26 December, 2006

It's the end of the world as we know it.

Now and then I post a blog on here that I've taken from my blog for libertyu. This is one such time. Enjoy.

Happy (belated) Christmas!
Since I’ve last written I have been enjoying a wonderful, glorious, restful, pampered, happy, sleep-filled week at home.
Remind me why I even go to school again?
The last week or so has been great.
Today is the day after Christmas and things are c-r-a-z-y around my house.
“Why” you ask?
“Wedding” I answer.
My sister is getting married this Sunday—aka New Years—aka 5 days from now.

My sister.

The one I’ve known since birth.

The one that is two years older than me.

Virtually every memory from my childhood includes her.

And now she’s getting married. And this isn’t like other life changes we’ve gone through. Because going off to college, off to grad school, away for the summer, etc, always guarantees coming back. At least we’ll still have a normal Christmas, or Thanksgiving, or whatever.
Whenever we come home Ashli and I share the same bathroom. Our parents were smart and bought a house back when I was about 11 that had separate vanities (sinks, mirrors, cabinets) but an adjacent bathroom (shower, tub, etc). We’ve shared a bathroom for as long as I can remember. And the next time we all come home she’ll be staying in the guestroom with her husband across the house.
Completely weird.

But obviously I should mention that all of this is good stuff. My dad has always said that when you have babies you never want them to grow up, but if they really stayed babies forever that would be tragic.

I suppose if we always lived with my parents and stayed in college and never got our own jobs and grew up and paid bills and got married and had our own kids—that would be tragic too.

So as bittersweet as our last Christmas with just us 4 was, I’m happy about change. My sister is getting married. She’s found someone she wants to hang out with everyday for the rest of her life. That’s pretty sweet. This May 19th, the day I am graduating from undergrad, she is graduating from law school, and Matt (her almost-husband) will be graduating with a Master’s. And then who knows where they’ll go. They’ve talked about coming back to Nashville, but they’ve also talked about going to Edinburgh. It depends on where Matt decides to go to get his PhD.

The whole growing up thing truly sneaks up on you, doesn’t it? One day you’re sitting in your senior economics 4th period class. And the next day high school is over. You’ll never have to battle that blasted 7:30 traffic again. And it’s not like it’s just over for a little while. You’ll never, ever, ever, go back to life like that. But then you meet college. And college is great. I mean GREAT. And you wonder why you ever even flinched and were sad about high school ending for a second. Life has continued to get better and better. And then you graduate college. And this is the first part of life that you’re experiencing that you’ve never really pictured ahead of time. It’s weird. You pictured high school ending. You pictured college. You pictured getting married. Maybe having kids…but you never pictured the part where you graduate college and you begin to have choices to make. Should you go to grad school? Should you go now or later? Where should you move? Should you travel? When are you going to meet someone worth marrying? Will you meet someone worth marrying? Should you move back in with your parents to save money? Or would that just be embarrassing? Will life after college actually be better? Or will you long for the days of freedom without responsibility? So far life has continually gotten better. But will that continue? Will it?

There’s all kinds of questions. Those that you ask yourself out loud. That other people ask you. And that your soul asks in the quietest, quietest part of you.
And they all deserve to be listened to. And thought about. And reasoned over. And then given to the Lord. For only “He knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you, to give you a hope and a future.”

So for me right now, life is one big—slow and fast—time of change. And I’m choosing to embrace it. Embrace it with faith that the Lord’s perfect will, will be done in the lives of those that are called according to His purpose. Remember that song that maybe you sang at church when you were a little thing? I was reminded of it a few days ago and it’s hope rings in my heart…

“He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it, faithful to complete it, faithful to complete it in you.”

Merry Christmas and have a Happy, Happy New Year.

17 December, 2006

What I Love...

This past week we had finals in all of our classes.
For my musical theater class our finals were performing.

Call it shameless self-promotion, or just showing you me doing what i love to do...but here's a video of my performance.

I also included two other great performances by friends of mine. Leslie is performing "Popular" from Wicked and Ashley is performing "I'm Not Afraid" from Songs For a New World. My song is considered a dramatic ballad, Leslie's is comedic, and Ashley's is contemporary. It's all probably a bit more technical than you realized...enjoy!

"Not A Day Goes By"
from Merrily We Roll Along

from Wicked

"I'm Not Afraid"
from Songs for a New World

07 December, 2006

"God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

Today cast lists were posted for yet another batch of shows here at Liberty. And I received a timely and thought-provoking bit of wisdom in my inbox:

Proud vs. Humble - Recognition

Proud people crave self-advancement.
"I've got to word this report in a way that sets me apart from the pack."

But humble people desire to promote others.
"How can I word this so that everybody gets the credit they deserve?"

Proud people feel wounded when others are promoted and they're overlooked.
"Why would they put her in charge?"

Humble people are excited when others are lifted up.
"Congratulations! Let me know how I can help."

Proud people are elated by praise and deflated by criticism.
"He's always shooting my ideas down!"

Humble people know that any praise for their accomplishments belongs to the Lord.
"It's just by God's grace."

What does recognition—or the lack of it—reveal about the condition of your heart?

06 December, 2006

"Jerks make the world go round."

It was suggested to me by a friend to explore the topic of heartbreakers in a blog. My friend didn’t use the word “heartbreaker” but she certainly could have. She suggested it to me b/c she experienced the painful and confusing brunt of a former boyfriend “opening up to her” and telling her he still thinks about her all day long but doesn’t pursue her because he’s a commitment phobe.

Her statement to me: “My heart can’t handle it.”

My question is: how does him confessing that to her benefit anyone?

One common theme that I’ve seen in my friends’ relationships throughout college is the-relationship-that-just-won’t-let-go. The guy who is best friends with a girl, gets her hopes up, then promptly dates someone else leaving her in the dust, but coming back every now and then to string her along and get her worked up again…or the guy who pursues, but then let’s things go indefinitely unspoken, never solidifying any commitment…or the guy who breaks up with the girl only to turn around and act like nothing has changed in their “relationship.”
I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of it: feeling so inclined to say that one certain thing to get the rejected party’s hopes back up (however true it may feel in that moment), only inside knowing you will never give him/her what he/she is hoping for.
It’s selfish.
It’s very, very selfish.
It’s putting one’s own ego ahead of someone else’s heart. And it’s not right. I see this a lot in the male sex, but I know girls do it too. I know I’ve done it.
And that’s pretty shameful.
So all I’m saying is, sometimes saying less is more.
Instead of saying you care about someone, or that you were thinking about them, show them love by putting their needs above your own.
I really do try to refrain from using my blog as a soapbox but this was one that was worth stepping up, whatever ridicule it may elicit.

So I want to encourage you:
Take a step back and ask yourself if the words you are dying to say to that person (to elicit some sort of comforting, ego-stroking response) will benefit them in any way—or if it might just stir up hopes, desires, and feelings in them that you have no intention of fulfilling.
So let’s all do the right thing—let’s put others ahead of ourselves.

“Love is patient; love is kind…love is not selfish.” –1 Corinthians 13.4b-5a

04 December, 2006

"We should pray when we are in a praying mood, for it would be sinful to neglect so fair an opportunity. We should pray when we are not in the proper mood, for it would be dangerous to remain in so unhealthy a condition." --Charles Spurgeon

In other news, I threw a bridal shower for my friend Kristin last night and it went really well! It was so fun throwing a little party. I should do more of that in the future. Also, I am officially done with my 7th semester of college one week from Friday. Home. Stretch. And of course the reason why I'm writing right now is because I'm really working on a paper and I'm procrastinating. But I thought that was a great quote and worth sharing. Alright...back to the grindstone...