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Ocean Wide

Sunday, April 5, 09

Two nights ago Hardin-Simmons hosted an amazing event called AfterDark. We all knew a popular band, The Afters, were going to be there, and a speaker, Joe White, was also being advertised. No one really had any idea what to expect though.
I think it is safe to say that nearly everyone in the auditorium was absolutely floored. Joe White, using a series of powerful videos and a dramatic tactic that blew me away not only got, but KEPT the attention of everyone in the room. At the end of his… performance? presentation? speaking?… he suggested that everyone in the room write down on a notecard a sin that they struggled with, and something they were prepared to give over to God. After, he had each of the cards nailed to a two story high cross he had singlehandedly made on stage… in front of our eyes. I am normally pretty open on my blogs about my life, and every thing going on with me, but I think I’ll keep what I wrote on my card to myself ;-). I will however say, the experience was life changing. For all the cynics out there, you could say it was you typical “God experience.” I won’t argue, other than to say nothing about God is “typical”. God knocked, I finally opened, He changed me. God spoke, everyone listened, people were broken down and built back up, stronger.

It is hard to relay the kind of impact that Joe White made during his time with us, but I will say that there is nothing quite like really giving something over to God. I’ve written about it before, and I won’t hesitate to say it again: God’s forgivesness is never ending, and it absolutely astounds me. I dread any day I feel as if I’m above his grace and mercy, or even question the purity of it. Its so beautiful, and the joy and the peace that come from how deep that forgiveness goes takes my breath away. Or maybe, gives it back.
Either way, amazing… captivating… perfect. I want to challenge you to do the same. Let yourself off the hook, and experiences one of the most amazing gifts Christ has given us… payment.

I’m sorry if I got a little “preachy.” (For the record… I love that term.) I just want everyone to benefit from the things I feel like God is teaching me right now, and the joy that is coming along with it for me.

“I know we made mistakes. I see through all the tears, and that’s what got us here. If love is an ocean wide, we’ll swim in the tears we’ve cried. They’ll see us through to the other side. We’re gonna make it.” — The Afters

Love.

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I Will Go Down With This Ship

Friday, March 13, 09

I’ve been in a bit of a battle lately. I’ve been fighting a few different things. Time. Myself. Fears. Pro and con lists (hehe). Throwing up :).
In this whole, figuring out my life (ect) thing I’ve been in, the easiest decision for me was always to give up. Fortunatley, that wasn’t an option. So instead I thought out EVERY single detail about each of my decisions. Every positive, every negative. EVERY! My daddio put it the best: My mind was a hamster on a wheel, running a thousand miles an hour and getting no where and instead, driving myself crazy by it.
Well, that little hamster finally broke free tonight. I MADE A DECISION! I’m going to stick it out for the long haul at Hardin-Simmons. It is simply the best decision for me right now. That’s all I can say about it.
Get excited for one step forward!!
THANK YOU SO MUCH again to everyone who’s been dealing with me in all of this! I owe you all big time!!

In other news, my old best friend and I have been spending a lot of time together this week. Oh how I have missed my dear Chipotle. Too bad the sun hasn’t joyed us once yet. Stinky spring break without a sun!! I sure do miss California.

“I will go down with this ship. I won’t poke my eyes out and surrender. There will be no white flag above my door.” – Dido

Love.

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More Time

Saturday, March 7, 09

“So say alright, cause I know we can make it if we try. But I need more time, just a few more months and we’ll be fine.” NeedtoBreathe

I’ve always been so jealous when I read Donny’s blog and he talks about being on airplanes. I’ve always wanted to write a blog entry on an airplane. SO here I am! Seat 15 A. Window! ūüôā Westbound.. CALIFORNIA!!!!
I read Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman this week. Besides being an extremely realistic tale of a failed business man, Death of a Salesman takes an interesting take on the way that your failures, successes, dreams and fears affect those around you; every decision, every action, every breath. Willy Loman ends up taking his life at the end of DOS, and at his funeral his middle aged son sheds light on Willy’s life. With a simple sentence he pretty much sums up the realities that Willy faced. Willy had the wrong dream. Willy dreamed of being a successful salesman. Simple. Liked. Comfortable. Joyful.
Instead Willy failed. Instead Willy lied about everything he had the ability to lie about. He tore apart his family because he did not have the backbone to face the truth. Money and a big name were success to Willy, and he had neither of these, and neither did his sons.
I’m at a very interesting point in life right now. I thought after last year I would be done with questioning everything about my life. I was looking forward to some solidity in my life for a few years. Mental note to self: don’t ever do that again. I have no idea what to do next semester. After reading a story like Death of a Salesman I start wondering to myself, what if I have the wrong dream. I’m taking a lot of time to really look into exactly what I would be doing by earning a music business degree at DBU. I’ve talked to the dean over the MB program and 2 different students that are highly involved in their degree programs. The best word I can find to sum it all up? Intense. Second choice? Scary.
I had decided over Christmas break after a great deal of thought, a little life analysis and a great deal of prayer for God to guide my steps, that I was going to spend only one more semester at Hardin-Simmons. Shocking news- things change.
Who called that one? Just about everyone I’m sure. Good job to the world. You win! ūüôā
In case you’re confused‚Ķ don’t worry, I am too. Laments terms: I have no idea what to do next semester. I’m getting really caught up in what would be a cop out, what would be the high road, what the bad decision would be, what would benefit everyone around me. AH! Mind grenades!!

I know I haven’t blogged in forever, but I wanted to write this one for everyone around me that has been putting up with me in all of this. I‚Äôm SO SO SO SO SO SORRY!! I really appreciate all of you for dealing with me the last few months trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I have been an impossible indecisive mess. I’ve been over thinking every thing and not looking in the right places to find my answers and I just want to thank, officially in writing, all of the people that are just giving me encouragement right now. I’m really, really, really lucky. No questions.

Love.

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You Can’t Break a Broken Heart

Wednesday, December 31, 08

It is hard to describe the moment in time when you first truly experience all of the emotions that accompany the relentless pain in losing someone that means an incredible amount to you; the pain in losing someone that you love. I was young‚Ķ too young actually when I was first broken by that pain. I guess we’re all either too young or too old. Everyone should have a reason or an excuse as to why they shouldn’t experience that pain. Something they can use as a bargaining chip.
On October 14th my mom woke me up at 6 in the morning to tell me that my cousin had been in a car accident. Her exact words were that Becca was not expected to live. As gently as she spoke they still had the power to tear my world down. I have relived that moment so many times in the last eight years. Eight years. Wow, that number doesn’t seem large enough to hold the length of each of the years that have passed. Sometimes I wonder if my mother had the ability to cushion that blow at all for me. If she had used different words maybe she could have saved me from all of that pain. I wonder if she could have somehow found a way to say that one sentence more tenderly, or soothingly, or in a way that would not have made every ounce of my blood turn to ice. I wonder sometimes if she had worded it differently, if it would hurt less than it did, and would forever. However, in the back of my mind I will always know that even in the power I believe language holds, and the power created in a carefully chosen word, no one could have lessened the pain I felt in that moment, and the pain that even the healing powers of time really have not graced.
The memories I have from that day and the week that followed are not pleasant. Even now they creep up on me when I don’t really expect it. The older I get the more real that situation seems to get for me. I understand a little bit more of the story, relate on a different level to the person that Becca was then. It seems each year more and more of the questions I had when I was younger are answered.

This year, going off to college and experiencing so many new things with new people has done a lot for me. There really are some situations that are just out of our control, but there are situations that I have control over. Times when I can speak up. Each time‚Ķ I do. For some reason I’ve taken it upon myself to save every family member of each of my friends from the possibility of experiencing what my family and I went through eight years ago.

2008 was a year of growth and understanding for me. It was a year of changes, new faces and new places. It was a year of goodbyes. It was a year in which relationships were taken to a whole new level. It was a year that I learned a lot about myself, and learned how much I never knew. It was a year of love and compassion. It was a year of tears, but it was also a year of laughter. All things considered, it was a year that will forever hold regrets. It was a year of learning and gaining knowledge. Most of all though, 2008 was a year that held many hours of personal contemplation on life itself; the act of living. It has really stuck me quite a few times this year, how small life is, and easily it can vanish. For 2009, I don’t want one day that I’ve been given to go to a waste. In 2009, for Rebecca, I’m resolving to live every day as if it is my last. To give everything I have to the relationship in my life, and to the people who really matter. I’m also resolving to chase my dreams like I can’t fail. To take every opportunity as an open door, and to tear through any walls of fear or denial that stop me in my pursuit. 2009 will be a year of accomplishments for me.

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… is pondering.

Saturday, October 4, 08

I love my life these days. It is incredibly tough, but the rewards of my hard work and the time I find in between the work and reward (and occasionally disappointment) is better than anything I can ever remember.

This weekend I took a trek across the great Lone Star State to¬†the far¬†east¬†with a few good friends of mine to support the HSU Cowboy and Cowgirl tennis team in a tournament at UT Tyler. The 5 or 6 hours (its hard to remember at this point) that we spent in the car on the way out here was a little monotonous… but it forced¬†us to do things¬†we normally¬†would never have done. Ex: make a bucket list.

I’m not going to lie, The Bucket List with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson isn’t my absolute favorite movie because of its rather unfortunate ending, but I love the idea of making a list of things to do before you die. Before I allow you in on¬†the ‘life goals’ we came up with, I’ll go ahead and tell you that I rode to Tyler with three college freshmen boys who weren’t exactly in the best of moods so our list is a tad bit sarcastic, and¬†maybe even a little imature. However, the whole idea really got me thinking. I suppose right now everything pertaining to any sort of dream or aspiration is really getting me thinking, because I’m realizing more and more everyday that I’m at Hardin-Simmons that I am not where I¬†need to be to learn the skills that I want to learn. Most of you know, by this point, that my dream is to own my own record label company. I realize the risks in entrepreneurship, and the intensity of the music business, but I want somehow, someway to work in it. It is the one thing that lights a fire inside of me, and I can’t help but want to fan the flames. I love HSU, I really do. I love the people that I’ve met and the atmosphere, but they simply don’t have the degree plan that I want. I’m thankful that I’ve realized it so early on, because it could potentially create some problems in the future. I have dived head strong into finding the right university for me. I’ve analyzed countless Music Business degree programs all across the states, and I’m still looking very intently, but the one I have found that I like the best is at Dallas Baptist University. The program is still fairly new to college catalogs, but DBU’s program is highly nationally accredited, and due to the business side of the degree all of the classes that I’m taking now will transfer. I won’t lie, it isn’t all set in stone right now. I’m getting used to the idea of transferring after my freshman year is over at HSU, and while it is depresses me to leave the people that I’ve met, I know already that these relationships are extremely long lasting and I will not lose the friendships that I already hold so dear. I’m so thankful that I came to Hardin-Simmons, and I still love the school, the campus, and the atmosphere, I just know that I have to reach my dream, and this isn’t where I can do so.

ONNNN a more humorous note! THE BUCKET LIST! Its not quite finished, but its a start. It also may not all particularly make sense to non-Abilenians yet I still think it is absolutely hilarious, so I hope you enjoy!

1.       Watch a triology in one night.

2.       Skydive!

3.       Play Bingo at Ambler Bingo.

4.       Find the reason behind the Anson lights.

5.       Chili cook-off!

6.       Go to Colorado for Christmas

7.       Get an AWESOME band to play Abilene, for cheap!

8.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Start a rumor¬†(that’s unbelievable)¬†and get everyone on campus to believe it

9.       Scare the crap out of people looking at Anson Lights.

10.   Start a massive rave at HSU (preferably during chapel, or in the caf).

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Today is…

Wednesday, September 17, 08

Today is quiet. Today is peaceful. Today filled me with stillness, and hope and joy. Today was fleeting. Today was passive. I wonder sometimes way too much about the world around me. I wondered today what it has in store for me. What if today… What if today were it? If today were my last day here, what would that mean. Where would that take me, and for everything I have here, what would that be? Today I had this peace about life. I don’t know where it came from. I found the most immense pleasure in walking to my classes. I wanted to shout glory to the God who brought the breeze. I wanted every person that I passed to know that I wanted the best in life for them. I wanted them to know that in my peace, I wanted their joy too. I suppose you can’t actually go up to someone you don’t know and tell them that you want them to achieve their dreams… that they have the power to succeed, and the power to do great things. Today was one of those days that the world… for once… just wasn’t this horrible, spiteful, sadistic place to me. Today I didn’t have to fight the world around me… for once today the world was on my side. The world brought me joy, or really I found the joy inside of it, or inside of me. The day I decided to stop fighting was the day that my unseen enemies raised their white flag. Beautiful.

I can’t really explain what I went through today, but I can say that (again, for once) if today were my last day here on earth, that it would be a beautiful last day.

No I’m not trying to be depressing, I just have a very real grasp on reality, and the fact that I am not invinsible, and that bad things just happen sometimes.¬†I just try to put things into perspective occasionally to appreciate and not take advantage of each day I have here, and if tomorrow I never wake up, then today was glorious enough to be that perfect last day. I have regrets, but more… I have forgiveness. I have been forgiven.

To who ever reads this know that¬†I love you. No matter who you are, or what you’ve done, or why you do the things you do. If we share blood, I love you. If we share friendship, I love you. If we share nothing, I love you. If we’ve never met… I love you, because that’s what today has taught me: How complex love really is, and everyone in the worlds deserves to see the beautiful rays of sunshine that it provides. The hope within my heart, my soul right now is foreign to me, but all I want to do is spread it to every set of eyes I see.

Sleep well tonight beautiful world…

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Literally… History is Repeating Itself

Monday, August 25, 08

As a first grader I remember having this obsession with the big, amazing eigth graders in my school. I never thought that I would actually be one of them. I always thought about how amazing it would be to be fifteen years old. I always thought sixteen and seventeen just sounded too old, but fifteen would the best age ever. That seems so pathetically surreal to me now. Here I am… eighteen. As a six and seven year old I never fathomed being this old. That was eleven years ago. Just a little over a decade. That really is not that long of a time. Just looking at how much has changed in my life absolutley astounds me. I suppose I just don’t have the¬†kind of mind to be able to understand that.

As an eigth grader I remember the rapid pounding in my chest that occured everytime I saw Creekview High School and the massive building that occupied its students. I was terrified, literally terrified just seeing that building. I dreaded the first day that I would have to enter into those huge blue doors and try to find the classes I was in.¬†The last day of my senior year (which even now seems slightly like it was ages ago) as I was pulling out of the parking lot I thought back to those days. Everything about that building changed to me in just 4 years. I had conquered it… and I had done it so easily. All the fears I had in my head about the work being impossible, and the teachers being borderline hateful, and the people being horrible… it had all been taken and formed back into exactly what it was. Yes, of course there were hard times and I was challenged beyond my belief. But I handled it all, and I grew, and I found myself. I was stronger than I ever thought I could be through out the entire time.

Here I stand in a place almost identical to where I was just years ago. My mind has taken the unknown and formed it into a fear so raging, and so ugly that I barely know how to combat it. Somehow just thinking about that last day of high school a few months ago helps so much. Thinking about how accomplished I felt, and how great, and how sad I was that it was over. It makes me want to take everything about the upcoming years and cherish it. Take every memory, and every person, and every seemingly unimportant detail and appreciate it right as its happening. It makes me want to just be more aware of how fast this time will go by, and how important it will be in molding me even more into who I will be, and who I want to be.

I do have fears. Really deep, penetrating, dark fears of failure, and of unhappiness. I have fears that I will forget all the memories that I have now. I want so desperately to bargain with time. To do anything¬†to keep it from tampering with the amazing times I’ve had, that I don’t want to forget or lose sight of.
Its crazy to me to think that in another four years (hopefully) I will be right back here again, about to head out into even more unknown waters. By then I will have conquered this scary place. I will have built a life here for myself, and I will be connected to these people forever. All things considered, it is fun to think about.

 

Just so everyone can rest easy, I do absolutely love it here. This week has been crazy with all its meetings and activities and the newness of it all, but I’m just excited to get tomorrow over with, so I can either justify or squash all this unknown scariness!¬†Regardless, I’m going to be fine, and I’m going to make it through… and for once I actually believe myself when I say that.