Monday, December 14, 2009

The Sky is Falling?

It is the third week of December already! Enter Finals Week. A week later than usual, and I have been busy studying. Today, I had two finals. Both were in-class essays. One was in World Literature and the other was in World History. World literature required writing four essays in a two hour period, with each being at least a page and a half. The second final had a broad question that pretty much encompassed everything I had learned.

Yesterday, I studied until my brain literally shut down. I could no longer make connections with concepts or brainstorm ideas for the essays. Rather stressed, I went to bed for a few hours of sleep before getting up to study some more.

I dream a lot about random things that don't make sense. My dreams are usually pretty vivid, and I remember them easily. Last night was no exception. I had a dream that I was with a few people (Mom, sister, a couple of cousins) and we were driving on this country road. I looked out the window and saw Earth. I'm not sure how that worked since we are on Earth, but there it was, and it started rotating around and around, going over the car, under the Earth I was on, and coming back on the other side.

All of a sudden, we were no longer in the car, and the Earth turned out to be a huge inflatable but heavy globe. I came to the conclusion that someone had shot it up into the air from "over that way" and it kept bouncing on its own. Before I knew it, the globe was bouncing on us, and I yelled out that we needed to run away from it. I looked up, and it covered the sun, before coming back down and almost landing on me. I woke up then, a little freaked out.

I thought about this dream on the way to my final this morning, and I realized what brought it about. My two finals, both in world classes (lit and history). Somehow, in the dark recesses of my mind, my finals had crawled into my dreams, causing a severe pounding that left me with lots of fear and insecurity. The world was a symbol of the powerful two essays trying to kill me.

I took those two finals today, and I think I may have conquered them. You don't win today, World.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Greatest "Pirate" Story Ever Told

It isn't the best picture, but this is the cover of my new children's storybook. It is an idea that has been developing the past year with two of the kids that I baby-sit.
Whenever the kids are ready for bed, we "sail the seven seas" as pirates, a game that stems from my days as a pirate on the Kingdom Kids crew. (Kingdom Kids is my church's children's church program.) As we created new adventures, the kids expressed the desire to write our stories down.
The youngest, who is seven, asked me last night if I would publish this and asked how many copies I thought I would make.  :)
Hopefully, there will be more to the story in the weeks to come. Although it is not an easy topic for me to tackle, it has been mostly effortless up to this point. I love our pirate names (Nameless Hilary, Mischevous Witty, and One-Eyed Pete), and I think our adventures will be grand. I believe that this is to become a series in which a different storyline will be inserted where "pirate" is right now. (The Greatest "Ninja" Story Ever Told...yeah right....The Greatest "Hot Air Balloon" Story Ever Told)

Speaking of the children I baby-sit, I am hoping to write a book someday about my baby-sitting years (specifically this family of seven years). You wouldn't believe what I've been through! It has been such an adventure, to be sure. :P

As always, there are other topics to discuss, but I will save them for another day.

So long my two viewers! ;)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Getting Through the Tough Spots

I haven't written on here in over a month, and my last post was about a book review. How sad! Life has been crazy lately and stressful. Whenever I hit these hard times, there is only one thing I want to do (besides cry and ask God to get me past it). I want to immerse myself into the world of F.R.I.E.N.D.S and pretend I have no worries that are bigger than what they are "going through." (Yes, I know they are fictional characters...)

If I'm having a bad day, I just turn on an episode of Friends and forget my own problems as I watch Rachel and Ross' roller coaster relationship and their parenting skills as they sing  "Baby Got Back" to Emma. My problems seem minute compared to Phoebe trying to teach Joey French. Whenever I hear the theme song, I just smile to myself because I really do feel like they are "there for me" when many things are going wrong in my life. Even better than the television show, I know that I have my own Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Monica, and Chandler friends in my life. Friends who help me through hard times. I have "no need to worry" with friends like mine.

A Friends moment I had to share in parting. :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Book Review: Plain Promise

Recently, I saw where one of my friends was reviewing books sent to her (for free!) and in return, she just had to write a couple reviews. I decided I would love to do it as well. This is my first review, on the book Plain Promise by Beth Wiseman.

Set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Plain Promise is about a widow, Sadie Fisher, and Englisher Kade Saunders. Sadie rents out a cottage to Englishers who come visit Pennsylvania Amish country. Kade comes to Lancaster County, hoping to get away from his life and sort out the mess that's been made of it. While there, his autistic son comes to live with him for the first time since he and his wife separated three years earlier. Now facing raising his son alone, Kade realizes that things need to change in his life.
Sadie is worried what the bishop will think of the Englisher staying with her for three months, and becomes even more so when she starts to have feelings for Kade. She constantly wonders what God's will is for her life, and if it includes a husband and children. Plain Promise is a story that shows the faithfulness of God if we just wait on His plan and timing.

I've read several Amish fiction books, and I was at first skeptical about this one, thinking it would be like all the others. I was, however, surprised to find that the story was unlike any I had ever read, especially the ending. Beth Wiseman writes moving Amish fiction like that of Beverly Lewis.

**There are two others that precede this book, Plain Perfect and Plain Pursuit.**

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lightening Bolts of Clarity

Recently, I was lying on my bed, listening to some calming music. I had had a rough day and was exhausted. My mind was feeling the same kind of strain as my body, and thoughts about a past issue in my life kept rearing their ugly heads at me, hoping that I would take note of them. For most of the day, I was able to push them back and think about other things. It was an issue I had not thought about for a long time, and it wasn't even a real issue in my life now...not in the same way as before anyways.

Lying there, the thoughts resurfaced, and I was too tired to fight them off. One by one, each thought paraded across my mind, leaving muddy prints behind. Pretty soon, my mind was clouded with those footprints, and I couldn't see clearly anymore.

All of a sudden, BAM! lightening streaked across my mind, not only illuminating and blinding out where the muddy footprints had been left, but striking down on a realization. In that one second, my perspective on the situation completely changed. I saw myself as others had seen me then, and I understood what my friends had been warning me about. It was as if I had been removed completely from the picture and could see what was happening. Roger M. always said in my Bible class, "Sometimes you can't see the full picture because you are inside the frame."

Have you ever had a moment of clarity, the one where a lightening bolt strikes you, especially compared to a light bulb going off over your head? You wonder why you didn't see it before, whatever "it" may be. Sometimes, there is no warning. You are lying in your bed or reading a book, and BAM! lightening streaks across your mind, revealing the missing link, one that you might not have known was even missing. And for just a moment, life seems slightly less muddled.

I feel sad for those who have never experienced that. It's true that it is sometimes painful and doesn't always bring a warm feeling with it. However, I would never want to give up those moments, both the good and the bad. Without them, I think that I wouldn't see the bigger picture or in that one instance, see where something is more harmful than helpful.

I have no idea if this makes sense or if I just rambled for five paragraphs. Either way, those are my thoughts. :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Life isn't very "shiny" right now. It's not horrible; there is just a dullness to it. I'm not sure what makes it that way. Perhaps falling into the routine of school once again, trying Weight Watchers, and knowing that life is waiting for me out there if I could just make it through this year. (Where does Weight Watchers come in? I make it very limiting so that I don't run out of points, therefore not eating all the foods I love.) I have somehow come to another season of waiting in my life, and I always grow restless when that happens. I think the difference this time, however, is the knowledge that I am about to step out of a covering that I've had since I was five. School will no longer be my main occupation, unless I am teaching it.
Although life has become rather "blah" to me, there are a few glimmers that get me through. Tonight, I baby-sat for a family that I've watched for seven years. After putting the two younger ones to bed, I waited, knowing that one of them would come to me with some sort of complaint or request. Sure enough, not five minutes later, the youngest found me.
"He won't stop making noises!"she complained.
"If you keep asking him to stop, then he will keep doing it because he knows it annoys you. If you ignore him, he will stop."
LONG PAUSE as she played with her stuffed puppy...
"Were you talking to me?" she asked finally.
"Yes, I was." I said, trying not to laugh.
"Oh, what did you say?"
I repeated what I had said the first time.
"But I'm not annoying him! He's annoying me!"she said, indignantly.
"I know. Ignore him and he will quit!" I replied, not sure how she could misunderstand me.
"...So you want me to annoy him?" she asked, confused.
"IGNORE HIM! Go to sleep!" I closed the door to her protests.
Maybe annoying him would have worked after all. 

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Impressionable First Day of History 133

I think this semester is going to be interesting. Having taken most of my required classes, I am now enjoying electives. I call them the Sunday drive classes (as of two seconds ago), and I aim to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the "ride."

One of my professors has already proven to be hilarious, something that I know helps me get through the hour. Apparently, it also helps him. :D Yesterday, we had the basic introduction class, sharing our names and their meanings. Surprisingly, over half of the class didn't even know what their name meant. I've known the meaning of my name since I was in fourth grade. I even know the meanings of the names of my future kids. (Granted, I've been called obsessed before.It comes with the territory, I suppose.)

My professor is from Sweden, as is his name. Calling on us to guess the meaning, and getting no response whatsoever, he informed us that the first part means "thunder" or "god of thunder" as in Thor. (See picture, above right.) The second part means "bear," creating the meaning...God of thunder bear! He is allowing us to call him Dr. God of thunder bear.

Dr. God of thunder bear called attendance: "Daniel."
Daniel: "Here, but I go by Danny."
Dr. GoTB: "Yes, but one day you will go by Daniel again."
Danny: "Um, okay."
Dr. GoTB: "No, when you have a job interview you will."
Danny: "Probably not, but okay."
Dr. GoTB: "I had this friend Bobby, who wasn't getting hired, so I told him he couldn't go by Bobby. He needed to go by Robert. He introduced himself as Robert, and he got the job!"
Danny: "Okay, I will tell them my name is Robert then."

Come to find out, we have a Bobby in our class...oops.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Setting a Goal...

I haven't written in a long time...on here, that is. Life has kept me busy in the past year. However, that is about to change. I am going to set a goal of writing so many times a week, just to keep in the habit of writing. Along with the normal blogging, I am hoping to start a book review system that a friend of mine wrote a blog about where I can read a book (sent to me for free) as long as I review it on here when I finish. Not too shabby, I'd say!

My number one goal of writing is to think thoughts "out loud" (or in this case, online) instead of just talking to myself while grocery shopping or browsing books and movies. I'm excited and can't wait to see what comes of this new endeavor. :)

Until I write again! (You didn't think I'd start today, did you?)