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?

Friday, March 23, 2012


Have I been slacking?

On blogging, along with most other life things?


I find I have had very little inspiration, get-up-and-go, or naturally occurring excitement in my life lately.  I get home from work and can barely make it to the couch.  Dishes sit in the sink, and I'll meander by the kitchen, look at them, maybe wash a glass so I can get some water, and barely make it back to the couch.

My cat is all, "I told you this was fun, yeah??  Just lounging??  You in??"

I'm all, "This kinda stinks a little.  I'm gonna get out of the house."

I've tried to get involved in little projects--curl my hair (fail), start a garden (someday), sew a dress (nope).  Then I mosey over to Jared's house thinking, "Boyfriend!  He'll think I'm fun even though I'm a bit of a knot on a log at the moment!"  And, ladies, that is just not true.  If you're a wet blanket, he thinks you're just as un-fun as you think you are.  He just might be more polite about it, if you're dating a good one.

Somewhere inside me is a lovely, exciting, attractive girl.  I know quite confidently that she's down in there.  She's low on energy at the moment.  She's low on incentive to emerge--why should she?  To emote to the cat?  To really POUR myself enthusiastically into finding subs for Sunday School classrooms?  Think of the boyfriend, fun inner me!  Think of Jared!

But unfortunately I'm so low at this point that I am having very real doubts that even sweet bf would find her all that lovely, exciting, and attractive.  Being this low gives me incredibly short term memory, so that I can't actually remember him ever finding that girl lovely, exciting, or attractive, but I'm sure he has.  Sometime.  Back then.  Right?  Good grief--why is he dating me.

In this state, the most beautiful fact in the world is that I don't need to muster up the energy to impress Christ.  He will never love me any more or any less, no matter how I feel about myself.  Cole's curled up on the couch staring at her cuticles again?  God knows, He's there with me, whispering encouragements despite my stubbornness.  BECAUSE of my stubbornness.  Feeling tempted to avoid the Bible, but that's where the medicine is.

I am back to journaling.  That started back up at 4:30am this morning.  Journaling for me.

Maybe that was the inspiration I needed to resume blogging for you!

Not that a post like this is exactly gonna make your day, if ya know what I mean.

Thanks for listening anyway :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Putting This Out There.



Fall of 2013.

Let us pray.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some Things Crowding My Mind

My life looks quite pulled together.

Looks can be deceiving.

Do I have a roof over my head and a job that will pay the rent on that roof?  Yes, praise the good Lord.  Do I have a sweet sweet boyfriend and a warm fuzzy cat?  Yes, again, praise the good Lord.

However, that same good Lord is sparking a desire in my heart, and that desire could take me to a frightening place.

I call that place "organic chemistry."

I recently realized that I have a passion for nutrition and always have.  It's always seemed so natural to me, so I didn't think about it as, oh, a calling (you may have read entire blog posts on my fascination with nutrition, meanwhile I had no idea that other people didn't nerd out about such things).  Which means I majored in Sociology, which, while awesome, will not afford me much of a job outside of research and/or teaching, which I'm not feeling. 

SO, grad school, I'm looking to you to remedy my academic deficiencies in this area so that I can go out into the world and teach people how to put the right things inside their super cool hydroelectric machines - aka, bodies.

Well, I started daydreaming.  I started researching grad schools.  Found The One.  Found The Masters Program Designed For Cole.  And found that I lack 5 classes in prep for that course.  A full year of general chemistry and 2 organic chemistry classes.  That frightens me to no end.  There's a REASON I went into the humanities department.  It's because math and science were a little... harsh for me.  Chemistry isn't my strong suit.

But imagine, if you will, me as a Master of Advanced Study in Maternal and Child Nutrition.  Be still, my beating heart.  But if that much chemistry is required to get in, first, can I do it??  Can I make it through those prerequisites?  And second, does that mean that the program is super duper chemistry heavy?  Is that really what God's calling me to?...

Anxiety.  And that's just really silly, because if God has planted this desire in my heart, it's for a reason.  Maybe because I need to start on this path to find the one that's really for me, or maybe because this IS that path and I have to go through the valley of the shadow of evil (organic chemistry) to refine my faith in Him and see how He completely carries me through this--to see His Goodness and Sufficiency.  To see His Faithfulness and Omniscience.  Do I really believe in these characteristics of God?  Because if I do, my only response is to trust Him and step forward in faith.

Without panicking and losing my mind.

So, sweet reader, pray for me as I embark on this frightening journey into the complete unknown.  I feel completely ill-equipped for this, but he has pro-vided (He has seen before me, He knows what I need and He will give it right when I need it).  Maybe he has provided by encouraging you to procrastinate whatever you're doing enough to pop over to this blog, and maybe YOU are a nutritionist and you can give me some tips and tricks!  If so, leave a comment.  Even if you're not a nutritionist, encouraging comments are welcomed and needed.

Love :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

An Update--18 days into 2012

I'm sick.  And that's not fun.  But it's not the bad kind of sick [throwing up].  It's the sinuses-punching-me-repeatedly-in-the-face, eyes-puffy, nose-running-throat-sore kind of sick.  So, I'm down for the count, but I'm not weeping and frightened of the things my body's doing.  Just annoyed that it's interfering with my day.

In other news, I think I've really gotten started on 6 of the "12 for '12" resolutions.  8 frames hang on my living room wall, only 2 to go, and I'm really excited about that.  I made whipped potatoes like a champ for Sir Wasdin in the ole KitchenAid mixer.  My nails are longer than they've been in... Not sure.  A long time.  I forgot how feminine that makes a hand look!  Look, ma!  Girl hands!  Money for missions, God's given me a good plan for $400, and I'm excited to use $40 more to go toward encouraging my small groupers into devotional time!  I'm thrilled to say that I have a schedule FULL of gal-to-gal time this week, working on that #12.  Also, I've been going through the Quest devotional given out by CCBC, and I'm LOVING it.  It's going through the Psalms of David, and it really encourages me not just to read, but to fully process and apply it.  Praise the Lord for that!

However...  I think today I'm not going to worry too much about resolutions, plans, or to-do lists.  I think I'm going to really REALLY take it easy.  My heart needs some time to be still and trust, and my body is requiring that of me.  Grateful for the excuse to just... be.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Big 2 and the 12 for '12

Hey folks!

So Happy New Year!!  A VERY happy new year, actually.  I'm really excited about 2012.  I've got a list of "would love to do's" and "gosh darn it--WILL do's" for this year, hopefully making some good habits.  God blessed me tremendously in 2011.  I got a job that's been a blessing in so many ways, I've moved into a big girl apartment with my sweet kitty Baghera, I've made or reconnected with several people who I know will be lifelong friends... Also, I've got a charming boyfriend (sweet sweet Jared) who is just as big of a delightful, joyful blessing as he was a year ago when we started dating (ok, a year ago on SaturdaySundayMonday.  We have agreed on a general 3 day dating anniversary.) and I'm excited that he's stuck it out with me this long :)  You see, I'm not exactly EASY to date.  But hopefully I'm growing in that direction!

Speaking of, how about listing those resolutions so that you can be on board with me as I grow this year!  Kinda scary to throw it all out there for you to see.  It will make me commit to them more knowing that I have this kind of accountability (even if I only have 2 readers, that's 2 people who will know just how ambitious I am about this year).  But here goes!

Big 2:

-JOY.  God has been working in my heart tirelessly to teach me what joy is, and how I can find it through Him.  He's helping me to find full juicy satisfaction in Him, rather than seeking for it in this world.  Now, this process has been years-long, but He has recently made it clear that if I choose to commit to it, and to Him, this year can be the start of a lifelong JOYFEST.  And I'm all about that.  So let it begin!

-One hour a day in quiet time with the Lord and/or in the Word.  An hour.  A whole hour.  A not-looking-at-the-clock-worrying-about-all-that-I-could-be-doing-with-this hour.  It's so important.  I've tried "quickie" quiet times or short passage Bible reading plans, but that's cheating myself out of quality time with my Father.  That's not building a relationship.  And it's also not been teaching me the discipline of resting in Him and finding peace in those quiet moments with the Lord.  So this year that changes.  Already I have felt an awesome desire to read the Bible--sadly not a desire I've frequently felt.  But committing to being with the Lord for an hour sounds so much more amazing than an hour of Biblical history reading, ya know?  But if God is at work through that history reading, and I'm actively listening to what He's teaching me?  Oh yea.  Sign me up.

I have some hopes/dreams/fears/wishes for this year, but those are quietly tucked away in my LBJ (Leather Bound Journal.  Read about him here.).  This isn't the time or place for those.  This is the time and place for the 12 for '12!! Twelve mini (or not so mini) resolutions that I'm excited about doing/starting/finishing in 2012.

1.  Complete the black frame collage above my sofa.  It's time.
2.  Let this be the Year of the Mixer (I got a RED KitchenAid Mixer for Christmas, and I am PUMPED!).  I want to bake at least 1 thing a month--for someone else.  Wanna be the recipient??  Let me know.
3.  Strive for Intermediate Level of French.  Mhm.  No classes, just Rosetta Stone and me, getting REAL.
4.  Plant and nourish a garden.  My hope is to cook with things I've grown from my balcony garden.  Which I don't have yet, but I will.
5.  Grow my nails out long enough to "deserve" a manicure.  I have an awful habit of messing with my nails.  Makes em not cute.  I wanna break that habit.
6.  Grow (along with my nails and vegetables) a quiet, peaceful, joyful spirit.
7.  I'll tell you about this one in a month.  Just wait for it.
8.  Take more pictures, learn techniques, seek out some good snaps
9.  Deliberately open up myself for opportunities to share Christ.  Gotta listen to the Spirit here.  It will let me know when and with whom.  I'm not a street corner kinda gal, if ya know what I mean, but I've also missed opportunities when I'm sure God could have blessed us both with that conversation.
10.  Save $, but not to excess.  (not that I make enough to be considered "excess"--I just want to develop good habits of not saving it ALL, as could easily be my fearful planner-style mode of operations, but learning when to spend or give, such as...)
11.  Give $, to help missions.
12.  Invest more in PEOPLE and relationships.  That means overcoming this weird little fear uncomfortable social situations. 

I have an overactive empathy meter, which can be crippling when I'm talking with someone who I can tell is uncomfortable, because I take on their discomfort rather than trying to figure out how to remedy the situation to make it great for the other person, thus great for both of us.  Jared has helped tremendously with this because A) he's a social butterfly.  Easily 60% of our relationship has been out and about, loving on folks, double dates, group activities.  He's pulled me out of the safety of alone-ness.  B) he's a fabulous example to follow in terms of making great conversation.  He could befriend a coaster in 5 minutes, and after 30 minutes, the coaster wants Jared to be the best man at his wedding.  Just watching him connect with people has taught me a lot about how to talk to all kinds of people--not just the ones we find easiest to talk to, but ALL kinds of people.  I've also seen how he takes those folks that he does find easy to talk to, and he really invests in them as a dear friend.

I will never be as social butterfly-y as Jared, but that's really ok.  I just want to get better.  I want my crossing paths with another person to be a blessing to them.  That's really the point of most of the 12 for '12--to help me grow into a well-rounded person who is a blessing for others to come in contact with.

Except the nails thing.  That's for me.