So much changes

This time last year I was getting ready to do something completely crazy. It did not turn out as hoped.

Do I love my life anyway? Absolutely. Am I glad I did that crazy thing? Yes. Would I like my life if it had turned out as I had I hoped? I’m not sure. Most likely, probably not.

My current tomorrow will be filled with crazy, just of a different sort.  Children, hugs, discipline, grace, cleaning, running, remembering, being.

The best part? The Lord was with me then and the Lord is with me now.  And He’ll be there tomorrow and the day after that. Even when I think He’s nuts. Even when I’m nuts. Even when He prompts me to do crazy things. I like this adventure.

More on February thoughts and March expectations later.

Let’s just say that February 2011 will not go down as the most productive month of my life. Also, March 2011 holds much more promise and much less inner turmoil than March 2010.

Bye January

January went out some snow and February entered with full-on Blizzard Snowpocalypse. I’m at the end of Day 2 of Snowpocalypse Days and, as much as I love my job, I also love snow days. But more about those later.

So January, How were you? I mean, you were really a blur. At first I was still on break,then regular life started back up again. OH WAIT I DON’T GO TO SCHOOL ANYMORE. I don’t really forget that very often, because it’s really just so delightful. I don’t have homework, I don’t have class, I don’t have to wait around for class to start, I don’t have to get out of class at 10 PM and not get home until 10:30 only to wake up at 6:00 the next morning.

I can have a life now. I can throw myself even more into work. I can schedule dinner dates with friends. I can pursue other dreams. I’m letting God run the show, which is delightful. I guess that’s my theme of January: God’s running my show. I’m super excited about where he’s taking the show.  Most of the performances will be at home, but I’ll be going on the road a number of times this year. I’ve been to my dear Arkansas already and may be making journeys to other parts of the country over the next few months.

I had two snow days in January, a nice harbinger of things to come in February, I suppose. I was not super productive those days. I pretty much just sorted things in my room and watched Bones. And tried to organize my life.

Even in those times of unproductivity, God was still teaching, still beating things into my head. Things may be happening. I’m not sure what. I have hopes. We’ll see if it’s time yet. He’s speaking and I’m just going, doing what I think I’m supposed to do until He turns me down another path.

This season of my life may seem easy, comfortable to others looking in on my life. I don’t really care. Because I am happy, fulfilled. But even in that happiness and fulfillment, God is stretching me, having me do crazy things that are difficult and often stress me out.  My job is fulfilling and awesome but hard. The ministries outside my job that he’s calling me to are time-consuming and sometimes a stretch for my skills. The people he puts in my life are beloved to me, but sometimes drive me nuts. Never a dull moment, but my life is often completely overwhleming. I love it and what God’s doing.

In other news, I have a new favorite band, The Civil Wars. I’d had some of their music but it hadn’t really grabbed me yet. They had a new album out yesterday, and since EVERYONE in the world was on Facebook thanks to Snowpocalypse, a lot of friends were recommending it. And I love it. Especially “I’ve Got This Friend.”  Try it, you might love it, too.

February, you’ve already been a little crazy. Don’t disappoint. Bring the crazy. God does his best work when life is crazy.

uncertainty

I’ve had the year 2010 in the back of my mind for years. I’ve known since elementary school that I would be graduating from college in 2010.

I graduated seven months ago and now 2010 is nearly over. It’s time for 2011.

I don’t know what to do with 2011. Life has been planned only up until this point.  I don’t know what to do next or when things will happen.  This is not bad.  It’s actually fabulous, it’s just taking some getting used to.

In January of 2010, I wrote a list of things I wanted to have accomplished over the next year, prompted by questions I found on Boundless Line. Not quite resolutions, but really some thoughts and dreams and ideas for this last crazy year.

The first question was “What would you like to see different about your life one year from now?” My first item on the list? Not even anywhere near accomplished. However, it was “I would like to have gone on a date” so that’s not exactly something I can take care of on my own. I was much more successful with my other plans, such as “I would like to have a steady job, preferably at LLH” and “I would like to be saving money.” Hurrah for an amazing job that pays!

As to what I wanted to have accomplished by now? Playing ultimate well was one of my goals. I don’t know if I play it well, but I’m infinitely better than I was last January. I play a sport now. I have frisbees. It’s weird and awesome. I can’t even begin to describe how my decision to play Ultimate changed my life. I’m healthier, more athletic, less fearful, more confident, and more. The Lord did those things. It’s kind of amazing. Also, I’m pretty sure that all that happened with me and Ultimate and other choices I made in 2010 have given me the confidence to quit grad school and change directions a bit. I’m seriously considering getting an MBA or MNFP [master’s in not-for-profit management], something I wouldn’t have dreamed of a year or two ago. Honestly, probably because a year or two ago I didn’t think I could do that. Accounting? Math? Administrating a non-profit? Those are potentially terrifying prospects. Well, they used to be terrifying.  I’m not afraid.

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” [2 Timothy 1:7]

I, of course, had other goals and dreams for the year, but this isn’t the space for them. Some were accomplished. Others are dreams still left unfulfilled.  As I look back on what I wrote about every month, I know the year has been good. There’s always another year for dreams to come to fruition.  To be made beautiful.

So what will the year of 2011 bring? Unknowns. Exciting unknowns. I don’t really know what to do with you, 2011. Fortunately, I’m not the one who has to know.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” [Ecclesiastes 3:11]

Merry Chri-Chri

I love Christmas. This year, I celebrated Christmas approximately five times.

  • LLH Family Christmas Party
  • Classroom Birthday party for Jesus
  • LLH Staff Christmas Party
  • Crazies Christmas [friend Christmas]
  • Today

This abundance of celebration has not been overwhelming or stressful–instead, it has been a blessing.  I see the work of the Lord in the lives of my friends, family, co-workers, students, and more. It’s been pretty amazing.

So, in the words of one of my beloved students: Merry Chri-Chri.

December, It Always Happens in December

The last month of 2010 is about to arrive.

Whirl. Wind. A whirl of wind. [30 rock is in my brain]  That’s the only way to describe this year. As I think about the year, I almost don’t recognize myself from who I was last December. But it’s not the end of the year yet, who knows what else could change in the next 31 days.

So November.  The last 30 days have been like each month before it, full of busyness. I’ve been trying to figure out my life, what I want, where to find friends. I have had mixed success.

I love my job. I can’t wait to quit grad school. I’m excited to find another program that fits me better. In my heart, I think I know where I’ll head. But I haven’t done enough research or found a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow to do it.

This last day of November was long. I’m exhausted. Life is good.

 

Coldplay releases a new song tomorrow. I want it badly.

I love Christmas music. Coldplay’s new song is entitled “Christmas Lights.” I hope this combination is good.

December, be splendid.

Halftime

Those six assignments I had to complete in about a week’s time?  Done.

Do I know it’s November? Yes.

Is November half way over? Yes.

Is it almost Thanksgiving? Yes.

Is it almost 2011? Yes.

Yikes. I did many things I did not expect in 2010.  I didn’t do many things I wanted to do.

I will not be an official student in 2011. Maybe then I’ll be able to do some of 2010’s uncompleted items.

Whoa

November, really?

I look at a calendar and talk about the day with small children every day.  Still, November is a surprise. My life seems to always move at breakneck speed, never slowing down.

I made an important decision in October. Sharing this decision with others has led to entertaining conversations.  One example:

Friend: “So, how’s school treating you?” [expecting the answer of, fine, busy, etc]

Me: “I hate it, I’m quitting.”

Friend’s Face: Disbelief

It’s getting past my bedtime so I don’t particularly feel like writing much about my decision to go a different direction in my graduate education.  I’m pretty excited about it, though.  Mostly, though, I’m excited about having a few months to find a life, make friends with people my own age, and look for a different [and most certainly more expensive] graduate program.

Every month of this year, my life has completely changed in some way or another.  I decided in October to completely change the direction of my life. That’s kind of a big deal. But, it somehow seems like just a natural progression.  Like I had to start a program I won’t finish in order to learn that it wasn’t what I wanted. It’s going to be weird not finishing something I’ve started.  And liberating.

So November, what craziness will you bring?  If it could involve a group of friends where I live, a man, or really, just a social life, that would be fabulous. Most likely, November will be like every other month this year: unexpected.

Unexpected November is unexpected!

Oh, and I think I’m going to attempt something resembling NaNoWriMo. With no plan except a vague story idea. We’ll see how this goes. It will probably never see the light of day.

[why am I giving myself a new project in the midst of the insane busyness that is my life? probably because I don’t want to do the homework for the classes I have to finish for the degree I won’t be continuing….]

Prompts

I’ve been looking up different creative writing prompts. I like writing. I want to write something more than my own journal-y ramblings (in my real journal and here). Of course, the only way to be a writer is to just start writing.

Alas, I don’t feel like many of the events and stories I might want to share are really that interesting to anyone.  Really, who wants to read The Adventures of SPED (special education)?

Or, if my stories are interesting…they probably shouldn’t be shared with the general public because they’re not just about me. They’re about that wedding I was in, that Ultimate team I played on, (oh the prepositional horror I’m in right now) that class I took, (well that’s better, no ending with a preposition there. oh grammar) that family I love.  Other people are involved–they’re not just my stories to tell. I can be hurtful enough with the words I speak, so I’d rather not hurt more with the words I write.

The logical answer to those questions is fiction. However, I’m not very good at fiction, because I have a hard time writing about things I haven’t experienced myself.  I’m working on it, though.  One method (in the last, oh five minutes) was to take a glance at one of the millions of creative writing prompts available on websites.  Many look intriguing–but all I can think to write about is a personal story. I mean, some of them demand personal stories, like this one:

Write a formal complaint letter to your deepest, darkest fear.

I don’t think writing to be shared with others has to be so personal as to relate one’s deepest, darkest fear (though writing a formal complaint to that sounds fascinating), I think writing ought to be personal. I just. . .don’t know how to balance those competing forces of being personal and real with being respectful of the privacy of myself and others.

Next month is NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. My life is such that attempting that (writing a novel of at least 50,000 words in the month of November) would be suicide. However, thinking about NaNoWriMo makes me want to at least try to write something.

I just don’t know what.

Too Much

I have a lot to think about.  And it’s really too much.  I pile on responsibilities, goals, ambitions. When one of my paths to something shifts out of my control, it makes me overthink. Then it’s 11:30 and I have to wake up in 6 hours and I know what staying up late does to me on Tuesday mornings but I don’t fall asleep anyway and I wish I could go to Homecoming.

Hello There October

I spent the first two days of October in class for grad school.  I’m never doing a weekend class again–I hate sitting for that long. I also hate having no weekend.

So, where did September go? It passed in a blur of preschool, grad school, and trying to figure out my new life. Preschool is going fabulously.  I love my job. The childrens, all nine of my students, they exhaust me. But oh, they are hilarious.

Grad school is not my favorite thing in the world. It takes up time I’d rather be spending working on stuff for my students or trying to develop a social life or sleeping.  However, grad school is the means to becoming a special education teacher someday.  Right now, being an assistant is fabulous.  But I don’t want to be an assistant forever.

I have had limited success in finding a social life.  Where are all the people my age and at my stage of life?  Surely there are people in my area who are recently graduated from college and working full-time.  I haven’t met them, though.

I did find ultimate pick-up in September.  Fear didn’t want me to go–but I went anyway and I had great fun. I still suck at Ultimate. I can never get in the right place at the right time.  I rarely touch the frisbee. But, it’s good for me. I forgot, though, that I was really blessed this summer to play on a summer league team with guys who would throw to me. In this pick-up, guys don’t seem to throw much to girls and the few girls view me as competition. HA.  Life is funny.

So the blur of September charged on to the present experience of October.  September was BUSY. October will also be BUSY. Every day is filled with things to do. I love it. I just wish I had extra time to sleep…

Bring it October.

So Long August

This month has been INSANITY. And I love it. At least most of it.  I have fabulous thoughts about this month and I hope to write them down someday.  However, because of the insanity, I don’t know when that will happen. Maybe Labor Day weekend?

Probably not. I’ll be sleeping. Because I wake up every day at 6 AM. And I work 40 hours a week. And I’m taking 9 hours of graduate classes.  And I’m attempting to maintain friendships of those near and far, including 24-hours only trips to Arkansas and meeting up with friends near and far for snatches of time.

I don’t have time to read, I don’t have time to sleep, but that’s ok. I love my life right now. Except I don’t love grad school.  Maybe that will change.

September…bring me sleep.

Also, bring the Little Light House $500,000. If you read this and haven’t heard yet, the school I work for/adore is in a contest on Facebook to win $500,000. Go to Littlelighthouse.org and click on the Kohl’s Cares link and VOTE for the Little Light House!

[Also, Ravelry/UU, I miss you. Someday…I may have free time again and I’ll come back.]

Bring it September.

Goodbye July

In my current time zone, it’s already August. I can’t believe that July has ended.  It’s been another crazy month.  Then again, I don’t think my life is capable of having not crazy ones.

I recovered from being in a wedding.

I painted a lot of walls in a church.

I went on vacation with my crazy family.

I read books.

I played on a summer league team that made it to the championship game. But I couldn’t play in that final game because I sprained my ankle in the semifinals.  Curse my weak ankles.

I finished knitting a hat. Finally.

The best part of July 2010, though? I got hired for my dream job. I start in two weeks. So come on August. Bring your crazy as long as you also bring the awesome. I’m ready.

Conundrum

I’m sitting on a screened-in porch. I love screened-in porches. Whenever I have my own home, I want one.

Sitting here on this porch, I think I just accepted something that I don’t really want to accept. I think and think and think about some subjects, mulling over a decision or a problem or a conundrum.

I’ve been thinking about his particular conundrum for about a year. And sometimes, my head and my heart actually join together and decide: “You’ve thought enough. You’re done. This is how it’s going to be.  Accept it. Embrace it. Obsess over something else.”

Apparently sometimes is now.

I reserve the right to unaccept it later.

July

It’s July.  How did that happen?  June really did fly by.  I’ve barely even processed the last week or so.  So much has happened and is happening now that I just don’t quite know what to do with myself.

I drove to Cleveland a lot. And my sister moved in with me–then I didn’t need to drive to Cleveland anymore.

I was a bridesmaid in the craziest wedding that will ever be.

I went to Cedar Point. And rode many roller coasters, including the 4th tallest roller coaster in the world.

I think I’m getting a sinus infection.

I wrote letters, sent texts, typed facebook messages, and called people. Desperately trying to stay in touch with people I love.

I enrolled for grad school.

I bought a new water bottle.

I joined an Ultimate Summer League.

I still have little to read.

Sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing–but I know I’m in the right place so I just keep going.

I miss the Little Light House.

July. Be awesome.

What to Read Next

I don’t know what I want to read anymore. This has taken me quite some time to admit. Books have always been how I identified myself.  Alas, limits on my time, school work, life in general, and much more has changed how I decide what to read next.

First, my attention span is much shorter. If I start a book and am not immediately hooked, I drop it. I don’t have time to waste on books I don’t absolutely love.  This unfortunately means I don’t give most books a chance.

Second, my tastes have changed. I know what I don’t like. I just don’t know what I do like anymore.

Third, my life is changing all the time.  I want to just re-read books I know I used to love so I can feel more settled.  This doesn’t always work, though.  I feel guilty for reading something already read.  Also, some of my formerly beloved books–I just don’t care for anymore but I don’t realize it until I’ve started and then my fond memory of the book is ruined.

This is such a silly thing to fret over. It’s just books.

But really, it isn’t just books. I just don’t know what it is.

I still don’t know what to read next.

Oh, and it’s mid-June and I haven’t even contemplated May or anticipated June. It’ll be over before I know it.  This is too fast.

God Uses Change?

The truth is, God uses change to change us.  He doesn’t use it to destroy us or to distract us but to coax us to the next level of character, experience, compassion, and destiny.  I hate to display such a firm grasp of the obvious, but how will we ever change if everything around us stays the same? Or what will ever cause us to move on to the next place He has for us if something doesn’t happen to change the way we feel about where we are? God is thoroughly committed to finishing the masterpiece he started in us (Philippians 1:6), and that process means one major thing: change.

Beth Moore, So Long, Insecurity: You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us, p. 80

Whirlwind

May can be summed up in one word: whirlwind.  Everything has changed, ended, begun, continued, stopped, started….  Everything is the same but everything is different.

I graduated.

I moved away from JBU, Siloam Springs, and my first “house.”

I moved home.

I realized I am a nerd and an athlete.

I had a week of random and mostly unidentifiable anxiety.

I went to and played in DIII Ultimate Frisbee Nationals in Appleton, Wisconsin.

I played my last game as a college ultimate frisbee player.

I added two states to my travel list: Wisconsin and Iowa.

I leave for a new adventure tomorrow.

I have spent and will continue to spend far too many hours in a car.

Whirl away May.

Graduate

I am a college graduate, as of May 8, 2010.

I am happy and content.  I’m sad to leave this season, these friends, this time of my life.  But this season is over and it’s time for a new setting.

And to any friends reading this…you’re stuck with me.  In all the change that is swirling around us…we’re still friends.

I have more words about this whole graduation business, but not now.  It’s time to rest.

Good job May. Keep it up.

Sneak-up May

Well that was interesting. April had mixed results. And May just suddenly appeared as I drove through Texas. Well, as I rode in a 15-passenger van through Texas.

If you’d told me a year ago that I would have gone to 5 Ultimate Frisbee tournaments as a PLAYER, I would have said you were insane.  Instead, I am insane.

April could have been better…but it was mostly better than March. So Jackson trip, consider yourself to have happened in April because I would like you to not be associated with March 2010.

In April I finished my senior project, had a lovely birthday, presented my senior project, creatively wrote a short story, and finished my undergraduate career with the exception of finals week. Some unpleasant things happened too.

So May, you’re going to be different. I have different expectations of you. Mostly because I have no idea what May will do.  Everything’s about to change. Which is both fabulous and horrifying. I hope it’s more fabulous than horrifying.

On an unrelated note, I found digestives at World Market. !!! Digestives are British tea cookies. And they’re amazing. And I don’t understand why there isn’t a World Market any closer than 5 hours away from me. Just like I don’t understand why there are no Half Price Books near me.