Friday, August 31, 2007

And...

You knew it was coming.

I can hardly keep up with one blog, let alone two. So this one will stay in existence, but I'm going to only be posting on my website with my man. In a week from this moment I'll be rehearsing for our wedding. NUTS. In one week and one day I'll be a married woman.

Yay :)

So... it's been lovely, but from now on, check out:

http://jasandtam.blogspot.com

Hasta.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Hey all! I just (finally) updated on the Jas and Tam blog, so go check it out here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

PS

I nearly forgot- the pic above is totally one I took up here at the lake awhile back. So sweet :)

We're halfway there-- livin' on a prayer

[Livin' On A Prayer, Bon Jovi]

That's how I feel right now- the feet and back are spasming, my head is pounding from forgetting to drink water all day, and I am about to pass out.

I.

Hate.

Moving.

But praise God that this is, God willing, the last time I'll have to pack alone, and hopefully the last move for the next 5 years or so... by the next move, if all goes according to plan, Jas and I will be moving into a house that we will live. In. Until. We. Die.

The end.

As for the new look... if you know me you know I like change. I think this suits me better :)

I better go do a little update on the Love Blog so as to not alienate those that keep in touch only via that medium.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Band Love!

I KNEW The Fray were awesome!

Sweet The Fray Article

Monday, June 04, 2007

These faces and these places are getting old...

... I'm going home

[Home, Daughtry]

I know it's one of the biggest songs in the country and has been for weeks, but this song just really struck me deeply today.

I was packing and came across a bunch of photo albums. I couldn't help but flip through each one, and basically they chronicle everything since I graduated from high school. I graduated exactly 7 years ago last Saturday... that's amazing, right? I can hardly believe how much I have grown and changed in those 7 years, and how many amazing people I have met. All of my best friends, save for two (mad love to you, Clinton and Darla!), are people who have become woven into the fabric of my life post-high school. Which is, I think, fairly common.

Another random happenstance of the day (though I actually think it was ordained) was that I recalled a song from my high school days called Westside by TQ. The basic point is that he loves the west coast, and he says, "West side til I die". So I was already on this west coast love roll, then I saw pics from my life pre-North Carolina, then I saw a paper from Institute (the TFA training that I did in Houston the summer before I began teaching in NC) that I drew all over and decorated all up while doodling that says, "West side til I die". Strangely enough, I haven't thought of that song probably since I created the paper two years ago, yet today in school I recall the song, download it from iTunes, and then come home and get nostalgic while packing and then see that paper.

Then, of course, I was really feeling the pull to the west coast, to Jason, to marriage, to the next phase of my life which will be completely distinguished and different from the last... I was seeing the faces of people I love and miss so much in photo after photo... and this song, Home, came on.

That's my favorite thing about music-- it speaks to every person where they are no matter how different their situation is from the next person. For me, home means I am drawn back to a region of the United States, more specifically, the Pacific Northwest. I never knew exactly how much I loved Washington state until I left it. Of course, I'm becoming a west sider (I always lived in the eastern half of the state) and Jason is a pretty huge draw, but I realized that while it's a bit emotional to say good-bye to my beloved roomies (I'll see Becca and hopefully Elise in September... who knows when I'll see Liz again, if ever, which is sad) and it will be REALLY hard to say good-bye to my kids (I tear up just typing it, no kidding)... the truth is that these faces and these places are getting old.

I'm ready to go home.

I'm going home
To the place where I belong
Where your love has always been enough for me
Not running from
No, I think you got me all wrong-
I don't regret this life I chose for me
But these places and these faces are getting old
I'm going home

I'm going home.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Awesome Songs!

I nearly forgot--

If you're a ROCK STAR and you use iTunes then check out this sweet iMix I made!

Tim Henderson Mix

My heart will choose to say...

... Lord, blessed be Your name
[Blessed Be Your Name, Tree 63]

So today I checked in on the blog of a friend who was in Europe lately, and there were some sound clips of a wedding that he sang in. The songs were in French, and I realized that singing along in English to a worship song (they were Blessed Be Your Name and Lord, You Have My Heart) being sung in another language, French in this case, is one of the most incredibly amazing feelings in the world.

I can't really explain it-- worshiping God in song is my most treasured form of worship, and singing a song of praise in my heart language as others praised Him in their foreign tongue simultaneously just took it to another level. That was just over a fairly low-quality clip online!

In other news, I think my blog is in need of more pictures. Everyone loves a good picture, right?

Here are some of my favorite things :)


Being in my fiance's arms



Pics where Jas looks ridiculous- ha ha!

Pictures of cities at night; I took this one of Charlotte after leaving a Bobcats game (they won!)

My ring and my Red Sox sweatshirt :)

Being Ridiculous :)

Making really crazy faces for the camera

Ok, I REALLY love making nutso faces for the camera... never leave yours unattended.
For real.

Beautiful sunsets

I'll give you one guess :)

Being silly with my kids :)

Young children

My kids :)

Friday night lights :) I'll really miss keeping stats

The randomosity that is Warren County

Inside joke, but when my kids are funny (and watch Jeopardy!)

The natural beauty where I live

Our glorious lake house :)

Miko

Sweet pics ;)

Being Ms. TK

My adorable roomies (I don't have any pics of Elise :( )

Hurricane Days! One word: ERRRRRRRNESTO!!

Crazy times with Liz :)

My hair when it's long :)

The randomosity that is my house... we didn't choose the decorations on the book shelf, PS

Funny bizness

Root beer mystery taste tests

My baby... even if the sun & wind were in his eyes and he's squinting :)



Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Girl America's dying... don't stop believing, my Girl America

[Girl America, Mat Kearney]

I'm totally starting to get into this fitness thing.

Do you ever apply limits and labels to yourself and believe them so fiercely that you simply couldn't imagine them not being a part of your life? Do you ever let them begin to define you, even if they're negative?

I've always been overweight. Even as an elementary school child I was the cute, mildly plump one. It got to be a little bit more and more by high school, and by the time I graduated I was 220 pounds, and about a size 18.

Then, in college, it got worse. By the end of my junior year I was 290. I went to China for a summer and came back at 260. I could fit into a 22, the first time in years. I spent most of college a solid 24.

Slowly I gained the China weight back, and then some. By the time I left for TFA I was 330, a solid 26. Then, two winters ago (so 2005-2006, my first year in TFA) I got up to about 360. That's my estimate... the only comfortable pants were a 28. By last fall I was down to 320 (I'm honestly not sure how I lost it... I didn't even really try, to be truthful. It just slipped off.). With some serious effort I got down to about 310 by January of this year. Then I gained some back, and at my last doctor appointment I was 323.

I realized I had to get serious. I mean, I want to have babies with Jason. First of all, the rate of miscarriages in women with a BMI over 25 increases sharply. My BMI at 323 would be a50.6. Ouch. We don't plan on children for about 3 years, but still.

I'm blessed that I don't have any real complications yet. My cholesterol is normal, blood pressure in healthy limits, etc. But I hate being the fattest person on the plane, in the restaurant, in the room, in the building.

Still... I often cling to my identity as the fat girl. I mean, you'd think I'd hate it- and I do- but a painful truth hit me recently:

I can't imagine a fit Tami.

I just can't. I can't see myself as one of those people who snacks on raw veggies and works out because it feels good. I can see myself gorging on 12 Oreos and a half a gallon of milk and ordering enough fast food for two people. You know what's sad? I've only bought Oreos maybe twice in the last year, and I honestly eat fast food maybe 1-2 times a month. I actually probably eat raw veggies and work out more than either of those things. Yet I define myself as the "fat girl".

It's easy in some ways to be her. I could always blame problems on her. When I had unrequited love spells, I could blame it on being too fat. If people rejected me I could always assume they just couldn't get close to me because of my stature. I accepted being friendliest and having the best laugh in high school because of course I'd never be most attractive. I overcompensated with personality, clinging to it as needing to be overly funny and fun because I hated fat people more than anyone, so why should people love me unless I was so lovable that they- and I- had no choice but to overlook the obesity that was me.

So... I have had to wrestle this demon, recently. The one that rejects God's truths (My body is a temple... Eat, drink, whatver I do, do it as unto the Lord... don't gorge on anything other than God's Holy Spirit (and His Word)... love myself... I am a beautiful daughter of the King... on and on...) and instead clings to lies about my unworthiness and definition being the uncontrolled, unhealthy habits formed in eating over the last 20 years.

Funny how the demon is far harder to deal with than the actual sinful acts. I can eat 1,500 calories in a day, work out like a fiend, and consciously surrender my desires to binge (and, sadly, I won't deny having purged- aka vomiting- in the past) and still feel like I'll always just be the fat girl.

God simply won't let me rest. He won't let me feel sorry for myself. He urges me onto health, to Himself. God loves me just as I am, but He loves me far too much to let me settle in comfortably and stay this way.

Praise Him for that!

So... the skinny (the fat?) is this: I weighed 323 pounds at the beginning of June. This is the second day of the second week of eating under 1,800 calories a day (I've been averaging around 1,500, methinks, and I was even careful enough to stay under 2,500 even during the crazy Memorial Day weeekend festivities) and exercising basically daily. My scale only goes up to 300 pounds, so I'm not sure where I am now, but pants are already feeling far more loose than two weeks ago.

This is humbling, but this time it's real. I've never posted my weight because... well, it embarrasses me and it would be far easier to say how much I USED to weigh when I weigh way less :)

I've got a solid accountability pair that I e-mail daily with what I ate that day and my work out status, and I'm serious this time. My life is changing. Not just to look a little better in a wedding dress- it's time to be bare before you (most of my readers are my good friends, so public as a medium as this may be, you're still my core group) and just lay all of my goods out on the table.

I'll let you know when I get under the 300 mark. I cannot WAIT to say good-bye to the 300's forever. No surgery, no gimmicky diets, just eating thoughtfully and exercising to save a life-- my own.

Hope you enjoy the ride-- I promise to write about more than just this, though. And... I'll be straight with you-- encouragement really helps so please, if you feel led to lend an encouraging word or five, don't hesitate.

PS My car hit 250,000 miles today; I watched the numbers change and happened to have Jas on the phone when it happened!

I loves me my Ac! Goldie has been so good to me- I pray she lasts a long time more for Jas since he'll take her over eventually when we get me something a little newer. Still- this is the shameless Acura plug- they rock! Get one if ever you can :) Mine is faithful and true and doesn't even burn enough oil to need to put in a quart between changes every 3-4 months. Boo-yah!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Don't you know it's violation?

[All These Lives, Daughtry]

I am sick. Sick. Sick. SICK!

I hate colds.

Do you ever do that thing where, when you're stuffed up and miserable, you swear you'll never again take breathing normally for granted? And then two days after you're back to normal you forget the misery that is having a cold?

I sure do.

I'm in the midst of feeling sorry for myself because I have a cold mode. But the good news is that, after a near week hiatus, we finally have hot water again. Praise the LORD! We went without the entire weekend- the long weekend, with guests and lots of swimming. Ugh.

I'm about to pass out, now- I only got about 3 hours of sleep last night.

Stupid cold.

PS Only 8 more days of school; 4 of them are half-days with testing, and I already wrote my final, my study guide, and end-of-year survey AND copied them! It's smooth sailing from here on- mostly just test prep/review and tying up loose ends. Yippeeeeeeee!!

PPS Today my assistant principal told me that I'm a "really good teacher" and to let her know if I ever need a recommendation.

:)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Word of God speak

[Word of God Speak, Mercy Me]

Tonight I heard a fresh word from the Lord. A rhema-- His specific word, meant to speak life into me exactly where I am at this very moment.

It's rather incredible how God's Word truly is alive, living and active even, cutting through to the heart of me. I've read I Peter dozens of times, but tonight it was real, brilliant, and cut through me like a laser, slicing through the lies that have formed the foggy, muddled mass surrounding my heart.

I am so blessed to be reminded that Jesus Christ knows and understands exactly what I am going through right now. He lived it 2,000 years ago in His tenure on this earth, and words written by the apostle Peter nearly 2,000 years ago are every bit as powerful and meaningful to me now as they were to the people he penned them for then.

Praise God for that! I will cling to Him. I pray I will remain open and receptive to whatever He asks of me with no hesitation and no second guessing nor questioning.

I belong to God. I have been purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ, whom I have proclaimed as my Savior.

I am not my own.

It's about time I get back to living like it.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I won $20 in poker tonight.

The best part is that I totally ran four guys off the table. At least 2 of them are pretty experienced and played almost weekly last year. And I totally took 'em all down on only my third time ever playing. My second time I split the pot with a guy though I was winning because I was sick of playing.

I think I like Texas Hold 'Em. Though, honestly, I'd like it better were I not playing for money. But $5 is no biggie, and I won $20. Ch-ching! I'm thinking Jas and I need to make fun friends and have poker night with like pennies or something once we're married.

Today was good times all around- I got flowers today (I didn't expect them, but all things considered, the boy needed to remind me of how much he loves me... he put me through a lot this week), stayed home from school, worked out HARD (I will be SO SORE tomorrow, but that's aight), dropped my cell phone in a glass of water but miraculously it still works, took care of more moving logistics (insurance stuffs), bonded with Liz and Elise for a bit, then the three of us went to the boys' house and that was super fun. It included night swimming (though no skinny dipping, sadly), fun people, tasty treats, discovering how comfy Peter's bed is (he was in it- but so were 3 other people. We sort of woke him up by all getting in it with him), and then, of course, the poker victory.

Suffice it to say I'm out of my funk. So that's the best part :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

So stop your tears and listen

[The Heart of Life, John Mayer]

Do you ever feel just really inexplicably sad?

Emotions have run torrents through me today.

The lamest reason deals with stuff that doesn't really matter... as in Blake got completely raped on American Idol tonight. Seriously, come ON- I know Clive Davis is a sappy song kind of guy- A Moment Like This, Inside Your Heaven, Do I Make You Proud, etc., but seriously- could the winning song have been anymore pushing of the same type of singer that wins every year- the balladeer (or balladette, as the case may be). I mean, I like Jordin. She'll do fine in the biz. But I LOVE Blake- he's absolutely refreshingly original and he's exciting to watch. There are fifty Jordin Sparks' on the radio right now- many of them who can sing better; she's good, but she's no Christina Aguilera or Kelly Clarkson or even Carrie Underwood- and there is no one like Blake.

That said... since Blake is clearly going to lose, at least that cheesy balls song won't be his first single. I don't care if Seattleites wrote it. It's CHEESY BALLS.

*sigh*

There's other stuff, but lately I find myself turning into a more private person. Normally I'm just all out there- I wanted to start off by pointing out that my period started today even though my boobs haven't hurt at ALL when usually they ache for a week and a half so when they started hurting today I was ready to expect my period in a week and then voila! there it was and it caught me totally off guard (despite my moods clearly signaling PMS all week) but then decided that maybe the world doesn't want to know that. So I... uh... didn't talk about it...

Whatever.

The point is that there is just stuff. And it sucks. And I'm trying to not feel sorry for myself.

I also find myself increasingly emotional about leaving this place. I love my roommates- well, 3 of them- and my house, I like my job, and I absolutely love my kids. At least once a day for the last month a student has said, in one form or another, that they can't believe I won't be here next year and that it sucks. I'm not sure they'll miss me nearly as much as I'll miss them.

I could barely type that last sentence. Tears are streaming down my face and my throat is so tight that I can barely breathe and the air is forcing itself into my lungs in ragged bursts upon each inhale.

On the upside I had to force myself to eat something tonight so I could get over the 1,000 calories mark. It's really unhealthy to eat under 1,200 calories a day (the metabolism actually slows down) and I clocked in at 1295 only because my stomach was screaming at me despite mentally having no appetite. Which never happens for me. I wish I could never eat again. So I guess that's something. Plus I came home craving exercise. That has literally NEVER happened. So maybe I'll get less fat.

I realized tonight, while watching skinny little bikini models on an Old Navy commercial, that I'm not sure which I hate more-- the fact that they look like that, or myself for not looking even remotely like that.

So... yeah. I guess I'll sleep now.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Would you change?

[Change, Tracy Chapman]

This is such a good question... really, when you come face to face with something that needs to change, will you do it? Will I?

What does it take? When there is an area of my life, for example, that is out of line with God's will, will I change it or will I make excuses and numb myself and keep on with it?

Two things come to mind. One is a really frustrating relationship. Honestly, it's relationship I would rather not have. The person has really betrayed trust in a lot of ways, so I have gone through the gamut... anger. Bitterness. Trying to pretend she doesn't exist. Trying to figure out a way to address the problem without hurting other people we both are also close to. I've even tried to pray it through, to trust God and let it go. None of these helped; the last did for a little while, but then there was a new offense and rather than cling to the Truth of God's Word about forgiveness and focusing on Him I went back to my sinful response of self-protection and bitterness.

So I know the Truth. Live unto God, be Christ and treat others as I would treat Christ. Will I change?

Also, for my entire life overeating has been a sin I cling to. I eat out of boredom. Out of habit. Out of addiction. It's sin. I try on my own power to get it under control, but I fail. I've failed time after time after time. I believe that this is just the way I am, obese. Big. Large. However you put it- harsh or gentle, I lack the belief that I could be anything more... well, or less, as the case may be. I try to reform myself, but I always fail. This is because only God can transform.

I cannot serve both God and my addiction to food. So often, food wins. God is to be my only master. Will I change?

Today, I choose to make the change. I'll keep you up to date on my progress.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

She's in love with the boy

[some country song by some country artist. Meh.]

I love Jason.

In other news, I also love American Idol. I think I might be PMS'ing early, because I cry at everything. At the senior awards ceremony yesterday (where all the seniors' scholarships are announced- remember, I teach high school) a girl got a Gates Millennium scholarship which will pay UNLIMITED monies for ALL expenses all the way through a doctorate degree for her. Could you imagine that? What a blessing. She's in the extremely impoverished local Native American tribe, and it's just incredible. So, though I was sitting amongst the most insolent, selfish, and rude section of juniors in the gym (I was the only teacher with the bal... gumption... to do so), I cried with tears streaming down my cheeks. Good reason, but still.

Then, I almost lost it today when I reprimanded my US History class. Yesterday they all decided that instead of doing 20 minutes- TWENTY minutes!- of reading together in small groups to prep for the rest of the lesson they would just put their heads down and sleep. Now, that ceremony yesterday completely threw the ENTIRE schedule of school off, I had zero planning, had to constantly discipline those afore-mentioned juniors as I watched my babies (my first classes last year were all juniors then, and almost all of them are graduating now) get college scholarships, lost 40 minutes of third period, and then had about an 8 minute lunch. Needless to say, I was already pissy. So by the time it came to be fourth period- my last class of the day- I was testy. When they put their heads down while reading I was downright angry.

See, I was sitting there reading stories about people like Emmett Till, a beautiful 14-year-old boy who was murdered- horrifyingly so- simply because he whistled at a white woman, and he happened to be black. One the two white men who killed him was the woman's husband, and after getting freed by an all-white, all-male jury (twice, no less) the man said something to the effect of killing the boy was his only choice because he couldn't let no [sic] black boy think he was as good as any white man. The poor kid was from Chicago, visiting relatives in Mississippi and simply didn't understand the way the world worked for blacks in the South in the 1950's.

I read about a man in the military whose wife and child almost died in childbirth, so he rode a bus home to the South from his northern station at a military base to see them, and was sleeping... a white police officer got on, woke the man up (he was black), took him outside, and shot him in the heart, killing him. Reports showed that the white officer basically thought the man was a Freedom Rider- he just wanted to see his family, and they had to live the rest of their years with their father and husband dead.

There are countless stories of people- black and white alike- who gave their lives in the Civil Rights movement. People died so my students could have a chance at trying to attain equality. And to see my students decide they wanted to sleep because it was the last period of the day and my room was warmer than usual (not my fault- my school's HVAC system SUCKS)... well, I was so angry I couldn't speak to them. I couldn't even talk to them, not at all. I just put in a video about the movement, handed out their work and tried to make it through until 3:00 without losing it.

Today, though, they heard from me. They heard my heart. I told them the truth- that for two hours, I saw them and their peers jeer and sneer at Seniors getting scholarships and getting the chance at a better life. They laughed, text messaged on cell phones, hit each other, everything, and couldn't keep it together for one simple thing. And that's fine- sure, there's pressure out in the school to keep up an image and being studious and smart isn't cool. But then they come to my classroom, where I have worked my heart out to get them the education they deserve, a chance to really learn and prepare themselves for college, and they just want to sleep? And this is about the Civil Rights Movement, of all things. People- maybe their own relatives, but people just like them, people just like me- set aside the petty monotony of daily life and stood up for a cause, for righteousness, and some of them were slain. But they joined together to make this world a better place.

I put it straight- maybe out in the school it's not cool to be smart, to care, to want to change the world. It's about who slept with so-and-so and the hot new lyrics in Jeezy or Joc's latest. Whatever. But the fact is that in my classroom, we can actually set that aside, open our hearts, and care. We can see the faces of people who died for what we have today, and we can embrace their struggle and continue the fight. The schools are more segregated today than before Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. The Little Rock Nine put their lives on the line to walk into a white school and get their education- I looked at my class of 15 black students and 2 Latinos and told them that they can be the ones to join today's Civil Rights Movement. They can get an awesome education and be that talented and bright teacher who goes into classrooms like W@rren County High School and ensures that the upcoming generation gets the opportunities needed in order to change the system.

I was straight- I told them that I could be doing a lot of things, but I believe in them enough to be here, pouring myself into them. I have had people all but flat out ask me why I would teach poor black kids in the South, and it angers me. How dare they judge my students! They don't know them. They don't see Jason, whose mother is addicted to crack and has dozens of men in her bed every week, "earning" her next fix, and who didn't shield him when he was young from those same men. They don't know Byron, whose father beats him. They don't know the dozens of students I have who simply don't have a father at all, or Ruby, who is haunted daily by memories of hiding behind the shed sobbing because her mother abandoned her, and then her father simply gave her and her siblings over to the state because he just didn't want to take care of them. She then looked for love the wrong way and was forced by her foster mother last year to have an abortion. She was only 14. They don't know Shana, who was raped repeatedly as a child. The stories are endless. And the fact is, generational poverty continues the cycle. So I'm here, fighting today's fight, and I refuse to let my students put their heads down because they just don't think they have anything better to do.

The whole point, before I lost myself in all of this, is that today it took every ounce of self-control to not cry. I was raw and honest with them- I said, "I am here before you not as your teacher, but as a person." I put it straight. And it was amazing when some of them said, "I appreciate it". They were reminded that this isn't the end, this thing called high school. And I told them that- in ten years not a single one of them will care at all how popular they were in high school unless they drop out and then spend all their time with people in high school when they're 27. Not a desirable future. They know it, I know it, and I put it all on the lines.

You never saw kids more into history than today. It was seriously, to me, even more intense than those scenes in Freedom Writers (great movie, PS). So that's that emotional story. I'm ready to cry right now.

Oh, speaking of, also today was the end of the movie Amistad in my two sections of World History, then the beginning of learning about the Rwandan genocide, which meant that to teach about genocide I pulled on their knowledge of the most infamous genocide- the Holocaust. That is also rather emotional subject matter, to say the least.

Plus, tonight they showed Bothell and Seattle on American Idol because that's where Blake is from and I actually did get teary eyed. I can't wait to get to Seattle, to Bothell, to home. Also, I was a little emotional to see Melinda go, but I absolutely love Blake and was delighted that he didn't go home. Yay Blake!

My fingers are cramping. I'm going to bed, and talking to my man.

One love.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Feelin' like this is perfect-o

[Hips Don't Lie, Shakira]

Yesterday was good times.

I know I haven't written for like 86 years. Muh-bad.

So back to about yesterday... it was the End of Year celebration for TFA. It was fun... pretty sentimental, actually. I can't believe how quickly two years of my life have flown by. It's interesting because in college there are so many transitions and it goes by quickly yet you see all the different phases of things you did in college- for me, my college years were full of the different roommates, and the new places around the country and world I visited, the classes that changed me, etc.

TFA has been so different in that it's been filled with so much... sameness. Get up, teach, come home, hang with the roommates, work, eat, sometimes work out, sleep, start over the next day. The weekends are filled with work, catching up on sleep, more hanging with the roommates, sometimes going out to dinner or over to the boys' house... just enjoying lake life on the LKG. And yet it's just gone by so quickly somehow, all the memories just blending into each other as one big strung out lump of living.

Last night was a chance to celebrate our two years of service and hard work, and one last hurrah to say our peace before we spread out and scatter across the nation. There were some speeches, dinner at the Sheraton, and a slide show. Oh, and a huge ol' certificate. I just can't believe I committed two years of my life- actually, it's almost 800; I just figured it out- and I'm 32 days away from the end. Wow.

After, we went out for a gal's bachelorette party. The dancing was REALLY fun. I got really sweaty because it was hot and crowded, but it was an awesome workout :)

So... yeah... life is good, last night was fun, and I'm a lil sleepy from being up until almost 4 am after the dance-a-lance-ing. Now I'm chilling with the beloved roomies, Joanna's here too, and we're just enjoying Sunday.

:)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Consider This, Please

For about a year I have been sponsoring a child through a program called International Children's Network. My child is named Isaac and he's from Uganda. ICN has done an excellent job of making sure I am able to stay in touch with him- I get a letter just about every 3 months, and I write him as often. Also, I have sent money for the purchase of items to help him a few times, and ICN is good about sending me pictures of him with his gifts to ensure that I know he is being provided for.

The best part about ICN is that they are all about trying to connect sponsors with their children in person. Eventually I (along with my by-then-husband, Jason) plan to go to Uganda and spend time with Isaac in person, serving in his community.

ICN is intentionally not a Christian organization by name, because if they were they're ability to minister in certain areas would be extremely limited. The wonderful aspect here, however, is that Isaac continually writes to me about what he's learning via church and God's Word, and about his desires to be either a pastor or a doctor (to be fair, he's 12- he doesn't have to decide yet!). I know for a fact that ICN brings hope to children in places such as Africa, India, and Peru not just via monetary gifts, but through the Hope that is Jesus Christ Himself.

Speaking of money, I am most blessed to be able to say with confidence that ICN is trustworthy pertaining to how they handle money. They are committed to ensuring that no less than 93% of all moneys go straight to the children and they don't allow any more than absolutely necessary to get sucked up by overhead costs. You can check the page on their website (and their 2005 tax return) here:

http://www.icnchildren.net/about/finances.php

Lastly, I know the founders personally. I have known them for nearly ten years, and they are extremely committed Christians who love the Lord and are sincere about ensuring their lives are all about ministry.

So, pray about it. No one asked me to do this, I was just thinking about how much I love Isaac, and I was looking at the ICN website and saw all of those children waiting for sponsors... please, consider whether or not you might be one of those people. It's $30 a month, and so many of these children can't go to school otherwise. Many don't have access to clean water or food otherwise. In Uganda, a large number of these beautiful children have been orphaned by AIDS and war, and I again strongly urge you to consider whether or not you might be one whom the Lord would have support one of these children-- I am blessed to know that I will be involved in Isaac's life through when he goes to university, an opportunity he would never have without ICN and my support at hardly a dollar a day!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Supa'Fly

My subject line means nothing, really.

I'm in Durham for a TF@ thing. It's cool :)

Not a lot to say, actually. I could tell stories about horrific events from the administration at school, but... nah. Just know that life is good, I love Jason, and I'm moving to Washington in 47 days.

And I'm eating dinner at Red Robin in about an hour. SWEET!!

Happy Saturday!

PS-- Yay for NFL draft weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Two Things:

1. Stay With You has an update :)

2. Please go sign this:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/VTfunerals/index.html

There is a horribly non-Christian group called Westboro Baptist Church who, basically, believes that there are a few elect to be saved (these being the only ones Christ died for) and that everyone else is damned and that their job is to preach the wrath and damnation of God. This means that they believe God hates America and He is pouring His wrath out via natural disasters, events like 9/11, the deaths of those in the Iraq war, and most recently, the Virginia Tech tragedy.

Their message is of hate, and they go to the funerals of people killed in Iraq (and now they plan to attend funerals of those killed at VT), shouting their venemous messages. They're the infamous "God Hates Fags" people. They shout things like, "Your [son] was evil and god is bringing his [intentionally not capitalized because the god they worship is not the One True and Living God] wrath upon heathens like your evil son!". They basically scream and chant and hold up signs as grieving families try to reconcile their loss.

The worst part is, I have been reading about some of the people killed, and praise God that some of them were clearly born again, and are in heaven! But these WBC people would say that even those are not of the elect and don't know the "true god".

They're horrifyingly despicable and this petition is in the good faith effort to try to get a grassroots movement to stop these people. I'm sorry, but if this is what free speech allows then I think there is a time to put the muzzle on these people. They are hateful and seek to inflict pain. That is NOT free speech in the least.

Please, I urge you to take 60 seconds to sign the petition. You don't have to donate when it asks, just sign the petition and help honor the memory of so many bright, young, talented, and wonderful individuals whose families don't need more pain and suffering.

Oh, and you can read more about the horrifying WBC here if you want more info than just my word:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westboro_Baptist_Church

I just exhort you to not actually visit their hateful websites because they get money everytime someone visits. Probably ad software or whatever. But I saw the main woman (Shirley Roper Phelps or something like that) on a news show once and she is serious about this evil business. So sad. But Christ is bigger than His adversaries, and we can all make a difference by trying to help.

To anyone this applies to, please know that this is a VERY extreme, and extremely wrong, tiny sect- cult, to be honest- who claims to be Christian but clearly is wrong. They take scripture out of context, and entirely misinterpret sections. They're actually primarily composed of a single family, the Phelps', and they in no way represent what Bible-believing (and adhering!) Christians believe. Also, they put a foul stain on the name Baptist, but know that they by no means represent Baptists.

Some Facebook groups are organizing marches where people will go stand silently between the WBC people and the funeral procession, to create a buffer. There is also the Patriot Guard, bikers who go around to the funerals of Iraqi soldiers that the WBC intends to terrorize, and does the same thing. Praise God- the REAL GOD- for that!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_guards




Sunday, April 15, 2007

Heads up!

Just so you all know, there's a blog now dedicated to all things specifically Jason and Tami (but I'll still post on here, too, just, you know, at the same dismal frequency that I have been as of late... though hopefully at least 1-2 times a week!).

Anyway, check out the Jason and Tami blog here:

http://jasandtam.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

It isn't too hard to see...

... we're in heaven... [Heaven, Bryan Adams]

Jason's here.

We're engaged!

The ring is gorgeous, he's wonderful, we're having an amazing time, and when he leaves Friday I'll feel an incredibly huge void in my life, replete with tears, so there will be time for updating you all on the week. I just have to say that I love and adore him, God is incredible, and I have the ring of the world's most amazing man is on my finger!

We're about to leave for Charlotte to go see the Bobcats play (aka ADAM MORRISON!!) and then we're off bright and early to go to Asheville tomorrow, so like I said-- much more to come on like Friday :)

I love you all!

Monday, March 19, 2007

I know the heart of life is good

[Heart of Life, John Mayer]

How's about a List Monday for a change? :)

  • One of my best friends is pregnant! I'm not sure how far she's spread the news, so I'm not saying names yet, but it totally makes me basically an aunt! Yay!

  • I did some shopping this weekend with my rock star roomie, Becca... we purchased materials for Save the Date cards and I got some (much needed) new clothes (some shirts and a pair of bermuda shorts as well as a pair around clam-digger length- SO CUTE!!). Shopping is fun but expensive. Yay for sales though! I got a load o' sexy clothes for my man for just under a hundred bucks! Yay for sales, I say (again, of course).

  • I only need to make it through this week, then next week there's no school Monday (teacher workday... but I have loads o' comp time to use for those!) and then 1pm dismissal (aka two hours early) on Thursday and Friday. Ode. To. JOY!!

  • The week after next has an early dismissal Friday (1pm again), and then... SPRING BREAK! Oh, beloved week off in April, how I do adore thee...

  • This Friday my other wonderfully beloved is making a rather large purchase... which he'll then put into use likely as soon as he gets here on Wednesday, April 4! I can't wait! To see him, to have his ring on my finger, to know that we're truly embarking on the journey toward marriage... *sigh* I love him so much.




  • Let's be honest... I am absolutely in love with Jason :) He's my favorite. He gets his own whole section of gushing now :) We're in such a good place now- we can have rough days where the conversations (we talk at least twice every day) are kind of awkward.... or super awkward... seriously, I verge on- albeit unintentionally- becoming a completely different person when I am on PMS. It's rather lame, to be quite honest. And we're relatively certain he has a hormonal time of the month where he's more irritable than normal too... and these times tend to coincide which SUCKS! Anyway, we can have a rough day or week but then eventually we are able to talk it out and always we get right- both with God and with one another. I just love him so much... not a day goes by that I don't take a step back and think, "God, how did I ever come to have a man this wonderful in my life?"

    My favorite things about Jason deserve their own mini-list, so here are some random ones that come to mind:

      • He makes me laugh... we had the funniest conversation the other night about... well... poop. We were on the phone, I said I'd be right back, came back like 5 minutes later and admitted that I had needed to go numero dos but was too embarrassed to admit it. One of the funniest convos we've ever had as a couple ensued. It was rather hilarious.

      • We're just so beautifully in harmony on issues of doctrine and living out our faith in our every day life. He's seriously my perfect match in that sense. We're on the same note in certain areas where we need to be (primarily doctrinal, some political and the like) and then we harmonize and balance one another out in other areas. It's beautiful, to be perfectly honest.

      • He's so thoughtful and sweet. He thinks I'm the most beautiful woman in the world and never fails to tell me so. He loves me deeply and always wants to ensure that there is never even a shred of doubt in my mind about how tangible and meaningful his feelings are for me.

      • He's a hard worker. He works two full time jobs. Literally, the man works like 80 hours a week, never complains, and does it with a sense of urgency to financially make it possible for us to be together and settle into marriage. :)


Ok, enough gushing. I need to get back to work. But I know you all haven't had any updates in 86 years so I figured you could use a quick one... only it wasn't such a "quickie" after all!

You guys are great! Leave some lovely love!

PS My March Madness bracket is HORRIFIC. *sigh*

Saturday, March 10, 2007

We've got to carry each other

[One, Mary J Blige, featuring U2]

I know you all probably think I'm dead.

At least that I don't love you anymore...

Neither is true. As usual, I've just been mega busy. Currently on the list of To Do's (it's capitalized because To Do lists dominate my life) is... planning a wedding. Barring any act of God to the contrary, Jason is proposing when he comes to see me in April. I'm not sure how or when, but I pray it's soon after his arrival because I can't wait to have his ring on my finger, officially showing that I am his, and his alone. He is my beloved, and I am his.

Ok, 'nuff gushing. One serious thing to tackle... I don't have loads o' time to do it, but I do want to address my beliefs in response to some recent replies to my blog posts (ok, let's be honest... to say "recent" is a DIRTY LIE. I haven't written since before the millennium, or so it seems).

I believe that God's Word is absolute Truth. The entire thing. Many people get mixed messages about the verity of God's Word, but I believe that God's Word itself addresses the idea that the Bible is partial-truth intermingled with fallacies and the opinions of man. This may take a moment, but read the entire chapter of II Timothy 3 below; if you're not feeling reading the entire thing, at least pay attention to the parts I make bold.


1But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.

2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,

3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,

4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

5holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

6For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,

7always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith.

9But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes's and Jambres's folly was also.

10Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance,

11persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me!

12Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

13But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

14You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,

15and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.


For me, it's simple: God inspired all scripture, yes. Not just gave a magic touch to some man to write it, but actually breathed His Word through the human man sitting down to write it. Over the years the Bible has been translated time and time again, but I believe that the same God who could split the Red Sea in two, and who could walk on water, restore sight to the blind, raise the dead, and make me an entirely new creation, Yahweh Himself, can protect His Word and ensure that His Truth is preserved.

Also, to be fair, there is a movement to pick and choose what parts of the Word have been "tainted" and which ones haven't. Now, it's not a new movement- Thomas Jefferson (yes, as in Sir Monticello and our nation's third President) was a deist and believed that any miracles in the Word weren't real. He tore out pages with any "fallacies" leaving the New Testament at a mere 34-or some odd pages. Nonetheless, this idea that we can pick and choose what parts are Truth is a very slippery slope. Who can say what is and what isn't? Is this just up to the individual? Because I know that if the determination of Truth were left up to me, my human tendencies to self-preserve and protect would throw out things like that I shouldn't gossip, or that I should love EVERY human the way I love myself. And yet it would be a rare person to deny that God probably really did say that we should love each other, and that we should guard our tongues from being critical of others. A lot of people are willing to throw out the parts of the Bible that refer to homosexuality- to be more to the point, the parts that say it's sin (and thus shouldn't be done).

I never want to get ugly, but in a spirit of love I have to say that Truth is Truth. One such Truth is that a man is only ever intended to think about and to have the most intimate of relations (including but not limited to sexual) with one person-- his wife. An actual woman. Not a man who believes he is a woman trapped in a man's body, nor a man who is a homosexual man who prefers to be called a she, but an actual woman. And, of course, it is the same for a woman- her husband alone is to know her in that way.

Now, for scripural support of this (having already stated that I believe God's Word is ultimate Truth I should say that I also believe the Bible is the supreme authority on all matters- His opinion counts, not mine):

8On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren.

9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,

10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. [I Corinthians 6:8-10]

*** The "kingdom of God" is not referring to Heaven, PS... but that's just a topic I don't have time to get into... another day!

9realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers

10and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,

11according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. [I Timothy 1:9-11]


I believe that anything reinforced in the New Testament upholds anything from the Old Testament. You'll notice that the NT says nothing about sending women away from everyone else during their periods. It also says nothing about the multitude of laws given for Jews to follow in terms of all the little things like how far you can walk on the Sabbath and what you can eat, other than to say that even in eating we are to do it for the glory of God.

So that's that. As for patriarchal traditions in society... I do think it's heavily abused. That said, I can appreciate a certain beauty in a man stepping up and making a decision and sticking to it. That isn't to say he's to disregard (or even disrespect) the opinions of women. Rather, the goal is for a man and woman (particularly in the marriage setting) to operate in harmony.

I feel that Jason is the perfect model of this in my life-- he always desires to seek my heart on any subject matter, and to honor my thoughts and desires before making decisions- whether they directly impact me or not. He values my opinion, and often what I have to say is in harmony with what he thought; when it's not he always takes it into account and often sees wisdom in what I said (which frequently alters what he thought). At the end of the day, though, I want him to make decisions and stick to them and embrace his masculinity.

I love that! I want him to be strong and courageous and manly and confident in his role as the one I choose to submit to. I feel a glorious feminine strength in trusting Jason, and I love the times when I keep my mouth closed and just pray for him to arrive at God's will... and then he does! It's wonderful :) I love Jason, I love us, and I love how Christ knit us together so perfectly!

Ok, enough rambling- we're having people over tonight, they're getting here in the next 20 minutes, and I need to get all prettified... part of that includes showering, since the sweat residue is lingering from my workout earlier. Gross, I know.

Hasta-- and leave some love!!


Friday, February 16, 2007

Stand Up

Ok, you have to go read this. DO IT.

Chris Broussard's Response to the Amaechi / NBA stuffs


I replied with the following:

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. I hold the same standards as you. The Bible- God's inerrant and Holy Word- is the plumb line for me, the standard which determines my choices as well as my moral values. Many call it antiquated and "mistranslated", as you said, and tell me that they respect my choices, though I can see they clearly think I am either sadly misled and naive or simply wrong.


It kills me that, in our society, I feel like free speech is open to pretty much anyone except those like me, with my values. I truly appreciate your honesty- that you would treat any homosexual man as a human and a friend, with respect, and that you might be a little uncomfortable being around him naked but that you would give him benefit of the doubt and so long as he didn't make a pass at you (ergo respecting your boundaries) then you wouldn't freak out about it and would eventually not worry about the shower situation.


I value you saying this because so many like us (dare I lump you and I together, being that we have a similar belief system) are immediately labeled as hateful bigots when we call homosexuality sin. Yet Christians living as Jesus called us to should love people- even homosexuals, despite the fact that, for a plethora of reasons, homosexuality tends to make most people more uncomfortable than other sins. You showed the way we should be- cliche as it is, you "love the sinner and hate the sin". You also aren't afraid to call it sin- many Christians don't get this. Either they are hateful and allow ignorance to be their compass or they just cop-out and say, "God is love and so you can do whatever you want to do and He'll still love you."


God is love. He came to earth in bodily form, lived every day of His 33 year life for our sake, and then died a humiliating and excruciatingly painful (physically and emotionally) death on a cross. That's love. Love is getting over your own discomfort to be a friend to someone whose life choices aren't in line with your own and shining for Christ. Love is speaking the truth while balancing it out with grace. Love endures and takes the risk- as you have- of being ripped to shreds by those who tout liberty and free speech yet seek to silence those who stand for Truth.


Thank you, Mr. Broussard, for speaking the truth in love. I teach History in a low-income, primarily Black, rural high school where ignorance feeds hate toward homosexuals. Every day I seek to stand for love, living out the Truth I believe- that no matter what choice someone makes, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me, I need to love that person while being unafraid to stick to my beliefs. I stand and walk according to my beliefs, and when necessary I speak the words necessary to back up my actions.


Thank you, Mr. Broussard, for standing with me and being that beacon which my students so desperately need to shine into their lives. I can't wait to use your article as our next opinions literacy-workshop piece.


***


So what do you all think? I'd love to hear your feedback about this stuff.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ok, seriously...

I fell asleep with my eyes open.

I didn't know that was possible.

I was working (on stuff for U$ Hi$tory stuff, what else?) and I was staring at my laptop screen and then I suddenly did that thing where you like shiver/shake awake. I realized I had essentially fallen asleep with my eyes open.

Frick.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Jesus, You led me

[You Led Me, BarlowGirl]

I am so sorry that I'm not writing more often. I'm SO tired. The run down of my last four days, to give you an idea of my current life:

Friday
6:15 - Get up
6:40 - Go to school & work in classroom
8-3 - Teach
3-4:30 - Work in classroom
4:30 - Go home
5-11 - Work on finances and then work on lesson plans
11 - Go to bed; talk to Jas and then sleep


Saturday
8:30 - 10 - Get up, have Quiet Time, eat breakfast
10-1 - Work
1-2 - TFA second interview
2-6:30 - Work
6:30-10 - Shower, go to AB's engagement party
10-1 - Spend time with Matty&Liz and fam, playing games before Matty leaves (I may never see him again... weird to think...)
1 - Talk to Jas and then Sleep

Sunday
9:30-11 - Get up, have Quiet Time eat breakfast
11 -3 - Work
3-4 - Make cookies for Jas (he earned them, and I needed a break)
4-11:30 - Work while watching the Superbowl... ok, I saw VERY little of the actual game. Still.
11:30 - Talk to Jas and then sleep

Monday
6:10 - Get up
6:30 - Go to school and work in classroom
8-3 - Teach
3-4:45 - Work in classroom
4:45 - Try to mail Jas's cookies but realize the Post Office closes at four-FREAKING-thirty
5:15-11:30 - Work, talk to a person who will be in TF@ next year with lots of questions (keep working during conversation)
11:30 - Watch Wendy K0pp (founder of TF@) on the Colbert Report
12 - Talk to Jas, basically fall asleep while talking to him

Tuesday
6:14 - Start the cycle over...

Seriously, that's my life. Notice how I don't even really ever eat meals. Oh, and (gross) notice how I only showered once in four days. Ew, I know. And now I just spent 10 minutes typing this which sort of stresses me out and so I'm going to bed.

Do understand that this is why I don't respond to e-mails or post blogs or anything. Seriously, all I do is work. I feel myself getting sick and I had to force myself to leave my computer at school today; that was primarily because I have a roomie who I knew would need loving and I treasure her and I would hate myself if I offered myself to her as a companion and then worked the whole time. Tomorrow I'll work incessantly again though.

I do love you all and seriously- tell me how you're doing! I miss and love you and though I never write I do still love hearing from you!

PS 58 days until my baby can take me in his arms and render me breathless with a kiss. Again and again and again.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I want a Wii.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

If I just... breathe...

I know I'm slacking on the blog updates. I'm sorry about that! I'm seriously just barely keeping my head above water at the moment. Seriously, I've worked pretty much nonstop since Saturday morning (the roomies had to strongarm me into a game Friday night- Apples to Apples- otherwise the work would have started then... actually, it started after the game, but still) only stopping to sleep, eat, and occasionally shower. And that was only because I worked out. And that was only because I felt so gross from sitting with my laptop for nearly 20 hours by 5pm Sunday.

I have 60 e-mails waiting to be attended to in my inbox. There's some big time badness happening at my school that I really need to talk to my TF@ supervisor about and keep putting off because I don't have time. There's crazy pressure from my school to be part of that badness. I have been leaving for school at 6:20 a.m.... yet I'm only planned as far ahead as tomorrow for my high-pressure, state-tested class that was sprung upon me without notice. When I need my planning most I lose half of it to poor planning on behalf of my school. I don't have time to work out and am hardly getting quiet with the Lord so much as hoping I get something out of His Word as I speed through my Bible study so as to not take away from my work. I'm trying to slow down but when I do everything else keeps going at full speed and if I'm not careful it will all slam against me. It's all around yuck.

Except Jason. He's wonderful. Jesus is my Rock upon which I stand, but Jason is the concrete pillar upon whom I lean. So yay for Jason. And really, I'm not complaining- life is good. I love my Jesus, I love my Jason, I love my kids, I love my roommates, I love my Bible study gals, and I love my life. But hopefully you won't be hurt that I'm so out of touch at the current moment. Truth be told, it may not slow down for the next five months.

Just breathe.

PS Jason wrote a long blog post about us :) It can be found here on his blog.

PPS His entry says we didn't sleep much. And that's true of the first night- we stayed up all night. But know that we stayed pure and didn't cross any physical boundaries that would be sin in the Lord's sight. I'm just throwing that out there in case that line makes ya a little worried :)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I want to be exposed, and not be afraid to fall.

[For You I Will (Confidence), Teddy Geiger]

Ok, you've been waiting. I know you've all been waiting. So, finally, the Jason post.

The week before we met I was kind of irritable. I think the pressures of normal life- finishing the semester, saying goodbye to my students, etc- were mounting, not to mention the fact that the "what ifs" started to set in. What if he doesn't think I'm attractive? What if things are weird in person? What if there's no chemistry? What if I don't like his family and church? What if they don't like me? What if I don't like him? What if he doesn't like me? What if everything actually is really great and this is all for real but then God makes it clear that this simply isn't His will? What if we meet and it's wonderful and then I say good-bye and never see him again and that's all we have, ever?

It was all heavy, just sitting there like a gargantuan piece of lead squashing my heart. Jas was struggling with such things and general life stresses as well, and we didn't argue, per se, but things were a little strained all week. Then I had all of my recruiting going on, and what felt like trillions of airports and layovers and the whole bit. It was yuck.

Soon enough, though, it was Saturday night and I was walking around Sea-Tac, trying to figure out which baggage claim was mine, knowing that he would be waiting for me there. Finally, I saw him, a tall handsome man, attractively dressed, and I knew immediately that it was him. He saw me at about the same moment, and I went to him as he came toward me and we embraced. The first thing I noticed was how amazing his scent was. Then, upon pulling back, I immediately handed over my ridiculously heavy laptop bag and we went to sit and wait for my checked bag to come by on the conveyor belt.

Things were fairly normal and comfortable right away. He wanted to gaze at me and I wasn't quite ready for that, but we just sat close and felt the glorious feeling of our bodies touching after 6 months of being 3,000 miles apart. Finally, my bag came and we went to his truck and drove the 45 or so minute drive back to his apartment. Upon arriving there he gave me the mini-tour and took me over near the fireplace to show me his [uber-dorky] meats identification plaque he won in 4H in high school. Then he pulled me close, gazed into my eyes, told me that he loved me, and kissed me. It was beautiful.

He took me back to his room, where he had presents for me (various sweet things from Bath and Body Works, including a back massager, a lovely card, The Devil Wears Prada, and a breathtaking bouquet of a dozen red roses in a vase) and a clean room for me to settle into.

That night we didn't sleep. We just stayed up the whole night, enjoying actually being together. We prayed together, which was WONDERFUL! Church was rough going, but it was wonderful. I loved everything- how real everyone was, the worship, the sermon, the feeling of family and home... it was amazing. It was just glorious. I went to lunch with his family (uncle, aunt, cousins... pretty much his closest family) and I just felt like I was meant to be with them. We watched some football (poor Saints :( ) and then I could tell Jas was itching to get me alone. When we left his whole family hugged me and his uncle said, "Welcome to the family". It was so sweet!

We then watched football (sad day for my Pats. Sad, sad, tragic day.), ate pizza, and then watched 50 First Dates. Cute first movie to watch with the love of your life. Then we actually did sleep that night (he's a sweetie and let me have his bed, while he pretended that the couch is actually comfortable for a man who is nearly 6'5" tall). Monday we just enjoyed a slow morning together, watched the first season of The Office, and just pretty much took our time of just enjoying one another. Then I packed for the trip home and he took me out to dinner in downtown Seattle, to Ivar's on the waterfront. It was so sweet of him- he totally remembered that I love seafood :)

We took a walk down one of the piers (around the 51st or so) and took some pictures of the two of us together with the lights of downtown Seattle behind us. It was wonderful. Finally, we had to go to the airport, so I checked in and then we sat out near the ticket counters in as secluded a corner as we could find for as long as possible. He had to give my Gonzaga sweatshirt back (he was wearing it because I wanted him to) and then I had to tear myself away from him and go through security. When we said good-bye I told him how proud I was of us, that neither of us cried. He then turned away kind of abruptly and left... I stood in line, watching him walk the opposite direction of the way I was going and began to cry. Remember, I don't cry easily at real life, and certainly not when it's my own life. I can cry for other people, or at church, but I almost NEVER cry because I'm sad. But to see him leave just... ached.

I cried pretty much the whole way home, in between restless bouts of sleep usually only 15-20 minutes in length on my flight from Se@tle to Atl@nta.

I haven't cried since the day we said good-bye, but I miss him. I love him. I'm going to marry him. He's the one, the love of my life, my soul mate. I can't wait until we live in the same place and I never have to go more than 24 hours without seeing him... I really can't wait until I fall asleep in his arms and then wake up in them. I miss the feeling of being embraced by him, his height making me feel small, his smell, his caress, his kiss... just him. Only 67 days until he comes here for my Spring Break. I can hardly wait. I love that man :)

But, for now, that's your low down. Things were great, he's amazing, and methinks that in 9 1/2 months or so I'll be walking down the aisle to become his wife.


Lord, haste the day.

Again, a heed to fight injustice.

No one has commented on the previous post, nor does it appear per my tracking software that anyone exited my blog by reading more about the movement to serve justice and set Genarlow Wilson free.

I'm asking you to join the fight. Help free Genarlow Wilson. He's an honor student and start athlete who is serving a ten year jail sentence for receiving oral sex from a 15 year old when he was 17. Granted, he made a poor choice in doing so, but it's absolutely horrific that he is serving a ten year jail sentence. Help him get his life back to be the outstanding young man in society that he should be but is robbed of the ability to become while in prison.

Again, my baby wrote a blog about this if you want more detail, with links to articles and videos and such:

http://thirstfordiscipline.blogspot.com/2007/01/system-has-failed.html


If you'd rather, you can just go to this site and sign the petition to free Genarlow Wilson:

http://www.wilsonappeal.com/petition.php


You have the opportunity to fight injustice and to see a man be given back his life. I ask you to think about these words:

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to stand by and do nothing. - Edmund Burke


Spread the word. There are Facebook groups to join, you can repost this blog or link people to it. Put a bulletin on MySpace. E-mail your friends. Stop this evil.

Don't do nothing.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Fight Injustice

My baby posted this; I pointed his attention to it. I agree with him and you should join in the fight to free Genarlow Wilson and restore him to justice. Go here to check it out:

http://thirstfordiscipline.blogspot.com/2007/01/system-has-failed.html

And a real blog post is coming... I'm just SUPER busy with school right now! Sorry :(

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I'll Stay With You

[Stay With You, Goo Goo Dolls]

I know everyone's dying for an update. I'm exhausted, have jet lag, and a horrible headache which was barely touched by large amounts of Tylenol. But here's the condensed version:

He's wonderful. I love him. We will get married, I have no doubt. He's God's best for me, and I for him.

Details are to come, but rest assured that I had a wonderful weekend with the world's most amazing man. My heart is heavy because the next time my eyes will behold his person- and my lips enjoy the beauty of meeting with his- is 72 long days away. But the time will come. I love him.

72 and counting.

PS I LOVE Seattle. Love. It. Bothell too :)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Quickies

1) I absolutely love recruiting! Yesterday went really well. Omaha's not such a bad place :)

2) I received notice that I've been accepted for an initial interview with TF@ for a Recru1tment D1rector position!!

3) Tonight's the big night with Jas! 15 hours and counting :) And I get to be in my favorite city!

4) I simply cannot stop listening to My Savior My God by Aaron Shust. Go get this song!

PS GO PATRIOTS!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sometimes it's hard to breathe...

... just knowing you found me.

[With You, Jessica Simpson]

I can certifiably say that's the only Jessica Simpson song I like. Only one. It's rather fitting of my post I'm about to write, though :)

I'm currently doing a Bible study with some other young female teachers (mostly other TF@ers) by Beth Moore called Breaking Free. It's a great study and the Lord is really using it in my life. It seems that what God does in me individually seems to always parallel what He's doing in Jason and I as a couple, and this week was no exception.

On Tuesday night we were talking about the day in the study in which we focused on finding satisfaction in God. One question was, "What is the most satisfying part of your relationship with God?". AB wanted to know each person's answers, and a lot of the gals said awesome stuff, like knowing He is the answer to all things in life- simply The Answer, or that we have victory in Him, etc. I thought about my answer knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the most satisfying part of my relationship with Jesus Christ is knowing that He is my everything.

This was particularly clear because I had just proclaimed this to Jason about an hour before we arrived at that question during Bible study. I am a blessed woman because Jason loves me deeply and wants to treasure me and always esteem me as a precious jewel whom he will cherish for the rest of his life. I know many women don't have that, and I am truly blessed. The negative side to this, though, is that Jas holds himself to extremely rigid and high standards, so if he lets me down even the slightest bit then he is crushed. Ninety-nine percent of the time he's far more upset than I am in this, and Tuesday was no exception. I actually found myself extremely angry with him and... well, I let him know it.

He began trying to explain why he was so upset with himself, how he hates to let me down because he wants to be my man, to be perfectly everything I need. I simply had to stop him... normally I don't interrupt him, but I just had to. I told him that he's not my everything and that he never will be. He'll never be perfect, and he'll never fulfill me or even begin to touch the void in my heart that leaves me rendered helplessly incomplete on my own. Jesus Christ alone is all of this- and more- in my life. God fulfills me, makes me complete, and makes me whole. He has blessed me with the most amazing man in Jason, and for that I am truly grateful.

Understand that I do know Jason needs to strive to be the best man he can be- but he needs to be the best man he can be in accordance to God's will. Jas knows that he can't fulfill me, and he wasn't trying to be my God. It was amazing, though, to hear myself saying those words-- "Jason, God alone is my everything. He fulfills me, makes me whole, and completes me. You'll never be perfect, and you'll never be able to do what God can in my life"-- and to know that I meant them with every ounce of my being.

God is my God; Jason is my man. In 3 1/2 hours I board a plane for Omaha to recruit for TF@, and Saturday I board a plane for Seattle where I will spend 2 glorious whole days with my man.
Yay. :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

How Humble Your Love

[Wonderful Maker, Jeremy Camp]


..to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes...
[from Isaiah 61:3, NIV]


There is so much to say, but only limited time exists in which to say it. I promised three blog posts a week and I'm pretty sure last week was only two. My bad. But SO MUCH has been happening. Yowza.

For now, I can delve into the details I alluded to in my previous post. For weeks (months?) the plan has been to see Jason when I go to recruit for TF@ near P0rtland, 0R this upcoming weekend. Only... scratch that. I received a call last week and, due to scheduling conflicts, it was realized that I'd have almost no one to meet with. Thus, it was up in the air as to where I would go. They still wanted to send me somewhere, they just weren't sure where. The Midwest was mentioned more than once as a possibility. Aka... far, far from the Pacific Northwest.

I had mentioned in a previous conversation (with the same woman- let's call her Shannon) that I was planning to do some personal stuffs in the evenings while in P0rtland in addition to my recruiting efforts during the day. Shannon asked about these plans, and while I knew Jas might be a little crushed at the news, I was able with full confidence to say that my number one priority was to recruit and serve her in any way I could, and that while I was really looking forward to seeing my pal Brendo and my wonderful boyfriend, they were simply not my ultimate motivation. She said she'd work out whatever she could, and would send me where she most needed me, and I just had peace that God's best was in store regardless.

I had Jas call and broke the news that there was a distinct possibility that I might not be able to finally see him this weekend. It was a sweet testimony, however, because earlier that same evening I was talking with my roommate (I call her Elili) and telling her about my confidence that no matter what happens in life, He has His best in store for me. Last spring I thought I had met the man I would marry, but when God revealed that this man simply believed false doctrine I had to make the painful choice to surrender what I thought was love, something that once I thought was God's best.

Though it goes against what would make sense by man's standards, within 6 weeks the Lord brought Jason into my life, and I now see that I was given beauty in exchange for ashes. I know, it's ironic that the first guy's name was Dusty, but he was mere ashes in contrast to the absolutely beautiful relationship that I have with Jason. And, as a side note, a check of Dusty's MySpace a while ago showed that he met someone else who, presumably, shares his doctrine and is a great fit for him and he proposed to her, so while I'll never have contact with him again, I do hope that he feels that he received beauty for ashes when I left his life; I don't want my calling him ashes to seem like a put down of any sort. We simply were meant to be together for a time, I learned from it, and moved on, hopefully he did too, and that's ok!

So... back to the point! I was able to testify in faith to Elili that sometimes what seems perfect (like, say, a job recruiting full time for TF@! My dream job! I'm praying and trusting God! And, of course, I applied :) ) ends up seeming almost worthless in comparison to what God has in store for us. When I wrote the previous blog post I didn't know what would happen with this upcoming weekend, but had just prayed with Jason on the phone, and we both knew that regardless of the outcome, God's best awaited us.

The next day I heard back from TF@. I'm going to be recruiting Friday and Saturday at Creight0n University in... Omaha, Nebraska. And that's totally great! It's God's best!

***

Now, before you get bummed for me, Shannon was so blessed by my willingness to simply serve her in whatever capacity she needed me to that she worked it out so that I'll fly to Omaha Thursday night to recruit for those two days, but then Saturday night I'll fly to... Se@ttle!! I'll be able to be in my beloved city with my beloved man, meet his family that lives there, go to church with him, and see his stomping grounds. His roomies have even agreed to let me stay there (my wonderful and loving man will take up residence on the couch and give me the respite and privacy of his room... which is REALLY sweet considering he's 6'5" tall and I'm pretty sure the man just doesn't fit on a couch!). He's pretty great like that :) I'm just happy I'll be with him, in Se@ttle, able to go to what will probably become my home church in five months, and just... be with him!

How wonderful is that? Our plans of P0rtland, which seemed like the best thing ever only a week ago now seem like ashes compared to the beauty in what actually was God's intent all along. I fully believe we can enjoy His blessing because we chose Him, and chose to believe Him and refused to feel sorry for ourselves or like we were missing out on something great. God is so good, and so faithful.

Oh, and how well does my man know me-- plans are already in the works to watch the AFC championship game Sunday afternoon (GO PATS!! TOM BRADY IS A ROCK STAR!! I LOVES ME SOME NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS!!!) and even to splurge from my healthy regimen for some pizza, sprinkled with the possibility of some stolen kisses during commercial breaks :)

[Insert: I'm painstakingly moving out of the period of mourning over our heartbreaking loss to Chicago on Sunday; I'll ALWAYS love my Seahawks and though I'm rather sad that we didn't win I embrace the knowledge that next fall will come... maybe we're just meant to win Superbowl XLII in '08. But it still hurts. *sniff*]

I love Jason with all of my heart. God has blessed me with him, and I'm amazed that a man like him even exists, let alone is in love with me. I can't believe that in 97 hours I'll be in his arms.

I pray I would NEVER cling to ashes and miss out on the beauty God intends to bless me with.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

You are all I need when I'm surrounded

[All I Need, Bethany Dillon]

I just need to gush that God is amazing. There's stuff going on that I can't really get into at the moment, but I'm so grateful that God has been working in me, increasing my faith that He is good and has a plan.

First, here is an incredibly amazing verse that has really been such a comfort to me; God is such a great minister:

For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. [Isaiah 64:4]

I've never heard or seen the God who acts on my behalf; never seen or heard the things He wants to do in me and through me. Astounding, mind-boggling, consuming-- that is what my God is.

And I love the little addition Paul makes to this verse in I Corinthians 2:9 (the addition is boldface):


but just as it is written,
"THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD,
AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN,
ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."

I REALLY love how the New Living Translation words the little addition:

..and no mind has imagined...

No mind has imagined! I haven't even imagined the amazing and incredible things God has for me. Not matter how things may appear to my puny human understanding, I know that God loves me and has amazing things in store for me.

So, not matter what may come, I am His and I rest in Him. Knowing Him has been far better than anything else in my life, and I embrace all that is to come- no matter what it is. I love my God, I love my life, and I love Jason.

That's all I need, and it's more than enough.