Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Today begins my last trip around the sun as a teenager.

Yay for growing up.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cleaning slates and changing roles

Me: "I finally gave him the boot"
Stephen: "Only took you all semester"

Gah. Normally I'm nitpicky about the little things people do wrong and take awhile to get over it, but in the one relationship that's actually been unhealthy for me and needing to end, I've been willing to put up with too much for my own good. If I had been smart I would have listened to Stephen and Jordan earlier. But, point is, I finally woke up, got smart, and listened. Things should be going up from here, now that I don't have this holding me down.

Doesn't mean I'm still not sore at the person, though. Still have to finish reading the book that Jordan gave me, "How to Forgive Even When You Don't Feel Like It". Not looking forward to it, but I know I need to read it anyway.

Home life is very different now than it ever has been before. I really don't know exactly how I'm supposed to relate to my parents. I'm an adult, I take care of myself, but at the same time they are still my parents and they still pay for the roof that is over my head. Makes for some frustrations on my part, but they're still great and I still love them. Only a few weeks until I head back to Waco. Things won't be too bad.

I got a craving for tea yesterday, and when I opened up our pantry I found that we have lots of boxes of different teas. Black tea, apple cinnamon tea, peach tea, wild berry tea, lemon tea, orange tea, mint tea, chamomile tea...the funny thing is, we don't drink tea in my family. So I have idea where all this tea came from. It's probably been sitting in there for years. Oh well. Still tastes really good. Which is kind of funny, because I've never really liked tea before. I guess as you grow up things change.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Reflections on my first semester in college

So, my first semester at Baylor is finished, more or less. I take my last final tomorrow morning and will be gone by the evening. College has exceeded my expectations. I love college so much, I have grown so much, become more independent, and learned a lot about God and myself. Honestly, I don't think I'm the same person now I was when I left Austin.

Some things I told my friend Sarah I've learned during this first semester (this list is definitely not comprehensive!):
~I've learned that I am fickle, but God is constant.
~I have learned that growing up comes with a lot of responsibilities.
~I have learned that I can handle it.
~I have learned that everything always works out in the end.
~I have learned that people are different, with different personalities, and how you relate to everyone is going to be different.
~I have learned that I am a lot more immature than I realized and I still have a lot of growing up to do.
~I have learned that college is even more of a bubble than I thought it would be. It's not the real world, but God works through it to prepare you for the real world nonetheless :)
~I have learned that hardly anything is as it seems at first.
~I have learned that I am still incredibly prideful and have a lot of humiliation to go through still before I am ever anywhere near on my way to being humble as Christ was.
~I have learned Christians are naturally attracted to other Christians. I assumed I would find Christian friends at church, so I didn't really look for them on campus. I never figured that I would find my best, closest Christian friends at swing dance! Who knew?
~I have learned just how deep friendship can run. While I had true friends in high school, I can only think of two or three friendships that ran as deep as the friendships I have now.
~I have learned that God has blessed me more than I deserve.Especially in the area of friendships. I don't deserve to have the friends I have, but God has decided to bless me anyways, and for that I'm thankful :)

That last lesson especially rings true for me as I look back on this past semester. What I will miss most about college, about Baylor, over the Christmas break will not be the gorgeous campus, walking everywhere, being on my own, or even swing dancing. What I will miss the most will be the new friends I have made. They say in order to have good friends, you need to be a good friend. I often think that I somehow got lucky to be an exception to that rule. I know that I am not nearly a good enough friend to deserve the friends that God has blessed me with this semester. God has given me some of the best friends anyone could ever ask for, and for that I am thankful.

Taylor Oh wow, where to start? Thank you for being the best twin a girl could ask for. Thank you for all the fun moments we shared together. Thank you for lending me your shoulder whenever I needed to cry, and offering tissues and chocolate to go along with it! Thank you for sitting with me and helping me talk through my feelings. Thank you for being honest with me when I needed you to be. Thank you for introducing me to the God box, to Redeeming Love, and to a new way of looking at life. Thank you for being a constant in my life, for loving me for who I am and accepting me unconditionally. Thank you for being an amazing sister in Christ. There's so much more that I could thank you for...for everything I've listed and everything I've forgotten, thanks so much. I only hope I can be half the best friend to you that you've been to me.

Jordan Thank you for always looking out for me, for walking me across campus when it's dark, and being there when I needed someone to be an overprotective older brother. Thank you for listening to me ramble on, sometimes for hours on end. Thank you for long walks around campus, honest and deep conversations, rides to CVS and Best Buy, and plenty of laughter, even at your expense. Thank you for your constant presence in my life as a gentleman and as a brother in Christ.

Stephen Thank you for being a constant example of true friendship, faithfulness, patience and unconditional acceptance. Thank you for being one of the best listeners I have ever known, for helping me through some of the difficult transitions I had to make during this first semester, and for patiently listening to my long facebook ramblings. Thanks for putting up with my girly mood swings and random frustrated text messages. Thanks for letting me squeeze your hand to death during the scary movie. Thank you for the car rides, the dances, and the movie nights at your dorm. Thanks for showing me what unconditional acceptance really is. Thank you for being an awesome friend and brother in Christ.

Anna Thanks for being a good listener and an awesome friend and sister in Christ. Thank you for your constant hospitality, for your awesome cooking, and for organizing the awesome potluck dinner. Thanks for asking me to room with you next year, I can hardly wait!

Austin Thank for just being Austin, for showing me how to be relaxed, have fun, and take life as it comes. Thanks for loving me even when I get on your nerves. Thanks for being an awesome friend and brother in Christ.

Shane Thanks for being a constant source of entertainment and general awesomeness. At the same time, thanks for being serious, being a good listener and a good source of advice when needed. Thanks for knowing when to be which. Thanks for the awesome weekend at your house, for wonky swing dances, and for being a brother in Christ.

Emma Thank you for long walks and deep conversations, and being an awesome sister in Christ. Thanks for wanting to know the real answer when you ask "how are you?". Thanks for being a great friend.

Sarah Thanks for being an amazing sister in Christ and fellow lover of music, swing dance, and deep thinking.

Landon Thanks for being a fun person to be around, for holding on to me while watching scary movies, and for being an awesome friend and brother in Christ. Have fun in Italy!

Michelle Thank you for accepting me into your circle of friends even though you're a fifth year senior and I'm just a freshman, for checking up on me at random times, for lunch after church, and being an amazing sister in Christ that I can look up to.

Tracey Thanks for teaching me how to be a better dancer, and being an awesome friend.

Katie Thank you for little person hugs and for being a sweet and fun person to be around.

I do not deserve to have y'all as my friends, and I am thankful that God decided to bring y'all into my life anyways. God bless all of you!


It snowed this morning! It wasn't much, and it melted quickly, but being a Texan it was enough to put a HUGE smile on my face!

I finally have most of my grades back. I got 94 on my chemistry and sociology finals, which means I have A's in both of those classes. I also have an A in ballet, acting, and my chem lab.

I only have my Christian Scriptures final left, which I only need a 62 on in order to make an A.

This means I'll be finishing the semester with a 4.0. Yay!

Monday, December 15, 2008


It's below freezing here in Waco, and the wind chill factor is around 20. I am going to die.

I took my chemistry final this morning. I'm still waiting for the final grade, but I feel really good about it. I have to get a 90 in order to get an A in the class, and I think I got a 92. Think, don't know. Still waiting to find out.

I have my sociology final in 2 hours. My final performance in acting is tomorrow morning, and my final in Scriptures is Wednesday morning.

The next couple of days are going to be relatively quiet and uneventful, probably, because everybody is leaving. Stephen has probably left already, Jordan is leaving tonight, Taylor, Austin, and Anna are leaving tomorrow morning, and my roommates are leaving tomorrow afternoon. Shane and Emma are the only ones also staying through Wednesday. I think we're planning on playing monopoly tomorrow night. Yay...

Michelle Kick is still the coolest. She took me out to lunch with her and Tracey yesterday after church. Turns out she and my "adopted" Uncle Tim work together. Small world.

Well I've got studying, cleaning, and packing to do. Missing all of my Baylor friends already. Stay safe, awesome, and warm y'all. If God decides to so bless me I will see all of you again in 2009!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Quiet+me=Deep scary thoughts

I am so weird.

I am in the middle of dead week right now. Nothing happens during the day. Nothing. I am supposed to have 24 free hours every day to study for finals. I actually have time and quiet. I should be relaxing and taking this time to study for finals, without stressing out.

Apparently, quiet and I do not work well together. You know what I end up doing? I end up thinking. That's right, thinking. What about? I start thinking about the fact that I am growing up. I start thinking about all the stuff that goes with growing up. And by all...I mean all. Buying a car. Maintaining a car. Buying an apartment. Buying groceries. Making a budget. Getting insurance. Getting my own credit card. Getting my own bank account, apart from my parents.

So what do I do with some of my down time from studying? I start googling and researching these topics. No joke.

And then I start thinking about how much I still have to do NOW before I actually really, truly have to think about some of the above things. Looking into studying abroad summer 2010. Applying for a job at the SLC next semester. Applying for the missions trip to Africa.

Then, tonight, I looked at my space around me and freaked out because it was messy, and I wondered how I ever thought I could be an adult and think about all these different things when I can't even keep my space clean. So I went on a cleaning rampage. The space is not completely clean yet, but a lot if it is clean, and that makes me feel better. I'll clean the rest tomorrow.

Oh my goodness, I am so weird.

At the same time, I feel that I'm finally growing up.

But this sudden "responsibility rampage" of mine (as a friend called it) still has me a little weirded out. I am so odd...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Time flies...

I think it just hit me for the first time today that I am an adult, and with that brings a whole host of responsibilities that I am not sure I'm prepared for. I'll figure it out eventually, though. I kinda have to. Yay for living on my own...

In other news...the December Ft. Worth swing dance was on Friday. Drove there and back with Stephen, which was really nice because I actually like the way he drives. I've become picky about the way people drive. Got to dance with a lot of good people while in Ft. Worth. I also got to meet Stephen's sister Michelle. The two could seriously pass for twins without trouble. Michelle is such a sweet and fun girl. I like her. :)

Austin turned 20 on Monday. We celebrated on Sunday by going out to Olive Garden for dinner, then going to Season's Creamery and eating cheesecake that Anna made and cookies that Stephen made. They were really good.

Tuesday was the swing dance pajama jam. Lots of fun, though very tiring. I played billiards with Bennett, Stephen and Taylor. Bennett and Taylor made one team, Stephen and I made another. Bennett and Taylor won by default when Stephen scratched the 8 ball, but we decided to keep playing anyways and somehow I managed to win for us. Turns out I don't suck quite as bad as I used to. I even managed to sink a ball shooting behind my back. Still don't know how I managed that one. We managed to stuff 6 people into Taylor's 5 person car to carpool over to the party, so I made sure to get a ride with Stephen back so we didn't have to go through that again. We talked about the whistle Stephen's car does in cold weather and the Trans-siberian orchestra.

Tonight was decorate your leader night at Awana. I have pictures at the link below (no, I was not the leader who got decorated):

Tomorrow night I'm eating dinner with my sociology professor's family. I'm so excited.

I have so much to do over the next few days and Christmas break. Apply for the Africa missions trip, apply for a job at the SLC next semester, sign up to take summer courses at ACC, look into hospital volunteering over the summer, look into going abroad summer 2010, find out if I'm going back to my old lifeguarding job this summer or looking for a new one, deciding if I want to intern with Awana this summer, etc...

And I should be asleep so I can get up and spend tomorrow (today, technically) productively. Studying for finals (chemistry especially), working out at the SLC, lunch with friends, dinner with the Doughertys...

'Night everyone.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Little Things

I have found since coming to Baylor that I notice the little things a lot more now. It seems almost any nice gesture of any sort will brighten up my day.

Today in church, "Hey, I was sitting back there and I noticed you so I thought I would move up here."

Michelle Kick, you are the best :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Something I've been contemplating...and I really want to know your thoughts

Where is "home"?

The answer to that question used to be easy. Home was wherever the people I loved were. Specifically, that meant Austin, TX.

But that definition isn't really working for me right now. My family is in Austin, and some of my best friends are there too. But now that I've basically established a completely different life for myself here in Waco, I've got a set of friends here that I know love me and accept me for who I am. They will be there for me when I need them, stick by my side when I'm going through a difficult time or simply riding a random girly emotional roller coaster, and sit down and have deep conversations with me. Jordan, Stephen, Taylor, Anna, Austin...they're all here.

When I'm in Waco, I miss my family and friends in Austin.
When I'm in Austin, I miss my friends from Waco.

So where is home? Is it Austin or Waco? Or do I have two homes? Or do I not have a home...?

I considered defining "home" as wherever my family is, but somehow now that I'm technically an adult and establishing my own life separate from my family, that definition doesn't quite seem appropriate.

Maybe I'm just stuck in this home-less phase until I get married, then "home" will be wherever my husband is.

I don't know...what I do know is that I am now really, really dreading moving to Dallas in 2010. Imagine, having THREE homes!

But in all seriousness...what is "home"? This is not a rhetorical question. I really want to hear your thoughts on this.

Adorable Awana moments

So tonight before Awana started, one of my sparkies, Kameron, pulled a candy bracelet out of his pocket and said "I got you this for Thanksgiving." "Awww, thanks!" I said. "It has a heart," he continued, "It stands for I love you." It was freakin' adorable. "Awww, how sweet!" I opened up the bracelet and put it on.

Five minutes later, his sister comes over and Kameron pulls out another candy bracelet, to which she promptly exclaims, "Those are MINE!" Uh oh. "You stole them!" "Kameron!" I said, "Did you steal these bracelets from your sister?" "We share the same candy jar," he replied. "Yeah, but those are MY Hannah Montana bracelets!" his sister retorted. I felt quite bad. "So, this bracelet is actually yours?" I asked. "Yes, but you can keep it," she said. "Awww, thank you sweetheart," I said, and she gave me a hug. It was really sweet.

Despite his misguided actions, Kameron really is a sweet kid. Later that night he gave me his coloring page (just like he does every week, it's so sweet), only this time across the top it said "I love you Ms. Lee". AWWWWWWW!

I'm kind of sad, though, because his mom told me tonight that they're moving to Abilene in February. So sad.

And while walking down the stairs from story time to game time, Madelynn grabbed my hand and held on the entire way down. Not because she needed me to help her in getting down the stairs. Just because she wanted to. My heart just melted.

I really really really love my sparkies. I look forward to seeing them every week. It's obvious that they really look up to me and think I'm one of the greatest things on planet earth. I'm guaranteed a lot of love and laughter every week. I don't know what I would do without my time with them every week. Go crazy, probably. Just being with them reminds me of so many things...I think hanging around little kids helps bring everything into perspective. The way they view the world is so refreshing. Sure, it's limited, but at the same time I wonder if it's more in focus than mine. The way everything excites them, and they love you because you'

It also reminds me that there is a world outside of Baylor...a world that is composed of more than college kids. Seriously. In any given week, my only interaction with non-college kids is with my professors, with maybe my adoptive family at church (of whom I really need to see more of), and with the sparks on Wednesdays. As much as I love Taylor and Jordan and Stephen, and Austin and Anna, and Shane and Emma, and all my other friends...I really think that if I were to only hang out with them, my life would be incomplete. Interaction with other generations is something I desperately need. My Sparkies are a Godsend to help with that. They remind me that the world is fresh and new, exciting and full of possibilities...and that life is amazingly simple.

I love my Sparkies so much.

Next week is "decorate your leader" night. My kids are really excited about that. I'll definitely be taking my camera...should have some interesting pictures :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend at Shane's House

On Thursday, November 20, Shane asks me "So do you want to go to my house tomorrow?" Completely forgetting that Shane lives in Allen residence hall on campus, I assumed that Shane meant that he lived in a house off-campus and was inviting me over for the afternoon the next day, so I said "Okay." Wondering why I had never heard Shane talking about his house before, I asked him "Where is your house?" His reply was "East Texas." It then clicks that he's not talking about a house that he lives in off-campus (at this same point I also remember that Shane lives in Allen), but is rather inviting me to go back with him to his parents' house. "So you're talking about a weekend trip?" "Yes," Shane said. After finding out that Austin and Anna were going too, my answer remained the same, "Okay."

So on Friday Shane, Austin, Anna, Emma, and myself all packed up and headed for Shane's house in East Texas at 4pm. We headed to Tyler first to get dinner at Olive Garden. We arrive at Shane's house around 9:15, if I remember correctly. As soon as we walk inside, I fell in love with the house. It was GORGEOUS. I wish I had taken more pictures of the house because words can't adequately describe it. It was an incredibly spacious, two-story house. Every room was decorated really well. The living room was a peaceful blue...Shane's sister's room was an incredibly beautiful room that felt like it came from a fairy tale...the kitchen was incredibly cozy feeling, even though sometimes things were hard to find because everything either was or looked like wood. Even the refrigerator looked like a wood door. Shane took us on a tour of the house. His parents and younger brother Austin got back around 10. We stayed up a little longer, eating cheesecake and talking. Finally, around 10:45 or so we all went to bed.

The next morning we woke up sometime around 9. When I walked out into the living room, I was told that a chihuahua had wandered to the Tindle's backyard and wouldn't leave. It was an incredibly cute dog, and it didn't have a collar. We decided that either eventually it would make its way back home, or we would go figure out which neighbor it came from.

I decided I wanted to cook breakfast, so I made french toast and scrambled eggs. I hadn't madfrench toast in years, so I was very happy when it turned out well.The stove area became my little haven as I cooked the french toast :)

After breakfast, we went for a walk through the Tindle's property. They own 30 acres, most covered with trees. The property is absolutely gorgeous. As we walked around I kept thinking, "This is what fall is supposed to look like!" The chihuahua decided it wanted to go with us and followed us for the whole walk.

After we got back from the walk, we decided we wanted to make tacos and fajitas for lunch. So we drove to Wal-Mart and bought groceries. We came back, made the tacos and fajitas, and had lunch. It was really, really good. Why does food always taste better when you make it yourself? I honestly can't remember what we did for the rest of the afternoon, probably because, in all honesty, we did mostly nothing. Which was really, really nice. In the evening we decided to go see if we could find the chihuahua's owner, since the dog had stuck around all day. We were unsuccessful, so we took the dog home, gave him a bath (or, more accurately, Shane and some of the others gave him a bath while I made fruit pizza), and the chihuahua became the Tindle's newest pet. We had become accustomed to calling him Taco, but Mr. Tindle got to officially name him and settled on "Jose" after Jeff Dunham's "Jose Jalepeno on a stick".

Me with Taco :)

When dinnertime came we were still full from lunch, so we just ate queso and fruit pizza while playing cranium. Definitely a lot of hilarious moments during that game :) After the game Shane, Anna, Emma and I showed Mrs. Tindle swing dancing moves, because she's never seen Shane dance before.

That night Shane decided to put on "The Prestige" for us to watch. It was definitely a very intense and very confusing movie. Just like every movie that I've watched lately, I teared up during a couple intense parts. At the end, I felt really confused. According to Shane, you have to watch the movie at least two times to catch everything. I guess I'll have to watch it again sometime.

The next morning was, once again, mostly doing nothing...watching Austin jump into the freezing cold pool, eating biscuits for breakfast, playing with Taco, showering, packing up, talking about dating, courting, and kids. Lunch was an AMAZING meal prepared by the Tindle's grandmother, Mrs. Tindle, and Shane. Green bean casserole, ham with brown sugar, home baked bread, potatoes, beans, cheesy ragu macaroni, was really, REALLY good. Conversation mostly centered around why each of the five of us had chosen to attend Baylor. The Tindle's grandmother was the last student to graduate from the Baylor nursing program before it got transferred to Dallas in the fifties, and she told her story. It was incredibly neat to hear.

After lunch, we finished cleaning and packing, and headed back for the Baylor campus at about 2:30. We got back about 4:45.

Although at first I was wondering if I was making a wise decision taking the weekend of to go to Shane's house, or if I should have stayed behind and used the weekend to study, I am definitely glad I went to Shane's house. I realized that I haven't had a real break this entire semester. The two times I have been home, I've had a lot of things to do while there. This weekend, I had absolutely nothing to do, and it was glorious. I came back feeling incredibly refreshed. I also really enjoyed the "out in the boonies" feel-there was no cell phone reception, and plenty of trees and wildlife. At college, I feel like I am constantly connected thanks to the cell phone and internet, and it was nice to take a weekend to disconnect. It also gave me a chance to invest in relationships-new ones (Mrs. Tindle and Emma) and not so new ones (Shane, Austin, and Anna). It was especially nice to be able to interact and relate with them in a context separate from college. This weekend was definitely a needed and very much appreciated refresher.

L-R: Austin, Anna, Emma, me, Shane

Oh, and Mrs. Tindle is such a strong Christian and inspiring woman. If you haven't gotten a chance to meet her, you're definitely missing out! :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Spring 2009 Class Schedule

Biology 2401-01-Anatomy & Physiology 1-MWF 8:00-8:50
Biology 2401-C-Anatomy & Physiology Lab-M 1:25-3:20
Biology 2401-C-Anatomy & Physiology Lab Lecture-Th 3:30-4:20
History 1307-01-World History since 1500-MWF 9:05-9:55
Psychology 1305-04-Introduction to Psychology-TTh 9:30-10:45
Spanish 2310-08-Intermediate Spanish-TTh 11:00-12:15
Chapel 1088-03-Chapel-MW 11:15-12:20

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Baylor Best Friends

\If you've heard me talking about life at Baylor I've probably mentioned to you at one point or another "my three best friends at Baylor." So for those of you who follow along with my life via this blog, I'm going to introduce you to them! :)


A couple weeks into the school year, I started asking friends and family back home to pray that God would bring a strong Christian girlfriend into my life. Taylor is the answer to that prayer! She is a 17 year old freshman engineering major from Marshall, TX. She is a strong Christian and such a sweet and funny girl. She always knows how to put a smile on my face. She and I think the same about a lot of things, to the point that we joke about sharing the same brain wavelengths. Despite only knowing her for a few weeks, we have already started finishing each other's sentences and completing each other's thoughts. We are so alike in so many ways that we call each other "twin". When her parents were up for parent's weekend and mine weren't, I hung out with her family for the day, and she joked that I fit in with her family better than she does. When I need to cry, she is the one I call. Within minutes she will be by my side with her shoulder, tissues, and chocolate! She is such a blessing and I am SO thankful that God has put her in my life!
StephenStephen is a 19 year old sophomore business major from Ft. Worth, TX. He is the swing dance instructor as well as a trip leader for the Baylor outdoor adventure living-learning center. He is like my "big brother" here at Baylor because while he doesn't have any qualms about teasing and annoying me, he is also an incredibly caring person and doesn't mind me being open and honest about how I feel about things-in fact, he encourages it. He is an incredible listener. He also cares for me like a big brother does, always making sure I'm okay. I think "are you doing okay?" is the question he's asked me the most. Although we often disagree and bicker about he "hows" of chivalrous behavior, he is still a gentleman in that he is incredibly respectful and kind. If you have ever wondered if it is possible for a guy to strike the balance between being "tough" and "tender", wonder no more. Stephen really has found a good balance between the two. If I was ever in any sort of danger or trouble of any sort, Stephen would be the first person I call.


Jordan is an 18 year old freshman geology major from Dallas, TX. He was a missionary kid in Brazil for most of his life. He is incredibly chivalrous, often going above and beyond what I think should be required for chivalrous behavior. He also takes the safety and well-being of his "young lady" friends incredibly seriously, more so than any other guy I have ever met. If I ever need a guy to be my overprotective brother, he's the one I go to. He also does whatever he can to cheer me up if he knows I'm having a difficult time-he's the one who will text me the "My Girl" lyrics in the morning while I'm getting ready for classes. He has a lot of weird quirks, but that's what make him special.
I was so very incredibly happy that my family got to meet all three of these amazing friends when they were dropping me off tonight. They really, really liked all three of them. As my family was leaving my mom turned to me and said "You chose really good friends, honey." That made me very happy! Y'all three are amazing and I <3 y'all!

How Shaney spent her "Fall Break"

*Left right after Scriptures class ended on Thursday.
*Drove straight to AWANA
*Spent Thursday evening at AWANA
*Doctor's appointment at 10 Friday morning at which she got three shots-a tuberculosis test, a meningitis vaccine, and a flu shot.
*Dentist's appointment at noon.
*Shopping at Goodwill with mother. Found her halloween costume (a 20s flapper dress with gloves and a headband) as well as a really nice looking faux leather jacket for $10
*Went to the grandparent's house for dinner and game night.
*Practice speech and debate tournament Saturday morning and afternoon at which she got to judge two debate rounds and an impromptu round!!! :D (Side note: Lill/Rogers will make it to nats this year, and both of them are REALLY GOOD speakers, improving even from last year...but Avery seriously blew me away with her ability to speak smoothly and sum everything up in the most easy to understand language)
*"Purpose Driven Death" conference Friday evening at which Brett Harris spoke, and she finally got to meet him in person after working with him for over a year.
*Realizing Saturday night that she hadn't even started a paper which was due on Friday, the day before. Writing the paper without the necessary book, knowing she'll start out with a reduced score and probably get a bad score anyway.
*Looking at the grading system on the syllabus and realizing that even if she had skipped the paper entirely she would have still had a good shot at an A, and therefore any score on the paper means it's highly likely she'll still get an A in the class.
*High Pointe Baptist Church Sunday morning at which she got to see Taylor Lassiter and the Helton family, and got to hear John Piper speak.
*Shopping at Wal-Mart with mom and Shannon.
*Buying her own camera at Best Buy.
*Going to Shawna's choir and getting to watch the mini talent show.(Her sister is such a talented story writer!)
*Driving back up to Waco with the entire family
*Dinner with the family and Taylor at Denny's
*Getting Jordan and Stephen to come over so that her entire family got to meet her three best friends at Baylor. Her parents like all three of them, and that makes her very happy! :)
*Dinner/dessert with Stephen at Ihop.
* Making a total fool of herself not being able to find the handle on Stephen's car door when he dropped her off at her dorm.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A friend just sent this to me...


by Maya Angelou

'A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ

that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.'

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not shouting 'I'm clean livin''

I'm whispering 'I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.

I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.

I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success.

I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect,

My flaws are far too visible but, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain...

I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,

I'm just a simple sinner Who received God's good grace, somehow!

Pretty is as Pretty does... but beautiful is just plain beautiful!

'I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me.' Phil: 4:13

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Nikos Fall Retreat and Learning Humility

If you asked me what sin I struggle with the most, I would tell you that pride is my greatest struggle. Humility does not come naturally to me. This weekend, God decided to give me a lesson in humility. Although it hurt, I am so thankful He did, because "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5)

For those of you who don't know, I have been involved with a ministry in Austin called Mission:Possible! since I was twelve years old. One of the ministries they have is a camping ministry, where they take inner-city kids out camping for a week or weekend. They do four camps a year-a weekend spring retreat, a week-long summer camp, a five-day summer road trip, and a weekend fall retreat. I have been a counselor at these camps since I was thirteen years old. I absolutely love this ministry with my whole heart and love being able to serve God by loving these kids. Through this ministry I have learned so much about myself, others, and God. This past weekend was the fall retreat, and I was going for my sixteenth time as a counselor.

When I got there, I was already dead tired thanks to staying up until almost two the night before talking with Jonathan, Grant, and Stephen at Common Grounds, but I made sure to get a really good night's sleep on Friday to be prepared for the kids coming on Saturday. I was the most experienced counselor there, and I was excited to get to love on these kids again...or so I thought. Looking back now, I realize that I let the fact that I had done this so many times before get to my head, and I started relying on my experience and my own strength instead of depending on God to work through me. God set it up perfectly: Friday night, Tres talked about how oftentimes we expect to have so much energy because "God will give us energy" when in reality God often give us barely enough energy to make it through the day, just so we know that it was Him working and not us in our own strength.

So Saturday comes, I wake up feeling great and excited about the kids coming. We do some last minute preparation, and the kids arrive around 10:30. My fellow counselors and I got our girls and we plunged right into the activities. During the afternoon, I actually lifeguarded for four hours straight instead of going to all the different activities with my girls, but it was okay because we actually ended up with four counselors to three girls (which NEVER happens at a Nikos retreat!) so we had a one-to-one camper/counselor ratio (which is ideal, but we also thought would never, ever happen in a million years. God is good!) I make it through the afternoon...boring but still okay. Dinner comes, and I start getting a headache. After dinner was going to be a flour bomb fight, but I KNEW there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to make it through. So I told my fellow counselors that I was going to go sleep my headache off...half an hour later I wake up and my head is KILLING me. I swear, my brain turned to lead. It felt so heavy, and it was THROBBING. As much pain as I was in, I forced myself out of the tent and went and found Mrs. Pinson, who promptly sent me to the house to get painkillers. I took the painkillers, but found myself feeling nauseous, and ever time there was a light change it felt like an explosion in my head. I thought I had a migraine, but Mrs. Pinson said it was a sinus headache (she was right). The thought of spending the night in a tent in the woods was absolutely torturous. I knew there was no way I could make it, so I called my mom to come and pick me up.

So I got home, and was thinking about how sad it was that I was missing the rest of the retreat. I didn't get a chance to know my girls, I didn't get to see God work in their lives, I didn't get to see God working in ANYONE's lives. As I was thinking about this I started consoling myself by thinking "God's purposes for the weekend are still going to be accomplished for the weekend. Even without me there. In fact, if God's purposes would have been better accomplished with me there, He would have kept me there. Like Tres said, God gives us enough energy to make it through the day. He didn't give me that energy, so His plans must be better accomplished without me there...wait a minute."

God's plan was better accomplished with me out of the way.


And in that moment, I realized just how much of a prideful attitude I had about the whole retreat. I had been relying on my years of experience instead of relying on God. The hilarious part was, that morning I had prayed that God would give me humility: "Lord, let me see that it is not me working, but that it is You working through me." Well, apparently God decided that the best way to teach me humility was to NOT work through me, and to work through others instead. It was as if God was saying "I do not need your experience to accomplish my purposes. I want a heart that is dependent upon Me."

Ouch, ouch, ouch!

But you know what? It's okay. I am content with what happened, because I know God has a bigger and better plan. I also know that I am not even close to finished with learning humility. It is going to be a lifelong struggle, but I know that God loves me enough to keep patiently teaching me. I hope that it doesn't take me too long to learn, because I want to be someone that God can work through. I don't want my pride getting in the way.

So, how was the retreat? "Disappointing but good". Why? Because God is good. His plans are best, and He loves me enough to work in my life, even when it's not the way I would choose. After all, those whom the Lord loves, He chastises. I swallowed a big helping of chastisement this weekend, but I know that means that God loves me and is working on my character.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Life part 2

...there was a period of time for about 24 hours when I was really super worried about her. Reason being that I have a horrible tendency to assume worst-case scenarios. In this case, worst case scenario would be a brain tumor. I had several people tell me "It's probably nothing," but that didn't keep me from worrying one bit. This is probably because the possibility of a brain tumor hits waaaaaaay too close to home-my best friend died from a brain tumor when we were thirteen. Thank the Lord Shannon is completely okay, but that thought process got me thinking about death and life.

Growing up, I experienced the death of someone very close to me twice. The two experiences couldn't have been more polar opposites. As I already said, when I was thirteen, my best friend died from a brain tumor. This was very sudden (she died less than a week after she was diagnosed), and totally unexpected. Even when I heard the diagnosis, I was positive that if anyone could overcome something like that, Adrienne could. She was so full of life. When she did pass away, I was devastated. I had never cried so hard in my life, and I'm not sure I've ever cried as hard since. I was ANGRY at God. It took weeks of searching and seeking before I finally came to the conclusion that I still believed in God, and that I believed that He is good. Although the experience made my faith so much stronger, it also started me down a path that could have easily caused me to walk away from my faith.

In complete contrast, when I was seventeen, my great-grandmother died at age 104. Unlike Adrienne's death, Nana's death was completely expected, and the "dying process" had taken place over several months. I was not upset when she passed away. In fact, I thanked God that she was in a better place, no longer in pain. I didn't even cry until over a month after she passed away.

I was thinking about these two ladies of faith and the vastly different experiences I had when the Lord called them home. But then I realized that there was one thing both of them had in common.

Both of them had honored God with their lives and fulfilled His purpose for them.

And I started thinking-if I were to die tomorrow, would I be ready? Could people say that I had honored God with my life and fulfilled His purpose for me?

I want to live life ready to die. But what does that look like? I started thinking about all the different things I wanted to do with my life. God has given me a dream to adopt a large family. I'm currently studying to be a nurse. When will God's purpose for my life be complete? After the last child has grown and left the house? After I serve God as a nurse for so many years?

But then I stopped, and I thought...what if I died tomorrow? Could I give up my dreams if God would be glorified more in my death? If God were to be more glorified in my death, then how would I measure the life I have lived so far? How do I know if I am ready to die?

Then the answer came to me...all I need is Jesus. And I realized that as long as I am learning to love Jesus more and more each day, I am ready to die. When I think about Adrienne, the first thing that comes to my mind wasn't the times we would look in magazines and point out which guys were cute and which guys were ugly. The first thing that comes to my mind isn't even doing dance ministry together. The first thing that comes to my mind is...she loved Jesus. Adrienne was ready to die because she loved Jesus, and served Him as a result of that love.

I don't know when God is going to call me home. Although Nana died peacefully in her sleep, there was a moment several months before that when I was visiting her in the rehabilitation home when she started to suffocate from fluid buildup in her lungs. I remember standing there helplessly waiting for EMS to arrive, thinking "I am going to watch my own flesh and blood die right here in front of me!" God didn't call Nana home at that moment-but He could have. He can call me home at any time.

I want to be ready. I want to live ready to die. I want love Jesus.

In the end, that's all that matters.

Life part 1

Tonight I decided I wanted to write about two things. One, I just wanted to write about what's going on in my life. Two, I wanted to write down some serious thoughts I've been having. I'm going to separate that into two posts, just for the sake of my sanity. :)

My nails are now short. Yes, I know that seems really random, but it's actually a big deal for me. Reason being that I FINALLY kicked the nail-biting habit PERMANENTLY about a month or so ago. Since I finally kicked the habit I've only cut my nails twice, and it is a really scary experience!! Thanks to probably around fourteen years of nail-biting, I don't know how to use the nail clippers! Last time I trimmed my nails I was scared of cutting too much off and barely cut anything off-just enough that they were no longer getting in the way of typing. On Tuesday I was thinking that my nails had gotten too long again, and considered cutting them, but didn't do it. That night at swing dance I was dancing with Stephen, and we were doing some move where my hand was sliding down his, only I wasn't actually supposed to let go, but thanks to sweaty hands I was about to lose my I increased the pressure of my hand on his hand, and all of a sudden he called out, "Ow, ow, nails!" I hadn't even thought about that. I'm not used to having long nails! I felt bad about it-then later I felt REALLY bad when I saw what I actually did to him. I didn't just scratch him like I thought. I cut him. Definitely time for the nails to be cut. This time I cut off more than I wanted. But that's okay, because the nikos fall retreat is this weekend, and short nails are better for camping.

Awana tonight!!! I LOVE MY SPARKIES!!! For some reason only two of my five sparkies showed up tonight, one brought a guest. The boys were HYPER tonight, but for some reason I didn't feel like my patience was being tried. I guess I just love them too much to get upset with them. :) This will sound weird, but I feel like since coming to Highland I've been both promoted and demoted. I've been promoted because I'm no longer a leader-in-training, I am a full blown leader. But I also feel demoted (I wish there was another term I could use that wasn't so negative-sounding) because I'm the new person. Back at home, my family was the first to arrive and the last to leave. If someone had a question, I was probably the first person they would ask. That's no longer the case here. Things are definitely run WAY differently at Highland than they are at Grace. But I'm okay with that. I love my sparkies, and I love serving God. :D

On Monday, I talked to my sister Shannon, and she told me she had been having dizzy spells. This made me REALLY worried. Turns out she just had hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), but...

(continuation of my thoughts in part two)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This makes me laugh!

I think this is hilarious.

As we all know, girls require time and money.

Girls=Time x money

And, of course, "Time is money"


So therefore

Girls=Money x money= money^2

As we've all been told, "Money is the root of all evil"


Substitute that into the equation:


Bringing us to the conclusion that


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ballroom Dancing

"Dancing, dancing, dancing...Shaney, do you ever study?"

Well, believe it or not, I somehow ended up with all easy classes this semester. No joke, my workload is actually easier now than it was in high school. So the answer is, yes, I do study...but I also literally spend more time dancing than I do studying. No joke.

Last night there was a ballroom dance in Hewitt, which is about fifteen minutes from Baylor. Will picked me up at about 7:05 and we got there early, around 7:20-ish. We were the first ones from Baylor there. At about 7:40 they started the lesson, which was a few east coast swing moves. They were very fun and easy to learn. It helped that I got paired with Alex, who is a really good dancer. The lady teaching the lesson kept staring at me the whole time. At first I thought it was just me, but then Alex mentioned "She keeps staring at you." It made me a little nervous-was I doing something wrong? Or was it Alex? I thought he was leading me perfectly. But she never came over to correct us. Later that night, she came up to me and Shane after we had finished dancing one of the dances and commented that we were both really good. According to Shane, it's rare to get compliments like that. So that made me happy. :)
Shane and I dancing the tango.

After the lesson was the dancing. And then I realized that the majority of the guys we brought from Baylor were swing guys and knew none of the other dances. Some of the guys knew how to waltz, a few knew how to rhumba, a couple knew salsa...but that was pretty much it. Only two guys knew all of the dances-Shane and Matthew. I tried to avoid hogging Shane so that other girls could have a chance to dance with a guy who knew the dances, but I still believe I ended up dancing with him more than anyone else. Matthew was there with his partner, Alaena, and they are GOOD. Normally I'm not intimidated by guys who are better dancers than me, but for some reason I felt a little nervous about asking Matthew to dance, so I waited all the way until the last Rhumba. Looking back, I regret that a little bit. Matthew does more than just basic stuff, but I'm almost always able to follow him. I wish I had gotten in a salsa as well. Oh well.
Shane attempts to teach me a salsa didn't quite work.

This dance was a little different from dancing in Ft. Worth because it seemed all of the older people had their partners that they danced with the entire night. I only got asked by two guys who weren't from Baylor to dance-the instructor asked me to dance a waltz, and another man asked me to dance a swing. So out of 34 dances, 32 of them were danced with Baylor people. Some of them I would just ask a random guy to dance and teach him the basic step for the dance. A couple of them I had no clue what the basic step was, so I just grabbed a guy named Austin and told him "I don't care what you make up, just do something." And he definitely didn't disappoint. Those dances were fun.

Afterwards we went to Dairy Queen and got food. Then Kevin, Will, and myself went with Katie to her apartment and played a game of apples to apples before heading home for the night.

I went home happy :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

An Evening Full of Dancing

Thursday evening was an evening filled with dancing. If you know me, you know I LOVE dancing, and having an evening full of it made me very, very happy!

First was ballroom dancing at 6. We continued learning the rhumba and added on a couple moves. Jonathan Pinto came a little late, around 6:30-ish, after they had already finished teaching. So Shane gave him a one-on-one lesson, and had me come over and help him teach. So most of the class for me was spent between Jonathan and Shane. But it's alright, I still got to dance with a variety of guys. At the end of class, Shane decided he wanted to try the girl part, so I did the guy part. It was definitely weird, and I don't lead very well. Nevertheless, it was fun and entertaining. I can't wait to continue learning new dances.

Ballroom dancing ended at 7:45, swing was at 9. Several of the girls at ballroom had been wearing skirts and dresses, and I decided that I like the way their skirts flowed while they danced, so I went back to my dorm and changed into a dress. Swing dance was SO much fun. The teaching time hardly took any time at all, so there was a lot more time for dancing. I got to dance with a much wider variety of guys than usual. One guy commented that he really enjoyed when girls wore skirts while dancing and was happy that I had decided to wear one. It really is so much more fun to dance in a skirt. I think I'm going to make it a habit to wear a skirt or dress to swing dance.

After swing dancing myself, Johnny, Ashley, Richard, Andrew, Tracey and Grant went to Wild West for Grant's 22nd birthday. For those of you not living in Waco, Wild West is a country dancing club/bar. Grant and I got there first. Grant went up to the door, showed his ID to the bouncer, got his 21+ wristband, and walked inside. I got out my ID and showed it to the bouncer, then stuck out my hand, expecting him to take his permanent marker and mark a big X on my hand to show I'm under 21. Instead, the bouncer puts a 21+ wristband on me. I was way too surprised and dumbfounded to say anything. Before you ask: NO, I was not dressed like a slut. In all seriousness, I would be proud to meet the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in what I was wearing that night. NO, I did not flirt with bouncer in any way, shape or form. I don't even remember smiling. All I did was hand him my ID-which, by the way, has "Under 21" printed at the top and is lengthwise instead of widthwise. I honestly have no earthly clue why the bouncer decided to give me a wristband instead of an X. I'm not gonna lie, it was tempting to take advantage of the wristband and try a drink, but I decided against it. One, it would still be illegal, but two, the more pressing reason, I decided that I didn't want to try any alcoholic drink for the first time the night before an 8am class. I feel bad that that's the reason I decided against it, not because it would be wrong...oh well. Point is, I didn't try anything.

Anyways, Wild West was a lot of fun, although I've heard it's better if you go earlier. Apparently if you go before midnight, they will play all country songs, meaning you can actually do real dancing (two step, texas two step, and maybe swing) the whole time. After midnight they start playing rap and hip hop along with the country, which means that some songs you can't really dance-it's just a bunch of people grinding up on each other. Note to self: Next time you go to wild west, go earlier. The country dances were a lot of fun, especially with Grant. Grant and Richard also decided to try swinging to some of the hip hop songs, which was fun. I learned a new line dance. Johnny took Ashley and myself home at one.

I woke up this morning EXHAUSTED. I still managed to make it to my 8am class on time and not fall asleep, although I didn't get to eat breakfast beforehand. Luckily, my class got out REALLY early so I got to eat breakfast at Memorial before my 9:05 class. It was at breakfast when I realized just how tired I was when Shane came up beside me and said something to me, and I DIDN'T HEAR HIM. Nevertheless, I had an AMAZING time last night and wouldn't have chosen to do anything differently. I just need a nap...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday and Wednesday

Tuesday-Acting class at 9:30. We're working on improv. Our professor had some guys from the improv comedy troupe at Baylor come and show us some stuff and play some games with us. It's a lot of fun, but I'm learning just how bad at improv I really am.

Christian Scriptures class was at 3:30. We got our scores for the first test back. Apparently, I really am an Awana nerd. In all honesty, except for the map locations, I didn't really study that much for this test. I mostly went off of my own knowledge, plus what I remembered from class lectures and readings. I reviewed my notes from class lectures, but besides that I didn't do much in the way of studying. Despite that, I got a 96 on the test. Class average was 78. When asked what the highest score was, the professor replied "96 or 98". Wow. So I had either the highest or second highest score in the class. I almost feel guilty. But in all honesty, I am just really happy that I grew up on this stuff.

Tuesday evening-swing dancing!!! We learned the a couple charleston variations. I realized that I still have a bad habit of leading instead of following-something I'm definitely working on. I also realized that I don't provide much resistance, so I'm making it harder for the guy to send signals because my arms are kind of limp. Definitely something I'm working on. Several of us went to Common Grounds afterwards. Will offered to buy me something, but I didn't really know what I wanted, and I wanted to try something new, so I said "Surprise me." He got me a smoothie called a strawberry bomb and it was very delicious. Tracey told us about upcoming swing events, and we talked about how cool it would be to put on a swing show at common grounds.

Wednesday-typical Wednesday. Chemistry-alright but not exciting. Sociology-still my favorite class. We watched a video of one of our classmates, Jake, showing us his living space. We talked about socialization and watched a video clip of the Breakfast Club. The point of the clip was how all the teenagers were talking about why they acted the way they did, but as they did I started crying because of the anger and frustration they all obviously held. On Sunday, Kyle Dunn (college pastor) talked about how oftentimes we judge non-christians instead of letting our hearts break for them. God is definitely working in my heart about that. There was a time when I wouldn't have been able to get past all the s-bombs and f-bombs and actually listen to what the characters were saying. This time, I listened to the emotions behind their language-and I just let myself cry. There are real people in the world hurting like this. I know that wasn't the point of showing the video clip-but that's what I got out of it.

Awana Wednesday evening!!! I got my permanent group of sparkies for the year. I have three boys and two girls, all second graders. I already absolutely love them. During game time, one of my girls, Aidan, asked to go to the bathroom, so I went with her. As we were headed back to game time, she said, "There's my daddy!" and ran down the hall. I looked up to see who she was running towards-and it was Kevin Dougherty, my sociology professor!!! That's just WAY too cool of a coincidence. Okay, so I don't believe it's a coincidence, I believe it's a God thing. It's just so weird, though. I saw Aidan's last name and thought "I have a professor with that last name". I saw Aidan, and she has vibrant red hair JUST like her daddy-and it still didn't click. It didn't even cross my mind. When Aidan found out that her daddy was my professor, she thought it was the coolest thing. The first thing she told the other girl, Madelyn, when we got back to game time was "My daddy teaches our leader!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday 9/15/18

So I woke up and got ready for classes yesterday morning, and was ready to go when I realized that I didn't know where my ID was. This is VERY bad. Life at college basically revolves around the ID card-it's what I need to get into my dorm, what I need to eat, what I need to pay for stuff, what I need to get credit for chapel attendance...I spent about 10 minutes searching for it when I realize that it really is nowhere to be found. I knew that if I didn't leave right then, I would be late to class. But I also knew that I also may not be able to get into my room later. Deciding that school was definitely a high priority, I left and went to Chemistry, then to Sociology. Afterwards I went back to my dorm, managed to get inside the building, and obtained an emergency access code from the front desk to get into my room. Once I got inside my room I searched EVERYWHERE for my ID but couldn't find it anywhere. Finally I decided it was going to take less time to go get a new ID than to search and find my old one. So I left, hopped on the bus to go to Robinson tower, and got a new ID. It literally took 30 seconds once I got inside the building to get my new ID. The bus route is a 15-minute route, so I decided that waiting for the bus wasn't worth it and walked back. (Yes, I crossed under the freeway...don't freak out.) I missed chapel, unfortunately, but I would have needed an ID to get credit for being there anyway. So the morning was somewhat eventful. The rest of the afternoon was not.

Monday evenings are latin dance. I've had latin dance lessons before but I'm not very good. I was very happy though, because I got to dance with a couple guys who REALLY knew what they were doing and pushed me to improve. Even between the beginning of the evening and the end, I felt dramatic improvement in my technique. I'm excited about continuing to learn and improve. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Great news!!!!

I called my cousin Amanda earlier today, and I found out that Yomarrah, my cousin Nestor's girlfriend, accepted Christ as her Savior!!! Praise the Lord!!!! I am so excited!!! There is a new child in the kingdom...

Michelle Kick's birthday party and Highland Baptist Church

On Saturday, the campus got soaked thanks to a thunderstorm from Ike. Thanks to that, I stayed inside the dorm pretty much all day and did almost nothing. That was pretty much going to be my whole day, but around 7 Grant from swing dance instant messages me and asks if I want to go to a swing get-together for the president, Michelle Kick's, birthday, at 8. I said sure. So Grant picked me up about 7:50 and we headed over to the party. We just ate cake and hung around for the first hour or so until Stephen and Johnny showed up. We then proceeded to watch the movie Kung Pao. WORST MOVIE EVER. Total waste of time. Shane showed up in the middle of the movie. Michelle, Shane, and the other girl (I feel bad that I can't remember her name) were all cracking up over the movie. Kevin thought the movie had its moments. Stephen sat there with this "You've got to be kidding me. I can't believe I'm watching this," look on his face the entire time (except for one point where he started playing with Michelle's dog, Libby), and Johnny alternated between looking miserable and laughing at Stephen's face. I alternated in between points when I was trying to decide whether I was going to laugh at the movie, or cry because it was just so horrible. Most of the time I did neither and just sat there. Johnny said that I made some funny faces too. I think Stephen adequately summed up the movie when he said "I can already feel the brain cells dying." After the movie we played Catch Phrase. Johnny and I did a good job playing off of each other. Unfortunately, I kept messing up and guessing when it was the OTHER team's turn. The swing people there got a heavy dose of my competitiveness. I kept getting really excited and would do things like yell "MAN OVERBOARD" at the top of my lungs. I think I was just sleep deprived...

After several rounds of Catch Phrase, we decide it's time to leave, and Johnny volunteered to drive me back to campus. We walked out the door and I got to see Stephen's car, windows covered with writing saying stuff like "QT pie", "Mwah!", and "God's gift to women". Apparently some freshman girl is completely infatuated with him. I jokingly warned him not to let it get to his head, or else I would slap him.

So this morning I went and visited Highland Baptist Church. And my search for a church here at college is now officially over. I have fallen in love with Highland and am making it my home church. The pastors are AMAZING. They are not afraid to speak truth. Both of their sermons were amazingly convicting. The people are very friendly, the worship is awesome. Highland is just enough like Grace that I'm comfortable there-but it's definitely NOT Grace. It's funny, last week when I talked to my mother she said that I should just choose a church as soon as possible and stick with it, rather than just spending a long time "church shopping"-especially since I only have two years here before moving to Dallas. Considering just how many churches are in Waco, I thought "yeah right". Well, once again, mother is always right. As soon as the first service was over I knew Highland is where God wants me. Praise the Lord!

Friday, September 12, 2008

I miss...

Thanks to technology I can communicate with friends and family back home whenever I want. Because of this, I haven't really been too homesick. But today I became just a little bit homesick when I realized what is missing here at Baylor.

Though I can talk to anyone I want pretty much whenever I want, I miss being able to hug friends and family. My "love language" is physical touch, and I really miss being able to physically relate to everyone back home.

Other than that, everything at college is going well. I finished my first round of tests/papers/projects and did well in all of them. The Latin dance society and Social dance society started this week and I am thoroughly enjoying them (though not nearly as much as swing).

And I've met a couple Baylor graduates who were homeschooled. Pretty neat.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

AWANA and classes

Last night I went to Highland Baptist Church to work with their Awana program!!! I thought I would be working with the Cubbies, but when I got there they told me they needed more help with the Sparkies. One of the leaders was out sick so I was given a group right away. It was only four kids, consisting of three boys and one girl, all first graders. I loved it!!! Highland's program is definitely larger than Grace's, and they run things a little differently too, but I am excited to be involved and to get to know people. I LOVE AWANA and I am so glad to be working in Awana again!!!!! I get my permanent group next week. I'm pretty sure I'll be working with 2nd graders but we'll have to wait and see!

Classes are going well. I have finished my first exams in chemistry and religion, my first paper in sociology, and my first project in acting. I definitely have A's in all my classes so far.

I have a couple of prayer requests:
*First, I have been suffering from bad insomnia. NOT because I'm upset or anything, because I'm not, I am perfectly fine and happy...I thought it was because of being sick, but even as I have been getting better I have not been sleeping better...actually, I've been sleeping worse. If I want to actually sleep through the night, I have to take PM allergy meds, but then I am exhausted in my morning classes. I can never review my notes after class because I am so tired that I just go back to my dorm and take a nap. It's gotten so bad that when I went with a group of friends out for coffee after swing dance I fell asleep on one of my friend's shoulders. I'm guessing it's just new surroundings that I'm not used to, because I see no other reason why I should have trouble sleeping. Pray that I'll start sleeping normally without the use of sleep aids.
*Second, pray that I would find a close Christian girl friend here on campus. I actually know several really neat Christian guys here on campus, and I've met many Christian girls, but for some reason I see the Christian guys consistently and not the girls...I'm hoping that between activities such as Awana and the national student nursing association, I'll meet one or two girls that I can be really close with. I have plenty of close Christian girl friends that I can talk to, but no one who can be a physical presence here on campus, who I can go to when I need a hug. Pray that God would bring me a close Christian girl friend.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

*Gasp* Shaney is updating her blog!

Yes, that's right, Shaney is actually on here to give an update on college life!

Move in day was August 25th, and immediately all the freshman were swept up in the chaos that is Welcome Week at Baylor. They had so many different activities it was crazy!!! In a way I was happy because it gave me a lot of chances to meet and get to know people, but in another way I wish I could have had more time to myself to be able to have more time to do things such as walk around campus and learn where everything is, finish unpacking, etc. But I am definitely glad that their were plenty of opportunities to meet people.

I've been to three different churches now-University Baptist Church (David Crowder's church), Calvary Baptist, and Columbus Avenue Baptist. Calvary, though a nice church, is a definite no (they ordain women pastors), Columbus is a maybe, and I would like to go back to UBC. I also would like to go to Highland Baptist and Antioch. I'm going to Highland to work as an Awana leader, so I'm probably going to go there for church as well, but I obviously have to visit it first before I make that decision. There is also Church Under the Bridge here in Waco, so I'd like to go there once or twice a month.

Classes are going well. Overall, I am liking all of my classes, but I am completely, thoroughly in love with Sociology 1305. My professor is AMAZING and I love his teaching style!!! If I could guarantee that I would have all of my classes with him, I would seriously consider switching my major over to sociology. As of right now, I'm thinking I'll take social statistics as an elective next semester, just so I can have another class with Kevin Dougherty. He's that good.

Chapel is a lot of fun. Phil Vischer, the creator and multi-character voice of VeggieTales, spoke at chapel yesterday. The Hastings drove up to see him (and visit me in the process). We stuck around afterwards and got to talk to him and get our picture taken with him. Afterwards, I took them to eat at Brooks hall (the coolest cafeteria on campus) and then took Paul & Christina to see my dorm. I was so excited to get to see them again!!!

I think I've finalized my extra-curricular activities this semester. Most of my social life seems to be revolving around the social dance societies. There are three on campus-the social dance (ballroom) society, the latin dance society, and the swing dance society. A lot of people (including myself!) think it's kind of crazy to join all three, but I absolutely LOVE dancing with all of my heart, and I realized that I will never have access to a dance education for this cheap and this accessible ever again after these two years, so I better take advantage of it now. I'll drop one or two if my school load ever gets too heavy, but so far it looks like my load is going to be really light this semester.

Then there's the national student nursing association, awana, and IF I have time, volunteering at the salvation army soup kitchen.

Swing dance society has basically taken over my life. It seems the people that I am getting to know the best here are all in the swing dance society. We've already taken a road trip up to Ft. Worth to go swing dancing for four hours straight and I LOVED it!!!! Maybe in a later post I'll introduce y'all to some of the people in the swing dance society and share some stories, but right now I need to get going on Chemistry homework. I have my first exam tomorrow. I'm not too worried because it's all basic stuff that I learned in high school, but you can never be too prepared!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My new address!

I expect lots of letters and packages!

Shaney Lee
One Bear Place #82972
Waco, Texas 76798-2972

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fall Class Schedule

The past two days I have been in Waco for orientation at Baylor. I am now officially a Baylor student, and I have my schedule for the fall. It's pretty decently light. I am taking 14 hours this semester. I would be taking 17 but I get to skip English since I took it at ACC. :)

Chemistry 1300-Introductory Chemistry-MWF 8-8:50
Chemistry 1100-Introductory Chemistry Lab-F 12:20-1:10
Sociology 1305-Introduction to Sociology-MWF 9:05-0:55
Religion 1310-The Christian Scriptures-TTh 3:30-4:45
Theater 1314-Acting for Non-Majors-TTh 9:30-10:45
Human Performance 1117-Beginning Ballet-MWF 1:25-2:15
Chapel 1088-Chapel-MW 11:15-12:05
Chapel 1088-University 1000-F 11:15-12:05

(I have no clue whatsoever what University 1000 is...I just know it's required).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Gaining Wisdom and Spiritual Passion from Older Generations

On one of my previous blogs I wrote a post I titled The Church As Burger King, in which I mentioned briefly, among other things, that "An older Christian adult with much more life experience can give something [to a teenager that] one's peers cannot."

At the end of May I officially graduated from the youth group at my church. This fall I will move to Waco and find a church of my own, but for the summer I needed to find a Sunday School class to go to, so I decided to go with my parents to theirs, The Way and The Word. I have only gone twice but I am absolutely amazed at this class. It mostly consists of couples with children from elementary age to college age, but there are a couple older couple who have no children at home, and of course, there's me, a college student. But despite being the youngest one in the class, I'm already feeling more at home there than I ever did in the youth group. These adults have a spiritual passion that is so contagious. They are more than just a class-they really are a family! They rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. They constantly lift each other up in prayer. They are incredibly connected. You can't sit through one of there classes without sensing the spiritual passion these people have. They are eager to learn. When the teacher asks for someone to read a passage in the Bible, there is no awkward silence!!! Someone is always willing to read from Scripture, and it's not just the same someones over and over either. And the knowledge they have about Scripture is amazing. Bill Schreyer is the teacher, and he has an incredible wealth of knowledge about the Bible and about history. In youth group, I always had an "I already knew that" during the sermons-not in a bad way, it's just that there wasn't ever much material that I already knew. The opposite is true in this class-I am an "AWANA nerd" and yet I am learning so much every class!

I am loving this class and I am so excited about how much I am going to learn this summer. The adults are amazing. I liked youth group, but it will never compare to this. Of course, the age range is very different, the youth group is much bigger, and many are there simply because their parents bring them-but I hope that one day the youth group will experience the same spiritual passion that this Sunday School class does.

Maybe if teens spent much more time with adults like the ones in this Sunday School class, then youth groups would have more spiritual passion. How can you not see how much these adults love the Lord and NOT want what they have?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Numero Uno

Over this past year, my senior year of high school, I had two blogs. One, Journey to Jacksonville, was to record how God was working in my life through Summit. The other, God Said It Best, was to record my thoughts on lessons God has been teaching me. Now that Summit is over I no longer need that blog, and I've felt a little "stuck" with my other blog, as I feel like I shouldn't write anything "non-spiritual" on it, when many times it is the non-spiritual things of life that lead us to learning spiritual lessons. So I decided I needed just one blog that was my "everything" blog, my life blog. Where I could write about everything going on in my life AND what God was teaching my through that. This blog is it. I will no longer be updating God Said It Best, and will unlikely be updating Journey to Jacksonville once I get finished recording my Summit memories.

The reason I call this blog "Learning Christ's Dance" is twofold. One, I absolutely love dancing, especially ballroom dancing. Dancing is a passion of mine. Second, I firmly believe that life is about Christ. Christ is the center of everything. I absolutely love drawing parallels between life and dance, and the title does just that. See, in ballroom dancing, it is the job of the man to lead the woman. The man decides what the dance will be like, and it is His job to show the woman what He wants the dance to be like. The same way, Christ knows what He wants our lives to look like, and He will lead us to show us what it should be. Now, when a man leads a woman in a dance, he isn't describing everything out loud or demonstrating everything for the woman. He uses little hints-slight changes in body movement-to guide the woman where he wants her to go. So Christ doesn't tell us His plan for our lives outright, but rather guides us in the direction He wants us to go. The woman can mess it up in many ways-trying to lead, ignoring the signals, hesitating, etc. So we can mess up our lives if we don't follow Christ's lead.

This is my purpose on earth-to learn the dance that Christ has choreographed for me and learn to dance it gracefully, following my Lord and Savior as he leads me where He wants me to go and do what He wants me to do. Hopefully, this is what my blog will show-I hope that through everything I write, that the common thread in everything will be learning the dance that Christ has for me.