Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Who is the boss of you?

Sometimes this question is really hard for me to answer. There are times when I know I am the one who is in charge of the decisions I make and the things I do. But other times, more often than I’d like to admit, I ask others to make the decisions for me. I guess this is exactly what growing up is. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes not so much. I feel even more like a kid when I have to make important decisions, like where to live and what job to apply for or take. Such big life decisions always seem to convince me that I need some help before deciding anything. Thus, the beauty of asking for advice.
Trusting my self can be so difficult at times. I always pride myself on my intuition, but when it comes to my own life, sometimes I can’t decipher it as well. It is easiest to decipher when it comes to other people’s situations or the environments around me, rather than major life decisions. Maybe because I know there is technically no wrong or right answer. That makes the decision all the more confusing.
Freewill is a funny thing. People want to make some decisions seem cut and dry as far as “what’s God’s will for you?” But, there are many times when I believe the Lord says “love me and keep giving me your life everyday, but as for decisions that aren’t necessarily right or wrong one way or another, do what you want within the space I’ve given you.” This is what people mean when they say there are times the Lord doesn’t care what school you choose or what your major is, because although that can define so much of your own life, it doesn’t impact the kind of witness you’ll be either way. God is in the details, but He is in the details down many paths, not just one. I heard in church a few months ago that God won’t just lead you through open doors, sometimes He’ll lead you by closing them. Anything to keep you walking down the hallway (if you will). The beauty of God is that He gave us freewill and minds and the Holy Spirit to help us make decisions, and if there is a decision that God is really trying to say a direct yes or no to, He will keep trying to get our attention until He has to hit us with a 2x4.
So aside from the Lord or maybe it is better to say because of the Lord, “I am the boss of me.”
Now I just need to convince myself.

25 Things About Me

So, it has been a week since my last post and while I have a lot of things to blog about, it has been a busy (but good) week. I'll write about some of those thoughts later this week. But for now...
There has been a lot of talk at work about Facebook lately. My peers and co-workers and I have all been talking about the benefits of Facebook and the cons of it, such as when you are applying for jobs. It's funny to think of how one small social networking site has become such a phenomenon. I even helped my co-worker create her own Facebook profile this week!
Here is a hilarious and clever article about the Facebook status to add to this blog's sudden theme.
This week there has been a massive note about the 25 things about yourself going around Facebook, and because I wrote this list tonight for my profile, I thought I'd post it on my blog as well.

1. I usually don’t do these kinds of things, but when good friends do I feel I should too, especially when your roommate tells you she will if you tag her (hi Em).
2. I am addicted to Barnes & Noble and spend way too much time and money there.
3. I have four boxes of unread books in my closet at this very moment, as well as three stacks of magazines.
4. My family is incredibly important to me.
5. Grad school is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and it is not because I will have a Masters degree by the end.
6. I love to learn.
7. I am one of those people who loved high school more than college.
8. Although I claim Jane Austen as one of my favorite authors I have never actually read all the way through one of her novels (I know Rachel, I know), but I plan to change that soon by reading “Sense and Sensibility” for pleasure and not as an English major.
9. When I was little I wanted to be a singer and move to Nashville.
10. Someday I’d like to spend a whole year spending one week in all 50 states.
11. New York City is one of my favorite places…ever.
12. I’d rather live by the ocean than the mountains.
13. Someday I will road trip along the entire coast of California and stop and see all my friends along the way.
14. I am ridiculously obsessed with George Clooney and Angelina Jolie.
15. Italian food is my favorite.
16. I once ripped a page out of Vista High’s yearbook that was on display at the Del Mar (aka San Diego County) Fair.
17. I hate comedy movies, meaning anything will Will Ferrel, Jack Black, Adam Sandler, etc.
18. Listening to Ryan Seacrest’s morning show on KIIS is the best part about waking up in the morning.
19. I love reading other people’s blogs.
20. I love to sing, it makes me happy.
21. There is a little bit of a stalker in everyone, but I may have a bit more than others.
22. I know most everything about pop culture, but sometimes I feel embarrassed about that.
23. My favorite verse is Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
24. My top seven strengths are Input, Achiever, Intellection, Learner, Responsibility, Empathy, and Developer.
25. Part of me thinks this is really lame and does not want to post this at all. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Reflections About My Undergrad Career...

Today at an all staff meeting I realized the total value of my undergraduate education at APU. At APU I received more than just a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, I had “real world” experiences. APU provided me more than an education; it provided me an environment dedicated to putting God first and to embracing “hot topics” that most Christian environments shut out, such as homosexuality and racial reconciliation, and equality. APU taught me about real topics – Kingdom topics – that Christians need to discuss and think about because they are in our face everyday in the “real world.”
My time at APU encouraged and allowed me to further pursue my interest and passion for gender equality and feminism that I developed in high school. It gave me safe environments and group interactions to argue and cry and debate diversity issues and sexuality issues and way the Church interacts in the world and is seen in America. This type of education – social and cultural education – is priceless. Living and being in a place where worship and chapel are part of life and bible classes are required and social vulnerability is encouraged, all of that is priceless.
APU prepared me for the “real world.” It enabled me to intelligently and humbly discuss and debate gay rights, civil rights, and female rights. These conversations also allowed me to make up my own mind and learn to accept that not everyone will agree with me. I talked and learned and shared about improvements for the American Church and how Christians can impact the world through good deeds and personal relationships rather than standing on street corners passing out pamphlets to strangers. I also learned the difficult lesson (and truth) that no Christian is perfect. We are all just as hypocritical as people think we are and we all hurt much more than we show. I learned the painful lesson that Christians disagree on tons of topics from bible interpretations to gay marriage to creationism vs. evolution to traditional beliefs vs. charismatic beliefs. I learned that Christians come in all types, but our starting point needs to be that we have accepted Jesus Christ. I learned that these divisions among Christians confuse even those who are very solid in their faith, let alone the ones who wake up each day thankful that God’s mercy is renewed. I still haven’t figured out how to come to terms with these differences in theology in a respectful, yet lovingly peaceful way, but at least I have started the process.
APU gave me a priceless experience and journey for three and a half years as an undergraduate, and is still, through my job and grad school. It is true what people say about private Christian education, it is an expensive way to pay for a framed piece of paper, but the experience of living on campus, being involved in extra curricular activities, and going to chapel are all priceless. It was worth every penny and every difficult growing pain along the way.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about today, but maybe that is okay. All I know is that I have to write something down before the day is over, and here it is (thank you, blog).

Today, history was made and I am alive to see it happen. I am part of it in that sense. It is pretty moving. Regardless of politics or who you voted for, this moment is incredible. A black man is the president of America. Equality has come in a big way and racial reconciliation can truly be seen. I am proud to be part of a country that “peacefully” transfers power and who elects a man based on principles and not because of the color of his skin.

This morning I watched the Inauguration ceremony at work live on the internet. I was able to watch Rick Warren’s prayer and then had to leave for a meeting, but I came back in time to see the Bush’s and the Obama’s say goodbye and Mr. and Mrs. Bush board a plane to go back to “real life” in their beloved state of Texas. I watched with several co-workers, which in itself was a bit surreal, yet nice. I was just glad to see some of it “live” rather than watch the replays all day. It was hard to be at work and not at home on the couch watching the events all morning, which in my opinion, is the way history should be watched when you can’t physically be there. I think it is important to soak up historical moments. This is a day that my future kids or people at cocktail parties or others will ask me and one another, “Where were you when the first black man became president?” Today was my parents’ generation’s moment of “where were you when Kennedy was shot?” Although now they can say they saw Obama be sworn in too.

I’m not sure what the future holds and I don’t know if Obama will be a good President (in my opinion). But I do know that today is history in the making and I witnessed it. I know that when President Obama and the First Lady dance together, I can’t help but smile and pray for a similar partnership built on love and respect and laughter and normalcy. I know that it will be very fun to see two little girls grow up in the White House (just as the Bush twins described). And I know that no matter what, God is in control and we should pray for our political leaders. God bless the Obama and Bush families tonight.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Golden Globes and Golden Guys/Girls

I love Kate Winslet. It was great to see her win TWO Golden Globes! She is an incredible actress.

I am also glad Heath Ledger won. His performance was incredibly haunting and showed great acting. It is also a nice tribute to his short life. His daughter will be very proud of him, I am sure.


I had a nice little mini-vacation this weekend. My mom and sister and I escaped to Newport for a night. It was so beautiful and lovely. It totally felt like a vacation. I wish I could have stayed there longer. I love to escape my daily problems in vacations! It is such a nice break from reality. It was great to spend time away with my mom and sister. Being in Newport with a room that overlooked the ocean (see above picture from our hotel room balcony) reminded me how much I love living in southern California and how I always want to live by the water more than any other natural element. Maybe someday I'll even live in Newport, although Oceanside suits me just fine. :)

The best part of the trip was how un-planned it was. My mom called and said "change of plans, we are going to Newport!" and an hour later there I was in the hotel room. We hadn't planned to go away and hadn't even thought about it, but then spur the moment we went and had an adventure. It made for a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Shaking ground

Sometimes it feels like the ground is shaking under your feet, and sometimes it actually is. Today, it actually did and today felt like one of those days as well.
Today was yet another sick day. I have an awful cold, which sounds so lame because “it’s just a cold,” but it is intense. I feel like Meg Ryan in “You’ve Got Mail” when she had a cold… I wish Tom Hanks would come bring me a bouquet of daisies!
It is bad to watch the news when you’re home alone and sick all day. From the crappy economy and the President-elect’s message about it, to Suze Orman on Oprah yelling at you through the TV screen about how the economy isn’t improving any time soon and we all suck at handling our money, which then reminds me that I will be out of a job at the end of March and that gets me thinking… Then there are stories about crazy record floods in Seattle and fires in Colorado. Then I hear that the “hard porn” industry wants the government to BAIL THEM OUT!!!! I mean, are you kidding me??? Really? Please, Lord, don’t let this happen. This is exactly why the US isn’t ready for a female president; because even the porn industry thinks they can get government help despite the fact that objectify women – American citizens and human beings – for entertainment. Then, to make the day even more wonderfully depressing there was an earthquake a few minutes ago that made me jump out of my skin! AND, I am home alone for a couple more hours, so that made me more scared. Thanks, Mom, for comforting me.
All is well now.
It has just been one of those days that remind you that you are on your own. An adult in an adult world. Money, earthquakes, being sick on your own. Lots of reminders today. But there was a moment today when I was headed to my kitchen to make some dinner and it hit me that I live on my own and that I was standing in my apartment. Sometimes this happens to me. My autonomy will just hit me like a wave and I will be reminded and surprised by the fact that I am an adult. I will suddenly realize that I am doing what I had always hoped, it just looks much different than I imagined, but none the less, I had always hoped I’d live on my own in an apartment with my name on the lease and own my own car and have a full-time job, yadda, yadda, yadda. Does any of this make any sense? Does anyone else just get surprised by their life for a moment at random? I don’t know, but I do. And I kinda really like those moments. They give me a strange, comforting sense of contentment.

(Photo: the bed I wish I had to read in when I am sick. Found it here.)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Top Ten: Best Things about a Sick Day

I have an annoying cold and after a 15 hour day yesterday I had to take a sick day today to get better, hence this post...

1. Sleeping.
2. Watching guilty daytime pleasures: Oprah, The View, and As The World Turns.
3. Reading for pleasure (because you can’t concentrate on school when you’re sick).
4. Realizing you kinda miss your job.
5. The quietness of the neighborhood at noon.
6. Seeing the neighborhood come home from work.
7. Showering at 2 in the afternoon.
8. Not having to do chores.
9. Watching movies and TV (today’s choices: The Bachelor and Brothers & Sisters).
10. Calling your mom and texting your sister while they are at work.

(Photo from here, but I found it here).