not go out and get a tattoo. I had to stop and wonder if I had a tattoo that it was an obvious sign that I wasn't walking with the Lord. I realize this wasn't the point she was trying to make, but it made me stop and wonder. Oh well. So yes, tattoos are out, along with more than two holes in each ear for girls, (none for boys) both of which must be in the ear lobe. Thank goodness I chose not to pierce my cartilage this summer. And yes, we are not allowed to watch commercials. There are very, very, very few television channels which we are allowed to watch, and those that we are we must change the channels during commercials. This makes for T.V. viewing that would drive my mother bonkers 'cause she hates it when my dad and I flip channels between programs.

All of that to say, I'm really not rebelling against the rules. I might not agree with all the rules, but that's ok. I choose to obey them. If you don't like them or don't think you could handle them, that's ok, you don't have to. And I'm certainly glad that I don't want to pierce my nose. I do think it would look cute on me, but I can't handle being fourty with a nose ring, or a lot of scar tissue where one used to be. I guess I'll just have to be cute enough on my own without one. Hmmm...

Gut-Level Reaction: YIPEE!

Well, my first "day" of classes is behind me. Actually, the day is far from over, but my classes for the day are. My gut-level reaction at this point to what lies ahead of me:
YIPEE!!!!

Seriously, I am so pumped. I didn't mean to leave the weekend sounding so depressed Friday evening, but I had nothing more to add until yesterday, and then I was having to much fun to sit down and update. Saturday was pretty much a repeat of Friday. I went to the alumni soccer game by myself, and pretty much spent the day like that. I talked to a couple people, but I really didn't know anybody, and those I did know had gone home for the weekend.
Sunday was a different story, Praise the Lord. I almost got lost trying to get to church, and then trying to find the right Sunday School class, but all that turned out just fine. I sat with girls from school in church, and after church there was a carry-in (potluck) dinner so we all got to talk. I finally spoke up and was myself, which meant I had a great time. I spent the entire afternoon with Katie and "G" (short for Gianni, yep she's Italian, and tons of fun.) among others. We hung out, played cards (amazingly enough, we're allowed to have playing cards here, I was shocked.)(And the guys cheated like crazy), played in the rain, and just generally had tons of fun. But if I here "Hey Baby, How you doin'?" one more time, I might have to tackle "G". So yes, I am going to make it. It took some time, and I'm still meeting people, but I definitely feel much more comfortable.

"Thanks God, you're pretty awesome. Yes, I was more than beginning to doubt that I was supposed to be here, but you're always faithful. Thank you for teaching me lessons I needed to learn, and then for providing. I'm sorry for doubting you, and help me not to again. Let me trust you even when things don't become clear, and I don't get what I want."

I had plans to meet G and Katie for breakfast at 7:40 this morning, 'cause we all had classes that started at 8:30. Well, I was awakened to G pounding on my door at 7:45am. Because of a huge storm last night, not feeling the best (don't worry, girl stuff), and just generally not sleeping between 3 and 5am, I had missed my alarm. So no shower for Beth. But after classes, I'm now freshly showered and feel much better. Don't worry, I think it's hilarious. What a way to start my college career here at Pillsbury. It's a great story that I'll be able to tell freshmen for years to come. :-) So that made for a funny start to my day, but don't worry, it's been a great day thus far.

So back to my reason for the YIPPEE!. This morning I had Old Testament Introduction, Introduction to Counseling, and History of Civilization 1. Doesn't sound real exciting, I know, but trust me, I'm pumped. They're all three going to be lots of work, Intro to Counseling alone is going to have at least 1000 pages of reading involved, but I'm excited. This is stuff I've been waiting my whole life to study, well at least the past 6 or 8 years or so, and it's finally happening. Even the history class is going to be great, 'cause we're starting at the beginning. I never felt like I learned enough about the ancient world, and even though it'll be a fast overview, I'll finally get to learn about Socrates, Charlamange, (bad spelling I know) Atilla the Hun, etc... And all from a Biblical viewpoint. Learning how history affects our lives as Christians today is awesome to me. I almost majored in Counseling, so to get the chance to take some counseling as electives is just...for a lack of a better word, awesome. Intro to the O.T. is going to involve lots of reading as well, but that's ok too. I have to read the whole Old Testament as well as our textbook, and it'll be the same for the New Testament next semester, but that's awesome. I've been wanting to actually go through the whole thing for a while now, and just haven't done it.

Yes, I'm going to have to be disciplined with my time, but how great to be in such a wonderful place studying the things I love? I guess I really just never thought that I would enjoy the classes I was taking this much. I've done this much work before, but not for something I enjoy and want to learn about. In short, I could cry because I'm so joyful. God never, ever ceases to amaze me.
And I still have 4 more classes to start tomorrow! Including my lone photography course for this semester. It proves to only be getting better. Yes, I could feel overwhelmed, but I won't. I'm going to keep on being joyful.

And so, I leave you to go do laundry with my new friend G. After that, it's already time to hit the books, but that only makes me so thankful that God is so faithful, and that I'm here. I can finally say it's far better than I could have hoped for. Thanks for all your prayers, and please keep it up, I still need them. I know I'll come down off this high soon, but I pray I'm still thankful to be here learning these great things.

Friday, August 27, 2004

It's Simple Really

I'm lonely.

No one is answering their phone this evening, and my roomate is gone for the weekend. I don't know anyone else here well enough to go be a pest. And so, I'm lonely. I miss you guys. I know, talk to God. I've done that, and it's great to talk to someone, but right now I wish He'd answer back a little more audibly.

I'm lonely. No more, no less.

Still A Bit Fuzzy

I have decided after briefly filling you in on my scenario that is life, that I will talk about something other than myself.

I did indeed purchase a bookshelf yesterday, it's a very nice bookshelf that just happens to be the exact same one my roomate has. We have good taste I guess. I even put the whole thing together by myself. I was greatly impressed, I hope you are too. I get along great with my roomate, we're having a great time getting to know each other. Still working on everyone else. It can only get better I hope. I had a horrible yearbook picture taken this morning, but I choose not to let that dappen my spirits. I got to sleep until 9am this morning, which is the first in a very, very long time. Somehow it just doesn't seem right that school should feel like summer vacation. Ah well, what are you going to do about it? So classes start bright and early Monday morning, and there is a job fair on Tuesday. Pray that I find a great job. Especially one that doesn't involve cleaning or food. That would be amazingly wonderful. And so, that's my life in a paragraph.

I've decided that while my blog's purpose is to keep you up to date on my life, I should make it a tad bit more interesting and talk about something other than my life. While trying to think of topics to talk about, I realized that any interesting topic had to do with a lesson I have been learning. So I'm a bit puzzled for something to talk about.

So here's a topic that is not born out of my life, but certainly adds humor to it.

"Get Fuzzy" What a great Cartoon. While being somewhat bored yesterday evening, I did a google search for "Get Fuzzy" and found a whole month worth of this great cartoon. I just have to say that August's were particularily funny. Now I realize it's not always the cleanest cartoon, but it's pretty good comparatively. It's also a cartoon that is actually still funny. So many cartoons nowadays are no longer funny, only somewhat amusing. Thankfully "Get Fuzzy" is not among them. This cartoon continually makes me want to laugh out loud and immediately forward it to all my friends. If you've never read "Get Fuzzy" you simply must do so immediately! I'll even provide you with a link.
http://www.unitedmedia.com/comics/getfuzzy/
Go now dear friends, and read until your sides ache.

I've noticed that because of the whole not knowing anybody experience, I haven't been laughing at all in the last few days. Which is not healthy for anybody, but especially not Beth who loves to laugh and finds the world funny. So "Get Fuzzy" has been a great experience.
I hope you'll check it out, especially the strips from the week of August 9th. They're hilarious in my personal opinion. If this isn't your taste, well sorry, but I find them hilarious. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

When Words Fail Me

For those of you who know me even a little bit, which should be all of you, you know I like to talk. In fact, I can talk a lot and I usually do. The last 48 hours however, words have failed me. In fact, they are failing me right now.

It's taking all of my energy to get adjusted and get through every day. All my creativity for writing has somehow been sucked out of me. I have so many things to write about, but no words with which to do so. Even in person, I'm at a loss for words. I find enough to say to my roomate, my advisor, and my campus parents, but otherwise, it's a silent Beth that is seen these days.

I knew I would have to step out, be bold, talk to strangers, and make friends, but I'm failing at it. I know, it just takes time. The continueing and returning students return today, which I hope makes things easier since everyone will be here finally. Of course I have doubts about being seen as a lowly freshman even though I'm not, but I know how silly worries can be so I'll just take this day as it comes. I have so much free time right now that I'm not sure what to do with myself. I'm almost done unpacking although I still have a box of just STUFF to deal with. It can wait until I'm ready though. I should attempt to get myself back to Wal-mart or Target to buy a bookshelf, but that could be too much of an adventure for right now. Yes, I know that these are horrible chains that simply exploit their employees for a profit, but well, I don't have much defense actually. Except that I'm a typical American who needs to save money therefore contributing to the madness of the whole economic cycle which is in big need of help. Right now though, I would just like to be able to write a more interesting blog.

So, I'm going to go find something to do. Hopefully I'll soon be energized by making a new friend or something that will spur me on to more creativity. For now just know that getting to Wal-mart last night was just fine, getting back however, that was somewhat more of an adventure.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

From The Mixed-Up Files Of A Transfer Student

Well I only have a moment, for I am soon off to see my advisor and register for classes. But I wanted to take this moment to let you all know about the first 24 hours or so of my life at Pillsbury Baptist Bible College.

After a very long, very sleepy drive yesterday, we pulled into the parking lot of my home for the next 8 or so months. It's been interesting. Being sleep-deprived hasn't helped my outlook on things, but I know I'll be fine. It's definitely going to take some getting used to, but that's ok. My roomate seems very sweet, and I think we'll get along fine. I'm trying to be friendly while not prying to much into her life quite yet. Yes, I am sleeping on the top bunk. We lofted the top bed on the dressers, which means Beth needs a stepladder. I tried to get into bed last night and promptly fell down and bruised my lower arm and my ribs. Don't worry, I'll be fine. And no, I did not fall out of bed, I merely fell getting into bed. Big Difference.
And so, after being orientated several times, telling my parents good-bye today, and generally trying to find room for everything I brought, I am off to register. I don't think I have classes until 8:30am everyday, which is better than 7:30 I guess.

Sorry for the randomness, this is by far the worst blog I think I've written thus far. It's about as muddled as my brain is right now.

I think I'm in shock that I'm here. I searched so long for the place I was supposed to be, that actually being here is doing weird things to my psyche. No worries, I've got chocolate! Or at least I will have chocolate after I figure out where Wal-Mart is. Hmmm this might involved getting lost...I'll let you know if and when I find my way back, until then, continue on dear friends.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Monday, August 23, 2004

Three Jobs Down, None To Go

Well, I'm done. Today was my official last day as Radio DJette Beth. And so, my summer of working three jobs is officially over. 12 hours from now I'll be getting ready to drive away from this fair place on my way. 24 hours from now I will be settling in at college. Weird, very weird.
For tonight, I'm trying unsucessfully to not cry my way through all my good-byes. It's not working. So that's all I have.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

A Real Life Comic Strip

I feel as though at this moment my life is made up of one of four questions. For example:
1. "What exactly is this?"
2. "Where exactly did it come from?"
3. "Do I really need it?"
4. "Should I take it with me?"

Sometimes these can be dangerous questions. Take number one for example, I've found that in some cases, it's a good question to skip. Number two as well, it can cause great harm if one isn't careful.
In all seriousness though, they're hard questions to answer. So basically, I either box, throw, or store everything.

I wish a comic strip could be made out of this whole packing experience. I'd give the artist/writer enough material to send their own kids to college. Until then, just imagine a very frightened mouse being chased down by a cat while I frantically pack boxes around them both. "Sure Mom, someday this will be funny." Oh well, back to my boxes.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Two Jobs Down, One to go

Today was my last Saturday of cleaning cabins. I'll admit it was a relief to clean and then walk away from my last dirty toilet of the summer. One more day of "work" ahead of me. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm also dreading it.
One more air-shift for Beth. 10-1 one last time. The EDGE is the job I hate to leave. I love radio. It's been in my blood since I was 14, and I don't think I'll ever get rid of my passion for it. It hasn't been a typical radio summer, but I've loved it nonetheless.

It has hit me within the last 24 hours that I'm actually leaving. I hate this point. And for the first time, I shed tears over it today. I've cried a bunch in the last week, but that was over other stuff like people, stress, and life in general I guess. But today, I cried because I'm leaving. The end is nearing, and while the future looks great, I shed some tears over the past. What a summer it's been, I couldn't have asked for a better one.

So I boldly take a big gulp and look towards my future, but I'll miss this time as well. Not the work necessarily, but the time to just be friends together having fun. For tonight, however, as I pack my boxes, I'll shed some tears over the memories I've been granted, over friends grown closer to, over lessons learned, over people leaving, and over time gone by. But there will be happy tears as well, for I have the adventure of my life ahead of me. And oh, what an adventure it promises to be.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Let Nothing Shake

I've had a hymn going through my head for the last several days. Granted, I've been listening to it almost everytime I get into my car, so that helps keep it in my head.
Be Still My Soul. There is so much truth in that line. Yes, we are commanded to "Be still and know that I am God', but how often do we actually do that?
I know that so often I concentrate so hard to be still, that I forget to be still. I get distracted with trying to not be distracted. I was reading in Romans 8 this morning, and verse 26 hit me where this is concerned. "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." I realized that I don't have to try so hard to be still. Simply because God knows what I need, even when I don't, and He can take care of my lack of being still. He can Calm my soul, and refresh my spirit.
And so, here's the song that's been my refuge for the past several days. Take special note of the second verse, for it's been the cry of my heart.

Be still my soul
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to thy God to order and provide;
in every change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
to guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
and all is darkened in the vale of tears,
then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay,
from his own fulness, all he takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
when we shall be forever with the Lord,
when disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored,.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
all safe and bless├ęd we shall meet at last.

Words: Stille, meine Wille; deine Jesus heift siegenKatharina Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel (born 1697), trans. Jane Laurie Borthwick (1813-1897)

"Let nothing shake my confidence in you, oh God. I trust you that the waves and wind will obey your voice. Someday it will all make sense, but for today, my confidence and hope is in you, the calmer of the storm. The calmer not only of the storm out there, but the one in my heart"

Thursday, August 19, 2004

A Taste Of My Life To Come

Ack, I've accidentally deleted this post twice already. I'll try to say it all again, but frankly, I'm sick of what I have to say. Oh well, you haven't heard it yet, so I'll do my best to retype for the 3rd time.

I found out today who my roomate for the next year is going to be. Presuming of course, that she can put up with me for that long. Her name is Holly, and she's a returning sophmore.
In my mind, there are pros and cons to this situation.
Pros being that I won't have to live with a freshman who's never been away from home. I know, I should show a little more compassion. Also, she's lived at Pillsbury for year, she can fill me in on all the stuff they should tell you but never do.
Cons could be that she has been there, done that. And I haven't. Yes, I've lived on my own before, but never at Pillsbury. Also, because she's a returning student, I'll be there about 2 days before her, because I have to go through orientation. That could provide some kinks of adjustment time.
There are so many things I could worry about, but I choose to simply pray about it. I now have a specific name to pray for, so that I will do. I will also try to call her sometime soon so we can sort out the whole "who will bring what" scenario.
I take comfort in the fact that a week from now I'll have met Holly face-to-face, and we'll go on from there.

In case you're interested, I'll give you some links to pictures of the campus.
This is the women's dorm. Yes, there's only one. Along with only one men's dorm and one main classroom building. It's only a student body of 200 afterall.
So anyway, the women's dorm.
http://www.pillsbury.edu/images/gnkiss.jpg
I'll be living on the second floor, which for me is just perfect. It's about as close to ground level as you can get without actually living under ground in the lower level.
Pillsbury Hall, the classrooms.
http://www.pillsbury.edu/images/pillsburyh.jpg
And of course the library, where I'm sure I'll be spending a fair amount of my time.
http://www.pillsbury.edu/images/jeftsh.jpg
What would college be without cafeteria food? Here's the "Dining Commons".
http://www.pillsbury.edu/images/dining.jpg
So that about does it. That's a small snippet of the buildings which will make up my life for the next 9 months.

5 days dear friends. 5 days from now I will literally be driving into my future. Only 4 days left here. Where, oh where has the summer gone? 3 months ago I was trying to figure out how I would last the long time until the end of summer. And now, it's almost gone. I would appreciate your prayers right now in particular. I have so much to get done, as well as some special people to spend quality time with. I need these times with them.
I'm sure I'll continue to keep you up to date. As I get more harried, writing becomes my refuge. A bit of normalcy in the insanity as it were.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

A Nappy Sort Of Day

Today is the sort of day that was made for naps. And since I am no longer a slave to a hectic work schedule, I have the freedom to take a nap. Nevermind all the boxes which are waiting to be packed, no, a nap sounds like a much better idea.
It's cold outside today, 55 degrees right now to be exact. The wind is blowing at about 25-30mph with gusts up to 45mph. It's raining hard off and on, and there's not even a sliver of sunshine off in the distance. In my opinion, it's a great day. I have the urge to get a great, full of fluff, and basically pointless book from the library and go curl up in the local coffee shop and simply enjoying watching the rain and the sound of coffee brewing.
It's also a great nappy day, so we'll see what wins. I haven't curled up and read in a long time, so I have the feeling it might win out. You know what? I'll do both. The prerogative is mine to do so. I think I just might.

Until then, I'm going to go enjoy being treated to lunch by one of my bosses, along with the other cleaning ladies. I'll also take time to stop and thank the Lord for the wonderful people in my life, the joy of being His child, and the joy to be found in this nappy sort of day.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

One Job Down, Two To Go

I have only 2 words to say right now...
I'm done.
Yes dear friends, my summer at Bait 'N Bite has come to an official end. 3 and a half months later, I am no longer a waitress. It feels great. I'll miss the place and the people I worked with, but it's time to move on.
Therefore, I'm done.
Can I just say that again?

I'M DONE!!!!!!!!!!

And now I'll say it with the tinge of sadness in my voice due to the realization that this is the beginning of the end.

i'm done.

Finished, the end, caput, finito, the swan song as it were.

Ahh...and so the beginning to the end begins. One more week, a week from Today (Tuesday). That's all I have left. And then it's Buh-Bye!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Smiles and Puppy Dog Eyes Part 2-Take 2

Ahh, I love computers. Actually, they're a great blessing, but a huge annoyance as well. In other words, I was all set to publish my last post, and what should happen but it disappears. So I'll try again. One blessing for you the reader is that it will probably be shorter than before.

So about the smiles and puppy dog eyes. I was told on Saturday by one of the owners of the resort where I clean at that I had beautiful big puppy dog eyes. I was always told as a little kid that I had beautiful big brown eyes, but I guess I thought I had outgrown it.
As I was unpacking some boxes from Alec on Sunday afternoon, I found a box of old letters and cards some dating all the way back to 3rd grade. I was in such a "what is all this junk?" mood/mode that I threw away most of it. Don't worry, I didn't need it. First though, I read most of them. In so many cards from my summers in N.Y. and since then, I was told that my smile lights up a room. How encouraging is that?
I hope this doesn't come off sounding prideful, because what it does is humble me. I don't see these qualities in myself, I see what I need to improve on, but I find encouragement and humility in them.

I did have a great although busy weekend. I worked all weekend, but what's new about that? But I learned to find joy this weekend.
I got to lay out on our crunchy grass lawn after work Sunday afternoon. I laid there and just soaked up the feeling of the wind blowing through my hair, the kitty cuddled up and purring in my ear, and the sound of the windchimes blowing in the wind. God reminded me to enjoy the little blessings that He gives us everyday.
I ate a great ice-cream cone on Saturday, I got to go to an amazing church service of testimony and singing Sunday night, I sat and cried as I listened to my home congregation sing the last verse of "Amazing Grace" a cappella, and I enjoyed a great night of fellowship and some friendly sparring with my college group.
The little things that God gives us everyday, I was reminded to appreciate these.

Joy, what a great word. Not simply being happy, maybe not even smiling, but being totally satisfied in what God has done, and who He has made me to be.
"Thank you Lord, for the small joy-filled things that make up our lives in You."

Tonight was my second-to-last shift at B&B. It was a very good night, something I hope repeats itself tomorrow, for my last shift. I was basically clunked over the head with the fact that God will take care of His sparrows. I think today I finally was able to joke about and accept the fact that I had been stolen from. No, I wasn't therefore handed a check for $150 tonight. God isn't working that way so far. But I had the opportunity tonight to talk to a 7th Day Adventist family, not exactly of like faith, but still a fascinating conversation. The couple had been missionaries in Guam for 5 years.
Yes Nicole, I have officially met somebody who's been to Guam! How cool is that?!
So anyway, when they learned I was majoring in Missions, they left me $20. Not exactly a repay for what was stolen, but a huge clunk from God that He will take care of those He calls. Maybe not the way we think of being taken care of, but taken care of according to His Perfect Plan. God is so Faithful.

And that's all there is from these tired puppy dog eyes. Morning will be coming very early tomorrow, so I best get to bed. Thanks for all your prayers, I will make it. It has occured to me that saying I'm in the wilderness might be a bit presumptious of me, but that's where it seems I am right now. And right now, I'm not asking to be brought from it. I want to stay needy before the Lord. There are so many things going on in my head, heart, and soul right now. God is holding my chin in His hands as it were, in order that I might learn to gaze at Him.
It doesn't matter if this is the wilderness or not, what matters is that I stay humble, and trust my mind, heart, and soul to God.

So this puppy is off to bed. And please, comment! I need somebody to be a critic. In fact, I need lots of somebodies. Good-night my pound friends.

Smiles and Puppy Dog Eyes

I had a very blessed weekend indeed, of which I will do my best to fill you in on later this evening after I get home.

I was told this weekend that I had puppy dog eyes...I think it was a compliment. I'll make sure to explain more later. For now though, stay tuned for part 2, and I'll work hard.

God is so Faithful.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Just Another Day...In Paradise?

I had two conflicting thoughts going through my head while at work this evening. I was standing waiting rather impatiently for the credit card machine to go through when I heard that song on the radio, "Just Another Day in Paradise".
I felt thunderstruck by God right then. I was dreading going back to work today. The only thing giving me hope was that I only have 5 more days left. But then what should my ears hear but a not so subtle reminder to enjoy each day as it comes. To enjoy today, and realize that this is a huge gift God has given me.

I also had the thought that Thank God this isn't paradise. I wrenched my knee at work tonight, which caused from my knee to my hip to hurt, which caused my lower back to ache. I was again reminded as I have so often since being stolen from, that we live in a sinful world. I hope and pray for the day when I reach "Paradise". Where "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelation 22:3.
That day can't come soon enough.

The greatest thing God brought to mind tonight however, was this. I might not understand why I could make such a foolish mistake, and that somebody could take advantage of that and steal from me. I might not understand why God does the things He does, or why He lets people do the things they do, But I get to spend everyday of my life knowing who's my savior. I have the privilege, actually the right, as God's child to talk to Him everyday. To quote a song by The Lads "My best friend's the creator of the universe". This may be overly simplistic, but it's the whisper of my soul tonight.

I cringed every time I received a less than desirable tip tonight, I wanted to cry everytime I was stiffed. Yes, it happened twice. It made the reality of what I've lost so much harder. I'm not even close to understanding how I could lose so much of what I worked so hard for, but yet God was reminding me that I don't have to understand. That comforts me so much. This wilderness of life may not go away, and until the true Paradise, nothing will satisfy us. Yet I can live everyday in this temporary "Paradise" with Joy and Love in my heart, and seek to give that to others, because the God that holds every atom of this universe together is holding my life and heart in the palm of His hand.

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen."

There's A Lesson Here Somewhere, I Just Know It

Alright, it's time to attempt to fill you in on my life as of late.

The great tale filled with adventure and tragedy might be somewhat of a let down, but I'll tell it anyway.
I was at a "fast-food" place with 2 of my close friends on what was a very rainy Tuesday, enjoying eating fries and stealing some of Tracy's ice-cream cone. The short version of the story is that I went to purchase my own ice-cream cone and wasn't paying attention when I put my wallet back and it missed my purse. So I left without my wallet, and got a nice little call that night that my wallet was safe and sound at this fast-food joint and I just had to come and pick it up. Which I did on Wednesday.
Now here's the good news, my I.D., my bank cards, my 2 credit cards, even my social security card, were all there still. Even a paycheck that I was going to put in the bank.
Now the bad news. As I said, I was going to make a deposit at the bank, so I had roughly $150 dollars of cash in my wallet. When I was given my wallet back, the cash was all gone.
Yes, I was ticked, I was worse than ticked. I was soooo upset all I wanted to do was cry and scream about the injustice of it all.

Honestly, all these self-righteous thoughts came to mind. Here I've been working 50-70 hours a week, 7 days a week, all summer, just to earn money to go to Bible College. I'm a Bible College student for crying out loud! I'm going to study to be a missionary. And they take my money! Even at my 6 hour a week job that I get $13 an hour, that's still 11 and a half hours of work. My hard work, just gone.
I know what you're thinking, at least you had your I.D., your paycheck, your credit cards, etc...
And you're right, but it still feels like I was for lack of a better word picture, monetarily raped.

I've been taken advantage of, I've been had, I've been stolen from.
I do realize there are so many more important elements to life right now, but this just stopped me in my tracks.
God is using it to teach me many things, one of them a reminder that it's not my money anyway. I saw how tightly I've been holding onto my precious pennies this summer. Yes, I've been tithing and giving and treating people to lunch, but I had forgotten that it's all God's to begin and end with. So that money is God's, and He's in control of it. I was reminded of the passage of scripture in Luke 21:1-4, where the widow gives her 2 mites in comparison to the "great gifts" of the rich men. God chose the widow's mites as being better. And they were.
I don't have a direct comparison to my situation with that, except that we live in a sinful world, these things are going to happen, and who am I do doubt God's hand at work?
I don't see a particular lesson in all of this, I'm not sure what God's doing. I still feel burned, and taken advantage of, but that's ok.
I don't need to know. If I never know until heaven , I hope that I can say well, I didn't react rightly to start with, but in the end I hope God was glorified.

I really don't have anything more of consequence to say. There's a whole lot more going through my head and going on in my life, but I cannot articulate it right now. I was reading a fairly well know preacher's blogsite, and he said it so well.
"I have nothing in me right now. Nothing to spare. Writing seems like some exotic and impossible thing, like hitchhiking through Siberia. I don't think I could form a single creative sentence. That's the reality of the situation."
Which just goes to show that I really can't write when I'm swiping how I feel from other blogsites.

Above it all though, I'm doing much better about being in the wilderness. I think I'm still there, for I still have a lot to learn right now, but that's ok. Not only is my focus getting back to where it needs to be, but I am learning to live life. I've been "scared" by too many possibilities in life lately. Instead of wondering about how to fix my life and personality so things don't happen to hurt me, I need to live life.
Love, laugh, cry, hug, give, share, talk, listen, and be Beth. And above all,
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." Matthew 22:37

"Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, And speak comfort to her...'And it shall be in that day.' says the Lord, 'That you will call me 'My Husband,' and no longer call Me 'My Master'." Hosea 2:14, 16

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Wait, check her pulse! Yep, she's still tickin'.

No, I have not been lost into the abyss of those who blog for about a week and then we never hear from them again.

I've been buried up to my neck (figuretively speaking of course) in faith-promise cards, and kept busy trying to keep the "DJ's" in line.
Well, in reality, Sharathon for KBHW is going great. We're not up to where we'd like to be as far as a monetary total, but God is good. He always provides. I've had the chance to be on-air twice thus far and had great fun. We've disconnected the internet line at the station in order for people to call in on that line, so I'm at a friend's house mooching off of her computer.

I've had plenty of adventures the last 3 days however. I have a great story of tragedy to fill you in on, but alas, it will have to wait.

Oh, and I'd like to add that it's a little disheartening to be pouring out my thoughts so often, and to be greeted with, "O Comments".
Talk dear friends! I know you have plenty to say!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The Beatitudes

I was pointed by a co-worker at The EDGE/KBHW to the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. Go look it up! The NKJV is usually my chosen version, but I believe we have a place for paraphrases as long as they are not taken to be perfect scripture. It IS a paraphrase. I could expound on all that, but I won't for space sake. Anyway, "The Message" puts the Beatitudes so well. 

"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule.
You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. 
You're blessed when you're content with just who you are-no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for. 
You're blessed when you get your inside world-your mind and heart-put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. "
There's more to the beatitudes in "The Message" but that's all I'm going to share.

So yes, let's get to the end of our ropes today. A great quote I read once fits the occasion "When you feel that you're at the end of your rope, pick up your Bible and read until you get a better hold on that rope, for that Rope is God, and He will never let you go."

 


In The Wilderness

Michael James does a great song by the title of "In The Wilderness".
I couldn't find a link to the lyrics, so here they are live and in print.

"Where's the bush that burns? And the voice that calls from Heaven? Where's the Holy Ground for me to stand? Where the Miracle? Heaven knows I need one, Why I'm here I just don't understand.
Never dreamed you'd change directions from the way I thought I'd go, Who'd have guessed you'd lead me to a place I do not know

In the Wilderness, In the Wilderness. Until the things are gone that don't reflect your holiness, I know one day I'll stand, in the Promised Land; But for now I'm here while I become Your righteousness, In the Wilderness.

Where's the cloud of fire that's supposed to guide me? Why do I feel I'm on my own? Where's the parting sea? And the million other people? I never dreamed I'd go through this alone.
Is this the place I read about? Don't remember it this way. But when I'm through I know I'll be like You, So Lord I'll stay...

In the Wilderness, In the Wilderness. Until the things are gone that don't reflect your holiness; I know one day I'll stand, in the Promised Land, But for now I'm here while I become Your righteousness, In The Wilderness."

I feel the need to apologize for my last post, but I won't, because it was how I really felt then. I still feel some tinges of it in fact. However, I woke up this morning not very well rested, but with the thought that I have a choice to make. I can choose to bring others down with my contemplative sadness, or I can find strength in the Joy of the Lord. As a friend of a friend Myles said on his blog, which I'm going to borrow from because he says it perfectly. His blogsite by the way is
www.Godinthedetails.blogspot.com
"Our lives, if we let them, are brimming over with goodness and mercy and fullness and, if we dare, the Spirit of God that pours all good things out upon all who ask. Our lives are too little to save room for something that is not yet in it, or something that has mysteriously left a gaping hole. Nature hates a vaccuum; it constantly seeks to fill us up, to cram life into our pores. Our lives are full of residue and memories of people and experiences, and eventually, if we resist the temptation to jettision memories, the container of our lives begins to stretch, enabling us to hold more and more, though eventually, we overflow. I call that overflowing joy."

I realized that it's a great sign that I dread saying good-bye to so many wonderful people, because I have wonderful people to say good-bye to. I am so blessed, I too have lots of wonderful residue and memories in my life for which I am so grateful. I often think of residue as something yucky left over. You know, from an bad science experiment or something. This is not the case here however. You have all left beautiful pieces of residue in my life. I am overflowing with the joy of the Lord, but also with the joy of so many people that are in my life.

So here's to times of Wilderness, where God calls us to Himself. We so often think of the wilderness as this dry, desolate, and desperate place. And it is, for when we are empty of ourselves, when we are so desolate that we don't know where to turn, and desperate for intervention in our lives, that's when God can fully reveal Himself to show us our need of Him.
So I choose to be thankful today for the wilderness in my life. For I want to be more like Christ.

"Empty me Lord, so I may be full of you, and able to reach that Higher Ground which I have been asking for."



Monday, August 09, 2004

This Is A Call, For Faith Like That, To Come Back To Me

I am so overwhelmed with the presence of God right now. Out of curiosity, I did a dictionary search to see what the real definition of "presence" really was. And what should my eyes behold, but "3: an invisible spiritual being felt to be nearby".
Many things went through my head right then, but the one that I chose to reach out and grab ahold of, was the fact that I am so glad that our relationship with God is not based on feelings and emotions.

If God were only nearby when I felt Him, I would be lost indeed.
All weekend, in the midst of the craziness, I felt as though some invisible thing was shouting at me that I soon have to say another bunch of good-byes. It was the underlying tone of my whole weekend, and it sucked.
I hate saying good-bye. It hurts, it's painful, and it's an ever present part of life. I'm comforted in a some small part that I'm not the only one leaving again. I should be comforted knowing that it's been a wonderful summer full of friends, laughter, tears, and growing closer to the Lord, but I'm not. I should be comforted knowing what a huge adventure Bible College is going to be, and the life-long friends that await me there, but I'm not.
It's been a summer full of stretching lessons. My faith has been stretched and challenged in huge ways. Not by some huge event, but by a lot of little things that challenged me everyday.
I'm tired. I'm tired by life at this point. I don't wish to sound depressed, for I'm far from it, but I'm very comtemplative right now.

I rest in the knowledge right now that God is ever in control, and this is another step in making me who He wants me to be. So right now, I do feel the Lord just holding me. I'm definitely not strong enough at this time. The future is full of so many unknowns that just leave me realing in the wake.
I don't want to say good-bye, for this is comfortable. And I'll miss you. But good-byes do not have to be forever. It's amazing to me the many changes that friendships and relationships make seemingly everyday. I love change, but I hate it.

A song by Waterdeep seems so appropriate right now. Here's a link for your reading enjoyment, I hope you do take time to read the lyrics, for this song is my heart's cry right now.
http://waterdeep.com/music/songinfo.php?id=20
Unfortunately, even though it's Waterdeep's own website, a line or 2 is missing from the lyrics.
Right before the last chorus, there should be these lines:
"'Cause we're almost there, Oh, baby I'm almost there, Jesus, I'm almost there, but I'm still here"

Which is how I feel right now. I'm almost there, but I'm still here.
I'm almost to school, where I can learn a new life for the year, but I'm still here. I'm becoming who God wants me to be, but I'm my old selfish sinful person still shows up. 

I would love to leave you with the upbeat thought that I'll make it, that I'll treasure the 2 weeks I have left, make the most of every moment, treasure these friendships and make them last forever, and be utterly content. 
And I will. But I still feel as though someone is screaming into my head "You're leaving, things won't ever be the same. People will change, and you'll be gone out of their lives forever" 
I'm scared. I'm scared of life and the changes, of failing, of walking away from God, of hurting people, of love being painful, and of saying good-bye.

I will press on, but I'll also cling to Psalm 57.
"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trust in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by."


Sunday, August 08, 2004

A cappella

It's amazing the things you learn when you do a spell check. For instance, I now know that A cappella is really two words. I would have guessed it was one. Oh well.
So once again, here I am finding it necessary to relive my day via Blog. A lot happened today that I'm not going to share, for it is just a little too personal. But know that God never ceases to surprise and amaze me with huge miracles.

I worked from 2-9:15pm today, so I got to attend church this morning. I don't feel like commenting on work, for it was work, and I'm sick of work, so church is the topic tonight.
The church Pianist was gone today, and no replacement was found, so the singing was A cappella. I've always loved it when whoever is leading the songs will ask the pianist to drop out on the last verse or such so that we can sing A cappella. I love the sound of all these voices just lifted up to the Lord. However today I learned how many people (including myself) really do talk during the offertory, but you can't hear them 'cause of the piano.
Anyway, today it was all A cappella, and it was great. The singing really touched me, because a lot of the time I hide behind the music, but when there is no music, it's sing for all you’re worth.

The songs that were chosen really touched me, one in particular, "Higher Ground". If I knew how to use the links on this thing, I would link you to the lyrics, but for now, I'll trust you know your hymns or if you care enough to, will look them up.
Hymns are so great, I'm a huge fan of praise choruses as well, but the doctrine found in hymns is incomparable."Higher Ground" is such a great hymn, and one I hadn't sung in a very long time. I'm going to just give you a link because it's so great. http://www.jaydroz.com/indexhigherground.htm
We'll try that and see if it works.

My prayer today is for my own "Higher Ground".
After my more than a little disheartening day yesterday, God definitely provided a huge blessing this morning. One that made it so much better to listen to all the dear people in my church, whom I love so much, who have watched me grow up, lift their voices together to sing "Higher Ground". And frankly, it got to me.
The second verse where it says "My prayer, my aim, is higher ground" just hit me right where it hurts.
I could expound so much, but this post is already very long, so I'll just say that I want to ache and yearn for Higher Ground.

"Lord, don't let me be satisfied with where I'm at right now. Give me a thirst that cannot be quenched, a hunger that cannot be filled, and a desire that cannot be met. Let me never be satisfied with life, but forever be seeking YOUR higher ground. Your are all that satisfies, but you give things that cannot be met until heaven. So I pray that I will never reach a plateau, but forever be seeking higher ground. Let me not be content with the ordinary, but amazed by your presence. I want to go Lord, send me please."

I pray that we each reach for higher ground today. Corrie Ten Boom said once that "There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still.
"Might I add that there is no mountain so tall that we must climb that God is not higher and bigger still. And He's already walked each step of the way.
So whether you're in a pit, or climbing a seemingly insurmountable mountain today, God has been there. Nothing is a surprise to Him. And best of all, He loves you.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Oofda

If I was whatever nationality that says "Oy Vay", or however you spell it, I would say it. But since I'm simply a simple Minnesotan gal, I shall resort to the ever useful, Oofda, or however you spell that as well.
If you don't know what Oofda means, I don't think I can help you.

Yesterday was such a wonderful Friday.
I went to bed before 11pm last night, which for me felt wonderful. I went to sleep thanking God for being so wonderful, for good friends, good times, and for being so wonderful. I felt so content and realized that I had had a relaxing day without thinking, ok this is my one day off, I have to relax. No, instead I tried to spend the day for somebody else, and ended up so blessed myself. As I drifted off to sleep I was thinking "Wow, I'm going to get at least 7 1/2 hours of sleep, and I'll wake up feeling even better."

Instead, I woke up more tired than I had been when I went to bed. But alas, it was already 6:28am and I had but 12 minutes to get myself out the door to go clean cabins. All was well and I had toast in hand at 6:37 ready to leave, until I couldn't find my car keys. I spent the next 7 feverish minutes looking anywhere I could think of.
I don't normally lose my car keys amazingly enough. Well, at least not at home. They're always either in my purse or hanging up. I found my keys at 6:44, one minute before I was supposed to be meeting everyone at Jenn's which is 5 or 6 miles away. And yes, I found my keys in the bathroom. Don't ask me why they were there, I have no idea.
So anyway, fast forward to 1:15pm when I pull back into the driveway thinking how good a nap will feel. I eat a little lunch, and at around 2 walk down to get the mail. On the way back up the driveway what do my eyes behold but a cow giving birth to her calf. Now understand that I live on a farm in the summer, so this isn't a great big occurance. Except the fact that my parents are both out of town and I'm all alone. Now I'm a tough farm girl, but I'm also at this point a very tired Beth. I wish more for someone to hug me and let me cry than I do for a cow giving birth.
Instead I call up my parents (thank you Lord, for cell phones) and find out which other farmer to call to come help. A long story short, if he hadn't come pulled the calf both the cow and calf would have died, and I would have been the only one home.
Somewhere in that afternoon I managed to pull out 2-20 minutes naps, but both were interrupted by the phone ringing, and neither were restful at all. I woke from the second one feeling worse by the minutes.

However work awaits me at Bait 'N Bite, and I shan't be late. I speed off towards work just shaking my head and saying, "ok God, I don't get it, but whatever".

I often wonder what goes through people's minds when they tip. I know what I think, but I'm biased by being a waitress and knowing what they go through.
Some days when I seem really crabby and don't think I'm being helpful at all, I get huge tips. Either somebody's trying to cheer me up, or I'm a better waitress than I thought. And on the days when I go over and above the call of duty, I get stiffed. Either everybody else is a better waitress, or the world is screwed up. In general though, I don't think we as a society tip very well. Maybe I'm just saying that 'cause I have to eat off of other people's generosity.

So now I'm home and thinking how good my bed will feel. I'm not going to fall into the old "Oh I'll get 8 hours and feel great" trap again though. No, I head off to my bed in full knowledge of the rest of the weekend I have ahead of me, and the week that lies after that.
I'm incredibly jealous of Ben being down in Alec (Alexandria) right now. For all of you in Alec, I wish I could have skipped work and rode along. I miss you a whole lot right now. You have blessed my life in so many ways. I learned so many wonderful lessons there last year. I grew in ways that were unimaginable at a time. God used all of you to bring me so far. I love you all, and hope to be able to come soon. Maybe within 2 months I can come mix your lives up with my prescence once again. Although I'd love to see Jeff and Anna before they take off for Turkey. I love the fact that you guys are going to Turkey. That's such a huge God-Thing. And tonight, as I sit in my house on the farm, in a small town surrounded by more small towns, I'm jealous of the adventure you're about to partake of. But I see my "great adventure" too. While a little less exciting, and much less traveling involved, it's my own adventure/mystery. I'll do my best to live it, and keep you all up to date.

I feel the need to add a postscript and simply say that I love getting flowers, even from my mom. My mother came home with a Yellow Rose for me, which next to Daffodils are my favorite. Just to make me feel special. And so I choose to feel special. But hey, if you want to send Daffodils, I'm not objecting either. :)

Friday, August 06, 2004

The Stuff Fridays Are Made Of

I sit here in my rather chilly air-conditioned studio and wish longingly for a window for which to look out of. I have spent some time in the great outdoors already this morning, and it was wonderful. It is currently a gorgeous, that's right gorgeous 73 degrees outside. The sun is shining radiantly and making it a beautiful Friday indeed.

I feel the need to follow up my last somewhat serious, and very long post with a refreshing quick little post about the beauty of life.

I am currently playing what could be the most fun Christian song out there. "Cartoons" by Chris Rice. I love it. It matches my mood and the day. It's a fun just great song full of great imitations of cartoon characters singing Hallelujah's.
I have a lunch to enjoy with a friend. Which basically involves a lot of surprise and fun. There's a book sale going on at the library which for me is a great draw. And for the first time in 10 days (Count 'em TEN) I do not have to waitress today. It's all about perspective, and today, I choose to look through rose-colored albeit somewhat foggy colored glasses.

This is indeed the stuff Fridays are made of.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Are We Asking the Right Questions?

I have made it a point to avoid any political or election related disscussions in the past few months. While I haven't been able to entirely, I have done my very best to either cut these conversations very short, or simply be a casual observer who says very little.
It's not that I don't have an opinion but simply that I don't want to share it.
I realize that this may seem rather lazy and uncaring, but that's not the case. I am normally what could be called an outspoken person. Ok, so I've been called loud and opinionated in the past. The reality is that I'm sick of politics. I have been following the election close enough, I have seen "Farenheit 9-11", I have been to Micheal Moore's webpage, I have read numerous articles but yet, I avoid conversations about all of the above.
But something occured at the restaurant this afternoon that spurs me to finally give my opinion.

In reality, I feel sorry for our president. Not because he's George W. Bush, but because he's the president. I feel sorry for anyone in office actually. I would hate to live everyday of my current life with the knowledge that whatever decisions I make that day will be the topic at countless dinner tables that night. I realize that this is a choice they have made, but still, that's an enourmous amount of pressure to live up to everyday. I certainly cannot live my life well enough to be held to that level of accountability.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the reason I will now break my silence and comment on politics and the election.
I was vacuuming the restaurant this afternoon, and in between spurts of vacuuming and stopping to move tables, one of the owners (Jim, who's a 65 year-old cute grandfatherly sort) talked to me about voting. He thinks it's incredibly sad that so many college students don't vote simply because they don't make the effort to fill out an absentee ballot and wanted to make sure I would do so. I don't remember exactly who asked what next, but it ended up with me somewhat jokingly asking Jim who he thought I should vote for.
Now I need to explain that Jim's a very quiet fellow most of the time. But he's the kind of man that everyone makes sure to say hi to when they come in, and some sit for hours talking his ear off while his lunch gets cold. He's great at running the bait shop, and listening to countless tall tales of "the one that got away".
He often shakes his head at us waitresses many antics. His wife Marlene runs the restaurant and cooks in the evenings. She informed me the other morning that Jim had commented to her regarding me that "Beth talks so fast. I can't think that fast.". I had to laugh at that.

Anyway, when I jokingly asked Jim who he thought I should vote for, he got serious and said "Well, I don't want to tell you what to do, but I will say this. Kerry has been and is a huge supporter of abortion. Not only does he support abortion, but he's in favor of gay marriage. Many gay groups have commented that they can't wait to implement gay marriage in all 50 states after he's elected, because he'll let it happen." I was clueless how Jim felt about this. "And Beth, we can't let that happen." Whew, no argument about to happen here. I agreed with him that I thought abortion was horrible, and Jim said "I know you do. I know your background and understand you enough to know what you believe. So Beth, I just want to make sure you're going to vote, because we need to stop abortion. I really believe that's the reason that we have the problems, even the wars that we do in this country, because abortion is legal." I agreed that it was a huge problem, and then continued vacuuming. There was a little more to the conversation than that, a little more detailed, but you get the gist of it.

It was a simple 5-minute conversation, but one that has inspired and encouraged me. Not only do I feel somewhat of a camaraderie with Jim now, but I now know how to comment on the election.
Yes, I've seen and been stunned by "Farenheit 9-11". I'm not ignorant of the many mistakes that our president has made. They turn my stomache at times. I hate the fact that there's sin in the world, that we are imperfect people, and that there will never be peace until heaven. I hate the fact that war is a necessary evil.
I don't necessarily support the war, but I know that it will always be, that there won't be peace until heaven. I support our troups and pray for wisdom for our president.
As I said, I'm not ignorant of the mistakes he's made, but something now outweighs them.
Even if Kerry can stop the war and save countless soldier's lives, he won't save the babies.

I can hear some of you now, "Those are 2 separate issues!". And maybe they are, but Jim raises a good point.
Abortion and the like have torn our country apart. I weep for the many mother's who have lost sons and daughters to the wars. But I've cried and held a friend who's just learned she's pregnant. I've wept tears of agony until I puked at learning someone I grew up with had an abortion. I've felt hate, bitterness, and sorrow for what happened to that baby. I've seen how that abortion contributed to tearing her life apart. I see deep sorrows that drive people to gay relationships.
And yes, I do believe these things being legal greatly impact the state of our country. I do not believe we would be in the mess we are today if only we had stood for what was right long ago.

I cherish our soldier's lives. I cherish the Iraqi lives that are lost. But war will always be.
I cherish babies. I cherish heartbroken girls and boys who are looking for love in the wrong places.
And so, I will most likely vote for George W. Bush. He's signed into law the ban on partial-birth abortion. He's trying to preserve marriage in this country. Yes, he's far from perfect. But so are we.
Maybe we need to start removing our own planks and then look for specs elsewhere.
I think we've been asking the wrong questions. I'm going to stop asking so many questions about the war, and ask questions about the policies and laws that will be instituted once all this war stuff is put on a back shelf somewhere.
Will the future Einsteins and Curries and Luthers of the world have a chance if we keep killing them?
What about a couple I know who can't have kids, and want to adopt?
Neither of these issues are mutually exclusive, but let's start asking the right questions.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

When Big Brother Grows Up

My older brother Caleb is now engaged. He proposed (rather romantically I might add) Sunday afternoon, and she said yes. Annette is my now soon to be sister-in-law.
I would like to say right off the bat, congradulations to them both.
With that said, I have generally been feeling rather non-committal about the whole thing. There are complicated issues involved, and some parental issues as well, but in general I'm just happy for them, and trying to keep my nose out of it.

But it was pointed out to me today that when they get married, which could be rather soon, that I would have a sister-in-law, and because Annette has a little boy, I would be a aunt of sorts. Like I said, I have been rather non-committed about the whole thing, but when this was pointed out to me, I realized that life has officially progressed another step. My life has grown up a little if you will. And along with it, my brother.

It's a very strange feeling, this growing up. I sometimes wonder if I'll ever get used to it. I see 50 something's everyday who still have not adjusted, which doesn't give me much hope. Then I see rather normal 20 or 30 somethings who have adjusted quite well in fact.

In all honesty, I still had this childhood thought that I would get married before my brother. Granted, He and Annette have been together for quite some time, so I had preparation time. It was quite obvious they were going to get married, but still, I think I lack some quality of adjustment.
I'm not jealous, I have too much life ahead of me for that. I am thrilled for them in fact. They both deserve happiness.
No, I think in a rather selfish way, Big brother growing up brings home the fact that Beth is/better too.
Just another reminder from the Lord that our days truly are like the wind, and will soon be gone.

Until that day, I'll continue to stay young at heart. I'll embrace my inner-child by climbing trees, blowing bubbles, and reading the comics. I'll also embrace growing up, because that has it's benefits as well. I love being an adult in many boring ways. I love the fact that I can get a ticket without being in danger of losing my liscence (I haven't attained this yet), I love the fact that I can donate blood, can vote, can well, that's all I can think of right now.

But really, the things I love about growing up are also the things I hate. I love meeting new friends, and growing to love them, but I hate saying good-bye. I love moving and the adventure behind the unknown, but I hate the fear of the unknown that comes along for the ride.

Therefore, I will only boldy stand with Christ as my rock and focus, cherish my past, embrace my future, and plan to cry at my big brother's wedding. And possibly fend off other feverous females to catch the bouquet.
Until then, I will simply continue to dread unpacking to pack for school.