Friday, April 25, 2008

dubya's check

I don't care what Dubya says, I'm not using my economic stimulus check to buy more stuff that I don't need. I've been giving some thought about what to do with that money plus my tax rebate I'll soon be receiving. Here are some possibilities:

  • Pay off my credit card bill.
  • Give to my church.
  • Give to my missionary friends.
  • Give to the local public radio station I listen to.
Maybe I'll do a little of each. Course, there's always the possibility that I won't receive the summer supplemental aid I applied for, and this money will just go towards tuition. Whatever the case, Dubya, thanks for the parting gift! What will you be doing with this extra bit of cash?

On a completely unrelated note, I think that every young single person should be friends with a fun 29 year-old childless married couple who stay up late and live in a cool house with a recording studio and pool. These cats will still be cool even when they have kids.

Monday, April 21, 2008

too many sad words make for sad, sad songs

I've been listening to a lot of great music lately that has done nothing whatsoever to improve my mood (Ryan Adams, The Frames, Tom Conlon, Copeland, Imogen Heap, Iron and Wine). I love this music, but I feel like I need to do everything I can these next couple of weeks to keep my mood and energy up. So, today, I switched to some peppier music, which today was the Decemberists, and tomorrow will probably be Ben Folds. After that, I'm not sure. But I really need to listen to happy music right now, not necessarily fluffy pop, but good songs that make me feel alive, that make me want to dance and sing along and make me believe that I can conquer the world. What are some songs/musicians/albums that lift your spirits and bring you life? I welcome any recommendations.

On the topic of music, what do you guys think about the ACL lineup? I'm considering buying tickets as my birthday gift to myself this year. And a good wine stopper. Last year, my self-given birthday gift was getting my hair colored. Maybe next year it'll be a tattoo. But I digress . . . which bands would you be excited to see at ACL? What's the probably that you will be attending?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

He will rejoice over you with singing

"Sing, O Daughter of Zion;

shout aloud, O Israel!

Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,

O Daughter of Jerusalem!
The LORD has taken away your punishment,

he has turned back your enemy.

The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you;

never again will you fear any harm.

On that day they will say to Jerusalem,

'Do not fear, O Zion;

do not let your hands hang limp.
The LORD your God is with you,

he is mighty to save.

He will take great delight in you,

he will quiet you with his love,

he will rejoice over you with singing.' "

Zephaniah 3:14-17

Monday at a women's meeting with my church, those words were poured out over my friend Natalie. She described feeling oppressed by shame and fear, by lies that her family had told her, that were keeping her from experiencing God's love and affection from others. Praying over her, praying for freedom, praying against this oppression, was a truly beautiful experience. We prayed, we cried, we laughed, words of truth were spoken, metaphors were described, images were imagined, scripture was read, song lyrics were quoted. There's really no way to describe it. Just imagine, one small blonde girl sitting on her knees, crying, blowing her nose, and at least 20 other women, Arwens, unwilling to let our friend, our sister, be bound by darkness, as we prayed and spoke over Natalie about 20 minutes.

Through this experience of speaking healing and freedom into Natalie's life, I also found that freedom and life is being given to me as well. I suppose it's true, as one part suffers, all parts suffer, and as one part rejoices, all parts rejoice. I imagine that I wasn't the only one suffering, and the only one who left that meeting rejoicing. I woke Tuesday morning truly happy and full of life. This was the first day since the breakup that I was actually excited to wake up. I'd had pleasant dreams, dreams that were hopeful, and Andrew was in them, but I didn't miss him. He was there, but he didn't matter, and I woke up feeling like that could be possible, that exciting things are in store for me and that I will be free from missing him and feeling lonely.

Tuesday continued to be a great day. My classmate and I went down to Austin to see Feist in concert. The concert was incredible, and the whole afternoon/evening was a great escape. Even though it was a Tuesday night, it felt like a weekend, like a true vacation, and we were able to escape our school obligations for a few hours and really relax and enjoy ourselves.

My classmate also recently went through a breakup, and we dreamed about places we wanted to travel too and things that we wanted to do, and it got me really excited. I hadn't dreamed that way since I'd been dating Andrew. I had lots of dreams and excitement, but they all centered around him and how he could fit into my future. A lady at the women's meeting described how before she was married, she imagined taking all of her dreams and goals and placing them in a box and wrapping them as a gift. She knew that when she was married that she wouldn't have to throw away this box, but it would a gift that she could trust to her husband. She knew that God would provide her with someone who would take care of her dreams and goals. I really like that imagery. It's easy for me to be extreme and get caught up in the idea of being single and doing only what I want or of being married and surrendered to a husband and possibly giving up dreams, but I trust that God has someone for me who will cherish my dreams and help me fulfill them, and I don't have to fear giving them up because I'll be giving them over to someone I can trust.

In addition to the great concert and good time with friends, I came home from Austin with a bike! A couple of years ago, my mom gave me her old bike, but it was stolen. Lately, I've been thinking that I wanted a bike again, to ride for fun, and also I'm hoping to live closer to campus next year so I could possibly commute with it. My birthday's coming up, and I had even thought about asking for a bike for my birthday. My classmate and I picked up her friend Emily for the concert. Emily started talking about how she was getting a new bike, I mentioned wanting a bike, and she offered me her old one! It's a Hercules, made in England, and it's purple! It's such a girly bike - I absolutely love it! It needs some work, but I asked the men in my church small group about it, and there's a guy who really loves working on bikes, so he's excited to work on it! I'm really thrilled about it, it'll be great to start riding again. And did I mention it's purple? Remind me to post some pictures when we get it into shape.

Overall, it's been a really incredible week, but I've still had some hard times. I've been trying to figure out where to live and who to live with. I was considering buying a house, but a couple of weeks ago I decided against that. Last week, talking with a woman from my church about the breakup, I also started talking about housing, and we decided that it would be really good for me to live with some fellow church members. My roommates right now are ok, but we just don't connect, and I've never felt completely at home living where I live now. Like I've mentioned, I really want to connect with more women from my church and build female friendships, and I want to live somewhere that feels like a home. I think this would be really good for me, and I think it's what I need right now. I've talked with a couple of different sets of girls about it, but I'm still waiting for things to work out. Today, I got really frustrated, because things didn't work out with the first group of girls, and it may not work out with this second group. Both times, I got really emotional about it. I realize that I'm probably over reacting, but I'm hurt and lonely and I want so desperately for connect with others and I want something really good to look forward to! I've also realized that these feel a little like rejections. I just got a big rejection from Andrew, and then I felt rejected again when things didn't work out with the first group of girls. But they've assured me that it really just came down to the logistics and they want to continue to get to know me better and stay connected. I believe them, but I still have fear. I fear that because I'm no longer dating Andrew, that I'm going to lose these friendships I've started to build these past few months and just become distanced from these people. I know this isn't true, and people keep approaching me and telling me how they want to hang out, they want to stay connected to me, but I still have that fear. I fear being rejected again.

So, please pray for me about all of this. Pray that things will work out for me to live with some girls from church, pray that I'll really feel at home in my next place. Pray that I'll feel peace about this and be able to trust it to God without getting so emotional about it and without putting such high stakes on everything. Pray that I'll be free from these fears, pray that I'll continue to connect with others, and trust them. Pray that I won't be lonely, but that I will find good women to connect with during this time. And I have so much school work to do in the next three weeks, pray that I won't be distracted from that, but that I'll be diligent and get a lot done soon! My mom came to visit last weekend and that was really good, but I'm worried about this weekend. I have dinner plans on Friday and Saturday night, but most of the time I need to work on a big paper. I'm afraid that I'm going to get lonely, that I'm going to start thinking about Andrew and wondering what he's doing. Pray that I'll be free from that, that I'll just get absorbed in my paper and not worry about those things. I really am dreading this weekend, but I know that I shouldn't. It'll be a good time for me to be productive and to spend some time with the people here who I care about.

I started writing this post a couple of days ago, and there was more that I wanted to say, but I think this is enough for now.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

you were happy

"I don't know if this will make you feel better, but you were in my dream last night and you were happy."

Thanks for putting up with the emo-ness of my previous blog. It's been a rough week, but things are getting better. Physically and emotionally I'm feeling better and I'm starting to gain more peace about what has happened. It still hurts, but I feel hopeful. I really do believe that this was from God and the right thing for both of us, and I truly believe that God has good things in store for me. Very good things. Thank you so much for the kind words and prayers, and if those could continue, then that would be awesome. Ya'll are truly wonderful - just knowing that I have friends who care about me and support me helps tremendously.

I know that a time when come soon when I will be free from hurt and loneliness and confusion. There will soon be a time when I feel completely content and satisfied and know that I'm not lacking anything. Even if that time only exists in others dreams and precious moments of peace and clarity in the present, I will soon look in the mirror, smile, and say, "I am happy."

"You were in my dream last night and you were happy."

Monday, April 07, 2008

24 hours: the aftermath

  • Screamed, cussed, threw pillows, and slammed doors. Check.
  • Called a church friend who saved me from destoying my house by letting me come over to cry on her shoulder and not be alone. Check.
  • Called my best friend. Check.
  • Texted my best friend because she never checks her messages, and she actually called me back. Check.
  • Went to church, cried while singing "I need you Jesus, come to my rescue . . . this world has nothing for me." Check.
  • Ran past one of his roommates while going to the bathroom to get tissues. Check.
  • Skipped out on my pastor's dating sermon to help same church friend with the kids in the back. Check.
  • Went to a departmental meeting, faked being fine, and left as soon as I could. Check.
  • Called my mom. Check.
  • Drove to another church family's house, and talked with them. Check.
  • Drove back to first church family's house to borrow a Francine Rivers book. Check.
  • Came home, realized my keys were missing, called every place I'd been that day. Check.
  • Went back to church family's house because our pastor was over. Pastor, husband of friend, and I drove to the church where we didn't find my keys. Pastor asked how I was doing and I asked him to pray for me. Check.
  • Came home and successfully avoided my roommates. Check.
  • Stuffed cards and pictures of him in a drawer. Check.
  • Changed my background picture from a picture of us in a field of bluebonnets to an empty field of dandelions. Check.
  • Texted best friend and asked her to pray for a good night's sleep for me and for me to feel better in the morning. Check.
  • Read scripture from our women's retreat and prayed that I'd believe it. Check.
  • Went to sleep fairly easily, but woke up at 3:30 and repeatedly woke up tossing and turning for the rest of the night. Check.
  • Woke up feeling numb and started going through the motions of getting ready. Check.
  • Coughed up green mucuous in the sink. Check.
  • Cried and prayed in the shower. Check.
  • Felt nauseous, but made myself breakfast anyway. Check.
  • Explained to my roommate that the dog hadn't gotten lose, but I was the reason for the mess in the bathroom yesterday. Check.
  • Called my boss to tell him my keys were missing and told him I was having a terrible day. Check.
  • Called best friend again crying on the way to work. Check.
  • Arrived at work, found substitute key. Check.
  • Wrote him an email, asking him a question that maybe will give me more closure. Check.
  • Emailed other close girlfriends, explaining situation, and asking for prayers. Check.
  • Emailed friends about going to Feist concert next Tuesday in Austin with me since I was going to go with him and his roommate and he kindly still offered to pay for their tickets. Check.
  • Wrote a silly but extremely honest blog post about what I've done the past 22 hours. Check.

What can I say? Love's a bitch that needs to be slapped around, though it feels like I'm love's bitch and she's the one giving me a beating. I'm sure these next 24 hours will be better, but please say a prayer for me.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Happy April Fool's Day! March has past, and I only wrote one blog entry that entire month. I guess spring break was pretty busy, and then things have stayed busy since I've been back at school. I'd like to write about what's been on my mind a lot, the ministry my church is starting with women at a strip club, me looking to buy a house and all of the uncertainty and excitement that goes along with that, my romantic relationship and how that's going, and all the things that my pastor is preaching about dating and what I'm learning through all of this.

But the truth is, I could probably start a post about one of those topics, and wouldn't finish it today. Maybe I'd finish it tomorrow, or maybe it would sit as a draft for weeks and those weeks would turn into months and suddenly it wouldn't seem relevant to post at all. Looking today, I have 6 posts drafts just from the past 4 months. 6 posts that were started, never completed, and all but abandoned. Maybe instead of starting something entirely new, I should resurrect these posts from the past few months. I've chosen the most complete one to breath some life into. It was written January 25th, 2008. This was just a couple of weeks into this spring semester. Here it is:


A couple of days ago, I wanted to write about how I was feeling more at home here, and how good that's been. But since then, I've found some more loneliness creeping in. I'll give writing about good things a shot, and maybe I can recapture how I felt two days ago.

When I came to TCU as a freshmen, I dove in headfirst, meeting people, getting involved in organizations, even serving as a welcome-type person for one organization! In some ways I was your typical college freshmen, eager to do anything and everything. In other ways, I was atypical. I was confident in my eagerness, confident that I belonged here and would feel at home, confident that I could hang out with seniors and be accepted. I think because of this confidence, I was frequently mistaken for an upperclassman. I don't really remember feeling insecure that first semester. Another freshmen that year (who is know one of my closest friends) later told me that she was intimidated by me when we first met. "Wow," she thought, "This girl already knows so many people and has so many friends, why would she ever want to be my friend?" Fortunately, her assumption was wrong. Sometime halfway through that semester I realized that despite all the activities I was involved in, despite all of the people I had to hang out with, I didn't have a close friend. Realizing that I was missing this and that the seniors I had been hanging out with would soon be graduating, I started praying for a close friend that I could spend college with. God soon answered that prayer, and that girl who had first been intimidated by me became the friend that I can't imagine spending college without. My second year, I developed close friendships with other young women who I still try to remain close to.

In addition to these close friendships, I also valued all of my other friends and acquaintances at TCU. I've never been one to put myself in a bubble, and I knew lots of people on that small campus, and lots of people knew me. Walking from my dorm to class, I'd probably say "Hi" to at least 5 or 6 people I passed that I knew. One friend walking with me one day was really surprised by this, "Dang!" he exclaimed, "You know everybody here!" For my first three years especially, I loved this atmosphere. I felt right at home and felt a deep sense of belonging to this campus. Perhaps I'm idealizing this time, because I do remember individuals and groups of people that I wanted to feel more at home with, and that I wanted to get to know better, but never did. I did experience rejection during that time, and it hurt, but I always I had friends to fall back on and I never felt like I didn't belong.

When I first arrived at this new campus, with over 45,000 students, I doubted that I ever feel that same sense of belonging. The first few weeks were very strange, walking to work and class from my parking lot and only being met by strange faces. Finally, I'd arrive at work and be greeted by a familiar face. I would often think that I saw someone from TCU. Not close friends, just once of those acquaintances that I always enjoyed saying "Hello," to. On this campus, strangers often say, "Howdy," to one another when they make eye contact. At first I timidly responded if I responded at all, but now I respond with a smile and an enthusiastic, "Howdy!" or "Hello!" It's not the same as seeing a familiar friend, but just making a brief connection with another human is satisfying.

That was January 25th, this is April 1st. I was beginning to feel hopeful, beginning to feel like I could connect with others in this new place, beginning to feel at home. At that point, my friends from church, Travis and Amanda, and just started to invite me to hang out with them more, something they hadn't done at all last semester. I was beginning to feel more included, and meeting more people through my church. January 25th was the night of Travis' birthday party, when I first connected with Andrew, and saw a lot of life in him and wanted to get to know him better. Since that time, we've started dating, I've hung out a lot more with church friends and made lots of friends, mostly through Andrew, but I've also deepened relationships with people in my small group, gotten involved in a ministries that have led to more connection with women in my church, and have gotten to know more 2nd and 3rd years in my program better. Overall, I feel much more myself, much more comfortable, and feel like I belong both in my program and in my church. Even on campus, I see more familiar faces. Last week, there was one day when I saw three people I knew. Three people! This was huge, because usually it was exciting if I saw one person on campus that I knew. And to see three people, at different times, wow!

I'm feeling more at home here, and this is a really good thing. Still though, I spent a lot of Christmas break praying for a good Christian girl friend here. And, surprise! I got Andrew, which is great and wonderful and every day I'm thankful for what we have, but where's that girl friend I was praying for? I've met lots of girls through church, and couple of them I felt like I could really connect with, and maybe something more will happen with one of those friendships. It really does take time. I guess I could be more proactive, ask some of these girls to hang out instead of just waiting to see them at church events. I'm pretty proactive with spending time with families in my small group. Why is it easier to invite myself over to a family's house for dinner than to invite a girl to coffee or lunch? Maybe I'm used to friendships happening more naturally. Maybe I'm slightly prideful and want them to be asking me to do things. Maybe I'm complacent and stay busy and forget that I could use another person in my life. Part of me wonders if I need to a find a good close girlfriend here. I have Andrew, though I've never been one to substitute a boyfriend for friends. I do have lots of friends to hang out with, I'm never bored on the weekends, I have adults that I can turn to for good advice, and I keep in touch with a few of my close girl friends from back home and still turn to them and they rely on me too. Some of these close friends are going to come visit me over the summer, which will be awesome. Who knows. Maybe in three months I'll look back on this post and write a post that begins something like this:

"That was April 1st, this is July 1st. Back then, I felt like I was missing having a good girl friend, now I feel . . . "