Thursday, December 3, 2009

On Love

Written on a flight from Portland to Chicago as I wave a teary goodbye to a place so many heartstrings attached themselves to during my stay.

Love is not what makes one's heart pitter-patter at the sight of another. Love isn't the warm feeling one gets when one experiences that delicate touch of someone special. Love is not thinking and dreaming about another person constantly, causing one to be ever distracted. Love is not what it feels like to hug or kiss someone - or more. Love is not excitement; not a purely physical bond; not hormones pulsating through one's body or some urge below one's belt line.

So, then, what is love? I've listed so many things that love is not that everyone should have narrowed it down by now in their minds, right?

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

As always, I shall disclaim everything I am saying (perhaps I should just put a general disclaimer up on my blog or wall... or perhaps I should stop worrying about how incompetent everyone must think I am): 19-year-olds probably know nothing about love. But I interrupt my disclaimer to ask: who does? And what qualifies a person as being all-knowing about love, anyway? If someone is 16 or 17 and has been in more relationships and/or had sex more than I have at 19 or 20 (actually, just insert into those spots any given ages; my point is still the same), does that make them more knowledgeable than me on the subject of love? That person may care to think so, and I'm not going to try and prove them wrong, but in my oh-so-humble opinion, I think it just might be the other way around.

Whether I know anything about relationships, love, etc., or not, here is what I think love is:

Love is when you can sit together in a room, keeping to yourselves, but being able to speak up at any time and have the other person nod, smile, chortle, or whatever. Love is when you wake up in the morning and you smell like crap, and they smell like crap, but you still sit down next to each other for breakfast and pretend like you can't smell anything... because your love goes way beyond how a person smells. Love is when you can't help passing gas in all manner of odd ways, but you aren't embarrassed. Love is doing things together - it's cleaning the kitchen, it's throwing a ball or a Frisbee, it's swimming laps, it's riding bikes, it's raking leaves, it's cooking dinner, it's making music. Love is not blaming somebody that the hot water ran out, even if it was obviously their fault. Love is coming to each other when a problem arises and working it out together. Love is encouraging one another to be better people and not just tolerating behavior that you know one day will be detrimental to them and to others. Love is serving one another in all senses of the word; love is selfless. Love doesn't do things for one person because they want a reward or some sort of acknowledgement for themselves - love does things for a person specifically to do things for the person. Love is not the bare minimum; love does all that is required, and then keeps on doing.

In Oregon, I came to realize how truly bad I am at loving. And, up until the time I said that last sentence, you may have thought I was talking about romantic love... and now you are pointing your fingers at the text and shouting nice things like "impostor!!" at me. But I was - the real romantic love is encompassed in unconditional love. The basis of all love is the unconditional, which we often forget.

Anyway, as I was saying *clears throat*... in Oregon, I came to realize how truly bad I am at loving. That sounds horrible, but it's true. Once out of my day-to-day life I tend to get caught up in, I was able to step back and reflect on my actions in general. After all, in preparation for my trip, I had gotten very slack in tolerance, communication, and servanthood, among other things. Are those things to be so conditional? I don't think so.

Oregon... my two steps forward and one step back. I jumped at the opportunity to improve upon my loving. And so much more than that occurred. I learned an incredible amount of things about loving, more than I ever thought I would in my whole life, especially what I would have assumed I would learn on the trip.

So, thank you, everyone and everything, in North Carolina and all that was in my new love, Oregon.

And you, my two dearest lands - North Carolina and Oregon - how I love thee! I believe I am to be torn between two lovers forever. Alas - 'tis a beautiful, bittersweet affair!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


By Jessica

Memories hide themselves in the tar
Bumpy tar
Cracked tar
Easy for things to be forgotten

Each time I walked, 'twas a new street
Same bumps
Same cracks
New joy, new love, new pain

For only a fortnight have I known this pavement
Fast friends
How so?
Your hard soul is my solace

For every time we walked together, but I alone
Old friends
Just so
Ne'er again shall I take you for granted

Like the all-seeing eye of the four walls
See what is
Knowledge disguised
Then in solitude you sing

The lullaby mourns as your black arms hold me
Say what was
Knowledge unfurled
At last I can see who I am

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ode to an Ever-Closed Library in Seaside

Can you see my tears?
The lovely breeze and sun
Their battle they have won
But to sit and read and write and think
Such pleasures I have none.

I sit
Stranded on a sidewalk
'Tis useless reasons ye hath closed
To government you have brown-nosed
Mine feeble heart longs only for thee
But returned affection I only supposed.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Oh, Snap!

Since I don't exactly have a lot of time to sit down and write really long, drawn-out blog posts while I am here (or anywhere, for that matter), I am probably just going to blog as often as I can in little blurbs about life so far. This came about because my first official blurb was actually going to be a status on Facebook...but it was too long.
So, ladies and gentlemen:

by Jessica
about Jessica
written in third person for the sake of dramatic emphasis...or whatever feeling you get from reading this piece

Jessica was walking along the shore, absorbing the presence of the ocean and feeling at one with the wind when suddenly she was hit with 3 waves, leaving her in water that was waist deep. In a struggle to walk out of the water before she got more wet, the grasping fingers of the ocean ripped her flip-flop off her foot. She grabbed for it, successful in this retrieval, until the process caused her other flip-flop to wiggle off and elope with the receding sea. In a vain, tragic effort, Jessica scoured the ocean in the twilight. Alas, her flip flop was gone for eternity and she was soaked to the bone with only a future as an ice sculpture to give her hope in life. Oh, and dinner. =)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Goodbye, Ordinary

"Live like there's no tomorrow, love extravagantly, lead a life to be followed...goodbye, ordinary!"

It's not as if I want to say goodbye to ordinary. I am content with ordinary. I love ordinary! But that's the thing, I guess. In a lot of ways I'd be perfectly content to stay with this life forever. To live in one house, eventually falling in love with a very wonderful person, getting married, moving into another house, and having very wonderful children. The theme of this blog should be "All I desire out of life is it's mediocre simplicities, but it's amazing how good I am at complicating things by thinking about them all the time." Well, let's not.

But something within me screams "Do something!!!" I often stare blankly at it and when my mind comes round I finally ask it what the heck it's talking about. Why would I need to do something?? I'm living my dream right here. Don't push discontentment on me! And what do you mean by "something" anyway?

And I am sure we all get that feeling. That there is more to life than what we've known so far. More than what is right in front of our faces. And for some of us, this is a call to explore the depths of life and the world, to discover all they possibly can as they strive to fully live; to meet their own expectations of whatever that means to them. Then there are people more like me, who usually shrug off any such longing, keep on enjoying everyday life, and treasure family vacations to the beach or mountains.

Note: people such as myself are perfectly sane. They are not selling themselves short, and they are not to be thought of any less than your average, more driven person, looked down upon, or felt sorry for. Thank you.

Note #2: Of course, these are the two extremes, and there are many people in the middle, as well as crazy people that take the extremes to extremes, but to keep the length down, I won't go into great detail of all the different personality-types in the world.

Back to the blog.

But sometimes I do feel like I am selling myself short. Not because my life here does not meet expectations of a good life, by any means. Like I said, I would be perfectly content just to live my altered-for-Christian-non-feminist-people-who-homeschool version of the American Dream till the day I die. But because there are so many opportunities I have laid eyes upon in my life that I think I would have liked to take. I tend to imagine vividly what doing these things would be like - from going to Indiana to study wolves, to Oxford to intensely study creative writing, to Nicaragua to backpack the gorgeous terrain.

I think, more than anyone I know (I could be wrong) I have wanted to do basically everything. I've wanted to be a circus acrobat, an equestrian, figure skater, prima ballerina, conductor, Broadway performer, Olympic swimmer, soccer player, hockey player, dog behaviorist, whale rider, personal trainer, psychologist, photographer....there's no need to go on. And every time I get one of these ideas in my head, I start imagining. I research it, and sometimes I even have started to make plans. But then it's all forgotten, usually for these two subconscious reasons:

1. I love this life, I am content, and what I really want is this normal-ness I've grown up around to be my normal-ness, if that makes sense.
2. If I am going to do anything career-ish with my life, I am going to write. Because, no matter how hard I might try, I can't stop writing.

So I drop it all, and go back to my normal life, reading, writing, being Jessica, and swimming as often as possible. Works for me!

Then, along came a spidey who sat down beside me. Its name was Novel Writing Camp-ish-thing in Oregon. 1 month. Write a novel. At the beach. In another state. At first, I was sold. But, figuring it would interfere with normal life I, again, shrugged it off and kept swimming (not a figure of speech or Finding Nemo quote; it was early July).

Later in July, I mentioned it to my dad in passing, and he encouraged me to actually go. After all, I want to write, right? And now, I am leaving tomorrow.

No, it does not seem real to me. All my life I have said, "yes, I am definitely going to do _______," and my brother would be happy to point out to you that I just DON'T. I never do. I always back out of it quietly, whatever it is. It's a wonder I ever took college classes, graduated from high school, joined a swim team, own a chinchilla, take piano lessons, do improv shows, or anything else that now is a part of my everyday life (that I love, have I mentioned??).

I don't want to love travelling so much that I lose sight of how I love normal life and never come home again, so I guess that is why I am writing this entry. Still, I think it's good for every young person to have that time where they go off for a bit into the world and do something new, if for no other reason than to see what it's like and be fully aware that "home is where the heart is", "there's no place like home", and other clich├ęs that Delilah will probably tell you if you call in to request a song.

Anyway, here I go, off to write my book! I will attempt to blog at least a little while I am in Oregon, and hopefully post pictures on Facebook, too. If you are not on Facebook, you really should get one. You know who you are. After all, you don't become addicted/obsessed unless you let yourself, right?

I love you all!!


Monday, October 26, 2009

New Beginnings

Fall can be looked at in many different ways. Despite being very cold right now, I can easily look past that to the gorgeous colors outside my window, and the leaves whooshing around, decorating the ground with the essence of autumn. It may sound strange to see death in this light, but we all do it. The leaves are dying, true, but they smell so good and look so wonderful!

This time of the year just makes me think of beginnings for some reason. More so than spring, when everything really is coming to life. The air is so crisply fresh, the cool nights perfect for bonfires, and the time has come for cuddling up in warm sweaters, enjoying the great outdoors, or cozying up inside under a warm blanket with hot chocolate and a good book.

And this time, fall brings a real new beginning with it as well: I am leaving the comfort of the only home I've ever known....the only life I have ever fly across the country for a month to write a novel under the inspiration of new experiences.

I have often wondered if I have a wandering soul. But, having never really wandered before, how am I supposed to know? But, the truth is, while I like traveling and going new places, I really like to stay in one place. While I appreciate extravagance, high adventure, new sights and sounds, etc., what I want for the rest of my earthly life is simplicity. Not simplicity as in uncomplicated or easy. But "A Simple Kind of Life" .... "Somewhere that's Green." A simple house, on a good amount of land somewhere not too far from civilization, but not too close either. Just me, my Someone, and as many kids as God blesses us with.

So, nobody fear - I'm going, but I won't be gone forever, and I certainly won't go away that often. :) I love my life and wherever it leads me, but most of all I love it here.

Just a few half awake thoughts on this lovely Monday morning.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Today I.... going to to a post about what I did today, because I would like to blog, and with blogging usually comes deep and philosophical thoughts in their own time. So, ladies and gentlemen, a Monday in the Life of Jessica:

Today I woke up. The sun was not shining. I feel like I have written those two sentences before, side-by-side. Hmm. This probably means that this is how I start every day....moving on....

I did yoga, worked out some, made tea, grabbed a leftover biscuit, and read one of my favorite Richard Maybury books, "Are You Liberal? Conservative? Or Confused?" It is a brilliant book, as Maybury is a brilliant man. You should read it. Enough said.

After this, I went into my room, finished Esther, started Job, read some in Isaiah and some in Matthew. This completed, I set to work plotting my story out more. Man, I have seriously never planned this much before for anything. But this book must come to fruition. Therefore, someone must write it. And writing anything good requires sufficient planning. So, I must plan like crazy. I love my logic.

I ate breakfast and read a chapter in "How Should We Then Live?", which is another excellent book (not by Richard Maybury, but by Francis A. Schaeffer) that you should read.

After this, I did the dishes, folded laundry, cleaned my room (funny how I actually have a floor, walls, and furniture now), and thought about what to make for dinner. I settled on a dish called something like "wild mushrooms running rampant through a creamy forest of chicken and noodles." Yum.

I then settled down to read ANOTHER great book called "Story" by Robert McKee. You should read it IF you are interested in any medium of storytelling. It will change your life forever and all of your stories will increase in greatness by at least a tenfold!! =D This caused me to do more story planning as well.

Eventually, I stopped this and started to work for my dad. I answered e-mails, etc. for a while.....during which, my parents went on a walk and my siblings decided to throw a techno dance party in the living room in their absence.....

After working for some time, I looked up chord sheets for piano, printed them out, and went into the kitchen to make my chosen meal, only to find out I had been bumped by my mother, who insisted that the pork chops must be cooked at that very moment or they would go bad; that they were for dinner and I would either have to prepare my dish later and not-for-dinner, or make it another day.

"Well," I thought to myself (in an 'aloud' kind of way), "gee, mom, this is your night out with your yoga class, and my only night in this week: we're going to grandma's house tomorrow night, Wednesday is Radical, Thursday is either improv or Kara is coming over, Friday's the fair, Saturday's the improv show..." and I began to wonder what person in their right mind would schedule so much to do! But that is off-topic. The point is, I was bumped from making dinner.

I made it anyway, after everything else was done and everyone else had eaten the pork chops. WOE IS ME!!!!! Well, I ate the mushroom-chicken-noodle thing, and I thought it was quite tasty, if I do say so myself. And chicken is so much better for you than pork. And mushrooms are just so awesome. So there.

Between getting bumped and making my meal, I practiced piano. Okay...well.....sort of. I started off all nice and dedicated-ish, playing Ben Folds' "The Luckiest" like I was supposed to, and then suddenly I wanted to work on a composition I have been thinking about for a while. So that was my piano practice, until I got up for a moment and a certain dad and littlest brother turned on the TV (to watch while they eat their pork chops).

I cleaned up, read some more in "Story," attempted to upload pictures to Facebook (failing presently; must have something to do with blogging). And here I am now.

Well! That was most fascinating, I am sure. I even threw in some drama and self-pity to make it interesting.

Reflections on today:

1. What I have learned: It is very easy to be productive if you set your mind to it. It is also very easy to get distracted and forget to set your mind to something.

2. Best thing about today: Getting 1,000 brainstorms for my story.

3. Worst thing about today: Ummm....probably that I am staying up late right now and I will be very tired/groggy/falling-asleep-on-my-book-ish tomorrow.

4. If I could change one thing about today: I would go to bed. Now.

Fine. That settles it. I think I shall do more of these, though. At least so I can remember what life was like before it got hectic for the next 2 months...then I can get back to this life in January, right? Wouldn't trade it for the world...


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cruise Control

So, I wonder what is up with me now. I've noticed that this past week or so, I have been in a mood. Or, is it a mood? It is, in all probability, normality: I am set on cruise. Can't stop to pick up extra passengers right now, or to get extra food from the next MacDonald's. Gotta keep trucking down the interstate, towards that destination somewhere at the end of December. That's when I can pull over, get a motel for a little bit, examine my maps and tour books, and make some calls to catch up and get advice from family and friends. From there, I can decide my next course of action.

When in cruise, I can't speed up, either. The limit is a steady 65 mph. Slowing down isn't timely, but, also, if I speed up I miss enjoying the incredibly scenic trip.

I can't know where I am by gazing too far into the distance to try and make it out; I need to just concentrate on what is around me and what I can see. Plus, if I don't follow this, I might find myself lost further up the road, perhaps even without a memory of where I had been before; and where I made the wrong turn.

So that is what I need to be doing. Why, then, do I sit here, blinking and wondering, "What am I supposed to be working for again?"

On the day before a piano lesson, I practice like crazy, all the while swearing I will remember to practice way more next week. I get caught up on work, and then let it sit there while I pretend it doesn't exist...then I get stressed out with having to catch up again, and promise myself I will STAY caught up this time. And I never seem to remember to do everything I'm supposed to, no matter what it is. Because at any given time, all I see is ME and MY thoughts. Or me and my "free time."

I can just see this happening in Oregon. I'll get there, having only planned half of what I should have before I arrived...left...whatever. And I will, without a doubt, seriously hate myself for this. I won't finish my book by the time I am supposed to. And I will not feel like writing some days, so I won't write, though I am supposed to keep going.

I feel like I will always be concentrating on the wrong thing.

Should I just abandon this attempt to concentrate altogether? But, if I do, how am I supposed to get anything done???

Obviously, I have barely ever accomplished anything before, anyway (I know this sounds terrible, but this is a low-self-esteem moment, okay? Okay!). What would "not concentrating" do differently?

*Breathe in* *breathe out*

No. All I need to do is try a different angle on focusing.

Hmmm....I shall be all official and call this "Optimistic Concentration." I'm not sure what it is, but it sounds pretty nifty, doesn't it? It' is....the....the opposite of "Obligatory Concentration" (which I also just made up). Yeah, that's it. I don't HAVE to concentrate...I simply want to. I can stop concentrating at any time I please, and go eat ice cream and stare at the stars. And while that sounds lovely, it would not really be beneficial to any great degree. All of my blog entries would be about how dairy relates to, take the Milky Way for example...

Yes, this is what I shall do. Optimistic Concentration. So there.

Goodnight all!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Seaside Thoughts


It's out last full day at the beach. I am sunburned, sand burned, wind other words, red all over. Putting on sunscreen is not a hobby of mine, but apparently it will be at the beach in the future. My neck is stiff from fighting the rough waves. I am quite full and fat-feeling. My hair is a tousled, matted mess. I'm losing sleep staying up reading good books. I'm scraped up from landing on the slanted shore full of shells. Almost as many shells as the time after hurricane Isabella...the time I was in Mrs. H--'s writing class and people asked what had happened to my scabbed chin.

In some ways, I miss that class, and regret dropping out. But at the same time, I remember the seeming misery it was. Too much structure. When things got creative...even then it wasn't good enough. I was Anne and she was Rachel Lynde, or worse. No imagination.

Despite all the beach-ish pain, I feel perfectly content. This is the way it's meant to be. This is the beach.

We can't quite figure out what is going on in one of the units. There are yellow smiley-face balloons tied everywhere on the deck of this group of units, with signs pointing to "Rehab Party" in the unit decorated with several smiley face balloons and blinking orange Christmas lights. Rehab party?? We are a little concerned as to what that is supposed to mean. So far, the people seem pretty sane. They haven't even been loud or obnoxious, so it must be safe. Still...

Mom found this incredibly amazing website: ...books!! Charlotte Mason curriculum book suggestions for K-12. Everything I've worried about, I shan't any longer. I know what books to look for now for my own kids, to have in my own library for their freestyle educational benefit. I am so excited, I've nearly abandoned my beach reading in pursuit of making a carry-with-me-all-the-time shopping list. I'll arrange it by subject, then author, once I am done.

I've been thinking about life, money, dreams, etc. I guess I do that a lot. But, really, I haven't given that much thought to what I am going to do come January. But all of a sudden I've started to worry. Again. Here I go with the worry again. Not excessive. Not overwhelming. Just making me want to make plans again. Thinking about things like interior design and personal training.

But why do I need to do this? What about writing? Isn't that what this November's trip is all about, isn't it?

God has a dream for me. What is it? In some ways, I know what it is. Perhaps the best option is to trust him in the uncertainty of having a book or books published. Haven't I said a million times that God wants me to go with my original passion - writing? Yes. That, and to stop trying to find easier ways, more certain ways, to "do something with my life." If he wants me to write for a living, he will bless me when I pursue this. And if it's not, or writing and motherhood are not the only paths he wishes me to pursue, he will show me. I won't be sitting here guessing. Yet, I still get emotional...

Low tide. My tears blur at the horizon. A giant wave is coming. Closer, closer, closer...I blink. It's gone. I taste droplets from the ocean as they slide down my cheek. a way, the ocean and I are one. Waves are moody. Some days slow and calm; others, fast, churning, towering. Beyond the horizon is a world to explore - a world I shall surely never see. The clouds, like always, stand tall like the distant castles of Great Britain. But I keep crashing in and sucking out, never venturing past what I know; beyond myself and my own territory.

The ocean and I are cowards in life. And, in being cowards, we destroy what is beautiful among us. Yet people are still drawn to us - still love us. Somehow it doesn't matter what we do to them: they stand by our side and will attest their love for us every breathing day. And, in the end, we love them for it and want to give them what they gave us back, though maybe in a different form.

The ocean and I know our depths. Know what we can and can't do. But sometimes we just do our own thing, when we should be doing things that benefit others.

The ocean and I are conflicted, confused. God gives us a path in life to follow. Yet, sometimes, we stray against his will. In the end, though, he works it out for good. And we strive harder to hear. But we oftentimes we can't, because we are rarely still.

The ocean and I are kin. No wonder I love it so much. We always love what we see ourselves in, in one way, or another. Even if it's our unabashed, selfish, awful selves...somehow we become endeared to whatever it is. We can't help narcissism. I think, in small amounts, it is a God thing. Adam was meant to be attracted to another human, and not a monkey.


I wrote that earlier today on the beach in my journal. Why is it so hard to admit to flaws? Is it because our pride causes us to look down on other people with those flaws? That is the other side of the equation - we see a flaw we have in another person. But sometimes it takes on a slightly different form, and we detest that flaw. But, really, are we only hating someone else to avoid hating ourselves?

I'll just go ahead and admit this now, because I feel the need to: I'm a selfish, vain, idiotic person, among other things. I have a million character flaws I can't even count on all my fingers and toes. I'm not going to lie. I am not perfect. I'm sure you already knew that, because nobody is perfect. And I'm not being down on myself. Just honest. The bright side - I'm striving every day to be better. To listen to God's voice. To be a servant in my home. To be a blessing with whomever I come in contact with.

Almost all the time I am insanely jealous of people who do this naturally. Who don't have to think consciously about being good - it just comes to them. Why is that? How can I acquire that nature? Will I ever acquire it, or will I always have to think about being good? Will it never come naturally?

There's only one way to find out.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday. This is Tuesday. Not Thursday.

A new semester begins, and, as I've always said, as long as there is God and coffee, life is good!

Well, I've always wanted to say that, anyway.

Now, here is the part where I hit the fast-forward button so you all don't have to read through any incessant whinings and grumblings about not getting any respect about not going to college: pffffffftttttttttyyyyyyyyyyssssssssllllllllllllllllllllltheyjustdon'tunderstandjjjjjjjjjjjrrrrrrrllllllllccccccciIamreallydoingthingsdfdjjjjjjjjjjjjjttttttttdddddddddddslslsllslslsllllllliiiuuuuuuandtheycanjustgetoveritkjkjkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkjjjjjjjhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhmaybeIshouldjustgetoverthemtttttttllllllwwwwwwhhhhchangemymentalityvvvvvmmmmmqqqqoooooppppptttttttttbetterpersonjjjjjjjttttttlllllllllnkkkkkknotdoinganythingdifferentkklllleeeooootppppppccvccccdddddddddddohgoodgrief.

Now, with that behind me, I would like to say I am going to start blogging more. For real this time. For real real this time. For REAL real reall this time!!!

Look, I'll start right this moment (Jessica, you are already blogging) (shh, be quiet, I'm blogging!!):

This bright, sunny, beautiful morning, I rose out of bed with a shout of glee, for life is beautiful, just like the sunshine. However, when I really woke up, it was dark still. The Beatles CD that has been sitting in my CD player/clock alarm for the past two weeks woke me up AGAIN, reminding me I had stayed up too late AGAIN. I fell back asleep for 20 minutes, woke up on my own accord and remembered that I wanted to be awake. To read and drink coffee.

Thrown out of bed by this delicious prospect (which never ceases to be the best thing EVER to do upon first waking up), I dashed to the coffee maker, ground my favorite dark French roast from Trader Joe's, turned the pot on, and went back into my room for Kiss and my fuzzy blanket. The coffee brewed, I poured myself a cup, and snuggled up with my doggie to read. I am trying to read this book slower than I really want to, because I don't want to start a new book until Thursday when we leave for the beach. Soooooo I have to stop being obsessed with what happens next. Wow, the first time in my life I want to be slow at reading. Weirdness.

I worked out some, ate breakfast, and made up my mind to blog. Which is what I am doing now.

Somehow I had gotten into my head that all of my blog entries must contain deep philosophy, theology, or something else of that nature, so I guess that, along with not having a ton of time...

If my mother gets hit by a car going 55 mph because she is standing in the middle of the road talking to somebody who was driving by, then I am going to be very angry at her for doing something she would have told me not to. Humph.

....caused me to not write much at all. And still, this entry does not seem complete without philosophy. So! I will make a little list of philosophical musings (aka plaguing questions and chin-stroking thoughts) on my mind recently, and maybe I'll pick one to elaborate on in a later entry:

1. Why do people think they have the right to give anybody and everybody advice? Especially if they barely know that person...and they don't know they whole story? I meet new people all the time who ask me what I am doing with my life. I begin to tell them, and then the immediately solicit advice that I never asked for and don't want to hear. I don't care if I'm having a bad attitude.....okay, fine.

Better attitude thoughts:

2. God opens doors only at the moments when they are supposed to be opened. Not a moment before. There's no need for them just to stand open. But if I come to a door and it's closed, I just need to keep moving down the corridor of life till I come to another open one, right?

3. God puts us through pain to draw us closer to him and make us more fit for heaven. Bad things happen so he can mold us for the betterment of ourselves for this world and the next. It's all in his plans. God can stop Satan, but sometimes he sees that if he lets Satan have his way, God can use it for much better good than if God never let it happen.

4. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. He doesn't do this for no reason, and he doesn't do it cruelly. He doesn't give us a glimpse or a teaser at something wonderful and then snatch it out from under our noses. That is what I thought this verse meant for a long, long time. But that isn't what it means at all. There is a time for everything. There was a time, almost 4 years, in fact, where God let me swim. I swam three days a week, and I swam meets. I won races. I had a wonderful time, found a hobby I love, stayed in shape, made some of the greatest friends in the universe, developed a good competitive spirit, discovered an interest in health and fitness, figured out my siblings and I have a magical genetic bent towards swimming (thus getting my entire family involved on the team), among other things. Most importantly, the whole experience made me grow closer to God. Had I never joined swim team, I might be in an awful place now, because even at 15 I was heading down a rotten banana peel path full of rebellion and hatred.

But, like I said, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. I'm officially aged out of competition now. I'm too busy to attend more than one practice a week. I won't get to see my friends as often. I'll get slow. I will pray I don't get fat (even though I continue to work out at home, I need that swimming cardio). But now is not the time in my life to swim several days a week and compete. That time has passed. And, while it makes me sad, God has other plans for me now, and that is comforting.

Do not worry, dear readers (if you're still out there after a very long break). I will soon get back into my this-is-what-happened-today-and-this-is-what-I've-been-thinking-lately blogging mode. It will take practice and perseverence, but it shall come about. After all, if I can't do it now, you'll never hear how Oregon goes.

So long (hopefully not very long)!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Still caught in between 10 and 20

As this is my last evening being 18, I thought it fitting to do a little "last post before I turn 19" post.

I have already recently done a reflective entry, so I am not sure what I am going to write about. I guess I will get out my 18-ish thoughts of the moment to make room for the more mature, 19-ish thoughts of the future! Here goes nothing:

I feel like I want to go to the beach....right now!! I long for our family beach trip each year, with the intense craving starting about...April, maybe even March, depending on the weather. It's the best time of the year, way better than Christmas. There is just nothing like being at the is the most blissful experience in the world. I can't describe it.

I am having a cuticle issue with my left ring finger. It's too pushed back or something. I don't know what happened. I noticed it yesterday. On that note, I have been getting very dry hands at night lately, and I don't know why that is either. It seems as though there is always some little, strange thing wrong with me. Oh, well!

I *am* still caught between 10 and 20, though I don't like to use the word "caught", because this is a great time of my life...nothing negative about it. Still trying to clean out those teenagery cobwebs of bad attitudes, quick tempers, selfishness, hedonism, rebellion, not sleeping when I should, and sleeping when I shouldn't. I have one more year to improve greatly, right? Yes! And that is not one more year to continue in my bad habits and magically repent once I turn *gulp* 20. Hey, 19! There is work to be done around here.

Really, there is. I have this urge to organize everything in and out of sight. Unfortunately, it is a lot easier to organize things in plain view. And it is a lot easier to organize the things that are in plain view...if you don't get distracted doing a million other things. Or discouraged that this darned bedroom is too cluttered. I know I am mixing my tenses and persons but I don't care; it's late and I have only an hour and 35 minutes to be young and careless, right? Right.

Everything seems so crazy and cluttered. And I sound depressed. Maybe I am. No, I am not.

I guess I have been a little more down lately than I usually am. I don't know what the deal with myself is. It's not that I pride myself in optimism so much that I just enjoy the lifestyle, you know? And I'm not a pessimist all of a's more like I am an apatheticist. I don't know if that is really the term or even a word, but it sounds really, really cool, doesn't it? Like being apathetic is actually really official and something worth doing!

I think that things over the summer became over scheduled, and I have overall lost track of who I am, what I am supposed to be doing, and what everything is all for. And now that I think about things like that is kind of vital. Well, this certainly helps things along.

Like Rebecca said in her comment a few entries ago...I need to put God first. And while I have certainly begun giving him a little more of a place in my life, I still have my priorities all mixed up. Like I am going downhill in life and can't stop to consider what I am doing, and then get re-started at a much slower pace. Do you see what I am saying?

Schedule, schedule, schedule. Schedules never work out the way I plan them. I don't even know if they are a good way of getting things done. I just like to have everything I need to do layed out before me on a piece of paper, with times to do everything. But I forget that, throughout the day, I encounter at least four other people, two dogs, a chinchilla, weather, lack of sleep, and spontaneous urges to do other things than what are on the List of Things to Do.

So I start looking at each day as a "at least I got ANYTHING done!" day. But that isn't looking on the bright side; that is settling for underachievement. But...ugh, ugh, ugh!! I don't want to be one of those busybody, schedule-making, self-focused, weird people. I just want to live my life, you know? Just have a freestyle sort of schedule. But if I DID, then I would be playing the piano all day!! In other words, nothing would get done, I feel.

I just need to place this all in God's hands...NOW. Where did those 'rosy days' of March, April, and May go?

But seriously, guys...I am NOT really depressed. Tired, yes. Depressed, no.

Let's take the five steps to being happy:

1. Drink caffeine
2. Watch a really romantic movie or a really inspiring sports movie
3. Go driving really fast while listening to awesome music
4. Go swimming
5. Hang out and act crazy with friends

Since this list of five steps is absolutely ridiculous and simply STUPID (in regards to getting high off of natural drugs), I will go ahead and make a new one:

1. Pray and read the Bible every day
2. Put others first, having a servant's heart
3. Stay healthy
4. Love and fellowship
5. Know that everything is in God's hands

And these five things are what I throw out the window when I wake up in the morning. I roll out of bed and forget everything I need to thrive on. The first list seems to be more of what is on my mind throughout the day. I wake up and want coffee and to read a good book. The rest of the day I would rather spend doing fun things, like music or whatever. Then I want to go off and socialize for about three days straight. I spend some time getting a little done that I need to, just so I don't feel guilty about going off to some other fun outing the next moment. This is not how I need to be living my life. What am I afraid of, quiet? Letting go of my selfish desires?

In the first list I am striving and straining for one thing - to get high on life. But in the second list...oh, I can just feel the peacefulness, order, and fullness radiating off of the words! I am READY, Lord!! Let me continue in my sanctification that I seem to have abandoned. Take my life into your hands. Let me live every day for you and for others and not for myself.

It is now half an hour till I am 19. I think I will just sleep through 12:05 am, thank you.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Morals and Ideals

DISCLAIMER – I know it’s not that late, but I am pretty much brain-dead. If nothing makes sense and/or I don’t stick to what the thesis probably should have been, that is why.

Everyone has their own personal morals that are based, more or less, on their personal worldview. Worldview, I am sure we all know, is developed by what a person is exposed to in life and how they react to it. The oh-so-valid source of Wikipedia states, “[Worldview] refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interprets the world and interacts with it,” and “describes a consistent (to a varying degree) and integral sense of existence and provides a framework for generating, sustaining, and applying knowledge.”

That said, it is to be expected that everyone’s morals are going to differ at least a little from everyone else’s. And, to an extent, I believe that each person’s morals are probably good for that person. I do not feel like that should include sexual immorality or homosexuality, but those are my morals, right? Here we go stepping into that multiple truths thing again, which needn’t be explained again or further.

But, now, I wonder...are some or all of my own morals actual morals, or are they ideals? Would some change depending on the situation?

I wrote an entry about a year and a half ago with similar questions in mind: And here they pop up again, all out of the blue. I believe it is nice to know that I am not the only me who has struggled with it...I mean, I am glad to know I have struggled with it before. Now, that may sound a little strange, or perhaps even a lot. But the thing is, I had completely forgotten about having ever gone through this before. So to know that it is a weak area that I have worked through before gives me hope that it can be worked through again, hopefully more efficiently (so it does not happen again-again). Also, going back and reading that is already helping me dig deeper into this whole thing.

Like I was saying, morals or ideals?

Ideals are not set in stone, morals probably are. But what do I base morals off of? Ideals!

What morals and all other forms of conduct should be based off of is what the Holy Spirit tells you to do. We are not under the law anymore, so if you are a follower of Christ, you have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit then tells us what is right and wrong for us, if we truly seek God, right? So...that is one of the reasons why I say that everyone’s morals are a little different. As far as Christians go, anyway.

But ideals are put in place by me, for myself. But, I have to wonder, are my ideals based on morals? As in, are they good ideals that should be upheld?

Take the concept of saving the first kiss for marriage. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, “thou shalt not kisseth thine wife before thou hast taken her as so.” Saving the kiss is a personal choice. Is it a biblical moral? No; it’s not based off of the Bible. Is it a personal moral? I guess that is what you would call it.

But is it an ideal; something possible only in certain situations?

I know some of you are saying yes, and some no. Maybe some of you are momentarily confused like me.

There comes at least one time in every person’s life where they must logically talk themselves out of something they desire greatly. I guess, anyway, what do I know? I’m not even 19 yet.

All I mean to say, in short, is that I am extremely disappointed in myself, because obviously I can talk the talk until I am told I might be required to walk the walk. And I am scared, frankly. I can justify myself with all of this ideals and morals business, but at the end of the day it all comes down to this: what is right and what I long for are two completely different things.

There are only two options – either justify what I long for as being right and just go ahead and do it, or long for something right instead. And you know the latter is what I should do. The decision is so hard; my heart feels ripped in two because of the opposing directions it wants to take.

I just feel so awful right now. Please forgive me for being so hard on myself at this moment, but I really must. All these years I’ve held these ideals and morals. I don’t care how pointless or illogical they are – they are mine and I’ve basically sworn to stand by them, not wishing to make any more mistakes than necessary, especially since I made so many early on. And now, here is God saying “Jessica, have a go at this situation...put your restraint to good practice. I know you can do this!” And here I am saying “Wow, God! This is amazing!! You mean I’m supposed to resist? That’s crazy talk, this is too good to be true!”

I know somewhere or another in the Bible it says that God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. So I know I can get through this, I just know it, right? Yes, yes, yes. Will do, Cap’n. Aye, sir!

But it is and will continue to be so easy to give in. Just like it is so easy to jerk the steering wheel a bit to the left on a two-lane road into oncoming traffic. I could do it any time, on purpose, if I impulsively felt like it. And at any second, I could give in to an overwhelming temptation to forgo all my morals and head straight into something else.

I know that if I uphold my morals AND my moralistic ideals, God will bless me in one way or another. I’m not looking for God’s blessing, though; I just know that it will happen. If I don’t uphold my honor...I know the consequences, suffice to say. I often want to ignore the consequences, but I can’t for very long. Especially if they start happening to me.

However, I would like to end on a happy note, so I will make some general comments about life these days other than trying to think straight:

I was recently accepted to a novel writing camp/retreat/intensive thing! I will be leaving all ye North Carolinians behind and going to Oregon for a month to sit in a beach cottage and write a book. It will be in November, so “beach cottage” does not necessarily mean “lovely warm days strolling the beach and feeling the wind in my hair.” It is very unfortunate. However, it’s still the beach...“so much scope for the imagination.” So, yes, I will come back with pages and pages of unrefined bookness and hopefully only a mild case of carpel tunnel syndrome. Wish me luck (and pray for me not to miss my planes!!!!!!!)

My swim team went undefeated its second summer in a row! Counting our last four meets that we won 3 summers ago, we are now 16-0. I didn’t think it could get any better than one undefeated season. And it was my last year on the team, too! I don’t like getting old. But at least it was a good season to get old. :)

I read The Phantom of the Opera! Now, that isn’t exactly wowie-zowie news, but I am really excited because it is now my new favorite book. I don’t have favorite books that often...those kinds of books I have to love aaaaaaaalllllllllll the way through and must crave to read them morning to night and while I am asleep...and I must hate when the end comes much too soon. This book met all the criteria of a favorite book. And now I really, REALLY want to go live out my Phantom of the Opera fantasies even more than I already did ever since I saw it for the first time when I was 12. You all know I’ve always wanted to live in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium....

That said, I am going to bed! Goodnight!


Sunday, August 9, 2009


Music and Lyrics by Jessica

Sunlight dips down
Through the field of my soul
Casting waves of springtime
O’er the dew on the grass

When my mind drifts away
It stumbles and shakes
As it trips through the sea
Of my memory

And the things I long for
I might just die for
If they dared come true


The velvet belief
That all is as it seems
Causes my mind to doubt
All that’s happened to me

That my dreams now
Pale to real life
Are the midnight souls
Finally one?

Yet I cannot seem to tell
And perhaps I’ll never know
If this is my dream come true


Sunday, August 2, 2009


Time - I swear, what is "spare time"? I don't remember the last time I was bored. How I LONG for boredom!! Or how I wish I could go give some of the stuff I have to do now to the bored me when I was younger. Or that I could go tell the bored, younger me ALL of the things she could have been doing, so that now I would not have so much to do.

It is quite bothersome when other people complain about being bored. As if there is nothing to do. Come on, there are MILLIONS of things to do. MILLIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm sorry. I seem to have woken up on the wrong side of the week. Things have just been so crazy, I don't know what to do about anything. All I want is my normal life back. Although I don't even remember what that is anymore.

I want time back. Time to read. Time to work for my dad. Time to clean the house. Time to cook dinner. Time to spend with friends because everything else will be done. Time to learn. Time to explore. Time to spend with my family. Time to work on my writing. Time to work on my music. Time to dream.

I do everything at such a darned leisurely pace. It is really quite sickening. Why can't I just go fast and get the work done???? No, I lounge about. I do things slowly. I stop and think. I get distracted. WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH ME????? This must be a mental disorder.

I need to make boundaries for my life. I need a set schedule. I need discipline. There needs to be dedication. A sense of responsibility. An idea of when "no nonsense" is necessary, and when the appropriate times are to be nonsensical.

Time to set some priorities. And stick with them.

First of all, my number one priority right now should be going out to the office building and faxing my release forms to the Unschool Adventures people. It has been almost a week since I e-mailed them and said, "sorry it is taking so long, I'll try to get them to you sometime tomorrow!" There is a fine example right there. Seven tomorrows later, they are still wondering where my release forms went and if I dropped off the face of the planet/fell into a coma/died.

Secondly, there is work for my dad. THIS SHOULD NOT BE THAT HARD. But with a combination of sluggishness, procrastination, and not taking myself seriously when I make schedules, I have fallen behind TWICE in the past month (and I am writing now instead of doing all these things I don't have time for, but I really must write, or I will go crazy…in which case, obviously, nothing would get done), and still have much to catch up on. As swim team has been going on, I have had little or no time to help my mom around the house, whether cooking, cleaning, or anything else. She needs the help, and I feel terrible that nothing has been getting done!!

Besides all of this and everything else, I just feel like a lazy, good-for-nothing nobody. That isn't good. Self-esteem is important.

Then I just want to have time to myself to do me-things. Like reading, writing, music, and spending time with friends and family. It was hard, while swimming, to want to swim for 2 hours each day, and then go home and want to spend more time doing other things I wanted to do, like reading or playing the piano.

Anyway. Priorities.

Non-priorities: Facebook. The bane of everyone's existence. Government-created to capture our minds in invisible cages and never set them free….I realize this and, like everyone else, cannot seem to break free in spite of my knowledge. Must…stop…!!!!!

So, yes. What was that I said a while ago about not needing to go on and check it for two minutes at a time every three hours/every time I'm on my computer (which is a lot between working and writing)? Yeah, that.

Hence shall begin the Age of Discipline. Besides, how am I supposed to discipline my own children if I can't even completely discipline myself? And how in the world am I going to be a good wife or mother if I can't even handle the responsibilities of being a teenager in my parents' home? Yup, yup, yup…good points, Jessica. Good stuff.

What other things do I need to discipline myself on? If Facebook were the only thing taking up my time…then I guess I am a loser. But there are other things, which aren't inherently counterproductive. It is simply not the right time to be doing them. Example: I (immaturely) get mad about something. I (immaturely) stomp or sulk off to my room. I (immaturely) kick stuff around and mutter about how messy the room is and how somebody needs to clean it (me). I see my pennywhistle, and I start playing it. I turn on some Irish songs, and play along with those. Then I start saying, "I'll bet I can play this! And that! And the other thing!" And pretty soon I've blown 45 minutes away on the pennywhistle (no pun intended). Yes, there is nothing wrong with playing the pennywhistle. Yes, I am in a significantly better mood afterwards. But was it the right time? No, because I should have been doing dishes, folding laundry, or scrubbing the bathtub. Was it for the right reason, even? No……..I never really play the pennywhistle unless I'm angry. Otherwise I don't have set practice times. And since I really TRY not to get angry, it doesn't get played all that often.

No matter what inspiration strikes me, I shouldn't book-write or songwrite when I should be answering e-mails for my dad. I seem to have this magical longing to not do what I am supposed to be doing, and to do whatever should wait till after I'm done doing what I'm supposed to. AKA "procrastination", or some relation of the curse.

Like in most things I write about, I could go on. Basically, the drastic change that needs to happen (and be kept up) in order for the Age of Discipline to fully realize itself is…responsibilities first, play later. Simple as that. My parents have been trying to teach me that principle my whole life. Now I am almost 19 and I just…might…be starting to get it. Though it doesn't count as "getting it" till I actually am able to implement it nearly flawlessly for more than a 48 hour period. Like…maybe a 48-year period. By then I suppose I'll be so used to doing it that I won't have to think about it, even though I will be retired from everything and can probably do whatever I want…

Saturday, August 1, 2009

If Only

If only for a day
You and I could fly away
Into the ribbons of the sky
No one else, just you and I

If only in a dream
If reality it seemed
We could sail on seas so blue
And it would just be me and you

Would my heart not have gone astray
Had you not loved me this way?
Or am I only imagining
I could ever cause your heart to sing

Would you leave so I could come?
Can I be your only one?
Is there something in the air
Which makes me cleave to you so?

Finding thoughts inside my heart
I can’t tear myself apart
And I ask myself to where
To whom, and when must I go...?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Truth About Truth

Now, I am no great and wonderfully intelligent modern-day philosopher. I am not even that well read in all these philosophy books that a lot of y'all debate people have read a million times before. I'm just your average person with a worldview that doesn't necessarily coincide with the norm, and is therefore hard to explain. Nonetheless, I will try my best, if you try your best to understand.

First of all, I believe 100% that there is Absolute Truth. Do NOT misunderstand me. I believe there is a Divine Power, aka God the Father/Son/Holy Spirit, who knows the real truth, the real right, and the real wrong.

However, I am going to throw some "howevers" into this statement.

Each person believes what he or she believes, correct? And each person believes that what they believe is true. If they didn't believe it was true, they wouldn't believe it, would they? No. That is just impossible. But, not everybody believes the exact same thing. Many people even have drastically different beliefs.

There are some people who do not even believe there is a God, and don't even believe in absolute truth because of that.

So, what is truth?

J, F.K.A. Jos, F.K.A. and A.K.A.I.T.R.W. (In The Real World) Jonathan, brought up a simple situation of Coke. The instance was, he belives Coke is "well-used dishwater", while I believe it is a delicious soda that I would like to drink right now. Who is right? Most of you would probably agree with me, I know. But does that make it Truth? No, majority does not make something true (shocker). Jonathan could perform many science experiements to prove that Coke is as good for you to drink as dark, greasy dishwater, and it would make sense. But does that make it Truth? No, because even if it all seems great and amazing, dishwater and Coke are simply not going to be the same substance...and if that isn't the issue, then something else will be, guaranteed. If we kept up the Coke vs. Dishwater debate, we would be at it till the day we kill each other (like most people with strong religious and political views...heh...).

That said, I say that only God knows whether Coke is soda or dishwater. Of course, if you don't believe in God or any Divine Power, this is a faulty assumption. And THAT can keep going around and around in a circle, much like the coke/dishwater debate above.

So, perhaps by now you might understand a little why I say that everybody has their own Truth. Because whatever is true to someone is their Truth. There is absolutely no way to know what is true until Kingdom come, right? That is MY opinion, anyway. Of course, some people don't think that "Kingdom" is coming.

The only thing I would hate in this situation is to be Agnostic. I don't want to insult anyone, but here goes my opinion on Agnosticism. I would never want to be Agnostic, because...nothing would be true, even for me. Other religions have their Truth, and Atheists have their Truth...there is no God. At least there is something sure to believe in. But as an Agnostic, I would never be quite sure about anything, and be very confused and never able to make up my mind.

Now, I know some of you are probably thinking that MY views on Truth are borderline Agnostic. That's fine, you can believe that. You can also go ahead with all of that "It's not very Christian to believe this way; after all, if you're such a doormat about what is true, how are you ever going to help anyone get saved?" I don't mean to disregard this; it is a valid point.

First of all, I believe that what I believe is THE Truth, no matter what. With that foundation, therefore, I can go out and advocate all I can. The same with choosing sides for a debate, except that, since Christianity is such an important part of my life, there is much more emotion involved than just a simple "Am I arguing 'for' or 'against' in this round?" I have experienced God, his love, mercy, salvation, and sanctification in the most amazing ways in the past three years. I don't know how I would have ever gotten on had I denied my need for my Savior any longer. And there is definitely no way I could have had such a radical life change had God's hand not been there for me to hold as he helped me up out of that dumpster of a life. There, I have my (abridged) testimony. And, if you think about it, that is basically all I can give. I believe that science can prove God created the earth in 7 days, but lots of people believe the scientific evidence that suggests evolution...I could go on.

Plus, if you think about it, our charge is to spread the Gospel wherever we go, not persuade people with our amazing sales pitches on Christianity. I'm going to "show and tell" them, "this is what I believe. This is why I believe it. This is how I live what I believe. And I would love for you to experience the joy and freedom I have found in Christ, because I care about you." Then it's up to them to decide whether to accept my Truth as their Truth. That is what I meant at the end of my last entry when I said, "I have my Truth, and it may not be your Truth, but it's mine. I wish it could be everyone's Truth, but it can only be your truth if you want it to be."

So, NOW do you see?


Friday, July 3, 2009

Peace sells, but...

Is it a sin to long for the simplicities of youth? Grow up, Jessica. Be a real person in the real world. But why is the real world so full of confusion and complication? Why is everyone so selfish and single-minded? Why must we all disagree, argue, interfere, and destroy?

Expressing these thoughts to other human beings is pretty much impossible. I know you are all laughing. Silly, sheltered homeschooler. Grow up. THIS is reality. Peace is a dream; don't bother with the idea too much. As they say, peace sells but nobody's buyin'.

I like my box. Why do I even need to bother caring whether the government is out to get us or not? What does it matter to me? I suppose, to a degree, it is nice to be able to understand what is going on and, as Allison says, who to trust; maybe when is a good time to react to something that isn't right, or perhaps relocate someplace where I might live a more quiet and peaceful life with no outside interferences.

I really don't care what other people think of me, as long as they keep any negative thoughts to themselves. It's not as if I want to be childish and avoid the responsibilities of being an adult. I want to live, and work, and help people, and get married, and have children. I want a simple life, with little or no interference from outside parties. I only wish I could travel to and live in England for a year. But I can't. I have to have some "legitimate" "reason" which, I suppose, will prove if I am not a criminal or some such nonsense as that. Call me ignorant if you want to, but what sort of crime are they trying to avoid? And why aren't passports enough? If someone commits a crime in England, they should be tried in England, correct? Why does anybody have to be a citizen of anywhere? If you are somewhere, that is where you are, and if you aren't, then you are somewhere else.

But it's not that way. Government systems tese days prevent it. People are in power and want as much control as they can get. Laws are created, wars are started...whatever "needs" to be done.

If children ruled the world, think about how much better things would be. Those who committed wrong would be punished for it by being made to repay 100% to the person they had wronged, and that includes compensation for inconvenience and whatever else was caused by the original wrong. That is "an eye for an eye." You don't take out your wrong-doer's eye just to punish him for taking out yours. You remove the eye and use his eye as your own! Okay, that is a little in, impossible. But you know what I mean. If someone kills somebody else, they themselves should not be killed; they should be indebted to the victim's family for life. The family can choose to hunt the murderer down and kill him, or they can make him into a personal slave, or whatever they want. Killing someone is hardly a punishment...that puts them out of their misery, end of story. Even a life in prison isn't the same, because the murderer does not compensate to the family for his wrong. Sure, a life can never be replaced or paid for. But if we're talking "eye for an eye" here, that was never meant to mean that if you kill somebody, you should likewise be killed. It's unreasonable.

I'm not saying that the world would be flawless if children ruled it, but it may be better off. Perhaps we would have equal rights for society and government alike. Kids have a good degree of common sense and of right and wrong that we really don't give them credit for. What we have now is a bunch of power-hungry fascist law school graduates who constantly theorize illogically and think they have all the answers. That doesn't make me very comfortable.

But!!! I just don't even care. I like my box. In it, there's me, my friends and family, others whom I must interact with, and the life I live. I pay taxes when necessary, and I drive on roads, drink clean water, appreciate the comfort of the fire station up the street, etc. I don't care whether this is operated by the government or a private organization, as long as whoever it is stays out of my business. It's okay to be informed, but I really don't even want to care. I am here on this earth with a deeper purpose than government. I am here for God. And if that isn't relevant to something, I shouldn't spend too much time worrying about that something.

I have my Truth, and it may not be your Truth, but it's mine. I wish it could be everyone's Truth, but it can only be your truth if you want it to be.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Father, I cry out for you
For all the these years I cried out for other things
And now I don’t expect you to do anything for me
But you’ve shown me I am desperate
In your arms only am I whole
All this time your love pours out for me
And only now do the bells of nothing toll
If you would only lead me
Like I felt you were
What happened? Did you leave me?
No, I only left you
My heart is elsewhere
Was it ever here?
Even if it was, it was never yours
Why could I never give it to you?
Now you are showing me that I need you
How I need you, and want you more than anything
Please hear my call
You are all there is now
It took too long to realize that I should have never settled for less
I told you before that I was yours
Deceived myself, but not you
I’ve told you that I love you
But I’ve been holding out
And now I don’t know if I even know how to love you
You are all I want
All I need
All there is here
Without you, everything is nothing
I seek you out on specific things
But never on the whole
Never made the core of the matter you
My house was well-structured
Beautiful, strong, study architecture
But I built it with no foundation
Floods came and destroyed it all
You are my Master Builder
I know nothing about building
All I can do is trust in you
I wrote to him once
In a poem never put in a letter
That if he wanted my heart, he could have it
Little did I know I had already given it to him
And I hardly knew it should only be yours
Is it too late to give you my all?
Is my broken heart scattered too far and wide?
If I pick up the fragments, can you put me back together?
I am not worthy!
I have seen that I am still giving myself away
Only worrying about betraying my husband
With kisses which should have never been given or accepted
But I betray YOU with my wayward heart and worldly affections
Why do I cling to someone else
When you are inside of me?
I have broken your heart a million times
And I’ll do it a million more
Lord, help me give it ALL to you!
Not one or two parts I think are important
My heart is my core – my essential
If that is not yours, nothing is
This disorientation is because I’ve lost sight of you
Where are you? I must find you, oh Lord
I love you, don’t I? If I don’t, I am nothing
Your cross...I put you there
I would not have cried; I would have mocked and jeered
Yet you love me enough to die
And show me how empty I am
Lord, I am truly empty now
And I you will not come; I must seek you out
I love you so, but I want so much
Clear out the clutter of all my desires
I want only you and I want only what you want
Save me, oh my Lord
I know you have...I need not ask
I believe, God. I beleive in the cross
I believe it all
I believe I do not know things
And I know it is important to know them
I lay myself at your feet
Lift me up, and hold me close
I want to love you as you love me
Let me look into your eyes and get lost in their beauty
Then only will I truly know, see, find, and be found.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

So it Begins...

A year and two weeks ago I graduated from high school.  It is strange, looking back, how much has changed in only a year!  Actually, it's more scary than strange.  It doesn't feel like much has changed; I feel the same.  But if I think of things are different.  For instance...this time last year, I had no knowledge about how amazing Sweeny Todd is!  Or the awesomeness of Evita!  Even those two musicals have turned out to somehow affect me more than music normally does, that is only the surface of what has happened in the past year.

Directly after graduating, I was the same old me, I guess.  But the thing was, after I graduated, it was a little hard to get my thoughts together.  I had this feeling like I couldn't quite grip the floor to walk on it, and that cold air was being blown in one ear, through every nook and cranny of my brain, and out the other ear.  I don't know if this is the experience of everybody, or only people like me who, at that time, have no idea what their life's direction is.  Or if one even existed for me at all.  

I learned a lot.  Have I mentioned that?  I learned about freedom, serving, God, love, relationships, friendships, music, many, many, many, many things.  

By the time I turned 18 in August, I had my head on straight enough to not freak out.  If I had turned 18 when I was 14, this would not have been the case, but there is a reason why I was not 18 when I was 14.  Still, a few days after turning 18 and starting my classes at Wake Tech, the temptations started pouring in out of nowhere like a giant vat of hot water in the sky got knocked over by someone.  Let's go clubbing.  Let's go to a bar.  Let's smoke.  I was almost lured in by the attractiveness of the "in crowd", the "cool people" who were "experienced."  (Yes, those were a lot of quotation marks.)  I don't know how I could have even for a moment considered wasting my time, energy, money, and brain power for an experience.  An experience that would cause me to compromise myself an hundred times in the duration of five minutes.  I thought about doing it without my parent's permission at first.  After all, I was 18!  I could do what I wanted to.  But...after a little thought, I didn't want to rebel.  It did nothing but give me a sick feeling all over.  I told my parents, and to my surprise they said I could do what I wanted to, though reminded me that they didn't think it was the best idea.  It didn't take much more thought to decline my invitations of "cool" status, and get on with my life.

In January I decided not to take classes in the spring semester.  I was tired of classes, especially since I was taking them without much of a clue as to where I was going in life (STILL).  Somewhere along the way, though, I sat down with my parents and discussed it all.  What did I want to do?  Well, I really like writing.  I'd really like to write a book; preferably more than one.  They agreed that, if I took my writing seriously, with my goals in mind, I could do that.  And another thing - I wanted to be a mom, right?  Right.  Then, there was one thing I needed to learn: how to be one.  I needed to learn more than just the basics of cooking, cleaning, and teaching.  Thus, I became, essentially, my mother's apprentice.  This has since developed into a split thing with my dad, since not only am I doing a little on-the-side bookkeeping for him, I am now working part time.  At this moment I feel bad because I am not getting as much done for my mom as I originally intended to, but I am working on better time management.  If anybody has any book or website suggestions on time management and all-around organization skills, I would be much obliged if you would mention them.       

I have learned a ton about God this year.  The main thing is that he is NOT just a shoulder to cry on or somebody I must resign myself to sharing my deepest thoughts with simply because I don't feel like I can tell anybody on earth.  I have learned more and more to appreciate what he has done for us.  How amazing his plan is.  He raised up the Israelites so that eventually they would help him save everyone.  I realized I can't give God anything he doesn't already have, even if the thought counts, because he gave me that thought.  I finally learned that works are for sanctification, but only belief can justify you.  And if you obey God, it's not for you; it is for his pleasure.  I don't know how I could have been so selfish to be constantly asking what the reason I have to obey God is, if I already believe in him and will be going to heaven.  I mean, I still wanted to do those things, but there was always the question of why.  And the only answer I could come up with was the half-baked "well, works must count for something; I'll probably get some trophies in heaven."  NO!!!!!  How could I have been so selfish?!??!?!  Works are for the good of mankind, and - primarily - to make God happy!  He has given me everything, and I don't even take the time out of my day to think that I might like to do something to make him happy.  I can't believe how ignorantly human I have been.  And another thing John Stonestreet (second favorite person now besides Jeff Meyers) said: "Look at it this way - the world was so bad, so terrible......that God died."  

Love and relationships!  Whoo-hoo.  Every year I grow a little wiser, I suppose, so that by some time soon I might actually be wise enough to get married.  This year, I learned a few very significant things.  One is that lust is bad.  Yes, I knew that, but I knew not what lust really was.  I thought it was something guys did.  Then I thought it may somehow include lusting about romantic happenings.  But now I realize it encompasses so much more.  A guy's cute face...staring at it...thinking about how cute he is...that is lust.  Dreaming about how a guy can satisfy you emotionally...that is lust.  I'm not trying to be legalistic here; the biggest thing about lust is it is an idol, and takes away from our passion for God.  We are concentrating on other things; things which distract from his glory.  And, really, it's not only lustful and idolatrous, but also covetous.  I will touch on this and others in later entries, most likely, so I will briefly mention other things I have learned in this category: close, one-on-one friendships with the opposite sex are not a good idea.  I'm not saying it's bad to be friends with the opposite sex; even good friends.  But when you get closer than that...let's just say for now that it is not a good setup for things in the future.  I definitely will touch on that in another entry.  Before moving on, I want to mention one more thing I've learned: Eventually, the amazing and very popular-with-the-giggly-girls-who-bat-their-eyes-and-twirl-their-hair guys with swishy hair DO notice the quiet, bookish, introverted, non-flirtatious girls after all, even if only for a moment.  :)

This year I have finally realized who my true friends are.  They are wonderful true friends; the best in the world.  For the first time in my life I have girl friends whom I can pour out my heart to, share everything with, and know they will understand and do the same.  I respect and love these girls with all of my heart.  I have guy friends, too, and while they are the best guy friends I could ever ask for, pouring my heart out to THEM is another matter addressed in the paragraph above; as in, I don't.  Nonetheless, I still love them like brothers.  Together we are one big happy family and I wouldn't trade my friends for anything in the world.  

Music may seem a little less profound than the other subjects, but it is a major change.  In late May I wrote my first real song on the piano, after having written songs only on guitar for the past 3 years or so.  I really like the song I wrote, and after I wrote it, I decided that perhaps my family would like me to play more on the piano besides that one song, even though it was the only one I really knew besides little bits of Mozart and chopsticks here and there.  So I played a little "Moon River" here and some "Fancier Chopsticks" there (the latter was me making an attempt at sheet music reading, which didn't go off to well).  Finally, in mid-June I went to a play that my friends were in, and where another friend of ours played piano during intermission.  That piano playing made me think it would be interesting to write a instrumental piece on the piano.  5 days later, that little 3-minute piece was completed, and I liked it well enough.  After this, I started to write more.  Since then I have only completed one other instrumental piece, but I have many other very long musical ideas ready for completion whenever the inspiration strikes me.  I have written a few more songs on the piano, and a couple more on guitar.  I also got a tin whistle in August for my birthday, and have been picking that up as well.  I got a violin for Christmas, but at this moment posses absolutely no talent for the instrument, so I am on the lookout for instructional materials.  

Family...!!  I already loved my family, but now I love them even more.  That is really all I need to say.  

Things haven't been all sunshine and rainbows all the time.  Fortunately, I seem to be able to look back and remember most easily the things that were good.  I remember some of the bad things, too, but only things that were really, significantly unfortunate.  I didn't remember how mad I was at some people at some point, until I looked back at my journal during that time.  And I can see that I was mad just because I was being immature.  Yes, they were also being immature, but I was just as bad, probably worse.  But all in all, I remember the good things, and only the good outcome from the not-so-good things.  I believe I am a better person than I was a year ago.  Yeah, it sounds all serious.  I promise to write more [less serious stuff] this summer.  This fall is.....going to be extremely hectic if I don't get things under control before they begin.  But I know that if I trust God to lead and guide me day-by-day, everything will all fall into place.  

Thus begins another year of growing, changing, and shaping for me.  I don't know what doors are going to open, which ones are going to close, and which ones are going to stay open and stay closed.  God has been with me more and more as this past year has progressed.  I know that this next year will continue that trend, even through the challenges.  And I say: bring it on!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Of Weddings (and wanting to have one myself)

Yesterday a friend of mine was married. To a really great guy. Her entire courtship, engagement, and wedding seemed to kind of “hit home” to me more than I thought they would. She is only a few years older than me. I have known her ever since we were little. The guy came from a good family who was friends with her family long before the courtship. My friend had placed her love story in God’s hands, knowing that if she was to be married, the right man would come along and ask her. And he did. All of this made me realize that perhaps marriage isn’t just a dream of mine that will never come true because it is just too wonderful. My friend’s wedding seemed so real for me. Weddings are no longer what “older people have.” It is hard to describe this feeling, but I am sure that at least Lizzie knows how I feel. ;)

The first eleven or so years of my life, I just accepted that one day I would get married to a man. Not a boy, a man. Surely much like my dad (I still hold that ideal, thank you very much). When I turned 12...yeah, you’ve heard that story before. What can I say? I’m only 18 ½, so I only have that many years to draw stories from. But anyway, I started “liking” boys, and thought that the first boy I liked and I would start dating once I told him that I liked him, and then when I graduated from high school we would get married. He was four or five years older than me, and I was a foolish little girl, but that is alright now. A little bit later, around 13 and 14, I was so boy crazy that I didn’t care to see the end of anything. I wanted them to love me, possibly date them, and hope for the best. I didn’t listen to my parents, who were attempting to teach me the “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”-ish approach. At least they had the power to say that I could not go on dates, and at least they kept me in their eyesight most of the time. So, yes. That story again. All of it to say that ever since I turned 17, I reverted back to “someday I am going to be married to a man.” Of course, I have had a few ideas of men or almost-men for God to destine for me. And every time I suggest someone he says, “Oh, yes, yes, that is nice,” nods absentmindedly, and gets on with HIS ideas. Like a writer who doesn’t want to take suggestions from his non-writer friends who don’t know how to write stories (I am not pointing any fingers, really!).

But along with the “someday” feelings, I have also felt an urgency to get married now. Have children now. I know, it is my biological clock, but it is a sometimes intolerable longing. It was worry...what if I never get married? What if I need to help God along and go hang out with some nice guys so I can have plenty of future husband options (I can’t decide if that is the stupidest idea I have ever had or not)? Everything was worry, anxiousness, not trusting God at all. I thought I was, but I wasn’t.

However, one night after a Radical Wednesday prayer meeting, some of us went out for subs afterwards, as the curse of being teenagers, athletes, and swimmers on top of that, is a triple-high metabolism than your average Joe (in other words, we are ALWAYS hungry, it seems). Kara and I, after food and drink, were much rejuvenated, so towards the time when we were about to leave, we started carrying on a conversation about life, as we often do. I won’t give you all the details of the conversation, but what I walked away with was her advice, straight from the Bible – “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” She added, “Sometimes, though, by delighting yourself in the Lord, your desires will change. But that is good, because your desires become HIS desires. And if you desire what the Lord wants for you, he WILL give you the desires of your heart!” Light bulb moment.

Since then, day-by-day I have delighted myself more and more in the Lord. He has shown me how to be content with what I am doing, instead of longing for something in the future. There is so much to do NOW, how could I not see it before?

God has not taken away my desire to get married. But he has carefully led me to a place where I know that marriage, for me, is for another time in my life. Soon, but not right now. Not till it is staring me right in the face, in fact. God showed me how to take the desire, put it aside, and focus on what IS in front of me. Working for my dad, helping my mom, writing, music, learning, being with friends, swimming, thinking, EVERYTHING I have at my fingertips right now. Marriage will be at my fingertips when the time comes. And I will know when the time comes, because, like all the things in my life now, I won’t have to seek it out. God will show me. It’s not like I am being lazy, saying “I am just going to sit here and be a religious couch potato till God’s will is right here in front of me.” But I understand that God’s will is something he reveals to me as I keep getting to know him more and more. I will seek his face, and everything else will follow. He wants me to trust him fully, not trust myself and my finding-out-what-life-is-for-on-my-own skills (which, I have discovered, are severely lacking). Every time I try to do something myself, I fail. I mean, it’s not like God cleans my room for me now or something. I do stuff here on earth. But I do it because I am supposed to; because God has made his will clear to me. I’m no prophet, though, of course. I don’t always get it right, and I mess up time and time again. It is so hard to describe this sensation. When I fall back on God, everything is clear and I know instinctively what to do.

It just IS. Does that make any sense?

Proverbs 3:5, 6 – “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”


Sunday, May 3, 2009


Music and lyrics by Jessica

(Verse One)
Carry me home
Where is home to me anyway
A lonely old house
Surrounded by new buildings

The world is
At a beginning but at an end
I do not know
Will you show me the way

Confiding, residing
But washed away with tears
I know that you know
I’m losing all I hold dear

Where will I go
Now that I know
Somebody loves me

How will I find
Someone who’s mine
Lives up to the way

(Verse Two)
Am I done here
But is here really here at all
A river of thoughts
Watch as it’s drained away

(Channel Two)
Losing, choosing
Memories carried away
You know that I know
It’s not safe, I can’t stay


(Channel Three)
Abiding, Confiding
But blown away by the breeze
Oh no, don’t you go
I’m asking begging you please

I’ll sail away
Will you follow me
As I’m leaving you
Nothing to say
Can’t you just agree
There’s nothing for us to do
But let it go…

Monday, April 27, 2009

Against Solitude

You may be wondering..."if there is a part one to 'On Optimism', surely there must be a part two, but then again, Jessica is apt to defy logic on a regular basis."  First of all, HUMPH!!  Second of all, yes, there will be a part two.  I just actually have to sit down and write it, which I haven't done.  This next entry is a small writing assignment I completed over breakfast last Tuesday morning.

Before now I have greatly commended solitude as something which I enjoy enjoying.  But there is a downside.  There is probably a downside to everything, but most of those downsides I would rather not think about.  I will acknowledge that it is good to be honest and realistic on some downsides, especially if in doing so I am kept or keep someone else from harm, one way or another.  

So it is with solitude.  I can tell myself, "Oh, yes, I can live alone in the middle of nowhere.  I would enjoy it; I don't need people."  But, for one thing, I would have no idea whether I was being true to myself by saying that.  I have never tried living completely alone.  It might be nice for a while, but surely I would get lonely.  A second point is that even if I don't need people...what if people need me?  Not to think of myself in such a great light or anything.  The thing is that nobody may actually be aware that they need me, but they still do, somehow.  If it isn't my direct help, then it may be at least some subtle influence or another.  My goal is to lead as many people to Christ as possible while on this earth.  That is really what life is all about; everything else is about having fun and/or surviving, and then surviving only to have fun, or to hang on to life for some odd reason.  Some do, however, strive for their own lives so they may continue to keep their children alive and protect their wives and things like that.  

But what is the point of living if, when you die, you go to heaven?  Why do even Christians value their earthly lives?  Why do we do things like eat healthily and organically and avoid other things that don't severely hinder our life's course if we are going to die anyways, and when we die we have eternal life in Christ?  Without the answer, it all seemed so pointless.  I guess if you don't believe in God or heaven, and you believe that your only life here is on this earth, and when you die you go nowhere, then it makes sense.  To hold on to your life here as much as possible.

But what about Christians?  And the only answer that has satisfied me is this: life is all about using where God has placed you, using the tools and gifts he has blessed you with to lead everyone possible to him.  To spread the Gospel; to give everyone the hope of eternal life, and the chance to live in their own heaven-on-earth.  

Now I get it!  That is why I have always been hearing things like "Do EVERYTHING to the glory of God!"  It's not some cheesy Christian saying that Christians say.  It is absoltely true.  

Thus, here is my argument: what good is solitute if it goes agains the meaning of life?  Even if it's solitude with only one's family, what is the point of living in isolation?  If it is to hide from economic crisis and an extremely overbearing and nigh evil government...why?  To grow one's own food that is without the poisons that the FDA requires to be in all they approve?  Good enough reasons, except...for what?  Why?  What is the point of trying so hard to survive, if you have no opportunity to preach the Good News?  It is selfish, really.  Why did I want it?  I wanted it for me, and no one else. 

Sure, I could justify it by saying, "Well, while I live out in the middle of nowhere all by myself, I will write books, and those can lead people to Christ."  And that may very well be.  And there is nothing wrong with a little solitude.  Personally I would love to have a little country cottage on rolling hills with giant oak trees sprinkled here and there.  But I would want it nearby to a community.  I may be introverted, but I need people just as much as anybody else.  God created us as social beings.  He knew Adam could not just live on earth by himself.  Adam needed Eve not just to be "fruitful" with, but also (and more importantly) as a companion on earth.

Therefore I am against solitude with all my heart.  Being alone occasionally and in small doses is fine, but isolation?  No.  We were not created for isolation.       

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