Welcome to the world of randomness, ramblings, and reflections. Enter with caution.

24 February 2007

let there be light!!

we finally have electricity in our apartment!! yea!!!! we've been living off of 2 extension cords for some time now, and we've been managing, but it's nice to be able to flick a switch and have light emitting from the fixture on the ceiling. we've been using strategically placed floor lamps, and they've worked, but it's so nice not having to tote them around to illuminate areas of the apartment.

plus i feel better about us not overloading a single outlet anymore. we had extension cords on extension cords. i think on one of them, we had 7 different things plugged into it. yikes!! thank you Lord that there was no fire caused!! now we can actually plug in the mini fridge we have. ahh, convenience! i hope i don't take this for granted.

16 February 2007

things i don't get

automatic-flush toilets: you lean forward to tie your shoes and suddenly water is shooting up everywhere. that, or you finish, stand up, and it doesn't flush. then the button they put there for such instances doesn't work. are we really that lazy that we can't flush our own toilet?

automatic bathroom sinks: the water is always cold and the sensor seems to change its focus every 5 seconds. again, are we too lazy to turn on the water ourselves?

automatic hand dryers (and hand dryers period): yes, they don't waste paper towels, but after you've washed your hands, you have to push the button with your elbow so as not to defeat the whole purpose behind washing your hands. meanwhile, water is dripping all the way down your arm cause the things are usually up too high. in the automatic version, the same sensor problem as the sink, and it never blows warm air. either super hot or an arctic blast. *the only automatic thing that should be in the bathroom is the automatic paper towel dispenser. you don't have to touch the sink handle after washing your hands, and you can have a paper towel ready to go so you can use that to turn off the sink ( i remembered something from my disease prevention certification class!).

why women's pants have more fabric in the front than in the back: when i sit down or lean forward, my pants don't tend to ride down in the front. in fact, they do just the opposite. so why is it that even in a pair of low-rise, or just-below-waist pants, i can use it as a bra but still look like a plumber? i think i'm gonna make a pair of jeans that will actually fit people.

how that one person will pull out in front of you when: there's no one else around you for miles, not in front of you, behind you, or in the two empty lanes next to you. yet for some reason, people cannot wait five seconds for you to pass, nor can they get in an empty lane temporarily so as not to cause you to slam on your brakes to keep from hitting them.


that's all i can think of right now. i'm sure i'll think of more at another time, and then shall there be another post. what are things you don't get?

12 February 2007

searching

i've been doing a lot of thinking about life lately. when you have the influenza virus and are laid up for a week, almost wishing you could just die to make it go away, you tend to start thinking about life.

i've been thinking a lot about what God wants from me, what He put me here on earth for. He definitely has me here for a reason, i'm a medical marvel (kinda). by science rules, i'm not supposed to be here. after my mom had my brother and sister, she and my dad decided not to have anymore kids, and she had her tubes cut and tied. i was a big shock about 3 1/2 years later. i loved hearing that story, and i love remembering it because those times when i'm questioning my existence, it helps me remember that God really wants me here, and that He has a purpose for my life.

i guess maybe sometimes that story can go to my head and i think i'm destined for greatness. and maybe that's true, but i could also be destined to give birth to a child that will change the world, and that's my purpose. or someone i minister to in some way is who will change the world because of something i said. but i digress.

i've been thinking about times when i was really happy, times that i tend to long for again, and i try and remember what i was doing then that made me so happy. first of all, i was a lot more diligent in my pursuit of my Savior, but there were other things as well.

i lived up at the student ministry office from the middle of 7th grade until i moved away from houston right before my senior year. i loved being up there, helping out around the office, helping plan some of the events, brainstorming new events, and helping some with the videos we would put together. even when i''ve gone down to visit i've stopped by the youth office and helped out. it has this feeling of home to me.

my first two years in college i led worship at my college group. i planned out the worship sets (or i should say God planned them out, and kindly told me the plan), practiced with the band (who are still good friends of mine, i even married one of 'em!), and really grew in my relationship with the Lord. i learned a great deal about what it means to truly worship while i was in high school, but being the one who is responsible for leading people into a time of worship in the presence of God taught me so much more about what worship is and what it means to worship. it's not just through song, but that's a whole other blog post.

the worship team wasn't just a worship team, we became a worship band and a tight group of friends. while we never had a whole lot of gigs, we did have a few neat opportunities while we were together. we held a special worship night for a youth/college group going home to missouri from mexico over one new year's, when they stopped in the dallas area for the night. we actually traveled up to that same church in missouri a few months later and led worship for the sunday morning church service, and we played at a concert event at the community college. we wished we'd had the opportunity to do more, but i left for school in florida and a couple people moved away and it just kind of ended. but i remember getting together on weekends or other weeknights to hang out, and we'd end up playing our instruments, lifting our voices and praising God together. it wasn't always planned, it just sort of happened. and it was wonderful. we'd go on for hours! have you ever been worn out from worshipping God? it's the best feeling!! i haven't had that feeling for awhile.

though i haven't had much professional experience with my degree, i really do enjoy video stuff. i've got a personal project i'm working on which i hope to have ready by may, but since i haven't got a video camera, doing video stuff gets kinda difficult. i do really enjoy that, and i also enjoyed the audio work i did in school. studios, however, are expensive. plus i've been out of the loop for almost 3 years now, and i've lost some of my confidence in my skills. i know they're in my head, they're just not fresh.

well, all of this to say i still don't know what God wants from me. i know He wants me to be happy and to glorify Him in whatever i do. i want to have a job that i enjoy, something that i love. i didn't say easy, cause no job is always easy, but i want to really enjoy my work, not loathe it. as far as doing things i enjoy, i'm going to be helping out with the video ministry at my church, and i'm also going to be trying out for the worship team there in the next few weeks. while these aren't jobs, they are at least a way of doing things that i love and serving my God.

the thought of becoming a girls' minister keeps popping in and out of my head. as i said, i loved helping out at the youth office, and had even thought of going into youth ministry when i was in high school. but it didn't have a strong, strong pull towards that. it's something i'm going to be praying about. it's a big decision, and not one to be taken lightly. how would i start to go about becoming one? what type of education/degrees/certification do i need? do i even need all that? i definitely need to be more actively pursuing Christ before i take that step, if that's where God has me going. where would i go?

i just had a mini revelation. these things i've mentioned about me being happy, other than the video stuff, everything else has been me serving. whatever i do, i need to be serving God with it. maybe things will become clearer as to what exactly that is in the near future.

after all this thinking, i've set a few goals for myself this year. i don't make resolutions, because in my mind "resolving" to do something is setting yourself up for failure. a goal is something to strive for. here are the few i've come up with so far:

to seek after my Lord more dilligently. that encompasses spending more time with Him in prayer, bible reading, worship, and showing His love to others. some things are easier said than done.
to record some songs. not necessarily a whole album, but record the songs i've written so far. even if it's just rough recordings, it's something. i've had some people asking me when i'm going to make an album for about 2 years now. i think it's time i started.
to play at an open mic night at least once before july. i almost did this in florida, but never took the time to actually go up to one of those things. if you hear of any in the dallas area, or any regularly occurring ones up here, let me know about them, please.
to save up money to buy a video camera. or at least get halfway there. the one i want wil put me out about $4000. then i add the extras. yikes!
to take a photography class and possibly buy an inexpensive 35mm camera. i don't think i want to do still photography full-time, but a few sessions here and there (like the one i did for my friends and their baby). i'm also going to be taking my brother-in-law's senior pictures this year.
to play my guitar and write more. i've got one song in mind that i want to record and add my own verse to it. don't worry, it's public domain, i won't be breaking any laws.
to lose 50 pounds. i'm giving myself until my 26th birthday for this one. that's a little over a year, a healthy span of time. i've lost a couple pounds already. i wouldn't consider myself "fat", but i am overweight and seriously out of shape. i'm determined to fit into my favorite camo pants and my tiger cub scouts shirt(i got that from the salvation army, it's one of my fave t-shirts).

so there you have it. we'll see when i reach these goals. prayers in these goals and about career decisions would be greatly appreciated. i know i'll get answers to my questions, i just don't know when.

08 February 2007

trying to calm down....

after the wonderful governor of texas made an executive order last week. the order requires all 11 - 12 year-old girls to get the hpv vaccine, gardasil, in order to attend public school. this is wrong on sooooooo many levels.

first of all, hpv is a sexually transmitted disease. sexually transmitted. that means genital to genital contact. is this really necessary for school? it's not as if a girl infected with hpv (hopefully there aren't that many young girls infected with it in the first place) touches a doorknob without washing her hands can cause another girl to get cervical cancer! why is this being required for school?! some of these girls haven't even had their first period yet and we're going to make them get a vaccine which only protects against an std? come on!!

newsflash about hpv: guys can be infected with it, too. sure, it may not turn into cervical cancer for guys, but it can cause cancer of the anus and the penis. why not require 11 - 12 year-old boys to get the vaccine, too? why is it only girls that are being required? the girls have to be having sex with somebody in order to get this disease.

one thing that pisses me off: check out the gardasil official website. at the top it reads "the only cervical cancer vaccine". this is a totally false claim!!! it does not prevent cervical cancer!! it protects against the human papillomavirus, not cervical cancer!!!!! how can they legally say that? isn't that false advertising? shouldn't it be come down upon even harder than other products since it is making a claim about our health? in their own commercial, they say the disclaimers "it may not protect everyone, and it may not prevent all cases of cervical cancer", then they immediately call it the first cervical cancer vaccine, after they just said it was anything but! arrgghhh!!!!

my husband asked me why i am so against it. why i'm not behind this. i'm not anti-vaccine, but i am anti-mandatory for school cause. as i said, it's not like mumps or measles, or even the flu, which can be contracted just by touching the same doorknob, or being in the same vicinity as an infected person. transmission requires naked people having genital to genital contact. why is this mandatory for school? it's not that communicable.

here's some facts i've learned about hpv. there are 30 strains that are transmitted sexually. of those strains, only about 10 are considered "high-risk", meaning they can lead to abnormal pap results, and in rare cases, may cause cancer of the cervix, vagina, vulva, anus or penis. (note: it said in rare cases it goes on to cancer). while most cases of cervical cancer are caused by hpv, not all cases are. those causes are currently unknown. regarding gardasil, the vaccine only protects against 4 strains of high-risk hpv. just 4. out of 10. that's not even half. how can they call it a cancer vaccine when, first of all, not all cancer is caused by hpv, and second, when it only protects against 4 out of 10 strains known to cause cervical cancer?

again, why is no attention being brought to the effects of hpv on boys? how many of you men out there would want cancer in your penis? how about your anus? my guess it none of you would want that. there may be a few exceptions, but i'm guessing most of you wouldn't want that. so why aren't we making this mandatory for our little boys? if it's only tested in women, why haven't they tested it in men? that zelnorm medicine was first only approved for women, and is now approved for both men and women, why can't they do that with this?

ok, so yes, most cases of cervical cancer are caused by hpv. but most strains of hpv do not cause cancer. the only true way to prevent hpv is not a vaccine, but abstinence. some parents were up in arms over this because they said it promoted sex. that's not why i'm upset. let's face it, no matter what religion kids are raised or what sex education (or lack of) they receive from parents, schools or doctors, if a kid decides they want to have sex, they are gonna have sex. there are kids who decide not to have sex until they are married. i am one of those kids. i kept the promise i made to myself, my family, and my God. i don't need to worry about hpv. some of these girls don't need to worry about hpv, because some of them are going to make commitments to save themselves for marriage. "but they could change their mind later." yes, they could, but isn't that their own decision? i personally don't think kids should be having sex. i'm not saying sex is bad, because it's not, it was designed before there was any sin, designed by God. but i know that kids will do what they want to do. just as sex is their own decision, shouldn't a vaccine against an std also be their own decision? or at least their parents' decision?

if you want to get the hpv vaccine, go for it, more power to ya. but don't take that decision away from individuals. that's exactly what this executive order does. it takes away parental and personal rights. you should have the right to make your own decisions about your health or your children's health. if you can opt out of this anyway, which supposedly you can for a number of reasons, why make it mandatory? texas legislators, please step in and overturn this executive order. it's taking away our rights and is totally unnecessary.