Sunday, February 21, 2010

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.

I feel like I should write about some of the things in life I am thankful for. Angela Nixon, thank you for the idea. Here goes:

1. Health-
 of my loved ones and myself. I was driving behind a car on the interstate the other day with a decal on the back windshield that said "Pray for Arianna" with the St. Jude logo under it. Some family was fighting for the health of their child. I know there are plenty of families fighting for the health of their loved ones, but for some reason this car with this decal really struck me. I have been praying for Arianna, and I hope you will too. And don't forget to thank God for your health while you're at it. 
2. Friends-
Having good friends, even just one that, even if it's been months since you've seen each other,  you can run to and immediately feel close with- like they know you better than you know yourself, and it's only been a minute since you last talked.
3. Family-
A family who knows what it's like to have to rely on our God to get us through. A family who pulls together in tough times and loves each other unconditionally, even though we are very, very flawed. A family who laughs together and enjoys spending time with one another. 
4. Cell phones-
This may be shallow, but there have been times when being able to call my Dad right away from the side of the road with a broken down car or my Mom the minute tears come to my eyes is such a sense of comfort and instant support. 
5. An older brother-
Simply because I love all the times I've heard "you better watch out. She'll get her brother" Also because his sense of humor astonishes me. Ha. 
5. An older sister-
Because we write comments back and forth like we're from a Jane Austen novel and it makes me laugh, even just thinking about it.
6. Monday night bible study-
Because I learn more from those girls than I think they learn from me, and that in itself is a blessing. 
7. Fast Food
Because sometimes a little grease and too much salt is a very, very good thing.
8. The United States-
This may seem corny, but we are a nation blessed beyond belief. We take everything we have for granted, and we have everything at our disposal. I am so thankful to live here, in this country, where my dreams can easily become realities and where my life is filled with freedom and real, true hope. 
9. The South-
Once again, this may seem corny, but I love that people from the north make fun of our accents and don't really know what sweet tea is. I love that we are known for bar-b-que and tractors. ( just don't tell them there are more Escalades and rappers in Memphis than tractors.) I love that it is hot here 80% of the year and that "Yes ma'am" is a phrase young boys are taught before they learn anything else.
10. Good, sappy love stories-
Because they satisfy the romantic inside every girl. I am talking: P.S. I love you. Dear John, The Notebook, Sleepless in Seattle, You've got Mail, etc.
11. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks-
Because of Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail.
12. Good Literature-
Any kind. Because books can be used and reused and passed down and there is just something to be said for literature. It is precious. 
13. My job-
Because I've worked there for 3 years, and although there have been many trying nights, I love all of my Milano's family like they really are family. It is truly the best place to work, even on the not-so-great nights. Plus, any job you can hold, especially for 3 years, is something to be thankful for; the sense of comfort that comes from knowing you don't have to worry about where you'll get money for the next expense.
14. The Bible-
and not because I feel like I should say that. It is full with incredible stories and truths and answers and even romance. Every time I open my Bible, I learn something new and feel that much closer to God. 
15. A Long Distance Relationship-
Because it shows me that time is precious and valuable. Also, because it has taught me great things about communication, trust, honesty, and patience. 
16. The Internet-
Because the other day I talked to a girl who lives in New Mexico and a boy who lives in Africa. This would have taken weeks, and probably would not have happened, if it wasn't for the internet. 
17. Student Life-
For the incredible, truly life long friends I met. Also, for the dependency I learned to have on God while I was there.
18. Grant and Angela Nixon-
Because they have done and are continuing to do great things in our church. God has used them in so many ways already, and they have impacted me more than they know.
19. Chris Ellison-
Because his servant heart is absolutely incredible.
20. Melissa Shaeffer-
Because despite the fact that there is only 2 regular attenders in our Sunday school class, she continues to put her whole effort into us and her passion is contagious.
21. Memphis, Tennessee-
Because it makes me feel a little ghetto and a little more tough just being from here. Also, because people think it's cool that I grew up where Elvis did. (they must not know too much!)
22. Bicycles-
For being something my Dad and I can do together, finally. 
23. OPI-
For making the best nail polish that doesn't melt when I have to get things out of the hot ovens at work. Woo!
24. Chili's Restaurant-
For being a constant source of entertainment and good queso for my friends and I.
25. Starbucks Coffee Shops-
Because it is a modern day gathering hole. Tuesdays, 2:30- like clockwork.
26. Pictures-
Because I still have memories from years and years ago that would have been long forgotten otherwise.

This list could go on, but I am going to stop here for now. God is good. All the time. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ambition is blind.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I love people. I love hearing their stories; where they come from, where they've been. I love learning about their lives, and what makes them who they are. I love getting to know them and spending real, genuine time with them. I love listening to them talk, and I love talking to them. I love the honor of giving wanted advice, and  I love the honesty of an opinion. I want to know what makes the mind work; what makes personalities click. I want to know about your family and what part on your of them rubbed off on you. I am passionate about people and about their precious lives and minds. I want to help them, to hear them, to show them the love I've been shown. I want to carry their burdens with them until they aren't burdens anymore; until are they are strong enough to carry on by themselves. I want people to know that they are loved and needed and respected. Young, old, pure, or stained, every life precious and every story is unique. I want to hear it. 

I love writing. I love reading.  I love words and painting pictures with them. I love stories, true or fiction. I love that you can read a book and make a story come to life. I love that, when you read, you create the story in your own, personal way. I love that books are the only thing we'll never outgrow, and I love the smell of old novels. I love the idea of sitting down and writing pages and pages of nothing, which to someone might be pages and pages of inspiration or hope or courage or advice. I love that there is an endless supply of words to describe every single thing you might be feeling, and I love that if there is not a word to describe whatever it is, you can just make one up. I love that. I love that words are almost innate, but it takes a talent and a gift to put them together in a beautiful way and make a story. I love that Nicholas Sparks uses his words to make me cry and that Dr. Seuss used his words to make us laugh. I love that a book can raise every emotion from anger to happiness to desperation, love, excitement, fear, and hope. I love that God used literature to communicate with us, and that now, 2,000 something years later, we still use literature to communicate with each other. I love that a word can be spoken or written in any language. I love that stories and books and writing are universal, though the meanings might change with time or place. I love that when you write something down you can read and reread for days and years, and then pass it down for someone else to read and reread. I even love that a simple mark of punctuation can completely change the way a word is read and pictured in your mind. 
I love the beauty of people's stories, and I want to create those stories. Whether in a magazine or a newspaper or on an internet website, I want to write words that paint beautiful pictures. I want the joy of words and the stories of people to be heard and read and taken in. I want to figure out the most complex of people but then I want to write it all down so I can take it all in- one sentence at a time. People are my passion, but writing is my escape. Writing is my way of coping, relaxing, organizing, thinking. People are my way of living, of breathing, my purpose and essentially, a large part of what makes up life. People are responsible for what is written, whether it be their story or their influence that you use, people are always the reason behind what you read and write, but writing is how we share those stories and influence. 

With that said, I have ambitiously decided to pick up a second major and add journalism to my psychology.Yes, ambition is blind because I just told my mother that I might live frugally off of scholarship money and take 21 hours a semester, in order to graduate before 30 with 2 degrees. Look at me plan!
Next semester on the way to my 6th class, ambition won't be so blind; it will be fake! People do this all the time, but I am the kind of person that would rather sit at home and blog or read than study or go to class. But nonetheless, I love people and I love writing, therefore, I am going to pursue my purpose and my passion with ambition; be it blind or not. Happy schooling to me...hopefully. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010


James 4:14
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

I got my driver's license 4 years ago. I rededicated my life completely to Christ and live wholly for him 3 years ago. I graduated from high school 2 years ago.I got a tattoo 1 year and 6 months ago. I got a new car 1 year ago. I applied for Student Life 1 year ago. I got home from Student Life 6 months ago. I started dating Corey 5 months ago. Also 5 months ago, I rode in the MS 150. I reapplied for Student Life 2 months ago. I transferred from Southwest 1 month ago. I have been sitting in this class for 1 hour. 
Basically, I feel like I've blinked one time too many and now I am a sophomore in college, preparing for my career and making plans for my future. My question is, where does the time go? Literally. Where? If I close my eyes and open them again, it will probably be September. I know life is a vapor, but seriously! I guess the reason I am saying all of this is because of this...
Right now is the only time we are guaranteed. We are not promised tomorrow, or even an hour from now. Right now, in this minute, is all we are certain of. Am I living in a way that makes the most of this minute? Am I living in a way that God might say to me, "Well done good and faithful servant. With you I am well pleased"? Am I living in a way, that if I do not get tomorrow, I will be content with what I did today. I know this sounds extreme, but the truth is, life is extreme. It is fast paced and moves with no certain destination. I need to start living like that. I do not want life to leave me behind. I do not want to sit and watch the days go by, thinking about what I could have done or should have done. I want to live with initiative and purpose and  know, that if I'm not given tomorrow, I did all I could today. That is my challenge to you, to myself, now in 2010. Live with initiative. Move with purpose. Plot. Plan. Take the front line. Live. But don't just live. Truly LIVE. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Babies!!!!!! Just Read.

This morning  I was driving to school and talking to Corey on the phone. Some how, we started talking about what a miracle babies are. Now, let me tell you, this was completely random and I think it started with Corey telling me, "Did you know that at one point all babies are females?" Welcome to our conversations. I was not even surprised by this random fact. From there, we started talking about babies and spitting out all the random facts we knew. We came to the conclusion that if you are born, you are a champion. You have already beat 600 million others and the odds. After that, we started talking about work and class and parking, and how I was going to name all of my children "Miracle". I tell you all of that, to get to this point. 
I am sitting in class right now (hope my teacher doesn't read this!) and there are some girls talking about buying pregnancy tests and cigarettes. Girl 1, "So when I bought the test this weekend I also bought some cigarettes. The cashier asked me if I wanted it to be a yes or a no. I asked her what she was talking about, and she said the test." Girl 2, "Oh my gosh, did you tell her no? You hope it is a no?" Girl 1, "No. I told her I hoped it was a 
-enter explicative here- NO!! She just laughed and then I left."
Now, I thought about this for a minute. At first, I just shook my head, but after thinking about it, my heart was broken a little bit. Babies are literally a miracle. In every single way. A gift from God, a miracle of science, a blessing, etc, etc. I hope you all know what a blessing babies are. Whether they are born to a 16 year old or a 36 year old. God does not make a mistake. Even if you think you have, God does not make a mistake. Children are a blessing and a miracle, and to have a healthy child, at any age, is especially a blessing. We should be thankful for them and praise God for them, even if they come at a less than perfect time. That's all I have to say for now. We should realize what a gift we have if we are given a child, and if you aren't ready for a baby, then don't do what it takes to make a baby. Random? Yes. But I feel better now. I hope my friends from class read this.