Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Help Wanted

I am feeling discouraged and alone this week. A lot of my students are dealing with hard stuff right now. It hurts to see them hurting. And I am losing some of my adult and student leaders at work. Anyone want to love on college students? Come along side them in life and encourage them? They're not scary or intimidating, I promise.

My heart feels heavy, so I'm gonna go pray.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Oh Target

Target can be a dangerous. And by dangerous I mean you can walk in intending to only buy two things and you walk out an hour later with 23 things and a much emptier wallet.

For example, take today. I went to Target with the intention to buy a heater for my room and a CD for my mom's belated Christmas gift. But I'm sorry, even people with the best willpower in the world can hardly control themselves. Target has EVERYTHING. Literally. It must be one of the only places you can buy milk, a digital camera, a bathroom rug, a video game, and a bed comforter all in the same trip. Crazy.

So there I was, lost in my happy place, looking at a million things I don't need but suddenly seemed very important to have. "Well, I DO need a new umbrella...and while I'm here I should get a new watch since my last one died. Oooo look at the fun jewelry over there! Ok, Sarah...FOCUS. Mom's CD. Hmmm....I wonder why they have all the CD's, DVD's, and books togeth....oh, I've been looking for that book! And it's so cheap!" You get the picture.

I don't know if I'm the only one with this problem in Target. Seriously, that place is dangerous. Soon they'll probably dim the lights, take away all clocks, and cover the windows like they do in casinos so we don't know how much time we've been in there and we keep shopping for random stuff we think we need. They might even have ladies going around to shoppers taking drink orders. Oh Target...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

what's been happening

I was inspired by my friend Cara (Hi Macsies! We all loved your note!) to write what sorts of things I've been into lately. We'll start with:

Music - I have been listening to 2 main CD's lately. Sherwood (you can check 'em out at and Chant (which is a CD of Gregorian chants by Spanish monks - very peaceful)

TV - Grey's Anatomy has been on the past 2 weeks (yeah for the ladies in my house!) and Heroes started up again last night after a two month break. LOST begins again on Feb. 7th and the new season of Survivor starts in Feb, too. That's all I watch, I promise! Gosh, 4 shows sounds like a lot, but it doesn't feel like that much.

Books - I just started a new book called "Transitions" by William Bridges (you can check it out under my Books section to the left). It's been really interesting. He talks about methods for coping and dealing with transitions in life whether it's moving, a new job, divorce, marriage, new child, death, etc. He breaks the transition into three stages: The Ending, the Transitional or Neutral Zone, and the Beginning. Take the example of losing a job (whether by quitting, retiring, or getting fired). He talks about how important it is to mourn for what's lost. And to take advantage of the hard in-between time (most of us would rather rush into the new beginning, but he advises against that because we can learn so much from that transitional time). And then to embrace the new beginning.

He even used the example of entering a dating relationship. I was like, "Huh? What 'ending' is involved there? Isn't it a 'beginning' right off the bat?" But he says that before we enter a new relationship, it's important to focus somewhat on how things will change. Not so much a mourning for singlehood, but a time of realizaion that we will no longer be just thinking about ourselves. We won't just be doing things on a whim anymore, because soon someone else will be involved. And like anything we want to flourish, it will need our time and attention. And then there's the in-between time of dating and the "beginning" is of course the beginning of the steady relationship. Each stage is different for different reasons. I think the idea of mourning what is lost and embracing the in-between time is a cool idea.

Movies - I just recently saw Pan's Labyrinth and it was SO good. It was super hard to watch the violent stuff (closed my eyes a few times) and if you're not into subtitles you can skip it. But wow, I was amazed and I totally recommend it. (

Theater - in a month and a half, I am taking a road trip to LA with some friends to see the musical Wicked! Yeah! We bought our tickets back in October, so we've been looking forward to this for a long time. I'm sure we'll be singing all the songs on the way down...

And last but not least...this doesn't really fit into any of the above categories but I just have to say how much I am loving my jazz class. I look forward to it every week. We're learning a dance and I love coming home and showing it to anyone who will watch. =)

Monday, January 22, 2007


Please don't watch this video just once. It is honestly funnier every time you watch it. Go at least 3 times. I cannot stop laughing...

Friday, January 19, 2007

spiritual gifts

Ahh...spiritual gifts. I have been studying them lately and I was stoked to learn that when we become Christians, we not only receive the Holy Spirit, we receive the spiriual gifts he has already chosen for us. Trippy! But so dang cool. I guess I never thought about that. I mean, I knew all Christians had spiritual gifts. But I never thought about where they came from (or when) and how they were already pre-determined for us. I love that.

So, I took one of those "spiritual gifts" tests. I know these tests are man-made (not divinely inspired) so they are a tool, not an end. But I still thought it would be cool to get some direction on identfying my gifts. So I added up my answers and my top three gifts are: hospitality, exhortation, and pastor/shepherd.

I can definitely see the hospitality and exhortation (encouragement) gifts in my life. But it wasn't until I got the results back that I realized, "Wow! I really do have the 'shepherd' mentality!" And what else is interesting is that I never really used it or felt it this strongly in my life....until I became the college director.

According to those tests, here are some words associated with being a pastor/shepherd: "the ability to care for the spiritual needs of a group of people on a long-term basis, protecting, feeding, leading, nurturing, etc." I truly feel like a pastor/shepherd with my college students. I care so much about them, I feel protective of them (in a good way), I get such joy from loving them, "feeding" them, being a leader training them to be leaders, wanting to encourage them in their relationships with the Lord, and other things like that.

I feel great joy to think about God's soverignty and how He knew I would be in this position one day (even though I NEVER would have dreamed I'd be here) and gave me the gifts I would need for this ministry. I am weirded out by that thought, but again, in a good way. =)

If you have never taken a spiritual gifts test and you have 30 minutes to kill, here's one you can take. It's not the one I took, but it looks pretty similar:

Have fun!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The kick-off has begun

Last week the college group kicked off for the winter/spring semester. That means we go straight on until the end of May. Usually around the end of March or early April I start a countdown because I begin to get very tired. But since I've had a break, I am rearin' to go!

To kick things off, we all went to an ice skating rink. If you ever want to have 2 hours of laughter, take college students ice skating. People were falling all over the place, students were trying to do spins and turns (unsuccessfully), there was multiple running into walls, we even had a guy take his shirt off during a slow song, go into the middle of the rink, sink to his knees, and sing along with the song with his eyes closed and doing expressive hand motions.

After that we all got lost trying to find an In N'Out (my fault...I am bad at directions) but then found it and ate double-doubles to our heart's content (at 10:30 at night...yikes). And THEN on the way home, the police stopped traffic on the freeway for 10-15 minutes. Controlled chaos ensued - running around, taking pictures, Chinese fire drills, going from car to car, spontaneous dancing, you name it...all in the middle of the freeway with other people probably thinking we're crazy. Nope, we're just young people who love to have fun. It's fun making memories with these students. These are the times I sit back, sigh, and go, "I can't believe this is my job."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

All That Jazz

Tonight was a very special night...I took a step in completing a New Year's Resolution. Let me back up and say I normally don't make "New Year's Resolutions". But I specifically did this year because I looked back at the last 6 months and realized my life wasn't very balanced (ie. working too much) and I wanted to make changes. And the new year was a great opportunity to start! =)

So anyway, one of my New Years Resolutions was to join a dance class. I grew up taking dance and loved it - 5 years of ballet and 4 years of jazz. Dancing is my favorite exercise, hands down. But if you're not in a class and you don't go out dancing on the weekends, you don't get to practice much. So I decided - heck, I'm going for it!

There's a dance studio downtown that offers classes for all ages, different types of dance, evenings after work, etc. All good things. I decided to sign up for the Beginner/Intermediate Teen/Adult jazz class. Tonight was my first one. I walked into the studio and quickly noted that it was 4 high school girls...and me. It struck me as quite funny. It became even more funny when the class started and it was obvious that these girls have taken jazz before (and from the same teacher) so they were REALLY good and I was struggling to keep up. I'm a bit rusty.

But it was so fun! I felt like I came alive! It has seriously been 12 or 13 years since I last took a jazz class and I forgot how much I loved it. Our teacher's name was Leslie and she was very nice. She worked us through warm-up, some floor exercises, and then we started learning a dance she made up. Sweet! Me and 4 teenagers! Sweet.

Can't wait till next Tuesday.

Monday, January 08, 2007

64 degrees and sunny

It was 64 degrees today. Ahhhh....I love living in California. I went out to lunch with a student and I just could NOT stop talking about the weather. Clear, sunny, not a cloud in the sky. And it's January. Winter. Love it. I am sort of dreading the rain...not because I don't like the rain, but because once it starts, I'm afraid it won't stop for months. (it felt like it rained a LOT last Winter/Spring) But for now, I am going to make sure I am outside as much as possible so I can enjoy this winter gift. Oh, the sun. How I love thee.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Geico Cavemen Apology

You have probably seen some of these. They are hilarious commercials for (car insurance) Enjoy.

Geico Caveman Therapy

Geico Caveman Interview

Geico Caveman in Airport

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I don't get it

Sorry to start 2007's first blog with kind of a sad topic, but I've been thinking about this since yesterday. I wanted to cook a big, fun dinner for New Years Day so I went to the grocery store to get all the goods. Everything was great until I got to the checkout line. Inevitably, there are entertainment magazines with glossy covers and stars on the front to grab our eye. My eye was drawn to one on top that said "American Idol contestants talk about how they lost their weight!" The cover had pictures of Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson (who is in "Dreamgirls" right now), Carrie Underwood, and other A.I. contestants. They showed "Before" pictures where they looked fine and healthy. And I was like, "Why did they feel they needed to lose weight?"

And then I was so sad, because seriously, directly underneath that magazine was another one...with Mary-Kate Olsen and Nicole Ritchie on the cover looking sickly skinny and some dumb title like "Have they lost too much?" I got angry and sad at the same time. Dude, why is our world so messed up sometimes? There is this constant pressure on women to be skinny like what they see in the media and then people wonder why there are so many girls with eating disorders. Maybe I'm just really sensitive about this issue lately, because I recently found out one of my students has been struggling with eating issues since she was 12 and I have no doubt she's not the only one in the group.

This topic is nothing new, I'm sure it's talked about all the time. But I don't know that I see anything changing. I wonder if in fact things are getting worse. I mean, it's great for women to eat healthy, exercise, take care of their bodies, etc. But these celebrities go to the extreme to get thin and it bums me out because that's what girls all over the world see and think of as "perfection".

What can I do? I can't change the world or the way the world does things. But I can be there for the women in my life that struggle with this. It might be something small, but at least it's something. Hard stuff.