Archives for category: ramblings

i want to start obsessing over things a little bit more. maybe obsessing isn’t quite the right word. how about….. passionate. i want to be passionate about more things. er, i want to be wild about trying new things or doing stuff that i’ve always wanted to do but for some reason i don’t make time for. i want to sew until my fingers are raw. i want to put art in a gallery. i want to make fearless art (because i often limit myself). i want to learn italian someday. and i want to cook from scratch more often. i want to learn calligraphy. and shoot, what’s holding me back? only myself if i really think about it.

so here’s to today. and here’s to taking risks.

 

i’m gonna go buy fabric.

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hello friends.

a whirlwind of two weeks has passed since i last let the public see a speck of what goes on in my heart and mind. and i tell you what, whirlwind is probably the best word to describe those fourteen days. there have been ups and downs. new relationships have been solidified. Christ has been glorified. and lessons are being learned.

i’ll start with the new fun things i’ve tried at woodlands: longboarding. yes, longboarding. i want to be able to do it by the end of summer. (for those of you who do not know…. longboarding is simply skateboarding…. on a longer board). slack line. which is basically tight rope walking. it’s one of those impossible things to do that seems effortlessly tangible…. yet it’s still impossible to do. i’ve taken about 4 steps on my own; i’m pretty proud of that. rock climbing. 90 feet up, a rock face, a harness, some shoes, and a beautiful belayer named shelby. i surprised myself by actually getting to the top. here’s to defying our fears! trapeze. simple enough to understand…. i’ve tried it before, but i could never do it. this time i did it! i was so proud of myself. hobo dinners. ground beef, veggies, seasonings. wrap it all up in foil and throw it in a campfire. voila! it is simply delicious.

the things i’ve learned at woodlands: God is so good. God is so good. he always gives us what we need. (even if that means a good butt whoopin’). we are called to live a life of love. this means seeing the best in others always. and always means always. that means seeing the best even when someone might be annoying or could have previously wronged us. it’s a lot easier said than done, but it’s certainly something that i am working on.

the past couple of weeks, i know that God is really breaking me. he’s revealing to me more and more the parts of who i am that i have not wanted to give over to him. as many of you might (or might not) know, i can easily be consumed with appearance. i don’t want this to be confused as judgements toward others’ appearances. i am talking about vanity. my own vanity. the Lord wants us to sacrifice every aspect of our beings to him. (after all, our beings are his). here at camp, a normal outfit is a t-shirt, basketball shorts, and chacos. a lot of readers out there would read that and say: “hey, that’s comfy + awesome; who wouldn’t want to wear that?!” but those of you who really know me know that those are clothes you would never see me wearing… sans the chacos. yet here at camp that is my uniform, and i’ve become pretty okay with it. clothes sacrificed. check. next thing on the list to go… makeup. getting up in the wee hours of the morning just calls for a lack of makeup. i’ve gotten pretty used to not wearing so much of it; not that i wore a ton to begin with, but ya know. here’s the kicker. i received the wrong box of contacts from my optometrist. that being said, i was forced to wear my glasses. at this point, i feel lowest of low. uglier than ugly. flat out avoidable to any eyes that came my way. my confidence was not high at any means at this point. and that’s when it hit me. i have been caught up in my own vanity for far, far too long. i had been placing more time looking into my reflection than into the words of God. but God is so good. he taught me that it doesn’t matter my appearance, what matters is the heart. acceptance from people doesn’t need to come from appearance either. the woodlands family here accepts people with or without glasses, makeup, or a fashionable wardrobe. that’s a physical reminder to me. but moreso, God wanted me to sacrifice my all to him, and that was a big piece that i was still hanging on to. throughout this whole time i’ve been learning so much about humility. pride that i did not know existed does exist within me. and that is not something that i am proud to say. but it is certainly something that i am willing to battle.

as far as the kitchen goes: it has its ups and downs. there are many, many fun times in there. lots of singing goes on, and that is something i absolutely love. i received a minor injury about a week and a half ago. i accidentally laid my arm on top of the griddle while sautéing some pineapples for hawaiian hamburgers. the results: quite a little burn. it definitely hurt, but it doesn’t at all nowadays. every week and a half in the kitchen i have delivery duties. this means, be in the kitchen at 5 a.m. and distribute heavy boxes of food to the proper locations in the kitchen. i tell you what, it is hard work!

one special thing that happened this past week: i was able to lead a little girl to Christ. what a nervous moment and a joyous moment all in one. it was all such an ironic night. i did not want to be there for starters; i was a sweaty mess and tired as all get out. yet i was there. and i was astounded that the Lord would want to use me that night! i was so excited to be involved in his mission with mackenzie’s salvation. i had never seen that little girl look so joyful. it was such a blessing to be a part of.

 

God is full at work here at woodlands! please continue to keep all of summer staff in your prayers. wisdom, leadership, and strength to push through tiredness would be excellent topics of prayer towards each of us here at camp.

 

and here’s a little shout out for my mom: HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIANE GIBSON! i love you so much! wish i could celebrate with you.

we’ve all heard the news: osama bin laden- dead. america’s most threatening terrorist has now met his demise. new insights about the war on terror now that bin laden has been killed.

i cannot tell you how unsettling this is to me. all day, i felt a funk in my mood, and i completely know it’s reasoning. there are two reasons really; one, i might discuss at a later time in life, and the other i will address right now. i am very sad about the death of this man, osama bin laden. that sounds strange, huh? granted, it should. yes, he was involved with terrorist attacks on my country, and yes, he was an instigator of fear and war that will impact our country for now on. but he is a man. he was created by God. psalm 139:13 applies for him too. (it’s not just Christians that were knit together in their mother’s wombs). and people are rejoicing in his death. fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are rejoicing in this man going to hell, and i just do not get it. that is not okay. how can we be excited and joyful and praising and thanking Jesus for a man being killed? this man will now spend eternity separated from Christ. and writing this right now brings tears to my eyes because i know the joy that i have found in Christ, and i can only imagine how his life could have been changed through Christ. some people reading this might think: “that’s completely absurd. there is absolutely 100%, no way that osama bin laden could have ever come to know Christ.” really? is that the kind of mentality we should have? easy answer: NO. let’s look at saul for a quick second. was he a murderer? yes. was his goal to kill Christians? yes. was he feared by the world? yes. now let’s look at bin laden. does he share any of those same qualities of saul? easy answer: yes. but as we all know…… saul became paul! he was changed through Christ which literally changed everything. his mission was no longer to kill, steal, and destroy; it was to bring glory to the Most High. what if osama bin laden met Christ? and decided to travel the world preaching the Good News? what if…? that what if has been cut short now. and he will be encapsulated by darkness forevermore.

with all that being said, how can we, as christians, rejoice in this death? why are so many chanting “USA! USA! USA!” all because of his death? this world is not any closer to finding peace through the death of one man. our peace can only come from Jesus Christ who is working all things together for our good. we can cling to that promise, that’s for sure. i ask you to examine your thoughts today. are you rejoicing in this death? are you satisfied with knowing that another person will now never see Jesus face to face? what we think about is what is in our hearts, and we are called to set our hearts on things above (colossians 3:1). think about the eternal impact that was made last night, not the temporary impact that it has already made in this world. yes, he killed. yes, i would probably be a little scared of him. yes, he has done wrong. we have done the same things as he in our hearts though. sin is sin. i only wish he could have known the forgiveness and freedom that i know.

today is going to be a good day; i can feel it.

  1. spring has officially arrived. “technically” it arrived a few weeks ago. but i’m pretty sure it arrived today.
  2. instead of getting on the interstate this morning…. i drove all the way down kingston pike. and i only honked once.
  3. there’s something soothing going on in my soul. i can’t quite pinpoint what it is just yet, but it is there and that’s great.
  4. God is the God of our situations, whether good or bad. we just need to realize that and let him work his magic, per-say.
  5. tip of day: do not wear denim shorts with boots. ever.
  6. i would like nothing more than some breakfast casserole and coffee cake right now.
  7. the following song has been getting stuck in my head like you wouldn’t believe. for the past week

addicted to love

    so it appears that i have not written in…. 20 days. this is very odd and disgruntling to me. you know why? because i learn more when i write; i notice my passions more when i write; i feel free when i write. and having that i haven’t been typing a single thing in the past 3 weeks is simply unsettling. granted, these have probably been 3 of the busiest weeks of my life. UT singers tour/spring break was thrown in there along with wedding shenanigans and having a social life. during this time, i’ve laughed; i’ve cried. i’ve made really hard decisions; i’ve made new friends. i even made a scarf. i’ve been frustrated. i’ve been tired. i’ve been excited. i’ve been anxious. i’ve been overwhelmed.

    all there is to say about that is…. there are a lot of ‘i’s being used up there. and i’m not really okay with it. i will be honest in saying that i have not been selfless recently. that is not something i am proud to say, but it is true. my priorities have been thwarted, and that has affected my every day actions. Jesus needs to be number one at all times. not just at the times when it’s convenient. and that is something that i have neglected recently. but also something that i am changing! Jesus is the most important thing. why would we not want to spend every single day learning about him!? he’s all the we have.

    and here’s a little shout out to my sister, caitlyn….. she’s getting married in 4 days. that is crazy! and i am so excited for her. and for bradley too. nothing makes me happier than a wedding. well, nothing except a marriage that is rooted in Christ and has two people that have fallen madly in love with each other. now that i absolutely love.

    today is one of those mornings where i am surprisingly not as irritable as my lack of sleep should permit. bed time last night was 3:20 a.m. and the alarm clock went off at 6:00 a.m. …..granted i did not roll out of bed until 6:40; nonetheless, my eyelids are quite heavy today.

    last night i studied for hours about probability and z-scores and t-scores and other nonsense that has to do with statistics. i had a pomegranite-green tea break at 12:20, and at about 2:40 i said, “i am done with this.” so i crawled in my bed and proceeded to read the book of job. for quite some time at that hour of the morning.

    also, yesterday i was so happy to have a little brunch at starbucks with one of my very best friends… none other than amanda muirhead. oh how it warms my heart to swap stories! stories of love, stories of stress, stories of hilarity, stories of punishment, and stories that are still in the process of being written- which are sometimes the best! i tell you, some passion herbal tea, a slice of lemon pound cake, and a best friend never fails to get the day off to a good start. i’m quite certain that she and i could be separated by a whole continent and half a year and still pick up right where we left off. and you know what, i love that. in many ways, she and i are different as day and night. but in more ways, we lean on each other. as cliche as this is about to sound…. “lean on me, when you’re not strong.” there you have it. hope you enjoyed that slice of cheese this morning.

    i’m sorry that this is one big ramble and doesn’t have much deep content to it. the thing is, i just really don’t like sleeping during the day, and i’m afraid that if i let myself relax any more i’ll be out like a light… maybe i’ll write with some real content in the near future. happy tuesday.

    today is one of those perfect-weathered, blissful days that simply cannot be bad no matter how hard it tries. (at least…. that’s the attitude i’m going to keep for all of today). the fact that i can be outside in my favorite pants and just a basic t brings me ultimate joy. not to mention the fact that i was one of those cool, artsy people that spreads out all of their tools and papers all over the ground as if it was their bedroom, and then proceeds to make a mess and call it art. yes, that was me today. in the amphitheater of all places too! so far, this post has been narcissistic nonsense, and i’m going to warn you up front: that might be all that’s in this post. i simply feel like writing right now, and i have an hour to kill. so that’s what i plan on doing! if you’re someone that reads my ramble regularly (how about that for alliteration??), i’m sorry that i haven’t written in quite a while. life incessantly becomes busy right before my eyes, and i have to take charge of that. looking back over my week, the past few days have indeed been interesting. discouragement was knocking at my doorstep. i presented a miniature shower that i made out of wood that i cut with my own two hands. three chapters of biology were read and “applied” in about a day and a half. tiredness crept up like a snake. i made some new friends and had a good conversation with an old one. i started a new workout that i know will transform my body. i went shopping with good friends, including sorina groza all the way from romania. and today, i’m just a stereotypical college student sitting outside with paint splattered fingers, plaid on my back, and windswept hair. and you know what. i really could not be more content.

    i always find it funny how God’s timing works. this week started out as such a discouragement. lies of worthlessness and failure and destruction infiltrated my mind with a fury. when this happens (as it occasionally does for me), i unfortunately buy in to the lies. even though i know that they are false. isn’t that so dumb? as negativity comes upon me though, i am always reminded of God’s grace. and this week, i read about how the Lord uses our weaknesses to make him look stronger. how about that for putting things into perspective? i read this message from Paul the night that discouragement was penetrating the most. (ironic timing, don’t you think?) and that’s when it hit me, that it’s okay to not be the greatest or to even get frustrated when what you’re trying to do doesn’t work out so well. it’s in these weaknesses that God’s glory can be known, and so often we try to hide our weaknesses. i know i definitely do this. but let’s face it, we aren’t perfect people. and we all have different strengths and weaknesses. with that being said however, we should own our weaknesses! and be proud of them. because through these weaker areas, God’s glory can (and will) be made known…. if we let him have control of our weaknesses. when we hold on to our weaknesses and don’t let anyone see them, we’re holding out on God. when we surrender our weaknesses to God, that is when truly great things can happen.

    there you have it. those are my thoughts for today. i’m looking forward to running in this perfect weather in approximately an 2 hours. have a happy weekend!

    you know that kind of day that is filled with laughter and joy and vintage dresses that is destroyed by one simple statement of three words: “you’ve got mail.” usually an exciting thing to hear, if you ask me. tonight it only brought a blotchy red face and eyes gracefully depicting a watering can. i have been faced with one of the worst scenarios i could imagine in my life right now. in the midst of this storm, i am finding it hard to cling to the hand of the Lord and trust that his promises are true and that his will is better than my own. it is so easy to be quick to be angry; so easy to believe that it is my way or the highway. as the Bible says, “there is a time and a season for every activity under heaven…. a time to weep and a time to laugh.” (ecclesiastes 3:1, 4) a time to weep is apparent in my life right now. (and that is not something i say often). a spirit of prayer is much needed in a time of despair. in romans 8, we are told that the Spirit helps us in our weakness because we do not know what to pray for. i have found myself being torn between to mandatory obligations. on the exact same date. at the exact same time. and i don’t know what to do. i will seek the Lord’s will in either situation. and seek his direction through prayer. but i ask this of you, reader, please pray for me as i seek wisdom, dignity, and the path that i am to follow.

    i did a little bit of soul searching today. trying to pry off some of the fleshy layers of myself to see what really makes me…. me. you see, i’m working on this printmaking project, and i need to create some sort of crest or emblem that personifies who i am. so as i was sitting in biology class listening to my teacher ramble on about clicker questions, giraffe necks, and antibiotics, i decided to make a list of things that i think resemble who i am. here’s a few that i came up with: fashion, writing, Jesus follower, camera, lace, books, music, trees, luggage, and gated areas to name a few. i was still trying to brainstorm about who i really am as a person, so i decided to text a few of my closest friends and simply asked, “what are some things that could resemble me?” i got quite a few responses. some made me laugh out loud. some made me raise an eyebrow. some made me reminisce.

    • shoes. “sex and the city.” fashion. starbucks. broadway. big cities. brisk autumn day. Jesus. pencil (because i’m a LEADer). a stylish clothing ensemble. a journal with no lines that has yet to be written in. some really sexy heels. an icee from breadbox. a camera. a finch. yarn. yogurt covered pretzels. a dogwood. and a rocking chair.

    apparently these are the things that resemble me. in many ways, these things do indeed resemble me. i felt so… giddy while i was reading these various responses. it’s so interesting to know how other people think of who you are. it’s one thing to have an image of yourself in your mind, but often times that image is skewed by others. how we view ourselves and how others view us is sometimes far and in between how we wanted ourselves to be seen. you might be thinking… “courtney, a.) how exactly does someone see you as a yogurt covered pretzel and b.) why are you okay with it?” well you see, my dear friend joy knows just how much i adore yogurt covered pretzels (which were introduced to me by my other dear friend, amanda). and i’m okay with it because i suppose YCPs could resemble me in a way. a little salty, a little sweet. i’m pretty sure i can be both of those things. it really is so interesting to see how other people view you; it makes you examine your life a little bit. which is always a good thing to do. i challenge you: think up things that resemble you; then ask someone else what things they think resemble you. it’s really kind of fun! and you can learn about yourself, which is pretty much just a bonus.

    i have a story for you:

    a girl runs into an old high school friend at a basketball game on a typical thursday; neither had spoken to each other for quite some time. but he embraced her nonetheless. they made some small talk before and after the game. was there chemistry? quite possibly. they begin texting that night… and never really stopped. the next day, the boy tells the girl that she should stop by where he works. and the girl, naturally, thinks, “well, of course i’ll do that!” why wouldn’t she though? a tall, attractive boy who is pursuing Christ…. someone she would actually considering dating. (and coming from this girl that is running after things not of this world…. those words are unheard of). now we’re up to friday. the girl grabs one of her closest friends and runs off to the boy’s place of work. they arrive and walk in, proceed to look around the place; then out of nowhere, a boy shows up behind the girl saying, “hey, what’s up?” said girl turns around. does she beam at the cute boy? is there a warm embrace? was there more than just an awkward smile? NO. something sounds wrong there wouldn’t you say. that’s because something was very wrong in this situation. the boy saying what’s up to said girl is not the boy she thought she was previously texting. the boy standing in front of her now is a boy from high school with a slight creeper status that has the same name as the boy she was considering liking and potentially dating. what to do in a situation like this? a situation where you have anticipated seeing someone so much and the turn out to be a different person that you were never really longing to see. a situation where the boy standing in front of you does like you; yet you have zero romantic thoughts towards him. i’ll tell you what you do. you walk aimlessly and awkwardly through this boy’s place of employment and ten minutes later proceed to tell him that you have a show to go to and are heading out. and that is exactly what happened. much laughter and screaming was involved after walking out of the store. (and just to throw this in there too- the boy at the store told said girl to text him later after she told him she was leaving). and she did text him. she needed to clear up the confusion. and try not to break his little heart.

    the funniest part about this story: it’s true. epic amounts of hilarity and despair accompanied the situation. i played the role as the good friend in this story, just to clear that one up. and to top off this night, the girl and i saw the brightest shooting star we’d ever seen in our lives. needless to say, we made some wishes. also needless to say, we had the strangest night in quite sometime.