Thursday, July 31, 2014

I hate dust.

Today my allergies kicked in.

We had to organize stuff in Blake's old room to get the rest of his stuff out of the room I've been living in because holy cow that room is actually clean now, but because that room hasn't been touched in months, it's got dust everywhere and I'm allergic to dust badly.

So I had to take Benadryl which knocked me out by 7:00.

The only reason I woke up was because the dogs started barking.

Tomorrow I have to go help Mom clean out her classroom so I better get back to sleep and save my energy.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I really have to stop being such a klutz.

I'm writing this post a day late because....well, you'll see.

Today I spent the vast majority of the day cleaning out the room Chelsea had lived in.

We tried to get her to do it, but when she came over, she spent so much time screaming that Mom told her to leave because it just wasn't worth it.

She told us she didn't want anything in that room anyway, so it made the cleaning out job much easier.

You know what came out of her room?  13 bags of stuff to donate and 3 bags of trash.

And when I say bags, I mean garbage bags.

We took it all to donate and then my energy was pretty much spent for the day.

Tonight, because my suitcases were in the hallway while I cleaned out the room, I ended up tripping over one so hard I fell and slammed my head into the ground.  That was awful.  Like, I couldn't see straight and had trouble standing up for the rest of the night awful.

At least I avoided going to the hospital again.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I have no idea what the point of this post is.

Why oh why.

I've been sitting here for ten minutes staring at the keyboard and that is what just came out.  I don't know why.

Why oh why am I so tired?  Because we went shopping today for apartment stuff.

Why oh why does my body hurt?  Because it's messed up and thinks it's 80 years old.

I don't know.

I got dismissed from my orthodontist today.  That was fun.  I saw him for almost 16 years.

I need to go get a heating back because my left shoulder won't stop popping and it hurts and it's messing up the shoulder blade and the muscles around that.  Boo.

Plus I keep yawning and would like to go to sleep.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Today was a simple day.

Mom was at the hospital most of the day with her boyfriend because he's really sick AND he hurt his ankle, so I didn't do much.

I watched an NCIS marathon.

I made tacos (all by myself)!

I filled out all the health paperwork to go in the mail tomorrow.

And I laid around and waited for Mom to get home.

I watched The Bachelorette tonight just because I was bored.

And now I may go to bed.  Just because I can.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Let the countdown begin.

Lists are made.

We have to start digging into the black hole that is our garage.

Because not only am I moving, and Holly is moving, Chelsea is in the works to get an apartment (the first one fell through).

So we have to make piles of things to give to Chelsea and things of mine to take to New York.

And get tons of boxes and move all my stuff into boxes because at Campbell I literally just used garbage bags to move home.

All in the next 12 days.

Here we go.

Oh, and today I found a paper that has to be filled out by the Health Department and gotten to Friday.  Saved in the nick of time.  In my defense, I have no space to organize things here.  But that's sort of negated by the fact that I've had this for two months and lost it to begin with.  Ha!

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

That time I got TMJ while eating soup.

So you know what should not happen when you're eating chicken soup?  I can add two things to the list.  One - a loud cracking, squeaking sound in your jaw.  Two - a sharp, shooting pain in said area.

Apparently, this is TMJ, according to my mother who has TMJ.  So today has been a long day of icing my face because I took a shower after I ate and by the time I got out my cheek looked like I'd had oral surgery.  It doesn't seem to be doing much for the swelling but it's helping the pain in my jawbone.

I've got to retrain my brain, though.  So many bad, scary, weird and random things have happened to me that when something unexpected and painful happens, my brain goes to the worst thing.  Even Mom said she can't blame me for that, but it's not healthy.  This hurts really bad, but it's not the end of the world.

I'm going to stay away from soup for a while, though.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Yes, I eat lemons. Doesn't everyone?

Well my mom was home for about 8 hours today.  She's off playing nurse to her boyfriend, and it really looks like they'll end up in the ER tonight.  I don't mind.  I've grown quite accustomed to being alone.

She made a huge pot of amazing chicken soup and left a good portion of it with me.  When she was separating it to take some to her boyfriend and was asking me if one of the pots would be enough, I said "well, is it all for me, or do I have to save some for you?" and she teasingly said "greedy!" so I said "It's not my fault you make darn good soup."  Which is true.  If she weren't such a ridiculously good cook, I wouldn't want to eat everything she makes.  Ha!

We also started making lists of everything that needs to be found in the garage, what we will need to buy, things like that.  So that was good.

Random awesome thing of the day: Mom bought me some lemons, for when I get a craving to eat one, and a thing of mint chocolate chip ice cream, because her lactose-free ice cream is gross.  :)  She's a good one.  I think I'll keep her.

I wish I knew why I am so tired.  I went to bed at 9:00 last night, got almost twelve hours of sleep, did absolutely nothing strenuous today, and am sitting here with my eyes watering I'm yawning so hard.  There are worse problems to have.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summertime Storms

It's a stormy day.  Rain is pouring.  Thunder is roaring.  My dogs are having panic attacks.  You know, the usual.

The weird part is this is the first stormy day in a long time that I haven't wanted to sleep the day away.   On the contrary, I've actually been a bit productive.  I washed both beds' sheets and remade the beds.  I cleaned the microwave (best I could until my back started spazzing out).  I unloaded the dishwasher and loaded the dishes in the sink.  I scrubbed the pots and the microwave plate.  All to find out that Mom won't be home from her boyfriend's until tomorrow.  Because of course.

It still hasn't totally sunk in that Holly and I have an apartment in Manhattan and we're moving in a little over two weeks.  That's just insanity.  But it's real and I have to get ready for the biggest change of my life.  I'm also still trying to wrap my head around the fact that my sister is coming with me, but that's a post for another day.  This is everything that I've been waiting for, but it's scary, so I have to find the rest I've been seeking so I don't absolutely lose my mind in all the craziness.  I think things like the fact that they found an apartment and got a signed lease in 48 hours is a sign that it's all gonna be okay.

Tonight is a Castle marathon in the recliner until I fall asleep.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Another quiet night...

Mom and Holly didn't get to leave Jersey (where they had parked the car at my mom's dad's cousin's house to avoid having a car in the city) until after 5:00 because of car issues...

So it appears that I have another quiet night in this house to myself.

Which truthfully, I don't mind, because I'm not feeling well at all.  Something is up with my stomach now.

So I will enjoy a long night of sleep in my mom's good bed (she lets me sleep there anytime she's not home for more than 24 hours) and pray I feel better in the morning.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Meant To Be

We have an apartment.  The papers are signed and everything.

We have an apartment in Manhattan. In the East Village.

They found an apartment in the East Village in two days.  Mom said people keep telling them how unbelievable that is.

Oh and Holly already has waitressing job interviews lined up. Which is hilarious.

For all the stress and the worry and the fear that I'd be stuck here over the past few months, it all seems to be working out.

I guess it was just meant to be.

Come August 9th, I will be a resident of New York City.

If I am dreaming, no one pinch me.

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Monday, July 21, 2014


That's how I feel about Monday.

I'm writing this post at about 5:30 am on Tuesday because I fell asleep about 9:00 from a terrible headache.

I don't feel like writing much about Monday because it was not a good day.

The funeral was, well, a funeral.  There were a lot of lovely things said about Uncle Ed but it was still a funeral.

It was pouring rain most of the day.

And the housing situation in NYC is a disaster.  They can't find a place that doesn't need a guarantor so it looks like we'll probably end up in Brooklyn.  With a stranger for an added roommate.  Oy.

Okay, back to sleep now because my head is still pounding.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Things change in a good way.

So Mom and Holly made it up there about 6 am this morning.  They made it through the full through-the-night drive.  Crazy runs in this family, I tell ya.

Holly called me about 1 am when they were somewhere in Virginia.  She and Mom had been talking. She realized she had nothing tying her to Raleigh because she and her boyfriend broke up and so she wanted to know what I thought of the idea of her moving to NYC, too, and us getting a place together.  It's always been a dream of hers to live in the city, as well.  She can apply to transfer to NYU's undergrad chemistry department for the spring.  My immediate response was "Dude, this is epic!"

So now they are up there to find a place for the both of us, instead of just me.  That was not a phone call I was expecting last night.  At all.

But it feels good and now, not only will I not be in a huge city all alone, I'll have someone close by who knows what to do for me in medical situations should they arise.  And plus, Holly and I get along so much better now because we are both trying to distance ourselves from the family drama.  Plus, we have many similar interests, including Broadway and the theater.  Plus, I know she won't try to baby me at all and ruin my chance to really forge my own life up there.

Tomorrow, they begin 48 hours of intense apartment hunting.  Ah!

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

And they're off!

Mom and Holly are approximately six hours from New York City right now, just south of Richmond.

I am sitting watching The Big Bang Theory on my computer.  My goal is to get through all the episodes I haven't already seen before Mom gets back Wednesday night.  I have a list, haha.  I'm amazed I could find a website that let me watch all these old episodes for free.  And no commercials or ads!

I'm going to enjoy these four days to myself.

I'm just praying their trip is fruitful and they can find me an apartment under such tight time constraints.  A few extra prayers wouldn't hurt, if you'd be so kind.  Mom is really worried.

Another perk of being home alone?  I can blast music as loud as I want to.  What do you think I'm doing while I write this?  Hahaha.

Blessings to you, lovely reader.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

A reflection. I miss my brothers.

I've been having a lot of dreams lately that involve my CU brothers, both soccer boys and Reformation boys.  In one way, it makes me smile because those two sets of guys are part of some dear memories.  But in another way, it makes my heart ache because every time I wake up from one of those dreams I have to remember all over again that that era of my life is over and I don't know when I'll get to see any of those boys again.

Don't get me wrong, I am so unbelievably excited to be moving to New York City, so thankful that God is giving me this opportunity to not just further my education and pursue my career goals but also to live out a dream of getting to be a resident of that great city.  I would do anything to make this come to fruition, and I can't wait for Mom and me to figure out exactly when I'll be moving so I can start counting down the days.

But all the excitement in the world doesn't negate the fact that change is hard.  It still hasn't totally sunk in that I'm not going back to Campbell next month.  That school was more than just a school, a place for me to get an education to me, it was my home, it was where I found the family I'd been waiting for my whole life.

I miss my brothers in a very unique way.  I used to think that there was no part of me that Matt hadn't seen, that he didn't know, but those boys saw me in a way Matt never has. I talked to them about things I don't talk to Matt about, largely because all but a few of them are Christians.  I believe that praying together bonds people, and I think that's a large part of why I feel so bonded to them.  They know pieces of my heart that Matt doesn't, and there were so many days that they pulled me out of a dark place and pointed me back to Jesus.

My Reformation brothers, they helped keep my eyes on God when I felt like I was drowning in the weight of all the medical confusion this year.  I've said it before, they showed me that I didn't have to try to be enough for them, they loved me mess and all.  They were the hands and feet of Christ to me when I expected to be shunned, simply because that was what I'd become accustomed to.  They showed me that God can use me for something bigger than myself even when I feel like I'm barely hanging on.  I could talk to them about where I was with my faith and my fears and doubts, and every single time, I left seeing God more clearly.  They had such steadfast faith as they walked with me throughout the craziness of the year, always willing to be there to have confidence when I felt like I was losing it.  With some of them, that still happens.  Those 15 crazy boys absolutely changed my life.  It may sound ridiculous, but it's true.

My soccer brothers, they were a whole different kind of light.  They decided they'd adopted me as part of the family before it ever occurred to me that they would see me like that.  On my bad days, if they had a game, I forced myself to go if it was at all possible just so I could be around them and their energy.  Just by talking to me and taking me in, having them around and knowing how much they cared about me, they did a lot to help keep me motivated, and they did it without even trying.  Their friendship and loyalty to me helped encourage me to push through all the health issues, to not let myself stay feeling down on the bad days.  I used to tease them that girls like me don't usually get to hang out with "the good-looking, popular, athletic boys", but they never once made me feel like I was different from them.  Even when they saw me have a seizure, it didn't shake them or scare them off.  I never could have dreamed how important and special they would become to me, especially not in such a short period of time.

I got to talk to Ricky for a little bit last night, because I wanted to wish him safe travels before he headed back to Panama today to visit his family.  During the conversation, he mentioned that he had faith that God was going to lead people to me up there in New York City so I wouldn't be alone.  He said he prayed I would find another family up there.  But the most moving thing was that he said he didn't just pray for people to come to me to be my family, he prayed that God would lead me to the people I needed to impact, just as I impacted him and the team.

I never could have imagined that this last year would be better than the ones before it, simply because Ryann had left.  But because of these two groups of brothers, and the stories that go along with them, this year was beyond my wildest dreams.  And that's why I miss them so badly.  They voluntarily went on a roller coaster with me when they could have gotten off and left anytime, I would have understood if they did, and never let go of me for a second.  They were Jesus with skin on.  They were my Aarons and Hurs when I was fighting so desperately to hold myself up.  (And the craziest part is they'd thank me for letting them do it!)  I felt a very special sense of safety any time I got the chance to be around any of them.  And right about now, I'd really really love to get that back.

But I can't go back in time.  And I feel very strongly that NYU is where I'm supposed to be next.  I just have to pray and have faith that I find my next family up there, and believe that experiences up there that await me will change me and my life for the better, too.  Nothing and no one can replace my brothers or the memories and love that we share, and I remind myself again and again that bonds like that surpass time and distance.

That doesn't mean I can't pray for a chance to go and visit them, though. :)

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

When all else fails, watch The Big Bang Theory.

In situations like this, sometimes you just need an escape, and since I'm trapped in a house with my mom in a town with no friends, my escape options are limited.

But in comes DVR to save the day.

You know what's on my DVR?  The Big Bang Theory.  And ONLY The Big Bang Theory.  Which is especially crazy since I only saw my first episode of the show like two months ago because Mom practically insisted I try it out.  And she had only started watching it because her boyfriend and his daughter watch it.  That's how I start watching pretty much all of my shows, unless it's one I watch from the pilot, Mom suggests them to me.  The perks of having a mom with a very similar sense of humor and sarcasm.

So when I haven't been sleeping thanks to my dire need to be doped up on allergy/cold meds, I've been watching The Big Bang Theory.  Because it's hilarious and I need to laugh.

And that is today.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Things change.

At noon today, I thought tonight's blog post would be about my new glasses getting here.  I was going to include pictures and talk about how great it is to be able to see this well again.

That all changed when my mom got home from Jacksonville about 3:15.  I was bringing in the last load of refrigerator stuff from the car and she looked at me and told me to get in her room because she needed to talk to me.  She was so serious that my first reaction was to ask if I was in trouble.  She said no and we walked back there.  Then she looked at me.

My Uncle Ed died last night.

It still doesn't feel real.  I just talked to him yesterday morning at about 10 am.  And then last night he died in his sleep.  I'm glad it was that way if it had to happen.

It just blows my mind how quickly things can change.  And how one of the last things he did on this earth was put more money in my account to make sure I can afford to get an apartment.  One of the last things he did was take care of me and bless me.  Because that's who he was.  He was an angel.  And from what I've read on news articles, he was an angel to many people in his community, too.

When Mom said it, I couldn't speak for about five minutes.  I don't know the last time I felt shock like that.  He was the closest thing I had to a grandfather.  And it's the first major death I've experienced since my dad died, which means it's the first major death that I will remember in detail.  And that sucks.  But he was 83, I think, somewhere around there, and 83-year-olds have health issues and these things happen.  And that's life.

That doesn't make it suck any less, though.

But one of the last things he said to me yesterday was that we should always try our best, but God will take care of us.  And that's what I'm going to remember.  He was an incredible, Godly man and he's with Jesus now.  So as cliche as it sounds, he really is infinitely better off.

There's nothing I can do to change what happened.  What I can do is go to New York and do big things and be successful in my goals for my future.  Because that's what he wanted.  That's how I made him so proud of me.  So that's what I'm going to do.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Maybe one day?

I need to write a book.

That's what people tell me, anyway.  I need to write a book about my life and share my story with a larger audience.

Part of me wants to, and part of me finds thinks I don't have enough to say to fill an entire book.  I don't have a clue as to how to organize it.  I don't know what to write about, other than my life, but that wouldn't exactly be a very coherent or entertaining read.  I ramble too much.  I'd have to narrow it down, focus on different pieces, plan an outline.  And there'd have to be a point, because a bunch of strangers aren't going to be interested in the stuff that's gone on in my life unless there's a point.  They have to relate to it, and how can I make people relate to something so out of the ordinary?

I feel like if and or when I'm supposed to do this, the inspiration will hit.  Right now, I just can't see it happening.  I'm not saying I can't see it EVER happening, because I know all too well what happens when I try to plan the future, but it's just not in the picture.  There are too many questions and too many things still up in the air regarding New York and that's gonna be such a huge change that I can't write it anytime soon.  It'll happen when it's meant to happen.  That sounds cheesy, but I really believe it.

I don't know what brought that on, but there you go.

A couple asides: My mother woke me up to harass me about a Big Bang Theory flash mob.  And also I have the money for an apartment now.  And also I got to have a lovely chat with my friend Lauren and it was the highlight of my day.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

I'll be okay.

Last night I didn't sleep very much.  I tried to, but I just laid there for hours with my mind racing.  And then when I did fall asleep, I kept waking up because of bad dreams.  I think it's safe to say that my stress has turned into full-blown anxiety.

Either that or I really need to stop watching Law & Order: SVU because those dreams last night could be summed up as my life turned into an SVU case and it was terrifying.

Moving to a city like that scares me.  Because it's so big and I'm so small and it's basically the polar opposite of any life I've ever known.  And yes, because I have that nagging fear in the back of my head that what if something does happen to me, what if I do get attacked, and my family is a 12-hour drive away and I know absolutely no one around.  And there's so many money issues that I wonder how we'll ever get everything straightened out and paid for and how am I going to survive on the loan money I have left even with a part-time job once I pay for school and pay Uncle Ed back.

But I can't think like that.  I can't do that or I'll never get in the car.  And I have to get out of here.  I have to get out of Swansboro, out of North Carolina, or I'm going to lose it.  There's nothing for me to do here and it will drain the life right out of me if I were stuck here for another year.  Mom asked me today if I wanted to reconsider applying to state schools and I immediately said no.  I know I'm supposed to be there.

At least that's what I believe.  But you know what else I believe?  That the Lord my God will be with me wherever I go.  I will be protected.  And if I really am right that I am supposed to go to NYU next month, God will take care of the details.  God will make sure that the money issues work out.  Mom and Holly will find me an apartment next week.  I will be able to focus on all my school stuff but also pay the bills and stay fed.  I'm walking through this fog on faith that God will keep the doors open and clear out the mess so that maybe it won't be so foggy one day.

I've been telling myself a lot lately, especially during the past few weeks, that everything else has worked out up until now, the rest will work out, too.  I believe that if God didn't want me to go to NYU, I'd know the door was being shut.  These issues are just...temporary obstacles.

Yeah, God's got this.  The King who knows my heart and the number of hairs on my head isn't gonna just let me drown working toward this.

Man, I love how writing can help me sort things out.

Oh, and also, I got to have a lovely chat with Clayton today for his birthday.  I hope I never forget just how blessed and thankful I am to have been led to him and my other brothers.  It meant so much when even he said today that he didn't think us meeting was an accident. :)

I believe I'll be okay.

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

I'm on my way.

That up there is a half hour message that Jon Jorgenson (yes, same one, from The Anima Series) gave at a camp.  It's called Transformation Implementation, and I need to talk about it because it hit me straight in the heart.  I've transcribed four pieces in particular (best I can, anyway, he talks so darn fast), if you don't have half an hour to spare right now.  But you really should watch it when you can.  It's good and packed with truth.

The first comes in reference to Matthew 4:18-20.

"We worship a God who is in the business of calling people. You see, God has been calling people since the beginning of time. God called Abraham to build a family. God called Noah to build an ark. He called Jacob to build a well, Nehemiah to build a wall, and Jesus to build a way. God called David into the valley; he called Moses onto the mountain. God called Esther to speak up, Job to shut up, Ruth to stick around, and Gideon to stick it to 'em. God called Joshua to take a walk, Jonah to give a talk, Solomon to be wise, and Lazarus to rise. God called Elijah in a whisper. He called Elisha to dig ditches. He called Daniel to be the best. He called his disciples to love the worst. He called the prophets to speak out, and he called the church to invite in. You see, there is literally no major character in the Biblical narrative who was not called by God to something greater than themselves, and we worship a God who still is calling people today."

Here's a secret:  As much as I freely say that I want God to use me, sometimes I don't know why He would.  I'm nobody special.  I've lived a pretty sheltered life.  I don't have any extravagant gifts.  I don't have some lifelong calling to move to Africa and take care of orphans like some bloggers who are about my age.  I don't know how I could with all of my health issues even if I wanted to.  So what's the point in using me for something greater when there are so many other options, stronger Christians, stronger people?

But all I have to do is take a look in the Bible to see that from the very beginning God has been calling ordinary people.  They weren't a big deal in their time, they didn't have big and important jobs, they didn't know they were going to be used for something epic from the start.  The one thing they have in common is that they became worthy of the record books because they answered His call.  

That's Jon's first step: answer the call.  All I have to do is answer, and He will bring me to things far beyond my dreams and imagination.  All I have to do is answer, and He will take care of everything else.

The second is a pretty long one.  It comes from Matthew 26:57-58, 69-75.

"See, the moment the rooster crows is significant, because listen to this.  The moment the rooster crows is the moment we're confronted with our sin and shame...You see, the moment the rooster crows reminds us that we are not the perfect, strong, amazing Christian that maybe we thought we were once.  It's the moment where we realize we weren't really following God; we were just inviting God to follow us and hoping that Jesus would be our good luck charm.  It's the moment that we realize that our choices have isolated us from God.  That's what the rooster crowing stands for for a Christian.  
BUT to literally everyone else in the world, specifically those in the Midwest, the rooster crowing stands for something else...What does a rooster crowing stand for?  It means it's the start of a new day!  You see, the rooster crowing means that night is over and morning is coming.  It means that darkness is on its way out and light is on its way in.  You see, it means there's a new beginning, it means there's a fresh start, and it means that the sun is about to rise.  And follow me here 'cause I'm about to blow your minds with this.  You see, what Peter didn't know was that the teacher he had just betrayed, that teacher was also a Son.  And what Pilate didn't know was that the man that he had just sentenced, that man was also a Son.  And what the soldiers didn't know was that the prisoner that they had just beaten, that prisoner was also a Son.  And what the Pharisees didn't know was that the carpenter that they had just crucified, that carpenter was a son.  Okay, you following me?  And even though he was betrayed, even though that Son was sentenced, even though that Son was beaten, and even though that Son was killed, when the rooster crowed, it was a reminder that that Son was gonna RISE three days later and bring LOVE and REDEMPTION to the world forever!...
The rooster crowing in your life is not a reminder that you are broken, sinful, and far from God.  The rooster crowing in your life is a reminder that even though you have sin, and even though you are broken, and even though you may be far from God, IT AIN'T OVER...We have to learn to love the rooster because the rooster foreshadows resurrection, and resurrection means redemption is coming."

When the rooster crowed, Peter remembered Jesus predicting his betrayal.  He wept at how far from his Lord he had gotten.  I'm not gonna lie and say there haven't been times that I've cried at how badly I've messed up.  Shame is a brutal feeling, how many things can knock you off your feet like that?  A lot of times in the past couple years, I haven't been following God.  I've been, as Jon said, hoping Jesus would be my good luck charm.  I haven't been seeking after the Lord, not even close to the way that I should.  I've been getting a lot of things wrong, so often, no matter how much I want to.  I think about things like that, and I feel like I'm just waiting for God to throw in the towel on my messed up life.  And I know how much I deserve God giving up on me, which is why it feels inevitable.  I am Peter too many days, sickened by my actions.

But those crows signal something else, something I fail to recognize far more often than not.  It's the start of a new day.  Lamentations 3:23 says that God's mercies are new every morning. That means EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I get a new chance to start over and rededicate myself and my choices to the Lord.  It isn't over because I'm still here, which is an even bigger deal for me considering doctors say I really shouldn't be.  Because my sin was paid for on the Cross, God doesn't hold any of it against me.  God isn't mad that He is giving me another chance; it's what He does!  

The rooster means a new day is coming.  Oh, I do love a good play on words.  When the rooster crows, the sun is rising, and when that rooster in Matthew crowed, it was a reminder that the Son would rise again.  And when the Son rose, my sin was forever defeated.  So if my sin is defeated, why wouldn't I get a new chance?  

Step two:  Learn to love the rooster.  The rooster's crows means resurrection is coming, and in that resurrection comes my redemption.  I am FREE.

The third is tied to John 21: 15-19.

"Even though Peter's not the rock yet, the command never changes.  He still says 'I want YOU to be the shepherd.  Even though you're not changed yet, I still wanna use you.'  And that's what God says to us.  He says, 'Even though you're not there yet, even though you're not perfect yet, even though your love for me is still a little flawed, I still wanna use you, so GET BACK IN THE GAME!'  Because Jesus is the ultimate recognizer of our potential.  Why?  Because he's the one who put it there.  Jeremiah 1:5 'Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.  Before you were born, I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.'  Jesus says 'Peter, I know you're still a reed at times, but I know there's a rock inside of you somewhere.'  And Jesus is saying to you tonight, 'I know you're a reed sometimes, but there's a rock inside of you somewhere.'  And tonight, it's time for you to get back in the game...Your greatest misery that you've been dealing with for I don't know how long is about to become your greatest ministry tonight when you get back in the game with God."

I'm still a reed sometimes, I'll be the first to admit it.  I want to be a rock all the time, what Christian wouldn't, but I'm just not there yet.  Because I'm such a perfectionist, when I recognize my screw-ups, I often get so caught up in yelling at myself for it that I don't remember to try again.  I wonder what the point is, because hey, if I'm just going to screw it all up again, why do I even bother?  I might as well save myself the embarrassment and God the frustration.....Uh, except here's the thing.  God doesn't get frustrated!  He loves me too much!  If I think I have to be perfect for God to be able to use me for something, I'll be wasting this whole life away because I'm never gonna be perfect this side of eternity.

I don't love God as strongly as I should, as steadfastly as I should.  God still wants me.  He wants me so He can grow me.  And in the process of growing me, He's gonna use me.  If I don't want to give up on God, I can't give up on the creation He made in His image.  So here's to giving myself the same second chance God gives me every day, because by doing that, I trust that the One who is in control can make it right.  As long as I keep getting back in the game, there's hope for me yet.  There's no mistake that I can make that God can't turn around and use for His glory and my good.  He knows my potential because He put it there.  I'm gonna keep getting back in the game and trust that He knows I really am capable of more than I think I am.

Step three: get back in the game.

The last is his end statement, what I needed to hear the most.

"You see, transformation doesn't come by following Jesus and giving up as soon as you screw up.  Transformation comes by answering the call and getting back in the game no matter how many times the rooster has crowed in your life.  Transformation comes by saying these words, 'I may not be where I wanna be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be.  I'm okay, and I'm on my way.  I'm back in the game.'"

I'm not the person I want to be yet, but this blog is enough proof by itself that I am not the person I used to be.  God has brought me so much farther than I could have imagined was possible before it happened.  More than I even knew that I wanted.  Thank God for that.  And as long as there's breath in my lungs, God's gonna keep working in me and on me, and who knows, maybe even through me. ;)  

God won't quit on me, so I'm not gonna quit on me, either.  

Step four: rinse and repeat.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Plans made.

A week from right now, Mom and Holly will be headed through the night to New York City.  With one mission, to secure me a place to live.  Aunt Julie can't go for some reason, so Holly is going when she gets off work next Saturday night.  I'm so thankful that they're making this sacrifice for me. No, that's not sarcasm.  Holly is taking a few days off work to go with Mom, and Mom is pushing through her health issues to do this because she knows I can't.  Maybe by then she'll at least be feeling some better compared to how she is now.

Also, it's pretty surreal that there are actual plans now to go find me an apartment, not just talk and dreaming.

I've been having stomach issues for most of the day.  I can't figure out what set it off.  That is weird.  At least I've been awake more today than I was yesterday, even though I stayed mostly in bed.

I'm really glad Mom is off crutches finally.  I know she is, too.

If you don't watch the Big Bang Theory, you really should.  It's Mom's and my new obsession.  SO GOOD.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

I couldn't stay awake today.

And I'm not sure why.

My headache is slightly improved, so that shouldn't have been the reason.

I also had next to no appetite for most of the day, which is incredibly bizarre.

I don't feel sick.

I'm just very very tired.

Weird, huh?

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Thursday, July 10, 2014


I haven't had this much head pain since surgery.

But considering this is the first truly debilitating day I've had since surgery, I'd say that is at least some improvement.

I didn't even eat until 8:00 tonight because I had no appetite and couldn't get up.  It's very rare that I don't even want to eat.

Here's praying it's better tomorrow.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Well, that was easy.

I got a call back from the Federal Student Aid people this afternoon.  All they needed to adjust the decision regarding my loan application was a screenshot of my online banking emailed to them that showed proof of payment on each of the five accounts in collection.  So we don't have to deal with the tedious process of gathering letters showing a zero balance from each of the five companies.  And I made sure to explain that two of the accounts were settled for less than they were charged for, so that's why two of the numbers would not match up to their records.

An email.  That's all it took.  Like ten minutes after I sent the email in, I got another email saying that my credit appeal case had been approved.  By the end of business tomorrow, NYU should have all the proper information regarding the loan amounts to give to me.  Which means the loans are officially mine.  I've never been so happy to be thousands and thousands of dollars in debt in my life.  But I'm gonna call NYU on Friday just to be sure it's all secure and my loan amounts haven't changed.  Can't be too safe after all this craziness.

This was the most stressful four weeks I've had in a very long time.  I'm so glad I don't have to worry about it anymore and we can finally really start planning for the move and not have to panic about it coming through.

Of course, there's still all sorts of other stuff going on with the family and Mom's job, but you know what?  I feel like I'm gaining more and more trust in the Lord by the day.  He's proven Himself so faithful to me through this whole loan/NYU messy process, and other stuff aside from that has worked out even when we weren't sure that it would, so I just can't help but feel like the rest of the stressful stuff will work out, too.

And that's a really good feeling to have.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin'.

So I rolled out of bed this morning and went to go to the bank that my aunt and uncle's check was through to get a cashier's check to take it to my bank to deposit it so that we didn't have to wait for it to be held to get these debts paid off.  Well, long story short, we ended up opening an account there because my bank isn't anywhere north of like Maryland and this bank is all over Manhattan.  The ironic part is that I USED to be a member at this bank, but switched to the other bank because it was the only bank near Campbell.  And now I'm back!  After we got all that business set up, we went to go close out the account I've had for the past 5 years.

We came back and Mom immediately paid all of the debts and actually managed to negotiate two of them and saved me about $400.  The annoying part is that it will be close to the middle of next week before we have all of the documentation to send into the Federal Aid people to prove that they're paid.  Lame rules.  But hey, some progress is better than no progress!

The rest of the day was basically spent looking online at apartment listings.  As of now, around the end of the month, once all the loan stuff is taken care of, Mom and Aunt Julie (reminder: not actually my aunt, my mom's lifelong best friend) will be going up to NYC to nail down a place for me to stay. It's just too much for me to do something that hectic in the heat, and I trust them both with my life, so I know they'll get me a good place.  Plus, Aunt Julie has some extended relatives that live up there who can let them crash at their place and save hotel fees, so that's a bonus.

Looking online at all the different listings was so much fun.  I got to dream.  And with the pictures, I imagined myself living in some of the places.  Some of them not so much, ha!  Like really, I can make compromises on size, location, many things, but sharing a bathroom with strangers that unlike at Campbell might actually be nasty men? NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

But yeah.  I'm dreaming.  I don't normally let myself do that too much out of fear that it will all fall to pieces, but with this, I just can't help it.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

I am tired now.

I used to believe that people who get all obnoxiously ethnocentric and whine "THIS IS AMERICA WE SPEAK ENGLISH GRRR" were, well, obnoxiously ethnocentric.  And also racist.  But then I spent 2 hours on the phone with a string of incomprehensible Indian people trying to get phone numbers and dollar amounts for the five accounts that the Federal Student Aid people said were keeping them from giving me my loans and I began to think that same thing, "Why can't you people speak comprehensible English?!"  I did it, though.  It cost me $18 and a good deal of my sanity, but I did it.  Which is good timing because I got the check from Uncle Ed and Aunt Dinah today.

Of course, now Mom is stressed that she didn't ask them for enough money and now she won't be able to find me an apartment because you have to pay 2 months of rent plus deposits for utilities and New York is so darn expensive.  But I no longer have the energy to be stressed about it.  It's worked out up until now.  The rest will fall into place somehow.

I have had a massive sinus headache for most of the day, so between that and taking all the trash and recycling out to the road, my energy was pretty much spent.  It's been a lot of The Big Bang Theory (God bless DVR) and talking to Mom because turns out some men don't get any less childish and stupid even when they're 54.  Also, my insecurity?  I come by it honest.  Ha!

Sometimes I wonder if things will ever not be absolutely insane in this family.  I'm gonna go with no. Just a hunch.

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Lesson learned: I'm not missing anything.

My Texas friend Catie wrote a post today called "Something is missing in my life, and it's not a husband."  It was one of those things that I've heard a million times before in a million different ways, but it coming now made it feel fresh and new and I haven't been able to get it out of my head.

From Catie:
"Sometimes loneliness steals my attention away from God's great grace, and my lack of a boyfriend can sometimes make me feel inadequate.  But the truth tells me I'm not incomplete, that because of Jesus, I'm whole.  The truth tells me that I'm loved and there is joy all around me.  The truth is, I deserve hell, but God saved me by sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sins.  That feeling of inadequacy and that nudge that says something is missing is false and you shouldn't believe it.  We're basing our self worth off of our relationship status, or in other words, lack of, and then expecting a man to come along and fill that space that only Jesus can fill.  Think of how much pressure you're putting on your husband to complete you, when you're only setting yourself up for a rude awakening.  
So I'm going to make this very clear.  My joy isn't dependent on my future husband's arrival. Yours shouldn't be either."

Um. BOOM.  I want to be Catie when I grow up.  Ha.  But really, she has the confidence oozing from her that I've been wanting since...forever.  And yeah, yeah, I know, confidence like that comes from Jesus.  Really, I think I've grown quite a bit in confidence since giving myself to the Lord a couple years ago, but there's one area that I persist in feeling like the outcast, the freak: my relationship status.

Just one thought to the fact that I'm 22 years old and I've never had a boyfriend makes me feel like I'm the one that nobody will ever want.  I see my friends.  Some of them go from one relationship to another without even trying.  Others are finding their spouses and getting engaged and married.  And here I am.  Still waiting.

What am I waiting for exactly?  Another broken human being to come and love me to tell me that I'm worthy?  I'm being ridiculous if I think that having a boyfriend or a husband is going to keep me from feeling unworthy ever again.  I still have trouble sometimes believing I'm worthy of having the friends that I do, so why would I expect a romantic relationship to be different?  This is the kind of stuff I used to do, and I know better now.  I know who Jesus is.  I know what perfection looks like. I know where my being's worth is actually found.  It seems that I just have trouble remembering it.

I am me.  A relationship status doesn't change the person that God created in me.  God doesn't create anything by mistake, or screw things up and leave us with defects that aren't part of His plan for the person He set out to make.  And if there's one thing that I've learned in the past year, it's that I am enough.  I don't have to be skinnier, or prettier, or less intense, or less goofy, to be good enough.  I am already good enough because I believe in the life-saving reality of Jesus, who he is, and what he did, even though I could never even come remotely close to being worthy of him or his love.

Loneliness is an awful feeling.  When I was at Campbell, I could at least sometimes distract myself from it because I had people to hang out with and things to do.  But now, I am stuck in this house with nothing but Facebook and Twitter, and that leaves a lot of time to get caught up in my own head.  I'm not just bored to tears, I'm lonely and I hate it.  So lonely in fact, I can't decide if the feelings I think I'm feeling for someone are real or just a manifestation of the persistent desire to have someone around and have someone want me.

I'll be honest, though.  Reciting the Gospel to myself isn't always a cure for the loneliness.  I know that I am whole and complete and loved beyond all understanding by God, but sometimes, that doesn't do much for the fear that no man will ever romantically want me that feels like a gnawing at my heart, slowly tearing it to shreds.  I don't think that God is meant to fill that desire, a desire known to just about every woman on the planet.  But I do think that I have to be content with just the Lord before "that person" will come into my life.  And I'm going to have to get really used to being on my own really soon here, because I'm about to move to one of the largest cities in the world where I will know absolutely no one.

My problem is that I've been waiting for something, someone, before I think I'm able or allowed to be content with where I am in life.  I look at so many guys that come into my world and wonder if "maybe this is it", putting expectations on things before I even really know who he is.  It's crazy and absurd and a recipe for utter disappointment.  When Catie said that bit about her joy not being dependent on her future husband's arrival, I couldn't help but be reminded of what a friend taught me: happiness comes from circumstances, joy comes from beyond this world - from God alone.

I am not here to serve my own desires, desires to be a wife and a mother.  The good news is, that's not a secret to God!  I am here to serve God, whatever He wants me to do wherever He wants me to do it.  And while I may think my life will be best if I get to have a husband and kids one day, wait for it........I DON'T ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT IS BEST.  God does.  And because I know how good God really is and just what He is capable of, I know full well that He will lead me to a husband if that is what is best for me.

If I want to find a Godly man, I need to work on being the kind of woman that a Godly man would want.  And by that, I only mean that I need to focus on my relationship with the Lord, allowing Him to open my eyes to areas where I still need to grow, to show me the truth even when it's not the comfortable thing for me to hear.  God has to be enough for me.  I am already enough for God.


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Saturday, July 5, 2014

I don't know what to say.

My sinuses are on fire.

My sleep schedule is all out of wack.

I am so bored.

Nothing has happened today but soccer (the semifinals are set!), The Big Bang Theory, and sleep.

Mom's at her boyfriend's house again so I have silence.

It's like being back in my dorm all over again...except for more space and a couple annoying dumb dogs.

Yay me...?

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Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th.

Or something like that.

No, I'm just kidding, I have awesome news.

Uncle Ed and Aunt Dinah are giving me a loan to pay off the medical debt and to at least pay a large portion of getting into an NYC apartment.

Hallelujah.  I'm so happy about that that I could cry.  Not even kidding.  A HUGE stressor off my mind.  But I won't be totally calm until I have that debt taken care of and the notification from the government that I have my loans.

It's getting real, people.

Today for me: an upset stomach, soccer, and The Big Bang Theory.  Even my mom had plans.  I'm so lame.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Good Report

Today I had to go to Wilmington for my post-op appointment.  In a hurricane.  So that was fun.

But good news!  I'm healing great.  My vision has improved tremendously.  The alignment of my eyes is darn near perfect.  I really don't think I could have asked for anything better.

Plus, we got two new pairs of glasses with my new proper prescription ordered from them and they will be at my house in two, two and a half weeks max.  So that's taken care of.  And I like them.

And my mom and I spent the 4+ hours of car rides (things took much longer than usual because of the nasty weather) singing together at the top of our lungs even though both our throats hurt.  It truly is one of my favorite memories of growing up with her, singing together.  And the sweetest thing I've heard from her in a long time - today she told me singing with me in the car is one of her all-time favorite memories, too. :)  Things like that make me so happy.

So all in all, today was a really good day.  But I'm looking forward to not having to go anywhere or do anything tomorrow because my body still hurts from yesterday.  Plus, the World Cup quarterfinals are on tomorrow and Saturday, so there is that. :)

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014


My mom rarely has bad ideas.  Today she had a majorly bad one.

In case you were curious, Mom on crutches, me a week post-surgery, and Blake going to Sam's and buying a whole carload of groceries across a giant warehouse is a recipe for disaster.  I almost had a seizure from being so hot and exhausted from doing all the loading and dealing with Blake.  Mom made her knee pain a lot worse by trying to deal with Blake when I was on the floor.  Blake had a massive meltdown that lasted for a very long time.  Even Mom admitted this was a majorly bad idea.

We had Blake because Chelsea was cleaning our house.  So then we got home and I had to do almost all the unloading because Chelsea is Chelsea and all the putting away because Mom took Chelsea and Blake home and then I collapsed.

On the upside, Mom gifted me a pedicure.  The massage chair + the leg massage they do with the pedicure + getting my feet scrubbed all clean made me a very happy girl.  God bless her.

Plus we had to get stuff from Food Lion.  But at least Mom's boyfriend's daughter went with her there so I didn't have to because she had to get stuff for their house, too.  There was only a little bit for me to unload from there.

And then I fell asleep in the recliner.

But I'm still so exhausted.  That was way too much work for me.  It probably didn't help that I didn't sleep much last night from random new pain that set in.  So at least I won't have trouble sleeping tonight.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I'll always believe.

Well, the US is out of the World Cup.  It was a disappointing loss to Belgium that went into extra time before the first goal was even scored, ending in 2-1 at the end of 120 minutes.

But despite the loss and the disappointing, I would like to talk about the USMNT highlights.


The man is a national treasure. 16 saves in a single game is the highest since 1966.  We wouldn't have even had the chance for extra time if it weren't for this brick wall of a human being.  He is, hands down, one of the top 5 goalkeepers in the world.  God bless him.


He, a kid who turned 19 less than a month ago, got his first appearance tonight and was the one who made that goal for us.  Huge shoutout for that goal and for making me feel like an utter failure at life.


He made the game-winning goal against Ghana as a substitute.  The goal was a header off a corner kick from another substitute.  Freaking awesome.


This would be the substitute who kicked to John.  Also, HE'S SO PRETTY.


Two words: The hair.


Do I even need to say it?  He's the captain.  He's a badass.  He scored a goal in 32 seconds.  He shook off a bloody and broken nose like it was a hangnail.  Sorry, Patrick, I have a new favorite Dempsey.

God bless America.

One nation, one team.

I believe.

This is just the beginning for US Soccer.  2018.  Russia, they're coming.

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