Thursday, December 20, 2012

Please Make Me Thankful...Wait, I Take It Back.

One of my greatest aspirations is to be thankful. I'm not just talking about the fallback thankful things- family, friends, job, ect.- though, by-golly, those things are swell and all, but I'm talking the things that don't occur to us to be thankful for. Examples? well, alright, if you insist: having somewhere to come back to after being out all day, the sound of your mom/dad getting home, everyday things like electricity, water, food, a bed to get into at night and out of every morning, you get my drift?
      In America, lets be real, no one has to trek two miles to a well to fill a bucket for drinking water, more like: "hmm... 'Auquafina', 'Dasani', oooh 'Pure Life', or maybe whats this? 'Arrowhead'? that sounds cool, probably something Legolas would drink...but hey, you can't go wrong with 'Smart Water', right?! It has a pretty groovy bottle after all." really people? but honestly that's how the majority of us think!
      So, to not fall prey to this sort of thinking (though I do....some the time...gee wiz, okay, almost all the time) I try to pray everyday that God would make me thankful for everything I take for granted. I've been praying this same thing for quite a number of years now, and though, yes, I was definitely thankful for things of course, there didn't seem to be a whole lot of difference. I realize now that I wanted God to just reach down and -POOFmake me thankful all the time- I might as well have wished that they wouldn't label everything in the 1960's Batman!
     This year, however, God helped me to do just that, be thankful. Earlier, somewhere at the beginning- mid fall, the car I use (my precious, silver, dented Kia) started having issues so I had to switch over to using my grandmas old car she gave to my family. Don't get me wrong, my grandma is rad, she's the raddest thing since the portable tape player. but still- it wasn't my Kia. The biggest downside? The front passenger window is stuck. DOWN. Yes, you heard correct, peeps- down. So, its getting into fall, and I have to drive on the highway with it at least once a week for about 50 mins, if it didn't occur to you, this can get quite chilly. I do blast the heat, yes, or I wouldn't be here to tell you this story today.
      The weather as you, my scholarly reader, gets colder and  colder as the year goes on, so then came the mid-end of November. I was getting pretty frustrated with having to drive this car, and having to look like I was gearing up for yeti hunting every-time I went for a drive. We tried taping the window shut with plastic but every time, without fail or consulting me, it would tear off. I was lucky when the plastic would just blow off, the worst times were when I was going 70 mph, it rips and then starts flapping around, honestly, as loud as a gunshot. I had to pull over three separate times to repair/pull of the plastic because the sound was so bad, almost as bad as having the song "Gangnam Style" stuck on replay.
       I was pretty embittered that, out of everyone in my family I was the one that had to drive the dreaded red car. Then, one night, while driving home with a blanked on my lap, gloves, a hat, long-sleeves, two hoodies, a Starbucks coffee and the heat on 'hell-fire'- it hit me (not literally, of course, cause that would just be weird).

-Maybe this is God's answer to my prayer-

 You know the saying,"You don't know what you have until it's gone"? (excuse my Psych reference but-) You know that's right! I don't think I will ever take windows and car-heating for granted again (at least, one can hope). So I realized that praying for God to make you thankful seems easy but the process TO thankfulness we usually miss or misinterpret.Maybe there is something going on in your life like this, maybe less grim than this, or possibly not so lighthearted but if you are trusting in Christ, that he has a purpose for all that He does, believe me, it will turn out for the better.  
     To sum it all up, I still pray that God would help to make me thankful for things I take for granted, but I also ask that He would give me the strength to do so. <3 
Oh, and the car window is still stuck down.  

“Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now.” 

  "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him, bless his name! " 
-Psalm 100:4

“Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.” 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Why Be Happy When I can NOT Be?

I think that people have a misconstrued view of happiness.
people who are actually happy- whats up with them? Everyone has their own story, and I know that sometimes it's hard not to compare your story to someone else's you know- even Edgar Allen Poe had a longstanding rivalry with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (a poet) back in the day. Sometimes the people who are unhappy take out that unhappiness on those who are happy. But hold on a just a second, that's a whole lot of happy and unhappiness going on right there- so what IS the definition of happy?

1. delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing.
2. characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy 

So there you have it folks, happiness in a nutshell, right? Every single person on this revolving planet has different difficulties, tragedies, sorrows, hardships, challenges and joys. but we all have one thing, life. referring back to the definition of happy- the first example is joy over a particular thing- life is a thing. you can't argue that fact. if your alive you have something to be happy, pleased, glad and delighted about. the definition doesn't say: 

"Happy- being characterized by joy and gladness but only if your past and present circumstances allow you to be and you have a great life which enables you to feel so." 

      no one would be happy if that's what happiness was, thank the Lord that it isn't! What some people don't seem to realize is that it's much harder to have a good attitude and be happy than it is to be depressed all the time. Gee, I just get depressed when I don't feel like I have the energy to do anything else. That sounds pretty lazy right? believe me I know. But before you start getting frustrated about me not knowing what I'm talking about- I also know this isn't the case for everyone. Some people have things going on in their lives that it seems no one should ever have to go through, and those people have reason to be depressed all the time (or most of the time)... Um, no. sorry, maybe that sounds like the right answer for a lot of people today but it's not the truth, it would be a lot EASIER if it were, but it's not
      Look, my mom and dad aren't divorced, I love my brothers and sisters (though we all go through rough patches- okay, sometimes cactus-like patches, but still) and I have friends that I would truly die for, not just as a figure of speech. I've still been through plenty, I've cried myself to sleep sometimes, I've had to leave the house just to get away from what was going on inside, I've felt like screaming or kicking something, I've felt helpless and many more things. But you know what differs between two people who go through hard things and come out either woebegone or actually happy? the choice TO BE HAPPYHappiness doesn't just come skipping up the road and decide to make it's home inside you- ppphhht. Its a decision, a really, really,really,very, incredibly important choice. No one controls it but you. Not the Jerks, not the pessimists, not the hurt, not the gossipers, not the judgmentals, not physical or psychological things,not your girlfriend/boyfriend, not the betrayers, not your parents, not where you are in life, not how many times you feel like giving up,not even other happy people, or anything else that comes to mind. you do. That makes it a lot harder now doesn't it? though some people would tell you otherwise, when we are unhappy we use these exact things as crutches to be such. Its your happiness, so don't blame other people's sinfulness or contentedness with the state of it. 
      Like anything in life, it comes with time. a priceless treasure doesn't happen over night, it happens with time. Happiness is a treasure. NO ONE is happy all year: 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,765 hours, 525,949 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds. Just try being happy on a hard day- you know how hard it is. But nothing worth having comes easily. I'm not just talking about the happiness that shows, but the happiness that is a part of who you are. because, lets face it, it's not as if while our parents are fighting or our friends are hurting us we walk around with a smile on our face all happy. No, I'm also talking about the kind that is still there while going through the trials we all face. The kind that still gives us hope and helps carry us through those times of loneliness- if you keep reading, I'll tell you how you can have this kind of hapiness. 
      Other then some other things going on in my life, here's the quote that sparked this blog post: 

"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing."
-Agatha Christie 
      Anyone and everyone is capable of doing something great in this world, I don't care what anyone else has told you out of seeming good-will or out of anger. The Greatest things done are made up of the smallest of things. A war isn't won by an army, it's won by individual, courageous soldiers that chose to be a part of something greater than themselves or their past. I know we are kinda getting onto a different subject, but how would any of the accomplishments that helped change the world happen, if everyone involved decided to just get bogged down in the sorrows of their life and never reach outside of that? So you see, Happiness isn't just what one feels but what one DOES and how one LIVES.  
      And outside of knowing Jesus Christ, this isn't possible. You can have the perfect life, or maybe not, and just try to be happy- but something will always be missing. That hole you feel in your very being? that can't be filled with the plastic, fragile, worldly happiness. It can only be filled with the happiness that comes with a new heart and soul that lives, breaths and longs to do everything to the glory of the one who changed it. This entire post is useless without the working of the Holy King, GOD. So, if you want the kind of happiness that never leaves you, even in the times when the world seems to shrink in on you and the darkness of the evil in this life caves in on top of you: pick up your Bible, drop to your knees and HE will save you. God will give you the Happiness you seek, when you seek HIM.  
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." 
-John 16:33

"It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness."-Charles Spurgeon 
"If you’re going through hell, keep going."
-Winston Churchill 
"The three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for."
"Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open." 
 ~John Barrymore

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Just-There-Girl

-A poem

The Just-There-Girl stood by a scene
Unfolding before her eyes
Emotions to relate, actions to despise
Too many thoughts to relay
-No words to say
The Just-There-Girl was just there
Feeling left to their fair-weather care

The Just-There-Girl stood beside a crowd
Half of her heart in their brittle hands
But all are blinded by their own demands
They hear nothing at their core
-So why try to say more
The Just-There-Girl was just there
As her paper heart they begin to tear  

The Just-There-Girl stood with the ones
Considered once worth the while
But tries at conversation turn out just as futile
Her true feelings she will smother
-there one day, gone another
The Just-There-Girl was just there
To them where she stands, is there just air?  

The Just-There-Girl stood next to a road
Converging with the horizon alone
Being known through another is not being known
The same path has been travelled by and by
-By souls seeking to find more than a lie
The Just-There-Girl was just there
  Until one day-
                She just wasn’t 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Donning of Yawning and Just Desserts

( ^ In other words: Why We Yawn and Get Brain-Freezes) 
-A Human Anatomy paper gone Haywire, by Miranda H.

Sometimes the body does things that we don’t really understand; often we don’t think to wonder why. Yawning is one of these things. Why do we yawn? I’m sure you have noticed that when you see someone else yawn, suddenly, you are overcome with the need to yawn as well. Why is this the case? Also, what is a ‘brain-freeze’? What causes the rush of pain after eating/drinking something especially cold? The ‘unexplained’ intrigues me, as hopefully, it does you as well.
       The definition of a yawn is: ‘To open the mouth wide with a deep inhalation, usually involuntarily, from drowsiness, fatigue, or boredom’ but recent studies have started to discover that this may not be totally correct. Although we would like to have a set cause for yawning and what triggers it, there isn’t just one, rather, there are quite a few theories as to the primary reason. None of these, however, have been empirically proved.
       Recent studies have shown that yawning may be connected to the cooling down of the brain by breathing in a large amount of air. Did you know that our brain temperature is different from our body temperature? The brain burns about 20% of the calories we consume daily, as a result, it generates heat. Since the brains of mammals function best within a slim temperature range, many think yawning may be our bodies’ way of cooling it down. In 2007 Scientists had a group of people watch videos of yawning and discovered that, when cold-packs were applied to the forehead throughout, it nearly eradicated contagious yawning.
      Interestingly enough, another study has shown that peoples yawning differ from season to season; hence, yawning may very well be thermoregulatory behavior. Subjects were exposed to two seasonal temperatures of desert climates, winter at around 70 degrees, and early summer at around 98 degrees. Upon showing the subjects pictures of people yawning, there was a significant difference in regards to the amount of yawning, winter: 45%; summer: 24%. Participants were more likely to yawn in the milder environment after extended periods of time outside, while lengthy exposure to temperatures at or above body temperature was related with reduced yawning; an overheated brain gets little relief from taking in air that is warmer than body temperature.
      Have no fear, though, the most common idea that yawning is a result of fatigue isn’t completely off. All these observations would explain why we yawn when tired, Sleep deficiency increases brain temperature. Another explanation for this phenomenon is that when our blood contains increased quantities of carbon dioxide, it becomes in need of the inflow of oxygen (or expulsion of carbon dioxide) that a yawn is said to provide. Nervousness has also been suggested as a possible reason; uneasiness often indicates the awareness of an approaching need for action. Circumstantial evidence proposes that yawning benefits the increase of the state of alertness in a person.
      As for why yawning is contagious, scientists have speculated that it is a way to signal to others in a group to stay alert and ready in the event of outside attacks, at least in cases of dog packs. Keep in mind, though, that all of these reasons discussed so far are only hypothesis and theories. We may never know exactly what the reason, since it was fashioned by the most magnificent and omnipotent creator.
      Brain-freezes, what’s up with those, right? You’re basking in the delicious enjoyment of your chocolate milkshake, when out of nowhere you are interrupted by a searing pain in your forehead. What causes this agonizing interruption, you ask? Well, these Brain-freezes, otherwise known as ‘ice-cream headaches’, result from the intake, especially quick intake, of cold foods. The cold substance, in contact with the roof of the mouth (palate), or in swallowing it, brings about this cranial discomfort in about ten seconds. The sudden variation in temperature in the palate causes blood vessels to rapidly swell in an effort to warm the region back up. The increase of blood vessels activates pain receptors, which escalate sensitivity to further pain and produce inflammation. This happens while they are sending signals to the brain through the trigeminal nerve (pictured here, the trigeminal nerve is in yellow) to alert it of the quandary. Because the trigeminal nerve senses facial pain as well, the brain deduces that the pain signal is coming from the forehead. This occurrence is called “referred pain”, which is an easy way of saying, “pain perceived at a location other than the site of the painful stimulus.” This rise in blood volume and subsequent growth in size in the anterior cerebral artery (supplies oxygenated blood to parts of the brain) is thought to bring about the pain related with ice-cream headaches.
      To help relieve the aching, some doctors propose pressing the tongue against the roof of the mouth to warm the area, or tipping the head back for about 10 seconds. There you have it, two events that happen quite frequently but we don’t often ask why. Just keep in mind, you could be in danger of rupturing an artery while diving into your ice-cream wonderland- but what a way to go. ;)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


   This year God has been teaching me many things, even when I don't necessarily want to be taught. Most notably would be- (and I know this is probably a big lesson for everyone)- to fully rely on Him. I know this is something I will continually have to work on and strive for. Trusting completely in Christ wont happen overnight, but I've struggled with it quite a bit in the past few months especially.
   When you're younger it almost seems like the worst injuries can always be fixed by your mom or a band-aide (it may even take both if it's really bad). As you get older you slowly begin understanding more about what goes on in the world and realize there are much worse things than a rug-burn or where your brother bruised you. Still, even then, as you begin diving headlong into what we commonly call life (or what some call the biggest adventure possible), troubles come. Every story worth reading has trials right? so, every life worth living is going to have some.
    My family and I have gone through a lot of those lately. And you want to know the toughest thing I realized through it all? I can't fix everything. I can't make people feel completely okay. I'm powerless to stop the ordeals and hardships from pressing on the ones I love the most, and would do anything for. I can't make the problem disappear with a comforting word. I can't just stick a band-aid on it anymore.
 But someone can.
Maybe it's just me, but I think the hardest thing to do is watch someone you love being crushed by the worries and trials of the world. truly and honestly it is the most painful kind of torture to the soul.
Here's the catch: we have a hope. What's the hope? what could possibly remedy the feeling of utter uselessness and inability to heal the hurt of the ones you love? well...the hope we have in Jesus Christ. "phhht, oh yeah, with all the soul crushing I'm sure HE just heals everything right up, huh?"- you may be saying, and the answer is yes...and no. "she's finally gone off the deep-end, it can't be both." But it's true, He doesn't always heal it right up. News flash for ya- God's plan hardly ever fits into your "perfect" human one. We are usually incapable of seeing God's big picture as it plays out, sometimes we never do. That's when faith comes in and when those who don't have this faith are convinced that those who do are crazy- They don't see the happenstances of the world through the eyes of a renewed and hopeful heart. We have faith that it is all in His hands and that he works all things together for good. He has a plan for you. Everything you have gone through is just the steep climb before reaching the top to see the gorgeous view.
   I don't know if this completely relates to what I began writing this blog post about, but I think it all ties together. The tempestuous -(yes, this is one of my favorite words, meaning: 'Characterized by strong and turbulent or conflicting emotion')- times in my family, though slowly being mopped-up, I still don't see much  meaning in. But looking back on it all, I now have more appreciation for my amazingly incredible family and the mysterious ways of God. Maybe everything that happened wasn't even to impact my family and I; in the long run, maybe it's someone we don't even realize who God is working in through all of it.
   Have hope. Have Faith. You can't live without them, and they are both only found in Jesus Christ.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Song of Myself

Hello again,
   So, besides the fact that I am a horrible excuse of a blogger, I actually do have something to blog about! *applause! applause!* I listen to music almost the entire time that I'm at work since I do outdoor jobs +gardening and etc., hence I have been listening to almost three hours of (most) of the same music on my ipod this entire year, three days a week, and today...I heard a song that I hadn't heard before! I put my ipod on shuffle and it had never played this song before, and I didn't even realize it existed...until today, and it kinda expresses the way I feel to the 'T'. <what does that even mean? to the 'T'? I've heard it before but never thought about it... great, now I have to look it up or it will bug me all night.

"The expression is actually "down to a tee" or, more commonly simply "to a tee". Either "tee" or "T" will do, but in any case the reference is to the LETTER of the alphabet.
This is clear when you discover the origin of the expression. It's actually a shortened form of "to a tittle", an expression in use in English by the early 17th century, with the meaning "to the smallest detail." (the variation appears by the late 17th century)..." 
-wow, well now I know. I feel much more enlightened than I did three minutes ago, and THAT ladies and gentlemen is the magic of the internet. 
 Back to what I was saying- so, a song started playing and I fell in love with it because it's how I try to live. God has blessed me with being able to enjoy the seemingly insignificant things and I can't fully express the joy I feel when the golden light of the sun setting washes over everything or having the wind whip through the trees so that leaves go dancing through the air. Life is so much more than living.  
So, without further ado, the song that I've ranted about:     :) 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Senior Jitters

As of about 10:00am Saturday morning, I am officially a Senior in high-school! (having just then turned in the last of my schoolwork) It's completely crazy to think about and I have yet only uttered it aloud once or twice. People have told me that high-school seems to go by in a heartbeat or the blink of an eye, but for me it has been more like the ride "Tower of Doom" at Elitch Gardens. When first starting out you begin the slow and painstaking climb, ever so slightly inching your way up, having no idea what to expect. About one fourth of the way, you feel like you may have your bearings and are trying to assure yourself that you can actually do this. But  more than half way to the top, though the view is breathtaking, you are pounding your head against the back of the seat asking yourself why you even got on this ride and are frantically trying to find some way out. Then you reach the top of the tower. It seems to pause for a few moments to let you enjoy the view (hah, yeah right), but most of us are so caught up in what we know will happen next, that we don't take the time to look around. Then, we are falling- 200feet down at a break-neck pace to where it seems we first started.
      This analogy best describes my years in high-school, I don't know about the rest of ya out there, but it seems about right. After graduating it seems like your back where you started, for those who know what they want to do and are going off to college, this means becoming a freshmen all over again. Also, it feels like this for those of us who have no clue what we are going to do *coughlikemecough* but (most of the time) I realize it might be better that way, if you have no idea what you want to do, doesn't that just leave it wide open for God to work through you however He wills? I try to keep this perspective as my last year of high-school looms over my head, because while I am beyond excited to be finished (never to see the light of algebra again), honestly, I'm also trying not to panic.
As Jeremiah 29:11 so fittingly and plainly states:
" For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."