Sunday, September 5, 2010

celebration and enlightenment

To say life is good would be an understatement.

I'm sitting in a comfy chair in my apartment with my room mate and best friend. We're having a celebratory day of laziness in light of the events that took place this weekend, which I will address later. These festivities have included pajamas, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Jersey Shore (which is like watching a car accident...its so terrible but you can't stop staring), a lemon cheeseball, mountain dew, and Pretty Woman.

I can't really describe how I feel right now, other than to say I am so happy.

I've never considered myself to be pessimistic. I like to think of myself as a glass-half-full type person. But at the same time, I have always tried to be realistic. As bad as this sounds, I tend to expect for and assume the worst in situations. That way, you don't fall so hard or hurt so bad when things don't work out the way you had hoped. I know for a fact that I am like that simply from experience, but you know what I have realized?

That is no way to live.

I believe that God has a plan for my life, and that plan does not include me being miserable and waiting for the weight of the world to fall on my shoulders at any time. I think the experiences that I've had in life have molded me and shaped me into who I am. And to say that all the past mistakes I've made, people who have hurt me, disappointments, heartache, happiness, friendships and love--won and lost, blessings, excitement, and tears have brought me to right here, right now....

I would do it all again in a heartbeat.


On a different note, I pride myself in saying that I attend Mississippi State University. And this weekend, we not only beat the pants off of the University of Memphis...our rival school (TSUN) lost to Jacksonville State! HAHAH!

That, my friends, calls for a celebration. And our celebration continues, as we are about to watch Juno. I also believe I have acquired a taste for mountain dew.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

concerning the certificate of debt...

I can't seem to get back into a normal sleep pattern. It's a work in progress, but I would love to fall asleep right now.

Since I am unable to, I will reflect on the fact that my first day of sophomore year of college is in the books. I'm sorry, what? Sophomore? College? I still feel like a 7th grader.

Regardless, I have a really good feeling about this semester. I think I'm going to love my classes, I already love my apartment, I know where everything is, and I have many wonderful friends here.

I got to have coffee with Malley, one of the members of the Centrikid team I was on this year since we both go to MSU. It was wonderful.

The only thing I really have to share is actually a verse that I read today that really grabbed me by the lapel.

Colossians 2:14
"He (Jesus) erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross."

Erased the certificate of debt. Woah.

This summer our camp pastor/wonderful friend of mine had a fantastic example of what it means to be set free from sin. He locked his wrist to a chair, and did not have the key. The image of him dragging the chair across the stage was funny, but at the same time it really provided a powerful illustration. A little while later, our worship leader/another wonderful friend of mine came out with the key that could set him free. In that way, Jesus is the key to set us free from the slavery of sin.

He has set me free AND erased the certificate of debt.

This verse got my gears turning...

my sin, not in part but in whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more! Praise the Lord, it is well with my soul!

Oh, praise the one who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!

The power of sin is broken, I have been set free. For I have died, and Jesus is alive in me!

How great the love the Father has shown us, that He would call us His own!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

it seems like the only thing I write about is love. I'm okay with that.

The reality of a new semester of college is beginning to sink in. I'm very excited to begin this next chapter in my life, but at the same time I'm not ready to let go of the beautiful chapter that God finished about a week ago today. I won't say that He finished it forever, because I know that the friendships I made and the work that God did through us in the lives of those kids are eternal. But I do miss waking up with 23 people who desire to share the gospel and who deeply love the Lord.

However, I have been waking up to my best friend Sydney, who is a huge blessing in my life. Huge. God fashioned us together as best friends in a strange way (ask me about it sometime), but it was just another way that God has shown me that He has control and works in some amazing ways.

I have said and written several times that I have changed and my life will never be the same. I've already seen how that change has impacted my life. My priorities in life have begun to change. The things I once thought were very important don't hold as much water.

I got to talk to one of my dear friends Emily from my team this summer last night. Our thirty minute phone call was like chicken soup to my soul. She was always so encouraging to me this summer, but to hear her words of kindess and uplifting advice meant so much more outside of "camp world".

It's pretty awesome to think that the God who created this universe and everything in it and who is more majestic, mighty, and powerful than I'll ever understand loves me. He gave me friendships and laughter and people that I can pour my heart into and they pour theirs back in return.

I've said before that I am a very loving person. This is a strength and a weakness in my life, because it's easy to fall hard when someone misuses or rejects the love that you have invested in them. This summer I saw how God uses my loving personality. And yes, it did hurt in some ways, and still does, I know He's not finished with me yet. And as strange as it sounds, loving to the point of hurting is the best kind.


How great the love the Father has shown us that He would call us His own!

Monday, August 9, 2010

this summer at a glance, under the influence of pain killers.

Oh boy. Where do I begin?

I'm currently sitting in my new apartment in pain. 90% of the pain is coming from my ribs (I'll explain later), but the other 10% is coming from my heart. Yesterday I said goodbye to CK5. As cheesey as those last two sentences sounded, I will say that is a good kind of pain. Maybe I shouldn't call it pain...I'll call it "physical evidence that I loved a whole lot this summer." :)

I'm a little bit overwhelmed on how to being to explain how incredible this summer was. I tried to blog as much as possible on some of the specific things that happened, but there are plenty more things I can write and share. But right now I'm just stepping back and taking a look at my life since June 6th. I can say with all confidence that I have changed.

Here's what I learned:

-I find my identity in Christ. Not in boys, school, friends, MSU, chi omega, band, or anything else. I am a child of God. And in spite of my past mistakes and failures, God STILL loves me and can use me in incredible ways.

-I love the person that God made me to be. But before I could find out what she looks like, I needed to surrender everything to Him. And now I see how I can be used by God; tangible, living, breathing proof that God is real, He loves me, and He wants me to be happy.

-I want to adopt a child. Obviously after I get married and all that jazz.

-I. Love. Kids.

-Sign language is one of the most powerful forms of worship.

-I have a clearly painted picture of what true love looks like. True love is unconditional, powerful, beautiful, comforting, and majestic. True love doesn't care how sweaty and gross you are. True love doesn't mind staying up till 3am doing laundry. True love stops everything they're doing and prays for you. True love is contageous laughter, inside jokes, hugs, joy, and tears. True love is staying at the emergency room for 3 hours when they didn't have to. True love is encouraging post-it notes on the bathroom mirror every morning. Seeing children become Christians for the first time is true love. Seeing children want to become better Christians is true love. Seeing children want their friends to become Christians is true love. Leading a sweet blind boy around the stage and having him play the drums is true love.

I could go on and on.

So I ended this summer with a bang. I managed to get deep muscle contusion and some bruised ribs from a combination of playing murder in the dark (it was totally worth it; best. game. ever.) and coughing really hard. So I spent the last night as part of CK5 in the emergency room with Bekah and Kimberly. And even thought it was the ER, we still managed to have a good time. Go big or go home, right? Am I right, am I right? I'm taking some pain killers and muscle relaxers, so if my grammar isn't correct, back off.

My heart is full.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

happy heart

If I could sum up what my summer has been like in one word, I know what that word is.


In two words, true love.

My mind and heart are full of such wonderful memories and one-on-one encounters with God. I can't believe that next week is my last week to work camp with CK5 2010. This summer has flown by, and yet, I can honestly say that my life has been changed forever. I could go on for days about the relationships that I have formed with each member of our incredible staff, but I'd like to specify one right now.

I met Kimberly in May before we left for our program training. We had lunch at Chili's since we live in the same area, and I knew from that day forward that I would like her. What I didn't know was how much I would end up loving her. She has been such a blessing to my life. God put me on CK5 so that I could spend the summer with Kimberly. She encourages me so much, and makes me laugh like crazy.

One thing that Kimberly has done for me this summer is to tell me to have a happy heart. I can probably count on my hand how many times I've been really upset or frustrated, but in those times she always reminds me to have a happy heart. I like this phrase. It's so simple. But even during times when I get frustrated or upset about fickle, meaningless situations, to be reminded to have a happy heart really does change my heart.

This is quite literally the tip of the iceberg as far as how much this staff has encouraged me. But I'm going to go to bed now, and share those when I have more time to write. :)

-Mary Chase

Sunday, July 11, 2010

it's the most wonderful time of the year

Have you ever felt the spirit of Christmas morning in July?

I have.

The past week of camp at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri was incredible. Each week I see how God is changing me and making me to become what I was made to do. This week I had a great bible study, a great church group, a fantastic group for my track was just a good week of camp. Being stationary this weekend was a huge lift to my spirits as well.

I had a BLAST this week. God is so good.

Also, after partaking in the festivities of CentriKid Christmas week, I have to say, my heart is full. I say that a lot.

We exchanged gifts with secret Santas, decorated cookies and had hot apple cider and hot chocolate, and had a Christmas morning breakfast at Tarah's house. It felt like Christmas. Being with 24 of my closest friends whom I love dearly, sharing fellowship while celebrating the birth of our doesn't get much better than that.

During Christmas week I received a journal. In this journal, there are notes to me from my fellow staffers. They (well...most of them) did not sign their name, but simply wrote me a note. It is the most encouraging, uplifting, and sweetest thing I have ever read. I laughed and cried and cried and laughed when I read it. I read it everyday. I am so lucky to be in the presence of this many incredible people who care about me. It's hard to imagine that the summer is halfway over; I don't know what I'm going to do when we have to say goodbye.

love love love,

Sunday, July 4, 2010

falling in love

I wish I was able to express how I feel right now. My heart is overflowing in love. This is the first time in my life where I have been surrounded by true Christian fellowship. And it's easy to do that in camp world. But to be quite honest, I believe this is the first time in my life where I can feel myself falling head over heels in love with my savior. I now am beginning to fully realize that Jesus is the greatest love story I'll ever hear, and it's not just "a"'s my story. God loves me so much that He sent His son to take my place...I have heard that so many times, but now I view it differently. This is not a story that I hear in church. It's not "Sunday school answers". It's not a religion. It's a love story. My love story. God longs for my heart and loves me more than I can ever understand. If that's not the most beautiful and captivating love story in the world, I don't know what is.

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me
And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh! how He loves us,
Oh! how He loves us,
Oh! how He loves.
We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way that He loves u


Saturday, June 19, 2010

how can we keep from singing?

Here are a few scribbles from my journal that I've been keeping this summer. Enjoy. :)

June 18, 2010: Lake Yale Conference Center: Leesburg, Forida

Camp- week one. Finished. Done. Sigh.
I feel like a real staffer now. I guess it took training week, a long drive to Florida, and five of the most stressful, exciting, joyous, indescribable, and happy days for it to finally click. Thirteen children became Christians this week. Seven dedicated their lives to God again. Three answered a call to missions. This week was life changing for me indeed. I can't imagine the person I will be in seven weeks from now. I can tell good things are yet to come and even now, as a CentriKid staffer (finally), God is still not finished molding, shaping, and healing my heart. Every bit of the sweating, heavy lifting, cuts, bruises, nausea, lack of sleep, lack of food, late nights, and early mornings was done so that this week, we welcomed thirteen more brothers and sisters into our family. We are adopted. We are being changed. We are unique.

How great the love the Father has shown us that He would call us His own!


June 22, 2010: Eckerd College: St. Petersburg, Florida

1 John 3:13: Don't be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you....
The past two days have been a little rough here at Eckerd. We have had a lot of challenges and hurdles and glitches set before us, and satan is really trying to throw us off. But in all these challenges, the One who called us is faithful. He will not put anything before us that He knows that we cannot handle. CK5 must be incredibly strong in the eyes of the Lord. And here's the thing: we cannot fail. Where there is love, there is God. And even though we've all been tired, frustrated, upset, and stressed, my heart is full of love.

I love my team members more than they know. Each one of them has been such a huge blessing to my life; in fact, I can't imagine my life without them now.

I love these kids that come to camp. I love their enthusiasm, their spirit, their passion, and their innocence.

Love + sharing the Gospel = the reason I do camp.

This week started out like this :
a chemistry lab for a bible study room
rainy opening celebration
sick staffers
confusing campus
etc. etc.

However, in the midst of the storm (quite literally), I saw one of the most beautiful rainbows in the sky that I have ever seen in my life.

I'm going to paraphrase something that Jordyn, our production leader, told us during a time of prayer before worship.

Neither locked doors,
nor sick staffers,
nor police training,
nor "light ice",
nor crazy locations,
nor no sound tech,
nor locked doors......
can keep God from moving this week.

Our God will not be moved...our God will never be shaken!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"did you turn on the light switch?"

Sometimes I feel like some of the things that happen in my life are impossible to express through words. This is my attempt to try.

An entire day of camp has come and gone, and I stand amazed at what God has done in a mere 24 hours.

We began with registration. I am the camp photographer, which means I get to take pictures of the church groups as they arrive and order prints for them to have. While in the company of one of my amazing team mates Jeremy, we roasted in the sun and the sand for 3 hours without sitting down. During this time of what you may think is torture, I got to know Jeremy better and hear his amazing testimony. I can honestly say that he is a genuine, kind, funny, all around good person. His spiritual maturity astounds me, and his way with kids is incredible. Even in the heat and sweat and sun, I enjoyed every minute of it and I am glad that the Lord let our paths cross.

After an opening celebration with music and songs and a totally awesome staff dance (which, by the way, I I did fall while running up the stage), we were dismissed to our bible studies.

I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting with a bible study group of my own for the first time, but I assure you, this was not what I had in mind.

I'm going to be completely honest here, my first bible study was terrible. The kids looked at me like I was crazy and had pure, putrid apathy for the games, illustrations and bible lesson that I attempted to teach to the kids. There was no excitement on their part, no fun, and no attempt to try. I left my room feeling hopeless, discouraged, shocked, and like I had lost control. While on the verge of tears from the frustration of the bible study, we had our first party. I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders because I was not expecting my bible study to be apathetic. Hyper, sure. Talkative, of course. Immature, that's a given. But apathetic? I was floored. I am a very passionate person, and I have poured out my heart getting ready to work at camp this summer- I have literally been waiting for this summer for ten years. I guess I just wasn't prepared to have a group of kids who aren't excited and don't want to be.

In hindsight, I can say this night of registration is one what I will never forget.


When we finished and had staff meeting, I had a sunburn, a headache, and a brick on my chest. I was not the only one to have a negative first impression of bible study. I was clearly upset, and my some of my amazing team members took time out of their night to pray with me and encourage me. Josh, Rich, and I prayed together, and our camp pastor Chris played with me as well. It was one of those moments where I felt God wrapping me in His arms.

The first day of camp went better than I expected it to go, especially with my pretenses from the previous night. Campers learned how they are adopted into the family of God during bible study and had some scalding-hot fun on the rec. field. My kids began to open up to me a little bit more and more. The apathy was dissolving around them. That same day, one of my fellow staffers JB wrote me a very sweet and encouraging note. I was, and still am, surrounded by God's love expressed through people who care about me.

The second day of camp went even better. The party games, I Can't Wait skits, rec. time, and everything else went well and I have to say, I had a blast. I have the best job in the world.

I've had the honor of getting to know Kimberly, our video producer, a lot better over the past few weeks and I can honestly say, she is a friend that I will have forever. Making videos every single night after a long day of camp is demanding,and Kimberly does a great job. With her company along with Bethany, Meagan, or Jordyn, you are in for a hilarious time.

Every single person on my team holds a special spot inside my heart. I again can't express enough how well our team fits together. I love them dearly, and the thought of leaving them when the summer is over makes me very sad indeed.

But perhaps the best part of my week so far was when Josh and I talked to a little boy as he became a Christian. This was the first time that I have ever really done something like this, and it blew me away. Josh was so knowledgeable and approachable with this little boy, and I was trying to take it all in. Literally right after that, a little girl from my bible study became a Christian. Is God good or what?!

So now, after registration, two full days of camp, a little sunburn, lots of laughs, and a great deal of drowsiness, I will say goodnight. Ignore the typos, I'm very sleepy. Love you all.


Friday, June 11, 2010

"he could be having a picnic..."

I feel like I have been sucked into a time warp of laughter, love, fellowship, hard work, late nights, early mornings, long drives, and fun. In other words, I'm in camp world now. And I love it. It is so nice to be away from the "real world".

This post begins my journey of serving with CentriKid Camps this summer. My team is CentriKid 5, and I'm not quite sure how I could love them any more than I do now. God really had His hand in this team; everyone is easy-going, down to earth, and on fire for the Lord. Not to mention they make me laugh at least 100 times an hour. Every single person on this team has a spot inside my heart now.

We had training week in Jackson, MS at Millsaps College. With two other CentriKid teams, we worked hard to learn exactly how to make camp happen.

But right now I am writing this from Lake Yale Conference Center in Leesburg, Florida, in the good company of two of my wonderful team mates. Camp begins on Monday morning. We arrived around 2:30 am on Friday morning and went straight to work after a few hours of much needed sleep. Although there is much left to do, we worked hard today by unloading our two Ryder trucks and setting up the auditorium and doing inventory.

When I sit back and look at the past five days, it is hard for me to believe that not even a week has passed. I feel like I have known my team my whole life. I am truly in a place in my life that I have never been before. I know that after this summer, my life will never be the same.

I would like to share a moment that really fed my soul this week. During our staff worship at training week, we sang "In Christ Alone". There were 80ish college-aged CentriKid staffers singing passionately to God; I was floored by the beauty of that moment.

I am blessed beyond what I deserve. I also have a load of clothes in the dryer, so I must bid farewell for now. Goodnight world :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010


For almost twenty years, I have called the small town outside of Memphis, Tennessee in Fayette County my home: Somerville. Home sweet Somerville. Everytime I see the green welcome sign as I drive home from college, I always breathe a sigh of relief.

Home means sleeping in my room, my gracious mother washing my clothes, coffee and conversations, long walks with my dad, and plenty of welcome home kisses from my sweet little dog.

Home means going to the church where I grew up on Sunday mornings.

Home means, if we can come back on the same weekend, seeing my sister and catching up on our college stories.

Home means my dad's grilled hamburgers and my mom's potato salad.

Home means smelling sweet honeysuckle and the wild roses that grow on the sides of my road.

Somerville fits the mold of a small southern town where "everybody knows everybody". There is a quaint square, a cross on the watertower, unique and delicious restaurants, and a theater that holds many memories for me.

Home is one of the foundations of my life. It is a part of me. The school I went to, the people I know, the experiences that I've had...they all took place in Somerville. Home.

But now it is time for me to take those steps away from home. With three more years of college left, I am realizing that I am growing up. The life I knew in Somerville is not the same one I live now. I am forever thankful for the opportunity to grow up somewhere like this, and for the wonderful family that I have been blessed with. I am thankful for the painful losses, the broken friendships, and the tears that were shed--everything that has happened to me has helped me grow and learn to truly live. Without the bad things, what would the good things mean?

I will miss home this summer. But I always take comfort in the fact that home is home. :)

Monday, May 31, 2010

a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

God works in the coolest ways.

While there are so many exciting things racing through my mind right now, I feel compelled to share one that I will never forget.

I had the honor of attending special training for CentriKid this past weekend-- the camp I will be working for this summer. While that is an entire blog entry (or several blog entries) itself, it sets the stage for my experience. I flew from Memphis to Nashville and back to attend training, and my flight from Nashville to Memphis was nothing less than awesome.

Attending training, meeting some of my amazing team, and the excitement of the summer before me had left me with a happy buzz; this and God's sovereign peace is what kept me from freaking out.

My flight was delayed three times, so I was stuck in the Nashville airport for a long time. While I was sitting at my gate, the guy behind the Delta counter asked if I was Mary Breedlove. I said yes, and he said "Well you're one of four people on this flight, and it's been delayed again." So I sat at the gate for another hour, but this time in the company of the guy behind the desk, the three other passengers, the pilot and co-pilot, and the flight attendant.

I might write a book about this. Some of you may think this is the lamest thing you've ever heard, but this is the kind of thing that I have seen in movies but never experienced. During the wait and on the flight, we had some of the best conversation I've ever had with anyone. We were total strangers before, but when we landed, we all hugged each other like family--including the crew. We laughed, shared stories, we drank coke, we joked with the pilot, we talked about pop culture--it was great. We were each from different places all over the United States, and the flight attendant was from the Dominican Republic. I even had the opportunity to have a feeble conversation with her in Spanish.

I will most likely never see those people again. I will also most likely never have a flight like that one again. We were from all different walks of life, and I left Memphis International Airport feeling so thankful for the delayed flight from Nashville.

God's plans are bigger for me than mine are for myself. I say that a lot. But something like my Nashville flight is just one of the many things He can use to show that He is in control. I like that. Actually, I LOVE that.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jesus loves nerds. Thank goodness.

I have peacefully come to terms with the fact that I am a perpetual nerd. And if anyone were to place me in a stereotype, I want it to be that one.

Again, for those of you who know me, this will not come as a surprise. I love LOST. And if you have been a part of American pop culture over the past weekend, you know that the six-season masterpiece came to an epic end on Sunday.

Before I express any of my thoughts on it (I loved it...well, that's probably all I will say), I want to share a quote that I heard that greatly sums up two things that I have grown to love.

If reading Harry Potter was about learning how to live, then watching LOST was about learning how to die.” - Stephen King

The more I think about the ending of LOST (and I won't spoil it for anyone who has not seen it and wants to), the more I love it. And there is so much truth to that statement: Harry Potter was about learning to live, LOST was about learning to die.

I grew up reading the Harry Potter books. In fact, I've read the series twice, some books more than others. I love how those books, like so many others, have the ability to completely captivate the reader. Harry Potter influenced me in so many ways. The books matured my love of reading. The story was drenched with mystery, action, humor, tragedy, and most importantly, love. All seven books hold the same theme: Good always conquers evil, and the power of love is the most powerful of all.

I won't even bother to take time defending why I love Harry Potter and why it isn't devil-raising witchcraft. To anyone who feels that way, I am so sorry that you didn't give it a chance and completely missed the message it offers. The entire story is about defeating evil, not encouraging young people to try to be wizards. My entire childhood I grew up with the magic of Disney movies. My parents read fairytales and fantasies to my sister and me, and not once in my life have I decided to take up sorcery.

My mom was hesistant about me reading the Harry Potter series at first. She heard the uproar and the controversy and was not too keen on me reading them, but she let me decide for myself. After I fell in love with them, I tried my hardest to get her to read them. And six years and a "I'm going to college, we'll be far away and this can be something we have in common" guilt trip, she read them and loved them as well.

While LOST is a completely different animal than Harry Potter, they share common grounds. LOST had the ability to captivate an audience and keep them on their toes week after week for six seasons. I have said so many times that I wish was clever enough to be a LOST writer. I could go on and on about why I love LOST, but it would be so hard for me to do that without completely spoiling the ending.

In my opinion, perhaps the most important thing about these two phenomenons is sacrifice. Both stories did not have a rainbows-and-butterflies happy ending. There was sadness, death, and loss. In the midst of me sobbing inbetween book chapters or getting choked up on Tuesday nights at 8:00, I realized that a great story must have sacrifice. The people in both stories in died for something.

A good friend of mine and I were talking about this very subject a few months ago. Both of us are avid Losties and Harry Potter fans. The reason this came up is because we were discussing the Twilight Saga. I read the Twilight Saga before it was popular. (I feel like "popular" is not a strong enough word to describe how it has taken over the lives of women of all ages). I'm one of those people who read it and liked it, the end. In fact, my mother introduced me to it by saying "hey Mary I think you'll like this book." That's all. It is a good story, and I think Stephenie Meyer is a great writer, but the more I think about it, the more I don't like it. Breaking Dawn was pretty far out there. Twilight was the hook, New Moon and Eclipse was the line, and Breaking Dawn was the....."wait a minute, what"?

The main problem I have with the books is the lack of sacrifice. I realize it is a love story, not an epic-battle-like story. But the only sacrifice that was really made was Bella giving up her human life---but she wanted to give it up. She wanted to be a vampire. There was no battle, no struggle, no death or loss from important characters--it just had the happy ending everyone was hoping for.

I believe that God can use anything to bring glory to His name. (You're probably thinking, wait a minute, where are you going with this...) But it is evident to see, things like Harry Potter and LOST and the Twilight Saga captures the imagination of people all over the world. I am certinally not trying to connect Harry Potter and Lost and Twilight to the Gospel, but they have potential to provide an illustration to someone who loves those stories but knows nothing of Christ. And on the subject of sacrifice and love stories, I have to say, the greatest one I ever heard is the reason for my existance. And the best part is, it is so much more than a story. It is a non-fiction event that took place in history. I have Someone that died for me, and Who loves me more than Bella ever dreamed of loving Edward.

If I have offended anyone, I apologize. But that's the great thing about freedom of speech. You don't have to agree with me. I am simply enjoying my geeky quirks and rejoicing in the fact that God's love and sacrifice is the greatest of all.

Friday, May 21, 2010

this has been a brief "REALLY!?" with MC Breedlove

Disclaimer: everything below is entirely my opinion.

Really!? Are we really going to even consider the option of performing an operation to take away a dogs bark? How is that okay? If your dog barks a lot, deal with it! Don't take the easy way out and simply take away its voice! Throw him a bone! Every wonder why your dog is barking? Dogs bark for a reason! They protect you! If your dog barks all the time for apparently no reason, take him to the vet! Investigate the problem, there could be something wrong! Barking is a dog's way of communication. But for goodness sake, don't silence him forever! It's inhumane. Severing a dog's vocal I the only one who thinks this is wrong? This breaks my heart.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

music: a glimpse of heaven on earth

To anyone who knows me personally, this will not come as a surprise.

I love music.

I believe Hans Christian Andersen said it best: "Where words fail, music speaks."

I could probably write thousands of blog entries in an attempt to describe my love for music. In high school, I was a member of the marching and concert bands. I was the field commander for my junior and senior years of high school. I was (and still am) a mezzo-soprano in the All-West and All-State choirs. I was a part of theater company in my community that did a little musical called Grease. (Four sold-out performances, I was Rizzo.) Now I'm a member of a college marching band and concert band. Music is not simply a hobby for me; it is a passion.

It is so difficult for me to imagine my life without music. This summer, I will be teaching sign language at camp. Learning the song and learning about deaf culture has been eye-opening. I should never take for granted the fact that I am able to hear. However, I think sign language is absolutely beautiful. It just goes to show you what a wonderful Maker we have. We can praise him with our voices and our hands.

I'm always amused when I put my iPod on shuffle. It will pull up anything: from scared harp hymns to the Glee soundtrack to Dave Matthews Band to bluegrass to Lady GaGa to classical choral music to Metallica and back again.

But on this late night of listening to music, there is one song I want to talk about.

Defying Gravity.

I hope all of you have the chance to experience the musical masterpiece that is Wicked. I love musical theatre; I let myself get carried away in the music and lyrics and emotions that pour from musicals. I was raised on Meet Me in St. Louis. I could watch The Phantom of the Opera and RENT like it's my job.

I had the chance to see Wicked on stage last year with my sister. The last song of the first act, Defying Gravity, was one of the most powerful things I've ever seen. I had chill bumps from the top of my head to the tips of my toes, and I was crying. Is it sad? Not really. It's just that moving.

The lyrics are enough to bring a tear to your eye.
" someone told me lately, everyone deserves a chance to fly, and if I'm flying solo, at least I'm flying free, for those who'd ground me, take a message back from me...tell them how I am defying gravity...I'm flying high, defying gravity, and soon I'll match them in renown..."

The first time I heard this song was the Original Broadway soundtrack with Idina Menzel singing lead. I have always been a huge fan of Idina Menzel, but her singing Defying Gravity is enough to make me a little bit obsessed with her voice. Marcie Dodd did the song justice during the stage performance I saw.

I encourage you to let the power of music drench your soul. Get captivated; get lost; drown in the majesty of music. God created it. Can you possibly begin to imagine how amazing heaven will be/sound?

confirmed: the world is crazy.

It's times like this when I want to sick my fingers in my ears, close my eyes, and go "LALALALALALALALA".

Of course this all plays into the fact that I am a "grown-up" and I'm not in Kansas anymore, but I am honestly baffled at the world. I have grown up in the Memphis metro area and hearing of heinous crimes on the news is not something new. But in the past week, someone beat a precious 2 year old girl to death for using the bathroom on herself while potty training, and two West Memphis officers were shot in cold blood on the interstate.

There are plenty of things in this world that I simply do not understand. People are one of them. I just can't fathom why someone would think it is okay to murder a baby, or anyone for that matter. I don't understand how, if we are up to our eyeballs in national debt, people can afford (and are willing to purchase) million dollar clothes or purses or shoes. I don't understand why the world is more passionate about the Twilight saga than it is about ending world hunger, animal abuse, or something that matters.

Maybe I'm just too old fashioned, but when I think about how much money is in the world and who all holds it, and who needs's infuriating to me.

If the world would try a little harder to get their priorities in order--high class, low class, famous people, everyone...the world would look a bit brighter than it does now.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

the untold want

The day I moved into my dorm and began my first year of college miles and miles from home, my mom put a note on my cork board. It says this.


'Sail thou forth to seek and find!'

ye you,


Walt Whitman is one of my favorite poets. I have read most of Leaves of Grass and one specific poem has become one of the mottos of my life.

The Untold Want

The untold want by life and land ne're granted
Now voyager sail thou forth to seek and find

I was first introduced to this short poem by the Betty Davis movie "Now Voyager". If you ever have the chance to watch it, you should. It is a masterpiece in my opinion. The story is of a woman who was once a nervous wreck that transformed into a confident, beautiful woman, and she started a new life that she never dreamed of having.

This poem is the inspiration for my blog. I honestly don't know what in the world I'm trying to accomplish with this. But I know that I am on a journey that will shape and mold me into the person I was made to be, and I am blessed beyond what I deserve.

I'm on the path to a career that I will love. I am about to embark on a summer that will change my life forever. I now have the things I need to grow and learn and change; I am no longer confined to the same world I was in for the past 19 years. I am so grateful for that world, and for how it prepared me, but now I'm moving on. I'm growing up, and I like it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

i get by with a little help from Dave Matthews and Madonna...

Have I ever mentioned that I want to be a more conservative version of Carrie Bradshaw?


Sometimes I feel like I have all these rambled, crazy thoughts and situations scrambling around in my head, but at the same time, they can all somehow connect. Two things that seem completely unrelated can somehow find common ground through something.

I have always felt like I communicate the best through words. I like to sit down, let my thoughts flow, and then put them on paper, or in this case, a computer. I like writing a sweet hand-written note almost as much as I like receiving them.

Two things are buzzing in my head right now. And though they may seem unrelated, it's easy for me to see how they can connect.

First of all, maybe it is just because I'm growing up, but does the world seem completely crazy?

I can't help but quote one of my favorite Dave songs... "the world is blowing up/the world is caving in/the world has lost its way again..." (that's "Oh" by Dave Matthews by the it.) Those lyrics cross my mind when I see things like having 19 children, oil spills, dirty politics, the economy, hoarding shows, and at least a thousand different ways to lose weight. It's like our world is searching to fill a void.

No offense to anyone who wants to have 19 children, but isn't that just a bit excessive? Can two parents honestly provide adequate love and attention to 19 children without relying on the work of the older siblings? If they can...that's wonderful, but it seems unlikely. Maybe I'm just an old fashioned narrow minded woman.

Moving on from that side thought, I can't watch TV for more than 10 minutes without seeing a commercial about a diet plan, diet pill, or new exercise machine. The world is obsessed weight. From TV shows about being morbidly obese to aneorexic and everything in between, it seems to completely consume our culture.

It is so easy to let it consume us, too. I've never been accused of being too skinny, but I try not to let the world influence my self image. I take care of myself and I put effort into doing so, but aside from that, I need not forget that I am beautifully and wonderfully made because the One who made me created me in His image. I need to remember that. If only the rest of the world could see it and take it to heart.

All this brings me to the second thing that has been buzzing around in my head.

This is something that I have thought about for..oh, I don't know, the past ten years of my life. It's always on my mind because it (or "he", rather) is very important to me, and that is my future husband.

So how does my future husband and the world being crazy have anything to do with each other?

I don't want to settle for anything, but I especially don't want to settle for whom I will spend the rest of my life with. And you will probably laugh when I say this, but I can't help but think of a Madonna song. "Don't go for second best baby/Put your love to the test.../What you need is a big strong hand / To lift you to your higher ground/ Make you feel like a queen on a throne/ Make him love you till you can't come down.." (that's "Express Yourself")

I want my future husband to love me for the most important reasons. Regardless of my outward appearance, though it is important, it is not the most important thing. I want him to love me for my soul. I don't want to let myself get caught up in the worldy standards of beauty, but rather for the Godly standards. And I want him to feel the same. I want him to love me for my passion, my quirks, my goofy sense of humor, my love of music and books, and above all, my love for God. I daresay those standards are "second best", and I will not settle for anything less.

do you need a good song to listen to?

Sara Bareilles, thank you.

Why must I wait until September for your album?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

love part one

It's hard for me to believe that I just finished my first year of college. I could write pages and pages and pages of my wonderful first year college experience--and I probably will, just at another time. To say that I am blessed beyond what I deserve would be true. My friends, my family, and everything else in my life are abundant blessings from God.

It goes without saying that life is never going to go the way that you plan for it to go. I'm a "plan person". I make lists. I like to have a plan, be in control, know what's going on, etc. I do not like not knowing what is going on or not having a plan of action in certian situations. But this is something that God has really been working on with me. He is teaching me patience and flexibility, and after I finally realized that His plan is the best one for me, which honestly took a very long time, I was able to start to let go of my need to have a firm grasp of a situation. For both the good and bad, I need to rely on the fact that I am not in control.

I also need to rely on the fact that YOU CANNOT LOVE OTHERS WITHOUT THE LOVE OF GOD.

I feel like I should have those words tatooed on the inside of my eyelids and branded on my forehead.

I believe that God is love and love comes from God...though many people I know may disagree with me.

I'm the type of person who will want to love someone as much as they will let me. I will love until it hurts; I want to make people happy and make them feel loved. And through this, God has been able to bring some pretty amazing people into my life. However, it has also broken my heart. When you love someone who does not understand God's love, how can they possibly truly love you back? God is love. No matter how much you convince yourself that they really do love you, it is not the deep, unconditional, everlasting, sacrifical, sacred, perfect, and beautiful love from God. It is fleeting instead of forever. I'm talking about romantic love--falling in love. I'm not sure if I have truly "fallen in love" yet. Well, I probably haven't, seeing as how I am not married or anywhere near being married. But I do know that God can use hearbreak- in fact, I think the worst kind of heartbreak is when you love someone and they do not want it -- and make it into something beautiful.

This "heartbreak" is something that we are called to experience. In a different context, of course. We can still love people who do not know God's love. We are supposed to. We need to. We must. We have to care for the lost; help rescue the to be an example of God's love.

This entire first year of college has been about me finding the balance between loving someone lost without trying to convince myself of their non-existant love in return.

I hate to call this "wasted love", because regardless of the fact that nothing was returned, I know that God uses open hearts for the hearts of stone.

I firmly believe that everything that has happened in my life and will happen is for a purpose; a reason. I believe that God's plans for me are much bigger than the ones that I have for myself. This is one of the most comforting, yet frustrating truths that I know. I may not yet understand the reason why certian people and relationships have been placed in my life, but I know it is part of the ultimate plan; the best plan for me... I should take comfort in that.

I hate how the English language only has one word for "love". I love my family. I love my dog. I love nutella and mystery novels.

But to fall in be in love....that's a totally different animal.

Monday, March 29, 2010

old man blues

I’m going to take a stab at blogging. Maybe I’ll keep up with it this time. I always have ideas rolling around in my head but I never seem to write them down. Maybe typing them will be easier, and whoever wants to read it can read it.
It’s hard for me to believe that I’m a few weeks away from having a year of college completed. I have to say, it has exceeded my expectations. I have met some amazing people. I have learned new things. I have been involved in new things. I have found out more about myself. I have made my best friends. I have albums of pictures that beautifully illustrate the journey so far. Thank you Lord for this experience.
It hasn’t all been peaches and cream, however. I have been exposed to things that I haven’t been exposed to in the past, I have seen friends and loved ones hurting, and I have been hurt myself. I’m certainly not in Kansas anymore. Kansas being home sweet Somerville, of course. But it’s the struggles in life that give us strength, and even in the midst of them, I am thankful.
I have been thinking about my dad a lot lately. Maybe it’s because I just flat miss him. I miss my whole family, but dad has been on my heart these past few days specifically. Sometimes, all that a girl wants in the world is just a hug from her dad. Good thing I’ll see him soon, because I’m in desperate need of one.
I hate to imagine life without my dad. I am who I am today because of the influence he has on me. I wish I could be more like him. He has the ability to make me laugh in any situation; he is one of the smartest people I know; I talk to him when I need to feel comfort and calm. He is my rock, and I love him so very much. He taught me how to ride a bike, how to throw a baseball (I don’t have any bothers, and I happen to really enjoy baseball), the value of a dollar, the importance of education, and how to become a well-rounded, respected woman. I strive to make him proud.
Sometimes I wish my dad was right around the corner. He gives the best advice for any situation, no matter how silly or serious. He’s quick on his feet and he’s got the best sense of humor in the world.
I feel like I've needed my dad these past few days. I always feel like I need my parents. I couldn't have asked for better ones. My mother is amazing. I could write a book about the relationship I have with my mother, and I may do that.
But I can't exactly pinpoint why I just feel the need to be with dad lately. So since he's not here right now, I'm going to give him a call. I'm going to listen to Jason Mraz and Creedence Clearwater Revivial, turn the TV on ESPN, and chew some plain extra bubble gum. It's the closest thing I have to having him here at this moment.