May 31, 2011

halfway there!

this morning calls for an update to the 'two-oh-one-one' bucket list, since i mean, we're practically already halfway! can you believe it was only six months that we were saying good-bye to 2010 and hello to a new year? so much has already changed - if the next 6 months are as thrilling as the past six, then i cannot even begin to imagine what they'll hold!

- do not get a parking ticket - fail! darn street sweeping...but i made it this far!
- yell at drivers less...cultivate patience.
- laugh more, worry less.
- sleep more. - also a major fail...has anyone told you that boys make you lose sleep? it's true ;]
- go to bed at a reasonable hour. - [see above]
- don't waste a precious minute.
- cultivate reliability: text people back. respond to messages. keep in touch. - that is still a work in progress. according to my loved ones, i am the worst texter on the planet. at least they know it now.
- confront issues. - ask, and you shall receive right? this semester has given me multiple opportunities to challenge myself in confrontation, and i am so thankful for the lesson!
- vote as often as possible, and politically educate myself. - mail in ballots suck, because you have to mail them in before election day, and if we didn't know this already, i'm a procrastinator. it never works out. i do fill the ballot out though! does that count?
- stay up to date with the news: podcast.
- learn to lead worship playing either guitar or piano.
- study for tests, keep up on class readings. - the studying? maybe. the reading? impossible. spring 2011, i'm so glad you're done.
- use the shuttle less. bike/walk to class more often. - it's way more fun that way!
- ride the bus to work. - success!
- ride my bike to run local errands.
- blog more. - success!
- take a photography class.
- spend time outside every day. - how can you not???
- read (at least) a chapter of the Bible every day. - i'll confess, i am not as diligent in my reading as i was 6 months ago...summer is a chance to regain that, and i hope i will.
- wake up, & talk with God.
- go to bed, talking with God.
- go on a road trip. - multiple trips! with best friends, the's been such a blast!
- be spontaneous. - dating the most unplanned and spontaneous man on the planet has definitely helped, and has been a fun adventure in itself!
- balance friendships & to-do lists. - yes, yes, & yes. if spring 2011 taught me anything, it's that people require time, and sometimes, busy-ness is just not important.
- listen more, talk less.
- pray more, gripe less.
- impress others less. impress God instead.
- save & tithe consistently. - this is a wonderful new habit! devoted to making it stick...
- buy only what you love. - have i mentioned that i officially hate the mall and shopping sprees? buy only what you need is also a good motto to go by!
- eat out less, be health/money-conscious about meals. - fail. thanks starbucks.
- don't eat after 7:30pm (except Yogurtland, of course). - if you stay up til 1am every night, 7:30 is awfully early right? needless to
- drink more tea, less coffee. - how about drink more tea AND more coffee? i'd call that a definite win.
- cherish friends, family, & love. always.
- visit Les in Hawaii. - unfortunately, that didn't happen this year, but hawaii will always be with her, and new things are coming our way!
- continue to trust in God's plan, & live life for its eternal purpose.
- study abroad. - plans change you know? and i'm ok with that, because life is absolutely wonderful right now.
- do not talk behind people's backs, even if others are doing it.
- do something different.
- listen to Jesus music more, & pointless music less. - a simple way to purify our hearts more each day...
- write a song.
- don't forget anyone's fact, send them a card.
- reclaim straight A's. - nope...maybe next time!
- give gifts randomly.
- pray, & then be impulsive.
- say what you mean, always mean what you say.
- live a healthy lifestyle: balanced meals, regular exercise, fresh air.
- finish the lit girl thread collaboration.
- memorize a scripture per week. - a bucket list is certainly good accountability...
- take a picture every day of something that made me smile. - sometimes the things that make me smile just can't be captured in a photo :]
- read more, watch less TV. - watch less TV and read less? success. good-bye free time.
- minimize facebook time...(give it up for a month?) - it's debatable.
- go to a concert.
- when i say "i'll pray for you," PRAY.
- finish the Old Testament.
- visit Balboa Park.
- keep up on class readings.
- write letters to dear friends. - letters have definitely been the theme, just not to the people/person i was planning on writing letters to :]
- don't overdraw my checking account. - success, so far.
- save up for an SRL camera.
- when studying abroad: [visit Greece, the UK, Sicily, Verona, Prague, & the Croatian coast.] [attend church in Rome.] [take the train on an adventure.] [play guitar & sing in the piazza.] [throw a coin in the Trevi fountain.] [take a "leaning" tower of Pisa picture.] - no longer happening, but one day...
- develop honesty.
- say "i love you" more often.

for those things left unmarked, there are still 6 months left in this year, and i hope that the things i've taking from these past few months will carry on not only into the next few, but beyond 2011 and into the future. those things are also often subjective, and so i don't think i've learned enough to evaluate myself on that level. maybe others see changes that i haven't yet. at the same time, the girl i was in january had no idea of the things this semester would hold, and so, i believe i've learned lessons or experienced life in ways i never would have imagined for myself, and life, in itself, is the greatest adventure and the most rewarding gift.

May 29, 2011

plastic boxes from the past

today, my mom asked me to go through all the boxes i have stored downstairs in order to move them into the garage as we prepare for the mass of guests soon arriving for simon's wedding. a little part of me looked forward to the task, because if you don't know this about me yet, you should know that i love reminiscing on the past. i'm not a pack-rat, but i cherish pictures, letters, notes, and momentos of the past. i have a box full of club t-shirts, dance recital shirts, class shirts, and my old dance warm-ups. another box holds the dozens of dance costumes i went through...small memories i just can't bear to part with. but going through those boxes is reminiscent of a family member going through their beloved's belongings after they've passed, because that girl who packed up her room 2 years ago and headed off to college is long gone. she hasn't disappeared, but she has evolved and transformed as the past 2 years have shaped her into who she is now.

i am no longer the girl who ransacked the thrift store bookshelves for dime cent (christian) romance novels, poring over the paperback in one night, and then falling asleep praying and wishing for my one day prince charming who would swoon me with his lopsided grin, sparkling eyes, and manly devotion to God.

i am no longer the girl who won 8 awards at her 8th grade award assembly, no longer the girl who conducted her 8th grade symphonic band for their last song with my sparkly blue baton (which, i still have of course).

during my sophomore year of high school, i volunteered at the local hospital, and as part of the deal, had to buy a pair of scrubs. i still have them, because i mean, who else has scrubs? and maybe, one day, they'll come in handy for something. or maybe they'll simply serve as a reminder of that time when i dreamed of being a nurse and saving lives (until i realized i couldn't spend every day wearing sneakers and working in a fluorescently lit white-walled building).

there was that one time i wore a pepto bismal pink swing dress for sadies, my first formal floor length gown for freshman homecoming. my first, and only, corsage. the beige beret i bought in montmartre during a weekend excursion to paris. the picture frames i used to have scattered around my room, of my best friends, of adventures, of family. there's the first piano recital ribbon i received, and my old sunday dresses from my six-year-old days. i still have my first kilt, a small reminder of my scottish childhood. there are boxes of postcards, birthday cards, and letters. high-school crush love notes to remind me of my insecure and girlish self who eventually learned that boys aren't the end all and be all of everything. i have piles of programs from graduations, band concerts, choir performances, dance recitals, and piano recitals (i was an artsy kid - can you tell?) i have my old awana awards and my basketball trophies. and in every pink or purple storage box, another reminder of the past is treasured.

i thought that i could thin out a few more of my belongings, but i simply can't toss my 5th grade state project into the trash, because, hello, idaho & potatoes practically consumed the last trimester of my elementary school career.

in all honesty though, it's not the material things that mean so much; it's the nostalgia that goes with them, the simple reminders of the past. i am who i am today as a result of the girl i was, a month ago, a year ago, 5 years ago, a decade ago...she hasn't disappeared. she's simply melted into the layers of growth, maturity, and experience those years have created. in 10 years, i'll look back at my college years, remember roommates and lukewarm showers, redundant cafeteria food and beater cars. i'll remember what it was to figure out my future, only to then realize that i'm now living that future, and probably still trying to figure out the next 10 years. i'll remember my best friends and how much they changed my life and bettered me. i'll remember the boy who pursued me and romanced me and who i fell in love with, without ever believing he could actually exist for me and love me back.

there was the 3 year old debbie who loved to tell stories to anyone who would listen, no matter how incoherent my toddler words were. the 5 year old debbie who'd cry when her older brother threw snowballs at her, and who loved going camping along the river with her family and their janky vw bus. there was the 6 year old debbie who learned that her parents had decided to move the family to america, and who then had to say good-bye to jenny, leila, julia, sparky the cat, and freddy the hamster. seven year old me went to the movie theater for the first time and saw mulan with her dad. she befriended keri, sammy, and kelly, and together they dominated elementary school. in 3rd grade, i met my favorite teacher of all time and quickly and proudly rose to the rank of teacher's pet along with keri. school was my thing. the goin' buggy play, the c.a. thayer, the coast trip, and the 13 colonies play marked serious competition, but for all my spunk, i ended up cast as the role of "boy" in the 5th grade play. at least i got to sing a solo...

13 year old debbie had her dad taken from her, and by 14, both men in the house had left, one to be with God, the other to serve our country. God, however, always provides, and before long, the little man was with us. high school started, and so did my ridiculous crush phase. the boy i thought i was going to marry, only soon to learn that God came first, and so did mom's rules, and at 14, no kid knows what it is to truly love. high school flew by, and after watching kim's graduation on friday, i realize now how insignificant the class of '09 is in the big picture. we were just one of dozens of other 17 and 18 year olds to head out of high school and onto the next chapter. high school wasn't all there is, because now, there's so much more. i threw my cap into the air, breezed through grad parties, and in the heat of a california july summer, prepared for a life in southern california.

and now, here i am. kim's graduated. simon's getting married. les lives/d in hawaii. the girls are in the bay area, philly, utah, and nevada. i finally got my first kiss and met the boy i'd been hoping for all along. my new girls hail from san diego, washington, sunnyvale, and dozens of socal towns i'd never heard of 2 years ago. and yet, letting things go and watching things change didn't end the life i'd known.

that girl in those boxes was pretty cool. let's be real. but she had lessons to learn and people to meet. loved ones to let go and friends to make. and her journey isn't over, because that cardboard box sitting amongst the plastic ones represents the next phase & the new memories still to come...

May 24, 2011

turn, turn, turn.

i haven't had the chance to blog in weeks, but now that summer's here, i'm determined to get back into it. believe me, my head's been spinning with millions of potential blog topics, so let's see if i can get them out on paper.

first things first, my semester officially ended last tuesday, and to kick off the summer, the boy and i retreated to the mountains for the day. finally, an entire alone day to spend together in God's wonderful & peaceful creation.

snow, hail, rain, sun, and fog assailed us, but 9 miles later we were thoroughly refreshed, and totally exhausted. a day for adventure though was so needed, and i'm so thankful God gave us that moment. in a world constantly interrupted by work, homework, school, responsibilities, and a minor need for sleep, simultaneous alone time is hard to come by! thank goodness for summer...

the day ended with a trip to the grocery store and then a homecooked dinner in (which he helped with!) & it was delicious. i love nights like those...

since then, packing, moving, & working have defined my first week of summer. i'm so glad to be back in the josie house with manda (& erin when she gets back!). there's nothing better than finally having a kitchen, making homemade dinners, and baking cookies. i love domestic...ness?

i've been telling people over again that i'm almost overwhelmed with nothingness. on tuesday night, after 3 finals and over 5 final papers, i literally found myself creating homework assignments for myself before consciously making it stop. school is consuming, and if this semester has taught me anything, it's that school is not the most important thing. in all honesty, college facilitates my life right's the reason i'm here and gives me purpose for whatever the next step is, but is by no means my life. in 60 years, i won't remember the grade i got on my midterm; i'll cherish the relationships i made, the community i discovered, and the experiences i'll remember.

saturday marked the most spontaneous day yet. after waffling between "should i, or shouldn't i?," with the help of manda and a free afternoon, i finally got my nose pierced!

soaking is no fun at all...but it makes for perfect girl chat time with that (^) girl...and there is SO much to catch up on. this semester did not turn out at all how i planned, and i have no idea where the next will lead, but it's better than i could have possibly hoped for...

the other day, i had a coffee chat with a beautiful young girl who i find so inspiring in her dedication to truly reflecting Christ in all she does. we chatted a lot about this past semester and what the summer will hold...busy-ness burnt me out in these past few months, and more than anything, i hope to truly be intentional with my time, with God, and with people in these next few weeks.

i miss feeling inspired...and i'm craving inspiration for something...but i'll expand more later, maybe.

i can't wait to see what the next chapter holds...transitioning out of the dorms & into a house will be such a blast, but i'll definitely miss these ladies! they made these past 2 years so memorable, and i've most certainly been blessed with wonderful dorm/roommates!

for now, summer 2011, let's see what you've got =)

May 14, 2011

{ i wish i may, i wish i might, have the wish i wish tonight }

May 10, 2011

[james 1:17]

dear God,

thank you for today. thank you for a refreshing morning spent with you. thank you for unconditional love - a love that forgives, forgets, and never fails. thank you for the simple truth of your word, that it is new every morning. thank you for answering prayer, for today, i saw you, felt you, & heard you. so often, i think we simply forget to talk to you and ask you for opportunity, and i am sorry for simply taking you for granted. thank you for the Holy Spirit, who nudges our hearts and never lets us go. thank you for the simple things in life...for sunshine & cool breezes, for smiles & laughs, for quiet moments in the midst of the chaos.

you are rejuvenating (along with power naps), and i thank you for all the lessons you've taught me this past semester - for constantly reminding me that life is bigger than what i see, that my life is not meant for me, and that the big picture is so much more than the busy-ness of the moment. thank you for friends, for people whose hearts are soft towards you and who reflect your beauty in their lives. thank you for inspiration. thank you for a peace that passes all understanding. thank you for your Word, which today, reminded me to be persistent,boldly live my faith through action, and embrace humility, and which reinforced humility, obedience, confession, & community.

thank you for half off starbucks fraps, adele, power naps, humorous teachers, and energy when i least expected it. and that thank you is genuine, for i know that i am blessed beyond imagination, and often take it for granted. even in the daily grind, you are at the heart of everything - forgive me for forgetting that.

thank you for blessing me with a wonderful boy & allowing me to date my best friend...may we always honor you in everything that we do. thank you for friends...may i be a good steward of those friendships, pray for opportunities to love on those who don't know you, and be selfless in my love toward them. thank you for a family that's constantly growing - growing up, growing in numbers, growing in love, growing in You. thank you for a mother whose strength and selflessness absolutely floor day, i hope to pay her love forward to my own. thank you for a dad who, though his life was cut short, left a legacy that reflected unending love and a life lived for You.

ultimately, thank you for life in you. for unceasing joy and hope. draw near to me God, as i draw nearer to you.

i love you Father...thank you for loving me, choosing me, and saving me.

May 3, 2011

'cause these things will change...can you feel it now?

88 degrees. shorts, flip flops, & warm evenings...summer is just around the corner & i absolutely cannot wait. pretty soon this semester will be gone, and it'll be time to reflect on all that's changed and all the future has to hold. i had absolutely no idea i'd be where i'm at today. this semester has proven God's tangible presence in our daily lives, over & over again...and i can't wait to see where He takes me next...

also, it's time for a summer to-do list:

{1} buy an slr camera

{2} simon's wedding (oh, and dress shopping!)

{3} photoshoot with the bestie

{4} catch up on tv episodes...indulge in the free time.

{5} continue reading through the old testament

{6} organize and clean out old clothes & stuff

{7} move into an apartment and live with the girls!

{8} road trips galore

{9} see kim graduate

{10} go camping

{11} wakeboard

{12} hike at bridal veil falls

{13} sunday night impact

{14} at least one lit girl reunion

{15} get a tan

{16} rachel & ryan's wedding

{17} argentina!

{18} keep blogging...get into photography a little more

{19} work backstage at recital again

{20} intern with freetimepro

{21} have a bonfire on the beach

{22} fall more in love with Jesus

{23} spend incessant amounts of time & money at starbucks

{24} yard work

{25} horseback riding

{26} finish the lit girl collaboration

{27} dance girl nights

{28} help manda move out

{29} make the most of every moment

{30} get a nose piercing

{31} visit Dad

{32} skype with my boy...often

{33} sleepovers & slumber parties, popcorn included, with the bestie

{34} sleep outside on the deck

{35} catch up with family

May 2, 2011

love, faith, & hope...& the greatest of these is {love}

{if i speak with in the tongues of men and of angles, but have not love, i am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol. if i have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and i have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, i am nothing. if i give all i possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, i gain nothing}

love is patient.

love is kind.

it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.

it always protects,

always trusts,

always hopes,

always perseveres.

love never fails.

1 corinthians 13