Wednesday, April 30, 2014

This is real!

Oh man, today.

I got up at about 9:30 to run outside and see Isaiah, who made a pit stop over here in the midst of getting ready to leave.  I love the fact that he and Reafe have matching mohawks now.  Because of course they do haha.  One of the boys I'm gonna miss dearly.

I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn't, so I laid here until I could go get lunch.  I ate, then went and returned all my books.  I took that money to the bank and deposited it (the little bit that it was, yay college rip-offs), and then went to the post office, mercifully right next to the bank, and shut down my box.  By the time I got back to my room, I was terribly lightheaded for absolutely no reason, so I ended up falling asleep for several hours.

Thankfully, I felt better when I woke up, so I ate dinner.  That was when I found out that Scooter won't be able to come help me tomorrow, so I asked him if he could run over and say bye and bring a bracelet that I wanted to buy.  Some family friends of his have a young daughter who has had brain cancer three times, so they're selling $3 bracelets to help support the medical bills.  Of course I was going to buy one.  I gave Scooter $5 and told him to tell them the other $2 was a donation.

Of course I had to get a picture with him!

He even brought Reafe over for "Round 2".  Which was like the icing on the cake.  Thankfully, Reafe is used to my penchant for pictures by now, so he didn't act surprised in the least when I asked him for another one (even though I just saw him on Monday).  He said this one was going to be serious, so as a joke I went serious, too.  Afterwards Scooter laughed and said "Caption: mean muggin' with my boy!"  Haha, pretty much.  I'm not sure this look works for me. :p

To my oh-so-pleasant surprise, Reafe then said "Okay, now a smiling one for her."  He loves me. :)

We talked about how I'm gonna follow the team next year, and Scooter mentioned that I can watch at least most of the games online.  And Reafe said, "Yeah, tell people, 'I'm watching my boys!'"  The fact that they even refer to themselves as "my boys" makes me feel like I'm even smiling on the inside I'm smiling so hard.  The best part, though, was at the end when I asked them if I could pray with them.  (Scooter is a very strong Christian, too.)  I tried my best to keep it short and sweet, but I wanted to make it real.  Afterwards, Scooter looked up and said, "Wow, you're a good prayer!"  Haha it was so sweet, and Reafe even remembered the time that I prayed for him after our lunch date and said "Yeah man, she prayed for me once.  It was so beautiful."  It made me smile that he even remembered that.  I'm really glad I did that.

The night has been spent just as I expected.  Cleaning, laundry, sorting keep stuff from trash stuff, food, and TV.  I'm pretty much done with everything that I can do before tomorrow, so I may just call it a night because I have to run out in the morning to drop off a piece of paperwork that I forgot and make my hardest goodbye of all.  Also, because I didn't sleep well at all last night.  Why is that when I have the time to sleep and should sleep, my brain will not shut off, but when I shouldn't sleep, it's all I want to do and all I can do?  Conundrums.

This is my last night in this dorm room after spending the past 4.5 years here...this is so weird.  But it's real.  This is really happening.

Someone hold me.

post signature

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


At approximately 7:45 pm on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, I walked out of D. Rich Memorial Building at Campbell University completely done with any educational work pertaining to my undergraduate career.

How did THAT happen?!

My Political Thought exam was very, very draining.  We all sort of lucked out in that in rolling the die, we got the easier question of each set.  But still, by the time I got out of there, especially after writing the essay looking back over the whole semester...well, let's just put it this way - I ran into Dr. Stanke right as I was leaving the building from that exam and she said "Hey kiddo, how are you? Ohhh, I see the look of someone who just got out of a Political Thought exam."  And all I could say was "Yep."

The Emergency Preparedness exam was so easy.  I had so much stuff in my head to get down that, by some weird twist of fate, I was actually the last person to finish, which I'm pretty sure that's the first time that's happened to me in a full-sized class (meaning it's happened before in classes of 2-4 people, this class has 27) in my whole education.  But who cares.  I got an A, I'm sure of it.

Tonight involved Glee, phone calls, a lot of texting, and Chicago Fire.  And I'm about to go take a long, hot shower and then absolutely CRASH.

Tomorrow will be a day full of packing and saying goodbye to some of the soccer boys that are dropping by.

Then, Thursday, I am off!  36 hours to go.

And no, it still hasn't sunk in yet.

post signature

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday, you have been bested.

First thing I did this morning was throw on clothes and go outside to say goodbye to this kid.

Chirag!  He ran over in between finals just to see me for a quick minute.  I hate saying goodbye to people (I believe we've discussed that already, ha!), but it seriously made my day that he ran over here just because he knew it meant a lot to me and would make me happy.  Chirag was one of the first ones to take me into the group and take on the role of my big brother and make me feel included, and this gave me an opportunity to tell him in person how much I appreciated everything he and the other guys did for me this year.  I'm so gonna miss him, but it put a huge grin on my face to see him one last time.

Then I ate lunch and headed off to my exit exams.  First up: French.  It was hard.  But I survived.  Just super thankful it doesn't actually count for anything and is just for the accreditation council and all that.  And Pam and I both finished in time to take some pictures before I had to go the next one.

There are few people on this earth that I respect more than I respect this man right here.  Dr. Steegar is a gem.  Also, I asked him to smile because he normally doesn't - that cheesin' face cracks me up!  He is precious.

I didn't know Pam got a picture of me hugging him, but I'm glad she did. :)

Pam bought me that Campbell Alumni tee as a surprise gift.  I loved it!  

We would not have made it through this last year without each other.  I wish Ryann were here, but since she can't be, Pam filled the role nicely. :)

After that was the Political Science exit exam which was tedious and absurdly long.  First we had a senior survey which was mostly normal and then had these bizarre questions about asking us to define a Christian worldview and to write about the pros and cons of capital punishment with what our Constitution says and groups that might have a stake in the policy.  There were two sections, an hour each.  The dumb part was that we weren't allowed to start the second section until the first hour was up, no matter what time we finished the first section.  So I sat outside for like 35 minutes with most of the rest of the group talking about how ridiculous it was.  But I finished about 5:00.  The second section, same length as the first, only took me 20 minutes.  Ha!

I probably rushed through it a bit, though, (thankfully it's only for accreditation, too) because I knew that as soon as I finished I could get my big Senior Capstone Seminar paper back.  Remember that?  The 58-page, 17,334-word monster of a paper that I finished a couple weeks ago?  Yep, Dr. Thornton emailed us all this morning and told us we'd get them back this afternoon after the exam.  My grade?  485 out of 500!!!!  I am SO stoked.  That's a 97 if you don't want to do the math (or you have grad school brain fog, to a certain someone in particular, haha).  And I got a 97 in the class overall.  So yay!  I was giddy.

Then, on the way back to my room, I ran into a couple more soccer boys, which was an absolute gift because I don't think I'll get to see them again before we all leave.

Reafe!  One of the sweetest boys I met this year.  He's so kind and so protective.  There's never been a second of doubt between us; we have each other's backs no matter what.  And also, he really loves me, because he always smiles in pictures with me even though he hates it. ;)

This is Martinez.  His first name's Matt, but there are two freshmen named Matt, so they both get called by their last names so people can differentiate.  Martinez and Mozynski.  Since he's a freshmen and I only met him last month at the spring game, we didn't get a chance to really get to know each other, but he still treated me like family.  It's as if the other guys told him "This is Mal. She's one of us, our sister." and he just took it and said "Okay then."

I hate saying goodbye, but honestly, today I'm so much more focused on the fact that I have all these incredible people to say goodbye to.  I am so blessed to have such an incredible family here that I know will miss me as much as I will miss them.  College was so much better than I imagined it would be before I started.

I spent the rest of the night working on my essays for tomorrow's real exams (meaning they actually count), and I still have one to go.  And it's almost midnight.  Oy.

I was stressed about making it through today because my head was in really bad shape before I headed to the exams, but I think it's safe to say that I bested Monday.  

Hopefully, tomorrow evening, I can say the same for Tuesday and celebrate FINISHING MY UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION!!!! :)  

My celebration will involve a long hot shower, cozy pajamas, Glee, and then falling into a deep, hard sleep for many hours.  Sounds like a win to me.  

post signature

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A+ Day

If I had to have a last Sunday at Theater Church, I couldn't ask for a much better one than this.

I was able to open a bottle of water that four guys couldn't open just with the strength of my teeth, much to everyone's shock and amusement.

I got lots of hugs and pictures and sweet words with people whom I have grown to love over the past year and a half.

I was able to sing my heart out and pray with friends.

After church, I got to go to lunch with some old friends and new friends to share my testimony with them.

I spent the rest of the day watching a Law & Order: SVU marathon.

I got 3 of the 5 essays for my Tuesday finals written before I just got too tired and my head got too bad.

I got my list of helpers nailed down for Thursday, and it looks like I won't have to ask Holly to come down.

And I got to take a very long, hot shower, and it's honestly quite amazing what such a simple thing can do for my mood, but man, am I relaxed now.

It's been a good day.  I am happy.

post signature

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I hate heartbreak.

I hate breakups.

I hate good people hurting.

I hate two people wanting to be together and knowing they can't be.

I hate getting played.

I hate memories haunting the already distraught.

I hate vague words.

I hate social media taunting with what could be.

I hate disappearing acts.

I hate letdowns.

I hate flat out lies.

I hate being blindsided.

I hate the sting.

I hate the lump in your throat that just won't go away.

I hate the switch permanently stuck in the on position.

I hate getting hurt by someone who never meant to hurt you.

I hate getting hurt by someone who totally meant to hurt you.

I hate dark nights that seem suffocating.

I hate loneliness that hits you like a never-ending tsunami.

I hate broken promises.

I hate shattered dreams.

I hate crying until your whole body aches, and you can't catch your breath, and you wonder if it will ever stop.

I hate learning you were wrong.

I hate realizing that what you thought was true never actually existed.

I hate the regret of mistakes.

I hate the regret of things you know you shouldn't regret.

I hate the self-doubt that comes with the ache.

I hate heartbreak.

post signature

Friday, April 25, 2014

Good Things

Charlie had to get put down today.  So needless to say, today is not exactly my favorite day, for that, this terrible pain, and a couple other reasons that I don't want to get into.  

So in order to make myself smile, I want to talk about today's two highlights.

Oh Clayton. One of the wisest, smartest, funniest, kindest, most unashamedly unique people I've ever met.  Today was the last Friday lunch of our tradition, and I will miss it.  But I am comforted by the fact that we have promised each other that this will not be the end of our friendship.  I know this friendship will be able to surpass the distance.

And there are SO many good memories to smile about.  All of Reformation, for starters. :)  Smiles. Laughter. Funny voices. Prayer. Advice. Stories of our pasts. Confession of struggles. Wisdom. Theology lessons. Life lessons. Dreaming about the future. Relay jail. Food. Pictures. So many hugs. "I love you"s.

I can say with all certainty that this is one of the true, loyal, in-good-times-and-in-bad friendships that we heard about at the Baccalaureate Service. When Clayton blessed the food at lunch today, he thanked God for crossing our paths and allowing us to become friends, and I feel the exact same way.

Advice for you from us: "Normal is overrated.  Normal is boring.  I don't have time for normal. You should try it." :D

This is Taylor.  One of my favorite things about the college experience has been the friends I've that I just instantly clicked with.  We didn't have to try to get close, we just met and dove straight into each other's lives.  This girl is one of those friends.  I'm so thankful.

Despite the fact that we've only known each other for a few weeks (which is hilarious since she lives across the hall and one room down), we can talk about anything like we've known each other for years.  I'm thankful that she trusts me enough to let me in and help her with what she's going through, and talking to her has been really therapeutic for me at times, as well.

These two definitely put smiles on my face in the middle of a rough day.  They are the good things about today.  And for that I am thankful.

post signature

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Final Countdown

That's what I named the album on my Facebook that holds all the pictures I've taken since the beginning of the school year.

I named it that because, in August, I couldn't wait to graduate.  I knew exactly how many days there were until graduation from very early on (because there's an app for everything).  I quite literally was counting down until the end.

Me today would like to go back and shake some sense into me then because me today is looking at leaving this campus in one week and has an inexplicable sense of dread about it.

I really, really, really hate goodbyes.  I don't know if you've figured that out yet.  (Ha!)  I'm already having to figure out when I will get to say goodbye to certain people and it makes me sad and nervous that some of them will leave without a chance for me to see them one last time.

A dear friend of mine dreads goodbyes as much as I do.  He said he has ever since 8th grade when he had to say goodbye to a very close-knit group of friends when they were heading off to different high schools.  We can't even say the word "last" around each other.  So I can imagine that we're both going to be a mess next week.  Saying goodbye to him is going to be one of the hardest of all of this, so I'm thankful that he'll be one of the last people to leave.

I know that I got everything that I could out of this year, out of this whole era, but I still feel like I'm missing something.  What, I don't know.  This just doesn't feel complete yet.  Maybe that's why I don't want to say goodbye.

Or maybe it's just that I'm scared of change.  Scared of leaving home.  Scared of saying goodbye to what I know, the people who know me in my bones, and the safety of a family like no other.  I don't know.

What I do know is that when I get too focused on the countdown, I miss out on soaking in the moment.  (Man, I sound like a cheese ball, but I'm being sincere.)  Yes, I have to mentally prepare myself that next Thursday is coming, but I can't focus on it.  Not only will I be too sad for anyone's good, I will miss out on the beauty of right now.  And that would be a grave mistake.

Thank the Lord, I am here and now.

post signature

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Banquet Day in Pictures

Because I'm too tired to write much.

celebratory selfie for finishing 3 semesters of French tutoring!

I'm graduating in 17 days and Campbell apparently thinks I'm a Spanish major...awkward.

thankfully the certificate was right

award numero dos!

Dr Jones edited my program for me, since they had it wrong there, too

Jones selfies!  We were cracking each other up all night making cracks about how long it went on.

Dr Jones is awesome. And British. So basically doubly awesome.

Triple Time!  Aka Ethan ;) the men's goalie.

sunset over Butler Chapel on the way to the awesome Baccalaureate Service. the sermon focused on the importance of friendship and the friendships you make in the Campbell family...made this sentimental girl get a lump in her throat

Pam! French buddies!

Mark! Political Science buddies. one of my favorite people to debate.

me with the awards to show to my friends far away

numero dos

the shirt was a tad snug, but I still felt super pretty. and these shoes were not nearly as torturous as some other options...hence why I wore this shirt anyway. :)

The End
post signature

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

This Place

It was a beautiful day today.

I find such peace when I can just walk through campus with my earbuds in, mouthing the words to my favorite songs (yes, I am one of THOSE) and staring at the beauty that surrounds me.  Outside on days like today, I can put music on and block out, even if just for a few moments, everything that is weighing me down.  If I'm lucky, I'll even accidentally run into someone I love, any of the countless people that love me so well and can put a smile on my face any day, like when I ran into some soccer boys this afternoon.

Oh, this place.

I am ready to move on, ready to go to New York, but I am not ready to say goodbye.

I am not ready to leave this campus for good.

I am not ready to leave behind the family I made here, with absolutely no knowledge of when I'll see them again.

I am not ready to only be able to talk to my most favorite people on the phone, Skype/FaceTime, and social media.

I am not ready to say goodbye to the people who changed me for good.

No matter where I go or what I do, I'm going to carry memories of this place with me.

post signature

Monday, April 21, 2014


It's currently about 2:30 Tuesday morning.

I just finished my paper and presentation due tomorrow.

Even though the class isn't until 6:00, because of my anxiety and stress issues, I had to get it done tonight or I would be freaking out tomorrow afternoon.

Surprisingly, I'm not even that tired.

Too bad I have to get up to go to counseling in the morning.

Ah, well.  My sleeping pattern is totally jacked anyway.  I'll sleep tomorrow afternoon.

Ten days until I'm gone.

After tomorrow, all I have is three finals.

Let's just hope I don't completely run out of steam before getting through them.

I'm in a lot of physical pain tonight, don't know why.

G'night, universe.

post signature

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday: Rise up and live!

(There was also a video that they put out yesterday: Saturday.  "While life is lived on Saturday, Saturday is not all there is to this life."  Just as worth watching as the two I'm posting here on the blog.)

The following is based on events that took place in and surrounding the city of Jerusalem the day after the Sabbath (the third day) and the days that followed, approximately 33 A.D.

Very early in the morning, before the sun takes its place in the sky, a woman stands in yet another garden, spices in hand, repeating the same question: "Why?" This is the scene on Sunday.

Two men walking down a seven-mile road unpacking all the thoughts that crowd in their head. The man that they thought was the Savior of the world, this man, this Jesus? Now this man was dead. This is the scene on Sunday.

A group of fishermen rowing along in their boat, just going back to what they did before. A voice cries out, "Have you not caught anything?!" There's a mysterious man waiting on the shore. This is the scene on Sunday.

Sunday starts in the dark, but soon comes a spark of revolution, of revelation, of real elation with the realization that He is real and so is His nation. 

On Sunday, the stone is rolled away, the enemy is at bay, and redemption's here to stay. On Sunday, the nets overflow, the angels simply glow, and the linen lies folded white as snow.  On Sunday, He's recognized when the bread is broken, and the dead are awoken, and a new word is spoken. On Sunday, we receive our sign that He is the vine so let His light shine. 

On Sunday, Herod was wrong. The grave was not strong, and we finally belong so sing a new song, because on Sunday, the dead rise as He opens our eyes lifting our hands to the skies. On Sunday, Peter takes a dive while the fishermen thrive. To Emmaus we arrive, and love is ALIVE. On Sunday, we don't search for the living among the dead. On Sunday, we became the body, and He became the head and redeemed every tear that has ever been shed. 

On Sunday, we head in a new direction because there's been an intersection between reflection and perfection, and that connection? That's right, we call it resurrection.

In John 19, verse 41, it says that they laid Jesus to rest in a tomb in the middle of a garden, and I think that was their biggest mistake, because if you want something to stay dead, you don't bury it in a garden where the voice of the One who created the very soil itself will call forth to His Son, saying, "Rise up and LIVE!" 

He is the gardener whispering our name. He is the stranger on Emmaus Road. He is the mysterious man calling from the shore. On Sunday, will you recognize Him? On Sunday, will you answer Him? On Sunday, will you RISE UP and LIVE?

It sounds silly to say that I didn't expect so much healing to be found in a video on the story of Jesus' resurrection, but I really did not expect to be crying first thing this morning as I watched this video.

I realized this afternoon that I was crying not because it was beautiful and so powerful.  I was crying because it was so much more than the story of Jesus' resurrection.

I was crying because it was a call to accept the price that Jesus paid to set me free.

I was crying because it was a challenge to stop letting myself get weighed down by my mistakes (which is really so unbelievably relevant after things that have happened in the past few days) and take hold of the victory that came when Jesus rose from the grave.

I was crying because it was a reminder that when Jesus said, "It is FINISHED"...he actually meant it.

A friend sent me this in a message just a few hours ago, as I was beginning to figure out what I would say in this post, knowing it would be centered around Jon's words.  "We cannot hang on to our own condemnation and to the Gospel with the same hand...we either let go of ourselves, or let go of Him - the choice is ours.  Are your eyes on your storm, or on His throne?"  The choice is mine: Keep condemning myself, or accept the grace and mercy and forgiveness that I learned quite a while ago I cannot live without.  Let go of the past, or let go of the One who is the only reason I'm still alive, the One who put the breath in my lungs.

The enemy is at bay.  Redemption's here to stay.  And I'm busy slowly killing myself trying to fight a battle that stopped being mine the second I came up from the water in that pool inside that Nashville church.  It's done.  It's over.  What will it take for me to get that?!

Just as Jesus walked along the road to Emmaus gently trying to make his presence known, just as Jesus shouted from the shore to remind the fishermen he was still there, he's been fighting so hard to get me to see that he didn't just show up for my baptism.  He's been here every single day saving me from myself, calling out my name and asking me to take his hand, aching for me to know the Lord even a fraction of how he knows me.  Apart from him, I can do NOTHING. (John 15:5)  And yet here I am, far too often acting like I don't know better.

Redemption came out of that tomb, and death died inside it.  The same voice that called me to salvation is calling me every day to rise up and LIVE.  This time, I'm going to answer Him.

post signature

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The story of today.

Cold medicine

and tacos

and graduation announcements

and party invitations

and stamps

and lists

and pizza

and an SVU marathon

and more cold medicine.

Did I mention it really sucks to be allergic to your own house?

post signature

Friday, April 18, 2014


I have no words today. I just want to share this poem from Jon Jorgenson and The Anima Series. It tells so simply yet so powerfully the story of Good Friday and the gravity of what Jesus did for us all.

The following is based on events that took place around the city of Jerusalem on the day of preparation of the Passover, approximately 33 A.D.

After dinner, in a garden, four men sat down to pray. This is the scene at the top of Friday.

On Friday, one of them would betray him, though none of them felt able. But he made it clear the night before, it was one of them at the table. Thirty pieces of silver was enough to get it done, the price that was placed on the head of God's son.  

On Friday, these images flashed through his head. He knows the cup he's been given. Soon he'll be dead. There's blood on his brow where there should be just sweat. The burden is heavy; he's carrying our debt. 

On Friday, he gives it all up for our sake. On Friday, the disciples just can't stay awake. In this garden, on Friday, it isn't paradise or bliss. On Friday, he's arrested and betrayed with a kiss. Dragged before the leaders, he's mocked and disgraced, back and forth between Herod and Pilate, both looking to save face. 

On Friday, he's forced to defend his own cause, but Pilate knows, in his heart, this man's broken no laws. Pilate says "Are you the Christ?" his face angry, beet red. The only reply he receives, "It is as you've said." But the Pharisees want evidence. "If you are the Christ, then show him." On Friday, the rooster crows, just as Peter says, "I do not know him." 

On Friday, he wears a crown made of thorns as the disciples run away and Mother Mary mourns. On Friday, he endures forty lashes of the whip, but he knows that from his cup, this is just the first sip. With the crowd still unsatisfied and Pilate at a loss, on Friday, they force him to carry his own cross. His mind becomes hazy, his senses become dull, inching ever closer to Golgotha, the place they call "Skull."

On Friday, after stumbling his way through the street, he's fixed up on that cross, nails in hands, nails in feet. Two thieves on either side of him, one to the left and one to the right, and even on Friday, he leads one of them to the Light. Pierced through his side, blood and water hit the ground. He cries out, "Eloi!" but his Father makes no sound. 

On Friday, the pain would not be diminished, until the ninth hour when he finally cries out, "It. is. FINISHED." 

On Friday, he dies, and the pain of loss is numbing. But the weekend ain't over. Sunday is coming.

Jesus, I sing for all that you've done for me.

post signature

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ready or Not...

Well, I can check a lot off the list.

One less class.

One less paper.

One less presentation.

I have a paper and a presentation due Tuesday, but I'm not worried about that at all.  Most of that is already taken care of.

Now that Political Thought and Seminar are done, it's basically just coasting into finals.

Two weeks from today, I'll be pulling out of here in a U-haul.

Two weeks.

Fair warning, the next two weeks are going to be very repetitive and sentimental and shock-filled.

Ready or not, the end of an era is coming.

Bittersweet doesn't even begin to describe it.

post signature

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I have no words tonight.

I have no words tonight mostly because I've spent the day finishing my Senior Seminar paper.

And I did it.

And you know how long it is?

58 pages.

17,334 words.

And I kind of want to cut off my hands.

Good night.

post signature

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Banquet Night

Tonight was banquet night, the Academic & Leadership Recognition Banquet.  All the new inductees to the various honor societies for that year go, plus I got invited as part of the "Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities" thing.  It was fun.  A lot shorter than I expected, too.

They feed you well at banquets.  Chicken with marinara, hand carved roast beef, green beans, potatoes, fresh fruits, rolls, and cake for dessert.  Everything was amazing.

This is Dr. Steckbeck.  I had him for one of my economics classes, and I took a selfie with him for my friend Alex who loves him and I knew would find it hilarious.



I felt pretty :)


Eric, one Reformation brother I hadn't gotten a pic with yet


It was fun. A good night.

post signature