Saturday, April 29, 2006

fields of gold

I used the Columbian Coffee Press that Daniel got me for my birthday this morning to brew the most amazing coffee of my life. It was incredible! It reminded me of the coffee that I drank in London and I am wired after one cup. Fabuloso.

In other news, the ivy that Sarah gave me for my birthday is slowly taking over my desk. Frankly, I'm amazed it's still alive, as I have never been very good about watering things, but do excel at killing them. If the ivy goes well, I might consider buying a palm tree for my bedroom in the fall. It's just that big!

Nothing new to report. Today is a lazy day. I don't have much schoolwork to do, so I might pack up my winter clothes and reorganize my things in the barn so that moving, whenever it happens, will be as painless as possible. And can we talk about my car? It's like a warzone. Time to overhaul.

I like days when I can sleep in and then just bum around in my PJs, cleaning and organzing. No deadlines, no meetings. Just me, my iTunes, and some strong coffee.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

blast stereos loud

The finish line is almost here
And someone softly whispers in my ear

'Times like these are memories

To hold deep down inside of you and me...'

There is something about Ben and Jerry's Free Cone Day that just screams springtime in Davis to me. The sun was out, Lindy and I didn't go to class, and we got free ice cream while KDVS spun and children ran around barefoot. Then Lindy and I chatted for like three hours about weddings and ADX and friends and all kinds of good things. Daniel says that's the mark of a good friendship - we don't see eachother all the time and sometimes maybe even disagree about things, but everytime we hang out I always say how much fun I had and how much I enjoy her company. True story.

So the sun is finally shining (see?) and next week my work schedule gets all switched around so that I'm done by noon on Mondays and Wednesdays. Glorious. Sitting in this windowless office at 12:30 really bites. I also get a new office next week, actually in the Mondavi Center. The good news is that I get a new office. The bad news is that I get a new office beccause my boss just resigned to take a job at the c apitol. This is great news for her because she gets to head up a state-wide initiative for arts education, but it means I don't get to work for her anymore, and that's kind of sad.

This weekend - Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate Party and the Giants v. Diamondback's game! Watered down beer and garlic fries - I'm a happy girl!

Yikes, it's almost May!

Monday, April 24, 2006

to life

I've been thinking a lot about relationships lately. This probably stems from the recent breakup of my uncle and his boyfriend of the last 2-3 years.

Don told me over the phone while I was home from my surgery that Matt was looking for a new place to live because they had decided to break up. When pressed for more information, he told me that since theirs was not a sexual relationship and Matt was younger than he was, Don felt that he was holding him back to some extent and wanted him to really experience life and not be so tied up in his life with Don.

I hadn't realized that they weren't having sex. I mean, I guess I just assumed that they were since they were considered a couple and have, at various times in the last 3 years, lived together. So it got me thinking, what is an appropriate definition of "relationship"?

I think society is so quick to push sex on everything. When I was "dating" Matt from Santa Cruz the summer of 2004, he essentially told me that, in his world, we weren't a couple unless we were sleeping together. So even though we had a lot in common and laughed a lot and did fun stuff together, without the sex we were just "friends". I hear this a lot and I'm not saying it isn't valid to some degree, especially in the secular world. I'm not having sex because I believe there is something sacred about saving that for marriage, but if you aren't brought up believing that, sex can seem like just another thing that couples do, like traveling or going out to dinner or raising a puppy.

The homosexual lifestyle is a lonely one. Don and Matt were together because they enjoyed each other's company. They traveled and went to the theatre and saw concerts and spent holidays together. They lived and laughed and loved eachother - there just wasn't any sex involved. They shared their lives with eachother.

And I think there's just something so pure and beautiful and right about that. Not that I'm not looking forward to sex as much as the next gal, but there's so much of an emphasis on it that the other stuff, the real and important stuff gets kind of shoved aside.

I want to live big and love bigger. I'm looking foward to an awesome marraige and an incredible sex life, yes, but that doesn't mean I'm anxiously waiting for wild, crazy, out of control sex every night of the week. I'm looking forward to spending my life with someone. To laughing and traveling and investing time in things that are important to me. To having someone who listens to and supports me (and puts me in my place when I need it). To sharing life.

My sixth grade history teacher told me (and I don't know why he chose to tell me, of all people, this when I was 12-years old) that he believed we were put on this planet for two reasons: 1) to make others happy, and 2) to be made happy by others. I think this encompasses a lot when it comes to ministry and service, but also friendships and marriages and all of our other relationships. It's like God put us here and looked down on us and said, "Go be happy." And we screw that up so often. But that's what it's about. Being happy. Making the people in your life happy. Finding purpose and sharing life and being happy.

Not too bad when you think about it that way.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

feels like today

"We're adults. When did that happen? And how do we make it stop?"
-Grey's Anatomy

Turning 21 last year was exciting. 21 is like, "Whoohoo! I'm 21! I can legally consume alcohol! I'm an adult! I can do whatever I want!"

22, however, is a bit more like, "Dude, get a job."

Regardless, today is my 22nd birthday, and I'm celebrating with the usual pizzazz in the Mondavi office. Sarah has been out of the office for the last 3 days, so I don't technically have any work to do and I'm wondering how many hours I can eat up checking my email and reading the news on before I peace out and make my way into this beautiful day.

The weather is glorious, which I consider God’s own little “Happy Birthday” to me following nearly 30 straight days of rain. The outlook for Picnic Day is not so hot, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Kimberley, Alison, and I got sunburned at the Rec Pool yesterday; surely it can’t rain on Picnic Day!

I think everyone should have their own personal holiday on their birthday. Do I really have to go to class tonight?

Monday, April 17, 2006

this is the countdown

First things first – I passed the freaking CSET! All four sections. I tackle the CBEST this weekend (yeah, on Picnic Day morning. Boo), which should be cake, and then I’m golden.

Easter weekend was chill. It rained all three days (of course), but we still crammed in birthday dinner at BJ’s, Easter dinner with my grandmother, birthday presents galore, and a traditional Sunday service at Sunnyvale Pres. Plus, several naps. And no homework. And I have my car back. All excellent things.

Today I’m off to look at the apartment that, barring any unforeseen complications; I’ll be subleasing this summer (starting June 16!) and then officially leasing in the fall. It’s on 8th and J, which is still downtown enough to satisfy me, but not on 3rd St, which is starting to get overwhelming and will surely be officially overwhelming once all the graduate school stuff kicks in. The room is 12’x16’6”, the rent is $450, and I barely know the other girl living there. Perfection!

(unplanned transition)

COTW is still looking for another female for Teen Staff 2006. Max forwarded me the email this weekend and, I’m not going to lie, I immediately pulled out my calendar to see if I could make it work. And I can’t. I would only do it if I knew I could commit 100% to the entire summer season, and with student teaching starting so early, there’s no way I could stay until September. And then I started praying about it, because why is the draw so strong when I know none of my friends will be there (aside from Mike) and I won’t make any money and will therefore be unable to pay for grad school?

Going back to New York would be easy. It was so easy to taste and see God’s goodness out there in the Adirondacks, surrounded by amazing staff, and beautiful landscapes, and incredible speakers, not to mention our awesome teens. I get out on the lake and think, “Of course God is good. Look at everything He has created here! Look at how blessed I am to have such an incredible job!” And then I come back to Davis and deal with school and friends and dirty dishes and stubborn students and busywork at the Mondavi Center and I completely forget about God’s undeniable goodness and start grumbling and complaining, walking through my rainy Davis days thinking, “Why am I here? What is the point? Why am I working so hard at all this? God, when will you bless me?”

And I need to be disciplining myself to recognize God's blessings in the ordinary everyday, not just the extraordinary adventures that He sends me on. I think if I decided to go to New York this summer, God would definitely bless that hardcore. But I think He is more interested in me staying in Davis or the Bay, working 40 hours a week at the grocery store or Mondavi, and learning to recognize that His blessings are just as bountiful when things are routine and kind of boring as they are when things are beautiful and exciting and new and I'm heading off into uncharted territory on an adventure that God has called me to and I'm embarking on it based upon faith alone.

Because I think the boring everyday requires us to move forward on faith alone as well, it just doesn't seem as exciting. It takes faith alone to love your roommates even when you wish you were living by yourself. It takes faith alone to find joy in data entry and commit yourself to serving God no matter what your job is. It takes faith alone sometimes to just wake up in the morning and surrender every part of that day to the Lord - days when you have exciting things to do like hang out with teenagers and enjoy the sunshine and days when the only thing on your agenda is housework and homework and no time for the gym and it's pouring outside.

I desire to find the joy of the Lord in every single thing I do, and while I have been blessed to go on exciting adventures and work with spirit-filled people and experience God in powerful ways in beautiful places, life isn't always like that. Sometimes I'm stuck in Davis or the Bay on a dreary day and I wish I was at Lake Berryessa or in Maui or skiiing in Tahoe or even working the carnival at COTW but instead I'm reading about the philisophical foundations of education or folding laundry or looking for a new apartment. But God is good and present in all of these things - the breathtaking and the mundane, the exciting and the routine, the life-changing and the sometimes lifeless.

How blessed am I, Lord, to have breath in my lungs and a song on my lips? How awesome is this place that I am surrounded by Your blessings, even when I don't always recognize it? Life is beautiful, even when I'm not in New York, and especially when I'm right here.

"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living..." -Psalm 27:13

Friday, April 14, 2006

i looked into your eyes and i said thank you

I didn't realize how moody and anti-social the Vicodin made me until I got off it for a day or two. Wow. I feel about a million times better! I actually want to be around people again!

I had cold pizza for lunch. Yummy at the time, not nearly so yummy now.

It's finally sunny and beautiful in Davis, but I'm heading back to the Bay in about an hour and it's overcast there. No fair! It's mid-April! I would like some mid-April weather, if you don't mind.

Mid-April, of course, means my birthday. It snuck up on me this year, what with the graduating-but-not-graduating, shoulder surgery, apartment hunting, and all the hours I've been putting in at work, but it's on Wednesday!

We are celebrating on Friday the 21st at 7:30pm at Thai 2K on G St, followed by board games and cocktails at the 3rd St House. If for some reason you didn't receieve the Evite, do your best to make it out for a little pre-Picnic Day celebration. Nick will finally be 21 (his birthday is on Sunday!) and a good time will be had all around. I'm blessed to have such incredible friends and I want nothing more than to have all of them in one place as my 22nd birthday gift.

You're all that I have and you're all that I need
Each and every day I pray to get to know you please
I wanna to be close to you, yes I'm so hungry
You're like water for my soul when it gets thirsty
Without you there's no me
You're the air that I breathe
Sometimes the world is dark and I just can't see
With these demons surround all around to bring me down to negativity
But I believe, yes I believe, I said I believe


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

call me pandora

There are two things that amaze me about my shoulder surgeries:

1. How those three teeny tiny incisions cause so much horrible pain all the way across my collarbones and all the way down to my elbow,


2. How after two and a half weeks of excruciating pain whenever I so much as breathe, I wake up one morning and nothing hurts. Nothing at all!

As I'm sure you can guess, today was a good day of no Vicodin and no "Ouch, I shouldn't have done that". I also finished the COTW slideshow (hallelujah!) and it nearly made me cry. Oh, how I long for you, Adirondacks.

Why aren't you listening to Monday Morning's "Wonder of it All"? Get on it, people.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

how great

Blog, what? I'm alive, I promise.

This quarter hit the ground running and, let's be honest, I'm not one for sprinting. I hate, hate, hate missing zero week, even though it's completely worthless, because it means that all of my questions about the syllabus have already been answered when I wasn't around and I'm the idiot who is reasking them. But aside from that, the quarter looks promising. I might actually learn something in my classes, especially the seminar that I was least excited about taking.

I'm still trying to find time to put together all of the COTW pictures into a sweet slideshow and hopefully can get that done before midterms. I had a dream about camp the other night and I wish I was going back this summer, but I also know that it would be totally different without Jenn and Kiki and Liz and Ashley and all of our crazy guy friends who aren't returning either (Josh and Tesz and Dan especially). Max is going to have such a sweet time with Mike and I'm jealous of all the time they'll be spending on the water, as I could probably actually wakeboard this year now that the surgery is done.

I was so blessed to spend last summer there, digging into the Word with Mike every morning, waking up to beautiful sunsets on the lake, encouraging staff and loving on teens and learning to rely on God for everything, not just the obvious stuff. I'm blessed that every time Mike emails me, he asks how I'm doing spiritually and makes sure I'm still in the Word. I'm blessed to have met Jenn (my favorite sister from the 'Nati) and the Perry's (who hooked us up hardcore in NYC) and Beth and Ryan (the most incredible example of newlyweds I have ever met) and countless teens who loved me and encouraged me and taught me so much (Joe and Elizabeth and Taylor and Tim, most specifically). I was called and I went. And that amazes me sometimes.

Maybe because I'm so stubborn and maybe because I have my own ideas of what my life should be like, but I've spent my whole live struggling with discrening God's calling in my life. How often have I completely ignored what God wants for me because I thought I knew what I wanted for myself instead? God promises to bless us in weakness. He says that His power is made perfect in us when we are weak, which is so incredible to me because my life has always been about being strong and capable and knowing where I'm going. But at the same time, how awesome that God desires to bless me for just giving it all to Him?

I know I talk about it a lot, but out of all of God's promises, this is the one that amazes me the most.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor 12:9).

Saturday, April 01, 2006

the war is won

Someone buy me some Neighborhoodies for my birthday. 19 days, holy crap.