School sucks. My classes are hard, my teachers are mean, my grades are barely acceptable.
The camp high from bigstuf began to wear off, and I started to slide downhill. Thanks to my close-knit group of friends, I've managed to stay focused on what matters most, and keep my life (however pathetic it may have become) all about God. Our youth service continues to get bigger, which makes me very happy, since I invite people all the time and get used to hearing 'hell no'.
I am obsessed with photoshop. :)
I got a job at a fast food place. It's slowly destroying my soul.
I have a very adorable boyfriend. XD
My best friend is moving in a little more than a month. TO OKLAHOMA. Who the heck up and moves to Oklahoma? I have no idea how I shall ever survive without her. She keeps me grounded, reminds me what I really need to be focused on, and that sort of thing.
Slowly but surely, my dream of becoming a missionary got flushed down the toilet. My mom told me she wouldn't pay for me to go to the christian college I want to attend, and that she would never support my decision to 'waste my life in the woods with savages'. Her words sting like GETTING MY BRACES OFF did. I still don't know what to do about this, whether I should stick with my dream or go be a graphic designer like she expects me to be. I don't know what God wants, yet.
So yeah. Life goes on outside of the blog word (shocking, I know). I'm going to try and keep up with this, but who knows.
I am having major mood swings or something. I feel like being people you read about in books, who are always thinking deep things and doing meaningful things. I will never understand how a good author can make sitting on your couch eating Chinese food sound like the most philosophical thing a person could do. But I don't know, I feel like I need something deep in my life. I get this ache in my chest like I do before I'm about to have a panic attack and the only thing that makes it go away is listening to chill music and reading my bible. I've been reading Mathew lately, because I've never read through all the gospels at once. So I'm starting with Matthew, then Mark, then Luke, then John. It makes me feel better, which must be a good sign.
You know it's strange, going from the weak Christian I used to be to the one I am now. It happened practically over night. I always thought "Oh, give it another year or two, I'll feel like a mature Christian who can talk to other people about God and not be all awkward and weird." Like there was some sort of mark I had to meet before I could officially be considered a good Christian. But then.. big stuff sort of rocked my world and put things into perspective. So unlike before, I actually like reading my Bible. I need to read it or I get that weird panic-attack-chest-hole- feeling and can't catch my breath. It's kind of nice, actually.
So I realized that while I know all the titles for my blogs are song names, I would be willing to bet no one else does. They are the title of whatever song I happen to be listening to. Tonight, it's Still Running by Jon Foreman (ya know, the guy from Switchfoot?) he has a series of four EPs, Fall, Winter , Spring, and Summer, all of which are awesome and all of which you should have.
So it's kind of a weird feeling. Every night for the last week, various band friends have come up to me and a very good friend, S, and they have invited her to stuff after camp, and completely ignored me. This is really unsettling, because I finally was happy with where I was and felt really loved and all that stuff. I mean, I've always made friends fast and stuff, but I always have to work to get certain friends. And I have finally worked up to be in really good with everyone I wanted to be friends with. Until band starts up again and I realize no one really cares about me.
I feel like it would be easier to fall in love with someone while you're listening to Iron and Wine. I always wish someone would sweep me off my feet to one of their songs.
My sister had her baby! The most beautiful child in the world.
My mom and I finally went head to head over the whole job thing. Looks like I have to give up some-well, most, actually- of my church activities and get a job at Subway or something. I feel like punching a wall or something every time I think about it. For the first time in my life I actually have direction, I feel passion for something. And who is there to stand in my way? My own mother. She still thinks this whole church thing is a phase, even though I haven't missed a Sunday in two years almost. I mean, I'm completely different person than I was before I started the whole 'church' thing. Can she not see that? Is she not happy about it? I just don't understand some times.
We were talking today about my father. You see, he's kind of a bum. He doesn't ever hold a steady job, complains about child support non-stop, and calls me spending the weekends with him "Getting his money's worth" as if I'm some sort of thing to be bought. It pisses me off so much when he starts to talk about money. Because I know when he's loaded and he's trying to hide it. Not that I care, he could be dirt poor and never pay child support and it would never make me any difference. I mean, the man taught me to play guitar and piano, taught me everything I know about music theory, bought me my first set of paints, encouraged my graphic design, freaked out over my drawings... I mean, he truly is a good guy. Like a nice uncle or great shop teacher or something. But a father figure... not quite.
Well, we were talking about how we think he signed over his parental rights to my half brother, Sam, whom I've only ever met twice and lives somewhere in Southern Missouri. We think he did this so he wouldn't have to pay child support. You see, in all truthfulness, my dad mostly sits at home with his weird art projects and never contributes anything to society. My mother's words, but they are true nonetheless.
And I started to wonder what it meant to contribute to society. I want to be a missionary, right? Well am I contributing to society when I go over to some third world country to try and improve lives? I would be forced to say no. Because I am removing myself completely from society. And then I decided that contributing to society really isn't that important. The World could use some contributions in a lot of areas, but today's American society? I think not. Really, in my eyes, what you contribute to yourself, those you love, and God is what matters. And my dad is not doing so to any of those but himself. And that is what makes me very very sad and angry. And a little scared for his sanity. No joke.
This is my favorite design I've ever done for Elevation t-shirts. I think it's because since we're planning to actually have t-shirts this year and use them as a fundraiser, and I was actually asked to make something for it. I mean, I make stuff like this all the time but now it just seemed more real and purposful. I didn't make the background, I found a myspace icon and I figured since it was just there on the internet it was free for the taking...
This may or may not be the design Jon asked me to do for the new Sabreline t-shirts *winkwink*. I didn't like the idea at first, but I think it turned out pretty good. It's the Sinclair gas company logo, but I figured since they are just a local band then it didn't matter much...
This is the way I like to do Sabreline stuff. The other design is nice, but I find it boring so I just sat back and thought... If that was a piece of paper in fron of me,I would have scribbled all over it. So I cyber-scribbled and this is what happened. It won't be a t-shirt, but I just like it anyways :)
My mother has taken away my phone until I clean my room. This worries me.
I was really hopping to get a job this semester, so I could get a car and have my own money and finally gain some independence. Because that's all I have ever really wanted, is independence. And that seems to be the one thing my mom can't give me.
Because let's have an example of why I want some freedom. I wanted to go to a meeting about volunteering locally tomorrow, and so I asked my mom if it was cool. I wasn't even going to but I figured it would be polite. Well, she said I was trying to do to much and I overstretched all ready anyways and that I would have to beg a ride off someone because I didn't have my own car. I mean, what kind of mother won't let her daughter volunteer? Gee, it's a good thing I'm not in National Honor Society. She would have had a cow over that.
Well, that's just one reason why I wanted a job. Plus I just feel really coddled and stupid when I have to ask my mom for money. But, we have both now come to terms with the fact that I have no time for it. So she decided that if I did chores around the house, she would give me an allowance. Which nearly made me barf. I mean, I want more independence, not less! I reeled at the idea and refused to consider for a moment. But then I caved. I mean, money is money, right? And even though my mother now controls even more of my pitiful life, sooner or later my schedule will lighten up. Next semester, in fact. After Christmas I will have my Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays back because band will be over, and then I can get a job. And hopefully my own car. But that's prolly a long shot...
Twilight Review *Warning, Spoilers!!*
I am so disappointed in Stephenie Meyers. One of the reasons I loved the Twilight books so much (and I'm about to sound like a total innocent Christan girl, but bear with me) is because it was a really good love story, one of the best I'd ever come across, and it didn't have any awkward sex chapters anywhere! I mean, that's like pure gold if you're like me, and that stuff still makes you uncomfortable. There was a complete... trust, I suppose would be the right word, of Edward. And, while I was completely in love with Edward in every way possible, it weirded me out to read (or rather skim, because I was uncomfortable) the intimate parts between him and Bella. I'm glad good ol' Steph didn't elaborate much, but what she put in there was enough to make me angry.
In short, I didn't like who sex driven the whole thing was.
Next : BELLA A MOTHER?? I used to connect with her so much! I mean, there is a little bit of Bella in every pre teen/ teenage girl on the planet, but the moment she became pregnant, I could no longer relate to her at all. Especially as someone who isn't crazy about kids.
Renesmee? Are you kidding me? Did Stephenie run out of cool names? I much prefer Nessie, even though I always think of a Scottish man yelling "WHOA, NESSIE!!" whenever I hear it.
I used to be a Jacob fan. I mean, I was totally in love with Edward, no doubt, but I totally thought she should go for Jacob, the man who didn't need to turn her into some freak of nature just so they could be together. He didn't scare me like Edward did (even though that's part of the fun of Edwards character) and he seemed to big and gentle. Or maybe it's because I have a thing for tall guys. But the moment I realized he was going to imprint on Bella's kid (which was right after she became pregnant, I think) I totally wasn't feeling it anymore. So that was disappointing, because Jacob was my perfect man in every way possible. Except for long hair, I hate long hair.
So, I know it sounds like I didn't like the book, I did. I was glad to see Edward and Bella married. Even though I openly resent marriage, I guess a part of me wanted to see it happen. And getting to actually read about Bell a being a vamp was cool, along with her power, which pretty much kicked ass. Over all, I was satisfied with the end of my favorite series. I felt like it was over, resolved. It didn't leave me wanting more, because I was happy with the ending.
But I really didn't like some of the major points, and I'm a little disappointed in the woman I thought I knew really well. If any of you have read The Catcher in the Rye, you will understand me when I said I wanted to call her up and have a chat.
I guess she probably folded to the pressure from the outside world to come up with something shocking, and put sex in her books. And I honestly can't blame her for that... but at the same time, I really wish it hadn't been like that.
BREAKING DAWN BREAKING DAWN BREAKING DAWN BREAKING DAWN !!! This is the first time I've truly paused since about one this morning. I showered, ate some food, cleaned up a little, and checked facebook. And posted this. And now.... Back to the madness and misery of the Twilight Saga!
I can already feel the school year crushing me into a million different pieces. We had our first band practice last night and I had forgotten how much I loved everyone there. Afterwards a few of us got together and hung out, and it was a lot of fun. I have no idea how I'm going to balance band and church. It's going to be difficult, because both are extremely important.
I mean, band is what's going to get me into college, and where four of the best friends a person could ask for lie, but church is what's calling me, what's taking up most of my time and thought, and not only where two of the best friends a person, animal, place, or plant could ask for, but also what might enable me to help people outside my own little circle. And it's where God wants me to be. But...Band has always been in the front of my mind, and there is no way I can afford college without it. I think my mom has a little money saved away, but I know my dad doesn't, and I don't think I can make good grades and work through college at the same time. It's very hard.
But I am going to try. I will make things balance, and if I'm lucky get a job and a car to enable me to do more to help. It made me quite angry the other day, I asked my mom to sponsor a child and she just flat out said no. I mean, we are far from rich, but we definantly have enough money to send a kid 32 dollars a day and change no only their lives, but their parents and possibly an entire community (if you're interested in finding out a bit more about sponsoring a child, go to http://www.compassion.com/default.htm ). She said all her compassion went in to supporting me, which totally isn't true. It just seemed so... selfish. And it hurt my feelings, because for the first time.... well ever, I actually care about something. I am passionate about something, which honestly has never happened to me before. Passion was a foreign thing until now. And she thinks it's just a phase so she's not even willing to do this one small thing.
But I know it's not a phase. My friend Jan put it into words really well. She said that when you knowsomethings a phase, you are working really fast because in the back of your mind you know 'I have to get all of this done now because I know eventually I won't care about it anymore'. And I don't feel like that about missions at all. I feel like we will only gain speed.
Need I really say more? Ha ha that's a Christian youth group for you!
Last night we had our first combined youth group meeting. We call them 'Lifegroups' at my church. There were a lot of people there and the discussion was pretty good. It would have been better if the video we had watched had been any good, but what can you do?
I can't wait until we have our on separate Youth leading the Youth groups. I'm pretty sure they will be led by Greg and Peter on the boys side, and Jan and me on the girls side. It's going to be awesome. I mean, we do so many irrelevant things that don't really apply to any of us in our adult led lifegroups, and when it's us four in charge...
Well, we know what the real problems are, you know? We know what's actually going on and no one will be afraid to talk to us about their problems, the serious ones. I mean, no one is going to come up to our youth pastor and be like "I had sex with my boyfriend and it didn't seem that bad." Or "I think I'm addicted to drugs" or whatever. It's not like we have those problems at our church, but if we did, it would be so much better for them to talk to us than our youth pastor. And all of us have the power and the knowledge to help.
I realized something scary the other day. I am completely devoted to band. I play the sousaphone and I'm going to be section leader this year. This year we might actually win something, I can feel it. The feeling of pride and belonging that comes with Marching Band can't be beat. But I realized that if I had to, I would give it up. I would quit if I needed to. If this new missions/leadership thing needed more of my time and effort, I would give up my favorite thing in the world and focus only on church.
I've always held on to stuff. I never really understood what it meant when people said you should "give everything up to God", and that seemed like a weighted statement. I mean, you can't possibly give everything up to God, a person can't live with nothing. But I think I understand a little more now. I'm willing to quit the activity that is going to pay for my college, I'm willing to see my best friends less, if it means that I'm getting that much closer to where God wants me to be.
If you're looking for some terribly excited blog to read while you wait for your mother to finish cooking eggrolls, you've got the wrong place. If you know me, and you're looking for gossip, you have also got the wrong place. If you're an atheist who likes to argue, TURN BACK NOW, OR I SWEAR TO... What do atheists swear to? Their Aunt Mildred? Anyway, my point is that is more or less my prayer journal. Or, my twisted version of one. It won't actually be prayers, but it will be focused on my church life. Because my church life is the focus of my world.
Story time My best friend (lets call her Marcia) and I just got back from this major church camp, called Bigstuf. It's on the beach, it's private and peaceful, and it's also filled with 1,500 people all there to worship the same God. It's an incredible experience, for sure. But you see, our youth group went to a totally different church camp back home, somewhere in the woods, I don't know. Well at Bigstuf I had my eyes ripped open for me. You always hear about how bad other kids have it around the world, but it was never really something I could relate to, so it never really hit home. Well that week it did. I'm not a person who cries a lot, but I found my self sobbing around every corner. I had this huge thing laid on my heart, missions. I knew that it was what I was meant to do. And it's an amazing thing, I had never felt like God had a plan for me. I was Christian, but struggled with my faith a lot. I never doubted that Jesus was the Son of God...If, in fact, there was a God. But I had never felt anything pull at me like Missions did. When I got home, I was so certain that no one else from our self-centered church would care about what had happened to me, no one would want to listen to my ideas. I was sure that I would have to find a new church. But then an amazing thing happened. My other best friend (lets call him Greg) saw that I was home because I updated my status on facebook (yes, I do realize how stupid that sounds) and he texted me. Well, we talked for a while about our different camps, and I could feel a 'My camp is better than your camp' argument coming on, and I totally didn't want to deal with that, so I said "I had something huge laid on my heart, Greg. I had my eyes opened and now I have to do something". He took a while replying, and when he did it was something along the lines of "The same way with me. The exact same way. If it's the same thing, it will be totally freaky." Well, I had no doubt in my mind that it wouldn't be the same thing. So I went ahead and told him it was missions, and that if I didn't do something about it I would explode. His reply brought me to my knees. You see, I used to think my church, my youth group in particular, was so wrapped up in itself that it couldn't see the outside world. My youth group is mostly boys, which can create a lot of problems and drama. The boys can be mean, and only like to hang out with each other, and our church seemed to be segregated by race. I seem to be the Dr. Phil for all the girls, I suppose because I never really have any drama or problems of my own, and I'm good with secrets. It's the same way with Greg for the boys, and we both sort of vent to each other about everything. But my point is that I was really unhappy with my church and was starting to consider other ones. But just the power of his simple "Me too" nearly disabled my ability to think. The rest of the day was a blur of us making plans, thinking off the top of our heads, and a lot of emotion. I had-well, have-never been more sure that God is alive and working in my life. So now, we are still trying to gather our thoughts. Factored into the equation is Jan and Peter, two other kids from my group. It looks like the four of us will be leading a new era at my church. We're going to meet at a coffee shop when Greg gets back from vacation (he's been halfway across America this whole time and it's made things difficult) and we're going to get our game plan together. Then, we're bringing it to our lead pastor. And things are going to happen, I've never been more sure of it in my life.