Saturday, October 26, 2013

Procrastination at its finest, ladies and gents

I have a million and one things I should be doing. Cleaning, studying Western Civ, studying Ephesians/Colossians, studying special ed, laundry, cleaning, oh, did I say cleaning? Because my room is a total wreck. I did manage to do the dishes, though. So, that's something, right?
Anyways, I'm pretty sure this blog is just another notch on the belt of things I can do to procrastinate.

First, I would like to complain for a moment about the fact I cannot sleep in. Unless I'm sick, then I can sleep forever. But, when I'm in normal health I cannot sleep past 9 at the latest and it is a celebration when I make it to 9. Today I woke up at 8:40, defeated. I was still observably tired, but apparently 8 hours of sleep is enough for me, so I got up...and it was FREEZING in my room. It got down to  the 40's last night (I KNOW!!!) and the heater in my dorm doesn't work. They ordered a part for it, the meantime, I'm just waiting for one of my toes to literally fall off due to severe frost bite.

Anyways, I thought I'd take this time that I should be using for many other things to share some Daily Scavenge. And none of them include western civilization and the test that will steal my soul this coming Friday.

This was a rough week to say the least. I haven't been at my best and have felt like a wilted flower... But I found a lot of things to be thankful for. I am surely praising God for His love and the ways He shows it.

A cup of hot tea and snuggly blanket to end the day.

1) A mother who thinks of me and sends me sweet packages with a new scarf and my copy of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
2) The fact I got to wear a sweater and a scarf comfortably in Florida. In October.
3) The 3 Stooges light switch cover. I don't know who put it there to begin with, but it makes me smile.

This. And the fact it felt like a Tennessee spring day.

Some of my crazy kids at work playing. They are stressful, but I do love them.

A quiet Saturday morning and the return of coffee...even if it is decaf. Oh. And peppermint mocha creamer.

I found this old webcam picture from when Badge was still just a little bit. I miss him, but this picture warmed my heart. 30 days until Thanksgiving break.
And today, I get to volunteer at a Feed America Tampa Bay event. I'm super excited.
Do you have a Daily Scavenge you want to share?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pot Holes Vs. Sink Holes

I think we all know that life is hardly perfect. We all encounter our own issues and difficulties and something to one person could be HUGE and the same thing could be small to another.

There are certainly different levels of "suck" and "wonderful" in life. When it comes to the negative, I'd say there are pot holes and sink holes.

A pot hole is simply, well, a pot hole. You should know what a pot hole is...but if
And a sink hole:

The difference is pretty obvious. A pot hole is a bump in the road. If it isn't tended to, it will grow, but it won't get out of control. It stops when the pavement stops.

But a sink hole? It doesn't stop. It swallows everything in its path, disregarding the pain it may be causing people. It gobbles up houses, cars, people, animals, anything...and drags it into the abyss.

But here's the thing. If left to stew, a metaphorical pot hole could turn into a metaphorical sink hole. We have to learn to take the pot holes with grace; just roll over it like a car. There will be a bump, but it can be conquered. I know I face a lot of pot holes. I also know I have ignored them, pushed them back thinking "that's silly, it'll go away." knowing deep down it probably won't. I've let all of those little silly pot holes grow, combine and swallow me up in a sink hole of thoughts and emotions. Suddenly, everything is blown out of proportion and the sink hole grows.

We have to be able to recognize the difference between a pot hole and a sink hole. Have a lot of school work and you're stressed? Pot hole. Conquer it. Get that work down, then reward yourself.
Been busy, haven't seen much of your friends? Set aside a day to enjoy them, even if you have to schedule it weeks in advance. Something doesn't turn out as planned? Reconfigure. Make it work. Compromise because sometimes things just don't do what we think they're supposed to.

It's when those things get ignored, the stress gets down played, that it festers within. When you haven't seen your friends in a while so you put yourself out there and get shot down. It pushes that pot hole a little deeper and now it means more so every little thing that could be taken in a negative way regarding it is taken as such and the pot hole turns into a sink hole. Suddenly, isolation sounds better than being with people because at least when you're in a room by yourself you know everyone there cares about you...and you feel like you just can't say the same anywhere else.

Sink holes are bad. And they only get worse if you give up. I've given up with a lot of my sink holes and now I'm trying to repair them, but, how exactly do you repair a sink hole? It's going to take a lot of dirt and a lot of people shoveling that dirt in...One person cannot do it all.

In other news, here are a few of my Daily Scavenge pictures:

The list the kids in the Bible class I teach provided of things they would look for in a future spouse.

My darling Sarah Kate doing something weird.

Getting pictures of this sweet little girl in text messages.

This terrifyingly hilarious picture of Eartha Kitt.
                                                     Finding pictures like this on my laptop and knowing I'll be back there in about 33 days.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Daily Scavenge

Every day in the cafeteria, I become discouraged. I pay $2,000 a year for my meal plan so I don't starve... And yet, I, along with the other 500&something students, participate in what I like to call "The Daily Scavenge". Which is what it sounds like, really. The main dish looks ok...I'll try it. Sit down, discover meat is half cooked and they somehow screwed up green beans (HOW?). Push the plate aside... Do they have good pizza today? Eh...not so much.. Cereal? I've had it 6 times this week already. I'm tired of Cheerios. Ok. Good ol' standby... my 12th PB&J this week.

And that with the help of canned foods in my room is how I do not starve as a college student.

But, I've been participating in a different kind of daily scavenge. I had a picture and story published in THIS  book last year. The project was originally created by a woman who had failed to see the good in things, enjoy the little bits of life and dug herself into a dark place.
As I have isolated myself a bit more this semester and been struggling with stress and emotions within myself, I want to prevent myself from going into that same dark place. Because where there are dark places...there are usually spiders, and I'm just not ok with spiders. So my new Daily Scavenge is to find something in EVERY day that I am thankful for... take a picture of it, and record it here with the tag daily scavenge. That way I can come back to them and remember how beautiful that flower was or how good that cup of tea was. Even the worst of days are not all bad. I realize how hard it is to remember that when things get overwhelming. Maybe one day, I'll print out all of my pictures and hang them in a room. How wonderful would it be to be surrounded by all of the little things that make you happy? How could one be sad then?

Also, as a disclaimer, don't expect these all to be good pictures. I'm sure many will be taken with my cell phone...which is far from "smart". They'll probably be pretty grainy. But it's whatever... It's the point.

And I want to challenge you to see the partake in the daily scavenge.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Peeking Over the Ledge

No...things are not nearly the same this year. People and feelings have changed. I have changed. Things are harder...

While I am still very confused about some things and debating a lot...arguing with myself, really, I felt a new change today. A change within myself. I have been unable to find my positivity for the last 2 months. I had lost the Erin that could find good in everything, and I was afraid she would never come back. Today was the first day in a long time I did not have the overwhelming desire to be locked in my room away from everyone. It was the first time I felt hopeful of something regardless of the issues I still face. Do you know what it feels like to be so incredibly hopeless? Like nothing will get better and it will all obviously continue to get worse? I've been in that place That terrible, terrible place for months.

Last year, I was consumed by an awe of "I can't believe I am here! And with these people who I love and feel like I've known my entire life!" It was easy to see the light in all situations.

This year, I feel like I returned missing my limbs. "Just keep breathing...just get through." What a terrible feeling to wake up every day and convince yourself you just have to scrape by, make it until you could go to sleep again, because sleep (when you could get it) was the only way to really escape. Getting through is no way to live. I want to enjoy, not just breathe!

I'm still not there yet. I haven't climbed back to the top, but I think I was able to peek over the ledge just a little bit today. I could see a sliver of light in my dark. Will it last? I cannot say...but I hope so. It's exhausting to not be yourself.

But I feel my fire coming back... my passion for life is making a come back. I'm getting there. I can see over the ledge, and the world on that side? Covered in flowers and fall leaves.

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