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Friday, June 25, 2010

just in one of those moods

Am sitting here on my laptop at 10:17 PM feeling very lonely. Very, very lonely. When I am in sad moods, my writing improves immensely (you should see what I write when I'm actually happy...very, very poor writing), so I do need to go write. I shouldn't waste this terrible mood.

Everyone in the house is sleeping. My room is dark. And lonely. I hate when I start crying and I don't know why. I can't blame anyone and I can't make any excuses for my tears. All of a sudden I'm just crying. Like right now. Why am I crying? I don't even know. That is what I hate the most.

After five hours of weeding and a visit at a friend's house that seemed to drag on forever, I'm exhausted. The weeding was fine, the friend's house was fine. My day has been fine. I was actually in a really good mood the whole day...but on the drive home from the visit, I suddenly just became...sad. Really sad. I wish I could tell you some really good reason why I'm sad so that I could receive a plethora of sympathetic commens. But there's no good reason. No new reason, I should say. Everything that I feel sad about has been making me feel sad for a long time, so tonight's feelings are nothing new.

I don't mean to make my blog a vent. But I feel so alone right now. It's late night and there's nobody I can call, nobody I can text, nobody I can chat. It comforts me to think that someone will read what I write, somehow it lessens the loneliness. Maybe I should just go to bed. But I wouldn't fall asleep, I would just lay there and pity myself.

I hate pitying myself because I know there is nothing I need to pity myself about. I have a beautiful family, beautiful friends, beautiful abilities and beautiful opportunities. But even though I know I shouldn't pity myself doesn't make me stop pitying myself.

So I'll just shut up now. And go write. Seems like that's all I can ever do anymore. Just write. I can't keep friendships, I can't sleep well, I can't hold my tongue, and I can't stop focusing on this world more than God.

Now I'm done. For real. Bye.

Monday, June 21, 2010

let this week last forever

My head and my heart are colliding, chaotic
Pace of the world, I just wish I could stop it
Try to appear like I've got it together, I'm falling apart

Slow me down, don't let me live a lie
Before my life flies by
I need you to slow me down
Emmy Rossum
I turn thirteen on Sunday. It feels like my life has flown by me so fast. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was excited about going to China. That was eight years ago. It seems like just yesterday when I was escastic about creating my bank account. That was three years ago. It seems like just yesterday I moved up into the junior high group at church as a seventh-grader. That was a year ago. Now I'm the one welcoming the seventh-graders...I feel so old. I'm ninth-grade, a highschooler, in the fall. In two school years, I'm starting college classes full-time.

I'll be done with college at twenty years old. It'll be weird, to be twenty. Before I know it, I will be twenty. Time goes by that fast. It'll seem like just yesterday that I was on the verge of a teenager, looking towards thirteen, saying good-bye to twelve. Coming to terms with growing-up.

Let this week last forever. Let it be the longest week of my life. Let it be a single week that doesn't fly by me at the speed of sound. Let it be a week in which I can breathe and in which I can reflect...and let Sunday dawn on me, ready to be a teenager. I don't want to be sad to be a teenager. I'm excited, but there is a seed of sadness that I hope will be uprooted over the week. I want to look to the future with happiness.

But for now? I look at these pictures, telling the story of my life. Sunday will come, too fast. Growing up will come too fast. But it is not a bad thing, growing up. There's no need for nostalgia. But I can still feel a twinge of it in my chest as I scroll through my pictures...

And that's me now. But in the blink of an eye, it will be five years from now. God help me appreciate life before the time slips away.

Friday, June 18, 2010

It will be called the Way of Holiness

I laugh.

I am surrounded by friends always. I have a group that follow me everywhere. When I walk in, I am smothered in hugs and "guess what?"s.

I'm never alone.

Life looks good for me.

But at night, my ghosts still haunt me - my memories still dog my every step.
Youth group Wednesday. All my beautiful friends. I went out to eat with my best friend, her mentor, and my mentor before youth group. Applebees was delish, not to mention very fun.

Later in the evening, me and my friends head outside after a large-group talk. We have a choice to do floor hockey or sidewalk chalk, and we all end up doing chalk, but slack off and talk instead. As my friend says something funny, and I start laughing, a young eighth-grader who wasn't new but never made any friends walks by with a piece of chalk in her hand. She looks at me, and then her eyes wander over my group of friends who were all sitting with me.

And my smile fades, because I see this deep longing in her eyes for what I have.


Someone to talk to through the hour and a half at church which can seem so very long when alone. Someone to laugh with and someone that will say goodbye to her when she has to leave. Someone to listen to her when she has a bad day and cry with her when she needs it. Someone to tease her because that's what friends do.

I have had that blessing of friends all my life. I have no recollection of ever sitting alone, of ever feeling on the outside; because I never have been on the outside. I've always been in the center. At church, in sports, in my neighborhood. I've always had many people that hug me bye when I leave and run up to me when I come in.

I knew what the girl wanted. I knew that it would have made her whole entire week if I had just walked away from my friends and said hi to her.

But you know what I did?

I looked away. I didn't do anything, except ignore her until she walked away. I purposefully let her know that she's unwanted and that she doesn't belong with my friends.

When she finally walked away, I felt something rush up in me. For once, the friends that surrounded me sickened me. I hated them for dulling my sense of awareness. Because they've loved me unconditionally, I can never relate to the girl on the outside, because that's never been me. It just hasn't been.

Then I realized how stupid I was to be angry at my friends. It's my fault that I never reach out. That I stay in my comfort zone and shrug "who cares about that girl? This is about me and appearing invulnerable."

This girl is going on the mission trip with my church that I am going on with several of my friends. We had a meeting about the trip last Sunday. We were supposed to share why we wanted to go on the trip. You know what the girl said?

"I'm going on the mission trip because I want to make friends."

That struck me hard. She wants to make friends. That's all she wants. She just wants one friend that will be there for her.

Next Wednesday, I'm going to talk to her. I'm going to walk up to her and introduce myself. I'm not going to lie: she doesn't look like the funnest person to be around, she looks like a young child and kind of annoying. But I am not going to let that control whether or not I talk to her. She is probably a wonderful girl, ignored because of her physical appearence. I have seen her walk around alone all year, but I pushed away the thought of reaching out because I didn't want her to be my friend.

She needs a friend. That's a need that is very important for her, and I can fill that need. Why did I hesitate all year?

Because I had an image that I needed to keep up, and having her be my friend would destroy the image. I wouldn't look cool hanging out with her, because she doesn't look like a cool person typically looks like. All my other friends are cool. Why should I want a non-cool friend?

The root of this is image. I worry too much about what other people think. It hurts to acknowledge that. It hurts to realize that. But it's true. It's so true.

This will be the first small step of reaching out. It will be the first stone taken out of the wall that I have built around myself. It will be the first risk I take. I pray it won't be the last.

Isaiah 35

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God. 

Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;

Say to those with fearful hearts,
"Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you."

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.

The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicked fools will not go about on it. 

No lion will be there,
nor will any ferocious beast get up on it;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,

And the ransomed of the LORD will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I crack myself up sometimes...

When I was seven, I thought tanning was for old people. A year later, I would purposefully "forget" to put on sunscreen so I would maybe get a tan when I would play outside. I just got burnt.

When I was nine, I thought if you carried a purse around it made you weird. At ten, I got my first purse for a birthday present from a friend and began using it.

When I was ten, boys had the cooties. To talk to one would be like sentencing yourself to a slow and painful death of cooties. (I never called it "cooties" of course...that would be too childish). I thought they were "soooo" weird. A few months later, the neighborhood boys became some of my best friends.

When I was eleven, I thought wearing make-up made you shallow. I detested everything about it and positively refused to wear even the slightest bit of lip-gloss. A year later, I began wearing it and appreciate it to death. I dropped the judgement of "you wear make-up, you're shallow."

When I was twelve, wearing ripped jeans made you immodest and disgusting. A few months later I bought my first pair of ripped jeans and wore them every day until they were worn to a thread.

When I was twelve and a half, I thought texting was extremely annoying and superficial. Fast forward a few months, and I text. All the time. (Just kidding...?)

A few months ago, I thought Justin Bieber sounded like a girl and looked like he was thirteen years old. I also thought he was extremely annoying. Now, as of this week...? Well...lets just say I don't think that anymore. He does look like a wittle baby, but some of his songs are super cool.

And just for the record...I'll probably be sick of him by next Tuesday. I'll let you all know. ^_-

Oh and please ignore the black nail polish...I was feeling moody the day I did my nails.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hitting the Cereal Boxes at One in the Morning - My AWESOME Weekend!

I feel like such an insomniac. Owl City.
Friday: I drank too much coffee at once (two cups downed in twenty minutes and then another cup a few hours later). I was nervous because I was running a 5k the next day, and coffee seemed the perfect outlet. The result? A splitting headache that lasted hours (thank God for Advil!). Because of that I felt irritable and tired, so I went to bed early. By early, I mean 8:15. Very early.

I turned over to go to sleep. I lay there, listening to my family watch the World Cup for an hour. Then they came upstairs, and my older brother began to play Red on his electric guitar...huge mistake. I had Red's new songs stuck in my head all night. "I need you with me as I enter the shadows."

I lay there and I lay there and I lay there. I turned this way and then I turned that way and then I lay on my back and then I lay on my stomach and then I put my pillow over my head....long story short, it was extremely difficult to go to bed.

In fact, I didn't fall asleep until about four in the morning. I remember laying there and watching the neon figures on my digital clock move slowly, ever so slowly. Do you know how stressful it is to realize that you are running a 5k at nine o'clock the next morning and you can't go to sleep to save your dang life?

Yeah, we were running a 5k the next morning, at the crack of dawn. (Nine o'clock. Ouch.) I have run a 5k before - just not an official 5k. I have run 3.10 miles at my community center at least five times, so I don't know what the big deal was...but it was a big deal.

So what do I do when I can't go to sleep (believe me, I have had this problem before)? I read my Bible for a while, then try to go to sleep again (which usually doesn't work). But I always fall back on my Momma. I wake her up (she doesn't appreciate that, but she never complains), she prays for me or talks with me for a while until I get sleepy, and that's that. But Friday night, it didn't work. I lay on the floor in her room (went in there twice...), then she came into my room, back and forth. It was insane. That lasted until midnight.

Then we both realized at the same time we were hungry. We were both completely wide-awake, so we got out of bed and went downstairs.

We ate cereal at one o'clock in the morning, looking at maps, figuring out where my mom was born, where my dad was born, where my uncle was born, etc. Momma and I stayed down there for about forty-five minutes. We were joking about how eating cereal at one in the morning was definitely a blog-worthy subject. ;-)

I decided I was good and tired enough when I started putting the cereal box into the cabinet above the phone. But I wasn't. It took another three hours, at the least, to fall asleep. It. Was. Crazy.

Saturday: You know what was crazier, though? I ran a 5k on two hours of sleep (yeah, I woke up at six and couldn't get back to bed because I was so nervous...). It was running on a whole different level. I almost tripped because I was so groggy (that was embarrassing).

It was hard, I'm not going to lie. My time was twenty-eight minutes. I would be extremely unhappy of that, unless I had that excuse of two hours of sleep. Usually I can run it in barely twenty-six minutes.

Anyways, I had a lot of fun taking pictures. I'm so proud of my siblings. My older brother beat me by three whole minutes. My dad was at twenty-three minutes. My mom came in right after Daddy. Ab and Pete were stunning in their so-and-so meter dashes. Ab was second in her age-group, and Pete was first.
Peter is a complete stud in the making. Look at that adorable smile.

After the 5k, we went out to eat and then marched in a parade around my uncle's float (he's running for state senator :-). I admit, I didn't want to go. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep. But it was fun...even though it was pouring rain. A little kid started laughing at me. But other than that, it was good. (I did get a can of Diet pop...that's always a big plus :-)

My mom, my sister and I watched Julie & Julia that afternoon when we got back from the parade. It was so funny, I was laughing the whole time. And very inspiring.

I went to bed at seven o'clock that night.

Sunday: I got up early to straighten my hair, and at eight thirty my family piled into the car and drove to church. Jenna came over afterwards.

After several hours of beautous fun, Jenna and I went to a BBQ with our church, which was insanely fun. It's just one of those things that are so amazing that you can't describe it.

Jenna's another one of those things that you can't describe....she's just Jenna. Jenna is amazing - everyone who knows her knows that. I'm completely honored to be friends with her - scratch that, we're not just friends, she's my sister! Duh! :-)

Monday (technically not part of the weekend...but hey. I don't ever follow rules; that's boring.): I had a violin lesson in the morning, the last one until June fifth. I am gonna miss my teacher. Then I rushed home and babysat for four hours. I have a steady job all summer, every Monday. :-)

We built a fort in the woods with damp maggot-ridden wood. It is an awesome fort, if I do say so myself. :-)

I made pizza a few minutes ago. I still have flour under my fingernails. I can smell its aroma filling the house. Yum.

I joined a group of writer-girls on Blogger who are doing thirty thousands words in the month of June. I'm at almost five thousand words. I know, I know. I stink. So I resolved to start writing as soon as I finish this post and stay up as long as it takes to reach ten thousand words, at least. Crazy? Yes. But crazy describes me, my life, and my friends....why not my writing?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beautiful Awel's New Meme: 2'sday!

My lovely friend Awel over at Shilah is having a new meme called 2'sday. Her description of it:
A lot of girls' blogs are trying to find something edifying, real, beauitful, and inspiring to post. This gives you that opportunity. Tuesdays here (and maybe on your blogs) are going to have two themes. These themes are going to be two things that I've thought about during the past week, that have challenged and inspired me which I'll pass on to you. Those two things can be something I've read in a book, lyrics of a song, a quote from a famous person, a Bible verse, pictures, memories, or just something that's been laid on my heart—it's simply something that's made you slow down and think. It's a simple way to share your heart with your followers, to let yourself be real to them.
{1} I have been feeling...confused. Confused about my friends in particular - and also about myself. A lot of my friendships have been unraveling, you know? Like suddenly out of the blue, this friend stops talking to me. And I abruptly find myself being really annoyed by another friend, who I used to love to death. And I get in a fight with yet another friend and make up and think everything's going fine and it's not. And then this other friend hurt me, but I can't talk about it to anyone because it hurts too badly.

I don't know what to do in all of these situations - talk about it, forget about it, get ticked about it, cry about it?

Over the past year, part of the discussion my youth group had was about conflict and how to solve it. Jesus tells us to go to the person we have a problem with and talk about it, regardless of whether it's my fault or her fault. We don't wait until that person comes to us - we go to them.

So this week I will try to talk about conflict with these friends. It will hurt, yes. It will be awkward, uncomfortable, and probably will end badly. Some of my friends I don't even want to be friends with anymore - but I don't want to be enemies. Acquaintances, maybe. I'll know them but I won't know them. That's better than being bitter about them.

Friends are a blessing from God, and I need to treat them as such. But some friendships just don't work out. Period. And that isn't something to be angry about or cry about. It's just a fact, that I need to accept.

And besides, I have so many friendships that do work out. And I thank God for these besties every day.

{2} This has not only been a confusing week but a weird week. For several reasons...

I got a frightening email from a friend - frightening as in disturbing. It went places I didn't want to go. I feel so weird now...being a girl can be a bewildering thing sometimes. I feel compelled to reply and end anything that this friend thought was going on...I don't want to hurt this friend, but there is a place to draw the line. So I am praying about it...hopefully I find an easy solution.

I found out that I get to go to the Mall of America in two weeks with Jenna and then have a sleepover - kind of like a birthday party. And I am so excited about that. I think I'm going to explode.

I'm reading Anna Kerenina and Of War and Peace - really really weighty stories. Anna Kerenina makes me feel really depressed - it's an extremely tangled love story, 600+ pages (text is 10 point Times New Roman, single-spaced...a little hard on the eyes). Husbands are unfaithful to their wives, men break young women's hearts and those who deserve each other never end up together. It's a fascinating novel - extremely well-written - but rather depressing.

I feel strange from the email, extremely excited for the MoA, and then pretty depressed from Anna Kerenina. My moods jump sky-ward when I'm playing the violin, droop when I read, jump again when I text Jenna - up and down, up and down. Being moody isn't fun.

As you can tell, my emotions are kind of all mixed together - my thoughts are scattered and entirely random. This post didn't make a lot of sense...but hey, isn't that life?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Dear Best Friend

Dear Best Friend, I know life has chewed you up and spit you out. This whole year has been such a journey for you. Your friend at school decides she doesn't like you anymore, and throws away the bestest friend she will ever have in her whole life. She talks mean about you and spreads lies. I want you to know that none of the things she said defines you. You are not what she or her boyfriend labelled you as. You are so much more than that. Don't ever think about them again. They are not worth your time. They never will be. Ever.

Dear Best Friend, school has been hard for you, I know. You see everything that people do, and you notice everything, therefore you are so much more sensitive than anybody in the whole dang school. You look at people's hearts, not their outward appearence. You don't hang out with people just because they are popular. You don't become bitter when a guy breaks your heart. When you told me, I felt like smashing a window, but you looked at it from his perspective. When I called him a flipping jerk, you told me he wasn't one, because it wasn't his fault. I still think it was his fault.

Dear Best Friend, you and me are much more alike than I would ever have guessed. I know you feel ugly and fat and insecure, but you are not. You are the most beautiful girl I have ever known. You weigh ten pounds lighter than me - and just because I'm two inches taller than you doesn't make me any better than you. Short is good, because you'll always get to buy the smaller sizes.

Dear Best Friend, don't ever hate yourself. You make me laugh when I feel like crying. Just texting you or talking to you on the phone transforms my crappy day into a blessed one. Laughing with you makes me feel happy and it makes me forget everything that's going on.

Dear Best Friend, I love you and I will always be here for you. I can't make the pain stop but I will always hold you in my arms when it hurts the most. I can't make your life suddenly perfect, but I can always listen to you and pray with you. I am a better person because of you. Through everything that's going on in my life, through everything that's going on in yours, we have become better friends and better people. I will never forget the blessing you have been to me. I have had many friends but you are so much more than a friend. You are a sister. I love you forever.

Dear Best Friend, thank you for everything. Thank you for being who you are. Don't ever change otherwise I'll knock your block off. Don't ever stop eating podstickers with me at midnight. Don't ever stop stealing my phone and seeing how long it takes for me to find it. Don't ever stop persuading me to believe ridiculous things. Don't ever stop laughing with me over inside jokes. Don't ever stop sitting with me and making necklaces. Don't ever stop talking with me openly. Don't ever stop being you.

 Don't ever stop laughing like this. You are so beautiful the way God made you.

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
-Christopher Robin to Pooh Bear.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Guess what, guess what, GUESS WHAT?!

You're totally not gonna believe me. AHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ready for this?

I bought my violin. (rather, my absolutely wonderful, incredible, amazingly generous parents bought it for me. :-)

Ummmmm....!!!!!!!!!!!!! No way!

I spent two hours this morning playing ten different violins at House of Note and deciding which one I liked best. Playing multiple songs over and over on different instruments, paying painful amounts of attention to the sound, the tone, the ringing.

I spent another hour, fishing through at least fifteen bows, using them - noting the tone, the stroke, the feel - carefully eliminating them one by one until I found the one that was perfect.

And oh my word. The. violin. is. beautiful. The tone is stunning. The strings are amazingly easy to stroke and surprisingly smooth, much more so then my old violin - it makes vibrato a breeze, whereas on my previous instrument, I struggled quite a bit.

It seems like I've been playing it ever since I got home from the shop!

Just look at this stunna. And believe me, it plays more beautiful than it looks!

Ahhhh. Doesn't it just take your breath away?
I. Am. In. Love.
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