Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dance all night, there's no end in sight

Okay, here I go. God is SO good. It's been really easy for me to forget that I'm only where I'm at right now because God made all the little things fall into place. I just finished my first phase of training at work. I'll actually miss training a lot because our trainer was amazing and the three of us who were being trained had a blast together. Now I move to phase 2--answering live calls all day every day.
It's an incredible job. Every day I answer a 911 line that connects people to the help they need. Sometimes we save lives. It's MUCH more difficult than I thought it'd be, but it's also really exciting. So starting tomorrow I'm working full 10-hour days. woooo

I just e-mailed someone at church about finding a new community group....I'm SO excited about that.

I should be moving into an apartment in early October. !!!!!

I heard from the soldier I adopted and I'm blown away by how much he appreciates the little things that we do. It's such a rewarding thing. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I was doing SO well about posting. I'm still alive, I promise. I started working about 2 1/2 weeks ago and LOVE my job. The bummer is that I don't have internet access at the house right now, hence the rare updates. But someday I'll get access and write a nice little post. Don't worry--I haven't forgotten about you all :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Just breathe in the air, and blink in the light

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." 

So much is happening. all the time, every day. Classes, work, driving, running errands, seeing friends, it's easy to get caught up in doing life. But how often are we really thankful for today? How often do we waste time--the precious time we're given. Funny story is that I'm thinking about this for 2 reasons. One, I've been wasting time watching Grey's Anatomy and watching fictional characters whose lives are altered unexpectedly all the time. And two, 3 Special Forces Marine soldiers were killed today

When I found out that 3 soldiers were killed, before I knew they were Marines, my heart almost stopped. You see, this afternoon I just went shopping for my adopted soldier's August care package. A few weeks ago I sent brownies to a soldier friend who has been going through some really rough times. And today I got my first e-pal soldier's contact info. Before I started working with Soldier's Angels, the war in Afghanistan was just something that I heard about on the news. Now, I'm invested in the lives of three courageous men who are fighting and sacrificing every day so that we have the freedom to sit on our bums and waste life.

That doesn't seem right to me.

I'm not saying we have to do something brilliant every single moment of every single day, but I know I can at least do something every day. Maybe it's speaking Jesus into someone's life at a coffee date. Maybe it's writing an encouraging Facebook post on someone's wall. Maybe it's sending that care package to a soldier. It could even be giving grace to someone I'm frustrated with. I just know I want to stop doing life and start living in a way that is worthy of the gifts I have been given.

What did you do today?

My Back to School care package :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I'm addicted and I just can't get enough

I love Pinterest. Especially now, as I'm starting to figure out what I want my apartment to look/be like. One brilliant thing I found is the blog Blissful and Domestic. She gives wonderful ideas for how to live on a budget. This shall be my project when I start working next week. I figure, I'll have 2 months to plan a budget, work on shopping at thrift stores for stuff, and get in a routine before I move and throw a wrench in everything.

Right now, the plan is to hit Ikea after I see the actual space I'll be living in. I've already assembled a pallet TV stand, ransacked Value Village for kitchen stuff, and repaired my little old car's broken parts all by myself (with a little help from my dad and 1A Auto). I think the next thing on my to-do list will be these:

DIY canvas photos. I plan on having pictures everywhere in my house, so this is awesome. Between those and these:

there will be pictures EVERYWHERE!!! And thus, I am excited.

And then, there's these:
Chicago Ferris Wheel - printed on Recycled Vintage Dictionary Paper - 8x10.5Seattle Space Needle Building - printed on Recycled Vintage Dictionary Paper - 8x10.5San Francisco Goldengate - printed on Recycled Vintage Dictionary Paper - 8x10.5The NY Brooklyn Bridge 02 - printed on Recycled Vintage Dictionary Paper - 8x10.5 I'm thinking living room material?

Oh, I also decided that my kitchen will be coffee-themed, and my bathroom will be duck-themed. very excited.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

There's no reason you should ever have your head down

Ok, this is really cool. I can't believe I haven't posted about it yet. One of my favorite TV shows is Army Wives. I dunno why, I just like it. On one episode they mentioned penpals for deployed soldiers. I thought "that's kinda cool..." and googled it. That's how I found Soldier's Angels.

So, soldiers who are deployed and never get mail or care packages from people back home are entered into a database...either by commanding officers or the soldiers themselves. Then, people in the States can "adopt" one! We send 1 letter every week and 1 care package every month. It might seem like a big commitment, but really these guys and gals are putting their lives on hold for our freedom. and it's fun! 

I was assigned a guy in the Army who is in the Middle East. Soldier's Angels says going into it that you probably won't hear back from your soldier since they're so busy. I haven't heard from mine, but still I get really excited when I think that someone's day might be made a little brighter by such a simple act. 

If you want a ministry, just think about this one!

Monday, August 6, 2012

If you are chilly, here take my sweater

It's been a while, I know...I'm sorry.

2 weeks ago, my wonderful friend Laura married the man of her dreams. Laura's wedding was gorgeous, and I was reminded again of how beautiful marriage can be. There have been SO many weddings and engagements this summer. It has lead to many conversations about marriage and love with some of my friends. All I can say is I know it will be a challenge, but I'm looking forward to being on mission with whatever man God has planned for me. 

Speaking of engagements, one of my favorite people, Caroline, got engaged a few weeks ago. This is one wedding that I am BEYOND excited for. Caroline lives in Chicago and goes to college in Michigan. I flew out to meet her-then-boyfriend, Jack and to hang out with Caroline. Let me tell you, I was so nervous about meeting him. What if I didn't like him? What if there was just something weird about him? What if he didn't like me? He and I ended up having a little witty banter argument like Caro and I did all the time. All I remember is he got the better of me in the "argument" and that's when I knew he was the right guy for her. Now they're getting married in June. Yay. :)

I also got to spend 4 days in Eburg with these ladies and Shannon. It was such a great time, and God repaired a very strained friendship with one of them. Plus, I got to go home and see all my friends from school!!

Oh yeah, and about a week ago, I accepted a job offer. No big deal. My new hometown has a Mars Hill Church and a guide dog group, so I'm set.

Now, I just get to make sure I see everyone before I leave.

All of these are evidences of God's amazing grace and love. I'm so humbled.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Calm in the storm

Last night at 10pm, Hollie and I lined up to see the premiere of the 3rd Batman movie. Little did we know that about an hour later, people watching the same movie in Colorado would be in the midst of a shooting.

It's still kind of surreal. Facebook is full of posts about how guns should be banned. Petitions are being signed, and so many people are angry. More than anything, I'm sad. Sad that someone would get to a place in his life that he would do something like this. Sad for the families of the 12 dead movie-goers, and for the family of the gunman. Sad that things like this are used as fuel on the "anti-gun" fire. Sad when I think of how many people must feel hopelessness and intense grief.

I found this article posted on Facebook today. It's from a woman who was there and she talks about how God is merciful even in the midst of stuff like this. How cool is that. Sure, there were some snarky comments by readers about how useless religion is (okay, really people? You're entitled to your own beliefs....but she is why attack her beliefs when she doesn't attack yours? *rant ended*), but it's still a beautiful post about God's love and his nature. Read it if you get a chance.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Only the good die young

Today the world lost a great guy. One of my 19-year-old residents, an avid and amazing climber, a unique individual, a man who loved a diverse array of people, and the boyfriend of a wonderful, sweet young lady died in a climbing accident. Such a heavy heart. So many tears. I don't know what to do or say. I pray for his family and girlfriend. I don't know if he was a Christian or not, and I can only pray that God's love will be seen through the tragedy. I have no other words.

In Memory

Saturday, June 30, 2012

While angels in His presence sang, until the courts of heaven rang

We've had a couple days of summer this week, and it's been really nice. The best part of this week has been re-connecting with so many people. I got to have a wonderful, Jesus-filled lunch with Miss Cortney, picnic'd with my favorite Brittney, spontaneously went downtown with Shannon (I love that I don't see her very often, but whenever I do, it's like we haven't ever been apart), visited the farmer's market with Heather, and yesterday I went downtown again with Jill and Shannon (oh yeah, Jill is back from India for 2 weeks. This is awesome).

I wasn't planning on blogging today, but I've been thinking. :) It all started this morning when I realized I don't really have anything to do, so I can go to a park and hang out with Jesus, my journal, and maybe the book we never finished reading. I realized I've never really sat down and gotten back into "quiet time" since I've been back. I also neglected finding a community of Christians to do life with because I didn't want to make friends and then move for a job. This excuse completely disappeared when Heather told me to come to their community group. Thus, I am going. 

Then, a friend posted this link on Facebook. The thinking continued. I've heard the modest talks a million times. I know in my head that wearing certain things is just not okay. But I rarely actually think about why. Why is it that even Christian ladies feel the need to show off their bodies? Why I wear certain things? I've always battled with the idea of what it means to find complete identity in Jesus. So maybe, indeed, we do what we know we shouldn't because we don't understand that Jesus is everything. I don't need to be attractive to guys...Jesus can fill that void. Now I just need to figure out how to put that thought into practice.

Monday, June 25, 2012

I never heard a sweeter voice, it made my aching heart rejoice!

My take-away from church this week: no matter where you're at, it's a good time to be talking about how amazing Jesus is. For me it's been easy to ignore the fact that I'm at a really nice transition phase right now. Instead of being thankful for the time I get to spend with my family, cooking new recipes, and working out, I've just wanted to get a job. But I'm going to choose to focus on how awesome Jesus is for helping me pass all my dispatcher tests, for giving me an opportunity to get back in good shape, and for my new little car!

Speaking of cooking, today I made Cheese Stuffed Everything Pretzels:
They're yummmy!! I think in the future I would like them to be a bit smaller...more of a snack size. But other than that they turned out really well! Pretty easy to make, too. 

I'm off to prep for my oral board tomorrow!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I've had all these recipes on Pinterest for a while, but at school we don't really have the ability to make them. I mean, I could go out and buy a ton of supplies but then I'd have left-overs. What does a college student do with a box of corn starch? So since I'm at my parents' house, they already have the ingredients and help me eat whatever I make! Win-win. 

Two weeks ago I made these. They were AMAZING. And delicious. And super easy!

This week, I made Cheesy Pesto Pull-Apart Bread. Again, pretty delicious and easy. I'm not a food photographer, but this is what it looked like.

I'm still trying to decide what to make next. I mean hey, when else am I going to have free ingredients and time to make yummy food!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Oh the love that sought me!

We sang this at church. I think it's my new favorite worship song obsession:

In Tenderness

In tenderness he sought me
Weary and sick with sin
And on his shoulders brought me
Back to his fold again
While angels in his presence sang
Until the courts of heaven rang

Oh the love that sought me
Oh the blood that bought me
Oh the grace that brought me
To the fold
Wondrous grace that brought me
To the fold

He washed the bleeding sin wounds
And poured oil and wine
He whispered to assure me
"i've found you, you are mine,"
I never heard a sweeter voice
It made my aching heart rejoice

He pointed to the nailâ©prints
For me his blood was shed
A mocking crown so thorny
Was placed upon his head
I wondered what he saw in me
To suffer such deep agony

I'm sitting in his presence
The sunshine of his face
While with adoring wonder
His blessings i retrace
It seems as if eternal days
Are far too short to sound
His praise

So while the hours are passing
All now is perfect rest
I'm waiting for the morning
The brightest and the best
When he will call us to his side
To be with him
His spotless bride.

In other news, I have a car now. Yay! I'll introduce him formally in another post. And I'm going to try to make one new recipe per week. Most of them I've found on Pinterest and look scrumptious. Stay tuned for reports on those endeavors.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

School's out for...ever!

It's over. I've moved the tassel to the left side. Pending good grades in all my classes, I'm a college graduate. I don't think it's hit me yet. I'll be honest, the ceremony was long, freezing, and slightly boring. I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked. I was more stressed than I wanted. Now I wait. And re-pack. And do free laundry. :)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Oh, listen to the music

God is so good. Praise and recognition really means a lot to me. My challenge to myself this quarter was to do my job for the Lord, not for attention or competition. But, at the end of the college career, it means SO much to me to know that everything I've done for the past 2 years has been noticed. Recognition is just God's way of telling me "hey, you're doing alright!"

Now, I use this blog for two main reasons: to chronicle what's happening in my life because I tend to forget what life used to be like, and to keep my bestie who's in India right now apprised of what's happening in my life. The rest of this post is going to be mainly the first if you don't like people talking about themselves, now would be a good time to stop reading.

Still here? awesome. In the past few weeks I've received the following:
  • Dean's Scholar
  • Graduating Magna Cum Laude
  • Com Department Excellence in Research award
  • Lovely poster from RHLC
  • RHA/NRHH Outstanding Leadership Pin 
  • RHA cords
  • Programming Hall of Fame
  • West Basetties Program of the Year award
  • Hats off to ya' award
Dean's Scholar--this ties in directly with graduating Magna Cum Laude. Basically, I had decent grades while I was here at CWU. Because of said grades, I'm graduating not only with honors but as one of 34 people in the entire College of Arts and Humanities to be a Dean's Scholar. I'm blown away. I think grades are the factor that determines who is awarded this, but one of my good friends, Eli, has great grades and didn't get Dean's not sure exactly what factors in to the decision.

Com Excellence in Research--Since I'm doing original research for my senior thesis, I received this award. Apparently, receiving an award at the Com banquet is a big deal. Not everyone wins something. I have worked my behind off on my thesis, so it feels wonderful to see that my professors recognize the work I put in.

RHLC poster--several of my residents wrote not just little "have a good year" notes, but full paragraphs about how much they appreciate me. One said something to the effect of "if I could create an RA from scratch, they would be just like you." As an RA, there are people who just won't like you. And that's tough for me to deal with, since I live with them every day and try to have a positive relationship. To hear that kind of thing, makes this job SO worth it.

RHA/NRHH Outstanding Leadership Pin--this is the one that brought me to tears because I was not expecting it in a million years. RHA is the Residence Hall Association. NRHH is their sister organization. Basically, we plan programs, help residents, spread the word about things, etc. I've been an advisor this year and part of last year as an RA. Every year the executive boards can award a total of 8 outstanding leadership pins and 8 bronze pins. Out of everyone at RHA and NRHH, Brett chose to pick me for his outstanding leadership pin. This is a huge honor. He said "I was surprised this person hasn't been recognized at this level yet. She has an incredible community and just spreads joy wherever she goes. Even though she isn't part of NRHH, I would like to award this pin to Anna..." I think the coolest thing about this is that I don't really know Brett. So apparently, the light that Jesus has allowed me to be is spreading beyond what I realize.
with Brett after being awarded the OL pin

RHA cords--basically, it's honors cords for all the work I've put into RHA. Considering I've led several RHLC meetings by myself, and helped with a ton of little things (when no other staff members consistently did), I'm super excited to be graduating with the support of RHA.

Programming Hall of Fame--basically I did a lot of programs. A lot. Only Khylee and I ever got that from Beck. This year.

Program of the Year--The Green Dot program that Nicole, Andrea, and I worked so hard on, and got such great staff and student participation received campus-wide recognition!

Hats off to ya'--this is another one that almost brought me to tears. One of the people I admire the most here  is one of our Assistant Directors of Housing, Jenna Hyatt. She is an incredible woman of faith and is genuinely sweet and caring. She said she has gotten to award this for 15 years, to 3 people on the housing staff team each year. 3 out of over 120 staff. She awarded one to me and her words were: for integrity, outstanding leadership, and said "I could tell you 1,000 stories of why this person deserves it." I am just blown away by how much of an honor it is to receive recognition from such a wonderful woman.

That's been my last few weeks. Every day I'm just so blessed. I feel like God is looking down and saying "you did well." And the best part is that hopefully some of these people know, like I've told my boss, that I don't compare myself to others. I hold myself to a standard of excellence because I'm doing my work for Jesus--not for other people.

As of now, there are 7 days until I graduate.

VIRGIN Jell-o shots with my girls (Nicole, Riley, and me)
3rd floor RAs....we're just THAT epic

Straight thuggin' at the Bassetties BBQ

Monday, May 28, 2012

We've got each other and that's a lot for love--we'll give it a shot

For my interviewing class, I had to conduct an interview of someone and write up the interview into a narrative. There's this lovely and amazing woman in my life, her name is Jill, and she has been my bestest friend for......several years now. Right now, she's on a mission trip for many many months and will be traveling all across the world. So when I had to interview someone awesome, naturally I thought of her.

Here's Jill's story:

         Sex. To hundreds of young people across the world, sex trafficking is a daily reality. In our globalized world, it has become an even larger problem. People can order sex slaves online and have them delivered within a few short weeks (Not For Sale, 2009). Sex trafficking can be simply defined as people being coerced into submitting to exploitation—specifically sexual exploitation (, n.d.). The U.S. Department of State estimated that approximately 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across U.S. borders each year (, n.d., para 8). This is just the number coming into the United States from abroad. Other estimates say as many as four million people are trafficked every year worldwide.

While on a mission trip to Haiti in 2010, Jill Bakke felt God’s calling to pursue missions. Jill attended University of the Nations, a Christian mission-focused university in Kona, Hawaii, to study photography. Injustices of many kinds frustrate Jill, and she decided to bring awareness to the problems across the world through photography. Unlike other mediums, photography puts a face on an issue. Instead of thinking that human trafficking is a problem somewhere far away, photography shows the pain in the women’s eyes and the poverty in which they live. Jill attributes her skill in photography to a gift that God has given her to use in a way that gives him glory—specifically by increasing awareness to these issues. She wishes that people in the United States realized how prevalent sex trafficking is—not only in other countries but in our own figurative backyard.
            Youth With A Mission and PhotogenX forms trips for students to travel around the world and make a difference through ministry. Jill’s group is comprised of eight women and two men—mostly in their early 20s. Complete strangers at the beginning of the trip, these ten people will visit Thailand, India, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, South Africa, Israel, many countries in Europe, Argentina, and wrap up the trip in Hawaii. Through this journey, the entire team has grown closer together as they share the mission which drives them all—stopping the injustice.

            In Thailand, Jill visited a very small hill tribe to see how the people live, work with a ministry that provides supplies, and photograph what the team discovered. Trafficking can be a problem in this part of the country because the tribes are struck by poverty and need to find a way to pay for goods. Since the ministry has arrived in the village and provided help, the number of trafficking instances has decreased significantly. In this tight-knit community, Jill and her team found that even though they were living in poverty, tribe members were more than happy to share what they had with the visitors.

            Another incredible story came from her visit to Chiang Rai, Thailand. For a week, Jill spent time with a group of monk novices. She heard the stories of why the novices chose the lifestyle and from where they came. According to the head of the group, most of the young men were from the Burma and China areas. To escape the large amount of drug trafficking and avoid being forced into the trafficking lifestyle, parents would send their sons to become monks. After being part of the monkhood for 15 years, the men are allowed to become citizens of Thailand and embark on a lifestyle of their choice. One young man, Tarn, informed Jill that he left his home in China because he desired to have a family and respectable job. The Chinese government had forced Tarn’s father to fight against the drug traffickers, and that life did not appeal to Tarn. Jill explained one of the hardest things was seeing how a young man’s childhood was stripped from him simply because he did not want to live in a place where he could be shot, join the trafficking, or be forced to work in a dangerous government job.

            If people in the United States could know one thing about human trafficking, Jill wishes they knew that it happens everywhere. While most people think it does not exist around them, they have no idea that Seattle is second in the country for sex trafficking—Portland taking first place. This is not a problem that just happens in other places; it is something which affects people all around us. Informed people can help end the problem, and this group desires to start providing the information. To work towards this end, the team will be publishing their photographs at the end of the trip. In the past, publication was a book which compiled photos from all of the photographers. Additionally, Jill and most of her teammates have public blogs on which they publish stories and photos of what they encounter. Those who desire to learn more and become involved in the United States should visit the Not for Sale Campaign website.

            Since she began her trip in Thailand in April, Jill has encountered incredible experiences. She hopes that she can show people Jesus’ love while hearing and documenting their stories. Also, she has a passion for increasing awareness around the world. Her photographs are beautiful and accomplish her goal. As Jill’s work demonstrates, a picture can really be worth a thousand words. 

If you read through that whole thing, here's your reward: some of Jill's other work. Her photos are incredible. As I'm looking to getting my own apartment in the future, I've been trying to figure out which pictures I want to buy prints of to put on my are my finalists :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

And you'd see me waiting for you on the corner of the street

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
(James 1:5-6)

This is my verse of the day. I'm thrilled that I've been moving very quickly through the hiring process for a certain dispatch department. The department seems great, there's a Mars Hill and guide dog group in the area, there's a police department with a reserve program in the area, and I could work there. There is just so much that I don't know...and I will be relying heavily on wisdom from God to figure this thing out. I don't know why I'm so concerned, I haven't even been made a job offer yet...haha.

When it comes down to it, I find so much relief in the fact that I  don't have to rely on my own abilities and knowledge to make any decisions. If it was all and only up to me, I don't know how I'd survive. I was talking to one of my residents today about the future and I explained to her my viewpoint: I do the best I can, but in the end it's in God's hands. She said that makes sense, and I can't imagine what it would be like to not have that reassurance. I mean, the mind of a man may plan his way but the Lord directs his steps. No matter where I end up, I know it will be doors that God has opened. As my resident pointed out, who knows...the perfect guy [the guy God has waiting for me] might be wherever I get a job and then moving somewhere unknown would be all worth it. I thought that was cute. .......and maybe true, who knows. 

So that's my little thought gush for the day. 

Evidences of God's Grace:
  • The fact that I made it to backgrounds in this testing process
  • Having a 4-day Memorial Day weekend!
  • Feeling so much more at peace about graduating
  • ALmost finishing my Lit Review for my senior thesis
  • Finding a modest and yet cute graduation dress
  • Feeling humbled 
  • Reminders of what it's like to be a godly woman
  • E-mailing with Jill!!! (I love that girl)
  • Talking to Caro on the phone...even though it was brief.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

God is so good, He's so good to me

Not much new...just livin' the dream. Doing homework assignments at the last minute is becoming an art form. I'm not procrastinating--I just have to prioritize things based on deadlines. For instance, I have to get a bunch of pieces of information from people for my personal history statement which has to be completed before or right after my first oral board. And, no big deal, but I got my first oral board set for tomorrow! I tested twice for this agency and I left feeling a little discouraged. I generally don't test well, so I had no idea how well I'd done. But I figured I just have to trust God because He's got it all worked out. Yesterday I received the call that I have and interview, so today I'll be finishing homework that's due today and preparing for the interview. It's a dispatch job that would be great.

So that's where I'm at. Just hanging out in God's love and grace. I've been talking a lot about Jesus and sin and God's love with people recently and when I really stop to realize what Jesus did, like I was hearing it for the first time, it just doesn't make sense. Why would GOD....who is completely awesome and perfect in heaven...come to earth and live a perfect life just to be tortured and die? Every time that I realize the answer is "because he loves me" I'm a little blown away. If that's not radical, I don't know what is.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Seasons come and go, but I will never change

Well let's see...I have 3 weeks till graduation. Crazy. I'm convinced that this entire quarter is one big test to see if we can remember to jump through all the hoops. There are a million things to do before closing the residence hall, I have so many papers due this week, and job applications are exhausting. I shouldn't be blogging, I should be getting paper to finish my portfolio. :)

In a few short weeks these little deadlines and homework assignments won't be a big deal anymore. It's just odd. I'm really really going to miss my residents. They are so fun and just easy to hang out with. I was watching Glee, and one of the characters put it well when she said "I just don't want all of it to end."

BUT, on the cool side, I passed my dispatcher exam with pretty darn good scores. But the best part is that most of the agencies who are hiring are in the same area or city as a Mars Hill church! As scary as re-locating and starting over is, I feel like if I'm in a place where I can be at Mars Hill again, there will be a family there.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

And you take me the way I am.

I can't remember if it was one of the chapters in the Girls Gone Wise book or one of Pastor Mark's Real Marriage sermons that got me thinking about this. Someone said that you need to stop making just the lists of things you want in your future husband, you need to make the list of things you want to BE for your future husband.

Caring, able to accept correction, capable, strong, humble, servant-like, a place of refuge. That's the little list.

I spent this afternoon watching my mentor's 4 and 7 year-old boys . It's weird because I could kind of see what it would be like to be a mom. I've babysat 5 million times, but I've been thinking a lot about marriage, family, and how to prepare myself for my future jobs. Man, I think the biggest thing I need to work on is patience. After losing at checkers, 2 games of Sorry, and a math game I was frustrated. I realized that not only am I really competitive, I'm also really used to getting my own way. As in, if I want to go to my room and watch a movie, I can. If I want to go outside and walk, I can. Pastor Mark says that single people are the most selfish people, and that hit me really hard. I'm really excited to be a wife and mother someday and I'm praying that God will be teaching me the character of a godly one.

It's odd how much my perspective has changed in a couple of weeks spent really looking at marriage and being a woman. Strength doesn't need to be defiant and saying "I can do anything a man can do." Don't get me wrong, I'm still trying to be in the law enforcement field because I really want to help people. But I can do that AND be gracious.

Friday, May 11, 2012

We found love in a hopeless place

Let's be honest. Life gets ahead of you sometimes. In trying to stay on top of everything, I'd lost sight of Jesus. That and I didn't care. Some people call it a "dry spell in your faith" but here's what it was for me. I knew God is awesome. I knew He was always around. I knew He was giving me everything I had. I prayed when I was thankful or needed something. But beyond that I didn't feel compelled to spend time with Him. 

It's like when you're working out every day and then you take a break. That one day turns into two, and since working out takes so much time you realize that you don't need to do it ALL the time. After all, you seem to be in decent shape when you're not a regular visitor. But then you start going back every day because you feel like crud, and the daily workouts feel so good and make you feel solid. That's where I'm at right now. Physically and spiritually.

Ask Jesus to work and He will. I have a list of things I've been convicted of. Want to hear them? Great. I'm glad you do. I need to work on: being a servant, changing my views of femininity, my tendency to jump to defensiveness, using my time well, watching what I say, and more. Pretty good list, I'd say. So far, I've seen tiny little baby steps of progress. 

Also, today my advisor/head of the department/public speaking professor pulled my 2 best Communication Major friends and I aside after class and asked us to help him in a seminar about public speaking. I was blown away. I took advanced public speaking with him, but didn't think I was near one of the top 3 speakers in the department. The other big blessing I got in the mail was a letter saying I'm a Dean's Scholar. Apparently, there are 34 students in the College of Arts and Humanities who qualify. I appreciate that God shows me He notices all the little things I do. 

I think the hardest thing on my list of convictions is the servanthood. It's about doing the extra work and not complaining. It's kind of integrity. Like when I go on duty and there is a week of old posters that haven't been taken down/put up--that's frustrating to me since it's the other RAs job to do that. But just fixing the problem with out whining to people afterwards....that's being a servant. Or talking the people that others seem to avoid. Or helping out wherever I can. It's tough because deep down I have a problem being "inconvenienced". But God is good in helping me change.

Evidences of God's Grace:
  • beautiful weather
  • the Japanese Garden
  • good people winning the ASCWU BOD election
  • raising $45 for an orphanage through our Pie Your RA program
  • class cancelled today
  • my computer is over 4 years old and still working
  • a wonderful chat with Nicole
  • seeing Kelsie even with her new job

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

That was the day I promised I'd never sing of love if it did not exist

I've been watching the Real Marriage series. It's REALLY good. Super practical even for us single people.

Today's is on porn. I'm only 30 minutes in and I had to stop it 1) because I had to go to class and 2) it was such a powerful message. It was interesting because he was talking about how even thinking about a person who is not your spouse in certain ways can be sin. The last one was on sexual assault, and that was also a toughie. If you know someone who is struggling with being a victim of assault, please refer them to this message. It's full of grace, love, and redemption.

Evidences of God's Grace:

  • huge progress on my thesis
  • feeling on top of homework
  • it's Tuesday!!
  • conviction of sin that no one sees, but is impacting my life
  • getting the hall sphere of excellence from a ressie

Saturday, April 28, 2012

There's a song that's inside of my soul

Last night I had a program where we watched a movie called Miss Representation. It's all about how women are portrayed in the media and what that's doing to their self-image. Now anyone that knows me knows that I fully believe that women are just as talented as men. However, I've been struggling with the whole concept of gender roles. People always say things like "only a tiny percentage of women are CEOs. We need to fix that." Do we? Really?

My Bible says that God made men and women different, but equal. When it talks about being different, it mentions how exemplary women (like the Proverbs 31 woman) are really good at keeping their homes in order. So I wonder if deep down, women desire to be with their kids and working at home? That's definitely not to say that they shouldn't be allowed to have jobs. On the contrary, I think that ladies who can work and take care of their homes are incredible. But I know that I'm so excited for the day that I can have a family. For when I will have my own house and husband to take care of. I have no desire to be a CEO. Even in law enforcement, I can see myself doing specialty teams like K-9 or working closely with domestic violence/sexual assault, but I wouldn't want to be high up in supervisory.

I don't know if I've shared this before, but the reason I want to be a police officer isn't that I want to prove how tough I am. The reason is that I see so many people hurting. Every day people are being hurt and I am so sick of not being able to do anything. I want to see justice. Volunteering as an advocate with a domestic violence and sexual assault group in town has been an eye-opening experience. I'll never forget the first sexual assault call (and only, actually) I went on. I met the professional advocate on-call at the hospital, heard the victim's story, and more than anything I was mad. I was mad that some person has such a low view of human life that he did this to someone. I was mad that I couldn't give the perp a piece of my mind. I was mad that no one who was there and saw what was going on decided to stop the situation. When I get really upset I usually express it by running or dancing. It was too late to go the gym so I spent about 10 minutes doing PT exercises.

That's just one experience. I don't know that victim. I have never seen them since that night. But I've heard stories. Oh, have I ever heard the stories. You know, you hear the stats that 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lives which means that you probably know a victim, etc. I had no idea how true that was. Especially with my advocate training, people will tell me things they've never told anyone. It breaks my heart at how many of the perps are never brought to justice.

The same thing with domestic violence. I have heard SO many stories. Not only from the victims that I have helped through volunteering. My friends. My residents. Some of the nicest people, most godly women, most incredible ladies have gone through or seen terrible things. People ask me how a loving God could allow so many bad things to happen. I can only take heart in the fact that when Jesus comes back to reign and rule over our crappy and sinful world, he will get rid of Satan and he will bring ultimate justice.

I said I was going to post on passion, and this is it. I firmly believe that God gives everyone a deep rooted thing that they care about. One of my friends really loves mentally handicapped children. Another friend is fighting to end human trafficking.This is what I'm passionate about. This is what my best friends understand about me. This is what my residents/acquaintances try to comprehend. This is what my future man will have to "get". Because until you can fully comprehend the fact that I would do almost anything to help people, you'll never understand me as a person. I'll never know why, but the personality Jesus has given me is one that drives and pushes for excellence. When all the bad guys are caught, that's when I'll be content.

I'm doing a program about ending power-based violence (a.k.a. Green Dot) next week. One of my incredible residents, Nicole, is doing it with me. Nicole is a lady who has grown incredibly this year. She and I had a conversation mid-Fall quarter about being Christian in college. That conversation led to some very difficult things, at times we've both wanted to quit or give up. Now, she's thriving. She might not see it but I do. She is involved with church, talks with her mentors and peer-mentors, sees things more and more from Jesus' perspective, and is strong enough to stand up for herself. It's people like her that give me hope.

One more story and then I promise I'll be done. The other night I was dealt with an interesting situation. At the end, the person involved called me and sounded so happy. They literally sounded 10 pounds lighter. They told me "thank you SO much. I am so relieved and so happy to be out of that situation. I feel so good right now!" That makes it worth it.
P.S. I'm excited about graduation, but I'm SUPER excited to do this again:

Are we human or are we dancers?

This is my Friday afternoon. I was going to do Zumba with Katie, but my phone didn't go off to remind me, and I got lost in trying to catch up on my TV shows via Hulu while working on my thesis. I didn't realize how many professors would not be okay with me taking 6 minutes of their class time...crazy.

Anyway, it's been a productive week. Research on its way, Green Dot program all planned and ready for Wednesday, and we're having an area staff event on Sunday where we're all recognizing a member of our team. And I made my recognition thing for Bossman.

So this evening, I was not very tired, but trying to figure out a relaxing way to finish my night after doing a nice ab workout and watching some Friday Bride Day on TLC with my ressies. That's when I came up with the brilliant idea of searching YouTube for a short beginner yoga/relaxation exercise. Now, I've heard all kinds of things about yoga within the Christian church. Most often I hear it condemned. I understand where the spiritual/clearing your mind of everything/meditation could be not-God-honoring. However, when I've done yoga (and it's not very often) it's never for a spiritual purpose. Usually, it was for the workout and the fact that it's relaxing. So the jury is still out for me on what I think of it. I'm leaning towards it's okay--when done like any other workout or relaxation activity.

I was thinking about another thing. Passion. Not necessarially the romantic type. But my thoughts are going to take up a whole post, so I'll leave that one for tomorrow-ish.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's not a cry that you hear at night, it's not somebody who's seen the light

I just got done reading my Bible. I'm reading through Isaiah because even though it's not an easy read, it's still God's word, and I want to see what He has to teach me. And every time, there's something new.

"For the look on their faces bears witness against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves." Isaiah 3:9
It seems pretty harsh,  but I think the point is that these people were being judged very severely by God because they were evil and not repentant. I was thinking just about conversations I have with my friends and we talk about all kinds of things that are sin! But instead of talking about them because we're confessing it, it's all about how good we are at it or what our friends have done. That's really not okay. Not only do I need to not participate in the conversations, I need to get away from them because the more I listen to it, the more I might start to think it's okay.

Funny how people think Isaiah and other old testament books are so inapplicable to every day life...really? I've always struggled at naming my own sin and I think Isaiah is helping with that...

Sometimes I feel like these ugly trees outside my window. They were beautiful in the fall, they're pretty gnarly looking right now, but soon they'll flower and be pretty again. There are ugly parts of life, but I know that Jesus is just using those parts to allow the flowers to blossom soon.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tonight I froze an apple. You know how frozen grapes taste amazing? Well frozen apples just taste cold. And are very hard to eat. I stuck it in my freezer just to cool it down since it was so hot today! whoops. :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I am the luckiest

What a great day. Beautiful. Just reminded by the sun and 79 degree heat how much God knows what we need. See I have weather issues. When it's cloudy, I tend toward the melancholy sad side. Not that it's been rainy and cloudy a lot here, but recently I just needed sun.

This is what I saw. My bestie Brittney, my favorite Katie, former (forever) roomie Alex, and lovely Emily and I went to a cute Bavarian town a couple of hours from campus. We had a great time visiting all the shops, getting lunch, ice cream, sampling food, bathroom hunting, and just hanging out/finding silly sayings/doing silly things.
I liked this one a lot :) But anyway, apparently last year when we went on our yearly trip, I was frustrated about something that I don't really remember. What was really odd is that situation came up multiple times. I know that I'm a very passionate person, and I know that every once in a while, I am the kind of pitbull that will hold onto a position that I hold with a locked jaw and no intention of letting go. I had no idea that what I did last year was such a big deal that it was one of the first things brought up when we were talking about "remember how last year...". What a reality check. Man, there are times that this is really important. I think that it's a factor in what makes me successful. I know that I want perfection and I won't give up until I've come as close as I can. However, in friendships it brings an interesting dimension. It was convicting again about how highly I think of myself. I feel like I'm always right. What pride. That's pride that Jesus died for. I was convicted earlier about having my heart in the right place, but I think it also needs to be changed.

But despite the few awkward conversations, I really enjoyed the day. I'm going to miss those ladies, and I REALLY hope I can go with them next year.

When I came back home, Kelsie and I got food. She decided to get cereal which she proceeded to spill on the cafeteria floor. I was laughing so hard that my head hurt! Then I got to have a nice chat with Danielle. She is so sweet. I have gotten to actually talk to her twice in a couple of days and I hope I get a lot more time with her.

Evidences of God's grace:
  • minimal sunburn
  • a joyful trip
  • power! I have a fan to keep me cool tonight. 
  • not having homework

Friday, April 20, 2012

these should be the best days of our lives

"So slow it down you move a little too fast
You take a deep breath, you make this last
These should be the best days of your life"
It's just been a whirlwind of stuff. I picked dates to test as a dispatcher and corrections officer in May. Police officer testing will be in June. It's so exciting. Still scary, but the dispatch and corrections tests aren't nearly as nerve-wracking as police officer testing. It's just weird that this could be the rest of  my life. People keep asking how I feel about graduation and my answer is always the same--I'll feel better once I have a job.

Also! I got my research approved! So excited. I have to figure out what communication theories are present in my study and then I'm set. Again, it's really weird to be doing these "end of your college career" things.
Yeah, that's my college graduation cap and gown. I found out I'll be graduating magna cum laude which means I have to choose between the silver and CWU tassel. I remember that after high school graduation, I put the tassel on my car's rearview mirror...Wow graduation is coming too soon.

Until that fateful day, life has been full of hanging out with residents, programming, sitting through classes, doing little bits of homework here and there, spending time with friends, and the most recent addition has been weekly nights at the bar with my staff team. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

But I won't forget the ones that I love

Today's picture: where you ate breakfast

Well....I didn't eat breakfast. I have a bad habit of just making coffee instead of actually eating. But this morning I got distracted by reading the beginning of our community group's Bible study book--Girls Gone Wise.It was about heart. The most interesting part was when it said that a really good guy is going to be looking for a girl who is so in love with Jesus. Not a girl who's looking for a man. Not a girl who goes to church. A great guy will find the girl who is passionate about the God she knows. I really liked that reminder.

It's tough. It's tough when everyone is getting spring fever and getting into relationships. When it seems like even all my freshmen have boyfriends and here I am, still single. I'll be honest--I don't always think about it. But when I do, I get a depressing feeling like I'll be one of those girls who is single forever. And if that's what God wants, I guess it'll be the best thing, and I'll be okay with it! But it's tough. I still pray for the guy that might be out there. I pray that he'll be strong, make wise choices, and be learning how to deal with me through people/situations in his life.

Evidences of God's Grace:

  • Reading a new blog post from Jill
  • getting some adorable senior pictures
  • a great RHA meeting
  • Noelle--she makes me smile
  • my staff team getting along so well together

Sunday, April 8, 2012

It's always darkest before the dawn

This is the day of the Easter weekend that people wept. They thought it was all over and that Jesus would stay dead forever. But Sunday was coming.....
Interesting that today's photo was: shadow

Friday, April 6, 2012

And heaven meets earth like and unforseen kiss

Today's photo was supposed to be lunch. I completely forgot, so this is my evening snack. :)

It was interesting, I was talking with someone about Easter, and they kinda shrugged it off like it's no big deal. It's always been a very important holiday in my family, and I couldn't understand why it didn't bother this person that they wouldn't spend Easter Sunday with their family. Then I realized that if you don't understand Jesus, you don't understand Easter. If you don't know that we deserve death because of the bad things we do, you don't understand Easter. If you don't know that Jesus was absolutely perfect and didn't deserve anything bad to be done to him, you don't understand Easter. If you haven't heard the torture he went through, you don't understand Easter. If you don't know that Jesus went through that suffering because he loves you and me, you don't understand Easter. If you don't know that Jesus beat death and is alive in heaven, you don't understand Easter.

I am in awe of my Savior.

L.I.F.E. G.O.E.S. O.N.

Today's picture: tiny

I wasn't really sure what I was going to do for "tiny." Not many things are small here. But when I got back to my room, I saw this tiny little teddy bear.

I made sure the other things were in there for sizing. The little green bear was a gift from Caroline's grandparents last Easter. One year ago on Sunday, I was in Chicago with Caroline and her family. I spent Easter with her and her family and her friend Kaleigh. Caro's grandparents left Easter baskets for each of the girls and one for Kaleigh and me! It was so super sweet of them. It was weird not being with my family last year, but I flew home just in time to have dinner leftovers at my parents' house. And I even made it in time to see my grandma last year! 

That was an interesting trip. I got to meet some very important people in Caro's life, I got to see her college, and I learned some valuable lessons. One interesting thing is how very different schools can be. She goes to a great college, but most of the people there are thinkers. In order to be admitted, you have to be super smart and talented. While I was there I felt more intelligent, but at the same time I felt stupid. And I rarely ever feel stupid. People were talking about Aristotle and some of the greatest philosophers in every day conversation. I think it's really cool that such amazing minds are being cultivated to their fullest at that college. However, I also began to really appreciate CWU. It's home for me. All of the people are ridiculously friendly and down to earth. No one is snobby or pretentious. Sure, I'm learning very practical things and I may not be one of the great minds of the future, but I'm studying communication so that I can go out and USE it with every day people. I may not be a future leader of the nation, but I'll be that one person making a quiet difference every day in my job. And my cute, quiet, laid back, country school can teach me everything I need to know. <3

I also learned a bit about grace on that trip. It was difficult for me because I flew all the way over to Michigan and Chicago to visit, but another friend of Caro's came home with her for Easter as well. Her family is extremely gracious and wonderful hosts. However, I had already met them two other times and the other guest was new. Plus, Caro has history with me but sees the other guest every day at school, so she is used to spending more time with the other gal. I felt like I was a third wheel from the moment I walked in the door. Caro's family and sisters ended up hanging out with me more than she did, I felt. But I took it all very poorly and ended up pouting. I was extremely selfish and didn't go out of my way to welcome the other guest or to be very friendly once we got to the house. I was jealous. Plain and simple. I was thinking "it's not fair that this other girl gets to see Caro every day, and I fly in from Seattle, and I get put on the back burner. Not intentionally, but it's more natural for her to spend time with the other girl." 

Like I said it ended up pretty badly with me in tears and Caro's mom trying to mediate. Being gracious is something I've never been good at. I like having things my way and when I don't get what I planned on, or what I want, I manipulate other people till I get what I want. I learned that I need to work on grace. It was a tough place and time to learn it since I only had a few days and wanted to enjoy them. I really hope next time I see Caroline that it will be great and fun. 

This year I won't be spending Easter with my parents, again. I'll be on duty over the weekend and it wouldn't be practical to be home at 7pm on Sunday. *sigh* Maybe next year...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

This one's for you and me livin' out our dreams

I forgot to post my picture yesterday...sorry! Yesterday's item was mail. And since I've been working on graduation announcements, it was perfect timing.

Yes. Those are Christmas stamps. When I was at my parent's house, I asked if they had any stamps and they did. Sure, they're the wrong season, but they're free! Speaking of mail, I got a letter in the mail from miss Cortney which just made my day. There are few things which make me feel as loved and appreciated as getting a letter via snail mail. 

Today was an interesting day. It's my slow day so I should have gotten a lot accomplished....well I kinda did. Tied up several RA loose ends that needed to be done. Worked a little on my paper. That's about it. But I love Wednesdays because I have a meeting with the leadership teams from all the residence halls and with my hall's leadership team. Usually my boss helps run our hall's meeting since we're both "advisors" but tonight he couldn't make it. So I got to have the "we need to be doing our jobs better" conversation without him. I think it went well....the rest of the meeting worked out. 

The funny thing about those conversations and the similar ones I have with residents about breaking policy is I always wonder how seriously they take the convo. I mean, most of the time I'm a joyful, smiley person.I don't see a point in being serious unless I need to be. My favorite thing from Jesus is joy. So I try to be nice. Even in confrontations I generally head towards the "I need to tell you this, but don't hate me" style. I can be the authoritative person....ask any Explorer or some of my ressies...I just choose not to be. Anyway, but when the ressies walk away from those conversations I'm always curious if they think it was a joke or if they realize that's my way of telling them nicely to cut it out.

Today's photo assignment was: someone who makes you happy.

I could pretty much open my door yell "I need somebody!" and pick any one of the people that comes flocking towards me.


This is Kelsie. I picked her for so uber many reasons. She's one of my residents and I really can't remember how we first met outside of the mandatory meetings. It might have been during the leadership council meetings or when she came to church with me. ANYway, one of my favorite things about Kelsie is her laugh. She makes me giggle. I was upstairs in the SURC one day and could hear her laugh all the way in the dining area. And she's super cute. I like surrounding myself with beautiful people :)

But probably my favorite thing about Kelsie is her character. She loves Jesus and it's a beautiful thing. She is joyful, caring, trustworthy, hard-working, dedicated to excellence, has integrity, and is someone that I'm very excited to call a friend once she's no longer my ressie. The physical test for ROTC (which she's part of) is very similar to the police force so we trained together last quarter. There's just something about having her there that makes me want to do my best. We struggle with different areas, so she definitely pushes me beyond where I feel like I can go. When I tested for my last agency, I ran the 1.5 mile the very best I could to honor two people: Deputy C and Kelsie. She might be younger than me, but I've learned a lot from her. Also, she will be an RA next year. I am SO excited for her. I feel like we're very similar in some ways so she'll have all the best qualities that I brought to the position and more. She'll be that RA who all her girls adore and the guys respect. Anyway, I like this kid a lot. I eat with/workout/see her a lot and every time I always feel so good afterwards.

One last thing before I head off. I have to lose about....11 pounds to be able to test with State Patrol. It's probably time I got rid of the spring break chub anyway. I decided to really minimize starches for a while. So now I'm eating a lot of salads, steamed veggies and shrimp, smoothies, juice, fruit, salted nuts, straight protein, etc. I'm also trying to severely cut down on sugar. So far I'm doing well. already down a couple of pounds and it's been 2 days.

So there's my long post! :)

Evidences of God's Grace:

  • beautiful weather
  • talking to Jill before she left the country!
  • letter from Cortney
  • mini worship sesh before class
  • a good workout
  • sticking with my food limits today
  • only having one class

Monday, April 2, 2012

Oh what a thing to do 'cause you were all yellow

The photo category for today is color, and the sky was so beautiful I couldn't help but think how perfect it is!

Last night after I got done blogging, what really hit me was Jesus. How every day I do things that are sinful. No matter how hard I try, I'm jealous or conceited or impatient or ungrateful. And then I realized how really truly bad that is. I mean if Jesus had to die for it, it must be a big deal. Much bigger than I've made it. Interesting....

For my thesis I am conducting original research which means that I have to submit paperwork to the institutional review board. There is SO MUCH of it! I had no idea that to pass out surveys in classrooms I had to put together a full research plan and 11 pages of paperwork. But hey, it'll make the thesis so worth it.

I also got a letter saying that I'm eligible to write a speech to give at graduation. It will compete against other people's speeches. I'm considering writing one and just seeing what will happen.....if I do, I'll be sure to post it on here so you'll all be the first to read it.