Thursday, November 29, 2012

thank you Lord for eyes to see

close your eyes for 10 seconds.

pretty dark in there? well, imagine that being a lifetime. this week, i had the opportunity to work with a blind girl. & she impacted me more than she will ever know. i work with kids on monday nights at the church that i attend. usually we only have toddlers but this monday night, we had four older kids show up all at the same time, one of them being this blind girl that i mentioned. at first, i was the only worker there & i was freaking out a little. but i did my best. the other kids went into the children's area & were playing kickball & across the hall was the nursery, where this blind girl wanted to stay because she was afraid of getting hit by a ball. she was also reading. she brought a book about women in history that was in braille. i was intrigued right off the bat. she sat on the floor & opened the book & began to run her fingers across the bottom to find the page number. she found her page & with both hands, took both index fingers & ran them across those raised bumps. i just watched her. she would read something funny & then laugh but keep her fingers going right across the page. i found myself staring.

next, she pulled toys out of the bin & asked me what they looked like & what colors they were. then she asked me what blue or red or purple looked like. how do you explain colors to someone who has never seen them? how do you tell them what red is? you can't just say well firetrucks are red, because they have never seen a firetruck. even when i told her that i didn't know how to explain what a color looked like to her, she just smiled & said, "that's ok. you just don't have to worry about that kind of stuff." my heart hurt a little bit. she was right. i take things, like seeing different colors, for granted.
i know that i have posted about christmas a lot lately, but i find myself thinking about my blind friend tonight. everyone is putting up pictures of their christmas trees on all the social networks & talking about all the awesome decorations & some of us will even get in our cars & go christmas light looking. & tonight i am sitting next to my lovely christmas tree & as silly as this might seem, i am thankful that i am able to see it. i am thankful that i can see the lights & the bulbs (ornaments) & the pretty snowflakes.  my mind wanders to my little friend & how she will never see those things. & then i start to think about other things that she will never get to see like sunsets, snow falling, fireworks, a thanksgiving day parade, the sky...

i am not writing this post so that we can all feel sorry for this blind girl, believe me, she has come to grips with it.
i am writing it so we can learn to be a little more grateful for the things that we see. that when we look at the world around us, we can do just that.

i may have perfect vision, but my dear little friend could see far more than i could.

but then again, that depends on your definition of see...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

OH, Christmas Tree

moment of truth here. i am a broke college student who loves christmas. i have shared in a previous post about my love of christmas & the story behind this crazy love. however, today we had quite the adventure, and by we i mean me & a couple of other friends. we went christmas tree shopping. remember we are in college, so in our minds we were thinking maybe a four foot tree. the first place we decided to look was good will. people are getting rid of their old trees to buy new ones. we went in & got distracted by some lovely prom dresses that were on a rack (c'mon, you know it's easy to get lost in a good will). then, i started walking around looking for a tree & i was a tad bit disappointed because i couldn't find one. but....i kept walking to the back of the store & there in the corner, was a brown box with clear tape on it. i looked at it saw how much it cost & i knew i had to have it. ladies & gentlemen, i bought a seven & one half feet christmas tree for fifteen dollars....fifteen dollars! i am beyond excited about this buy. this tree probably cost its previous owners two hundred dollars, easily. of course, my friends were excited about this as well, & then we moved on to find lovely decorations for it.
tonight, we are going to decorate it all together, & it makes me think of home & the lovely time that i have with my precious family putting the tree together. tonight will be special because for the first time i will put up a tree with my best friends. & that is a new adventure & a part of growing up & making new traditions. there will probably be christmas music & some hot chocolate involved, which is ALWAYS a good idea. i am more than excited about how today has turned out & with decorating a christmas tree in the near future with my besties, it can only go up from here!

if you haven't put up your christmas tree yet, you better hurry up! christmas is only one day of the year, & sadly it's only 24 hours just like the other days. get decorating!

are you enjoying your christmas tree too much? don't worry, you aren't the only one!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


procrastination: to delay or postpone action; to put off doing something. yeah, i know. it's miserable. but if it were a class, i would get an one-hundred percent, as would many other people that i know. these past few weeks have been so busy. & i am trying to balance a social life, academic life, & a sleep life, which i have been told on more than one occasion by facebook, (probably while procrastinating) is not possible. slowly i am learning that that statement isn't just a funny picture to look at but a reality. if i want great grades & a great social life, there is no time for sleep. if i want sleep & great grades, i would have no time for friends. if i want friends & sleep time, i wouldn't be able to stay at school because i would fail. do you see my dilemma? these four years that i plan on spending here means that i am never going to sleep. ever. i will not let my grades slip, or my friends. they both mean way to much to me. however, sometimes i let my social self get a little carried away & then i end up getting an upset stomach from laughing to much & no homework done. sometimes, the homework can wait. but this week, it shouldn't have been put off. & it was. i have a huge paper that is due on monday before i leave for thanksgiving. i started it today & finished it today. writing a paper in one day is not usually a problem, but today it took me eleven & a half hours. eleven & a half. & it's a great paper. procrastination at its finest ladies and gentlemen.

i have been told in the past that i freak out when under pressure. but when it comes to last minute paper writing, stress helps me out. when i know i only have a certain amount of time to write, i buckle down & get it done.

basically what i am trying to say is procrastination isn't always a bad thing. but i definitely wouldn't recommend it as a lifestyle.

what i want you to hear right now, is that if your friends are gonna make a late night run to sonic or on-cue, your paper can wait. i mean #yolo.

are you an a+ procrastinator? no worries friends, you definitely aren't the only one!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

YOU are the reason for the season!

i am the biggest fan of the holidays. i love everything about them. i even love the idea of them. just to help you better understand this obsession, let me tell you a short story. one year, some years ago, my family decided that there was just not enough time, due to crazy schedules, in november or december to put up the christmas tree. so naturally, we decided that we would put up the tree in october & that we wouldn't tell anyone that we did it. well, when you put up your tree on october, & you have three small children, there is no way that story is not getting out. we went to church the next day, where my dad was on staff, & told everyone. of course, no adult would believe us & would approach my parents about it. they couldn't lie! we kind of played it off like we were going to have a whole bunch of people over for a coffee & dessert night at the end of october. i'm not sure if that really was a part of the plan, but anyhow, putting up the tree that early became a tradition. well, this year, there a problem. i am junior in college & i decided, before leaving for school in august, that i was not going to drive home for our four day break in october, which i had driven home in previous years. my fifteen year old sister found out & came in and said, "we are putting up the tree without you then!" i simply asked her if we could be "normal," whatever that means, & put the tree up in november when i came home for thanksgiving. of course, her loud, dramatic answer was no. so there was only one obvious solution to this problem: we HAD to put the tree up before i leave for school. people, our christmas tree has been up since july. call me crazy, but i love my dang family!

i will be the first to admit that i love the commercial aspect of christmas. i love christmas trees, christmas music, christmas snow, christmas cards, christmas coffee, christmas movies, christmas shopping, christmas santa, and christmas EVERYTHING. i love the way that christmas makes people behave differently. i love the memories that surround my love of christmas; most of those memories are full of my dad. he would make us do stupid stuff like make fake news broadcasts saying that the snow was so falling so hard we were going to be snowed in for days, while throwing white confetti at us. i live in houston. christmas is never white. or there was the time when we were trying to hard to convince my little brother that santa's real (& santa is) & we made it seem like he was in such a hurry that there was a path of presents that led to the chimney. of course, my brother thought it was the greatest thing ever.

but let's be real. during this time, we tend to get our priorities a little mixed up. & i will be the first to admit that i sometimes let the commercial aspect of the holidays get in the way of the true meaning of christmas. what is that you asked? well, to quote a sermon that my dad gave "you are the reason for the season." many times we see christmas cards and coloring pages in sunday school that say, "Jesus is the reason for the season." & my dad would argue that. granted christmas is a time to celebrate that Jesus was born, i think that if we only focus on the fact that He was born, we have lost sight of the true meaning. we have to ask ourselves WHY Jesus was born. john 3:16 says, "for God so loved the world." that is you & me. the world. Jesus wasn't just born so we could make a holiday out of it. Jesus was born into the world so that thirty-three years later He could offer up the greatest love sacrifice known to man, His life.

so this christmas, while you are christmas shopping, putting up your christmas tree, listening to glorious christmas music, & watching the greatest christmas movies, stop & take a moment to remember, not that Jesus was just born, but that He lived & died for you.

getting a little excited about the approaching holidays? let me just say, you aren't the only one!

Friday, November 9, 2012

growing up is hard to do...

this weekend is homecoming. & there is so much going on. there are people everywhere; alumni who are reminiscing, college students who are just going about their daily lives, and prospective students who are in awe of all that is happening around them. yet, there is this feeling about. & i don't know how to describe it. everyone seems to be enjoying themselves a little more & i feel like the school has just kind of come alive. of course, just because homecoming is happening doesn't mean that regular school stops (even though we all wish it would). so on top of school, there are games to attend, musicals to go to, people to meet, students to persuade, & lots of reunions & lunches to be at. it can get a bit hectic. and how can you fit homecoming into one day? simple answer: you can't. therefore, it's a whole weekend event that keeps everyone involved super busy.

today something awesome happened to me. you might find that it is not that awesome, but i think it's great. i had the privilege of volunteering to help at the registration table. & there were four of us. i was the only current student. i sat down in a chair & struck up a casual conversation with the man sitting next to me. & in that conversation found out some pretty awesome things. one, he has an awesome daughter & son-in-law & i have the privilege of being a part of the college group they lead! that was so awesome, but WAIT! there's more. he asked me where i am from & what church i was from. when i told him, he got all excited & told me that he knew my pastor. & in my brain, all i could think was wow! the nazarene church is even smaller than i expected! our conversation kept on going & we discovered that he even knew my dad, who was the youth pastor at our church! yeah, then i said out loud what had gone through my head. it's a small nazarene bubble! of course anyone who is a nazarene could tell you that. & of course, we were both excited about the connection that we had made. then the day continued as planned, people came & signed in & four o'clock, we said our goodbyes. tonight there are basketball games that require me to scream & shout til i have no voice left. then i am sure there will be some sort of late night movie party or "homework party," if those even really exist. or (this just in) a bonfire at a friend's house? who knows. i like to be spontaneous.
alas, tomorrow will be busy as well. tomorrow i get to spend seven & a half hours with kids whose parents are attending all the festivities. don't get me wrong, i love kids, it's the getting up at six thirty in the morning part that kills me. i am not a morning person, but i do know that once i see the kiddos come in, i will be all smiles.
today i am looking around my campus & i see groups of people that are talking about the times that they shared together & people catching up on what has happened in life over the past years. i can't help but be excited that i am a part of it, even if my role is a minor one. i get to be a student. i get to see a glimpse into my future. i get to see what i have to look forward to. i get to see that being apart of this community now will impact that future that i have. today i know that the decision i made to come to SNU was the right one. i will forever be grateful to this school & the lovely people that come with it.
ever feel overwhelmed because your life is awesome? don't worry, friends. you aren't the only one!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

today, i went to chapel. what is significant about this you ask? nothing.  it was just like any other thursday at my school. but today, chapel was a different experience for me. i was more involved. i sang with the group that led worship. what an awesome experience to worship God with fellow students! but today the dorm that i live in was in charge of the whole shindig. & we decided to do cardboard testimonies. (for those of you who don't know what that is, you should google it or look it up on youtube!) there were forty of us who decided to get up & give our testimonies, making us super vulnerable to our peers by telling them a little bit about our stories. i tend to judge people that i don't know (i know, i am a horrible person) & think they just have perfect little families & perfect little lives. well, that my friends, is not true. not one bit. i learned today that i am not the only one. i am not the only  one who struggles. i am not the only who has been hurt & has felt alone in the world. there were forty of us who were willing to get up and share our stories & so many more stories that sat in chairs across the auditorium. & that just amazes me. the fact that we all had come together in place today & that each one of us has such a unique & different story. & then i think, wow this is just my school! what about my town? what about the state that i live in? what about the country? what about the rest of the world? so many different stories & here i am only thinking about myself & my problems & my story.
what is the point in this first blog of mine? i have no clue.  i just that know everyone that reads this, which won't be many, has their own story. what that might be? i have no earthly idea. but you do. & someone else needs to hear it, & more than likely, you need to get it off your chest. just remember one thing my dear friends, you aren't the only one.