Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mold, Celiac, Strawberries

So...want to hear a little story?  Yesterday, I finally got around to putting my sheets back on my bed after washing them.  When I pulled my mattress away from the wall, I found this strange black residue.  So I pulled it out further.  And then I pulled out the box springs.  Guess what I found?  MOLD.  Lots and lots of mold.  Our landlady's response? "Oh, it happens every year.  Don't worry about it."  Well...needless to say, I am a little worried.  *sigh*

Yesterday I had a five hour discussion with some new friends.  Thanks to them, a white board, and multiple scripture references, I feel like I now have a good understanding on the difference between the Light of Christ and the Holy Ghost.  And then we talked a lot about the differences between men and women.  Being the only girl there, I was a little unrepresented!  Also, one of them tried really hard to convince me that I'm celiac.  Not sure that I buy it, but I do think it warrants some thought.

I've taken to trying some new recipes recently.  There are my two favorites!

Honey Mustard Asparagus with Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

Spinach Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
(Isn't it pretty?!)

So yeah.  That's a bit of the practical updates of my life of late.  This week will be crazy: tech week, lots of work and gearing up for midterms.  Up and onward!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

this is what peace feels like

There are so many things I don't have answers to right now.  Normally, this amount of uncertainty would stress me out.  But today, I know that all of the important things are in place.  I know who I am, that I am loved, and I know that I am making choices that will lead my life where it needs to be.  I don't need to fear for the future because I'm doing the best I can at present.

Friday, February 25, 2011

do something.

Whether you win or lose, you have to stand up.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I was in prison, and you came unto me.

Matthew 25: 35-40 
For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I saw unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

I've heard this scripture hundreds of times, but I've never paused to consider the significance of the last phrase Christ lists: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  Service is a big deal for those trying to live Christian lives in accordance with these principles: we visit nursing homes, make care packages for third world countries and disaster victims, and donate to charitable causes.  But never once have I heard suggested an idea to go visit those in prison.  Why not?  Are we not to be about the business of helping everyone who needs it?  And aren't those who end up in our justice system obvious examples of people who need help?  What are we so afraid of?  Being contaminated?  Getting hurt?  Exposure to things that don't fit nicely in our perfect little picture of how the world should be?

It's something that has caused me to question.  Our justice system is obviously imperfect, there's no doubting that.  I've thought for a while now about how much better it would be if we were to make greater use of rehabilitation programs as opposed to the traditional prison cell stay for convicts.  Why do we even call them that: convicts?  Our politically correct world has demanded that we see everyone else as the people they are and not as labels, but somehow those who commit crimes are overlooked.  They aren't people, they are criminals.  But what I think we fail to remember is that before they were criminals, they were people.

Everyone in prison is someone's son or daughter, sister or brother, father or mother, co-worker, or friend.  Crime doesn't happen in a vacuum.  Things happen to people, and then they choose to cope and respond.  The way we choose to react to our circumstances is ultimately our decision, but we still have to take the circumstances into consideration.  Isn't that what the "ideal" justice system would do?  Treat each suspect and victim individually, taking the time to understand where they've come from, who they are, and how it is that they've become that?  Isn't that how we would hope God will ultimately judge us?  While we don't have the resources or ability to perfectly understand and judge others, does that mean we shouldn't try?

Above all, I think that we overlook the most important aspect of those we deem criminals: they are sons and daughters of God.  They are here, just like we are, trying to prove themselves.  How dare we lock someone away for life, or take away their life, because they weren't privileged enough to grow up in a home that provided them with food, shelter, and transportation.  How unfair is it for us to take for granted the way we view the world, telling the schizophrenic that not only is the reality they have created wrong, but wrong enough that they no longer deserve a chance at a healthy life.  Where is our compassion?

I don't have all answers.  But I sure have a lot of questions.  This is the first major issue in my life that hasn't been provoked by an event that touched my life personally.  So I ask: why is it that our compassion tends to overlook those who have been the victim of circumstances in the past?  Why do our efforts cease once they deviate from competent citizenship?  Does one set of harmful actions really justify our tendency to give up on them?  Somehow, it just doesn't seem that simple to me.  But I guess that's why we stay away.  It isn't simple.

This was important enough to Christ that he commanded his followers to come unto those in prison.  If we claim to follow him, shouldn't it be important to us, too?  We can't build up others if we aren't willing to step outside of our perfect little lives.  You can't show compassion from a distance.

Compassion is messy.  It requires us to step outside of our comfort zone.  

And really, if you were in that position, wouldn't you want someone to give you a second chance?

Monday, February 21, 2011


wisdom teeth?  glasses? stress? sleep?
Where do you come from? Why are you here?  And how, how, HOW do I get rid of you?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Magic: The Gathering

...when everyone got out of rehearsal early except for me and the director, I was so worried that you would just leave.  I imagined how beautiful it would be for me to walk up the stairs and see you sitting there, waiting for me.   But I was certain you wouldn't be there.  And then you were.  The simple, teasing smile spread over my face wider than I thought it would.  We played Magic.  It was easy and simple, so no pressure and nerdy.  No expectations.  I could sit and listen, and you were forever patient with my constant questions.  

I don't know what this is becoming, but I do know how good it feels that you are my friend.  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

In 24 hours

We talked for 4 hours about the things most important to us.
And then I dreamed about you, sad when I woke up and realized it wasn't real.
I was anxious all day to see you tonight.
Jealous that you got to act like you loved her.
And hurt when you walked her home, not me.
Yet excited again when you sent me a note.

The best thing about being independent is that your heart is never hanging in the balance for someone to make or break.
Romance is overrated.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Love...

My little brother, Benjamino the flying/bus riding burrito.
Controversial, open minded, silly and sassy Coly.
Future ruler of Ranada, king of philosophy and all-time jester.
Protector of injustices brother, red-bearded king of business.
Hippie hair brother, who cheats at Monopoly but gets me better than most people.
Completely changed dad, with new opportunities and trying so hard.
Challenges that have made me exactly who I am.
A brilliant job with loads of hope.
The cast that lifts my spirits, makes me laugh, and draws out emotion from the depths of my soul.
Close friends in distant places, like little pieces of home scattered across the map.
Soothing words of truth that bring peace to my soul.
The Ultimate Sacrifice that is always the right answer.
A roomate that gets me, and asks me out on valentines day.
Secret crushes that leave room for flirtation and masked smiles.
Passionate moments when all of the injustices of the world light a fire, making me vow to change the world.  And knowing that someday very, very soon, I will.
Moments with people who floor me with their unabashed authenticity.
Realizing that letting go of love is the one thing that has let me be who I am today.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

can i just say

Music flows through the room, jeans and skirts and tights strewn across the floor and over my bed, the one that reminds me to rest every now and then.  Wet hair drips onto my shoulder, remnants of the awakened sense of peace that the temple brings.  Your words keep rushing through my mind, I can't even imagine.  Authenticity that calls me out and strikes me to the bone.  Pieces fit together and, all of the slow sudden, I am comfortable being alone.  

image via weheartit

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Love is a Decision

I don't know what to say to you.  I find myself in this spot so often, a chalk circle in the middle of the room, burying myself in my arms so I can avoid your expectant gaze.  No one wants to hurt me, but the expectations burn into my soul so deep that I cannot separate desire from duty.  Do not love me so quickly, for I am not one to requite it before I have had thought to question it.  All your good qualities bring out the worst in me, that for which I admire you churns to bitterness in my inability to be as you are.  Sit with me, relax.  Find a moment to draw out your soul and show me who you are when no one's looking.  Forget the world, unearth the depths of your soul that let me feel as though you understand pain.  I need to know that I am not falling into the arms of one who has no experience with falling.  You need not catch me, but fall right alongside, as together we learn to fly.

Are you willing to learn to fly with me?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

just how i thought it would be

Almost two years in, and life is finally becoming what I imagined college would be.  Crazy days of studying and cramming in time for work.  Hours of writing and test taking that leave callouses on my fingers.  Late nights at friend's apartments, even when I still have too much to do.  People who care, who appreciate what I do, who love to laugh with me.  Busy, self-supporting, and trekking through the hardest parts.  Today was the epitome of what I imagine my life would be at college.  And yet, it's so much better.

Today held two midterms, rehearsal, and Firefly.  Tonight has hours of studying yet to come.  And then, tomorrow...I sleep.  Yes indeed.  This is how I imagined college would be.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Daily Dose of C.S.

"Faith is holding onto things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods."

Today has been a rough day.  Stressful, busy, and in constant pain.  Innocent flirting that I turned down because...I just don't know how to feel safe there.   I struggled at rehearsal, and I think it showed.  Two midterms tomorrow, another very full day.

I need to remember that it is just one day.  Just because today is hard does not make my happiness any less real,  truth any less significant, or life any less worth it.  Sometimes, I think the biggest part of Faith is just holding on.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Not just any job.  THE job.  THE opportunity.  Want to know why this job is amazing?  Well, let me tell you.

I will be working as a research assistant to Dr. Curtis LeBaron, the organizational behavior specialist for our college.  His work specializes in qualitative analysis, focusing on face-to-face leadership and analyzing videotapes of interrogations, meetings, and people's interactions on various levels.  Reading his research sparked in me interests that felt so comfortable, so real.  He is such an inspiring man.

The reason he is hiring me is because he just got a grant to find and mentor a student for the rest of their college experience.  So, for the next 2-2 1/2 years, I will be working with and funded by Dr. LeBaron.  He estimates that we will co-author at least two papers to be published in significant journals.  At least one of those projects will be in an area specific to my choosing.  I will also be funded in travel to conferences to present my work.  In short, I'm getting paid to have him help prepare me for an incredible PhD program.

I can't help but think of all the internships I've looked into, all the different avenues I've thought about taking...and I couldn't be happier that none of them panned out.  In the long run, this is the best opportunity I could have asked for.  I never dreamed I would have the opportunity to do something like this.

Patience really does pay off.  I feel so humbled.  And so, so blessed.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

beyond beautiful

I got 100% on my accounting midterm.
I spent several hours doing research into the field I want to pursue, and fell even more in love with it.
I had an amazing interview for a job that I really, really want.
Then I went to rehearsal and had a fabulous time being flirted with.
And finally, I closed the day with a trip to the temple.

I am learning that sometimes faith means pushing hard for what you want, and then letting go just long enough for God can teach you what you need.  I never dreamed my life could be what it is right now.  So I'm sure glad things didn't work out the way I thought they should.

And...a bit of an abstract from today:

Full to Bursting
                           grateful for sunrises
yearning for sunsets
                     but finding joy in the hourly clouds
STOP.  a moment
    senses overwhelm
Sand. warm. breath. fog. slippery.
             doused with truth
in all, of all, for all
                                 words flow
painted face; anger
                       building, seeping, repressing
                     or does it?
                                       Is it
Dirt under my fingernails
                                tastes sweet
    calmly ravenous for more
       drinking, soaking through pores.
Words. Resonate.
                Something I have always know
          Need to hear to learn.
He knows me.
sees me
understands me
loves me.
wants to work with me.

And I want to work with Him.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

tender mercy

"Being around you makes me want to be a better person." 

I'm trying.  I really am.  And it is so nice to know that my efforts don't go unnoticed.
What higher compliment could I ever ask for?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

being alone

solid, respectable

in silent desperation

among a crowd

grateful for it, finally

firm and resolute, a false truth

cuddled, longingly 

learning where to lean

shamelessly needy

quietly, content