Friday, January 22, 2010

A matter of Intensity

"There have been times in my life when I felt bored and restless. It took a while, but eventually I discovered that the thing I was missing was intensity. Sometimes the swaddling of the comfort zone cloth begins to chafe a bit."
The black letters stand in a groups, forming crisp words against eh starch white monitor background.

A matter of intensity....
Boredom is a sickness that penetrates even the sturdiest of mind. It sinks in deep, and sometimes sucks you into it's mirey hole of quick-sand. Since I can remember, I have been, what my family calls, an "adrenaline junky."

"Daaaad... hurry up!" The little white-blond headed girl did not know if she actually said the words, or just felt them strongly well up inside her little body.
Her quiet manner was not any indication for the surge of desire that she felt in that moment.
Clear, blue, lapping waves beckoned to her,
"I'm waiting!" They cried out from the five foot pool... "Waiting for you to splash into my cool, liquid arms..."
The little girl's father gave her the same lecture he'd given her many times in the past, before coming to the pool which sat behind their home in Fuller student housing.
The lecture would not, by any means, have been lengthy to any college student, however, to a three year old, the dad's words seemed to trail on into eternity...
"Now wait just a moment, sweetie. Remember, I need to blow up this floaty, and put it on you so you have both on. Then you can go into the pool."
The child's big blue eyes studied her father... the orange plastic which was the floaty met her daddies lips, and he blew... hissss... the floaty slowly, steadily, lazily began filling up.

Gentle waves crashing against the pools edges, filling the blondie's ears.

"Daaaad... hurry UP!" She thought again.
The aqua-blue crystal waters reflection could be seen in the girl's eyes, matching them...
"Dad is taking too long..."

With that last thought, the lengthy three-year-old felt her leg muscles working beneath her long torso... the hot Southern Californian air rushed past her, grabbing at her hair; dry sunshine reflected off her white hair and tanned body, as the little imp flew to the edge of the pool...
One floaty on, one floaty off.

"I'll count down from ten to one, and then you jump, okay?"
"Can't you count down from five?"
The blue-eyed girl looked up at the tall, scraggly young-man standing before her.

Uhh.... he looks middle-aged enough to be an older brother... I'll just look at him pitifully and see if he'll succumb to the pressure... She thought quietly.

The man raised an eyebrow, sizing the long, bean-pole of a child up.
"You sure you'll be OK?"
The eleven-year old gazed up into the mans eyes and nodded.
"You certain?" The young mans dark eye brows furrowed together appearing as one, long brow.
The girl nodded again...
All geared up, she stood at he edge of the two-story tower.The zip-line stretched before her looking so frail the girl wondered if it would snap when she reached the half-way point.
Asking the guide, the rough-man responded, "No. You go across it too fast. Besides, it's a cord, like the one's they use to build bridges."
He smiled good naturedly at the girl.
Standing at he very edge of the building, the blond headed child looked out across the vast mountainous range... Breathing deeply, she heard the guide holding the cord firmly, making sure everything was in order before flinging her into the great expanse of the earths atmosphere.
"Five..... four....." Excitement overran the girls' thoughts as she listened to the young man's deep voice counting down.
"Threeeee....... twoooooo........."
Leaping into the air, the eleven-year-old-blue-eyed child hugged her string which attached her harness to the zip line...
Extending her arms to her sides, she welcomed the cool mountainous air as it rushed past her in a flurry...

She thought to herself.
Not a sound escaped from her smiling lips.
Trees glided beneath her, a bird soared above her and mountain peeks surrounded her.

Little did she know, the next time she would go onto a zip-line, two years later, she would fly across the cord, upsi-down and backwards suspended on but one cord, over a cliff.
This, my dear reader, gives you but a glimpse of my adrenaline pursuing past.
Passion, I believe is a gift, and curse, all rolled into one, which my wonder family cultures.
Apathy is an attitude scorned, or at least in the house-hold I live in. My opinions and ideas have always been very clear in my own mind.

My ideal would be to glide every weekend, along a mountain peek, canyon and crevasses, with but a pair of feathered wings. Mom and dad both joke with the other two young adults, in my family, that I'm an adrenalin junky.

Finding myself rather bored, I asked a group of mothers on The Well Trained Mind Forum( ) what their young adult children do for "fun," and what they did when they were my age for fun.
Most responded with excellent ideas:
Host a game night
Participate in historical reenactment
Go on a mission trip
Take a road trip
Mentor younger women...
Many, wonderful ideas!
As I read the replies to my question, the last reply jumped out at me (the the last one at the time). It beckoned me to pursue this mom's idea further...
"This seems to be matter of intensity..."


Intense feelings: feelings one has towards something or someone... this requires passion to be present.

Intense actions: actions that either bring healing or destruction to another human being, or an object.

Intense Words: These usually precede actions. Intense words arouse a great deal of emotion in the audience... such as hate, anger, fear, love, joy, courage...
There is almost never any middle ground when a person speaks with intense words. The apostle Paul and John the Beloved both are excellent examples of this. People, generally, either love or hate intense verbalists.

Intensity, all over, arouses a great deal of emotion in humanity. It also requires a cutting-edge lisfe style, such as Corrie Ten Boon ('The Hiding Place') and Mother Teresa ('Mother Teresa: In My Own Word). Both of these women I look up to in life!

Intensity requires absolute commitment.
Marriage is a good example of this, or so I have heard (although I have never experienced such commitment on such a level myself).
Rarely have I seen a marriage founded on apathy. Apparently, it's an intense relationship (although, like I said, I have never been married and so this is not a personal example, for me)

How can it not be?

You're vulnerable to the core of your being. Your humanity is exposed to the greatest extremity known to man. Your life is to be dedicated to one other fallen, sinning human being....
The giving if your all!

Missionaries, I think we can all agree, live intense lives. Some live their life on the brink of death, for the sake of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Something I seek with abandon, in life... which is, at this point, thoroughly lacking!

A matter of intensity.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Frosty the... Umm... Snow? Ice?

Some go-geous pictures of the beautiful frost throughout the week :)

God richly bless

and keep you and your family this week!


Grandma Gorman,
and her beloved, Walter
Grandpa Bob and his beautiful wife,
my Grandma

Last night I was chatting with a friend, asking how their family ended up in the geographical location they are at right now; why they moved, if they're glad they moved; if they desire to return home, and similar questions.
In 2006 I was part of a home school cooperative. My English teacher, Mrs. Bolin, assigned us students the task to find someone in our family who was a military vet. My Grandpa Bob is a Korean War veteran. He was the only person who volunteered to participate in a secret mission. Unbeknown to him, the mission included him recording the nuclear bomb testing, on the Bikini Islands. He is now one of the few men who was contaminated by the nuclear power, and is still alive today to tell the story of those men who risked their lives to perfect nuclear weapons of war.
During our family trip back from Ohio, for my aunts funeral, we visited my adopted-great-Grandma Gorman. Grandma loves stories! She loves telling stories of growing up on the farm, in America, during a time when wagons were still popular and cars were for the wealthy. Over dinner, she began communicating to us what it was like traveling from Kansas to Chicago in a horse and wagon...
Her story was utterly captivating!

I am continually awed by the compelling beauty of individuals stories: how they got to the place they are today.

My friends story is so fascinating because their place of origin is so different from my own. Our cultures are so opposite, in so many ways!

My grandfathers story is captivating because he lived through a things that most people haven't; he lived through times, when others, who experienced that life with him, have now passed on because of the danger in those situations.
There are so many lessons to be learned from his life-story!

My great-grandmother's story is utterly beautiful because she grew up when America was still a baby. Family was deeply valued and innocence a normality, instead of weird (as it is today).
She takes me back into a place where my family, as it is known today, was just beginning!

Her speech of life takes me back into a history where 1/4 of my family was living in German Town Wisconsin, milking cows, making cheese and speaking German. Through her words, she takes me into places where 1/8 of my heritage is making their home in the Appalachian Mountains, striving to build a home for their children, who are my great-grandparents, despite the hardships and struggling against the extremities of the mountains, in a new and fresh country!
And the other 5/8 of my family? Where were they? What were they doing?
Honestly, I don't even know.

My hope, for this year, is to dig a little deeper, discover, even more, the stories of my Grandma Gorman's life, and my Grandpa Bob's history. To have the opportunities to ask my mothers father what and who his parents were - who his great-grandparents were... To inquire as to who my grandmother's family was, what they were like, where they lived, and where they were from... to seek and receive answers about my heritage - who these people are who make my story mine.

God richly bless and keep,
as you continue your story of life,
and create a history for your children,
and great-grandchildren!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


These are specific items that have been included in the recall list:

* Children's Motrin
* Children's Tylenol
* Extra Strength Tylenol
* Regular Strength Tylenol
* Tylenol 8 Hour
* Tylenol Arthritis
* Tylenol PM
* Benadryl
* Motrin IB
* Rolaids
* Simply Sleep
* St. Joseph Aspirin

You can go to the web site that contains the complete, detailed list of recalled items by clicking on this blog post title, or...
Read the news story at:,6213281.story

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Heaven is in Their Face...

I couldn't help but find myself shocked, and stunned, when, after watching a darling one or two year old girl, I told her mom that is was "fun to watch her!" The mom looked at me, raised an eye brow and sarcasticly stated, "right... Bye... Thanks anyway..." I wanted to step in front of her and state that I was serious! There is nothing in the world that gives me more pleasure than watching a child laugh with joy, run accross a room giggling hystericaly! It so pays off just to watch this little baby turn into a rambunctious child, grow into a giggle-fest of a pre-teen, and then bloom into the beautiful young women God calls her to be.

But, not matter what I would have said to the little childs mom, I don't think I could have persuaded her that the reason why I had given my time to come to church and play with that little girl, when I have a little sister who deeply desires to just keep me to herself all day, is that I enjoy watching the way the little one's are so innocently pure, sweet, and gentle with life.
And I'm not sure there is any other way to put it.
The purity and innocence in the eyes of a baby is absolutely magnificent - and totaly priceless!
To have the opportunity to to care for some of these little children, in our curch, as their parents attend service, I find truly honoring.
As I watch little people, my hearts greatest passion and desire is made so much more clear to me. To help, at least contribute, in raising up this next generation of God-fearing human beings. To instill in them that "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand..." and found in the face of His children...
"At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children."
Matthew 11:25
"And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:3
"Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." "
Matthew 19:14
"Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read, " 'From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise'?"
Matthew 21:16
"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."
Mark 9:37

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God."
John 1:12-13
"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. "
Romans 8:16-17

~ New International Version, Bible ~

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Every Tuesday I have the opportunity to get together with a small group of young adults. Basically, we just fellowship, pray and praise the Lord, together.

It's pretty darn cool!

The group was inspired to get together, once a week, at the end of a week-long conference in Kansas City. (check out )

We returned from IHOP (or The International House of Prayer) two weeks ago, on fire, submerged in fellowship with like-minded young men and women, on the basis that we are the Body of Christ.
Praying is easy. Having grown up in the church, I find that praying together is probably one of the most easy activities to participate in. It's simple, clear, your roll is cut out and clearly defined.

However, being only into the second week of this fellowship group, I have already found that I'm an oddity amongst believers. Okay, so that sounds pretty darn self-focused... but it really hadn't dawned on me until yesterday that I am weird!

Not just weird, like, "I'm a nerd, kind'a geeky, and an odd duckling," type of weird, but weird on a totally new level!

Most of the group arrived about an hour early to intercede on behalf of those who would come for fellowship, later on in the evening. These are faithful, committed people who, I have found, are deeply committed to prayer on a level that the majority of modern-day Christians are not.
They prayed for an hour. One whole, entire, complete hour... and then some...

Praise GOD for young men and women like this!

Because all but three people in the group had been at the church, praying together, interceding for one another, serenading in the Word, they were, more or less, already in the mood and
comfortable enough to start getting vulnerable with each other.

One of the guys opened the group up with his testimony; How God took his ashes and turned it into beauty. How God took a person who was committed to himself, bringing to a place where he became committed to others, but more importantly, to Christ.


Yeah, okay, so I've heard the 'typical' "I was a druggie and alcoholic" story before, but this was someone real and tangible. Someone I know, or at least, am acquainted with. Someone I get together and fellowship with every week. Someone I drove down to IHOP with.

The next testimony was given by a young woman who, in all honesty, I respect. She has a story of her own, laced with the lonely and broken life of a little girl with an alcoholic father, and worse.
A similar story to the young man's who opened up the group.

Three young people, who all grew up in the church, shared their stories of addiction, religion as apposed to faith and feeling the need to be a savior to others because the love of Jesus wasn't enough. All three told the story of how Christ justified them, and how they are being cleansed through Him.

There were a couple more testimonies, similar to the one's stated above. However, the last one was told by a young man (who, apparently, is either older than I thought, or lived life to it's absolute fullest between preteen-hood and young-adulthood) shared his story of substance abuse, alcohol and over all immorality. He shared how God, almost quite literally, walked into his life, inviting him into the plan Jesus had for him.

As I listened to each story of how God reached in and invited these lovely people to "Follow Him," I wondered if I should share my story...
But after hearing the last, incredible, "beauty from ashes" tale, I decided against it.

What could I have to share with these people, who have lived life. The life I have been told I'm "missing out on."
Honestly, I have never really thought that I've "missed out" on anything in life, save peer pressure, an every-day social life and peer group, and many like-minded people.
I'm home schooled, and quite proud of that small fact, that makes up who I am.

Most home school people, at least those my age, I have found, are either rather lonely, or have the money and recourse's to be knit in to many groups, and keep themselves very active in life. Not to stay I haven't kept active, rather I have not had many things to fill my time, which is a choice our family has made, in order to pay for and insure other things in our life.

What could I have to offer these people, who have lived life, when I have so obviously not. How can I share a testimony that is very not beauty from ashes, but rather a constant search and seeking of Truth, acting on that Truth, falling flat on my face, stumbling, getting back up (or at least trying to), and "just keep walking..."

I don't have some dramatic saga of drugs, excessive drinking or any sort of addiction. To be honest, I find alcohol rather gross tasting and really don't understand what some people find so wonderful about it...
And in no way am I being sarcastic. I truly believe these people will have amazing ministries! Really, truly and honestly! This is something that has been very much impressed upon me - they will have have incredible ministries! Successful ministries.

World changing ministries.

But last night, I felt as though my lack-of-life, or weirdness, if you will, was magnified by about one-hundred. And it was probably just me being weird and overly-sensitive... or was it?
I have never been in the place where these young people are coming from. Never had those experiences. Never known the type of family they grew up in. Heck, I can't even begin to comprehend understanding! And they probably feel the same way about me, understandably.

As I have been thinking about Tuesday night, mulling over everything that happened, a lot of emotions that bubbled over and all the tears, I catch myself wondering "was it worth it?"

I have been asked this question by seemingly like minded people, "is it worth never having dated?" "Is it worth never having smoked or drank?" My response is basically, "well I think wine is gross, and beer is probably worse (I'm too "afraid" to try it though). I have only ever been asked on a date by a non-Christian, who I am committed to not dating. And the stories I have heard about smoking make it sound like an awful experience, and I don't like the health problems that go along with it..." Laughter, and a hearty "you little weirdo" usually follow these short-lived conversations.

These conversations, the type of settings like Tuesday night make me relate to Psalm 73 even more, especially the verses 13-14.

"Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain,
And washed my hands in innocence.
For all day long I have been plagued,
And chastened every morning."
These words are written by psalmist Asaph, who is talking about trust, doubts, envy and faith in God. Yes, faithlessly asking whether the purging of your sins and the cleansing of yourself before God is worth it is doubt. However, doubting, questioning and seeking Truth for yourself is part of owning your faith, as an individual. Therefore, I am not afraid to question when I doubt. When one questions why they are doubting and if there is really something to doubt, they are seeking Truth in its absolute fullest, I believe. It's an ebb and flow of life. Doubt runs into questioning, which runs into seeking, and a seeker nearly always finds what they are looking for, if they are really seeking to find, not merely seeking to doubt...
But I have gotten onto a tangent and conversation which I must save for a later date :)
My parents have held me to the highest standard of purity, morality and personal choices, that they know. They have raised all of us kids in this way. And succeeded quite brilliantly, I must say! But as I sat there, listening to these beautiful stories - unfinished stories - I realized how different my story how, and so how different the ministry, God has laid before me, is.
My life, maybe, instead is a living testimony. A testimony for right now, today, this moment. Not something down the road. Maybe my ministry is simply living, being, breathing, being filled with God's life.
Maybe the call for me isn't to be a huge radical evangelist, but a person who evangelises through day-to-day living... trough a life where weirdness to the US culture is normality for me.
Maybe I've been drafted to be a light by living, as Russ Duritz on The Kid claims, "a chick-less, dog-less looser with a twitch..." Except, in my case, it would be "a hunk-less, twitch-less looser with a dog," and through this "letting my light shine."
God richly bless and keep you!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Quiet Thoughtfulness... And the Lack there of!

There is a quiet thoughtfulness about the country,
that the city thoroughly lacks.

We have lived in the city, or at least a bed room community, now for about three months.
The differences between country life and city life are extreme!

I have found the differences more than fascinating, especially now that I have seen a decent art of both worlds, living in each at one time in life or another.
I've found it easier to see the differences when I compare and contrast, and would like to share some with you. So.. I will walk you through a hypothetical idea of the day-to-day adventures of my week in both the country and city life (these scenario's also use a hyperbole)
Hypothetically, Monday morning:You roll out of bed around six-thirty in the morning. After lying in bed for a few moments you become more aware of the sounds, sights and smells surrounding you. The air is laced with the scents of wood, dust and organic-ness... it smells cold... Quickly you become aware of the icy air touching your nose.
Most winter days you try to stay in bed as long as possible, for as soon as you remove the warm pile of comforters and quilts, about four in all, you are eagerly greeted by an icy hug from Jack Frost and Miss. Winter.
The bare wood floors are positively freezing! As quickly as possible you put on a pair of ratty fleece socks over wool socks, before allowing the thoroughly cold floors to touch your already chilled toes.
You have a vanity table, or mirror, in your room, giving you the capability to almost completely prepare yourself for the day.
As you walk down the squeaky wood floors the dogs yap good morning at you, your little sister smiles and races over to you, giving you a morning hug and kiss on the cheek.
Mom is probably doing her morning devotionals in the dining room chair, which is precariously placed in front of the South-East facing window. A cup of coffee is lazily giving off steam, on the cherry wood coffee table, standing next to the chair mom is reading in.
Dad is eating his breakfast, then rushes to and fro, making sure all is ready to leave for work.
A loud thump announces the awakening of the two brothers. A few more thumps, a shriek, a bang against a wall... silence! Another shriek... Of course you are used to all these normally unnerving sounds. They are the noises that tell you every one is awake, and alive and well. :)
A hypothetical idea of a Monday morning, in the City:
The alarm clock trumpets you into reality: Monday Morning... You press the "dismiss" button on your alarm... 7:30 AM... You hear a car hurrying it's way down the road.

Snuggled deep amongst a down-comforter, the warmth of the room automatically gives you a cheery outlook on the day.
You look at the ceiling, listening intently to the silence around you... surely something... someone.. somewhere... is awake... The sweet aromas of sleepiness, clean laundry and coffee dripping into a coffee pot surround you.
The air smells warm... Not hot.. a little cool, but not cold. You prepare yourself for the day.
You can hear a sibling peacefully snoozing, completely unaware of the sights, noises and smells you have observed in the past two minutes.

The two family dogs talk to each other up the stairs, through the garage door; they are waiting for you to feed and scratch them.
The thick, soft, warm carpet squishes between bare toes, as you make your bed and walk up the stairs, from the basement, to be greeted by mom and dad. They have been up long before you, and are passionately conversing as a hot, dark pot of freshly brewed coffee beckons to you...

Of course there are many, many, other differences between country and city life. Far too many for me to go into, no matter how many posts I write :)
However, probably one of the most stunning, shocking, and wild thing I have been absolutely stumped by is clothing. Strange? Oh yeah!
Never, ever, when we lived in the country, would I have worn a white shirt. Never! This would not only invite, but insure dirt, filth and complete and total ruination to the cloth!
It's silly, seemingly small, and relatively non-life changing, but in a sense it is life style changing. White articles of clothing in my closet are no longer a big deal because, well, I'm not hauling wood for heat nearly every day, I'm no longer petting, holding filthy barn cats (the thought of which still doesn't and never will keep me from continuing to hold them),we no longer live on a dirt road (cutting down on the dust collection immensely), and the list goes on.
We have gone to the local library a couple of times this week, already. When mom needs something from town, like to drop off a movie rental, it's very much "would you go run this errand for me," as apposed to "let's plan going into town this day, saving up all our errands for this one given day.. and if you forget something, you'll just have to wait until the weekend, or next week."
It's rather strange!
Very different. A cultural clash!
There are so many differences.
Although I could not even describe the flood of thoughts, emotions, feelings and ideas that overwhelm my mind, I think I will just sum it up in these two pictures.

The view from our home, in the country, taken from our bath room window,

which is directly above our kitchen window.


The view from our house, now... isn't it lovely?

I especially love being able to see into our neighbors window... YIKES!

Warmth for Winter

* Burnt-orange nail polish
*feather-down, fleece-lined blanket
*Hot "English Breakfast" tea, if a tsp. of whipped honey
*Pictures of tropical islands
*knitted scarf
*An adorable puppy to sit on your lap
*blazing fire
* Basic Message Oil
6 tsp. carrier oil of your choice
8 srops of essential/ fragerance oil of your choice
Blend the two together, well. Warm up the oil before using - make sure to message between your fingers and your cuticals.
.... any questions?