Sunday, September 30, 2007

another list

i'm sitting inside my warm apartment, listening to the rain outside and drinking tea. i'm also thinking of the blessing of seeing one of my favorite people this weekend. from friday to saturday afternoon, i got to enjoy the sweet company of my mommy. as i was awaiting her arrival (and sitting in a classroom listening to different test taking strategies...) i made a list of possible activities for her visit. she enthusiastically agreed to every one of my ideas and we took great pleasure in checking each one off.

-grocery shopping (we left fred meyer with a full cart of groceries-i'm stocked! and we found ourselves matching earrings.)
-dinner (we went to yamhill grill)

-look at scrapbook (after hearing so much about the scrapbook she was making, it was such a treat to finally get to see all of my mommy's hard work.)
-face masks (we tried my new avacado and oatmeal face mask-it smells so good! and honestly, who doesn't want to have a green face once in a while?)

-cozy movie and popcorn (we split a coconut/chocolate bar over sense and sensibility)
-make gluten-free breakfast (this turned out to be toast with cream-cheese and jam, because we decided to make a delicious lunch. so, we needed to save room. we sauteed garlic, onion and mushrooms, and later added in shrimp and a little lemon juice-to be served over spinach. delicious.)
-lots of hugging =)
-walk (we walked around downtown newberg-quite charming in the fall)
-fun shopping (yay for ross purchases! we both found some new additions to our wardrobes and some stationery)

what a special gift it was to have these hours to spend with one of my dearest friends.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

to love

through other people, chapel and even his word, God has been showing me the danger in holding back. being broken is often painful. i don't want people to look at me in my weakness. i don't want to let other people in. won't my heart hurt?
but as i've let these people in-peer into my less-than-perfect self, i've been shown love. i can feel myself slowly and gradually being changed. make me more like you, jesus.

"to love at all is to be vulnerable. love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. if you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. wrap it carefully round with hobbies and litle luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. but in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless-it will change. it will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable....

we shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to him; throwing away all defensive armour. if our hearts need to be broken, and if he chooses this as the way in which they should break, so be it."
-c.s. lewis, four loves


the other day jenny was really upset about some drama going on between friends back home. she said a few choice words to describe what she was feeling, shortly followed by an apology to me for swearing. not that i like hearing those words, but i was quite un-bothered by what she said. and i was thinking about why this was...
if the same scenario had been played with the character of jenny being played by jodi, i realized that i would have been considerably bothered.
as a christian, i believe that i am held to a higher standard. when my unbelieving friends do things that my own conscience convicts me, i do cringe sometimes. but i think for a different reason than if one of my christian friends did the same thing. why? because my christians friends know the truth. they have the holy spirit to convict them.
i read this article yesterday about what a christian's response to an unbeliever's sin. by no means do i think that condoning their behavior is the answer, but neither do i think that there should be the expectation for them to act like a christian.
just something to think on...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

all of the above

how do you feel after your first day at the hospital going through orientation?
a) scared
b) excited
c) overwhelmed
d) nervous
e) all of the above

hmmm...definitely e. all of the above.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

my heart is run over

today seems difficult to articulate. good-but hard. laughter-but tears.
i liked this quote and feel like it describes the ongoing process that God has given me in new and old friendships this year. each one is a blessing.
"we cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. as in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over. so in a series of acts of kindness there is, at last, one which makes the heart run over." - james boswell

Sunday, September 23, 2007

better with someone

i like doing things with other people. i would rather eat in the bon with friends than alone. i would rather watch movies with someone else than by myself. i would rather laugh with others than alone. many things are only improved upon in the company of someone else.

i hope it isn't misunderstood-i enjoy and even need time spent alone. there are even things i like better when i am able to do them by myself. but yesterday was full of "better-with-someone" moments.

as much fun as it was to have the apartment to myself during in-service week, i really enjoy living with my room-mates. there's something nice about getting up and sleepily greeting each other-just being. no expectations-we've seen each other made up and dressed up, and we've seen each other first thing in the morning.
i woke up earlier than intended after a late night of african food and house. but it was strangely comforting to stumble into the kitchen and gather up breakfast supplies-dancing around jodi's similar actions-slowly preparing for the day in much the same ways.

after a morning of homework and on-line tests, i met martha in the bon for lunch.
seeing friends.
eating together.
talking in accents.
making ourselves laugh at our own ridiculous antics.

the afternoon was spent in textbooks, but an end was soon in sight. despite my room-mates' disinterest, i wanted to see stardust at the cameo. not wanting to go by myself, i was resigned to see it after it came on video.

but at john's encouragement, i made the walk over to the theater. now while this technically would be considered to be an activity done alone, i *almost* felt like i was watching it with john. i already knew his opinion and feelings about the film. i could imagine his reaction to certain parts and completely agreed with his conclusions. and when it was finished, i got to have a nice long chat with that dear boy. i certainly do miss my brother.

martha called me. we were supposed to watch a movie with carrie that night, but carrie went home so we post-poned our movie date. but both of us left on campus were wishing for together-time anyway. so she made the trek over. we made popcorn. we ate a tasty chocolate bar with cocoa nibs-my new favorite. we missed people. we watched danny kaye in the inspector general. we laughed at his comical antics and singing. we watched the "film bloopers" which turned out to be the most unrelated random footage from the period. we watched sahara and laughed some more.
"well, it didn't REALLY work the first time."

i went to bed happy.

in stardust, yvaine asks tristan if he is tempted by immortality-
let's say it wasn't my heart. not me. just a star you didn't know.

you mean if i could have everlasting life? i imagine it would be kind of... lonely. but maybe if you had someone to share it with. someone you love.

i have a feeling heaven is going to be FILLED with better-with-someone moments. forever. i can't wait.

Friday, September 21, 2007

and it ended with african food

today was full. it started early with my alarm going off at 6:17-quite unwelcome.
going to class.
alternating between paying attention and looking at the flashcards on my lap.
taking test #1.
studying with jodi.
taking test #2.
talking with daddy.
visiting IT and getting computer problems dealt with.
spending time with meagan and lacey.
shopping for dinner supplies with meagan, lacey and evan.
we split the long list up. meagan and i decided that we make up a good team. we practiced our critical thinking skills. =)
spending 4 hours making african food.
this was really fun. we tried several new recipes with lots of ingredients and steps. the results were quite gourmet but the process was the best. i didn't realize how much i'd missed cooking. it was quite the adventure with so many people in the small leshana kitchen, creating unknown dishes. lacey and i worked well making the sauce for the salmon that evan barbequed. plantain chips were fried and honey ice cream was created. delicious food with ingredients i'd never used before-the perfect end to a full day.

Monday, September 17, 2007

a few words...

here were just a few of the words that have been running around my head today. some are completely serious and are heart-felt, while others are just some of my silliness needing to come out. but they are all part of me-so here they are.

lit-er-al-ly (lit'erete'ly)- in a literal manner, or sense, exactly
so this word is the ONE word that i think deserves to be said with an english accent. americans pronounce the 'er' quite distinctly, but it rolls so smoothly otherwise. last night, i was lying in bed, trying to think of this word. it was bothering me all day, because i could not conjure up the singule word that warrants an accent. tonight martha said it, no accent, and i was quite pleased. when i hear it, i often practice saying it under my breath, with an english accent of course.

cheese (ch-ez)- a food made from the pressed curds of milk
last night, jenny created bubbles of thought on a photo of the four of us in hawaii. mine, since i appeared the most happy of all of us, contained the phrase, "cheese." as i looked at the picture, i realized that it was one of the most ironic things for me to be "thinking" since i don't think i have ever in my life uttered that word when my picture is being taken. while i am often compliant, there are certain things i am stubborn about, and this was one of them. i have always thought it silly to say this word in order to produce a smile. so i would quietly and stubbornly refuse each time.

gen-u-ine ('jenyooin)- truly what something is said to be; authentic
today's chapel speaker told his story. there were tears and harsh truth, but it was his story. he offered it with all the pain and joy that came with it, hoping that God would use it to help one of us. our staff went again tonight to hear him. it was what i needed to hear. even when people let you down and aren't all that you need, God is.
and then martha told her life story. this was the third time i'd heard it, but it was by far the best. even in the year i've known her, God has been working on her. there were tears and harsh truth, but it was her story. it was beautiful to see her genuine before us-her junk laid bare.
i think this will be a good year for our staff.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


would you rather be loved and be forced to live apart from the one you love or
never know what it is to love and be loved in return?

i watched becoming jane tonight. i was prepared not to like it, but i was drawn in unexpectedly.
while the hero was a scoundrel, it was hard not to like him. i couldn't help but agree with anne shirley's statement that she would like her suitor to be a little wicked-or that he could be wicked and wouldn't.
and he was reformed by the end.

the contrast between the expectations for love and marriage of then and now were distinct. as easy as it is to laugh at speeches about the importance of a good match and the indispensable nature of money, it was more than just the value of that society. it was the reality-love wasn't enough to live off of. as much as i wanted the happy ending, it was a beautiful thing to witness the noble actions of the heroine, choosing the decent and unselfish thing, sacrificing a piece of her own happiness to do what was right. it made me cry a little. how different our society is-instead of rarely allowing love to live, the notion of love is embraced with great enthusiasm. we are appalled at the thought of being unable to be with the one you love, but in that idea, i feel that too much passes under the name of "love."

"jane should have not the man who offers the best price but the man she wants." sadly, circumstances do not always allow for what should happen. but her imagination seemed to allow her to make it through...
"my characters shall have, after a little trouble, all that they desire."

"i think that you, miss austen, consider yourself a cut above the company."
"you, ma'am. secretly."

Friday, September 14, 2007

shake your groove thing

tonight was the 70s dance. i am sweaty, tired and my feet hurt. but the last two hours were...well, groovy.
i finally got to wear the lucy-and-alison leather pants, and i did them credit, if i do say so myself.
lots of dancing. lots of crazy moves. and my favorite, lots of friends.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


today i had the realization with a very tangible and physical example that surrender is more than just "giving it all to God."
surrender is admitting i can't do it.
surrender is letting someone else help me-sometimes that someone is jesus, while other times he uses other people as his help in my life.

i've never been super flexible or physically strong. after all, i was the one in 5th grade gymnastics who had trouble doing a somersault. today, i lacked the ability to do something that others in my walkabout group could do, as we did an activity for res. life seminar. admittedly, it was somewhat challenging, but i was the only one who couldn't. it was a little humiliating, but brett and jon didn't wait long before grabbing my hands and lifting me out.
as hard as it was to accept help, it was exactly what i needed. i couldn't do it on my own. i needed their hands on my arms-their strength compensating for my weakness.

i need help. i can't do it by myself. while its hard to admit, hard to accept, being honest about my brokenness and limitations ultimately leads to freedom. i don't know if these guys even thought about how they helped me after that moment, but it keeps going through my mind as more than just a representation of my physical restrictions.

"but he said to me, "my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." therefore i will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that christ's power may rest on me." -2 corinthians 12:9

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


as i was thinking about my day, i realized all of the happiest parts of it involved my friends-

-going to chapel with ian and jenny, and being joined by megan and jodi
-standing next to shanna as we watched the local fire department burn a model dorm room
-hugging danielle
-walking with t.j. and showing him my apt.
-talking with bryan and kyle on their way home
-having melodi save me a seat in pharmacology
-chatting with amanda all the way in alaska while sitting in the sunny quad
-seeing martha and devan
-commiserating with colleen about homework
-talking with my daddy (yes, i do consider him my friend)
-eating dinner with my room-mates and kyle
-doing nursing homework with jodi
-visiting with ashley and kevin
-watching house with lacey (maybe this should be changed to cringing at the same needle parts with lacey)

thanks for the blessing of these people in my life.

"give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. his love endures forever.
give thanks to the God of gods. his love endures forever.
give thanks to the lord of lords; his love endures forever."
-psalm 136:1-3

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

prone to wander

bible study tonight was just what i needed. i've never led a study before, but God really put it on my heart this summer. jodi and i worked well together tonight. i'm excited for the days ahead. the numbers were small, but each person was there because of her desire to know God better and be accountable to others in that desire.

i was once again reminded of my fickle nature. i was once again reminded of the faithfulness of the God i serve. the last question of the night was "what can you do in the coming week to be more faithful to christ and his gospel?"
what can i do this week to become a little less of me and a little more like him?
my goal for the week is to memorize ephesians 5:16-20. i really want to have his word in my head this week for more than the few minutes i open the pages of my bible.
lord, i'm prone to wander. take me and seal me.

come thou fount of every blessing
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise
teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
praise the mount! i'm fixed upon it,
mount of God's unchanging love.

here i raise my ebenezer;
hither by thy help i'm come;
and i hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.

o to grace how great a debtor
daily i'm constrained to be!
let that grace now like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
prone to wander, lord, i feel it,
prone to leave the God i love;
here's my heart, o take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

not prescription

my new glasses have given me so much entertainment this past week. last christmas i procured glasses from the dollar tree and popped out the lenses. i wore those quite faithfully around my apartment. but last weekend, it was time to get some with lenses. i've felt so free to wear them in public! and my room-mates are significantly less embarrassed by me. =)

i wear glasses (rating:4-agree)
i wear prescription glasses (rating:1-completely disagree)

silent no longer

through a few small moments during walkabout and in-service week, i decided that my resolution for this new school year would be to share the affirmations, kind thoughts and encouragements i think towards people instead of keeping them to myself. sometimes i feel a little silly or vulnerable saying these things, but so far its been quite rewarding. last week i wrote some notes to people, in an attempt to make my messages a little more meaningful than just a sentence on facebook. (i think i must a mental block against writing notes, because it did not take much time at all, much to my surprise!) i find that not only to i get to bless those dear to me, but i am blessed in return!

"silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone." -gertrude stein

brown+orange=total domination

each year, res. life is in charge of putting on a huge event where each living area competes against the other one. i had a lot of fun my freshman year. last year wasn't quite as much fun as i didn't really know my residents/not many came. i loved getting to know my staff better through the decorating process/clean-up, but it was a little sad to have the smallest turn-out. and the houses won.

this year, i was a little less than enthusiastic going into this. year #3 and honestly, my expectation was that the fun would be setting up for the event, but that we would lose again, with the smallest represention of our residents.

the whole evening turned out to be pretty fun. decorations looked great, thanks to carrie.
we tried on costumes-testing them for one of the games. i was a bride as i decorated. rob proposed to me in his clown costumed. i accepted, of course. sarah looked lovely as a hershey kiss, while matt was sporting the m&m look.
after dinner, we returned to finish set-up. carrie painted brown stars on any apt. staff girl who would allow her near their face. my star didn't end up staying on for too long, since the first game i played involved my face being dunked in a bowl of water. lots of brown drippy-ness. lacey and i put up posters-some were quite high up and she acted as my support. good teamwork.

we went back to our areas to retrieve residents. brett drove me back so i didn't have to walk back with a brown star on my face. so kind of him...i informed him that apartments were going to dominate houses this year.

jodi was the supportive room-mate who accompanied me to the main event. while quite a few of my residents came, it was evident that apartments were by far the smallest group again. well, except for the 15 enthusastic commuters...
just a tad bit intimidating to see
the swarms of green shirted pcwb residents...
the mass of red shirted individuals hailing from co-ed...
the herd of blue making up hms...
and of course the reigning and very enthusiastic champions, houses...

as the evening progressed, i was a bit surprised to discover that the orange and brown apartments were holding their own. our numbers were few, but amazingly, we were in the top of the competition. our group really took one for the team. i covered my face in water and rice krispies. i had my face painted like a clown by a blind-folded team member. i "sumo-wrestled" a guy while holding an exercise ball.

before long, the last event was finishing and the totals were being tallied. and the apartments were the CHAMPIONS! what a triumph!

clean up came next. returning large decorations to coffin basement. returning trikes to martha's apt. watching brett break one of the trikes. =) taking signs down with lacey. several trips to the janitor's closet with lacey. giving brett massage face, much to lisa's dismay. cheering for the effective shoe-scuff-scrubbers with lisa. showering. going to bed.

go APT!

Thursday, September 6, 2007


serve day was yesterday. our large group of apartment residents and freshman girls were split into groups of 3-6 people and sent to different elderly people's houses to help them with things they were unable to do for themselves. i ended up in a group with jenny and jodi. we got to serve by weeding and washing windows-lots of weeding. my hands are a little torn up today due my choice not to wear the large and slightly impossible gloves provided. it was fun to give such practical help-i think this is what Jesus' love looks like-helping people where they are.

i was again reminded of subtle differences between hawaii and the northwest as we worked...jenny and jodi really had no idea what were weeds and flowers. i soon became the expert weeder-what a title.

the day ended with a shower, lots of food provided by the school...and lots of friends! i got to reconnect with some friends that i hadn't really seen since before the summer. i also got to spend some time with walkabout friends, old and new staffies, nursing buddies, macy 1 girls...
last night was so fun. i love all the dear people who make up my community of friends here at school.
-catching up with aubrie
-hugging lisa
-comparing compassion levels for the bruin brawl participants with lacey and amy
-talking with john and attempting to wave at kevin
-trying on jon's backpack
-holding chris' glasses
-admiring brett's track jacket
-standing in the food line with keith and laura
-waving at martha
-holding hands with brittany
-eating with katie and alyssa
-making plans to serve with faith in action with colleen someday soonish
-seeing t.j.
-three-way hug with whitney and danielle
-being encouraged by jere-freshman seminar seems so long ago!
-coming home to my fellow weeders
yep, it was a good day. i'm so thankful to be here.

Monday, September 3, 2007

culture as a weapon

i was reading c. s. lewis and i loved what he had to say:

"the glory of God, and, as our only means to glorifying Him, the salvation of human souls, is the real business of life. what, then, is the value of culture? it is, of course, no new question; but as a living question it is new to me...

i found a famous saying attributed to gregory, that our use of secular culture was comparable to the action of the israelites in going down to the philistines to have their knives sharpened. this seems to me a most satisfactory argument as far as it goes, and very relevant to modern conditions. if we are to convert our heathen neighbours, we must understand their culture. we must "beat them at their own game." but of course, while this would justify christian culture (at least for some christians whose vocation lay in that direction) at the moment, it would come very far short of the claims made for culture in our modern tradition. on the gregorian view culture is a weapon; and a weapon is essentially a thing we lay aside as soon as we safely can."

what if my pursuits were more aligned with seeking out the glory of God? what would that look like?
what if i view culture as a weapon? how would i be changed?

staff dinner

tonight at staff dinner we did something i liked-
we went around the table and said our high and low point for the week.
(and by the way, i really like my staff.)
i said that my high point was my room-mate adventures this weekend.
my low point was missing out on church at fbc for the 2nd week in a row when john was on the worship team.

a few other points of the day-not completely high, but quite happy:

-the realization that my co-ra this year and last year both have only one vowel in their last name and they both have 3 of that vowel. yep, i'm a nerd.
-hearing kyle play the harmonica in chapel
-if my name was all-are-on instead of al-is-on, i would have a lord-of-the-rings-ish name, according to martha
-making a survey, containing statements that needed to be rated from "completely agree as a 5" to "completely disagree as a 1" and filling it out myself.
for example, some of the statements were as follows:
i like twirly skirts. rating:4
i like to dance in twirly skirts. rating:5
i have recently danced in a twirly skirt. rating:5
red is my favorite color. rating:2
i look cute today. rating:4.5
my style of learning is reading/writing. rating:5

lots of classes and an early morning, but it was a good day.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

saturday shenanigans

last night began the room-mate adventures for the weekend. jenny started it off with recreational rejuvenation aka napping. while she slept, jodi and i worked to rearrange our living room, which was quite the workout! before long it was time for movie-on-the-lawn. we made the trek over the outdoor ampitheater to reserve our spot. while goonies wasn't my favorite, it was fun to see friends, play catch-phrase with macy 1 girls and snuggle under the blankets.
when we got back, we got ready for bed to prepare for our early morning in portland!
we journeyed to omsi-oregon museum of science and industry-to see body worlds: "the anatomical exhibition of real human bodies." it was completely fascinating without being overly gross. =) it also made me ready to pull out my anatomy book for a quick refresher. i loved the display of the baby development. no matter how much you can hear about something, there's nothing like seeing it in person. seeing a little tiny baby smaller than the tip of my finger, complete with organs and beating heart (well, if it was alive, it would be) makes my heart ache a little. it was also really interesting to compare the smoker's body parts with those of a normal non-smoking individual. i also liked the camel (one of the only non-human parts of the exhibit) that had also gone through the plastination process.
next stop-the mall. definitely not my favorite place, but jenny had stuff to return/shopping she wanted to do. and we got to eat yummy japanese food and test massage chairs. no complaints here!
on the way home, we stopped at the sunflower fields. i can't help but feel cheerful when surrounded by so many beautiful flowers!
thank you God for such a fun day with my dear friends. your hand is so obviously present on your creation-sunflowers, the human body and my daily activities.

when i consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
you made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
you made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet;
all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
o Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
-psalm 8:3-9

you can't stop the beat

the first official room-mate adventure for the year was on tuesday-our visit to the cameo (which none of us had ever been to in the previous two years here) to see hairspray. while i wasn't wild about john travolta in fat suit/playing a woman, i did enjoy the music and have had it in my head ever since! we paid the extra dollar to sit in the louge seats-well worth it! we had a bar to put our feet on and got recline while watching. lots of fun!