Sunday, February 29, 2004
Friday, February 27, 2004
When I was saved three and a half years ago, I had a lot of changing to do. Some of it was obvious. I had to give up smoking pot and rolling on ecstacy. I had to break up with my non-believing boyfriend. (That was perhaps the first time I'd ever felt the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking directly to me, not the voice of my mom or my guilty conscience. The drugs I clearly recognized had to go--that was part of the deal in the first place.) But I had been so lost, I had no concept of how all-encompassing this change was to be.
I went out with some friends one night to a club. I wore a cute miniskirt, knee-high black boots and a little top. I got my groove on all over the place. I danced with friends, and I danced with strangers. This one particular guy, "Bob" we'll call him, the guy on the bus today, was pretty cute. We got to talking, and I thought we might become friends. We probably exchanged phone numbers and stuff.
A few days later I went to the cafeteria to kill some time between classes. At this point, I'd only been saved for a few weeks. I was incredibly eager to read the Bible, and there in the cafeteria, I pulled out my Bible to start reading some more. What better way could I spend my time? A few minutes later I sensed a presence behind me. I looked back and saw "Bob." I invited him to sit down.
"What are you reading? The Bible? You a Christian?" I was delighted to say I was. I loved the way it felt to say so and not be ashamed. But he wasn't smiling. "Girl, you can't be playing both ways."
"You can't be going out dancing the way you were the other night, and then read your Bible later. It don't work like that. You gotta be one or the other." I stared at him blankly. I don't understand what I did wrong, I said. He went on to say that if I'm gonna be a Christian, then I have to realize I can't still act like I'm not a Christian. "Those moves-- a Christian girl can't be doing moves like that."
I was ashamed. I explained I hadn't been a Christian long, and I didn't realize that shaking my groove thang was gonna hurt my witness. Luckily "Bob" understood.
Now, I'm not saying to every Christian girl in the world booty dancing is a sin. I think its one of those things you have to pray about yourself and let God give you his opinion. But I discovered something then that still affects me today: Everything we do we should do for the glory of God. I didn't have such snazzy words for it then, but indeed, we reflect Christ. Everything we do reflects Christ because the world is watching us, waiting to see what we do. We should do all we can to not cause someone else to stumble. Just recently I realized something I've done has caused another fellow Christian to stumble. Something I felt no conviction about has caused someone else, who appears to have had a conviction, to act in the same way. Our lives if we are children of the Almighty God are no longer about us. They now exist as vessels for spreading the gospel. And in the same way that the bratty kids you are watching reflect back on their parents, everything we do- booty dancing, swearing, fighting- reflects back on our Parent.
Meanwhile I finished a most incredible book last night. It's titled Love Sick by Sue William Silverman. It is an autobiography of a woman who was a sex addict. I know, I'd never thought that was a real addiction. But this book seriously impacted me. I found myself praying for her through the whole book. All the other characters, too. It broke my heart because I realized there are so many people in the world who struggle with this, for one reason or another. It was the sadest book with the most triumphant ending. I'm so proud of her. I don't know what else to say about it. It was a must-read for me, as I prepare to venture into the world of addiction when I move to Scotland and Wales. Drugs and alcohol aren't the only addictions I've come to understand. So is food, starvation, sex, anything that controls our lives and numbs our pain can be an addiction. Read about this book
Thursday, February 26, 2004
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
This is the seventh (7th) time in one and a half (1 1/2) years that I have moved offices. And as the moves go on, my office space becomes more and more disagreeable. Yet I have put up with them without much complaint.
Friday I was moved into the basement. They call it the "Ground Level" but it is in truth a basement with many basement-like characteristics. Coldness. Loud apparatus hummings. Solitude.
But because the basement was originally designed to be the call center for the National Phone Campaign it is very "student oriented." So along with basement-like qualities, add Top 40 radio playing at a most uncomfortable volume- not loud and not quiet but in the middle where its just loud enough to bug you and quiet enough to make you subconsciously strain to hear. My desk also rests right against the air filter- so all the cold air in the room vacuums around my ankles into the wall that also houses the buildings enormous heating system that vibrates all day long, shaking my desk, my chair, my eyes. Not to mention makes squeaks and a loud sub-audible tremelo that constricts my neck muscles as I tense up against the annoyance.
I hate it down here. I want to cry. And the worst part is, I could cry if I wanted because I'm down here all alone and no one would ever know!
These kind of conditions do not promate increased brain activity. I sit here and have no desire to decode and resolve the requests I recieve. I just want to do nothing. I want to get up and leave the room. I try to concentrate on difficult projects and realize I've only been singing the Bling Bling song by Pink.
Monday, February 23, 2004
Saturday, February 21, 2004
Friday, February 20, 2004
at least in my dreams - when i'm sleeping it seems that the needle is full endlessly - but you keep on waking me - i'm almost there - it's on the tip of my tongue - and it never goes away - it never comes to stay - the chances are slight - that I won't shoot up tonight - but the sensation that's waiting beneath - is a kick in the teeth
-Pedro the Lion "the whole e.p."
Thursday, February 19, 2004
feeling independent - i made it through another day - having a wonderful time - i haven't felt the sickness - i think i may have scared it away - looks like i'm gonna be fine - my friend down on the corner says its gonna be alright - he's handing me a needle and he sells me a fix and says i'll see you here tomorrow - feeling self-sufficient - it's nice to finally be in control - i'd have it no other way - i do it when i want to let the good times roll - each and every day - my friend down on the corner says it's gonna be goodtimes - pats me on the shoulder and sells me a fix and says i'll see you here tomorrow
- Pedro the Lion "the whole e.p."
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
For a brief while your strength is in bloom
but it fades quickly; and soon there will follow
illness or the sword to lay you low,
or a sudden fire or surge of water
or jabbing blade or javelin from the air
or repellent age. Your piercing eye
will dim and darken; and death will arrive,
dear warrior, to sweep you away.
-Hrothgar from Beowulf
Monday, February 16, 2004
Mystical and rain-soaked, you remain mysterious to many people, and this
makes you intriguing. You also like a good night at the pub, though many are just as
worried that you will blow up the pub as drink your beverage of choice. You're good
with words, remarkably lucky, and know and enjoy at least fifteen ways of eating a potato.
You really don't like snakes.
Take the Country Quiz at
the Blue Pyramid
You have a really ugly past, one that defies description.
This gives you tremendous guilt, but you've coped with it and flourished
into an awfully good person, considering. You've finally made peace with
yourself, in so many ways, and you've been able to build on that for a bright
and capable future. You've become so enlightened that you're probably
a member of the Green Party, or at least listen to their demands.
Take the Country Quiz at
the Blue Pyramid
I just don't know.
Sunday, February 15, 2004
Most Sundays I head off for church, hoping for a really good experience. And then most Sundays I find myself silently sitting in my chair with my legs crossed beneath me, praying for forgiveness for my lethargic spiritual life, while everyone around me dances with enthusiasm. I feel like everyone around me is thinking about how I don't know how to get excited about the Lord. I feel like everyone else in the room must be in such a great place spiritually. I even had a lady chastise me once for not getting up and dancing. "Why aren't you dancing? Don't you have every reason to give thanks to the Lord?!" They can dance and shout and sing and lift their hands. I usually can't get through the first song without finding lyrics that I know aren't true about my life.
For example, this morning we sang the words "We turn our eyes from evil things, Oh Lord we cast down our idols" and "Let us not lift our souls to another". That was in the first song. I couldn't get past it. I couldn't sing those words without being totally convicted. I sat right back down and put my face in my hands and started praying. That lasted through the rest of the singing time. Meanwhile, as I was confessing what a creep I am to Christ, everyone else it seemed was full of radiant joy. Days like this make me feel like crap.
But I read something tonight. I found myself in Ecclesiastes, somewhere I've not been since I became a Christian. I read it through in high school, but I don't believe I've even thought of that book in the whole three and a half years I've been saved. In Chapter 5 the writer warns us to "Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know what they do wrong." Whoa, I thought. Go near to listen. Walk carefully. I read on. "Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few."
I think you see where I'm going with this. I realized tonight that that's what God desires of us when we come before Him. He doesn't want us to be quick to speak. He doesn't want the sacrifice of foolish chatter. He wants us to be sober before Him so we aren't fools who do not know what we do wrong. If I realize I cannot honestly say to God that I have no other idols before Him, I shouldn't say so. Once I've realized that about myself, it is time to get down on my face and start some repenting.
It's very sweet how God encourages us. He knows how I feel, how it seems like everyone else is so much more spiritual than me, while I can't even uphold the Ten Commandments. So He kindly directed me to a place that says, "My child, you're doing what you ought to be doing. You're a good kid, you know that?"
This is a special Valentine's present to our international friends Emily and Scott. Wish you were here. (Sorry all the pictures are blurry. The flash made yucky pictures.)
First, we set the mood.
Then came friends and food.
David, Ingrid, and Bradley
Amanda and Nao
We had a great turnout. Ok I'm lying. A lot of people didn't come, but we sure had a lot of mashed potatoes. And the KFC David brought was phenomenal. It was a heartwarming Valentine's dinner. Even if my heart was a little sore. Valentine's Day can be just as fun, if not more so, with friends. So I hope everyone, single or no, had a good time. And if you didn't, I hope you got really good and drunk.
Saturday, February 14, 2004
say a prayer to the Man above
Today is Valentine's Day. I guess I'm supposed to be all happy and stuff because I have a boyfriend who loves me tons, but no, I'm sad. Sad because said boyfriend lives on another continent. So I miss him a lot today. I missed him a lot last night, too, when I was coerced to go booty dancing with some friends from high school. I don't know how to booty dance, first of all, and I don't enjoy it second of all, but it was all made worse because I wanted to be with Scott. I could've had fun if Scott had been there. I wouldn't have had to worry about how ridiculous I looked-- Scott would've looked even more ridiculous!
Sigh. So that's my Valentine's Day post. If you are lucky enough to be spending today with someone special, thank God for it. If you're not with someone today, thank God anyway. He's got us all where we are for a good reason, doesn't He.
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
1. Chocolate. Their's is far superior to ours.
2. Tampons. Their's are far superior to ours.
3. Accents and funny words. Americans don't have accents.
4. They have a Queen.
6. Indian take-out. They treat it like Chinese or Mexican.
7. The letter 'U'. As in mum, favourite, and cheque.
Things I love about America
1. Toilets. Here they flush properly.
2. Garbage disposals, in most modern sinks.
3. Thai food everywhere.
4. Four seasons. Well, at least here in Arkansas.
5. Cheap gas.
Yep, you guessed it. Tomorrow is my English Grammar test. We've already done two practice tests and if either one of them had been the real thing, I would've gotten my first college F. I have never seen so many Xs and mark ups on anything I've ever done before. Tonight will be my last chance to learn reflexive pronouns vs. intensive pronouns, appositives vs. objective complements, delayed subjects, 1st and 2nd objects, present perfect passive progressive verbs, and adjective-noun combinations used as modifiers.
And what exactly AM I planning to do tonight to prepare for this mammoth? Making tortillia soup and watching The O.C. with my roommates. Any time after that will be dedicated to Faulkner.
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Pray for someone to love you properly. Scott loves Lori properly. And that, my friends, is great. Great like Frosted Flakes.
Yay person I guess is named Sarah.
In other news, in case you didn't catch this in the last post-- I'm going to Scotland in a month!! It was my first time to ever be spontaneous, and it nearly backfired in so many ways. But God is good, He worked them all out for me. And then sternly told me to never be spontaneous again. I said ok.
And in final news, I picked up a hitchhiker tonight. I know, I know, before you chastise me for doing something so stupid, allow me to tell you the story. Sunday, Dick (my pastor) was talking about generous giving, and he said God didn't ask us to just give of our money generously and cheerfully but other things as well. Like time and resources, etc. He made the comment that if you feel like you should do something but don't know if its God telling you to do it or not, to fall on the side of generosity and "fail God in that way rather than being too stingy" or something. So as I was putting my groceries in my trunk I saw a woman with a bag of groceries with her thumb out. So many times I've thought of helping people like that but I never do out of fear. (And I don't think that's a bad thing.) But I felt good about this woman and I remembered what Dick said about being overly generous if you're not sure which way to go. So I shouted to her and asked where she was going. She came to my car and told me. It was actually pretty close to where I was going. So I gave her a lift. I wondered if it was an opportunity to share Christ with her but I think there's a lot of truth to the phrase "Share Christ with everyone you meet. And if it's necessary, use words." So I just let the conversation flow. I always listen to hymns in my car so that played in the background as we discussed how to find a carton of eggs with no broken ones and what great deals Kohl's has if you go at the right time. I dropped her off feeling extremely happy to have helped her. I want to help people more often. But don't worry, Scott, I won't go picking up every hitchhiker I come across. At least not when the penitentury is a mile away.
Monday, February 09, 2004
*Caution: The following post is a love story. Please advise.
For Cait, who asked
This is the story of Scott and Lori.
It's not going to rhyme the whole time.
Ok. So, it all started (sort of) two and half years ago in the rainy island of Great Britain...
I was one of four leaders taking 31 kids to Scotland on a TMI mission trip. TMI (Teen Missions Int'l) has a strict rule of no pairing off. That means no boy/girl exclusive relationships as well as girl/girl or boy/boy best friend type relationships. Scott was just a wee Scottish lad who was an avid disregarder of that particular rule. To make a long story short, he and I didn't have much reason to develop a friendship. He was the troublemaker; I was the leader.
However, his younger brother, Pete (who was also a disregarder of this rule but perhaps not as much as Scott) and I were a little better friends and kept in contact a little bit over the next few years. Sometimes I'd talk to Scott, too, over Instant Messenger, but let's be honest. After two years, and having barely known either of them, I really didn't know which one I was talking to when.
Well, I decided this past summer to go Wales to work with one of the Teen Challenge groups there and decided to visit Scotland again while I was there. Scott, Pete, and I started talking a lot more, and they both agreed to be my friends while I was visiting. I started to differentiate the two just a bit in my head.
They picked me up at the airport, and the rest of my two weeks in Scotland was spent alternating between hanging out with them and their friends, and with the other Scottish friends I'd made before. One night, while lying in bed, I found myself thinking about Scott in a rather fond way. I was shocked. "What am I thinking about Scott for?" I wondered. Still, every time I closed my eyes, I saw Scott with his long hair covering his face. For the next few days I became embarrassed to do anything with him. I was afraid to call him to go hang out, or see him, or sit with him at church, etc. We went to a museum together (and I had a huge zit and was self-conscious about it the entire time). I wondered if he liked me, too. I was pretty sure he did. I just didn't know if I really liked him. I somewhat expected him to try to hold my hand, but alas he never did.
Anyway, I went to Wales after that and thought about him a lot. We emailed each other back and forth every day. Any time one of us checked our email and did not see an email from the other, we were devestated. We signed our emails according to how the other had signed his or her email. "Love, Lori" resulted in a "Scott xx".
I returned to Scotland after my trip to Wales and stayed with the McFarlanes, Scott's family. He picked me up at the airport (alone this time) and we spent the day together with a couple of friends. The following Monday, Scott and I went out for a walk through the hills at Cornalees. Again, I waited for him to take my hand. I refused to make any moves myself. "If he's a man, he will do it" was my reasoning. We flirted a lot and sat close to each other when we took walking breaks. We hesitated by a brook covered by trees to play with stones. We played Pooh Sticks at a rickety bridge. We climbed to the top of the hill overlooking Greenock in the midst of lush green grasses and sheep. Nothing. We began our decline when somehow our fingers interlocked. Neither of us know how that happened. All I knew was suddenly whatever I was saying didn't matter and I didn't even know what I was talking about anyway. We held hands and didn't mention it the rest of the day. We went back to his house and sat close on the couch while hanging out with his family. We were flirty.
But this didn't feel good to me. I didn't like not knowing his intentions. Did he really like me? Or was this to him some sort of summer fun? I realized that if this was going to happen, we both had to be really serious about our intentions because it would result in a painful long distance relationship. One night, Scott and some friends of his and I rented a movie. Feeling moody, I left in the middle to retire to my room. I laid down on my bed in the dark feeling unhappy. Moments later, Scott knocked on my door. He came in, laid down next to me, and we talked. He told me he was serious. I told him I was, too. We talked about committment and what all this would mean and what it would be like. We both wanted to try it.
So that resulted in a subsequent painful five months. For five months we didn't see each other. We nearly broke up several times. I didn't know what it was gonna be like to see him again. All I knew was that he was incredibly sweet, and I doubted I deserved (or wanted) so much.
Two weeks before he came out to visit me in America in December, I had a realization. I realized I loved him. This realization came to me as a shock and a joy. Suddenly I felt released to love him fully, as I'd been afraid to do before. Scott experienced the same sort of thing at about the same time. I decided I wanted him to tell me he loved me while he was here.
But it wasn't enough. Being with Scott again was fantastic. I was thrilled by his company. I enjoyed him so much. When he told me he loved me, I was beside myself. But the next day I wasn't happy at all. "What's that supposed to mean?" I wondered. Did he just love me? Or did he really truly love me? And if he really truly loved me, that meant he ought to love me forever. Love never fails, Paul said. It doesn't end. So suddenly, just being loved wasn't enough.
Well, we went to my parents' house over the weekend, and we watched "Father of the Bride". During the movie we made little jokes like "Are you gonna make me do that?" and "Would you want a big dress or a plain dress", etc. It made me sad. What did this mean? We took a walk, and I was moody. Scott kept asking what was wrong, but I wouldn't say. I wanted him to figure it out himself! Well, by the time the walk was nearly over I realized he wasn't going to figure it out on his own so I told him what I'd been thinking about love. He stopped and looked me in the eyes. "When I said I love you, I meant I love you properly." He explained that that meant he was devoted to me and loved me the way the Bible says we should love. I asked if that meant he wanted to love me forever. "Yes. I want to marry you." With that, I broke down and started crying. Scott was unbelievably confused. He thought he'd said something wrong. But the truth is, I couldn't believe he loved me so much. I'd never really been loved like that. Scott was so sure of his feelings, so confident in his love for me. I cried during the rest of the walk. That weekend we decided to get married for sure and called ourselves "secretly fianced." The secret remained because Scott wanted to first ask my dad for my hand. So we kept it relatively secret for about a month. We ended up telling my dad early because we felt guilty leaving him out of everything, when both of Scott's parents knew and my mom knew (because of my big mouth.)
So here we are. Engaged. I'll be back in Scotland for Spring Break and hopefully after that everything will be completely officialized (i.e., ring).
I probably left out some juicy details but that's the long gist of it. I love Scott McFarlane very much. He loves me that much, too.
Sunday, February 08, 2004
So yeah, tying the knot, etc.
Hammering the nails into the coffin, so to speak.
I'll post some "JUICY DETAILSSSS" for Caitlin later.
For now, I'm getting ready for church. Haven't been in a couple weeks so I'm looking forward to it.
(This post really reads just like Scott's does. I can't let that start happening. I'm supposed to be the better writer...)
Friday, February 06, 2004
Thursday, February 05, 2004
Scott, I think I've been cheating on you. With my roommates. We've had two intentional roommate dates and one spontaneous roommate date in the past week. I'm really sorry. I just like them.
Tonight, I made chicken masaman curry with rice and avocados, and Amanda made a spinach and strawberry salad. We and Ingrid ate the delicious dinner with wine, Friends, and The Apprentice and enjoyed a dessert of vanilla ice-cream with fudge sauce. Let me interject that I do not habitually watch Friends or The Apprentice. But these roommate dates have been nice. (I'll admit, I really do like The O.C. and I was really into Average Joe, but these things happen when I don't want to study.)
Anyway, it's been fun. Ingrid made us lasagna and garlic bread last night, and that was good, too.
I miss Scott.
(I have these weeks, you see, that all come in a row, where I honestly don't know how to do a darn thing related to my job. People send me requests with teeny tiny complications that I am simply unable to figure out--"figure out" being a verb-adverb combination--and I have to call my boss every ten minutes with a question. It's times like these I don't know why she doesn't fire me.)
("every ten minutes" forces the phrase "ten minutes" into an adjective-noun combination. Because "every" modifies not just "ten" or "minutes", but "ten minutes" together. I'm ready for this test, I'm ready.)
(No. I'm really not.)
So anyway, nothing very interesting going on. Nothing at all. My life is boring.
SIKE! Haha! You all thought I was serious! Like nothing is going on! Ha!! I laugh.
My life is like a cat's ball of yarn. It is so tangled and confused and busy, not to mention being kicked and chased around by larger, more powerful forces than itself. Like school. And work.
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide
Go west, young man!
create your own visited country map
Man this was so much more impressive before I actually created my own visited countries map in red. I'm not as travelled as I believed. Goodbye, Pride....
Where is the sanctity of nudity these days?
In other news... I don't actually have any other news. Tonight is room-mate night, and we're eating lasagna and watching The O.C. Perhaps we'll finish off that bottle of wine, too. It tastes gooood.
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
Monday, February 02, 2004
What do you mean I have no sexy body parts?? Are you calling me fat?? Are you telling me to lose ten pounds? Are you saying I'm hopeless, and my only saving grace is my kissing- just as long as the guy doesn't have to look at me or touch me? Humph!
(Note the new blog link for Tracy.)