You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2007.

– friday night i’m going with some gals to the Brown County Fair. i remember going to a fair when i was still in elementary or junior high school and, having grown up in the suburbs with every kind of fast food and convenience stores sprinkled on various corners, that was the extent of my fair faring. so, i’m eager to experience this little slice of life, even though i’m sure that it will be overly glamorized and not nearly as “Sweet Home Alabama” as i’d like. but it’ll be fun and that’s all that matters.

– saturday is chock-full of other sorts of celebrations. that afternoon, we’re celebrating my grandma’s birthday and will be gathering as we always do to wish her a good one. this is the grandma that i’m named after, who somehow, growing up in the hills of Kentucky, got the name “Carmen.” later that night, a former coworker is having a Fall Theme Party with cider and pumpkin pie and i couldn’t be more, well, pumped (hehehehe). afterward, another friend is having a birthday bash which won’t be as thematic but i’m sure it’ll be fun and festive and full of friends and laughs. plus, i think paul will be coming along, and i’m looking forward to that. it’ll be fun to share that with him.

(side  note: one of my friends had a sweater and cider party once. i didn’t get to make it because i think i was out of town, but it sounds uber cute. might have to add that to the party-planning list for the maple street abode!)

so i’m looking forward to the weekend. october’s just around the corner, and i’m ready to welcome autumn in with open arms. things like haunted houses and carving pumpkins and hayrides and playing in fallen leaves–they’re pretty little images that i want to snap and hang on my walls as mementos of 2007.  here’s to making them happen…

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The concluding paragraph from an article I just read on radiantmag.com:

In this 29th year of my life, I’ve determined to become a woman who doesn’t underestimate God. I’ve determined to be a woman of faith. A woman who no longer anticipates disappointment. Instead, a woman who stands ready to be amazed by what God can and will do when I have faith enough to believe that nothing is impossible for Him.

(Plus there’s an interview on there with Eisley. I just ordered their new cd on amazon!)


when people cannot do their jobs.

it really irks me. i’ve currently been on hold with our cable/internet company for almost an hour. and all i’m trying to do is find out what our wireless password is. seriously, it is totally getting under my skin. i am paying for this service. why does it have to be so difficult to get something that i’m paying for? why didn’t they provide us with this information to begin with?

time warner: you are not my friend!!!

telephone.jpg

looking back at the calendar, i see that days have melted away. so, playing catch-up, here’s a review of where i’ve been biding my time lately:

  • awaiting the arrival of my new computer. my home desktop died two weekends ago and i spent all that time flip-flopping between decisions–Mac or PC? desktop or laptop? 15.4-inch or 17-inch? what kind of software? what name brand? i finally got to the point where i realized how distracting it was and all the choices were getting me nowhere. so i stopped. took a deep breath and decided God would decide for me when the time was right. then on monday, with a clear head, i made my decision and my new black, 15.4-inch Dell laptop arrived with all my pretty photo-editing software. and i have peace about it.
  • now i’m just waiting to buy my new camera. i want a sony cyber-shot w80. did my research on that and i think for the price, there’s so much bang. of course i still have a little love affair going for the elph, but i’m quite content with the cyber-shot’s features (amazing lens, can take indoor pictures without flash, face-recognition, auto-focus, etc) that i’m not looking back. indecision will not take me captive again!
  • resulting in a never before seen aligning of the stars, two new, much-anticipated cds dropped yesterday: motion city soundtrack’s even if it kills me, and new found glory’s from the screen to your stereo 2. both are a-m-a-z-i-n-g. take my word for it.
  • planning for the Back to School Dance Party. or more appropriately, thinking about it but not doing anything. it takes place tomorrow. and i have no idea when we’re going to have time to prep. my gut predicts: an hour before the Eagle’s set to Land.
  • and of course…

hanging out with the ever-elusive boy. tonight’s a big night; he’s meeting my family, which i’m very interested to see. i haven’t brought a boy home in y-e-a-r-s, so it’s a weird feeling, but a good one. if you know me very well, you know that i’m pretty aware of my feelings. i remember in college going on dates and coming home and nicole would ask me how it went and i’d respond, “eehhh, i dunno.” and her response one time was, “well, what was it this time?!” it made me realize how picky i am; how i’ve gone on many first dates and only a few second dates and even fewer third dates. my dating record in that respect looks like the dropoff of a huge water slide, which ought to make a big old splash at the end but, invoking Mr. T.S. Eliot himself, “ends not with a bang but a whimper.” but, all poetics aside, i’ve come to realize that pickiness isn’t overrated and that i trust my sense of judgment, particularly when it comes to what i know that i need. i know that i want to be friends with this person. i know that this person doesn’t “fit” with me. i know those things. so the fact that i feel like this person does fit with me, at least for the time being, i’m confident in that feeling. i don’t think it’s ever let me down. and plus i think the whole situation couldn’t be more blessed from any angle.

i remember i started reading all those books about women and men and relationships and singledom, and although i had been very OK with the idea that maybe i wasn’t meant to fall in love and get married–what if i wanted it too much and singledom was God keeping me closer to his will? what if He knew that it’d be bad for me? so i was OK with that. i always just told myself that i could always adopt and that that would be enough. well in one of the books, they said something about how God isn’t malicious–he isn’t going to put a desire on your heart and then not fulfill it. so i my view of that whole situation altered and i began praying that God would fulfill that desire in his own time, and in whatever way he deemed appropriate–to my mind it was a Boy relationship, but maybe it was mentoring or missions or something else. my mind is only so big and so i can only see so much. i just wanted to feel filled.

also, one of the things i’d picked up from the “the thrill of the chaste” book was the idea that you can’t be on the hunt for a relationship because what invariably happens when you go hunting? you end up killing that which you were chasing after. it’s destructive. so i also started praying that god would make it so that i didn’t have to chase or hunt, that he’d just provide and deliver the person without me having to do any “work” (meaning, trying to make him like me, trying to get his attention, etc.). and what do you know but that that’s how it worked? that the new boy came through an avenue i never would have imagined. (abridged version: two of the girls i lead on sunday morning, who are 14 and 15, told me they had a tennis/water polo coach and wanted to set me up. i humored them. it actually happened.) God provided.

so that’s why i think that no matter what comes of this–another week or year or indefinite–right now i can’t doubt that it’s in God’s will. plus, my relationship with Him is very strong and so that is another thing that encourages me in all this, where i want to have 100% certainty but that i know that some of the best things in life require a small leap of faith–God included. so, for now, the same with Paul. (yes, there you have it: that’s his name.)

my involvement in small groups at church has had an interesting path. i sampled one or two in college, another when i went to birmingham and then another at the first church i tried when i moved back to cincinnati. nothing stuck, nothing was compelling.

then i found eastside, and through eastside, a small group where i met the girls who would later become my best friends. it was an unequivocal blessing. that group grew and became too massive and unruly so i left and put my passions elsewhere–into leading the junior high girls and into helpOTR. after being out of a same-age small group for about 10 months, in march i joined up with one. we started off reading “fight like a girl.” and it was what i needed. in tara leigh cobble’s book “here’s to hindsight,” she talks about the Tuesday Night Jesus Club gatherings she and her friends would have down in nashville. i like to think of this as my own little version.

we made our way through “fight like a girl” (a pretty good book, although i’d recommend “captivating” as a more useful and insightful read), and have just started on the relevant book “what now?”. we’re still in the beginnings, but the book is about finding your god-given purpose, and yesterday it included a quiz about uncovering your spiritual gifts. i’d never really taken one of those tests, but this one was really, really interesting. i was actually surprised by the “results” it offered up, and in that way, very pleased. i love when you get epiphanies about yourself that had been heretofore hidden from you. it’s like getting a cupcake with sprinkles or something. very tasty and out-of-the-blue.

the gifts it pointed out for me after a little quiz (that link shows all the possible gifts):

  • mercy; “The special gift whereby the Spirit enables certain Christians to feel exceptional empathy and compassion for those who are suffering (physically, mentally, or emotionally) so as to feel genuine sympathy for their misery, speaking words of compassion, but more so caring for them with acts of love that help alleviate their distress.”
  • faith; “The special conviction God gives to some to be firmly persuaded of God’s power and promises to accomplish His will and purpose and to display such a confidence in Him and His Word that circumstances and obstacles do not shake that conviction.”
  • pastor/shepherd; “The special ability God gives to some to assume a long-term personal responsibility for leadership and the spiritual care, protection, guidance, and feeding (teaching) of a group of believers.”
  • teaching; “The special ability God gives to some to explain the truths of the Word of God clearly and to apply them effectively so that those taught understand and learn. To instruct others in the Bible in a logical and systematic way so as to communicate pertinent information for true understanding and growth.”

the whole “pastor/shepherd” one kind of freaks me out because it sounds so B-I-G, but at the same time it’s really heartening. and makes sense considering the place where i’ve ended up and the relationships i’ve made along the way.

and so, dovetailing on that, another small group is on it’s way, too. eastside has been pushing its new tapestry series and encouraging every person in the congregation to join a small group. i hadn’t heard anything about one for my age group so i volunteered. so far, i’ve heard back from about 1/2 a dozen ladies who are interested. so it should spark some really good dialogue. i just hope i’m not over-committing myself. but i don’t think that god would let me falter when it comes to something that’s concerning him. i think he’ll make it work. i have–say it with me–Faith that he’ll make it a blessing and not a burden.

🙂

…heartened, even.

two weekends ago, i got free tickets from my coworker to go to kings island. it was the last weekend the amusement park would be open (labor day weekend), and so we needed to use them before the place closed up shop and all the kiddie fun melted with the season.

with friends Bee and Holly in tow, we took off for the roller-coasters and ice-cream and water rides and pizza-at-picnic-tables. we got sloshed around on the rides, rode seperately on some of them, and threw our hands up in the air on others. sometimes we got off claiming headaches and others we got off exhilerated that there were times when we just knew we were this close to flying off the track because we were going so fast.

and so it is with my life–always riding that rollercoaster. it feels bumpy sometimes and anxious and scary. but right now i’m climbing up that hill, the track is clicking as it’s reaching the apex, and here i am looking out over the park with a bird’s eye view. i’m heartened.

the reason for all this?

as i mentioned before, i feel like i’ve been really distracted as of late, like time has been slipping away from me. they are welcome, of course, but what i realized this morning was that the anxieties i’ve felt, the worries, the jitters–there’s a reason for them. and that’s because in my distraction, i’ve pulled away, diverted my eyes from, that which always brings peace. i’ve let my relationship with God take a bit of a back-burner. and of course it hasn’t been all that long–days only, really–but long enough for me to see the impact that it has. and i realize that when i’m close to God is when i feel like i can trust the world around me and the situations He’s placed me in so perfectly.

i was reminded the other day of this:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.
Jeremiah 29: 11-14

there’s also a relient k song where they talk about “it’s my trademark move, to turn my back on you. to realize i should improve. and sometime soon after that, you’ll see me come crawling back.”

so here i am, realizing it’s time to crawl back and to find the peace that makes me realize how beautiful and exhilerating (rather than scary and anxious) the view is at the top of this “amazing” rollercoaster ride. yes, i’m heartened.

fair18.jpg

(it’s a picture from another girl’s blog that i read, and that seemed quite fitting)

sometimes i wonder where the time goes–how it gets eaten up or sprinkled out in a flash. i know that days have passed but where to, i couldn’t even begin to guess. that’s how i feel lately, but in a good–ever so slightly nostalgic–way.

i look out the window and see that the leaves are already falling to the ground (though i know it’s because they’re dead from lack of rain rather than in preparation of winter). but ever fall, there’s always a moment where i look at the mottled ground of reds and oranges and yellows and wonder–when did this all happen?

so it is currently: when did this all happen? when did i stumble into a facebook/myspace-verified relationship of my own? when did i start meeting a boy’s parents? when did i make him food and quote him song lyrics? when did time and timing blindside me? when did i stop having time to read or even to journal? when did i last have my schedule so packed?

they’re all good things, but i need to be sure to keep a balance. i don’t want to swap one bunch of balloons for another. i need to be carried away by them both.

not sure if you have noticed, but i have been suspiciously absent for the past week. the culprit? i’ve been away to a distant land. a distant land called I Like A Boy. but what’s kept me away so long isn’t the land itself–i’ve visited there quite a few times, taken some day trips there–but this new part of town that i stumbled upon, He Likes Me Back.

this latter land is an elusive one, hidden out in the far fringes of the landscape. you have to traverse some steep mountains, being sure not to tumble down the rough terrain and rugged cliffs in the process. you have to wander through the flat, lifeless fields where it appears to just be an endless plateau with no end in sight.

and then you finally make it to that point where the grass starts to get greener and the leaves start popping from the tree branches. you’re still walking and sweating, but it’s not as bad at this point in the journey–in fact, you’re quite enjoying it. you’re looking around and noticing the beauty of the peaks you passed and the swaying grasses and hidden creatures of the meadow. a woodpecker swoops down and reminds you: there’s more than meets the eye here.

so you sigh and smile and soak in the journey as it continues on.

and that’s when you find it. that’s when—when you least expected it, when you’d finally grown content in the pace and scenery around you—that you walk smack dab into this novel little oasis.

this land is ruled over by a young prince named Paul. he greets you at the edge and you take notice of how blue the skies are overhead and how, here, the butterflies dance about and the birds are whistling a fresh summer ditty. he offers to show you around.

you’re used to the journey so you say yes, and walk alongside him. as he takes you farther into his oasis, he tells you all kinds of magical tales about bright shooting stars and other distant lands with princesses. you’re so rapt in the storytelling that you forget to pay attention to where you’re going, because you don’t need to: you simply follow. but then, you stop suddenly, remembering that this in fact is a journey (and you recall how treacherous they’ve been in the past) and look up to see that he’s led you to the very heart of the land.

you’re now surrounded by a wall of pale yellow roses and bright, sunny daffodils that bend down and whisper in rhyme, “Hello, how do you do? We’ve been waiting for you.” he chooses a bunch and offers them to you; he asks you sit down and stay awhile. he promises to show you more around the land tomorrow, because there’s much to see. this is only the beginning…

i’d gotten this cute little agenda book from work (i got to oversee a story that showcases some really cool office products) and realized that i wouldn’t really use it for my calendar since i always rely on my Google calendar.

but the notebook was really cute, so i decided to turn it into a prayer journal where i’ll just take note of things i’m praying about, because a lot of times there’ll be so many things and i’ll forget. i know that’s terrible, but i think it’ll be good to keep them all in one place, even apart from my other journals.

also, when holly and i had first started looking at apartments in mariemont, we came to our current place and the lady who lived there showed us around and showed a basket that she had where she’d put all her little prayers. at the end of a month or something like that, she would dig through there and see which prayers had been answered and give thanks for that. it’s pretty easy for me to just pray and move on, rather than really dwell on them.

so i think this will be helpful and a good, productive, grounding gauge and a gentle reminder.

every tuesday me, holly and kitty congregate in the basement of betsy’s townhouse, squishing onto her big comfy couches and partake in what has become the great american pastime: watching tv together.

it all started one night in 2005, at an ihop or steak-n-shake or some late-night place like that. i remember us swinging open the glass doors to enter and somehow bringing up the topic of “gilmore girls.” kitty said she loved it. holly echoed the statement. so it seemed silly for us to not celebrate the splendor that is heretofore known as GG as a group.

so we gathered, dragging betsy along in tow, every tuesday to watch the latest installment of Luke vs. Christopher; Logan vs. Jess; Rory and Laine, Lorelai and her mother.

since the series kicked the bucket this spring, we’ve had to adopt new shows to fill the void. our choice? monday night television: Greek and The Hills. the hills is quite a phenomenon, and not one i had really sunk my teeth into. but that’s all changed. i still don’t know where audrina came from or what happened to whitney, but what i do know now is that holly and i totally deserve our own reality tv show. i think it’d be quite entertaining.

we’ll be in the midst of something and say, “if we had a reality show, this is a part they’d totally show.” since we might be waiting forever for this blockbuster to ever be taken seriously, here’s a glimpse at some of our would-be highlights from our debut season in The Maple Street House:

  • about a week ago holly was going to take a shower and found a big bug hanging out above our window. we decided that it was a hornet. and since we have yet to own a flyswatter, i went back to my closet for reinforcements and came back with a shoe on each hand, one Roo and one New Balance. (the thinking was that they each had different tread patterns on the bottom and maybe one was the better for trapping large flying insects with stingers.) i climbed up on the sink and, holding my breath and putting on my game face, started flailing at the bug. between screams and damnations and switching between shoes, it finally crashed to the sink top, vanquished.
  • on sunday, holly made me a mix cd to which the opening song was UNK’s “walk it out” of youtube fame (actually, my manager at work first introduced me to that video. in the same vein, it was my mom who had to teach me about lil mama’s lip gloss). well after googling it and watching homemade dance videos to it, i wanted to learn how to actually “walk it out.” so, we downloaded some instructional walk-it-out hip-hop videos and proceeded to try to teach ourselves how to walk it out in the corner of holly’s bedroom. i think biggy must be up there shaking his head right now…
  • and then, yesterday, as we were driving home from Monday night tv fest, we decidedly decided what the closing scene/credits would showcase. as we made our way down the windy state route, we turned up jack’s mannequin and the fratellis and hellogoodbye and sang as loud as we could, as happy as we could.

i guess they all just go to show how silly this little life we lead is, but yet how much fun we have inspite of it. yeah, they’re pretty embaressing, but isn’t that what tv’s all about anyway? i think we can handle it.

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