Friday, February 25, 2011

In all I do, I mean, I guess that I sort of try to honor You sometimes...

Lately, and I've noticed this happen in the past, but I've been waking up, walking around, and falling asleep with a random Christian worship song stuck in my head.  For example: wake up with "Who Am I?", walk around with "He Knows My Name" and then fall asleep with "Amazing Love".  All of which are songs that I roughly know the words to, at least enough to sing to myself during my daily hum drum.

But this got me thinking when I was singing some little words to myself:  how much of these words do I sing every week in church during worship, and I actually mean them?  Of course all us Christians can mean the parts about, "God, you're amazing, indescribable, blah blah blah" but what else are we singing?

Do we belt out these melodies and really think to ourselves, "He really is watching me and with me all the time... He's in control and I shouldn't be such a worry wart."  Faith can be a touchy thing.  Sometimes it's a little tough to believe that God' always on your side, especially when He teaches you hard lessons or you're going through a rough patch.

And when we exclaim things about our own selves, what are we really saying?  Do we mean everything we proclaim to be about ourselves and our relationship with God?  I was thinking about these lyrics to "Amazing Love" specifically, because of one very important line:

Amazing love, how can it be?
That You my King would die for me?
Amazing love, I know it's true
And it's my joy to honor You
In all I do, I honor You.

I know for a fact that it's not always a joy for me to try and honor whatever God may be pushing me to do or say or whatever you could refer to.  And I also know that in all I do, I mostly don't honor God.  In fact, there are still parts of my life and behavior that I cling on to for dear life before really giving them over to God and honoring His plan and protection.  I guess this is true for every Christian, person, whomever, because we all have our flaws and vices.  It's a part of life to learn what those are and to try and better yourself as you mature.  Slowly but surely I hope to let go and really mean what I say when I sing and worship God, but for now I'm still questioning how it can really be worship when I don't always mean what I say? 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

be yourself... be yourself... what does that mean?!?!

I love cooking.  I love cooking so much that I use food as a means to bond with people.  Friends, family, significant others, I mean pretty much everybody.  But of course I just met somebody who's diet consists of potato chips, bananas, apple sauce, cereal, buttered toast, and a heck of a lot of multi-vitamins... and I guess they like crepes?  This is strange to me.  I don't really know how someone simply doesn't like food.  Not only that, but they've never tried any foods that aren't simple carbs!  That's like saying, "I don't like music, I've put in ear plugs every time I get near it and I'm certain I wouldn't have a pleasant experience attempting to listen to any of it." 

They've never had a hot dog.  I'm a vegetarian, and even I love hot dogs!  I mean, I eat fake ones now, but how are you American if you don't love hot dogs?!  And spaghetti.  Not too sure if I would know happiness if I had never tried spaghetti.  Once, my mom got me all hyped up that she was going to make spaghetti for supper, and then I fell asleep at 3.30 in the afternoon (I think I was 6 or 7) so I missed dinner.  When I woke up, she said there weren't any leftovers.  I cried for two days.  It makes me sad just thinking about that day.  THAT'S HOW MUCH I LOVE SPAGHETTI.  It devastates me that someone has never experienced the wonderfulness that is this food. 

One other part of this problem is, well, me.  My cooking makes up for a lot of things.  I'm tactless, vulgar, I complain a lot, I was born to worry about everything, I point out inappropriate things, I fall all the time, things fall on me all the time, I drop shit, (ok baby giraffe descriptions covered) -- I'm basically an awkward turtle, and I feel like cooking makes up for a lot of those things.  If I'm really good at something, then maybe people won't notice all the weird little quirks I have.  So then if I can't offer cooking, then the only thing I have to offer is me.  Just me.  That's too weird to consider.  I'm fairly concernicus about this.  Like, I'm totally fine if someone likes me for my singing, or my potato chip chocolate chip cookies instead of just me.

Does everyone have some part of them that's such a part of their life that they'd feel naked without being able to share it with someone else?  I hope I'm not alone in this.  Chicken parmesan can really score some brownie points.

I'm hungry.

I'm starting to write this new song and it's similar to "Who Am I?" by Casting Crowns, in that it has lyrics from God's point of view... I hope it's good, but so far it's just mumbled words.

My room needs cleaning.  The clutter keeps me from focusing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Who am I? That the Lord of all the earth, Would care to know my name, Would care to feel my hurt.

Who am I?
That the bright and morning star,
Would choose to light the way,
For my ever wandering heart.  (Casting Crowns)

I have this friend that told me about this woman she knew, and her struggles she always had spiritually.  She said she always felt like going back and forth in her relationship with God was like hopping on and off a merry-go-round.  Every time she got on, she went in circles and wasn't going anywhere, so she's get off but it just made her dizzy and sick to be away from it.  She was constantly struggling to be with God, but just couldn't get past the first step of believing and really incorporating it into the rest of her life.

Now, granted I haven't heard this story since high school, so if anyone reads this and remembers the story and I'm telling it wrong, don't mind me.  But the point is still truthful for most Christians that love God, but also don't know how to let go of things they love that are "of the world" so-to-speak.  I'm pretty guilty of this myself.  Which is why I feel the way that I feel sometimes.

Last weekend I went to the Navigators winter conference.  I heard stories from speakers about how they partied in college, they had to overcome addictions and their crazy mental states, and how this all led to them having a better relationship with Jesus.  Whenever I hear these kinds of stories I think, "Wow, I wish I had a crazy story like THAT."  I wanted to feel what they were feeling, and I wanted something extreme to beat me into submission instead of me always being on this merry-go-round and not being able to think straight.  I think I may just have that story.

Going to England was the best decision I've ever made.  It made me realize that I could make friends and a life for myself without having to act a way that made me hate myself.  Last week I realized I simply didn't belong there anymore, and I probably never did.  So I quit.  The relief I felt when I made that choice was almost as great as the relief I had when I went somewhere new and exciting in the fall that wasn't UMass.

I lived in my sorority house for a year, and during that year my entire attitude had changed.  I drank five nights a week (roughly) and made decisions that compromised my emotions and what kind of friend I was.  It was the loneliest year of my life, which was surprising because it was also the year that I became really close with Chelsea and I was vice president of Navigators.  Teaching a bible study, and slowly going insane, I was two completely different people.  My anxiety and depression was so bad, I had migraines three nights a week.  When I was at Kent, I had one bad migraine the entire time. Clearly there's a link there.  I felt like a floater.  The only way to describe someone who is depressed and going through something, is when all you feel is blankness.  I can't remember half of my days of junior year, because I would get up, go to class, go to the gym, eat, watch tv, maybe do homework if I felt like it, drink and go to bed.  I would drink because I was so blank-minded during the day, that I just wanted to feel something.  It stopped becoming recreation, and became my means of trying to find myself lost in a house of 40 girls with only a few friends in the house.  I don't know how I could ever breathe because Amherst was suffocating me.

Even now because of all that I've been through, I'm still trying to figure out who the hell I am.  I used to think I was meant to be in this club, and it was a part of me, and I tried for years to be the most popular, the prettiest, the best drinker, the one who got the most guys, and now I realize that it didn't mean anything to anyone except me to prove any of that.  But maybe my four years at UMass have taught me that it takes a lifetime to figure out who you are.  Maybe I'm a better person for trying to do that, even if I risked my sanity in the process.

Winter Conference was a wake-up call, not only because of the talks, but because I realized I had neglected who my real friends were.  These people I met at Navigators became my secondary friends and I neglected them, but they never left me and never stopped caring about me.  If I could take it all back I would've built better relationships with all of them, but I don't think I would appreciate them as much as I did.  All I can do now is try to make up for time lost and keep on keeping on with what's really important in life.  Love, friendship, fellowship, family, the really real important things that we forget about when we're trying to gain things that don't matter.  Happiness matters.  God matters.  Being someone you're not only makes you not want to look in the mirror when you wake up in the morning.  And why wouldn't this beautiful girl wanna look at herself every morning when she wakes up and say, "yep... you're you and people still love you for it."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

choking on an odwalla bar

This weekend I gave in to meat and had beef & broccoli at my mom's, then wings at the Super Bowl party at my house.  What happened to my stupid self?  GASTROENTINITIS that's what!!(#^@&^#%!

Literally felt like I was going to die.  Blood was coming out of my body, and not because I had a ufkcign paper cut.  I have a girlfriend who told me she had McDonald's when she was in middle school and it made her ill, and she's been a vegetarian ever since.  This isn't a joke.  I literally could've died if Travis wasn't an amazing friend and didn't take me to health services.

What did we learn?  While I used to enjoy meat, I usually feel a lot healthier when I don't eat it.  I'll still have fish sometimes, but more or less only if I cooked it myself.  My sister and mother are the same way, I think meat doesn't agree with some of the women in our family.  Not to mention how you never know where your meat comes from; it's pretty gross.  People who say they don't want to know, you really DON'T want to know.

Why I don't wear fur and real leather:
Pam Anderson posted this today, and my already nauseated stomach that I haven't been able to feed in two days decided it was going to resign.  I've only eaten half an odwalla bar today and it made me sick.

Being a veggie isn't something you do to be cool or fit in to a hippie fad, it's a lifestyle that you choose because of something you believe in.  I would say that my hopes for vegetarianism are the same hopes I have in my Christian life.  To keep bettering myself and stop giving in to being stupid.  The truth is right there in front of you, fully-accessible, and people don't care to listen.  Ignorance can be bliss, but only if you ignore the end result, like your own health and well-being.

Here's another one for you.
This one isn't so gross, it's just a Jamie Oliver clip.  He does it nicely though, because it's for kiddies and he wouldn't want to tell the children that a machine takes chicken bones and sucks the last tid bits off that aren't even worth eating (usually very low grade meat from calcium-deficient chickens that are thrown in a pile after they can't lay any more eggs for the rest of their terrible little lives).

I don't think everyone has to be a vegetarian, but there are better options than just picking anything off the shelf because it tastes good.  There are plenty of options to have organic, farm raised, hormone free, humanely treated, blah blah blah but people don't want to hear that either.  They'd rather pick nuggets than the breast or a Quorn alternative (amazing btw) because it's cheaper.  It's cheap, quick, tastes good, and everyone's doing it, right?  Things that appear to be good, are often bad for you...

I feel as though there's a sermon under here somewhere, but I don't have the time this afternoon to work it out.  I wish I knew more bible versus that coincided but all I can seem to remember at this moment is, "the wages of sin is death".  Food can kill you?  Hm...  We'll come back to it maybe...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I think the Bumble just walked by the campus center...

It's quite possible that I have moved to Michigan and no one told me.  Feet of snow is one thing; feet of snow multiple times within the past 5 or 6 weeks is quite another.  I do hope this isn't a repeating quality of winter that Massachusetts decides to be keen on. 

Don't get me wrong. I love winter.  I really love snow.  But this is a little insane. 

Maybe later I'll play in the snow... Some of my fondest memories as a child were being kicked out of the apartment by my mother to go play outside and build snow-people with my sisters.  The process basically went like this:
1. place grocery bags around double-socked feet, then tie a knot around the ankle.
2. squeeze on snow boots over largely massed feet.
3. force your booted feet into the snow pants, hoping they'll come out the other side without pushing your corduroys up past your knees and you won't have to struggle to reach down the snow pant legs to get your corduroys back to ankle level.
4. clip the overalls on the snow pants, adjust the straps, and make sure you can walk before proceeding.  If your socks were too thick, you may have to start over.
5. search desperately through the mystery bucket of winter accessories and find matching gloves, then put them on.  Make sure they're thick enough, or Mom will make you look again.
6. grab any scarf and hat you can find in said mystery bucket; Mom doesn't care so much about the quality.
7. once accessorized, ask Mom to help you put your coat on.  You won't be able to do this part on your own, as you transform into the State-Puff Marshmallow Man.
8. don't fall down the stairs on your way to the door, then GO FOR IT!!

God, I miss those days.  After working so hard to make a crappy snowman with lumps all over his body and unrecognizable raisins for eyes, (I mean who actually has coal??) you plop down on your back, make a snow angel, and just lie there looking up at the sky hoping Mom'll let you back inside soon because you used up enough energy to quit driving her nuts and she'll give you hot chocolate (but of course she'll jip you on the chocolate so you'll continue to stop being a pill...
           ...then you think, "I wonder if Mom'll get really mad if I go sledding off the garage roof again?"