Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I lay it all before you....

My palms are sweaty... My fingers are shaking. A rock is rolling around in my stomach, making me aware that something is not normal. My eyes open and I'm staring at a classroom filled students. Every one of these students are staring at me. Some look slightly interested, some eyes are filled with indifference. I realize that I am about to give my first speech to the people seated before me. I'm in COM161 (Introduction to Public Speaking) and I am nervous. I say a quick prayer and start, remembering that my first goal in this speech, according to the rubric, is to gain the audiances attention. The first thing that comes to mind is how awkward it is to carry the visual aids, necessary for this speech, around campus and into all my classes. So that's what I start with.
"Can I just say that carrying this huge, clear plastic tub is really awkward? And that I won't get to take it home until around 9 tonight?"
On to the introduction... my voice is shaking.
"Obviously, I am presenting a speech today. I will be presenting three items, and the container in which I have carried them, to you today. These three items represent my Past, my Present and my Future speech."
I feel like I need a drumroll now....
"My first item is a journal. I am an intense journaler and I spend about an hour a day writing things down in this book. I chose this item because it represents the person that I used to be. If you look in all my journals you will see times where I have been hurt, let, and more. There are stories of pain and of where there have been many broken promises. There are signs that tell, in this book, how dissatisfied I have previously been with me life."
I set the book down. I'm still nervous, but my favorite part is next... so I begin to calm down again.
"This purse here represents my present. As you can see, it says 'Lover of my soul'. Pretend that it says 'Jesus' before that... it used to be on there but fell off last week. Anyways, let me explain. When you love someone, it completely changes your life. I'm sure that many of you here are in relationships right now. So you know what I mean. When you are in love with someone you put a lot of effort into the relationship. You spend time with that person. You go to them for advice. They are constantly influencing you... in every area of life. When you go through life with them, step by step you are together. You are no longer completely independent... you go through each step together. This is how I feel my relationship with Jesus is. He really is the lover of my soul, and He is constantly involved with and directing my life."
Wow. That felt good. My classmates are looking more interested... and I just really love saying that Jesus is the lover of my soul.
"This whisk represents the fact that I want to be a stay-at-home wife/mom. Since I was 12 I have wanted to stay at home... be a house wife and homeschool my kids. I love wearing aprons and cooking and cleaning... and the main reason I think I want to be a stay-at-home-wife/mom is because that is what my mom was. And I loved it."
"Lastly, this huge plastic box really represents what God has done (and is doing) in my life. This is the biggest container that I could find in my house, and I need the biggest container I can find to hold all the good things that God has poured in my life. He is constantly and consistantly blessing me. He blesses me financially, materially, spiritually, emotionally... however you can recieve a blessing, I get it. And I know it's due to the fact that I have made Him my number one priority in life, love Him, and live my life for Him."
And that's it. I gave my very first speech to my public speaking class.
I started out being more nervous then I thought I would be... but then as I began to speak of how Jesus has revolutionized my life... I became more calm and focused.
Thank you, Jesus.
You are amazing.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tonight my roommate, Bekah (middle picture), and I were studying in our kitchen when my friend Katie Gagel (lower picture) came over to see our newly decorated living room. She came here at 3:30 and left at 9:30. The three of us sat around our kitchen table, took turns making each other dinner, and talked. We talked about books, movies, journaling, and family. We gave each other back rubs, listened to Misty Edwards, and talked some more. We talked about past experiences, stress, lessons we have learned, and ways in which we have grown in our relationships with God. We told stories, laughed, and said "mmhmm!" many times. We talked about weddings, the possibility of taking a trip to Bethel Church in Redding, CA., and how our jeans fit us.
We literally talked for 5 hours.
It was amazing, relaxing, soothing, calming, enjoyable, joy-filled, loving, and sweet.
What could be better than to spend quality time (my love language) with two people that I really really love. These are two people that I would view as some of my very best friends... and to spend time with them... is like... eating peach cobbler on a picnic blanket in the shade of a willow tree on a warm summers day. Completely wonderful.  
God has just really blessed me in my friendships.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Purple People?

Today was the second day of the new school semester.
And here are things that I have observed about my thoughts (or my classes or whatever) thus far. 

1. I am going to absolutely love my SWK 311 - Social Work Practice II - class. I love the teacher, love the assignments, love the class material, and love that 30% of my grade is participation. I'm good at that; therefore, I love it. 
2. I realized today (and yesterday) how close I have become to two of my roomies, Bekah Clay-soon-to-be-Lambert and Cassie Teague-soon-to-be-Broker. We have spent an insane amount of time together in the past week... especially over the weekend. Two of the nights Cassie and I just laid in bed talking, so late into the night that we both fell asleep! And Bekah and I have found that, among other things, we both love playing  a specific card game called NERTS. I just feel really close to these two people, and I love them fanatically. 
3. I am deathly terrified of public speaking. I'm taking an introductory course to public speaking... and I am dreading it. I don't want to stand in front of a class and talk about anything. I can't stand the layout of the room... the chairs form two rows that are in a U-shape. And I don't want to dress up for speeches. Especially since there are so many of them... And it doesn't matter that I have two friends in there (one of them is a best friend, Liz) and that I know the professor, I am still anxious. 
4. Yesterday = easy time getting up at 5:30 in the morning. Today = only got up at 6:30 because my phone had fallen between my bed and the wall and I couldn't reach it to turn the alarm off. So I had to get up, move my bed, and lo and behold! I was awake! 
5. It's amazing how Jesus is the one to truly satisfy me. Not movies, not people, not food, not anything else but Him. Jesus loves me with an insane passion. I want to love Him that much too! 
6. I had forgotten how much I hate using public bathrooms. I am typically able to refrain from using them more than neccessary. However... since I have been drinking about a gallon of water a day for about a month.... it is now neccessary. Which is quite sad. 
7. In three of my classes we are having to do all this introductory exercises and it's been refreshing. Each time I have been able to share with everyone where I go to church, what campus ministry I am in, and how I really love Jesus. It's funny how refreshing that felt to be able to say that to the entire class...
8. I am really excited about an assignment I have in my SWK 303: Methods of Research class! Our second paper is an observation paper. We have to sit at some random location (I'm choosing Fidalgo Bay, a local coffee shop) and write a "thickly detailed paper" about what we observe. Can I just say that I'm really good at that? It's creative writing! I love creative writing! So, yes. I'm very excited.
9. I like people. No, I love people. I realized this yesterday as I was working at Sparks out in the front lobby. I acted as receptionist and asked all the confused looking people, "May I help you?" and then answered their questions. I got every question possible... from "I don't know what time my next class starts.. how do I find out?", to "Where is Sparks Hall?" (hopefully you caught the fact that I mentioned I was working in Sparks Hall at the time), and "Is it too late to apply for this semester today?" (yes, classes had started that day). Anyways, as I was talking to all these people, I realized how much I enjoyed it. It's mind-blowing to think that when a grouchy and disgruntled individual comes up to you, that you can put a smile back on their face and make their day just a little bit better.... simply because of the smile that is on your face or the tone of voice in which you talk to them. I want to work the desk more. Also, there wasn't anything that I needed to be doing while sitting at the desk, so I pulled out my Bible to read... and ended up having a really great conversation with a guy who had just started reading his Bible for the first time the previous night.
10. I might possibly like the color purple. I can't believe I'm saying this... I have remained firm and steadfast in my dislike of purple and most shades of pink. (Don't worry, my favorite color still is and always will be orange!) But... there was a girl who was wearing a plum purple pea coat in my class today... and I really liked it.

Off-the-wall Note: Isn't this scrapbook page lovely? It's lovely.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Aaah! Satisfaction.


  You know that feeling of intense satisfaction?
For me, it's when a meal that I have cooked turns out perfectly. It's when Mr. Gatti's already has a BLT pizza out on the buffet when I get there, or when I get to hold a puppy. It's when I bite into a particularly crisp yet juicy apple. It's when I find flowers to put in my hair, or a baby that I'm holding reaches out to touch my face and smiles at me. Those are moments of intense satisfaction.

    Satisfaction is defined as, "the contentment one feels when one has fulfilled a desire, need or expectation." Contentment is, "happiness with one's situation in life." So really, intense satisfaction is that this moment is perfect... it's that I am so content with where I am and who I am right now, that I don't believe I could hold another drop of happiness, joy, peace, etc.

   At SALT God really filled me with a passion and desperation for Him, and I didn't want to lose that. I wanted to constantly be seeking Him out. I wanted to draw near to Him, to know Him, and to serve Him. So I kept praying that God would give me a reminder for when I came back to Murray... a reminder that wouldn't let me forget or lose that desperation for Him. And boy, did He.

    The last night there I was sitting in my chair after the service just resting, thinking on Him, when He told me to give up movies for a year. My heart sank, my toes tingled, I couldn't believe it. ME? give up MOVIES!!?? No way. Heck no. I love movies. I LOVE movies. I own exactly 100 dvds. I spend a LOT of time watching them. I buy movies, I rent movies, I spend my money on movies. I'll walk into Walmart with the mindset of buying a pair of shoes and comeout with 3 movies from the $5 rack instead. This was ridiculous to think of... pfft... me giving up movies. Funny. But I knew, in that same second that my heart sank, that I really did need to give them up. One of my biggest loves, movies needed to be prioritzed. The thing that eats up my spare time was about to be taken away completely.

    So what am I going to do with all that extra time? Exactly. Great question. I have  a great answer. I'm going to spend all this time that I would normally be watching movies with God. I'm going to spend more time in His Word, I'm going to spend more time on my campus reaching the students, I'm going to spend more time in discipleship... the list goes on and on. I know for a fact, that this will be a tremendous time of growth for me. And boy, am I excited about it! Who doesn't want the chance to grow closer to God? Who doesn't want to get to know the One that loves you the most!? God desires time with me more than any of my friends and family. He wants me to delight in His presence, and find my satisfaction in Him.

    Yesterday, whew... yesterday was hard. I have a cold, so I left work at noon to come home and rest. Before January 2nd, I would have walked into my house, thrown my purse and jacket on the kitchen table and popped in a movie. My comfort when I'm sick is to be alone and watch movies. But not yesterday. I kept thinking, "Oh my gosh. I'm NEVER going to be able to do this. NEVER. What should I do? I don't feel good... what can I do that would be as satisfying as watching a movie. *sigh* This is impossible." I was so dissatisfied. And immediately, immediately, I heard Jesus say, "Spend time with me today and I will satisfy you." Wow. WOW. I was blown away.

    It's so true though... I was so concerned about not being able to watch a movie, that I didn't focus on the fact that Jesus has the ability to satisfy me more than anyone or anything. No movie, no amount of money, no love shown by other people, nothing will satisfy me. Nothing but the love of Jesus. And so, I spent time with Jesus. And I was, am, completely satisfied.

Psalm 63:5  "My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you."

Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and search for righteousness, for they will be satisfied."

And my favorite,
Psalm 107:9 "For He has satisfied the thirsty soul. And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Here are some random facts about me.

1. I have worn the same perfume for 3 years. I love it. And as long as it is made, I probably won't change. I love it so much that even on days when I don't feel good, and am at home wearing flannel pajama pants, I wear this perfume. It's Ralph Lauren - Blue.

2. I am deathly terrified of earth worms. It's a phobia. On days where it's been raining, my eyes are glued to the sidewalk, I get this sick nervous feeling in my stomach, I get dizzy, and I breathe really fast. I even have nightmares about them.

3. I drink a gallon of water a day.

4. I love meatball subs. And when I eat one, I open it, eat all the meatballs and black olives (not complete without black olives!)... then close it and eat the bread that is now soggy with sauce and cheese. Mmm!

5. When I was little my cousins and I used to sit at the dining room table when my aunt would leave the room and have contests to see who could eat the most napkins.

6. Even thinking about the movie Dumbo makes me want to curl up in a ball on the floor to cry. I can't bear thinking about the mother having to hold her baby elephant through the bars on the cage she's locked up in. Then she sings to him... I don't think I would ever be able to watch that movie again...

7. You buy the ingrediants, I'll make it. You buy the yarn, I'll knit it. I love cooking and knitting/crocheting a lot.

8. I have never watched StarWars. I know, it's tragic. I don't like oatmeal either. Those two things make me un-American, so they say. My apologies.

9. When I was seven I was cheering for my cousin, Luke, as he impersonated Michael Jordan in the street at his house the ball bounced off the basket rim and landed on my thumb. It broke my finger, and ever since there I can bend my thumb in a very weird-cool-abnormal way.

10. I had two rats when I was little: rat-a-tat and rat-a-toot. They were awesome. And extremely cute.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

For "those" people...

So, for "those" of you who are *cough*technologically-impaired*cough* unable to leave a comment on my blog... here is what you do.
Underneath a post there is a place that will say "2 Comments" or however many comments there are... Click that. Write you comment in the text box. Underneath that box it says, "Comment as:" Scroll down that and choose how to comment as. I would suggest the "Name/Url". Type in your name, so I know who you are, but leave the url box blank. Click "Post Comment". I think that should work!!

Haha! Please know that I didn't mean this is in a bad way, I'm totally picking on two specific people! You should know who you are. ;)
Love you both! Hope you can leave comments... because I like comments. =)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christ Ambassadors Conference

Stands for Student Something Leadership Training.
It's  the regional yearly conference meeting for Christ Ambassadors, the campus ministry that I am involved in. It is held in either Cincinatti or Indianapolis every year over New Years. This year it was located at Indianapolis and was the 30th to the 2nd. This was my third one. And it was better than all the rest.
I can literally say that this SALT has changed my life. Or rather, that God used this conference to change my life. I'm sorry to say that if I were to write out every detail of what happened, or how God spoke to me that my blogging would end, and I would have started writing a book. So, since I am wanting you to know how God touched my life, I will do it in the good ol' fashion of a list.

1. I knew that before this trip God was really trying to show me how much He loves me, and how He wants to romance me.
2. He set that into stone during a session that I took on meditating on God. I was having trouble with meditating on Him, listening without thinking. I got frustrated and thought, "God! Please help me listen to you!" And immediately I saw myself sitting in a room at a black table. Jesus walked in front of me, sat down and said "Do what I do." So I did. We folded our arms on the table, and put our chins down on our arms. Then He said, "Let's just gaze into each others eyes." I don't care how cheese-ball that sounds to anyone! That was the most wonderful, intimate, personal thing that God could have shown me! Just in that, I felt so overwhelmed with love I could hardly contain it.
3. I went to a spiritual warfare class, and the minute that I stepped into that class I felt such a passion for prayer. I want to be a prayer warrior for spiritual warfare. I felt so passionate about it, and just really had a hunger to grow more in this area! I wanted to take the stories that the teacher was telling and take them back to Murray campus. I want to see miracles happen! And I kept thinking, "Boy. I'm going to lose this passion pretty quick if I can't come up with a reminder for myself. A reminder to keep my desire for all that I have learned here."
4. The last night, January 1st, is what really changed my life. There was an alter call given for those who wanted to recieve the Fire of the Holy Spirit. It was for those who were already baptized in the Holy Spirit and who wanted a refreshing. It was to deepen your desperation for Jesus. And who doesn't want that?! I think that every person in that auditorium left their seats. So here I am, standing at the alter worshiping. And I just wanted to see a deeper, higher level of worship in me. So I started praying for it. And boy did it come. Not only that, but two people came up to me to pray with me, and gave me a prophetic word. It's amazing how God can speak through people to you. These two girls had no clue what they were saying, or what their words meant. But I did. And the words they spoke were, again, so personal and intimate. God just expressed so much love for me. I felt so overwhelmed with love for Him, so desperate for Him, and so filled with a longing to be broken by Him... When I say that I wanted to be broken, I wanted God to get rid of me. I wanted him to take every selfish thing out of my life, and build me back up in Him. I wanted Him to fill me with Himself, and that every thought, word, and action would be completely of Him. And He did. And it changed my life.

5. He brought me into a heart of worship.

So, yeah. SALT was amazing, the best yet. A lot came out of it, and I'm excited to see the change that's going to take place in my life.

Christmas Day

Christmas day was wonderful.

It started with me waking up extremely early, at six thirty, and drinking coffee in the living room by our beautiful Christmas tree. Our Christmas tree this year is probably the best we have ever had. I like really rustic trees. I think that someday I will want to find a place to cut down my own Christmas tree. Our tree this year was close enough. Tall, not very straight, bushy, uneven, with rugged edges it was perfect. And it was here that mom and I sat with our cups of coffee and a biscotti to talk until Dad woke up.

Dad didn’t wake up when I wanted him to, so at seven thirty I ran and jumped on his bed squealing and shouting that Santa had been here and I wanted to open presents. Ha! I’m totally kidding! I don’t believe Santa’s real. I did however run and jump on his bed, begging him to get up.

After Dad got up, Mom made us the traditional Sooter breakfast. Thankfully, someday I will become Julia Childs and live in Paris wearing pearls and an apron… meaning I won’t be making or eating the traditional breakfast of the manly men of the Sooter family. My dad insists that, for Christmas, Easter, and his Birthday, Mama fix oatmeal topped with runny eggs, crisp bacon… and chili – no beans. Mmm. Both my Grandpa and my Dad have always loved this.

Of course, immediately after breakfast we opened presents. My parents are probably the most thoughtful, wonderful, generous parents ever. Literally. I got a beautiful plaid coat, an iTunes card, three beautiful scarves, a pair of shoes, two cardigans (I love me some cardigans), and MOVIES!! I love movies. My two favorites I got are Julie & Julia and Wolverine. Do people ever grow out of it? The excitements of ripping open a beautifully wrapped present? I don’t think so.

After presents Mama and I went to the kitchen to cook. She made molasses cookies, sugar cookies, and got all of the chips and stuff ready. I made spinach and artichoke dip, tomato and bacon tartlets, and set out the rest of the stuff. Since the snacks were ready for the day, Dad and I sat back in our chairs to watch Wolverine. I’m making Jennifer a scarf for her Christmas present, so I worked on that.

The rest of the day was spent in doing nothing… I turned on Sirius Holiday Traditions (Christmas music from the 40’s), we snacked, mom and I worked on a puzzle, I knitted, we watched movies. That’s it. And it was perfect.

On the fourth day before Christmas I put up my tree!

*inhales deeply* So… *exhales quickly* I have something embarrassing to admit to… *squeezes eyes shut and reassures self, it’ll be ok* IttookusuntilfourdaysbeforeChristmastodecoratemytree.

Unless you didn’t catch that, I think I can say it again. It took us until four days before Christmas to decorate my tree. I can’t believe I am saying that. Me. The girl who should marry a Christmas elf, I love Christmas so much. And by “a Christmas elf” I’m speaking of Santa’s helpers, not Elf. I can’t stand Will Ferrell. Anyways, back on topic. I am the one who listens to Perry Como and Bing Crosby sing Christmas music in June. I am the one who believes that you should start celebrating when Walmart does – four weeks before Halloween. In September. Ok, so I’m kind of kidding, but not really.

I love Christmas.

I LOVE Christmas.

And it still took me *cough* andmymom *cough* until December 21st to decorate my tree. This is because, 1) I couldn’t decorate my house in Murray since we are painting the living room (and all living room furniture is piled in the center of the room) 2) I didn’t come home-home until 19th. But it’s ok. Because when my mom and I finally started decorating we got in this really great, really goofy mood and started taking pictures. I would post some examples, but I can't find the cord that allows me to put my pictures on my camera.
Dear blog readers.

I am not a good blogger.

All my love,
 The Girl Who Doesn’t Blog Often

Yeah, I thought that was funny. Funny and true. Ha!

Anyways, I need to tell you that part of my non-blogedness *clicks “Add to Dictionary” button* is partially due to the fact that, out here in the sticks, our internet speed is the same speed as my fat cat. That is really, really slow. But I could have done better, I know.

So I think what I am going to do is I am going to write all the posts that I should have been writing the past couple of days, and post them separately. Yeah. That sounds good. Not what a real blogger would do, but hey… gimme a break.