Tommorrow is Christmas Eve. It's one of my most favorite parts. Mum's side--aka Benjamin Clan--goes to her parent's house. There will be lots of food, laughter, and teasing. And a beautiful big christmas tree. (i love christmas trees) At some point, Lori and the boys will call from VA and we'll put them on speakerphone. And all talk at once. Yet understand each other. Haha. We'll talk about Christ's birth and such, and one of the guys will pray a looooong but good prayer while we all try not to think of the food.
This year we have even more reason to be grateful: Grandma is alive and well enough to have us over, despite the ravages of chemotherapy. Thank God, I'M NOT SICK! So I can go, with the rest of my family. :) Many times I've prayed that she'd be well enough to see us. I'm so glad she has God to rely on. Indeed, I don't know how anybody can go through cancer and not utterly despair without Christ to rest in....off track. Meant to talk about Christmas. I love it. The tree, the lights, the smells, the giving of presents, and the snow. Yes, snow. Even though we don't have it here in FL, it's still cool. ((I had a white christmas in New York once))
Christmas is hope because it commemorates the birth of my Savior. What cause for rejoicing!! Christ, the Messiah, Immanuel-GOD with us!!! If Christ hadn't come to earth, He wouldn't have lived a sinless life. Fully human yet fully God. If He hadn't lived a sinless life, He wouldn't have taken my sins to the cross; or risen again. And if he hadn't died for my sins, I would not be here right now. The place I'd be wouldn't be a better one. But He did come. His crimson blood has removed the stain of my sin! Washing me clean, whiter than new-falling snow. What joy, what peace, what hope, and what a love this truth is.

Merry. Christmas. (white or no)


use your imagination and pretend this is a good title

You'd think my blog was almost as popular as joe's. oh wait that spot is permenantly taken. Oh well. Popular blogs have to be entertaining...and i don't want to put forth that effort.
Storytime. Mum said she was "gladish" the other day. I just about fell off my chair. She just laughed at my saddish disbelief. When I informed her that it's bad form to talk like your teenager, she said it was worse form to correct your mother. dang.
about knicknames. you're not allowed to give them to yourself around here, mr. penn hick. which i'll have to call you for now cause the sczebels don't know you, and they're the nick-namers. hoser is a canadain term for we're not sure what. that one just flies around.

i have to finish christmas shopping while the sun is shining, so I'll leave ya'll to talk to yourselves. (just so you know, i'm laughing at all of you)



something like movie reviews

Narnia...saw the movie today. It was pretty good. I liked. Jadis' blonde hair threw me off, I always imagined it 'raven black'. And her looks more inhuman. The kids were good. (not just saying that 'cause they have lovely UK accents either). Lucy was great. Of course. She's the best. Susan was more undermining (not right word) of Peter than I remembered. Peter was more indecisive/unsure of himself. Oh but his sword! Don't think I'll get a sword for christmas. oh well. Aslan didn't get enough screen time. But he was alright--especially compared to the BBC puppet. Nobody could ever really capture the wonderfulness of Aslan. It'd always be slightly dissapointing. Or so I think. Maybe that's only if you've been reading the books since you were 7, with a billion-watt imagination. The parallel to Christ as our redemptive sacrifice was un-missable. CS Lewis is amazing.

Now to completly change subjects. The new P&P... dangerous waters here. I saw it with 2 girl friends, Wesley & Abby.
Abby said it best: "I've never had so much fun hating a movie in my life!" I laughed more in that movie than I have in ages. I concur. I'm a hopeless un-romantic. Maybe there's something wrong with me. The part of my brain that's supposed to like mush is disconnected. (Yet I LOVE the AE version). Can't stand Keira. Nasty of me, I know, but she's annoying. She seemed really mean. Elizabeth wasn't mean, she laughed and smiled and joked. Some say Kiera was the perfect Elizabeth Bennet. Guess nobody read the book. She wasn't. Julia E. was oh-so-better. Didn't cry, except from laughter. Then, I rarely cry in movies. I did like the cinemaphotography. And the music. ((the part where Kiera spins on the swing? People hated it. Said it made them sick. We loved it. Great way to show passage of time.)) Bingley acted like a stupid oaf. "come back anytime you're not feeling well" I looked at Abby. I saw the suppressed laughter on her face and might possibly have cracked up...
And the ending!! Oh my lanta!! The 1st "mrs darcy" was ok. Cheese but sweet. The 2nd was just stupid. I was trying SO HARD not to laugh out loud, but by the 4th time I lost it. We sat there laughing. Really hard. Out loud. Trying to be quietish. I thought I'd die I was laughing so hard.
We then went to Wesley's house to watch the real P&P. haha. Funny story. Went by Publix to get some food first. Abby and Wes are both tall, like 5'8 and5'6. My short hobbitness at 5'2(and a half) can't keep up. So I have this little skipping to catch up. Then we get home, and the movie starts with Elizebeth on a walk. She breaks into a run. They're like "you think you're not Elizebeth!". It was pretty funny...you had to be there. Beks would've loved it. She's the one who convinced me I was Elizabeth. I used to fiercly deny it.
Short story: I think the AE version is the best, the book is better.

hi andrew. dell is a pretty cool kid. comment when you want. we have canadian hosers and fl pomegranates here...

~dams is outs.


into the west

Friday night we had our Christmas Event, basically a big show where we poke fun at everything and everyone. There were a lot of jokes and such. But the second half was a play-like musical thingy (what is it with metro&music?) about the Port of M. At the end, the narrator talked about a new ship getting ready to set sail, and her name was Grace. He said something that really affected me: "People ask me 'how far west will she go; where will she land.' Well, I don't know. I tell them that she is sailing westward, following the Son". (not exact quote). I wanted to cry. The next song was based on "west side story". They had the west side vs. east side and all. At the end, the west side went over and said their good-byes. They went to exit the stage, but dropped thier bags, looked back and ran over to hug the east side one last time. I was crying. it felt stupid, but I couldn't keep it in. The reality that I am really leaving (I haven't been admitting to myself that it's hard because I didn't expect it) couldn't be put off. I'm leaving. For real. As in there is no coming back. Here isn't home and never will be. Haven't been letting myself really think about it. It's uncomfortable. I'm not used to being this emotional. Or wearing it on my sleeve. Don't think I like it.
It's not that I'll never talk to my east-side friends again. But it's not home. Honestly it hasn't felt like home in a long time. Which feels extremely weird. I'll have to build new relationships and reach out. They, and my fellow west-siders will take first priority. Which is all good. It's about sharing the gospel, saving people from hell. Not friends. Sharing the light of this glorious news should be first priority anyway. It's a not just a privilege but a command.
I'm fully committed to planting our new church. It's going to be an amazing adventure. I can't believe God's letting me be a part of it!! I look forward to serving alongside some of the most wonderful people i know. Incredible...I'm glad, I know this is what it is for me right now. But that doesn't mean it's easy. Or always fun, or that I'm always happy. It's a paradox, feeling like your heart's being torn out of you and yet being joyful in the knowledge that it's God's will. Once we get this long good-bye over with, I will stop being surprised that I haven't run out of tears and be able to focus on Christ and His new church.
There are other things I've tossed around in my head but not fully realized. For me, this isn't just about one plant. For now that's my focus and goal. But like somebody said, I'm heading west and don't know how far God's going to lead me. I could keep going west and end up in Israel, or stop at the Gulf Coast. I have no idea. But I know the adventure of a lifetime is beginning. Scary thought indeed!! I feel so unprepared, immature...just not ready! He knows all this. He will shape me like clay into what He wants. It doesn't matter how ready or not I think I am, or what I have to lay down and give up. He knows I'm ready for just what He's planned. Wow.
**This got really long, so if you made it this far, you should get a prize. Like a free trip to Narnia or somewhere, but I'm not licensed to give those away. :)
Thanks to all of ya'll who have encouraged and/or prayed for me. God's so good! And faithful. Amazed.



Hey ya'll.
A good friend has called it to my attention that in my last post, I sounded really discontent. With life in Florida. I was basically a whining, ungrateful hoser. (they didn't say it quite like that but they could've). So, please forgive me for whining and being discontent. Thanks. Apologies always look a little awkward in writing. But "I'm sorry" isn't really appropiate when you've sinned.
I really am grateful I live in Florida. Most of the time. I do wish it wasn't quite so flat, but that I can blame on 6 summers spent in NC. I can't say I appreciate humidity, but I'm glad that we dont have the constant dry winds of wyoming. Reasons I'm glad I live in florida:
1)the atlantic ocean
2)good friends
3)a ballet studio that seeks to glorfy God
4)the hills--it is hilly out here in west fl, believe it or no.
5)the chance to plant a new church
6)sunshine in winter
7)oranges, strawberries, and other things that grow here
8)the beach
9)being a day or 2's drive from NC and VA
10)the 50degree cold front that came through:)
I wasn't going to post today, but felt that was called for.
HEY the stars will be bright and sparkly cause of the cold. :)

~out is dams~


it's not snowing

"What? No snow in florida?"
"Nope. 'fraid not".
"Gosh. Don't you know it's snowing everywhere else?"
"Still not snowing. Ever."
"NEVER? What kind of state are you??!!"
"uuuhh good question...I think we're oranges and sunshine".
"Hey, that sounds nice."
*snort of derision* "if you consider sweating in Nov. to be good..."
It's snowing in New York, Canada, and I expect a phone call from my cousins telling me that it's snowing in Ashburn, VA...ok i just said that cause it sounded good. i actually have no idea what VA weather is right now.
Well, it's that time of year again. Annual shin splints. They're not bad. I can still dance. I don't mind them so much cause I read more while I'm icing them. The only problem is I'm supposed to do RICE. rest is not an option. but i do "vegetable therapy" as mum says. (frozen peas or corn work well. better than ice. ice is annoyingly messy. it insists on melting). Lauren. Pray for her cause she was sick. Is she better? Is she playing tonight? There were TRA b-ball games but I couldn't go.

I'm hungry. really hungry. made spicy white chili for dinner. it was good except NEVER WIPE YOUR EYES WHEN YOU'RE CHOPPING ONION! (it's like getting bleach in your eye. yes that's from experiance.) the biscuits burned. must be a hard choice as a mom: teaching your children how not to kill each other or keeping dinner from burning. In parting, I agree with Danny Jones: "There is on such thing as normal".


something meaningful

"Our hope in Christ for the future is the mainspring and the mainstay of our joy here. It will animate our hearts to think often of heaven, for all that we can desire is promised there. Here we are weary and toil worn, but yonder is the land of rest where the sweat of labour shall no more bedew the workers brow, and fatigue shall be forever banished. To those who are weary and spent, the word of "rest" is full of heaven. We are always in the field of battle; we are so tempted within, that we have little or no peace; but in heaven we shall enjoy the victory, where the banner shall be waved aloft in triumph, and the shword shall be shetatehd, and we shal hera our Captain say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." We have sufferd bereavement...but we are going to the land of the immortal where graves are unknown things. Here sin is a constant grief to us, but there we shall be perfectly holy, for there shall by no means enter into that kingdom anything which defileth. Oh! is it not joy, that you are not to be in banishment for ever, that you are not to dwell eternally in this wilderness, but shall soon inhereit Canaan? Nevertheless let it be never said of us, that we are dreaming about the future and forgetting the present, let the future sanctify the present to hightest uses. Through the Spirit of God the hope of heaven is the most potent force for the product of virtue; it is a fountain of joyous effort, it is the corner stone of cheerful holiness. "
~the late great Charles Spurgeon.


have a good thanksgiving...

today is the american thanksgiving holiday. i'm waiting for my parents to get ready and then we'll go up to apopka to my dad's mom& stepdad's house. (they're the wyoming relatives but they come down here nov.-april). So happy thanksgiving ya'll...
what's thanksgiving like in canada? just curious...like why do you even have one? no pilgrims...how can you be thankful?
down here we eat alot of food, watch football, play football, track dirt in the house, get together with all of your relatives and have a blast talking too loud and laughing at eachother. And if you're Christians, then hopefully you take some time to thank God for the blessings He's given you, and maybe thank some people. This year I'm thankful for alot of friendships didn't have last year: like the Sczebels and Cairneys in Canada, the Cornfields in Corning, New York; and others I've met here in Fl.



Hahaha!! Oh the power!!

It is I, the Beksta! no, i did not hack onto Merry's blog. i have full permission. i'm at her house. i actually got to spend the night. i think it has been at least 5 months. wow. anyways. last night was really cool cuz we had the first eVeR Grace "Count your Blessings" cookout. there was this really cool old railroad and we ventured down it in the dark. it was hard to see without a flashlight, and we could see someone with flashlights up ahead. we didn't want them to see us so we ducked off the tracks, through the brush and onto a glen. then we found way back up (although, it wasn't a path and, as usual, since i am the tallest and i went first, i found all the spider webs.) then we hid behind the bushes and waited for the kids to come. we thought it was Joe and Fe, but it was some other kids. they didn't see us for a while and then they stopped when their flashlights caught our crouching forms in the dark. haha. we kinda scared em. thankfully they weren't that young, otherwise we would've gotten a talking to from concerned parents who don't like big kids scaring their precious ones. after persuading the little guys that we didn't need them to come with us (although they wouldn't give us a flashlight) we continued on our way until we decided we should go back or get lost or kidnapped or trip on the ties and die.

i got to read Merry's Canada journal while she did school and she showed me all the Canada pics on her computer. funfunfun. we filmed the cookout yesterday, a little. mostly of Dams taping herself in the car. ok. nevermind. she didn't. now she is correcting my spelling. what does she know, that dsylexic freak. i am only dissing her cuz shes reading while i write- i mean type (another correction). now she is laughing Dr. Pepper up her nose. i don't know what else to type. i want food now, so maybe i will let the dorkmatic idiocrat post on my blog. toodles.

so guess what? i have a secret! and to find out what it is, you have to read what Dams posts on MY blog. http://foreverachildatheart.blogspot.com


Remembrance Day (bc)// Veterans Day (usa)

D is currently buried under a pile of photos, so she asked me to type the following poem in honor of the day and the men who died to free the world from tyranny. Written by Canadian physician John McCrae.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.
Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


chaos and grace

life in reverse is extremely hectic right now. i eat, do school, drive, babysit, dance, eat, do school, drive, dance, help my dad edit....sometimes i sleep too.
I was asked sunday to do a photo board for the canada booth at mission:x reunion. If any of you e-teamers have photo albums or anything like bring 'em early and we'll put them on the canada table. i'll probably do the actual assembly sat. morning so i can spread everthing out on my bedroom floor and work. i usually lay everything out, re-arrange it, rearrange some more, decide to do it completely different...i'm not very organized. i got oh-so-cool sharpies today to use b/c the only board they had was black. i wanted to paint a white one w/ red to make the canadian flag. YES there will be pics of canadains. and my "washed" car is going to be on there too. :) i was given all the poetic license i want. i love when people tell me to be creative. muahaha i get to put anything i want up...
i think i will be home friday night. that is the only night out of 7 days i am actually home...for 3weeks. crazy.
Our company peforms at a fundraiser NEXT WEDNESDAY!! yikes. we're not ready. but it's for mentally handicapped kids. we might be allowed to pray with them after, so that'll be cool. when i visit surrey as soon as God and money say yes--before 2010--we'll have to go see all that jazz. and i want to go to cresent bay at night. and ride the jeep named betsy. haha.

unbelievable...a comment by a real live pomegranate....haha.

~~out~~ thanking God for the gift of sleep and his presence and grace and strenght is



'how aboat vancouver'

can i talk 'aboat' it? oh yikes i could go on foreverandever aboat it. surrey bc is in my head and crossway community church in particualar. *sigh* i miss those hosers. so why not Vancouver? No reason. I can't think of a bad one. why didn't i say that in my last post? oh i remember...
I was not about to give annoying *people* the satisfaction of knowing their evil plot to make floridians move north is working... haha. I have a confession to make. When my fam was in Maine this May ((seems random but bear with)) I thought "I could almost live here. But too cloudy; and I'd miss my friends too much". In Canada, when I saw Whycliffe Park I thought "I could SO live here." Wednesday when I saw the sunset over the Pacific Ocean I decided "I'm moving". It's all up to God. I admit it'd be hard to leave Metro. Yet I'm leaving in 3mons anyway. When I move I'm stealing Beks. Or not. She'll say "how fast are you speeding" every 10 miles. (haha she never says "are you" but "how fast") OOOHH STINK!! holy crepe i can't believe i said that. sound like quiche lorraine:) java java java... random memories of canada:
1) never any overhead damage in pat sczebel's 'girl' van. only cooler damage.
2) aly & i laughing so hard we could hardly walk as i literally carried asleep lauren up the front steps.
3) U2 and coldplay. best ever
4) chocolate and starbucks-- strawberry lemonadas don't make good breakfasts
5)amber's lights haha
6)taking michelle gagnon home: "smells like sears!" "you're right! it does smell like sears!"
7)pat almost running stephen over with the gutless wonder

8)adam is captain of the guard. and i never had to see a scary house again.
9) *big noses* !!
10) blowing ballons up with smarties. hope some of my flying smartie footage stays in.



go annoy beksta

everyone's favorite floridian beksta has a blog now. go say hi or something. unless you're a hoser. it's a hoser-free blog.

here it is: http://foreverachildatheart.blogspot.com/

i have to leave to babysit. my girls. they are so precious. i babysit them every wednesday. i love having an almost-fam-member relationship with them. except in church alyssa runs up and slams into me to give me a hug..i almost fall over if i'm wearing unstableish shoes.
this is my shortest post ever. so i'll dedicate it to those of you who have a hard time reading my long ones. i can think of 3. have fun.

read psalm 91. excellent.

over and out


why are sharpies so cool?

hey ya'll. i can think of a billion and fifty things but none profound. have i ever written anything profound anyway? nope. Trying to upload pics. the error thingy gives me no reason WHY there's an error.
Is it because blogger finds them boring? 'cause my computer is stupid? or is the website having troubles? am i just dumber? are the pictures not real but figments of my imagination? maybe i am insane. talking to yourself is supposed to be a sign of insanity. i'm not the only one if that's true...

I want to know....
is the sky really blue? why don't the leaves change color here? why do i hate mushrooms? why is dark chocolate so good? why do cars need gas? why is gas so expensive? why do we sin so much? why are humans so proud they won't accept Christ? why do people hate snakes? why do i love stars? and the ocean? why do people say why? swashk not something else? HA i invented another word. where do words come from anyway?

don't ask. i do not understand the randomness of me. in fact i know the answer to half of those. like why gas is expensive. and why the sky looks blue...


pics and other randomness//

Or not. My pics aren't working. Stubborn things.....((got the title in right order this time. )) That's the first dyslexic thing I've done all week. Randomness:
I.)) I visited a church in Corning, NY in Aug. That's how I met D &her bro. She rocks. He's 'teaching' me bass via email. haha. Long story. If someone who lived close to me had a bass, I could try it out and see if I understood any of what he said.
If I ever blow my life savings on a bass it will be all Jar's fault. :)II)) Really missing my irish Penny Whistle. :( Just as I was finally making noise that sounded more like music than screeching. It broke. I was playing it in the kitchen. Ya know when cookies are in the oven, it's oh-so-boring 'cause you can't leave them. If you do it's likely you'll get absorbed in something, not hear the timer and burn them into hockey pucks. left it on the counter after cleaning the kitchen. Bre knocked it off the counter and the mouthpiece part broke clean in half. Or so I was told. Tried fixing it with duct tape. Doesn't work. Now it sounds similar to brakes going out on a suburban in winter. dang.
that's why the colors in this post make the irish flag. i like ireland. as everyone knows by now.i got the serving sign-up page (it will forever be 'west side'; even if it does sound ghetto) right here. so many areas i want to do. if my dad doesn't do video stuff i might. (yikish) i mean hey, quite possibly the best guy to teach me lives in my house. my fam might be setting up, so i might. do that. then there's hospitality-which says coffee bar(?) under it. that'd be good stretch for me. working close to coffee is good :) and i want to be on the prayer team.so. yeah.
us west side people.
are scrambling. trying to fit everything.
that most church plants take 6 months for. into 3.

"...I love to tell the story
Redeeming love has been my theme
And will be when in glory
Not death nor life nor anything
Can ever separate me
O love that will not let me go
Yes, I am His forever..."


stuff blowing up & a nice definition

Nice, a. (taken from mr websters' dictionary)
  1. Properly;
  2. Delicate; fine; "as cloth of nice texture"
  3. Accurate; exact...
  4. Recquiring scrupulous exactness...
  5. Percieving the smallest difference...
  6. Over scurpulous or exact...
  7. Fastidious; squemish...
  8. Easily injured
  9. Refined
  10. Weak; foolish....OR as Mr. T put it: 'basically, it just means "stupid".' That's why I crack up laughing when stubborn Canadians use it constantly in every post.(purposely) Haha. words change over time, eh?
what is it with the my house & stuff catching on fire?! ((or blowing up)) We had a fire in our microwave. Someone was heating up sauce and there was a bit of tin foil left on it...so poor Joe was in the kitchen when it blew up. And caught fire. He opened the door and threw soaking wet paper towels on it haha. At least it still works..Our last microwave blew up too. And last year when the first hurricane hit we didn't lose power right away. So at llpm we're watching Cast Away and our coffee pot sparked and fried. The next hurricane, our oven caught fire inside. This sunday I was working on a project on my dad's editing system and he told me to turn off the left monitor 'cause it was smelling funny. i had to turn it back on because the timeline thingy was opening on the left monitor....it kinda sparked...and made popping noises...and glowed red/orange inside... i shorted it out. Now we only have one moniter. oooops.
thank you God that 1) nothing has ever blown up our whole house or caught it on fire and 2)that we got a new microwave and stove out of the deal...now we'll get better moniters....hopefully.


pictures.of ocean.from.10.10.05

these are some pics i took when my family went to the beach.shore.atlantic ocean. a few wks ago. It was a great day. The water was cool--some of my fam would call it cold. I think it was perfect--the waves were wild. Strong current. If you went out too far you'd be pulled out to where the little sharks live. I love the ocean. I don't care if it's the pacific or atlantic but I couldn't live too far away from it. (6hrs being too far). I've found that I can live without mountains, as i have too; but the ocean...ONLY if God calls me too.

Amber--so that's what a shout out is. Never really knew. Umm so sorry to have left you out but see I only posted on what people had commented. now you get one all to yourself.

hopefully this isn't too long for ya. haha. (now do you see why i was so excited to walk on the dunes at white rock? we have none).


skateboarding, and dinner smells good

umm..dinner does smell good but why it's in my title I have no clue.

About skateboarding....Fall makes me think of skateboarding. Explanation: I used to skate 'back in the day'. It's really all Dustin's fault. (one of my cousins. a.k.a "the boys") Why do I think of them in fall? Mabye 'cause we visit them in the fall. They were really into skating back then. So Dustin taught me. Or tried. He gave me a board and told me not to fall off. I did more falling then skating. He tried to teach me tricks; but we learned pretty quick that shredded jeans don't make happy moms. It was fun. Until they moved to VA. Traitors.

What do you say about funerals? It's kinda awkward because you don't want to say it was good. But you can't say it was bad either. You're terribly sad and missing the person; but yet glad that they are in heaven with Christ. They are tricky things. THANK YOU JESUS!! Isn't it incredible that WE ARE GOING TO HEAVEN and not hell?! "the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair". So true. I am more grateful than I can ever express to You, my wonderful Savior. wow.
~~outbursts of gratitude~~



sorry ya'll. i didn't disable the comments, i think it does it automatically after 70. cause prince harry got cut off when he was in narnia.

"you'll never know what it means to me..."

Happy birthday Bekah-Boo; Happy Birthday to you!!

Once you're 18 they kick you out of Neverland...just kidding. Your imagination's good enough. You can stay 'till 21.:) When that happens you can sail away to cahoots...haha...did i ever tell you that is a real word? And it means "to be in league with"; not a tropical island... Sorry. No! This is't supposed to be funny! I am trying to honor her.

Seriously, Rebekah. You've been such a blessing from God in my life these past 14 years. (that's how long we've known each other, right?) Thanks for being my first girl friend; and my "bosom friend". (haha) God's used you countless ways in my life. To encourage and convict. Thank you for all the times you point out my sin and drag me out when I withdrawl. Thanks for making me smile when I feel like crying. Thanks for making me laugh so hard I do cry. Thanks for all of the memories, inside jokes, laughs, and yes the few tears. Thanks for all the times you've embarressed the heck out of me and for forgiving me when I did it to you. Thanks for helping me prank the deserving and not-so-deserving. Thanks for reminding me to appreciate my brothers. (anytime you think you want one; come over.)
Thanks for being everything God knew I needed in a best friend. Including sanctification...

Our childhood was great, eh?
You always say "Steph and I played quietly together. Then we met you and had crazy games". But ya'll had just as much imagination; you were just waiting to use it with me. Some of our games were admittedly strange. Like Jews escaping Germans; and the whole whipping thing. Some of the things we did were pretty dangerous. Like nearly suffocating ourselves. Haha. Good times. Who thought that up?! Boy am I glad you never "got smart" and started running the opposite direction if I said "I have a good idea"...Sorry for all the times I got you into trouble. And blamed both of us. But hey, you didn't have to follow me...

Basically, I'm trying to tell you how much I love you and appreciate you. As seriously as possible. Seen any peaches lately? You know I am always there for you....no matter where "there" is. I guess you're laughing by now. At least smiling. (No matter how hard you try not to I can always make you smile. dorkamatic)

Have a good day; eat some chocolate; don't think of blue elephants (purple is ok)and remember: you belong to the Lord. He is pleased in his children who follow hard after Him. Especially when they can't see where the path is leading. But follow anyway. Be encouraged! You bring glory to God with your life and shine like a star in this darkened world. Keep it up.

{{dedicated to pippin took--prov.18:24b}}


sadness with joy

Lester Monk went home this morning at 1:30am. He ran the race very well. I can imagine his Savior telling him "well done, good and faithful servant". He has no sorrow...but those of us who are left to keep running cannot help but miss him. I only wish I'd seen him more recently. But God knows best. Someday I'll see him again. I wonder if he'll remember to tell me I look taller.

((The Monks were a wonderful couple that went to Metro. They only come every once and awhile now cause its a very long drive. They served many people well. I'll never forget him. Every time he saw me he'd tease around and yet always tell me that I seemed taller or I was getting taller or something like that because he himself was very tall and i was-and still am-short)). Anyway I just wanted to honor him a little. I couldn't post anything else anyway becuase this was on my mind.


nothing much or school + monday

"I see you got the double title thing goin' on there..."

((*apology for the ad on my last post...i never checked it...sorry 'bout that*))
today was monday. didn't do much. Had a minor battle with a dragon named Chem. He kept spitting fire all over me and I kept trying to fight him with my left hand. Except my sword is right-handed. I didn't even know they made them that way. i finally defeated Chem(istry) after quite a while and managed to escape with only a few minor bruises and a headache....
OH yes! my mom was listening to clips from the SGM cd that came out today. I found that all those new songs we've been singing at metro are from it. we sang one like "you are the way" yesterday and I kept thinking it sounded like Pat Sczebel. But I told myself "you don't really know him that well". well, whaddya know I was RIGHT!! It was one of pat's songs.

switch of subjects. "I need you; more than i admit or understand..." how true: I am SO CLUELESS as to how much I need God. I couldn't exist without Him. I can't breathe without His grace. The fact that I can even inhale at all is only by his mercy. It reminds me how utterly helpless I am apart from Him. even oxygen is a gift I so often take for granted. We american christians are so blessed; maybe we are too blessed. So much of the church here is apathetic and while they might go to heaven; they are not living for eternity like our brothers in China or elseware. HOW TRAGIC when God saved us from ourselves!! we should be living in awe of Him and for only Him alone. He is so precious; so far beyond anything in this earth. we have eternity to look forward too....eternity with Him!! heaven blows my mind.

"you should see the moon in flight
cuttin' cross the misty night
softly dancing in sunshine
reflections of its light reach me now
You reach me now...
...how could such a King
shine His light on me and make everything
beautiful. again"

~~~overwhelmed by mercy and wishing she could adequately worship her King~~~


waiting for someday

I can't pretend to be something I'm not. This will be serious. (synonymous with boring?) My soul is too heavy and I am feeling too much right now to care.
I'm sitting here with many questions running through my mind, knowing that they won't be answered. I don't know if an answer could help anway. It'd probably be beyond my comprehension. "His ways are not are own". Yet I find comfort in asking; because it reminds me that He has reasons. And that I don't have to do anything but trust. What peace.
In this fallen world there is so much "broken glass". How often we find ourselves cut and bleeding; in desperate need of a Healer to breathe mercy on our wounds.

Nothing tragic happened to me. But sometimes when others are hurt; it hits very close to home. Your heart breaks for them. There is nothing you can do but pray. And hope for someday.

I believe in the rest of the story
I believe there's still ink in the pen
I have wasted my very last day
Trying to change what happened way back when
I believe it's the human condition
We all need to have answers to why
More than ever, I'm ready to that I
Will still sleep peacefully
With answers of reach from me until...

Someday all that's crazy
All that' s unexplained
Will fall into place
And someday all that' s hazy
Through a clouded glass
Will be clear at last
And sometimes we're just waiting
For someday

We are born with a lingering hunger
We are born to be unsastified
We are strangers who can't help but wander
And dream about the other side until

...Every unsolved mystery
More than half of every whole
Rests in the Hands that hold you for someday....

Someday when I leave this broken earth and see glory. Someday I will never be sad or sick again. Someday my mom will get to hold Bryson, and we will no longer have to imagine his face. Someday I will fall on my knees before my Savior. Someday I will sing around His throne. Someday I will be able to breathe as deeply as I possibly can, at any given time. Someday I will be home.


we might go far after all...

**pretend this color is yellow becasue all the yellows are too hard to read**
dad just called and said to check green bay's score. i expected them to be losing painfully--dad is the type who'd call and be laughing hysterically at my "pathetics". we beat new orleans 52 to 3! WHOO!

last night dad and i were talking to these little boys about football teams and one aksed if i had one. i said "yeah, the packers". he blinked and went "ouch". it was funny. i belive he actually felt bad for me. so i said "yeah...it's not our best season; but i'm loyal". he tried to amend it by saying "at least you have a team. most girls don't." haha.

overdue post

Sorry ya'll. I actually was busy. Unlike Joel. Nobody yelled at me for not posting. Wow. Thanks. Either people are getting busy real lives or they are just patient.
Had an adventure Friday. Which was NOT marvelous. So crazy. I learned a lesson in flexibilty and down-and-dirty service. oh my.
There was a "lock-in" for Metro's Missionettes. (missionettes is girls meeting. learn a biblical lesson and do projects to earn badges. like girl scouts.) Bre is in Stars and I'm a teacher for her class so I had to go.
The volleyball tournament was moved to the same night, which kept our girls up much later than we'd planned. ((Aside:Stephen has the canada video almost done (yippeee) but is busy with deadlines for real projects. i'm not going to ask him to hurry. Amber and Britt: ooohh maaann. i am so stupid!))

We put the girls to bed at midnight. Tina and I had the bright idea to sleep on the couches in the foyer. We're standing in the doorway to the gym talking and one of my girls runs in...and throws up. On the carpet. She said it happened a lot and seemed fine so we sent her back to bed. Cleaning puke off the floor at 3:46 in the morning. Sanctifying experiance. At 4:30 Kinsey is sick again. (she made it to the washroom). We didn't want to call her mom til a more sane hour. Which turned out to be 5:30; when she threw up yet agian. Her little sister commenced to join her misery. Poor Mrs. Shaffer picked her girls up at 6:30. I laid down on the couch and watched the light growing until 7:22 when i decided I may as well get up. I managed to drive home in the morning on 2 1/2 hrs of sleep without killing my sister or myself. Thank God.
I promptly crashed on the floor of my room and slept about 2 hours. Then went to deluge at 6. We only have it once a month so it takes a lot to keep me home. It was worth it. We sang my favorite songs.
We had to take rebekah home becasue she has a car but no license. dork. she should give the car to the person who drives her until she can drive herself...

that is my weekend.
my fam is watching some bmx thing on tv. those guys are insane but i have to confess it looks fun.


canadian pictures: all lauren's fault!

NOTE: these are extremely random; just a few
pics i decided to post. there is no order. and the layout is confusing.

<<^^memories...haha. nice "TU's"^^^^

^^^^"tastes like dissolving glass...." (quoting jess)
^falling off of railings; wading in the pacific^ ^^^the best car wash sign ever^^^

aly's little pink hat...miss her>>>the rock where lauren and i are going to build our house. bethany and jessica are renting the basement and kara the attic....
now nobody will read about the squirrels...


happy birthday (i think)

I think it is joe's birthday. he told me he wanted to go see David Crowder in Seattle on his birthday; and they are in Seattle today. hopefully he will get to go see them. they're going to be in Orlando the 30 so i'm going then. it's cheaper than flying up there.

i am having template issues. i tried the old vancouver one. but it just screamed "you are not canadain" at me. dang. there aren't any other green ones i like.

so the only reason i'm posting is to say happy birthday to joe; and if you wish to read something more interesting you'll have to read the post before this; in which i get lost for the first time in the getto. (it's not as thrilling as it seems).

wishing there was snow; or at least that it was cold; but wishing only works on stars and though it is dark because of clouds, it's daytime....


literature. ?

Miss Bennet (Elizabeth) apologizes for the lack of posts due to busy-ness. she's sorry for not being faithful but glad she can post whatever she might choose (not "chose")
...where was i? oh yes. Monday. on Monday i did school. then i picked dad up from work after dance, which ends at 8pm. But I got home much later. Things happened. What follows could be called one of my "marvelous adventures". Except I've never had one; I've only wished too. I'm not quite sure what a "marvelous adventure" is. but here's a story anyway:
We had devotions at the end of class instead of the beginning. Causing some of us to {fall asleep}. I just laid my head on the floor to "rest" but it became half-awake-half-asleep-couldn't-move-if-i-wanted-to...very unusual for me. i don't fall asleep just anywhere...SO I leave dance late. Then there's a train. It's driving down Oakridge I realize that I've never come from this direction. I figured it'd be easy. It's a tiny side road off the main road, unadvertised and all because of certain buildings about which we do not speak. When I reach john young blvd, I know I shouldn't be there already. bummer. Usually I figure my way around by myself. despite being dyslexic. (haha). I can't find the cell in the dark. And I can't pull over. That part of orlando is where a little white girl shouldn't be alone after dark. Eventually Dad called and I found the ringing phone. There you have it. I got lost for the first time. stink. I laughed the whole time because only I would be lost in the ghetto. probably cause I'm not scared of things like that. I'm only scared by killer bees, heights, and suffocation. But those are other stories.

Hopefully that's not too boring. I'm rather pleased to find that my crazy posts which are so liberally picked apart are considered literature. for being so nice about your humble request i will tell you that in reality your nose is not really big....haha.
aly there are no stars here tonite so don't feel bad.
thanks for the coldplay; it was much enjoyed and appreciated. i could even imagine mr martin's voice (and accent) now i'm going to bed because i'm being threatened with the title of "sick". i just got rid of it. that word can only apply to me when i have a high fever.

"there's nothing wrong with me/its just that i believe things could get better"


unusual post. but there are some redeeming qualities.

hi. i'm posting from beks house. say hi beks. she always looks over my shoulder. she reads slow and goes "dont turn the page yet". hoser. Mary K. is here to. she said she'll kick me out and make me homeless if i'm mean. Now she's excited because HER NAME IS IN PRINT! wow. we're really tired. we've been ice skating. i love ice skating. except that i go really fast and can't stop and slam into the plexiglass like a hockey player....haha. another good reason to move to canada, eh?

i got the new David Crowder cd. my mom loves david's songs. so i opened it in the car and started reading. sitting in the car at walmart this is what i read:
"This recording is about that collision. It is the collision of our fallen state and our Maker's transcendence....it is about too many who know intensely what pain the word 'cancer' holds and the words of my friend whispered in my ear, 'it's okay. none of us are getting out of here alive, you know.' It is about victory. It is about the joy that comes when blood tests return and a miracle is announced. It is the hope in a rescue that is come, a rescue that has found us, and the relentless hope in a greater rescue that is still coming--one that has not yet arrived but is no less present."
I had tears running down my face after reading that aloud. How true those words are. But God is good! For those of you who are like "what the heck" I'll try to explian.
My mom's sister is in her last chemo stages after a long hard struggle with cancer. (now her mom has cancer). It's only by God's amazing grace that aunt Lori is alive right now; not 2 years ago we thought she would be dying. You reach a point when every time the phone rings it makes your heart constrict. You wonder that maybe if you don't answer everything will be ok. I have been there when the phone is answered and you hear the words "blood counts are up". Then everyone starts screaming and looking at each other like "this is impossible." God is amazing. And now she is almost through (oh happy day!!).
Then there is my good friend from dance who fought it (and won) at only 13. Another victory from God.
Which gives me hope to think that maybe God will shock the doctors and my grandma will be healed on earth. If not we will be okay; she will go home. I can't really think about that now. this is getting alot deeper than I planned. It's a little more personal than i normally share. maybe it will encourage someone...

"when i look at the staaaaars...i see someone else."



several chemistry pages and a cleaned kitchen ago...
My parents went out, so I made dinner for me and the kids. We had quiche lorraine. No lie. At least that's what it started as. whatever hoser wrote the directions said it would cook in 20 minutes. It didn' t cook in 30. When I finally served it to them it was STILL not cooked enough. They suffered through it for about 5 minutes. Then I just looked at thier faces and said "Baloney and to heck with this. Anybody want grilled cheese?" So I made grilled cheese and ham sandwiches instead. Good thing about not being a mom you can do crazy things like that.

my pinkie fingernail is still teal. i believe i am the only one with it still on.

stories. last friday night. mrs derry got me, Rebekah (aka pippin) and Stevie from the new orleans church in for free to disney. three 17 year old girls into photography, God, roller coasters, walking in the rain, laughing, coldplay and chick-fil-a hanging out...good times. years. i'd never pay to go, unless it was to spend time with someone i never see.

it rained so we took off our flip-flops and walked around. that's the best because you're not sweating anymore and there are less lines as the tourists are all hiding in the over-priced resturaunts. we looked all over the park for pretzels. stevie and i were dying of starvation and all of us were craving them something fierce. when we finally saw some we were screaming happy. the guy who served us thought we were insane. and i scared beks. by accident. wish i'd planned it: the people who work on haunted house try to be scary. the woman locking us into the car was trying and i started laughing. out loud. her face was so straight, i laugh easy and i couldn't help it. just as our car moves into the dark part she leaned around rebekah's side and screamed at her in this freaky possessed voice. rebekah jumped and screamed. sooooo funny. we probably ruined the ride. it's supposed to be all creepy; and stevie and i were laughing hysterically. oh well.
stevie likes sharpies. ya'll canadians would love her.

i think this got really long.
the stars are brilliant right now. sparkling cold. like in virginia on a 30 degree night.


i really dont have time for this

I had to thank prince harry for the narnian apples. They were on my front steps this morning; slightly bruised thaks to fedex but good none the less. They worked great. I'm back to normal (98.8).
AND i wasn't cussing. the shaggy dude didn't want to hear about my being sick. so that's what the word was. ya'll shoulda picked up on that. ;)
email aly and tell her hi. she misses ya'll floridians.


other blogs

The first thing I have to say is that JoeL's blog entry about Neverland rocked. haha. Very creative. A little scary though, because I am forever saying things like that and people do not appreciate it. They tell me I'm insane. Peter does that to people. Except he is very wrong on one point: GIRLS ARE ALLOWED IN NEVERLAND!! I have been going there since I was 8; and I am most definantly not Wendy. Besides, I believe I was the first to mention it.
Hi to Kara S. And now please go post on poor josher's blog. People don't post on mine very often either, but he cares.
i'm sick. fever and all. too sick to deny it anymore. drat. i haven't been feeling good since wednesday, but i learned that if you pretend it's not there sometimes it goes away. but this time mom noticed...i could hardly talk so I guess that was a giveaway. mom went to see if she could find Pride and Prejudice for me since I can't do anything else. besides read. probs why i spend alot more time with God when i'm sick.
I'm waiting for BEKS to send me some pictures. she is a hoser, because she has been my best friend since i was 6 and she hasn't even posted once. gosh. i believe i'm sick in the head as well as body.
finding other ways to talk since her voice went to Neverland,



I DID NOT SHAVE MY HEAD!!! for those of you who don't know me well enough to know that I am way to proud to do that...


Last night was amazing. God was so kind to encourage me through one of my favorite things.

About 2 minutes from my house is a hill (hills being rare in fl). Coming up it at night is cool because the sky is very dark and the stars shine out like a thousand sparkling mirrors. (hurrah for the absence of street lights) The moon had just risen and was very low in the sky. Very reddish-brown--it looked like a rock from New Mexico. (not cheese. i've never seen how the moon could look like cheese.) There's a paved road that goes nowhere so I pulled over and turned the car off. I sat there conversing with God a little.
When I got home I went out back and laid in the grass. The stars were so bright, the sky so huge...I couldn't speak if I wanted to. Sometimes they make me feel so small, insignificant and powerless. But not in a mopey sort of way. It's comforting. It reminds me that I'm like one of the smallest pricks of light, resting in God's hands as He controls everything around me. Stars remind me of home. My real, eternal home. I don't know why, there's something in me that feels a closer to God and heaven when I'm alone in the inky darkness under them. I always come inside longing for eternity. Maybe bittersweet? I can't explian it. God's ways are indescribable and leave me in too much awe to communicate well.


interrupting myself

this happened while i was writing my real post and it is so funny i had to post it:
INTURRUPTION: NEVER, EVER SAY YOU WILL SHAVE YOUR HEAD IF SOMETHING HAPPENS!! Because then it will. my football team is Green Bay. Don't ask why, they always have been. The other day my bro was picking on me because GB lost to the Bengals. (canadians: the bengals are one of the worst teams right now in the NFL). I say "It's not the Cleveland Browns; it could be worse". My mom was like "They might" and I was like "HA! If the Packers lost to the Browns I would shave my head". I thought the conferences wouldn't mix. I don't really understand how that whole conference thingy works anyway. Guess who GB played tonite. And lost. OUCH! My mom's over there cracking jokes like "You can tell people you did it out of sympathy for Aunt Lori". i think i learned a lesson. going back to writing my real post now....


"I'm lying in bed, but I can't sleep.
It's like I'm locked in this room
On the greatest night you've made so far.
I take a walk outside beneath the stars,
And as I look all around me,
I remember how in love we are.
It's a beautiful world...
Your beautiful song is all I can hear.
I see the wind moving through the trees,
And it reminds me of how your spirit moves in me.
I lie in the grass, and stare at the sky,
And thought I've seen it a thousand times
It looks new tonight.
It's a beautiful world...Your beautiful song is all I can hear.
Your beautiful colors surrounding me. Your beautiful art is all I can see.
It's a beautiful world. Good night my King.
I'm going to try to sleep...Oh but here comes a sunrise too beautiful to miss."
i like this song. i didnt' write it but i changed some words. i do that type of thing sometime...
but as much as i love what God made inthis world, i'm still waitign for the one i was really made for....



This post will be read by Americans and Canadians. So if some of you wonder why it seems I'm explianing the obvious, then it's for those in the other country.
And I will probably "dyslexisize" some things; so just laugh at/with me when it happens.

musings and memories

I realized today that I never told the Canadians how much they affected me. I figured what better thing to do on my first post, ey? So here goes a better-late-then-never try:
God used everyone I spent time with to challenge & encourage me in some way. This would get way to long if I tried to tell each one. Ya'll served us e-teamers selflessly and joyfully. So thanks to anyone who spent time with me--whether it was passing out flyers, carrying coolers, getting stuck on ski lifts, or working at the Fun Fair. It was an incredible blessing to serve alongside you.
Pat--Thanks for driving us crazy girls around in the "gutless wonder"; giving so much of your time; for all the teasing and laughs; for the knicknames...
Kaz--Thanks for driving us to and from the airport; for letting us stop for food; for explaining "Canadian-ness"; and for letting us know about the French...
Jason and Carrie--Thank you so much for opening up your home to Lauren and I; for letting us play with Beth; for the great breakfasts!
The S kids--Thanks for making me laugh. Aly: thanks for the time on grouse mountain, I am so grateful God gave me another "elizebeth" to be friends with. (stay away from dark chocolate). Josh: thanks for relieving me of the pink sharpie. Joe: thanks for teaching me that I'm not dixlexic; but dyslexic. :)
Michelle-thanks for your contagious joy; the uplifting conversations; for taking time to encourage me specifically. I never expected to make a friend from VA in Canada!
the Smiths--thank you for telling us about the orphans in Russia and for letting us help you in your wonderful ministry.
the Rawlings--thank you for giving us your time; for letting us use your house as a headquarters.
it is 11pm east coast time so sorry anybody I forgot; i really need some sleep.
d aka "betty"
"there is no one like You/there has never ever been anyone like You..."