Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday, Sugar:')

No lengthy posts today, just thoughts of how much fun Tarah's having in heaven on her birthday, and her favorite hymn:). Happy birthday, Peanut. We miss you, but I know you're "there within His arms to rest." Well, you're probably not resting (she's probably dancing her little feet off and talking everyone's ears off), but you know;).

"I Am Jesus; Little Lamb"

by Henrietta L. von Hayn, 1724-1782

1. I am Jesus' little lamb,
Ever glad at heart I am;
For my Shepherd gently guides me,
Knows my need, and well provides me,
Loves me every day the same,
Even calls me by my name.

2. Day by day, at home, away,
Jesus is my Staff and Stay.
When I hunger, Jesus feeds me,
Into pleasant pastures leads me;
When I thirst, He bids me go
Where the quiet waters flow.

3. Who so happy as I am,
Even now the Shepherd's lamb?
And when my short life is ended,
By His angel host attended,
He shall fold me to His breast,
There within His arms to rest.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Parents' Weekend

Busy week! It's Parents' Weekend here at Dordt and the campus is a buzz with activity. They're everywhere!

Last night was the Fall Music Festival, which I was apart of for the orchestra, and today there are two play performances, one of which I'm working at tonight. I don't get to see actually see the play till next week, but by then I'll have a pretty good idea of where the yelling and shouting parts are (that's about all I can here from my work post in the costume shop).

Parents' Weekend is always kind of a funny feel for me. It's not really any different than any other weekend, other than the fact that it's swamped with parents. My parents were here last night for the concert, but they're here for almost every concert so it really didn't feel that different. Which made me realize that maybe I take for granted a little bit the fact that they are here for every concert! It's really pretty cool that they're not only able to do that, but that they take the time to! It's still a 45 min. drive here and back for them, but I don't think they've ever missed more than one or two concerts a semester. Wow.

It's really great to be able to see a lot of my friends from far off getting to see their parents, and it's also a little bittersweet because I know people from far away who's parents simply can't make the trip. Then you kind of have to make your own family. Which is awesome in and of itself, but you still can't help but miss your real family.

I guess everything's bittersweet in some way. There's always someone that isn't happy. There's always going to be someone who feels left out or left behind. That's kind of a sad thought, but reality. And sometimes that person's going to be me. I guess the best I can do is try and give them some extra love and get them through till Christmas:). But the really great thing is that there are loving parents to miss. If you didn't miss them, that'd be much worse (maybe a stretch, but I'm looking on the bright side!). And it makes the reunions that much sweeter. And that goes beyond earthly ones, too.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Monday

Here I am, sitting on my apartment couch, watching the (hopefully) final inning of the Rockies/Phillies game. The Twins were swept tonight, and the Cardinals were swept yesterday. The Packers lost, Missouri lost, and Dordt lost. I was just thinking about what a bad week for sports it was. And then I was's a good thing there's more to life than sports, huh.

And's a new week! Technically, it's Monday now. Mondays are usually one of the longest days of the week, besides the fact that they're Mondays. Class till 3, work till 5, and orchestra till 10. The momentum from the weekend, however, can sometimes make or break my Mondays.

And my weekend was awesome. It started off with a Friday night with friends, games, drinks and snow. In fact, I got to walk outside back to my apartment in it. It was wonderful (but cold, since I was wearing flip flops). Saturday morning I was greeted bright and early by my two oldest brothers to take me to Seward, NE for a Dordt/Concordia football game. The game was terrible, but still fun, the main reason of the visit really being to see Joel, my little brother who is a freshman there. We had a grand time with him (Chinese food, Cards game, DQ, and brotherly banter).

And now, here I am, at the end of another Sunday. It was a perfectly lazy Sunday. I went to church, a walk in the snow, made Brett Favre a birthday cake, had some good conversation with a friend, phone calls from my younger siblings (Tabby excitedly told me that she sat on her bedroom floor with Hannah doing absolutely nothing and Sam won another tennis match) and watched lots of baseball. I'd say I have pretty good momentum for the week (besides the fact that I should've been in bed 2 hours ago due to a prolonged illness).

No profound insight today, just a little update. Oh, and happy Monday:).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Question of the Day!

Question of the day: do protests and demonstrations do any good? I'd be really interested in your opinions...and reasoning. Pretty please?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Shall We Dance?

Life goal: learn every kind of ballroom dance I've ever heard of. I'm going to a tango concert tonight, and that is most certainly one of the dances on the list. I love dancing, but beyond ballet, I've never been formally taught.

And I absolutely LOVE to dance. Dancing can communicate with nothing more than body movement and your eyes. You feel dancing (I know, cheesy, again), but its true. Kind of like feeling music. I think one of the reasons God created certain things, like dancing and music, is to communicate things that words just plain can't. There's something soulful about dancing.

So hence forth let it be known that I intend to learn as many dances as I possibly can. So let it be written, so let it be done.

That's about it. Anyone want to learn with me?

Just a Game

I'll admit it, I tend to be more emotionally invested in the sport of football than perhaps I should. More specifically, the NFL. And if you really want to get picky, I bleed green and gold...aka, I'm a Packers fan. When you're raised on that stuff, by the time you're 21 years old and have 7 rabid sports fan brothers that you've grown up with, you've developed a pretty deep-seeded fandom.

And if you know anything about the NFL, you would know that last night was one of the biggest games in the history of NFL rivalries...the Packers vs. the Vikings. Notice I didn't say the Packers vs. Brett Favre.

I'm going to take a brief moment to rant about this situation, but will try to keep it just that, brief since everyone who's anyone, and everyone else, has put in their two cents on this, and quite frankly, none of it matters when it boils down to Favre himself. He's going to do what he's going to do.

But my issue with Brett Favre vs. the Packers is that the game is being made into a one-man show. It's a TEAM sport. It's not the Brett Favres. It's the Vikings. Just like its not the Aaron's the Packers. Brett Favre loves the game. Everyone and their mother have opinions on why he came back, but I firmly believe that he does have a passion for the game and just wants to play. I don't necessarily approve of his methods, but its his life to do with what he wants. I love the guy. He was my quarterback, and one of the greatest to play the game, for 16 great seasons in Green Bay. Does it hurt to see him in purple? A stab to the heart. But, I still want to see the guy do well. Just how exactly that works I haven't quite figured out, but I'm certainly not a Favre hater. And that said, Aaron Rodgers is my QB now.

Ok, enough about the media circus. The game last night was...tragic. Back to my original statement...I'll be the first to admit that I take the games too seriously sometimes. And I was wondering to myself last night why that is. I think maybe because its something that I can get worked up about and invested in that's not dangerous.

Does that make any sense at all? With things that actually matter, I try to maintain my cool. I try and think rationally and not get all worked up or overreact or get too emotional, because there are real consequences. With football, it's a game. It's also a bonding element. My family laughs, cheers, yells, screams and throws things together over this stuff. Beyond anyphilosophical meaning assigned to it, its just a love of the game. I love football. I love playing it, I love watching it, and I love being a fan. Its something to connect with other people on that you may have nothing else in common with.'s so straightforward. My brother recently said that he's sworn off of the NFL because of all the drama surrounding it recently. That's not the game, that's the media. The game itself is a beautiful thing. Sports in general. Back to my simplicity obsession. The greatest moments in sports are raw, unadulterated talent (well, if you're not on steroids). Its something to celebrate. Its a gift that God gave to these people, and they're using it. And we're enjoying it:) Granted, it can be made into an idol, which is what I'm certainly trying to stay away from, but just as with anything else, in moderation. I do have to remember, it is a game.

So yay for football and here's to an exciting season. And here's to keeping my nerves from imploding inside my brain at every interception, fumble, or just plain stupid ref's call. And here's to celebrating the touchdowns, catches, 50+yard-field goals, the athletes, and everything else that makes this game great.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Words of Wisdom from "Zombieland": Enjoy the Little Things

So far my resolution to keep up with this thing is working out! I'm back to report that yet another fall break has come and gone. My last one, in fact. Eeesh. I'm old. You don't really think about things as being your last until the next year comes around and they're not there anymore. I was telling my mom that as of now it just feels like I'm going to do this whole college thing all over again next year. I don't think it'll hit me that I'm not until next fall rolls around and I'm not packing up my limited belongings and making the trek back to Iowa's fertile campus.

On the one hand, that offers some regret, because looking back you realize that whatever it was that you were experiencing for the last time should've been more meaningful, but at the time, it was just another thing you were doing. But in a sense, it's the best that way. For me, anyway. I don't particularly like things planned out, and just letting them happen the way they happen seems to be a pretty good approach to me. No expectations. Things don't necessarily get any better if you think they have to be. What did I get out of this last-fall-break-ever? Nothing spectacular, but lots of little awesome things. And perhaps this is coming from having just seen a movie called "Zombieland" in which one of the morals emerging (yes, it has some morals!) proved to be "Enjoy the little things."

Over this break I got to watch my first movie ever on pay-per-view because my Dad had a coupon that expired the next day. I watched "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" because I knew there was no way I could ever justify spending money on it. I played President trivia off of the back of a placemat with my two little sisters and brother. We told scary stories with lights out and a flashlight. I made brownies. I watched a sunrise for the first time since the end of the summer. I watched college football with my brothers. I went to a ridiculously stupid horror movie that almost made me laugh to the point of tears. I ate Italian food with my big brothers. I went apple picking! I got to try a pumpkin pie smoothie. I debated the vibrancy of the fall landscape with my brother. I got to see my little brother's tennis match for the first time ever. And the list could go on and on (which I guess it already has, sorry:/), but I did enjoy the little things this weekend:).

The fact that I'll never get this particular break again doesn't mean that I won't have those moments again. I'll just have different ones at different times, maybe with different people. That's an exciting thought. And I am now back on campus, sipping coffee and reading Greek tragedy, trying to figure out what I'm going to write my analysis on that's due on Tuesday while trying not to think about the big game tomorrow. Bring on the little things:).

Thursday, October 1, 2009


After a lengthy hiatus, I am resurrecting my blog for purely selfish reasons...its therapeutic. Actually, if it can offer that same effect for others, than I'm happy AND unselfish;).

As of late, I have noticed a growing appreciation for pure simplicity. I am, as I type, listening to the music of Jason Mraz and Ingrid Michaelson. They have that sort of pure simplicity to their music. Guitar. Their voices. That's about it. There's something calming about, everything's going to be ok. There's a recurring theme in the score on my favorite TV show, "LOST," of just a simple piano tune. No harmony. Just a few notes. But it's incredibly powerful. It, also, just has a gentle reassurance of everything's going to be ok. I don't know why, it just does. Of course, everything isn't always ok, or certainly doesn't feel like it, and that's why I need to remember things more simply, I think.

I used to think that complicated, complex and whatever-else issues and situations were the stuff of life. Like many college students, I used to stay up till all hours trying to solve the mysteries of the world (not that there's anything wrong with that), and now, I'm just here. I'm now.

In the last year and a half I've experienced the death of my 3 1/2 year old princess of a little sister and a wonderful friend. It puts a new spin on things. Perspective changes. Things that seemed important suddenly aren't anymore. As cliche as that might sound, its true. And you don't realize just how true until you're forced to. I guess losing people you love also inevitably makes you look at life the way they did.

Tarah loved to dance. She loved reading books to me, and she loved that I sat next to her at the kitchen table for dinner. She loved to sing. She loved her family. Every night after Dad would read to the kids, while us older kids were off at college, she would *never* forget to remind Dad to pray for us. All of us. Those were the things that were important to her. Singing, dancing, and loving us. Granted, she was only 3 1/2 when she went to heaven, but there's definitley something there. Something beautifully simple. My friend Liz, who was killed just last week, was known for her mantra of 'live simply.'

God put these people in our lives for a reason. They've come and gone so quickly, but left so much. I can't even begin to start to tell what they left for me, but the beauty of simplicity is one of them. The simplicity of loving what's right in front of you. Don't worry about tomorrow. God said so. Don't be irresponsible, of course, and put everything else off. But you get the idea.

Coming home from school for a fall break today, I decided to step outside onto our driveway just after the rain ended and looked out across the fields surrounding our house. It took my breath away. I'm not sure why at that moment it did, but it just did. The beautiful simplicity of the landscape was indescribable. God's handiwork is everywhere, which sometimes causes me to look right past it. But when I take the time to look, I can't pull myself away. And his handiwork isn't just in nature, but in all of you guys, too. I'm so thankful for the life I've been blessed with, including the love that God put in it; my capability to give it to others, and everything I get from others. And this got long-winded a long time ago, so I think I might go enjoy that rain some more.