Sunday, April 29, 2007

Old Pictures


I look like I'm hiding....

Could I be a cowgirl? That might be fun...for a minute.

It's Spring!

Spring is here! Spring is here! The wisteria has buds on it, and there are beautiful tulips in our front yard. You can't even count the trees you pass that have those little purple flowers ALL OVER them. It's so beautiful! Here are my attempts at some pictures:

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Guilty. No... Forgiven.

I feel guilty of abandonment. Abandonment of my little blog that has never done anything to hurt me. Well, actually it has frozen, not arranged my pictures attractively, and opened me up to fear of being rejected by no one reading it; but that's not the point.
Actually, what I'm probably guilty of is being distracted. By...Facebook. It's distracted me from blogging (ALL my Nashville pictures are on many are on my blog?), and it's distracted me from homework, tv (which might be a good thing), and from downstairs (in my house). But has it really distracted me from people? I am interacting with my friends on facebook. But, the thing is, those friends I connect with on facebook -- many of them I see all day at school. And, it should probably worry me that last night my mom joked about her daughter having disappeared.
This morning when I made my little list of what is to be done this week, I put in my little section of reminders to 1. SLEEP and 2. Stay away from Facebook. 3. was to see if I can go out for ice cream with Amy to de-stress mid-week, but my point right now is that I need to stay away from facebook.
And my other point is about my blog. That I say that I need to put my Nashville pictures and stories up, and my mom goes "Who's going to read it?" What inspired me to make a blog was the blogs that I check all the time. Most of them are photographers' blogs and they put their most recent pics up. There are some brilliant writers out there. I was just looked at a friend of a friend's blog, that I have only looked at once before, and it was really fun to read. It was really simple. Sometimes there are pictures and a quick story, but sometimes it's just a one-liner. But he's witty, and I like reading witty stuff.
I also really like another friend of a friend/friend of a sister's blog -- she writes about things from the deep parts of her soul to the funny things her son did that morning. And she's an awesome writer.
I love my sister's blog. The things she says always come back to Jesus' undying love.
Anyways...I want to write witty things, clever things, deep things mixed in with fun stories and amazing pictures.
But as I write, I see things in my heart that need to be different. It's like a window where I can write, then look back and see my motivations and the words that came out of them. Things that I need Jesus to heal. I need to get rid of that fear that says that I have to earn love. I need to not be afraid of messing up. How much of what I do and what I write and what I say is about making someone love me? Proving that I am worthy of love, proving that I don't mess up too much to be loved?
But now I think the key is this: in the last paragraph, I wrote "I need to..." But the truth is, Jesus heals me. I can't fix myself. This whole world talks about doing the things that will make you a better person, make your life the way you want it to be. But that's not the way the Christian life works, and I'm glad. Because when I control my life and my feelings, it does not produce nice things. When I let go and give it up to Jesus, though, He changes me, and everything He does is good and brings me to a better place.
When I see the things that are wrong in my heart, my tendency is to feel really bad. Honestly, as I write this, my heart feels really heavy. And I want Jesus to come take it away. And sometimes, that's all one can do. Ask Him to take it away. It's not always with a long, eloquent prayer, but sometimes it's with tears rolling down your face and all you can manage to say or think is, "Fix me, please, Jesus." And He listens. He doesn't even need words from you. He doesn't need your pleading for His heart to leap at the thought of saving you from your misery. There's a line in a worship song that I love: "Thank you for hearing me when I could not speak." Jesus knows everything we'll say before we say it.
And my title says, "No...forgiven." And that plays in too. My response to seeing wrong things in my heart is not shame anymore. Jesus has taken my shame away. The cross speaks freedom to me. Even when I mess up, Jesus forgives me. He forgives me in a way that throws my sin so far away it's impossible to imagine. The Bible says that as far as the east is from the west, so far has Jesus taken my transgressions away from me. He has made me clean. That's what the Bible says, and I want to believe it. It's true. I am not condemned. I am not ashamed. Jesus does not hold me guilt. He took my punishment. Read Zechariah 3. The Lord rebukes my accuser. Jesus does not hold me guilty. He makes me free. I am FREE. And He gives me Life Abundant.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Poeming Shopping

There once was a girl who went shopping...

and she didn't really want to go shopping...

she didn't know if it would be succesful shopping...

because she didn't have a lot of money for shopping...

but she went in a-hopping...

after her friends who went a-shopping...


she found a three dollar shirt.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Nashville 2007!!!

Nashville...where to begin? Well, for me the answer is: at the end. But that's because I don't have the pictures from the beginning (they are on Mr. Mann's computer waiting for me to get them on Monday).
We just got back yesterday, and it was an amazing trip. For the group as a whole, there was a lot of stepping out of comfort zones; for me personally there was a lot of learning about obedience to the Lord. Honestly, to me, it feels so much easier to do ministry and share the gospel when you're with a group and you know from the second you wake up that your purpose there is to talk about Jesus and to be Jesus to the people you encounter. With that, the realization came that my mindset has to change; I have to realize that I am a missionary every day. My everyday, all the time, from the moment I wake up purpose is already to share Jesus with the world..and it really can happen. And I also realized on this trip that it's really fun. It's addicting to tell people about Jesus and know that you are showing them what He is like and how He cares about them. It really is addicting.
Going there, most of us weren't exactly sure what we were going to be doing. Something missions and something evangelism..and that's about all we knew. We ended up getting to do some pretty amazing stuff, though. We did some basic service projects and also worked with kids both at an after-school program in the neighborhood we were staying in and at the Boys and Girls Club. One morning, we got to help at a ministry called Project C.U.R.E. that gets donated medical supplies (all sorts of them) and packages them up and sends them off in huge traveling boxes to needy hospitals and areas. It is an awesome place...everything they have and do is donated (there was 1 employee at the huge storehouse we were working in...everyone else is volunteer);but they've figured out the statistics that for every hour that one person works there, they have impacted 10 lives (either made them better or longer). We also did homeless ministry. I will post more about each of these when I get the pictures.
Basically, I have the pictures of our fun, free day and our drive back home, so at the moment, it doesn't look very missionary, but we'll see how it goes. =)

Last Day- our free time at the Opryland Mall
On our way there:

This is Jinny and Amy modeling some very expensive sweater and glasses at Saks Fifth Avenue. I think the sweater was like $300 (on clearance) and the glasses were all designer. Models will the tags still on...oh yeah.

Mr. Mann was super nice and bought us some tickets to the carousel. High Schoolers on the carousel -- I think we're hilarious. :)

And then there were the little kid cars and stuff that we had to get in... (Amy and Jon went total model look...I love it. So did Jinny--that's why she's smiling instead of modeling. :) :) :)

The mall was right next to a huge, beautiful hotel; we thought it was funny that the speed limit by the hotel was 24: not 25, not 20...24.
We had a funny time, actually. We drove over to the hotel to try to go in and see the gardens and fountains they have inside, but we couldn't find any parking. We drove past the main lobby that has a huge fountain in it, and asked the valet if there was any free parking. He said no. Then we thought it would be funny to drive back around (in our 12 passenger van) and ask him again...the same if we'd never been there before. We went back around, but it was a different guy. We asked him, then almost did it again, trying to get a repeat guy, but Abby protested quite strongly -- she felt it would be rude. We were all laughing so hard.
I ate a blue jolly rancher...I like this picture...that's why the occasion is noteworthy.
This is our whole group.

Everyone who stays at the house we stayed at gets to autograph the wall with some sort of picture or something. This is ours.

One last random thing for this particular post: our whole time there, we would see this McDonald's advertisement about sweet tea being a SOUTHERN thing, so, I took a picture of it. And just happened to capture the other kind of sign we saw while we were there. Addiction help. Recommended it to a friend who told me he was addicted to coffee when we got back.

Oh, more random thing. I thought this truck suspended up in the air was funny. We saw it when we got on the highway.

When we drove back in to Chicago, it made us think about the difference between Chicago and Nashville's sky lines. And then, Mr. Pan decided that Chicago has a skyline and Nashville has more of a sky dash. No offense.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

My Toe is Purple Because...

I have some weird injuries right about now.
First, there is my toe that is still 1/4 purple from last September. It's slowly decreasing, but it takes a while to recover from being hit hard and then having had a lunchtable run over one...especially if you're a toe.
Then, there's teh slight abrasion I got on my hand from trying to open our milk carton last night. The lid is the weirdest thing, put on so tight. It is lots of ridges around the edges, and, well, I just could not get it open. My dad took it down to the basement and dealt firmly with it (and I think a wrench was involved). Anyway, the milk got open; but I realized part way through today that I still had a sore spot on my hand. At least the blood vessel I broke trying to turn off a lamp healed up.
Third, there is my knee that is colored red. Not all of, it just a part, but here is the list of what it could be from: (all in the skit we practiced for a very long time today -- though, the practicing was fun... once we got past the "that was really bad" part and started fixing things [thanks, Mr. Pan!])
  1. when I'm on my knees in front of Jesus at the beginning of the skit
  2. when I trip trying to walk/strut like the popular girls do
  3. when the fellow alcoholic bonks me on the head with her empty bottle and I fall to the ground (this is the prime suspect)
  4. when the pimp shoves me away
  5. when my boyfriend drops me from a dip while we're dancing...when another pretty girl walks by
  6. when I drop to the ground to try to piece together my torn apart (literally) heart
  7. when I go on my knees in front of Jesus again at the end of the skit

Many options...I think Jenny did it (she plays the alcoholic whose drink I drink).

Anyway...interesting injuries...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


The cute 80 year old couple driving past me in the bright red new mustang did not create much wind.

There was a lot of wind outside...and running into it makes my hands go numb.

And I almost got run over by a shopping cart; but there was no wind in that either.

It's SAT testing week -- no homework, except math. And only five days until Nashville!! I'm in a skit that we're preparing where my heart gets torn apart by many different people and things; and in the end, Jesus comes and gives me a new heart.

Here's an interesting note: in Chicago last night, a coyote went into a downtown Quizno's.

I feel like I don't have anything very interesting to write. hummmmm.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

You Know You're From Chicago When

I just joined this new group on facebook (I just got a facebook -- and, it is pretty addicting), and some of these things are HILARIOUS. Sometimes, I love being from Chicago. I admit that I don't know all of them, but many of them, yes. Such as:

You expect corruption in local politics.

You understand the Democratic machine and don't fight against it. {Honestly, I expect that no Republican vote in Illinois makes a difference. I just expect it.}

You've never been to Springfield.{what's in Springfield? Sorry, Kia.}

You know what Giordanos, Lou Malnati's, and Gino's have in common. {awesomeness...and lots of cheese}

You measure distance in minutes (especially "from the city"). And you swear everything is pretty much 15 minutes away

You refer to Lake Michigan as "The Lake" and to Chicago as "The City"

You have two favorite football teams: The Bears, and anyone who beats the Packers!

You know what Chicago Style Pizza REALLY is {SOOOOOO much better than New York Pizza. Our cheescake is a lot better. Oh yeah, and our stores, which leads to...

You would prefer it if New York just kept Macy's

You still claim that the Sears Tower is the tallest skyscraper in the world

Peter. Francis. Geraci.

That last one made me laugh so hard.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

New Fridge

We got a new refrigerator. And every time I go into it, I feel like I'm in someone else's house. The freezer's on the bottom: a drawer. And it has an icemaker. Oooh...