Sunday, April 30, 2006

New Life!

She's precious! And beautiful! My cousin Valerie and her husband Matt had Julia Taylor 8 weeks ago. I got to meet her tonight at Meemaw's house. I held for at least 30 minutes. She's such a good baby; she slept most of the night. I gave her a bottle and tried to burp her, but I guess she hasn't found the family gift of the belch just yet. We'll teach her.

She's so tiny. She would make little noises and contort her face in times of wakefulness. Beautiful.

I wish Matt and Valerie live
d closer...I'd LOVE to babysit.

Friday, April 28, 2006

I know Will's the movie buff, and I'm not anywhere near an expert on movies, but if you know me, I tend to be opinionated, so here's what I got on this movie...

I will start with the disclaimer that there is language and a couple of sketchy scenes that could be detrimental. If you're able to get past that and take the movie in for what it set out to accomplish, it will rock you. I honestly really liked it. I thought it was the bomb at representing the harsh reality that we, many times, pretend doesn't exist. The actors were phenomenal. They sold it for sure. You even get to see Ludacris show out a little bit. The character development was addictive. I wanted the movie to keep going. So much credit should go to the writers, directors, and producers. This was done with creative genius. I would suggest seeing this with an open mind, and see where you fit among the characters.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


With classes forever! (Barring seminary, of course). I took my last final yesterday, and it's a very strange feeling to not have the looming feeling that I need to be studying. All the things I had pushed off until after finals now stares me in the face, waiting for my attention. Also, no longer being a typical "student" gives me this creeping sense that adulthood is sneaking up on me behind my right shoulder. I'm too afraid to swat it away. I know I'm not going to win that battle. Many times through ASP or other responsibilities I've convinced myself that I'm ready, that I can take it. And who knows? I might be, but I'm still not necessarily looking forward to it. I don't like to do things I'm not already good at, and I'm pretty sure that this ain't gonna be one of least not at first, anyway.

Last night, my class had our P3 Banquet, and it was great! I got to spend time, cut up, eat, and dance with some of the people I've been in school with for the past 3 years. We've stressed together, took tests together, laughed together, sometimes fought together, and even cried together. I'll be sad not to see them all regularly. There was even tornado sirens going off outside the place last night, but none of us paid that much attention. I guess we were willing to risk it since this was our last chance to be together before some of us ship off to Nashville, Knoxville, Jackson, and Chattanooga.

We had this fun vote on "superlatives" for our class. There were some funny ones and definitely some random ones. I tied with a guy in my class for "Class Sleeper". My mom was really proud. lol. She got on to me when I told her. I just don't sleep enough. It's not very productive. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to sleep; I just can't really find enough time for it. So yeah, when a professor drones on, reading from his slides in a monotone voice, as hard as I try, I usually end up with the eye-drooping, head bobbing, struggle to stay awake.

I also brought home Best Personality, which I was really surprised by. I have some of the coolest kids in my class. They're all extremely unique and very gifted. It's been a great three years, and I'll miss them all very much. I have definitely come out of this experience with new experiences, new memories, new insights, and a lot of new friends.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Things that I've learned over the past week in planning and organizing the banquet/casino night for 400 people...
  1. It's never too early to start.
  2. You better have an awesome group of people helping you out, cuz there ain't NO way you're 'bout to pull it off on your own. And I do. This year's Exec. Committee has been amazing. I love those people. There's no way this year would have happened without their hard work, dedication, and willingness to always lend a hand. Of course, they were great about giving me courtesy laughs when I cut up during EC meetings too. And the new EC seems just as strong. ASP is such a fortunate organization to have such gifted servant leaders.
  3. When you're involved in things bigger than you, which in almost every case simply includes life itself, you BETTER have a rock to which you're anchored. You better have your hope and expectation invested in something bigger than your present reality. You better know Jesus.
  4. Never buys items online from ANY company that ships via DHL. This shipping service's incompetence alone was responsible for at least two crying episodes.
  5. Everything will work out, maybe not to your expectation, but it'll get done...or it won't. And you'll still live to see tomorrow according to God's will.
  6. No matter how many times I've seen God's faithfulness showered over my life, I always fail in the midst of trial. I wuss out. I cry. I get mad. I try to fix things on my own. I look for answers and actually expect my definition of "justice" to prevail in the universe. When the pressure hits, I completely let verses like Matt. 6:33, Prov. 3:5-6, Col. 1:17, Isaiah 55:8-9, and tons of others flee from my immediate consciousness.

I need to go back over Psalm 119:11 "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against Thee."

Or how about Psalm 119:105 "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."

I require being broken before I ever just listen. If God's love were no better than mine, He would have given up on me a long time ago. He gives me promises I can count, that I can rest in, promises that secure my hope.

"Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

-Isaiah 41:10

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I received more sad news today. It seems that the reality of death has lingered in my life over the past couple of weeks. After the unexpected death of a fellow student and friend two weeks ago, this past Saturday, my father called to inform me that my great-aunt Janice had died in here sleep at a very young 58 years old. She was my MamaJo's younger sister, and my stepmom's aunt. She had health problems in the past, but no one expected this to happen now. She has many grandchildren, and one of them is expecting a child now. This has left her whole family shaken up, and my prayer is that God will use this to draw them unto Himself as their source of comfort and peace.

This morning my mom called to inform me that one of Payten's (my youngest sister who's a senior in high school) classmates hung himself. One of the most entertaining defensive football players to watch, the boy was loved and admired by many. My stepdad was one of his biggest fans on the field. The senior class is getting a tragic end to their time together. Please keep those kids and his family in your prayers. I pray that they would search for answers, and that God would reveal Himself as He is, almighty, sovereign, loving, and in control.

Spring normally brings new life, and maybe God will use these events we view as tragic to spur newness in people's souls. That is prayer. Please let it be yours.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Saturday, April 08, 2006

I just thought you guys should know that I have a big test on Monday over psychiatric disorders and their treatment, and I've diagnosed myself with at least half of them...

Monday, April 03, 2006

I wish I had more items of conviction or intense emotion to blog about, but here's all that's been swimming in my head...

Daron, my sis, had surgery last Friday to fix the compartment syndrome in her legs that had been keeping her from her A-game in soccer. Please pray for her quick recovery, and you can read all about the experience on her blog, which I have linked to the left. She's awesome, and I'm very proud of her.

I went to Nashville on Saturday to look for potential living arrangements, and I was overall discouraged. There are good options, but I'd like to have a roommate due to cost-efficiency, and none are currently presenting themselves. Living with someone is a big deal. If it's a bad situation, you're looking at a pretty miserable experience. So then there's the option of living alone, I'm just not sure I want to have to take out that much in loans. We'll see. Please pray for that.

And then school, ASP, church, and the move from Memphis. It's wierd how I feel myself moving away from my attachments here. I love my friends, my church, my people at church, and my familiarity with the area. But I feel like there's much more potential to be reached in another geographic region. Most of my friends here are married or getting there, and their time is hard to get. So my communication with local friends has dwindled considerably. It works out, because there are a million other things I need to be doing. And actually, it's conditioning me for the move. Now the communication resembles what it can be like while I'm in Nashville. Not much transition needed. But I still want to make the most of the rest of my time.

Spiritually, God really got my attention last weekend. He showed me what I looked like in terms of spiritual fitness, and I was disgusted. It's like seeing yourself 150 pounds overweight. I'm so out of shape in that area. I used to be on the ball. I guess being at Union was my glory days when it comes to spiritual discipline, because the college me would probably break out some Chuck Norris on the now me if it had the chance. I'm currently trying to recenter. Life's just sooooo not worth trying if you've lost sight of WHY you've been created. And with school, ASP, and busy-ness, I had. I think Melinda's untimely death reminded me of how to prioritize. Praise the Lord that He loves me enough to draw me back to Himself, knowing that I won't ever get it all right, but providing me the grace to seek His righteousness and pursue His heart.