Friday, January 28, 2011


Today I walk around ASU in the morning, taking in the rushing water of Trevi Fountain (that's the one by the Memorial Union) and revelling in the delicate red of the flowers surrounding it. Wafts of toasted bagels tease me, coming faintly from the MU, and I clutch the leather of my portfolio even tighter as I enter the throng of people headed north alongside Hayden lawn. I laugh as I see Sparky charging $1 for a picture with him midway down the sidewalk, and I reach for my sunglasses to combat the bright sun and to seem unapproachable. I hate it when people pester me on the sidewalk for something, even if it is Sparky. As I make my way towards the Language and Literature building (my second home, I should really just move in), my feet squish in the just- watered green grass. Of course, the sprinklers turn on, and I run to escape the cascade of icky water. No luck. Are those things armed to go off when you walk on the lawn? Honestly, I wonder. Anyway, at last I reach the ancient building, and throw a cursory glance at the bronze plaque bolted outside on the wall, announcing that the building honors ASU' 11th president G. Homer Durham. I enter through the glass doors, and laugh at a note I see lying on the floor, just by the elevators: U really R 2 sweet! OMG U 4 real? <3> What is the world coming to… text messages have ruined us all. I hit the gross elevator button and hear the short, high- pitched "BZZ" right away, because most people are in class. I have the elevator all to myself, and as I watch the green pixelated arrow go up, I smell popcorn. Weird, because what elevators smell like popcorn? I get off on the fifth floor, relieved that I no longer have to endure that, and smile at the girl behind the front desk in the English office. I hand her my paperwork, and she stamps it without asking any questions. “Go across the street to Fulton, and they’ll tell you what to do,” she tells me with a weary look. I thank her and leave. Standing at the intersection of College and University, I chuckle at a guy wearing short shorts and a Mohawk. Oh college students. The light turns green, and immediately we hear the loud beeping of the crosswalk, yelling at us for taking too long. Inside the giant blue Fulton building, I find the right office and present my paperwork. The girl stamps it. “Take this over to Student Services. Have a nice day.” I thank her and wish her the same on my way out. Going back across campus, I go out of my way to avoid the major traffic of people headed in my direction. I cross by the fountain again, and make my way towards the Student Services building. I see someone I know, and stop briefly to say hello and inquire about their semester. Once in the SS building, I find the registrar’s office and laugh because there is only one person waiting in line for a window, but I still have to walk through rows and rows and rows of snaking black line markers. Ha. Once I get called to the window, the lady takes my paperwork and asks for a photo I.D. I hand her my license. “Did you hear about the new Zodiac sign they just added?” she asks me. A little surprised, I answer, “Yeah, I heard somebody mention that but I don’t know anything about it.” “Oh, well I ask because my birthday is four days before yours (she glances again at my license), and they just threw my life off- kilter by adding it! Now I’m all confused! Unsure of what to say, I suppress a laugh and instead smile awkwardly. But I can’t help it, a few giggles escape anyway. “Well, what is the sign?” I ask as she processes my stuff. “It’s the only human one,” she tells me with a reverent look in her eyes. “Oh,” I comment, at a total loss for what to say. “Well, here you go! All set,” she finally tells me to my relief.

And that’s it.

God worked my schedule out this semester: now, I get paid AND get school credit for my job!!!!!!!!!!!! How awesome is that?! I know. I got to drop two of my classes today because of it, and this has made my life suddenly a lot easier. Amen to that!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 30 - Your highs and lows of this moment.

It took me more than 30 days, but here I am!

Highs of this moment

Isn't getting unexpected letters fun? I got one of those today, and I didn't even have to go to my mailbox to get it. I got my back to my car after work, and there was the sweetest letter I've ever read waiting for me tucked into a windshield wiper! How romantic is that? I know. But I saw him first ladies. ;)

Oh wait, am I supposed to be writing about my challenge? That's right. Well, I guess I'm glad that I finished.

Lows of this moment

That now, I have to go back to coming up with blog posts on my own. It's a lot of work!

Sadly, that's all for now because I have a TON of homework that needs to get done. Ugh. Counting the days till Spring Break, that's all I can say.



Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 29 - Goals for the next 30 days

  • Complete ALL homework possible on the weekend. So, Friday nights, meet mountain of Stuff To Do.
  • Bike and swim every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, and on weekends when possible. I made time in my schedule to actually work out this semester, so now I have absolutely no excuse.
  • Read all reading assignments (which, by the way, is a huge job, even for someone who reads quickly like I do) beforehand. Luckily, I read a lot of what I was supposed to during break, and thank goodness I did... that's all I can say.
  • Cut back on the caffeine. Oy ve.
  • Keep Hebrew review vocab words rotating on whiteboard (yes, I have a gigantic whiteboard in my room, like Sheldon Cooper. I'm just all kinds of nerdy awesomeness).
  • Make time for my cousin Larissa! I'm going through withdrawals.
  • Finish word study on the book of John. Yay Greek.
  • Finish drawing of tree and other illustrations for my Hebrew Research class presentation. I need to do this. I do.
  • Buy actual planner that is not on computer. My iCal is all color-coded with everything (it's so jam packed and colorful, that at first glance you might think a clown threw up on my screen), but I need one that is on paper. I just do, I can't explain it.
  • Get a decent amount of sleep at night. This will be tricky, but I need to.
  • Email ASU catering for banquet planning meeting. Until they answer.
  • Judge an Academic Decathlon event-- speech and interview judging, here I come!
  • Email Dean Lester my ideas for the Project Humanities event coming in February.
There are more, but I'll spare you all from the rest of the mundane details of my life. You're welcome. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 28 - Something that you miss.

I had to think for a long time about this one!

I don't really miss anything at all from high school, except perhaps marching band. Wow, I'm such a band geek.

I don't miss anything at all from junior high either, except for band again there, too. And jazz band-- Mr. Baedke (pronounced bad-key; funny name for a music person!) let me switch off between playing the keyboard, bass, and the most fun of all, the drum set. I love jazz drum fills!

There aren't that many people I miss, either. The ones I cared about at those times I am still in contact with, and everyone else... well... let's just say it's not because I didn't make an effort.

I think I'm still too young to really miss anything in life. I love this time of life; it finally suits me! I can be myself, an old soul, and at last it is ok. I absolutely love college, despite my occasional griping and complaining, and I've been blessed with a wonderful job and even better, incredible friends and family. I think this is the time of life that I will look back on and say, "That! That right there! That is what I miss."

Hmm. How's that for being content?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 27 - A problem that you have had.

Problem. Problem... hmm... thinking...


Ok. A problem I have and still have, actually, is being too busy. Yes, I know being industrious is a good thing, but there is a such thing as too much of a good thing in my case. Haha.

I think my problem isn't that I'm too busy, really; actually, I think it stems from the fact that I'm curious, not afraid of a challenge, and not afraid to fail.

I guess it's a tricky combination.

"Hannah, go plan a formal ball. You have three weeks."

Me: "Um, ok?"

Or, "Hannah, memorize the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, and these two poems and this short story, and your 3 1/2 minute speech. Which you still have to write by the way. You have a month."

Me: "Ummm, o...k??"

"Hannah, would you play the piano at my wedding? I know you haven't had any formal training."

Me: "Gulp. Uh, sure! Hope you like hymns! *panics*"

You see what I mean. I've learned that my identity doesn't lie in what I do or do not do; that rather, I am a daughter of God and I am secure in that knowledge. However, being secure in that knowledge has enabled me to conquer my fears and try things that scare the you- know- what out of me initially.

I have to say though, that along with this being a problem, it has really been more of a blessing than anything. I've been given so many unique opportunities, and so many challenges, that I have undoubtedly grown as a person. Who knew I could plan events? Not me! Until I've had to plan a few. Who knew I could play the piano, in front of an audience, at a serious occasion like a wedding, and did I mention in front of an audience? NOT ME! Until I had to. And who knew, really, that I could memorize a LOT of information about the American Civil War? Not. Me. I had nooooo clue I was capable of that until someone dared me to do it. But I did.

Of course, I also do it to myself.

"Hmm, I wonder if I could learn Hebrew well enough to read the OT in it?"

Turns out, I can. And did. Now I'm working on Greek... how crazy is that?

Or, I say to myself something like, "I wonder, if you spent a lot of time practicing, you could draw cartoons?" Turns out I can! Huh.

Anyway, Not that it's all fun and games. Because I take on a lot, I am often burning the candle at both ends. It catches up to me sometimes.

But God has been telling me that it's ok to slow down, and that I don't have to do it all all the time. He's been showing me that it's all right to stop and smell the roses (although, last night, I got in a nasty fight with a rose bush and lost, but that's another post).

I know He looks at me and smiles, and the days where I invite Him to be a part of my busy life and go through my day with me are the best. Things seem to magically work out, I still feel tired but it's a good tired, a contented tired; and lastly I get to learn the lessons God has for me in everything I do. It's great.

I guess that's the key to this whole "busy" thing: balance. As long as I'm doing what I know God wants me to do, then it's great to be busy (and, as an added bonus, it keeps me out of trouble Jk!)! When I do things simply to see if I can... well, sometimes that's great, and other times I fall flat on my face. But I know that I always have Someone to laugh about it with, and Someone who will always pick me up and dust me off, and show me where I'm supposed to be going. Thank you Jesus. :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 26 - What kind of person attracts you.


First of all, the person must be a Christian. And not just an everyday "yeah, I go to church and accepted Jesus and all that stuff" Christian, but an "I have a real, growing, day-to-day relationship with God; here's what He's doing in my life right now," kind of Christian. I know, it's a tall order.

Really, everything else is negotiable.

Because, if God is truly at work in their lives, then they should already be displaying the kinds of traits that attract me-- being kind, putting others above themselves, being responsible, being mature, givers of themself to others (time, money, talents, etc.), etc., etc.

I need someone who will be the spiritual leader of my house one day, and this is by far the most important. Can this person help me grow in my relationship with Christ? Can I help him? Can we lead richer, fuller lives better together than we can apart? Will he be a good father? Husband? Supporter? Friend? Is he financially responsible?

Those are the main things.

I'm attracted to people who work hard, and who work hard in school.

I really, really respect men who guard their eyes and their thoughts, especially in the society we live in where it is a daily struggle. I want to be appreciated someday for being me, and not have to live up to anyone's false expectations of what they think is beautiful, or constantly trying to live up to what they think I should be, rather than me.

I am attracted to people who are secure in who they are, and aren't trying to be somebody else or who are preoccupied all the time with what their friends think of them.

I appreciate men who are leaders, and not followers; who take initiative and do what is right even when they know they will be made fun of for it, or whatever. A leader is someone who knows the way, shows the way, and goes the way, and that I find attractive because that's how I am.

I am attracted to men who are gentleman. The ones who hold doors, and walk on the side of the street next to cars, and treat you like a lady. Because I am a lady, and I think that men should treat all women as such. They are our protectors (even though some may have forgotten that).

I appreciate people who put family first in their lives, and are peacemakers.

I appreciate those who are quick to forgive, and aren't easily angered.

I also appreciate those with easy- going personalities, and those few who can make me laugh and have fun, and forget all the pressure I'm constantly under once in a while.

Also, I'm not as concerned with the mistakes they make as I am with how they react to and handle those mistakes. Do their actions reflect someone who is listening to God?

Like I said-- tall order, huh? And frankly incredibly difficult to find in men my age. Although, I do get hit on quite a lot by older men, like ten years older, but... yeah. Creepy.

However, while all those things are great, I've been working on becoming the right person for whoever the (lucky) guy is that I end up with. I have enjoyed my time so far being single, and young, and busy with school and work, and I've found a lot of things that I like to do being single that I wouldn't have had time for if I were attached. I've spent a lot of time with the Lord, and do every day, and that has improved my character and honestly has made me who I am today-- I don't take any credit for my character or successes. It's all Him.

Right now, God has brought someone into my life, and so far it has been a joy to get to know him. He displays the kind of things I'm looking for, and he takes great care of me. He is thoughtful, and kind, and very much a leader. I still have a lot to learn about him though. :) I know this picture was in an earlier post, but aren't we cute?! Prayers are much appreciated. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 25 - Someone who fascinates you and why.

ASU’s Real Gold

Dr. Christine K. Wilkinson stood at the door to her house, welcoming nervous college kids in and handing them name tags. Standing with a petite Asian frame at 5 feet 4 inches tall, sporting a maroon business suit and pumps, she unconsciously brushed bangs out of her eyes while greeting the recipients of ASU’s Medallion Scholarship. “I host it every year,” she explained to me. “It’s a chance for them to get to know each other.” Once ushered into the sprawling back yard of the contemporary ranch- style house, the students were greeted with tables covered in white linen and flower centerpieces, with white lawn chairs to match. Christine offered a large banquet table filled with hamburgers, veggie burgers, two kinds of salad and a sizeable fruit tray along with dessert for her guests. For beverages, she offered soda and water in biodegradable plastic bottles. “I believe in sustainability,” she explained to one of the kids.

Known for its leading efforts in sustainability, Arizona State University is home and alma mater to Dr. Wilkinson. She grew up near to it in Tempe, AZ, and was closely connected to the University from birth. Her father, the legendary Coach Kajikawa, served ASU as player and coach for over five decades and watched Christine blossom there. She graduated from ASU with first a Bachelor of Arts in Education with Distinction, and later became a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration. In between she gained her Master’s degree in Education and Counseling Psychology from the University of California Berkeley. Her education provided some of the strength and wisdom needed to serve now as Vice President and Secretary of the University. She also serves as President of the Alumni Association.

As President of the Alumni Association, Dr. Wilkinson speaks at most of the association’s events. I caught her preparing for a speech last May, to welcome the new freshman Medallion scholars. She arrived a little late and seemed hurried as she rushed to find a private corner in Old Main to prepare. She shuffled through her notes, apparently looking for a particular paragraph, and sighed in relief when she found it. Some scholars spotted her and rushed to say hello; and Dr. Wilkinson, although busy, stopped to smile and give hugs to all of them. The scholars, a little star- struck, appeared to adore her. Rachel Tarman, a sophomore at the time, whispered to me: “Wasn’t that sweet of her? She always makes time for us.” Once in Carson Ballroom, Dr. Wilkinson sat down with other members of the Alumni board and relaxed. A few minutes later, on stage, no one in the world would have guessed that moments before she was flustered and unprepared. Nevertheless She delivered a perfect speech in a cultured, feminine tone and was very gracious with little hand gestures and nods of her head. “You are the future leaders of this University,” she told the new freshman. “You are here because of your dedication to leadership, scholarship, and service; and I expect that to continue not only in your time here at ASU, but also beyond it. Look for ways to serve not only your school, but also your community. It is more important than you may realize, and one day you will see that.”

Indeed, Dr. Wilkinson knows what it is to serve her community. Leading by example, she currently serves as a board member for the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, and also serves on the Diverse Growth Segments/ Community Advisory Board for Wells Fargo Bank. While she serves the Phoenix community, she also serves the ASU community. It is not unusual to see her manning the finger painting station for Sun Devil Days, an arts & crafts day for children of ASU alumnus, laughing as she helps a toddler wash his hands and praises his impressionistic “Sparky”. She truly sets the standard for the University, and also teaches regularly as a tenured faculty member. You could also find her at Daley Park, flipping burgers on the grill in a t- shirt and jeans for college events. At a mid- year picnic last January, she donned a gold shirt, maroon visor, and went with her usual “natural” look-- no make- up except for a spot of eyeliner to highlight her warm chocolate brown eyes. The best thing she wore that day, however, was her signature smile that greeted “her kids,” as she sometimes refers to the Medallion group.

Wilkinson has no children of her own, but she is married to her high school sweetheart. She dated him through high school and off and on through college, “but we just stuck together,” she expressed. “I’ve been with him longer than I’ve been not with him.”

Family has always been a priority to Christine. “I come from a very close family, with parents who were busy and professional, but always had family as the paramount part of their lives. I can’t tell you which is more my hero-- my mom or my dad. I’d say both. They were my superheroes.” She once singled out a girl for admitting that her mom was her hero, and complimented her on her recognition of family importance. She asked this girl to come visit with her at her office, and again Christine affirmed the role of family, and became the girl’s mentor.

When she is isn’t mentoring students, serving her community, or teaching, Wilkinson runs. Runs, or relaxes with her counted- cross stitch projects. You could also catch her at a local musical, or devouring an autobiography, something she’s taken up lately. You could just as easily find her enjoying a good game of bridge with friends, or completing a difficult crossword puzzle. Wilkinson’s favorite pastime, however, is music. “I listen to all of it and I love all of it. It is one of those things where some people will put on their TV first thing; but I have to put the radio on, for the music. Opera, pop, western, country, jazz.” She listens to it in her office often, too.

Wilkinson’s Fulton office, one of two she has on campus (the other being on the floor level of the historic Old Main), is full of framed awards and honors she’s been given over the years. Named Woman of the Year in 2009 by Valley Leadership, given the University’s Award of Merit, receiving the CASE Crystal Apple Award and others for her extensive community service- all moments are captured in pen and ink on her wall, proclaiming to the world what an amazing level of dedication she has to everything and everyone around her.

Following in her dad’s footsteps, Wilkinson served as ASU’s Interim Athletic Director from 1995-6 and again in 2000. She also served as Vice President of Student Affairs for 13 years. While attending ASU, she was very involved with student organizations, and her dedication to the university later landed her very own unique spot at ASU, a position created just for her. No wonder ASU was eager to welcome Wilkinson as the University’s first Vice President and Secretary! Her level of commitment to ASU’s success is extraordinary, and her track record of involvement is impressive.

Everything Wilkinson does is for the benefit of the University. She has seen ASU grow into four campuses, and go from a smaller school to one of the largest in the country. The events she participates in- Sun Devil Generation Days for the kids, picnics in the park, and even the barbecue she hosts at her own house- all try to make the university a smaller place; a place where students feel that they are a part of the ASU community. “Education- the whole spectrum of education- is extremely important. In higher education, the focus of what we do every single day is about the future leadership of our country, and what can be more important than that- developing future leaders? I continue to be excited about it.” Looking to Wilkinson as a model for leadership, scholarship, and service, I’m sure anyone who has had the privilege of meeting this woman of excellence would agree.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My AMAZING Weekend!!

Ok, so I'm taking a break from the 30 day challenge today, because I HAVE to tell you about my awesome weekend... and it's not even over yet!!

First, I spent Friday at the beautiful Desert Botanical Gardens for work. We were developing a "walking mathematical tour" for kids, and it was pretty awesome! It was an absolutely gorgeous day.

The sky was just perfect.
Soo blue!

They even had my favorite-- little owls!!!! And all conveniently in a barrel, too. ;)

Another look at the sky, from the front entrance ramada.

Friday night I spent with an AWESOME group of friends at the Arizona Science Center! First Fridays of the month you get in free as an adult. I made a vortex, assembled light circuits, played with a magnetic wall, and laughed at the trippy two- way mirror they have that splits your face with someone else's, and it is worth doing. I'm so glad I went! Afterward we all ate at IHOP, and I had some pretty good pancakes.

And then.

Oh. My. Gosh.

Today was just a perfect day... one of those rare days that just smacks you upside the head with how awesome it is.

I spent the day with my cute boyfriend, Scot, and his friends (well, mine too) Kala and Jeff. We started at 8 in the morning for Flagstaff, and played in the snow out in the middle of the forest for a while. It was so pretty! Powdery white goodness, wet shoes and socks, and Scot pushed me down a little road on a sled. It was quiet (except for us), and you could hear the wind blowing through the trees. The Aspens were beautiful, too, and matched the ground.

We got pretty chilly though, so headed back to the car and just decided to go to the Grand Canyon! Yes. Yes we did. Huge thanks to Scot for driving today, you get some special points for that.

It was breathtaking. Literally, it was so cold, it took your breath away. ;) No, not really, but the views sure did!

See what I mean!

I love the snow. It lets you see little details in the canyon that you can't see without it.

And of course, the BEST part was spending the day with Scot. What a gentleman, and seriously I'm impressed. The whole day, AND the Grand Canyon. I'm speechless.

Aren't we cute? Yep. I know. :)

So, the weekend isn't even over yet! Tomorrow, I'm going with my AWANA kids to play laser tag... haha, they better watch out!

Anyway, this year has been amazing so far, and it's only the 8th. I can't wait to see what the rest of the year holds!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 24 - Your favorite movie and what it’s about.

Well, this is hard.

One thing I've noticed about myself is that I don't necessarily only have one favorite of anything... and this includes movies.

I think number one is Dances With Wolves, and it's about an American soldier who befriends a Native American tribe and helps them escape destruction. I like it because the main character actually takes time to get to know the people, actually learns the language, and respects them. I also love the scenery in the movie.

Second on my list is Ever After, and of course that is a version of Cinderella. I'm not particularly thrilled with Drew Barrymore in general, but I think she did a pretty great job in this one. I love how the story is portrayed, and that it's told like a real story.

My other favorite is the Anne of Green Gables series (there are three), the ones from Sullivan Entertainment. I always wanted to be just like Anne after seeing those, and I think I still do! Smart, courageous, puts others above herself, always looks on the bright side of things... what's not to love about Anne?

Oh wait a minute. I lied.

Ok, so my ALL TIME favorite movie is definitely Blast from the Past starring Brendan Fraser.

The first time I saw this one, I was literally on the floor laughing, with tears streaming down my face, and my dog was going crazy because he'd never seen me act that way before.

I love it. It just is about the funniest thing I've ever seen.

Plus, I love Brendan Fraser.

So, there you have my favorite movie, and movies. Ha.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Days 21 and 22 (of the 30 day challenge)

Day 21 - One of your favorite shows.

Day 22- how you have changed in the past 2 years.

Hmm, I like old shows, such as the Walton's, Andy Griffith, Wonder Years, Wind at My Back, MASH, I Dream of Jeanie, and Leave it to Beaver (yes, really. "Hey, Beave.") Yes, I know I'm living in the wrong time, but I think they are way better than the junk on tv now. What, I do!

As for how I've changed in the last two years:

Well, there are little things, such as learning Hebrew and Greek that are different.

And then there are other things, that are a little bit bigger of a deal. Such as the fact that I honestly, truly, cross- my- heart know beyond a shadow of a doubt that living for Christ is worth it. That I've been tempted in ways that were pretty intense, but with God's help ran away and came through unscathed and intact. I think I've grown more patient with people, too. I've learned not to let people walk all over me, and that friends who only take from you and never give back are not really friends at all. For a long, looooong time I just felt like I was a bank, and people kept withdrawing and withdrawing from it, but never depositing anything. Not fun, and while I still love everyone in my life, I've learned that it's ok to not be a doormat or strictly a caretaker.

I've also learned, most importantly of all I think, that God really is enough. That during those times when I've felt completely alone, I really wasn't. I always had Someone to talk to, who was always glad to spend time with me and listen. It helps knowing that-- it helps a whole lot. In fact, believing that has changed everything for me.

Fortunately, the past two years have also brought some really great people into my life; people who are genuine and seem to appreciate me for me. Yay! They are literally an answer to many year's worth of prayers.

I've also learned that I need to slow down a little in life. That sometimes, it really IS ok to stop and smell the flowers... that it's ok to relax once in a while!! I've found new books to read, places to go, things to do. That while it is good to work hard, it's also good to have fun. The key is balance, which is still an area I'm working on, because I seem to work too much and not play enough. I have to admit... I'm really hoping that things slow down a little once I graduate. I don't think I can keep this pace up! But it has definitely improved (a lot) from what it was.

Ok, there are my midnight ramblings for today. And don't you like my new owl background? It brings much joy to my heart. I love them.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 20 - How important you think education is.

I will begin this post with one of my favorite quotes, from C.S. Lewis:

"A man who has been many places is not likely to be deceived by the local errors of his native village: the scholar has lived in many times and is therefore in some degree immune from the great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and the microphone of his own age."

Education is essential to being a human. We must learn; if we don't learn, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we remain stagnant in our thinking, and become complacent in our attitudes about life.

Also, education is an avenue by which we can learn not just about God, but also help us to discover who He actually is. In learning about God's creation, we see just how complex it is, and how to take better care of ourselves through the studies of science and medicine. We discover new ways to be creative, to be helpful, to improve the quality of life for those around us.

In the arts, we discover how to express not just ourselves, but more importantly truth. True art is when a depiction of truth meets our souls. At least, that's my definition.

Probably the most important thing we get from education, though, is a broader view of the world around us- from history, from other cultures, and from the Bible. Education takes a lot of focus off the self and replaces it with focus on others.

Learning language is important too; if you don't master it, you will be mastered by someone who has (I forget just who said that). Also, language has some power. It is performative; for instance, when a minister says, "by the power vested in me by..., I now pronounce you man and wife," his words make them married. When someone says, "I forgive you," they are restoring a relationship.

The Bible begins with some words, too. God speaks creation into being: "...and God said, 'let there be light,' and there was light" (Genesis). God changes names (what are names? words!), and speaks to His people through words of prophets in the OT.

God speaks to us today through written words, making written language important as well. It is the way that the whole story of humanity was preserved for us-- by written language. Very specific ones, too. As someone who has studied both Greek and Hebrew, I can tell you that those two languages were not picked to preserve the word of God by accident. They are very, very specific-- much more specific than English is. It's a hard thing to explain if you haven't studied a foreign language, but the grammar is much more complex and particular.

Anyway, just as the Bible begins with spoken words, it ends with written ones; we see in John's Revelation the Book of Life, and that book has names written in it. Those names written down are what allows people into God's kingdom or not. Pretty powerful stuff.

Ultimately, I believe that education is essential to living life to the fullest. Think about what happens when people are not allowed to think critically about things, are not allowed to question, and are not allowed any outside influences to shape their thinking... things go very wrong. Can anyone say "cults," for instance?

Education is freedom.

It is liberty.

It is us asking questions, and asking questions is, if you think about it, part of how you get to know someone. Education ultimately should lead us to get to know the Someone who made everything; the Someone who has all the answers and looks forward to answering them, because it's part of the process of getting to know Him and who He is.

Sorry, I could go on about this for much longer, but I think I covered the most important points of what I think. I'll leave you with that. :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 19 - Disrespecting your parents

All I have to say is,

WHY would you do that?! They put up with you, and are there for you no matter what (well, at least that's been my experience).

If you think about all of your stuff they've put up with for your lifetime, and all the sacrifices and things they've given up-- just for you-- I think it's pretty darn selfish and ungrateful to disrespect them.

Of course, I've had great parents. I'm incredibly thankful for them, and for the examples they have been to me. I know that parents are not perfect, but I have to say that as far as parenting "perfection" goes, mine are definitely at the top of the list. I can only imagine how disappointed and hurt they would be with me if I did that. Ouch.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 18 - Your beliefs.

(I'm skipping day 17. Because I can.)

Anyway, my beliefs.

This is titled, "On Your Worst Day"

You really are clean, holy, alive, forgiven, new, beautiful, acceptable, complete, Spirit indwelt, adored, chosen, adopted, able, intimately loved, smiled upon, planned for, protected, continually thought about, liked, enjoyed, cared for, comforted, understood, known completely, given all mercy, compassion, guarded, matured, bragged on, defended, valued, esteemed, held, hugged, caressed, kissed, heard, honored, in unity with, favored, enough, lacking nothing, directed, guided continually, never failed, waited for, anticipated, part of, belonging, never alone, praised, secure, safe, believed, appreciated, given all grace, all patience, at peace with, pure, righteous, shining, precious, cried over, grieved with, strengthened, emboldened, relaxed with, never on trial, never frowned at, delighted in, at rest in, healed, nurtured, continually sheltered from the full brunt of devastation, taken shame from, carried, never mocked, never punished, all of your jokes enjoyed, partnered with, not behind, not outside, given endless affection...

-written by John Lynch

All of my beliefs rest upon the fact that God loves me because He chooses to, and not because of anything I've done or have to do. He simply loves me for me, and I am enough just as I am. I believe that God is not an angry God with us, but one who loves us more than we allow ourselves to give Him credit for.

This is why I follow Him; because I trust Him.

It is possible to obey God and not trust Him. One cannot, however, trust God and be disobedient to Him.

That explains me, and my beliefs... why I live my life the way I do, and how come! Don't you want that? If you've never trusted Christ as your personal savior, ask him to be right now. Admit that you are in need of some help, and that you gladly welcome Him into your life. Amen.

If you already have, know that it's ok to start living like this is true, all the time-- because it is!

You see, God is not a God that waits for you to screw up so he can punish you. No; rather, he cries for you! He feels your pain like his own, and he sent His only Son to die a horrible death... for you. It is my wish that everyone should know the God that I know, and that everyone would know and understand what it is to be unconditionally, irrevocably, loved.


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!! There is something so fresh and exciting about a brand new year with no mistakes in it. It is a time to celebrate with family and friends, and to think about what you want to see happen in the next year. A time to bring out the sparkling cider, sugar cookies, and glow sticks.

So, I spent my new year's eve with my boyfriend's friends (I mean they're mine too, but still mostly his), and what a night it was! They had food, and Jeff decorated with streamers and shiny things, and we played a bunch of games. It was a blast.

We talked about many things last night: Charlie the Unicorn (I had never heard of him, and thought they were kidding until they showed me the video), what glow sticks are made of, and discussed at length the humor in Zombieland (ok, guy humor is not my favorite). Interestingly enough though, no one brought up the topic of New Year's Resolutions.

No one! I guess because most people end up breaking them in February, or don't take them seriously anyway. It was kind of a relief though- I usually only make one resolution every year, and it's the same one. It was really awesome not to be put on the spot and asked about "how I'm going to improve my life." We just relaxed, had fun, and enjoyed each others' company. Yay for good friends.

Yay for good friends!!

So, what are your guys' new year's resolutions? Did you make any? :)