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I did upload the pictures...with captions.=) I'll have to edit those captions a bit, but that's not too time-consuming, I guess.=)

Pictures Here )
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LOL! Actually, I hope not. But my body seems to have a ridiculous response to standing on my feet for extended periods. Work is fun...I'm really enjoying having the time alone to think and to pray. I hadn't realized how much I had missed that kind of quiet time. I may get to work with a really good friend, too, which would be wonderful since we really haven't seen each other much lately.

I'm leaving Wednesday, so it's crunch time for doing the sewing that I still haven't completed. Our oven has been down, so we finally got it replaced...but the whole ordeal took up several of my mom's precious hours.

What I am trying to do now is to think of something related to my state to take to the people in Hawaii. But it's hard with Wal*Mart and Tyson and the Razorbacks being the only things that come to mind...I'm not at all interested in taking stuff related to them! =)

I didn't miss church last night, and I'm very glad I went...I got to pray with two sisters, and it was good to talk to them for a while...we haven't really had any private conversation for a long time.

So...anyway...not much depth. I have been really tired and that's really all I have to say. LOL! I'm writing more in my regular journal at the moment.
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And I didn't realize it until 7:30, halfway through the hour-long prayer meeting. I was mortified to realize that I had forgotten it. I was so nervous about remembering stuff today that I managed to forget something that is routine; of course, it's not like I was "committed" to being there in the sense that people were relying on it (they weren't), but I go to church every Wednesday night...and now, two weeks from this evening, I'll miss church again because my mom and I will just be arriving in Hawaii.=) If you can't tell, I'm getting quite excited.:-)

Tomorrow, I'm going to get my hair "fixed." Since the lady who cut my hair didn't get it straight, she's going to give it another shot (LOL! My way of putting it, I assure you! I think she probably has a little more confidence than that)...actually, she got my mom's uneven (longer on the same side), too, so we'll both be going. I'm glad my finals are over because I could hardly sit still today, and I don't think I could endure a haircut if I were still in the middle of preparing for finals.

So, anyway...I'm busy making up for my lack of posts. And I'm procrastinating about getting to bed, which is ridiculous.=\ I'm very tired, so that's where I am headed now.
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Okay, I lost an entry earlier...but it didn't say much since it was mainly a procrastination entry and anything that matters will become clear in time. The important thing is that I'm finally as done with my papers as I am going to get done for the moment. I have individual review with my ENglish teacher tomorrow morning. I have not studied for chemistry as I intended and a sleep deficit will definitely create a problem for me in that class. I stayed up past three Sunday morning, and now I'm up till almost that time this morning...and I did get up by eight something to shower before I left for church at 9:20. So it's not like I slept in that much, either. However, I do have the comfort of knowing that my sleep loss is entirely because of my lack of discipline. That's not exciting, but it's a 2:30 AM realization that ought to be inspiring. How, I'm not quite sure. I seem to wait till close to deadlines to do anything. When I don't wait until deadlines, I do other things in my lag time, so I suppose that it's all the same in the end, but I'm not quite sure.

Anyway, I'm really tired and I should go to bed. I'm very discouraged that I'm not perfect. LOL! That makes me laugh, but in a disheartened sort of way. Perfection seems to be an obsession of mine...not that I really think it's attainable, but I must have some thought that it is because I just keep trying. Something's wrong with this picture.

BUT!!! Something's changing. As time passes, I'm becoming more and more content with not being brilliant. After reading Randy Alcorn's books, I'm beginning to see that it really doesn't matter how much or little I have of things that are outside my control because what God wants is my heart, my service. And whether I'm smart or stupid I CAN be a servant. I smiled as I realized this recently...because I think I've just been trying to prove to myself that I'm brilliant, but now I'm growing content to discover that I'm not and that it doesn't matter because God has a plan for my life and He gave me what He wants me to have in order to achieve it...including weaknesses. Now this is not all to say that I'm stupid, because I don't consider myself completely ignorant or dim-witted. BUT--I'm not quite as brilliant as I'd like to think and, even though that's not a particularly painful thing to realize, I'm finally seeing how much effort I've devoted just to proving lots of things to myself. I think that's called idolatry because I'm setting myself above God in that sense. If I get things straight, then I'll only worry about what He approves. Like I said, I need to get to bed.=) G'night (or morning)!
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With lots of homework, too. But I'm reading Randy Alcorn books for now...I'm so tired of all the hopelessness at school that makes me want to cry...with the constant stream of ideas that I know are contrary to God's Word but that I have had little time to measure accurately against it. I'm tired physically, too, but that's just the way it's going to have to be.

Reading stuff by Randy Alcorn really makes me stop and think. For one thing, he says things very well...especially for a Christian writer. And his ideas make sense. And he's talking about issues that interest me greatly...things I intend to make a big part of my life in the hopefully not-too-distant future. But I guess what has really made me stop and think is the stuff he has said about having an eternal perspective of my life here. In the last few weeks, I have come to realize how little I think that my secular education really "counts" for what God would have me do.

In fact, I've been convicted at just about every turn as I write what I know teachers want me to say...even while realizing that I'm selling myself short by not digging deeper. But who wants the deeper? Who wants me to get it down to the issue of truth? All I have to do is consider matters on a superficial level, the level the teachers give to us in class (if they're good teachers, that is)...and I've got what they want, apparently. Maybe more details would be helpful, but the essence of the "opinion" I've expressed is pretty much what they desire. I feel stupid saying the things I've said, though. And it's not that they're wrong in a sense so much as that they fall short.

An example:

As I evaluated the questions my Western Civ. teacher gave us to prepare for the essay part of our first exam, I began to see a recurring theme in my general answers (based on the material presented, that is)...and do you know what that theme was??? Hopelessness! For every comparison of religion, government, and daily life in ancient civilizations, I saw the same thing...the same characteristics, the similar motivations and their outworkings. And that is exactly what I wrote in my essay; I conveyed an idea that the teacher had strongly implied if not explicitly stated. "Good thoughts," by his standards (unless he was being kind, which I'd like to hope)...and he's probably the most thinking teacher out of the several I've had so far. But I didn't say what I really thought, and that's what bothers me...I really think that the issue is not all the characteristics of politics, religion, and daily life (although they matter), but one of whether what each culture believed was true. In my teacher's approach, it's pretty much all false...or greatly stretched, at the very least. Not a very hopeful approach, but perhaps an "objective" one. But at least I could ask the question about truth, right? I didn't, though.

I struggle to discern whether it's enough to write these things down at all or whether I must say them to a teacher. Most of the time, they don't fit the assignment...of course, my idea of fitting an assignment is giving the teachers what they want. And, after all, I'm not really there to share my opinions with the world (though some would say that I'm opinionated). How honest must I be?

I turned in my little analysis of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, but did I ever get down to what I really thought was true of Ibsen's ideas? No, indeed! I was simply analyzing his story. Shouldn't my analysis consider whether what he thought was correct? Yet when there's any potential for disagreement I find it easiest to avoid it so that I don't have to deal with any difficulties.

Randy Alcorn's emphasis on the "Audience of One" made me think, though. Does it really matter what grades my teachers give me? Does it matter what anyone thinks of me? This life isn't going to last forever. I know that it does matter that people see Christ's love through me, but my desire for their acceptance and even agreement is primarily self-centered...I want my arguments to be so strong or so qualified that NOBODY can disagree with them. Maybe that would be great in a court of law, but here in life...things are true or not true regardless of my ability to approve them, regardless of whether I've analyzed them fully. What am I worth if I'm unwilling to say what I believe...which I wouldn't believe if I didn't believe it? (After all, a person can only believe what is convincing to him.) If I can't stand up for what I believe, I'm really not sure that I belong in school. Sure, I face the issue of casting pearls before swine, something I greatly desire to avoid, but...I think I probably suffer more from the folly of concerning myself with what others think of me rather than considering their true heart responses. In reality, all that should matter to me is that I be a vessel used for honor.

Of course, I've had a few doubts lately about how honorable a vessel I really am. Maybe it's just the way the real world is, but I find people not assuming me to be as naive as I assumed they would assume me to be.;-) Sorry about the assumes, but I assume you'll get it. Seriously, I expected my conservative dress to make them think I'm some kind of goody-two-shoes Sunday school girl, but that's not quite the reception I have gotten. I'm not sure whether it's because I don't emanate naivete quite as much as I had anticipated or whether people just aren't familiar with "my kind." I told some people in my class today that I was home schooled and one of them seemed quite surprised (I don't know if they others were or not). To me, it seems pretty straightforward and obvious...shouldn't everyone be able to tell? Apparently not. I also expect them to think me inferior for it. (What IS up with that in my thinking, anyway?) I expect them, at least, to consider me ignorant...on just about everything. But even my English teacher seemed a little surprised when I told her that I hadn't heard even the most common terms for specific literary devices until I took Comp. I last semester. At the very least, I'm not projecting the image of myself that I have...not at all in the same negatives and positives. And I'm really not sure whether that's good or bad. But we shall see.

Anyway, I'm thinking about doing some serious journaling this week if I can force myself to do it. I know it will help to get out pent-up thoughts and emotions, but I'm not sure if I have the energy. I have lots of things I want to ask you all. I can't remember what it is at the moment, though...so I'll have to come back some other time in the not-too-distant future.=) Have a great spring break!

Well...

Feb. 10th, 2004 06:04 pm
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My busyness should end at 1:00 P.M. on Thursday...because that is our cut-off time for getting Valentine's Day stuff to the stores. That means that there will be a lull in the work until things are together for Easter, I guess. I'm kind of excited about the prospect of having more time to study. I find that studying and sleeping are very useful activities for achieving good grades in school.

Anyway, what I need to do right now is study for a Music Appreciation test for tomorrow morning. I'm hoping the insructor will delay it because we missed Monday, but she had originally slated it for Monday, so I don't know if she will want to extend it further. I have a chemistry test one week from tomorrow and a Western Civ. test two weeks from tomorrow. It's nice to have them spaced apart that way. I've already taken my first test in Fundamentals of Communication and my only other class is English (I think our only "exam" will be a self-assessment in-class at the end of the semester), so I will soon be done with the first round of tests.

So...study tonight...school tomorrow during the day...church tomorrow evening...working tomorrow night...work Thursday up to the cut-off. Then my life will be easy.=) The only thing about not working is that I'm going to be saving less for my trip to Hawaii, but I'm hoping to have enough for a ticket soon. Speaking of money, it appears that the lawyer who is handling my accident case will be getting money above medical and legal expenses. I'm hoping that my mom will get most of that money since she was the main one who was inconvenienced, but we shall see...it would be great if she could have it for a ticket to go with me to Hawaii.=)
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I tried typing up an entry...was it Friday night? Can't remember, but I just haven't had time to do anything...and I've been so tired. I have to outline a piece of music and do some reading for tomorrow. I have other homework that I should do but probably won't have time to do even though I should turn one paper in by Wednesday and the other paper MUST be turned in on that day. Between work, school activities, church stuff, and the miscellaneous stuff with friends that ends up coming up, I feel rather busy. I think I'm going to end up missing a lot of baby and bridal showers for church people because they always schedule things like that at inconvenient times...or maybe it's because all times are inconvenient now. I don't wish to get rid of my busyness because I would be bored, but I guess I do wish to be more organized and time efficient. We shall see if I can increase my skills in those areas during this semester. My goal is to do as little studying as possible for the same grades as I got last semester. And that's not because I don't like studying...I just know that I spent too much time doing it last semester.

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