It's astonishing to me the way someone can hate. hate. hate. you and suddenly just like you. That is kind of how I feel in regards to my little sis right now. I woke up today and we happened to be in the same room for awhile together and small talk started. Then I turned on some music and conversation over a song started. All of sudden we were laughing and enjoying each other.
Yes. Laughing. And enjoying each other.
We spent the rest of the day together. We baked, danced, listened to the new all american rejects cd, drank egg nog, took pictures, cracked jokes, and swore at cars in British accents while shoveling the end of the drive.
Then Tara came home, the the 3 of us hung out and started chatting it up like old buds. Then suddenly secrets started pouring out. All the secrets they tell each other and never fill me in on were revealed. Suddenly I was realizing the weight of the phrase "be careful what you wish for". I had longed to be in on the secrets and the stories. Now I was in, and I wanted to be out because the stories were ones of drunkenness and promiscuity and they made me more sad than they did included.

My responses to the "secrets" were less than acceptable. Words like "respect" and "patience" and "self worth" were not taken well. I had to retreat from my stance on the soap box quickly because their looks were all too familiar. I almost lost my place in the cool club.

So I sat and listened, threw in a swear word here and there. A chuckle or two. I slipped in a couple more quick comments about self worth... they were ignored and I felt I had at least tried.
Times like this make me think: Why was I saved from this?

I too was 16 once, in "love" with a serious boyfriend, dabbling in drugs and alcohol, taking care of friends that didn't know when to stop. That and worse. I got myself into trouble that was far beyond my maturity level. Looking back, I feel older than I should.
My point though is that I can relate to both of my sisters in some way. Not perfectly, but somehow I have been there. I see Becca and she is where I was, I see Tara and she is where I could be. The difference is that something changed my life, I pursued something different from anyone in my family. Or something different finally caught my attention.

I say that because deep down I know that God actually pursued me. He tracked me down and refused to let me go without making me recognize Him. God saved me. He grabbed me, shook some sense into me and threw me onto a better path. But Why me and not them? I've always asked that.
Now I feel like maybe I'm asking the wrong question, as usual. Maybe He doesn't pursue certain people more than other, but all of us equally. So why was I more responsive to Him? Why did I hear Him and feel Him if He is after us all the same?
In Croatia in 2005 I was baptised in the Adriatic sea. Then when I lived in Bosnia, I was baptized in the Spirit. In this prayer, there was a lot of truth/encouragement whatever you would like to call it- prayed over me. Staci or Casey I don't remember who it was, kept saying God has amazing things in store for you. He is going to use you. You are here for a reason. blah blah blah.
I feel like they say things like that to everyone though. Isn't God going to use us all? Doesn't He have amazing things in store for all of His followers? I hope so...

What do I make of all this? I've always said "everything happens for a reason". Usually I really believe that and I feel that my life is a perfect example of it. A perfect example that all things that happen-good and bad-are just these insane chain reactions that lead to an amazing ending when you choose to be receptive to God's voice. Like a maze that had a million different routes, but still only one exit. Othertimes I say it and I'm like "what? that is stupid. Terrible awful things happen to people for a reason? What reason?" and I wonder how I can say- much less believe - such a crazy thing. I'm not going to pretend I understand it all... that's why it's called faith.

I guess people believe in crazier things.
Like Tom Cruise.

All in all, I'm happy my family and I are getting along.


I see a lot of life in you.

I'm having a day today. Just a quiet day. I don't really want to exit my world of thoughts and contemplations. I want to lay on the floor and listen to sufjan and cry out to God asking him all the hard questions I'm tired of him asking me. Unfortunately I have to read art history instead of doing any of that.
I had counseling this last friday... (here is my attempt to talk about events-for you). After going through events from elementary up to college; a woman I don't even know looked at me with much distress showing in the lines of her face and asked "where were all the adults in your life to take care of you?" I had no response. I probably said "I don't know"- because I don't. So I went home. You would think a weekend of fun and friends and family and cute boys and concerts and first kisses would make me feel so awesome and amazing- but it doesn't.
I'm sad and I feel cheated.
I want family and stability. I made the sad mistake of looking at a friends facebook from some family reunion in texas. Her famly is big, her parents are in love, she is engaged, her 2 sisters are her best friends. At her reunion her extended family were hugging and taking silly photos together with reminiscent captions posted underneath. Then they all played a game of softball. I hate softball, but I would play for days if I had family like that.

I'm looking forward to Nash. I'm looking forward to being with the girls. I want to watch 'friends' in our p.j.s and lay on the floor listening to sufjan while someone is doing something creative and we're all discussing dreams and aspirations we secretly think about and in our love we can recognize and appreciate our creator.


optimism in the fall

My song to Casey:
"be optimistic... don't be a grumpy when the road gets bumpy just smile, SMILE and be happy" :D

I wish your house was clean. I wish we lived in the same city so I could hug you.

I also wish there were less people at IWU. It's far too chaotic for me. I'm already stressed out and grumpy just being here for an hour. [I will now sing the optimism song to myself.]

Home this weekend was interesting. It was good to hang out with friends and fam. Catching up is nice, I hate re-telling my summer 3 times in one day, but whatever. My dad is adorable and my sister and I got along really well.
I also bought a new bra from Victoria's secret. Her secret is that she makes her bras so amazing and comfortable I willingly pay $47 for one. Yea.. just one.

I miss autumn in west Michigan. I also miss Nashville. And at times I never want to leave Marion.
It reminds me of this quote: "You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place." -M. Adeney -

Well put, M. Adeney.


past really does haunt you.

I haven't written since I decided I loved Nashville.
Right now, I do not love nashville. I hate it for various reasons. I hate complaining about things so the infinite list of complaints will be kept to myself.

But I am reminded that pain from the past can do terrible damage to the present, if not properly taken care of. The past manifests it's present existence through hurt. Through turmoil. Through evil. The scars that I have tried to mend and erase for the past last 15 and 10 and 7 years are ripped open in the course of one month in one place through one person confirming one lie.
I'm tired of not being enough. I'm tired of feeling like I'm not enough.

I'm sick of balancing the line between being guarded and being foolishly vulnerable. I want to be known. I want to talk all night about fear and hope and pain and ask questions people tell you you aren't supposed to ask. I want someone to pursue me, to chase after me and tell me I am more than enough, I'm too much. Tell me that they don't want another minute of their life to go on without me in it. Not to be pursued behind closed doors, kissed at bars, and called after hours. The cycle is getting old. Even the good guys manipulate me. Even my friends twist interactions and conversations.

And then I'm left hurt, wondering how I let myself open up to someone who didn't even deserve a second glance, much less my friendship or the troubles of my heart.
My desire to be known and cared for has to be suppressed. The only thing I want now is to protect myself. I've spent the majority of my life being ignored. I get carried away when someone pretends to care... I now only divulge when asked.
It's amazing to me how many people don't ask. It's amazing to me how many people just don't care to know.


Keep your hands up

I have been in Nashville for almost a month now.
I love it, I really do.

There has been so much confirmation in my being here. The Lord is so faithful to provide for me.
I was on my knees for the first time in a while, because I realized I had no money, and I had a crappy job that couldn't pay my bills, and I was stressed about relationships, and I was worried about my Dad etc etc.

Today, I helped Casey out at her job. We had made plans with the photographer that i would just come to help out, to observe. Which I was so excited about and it went so well. At the end of the day, he looked at me and told me that he couldn't pay me what he pays casey, but to send him an invoice for $185.

That is so the Lord. 

I talked to my dad before fathers day and we had a great conversation again. He told me that he thinks about me a lot and that he worries about me and he doesn't check in as much as he wished he did. He also gave me great advice about cliff jumping: keep your arms up. haha. he told me some stories about jumping off of cranes into gravel pits.
And he told me he was happy that I was doing what I was doing. And he told me it takes courage, and he likes it.

I love the scenery when I drive to work. I hate the humidity, but love it in a secret way. I love being able to hang out with Casey and Katie all the time. I love living with Kami. I love my 3 pools and workout room. I love working with Caleb and Jeb.
God has so much in store for me. So many good things. I am living in this moment, in this time of my life. And I am enjoying every minute of it. 

There have been heart aches and belly laughs shared between us girls so much since I have been here!! It is exactly what I have wanted and needed for so long. I am surrounded by amazing women of God and we encourage each other and talk about boys and lip gloss and dance around and eat good food and just enjoy each other. It is So good!

I got hired at a new place right across the street from my house. No more driving and, I get more hours. So... again. God provides. 


What am I?

We turned may term into play term, but after the last couple of days I think we should change the name to self destruction.


Home sweet Home?

I am back in Michigan.
The drive from Marion to Grand Haven is one I could do in my sleep. I drove straight to jelly's friday for work almost in a complete daze. This drive... I've done it so many times, with so many people, at so many different phases of my life. I laughed on more than one occasion on that driving thinking of how good I am good at crying for three hours. Tears seem to have engulfed the majority of my drives on 31. Something epic about that course of travel...

I worked at the new restaurant this weekend. The only thing new was the building... I worked with the same people. I miss those people a lot. I miss being a part of something. I miss feeling loved. Work was good, I made money, I spent time with people I loved being around, I stopped by the vous to see Joel for his birthday and then I went to bed in my own bed in Grandville. :) All in all it was a pleasant evening.
Then I woke up.

My home... or my house rather... is a shit hole. I wish I had a better description for it, but I do not. It is in terrible condition. Karen is going to be disgusted when she comes home and makes a desperate attempt to fix it up to sell. Nothing about it is the same. The smell, the look, the things in it, it's just... hectic and stressful. The condition of that house is a perfect metaphor for how I feel about my family in general. Messy, cluttered, neglected, in need of major renovation.
So home is still not home. I don't know why I still expect to walk in that door and have it all be the same as it was 5 years ago. But it's ok, because I spent the majority of my weekend in grand haven. Which feels much more like home to me than grandville ever has.

Saturday night I worked again at Jellys, I made awesome money :) Thank you Lord!
The whole "grand" family was around after work. We all sat at the restaurant while I cleaned up and eventually moved from Jellys to the Grand. I was able to see some people I haven't seen in a while and it was a riot. Rhonda made waffles for us at like 2 in the morning, Johanna, Katie and I danced to crazy techno music and did yoga in the Grand dining room. I ended the night staying with my friend Ellen. We stayed up late with her room mates and made Vegan food. It was so good. I need to learn to cook vegan food.

Sunday I went back to Spring Lake Wesleyan. I miss that place so much. It's strange to be in there again, because it has been quite some time... but it wasn't strange in a bad way, it is home. It is different, like everything is, but it is still home. I still feel so much love there and I feel like me. That is the first place I went when I was searching for God, and I found Him through slwc. I found myself through slwc and the people there. I think that is why I hold those people so so so dear to my heart.

After church I went back to ellen's. We spent the day outside. Mike had a meeting to go to and Chris had stuff to do so Ellen and I went and bought flowers and rakes and munchies and came back and relished in the outdoors. It was a perfect spring day. The queer part of it all... Ellen and I are not really even friends. We are co-workers. But I actually just met her when I was home last. We got along really well though. I felt the need to stay. As weird as it was to be at my boss' house with his room mates, there was nothing that could have pulled me away. My phone was dead, which was beautiful in itself, I had nothing to do until my dad got out of work, and I just loved on these people and helped them clean up their yard.
It was bizarre.

What was even more bizarre was the conversation I had with my father.
It was filled with "grown up truth" as my aunt called it.
I will save that for tomorrow though because I'm sick of writing out a long strand of events.



adjective: famous or well known, typically for some bad deed or quality. That is the definition of notorious.
I feel that often we, as in my "crew" if you will, are notorious.
Sometimes we are just misunderstood. People don't understand. And they don't take the time to understand. And then sometimes people do take the time to understand... but they run. They don't just slowly back up, it's just all of a sudden they are gone. Even if they aren't literally gone... they are. Nothing is the same. You can feel their absence, even in their presence.
Relationships are painful and stainful. They are beautiful, and they are necessary. Adding life to death, light to dark. But they damage us. They let us down. People let us down. We let people down.
I tried so hard to put my heart out on my sleeve. To uncover it from it's constructed armor. And I felt good for a little bit, knowing God was stretching me.
I'm back to keeping it under lock down. It's just too much right now.
We are too fragile.
Emotions are not something to be taken lightly or to be toyed with. Hearts are not fun things to throw around. You don't cause unpleasant situations digging for a reaction.
You love others how you want to be loved.
And I want to be loved genuinely.


Fine Art Photography

Since the literal and figurative abandonment of mother’s responsibility as a parent, there have been a lot of unanswered questions lingering in the rooms of her half-empty house. In search of answers to some of these questions, I’ve found myself on the verge of exploiting personal feelings of hurt, confusion, and anger. I have come to the realization that family is not always the source of support, encouragement, or love that we are told it is supposed to be.
The majority of the time spent on this piece I was engulfed in bitterness and disbelief, constantly in search of an explanation in regards to the current state of my family. Through this process, the questions have been narrowed to one main idea of “Why?”
Why did she leave? Why couldn’t my sisters and I be enough to make her to stay? Why has she walked away from her responsibilities as a mother?
What could be better than family, than support, than the love and comfort of those who bear unconditional love?
There has to yet to be an answer to this question.
In coping with the current wreckage of the people I love most, God has surrounded me with an immeasurable amount of support, encouragement, and love. Through those around me, I have been reminded of the beauty of His grace, the healing power of His love; and most importantly, the reassurance that we are never alone.

“For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified
are all from one Family.” -Hebrews 2:11


I fall asleep with my friends around me.

I realize more and more every day that no matter how "great" or personable or whatever I am, some times I just don't fit. This weekend has helped me come to this realization and it is bittersweet. I just don't fit with some places, and that's ok. It is bitter for obvious reasons... no one wants to feel like they don't belong. It is hard to look at the people around you and see that they are never going to know you in the same ways that some people do. You don't feel like you can be the real you. It's this strange line you balance. It sweet when you are with the people that do know you. The people that you can be yourself around and love the you that you are. The people that share something with you. Share values, life styles, goals, attitudes, it fits.
My people are the misfits. Once again 3eb said it best.

I try to fight the people I fit with. I try to fight against them because sometimes it's hard to be you, or me. However you want to read that. It's just hard sometimes. So last night I feel asleep with my friends around me. The number was few. But I have spent the day feeling like I want to cry because this summer I will not be with them.

We don't want to grow up.
But we have to grow up.
And it breaks my heart.



This weekend I went home to good ol' Grand Haven to work and get away from the wu. It was awesome to get away, I spent some good time with some awesome girl friends that I love so much. Working was quite the blessing as well. My beloved boss Mike really really wants me to come back for the sumer. I felt very loved and appreciated with the effort he was putting into getting me back to GH for the summer. There is a new restaurant opening called Jelly's that he wants me to cocktail and/or bar-tend at. Awesome opportunity to make some serious cash, if I do say so myself. On the flip side of that, I do not feel that living in GH would be the best thing for me really. I need to make money of course, but I really do not want to be working 60 hours a week, living the night life in grand haven again. I need to work with a photographer. I need to be proactive about my future... so on my way to work on saturday I am venting about this. I was praying that I either be content to be in marion or that God would present another opportunity to me. Mike being as wonderfully persuasive as he is, would definitely be able to get me to be in Grand Haven over Marion Indiana. It would not take much, this I know for sure. While I am working, I get a text from my friend, Kami at IWU. It simply says "do you want to live in nashville this summer?" And I replied "yes." I didn't even think about it really, I just replied. Then as the night went on and I escaped to the bathroom so we could talk about it, I was overwhelmed with excitement thinking of the possibilities. Photographers are everywhere in Nashville. Casey lives there, Ellie is living there and then of course Kami, who I am living with. Three girls that I know only a little but want to know and invest in more.
There are so many little details that are just working. Joel might ride down there with me and fly home so I don't have to drive by myself. My mom is going to stop in on her way to MI the beginning of June. I hopefully have a connection  to a photographer that Jess' finace is related to... it could be so good. 
I mean, it could suck too.
But it could be so good.
I'm a little sad about not being in Marion. I was kind of looking forward to living simply and hanging out with Logan and Boyer all the time. This is good though, I am very excited.

Sidenote: I really hope I don't run into Trent. If I can do anything about it, he will not find out that I am in Nashville.


newest artist statement

Family is considered the foundation in the lives of a lot of people. Family is their support system, their encouragement, where they feel most at home and loved. Unfortunately, for many, family is the exact opposite of that. We are used to this idea of the broken family. People themselves are broken; they are hurt, and most of all sinful. We are not perfect and we let people down as often as we are let down by others. In my case, the let downs are frequent and the people I love most are the cause of the pain. Hurt flows like a river, and the identity of source is the least expected.
Since the literal and figurative abandonment of mother’s responsibility as a parent, there have been a lot of unanswered questions lingering in the rooms of her half-empty house. In search of answers to some of these questions, I’ve found myself on the verge of exploiting personal feelings of hurt, confusion, and anger. Throughout the process of this body of work, the questions have been narrowed to one main idea: “Why?” Why did she leave? What could be better than family, than support, than love and comfort of those who bear unconditional love?


Same Mistake

So while I'm turning in my sheets
And once again, I cannot sleep
Walk out the door and up the street
Look at the stars beneath my feet
Remember rights that I did wrong
So here I go

Hello, hello

There is no place I cannot go
My mind is muddy but
My heart is heavy, does it show
I lose the track that loses me
So here I go

And so I sent some men to fight,
And one came back at dead of night,
said "Have you seen my enemy?"
said "he looked just like me"
So I set out to cut myself
And here I go

I'm not calling for a second chance,
I'm screaming at the top of my voice,
Give me reason, but don't give me choice,
Cos I'll just make the same mistake again,

And maybe someday we will meet
And maybe talk and not just speak
Don't buy the promises 'cause
There are no promises I keep,
and my reflection troubles me
so here I go

I'm not calling for a second chance,
I'm screaming at the top of my voice,
Give me reason, but don't give me choice,
Cos I'll just make the same mistake again

So while I'm turning in my sheets
And once again, I cannot sleep
Walk out the door and up the street
Look at the stars
Look at the stars, falling down,
And I wonder where, did I go wrong.

~James Blunt


Do I love like Beethoven?

World Civ today, we are learning about the rise of the modern mind, romanticism, free expression, everything in revolt of the enlightenment.
Smith is discussing the characteristics of the mind of the romantic. Emotion over intellect, Emphasis on personal feelings and free expression, valuing what is beneath; the depth of ourselves, love for adventure, etc. All of these things he is going through I'm agreeing in my mind like... yea, this is me. This is totally me. I'm a romantic, and not just in the "i love love" sappy way.
We get to some of the people of the romanticism era. Thoreau, Emerson, Hugo, Wolfgang, Beethoven. Smith gets onto the subject of how, even in all of his intelligence, how crazy of a person Beethoven was. How he was SUCH a romantic, that he was the subject of a quote (by who... I do not remember, of course). The quote says, and this is not exact, that the romantic spirit is fickle. It is in love only with feelings evoked by another while in love. Never with that person. Apparently Beethoven lived a life full of love, but not one love. Many loves. He loved the newness of love. The feelings evoked by that budding relationship, that honeymoon period. And he kept chasing after that.
Is this me? Is this how I love? Am I in love with being in love?
I really do enjoy getting to know people. It's exciting. It's different. It's fun. It's challenging. But how long do I stick around after I know them? I have always had friends in and out of my life so I can't even say that I am loyally in love with my friends. I only have a few people from my past that I am still close with, but it is almost that superficial close now, where we just say we are best buds. But really... we know nothing of who we are now. We live out of who we knew eachother to be in the past.
I don't know how to prove this fear right or wrong. But I am worried that I will never be able to commit. That I am always looking for the next adventure and the next thrill and I just cannot stop and relish and enjoy what I have.
I have a hard time being content.
I hope I am not doomed with a fickle heart.

Myrrh, Frankincense, and Gold

The three gifts of the magi given to the baby Christ all represented Christ's roles in His relation to man.
This is something that I never really knew, and I find very interesting. I mean, I knew that the magi brought three gifts. (Mainly because I set up the nativity scene every Christmas) And I knew they all stood for something, but I had no idea of the depth of their symbolism.
So this seemingly simple assignment (it was not so simple for me, hence the reason I was asking for help and explainations) turned into one of those moments where you feel like you should be in a movie. Because even though nothing really makes sense, everything just makes sense. I'm sitting in south side at almost 3 in the morning with three guys discussing the meanings of gifts given to Christ, their representation of Christ's role's in relation to man, and their relevance to our lives paired with which gift we can connect with the most.
Brought together by nicotine and greasy food. One quick question turns into a drawn out discussion, interrupting the flow of everyone's concentration.
See what I mean?
So good.
So this is a small overview of what I learned. haha...
Gold is a gift given on behalf of the King to his subjects. Gold represents Jesus' reign as King... obviously. Frankincense, which is something used in the temples for worship, represents Christ's divine nature and role as most high priest. Myrrh, which is an ingredient used in holy anointing oil represents His role as the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of man.
Trying to relate and connect each of these things to my own life was kind of complicated. I could see the connection between the gift and Christ's role, but had NO idea how in the world to connect that to my life currently. Thank God for intelligent friends. So the way Joel helped me understand it was that since myrrh represents His ultimate sacrifice, then what thing is it that I sacrifice for God? For Gold, since that is a representation of His place as king, what is one thing or way that I submit to Him? And last, for frankincense, since this represents his divine nature, how is He intervening in my life? What is something bigger than myself that I cannot handle by myself alone?

It would take way too long to go through each of those... but the last question that we talked about was what gift we connected with most. Frankincense was the gift that I could relate to the most out of the three, Joel said frankincense also, Jerome and Steve said Myrrh. But I think the reason that Frankincense is the one that stands out the most to me, is because right now.. where I am at... I am reminded more than ever that there is so much I cannot do on my own. That is hard to admit, but I need God's divine intervention. In areas of my own life, my own heart, in my family, in my friends, everywhere. I need Him to do work and make changes that are only possible through Him. Myrrh, representing the sacrifice, stands out too for obvious reasons, Christ's sacrifice for my sins is still something that I cannot wrap my mind around. Although, I do not ever want to be able to wrap my mind around that. I welcome the mystery and the awe.



Do you ever get that feeling in your stomach, like that sick feeling of anxiety mixed with nerves mixed with hurt and lots of stomach acid? That is the feeling that has been sitting in my gut for 2 days. It gets better, then worse, then better again. But it's there. It's almost like this familiar feeling of satan unleashing his destruction on my life.

Nothing is falling apart, but hurt is flowing like a river. Hurt that God will take and use for something so good, but right now all we can see is the problem at our noses.

I went out to a field today with a friend. There was this huge pile of old trees, trash, rocks, whatever. And I stood on this mound and just looked around me and my first thought was... wow this is so gross. Look at all of this shit everywhere. Does no one care? How did it get here? Why isn't it being taken care of? And then as I watched, I saw a rabbit come out of the "trash heap" And I saw little animals in the water around it, and I saw birds nests galore within the pile of trees. I saw rejuvenation. I saw healing in a potentially destructive situation. I saw a perfect metaphor for my life. In this time, God presented me with an opportunity to confide in a friend, and I passed it up because I allowed myself to be afraid of vulnerability. Everything in me wanted to talk and let out a long string of emotions that I knew she could relate to, and I didn't. Because I believed that I couldn't trust her with my heart. I believed I couldn't trust her with my feelings. So I said nothing. And because of my lack of vulnerability, I feel the hurt in my heart could penetrate us both.

I am in the midst of learning a long line of lessons. It started with a comment that a couple girls I know are only getting to know me because they are jealous of who I am. It made me face the way I really felt about jealousy, and I learned that jealousy is one thing that affects me a little different than other people. Some would be flattered by jealousy. Because it usually means that you have something that someone else wants and envies you because of it. When someone is jealous of me it hurts, because I know what it is like to have that emotion toward another person, and it can be so destructive. It can rip a person apart if they are not careful. I do not ever ever want to be the cause of any kind of feeling like that.

It also makes me feel, that if someone is jealous of me, it is because they don't know me. And they probably don't know me because I have not let them in or given them an opportunity to even want to get to know me. Because I walk around this campus with my head held high above the walls I spent 20 years building around me.

So from girls. and jealousy. to people. and connections. My post earlier goes into a little depth in this. I long for community. This is no surprise to me. I have little family, no spiritual family, the church has to fulfill it's role and be that for me. Community is my family.

So from people. and connections. to males. and interactions. I am not stupid. I am not naive. But I am a people pleaser. [also a new thing to me] I don't want people to be unhappy. I accommodate them. I love them. I want to do things for them. And when there is a guy in that place, it is not always the best situation. Because if a guy knows exactly what to say and when to say something... aka a charmer, smooth, manipulative, whatever you want to call it, I recognize the situation from day 1. I see it. I discuss it with myself in my head in the midst of every uncomfortable situation. Yet I do nothing. Because I know to confront that situation, means someone will be unhappy and someone's actions will be challenged. And it won't be mine. When people are challenged they are often defensive. I can usually tell what type of person will and will not be defensive in a situation where their motives and actions are being questioned. So rahter than stand up for my self worth, and show the respect I have for myself, I let little things slide, thinking I am strong enough to handle the aftermath so as not to upset the person in front of me. I protect, from all the wrong things. I am almost an enabler.

Honesty is the one trait in this whole realm of lessons that has remained in tact. I do not feel as though I have been dishonest with myself or with those around me. And that feels really good. Even though it has been difficult a couple of times to be straight-forward with the truth, I am able to face the situation rather than ignore it for another day. I am not afraid of confrontation, but I hate conflict. If someone is wronging me, and especially wronging someone else, I am not afraid to talk to them about it, but I hate the aftermath. The conflict. The mess that I cannot clean up.



I went to this amazing concert tonight. Bon Iver with Margot and the Nuclear so and sos. It was amazing. Phenomenal. I love concerts, but this one... bon iver rocked my world. I have not felt that much emotion in a piece of music since I got their album haha. The album is just as amazing as the live performance. But seeing it was so great, the drummer was ridiculous, he loved being a drummer. It was just one of those things you could tell was like.. him. It was inspiring.
So... I'm at the concert. The day was great. Fridays usually are. I Went to indy for dinner with Logan and some friends for Jessey's birthday. Logan and I went to Barnes and noble after and just had a blast. We wasted time goofing off and being silly. It was really refreshing. I felt very safe and very content.
Then the concert started.
I don't know what it was, but my chest started hurting inside. My stomch started to get that sick feeling in it. I just didn't want to be there. I wanted to see the concert, but I didn't want to be there. I wanted to escape and I started thinking of ever way I could: smoke, drink, drugs, literally run, withdraw. Once we were in the venue, I was very back and forth. Good, bad, good, bad... a literal pull of emotions. And once margot started to play... it was all over.
There was this bizarre nostalgic feeling I got when watching them on stage. Not the good nostalgic though where you happily reminisce about the past. It was one of those moments where I looked at the people on stage and connected with the place they were in. Parties, drugs, alcohol, living for themselves, living for the world, living to create and be free. I felt all of that, and along with it I felt their hurt and their burdens and the unhappiness. But I wanted to join them. I wanted to jump backstage and grab a beer and light up and stand in their complacency and bask in the familiarity of their lifestyle.
And I didn't want to be attached to anyone. I wanted to be alone. All this week I have these intense feelings of craving community and aching for togetherness. And I am in a moment enjoying great music with great friends held by an amazing guy and all I want is to be alone surrounded by people that will never understand me.
And I pushed.
So here I am.


Pull the wool over your eyes

I met someone. Someone I go to school with, and know of. But have never met before last week and do not know.
I am wary of him. He says he wants to know me. Says he will not miss out on this opportunity to know me. Says he is very excited about this. That I am a keeper. He wants me to go to a wedding with him. He told his sister about me. He tells me that I am beautiful, and sends me silly texts.
He is dangerous. Because he does not know me. And I am afraid he does not want to know me. But he knows what to say. And I want to give him the benefit of the doubt... he is making a large effort [or so it seems] that if all he wanted was attention, being who he is, he could [and is] getting it from a lot of other girls.
From what I wrote the other day... to have someone look me in the eye and say they will not let an opportunity to get to know me pass... speaks volumes. Words are precious. I am easily affected by things people say. Especially when there are already open wounds in my heart, that they are speaking healing words to [weather intentional or not].
I do not know this boy well. We drove around for awhile tonight, which forced us to talk, and it was awesome because I saw some of his true heart. He opened up about some of his fears, some of his goals, how other people see him, where his heart is at. He was quiet for awhile, said he was better at listening... then he just started opening up and the conversation flowed.
I like him. He has a strange hook that I can't put my finger on, but something about him has me. I think he knows that. But I'm not sold on it. He already asked me when we were going to start telling people about us. There is no us to tell about yet. We are just hanging out. What is the hurry? I expressed my fear of his question and the response was that I should not worry about what others think. That this situation is between him and I and we are the only ones that matter. He followed that with saying he wanted to tell everyone he knew about me.
Beginning to see something? A man speaking affirmation into a girl's soul. One who has a problem feeling good enough for someone. He says is that I am good enough, that I am beautiful enough, that I am worth it. And on the outside, I buy every word of it. But on the inside... it does not sit well. And it hurts. It hurts in too many ways to count.
I have heard of ways he treats girls from various people, one being a girl I am friends with and respect. Since I do not know him, and I don't really ever see him, I don't have a personal opinion on how he interacts with girls. But I should heed all warnings. Joel told me I could do better. I respect Joel's advice a lot.
Basically I just do not know what to do. Get to know him? Run away? I do not want to hurt him, I do not want to question his feelings, he has been hurt bad by girls in the past just as i have been hurt bad by guys... so of course I connect and I empathize and I want to encourage him... This could turn out to be something really good or this could turn out to be something very bad and very painful.

God take his place. Do not let me believe what he tells me. Only let me believe Your Truths. The things he says are true, but are not from his heart. He is right in saying that I am worth it, saying that I am special, but let me have discernment, Lord. Fill me. Be all I need.


Do I know you?

This past week I have realized that all I really want is to be known. I don't think that I am alone in this desire, I feel that is what humans in general want. We want people to want to know us. We long for something deeper in our relationships.

There is a lot I am dealing with that goes along with this idea, but what that brought me to was this question: If we all want people to know us, and we know we want to be known, why aren't more people being vulnerable and transparent in their relationships? [I am just as guilty as any of this...]
As much as we want to be known, we do not have the grace that God has for us. Once we have been hurt... the fear of being hurt is ingrained in us. Just like once we get burned on a stove, we never touch the stove again.
This idea recently connected with an issue I have with girls (guys can be guilt of this too). Girls so often look to guys for their fulfillment. We have that unfortunate curse of desiring our husbands, which I think often morphs into the problem of girls spending more time investing in guys than they do in girls. I see it all over, it is just as prominent in christian communities as it is in secular communities. I really am beginning to think that this issue is less about wanting attention from the opposite sex and more about wanting someone to know you and see deep into your soul and understand the root of who you are. Unfortunately, usually it is the opposite sex that wants to get to know you, and it is not always because they genuinely want to know who you are [although it is easy for us to convince ourselves of that]. So we have this person that wants to get to know us, we crave that kind of interaction, and if we are not discerning we will get hurt by seeing the truth of the situation all too late.
So that is the start of it all. Going back to females having this desire for their husbands... satan twists this desire so much that it becomes the root of a long line of problems from sexual immorality to self image to jealousy... everything.

It reminds me to be so careful of investing in males as friends and it especially makes me re-think dating. I feel like I do it all wrong all the time, and it is because I get caught up in someone wanting to know me. I do not frequently find girls that want to know and understand me the way guys do. This has come up even recently, which affirms my suspicion of girls motives for being my friend. Girls often want to know me because they want to figure me out. They often seem not genuinely interested in me, they want to know what I'm about, but also want to know why they are intimidated and intrigued by me. They are jealous, and they want to know why.
I often feel that I am not worth so much, so someone showing interest in who I am is so important to me-- I am drawn to that. It is just too bad that girls are caddy. [again, I am included in this] I have always had a lot of guy friends, the problem has always been that I cannot frequently keep those guy friends close to me, because their motive for wanting to know me are often to have more than a friendship-- even if they say it is not. It's funny because my closest guy friend is one I have dated in the past haha... and I am thankful for that situation because I can get close to him and I am never afraid he is investing in me for the wrong reasons.

We are sinful and broken people. We were made for community and in a lot of places it is not working the way that God created it to work. I often am crying out because even though I know God is all I need, I so often crave something more. Not crave someone else to fulfill what only God can, but something in addition to God- and that is community. We were made for it. It is why we urn to know and be known.

I think one of the greatest compliments is when people tell me that they feel safe to be themselves around me. That is what I want from others, so it makes sense that I love to be that for people. Vulnerability is so hard, it is humbling and sometimes breaking and painful, but it's also very beautiful and God always brings something amazing out of those times of vulnerability and transparency.


"I am a house.."

Close your eyes and visualize every house you have stepped foot in.
Your grandmother's house. Your best friend's house. The house of the wealthy couple that lives down the street. Each one is unique in it's own way. Weather it's the smell, the front door, the number of rooms, the decor, the era it was built... on and on. To dig even deeper, each room has it's own personality. The game room, the bedroom, the kitchen, the bathroom, the garage.

Now think of yourself. Think of the different seasons of your life. Every season of your life is unique yet still unified under the category of "your life". Somewhat similar to the way each room in a house is unique, yet still under the same category of "a house." 

In every season of life, there are people that are specifically linked to it. These people may impact your life positively or negatively, it's not really important how... the point is that they did. And when you grow up or rather, move on... these people leave your life. They leave that season, they walk out of the room, the move out of the house.
But they always forget to take something with them. They always leave something behind, something with you that is left in that era of your personal history weather you realize it or not. So you are left with an empty room that is rarely re-visited except upon reminiscence, where you find it contains only a lived-in personality and the very thing that person left behind.

I am spending the entire semester capturing this very idea.
Photographing rooms of a house, a lived in house, each room empty, capturing the beauty of each space in natural light with color film. Within each vacant room there will be an item left behind that adds a piece of personality and anomaly to the room, resulting in viewer/photo interaction causing the viewer wonder what that object is, who left it, why is it there, what does it represent, how do I relate to that....

Hopefully it beings a sense of connection with ones present and past. Striking a cord with each person as they connect with a vacant room they refuses to enter or a room they are afraid to leave.

I am a house.
Each room represent a piece of my life.
Every object is a significant contribution to that piece of my life.



It's interesting to me that the majority of my entries are ones written in times of sorrow or despair. I would really like to change that.
So here... is an entry of happiness!

I was home again a week and half ago for my dad's birthday. It really was an amazing weekend. I've been praying so long and so hard for some kind of unity in my family, and for a day I got what I wished for. My sisters and I (BOTH sisters!) got along famously. We joked and teased eachother, we watched a movie and shared food at the restaurant we went to. We joked with my dad and laughed about how old he was. He played along and pretended to be senile... but in the end still payed for dinner, even though it was us who were supposed to take him out. :) (haha... I love being a college student.)

I got in my car on sunday, all packed up and ready to go. And I had that feeling in my heart. That burning, gut churning feeling that you are not ready to part with the time you've been blessed with? THAT feeling. And it was, take note, the first time in a very. very long time, that I have thought twice about walking out of my life at home and returning to the one I have at school.
I drove back to IWU, trying to find all the time in the world that I could return homet
Finally, I wanted to be home.

I am back at school now, and I'm sort of stuck. I want to go back home, but am too poor to do so. And really... it's ok. Because I am busy with school work and this is where I need to be and its really the only place I know I need to be. I don't even want to be off campus. I just want to be here, in my academic paradise.
Another reason for the contentment of my location is due to the changes that I am in the midst of making right now. The Lord has been tugging so hard at my heart... challenging me to step up and stop living in the lies that satan feeds me. I continually believe that I'm just not a "good girl". That I am bad, and defiant, and rebellious and I have to live up to that name. But I'm so tired of feeling like I have to be that way, because I don't. I may be a bit defiant at times, but I'm not a total rebel. I'm not a bad girl or a bad person. I don't really mind rules, and I want to be a part of the campus, and I want to set an example. A good one.
And of course, God knows that deep down this is what my heart desires. So He convicts. And convicts. And convicts. Until the only choice I have left is response. 
I'm responding. Responding a bit... radically really. I'm cutting a lot out of my life. I've tried the whole "moderation" or "cut back" game. "...I'll only drink on special occasions. I'll only be around people that are making bad choices sometimes. I'll only smoke one cigarette, and that's only if other people are. I'll only bend the rules a couple times a week. I'll only skip class this one time. " Well needless to say that has been my mentality for too long. I got a little too excited about being 21 over christmas break and now am poor and sickened by the thought of another night filled with alcohol. Although I did not drink excessively, I drank frequently and I'm ready to throw that behind me. Oh yes and it's also a rule. A contract that I signed that I wouldn't partake in that kind of thing... and I'm guilty of breaching that contract.
So no smoking finally, which just feels good because it's just unnecessary. Although, I know at times I will fall in and have one or two. I just want to be careful. So no drinking, no bars, no parties that involve drinking, no spending 100% of my time off campus, no leaving every weekend to escape. None of that. Just IWU. I'm here, I'm here to learn, invest and be invested in. And that is what I am doing. 
And I love it :)


Burning Bridges

I seem to be less than popular in recent days. And of course facebook is part of the reason for dislike. This may seem trivial, but it's really something bigger.
To go through the list: My younger sister has deleted my from her friends list because of a blog she wrote all about me and how much she didn't like me. I found the blog... commented of course. And sent a copy to my dad. becauseI didn't know what to do... there was an entire paragraph of her venting on her dislike of  our family situation. And then her hatred for me and how I am the reason she hates religion. I've never been so hurt and... confused. Now I can't access her profile so she can write blogs about me all she wants and I can no longer defend myself.
Another event occurred when some people I know who on a daily basis proclaim their faith, were completely bashing and disrespecting a very good friend of mine (via facebook). I was so outraged. The people that walk around telling everyone how much they love following Christ were hurting people I loved on purpose and laughing at the aftermath. I commented on their wonderful Christlike attitudes and love filled actions. 
Another bridge burned...

It's just stupid. The politics behind the internet. And the amount of time I spend on there wallowing in some form of self-doubt, envy, or hatred. It's probably ruining my life. 
I mean, that could be extreme, but really- it could be ruining my life.

This week, my first week of classes, has been really hard. I'm really overwhelmed by the loads of work 400 level classes consist of, the pressure of finding an internship for the summer, the burden of finances, the hurt of my broken family, the hurt of my broken-self. Trying to live my life like as a normal student, have a social life, and piece major parts of my life back together is making for a heavy fresh start. I just can't do it solo.
And He knows I can't do it. Which is why things continue to fall apart... because I can't trust.

I'm slowly creeping back toward escapism. I'm going to South Korea with Jom for spring break ( I know, right?!) to visit our friend Eric and all I want to do is lose myself in another country and never return. Just run from my family and make them figure out how to get along for themselves, leave my friends to their private lives, leave everything and just immerse myself in adventure, love, and helping others.

Yea.... I have to immerse myself in helping and loving those around me right now. And those around me, are those that hurt me the most. And I have to love them. And I have to help them. And I have to pray for them. And honestly, I just don't have the energy to do any of that alone.

But of course, as organized as I am, I have a plan :) It starts with patching up my trust issues, or rather, allowing Him to fix my trust issues so I can trust in HIM to give me the energy to love my family and my friends and maybe, just MAYBE, help them see the ray of light at the end of the black tunnel they love to wander through. maybe.

I cannot limit the power of such an amazing God. And I cannot be so prideful to assume He would actually use me and my sinful nature to do such a thing as lead the most important people in my life to Christ.