Tuesday, March 06, 2007


In geography books there are always these little sections that are bullet-pointed or subtitled. They deal specifically with the "RESOURCES" of the highlighted location. For instance, if you look up Argentina you're going to see "beef, leather, and shoes" as primary resources. (So if you're particularly fond of steak and cute leather pumps, you know where you should move.)

What would someone find if they looked up you? What are listed under your "resources"? Hilarious, healthy, exciting, crazy, thoughtful, caring, vivacious, may be a few of the listed assets.I'm not talking about things that you will EVENTUALLY have- resources that you will EVENTUALLY be in possession of. The section on Argentina doesn't list "maybe pineapple- someday down the road." No, the books list exactly what's there- right now.

I guess my reason for writing is seemingly trite, but allow me to expound on an old proverb- you don't know about tomorrow. You have no clue about your future. Sure, we all have spectacular plans, but in a blink of the eye, those plans may evaporate. All you have is your here and now. Are you using your here and now to the greatest potential? Are you maxing your life to its fullest in your pursuit of God's glory? No, I'm not talking about AFTER you have your degree, or have money, or have found the perfect spouse, or have lost that weight, cleared up that acne, and dealt with every possible sinful habit that you possess or may ever possess. I'm talking about the here. The now. What are you doing with it?

Let me explain why I've chosen this seemingly nebulous topic to write on...

I was diagnosed about a year ago with an autoimmune disease known as "ulcerative colitis." There is no indication how I got it, or why. It's often genetic, but no one in my family has it. It's often caught after a virus, but I was never sick. I've spent the past year waiting for my "resources" to list "healthy body." I've put my life on hold. And I've spent the past year sick or on the verge of sickness. Imagine having the stomach flu every day for a year. Yes, I know. A lot of fun.

Five days ago I was hospitalized because of severely low hemoglobin. My blood level was about half the level it should have been. I spent four days in the hospital running a battery of tests and having blood pumped into me. Apparently I was on the verge of passing out or slipping into a coma due to a lack of blood. After a series of tests and procedures, it was determined that I not only had ulcerative colitis, but I had a progressive form of the disease that could only be treated with extreme medication and steroids. A last ditch attempt is radical surgery.

I'm twenty-one years old. I'm not writing this because I want you to feel sorry for me. Please don't! There are many people out there who are suffering from worse conditions and can't even get adequate medical care. But I am writing this because I want you to avoid the mistake that I have been making for years- don't wait for tomorrow! Don't discount your present resources. I am going to spend the rest of my life taking medication, running tests, and trying to keep my blood level in the normal range. Daily college activities like exercise, walking to class, and eating out with friends are going to be constant challenges. Life is going to be lived with a condition that no doctor really knows that much about, and no doctor can cure. I didn't think that this was going to happen until I was 60, or 80. Old people are supposed to have failing bodies. Not college juniors. But it happened to me now. It's not a sob story. :) But it is a lesson that I've learned a little later than I wish I had.

Don't wait for tomorrow to give you what you need to be a blessing, a success, or a triumph. You have all you need right here, right now. Look at your resources. Add them up. Youth, vitality, health, creativity, determination, ability to change, compassion, service, empathy. List them.

Then use them.

You don't know about tomorrow.
You don't know what resources you may soon be without.
Or those which may soon be added!
You have no clue about what will happen.
But you have a fabulous today. I know you do.

I do!

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body..." (Phil. 1:20)

"Be very careful, then, how you live- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity..." (Eph. 5:15, 16a)

"I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (Phil. 4:13)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Answers, please!

I'm very confused by God. Granted, that's probably a good thing. I wouldn't want a god who I could easily decipher, but I'm not going to lie- I would like to have a slightly better idea of what on earth He's got in mind.

After reaching the point in my life when it would be good to know what I'm going to grad school for (and where I'm going!)- I don't. When I view myself as ready (both spiritually and in maturity) to start a relationship- there isn't one. Everything else in these two areas (relationship/school) is completely lined up- I have a life goal that I want to fulfill.

But I don't know where to go to ful-fill it.

And I think I've (hopefully) reached the place where I could start a relationship and have it be the beneficial, wonderful.

Yet there isn't one. Gosh, there isn't even hint of one.

I would really like to reach a point in my life where I could have some answers.

I just want the questions to stop.

I want the answers to start.

But I'm beginning to sense that this is life. And I'm never really going to have the answers....

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. (Jer. 29: 11,12)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I had chocolate soy milk for breakfast.

I scanned one of my pictures into an on-line celebrity look-alike website. I look like Angelina Jolie, Gisele (the model), Glen Close, and Sheryl Crow.

There is NO ONE in this computer lab.

In 48 hours it will all be over.

**things that keep me going...**

Monday, December 11, 2006

Little Experiences

How sad would it be to exit each semester without a list of things that I had done that were "new." I think it would be very, very sad. I'm in the middle of cramming for finals, but this will be my study break (to those of you who are interested).

I went on a blind date. (I guess... it was a little weird...)
I worked part time (20 hours a week).
I tried champagne and wine. (Don't like the first, can tolerate the latter.)
Argued with a professor (and then told him that he was going to hell. THAT was interesting...)
Skipped class for no reason- TWICE!!!
Flunked a homework for the first time since freshman year.
Started going to another campus group on Friday nights.
Realized that authority figures are not God, and that their word is not always law.
Got a brand new (2007!) car.
Steered clear (or tried to steer clear) of people pleasing (in all its negative connotations.)
Developed a great affinity for Starbucks.
Grew to view God as a friend to constantly turn to.
Discovered the beauty of being single.
Read all of Psalms.
Made over 20 new friends.
Learned how to dance (kinda!).
Started liking dark chocolate.
Learned how to check the pressure in my tires.
Went to a jazz concert.
Wasn't in orchestra.
Learned what your amygdala, limbic system, and hippocampus are for.
Decided that Vanderbilt was my dream school.
Told my dad that he could no longer interview prospective boyfriends.
Developed an affinity for rap.
Learned to love life, and my Creator more and more.
God is so good,
God is so good,
God is so good,
He's so good to me.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Napping in front of the computer...

I'm too tired to be profound. I'm to exhausted to be soul-searching. My mind is too numb to be clever, and I'm so very tired of being flawfull me. Tiredness has taken up residence in my eyes and permeated my brain. This entry will not be witty, intelligent, probably not even verging on coherency. But I'm at work, with nothing to do, and rather than go home and miss out on the 25 dollars that Purdue will pay me this afternoon, I've decided to doze in front of a computer monitor for the duration of my work time.

Since there isn't a new thought in my brain, (they've all been squeezed out into multiple papers that were due this week) I shall confine myself to merely stating facts. I think I shall tell you about events occuring this past week.

My parents are thinking of taking my car away because it's not clean enough. I washed it. It has new oil, but there was an unsightly conglomeration of books, notebook paper, sundry pairs of shoes, and multiple water bottles littering the seats and floor. Last night that was all cleaned out and put away. The car was also vacuumed (at three in the morning!!!). Now let us pray that the parents don't take my one mode of transportation away from me. (Granted, it's kinda what I deserve, but I'm hoping for grace based on their past demonstrations of unconditional love.)

Last night I was set up on a blind date. I haven't really gone yet, but yes, I am planning on it. His name is Trevor, he was in the Marines, has travelled the world, drives a truck, loves documentaries, has cute bristly stubble, and a good Christian mama who sits next to me in Stat. class. She pulled me aside yesterday and asked me if I was dating anyone "special." Restraining the urge to say "Anyone who would be dating me would have to be... special" (negative emphasis on last word) I told her I was not. She then proceeded to whip out her wallet and show me her son. Quite a cutie- dimples and a big smile. Apparently I'm going to just "happen" to stop by sometime in the next week, the same night that he comes for dinner. This cracks me up! I love it!!! And I think it's cute that she's trying to find a honey for her "little" boy. Granted, he's 23, on his own, and already a veteran of a war, but he still has dimples and slightly curly hair. I suppose no child with dimples really ever grows up in their mother's mind...

Today I did a photo-op for a lady in our office. She's been meeting men on-line for quite a while. Now she's found one who's a little more special, so we are preparing a special picture collage for him. Granted, if I was a male I would prefer a gift that portrays what kind of cook she is, or how well she can iron my shirts. But I suppose the physical attraction thing should be there too. ;)

I got two hours of sleep last night.

Jenni Engstrom and I have made it our goal to meet enough times for coffee so that we'll have tried every Starbucks Holiday flavored drink. Granted, Starbucks is a cliche, status seeking, pointless, expensive habit. But I really don't care. I think you should all know by now that I am shallow and status seeking. I'm perfectly fine with pursuing things merely because they will increase my value in the public eye. (I sense another blog developing...)

I turned in a 10 page cognitive neuroscience analysis today. However, after addressing the science issues (which is all everyone else did- their papers were about 5 pages...) I proceeded to explain why this was an important decision morally and ethically. We'll see if my professor likes my take on things. I'm very much afraid that we have completely different worldviews (if I had his worldview I'd be out sleeping around and binge drinking... once again, that's another blog topic.) but he seems fairly open-minded, and very willing to discuss various viewpoints. May he look upon my paper with favor.

I think that's it. Well... it's not really it. I'm almost done with my Junior year of college, I've developed a thing for watermelon lollipops, I've stuffed over 100 envelopes, and I just want to go to bed.

Good night!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Logs In An (aging) Person's Eyes

I'm afraid I'm getting old. Very, very old. I'm also afraid that the wisdom that SHOULD go with such age is not occuring. For instance, I'm a little slow to get out of bed in the morning. I'm starting to remember to take my vitamins and I seem to be developing and affinity for hot herbal tea. Coffee is a daily occurance, and I wear "practical" shoes (about 50% of the time.) All of these seem to point to a wiser, older me.

But there's one thing that I'm not incredibly stellar at: Holding my tongue. Granted, I'm getting better. MUCH better. I don't blurt out secrets, the details that friends share in confidence I don't tell the entire world. But I've noticed a horrible thing-

I think I'm a mean person.

I think I say things that I shouldn't.

Maybe not to the person's face, but occasionally behind their backs. Is it anything incredibly harmful, no, probably not. Yet at the same time, is it edifying, useful, or desirable? I'm afraid that quite a few of my remarks are tinged with cattiness.

I guess what drew my attention to this was an e-mail I recently received. It contained this line, "This is what you are to say...." And I began to be a little ruffled. Who was this person to tell me what to say? Why on earth did they think that I couldn't communicate clearly and lovingly? After all, they themselves were not paragons of excellence in this way! Why would they be telling me this.

Then I had a horrible misfortune.

I remembered scripture. Yes, I know. And the horrible thing about that is that the Bible is one sure-fire way to be convicted. And I was.

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? (Matt. 7:2-4)

I came to grips with the fact that I could not be upset at a person for their communication since I was hardly the one without sin and able to cast the first stone. After a rather intense, yet brief inner battle, I took a deep breath, thanked God for his abundant grace, through which I am able to grow to become more like Christ, and then proceeded to spend the rest of the day double-checking everything that came out of my mouth.

Surely my God is a great and loving sanctifier.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New Horizons

I learned something rather fascinating today at lunch. (Well, granted, it was lunch with my dearest daddy, who is always an extremely fascinating conversationalist.) But I learned something that will definitely change the course of my life over the next year.

We were talking about my academic path, and I let my dear father know that I have enough credits to graduate a year from now. (I'm a spastic over-achiever...) However, I was not going to graduate simply because I love Purdue, it would leave me with 8 empty months before grad school,I wanted to pull up the GPA, etc., etc. My father smiled. He knows that an extra semester wouldn't do a thing to my GPA because technically the grad schools will never know about the last semester of my senior year. I won't have even started it when I turn in my applications. He also knew that I would like to go somewhere besides Purdue, and that, in all reality, it was 8 empty months of boredom that was killing my desire to graduate early. That's when he whips out this statement:

"You know, any money that you don't use for tuition could be used to travel Europe for several months."

I paused.

I did a double-take.

Could it be possible to fulfill one of my life-long dreams before I have even turned 23?

"Or, " he added, "You could save it for grad school..."


No such chance!

So now, dear reader I am looking at the very real possibilty of being college graduate in a YEAR! A YEAR!!! That's crazy. I'm nowhere near the maturity needed to handle real life. College is a very nice bubble. Granted, I'll have at least two more years of it in grad school, but still... Grad school is different from undergrad. Everyone knows that.

I think I'm going to do it. I think I'm going to graduate early and then spend several months in Europe. That's my new plan. Of course, that means that I'm going to need to nail down what exactly I'm going to do after I travel. I think I'll just keep as many roads open as possible. I think I shall apply to grad school in cognitive neuropsychology, speech therapy, audiology, and public relations/marketing. I shall also apply for several jobs. (Just in case I want to join the REAL real world. You know, the place where you pay bills, taxes, and there's no parental safety net? Scary, scary place...)

Wow. Isn't it amazing how many different place you can go and how many different roads you can take to get there? New horizons are a little scary. But I think I'm going to like mine...