The Series of Hilariously Painful Unfortunate Events

5:30 came Monday morning just like it does every other Monday morning.  I reset my alarm for 5:45 just like I do nearly every other Monday morning.  I started to get ready just like I do every Monday morning – and that’s when things started to go bad.  I was putting on my pants as per normal and then there was this terrible pain in my hand that was not so normal.  Some how I managed to pull some muscle or sprain something in my hand by putting. on. pants.  It hurt.  Really badly.  Luckily, it wasn’t so bad that I felt the need to get it checked out – can you imagine that conversation? “What are you in for today?” “Well, I think I sprained my hand.”  “How did it happen?”  “I was putting on my pants.” Seriously, some things can seriously only happen to me.

So my day – painfully – continued and I got to church to help watch the youth leaders’ kids as I do every Monday.  I hadn’t been in the door for 30 seconds before the next Event.  One of our friends went to give us a hug and I thought he was going to hug Genelle first but apparently he was going to hug both of us.  Seeing as I thought he was hugging her first, I stayed back.  Once I realized that he was expecting to hug me too I went to hug him – about a second too late.  He went to close the hug and proceeded to hit me in the face.

Later on that night I’m sitting with one of the babies in my lap (do you know how hard it is to care for a child with very limited use of your dominant hand?).  She then decided she wanted to cuddle.  Violently.  With her head.  And my cheek bone.  Yeah, that one hurt a lot, too.

I got home that night and told my mom about my day (the pants Event amused her greatly) and she laughed and said, “I think you just need to go to bed,” and then proceeded to laugh at me for the rest of the night (granted, I was laughing at me, too).

After 19 years on this lovely planet I’ve learned a thing or two, one of which being that besides being a seriously clumsy person, I also attract ridiculous, painful situations like a moth to a flame.  I’ve also learned to accept these things, I mean, what else can you do? I laugh at myself, I enjoy life.  Even if I have to enjoy life with a pants-induced injury.  Until next time, lovelies.

Photo Credit: Lee Campbell

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Things I’ve Learned in my First Four Days Back in School

I can’t believe it’s the second semester of my sophomore year of college already, it absolutely blows my mind.  Today was the fourth day of class, and I’ve already taken away a lot – academic and otherwise – so I thought I would share.

1.) I am now a morning person.  I never – in my entire life – thought I would say this.  I love sleep, I love sleeping in, and I’ve always despised waking up early.  I would always wake up at the last possible minute I could to get everything I needed to done before leaving the house.  Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows that Genelle is my best friend, anywho, she is a full-blown believer in The Early Bird Catches the Worm, and I would stay with her and see all that she could accomplish in the morning and how much she actually enjoyed waking up early and yet I still found sleeping thirty extra minutes more appealing. Well, it came the dreaded time to set my alarms for this semester’s classes, and for some reason, I set them earlier than I normally would. I. Love. It. I have time to get ready, drink my coffee, and spend time with God, leading me into my second point.

 

2.) Spending quality time with God – both first thing in the morning and otherwise – is the best thing, like ever.  In the morning I read from whatever book I’m in (currently, Isaiah), I journal while I read it, then I read my morning devotional (currently, Joyce Meyer’s Promises for Your Everyday Life), and then I journal in my normal journal and pray.  I realized yesterday that this takes up nearly half, if not more, of my morning routine, but I also realized how valuable this time is.  I get to get my mind set on Jesus early in the morning before I really do anything else, and best of all, I don’t have to rush.  At night I then read from Psalms or Proverbs (currently, I’m in Psalms), read my nightly devotional (currently, Praise in the Presence of God), and journal again, ending my day the way I began it, with Jesus, and also with reflection of my day.  By starting and ending my day with quality time with God, I’ve shifted priorities and honestly it makes it easier to focus on the right things during the time in between.  But this isn’t something I do to check it off of a checklist, I actually make it a priority to spend quality time with God and with strengthening my faith.  A relationship with God is exactly that – it’s a relationship, not a checklist.

 

3.) Being organized and setting goals is fantastic. College is hard.  It’s true.  There are days when my workload makes me want to cry and eat icecream and never ever ever get out of bed, but then I remember that that’s not much of career. Anywho, Genelle and I were at Wal-Mart getting school supplies and they had a 17×23 inch calendar white board for $7. I couldn’t pass it up! And I’m so glad I didn’t.  It’s great to have everything for the month laid out in front of me, assignments, tests, appointments, babysitting dates, etc.  Also, I decided I need to drink more water, and my goal is at least three bottles a day.  Each day I mark how many bottles I’ve drank on the white board, and boy is that motivation.  Sunday night I was getting ready for bed and realized I had only drank two bottles of water, so I chugged a third – which, honestly, wasn’t the best idea because I had to get out of bed and pee three times before I fell asleep. The point is, being organized and having my goals in front of me makes me a.) stress less and b.) way more motivated to accomplish my goals.

 

4.) In my environmental science class – which we’ve only had one full day of – we’ve talked about how if God created the Earth, shouldn’t we honor it and take care of it? I was really convicted by this.  God did make the Earth, and I believe He did so so we could enjoy it, not destroy it.  Honestly, I had never really thought about this until then, but it’s really convicted me to be more conscious of my decisions (hello, recycling).

 

I’ve learned a lot more than this in my short time back in college, but I wanted to share a few key things from my life, a few lessons I feel God has really laid on my heart.  Until next time, lovelies.

Photo Credit: Eric Rothermel

My Adventure Making Dinner

I got home tonight and I was in a productive mood.  I let the dog out then I went and cleaned my car – though I have no idea why, it’s really cold out there. Then I had the urge to cook.  There are plenty of leftovers, but I decided to cook. Now, I don’t cook, I never have, but I decided to give it a shot.  So after searching through the cabinets and refrigerator, I decided to make stir fry!

I looked up a recipe and decided to get started.

I found the cutting board, sliced the onions, all was well.

Then the issues came.

All we had was canned vegetables, so I decided to drain them and make do. The problem is can openers and I don’t get along. At all. I got the electric can opener out and after fighting with it for about five minutes I went in search of a manual can opener.  After about five minutes – and a lot of juice on the counter – I got the darn can open with the manual one, though I’m really sure I did it wrong.  I struggled with the next can and then took a deep breath and went back to face my enemy – Electric Can Opener. Somehow, I got it to work and opened the can with much ease and less mess.

Then it was time to cook said stir fry.

I got the vegetables going – no big deal.  Then I realized that I needed to put the soy sauce and seasoning in.  I also realized it was going to be hard to measure and stir said stir fry and that I really should have measured them out before I started actually cooking. So, I did a strange little Open a Container Stir the Food Measure the Substance Stir the Food sequence a few times and put the frantically measured items in.

Ah, the food was done – or so I thought.  I tasted it and it needed more soy sauce and more garlic powder.  So I grabbed the soy sauce and shook some directly into the skillet. And all over the stove. My first instinct was to get frustrated, but instead I laughed and said, “The adventures of learning to cook.”By the time I was done, there were vegetables and sauce everywhere. I cleaned up and then ate.  It actually turned out pretty well!

After I ate, I went to transfer the left over stir fry into a tub.  I then knocked the plastic tub – with food in it – off of the counter and saved it by slamming it into the cabinet door with my body, saving all the food from the perilous land of Floor! I continued scraping the stir fry into the tub, unfortunately sending a bunch of it to Floor. I shooed the dog away and then swept up the poor little vegetables.  Seeing as there was a very high chance that I would throw more food, I propped the broom up on the counter behind me.  I continued transferring the vegetables when I heard the broom falling! Not allowing such a thing to happen in my Kitchen, I quickly shot my leg out behind me and pinned the broom to the cabinet while continuing to scrape the food into the tub standing on one foot.

Needless to say, dinner was an adventure.  A messy adventure.  But it was fun and I chose to laugh about the huge mess I was making (the process was pretty much a continuous mess) and realized that it’s part of the learning.

Like learning to cook, learning how to be an adult is messy, but it’s an adventure.

Photo Credit: Izzy Boscawen

December 2015

I can’t believe December is almost over.  It has been a crazy busy month but it has flown by.  It didn’t really hit me how fast the month has gone by until I realized today that I was in chapter 28 of Isaiah.  I started Isaiah on December 1 and have been matching chapter with day all month (though I didn’t even realize this was happening for a few days, ironically).  Tonight I was like, “Holy cow, it feels like I started Isaiah, like, a week ago.” Crazy stuff.

Here are a few recurring themes I’ve noticed through my journey in Isaiah so far:

1.) God is God and we are not.

2.) God is so much better than anything we could choose to put in His place (a.k.a. idols).

3.) God is all powerful.

4.) Purification is rarely painless.

5.) God has a plan for His people.

I also got to see Star Wars a few weeks ago. It. Was. So. Good. That’s all I am saying on the subject.

Also, my best friend got engaged three days ago! I think that is possibly the most exciting thing that has happened in my life.  Watching my best friend be proposed to by the man God has given her, the man that loves her so beautifully, was such a blessing – I was the hidden photographer.

Speaking of my best friend, she’s a wonderful human being and got me the only thing I asked her for for Christmas – a typewriter! I’ve been having so much fun with it (I also accidentally learned how to type a penguin on it!)! And speaking of awesome presents, her fiance got me a hula hoop for Christmas and I hula hooped outside of Starbucks for a good while.

 

This was probably my most random post, but it’s been a random month full of Jesus, proposals, Christmas cheer, and really fun things like type writers and hula hoops.

Until next time, lovelies.

Photo Credit: Bethany Fankhauser

The Major Changes of a College Sophomore

When I was in high school I heard a statistic that said the average college student changes their major eight times.  Crazy, right? That’s what I thought, too; I was determined to start and finish college with the same major. Oh, and finish college in four years.

Fast forward a few years and here I am in my third semester of college and on my technically third major change. So what happened to that girl who was bound and determined to never change her major?

She started college as an excited Child and Family Studies major with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education (that’s “pre-k through 3rd grade teacher plus some other stuff” in layman’s terms).  She was going to graduate and become a teacher like she had dreamed of her entire life.  Her first semester was filled with general core classes and general classes for Family and Consumer Sciences, which was the umbrella her major was under.  Everything was fine and dandy until she got to her second semester and started her Education classes where she realized very soon into the semester that she was not called into teaching and dropped the Early Childhood Education part of her major (Major Change #1).

On top of this abrupt realization that she did not want to be a teacher after all, she realized she didn’t really know what she wanted to do with her life now – which is a whole lot scarier in college than in high school. Luckily, she still had the Child and Family Studies (CFS) part of her major as a safety net so she still had plenty of options other than teaching – and only a few education classes under her belt that now counted as electives.  She decided to just ride it out, knowing that God would lead her into the career she was called to be in.

About midway through the semester she decided to tack on a second major, Psychology (Major Change #2), because she had loved the subject since she took a course in high school two years earlier.  Her career options were now expanded even further and she was now considering grad school so she could become a counselor.

Fast forward to her third and current semester.  She’s in some general classes, a CFS class, and a psychology class.  It didn’t take long for her to realize where her passion actually lies, and it’s not in Child and Family Studies, nor was it ever.  She realized that she only stayed in CFS because it was a nice safety net in case she didn’t have what it takes to be a counselor.  She rationalized it all the time: “Well, if I don’t make it into grad school I’ll have another degree to fall back on.”  “I’ll have a degree to work with while I’m working on my Master’s in psychology.” The list went on and on. She also didn’t want to have wasted time in classes that didn’t count towards her major because time is money – especially in a private college.

The semester went on and she realized more and more that CFS wasn’t where she wanted to be – or where she needed to be.  God has called us to trust Him in every aspect of our lives and she wasn’t trusting Him with her education, she was trusting her safety net. So, finally, when it was time for advising meetings to plan next semester’s schedule,  she broke the news: she was going to single major in psychology (Major Change #3). She then was quickly assigned a new adviser in the psychology department and within a week she had a meeting with him and she realized that this is where she’s supposed to be.

So that’s what happened to the girl who entered college determined to be a teacher.  She’s now on the road to becoming a counselor – who also wants to dabble in research – and is trusting God with her education.  The idea of grad school still scares her to death, and yeah, she took quite a few classes that now count as electives instead of towards her major, but she is excited for the journey God is leading her on and she knows that He will provide like He always has – even if it means changing her major five more times.

The world will tell you that you need a back-up plan, a safety net, but God tells us to trust Him and the plans that He has for you.  We often only see what is immediately in front of us, but God sees the bigger picture.  Trust Him to lead you even when it’s hard because you’re scared because you don’t know what to do next or how you’re going to make it financially or whatever it may be.  The journey may not be exactly the way you expected it, but it will be worth it.

Photo Credit: Kelli Tungay

Deodorant Stains and Umbrella Pains

Wednesday morning I woke up, tried not to die on the way to the bathroom, and then proceeded to get dressed very slowly. I was tired of being cold so I layered a black long sleeved shirt under my “Porn Kills Love” t-shirt.  I went about eating breakfast and making sure I didn’t forget anything vital for school like my backpack or shoes when I realized that I almost forgot to (gasp!) put on deodorant! I then quickly grabbed my deodorant and furiously put it on… all over the black long sleeved shirt that I forgot I was wearing (note: make sure you lift both layers of clothing when putting on deodorant).

Fast forward to about 11 am.  Genelle (by the way, she just started her blog. Y’all should be awesome and follow her. touchthesky.wordpress.com) and I were sitting in the Caf – that’s cool kid slang for “Cafeteria” – going about our business, eating our lunch .  And then it happened. There I was, playing Trivia Crack, innocently, when all of a sudden BAM! an umbrella shot me in the forehead! More specifically, MY umbrella shot me in the forehead! Now, I’m sure you may be wondering how my umbrella shot me in the head, because I was wondering the same thing.  Well, as it turns out, Genelle was bored so she thought it would be fun to push the button on my umbrella so it would jut out half an inch and scare me and bring her amusement. Jut out it did, just two feet instead of half an inch, right into my head.

“Why did you tell us these really random stories?” you may be asking.  1.) They are highly amusing. 2.) It just goes to show that sometimes unexpected things happen and sometimes you just have to roll with the punches – or umbrella attacks. We can let life get us down or we can say “I may have just got brutally attacked with an umbrella, but at least the left armpit of my long sleeved shirt smells delightful!”

Find joy, y’all. It makes life so much better.

Photo Credit: Craig Whitehead

18 Things About Me

Since this is my first post, I thought I should introduce myself, but instead of doing so in a boring paragraph format, I’ve decided to give you a list of eighteen facts about myself!

  1. I am eighteen (hence the eighteen facts).
  2. I’ve lived in Tennessee my entire life, but in, like, ten different houses.
  3. In the past four months I’ve gotten two tattoos and my belly button pierced.
  4. I love reading. A lot.
  5. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book.
  6. My top three favorite movies are Pride and Prejudice (shockingly), Beauty and the Beast, and An Affair to Remember.
  7. I work at a nursing home.
  8. I’m a Sophomore at Carson-Newman University and I’m majoring in Child and Family Studies and Psychology.
  9. I love to write (and this is a blog – how fitting!).
  10. I collect coffee mugs, turtles, quotes, and Bibles.
  11. Hebrews 6:19 is my favorite Bible verse – it was also the inspiration for my first tattoo.
  12. My best friend and I have been friends for almost seven years and we get mistaken for sisters/twins at least once a week.
  13. I’ve been a youth leader for middle school at my church since I was a Junior in high school, but my time there is sadly coming to a close, but I know God has big plans for me.
  14. I think Phineas and Ferb is the bomb diggity.
  15. My blog title comes from Psalm 119: 103 – and from the fact that I have a love of words.
  16. I’m really excited for the new Star Wars movie.
  17. My middle name is Nicole but people at church call me “Brandi Grace” because I’m extremely clumsy.
  18. I crochet beanies.

That’s a little bit about me and it also marks the beginning of my blogging journey!