Tuesday, December 23, 2008


We're on Christmas break. Thank God.

College applications & scholarships are done. I want to go to Appalachian and major in Arts Management. I want to own my own art gallery one day. I'm excited about my future. But I don't want to leave my friends. I don't the only communication we have to be through Christmas cards that are sent once a year. I want to move in with my friends and I want us to all grow up together and have fun. But that's not what reality tells me. Reality tells me that we're never going to see each other again after high school.

I think I want a different life than the one I have now. I want to be free to do what I want, whenever I want to. I don't want anything holding me back from being who I want to be. John Mayer said that gravity is working against me. But I suppose it's wanting more that's going to send me to my knees. I'm ready to grow up. I'm ready for liberty.

I just want to fast-forward my life to five years from now, so that I'll be out of college and hopefully in a steady job. But then again, there are just too many uncertainties to know what I'll want and who I'll be five, ten, twenty years down the road. I guess I'm expecting too much from myself. I know I'm not going to live with my friends when I grow up. I'll probably wind up in some one bedroom apartment out in the middle of some city, surrounded by strange sights and sounds and smells and people. I want to have fun and be free while I'm still young.

But I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Things are changing.  Seasons, priorities, worries, and life in general.

With the weather getting colder, I think about stuff more.  I don't know, it just happens.  Usually during the summer, everyone's so caught up on having a good time and living carpe diem, there's no time to think about the future.  Now, I'm forced to think about my future; college application deadlines are fast approaching.  Neither spending hours and hours on CFNC nor talking to my guidance counselor at school has helped me figure out what I'm going to do for the rest of my life.  I see people around me already getting accepted into schools and getting scholarship money, and I just get depressed.  I know I'm going to college somewhere, but I just don't know what I'm going to study or how I'm going to get there.  The lack of prayer probably plays a big role in my uncertainty.  Why can't a lightbulb just come on?

On top of the college stress, senioritis is already kicking in.  I'm taking 2 AP classes this semester: English 12 and Calculus.  Yearbook II and Spanish II fill the other 3 hours of my school day.  I'm the editor of the yearbook this year, so that just makes it even more stressful.  Talk about a tough semester.  I wish I could just fast-forward to second semester; then I'll have easier classes and all the college stuff done.  But then again, I don't want to miss these last few months of high school.  I want to appreciate them and take advantage of all the time I can get with my friends before I have to leave them next fall, you know?

More and more, I'm beginning to see people I love and care about go down the wrong path.  At church, they'll put on their Christian t-shirt and claim to follow the ways of the Creator.  They look and act like a real Christian during the worship.  They'll play the part quite well.  Once they're out in the real world, though, things change.  They begin to compromise their morals; after a certain point, their standards will be out the window.  They say, "I can control what I'm doing, so I know when to stop," or "It's good to experience these types of things just to see what it's like."  Too bad that's what they thought a few months ago, when they started this whole mess.  When a person gets a certain distance away from the straight and narrow path of righteousness, they see no point in trying to get back on the right track.  "We've gone this far, so what's it gonna hurt if we go a little farther?"  Look: if you're going to conform to the world's standards and break the rules of morality, don't say you're a Christian.  You give those of us who actually want to pursue God's Will for our lives a bad name.  If I could get rid of one thing in the world, it would be the hypocritical attitudes of people who claim to be "followers of Christ."  Give up trying to lead a two-way life; quit riding the fence.  Save yourself--and the rest of us--some trouble and pick one.  But remember: whichever you choose, God's judgement awaits you.  

I just needed to get this out. 

Monday, August 11, 2008


I just got back from our beach trip to the Outer Banks a few days ago. I went with my dad, my brother Donovan, & my bff Morgan. It was absolutely fantastic!

The 8-hour ride over there was definitely boring, but the last half of it was more bearable; Donovan, Morgan, and I watched Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on his laptop. (If you haven't seen that movie yet, I highly suggest you go find it and WATCH IT NOW!) And by the time we got finished watching it, we could see the ocean. Since we didn't take a ferry to get there, we just drove all the way down the Outer Banks to this little town called Frisco (right outside of Hatteras), where we had rented a house for the week. The house was called "Fin & Tonic." Haha.

The first few days, we all went out on the beach for boogie boarding. Our little house was only about 4 lots back from the ocean, so we didn't have to drive anywhere. Except when Daddy & Dono wanted to go to the Hatteras beach to catch waves (they're die-hard boogie board fanatics). Me & Morgan usually slept till 9 or 10 everyday while they went out. (We're die-hard sleeping late fanatics). On Wednesday, we walked out on the pier, and I dropped my chapstick in the ocean. Talk about total heartbreak.

On Thursday night, me & Morg took a walk on the beach at night, where we met two guys named Jusin Vanstaalduinen & Will Miedema. They were cousins down there with their family, who apparently takes trips to the Outer Banks every summer. This was going to be one of the last few weeks they had of freedom before they started their first year of college (Will at Michigan State, Justin at ECU). So we hung out with them for a while, caught some white crabs (which were EVERYWHERE; I think I ended up accidentally stepping on 3 of them), and headed back to the house.

Friday, we ate at a place called the Gingerbread House. Ironically enough, their main food was pizza. But it was good pizza, so I'm not complaining. Friday night consisted of packing and cleaning, and so did Saturday morning. Check-out was at 9:00. I slept most of the ride back, waking only to eat and drive. But all in all, it was a really great, relaxing vacation, and I'm sure me & Morgan will never forget it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I often long for the simpler days.

Back in middle school, when you weren't so pressured to give in to society. Back in third grade, when the biggest thing you had to worry about was learning your multiplication tables. Back in kindergarten, when you became best friends with a kid who you played Legos with for a day. Yes, those were the days.

Some people say simplicity is overrated. They demand to have countless things going on in their life, to constantly be multi-tasking, or else they'll get bored. And I say to them, When was the last time you sat down, chilled out, and just enjoyed life? When was the last time you laid out in your backyard and watched the stars? When was the last time you went down to the lake to simply appreciate the beauty of God's creations? I know summers can get busy with work and camps and going to the movies and hanging out with friends, but everyone needs to have a quiet time sooner or later. Our bodies can only take so much physical, emotional, and mental strain before it gives out. We need constant refueling. And that's where God comes in.

God is the Giver of life, the Restorer of souls, the Redeemer of the fallen. Don't be afraid to call out to Jesus in your time of need. He knows you better than you know the back of your hand. He knows how you overwork yourself, and brush off the necessity of good ol' R&R. He knows when you've fallen away from Him because you're "too busy" to give Him the time of day. The greatest happiness you'll ever find is for the Holy Spirit to dwell inside you. But it's impossible to find that completeness if we're always caught up in fitting in with the crowd and giving in to the pressures of society. God created us to want to feel loved and accepted, and we think that we can find that satisfaction in earthly things. We constantly try anything and everything to fill that yearn of ours, whether it's in a boyfriend or girlfriend or partying hard with friends. And in the process of searching for the ultimate high, we overwork ourselves and forget what we were truly and simply made to be: lovers of Jesus.

I think it's about time we realized that complexity and over-scheduling isn't what life is about. Take the time to appreciate the simple luxuries of life. A bird singing outside your window in the morning, sleeping in and snoozing for an hour, your favorite ice cream on sale at Bi-Lo, the sunshine warming your spirits as you take a stroll through the park, a family of ducks swimming across the lake, a beautiful sunset, city lights twinkling in the night, a shooting star, the reflection of the moon on the river. Whether you realize it or not, God's presence is everywhere. He still works miracles. He's the love to the broken, and He's the joy in the sadness.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy one of the greatest things God has blessed us with:

Monday, July 21, 2008


Hickory Cove Bible Camp: The Greatest Place On Earth.

This past week I worked in the kitchen, serving food & drinks, and cleaning up for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. It was so much fun. Now don't get me wrong, it's most definitely hard work, but it's so great to work with such amazing people and meet all the campers.

The week was a normal one, with nothing too exciting happening. I mainly stayed out in the dining room wiping tables, sweeping, mopping, taking out the trash, cleaning bathrooms, etc.. because I couldn't fit my still-swollen foot in close-toed shoes. I tried putting my Chucks on Wednesday morning, but I could hardly walk down to the bathroom (On a brighter note, my poor little broken toe is actually getting better. I'm learning how to not limp around and look like an idiot so much). Caleb took us kitchen staff out on the boat Thursday afternoon to go tubing, but because of my not-yet-fully-recovered toe and everything, I opted to just stay in the boat and take pictures of everyone else riding.

Friday night, we all went to Jesse's house in Statesville for his birthday and watched Ice Age & hung out. A lot of the staff had to leave that night, which was incredibly sad. Sam, Joe, Dave, Mike, and the list goes on and on. Luckily, Sam lives in Charlotte, and Joe & Dave live in Belmont. So we're definitely going to be hanging out again before the summer's over. I rode with Alex & Katie on the way home, and we ended up taking the super-scenic route back to HCBC. Although we stopped at the Starbucks drive-through, I think it still took us about an hour and a half to finally get back to camp, when it only took us 30 minutes to get to Jesse's house.

Saturday was a day of adventure. I thought I was going to be leaving sometime right after lunch, but those plans soon changed. Me, Leah, Abdallah, and Caroline went to Wal-Mart to get food (did you know they sell subs & deli sandwiches & popcorn chicken & cesar salads at Wal-Mart?!), and took it back to camp to eat it. Jesse & Ryan had built a boat named Slagskepp (Swedish for "battleship"), and they were going to take it out that day on Lake Hickory to see if it floated around 3 or 4 o'clock, so I figured I could stay for that. Turns out, we fit 8 people in a little 6-foot long boat. It was pretty great. Sometime while we were all down on the dock watching Jesse & Ryan paddle around, everyone got thrown into the water -- with our clothes on. But it was all in good fun. We rode back to camp, got into our bathing suits, swam around for about a half hour, then went to Josh & Lauren's for dinner. Chinese chicken & crispy noodles & fortune cookies filled our bellies, while the laughter of all the staff filled our ears. I had to leave at 7:45 so I could be home by 9, and that was really really depressing. But luckily, Leah and I are going back up this coming Saturday to visit everyone again, so I'm pretty pumped about that.

As for right now, I think I'm going to enjoy sitting around in my pajamas all day with nothing to do. Working 60+ hours in the kitchen in one week can really take it out of you.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Committed

Oh my word. Camp was AMAZING!
I went down a day early (Saturday) with Casey, Mandy, Kyle, Caleb, and Zach. That in itself was an adventure. Kyle wouldn't stop singing all these Taylor Swift songs that he had on his iPod. But eventually we arrived at Garden City Chapel, got settled in, and prepared for the best week ever.

I was introduced to the music director and his wife, Andrew and Anna Hopper (Andrew sang & played guitar; Anna sang). We practiced a few songs that were new to us at the time (ex: Marvelous Light, Glories of Calvary, etc...) and then Casey took us out to eat at some restaurant. The food wasn't that great and the service was terrible, but the night ended up being a fun one anyways. We got back to the house around 11-ish, sat around, and talked. I took a shower at about 1 o'clock in the morning (a new record!) and finally crawled into bed. Mandy and I had to sleep in the same bed the first night we were down there, and it was rock solid. Talk about back pain the next morning.

Sunday wasn't nearly as eventful as the day before. We basically hung out, practiced a few songs, went to eat at Zaxby's, made a few trips to Wal-Mart, and waited for the kids to get there. They finally arrived around 5-ish, so we all ate pizza, claimed a bunk bed, went to the first night session, and went to sleep around 1 AM.

Monday morning, I had to wake up bright & early around 6:45 because the band needed to practice again before the first morning session (I realized I woke up WAYYY too early; practice didn't start until 8:00). So we practiced, ate breakfast, went to the morning session, and then went out for our team competitions. Me, Sarah, and Janna were all on team B. For some reason, everyone on our team made an X with their arms. But it soon caught on, and the competition started heating up. The game was Dodgeball, and our team ended up losing because of cheating on the opposite side. But whatever. We ate lunch, and then we had free time. Amber, Sarah, Janna, Morgan, and I went downtown the first day during free time. Aaaaand it sucked. There were two beach stores and an ice cream shop. Woohoo. So we all ended up going swimming in the pool and having a grand ol' time. Anyways, the night session rolled around, and you could tell that the Devil was really trying to distract everyone; Casey wasn't focused and Tony was in the hospital because he got injured during the game. But of course, everyone knows that the Good Guy always wins. God grabbed my heart and spoke to me that night. I finally realized that He really is all I need! I don't need drugs, alcohol, clothes, friends, or anything; God will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). We had church group time after the night session, but I couldn't stay for it. I was on the verge of bursting into tears. I ended up walking out of the chapel crying. Casey saw me and asked me what was wrong, and I told him what God had told me, and I think it gave him a little confidence booster too. I went down to my bunk and went to sleep soon after that.

Tuesday. Still had to wake up at the crack of dawn to get ready for practice. We ate breakfast, went to the morning session, then group competition. This time, we had to fill a bucket up with water from balloons that were chunked out to our team and caught with sheets. The winner of the game was the one who had the most water in their bucket once there weren't any water balloons left. Of course, I got smacked in the head with one, but it was fun. Once again, we didn't win the game because some genius on our team decided he would ring his sheet out into the bucket to fill it up more. But Casey saw him and disqualified our team. We would have won, too. During free time, there was a sandcastle contest. We got a group together from CHBC and spelled out Casey's name with things he liked: the C was an ice cream cone, the A was made from softball bats, the S was a Superman symbol, the E was made from Twinkies, and the Y was a North Greenville cheerleader. I do have to admit, it was the best one there. But since Casey couldn't be biased towards us because we knew him so well, he had to make different categories of judging the sandcastles. We won the "Most Personal" one. After the night session, we all went downtown again. I rode a mechanical bull and did some racecar thing, which was surprisingly fun. Then back to the dorms for midnight snack (cherry dump cake, oreo pudding, snowcones, brownies, yummmm...) and then to sleep.

Wednesday morning rolled around without enough sleep on my part. Same routine, waking up, practice, breakfast, morning session, then game time. It was a relay race that encompassed sand, water, sponges, buckets, and running, and ended with a slip & slide. It was finally my turn on the slip & slide. I ran as fast as I could, hit the ground hard, and stopped halfway. Oops. So I was crawling along, trying to get off the soapy & slippery tarp when this kid comes flying down the slip & slide and tumbles into my foot. He hit my pinkie toe hard. Ouch. I got up off the slide, limped back to the front of it, and readied myself to go at it again with Sarah. So we were running, getting reading to jump down, when all of a sudden I feel something snap in my toe. I screamed "Sarah I think I broke something!" and hit the slide. Long story short, my pinkie toe swelled up (along with the rest of my foot), and turned purple and blue. Yep, I broke it. Allen ended up getting his foot torn all to pieces from running on the concrete, so he had to walk around in crutches for the rest of the week. And I limped. Supper, Tuesday night session, then back to the beds. I had to switch bunks with Ashton (who had a bottom bunk) because I couldn't climb up to the top anymore with my broken toe. Oh fun.

Thursday I hobbled around and looked like an idiot all day. I was planning on being on a volleyball team for a tournament, but seeing as how I could hardly walk around, I opted out of the tournament and let Morgan take my place. I took pictures during the group games and sat around during free time. Not too eventful during the day. But the night session finally arrived. You could tell that God was going to do something amazing; all the youth were giddy and excited. Casey divided the students according to their groups and sent them out to give out blue light-up crosses to people in the community. I could sense God's presence everywhere that evening! The worship that night was real. With 120 students and adults truly worshiping their Savior, you know something big is going to happen. The theme of the whole week was Committed, and Casey's message was about staying truly committed followers of Jesus Christ when we get home. God took hold of everyone's heart that night, because after the session, we all ended up on the porches with our light-up crosses on singing praises to Him. Then we ran down the stairs into the big field where we had group competitions, held hands, jumped and danced around, and sang more songs and hymns. THEN we were told we had to go back to the dorms, so I got out my guitar and found the music I'd been using that week, and we sang even more in the kitchen.

I experienced a student-led revival at camp, and I know for a fact it's going to revolutionize our youth group. This isn't going to be another one of those camps that start in a "yay we're on fire for God now," but once we get home that fire soon loses its flame. Our worship in youth will never be the same now that we know what it's like to truly praise our Savior. The revival starts this Wednesday, and I can't wait. We're taking this to the next level. We're running the opposite way.

We are The Committed.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I'm going to the beach TODAYYYY!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Insanity, for sure.

The senior pictures actually turned out pretty schweet. The only bad thing about them is the ABSURDLY EXPENSIVE PRICE to get them printed. Carolina Photography takes care of all school pictures. Usually for fall pictures or spring pictures the price is around $30 to get a good package. That exact same package (one 8x10, two 5x7's, and 8 wallets) for senior pictures is $90. NINETY BUCKS! And that's the cheapest package! The most expensive one is $450. Yeah, I know it's crazy! But that's how they make their money, because they know people will pay that much for them.

Now let me take a moment to get down from my soapbox.

I bought the cutest top from Walmart today. Usually, Walmart's clothes are yuck or non-fitting, although they claim them to be "fashionable." I was pleasantly surprised when I found something that caught my eye hanging on the rack. It was silky with a pretty purple-pink print. I put it on, and it actually FIT! Plus, it was only ten bucks. Chyeahhhh cheap-ness.

Today is Tuesday, and it's 9:41 PM. That means I only have 84 more hours until I depart for the beach. Talk about anticipation. I saw Becky S and Kyle while I was at Walmart, and it turns out that Kyle is probably going to go down early with us too. Now that is going to be one interesting van ride. 5 or 6 crazy males + 2 poor little females + at least 5 hours of traveling time = INSANITY.

But I'm still looking forward to it. Tomorrow's Wednesday, which means it'll be the last time Casey has a chance to give us any last-minute news or preparations. Hopefully he won't say that we're limited to one bag; I know for a fact I won't be able to fit all my junk in one suitcase.

Until then, I'll be bursting with excitement :D

Monday, June 23, 2008

5 Days

We had senior pictures earlier today. I still don't think it's really kicked in yet that I only have 2 months until I'm finally taking my last year of high school. But maybe it'll kick in once I get the huge load of work from taking 3 AP classes.

Speaking of AP classes, I started reading Jane Eyre the other day. It's actually not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be, either. I'm on page 110-ish, and I'm surprised I haven't gotten sick of it yet. And I hate reading. No wonder it's a classic.

FIVE DAYS. That's it.
Five days till I leave for the beach with my favorite people in the world! Me, Caleb, Casey (youth pastor), Mandy (youth pastor's wife), Wes (video guy), and Zach (another band guy) are leaving a day early to go to Garden City Beach, where we'll be having summer camp. I AM SO PUMPED! Casey's having me bring my acoustic guitar & the bass so I'd be able to play both for the band while I'm down there. I haven't met the music director yet, but he and his wife are going to do the singing while me, Caleb, and Zach take care of the music. I cannot WAIT! We're gonna be staying at Garden City Chapel for the whole week. From what Casey tells us, it's a nice place. I've just got to make sure that I bring my battery charger and extra memory stick for my camera because I know I'll be taking hundreds of pictures while we're down there.

It's about to storm here, so I had better get off the computer before a lightning bolt strikes me down. So until next time,
Take the time to stop and smell the roses.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Today's Thursday and it's 1:37 pm. I just got a haircut, and I really like it. It's not too different from what I had, just trimmed up and with a little bit of bangs.
<<<<< Seeee?

Nothing too interesting has happened since yesterday. I figured out how to plug my iPod into my car stereo so I can listen to it while I'm driving. Hopefully I won't get too distracted and pay too much attention to picking a song that I swerve off the road in a massive accident and die an ugly death.

I'm currently wearing a white dress that I got on sale at Rave for $6.93. With TAX! It's awesome. I took a few pictures before I went to get my haircut, and they're really cute (see above... and below). They're all summer-y and stuff. Oh! Speaking of pictures, I'm thinking about enrolling in an online photography course at Gaston College or somewhere, but most of those classes require Photoshop CS or CS3. So if you have either of those, it'd be nice if you could make me a copy so I don't have to go spend $400 on it. K thanks :]

I'm going to start my AP summer work today for English 12. Definitely not looking forward to it. I have to read The Poisonwood Bible AND Jane Eyre, AND do two book reports, AND read 5 poems AND give a response to each. Ouch. Doesn't sound too appealing to someone who doesn't like to read. But I guess I had better get used to it, because it only gets worse from here.

Luckily, I have a massage scheduled for tomorrow at Belle Voús. I am SO ready for it. I've had a 30-minute one there before, and it was like heaven on earth. Absolutely amazing. But hopefully I won't be too dazed and relaxed that I can't make the drive home. Once again, swerving off the road in a massive accident leading to an ugly death isn't the best thing in mind.

By the way, green tea is the bomb-diggity.

And so are sundresses :]

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Yesterday was the best :]

Caleb and I were going to have a picnic at the park and I was going to make sandwiches, but I realized right before he arrived at my house that we didn't have any bread. So we went to Hardee's and got yummy cheeseburgers and took them with us to the park. I had brought this giant water bottle -- it had to be at least 5 gallons (okay, maybe not) -- with us so we could share, and even between the two of us over a 4 hour period we didn't even put a dent in half of it.

But anyways.

We walked down one of the trails at the park and stopped on this cute little bridge. Now this wasn't any old bridge; this was the bridge where he first kissed me over a year ago. And of course, it brought back some good memories ;] The bridge was running over a cute little creek that had cute little crawdads and tadpoles swimming around in it. I tried catching one, but after about 30 minutes of failed attempts, I gave up. But whatever.

Today is Wednesday, and that means I'm headed off early to band practice at THE BEST CHURCH EVERRRR, Catawba Heights Baptist. And then youth later tonight. I love our youth pastor; he's so passionate about what he does, and he's so God-focused too. His faith is so incredibly strong. To put it lightly, he's the best :]

I have to go take a shower and get ready now, so until next time,
stop and smell the roses.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Opposite Way

The whole reason I chose the name for this blog was because of this song by Leeland. If you haven't heard it already, I highly suggest you go get the CD and listen to it. The whole album is absolutely amazing!

GO GO GO NOW, so you can sing along! ;]

Living in the same town
For all these years
Doing the same old things
Hanging with the same crowd
And it's starting to get crippling
You've never felt in place
And you tell yourself it's all okay
But something's different today
You want to run the opposite way

And it seems like you're locked in a cage
And you need to find a way of escape
When everyone is setting the pace
It's okay to run the opposite way

The Father sent His Son down
The light of men
The cross He bore was crippling
Rejected in His own town
They couldn't see the sun shining
He knelt in the garden and prayed
Father, let this cup pass from me
It's not Your will for me to stay
Your will for me is the opposite way

And it seemed like He was locked in a cage
And He couldn't find away of escape
But through the cross He conquered the grave
My Jesus ran the opposite way

Oh, and through the cross He conquered the grave
Oh, He ran the opposite way
Yeah, through the cross He conquered the grave
So you could run the opposite way

-Leeland :]