Sunday, December 30, 2007

A bath, a soft bathrobe, sweet worship, and a cup of tea. It's amazing how fantastic these things really are. As much as I despise the "These are a few of my favorite things..." song from the sound of music, I think I would be tempted to sing a song about how much I love cozy bathrobes and tea cups of warm tetley and Noel Richards :)

This is a very strange time for me right now, definitely a test to tie off the year, and I want to have victory. My dad was reading from a devotional to me- yesterday? And there was a quote from Mother Teresa, whom I admire greatly. She said, "I do not pray for success. I pray for faithfulness." I am praying now for faithfulness. Pastor Norm was reviewing our year as a church for us this morning. Though the "highlights" sermon was packed of all the best of the year, one line especially struck me. He said that people should be able to take a bit out of our life and taste faithfulness. We are to steward truth- and to be deemed good stewards, faithful, we must be tested. I am certainly being tested, if ever I was. I understood newly today why all my relationships seem to be under such strange fire- it is the end of the year of Sovereign Joinings- is it really that strange that there would be a great test at the end to see where I stand- to measure my fruit from this year? But even in these last few minutes, I have gained a deeper understanding of what He is doing. Certainly, it is a time of inventory for me, as well as positioning for the coming year- who will it be critical for me to be linked up with to really gain victory in all God has for me next year, but even deeper and more critical and gracious and loving- He is in one final push joining me more sovereignly and intimately with Him.

I am 100% aware that today- I won't push past all these struggles in my mind, this pulling toward depression and being overwhelmed, unless I praise Him. It's a fierce resolve in me, and then it's a deep breath. Faithfulness. Right now, I feel full of selfishness and childishness- then I realize- it's because my focus is still on me.
When I was a child.....but I am no longer a child, today I fix my eyes on Him again, I tune my ear to hear His voice, and I step into a place where all things are made new...His presence.

Love you.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve- Christmas is almost here! I am somewhat sad how it has snuck up on me. I am a definite believer that looking forward to something is not quite, but nearly as important as the event itself. I love anticipation- I hate it, and I love it. I love the drawn out breaths while you wait, strapped into a rollercoaster. I love the hurried digestion of a book as your desperately look for the closure. I love planning a trip, and counting down the days until departure. I love dreaming and anticipating my future at large. I love waking up each morning, once day closer to Christmas and trying to fall asleep at night assured that it will be here soon. As I said, I love it and I hate it.

But this year, I only hate that I have not had time to be tortured by this anticipation. Now, tomorrow is Christmas eve, and I still have not finished my shopping!!! I wish I had another week until Christmas so I could really start to get ancy and excited for it- so I could become so eager for it and be restless at night with excitement for the morning.

But nonetheless, it will be here soon, and I will love my time with my family. I already have. This last week has given me several chances to be with my family, my sister and mom and cousins especially, and I have really enjoyed it. With school out for a few weeks, my evenings are finally a little more free. And this coming week both my dad and I have off, so I am anticipating some great times with him too!!

I love you all, I love that I have had time to spend with many of you this holiday season- and those I have not seen much of yet...I really hope I get to spend some time with you before this season slips away. Goodnight. Tomorrow, it's Christmas Eve!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ
that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.

My dad sent me a forward from a friend, and I especially liked this line of it :)

Today is Kristin's 25th Birthday! She is flying home from Tennessee right now- I'm leaving work to go pick her up in a half an hour and I am so excited to see her. Though Kris has only been gone less than a week- we have both been so busy with school and finals that we haven't gotten to do much more than study in the same room/ coffee shop ;) as each other. I am SO excited for Christmas- I can't believe it is only 8 days away!!! It really snuck up on me this year, I have all my shopping left to do (including for Kris' birthday gift!) and I'm not sure when I'll be able to do it...

Happy Birthday Krissy-Poo!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I stole this from a friend, who stole it from a friend...

"To love someone properly probably means that you won't be very popular. Pure love, loving the way it was intended, is unfortunately a foreign concept to many. Love is messy. Love will involve hardship, demand patience, require forgiveness, test maturity, strain friendship, challenge priorities, refine character, ignite the heart and unleash the soul. Love is not something you sing about, it's the reason you sing. Love is not something you write about, it's the reason you write. Love is not something you live to find, it's the reason that you are alive." -Mark Hart

My goal is Love- to discover all that it means, to receive it, to give it, and to become so overshadowed by it that I become it, or rather, it becomes me.

I have a long, long ways to go.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I am finished with the quarter! And I feel SOOO GOOD! :) I've also decided that Christmas music is my favorite music! I LOVE it!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Don't worry about TAKING Kris anywhere for coffee each morning, at this point, I think you can just feed her straight beans ;) No, just kidding, but really, she WILL LOVE just having Jason's french you'll just have to drag him out of bed...Kris will ask him sweetly....she's convinced she's his favorite sister-in-law. :P I don't know. heehee.


Want to hear another funny story? (Man, my life is packed with the unusual as of late.)

This morning, I was going to come in early (6am) to get my hours in early, so I can get home and take my online test (I have 24 hours starting at 8am), write my rough draft of my paper, and study for my archaeology exam (tomorrow morning at 8:30am).

So, I got out the door late- because getting out of bed was incredibly painful, and I'd had plenty of sleep, my silly body. I gt coffee at my stand. I got stuck in a little traffic since it was now about 6:30. Then, as I got off the freeway I started to wonder if I had my key card. I always take it off and put it in my center compartment....not there. I looked around a bit more. I hadn't taken it off my jeans yesterday. :(

So, I pulled up to my building and parked in a visitor spot...and waited till 8am, when others would be coming in to the office. It ended up being quite pleasant though. I signed into the company wireless, and listened to christmas music in my lovely warm car, drinking my mocha. It wasn't bad. But it WAS funny. I just worked outside my office, from my car.

I'm also getting moved desks again today or thursday. Dad, I am beginning to understand how you feel- this is my 3rd move, and I've only been here a year. lol. Thats alright though, hopefully my cube is nice like this one.

Love you,

Monday, December 10, 2007

Thanks for the love you all- I loved the comments- and I love you all.

So a couple quick (funny) notes...and then I have got to get to studies (especially since I just napped for 3 hours!)

First, last night there was a surprise party for Misty. I drove straight there after work...I stayed in the car for a while, paranoid I would walk up right as they pulled up (since I was a little late). THEN, when I opened my door- my car alarm went off! This is the first time I've ever heard it go off- and I couldn't get it to stop. I shut the door immediately...then tried getting out a few minutes later, once it had stopped going off. And again, as soon as the door opened, off it went. I put my key in the engine, started the car and began driving away because I felt so bad for the neighbors. The siren kept going, and the headlights were flashing on and off as I drove cautiously down the street. Then I parked it, and took the key out...then put it back in and drove again. Nothing seemed to make it stop- it would just go until it was done.

After 4 times (maybe 5)- I decided I had to leave. I was so bummed. On my way home, I got an idea. As soon as I pulled into my driveway, I parked it, rolled down the window, took the key out of the ignition, and unlocked my door from the outside...when I opened the door- the alarm didn't go off. Somehow the alarm had gotten all switched around when I was leaving work.

A little while later Dustin called and he said I should come back to the party since it was just getting started...I almost did, but by this time it was the time I said I would be leaving the party to come home and study- and I REALLY needed to be studying.

Thought I would share that story though, because that was one of the funniest things I have ever had happen to me. The first couple times I opened the door, I was laughing hysterically. Then I got sad when I realized I might not be able to get it to stop, and I'd need to go home.

NEXT funny story, oh yes, there is more. This morning was my logic exam and I needed to get to campus early to buy a couple scantron (bubble sheets) for it. I caught a bus around 7, then hopped off at Starbucks to go get me some protein! (ie, an egg sandwich and a coffee to accompany it).

Having bought them, I hopped onto the next 372, and sat down in my favorite seat- one of the four raised seats (they sit up on a little platform, above the wheels). This is important to know, because about 10 minutes into the bus ride (maybe less), the driver made a classic STOP! and my coffee tipped over between my feet! falling off the front of the little platform and spilling all over the floor- rushing forward towards all the people in front of me. I had to tell them all to lookout, since it would get coffee all over their bags- so I was as quick as I could be! The man directly in front of me, who bore the brut of it, was so nice to me. I felt SO aweful. Luckily no one's things seemed to be on the floor (well...their shoes were), and the bus was also pretty empty so a couple just moved over to the other side.

It was terrible, and I only had two little starbucks napkins- not much help to a full grande mocha on the floor! I rushed up to the man in front of me and offered to help, but it was truly pitiful- two little napkins? He could tell how bad I felt, he acted like it happens every day, and I hardly believe that, but I appreciated him.

Then I just sat there on the bus, for the next 20-30 minutes. feeling quite awful, like a little kid, put on a time out to think about her actions.

When I got off the bus, I walked toward the front exit to apologize to the bus driver, I could see how the coffee had webbed over much of the front of the longer really "liquid" at least. She didn't look at me, and I thanked her for the ride. I am pretty sure once I had started to step out she said to my back, "Thanks for everything." AHHHHHHH, I felt so stinking terrible!!!

CRAZY huh? Those two very out of the ordinary things happened within like 12 hours of each other!

I ended up on campus almost an hour early, so I had time to study a bit more, buy the scantrons, and then almost 30 minutes to go...I really wanted something cold to drink. I went to the Tullys in the HUB, closed. Then, I remember theres another one in the HUB. Hardly any line, so I jumped it. I really just wanted a water bottle or a juice, but quite a few people had already stepped behind me, and I'd have to get out of line to go get one from the fridge across the store (not a real Tullys). So, I ordered an iced americano. That is, a cup, with ice, a pump of white chocolate...and then two shots. That should take about a minute to make. ! Well, after I payed and walked to the bar- I noticed no joke, 10 other people- and the baristas were not knock'n out any drinks! They said the machine was slow....I was watching, THEY were slow. I waited as long as I possibly could... 20 minutes! Then, I had to leave, my test would be starting soon, and I had not only my scantron, but Kyle' he wouldn't be able to start till I got there. My drink was the next on the of the two baristas, remade a hot chocolate, twice, and kept standing there, calling it out over and over. I so wanted to tell her "Put the hot chocolate down and start making our drinks!! They'll find it- it's labeled "HC", not hard to crack the code!" Furthermore, she'd written the girls name on the cup!

But I didn't. I controlled my tongue. Instead I was polite, and told them as nicely as I could that they cold toss the iced americano in the line since I had to run for a final. She apologized, and I said, I understand.

I understand you are slow. :) (I didn't really say that). You know, it's an irony you might now know. The major university, right here in our home city, Seattle, the home of coffee, actually has the worst coffee I have ever had. My English teacher and I were getting quite a kick out of this the other day. Suzallo might honestly have the worst coffee, worse than Tennessee coffee. Some days, I get a good coffee from there, but most days, it tastes like someone used it as an ash tray- litterly, I can't shake the feeling that "cigarette" was one of the main ingredients in my morning americano. And yet, I almost daily stand the ridiculously long line, and buy myself a bagel, and an iced americano, along with TONS of other students.

For being the University of Washington, minutes from downtown Seattle, you'd think our coffee would be fantastic. But, it truly and sadly, is not. Even down on the Ave, I don't like the coffee.

Sad story.

Oh, but today, I should admit, I had one fantastic peppermint white mocha at Suzzallo Espresso. It was so unexpected, and so fully enjoyed! I came to meet my English teacher, and there was one other student there as well, Jenna. She's sweet, I'd talked to her a few times this quarter, and I knew she's a freshman here on a volleyball scholarship. I said I wasn't sure if I wanted to attempt getting another coffee or not, since I'd paid for two this morning and not been able to drink either (I was sincerely thinking God might be telling me not to). She said, "I'll buy!" Immediately! And I told her, no, I have money, I just keep not getting to drink the coffees I buy today. And she said, "no really, I'll buy. I have $400 dollars I need to spend or else it just disappears. Todd, you want a drink?" I was laughing at her. And she has a god laugh too. She bought us both a drink. That was actually a great time, and I had several hours till I needed to be at work, so I just sat while he helped her for the first hour or so, we just talked about Doctor Faustus and Christian orthodox and different arguments. Then, he helped me find a good resource for my paper, and we talked a bit more about my ideas for it.

It was good day- oh, the logic final- I actually finished it! Like, I was able to read and answer every question- BEFORE time ran out!!!! I think that alone made me feel great, and I think I also did well on it, I feel very good about it.

Now, on to my paper. I have an online test to take tomorrow- then I need to crank out this rough draft, and study for my archaeology test which is wednesday morning...then it's on to peer reviews for the paper, and I final version...then, Friday, I AM DONE!

love ya.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Hey ya'll.

I know I have been such a slacker on blogging lately. To be honest, haven't felt much like blogging. I like to blog when I feel I have some joy to share...and the last few weeks have been pretty tough. Kim and Jason going back home, and not knowing when I will get to see them again- I know you may think that sounds silly, of course I will get to see them within the next year, which is more than many families can say about their loved ones. But not having the next date to look forward to makes it really tough to say goodbye. Especially after this past summer, it is so hard to be apart. work. See this is why I haven't been blogging.

Further, I have told a couple of people this, but not many. My godfather, Uncle Bob told us a couple weeks ago that he's been diagnosed with cancer. He's already begun chemo. (I don't have a clue how to spell that, and really, I wish I didn't need to know how.) I love him, next to my dad and uncle john, more than any man. He is the man who led my dad to the Lord, and he is very special to me! He's the one who gave me "Book Bear"- those of you who have spent the night, have seen him sitting on my bed, where he has been since I was 3 or 4 years old. My dad went to visit him the day after we heard, and he said uncle bob is still himself- as joyful and faithFUL as always. Seriously, you won't meet a man who is more full of faith, hope, and joy then he is. So, God's been doing a lot in me...growing my faith and joy to be more like his. It's a strange place to be though- not sure how to just come out with that to the people I would like to know and have praying for him, also not sure how to respond to it myself. Yes, respond in faith- because there is no cancer in the Kingdom of Heaven...but practically, can I cry? Or should I not?

With this comes the other part God has been bringing me through- most of my friends seem to be "not around" or busy with other friends (I HATE facebook- it just seems to show you what everyone is saying to SOMEONE ELSE! Terrible, but I don't really want to know, seems to only create more problems and ridiculous jealousy.) All this said, you are probably feeling like I am upset with you (whoever YOU are, lol), but I am not. It's been a lonely few weeks, for all these reasons, and some heavy homework loads....but I am beginning to see what God has been doing through it.

I've begun reading "Strengthen Yourself in the Lord"- and it has been speaking so clearly to right where I am. He deals with david as a prototype. The first couple chapters are discussing the times that David felt all alone, the times he felt betrayed and hurt.....Bill Johnson (the author)said that God brings us through painful times when it feels like all of our friends are away, and how if we do not see God in it, we can feel betrayed in our need, and this can grow into bitterness. BUT what God is really doing is drawing everyone else away for a time to teach you to strengthen YOURSELF in HIM! "God never sets us up to fail, only to grow." God prepares us before He brings us into each of these times/ tests, and they are necessary for us to build the character we need to become "Kings." Seeing that has changed these last few weeks from a terrible, dark time, into a GOOD time. Because, it was a little shaky for a time in the beginning, but in the end, I HAVE been strengthening myself in Him. This morning in worship I just beheld HIM. It felt so wonderful. Sometimes I wish I never had to leave- which I know, I know, 'you don't'...but somehow it's still different. You see, when I am in God's presense, just Him and me, He reminds me that I am new and that He doesn't see my past choices when He looks at me, He sees me as He created me to be. I am free. Then, I have to go interact with people, and there still seems to be those few people who continue to hold me to what I DID, and who I WAS, convinced that I am stuck there- when truly, I want nothing more than to be WAY from all that. To not have people assume that I am still secretly where I was years ago....but let me be new, like He lets me.

Wow, surprised I shared that. I actually heard from a friend today what she was going through- and it seemed in some ways to match up so closely to this same frusteration I've been facing that I guess I needed to share that.

I want friends who see me as who I am called to be, who believe that's who I AM and therefore call that out of me- who believe the best about me, who assume I am growing...and look for the evidence of that. I want to be this friend. I want eyes to see what is 'not yet' in the physical, but always has been in the spiritual. I want to be a presence of growth- continual growing, continually inspiring growth. I want to believe the best about others...believe they have a place to speak, a voice worth listening to. I want to be a safe place.

I want to become this.

Now, back to my studying for finals. I love you all. I cannot wait for the holidays, when I will hopefully see you all more often.

Also, my Toni, aka Rosie is on a short mission trip to the Phillippines, and her mom shared this blog with me today at church...thought some of you might like to see all God is doing through her too. Below is the url for their blog. Toni- can't wait till you are back and I can hear your stories- love you.

Other notes;
Riss, love you, still praying for you. I am sad you had to have surgeory, but I am grateful that God used it to draw us even a little closer and help us connect more often.

Morg, thanks for your call yesterday, I enjoyed it. Let the parties begin!

Ash, I hope you get that envelope tomorrow, lol. Sorry it took me a MONTH to mail it :/

Kim, you, kris, and jason are gonna have such a great week!

[Dad, keep scrolling down.]

Mackie, you, me, apple cider...nough said?

Morgan P, see you Friday my friend!!! Same time- new place?

Lou, YEAH!

Uncle John, I'm thinking we'll begin defining the "marketing plan" next summer? Elise's clearly worked. ;) Love ya.

Momma, I really don't think the tree needs many more lights...we need to put decorations on it. Looking forward to christmas break, when I'll get to actually ENJOY my time home with ya.

DAD, yes, your turn! XXO. ;) ...and then a "Kris hug" , heehee. (I bought you a christmas present, my first one of the year).

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Hey ya'll.
I know it's been a while, and my sister Kim is probably getting pretty tired that I have not posted AND I have not sent her the pics from Thanksgiving :( oops. I'm in my last week of classes this quarter, and then next week is finals. I will be all wrapped up by 5pm on the 14th. 14th is gonna be such a great day- done with this quarter, AND I get to see a LOT of people I love at a christmas party for my MC class...sadly there will be a couple HUGELY missed members..Risseroos foremost.

I am about to hop in bed, today has been a good day overall. I accomplished a lot, I had a great time with my cousins, I even bought my first couple christmas presents. That includes Kolleen's early present- "ADD" Blake Lewis' new album, gotta admit, I'm a fan of it! Plus we all three bought some boots to help cope with this cold, rainy weather. I also accomplished some Logic homework (the bane of my existence right now! BUT JOY, this is my last homework assignment, plus one more extra credit problem set I've been working on!)

There is some other fun pic to fill you in on, but I know I needed to post at least a couple from Thanksgiving first.

Love ya,