Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mary Todd Lincoln

If anyone were to ask me before if I was a reader I was very very almost too quick to say "you're joking right?" I may have even thrown out a "heck no techno!" ... I know, it's bad but basically I hate reading!
Funny thing is I've always wanted to LIKE reading. I'm just not very good at it an to be honest it's embarrassing. At least to me. You see school has never, and I mean NEVER been any less than extremely painfully difficult for me. All through jr high and high school I was so socially and athletically involved that no one really thought twice that I would be struggling academically. I can talk my way out of any situation but ask me to take a test, read out loud or do anything with numbers and game over. And it's embarrassing! I was in a situation not too long ago where I was the only one who didn't know what NaCl meant and it took everything inside me not to burst into tears... So I burst into laughter instead (that's kind of become a thing) but I know that nothing in life comes free, even intelligence. You have to work on it.
Right now I am reading a book (for a summer class I'm finishing up) called "Mrs.Lincoln & Mrs.Keckly." It's the story of the former first lady and her friend and former slave who also served as a seem stress in the white house. Now I'm only just at the part where Miss Mary fist meets old Honest Abe but she is pretty stinking cool! She dreams big (almost too big for her own good) and nothing can stand in her way once she knows what she wants. Even at 14 she was saying that her husband would be president someday. She wasn't always the perfect lady but it was said that even among her suiters that it was her boldness and spontiunity was what attracted them. She never settled for anything or anyone even though so many people told she should be married by now (she was 22-23 when her and Abe met and back then she was quite the "old maid.") Mr. Lincoln wasn't the most attractive or already successful type, he was rather quite awkward, a little shorter but he was a gentlemen and had the biggest potential in the world, ad that's what she saw. That's what I love about her. She was smart and she knew it. But it didn't come easy to her either. When her mother died and here Todd's faster remarried an awful woman Mary clung to her father and learned. When the sent her to boarding school she focused and soaked every last thing in and made that place her home.
We my friends had one heck of a fist lady. And imagine, all that from a book.... Huh...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

For Claire B! :

     So I am suppose to be finishing a paper that's due tomorrow, and I'm almost done I promise!! But I decided to take a quick "break." While on said "break" what else am I going to do but do a little Facebook creapin'  ;) ... There is a girl that I remember meeting sometime last winter/fall. I was without car at the time and one of my dear friends was picking both of us up for Young Life College Oregon State's girls group one cold Tuesday Corvallis night. I didn't know much, or anything about her really other than our ride was a mutual friend. I remember being a little thrown off guard at first. She has an awesome loud personality, not afraid to speak her mind, and I remember her and Kelley having a conversation about a boy she may or may not should be talking to at the moment on the way to the Khulman's house. She was a wild one. Or at least that's what I got out of her. We had a couple more of those car rides and got to know each other a little but never super great friends before I left for Arkansas a couple months later. I remember Kelley being worried about her at times and I loved hearing her share a "snapshot" (click- click ;) ) of her life at girls group and wondering really where on earth Kelley found this girl (granted this was before I really knew anything about YLC or what it even meant to what Kelley was doing that year). Well like I said this girl and I never became super close but close enough to be friends on facebook.... this is where the fun starts (for me anyway!)

     Over the last year (with the help of modern day technology) I have been able to keep up on what my friends are doing and how their lives in Corvallis are moving on without me. One of my favorite things of all time is watching people grow. But getting to watch this girl grow has been one of the most beautiful things of my entire year. Again I didn't really know her that well but knowing the house, the friends, the community that is surrounding her now is so much evidence of where and how God is working in her life. The transformation from the girl we were starting to get to know to now is incredible! You can tell in her smile through pictures that this year in Corvallis is one she will never forget and how prevalent the Holy Spirit is in her and affecting everyone and everything around her. Heck I was 3,000 miles away and I felt it!! Having the privilege of knowing the community in Corvallis that she has emersed herself in makes me that much happier for her. The group of college students in that town is unlike anything I have ever seen. The friends she has now, living in the Courtyard, weekends at WFR, being a part of Young Life, going to family dinners, just living in Corvallis, is a group that will always be there for her no matter what. When I found out that she was going to be a summer intern at WFR- Creekside, I'm not sure why but I was almost brought to tears! Good tears I assure your! Her heart and her passion for living life the way God intended it to be in unreal and I could not be more excited for you Claire! :) Have a great summer!

Til the next new day ;)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

the only CITY i'd live in

     Anyone who knows me knows I love country music. But I don't just love country music... I LOVE country music. Some of my friends have told me I just AM country music (still not really sure what that means). Now anyone who really knows me knows that I hate the city. Now anyone who really REALLY knows me knows that there is one "city" I'd live in and it's right in the heart of dixie known as Music City USA. Although on a map you're gonna find it under Nashville, Tennessee.
     I don't know what it is about that city, lots of people go there. After all it is a "crazy town full of neon dreams" where "everybody plays and everybody sings."  It's "Hollywood with a touch of twang" but I wouldn't go there with hopes of making it big in the music industry. I would go there to dance, to explore, to watch... and maybe lead Young Life college at Vanderbilt or something. I feel like I talk about this a lot but there is just something about that city that has pulled me in for years. My roommate even found a sweatshirt at Goodwill that says "Nashville Scrappers" on it, so we got it. We realized a couple months later however that it's from Nashville High School in Nashville, Arkansas.... oh well!
     I've been there a few times since I became a "southern belle" and it is my favorite spot for what I like to call Vacations with Me. It's a big enough city to kind of get lost in but not big enough that it swallows you up. The CMT awards were on tonight which sparked this idea again. I realize that Nashville is WAY way more than just country music but it is music city after all. Often I find myself I daydream sometimes about living in a studio apt downtown and working in a coffee shop below, going up on the hill for a run in Centennial, seeing who's coming to the Ryman that week and exploring all sorts of thrift shops, painting by the river and ofc course the little bit of twang i've developed in my voice has become permanent. But for now I am ok with it just being a vacation spot... and no matter where I am, it always will be.

Monday, June 4, 2012

3,000 miles and a Wedding later...

... I made it! Once again I am back in the Pacific Northwest. It's a great place to be really. The trees, the mountains, the ocean, the air (existing without humidity), my friends and my family.
You all know this is where I grew up and while yes there is a part of me that already misses the South and my beloved Arkansas, I am so excited to be home, even if just for a little while.

     The drive up was nothing but long although I do love being able to see the country and how it changes from state to state. If you are following me on Instagram you can see pictures of each state I went through, this time being Oklahoma, Kansas, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. I drove for 2 1/2 days, raced the clock, changed clothes in Ellensburg and drove straight to my cousins wedding rehearsal just in time for the last run through. You see after eight years, my amazing cousin FINALLY married the man she loves. Josh and Katia Tyson are now official... At Last!!! (ironically enough that was the song she picked to walk down the aisle to)
     The wedding was amazing and I was honored enough to be able to stand next to her as one of her bridesmaids. Katia and I are the only girl grandchildren on that side of the family and we are also the two oldest of eight. We are the little girls of the family, even if we aren't so little anymore. Yesterday was a blast! I may have grown up a tomboy and still prefer jeans and boots to a dress and heals but every now and again I love getting dressed up and pampered on. I did my hair in the morning, and went with Kat to go get our make up done at the counters at Nordstroms. Hanging out and taking pictures in the hotel and venue with the rest of the bridal party was so fun. I've always looked up to my older cousin and getting to watch her get married was so fun.
    Through out the night I couldn't help but thinking that even though there is no one in the picture right now, that this time of my life might be coming closer and closer and although they are crazy beyond belief, how lucky we are to have a huge family that loves each other and loves us. Everyone was there to help out and it meant a lot to them to be able to be a part of Katia's day in one way or another.
     I often forget how much I miss being closer to my family. I forget how far away I am. I love the South and right now there is no opportunity that would make me move and I have no idea how long I'll be there but I've always thought that when the days come for me to be planning a wedding and starting a new life, having a family, that I would be no farther away than maybe greater Portland. I was talking to my aunt and uncle about that today and I know that all of them wishes that I move back, even if they won't tell me to my face. I'm not sure what I want yet and in reality it doesn't really matter. What matters is that I am listening and following to where God wants me today. Including Him in my life and letting Him put whatever and whoever in no matter what I might say. If that means the South it means the South. If that means one day I get to move back to the PNW then you can bet I'll be here. But for now I know that this is going to be a great summer back home.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Late Night Early Morning SUAH

So it's currently 330 in the morning and I am laying in a fort built by Josh and Evan in our living room as Evan and Jordan are asleep on either side of me. Josh is attempting to study at the table for his final at eight in the morning.
Words can not describe how much I love these three friends of mine. Don't get me wrong, I am so blessed to have the entire community I have in Arkansas and every one of them is a reason why I have thought of the possibility of planting roots down here but there is something that happened with the four of us that will hold us together for quite some time.
We call it SUAH. It stands for Super Ultimate Adventure Hoodrats. We don't really know how it happened but it did. We like to go on adventures and for some reason it always ends up being the 4 of us. So we made a club. 'Cause we're cool. We're not trying to leave anyone out, if you ever want to come on an adventure with us, you are more than welcome to. It just happens. Usually spontaneously.
These adventures have bonded us though. Bonded us in conversation, bonded us in adventure and bonded us in friendship. We are sisters and brothers in Christ and I believe that is a huge component to us being such great friends. It's completely normal to find one of the boys asleep on our living room floor at 3 in the morning.
I know the rest of this is going to sound super sappy but right now I would consider these three my best friends. Friends who shoot guns together stay together right?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Our Last YL Club of the Year

Our friend put together this video of our last club Monday night. It's a window into the world that we as Young Life leaders step into every day. We choose to because we believe in this ministry, we believe in these kids and most of all we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.  John Evans, our ArkLaMiss Young Life Regional Director said it in no better way at our Arkansas/NE Texas leadership weekend this year ...


Monday, April 16, 2012

The Spirit Fills in the Blanks

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. 
For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us 
with groanings too deep for words. 
And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, 
because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God
 And we know that for those who love God 
all things work together for good, 
for those who are called according to his purpose."  
 [Romans 8: 26-28]

     The last part of this section of verses has always been a verse that I carried around with me since even before I really became a believer and follower of Christ. Lately I have been focusing on the first part. 
     Even when we are broken to our core and don't know what to pray for past our last breath, the Spirit takes our prayer and helplessness and fills in the blanks. Most people think the "Christian life" gets easier when you decide to "follow Christ" but if you are REALLY following Him in everything you have you will soon learn that this is not the case... pretty much ever. Things get harder and it is crucial in every thing to lean hard on Him, the Spirit, and the Community he surrounds you with. Trust me when I say I am learning this the hard way right now. I hope this was just a little bit of encouragement and reminder to some of us that I think forget frequently. But always know that if you are truly trying to follow... it will be worked out for your GOOD. 
God wants us to succeed, but we can't always see the right race to run.