22 December 2006

The Coming

The whole earth sits on its edge
Yearning and straining in chains, it sighs,
for men do not know what is coming
but the woman, she labors into the night.

And the grass stands on its tiptoes
And the clouds in the heavens hang down
The camels stand watch and the man sits awake
To see how the lost and the cursed will be found.

For the angels are dancing above
While the ground trembles below
Yet in Bethlehem not a sound,
Not a shout – for the people don’t know
That the Savior is coming,
A child, yet a king -
The Savior is coming tonight!

The kings of Babylon wait -
Wondering when the star will appear.
For as soon as it shines, they’ll leave kingdoms behind
To see the one who will be born here.

For the prophets tell of His coming
And the covenant He will fulfill,
But the woman is already so weary –
In the night, she is laboring still.

But the angels are dancing above
While the ground trembles below
And in Bethlehem not a sound,
Not a shout – for the people don’t know
That the Savior is coming,
A child, yet a king –
The Savior is coming tonight!

So, rejoice! Rejoice!
Salvation comes to the rich and the poor.
He comes so sin and death are no more!
His borning cry will soon sound -
Calling men to rejoice and be found!

For the angels are dancing above
While the ground trembles below
Yet in Bethlehem not a sound,
Not a shout – for the people don’t know
That the Savior is coming,
A child, yet a king -
The Savior is coming tonight!

©2006 AKG

14 December 2006

On the Closing of College

This morning, I took the last exam of my compulsory college career. Halfway through, I stopped and asked myself how I would feel if that last exam turned out to have horrific results. When I finished, I realized anew that it didn't even matter.

Nonetheless, things have been very strange. There's no longer this week-by-week sense of dread due to looming assignments and deadlines - there's just this big void with a big question: Who is going to hire you and why? (Okay, two questions.)

But things have gone so smoothly that it is difficult to really notice much of the transition. I have worked myself silly this semester between work and school and the Voice that I have barely had time to look up and notice that it's now December, which means I need to finish my Christmas shopping (I've barely made a dent), figure out wedding details and find a job.

My days as a college student are over - all I have left is to turn in a paper and a project, pick up my cap and gown, and walk at commencement on Saturday. I'm graduating in the top three for my concentration (How did that happen?) and it's possible that I might have pulled straight-As this semester (for the first time in a long time). For me, the end of things has always been a motivator to finish as strong as I began (I did the same in high school).

But it's over. I'm currently working my last late-night desk shift. I finish moving out of Newsom tomorrow and I have my last desk shift tomorrow afternoon before heading home for a travel-filled weekend of visiting people all over the state while attempting to make everyone happy and still get to the JTC reception and (not to mention) my graduation on time.

Strange thing, this growing up. I'm actually starting to feel it. Sure, I can't ever suppress my inner child fully, but my inner child is beginning to see some of the realities of living in the land of adults. Crazy.

How beautiful is God's Word, though? I mean, seriously... I finished the second half of 1st Corinthians today (for the second time this week) and I was just blown away! The way Paul addresses people, whether in error or ignorance, reverberates with love. How I wish I reacted to everyone in that way!

As for now, I'm afraid I must vacuum the office and finish the remainder of my time here (40 minutes). Then it is off to bed for the one who got four hours of sleep last night and has to get up after five tonight.

'Tis so strange to be done, but I do suppose it is yet a wonderful thing - it means I get to marry Christopher that much sooner and, I must say, I heartily approve of that plan.

Mood: Contemplative Listening to: Copeland, Eat, Sleep, Repeat
Reading: Nothing - honestly

09 December 2006

Sat 1:09 AM

As Tom Brown says, the best place to be is definitely wherever Christ's church is.

What a way to celebrate the end of the semester - there's none better in my opinion.

Honestly, what could ever top worshiping for an hour and a half with brothers and sisters, watching a beloved director of the Rock be ordained as a pastor, eating food, praying for those leaving for El Paso, cleaning, wrestling and watching people play dodgeball?

What is normally a two-hour experience at most became a five-hour extravaganza that was well-rounded out with laughter. Laughter is so very good for the soul. As are good friends. As is being silly. As is praising God.

Especially the praising God.

And, it is the end of an era in so many ways - including the end of my classes at CSU. But I know and trust that God has incredible things planned and I'll rest in the wonder of all that He is until and past the time when those things are revealed.

Praise God for His glorious grace - that He would first love fools and then make them useful!

God is so good. So very good. And I affirm that with a sure "Amen!" because I know that whole-heartedly to be true with every fiber of my being. Amen!

Mood: Blessedly exhausted Listening to: Reuben Morgan, World Through Your Eyes
Reading: The clock that's telling me to go to sleep

05 December 2006

Encouragement for the men in my life

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and to rejoice in his labor - this is the gift of God. For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.

30 November 2006

What stands in the way

Growing more uneasy with every question asked
It seems You're jealous of my interests
and the graven things I've cast
Waking resolutions of twenty years or more
that I would disallow golden cows
my favorite anymore

Your wishes set in stone
I broke the first of ten
I cleared this temple out
Come take your place again

There is only You
There is only You

Tiptoe from an awkward scene, not fooling anyone
Am I dumb enough to kneel with my accusers or brave enough to run?
Petty daggers bounce weakly off my back
I'm leaving breathless gods and secrets in my track

Your wishes set in stone
I broke the first of ten
I cleared this temple out
Come take Your place again

There is only You
There is only You
Believe me
There is only You
There is only You

To a thousand generations of faithful men

[["There is Only You," Smalltown Poets]]

What stands in the way of my ability to get to the point where this is true in my life - that there is only Christ and Christ alone that sits upon the throne of my heart?

I get so distracted by every little thing, be it class or homework or work or crocheting a blanket or not feeling well at all, that I so easily take my eyes off of the One who should be in charge and in control of everything. How do we get to the point where the things we do lose their joy because we neglect to praise the One who gives them to us to do?

A few weeks ago at the Rock, Brandon Pullen spoke of keeping things in circles that are "just for me." Unfortunately, as a control freak, I have so many of these areas. Some, of course, are more obvious, but others are subtle, ranging from something as simple as getting ready in the morning to something as complex as finding time to get all of my work done.

How do we include Christ in those things? On the surface level, He's always aware of what we're doing, so that remains the easy part... But how do we include Him? How do we let Him in on everything we do, from the everyday and mundane to the most exciting parts of life? It's like we keep Him on the sidelines - and ignoring someone is never a good thing.

But I must admit that I readily welcome Christ into some areas of my life while ignoring His presence in others.

What honestly stands in the way? And what results from that?

Is that why I am incapable of getting things done when I should? Is that why I am incapable of finding motivation and joy in the everyday, mundane things? Is that why I am incapable to just let music be a part of my life? Is that why I find it so difficult to understand the living out of the Great Commission? Is that why I am incapable of just letting things go?

Is that why I constantly feel as though I have failed in almost every aspect of life?

Certainly, things are constantly changing, so there is always something new to surrender to Christ's lordship (and especially lately, when everything seems to be changing), but shouldn't there be a way to adapt that surrender in any situation?

Perhaps I'll fill you in on the details of why this is all so important today (of all days) later but, for now, I think I need simply to go and sit at my Savior's feet. He's waiting for me.

Mood: Defeated Listening to: Jennifer Knapp, Kansas
Reading: Ecclesiastes, Isaiah and Acts

23 November 2006

100 things to be thankful for

I am thankful for/that...
(in no particular order, with the exception of the first, and maybe more than 100)

1. My redemption through Christ's blood
2. I get to breathe regularly
3. God made the sky blue, even though it really isn't
4. My mom, who loves Scripture
5. My dad, who loves music
6. My brother, because he's awesome
7. The heritage of faith passed down from my grandparents
8. Having the chance to grow up and put down roots in one place for 14 years
9. Christopher
10. The staff of The Student Voice
11. A.W. Tozer, C.S. Lewis, John Piper and Mark Driscoll
12. Children, because they make me smile
13. SaraJane, Sangster and Danae
14. Emily putting up with me for 14 years
15. My little sister, Sammie Dearest
16. Mountaintop Retreat, its staff and campers
17. MountainView and Summitview Community churches
18. Nurse Peggy
19. Keith and Debbie
20. Having the opportunity to work
21. Having the opportunity to an education
22. Good books
23. Hymns and worship music
24. Musical instruments
25. Vocal chords that work to sing
26. Puppy dogs
27. My best friend, Laura
28. Abra Sue (my other little sister) and Brittany
29. Cristin and Missy
30. My beautiful roommates: Tina, Candace, Chelsea Anne and Liz
31. Thrift stores, for better use of my money
32. Foolish Things and their wives
33. CREW
34. Songwriters
35. Spiritual gifts
36. Things we cannot take credit for
37. D-Team Smith
38. The boys at 1300 LaPorte
39. The mountains
40. Skiing
41. Elise, because my brother loves her
42. My brother's friends, who encourage him
43. School's almost done
44. June 23 is approaching
45. The change to spend time with family
46. Cousins!
47. The Rentels
48. Reconnecting with old friends
49. Easy classes that still make me think
50. Mexican food
51. The legacy of 1SW Newsom Hall
52. Late-night shifts at the Newsom desk
53. Purpose
54. God's love for me
55. God's ability to still change me
56. The blessing of parents
57. Painting, crafts and their simplicity (crocheting, quilting, etc.)
58. Card games
59. Olathe sweet corn
60. Ramen, which often sustains me
61. Ice cream!
62. Girl dates and small group reunions
63. People who love me despite my nerdiness
64. Marla and the kitchen ladies
65. Pastor Don, Julie and the Catletts
66. New Life E-Free Church
67. Eyes
68. GCA churches
69. My Jersey cotton bedsheets
70. Faithful and reliable translations of the Bible
71. The Internet, which lets me talk to Jacqueline in China
72. People who give Chris and I gift cards
73. Crosswords, word searches and Sudoku puzzles
74. Comfortable jeans that are the right length
75. Journals - both blank and finished
76. The Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico (so blue!)
77. Prehensile toes
78. Science that points to a Creator
79. I don't have to follow society - I just have to follow Christ
80. How the body of Christ works together according to its design
81. Stuffed animals
82. Pictures of friends
83. The healing only Christ's grace can bring
84. Tea - iced and warm
85. Pie!
86. Everything is temporary in perspective of the Kingdom of Heaven
87. Beautiful flowers
88. Long drives with good friends
89. Our faith is not unreasonable
90. Rest
91. Laughter
92. Joy when I'm the furthest from it
93. Foxtrot and Pearls Before Swine
94. Hopeless romanticism
95. Everything worth having is worth waiting for
96. Christopher loves me beyond my comprehension
97. Warm showers and just-from-the-dryer laundry
98. Good cheese and good beer
99. Water!
100. Aspen trees
101. Freedom to gather and worship
102. Sunrises and sunsets
103. People with integrity
104. Clouds, stars and the moon
105. Perfect nights in November
106. The hope of what's to come
107. The great cloud of witnesses that surrounds us
108. The nation of Israel and God's faithfulness to them
109. The picture set up by the sacrificial system of what was necessary to redeem us
110. Quiet, fulfilled lives
111. Co-workers
112. Snow and how it covers the land
113. Cancelled classes and days off
114. Clean teeth
115. Long walks in the park
116. Family dinners
117. Puzzles
118. Good company
119. Old quilts
120. The grace to make it through another day

14 November 2006

Proverbs 16

The preparations of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
But the LORD weighs the spirits.

Commit your works to the LORD,
And your thoughts will be established.

The LORD has made all for Himself,
Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.

Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD;
Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.

In mercy and truth
Atonement is provided for iniquity;
And by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil.

When a man's ways please the LORD,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Better is a little righteousness,
Than vast revenues without justice.

A man's heart plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.

Divination is on the lips of the king;
His mouth must not transgress in judgment.
Honest weights and scales are the LORD's;
All the weights in the bag are His work.

It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness,
For a throne is established by righteousness.
Righteous lips are the delight of kings,
And they love him who speaks what is right.

As messengers of death is the king's wrath,
But a wise man will appease it.
In the light of the king's face is life,
And his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain.

How much better to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who keeps his way preserves his soul.

Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.

Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly,
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.

He who heeds the word wisely will find good,
And whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he.

The wise in heart will be called prudent,
And sweetness of the lips increases learning.

Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it.
But the correction of fools is folly.

The heart of the wise teaches his mouth,
And adds learning to his lips.

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.

There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.

The person who labors, labors for himself,
For his hungry mouth drives him on.

An ungodly man digs up evil,
And it is on his lips like a burning fire.
A perverse man sows strife,
And a whisperer separates the best of friends.
A violent man entices his neighbor,
And leads him in a way that is not good.
He winks his eye to devise perverse things;
He purses his lips and brings about evil.

The silver-haired head is a crown of glory,
If it is found in the way of righteousness.

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the LORD.

07 November 2006

Blessed beyond what I could ever need...

The past few days have been somewhat fuzzy... I remember Friday night and then a lot of squealing from various women in my life, a lot of hugs, and a lot of "Congratulations!"

When I last wrote, I spoke of holding to things too tightly. For me over the last few months, one of those things has been the timing for Chris and I to get married. And, the past few months and especially last weekend at the Rock Retreat, it was finally something that I was able to let go.

In July, I prayed about my fears regarding life post-graduation. I voiced those fears in questions and speculation about things to come. I was so disheartened by waking up in the middle of the night and finding no one next to me that I could barely think about anything else. I wasted much of my time this summer in holding too tightly to what I thought should happen.

But I voiced my discontentment and prayed for grace. And, in the last few weeks especially, God has granted it, re-focusing my mind and my heart onto Scripture and people and ministry and just letting me rest in the knowledge that He has the whole thing under control.

My prayer last week was one based out of Andrew Murray's "Absolute Surrender" from his book of the same name:
How beautiful is our salvation! How much I owe to Thee that can never be repaid!
O, how I long to utterly surrender, Jesus! How I long to have that heart which says, "All I have is Thine"! But I do not, so I ask it of You that You would give me that heart.
Whom have I to fear? Death and separation have no power over me! I have been placed with Christ in the heavenlies! To die is gain!
Let me be like the cup into which the tea is poured, empty and given up to the tea, and ready to not only stand but to fight for the Gospel in boldness and upon Truth.

And, as God has continued to teach me of these things and to increase this prayer, He has also granted me one of the deepest desires of my heart.

Friday night, Christopher asked me to marry him and I said, 'Yes." (Not that many, if any, people will be surprised by that). And, to be honest, I can't even begin to describe the overwhelming emotions that come over me every time I think of the fact that this man is going to be my husband.

How good is the Lord, to allow foolish people a chance to do things right? To plan our futures and watch our every steps, working out the timing in perfect fashion? To love us who deserve nothing and yet give us the desires of our hearts?

It is still so surreal. Even now, the fact that there is now a ring on my left ring finger does nothing to dispel the inability of this to sink in. I'm going to marry Christopher Reynolds and be his wife, and that is an incredible thing!

Regardless, I still have five and a half weeks of school left, the end of which I am eagerly anticipating and dreading simultaneously. I've begun looking at jobs and will begin applying this week.

As for now, I'm working my third shift at the desk in the last 24 hours and I was up until 5:30 a.m. writing a paper for my history class last night, so I'm somewhat exhausted and ready to go to bed, especially since it is now 2:20 a.m. and I still have over an hour and a half left on my shift.

I figure I'll maybe watch some television and write a letter to the love of my life. Sounds like a plan.

And now you know what's new with me. Keep us in prayer. We'll need it.

Mood: Euphoric Listening to: The Format, Dog Problems
Reading: Andrew Murray, Absolute Surrender

12 October 2006

You lose control when you hold too tight

It's amazing how true that has held to my life lately.

Week eight is almost done and I'm still not quite sure how I got here or how I got here so quickly, but I'm here. The times when I try to hold too tight to my schedule and getting all of my work done, I lose control of everything. Sometimes, the best thing that I can do is just force myself to go to bed instead of staying up to do work. Oh well.

The retreat last weekend was sweet. I enjoyed the time with my girls, the boys enjoyed their time in the wilderness, the small group enjoyed being leadership-free for the weekend. All seems to still be rolling along quite well, however.

And, now, issue 5 of the Voice is ready to be put together, which is still so strange. It's become such an incredible, regular part of my routine. It's always such a delight to see what people are writing and then be able to put together the whole package.

I'm really ready to be done with school. I feel like it's just taking time away from other things I could be doing, and though I want to quit (honestly), I'll still finish and hopefully, finish strong. It just takes a lot of motivation sometimes.

Anyway, I'm here to drop off some more pictures from Lauren and Greg's wedding and issue 4 of the Voice, in case you're wondering what went into it. My story about women wanting to be traditional that I wrote last spring made it in, in its entirety. It's an article that I put a lot of work into, so that's exciting.

Here you go...

The reason for the occasion, Lauren and Greg. She's so pretty.

My best friend, Laura, and her husband, Andy. They got married a month after Lauren and Greg.

Chris and I at the wedding. I'm not quite sure what my face is doing, but it's weird.

Much better. You can barely see me at all. :)

And Issue #4 of The Student Voice!

Mood: Reluctant to go to class Listening to: Copeland, Eat, Sleep, Repeat
Reading: My second integration project for JT480

02 October 2006

The Student Voice!!!

Here are the first three issues of the newspaper in .pdf format.

Just in case you're wondering what has been eating my life...

If you haven't checked it out, you should check it out.

Issue #1

Issue #2

Issue #3

Picture fun...

I took pictures off of Abra's camera... :) It's okay. She knew I was doing it (at least she knew I was looking for pictures for Mike's article for the SV yesterday, so... she kind of knew).

I like Abra. People always forget what happens when we're together and then they remember very quickly.

Chris and I don't take the best pictures. I have a tendency to look high, and he has a tendency to do strange things in order to try and make a better picture. This was on the way to Denver for GCLI Saturday morning. Crazy good stuff.

We were trying not to focus on the fact that Abra was taking a picture of us at IHOP a few weeks back. I'm not quite sure what's up with the crazy side view of my head, but the rest of the picture isn't that bad. Chris has shaved since then.

01 October 2006

My time seems to be worth so much more than it used to...

I used to sit around between classes and talk to people. I used to play computer games and watch television and read books. Now, if I have free time, I'm usually asleep, working, at the front desk, or working at the boys' house. I have to force myself to take time out of my day and relax sometimes. It is at those times that I realize I am six weeks into my last semester of school.

In the past week, I worked 16 hours at the desk, three for CHI, 10 hours on the newspaper, went to seven of nine classes, contracted a cold, played guitar every day except yesterday, met with three of the ladies on our team, attended a myriad of events, conducted two interviews and decided that I wanted to quit everything.

Oh, if only I hadn't signed my graduation contract a few weeks back!

All in all, however, I'm doing more than fine most of the time. It just sucks when you're exhausted and you have a cold and you have to get work done, and all you want to do is crawl up into a ball and cry yourself to sleep (that's what happens when I'm supremely exhausted).

But God is faithful. He has placed a premium on my time, to be sure. I have so few chances to be lazy anymore, and that is such a blessing.

I get a break this week from the newspaper, as it's not a layout week and I don't have a story to write. I do, however, have the retreat to finalize (music and my talk for Sunday), my first article for my capstone due Wednesday and a big honkin' history exam Friday. Some days, I think I'm just along for the ride... trying to keep up with my life.

Whelp, I have to go drop off Christopher's stuff at the house and get to the church for the Student Voice meeting. Then, life kicks into gear again. At least my room is clean again.

Mood: Um... Listening to: The Waiting, Unfazed
Reading: The latest issue of the Student Voice - on stands Oct. 3!

27 August 2006

Falling back into step

Needless to say, the last two weeks have been somewhat blurry. Between the newspaper, work, classes, orientation, and everything else, I have barely had time to breathe, it seems.

And yet, here I am, falling back into step with the school lifestyle, taking it one day at a time because the big picture is a little frightening at times. To top it off, I'm currently procrastinating on an article for the Voice and listening to clips from Adam Watts' new album (an independent release that comes out September 1st!) and I'm blown away all over again. There's just something about the way he writes and puts together music...

I finally finished unloading my room today, after having been here for over two weeks. It's nice to finally feel like I'm, at the least, in control of my living space again.

Now, however, I must press forward toward the goal of having a paper to print at the end of the week and toward passing my capstone, which includes writing cover letters so that I can begin applying for jobs this week (which is crazy, I must say).

I've been blessed in that God might have just dropped a post-graduation living arrangement in my lap that would let me stay here in Fort Collins, living off of my savings until I find a job up here. I just have to keep praying. Lots. :)

Mood: Sunburnt (!) Listening to: Adam Watts, Sleeping Fire
Reading: Andrew Beaujon, Body Piercing Saved My Life: Inside the phenomenon of Christian rock

10 August 2006

Draw Me Nearer

I am Thine, oh Lord - I have heard Your voice and it told Your love to me
But I long to rise in the arms of faith and be closer drawn to Thee

Draw me nearer to the cross where Thou hast died
Draw me nearer to Your precious bleeding side

There are great depths of love that I cannot know 'til I cross the narrow sea
And there are heights of joy that I may not reach 'til I rest in peace with Thee

Draw me nearer to the cross where Thou hast died
Draw me nearer to Your precious bleeding side

You draw me with Your mercy
You draw me with Your love
You draw me with forgiveness by Your blood
You draw me with compassion
You draw me as a bride
You draw me closer to Your precious side

Consecrate me now to Your service, Lord, by the Power of grace divine
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope and my will be lost in Thine.

[[Caedmon's Call, In the Company of Angels II: The World Will Sing]]


You missed it, didn't you?

The whole summer is just gone.

And if that isn't crazy enough, my life is about to become chaotically beautiful.

Still not tracking, huh?

I have one semester of school left. That's four classes and some work.

I have two jobs this semester, other than being a student, because I'm both working the front desk at Newsom and keeping my current job part time.

I'm helping out with the Rock's newspaper (which I'm actually really excited about because I'm a nerd and I get to do what I enjoy - layout and editing). I might write a few pieces here and there, but I really don't know.

Small group is going to be awesome simply because it has good people, and good people serving and fellowshiping alongside one another is just a wonderful thing.

I'm living in the dorms, I'm playing and teaching at a retreat in October, and I'm graduating! I'm probably going to go crazy, but it will be beautiful. I just need to have an attitude of prayerful diligence.

I will not be lazy!

Busy, busy, busy... but I'm excited about everything. God has blessed me with opportunities that are incredible. If I have no homework to do, I can even do work for my one job at my other job. The paper will help build my resume for things that pertain to my actual degree. And I'm living in the dorms with Liz, which allows for situations in which I will have to be bold and step out in faith.

This is going to be one massive learning curve.

Mood: Boggled Listening to: Caedmon's Call, In the Company of Angels II
Reading: Christopher's blog

01 August 2006


While I was bored at work today, I decided to change all of my passwords so that they now match, whereas they had been variations and other variations. The problem is now that I forget sometimes that I changed my passwords. Bummer.

Seven more days... Seven more days...

Wedding season is done for this year, and I'm very grateful. I'm excited for those that have gotten married, but the whole process is stressful for me for a lot of reasons, and I'm ready for a breather.

Chris is coming up tomorrow afternoon and I'm leaving work early, for which I am very excited. I like him and people tell me that's a good thing, so I think I'll stick with it. He's at his grandmother's cabin tonight, so... I can't exactly talk to him due to lack of cell phone service (not that we've had luck with that lately anyway - if Cingular has the fewest dropped calls of any network, I don't even want to know what the other networks are like).

My study of Daniel is fast ending. I had onion rings tonight. And I plan on sleeping for a long time.

That's my update. For more information, please wait a week or two. I'll be back at school by then and that means... Well, I don't really know what that means but my life will once more be slightly more exciting.

Mood: Sleepy Listening to: The Rockies/Brewers game on TV
Reading: Daniel 10

21 July 2006

Checking the Time

Every once in a while, I will be reminded of how history is hurtling toward a close. It's amazing how many times I will check the clock during the course of a day at work, but it is equally - if not more so - amazing how often I neglect what is coming.

We're still sowing in the finite fields/ We're so content to live under a curse/
We're still fabricating paradise/ With the thorns, with the flies and dirt

How content I am to live under the curse - to toil all day long for earthly things and not know satisfaction!

How desperately I need to break myself of the fear that comes at the thought of casting everything aside for what is infinite and eternal!

This is just the flesh, it's just the blood/ It's really not, it's not that tough/
The bruised, the fragile, cut up, scratched and scarred/
It's the feeble - just the feeble stuff

What a sense of entitlement I have even to my own body, to find rest, to know life.

Tonight, Chris was telling me about how he doesn't want us to lead mediocre Christian lives and, while I agree whole-heartedly with him, the whole concept terrifies me and it always has.

But if we never fully cede ourselves to the things that are not of this earth, we will never know safety. We will always live in fear and be chained to things that we were never meant to serve. Nothing but the blood of Christ satisfies the price for our sin and nothing else gives us life - how can we not fall at Christ's feet? How can we not serve the eternal, the sovereign, the holy God who loves us and sent His only Son to die for us?

Salvation - safety in every sense possible - is only found in one Name.

And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old me shall dream dreams.

[[Acts 2:17]]

What God has planned that we know so little of! An outpouring of the Holy Spirit, prophesy, visions, dreams...

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
[[Matthew 24:14]]

Even if we live in suburban America or post-Christian Europe, the gospel of Christ is still to be preached in all the world before the end is to come. Are we preaching? Are we even trying? Or are we living mediocre lives of contentment rooted in things that are finite and feeble?

In so many ways, I know I'm not even trying. Sure, I hope that my life is marked by something other than myself but, if those around me are seeing me instead of Christ, there should be more than that! This world may be crippled by its absorption by sin and self (see 2 Timothy 3:1-5), but it not only expresses it as sin - it also expresses itself in what we call "ethics" and "morality".

"Good" people are everywhere, but that is no indication of a saved life to a dying world. It's a mark of success, not a Savior.

So the question becomes this: When people see my life, do they see a difference that goes beyond morality, that is unexplainable by any finite thing?

If not, then I have work to do. Then, my actions are not being a witness to the Gospel - they are just being witness to worldly standards that anyone can have. Am I marked by the Gospel? Do others see Christ's blood covering me?

This world is increasingly darker, but filled with false light - those who don't know will never know unless they see real light for themselves.

It's dark outside but truth is beautiful/ Its warmth in the night/
The curse is healed when the day breaks colorful/ What a sight

The faded sky is tearing away/ These fires are not for light/
The feeble eyes are waiting for day/ The sky's alive tonight

The days of darkness are ending. In time, Bourbon Street in New Orleans will shut down for more than just an evening - lightning will split the sky and all that is not covered by grace will not stand. And our King will reign.

Are you checking the time? Can anyone tell?

Don't make yourself at home.

[["Upgrade" and "The Sky's Alive" - lyrics by Remedy Drive, 2006]]

Mood: Um... Listening to: Remedy Drive, Rip Open the Skies
Reading: Daniel 9

19 July 2006

The best laughs in life

Include Slavo singing "Can't Touch This" and talking about baggy pants in the next cube over. Highlight of the day, for sure.

Still laughing... :)

Project du Jour


Yes, it's true, and I have brought my quilt to work with me. I just spent 20 minutes cutting squares so I can start on the next two rows, which, dependent upon how much work I don't have to do today, I might finish in the next seven hours.

And I have no cavities, which is good. The dentist told me so this morning.

Is it bad that I just want to sleep until someone gives me work to do? 'Cause that's really what I want to do right now. Well, there's other things I'd like to do right now, but I'm not allowed to do those either. Bummer, dude.

So, back to quilting it is!

Mood: Sleepy Listening to: KT Tunstall, Eye to the Telescope
Reading: The time [10:35am], which means it's not time to sleep

17 July 2006

Crocheting on the Clock

So, I once more have nothing to do (surprise!).

Because of this, I just finished crocheting myself a cover for my Bible. It turned out all right for the little amount of work I actually put into it and, since I haven't had work to do, it's like I was paid to crochet a cover for my Bible, so it's really not that bad of a gig.

I'm going to turn to reading now and finish The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for about the zillionth time. Then I might color and start my way toward finishing another book. And, who knows, I might actually get some work at some point during the day.

Tomorrow, I'm bringing quilting stuff. I figure, as long as I'm here, I might as well stop whining about how work is not what it should be and stop playing computer games and do stuff that I've been putting off forever that are on my to-do list for the summer. A little crocheting? Quilting? Cross-stich? Much better than Solitaire, which makes you go crazy.

That's all, I do believe. I'm being broken pretty heavily right now but, to be honest, I'm nine weeks into my summer and it's about time. God has blessed me so much by keeping my mind at bay for this long, which was previously thought seemingly impossible.

It's all proof that I'm growing and that God is still in the process of refining my mind. Praise be to God!

Mood: Content, surprisingly Listening to: A quiet office
Reading: C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,
Ed Decker & Dave Hunt, The God Makers

14 July 2006


So, between this time last night and this evening when I left work, I listened to and watched seven sermons.

Yes, I put up with Mark Driscoll for that long and it was awesome.

Granted, I now have seven sermons' worth of points swimming around in my head and my brain is somewhat mushy. And it's not just sermon points from short sermons, either. These are Mark Driscoll sermons, so we're talking about an hour apiece and jam-packed with good stuff.

Sermons definitely worth listening to:
"The Weaker Christian" - Excellent. And humorous.
"Paying Your Pastors" - Wonderful presentation of a very sensitive issue.
"Resisting Idolatry Like Jesus" - One of the most thought-provoking messages I've heard in a long time. Still processing...
"Women and Femininity" - Super intense. This was like listening to myself rant, but with actual proof.
"Women as Wives" - Definitely a more serious sermon, but important things for women to remember as wives.

All can be found at www.marshillchurch.org under their Downloads\Sermons\ section. The ones about women are under Practical Topics\Women and the others are under Books of the Bible\1st Corinthians.

I also listened to "Women as Homebuilders" and "The Lord's Supper," which were good, too but, as you can tell, I already have trouble narrowing it down to the five of seven that stood out. I'm a nerd, LOL.

Good stuff. Also good is "Missional Ministry," about contextualizing the Gospel. Time for Kate to sleep!

Mood: Sleepy Listening to: Remedy Drive, Rip Open the Skies
Reading: C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

13 July 2006

Yeah, you can definitely say that Christopher wins. Hands down.


That's how many minutes I used last month, which is more than the three other members of my family combined.

Turns out I'm a girl after all.

I haven't broken it down yet, but I'm pretty sure Christopher wins. I'll let you know.

08 July 2006

Buyer Beware

We try to get [joy] through entertainment. We pay someone to make jokes, tell stories, perform dramatic actions, sing songs. We buy the vitality of another's imagination to divert and enliven our own poor lives. The enormous entertainment industry in America is a sign of the depletion of joy in our culture. Society is a bored, gluttonous king employing a court jester to divert it after an overindulgent meal. But that kind of joy never penetrates our lives, never changes our basic constitution. The effects are extremely temporary - a few minutes, a few hours, a few days at most. When we run out of money, the joy trickles away.
[[Eugene Peterson]]

06 July 2006


In honor of my 250th post, I will proceed to post something completely worthless and inane. Humor me, please. I've done very little today.

50 Questions!

1) Name? Alyssa Kate Grinstead
2) What time is it? 1:01pm
3) Birthday? May 16, 1985
4) Pets? 2 dogs (Singer and Dancer)
5) Favorite animal? Dogs and teddy bears
6) Do you have any tattoos or piercings? Only one hole in each ear
7) Favorite vacation spot? Europe (I especially like Austria and Germany)
8) Have you ever stolen a traffic sign? No
9) Croutons or Bacon Bits? Both?
10) Have you ever been in a car crash? Unfortunately, yes
11) Do you drive a 2 Door, or 4 Door car? Four doors
12) Do you drink coffee? Why would I?
13) What is your favorite salad dressing? Italian, Ranch
14) What is your favorite color? Blue
15) What is the last movie you saw? “Eight Below”
16) What is your favorite number? 16
17) What is your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving
18) What is your favorite food? Chinese, Italian, Mexican (I like food)
19) What is your favorite song of the moment? “Look After You” by the Fray
20) What is your favorite TV show? Gilmore Girls
21) What is the last book you finished? “Has God Finished with Israel?” by Rob Richards and "The Devil Wears Prada" by Lauren Weisberger
22) Do you wear perfume? What kind? Occasionally – “Pure” (that’s all I know… sorry)
23) Who is your favorite Beatle? Um… the one with the hair
24) What is your favorite scent? Just-clean-from-the-shower smell
25) When was your last hospital visit? When I went to get a shot a few weeks ago
26) Favorite non-alcoholic/alcoholic drink? Good Colorado water/ Haven’t had enough to tell you, but it’s definitely not champagne
27) Where do you see yourself in ten years? Hopefully married
28) What time is it now? 1:06pm
29) What is your favorite quote? Can I just give you my book instead?
30) How tall are you? Five feet, three and one-half inches
31) What color are your eyes? Bluish-green
32) What is your favorite fictional female character? Anne of “Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery
33) What is your favorite fictional male character? Father Tim of the Mitford series by Jan Karon
34) New York or LA? New York
35) Person you’d most like to have a conversation with right now? Christopher
36) Best year You’ve ever had? This past one, but life gets better all the time, so…
37) Do you have an arch-enemy? Only the lion who seeks to devour my soul
38) Person you would most like to run into walking down the street today? Christopher. What can I say? I kind of like him!
39) What would make you happy to hear your boss say? “I’m giving you a raise”
40) Whats your favorite book of all time? Aside from the Bible, “Anne of Green Gables” and “Till We Have Faces” by C.S. Lewis
41) Favorite cookie? Peanut butter, but butterscotch brownies are better
42) Favorite Sesame Street Character? Elmo
43) Favorite Fast Food Joint? Wendy’s or Burger King, depends on the day
44) In what store would you choose to max out your credit card? Unique Thrift
45) What word or phrase do you overuse? “Incredible”
46) Situation in which you earned karmic points? Don’t need ‘em, so it doesn’t matter
47) Situation in which you lost karmic points? Don’t need ‘em, so it doesn’t matter
48) What song can you not get out of your head? “Lift Jesus Higher” from camp
49) Say something random. “I want a ChopWizard.”
50) What time is it now? 1:16pm


I promise I'm not psychotic... I'm just excited and really, really bored.

Still no work. Please, somebody - give me something to do!

Back to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

It's a good thing I at least brought a book with me today.

Once again, ladies and gentlemen…

I have nothing to do. I’ve already wasted about an hour checking e-mail and other people’s blogs (which never get updated – ahem!) and I read two chapters in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which I will probably continue with as soon as I sign off of Blogger.

Only six more hours… and then I’m leaving. I don’t really care if that’s only at 4pm or that I’m only putting in slightly over 20 hours for the week. I’m just sick of sitting here with nothing to do and my mind is definitely not here with the wedding and Chris getting in tomorrow and the fact that the song I’m performing Sunday (that was originally just fine, but needed some work) is now racing around in my head in shambles and nowhere near where it needs to be.

I had a strange dream last night, but I no longer remember what it was about. It was one of those that you know was good because you wanted to just stay asleep as long as possible and hold onto its last threads. But it was weird – that’s just a default these days.

Sprite Zero: No Sugar. No Carbs. Low Sodium. I have to curb my two-soda-a-day habit at work. That’s what happens when there are free sodas. One in the morning and one with lunch. I’m eating the rest of my Chipotle burrito from yesterday for lunch today so I can “work” through lunch and go home at four o’clock.

Last night was fun. We went to Red Robin for dinner with Emily and one of Laura’s friends and enjoyed some good food (wings – yum!). Then, Laura and I went to the mall where I proceeded to make her wear the veil I made Tuesday until she left my presence and went home. She was a little bitter, but that’s okay – I can live with that.

Sammie has come up with what is perhaps the best idea ever. She is sending me an e-mail every day with a picture of herself (or two, or three). That way, I can see her every day! Since she is at camp this week, she sent me my week’s worth on Monday morning and I have been enjoying them ever since. What can I say? I’m easily entertained.

I finished week five in my Daniel study. The fifth chapter is so insane. Belshazzar gathers together a thousand nobles for a feast and a hand appears to write on the wall:

Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin

Mene: (“A Shekel”) God numbered the days of the kingdom and put an end to it.

Tekel: (“Shekels”) God weighed Belshazzar on the scales of men with authority and Belshazzar was found wanting and deficient.

Peres: (“A Half-Shekel,” Upharsin is the plural) God had already divided the kingdom between the Medes and Persians (play on words, too: Peres).

And, then, Belshazzar was killed that very night. Why?

Because he failed to follow Nebuchadnezzar’s lead in humbling himself, even though he knew that it was required of him.

God told Belshazzar the same thing three times, in three different ways, and he still failed to turn from his sin and pride.

We humans are such stubborn, prideful creatures. God have mercy on us.

On the more random side of things, I should find a countdown mechanism and employ it for myself… At least it would move and I could watch it count down when I have nothing to do today.

‘Cause it looks like it’s going to be that kind of day. Bummer.

Mood: Bored Listening to: Co-workers freaking out
Reading: C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

05 July 2006

Nothing to do...

So, I'm at work and I have stalled in my quest for consuming my time with what I'm actually being paid to be here for: work. I keep waiting to hear from others about what I might be able to do (my boss, a few other co-workers).

The thing is that I really don't want to be here. I have enough to do tonight and then from Friday through Monday that I just want to get on with it. And I'd like to sit and relax a little bit, too, if I get the chance.

Last week was incredible. To be at camp when I thought that I wasn't going to be able to go out this year was so beyond what I ever imagined. The teens we worked with were some of the best we've ever had and you could see the Spirit moving in so many of them. The only problems come in with those that break your heart because they are not allowing the Spirit to move in their lives and help them in overcoming all that this world has to offer them.

How wonderful to be refreshed and renewed in God's Word and in His fellowship for several days, to have anything and everything required of you 24 hours a day, to know that there is an eternal purpose in all that is being done - whether it be making sure kids don't kill each other on the waterslide or getting up to pick up another pitcher of Kool-Aid.

To be honest, there is no place on earth that I am happier or more challenged, and there is no place on earth that I would rather be than at Mountaintop. Every year, it is such a blessing to see God's handiwork in the lives of youth. Every year, it is such a blessing to find myself changed at the end of each day.

But it is also a source of heartbreak. The past few days, I've been weeping over past campers and staff members who have chosen paths other than those the Lord has provided for them. They have taken on Babylon's motto: "I am, and there is none besides me".

And it radically alters their lives.

Yet there are success stories as well, which bring such abundant joy. It is so evident that some of my campers have let Christ remain victorious in their daily living, even at such a young age.

And the salvation that is won! God is certainly gracious!

That doesn't even begin to describe camp, though. To do that, I would require thousands of pages - there are just too many memories and instances of God's grace and glory. Praise be to God Most High!

But now, I am home (even though I am at work), and I am finding it hard to sit still. When they re-imaged my machine prior to my departure for camp, they failed to re-install Solitaire and Minesweeper on my computer, so my time-consuming fallbacks are no longer in position. Instead, I have been known to twiddle my thumbs.

Maybe I'll work on the camp manual that I told Deb I'd work on this fall. Hmm...

Anyway, tonight the wedding chaos ensues. The ladies are headed out for Laura's bachelorette party this evening. Friday, Chris gets in from New Orleans and Laura, Katie and I are getting our nails done. Saturday, decorating, rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner will occupy my time and then, Sunday, the wedding will take up pretty much the whole day because I'm sure I'll spend some time calming Laura down in regards to anything that might be wrong. But I'm sure everything will be more than fine. The details are all set... it just now needs to all come together and work. No problem.

I'm contemplating leaving at 4pm. There's just nothing for me to do and I'm already anticipating fewer hours anyway because I didn't work yesterday (July 4) and I'm not planning on working Friday, so it doesn't really matter - I'll probably end up with the same amount anyway because they won't take out so much for taxes. And I'm not working Monday either. I keep praying that God helps me not freak out about it - I have more than enough, so I should have no worries about finances whatsoever.

If only I wasn't so preoccupied by saving money so I don't fall on my face when I finish college... it's only six months away!

How does time fly so fast? Only God knows.

Mood: Slightly incoherent Listening to: Some weird vibrating noise
Reading: Contemplating The Chronicles of Narnia again

24 June 2006


Do you know how long it's been since I was last up and awake at midnight?

A really, really long time.

How strange... I repeat: one day, I will be a very happy morning person.

Creepy. Good and kind of cool, but creepy.

That's all. 'Night.

Mood: Ready for bed Listening to: Bethany Dillon, Imagination
Reading: My brother's blog

22 June 2006

Catching my breath

The past few days have been kind of nuts here at work. It's like they just realized that they need all of this stuff done before things go live at the end of next week and, so, I am winding up being the beneficiary - I have been running around like a madwoman throwing documents together when I don't even know what is really needed.

It's kind of intense.

But it's kept me busy, which has been wonderful. I've gone home the last few nights and just been exhausted, which is entertaining. My bedtime has shifted considerably since leaving college only six weeks ago. Last night, I was in bed around ten after I played piano for a while and read my Bible and some other stuff.

I must apologize, though, to anyone who calls me when I am halfway asleep - it's not intentional, it just happens. I'm not exactly coherent and I'm not exactly entertaining when I sound like I'm drugged (I'm not, don't worry).

Tonight, I'm going to Laura's to help out with some wedding stuff and figure out scheduling and stuff since I'm not going to be here next week and the wedding is the week after. There's so much to do and not enough time to get it all done!

But things have finally died down a little here at work, although I do think it will pick back up after lunch. It sounds like I have a lot of work to try and get done as fast as humanly possible, which for me means by tomorrow.

So... this could get interesting. In a lot of ways, my mind is already heading out to camp, which isn't the best scenario, but one that is definitely a reality. It's too tempting to just start packing things up and that kind of thing - all I can really let myself do is keep praying and wait for tomorrow night to roll around.

Things have been a lot better lately. God has given me a desire to be in His Word again, which has been such a blessing - how much we are renewed by a daily washing in Scripture! Beth Moore's study on Daniel has been good at pointing out and connecting things that I know to be true.

But, still, pray for me - if only because I will be with what could be 40-60 teenage girls next week and a young staff (which will be strange because that never happens). Spiritual warfare is always running rampant at Mountaintop and every year is different, so we need as much prayer as we can get.

Pastor Don and his wife have already been up on the hillside praying for weeks. They come earlier every year, each one more fervent to see those that walk in the camp gates come to know a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, their Savior.

Well, I'm going to see if my boss is around now. Perhaps she'll have something that's not documentation-related for me to do. That might be nice for a change.

Mood: Sluggish Listening to: A rare quiet in the office
Reading: Rob Richards, Has God Finished with Israel?

20 June 2006

Brain Food

"Only in the reflecting pool of the poured-out life can man finally see who he is."
[[Beth Moore]]

I like Beth Moore. And I like the fact that I get to go sleep very soon.

Mood: Good and tired Listening to: Nothing, actually
Reading: Rob Richards, Has God Finished with Israel?

19 June 2006

There's only so much you can do...

...when you don't permanently work somewhere.

I am currently awaiting further instruction and information regarding a few projects that I have been commissioned to work on. Amazingly, I have had about three hours' worth of work to do today, which is up from the 20-30 minutes I did some days last week. Good news for me, especially when I didn't get a full 40 hours in last week and I won't be around next week.

Why not? You might ask. I'm going to camp (yay!).

I'm going out to help out for the week and then I'm coming back for the week leading up to Laura's wedding, which includes several exciting but not-yet-planned activites. There is so much to do when it comes to weddings.

Honestly, I just want to hand most of it over to someone else and have them deal with the details. Sure, I want to have a say in things, but I don't really want to put in the legwork. We'll see how that works when I do get married - I might care more than I think I will. I hope not, but we'll see.

Tonight, I'm going out with Laura and Emily for a girls' night. Andy is going to be our driver (which I'm sure he is just thrilled about).

Other than that, life is pretty bland. I finally finished my quilt, sang with the worship team yesterday, and continue to try and catch a live version of Chris every few days instead of his voicemail while he's in New Orleans.

Funny boy. I sent a package to him this morning. It's contents? A copy of the USA-Italy World Cup game from last Saturday. He wanted it; I sent it.

What can I say? I'm just a sucker, I guess. That happens when you miss someone that you love. Oh well. I don't care. I'll be happier for it in the long run, so it doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks.

I've been learning a lot lately, for sure. I started Beth Moore's study on Daniel and have almost finished the second week. The different things that she ties in are so appropriate for where I am right now and it has been such a blessing.

And I finished "Whatever Happened to Worship" by A.W. Tozer, of which the last two chapters are pretty mentally challenging. Good stuff, though. Good stuff.

Today, I have laminated a project that I have been working on for a while now. I also managed to "find" time to organize some stuff into binders and send out a bunch of emails. My boss is gone through Wednesday, so there's even less to do than normal. I had to solicit various people in the department to see if anyone had anything for me to do.

Gotta go deliver the laminated deliverables now. What a life I lead!

Mood: Not sure, but good Listening to: People talk over cubicles
Reading: Old e-mails, old accountability stuff

13 June 2006

Disk space

So... my dad just bought four 40GB hard drives so we can start recording.

That's the best news I've heard in a while, though now comes the actual grunt work.

Oh well... recording is hard, but it's a beautiful thing.

That's it. I need some sleep because my body needs to stop waking me up before my alarm goes off... stupid morning adjustment thing.

I'm starting to resign myself to the fact that I will be a morning person someday, and a very happy one at that.

But it still weirds me out.

Mood: Tired Listening to: The doorbell that just rang
Reading: My list of crazy dreams - my subconscious needs help

12 June 2006

The disadvantages of being home-bound...

I feel like I'm just existing, which is crazy, but almost completely true. It's too much effort to try and fit myself into the lives of others simply because my life isn't here. I just don't have the energy.

Over the past few weeks, it has been confirmed that I am meant to be here - I have a job, for crying out loud! A full-time, be-here-until-you-go-back-to-school job that keeps me busy and distracted and is allowing me to save up money while I live under my parents' roof and enjoy the rain every evening as I go to bed earlier than I have in over a year so I can get up and see hours I have rarely seen in the past year and do it all over again.

It's great... it's just always the same.

Except my dreams. They keep changing, for sure. I've had so many bizarre dreams recently that I'm starting to write them down in order to speculate crazily about whether or not there's any pattern to the madness. There's not even really anyone to tell anything to, either.

And, after tomorrow, pretty much all of my friends are in Louisiana or some other distant place that is unreachable by an hour and a half or less in the car. I know I'll be fine... but right now I just want to do what I've been doing a lot of the time over the past few days - I just want to curl up in my bed and let myself cry.

This is to be such a time of stretching, I know... but I already feel as though I've reached my limit and it's barely begun. The next seven weeks are going to chew me up and spit me back out in ways I never dreamed of (no matter how bizarre my dreams get).

I'll be stronger in the end. God will bless me for remaining where I am to be.

It's just that I ask the same question as C.S. Lewis: How painful will "the best" turn out to be?

Only time will tell.

Until then, pray for me.

Mood: Depressed Listening to: My ceiling fan
Reading: Nothing - I finished The Devil Wears Prada last night

06 June 2006

Working "hard"

I'm currently at my job and I have nothing to do. And my boss is in a meeting until (supposedly) 12:30... at which point I will have done nothing for approximately three hours. But I have a job, which is really good because it's full-time for the rest of the summer.

John comes home Friday. Chris leaves Tuesday. Lauren and Greg are moving to Texas as soon as they get back from their honeymoon. Too much moving about.

Well... I'm going to find something to do now.

Mood: Bored Listening to: Cubicle noises
Reading: About a baby in China with three arms

29 May 2006

All I have for tonight

I just got back from spending the day with Chris' family in the Springs and it was a good day. I played with kids and got to spend some time with Chris, as well as some time with his brother and sister-in-law (who are moving this week across the country). So it was good.

But now I'm tired, so that's all I can say.

Except for the fact that downhere's Wide-eyed and Mystified is incredible. "Little is Much," "The Real Jesus," and "Remember Me" are especially incredible lyrically, but I'm in love with the whole thing. You should check it out. 'Night.

Mood: Very sleepy Listening to: downhere, Wide-eyed and Mystified
Reading: Nothing tonight - the brain is too fuzzy

26 May 2006

And the alphabet goes like this:


Or at least I think it does. Right now it does. Earlier it didn't. All week it hasn't.

That's the thing about filing papers for eight hours a day. You don't always know where something goes because you don't remember the correct order of all the letters.

Oh well. It was work and work is good for me.

Too bad I'm too tired to do much of anything else.

The weekend's here, which is nice. I can sleep tomorrow and Sunday I'm going down to Colorado Springs to spend time with Chris and his family (and when I say "family," I'm pretty sure I mean just about the whole thing, but I'm not sure - that needs to be clarified). And then I need to focus on finding work for next week and the week after... that would be good.

I need to stop eating popcorn now.

Mood: Sleepy Listening to: Sara Groves (all of her albums on shuffle)
Reading: A.W. Tozer, Whatever Happened to Worship?

22 May 2006

Suddenly Homesick

Today was a good day. I went in to work, had to wait until it was verified that I was working, took a nap in the meantime (which was a major blessing), worked all day, came home, spent time with the parents watching movies and, most importantly, kept my mind off of what I need work to help me keep my mind of off.

But as soon as I went up to my room and listened to the recording on someone's voicemail, I felt so incredibly homesick.

So, I focused my attention to reading, reading Ezekiel 26 and finishing "The Dangerous Duty of Delight" by John Piper.

I must say I still don't know what to take away from this little book. I understand the concepts - his explication of Christian Hedonism is incredibly well-done, but I just don't know what it looks like practically for me in this time and place.

Perhaps I'm just overthinking all of this. Maybe it's a heck of a lot simpler than I'd like to think it is... I just can't get my brain to that point. 

There are so many things that I desire, believing that they are good desires, but can I truly set them aside for the joy set before me? Can I set them aside in joy and not as a sacrifice? Where there is "sacrifice," there is some level of self-pity, so how do I separate out what has been so thoroughly mixed?

It is so beautiful when it storms. I remember watching the thunderheads roll in and the lightning jump between clouds when I was younger - I anticipated it every summer. 

A storm is beginning inside of me, but I cannot enjoy it as I do the seasonal thunderstorms. 

Perhaps that is where my greatest lesson is to be found.

Mood: Contemplative Listening to: The stillness after the storm
Reading: John Piper, The Dangerous Duty of Delight

20 May 2006

Something's different...

If you haven't figured it out yet, I changed the template for my blog. You do 235 posts with one layout and it kind of gets old after a while.

I am currently sitting in my room enjoying the fact that I am neither too warm nor too cold and it is a Saturday night after a good Saturday. I'm tired, but it would be stupid to take a nap given that 1) it's 9:07pm and 2) I already took one today. So, no nap. I might try to go to bed early, but we'll see how that turns out.

Yesterday, I worked for eight hours filing annual performance reviews for a national company. And there's still plenty to do, but I don't know if I have work next week or not (contrary to my original assignment - there's a lot of confusion on whether or not the company's supposed to have a temp next week or not). So... still waiting on that. It would be nice to be able to work because 1) it gives me something to do, even if meticulous and 2) it pays well and my whole plan for the summer is to work so that I can earn some money, give to the Lord what is His, and save the rest. In other news, I'm still waiting to know if I'll have a job for the rest of the summer, but I'm trusting the Lord to figure that one out. Hopefully, I'll know soon.

Lauren's bridal shower was today, so I spent a lot of my time at her future sister-in-law's house catching up with my old small group leader and a few of the girls from CREW. It was fun but being social to that extent saps my energy (or maybe my energy was sapped to begin with because I woke up with a headache - I don't really know).

Either way you play it, I came home and slept until 4:30, when I got up because we met the cousins for dinner at 5pm. Dinner was good, even though I'm not sure I was all there... my post-nap drowsiness hadn't worn off. My cousin's pregnant, though, so that's fun news to report. It's good to have extended family with who you share more than just genes.

And then I came home and changed my blog because I was bored, like I am now. I think I'm going to read and maybe work on some Spanish before I head to bed. Mom and Dad are watching TV (I think), so I might join them for a little bit. I'm headed to the Fort in the morning, so I'm really excited about that, but that's still a ways away, so... I might as well find something to do.

Which I'm going to do. Now. :)

Mood: Good Reading: John Piper, The Dangerous Duty of Delight
Listening to: James Taylor, Greatest Hits

17 May 2006

It's only 11pm...

I don't know what to do with myself. I'm going crazy already and I've only been home for five days. I've already gone through all of my old standbys for wasting empty days, but all they are is empty, so I'm glad I've gotten that (mostly) out of my system.

I just miss people, I guess. And it's harder talking to people who are interacting with other people. I just feel cut off. I have a lot to do and I desire to get things done, but I just don't. The likely scenario is that I'll go to bed now and try and tackle things again in the morning. There's just not much else that I can do tonight.

Last night, I did sleep, which was nice and, today, I was blessed with work from this Friday until next Friday, so that's good. I'm just tired and going crazy from being in the house all on my own (for the most part) since I got home last week - it just doesn't work for me anymore. My mind starts going and nothing gets done except it slowly driving me crazy.

Stretching, stretching, stretching... I'd say that's definitely accurate.

Mood: Tired Reading: John Piper, The Dangerous Duty of Delight
Listening to: Acceptance, Phantoms (in my head - kind of sad, I know)

16 May 2006

Funny little thing called 'sleep'...

I don't sleep well at home. It's too weird to not have someone breathing in the same room as me.

And, for whatever reason, I just can't manage to turn my brain off.

I miss people. I'm always thinking of what else I have to do. The pile of stuff on my floor overwhelms me. There always seems to be pressure to work and, when I can't find work, to keep looking.

It's just that job-hunting is one of my most-despised things to do. I always feel I'm being rude or out-of-line when I walk into a store and ask if they're hiring. But I do it anyway. And, still, no work.

I just have to keep praying that this summer will be different - that I'll manage to find enough work to keep me busy and to keep my mind off of my habitual thought patterns.

For so many people, summer means freedom but, for me, it so often just seems like a waste of my time.

I've got to figure that one out.

A few things did get checked off of my list today, though, so I'm grateful for that. Tomorrow, I hope to accomplish more (including a job interview and some errands for my parents). There's too much to do and too much time to do it in (from my current point of view) - that just isn't enough motivation for me.

Right now, I'm looking at this insanely long list and my only response is that I can get started on it but, from now, I still have three months to get everything done - that's not purposeful or productive at all.

And I can hardly say that it glorifies God at all to have that attitude.

Which I'm working on, see... I need to glorify God in everything, even when it's not what I would have chosen for myself, because He has chosen this time for a specific purpose whether I understand it or not.

I can trust in that sovereignty, though I so often fail in doing so.

Just hit my head on the wall accidentally, so I guess it's time for me to try and sleep. If this keeps up for another week and a half, Insomniac Summer No. 2 will have struck. Please pray that doesn't happen.

Mood: Worn Listening to: Nothing, to be honest
Reading: The clock - it says "Tue 2:28 AM" [[why can I not sleep?]]

14 May 2006


There are some things that never get easier. To be honest, I'm beginning to wonder if they just become harder.

In so many ways, I wish this season could be different, but I know it is as it is for a reason and, so, I look forward to it and battle it all at the same time.

But I can't live like this!

I can't just turn off my emotions, either. They taint everything, changing my perspective, causing it to loom about one specific area of my life.

Maybe it just needs to be dealt with, though. Maybe I just need to get it out of my system.

I wish I knew, but I don't.

Right now, I'm feeling completely severed from everything - how can I change that?

How can I be connected and yet removed, and content yet purposeful?

I feel as though I could spend all of my energy on attempts to be content, but there is so much more for me than that! But, in my attempts to be purposeful, will I be able to be content?

I like doing one thing at a time and this is definitely not that season.

If you think about it, pray for me. Pray I get a job so that I can take my mind off of other things for at least 8 hours a day. That would be nice.

Mood: Exhausted, broken LIstening to: My blind hitting my windowsill
Reading: Ezekiel 12
Why in the world is it seemingly impossible for me to sleep at home?

12 May 2006

At a loss for words...

Where to begin?

I am officially done with another school year and I have one semester left.

12 credits stand between me and the end of my formal education, between me and the "real world," and between me and all that I do not know.

It's incredible how much has changed in the past year - it's incredible how God blesses us even in situations that we don't see as blessings.

But they make us lean harder upon the grace that saves us and they make us learn to rest in God's sovereignty.

In the end, we know not how to be angry with God - it seems impossible to do so.

We just don't understand and battle the not-understanding, knowing that there should be peace when we can't find it, blaming ourselves when we can't get quite to where we know we need to be.

But perhaps there is a beauty in that, as well.

God has us placed where we are for reasons that we may never know; He has prepared things for us to do and seasons for us to live through for the sole purpose of teaching us how to glorify Him in all circumstances.

This summer is one of those times. I don't understand why things have lined up as they have, but I'm here, I have to return to school in the fall (instead of being done now, which was the original plan), and there is a peace and a safety in that - and I never expected to find peace or safety in these circumstances.

Laura's half-living in the basement. Mom's really excited that I'm home and she has plans for us to do that she hasn't told me about yet, which are supposed to be crazy for her, but I'm excited about that. Dad's watching hard drives on eBay so that we can dedicate not only time but storage space to a recording project. John's coming home in about a month.

And I turn 21 on Tuesday, which has me feeling rather old.

That and the fact that I took what might be my last scantron exam Wednesday. I wrote a long term paper, wrote a short paper on the ethics of MySpace, and wrote an article that I'm actually satisfied with (because I had more than enough information - that's never happened before).

This is going to be a strange summer, for certain, but God will bless it. Perhaps especially because of that.

How strange to have all of my stuff in one place again!

But another year has ended and, now, it is time to look for a job. Again. 'Night.

Mood: Exhausted, missing people Listening to: MercyMe, Spoken For
Reading: David Sedaris, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

30 April 2006

And again, growth...

Today was a very long day, but it was worthwhile - at least in God's greater plan.

It was fun in places, irritating in others, and simply painful for large chunks of time (like the last four and a half hours), but God is still God at its end and He is still good.

I'm having difficulty deciphering my mental state right now, to be honest... so much has happened that I do not know where to begin.

And I won't tonight anyway because I am desperately in need of sleep.

In the end, peace oftens comes hand-in-hand with exhaustion. Amazing how God breaks us down to reveal to us our deepest needs.

Praise be to the Lord who reigns on high and sifts through my babbling and incoherent nature, understands me and loves me in spite of myself - all because He sees Christ's blood covering me rather than my own nature.

One issue down, one more to go... but that will work itself out, as well. I'm in good hands.

Mood: Beaten and exhausted, but peaceful Listening to: House sounds
Reading: Old letters

21 April 2006

An Apology

Some of you might have seen my opinion piece that has been posted here this past week, entitled, “Opting Out,” regarding my perspective on a topic I researched for an online package I put together for one of my classes.

In the context of that package, my opinion makes more sense; without it, my opinion comes across as unnecessarily harsh.

I wrote the package for one class and the column for another, linking them together when I could not put the column on my Web site along with my articles, but wanting readers who desired to know my own opinion on the matter to be able to read it.

My object was not to offend, but I fear that my article has done so, especially when it was originally without a disclaimer and especially because it was purposefully harsh and critical of the way our society functions in regards to feminism and roles.

I chose the one end of the spectrum and focused upon it, limiting the other points of view – such as permitted in a column. By my own definition, this is propaganda. Without a disclaimer, I violated my own ethical standards in posting it.

There is a middle territory on this issue, which I did not cover at all because I was going for the extremes to make a point. We have the right to choose what we want to do with our lives whether it is working or mothering or both or neither.

Also misleading is my focus upon secular research and sources in my piece. Again, it was for a class, so I limited it to those sources. There is more to my reasoning that is the basis for what I believe, as I would like to explain below.

I would like to start out with the fact that my mother works and works very hard. She has chosen that and I greatly respect her for it – it is an example that I can do anything I set my mind to and that God blesses her in that.

Personally, I enjoy working – I enjoy the challenge of finishing some arduous task and being able to go home at the end of the day feeling as though I accomplished something that I set out to do. I’m a very task-oriented person who likes to keep busy and the workplace is an environment that I enjoy.

When I talk of desiring to be a stay-at-home mother, it is not because I think women who choose to have a career or children and a career are doing anything wrong. I’m saying that I desire to focus upon that – that is where my passion lies. I want to focus on providing for my family in ways that don’t necessarily bring in money.

“She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” [[Proverbs 31:15]]

It’s a different kind of work – and it is also a kind of work that I love doing.

My issue is not with women who work outside of the home; my issue is with the women in our culture who look down on those that choose to do so voluntarily – women who feel that they cannot be sufficiently challenged unless they are in a workplace doing the same work as men.

God created us differently – “Male and female He created them”!

I have a hard time understanding why some women do not appreciate that fact! We are created beautifully, in God’s image – why should we feel that we are of less worth simply because we are women rather than men?

In all of my writings, I like asking questions because it makes me think about the implications of our world existing as such. I don’t know the answers to the questions I ask, though it might be suggested that I do through my wording – I am working through the answers just the same as anyone else.

What matters most to me is that I fear the Lord in everything that I do.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” [[Proverbs 31:30]]

And, in the end, what others may think of this issue is not what matters most to me – and I fear that it is in this that I have wronged you as readers.

“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” [[2 Timothy 2:23]]

What I wrote was not Biblically based and was bound to lead to a “foolish and stupid” argument, no matter what my intention. I failed to recognize that and for that I apologize and ask your forgiveness. What profit was there in that piece being posted? None.

It has done nothing to edify my brothers and sisters or to demonstrate the love of Christ toward those who are not of His household.

As for now, the column is part of a project that is being graded and will remain up for that purpose, with a disclaimer attached. After there is no longer an academic need for its placement, it will be removed from this site and not reposted.

Thank you for your patience with a woman who is still being perfected.

In Christ,

The Seventh Year: Freedom

“At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s release.

If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you.

And if it happens that he says to you, ‘I will not go away from you,’ because he loves you and your house, since he prospers with you, then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you shall do likewise.”

[[Deuteronomy 15:1-2, 12, 16-17]]

In the Hebrew tradition, men were cleared of their debts and slaves from their bondage every seventh year. If the slaves desired to remain in their master’s homes, they became bondservants for the length of their lives – however long that might be.

I feel as though this past year, this sixth year has been a preparation for freedom.

On April 21, 1999, I surrendered my life to the lordship of Jesus Christ, taking what I had long accepted as truth taught by my parents and applying it to my life as my own faith.

And the past six years, I feel as though I have been struggling to repay a debt by serving my God – a debt I know I can never repay and, so, I work all the more for my Master’s glory rather than my own freedom.

But I have been set free, as the slaves in Israel were in the seventh year, and now I have made my choice to stay behind and to continue in serving my Master and His household because I have grown to love them, even as a slave.

What blessedness to see the last of the chains of a debt I could not settle being stripped of me in the past six years!

Depression, unhealthy relationships, self-reliance, a misguided heart, a lack of understanding about the type of man my Master is (His sovereignty, especially), rebellion and old wounds have all fallen away – there is nothing left but freedom and love for the Master who taught me that life could be lived abundantly in serving someone greater than myself.

And I return to this Master, who allows me to keep what I have gained in His household only if I remain within it – outside of it, there is no peace, no joy, no truth and no semblance of that real love, agape, which never drops off.

The awl has gone through my ear and I am my Master’s servant forever.

I could never pay my debt, but it matters not, for it is canceled – I have learned that the reason I work is because my Master loves me, not because I desire to earn His love.

How beautiful the grace of God that brings salvation to all men!

I, Alyssa Kate, am a bondservant of Christ until the end of my days. I have tasted and seen the grace of God Almighty – I have been shown mercy and have been released from my debts and my chains. Praise the Lord!

18 April 2006

He is risen, indeed!

There is cleansing by truth as I enter,
as my hands are dipped in the laver and I enter in.

I can still feel the water's moisture
as I present my own lamb to offer to the Priest in my name.

But the cup of Redemption brings forth my salvation
as I partake in the Covenant of His blood
And the body was broken as all that was spoken was done.

His body scourged and torn,
I take His clothing as my own and mock Him.

But as He breathes His last breath,
the thick curtain is rent between Him and me.

This is my journey of worship,
past the tomb that was hewn for men,
past the angel seated on the stone,
declaring my LORD lives again.

This is my journey of worship,
past the first fruits of a harvest for all,
past the Spirit poured out on flesh,
where tongues of fire to every man call.

This is my journey of worship,
to the tree that grew of small seed -
what was once smallest is now tallest,
where men are grafted in in belief.

Out of darkness and into light,
from the light to all who need.
This is my journey of worship -
that all might know and believe.

©2006 AKG

Opting Out

by A. Kate Grinstead

Disclaimer: This is my opinion. It is not intended to offend anybody - it is simply intended to make people think about how female roles are constructed in our society and to open further dialog. Sometimes, we have to go to the other extreme to be able to understand one another.

I consider myself to be an educated individual.

Granted, I am a woman, but where my education is supposed to allow me more choices in life, apparently one option is strictly forbidden.

Society will not let me become a stay-at-home mother.

But when I, as an educated woman, decide that I want to take my college degree, work a few years and then focus solely upon my children, isn’t that choice mine to make?

Some women don’t think so.

In a study conducted last year by the New York Times, researchers found that young women at elite universities like Harvard, Yale and Princeton wanted to get their undergraduate and even post-graduate degrees and then be stay-at-home mothers by the time they turned 30.

And the study pointed out that the trend is increasing.

The article that appeared in September generated a lot of buzz, leading to angry opinion pieces by self-labeled “Third Wave” feminists and new fodder for the Women’s Studies capstone here at Colorado State University.

Let me tell you, it makes me want to tell everyone I meet that I want to be a stay-at-home mom.

I began looking into this topic for a story I was writing for one of my journalism classes, knowing that there had to be more family-minded women than just me.

But there’s so much more to it than that – it’s an issue of who screams the loudest.

In today’s media, those that make noise make the news.

You don’t hear about the cat that played well in its house all day or the kids who made it across the street without being hit by a car or the woman who loves caring for her family and did so voluntarily and gratefully all day long.

You hear about the cat that gets stuck in the tree, the kids who get hit by a car and the woman who went to work and was arrested because she demanded a raise.

But there exist millions of women who just want to stay home, who want to devote their lives to cooking and cleaning and taking care of their husband and children, who don’t have a voice in the mainstream and who feel attacked when another woman says she is wasting her education by resorting to traditional gender roles.

What is honestly so wrong with traditional gender roles?

Women supposedly want equality when they physically differ from men, but why don’t they just embrace the fact that they are different and celebrate their female-ness instead of seeking to be “more like the men”?

Women supposedly want more challenging jobs, but why is it that one of the most challenging jobs involves 24-hour days of sacrificing for those you love and doesn’t pay a cent? Do they want freedom from the family or freedom from the work involved?

Are women really after equality when they attempt to remove their femininity from the radar – one of the few things that truly distinguish them from men? And are they really after more challenging jobs or are they simply after monetary reimbursement?

The Feminist Movement championed the woman’s ability to be educated enough to decide for herself which course to take and, yet, when the educated women decide that they would rather take the options the women of the movement ran from, they are viewed as having turned their backs against women seeking empowerment.

But again, what truly is this empowerment that we seek? Is it better pay or the ability to sleep around without consequences?

Is it the freedom be lazy?

In “Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture,” Ariel Levy suggests that what we see as empowerment today are the very thing that the Feminist Movement sought to free this generation of women from.

Our empowerment has come through sexual means, she says.

But it’s in the form of objectifying the female body through the ready acceptability of pornography and previously taboo things such as strippers and pole dancing.

So, is that really empowerment?

If we take our educations and objectify ourselves further, what have we gained as women – heck, what have we gained as a society?

Women who educate themselves should be free to make their own choices, without receiving flak if those choices are traditional.

One of the women I interviewed for my story wants to be a stay-at-home mom. She put it like this:

“If you have a dream, you do it. This is mine.”

Well, this is my dream, too. Shocking, huh?

I am a well-educated, intelligent young woman who could easily see and find herself climbing the career ladder to success and power and everything my daddy ever promised me I could have if I worked for it.

And I want to opt out.

06 April 2006

Remembering what this feels like...

I'm finally done for the week and it's the first time in four days where I have had nothing to do that should be occupying every moment of my waking life.

Explanation? Four days, three papers, two articles, an exam, a quiz and a new story idea later and I am still alive.

Granted, as soon as I leave here, I will probably crash into sleepy oblivion (studying prevents that sometimes), but at least I can finally breathe.

I've been remembering things that I should have remembered last week at random times. At 2:30 this morning, I realized that I was supposed to hang out with my friend Stephanie last Friday, but I spaced it entirely. The crazy life, for sure.

Since I came back from Spring Break and have been living in the Fort again, things have just gone from readjustment to upside-down. What I thought I wanted to do with the next few months and the upcoming fall semester has been turned on its head.

I'm living in the dorms again, which I still don't know what I think about. I really like Liz, who I'll be living with, but I'm not sure I want to deal with the politics of residence life again. It's been a hard year in that regard.

Regarding school, however, I'm ready to quit. You see, they trap you by getting you so far into your semester and your education that it would be incredibly foolish to just quit and then they make everything harder. There's just too much to do and I want out!

But for the most part, life is good. I'm so blessed by the people that are around me and I have been learning so much (I've gotten back into memorizing verses and am reviewing some old Bible studies). It's great to be here again instead of always in transition. I'm more balanced emotionally that way, even though it's hard to tell with my workload as of late.

Working for four days non-stop can really get to you. Yuck.

That's all for now. I'm going to work on this lovely sudoku puzzle in front of me (the only redeeming quality about the Collegian, I'm sure).

Mood: Accomplished Reading: A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
Listening to: Shawn McDonald, Ripen

19 March 2006

from on my knees

I met You like a little child
Wide-eyed and mystified
That You could love even me
So I'm here to testify
That it's been an amazing ride with You
And I have never walked alone
Wanna give You every moment, every minute
It's takes a lifetime to know You, to know You

And the more You show me, the more You grow me
The more Your glory becomes all there is
And the more I know You, the more I need You
The more I love You, the more You become to me

Fast-forward to the golden years
A smaller pride and a bigger fear
But still, no way are we done yet
I pray that You would keep me mystified,
In every way that I will still abide in You
Till You come to take me home
Wanna give You every moment, every minute
And take a lifetime to know You, to know You

Wanna give You every moment, every minute
I'’ll take a lifetime to know You
Hold me Lord, keep me
Draw me closer every moment of my life

©2006 Marc Martel and Jason Germain, "The More"
[[from downhere's Wide-eyed and Mystified, releasing in May]]

* * *

Things have been changing around here for a while now. I think there comes a time in everyone's lives where they feel that everything they have ever known has simply been stripped from them including, but not limited to, a sense of home, of purpose and of belonging.

In so many ways, I feel as though the proverbial rug has been pulled out from under my feet and I've been struggling to gain my bearings ever since.

But when bearings are no longer in the same places, it's hard to regain a sense of balance.

* * *


Perhaps the most prominent thing to go this year has been my sense of home.

I don't know how to reconcile certain changes in my life with my parents or with their expectations of me. I don't know how to sit around any more and just enjoy being at home - I feel I have to work or I fear that I won't fully be welcomed. I don't know what is expected of me anymore, so I just tend to try to do everything, which is exhausting - which is not what I was created to do. I don't know how to mesh together what I feel God requires of me and living a life of comfort or of ease.

"Home" is such a versatile concept in college anyway - you never can say it's anywhere because you're always in transition, being disconnected. While I was home alone, however, it was definitely not "home" in the sense that I had come to always trust it would be, even with its changing connotations.

To be completely honest, I will never understand a true concept of "home" until I leave this earth and, until then, I can search and try to replace my bearings, but I will never fully succeed.

But what am I doing until I get there? How am I utilizing and wasting my time? What will I have to show when my Lord returns as a thief in the night?

* * *


For years, I have avoided this altogether in the hopes that I could delay its implications for my life:

I was created to bring glory and honor to God in every single thing I do, however mundane or trite.

And, yet, so seldom do I even consciouslyly try.

It amazes me how often I take God's grace for granted, how often I choose comfort over His glory - how often I seek my own way when I know no better path than the one He has laid before me.

As the end of my college days grows ever closer, I feel so completely lost when I consider my options.

The easiest would be, of course, to graduate, get a job and proceed with my life, meeting everyone else's expectations along the way and seeking to please God without any form of abandon, discomfort or inconvenience whatsoever.

The hardest (but safest) would be to leave my nets and follow Him, not worrying if there are only five loaves and two fish to get me through the rest of my life, but knowing that He will provide all that I need when I am in His will.

For in His will, there is no riskier or safer place.

But outside of His will, there is only danger.

How, then, are we to discover God's will for our lives? How much can we trust the wisdom and advice of others before thtugginggs on our hearts become insistent to the point where we are miserable and we no longer place the responsibility of the decision upon those who have authority over us?

When do we finally stop trying to keep up with others and with their expectations and fall into step with the Spirit?

* * *


The most obvious change has been in my relationships over the past few months.

What once was solidly in place is now shaky in some areas. What once was unsure is now steadily more stable.

When I fail to meet the expectations of others, I no longer feel as though I belong. I feel that I have abandoned them somewhat, not out of a desire to do so, but out of a disconnect, a loss of standing in their eyes.

But the only thing I need know is that I belong to God, that I am bought at a price and that the God I serve is fully sovereign over my relationships with others. We are commanded to be part of the body of Christ and that command does not allow us to remove ourselves because of discomfort.

Being at home completely alone, I felt so disjointed - I didn't "belong" anywhere because I wasn't able to fully be anywhere. I was out of step not only with my friends and family members, but with myself.

If you fail to be fully candid with people, you fail to be honest with yourself. I have not really had anyone keeping track of my life through accountability this semester, which is different and very difficult.

The most difficult part is that I can more easily avoid my own heart condition and, right now, my heart is tired.

My heart breaks for my friends who don't feel they belong, who have fallen away in their faith, who are reaping the consequences of specific sins and my heart breaks when I let myself think about all that I push to the sides of my mind in hopes that they will resolve themselves before I have to face them again.

But God doesn't work that way. I praise the Lord because He is God and He is sovereign over my and everyone else's situations, over our hearts, over our salvation.

I am left tonight with such a sense of not knowing, but I know that I cannot keep pushing things off to the side any longer. There are some things that just need to be dealt with for sanity's sake and, so, from on my knees, I ask that God would renew me and restore me to a right sense of home, a right sense of purpose and a right sense of belonging.

Knowing God is like an exponential curve. The more you come to know, the more there is. It never ends. May I come to the point where His glory is all there is.

How desperate is my need to be mystified by my Savior!

Mood: Worn Reading: C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm
Listening to: Remedy Drive, Magnify