Tuesday, May 24, 2011

We Are Family... yeah yeah!

Most of the time, I don't do a very good job of loving my family. By and large, they do an AMAZING job of loving me, even when I least deserve it.

Recently, a series of unfortunate events occurred in my life. The most unfortunate of these was completely my fault (school-related, again). In my eyes, it was a huge, life-changing issue. I stayed up almost all night before talking to my parents, convinced that they would never look at me the same way. And then, the most astonishing thing happened - they decided to love me.

Very rarely in my life have I seen God pour out his grace and mercy so fully. There I was, prepared for my family to reject me in full, say I'd betrayed them, or just cut me out of their lives. "This is too much," they'd say, or "We just can't deal with you anymore."

But they didn't. They came to me and put their arms around me. They held me while I cried, they comforted me and supported me. They acknowledged my mistakes and sins, but they also forgave me. At one point, my mom asked, "Will this matter in 20 years?" And you know, it will. But it will matter because of how they loved me, not because of how my mistake looks now.

And the thing is, not everyone has a family like mine. Some people have family that would rather disown them than deal with the difficult mess relationships can be, and some people don't have any family at all.

I mean sure, my family is still dysfunctional even at the best of times, but like I said, they're pretty good at loving me, even when I don't deserve it. Even better than that, though, is the Lord's great love for me. If I have learned NOTHING else this past year, I have certainly learned more about his sovereign power and love. My family's astounding, gracious, overwhelming, compassionate response is just a vague shadow of God's love for us.

"Without Thy sweet mercy I could not live here;
Sin would reduce me to utter despair;
But, through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive,
And He that first made me still keeps me alive!"

Monday, December 27, 2010

today's topic is...

American Exceptionalism.

Okay, I was actually just reading an article on the subject and decided to comment. I just wish my comments were wittier, or more ground-breaking. They're not. Here's the article.

Basically, this means America thinks it's unique in every way and is also Number 1 in every way. GO TEAM USA!

Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. But not by much. Face it, America - you've got a lot of issues. Yes, dear country, you and your people have provided and enjoyed countless gifts and blessings, but you know what? It doesn't matter. You are NEVER as good as you think you are.

Seriously, America. Lay off the hubris.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I don't have much time (aka, I had lots of time and just procrastinated a lot)

Okay kiddos, here's the deal. I think I'm going to start blogging again. For my sake, really, not yours.

Why? you ask. You haven't blogged in almost two years! Who do you think you are, storming back into the blogosphere like this! You have no business here! Begone, you fair-weather blogger!

And you would be right to think that. I am a fair-weather blogger, as well as a fair-weather knitter, fair-weather student, and (more often than I'd like to admit) fair-weather friend. Which is to say, I am lazy and self-absorbed. And you, dear friend, are also at least one of those things.

But, as I mentioned, I am not reviving this blog for you. I doing it because I need to get back into the habit of writing. I write often (I'm a journalism student, you know) but it's not the same. Not the same thing at all... and I'm learning that change is often the healthier way to go. Also, I don't want to finish this paper I'm writing. We can be honest here, right?

My plan is this: pick a topic and write about it. Any topic. If I need assistance thinking of one, I'll turn to my trusty partner in time wasting crime, Stumble. And I have to write at least one sentence. On a good day, maybe even two. It can be trivial or serious. Whoa now, don't get too crazy, Jennifer, you say (or I think), because you know what will happen. Your fair-weather self will get into a boxing match with your productive self, and it will TAKE YOU DOWN.

This is probably true. But, why not enjoy the fair weather while it lasts, hmm?

Okay, topic, go!


I love it. I used to hate it. A lot, actually, and then... I got one. A Twitter account, that is, dedicated to keeping me glued to the internet instead of going out in real life and having real friends like Alyssa. Alright, so maybe I'm exaggerating. But this Twitter thing... you can connect with virtually anyone who has access to the Internet and read their thoughts, plans, actions, drunken tweets, whatever. And you don't have to get super-scary-stalker like on Facebook. I totally dig it, and I plan on tweeting just a touch more often now as well.

But not too much. I don't want to be "that person."

*In full disclosure, Alyssa edited this for me by a very unscripted series of events.

Friday, February 27, 2009

(I really love parenthetical phrases)

Sometimes it's just so wonderful, and sometimes it's not.

It's like that time I walked into the German bakery in Fredericksburg and I was so excited to be in a place that sold so many delicious pastries and cookies and cakes because (let's face it) I have a sweet tooth the size of an elephant's molar. I'd been inside before, eaten the apple turnovers and snickerdoodles and bearclaws (my dad likes those, as I recall), and looked at the decorations that told all the tourists how proud the owners were to be of a German bloodline. And I walked in and I looked around and I took a breath and I gagged and I walked back outside. The air inside was sweet. It was sweet sweet sweet, so sweet, too sweet for me to breathe in. My sweet tooth might've been able to handle it, but there is more to me than just my sweet tooth, and those other parts of me couldn't do it, couldn't take the weight of the sweetness.

Sometimes I find myself back in that bakery. But the thing is, when the bakery isn't really a bakery, there isn't any exit, and I have to find my own way out, MacGyver-style.

Humans need community, I know this. But sometimes, just every so often, isn't it easier to be the hermit? It is a very selfish thing to say that dealing with other people, other people's issues, other people's emotions, is really just a big hassle. Some of my favorite times have been when I am driving home to Colorado or driving back to Texas, when I have 11 hours of solid thinking time, all to myself, no one to interrupt, no one to bother me, no one else to think about.

And that is selfish.

Solitary drives aren't all bad, of course (sometimes they're all that keep me sane), but I might have a tendency to cling to the hermit-like aspects of them. "Because we're all just temporary nomads, traveling side by side until there is a choice. Then you will take one, and I will take the other, and we will be 'us' no longer but 'you' and 'me'."

Thank God my hermit tendencies do not rule for long. Thank God (quite literally, not me) that I do not regard others as merely a hassle for the majority of my thoughts. Thank God, in short, that I am only an asshole part of the time and not all of the time. You'll have to forgive me (or not, really) for the times when I am.

The music starts again.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I forgot I had a blog.

Not that it's a big problem or whatever - blogs aren't actually that important, in my not-so-humble opinion - but it's still nice to be able to keep track of your life in a somewhat tangible way. Then again, this is the Internet, so I guess even that's not accurate.

I'm back in Lubbock, I'm in a new house near campus, I'm almost totally moved in, I have my old job back and I'm stealing the neighbors' Internet. So good to be back in the States, right?

Well, yes, yes it is. It's great! Really. However, I find that I've been asked the questions, "Would you do it again? Would you go to Europe again?" several times now, and my immediate mental response each time is What the hell kind of a question is that? Isn't it obvious, if you even know me a teeny tiny bit? The answer is clearly yes! Okay, granted, I wouldn't do things exactly the same, so maybe the questions aren't totally uncalled for. I would go to a different city, perhaps, maybe live in Madrid, Barcelona, or Paris. Of course, Edinburgh still has a piece of my heart from all those years ago (okay, just just six or so), and I would like to travel a bit more before making a decision, but Yes! Yes, I would do it again!

Enough about that. I'm bored of talking about Europe to an audience that only asks about it out of politeness. The world doesn't stop just because you move to a foreign country for a little while, and I definitely feel a little left out of things. Relationships, recent happenings, inside jokes, etc. I know it was my choice to take myself away from all those things for four months but it's still hard to come back to even more life changes.

Blah blah blah.

I miss Spain people. I really really do! 27 new friends, all of whom I adore, and now I'm not around them for hours every day. Golly gee, life is hard, eh? Guess I'd better get to sucking it up and toughening up as soon as I can. Ah, Viva la Vida!