Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lessons 2010 Taught Me

  • Everyone should live alone, no roommates, for at least a little while. You'll learn a lot about yourself.
  • Humans aren't meant to be alone.
  • Protect your heart. It's your most precious possession. Be careful about who you let in.
  • Life after college is more different than you ever could have imagined. Don't stress about it. Just roll with the punches
  • Forgive, and move on.
  • Learn from your mistakes. Living with regrets is no way to live. It pollutes your heart.
  • Be nice to people whenever you can, especially strangers. You may make someone's day without realizing it.
  • Knowing who you are is sometimes more important than knowing what to do with your life.
  • It's not the destination that matters so much. It's the path you take to get there.
  • It's okay to be an adult. Everyone has to grow up sometime.
  • Don't settle.
  • God has amazing plans for you. You just need to be patient. You'll discover them on His time, not yours.
  • The world is full of stupid people. This will never change.
  • People hurt you in ways you won't expect.
  • God will always send you a friend. You just have to keep your eyes open.
  • Being a loyal, trustworthy friend is important. Be a fierce friend. Defend your best friends. Keep their secrets. Treat friends like they're family.
  • It's okay to ask for help. Everyone needs it at some point.
  • There are some people in this world who are inherently manipulative and selfish. These people are poison, and will contaminate your soul if you let them.
  • Amidst all of the growing up and being an adult, don't forget to be silly. Laugh about stupid things with your friends.
  • Being a people person is not really as hard as it seems. You just have to be brave.
  • "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." --E.E. Cummings

Sunday, December 26, 2010

You have this horrible ability to make me feel so incredibly small, so insignificant, like a pebble in your shoe, a nuisance. And it's always been this way, for as long as I can remember. I can't convey to you just how much you hurt me when you do this. It's like a knife in the chest, (which, contrary to popular belief, hurts just as much as a knife in the back.) like a pain in my soul. This treatment is not acceptable. I'm a person, too. I deserve more respect than what you're showing me. But I won't ever be able to say this out loud. I'm afraid that this is just one of those silent burdens we bear, knowing that saying something would end up being just as awful as not saying anything.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
And lo,
the angel of the Lord
came upon them,
and the glory of the Lord
shone round about them:
and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them,
"Fear not:
for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of
great joy,
which shall be to
all people.
For unto
is born this day in the City of David
a Savior,
which is
Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you;
Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes,
lying in a manger."
And suddenly
there was with the angel
a multitude of the heavenly host,
praising God,
and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth
good will toward men."

This part always surprises me, how in the midst of a cartoon I always perceive to be secular, is the REAL meaning of Christmas. I think that it's meant to surprise us, that the reason it's so sudden is to make us pay attention to it, to make us listen. And I did listen.

This year I didn't have some new eye-opening revelation about Christmas. And that's okay, I think. As long as I remember what it's for. It's about God coming and bringing his peace and love to us.

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Some Truths of Life

  • People let you down. Even people who are supposed to be on your side.
  • But there will always be at least one person who's on your side, even if you don't realize it.
  • Sometimes figuring out who you are as a person is more important than figuring out a career.
  • It's the little things that really make life enjoyable: a stranger being nice to you, finding a dollar in a random pocket, a friend telling you that you look nice.
  • As much as things go wrong in life, they're bound to go your way once in a while.
  • Even though it's difficult sometimes, being optimistic is better than being pessimistic.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"For I know the plans I have for you..."

Do you ever feel like you're sleeping, and can't wake up?

Or like you're a much cooler person than the life you're living?

I feel like that every day. I feel like my life has halted to a stop, like I'm waiting for something to happen, for the good part to get here.

I just need to do something, anything to wake me up. I'm afraid that one day, years from now, I'll wake up and wonder where the hell my life went.

I have problems with comparing myself to other people. One person, in particular. I look at this person's life, and it's everything I'm supposed to want. (And in my stupid mind, have already.) Young, beautiful, married, kids, a career. I'm 24 years old, a year out of college with no career path, and I'm alone.

It's difficult for me to not compare myself with others, to tell myself that God has awesome plans for me that I can't even dream of. But I can't help wondering when my life is actually going to start.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Where are you Christmas?

I've been trying to think of something poignant to say here about Advent or Christmas, like I manage to do most other years. But nothing's coming to me. There's just nothing.

The truth about it is, I just haven't really gotten into Christmas this year. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed putting up the tree with my roommate, I enjoyed looking at the pretty Christmas lights at Silver Dollar City, I've even enjoyed going to a couple of Christmas shows here in town.

But nothing's touched my heart yet.

And part of the reason is, I think, because my "ritual" this year is different. Every year for five years, I had Lessons and Carols at Concordia as part of my Christmas ritual. I had the music to teach me something new about Christ's birth, to remind me of the important things of Christmas. I would sing at Lessons and Carols and then something in my mind would go, "Okay, NOW it's Christmas."

This is the first year in five years that I haven't been to Lessons and Carols. In the scope of an entire human life span, five years isn't really that long. But relative to my short 24 years, it's a huge chunk of time, especially when those five years were spent at such an influential place for me.

Right now the song from The Grinch, "Where Are You Christmas?" comes to mind. A little cliche, I know. But these few lyrics seem particularly pertinent to my life right now:

My world is changing
I'm rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too

My life is completely different from the way it was one year ago. I'm an adult, living on my own, paying my own bills. It just never occurred to me that maybe I would need to find something new to put me "in the Christmas spirit." It just doesn't feel like Christmas to me this year. And it makes me sad.

I wish that at the end of this post, I could find some sort of redemption, some sort of optimism like the end of "Where Are You Christmas?" At the end of the song, the speaker somehow finds what they need to experience Christmas. But this year, for me, it just feels so...


I know that's not a word. I made it up. I'm allowed.

The point is, my heart isn't in it this year. And I don't know why, or how to change it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I REALLY dislike SUVs.

There's NO reason for you to own a car like this:

if you live in a place that looks like this:

Maybe if you lived in a place that looked like this:

I could understand it. But if you have an SUV so that people will notice you, or because you're compensating for something, or because you're a dick...

then you're a dick.

SUV's are wasteful, and use much more amounts of gasoline than other cars. They are completely unnecessary, unless you live in the mountains, or some other sort of hazardous terrain, or you have some other sort of LEGITIMATE reason to own one other than the stupid ones named above.

I'm not claiming to be the most "green" person out there, but you'd have to agree that SUVs are one of the most wasteful trends right now.

Monday, November 22, 2010

30 (-ish) Random Things

My mom tagged me in a "30 Random Things" note on facebook, where you share 30 things about yourself people might not know. So I did one too the other day, and I decided it would be a half-decent idea for a blog post. So, here goes:

1. I'm doing this because my mom tagged me and said I should do it. But I won't tag anyone else. Deal with it.

2. I HATE being alone. I'm not a people person by any stretch of the definition, but I hate being alone. The seven months I lived by myself were some of the loneliest of my life.

3. I can't watch the movie "Definitely Maybe" without my heart aching and my eyes tearing up. It's just a little too close to home.

4. Sometimes I feel like no one really sees me.

5. Occasionally I feel like a failure for being 24 years old and having NO CLUE what to do with my life. And then I realize how stupid that is.

6. I LOVE TV. Too much. It's really sad.

7. I get bored with the internet sometimes. Occasionally, I'll go through these periods of about two weeks where I won't even TOUCH my computer.

8. I've read all the Twilight books. I feel so ashamed. I got curious, and then I couldn't stop. It was a compulsion. I NEEDED to find out the ending.

9. I hate lying. I hate it when people lie to me, and I hate lying to other people.

10. Related to #9 above, I don't like to sugarcoat things. Sometimes I'm too blunt with people.

11. When I was a kid, my heart would sting with jealousy when my friends would talk about their parents who were still together. It still happens occasionally.

12. I love guacamole. If I have a huge bowl sitting in front of me, I WILL eat the entire thing.

13. I won't apologize if I don't mean it. I won't even give a half-apology. For example, "I'm sorry what I said offended you." It's not a real apology. I won't give an apology like that, and I hate hearing them.

14. I don't like Thanksgiving. I love the food. But I don't think gorging ourselves on too much food is a good way to be thankful, when there are people starving all over the world. We should be thankful every day, not just one day a year. Also, I have serious reservations about a holiday whose origins stem from a group of people who stole land from other people before giving them diseases they had no immune defense for.

15. Since we're on the note of holidays, I'm also kind of a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas. I'm EXTREMELY personal and introspective about Christmas. I don't like commercial Christmas music, however I do love traditional Christmas carols. I hate how materialistic Christmas has become, and how all it is now is about what we're giving and getting for Christmas. Okay, I think I'm done with my soapbox now.

16. I get jealous of witty and clever people, because I always feel like I'm unintentionally funny.

17. I have a friend from Concordia (you know who you are) who always seems to know everything about a person just by watching them. He would always purposefully push my buttons and try to get me to admit the things about myself I didn't want anyone to know. It used to make me so angry, but now I kind of miss it.

18. I felt like such a sellout when I got twitter. I still feel ashamed every now and then.

19. You know that cold where you step outside and your nose hairs freeze, where you breath in and your chest hurts because it's so cold? I LOVE that cold.

20. Patience is not something I do well. But I have even LESS patience with stupid people, people with a constant need for attention, or mean people.

21. Sometimes it shocks me how much of a grown-up I am. And then I'm proud of myself.

22. I really dislike cleaning. It's kind of a good thing I don't have a boyfriend, because my part of the apartment is a DISASTER area.

23. I don't cook. Not so much because I can't or don't like it, but because it's mostly just for myself. It's almost like if I can't really justify going through the hassle of it if it's just for me.

24. If you told me a year ago that by now I'd have moved to a city where I didn't know a single person and that I'd have a job in customer service, I'd have laughed in your face.

25. My fish died.

26. I LOVE reading. More than anything. Okay, that's not true, but you get my drift. Ever since I was little, I've loved reading. Part of why I love it is because I've always been able to vividly imagine what's happening in the book. I can picture everything. It's almost like TV, except you're using actual brain cells.

27. I hate how a lot of Christians identify themselves not by their faith, Christianity, but by the denomination they belong to. It only further emphasizes the divisions among us. (see I Corinthians 1:10-13)

28. Sometimes I wonder if I'm completely repulsive to the opposite sex, which would explain why I legitimately can't remember the last time I went on a date.

29. In the church that I'm going to now, every Sunday after the offertory we sing the doxology. And I can't sing it without thinking of Kapelle.

30. This was actually kind of fun. Mom was right. As usual.

Other things you might not know about me:

31. This winter is going to be REALLY depressing. I'm going to miss snow.

32. Related to # 31, everyone here in Branson complaining about how cold it is at 32 degrees or whatever is going to get REALLY old. Wimps.

33. Sometimes I wonder if I'm really cut out for marriage and motherhood and all that stuff people expect women to want. I think I'm a little selfish and uncompromising.

34. I've only ever voted once, and it was in the Presidential election in 2004. I'd just turned 18.

35. I desperately want to be a legitimate writer, not just a sometimes/mediocre blogger. But I'm not nearly organized enough, and I don't think I have enough will power. My brain just seems like the inside of a pumpkin sometimes--all jumbled up.

36. I'm SO sick of Justin Bieber. He looks and sounds like a chipmunk.

37. I'm not a fan of Josh Groban. His vibrato is weird. Get over it.

38. I'm allergic to copious amounts of sentimentality. I shudder every time I hear a song, see a movie or TV show, etc. that is laden with it.

39. Lately, I've been finding myself increasingly cynical and sarcastic, and really not wanting to censor myself. But at the same time, I've gotten loads better at doing just that.

40. In case you haven't already figured it out, I'm basically a walking contradiction.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Here's how I feel about this...

I tend to avoid politics like the black plague. But this goes way beyond anything political. I don't know very much behind the mechanics of the new security scanners the TSA is using, but here's my opinion based on what I do know.

This is SO unconstitutional. It goes against our God-given right to be happy and healthy for the government to force us to go through machines that give us levels of radiation that could be unsafe, and ALSO take naked pictures of us. No one...I'll say it again...


gets to see my naked body unless
give them permission.

My body DOES NOT belong to the government.

The alternative isn't very constitutional, either. It isn't right for people to be publicly fondled. I've been given the old, less invasive pat-down in a terminal full of people, and that was embarrassing enough.

This is NOT okay. I've been a little bit ignorant of this whole thing for one reason or another, but now I'm starting to get angry.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Since moving to Branson, I have joined the church choir my sister, Rachel sings in. It's an episcopal church, so they have a tendency to do really good stuff. And, to be honest, ever since joining, I've been chasing the feeling I got when I sang with Kapelle.

This feeling is hard to describe...almost like your heart is too big for your chest, like you couldn't possibly feel any more emotion.

Well, at choir practice on Wednesday, I got a glimpse of that feeling I miss so much. We're doing Mendelssohn's Verleih uns Frieden. (I think that's the right one.) Anyway, it really has that German chorale feeling, and it made me think of Concordia, and by consequence, Kapelle. And it wasn't sadness that I felt. It was more...thankfulness that I got to have that experience, and was so blessed to know such amazing people.

So, if any of you Kapellicans are reading this, I miss you. Every day. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Wicked Witch of the West

Today at work, I got to help the Wicked Witch of the West. She looked like this:

Not really. She just looked like an old lady. My co-worker called her that because she was mean, and from California.

But the point is, I've never encountered a stranger so disrespectful.

She came in wanting to purchase tickets. She said she had two retired military personnel, and I informed her of the discount.

"I read somewhere that veterans are free."

They're not. And I told her so, but nicely.

"Well, if I find somewhere that says they are, I can bring it in and you can refund me, right?"

"If you can find something that says that, you can bring it in and take it up with my manager."

I applied her retired military discount, and told her I placed her in the 6th row in the center. She wanted to be up front, but it's more expensive, and we can't apply a discount to it. She said it was fine, but her expression read, "Well, if I NO other choice."

I sold her the tickets and when I handed them to her, I told her was in the 6th row. This is when she turned into the Wicked Witch.

"You told me the fifth row."

"I'm sorry, I thought I said the sixth."

"No, you said the fifth."

"Well, I have the fifth, but they're not as close to the center."

"Let me see your computer screen, because I don't think you're being truthful with me."

That is FALSE. I gave her the best seats I had. And for reference, there are 24 rows in our theatre. Row 6 out of 24 is great, right? I think so, too.

"I can't do that, ma'am. I have confidential information on here I can't allow you to see."

This was true. We can't let customers see our screens.

"You're lying."

Um, WHAT? I was okay until she flat-out called me a liar. I DON'T lie, and I hate people who lie to me.

So at this point, a plethora of thoughts are going through my head, including:


"I need to get this lady out of here so that I can be angry."

"I need to make this customer happy so that I can keep this sale."

So I ultimately ended up giving her what she really wanted all along: seats in the first row, center. And then she said thank you like nothing was wrong.

Once her back was turned to me, I crouched on the floor behind the counter, shaking and so angry I couldn't speak. It scared me how angry I was, and how much I was able to keep my cool while she was being absolutely awful to me. Anyone who knows me well knows my temper. You guys would be so proud of me. I'm proud of me.

This woman is just beyond my comprehension. I don't understand how she thinks she's entitled to demand whatever she wants and treat me like crap.

I suppose that's a good thing. The end of this blog is found in a blog my dad wrote. He said it better than I probably could.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Go ahead and hate me.

Last Tuesday, I didn't vote. I know, civic duty, blah blah. Whatever.

The truth is, I hate politicians. Okay, I take it back. I don't hate them. We're not supposed to hate anyone. I have a severe distrust of politicians.

They spend BILLIONS of dollars on campaign ads that are nothing more than trash talk.

They don't have as simple a thing as respect for each other, so how am I to believe they have respect for us, the people they're supposed to represent?

People keep saying it's my right to vote, it's my DUTY to vote, to voice my opinion. I get that. But if I have the right TO vote, don't I also have the right NOT to vote?

Whenever I think about voting, I get this overwhelming sense of dread and anxiety, and I can hear my conscience telling me not to do it, not to vote for these people who don't really care about me, who only care about selling themselves to the highest bidder.

And besides, there are more important things. Like the fact that God loves us unconditionally, and take care of us, no matter what sort of asshole politician CLAIMS he's taking care of us. God's the one who's really in control.

So fine. Hate me for not voting. The truth is, I couldn't care less.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Just another Sunday...

I did not celebrate Halloween: I did not dress up or hand out candy. I worked from 5-8:30pm. The closest I got was carving pumpkins and making Halloween funfetti cupcakes with my roommate.

I did not celebrate Reformation Day: I went to the Episcopal Church I normally do, where I sing in the choir with my sister. The closest they got to even vaguely acknowledging Reformation Day was "A Mighty Fortress" for the postlude. Go ahead, call me a heathen and damn me to hell. I always liked warm weather.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

In every heart there is a room
A sanctuary safe and strong
To heal the wounds from lovers past
Until a new one comes along

Thursday, September 16, 2010

After having grown up in the Lutheran school system, and gone to Concordia Chicago, where it's the norm to know exactly what you're going to do with the rest of your life, it's left me with... a kind of complex, I guess. Most of time, this life plan is some variation on teacher, DCE, or going to Seminary. And lots of times one of these includes marriage. Now, it's great that my classmates know what they want to do with their lives. But as someone who likes to have a plan, who likes to know the next step, who's a bit of a control freak, this in combination with my complex from going to Concordia, it kills me that I'm not quite sure about a career to pursue.

Earlier this week, I went back to Concordia for a visit. I can't even count how many people said, "So what are you doing now? Are you teaching?" NO. I'M NOT TEACHING. In the Lutheran world, teaching or some sort of "church work" profession (I hate that term to begin with, but that's another story) is kind of pressed on you. It's the norm. It's actually kind of expected of you, and you're just a little bit...off, a little different if DON'T choose it.

I feel like so many career options, options that would appease so many people, have to be thrown out simply because of my personality. I would be a horrible church worker for several reasons. While I do respect authority, I don't if I don't agree with the authority. And I have several issues with the Lutheran church (also another story). I hate having to jump through hoops, and I don't like playing by other people's rules. I get annoyed really easily. Stupid people annoy me. Mean people annoy me. Now, these reasons overlap with reasons I shouldn't be a teacher. I'm impatient. I hate large groups. I'm NOT a people person. Empathy is a trait that doesn't come naturally to me. Like logic, I'm able to employ it (I mean, I'm not a sociopath), but it's not a part of my natural thought process.

I guess right now I'm at the stage of figuring out all the things I WOULDN'T be right for. I'm not quite sure how to progress to the stage of figuring out all of the things I WOULD be right for.

It's just a little ironic that I have a job that involves most of the characteristics I DON'T possess. The REALLY ironic part? I do well there.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Light bulb moment!

Um, so I think I just became okay with not having a "life plan." Whatever that means. I have no idea where my future is headed, or what kind of career I want to pursue. But I think I just became okay with that. I think God is trying to tell me I need to be content with the present, instead of constantly worrying about my future, about what I'm going to do with my life. I think I need to be content with NOW. And I also need to learn to love myself and be content with who I am. Because, to be honest, I haven't had that in a long time. If it's seemed like I was comfortable with myself recently, I was probably faking. It was kind of like God turned a light bulb on in my head the last couple of days. So today, with that combined with an AMAZING Sunday morning at my friend Tiff's church, I've been legitimately and genuinely happy all day today. And I just wanted to share. :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Okay, I FOR REAL need to get away from work for a while. I feel like I'm turning into a crazy bitch who's grouchy all the time. (Or is that part of my nature? I'm not sure sometimes...) I'm tired of talking to stupid people and mean people and people born with a stick up their ass, and, to be honest, being around the SAME people ALL THE TIME. Except for my manager, Tiff. She and I are like besties now. I'm entirely convinced God sent her to my life. (Okay, so Tiff's not the only exception. Niccole's cool, too.) But the sucky part is I can't get away until September. Like, the middle of September. That's when we have like, a two week break where we don't have shows. So you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to go to Chicago, to see all the awesome people I left behind when I graduated last December. But September feels so far away. I might have seriously gone off the deep end by then.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guiltie of dust and sinne.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If Ilack'dany thing.
A guest, I answer'd, worthy to be here:
Love said, you shall be he.
"I the unkinde, ungratefull? Ah my deare,
I cannot look on thee."
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?
Truth Lord, but I have marr'd them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, sayes Love, who bore the blame?
My deare, then I will serve.
You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.

-George Herbert

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Things I should have said...

-I should have screamed out at you "NO! You're wrong! This is dumb!" Instead of just taking it. I was young, and stupid, and surprised. No. Surprised is the wrong word. Floored.
-I miss what might have been for us. There's a little part of my heart that longs for it whenever I think of you.
-You saved my life. I'm thoroughly convinced that God Himself placed you in my life. It is no accident we became friends.
-It's hard for me to look back on us and not feel sad. I feel sorrow, shame, and most of all, regret. All I see are the bad things about us. I would take most of it back, if I could. I would in a heartbeat, and I would give almost anything if I could.
-You have this annoying little skill. You have this amazing ability to make me angry and then make me forget all about it.
-I'm sorry I'm such a bad friend to you. You're the greatest, most Christ-like person I know.
-You do NOT know NEARLY as much as you think you do, you arrogant jerk-face.
-You are INSANELY talented, and I think you underestimate yourself WAY too much.
-I hate that we didn't get along for so long, and I keep thinking of ways it could have been different for us, but...I fail.
-You are for serious my favorite person, even though I don't really show it most of the time.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Update, I guess?

I haven't really been that into the internet lately. I've been working a lot, and so when I come home all I really want to do is crash on my big comfy chair and be a vegetable. But someone told me this week that they missed my blogs, so here I am, trying to write again.

Many things have happened since I wrote last. I went to Bri and G's wedding and realized how much I miss my friends from Concordia. Sometimes my heart aches when I think about them, I miss them so much. (Can I tell you a secret? Sometimes I wonder if my years at college really WERE the best years of my life. I miss everyone so much.)

Work has been...interesting. One of my co-workers was a really toxic person. The kind of person who pretends to be everyone's best friend but is really spreading animosity, division and is ultimately poison disguised as a human. I know this may sound harsh, but it felt like Satan trying to wear down my soul. I was considering quitting my job because of her. But she's no longer employed at the theatre. And now it feels so much more relaxed there. I never really struggled much with being "in" the world but not "of" the world until I knew her. It was so easy to slip into her gossip and drama. It was definitely a learning experience, and while she caused a lot of pain, I'm a little grateful I went through it. I think it was a lesson I needed to learn. Maybe I've said too much. I can only hope she doesn't read this. She knows where I live.

Speaking of work, my manager is awesome. She has become one of my best friends. I truly believe God sent her to me.

Anyway, I guess that's it for now. I'll try and think of something cleverer to say next time.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Things that make me nostalgic

1. Burt's Bees
2. Ted Drewes
3. clear nights that are just the right balance of warm and cool
4. X-Files
5. Sunsets
6. Woodchuck
7. Boddingtons
8. Sitting on kitchen floors
9. Autumn
10. Things that say "gluten free" on them
11. grape juice
12. IHOP
13. the doxology, sung in harmony
14. Cantique de Jean Racine
15. tuxedos
16. complementary hotel items
17. wind chimes
18. lakes
19. Donnie Darko
20. Hobbits
21. 7-11
22. and about a billion other things that I couldn't possibly name. Just know that if you're reading this, then I'm thinking of you. :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Redeeming Love

I just finished reading Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers today. It's a work of fiction based on the book of Hosea. And it's so amazing. Life-changing even. Personally, I feel like it captures God's longing after us better than the book of Hosea. The book of Hosea is full of God's wrath and anger (both of which are righteous, I might add) against Israel. The first few chapters are okay. Hosea marries a prostitute. She bears him children whom Hosea gives names like "No Mercy" and "Not my people." Then it talks about how God is angry at Hosea's wife, not even showing her children mercy. Hosea's wife runs away from him. God softens her heart and she returns to Hosea, and the book goes on to tell of God's mercy towards Israel. But then it turns sour again. Hosea's wife runs away and the rest of the book talks of God's judgement on Israel for turning away from Him.

But Redeeming Love has so much more mercy and grace in it. I don't want to say to much about it, it'll spoil it. But it not just depicts God as having righteous anger, but also being incredibly loving and merciful beyond all human comprehension, a quality I feel the book of Hosea lacks.

But I don't really blame him. Sure, the book is the inspired word of God, but the author still has his own point of view. Take the gospels, for example. There are stories that occur in all four gospels, but which are very different from each other. Back to my point. I can understand why it reads all wrath and anger. If my spouse, a spouse God told me I should marry, one whom I still love, kept cheating on me and running away, I'd be pretty angry too.

But the moral of the story is, read Redeeming Love. That's a command. Not a request. You'll thank me later.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Liberation, part 2.

As kind of a follow up to my previous blog, I just wanted to share that I had an excellent day today. Today was my day off. I went shopping, and actually found a really cute sundress to wear to church on Sunday. It was beautiful outside, so I wore a skirt, and looked really cute. I styled my hair differently, and actually liked it a lot. And as I was looking in the mirror before putting my makeup on, I looked at my face. Really looked at it. And I liked it. I discovered that I like my skin, despite the few acne marks. A few weeks ago someone told me I had beautiful skin, that it looks like porcelain, and I'm actually starting to believe them.

I had that walk today. You know when you feel really cute and beautiful and you can't help but walk with your head held high with a kind of strut and your hips swaying like you KNOW you're all that? I had THAT walk. And it was great. I haven't had that walk in a long time. I almost forgot what it was like.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Think of this as my liberation.

I've been really bored with my wardrobe lately. So today after work, I decided to go shopping to look for a new addition to my wardrobe, particularly one of those pretty sundresses. This plan backfired. Severely. Nothing fit right, everything showed every single roll. And I ended up feeling awful. I realized that it's been a long time since I've felt beautiful. All I see when I look in the mirror are the extra inches on my waist and hips and thighs, the rolls on my stomach, my back fat, my acne, the awkward in-between stage my hair is in right now. I can't see past all of that and see someone who's beautiful. And I realized that I'm really affected by the media's concept of beautiful. All of the latest women's clothing trends are for women who are 5'7" and skinny as a rail. (Evidence: the leggings with tunics, the cute yet shapeless sundresses, the skinny jean, etc.) And none of them look right on me, despite the fact that they come on my size.

The fact is, despite the small amount of progress in the past few years, the fashion world, and indeed the media, too still encourages women to be a size that frankly, most of us just aren't. Look at the size of most women in commercials for things like women's clothing, perfume, makeup, hair products, even Target ads. Real women don't look like that.

I realize that it's a great accomplishment to even notice and accept that fact. But it still remains that I don't feel beautiful. And I think it's the media's fault.

Take a look at sex symbols from days gone by: Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, take your pick. Odds are, any female sex symbol from the 1940's-60's were what the modeling world today would consider "plus size." Women envied them and men wanted to be with them. What changed?

Twiggy changed everything. Guess how she got the nickname. Since Twiggy, popular perception of what beautiful is has never been the same. You could say I harbor a little resentment towards her. But I suppose it's not her fault she's so skinny.

And it doesn't help to be angry and resentful. It doesn't help one bit, even though I'm both of those things. So here's what I'm going to do.

I'm going to try not to compare myself to other people, even if I think they're prettier than I am.

I'm going to ignore what the media is telling me I should look like, and ignore the fact that I feel like I'm the exact opposite.

Think of this blog as me liberating myself from what the world is telling me to be, my liberation from self-pity, from self-deprecation, from a poor self-image and self-esteem. Think of this as me saying f*** you to the fashion world, because it's not me that doesn't fit. It's them.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Gibbs-style smack to the head

I'm a HUGE NCIS fan. (This is relevant to real life, I promise. Just stick with me.) I think it has a perfect balance of comedy and drama and action. One of the running jokes of the show is that Gibbs, the leader of the investigative team, and also very much like a father figure, smacks his team members on the back of the head. It's not abusive in any way. It's meant as a wake-up call, sort of a reminder where their heads should be, that they should be focusing on the case, and not getting distracted.

Well, on Saturday, God gave me a Gibbs-style smack to the back of the head. I was super stressed over money-stuff and really freaking out about it. And then twice that day God had two great things happen to me that were kind of like a smack to the back of the head. Sort of like God saying, "Get with the program! Don't I always provide for you? Quit worrying!" It was a huge relief and humbling all at the same time.

Sometimes I forget about this. Sometimes I start freaking out about stuff, when in actuality I really don't need to. I think it's okay to be concerned sometimes. But I don't need to worry, because God's going to take care of me.

God is amazing. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm settling into my new life pretty nicely. I'm still getting used to living alone. I like it most of the time. I like having everything the way I want it. (Because I'm kind of a control freak.) I still get spooked at night sometimes.

I found a job, although I haven't started it yet. It's a job working full time at the box office of a theatre close to my apartment where they do magic shows. The season doesn't start until the beginning of March, so until then I'm kind of going to be sitting on my ass. I should be looking for a second part-time job, I know, but I don't want to start my job and then just be completely overwhelmed with work. So I think I'll wait until I start my job and then see.

I am excessively lonely. I'm spending all day, almost every day by myself. The exception is Sunday at church and Wednesday at choir practice. It's driving me crazy. But I'm not sure what to do until I start work. I might just have to suck it up.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My heart is really heavy with something today. And I wish I could talk about it, get it off my chest. But I can't. Bad things will happen if I blog about it. It doesn't have anything to do with me. Don't worry about me. But just...pray for the things that are on my mind and heart today. Please.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I discovered a new TV show last night. I was up late for no good reason other than I just didn't feel like going to bed. I was channel flipping and came across this show on MTV called "The Buried Life." Now, I know MTV, it's probably trashy, blah blah. But it's not. It's the complete opposite of trashy. These guys travel around in this huge RV trying to cross things off of their "bucket list," the list of things they want to do before they die. They just travel around meeting people and doing crazy awesome stuff.

But the best part is, for every one thing they try to cross off their list, they help someone else try to cross something off theirs. Like this one episode I saw last night. They met this artist in Dallas who hadn't seen his son for 17 years. The thing he said he wanted to do before he dies is see his son. So these guys found his son, and helped reunite them.

This show might be my new obsession.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I had a job interview today at a very nice, rather high-end retail outlet store. The interview went really well. The manager even said she really liked me. We got along really well. But then at the end of the interview, she told me that last week her district manager came to visit and told her that she was overstaffed.

I was really gracious and nice and appreciative. I thanked her for her time and said all the right things, but on the inside, my blood was boiling. I am so angry. If she knew she was overstaffed and couldn't hire me, why did she bother to interview me?! I can't figure out a logical explanation for this.

I got all excited only to get a HUGE let-down. I am so pissed.

Friday, January 29, 2010

I Need.

Well, it's been a week since I've moved in. And I'm all unpacked. Mostly. There's one box that I haven't gotten to yet. I can't seem to work up the motivation to go through it. I've been into Springfield a handful of times already, and the drive is starting to get annoying.

I've been feeling lonely lately. I spend most of my time alone, since I still don't have a job. I finally met someone who lives here at the complex. Her name is Yvonne, and I think she's around my age, maybe a little older. I met her today. We were both working out on elliptical machines that were next to each other. She's really nice. It was nice to talk with someone else. In person, I mean. Last night I had a long conversation with my friend Matt, which was nice.

I need two things:
--A job
--To make new friends. (Not that I don't like my "old" friends. They just aren't in the same city I'm in.)

Just kidding. Three things. I also need a bookcase.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Moving (on)

So...I'm moving tomorrow. Into my first post-graduate apartment. And I'm kind of nervous. I'm moving to Branson, MO, to look for work there. Branson has a lot of shows and stuff, so there's a lot of theatres. I'm going to try to find a job at one of them. I'd rather not perform, but I'll take anything that pays the bills. I'd much rather be behind the scenes.

But I have family in Springfield which is about 45 minutes away, so it's not like I'll be completely alone. In fact, all three of my stepsisters live in the Springfield area, which is so weird. Two of them used to live out of state, but now live there. It's going to be nice having my stepsisters there. I didn't grow up with any of them, so I don't really feel like a sister sometimes. I really feel called to work on my relationships with my sisters. I didn't really have a plan for after graduation, and I think there's a reasonable amount of opportunity for me in Branson, so I decided that was my plan, mostly because it enabled me to be closer to my sisters.

But...I'm also nervous because I'm not really finished packing. about 50% of my clothes still aren't packed, not to mention most of the stuff in my room and bathroom. That's going to be my afternoon project, even though I'd much rather putz around on my NEW COMPUTER! (I'm super excited about it, but that's not the point.)

Another thing I'm nervous about is being able to get all my stuff down to Branson in one trip. We're taking cars, not renting a truck or anything. I think I'm going to set aside some boxes that can wait until later to go down, just in case.

Well, I think I've rambled on about this for far too long. I'm going to try to force myself to pack a little bit.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lame, NBC. Lame (Part Deux)

Last night I watched part of SNL. NOT funny. What happened? Granted, I don't watch SNL that often. But I remember when I would watch SNL every so often, it would be hilarious! The only funny part was Weekend Update. But that always was the funniest part, wasn't it?

One thing that really bothered me is that no one looked at each other during the skits. They were too busy reading their lines from a cue card. Has that always been the case? I guess I just don't remember it. It made everything even less funny.

Sorry I'm so critical the last couple of days. I don't really know what's gotten into me.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lame, NBC. Lame

Dear NBC,

I heard on the radio today that you're paying Conan O'Brian $30 million to walk away from late-night so that you can give it back to Jay Leno. If this is true, I just want you to know that you are giving yourself a death sentence. This is making not only Jay Leno look like a toolbox, but it is also making you look bad. Conan is actually funny. Leno is annoying, and won't get ratings as good as Conan. Late night is going to tank, and you're going to lose even more viewers to Letterman. Also, in the process of making yourself and Leno look bad, you're making Conan look like the victim in all this. Odds are, he'll come out of this with AWESOME publicity and tons of offers to do all sorts of great stuff, tons of people will like him, etc. He'll probably end up getting a show on a rival network which will skyrocket. I just wanted to make sure you're aware of all the stupid stuff you're doing.

Sincerely Leah.

P.S. Jimmy Fallon isn't funny, either. He's also super annoying. Especially when he kept breaking character because he was laughing. (*cough* SNL *cough*)

[As a postscript, I just want to add that I like Craig Ferguson better than Conan, Letterman, Leno, and Fallon combined, and I wish desperately that his show weren't on so late. I think Craig Ferguson is HILARIOUS. Or maybe the Scottish accent is why I like him so much. :) ]

Friday, January 15, 2010

This week, Pat Robertson said that the disaster in Haiti was caused by a supposed deal with the devil they made to drive the French out. He essentially said that they had it coming. I don't understand how someone claiming to be Christian can be so angry, vengeful and completely without an understanding of God's grace and love. Donald Miller provided an excellent response to Robertson's comment. I really encourage you to read it.

I'm really struggling to curb my own anger at Robertson, because I know that I have just as much brokenness as he does. But I am angry. I'm angry that he basically said that the people of Haiti deserve this. I'm angry that now, because of him, people who don't know Christ will think of all Christians a vengeful and angry and think of God that way. But while I'm angry with Robertson, he makes me sad. My heart breaks with his lack of understanding.

I don't know why things like this happen. I don't know why incredible disaster and devastation happen in this world, other than as a result of original sin. Maybe that's the only explanation there is.
My mom posted a facebook status this week that reads: "To Pat Robertson...I believe that on that day you WILL answer for your years of false teaching. To my friends on Facebook who may not yet know Christ, please don't take the charlatan Robertson as representative of Christianity." If you're reading this and aren't a Christian, know this: God is not vengeful and hateful and angry and doesn't seek to punish us by sending devastating earthquakes and other natural disasters.God has a furious, unending love that seeks to bring us to Him, no matter the cost. He left heaven and came down to earth to bring us to Him. He suffered and died to atone for our sins and bring us to him. He loves us more than our limited human understanding can fathom, Pat Robertson included.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I spent a couple of days in Chicago this week. I still had a few things at the apartment that I needed to get. It was a good visit, but all of a sudden I was very aware that Concordia isn't my school anymore. I was already feeling the disconnect that accompanies graduating. I knew people were glad to see me, but it's like I was an observer, just on the outside looking in. But that feeling wasn't in the same way I've experienced it for much of my life. Quite frequently I've felt like I was just on the outside, at a place where I shouldn't have been. But Concordia isn't my place anymore. This time, it felt natural for me to be merely an observer. It felt natural because, I suppose that I'm ready to move on with my life, to find a new place to be, new people to meet. But I'm still nervous. I'm nervous about what God has in store for me. I know that it's not for me to know his plans just yet, and that I have to trust in Him. And I do trust Him. But I'm still nervous.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Okay, so this is the post when I talk about how great or sucky 2009 was. I suppose it was a little of both.

I directed my first play, a one-act in the spring. And it was one of my most favorite experiences from college. I absolutely loved it. It made me realize that I would love to direct plays at a place like Concordia, a place that's concerned about learning, not only regarding actors but also techies and directors, too. I love directing.

The summer was sucky. Not only did I not find a job, but I was fighting all the time with my (then) boyfriend.

September brought the return of school (thank God!) but also the breakup with my boyfriend. And though it was difficult to deal with at the time, it really was for the best, and to be honest, I'm much happier. So, I guess it was a good thing disguised as something sucky. Which I guess is okay.

In November, I gave my senior voice recital, and it was AWESOME. If you didn't get to see it, boy you sure missed out. But I was surprised that so many people came. The band room was packed. Even sick people came to my recital. If you came and you're reading this, THANK YOU.

I also experienced my last semester in Kapelle, including last tour and last Lessons and Carols. Thank you, Kapelle, for a stellar last semester. I couldn't have asked for a better one. I will miss you all dearly, friends.

And the icing on the cake was that I graduated! To be honest, I wasn't too excited, since I have no life plan. That sounds stupid. Life plan. Realistically, who knows what they want to do for the rest of their lives right after the graduate from college? I have to remember that all of the church work and education majors at Concordia AREN'T representative of real circumstances. I know that most people don't have their whole lives figured out right out of college.

So what next? Well, I'm moving to Branson, MO. I'm even filling out apartment applications. I'm going to look for a job at a theatre there. Why Branson? All three of my stepsisters live in Springfield, which is about 45 minutes away.

Other than that, I have no clue what 2010 has in store for me. It'll be an adventure for sure.