Something Awesome

January 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm (Random Thoughts)

#854 Crying « 1000 Awesome Things.

First, this site is a lot of fun. They have some reall wacky posts on there that often confuse, always amuse. It’s a lot of fun to check out every day.

Second, I really liked this Awesome Thing. There are just days when you need to cry, and I like that there’s actually a reason for this. Haha. And I thought it was pretty interesting that women cry five times as much as men. Figures. Well, hope life is wonderful!

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So Long 2008 (And Thanks for All the Fish!)

January 1, 2009 at 11:50 pm (Random Thoughts, Real Life, Relationships, Spiritual) (, , , , , , , , )

2008 has finally gone the way of every year and passed into memory. It was a long year. Okay, so it was only a day longer than three fourths of the others, but I’ve come a really long way. I mean, January 1, 2008 seems like a lifetime ago. I can barely remember it.

What was I doing last New Years? No idea. Maybe shopping. I know that I spent midnight at church, wondering why my phone had not rung with a New Year’s message and somewhat unconcerned with the sudden disappearance of every youth group couple. It was a great night with my friends. What it should have been.

So, what did 2008 hold for me? There was the end of one relationship, which led to a lot of growth on my part. I learned to lean on my friends, to find strength in God. I learned to rely on myself. There was a lot of sorting through issues that had not been completely resolved from the previous summer. I grew up a lot and finally discovered who I was. Now, I’m pretty happy with who that is. It took some breakdowns, some nights where I just shook my head and wondered who I had become. I had been trying really hard to succeed in life all on my own, and that wasn’t working. So, God tore me down to the foundation and I’ve been working to rebuild since then. This time, the right person has the blueprints. As long as I can keep myself from grabbing them out of His hands, I think I’ll be content with who I am.

I started a new relationship. It’s been one of the greatest blessings in my life to date. He accepts who I am and doesn’t ask me to be anyone else. He encourages me, inspires me, and makes me one of the happiest people alive. I couldn’t ask for anyone better. And I thank God for showing me someone so incredible,

I passed another semester of college and received my first B in five years. The perfectionist in me was upset for a time, but I’m really grateful for that B. Now, I’m not afraid of not being perfect. I want to do my best, but now I’m okay with the idea that my best may not always be perfect. In fact, it’s pretty arrogant to have thought it should be.

I had a great job working with two incredible children. I learned a lot about how families with small kids work, how a family is built. I learned a lot. They were a great example to me, since I’ve really never been old enough to notice the way a young family acts. It was a lot of fun.

I went to El Salvador again and learned that God is amazing, powerful, and always at work. I saw people brought together. I saw forgiveness. I felt my heartbreak, and felt a lot of hugs putting it back together. I saw examples of servants and I saw some things very opposite. I made a lot friends. I lost a few. That’s life. It sucks, but that’s life.

I got to go to Baltimore a couple of times. ☺ Definitely a fun experience.

I saw a new president elected. I got to watch all the conflicts and debates on campus, watch as people took their stands and began to care. I did see history, as the first black president was elected. And I pray that God blesses his term and our country.

I returned to Harding and had another incredible semester. I got good grades, even if there was another B. I learned some really great study habits. Spending 3-5 days of the week in the Library does that. My spiritual habits got a lot better as well. And I can thank the boy I’ve spent an amazing 9 ½ months with for both of those things. He encouraged me to study and to make sure that God was always number one in my life. It was a blessing of a semester. I got to live through my first Pledge week from the other side and it was great. I made a lot of friends and strengthened many relationships. Again, I lost some, but time and distance does that.

So. That was 2008. What do I want to see in 2009?

I want to see my anniversary and my year and a half with Sam. (Also the year and 9 ½ months, but that’s just not as concise).

I want to have an incredible trip to Italy and enjoy myself completely.

I want to continue growing closer to God by improving my prayer life and learning how to study His word better.

I want a good paying job for the summer.

I want to continue to strengthen my friendships and to always be a friend.

I want another two good semesters of college where I learn a lot.

So, we’ll see where life goes. I have a feeling that it’s going to be a ride. And I can’t wait.

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An Update

December 13, 2008 at 5:23 pm (Random Thoughts, Real Life, Relationships) (, , , , )

It’s been forever, but it’s been pretty crazy busy. I made it through club week in one piece. I even kind of enjoyed it in the end. There were some rough spots, a whole lot of frustration, and a little bit of anger, but I made it. And it was worth it.

Thanksgiving break was wonderful with Sam in Nashville. It was incredibly relaxing and fun. My family was surprsingly tame, which shocked me to no end. I got to have a little Christmas spirit, getting the house ready. I love Christmas. Yay for Christmas songs!! It was a really great vacation.

Now, the real news. I wantd to talk about my recent “fieldtrip” to Memphis with my Human Situation class. For anyoe unfamiliar, this is a class that mainly looks at the arts and their impact on the world. We’ve covered art, music, literature, theater, architecture, dance, film, and even ecology. (Which isn’t exactly an art, but it fit well in the course.) One week, we had publisher Holly Root in class and discussed issues of gender, sexuality, and religion in society today. Since Hopper is one of the most open-minded professors on campus, it was a really fun class.

So, this past Tuesday we went to Memphis. It was a lot of fun, even though I only had four hours of sleep and had to be on the bus at eight in the morning. In the rain. So, maybe that wasn’t fun. Well, it was a short(ish) ride to Memphis, and the rain had slackened off by the time we arrived. So, Dr. Hopper turned us loose in the city to look and analyze some of the surrounding architecture. I took some pictures, but they’re on Sam;s camera, so I can’t show any of the fun buildings. There was one very strange sculpture that was a funnel-like shape, seating on the inside. It was intersting. Well, after getting a good few blocks away from the bus, a monsoon sprung up and drenched us. So, it was a very wet day. We met a homeless man sittig in the burned out doorway of a church that we were hiding in. Interestingly, he had worked at the church before it burned down. And now he sleeps there, which seems very literary to me.

After getting soaked, we headed to the Brooks Art Museum. It was fun, though a rather small museum. And very maze-like. I finally found my way to most of the rooms, though not without a good deal of exploring. There were a few interesting galleries. A couple rooms were devoted to medieval and Rennaisance art which was interesting. So much was religious. In fact, almost all of it. And then there was a really strange African Art exhibit. There were some really awesome pieces in there. All very exotic, which is exactly what you’d expect.

From there, we went to lunch and everyone ate entirely too much food. It was just at Piccadilly’s Cafeteria, but I hadn’t eaten much taht day, so it was amazing. Then we were off again to study art.

We went to a music store and went upstairs to a recital hall. Hopper began playing, and it was amazing. He played Chopin, Scarlotti, Mozart, Schubert, and Lizst. it was incredible to listen to. He played this beautiful nocturne that left everyone in silence. Waltzes and minuets and all kinds of beautiful pieces. He was an amazing pianist. It made me wish I could play that well, but I simply do not have taht much time to work. Maybe one day.

Well, from there we went to a movie. We saw The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which sounds relatively light, but it really very depressing and dark. It’s about a boy whose father is in charge of one of the concentration camp. It shows how it appeared to an eight-year-old, and all the confusion and conflict that it caused. Very poignant. It left all of us touched, silent, and pensive. There was a good deal of talk about it over dinner. I would highly suggest the movie, but do not expect a happy tale.

We wrapped up the day with dinner at Rondezvous, a rib place in a dark alley in Memphis. It’s apparently pretty famous, and definitely should be. Delicious food. Sam had lamb, so I finally got to try that. It didn’t taste too much different. But, it was wonderful food, and we had a lot of fun just hanging out with classmates and passing the time.

It was an incredible trip, and so much fun. I got to spend a day enjoying art and not worrying about school. Now, it’s finals and I should be studying. But, I’m not too worried. I’ll make it. And in a month and a half, I’ll be chilling in a sixteenth century Italian villa. Sweet deal.

Love ya!

Katherine

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A Benediction

September 5, 2008 at 6:28 pm (Random Thoughts, Real Life, Spiritual) (, , , )

May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.

Amen.

So, I recently made a video for HUmanity. It was lots of fun, though it was raining during filming, and I thought it would be  a good way to introduce the Freshmen to what our group was all about. It consisted of me and three others reading the above blessing, spliced together. So, pretty much, the video hopped from person to person each line. We had some great scenery given the topic of the benediction, and one of the guys was kind enough to donate his time taping and editting it.

It was supposed to show during announcements after chapel. No one got to see it.

I figured, at first, that it just hadn’t turned out well. Or that there hadn’t been enough time to get it all together. But that wasn’t it at all, I discovered. The video couldn’t be shown because Calea and I were praying in it.

That annoys me quite a bit. Though I am not one to say women should be preachers, should lead worship, etc, this wasn’t either of those. We weren’t praying, but reading a benediction. And it wasn’t in worship. In fact, a girl read the transcript during the announcements.

I understand Harding has to hold to certain standards. No, I don’t think a woman should lead in chapel. But is it now wrong for me to say God Bless? It’s the same idea, right? Am I not allowed to talk about God? Should I even be allowed to ask a question n my Bible class or speak my opinion? How far does this go?

Now, while I will probably never support women leading worship (it’s a personal thing and it has to do with different roles in the body), I know women did things in the early church. They are called to be silent with the men in regards to prophecy, tongues, etc. The had to cover their heads while praying. Of course, that could be silent prayer. As stated, though, I think leading worship is the man’s job. Sorry guys, but the responsibility’s yours.

My problem is when I feel as if I can’t speak about God at all in a public assembly here. What if I wanted to make an announcement and talked about how God lead me to whatever it was I felt so strongly about? The end of the year, Seniors make speeches. They are very careful to make sure the girls speak after the closing prayer, but would I then not be able to speak about God’s role in my life? That’s a pretty big part.

So, I’m not really sure why I’m writing this. I guess I’m just ranting a bit. I think they take a rule to the point of absurdity. I’m not calling for any massive change, either. I’m not entirely sure where I even stand on the policy. I don’t know where the line should be. But, I have my convictions which are standing sure. It’s just that I sometimes don’t know exactly what I am supposed to do if I want to express myself.

It’s frustrating. It sometimes feels like my religion cannot be of use to anyone else because I am female. I don’t think that was ever the intention. No, I should not be a church leader. But I do have a voice. I do have a story.

I want to show you that you can help. I want to be able to make a difference with my faith.

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A Few Random Thoughts

August 25, 2008 at 9:22 am (Random Thoughts, Real Life, Spiritual) (, , )

I’m sitting in my dorm with a cup of delicious (though mildly burnt) coffee and a huge chocolate muffin. Well, okay, the coffee leaves a little to be desired, but hey. My throat feels like I might have been eating steel wool last night, so any little bit, no matter how burnt. But, regardless, I have an hour until my next class and my blog is in sore need of updating.

I was going to write a back to school blog. But, ninety percent of the people reading this are back to school, so it would be pointless. I don’t want to waste your time writing about what you already know. Instead…well, I’m not really sure what will happen instead.

I’ve had a lot of really random thoughts floating around my head recently. Sorry if I’ve seemed distracted, but I kinda have been. The first few days of class always scare me. I’ve overcome it enough to finally be able to actually sleep the night before, but it still has me jittery all day. Fortunately at college I get two first days of school. Isn’t that considerate?

I read the Screwtape Letters and loved it! It was a nice, easy-reading book, but really pretty insightful. C.S. Lewis was a pretty bright guy, ya know? It had one concept that I thought was absolutely intriguing. A long life is a battle that only the strong survive, from a faith standpoint especially. To die young is to miss out on most of the hardships that wear and grate on the soul. To die young is to save the soul from a thousand attacks and stumbles. There’s no denying this; my life and faith were much simpler before I got out on my own. And I’d rather die young than fall away from the faith. From a purely calculating point of view, the odds simply increase the more times the soul is tried.

But to live a long life in the faith, now that is truly an achievement. To overcome and prevail in the end, despite Satan throwing everything at you.

It was an interesting idea. It got a hook into my thoughts and just kept coming back. I like things that won’t let you be, no matter how hard you try to shake them. Those are the things to reflect on, weigh, evaluate, and judge. I don’t know if I entirely accept the idea, but it is a novel one to think about. And, in the end, it’s all opinion anyways. As far as this is concerned.

Well, time for school. I have to make a sandwich and find all the eleventy hundred books I need. So, until later my friends.

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Reflections on the Seasons

August 9, 2008 at 11:54 am (Random Thoughts) (, , , , , )

I walked outside yesterday and was shocked. Completely and totally at a standstill because of a hint of something in the air. It felt like autumn. It smelled like autumn. It was one of the most refreshing things I have experienced in a long while. Now, fall is still a good ways off here. We have to fight through the end of August and beginning of September to even begin to glimpse it, but it was there yesterday.

That got me thinking. Years ago, if you asked me my favorite season, I would say winter. Because then, obviously, I appeared more adult by saying so. It showed that I was wise and knew how cruel and cold winter was. It proved that I had seen and experienced enough to be jaded. Surely you had to take me seriously? I was dark and brooding, my eyes focused to the oh-so distant future, not distracted by the toil of everyday life.

Or, at time, I would answer spring. Because that answered showed me as happy and optimistic. You could trust me like you could trust anyone with a smiling face. I was your typical teenager, happy to be alive, excited about the fresh and new. I was content and pleased with the pretty things in life.

Or, I would say summer. I was a student, right? Of course summer was my favorite! No school, no responsibilities. Vacation, friends, late nights and later mornings. I was care-free and definitely not a nerd. Being out of school was my favorite thing! You could depend on me to be the fun one, up for anything, enjoying living life in the now.

But now…now I know that I like autumn. Not because of what it tells you about me, but because of how much I enjoy waiting for it to come. The color of the tress, the smell of bonfires and musty leaves. The way the air cools down into downright cold. And I still like winter–it’s a period of calm and patience. It clears my head and keeps me from worrying about things I cannot control. And I still like spring–there is rebirth after winter. The color returns, life comes back, and everything stretches into life after a good long sleep. It’s time to come back outside and enjoy the world. And I will always like summer–there is a bit of release and carefreeness. No school, no homework, no deadlines. There’s ample time for a friend or twelve. It gives the mind a rest before getting back to the grind.

But, I’ll always live for the fall. Everyone’s different. Every season means something different to every person. But, I’m happy now. Cause this time, my answer isn’t for anyone else. My answer’s for me, and I like it that way.

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As Time Goes By…

July 26, 2008 at 9:40 pm (Random Thoughts, Real Life)

I leave in three days. Three days…I don’t know how it snuck up so quickly. There were days that passed at a crawl, but they are now gone nonetheless. The summer has managed to outrun me again. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel so lonely here in Nashville, so removed from the entire world I know. So removed from the majority of my friends. Summer ripped away the life I had come to know and put the old, faded one in its place.

I feel done with this. I’m ready to pack up and  move on again. I’m ready to go back home. I’m ready to see Sam again. I’m ready to keep my own hours and make my own plans. But, I have a few weeks still. Time has flown though. To deny that would be foolish. Otherwise, I would have actually known that ES was in three days. That I need to pack and start getting everything together.

And time has crawled, because it’s been forever since I saw Harding.

I’m ready.

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Quick Update

July 24, 2008 at 1:37 pm (Random Thoughts, Real Life)

Hey everyone. Here’s the deal: I leave for El Salvador in six days. I can’t ask for too many prayers on this trip. I hope that everything goes well, but there’s a legitimate anxiety mingling with the usual excitement. I have to start packing soon, but the summer doldrums have set in. You all know that lazy trend that smothers everything, when the heat and humidity squashes any desire to do anything productive. I finished my main job yesterday, said goodbye to my summer children, and now only have one catering job before it’s all over. So, I lay around and contemplate doing something productive. I have some fun plans coming up, but mainly I’m wondering if I should dread or look forward to next week. I’m going to stay positive and hope for the best (ideally), but we need all the prayers we can get.

Relatedly, I will attempt to keep a video blog while I’m a couple thousand miles away. I’ll host it on youtube, then supply the links here. I may try a write up a night or two, but the truth is that they would be barely coherent. It wears you out more than anything I’ve ever done. So, anyone who wants to keep up…

So, six days until ES, 21 days until I fly out to MD, and 26 days until I’m back on campus. Of course, seven of those days will be in ES, so it feels like even less…summer is wrapping up quickly. And unlike Dunbar, I can’t stand the thought of slowing time down. It’s all about avoiding boredom. A la Catch-22.

Yeah, if I haven’t seen you…today, I miss you. But, that’s part of life, I suppose. A stupid part of life, but one nevertheless.

Random: Some lady jst stopped by the house to ask if she could pick apples from our tree. At midnight when she gets off work. Nashville is a wonderful and strange place….

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Wanderlust

July 16, 2008 at 4:28 pm (Random Thoughts, Real Life, Spiritual)

“I’ve been here for so long
I think its time I moved on
So tell me where it is that I need to be

Where ever the wind blows
You will find me there
Standing exactly where I wanna be”
-Pillar, Wherever the Wind Blows

I’ve got wanderlust again. Driving past the interstate this morning, I couldn’t help but wish I could just turn onto it and follow it to the sea. Of course, it only runs straight onto the beach in childhood dreams. I used to think that the interstate just eventually dissolved into the sand, leaving you at a perfect beachside locale. Oh well. My reality was far more romanticized than the real one.

I can’t wait to take the ramp onto 24 and start driving. The day that I won’t have to stop until I hit Harding’s Campus. It can’t get here soon enough. Regardless, I am so tired of Nashville. I can’t believe I’m ready to trade in the big city for Searcy life. It will be wonderful to get away again. I mean, I guess I have El Salvador coming up. That will probably appease the wanderlust for a little while. Long enough, ideally, for me to get packed and leave. Then it’s in the air to Baltimore, and hundreds miles before I’m back home.

If only gas wasn’t so expensive, I’d just start driving, see where the road goes. I did that once this summer, trailing along winding back roads without a destination. Or that one day at Harding, following one road past everything to a new place I had never seen. Driving. Traveling. I miss it.

**I have a prayer request, too. Some of you have heard about the little boy that I babysit on occassion. He was diagnosed with Leukemia and has been improving. But a recent test showed that his Neutrophil count is at 40. The average person’s sits at 1000, normally. They fight bacterial infections, so it is worrisome to have them that low. If you would just remember him when you pray, it would be much appreciated. He’s very sweet and I miss being able to watch him. Thanks guys! Love ya.

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Sigh

June 28, 2008 at 10:12 am (Random Thoughts, Real Life)

I was cleaning my room, my computer lying in the corner feeling dejected and alone. My screensaver came up with all the Harding pictures from the past two semesters…

August can’t get here soon enough…

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