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.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

We are wild and young

I'm going to participate in a photo challenge--a picture every day in a certain genre. Today: your reflection.
Made me laugh because I had just gotten back from the gym after a long day of cleaning and creating graduation announcements before I sat down to watch a Real Marriage sermon and then go to sleep. Definitely not my finest look,  but hey it's normal 'ol me and that's cool too. Life isn't always about the crazy fun things...sometimes there's joy in a slow day. And that, my friends, is all I have to say tonight.