Monday, December 28, 2009

Dear Blogger

I really wish you would be so kind and invent something that could read my mind and blog for me every time I think the words "Oh, I should blog about that." It would, of course, have to be able to adjust to the writing style of the user and glean an entire blog, well written and constructed. If you could begin working on this, I would very much appreciate it. Thank you.


Carey B. Cecil
the woman who really wants to blog

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy December, Everyone!

So October and November have passed without a single word on my blog. So tragic. Truth be told there are a lot of blogs I have thought of writing and so little time to write them. Getting engaged as I did on October 2, 2009, I've been a mite busy! Paul and I have successfully planned 90% of this wedding. Most of the decisions have been made and things are progressing quite nicely. But unfortunately this has had its share of casualties.

I am tired of thinking. Tired of lists. Tired of rehashing everything I've ever done and will ever need to get done. I want to sit still and let life happen instead of trying to make sure it all happens without a hitch. School is barreling towards completion (for at least the next 8 months), and I'm getting ready to take on an additional 16 hours of work and the secretarial duties of a whole new ministry at work. Meanwhile I'm trying to keep meat on my bones and a smile on my lips. The latter does not prove difficult, thankfully. I have wonderful friends and family. Paul is incredible, and my God is ever-present, faithful, and loving. Of what do I have to complain?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lunch anyone?

I have discovered a negative side effect of having a European schedule (at least a European dining schedule) ingrained in my system. That is when all of my co-workers are at lunch, I'm still working. Not normally a problem, of course, I take my lunch at 2, this is not a complaint, but sometimes it is an inconvenience. My brain simply works differently. I'm doing my work and think of things I need to go downstairs for, so I go, not even thinking of the time, and they aren't there. They're at lunch.

Today this is particularly inconvenient because once they get back from lunch I'm supposed to be on phones, but I didn't think to get the business CC from my boss before she left for lunch and so I haven't had a chance to run an errand I need to run before I leave on vacation! Sigh. Alas, there's the rub. But it will all work out; meanwhile I ate lunch, so now I'm going to be hungry at 3:30!! There's simply no winning, I suppose.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Plasma Jesus

"Okay, people today we're playing Halo in order to illustrate how you need to share the Gospel. Notice the plasma grenade, when you throw it at someone it sticks! This is how we need to be with the Gospel. We need to make it sticky, people! Throw it at them in such a way that they can't shake it off!"

I came up with this when joking around about using video games to teach JH students.

Did you hear about...? Oh, yes, I read about it on facebook!

Today I found out that it may snow tonight and tomorrow. I am particularly distressed by this news because it is my birthday and I would rather it be 55 degrees, rainy with a patch or two of sun, a nice fire, some hot cocoa, a good book and even better company. But alas, it is not to be so.

That said, I was so annoyed at this discovery I wanted to update my facebook status immediately. But I forgot my phone today, and I was away from my desk when I thought of it. And then something truly strange happened. I was asked by the teller at the bank how my day was going, and I was able to share with her what I had heard about the weather. Then we chatted about the actual possibility and how we weren't truly ready for the winter coats to be hauled out of storage, etc. Some of her co-workers chimed in and we had a nice chat.

Imagine that. I talked to humans. Now obviously I am not against technology, hence I am updating all of you at once via this blog about my experience today, and I do talk to my friends on a fairly regular basis, but I do sometimes wonder at the fact that I spend so much time updating facebook and then never talk about what I say there in person with anyone. I feel I'm losing my ability to communicate! Or maybe I'm just over-reacting. I'll never really know because I'll never talk to anyone about it, and it will remain this unanswered question floating out there in the world of little 1's and 0's.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm a bit Nosey

I would like you all to meet Nosey.
Isn't she beautiful? This is an artist's depiction of me at the age of 20. Notice the whisper thin eyebrows and bedazzled teeth. Now you may have noticed this is a caricature of yours truly, not a true depiction; I share this with you for a reason. At the age of 20, I thought my nose really was that big - okay not truly, but I did not find that he had exaggerated it as a feature erroneously, as my best friend thought. I had a BIG nose, and I knew it.

Over the years my nose has shrunk, not because of some spell or some rubbing solution, but because I stopped saying it was overly large and over time I stop noticing it to be overly large. Now I find my nose to be in perfect proportion to the rest of my face.

I find this to be an interesting lesson in perspectives - we can see flaws in ourselves that are far from such. I also find it a good reminder not to speak aloud false beliefs about ourselves, as eventually they become truths in our minds and hearts, and some of them aren't so innocent as one thinking one's nose to be a bit large.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The age of digital laziness

I am lazy when I read clocks. I never remember what the time actually said when I looked! I have devised that this is due to the lack of effort that must go into my comprehending the time when I look at a few bright numbers that, once in my head can become anything, the number of bananas I've eaten in my lifetime, the number of times I say "it occurred to me" on any given day, etc., as opposed to working out the time from a traditional analog clock, something that works both the left and right sides of my brain. I'm not merely looking at numbers, but at the hands pointing at those numbers, which hand is pointing at which number, etc. I actually haven't tested this theory, I just know that when I look at a digital clock, I won't really be able to tell you the time until I look again, and then it's probably changed!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Human Condition - Part Three

Humans fear growing old.

We see the theme again and again in history, the search for the fountain of youth. It's in movies and books, extreme sports and theme parks. Perhaps we fear death or uselessness, the unknown or the inevitable. Whatever it is, there is a major pull in the human condition to seek that elusive Tree of Life. Is there really a way to stay young forever? I believe there is. But not necessarily physically.

Paul and I were talking the other day about how fearless we are as children. I climbed trees, rode my bike down Suicide Hill, probably ran on the ice. What happened? Suddenly we are painfully aware of the risks of such behavior, and instead of facing risks with boldness, we simply stop. I wonder, is age relative? There are some 80 year olds that seem to embrace life with ease and 30 year olds that are already weighed down with bitterness. It seems that much of our age and ability are in our heads. In how we perceive life itself.

The Lord said we should have the faith of a child. Children can be bluntly honest and kind at the same time, they have few responsibilities but to obey, and they are accepting. With the faith of a child, suddenly eternal life is within our grasp, and though we cannot shirk our adult responsibilities, if we remain pure of heart and motivation, loving, accepting, and believing "as a child," we remain "young at heart" as the song goes, loving every age and stage of life, and "smiling at the future."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

to teach or not to teach

I was thinking today about teaching, a profession I am considering and currently working towards. I have met a man in one of my classes that is going to make a phenomenal teacher. He just knows how to re-word and explain really well. I have realized that I do math too quickly to make a really good teacher and I have trouble thinking of new ways to explain and demonstrate (could it be I have no experience???) So there are times I question my current pursuit. But then I remember 2 things:

The best way to teach is to care about what you teach and care about those whom you teach. I love math. There. I said it. I'm getting more and more excited about it as I go on. I want to share that excitement with others (even if they do think I'm nuts), and I want them to know that their success matters to me. Each and every person I come into contact with is valuable. And everyone needs to be reminded of that, even if only by a crazy math-loving teacher who always seems to act like she's had too much coffee...

Thursday, July 30, 2009


When exactly is "someday"? Today I was thinking about one of my greatest dreams: not having my computer in my bedroom. I want a desk the size of a dining room table! where I can spread out and work on my book or my math or whatever! Bookshelves holding all my necessary references and a couple of dry erase boards! Sigh. Someday.

I've heard this word a few times in the past week, and it got me wondering. This particular "someday" is beyond my control, I simply don't have the room for a home office, but what of other "somedays"? There are those that don't have to be beyond reach. "Someday I'll read such and such a book" or "Someday I'll learn how to make Creme Brule." "Someday I'll finish that quilt I started ages ago" or "Someday I'll finish writing the book I started 10 years ago." "Somedays" such as these take one thing: conviction, conviction and action...("our two weapons are" conviction and action and "ruthless efficiency, our three weapons...." You get the idea.)

Why can't today be someday?


Probably not enough...

So apparently my hand was shaking, so it's a little blurry, but you have to see this.
Contents: (all "boxes" are Costco sized boxes)
3 boxes of cereal
2 large bags of apples
4 dozen Einstein Bros. Bagels
150 plates
300 bowls
2 gallons of milk
2 boxes of Goldfish
1 box of fruit snacks
5 boxes of yogurt
10 bunches of bananas
35 water bottles
1 bag of Hot Tamales
1 box of Hershey's chocolate bars
1 box of pretzel sticks

The packing of this cart was masterful and redone 3 times total in the store in order to successfully leave with only one cart :o) Who knew jigsaw puzzel knowledge would come in handy at this job??

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm going to go watch a good book

While waiting with great anticipation for the sixth installment of Harry Potter films to begin, I was regaled with four trailers for movies that are based on books. Stormy With a Chance of Meatballs, Where the Wild Things Are, New Moon and the one that really got me excited, The Lightening Thief.

There are so many movies that have been and are being based on books, and while I love most of them and enjoy being able to see my favorite storylines in a new light - some of my favorite Lord of the Rings imagery I never noticed until I saw it - I have to wonder, ultimately, doesn't it kind of ruin the whole point of a good book? I know, it's a great avenue to expose non-readers to the literature of the day and bygone eras, it's a money-maker, it takes far less time to watch a movie than read a book, and the best of them just make me want to re-read their books. And let's not forget the great debates we enter into while discussing the differences between these movies and their beloved page-bound-brethren.

I guess it just speaks to a whole different audience, not just in our culture, but in our own minds. There are times all I want to do is lay down and watch a good movie, and then there are other times when no movie can hold my attention, only the type-set of an engaging novel. So I suppose I will finish reading the Percy Jackson series, go see HP and the Half-Blood Prince again, read HP and the Deathly Hallows before the movie(s) come out and I go see those, and wait until New Moon comes out on DVD and watch it then...maybe.... All the while fighting the urge to open Pride and Prejudice or re-watch the new Sense and Sensibility every time I get bored.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Grace Under Pressure

I just found this scribbled out in my notebook under the heading "blogs to write":

I have studied Esther to some extent and feel it would do me good to refresh my memory of who she was and the character she exhibited as a woman who lived with grace, even under the most extreme circumstances.

Being human I have a great many short-comings, one of which is being too quick to point out and condemn the rest of them. But I step aside from my attempt to curb this nasty habit in order to mention this: I have a great desire to be a woman who is calm and trustworthy even when things begin to unravel, fully relinquishing control to the Master while doing all I need to do. In other words, I want to be a grace-filled woman under pressure.

Paul described me today (May 1st) as a volcano: the pressure builds until kaboom! then peace; the great beast returns to its slumber. Only problem is that peace comes at a great price: the tranquility of those in the vicinity. I want to encourage not discourage those around me! I wonder how capable I am of being calm and collected rather than rudely blunt, irritatingly hurried and unnervingly stressed.

I will add here (16 July) that I am happy to report the Lord's faithful work in my life. The road is long and the way is tedious, and at times, dare I say, explosive, but I have hope and faith in the fact that the Lord will prevail. He will be made manifest in my life. Jesus is, after all, our ultimate example of grace under pressure.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Human Condition - Part Two

I love to be right.

Beyond that I don't like it when others think I am wrong, or when the topic is out for deliberation. For instance when I get into a debate with someone and they firmly believe I don't know what I'm talking about, and I have no computer with which to prove my superior knowledge. I also have a strong aversion to making stupid mistakes, like missing a due date for an assignment or dividing something by itself and getting 0??? Or when I vent about something and someone offers me some advice that I knew, I simply MUST tell them I knew it already. Can't just thank them!

PRIDE. It's a disease. It's ugly. Too ugly. Some are blessed with the ability to shun it, to live lives brimming with humility and others-centeredness. I am too often consumed with my own self-image and making sure everyone knows how intelligent I am. Ugh. I make myself sick. But what of boasting in my knowledge of the Lord, "who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth"? He is a God who delights in these things, not in what the world delights in (see Jer. 9:23-24). Can I live my life not minding when I am wrong, or perceived as such, so long as I am right in Him? The world thinks that we are fools. I don't let that bother me!

"Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, but humility goes before honor." Pr. 18:12. If I trust in myself alone, I am doomed. Praise the Lord for Grace and Mercy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

You have to understand something...

I don't play volleyball. It goes way back. Too far back. And it's become a mental block I am desperately trying to break down. This evening I took a big step, as I spent 40 delightful minutes learning how to play! Two of our new freshmen in the HS group I volunteer with were kind enough to give me pointers and hit the ball around with me. They taught me the best way to stand and hit. They told me I need to actually move in order to get under the ball, anticipate! There were moments I couldn't breathe for laughing, one of my favorite activities (the laughter). But even as I caught the ball for the 10th time instead of hitting it, and the girls laughed at my running away from the tree, I take this very seriously, (though I must make light of it just to set foot anywhere near a volleyball court), because these baby steps are important to me. I am one (maybe even two) steps closer to being able (and willing) to play a game one of my favorite people loves to play. I look forward to being able to spend time with him doing something he loves.

Re-learning how to learn.

During my most recent Calculus meltdown (and the subsequent calm after the storm), I had a realization. I cannot do math as I have always done it. I can't just "get by," processing much like a calculator: input, output. I need to know it and how to use it and how to break it down. So I can't just sit in class, spend an hour doing my assigned homework (which isn't much) and nothing more. The reason I do math has changed. My method must as well.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The 3 things I want most

I have begun reading a book by Madeleine L'Engle called The Rock that is Higher: Story as Truth. Two pages and I was crying, 18 pages before I had to stop reading and drive to work. By the time I got home, my head and heart were bursting. I'm not entirely sure what it was that got to me. Perhaps it's the reminder that I don't have to have my future figured at the age of 27. So many of the women I look up to went through life the way anyone else does: one day at a time, and they got to be 50, 60, 70 and beyond, wiser, kinder, and serving God in ways they never dreamed possible when they were my age. Or perhaps it was the reminder that God gives us the strength to bear whatever may come our way. Whatever it was, by the time I got home yesterday, I knew three things to be rooted as the cry of my heart, desires embedded so deeply in my soul that they outweigh that self-centered "need" to prove myself in a field such as mathematics.

  1. I want to serve God. Valiantly, faithfully, passionately. Patiently. I want to be a warrior of my faith with a servant's heart, my Savior's compassion. To stand firm even when opposed or it appears I am stranded - the world would have be believe - in the dark. To love the "unlovable" and live in the world, but not be of it. Speak with a boldness of conviction in love and peace, overflowing with joy in every circumstance. Trusting. From this desire flows all others.
  2. I want to build a home, with God's help, that is a safe-haven for my family and friends. To be a wife and mother in a home where my husband can let down his guard, feel honored and respected, my children are free to be who they are, and all who cross the threshold feel safe, loved, cared for. A home where God reigns and we cling to Him in the good and the bad. This begins with me, my heart, not when I get married, but now. Do I live my life so that when others are around me they feel free to be themselves, let their guard down, feel honored, respected?
  3. I want to share my heart and all the Lord teaches me with others. Whether through my writing, speaking engagements, mentoring, or simply living. There are 2 books I am currently working on, too many stories I have long since left behind that deserve to be told, people to love. I do not have to have my first book published by 30, 40 or even 50. I can share my life, my brokenness with those I encounter every day.
I must be shrouded in a mantle of prayer, trusting that God's timing is good and perfect, studying His word, and not ignoring His people. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I'm really not into Paleoanthropology, no matter what it may seem like...

This is my new car, Lucy.

I have named her thus for a couple of reasons. The name came to me one day walking out of Target when I saw her from the side. The hood is quite sudden in its protrusion - in Anthropology I learned this is called prognathism. She reminded me of Paranthropus aethiopicus. While Lucy, the famous 40% complete skeleton of A. afarensis, is not P. aethipoicus, it was the shortest name I could come up with, the first one that came to me, and the name of one of my favorite literary characters of all time. So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, my Subaru Forester, Lucy.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Human Condition - Part One

I realize that every time I have an idea I want it to be hailed as pure genius. I want the people around me to be as excited as I am about whatever it is and jump at the opportunity to help me. Or when something happens or is about to happen that I'm excited about, I want others to rejoice with me and be as excited as I am.

More often than not, though, if I have an idea (that naturally I find brilliant), there are nay sayers around me being practical or saying things like "That's a nice idea." Or I get really excited about something and no one understands why, or there are people giving me reasons to calm down, and suddenly I find myself upset!

Then I realize I do the same to others. It's all a part of the human condition, I suppose. We have a tendency to dream and a tendency to dampen dreams. Naturally we need each other. We can't always go charging in, blades gleaming in the late afternoon sun, ready to slay any dragon that dare challenge us; sometimes we need to look at the castle's layout and determine the wisest route for our attack. But when I am being the one with feet firmly planted, I hope I can approach any idea with excitement, keeping the hope and joy of the person alive while they plan. And when my head's in the clouds, I hope I won't let necessary practicality dampen my hope and joy.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Oh, it's frozen all right...

So one really great thing that I have been doing lately is getting up on time! (Read within 15 minutes of my alarm going off.) The result? I have time to work out (and actually have been doing so!), I don't feel as sluggish as I used to, and I get to work EARLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What? I know! It's true!! Who am I, and what have I done with myself?

Attitude check.

I got an idea for a blog post today. The theme was my rotten day. After class I was headed back to the office, forming it in my mind until I remembered something I learned on Monday. Paul and I sat down and started reading Psalm 119 together. One thing that kept jumping out at me was the importance of giving thanks (a theme I see a lot in Scripture). Then we read this:

"Your testimonies also are my delight;
They are my counselors." (Ps. 119:24)

We can delight in the testimonies of God and be counseled by them!! No wonder we are instructed to boast of all He has done! So often we focus on the negative stories of life when we share things with one another instead of talking about the joyous events and gifts that are given to us. Even the everyday joys - I woke up this morning! I took a walk! I ate food! I forget to rejoice in them and praise God for them. It's a little easier when it's something mind-bogglingly wonderful! Somehow, though I can find something negative to mention every single day. But what can anyone learn from my sob story about forgetting to finish my Calculus homework and ... I can't even remember the other thing I was moaning about (to myself), and I think that's because I let it go and didn't tell everyone I encountered about it!!! I would much rather focus on the good, although there are always those times you simply MUST get something off your chest. But daily complaints about things as petty as that which I mentioned above ... not worth my energy.

Besides that, who wants to read about it???

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


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Find-O-Base is a trademark of WannabeGood Inc. Patent pending. Production based in NeverLand. Just 12 easy payments of $5,998.92 and the Find-O-Base is yours, including the tag-gun, Find-O-Base software, headset, and handheld computer! WannabeGood Inc. is not responsible for any gullible people reading this. Just look for the "Why Can I Never Find My Stuff??????" slogan for retail stores carrying the Find-O-Base!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

And the winner is...

I feel a bit like Gumby these days. Or maybe something caught in a hurricane - blown here and there, never settling. I think I know what I should do in life and then I get another idea and suddenly I'm not happy with the first idea, so I start to vacillate and wham! no idea. I go through ideas like I go through tissue! I love doing a lot of things. Today I was told that's a gift. I'd never thought of it that way.

I want to glorify God, which I can do in many ways, including (thank you, Lord) where I currently am in life. I want to work with people. But I also want to do what is necessary. I love numbers, but I miss playing with words and learning. I miss the idea of sharing what I've learned with others through books or speaking. When did I stop calling myself a writer? Why didn't I stand up and speak at my brother's rehearsal dinner? Why are there days I can talk to anyone and say anything and days when I'd rather be hiding in a corner, nothing to say, no interest in anyone?

I've been asking myself a lot lately how I became this tightly wound ball of stress and negativity, and due to a number of possible factors all occurring at the same time, I couldn't pinpoint a source; today I think I have. I stopped reading my Bible everyday. I am thankful today because God has given me a gift. He has placed some people in my life that are playing an intricate part in re-igniting my love for His word and helping me see its value in a deeper and more meaningful way than I'm afraid I have in a long time. And today I am at peace.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

10 years later

Yesterday, as most everyone knows, marked the 10th anniversary of the shootings at Columbine High School. I took the day off and spent it with three very special people. We ate breakfast at the school and were allowed to once again walk the halls of CHS. Exactly 10 years to the moment, I was in the room where I sat when I learned of the shooting, I got to see the office where I waited with 59 others for someone to come, and, save for the addition of paint, it all looked exactly as I remembered it. The memories haven't faded.

At the evening's memorial, I was reminded that no matter what happens in my life I have one job to do: live it for Christ, Colossians 2:6-7. I don't have a dramatic Columbine story. It's something I've always been able to face and talk about. I walked away from my high school experience with a firm conviction to cling to God. I praise Him for that. He sent me exactly what I needed in a moment in the midst of chaos: a friend and three words: "Pray with me." To this day I don't know what I would have done had it not been for Craig. And it doesn't matter. God knew what I needed.

Yesterday was the same. It was through my closest friend from CHS that I learned of the breakfast and God allowed me to share it with her as well, not to mention three of the most important friends I have made since high school. And that was what I needed. Cling to God - embrace the present - look forward to the future - accept your past.

My best friend, one of the three, worded her and Paul's role in yesterday very well (she married a man who graduated with me in 1999): "For Paul and I, as the respective significant others, it was good for us to finally be able to go into the mire with Carey and Clinton and to stand tall next to them. To be the constant, ever present reminder that this was indeed the past we were visiting and that it can be let go of now. I think with our presence there, it helped to highlight the fact that the past has no more power over us than what we allow it. And that the present and future are only as strong and bright as the good we extract from the bad in the past." (emphasis mine)

I am grateful to them for their presence and that reminder as well as the love they both showed me in both the somber and the silly moments. I say it often, but it must be said:
I am blessed. I love you both.

And to the man who provided a lot of that laughter, thank you for loving my best friend. It was an honor to share the day with you.

We have a responsibility to learn from what we experience. I am reminded anew of the fact that no person is insignificant and everyone influences someone, even if only for a moment. I am thankful for all the men and women in my life that have challenged and encouraged me. Without them I would be less. May we always give all that we are.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Raising Awareness

I have found something to be true: one must learn to laugh at oneself. This post is published in honor of that truth.

On Wednesday evening I learned that there was a shoe store hoping to raise awareness for the shoeless children in Africa by encouraging Americans to go barefoot on Thursday. I'm all about African children! BUT it was quite cold and rainy yesterday, so I wore flip-flops to make my statement. Off I went to the CU campus in Denver, my toes quite numb by the time I got to my first class. Admittedly I was feeling a little foolish. (I find that any time I do something to raise awareness all I do is spend the day being reminded myself of the cause I'm attempting to raise awareness for.)

The first person to ask me about my footwear choice was an acquaintance I have made in my C++ Programming class who just so happens to have been born and raised in Tanzania. In fact the first words out of his mouth were, "This is not right, Carey!" and I thought he was talking about our program that's due on Tuesday. I was wrong. So I had to explain to him why I was being so very un-wise.

"Carey, let me tell you something," he said. "Growing up I only wore shoes to church. And on Sunday I knew my grandmother would make me wear them and I would go and right after it's over I took them off! I don't like shoes. Now I have lived in America I wear shoes (without socks) but when I go home they laugh at me. I cannot walk barefoot on the ground."

This is where the light bulb came on: here was a man who lived the life of the children I am "supporting" and his reaction: "they don't want shoes!" (He also mentioned that East Africans are much more laid-back than West Africans. Something he felt he had to share when he heard I had been to Nigeria. Apparently I simply must see Tanzania! Something I could do with CU if I were into Paleo-Anthropology, which...I'm not...but I would like to see Tanzania just the same.)

Now I know the reasons we as Americans encourage shoe-wearing in the lives of children around the world, it helps with disease prevention, etc. But I found in my 10 hours of numb-toed living yesterday that the only awareness I rose was my own. I became fully aware (during my humbling chat with this friend, and in the hours that followed it), of how culturally unaware I truly am. It pricks my desire to know more about cultures around the world. How much more good could we do if we took the time to actually understand and appreciate the culture of those we desire to help? I am thankful for the missionaries around the world that do just that and for the people God so graciously puts in my life (in the most unexpected places), to teach me such simple, yet profound, truths.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I enjoyed one of those evenings I am saddened to see end - due to the anticipation that led up to it, the joy in living it, and the realization that once over it would be but a memory. Just seven short hours of my life that began with dinner and ended with a kiss. I got to dress up, eat out, enjoy conversation with Paul, and great seats at the theatre. But as is typical of The Phantom of the Opera, the mask is illuminated, the music fades, and the curtain falls; as applause erupts, the thought once again crosses my mind: "It always ends too soon."

Hope and excitement are wondrous things, but the expected eventually comes and while it took ages to get here, passes by in what seems an instant, making way for yet another age to come. All I can do is have fun with the anticipation, enjoy the moments I am living as I live them, and remember fondly the "days gone by," praising God with each new morning and thanking Him for special evenings, even if (and perhaps especially if) they leave me with a touch of longing.

tear-filled joy

Getting ready to blog on my wonderful Tuesday evening, I was double checking to make sure I'd never blogged on my thoughts of the Phantom of the Opera before. As I was doing so I ran across this post about my experience in Nigeria over 2 years ago. Reading it brought tears to my eyes.

I have often said this time of year will never pass without my thinking of that trip. As our 2009 team prepares to head out tomorrow morning, my heart aches to go. All the more now that I've read my entry of so many months ago. I am glad of the memories, glad of the experiences, and pray that the Lord will work mightily not only in those leaving tomorrow, but in the lives of those they go to see and of those of us they leave behind.

Godspeed Southern Gables Nigeria Team 2009!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Feeling a little left out,
Carey decided to upload
a clock to her blog too.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

God be praised!

February is finally coming to a close.

I don't think I've ever been so happy to see a month end.

Fare thee well, February
Month full of fright and frustration
Fingering every frayed nerve.
I have learned much in your frigid winds
But I do not fear this farewell.
I am full of gratitude to God
For my friends and family
who have encouraged me through your four weeks.

Here comes March.
It steps in like a lamb
gentle and new.
Promise of healing.
And if in the end
it struts out like a lion,
may the boldness be in us all
to walk through whatever may come
knowing full well we have faced a frigid February
and not failed but lived.

New life comes even in the darkest night.

(written in 10 minutes - unedited)


Does God come first in my life?

Do Paul, my friends, my family, my small group, random people on the street come next?

Do I come very last?

You hold everything together
You hold everything together

Oh, Christ, be the center of our lives,
be the place we fix our eyes,
be the center of our lives!

("Center" Charlie Hall/Matt Redman)


I missed a homework assignment deadline. Thought of it Thursday. Didn't do it. Due last night. Didn't do it. Oops. I know how to do it. I meant to do it. Maybe I can still do it??

Monday, February 16, 2009

What a nightmare

I woke up this morning stressed.

I'd had a nightmare.

Winter Retreat. Chaos.

I stood in my backyard this morning and made a decision: I'm ready for spring.

I stood there and found myself wishing I was in a movie or a Jane Austen novel. A pretty music cue, a nice paragraph describing the passage of time and suddenly...the trees are in full bloom, my clothes have changed, and my mom pops her head out of the backdoor: "Come on, Carey, you need to finish packing! We need to get to the Springs!" and poof it's May 8th, the day before my brother's wedding. Everything that's happened in March and April are filled in during exposition.

I'm busy. My brain is so full it hurts. Nice week to have 2 tests and a quiz. I have emails to write and I can't find the time (emails are personal, they take more time than a blog), people to sit and talk with but I can't focus my thoughts; my room is a disaster area; I'm getting ready to declare a state of emergency in my bathroom; I keep running out of clothes; I'd rather be sleeping. This is not normal, people!

Well, my mini-"I don't want to shoot my computer, so I'm going to stop doing what I was doing and take a break" break is over. Best get back to work.

I could use some prayer.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Warning: what follows is not for the faint of heart

Today is February 12, 2009. Charles Darwin would have been 200 years old today had not the "Survival of the Fittest" come to bite him in the butt. You see freakishly old people aren't good for the gene pool and therefore must die. Happy birthday, Mr. Darwin. (I really don't think he was all that surprised, the man was a theologian after all.)

There is a lot going on on campus today in honor of this man and his achievements. I am tempted to be sitting in on them to be perfectly honest, to try to understand. Because I don't understand. I get survival of the fittest. You are stronger than that guy and you have to fight him for food. "That guy" loses and you get to eat. Congratulations to you. But that is where my understanding runs out.

In class on Tuesday my professor mentioned a man who believes we have eradicated "survival of the fittest" in this day and age because of medication, proper nutrition, mass production of food. Of course the second you begin arguing this case you discover different members of the "fittest" class - so long as you have money, live in the right country, have skills for the right job, etc., etc. But then apparently I'm going to die from a common form of melanoma and not contribute my freakishly pale skin to the gene pool. Of course that thought ticks me off because pale people can be smart and take precautions and stay alive a little longer than some may predict. Just like women can have babies that are over 7 pounds without a C-section (my mom had 5 such babies). So apparently I'm a double miracle: I was a big baby and I've lived to be sunburned more than once. Look out, Darwin, I might just have the firepower to prove you wrong.

I don't remember if I blogged on my realization that the advancement of the intelligence of man has created an environment where a small, very small, portion of our population is BRILLIANT which allows the majority to be morons with little to no morals and absolutely no self-control. Not saying that we are all members of the moronic class, of course, but the brilliantly minded individuals are allowing for that to occur, if you will. You see if survival of the fittest were truly working we wouldn't create cars that won't start if your blood alcohol level is too high, drunk people wouldn't survive crashes while the mom and her kid in the other car bleed to death on the side of the road. So perhaps survival of the fittest still exists but is flawed due to our advancement of technology. The rich get to survive, the drunk get to survive, liars and thieves...but if you're a brown moth in a forest of aspens, look out!

That is merely one example born of my prof telling us about those cars. I've already mentioned my sheep theory in an earlier post. Ever wonder about survival of the fittest and Noah? Hm...

Don't get me started on the conveniently missing "missing link" or the fact that fish evolved to have gills but whales still need air? Why did they get jipped? The really scary thing is that I'm not intelligent enough or schooled enough to back up my rantings. I want to learn, I want to be able to sit down with someone and have a logical conversation about all of this, but I don't think they listen to themselves. It doesn't make any sense! The man presenting his paper this morning that I heard during my class said something about gills evolving and whales "adapting" themselves for an aquatic environment where we did not. Why did they stop where they did? Why didn't they develop gills too? And he was talking about random selection and common ancestors, clades and grades and biological evolutionists trying to be heard by the common man. Apparently theists that are also evolutionists are losing their footing on both grounds - people aren't taking God seriously and they aren't taking evolution seriously.

The first time I've ever heard the words "who's Darwin" was yesterday from the mouth of a 14 year old. So apparently they don't have the hold on the future that I thought they did. I don't want to discount people simply because they tell me we evolved from apes, feeling fully confident in their claims because of Lucy, the skeleton they found (well they found 40% of her anyway) that proves we started walking upright before our brains got so big. I want to enter into intelligent conversation with them. Problem is neither of us will listen to each other. Thing is though, that like I said earlier, they don't listen to themselves! Neanderthal infants had brains the size of modern infants. So they got dumber as they got older? What?

My professor believes in God on Saturday and Sunday. He says that science eventually runs out of ways to explain what we see in the world and we need the supernatural. Fact of the matter is my God has nothing to fear from science. Why does science believe it has so much to fear from a God that set all this wonderfulness in motion? Why is he just an afterthought for some and non-existant for others? I think the majority of the population isn't sure what they believe about evolution. They learn it in school and they move on. Sad thing is the same can be said of people and their belief in God (only they don't get to learn it in school). So maybe I have more in common with an evolutionist than I thought - neither of us can get people to listen to what we believe to be absolute truth and believe it.

Thankfully for me God does the majority of the work. I just need to be faithful and keep learning and professing. I need to keep learning about Him, and I need to keep learning about where the world is at. If I'm not informed how can I expect other people to be? I can't afford to "check my brain at the door" no matter how much faith I have (and praise be to God my "I just don't get it" bug doesn't affect my belief in Him). Thanks, Leah, for helping me re-realize that; I'm praying for you. God gave me faith and He gave me intelligence. I need to make sure I exercise both.

So happy birthday, Mr. Darwin. Thanks for the challenge.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I REALLY need to vent

  • I'm sitting in a library on campus and I'm freezing.
  • I'm hungry but only for the things in the blessed world that are bad for me.
  • I can't seem to get my ring to stop twirling around on my cold skinny finger.
  • I didn't take a shower this morning and my hair is doing strange things.
  • I really want to be reading but I keep thinking of everything I've forgotten to do for the retreat that's coming up in less than 2 weeks.
  • I want to take a nap because for some reason, though I've gotten more than 8 hours of sleep the past TWO nights, I'm really, really tired.
  • I can't stop coughing and it's starting to tick me off.
  • I'm just ticked off.
  • I'm sitting here at 12:20 fully aware of the fact that I have 2 hours until I have class - a really, really annoying class that I don't understand the point of - and then I have to go back to work.
  • I can't get comfortable.
  • Have I mentioned I'm cold?
  • I really want some gluten or some sugar or some cheese or something.
  • I can't seem to get a hold of the churches I need to get a hold of and I'm sitting in a library on the "talk on your cell and die" floor.
  • Did you know Myriad Pro Black costs over $30? (that's a font)
  • I tried making the title of this blog "i REALLY need to vent" but had to go back and capitalize the "I"
  • I just want to cry and run until I collapse to the ground, out of strength and motivation, sobbing and praying for mercy.
  • The first time I went to college I didn't see the point. I still don't. Only now I'm nearly 10 years older.
  • I want my life to have purpose and meaning and all that good stuff.
  • I know my life does have purpose and meaning but I'm going through a time here (they usually last a few days) when I can't seem to convince myself that it's true.
  • I took the light rail to class today, that means I'll be late to work probably.
  • I'm wasting time.
  • I hate wasting time.
  • I really want to scream, but I'm sitting in a library.
  • Not that I'd scream anyway.
  • Maybe I'll just cry. I can do that quietly, right?
  • I need a hug.
  • Crap I'm starting to get a headache.
  • I need prayer.
  • I don't logically understand evolution and I don't get it that I'm supposed to.
  • Survival of the fittest makes sense until they start talking about monkeys.
  • Well, technically it's not monkeys, it's apes.
  • Today I learned that people in cold climates are stockier (at least it's a theory due to volume and surface area ratios). I shouldn't live here. I'm cold.
  • I have a feeling some of the people in my life will read this and not understand that I'm just venting.
  • I'm just venting.
  • I love my life.
  • I'm having a crappy day.
  • There's another word for crappy that I should just use.
  • I'm having a shitty day but only in my head.
  • There's no reason, really, they just come.
  • Thankfully they go, too.
  • I'm running out of steam.
  • I just want to love people and be loved and feel like I have something to offer this world.

Monday, January 19, 2009

a new policy

I have decided to take up the phrase: "I don't know what that means." My desire is to not just go through life pretending like I know everything everyone is talking about but to request information and receive it - keep learning and growing. Also along this line is "I don't understand, please explain."

I'm excited! Strangely it's not easy for me to admit when I don't understand something.

Sheep Proof of Creation?

Yesterday my pastor preached on John 10. In the course of the sermon he mentioned the well-documented idiocy of sheep. (I'm not sure sheep would appreciate it so much, but apparently it's everywhere, this truth.) They scatter without someone to guide them, food for wolves and other predators. It got me thinking. I've actually been thinking a lot lately about evolution and the fact that all of archaeology (non-Biblically based, that is) is grounded in evolution and the idea that man evolved, intelligence evolved, domesticating animals evolved, etc., etc.

So this is my thought: could sheep be a valid argument against evolution? How could there be sheep today if humans weren't smart enough to defend and guide them for millennium? What did sheep evolve from? Doubtlessly something even more stupid than they! Right? So you'd think they would have died off years ago - victims of survival of the fittest and death of the not-so-bright. Whereas in our belief system they have always been cared for (and sacrificed by) humans from the dawn of creation - humanity created with intelligence.

Well, I'm not going to write my first anthropological paper on it or anything, but I thought it was worth pondering....

M.R.E. anyone?

So I have a quandary. I need to find food I can take with me to campus that doesn't require refrigeration or heating. I eat a lot and I can't eat fast food and I don't have much money. So one thought I had was a standard issue Meal Ready to Eat! Primary problem is no hot water to re-hydrate them with. That and I can't imagine they're that tasty! Although I've heard that's not true. I did look at camping food (pricey much?) but most of that has cheese in some form within its plastic bagged limits.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Some thoughts

So looking at my budget today I realize that saving for something important but not vital (like a trip to Hawai'i) is tough on a tight budget. I was hoping to go in March after this madness called my life calms a bit, but I think it might have to wait until next year and then it seems like I should just wait until May of next year when I've finished all my math prereqs! Still hopeful, but also mindful of the savings account, you know...

I find calling people (who are paid to answer questions) makes finding the answer to a question a much quicker process!

I discovered (or re-discovered?) yesterday that I enjoy problem solving. Almost too much. (Though this isn't only a math-motivated enjoyment, I calculated - with Paul's help - that our 8 foot table that holds my dad's HO railroad is less than 1/7 of a mile in "their" world. You can ask Paul, I tried to figure this out almost all the way through dinner. It plagued me - and consequently him, too. Sorry!) **On a side note I think my parents need 2 things to make their railroad just the coolest ever! Rock climbers on their mountain and an archaeological dig on the outskirts of town!!!!!**

While talking to Paul last night I had a realization about our perception of humanity. All of Anthropology is based on the theory (or hypothesis) that mankind evolved as did intelligence, language and the written word. We believe mankind was created with intelligence. Therefore what do we believe about language and the written word? Clearly language evolves. Even today there are things we say they never had 10, 20, 30 years ago. I read Middle English aloud to understand it and Old English is foreign, but it's English. So at the Tower of Babel all these languages (the predecessors of our current tongues) were born. When did the written word evolve? By the time of Moses it exists - Pharaohs long had a written language, did the descendants of Abraham? or did they utilize hieroglyphics to develop their own after they moved to Egypt? I find myself intrigued. Perhaps one of you reading this knows the answer, esp. those of you who have studied Hebrew?

I had a thought earlier today that I thought would be so clever to share here...can't for the life of me remember what it was. My brain dumps unimportant information, I guess (along with the important) so you can rest assured it wasn't that important!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My hair

I got my hair cut (again) - I went in to the hair stylist of a bunch of friends of mine and told her to have fun - she did what she thought best after discussing it with me and my friend (Dani) who was so kind as to go with me. What do you think?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

No longer good enough

Fear is a nasty business. It paralyzes and keeps us from doing what we want, what we're called to do. I have been realizing more and more lately how much fear has kept me from things. Though God has used me where I am and I enjoy what I do with my time, because of fear and ignorance I am 27 and still trying to figure out what I want to do in the long run. I'm readdressing thoughts and ideas I had 10 years ago. And they are still interesting to me. Why couldn't I do it then? Will I be able to do it now?

Fear has kept me from trying, being bold, stepping out. It's stopped me from being me, opening my mouth and speaking up for myself, my beliefs, the rights of those around me. It's stopped me from pursuing certain dreams, wearing certain outfits, and even eating certain foods. I am sick and tired of letting fear keep me from everything. I think of reasons not to instead of realizing that there is no harm in trying something new just to see if you'll like it or making a phone call to ask a question. It's crazy, but I might actually get an answer I was hoping for.

I will not let fear keep my heart from beating. I have not been given a spirit of fear or timidity. Fear shouldn't keep me from having conversations with those around me or saying yes when someone asks if I want to go do something I wouldn't normally do. Fear has kept me in my little bubble. But with God's strength - no more. No, it's not easy to break out of a mold you've shoved yourself into for over a decade. But it's not impossible. I can learn new things and try new things and talk to new people.

I'm even afraid this feeling will go away, and I'll retreat back into my safe place fully protected by all my fears. Safe be hanged! I'll tell you what I'm not afraid of: finding myself in a situation where my Savior and my God cannot reach me. I am eternally within His grasp: "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." Deuteronomy 33:27a