28 March, 2007

Whirlwind NE American Tour, Part I

In the next few months, I'll be all over the top right quadrant of my country. (Not Ireland, silly, the real one). Here's the report on the first weekend! (I'm really cheating on the time this was posted, but wanted them to be posted chronologically. Ergo, I cheat. Pardon.)

I had a hard time finding a substitute for my Saturday job this weekend, but God provided. I was working like a bee before we left, and was able to sleep a lot on the way there. I saw my Colorado relatives for the first time in four years. That was cool. They were there because my Uncle Ernie (who owns his own Physical Therapy clinic) does these Primal Reflex Release Technique (PRRT) seminars all over the country.

I was supposed to wake up at 5:30 AM on Saturday to help at Uncle Ernies' seminar, but considering that I couldn't sleep until 2:30 AM, I chose to stay at Uncle Dank's. My little cousins and I decided to walk to the local $1 store, where we made the manager nervous. He greeted us with a Mexican accent, loudly asking, "now yous kids don't mess anyt'ing up, 'kay?" We got laser pointers, gum, and chocolate. Not bad :-)

After lunch we made bits of a music video that never fully materialized. In this video, you can see my brother Matt, my cousins Jordy, John, and Emily. Jordy does his sweet rendition of the dance move called "the Worm."

Dinner was...I forget. But we watched some March Madness basketball on Uncle Dank's 64" HDTV. Honestly, I prefer our projector, but the stereo he had hooked to the TV was SWEET! He even had outside speakers. Nice touch.

On Sunday, I successfully woke in time to attend Uncle Ernie's seminar. He gave me an anatomy book to browse through during class, which was good since most of his presentations went right over my head. So I played around with my face, finding bony structures and muscles, until I was needed. Uncle Ernie had 13 students, so I became a guinea pig for them to try their new techniques. It was fascinating, though I really had no idea what was going on. The basic idea of PRRT (I think) is to counter stress. When people are stressed, they go into the "fight or flight" mentality, which "upregulates" their system and, over time, will cause musculoskeletal pain. Therapists use PRRT to "downregulate" their patients, and eliminate pain that can be tied to stress. I think there are other uses, but this was just a beginner course and I didn't even have the credentials to take the course. But I enjoyed it.

We hung around my Grandma's house that afternoon. I ate a lot of Hershey's kisses while I talked with my aunts and mom. Aunt Karen tried to find out why I'm an insomniac, but couldn't find a cure. Still, it was fun to talk about me :-P

The "grown ups" stayed at Grandma's while my siblings watched the younger cousins at Uncle Dank's. We got the subs pounding and recorded some more sweet dance moves. We jumped on the trampoline for a bit, but soon switched to "Ghosts in the graveyard." That game is really fun, but it's really loud, so I'm glad it ended shortly after dark.

I discovered Guitar Hero that night. I thought Dance Dance Revolution was a cool video game, but this beat it. It's the sweetest video game I've ever played (which isn't saying much). You've got this cheesy little guitar, right, with buttons instead of a fret board and a switch instead of a pickup, and a whammy bar. You pick a song to play, and the screen shows a fretboard and tells you which fret buttons to push and when to "strum" the switch. During the long notes, you can use the whammy bar if you choose. Every once in a while, something called "star power" is available, and you can "rock out" by shaking and tilting the guitar. My cousins call this "feeling the music" and it adds points to your score. By the time I left my uncle's house, I had progressed from playing single notes to "chords." It was sweet! It made me wonder if kids enjoyed that more than actually playing an instrument, though. Kinda sad thought.

We left on Monday afternoon. Aunt Karen invited me to visit them in Colorado, which I'd love to do this summer. Aunt Liz later e-mailed me, saying I'd left some shampoo etc. at her house. Oops! I'm expecting to get it back in the mail any day. Sorry, Aunt Liz!

I have a cool family.

22 March, 2007

I was supposed to pack tonight...

...instead, I got inspired. I've heard that creative people get inspired while laying down (totally true--if I ever get to be a professional artist, my studio will have a bed or long couch in it), and I'm beginning to think that they often get inspired when something else is pressing for their time. Something that would be more logical to complete before recording one's inspiration...but the inspiration always seems so evanescent the moment it comes. So here I am, laying around and ignoring logic.


My mother and I watched the movie Amazing Grace tonight. I like it. A lot. It showcases two of my personal heroes: John Newton and William Wilberforce. Somehow, I'd never known they were connected. Ian Gruffoldd did a great job showing passion, but also desperation. The scene between him and his wife as he was withdrawing from laudanum addiction is my personal favorite. Mom said it was better the second time through, and I can see why. Characters switch ages and locations quite frequently, and with little warning. I'm planning on getting the DVD eventually, so if any of you want to borrow it, let me know!

When the movie was over, my heart was ignited yet again with a desire to do great things. Ever since I was a child, I've felt destined for something big, whether that be surviving a nasty medical condition or changing society. As a teenager, God taught me to be content in ordinary circumstances, though I haven't stopped dreaming of big things or scaring myself with stories of how I could get sick. Lately, I think I've become comfortable, not just content, with ordinary things. That strikes me as sad. Maybe it's another sign that I'm growing older, but I don't like it.

I rarely read Boundless, but tonight I found an article called Optional Anxiety. My first reaction to it was, "Umm...guys, I can't settle for ordinary." Not that I'm trying to get rich as fast as possible, or be famous or anything, but I can't accept a humdrum future. I'd rather be living on pennies in a third-world country than go where I see many of my peers going. Inspiration came a few minutes later. Maybe the way I can be different is through living for others, such as my family. Like buying diapers instead of Jimmy Choo sandals. Like Susanna Wesley or George Müller.

Sweet! Now I'll have even more "ammunition" for those conversations with people who mean well...
"So, Laedelas, what do you plan on doing after graduation?"
"I'd really like to get married and have children."
"Oh, that's cute!" (said with a condescending smile) "How many do you want to have?"
"My childhood dream was to have twelve, but I'm not going to limit God."
"Whooooa, twelve! You'll definitely want to stop after your first! And besides, children are so expensive these days."
"Well, as I said, I'm not limiting God, so I'll take as many or as few blessings as he chooses to give. And I'm sure God will provide for his children."
...at this point, whoever I'm talking with will probably change the subject. They have in the past when the topic of large families surfaces. :-P

So, Future Self, when you're up late at night and reading blog archives while caring for a sick child or sleepless after a rough day, be encouraged. What you're doing is big and dramatic. Pray that God uses your sacrifices to serve himself.

17 March, 2007


Today, while I was washing clothes, I realized something that I'd consider important enough for a blog post. And then I read a friend's blog, and my realization became even more poignant. Not that it's a big deal...but it was cool.

I don't mind washing clothes. However, as I was washing my pink cashmere sweater in the sink today, I thought, "Self, you've just spent 2 hours dealing with clothes. If we hadn't sinned, that would be 2 free hours to do something else with. Also, you probably wouldn't have bought those clothes last year that now fill your closet."

"Wow, Self!" I responded. "All that money could have been spent elsewhere!"

Just out of curiosity, I looked up how much Americans had spent on the clothing industry last year. Rather, I tried. I couldn't find any numbers (anyone out there want to try?), but the clothing industry seems to run into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

I thought, "if we all stopped spending money on clothes, poverty would diminish incredibly."

But we won't. We can't. Thanks to the "original sin" of Adam and Eve, we are born with a knowledge of the value of good and evil. Humans cannot stand creation as God designed it (I'm referring here specifically to our bodies), but must change themselves or hide what they cannot change. Why do we try to change? I have no idea why Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves, but I'm guessing it had something to do with modesty. They may have been trying to prevent one another from sinning yet more.

My thoughts on clothes have changed. Yes, they're still important, but not as a means of climbing the social ladder. They're more of a means to prevent social decline. That's humbling.

I am so excited about getting to Heaven and shedding this sin stuff so I can know only goodness and see God.

13 March, 2007

Facebook II

Blogging is fun. Competing for popularity is (in my case) not. So, why FB? I've already said that it's become a temptation to idolize the glory of men, which it still can be. I hope I've toned my response to it down, however. I still use it.

I use facebook because it's an easy way to make conversations and experiences public. In one webpage, anyone can (basically) combine the services of Flickr, Blogger, and MySpace as well as a social calendar. For some reason, people I know who posess AIM, a blog, and a photo website put more on FB than their other sites. Also, some friends don't answer e-mail often, rarely answer the phone, and aren't on AIM --but oddly will answer when I post on their "wall." So it's another form of communication. As with any form, it's easy to abuse and make the value of words decline, but so goes many things that the hands of sinful mankind has touched.

What do you think, Jason? :-P

10 March, 2007

HA! Facebook...

My older brother blocked Facebook (FB) from my computer through the wireless network. I was mad, because he's taking a so-called liberty. But I really don't notice that it's gone. In fact, my dear blogging friends, you may have noticed that I was actually reading your blogs today instead of amusing myself by stalking friends on FB. Cool.

In other news, I am saddened by the recent defeat of my University's men's basketball team. But Mute Math is doing their best to console me, and Avenpitch will probably throw their sounds into the mix eventually. Their song "Bittersweet" is amazing. I wish more rock groups would quit singing and start making up real music, rather than accompanying words.

Speaking of music, a coworker lent me a CD of amazing Celtic music by a musician named Seamus Egan. I got one of his CDs through half.com, and am loving it. Brilliance.

For some reason, this post is quite random. So here's something else: I have 2 new favorite authors. Ted Dekker picks good topics and writes well. His trilogy (Black, Red, and White) took up most of my free time in the past few months. Recently, however, Douglas Adams' "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" has been in front of my face for a while. I knew Adams was a great writer (I read "The Complete Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" one summer...832 pages of greatness), but this book reminds me of a wonderful friend's writing. Speaking of which...X10, if you're reading this, did Adams influence your writing of "Searching for Service" at all? Hm. In any case, I now understand jokes about horses in bathrooms and the lines "...beware, beware!/The flashing eyes, the floating hair!"

And this is the end of the Laedelas Greenleaf Variety Show. Thanks, folks, for listening!

04 March, 2007


Self, remember thy limits. Thou hast made note that thou wilt never "grow old" by curtailing activities simply for sleep, or demanding food and bed at regular times. I have news, Self. Thou art old. Thou feelest old, though thou have yet to curtail activities in favor of sleep or food. However, thou must realize that God designed thyself with limits to show his own unlimitedness. Darling, before thou explodes or shrivels or ends up in a psychiatric institute, please remember thy limits. And by respecting those limits, thou mayhap bring glory to God by showing his unlimitedness. Pretending to have no limits does not make God seem greater, O Little One.

Thank God my schedule will calm a bit next week. I've realized that I can't be a workaholic, as hard as I try. Remember this in the future, Self, when I'm tempted to become something I can't be, such as a SuperMom or a Do-It-All or any other impossible and futile things. God ordained limits. Right now, I am going to respect God's limit on wakefulness. Good night.