Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Review!

  • I started 2011 in the hospital for a handful of inconclusive tests.
  • Back to Chicago for another semester at Moody!
  • Annie and I tried to make rice milk. It was gross. We’ll stick to buying it!
  • Fiction writing is not for me.
  • Founders week at Moody.
  • Massive Chicago blizzard.
  • I got kicked out of my first class ever. And I cried.
  • Blog Post: All I Need to Be.
  • I fell in love with Cary Grant.
  • All the bridal shower madness started.
  • Blog Post: Explosive Anger
  • My mom started teaching me to sew! I started and finished my first dress.
  • I stayed in CA for a few extra days over Spring break
  • I saw Tangled for the first time with Baylee and Jaxon!
  • Annie and I ate more french fries than countable.
  • Junior Senior Banquet.
  • The Royal Wedding!
  • Photographer for the Grad School Banquet
  • Blog Post: Elijah and I.
  • Finished another semester at Moody.
  • Back to California for the summer.
  • VBS Prep with Alicia - AKA How many times will we get kicked out of the church office for being too loud.
  • Blog Post: I Want.
  • I started my internship at Shepherd’s Gate!
  • Spent a lazy weekend with Robert.
  • Summer school.
June (AKA the medical disaster month)
  • More VBS prep in the office.
  • I got pneumonia.
  • Lots of time with baby Vi and Trina.
  • Blog Post: But is he qualified?
  • I tore a ligament in my foot.
  • I taught a VBS class of 25 1st graders!
  • Blog Post: But is he qualified?
  • Pinched nerve in my back = vicodin
  • Trip to Morro Bay with my family
  • Lots of worship team time.
  • I was the photographer at the Alameda 4th of July parade.
  • FIREWORKS!!! :)
  • Month of internship, working, and music.
  • Summer classes are done!
  • Spirit West Coast.
  • Led worship outside at Cedar Grove!
  • Santa Cruz beach trip with the high school youth group.
  • I sang and played guitar in Alicia’s brother’s wedding!
  • Back to Chicago for my senior year at Moody!
  • Blog Post: Striving, Stillness, Adventures, and Me.
  • Women’s Ministry training.
  • Church at New Life Lincoln Park.
  • Blog Post: “I’m Sorry.”
  • Aaron Shust concert.
  • Annnnndddd I’m single.
  • Back to CA for a long weekend.
  • Started working on as the events coordinator!
  • I started a small group with my Smith 5 girls!
  • Blog Post: You’re Who?
  • My camera broke.
  • Missions Conference.
  • Blog Post: Not Guilty.
  • Back home to CA for a long weekend.
  • Lots of time with Danny & Kendra and their girls!
  • Back to Chicago for the remainder of the semester.
  • Campus safety and student engineers invaded our room to fix the heater in the middle of the night.
  • Internship interview is done!
  • Blog Post: I used to be...
  • I got my camera back!
  • Blog Post: Tangled Up.
  • I road the ferris wheel at Navy Pier for the first time!
  • Official Thanksgiving Day photographer!
  • Thanksgiving dinner with Dawn and Josh.
  • Day after Thanksgiving dinner with Laura.
  • 23rd birthday!
  • Aimee’s assistant for the Grad School banquet.
  • Social Justice presentation.
  • Blog Post: Social Justice
  • Romans exegetical paper.
  • Isaiah project.
  • Adventures in the airport with Carley!
  • Epic shopping trip with Alicia.
  • Coffee with my godfather.
  • Christmas Eve service. AKA Band party on the stage!
  • Christmas Morning service.
Over all, it was a very up and down kind of a year and I'm glad I don't have to repeat it And, if nothing else, I've been reminded over and over again that God is undeniably good.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Penguins in Sweaters

Is this not one of the cutest things ever? A little unconventional and impractical, after all, how many of us have cute pet penguins running around, but they’re still adorable!

Kanani - These made me think of you for some reason. :)
Kimela - I'm still holding out for my penguin!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day to be Lazy.

Today I...

Slept in.

Watched Tangled.
Read a few chapters in a book I started a few years ago.
Studied my Greek vocabulary.
Ate cereal.
Listened to music.
Finally changed out of my pjs to go shopping with my mom.
Tried on shoes with Alicia.
Went home and put my pjs back on.
Did a craft with crayons, canvas, a glue gun, tape, and a heat gun. (Cool, huh?!)

Pinned a bunch of pins on pinterest.
Ate dinner.
Played cards with Larissa.
Wrote a few notes and emails.

And now I’m eating apple pie, blogging, and watching another movie. And then I’m gonna go to bed. Early. Because tomorrow’s another busy day!

Today wasn’t productive, but a lazy day was much needed.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

O Holy Night.

Do you have a favorite Christmas song? I have a new one each year. This year my favorite is O Holy Night.

Alicia and I have had many opportunities to sing together at Cedar Grove, but this time was one of my favorites. The Christmas Eve service ended up being like a giant party - the band quite literally had a party on the stage and it was great to see and hear the congregation joining in! :)

Before... Ready to rock!

We sang BarlowGirl's upbeat version of O Holy Night and enjoyed it thoroughly!

O Holy Night was composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem “Midnight, Christians” by Placide Cappeau. Cappeau, a simple wine merchant and a poet, was asked by a parish priest to write a Christian poem. Below is the literal English translation from the original French. Enjoy!

Midnight, Christians, it is the solemn hour,
When God-man descended to us
To erase the stain of original sin
And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.

People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!

May the ardent light of our Faith
Guide us all to the cradle of the infant,
As in ancient times a brilliant star
Guided the Oriental kings there.
The King of Kings was born in a humble manger;
O mighty ones of today, proud of your greatness,

It is to your pride that God preaches.
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!

The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,
Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
For all of us He is born, He suffers and dies.

People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!

After... Partying with 300 people is tiring.

Monday, December 19, 2011

At the end of it all...

I love going to church when I'm home. My church family is one of the most important and cherished groups of people in my life. I grew up with Pastor Keith and have heard who knows how many of his sermons. This past Sunday he talked about Jesus being the gift of peace.

I feel like God is 4 million miles away right now. Pastor Keith's sermon touched on experiencing God's peace through times of challenge.

"God, when we get all the way through this trial, I want to look back and see that You're good."

When I reach the end of this bumpy road, I want to be able to look back and see God's hand in it all - to see that He was good all along.

At the end of it all...I want to be in Your arms.

Friday, December 16, 2011

This semester I...

I’m just gonna make a list because this semester was...well, special in it’s own way.
  • Women’s ministry training
  • Lived with the best roommate ever!
  • Put my feet in Lake Michigan
  • Craved random yet very specific food
  • Loved and served the girls on my floor
  • Watched 17 Again a few too many times
  • Roommate bonding
  • Alicia and I had a Christmas-Eve countdown
  • Apologetics, Romans, Public Relations, Senior Wellness Seminar, Isaiah
  • Staff writer for the newspaper
  • Aaron Shust concert
  • Fireworks over Navy Pier on numerous occasions
  • Robert and I broke up
  • Metallica
  • Lots of women’s ministry events
  • Bible study with my Smith 5 girls
  • Crafts
  • Fell in love with McDonald’s oatmeal
  • Discovered pinterest
  • Worked on Grad School Applications
  • Broken (and fixed) Camera
  • Ministry Team
  • Cheez-it addiction
  • Went on the ferris wheel on Navy Pier
  • Relied on friends more than ever before
  • Gave up some dreams
  • Enjoyed going to church in Chicago
  • Built a fort above my bed that lasted for a few months
  • Survived counseling
  • Laptop crashed
  • Photographer at the Thanksgiving day parade
  • Didn’t chop my hair off though I thought about it weekly
  • Had more run-ins with campus safety than necessary
  • Confronted more people about dress code and quiet hours
  • Drank a lot of coffee
  • Failed a final
  • Went home more times this semester than I did last year
  • Just generally, speaking tried not to make any big decisions
And now I’m home! Home, home, HOME!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Smith 5 Craft Night!

Tonight we poured paint into glass ornaments! Simple and beautiful!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Always Winter.

"It's always winter, but never Christmas." -C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Today was forever long and it may never end. I'm ready for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Light up the sky.

Light up the sky... show me You are with me.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Social Justice.

When asked the questions, “what do you want to do when you graduate from Moody?” my reply is usually not a serious one. “Oh, you know, be a secret agent in the CIA with my cover as a rockstar.” “Oh”, is usually the quaint and slightly confused response I get. There’s some truth to that; it’s what I want to do! Guns and guitars - does it get much better than that? I don’t think so!

Here’s the reality though... I’m a 23 year old girl studying Bible, Communications, and Urban Ministry in downtown Chicago. I love writing, people, photography, and music.

My desire is to be a voice, not an echo. While I want to work within the media, I don’t want to reiterate the lies that they pour into people. I want to accurately communicate the truth, God’s truth, to people. I don’t have to write or work for a Christian organization, but those values and my deep rooted desire for truth will be present.

In my Apologetics class this morning, I did my final presentation on social justice. There were lots of differing opinions and comments throughout the presentation and discussion with the class. Social justice is hard to define as it means different things to everyone. But, something that the class did agree on was that, as Christ’s followers, our help to the needy is to be done out of love and sincerity.

Generally speaking, I do know what I want to do with my life. I want to use my talents to honor God and to love other people. To be a little more specific, I want to love the marginalized and forgotten people in the world. If you haven’t noticed, inequality did not end in the era of Martin Luther King Jr. It’s still here.

I’m pursuing a Masters in Journalism with the dream of doing some sort of advocacy work. I want to seek justice for these forgotten people by accurately and intentionally portraying their lives through journalism practices.

I love these two verse and want to live them out...

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9

He has showed you, O man what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Way to be 23!!

I don’t remember any birthdays from when I was little. But I do have pictures! And, oddly enough, I don’t actually remember many from junior high or high school either. Birthdays have never been a big deal for me.

My sister "helping" me blow out my candles.

Proof that I had birthday parties in elementary school!

My 19th birthday has been the most memorable so far! My parents invited my godparents (Bill and Nancy) and Danny, Kendra, and Trina over to celebrate with me.

I taught Danny how to play Jingle Bells on the piano.

Trina dancing to the music!

Bill and Nancy

I had rehearsal for A Christmas Carol with 60 other people from church on the evening of my birthday. Everyone sang to me and my mom made chocolate chip cookies.

And, this is my favorite part, through a series of random events, Carley and I became inseparable friends that evening!

Birthdays away at school haven’t been too exciting. December 3rd falls right before finals so I usually end up studying, working on group projects, writing papers...end of the semester stuff.

I do, however, enjoy spending time with my friends here! And my BroSis did get me an awesome Princess birthday card! :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

10 Senses of Writing

I just finished up a paper on the highlights of Writing to Deadline, by Donald M. Murray. The section on titled “10 Senses of Writing” jumped out at me. I love reading a book and getting upset at the end of it because I feel like I’ve lost a friend. It means that the writing draws me in and keeps me captive for the entire story. C.S. Lewis did this for me in the Chronicles of Narnia and Francine Rivers did this for me in Redeeming Love.

Using the senses of writing gives the piece being written a tangible feel. The reader can connect with the story being told and is drawn in with the relatable descriptions. Including descriptions also gives a context to the writing.

  • Sight - What is being done? How is it being done? Sight relates the setting, facial expressions, location, and anything else that can be seen. It also answers not just “what” but “why” and “how” as well.
  • Hearing - Listening to how someone speaks gives insight into their personality. It’s also beneficial to listen to the surrounding sounds - dogs barking, cars honking, food sizzling...
  • Touch - This particular sense is rarely used by reporters. But, when used correctly, the descriptions add to the readers understanding and familiarity with the surroundings.
  • Smell - This is another sense rarely reported and, it too, helps the readers feel as though they are in the setting that the story takes place in.
  • Taste - Like touch and smell, an accurate and appealing description of the taste can place a reader in the setting.
  • Change - Readers should be aware of change. It’s a reporters job to catch the hints of coming change and to report the elements of change that took place before the story they’re reporting.
  • Effect - What does a situation do to or for the reader? How does this story change the readers life?
  • Conflict - Much like reporting change, it is the reporters job to cover collisions before they happen, while they’re happening, and the ramifications and clean up part afterwards.
  • Context - Including the context in the piece being written gives it credibility and makes it understandable. Facts, quotes, profiles, events need to be portrayed in the correct context to make the writing credible.
  • Self - When reporting, being objective is essential. Don’t make up truths even when it fits with what’s being written. It’s important to write from a personal standpoint, but not a biased one.

Bring your story to life. Happy writing!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

100 Things I'm Thankful For (51-60)

I didn't finish my list in November like I was trying to do...

51. Email. It’s the main way I communicate with friends around the world.
52. Laughter. There’s little better in the world than laughing so hard you cry.
53. Public Transportation. My appreciation for the CTA is growing as my ability to navigate it increases.
54. Trials. Not the funnest thing, but oh-so-worth-it.
55. Running. I love running, but my knee doesn’t. It’s my favorite time to think through things.
56. Hugs. I’m not a touchy person, but occasionally when I’m really tired or grumpy a hug makes everything significantly better.
57. Colors. I love black and white photos, but looking outside and seeing a glimpse of the bright blue sky this morning made me happy!
58. Lists. I’ve been making lists for everything lately, but have been able to keep track of things.
59. Apples. Favorite food right now.
60. External Hard Drives. My laptop decided to crash on Sunday night a few weeks and I lost everything I worked on over the weekend. Thankfully I had everything backed up and only lost a few things.