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Posts Tagged ‘sisters’

You would not believe your eyes
If ten million fireflies
Lit up the world as I fell asleep
Cause they’d fill the open air
And leave tear drops everywhere
You’d think me rude but I would just stand and
Stare

I’d like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns, slowly
It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep
Cause everything is never as it seems

Cause I’d get a thousand hugs
From ten thousand lightning bugs
As they tried to teach my how to dance
A foxtrot above my head
A sock-hop beneath my bed
The disco ball is just hanging by a thread
(Thread, thread…)

I’d like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns, slowly
It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep
Cause everything is never as it seems
(When I fall asleep)

Leave my door open just a crack
(Please take me away from here)
Cause I feel like such an insomniac
(Please take me away from here)
Why do I tire of counting sheep?
(Please take me away from here)
When I’m far too tired to fall asleep
(Ha-ha)

To ten million fireflies
I’m weird cause I hate goodbyes
I got misty eyes as they said farewell
(Said farewell)
But I’ll know where several are
If my dreams get real bizarre
Cause I saved a few and I keep them in a jar
(Jar, jar, jar…)

I’d like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns, slowly
It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep
Cause everything is never as it seems
(When I fall asleep)

I’d like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns, slowly
It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep
Because my dreams are bursting at the seams

This song is just so wonderful. Last night I saw the first fireflies of the season. I was out for a walk on a much needed study break, and I saw them. And it made me so, indescribably happy.

When I was little, I used to travel with my mom and sisters to come visit grandma and grandpa over the summers. We don’t get fireflies in Washington (like tornadoes, but that’s a different story) so it was always a lot of fun to run around with a mason jar and catch them, and then watch the “stars” we’d captured.

I’m staying in Monmouth for the summer, and I’m looking forward to many more nights full of fireflies.

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Today I gave the message at Space for Grace, our weekly chapel service on campus. By know you all should know how dearly I love the sound of my voice, especially on microphone, so this was very fun for me! I thought of the topic for the day (fairness, or lack thereof) and, with help from the college chaplain, prepared the entire service for the day! It seemed to be a bit of a one woman show though, as I was the only one singing and I gave the message, but that just means more mic time for me!

I’m including a copy of my message here, for those of you who want to hear it but were nowhere near Monmouth today!
__________________________________________________

Growing up with a twin, I was always very conscious of what was fair and what was not fair. If my sister got two hugs, I got two hugs. If my sister got five more minutes before bedtime, I got five more minutes before bedtime. If my sister got $1 for allowance (which, at the age of five was A LOT of money!), then I got $1 for allowance. My dad was always very careful to be fair, and was that way until I entered middle school. However, I do remember one evening when my mom said to my dad, “You know, Rob, life isn’t fair. And you’re doing these girls a disservice by splitting everything exactly down the line.” I never forgot those words. That was the moment I realized that life is not fair, and no matter how hard I struggled against this reality, it was not going to change.

Fast-forward about three years. I am in the fourth grade, finally old enough to run for student council. So I run for secretary. An easy job…easy enough for a fourth grader. I diligently prepare my speech on how I have neat handwriting (even though I didn’t), and how I live close to the school so I would never be late for meetings. I didn’t win. When the next election comes around, I run again, but this time for a different position. I didn’t win again. Now, at this point, any reasonable child would stop trying. I did not. I kept running for positions on the student body up through seventh grade when I finally realized that I was not popular enough to be elected. Does this seem fair? To me, it did not. I kept running because I kept telling myself that I was the best candidate so, naturally, I would be elected. And every time I lost, I was crushed. But I’d come back with more resolve, determined to do better the next time.

Now, I could go on and on in this same vein, with elections for drum major of both my middle school and high school marching bands, and even positions I ran for and awards I applied for here at Monmouth College. But I don’t want to bore you with my failures. These were merely examples that show how life isn’t fair, because if life was fair, I would have won at least one out of the ten or so elections I competed in.

But most of the time, life isn’t fair. And sometimes when we think that life isn’t treating us fairly, it is a blessing in disguise. Take one more example: During my junior year at Monmouth, I applied to be a Head Resident. I was highly qualified by all accounts, having spent the previous two years as a Resident Assistant, completing the necessary programs, getting excellent recommendations, and serving the best I could. As you may suspect, I was not hired as a Head Resident, but instead simply rehired as a Resident Assistant. Again, I was crushed. However, I have realized this year that this unfairness has been a blessing. By not being hired as an HR, I have been able to live in Peterson Hall (the nicest, newest building on campus), meet my quadmates (who are wonderful) and spend time with a staff of great people with whom I never imagined myself spending time. Also, the fact that I have fewer responsibilities has probably kept me sane. It truly has been a blessing.

Today’s scripture comes from Matthew 20:20-28. It describes the mother of brother disciples James and John, coming to the feet of Jesus and asking if her two sons may sit on Jesus’ right and left in His kingdom. When the other disciples heard this, they were angry. It was not fair of this mother to come and ask Jesus such a thing! But Jesus called them all together and said:

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

I read this to mean that the rulers did not treat their subjects well. They were bossy, egotistical, and probably unfair on many occasions. “The rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them and their high officials exercise authority over them.” Fairness somehow includes a sense of mutuality – and a willingness to serve others. That is what Jesus was trying to get across to his disciples in this story. He tells them that they are not like the rulers.. Because to get ahead, to rule the group, one must serve, “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The Son of Man came to Earth to serve man, to pay for man’s sins, and to teach us that life is not fair.

Life isn’t fair. There was absolutely nothing fair that Jesus went to the cross. If life were fair, we would be paying for our own sins. Thank God life isn’t fair, for God loves us and cares for us unfairly.
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I hope you all have enjoyed my message as much as I enjoyed writing (and delivering) it! 🙂

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Happiness is a State of Mind

So your car won’t start, the weather is too cold, you didn’t get asked to do something, someone said something that upset you, you don’t like where you are, and the cafeteria food sucks! Should you whine about it? Will that do anything to make it any better?

A book I read last year (for a class that taught me more about myself than I really cared to learn, but more on that later), suggested that people have something called a painbody. This painbody is an energy inside of you that thrives on negativity. And it needs to be fed. Often. And more often than not, people feed it. A lot. And once your painbody takes over, it is really hard to let it go. Really hard.

The main idea behind the painbody is that people choose to be upset. You can choose to be upset, or you can choose to be happy. It really is that simple. Most of the time, when things are going right, you don’t have to work to hard to choose to be happy. But it always seems like when things go wrong, things go REALLY wrong and it’s not usually one thing, it’s everything! But is everything really going wrong? Or does it just seem like everything’s going wrong? Or are we choosing to believe that everything’s going wrong? It may just be your painbody wreaking havoc on your emotions.

So if it seems like everything’s going wrong and life is spiraling out of control, take a step back and really think about it. Why does it seem like this? Are you letting your painbody take over, or can you choose to be happy?

As my little sister, Krissy, says, “You can choose to be happy, or you can choose to be upset. If you’re upset, do something about it! Choose to be happy. Make your own happiness. Happiness is a state of mind.”

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