Tuesday, April 22, 2014

This is the Part Where We All Live Happily Ever After...

I'm not freaking out.


I'm only graduating from college in four days. But not today. For today I can still pretend to be an irresponsible college student who can live off of Pop Tarts and midnight doughnut runs. Sunday I may have to eat broccoli.

But since I finished all of my finals and portfolio presentations today, I am done with college work!!! Let me just say that one more time. I AM DONE! Yay! Obviously I'm a bit excited. I hope you can share in my joy. :)

But that being the case, I decided it was time to read the letter I wrote to God at the beginning of this semester. Since I wrote one last semester without really thinking about it, and it turned out that a lot of what I prayed for happened, I decided to try it again. Occasionally throughout the semester I would want to look at what I had written to see if any of it had happened yet. But I restrained, until tonight. Perhaps I should have looked. Because what I realized is that some of the life I had asked for I could have experienced if I had let myself.

What I mean is this: I wrote that "I would not get so overwhelmed and caught up in life that I forget my relationship with [God]."And while I worked on my senior show and got caught up in my three jobs, classes, volunteer teaching at the high school, and relationships, I let myself get overwhelmed. I let myself freak out. The thing is, I knew all along that God was going to take care of me. I knew I could trust him and that I could have peace in those situations. That was kind of the point of my senior show, finding peace in God. But I wanted to freak out. I wanted to have something to stress over, if only to earn more credit from those who seem to have more difficult paths to walk than I do. My point here is that I can't just write things and have them magically come true; I have to be active in seeking the life I want.

BUT...there was one thing I asked for that really did come true. In the most exciting way possible. At least that my small mind can imagine. And this is where fairy tales really do come true.
It's Disney World!

Yes, I went to Disney World. For a day. In the middle of finals.

Why? You ask. For a job interview! I definitely did not expect to hear back so quickly from them after I filled out the application, but the next day I completed the online interview, and right away was asked to come in for a face to face interview. And I wasn't going to do it. Because who, after all, is crazy enough to fly down to Florida for less than 24 hours for a job interview at Disney World right before taking their final exams in college?

Me apparently.

I wasn't going to do it, but everybody convinced me otherwise. Everyone convinced me that I should go for it, that I would regret it if I didn't try. And I don't want the reason I didn't do something to be because I was too afraid to try. And I am in college after all. For however short of time that may be. So what the heck, I did something crazy and bought a plane ticket to Orlando.

And then I called my aunt to see if she could meet me at the airport. She lives about an hour away and is taking care of my Grandma, so I honestly was not sure if she would be able to. But remember how I said that God is going to take care of me and I can have peace in any situation? Well I thought I was crazy, but God took care of his child. It just so happens that my aunt from NY was flying down to Florida, on the same day as me! My Floridian aunt would already be there to pick her up! AND...my BIG SISTER was going to be on spring break that week and would be in Florida too!!! I was ecstatic. No, ecstatic is too calm of a word. I was bouncing off the walls with joy. You could not contain how ridiculously excited I was about the fact that I got to go to Florida for a day and see my family, totally unexpectedly.
Aren't they cute? :)

So aside from missing one of my flights and barely sleeping in the 48 hour period, God totally worked out my trip to Florida. And hey, I wrote in my letter to him that "my fear would not hold me back from anything I want to do." It almost did, but it didn't! So don't let your fear hold you back from trying what you want to do. Don't let the reason you didn't do something be because you didn't try.

If I can do it, silly old nervous me, then you can try anything.
And they all lived happily ever after. Until the next blog post.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Recipe of the Week

So it's been a while...

I imagine the "real" world is just as busy, but college has a tendency to creep into your life and suck out everything you once cared about. But only for a little while, so please don't become morbidly depressed by that analogy! Working on my senior show pretty much took over everything in my life for a while, and then working three jobs and doing everything else that classes, clubs, and social life demand takes away from the things I like to do in my free time. Namely making up new foods in Baldwin.

Oh Baldy...I'm going to miss that place. I have probably spent more hours there than anywhere else on campus. But for the last few times that I get to eat their glorious food, I might as well make the most of it.

This recipe is really a personal preference. Let's see how creative you can get! Basically it's pasta, with anything you can find to put in it. I have a friend who literally grabbed different sauces from the fridge, spices from the cabinet, and anything else she could find, threw them all together in a pan with some frozen perogies, and fried it up. It was good! The only downside is, she has absolutely no idea how to make it again.

But there is a fun sense of adventure to that style of cooking. No measuring cups, no sure-fire tested recipes, no idea how it is going to turn out. This is how mine turned out:
Italian Seasoning
Pizza Seasoning

And then the sauces. Oh, the sauces. This can make or break a dish. There are so many options. You could go the pasta salad route and take something from the salad bar. There are 9 or 10 different dressings you can find over there. Or find buffalo sauce somewhere. If that's not available, there is always barbeque sauce on the grill line. Or go with the classic Alfredo. Or marinara. Or BOTH. Yeah! That sounds good. How about both? Who likes making decisions anyways?
So that's what I made. Pasta and sauce and stuff. Lots of stuff. Whatever stuff you want. And Parmesan Cheese on top. Because everything is better with cheese.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Be Still

I don't have scans of the actual pictures, because they are bigger than our scanners. I do have some scans of smaller test prints I made, so I will post those, although I am terribly sorry that I double printed on the third picture, so there is a weird rectangle interrupting the image.

 Each print has a poem rewritten from a Psalm with it, and basically they tell the journey from the "mountaintop" Christian experience, to the cloudy emptiness where we can't feel God anymore, to the surrender and sitting, quietly in his presence.

Inspired by Psalm 16

I love the LORD,
for he heard my cry.
I will call on him as long as I live.
The clouds of doubt entangled me,
the weight of façade wore on me,
Then I called on the name of the LORD.

The LORD is holy and true,
when I lost sight of him, he found me.
Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
I will stand on the mountaintop
and proclaim your name to all peoples.

Praise the LORD.

Inspired by Psalm 74

Why have you rejected me, O God?
Why have you watched your sanctuary torn apart?
The clouds cover the light of your presence.
We are given no miraculous signs.
How long will you hold back your hand?
But you, O God, are my king from of old.
Where is he who split open the sea by his power?
Where is the living water you promised?
It was you who opened up springs and streams.
It is you who set the boundaries of the earth
and defy their laws as you please.
Do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever.
Do not let us continue in sorrow forever;
may the weak and downcast praise your name.

Rise up, O God.

Inspired by Psalm 42
As the thirsty desire water,
so I wish I desired you, O LORD. 
When will I ever meet with my God again?
My tears have been my food,
for I no longer know my Sustainer. 
These things I remember, as I pour out my soul.
I used to stand on the mountaintop,
and proclaim your name to all peoples. 
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore, I will remember you. 
Let your oceans sweep over me.
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;

For I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Inspired by Psalm 104

Praise the LORD, O my soul. 
O LORD my God, you are very great;
how could I have forgotten you?
You who stretched out the heavens and wear them as a garment. 
You created the earth
and aligned all of creation to your plan.
Creation cries out your praise,
O Sustainer of all. 
The sun knows when to hide,
and the lion, to prey.
In wisdom, did you design this. 
We all look to you,
to open your hand.
When you hide your face, we are terrified. 
But glory be to God;
your Spirit will renew us.
May my meditation delight you.

Praise the LORD, O my soul.
Praise the LORD. 
Inspired by Psalm 19

The world declares the glory of God;
the waters proclaim the work of his hands.
The law of the LORD revives the soul.
The commands of the LORD make us wise.
The doctrines of the LORD give joy to the heart.
They endure forever, more precious than gold.
By them, your servants live well.
Forgive me, LORD and keep me from sin,
that I may become as you are.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
 be pleasing in your sight, 
O LORD, my God.