I’ve noticed a recent influx of articles from various venues such as Relevant Magazine and USA Today College telling me I should give up or attempt weaning off of the internet.

For example, I watched a 10 minute long video promoting #nointernetweek (see video No Internet Week). And yes, it was worth my time. Believe me, I have a short attention span and am convinced I’m slightly ADD when left alone to be “productive” or at least appear productive.

Did I mention I had seven tabs on Google Chrome, Outlook, and Microsoft Word open? Twitter, Facebook, and just to balance things out a bit Wordle and Dictionary.com were among a few things I was reading/skimming over.

But, come on, I had Microsoft Word open. I was being productive! In fact, I was multitasking A.K.A. being “multitastic” as my little brother enjoys calling it.

OK, point taken. I’ve been using the dumb phone excuse for two long now. New Year’s resolutions: evaluate my face-to-Facebook ratio, write more, read more, experience more. I’m pretty sure people could survive without me posting a daily status or changing my profile picture. Everyone knows it there was snow on the ground in Washington yesterday.

The Trail of Trust

I’m not super competitive. I played soccer for about eight years and stopped after my Freshman year of High School. I was kind of bored with my rec team; I wasn’t really progressing so I decided to opt out. Because really, I only had one other option if I didn’t want a select or a school team: find another rec team. It was fun while it last. I mean, you’re talking to a girl who couldn’t run the mile in under ten minutes during P.E. class. (I have since then improved and run a 6 minute mile with my sister impromptu).

I enjoy bragging about my brother and sister. (OK well, ALL of my siblings). They are fourteen. The two of them started doing cross-country. They’re amazing.  At their first meet, my sister came in first for her school and fifth OVERALL. for girls. My brother was around seventh for his school and I forgot his overall placement. There were a lot more boys than girls– I noticed this almost immediately. Anyways, they run just to run. I only ran when I played soccer, because for me,  the goal was more  tangible. More than just getting a PR. The ball was within sight. Props to these kids they went uphill, downhill and around in circles. The away school didn’t catch the lay of the land until their first meet. They had no idea what they were up against. Except that this could easily be their biggest competition. But they knew very little about the individual runners.

In life, I’ve found that some goals we absolutely must pursue are not always clear. In order to reach it we are taken down a trail which leads into a thick cloud of fog. We must run without knowing exactly where we are going. I call this the Trail of Trust. Let me be clear, this is different from the Walk of Recklessness. We are not aimlessly wasting ourselves on tangible things which are calling out from the sides of the path, tempting us to stray from the Trail of Trust.  The Walk of Recklessness is tempting. Why? Because it’s EASY. The path is wide and we can see more clearly where we are headed. The Walk of Recklessness is a means to an end. Eternal goals are different. God is infinite. His plans are boundless. They are beautiful. Far more detailed and intricate than anything else we could ever dream up. It’s the real deal. Satan loves it when we settle. He loves it when we settle for less.

Those who walk down the Trial of Trust are like Irene, from George MacDonald’s children’s book, The Princess and the Goblin. In the story, Irene’s godmother presents her with a gift. “A ring with a thread tied to it, leading to a little ball of thread.” Irene’s fairy godmother goes on to explain that she will keep the ball of thread and Irene, the ring. Irene is confused. But I can’t see the thread. Her fairy godmother answers  “No. The thread is too fine for you to see it. You can only feel it.” The story goes on to tell the story of how when Irene finds the goblins at her house, she feels for the thread. Although she cannot see, she can feel the thread and it leads her to safety. That is faith.  Faith and trust go hand in hand. Like chocolate and peanut butter.

Be careful when running. The Trail of Trust is not easy, but it’s worth the plunge, it will be rocky, steep, slippery, and narrow. You may not know where you are going or even how to get there. Take hold of that thread. It acts as your compass. There is only one catch about the thread. If you only pretend to believe in it, it will not aid you. You’ve gotta go all in. Do or die. Don’t let recklessness distract you.  Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. That will destroy you. Trust in

There are periods of time in our lives where we must take a leap of faith and run. We must trust in Christ’s presence and keep on. With faith we can move mountains. With faith we possess the ability to go places! Our final destination may not be where we expected, but it’s certainly where we are supposed to be.


Don’t be afraid of the fog! It’s where we learn valuable lessons in some of life’s most unclear circumstances.


Fear of Average

Fear of Average

Making Voices Visible

  1. Last night I finished the book Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, Do Work That Matters by Jon Acuff. Let me tell you, that book scared me to death. Once I finished it, I was afraid that I’m already to average to be awesome. However, as Acuff said “Voices are invisible bullies, and they hate when you make them visible.” If you haven’t read the book, read it. It’s OK to be scared so long as that fear doesn’t paralyze you.

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For the Fresh Peoples

I learn as I go. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten anything right the first time. I’ve learned more by making mistakes than I think I would’ve if I hadn’t made them.  I believe it is my duty to impart with some little snippets of wisdom.  From one fellow grammar Nazi to another, please, feel free to keep any corrections to yourself. I only drank one cup of coffee today.  WARNING: SARCASM INTENDED. STOP HERE IF YOU CAN’T LAUGH AT YOURSELF.

So, without further ado, here are a few things you should know about college:

  1. you no longer have the ability to be the teacher’s pet. you are ONE fish in one very large school.
  2.  friends will come and go. some people are placed in your life for a season. Others for longer. the latter are usually able to stand two tests which either make or break  friendships: 1) distance 2) time.
  3. i’m assuming a majority of you drink coffee or some caffeinated liquid. look at your class schedule. plan accordingly for caffeine crashes. if all of your classes are in the morning, by all means, help yourself to a cup of Joe, tea, your chock-full -of-energy drink of choice. If you intend on accomplishing your homework in the afternoon, you might wanna have a second cup after lunch. believe me. i’ve learned all of this by trial and error. don’t be that person who orders three extra shots of caffeine in their coffee. if you’re that desperate, there is a cure. it’s called sleep.
  4. summer classes. i took a fifteen credit load in the summer. entirely online. i spent 130+ hours on one five credit math homework. imagine a year-long math class, then a semester class and then a quarterly class and the an 8 week class. 130+hours for one class alone. plan accordingly so that you do not have to put yourself through something that stressful.
  5. you’re only human. not everybody places into calculus first semester the way ALL freshmen are supposed to. it’s OK. i placed into Algebra. i worked hard and received a B. better to work hard and receive a B than not work at all.   worth ethic will get you a LOT farther than 4.0’s.
  6.  in case of an emergency, take a tip from Gracie Lou Freebush. A.K.A, Miss Congeniality, Gracie Heart, Sandra Bullock etc.  and just S.I.N.G! Solar Plexus, Instep, Nose, and Groin 😉 Congratulations. You’ve just mastered your first self-defense lesson.
  7. ask questions.  find out EXACTLY what your teacher wants. make sure things are crystal clear. For example, does your math teacher expect things done a certain way? Let’s face it, most teachers prefer assignments done a particular way. if you can’t  ask  your teacher, ask the TA, if you can’t ask the TA, ask someone who has been in the class before, if you don’t know someone who has been in the class before, ask a different teacher in the SAME DEPARTMENT. your math teacher may know your English teacher, but his or her English skills probably won’t be that great.  don’t try to cozy up to your teacher so much that you become that extremely obnoxious person who sides with the teacher concerning everything. there is no such thing as a stupid questions. except, well y’know…..i just won’t go there.
  8.  english class. always give constructive feedback to classmates. the least helpful thing for a person to hear is “oh that’s cool,” or “oh that’s stupid.” Always answer the five W’s.
  9.  notes are important.  i’ve learned that the hard way this quarter. however, note taking is  only of good use to you if you a)  number the pages b) preferably keep them in a spiral notebook. neat writing is kind of pointless if you have half of your lecture notes in a binder and the other half somewhere on your desk.
  10.  you’re sharing a room with someone you’ve either never met before, share nothing in common with, will only keep their room clean until the first day of school starts, or is TOTALLY AWESOME. Be prepared for anything. you can only stalk a person on Facebook so much. the “e-harmony” of roommates only works so well. how do I know this? i talked with a friend at a going away party and she said her current roommate is actually on the waiting list for a  single room. #awkward.
  11.  amazon isn’t always cheaper. i recently recoiled in horror at this terrible revelation. i found out that one of my school textbooks is actually half the price at the school bookstore than online. this is the first time it has happened in five quarters so…..
  12.  if you aren’t the type of person who annotates and underlines frantically (like me) you should try renting books.  so step 1) figure out how you best retain information.
  13.  so, sometimes you can find the older version of a textbook for a lot cheaper simply because it’s a different edition. e-mail your professors and they may let you make copies of material not included in the older editions. not many people do this. mainly because they’re too lazy to make the extra effort and ending up spending more money than they’d like. and honestly, not many teachers are happy with their salaries and may therefore sympathize with your insane materials cost.
  14.  hopefully you are at school for an education so, try to come away educated. harsh, but y’know.
  15. Finals: UGH.  here’s my best advice. Set a tentative game plan. take out your handy-dandy planner schedule out the week preceding finals carefully. follow that as closely as possible.  then be prepared for that entire plan to completely failed. so after plan A fails, choose the class most vital to your degree and make sure to not fail that one class. 
  16.  academic integrity. let’s get serious.  you can bet I’ll write a separate post on this issue because I feel so strong about this issue. don’t cheat. please. it’s not worth it. i know “everybody” is making the decision to Google answers to that take home test. well guess what. you are not everybody. i could probably be an honors student if i weren’t an honest student. life isn’t fair. the bell curve isn’t fair. but YOU MUST think about how the decisions you make now will decide your future. don’t fall into that peer pressure. here’s the deal, many times people will try to justify cheating simply because things aren’t communicated clearly between your professor and the class-directly. look at your class syllabus. look at your test and/or homework instructions. if something seems fuzzy, clarify with your teacher. ASK if you can use extra. there’s nothing wrong with that.
  17. student accounts : “welcome! you’ll need our services for the next four years of your life at (insert school name) please expect delays from day one of account creation. we no longer communicate via paper. WE’RE ADVANCED. therefore, from here on out, we’ll have our IT department open 24/7, because the best part about our services is that nothing EVER works perfectly. expect unexpected changes to occur with each  log in and lack of communication and understanding from your teachers. we’re hoping that these dire circumstances will increase creativity among our students, who we desire to be as well-rounded as possible.” sincerely, The Team at ( insert name of school and account type).
  18. scholarships. brag away, because we all know that YOU are the reason YOU are here today. i.e 2.0 G.P.A, that one time you did that one thing with ASB. ahh but here is an idea! my third cousin twice removed was one-quarter Cherokee Indian. SCORE. no. just no.
  19. FAFSA. congratulations you are just rich enough but just poor enough that this one $5,000 Stanford student loan POSSIBILITY will hardly make a dent in the $200,000 + you’ll be paying for school. welcome to the middle class. WE ARE THE 99%.
  20. Need a Monday pick-me-up? Watch a Blimey Cow YouTube video. They recently started doing podcasts as well!
  21. Find your jam. And crank it up.


eldest of eight, recent High School graduate, current community college student and future transfer at God-knows-where (He does)

Jeremiah 29:11

Books, Books, and More Books!

115. That is the number of books on my shelves–or in my Kindle– I have read or am super-duper close to finishing. 40. The number of books in the Left Behind series  for teens by Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins. I read them all in a matter of months. Unknown. The number of books I’ve ever checked out from the public library. 9+. The current number of books on my reading list this summer. 1179. The number of pages in The Count of Monte Cristo. The longest book I have read thus far aside from the Bible. 5. My age when I illustrated my grandpa’s self-published book–The Little Angel Gets A Big Job. 2. The number of attempts I made before finally finishing Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. 6. The number of Bibles I own. 1. The number of books I want to write in my lifetime. (At LEAST). 3. The number of boards on my Pinterest dedicated completely to books. Yes, I am a nerd 4 life.

Currently Finished and/or Currently (Attempting) To Read:

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. Finished. Incredible.

Forgotten God by Francis Chan. You must read this book. You absolutely must. It’s convicting, encouraging, and thought-provoking. In the best ways possible.

Les Miserables by Victor HugoThe struggle is real. I’m only 241 pages in. And I started forever and a day ago.

Jesus The King: Understanding The Life And Death of The Son Of God by Timothy Keller. (Previously titled King’s Cross). This is one of those good books that I need to just  sit down and read. It just hasn’t happened.

Summer 2013 Summer Quarter College Reading List:

License to Thrill: A Cultural History Of The James Bond Films by James Chapman

License Renewed by John Gardner

Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

Note: These books are actually a requirement for my History 255R class I just wrapped up this summer titled: Bond…James Bond. Who would’ve thought one could earn 5 college credit for learning about a fictional character? These are the questions I asked myself at the start of summer quarter. Well, the end has come and gone (thank heavens)! Not only am I NOT a Bond fan, but my favorite book wasn’t even written by Ian Fleming himself. Sad day. My advice to you: don’t take an obscure specialized class. It’s code word for fan club.

7: an experimental mutiny against excess by Jen Hatmaker. Ugh. School was crazy so I still haven’t finished the last 8% of the book. That sounds so wrong. I can’t get used to this whole Kindle thing.

The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. LEwis

The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis

How did I fall so behind in this precious series?!

Spontaneous reads:

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. One of few books in the “young adult” genre that isn’t about zombies or vampires.

2. The Great Gatsby by Francis-Scott Fitzgerald I almost cried. So. Sad.

3. This Side of Paradise by Francis-Scott Fitzgerald.

Just starting:

1. Rooms a novel by James L. Rubart

Praise for rooms: “Rooms is one of the best books I’ve read in the past year. If you like The Shack, I think you’ll like Rooms. If you didn’t like The Shack, I bet you’ll love Rooms. This story got under my skin and it’s going to be there for a long, long time.”

–Randy Ingermanson, Christy award-winning author of Oxygen

My curiosity is officially aroused. I read The Shack and I’ll be honest: I did not enjoy the read at all. There, I’ve spit that out. Whew! Let me just say I found it very controversial. But hey, that’s exactly why I enjoy writing. Not because I enjoy controversial things, but because I enjoy discussing anything and everything.  Read it for yourself, and tell me what you think!

Journalism 125 Textbooks:

I would jump up and down with excitement, but I can’t do that while sitting.

1. News Reporting and Writing by Missouri Group Twelfth Edition.

2. Associated Press Stylebook Tenth Edition.

Always Reading:

1. My Upmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. This devotional is so inspiring. Chambers does an excellent job writing in-depth snippets of goodness. It’s one of those books I don’t want to read through because I’m afraid I won’t want to read it over again!

Always Loving:

“The Bible is the book of all others, to be read at all others, and in all conditions of human life.”

John Quincy Adams

What are you reading?


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