Showing posts from 2011

New Year, New _____

Most resolutions fail.

Really, let's not kid ourselves.

But ask yourself this: Who are you now?
Now answer this: Who do you wish to be tomorrow?

Pay no mind that it's January 1st, 2012. Some of you may have rung in this new year snuggled up on the couch with sparkling grape juice (my personal favorite), pizza, and movies like my sister and I did. Or some may have celebrated with a large party of friends, complete with a countdown and New Years kisses after the ball drop. But maybe, you reminisced around the kitchen table with loved ones, remembering those lost recently. Wherever you find yourself, I hope you find peace in knowing today; Jan 1 of 2012 is another day.

We have another day, another chance. Wherever on the spectrum your New Year's resolution happens to fall, I hope you have the following things to help you get there. Let's face it; we all will fail without help.

1.) Grace. Whatever tomorrow brings, there is peace in knowing that God cares for us and love…

Southern Chivalry

Merry Christmas- and yes, I will say MERRY CHRISTMAS! I don't wish to be a Scrooge but mearly share some of the cheer I have this time of year, a season reminding us of hope and merriment. Thus, such an exclamation is meant with dearest sincerity!

Up North it is currently high 30s and drizzly/cloudy weather. Evidently Santa's North Pole has been affected by impending "Global Warming" and the effect is trickling down the longitude line. OH well, can't say I'm shocked: it's about time those meteorologist and greenies got a forcast prediction to actually occur. I'm not one who typically enjoys the snow- but I do enjoy tradition...and last I checked, the reindeer have left footprints on my lawn every year since ever! But lo and behold, there is no Jolly, Dog-Interrupted-Yellow Snow as of this fine winter solstice 2011.

What is a girl to do without the proper winter conditions to foster a Christmas like every other? Nothing. Reality check: Silly, Jess, Chr…

Economics- The Study of Choices

Many of you all are not Wisconsin readers. But perhaps you know about the situation facing the great cheese state? I'm not going to say my position, but I intend to share an article I found by a professor in my home state. If you're interested, read with an open mind. I definitely challenged myself to when reading this perspective.

Maybe you will learn from it no matter your own views on public issues. I know I did.

We used to make things here in Wisconsin.

We made machine tools in Milwaukee, cars in Kenosha and ships in
Sheboygan. We mined iron in the north and lead in the south. We made
cheese, we made brats, we made beer, and we even made napkins to clean
up what we spilled. And we made money.

The original war on poverty was a private, mercenary affair. Men like
Harnishfeger, Allis, Chalmers, Kohler, Kearney, Trecker, Modine, Case,
Mead, Falk, Allen, Bradley, Cutler, Hammer, Bucyrus, Harley, Davidson,
Pabst, and Miller lifted millions up from subsistence living to middle

Wisdom from Ol' Abe

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves. ... Abraham Lincoln

Take heart, for He has overcome the world

This is cut from blogs.acu/iwanttohelp. After quite a weekend, the ACU community joined to honor our classmates, professors, their families and remember the God we all serve. I found this speech to be pretty profound and thought maybe it would speak peace to your heart this week with whatever you are suffering.

Several thousand members of the entire Abilene Christian University community – students, faculty, staff, plus neighbors and other friends – committed Monday morning’s Chapel in Moody Coliseum to worship and encourage each other in the largest gathering of people on campus since last Friday afternoon’s accident. Friends and family followed along online via livestream of the event.

The devotional period including singing and prayer, and recognition of the family of Anabel Reid, the 19-year-old sophomore who died in the accident. The Reid family, from Petersburg, Texas, was present.

ACU president Dr. Phil Schubert’s closing words:

“Billy Graham tells a story of the words that wer…

T'is Possible to Have your Cake and Eat it too

Except in the case where you lose your student ID and have all excess to the cafeteria, on campus gym, and your own dorm, you can have your cake and eat it too. Yesterday I lost my ID.

But this isn't about food. This is about patience. Because I know some girls follow this blog, this next entry is for you. I'm not particularly a blog reader, it's hard enough to write my own posts, but at work I can get pretty bored and given my 3-day weekend has already begun I'm not real motivated to do homework. So today I found a wonderful blog called Love in Waiting. The link is provided:

It was quite random, but full of wisdom from a girl, excuse me, woman who has been there done that. I'm guessing, if you're like me, you're probably wondering when Mr. Prince Charming is going to come along. Right?! Yes, admit it! Thank you :)

Last night in Bible class we were discussing the fruits of the Spirit.
"But the fruit of the Spir…


Like a bug in the grass in the path of an oncoming elephant, my second year of college started. Let me explain. I started this year with "Oh my goodness! This is my last normal year of college! Med School is only three years away- but technically it all starts next year! I have to bring up m GPA! Do I want to do this for the rest of my life? I have to DECIDE NOW!!!!" mentality.

The 17 hour (7 class semester) was underway and my volunteer coaching position from last year turned into a full commitment, in charge of scores of kids ages 4-18 (thankfully not all on my own), some really heading places and in need of serious commitment from coaches to help them prepare for college swimming. How could I do that?! Then the tutoring job- a blessing of more hours and higher pay…but it all adds up. Oh and there is that social group my friends and I wanted to join- on the condition we help recharter it. And there was no way the FRESHMAN 15 was going to haunt the SOPHOMORE after all that …

How do you eat an Elephant?

What? That's not a legitimate question! Thanks to my friend Kara (and y'all should check out her blog on simplicity) for telling me the phrase that her dad says all the time (which he learned from his childhood mentor). Of even more thanks, she told me the answer.

But you can't know it just yet.

Wait for the next post to find out.


It has been one week since I left Portugal and there is one week until classes start for me at Abilene Christian this fall semester. I apologize for not getting a letter out sooner; it has been a crazy week figuring out logistics with my parents about getting back to school, packing, etc. At this moment my room is a total disaster but I’m taking a break to send an update.

Words cannot describe how thankful I am to have been a part of the National Team at the World Championships. Before I present the exciting news let me let you know how the USA has performed in the past. At the World Championships and Deaflympics, the USA has competed with a small team and only one or two people have finished top 8 or medaled, of which I was fortunate to be one of in 2009. We were never a threat to other strong teams like Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Great Britain to name a few.

The U.S. team came home with four different awards last week. Two belong to Marcus Titus, FINA High Point Swimmer of the …


Hello all. Greetings from Portugal.

I apologize for the late write up. Internet access is limited and my laptop is almost out of battery...guess who didn't pack an adapter to charge it :)

So today marked the end of day 3. Tomorrow will be a day of rest and then we continue with 3 more days. I have swam the 50, 200 breastroke, 50 free, 50 fly and the 100 free on the 4x100 free relay so far. It has been crazy but I'm so glad it isn't as stressful as it could be. Meets like this go fast so trying to do more than one per day is tough. The last 3 days will be 100 breastroke, 100 fly and 100 breastroke on the 4x100 medley relay.

Tonight was so exciting. The finals were insane. Our ninja (Peggy) beasted the 50 fly and tied for gold. The stands were crazy! THEN the next two girls tied for bronze! Incredible finishes! Our 4x100 free relay finished 4th and broke a 30 year old American Record. That was exciting as well. The boys relay finished 3rd and 3 lucky guys got to celebrate …


I'm a quick packer- hence why my bag is just now being put together. Considering the bulk of it is food (peanut butter is a swimmer's staple) I'd say it went pretty well. Itineraries and passport copies being made. It is coming to the wire. All so soon! Hopefully there isn't some drastic thing that I am missing!

I have three books with me for the journey- "Stealing Christmas" by John Grisham (from the lovely Mrs. C), "Shadow of the Almighty" by Elizabeth Elliot (from wonderful Megan), and the Bible. I have already started Shadow of the Almighty and it has stirred up some new thinking. I recommend it for anyone looking for a book that causes you to do more than read but examine your life. Knowing that I have God's word with me provides some peace to my nerves.

I have the occasional fear of flying, getting sick, and the pressure of performing but it is going to be okay. My closest friend since kindergarten dance class gave me this verse today and …

10 Days to DC

Today marks the home stretch for Portugal. In ten days the team will join up in Washington DC to meet each other and train together. I have "met" most of the members on Facebook- which is totally different than how I remember "meeting" my Worlds team 4 years ago. Wow technology changes things. While still young on the international stage, my 19 years seem so ancient compared to the new recruits I have gotten to know. They are definitely a wonderful addition and wow, will they show some presence!

I have just a few prayer requests that I would like to share:
1. safety for the team
2. health- this is my biggest area of worry. A sick team tends to be "contagious" mentally. The last time I flew the pressure really bothered my head to the point that I was worried that something was wrong. I don't want to experience that pain again.
3. The proper mindset of the games and competition

Thank you. Please comment or contact me with any requests that you would li…

Making Sense of Suffering- Lessons from Wisdom Literature and Elie Wiesel

"I don't know how I survived; I was weak, rather shy; I did nothing to save myself. A miracle? Certainly not. If heaven could or would perform a miracle for me, why not for others more deserving than myself? It was nothing more than chance. However, having survived, I needed to give some meaning to my survival." Elie Wiesel

In Wiesel’s book, Night he recounts the events of his time spent as a Jew under Nazi occupation. The quote above is an excerpt. Wiesel doesn’t appear to make sense of the events, but as a teenager, we find him detached from life. Life became a matter of fact. Food drove all desires and the mere questioning of God, like many others did, was replaced by a desire to have nothing to do with God.

His feelings align with Ecclesiastes wisdom literature. His fate was fixed, as were all Jew’s. They would die eventually. In several instances Wiesel flashes back to the deaths of loved ones and camp members. Their death was not mourned, but matter of fact. An old…

Prophets and Power Yesterday and Today

My brother is a missionary in Ukraine. Him and his wife run a Christian camp, provide assistance for families in their poverty stricken town, have a transitional living center for teens, and are now raising two children that were left after a local man killed his wife and hung himself. Recently someone made this statement to him, “Jesus didn't set up centers for orphans" in reference to their transitional living center. This statement rocked me because while this is true, Christ left us the responsibility to do it (James 1:27). The New Testament shows that Jesus has compassion on the poor and widowed. But it’s amazing how much compassion God reveals in the Old Testament.

The 8th century prophets made social justice a big priority. While their message centered on salvation or judgment, it was often the result of actions taken against the peasants, widowed, and poor. Isaiah 3:14-15 is an example,
14 The Lord comes forward to pronounce judgment on the elders and rulers of his …

God's Faithfulness

Considering "God's faithfulness in light of prayers and requests that either God does not answer or answers in ways we do not expect".

I have grown up in a “Christian home” that for the most part of my life was active in the Church of Christ. My father was baptized after marrying my mom. He had grown up in a strong Catholic family. As I began my “own faith journey” around 7th grade, I began to examine other denominations and wondered the age-old question “who is right”? I’ve learned a lot since then, but from the beginning I have felt this longing to talk to my grandparents. I can remember praying to God for situations to come up that would be comfortable to talk to them about Christ, the words to say, and more importantly (to me) their interest in what I might have to say.

I would pray, what I recall to be every night that they would come to know God and that He might use me and give me courage. To this day, I have not done much at all. I have missed opportunities, been…

Finally a Blogger

Howdy to anyone who actually might read this. I never thought that I would be one to blog as it seems too tech savvy and privacy-invading-someone-reading-your-journal ish. But the times have called for desperate measures and I hope this blog will suffice.

To more internet dependency, literacy, and time let’s say Cheers! Pip Pip!