Monday, June 30, 2008

The Processing Process

I feel like I'm finally getting to the point where I can begin to wrap my mind around my weekend. Today was not a good day at work, but this afternoon I managed to take a nap and then I had dinner with a friend. Dinner was fantastic because my friend was wonderful and she was perfectly willing to let me vent my frustrations. She is also my Avon lady, so I got to get in a little Avon therapy and order some new makeup.

One of the good things that has already come out of this is that I've learned that there are some people in my life who I knew liked me, but now I know that they also genuinely care for me and are concerned about my well-being. It's one of those moments when you realize that God has blessed you with some really great friends, and he did it at the right time and in the right place.

I'm going home this weekend, and I'm hoping to just spend a lot of time with my family. I doubt I will be any better at communication, but my goal is to leave knowing that they know I really do love them. I still hate the fact that they feel like I don't care about them and it's really hard to deal with. We definitely have some communication issues, and I think this weekend will be a good time to DTR and deal with the weirdness that comes from me moving out.

Overall I think things are starting to look up. I know everything is going to be alright, I just still need some time to deal and figure out where things stand.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Lot Can Happen In Three Hours

I went home yesterday afternoon so I could go to Alana's birthday party. I spent the night at my house and went to church with my family, and I was actually at my house and awake for a total of about three hours. Somehow in the course of those three hours though I was given a great deal to think about. One night in my house, and I'm overwhelmed with thoughts.

The biggest issue I'm dealing with is a comment my brother made about me this morning on the way to church. He said, "She really does think she graces us with her presence." I was really taken aback when I heard that because the way he said it and in context I could tell that it came from a conversation he had actually had with my mom recently. I was kind of hurt to hear that my family thinks of me that way. One of the big things about my relationship with my family is that I don't think they have ever seen quite the same personality that everyone else who knows me has seen. I don't know why it's that way, but for some reason I'm completely different around my family and I always have been. There's nothing I'm hiding, but I'm just not quite as uninhibited when I'm with them. That has confused me for years, and I'm still no closer to figuring out why they make me feel that way. Another problem is that I don't do a very good job expressing affection. It makes me feel a little like the freak of the family because I'm so awkward. It's another one of those things I don't understand, but I'm not at all touchy-feely and vocal expressions of affection from me don't sound sincere. If you don't know me you might think I don't love them. But I do love my family; I love them a lot. I don't think they always realize it though because like I said, I'm really awkward when it comes to showing affection.

To add to all of this, my awkwardness extends to my transition into living alone. I thought I was going to be home this summer, so when all of a sudden I wasn't I didn't really have a clue how all that was supposed to work. I knew I would move out someday, but that was in the future so I wasn't even thinking about how all of that would work. Now that I'm living alone, my parents and I are both working on a medium, and I think they feel like I just don't want to come home. The reason I don't come home that much is the fact that gas is stinking expensive and I'm trying to balance two lives. There is stuff I want to do here in Nashville, and because I work forty or more hours a week I tend to do a lot on the weekends. If I'm not working, I probably have another plan. I also feel bad if I go home and just hang out and eat Mom and Dad's food without contributing (even though I know that's ridiculous), so I try not to impose. My parents however, feel like I just don't want to be home so I don't come.

All of this really comes down to my parents misunderstanding my thoughts and intentions. Of course, the misunderstandings are pretty much all my fault, but I don't know why I have so many issues with outward displays of affection. I don't know where that awkwardness came from, but I'm very aware of it, and I'm not sure my parents fully understand that I just have some issue that has nothing to do with them. I always have to hope that they just know that I really do love them and I really do appreciate them, but it's apparent that they don't know that for sure.

While the fact that my parents don't realize I love them is currently weighing very heavily on my mind, it's not the only huge thing I'm dealing with since my trip home. Even though I keep up with the news, I somehow missed out on the fact that Peterbilt employees are locked out, and although I understand organized labor and the necessity of it, it's times when my dad is not working that I can't stand collective bargaining. The economy is already unstable enough that my dad not working is a really uncomfortable spot to be in. Of course we have to make some changes in the way we are spending, and I know we will be fine but it's definitely scary for Dad to be out of work. What really sucks is that in the past he has always been able to lay brick with Jeff when he wasn't at Peterbilt, but now Jeff doesn't have enough work to need him. It's even scarier when I think about the loans I'm taking out for my next year of school that are going to be so huge. I really don't want to think about it all, but it's most definitely plaguing my thoughts.

There was more I was planning to write about, but this is absolutely exhausting and depressing to think about so I think I'm going to stop for now. I know it's going to be okay, but I just don't want to dwell on any of this too much.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What I Need Is A Little Compassion, And Maybe Some Scampi

I have a really good memory. It's what has helped me to do well in school for so many years, and it has been a huge blessing. Unfortunately, I also tend to remember things that I should forget, and I remember them for a long time. I am really bad for holding grudges. And while I don't feel wronged very often, when I do, I remember.

There is one relationship in particular where things went south--way south. It's taken several years, but that person and I have tried to fix our incredibly broken friendship. We both realized it would never be the same as it was, but we've both given a little and tried to make it work. We are still friends, although the friendship is a different kind from what we had in the past. The thing about it is that I realize I am still holding on to some things I shouldn't be, and that is keeping the relationship from being as good as I would like. I am not looking for what we had before because I know we can't go back to it, but I want the different to be good, and God has shown me that I am the one hindering that. I need to let go.

I've been reading Jonah, and it strikes me that he and I have so much in common. The reason Jonah didn't want to go to Nineveh was because he knew God is "a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster" (4:2). He knew God didn't want to destroy Nineveh, but Jonah didn't feel quite so compassionate toward the people of Nineveh. He wanted to see them destroyed, and so he ran from what God wanted him to do. In the same way, I know I felt so wronged that I didn't really want God to restore our friendship. I was running from what I knew he wanted me to do because I didn't want things to be fixed.

When I read about Jonah, I think Wow, what a jerk. How can he have zero compassion for those people and not want them to be saved? And then I realize that I am just as much of a jerk. When someone else does it, it seems so petty.

The really crazy thing about all of this is that it's been under the radar for so long. I didn't see this in myself, and it really wasn't an issue. But now God has brought this to my attention in a big way. He's using other friendships to fix this one, and he's doing big things in the way I view the situation. I'm letting go, and for real this time. I'm so thankful that God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love because if he wasn't he would have stopped putting up with me and my selfish attitudes a long time ago.

"Well, I did my job. I warned them they would be punished, and now we're going to watch them get wiped off the face of the earth!

I picked a safe distance so we won't get singed."

"What you need is a little compassion."

"And maybe some scampi."

-Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie

Friday, June 27, 2008

How Practical Is It to Steal Cell Phones?

It's interesting to me that I've never heard of a cell phone store being robbed. Of course that doesn't mean there haven't been cell phone thefts, but I've never heard of them.

I realize this lack of theivery can probably be attributed to the fact that it won't do much good to steal a cell phone because the company would have to activate it and they would have a list of serial numbers and ways of knowing it was stolen. I still have trouble believing that there isn't a crook dumb enough to try it anyway. And wouldn't that idiot want a really nice phone so he could run the crime empire he's planning in his mind with style?

I'm going to have to do some research on this because it's a very intriguing thought.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Major Discovery...Especially for My Major

I have found possibly the most exciting website ever thanks to the glory that is Stumbleupon. is the site, and on it one can find a ridiculous number of books in full to be read online for free. How incredible is that?! They can put anything that is in the public domain on the site, so if it was written before 1920 and it's well-known, chances are it will be there. You can read all of Uncle Tom's Cabin for free online. I just don't know if life gets any better, especially for a lit major.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Where Did This Unmotivated Apathy Come From?

I have now been home from the beach for more than twenty-four hours, and I still haven't unpacked. I should have done it last night, but I didn't feel like it. I justified that because it took so stinking long to get home from Alabama. This morning I went to church, then I ate lunch and shortly after that went to the mansion to work a twilight party, and now I am back in my apartment doing nothing but sitting here compulsively checking my facebook (oh the withdrawals I had) and I still don't have any desire to unpack. I have no motivation whatsoever, and for some reason it doesn't bother me.

Tonight I think my excuse is going to be that the twilight party was too much right after coming off vacation. I also haven't given a tour in about three weeks and tonight I gave three one right after the other, so it was a little more trying on me than usual. I realize I'm just making excuses, but as long as I make myself feel better I'm okay with that. Eventually I'm going to have to get my clothes out of my suitcase and wash them, but as long as I have stuff to wear I guess I can leave the bag packed.

I'm really hoping that tomorrow I will have more motivation because this is ridiculous and also very sad. Right now I would really like to sleep, but I can't even find the motivation to get off the couch and get ready for bed. I'm so incredibly pathetic!

Thank goodness that tomorrow my life will be pretty much back to normal. I will have a schedule again and my normal commitments, and hopefully the routine will help me to stop this mess. For now I'm going to try really hard to get to bed and wake up a different person tomorrow. If I don't, I may be in trouble.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Maybe I Did Want it to End Eventually

Okay, I said I didn't want it to end, but by yesterday I was completely over vacation. I had a really good time, but I guess since I knew it was going to end I just wanted to be home where everything is normal and has a schedule. Today, however, did not quite get me home the way I would have hoped.

I know it takes forever to get home from any trip just because you want to be there so badly, but today it took longer than I would have liked. First, there was construction on I-65 in Alabama so we were going to get off the interstate and go around when it went down to one lane. When we got off though, we barely moved. We went less than five miles in longer than an hour. When we finally got moving again, we stopped in Athens to get gas and had some sort of battery issue that killed our car. I didn't think I was ever going to see the glorious Tennessee soil again.

But now I'm home, and it feels so good. I'm already adjusting to living alone again (a week with my parents, brother, aunt, and uncle was a different experience after having my own apartment), and I'm just looking forward to a little normalcy. I loved the vacation, but I'm happy to be home.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Don't Want it to End...Ever

Writing here has become such a compulsion that I can't even tear myself away while I'm on vacation. Going a week without Facebook wasn't going to be a problem, but I have developed a Starbucks-like dependency on Blogger. Oh well, I guess there are worse addictions I could have--I ought to like writing since I'm majoring in English.

So far my time at the beach has been spectacular. I haven't done much, and that's just the way I like it. I have finished a couple of books, started a couple more, and gotten in a lot of umbrella time beside the ocean.

I was enjoying the family time, but today Kristen and Jada came down, and I have to say I'm looking forward to all the friend time. It's a completely different trip when I have people here my age who aren't strangers. I'm having a blast though, and I am so happy to have until Saturday to keep enjoying this.

For now, I am just planning to play a lot of cards, sleep, and sit by the ocean. Life doesn't get any better.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I don't think I could be any happier that today is Friday. I just have to get through these eight hours of work, and then I get to go to the beach with my family for a week!

I'm excited about the vacation for the obvious reasons--who doesn't love the ocean?--but it also has some other perks that vacations haven't had for me in the past. For one thing, I've never gone on vacation with my family while I haven't been living with them. It's odd to not be living in our house and seeing my parents and brother on a daily basis. As much as I love my independence and living in Nashville, I do miss my family, so it's going to be really great to get to spend a week with them. I will probably be ready to get back to my Belmont lifestyle this time next week, but for now I'm really looking forward to being with them.

I have also never actually had a full-time job to take a vacation from, so it's going to be nice to have a break from my forty hours of ResLife next week. It's not that I don't like my job, I'm just really happy to have a chance to take a break from it.

Overall, this vacation is going to be incredible. I plan to sit by the ocean and read with a few swimming breaks in-between. And that's it. I don't want to do anything except be. It's going to be glorious!

And on a completely random and unrelated note, I was up until almost three o'clock this morning because I decided I was going to read a couple more chapters of my book last night and ended up reading the last three hundred pages. It was a really good book (Twilight by Stephenie Meyer), but I'm so tired today that I'm questioning whether or not it was actually that good. Deep down I know it really was that good, but I'm tired, so I'm not thinking clearly. Anyway, read Twilight. I'm anxiously awaiting getting to the rest of the series when I get back from the beach.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Too Much TV

This story sounds exactly like something from CSI. A suicide, or at least a possible suicide, and a car with a note written on it that comes from a song used in MASH during a fake suicide. An escaped criminal and baffled police. I think this guy was a little bit of a drama queen who watched way too much TV. I wonder how much thought he put into this escape (either from life or just the police).

Monday, June 9, 2008


I've been very aware lately of how great things are for me right now. It's one of those times in my life where I realize what I take for granted and have such gratitude for the way I see God working in my life.

I've got friends who are frustrated because they keep coming up short in the job search, friends who have been taken by surprise in relationships that they thought would last, and cousins who just lost their father to suicide. It seems like there are people all around me who are hurting, and I hate to see that. I feel like maybe the reason I'm so very okay and taken care of right now is to be here for those people. I don't know what I can do for them exactly, but I know I can let them know I'm here for whatever they need.

And while I'm being available, I've got time to reflect on how blessed I am. I know I take a lot for granted, but right now I'm seeing so many things that are part of my life only because God has been so good to me. I can't even begin to comprehend how amazing it is that I have a job, my family, and so many people who love me. And I have to remember that God is still good even when things aren't running as smoothly as they are right now. I know this won't last forever, but I also know that I am supposed to use this time to love other people. I'm here and I'm available, and I am learning just how wonderful my God is.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Strategic Placement

It's really exciting to me when I can see God working in my life and how he places me in the locations and situations where he can work out his plan. I've been noticing recently how he's been doing that on both small and large scales, and it's so comforting to know that he's involved directly in everything that goes on in my life.

One area of my life where I see God's hand so clearly is my situation this summer. Things could not have worked out more perfectly for me. I have two jobs, both within walking distance of my apartment. That means I don't have to buy a lot of gas. I am also guaranteed a certain number of hours of work every week, which is phenomenal. Had I gone home, I might not have even found a job, and when I did, I might not have been guaranteed enough hours to make it worth the drive from the middle of nowhere to whatever place I was working. And on top of everything else, one of my jobs covers my housing for the summer and makes it possible for me to be here with these two jobs and make a little money instead of spending it all on rent.

And on several smaller occasions I've noticed God's strategic placement recently. Seemingly random events have put me in a position to be available to people who need me, and it's been such a blessing to be able to be there for those people. I couldn't have planned it any better.

It's so exciting to actually see things work out. What amazes me is that I can still doubt so often that everything is going to be okay. God is showing me that he is so dependable. Things may not always work out the way I expect or would have planned, but they will always work out the way God wants them to. And it's incredible to know that the God who can orchestrate everything to work for his purposes lets me be involved in his work. To know that he is actively involved in my life is crazy to think about, but it is also so very comforting.

And on the grandest of scales that I am capable of imagining right now, it's so good to know that I'm not crazy for believing that God is going to work things out in my life career-wise. I've struggled so much because I know I am where I'm supposed to be, but it doesn't make any sense. I can't afford to go to Belmont, and it seems crazy to be here when I could have made financially more sensible choices, but I know this is where God wants me. It's scary to not know why he wants me here or what I'm supposed to do when I get finished here (and really only a little of what to do while I'm here), but I have to trust that it is all going to work out. There is no way I can doubt the God who has so perfectly designed every moment of my life so far and made everything work out for his purpose, so I'm going to keep trusting. I'm learning how awesome it is to see the plan working, so I'm expecting to see that continue to happen. I am learning that no matter how crazy an idea sounds, if it's God, it's going to be good. And I am looking forward to seeing all of this play out.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Fine Line

I am learning that it is incredibly difficult to remain somewhere in-between my lonely contentment and healthy social life. Today was the first time in a few days that I haven't had plans, and I felt like I had already forgotten how to function when I don't have an activity.

One of the many things I'm learning is that I am so ADD that I have to have a minimum of two things to focus on, or there is no hope of focusing. The only way I am going to be able to direct my attention is if I am forced to consciously work on two things at once and divide my energy between them. That might not have made any sense, but that's what it feels like. When I don't have any set kind of plan, I have trouble because I try to read or something and I get so distracted by everything around me that I want to quit. The really bad part of all of this is that when I get frustrated with being unable to focus, I go to this place in my mind where I kind of give up. I have started watching more TV, and that really bothers me. At the beginning of the summer when I was being brought to that place where I was okay with being alone, I didn't really watch TV. It's so mindless, and it seemed like the stuff I filled my time with, although not necessarily productive or spectacular, at least required me to use my brain.

I have got to re-learn the art of sitting still. Somehow I've forgotten how to just be because all I can think about is doing. There is a balance somewhere that will allow me to have my days that are packed with people and activities while still enjoying the days that consist mostly of Kindall time. I just haven't quite found that balance yet.

I also feel like I've lost ambition, or something that might not be ambition, but some other something I can't quite put my finger on. That feeling is kind of random, and it may just be an in the moment kind of thing, but it seems like I care less about something, even if I can't quite pinpoint what that something is. My biggest fear is that I'm already becoming burned out on the life I'm living this summer. I don't really think that's what is happening--I really think I'm just in a weird mood because that's how I get sometimes. I only worry about burn out because part of me isn't quite satisfied with the fact that my life is so normal right now. My schedule is the same from day to day, and I don't know if I've ever actually felt that before, at least not in the last few years.

I really just don't want to become complacent. I love living life, and I don't want to turn off my brain and miss out on things I enjoy and people I love because I find focus hard to come by. I want things to keep changing and I want to keep taking every one of these crazy steps in my life. Especially since lately it's been fascinating to watch the new people coming into my life and the new situations I've been put in. It's been exciting, and I don't want that to go away because I'm sitting in the apartment watching TV.

Overall, I think I'm just in another weird mood. I feel like anyone who doesn't know me very well and reads this thing might think I'm absolutely ridiculous because it seems like all I do is whine. I would like to say to anyone who does come across this and has limited knowledge of my personality that I am only this much of a drama queen here. This just happens to be the place where I let the drama queen go, so it's a little more of an emotional rollercoaster than my actual life.

Mr. Lonely

It's so hard to believe that a couple of weeks ago I was bored out of my mind and people-deprived. When God started putting people in my path, he sent them from different cities, different states, even different countries. I've come across so many seemingly random people in so many different ways lately. These friendships have vastly different dynamics than the ones from my first year of school. For one thing, I am not constantly surrounded by these people so we have to make time to hang out. They also aren't all from Nashville, so it's a little more of a challenge to meet up with people when you have to coordinate schedules and figure out what the best thing to do is when we are coming from two different cities.

As random as all my friends have seemed, I know they are all so much a part of God's plan. They show up at exactly the right time, and they are perfect friend-of-Kindall material. All of my newfound friends are fantastic!

Ironically, tonight I made several friends with whom I went to see a movie called "Mr. Lonely". I would try to make some connection of myself to the main character in the movie who was lonely, but this movie had so little meaning that I don't want to go there. The point of the movie is that it has been something that has formed a relationship between me and a few other people who were in the exact same place I was in. We are all looking for things to do and trying to cope with the weirdness of being out of school and away from our "convenient" friends, and we all (in the strangest sort of way) ended up at that movie together.

It's amazing to see God working in the everyday weirdness of our lives. The people I've been meeting for two weeks aren't at all random; they've been strategically placed in my path, and they don't have any idea how awesome meeting them has been for me. I'm looking forward to what is in store for me because I've had the privilege to meet some fabulous people, and I feel like there are even more to come!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Now that I’ve had a little more time to think about things, I thought I might try again to articulate what it is that has happened in the last few weeks and how I am so thankful for that weird time because of what I’ve learned.

I’ve heard numerous sermons, Sunday school lessons, and Bible studies where the analogy of God being a shepherd and us being sheep is explored in-depth. From this I’ve learned a lot about sheep and their stupidity and dependence, and there are times when things I do make that sheep comparison so appropriate.

I have come to realize that my—let’s call it a “season of loneliness” even though I am not satisfied with that name—was a time for God to be my shepherd and tend his sheep. When a particular sheep in any flock has a tendency to wander off and go to places where he is not safe, shepherds employ the leg-breaking method of correction. Sheep with broken legs are not able to leave the shepherd; they are completely dependent. Obviously, the sheep probably doesn’t enjoy the leg-breaking process—the shepherd probably isn’t a huge fan either—but it definitely learns to trust the shepherd. And when the leg heals, the sheep doesn’t leave the shepherd anymore.

I know that for the few weeks when I felt like I didn’t have anything to do and that my entire summer was going to consist of work and reading with limited social interaction I had time to sit down and spend time with God. This was time I didn’t make when I had a lot going on, and I had lost a little perspective. During the “season of loneliness” (still don’t like it, but nothing better is coming), I wasn’t going anywhere; I was always spending time with my shepherd because that’s all I could do. And through it all I learned how much my shepherd loves me. I know he wants the best for me, and I know my place is right beside him. Having my legs broken wasn’t pleasant, but what came of it was glorious!

Unfortunately, I still have many sheepish qualities; I am still going to do a lot of stupid things. But thankfully, the shepherd is still going to be there. He is still going to know that I am a sheep and sheep are not very bright. He is still going to love me because I belong to him. He still thinks I am as important as all his other sheep, even if some of them are better behaved. And for all that I am so thankful.

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy grace, Lord, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.