Saturday, August 29, 2015

Wearing Shoes Every Day: College

As many of you know already, this was my first week of college. As fewer of you may know, this is my first real weekend in ten years. Why do I say that? Well, I've been home-schooled all of my life except for half a semester in third grade about ten or eleven years ago. It may not have occurred to you before, but I have never relished the weekends like you non-home-schoolers/working people do. What, it's Friday? Last day of school? Nope. Not for me. I did school on Saturday too. Mayyybe I went to the beach on Wednesday... but that's besides the point. I just never got it. What is so special about Friday and Saturday?

Keeping it real here. My first day of school pictures for the first time since 3rd Grade were put on hold while my brother and I gathered up all the chickens that had gotten out and put them back in their yard. 

Well, yesterday... I got it y'all. I left my last class in the rehearsal hall at 2:15 eager to chunk my backpack in my car and hurry up and relax. When I sat down in the chairs in the lobby of my favorite building, The Center for Fine and Performing Arts at the University of West Florida, I sighed in relief. I'm done! It's the weekend! Yay! That my friends, is a feeling this home-schooled girl never imagined she would feel. Yes. I've jumped on board. I love the weekends too. I promise, I'll stop making fun of all a' y'all now. ;)

I've experienced some other new things this week besides just the weekend though. Like a daily alarm clock setting; wearing make-up every day; having to find decent clothes everyday; packing a lunch or at least making sure I have enough money to buy lunch so that I don't keel over dead in the middle of the day.; carrying my water bottle around and not losing it (although I haven't been the most successful with that.); wearing shoes all day every single day; and here's the million dollar question I know y'all have been waiting for... how did I deal with all the people?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Untangling Knots and Tying Strings

I woke with a start.  I scooched to the edge of my bed and squinted my eyes as I tried to make out the numbers on the clock.  The digits glowed a dim orange but it was still a few seconds before my tired eyes adjusted to the light.  Still, it wasn’t time.  I continued to stare at the clock and tried not to fall asleep. 

I don’t believe it was every night but in my memories it seems like it was.  I was about nine years old.  I would stay up and wait for my favorite radio program to come on.  It probably started somewhere around ten o’clock.

After what seemed like ages it was finally time.  I readjusted my pillows, my blankets, and tried to shove our big dog away from me.  I turned the volume down low so that my sister wouldn’t wake and laid perfectly still so as not to make the tiniest noise.  Out of the speakers came the eeriest of sounds.  Outer space music.  It made me feel small and made my young mind ask questions.  What is out there? How big is God? Where is Heaven? Are aliens real? The surreal sounds would take me to an entirely different world; Sometimes it was frightening, sometimes I would get lost, and sometimes it was breathtaking – Always, it was filled with wonderment. 

Starry Night has always been my favorite Vincent van Gogh piece. This painting expresses exactly the way the outer space music made me feel.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

What Does My Future Hold?

I think I have a propensity for missing out on good conversations. Or maybe I always miss my cue. Or, I don't recognize a good thing until after its gone. Whatever the reason, I always find myself thinking back and wishing I had said something. It's a good thing I have a blog. I have found it is useful, on more than one occasion, to artificially go back and say exactly what I wish I had. Of course it is never as good as saying it in person but one could argue that it is better than not saying anything at all.

If there is one thing I have learned in my life, it is that I know nothing.

If I had to guess, I think my future will probably have a lot more of this in it - piano and funny faces.

There was a time when my life made sense, a time when everything appeared to be under control.
I was like any other little girl back then, dreaming about my future with no concern for anything but the present. At eight years old I had my whole life planned out. I would grow up and go to Clemson University in South Carolina. I would learn music and become a concert pianist. I'd travel the world with my sister and her friend in our RV with our three horses while playing piano for a myriad of audiences. One day I would meet a handsome man and he would become my husband. We'd get married on horseback and for our honeymoon we'd hike across all of North America. After that we would buy a house. I would teach piano lessons and home-school our children. Then I would climb down from the tree where I had been dreaming and run inside to play with my siblings.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Biblical Horizons, 2015

Last week, July 20-24th, Mom and I had the privilege to attend the Biblical Horizons conference in Valparaiso Florida. It was a week long event that started at 8:30 in the morning and concluded at 8:30 in the evening after a long break during the afternoon. 

Our esteemed speakers this year were; Jeff Meyers, Uri Brito, Richard Bledsoe, Peter Leithart, and James Jordon

The topics considered this year were:

The Book of Joshua by James B. Jordon
Wealth Management in the Gospel According to St. Luke by Jeffrey J. Meyers
End of the End: Orientation to Revelation by Peter J. Leithart
The Christian Counseling Movement by Uri Brito
A look into psychiatric drugs based on experiences as a chaplain at his local hospital by Richard Bledsoe (This one didn't have a title so this is the best I could come up with)

I had a good time, and although the lectures were a little beyond me I did manage to glean some good counsel and being exposed to new ideas is almost always a good thing. I met new people and had good conversations in addition to spending some quality time with my mother. I learned new music as well at the nightly Vespers services both by singing and, although it wasn't planned, playing the music because their original pianist had to leave town suddenly. We ate lunches with people, spent time at the beach, did a little shopping, and stayed late in the evenings at the fellowships/meals/parties afterwards.

Although it might not be exactly descriptive of the conference itself, here are some pictures of our adventures during our breaks in the afternoons.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tonight I Sit

Insomnia. I'm not sure if I have it or not but sometimes, like tonight, even though I am sleepy, I can't seem to fall asleep.

I tossed and turned in my bed. I curled up into a tiny ball. I hugged my pillow so tight that the feathers were about to burst. I talked to my sister. (One of the perks of sharing a room. Also one of the drawbacks if you are the one sleeping and your sister is the one who can't.) I got down from my bed and did some sit-ups in the middle of the floor. Finally I announced to my sleepy roommate that I was going outside to listen to some music.

Conveniently, I took a picture of this honeysuckle blossom a few nights ago. I can say that it is supposed to represent the sweet thoughts that came to me out of the dark night. ;)
As quietly as possible I opened the cantankerous piece of wood that we call a door and slipped out into the muggy Florida night. The air was heavy and the bugs were thick. I picked my way across the driveway to the sidewalk, being careful not to step on any toads, and sat myself down in the broken beach chair that was abandoned there after our last trip to the lake. Of course, because my hair is so thick and long and crazy, in the short amount of time it took me to get out there my earphones got all tangled up in my unruly locks. After extracting the wires from my hairy mess I was finally able to turn my music on.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

What Have You Been Doing this Summer?

 "So what have you been doing all summer?"

That is the question I was asked yesterday at lunch that I never really answered. I started to answer by leaning back in my chair (or forward, I don't remember, I just know I moved around in my seat) and saying something like "Oh man, a lot has happened this summer. My life is so different now than what is used to be." I paused awkwardly for a second trying to figure out how to proceed but then my phone rang and I was saved from answering immediately. After the phone call I kind of avoided going back to the question and our conversation continued on swimmingly thanks to the "amiableness" of my companion.

Still I kind of feel bad for never answering. It's not that I didn't want to, I was just unprepared to answer such a simple question because I feel like I have a complicated answer. It's not that a lot has happened this summer, but a lot has come into fruition this summer. I mention often, in somewhat veiled language, the difficult life I had before and to be sitting here now in my current situation is something that is nothing short of miraculous to me.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Friends From South Carolina

Some of you may not know this about me, but I was born in South Carolina. I'm not sure if I am what people call a "Southern Belle" since my mom was from Missouri and my dad lived in Michigan - his mom however grew up in the marshes of Alabama so I tend to identify myself as a Southern girl. I lived in the foot hills of the Smokey Mountains and grew up seeing snacks like pig ears, onion rings, and pickled eggs on the shelves in the grocery store. We didn't buy them of course because of my mixed heritage but I ate them sometimes at friends houses. The dirt roads were orange and the pine trees were so tall they seemed always about ready to topple over on me. I painted T-shirts and fence posts with squashed poke-weed berries and I mashed the buttons on the elevators. My parents watched NASCAR and shouted at the TV screen while I played in the backyard. I loved watching the Dukes of Hazard and would try to pull the same stunts as the General Lee did on my little pink and purple bicycle. I lived the first story of my life there in South Carolina for eleven years until we moved to Missouri. 

It's not the best picture, but it gets the point across, we went canoeing down Clear Water Creek. Oh, and there's that one kayak in the back.
While we lived there in my birth state we had many adventures, adventures that were shared with in particular, the Courtney family. This past week two of these long lost "family members" came to visit for a few days. I won't try to reconstruct our week for you but I just wanted to share a few pictures here on my blog instead of blowing up my Instagram feed. I'm thinking of all a' y'all, my sixty-two Instagram followers, so thank me please. ;)