Thursday, July 31, 2008

Moving On, Again

I absolutely hate moving. I am not the cleanest person in the world, and I have my fair share of clutter, but when I am in the middle of a move the mess kills me. I think it has something to do with the fact that until all that stuff is put away in its new home I'm not finished.

Right now my apartment looks like it was hit by a tornado; the amount of crap sitting in my living room is unbelievable. And for some reason my brain confuses clutter with huge life events that aren't so great, so while my apartment looks like this I'm going to be stressed. Even if I'm not at home the thought of all that junk is plaguing me.

I get to start moving tomorrow, but I'm moving literally four people's stuff, so it's going to take a while. And I can only move my stuff out tomorrow because the other room hasn't been cleaned yet. I know it's all going to be okay though, and I've got people who love me to help.

I'm looking forward to having a permanent residence for a while. Even if it's only 8 or 9 months it will be so much better than having things stored all around me and boxes I never unpacked. I have loved living in my apartment, but I've known all along how temporary it is. I'm just hoping that through all of this I don't lose my mind. And when it's all over I plan on sitting back and enjoying my new space. I'm really looking forward to the awesome year that I'm going to spend in that room. I'm ready for Liz to come back, and Kristen and Rebecca. I've missed them all, so I can't wait until we're living together again. As much as I hate the moving process, it's going to be a good experience, and I'm looking ahead to good times with great people.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Still Content

I have been so sure this summer that I'm in the right place, and my friends have been a huge part of that affirmation. Even though I've only known these people for a couple of months I genuinely care about them, and I know they were people God put in my life. He knew the perfect time and place, and he brought us together in a very random and very cool way. I'm so thankful to know that I'm loved and to get to spend time with amazing people. Even if things will change when school starts back and other epic events take place in our lives, I feel like they will always be around, and we all understand that this friendship is different but so good.

And to those of you who are concerned when I freak out and consider the possiblity that I might not be at school next semester, thank you. I'm almost positive I'll be here, and I'm just thinking worst case scenario, but I thank you for caring. Thank you for your concern, for wanting to talk, and some of you for offers of a place to live if something happens. You people are amazing.

I'm so glad that God uses people in my life to show me things. I'm so glad to know that people I care a lot about care about me too. And I'm so happy with where I am. Contentment was a big deal at the beginning of my summer, and I'm seeing it coming back up in my life. I don't have a clue what's going to happen, but I know at this moment I'm in the right place, and it's a good one. It may not always be as good as it is now, but I can be content in any of those places. I can be content because I know my God loves me. He has proven so faithful, and he has given me so much more than I deserve in my friends.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I May Not Be A College Kid Much Longer

I know I've said since I started college (and even before) that all I really want out of life is to work at Starbucks. I'm still sure I would be perfectly happy with that, but I'm afraid I may be following through with that plan earlier than expected. I waited a little long to start applying for student loans I'll admit, but now I've been in the application process for a while and nothing has been approved. The bill for next semester is due August 5, and so far I don't have the money for it. I know there is still time, but I'm just getting a little antsy.

I feel like it's important to consider the idea that something might go wrong and I might not be able to go to school next semester. I don't think that's what will happen, but if it does, what will I do? I guess the first thing I'll have to do is go home. That sounds a little ridiculous considering I'm one of few students who don't come home after freshman year, but I may be one who turns right around and moves back in with the family. That's a little scary. And then there's the question of school. Do I wait a semester, apply for loans, and come back to Belmont? Or do I spend some time at Vol State or Tech (which is a nightmare in my mind)? And of course, I will have trouble living at home and working anywhere because I'll be so far away that gas will take my entire paycheck, but I can't afford to live in Nashville.

I know that I'm going to be taken care of. I've been so well-provided for this summer that I can't question God's plan or provision, but it's still strange to be so uncertain. I guess it shouldn't be strange because my life is pretty much defined by uncertainty, but I'm just so curious because I don't know the plan. So for now I'm just going to wait it out. Until August 5 rolls around I'm going to keep living like I have been and assuming I will still be a student next semester. If that doesn't happen though, I am going to know that I'm where I'm supposed to be, even if I don't understand why. And if I end up working at Starbucks this fall, I'm just going to enjoy having fulfilled my life's dream.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thank You Small Claims Court

I don't understand what it is that draws me to shows like The People's Court, Judge Joe Brown, and Divorce Court, but for some reason I love to watch stupid people arguing stupid cases on television. I spent a lot of time watching these shows with my grandfather before he died, and that is most likely the root of their attraction, but I feel like I enjoy them way more than I should. Right now I am watching a woman who wants the court to order her ex-husband to pay $24,000 for weight-loss surgery because she gained 100 pounds during the twenty years they were married because of stress. And when they argue these cases these people are completely unreasonable and usually have horrendous grammar. They have no idea how stupid they sound, and I love it.

What's really fun is the progression of these shows into something more interactive. Divorce Court has a myspace profile, but that's nothing compared to The People's Court. On The People's Court website, you can send a video of your side of a case and then invite the other person via e-mail to argue his or her side. Once both parties have a video online, people vote to decide who wins. I'm so happy that so many people in the world have so much free time and so little sense. Small claims court makes my day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I took a nap after work this afternoon because I was absolutely worn out, but the nap got a little carried away and I slept for three hours. Now, unfortunately, I need to go to sleep but I can't because I'm not tired anymore. I hate it when that happens. And so I am now going to attempt to make sense of what's happening in my life right now.

My movie detox isn't going very well. Since I said I didn't want to see any more movies for about a month I have been to Mamma Mia! twice. That makes a total of three times. And sadly, I would go again. I haven't watched anymore Batman movies, though, and I don't plan on it in the near future.

Summer is starting to wind down, in my mind at least, and I have to say I'm ready for it. I've been having an absolute blast this summer, and I've learned a lot about myself and life and God, but I'm ready to move on in some parts of my life. It's bittersweet because I've made so many new friends and I know those relationships will change when school starts. I'll still see them all, but we'll be juggling new commitments and new schedules and we won't be able to be anywhere near as spontaneous and random as we have this summer. That's so sad because that Harry Headbanger spontaneity pretty much defines our friendship, but I don't think anything will be ruined, just different. And change is good.

I think what I'm most looking forward to is the time when I don't work so much. I like the life where I do something other than my job every day. At least I have different classes on different days of the week and I'll have some change in my routine. My personality doesn't work well with doing the same thing day in and day out. I'm also really excited about living somewhere I know I'm going to stay for a while. I love my apartment, but every time I think about it I remember how temporary it is. I would be happy to give up the perks for some permanence. I know the dorm isn't going to be as nice, but I get to stay for a while so at least I can actually unpack everything.

While not everything is great about summer coming to a close, I'm still excited that it's reaching that point. I'm going to enjoy every minute that's left, but I'm also going to take the change without complaining.

And now all I really want is to go to sleep because I have to be up early in the morning. However, I'm pretty sure I'm going to struggle a little while longer.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Up All Night for the Dark Knight

I tend to suggest ridiculous things, and every now and then people go along with me on them. That was the case with yesterday.

Friday morning I was up at 5:45 to run. Afterwards, I went to work and tried to make it through the day so Jessica and I could go see Mamma Mia!, which was a fabulous movie. When we bought our Mamma Mia! tickets, we also bought tickets for The Dark Knight on Saturday morning. Jessica found out Friday night that I had never seen any of the Batman movies, so we decided we would rent Batman Begins and watch it after Mamma Mia!. While we were at Blockbuster I made the ridiculous suggestion that we should rent all of the Batman movies and watch them that night. I knew that wouldn't leave time to sleep before we went to the theater for a 9:00 am movie, but it sounded fun. This is the part where the problem arose; Jessica agreed to the movie marathon. We also called Andrew since he was going with us Saturday and invited him to join us. I think they both had impaired judgement, but at 11:00 we started watching movies. At 7:15 this morning we had finished watching Final Fantasy, Batman Forever, Batman and Robin (hands down my favorite), and Batman begins. We got to theater before it opened and were the first people in to see The Dark Knight. So since 7:45 on Friday night I have watched 6 movies. I'm not sure I'll be able to watch anymore movies for several weeks, but I have to say I had a good time.

I now know that Jessica and Andrew are likely to agree to ridiculous things, so I'll have to start thinking about what I suggest. I'll have to keep in mind that I shouldn't suggest anything I don't actually want to do because they just might go along with it (the movie marathon does not fall into the category of things I don't want to do, don't get me wrong).

I'm almost positive that this is one of the most poorly-written posts ever because I haven't had much sleep since we got back from the theater, but I felt like this experience was pretty epic, so I needed to write it down.

Monday, July 14, 2008

You Said it ABBA, It's a Rich Man's World

I forget just how much a layoff effects my family sometimes. There is the obvious loss of my dad's income, but it's the little things I don't consider very often that surprise me because I've simply forgotten to think about them. I went to have a couple of prescriptions filled today and was reminded of the loss of Dad's insurance. The two prescriptions would normally have cost me $20 total, but today they were almost $120. We still have Mom's insurance, so it's not like we're all stepping out into the world without health insurance every day, but Dad's insurance is just better. We're back to the same spot we were in when I needed braces but had to wait because they were going to cost us so much more without Dad's coverage.

And if this didn't put money at the forefront of my mind, the student loan application process is taking care of that. With the layoff of course, I've had to find someone other than my parents to co-sign for me. My aunt is going to take care of that, but my mom is ready to kill me because it's frustrating to apply for a loan when she is filling out the paper work, I have to call the company, and my aunt has to contribute information too--all of this is made especially difficult because we are in three different locations, and we all work during the hours the loan company is open. My mom thinks I don't care because I won't just do all this myself, but the reason I don't is because there are questions I can't answer. I would be fine if we could sit down and do them together, but we don't live in the same place.

And to emphasize how serious I am about the loan process, while I was writing that last paragraph, my aunt called and we re-applied online ourselves. This is getting ridiculous, and I only hope that we are approved and don't have to go through this again until next year. It shouldn't be this complicated to go $18,000 in debt.

So for now I'm a little worried and uneasy about life because I don't know exactly how I'm going to make it. I'm trying to live on my itty-bitty salary because I know how hard things are for my family, and that's proving to be a test--especially now that my prescriptions are outrageously expensive. And the insane debt I am incurring is not making matters any better.

As stressed as I am (although I'm nowhere near as stressed as my mother), I'm realizing more and more all the time that this is the time for me to put into practice the things God was teaching me at the beginning of the summer. There was a reason this ResLife job fell into my lap and provided housing, and there's a reason I found a job while all my other friends were struggling. God was showing me that he's providing for me. I can't sit here now that things aren't as easy as they were before Dad stopped working and forget about God's faithfulness and his provision thus far. As long as I'm where he wants me, he'll be taking care of me. He has to keep reminding me, but it's finally starting to sink in.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Enough Like Old Times

When I left home to come to Belmont, I wasn't sure what to expect from my high school friendships. On the one hand, I knew I wasn't going to be that far from home so it would be very possible to still see my friends. I also knew I would be able to call and keep up with them online. On the other hand, I knew we would all be really busy, we would all be making new friends at our new schools, and it was very possible that we would quickly drift apart. I've been so happy to see how things have turned out now that I've been out of Gainesboro for almost a full year.

Sarah and Alana came to visit me this weekend, and we had a blast. Even though we went from seeing each other pretty much every day for several years to me seeing them on a very rare basis, we are perfectly capable of picking up where we left off. I'm so glad to know that we can still have conversations even though we aren't living such similar lives and surrounded by the same people.

It's interesting to see how our friendships have evolved into something different too. This weekend we discussed books, which we've never really done before. It seems like we might be forging a new connection that will keep us close to each other even though we're going to continue to spread apart in terms of physical location. We also have the ability to make some trips we couldn't have made when we were all still at home. This weekend we went to the Hermitage, and we had a really good time. We really like nerdy museum trips, and now we're old enough to make those without a mom in tow, so I'm looking forward to future educational experiences.

I think it's safe to say that the friendships I valued so much from Jackson County have for the most part remained intact. I'm not as close as I would like to be to some of the people I graduated with, but some of the most important people in my life who were huge influences on me in Gainesboro are still there. Things aren't exactly like they used to be, but that's such a good thing because they're only getting better with age.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

This Job's A Pain, It's So Mundane, It Sure Don't Stimulate My Brain

I realize this is childish and I was going to have to grow up someday, but I absolutely hate working a full-time job. I didn't love having irregular hours and no guarantee of enough hours to make working worth it before, but at least I wasn't doing the same thing every day.

Most of this frustration comes from the fact that I do absolutely nothing at work. For instance, I am at work right now writing this inspiring little rant, and I have already checked my facebook and e-mail numerous times as well as having cleared out all the new stories on my 13 subscriptions on Google Reader. I recently finished reading Pride and Prejudice; I read the entire book online at work. My mom sent me an e-mail this morning and I replied within four minutes. I'm going crazy because almost every day is like this!

If I just had a few days that were like this while the rest kept me fairly occupied I think I would be okay. I love being able to get some other things done while I'm at work, but when every day is filled with 8 hours where I am just trying to find something to do, that's not okay. The worst part is that when I get home at night I'm either bored or busy. There's no in-between, and I haven't mastered the art of finding things to do around the apartment. I feel like all I do is read, check my facebook, work--although not a lot, and sleep. Sadly, I'm longing for school to start again. When did my life come to this?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Love, Here and Now

I feel like I am finally figuring out what God wants me to do with my life. The exciting thing is that he isn't showing me these things from the standpoint of what I'm supposed to major in or where I'm supposed to be when I graduate, but from the view of how I am supposed to treat people.

One of the things I am learning is that God has not given me a heart for foreign missions at this point. That is one of those things that you think, It would be really cool if God sent me to Africa and I got to do big and dangerous things. But I know that at this point that isn't where God wants me. He's got people he wants to send to Africa and South America and China and everywhere else all over the world, but that isn't what he wants for me. There is nothing to say he won't send me somewhere someday, but for now he is showing me he has me exactly where he wants me, and that is in Nashville, Tennessee at Belmont University.

I am also learning that the reason God wants to use me exactly where I am right now is because he is putting me around the people he wants to reach. He made me good at establishing relationships, and he has put people in my life with whom a relationship was his plan. He is providing the people, and then he is showing me how exactly I'm supposed to love them. People is what it's all about, and I'm supposed to love every single one of them with a genuine love, just like Christ loves me. God is giving me genuine interest in people who need him but don't know it yet, and he is allowing me to do nothing but love those people. I don't have to push, I just have to be available and actually, genuinely love those people.

I feel like as God is showing me the way he's using me right here and now he is showing me that he wants to use me that way for a long time. That's why I'm where I am even though it doesn't make sense for me to be here sometimes. And I don't have a single clue what kind of jobs I will end up with after I get my degree (although my personal preference is Starbucks), but wherever it is I'm going to be there to build relationships with people and just love them. I'm the person who will be there to listen, to talk, to just sit with, to cry with, to celebrate with, or do whatever with, and that's really exciting to me. I obviously don't know all the details, and I don't think I ever will, but I know a little more of what God wants from me, and I can't wait to see where he's taking me.

All of this seems very simple because I know I'm supposed to just love other people. But God has taken me to a deeper level and a better understanding of what this means, and is beginning to show me how it's playing out in my life right now and is going to work in the future. Things are finally starting to come together.

Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Colossians 4:5-6

The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:5

And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.
2 Timothy 2:24-25