Saturday, May 29, 2010


So how about a few key lessons from the semester?

I've learned:

1. The importance of building trust: I learned this lesson in my intercultural adjustment class, which I've talked a little about before here at myHandH. To build trust with someone, you must be willing to both be vulnerable and to accept their vulnerability. Mutual respect is ideal in an interpersonal relationship, but grace often "trumps all" and gives room for one party or the other to be pardoned (oh if only my professor could read these thoughts and put them toward my grade). Trust is necessary in foundation building when trying to bring someone to the's also necessary for good friendship.

2. The Lord does not work by our time frame (and we should be glad): Being an RA this year has been a blast and a challenge. I did not expect God to work out difficult emotional struggles while I was in the position. In fact, I was often frustrated by the Lord's choice in time frame for my soul's deep cleaning. I, however, came to realize in a practical sense what it means to trust that God knows what's best for me.

3. The beginning of life is really an incredible thing: I saw this as I spent a bit of time with Levi. He is precious and the way God's used him to bring the family together in a stronger sense is incredible.

4. Little mistakes don't mean I'm "kicked out" of the kingdom (by any means): Our God is a God of grace. I'm still learning this lesson. He does not condemn me with statements and thoughts full of blame; he does not shake his head in hopelessness over my blunders. My God loves me!

Thanks for joining me for the semester... more thoughts, wonder-ings, inspirations, and passions to come this summer.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


A quick post before I head to study for finals...

Today ends the 30 day coffee fast I have been on. So this morning I had a decaf vanilla latte with an extra pump of vanilla. Thanks, Starbucks! I thought buying a treat was called-for. And what did I learn during this time? That the joy of the Lord really is my strength. He provides for me in times of stress, exhaustion, and craving... during the times I would tend to turn toward a warm bev for comfort, I instead repeated that scripture to myself. "The joy of the Lord IS my strength..." (This verse always reminds me of my sweet niece, Keilah Joi- whose name meant strength and joy.)

I received some very exciting trip details for my quickly approaching trip to Turkey! As I read more about Paul, I can not wait to stand where he stood, hang out where he hung, and be challenged be the extraordinary way he preached in the most unlikely of cities. Of course this fun Pauline tour will come after three weeks of hard work at camp, which I'm also looking forward to.

While sippin' the coffee with Marianna and Brit this morning, we perused a garage sale. And I am currently sitting in my find of the day: an old director's chair! (I'm sitting toward the right side because the left has a big rip and needs some mending). I plan to distress it, stain it a darker wood color, and sew on some fun canvas fabric patches on. If that doesn't work, I'll just resell it at my garage sale!

Peace and blessings... especially if you too are preparing for finals!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


There are a couple of issues looming in my mind. Firstly, I've been thinking of my ideal household; the household where I want to be a wife and raise my children. Ideally, I want to raise my children to live simple, green lifestyles (this is second, of course, to instilling in them the spiritual convictions and passions my husband and I will share). I want our household to be one in which we recycle everything possible, buy as much slave free food and clothing as we can, practice composting and bulk gardening, never buy a dryer but air dry all our clothing to save energy, use insulation and windows for temperature control whenever possible, and use low watt light bulbs... I dream of this!

However, I also dream of (and feel called to) living overseas for at least a major season of life. Being a missionary is what I want to "do" when I grow up... but I also long to be a wife and mother who is able to raise her children in (more or less) an American home. I'm not worried about these contrasting goals because I know the Lord has placed both on my heart for a reason. I do, however, wonder how my future look... as we all do.

Thought #2: Since I've become more and more passionate about green living in the past couple of years, I really want to get people on board with me! It's one thing for me to practice a low energy and recycling lifestyle (which I'm not perfect at, and that's ok!), but I don't feel like I'm making much of a difference for the earth unless I get people to join in! I spent a good chunk of time with this dilemma before the Lord yesterday. I said, "God, why can't I admonish others to recycle? Recycling is so easy!" He brought me through a journey in scripture and I finally sat on the example he gives us regarding creation.

God loves us more than the bird of the air, the beasts of the earth, and the flowers of the field... but he still loves them! People are, and will always be, more important than things. I need to practice that. It's fine and dandy for me to encourage others to join in the green living frenzy, but if it becomes a hindrance on a relationship, it is not worth it. Thank you, Lord, for humbling me. I truly am called to be a good steward of your plant, but I am firstly called to be a good steward of your people!

Monday, May 10, 2010


Yup, today is one of those days I just need to write down a big, fatty list of things I'm grateful the Lord has given/done for/blessed me with. In coming to the end of a year of hard work, service, and good friendship it seems hard to say goodbye... but I want to use these last few weeks to be thankful to the God of all! Here goes... I'm thankful for:

1. The Holy Spirit... who interprets my sighs

2. My parents

3. The way my best friend Jamie knows how to make me feel appreciated

4. My sister's creativity

5. Christmas... trees, lights, and desserts

6. (speaking of which) Chocolate!

7. The accessibility of chocolate

8. My friend Brittany, for stretching my mind

9. Knowledge of social injustices... and the power to pray against them

10. An opportunity to travel this summer

11. The fact that I was not allowed to watch PG-13 movies until I was 16

12. My brother's level head

13. My sister-in-law's love for her son

14. Greeting cards

15. Psalm 1

16. The ability to sing

17. The ability to hear... if I didn't have it I couldn't sing

18. The way our crappy or embarrassing memories get covered by grace

19. My friend Marianna's honesty

20. My roommate Anna's light heart and soulful intentions

21. My health

22. A staff of RAs who love me

23. My boss, Katie, who has given me so much stinkin' perspective this year!

24. The fact that my brother-in-law feels like a real brother to me

25. My mom's ability to put on a holiday... and to hold the family together, even when she doesn't know she's doing it

26. Seasons of rest

27. The cross

28. Freedom to worship Jesus openly

29. Yosemite

30. Art... doing it and looking at it

31. The way little kids make things simpler

32. The hope of a future that is already taken care of

33. My ability to lead

34. Being the youngest child and often getting the permission to revert back to that

35. Our family's house

36. My old roommate and friend Lydia, for challenging me to choose what's right in the Lord

37. My GEM girls... for having fellowship together weekly

38. The Duggars... they truly are an encouragement to me when I watch them on TV

39. Recycling

40. Composting!

41. My high school friend Stephanie, who calls once a month

42. My other old roommate and friend Eileen, who makes me laugh about high school

43. Food to eat multiple times a day

44. A journal to write in

45. Culture

46. The fact that I was a minority growing up

47. Makeup

48. Feel-good movies

49. The Chariots of Fire song

50. My Dad's emerging reminiscent side

51. Prayer

52. Biblical teaching at school and church that is sound

53. My past with ice skating

54. Ice cream cones

55. Clean water to drink, bathe in, and cook with

56. Nicknames

57. The ability to read

58. The getting-to-know you process

59. Daydreaming

60. Plenty of clothes to wear and choose from

61. A great minivan to drive!

62. The fact that thinking of 100 things is a challenge... and a reminder that the list should never end!

63. My dear nephew Levi

64. The beauty of differing ethnicities.

65. Dancing

66. Dancing in the rain! And just the rain itself

67. Los Angeles

68. Many opportunities to serve in my area

69. A new church

70. Missionaries to pray for

71. A comfortable bed

72. A chiropractor

73. Birthdays

74. My friend Josilynn's sense of humor

75. Boring classes made for doodling and note-passing

76. Interesting classes that wiz by!

77. Valentine's day

78. Owning a printer

79. Dude! Owing a lap top

80. Scrapbooks

81. Paved streets

82. Hot showers

83. God's love

84. Orange poppy flowers

85. The miracle of pregnancy, birth, and infancy

86. National Geographic magazine

87. The Catcher in the Rye... for stretching me and for developing my empathy

88. The StrengsFinder

89. Sticky notes

90. The Lord's presence and Fatherly touch... especially on a rough day

91. Coffee

92. Giving up coffee for a bit

93. God's financial provision for me and my family

94. Owning a cell phone

95. The sequins on the back of Sparklettes trucks

96. Beautiful landscape

97. The accessibility of the beach and mountains

98. Farmer's markets

99. The Word of God

100. Any reader who made it this far!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Too much college

I'm feeling a little too collegiate today.

I dried my dishes with a pillow case,

I'm on paper number 25 out of 29 this semester and I've come down with the worst case of writer's block,

I'm writing with a cinnamon-scented smencil,

And all I can think about is this summer...

All of the above + the gift of having a car = a weekend at home!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The funny day at work: a story

I know blogging about work is a risky thing to do, but I'm doin' it! As many of you know, I work as an RA at school, but I have another on campus job as an office assistant in the Campus Safety department. I've had this job for almost two years and am so grateful for its steadiness in my life.

On this particular Thursday, there occured a really funny day at work. First, someone called our office wondering what we could do for her because her dollar had been sucked up by the vending machine (k, I'm exaggerating, but it was still really funny). We had a good laugh about that, seeing as we can not to a thing about the functionings of on campus vending machines! Then, I was asked to dig through my mailbox to find a letter I was supposed to have RSVPed to... after digging for a while, I pulled it up, all rusty and crumpled and such. It had been put there just a few days prior. The rust? I don't know how that happened. THEN (oh this is the best part, I hope I tell it funnily), my friend/coworker Alex and I were called back to our bosses' office for a "student opinion". I was handed a piece of styrofoam and told to, "eat it". I, obviously, questioned what, when, why, how, etc. Eat it? And then, I was informed that it was an emergency loaf. An emergency loaf? Yes, meant to be consumed in case of an emergency...lemon vanilla flavored. So, I carefully and hesitantly put the "loaf" int my mouth and started chewing. Hmm. Now, I wouldn't choose it as a stack, but it totally resembled a lemon bunt cake! Weird, weird, funny day at work.