26 February 2009

"why do you relay"

Obviously, Relay for Life is coming up soon -- both here and in Perry.

Yes, I'm doing both.

When you register on R4L's website it asks you why you relay. Granted, there is a template there that most people leave the same, I recognized that mine was different. During last year's Relay I changed it.
Memories of WHY I relay and how avid I am about participating came rushing back.

Relay in Perry holds many memories for me, mostly starting freshman year of high school. My best friend during my first year in high school had been diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. She went through intense chemotherapy and radiation treatment to rid her body of the cancer. I remember her losing her hair and gaining a lot of weight from the treatments. I remember vividly when she told me, right before leaving for college the next August, that she would have to have hip surgery because the treatments she had received deteriorated her hip bones. I remember the tears cried -- of joy for her remission and sadness for the impending surgery. Vividly, also, I remember my first Relay -- spent with her and her family and Doc P. I still have the banana necklace that lights up [Banana was my nickname] and remember stealing her brother's skates to skate around in the wee hours of the morning...and Doc going to get us Chick-fil-a biscuits for breakfast.
I also remember without haze her running up to me right before the Survivor Walk, pulling me, saying, "I want you to walk with me." Typically parents/family/spouses will walk with the survivor or no one at all. And she chose me. We clung to each other the whole lap and cried.

I believe this year's R4L...both of them...will hold great significance as well. I will still celebrate her life and will probably squeeze her extra tight in a bear hug.
But I will also be celebrating Cody Lukas, a sophomore at PHS, and his fight to live after being diagnosed with brain cancer. He underwent extensive surgeries at St. Jude's to remove his brain tumor, met Kenny G, and can still play the saxophone better than anyone that I know.
I will also be celebrating the life of Robin Dorman, my mentor and friend. She is the mother of dear Riley Cole who is a blessing in and of himself. She has coached me on life and held me when my body shuttered with sobs. She was diagnosed a little before Jessica with an extremely rare form of Hodgkins Disease. She battled tirelessly, faithfully, until she finally went into remission. While she still sports scars from the treatments [certain types of chemo make you itch really bad..until you just scar yourself] and painful memories of being unable to have children partially due to the cancer, she is still strong. She is one of the strongest women I know.
I will be celebrating the life of a woman who is no longer present. .. a woman who succombed to the woes of spreading breast cancer [into her bones] last May. Mrs. Alice taught me more about perserverance, writing, selflessness, and peace than anyone. She taught me, through the 18 years that I was blessed to know her, that stopping to actually smell the flowers-no cliche intended-can be one of the most calming aspects of life. She taught me that a little goes a long way -- vanilla in cookies, words, kindness. She taught me to read...to appreciate. She taught me to quilt, though I was not able to retain that quilt after her death. I do, however, have the felt doll that we made together. In crooked, golden letters [she always made me do most of the work] it says "reach for the stars" and I am constantly reminded of that when in my dorm room. That is my source of greatest motivation at college.
I will celebrate the life of Hannah's mother. Dear mom2 :) and the other women in my life who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and have pushed through to survive....never once letting these 'mountains' seem unsurpassable.
I will celebrate also for the fight that Luke Campbell is making. His mother owns the tea house in Perry and our families, oddly enough [haha], are quite intertwined. He is a senior at Westfield High School and has recently had a relapse with Leukemia. He has recently had a bone marrow transplant and is, prayerfully, on his way to recovery.

These people who have touched my life...they are why I relay.

23 February 2009

When in the course of human events...

Love is a topic most of us encounter multiple times throughout life.
It is not something easily avoided.
Many songs, regardless of time period or genre, attempt to erase the darkness surrounding love in order to define it in such a way for the human mind to comprehend.

It cannot be done.

21 February 2009

20 February 2009

walk it out

I feel like most of my posts have been in regards to songs lately.
Forgive me, but music is definitely an extravagant part of life. If you haven't figured that out, then you might want to take a step back and reevaluate.

"On My Knees" By Nicole C. Mullen is a beautiful song.

When I don't know how, when, why, etc...I get on my knees.
"and there I am before the Lord that changes me. I don't know how but there's power..God gives me power."

I love MercyMe's song that describes an encounter with the Lord when finally reaching heaven -- will I stand, dance, fall, sit, kneel?! I don't see how standing could possibly occur.
I feel fairly certain that I will fall. If bruises were possible in heaven, I would totally bruise my knees purple and green falling in worship, adoration, thankfulness, and so many other inexplicable feelings.

we serve such an extravagant God and I feel that none of us notice how impressive He is. If you think about it, He's the end all. He is THE God. There is no other. He created the earth and all of the people there by Himself!

"I love you more than the sun and the stars that I taught how to shine." -- from Matthew West's "More"

He loves us more.
I must say, I am all about being loved extravagantly by my God. :) :)

18 February 2009

Take the Canoli

"The Godfather" is on AMC tonight and the second will be showing tomorrow night at 8pm.

If you have not seen "The Godfather," you are not a man.

Al Pacino



I'm not sure how many of you have ever experienced a death close to you, whether it be a family member or friend.

From experience, it's much harder than you could ever imagine.
You don't want to be alone...at ANY point, no matter how you might say so.
Saying, "I'm okay" is personal affirmation that life does move on.
More than anything, having friends just be there means more than anything else in the entire world.

17 February 2009


When I get tired, I am a force to be reckoned with, as I have recently realized.
Unlike most girls who get incredibly emotional during their period, I usually just get emotional at night.
Especially right now.

"Why now?" you may be wondering.
Well, I'm not 100% sure. As I've been thinking about it, I've always been this way. Hence the reason all of my poetry [well, a good portion of it] during high school and 'the early years' was a result of uber-late nights.
However, me being 'emotional' doesn't mean I will cry on you in a second or can't handle the stress I'm under. It just basically means I'm tired ... and I'm thinking about life.

Granny came Saturday night to my house and ate with us. I couldn't bear the idea of being home and not being able to see her, especially when her sister was coming to visit later that night to deliver some much-needed Mary Kay [I'll hook you up]. It bothers me that she says she's doing "okay" or "alright" instead of "fine" or "good" like she always used to say.
It bothers me that she is alone at all.

I often find myself glancing subconsciously across the street to make sure my tree is there. Mom told me not to get my hopes up. Katie would probably get it cut down. I cried for days. She'd never know. When I'm working on school work or any number of things in my room and glance up to see the felt doll softly whispering "Reach for the stars," I am constantly reminded of my dreams as a child and how very much I do not want to forget. The hymn says "precious memories," and I wonder if the author knew the power in those words. When times get rough, I wear my Noah's Ark necklace.

I learned a new crochet pattern last night and fell asleep dreaming, with tears in my eyes, of my great-grandmother. Her strength was unparalleled and her drive and ability to keep pressing on and upward, I have seen in no one else except her husband. He died when I was young and there are few things that I remember about him, but my mother has always told me what a strong Christian he was...a man of his word.

I look at my grandparents...the three I am privileged to have left while so many are lacking all. I see them as slowly declining in health on occasion, but more often I see their persevering spirits. They may not be spring chickens, or even summer chickens, but I know that they are strong. I have learned so much just by looking at my Grandaddy's hands.

15 February 2009

in addition

"Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, it is intimate
I feel I'm moving to the rhythm of Your grace
Your fragrance is intoxicating in the secret place
Cause Your love is extravagant

Spread wide in the arms of Christ there's a love that covers sin
No greater love have I ever known; You considered me a friend
Capture my heart again

Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, it is intimate
I feel I'm moving to the rhythm of Your grace
Your fragrance is intoxicating in the secret place
Your love is extravagant

Spread wide in the arms of Christ there's a love that covers sin
No greater love have I ever known; You considered me a friend
Spread wide in the arms of Christ there's a love that covers sin
No greater love have I ever known; You considered me a friend
Capture my heart again

Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, it is intimate"

I think "intimate" and "intoxicating" are incredible words.
I love leaning into His mighty, yet comforting embrace. I've lost my heart to Him.

I'm amazed

and up entirely too late for words.
However, I've acquired quite a bit of new music today from two lovely sources.
Many of the songs I've heard before, but one has thrown my heart into a whirlwind tonight.
It's called "Amazed" [Jared Anderson]
You dance over me while I am unaware
You sing all around, but I never hear the sound
Those two lines brought me to my knees. I'm not kidding. He so often protects us when we only see that destruction is ahead. He protects us when we don't even see that we could be hurt or our poor fragile hearts could evaporate in the storm.
I find myself looking back over my life, recent and past experiences, and realizing, indeed, how incredible His love is for me. I see so very clearly how He blocked the punches and hard blows I was to experience. He took so much of the hurt and pain directed at me so that I wouldn't have to experience it. He stood as my Shield, my Pavilion of shelter in the raging storm. He crouched over me, holding me, allowing those powerful, forceful blows to rend his body to pieces. He took it for my sake, though I fall short of His mercy on a daily basis, though I mock Him and hurt Him with my words and actions and take advantage of His love.

I am left speechless and amazed...
by Him.

..how You loved me...

13 February 2009

I'm in heaven

or what is known as "temporary bliss." [though that line does remind me of "Cheek to Cheek" as in Top Hat with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers] <3 I made one of my mother's incredible casserole dishes for supper tonight. :P I was soon engulfed with the craving for key lime pie [no, I am NOT pregnant!] and decided to google an easy recipe. ;) However, I realized all too quickly that we didn't have lime juice. Still feeling Betty Crocker overtaking my mind, I decided to make cheesecake. Yes, I pulled a Joel Mason and made a cheesecake. I'm sure most of you don't know who Joel is, so allow me to explain. He and I went to the same school from kindergarten until he graduated the year before I did. I took a few AP classes with him junior year and he always made cheesecake from scratch. It was the absolute best cheesecake I have ever had............second of course to Junior's in New York City.

My cheesecake was completely from scratch--crust and all--and now I feel fabulous! I probably won't eat any of it tonight, but will snack all weekend, hopefully putting on a few extra pounds, and what leftovers there are, if any, will return with me to Rome.

home for the weekend. <3

12 February 2009

Stumblin' bumblin'

I was reading a friend's blog from a few months ago and stumbled across the lyrics to a song by a group I have listened to since I was little.
I'm sure most of you who have heard Christian music know Point of Grace. Many of their songs over the years have touched my life in the most precious and the most turbulent times. Once again, I feel they've come through for me.
The song I stumbled upon made me cry. I was a bumbling mess. My dear friend's blog referenced a time in her life, and consequently in mine, where we were both far from the Lord. While she wrote from her experiences, I remember well my side of the circumstances and situations. I remember the tears cried, hurt, confusion, and fullness of joy.
You might not believe that this was our senior year of high school. You also might not believe that we only spent two months together during this year.
This song, however, fits so perfectly the situations that we were both in and beautifully represents how we've both grown closer to our Father and deepened our walks with the Lord.
Not only does this song fit so well with my senior year of high school, I find now that it still speaks to my heart with situations and circumstances that I must deal with now. Ironically, it has been less than a year since I graduated high school, but I must say it feels like a lifetime.

I am constantly reminded of my Father's infinite mercy. Day after day, hour after hour, I fail..miserably. And yet, I always find Him lifting me up in His strong arms, embracing me with such strength that I know He will never let go and leave me abandoned. His love for me is so intimate, and yet so great. It is impossible to tell you how I feel about my God. My Savior...
"Jesus, lover of my soul..." :)

Instead, I will leave you with a link to the song that began this post.
Point of Grace - Heal The Wound

"When in the course of human events"

I forget.
More specifically, I forgot.
I remember now.
However fortunate or unfortunate that might be.

The monotonous tossing and turning of life eased my mind into oblivion
and I forgot you were gone.

Then something rocked the boat,
I fell over...and it all came flooding back.

11 February 2009

Sunburnt Hands

I will probably tell you all day long that I really don't mind being single and it's fun.
For the most part, I'm telling you the truth.
However, for the other 27%, I am lying. Not only am I lying to you, I'm lying to myself.

Saying things like that makes it seem more bearable. I'm not saying that I'm desperate and there's no way I can live without a significant other that will turn into my spouse.


If you think that, do go back to Facebook - stalking that hot guy or girl you saw earlier.

I have a strong desire in my heart to get married and have a family. "Every girl's dream," you might say. Regardless of what I say, I do pray that I will get married and have a strong relationship with MINE...a relationship that is so centered around the Lord that our every word and action praises His name to the utmost.

In my colorful past, I've been pushed and pulled as boys have come into and quickly ran out of many dear friends' lives. I was the middle ground or shut out. It's true what they say, you know. When you get a boyfriend/girlfriend, suddenly all the world melts away...all other friends melt away. It's like frowning.
Life might seem easier that way, but in the end you're using more muscles.

I am thankful to say that I have already found my first love. :) Enough said.


This weekend is going to rock and roll your face. Forget Valentine's Day. If it really bothers you that much that you're single, you are thinking too much and trying to 'make it happen' too much and in your own time, so stop!!!
I am going home to spend time with my family, a few lovely friends, and my beb, Riley! :) I'm so excited about seeing all of them.

"Truth be told, I miss you....truth be told, I'm lying" -- AAR

10 February 2009

flip-flops, tank tops, and a little bit of rum

it's easy to say I've forgotten your words.
you speak so loudly when I have no actions to reference.
Do I know You?
You wouldn't dare, and yet you did.
I refuse to settle for your shackled refuge.
My faith is in the creator of the colors perplexing your winds.


as the clock goes
dashed so easily upon rocks

09 February 2009


"Picture to Burn" -- Taylor Swift
For some reason, I love this song...soooo much! "I hate that stupid old pickup truck you never let me drive." grrr!! I definitely have some of those trucks in my past. :P

I don't quite know why I've been on a Taylor Swift kick lately, but I really like her music. hmm. :)
Coming soon:: a rendition of "Love Story" to make you laugh. [It's what we do at night on our way to Taco Bell]

more soon

08 February 2009

Sometimes I hate myself.

Hate is a strong word....I really mean "Sometimes I get angry with myself."

I love going to church, but I always seem to miss it. My motivation to get out of bed on any given day is lacking. This morning was definitely one of those mornings.

However, I usually find myself being semi-productive instead of sleeping as if the morning didn't exist. While most of you know, I'm not your normal kid. You'll probably never see me in pants or shorts, and for more on that, go here. (3 paragraphs from the end) Part of that reasoning comes from my upbringing -- as a member of a Message Church [if you're confused, CLICK] -- and the rest of it is a personal choice. Anyway, I was listening to a sermon this morning and it really hit home.
Here's the quote::
"There He is, going yonder to Calvary. As He's moving up the hill, and His poor, little shoulder rubbing, the old bee of death humming around Him, "It ain't going to be long till I'll get Him."
Buzzing all around and around, and after while it had to sting Him. But, friend, you know, if a bee ever stings anybody deeply, he can't sting no more. He pulls his stinger out. So he hasn't got no more stinger. And I tell you, that's the reason God was made flesh, here on earth, in order to hold the stinger of death. And now the--death has no more sting. The bee can swarm and buzz, but he can't sting. "O death, where is thy sting? Grave, where is thy victory?"
But Christ, the kinsman Redeemer has made a way of escape for every believer on this earth today. The bee might hum; the bee might buzz; the bee might try to make you afraid. But I can point yonder to Calvary, where God Himself was made flesh, when He held the stinger of death, and took my place as a sinner, and paid the price."

I never thought about how bees lose their stingers when they sting someone. 1 Corinthians 15:55 says, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" Jesus took the stinger of death when he died on the cross for us. So, no matter how hard Satan tries to badger us and beat us down, we are MORE than conquerors through Jesus Christ! (Romans 8:37)

This weekend has been hectic, though a little less stressful than the week itself. I've realized that getting out of the Word reflects in the rest of your life -- your relationships with friends and family, your actions, your moods, the atmosphere around you. All of those are affected by the health of your walk with the Lord. Unfortunately, I must confess, mine has suffered.
It's been almost a year since I've listened to Kenny Chesney for one solid day. I feel most of you cringing in repulsion. :P He reminds me of summer and with the weather these past two days, I've been close to heaven. :)
Summer, I believe, will be extraordinary this year.

07 February 2009

listless summer breeze

Hawk Nelson, Cartel, Boys Like Girls,
4-hour days filled with tennis
late nights, late mornings, fast food, movies
good, bad -- all of them [our horrible decisions]
"The Rose" and a family full of voices
"Ain't God good? He gives us so many blessings"
puppy-chow, brownies, game nights,

whisked away in the wind, our lives have changed
summers define memories, memories define lives
"now"--a mirage of what was and what is to come,
bound and interlaced as the fingers of lovers,
his hand in her hair, toes in the sand

I will never forget, and yet...
I feel the most memorable are to come.
With you. with Him. with others.
"Precious memories, how the linger"
in the faint smell of Banana Boat and Sun-In on the breeze.
Sunglasses and sun tans.
swimming, laughing
chasing the sunset to prolong these lazy days,
to postpone growing up, growing old, and forgetting

"Jericho" and "Battlefield"

During high school I was blessed to be around masses of musical talent. Middle Georgia seemed to be thriving with new bands -- Christian, rock, punk, rap, and others -- all the time. From Ceezy and his white-kid rapping and Kam as well to Latter Rain, The Refuge, J-Gray's band, and then of course DD's band [they even played at the Masquerade!...my parents of course wouldn't let me go and I was quite a sad panda]. The Blue Tomato was a part of life as were many other concerts starting in middle school and lasting throughout high school.
There are two bands that I heard quite a bit growing up because of my brother's personal connections to many of the members and my own. One was The Zion Company and the other, Latter Rain. Both were Christian bands and I know that Latter Rain has opened up for Casting Crowns [or was it Third Day?] at Wild Adventures. While neither are still 'touring,' their music still means a lot to me.
I had "Battlefield" [The Zion Company] playing rounds in my head a few weeks ago and I called everyone I knew who might have a copy of the song, but almost all of them fell through. Cody Gibbs replied, however, and sent me the song and satisfied my 'itch' to hear the whole song. I'd like to share it with you guys::
go here to listen.

"at the battlefield oh when bullets fly
fiery arrows, I'm the bulls eye
at the battlefield oh when bullets fly
fiery arrows, I'm the bulls eye, yeah
yeah, yeah , yeah

oh, because we are the army of God
here we come, yeah yeah yeah
we are the army of God
here we come, Lord, here we come
yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
here we come
yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

On our knees we march
to the battlefield
oh to lose our lives, but to find life in you
on our knees we march
to the battlefield
oh to lose our lives, but to find life in you

oh awake you sleeper
arise from the dead
oh awake you sleeper
arise from the dead

because we are the army of God
here we come, yeah, yeah
we are the army of God
here we come, Lord, here we come
yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

oh awake you sleeper arise from the dead
awake you sleeper arise from the dead
oh awake you sleeper arise from the dead
awake you sleeper arise from the dead

The next song is by Latter Rain. I haven't been able to get it out of my head since my brother sent the CD to me. I love it.
Go here to listen.

"Jericho, what a beautiful city
Jericho, what a wonder to my eyes, yeah
Jericho, what a beautiful city
Jericho, what a wonder to my eyes, yeah

Father make me just like Jericho
Father make me just like Jericho

At the sound of the trumpet
the noise of the Lord
may the walls fall down
may the walls fall down.

Imagine as Joshua is leading the Israelites around the walls of Jericho and the watchmen of Jericho are sitting on their posts high above all the lands looking at Joshua, laughing at Joshua, spitting at Joshua, saying 'who are you to defeat the mightiest walls and fortresses in the land?' Joshua was probably saying he just had no clue. I imagine he was saying a little something like this:

Father, they are laughing
and Father, they make fun
but Father, they don't know that You're the holy one

Oh and Father, they are laughing
and Father, they make fun
but, Father, they don't know that You're the holy one

and at the sound of the trumpet
the noise of the Lord
may the walls fall down
may the walls fall down and lie

may the walls fall down
may the walls fall down

and at the sound of the trumpet
the noise of the lord
may the walls fall down
may the walls fall down

Father make me just like Jericho
Father make me just like Jericho

may the walls fall down
may the walls fall down

06 February 2009

Grasping at Dissipated Tides

We're trying to hold water,
grasping for leverage--
for an escape to the top,
an end to this inevitable.

breaths are shallow--
we breath together.
This isn't helping our status quo.
Divide and conquer?

Instead we fall
deeper, darker,
to lower depths and higher pressure
pushing, stressing, pulling,

succeeding in forcing our failure.
Our breathing diminishes
disappearing into the chasm.
These lights flounder and are gone.