Saturday, July 30, 2005

I'm leaving, in a big silver van..

There is this huge part of me that is so excited to leave for school. I have been home since December of last year, and there is a part of me ready to go back.

-Sarah is coming with me to school this year! I am pleased to confirm this information. We are going to have a lot of fun, because WE AREN'T ROOMING TOGETHER!
-I miss my freedom. My parents are pretty protective of me, so when it comes to being out real late, they usually tell me no. While I'm at school, sometimes I am out all night; either studying at someone's apartment or a 24-hour restaurant, or just hanging out, watching movies and what not.
-I am sick of being behind in school! I am a full year behind now, because of the semester I had to take off and also because I was already behind. It's probably good that I have an extra year, because I have no idea what I am going to do when I graduate, and I am terrified of graduating (this is a whole different post). My joke is that I'll graduate and become a waitress.

There is this other part of me excited about the things happening here, so I don't want to leave.
-I don't want to miss my niece and nephew getting older. I have been around this entire time, watching them grow and being able to do more things. It's exciting to watch all of their accomplishments, and it's sad knowing that I won't be around for a lot of them.
-There are interesting changes happening at church, and I wish I could be around to see what comes of them. Whenever I come home, I feel like I don't know anyone or what's going on in church.
-There's other personal things happening in my life that I feel like will go away once I leave here, because they started here.

I know that God's plan for me right now is to be back at school, and I couldn't be more excited about it, but it is pretty hard to go far away from home. To all of you at Union, dearest Union: I cannot wait to see you all, and make up for lost time!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Rejoice with me; for I have found the check which I had lost!!

I got a pretty sizable check for singing in a funeral a few days ago, so I thought that I would put it away for tuition. I was on my way to church for a meeting, so I put the check in the coin drawer so I wouldn't lose it. I forgot all about it until the next day, when my mom asked me about it. I went out to the car to get it, and the drawer was empty. I frantically searched the car, wondering if I opened the drawer and it fell somewhere else in the car while I was driving. I had awful thoughts that it flew out the window, because I have no AC in the car, so I drive with the windows down. My mom told me to search my room, but I knew that I didn't take it into the house. I am usually a neat freak, but last week was crazy because of working and VBS, so my room was a little ramsacked, so this was a great excuse to clean my room. As I figured, it wasn't in there.

I work with the girl who gave me the check, and I really didn't want to have to ask her to void it and write me a new one (I really didn't want to be payed for singing in a funeral anyway, because it's my ministry, but that's a whole new post). Anyway, because I was so insistent that I didn't put it anywhere else, my mom went out to the car and took apart the whole coin drawer/cup holder, and it turns out, it WAS in there, but it got caught behind it. She also found other papers in there from before we even owned the car, so at least I'm not the only one who lost something in there. I think it's funny that it was in the 'coin drawer,' like the parable of the lost coin found in Luke.

In other news, my grandparents from both sides are coming up this Monday. They are all riding together, because it's only my grandma on my dad's side, and they live in close proximity to one another. I'm glad that they are all coming. My grandma has a lot of health problems, so she can't drive herself far, and doesn't like to fly so much. They are all coming from Iowa, so things will be pretty crazy next week. Also on Monday, AUSTIN IS COMING HOME!!!! He's been in New York all summer, doing mission work for Athletes In Action.

As I type this, my dad is driving me absolutely crazy. The Cubs are playing, so his heart and soul is in the game, but when he yells at the television while stomping his foot, it gets a little annoying. I think we are going to ban him from watching Cubs games, because it's probably not good for his blood pressure.
For my sister's writing project for school this year, she wrote a poem to honor my dad in his love for the Cubs:

The Bipolar Cub Fan

There was once a guy named Brian,
Who loved the Cubs so much he felt like crying.
When they would win he’d be jumping for joy, but
When they would lose, my dad would blow a fuse.

He kicks, he screams, heck he almost
Blows up the TV screen.
He would pound in his chair,
The Cubs would fight a good fight,
But would they give him a winning delight?

Sometimes you wonder why he’s even a fan,
But then they would win,
And he’ll be as happy as he can.
So what can we say about this Bipolar Cub fan,
I guess we will never fully understand. -Sarah Bloomberg

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

a food poem

This morning, after taking my mom to work 2 hours before I had to be there, I thought I would be productive and fix the horrible roots on my head. Here is a Hoku (a Japanese poem, 5-8-5 syllables, similar to the Haiku, 5-7-5 syllables) to commermorate the occassion.

I dyed my own hair
Looks like chocolate curly french fries
Now I am hungry

I really don't like chocolate with french fries...heck, I don't even eat fried foods normally. Emma and Liam Rudd used to tell me that my hair looks like curly french fries, so I kinda ripped that off of them.

Work was pretty sweet today. It wasn't busy, but I made pretty good money. If I get better than 20% tips, they seem to come in the same day, and this was one of those days. Keep those college funds coming! You don't have to even tip me well, but my day goes better when people I know come in to see me (at the Apple Ave Bob Evans...NOT the Sternberg one). It makes my day a lot more fun!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

the music major within me...

Today I was sitting around, thinking about my area of study (music). It's interesting to me that music is something that pretty much everyone takes hold of, and I get to major in it. Everyone is interested in music in some way or another. Everyone has either a favorite band, favorite singer, favorite can't get away from it. Music is a really cool form of expressing yourself; whether you wrote the piece yourself, or if you're relating with the artist in similar feelings or experiences.

It's funny how one can like so many different styles of music. I love listening to piano concertos by Mozart, and Etudes by Chopin, or the rebellion music of Beethoven (I call Beethoven the music rebel, because he always went another way when it came to "specific" form). At the same time, I love gospel music by Kirk Franklin, which is a totally different genre. I love jazz, rock, R&B, contemporary Christian...and it all helps me in expressing the type of mood I am in.

I think back to the earliest notated music, when people were just singing the monophonic Gregorian Chants. This music is really cool to sing once in a while, but it's hard, because if it does have harmonies, it's all in perfect 4th's or perfect 5th intervals, which makes the sound "hollow". This music was in the church, and the elders thought that music should be only simple, not expanding in creativity or harmonies. Martin Luther, who was known for the reformation, also loved music. He argued against monphony, saying that polyphony is a beautiful thing.
"We marvel when we hear music in which one voice sings a simple melody, while three, four, or five other voices play and trip lustily around the voice that sings its simple melody and adorn this simple melody wonderfully with artistic musical effects, thus reminding us of a heavenly dance, where all meet in a spirit of friendliness, caress and embrace". -Martin Luther

The Catholic church associated music with something mystical or allegorical. But since Luther was reforming everything anyway, he voiced his thoughts, saying that music was simply practical and was to be used for praising God and proclaiming the Word. This influenced music in the church, and helped bring us to where we are today.

That's why music is so cool to me. It can be simple, but it can be elaborative and complex, and I still love it.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Say Jambo--It means hello!

This past week was out of the ordinary for me. Jacquie and I had VBS all week, and we taught all of the kids the songs with the accompaniment of motions. It was a lot of fun, but pretty tiring for me at the same time. I had to obtain enough energy to work all day, and still have enough for the kids every night. It took a lot out of me, but I am definately glad that I did it. I am getting so many opportunities to learn how to be a leader, because I am definately not a natural-born leader. I do not like to take charge in situations; I'd rather follow. This week really helped me in my quest to become a leader of something....someday.

Of course, the title of this post has to do with one of the songs we taught the kids this week. Tomorrow, the kids are singing all of these songs at church. Two of the six songs have "leader solos," so Jacquie is doing one, and I will do the other one. It will be fun because it is cool interaction with the kids.

Quote of the week:
"Are fireworks double-sided"??--none other than my sister, Sarah.

I bid you farewell with...Nam si fu mugu kwa.--I have no idea what that means...but we taught the kids this song anyway!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Harley-Davidson theology..

The other day, I arrived at work fairly early (by 10 minutes) so that I could enjoy a nice cup of coffee, in order to be awake enough to serve other people. I noticed one of my co-workers had the same idea, except she brought her own coffee cup. It was of course a Harley-Davdison coffee cup. This girl is into everything that is Harley-Davidson. She has a bike and would probably put her life at stake for her bike. She will ride rain, shine, tidal wave, or tornado. I remember that one time she almost got fired from work, because she went to some bike festival in the south, and she was gone for a week without finding anyone to work for her. Anyway, all this to say that what was inscripted on the cup really caught my eye and had my thoughts for the rest of the day. It read:

"It's not the destination, it's the journey".

Now, this could be read in many different contexts. If you are talking about an actual trip, I would agree with this. Sometimes I am more excited to go on a trip (depending on who it's with), because I know that the ride there will be fun and exciting, making it better than the actual place we are going.

I was thinking about this in Biblical terms, which is why I couldn't get it out of my mind all day. Our destination is heaven, if we choose to go through the journey of putting Christ first in our lives, and believing what he did for us and what he has yet to do. Now, this makes our journey difficult, because we are not supposed to be of the world. This quote is not accurate if we are talking about our Christian walk. When we make the decision to follow Christ, our journey has started. What we do with our journey is important. If we have had the knowledge but have done nothing with it, we are without fruit. If we do not use our gifts to glorify God, we are not doing our job right. The journey is so important in this aspect, because this is what we do with our belief that God exists, and Christ did die for us and rose up from the grave.

But...the desination is just as important. If we go through the journey of life without receiving Christ, our destination is hell...for eternity. Life down here is only for a short time, but eternity is forever. Forever is a thing that I cannot fathom. Forever is never-ending, and that is our destination; heaven or hell, whichever route we choose. If we do accept Christ, and go through the journey of life trying to put Him first in all that we do, bearing the world's critisism of our belief, then our journey was definately difficult, but the destination is so much better. The quote in this context should be revised as this:

"Our destination is proof of our journey".

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Maybe I need some food for my incoherent thoughts...

The beginning of this year brought a lot of changes in my life; some I have had to learn to cope with, and other changes I happily welcomed. It's amazing what can happen in such a short amount of time, and what can be learned from it.

My life has been altered in a way I could never have imagined, because things like this always happen to other people, and out of my realm of acquaintance. I have been taught my entire life that God brings trials to us because in His will, good can come out of what may at first seem bad. I have been taught that He would never give us more than we can endure, and that He would be with us along the way, guiding, helping, and protecting us as only a Father can do. James talks about how trials bring about the testing of our faith which developes perseverance. I have been taught all of this, and still, it seems like nothing prepared me for what came about this year.

Outwardly, I took the news of my diagnosis well, trying hard to be as strong as I could for my family. I did not want to question God's will. I knew that something would eventually be fulfilled through my trial, that could only be fulfilled by me going through this ordeal. Inwardly, I was a wreck. I knew all of these things, and yet, I was as scared as I could be. All along, I knew that God would protect me and be right alongside of me through this, but I still didn't know how to handle it. I did what I used to do best: bottled everything up inside.

I struggled earlier in my life with my identity and purpose, so it was hard for me to be myself. I kept all of my feelings inside of me, because I thought I was so much different than everyone else. I had some people along my way that helped me realize that it's ok to be myself, and I am more like others than I had thought (this is a whole different post though). I became comfortable with showing emotion, but this was different for me. I was almost afraid to be sad, because for some reason, I thought that it would show weakness, and that it would show that I didn't trust God, and his purpose for my life. When God created us, he didn't make us to be robots. He gave us emotion, so that we would use it. Emotion can be wonderful. When we praise God for who He is and what He's done, emotion is used. When a woman becomes a mother for the first time, emotion is used. When someone finds out that they have is OK to show emotion. It is ok to be sad and worried, and it's not lack of faith to have these feelings. It took me a while to see all of this, but I'm glad that God showed me in a way that best pertains to me. We serve an amazing God. He knows the best way to get through each and every one of us, and I'm glad He got through to me.

I don't really know what this post was set out to be. I don't know if it makes sense to anyone but me, but maybe someone else (if there's anyone who's made it this far) needed to hear whatever point I have made in this.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Dynamite strikes again..

While I was watching my brother's church softball game, something caught my attention that proved very interesting. A member of the opposing team was sporting his team's tee-shirt. The name on the back of the shirt read, "Sanchez". I thought nothing of it, until he got up to bat. All of the sudden, his teammates starting cheering, "go Pedro"!!! PEDRO SANCHEZ?!?!?! WAS THIS SOME KIND OF JOKE. No brag, just fact. This softball player shares the name of the famous Pedro that was voted for on Napoleon Dynamite. I wanted to get a picture with him and post it on here, but for once, I didn't have my camera on me. Maybe they'll play each other again..and I will be much more prepared.

In other news, I am house sitting this week for a family from my church. I am watching their dogs for them for the week. I think that it will be very relaxing for me, and it will be nice to have my own space for the week.

I was attempting to sleep last night, and all of the sudden, I heard something hit the wall right by my head. I immediately jumped out of bed and hit the lights. There was ANOTHER bat!!! It was flying around in circles around the room. I ran down the hallway and slammed all of the other doors to limit the bat's travel. I ran downstairs to get help from Sarah, and when we returned upstairs, WE COULD'T FIND THE BAT!! We looked everywhere, and then finally gave up, and slept on the couches downstairs. It still lurks in the house somewhere, but thankfully, I'm housesitting!!