31 July 2005

Some changes...

As you may have noticed, I have altered some of the images in my template. It was fun. :) 'Night.

30 July 2005

Christmas in July

I just spent some time with the "little" brother... we watched "Elf," which neither of us had seen before.

I will admit that I literally fell out of the chair laughing... John won't let me live it down, either. That's okay, though, 'cause I get to tease him about his obsession with "the perfect pair of jeans".

I love my brother. :)

Anyway... I'm now listening to the iTunes library on my computer, which has a pretty impressive variety. I spent some time playing piano tonight, which was awesome, but my heart wasn't in it. Strange... because I spend a lot of my time just itching to play piano or guitar.

But yeah... and I'm going to start "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" tonight, because I finished "Till We Have Faces" last night (which is one of my favorite books and definitely C.S. Lewis' best work of fiction).

And my co-worker from MTR, Andrea, got married today out in Montrose. I just wish I could have been there...

But we had cousins today! They showed up and ate food and watched TV shows this afternoon, which was cool. It's been cool over the past few years (even though I'm not here much) to have them around... Family is cool sometimes! (And yes, I do realize I just used the word "cool" three times in this paragraph - deal with it.)

I've been playing BINGO a lot lately... there's not much to do. Cleaning, reading... that's about it. Not that I mind having time to read (because I've barely had any time over the past few years), but when it's all you have to do... not so good.

So I think I'm going to go read now. And try to sleep again (because that still is not going so well).

And I finally finished First John! Yay! Now I can finish NT Survey... :)

Mood: Bored Listening to: The Format, Interventions & Lullabies
Reading: C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

28 July 2005

Tacos and Coconut-Cream Pie

That's what I made for dinner... Quite tasty, too, I might add. :)

The whole "sleep" thing is still somewhat elusive... and I'm really wanting it to change.

I keep going to bed earlier, which doesn't help.

But I swam today... and I did more than I did Monday (not quite such a weakling), so I am really hoping that lets me sleep well tonight.

So, I am now going to go upstairs and read my book (and some other stuff) and maybe write a little bit, 'cause I do that sometimes. 'Cause I enjoy it. And Keane rocks. 'Nuf said.

Mood: Tired Listening to: Keane, Hopes and Fears
Reading: C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

26 July 2005

And the floor is clean... Again.

I have managed to get to the floor in my bedroom once more and now can view it in all of its glory.

And I have realized that I have a ton of clothing. Much more than I could ever need and, yet, I seem to wear all of it. Go figure.

Anyway... still not doing so grand on the whole sleep thing, but I'm hoping that will change tonight.

I figure, I'll go upstairs and read until I conk out which will, hopefully, be a lot sooner than later. My body can't take it anymore! But I get to go swimming tomorrow... and I'm excited about that.

Which leads me to another point: I am hideously out of shape for swimming. Yesterday, when I went to the pool and did laps, I couldn't even do a full length of butterfly (which just proves I'm a weakling). I used to do 100 yards straight of that stroke and it wouldn't phase me! How I miss swim team...

But I will return... I keep saying I'm going to start going on a regular basis and getting back into shape for long-distance stuff. Problem is, I suck at "warming up"... I always have. I get in the pool and go full throttle until I burn out... which, considering my lack of being in shape, does not take long.

Work, work, work... that's what I do with school and sports and just about everything. I work, I burn out, and then I'm useless. How I need to understand balance and taking things easy (at times)!

I know that is a (seemingly) pointless rant, and I'm sorry... I've been doing that a lot lately and my thoughts have been a lot less coherent. Hmm... sleep is good (or so I've heard).

I miss Fort Collins... I'm ready to be back. But in order to go back, I have to pack my clothes... just not right now... 'cause then I would have nothing to wear before I leave. Right...

I'm going to go now. You know, read, sleep... 'Night.

Mood: Scrambled Listening to: Smalltown Poets, Smalltown Poets
Reading: 1 John, Chapter 4 [Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee]

25 July 2005


Wow... My level of exhaustion keeps rising and I continue to find myself unable to sleep night after night after night...

I'm definitely sick, which only makes things worse because all I want to do is sleep. Boo...

But I keep thinking about stuff. That's definitely part of it, too. The past semester was amazing, but I was also very overwhelmed toward the end by a few situations dealing with guys and rumors...

And I just keep wondering how much of that is still going to be there when I get back. I mean, there are always going to be people who think you like one guy or you're dating another, right? How do you stop rumors? What happens if one of them becomes the truth?

Stupid mental questions...

Anyway, I have officially added stuff to my Facebook account... simply because I can't sleep at night. I have three friends, so it is rather exciting, I must say.

And I also have been playing Tetris at night before bed (go Gameboy!)... sometimes while on NyQuil (which I am sure would be highly entertaining if anyone were actually around to see it).

Things are starting to implode again around here... home has become very confining. The trip Laura, John and I had planned to Fort Collins next weekend was shot down due to our inability to get tickets (it's a conference thing) and, then, due to Dad's veto because we had no concrete plans/reason for going.

Three and a half weeks until I'm back in the Fort... and so much to cover before then.

What lies in wait? Only time will let me in on the future's secrets. 'Night.

Mood: Groggy Listening to: My ceiling fan
Reading: 1 John, Chapter 3 [Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee]

22 July 2005

Lessons from a Spider

Along it crawls, up the wall -
Trying harder with every sprawl;
A misstep, a slip, and then a fall.
Now, back where it began.

A few weeks ago, I sat on a couch in Montrose the night before the first day of camp and watched a spider make various attempts to crawl its way up the wall in front of me.

Now, I'm not a big fan of spiders. Personally, I think they are just... wrong in a lot of respects. I mean, c'mon... eight legs? Ick.

But I was fascinated by its trips up and down the wall. The only thing that stopped it was when my brother killed it (or I would never have slept that night).

It simply reminded me of me. I feel so much like I keep starting over, getting a little farther up every time before I come crashing back to where I began. This summer, this has become a point of self-argument, as I feel I keep repeating summers that have come before.

I am discontent with where I am. I have no job (which makes my existence fairly boring) and I have so little self-discipline that I wonder if I learned anything at all this past year (which I did).

I'm ready to be back at school, in the dorms and with classwork to do (I'm a nerd, I know)... but I know that I will simply be starting over again in some regards and I'm not ready yet for the fall down the wall.

When the summer began, I needed to be home in order to rest - to renew my strength and find peace again.

But now, I am simply eager to return to the things from which I needed rest, because their next progression - their next step - weighs heavily on my mind. I can deal with them now - I want to know what happens.

So... maybe I have made it farther up the wall than I think I have. Perhaps, as is often the case, I am not giving myself enough credit where God's grace in my life is concerned.

But I know that, at some point, a fall is still ahead of me. May I be granted the grace to get back up and try again.

Mood: Contemplative Listening to: Chip Paulson, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire
Reading: 1 John, Chapter 2


I knew You were a hard man -
Reaping where You had not sown.
I knew I was unable
Of turning profit on my own.

So I took the talent You so freely gave -
Dug a hole, hid it away.
I felt so free to give it back to You -
Undeveloped and unused.

Hidden away,
I fear today.
Hidden inside,
These layers of pride.
Hide me from You,
For You come in all Your splendor
And I have been a stingy spender of Your grace -
Hide me away.

I knew You'd come in all Your glory,
With angels 'round Your throne.
I knew You'd never buy the story
That I was too afraid of You to sow.

For what a man plants,
He shall surely harvest.
And what does a girl reap
If she refuses to give her best?

Rescue me from this hardened soul;
Bring me in to the Feast.
For now, I know the greatest return
Is when the most is risked for the least.

No longer hidden away,
Fearing today.
No longer hidden inside,
These layers of pride.
No longer hidden from You,
For You come in all Your splendor -
May I be a greater spender of Your grace -
No longer hidden away.

©2005 Alyssa Kate Grinstead

20 July 2005

Water-logged and Slightly Toasted

So... not feeling too good. LOL. As my dad says, it should be of no surprise to anyone since I got four hours of sleep on Monday night (after visiting camp friends on the north side of town and reading until 3:30am), spent yesterday at WaterWorld with those same friends (all day in the 100 degree sunshine - we left after closing) and then read last night after having a massive headache for which I took regular pain medication, some Sudaphed (in case it was sinus-related), and drank a caffeinated soda (which never makes anything better besides a headache).

And as I slept, the fan in my room dried out my throat (coupled with the Sudaphed), so that hurt today and I drank a lot of water because of it.

And, for whatever reason, my neck feels like it's stiff - as if I slept in a funny position last night (possibly due to the sunburn on my back)... for me, a stiff neck is kind of weird.

But it was 106 degrees today, which was fun, I guess. I got to go to WalMart in the amazing hotness of the day and rush food home before the ice cream melted and the meat cooked itself. Then, I made food. And I finished my book.

After we finished dinner, my mom and dad were lauding (somewhat mockingly) my ability to survive on my own - I can cook, clean, sew, etc. all on my own and at a high rate of success (I think it's just because I know how to follow directions, but you never know).

Anyway... it just set me thinking (again) about how soon I really am going to be on my own and how I want to do things in my house (or apartment - whatever), whenever that happens.

I'm a nerd, but I'd like to have a system for the dishwasher. And I'd really like things to be accessible and well-organized... but I suppose that people always have hopes like that and then entropy takes over... not fair.

If only I had the self-discipline to be obsessive-compulsive! LOL. That'll be the day.

But at least I woke up before noon today... that's an improvement over the past week or so. Considering I haven't slept late since last summer, it's been quite a shock to find my body finally relaxing itself to the point where it can again.

Plus, I think I'm definitely fighting off some bug or something... there's really no reason to sleep that long, unless it's spiritual, which it very well may be due to my summer "theme" of self-discipline.

Any way it falls, the result is still the same - I need to get up and get moving in the mornings. There is too much to do... too much to learn before mid-August that I cannot waste my days oversleeping or loafing about the house.

Good news, though... my skin color has changed from that of a marshmallow to that of a slightly toasted one. That's right... Kate's got some color on her at last. White for most... tan for me.

If only I spent more time in the sun... :)

Mood: Slightly stunned Listening to: The fan in my room
Reading: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince [finished]

16 July 2005

Sammie Dearest (and Others)

This is Sam, who is extremely cool. She's my favorite junior staffer at MTR.

This is my brother John, who is completely awesome and quite the heartbreaker. Look at the eyelashes!

This is Sam and John together during a break on the five-mile junior high hike. Orange you glad to see them?

And this is Sam, Liz (another awesome junior staffer), and me during (my) last day of junior high week (since John and I left early).

Fun stuff, this picture thing. John took them all (except the one of him - not sure who got that one).

We get to see everyone (or most everyone) on Tuesday when they're in town... :)

Quite the concept... really!

Believe it or not, Laura and I have rediscovered the art of spending time together and talking to one another outside of our accountability time. It's been really fun and cool and entertaining when we get to the "Is there anything else I should know?" question in our accountability and, instead of a big list, we have one thing to say because we've already told everything else in the time we spent together during the rest of the week.

Anyway... :) I spent time with John yesterday (we went and saw "Fantastic Four", which was good and funny in its own right) and then I spent last night playing cards with Laura before we went and saw "Batman Begins" with Andy (which, I must say is the best movie I've seen since "Kingdom of Heaven").

And then, today, I spent five hours in my Bible, which I think is one of the coolest things I've done all summer. I need to immerse myself in and saturate myself with Scripture so much more than I do, and I'm excited because it's getting down to crunchtime (4 weeks until I'm back in Fort Collins, I think), so I have a lot of ground and review to cover before I head back to school which means *drumroll please*... more immersion and saturation, which is never a bad thing.

So... I'm going to head upstairs and wind down and then go to sleep because I have to get up early tomorrow for worship team (it's a family event tomorrow - Dad, John and I are all on the team, which is cool). 'Night.

Mood: Off-beat Listening to: Jennifer Knapp, Kansas
Reading: C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

14 July 2005

There's no place like camp...

And there's nothing more ironic than junior high boys sitting still... :)

Already Wednesday

Wow... time just seems to be booking around here, and I'm not exactly doing my best at getting done what needs to get done (although stuff has been getting done).

Here's the rundown of the last few days...

Saturday, I woke up and went to the memorial for Nathan, which was a pretty cool experience. There is such a difference when you have the hope and assurance that someone is with the Lord. Laura and I went out and had the first half of our accountability in the evening, which was good... we had a lot of ground to cover.

Sunday, I woke up, went to church, went to a wedding and drove to Fort Collins for what I thought was going to be a meeting for the Bible study in the residence halls (but it wasn't because that meeting was on Monday - I got the day wrong). Instead, I made cookies with Nick, went to flock, hung out at Steph and Beth's new place and talked to Danielle into the night (which was fun - I miss our random-hour chats).

Monday, I woke up on Em's couch (it's a pattern, I know) and went to breakfast with Nick so we could discuss Bible study stuff for Newsom (which was good - I'm really excited for this fall). We popped in to say "hi" to our college pastor and then I headed home, where I proceeded to cook a rather large number of blueberry muffins and an apple pie before Dave and Chris showed up (to hang out before Dave left for ROTC training this morning). We wound up downtown at the Pavillions with Laura and Andy to see A@O and Sonicflood play a show (with some great author/speakers sprinkled in there). Funny thing, though... it was hot. :)

Tuesday, I slept past 8am for the first time in about five weeks. I can't exactly remember what I did, but I know it was something that was important... Accountability! That's it! Laura and I went to Borders and cashed in on our free drink cards ('cause we're frequent drinkers there) and finished our accountability time. I was kind of frustrated with some stuff, so... it took a while. It really sucks when you're frustrated with being "you".

Tuesday night, John, Laura, Andy and I went to TNL where Rob Bell (of Mars Hill Bible Church) spoke on Leviticus 16. I know you're thinking, "Dude... Leviticus is lame," but you're wrong. I spent last summer studying tabernacle and the sacrifical system and stuff and I must say that last night made it all the more cool. Rob Bell had a live goat onstage with a guy dressed in priestly garments and the coolest part is that "The goat has left the building". Ask me about it when you actually see me and I'll explain... it's too complicated to write out in only a few words. :)

Today, I woke up and played piano (I've been working on a song which I really like), woke up John and went to go get an emissions test for my car. Only thing is, I was a little wrong on where the testing place was and John and I wound up down near DU instead of where we were supposed to be. So... we wandered around a little, but finally found the place and my car passed its test (good car). We went to Safeway and got grub for John's friends (who came over tonight and watched "Back to the Future, Part 2") before we went and got Laura. Laura and I dropped John off and went to get my paycheck, which is short a day's pay (something I'm not too thrilled about).

But we went to Michael's and raided the clearance bins for note cards and ribbon and such. It was fun and everything was $1. I like it when everything is $1. It's more in my price range. And then, after a stop at DQ so Laura could write a note about her schedule (she goes back to work next week), I dropped her off at home and went home to pick things up and finish my laundry.

Which I did. And I ate dinner. And I picked up my floor so you can actually see it again. And I read some more of my book before I spent a lot of time looking at camp pictures and smiling widely. :)

You really wanted to know that much, I know you did. More later about camp. 'Night.

Mood: Apathetic Listening to: Bobby McFerrin
Reading: L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

11 July 2005

To Glory!

Trusting for each next step
We step once, then twice, and then again.
A brother falls; his steps, they end
And yet, we journey on.

Falling to this lifelong race,
We look right, then left, to gauge the pace.
For now, he sees Christ face-to-face
And still, we journey on.

To glory –
Take us home to glory!
(To freedom in that place)
To dance and sing where echoes ring in praise.
Take us to that day…

‘Til then, we journey on.

Running hard on this, our quest,
We pause, cease and take a breath,
Discovering hidden, unknown depths
To help us journey on.

The end in sight, we see the day
Approaching and in every way
We press on toward the sanctuary –
And journey on without tarry.

To glory –
Take us home to glory!
(To freedom in that place)
To dance and sing where echoes ring in praise.
Take us to that day…

‘Til then, we journey on.

We’ll cease within a place of peace
And find ourselves upon our knees –
Away from sin and then complete
In the place we will call “Home”.

©2005 Alyssa Kate Grinstead

08 July 2005

Gone Home to Glory...

Well I'm back from camp, but prematurely so.

John and I were planning on staying, at the least, through tomorrow morning to finish out Junior High camp and then we were hoping to stay on for the fourth and fifth graders next week, but God had other plans.

On Monday night, we received word from our parents that one of John's good friends from our high school youth group collapsed and died on the youth group's annual backpacking trip.

Nathan was one of 15-20 guys that have run together over the past four and a half years, growing in the Lord and becoming brothers along the way. All of them are like little brothers to me (some more than others) because of their friendship with John.

He graduated in May and was going to come to CSU in the fall and live in Newsom, which I was really excited about.

But God definitely had other plans and we need not ask "why?"

He's gone home to glory at the age of seventeen - reigning on high with our Lord and Savior, face-to-face, and now a part of the cloud of witnesses that surrounds us.

Praise the Lord!

There is such a comfort in knowing where Nathan is - such a great hope and joy is found in that knowledge.

Face-to-face! How I long to be where he is!

However, please be in prayer for his family, our church family, and for the others who were on the trip with him. There is a lot of sorrow and emotional damage. Pray for unity and strength in the church, and pray that Christ would be proclaimed boldly at the memorial service tomorrow (which is why John and I came back early).

We were so blessed to be at camp when we found out - we had work to do and little ones who were dependent upon us, so it kept us from breaking down completely and allowed us the opportunity to look at what happened from a very different perspective.

God definitely knew what He was doing when He placed us there to hear the news.

But I will write more about camp later. Right now, I'm worn out from chasing after middle-schoolers all week - it is time to sleep in my own bed.

God bless - He has plans for all of us.

Mood: Worn Listening to: downhere, downhere
Reading: Psalm 119