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. 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