29 April 2010


I'm a pretty straight-up, honest kind of person. It's not often that I get angry or frustrated enough to let anyone really have it, but I've come to a place in the past few days where I just don't know if I should voice my concerns and frustrations or simply keep quiet because it's the right thing to do.

Having been in a depressed state many times earlier in my life and come far from that, it is hard for me to be around people who simply complain constantly. People will bother you. Professors will be irrational. The weather will be ridiculous. But even in all of this, there's tons of other things going right in life to praise rather than dwell on these few bad moments. It's a hard place to come to and I don't have it right all the time. Maybe I'm being too harsh by expecting this from people, especially with my background, but I'm having a hard time seeing that right now. I really can't stand to be around people who complain and if you start in on it constantly or repetitively in a short span of time, I'm going to stop hanging out with you or wanting to be around you.
Now, if there's something legitimately wrong - besides petty complaints - that's a different story. Venting frustrations and emotions are normal in those situations, but not when simply nagging about every little thing.

Two-faced people also frustrate me to no end. I am extremely open and honest - if you're upsetting me, I'm probably going to tell you. Give me a little bit of space, but I promise we'll talk it out soon. I'm not angry for long if I am angry. I'm never going to say one thing and do another, or tell another person something different from that. You will ALWAYS know where you stand with me. I guess I've been through enough to realize that friendship should be different than the high school state of mind. If I feel like you're being two-faced, I'm probably going to drop you like a ton of bricks. Selfishly, I'm pretty much not in the mood to get hurt again or deal with the high school drama of it all.

I'm well past wanting to walk away right now, but I really think God's been trying to show me that running away isn't always the best thing to do. With the way people are acting right now, I'm having a hard time not throwing up my hands and just giving up.

27 April 2010

oh and there's concerts

April 30   Citizens of Heaven = Macon Relay for Life (10pm)
May 23   All Time Low, Boys Like Girls, Cartel, Forever The Sickest Kids, Good Charlotte, Hanson, Cady Grove, Great Big Planes, Mercy Mercedes, The Downtown Fiction, The Ready Set, Vita Chambers = Six Flags
June 20   Brandon Heath = Winnepesaukah Amusement Park
July 18    Francesca Battistelli = Winnepesaukah Amusement Park
Aug 15   Tenth Avenue North = Winnepesaukah Amusement Park
Aug 27   Needtobreathe + Train = Chastain Amphitheater
Aug 29   Skillet + Creed = Lakewood Amphitheater
Sept 12  Fee = Cumming Fairground

know of any I should add?!

25 April 2010

two weeks

  • 3 extra credit New Testament journals due (1 pg each)
  • American Lit play/film review due (2-3 pg)
  • pick up sandwiches/flowers, set up picnic, take letter to gatehouse, surprise time
  • Jane Austen presentation + presentation paper (5 pg)
  • meet with professor for writing class - RD for essay 5 (3 pg)
  • New Testament journal due (1pg)
  • writing class peer review - essay 5 RD (3-5 pg)
  • Am. Lit notecard
  • nothing (yet...)
  • Jane Austen research paper due by 2pm (12-15 pg)
  • Am. Lit notecard
  • I don't even know yet
  • New Testament exam (10:30-12:30pm)
  • possible Jane Austen exam (1:30-3:30pm)
  • American Literature exam (8-10am)
  • possible Jane Austen exam (10:30-12:30pm)
  • nothing
  • nothing
  • Art exam (10:30-12:30pm)
  • Essay due by 3:30pm
  • graduation (at some point)
  • Honor Society concert?
  • h.o.m.e. for summer


21 April 2010


(this is for my writing class)

I grew up reading Nancy Drew novels and raking leaves with my best friend. She lived next door to me for as long as I could remember and I never knew a better friend. We spent most of our time outside with the birds, tending lilies and planting dogwoods in the flower beds behind her house. During the rain or cold, we nestled ourselves in front of classic movies – Old Yeller, Anne of Green Gables, and Black Velvet – with oversized mugs of hot chocolate. We were constant companions, my best friend and I, and I never feared asking her a question. She would always answer; she was always present.  Reality knocked when she left.

Alice and my mother often found me scaling the tops of various oak trees between our yards. I was scolded, but my nine year old mind could not grasp the fear of falling past the rush of being so high. That was the goal – the highest limb. Getting there wasn’t carefully calculated or deliberated, but spontaneous and focused on getting to the top where I swayed carelessly with the wind. Alice always told me to climb. Mother did not agree, but let me anyway. Alice said to focus on the goal. Like seeds, you may not know what they are in the beginning, but you have to plant them anyway and anticipate buds in spring. She said trying to find the next step in climbing a tree was like making the choice to keep going – it could end up being harder than I expected, but it was a necessary choice and I must press onward.

I entered middle school with the same mentality, but encountered a life of painted, cinderblock walls and rooms with locking doors. To my displeasure, many friendships from elementary school faded. Classes increased in difficulty and homework filled my afternoons. It was here, after bombardment with assignments and grade after grade, that I first encountered the cage that is cancer. I rode home from school in silence with my mother on this particular day in eighth grade, anxious to get Alice’s input on my Silas Marner project for literature class. Waiting at the kitchen table, per usual, was my PB&J sandwich and juice box. Mother stopped me before I could walk to Alice’s to tell me I couldn’t go today. She cried and I was confused. Cancer meant I couldn’t see my best friend. She was gone for a while.

I finished my Silas Marner project alone and made a B, but still didn’t understand cancer. Alice left to stay with her daughter before I was able to see her again. She was gone for two years during which we wrote letters sporadically, but with her treatments there was no way to be certain when another letter would come. It was heartbreaking at first, but I learned to ignore it and simply become numb.  I stopped climbing trees and planting flowers while she was away and focused instead on keeping friends and finishing homework.

Over these two years my understanding of cancer evolved into “separation” and “death of friendship.” Alice had not died in a physical sense, but I had lost her. Cancer started to ooze into my life elsewhere. My best school friend freshman year was diagnosed with cancer. Another family friend was diagnosed with advanced Hodgkin’s Lymphoma around the same time. I witnessed more of their battles, but still existed separate and distant. They were gone for lengthy amounts of time for treatment and surgery.  Often I went weeks without hearing from them. Neither of these people remained active in my life after their initial diagnosis and treatments, only strengthening my growing hatred of cancer.

  Late in my sophomore year of high school, my best friend returned home to her flower gardens. I waved to Alice when I saw her outside, but rarely visited. The fear of separation was real and I couldn’t risk falling apart. Instead, I got into trouble, ran away, and fought with everyone who would argue. My goal in life was to make everyone as upset and confused as I felt.  Over time my bitterness and confusion subsided—I visited more often and sometimes simply wrote Alice letters. She frequently told me about losing her husband in one of the wars and her choice to persevere in raising her two children and teaching, regardless of the pain and confusion she felt.  Gradually I began to understand separation and the pain of death – of cancer.

Alice left her home for an assisted living facility early in my senior year at the advisement of her eldest daughter, but lived there shortly. After a dreadful fall she was moved to hospice – the cancer had returned more vigorously and spread into her bones. I was too scared to acknowledge her absence once more and her likely death. I sent her cheerful notes every week through her daughters with updates on my collegiate decisions and summer plans, but could not see her. Mother went once and said she looked like death.

My best friend died thirty-six days before my high school graduation.  She was eighty-seven years old and spent her last five years battling cancer. I was devastated. Cancer had formally evolved into eternal separation with fear as its terrible sidekick. The numbness I felt at her first departure five years earlier returned with a renewed vigor. I ignored it until I found myself in a foreign country with unfamiliar people – disconnected from everything familiar. Amidst this loneliness I found comfort in the knowledge that life continued, even in the face of such a severance as cancer, death – life did not stop. Moving on need not be immediate, but at my own pace as I could handle it. And moving on did not mean forgetting, but rather remembering and growing.

I have lost many friends and family members to cancer since Alice’s death and death is still a very real separation. Fear, however, is not as gripping. Alice said to focus on the goal, not the fear. Like seeds, you may not know what they are in the beginning, but you have to plant them anyway and anticipate what they will bring. She said trying to find the next step in climbing a tree was like making a choice in life to persevere, even in the face of cancer’s rage and death’s finality – it could end up being harder than expected and perhaps painful, but necessary and, without question, a step worth taking.

19 April 2010


it's morning again in the middle of the night and I'm two paragraphs into this fight.
My body is screaming that it's too late; I can only collapse now.
I'm tired of being tired and sick of being sick, a downward spiral of self-destruction.
I've lost myself, so where are you? Aren't you coming soon to save me?
Is there a place for me in all of this? Surely you haven't gone.
At every turn, I fall -- I can't get this right. You've called me and I know it...somewhere.
Do the leaves have this much trouble living and praising?
The pictures my words paint die like the desert, but you created life there between two rivers.
Where are they? Surely you are here.
In my tears I gasp your name. Do you hear me now?
Can you be enough to make up for what I'm not?
I have nothing left to offer, nothing to offer.
Will you be everything?

08 April 2010


Hello friends!!
Will you bear with me while I tell you a story?
There was a young girl I knew once who loved to be outside. She often climbed trees, rode bikes, and skated until the sun had long since set. She grew up in a relatively quiet neighborhood with close friends on all sides. Though there were many friends her age, her best friend was an elderly lady. They tended flower gardens, raked leaves, planted beautiful trees, and watched entirely too many movies. Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, and Hallmark movies were among their favorites. When the Olympics rolled around, they could be found together watching ice skating and gymnastics. Once, they even pieced together a quilt.
Time passed and the little girl grew. She finished elementary school and entered middle school, encountering people and changes she didn't understand. Occasionally friends would move or fights would cause rifts, but she knew she would always go home and find her best friend waiting. She would share her homework and new favorite books with this friend. Her friend would tell her how life was when she was young - her ambitions, dreams, and experiences...no matter how great or small - and talk all day about her children and grandkids. 
One day in eighth grade, this little girl arrived home from school to a message: her best friend had been taken away to live in Florida with her daughter. She was sick. 
Life went on. Classes required more work. Friends required more work. Growing up was difficult. She wrote her best friend letters as often as she could, though sometimes avoiding it to simply avoid the sickness.
Her best friend returned home in the middle of her high school years. This little girl had grown and changed. She no longer wanted to be a professional ice skater. She wanted to teach, like her best friend had done. She visited her best friend and walked among her flower gardens a few more times, but found much of her time occupied by homework and activities. Her best friend soon moved to an assisted living home. Her daughters felt like it would be best.
Senior year had come and life was hectic Graduation was flying in fast. The little girl arrived home from school one day to a message: Her best friend had been taken to the hospital. The sickness was back. 
In a whirlwind of time, her best friend was put into hospice. The sickness had taken over her body and she would die. 
Please hold on until I graduate, the girl prayed. She wrote her best friend letters, telling her that Berry was the college of choice and English would be her major. A trip to Germany was in the works for over the summer as well.
Her best friend didn't make it. She died in late April; one month before the girl would graduate. Devastated, the girl graduated.
That girl was me. My best friend was Alice Cebula who suffered from breast cancer and passed away. To express the impact she had on my life would take years. 
Because of her, I Relay.

07 April 2010

Jacob's dream

After Jacob's dream, he 'continues on his journey'....somehow I imagine that he was ecstatic, probably walking with a spring in his step and even dancing at times!

He'd had an encounter with God. He had this dream to remember and strengthen his faith.

What more do we have?! We have Emmanuel - God WITH us. IN us. We have the very Word of Adonai with us all the time.

Every morning I see the sunrise, or simply the sun high  with the backdrop of a beautiful sky.
I should be skipping to class and work, not walking begrudgingly.