Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Return of Notmyown

Greetings from Texas and a belated merry and blessed Christmas to you all. :-) Yep, I finished finals the week before Christmas and arrived home in Texas that Friday. After a day of rest and doing very little, we got busy on Sunday making candied pecans and strawberry jam - on Monday we made 2 batches of fudge (:-D :-D), on Tuesday we made 3 batches of bread, and on Wednesday we made pumpkin cookies and chocolate chip cookies. And no, those weren't all for us...In fact most of it was for other people. ;-) Anyway, all that to say that I've been super busy even when home (I've noticed most of y'all seem to be quite busy with the rest of life right now, so I'm sure you understand :-P) but Christmas was absolutely wonderful and relaxing . And guess what happened on Christmas? My dad got a Facebook! Finally. :-D Haha. ;-)

It's been so nice to be home again - I'd like to catch you all up on the previous semester (and what I'm doing at home) if time allows; since it would take a VERY long post to do so, I'll just do shorter posts and see how that updating goes (if it happens at all). ;-) I'll be home until the 11th of January, when I'll leave for Arkansas again...

Oh, and by the way: I saw this on Spencer's blog a while back and thought it was a fun idea, so I'm incorporating it. Ask me any and as many questions as you like on this post (about anything, as long as it's appropriate and won't endanger anyone's online safety) and I shall do my best to answer them in a later post especially for the purpose (I do, however, retain the right to choose to not answer a question if necessary - but if I do, I'll probably give the reason why). Perhaps I'll make it a Christmas tradition if it's used. :-P

One more thing for you music lovers - if you haven't discovered and yet, go look them up!! I've heard that doesn't work in countries outside the USA yet (they're working on it), but perhaps Grooveshark does...

More to come soon, hopefully - if I don't post again before the turn of the year, a very, very happy and blessed New Year to you all. Can you believe 2010 is already almost here? Time goes so quickly...I'll be twenty in less than 6 months!! I'm not sure what to make of that.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Adventures of JBU: Chapter 1

Hello from Siloam Springs, Arkansas! Yes, I'm alive and finally am posting again (thanks to Adam for the prompt earlier - you gave me the reminder and drive to finish a post quickly!). Technically I should be doing homework right now, but you make time for what's important to you, I guess. ;-) And I've been thinking about y'all lately...Sorry for the long break between posts in the past month or so. :-(

To say JBU is wonderful would be a slight understatement. It's such an incredible community. Oh, and my roomie and I get along grandly! I should clarify something though - contrary to how she described herself, she is not a sanguine. We're actually rather similar in temperament. :-) And we both praise the Lord for putting us together as roommates! It truly is a blessing (No, it's not perfect, but two random girls being chosen as roommates who HAPPEN to get along so well?). Whether it's music tastes (well, there's not much music she DOESN'T like), decorative tastes, bedtime/rising time preferences, etc., we find that we agree on a lot of it. We're even similar in height and build (so sharing clothes is easy!). Our schedules work well together (i.e. we get up at around the same time, eat meals and get finished with school at around the same time, go to bed around the same time, etc.). Both of us are musically inclined, artsy, dreamers, deep thinkers, athletic (to some extent or another), and lovers of laughter. We've gotten to where we occasionally end up wearing similar shirts by accident, set bedtimes for each other, leave "I love my roomie!" notes, and even play pranks on each other. And whenever I get packages, I leave the "air cushion" packaging for her to pop (which she loves to do). ;-) Besides all that, our first names are very similar. Go figure. :-P

I very much enjoy my classes themselves, and overall really like my professors. I'm taking Honors Old Testament Survey, a required Gateway Seminar, Honors Orientation, Intro to Photography, Color Studies, and Visual Arts Foundation class. The Old Testament Survey is giving me a whole new perspective on the Old Testament - the professor that is teaching it is...brilliant. I love it! The art classes are going well, too - in the past 3 months I have come to discover that there is a lot of homework involved with art classes. Maybe you wouldn't think so, but there is; and it's not the normal "Read thus-and-such and be ready for a quiz." It's projects; taking a photo every day, journaling in a photography journal, project for this concept, project for that concept...I think a lot of people underestimate the college Art major. :-P Anyway, the Gateway Seminar is a class every incoming student to JBU has to take - I'm in one that's focusing on C.S. Lewis and specifically the Narnian Chronicles.

I've been to visit my friends from my hometown (that now live just down the street from campus) several times already and they've become like my home-away-from-home. Speaking of home - I get to go home to Texas and see my family in less than a month (for Thanksgiving)! I talk to them almost every day on the phone and sometimes Skype them. And guess what?! I've met three people that are going to JBU that I knew from childhood. There are my friends who are twin sisters - they were in a homeschool girls' group with me when I was about 12; then they moved away and I didn't hear from them again until earlier this year when I found out that they were attending JBU! They're Juniors and actually are leading the Bible study (called "Passion group") that I'm in right now. :-) During orientation I also met someone I knew from one of the few years I attended a private elementary school (first and second grade)! It is such a small world in some ways. Wow.

While I am enjoying college, as those of you attending college/university can attest it's not all easy-sailing, either...There have been some major struggles. And if you think of me, I'd appreciate your prayers. The stress the past few months has been intense; not only with academic requirements, but with college life in general, wise decision-making, how to balance schoolwork and everything else in my time...And there's my walk with the Lord, too. He's been working on me lately in various ways, and (relating back to my "With a Will" post) I am learning more and more (I hope!) to choose to trust Him even when my emotions don't want to do so...And to continue seeking His face, no matter what.

{Note: This was written before Fall Break, which was October 17-20...} Fall Break is coming up next weekend, and it is SO needed! Counting down to the 5 day weekend. :-) Then maybe I'll actually have time to get ahead in homework, complete some more things on the "to do" list, play the piano and guitar, decorate our room some more, and that sort of thing. I could possibly be convinced to post some pictures of my dorm room if y'all are interested...Speaking of pictures; I'll probably post some soon that I've taken so far this semester.

And while on the topic of photos...

Margaret Feinberg, a speaker and author (who especially talks about listening to and hearing God) came to speak at JBU. At one point while she was on stage during chapel, she decided to take a picture of us students from where she was, and she posted it on her Facebook and twitter accounts...( So I'm somewhere in there! That day I was sitting closer to the back of the Cathedral. ;-)

She also posted this picture. ( Look up the "Cooper Memorial Chapel" on Google images for more photos. I haven't visited it (yet!) but I love this chapel, and as soon as I saw it, I thought it would be such a perfect place for a wedding. It's a perfect blend of indoor and outdoor...simple, elegant, natural, and so lovely!

Ah, I have so much more that I would like to share with you in this post...*sigh* I shall use self-control and spread it out between several posts. I've already given you a lot to read, so that's probably enough for today...Thanks to those of you who do read and comment - I really appreciate it.

God bless you all, my friends. :-)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Today... someone's birthday!

Happy, blessed, and wonderful birthday and coming year to you, Adam! :-) Does it not feel a little strange to no longer have a "teen" at the end of your age?

Hope you have a very special day. :-)

Another post to come soon, by the way...Tomorrow, probably. :-)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just a quick note... let you guys know that I'm moving on Thursday...We (most of my family and I) will drive part of the way to JBU on Thursday, and then arrive at the campus on Friday, at which time I'll get my things moved into my room and such. So this weekend I shall most likely be very busy, as you might imagine.

When and if you think of me, would you please pray for me? (And for my family.) I would SO very much appreciate it. Thanks. :-)

Lord willing, this blog should considerably increase in activity soon, once all the "hustle and bustle" of moving and such is finished.

"I can finally see that You're right there beside me
I am not my own, for I have been made new
Please don't let me go, I desperately need You

I am not my own, for I have been made new
Please don't let me go, I desperately need You"

~Owl City, 'Meteor Shower'

No matter what, I am claiming this truth: He is always right beside me, and 'the joy of the Lord is my strength.' For indeed He is moving, and I am so glad to see Him and His wonderfully exciting plan unfold. :-)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Here and There

I thought I'd give y'all another quick "life-update" post. ;-)

About three weeks ago I got an email from my "roommate-to-be" for the next year! She's a freshman, so she's probably a year younger than me (I being 19) - Ha, I just realized that I haven't asked her how old she is yet. :-P She's actually an MK from Nairobi! How cool is that?! She has lived there all her life so this is a pretty big transition for her, too - but 5 or 6 of her friends are also going to JBU, which is really neat for her. She's probably going into Sports Medicine with a minor in voice. She's definitely a sanguine, for those of you who are familiar with the four temperaments. :-) She hadn't heard of them, so I told her I'd explain them to her in person (my parents do entire workshops on the four temperaments, so I'm pretty familiar with them - and really enjoy them). We should get along very well! We have quite a few similar interests, too.

We got our room assignments at the same time of course. We're in the all-girl dorm (which is what I asked for) - and we have a SINK in our room. LOL Yes! We don't have carpet in it, though, so we'll have to get some. My roommate actually moves in a few days before regular move-in day for International Orientation, so I might ask if I can move in at the same time - it'd be really, really nice to have that extra time to get settled in and such.

Dorm room shopping has been...interesting. That's another reason I'd like to get there early, because until you actually see the room and the amount of space and such that's there it isn't easy to decide on which things to purchase for it. Being the planner and organizer that I am, that can be a bit frustrating. :-P But I am really quite excited. :-)

At the same time, however, I am already getting homesick - yes, before I've even left! Just thinking about leaving my family and not being around them every day hurts right now. Talking with them, reading with them, laughing with them, crying with them, writing, playing, driving, cleaning, shopping, listening, creating, growing with them...So, some may say, why on earth am I doing it? And they may not understand the answer. But it's because this is where I feel that the Lord wants me; I feel His total peace in this decision. I'm not saying that I totally understand the "why's" of it, but I don't have to know why God does all that He does (as much as I'd like to!) - which is much easier to say than it is to actually apply.

Anyway... ;-)

Meanwhile, here in Texas we are building an outdoor kitchen! Yes! No more grilling steaks on the indoor stove and making a huge mess. :-P Besides which, it looks quite nice. It's not finished yet, but the decking/porch is being tiled, so they are getting pretty close to finishing it. Maybe I'll post some pictures of it when it's completed.

One last thing - today through Friday Ajoyfulheart, one of my brothers, and I are going to be "guides" (basically camp counselors) for a VBS program at our church! It's just a morning program - not a "full blown" camp - but still... ;-) I'd really appreciate your prayers that we would be a blessing to the kids in the VBS program and that He would give us His wisdom. I have a group of ten 3rd and 4th graders (ages 8-10); seven boys and 3 girls. My youngest brother and sister will be in the program as well, which is really convenient because on Thursday our parents are leaving for a 4 day trip up to Idaho.

And I just found out a few minutes ago (via email) that I have been asked to be in charge of the music for the Saturday morning children's program at the Labor Day weekend family camp that I'll be attending with my family! I need to come up with 30 minutes of music and music-related activities for groups of kids from kindergarten age all the way up to 12 and 13 year olds. *deep breath* And I have just over a month to do this, even if you include the time spent preparing for/moving to/starting school at JBU. With God all things are possible...

More to come soon, Lord willing!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

With a Will

Ever felt like there's something that God is probably trying to tell you and you can't deny it because it pops up all over the place? Like He's trying to get our attention. It's as if He just keeps showing it to me in different yet undeniably similar ways until I finally realize that He really is speaking (even if indirectly). I had yet another experience like that this month. And since these types of blog posts really end up being something of a personal devotion, it seems like a good place to talk about it.

I've been going through some tough things the past month or so. Don't get me wrong, God is good. I am so blessed. But like anyone else, I have my issues - things with which I struggle. In particular, lately the Lord seems to be addressing with me the issue of my will.

Over the past few years I have been reading (though off and on) The Christian's Secret of A Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith. It's so rich, such a spiritual feast, that you can only read a little bit of it at a time. I picked it up again a few days ago. A much marked-on piece of notebook paper (acting as a bookmark) was placed in a chapter titled "Difficulties Concerning the Will." In that chapter the authoress talks about how when we feel lost and helpless, like we'll never be able to totally surrender this or that to Christ and His keeping and His perfect plan, therein lies the problem. What we feel we can or cannot do or aren't doing correctly or whatever the case may be doesn't matter as much as what we WILL to do. It's what we choose to do. I don't know how many times I've said to my mother, "But it doesn't FEEL like I've [insert spiritual/emotional struggle here]." Whether surrendering something to Christ or any other issue...Emotions are not always totally truthful, especially in tricky, intangible areas such as surrendering things to God. Let me show you some clips from Hannah Smith's book explaining what I mean.

"And now, dear Christian, let me show you how to apply this principle to your difficulties. Cease to consider your emotions [in such spiritual uncertainties], for they are only the servants; and regard simply your will, which is the real king in your being. Is that given up to God? Is that put into His hands? Does your will decide to believe? Does your will choose to obey? If this is the case, then you are in the Lord's hands, and you decide to believe, and you choose to obey; for your will is yourself. And the thing is done. The transaction with God is as real, when only your will acts, as where every emotion coincides..."

"When, then, this feeling of unreality or hypocrisy comes, do not be troubled by it....Only see to it that your will is in God's hands, that your inward self is abandoned to His working, that your choice, your decision, is on His side; and there leave it. Your surging emotions, like a tossing vessel at anchor, which by degrees yields to the steady pull of the cable, finding themselves attached to the might power of God and by the choice of your will, must inevitably come into captivity, and give in their allegiance to Him..."

However, that is not to say that we are to ignore all emotion.
Thank God for emotions - they were created by Him and are a gift to us as beings created in His image. However, I don't always understand them and they don't always seem to know what they're doing.

Much in the same way, Smith says we still have a will.

"But do not let us make a mistake here. I say we must "give up" our wills, but I do not mean we are to be left will-less. We are not so to give up our wills as to be left like limp nerveless creatures, without any will at all. We are simply to substitute for our foolish, misdirected wills of ignorance and immaturity, the higher, divine mature will of God. If we lay the emphasis on the word "our," we shall understand it better. The will we are to give up is our will, as it is misdirected, and so parted off from God's will, not our will when it is one with God's will; for when our will is in harmony with His will, when it has the stamp of oneness with Him, it would be wrong for us to give it up."

A few days after reading this, I found the following quote on a friend's Facebook page.

"...the heart set to do the Father's will need never fear defeat." --Elizabeth Elliot

Anything is possible with God - never more so than when our hearts are totally given over to Him and His will.

And finally, during a sermon that I listened to online (we had been traveling that particular weekend), our pastor spent some time discussing our will and God's. He said that "God's will is inevitable..." (not talking about predestination versus free will - that's a different topic for a different time). Continuing, he explained further; if we keep our focus on Christ, if we keep Him in the center of our lives, if we are surrendered to Him, then we can just watch and see God's fulfillment of prayers and pleas, dreams and hopes...In His perfect timing, and in His perfect way.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

In the Meantime...

I've been working on a post that is quite a bit more substantial than this one - in fact I started it Thursday and have been adding to it and editing it over the weekend...Hopefully I'll complete it to my satisfaction in a few days. In the meantime, however, I thought I'd share this music video with you. It's an absolutely amazing arrangement of two very popular songs combined into a beautiful piece for piano, cello, and percussion (mainly).

I am definitely getting the piano sheet music for this when he releases it. :-)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A bit of photo-journaling and potpourri

Hello again! I'm back! Hopefully y'all are still here, too...Get ready for a fairly "casual" "life update" post.

Wow, has it really been over a MONTH since I updated this blog last? Ugh, that's awful. I apologize! Let's see...Yes. The day after my last post, I went with my dad to visit JBU for a few days. I believe I suggested that I might have some pictures of it for you, too. Well, I was kept so busy during my short visit there that I didn't really have a lot of time to take pictures - and when I did have time I was busy recovering from all the talking necessary over the course of the day. LOL I was pretty exhausted by the end of it. But it was a lot of fun, and my dad and I did get a few pictures during/after the tours and such.

The Art Building (which is of course where most of the Photography classes, computer labs, dark room, etc. are located) - Picture taken by Daddy

The Clock tower; to the left is the Walker Student Center (this photo also taken by Daddy)

The campus and surrounding town were filled with these lovely dogwood trees, which were in full bloom...That's the Admissions building in the background (This photo was taken by me ;) )

During the first couple weeks of May, I had a huge annotated bibliography paper assignment due (imagine doing 7 essays ABOUT 7 literary critisizm essays), a huge final exam (the final for the other class was canceled - Praise the Lord!), my birthday and that of Ajoyfulheart, and Ajoyfulheart's graduation ceremony (at which I was the pianist). Even though there were only ten graduates, there were quite a few people that attended - the graduation ceremony was put together by the local homeschooling group, of which our family is a part.

So then, the past few weeks my family has been recovering from those incredibly hectic few weeks. And I have been working. And searching. And working. And doing some more researching. And Daddy has been helping me search. I'm getting caught up on the transcriptionist work (yay!). What does the transcriptionist work have to do with the "searching" I just mentioned, you ask? Well, I'll show you.

I finally bought a car! Yes, I "bit the bullet" and bought a car. And I'm paying for it all - without loans. I'm determined that if one simply does not buy what one cannot afford, then one can easy avoid debt (except in extenuating circumstances). My daddy told me which particular model he preferred that I purchase (for safety reasons, mostly, especially since I'll be doing some long-distance driving), and then he helped me find one that I could afford and that I liked. (Isn't my daddy great?) It's used, but in very good condition over all and it had low mileage...And it's a pretty color, too (it rather matches the blue in my blog! LOL).

So, I'm a happy girl. I wasn't sure about that particular model of vehicle at first, but I'm already getting sort of attached to my car. ;-)

By the way, have you SEEN the insurance for drivers under the age of 25? Ugh, it's ridiculous. *sigh* Oh well, enough of that. I am blessed. VERY blessed.

I know that many of you are probably finding yourselves with a lot of work to do - whether school or job related - so I thought I'd share this with you. I found it on my mom's computer in an Outlook "note" while we were working on something completely unrelated. It encouraged me, so I thought it might encourage you.

"Thank God every day when you get up that you have something to do which must be done whether you like it or not. Being forced to work and forced to do your best will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know." ~Basil Carpenter

Sunday, April 19, 2009

THE ginormous-est political far. :P

"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."

-Rev. William J.H. Boetcker

"You don't make the poor richer by making the rich poorer."

-Sir Winston Churchill

The economy is not a toy with which to play around; when you interfere with the "free market" by pumping in trillions of dollars that have no backing to them, the "toy" is going to break - backfire. When you tax the American people beyond reason and without representation, they will stand up to oppression. This was demonstrated in 1773 at the Boston Harbor, when a large crowd of colonists dressed up as Native Americans sneaked through the town and gave the "Boston Tea Party" in protest. On April 15, 2009, hundreds of thousands (or perhaps even millions) of Americans all over the country gathered together once again to protest the same things as those at the Boston Tea Party on that cold December night; nominally, exorbitant taxation, and without representation. (TEA: Taxed Enough Already) But in reality more than this - they protested general governmental oppression that has been attempted more and more (recently including ridiculous spending by Congress and the presidents - of both parties).

Vox Populi. Voice of the People. The American people are determined to be heard and heeded by the government, and the government had better listen.

My family attended one of the local Tea Parties on Wednesday. It was the first major political activity in which we have participated (other than elections and such); the protest was peaceful, bipartisan, fun, and it was encouraging to know how many people are so emphatic about these issues that they are actually willing to spend time at a protest! The particular rally that we went to anticipated approximately 500 attendants or so and ended up having over 5,000.

Here are some pictures from the "TEA Party" (You can click on the pics to enlarge them):

^^That one and the flags in the previous picture were some of my favorite banners from the TEA party. :)

And here is a link to a video from FOX News covering some of the Tea Parties - FOX News was pretty much the only Media organization to cover them from an even slightly balanced viewpoint. The liberal news companies made fun of these grassroots protests. (I tried embedding it to the post, but it was wanting to install a non-existent plug-in...Any ideas? Mada? It's a Facebook video.) Also, below is a "trailer" for the San Antonio Tea Party - that's not the one we attended, but the trailer almost gives you chills and gets the message across. (BTW, for a background on the "Don't Tread On Me" flag, see this link - the concept was introduced by Benjamin Franklin.)

Last, but not least, I would like to give you a warning issued by the Department of Homeland Security. Based on what I know of all my readers, I would caution you that you are most likely officially an "RWE" - a Right Wing Extremist, and therefore labeled as a possible threat to the United States Homeland Security. Don't believe me? Well read this article. I'll give you some examples from it. If you:

-Believe in any restrictions on abortion (including just limitations on taxes funding international abortions)

-Attended a TEA Party

-Believe in states rights over federal power

-Are not happy about the economic state of affairs

-Are displeased with the government's handling of illegal immigration

-Support the second amendment of the Constitution (i.e. believe in gun rights)

-Are a war veteran returning from Iraq or Afghanistan

....You are considered a very possible threat by the Department of Homeland Security. Wow...Just because we care about the future of America? And the war veterans? Are you serious?! As you might imagine, the military is just a little upset with that report, and demanding the author's resignation.

So there you have it, folks. I apologize if this post was entirely uninteresting to my international readers... Let me know if it was, and I'll try to do better next time I do a political post (which won't be too often). Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading and for your comments.

BTW, tomorrow afternoon I am leaving for a couple days to go visit JBU with my dad - I'll be taking the camera along, and maybe I'll post some pictures of the campus later next week if you are interested. :) If you would, please keep me in your prayers - specifically prayers for travel safety and time management (several major assignment due dates coming up) at the moment...Thanks again!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Giant Step

Here goes. College. How many decisions can revolve around ONE thing (and such intimidating choices sometimes)?

Over spring break some major and slightly unexpected college decisions came up. As I think I've mentioned before, I am currently taking about 6 hours in English classes from a "local" university...After a break from school in 2008, my parents thought it'd be wise for me to "ease" back into college. I've been working fairly steadily for two doctors on medical transcription, so that has more than filled in the extra time. My parents and I have had various conversations over the past few months regarding school, and what I felt like I should do with it...But until a couple of weeks ago I really didn't know. I would pray about it, beg God to show me what to do, but it didn't seem like He was answering. So I just gave up on trying to "make" it work on my own, and waited for His answer, taking it one step at a time (albeit somewhat impatiently at times).

So: Spring Break 2009. The deadline for application to a certain university my dad had mentioned was coming up; as I was not very eager to consider that particular college, he suggested that I do some research on other schools, if I was interested in transferring from the one I'm currently attending. Now, up to that point, I had not put a lot of effort into that area - I was not particularly excited about any of the universities I had heard about recently and didn't feel any strong leading from God in that direction, so I didn't want to "waste my time," so to speak. You know what I mean? So I had to wait until God moved me (though I kept busy with what He did give me to do). It was NOT easy, let me tell you! To have to trust patiently that He would move me when He was ready, and until then do something that I didn't particularly want to do (attend the local university again). Anyway, for some reason a particular acquaintance popped into my head one day and I looked up the college that they attended. I liked many aspects of it, but upon further research my dad pointed out some things that changed my mind about it. However, that sparked my dad and I to get back into searching for schools. Almost immediately he showed me one at which a family friend is now teaching - he and his family (their daughter being a friend of mine) moved there earlier this year. The more I read about it, the more I liked it. We contacted the friend (a pastor) that is teaching there, and he had a lot of positive things to say about it too...So I unexpectedly spent a good part of my spring break filling out college applications. And last week I got a call from the admissions counselor for transfer students there (I'll be transferring with approximately 45 credits or so) - I've been accepted! Not only that, but with a grade-based scholarship. :D

However, now comes the even more unexpected part. This university (John Brown University) is in Arkansas. "So?" you say? Well, it's just not what I had anticipated when considering my college plans. If you had told me a few years ago that I would be moving to Arkansas to attend college, I probably wouldn't have believed you - I thought I'd be doing college online or at least living at home and commuting. Part of the struggle has been working through that switch - I'm a planner, and like to know what's going to happen and when it's going to happen, and I don't usually like sudden changes in plans (unless it's obviously for the better). It was actually my parents who first suggested the idea that perhaps the Lord was telling them that they needed to let me go "away" for school; I don't think I would have even considered it if they hadn't brought it up. It's not going to be easy - not only leaving my family, but moving away from the town in which I have spent my entire life thus far (almost 19 years now). There have been tears shed about it, I assure you...But we all feel that the Lord is directing me to follow this path and we have a peace about it, despite the pain of separation to come. And I need to get off this subject now, before I starting crying again.

The nice thing is that I'll probably only have to be there about 2 years, maybe 3, depending on how many of my credit hours transfer. And please don't misunderstand me; though there is pain involved, I am also so very excited for what God is doing. I am extremely happy about this school and being able to attend it. From all the research I've done thus far, it's an absolutely awesome school with a wonderful Christian environment. I praise the Lord! :)

So with all that, if you would, please pray for me. There are still more decisions to be made on this topic (my major, for example), and it can be a little overwhelming to say the least. Many thanks. :)

P.S. Have any of you done any Scottish Country Dancing before? If not, you really should look into it. Some friends of ours introduced us to it a few weeks ago, and we love it - we went to one of their socials recently (put on by the local Royal Scottish Country Dancing groups) and are eagerly excited for more of them (and the ball in late summer).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


It wasn't easy to decide which photographs to post first (I have so many, and am constantly taking more)....So, in keeping with my earlier photography entry, most of the pictures in this post are from a few of the photo-shoots that I took at the pond near our house last year (the little girl is my youngest sister, and the boy 'fishing' in the fourth photo is my now nine year old brother); however, the second picture is actually the gate that leads from our backyard to the woods behind. I'm so glad I photographed that lovely, old, weather-beaten fence before it was replaced. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

You Decide, 2009

Ok - after such a long break, I know you all deserve more than this, but frankly I've been trying to decide on what sorts of post you all prefer; sometimes I have a really strong urge to write, for example, something particularly contemplative, and sometimes I could go several completely different ways with the next post. So, in those times when I'm trying to decide which way to go, what category would you like to see more on this blog?

I didn't do a "normal" poll simply because I'd like to know who prefers what, and why. ;)

1. My photography

2. Humor (funny stories from the 'net, comic strips, etc., or amusing "everyday happenings" - Or whatever else may strike me as humorous...)

3. Politics/News/My opinion on world happenings

4. Rants (see my post on abortion) - this one's a little hard to govern, because it just "happens"

5. Reflective/contemplative/sharing of thoughts

6. "My Life" updates

7. Other (please specify if you have other ideas you'd like to see)

8. You really don't care or you like the current ratio of categories.

EDIT: LOL! Elise, really and truly, I did not read your poll until after I had written this post out! What a coincidence, though...;)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

2009, I welcome thee with open arms!

So this blog finally starts a new year! I apologize for the delay in posting over the last month - I was determined that this should be the first post of 2009 (my sentimentality is showing :P). I could make the excuse that I was curing that 50% blogging addiction that a quiz linked to on Mada's blog claimed I had, but that wouldn't be really true. However...Starting college again a couple weeks ago (and having three papers due within the first 3 weeks of class!), being in a musical in which I have a lead role, and catching up on some work (from my transciptionist job especially),I have been extremely busy.

So here is basically what I wrote out to post at the beginning of the year, though my perfectionism and busy schedule prevented me from posting it then.


This past year has been one of growing, of trusting, and of faith, for me. I shan't ramble on and on tonight, so I'll pretty much leave it at this. My faith has grown by leaps and bounds, as has my peace and joy in Him. It's not been easy - in fact that could be said of the past few years for my family. Still, Romans 8:28 comes to mind, and I can believe it with all my heart. I pray that you can, as well - there's such a peace and freedom in knowing that everything works out for the good of those who love Him. And I am so grateful for my family and friends whom the Lord has provided to encourage me along the way.

So 2008 was a year of changes and challenges. But 2009...Ah, something completely new! I'm not sure exactly why, but I have such an excitement, joy, and absolutely ecstatic delight about this new year! God must have major plans for me in it; I don't think I've felt such excitement about the New Year before! It feels like a fresh start. God is good; He is faithful - I am in awe of how He shows me this new each day.


What else is new with Notmyown? Well, other than the already mentioned things - college, my job (which is not really new), and the musical - let's see....Oh! I am so very happy! Lord willing, I'll be taking a ballroom dancing class starting mid-February! It's really a God-thing (and rather a long story :P)...I got to dance at a wedding reception recently and absolutely fell in love with it.

Right now the main things occupying my time are my job and college...I've missed you all the past month or so - but college professors wouldn't really accept blogging as a legitimate substitute for an assigned paper, unfortunately. ;) I would appreciate your prayers, actually; not only that I would keep up with my job and two college English classes, but that He would give me wisdom regarding college. My dad and I have discussed my transferring to a different university that is a distance from home - about half a day's drive, but still in Texas...that's a huge decision that needs lots of prayer.

Oh, and in case you're interested, I updated my profile - I finally got around to listing some of my favorite movies, books, music, etc. (though those lists are certainly only partial). ;)

Anyway; Lord willing I will be posting every week or two now...Thanks for your patience during my blogging break. :) God bless!