Friday, December 4, 2009

Maybe it's that the semester is almost over. Maybe it's that it just hit me this week that these girls will be graduating in the spring and next December. Maybe it's that I'm pretty sleep-deprived which makes me even more emotional. Whatever it is, I am feeling overwhelmingly thankful for these people right now and just wanted to share with you why.
So here is the list I have composed over why these girls are amazing friends.

Amazing friends...
  • Stay up with you til all hours of the night to have dance parties to Miley Cyrus.
  • Cry with you when you don't really know why you're crying.
  • Sit in a hot tub with you for 30 minutes to talk about life, boys, and God's plans.
  • Take pictures of the boy you like (bear with me on this one) then email them to you because he's dressed up that day and you won't get to see him.
  • Know exactly what's bothering you even when no one else does.
  • Stay awake til 4 in the morning making cupcakes over spring break.
  • Are okay when you happen to know their secret before they've told you.
  • Forgive you when you say "I think I know what you're going to say" and really you had NO idea.
  • Help you fix the car window of the borrowed car you drove to Sonic and accidentally broke so that the owner of the car will never know.
  • Call you when a certain person is at a certain party so that you can happen to be there, too.
Amazing friends...
  • Put off doing homework so you can all pray together.
  • Talk seriously about how to become more Godly people.
  • Encourage each other daily over tests, homework, relationships, and everything else.
  • Really care about what's happening to everyone else in the group.
  • Love you no matter what you've done or said.
So I do apologize for the sappiness of this post. But I thank God almost every day for blessing me with such a wonderful group of friends. We have our ups and downs as any group does, but this is a group of people I know I could go to for absolutely anything and I feel so blessed to call them my friends.

Abigail, Kaylee, Lisa, Bailey, Laura, and Kayla, I really don't know what I would do without you.


Sunday, November 22, 2009


This is it, folks. My first all-nighter. I have a paper due tomorrow and two tests on Tuesday. So why in the world are you blogging? Great question. And one that I don't know the answer to. But here I am. One of my roommates just informed me that on a Grey's episode a woman that didn't have a voice let her blog ruin her relationship with her husband. It might have been her way of telling me to stop blogging when I have so much to do. Point taken, Roomie. Good idea.

Now let me just drink this liquid energy and eat my ever-so-small Special K bar and I'll be ready to go.

Get excited about my post after my paper. Isaiah 54 is a phenomenal chapter (also what my paper's over.)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Idabel Weekend

Well it's definitely been awhile. This is usually the busiest time of fall semester for me because all the professors think they are helping us by having things due before Thanksgiving. They just don't realize that they ALL do it, so it does not help us.

While it's been a CRAZY few weeks, I've been really blessed by a lot of things recently. Mostly stuff with friends. Last weekend, one of my friends took our group of friends to her hometown for the weekend where her parents rented us a cabin. Oh. My. Goodness. I needed that so much! It was such a great weekend!! So I just wanted to show you a few pictures from it.

Aaron, Abigail, and Will. Just an example of one of the beds. (DON'T WORRY! Boys and girls slept in separate rooms.)

The kitchen! Kaylee's mom cooked for us all weekend and it was wonderful!!

An example of absolutely beautiful Oklahoma scenery.
And of course the Wil(l)'s had to fight in the big, manly stream.

Ok, Summer. I give you full permission to use the next two pictures for whatever blackmail you need. (Also, it's ROOT beer. Haha, still funny, though.)
Above is Ben drinking some Okie root beer. Below is Wil imitating the museum artwork.

I got to play with puppies!!!! They were absolutely precious!!
And then there was this stupid turkey that kept scaring me. Will is slightly terrifying here, too.
Some mascot or something? Oh! We went to a folk festival which is where all these pictures were taken.

Me, Laura, and Aaron listening to some classic folk music.
I'm not sure the chicken and duck liked Aaron too much.
Abigail, me, Kaylee, Lisa, Bailey, Laura, and Kayla. Wow wow wow. I really don't know what I would do without these amazing women. They are wonderful.

Me and Kaylee, our hostess for the weekend!
Beautiful Oklahoma sunset!!!
Eating dinner trying not to mess up the all-important puzzle.
Our cabin!! The Cowboy Cabin. I would go back right now if I could.
Abigail, Kayla, and Laura at lunch on Sunday.
That's Kaylee's grandpa's house. All of it was so beautiful!!

Kaylee, thank you so much for taking us!!! It could not have been a better weekend!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pure Exhaustion

Apparently, Homecoming will do that to you. Homecoming and teaching and working and learning and everything else that I choose to clutter my life with. I'm having stress pains today in places that I didn't even know could hurt because of stress. Tell me, is it normal for your jaw to feel like it's about to go numb? Yeah, I didn't think so, either.

A couple more lyrics for you tonight (what can I say, music just speaks to me in ways other things can't):

This song entitled "For Freedom" is by Jimmy Needham. I just chose the most meaningful verses to me for tonight:

It is for freedom He set us free.
But Simon says to fill your void
With toy after toy after girl after boy
After all isn't that what we were meant for?
Please believe me when I say
It is for freedom He set us free.

I am not living a free life. Most people I know are not living free lives. We choose to enslave ourselves with things that don't really matter. I choose to fill my void with so many things that aren't the one thing I should fill it with. I found myself today filling my void with things that I know won't work because I've tried them so many times before. Yet there I went and here I go again.

And now I find myself asking the Lord as I have so many times before, "Will you please free me? Will you show me your freedom again? Will you speak your freedom and love to me in tangible ways?"
And He always answers yes. Eventually. Or immediately. You know, God's timing.

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tonight will hopefully be a short post. (Keep your fingers crossed.)

I really just wanted to share a couple of quotes from my Bible class today. We were talking about Jeremiah's decision to remain in Jerusalem in Jeremiah 40:1-6 and the Remnant's decision to go to Egypt in Jeremiah 42:10-12. We were really just discussing decision making in general based on these two scenarios as guides to Godly decision-making. Jeremiah, for whatever reason, decided to stay in Jerusalem even though it would be harder and much more burdensome than going to Babylon. The Remnant of Israel decided to "take the easy way out" and go to Egypt rather than staying in their burnt, destroyed city.

The thing that my teacher said that left me speechless was, "Most people would rather live in Egypt than live by faith. Faith has a lot of ambiguities, but not a lot of monuments. Egypt has a lot of monuments and very few ambiguities."

It's basically just a twist on the old "Walk by faith, not by sight" phrase, but a twist that opened my eyes to how important and difficult it is to live by faith.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Twitter and I are on a break. Facebook, too. We're all on a break. Indefinitely. I've been through a few break-ups in my life (from boys, from friends, from habits, etc.) and something I've learned about most break-ups is that it is only after you have distanced yourself from whatever it is that you realize the bad things about them. At least for me, anyway.

I'm a rationalizer. If I'm in any type of relationship, I tend to rationalize away most bad things the person or object does. "It's okay that he doesn't call, he's really busy." "It's not actually taking over my life, I just really like it." "I'm not different when I'm around them, people just change sometimes." Now, at least in my case, most of my rationalizations tend to be based in some form of truth. But they become twisted truth. And there's where the problem starts.

So as Twitter and I are on a break, I've come to realize a few things about it that I tended to rationalize away while we were in our infatuation stage.

1. I have a false sense of community when I use Twitter.
As I'm reading every hour what my closest friends and furthest acquaintances are doing, I become so "involved" in their lives that I forget to ask them about it later. I can't count how many recent conversations have started out with "Hey! Did I tell you about when ______ happened to me today?" "Oh yeah. I saw that on Twitter." I have become so involved in this 140 character obsession, that I have started to digress in my relationships with people.

2. I am more tempted to complain when I use Twitter.
As I was going throughout my day, I thought of maybe 40 different Twitter updates. I was very close to sending at least 10 of them when I would remember the break-up. But what I realized today, is that every single update I thought of was a complaint. Every. Single. One. Whether it was about my schedule or my classes or my teachers or even my friends, every one was a complaint. My word!
"Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation."
Oh how quickly that is all forgotten the second I log into the world of little blue birds.

3. I take my anxiety to Twitter rather than to my Lord.
Self-explanatory. And also irrational if you think about it. Why in the world would I take my deepest worries, mask them to try and get a laugh, and broadcast them to the entire world when I could take them before my Father and have His inexplicable peace??

So, needless to say, Twitter and I have a few problems to work out before I could even think about being in a relationship again. Or maybe I should say, the Lord has many things to fix in me. Many things.

I think Twitter and I might be officially over.


Monday, November 2, 2009

This morning as I was getting ready to teach a classroom of 4th graders how to tell the difference between woodwinds and strings, I started thinking about encouraging people. And being God to people. And putting God first.

My first thought was, "How in the world am I going to do that on top of everything else?"

I could go on for days with everything I have to do this week. As I'm sure most of you know, I'm a little bit of an over-committer. Or maybe a lot of an over-committer. And of course this week is Homecoming and of course I'm in committees for both my club and the school in general. Of course, of course, of course.

But as I thought more on the subject, why would I have to "put God first" on top of everything else? That makes absolutely no sense. When God is asking me to make my life a living sacrifice, He's not asking me to do it after I've done everything else on my plate. He's asking me to do it first. To put Him first, to put His plan first, to put everything He wants for me first. Not last. Not as a last resort. And that's what I do pretty much all of the time.

This should change. It needs to change. But where do I even start?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Lyrics

"You're my badlands
my grand canyon
my empty stream
you're my reservation
my second place consolation"

Again, same song from Lori Chaffer. Now, I need to admit that I don't know for sure what these lyrics mean to the author, but I do want to say what they mean to me.
But let me begin with a story. (You can probably actually find the original incident on my blog in July.) This summer my family went to South Dakota and part of our trip was visiting the Badlands. I have never really been afraid of heights. Yes, sometimes I have not enjoyed them (especially on video games? How weird!), but I've never been scared of them. Well when we went to the Badlands, I had an almost full-blown panic attack as I watched my cousin climb out on the "peaks" of the Badlands. And suddenly I didn't want to be there. I didn't want to fall off those enormously (or semi-enormously) high peaks. I just wanted to be in the car. Safe. And no where near the drop-off. So, needless to say, I did not enjoy my Badlands experience.
When I listened to this song for the first time, this is the line that made me actually listen to the song. The Badlands made me panic like I've never panicked before. I think that sometimes that's what God is to me. The things He asks me to do and the way He works in me make me panic beyond belief.
But the catch is that He always is there while I'm panicking. He sticks around when I think I'm going to fall off the cliff and when I do fall off the cliff, He catches me right before I hit the bottom.
So again I leave you with these lines: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


"You will always hurt, you will always sting
Because you won't let go of everything
Until you're quiet one dark night
And you give up the fight you've fought so long
And find that trust is not a game
That naive, stupid people play in youth
And you let it rain, you let it flood
You let it wash out all the pain
Of love"

This is my song on repeat of the month. Or semester. It's by Lori Chaffer (from Waterdeep) and it speaks so loudly to me right now. I think for a few days I'll just do the different lyrics that mean the most to me. Tonight it's these lines.
And these lines: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Be Still

I could quote Psalm 46:10 from the time I was... oh 10 or so. "Be still and know that I am God." But actually being still is so different from talking about being still.

For my voice lessons, I've been studying this technique where a large part of it is being still, like completely still, and pin-pointing the places in your body where the most tension is. It's been so helpful to my lessons, but also really helpful to my spiritual life. The book on this technique talks about how hard being still is. Just a short (well, semi-short) quote for you. "Why is it that so many people dread the idea of staying still? Why do we fidget and wiggle about all the time? ... A primary motivation for all this fidgeting is that we are attempting to get away from ourselves, away from some feeling of discomfort or agitation."
This is so true for me. Physically and spiritually. Recently, I've found that the Lord has become like a good friend I haven't talked to in awhile: I still consider Him a wonderful friend, but I don't know much about what He wants in my life and our times together have become a little awkward and forced.
I think part of the remedy for this is just being still. Just like Moses told the Israelites to stand still while the Lord fought for them. It's so hard for me. I love to be going, going, going all the time. But many times I need to just be still and let the Lord do His work.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Hello everyone!

This post is to announce the re-vamping of my blog! Very soon it will have a new name and header (once I talk to Laura). I'm in a class this semester called Old Testament Prophets that has really changed my life. I serve an amazing God that loves me enough to change me in ways I couldn't even have imagined. So, I don't really want to call this blog a devotional blog, but mainly just a place where I can allow God to speak through me. A place where I can wrestle with my Creator over the things that I just don't understand. A place where I can tell people how amazing my Lord really is, although I won't ever come close to describing that. Feel free to comment or not. Read along, discuss, laugh, cry, whatever happens.

And now the thought for the day:

Recently in my OT Prophets class we were talking about Jeremiah 29. Now, I know everyone knows Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you..." But really there's a whole other story going on in this chapter. Jeremiah is writing to the exiles in Babylon. These people have been cast from their homes and forced to live somewhere else because they refused to listen to God. My teacher said exile was defined as "when we are where we don't want to be" or "spending time with people we don't like in a place we don't like." Basically, though, chapter 29 is Jeremiah telling the exiles to "Be content." One quote in particular that our (substitute) teacher said that day was, "We spend so much of our time clawing to get to something better. Be content where you are." Man. I feel like the Lord is just telling me this over and over this year. "Be content, Karissa. Be content when you think you're going to drown in homework. Be content when you get frustrated with your club. Be content when you wish so badly that you could be graduated or married or any number of things." I honestly don't think God wants me to be wishing away my life. He has me where I am for a reason and wants me to be in the moment. My parents always tell me that whatever time of life you're in is the best time of your life. Very true. And Biblical. I don't need to be complacent, but I should be content. When I am in my own personal exile (where I don't want to be or with people I don't like in a place I don't like), I pray God allows me to be content and stop clawing just to get to something better.

Have a Marvelous Monday!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Random Picture Weekend

So I don't lead an exciting life during the summer when everyone's gone. So I might have played Settler's 2 nights this week. So I probably know more about all of my friends due to my hours of unproductive time on Facebook. So all of this leads me to have NOTHING to post about. (I know you're probably all thinking "No joke, you told us when you got a library card for heaven's sakes!) (Also, heaven's sakes?? What does that even mean??)

So I have now dubbed this weekend: RANDOM PICTURE WEEKEND! Mostly to end my boredom. Each day I'll post a picture I feel you need to see. Feel free to join in. Or not. Either way.

Ok. Here it is:

These are my wonderful roommates and myself. Maybe it was because we hadn't seen each other all summer. Maybe we were tired from moving in. I really don't know why we decided to dress up as 2 rappers and a... provocative girl and make a music video to 'Apple Bottom Jeans', but we did. And let me tell you, that music video is A-MAZING! But we swore that we would never show any males or really anyone. It's a little bit embarrassing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Now with more Intelligence

I got a library card yesterday!! I've lived here for 2 years and had the student one for awhile but I got my official library card yesterday.

I felt so cool.

I went to the computer catalog to look for books and was able to type in my card number! No more using the anonymous catalog for this smart student. The whole time I was there I secretly wished that I had glasses to wear while I perused the shelves of books for just the right one. But, I don't wear glasses.

"Having fun isn't hard, when you've got a library card!" --- Name that TV show.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We are FINALLY back from South Dakota and Karenna is already off to camp.

Since my other computer is dead and I'm too lazy at the moment to charge it, I thought I would just give you a quick run-down of the vacation overall. The good, the bad, and the boring. So if you ever want to plan a trip to South Dakota, take note.

Corn Palace: Horrible
Mount Rushmore: Excellent
Jewel Cave: Excellent
Spearfish Canyon: Excellent
Alpine Slide: Excellent
Badlands: Not worth it
Wall Drug: DEFINITELY not worth it
Reptile Gardens: Wonderful (especially the gator show and the beautiful man who performs the gator show)
Cabin on the lake: Not worth it

As you can tell, I really loved most of the places we saw. The only main problem was that we stayed in Custer and so spent over an hour on the road every day. I get very carsick ESPECIALLY on windy, mountain roads, so this situation was not optimal. Now the Badlands were beautiful, but it took us more than an hour just to get there. (And I freaked out.) And then Wall Drug was just a big junk store that was not worth the hour long drive at all! But, ok. I'll admit that it was nice for everyone to have their own room and to see all the wildlife every morning. We saw SOOO many deer and one morning saw 2 parent turkeys with 8 babies. That was cool.

So now it's time to get back to the real world. I want to make a scrapbook, research some things, and plan Spring Sing before school starts. Um. Yeah right. But I should probably get to work, anyway.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Gotta be a FIRST time for everything

I have experienced many "firsts" in the past few days. Some exciting and some terrifying. Lemme show ya with some pictures.

My first time on a chairlift. So great!! My first time on an alpine slide. Even greater!
My first time hearing a prairie dog chirp. Um, interesting.My first time seeing the Badlands. But also my first time experiencing a fear of heights. I had an almost full-blown panic attack when I saw my cousin climbing on the off-trail cliffs. I thought I was going to throw up and cry at the same time. I started breathing really quickly and I HAD to get out of there right then. So, apparently, I can do things where I'm strapped in (chairlifts) but not things where I am not strapped in (Badlands). In fact, I'm panicky right now just thinking about it. This picture was taken at the height of my terror. I fake it well, huh?

And the first that I'm most proud of, I don't have a picture of. Oh well.
This morning, I drank coffee while reading the NY Times. You did read correctly. I have decided to become more politically aware and so began this morning with the Times. Thanks, Will!

Hope everyone else has had a great week! Tomorrow, we drive 6 hours in the car followed by 5 or 6 hours the next day. Should be exciting.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Trout: 256 Taylor/Jensen: 0

We didn't catch anything. All day. The trout didn't like any of the flies or lures or power bait. Stupid South Dakota Trout. But wasn't it beautiful???


Monday, July 20, 2009

We Made It!!!

We have made it to South Dakota!! After several mishaps, we are officially in our "cabin on the lake." On Saturday night we were staying in a hotel we booked through Priceline in Mitchell, South Dakota. Well, it just so happened that there was a big rodeo in town so EVERY ROOM was booked. There was a tad bit of miscommunication so our rooms were not all next to each other. Frustrating night for everyone involved but we made it out alive.
Next morning: Corn Palace. Or as I like to call it: Biggest Disappointment of South Dakota. Ok, the corn murals were pretty cool. But it's basically just a tourist trap. And there was no corn maze. I had been led to believe there was a fantastic corn maze along with the Corn Palace. Not true.
Also the same day, we drove to Custer where we're staying for the week. This cabin is supposed to sleep 10. That is only made possible with 3 "pull-out" twin mattresses aka gymnastic pads. Also, it requires 2 people to sleep in a bed the size of one in the dorm. Man oh man. But, don't worry, we figured out a way to let everyone have a place to sleep.
AND. We just got back from Mount Rushmore. Definitely worth it. I may be a nerd, but I LOVED the guided tour provided by the handheld wands.
Well that's all the update for now. Next stop: Jewel Cave. I'll keep you posted.