Monday, December 31, 2007

Leaving yesterday behind...

December 31, 2007.

2007 slowly expires.

This has been a tremendous year. I've learned a few things. For instance, when you cut 10 inches of your hair off, people like to watch. Or when you are in Nigeria you really shouldn't sit in the front seat of the van. I realized, too that rock climbing is as fun as I thought, but oh so challenging! Apparently I am an annoying driver, and I'm not cut out to be a lawyer (although I don't think those two things are connected...). Virginia and North Carolina are beautiful in the fall - so much more so when you have good company. It doesn't matter how prepared you think you are for things in life, you still aren't. It's hot in Africa, and it's cold in the mountains in December. And nothing aside from the Word and presence of God Almighty is more important than fresh air and sunshine.

Happy New Year!

I have decided to go electronic with my letter this year...otherwise you wouldn't see it until Valentine's Day. If you'd like to read it and see some pictures, please do. You'll find it published here. God bless you all richly in this brand new year!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

An important reminder...

Never, my friends, ever forget the vital importance of fresh air and sunshine. When I found myself getting quite testy on Thursday afternoon, I realized I hadn't been out of doors all day. I promptly stuck my head - yes, quite literally, in fact, my entire upper body was hanging from the doorpost - out the door that led to the balcony and breathed in some good, cold, fresh air. It was glorious! Yesterday I sat in the sun (inside, of course), and read and read and read.

Important! Please read! If ever you find yourself losing sanity follow these instructions carefully: immediately stop what you are doing and get yourself into direct sunlight. If at all possible, take with fresh air. Continue for at least 20 minutes. Repeat as often as necessary.

Skiing, anyone?

I have returned from a jaunt to the mountains with a portion of my family, and while I was there I was reminded of one of the reasons I do not ski. The onomatopoeia "brr" doesn't quite cut it when I try to describe how I felt when I ventured out of doors to meet a friend at the Starbucks in River Run Village. In fact, I think the interjections "ow" or "ouch" would best befit the situation. "Misery" is a pretty good noun for it. I was in pain, people! My toes, my face, my fingers ... misery ... yes, that is the best word I have found thus far ... misery.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Snow driving

For those of you who do not know, I have long been an advocate of no snow. This is true for one reason: I dislike driving in the snow. If I can be snuggled up under a blanket, in front of a fire, reading a book, watching a movie, or talking with a dear friend, I have nothing against snow. I enjoy watching it fall and listening to the stillness of a fresh blanket of snow. There is nothing like a snowy Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. But put me in a car or in a situation where I know I will have to drive in it on slick roads, and I'm not such a fan.

Two weeks ago I was with my boyfriend headed for Thornton. We were going to a dear friend's house for a celebration. But the snow was not only getting worse, the roads were atrocious. So we got to I-25 and Colfax and turned around. I was driving. By the time we got back to Paul's, I was still not so comfortable, but I knew something I had never let myself know before: I can drive in the snow.

Thanks to that day and to Paul's wonderfully calm demeanor and non-chalantness concerning snow-driving, I now have a growing confidence in my ability to drive in the snow and on not-so-nice streets. But, of course, I still have my limit. One does not want to be unsafe, and I will always enjoy being indoors when I can be, watching the beauty blanket the earth, but I am glad of my new-found confidence. Suddenly winter isn't so long or so scary.

Friday, December 21, 2007

It is difficult...

I have attempted to write a blog entry for a number of weeks now, and as I sit to compose it, my words fail me. There is so much going on in my heart and in my head that it seems impossible to narrow it all down to one simple post.

December has been full and wonderful. I sat in on some wonderful music at two separate orchestra concerts that Paul was in, enjoyed a night with the high school ministry I'm a part of, eating, laughing, and singing, was honored, along with Paul, to be the guest of my grandmom at the Madrigal Banquet at Glen Eyrie, was one of 6 women who spoke at a tea at my church for just under 400 women - I spoke on the Joy of Christmas - and have taken a long walk on a snowy night. That was simply the first week of December. Since then I have attended 2 Christmas parties, participated in a Children's Pageant (as drama coach), seen a wonderful marionette production entitled "The Puppet Maker" by David Simpich, had some scrumptious lunches, met with some wonderful high school girls, and am now preparing for my last party of the season.

As I wait for my head to stop spinning and my heart to calm down, I watch the world around me running red lights and cramming stores and wonder why we do it all. In the midst of joyous song and laughter there is frustration, stress, and short tempers. We desire the holiday to be just right, as perfect as we can make it, when that is impossible. All that matters are the friends and family we have around us, the opportunities we have to serve our fellow beings, the small moments that make perfect moments as we sit and enjoy quiet evenings together, remembering why we celebrate this holiday.

The Joy of Christmas is salvation! Immanuel - God with us! Jesus' birth - God as man - for the purpose of saving the lost. We celebrate the ultimate gift this upcoming Tuesday. Let's not lose focus of that.

So Merry Christmas, my dear friends and family! I celebrate our wonderful God; I praise Him for Christ; I praise Him for life; I praise Him for you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

...the song still in them...

"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation
and go to the grave with the song still in them."
~Henry David Thoreau

The song of your soul should not be quieted. Life is not hopeless, it is not pointless, it is a gift. We are here to glorify our God in all we say, do, think. The song you are given is unique to you. If you choose not to share it, your life is one "of quiet desperation," and the world sees one more life pass without gleaning all it could from it. Your life has purpose. God has a plan for you and all you have to do is surrender to Him and live your life, singing the song He puts in your soul.

Whether you touch one life or one million, what more could you have done but that which you are given to do? Glorify God. Seek Him above all else. No matter what it looks like, today is not just like yesterday, tomorrow will bring new challenges; live today, praise God today, no matter what. What do you have to fear? Storm the gates of hell, Child of God, for there is nothing to fear. The Lamb wins.

...shared thoughts of one looking in a mirror...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Back from Vacation

We have returned! I cannot tell you when I have enjoyed a week more! (So much so I am still adjusting to being back!) We relaxed and saw some sites and simply enjoyed life! There is not enough time in what became barely 2 days to see everything one wants to see in D.C. - I doubt a week would be enough! Paul and I sat and talked and enjoyed the sun and watched movies and didn't finish a crossword and walked and walked and went to Target and walked. We took the train into D.C., we walked through historic downtown Fredericksburg, and we drove to NC to see my great aunt and uncle. It was a blessing to my soul to see them both. Our last day we stayed with friends of Paul's family and played pool and enjoyed good company. They are a wonderful family! I felt very honored by their hospitality. I am thankful for the rest and the fun I was able to have this week. I told you to look forward to pictures! So here are a few.
Go here to see more!

Day One - this was our first stop.

Paul and myself with some old friends.

The shirt says "No! We're not there yet!"

My mom bought it for our 8.5 hour drive :o)


Friday, October 26, 2007


Vacation (noun) 1. a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday.

I am officially on vacation. Meaning I have no work to do until Monday, November 5th. I must confess I have felt the need for this week more and more as the date has come nearer.

I am going to Virginia. I am going to tour D.C. like never before. I am going to drive to North Carolina and back again - just to see my great aunt and uncle. I am going to see battlefields and museums, monuments and skylines. I am going to drive around D.C. and get lost, drive through VA wondering where the highway signs are, sit on my aunt's porch and breathe deeply.

But there is one thing that sets this vacation apart and that's the company.

So fare us well and look forward to pictures - I'm sure there will be a few :) - I'll "see" you all when I'm back from vacation.

"vacation." Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 26 Oct. 2007.>.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The LSAT - the final chapter

I don't even remember when I decided to take the LSAT. It was a long time ago - maybe a year? I studied off and on for that whole time - going to the library, taking practice exams. I read the whole intro to the LSAT section in the book I purchased. I was going to do it and I was going to do it right. February was too soon, so I signed up to take the test on September 29, 2007 at 9 a.m.

About a month prior to the test I considered not taking it for one reason: I wasn't going to go to law school. Through a lot of talking and good listening I finally decided to take the test. So on September 29, 2007 I went in with my gallon sized Ziploc, my #2 sharpened pencils, and no water bottle, and I took the LSAT. It ended at 1:30 p.m.

3 weeks, 1 day, and 20 hours later I received my score.

Taking the test reaffirmed my desire not to go to law school. I did my best in the time allotted to me. While studying I wanted to get a 160. By the time I was halfway through the test I was going to be happy with a 150. Lowest score is 120, highest is 180.

My score is 151. I am ranked 49%.

You know what I think is cool? I got the first 10 questions right!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Who He Says He Is

"Helen's life has been a graveyard of loss, a scrap yard of betrayal. But ask her any day what she knows, and she'll tell you, 'God is good. He loves me.' Her conviction about that hasn't come by toting up her days of wounds and wars, weighing them against her days of laughter and bounty, and seeing which tips the scale. Her belief has a different taproot: God is simply who He says He is, regardless of what her troubles might have tempted her to think or surmise. Helen stands in a venerable tradition. She is part of that great cloud of witnesses who, living by faith, refuse to reduce God to their own experience, to limit His love by the evidence of their own circumstances." ~Mark Buchanan from The Holy Wild (pp 78-9)

"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness."
Jeremiah 31:3b,c

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Search results for: lost papers

Ever wish you could use the "Find" feature - that so wonderfully finds words in a document - or the "Search mail" feature - that finds the emails that contain a certain word in your Gmail - in your office?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Valuable Piece of Advice...

For all of my millions of readers: to those few thousand of you thinking of taking the LSAT at the University of Denver, a word of advice:

  1. Get there early - when you read "8:30 a.m." think "7:30 a.m." - not because they start on time (because they don't - praise God or I would have wasted $129), but because DU has really limited visitor parking.
  2. When reading the instructions and you see the word "snack" - think Double Cheeseburger with fries, a coke, and maybe some apple pie because it's longer than "snack" would imply.
  3. Don't bother with a sharpener - they don't do what their name implies - just take a half dozen pencils - one for each section of the test.
  4. Skip the questions that take too long (some very good advice I received on Tuesday) - even if it means skipping a whole passage and 7 questions because instead of English it seems like the passage is in Greek or Latin or some equally dead language.
  5. At the 5 minute warning, stop panicking and just do what you can - actually it's kind of comical how little you can get done in 35 minutes when it's 9:30 a.m. and your brain doesn't turn on until 3 p.m.
  6. No ball point pen means no ball point pen - take pencils, people and listen to the instructions!!!! (seriously, how many times did she say no pens and someone was writing with one???)
  7. Don't forget your water bottle.
  8. When crossing the DU campus don't look the Rushers in the eye and enjoy the chiming bell in the clock tower - the latter is reason enough to go to a campus like DU on the hour :)
  9. Praise God when you don't get a parking ticket because you didn't listen to #1 and you didn't have enough change.
  10. Remember - the outcome of this test does not affect your life's happiness - God's going to use you where you're at - fact - no matter how smart the LSAC thinks you are.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Strengthen Your Brothers

I read this yesterday morning and saw it with new eyes:

"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." ~Luke 22:31-32

"when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."

I had always seen that Jesus had prayed for Peter's faith not to fail, but then he also encouraged Peter to strengthen his brothers - because he would know better what he believed.

Last night at Bible Study we were in 1 Peter, and someone mentioned the fact that Peter had failed so much and it was ironical that he was now encouraging the readers of his letter to stay strong. The weight of the above quote hit me once again - that's exactly why he was writing the letter - he knew the importance of standing strong - he knew the value of the salvation that comes through Jesus' sacrifice - he knew the value of grace.

We are far from useless in God's hands - despite our failures - when we allow Him to pick us up and brush us off, God will use us to strengthen His people.

Trust - Wait - Worship

"Loving God, according to the Bible, means we are to trust him, wait on his timing, and worship him. We, too, will be tested [as Jesus was - Matthew 4:1-11], in each of these areas of our vocation to love God."
~Scot McKnight, The Jesus Creed p. 252

In what we find to do - in relationships we find ourselves blessed to be in - in loving God with all we are - in loving others - can we - can I trust God? wait on His timing? worship Him?

Trust even when I cannot see or understand-
Wait even when I think my way is best-
Worship even when my heart is heavy and my mind wants to be elsewhere-

"When we struggle in faith, in waiting on God, and in centering on God in our worship, we need to remind ourselves that Jesus has done each of these for us. Our weak trust, our failure to wait on God, and our blurred worship are all swallowed up in his perfect trust, patience, and worship" (p. 254-emphasis mine).

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Here is evidence of what happens to me when I go to bed in a good mood, have a glorious morning as I did this morning (woke up early - had time to eat, go on a walk, read a chapter in my book, look at what I'm teaching in Bible Study tonight), and then have a chance to chat with a good friend. This is a selection from a conversation I had over the course of the entire day with my friend from Leadville (who by the way is very cool and gave me permission to do this). I removed the first half - wherever it says "later" it really is later - I was working

me: has it snowed up there yet?
are you burried under a couple of feet of it yet?
i forgot salt again
I think I'm in an odd mood
Ann: No snow here yet
me: bummer
Ann: Yeah, I know
I half am bummed and half not.
Early snow melts
me: I was being sarcastic
Ann: I'm afraid the first snow will stick till spring.
me: I'm being productive today - that usually puts me in an odd mood
Ann: Nice
Productive is great!
me: that's what I've heard
I dunno.....
Ooh, I ordered North by Northwest through Netflix and it should come today
so excited!
I haven't seen that movie in years
me: I think these rice tortilla chips just get crunchier the longer they sit in a bag
Ann: lol
You are being very random.
me: only because you're not here seeing my incredibly crunchy chips
I think I lost a tooth
me: is the plural of monkey really monkeys??????????
Ann: yes it is
me: weird
who came up with this language??
Ann: God?
me: God did not make the plural of Monkey Monkeys
the Tower of Babel was a long time ago
the language has evolved and gone haywire
Ann: yeah
I might be able to look that up

Enough said....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Nothing beats this time of year! The sun is shining with all its might and the breeze is cool. The leaves are turning and falling. The air is crisp. There are days like today and evenings like last night - the former is good for walks and the latter for a nice fire, a long hug, or a mug the size of your face full of something warm and yummy.
I am vastly contented and always happy to enjoy those quietly perfect moments that don't seem to last long enough :)

You Can't Take it With You

This weekend was amazing. Why? you ask. The answer is more complex than simply "I celebrated my 26th birthday" for I did not merely celebrate my birthday, I celebrated my friends and the gifts God has given me and continues to give me.

Friday I saw a friend from out of town. Saturday I went to see a play with 7 friends. And on Sunday I had dinner with my best friend, her husband, and my boyfriend.

The play we saw was You Can't Take it With You, a play in three acts by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. It is an amazingly funny and crazy story about a family in New York City in the 30's. The main drive of the story is that no matter how much you toil upon this earth you can't take a dime with you when you leave it, so why grasp at those fleeting treasures?

So I would like to thank my real treasures - everyone who made my 26th birthday so memorable. Dinner and the theatre, a late night talk, an evening out and an evening in - smiles, laughter, and simply being there - all this rolls into one incredible weekend that I will not soon forget.

I am blessed. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The time! the time! Who's got the time?

Computer: 1:55
Work Phone: 1:46
Over the door: 1:49
Over the books: 1:50
Cell phone: 1:48
Blog: 1:48

And the answer is... 1:48's different now!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Living for...

So often in our culture we find we are "living for the weekend." I do so try to not make this true in my life, but one thing I have learned this week is that the weekends help me live the rest of the week. It's not that I'm not at work or that I get to sleep-in - because sometimes I can't do that - but it's the opportunity to slow down a bit and enjoy the small "perfect" moments that keep me running.

Then they remind me that there are moments throughout the week that fill me up too.

This morning I was able to sit and write a letter while listening to quiet music and enjoying the very English looking morning. Wednesday nights I hang out with students. Thursdays are traditionally Bible Study and a chance to learn and fellowship with my peers. And always there are notes and calls from friends, moments spent with P., and those times I can sit still and simply be that remind me that people are important, the Lord is with me, and life is worth living.

So no matter what anyone says about weekends, I think it's important to remember that each day has joys and sorrows of its own. You just have to live for those "perfect" moments - like strolling around a lake, laughing with a student over dinner, a friend over a movie, or wandering aimlessly but blissfully through the zoo.

"All joy reminds. It is never a possession,
always a desire for something longer ago or further away
or still 'about to be.'"
~C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle

from Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by M. L'Engle (1918-2007)

"Faith is for that which lies on the other side of reason. Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys. Surely it wasn't reasonable of the Lord of the Universe to come and walk this earth with us and love us enough to die for us and then show us everlasting life?" p. 22

"Often we forget that he has a special gift for each one of us, because we tend to weigh and measure such gifts with the coin of the world's market place. The widow's mite was worth more than all the rich men's gold because it represented the focus of her life. Her poverty was rich because all she had belonged to the living Lord." p. 31

"And then there is time in which to be, simply to be, that time in which God quietly tells us who we are and who he wants us to be. It is then that God can take our emptiness and fill it up with what he wants, and drain away the business with which we inevitably get involved in the dailiness of human living." p. 170

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Blessed Reminders

So the day is over. The big event for our high school students is complete. I certainly got my exercise today. I must say, I was able to get all the work I needed to get done today in good time. I actually had 30 minutes to spare! I was surprised. Quite different from my dream! I can still feel my "emotional glutens," but I am doing much better over-all. It helps that I enjoy what I do and look forward to Wednesdays :)

I have a few observations from the past few days that I would like to share:

  1. It is good to not think about work just before going to bed.
  2. Check lists are indispensable.
  3. There is nothing like a good masseuse, especially when you carry your stress in your shoulders. In fact, I could use one right now-this is the worst my neck has felt in a while!!
  4. When I need to unwind, I know there's someone willing to listen to all my crap who happens to be one of the most soothing presences in my life (AND I am tremendously grateful for you:)
  5. Volunteers are indispensable.
  6. When a game is complicated, it's important to alert your leaders of the rules beforehand! (Sorry, guys!)
  7. I am not a motivator - if I do any speaking in the future, it probably won't be motivational speaking.
  8. No matter what I do, I will always have Vasomotor Rhinitis *sigh* or should I say *sniff*
  9. No matter how stressful things get, there are always people who care about me - even when I go nuclear - and I'm working on that.
I am extraordinarily blessed,
in more ways than one.

Tomorrow is Thursday. I love Thursdays.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Emotional Glutens

My doctor told me that there are "emotional glutens" that will affect the way I digest and cause possible discomfort in my gut. In other words, "Try not to get too stressed out, Carey."

Easy for him to say!

I woke up this morning with one realisation: "It's TUESDAY," and I was happy about it for one reason and one reason only: I had just been dreaming that it was 6 p.m. on Wednesday, and I wasn't ready for our big event that begins at 6:30 Wednesday.

Needless to say, I haven't felt too well this morning, but I am improving as I check items off of my "to-do" list that I created after I got up.

I just thought I'd share that... BACK TO WORK!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

List of Fifty (one)

I had the privilege to speak to the high schoolers at my church yesterday morning. The topic was simple enough for me to speak on because it was the story of my life with Christ. In the midst of my talk, I spoke of the times of life when we are pushing through confusion - when the stack of unanswered questions is dauntingly high - and suddenly we pop out the other end and some things finally make sense. We are able to breath once more because 5 of the items on our list are answered or clearer. We still have this list of 50 things, but it doesn't seem as daunting any more.

Yesterday a few friends of mine added one more item to my "List of 50" - the things in my life that need prayer saturation. After my talk, one of my friends told me I should go into public speaking, and my boyfriend seconded her opinion. I must confess myself quite taken aback! The fact that the Lord was moving through my words that morning was made clearer and clearer as I spoke to more people - praise Him with me!

I must confess that I do enjoy speaking - telling people all that the Lord is teaching me and sharing with them all that I have learned in hopes that the Lord will use my words as one way to touch their lives as He has mine. I forget, in the months and years that span between the times I have taught, how much I enjoy it. The thought of actually trying my hand at it more than once a decade had never occurred to me, though. Being a lawyer has occurred to me; being a teacher has occurred to me; I am a secretary, and I am a writer. But me? a speaker??

Apart from the Lord I can do nothing, and so the "List of 50" is in constant flux as I turn to Him and as He answers me. It's interesting, as I think and pray, a number of things that I have been told over the years suddenly take on a whole new meaning....

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Day in the Life...

As my diet (a word which here means "the foods eaten, as by a particular person") completely changes from what it has been my entire life, I would like to share with you A Typical Day in the Life of Carey's Stomach (i.e. today - which is a little off because I get to sleep in a bit on Thursdays)

: (8 a.m.) a bowl of cereal and then a walk (9 a.m.) 2 eggs w/ turkey and spinach, a turkey sausage patty, and 1 buckwheat blueberry pancake.
Snack: (2 hours after brkfst if I remember to eat it on time) an apple
Lunch: (should be around 2 hours after that, but usually it's 1 or 2 by the time I get myself away from my desk) black beans, rice, salsa, and avacado dip with rice tortilla chips (yum)
Snack: (2 or 3 hours after lunch) more fruit or a veggie
Snack: (about 5 minutes before dinner because my metabolism is going nuts!) a bowl of cereal or a handful of almonds
Dinner: (6:30) Last night I had a chicken dish over rice that Mom made, tonight it's burgers
Snack: (9:30) fruit if I haven't had too much, veggie if I have, cereal if I want something crunchy that isn't vegetable-based, almonds if I'm lazy
Late Night Snack: (midnight) - for those nights I'm up too late ;) - whatever I can find that I'm allowed to eat if I remember to grab something, otherwise, I don't have anything and go to bed rather hungry.

I think I'm turning into a Hobbit...only I have 64 oz of water a day, not ale :)

"diet." Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 16 Aug. 2007.>.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Multiple Personalities

I woke up this morning at 8:30. I woke up 1 hour and 30 minutes late.

I got to work at 10 a.m. I got to work 30 minutes late.

When I got to work I became 5 people.

10-10:30 I was person 1
10:30-11:30 I was myself - as a volunteer in Reclamation discussing it with K.
11:30-12:15 I was person 1 again
12:15-1:00 I was person 2
1:00-2:00 I was person 3 - at 1:15 I was person 3 and myself (as a secretary) at the SAME TIME - at 1:30 I was myself for a few minutes and then I was person 1 and then person 2 for a little while before I became person 3 again
2-2:30 I was myself
2:30 I had lunch with myself aaaand 3 minutes to just sit....
3:30-5:30 I was person 3 again and myself - it was all mixed up, including a trip to the post office.

Wow. I need a nap. Praise the Lord for days off :)

Monday, August 13, 2007

The English Language

It is fascinating to me how languages evolve. Words such as "limousine" and "videotape" did not exist a century ago. Even "peanut butter" and "vitamin" are relatively new words when compared with the historical expanse of the English language. "Blog" is a word that claims even more infantile status.

It is a shortened form of "Weblog" which is an online diary or a personal "log" on the web. I wonder if James T. Kirk's Captain's Logs were called clogs. Ooh, interesting fact: "Joe Bloggs" is not a complete sentence, it is the slang term for "any hypothetical person" in the UK.

Well, all of this to say that I am now blogging. Don't be surprised if it doesn't happen often, but I thought it could be fun. After all, I am a writer.

Oh, and may I just say that it is quite easy to source something from because they give you the info in three formats!

"blog." Webster's New Millennium™ Dictionary of English, Preview Edition (v 0.9.7). Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. 13 Aug. 2007.>.
"blog." Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 13 Aug. 2007.>.