28 November, 2005


I am swerving through a dim valley
A valley with no view
But upward.

Upward I look to the sun's scowl
Showing the path I chose
Down to depths

Depression's hard hand grips my shoulder
I curse my luck and clime
Why here, now?

I choose against my will to press on
This foot again in front
Weary walking

Now, a hand directs my gaze upward
Again I look for hope
Hope I see

That hand was pierced, scarred for me
It pulls me through the night
Guiding soul

Fear not, for it is with me, it guides
Gently, firmly, with grace
I am whole

No more shall I weep and gnash my teeth
For there is no night here
With the YAH

Oh, Shining hope! Radiant one! YAH!
Where you are, I will be

YAH, glorious
Victorious warrior
You destroy the recalcitrant ones

26 November, 2005


Wow. I just realized that FINALS are in TWO WEEKS!??!?!?!??!! I feel a mixture of astonishment and remorse. Well, here I go to study, I guess.

24 November, 2005

Facebook=waste of time. Oh well...I can't sleep

The Day of Giving Thanks was not full of purposeful, intelligent thanks. Rather, I enjoyed many of the faculties that I am thankful for. I woke up, and lounged in pajamas for a bit. A shower (long and warm) was followed by reading the newspaper and discussing Friday's activities with extended family members. A trip to CVS resulted in a fantastic new toothbrush, and wonderful little devices called "waterproof knuckle bandaids." They saved me much pain as I cooked and cleaned today. A wonderful brunch followed, after which I despaired of ever eating more than cranberry sauce at the Feast. Snow gear was then sought for and applied, allowing me to romp in cold snow with my cousins for a long time while sustaining liveable body temperatures. Shortly after we returned to the house for hot chocolate and shortbread, another installment of relatives appeared, and the feast followed in short succession. My plate was very heavy by the time I tucked in (but no seconds, please). Much scraping of plates and dish washing was followed by Tripoli (a family classic) and Pumpkin Chiffon pie. THAT was the best part of the feast, once I had room. Dominoes were commenced, then a struggle of authority ensued as parents strongly admonished the "younger" set (I guess I fall in there, since I'm 20) to retire. Peace now reigns the household. I sit typing and enjoying the musical talents of friends in Indiana, PA. Insomnia has struck.

To Explain the Post Previous...

It snowed in my region, and is currently snowing. Since school is suspended for the holidays, I decided to keep wearing pajamas until work to celebrate. As I was sweeping floors in preparations for the holidays, I began to bounce excitedly on the couches when I noticed the snow building up on the ground. The song below immediately came to mind, especially the "snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes" line. One o'clock in the afternoon found me in pajamas, bouncing on couches and waltzing with a broom handle, singing "My Favorite Things" at the top of my lungs. Thus the post.

23 November, 2005

My favorite things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

~Hammerstein & Rodgers

22 November, 2005

More on Scrooge later...

Light up night was crazy fun. And crazy painful. Please, allow me to explain.

Walking around in Market Square can be interesting, but also rather dubious. Mike and I were approached by a cop while we attempted to suprise the Nater. Oops, there goes our cover. I bought my first item from Starbucks. Don't worry, it was Chai Tea Latte, and it was actually a much better deal than Eat'n'Park. Gingerbread houses, random personages snapping photos, and "international holiday persons" on display are quite hilarious. Especially with such company as I was in.

Hot Dogma is totally the coolest restaurant in Pittsburgh!! Like, totally! Like, better than Spice Island Tea House!! I hope John gets a gig there, 'cos I would like to go back. Whole leaf vanilla bean tea...*dreamy sigh*...and I had bratwurst in a hotdog bun with mustard and sauerkraut on top. And those...dip sticks...pocky sticks? Quite addictive.

So, then we left for more Market Square antics. Our very large group split into many varying groups that changed constantly throughout the rest of the night. Then I think we went to the Creche, which could have been quite ethereal, but I spent a long time on the cellphone with some girl who didn't know where she was and needed to meet my sister. The choir was nice. I wish I could have let my mind wander a bit more, and ruminate upon the meaning of Christ's coming. As it were, we jumped around on a circle of marble chairs, and I'm afraid John killed his back, but he says he feels ok.

Eventually we wound up watching fireworks and moshing to christmas songs at the Point. By that time, my lower back and feet and shoulders were quite painful, and I was ready to be done. I didn't feel "christmas-y", but I rarely do anymore. It just makes me want to spend $$, and the Christmas feeling I would like to emote is much different. Perhaps you noticed my use of capital letters for christmas vs. Christmas. It's an important distinction.

The trolley ride home was sleepy. It was hard to keep my eyes open and not slobber on the kid sitting next to me. Overall, the night was a blast, and if I'm allowed to express girly emotions...I got to wear my way-cool fuzzy mint green wool hat with the plastic cherries I put under the velvet band on the brim. :-D I got to hang with Nater and some of the Pitt girls a bit more, which was fun.

Now I feel guilty, because my post is full of "I's" and "me's." I hope I have the gumption to spend some time this Christmas on serving others. Like, in a soup kitchen or something. Commercialism during christmas gives me the creeps.

20 November, 2005


No, I never get enough...I keep waking up tired... (Chris Rice)

However, this weekend I was able to sleep much more than normal. 14 hours on Sat, plus 7 hours that night, a 3 or 4 hour nap on Sunday (missed the game...oh, well, it's football, after all) and-can you believe it?-I'M TIRED!!! This is amazing! And it has changed my outlook on many things drastically. I still am not too excited about school, but life has just been so much more sunny lately. Thank God for his amazing love! Maybe I can chip away at those 20+ hours of sleep debt & regain some sense of normalcy in my life.

16 November, 2005


I just found out that Skillet will be playing at my university in May!!!!! Extreme excitement ensuing. Then, I found out that they're touring with Acquire the Fire, which I have heard of, but do not know anything specific about that ministry. So I checked out their website. And found out that tickets to the whole event (they don't sell tickets to the individual concerts) was over $45. Ouch. Could I volunteer? That's definitely a possibility. I'd get free admission and a free "event staff" shirt, but I'd be running around and missing most of the whole thing. I'd love to volunteer still, but then there's also the time commitment to think about. Classes would be finished by then. Hmm. If anyone else could give me info about this ministry, or would be interested in checking out volunteering with me, I'd appreciate feedback.

15 November, 2005


My church has been doing a recent series on money and the Gospel. The series concluded last Sunday, and, ironically, I started reading the book they handed out ("The Treasure Principle" by Randy Alcorn) tonight during dinner (don't worry, I was alone at the table). Boy, was I convicted. During the message series, I was really convicted of my lackadaisical attitude toward my money. So much of it is taken up by college tuition, that I never had much left to think about. However, during the series, I realized that I hadn't tithed in ages. I still have the paperwork I need to figure out what I owe God, but it went all the way back to May. I was astonished. Not so much that I owed God and hadn't paid, but that I could be so careless about how my few dollars can contribute to the work of the Lord. Sure, it's not much, but what did Jesus say about the woman who gave two coins worth just a penny? "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on." (Mark 12: 43-44)

This made me think of my abundance. I, personally, may not be very rich, but my parents who support me during this time in my life are very well-off. This house is a great example of that. I have benefited greatly from my parents' wealth. Yes, I say wealth. Not only do I have a sizable room to myself, but I have a well-stocked kitchen, etc. etc. My basic needs are very well met. On top of that, I have an incredible violin, a wonderful bed, a wonderful pillow, a fantastic computer, clothes and books galore, and pictures for my walls. Maybe God doesn't require me to give up those things I need, but do I honestly need this computer? NEED? Do I need half the clothes I own? Do I need so many shoes? Should I have invested that $80 into God's kingdom, rather than buying myself a large desk?

Now that I've been able to sort through most of my belongings, I'm going to see what I can get rid of for the sake of the Gospel. I don't necessarily care if I get money for it (donating clothes to Salvation Army can spread the Gospel as well), but if God calls me to live unostentatiously, then I should strive to rid myself of any excess. This translates to how I'll spend money in the future. Is that trip to Europe worth more than a 6-month stint at an orphanage for AIDS in Namibia? Which one will spread the Gospel more? I am convicted that I'd put off the Namibia trip since Europe was a higher priority, and I couldn't afford both in one year. Feel free to ask me how I'm doing in this area.

Then, I thought of my college tuition. Granted, someone else is paying college tuition for me (no, not my parents), but college is preventing me from earning a lot more money than I earn now. Of course, once I graduate, my job will pay exponentially more than I could earn otherwise, but what if Jesus returns before I graduate? Would my college education all be for naught? I can't find an answer to this question.

14 November, 2005

Ode to the death of my primary energy source (an edited free verse poem)

Dead, dying leaves
Trampled by a thousand feet
Smells so good

Leaves, oh leaves
Teach me how to die?
To glorify the Creator?
Teach me to go gladly.

Gladly to serve the One
Who gave you as photosynthetic, carbon-fixating wonders of an energy source
Even, as you lay mouldering
On your concrete grave
You shine
Displaying His glory
So gladly

Gladly will I
Follow steps
Behind countless martyrs
Like dying leaves
Like tongues of flame together make fire unstoppable
Beautiful in death
Glorifying the One

So painful.
So beautiful.

12 November, 2005


LegolasTwinSister: ooh, guess what the other fencing coaches decided last night
RepulsiveBlight: you're blonde?
LegolasTwinSister: GOSH
LegolasTwinSister: I'll choose to take that as an obvious observation, and not as the critique I'm tempted to think it is
RepulsiveBlight: think of it as....
RepulsiveBlight: a comment about pigment
LegolasTwinSister: haha
LegolasTwinSister: I think that's worthy of a blog post

11 November, 2005


Everyone seems to have posted something on their blog on the 11th. I feel left out, but for more than one reason. It's not my fault, but I feel guilty.

Singing these songs made me want to dance in the street this morning on the way to the trolley.

...Let my love open the door
To your heart
I have the only key to your heart
I can stop you falling apart
Release yourself from misery
There's only one thing gonna set you free
That's my love
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart
When tragedy befalls you
Don't let it drag you down
Love can cure your problems
You're so lucky I'm around
~~Audio Adrenaline (Pete Townshend)

Father, carry me high, lift me to the sky
Let me be where you are
Hold me, ever so closely, let me know your mercy
Let me be where you are
...You are the hope in me
~~Rebecca St. James

I love my big, grey coat and my green crocheted beanie with the pins on the side.

I close my eyes and I leave ‘em there
And I yawn, and sigh, and slowly fade away
Deep enough to dream in brilliant colors I have never seen
Deep enough to join a billion people for a wedding feast
Deep enough to reach out and touch the face of the One who made me
And oh, the love I feel, and oh the peace
Do I ever have to wake up
~~Chris Rice

07 November, 2005

The future of...me?

Take a look at my transcripts. I'm not a poor student, but my science grades are killing me. This is forcing me to reconsider my goals in education. I had been well on my way to earning my doctorate in physical therapy, but I can't seem to perform well enough in the sciences. I've decided to put PT school on the back burner for the next semester or so, & focus on interesting stuff...like West African Dancing. Maybe I'll come back to PT.

The thought of not completing my former plans hurts. Perhaps it's my pride condemning me for caving in to a workload that I couldn't force myself to cope with, and God is trying to break that. I love science, I honestly do. And I would love to work in a physical therapy setting. Perhaps it's bitterness. I worked so hard to get where I am, believing wholeheartedly that I was following God's plan for my life, and now it seems that he is leading me in another direction.

In another respect, I enjoy this prospect. College would be shortened from a total of 7 years to 4. I never planned on working my entire life. My dream originally was (and still is) to get married and raise children. I wanted a college education mainly so that I would be able to teach my children how to think for themselves on a deeper level than their peers. A job was just a way to support myself while I was in between college and marriage. Grad school would delay my dream of motherhood considerably, since it'd take a long time to finish paying for grad school.
I'm setting the stage for the things I love
And I'm now the [wo]man I once couldn't be
Nothing on earth could now ever move me
I now have the will and the strength a [wo]man needs

It's my will, and I'm not moving
Cause if it's your will, then nothing can shake me
It's my will, to bow and praise you
I now have the will to praise my God

Complexity haunts me for I am two [wo]men
Entrenched in a battle that I'll never win
My discipline fails me, my knowledge it fools me
But you are my shelter, all the strength that I need

I'm learning to give up the rights to myself
The bits and the pieces I've gathered as wealth
Could never compare to the joy that you bring me
The peace that you show me is the strength that I need

We've got to be children of peace
Don't you know we've got to be children of peace
~~~d.c. Talk

"For I am confident in this very thing, He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Phillipians 1:6

"For our light and momentary troubles are acheiving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." II Cor. 4:7-18

Fiona Apple

I have no idea what her lyrics are exactly, but as I was listening to WYEP, I happened across a Fiona Apple song from her latest album. Another singer whose voice I would love to imitate, but don't have the guts to try.

I only have about 5 boxes left to unpack! You can see the lovely polyurethaned-ness that is called my floor!

I have physics HW tomorrow, a computer program to write, a fencing team to coach, and another road trip to pack for! And now I can register for classes because my parents are generous! There are so many opportunities in my life. I can't seem to tighten the leaks in my ship. I am not sinking, but it seems the cargo of precious opportunities given to me are constantly slipping through cracks. I grab as many as I can, but some I can't balance, and others are just too slippery. Some opportunities I see as valuable, while others do not see the value in them, and encourage me to take other opportunities that have less value to me. Do I let this perspective depress me, or help lift my spirits above drudgery, knowing that I have so many opportunities that I can't grab ahold on all of them? How do I find the wisdom to decide between opportunities?

What is my goal anyway? Well, of course, it's to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Once again, I am indebted to the Westminster Catechism.

Ecclesiastes 4:12
Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.

01 November, 2005

Lovely Things (thank you, Eisley!)...Part 1

(struck speechless by the weekend...here follows random thoughts that I couldn't seem to organize)

So, the frenzy started weeks ago. Months, if you're counting the concert. Matt and I had bought tickets for the Switchfoot concert, and later discovered that our family would be moving that weekend. Ohhhhhh boy. Friday was crazy, since it was the last day of fencing training camp and we had to inform four people that, though they worked hard and definitely should have earned a spot on the team, we simply did not have enough spots. I cried that night, but the Adventures in Odyssey episode didn't help the semi-weepiness. THEN began the frenzied last-minute packing. I felt like a refugee. "Hurry! Put all your valuables in these boxes, throw them in the car, and let's hightail it out of here!"

HOWEVER, as a much-appreciated parting gift, our old house let me sleep for 10 hours straight that night. Ahhh...wonderful...and then the morning started at 8 AM. Packing and loading boxes and trying to preserve some of my delicates (Thanks, Wes, for taking care of my violin. I really do appreciate that) and finding out that SOMEONE had stuck 1,000 plastic forks in our front yard along with a "welcome" sign and many forged signatures and then I rode to the new house to help Mom direct the whole process and and then rushing back and forth and then to the Behrens. Meanwhile, Matt managed to get one of those forks stuck into his chin, leaving some interesting marks on his face.

SO, we got to Behrens, loaded our stuff, and got in. AND THEN WE WENT TO THE MOON!!! Seriously, we went to pick up Katie. Aaah, sweet, sweet road trips, I love you. Thank you, John, for all the driving you did. You were definitely the responsible adult-in-charge, and acted accordingly. Thank you for being willing to fill those shoes. I really regretted not being able to drive on this trip in many instances. Hmm. I can drive now, but my parents informed me that if I get my license, I have to pay for car insurance. Oops. No gots the dough. John, next time we take a trip somewhere, and I have my license, I'll make up for the driving. Thank you so much.

ON the way to Cleveland, we did many things. The coolest of which was to mosh in the backseat. Unfortunately I didn't sit there, but I did have a camera to record the action. 'Twas sweet, and it made the van's shocks groan, I'm sure :-) Swedish fish taste really good. Oh, and we saw a car full of Indians (haha) who we recognized, but they didn't recognize us until we got their cell phone number. Then we thought it would be really fun to drive circles around their car, but...you know. Highways+silly things like driving circles around a friends' car=bad decision. It was fun to see them.

THEN we finally got to Cleveland, which wasn't anything like Columbus. Guys, I have news. Columbus, OH is my favorite city in the world. Sorry, Cleveland. We drove around, found the line already forming at the venue, and then some relatively cheap parking. Many phone calls were being exchanged at this point in time between the Akronites and the Pittsburghians to designate a meeting point. Meanwhile the guys and I played on these 4-foot high marble balls in front of some stadium.

SO we got to the concert venue. We decided to wait and send three guys off looking for a cheap and fast restaurant. After 45 minutes, nothing came up. Well, John, Dan, Craig and I were pretty hungry (at least, I sure was) so we went into the little bar/restaurant associated with the House of Blues concert venue to find food. They had 3 turkey wraps. For $30. Ouch. I still owe John. They did have a lot of meat in them, but I certainly wasn't expecting a $30 dinner for 4 :-P

THEN we actually got into the concert venue!!!! We had general admission tickets, but there were no seats except at the bar and upstairs, so we kinda mulled around in a huge mass right in front of the stage. The venue was very intimate, and I started out about 20 feet from the stage. However, I decided to buddy up with Katie, and the two of us drifted back a little bit (we wanted the protection from standing next to some of the big guys that came with us...the other big guys were really, really close to the stage). So, I was maybe 30' from the stage. But that didn't matter, 'cos I was definitely above the average height, and had no problem seeing over people's heads. Boy, was it crowded. I was leaning on guys that I had never seen before or ever talked to, and stepping on toes that seemed to have no owner to whom I could apologize. Katie and I stood for a while and compared the different colognes we could smell, since there were so many people in close proximity :-P Josh Putnam won.

Revolver was the first band. I really don't have much to say about them. The drummer's hair was really cute, but their music didn't appeal to me and seemed ordinary. Sorry, guys. ...then came a long wait while the stage guys changed drum sets & stuff...

Then EISLEY came on!!!!! *screams her head off* I LOVE those guys. I've written about them before on this blog. Well, their live performance was interesting. The guitars definitely had more distortion than their album, but hearing those voices live was amazing. Simply amazing. Boy do I want to learn how to sing like they do. They didn't sing "Trolley Wood," which is one of my favorites, but I really liked their new song. Another excruciating long wait ensued after this band. 'Twas really annoying, and Katie and I decided to sit on the floor to give our backs a rest.

Yeah, yeah. And then we saw Switchfoot. There were some things I liked about them, and some I didn't. I was impressed that all 5 guys actually added to the music, because I had been under the impression that the other guitarist (I forget his name) just did rhythm guitars (which aren't always useful, but sometimes they are). Not so. I didn't like how the crowd responded to Jon's reach toward them. Um, guys, this is a FALLIBLE HUMAN we're talking about! He's even declared himself as such in his songs! GOSH. And then the music began.

I don't remember the song list. I don't even remember the opening song, which we had discussed briefly on the trip there. But I do know that it was really sweet. Aaah...Everyone go read John's blog. What he said about the concert and heaven being really sweet...Amen, brother. Though Eisley and Switchfoot definitely have Christian influences, this concert was not geared toward God. However, in the midst of satisfying my carnal desires, I did experience God. How can you not know who God is and who you are and then feel that the song "Stars" has no meaning for you? Yes, I honestly was worshiping God while jumping up and down and pumping my "rocker fist" in the air while screaming out lyrics. "When I look at the stars, I see someone else!" Oh, such a sweet melody. And, you know, on Sunday night I was looking at the stars at my new house (there's a much better view), and I sang those lyrics softly...imagining soft guitar fingerpicking in my mind...and it was just as fitting then as in a crowded dark concert hall.

There was another song that really spoke to me, "The Shadow Proves the Sunshine." Amazing song. Definitely made me feel like a speck of nothingness trapped in a crowd of nothingness, trying to give something to God. Wow. Words don't suffice. I shouldn't even try.

Oh, and the SOUND!!!! They may have said that "nothing is sound," but this sound was so great that at times it was easy to forget about it. And yet, as a budding sound techie, I couldn't. Low frequencies so strong, I could feel my pants vibrating around my ankles. And, yet, nothing was muddy or too distorted or undefined...the vocalist sounded amazing, and it was easier to understand his words there than just listening to the disc. The drums had punch, but ring also. The compressor on the vocalist's mike definitely helped keep the feedback to a minimum, but it didn't constrain his voice too much.

This Cleveland crowd was tough, though. I was expecting to mosh and jump and scream and really rock my face off. No moshing!!! I should have pressed forward, 'cos I heard that the other half of our group which was right next to the stage moshed. Bummer. I think it was Brian Chima who noticed me bouncing around, so we crashed around a bit. Then he waved at me with a "let's mosh" message, and I promptly gave him a push, not intending at all to shove him over or hurt anyone else. Oops. It was really crowded, so I guess he couldn't brace himself against anything to resist my push, and consequently he took out about 10 surrounding people. I had a lot of apologizing to do. I don't think anyone was seriously hurt, but it sure was embarrassing!

Switchfoot weekend...part 2

The concert was great, despite the "manhandling" incident. I think Nick Chima came up with that word :-P

Afterwards, the masses of people related to Sovereign Grace churches decided to go to Steak & Shake. Yummm...We filled up a whole wall of the restaurant at 1 AM, and our total bill was humongous. I think we gave the waitress the biggest tip she'd probably ever gotten at that restaurant.

It had been decided that Katie and I would repose at the Tumino Residence, so Craig graciously took us home with him in the below-freezing weather. Their house will forever remain in my mind as a house of repose, like Elrond's house. The couch was more than comfortable, and it already had sheets and blankets waiting for us! The Tumino girls were very gracious hostesses, and didn't seem to mind that we walked in after 2:30 AM.

Colin woke me up the next morning. He is such a darling. The moment he saw us on the couch, he said, "Look! There's Katie and Shannon! I like them." I like you too, Colin! What a pleasant wake-up call :-) I hope we can build up more friendships with the Tuminos.

Okaaaay...class isn't here, but the rest of my life is. Plus, my fingers are tired. So I'll finish the rest of the move/switchfoot story later....zzzzzzzz

NOTICE: I've lost connection to the online world for the next 10 days, due to our move. I will answer e-mails infrequently, and will only have internet access when I'm on campus. Apologies.