30 September 2006

"Are you with the plane?"

For his birthday present, I took Jer to the Thunderbirds air show held at Alliance Airport in Forth Worth. We were there the majority of today -- 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM -- returning home roasted alive and partially deaf from the engine roar.

Though we both enjoyed ourselves immensely, I think I may have had more fun than Jer. We got to climb into several different USAF aircraft and a Hercules used by the Marines. It was "totally sweet."

While waiting for Jer to return from the car with our ear-plugs, I stood next to a C-130 Hercules used by the USAF. A guy walked up to me and asked,

"Are you with the plane?"

Yeah, we've been together about six months. "Umm... no." I gave him a questioning look.

"Oh, I thought... you were a military person, like with the Air Force."

"Nope." Just because I wear camouflage and sunglasses and stand around an airplane looking very serious?

I told Jer about the incident when he returned. He just laughed. Well, my little troops at summer camp named me "Sarge" because I exacted strict discipline and shouted (had the same effect as General MacArthur after breathing in helium -- not very intimidating).

Our morning was spent taking photos, climbing in various aircraft, and watching air-acrobatics performed by "civies" (civilians). Lunch was meager because my cash was very limited. The Thunderbirds weren't scheduled to perform until 3 PM, so we took a nap under a Boeing 737. (Yes, I can sleep on a tarmac under an airplane.)

By the time the Thunderbirds began their performance, Jer and I were thoroughly roasted and dehydrated. He wanted to go home and eat, but I refused to leave. I was going to watch the Thunderbirds even if I dropped dead of a heat stroke. The performance was breath-taking and made me get all excited like a little kid. Definitely worth a heat stroke and two hours of after-show traffic.

29 September 2006

The Lord's Mercy

22 Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 "The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I hope in Him!"
25 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the LORD.
27 It is good for a man to bear
The yoke in his youth.
28 Let him sit alone and keep silent,
Because God has laid it on him;
29 Let him put his mouth in the dust --
There may yet be hope.
30 Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him,
And be full of reproach.
31 For the Lord will not cast off forever.
32 Though He causes grief,
Yet He will show compassion
According to the multitude of His mercies.
33 For He does not afflict willingly,
Nor grieve the children of men.
(Lamentations 3:22-33)

This morning the Lord burdened me to pray for an acquaintance I have not seen in years (since my freshman year of high school). I had recently heard news that she was pregnant (out of wedlock) and living with her parents again. The news grieved me, but sadly enough, did not surprise me. As I prayed for her, I began thinking of other high school friends and acquaintances that had given away their virginity (and most of them got pregnant as a result).

None of them lead really great lives now. One had a shot-gun wedding and was disowned by her family. She originally had plans to be a missionary, but now lives in obscurity with her husband (many years her senior) and has baby #2 on the way. I haven't heard from her since we graduated from high school. Another isn't pregnant (probably will be), but she leads a very sad life with cigarettes and alcohol as constant companions.

It grieves me no end to think about these young women who had so much potential and threw it all to the wind by compromising their purity. Every time I think of them, I feel as though someone has kicked me in the stomach. Piece by piece, they gave themselves away.

What is so humbling is that could have been me, but the Lord has been faithful to hedge me in and protect me -- simply because He wishes to use me for His glory (1 Corinthians 15:10, Ephesians 2:8-9). The thought brought me to tears this morning as I marveled at God's goodness. Every step of my journey I have seen His hand guiding me, but it can also be a lonely road.

Last week, Danielle and I were having one of our many discussions that lead to dating, guy/girl relationships, and personal purity.

"I'm saving my first kiss for the altar," I said. Danielle's jaw dropped to the floor.

"Whoa... how... what... I could never do that," Danielle stuttered as she tried to regain her composure. She was utterly flabbergasted and stared at me with the deer-in-the-headlights look as we walked down the hall to our different classes.

"I know it sounds old-fashioned and Puritanical, but I really want to save that first kiss for my husband on our wedding day," I explained. Danielle continued to stare.

"That's kind of sad that we think it such a novel idea," said Daniel, her boyfriend.

"That takes a lot of self-control," said Danielle.

"Yeah," I sighed. Truth be told, I don't have the self-control. If I tried by my own will-power, I would miserably fail, but I pray daily that the Lord would guard my eyes, my heart, my mind, my lips -- everything. I don't have self-control, I have God-control and a passionate commitment to my future husband. I want to be faithful to him before we're ever married.

Purity is not something you gain by becoming a nun (or a monk), locking yourself in a room, beating yourself silly in attempt to purge your mind. Purity is a state of heart and something that must be constantly sought. It is a minute-by-minute commitment to God to present your body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1).

One of my favorite verses, Psalm 138:8, brings me great comfort...

The LORD will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

I am convinced the Lord will not forsake me, the work of His hands, and He will continue to refine me to present me as a spotless bride to my Beloved, Jesus Christ.

27 September 2006

Blog Discovery

Major Steven Givler of the USAF...


26 September 2006


As of today, I am officially a registered voter in the United States. Yeah, just five weeks before my 19th birthday (and almost a year of being legally old enough to register). I finally did it and am looking forward to casting my first vote in the Texas gubernatorial elections in a couple of weeks. Maybe I should take pictures of this momentous event... *laughs*

25 September 2006

Immigration Debate

If you want to follow a debate (started by yours truly) about the United States/Mexico border issue and illegal immigration...

Pushing Back the Frontiers of Ignorance: "Frist Comes Around on Immigration"

This is going to be a fun way to practice, since my major is International Politics and Diplomacy.

24 September 2006

Shock and Awe

My family is shocked beyond belief -- I am actually making an effort to learn how to cook, do laundry, shop for food, budget my finances, washing dishes, and the like. If you've known me for a few years, you'll know that this is... well, a total miracle.

Two weeks ago, I joined a small group (along with my parents) that is doing a Crown Financial study so I can better manage my finances. Mom is training me how to plan menus and grocery shop (I call her the "goddess of grocery shopping" - she has grocery shopping down to an art). Now that Dad is working again, I try to help with the laundry. So far I haven't ruined anyone's clothes. Washing dishes... well, I still hate to do it, but I'm making myself wash them anyway.

Recently, I've started prepping mine and Dave's breakfasts and packing lunches the night before -- even coming home from school and cooking dinner. Mom stares and shakes her head in wonder.

What I once thought of as "domestic slavery" I've come to realize (finally) as a practical way to serve and love my family.

22 September 2006

The Car Accident

My last class for the day let out because my professor lost her voice and couldn't continue the lecture. I was thankful due to the massive migraine pounding in my head, but still had to run an errand at Wal-Mart for Mom. There were only three items on my list, but everything took twice as long because I was in a fog.

Little did I know that my migraine may have very well saved my life.

I finally made it out of Wal-Mart and made my way back home, attempting to keep my eyes open. Coming over the last hill before my turn, I had a few seconds to survey a large accident at the bottom and brake before landing in the bed of a pickup truck. It must have just happened. A few police cars and the volunteer fire crew were already on the scene. I craned my neck out the window to see what was going on. From what I could tell, there were more than two cars involved. I picked up my cell phone to call Mom and notify her that I wouldn't be home for a while.

"Your grandmother isn't in it... is she?" Mom asked.

"What? Why?"

"She just left to go to the store."

A sick feeling grew in my stomach. "I can't see..." I squinted my eyes. "My car is stuck. There's a driveway a few yards from me, but I'm afraid I'll land in the ditch if I try to pass the car in front of me. I'm stuck -- I'll call you back when I find something out."

The next twenty minutes were spent in fervent prayer. The sick feeling grew worse the longer I sat. Finally, I took the risk of landing my car in a three foot ditch and sailed into the driveway to park my car. I jumped out and walked to the scene of the accident. One of the cars was completely totaled -- the front end was entirely gone. A crowd of firemen and policemen stood around the ditch next to it. An ambulance came with stretchers.

"How many cars were involved?" I asked a trucker standing by.

"Three," came the answer in a strong Texan accent. "The other two are in the ditch across the road."

"What kind of cars are they?" My heart-rate increased.

"That truck," he pointed, "and a red suburban."

I breathed a sigh of relief (my grandmother drives a gray Nissan), but I was still worried about the people involved in the accident. I walked a little closer to the scene. Even though I couldn't see any details, I knew someone was hurt badly.

Then CareFlight came.

The chopper landed ten yards away from where I stood. I could only stare as memories of another car accident flooded my mind. Eleven years ago, Mom, Jer, and I were in a bad car accident. Our car was totaled and Jer nearly died. That moment is still so vividly burned into my memory. I don't talk about it much because it's one of those memories I'd rather not recall -- it was one of the most traumatizing moments of my life (so far).

After CareFlight left, I walked numbly to my car and somehow managed to pull out of the growing traffic and retrace back to the highway. I had to go 15 miles out of my way to get home, but the trip was almost surreal. The accident was still haunting me. I prayed for the people involved and wondered if the injured person was still alive.

My family welcomed me warmly once I stepped in the door, but I broke down. Maybe the combination of sheer exhaustion, a migraine, and haunting memories revisited, but I cried for a while as Mom and Jer held me. Had I not had that migraine and took so long to shop, I might have been the one in that car accident. More than anything, I was thankful my grandmother wasn't in that accident.

21 September 2006

The Natives

Once again, last night was the night to babysit for small groups and choir at church. Part of our evening schedule is to let the kids run amuck in the large, open hall to get their wiggles out. More than once, I had to chase members of the herd and corral them back into the section of hall where we adults could keep an eye on them.

Usually, Sarah G. brings her fiddle to play for the children to dance to, but last night she actually forgot. Thankfully, I brought my bodhran. We played a game I dubbed "freeze dance" -- an excellent way for the wiggles to be worked out. I would play on my drum while the children danced around like wild tribespeople. It looked like a scene from some National Geographic special -- wild natives dancing in a circle to a crazy drum beat.

Mom came out amidst the wild screams and drum beats to chastize the wild behavior.

"Keep the volume down. There's a parenting class upstairs and they're going to wonder what's going on."

I looked around at my tribespeople -- their war paint expertly applied to their faces with Crayola marker. "Okay, everybody, we're going to play the quiet dancing game." More wild dancing ensued -- now it just looked like a National Geographic special on mute.

20 September 2006

His ways are not my ways

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:8-11)

When I began classes as an incoming college freshman in the Fall of 2005, I had big dreams -- much like any starry-eyed student with plans to save the world. I was quickly disappointed to find that my ideas were not realistic. My major changed several times as I struggled to make sense of what I was doing in college. I thought I knew exactly how I was going to spend the next ten years of my life... but all my plans came crashing down as I realized that my plans were not His plans.

My first year of college found me floundering after my academic pursuits were crushed in the grip of painful reality. Previously, I would have said that my first year was a waste, but God was preparing me for things I would have never imagined.

Since February of this year, the Lord has brought situations into my life to spiritually develop me at an alarming rate. I now have a new reason for finishing college and a goal of completing by Spring of 2009, but there are so many times when I'd like to simply quit college and jump into ministry.

It is tiring to be exposed to such filth as one encounters on a college campus. A lot of my innocence was lost between the arguments with professors over entropy and The Big Bang, liberal social/political policies being banged over my head, filthy language assailing my ears every three seconds, and exposure to the sexual perversion that infests the hormone-driven hedonistic culture of college students. I often find myself longing to retreat into a state of sweet innocence that I feel is lost to me forever.

So why on earth am I still in college? There are many times (if not most) where I would like to drop out and throw myself head-long into ministry teaching women's Bible studies. But I am already in the ministry. There are people I have been able to reach that I would never have come into contact with except through college. How else would I have been able to minister to a bi-sexual marijuana smoker? Or a young single mom who got pregnant in high school? Or a Mormon? Or a Catholic? Or a college professor with enough religions to fill a swimming pool? They are the reason I am here -- not so I can obtain a bunch of degrees and titles. God gave me the opportunity to reach the "untouchables" that I would never see in a sheltered Christian bubble.

It is a good thing that God does not let me live my life as I please. I am living a life I never planned to live and desiring things I never wanted, but what great joy I have found! If you told me a year ago that I would be as I am now, I would have laughed at you... but all the time I think God was laughing at me.

In one of my favorite films, Sergeant York (1941), Gary Cooper plays the WW1 hero, Sergeant Alvin York. A phrase he often repeats during the movie, with a strong Tennesee accent: "The Lord sure do work in mysterious ways." Indeed, He does.

19 September 2006

Hey, I could do this!

"Wanted: 20 Short Actors With Hairy Feet"

Okay, so my feet aren't hairy, but that's a minor detail. All I need to do is drink some really strong coffee.

18 September 2006

This gave me chills...


17 September 2006

Only in my house...

Decked out in my favorite camouflage cargo pants and M*A*S*H t-shirt, I meandered down the hall towards the living room where I was greeted by my not-so-patriotic older brother.

"You going to invade somewhere?" he remarked sarcastically in regards to my uniform.

Though mine and David's political views and alliances are quite different, I still can't help but laugh at some of his comments. He's one of those people who can say really mean things and still get away with it because he's so funny. I have him to thank for sharpening my wit. You have to be quick on the draw in my house.

I don't usually do this...

Usually, I don't post news articles, but I found this rather fascinating:

"The Dutch are the World's Tallest People"

I wonder if that has anything to do with their legalization of drugs...

It would be funny to picture me in the Netherlands. I'd literally be a dwarf to them. "Me big Dutchman... you tiny German."

16 September 2006

Solo Swing

Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that Carey should be alone; I will bring a dancing partner fit for her." (Carey Paraphrase of Genesis 2:18)
Last night was swing again, but all of my friends that I invited couldn't come until next week. Julia was sick. I tried to bribe Jeremy into coming with no success. I wasn't about to miss swing, so I went by myself this time.

The ratio of girls to guys must have been at least 4:1 last night. Allison, a grad student and swing regular, brought along all the little girls from her huddle group at church. We were overrun with 14-year-olds. So I was a good sport and did the guy's part.

We learned the Charleston in the lesson. I became quite adept, but I was doing the guy's part, so when I finally got to dance with a guy my feet were confused. Not to worry, because I only danced with two guys last night. I found it really strange because I always have plenty of guys asking me to dance -- I never get to sit down. A lot of the "regulars" weren't there last night and there were lots of cute high school girls for the guys to dance with -- that's my only explanation.

After the lesson, I stood on the sidelines waiting for someone to ask me to dance. Looking over my shoulder, I saw a familiar creepy smile. Oh dear Lord, no.

"Hi, would you like to dance?" Mr. Creepy-Stalker-Resembling-Wormtongue said.

Am I that desperate? I thought to myself, briefly glancing around. "Sure." I "accidentally" stepped on his toes, trying to do the girl's part instead of the guy's.

Without much prospect of dancing, I walked around and took pictures for a while before deciding to leave early. I was feeling bummed and lonely, so there was no reason to hang around and look glum. As I walked to my car, I ran into John, one of the regulars (and a good dancer).

"Hey, why are you leaving so early?"

I shrugged my shoulders. "I dunno... not many guys here tonight."

"Well, come on. I'll dance with you," he led me back inside. John was patient to let me catch on to the girl's part and danced three dances in a row with me. I thanked him, but decided to go home early anyway.

Next week will be more fun. Hopefully two of my pals and their boyfriends will come, along with a few guy friends of mine, and Jules. Maybe we can all go out to dinner or something and make it a big outing.

15 September 2006

A story only God could write...

Yesterday was my off day from classes and work. The only pressing assignment was some Statistics homework, so I chose to do some recreational reading for the remainder of my day (something I haven't done since the 10th grade).

Mom and Jer had been begging/bugging me to read this book they got from our church library, called "When Dreams Come True: A Love Story Only God Could Write." I had begun to read a couple of chapters a few days earlier and found myself mildly interested, so I decided to go ahead and finish it.

Not that long ago, I would have scoffed merely at the title and refused to read such "nonsense," but now... now is a different story. I laughed. I cried. I cried some more. Before I knew it, I had finished the entire book. It was beautiful and moved me deeply.

SIDE NOTE: (1) That was the first book I'd read cover to cover in years. I rarely finish a book these days and often will skim. This book I read. (2) I never cry when I read a book. The only things that used to make me cry were The Passion of the Christ and Saving Private Ryan. Now everything makes me cry -- apparently books do too.

Jer and I discussed the book before I went to bed. My eyes were still moist and we laughed at how much I've changed over the past few years -- from a bitter feminist to a maternal basket-case. Only God could have done that. I guess you could say my life is "a story only God could write."

14 September 2006

She's around here somewhere...

Wednesday nights Mom and I babysit at church for the choir parents and the parents in small group Bible studies. I'm in the classroom with kids ages 2 - 4, among whom are two of my "nieces," Nivelle and Erin. Nivelle has a little admirer named Ian, who is also four. Last night they discovered that they like holding hands.

While the other children ran around in a frenzy, Ian took Nivelle by both hands, faced her, and gazed deeply into her eyes. He cocked his head to one side, smiling with a sheepish smile, and sighed deeply. Nivelle, in return gazed into his eyes and giggled. They stood there, staring at each other, amidst a rampaging herd of children. I thought I heard angels singing in the background (or maybe that was just my ears ringing).

Being the protective Auntie that I am, I walked over and laid a hand on Ian's shoulder.

"Young man, you need to ask Nivelle's daddy if you can hold her hands. You should only hold hands with a girl if you're planning to marry her."

Ian reluctantly let loose of Nivelle's hands and sighed. "Well, I know my wife is around here somewhere," Romeo squeaked in his four-year-old voice. I nearly snorted with laughter at his seriousness.

13 September 2006

Soy Condene o Bendije?

Today was the day of Dos Examenes -- Spanish and Governement. Government would be a breeze, but I dreaded Spanish. Que horror! I was already struggling in the class and the exam loomed before me like a noose. My prospects were grim as the professor passed out the sheets of dreaded paper. I had thoughts of suddenly becoming ill.

It isn't that I can't speak Spanish -- I could translate easily for you -- but I learned by immersion, not the typical dry classroom setting where you decline nouns and verbs. It's like a Hispanic person moving to the US, learning English by immersion, and then being thrown into a college-level grammar class. Not a lot of hope for good grades. I could survive just fine if you threw me into a Spanish-speaking country where no one speaks English, but I was drowning in a college class where everyone did speak English.

I stared blankly at the test before me. The first quarter of the exam was comprehension -- the professor read a magazine article out loud and asked true/false questions -- no problemo. The rest of the exam consisted of grammar beyond my comprehension. I just about cried. Failing was not an option. I sat in my seat praying and wondering what on earth I was going to do. Drop the course and go back to beginning Spanish? How was I going to cram that all in? I am killing myself to finish my Bachelor's degree by Spring of 2009, already with plans to do school full-time for the next two summers. How am I going to fit in an extra year of language courses?

But I knew what I had to do. I gathered my things and took the almost blank exam to my professor.

"I need to go back to beginning Spanish," I explained, feeling rather humiliated. "I don't understand, but I want to. I'll have to go back." She was very understanding. I walked out of the classroom feeling rather stupid. Now I have to drop that class and add in Beginning Spanish 1 next semester and finish the second half in the summer.

Not a big deal, really, except that I was struggling (yet again) with issues of surrender. I will have to give up my trip to China once more and stay home this summer to do 10-12 credit hours. It's been six years since I first wanted to go to China. Now I don't know when (or if) I'll get to go. I could, but then I wouldn't finish my degree by the Spring of '09. Summer of '08 I have to do 12 hours as well (but at least I get to do that as an international student in Ghana and the United Kingdom). Thankfully, Mom helped me figure out a way to plug in the Spanish courses with my degree plan, but the next couple of years will be very, very difficult.

Maybe someday I'll get to go to China. The Lord has asked me to surrender everything else in my life, so why not this too? I don't understand why, but His ways are higher than mine. I think the Lord knows that by making me wait longer for the desires of my heart, I will appreciate them so much more.

12 September 2006

Punishment for Miss Sassy Pants

God punished me today for my sassy attitude yesterday. I thought I'd done a pretty good job of punishing myself with a guilt trip, but today I was sent on another trip... to the Funny Farm.

Today was the first day of MOMs -- the all-day childcare the church sets up for mothers who hold Bible studies in the morning and a few hours in the afternoon for them to run errands without the munchkins in tow. Ninety-something signed up. We ended up with 120 children. It was semi-controlled chaos.

I purposely didn't want to know what age-group I'd been assigned to. Secretly, I was hoping to work with the older boys (5-12 yrs), but I said I was okay with wherever I was put. Please God, just not the two-year-olds. Though I love all ages of children, toddlers and teens are by far the most difficult to work with.

Guess where I was placed? That's right, the two-year-olds. One mother came in with her little girl, who is deathly allergic to a myriad of substances, including peanuts, wheat, latex, and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember. I was terrified as I heard of what could happen to this little girl if she was to come in contact with any of the mentioned substances. Thankfully, the mother planned to stay with her the first couple of weeks to keep an eye open and for us workers to learn the protocol.

Then another little girl came in, also deathly allergic to peanuts. I nodded my head with knit brows as her mother instructed me as what to do should one of the other children bring a meal with peanut products -- scour every child's hands and face, rinse their mouths out so they don't drool peanut goo on the toys, sanitize everything. My horror intensified as she demonstrated how to use the Epi-pen and call 911 should anything happen.

Of course, most of the children (being two and all) were suffering from separation anxiety and acting in an according manner -- screaming.

"Carey, the 12-month room is short a worker, can you transfer?" A co-worker popped her head in the room.

"Yeah, sure." But the situation awaiting me was even worse. Seventeen children, all crying and screaming simultaneously. It lasted almost all morning, with brief 5-second intervals of silence spotted here and there. By lunchtime I felt like the Walking Dead. 50% of my hearing lost, I prepared for another room change as we shuffled the remaining children to extended afternoon care. I was assigned to... one-year-olds.

Thankfully, I was assigned to a room with my mom and our friend Sylvia (from Guatemala). Working with my mom and adopted "aunt" Sylvia would make things much better. We only had six kids and they all took naps. We actually got to eat some lunch and chat for a while before I went to play with the older kids for the last hour.

"This must be God's way of punishing me for not being kind yesterday," I told Mom.

"Yeah, but why did Sylvia and I get punished with screaming kids today? We didn't do anything."

"That's because you're associated with me," I said as a matter-of-fact.

11 September 2006

Rapier Wit

"To possess a rapier wit means to have the ability to respond quickly and effectively to others in an argument, debate, or conversation in either a humorous or insulting manner (although the last part can be dropped)." - The Palm Boy Dictionary

* * * * * * * *

During lunch break I sat with Danielle and the posse again. Chase, a friend of Danielle and member of the posse, always bemoans the fact that girls see him as a friend and brother. He sat across from me at the table, staring at me with The Glazed Look. I put down my lunch.

"Aren't you supposed to be doing your Sociology homework, Chase?"

"I am," he stated without taking his eyes off me.

"No you're not, you're staring at me."

"I'm trying to find the meaning of life in your eyes."

I frowned. "Not interested. Go away."

"I was just kidding," he laughed, "but there is some truth in every joke." In other words, you're desperate for a date and you think you'll get something out of complementing my pretty eyes. My inner feminist had awoken and the rest of the conversation followed suit.

"So what are we guys to you? Like food or play-toys?" Chase asked later on, pretending to be insulted.

"I don't play with my food," I shot back. The rest of the table was in an uproar of laughter. Chase's jaw dropped to the table and I put my hand over my mouth, aghast at what had issued forth from my lips.

You have to understand that this group of people sees (or saw) me as a very quiet, nice girl. My come-back had everyone laughing hysterically or dropping their jaws. They didn't see it coming.

"So do we have a use?" Chase asked after he recovered from the last statement.

"I don't know. Do you think they have a purpose, Danielle?" I glanced over at my friend. "Nah, I think you're just here for my entertainment, Chase. You're the floor-show that comes along with lunch."

"I feel so used." Chase feigned an injured sniff. "Well, I'm sorry I had to serve as your entertainment."

"That's okay, I needed a nap anyway." Once again, more laughter issued from the peanut gallery/posse and Chase's jaw became unhinged.

"Ouch! Touche!" Chase laughed. He started talking to me again, but Danielle's boyfriend was talking over my head so I couldn't hear. I put my hand up.

"Chase, I see your lips moving, but I don't hear anything." Yet again there was laughter and Chase stared with feigned insult. David, who "makes Democrats look like nuns," spoke from across the table to me. "David, I see your lips moving but I don't hear anything."

"What is it with you and guys? Can you just not hear us?" Chase laughed.


Lunch break was over and it was time for the next class. Chase followed me to the stairs and said goodbye to me in some strange dialect of Male. I turned and answered with a curt wave of the hand and then walked up the stairs ignoring him.

"OW!" he exclaimed behind me. Some guys are apparently turned on by girls who are hard to get. My mom says it's their "hunter instinct" -- they like a good chase. I find it rather strange -- it's as though they want to be punished. Any guy who's tried to make moves on me can attest with claw marks that I am indeed hard to get -- almost impossible. Jer claims that I have an "impenetrable fortress" around me.

Even though everyone thought my unexpected come-backs funny, I do need to go apologize to Chase on Wednesday. My speech wasn't edifying and it would have been better if I'd kept my mouth shut. Now I've got another guy bothering me.

A Heritage From the Lord

Aimee and the girls dropped by the nursery last night to bring me a present Taylor and Gracie had helped make for me. It was so good to see them. I got hugs and a pretty pink flowered gift bag.

I peeked in the bag first chance I got. Inside was a pink photo album -- I pulled it out. The cover was decorated with the girls' handprints and a beautiful black and white photo of them. I opened the album to look at the first page -- "We luv you Carey." My eyes watered as I looked through the rest of the album -- pictures of Taylor dressing up with Amanda's girls, Gracie playing the piano, Taylor's first day of ballet, Taylor's first day of school. It was such a sweet time that went by so quickly. Seems like such a long time ago now.

What a change -- from "mommy bootcamp" back to the secular college scene! But at least I have that precious album to remind me of this summer.

This morning I read Psalm 127. Verse three states "children are a heritage from the Lord." Even though I don't have children of my own, it is such a privilege to be a part of other children's lives. The Lord has blessed me with so many opportunities to be a part of kids' lives -- I consider it such an honor.

10 September 2006

Are you the girl?

During the Awana JV/Varisty camp out, one of the younger boys walked up to me.

"Are you the girl whose brother threatened to kill anyone who touches you?" he eyed me suspiciously.

"Probably," I hesitated, "Sounds about right. Why?"

"Oh... well, you're brother threatened to kill Brent Harris if he so much as touched you."

"Really?" I laughed.

"Yeah, Brent was going to play joke on you while you were asleep in your tent, but Jeremy threatened him."

09 September 2006

A Chance to Die

Thursday night provided little sleep due to insomnia -- yet again I faced another school day with four hours of sleep. Classes dragged and I struggled through the day on several caffeinated drinks, returning home in the afternoon with just enough time to pack before leaving for a camp out.

[Our church's JV/Varsity Awana group had a camp out over the weekend and they needed another adult female chaperone and driver, so I volunteered at the last minute to come help out.]

So I came home from classes, helped Jer finish packing the van, and took off for church to meet the rest of the carpool -- decked out in camouflage. Besides Jer, I had two other little boys in the van with me -- Joshua and Craig (both 12). They became my troops and I became their Colonel Carey. With one command I could have them at attention and saluting me -- "Ma'am, yes ma'am!" It was great. Even though I'm five feet tall and anything but intimidating, I still get quite a bit of respect from the opposite gender -- especially little boys.

The kids kept me up most of the night -- either talking with a new JV girl who needed to talk (vent) or trudging around with the boys looking for an imaginary raccoon -- necessitating five Dr. Peppers to keep me going. It was fun, though. I finally crawled into my tent and dozed off for an hour before receiving a prank call from Brent H. on my cell phone. Then the girls were up giggling and talking most of the night. And there was some demon-possessed cat that kept jumping onto the tent and making strange noises.

This morning the kids played several different games and I found myself playing medic -- a girl fell on her head after being catapulted (thankfully no nerve damage or fractures occurred), another had a foot cramp and needed an ice pack, scrapes to be cleaned... those kids never cease to amaze me.

Jer and I just returned home about half an hour ago -- utterly exhausted and thoroughly filthy -- when Mom told us we had a wedding to attend tonight. So much for the nap. I've got a few hours to shower and do homework before leaving again. Due to lack of sleep and other factors, I will most likely cry during the wedding and make an absolute fool of myself.

08 September 2006

Psalm 73:23-28

You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward You will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For behold, those who are far from You shall perish;
You put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to You.
But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
that I may tell of all Your works.

07 September 2006


I was editing some HTML in my blog template earlier today and somehow managed to mess things up badly enough to prevent people (including myself) from commenting and accessing the archives. This problem will be fixed as soon as possible, so please have patience!


Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)
Much of my prayer has never been verbal. When I bow my head and try to put to words what is in my heart, it never comes out right (or it doesn't come out at all). This frustrates me because I rarely am at a loss for words. (Those of you who know me well are probably laughing to yourselves.)

Some people can pour forth the most beautiful prayers, but I never seem to find my voice when I'm before the Lord in prayer. It is the one time I am mute. But is that such a bad thing?
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. (Psalm 62:1-2,5)

It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him; let him put his mouth in the dust -- there may yet be hope. (Lamentations 3:27-29)

Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling. (Zechariah 2:13)

Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. (Ecclesiastes 5:2)
For me, writing is the best way to express myself and communicate my ideas (hence the incessant blogging). I often say that "my pen is bolder than my tongue." Since the age of thirteen I have written out my prayers to the Lord. My bookshelf is full of volumes of "letters to God" that I have written over the years.

The most amazing thing to see is how God specifically answered my prayers. Even in the journal I am currently keeping -- I can look through the pages and read how God almost immediately answered my prayers (as soon as the next day).

Over the past six months -- and especially this summer -- the Lord has revolutionized my prayer life. Often my prayers were solely requests or ventings to God, but more recently the Lord has aligned my requests with the workings of the Spirit -- no longer frustrated or selfish requests, but requests for His will to be done instead of mine. And the outcomes are incredible.

Once the Lord brought me to this state of constant, daily surrender I began to see just how He works in prayer. It's not that all of the sudden God is finally listening to me and answering my prayers -- He brought me within the boundaries of His will and led my prayers to follow the path of His Spirit. I would pray specifically for something to happen and by the next day my specific prayer was specifically answered -- I kid you not.

What a difference from the current viewpoint of Evangelical Americans! We have books like "The Prayer of Jabez" and "The Lost Secrets of Prayer" that offer suggestions on how to press God's buttons to get what we want. One book title especially blows my mind -- "Breakthrough Prayer: The Secret of Receiving What You Need From God."

There are no secrets to a successful prayer life. God plainly tells us in His Word...
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)

Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18)
When you find yourself in the Lord's will, you will find your prayers lining up with His will. It's a truly amazing experience to be used by the Lord in such a way! What glory that brings Him!

"Chivalry is Dead"... A Commentary

Beauty From the Heart: "Chivalry is Dead"... A Commentary

06 September 2006


Last night was Axcess, my church's weekly College Life meeting, so that meant I didn't get home until 11 pm -- which by extension meant 5 and 1/2 hours of sleep. Though usually wide awake upon hitting the floor, this morning I had to literally drag myself out of bed and crawl to the kitchen to make coffee. If you can, picture me stumbling to the kitchen, freakishly messy hair, eyelids slightly glued shut, running into things... it's like a scene from a horror movie.

I sat on the couch in a daze, coffee and Bible in hand, praying that the Lord would still reveal His truth to me despite my comatose state. I looked over my notes from last night's lesson. Shea started the four-week series, "The Missional Life," with loving God. Sounds simple, yet oh how profound that is! Here are some of my notes from last night:

Our love for God should be...

... earnestly holistic, not complacently compartmental.
- Jeremiah 29:13
When the soul does not feast on God earnestly in love, spiritual malnourishment
will show up in every area of life.
... personal obedience, not just private experience.
- John 14:21
- 1 John 2:5, 5:3
True love evidences itself in obedience.
... outwardly expressive, not inwardly passive.
- 1 Peter 3:15
... given out of the same cup from which it was first received.
- 1 John 4:19
- Luke 9:23
Even though I moved very slowly all morning, I managed to get to Statistics class on time (barely). I would have dozed off during the lecture had it not been for Professor Excited next door occasionally shrieking "Ahh-hahh!!"

British Literature would be fun -- had the professor shown up. School policy states that if the professor doesn't show up ten minutes after class should begin, then the students may leave. Some of us stuck around longer, so I took the opportunity to talk about Stonehenge, burial mounds, and Viking excavations, showing my remaining classmates photos from my trips to the UK and brochures I had saved from the Viking settlement in York. (Leave it to me to take over the class if the professor doesn't show up.) Thirty minutes into class time and still no professor, we faithful few finally dispersed.

I took the unexpected break to pay a visit to the coffee shrine... er, shop.

"How many shots of espresso would be considered lethal?" I asked Glenn, the coffee shop guy (and fellow believer).

"Umm... I would recommend you start with two." He passed me a small cup of steaming goodness (which I loaded with Splenda and creamer).

For some odd reason, I was extra alert for Spanish class... unlike the dude sitting next to me who fell asleep during lecture. I don't know how he made it into Intermediate Spanish; he always looks on at my notebook for a translation of the homework assignment (our professor rarely speaks English in class).

Lunch break found me in the company of a former classmate and friend, Danielle, and her posse. Our discussion ranged from the five-second rule (of which I demonstrated by dropping a raisin on the floor and then eating it -- much to the horror of everyone else) to dating and personal purity standards.

"I don't think I could do that," Danielle commented on my antiquated no-kissing policy.

Government was frustrating as usual -- not because I don't love the subject, but because I have a bunch of disrespectful classmates who use lecture time to visit amongst themselves or surf the web on their lap-tops. Even sitting on the front row does not lessen the distraction. I wanted to turn around and shout "SHUT UP!" but refrained because that might (slightly) mar my testimony. Maybe I'll talk privately with the professor to encourage stricter class policy so we can actually learn something. One of the girls actually asked what an oligarchy was!

Before History started, I got to chat for quite some time with one of my classmates. His name is Jonathan and he's one of those sweet, quiet, slightly nerdy types that most people overlook. (I always make it a personal goal of mine to seek out quiet loners and draw them out of their shells.) We discussed classes and our selected majors, which (naturally) lead to talking about international travel and mission trips.

"I went on a mission trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil," he told me.

"Oh, really?" my interest was immediately peaked. "How long were you there?"

"Two months, but I was supposed to be there two years." Jonathan had to leave because of health problems. I asked where he went to church. "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints," he answered.

"Oh, okay." I raised my eyebrows and said nothing more about the subject. I've got to read up on Mormonism again. Now I've got MOs (mission opportunities) in Spanish and History.

So that's today so far. I have another hour at home before I need to leave for work.

05 September 2006

Worthless Things

Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.
Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. (Psalm 119:35-37, ESV)

The Hebrew word
(shawv) means "emptiness, vanity, falsehood; nothingness,emptiness of speech, lying; worthlessness (of conduct)," but is taken from a root word meaning "ravage; devastation, ruin, waste." "Turn away" is used in the sense of alienation.

Alienate my eyes from emptiness and vanity.

How many times do worthless things in our lives turn our eyes from God? I could make quite a long list of worthless things that distract my attention from Christ.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Lay aside every weight. Not some -- not a few -- every weight and sin which clings so closely.

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. (2 Timothy 2:3)

04 September 2006

The Ministry of Eric and Leslie Ludy

Check out their website...


Click here to listen to their song "Faithfully."

Purposeful Singleness

But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:28-35)

02 September 2006


Just returned home from swing (and it's now 1 am). New record: 8 dance partners. The quotient continues to increase by two... maybe next time it will be 10.

One of the guys actually danced with me more than once. (He was a bit of a flirt.) Julia and I were chatting and planning to leave when I felt a tap on my shoulder.

"Hi, um, would you dance with me again?" he smiled charmingly.

"Uh, sure..." I glanced at Jules as he took my hand and led me to the dance floor. He chatted with me, asking how long I had been dancing because I was a "good dancer," blah blah blah. That sort of thing. Then he danced the next dance with me too. One beneficial thing I got out of that was I learned how to do the Charleston.

Another guy I recognized from Jer's high school choir (whose name is also Jeremy). He noticed me earlier snapping photos with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel (David's professional camera that he kindly loaned to me) and I discovered that he also liked photography. So of course he asked me to dance with him.

The camera got me another dance partner too. Another guy I danced with is a photography major at UNT -- we chatted about cameras while dancing. I think I should bring the expensive camera more often. Some guys are really impressed with that, apparently.

Most of my dance partners entertained themselves by flirting with me.

"You're very intelligent," one commented, hearing of my college major. What? Did you run some IQ test on me?

Another needed the "occasional replacement of the hand" move. Keep your hand off my lower back, buddy. If that hand goes any further I shall have to remove it.

One good thing happened -- I talked to the guy who heads up the swing group in Denton, and I get to help create a website and promotion material. He needed someone to delegate and who knows how to create a website -- so TADA! He's going to e-mail me some ideas for the website so we can get that started. And then I can do some promotion in the College Life group so we can expand our small swing group. This will be fun. The guy had a vision -- he just needed someone who can delegate and communicate with people. So I'm sort of like Public Relations.

[Note: I'll post pictures from swing later and include a link when the website's up and running.]


I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food. (Job 23:12)

O God, You
are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. (Psalm 63:1-3)

When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek." (Psalm 27:8)

Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face evermore! (Psalm 105:3-4)

But as for me, I would seek God,
and to God I would commit my cause— Who does great things, and unsearchable, marvelous things without number. (Job 5:8-9)

The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You. (Psalm 9:9-10)

thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple. (Psalm 27:4)

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
let such as love Your salvation say continually, "The LORD be magnified!" (Psalm 40:16)

Glory in His holy name;
let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face evermore! (Psalm 105:3-4)

are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart! (Psalm 119:1-2)

My eyes fail from seeking Your salvation And Your righteous word. Deal with Your servant according to Your mercy, and teach me Your statutes. (Psalm 119:123-124)

01 September 2006

Mathematics Fun?

As usual, I dreaded Statistics -- my first class for the day -- but today proved to be a little more entertaining.

A lady from the tutoring department came to tell us about the school's tutoring program for mathematics, where to find the lab, etc. She had to change the posters across the campus. Originally, the signs read "Math Lab -- room 128," but some jokester took a marker and changed the signs to "Meth Lab -- room 128."

In class the professor discussed the principles of random sampling from a population. Very boring -- until she whipped out the bag of chocolate. My attention was immediately caught.

"Now, I want each of you to reach into the bag and select one Hershey's kiss. There is a specific ratio of dark chocolate to milk chocolate."

Please, oh please be dark chocolate, I silently prayed as I reached into the bag. Yay! It was (later discovered - the bag was only 30% dark chocolate).

We had to wait to eat our chocolate after the example problem was explained. I stared at the kiss sitting on my desk. As if that wasn't enough of a distraction, the professor next door -- an excitable African American man who would have been better suited to charismatic clergy -- was making quite a bit of racket. Vainly, I tried to concentrate on the math problem written on the marker board as Dr. Excited shrieked, shouted, and pounded his desk with gusto.

"Sorry this class isn't as exciting as the one next door," my Statistics professor apologized, "but at least you got chocolate."

I found myself wondering what class was being held next door. Whatever it was, I wanted to sign up for it next semester. Who wouldn't want a professor who gets so excited over his subject that he shrieks?

Verses for Today...

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
(Psalm 84:11)

Yes, the LORD will give what is good;
And our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before Him,
And shall make His footsteps our pathway.
(Psalm 85:12-13)