Friday, July 30, 2010

one book at a time?

My currently-reading list is quite interesting to watch. It was be extremely high (as is now), but then once it is burned down to zero, it will stay that way for a while. I don't know why I can't keep it consistent. But when my pile is overflowing, I find myself reading more than three books at a time. Some I will read a bit everyday, some I finish in a day, and others experience weeks without being touched.

The curious thing is that the plots never get mixed up. I seem to forget the others when I pick up another book. Maybe this is only a quality only I possess. Maybe it is a quality that I will soon grow out of. Maybe it isn't a quality at all.

Do you find it hard to read more than one book at a time? How about two? Three? Tell me I'm crazy, cause I know it. I know I think about the weirdest things.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

~Mistborn: The Final Empire~

-by Brandon Sanderson

To put it short, it was fantastic. It held me to the very end, a feeling I didn't expect from it.

But the crazy thing was: I don't remember turning the pages. It's weird, looking up and realizing you're halfway through a book when you don't remember getting there. I was so engrossed in the story, the scenes playing out in my head rather than on the page in front of me. Looking back, I almost wonder if I even read all five hundred pages of the small print.

It is the sort of book that would make the most terrific movie of all time. The plot line continues when you think there's no hope left for the characters, throwing curve-balls just when you think you know the people in the book.

But then, Hollywood messes everything up, so I would have it rather not turned into a movie for fear that it would change how I thought about the book.

I intend to read the other two in the series. Let's just say Sanderson leaves enough hanging at the end to be satisfied. But also to want more.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On swallowing my pride

The temperature was decent; the wind wasn't biting cold, and the sun wasn't pouring on the heat like I knew it could. I was having such a good day. I was driving very very well. My chipping was spectacular. Putting was taking a little time, but it was worth it when the golf ball fell into the hole and I heard the most wonderful noise to the ears of a golfer.

We were only playing 9 holes, so it was going to be a short morning. I carry my bag to the 8th tee and hit my drive to the green. Unfortunately, it hooks to the right and soars much farther than I expected it to. I looked down at my club and realized I used the wrong one. How dumb of me.

After a couple laughs from my teammates, I see that it rolls onto a different green to a different hole. How embarrassing. What's worse, there were two guys already playing on that hole! So I tentatively walk up to the green, a tree hiding me from their sight. I take a deep breath. I know what I have to do. And I feel incredible stupid.

I walk over to my ball, the guys on a golf cart watching me as I bring my putter to the green. I hit it towards my own pin (horribly, I might add), and I begin to walk off the green. I hear one of the two fellows calling out a comment that felt like a sucker punch: "nice drive, by the way." Swallow.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

what I'm lovin' right now

It tried to put them in the order of my favorites, but I couldn't do it; there are way to many ties for first:)

You Alone - by Echoing Angels
Oh Happiness - by David Crowder Band
The Words I Would Say - by Sidewalk Prophets
Ocean Floor - by Audio Adrenaline
Never Underestimate My Jesus - by Relient K
Stars - by Switchfoot
Something Beautiful - by Needtobreathe
All Along - by Remedy Drive
Glory Revealed - by Mac Powell
You're the One - by Chris and Conrad
Hope Now - by Addison Road
Always - by Building 429
What Faith Can Do - by Kutless
Healing Begins - by Tenth Avenue North

Monday, July 26, 2010

I don't believe in bug spray

Call me crazy, I don't care. I hate bug spray. I hate sunscreen. I hate medicine.

I know I might be totally off on this way of thinking, but I can't really help it. It just feels wrong for some odd reason. This is just me, and in no way am I trying to get you to feel the same way. I'm trying to explain my thoughts on the matter. So don't freak out.

I believe that temporary pain can be dealt with: headaches, scrapes, bruises, and the like. Personally, I can get through these types of pain on my own; I don't need Advil for my headaches. Now I know that for some people, headaches can be a real bugger, and I have nothing against that. But I think that the way God made my body, it is enough for it to fix it's own problems. Maybe it's healthier not taking medicine, or maybe it isn't. I don't really know, but it feels like I am cheating, so I just pass and take the pain.

Now, when I was on a trip in Alaska with my family, I accidentally slammed my finger in the car door. And boy, did it hurt like converse:). Upon taking up this new mind set, I had never experienced a greater feeling of pain. This was the first time that I had to test my limits. I tried it out for a while, but the pain was growing, and after about half an hour (not so sure about the length of time) I asked for some medicine to stop the pain. Okay, okay, I begged.

I'm not too sure what I'm going to do about it yet. I know for a fact that in really really big situations, I am all for the medicine. Like when Christy got her wisdom teeth out, just sitting in the room with her made me want to take some of her meds.

The same goes for bug spray and sunscreen. But maybe I am a little more tolerant. I can't handle a hundred mosquito bites, but if I'm just going outside for a little bit, I pass on the bug spray. I'm not sure how this works out quite yet, though, because I am all for the after bite:).

The sunscreen is a little newer on my list. Let me just start with this: I don't tan. I burn. Then, I tan. So in some ways, letting myself burn is a win-win situation. But then I get heckled for possibly getting skin cancer. So I don't stay out in the sun for very long, simple solution. But the thing is, I forget that I'm not wearing sunscreen because it's so new to me. So then I really burn.

The conclusion to my post? Medicine in moderation, bug spray when bitten, and sunscreen when in the sun. Even if I may hate it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

because my cousins are lovely

It had been a long four hour drive, and my sisters had not only gotten on my nerves, but they were jumping on them as well.

It was the relief when we saw the legendary gazebo, passed through Time, and turned on that gravel road.

It was the excitement when the car in front of us (other cousins) started playing "We Are Family" so loud we could hear it, and I rolled down the window and stuck my head out waving to my crazed Aunt:) standing in the sunroof screaming the lyrics and dancing to the beat.

It was the bliss when we unloaded the car and we went inside to smell that smell and carry our luggage down the stairs to our temporary bedroom.

It was the happiness when we sat in the "bus" to listen to the list of rules called common sense.

It was the laughter when we reminded each other of the "old times" and the "old houses".

It was jumping in the pool with my clothes on just to see the little punk's shocked face;).

It was crouching to reach blackberries hiding under the leaves, checking them for bugs before swallowing them and being dared to eat a huge one while dodging the thorns on the other side.

It was bouncing on the trampoline right after eating dinner, then thinking better of it and sitting down and talking about the future.

It was being pushed on the tire swing after the fight I didn't want to happen, and being reminded that there are people out there who are there for you called family.

It was getting up earlier than some of the other kids to walk out to the pond where there were fish and crawdads and frogs that squeaked.

It was driving to the park where the merry-go-round was, and spinning so much I thought I'd see my lunch a second time.

It was trying not to laugh when he kept changing the strumming pattern and I was struggling to keep up to our theme song.

It was the late night when the wimps and the wounded didn't get in the pool because the frogs had taken over, but me and the two others started to catch them and toss them on the deck.

It was dressing up as a glitzy girl and feeling ridiculously stupid as I strutted in high heels and pink hoop earrings, walking like a diva up the stairs.

It was making our first promise as a band on the trampoline, and making it official by putting our hands in the center.

It was hearing the three most wonderful sounding syllables in the English language: cho-co-late.

It was feeling powerful with my face behind the camera and telling them what to do.

It was seeing my Worldview roommate again and swing dancing to no music in the gymnasium.

It was pouring water on my sister and cousin from up in the tree house, even if they did know it was coming.

It was the last night at "camp" when we all got to sleep together in the living room, trying not to think about the next morning and instead talking about nothing in particular at all.

It was those little things.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

one out of three

I entered the bathroom and flicked on the light with the tip of my pointer finger. Light flooded the room, but not as powerfully as I expected. I shot a glance at the mirror: I couldn't help but notice how the soft light fell on my short hair (for reasons unknown, my hair color changed slightly when I got it cut, and it still amazes me).

I was confused for a moment, but then noticed that two of the three light bulbs above the mirror were out. Sorry, I was being pessimistic-one of the light bulbs was still glowing.

Anyway, I couldn't help looking once again at the figure in the mirror, and noticing the romantic (literal sense) light, and the story that wrote itself in my head about a young spy who is forced to have her hair cut. My expression turns to pity as I play out the girl's fate. To run and never return...

...I get that "utopia" feeling again. I shake my head and the story starts to vanish from my mind and my toothbrush fills my mouth.

Stupid lighting.

Monday, July 12, 2010

clean before each load

Romans 12:10 "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves."

*Main topic of Saturday night study group*

I write this eating chocolate covered bananas. Just thought I'd make you jealous. ;)

When our group leader, from now on referred to as "B", asked for the definition of integrity, I felt a sharp jab at my side. I glanced at the Marie, the one who had poked me, and saw a grin on her face. One of the five parts to leadership that we learned at Worldview was integrity. I couldn't help but chuckle a little. Worldview just attacks every aspect of your life. ;)

Anyway, integrity = sound consistency. Being who you say you are even when no one is watching. The problem is that when faced with a big decision on whether or not you will practice integrity, say, finding $100 in an envelope with someone's name on it under a park bench, most people will succumb to the pressure and just take the money.

We have to practice integrity in the small parts of our lives, before we are pressured with the larger parts. By doing this, we are honoring the people who would otherwise be negatively affected by our "cheating". The person who lost 100 bucks, the clerk that accidentally gave you $10 more in change, the worker making minimum wage at a store that has to run to the other side of the parking lot because you didn't return the shopping cart to the terminal. Even when no one is looking. The worker will never know that you walked back with the shopping cart to return it, but you are honoring them and practicing sound integrity when you do.

Now, personally, returning the shopping cart is quite fun (especially if you run real fast with it and then step up on the bar and glide back to the terminal), so I tried to find some smaller things in my life where I don't practice integrity and then fix them. That Saturday night, I couldn't find anything, so I just kept thinking about it...and thinking about it...and thinking about it...

...until today! I never really paid attention to this before. I was doing my laundry, and I was putting the clothes in the dryer. Then it caught my eye. The lint container goes in the dryer vertically in our dryer. On the top read the words "CLEAN BEFORE EACH LOAD." I never did, to tell you the truth. I always left it there, figuring the next person would get it. It's not like it made me gag (as is with my sister Duchess), and it never took that long to do, I just never bothered to do it.

So I lifted it out of the dryer and cleaned it real quick. Making a mental note in my head to clean it every time I did the laundry, I put it back in the dryer. Hopefully now, every time I see the lint container in the dryer, it reminds me to practice integrity, not just because God told me to, but because I want to honor those who come after me.

Haha, God told me to clean the lint container before each load. ;)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

why I smile

because there is air conditioning at home, and I don't have to live in 85 degree weather anymore.

because trees and green leaves are awesome.

because glow sticks are awesome.

because writing in my journal is awesome.

because the word awesome is awesome.

because I climbed a tree and scraped my knee.

because fireworks are louder than I remember.

because I sat under a waterfall...okay, a small, small waterfall, but still a waterfall

because I got people to think.

because, well...I can't tell you about that. yet.

Come Follow Me

Mark 1:14-20 The Calling of the First Disciples

*this was preached about the first night at camp: one of the two sermons that I liked*

I would read the passage before reading this; make your own assumptions before you read mine.

I don't know about you, but if I were fishing and someone came up to me and said to stop what I'm was doing and follow him, I wouldn't. To be honest. It would be crazy, leaving your job, and not knowing when you would come back. Especially if this person told you that you would fish people instead of the literal fish. He would be crazy.

That's what I thought. And I thought that the disciples were crazy. Why would they listen to Him? Well, I never knew the context, and that's where it all makes sense.

The children of that time period would go to a school where they would memorize the entire first five books of the old testament. It was sort of required, then when they got older, they memorized the entire old testament. They would know the whole thing like the back of their hand.

When they turned about sixteen, and it was time for them to get a job, they would turn to their father's trade. Whatever it was, whether it was fishing or farming, they would pick up that trade. But the really special, smart kids would find a priest that they really admired and desired to be like. They would ask them to accept them as a disciple, where the priest would teach them everything they knew.

The priest would then quiz the kid about the old testament, quoting verses, or explaining what it means. If the kid did good, the priest would accept them as a disciple, and the kid would leave with them to learn their ways.

Only the special and smart kids would get picked. The other ordinary kids would just work their father's trade.

This is why when a teacher like Jesus came to their village and asked the ordinary kids to follow him, they dropped their nets and left their father in the boat to follow Him. They, the regular kids that worked their father's trade, were being chosen to learn the ways of this great teacher. The father of James and John would have also been supportive of their choice. How great would it be to tell everyone that your child is a disciple of a teacher? They would run home and tell the whole family, who would celebrate with him. James and John had been chosen, where Jesus could have picked the smartest kid who could quote any verse from the old testament.

This made so much sense now that I knew the context. Before I thought that the disciples were a little crazy that they would follow Jesus without a second thought, whether the Holy Spirit was working in them or not. But now it makes sense that they would want to follow him. They had been picked.

my utopia

I guess this is kind of embarrassing. And I considered not posting this, but I guess I have to. I'm obligated to.


Utopia (n.)
1. An imaginary island described in Sir Thomas Moore's Utopia
2. An ideal place or state
3. Any visionary system of political or social perfection

Let's say we all know that a Utopia is unattainable. It is impossible. There is never perfection. There can never be perfection. And I knew that when I named my blog.

What I was trying to do was describe a feeling I get when I read a book that hits me hard, or listen to a song that sounds unreal, or have a dream that took me to a different world. I was in a different place, and I didn't know what to call it. So I called it my utopia. My Utopia is that place that I cannot describe, and I don't know if I will ever be able to. (I'm kind of bad at describing...)

But at Worldview, they were talking about the meaning of the word. It comes from two Greek words: ou and tóp.

ou = no
tóp = place

So, utopia = no place.

I'm not going to change the name of the blog, considering I've done so many other changes, but I wanted to admit my folly.

This blog is my no place. :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

some good, some bad, some deadly

Well, I guess camp was a whole lot shorter than I thought it was. We (me and my sister, Duchess) got back this afternoon around three, and I was so exhausted. I wanted to just fall asleep in my bed, but I couldn't because I was afraid that it would mess up my sleeping schedule. And that is the last thing I need.

It definitely didn't come close to the best week of my life, but it was still pretty fun. I got to go swimming, zip lining, and hang out with my best friend.

But it was also the first time I've ever been involved directly in the cliche "camp drama", so it was also a bit scary. I don't want to go into detail, but it wasn't fun.

My callouses are going away. :( I haven't played for a week, and I had been staring at the guitar that someone had brought for the whole time at camp. I wanted to ask if I could play it so bad, but I didn't know the kid, and I didn't want everyone to listen like I knew they would.

But the biggest disappointment was the whole emotional aspect. During the worship, they played the songs that got everyone moved, and there was a whole lot of crying and praying at the altar after the services. I don't have anything against that, but it was all about the camper's emotions. It was a fake way of getting everyone to pray and change their minds. Because when they go back home, they won't have the moving music or moving sermons, and they will lose the motivation that they had during camp, and they will wonder where it went, and they will wonder if it wasn't God who was there the night they made that choice.

I'm not trying to bash praying at the alter, crying, or raising your hands, but everything was based on emotions, and I only gained a few facts that I can bring back home. I've definitely changed, but I think that is because I knew that everything was about how you felt, and I refused myself to fall into that pit.

But now I ask you to pray for everyone who will go home and go back to their old ways, for they know not the pit they fell into.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

the best week of my life.

Worldview Academy

Just take my word for it. This will not make sense at all. And I'm not sure how I'm supposed to convince you of it, but I feel that I have to.

Absolutely no doubt about it, the best week of my life.

Maybe it was the over-enthusiastic staffers that everyone talks about and loves.
Maybe it was the food.
Maybe it was being with so many like-minded teen-aged Christians that love God just as much as I do.
Maybe it was the fact that a lady got treated like one.
Maybe it was the witnessing.
Maybe it was the Frisbee playing (even though I never really touched it). ;)
Maybe it was the Tally-HO!
Maybe it was ... no.

Maybe it doesn't even matter what it was. But I know what it was.

It was sitting through ~23 hours of the greatest news I had ever heard. Granted, some of that time I wished I had slept more, and I wished my eyes would just stay open, but the fact that they promised me the best week of my life made me want to pay attention more. I didn't want to miss out if that's what they were offering.

Now, this was my second year going to Worldview, and something didn't click as well as it did this year. I knew what to expect, and I sort of prepared my mind - created a large gap - for the information that I knew would be poured into my mind and soul before hand. And I'm pretty sure that some knowledge and wisdom that was passed while my eyelids were a little droopy was dripping out of my ears, but I hope I caught most of it.

I warned you in the beginning. I didn't know how to explain it. And I'm pretty sure I did a horrible job. But this is just a rough sketch. One of the things they told us was what matters isn't what happens at Worldview and it isn't all the information that we obtain, but it is what we do after we leave that makes it worthwhile.

I hope I can share with you anything and everything that has changed after this week, and stuff that I've found out. My plan is to live as God would want me to, and to not just graze the surface of thoughts. I want to get in deep. So deep I drown.

p.s. This is a scheduled post, so if it actually works, I will be at my church's summer camp. I have been gone since July 5th, and I believe I get back on the 12th, but I'm not too sure (yeah, I know, it's pretty lame that I don't know how long my camp is).


Friday, July 2, 2010

I'm a sucker for change

So I was bored the other day; I started fiddling around with design templates on the new blogger thing. They are pretty awesome.

As you can see I've changed it...again. I'm really not sure if I'm ever going to find one that I stick with for more than a month. I just don't think it will happen.

And now, after my cousin worked so hard on fitting the background and picture into the crazy html codes so it looked just right, I changed it. Ughh, it's so hard staying the same. I might go back to the other template, though.

Unless you think I should keep this one.

You diggin' the bike?

because my sister is lovely

about Only the Good Spy Young, by Ally Carter.

recording taken about 5 minutes ago:

bookworm: Hello there, this is Maggie, a.k.a. ... oh wait, I did that wrong. Okay, hello, this is bookworm, a.k.a. Maggie interviewing my sister, a.k.a. Duchess. And, we are talking about Only the Good Spy Young. So, overall, did you like the book?

duchess: Definitely.

bookworm: Okay, overall you liked it, was there any point where you didn't like it?

duchess: Yes.

bookworm: And what was that? ...without being very specific.

duchess: When Cammie thought wrong ... at Blackthorne.

bookworm: Okay, personally, in the beginning I thought it was kind of forced, but towards the end I really got into it and saw where all the strings were tied at the end, so.

duchess: Mhmm.

bookworm: Yes. So, sidetracking off of Spy Young, and talking about Ally Carter, of all of Ally Carter's teen books that you read, would you say you like Ally Carter?

duchess: Yes.

bookworm: And why do you like her?

duchess: Because... she really expresses herself in the books, and you get really into the books. It's not like you read it, it's, you read it, and it's happening in your mind.

bookworm: Okay, I like her because it shows how powerful teenagers can be. Especially the girls.

duchess: hehe.

bookworm: Okay, do you understand the 4th book's title? ... Now that I've explained it to you.

duchess: Yes. Mhmm.

bookworm: Um before, did you understand? Because that was one of the confusing things for me was that I didn't get the title. I thought that "Spy" was a noun and not a verb in the title, so--

duchess: Yeah.

bookworm: Okay. I'm going to say two words and I want to hear your response, okay?

duchess: Kay.

bookworm: Zachary Goode.

duchess: (shrieks) Haha ... Hehehehe ... according to Ally Carter's description: Hot! Hehehehahaha ...

bookworm: Haha ... okay ... So, personally, I am in love--

duchess: YES! That's what I meant, too!

bookworm: Okay, was there any point where you hated him? At all?

duchess: No. Hehe.

bookworm: Okay, I, uh, agree with you there. Okay, this question is about the screaming during your reading?

duchess: ...

bookworm: Um, we all know, that Duchess has a problem with reading books quietly.

duchess: Hehehe!

bookworm: What parts did you scream out loud at? Without being to specific?

duchess: When ... Well, the first part, when Cammie hehehehehehe sees Zach in London. I screamed at that part, and so did you! Hahaha!

bookworm: Hahahaha! ... ouch ... So, in this book there was a lot more spyness-ness in it. Do you love or hate that?

duchess: I love that!

bookworm: Would you want to be a spy?


duchess: Yes.

bookworm: And why is that?

duchess: I really don't know.

bookworm: You don't know? Is it like the adrenaline?

duchess: Mhmm.

bookworm: Okay, personally, I wouldn't want to be a spy. It would be cool and all, but I would be so afraid of dying, I wouldn't be able to figure out anything.

duchess: Hehehehehe.


bookworm: Okay, so now this is going to be spoilers, so we can talk about it.

duchess: THE PART WHERE I SCREAMED IS WHEN ZACH SAYS TO CAMMIE: Do you want to run away with me?

(this portion of the recording we spend trying to get our younger sister that hasn't read the book yet to move to a different part of the house because we just about ruined the ending for her)

duchess: I also screamed when Cammie and Zach were laying on the ground at Blackthorne, and they were watching it ... and they ... hahahahahaha.

bookworm: Okay, okay. Um, Joe Solomon, is he in the right or the wrong? What do you think?

duchess: The right.

bookworm: Okay, and why's that?

duchess: Because, as Bex, Liz, and Macey said in the book, he fought along side them.

bookworm: So? What if his intentions were bad? In the beginning of the book, what did you think?

duchess: I thought he was good the whole time.

bookworm: I thought he was good the whole time, too.

(this portion of the recording I spent trying to convince Duchess that there really isn't a fifth book because she had it set in her mind that there was.)

bookworm: Okay, why do you think the Circle is after Cam?

duchess: Because she is the headmistress's daughter. Ohhhh! Um, she's the daughter of Matthew Morgan!!

bookworm: Oh. Okay, what is your favorite part?

duchess: (sighhh) I have more than one favorite part. First chapter, when she sees Zach, and when they are laying down, at--

bookworm: You just like all the kissing scenes, don't you?

duchess: NO I DON'T! Hehehehehehehe ... Um, when Cammie's mom comes out and she says "Zach, I told you to stay in my office." Hehehehe.

bookworm: What was the part that shocked you the most?

duchess: When you find out that Joe Solomon killed Cammie's dad.

bookworm: Um, the most shocking part for me was when you find out who Zach's mom is, and then when she says that Cammie's dad is still alive.


bookworm: Haha, Duchess just dropped her cookie.

duchess: Bookworm.

bookworm: Hahahaha. Okay, um, is there anything else you would like to say before we sign off?

duchess: (sigh) Haha. I love that book!

bookworm: Okay, let's leave it at that.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

~Criss Cross~

-by Lynne Rae Perkins

I felt deja vu during the beginning of this book. I beleive I picked it up before and just never finished it; I am sure of it. I wouldn't have remembered such fine details about it, and I'm positive there isn't another book out there like this one.

It was put on my "read" pile two weeks ago. I just never got around to writing something about it. Strangely, I liked it. It was slow paced, and the metaphors were already on my nerves, but something about the way the characters talked to each other and thought about things made me read with more interest. I felt like part of my childhood that I had missed or forgotten was being lived out in the pages.

Those summer nights where you and your friends sit on the concrete step outside your front door or on the dirty curb by the mailbox licking green Popsicles because all the red and orange ones were already eaten, talking about things like how the clouds looked that morning or how every place looks different, even if it's only a town away. The houses are closer together, and there are streams to play in, and there is garbage to pick up.

One of my favorite things about the novel is that the friends bounce ideas off of each other. Even if it sounds stupid on paper, the speaker in the book is not told so, they just continue talking about the subject, however random it is. I've always wanted to do that, but whenever I breach a subject different from the usual ones (school, boys, golf, boys, hair, boys, what's going on later), I get a weird look and I don't bring it up again. I'm not saying I don't like to talk about the usual stuff ( ;] ), but it was great to read a story where the characters weren't afraid to say what they were thinking, and when they did, it made them think more.