Thursday, August 28, 2008

On My Own

I can't believe that I'm here in this place again
How did I manage to mess up one more time?
This pattern seems to be the story of my life
Should have learned this lesson by the thousandth time.

'Cause I promised myself I wouldn't fall
But here I've fallen
I guess I'm not as strong as I thought
All I can do is cry to you.

Oh God you have to save me
You're my last and only hope
All my right answers fail me
I can't seem to make it on my own.

Always thought that I would be strong enough
What made all of them fall couldn't take me down
Yeah, did I think that I was above it all?
I have learned that pride comes before the fall

I can't promise myself that I won't fall
'Cause here I've fallen
I know I'm not as strong as I thought
All I can do is cry to you.

Oh God you have to save me
You're my last and only hope
All my right answers fail me
I can't seem to make it on my own.

On My Own by Barlowgirl

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Things to Think On

Have you ever had one of those days where there was so much to think about, so much going on in your head, you just didn't even know where to begin thinking about it all? That was pretty much me today. I started out the morning kind of off kilter, and it seemed to get worse as the day wore on. It wasn't a bad day per say, just a little off.

I've had a lot on my mind lately, so maybe if I let some of it out on here it will help. I would call a friend, but it's past 2 in the morning, so I don't think they'd appreciate that. :) And I can organize my thoughts so much better in writing. I get tongue-tied otherwise.

I'm homesick. I'm missing my family. Everything's so weird right now. We've always been a very close family, geographically and emotionally. We're still close, but it seems like members of my family are spread across the globe. It's hard to deal with that when for so long we were all together. I realize that it is a part of growing up, but it's definitely a change, and sometimes I don't handle change well.

I'm missing the people that I formed closer relationships with over the summer. I'm still in touch with them, but it's not the same. Long distance in any kind of relationship-whether it be family, friends, or significant others-is always challenging. It either makes your relationship stronger or tears it apart. Sadly, I've experienced both in the past. I'm hoping that this distance forces a deeper and more lasting relationship.

I feel out of place. I thought only freshmen were supposed to feel this But seriously, tonight I felt like I just didn't fit. I hate that feeling. It was probably due to not being well acquainted with the people I was around, and that'll hopefully change over the course of the semester, but I can't help feeling down about it.

Right now I am feeling so ineffective. I feel ineffective in my walk with Christ. I feel stuck, unable to move. Sadly, it's an all-too-common feeling for me. One of my deepest struggles is with complacency. No, I don't go off the deep-end and do terrible things that limit my relationship with Christ, but rather I fall into that "I'm not doing anything bad, so I must be a good little Christian girl who doesn't need to change." Why do I settle for mediocrity in my faith? Do I not have a God who is so above and beyond what I could ever imagine? What an insult it must be when I limit Him so... I think one reason I struggle with growth is that I equate growth with change. My life has been constantly and drastically changing for about the past 6 years. I am so resistant to change, even when it is for the better. I know that no one likes change, but I have such a hard time with it I think because I was forced by life circumstances to change. I resisted so much, I think I'm almost afraid of it now. I don't want opportunities that God gives to pass me by because I was afraid. I want God to fill my heart and life with a fire, a confidence in Him that consumes all that fear and doubt. I want to fearlessly live in a way that is glorifying to my God. I don't want to live in fear of the future, of messing up, or of making waves. I am the epitome of nothingness without my God. I am so weak and timid without Him. God, help me to find and hold onto that fire! Help me to remember the joy and passion of my salvation!

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. I hope to see everyone again. I also hope that it will bring some comfort and clarity. My emotions are in knots at the moment. So much to think and feel. It's almost overwhelming. It is astounding to me that I can feel so many different emotions all at once. I'm hoping to get all that sorted out and get my focus back to where it needs to be.

Even in the midst of all this confusion, I'm reminded of a song that is coming to mean alot in my life right now:

You Never Let Go by Matt Redman

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I'm caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won't turn back I know you are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth


Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Saturday, August 23, 2008

One down...

My first week as a sophomore is done! It was so nice to be on campus again. It's such a beautiful place. Other than being a little under the weather, it was a very good week. One down...about 16 to go! Not that I'm counting down the weeks, really. I'm ready for some awesome memories to be made this fall. From here in Mississippi, to back in Texas, and all in between. Amazing time with friends, long phone conversations, emails and text messages exchanged-it's all so great!

I have some of the greatest friends in the whole entire world!!! I got a call from a friend this morning, inviting me to lunch. I told her that I'd love to come, but that I wasn't up to going out. She responded, "Do you like chicken noodle or tomato soup? We're bringing you lunch!" How awesome! So two of my amazing friends brought lunch to my house, and even fixed it for me. :) For the record, that is one of the coolest things that anyone has ever done for me. So that makes two incredibly awesome things this week! The first was an unexpected delivery from a florist! :) God has truly blessed my life with some extraordinary people. I am so thankful!

I was walking on the Drill Field the other day, and they were cutting the grass. Last year, before I went home for Christmas, I went around campus taking pictures. I got some pretty good ones, if I do say so myself. I was thinking, as I was walking and smelling the scent of freshly cut grass, how much the campus changes with the seasons. When classes start at the beginning of the fall semester, everywhere still feels like summer. The grass on the Drill field is so green and the weather is hot! I think I'm going to take pictures of campus in every season.

I've been thinking lately about all the places I'd like to go. There are some incredible places to go and things to see in this world and I'd love to be able to see those places. But there are so many, how will I get to see them all? I've already had the opportunity to see some pretty amazing things already. Travelling has always been a dream of mine. I thank my parents for taking us to great places when we were little. And I thank God for the opportunities that He's given me already, and for those that I will hopefully get in the future. Italy is one place that is on my list. I've always love the food, the language, and the sights. I'd love to see it all firsthand one day. I'd love to go to at least one country on each continent. Antarctica might be a challenge though... :)
I also want to go to all 50 states. It's kind of a goal of mine. I've been to about 16 already. I think that there is so much history and incredible things to see right here in the US. Whatever I am able to do, I'll cherish it all!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


We've had babies to take care of at our house this puppies that is. :) They are beyond adorable. We're having to bottle feed them once a day, in addition to what they get from the mom, cause they're not gaining weight like they should. I think it's fun bottle feeding them though, cause you get to hold and cuddle them. We'll have them for another week before they (and us, for the weekend) go back home. It's alot of fun having puppies, even if it is quite a bit of work. I've always loved animals, since I was a little girl. We grew up with dogs, inside and out, and even a few cats and a rabbit or two in the mix. I have two dogs that live with me now, and I don't know what I'd do without them. Especially last semester, living by myself, it was so nice to have them greet me at the door when I got home from class. When I have a household of my own one day, there will definitely be animals in it. I want my kids to grow up around them like I did. Animals, especially puppies, are dear to my heart! <3

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Random Thoughts

*Ok, I know I've posted an awful lot lately, but I'm at home, sick, by myself, and pretty bored. There probably won't be much important in this post, so you can skip it if you like. I'll mostly be writing my random thoughts, ponderings, and probably a dose of complaining.
*So I'm sitting in the kitchen at our little table (with very comfortable-yet-stylish chairs) with my laptop (obviously). I made myself some ramen noodles because there is nothing better when you are sick than a nice bowl of ramen noodles. However, I've been back and forth between burning up and freezing, and right now I'm burning up. It is rather difficult to enjoy a steaming bowl of anything when you're hot already. It really stinks being sick the first week of classes. I'm bound and determined not to miss any classes this week. That just ruins it for the rest of the semester. Anyway, I'm tired of talking about myself (at least for the moment). ;)
*I've been following the Olympics a good bit over the past week or so. Some of those athletes are just amazing to watch. I can hardly fathom how hard these men and women have worked or how talented they are to have made it to a competition of this caliber. It really is the ultimate competition. Of course, the man everyone is talking about, Michael Phelps. He's pretty amazing to have won 8 gold metals in ONE Olympics! So he's definitely on my list of favorites. But I'd have to say one of my heroes is Shawn Johnson. She is an amazing 16-year-old gymnast who has won 3 silver metals and finally last night won her first gold in the balance beam. She has incredible skill, but I think the thing I like most about her is that she is short! Standing 4' 9" and still getting an Olympic gold metal...that's pretty awesome to me. See? Everyone who picks on my for being short, it's not a bad thing! I love being short. Oh, and I was watching a track meet yesterday, I think, and the woman who won it was an American, and the shortest woman running! Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now. :)
*Today was a good day for the most part. Classes were good. Tuesdays and Thursdays are going to be long days for me, even though I actually start an hour later. I guess because the classes are longer on TTh, it makes the day seem longer. And I don't have breaks between classes. Oh, one interesting thing about my trig prof (trig is a mwf class) is that she was a merchant marine. She was a part of the first group of about 10 women who learned navigational techniques. How cool is that?
*I had a very pleasant surprise today. It was unexpected and very sweet. It's so nice when something wonderful happens, especially when you aren't feeling your best.
*We have a litter of puppies at our house. We're taking care of them for about two weeks. They are beautiful! If you want to see pics of these gorgeous puppies, go to They're the second litter listed on the puppy page. It's worth it!
*Well, I need to get my stuff gathered for tomorrow, and get in bed. I'm hoping to get to sleep early tonight.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm a Sophomore!

Today was the first day of my sophomore year.

Last night, I gathered all my books, picked out my outfit, and set my alarm. All day yesterday I wasn't very excited about starting classes. I'm sure why exactly-maybe it was the fact I'm getting sick, and being sick the first week of classes really bites, or mabe that I was still hanging on to that last thread of summer. Reguardless, I took some meds, stettled down for the night, and after a wonderful phone call, fell asleep.

My alarm went off at 7:30 this morning, and of course I promptly turned it off and went back to sleep. My sister called a little after 7:30, but after I got off the phone, I still managed to catch a few more moments of sleep before that final "GET UP!" of my second alarm. I rolled out of bed at 8:08 and proceeded about my morning routine. Before long, I was ready to leave for campus. Wearing my favorite pair of jeans and encouraged by a voicemail, I drove the 20 minutes to campus.

When I got there, parking was nuts! There were absolutley no parking spots in the lot that I'm supposed to park in (thanks to those lovely people who were parked illegally), so I had to park in the grass across the street. I made it to my first class early, and waited in the hall for the instructor to open the door. I really like my prof for small group communication. She's really nice, and funny too. I had her for speech last year. I think I'm going to like that class, even though it might put me outside of my comfort zone at times. I'm pretty shy around people I don't know well.

My next class was trig. Math isn't my favorite subject, but I think this prof will be good. She explains things well, and teaches at a pace that I can easily keep up with. I have several friends taking trig too (not in the same class) so I can always get help if I need it.

After trig, I had a two hour break before Spanish II. I went to the Student Union to get some lunch. I'm determined not to eat out every day for lunch, but today I made an exception, because I was really craving some Chick-Fil-A. :) The food court was so crowded! I finally got some lunch and took it outside to eat in the sunshine. It was a gorgeous day, a little hot, but not bad. I spent the rest of my break in the library reading, and making a stop by the post office.

Spanish II was good as well. There were several people from my Spanish I class, so that was nice. My prof went over the syllabus and did some review of concepts we should know from Spanish I.

After class, I headed to my car, but got a message from a friend. He wanted to meet back at the Union. I made the trek across the Drill Field again, and met him inside the Union. We spent some time talking, and catching up on things that happened over the summer. It was pretty good. A little awkward, but so much in life is, so it was ok. It was nice to get that first meeting over with. Now maybe it will be better.

Back to my car I went, and headed off campus. I started feeling bad again, so I decided that there was only one thing that would help...Bluebell ice cream of course! I stopped at Piggly Wiggly and grabbed three pints of that heavenly dessert. Now, don't think I'm going to eat all that by myself...I'll let my two siblings share a pint. :)

Well, my first day back on campus was better than I thought it would be. I really did miss State. I made some awesome friends and memories on that campus last year, and I think this year will be no exception. I did see familiar faces as I walked from class to class, which was very nice. That didn't happen on my first day last year. So I'd say being a sophomore is better than being a freshman. At least in my opinion. :) This first week is hopefully going to turn out well.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Summer Highlights

Ok, I can't let the summer go just yet, especially since there's nothing going on at the moment to write about. I'll live in the past just a bit longer before moving on. :) So here are some highlights (complete with pictures) from my summer.

One of the first new and exciting things was a filly that was born at the beginning of the summer. She's a cute and spirited little thing. She's my sister's filly, and she finally has a name now: Kia. I had to work with her in the few weeks after she was born because Rebecca was in Mississippi taking summer classes. Now let me tell you, I am not a horse person. I love them, but I'm pretty clueless when it comes to training them. However, I did manage to get across to her that kicking and biting were not good things to do. She's much better about it now.

Another new thing I tried this summer was decorating cakes. My first few attempts were pretty pitiful, but tasty if I do say so myself. I really want to learn to do this well, and you know what they say, "Practice makes perfect." How cool would it be to know how to decorate wedding cakes? And the money's good too. :)

A friend from Mississippi came to visit me in June, so I decided to show him a taste of Texas (as well as a Mississippi Girl can). We went to San Antonio to visit, of course, the Alamo, and also the River Walk. San Antonio is probably one of my favorite big cities in Texas. It's such a neat place full of history and gorgeous architecture. We ate at the Alamo Cafe, which has awesome scenery, and some of the best Tex-Mex around, in my opinion. Continuing our incredibly brief tour of Texas, we visited Texas A&M University in College Station, Tx. (Aggies, insert whoop here.) I had been to the campus a number of times before, but hadn't really walked around much. We drove and walked around only a part of campus (which is huge) and took pictures. I got a few good ones, but not as many as I would have liked. I really like A&M's campus. It's different that State's, but pretty none the less. I really enjoy going to different Universities to see all the differences and similarities between them. I haven't been to as many as I'd like, but I'm working on that. So far I have Mississippi State, Texas A&M, University of Alabama, and Auburn under my belt. I'm planning to go to as many away football games this fall as I can. Hopefully, I'll be adding Louisiana Tech, Georgia Tech, and Ole Miss to the list.

Other amazing times I had this summer centered around the college and career Sunday school class at Church. Mary and Butch are so awesome!
We have so much fun doing stuff together. Whether it's at the property, at Bible study, at the Lake, or Sonic even, we always have a good time together. I've had the opportunity to meet and get to know some of the greatest people there. Erich, Bonnie, Jonathan, Adam, Katrina, Lindsay...the list goes on. (If I didn't mention your name don't hate me!) We've had several fellowships (aka Let's Hang Out!!) this summer. We go out to the property and ride the 4-wheeler, jeep, and anything else with a motor. We also mess with the horses and dogs there. Lots of great conversations are struck up, especially after dark, when we are sitting at the picnic table or around a fire. Other times we watch movies and play games together. Cranium is a particular favorite. :) Fun stuff.
Probably the most anticipated events of the summer for the class (or at least for me) are the lake trips. We take three or four days over a weekend to all come together and stay in a cabin by the lake. We get to go out in the boat and tube, ski, wake board, and knee board. And for those of us non-athlete types, swim and ride in the boat. I absolutely love being out on the water. It's so peaceful (and you get an amazing tan!). The time spent with each other is worth more to me than anything else I do during the summer. Mary prepares a Bible study for us on Saturday night, and it always gives me a different perspective and lots to think about. After Bible study, I like to walk out to the edge of the water and sit and think about everything going on in my life at the time. I just soak it all in-the nighttime, the water, the stars, the absolute greatness of my God. It is truly amazing. Another thing I like about the lake trips is going to the waterfalls. I love swimming and climbing on the rocks. I even jumped off a cliff one year! Awesomeness. This year, a group of us went to a near-by cavern. It was so neat! I wish everyone had gone with us. Maybe next year. The group that went was great though. Some were new to the group, and some have been around for a while. I will remember these trips for years to come!
And just when you thought I was done...wait! There's more! :)

All the time that I have lived in Texas, in that very county, there were awesome places that I didn't even know about! friend Erich made it his mission to take me to some of these places. The first place I went was the fairgrounds. I was invited to a Wade Bowen concert. It was my first-ever country music concert. I really enjoyed it. But some of my best memories came from the dances at Round Up Hall. The bands were great and the dancing was even better! It was so much fun, I can't even tell you how much I enjoyed it, nor how much I miss it already!
He also took me to see two of the painted churches. They are so beautiful! I've never seen anything quite like them. Just down the road from one of the churches is Piano Bridge. That was one of my favorite things to see. It's an old iron bridge built in the 1800s. Supposedly there are all sorts of ghost stories associated with the bridge. Erich didn't tell them to me, but I suppose that's for the better because the first time we drove over the bridge was at night... (Just kidding. Ghost stories don't scare me). I think that Piano bridge is part of almost a hidden history in Texas. Everyone knows about the Alamo, but not everyone knows about neat things like this. I find it all quite fascinating.

So that's a brief recap of my summer! :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Goodbye Summer

This past summer can be described in one word-bittersweet. I have had some of the best times of my life, but also some of the hardest. I began the summer with a long-I repeat LONG-drive to Texas. I had a hard night the night before, not getting to sleep until 4am, and that made the 11 hour trek that much worse. However, I made it with the help of great music, phone conversations, and lots and lots of caffeine. I had mixed feelings about moving back home for the summer. I loved Starkville and didn't want to leave my life-and all those in it-behind. I knew it would be a tough summer, just adjusting to living at home again, and having my first "real job." I was definitely ready to see my family and friends from back home though. I really had no expectations of what would come, but it wound up being much more that I ever imagined.

I began my job on May 19. I was really excited about being a part of Americorps, and working in the community. I won't expound on this too much, but it was definitely rewarding, complicated, and challenging all in one. I was able to work with kids at the elementary school and the Boys and Girls Club, elderly at the nursing home playing bingo, and other members of the community. It was definitely an eye opening opportunity. I am more aware of the needs of people around me and better equipped to do something about those needs. And God also helped me learn a heap of patience along the way.

Being back home was good. I missed my family terribly over the past year. I wasn't able to see everyone as much as I wanted, and it can get lonely when you are living by yourself. The time spent with my family was so special to me. On the other hand, there will always be challenges when family is concerned. It's tough growing up, and this summer was definitely a huge step for me in that department. I'm still in the process of learning to balance everything in my life. Especially my time--time for me, time with other people, and most importantly, time with God. If I had to grade myself on my time management this summer, I'd give myself an F! However, I have learned so much, and will try harder in the future.

As far as relationships go this summer, it's been a roller coaster ride. All the ups and downs that I could ever imagine. I was not ready for what happened this summer, but that's how life goes. You just have to roll with the punches. Some relationships flourished, some floundered, and some were drastically changed. All of this gave me different perspective about the relationships in my life. It made me realize how very important the people in my life are. Whether they are new relationships, full of excitement and fun, or old ones that give me stability and accountability, all are important and all take work. Relationships with people do not flourish automatically. It takes work.

I was so blessed this summer to experience new things and to grow closer to some really awesome people. I learned to country western dance-all thanks to Erich who was mercifully patient with me and my clumsy feet! It was amazing, and something I hope to enjoy as long as I am able. I spent two awesome weekends on the lake with my college and career Sunday school class. Mary and Butch are a blessing from God in my life. God has placed them right where they are to reach and teach so many of us. Thanks again for everything the two of you do for us college kids!

I have come to a very important conclusion this summer. Those of you who know me well, and who knew me before the fabled move to Texas as a 14-year-old, will understand the gravity of this epiphany. Texas isn't as bad as I thought it to be. Yes, Texas has actually grown on me. I can hardily believe it either-but tis true. I can't exactly put my finger on what changed my perspective. I'm sure it was a combination of events and people. I can tell you that a change in perspective occurred. I realized that God placed me in Texas for a reason. I have grown and learned so much that I would not be who I am today without it. I have met some AMAZING people in Texas (even if they think they live in the best state). :) I will cherish those relationships forever! I will always have a reason to come back to Texas. I couldn't bear the thought of never seeing the people I've come to know and love.

Leaving Texas today was really difficult for me. More than I expected. I shed a few tears as the miles passed. I replayed in my mind the precious memories that I have of this summer. I listened to songs that reminded me of people and places that are dear to me. One of those songs says "I left a part of me in Texas, and I think It's gonna stay there for a while, but someday I'm going back there, to see those special things that made me smile." That's truly how I felt as I crossed the Sabine River, and left Texas in my rear view mirror.

So ends the bittersweet summer of '08, and begins the fantabulous year of '08-'09.