Tuesday, January 31, 2012


"You may not always be good at running, but you can always love to run. If you have both, enjoy every moment. If you have neither find the love and the rest will not matter."
 - 5-28-11

This is the theme of my life right now. Running has been rough. I feel like I've hit a wall. I pray I'll be able to break through it when outdoor season comes around. I've decided the only thing I can do is be patient. I'm taking my vitamins, I'm getting enough sleep, I'm applying myself mentally, and I know I'm a better runner. I'm just in the growing-pains of my athletic career. My body is enduring greater amounts of stress at faster speeds than it has ever experienced before. I'll get through this. I have learned more about God and my relationship with him as a runner than I ever thought possible. Running is one way I love to worship. Yet, in all honesty, there is no glory in a race until it is finished. The race itself is pure suffering. Is this not the call of every Christian? To run with reckless abandon until we finish the course? I don't just run to run, I run with my whole heart, as if running for the Lord. I know this pleases him, no matter how fast I can go.

There are greater and more purposeful things to do with my life than run. But running has taught me that anything worth doing requires courage, stamina, and faith.

Monday, January 30, 2012


Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition. Man is the only being who knows he is alone.
- Octovio Paz

I was trying to understand the significance of 'alone'. When I think of being alone, I think first of what it is not to be alone. There are certain acceptable cultural norms we follow as human beings while interacting with one another. When I'm alone, I don't have to follow any of these norms. Alone I feel no shame, I'm not self-concious.

I looked up self-conscious in the dictionary. It's defined as: Feeling undue awareness of oneself, one's appearance, or one's actions. When I am alone, my consciousness of self is not really acknowledged. For example, I can pick my nose, fart, go naked, sing off key at the top of my lungs, scream profane phrases for no reason, have a conversation out loud with myself...and I wouldn't feel self-counscious, crazy, or embarrassed about it (not that it wouldn't be weird. Haha). My concept of "self" accepts everything about who I am, regardless of what I look like or what I do. This is common sense. Of course I understand myself, I'm me!

However, relate this to how we interact with the people we're particularly close to. The closer a person becomes to someone, the more 'alone' they feel with them. Not in the sense that they're segregated and isolated, but in the sense that they don't feel self-conscious. You can reach a very intimate level with someone when the other person accepts and understands you as you accept and understand yourself in all circumstances. With this person, you can act in whatever way you wish (like when you're alone) and not feel judged or misunderstood, of course...there are reasonable limits.

Essentially, two entities endure and understand on the same level one entity endures and understands alone. I've never been married, but I think that's where the whole "two become one" concept came from.

The concept of self gets me thinking. C.S. Lewis had some insightful things to say about it. More on that later.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
- Marianne Williamson (A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course of Miracles)

  God did not give us gifts to stifle in self-righteous humility or unreasonable insecurity. Gifts are meant to be opened and used. Imagine if you took special care to make a meaningful gift for someone, and he or she opened it, thanked you, and put the gift back in the box and never touched it again. How would that make you feel? God wants us to unwrap his gifts and use them completely to their fullest potential. We shouldn't be afraid to express our hearts and the gifts God has given us unreservedly. The more open you are, the more you reveal your world to others, and the more you utilize your talents for their sake, the more impact you can have on their lives. They will subconsciously find themselves unreserved and reassured.  

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Immortals Among Us

We should never claim to be of exceptional quality. We often doubt people and happen to be self-critical. We're guarded and unwelcoming at times. We struggle to express our feelings. We're insecure. We tend to feel unreasonably inferior to most, and better than some, instead of viewing all equally. 


We are ALL human. There is something of infinite value in that. Each one of us is immortal. Each human being is a miracle. Until we can see each individual as valuable, mysterious, sacred; until we aren't afraid to look our fellow brothers and sisters in the eyes, and see ourselves, our own hurting, burdened soul, we will never learn what it means to love. And not just to love our friends and family, the ones who invest their lives in us, but the stranger passing on the street. The man in front of you in the checkout lane, the woman sitting next to you on the bus, the random stranger we encounter every day, these, among the rest, we are called to love. These we are called to reach out to.

Cast away the fear of rejection, pull down the blinders your own busy life has built up around you, and share a moment of friendship with a stranger whenever possible.       
"There are no ordinary people. You have never met a mere mortal."
- C.S. Lewis

Friday, January 27, 2012


I am beginning to understand how significant memories are. My memories have made me who I am—they are cosmic, transcendent to my being. They are whispers, the ghosts of my existence. The glimmers of another world forever lost in the precedence of time. Forever growing. Never changing. Regrets. Failures. Triumphs. Pain. Happiness. Joy. Holiness. Yes, they are sacred to me. I cannot express my memories with the eminence they reach. I can explain what happened, who was there, what it looked like. But the cogency of my past surpasses language. My thoughts eclipse the words I use. I feel at a loss, almost tortured, holding the past in memory, and yet bound by my lip’s futility. What if I could communicate with the fervor of my thoughts? What if I could talk from the unvoiced forth dimension of my mind?

Silence. Perhaps that is my only answer. Better to remain silent than devalue memories with words.

I took this from an essay I wrote about my Grandpa Corfman, he's now 97 years old. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Her Nightingale

Her nightingale
could sing. The bird
opened its heart and sang freely. 
Her nightingale did not fly,
the bird didn't know it could.

She shared her nightingale with you;
you carried it away, up a mountain,
higher than it had ever been. 
Then you dropped it. 
Her nightingale fell.

Before it struck the ground,
the bird spread its wings and soared. 
"Come back," you called to the bird, 
but her nightingale was gone. 
You showed her bird how to fly,

but you let it fall first. Now the bird
is flying, it won't sing. It won't return
to you. Or her. The bird is still silently
in flight. It's gone she has nothing left 
to offer you. You took

her nightingale. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Kingdom

Last summer I made a quote book recording my deep or ridiculous thoughts on paper. They're sort of like Facebook status', except I didn't want to make them public.

Here's what I wrote on May 29, I thought it was so good I aught to share it.

"Jesus Christ didn't only offer a solution to get you to heaven. He offered a way of life that would get heaven to you; peace on earth, good will to men. If only we had the courage to believe him.
Eternal life doesn't begin when you die, it begins when you believe." 

After I read this I looked up Luke 17:20, where Jesus said:

"The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you."*

*Footnote: Or within you, or within your grasp

I don't think He's saying there's heaven on earth as much as heaven in your heart. With citizenship in the kingdom, we have unexplainable love, joy, and peace despite the trials we go through.

Random Thoughts Today

"We are shaped and fashioned by what we love." --Goethe

Read that statement again and think about what you love. Granted, I have no idea who Goethe is/was, but he's right.

I don't feel like I have to break his statement down into my own words. Sometimes words cannot more fully describe an idea. Sometimes less words are more powerful. That's why I like poetry. Good poetry  captures powerful imagery and compacts it into small stanzas. Words have power. Yet, poetry gives an emotional impression words usually don't have. Poetry composed into music is even better. Lyrics really do matter.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Broken Things

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself."
  C. S. Lewis (Mere Christianity) 

  He loves too much to leave you as you are. At times you wish you didn't have to endure renovation. You wish your heart didn't have to ache, you wish you wouldn't experience these moments where your little house comes crashing down in shambles and you're left vulnerable, cold and broken

   "For she said, 'I will go after my lovers...'" (Hosea 1:5)

  Then you realize, if you were given your freedom, you would never become a palace. You're like the Israelites in the Old Testament. You're like Hosea's wife. You stray away from God. You construct a house of your own choosing, finding something (or someone) else to be your lover.

    "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her" (2:14).

  God brings you into the wilderness. There is no way you can provide for myself, you are in an utter wasteland. Finally, as your house is breaking, you remember Him. Regardless of the pain, your broken house fills you with hope. He loves you enough to allure you, to pursue you. He wants you to return to Him. YOU! No more worthy than the whore, it's in the wilderness you realize how unstable your house was in the first place, that everything you believed about yourself was tainted. How much you desperately need God, and how fiercely He loves you. 

   "Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up" (6:1). 

    He is able. Trust Him.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Call

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you."--Maya Angelou

It's no secret I love to write. However, the weight of this love is heavy and almost daunting. Since I was twelve years old, I wanted to write a book. Not just any book. A book that would change people's lives. Over the years I've done my best to smother this desire. I've tried to avoid the idea, reason my way out of it, forget about it, but it just won't leave. I hear names of random people and I think I aught write them down because they would be good for my characters. I come up with mini plot ideas constantly, I look for unusual personality traits in people that would make interesting additions for my characters. I don't do it intentionally, it just happens subconsciously. Especially after watching or listening to something that inspires me, I immediately revert to my book and how I can apply what I'm feeling. I don't know what the hell I'm supposed to write about. Still, I feel as though I must. Do I believe this insatiable need to write is a "special calling" on my life? Honestly, no, I don't. Everybody's "calling" in life is significant in its own way. Nevertheless, for whatever reason, I know my desire to write is real, and I would be an ungrateful coward not to do something about it.

Yet, I'm discouraged because I feel as though what I want to express inside of me is impossible to convert to paper and ink. Sometimes there simply are no words good enough. Yet, I can't abandon my book (even if I wanted to). Someday, I will write. And if I actually do change even one person's life through my writing, I honestly can't take the credit. God didn't put this agony in my heart for my glory.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Why do we tend to forget about our childhood? As adults, somehow the memories get pushed away to the furthest corners of our subconsciousness. Even as children, we cannot wait to grow older. The older the better. Perhaps we believed a lie. There is something uncanny about childhood. Children are no less human than adults, but they are a completely different kind of human. Things are so much more believable when you're young, there are so many more possibilities at your finger tips. Life is rich. People are trustworthy. They desire very little. Expect very little. Imagine. Dream. Absorb.

Childhood memories aught to be revisited. They explain a lot about who we have become. Even though childhood was a very vulnerable time in life, when the understanding of the world was very limited, personally, I felt more certain about my world as a child than I do today. Children have faith. They worry very little. Joy is found in the simple things. Flowers must picked. Strange dogs must petted. The homeless on the street aught to be given something. Hurt animals should be taken in. Surprises were followed by explicable joy. Birthdays were eagerly anticipated. There was little to be ashamed of. Almost anything was possible. Toys had souls. Pets could understand us. Storybooks were as good as real life. Blanket forts were fortresses. A walk down the street was a great adventure. Nobody was dumber, uglier, or just mediocre. People usually weren't compared to other people at all.

Valuable life lessons can be learned from the things we took for granted as children.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Redeeming Failure

S**t happens. We have two choices, we can sit down and cry about it, or we can use the frustration to fuel  change. Frustration is a powerful tool. The pain of failure seems unbearable, especially when I fail doing something I love. It's heart breaking. I almost feel betrayed.

Running is one example. I commit so much time and effort into conditioning. To me, running isn't just a great way to stay in shape and be healthy, running is my passion (don't laugh. If you think I'm crazy, you just don't understand). Although, it is not necessarily running as much as the challenge of running that I love. It can be maddening. It teaches life lessons. It shows me what I'm really made of, not just how I race, but how I react after I race. I am forced to accept triumph and failure equally. They cannot define me.

Tonight was the SAU track girls' first indoor meet. It wasn't a good one for me. Still, with this setback comes determination to do better. I'm not going to give up in fear of trying harder and failing even worse. It is better to give all that you can and fail then hold back so at least you can say you weren't trying your hardest. If I fall, I'll fall hard. But if I succeed, then to God be the glory because at least I know I gave every ounce within me for Him. It may be shooting pain and agony up and down my body, but through the pain, I can feel His joy.

"I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. When I run, I feel His pleasure." --Eric Liddell

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Some people try to change everything but themselves. Your interaction and influence on others is determined by who you believe you are.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. --John Quincy Adams

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The beautify of Capability

"So often we only do what we think is expected of us, when we are capable of so much more." 

This isn't my quote. Most people young and old would agree that expectations basically rule their life. If you're anything like me, most of them are self-inflicted, but still, the pressure is constant whether I put it there or not. So when people go and tell me I can do more, I'm annoyed. Yes, I probably can, but I'm trying, okay? 

capability|ˌkāpəˈbilitē|power or ability; the extent of someone's or something's ability

There's a difference between doing what is expected of us, and what we're capable of. In whatever we do, there is something inside each of us that can't be drawn out unless we choose to stimulate it ourselves. You can learn how to do things, but the diligence and determination by which you do them cannot be taught, you must simply bring them out of yourself, and only you know if you did the best you possibly could. 

I try to avoid expectations from other people and find value by a different standard. The pressure to be beautiful, for example. That's my pet peeve. Who decided it was the girl's job to be gorgeous all the time anyway? I like to take care of myself, don't worry, I'm not boycotting hygiene, but I'm okay with not being the hottest chick in the nest if you know what I'm sayin'. 

Expectation is pressured from the outside. Capability is propelled from the inside. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Someday I'm going to look back on all the things I worry about and wish I left them alone. Why worry? Life is constantly changing and heading in new directions. Look at life as opportunity. Tomorrow, anything is possible.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."

–Martin Luther King, Jr.

An appropriate insight from MLK on his day. Those words came straight from the heart, no doubt. MLK saw the racism and prejudice going on all around him, and nobody seemed to care enough to change it. Even the White church was racist. The White folks imbedded in the cultural norm of that day were dead people, useless to the aching world. They were blind and ignorant to the human pain they were inflicting. Today we celebrate the liberation of such unjust dogma. Yet, how easily discrimination and prejudice can become apart of life, it's not just about race either, it's about people and how we see them.
It's not enough to be content in yourself. Higher living requires seeing a greater need than your own, and reaching out to people--all people--as if you were regarding yourself.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Hallelujah Song

This song. I was trying to figure out why I like it so much. It's because it speaks the truth about humanity with such a clear, personal perspective. Communication in this way is beautiful. I'm jealous of it. The poem, written by Leonard Cohem, sung here by Jeffrey Buckley, is about a man pouring out his heartache and confusion over a fallen relationship with a woman.

Listen to this song.

I looked up people's various interpretations of the Hallelujah poem. An anonymous writer shared:

The song revolves around the word Hallelujah, which is a Hebrew word which means praise Yah/Jah or the Lord. And through the song, he says that all Hallelujahs are of equal value no matter the circumstance or the cause of the act. Weather it is in complete blissful faith or is from broken desperation, all ways and goals to prise the lord mean the same and are all equal. http://www.lyricinterpretations.com/Leonard-Cohen/Hallelujah
There were two more vital parts in Cohem's poem that Buckley didn't sing:
You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
As listeners, we experience the various meanings of the hallelujahs as the song progresses. I'll steal from the thoughts of the same anonymous writer mentioned above, who explained the hallelujahs as spiritual, like David's "secret cord that pleased the lord", sad and desperate, "cold and broken," orgasmic, uncertain, and finally, worship.

This is what I want in my writing. It's ugly, uncertain, compelling. It's the pursuit of fulfillment in human, often erotic ways, followed by utter loneliness and abandonment, the doubt and uncertainty of a greater Love, and finally, confession and faith. It's the redemption story. The best part is you would never know unless you were really searching between the lines. Cohem shows instead of tells his redemption. There's a big difference.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mundane into Magnificent

In reality, life can get devastatingly mundane. As adults, we get into routines. People are extremely busy. I have come to the conclusion that life will only be as interesting as you make it. If you're discouraged by how desperately uninspiring your life is, try to interest yourself in things that would previously bore you. Read a book. Learn to sew. Challenge yourself. Write something.

Children don't need a reason to be imaginative. Somehow, it comes natural to them. When we grow up, there is still a child in all of us. As children, we were not ashamed or embarrassed of our art work. We drew because we loved to. When I was a little girl, even before I knew how to spell very well, I would write stories. They were obscure and only I could follow them, but nevertheless, I loved writing. I documented my life in picture journals and drew all the time, everywhere. My imagination was limitless. Anything was possible. My stuffed animals came to life and experienced never-ending adventures.

As a child, we don't need a reason to make life fascinating. In that aspect, I never want to grow up. There is so much to learn and rediscover. Life is a great adventure. The world is your playground. Stop long enough to realize you're alive--you're not just existing.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Is the purpose of creativity amusement and pleasure? Should it overflow from our spirit to bring us delight and elation? Or, is creativity something to be strained after. Is true creation found in those endless nights, early mornings, and long days--forcing, searching, crying, aching, at times tedious, even unfulfilling and defeating--until the work is done.

Until it is finished.

Perhaps it is both. Do we believe creativity should be a natural experience of expression and freedom? I do. Yet, it also depends on who you are creating for. Are you creating for your own pleasure? Then create whenever it pleases you, whenever you feel like it. There is value in that. However, to you who create for creation's sake: be willing to get uncomfortable. There are times when creation is difficult, and even worse, mundane. You must create when it does not please you, when you do not feel like investing the time. This is another aspect of genuine creativity. If you want to create from the deepest parts of the soul, you must break your own heart and pour the fragments out in your work. When you give away those vulnerable, buried chambers of your soul, you will reach the self of humankind.

Be effective. Search for a channel, a way to filter yourself to the world. Find it, my friend, whatever it is, and give it away. Creativity is meant to be shared.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mind over Matter

"The mind is not contained to the cranium. Its province is of the infinite imaginative spirit."

Perhaps the spirit knows things the mind cannot truly comprehend. No man believes they are truly incapable, unimportant and purposeless. Their mind might accept it, but the spirit never can. The spirit is destined to be defined by greatness and meaning. The human destination is determining what greatness is, and striving for it. Often it is not what we hoped for, not what we expected. The greatest spirits of humankind are often those anonymous faces that never knew recognition.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

Depending on the kind of person you are, you might be thinking this sounds like one of those chain emails we all get saying something like, "send this to people you wish enough..." Well, actually, that's exactly what it is. I still liked it though, even if those chain emails can be annoying.

Enough. What lengths will people go until they think they have, or are, enough? In reality, it's a matter of perspective. True, the things people go through can provoke gratitude and satisfaction, but what are we basing that satisfaction in? Here's a good quote:

The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.

Enough can be unattainable, or right in front of you. In other words, life is so much better if you're just smart enough to appreciate it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Emotions can be dishonest. Don't trust them. They will whisper half truths. They're tempting, almost viable. But there is a subtle fault in their banters. If nothing else, be wary of them. A wise person will calm fluctuating emotions and wait until the morning, when all is new and clear and certain. Allow the voice of reason to be heard.

Yet, I give fair warning of reason as well. Often, he handicaps the greatest desires of one's heart. Perhaps together emotion and reason are at their best. Combined, they bring forth purposeful passion which changes lives.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Look at a person's friends, and you'll learn a lot about that person. Who your friends are will determine who you will slowly become, especially when you're young. Friends should be people you want to be like, who value you, and are trustworthy. As we look into the lives of another, we should see ourselves, in part. We must identify with them. Hurt when they hurt. Laugh when they laugh. Experience their triumphs, their failures, their hopes, their desires, their secrets, their fears, and their dreams as if it were our own.

Only that in you which is me can hear what I'm saying. ~Baba Ram Dass

I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing of what is everything, do not be fooled by what I am saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying. ~Charles C. Finn

The human soul wants to be discovered.
So look past her shortcomings,
Her imperfections,
Her walls of defense
And see the beauty within her.
Love her as you long to be loved.
For when you love someone's soul,
You are loving your own.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

This One Life

Sometimes it's daunting to think of how fast time goes. Before I know it, I'll be twenty. Granted, that's still pretty young, but I feel as though my life is going to flash before my eyes if I don't take the time to intentionally do the things I've set my mind to.

I've come to the conclusion that the best way to begin changing the world is being faithful in the small things every day. If I don't like the person I am today, odds are I'll be the same person tomorrow unless I make deliberate choices to do something about it.

I have been given so many incredible opportunities...I can't waste them. Life is an adventure, but you have to choose to leave home, or otherwise, well, let's be honest, you won't get far. Yet, it's more about who I am than what I do that is exciting and meaningful. I see myself changing and becoming the individual I desire, but I'm still so far from her. Every day is a decision. Every day demands dedication and commitment to becoming a dearly beloved friend of God's.

Friday, January 6, 2012

<< This really struck me as profound. I feel like it's not the first time I've heard it, or something like it, but somehow, as a person gets older, words tend to carry new meaning. As I reflect on my actions and general disposition toward people, I am convicted by the different way I compare individuals. Sometimes I tend to have blinders on, and only befriend the people who I think will bring me more satisfaction and fulfillment, distancing myself from those that can do me "absolutely no good." It's shameful. I want to see the beauty and value in everyone!
Such words echo the subtle whisper in the human soul, but I think it's usually drowned out by other voices or simply ignored. Undoubtedly, this is true with a lot of subtle truths, which is why I must choose to live intentionally. Every day is a choice to be better than what is naturally comfortable.

Words of Wisdom: Every human being is a sacred, profound mystery. Yet, not all can express their desire to be understood. Try to understand them anyway.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Drew, my brother-in-law, challenged me to write down all the roles and responsibilities I have, and come up with at least one thing I can do to improve in each area throughout the week, and then update my intentions every week. So, here goes nothing:

I am a: Christian - Read my Bible/devotional and spend time with the Lord everyday

Daughter - Call mom every week. Send at least 2 text messages

Sister - Call Corrine and Nate every week. Write Brielle a letter

Student - Complete all my homework on time

Athlete - Get at least 8 hours of sleep! Compete to the very best of my ability, push myself farther than I think I can go

Worker - Always do my best, be respectful/cheerful, look for ways to help without being told

Writer - Blog every day :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Yesterday I met with a dear friend, Denise Smith. She is old enough to be my mom, but I greatly appreciate her time and wisdom. Among many things, we talked about the difference between doubt and unbelief. Doubt, to paraphrase her definition, is questioning a belief system. Unbelief is believing in nothing and questioning nothing. Believing in absolutes is what grounds faith of any sort. There cannot be faith without doubt, but unbelief denies the possibility of any sort of absolute, which condemns any possibility of believing or having faith in anything.

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1).

Along with my resolution to keep a blog, I've decided to commit to reading "My Utmost for His Highest," a daily devotional by Oswald Chambers. Several people have recommended it to me. Last year I read "Streams in the Desert" by L.B. Cowman, another great devotional.However, I wanted something new this year. Each day is just a page long, a thoughtful, intentional start to every morning.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I have never laughed so hard in a room by myself. Haha. Just happened to discover this video. I've known about Julian Smith for a while, he's got a ridiculous sense of humor. But this is the best because she's not even trying to be funny. Man, way to go 95 year-old grandma. You pown those noobs. ;)

Monday, January 2, 2012

It's the start of a new year. At this time, people tend to set themselves up with commendable ambitions and goals as a new year symbolizes a new beginning. However, change, no matter how great or small, takes tremendous effort. As a human being, I want to experience that rewarding feeling of a job well done. I want to work for something and see the fruits of my labor. Yet, nothing is glorious about working towards a greater end. It is possible to experience brief moments of reward, but essentially, I believe one must be willing to endure the monotony of striving long after their goal was established, and be faithful even when no reward is in sight. The key to successful resolution-keeping is determining what the "big picture" ambitions are for the future, and then breaking these goals down into smaller goals in order to reach the ultimate destination.

MY Words of Wisdom: If you're not willing to commit to the little things, you'll find your goals unattainable.
Successful people are either very lucky or very hard working. If you're not lucky, you're screwed.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's a New Year!

A New Year Celebration to Remember
How I had the night of my life for under $35

Perhaps I have never been (or had the desire to be) exposed to experiences one would qualify as "partying it up," however, according to my standards, that's precisely what I did last night. Leah, Elley, Becca, and I went to downtown Grand Rapids for the annual countdown and dropping of the ball. We came to the general agreement that the experience was just an overwhelmingly heartening beginning to the upcoming year, filled with memories we will not soon forget.

We made it an all day event. Starting after a hot bowl of soup, we did Elley's hair and makeup and set out to Plato's Closet in Grandville in search of dresses for our ladies' night out. Against the employee's wishes, we ended up huddled in one fitting room along with almost two dozen dresses. We each purchased a suitable dress ($14) and headed to the mall for a belt. We ended up cutting our time rather close. We only had 30 minutes before our dinner reservations at the Rockwell Republic, and we had no idea how to get there. We frantically changed in the nursing area of the women's bathroom, forgot the belt, and bolted out of Macy's with an overstuffed backpack and a handfuls of the jeans and shirts we changed out of. Apparently, we didn't look like the shoplifters we felt.

Miraculously, we made it to the Rockwell almost on time without too much trouble. The restaurant was--well--classy, but not
satisfying for those without deep pockets. Regardless, we had a great time. Elley and I had sushi; a good choice ($10 with tip included).

After our frugal feast, we headed deeper into the heart of GR. Fortunately, after I drove the wrong way down a one-way street, we found free parking not that far away from Biggby, where we filled our bellies with grande cups of doctored up coffee (less than $5), which is always a great alternative when it's the last day before you start your new year's healthy resolutions and you're hungry and in need of energy.

When the visit to the over-crowded coffee bistro was completed, we found ourselves with 4 hours to kill. We decided to check out the Gerald R. Ford's Museum of Art. It costs $5 to get in. As it was far too dark and cold to take pictures outside, we set ourselves to capturing kodak moments with the art. We became quite creative ourselves.

Finally, after much laughing, joke-making, and picture-taking, we headed outside to endure the long 2 and 1/2 hour wait for midnight's arrival. After enjoying singing and dancing along to some mainstream favorites, we endured over an hour of "The Romantics," a band local to Grand Rapids. It might be possible this group of old men were appreciated in the 80's, 30 years ago, but they certainly weren't yesterday. Not even the drunk people liked them. Just when we thought we couldn't handle one more song, the countdown was already upon us. The crowd joined in reciting the last seconds of 2011 together. The clock turned. There was shouting, streamers, and confetti. Suddenly everyone wanted to leave at once and the new year was upon us.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, and the creation of my year-long blog. The only resolution I have resolved to actually keep.