Tuesday, April 28

Ode to Caleb

So... one of my best friends from high school, Caleb, got engaged the other day... I knew it was coming, but I'm still so excited! So... even though he probably won't ever see this, this is my ode to Caleb.
You know that core group of friends you have in high school? The ones you do absolutely everything with and celebrate holidays with and attend distant relatives birthdays with and their parents basically consider you a child, and you cried so hard after graduating because you knew that your friendships with those people would never be the same? Yes, well, mine consisted of Kaitlyn, Caleb, Bryan, and myself. It was an interesting dynamic... we were each independently very good friends with each other, and our individual relationships were very different from the others... It's almost like the cast of Friends... Ross and Rachel have a unique friendship, and so does Ross and Chandler, and Monica and Rachel, and Monica and Chandler, and Ross and Monica, and Chandler and Rachel... but they are all still very good friends as a whole, too. Caleb... Caleb was the friend that I called when I didn't understand my science homework... and who I called when I was mad at Bryan... and who I could sit with in his living room for hours in silence, because we both appreciated silence just as much a talking. He should be recognized for my passing of the physics lab senior year... haha. We started going to school together in 8th grade, but really did not become friends until Junior year... My high school experience was a funny one, since I didn't start speaking until senior year. hah... But that's another story. Actually, my first memory of being friends with Caleb was sophomore year, when I sat next to him in Geology, and he would share his lunch with me, bc it was the period before the period before lunch, so we got hungry! I loved the fact that his mom packed his lunch... and baked fresh cookies every morning before school... My mom wasn't even awake when I left for school. Junior year, we dominated Chemistry together... But senior year is really where our story began.
Caleb and I sat by each other in Rhetoric, my least favorite class at Coram Deo, second only to Algebra 2 in 9th grade... The picture of me making a face... yes, that's us in Rhetoric. And I wasn't making a face for the camera. We also were part of the group of Calculus survivors that year... Calculus was optional, so slowly, during the first semester, the class dropped from 10 people to 5... 4 of which were me, Kaitlyn, Caleb, and Bryan... and then Kaitlyn's ex boyfriend. haha, I'm sorry, I just still think that's so funny. I can honestly say that Kaitlyn and I held our own in that class, even though the guys thought they understood it a lot better... We would have competitions to see who did their homework right... which we had all done together at either Caleb or Bryan's house the night before...
The social aspect of our friendship was my favorite part. We would watch SNL at Caleb's house on Saturday nights, Leno on weeknights... His dad would make us popcorn, even though Caleb doesn't like it... haha. Caleb's family has this huge chair, and 3 of us would always cram ourselves into it... and just sit... sometimes fall asleep... I feel like we mainly just enjoyed eachothers company, regardless of what we were doing...
Every Friday, after Physics lab, Caleb, Bryan and I would go to this legit donut shop and eat donuts... We would make regular trips to Target, the main hang out in Flo Mo... haha. We would also make trips to Whole Foods a party. That was fun.
We went to the Village together, enjoyed Coldplay together, ate meals... sometimes both lunch and dinner in the same day, together... Many New Years were spent at his house...
Last year, his family moved to a different house, and I seriously almost cried... there were so many memories in his old house, I didn't think I would be able to go to the new house... But it's become just as enjoyable.
Caleb's family is very... well, everything has a place and a purpose... For example, they have milk glasses and juice glasses... The juice glasses have fruit on them, and the milk glasses have little cows on them... Well, when I learned this, I thought it was absolutely histerical, so, it's now tradition to drink water out of a milk glass... every.single.time I go over there... Much to his mom's horror. haha
When we graduated, Caleb went to TCU, Bryan to Tech, and Kaitlyn to UTTyler. We were basically spread out across Texas... I was so upset, and breaks were spent hanging out with each other every moment we could... But then Caleb got a girlfriend.
This is important. Caleb had never dated in high school... Seriously guys, this is what we had to listen to all senior year: "I'm never going to get married, I'm going to be single forever, No one likes me, I hate my life..." Well, turns out, he's the first in our graduating class to be engaged. HAHA... he would be...
Well, Amanda is adorable, and she's perfect for Caleb... the Walle picture is them... see? Aren't they so cute?
Anyway... I love and miss him... and our Leb, Lyn, Ley, Bry(haha his name never worked) group... But I can't wait to see his and Amanda's relationship grow and be at his wedding next year! yay!

all creation felt a Father's broken heart

So I'm sitting here trying to figure out what construct validity is... and of course I get distracted, because that's what I do best. hah.

A few things:

1. I can't believe this year is almost over. I can see the end of the tunnel and I can remember a in February when I honestly didn't think it was going to end... or I just wasn't going to make it out alive.

2. God is so freaking awesome. I was awarded the Bill and Nancy Harlan Endowed Student Foundation Scholarship... I got this sweet trophy that says, "The scholarship is awarded annually to a junior member of the foundation who has made a distinctive contribution to the Student Foundation as identified by the Steering Committee." Still not sure how I ended up with this... haha. I was shocked and confused, if you can only imagine. But I do know that it's a $2,000 scholarship... I'll take it!

3. True Love is still blowing my mind... So many great lines... When blood and water hit the ground, walls we couldn't move came crashing down... we were free and made alive... I just love that it starts out saying "True Love died..." and ends with singing "Jesus is alive..." because that's the best part! Our God conquered death! A feat no other god has accomplished before!

4. So I figured since I tell yall about my physical illnesses such as puking everywhere with no shame, I could tell you about my emotional symptoms without being awkward about it, too. Plus, it's nice to have an outlet. Even if you never bring it up, you still know, in case you need to know... if that makes sense. Anyway, I had an anxiety attack today. Fun. No, actually, not fun. I just hate that I feel like everything is completely out of control when that happens... I know the things going through my head freaking me out are completely irrational, but I can't help it. So then I just get so angry with myself. But no worries, I haven't been having these very often since I started the meds... This is only the 2nd one, I think. And it only lasted like 10 minutes... It just kind of worries me about if it happens while I'm at camp... what will I do? Well, actually, Allison and I already discussed how I am going to go into her cabin when I have a panic attack in the middle of the night... She said she'd have a bunk saved just for me. :)

5. I LOVE this: "We who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest..." -- Hebrews 6:18b-20

6. I love good conversations with dear friends. Especially when those dear friends understand you. And make you laugh.

7. Group projects are the dumbest idea since dark chocolate. Seriously, what were they thinking?

8. Tomorrow: Group presentation 1, group presenation 2, forensic psych, tennis, tutor, law school seminar, tutor, write write write write write.

*search your heart, you know you can't deny it. come on, lose your life just so you can find it.*

Sunday, April 26

A love more faithful than the morning...

So... the Phil Wickham concert rocked my world. His voice is without a doubt the best voice I have ever heard live... ever. the end. His recorded songs give him no justice. The night was so refreshing... Charlie Hall opened and set the mood as a worship concert... It was so cool to be able to worship with 400 other strangers crammed into the backyard of Common Grounds... One of my favorite things about going to Baylor. Since I go to David Crowder Band's church, for the past year I have contemplated how I felt about worship concerts... A lot of people don't like to go to UBC bc they feel like very Sunday is just another dc*b concert. I've decided I absolutely love the environment of worship at UBC. These guys are SO talented. So so so talented. By offering the Lord their best, they are worshipping... They don't have to be singing or even playing a worship song to praise Him... Once, during Christmas time, they played Carol of the Bells, and it was beautiful... There was no singing involved, and the congregation watched as they played, but they were pouring their hearts out to the Lord, giving Him the talents He gave them as offerings. Just because their "best" happens to be a lot better than some other worship pastors "best" does not mean they are making it into a show. They are offering their Father all they have. I thought about this while I was at the Charlie Hall concert too... What a blessing it is to be led in worship by the men who wrote the songs... I just get so encouraged by watching them use their gifts to worship Jesus.

And then there was Mr. Wickham... oh, how I love you. Quote from the evening:

Me: Is he married?
Aaron: [peering over the crowd] Looks like it...
Me: nooooo... Maybe it's a purity ring.

Haha... Seriously, the man is a stud. That wears girl jeans. haha.
Anyway, I just was so encouraged during his set... Something really interesting has happened in result to my depression this semester... My entire life, I have been absolutely terrified of death. Knowing that I would get to spend eternity with my Abba never helped... It scared me so bad. The idea of Jesus coming back again resulted in the same emotions... I think what scared me most about that was the fear that Jesus would leave me behind... that I wasn't really a Christian, or something like that... But over the past semester, it's not that I have come to anticipate death, but I have much less of a fear for it. My depression has made me want to leave this life and be with Jesus, because I feel like my life sucks and life with Him will be so much better... This shouldn't scare anyone... I don't have suicidal thoughts and I definitely don't want to end my life to accomplish this... But I guess it's made me realize how crappy this life is and how great that life will be... If that makes sense... For 20 years, my life was great, and I never had anything real to complain about... Not that that has changed... I am still so blessed... but I guess I've had a wake up call, and can actually understand why Paul tells believers to be encouraged by getting to hang out with Jesus for eternity... something that had always scared me before. Phil played two songs that literally brought me to tears and have been on repeat on my iTunes since Friday night. Here are those songs:

Come close listen to the story
About a love more faithful than the morning
The Father gave His only Son just to save us

The earth was shaking in the dark
All creation felt the Fathers Broken Heart
Tears were filling Heaven's Eyes
The day that True Love died, the day that True Love died
When blood and water hit the ground
Walls we couldn't move came crashing down
We were free and made alive
The day that True Love died, The day that True Love died

Search your heart you know you can't deny it
Come on, lose your life just so you can find it
The Father gave His only Son just to save us

Now, Jesus is alive
[True Love]

I see Your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say
You’re beautiful

I see Your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
It’s all proclaiming who You are
You’re beautiful, You're beautiful

I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are sitting on Your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You’re beautiful, you're beautiful

When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing
You’re beautiful, You're beautiful, You're beautiful

I see Your face, You're beautiful, You're beautiful, You're beautiful

--1 Thessalonians 4:13-18--

Thanks for listening...

Friday, April 24

this is too long. but i like it.

I have a sudden urge to update everyone on my life. And by everyone, I mean the few stragglers that read this thing. To you, I am grateful. You continue to read these even though I probably sound like a crazy person.

Well, last week, I was a crazy person. Ok... wait. FIRST OF ALL, my TR classes have just been da bomb dot com lately. I have learned a ton. I feel like I could just talk for hours about what we discussed in my classes.

Ok, now, LAST Thursday, I went to class, ya know, the usual...I went to my Christian Ethics class, and we had a discussion on using technology to prolong life. I did not realize that people were actually trying to make it to where we are immortal... People actually think that's possible! Well, actually, what blows my mind even more is the fact that people want to be immortal! It shows that without Jesus, this life is all we have... How scary death is without our Savior! We discussed the secular and religious problems with immortality... Would you really want to live forever in the equivalent of an 85 year-old's body? We would have to first improve the quality of life... That's just one of the problems with these efforts... I seriously was just shocked the entire discussion.

Then I went to Forensic Psychology, and I decided that I want to learn how to hypnotize people. haha.

That night, I drove to Tyler to surprise my best friend from high school, Kaitlyn, for her 21st birthday! hooray! She was so surprised! I got back at 3:30 AM and then went to aerobics the next morning at 8:00. That wasn't too pleasant. But it was so worth it to see my Kait!

On Saturday, I saw Robbie Seay in concert... oh, and Avalon. Remember them? My middle school obsession... We weren't planning on seeing Avalon, but the concert was running behind, so we basically got the whole show. ha. They sang Everything To Me, the song that Stephanie and I had solos on for Youth Choir once... And Testify to Love. I was laughing the entire time... especially when they sang to a track.
Robbie Seay, however, was legit. I love them. So so so refreshing and challenging at the same time.

Sunday, another birthday road trip took place. I drove to College Station for my lobster, Blair's 21st birthday... You know that person that understands you so well because she would do the exact same thing? Well, that's Blair. We are both Introvert-Sensing-Thinking-Judging on the Myers-Briggs Test... and I'm Lion/Beaver and she's Beaver/Lion... together, we complete the task oriented duo. Anyway, her partay was hilarious and funny... and I got to spend time with some people whom I love so much but don't get to see nearly enough...

Tuesday was another learning day. I went to the McLennon County Courthouse to sit in on a court session... The man on trial was charged with 5 accounts of aggravated sexual assault on a child and 3 accounts of indecency with a child. He could potentially get life in prison. The first time I sat in and watched, they were finalizing jury selection, so the people were having to answer questions about how they felt about the case and judging him fairly. A lot of people did not believe they could be fair because of the severity of the crimes he committed. This is a problem I have with the court system. I realize it has to be done, but I hate it. The prosecution has to prove to the best of their ability that he committed these crimes, and the jury has to decide if it's enough proof to convict him. Based on one decision, this man could be spending his life in prison! What if he didn't do it? Despite the lies of CSI, it's not seriously possible to prove 100% to the jury that someone committed a crime, unless it's seen by the jury with their own eyes. I really don't know if I could hold the prosecution to a reasonable burden of proof when it comes to crimes that involve life or death. I honestly believe that people are conviction pron, especially in cases that involve children. They see these hurting children on the witness stand, and they want someone to pay. Just the fact that the man was in the courtroom about to go on trial had already convinced most of the 50 semi-finalists(haha) that he deserved to be punished. We have the "innocent until proven guilty" rule... but I don't think that protects people like it should.
But, in this case, this man was toast. His own son ratted him out, basically. The fact that all 8 of these charges involved his 13 year-old daughter probably sentenced him to a very long jail time.

I left the courthouse to go straight to my Christian Ethics class, where we discussed Euthanasia, which ended up being a very heated discussion. First of all, I really don't like it when people who don't know the Bible try to talk about Jesus as if they understand Him. One guy talked about how we should do everything we can to keep someone from dying or to continue his or her live(feeding tubes, machines, etc.) because Jesus healed everyone He could, and we are supposed to be like Jesus. But, Jesus didn't heal everyone he could. He let Lazarus die. I do not think that Jesus healed for the sole reason of healing. He healed in order to bring glory to God. I understand why people want to keep their loved ones going as long as possible with the hope that a miracle will take place, but sometimes I think it would be better to let them go. I don't know, this is another subject I have not put a lot of thought into, and I have opposing ideas that hinder me from taking a side... I think there is a very big difference between injecting someone with something to cause them to die and taking them off a machine to allow them die... And I think that once a life cannot naturally go on, maybe it's time to go...
This is one of those things that I cannot comprehend how people who don't believe in Jesus can make it... If I didn't think eternity with my Father was waiting for me, I guess I would want to stay here as long as I could...

The other day, a homeless man came up to Rachel in our parking lot and asked if we had a place for him to stay... Reasonably, Rachel was freaked out. It makes me so sad that this has to happen... So many people in America have huge homes with rooms they never use, but people have to sleep outside on the ground every night! I realize that a lot of these people don't want to work and just want to live off of other people, but Jesus didn't say to love and care for them if they were contributing citizens. His call is love without conditions. I also think it's so sad that this grown man had to resort to asking a 21 year old girl for shelter. How humiliating is that? I wonder what happened to him... Obviously, I do not think it would have been wise to let him stay at an apartment with 3 girls... but that doesn't make it any less frustrating!

Thursday=Diadeloso, aka Day of the Bear... aka no classes! haha! I love Baylor so much! I slept in, went to court again, and then Abbey and I went and had lunch at Dia... which ended up being fiasco, but it was free, so whatevs. And then... Dave Barnes and Eisley!! hooray! I love outdoor concerts! Especially when those concerts are free! It was great, although it got over at 1:00am...

Tonight= Student Foundation Scholarship Banquet, which means fancy food and business professional clothes. boo. Then Phil Wickham and Charlie Hall at Common Grounds! yay!

Tomorrow= Baseball game, Rachel/Corey engagement party, and ZZZ Pajama party... ahahaha.

One week of class left. Then one week of finals. I will be home 2 weeks from Monday... YES.
Sorry this is long. I feel like my life is one big story.

Let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone-- especially to those in the family of faith. [Galations 6:9-10]

Sunday, April 12

Community... it comes in strange ways.

welp... it's 3:40 am and I can't sleep. I laid in bed for about an hour and then gave up.

Let me tell you about my week.

Last Friday, a road trip to Tyler, Texas took place. It involved the tunage of "Jessie's Girl," High School Musical 3, "Shake It" and Jack Johnson to name a few. Poor Daniel had to endure the HSM3 and Taylor Swift for a little while. It's what happens when 3 future roommates slash musical soul mates are in one car. Somehow, I think he lived.

Camp was a blast. This was my first time back to camp since December, and thus the first time back since the depression had kicked in. A loss of interest in PC had been involved, and so I was nervous about going back... I mean, the medication has definitely helped, but at the same time, I I had also spent months moving on and letting go before finding out I was coming back... I had already given up the name Troggie... I was ok with the idea of no longer pushing children on swings or telling them not to step on the rope at the Breathtaker or cleaning up their spills in the Rock. Even though I'm still trying to totally pump myself up for this summer, the weekend was almost successful. Almost.

There were some new staffers at this conference, and honestly, I think getting to know them helped me get excited about camp more than the food or the cheers or setting up for Pitch Black Attack. Again. I cannot WAIT to hang out with them every day all summer. They are studs. On Sunday, we forgot to serve grapes to the campers for breakfast... Which meant we each got to take home AT LEAST a bag of grapes. Lacey and I actually took 2 bags each. This turned into a fun little game. All of us were sharing grapes and throwing them at each other and these grapes actually served as a type of community builder. Unfortunately, they may have also been our demise. God was probably laughing at us touching all these grapes and then throwing them to see who could catch them in their mouths... oh silly us. If we only knew.

Driving home was not quite as pleasant... I wasn't feeling too swell. But I got home, managed to eat a couple strawberry twizzlers and peanut butter crackers... and then it hit. Oh. My. Gosh. The PAIN. My stomach hurt SO bad I thought I was dying. My roommate ended up cooking something for dinner that I'm sure tasted delicous but my poor stomach could not handle the smell so I had to leave right then. I thought that maybe I was hungry, so I stumbled to my car and drove to Panera, the only place that almost sounded edible. I got there at 8:16. Panera closed at 8:00. Since I had already spent most of my energy trying not to pass out while driving South on 35, I sat in the parking lot and stared at the door of Panera for a few minutes... and then slowly made my way back to my apartment. But remember, I couldn't go back into my apartment. So I rolled down a window and turned the heater up and laid in my car for about an hour, praying that I wouldn't throw up. I guess I thought I felt good enough to go to StuFu meeting... so I did. But I left after 10 minutes and drove back to my apartment parking lot and laid there for another half an hour and then texted Rachel, who was at a meeting, to see if she could bring me some sprite. So she did, and then told me to go to Jessie and Alexis' apartment and lay down on their couch. So I did. She also gave me some pepto pills, which I took, although I was skeptical. I kid you not, 5 minutes after taking those pills, I threw up really really nasty things. And also, what kind of bathroom has carpet in the toilet area? Whose idea was that? I was hoping after this, I would be feeling better... But I wasn't, and it was getting late. So I went back to my apartment and Rachel lit candles in our room and I opened a window because I was sufficating and then curled up in a ball on my floor. Don't worry, I only puked one more time after that. eewwwwww. I hate throwing up. I cry every time. I stand there and feel helpless and alone. Luckily, this is only the 2nd time I have ever thrown up since middle school, so it's not like I feel helpless and alone standing over a toilet on a regular basis.

I tried to go to Aerobics the next morning, but alas, one lap around the room made me regret this decision. No class for me. I went back home and laid on the couch. All day. My dear friend, Jonathan Break It Down Fletcher came all the way from LSU and sat with me... and then fell asleep on my floor... and then sat with me when I fell asleep on my couch... and then watched Hannah Montana with me. Seriously, I love that kid. We came up with the phrase, "There are more buffalo in the pit..." For Towers staffers who are distressed because their camp crushes don't like them back... because let's be honest, they NEVER do... It's all good, there are more buffalo in the pit! :)

Well during this awful turn of events, I found out that at least 5 of my fellow staffers and many of the campers at the Towers that weekend were going through the same things I was! Hooray for community through puking! I felt so overjoyed to know that I was not alone! Now it's turned into this huge joke and we seriously are better friends because of it. ha. God is mysterious.

Well don't worry, folks, my week gets EVEN BETTER. On Tuesday, I wake up, still feeling weak, but much better, only to find that there are bed bugs. EVERYWHERE. ooohh my gosh. I wish I could tell you where all we found them, but I'm afraid you might have nightmares. Yes, my apartment is infested with bed bugs. How does that even happen? Where on earth did they even come from? Rach and I had been getting bites all over our arms... legs... backs... faces... for about a month, but we really had no idea where they were coming from... I mean, yeah, at one point the thought, "What if I have bed bugs?" did cross my mind... but who really thinks that their bed is home to hundreds of tiny little blood sucking bugs?

So that has been an adventure. Goodbye mattress that I have had my entire life. I'm trying not to think about it right now since sentamental things like that are what sometimes spur my crying with no control moments... but seriously, someone's gonna pay. :) But seriously. haha.

During this time, I hadn't been taking my medication... a bunch of different reasons... So on Wednesday, when another emotional blow that isn't worth mentioning took place, I completely lost it. I thought I was going to sufficate. I have never packed up my things so fast. At first I was just going to go home, but I decided to see if Allison would take me in for the night... and she would... because she's amazing... So I drove to College Station and hung out with her and Blair and Kimberly for the night. Best decision of my life. The drive there and back was just long enough to exhort any extremely negative emotions, and they were able to distract me slash talk to me about it in a positive way to where I was feeling much better when I left...

Although... at the Bonzai, they had grapes... THE grapes... Blake had been at camp that weekend and had brought them back with her. When I said, "oooh no I can't eat grapes" Blair snatched them up and rushed them to the fridge. haha! I have the best friends!

Anyway, I am now home. And I slept until 4 on Friday... I'm pretty sure I have never done that... ever. I don't even know what happened. The only time I woke up was at 7 that morning when my alarm went off. WEIRD. That didn't last long, though... The next morning I was awake and ready to go at 8:30.

Ok I apologize for this ridiculously long post. It's now 4 in the morning. Maybe I should go try to sleep again. Since my alarm is set to go off in 4 hours.


Wednesday, April 1

So... this semester has been interesting. Ok I'm just going to be completely honest. It's been awful. The worst semester slash 3 months of my life.
In February, I learned that my brain has a deficiency of serotonin and
noradrenaline... If you have ever had basic psychology or neuroscience, you know what is wrong... Obviously, the symptoms showed up before I was actually diagnosed.

I have to go to class now, but I am tired of lying about how I feel and making it sound like my semester hasn't been that bad and hasn't affected me in huge ways. Because it has. I'm keeping a journal for the days that I feel really bad, so it's been nice to write out everything, since that's how I express myself best. Maybe it can be a memoir some day... :)

And now for Greek... yeah that really helps the situation. haha.