Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Check Your Expectations at the Door...

I think when we find ourselves most disappointed with life, it's not because something in life has failed us. Rather, our expectations of what life "ought to be" have failed us. Or understood a different way, when we find ourselves most disappointed with God, God has not failed us--our expectations of God have failed us.
Sometimes when our faith is too weak to trust God, He puts us in a place where our weakness forces us to surrender. Not to trust, but to surrender. Surrender then lays the groundwork for trust, because God always shows Himself faithful.
--Wayne Stiles, Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus

Friday, August 27, 2010

Everybody Needs A Friend Like This...

This is Mikala.

This is Mikala & Aaron.

She is one of my very best friends. They are getting married next summer.
She asked me to be in her wedding (yay!!).
This is what she wrote about me:

Brittany is one of my dearest and oldest friends. If I had a big sister, I think Britt would be it! Every defining moment, every deep question, every doubt or fear she has been by my side. She is the type of person who will answer your call at 3am and talk you through tears if you need it. She is also the type of person who will stay up to 3am sharing her life &experiences with you and I love this about her! She always teaches me something about myself :) Her ability to listen, share and speak truth into my life has gotten me through some of the toughest times. I can remember countless times that I have relied on her friendship. I know I would not be the person I am today without her encouragement, prayer and unconditional love for me. When friends go through the ups and downs of life together, like we have, there is something that binds them on a deeper level and its something that lasts for eternity.

Everyone should have a friend like this.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


It is time to get back to blogging so stay on the lookout! I am in the middle of reading all of yours that I have missed out on for the past couple of months.
How to update? Quickly...the summer has flown by, being filled with weddings and weekend trips, vacations, family and friends, and SUN :)
Today: Tracy is visiting and I get to hang out with the sibs and contemplate studying for my RD exam.
I also need to begin calling a multitude of friends who I desperately owe phone calls to.
So welcome back everybody!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pet Peeve

I'm going to let it go, but I really need to say it somewhere...

One of my BIGGEST, most IRRITATING, incite-me-to-RAGE, pet peeves is hearing/seeing the following (or some derivative of it) directed to me:

"I haven't heard from you in a while."


Every single cell in my body wants to SCREAM at the top of my lungs: "WELL, YOU HAVE MY NUMBER--WHY THE HELL HAVEN'T YOU CALLED ME!?!?!?!?!?"

You know why I hate this? It's manipulative. It is trying to place blame. And guess what? NOTHING (in the moment) will piss me off more. And furthermore? I am the LEAST inclined to want to talk to you when you do this.

Phew...needed to get that off my chest...

Monday, May 24, 2010

More Melancholy

Reba McEntire sings this REALLLLL country song called, "Once You've Learned To Be Lonely" and my recommendation is, if you don't like country music, don't listen to it. It's not even one that I like very much...never have given it much thought...until recently...

Once you've learned to be lonely,
And lonely is the only thing you know,
It begins to feel like home;
It becomes your comfort zone.
Once you've learned to be without someone,
And settled for the silence of an empty room,
It changes you.
There's a lot you have to undo
Once you've learned to be lonely.

Like I said, I don't really care for the song. But the lyrics are really striking a chord with me right now. I'm having a hard time connecting with anybody right now--and furthermore? I don't want the opinions of people I have no respect for. I have never felt less like myself: I have more walls up than I know what to do with; feel that I am actively and passively shutting people out; feel invisible and kind of forgotten.

Saturday night, I went to see Letters To Juliet with a friend (got laughed at in class this morning for liking it...whatever...). Afterwards, we parted ways, and everyone went home. But I really did not want to go back to the house (long story short--it's kind of a black hole here). It was a little after 10PM and I was wandering the streets of Portland by myself. Feeling utterly, and completely forgotten. Hopeless. Sad to the very core of my soul. Despite that, I felt like walking around the city by myself was the COMFORTABLE thing to do; the song lyrics came true for me and that was pretty striking. I didn't want to go home, had no one around. I seriously contemplated walking into the first bar I could find and just sitting there with a drink just to be around people.

I graduate in one month from tomorrow. Words cannot even describe how ecstatic I am, so I won't try. Thinking about this has made me realize something else: I don't think I've gotten a legitimate hug from anyone since the last time I was home. I'm not really a touch person, but this makes me really sad.

O, and did I mention that it is supposed to rain everyday for the rest of the month at least?

Jesus, please help me--I can't make it through one more month on my own :(

Song of the day: "This is the Thing," by Fink. State of the soul, shall we say...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

And Here. We. Go.

A brief update my friends! This week is absolutely NUTS for me:

My case study is TOMORROW--AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am presenting on a patient with lupus nephritis and I have been swamped in her life for the last 3 weeks. So glad it is going to be over tomorrow at 3:00 PM...pray for me!

I start my pediatric rotation on Tuesday, which includes a 5 page study guide that is TAKING FOREVER--I spent 2 hours on it yesterday and got done with 1/2 a page :/ Crap...

Wednesday night, my research group and I are exhibiting a poster at the Portland Dietetic Association meeting on the project we have been working on since January: Standards for Evaluating Obesity in Kidney Transplant Candidates. We still need to put the poster together...Crap...

Friends, by Friday, I will be on SERIOUS cruise control, with a couple of papers to write and some loose ends to tie up. And guess what? Next week is the LAST week of May :) :) :) :) :)

In other news, I have deactivated my Facebook account (see my last post). It was necessary. When I needed breaks this weekend, I caught up on Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on Seriously? If you haven't watched this show, you absolutely should. It is a fascinating look at health in America. WOW.

It is likely the next time I update you all, I will be destressing just a little bit. Until then, see today's picture...

In honor of the craziness, you should check out: "Eight Second Ride," by Jake Owen. It's a kickass song, FO' REALS!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

BEWARE of Melancholy

I suppose I should simply stop apologizing for when I do not blog: it is mine, after all, and I can do with it as I please!! But o, how wonderful it is to hear people tell you they read your blog and they enjoy it! For those people, I apologize. I have needed to get caught up on all of YOUR blogs (which, I might add, are fantastic ☺).

Where did we last leave off--spring break, was it? Well, mine was fabulous. It didn't all go QUITE according to plan: I missed my window to go to Temecula and I had to cancel my trip to Woodleaf to see camp friends :( It's all ok though! I am hoping for time to make up for lost time.

I guess that is where I should share, dear friends. My heart has been in a very hard place, a very sad place for the last 8 months. You see, there is really nothing I love more than the people that God has given to me to enjoy: I mean, I have like 1,500 friends on Facebook! Some of them, I don't really know; but for many of them, I could tell you something I love about their soul, a great memory I have of them, a trinket they have given me, or how they loved me. And guess what? My family is the same way! I was recently watching a video of my mom blowing out the candles on her cake last summer for her **nd birthday: it's just my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister, and myself filming, cracking up at a movie quote spoken at the perfect time (if you know my family, you know we LIVE on movie and television quotes) while singing my mom "Happy Birthday." It was so peaceful, so content, so comfortable, so perfect. I am BLESSED, because I don't know too many other families that have what mine does. My family and my friends are the best thing I have in my life.

So you can only imagine what it has done to my soul to be away from them this year. ALL OF THEM. Do you know how much time I spend on Facebook on average? HOURS a day, trying to soak up the moments, the smiles, the hugs, the laughter, the joy that I am missing. There are some days when it is not as hard, and some when it is nearly unbearable. This is one of a few places where Satan can really do damage--he encourages my fear of losing my friendships, my sadness of being away, my uncertainty about the future. Essentially, he drags me away from the present and this is dangerous.

I am following Jesus. I am following him wherever he takes me--I am most certainly NOT doing this perfectly and my year in Oregon has caused me to think a lot about what it REALLY means to follow Christ; to do all that Jesus asks me to do. Interesting to find that there are areas of my life that I am REALLY not ready to surrender, and conciously not doing so--I never thought I would be that person! There are areas of my life that I find myself REALLY immature! I am not afraid of all of this, because Jesus has promised to finish the work that he began in me. And I, dear friends, am a HUGE work in progress.

So, I am following Jesus. I am following him wherever he takes me--this year, he has taken me to Portland, Oregon. My comfort zone has been violated; my core temperature has dropped; my hair has darkened to a very, dark brown with no sunshine (I kinda like that, not gonna lie); I am practically transparent; my endurance has been measured; my patience has been drawn thin; my feelings have been hurt; my heart has been grieved.

But the problem is that we are are not supposed to look backwards! We are not supposed to be focused on the things that we are missing:

Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." Luke 9:62 ...Later on in Luke...
"It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot's wife!" Luke 17: 30-32 ...Alright then!...
Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah--from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities--and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. ...UHHH...

Yeah, I have no desire to become a pillar of salt. Ash is not a good color for my complexion.

And there have been good things about this year: I LOVE MY INTERNSHIP. Seriously? This is the coolest career ever and I am so excited that this will be my job!! I have met some great people through my program. I LOVE SOLID ROCK--best church ever! And if Portland wasn't so darn cold/rainy/gray, it has some totally amazing perks!!

So for tonight, I'm unfortunately letting the melancholy overtake me :( Maybe tomorrow will be a better day. I must go to bed now. Tune in tomorrow!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Hello world!
It's amazing how much I really do miss you all when I have no time to read all your posts. I realized today how exciting it is to be able to sit in one location in the world, write an update on life, and have people thousands of miles away be able to know what's going on! I am becoming quite a blog advocate, I must say: I talked to my friend Ellyn this week and told her that she should get a blog! Ellyn is so thoughful, inquisitive, well-spoken, and really loves communicating through writing--it would be such a treat to read her blog. C'mon Ellyn...BLOG!
On that note: yoo-hoo, dear sister--where are your blog updates?? I am WAITING (I'm so clever--that's the name of her blog).

Ok, SO, where to begin? First: If you are looking for a good chuckle this morning, check out this post by JUST A GIRL IN A CITY. I truly did LOL. Second: my friend Carly has been participating in the Rice&Beans Challenge where participants eat nothing but, well, rice and beans for the month of March! Listen to her update at her awesome blog: Random Nuggets, for now. Inspirational and hysterical :)

As for me, let's see, what can I tell you? ... O, how about this...
SPRING BREAK IS IN ONE WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I seriously might die of anticipation before the week's end. Would you like to know what I am doing? Of course you would! That's why you read my blog :)

Friday, March 19--I leave Portland at 5:30pm, take a roundabout flight to Seattle, and fly into San Diego at 10:45pm, where I will be picked up by a group of my girlfriends for a weekend of chaos/relaxation/reconnection/craziness.

Sunday, March 21--I will begin my trek home, undoubtedly stopping in Temecula to see my dearest, her sisters, and her boytoy. She is the cheese to my macaroni

Monday, March 22 - Thursday, March 25--Home sweet home :) Looking forward to some quality time with my family, visiting my sister at APU, and spending a day visiting my P-dine/Malibu/Young Life friends. Did I mention my love affair I will undoubtedly have with the sunshine?

Friday, March 26--I leave Los Angeles at 3:10pm, take a roundabout flight to San Jose, and fly into Sacramento at 6:55pm, where I will be picked up by some of my wonderful camp friends from this summer! It will be a weekend of reconnection/craziness/relaxation/chaos (you get the jist).

Sunday, March 28--I leave Sacramento at 4:10pm and arrive back in Portland at 5:50pm. Hasta la vista spring break :(
Already over before it's even begun? Sigh...I'll be California dreamin' in the meantime.
Song of the Day: "A Little More Country Than That," by Easton Corbin. Guess who has a new crush??

Saturday, February 27, 2010

New Addictions

Proclaimer: I am really, really loving wedding webistes for the newly engaged and wedding photography websites. Allow me to share!


Justin & Ellyn--Ellyn was my roommate senior year of college and a dear friend.
Zachary & Michelle--Zachary is my cousin who looks so much like my little brother :)
Aaron & Michele--Michele and I were nutrition major's at Pepperdine, and I love her!
Zak & Kellie--Kellie and I both went to Grace Baptist Church growing up.


Kiss the Bride
Colling Photography
Jake Fiehler Photography
Beach Bum Photography

Another obesession of late? Movies about young women starting out in their careers, finding love and discovering themselves. For example:

13 Going On 30
27 Dresses
Bride Wars
The Devil Wears Prada
Legally Blonde
How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days

If you have more of any of these, please let me know!!

Song of the day: "Making Memories of Us," by Keith Urban. A classic love song that I just LOVE.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Homework Stole My Sunshine


Happy Tuesday everyone! I'm back at Starbucks--le sigh--I really enjoy starting my mornings like this: 6am workout, Oatmeal Squares/almonds/banana breakfast, a tall black coffee, and blogging :) Love it.
So, I last updated you on Friday, so let's talk about the weekend! Unfortunately, as the title of my blog indicates, HW ate my weekend and stole my sunshine :( LITERALLY. It was a glorious weekend in Portland: sun and warmth that I haven't felt in months!! [side note: can you believe that I have been here for 6 months?? I can't...] BUT ALAS, from Friday night until late Sunday night, I was chained to my desk, strapped to my computer, homeworking and Facebooking to break up the time...SAD.
Not-So-Funny-Story: The Friday that Would Not End.
5pm--In charge of correcting, editing, and turning in our research proposal for our research group. Paper is due by midnight. Stress level: 4.
11:55pm--Paper is done! Phew! Save and close to e-mail professor. Stress level: 2.
11:57pm--Paper? Where is paper? Paper no here? Stress level: 5
11:59pm--PAPER NO HERE!! PAPER NO HERE!! Stress level: 8
1:00am--(after searching whole hardrive and all temp folders)...paper...? Stress level: 8.5
1:02am--What do you mean I "must write paper again"? Stress level: 9.
1:05am--(head in hands, groaning loudly, pulling hair) ARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stress level: 10.5
1:10am--Biting bullet; tastes like metal. Stress level: 9
2:15am--Neighbors having party? " 'Scuse me? Do you have any tequila? It's an emergency." Ha, I wish. Stress level: 7
3:00am--Paper be e-mailed. Tempted to throw computer out window, claim insanity, declare bankruptcy, and run from the IRS Catch Me If You Can style. Stress level: 5
11:30am--Wake up. Groggy. Day half wasted. More HW. Poop. Stress level: 3.
12:20pm--E-mail from professor: "Your attachment did not send. Please send again." Hate my computer and my incompetance. Stress level: 4.
12:30pm--I spent almost 12 hours editing the wrong paper. FML. Stress level: 5
12:45pm--Text Annie. Need key to computer room at school so I can retrieve correct document that I forgot to send myself. Annie in Salem; won't be home 'til 6. Stress level: 6.
1:00-6:00pm--Researching for another paper due Monday. Grrrrr....E-mail paper I worked on so I can e-mail it from school. Stress level: 6
6:00pm--Get to Annie's. Retrieve key. Get to computer. Sent myself wrong draft. Must e-mail draft from school to home, go back home, and e-mail to professor. Stress level: 6.5
6:30pm--Get home. Sent myself wrong draft from school. Must e-mail correct draft from home, go BACK to school, and e-mail professor. "The tales of your incompetance do not interest me." -Miranda Priestly, The Devil Wears Prada Stress level: 8
7:00--BACK at school. Finally sent correct draft. Quickly edit, and e-mail to professor. DONE WITH THIS FRIDAY THAT HAS TURNED INTO SATURDAY.
7:30--Solid Rock :) God is Grace. Love this frickin chuch so frickin much!
Sunday--HW ALL DAY.
So, yeah, that was my weekend. Boo. And now the sun is gone again. Double boo.
Song of the Day: "Paperweight," by Joshua Radin and Schuyler Fisk. Also from the Dear John soundtrack. Also awesome :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Brooklyn!!

Yesterday, my friend Brooklyn celebrated her 23rd birthday! Don't worry--I called her YESTERDAY even though I am writing to you today :) In celebration of this dear, I would love to share with you a little about her!

Brooklyn transferred to my high school the summer before junior year and joined the varsity basketball team. At our first team practice, she introduced herself and said, "just call me Utah." Well, the name kinda stuck--I've always called her Brooklyn. As the youngest of 6 in a Mormon family, she is full of personality and life! Our two years together in high school resulted in plenty of laughter and really good memories. I am thankful that we have maintained our friendship over the years, through MANY big life changes and tumultuous times. Brooklyn moved back to Utah in October 2008, much to my dismay :(

The young man in the picture is Nick, her fiancé! They met last year and are getting married in 2 weeks! Unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to be able to go--she's getting married on a Monday and some of us have school. I have not met him yet, and I look forward to getting to know him.

Anyways, happy birthday my love. I am so thankful for you ♥

In other news...
I got a chance to talk to Amber last night, FINALLY. We were on the phone for over an hour, catching up on this latest, biggest event in her life! It was so good for me to be reassured of our friendship, and that she still considers me one of her closest friends. It's funny, because as much as Words is not my top love language, being away from my friends and family makes me crave the affirmation of their love for me. I am very afraid that it will change for them, and they will no longer consider me important. This is one of my longtime insecurities: I can remember being 12 and asking my dear friend Brittany 6 times in one night if she was mad at me. She finally said, "I'm not mad at you! But I'm going to BE mad at you if you keep asking me!" Yeah, I struggle with it...

I guess we all just want to feel like we are the most important person in the world to someone. In my case, since I have never had that reassurance from a boy, I become a little bit obsessive about it with my friends. I think this is the part where I miss the physical presence of Jesus. To think that once upon of time, God WALKED side-by-side with humanity to be in perfect companionship with us, blows my mind and makes me really excited for heaven. In the meantime, I've got that "heavenly homesick" feeling. It doesn't help that I've got that "friends and family" homesick feeling too. Ergo, I apologize to my friends if my need for reassurance is irritating.

Finally, I watched 27 Dresses last night. Ok, if you don't know me, you just need to know that I AM JANE--Katherine Heigl is even my celebrity look-alike! I chose it last night for 2 reasons: 1) At my rotation yesterday, "Benny and the Jets" came on the radio and all I could picture was Jane singing to Kevin (GORGEOUS James Marsden♥♥♥) and getting lyrics wrong:

Jane: She's got electric boobs...
Kevin: BOOBS!?

I was laughing all by myself. 2) The influx of weddings has me feeling a touch like her right now. Ok, I have to run to work! BYE!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

First Comes Love...

I haven't blogged in one month! I'm sorry for being a bad blogger.
There. I said it, and that is all I am going to say about that.

But I have spent the last two mornings catching up on the 100-something new posts of yours that I hadn't read. I love it! There is such serenity in being able to sit in Starbucks in SE Portland, with the SUNSHINE STREAMING THROUGH THE WINDOWS, sipping a hot cup of black coffee (how I'm taking mine now--I know, I'm so hardcore), and catch up on the wonderful world of all of my friends :) I wish more people had blogs!

As far as where to begin? I will start with today and move forward, catching you up on details as they present themselves.

I woke up this morning reeling from the shock of some HUGE news I got last night: AMBER IS ENGAGED!!

Let me tell you briefly about Amber: we met my sophomore year at Pepperdine (she is one year younger, and therefore a freshman when we met). We were both nutrition majors and we had a couple of classes together. She is one of those people that you meet in life and you instantly click! From the time we met, she became my everything buddy--my study buddy, my shopping buddy, my running buddy, my driving buddy, my do-nothing-for-a-whole-day buddy, my beach buddy, my venting buddy, my movie buddy, my laughing buddy, my crying buddy, my EVERYTHING BUDDY! Seriously, there was nothing we did not do together, and I have been completely blessed by the depth of her love for me.
Anyways, I love her to death: she is one of my best friends. And I bet you are wondering about her fiancé, Allen? Allen just finished his service in the Army and is from Kansas (where Amber is from as well). They met over the summer when Amber and our friend Alicia were out one night. I was able to meet Allen at Thanksgiving, and I really like him :) He spends time with her family while she is at school (Amber number 2 out of 5 kids, who mean the world to her) and he ABSOLUTELY adores her!
I'm definitely in shock! I think the hardest thing is that this relationship developed when I haven't been around to watch it grow and so I had no idea it was coming so quickly! That's why I'm in shock...I'm totally, just, wow...!
I think it hit me super hardcore last night because when I jumped on Facebook, there were a couple more engagement status' that popped up. February is beginning to rival December for number of engagements in one month! My mom says it's because of Valentine's Day; just a TOUCH cliché, but it's all good! So here you go February: you've got 2 weeks left...what else you got!?
In other news, while I try and recover from the...shock...
My internship is really going well! My very first clinical rotation was Renal, meaning that I worked in a dialysis clinic for two weeks caring for people who had kidney failure. I can comment more on that later.
The next two weeks, I will be in Geriatrics at a nursing home in SE. This rotation is definitely a lot less intense than Renal was. It has made me think a lot about my parents getting older. God-willing, they are still 30 years away from this kind of life. It's really sad to see how sick these people are and for many of them, they spend their life bedridden and alone. I can't dwell on the emotions because it will prevent me from doing my job. It makes me even more in love with the Savior who came for me, to rescue me and to walk with me all my life and into eternity--thank you Jesus! I never want to see my parents end up alone like this. If we have to someday put them in a home, I will be sure someone goes to see them everyday. Hopefully, Brooke, Stevie, and I will live close enough to be able to do that.
Speaking of STEVIE (my youngest sibling is 5 years younger than me--a senior in high school this year and a phenomenal basketball player)...
His team had their first playoff game last night against Highland. It was supposed to be an easy win--Highland was a wild card team. Valencia ended up winning by just a few points in overtime!!! And guess what? MY BABY BRO HAD 4 THREE-POINTERS!!! So proud :)
That should hold you over until tomorrow! I'm back baby!!
Song of the day (I have so much to share with you!!): "Think Of Me," by Rosi Golan from the Dear John soundtrack. One of the reasons I love it is because I can picture Jesus singing it to me. It is good to have a God who is the lover of our souls ♥

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up


As a short reflection on my weekend, I:
  • Celebrated a small (but significant) weight loss on Friday morning!!
  • Comforted some hurting friends Friday night :(
  • Began Solid Rock's Street Teams ministry Saturday afternoon (basically, we walk around Portland asking people if they want to come to church!)
  • Went to Nordstrom's and discovered: (1) THEY CARRY TOMS!!!!!!! (2) There also carry a 22-year old, 6'5", college soccer playing, dirty blonde, blue-eyed salesman ;)
  • Attended the very first church service for Solid Rock Downtown (UH-MAZE-ING)!!
  • Enjoyed Asian Pear Mojitos, Lettuce Wraps, and Hot & Sour Soup at P.F. Chang's with Annie and Caitlin
  • Watched The Hangover TWICE.
  • Talked to Amber, Kelly, Mom, and Boo :)
  • Heard news about Dave's condition: they are now thinking that his fevers are NOT because of his Hodgkin's returning, but rather because of an infection--God DEFINITELY shows up, yet again!
  • Cleaned the house. Yuck. But it's my weekend.
  • Had an...interesting coffee lunch...hmmm...
  • Went grocery shopping--OATMEAL SQUARES!!!
  • Purchased waaaaaaaayyyy tooooo much music, but I can't help it. I'm OBSESSED!!! If you have not heard Phil Wickham's, Evan Wickham's, and Leeland's latest albums, your life is suffering. Sorry.
  • Am doing a really sucky job at truly forgiving someone that I need to.
  • Got some reading done for classes/rotations
  • Did not do NEARLY enough studying for the GRE--I'm taking it on February 6 so I need to get on that.
  • Celebrated a beautiful rain-free day today--thank you Jesus ♥

I hope everyone had a good 3-day weekend! Guess what? The week is almost halfway done!!

Song of the day: "Cielo" by Phil Wickham. BEAUTIFUL: "I can't sing loud enough/I can't sing loud enough/When I'm singing for you my God...I can't bow low enough/I can't bow low enough/At the vision of you my God...I can't lift my hands high enough/Lift my hands high enough/When I'm reaching for you my God."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Whole Point of Existence

Theologians break up history into 4 parts: Creation, Fall, Rebellion, and Redemption.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. -Genesis 1:1
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. -Genesis 1:31
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." -Genesis 2:15-17

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"
"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
-Genesis 3:1-7
So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
-Genesis 3:23-24

The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.
The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. -Psalm 14: 1-3

"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" -Mark 1:15
"No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who beieves in him may have eternal life.
"For God so loved the worlk that he have his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." -John 3: 13-17
Praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accorance with his pleasure and will--to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment--to bring all things in heaven and on earth togeter under one head, even Christ. -Ephesians 1:1-10
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. -Colossians 1:15-20
Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. -1 John 5:21

  • Creation: Love requires a choice. God took a HUGE risk in putting freedom into the hands of mankind.
  • Fall: When mankind bought the lie and disobeyed their loving God, sin entered the world. Murder, famine, disease, rape, violence, gluttony, and pain overcame the world because of our choices--why then do we blame God for these things?
  • Rebellion: We live in a world that is constantly spitting in the face of its loving Creator.
  • Redemption: "to buy back." Jesus came "to buy back" people from sin, death, and ultimately, our own selves. God knew that he was sending Jesus BEFORE the creation of the world. Jesus, therefore, is the entire POINT of history, existence, etc. He was not plan B when the world screwed up, but has been plan A all along. Because we were created for him, that means that we are uniquely created with a purpose. Because we were created for him, chasing after ANYTHING ELSE but Jesus is pointless--like chasing after the wind.

The heart of those following Jesus is to show the world the LOVE that God has for them and the huge problem we are in because of sin. JESUS LOVES YOU and he wants you to know that he came, all along, to save you.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lesson: It Got Better

So I did my hour today. I did not feel the need to blackout. And here, I have learned that it DOES get better when you stay at it. It's not where I was, but it's better than it was yesterday. Tomorrow will be better than today was. On and on, so on and so forth.
NOW, if I could only stop eating these damn Peanut M&M's...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lesson: Getting Back Into Shape SUCKS.


So I'm 2-2 of being at the gym this week. Honestly, I'm committed enough to it that getting there really shouldn't be a problem--there's really NO excuse at 5:30 AM. However, I'm 0-2 in making it the full hour through my respective workouts. WHAT?? Seriously, before I left for break I was doing high-intensity interval training on the treadmill 3x/week and strength training classes 2x/week. Then I did nothing all break (bad idea...). On Monday, I made it through 30 minutes before I had to get off the treadmill--I was either going to throw up or pass out. Today, at the 30 minute mark in class, I felt the whole fading-out-of-conciousness thing coming on. It is SO FRUSTRATING!
I know that I just need to stay at it. I know that the dizziness thing will be gone by the end of this week and that in the next couple of weeks I'll get back to where I was.
STILL...when you are getting up so early, packing a perfectly portioned and healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack everyday and committing to lots of water, it is frustrating to feel like I'm SO far behind.
So, don't get out of shape. Be committed to exercising everyday. Then you NEVER have to go through the awful process of getting back INTO it. That is the lesson I learned today.
LOVE: "Hotel Room" by Pitbull. Get pumped.

Sunday, January 10, 2010



You know, the funny thing is that this weekend has been a three day weekend filled with sleeping in, time at Solid Rock and The Way, phone calls to friends, walking around downtown for hours, and getting organized for next week (starting back up again at the hospital...ahhh!!!) DESPITE THAT, all that I can think about is the dinner I ate last night: Cod Fish & Chips. I am truly suffering from food guilt. As in, why do I do this to myself!? I only ate about half of it, BUT STILL--I don't even LIKE fried food all that much and it was an entire plate of brown and fried! UGH! More than the calorie guilt (plenty of that to go around), I am thinking back to my New Years resolutions, specifically number 18 (I know, I made a lot...): Love myself enough to care. To care about what I am putting in my body; to care how it is going to make me feel; to care about the long term consequences of what I eat; to care about my health; to care about the habits I make for myself; to care about ENJOYING my night out, not being tripped by guilt; to care about my body, a temple of the HOLY SPIRIT; to care about the way I look and present myself to the world.
I have realized that at some point 5 years ago, I gave up. I quit caring about myself--seriously. Instead of exercising, I slept in late because I stayed up until 2 or 3 in the morning studying and working on homework that I had procrastinated on. Instead of carefully selecting what I put in my body, I chose to go out to lunch or dinner OFTEN with friends (who seemed to not be tempted AT ALL to finish what was on their plate) so that we could spend time together. Instead of spending time with and being filled by Jesus, I wasted HOURS on Facebook. When it was all said and done, I was overtired, overeaten, zoned out, and overweight. Like I had become this great, big, numb blob of what I once was. I was just kind of sullying through life, and really, no longer caring about myself. I mean, I don't shop because I hate how clothes look on me. What I have in my wardrobe is from my mom. Don't get me wrong, she has good taste! But if it has to do with me, I have given up. Now, if someone I loved ever needed ANYTHING, I could do it in a heartbeat: If I need to be at the hospital during finals week because Dave is having emergency surgery? Boom. Done. If I need to sit for 2 hours everyday and listen to a friend grieve over a loss? No problem. If I need to give up study/sleep time to pick up a friend and hang out when she locks herself out of her apartment at midnight? I'm there.
If I need to exercise daily and eat better so that I can achieve my goal weight? Uhhh...
So I don't really know how to resolve this. It's time IT'S TIME TO CARE!! So I guess that means I'm in the gym tomorrow at 6 AM. I guess that means I am writing down what I eat, drinking lots of water, eating lots of fruits and vegetables. I guess that means I am scheduling time in my day for Jesus. I guess that means I am making daily phone calls to friends. AND SOMEHOW, finding time to study and do all of this by 9:30 PM so that I can get in my 8 hours of sleep. Who knew that this taking-care-of-myself business would be so time consuming!!??
So my song, my song, my song...I need a one: "All God's Children" by Delirious? This reminds me what everything is all about and who stands beside me in this. Really great song.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Electric Blankets, Country Music, & Weekends...


...Things that I am thankful for. Also for 1 Samuel 14 (story of Saul and Jonathan), a cozy afternoon chat with my Brittany and my mom, God being in control, the ability to be changed, joy, anticipation, excitement, God desiring to make my life MEANINGFUL versus easy, prayer, fruits and vegetables, hot tea, worship music, and FAITH.
Heard this song tonight at The Way and I loved it: "Carry Me On Your Back," by Leeland. "In the darkness, your light shines, breaking over the horizon. And I lift my eyes to see heaven's fighting for me."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Now Is The Time...To Resolve

(I ♥ Calvin and Hobbes)

Now that I have recapped 2009 and inundated you with my love for music, I can finally post my New Year's resolutions! Surprisingly, this year, I have heard quite a few people voice thier particular dislike for the resi's. Specifically, the comment is this: "I don't like NYRs. If I want to do something, I'll just do it." Interesting! I wonder if it is because we feel that we do not want to set ourselves up to fail...I mean, if you put it out there that you are going to do something, everyone can hold you accountable to follow through! If you don't, what does that make you? A failure, I guess. But honestly, isn't that what we are? I mean, there's a lot of stuff we don't accomplish--a lot we set out to do but don't do. I think that sometimes, we forget our humanity and forget that we are pretty weak and pretty incapable on our own. According to this guy Paul, that's not something that we should be ashamed of, but something we should boast about! Check this out:

"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given to me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." --2 Corinthians 12:7-10

SO THEREFORE, I will make many NYRs, knowing that God is ready to show up. And if I fail, I fail! That is completely to be expected--my victories are in my Jesus. it's time.

  1. Be a woman of my word.

  2. Be on Facebook once a week (uhh...yeah, remember that whole failure thing?)

  3. Do not talk about how much $$ I do or (more commonly) don't have.

  4. Lose weight (FOR GOOD...again...where I am weak, he is strong) by working out 5-6 days per week for at least an hour, keeping a DAILY food journal, and most importantly, PRAY OVER THIS DAILY--discover what I am holding onto that I need to let go of; what stone I need to roll away to see God's glory.

  5. Make daily phone calls to my friends and family. Keep a friend journal to keep track of what is going on in their lives and how I can pray for them. Answer phone calls IMMEDIATELY.

  6. Drink at least 8 cups of water per day.

  7. Begin graduate school for my Master's degree by Fall 2010. This means I need to take my GRE and apply by March.

  8. Attend more concerts.

  9. Learn so much more about my Jesus by daily spending time in his word and PRAYING ABOUT EVERYTHING.

  10. Eat out no more than 2 times per week.

  11. Let my life opinions be understated--seek a gentle and quiet spirit.

  12. Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

  13. Blog daily (woo hoo!)!

  14. Send out cards/letters/packages every week.

  15. Study everyday. Avoid procrastination and stress.

  16. PRAY for people when I say I will

  17. Develop my own fashion style that represents who I am--PRAY about it, and spend frugally.

  18. Love myself enough to care for myself enough.

  19. REALLY PRAY for the man I will marry someday--surrender my desires, hurts, stubbornness, bitterness, anger, and sadness to my Jesus.

  20. PRAY CONSTANTLY for my unsaved friends.

  21. Understand the Health Care Reform Bill (ambitious, I know).

  22. Speak less, listen more.

  23. Jesus > Brittany

Didn't realize it until right now, but I see a theme here, don't you? PRAYER needs to be a much bigger part of my life--PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING!! Did you know PRAYER changes God's mind? How crazy is that!? Our PRAYERS to God reach his ears and MOVE HIM!! PRAYER is powerful, and I need to believe it, which means I need to practice it, and become DISCIPLINED about it. Obviously, God doesn't always say yes--but he always hears us and is always with us! His great purpose for us is to bring our hearts back into an intimate relationship with himself--that is his whole goal! Therefore, we can be confident of the work he is doing in our lives FOR OUR GOOD. Even through the really hard times...he chooses to walk this road with us. Thanks for that, Jesus :)

Ok, SO, my song of the day...Miss Kelly has a wonderful list today and it put it in my head: "Heartbreak Warfare" by John Mayer. Love you all!

The Best Therapy

$75.00 worth of iTunes has vanished faster than fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. Drat. But let me tell you how it happened! You see, there is this amazing website called Pandora Radio--a website that creates a radio station for you based on your personal music tastes. All you do is type in the name of the artist or song you want a station for and Pandora creates an ongoing radio of songs that match your musical taste.
I am currently listening to "Broadway" by The Goo Goo Dolls, playing on my Matt Nathanson station. Since I am the most indecisive person in the world when it comes to making decisions (I struggle with perfection...NOT a good thing), I have been listening to various stations and buying songs I don't have! I have many stations but I have used my $$ for my Phil Wickham, Colbie Caillat, Jason Aldean, Britney Spears, and Matt Nathanson stations.
...just changed to "Where We Gonna Go From Here" by Mat Kearney...
Once each playlist has 32 songs, I will change to another station. I am trying to get a variety of genres: I have Christian & Gospel, Pop, Country, Pop, and Rock. The Britney station was an attempt to make a dance mix--it's ok. It put a lot of older songs on. I wanted more Britney Spears "3" like songs! I may have to see what a Lady Gaga station gives me.
...GASP! Just changed to "Stop This Train" by John Mayer...OMG, I LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
8 more songs, and my Matt Nathanson list is complete!
Anyways, I need an Alternative station--maybe Forever The Sickest Kids?? Or Anberlin? I think they're Rock though. I definitely will make more Country ones. I hardly spend $$ on those because I have so many of the songs, haha :)
So friends, I need ideas!! What are some good stations you would make? Maybe I'll find some new music to ♥. You should definitely check out these peeps though. They're REALLY good!
...changing to "The Man Who Can't Be Moved," by The Script...
But here! If you feel overwhelmed by all my music, check out "Hey, Soul Sister" by Train. Totally makes me want to take a drive with the windows down and just LAUGH and SMILE :D First heard it on the radio, not Pandora, btw...which is why, occasionally, you should listen to the radio.
..."Brace Yourself" by Howie Day...
..."Acoustic #3" by The Goo Goo Dolls...
..."So Long, So Long" by Dashboard Confessional...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hasta La Vista, 2009!

Hello dear friends! I have missed you all so much!! I NEVER know where to start when so much time passes between blogging...definitely a New Years' resolution, and you are welcome to hold me to it. BUT WAIT! Before I get to 2010, this is a good time to recap 2009--a year that has COMPLETELY disappeared! It is my opinion that pictures speak THOUSANDS of words and therefore, may my miniature picture calander take you back in time with me:


This is Jesse and Claudia! I met them through Young Life while I was a leader in Malibu. Although their wedding was not the first of the year (can you believe that? I went to another one before theirs!), this one was near and dear to my heart. The wedding and reception were held at Malibu West Beach Club at sunset. It was small, intimate, laid back, and absolutely beautiful in the most southern California way. I remember sitting at my table, completely relaxed, watching Claudia dance with her nieces and nephews, with a beautiful 70 degree breeze blowing the sunset over our ocean view and tousling my hair. I said to myself, "if this is how my wedding turns out someday, I will be completely satisfied."

This is David and Anna! I have known Anna since junior high, where we began an inside joke that neither of us can remember! Every week at church, she would say to me, "Brittany! I forgot your lemons again!" Looking back, neither of us knows how that started, haha! All throughout high school and much of college, Anna was one of my closest friends. She imparted so much wisdom to me at various times in my life, and I am very grateful to her for those times. And David? He's pretty much awesome :)

This is Jenna and she is from Vermont! Jenna and I met freshman year of college--she lived in the same dorm that I did, in the suite directly above me. We became friends, then roommates, then dearest friends, and have really never looked back. On this day, we went to the Museum of Natural History in L.A. in search of the dinosaur exhibit (Jenna loves T-Rex's). This was probably my favorite moment in March because it was a really special time that we got to spend together--a quite morning together before finals and graduation were upon us. Jenna knew that she was going to Rochester after graduation and we were both struggling with knowing we would be apart. Thanks for this Jou Jou--I'll remember it forever :)

And so the craziness began in April! From left to right: Ellyn, me, Kate, and Jessie. Ellyn and Kate were my roommates senior year and Jessie was an adopted roommate :) What a wonderful year we had together! This was the night of our Senior Ball at Monsoon in Santa Monica. It was a wonderful night to sing, dance, and say goodbye to the friends we made 4 years ago. The cresendo of the night was ending with "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey, with a couple hundred friends all singing along. Goodness Pepperdine, I will miss you forever. Near the end of the month, I also found out about internships--I had been accepted to Oregon Health & Science University!! Portland, here I come!


This month was so busy, I HAD to put two pictures. The first is fairly self-explanatory: I graduated from Pepperdine University with a B.S. in Nutritional Science. It was a BEAUTIFUL day in Malibu that I got to share with my family (picture), my Uncle Vinnie, cousin Nicholas, the Galuppo's, and the McAhren's. Four years passed much too quickly, in the place where my heart experienced growth, pain, joy, peace, and bliss. Pepperdine, you will be in my heart forever ♥ The second picture is of my cousin Matthew and his new bride Kristina (with my parents). It was wonderful to be reunited with my aunt, uncles, grandma, and many cousins! Since they all live east of the Mississippi, I hardly get to see them. It was wonderful though, and I LOVE Kristina! Way to go Matt!

Heaven help us--the girls have gone wild! These are some of my BEST friends (from left, Brittany, Kelly, me, Brooklyn, and Cassie). This was our very first Vegas trip together and it WAS QUITE POSSIBLY ONE OF THE GREATEST WEEKENDS OF MY LIFE!!! I love being with my girlfriends, all of whom are the precious jewels that bring light to my life. So when we get together ANYWHERE, I am happy. But being in Vegas together was just AMAZING!! Unfortunately, I can say no more about it because what happens in know. Just know that it had something to do with The Hangover, Robert Horry, Ross from England, and this: "We should have put our LIVES on that game!!" ;)
This is my kitchen family (from left, Goo, Callie, me, Jake, Aaron, Mikey, Nunu, and Dan the Man--we are missing Marissa)! This summer, I went to a Young Life camp called Woodleaf and spent a month as a cook. If you want to talk about a near-God encounter, this was DEFINITELY a great one! These people became my family, and restored my faith in fellowship and in the value of being surrounded by people who are passionately in LOVE with Jesus Christ. I made friends for forever, learned what it meant to be loved by God and by brothers and sisters, learned what real faith is, learned who Jesus is and how he loves me, and how I can truly BLESS other people by loving them the way Jesus does. This is not church--this is Young Life. Thank you to EVERYONE I met, because you showed me what it is to be loved as Jesus loves me.

This is my family at Disneyland (from left, me, Stevie, mom, dad, Brooke, and Rachel)! August was a very hard month because of all of the transitions I was going through. I had just come back from a life-changing experience at camp, only to have to say goodbye to my family and ALL of my friends in California :( Ugh, it was heartbreaking. This trip to Disneyland was a moment from heaven where we could all be together one last time and enjoy being together. Plus, Disneyland IS the happiest place on earth! What a fantastic day!

That's me, in Oregon, holding a cake that my new roommate Debra made for me (awww ☺...). I turned 22 this year, which was pretty uneventful considering there was no one here to celebrate with :( BUT, that's ok! It's like I am starting fresh on this new life after college where I am entering a year of training to be a dietitian. September also marked the start of my program and so it was definitely a month of new things!
These are my intern friends (Top left: Candace, Emily, me, Kimberly, Sarah, Annie. Bottom left: Baloo, Anna, Audrey, and Lucy)! This was our first party together (Halloween, as you can probably guess--I was a boxer) and it was so much fun! We played some beer pong, some Apples to Apples, and generally just hung out and got to know each other. I am hoping for much more of this in 2010!

This is my BRAND NEW 2010 Toyota Camry LE. This is my BRAND NEW 2010 Toyota Camry LE on the side of the 5 freeway in Washington. This is my BRAND NEW 2010 Toyota Camry LE on the side of the 5 freeway in Washington after being rear-ended. My very first car accident EVER and I have been driving in Los Angeles since I was 16! This was on our way back from Seattle, a trip with my roommate and some of her friends. Between having to deal with the accident and fighting traffic, it took us 6 HOURS to get home. UGH! November also marked the end of the first term of my internship and MY FIRST TRIP HOME SINCE AUGUST!!! So happy :) :) :)
Just three short weeks later, I returned home for a two-week break. Between Thanksgiving and New Years I saw almost all of my very dearest friends, which was SO WONDERFUL! I spent New Years in Colorado Springs, Colorado with my friend Marissa from camp this summer (the one who was missing from the kitchen family picture). This is a picture of me with her family (from left, me, Marissa holding Lulu, sister Bid, dad, brother Merrill, and Niles in the front--Pike's Peak is in the background). It was wonderful to spend time with her and her family--must do that trip again :)

So much has happened in 2009! These are merely snapshots of some of my favorite moments. There was so much else that happened this year: my sister transferred to Azusa Pacific, Dave had a bone marrow transplant, my brother started his senior year of high school, I made new friends, I lost old friends, I moved out of state, and on and on. Seriously, I have HUNDREDS of pictures from this year. These were just some of the good ones :) But I am definitely EXCITED for 2010 and I really cannot say why! So hasta la vista 2009! You were a good year, but I forsee GREATNESS in the next 12 months :)
I think one of my favorite songs of 2009 was "In Your Atmosphere" by John Mayer. It like an appropriate goodbye song too. I also am going to suggest "Older" by Colbie Caillat, for her sentiments on how tough it is to get older. Get them both--you will love them.