Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stolen freedom

Here is how I feel today: ripped off.

I have been awaiting this day for 2 weeks. It was supposed to be a special day. A day of release and second chances. A day of firsts and lasts. A day of FREEDOM. Today, I got my cast off.

But the hopes and dreams that this freedom created were crushed by one mocking smile from Dr. Legg. First thing when I went back to the room, a nurse came in and cut off my cast. This was an interesting experience seeing as a little saw that cut through hard plaster was mere millimeters from my skin. The nurse told me to tell her if I feel anything hot. Hm...would that be warm blood seeping from my skin? I got to see my incision which was a litttttttle bigger than I had expected. You know that knob on the outside of your ankle? Sliced over that thing. Luckily the stitches are underneath the skin and no leakage. lol. Minimal brusing left over.

So after my old, grungy, smelly cast was cut off the other nurse poked her head in to take a quick look at my incision. As she started to leave I hopefully and imploringly asked if I would need another hard cast. I noticed Dr. Legg peek in from the hallway and smile. A doubtful smile and hallway conversation crushed my dreams. I heard Dr. Legg ask the nurse the date of my surgery (Dec. 17), and then heard him laugh and tell her to take in the cast color options. Not one minute later I was faced with a fake femur covered in over 10 different cast colors, forced to seal (literally) my fate. I did not even notice most of the colors and settled on black. Mourning. Mourning the death of my potential freedom.

So, as much as I am overexaggerating and being overdramatic, I am still alive and walking, awkwardly. BUT THIS TIME there are perks. I have a reinforced heel so that I do not bust out my cast, a SEMI waterproof cast, and the best part is: a trendy, stylish, fashion forward plastic walking boot for my cast. So, still no driving...really? OOOHHHHH the joys.

Divine Inspiration

Thank God that I have "no righteousness of my own." I was writing an email to a friend tonight and thought I had a blog topic, but after reading a friend's blog I felt "divinely inspired."

In Paul's letter to the Philippian's he writes:

"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."
(Philippians 3)

That is only the beginning folks. In my small group devotional we read these verses a few weeks ago, but reading them now is like reading them for the first time. I consider myself so lucky to have the things I have, to feel the love that I feel, and to be blessed with earthly blessings, BUT ALL of these things are rubbish compared to the love of Christ. To simply knowing our Lord. I am not required or expected to have any righteousness on my own, of my own volition, but instead and made righteous just by knowing Christ? You have got to be crazy to agree to that deal, but our God did. He must be crazy. :) And so, to know Christ, I must share in his sufferings. I must be brought to my knees, and I must see the people I love be brought to their knees to know Christ's love, to know what he can do in the midst of those sufferings.

"12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. "

We have been crucified with Christ and no longer live, rather Christ lives in us (Galatians 2:20). God doesn't expect to see our lives changed overnight, and neither should we expect to see this from ourselves, but through knowing him - through the good times and the suffering - gives us the ability to forget what we were, and press on towards the prize, heaven.

So, all of this being said, here is our hope:

"18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."

By knowing Christ, we will see our bodies transformed. Our new selves will nto even resemble our old selves and this will be under Jesus' control. Because we are all foreigners in this world, we don't belong here. We live, to know Christ and NOTHING else because our citizenship is in heaven. We will one day be able to trade our earthly pain and sufferings, but for now they serve the GREATEST purpose: To bring us closer to knowing our Savior and Creator, the only thing that is not rubbish. My gosh we all got tough stuff, but the promise never fades. Doesn't get much better than that.

What God promises is that He always, always comes. He always shows up. He always saves. He always rescues. His timing is not ours. But what we can know, what we settle in our soul, is that He is faithful to come when we call. Angela Thomas

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Guest Blog Spot: Charles

This is a guest blog by Jaclyn’s bff Charles. I have thoroughly enjoyed being home for break, although the grass back at school is starting to look a little bit greener already. In an attempt to branch out and see friends from high school, I went down to my house in Norwood last night hoping to meet up with somebody (anybody) and go out, not really setting any formal plans. Sadly, everybody I called seemed to be either out of town or at home with family. What losers. A few potential leads fell through, either because they were out of my desired driving range or they ceased responding to my text messages. To add insult to injury (or vice versa) the big screen HD TV at our house was unplugged, as well as the cable. I tried hooking it all back up, but would have had better luck programming a launch sequence for NASA. Eventually I gave up and went to bed.

I am just not cut out to be a social butterfly. All of that talent went to my brother, a freshman in high school, who tonight headed out to a “party” at a girl’s house. It is entertaining for me to sit back and watch/participate in the preparation that goes into his social encounters. To start, a simple shower is not sufficient. After 40 minutes in the bathroom, his emergence is accompanied by the wafting aroma of AXE body spray. I felt compelled to alert our neighbors and surrounding counties that any exposed flame or source of fire might be fatal. Despite the conspicuous effort to attract female attention, his choice of dress consisted of a recently inherited St.X soccer t-shirt, circa 2003, and some basketball shorts. This ensemble prompted much commentary and criticism from the peanut gallery, enough to goad him into going back upstairs, throwing on an American Eagle fleece (also inherited), and changing into cargo pants. It is sad that as much as I find this whole scene hilarious, I am secretly envious of his cornucopia of friends and activities during break. Already I know that while he will be off doing something fun on New Year’s, I will be sitting on my hands. Maybe it isn’t too late to get my $20 pre-sale ticket for cover at Lodge Bar, Black Finn, and Suite downtown… Bucky Bowl contest anybody?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I Am Sorry I Have Deprived You This Long

Ok ok. I know I have left all of you wanting more these past couple of days. Let's be real, without me blogging, what else is there to read on the internet?

It has been busy here the past couple days. What with a party at our house, Christmas Eve and morning at Grandaddy's and then presents and stockings here today, we have been busy.

I am sitting in the living room now with Becca, both of us on laptops, after having watched home movies for the past 3 hours. My number one all time favorite pasttime: watching home movies. We watched a video today, one of my favorites, of Becca, Danielle Robert and I dancing to a Mary Kate & Ashley CD, which included such song titles as: I Am the Cute One, She's Just My Sister and the ever famous Yakkity Yak, Don't Talk Back. Our home movies are the source of many sayings that we quote on a daily basis and it is always funny to just happen upon the origin of said phrases.

What an awesome Christmas it was. I am not sure if I am just getting older, but I was so satisfied this Christmas. Not left wanting anything more, both psysically and emotionally. I am tired, so I guess I am left wanting some sleep, but truly feel so content with the time we have spent together. Big gift this year was our kid gift to mom. The four of us created a Snapfish photo book where I compiled our submitted pictures along with quotes from all of us into a book made especially for mom. She opened it and before she read the first sentence on the first page she burst in to tears. SCORE one for kids!

We all went to First Presby for church last night was I loved. We really only go there for church maybe every 2 years at Christmas because of Grandaddy, but I love it. It is such a great mix of contemporary and traditional that it really fits the ways that I like to worship. Also, this won't surprise my Dad, but Bill McCoy, the pastor, is a former YoungLife guy. He plays the guitar and sings, and is very personable. I am excited to find and settle in to a church that will really feel like home to me once I move. The past few years I have been floating around, but it will be nice once I have moved to find community in a church and feel truly at home.

My Christmas was semi indicative of my impending graduation and move to independence. The second gift I opened was a ten piece set of corningware which I am pretty psyched about and my last gift was a vacuum. In the middle there was a pink tool kit and a safe road side car kit. This is so exciting for me. I know that I will REALLY miss Cincinnati and college way more than I expect to right now, but I am so looking forward to the new life that I will be starting that I can't help but think about what challenges and opportunities might come my way.

Anyway...TOMORROW will be a GREAT day, seeing as how I CANNOT WAIT to get to Canton and see ALL of my cousins. It is a very rare occasion that all 24? of us are all together. And to top it all off, tomorrow is Danielle's 21st. I am too excited for words about just getting to see everyone together and spend time just having fun and making memories. We don't have much common time together, so this will be so great. Plus I get to see Nana and Grandpa...maybe chat with Grandpa about any necessary blog revisions?

See you all soon. Love on this Christmas Day. How thankful I am for the Savior who saved my life.


Monday, December 22, 2008


"For we are not our own masters when we live or when we die. While we live, we live to please the Lord. And when we die, we go to be with the Lord. So in life and in death, we belong to the Lord" (Romans 14: 7-8).

I read this verse today while searching some stuff online and it really stuck out to me. I did not recall reading it before, and I am not sure exactly what it is, so I will just start writing thoughts.

I think I often forget that what I do with my physical self is a huge part of how I serve the Lord. I am often convicted by my thoughts, emotions and words, but tend to look past the things that I do with my physical self. God is the maste of my actions as well as my thoughts and words. This is actualized in the things that I eat, the way I physically treat others in showing them contempt or affection. I think I am really good at using my body language to show contempt towards others, and do not feel any remorse about it because it is not as conscious as words or thoughts. Our whole selves belong to the Lord in life and death. That means everything...the time that we devote to him, the activities that we participate, what we eat, how we exercise, what we think, what we say...and on and on. I am often too concerned about how I look and how others will perceive me based on what I am wearing.

I swear up and down that I don't care about what guys think of me, but I totally have that in mind when I am gettind ready to go out where I will see people. This is actualized twofold now that I am home and the possibility of running in to OLD friends who I have not seen in ages arises. Scripture tells us to be more concerned with what goes on inside ourselves than what goes on outside...as cliche as it sounds. The Bible calls us (Christians) to be in the world, but not of the world...all of this while the temptations of the world are shoved at us incessantly.

Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (NIV)

This is one of the first verses I memorized in high school and one of my favorites. If we stop trying to confom to the patterns of the world than we can drop that burden and run the race marked out for us. As long as I am a slave to what the wold throws at me I have to bear that buden. I have to carry it on my shoulders everywhere I go and it weighs me down. I know the moments when I am able to unload it. I can tell and feel how it feels to have that weight lifted and those are the most freeing and peaceful moments of my life. That is what I want to feel all the time.

1 Samuel 16:7 - "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (NIV)

High School Parties

So, I had the privileged opportunity of chaperoning my cousin Victoria's sweet sixteen birthday party. Her parents hosted a surprise party for her at the Women's Club downtown and asked if a few of us would chaperone. I did not commit to anything because I wasn't sure how my ankle would be feeling, but luckily I got the chance to attend.

After big family dinner at Tidewater, I went to Murads with Josh and Alex, some old friends from high school. This was great because I don't hardly ever see these guys and they were two of my closest guy friends who I did Young Life with. Danielle picked me up from Murads (this cast has sidelined me from driving) and took me back to Victoria's party.

Now, I am no stranger to chaperoning. I have chaperoned many dances at Mariemont HS, where I lead Young Life, but we typically request to be in charge of punch and cookies upstairs, rather than staged in the cafeteria where the actual dancing is going on. This is for two reasons: 1. I do not want to see how high school kids dance.
2. I do not want to be repsonsible for telling them not to dance like that.
So, tonight was a bit of a shocker, despite my chaperoning experience. Danielle warned me in the car, but no amount of words could prepare me for what I had not seen since being a part of in high school.

So, I am being dramatic, but I laughed more tonight than I have all break. Some of the kids in Victoria's class are kids I used to babysit for...making this even more embarrassing/awkward, but luckily the lights were pretty low. Danielle, Rebecca, Alex and I sat at a table and could not believe the uninhibitedness of these high schoolers. There were numerous couples spread around the room kissing and touching while all of their closest friends were not 15 feet away. No qualms! But this wasn't even the most outrageous part. The dancing was just......gosh there isn't even an adjective that exists that would fairly descibe it. We died laughing though. Not GREAT chaperones. I am embarrassed to know that I danced like that one day...most recently my senior prom, yet proud that I have outgrown the desire. I won't go in to the gory details, but I will tell you that I even got to see my brother pull a couple moves on the dance floor. Shame-free. And that, my friends, was priceless.

Ah, those were the days. It was sad seeing some of the kids who just roamed the outskirts. I get really affected by seeing those kids, yet looking back on it now realize that they were the lucky ones not to be swept up in to something so unwholesome and demeaning. I sound like a mom. Gosh I knew how they felt in middle school. yuck. It is horrible just to think about. But, Matt talked in church today about how God works, even through misfits. That was totally me in middle school...a misfit...and I am so thankful now for it. It shaped who I became friends with and what I was involved in then, which had a huge effect on the choices I made in high school, and now college.

Mary and Joseph = total misfits, but because they were obedient and available, look what God was able to do.

Hm... don't know how I got from grinding to this, but.....who cares? Night. :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

No new material...

So, I was trying to decide if I should even write a blog today. Michael left me a voicemail saying, "I feel really caught up on your Christmas break because I ead every detailed sentence of your blog thus far." Fair enough. There are many details, detailing things that aren't interesting. Being laid up on the couch....or acting laid up on the couch doesn't provide very good blogging material.

So, I will leave it at this. Highlight of my day today, checking out books from the library with dad.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Always overestimating myself..

So...I pushed it a littttttle too far yesterday. Mom and I requested to borrow Laura and Stacey's kids yesterday so we spent the afternoon with Ben and Ted. I was all about keeping up with the boys yesterday, so I didn't have my foot up, and I was putting all kinds of pressure on my cast.

We played with puppets, cars and Rescue Heroes before sitting down for about 15 minutes to cut out and decorate cookies. I was able to see once again the short attention span of boys. This is so funny because it seems like they are having the GREATEST time doing something, but what a fleeting moment that is. We ate lunch together and then watched a little Barney while Kaitlyn and Shawna came over for a little while. Eventually Stacey and Laura showed up at the same time to pick up the boys and brought lots of othe kids along with them. This was great since I got to see Will and Riley, but also got to hold Sophie. Pretty baby Sophie.

As soon as everyone left Mom, Becca and I laid out on the couch, pooped from the afternoon. They watched Fred Claus while I slept through the entire movie. We had family dinner then I went out to shop with Mom, Robert and Becca. Again...spent an hour and a half up on crutches and came home and paid for it later that night. Laid down to watch Dark Night with the fam and in the worst pain I've been in so far. Lots of throbbing and pulsing, making me really uncomfortable. Stayed up until 1:30 AM just so I could take one moe medicine before going to sleep. Slept well and woke up feeling way better this morning.

BUT...I am done Christmas shopping fo real fo real. And I have learned from pushing myself a little too hard too soon. I just enjoy being pretty self sufficient. Minus getting dad to make me a grilled cheese today. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Blessing in Disguise

Turns out crutches maybe aren't the worst things in the world. Rocco, the dog, is deathly afraid of them. This means he stays far away from me.....this equals heaven :)


So here it is, Day 2 of being in a cast, and I already suck at walking on crutches. Last time I was on crutches was probably after fracturing my ankle at Kiawah the summer before my sophomoe year of high school. I didn't remember it being this hard/annoying, but going down stairs is brutal. This morning as I ventured out of my room downstairs for breakfast my left crutch slipped off the edge of the stais and I was about 1 inch from a return to the surgical hospital fo a broken neck. Like I said...brutal.

Minimal pain...really. I cannot believe how little pain I have felt so far. Once the Lortab kicks in I am good for four hours and then it is just minimal throbbing rather than any sharp pains. How lucky am I?...touch wood. I slept pretty well last night too after I figured out the best way to situate myself. So minimal pain, but you can expect a cutches horror story sometime within the next week I am sure. Plus I don't undestand having to ice when I'm wearing a hard cast?

Ted is coming over today, which I cannot wait for. It has been a LONG time since I have seen him, so mom and I called Laura to ask if we could borrow her kids for the aftenoon. She is taking Sophie to the doctor, so Ted is coming over to hang out. My mom totally misses having little kids around to play with, as evidenced when she made 3 year old friends at Kiawah this summer. We are willing to borrow othe people's kids anytime they will let us. So amny toys here too, left over from when we were younger.

P.s. Check out the music because I have incorporated some Christmas Spirit!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's your pain on a scale of 1 to 10?

So, here I sit in the living room with my right leg propped and iced. Full white cast up to my knee. Deemed a little "loopy" by my mom and dad from the Lortab pain medicine. What an eventful few days it has been.

On Tuesday of this week I turned in the final product, all 14 pages, of my senior thesis - tri-fold board included. I spent two hours during my scheduled final for that class just walking around acting like I was reading my classmates posterboards, when in reality I was trying to hold in the SHEER ECSTASY of being done with that horrid class, and horrid teacher. So, it's over and I love it. Later that day I took my Shakespeare final and headed out of Cincinnati around 6 pm, arriving home last night at 930. Hung out, at my last meal at 10 PM...jalapeno poppers that dad prepared special for me!

Woke up this morning to take my last easy shower for a while and made it to the surgical center by 9. There were zero seats in the waiting room so Becca, Mom and I sat in the hallway. At 930 they took me back for preop. It was FREEZING back there and the nurse told me I had to take off my clothes and put on my gown. I look at her like she was an alien and told her that I would probably wait until closer to my op time. She complied. Mom and Becca eventually came back AFTER the nurse put my IV in. Let me tell you...I was not thrilled about that. I only found out last night that I would need an IV and intubation. EW. Walking into that place grossed me out...much less any needles or gagging things. So, I requested that she numb my hand before she put the IV in and that was a GREAT choice. Did not feel a thing after my "bee sting" numbing needle. The nurse was pretty annoyed with how anxious I was and I was glad to see her go. They took me back for surgery at 1045 and I woke up at 1230 good as new.

The nurse in recovery asked me what level my pain was. I had intended to say 6 no matter what during my preop conversation with the nurse, yet when I was asked in recovery, for some reason I said two. But I remembered saying four - so something was off. The fuzziness or medicine really worked me there. Charles will enjoy this 1-10 pain scale as it is a Brian Regan comedian reference. I should have said higher...just for the fun of it. Did not get home until 230 after stopping at Grandaddy's to get crutches, where he tried to force me to take a walker. Yea, right. Like I am going to be seen using one of those things. I finally got to eat and I really think taht if I was prescribed meds like this on a regular basis that I would be ginormous. I have been eating like a pig.

Pretty minimal pain, mostly just pressure so I feel pretty lucky. Dr. Legg has me already putting pressure on my cast and I am pretty stoked that it hasn't been bad so far. Luckily I cant drive for two weeks either :) Pretty tired now, but watched Prince Caspian before dinner and now decorating the tree about to watch Stepbrothers. I love being home!

Hopefully I'll have something funnier to say tomorrow. Other than that I already miss friends in Cincinnat, but can't wait to see family in Canton! PLUS Danielle's 21st..holla.

Back to putting the finishing touches on the Christmas letter.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

To get a good photo...

I have been spending my day messing around with pictures and programs for pictures and picture printers and color copiers. Trying to get good pictures, correct resolutions and so forth.

After looking at Aunt Mary's Thanksgiving Snapfish album I realize that I need only be a baby in order to get good pictures of me/others around me. If Isabel (I always spell her name wrong?) had facebook she would have the record for most photos tagged of her.

What a life, huh?

Don't be jealous...

It's official...my Christmas shopping is basically done! Okay, so it's not so official if its only basically done, but its SEMI-official. I spent two hours this morning working on online shopping things and then headed out to buy a gift certificate at a restaurant, some games at Target, and some last minute things for some friends gifts. Had to have lots of things printed for gifts/my poster for my thesis presentation, so I spent some time at Kinko's and Kroger photo center too.

Needless to say, I have yet to start studying for my final on Tuesday and also have no actually started to fix the edits I have come up with for my final thesis, paper-version. I have also trekked up and down the three flights of stairs required to do my laundry more than enough times. I had about a month's worth to do. I am working on getting everything all done and closed up/figured out before I leave on Tuesday for home for a month. Home Tuesday night and surgery on Wednesday...seem crazy....definitely.

Molly and a few of her good girl friends hosted a Christmas party at one of the girls' house this past weekend. Here are a few snapshots.
Molly and I looking snazzy. Not surprisingly, I was the only girl not wearing a dress.

Kali, Emily and ChrisDJ Molly and her new BOSS speakers.

Friday, December 12, 2008

boys vs. girls

So I have been having trouble trying to come up with new material for the blog the past few days. While my every intention with this blog is not to cater to the masses, but rather, to give me an outlet for thoughts and stories, I still don't want to disappoint my three (or less) loyal readers. So while having a conversation with Molly tonight about babysitting I realized just what I wanted to blog about...boys vs. girls.

Now the context of this blog is the incessant babysitting that I do while at school. I babysit for a family of four 2-3 times per week. Adam is 13, Colin is 11, Audrey is 9, and Nolan is 3. I have been babysitting for this family for 2.5 years now so have become very acquainted with the kids. I have also gotten so used to babysitting for boys because of them. Since Audrey is the only girl, there are always more than twice as many boys running around. I used to ALWAYS say that I want to have all boys when I start my own family, but that was totally based on the stereotypes of whiney, expensive girls (like my sisters and I) who give their mothers major PAINS from 10-20 years of age.

I love baby Nolan. He is three now, but still the baby of the family. His mind is always somewhere else no matter what he is doing. If we are playing cars he is thinking about playing kitchen next. If we are playing kitchen he is thinking about what he wants to eat next. Every activity lasts 15 minutes or less and he is constantly changing his mind. This is often hilarious, but when it comes to having to make up new ideas, I tend to run out quickly because we move from thing to thing so often. Today we played bad guys, wrestling and car crashing before I had had enough of being kicked in the stomach, chasing, and having cars thrown at me.

Last night I got to tag along with Allison to babysit the 3 girls that she has been babysitting since she was in high school. Ellie is in 1st grade and Caroline and Katherine (twins) are in preschool...probably 4? We went to Graeters ice cream where no one was fighting over anything. The girls stayed focused and relatively clean, and did not complain about wanting to leave. Afterwards, I followed them back to their house and we made friendship bracelets for 45 minutes...45 MINUTES! I could not believe this. They were so relaxed and so intent on just picking their colors. They were not even the ones making the bracelets. They just sat with the box of colored string picking out colors and chatting with each other while Allison and I made bracelets. This was amazing to me. It has been so long since I have babysat for little girls and it was so peaceful. Afterwards, they intently paid attention to THREE stories. Now...this is something that Nolan can do at night before bed, but it is often only because more stories = staying up later.

Today, Nolan had two friends over - the brother/sister duo of Griffin and Annie. I always find it easier to babysit when the kids have friends over because they remain en
tertained longer, but I decided to make gingerbread cookies today that we could decorate. After spreading out our dough and stamping it with various holiday - and nonholiday cookie cutters they baked and cooled. When it came time to decorate, I had everything all set out and ready to go...sprinkles, colored icing, spoons and wax paper. They did a great job, but there was such a difference between the boys and Annie. The boys wanted me to do most of the icing spreading, they dump way too many sprinkles on their cookies, and lasted about 25 minutes before they were ready to play "bows," which actually means swords to Nolan. Annie sat at the counter for 20 minutes after the boys, meticulously focusing on using all of the colors of icing and placing her sprinkles intently and strategically. It was amazing. Later when we all read a story together, my favorite Christmas story (The Jolly Christmas Postman), the boys bounced after the second letter to Humpty Dumpty while Annie stayed until the end, even taking the book from me once we were finished to go back and see all of the letters.

So, as much as I have always fawned over those cute baby boys who are so cute and goofy, I hope to not have just boys. It is a long way off, but I think that some of the long lasting enjoyment that I have seen in girls will be a relief. I LOVE my boys because they are typically less complex and more easy to please, but it is nice to have the best of both worlds. (Although I know all of you will remind me that there is a worst of both worlds also!)
This is Nolan decorating his Halloween pumpkin at preschool. Which also lasted 15 minutes. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


All right, so I guess I will admit I have been slacking on the blog in a way. I have been auctioning off guest blog spots to the biggest whiners and could have lined up quite a few for the coming week. Instead I am going to blog now, rather than work on my last big thing before the semester is over. I should be doing my 6-8 page Shakespeare paper focusing on performative power in King Lear, Henry V and The Tempest, but I'd rather ramble on here for 3 paragraphs about nothing of huge importance.

My gosh I am so thankful for my family and friends. I had a conversation with Mary Frances on the phone the other night and she said what she always says, "I just wish that we could all go to the same college and all live together so we would never be apart and we wouldn't have to worry about anything." This always makes me laugh because she is totally being serious. As wonderful as this sounds, I think I totally appreciate my family because I don't get to see them enough. The things that we reminisce about the most are the memories that we made almost 5 years ago, but each time I see them it is a total cliche: It's like we've lived together our whole lives.

I cherish my college friends. This year has been such a great one. I know my family will be around and easily accessible for the long haul, but that is not promised with friends who spread out to who know's where. For this reason I am glad that I don't have the temptation of only hanging with my favorite sisters and cousins, because I wouldn't have otherwise become friends with the people that I spend the most time with at school now.

Was this just a big jumbled, weak blog? lol. I am not doing a good job of using my words effectively this morning. I am mostly distracted by my Shakespeare paper which exists in the Microsoft Word window right behind this internet browser. Continually whispering my name. So...back to it. lol

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Guest Blog Spot: Allison

Wow this is an honor, I'd first like to thank Jaclyn for doing this blog thing. When I am winding down and going to bed.. this is my reading material since I have no night light to read a real book, my computer serves its purpose.

So I'd like to go ahead and give the Thomas family props on having an overachieving daughter. I mean it is huge when I do a paper the night before, instead of the day it is due. The day before would be cause for celebration and your daughter/sister/granddaughter/neice/cousin/friend whatever finished hers NINE days in advance... pure ridiculousness. But reason for celebration. And if Jaclyn has not informed you of our stories, you should know that I love to celebrate.

Jaclyn has been coming out with me very frequently as she has finally realized the people I socialize with (non-XU, no offense) are really entertaining and love to grab casual drinks any day of the week - Sunday-Sunday.. Not potentially bad habits, because we keep it under 2 beers... Jaclyn has spent her fair share of time at a bar called Hap's - small hole in the wall irish pub that one of my friends father owns... free/cheap alcohol & darts if you wish.. The downside to Hap's would be all the elderly, yes elderly, and older men/women that show up there. Last Saturday we had a run in with a man that referred to us as drunk, as he carressed my hair... not true as we were only 1 beer deep out of our one of the night - the epitome of Haps... We have also ventured to another small bar Tostados - where the videos and pictures on facebook reign from. Very entertaining place as well seeing as how I am now a Karaoke connisseur.

So with exams coming up and JT already done with her work.. I am struggling to get mine done as I just want to celebrate JT's success with her... I am a finance major and its not very enjoyable when I know the outcome of this major, in this economy = jobless. If anyone would like to hire me I have a great resume that I'd be happy to share with you.

Well I have to get back to studying for my Investments exam tomorrow... I will be sure to serve as a guest blogger again when there are better/more entertaining stories to tell.. this was more so my introduction. After the next hilarious night I will blog those stories since Jaclyn has not been.. As I'm sure all of you would love to hear about Jaclyns funny antics and conversations with people...

Well I've procrastinated enough. Good night! -Allison, JTs bestie

Sunday, December 7, 2008


es terminado!
il est fini!
Es ist beendet!

Oh just "It is finished!" in Spanish, French, German and Traditional Chinese. You no longer have to hear me whine about the thesis because I have reached the editing stages. All 14 pages are down on paper and now I just need to work on citations and editing stuff. I will meet with a graduate assistant on Friday to go over all this stuff.

If you are interested in reading it. Let me know, but I am sure you have better things to do. It's not exactly light reading.

Thanks mom and dad for reading it! :)

Allison and Ashley singing Benny and the Jets at Karaoke on Thursday.
Jon and Allison. Best friends 4E4E4E.
Oh hey girl. paparazzi.
**wrote this last night and forgot to post it**

Two for today. Just trying to make Chad look bad again. Got home a little bit ago from seeing a Shakespeare play with my Shakespeare class. Really fun. This class has been such a surprise as I had been dreading it the first three years of undergrad. When it finally came my time to register for it the previous dreaded teacher left and, low and behold, one of the greatest teachers in the English department took it up. It has been one of the most fun classes I have been in in college, not to mention we have some of the best discussions. My teacher genuinely treats us like adults and I think really enjoys his job because - as evidenced in his superb teaching. He recently let us watch She's the Man, starring Amanda Bynes. This movie took up two class periods and is very loosely based upon Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. That being said, tonight we all went to see Twelfth Night. Beforehand we met at Dr. Yandell's house for pizza and improv. It is so funny sometimes that I am an English major. I don't really fit into any of the splinter groups within the major.

There are the artsy ones who really dwell on the abstract theories and performance associated with English. There are the future professors who become the go-to students for most current professors when they want to hear something enlightening. These people often use words that I have never heard before. There are the future lawyers and MBA students that tough it out for four years in undergrad in an attempt to set themselves apart from the traditional undergrad business degree. And then there are the future high school and middle school teachers. I am closest to these guys, though also partly identify with the business/law minds.

Back to my point. I don't really identify which was sort of evidenced tonight in my painful attempt at improv. I am not so much the creative or witty English major...but more the critical analytic one. Long tangent to make one point.

**Now Sunday's post**

Heading to the library. Just got home from church. Brian was talking about the messiness of Christmas this morning. He read the Christmas story or Jesus' birth in such a different way that was so refreshing. We are so often worried about cleaning up our lives before we let God come over..but God's own son Jesus was born into a mess. He was messy! Think about the virgin birth, Mary and Joseph's surprise, the undesirable shepherd's being the first to meet baby Jesus, and the baby Jesus being laid in a manger...a cow trough! Nothing messier than that. Jesus does not expect us to have our messy lives in order to have a relationship with him. His own purpose in coming to earth was not to clean things up! (Luke 12:51).

He will not make our lives peaceful, because we all have mess, but rather, He himself becomes peace for us.

"For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility [...]" Ephesians 2:14

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Today is the DAY!

Okay...I am ready to go. Woke up about 20 minutes ago to totally unanticipated snow. Molly says that it must have not been anticipated by anyone because, as is typically the case in Cincinnati, roads aren't even close to being clear. My first thought...This couldn't have waited until Tuesday when I am supposed to present my thesis to my senior seminar class? But, in that regard I am headed to the library very shortly to spend the afternoon there. I am gonna hang out and try to completely finish this thing today. Leave only the editing for a later date. I am the kind of person who dwells on my obligations. If I don't feel like I am giving ample time to something that deserves it, and that ample time is being wasted elsewhere...I feel guilty and anxious about it. So...I am tired of this ruining my ability to relax and have fun.

Coincidentally, the books that I have been waiting for to finish just arrived at the library and I can pick them up today. My head is already in May 2009. It is killing my drive and hopefully getting on this paper today will bring me back a little bit. Just keep reminding myself that I have one thesis paper, one thesis presentation, one Shakespeare paper and one Shakespeare left before I am officially one semester away from college graduation. I can already taste the sweetness. So, for all of you faithful blog readers who are sick of hearing me whine and complain about my thesis (be honest, I am sick of it too) - have no fear. I am praying for a miracle today...or just peace to calm me down and help me focus.

Can't wait to see/talk to you all on the other side of this:)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

On my way...

I feel like I am always on my way this time of year. Goes with the territory I guess? The territory of being in college, and having a job that does not earn me enough money to buy people the great things that I would like to. Consider this the whole..."It's the thought that counts" schpeal. ;)

But I am on my way sort of now. Waiting on Charles to pick me up. We are meeting some mutual friends downtown to see Brian Regan. He is a stand-up comedian who is also clean. Bonus deal there. Never actually been to something like this so I am excited. Could hake taken it or left it, but Charles' excitement is contagious. Not much progress on the thesis paper, though after seeing other people's presentations today I feel like we are all still swimming around in this pool that is full of expectations, ideas and the reality that we are just undergrads.

So...scattered tonight. More coherence to come.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Guest Blog Appearance: Write a Thesis or Physical Challenge?

This is a "special-guest" blog post by Jaclyn's classmate Charles. This morning we took advantage of our time off from Senior Seminar to have brunch at Sugar and Spice, a quaint little diner near campus that dates back to the 1940's or 50's. In between disappointing bites of pancakes that contained neither the bananas that Jaclyn requested nor the blueberries that I requested, we lamented the coming weeks of school and the tasks that lay ahead. I started explaining how I would rather do anything else besides write this thesis, including but not limited to feats of strength and other "physical challenges" similar to the old show "Family Double-Dare" hosted by Marc Summers on Nickelodeon.

This got our mind off of the plain pancakes and anxiety brought on by our "capstone" class, at least momentarily. Thinking of kids and parents dressed in matching spandex outfits with helmets, elbow and knee pads, reaching up inside a giant nose full of "fake boogers" to grab a red flag. Or crawling hands and knees through a sewer filled with "fake slime" to grab a red flag. Or diving into a giant ice cream sundae and swimming around to find a red flag. I am tempted to approach the chair of the English department and suggest that rather than complete this paper, I will accept a physical challenge of equal or greater difficulty. Seriously, I would rather do pushups, run laps, or reach into a giant nose filled with boogers for a red flag, than sit and do this assignment.

Whatever anxiety Jaclyn feels about this paper is negligible compared to my own. She is holding eleven pages in her hand right now, waiting to go meet with our teacher to get some feedback. She is practically done as far as I'm concerned. I have spent most of my academic career sliding through English classes on sparknotes, procrastinating until the last second to write 5 page literary analysis papers the morning that they are due. If anybody knows Goofus and Gallant from the magazine Highlights for Kids, I would be Goofus and Jaclyn would be Gallant. This semester started with an ambitious goal of achieving a 4.0 GPA. Eventually, that was revised to making Dean's List (3.5 GPA). At this point, I would just like to pass my 5 classes and advance to the final semester of my senior year. And I am willing to endure as many physical challenges as it takes.

Monday, December 1, 2008

hey kids

Nothing all that exciting today since I covered mostly everything in my 3 posts yesterday. I was scolded by a fellow blogger for this action, though I think he is just mad at me for making him look bad.

Had a long conversation with an old friend last night who is going through some pretty rough times. It is always so hard to hear how sin can become such a burden in people's lives, my own included. I have to be reminded time and time again that I am not defined by sin. Sin is revived (Romans 7:9) over and over in my life and I struggle to really despise that sin because of how it distances me from God. And I can't just act "better" and not do those sins in order to get back on track. I have to truly get down on my knees and realize that only through Jesus, only because of Jesus, will I ever be free of the slavery of sin. Sometimes I just wish God would make me be obedient, but then I would never understand the sacrifice of his son...I would never understand what it means to be loved unconditionally no matter how often I trade that love for this world.

"Whenever God's will is in complete control, He removes all pressure. And when we deliberately choose to obey Him, He will reach to the remotest star and to the ends of the earth to assist us with all of His almighty power."
Oswald Chambers
I took this picture at Deadhorse Canyon in UT. Someone had already arranged these rocks and I just happened upon it in the midst of the desert.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

You are lucky I spared you the picture of Rocca as devil dog with glowing eyes. It did show his true personailty, but it was scary. This is us after hours of sorting pictures. My favorite memory of this activity...Danielle's cowgirl picture in her jean shirt, leopard sparkly belt, and shiny blue cowboy hat.
Becca loved this. SIKE. She quit after like 30 minutes.

Mom with her STRAIGHTENED hair. It is so longg.

Me doing paparazzi to Danielle. The one picture where she does not have her hand in front of the camera.

one word. frinkie

You know what I just realized, Mom commented on my blog that she "miss[ed] me" at 5:01 pm yesterday. I left at 4:50 pm yesterday. I already miss home and knowing what I have to come home to makes this project seem less and less stressful because it will not be remembered beyond my Senior Seminar class that only meets 4 more times over the next 3 weeks.

By the way, I promise John Allevato that he would get face time in my blog. I stopped by the Allevato's yesterday before heading back to Cincinnati to see John, Shawna, Kristin and Mark. Hadn't seen Kristin in forever since she is out in Colorado, but she is one of my closest friends because of growing close to each other in high school because of our faiths. The Allevatos are another family that are always gracious to all of us during the holidays when they offer up their homes to hang out. John is also one of my good friends from high school who is now on YoungLife staff. He and Shawna have been together for a LONG time so I have gotten to see John a lot through hanging with Shawna. Always a good time. Like i told Molly last night, "You can never trump high school friends."

Love at first sight or soul mates?

And so begins my Sunday. Feeling pretty anxious and burdened today with all of the work that I feel I should accomplish. Woke up at 9 and couldn't get back to sleep because I couldn't clear my head. Opened up to Psalms because the book never fails to speak straight to my heart. When I need comfort, when I feel joy or when I simply desire words that I know will speak directly to what I am feeling, Psalms is (are?) the book.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart have multiplied;
free me from my anguish.
18 Look upon my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.
19 See how my enemies have increased
and how fiercely they hate me!
20 Guard my life and rescue me;
let me not be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope is in you. Psalm 25:16-21

I need to rest in the fact that my Creator alone is the only person/thing that can validate me. Everything else is considered a loss compared to knowing Jesus (Philippians 3:8). In 2.5 weeks this thesis will mean nothing, other than knowledge that I will hopefully be able to apply in the future. In my small group devotional this week, we were asked to write all of our accomplishments, read Philippians 3:8, and then write the word rubbish over all of them. What a RELIEF! To know that I am not expected to be a slave to those things that I, and the world, deem successful and deserving of price and acclaim.

I opted to be driver again last night for some friends to head to Mount Adams. Molly and I met Charles and some of his friends there and hung out for most of the night at Alive One. This is a pretty cool place because the music isn't terribly loud and the crowd is mello. Isn't it funny how on breaks like Thanksgiving and Christmas that you typically see so many people that you haven't seen in years? It is typically impossible to avoid taht awkward interchange where you have to ask all of the obligatory questions: How are you? When do you graduate? Got a job yet? etc. Last night, I am chatting with Charles' friend Scotty and someone from high school reaches over a few other people in the crowd to shake Scotty's hand and offer a greeting. He leaves it at that and Scotty turns to me to comment on the ease and not-awkwardness of a potentially very awkward situation. The guy, who in most cases is someone you haven't talked to since graduation, didn't push the envelope to create a chemistry that wasn't there.

Ironically, not 15 minutes later, this same guy meets eyes with Scotty again and this time there is no averting his gaze. I slink off giggling because he is stuck now in one of those conversations and he just gives me a look out of the corner of his eye. haha.

Again, drove everyone to McDonald's for some late-night and called it a night. Car conversations were worth the extra few minutes.

Now I am going to stop procrastinating and get to work. I have had my fun and now I need to honor that this project deserves and warrants attention. T-16 days people. 16 days....

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Back to the grind

After having mom call my blog "dormant," and hear Charles' imploring questions of when I would be planning to post next I felt obligated to update a little. I am glad for this accountability.

Spending my morning on the computer in the kitchen trying to write my final paper for Community Building and Urban Change. This school work has been totally weighing me down and it is getting to the breaking point. I have to keep reminding myself that I only have 17 days left according to the countdown on my phone. Had a great day yesterday. Went over to the JA field and played soccer with the extended fam. Needless to say I was a huge assett, stuck in goal for most of the game. I had mass headers and a huge headache afterwards. We went over to cousins last night for dinner and got to see a lot of the guys that we dont see but once a year.

I got to hang with Shawna last night after family stuff. I love going over there. Laura Tuel just wrote a blog about how much the Tyree/Godwin's love the Tuel family. I think it is just a Tyree/Godwin thing to everyone. I have known Shawna since elementary school because she was in Danielle's class. She and I became friends through YoungLife in high school and she is now one of my best friends. We don't see each other often because she is in Morgantown, but every time I see her i feel so comfortable and am able to be so honest. I trust that Shawna has great wisdom for me and she is a wonderful friend. I had a great time because, Lauren, another girl from Danielle's class was over at Shawna's house as well. There were about 15 extras at their house and people just have fun there. So much love:) I always miss them.

Sad to probably be leaving tonight, but I will be back in just over two weeks for the most relaxing month of my life. I cannot get any work done at home, and this stuff is starting to pile up. When I am home the last thing I want to do is spread out my research and work on it because I just want to do family stuff. Even if it is just chatting in the kitchen. Will go back tonight only to spend every waking moment of my Sunday in the library. Glorious.

I will need much grace to be a nice person through the next couple weeks.

Friday, November 28, 2008

It's Turkey Turkey Time..

Late Turkey Day night. Planned to stay up to write a little of a paper, but that keeps on getting pushed back. Instead I have discovered the most wonderful capability of a Mac. My dad has one and I love playing with it when I am home. I constantly knock Mac computers because they are such a "fad" and everyone has them "because they are popular," but they may be on to something here. I have yet to try out this ichat business, but tonight I was busy posting videos on people's facebook walls. Many of you who read this probably received one. Many of these videos were bordering embarrassing, but this whole built in camera deal is seriously genius.

Maybe I will succumb to the pressures of society and buy a Mac. No time soon, but maybe someday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Girls Morning"

Before Mom went to bed last night she told Rebecca, Danielle and I that she wanted to go to the mall between 9-11 today. Naturally I am willing to wake up for this. Naturally Danielle was honest in saying she probably wouldn't get up. So, I woke up at 830 this morning to shower and get ready only to come downstairs at 915 to find Mom and Rebecca in the same place they were last night when I got home - on the couch, in pajamas, with computers and books in front of them. So, Mom is in the shower now, Becca is eating breakfast and I am going to straighten mom's hair upon her request...


Mom just yelled at Danielle to get up because we are having a "Girl's Morning."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Credit Card is back thanks to Allison - and I don't mean plastic.

Finally home! The drive was super easy today because I was fully stocked - stopped for some chicken nuggys at McDonalds, had a Monster Low-Carb energy drink, an ample supply of NPR podcasts and plenty of people to catch up with via cell phone. Luckily caught up with Chad for a while. Needless to say (after that list) the time flew and I did not get any speeding tickets. Going against the grain, eh?

I walk in and the first thing Robert says to me is, "Jaclyn, check my paper. Just rewrite it for me." Hello to you too brother. Becca and mom are doing Rebecca's homework - talking about rectal things and menopausal discharge. Dad half-asleep, though he and Robert helped me bring in my second load from my car. Home sweet home. Danielle is over at a friends. Some things never change. I think that's what I love the most.

Had a pretty hilarious night last night. Drove Allison, Mary Proffit, and Charles out to MLT's to have a drink at Trivia Night for Allison's 22nd. Needless to say Allison was entertaining and funny as always. The title of this blog says it all. She took it upon herself to bring back the Credit Card. Those of you who are unfamiliar with this phenomenon that swept the country circa early 2000's - high school years - have been deprived. The "credit card" is the action of swiping someone's butt-crack (covered with pants) and proclaiming, "charge it." Not surprising, this action lost popularity, only to resurface via Allison Mercurio. She made it infamous last night. Charles and I had a great time observing as usual.

Looking forward to a week with some rest, but have much to do with senior thesis. Trying to milk the small amount of artistic ability in my bones in order to earn some extra points that I may lack in my argument. Also willing to spend the 8.95 on a trifold poster rathern than a typical posterboard beacuse Allison Russell made it clear that a regular posterboard was subpar, but acceptable for those in financial crisis. I am not above buying my grade in this class.

For tonight, adios. Time to be had with the Lord.

PS. Now is the time to jump on the Xavier Basketball bandwagon. Maybe I will go to games this year. Plus I actually watched them beat Memphis. Fair weather fan friends

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh Mondays...

After looking at my calendar, I realize that I have only 3 more Mondays of my LAST Fall semester in undergrad. Now this is a pretty specific countdown seeing as how I still have a whole other semester of undergrad and I may be sucked in to grad. school right away. yikes.

Sitting here on a Monday morning after getting 9 hours of sleep because of my exhausting and VERY cold weekend, only to realize that it is raining. boo, right? The weather in Cincinnati is less than desirable and especially on cold rainy days like this. BUT never fear, because tomorrow I head home. It looks like I may be driving in some snow flurries, which will hopefully make the trip a little less boring, but also cause me to be more attentive on the road. I am dying to get home. I have a meeting with my teacher regarding my rough draft for my thesis project, work 2-6, a night class from 6-830 and then bible study with some high school girls. Tomorrow I will get up and pack and head to class from 1130-215 then over to work until 6 and then HOME! Can't wait to sleep in my own....WAIT! I DON'T HAVE A BED AT HOME.

Mom sent my bed up to Morgantown to be at the girls house and this break will be the first time that all four of us are home, meaning that I can't sleep in Becca's bed like I have been. So, I may be going home to sleep on the couch...or? How's that for the shaft, though I understand that I will be the one graduating and moving a little farther south of Charleston.

Really great devotional last night before bed with Oswald Chambers. He talks about the "distraction of contempt" saying that, "Our state of mind is powerful in its effects. It can be the enemy that penetrates right in to our soul and distracts our mind from God. There are certain attitudes we should never dare to indulge. If we do we will find they have distracted us from faith in God. Until we get back into a quiet mood before Him, our faith is of no value, and our confidence in the flesh and human ingenuity is what rules our lives." It is the CARES of THIS world that give us wrong attitudes. I can totally vouch for a bad attitude affecting my relationship with the Lord. It makes me slow to seek him and quick to treat others terribly.

"God never gives us discernment that we may criticize, but that we may intercede."

Beware of the "cares of this world..." (Mark 4:19).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Crazy Girls peeling the onion. I strongly suggest investing in matching Young Life headbands for Fall Weekend. Patrick, the guy who used to lead our Mariemont team, got these for us and it made it so easy to track down my girls.
Us at the Junkyard Wards. Kids all got to destroy junkyard cars with bats and crowbars, spray paint and screwdrivers just for fun and a little competition.
Jaclyn, Amy, Ally at the top of Pete's tower. I am way underdressed here. It was freezing.
Lined up ready for War games. Notice the red tape on everyone's belly. The point of this game (Naval Warrior, pun intended) is to rip the tape off of people's shirts who are on the opposing team. Needless to say people get hurt, but people have fun.

Speaking of getting hurt. Note: i did not mean for this to turn into a second blog for today.

The people who ran this fall weekend will remain unnamed, but they chose to "invent" a new game for war games that could quite possibly be the worst idea in Young Life history, and there have been some bad ones even in my 6 short years. They instructed leaders to all get in a big corkscrew "circle" with our elbows locked and then proceeded to explain TWO ways that the game would be played. One rumor was that we were supposed to try and fight our way out of the crowd of kids surrounding us, the other was that kids were supposed to tear us from this corkscrew of leaders. Either way, we were standing and at the sound of the air horn, chaos ensued. High schoolers, not knowing any better, proceed to push our whole group from all sides which results in everyone on to of everyone else. The female leaders had placed themselves in what we thought would be a strategic position, the middle inside the men. This backfired because one we started they were all on top of us. I have a MONSTER sized bruise on the inside of my right thrigh and a twisted neck as a result. People had broken feet and hyper-extended knees, as well as broken toes and border-line concussions.

And I wonder sometimes why people question me being in this ministry...haha. Just kidding. It hurt, but we lived. and I don't think they'll try that game again.
Happy Sunday All,

Back from YoungLife weekend camp and I am as exhausted as I could have expected to be. It was FREEZING (which is great because it keeps reminding me why I am headed due South upon graduation), but sure a fun time with girls. After going on so many of these things...and by things I mean Young Life weekends and summer camps...I think I always look forward to spending uber amounts of time with the whole group of girls. I am excited for what we will ALL do TOGETHER, and always find that is is quite the opposite that ends up being great.

I love being with people individually. It is part of my selfishness when it comes to friends because I want them all to myself, but this is a good selfishness. I love to hear people's true hearts - what they will say when no one else is around. This is especially true for high school girls that I have come to love. When they are willing to share their hearts with me I feel like I am receiving the greatest blessing from God. I got a few moments this weekend where I got to be one on one with girls. I think that I am initially so "eh" about these moments because I worry that they will ask me hard questions, or that I will not be able to comfort them if need be. SILLY ME. How can I keep worrying about this when God has showed me time and time again that He will speak through me. That my words will be HIS.

When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

I NEVER want people's faith to rest on what I have to say. No one would know God because of my jumbled up words. My favorite verse here is verse 2. To know NOTHING but Jesus Christ and HIM crucified. Now that is life man. It does not matter what comes out of my mouth if I resolve to know nothing more than Christ. Sometimes I get so much anxiety about leading. It is hard and it stresses me out a lot because i feel a lot of responsibility, when in all actuality, God has chosen to use me in this ministry for my own sake. He doesn't NEED me, IN Mariemont, in order to bring people to Christ. He would do that anyway. All he wants me to do is KNOW Him and know only Him.

I love this ministry. It works and God does huge things through relationships, which are the cornerstone of Young Life. I was talking to Kim, who leads at Madeira, this weekend. Telling her about my possible move South and she asked me if I was planning on getting "plugged in." at first I wasn't sure exactly what she was getting at, but assured her that I would probably get involved with a church and what not and hopefully serve Young Life in another capacity for a while. She strongly suggested that I stay plugged in to Young Life because I won't find any other community like it. Other things may not help me to grow in the ways that Young Life has. Seeing this ministry firsthand makes it harder to become involved in others. Young Life is such an outreach ministry rather than working on simply feeding and sustaining the people themselves who choose to come around. I know that when I move, wherever it happens to be, that I want to continue to serve in Young Life. I think it will look different for a while, meaning not in the field , but rather serving college students who volunteer or participating with committee things, but I am not being called out of it yet. No way.

Cannot wait for Tuesday. Home is calling me and I am pretty jealous because the sisters are getting there tonight. They will all have fun without me of course. Uncle David (doesn't) know(s) how that feels. Gotta get back to procrastinating on my paper due for night class tomorrow. Probably settling for a B on this one.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Made it one weekend closer to Thanksgiving break, and I cannot wait to get home. We have Young Life Fall Weekend starting tonight and I am anxious and excited. I always get a little anxiety about these things because numbers could be low, or we could be missing some kids who I have really been praying for, but I need to relax and remember that God has his own plan that doesn't always involve my pleadings and definitely doesn't involve numbers.

Had such a good time last night. John Michael Bonasso was in town visiting Zach, so I went over to their place here in Cinci and ended up driving them plus a few others downtown. What fun it is to people watch at bars. I love the conversations that start and the laughs that ensue. Last night this Asian guy approached me asking if I went to Dayton...went on to tell me that i looked just like someone he knew. This was 80% possibly a pick-up line, but I rolled with it because I am friendly and he looked harmless. He proceeded to tell me that I should "GO TO YUMA, ARIZONA. GO THERE AND STAY THERE AND LOVE IT." (I am writing in caps because this particular bar that we were at plays music way too loud) I am not sure where this odd man came from, but I was pretty ready to go after this point. Had a great time dancing though because John Michael is just a funny dancer.

I love seeing old friends like that. It just makes hard days here seem easier because there are always constants like that. I had a great Thursday night though. I am really realizing that I totally love this time in my life because I am really enjoying just friendships. I don't think I really have it in me right now to be in any sort of serious relationship, and I need to realize that that is okay. I love my friends, truly do, and I know that a relationship might throw a wrench in that.

SO excited to go home and do a family movie Wednesday night. Initiated by Dad I am sure because it is Transporter 3. But I am also glad he initiated it. It has been so cool over the past year how our family has changed and even though we are more spread out, we have totally gotten so much closer. Even Robert can stand to be around all of us. But I think as we girls get older, we grow more distant from some of our friends at home and this in turn brings us closer to family. I am so thankful for this.

Pray for our weekend. That high school students would be honest, willing and will dig....dig deep.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I have been realizing over the past few weeks how selfish I have been lately. I think that I have bought right in to the mentality that this is my senior year of college, I will never get this experience back, so I can roll through it at my pace, how I want and leave everyone else in my wake. Now, when I write it down it doesn't take more than once second to realize that those are ludicrous thoughts.

I have been pretty selfish with my time and with my friends because I realize that after this year I won't see some of them again. I realized after leaving GW to go to Culver and then leaving Culver to come to Xavier that I have a tendency to push people away right before I leave a place because in the end it makes it easier. Not healthy. I loathe separation anxiety. haha

So, herein lies the challenge. Fight the urge. Love people as much as I can until the last second. That includes you family. In a few months I will be even farther from most of you, so I gotta cherish this freedom now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


WOW...I was reading and commenting on friends and family blogs this morning and decided that MAYBE just maybe I may be able to tackle this technology for myself! I struggle to journal on a regular basis, and I think that this will only encourage that, as I seek to draw from my life moments worth sharing and reflecting on (excuse my ending a sentence with a preposition). I don't have the time often to update all of you on the phone individually about what might be going on with me so even if only three people read this I will consider it efficient. It will definitely make telling stories a lot easier with less background information necessary.

The title of my blog...I didn't want to think about it for too long for fear of being forced...but stopped on something simple. I feel like getting on here and writing, however often that is, I should always have something to rejoice about. So often I only talk/complain/seek advice about the things in my life that I don't rejoice about, but even in those times of hardship I know that I am called to rejoice because God is strengthening me and developing my Spirit the most then. So, I rejoice...because I have so many things to be thankful for and even the rough stuff will change me for the better.

I think I have been pretty interested in starting something like this for quite a while, but as my graduation from college fast approaches I realize that it will be a pretty neat way to remember this time in my life and the excitement that is to come. I am in the job search now and am finding really called to the South. This could be a little bit selfish, but I honestly believe that the Lord gives us the desires of our heart...this being something I have desired since high school. I am at my best in the warm sun of NC or SC and I want to make that home for a while.

In conjunction with the job search, I am VERY BUSY with school. I am in the midst of writing a rough draft for my senior thesis as a capstone for my English major here at Xavier. This thesis was a topic of our choosing within the confines of "narrative" and I am writing about how narrative theory can be applied adolescent literature, rather than it being deemed too simplistic or optimistic. Anyway, not thrilling, but something that interests me enough to write 12-15 pages. I only have three classes to manage right now so i should not be complaining. I am really enjoying my other two: Shakespeare and Community Building and Urban Change.

I am currently looking for jobs in the non-profit sector. Going South. Going non-profit. Going urban. But keeping my options open. I am excited about the possibility of running an after school program or working with a community organization where I can work directly with people in order to empower them by using their assets rather than deficiencies. So often when people become recipients of services in the non-profit sector, they become dependent on white coats, rather than weaned off of what they provide. I want to change this on an individual level for people. Because I am so relational this is not a big picture thing for me, but a person by person focus. I am currently in the interview process for an organization called Citizen Schools. I have applied for their two-year teaching fellowship. Check it out if you please.

Besides school and job searching I am working at an after-school program funded on a grant through the YMCA in the Cincinnati Public School system. A very urban program and I love my job. i.e. i may want to do it when i graduate. And I am still leading Young Life. This has looked different for me because I am on my way out in the traditional leader sense. I am focusing my ministry mainly on the senior girls that I have known for the past 3.5 years and it has been an amazing blessing! I love this ministry and it WORKS, I have seen it work, but I know God is calling me out of it in this capacity. who knows what will be in store for me when I leave here.

God is preparing my heart to graduate. Senior year has looked a lot different than the three previous years. Mostly with friends and my social life. I have been hanging out with a lot of new people I did not know the past three years as well as sort of moving apart from some friends to whom I may have been closest. This has been hard, but neat because I know that there is purpose in it. College is a season of my life that i am READY, so ready to move on from because I am excited for what is to come. I cannot wait to see what is thrown my way as I become financially independent...(as much as I have to ;) ) but also just the excitement of meeting new people and learning a new place.

Okay...so...plus dabbling in babysitting that is what is going on with me. I will keep the future posts shorter and more specific, which I am excited about!

"Look at the nations and watch - and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told" Habakkuk 1:5

<3 Jaclyn