Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Top Ten Tuesday 20

Guess what... it's that time of Tuesday again... time for a Top Ten!!

Today's Top Ten is better titled "Top Ten Who's of Random Trivia." Test yourself on the top ten trivia and see how well you do... post your answers. Winner gets a surprise.

True or False
1. Central Illinois is "the center of the universe" (socially).

2. Who wants to help me make m&m pancakes?
a. Tricia b. Steph c. no one- everyone thinks they sound gross

3. Who is my life-long Euchre partner?
a. Kristi b. Gab c. Cody

4. Which one of my friends wanted me to do a "Top Ten Reasons Friends with Condos in Morton Rock?"
a. Tony b. Luke c. Cody

5. Which one of my friends wanted me to do a "Top Ten" on Euchre?
a. Cody b. Kristi c. Kenton

6. What percentage of my room mates is going to be a teacher?
a. 33% b. 50% c. 66%

7. Who's arm is pictured holding the ipod in this picture?
a. Gab's b. Tricia's c. Laura's

8. Who is driving?
a. Gab b. Tammy c. me

9. Who ate the peanutbutter cup?
a. Gab b. Tammy c. me

10. Who's Yankee cap did I wear today?
a. Abby's b. Tricia's c. Steph's

Love you all. Happy guessing. Sorry it's not very exciting-- any new top ten tuesday ideas would be welcome. I'm sure there are things I have never thought of... T

Monday, August 21, 2006


I am sitting here on a new kitchen chair in the new room of our new house. In a new neighborhood. But fortunately, the campus isn't new :) or else I'd be in trouble. When I think back to how "new" everything felt last year at this time, I shake my head in awe of how quickly it all flashed by. Life only gets quicker as the years go by, which teaches me to enjoy the times of "youth" while they are still near.

This past week before school started, I had off. I was able to have a snapshot of "summer" during this week and I kept myself busy with activities that I might have enjoyed throughout the summer had I not worked. One day was spent going out to lunch with my mom, sisters, and aunts. Another day I took my older neice and nephews to the water park with Kristi. Dairy Queen trips were frequent, and hanging out with friends late at night occured nightly. I was thankful for a week to enjoy before the rush of school came flying towards me at full force.

However, I am looking at a pretty light 'n easy semester- photography, graphic design, communications, and genetics comprise my learning palette for these next few months. I am looking forward also to working 2 days a week at Cat in Mossville, interning in the same business unit that I stayed with all summer, Cat Electronics.

Another area that looks exciting to me is our ISU Young Group. I am serving as treasurer this year on an amazing committee, and I look forward to planning, facilitating and participating in events throughout the year! I can already see how God is working through each member and the individual talents lying therein, and I know it will be used for His glory! I look forward to seeing people at ISU Bible Study this week. I remember last year, that was the one night a week I always got excited about, because I was able to see so many faces from all around Central IL.

I can't end this post without a mention of my room mates. I can already tell this year holds a lot of fun and fond memories, and it only took me one night to figure it out. Actually, I knew it ever since we finalized the 6 room mates living here. But at any rate, we all have much to be thankful for-- and hopefully, our house here on Willow Street can be a shining beacon of God's love as we live out this next year here at ISU.

It is exciting to note God's almighty ways and how His purpose for each of us is simple, but the way in which He works it out is so beyond our understanding. It does me good to remember that I am not always suppossed to have all the answers or figure out all the mysterious ways in which He works; I am only here to glorify Him and further His Kingdom in where he has me in the present. Simple to say, so hard to follow through. I recently dug out "The Purpose Driven Life" and got slammed in the face with the "It's not about you," statement starting off the book. No, it's not. Yet I wake up every morning with a self-centered approach, and the only way to break loose from this perspective is to keep consistency in reading the Word, praying to God, and being open to opportunities that surround us each and every day.

Some applications...

Try denying SELF. Start with the small things-- give your friend the bigger half of the cookie even though you are STARVING and it's your favorite kind. These types of behaviors, if enforced habitually in the small things, will soon come naturally and will be more easier to apply in the big things.

Pray OFTEN. Pray for the driver who just cut you off. Pray for your boss. Pray for your attitude. Instead of worrying about how something will work out, pray that it will.

Treat every "job" or "task" you are given during the day as if God gave it to you. It doesn't matter if you know you can "take advantage" of the situation and do it quicker one way or easier another way, and it doesn't matter that the task seems unnecessary to you. It doesn't matter that the job you were given is frustrating and time consuming, or that it's the last thing you really feel like doing. Whether your mom gave it to you or your teacher gave it to you, treat your work like "God's work" and every time, I guarantee that your attitude will be nicer, your finished product will show quality, and your "self" will be taken out of it.

Love you all! T

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Tricia, Part II

I have had multiple requests to update, so I best please the crowd. I have also had a few topic suggestions, but the one I am going to go with is actually close to brilliance, because the timing is astounding.

As I sit here and think about school starting back up in ONE week, I become extremely excited about my living arrangements for the Fall semester. We 4 T's will be collaborating with 2 newbies, so I need to make sure all of my T-House Tributes are complete. I have covered Tracy, Tammy, and Part 1 of Trish. Looks like TP needs to be closed up with a Part II before my new room mates enter into the mix.

So here we have it: Tricia, Part II

Randomalities & Greatnesses...

Just in case you get real hungry late at night, she is always willing to make a Krispe Kreme run.

She likes to laugh. Trish and I can laugh until we have tears in our eyes and our tummies hurt.

Rather than trying to butt in with stories and words, she will always lend a great listening ear to any story.

She is a natural encourager.

She has a unique style with a flair-- in every way.

Good & easygoing conversationalist.

She would support ideas of post-it notes on kitchen walls, rearranging living rooms at midnight, and watching the best episodes of The Office... even if we've already seen them.

She's a creative thinker.

Needless to say, I look forward to some super times with this girl starting next week. Thanks to TP for making sure there is never a dull moment.

Love you all. T

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A Novel Piece: Weekend Events & Spiritual Tidbits

I took my two nephews towards the front of church today and sat with them during the morning service. Actually, I offered to take one of them, and Noah was the first to jump at the suggestion, but as he trailed along behind me, I glanced back to see an upset and left out Oliver. Needless to say, I cannot turn away sad and tearful faces, so I took them both.

Noah, Oliver and I plopped down in a bench mid-way in the sanctuary with three bags of toys- oh, and I also brought my Bible to church and a purse. So it’s a good thing at ages 4 and 6, the boys can carry their own bags. ☺ I enjoy spending time with my nephews, but an older lady sitting behind me had it right when she leaned up and said, “You have a busy morning ahead of you.”

We started off coloring with those magic markers that only produce color on the special paper to eliminate staining. It is amazing what accident-proof toys they have come up with over the years. Back in my day, you used to have to just be real careful to stay inside the lines or within the edge of the paper. Anyway, once we got through the excitement of that (which lasted about 6 minutes, which equals about 2 songs out of the Zion’s Harp), we made paper snow flakes. I showed Ollie how to fold the paper into a triangle and cut it to make pretty patterns.

“Let’s make another one,” he would say every time after opening the snow flake up and seeing it’s beauty.

“I used coffee mugs to make it a circle shape at school,” Noah informed me.

The things these kids learn at school… he’s going to be smarter than me before I know it.

Next, we played “Guess what Picture I’m Drawing.” Oliver had a fixation with drawing a circle and a smiley face with about 5 legs coming off of it. The first time, it was a spider, and the second time it was “nothing.” Noah drew a long squiggly line.

“It’s a snake,” I guessed.

“Nope,” Noah replied.

Ollie and I put in about 2 more guesses each until Oliver said, “It’s a snake.”

“Yep!” Noah said.

“That’s what I guessed,” I told him, slightly annoyed, “and you told me I was wrong.”

“Ohhhh, I thought you said STEAK,” Noah said.


I love them both- I really do. Being with them reminds me of the important task both of my sisters, and my sister in law, all carry in their day-to-day lives. I look at their life sometimes and I don’t really envy it; but other days, I come to stand in awe and appreciation of how they raise their kids. It’s not a blow-off task. It is so comforting to know these kids are being raised in homes where the love of Jesus is taught and their morals will be set as a solid ground beneath them. I know that teaching those things to kids doesn’t always guarantee they will all grow up and be perfect, but by having those morals instilled in them, hopefully they will be carried in their minds all throughout their life.

I look at myself and my life so far, and a lot of the choices I have made and the convictions that have tackled me. Almost every one of those instances can be traced back to how I was raised. Why I think the way I do, why I act the way I do, why I say the things I say… it all comes down to the amazing parents I had who raised me up in a loving and caring environment, and one in which encouraged the good and admonished the bad. I have always had a never-ending source of wisdom and advice to go to at any time throughout any of my family members, and it has been what has molded me to who I am today.

Being with kids makes me nostalgic- I wish that I could go running back into the days of my youth… sometimes I walk down the alley that now leads to me sister’s house across the street, and I stroll right by my old best friend’s backyard. I remember those summer days when we would run barefoot through the neighborhood until it was dark out, catching lightning bugs and finding wounded animals to care for. Those were the days… but how great to think that one day, I could raise kids of my own who can do those same things. Sometimes, life seems to connect in ways that are like a dot-to-dot-- a series of events that look scattered… but occur in chronological order that all relate to each other and when it is finished, it creates a beautiful picture that just makes sense.

I am done being philosophical for the moment. I’ll dwell on my weekend for a second… it was a good one, but a busy one. I went out to eat and then to the riverfront Friday night with some friends to celebrate Tricia’s homecoming from Europe. It was good to see her and welcome her back! We then wrapped up the evening back at my house.

Saturday, I got to help at the Cat Electronics picnic all day, helping sign people in and answer people’s questions. We had a good turn out with volley ball games going on, great music, food, and other activities for kids and adults. Saturday night was another out-to-eat deal with bowling and games… you can never go wrong there.

Today was church in Morton, which was very good, and then volleyball with some people in Goodfield in the beautiful afternoon weather. My mom and I met my sister and her husband and kids for supper, and then spent the evening together.

I look ahead into a very busy week with lots of plans… in life’s busy-ness, it is so easy to overlook my purpose. It is my prayer that we can all learn to stay focused all the way through… you know, today in church, we read out of 1 Corinthians 15, and there was a verse that stuck out to me:

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (15:58)

When I think of “purpose,” I feel like that verse supports a world of answer. What is my purpose? What is anyone’s purpose? To further and build His Kingdom while we are here on earth, and we do that by being firm and unmovable, proclaiming His name boldly, and giving of ourselves FULLY to the work of the Lord, in all that we do. Not just at church or after bible studies or during singings… it’s an “always” thing. The singings and bible studies and church services are supportive worship services and opportunities to serve and encourage and learn, but the real “doing” of Christianity happens outside church doors and worship singing circles. The real “doing” happens every day in our day-to-day lives at work, at school, and at home. Let’s do this, knowing that our labor in the Lord is not in vain!

I love you all! T

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wednesday's Wisdom 3

Tonight in church, the minister told a story about an old lady he was visiting in a nursing home. He said that she stated, "I love everyone- I do. I don't like some people, but I love everyone." The minister then pointed out how we all should have that brotherly/sisterly love for all, even if we don't all always "like" the same things and click perfectly. That isn't always going to happen because we aren't all the same, and it's a good thing we aren't. But that doesn't mean we can't all love each other.

Anyway, I sat there and thought, "Old people are so wise." One of those revolutionary thoughts that I knew, but the notion hit me tonight in an awe-inspiring way.

Then tonight, I read in Proverbs 16: 31, "Gray hair is a crown of splendor, it is attained by a righteous life."

I feel like the thoughts that the elderly have just spill with wisdom and experience. The perspective is so... right. But how is this attained? Proverbs says "by a righteous life." Sounds like a tall order to me. Yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel... as we strive to continue down the path of glory and obedience to our Father in Heaven, we will be led into the way everlasting and perhaps someday be adorned with a "crown of splendor."

Love you all! T