Wednesday, April 26, 2006

i want to be engaged

Don't tune out too quickly there...

I'm not talking about engaged as in ring on my finger, planning a wedding, buying a dress, spending thousands, planning my life together with the love of my life...

Although someday I do look forward to that, I'm talking about a different kind of engaged.

This thought popped into my head last night for some reason, and I just realized that I want to be engaged more in life. I need to be. We all need to be.

I'm talking about being engaged, fully, in conversations. So much in tune with the conversation and that person that you're not distracted by something on your mind, looking for someone else, checking your phone, texting another person, or going over whatever you need to say or do next in your head.

I'm talking about being engaged in friendships, family, and other relationships. I mean tuned into that person's life and truly caring for and loving them. I want to love people wholeheartedly and without superficiality. I see that too much and it bothers myself and others.

I'm talking about being engaged in acts of social justice, politics, pop culture, the community around you, the environment. It's easy for me to be engaged in pop culture and getting caught up in American Idol or The Next Food Network Star, but it's another story for me to completely engage other things of importance. (And note, I do think it's important to be in tune with all kinds of pop culture to know what other people in the world are thinking and doing.) I need to care more for the invisible children in Northern Uganda, the AIDS crisis in Africa and worldwide, people living life without joy in many parts of Europe, those living in Haiti under corrupt government, those in New Orleans and nearby that are STILL struggling to live, people who are homeless or needy even here in Lincoln, IL.

I'm talking about being engaged in my job...making sure that I am giving my best 100% of the time and making sure that I always see the bigger picture of Kingdom ministry being done beyond just what happens here at LCC and in the Admissions office. The outcome is not getting students to apply, become admitted, or even to graduate. It's what happens when they're finished with this place that I want to see happen. It's what I need to be motivated by daily in the tasks of my job.

I'm talking about being engaged in of the best ways to understand and embody part of God's character. I want to be more involved in the arts...I want to sing more, dance more, learn to paint, learn how to create and imagine more...

I'm talking about being engaged in the body of truly accept my brothers and sisters as they are and to find community there and be accepted myself. I want to be more involved by serving, leading, encouraging, helping, offering all that I can.

I'm talking about being engaged with be the Breath of God, to have the Holy Spirit alive and active in me--confronting my sins and showing me the right way, to read and understand the Word that is living and active and then to act on it. I want to be engaged in prayer and constant communication with the Lord who already knows my thoughts anyway, so why can't I seem to offer up more time in my busy and un-busy days to give to Him?

This is how I want to be engaged. No rings necessary.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

the Shanes, Bethany, and Aaron

So last night, we had Shane & Shane, Bethany Dillon, and Aaron Shust here @ LCC. FINALLY, is all I have to say! I've been wanting to bring Shane & Shane here for about 4 years now, and Bethany for quite awhile, so it was an awesome night of worship.

It's hard to promote it as a concert, in my mind, when I know that a night with those guys is nothing but a night of worship. It was refreshing.

On the other side of it, it was fun getting ready for it even though they had some rough spots getting here w/ some trailer issues in Iowa and then after the concert some other crazy things happening! They're all awesome people and SOOOO friendly.

If you haven't signed up yet for the Global Night Commute, or if you have no idea what I'm talking about, go to Invisible Children's website and check that out. It's this Saturday, April 29th in cities all over the country. It's your chance to show up to a silent protest against the war in Uganda that little kids are being forced to fight every day.

ALSO, the guys who made the film for Invisible Children and started this whole shindig are ON OPRAH TOMORROW, Wednesday the 26th. Watch it!!!

Today my niece is THREE YEARS OLD!!!! HOLY COW!!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

it's good to be home

It's nice to come home for a few days. And in 'home' I mean to my parents' house. I still feel like I have two homes. I probably always will.

Good ol' Streator...not much to do here, but no different than Lincoln I suppose. At least Lincoln isn't known on Jay Leno for some crazy guy leaving his garage door up and thinking it was stolen... (if you haven't heard about this or seen this clip, let me know. i'll fwd it your way.)

Today I accomplished much...slept till 10:30, vacuumed out my car, helped dad mow the grass, washed my car (5 min. prior to the rain. I've concluded that washing your car is like doing a rain dance.), showered, went to visit Grandma in the hospital, went out to eat w/ other Grandpa at the American Legion, and came home to watch movies w/ the 'rents. Oh, and I had a lovely time sitting outside reading before we watched movies.

Have I told you how much I love this weather?

And let me tell you about the newest addition to my parents' house. It's a Gazelle. The animal, you ask? No. Heck no. It's Tony Little's latest exercise gizmo that my mom bought and it now adorns our living room. It's quite hilarious. I gazelled today for awhile, and mom put in the DVD of Tony Little's instructions which are quite hilarious. Money-making or not, that DVD is probably the silliest thing a person has ever created.

Well enough storytelling for now. I'm up way late tonight and for some reason felt the need to blog about my day in Streatorland. Hope it gave you something to do for 30 seconds of your day.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

spring tunes and intersection

I want to put together a spring soundtrack. Or just a bunch of music that I love right now.

Here's what's in my ears:

Nathan Angelo
The Gabe Dixon Band
Wertz (as always)
United Live worship

I want to tell you how much I love the first two there...they're new faves. I found their music and fell in love with it. Check out their myspace sites and get a little taste of the flava... (FLAVA-FLAVE! )

On a diff. note, today was Intersection '06 in Bloomington/Normal where all the campus ministries and people of all different denominations, backgrounds, personalities, etc. gathered to serve in one of 4 tracks (Vivacity, Simplicity, Scarcity, or Longevity) around B/N. I did the Longevity track which meant I hung out w/ some old war veterans in the nursing home. I had the coolest old man--he was so nice. It was such a blessing to get out and do something beyond myself for once. It makes me realize how selfish I am and how my days pretty much go by without actually realizing that there's a world around me in need. I usually need something to smack me in the face to help me see it.

I hung out w/ a girl named Courtney who goes to Fuel, and she's legally blind. I'm so impressed with the way she lives on her own and how she gets around so well. God used her in awesome ways today--she was able to hang out with a veteran who was actually going blind himself, so God was clearly orchestrating that one to put them together today.

Anyways, putting those two things together I found that sometimes I'm just as blind even though I can physically see. I'm sure she sees a lot of things that I don't in people or in this world, and I'm probably missing out. I need to start opening up my eyes to more.

And on yet another different note, check out The Mocha Club--something similar to what Invisible Children is doing, but a way to make a very small sacrifice of two mochas a month (=$7) to raise money to help people in Africa. I know most of those kinds of things ask for like $35/month, so this was something I know a lot of us can handle. Check it out.

Friday, April 07, 2006

best day ever

Here's why.

1) gorgeous weather. actually REALLY warm. and it's ok with me if it rains later cuz it's still warm.

2) we took a break at work today to go outside and play whiffleball!

3) i've actually had stuff to do and i've accomplished a lot today.

4) our boss took us to DQ and paid for it all.

5) i'm seeing matt wertz tonight. (AND Aubs and Alli)

6) i'm wearing flip-flops.

7) work is fun. i love this place!

8) BECKA got a blog!!!!!!! :-)

9) it's friday.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

things i love (at random)

-cleaning out the dryer filter

-wearing summer clothes (this includes flip-flops)

-chicken salad @ Vintage Fare in Lincoln

-lately, Watermark, Norah Jones, and Stevie Wonder


-bright colors

-fresh flowers (mostly daisies, as they are "the friendliest flower" in meg ryan's words)

-this desk calendar w/ 4 different tear-off notes from Pottery Barn that I am soon to buy

-air popped popcorn with melted real butter and parmesan cheese

-cramps. just kidding.

-my friend becka's abbrev's for words

-the feeling of all the LCC kiddos leaving on Week of E and the feeling they have when they come back

-singing along with a friend and a guitar (of course only those who can actually play and sing)

-making completely random lists on my blog

-playing different kinds of "Hit the Ball" (as the girls will all remember from our many times outside of the D-wing back in the day, and as I just played in my living room yesterday w/ Shannon, Barb, Haley, and Emily...although we didn't sign our ball.)

-projects. as of now, i have none. i need one.

-balancing my checkbook (i know. weird.)

-the shoes i'm wearing today

-mixing colors that wouldn't normally match

-vanilla soft serve from DQ with fresh berries.

-crossing things off of a list.

-polka dots and stripes

-being tan

-Oswald Chambers. I love reading my little daily devotions in My Utmost...

-the new Clorox Anywhere spray. I went on a rampage and cleaned every inch of our refrigerator yesterday. You can literally use it almost anywhere! Near babies, near food, etc.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

it's true...'s April Fool's Day and I totally forgot! I need to do something...

...I haven't showered today.

...I can't get enough of the color green.

...I'm dying for summer to get here, for cookouts, concerts, flip-flops, and all that it brings.

...I'm burning CDs for my momma and my aunt that I promised to burn over a month ago.

...All my NCAA teams are out, so I don't care too much about the Final Four anymore. case you're wondering, Kate won our office pool. Yay for her!!! :-)

...Matthew McConaughey may just be the hottest man alive. Thinking of seeing Failure to Launch again.

...speaking of that movie, I like Sarah Jessica Parker and her fragrance Lovely. Sprayed it on in Bergner's last night.

...Can't seem to find springy shoes that I like that are cheap enough and that fit both of my feet. I think my right foot may be smaller than the left. new discovery.

...The Next Food Network Star may be my new favorite reality show. (well, 2nd only to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition which is already named the best show ever.)

...I need to read a good book. I have no motivation. Or I just can't seem to get into the right one. It's like men. I just can't find the right one and when I think there could be a good one, I lose interest. Can I make that comparison? I don't know...

...My closets need some serious cleaning that I'll probably tend to today.