Tuesday, July 31, 2012

*hand above water, waving to you*

The title is the mental image of what's going on with me at the moment.

Wedding planning, I'm realizing, is all about working hard for months so that I won't have to on November 3rd through 10th.  I'm ok with that idea. I like planning and I like not stressing on important days, so... plan, I shall!!

While simultaneously taking a chemistry class... Yeah, yall, this is not my jam.  Where are the mommies and babies in "calculate the standard free energy change for the formation of NO(g) from N2(g) and O2(g) at 298K?"  No mommies and babies there.  Nope. But I have to learn it in order to get to maternal and child nutrition, so I'm muscling through... *sigh*

So!  In order to have some chill time tonight, I'm taking a detox bath!  Epsom salts, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), essential oils, and maybe some ginger.  Soak for 40 minutes while drinking PLENTY of water, and then sleep soundly for several hours.  Amen.  I may even play some Enya and light a candle, yall.  I expect to feel like a fully rested superhero tomorrow morning.

Ok--fun wedding stuff that the dudes should be involved in: venue picking (some have opinions here), registering (but only for 1 hour), groomsmen's attire, honeymoon stuff (all of it--just let him do it all), hiring the "getaway car," meeting the photographer, and helping to pick the food.  Everything else, I've learned, goes so much smoother if it just magically happens for him.

It goes smoother because he thinks it's fun and easy, and that makes a world of difference :)

PS, I miss this.  But priorities right now are crazy leaning toward other things, so I'll keep updating as is possible!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Ok, yall--big stuff is a-happening.

I've got a biology quiz, a bio lab final, a chemistry exam, a biology exam, and a chemistry final this week.

Oh yeah, and I'M ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED TO JARED--that too :D

I have a full and detail-y blog post coming soon detailing all the sweet romantic elements of just how he popped the question (for those of you that are interested), and then I'll get back on track with the 15 day challenge, which is obviously taking a wee hiatus, BUT FIRST I must complete a few days of crazy school stuff.  But then you can take it to the bank--blog posts will be up and about like nobody's business.

But since I'm putting it on the internet for the world to see, I guess it's EVERYONE's business... Hm.

I love ya.  I love life.  I love the Lord.  I love chocolate.  I love Jared.


Love (I mean, Cole)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

15 Day Challenge - day 5

What kind of person attracts me...

I love transparency in a person. Honesty of spirit. Full disclosure. An unashamed bared soul. It is one of the most refreshing things in the world. I love the richness that brings to a friendship.

And a healthy dose of goofiness and zest for life. I love it when people are truly excited about their lives. Not trying to sell me on whatever they love so much as bursting at the seams with excitement about what they love. There is a difference in intention and heart between the 2 approaches.

I love goodness in other people. I watch Downton Abbey and love people like Matthew, Mr. Bates, Anna, and Sybil. They are deliberately good, honest, zesty people.

I also love people who love Regina Spektor, The Civil Wars, Patsy Cline, and Nat King Cole.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

15 Day Challenge - day 4

One passion in my life...

I'm a very passionate person.

I feel things very deeply.  My struggle is often discerning which passion to calm and which to follow.  I'm grateful for the way that God made me--to feel so acutely--but I have not always seen the blessing of it.  Throughout my childhood I was hyperaware that I was different than most other people.  I could not understand how one could "not care."  I cared about EVERYTHING.  I cried whenever I felt deep sadness, anger, or joy--and I cried plenty.  As a big sister, being passionate meant that every argument with my baby sister was the hill to die on.  I fought for truth, right-ness, efficiency, and honesty in a way that probably definitely exhausted my parents.  I still fight for those things, but praise God that He also gave me a good dose of compassion on the side.  The Bible tells us to speak the truth in love.  For some people, speaking lovingly isn't the issue--the "speak the truth" part is a challenge.  For me, it's the other way around.

All who know me are reading that saying, "Mmmmhmmm..."

I'm a work in progress.  I love you all.  I'm learning and growing in a good direction.  Just be glad you didn't have to parent the precocious 7-year-old version of me.  Whew.

I've come through a fascinating journey in these 2 decades (and then some).  I now realize that I was created with this heart for a reason, and it is a blessing.  My goal is to focus this passionate heart well.  So though I have many passions, I must say that the most important one is a passion and focus on Christ.  If I forget (or ignore) that He is the most crucial element of my life, my passions become disordered.  Something else takes the lead, whether it is my passion for righteousness, learning, people, etc.  The deep care that I have for each of those is not wrong, but when placed first in my heart, I veer off course and the course becomes futile.  When Christ is my first and deepest passion, I have the correct lens through which to see righteousness and know how to respond to it (or to the lack of it).  That perspective helps to direct my passions in the way that they will glorify Him.  I can love people well and with more grace and patience than I ever have when approaching a situation without that lens.

I've talked with lots of girls about the importance of guarding one's heart, and also of loving and trusting someone who will guard it as well.  Usually we're talking about a boy in that second part.  Too many times in the past have I fallen for a guy who had no regard for my heart, and that disregard is the sign of a dreadful leader.  My prayer is that the men in our world grow a gentle and respectful regard for the hearts of the women of the world, and that we women would encourage that movement by not dating jerkfaces.  BUT there's another element to loving and trusting someone who will guard your heart--I have discovered on far too many occasions that I am incapable of truly guarding my own heart.  The safest place it has ever been is in the hands of Jesus.  When He is first, when He is my passion, all else is placed perfectly and I can see how He protects me and guides me in the right direction.  When I take my heart back from Him and believe [the lie] that I know better than He, my passions overtake me and I think and respond in a way that just is not best for me or for anyone else involved.  I lose perspective.  I revert to my exasperating 7-year-old-self who will be shaken and blown about by anything rather than the strong woman rooted in Christ who, by His strength, can be shaken by nothing.

Love yall :)  If you have a blog and you decide to do the 15 day challenge as well, let me know!  Leave a comment with your blog URL!

Have a beautiful Wednesday :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

15 Day Challenge - day 3

How do I imagine myself 10 years from now...

I'll be 32, almost 33 then. I have a few dear friends who have crossed that barrier with grace and style--I want to do that. Liz Lemon talks about aging in this way on 30 Rock--you can age like Madonna, desperately gripping your youth with your Gollum arms, or you can age like Meryl Streep, greeting each year gracefully (or something like that--important part of the quote is Madonna=gollum arms, Meryl=lovely). I imagine 32 will involve a family in some way shape or form--hoping for a sweet hubs and maybe a wee tot or two. I'd love to be working with mamas and babies, also maybe leading a Bible study with college gals or 20-somethings. I'd like to be a badass sewer by then, maybe have knitted that sweater I mentioned. I'd like to have a well-organized planner like my mom has always kept so beautifully. I'd like to smile a lot--like, I'm praying that laugh lines are my first and most prominent wrinkles. I hope that I will have better grasped in ten years some of the Truths that I know but have a hard time KNOWing now. A deeper more steady faith, less anxiety over where God is taking me. A deeper peace at letting Him be in full control (which He is, whether I panic aboutit or not). I want to be a voracious reader, even/especially if I have children. And even/especially if I'm reading childrens books :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

15 Day Challenge - day 2

Bucket List

1. Travel to at least 15 countries - not because I want to reach a "number," but rather because I desire to visit at least 15 individual countries.
2. Have a family - Lord only knows what that will look like, and I'm excited to see!  Someday.  At the moment I love loving on OTHER people's families.
3. Be the female harmony vocals in a band/group or behind an acoustic-y singer.  Little known fact.
4. Successfully grow a veggie and herb garden.
5. Teach a class in something.  A bit open ended, but I love several things enough to want to teach them (most reasonable candidate would be something involving maternal and/or child nutrition--seminar style or professor style)
6. Live in the mountains.
7. Live by the water.
8. Knit this owl sweater (no joke, I've had the pattern and the yarn for years--just don't have all the know how and the time to DO it!).
9. Ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway.  This can most definitely be combined with part of #1.
10. Adopt an Indian baby--you heard me.  And clearly that's combined with #2.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

15 Day Challenge - day 1

One of my all time favorite blogs is http://modernhepburn.tumblr.com/ (are tumblrs technically blogs?  Hm).  I mean, everything she posts is amazing and somehow speaks to my heart and soul.  I've been saying that it's me in 4 years blogging to myself.  Turns out, she's 2 years my junior, and I'm quite surprised because her elegance, assurance, and style indicates a much more maturity than almost all of the young 20s folks I know.  Myself included.

So Modern Hepburn is doing a 15 day challenge!  It looks a little something like this:

So welcome to day 1 :) And hopefully the rejuvenation of my blogging.

I'm 22, on the cusp of 23.  I'm currently a student... again.  My major was sociology, with minors in religion and theatre.  Now I'm taking science classes with the hopes of going into some sort of school/masters program for some sort of maternal and child nutrition.  I don't have much of a story behind "Brilliant Idiosyncrasies," and actually I have considered changing it several times, primarily because of the spelling challenge.  It was by far the hardest part of starting this blog.  It says to include a little about me, but that's already a little about me.  You can learn plenty more about me by perusing the archives of this blog (if you're a noob here).  I'd suggest the next entry down, this one, and maybe this one.  There is also a series of January India adventures starting here.  Amidst that smattering of posts, you'll learn a heck of a lot about me.  I'm open to questions and comments--love em, really!

So I'm off to do some science homework--respiratory system and characteristics of the periodic table.  Thrilling stuff... :) Have a lovely evening!  Over and out!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Who Am I?

The Lord is good, His ways are righteous, His timing is perfect, and His love never fails.

I've been encouraged by the intersection of God's justice and merciful love recently.  He is a just and holy God--I'm in no way capable of entering his presence.  I'm a sinful, prideful, gnarly, dirty, fallen human.  If Adam and Eve hadn't have eaten the fruit in the garden, I would have.  He loves me, though, so much that He provided the way for me to be with Him--His Son Jesus Christ took the punishment that my sin deserves and was separated from God in my stead.  He mercifully and lovingly took the just punishment that I deserve in order that I may stand on Christ's good and spotless name.  Not only that, but then Christ DEFEATED death!  He arose from the grave as the victor over death, and He lives forever at the right hand of God, having paved the way for sinners like me to enter into heaven with Him.  We can't do it in our power.  We have to trust in Him.

The hard part is the waiting!  I trust you, Lord!  What are you waiting for!  He whispers to me, "I have more for you to do here.  I have a grand mission for my glory, and I invite you to be a part of it.  Make my name famous and glorious.  Be a mirror, that the sun may be reflected.  I have a fantastic plan for this world, and it began before the world was even created, and it is amazing.  You don't need to know the details--you need only know the steps that I show you, for you are a thread in the tapestry that illustrates the Truth of my Holiness.  I invite you to take this specific next step, trusting me and honoring me as you go."

With my faith in the Lord, His Word on my heart, and His Spirit as my trusty guide, I'm moving forward, baby step by baby step.  First the lesson was to trust in His Plan, ultimately for the world, and then personally for me.  I'd trusted myself/relationships/knowledge/the world/anything before, and those failed me.  I wasn't created to trust in those.  I was created to trust the truly Trustworthy.  It's a daily re-learning.

Next lesson is to trust in His Timing.  He doesn't reveal that next baby step until it is time for me to take it.  I must complete the current mission, learning all I need to learn, before continuing on.  Sometimes I really really want to rush things along.  Sometimes I wish He'd slow the mess down--I liked that peaceful meadow of a moment!  Can't we hang out there for a bit?  Sometimes I feel pressure from people/society to go at a different pace, even if I am confident that I'm following the Lord.  It requires reliance on a strength and power very much outside of myself to make it through those pressures.  Praise the Lord that He'll never give us more than He has equipped us for.

Do I still sin?  Yes.  Jeez, yes.  Sadly, yes.  Thankfully, I'm covered, once for all, by His atoning sacrifice.  The more clearly I see the depths and depravity of my own heart, the more grateful I am of the Savior who has paved the way for me, even me.  The more saddened I am by the stain of sin, the more sweet the saving work of Jesus.  There is nothing I can do to lose His love, and there's no sin so big that He hasn't saved me from it.  He knows all that was, that is, and that is to come, so there's no new sin in my little life that pops up that makes Him say, "Whoa whoa... Didn't see that coming.  Yeah, I didn't cover that one."  He knew before I was born how dark and dank my soul was to be, and yet while I was still sinning, He died out of love and for justice in my stead.  His love truly never fails.

This is my eternal hope.  My confidence.  My identity.  My joy.  Nothing is more important than the facts above, and everything is influenced by it.  By this Marvelous Light, I see.

This is who I am--from this vantage point I [try to] live, work, play, and write.  Join me?