Out On 27th 1/2 St.

Fifth generation home.

70s shag carpet.

Linoleum kitchen floors.

Squeky Lazy Suzan.

Slamming screen door.

Running barefoot down

A gravel driveway

Passed tall green pines,

Surrounded by cornfields,

Mosquito infested swamps, and

Crickets and spring peepers.

Running on deer trails

Through purple brambles,

Gaining blackberry stains

And small scars,

Searching for buried treasure:

Sun bleached bones.

 

The skull hung in the garage.

I wish we still lived there.

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The World Above.

There was the sun, and stretched out before it was a sea of fire. Taan and Yulius sat on the edge of an island drifting through the sky. It was one cloud, constantly shifting and drifting from one point in the universe to another. They watched the sun slip around to the other side of the world knowing that, once it was gone, they could swim in the inky black, sometimes blue, ocean, and float with the stars. They had to wait until the sun set though or else they would burn and fall to the world below, where people called their falling bodies shooting stars. Taan recalled how people below would make wishes on the shooting stars and take pictures of them. From their perspective, he guessed it was beautiful; although, this was a hard concept to convey to Yulius.

 “One day, I want to go down there,” Yulius said. He leaned back on his hands.

 “You wouldn’t like it. Everything is muted down there,” said Taan. “Besides, after this, I promised to take to you to the forest.” 

 “What do the people down there think about the forest?”

 “They call it lightening, and they call the sound thunder. You wouldn’t understand them, Yulius. Trust me. You wouldn’t like it.” 

 The sun disappeared. Taan stood up and without further waiting, he stepped off the cloud and dropped down among the stars. Yulius followed shortly after, dropping the subject of the world called Earth.

Everything has happened. Be prepared for a slew of random thoughts.

I have just about everything to tell you. 

I went to a wedding a month ago. My brother’s wedding. It was beautiful. I have a new sister now. I love her. I love them. Everyone is in love. It’s great.


Believe it or not, my life is a lot more organized than it used to be. Why? How? Bullet journaling. It’s amazing. It has saved my life. Well, at least my academic career. I mean, just look at this beautiful spread to help me keep track of this blog. (Not that I’ve followed it rigidly lately. Haha.)


I also have a cool picture of the sunset when I was on the plane heading back home. Isn’t it pretty?


So, life? It’s been an adventure. I have many more stories to tell. Be prepared. Mwahahaha *starts hacking coughing because I don’t drink enough water and my throat is dry* Not today. Bye.

Hasta Luego. 再见!加油!我爱你!Bye!!

Quick Tip 8

1. “It was a time where when people talked about one another.”
‘Time’ is not a place. It cannot be a ‘where’ it must be a ‘when.’

2. “It’s a situation where in which no solution seems possible.”

For this second example, ‘where’ is a little more acceptable, but for it to be absolutely correct ‘in which’ is the way to go.

My Life ft. My Stupidity

I came to college expecting so much, and I am still expecting so much. I am expecting God to move powerfully. This first week, however, was like fighting Goliath. On Thursday, last week, classes began, and my thought was, “What could possibly happen in the first week?” Let me tell you, apparently everything can happen in the first week. It was like a silver platter full rotten food was handed to me, and I had a choice to eat the rotten meat and bug infested fruit or I could staple a return to sender, and go eat at SAGA (the cafeteria here on campus, which probably isn’t much better.) I’ll be honest, I took a bite from a few of the apples given to me.

Just within the first week I have found myself resisting God. Pray? No. Read the Bible? No. Worship? No. I want to sit here in anger, and do things my way. I don’t want to reach expectations. I don’t like being told what to do. “God, why don’t you just sit on the sidelines? I’ll take care of this. I can do it so much better.” Okay, stop laughing at me. I know what I did wrong, but my story isn’t over. So, when everything goes kaput after I take control, I throw my hands up and say, “What the heck, God!” All I get is the same response. “Yeah, what the heck Elizabeth?” Alright, fair point. Everyday I try to bring my own plans for my future to fruition, I fail. Let’s be real. I woke up on Monday and said, “Yes, today is going to be a good day.” And like a friend of mine said, it was like a narrator was right behind me saying, “Today was not going to be a good day,” in that deep, slow, ominous, somewhat comedic voice. (That was a rotten apple with several worms.)

Why am I so afraid of admitting that I can’t do something and allowing God to have the first and final say about things? Why am I so afraid of surrenduring and relinquishing control when I know how good and great God is? Well, I think this comes down to the fact that I’m afraid of admitting my feelings to myself, anyone, and God. Being honest is a hard thing for me to do when it comes to confessing how I really feel.

“Okay, Elizabeth. Wow. Take a deep breath.” 

Yeah. It’s a lot. Despite all of that though, I do trust in God’s goodness. I know that despite everything I am feeling, I will see the goodness of the Lord.

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

And despite all of the things that have happened in the first week, there were a lot of good moments too. Thursday night was campus worship, I did something Friday night (not that I remember), and Saturday night was Partiestival which was a blast. Sunday I went to the Aquarium. It was my first time there. I really enjoyed it! I took pictures of all the fish and put it on SnapChat. Monday is not worth recounting. Most of the week is not worth recounting. Thursday night was interesting. Roommate and I were up until 3 in the morning praying and witnessing to each other. Friday night I saw the movie “Dirty Dancing” for the first time. I fell in love with it! I love watching dance movies or musicals. Saturday I spent all day with a friend of mine whom we will call Charlie (Female). Sunday I didn’t do much accept study for ages and get all my homework done. And now here we are: the beginning of week two of classes. I am trusting this week to be a hundred times better. There has been a lot of self discovery in the past week. I’m still thinking about a lot of it, and trying to journal about it.

“Wow. You’re busy. When do you have time for anything?”

Good question. I’m not sure. Because of how stressful the first week was, I’ve already gone crying to my chaplain. (Let’s be real, I didn’t cry.) Chaplain told me that I need to find time to rest and relax. This week I plan on finding time to read and to perhaps watch an episode of T.V. on occasion. Because I am so busy and can barely find time to relax, I am scheduling posts to be posted without me having to write everyday. I can just do it all of my writing at once. Some of the the things coming up are “Quick Tips” about writing by the one and only Professor Gogan. “Quick Tips” will be posted every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I am on the search for quotes that I think say a lot, and those will go up on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I thought all of you would like those. I will have a few short stories coming soon, and I will continue to do updates on my life, but that might only be once a week now. 

I think that’s about it. This semester I have 18 credit hours. I’m in two language classes (Chinese 301 and Spanish 101), assisting in one (Chinese 101), and showing up for another just because I can (Chinese 201). I love all of my classes this semester. I’m happy I am given the opportunity to get into the swing of things before I start my work study. (I think I’ll have about ten hours of work mixed in between my classes.)

Okay. That’s all. I’ve given you an semi-clear update of the past week. 

我爱你!加油!再见!Fighting! Good luck! I love you guys! 

Just. Freaking. Everything.

I AM DONE SELLING FIREWORKS.

First off, let’s celebrate that statement. While I really didn’t want to work there, God taught me a lot. He came through and proved just how faithful He really is if I only trust Him. There were so many things that happened that could not be denied as God. To add to it, last night I read Psalm 37:18-19

The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. [KJV]

This verse was comforting for me to read. With how my future is falling into place and the direction my family is going (NOT a bad direction), it’s nice to know that God will provide and be with me–with us–through everything.

There are three specific things that happened at the stand that I believe are worth documenting.

      1. I saw a car painted like a lady bug! (My nickname is BethyBug, and growing up my family always got me ladybug stuffed animals; now I’m obsessed with them.)
      2. One night, I was just there under the canopy when this truck drove by. It was late, and we were getting ready to close up, mom and I. The parking lot was nearly empty, but this truck drove by. I waved, and he waved back. THEN A CAT POPPED UP IN THE BACK WINDOW. I pointed and started screaming, and almost cried. Then he stopped the car. He got out, and brought a different cat, and she had pink nail cases on, and she was on a red leash, and her name was Cleopatra, and she was blind. AND I GOT TO HOLD HER FOR LIKE FIFTEEN MINUTES. I was so close to crying. It was beautiful. And I freaking love cats. And if you ever get me one, I will love you, and we will be best friends forever.
      3. This is the best thing out of everything that happened. I was checking this guy out and I asked, “How’s it going?” He said, “I’m fine.” Now, I thought about saying, Just fine? but I was like, nah, I don’t know him, no need to butt into his personal. So instead I asked, “How’s your fourth of July going?” (Because this was on the fourth.) He said, “It’s just like any other day.” He was so monotone, and I was like dang, I need to pray for him. As I was bagging his stuff I said, “I don’t mean to pry into your personal life, but is there anything I can pray for you about?” There was silence for maybe twenty seconds, then he said, “No, but you can pray for me right now.” So he grabbed my hand, and I prayed for him. The presence of the Holy Spirit fell in that moment, that he was shaking, I was shaking, and I was about to cry, and it seemed like he was about to cry. As I was praying I said, “Father let there be a reminder that all things work together for the good of those that love you, let there be a reminder that those who delight themselves in you, you give them the desires of their heart, and let there be a reminder that you have a good future planned for us.” I said all of that, and my thought was, Oh my gosh. Where am I going with this? He probably isn’t even a Christian. Good job. Finally I ended, “Amen.” THEN HE PRAYED FOR ME. I was like, Whoa. This is really happening. Then it got better. He started praying in tongues. It was such a beautiful moment. Then he said, “Amen,” gathered his things, and went to his car.

     

So those are the amazing things that happened.

I’ve been talking to mom about so many things too. It’s been really nice just mom and I hanging out. Kind of strengthening our relationship in a way before I leave for college again. One of the things I keep thinking about along the lines of going back to college is how unprepared and how not ready I am. However, I know God isn’t done working with me this summer. There are so many things he has planned. I’ve only begun to scratch the surface.

The great things about what I told you about above, is that I had specific goals set everyday, and everyday I saw a rainbow reminding me of God’s promises. At one point, I specifically prayed that working at the firework stand wouldn’t be dull, and wouldn’t be just a job, but that it would be a ministry. He was faithful, and all he asked me to do was trust him.

As far as anything else goes, here’s the update. The rest of this week and next week, I am going to finish my last freelance project. I’ll only freelance again if I feel I need a little extra income or if I want to. After that I’ll be working on my personal project.

With Chinese, I am going to buckle down and get to memorizing words, sentences, phrases, and start speaking it more. My future boss man recommended I take an hour every day to speak only Chinese.  I want to be fabulous when I go back to college.

Health wise, things are about to get heavy. I’m going to go to the gym in the mornings with Uncle around 5:15, then again at night with Little Sister. So with Uncle, I will focus mainly on strength training. I’ll do a little cardio, a lot of weight lifting. Then when I go with Little Sister, we’ll spend about twenty minutes to a half hour doing cardio and a little time to weight lifting. When it comes to eating, I’m going to start eating more vegetables and no gluten. (Like I’m supposed to anyway.) These past two weeks I have been eating so much junk, I’m ready to cleanse my body.

Okay. 好。再见。加油!Love you! Fighting!

Solo by Kwame Alexander – Book Review

This book wrapped me in its arms, tore my heart to shreds, and attempted to tape it back together. It was a wonderful piece by Kwame. This, like Crossover, was written in prose (poetic verse). One thing in particular that I loved about it were the names: Blade, Storm, Sunny, Joy, Chapel. Almost all of them resembles a key attribute about the character.

The story is about Blade Morrison, born and raised in the spotlight. However, the spotlight isn’t always great, and the paparazzi is horrible. His family, his dad, is constantly on the front cover of everything. He tries to find solace from all the crazy in his girlfriend, but her parents aren’t too fond of her dating a rock star who comes from a drug addict, alcoholic, deadbeat, rock star father. Blade wants out, and he wants out fast, especially after he hears life-altering news about himself that Storm, his sister, throws in his face. It pushes him over the edge. Way over the edge. Traveling out of the country to Ghana over the edge. There he meets a girl named Joy and a five-year old names Sia. Both of them begin to change his life, although, after meeting them, it’s everything but an easy climb to happiness from there on out.

The story really was great and incredibly inspiring. As soon as I’m done passing the book around friends and family, I can guarantee I’m going to annotate my copy. The only thing that bothered me about the book was when Blade reacted to what Storm told him about himself. I thought he overreacted. I get he was emotional, and his family was pushing him to a breaking point, but I thought it was too sudden. Also, Joy’s wisdom seemed uncanny.

Despite those two things, the story was amazing! I highly recommend it.

 

*** Also! There’s a great track list in the book. LISTEN. TO. IT.