Thursday, February 28, 2008

love is simple

I think I've mentioned my church on here a few times, but I don't know if I can emphasize enough what a meaningful experience it has been for me the last few months to connect with community. Last night, in my small group, a family that I've gotten close to shared some really personal things that are going on with them, and asked for our input and prayers. This is the second time in the past month that they've shared about these things, and I know they were really encouraged by our support the last time they shared about it. After some discussion about everything, our leader, Brock, initiated a prayer time for them saying, "I think you guys know based on the response last time you shared, that we all love you."

For the past few months, I've been praying and thinking a lot about how I can love this group of people. I think I've acted loving towards them, treated them in ways that look like love, and really genuinely cared about them and enjoyed them. But when Brock made the statement about us loving them, it all clicked. I really, truly love them, and I let the reality of that state sink in. I've talked to people who are in love, and they can usually recall the exact moment in their relationship when they realized that they were in love with the other person. Last night was my moment for these people. I've been in a relationship with them for the past six months, and last night it all hit me, "I do love them!"

It's hard to describe what that moment felt like. It's as if my soul was welling up inside me, fountains of water gushing out of me, about to burst, then an exhale, and my soul landed inside me, safe and secure and peacefully settled and planted in the knowledge of that love.

(How do I embed youtube videos into my blog? I've tried this before, but no luck.)

Thursday, February 21, 2008


That's German for "blog" or "blogging" or something.

I don't have anything in particular to say, but I just have the urge to write. Or avoid my statistics homework like the plague. My classes this semester are going really well, except for Statistics, excuse me, "Experimental Design," but it's just a wolf in sheep's clothing. We have a midterm in two weeks and I'm scared. Maybe that fear will motivate me to catch up on my homework.

Life is good. Ok, life is great :) I've had a couple of rough patches and some stressful days, and I'm often really tired at the end of the day, but it's a good kind of tired. The kind of tired when you know that you've accomplished some things and enjoyed yourself and will wake up the next morning ready to go at it again. I see four clients a week, and I'm learning a lot about counseling, and learning a lot about myself. My supervisor is awesome, and he's good at pointing out things about myself. "Therapist, know thyself," someone important or famous or smart said one time. I've been eating more.* I go to yoga classes sometimes, which makes me feel more alive. I focus on my breathing sometimes. I listen to BBC radio sometimes. I listen to great music on Ruckus. I went to see Flogging Molly in Austin a couple of weeks ago, and I think I'm going to a concert with Cara over spring break.

I have a new roommate who's really nice and easy to talk to, and my old roommate and I have gotten to hang out some. Lost is back on television! Other than Lost, I don't really watch much tv, though maybe I'll start watching The Office when it comes back in April and May. Cutting down my internet time has been a wise decision. I don't miss using it when I'm at home, though when I'm at work, it's hard for me to tear myself away from the computer. I've been reading Luke, and thinking more about what Jesus had to say. I've been thinking lately in the metaphors of light and darkness. Basically, things should be out in the light, we should be more honest and open with ourselves and others. There's no place for secrecy, especially not in the church. My church has been really good about encouraging this openness. A few weeks ago, our pastor attacked the statement, "That's just between me and the Lord," saying that it's a lie, there's nothing that's just between us and God. God wants us to confess to others and seek counsel. And I believe it. I want to live my life in the light. I don't want any darkness, any secrets, any shame. I want to be open, honest, genuine, congruent, in the light.

My church has also been talking a lot about marriage, sex, and dating. And we're really listening. Coincidingly, I've started spending some time with a certain young man from church, and we have a date tomorrow. It's good, it's great actually, we're having lots of fun, we like each other, we're getting to know each other, he's being intentional about things, we're being open about it, we're friends with a married couple who we've talked to about it, and we'll see where things go :) It's so early, I guess we've been hanging out for almost a month now, but I feel like so far we're off to a great start. He's really neat, I think you'd really enjoy him. I'm really really excited about this and I feel really good about how things are going. How many times can I say "really" in this paragraph? In addition to this young man, I feel more connected to the people at my church. I've been meeting lots of people my age, and having fun hanging out with them on weekends, and I've been spending more time with some families I know too. I feel more included, I feel supported, and even protected. I don't think I've ever felt protected by a church group before, but I feel safe and secure and I trust them.

I think I'm going to Boston this summer for the APA Convention. I've never been to Boston, and it's APA. It's kinda a big deal, even though I'm not presenting anything, I can learn a lot and meet lots of folks. And next summer, I might go to Costa Rica. That's right, Costa Rica. Last semester, we talked to our faculty about putting together a study abroad program for us. They jumped on the idea, and have submitted a proposal for our department head or dean or someone to approve and possibly get funding. So, if all goes well, we're going to Costa Rica for part of next summer, to take some courses, study Spanish, live with host families . . . it's pretty amazing on many levels. It's pretty rare for graduate programs to offer any type of study abroad program, and this was our cohort's idea, and they listened to us and are working to make it happen.

So yeah, life is good. Life is great! I haven't written as much lately, and I just wanted to update you guys, my friends and readers, and let you know what's new in my world.

*That's an odd statement. Let me explain. I love to eat. I don't have disordered eating, there were just times last semester when I would get busy and stressed and lazy and forget to eat. I lost some weight, but gained it back over Christmas break. Now, I pack my lunchbox full every night and make sure that I have plenty to eat during the day.

Monday, February 11, 2008

lenten season

I've longed recognized my addiction to the internet. More than anything else, I can easily spend hours on the internet, especially late at night. I'll get online, "just to check my email," and the next thing you know, hours have passed, looking at facebook pictures of acquaintances I barely know, reading up about movies on, looking up random facts on wikipedia, reading some of my favorite online comics. Often, these are hours when I should be sleeping or studying or anything more productive. Sometimes, the things I do on the internet aren't just wasteful, but are actually harmful to me. Things like looking at an ex-boyfriend's facebook profile when I'm feeling lonely. Other things too, things that aren't good for my mind, soul, or emotions. And the internet never satisfies. I'm always hoping for one more message, one more comment, one more discovery that will be so satisfying, that I can log off and do something else. But even if the internet gives me that, it always leaves me wanting more. I'm never satisfied by the internet like I am reading the Bible, or a good book, or spending time with a good friend, or watching a good movie.

In the past, I've tried to do somethings to address this addiction. Senior year of high school, I gave up AIM for Lent, and two years ago, I gave up Facebook for Lent. I've tried to limit myself, telling myself that I can only go to certain websites one time a day. When my computer battery was newer, I'd sometimes just unplug it, and use the internet until the battery went dead, which was usually within an hour. Lately, I've been thinking about how freeing it would be to not have the internet in my home at all. Spurred on by Ben's post and our comments, I decided to try this for a week - pretend like there's no internet at my home. I can only use the internet at work, or if I go to a coffee shop with free wi-fi. This was a great week. I slept better, read my Bible more, got more studying done, and was late less often. I felt happier and healthier.

With the success of that one week, I've decided to try this again for the season of Lent. Since Ash Wednesday until Easter, I'm giving up using my internet at home. I can check my email and do my thing every weekday at work, and on Saturdays I can go to a coffee shop to study and use the internet. Sunday is the day for breaking the fast, so if I want to use the internet at home on Sunday, then I will. Of course, if I need to use the internet to work on something school related, then I will. I hope to continue blogging at least once a week, and reading your blogs, but if my comments are late or absent, then it's nothing against you and your writing.

I'm really excited about this, more excited about this than any other Lenten fast that I've participated in. I know it'll be challenging, but I already feel more free.

For my other friends who are also participating in Lenten fasts, then I wish you the best and I will send you my prayers.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

kitteh pop ups

Funny Pictures
moar funny pictures

Oh man, so true! Half the time I'm on my computer, my kitty, Gracie, keeps popping up - but usually on my keyboard, not at the monitor. A couple of weeks ago, she hit some key combination which flipped my monitor upside down! I still have no idea what she did, but I got some help and was able to reset it. It was a really bizarre experience.