Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Individuality vs. Identity

One of my challenges for the week is to figure out exactly what the contrast is between individuality and identity. After much research and brain-picking, I think I may have the answer...
Identity is "sameness". Our identity is what places us in an organized "category" if you will. For example, there are women, men, students, adults, parents, kids, etc. Their characteristics and traits make them who they are and place them in that group. Women are all the same for many of the same reasons.
Individuality is "oneness". Even though I'm a woman, I'm not the same exact woman as another woman out there. Everyone is different from everyone else in some way or many ways. Even though I'm in the category of a woman, I'm shy, I'm taller than most, I have a fear of spiders and clowns...those things make me who I am. They are the categories that go beyond the main category. Since this is for my term paper based off of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Hosseini, I figure forming an example from that would be more ideal.
Laila is an Afghan woman. Her characteristics make her this way, thus this is the category she is in. However, Laila was raised to be independent and stand up for herself, unlike many of the women from her city. Her strength makes her individualized or different from many of the other women of Afghanistan.
I think you need identiy to have individuality. Identity is the canvas of a painting, and the paint you put on it and the way you do it is the individuality.
I'm not sure how much sense this makes, but I'm hoping it makes sense in my paper. If anyone else has another way of putting it, I'd appreciate the thoughts and feedback... Pin It

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Humbling Inspiration

I have really realized today that going to church truly inspires me. I know that this could be a cliche or even obvious statement, but I always thought that people saying that church is inspirational was just something people said. Sure I knew it gave you that feel-good and pumped up feeling, if you really get into it, but to use the word inspirational to describe the feeling you get by surrounding yourself with other believers and hearing a sermon that makes you want to make changes in your life wasn't the word that I would usually pick. Today, though, I walked out of those sanctuary doors wanting to write, wanting to celebrate the overwhelming excitement in my soul at that moment towards the Dominican trip, spring and even the snow that blew furiously outside the windows...
I think the art of seeing passion pour out of someone is inspirational in itself. Just seeing people worship makes my heart leap. Seeing a body of believers coming together in one name and one purpose to place their faith out there and just lay it all down for what they stand for is a humbling experience.
I think the fact that church is inspirational was always a thought I had in the back of my m ind, but today it truly became clearer to me. Pin It

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

True Love is a Verb

(*Inspired by Pastor Rick's sermon last Sunday)

When many go to define what love is, they would say it's that tingling, removed from earth feeling. This is true to an extent, but as many know, that tingling, excited feeling tends to fizzle out after the first couple months...So how does this love thing really work? What does true love mean? And where do we get it?

The first this we have to learn is that true love IS NOT the feelings. It's not all about the feelings that the other person gives you, or the things you expect to get from them. If you believe this, the relationship will fail. That is why so many divorces happen, why there are so many break-ups. Nobody will give you those tingling feelings for 50-60 years straight! And you certainly can't give them those feelings in return for that long! So how does it REALLY work?

Love is about putting that other person's NEEDS ahead of your WANTS. It's about caring for that person so much, that you'd do anything to make sure they have what they need. If you both do this for the other person, you have nothing to worry about. However, there is so much selfishness out there and wanting what you can get from a relationship, that there are break ups and divorces around every corner. In reality, anyone could get together and work out just fine if no one was selfish. Of course we have to think about faiths and beliefs too, but just think about all of those arranged marriages that happened years ago, and still take place in other cultures today. Most of those work somehow...

When you look at your relationships, think about what is not working, the dig back to the reason why that this isn't working...odds are it's because someone is selfish. Abuse and immorality are whole other stories however...that's selfishness, but include danger.
Is there something you can change about yourself? Are you giving the other half what they need before you're expecting what you want? Pin It

Monday, March 23, 2009

Goals and Rambling

I've tried to begin a post now since Friday, but lacked inspiration to decide on what to write...so here I am, blabbing about lacking inspiration for what I should write...

This past weekend was such a blast! I got to spend time with some of my girls from church, having slumber parties, playing crazy rounds of spoons, watching Gilmore Girls episode after episode until 1 in the morning, and sitting down and just having great discussions on what it means to have a relationship with God as opposed to calling it a religion.
I got to host a group of girls and cook for them and make fun snacks for them. It was awesome and made me realize how excited I am to get my own place someday. Hopefully sooner than later...

I've also recently been setting goals and making wishlists like crazy! I couldn't tell you if the wishlist part is good or bad, but goals usually can't hurt to set now and then. I'm going to start walking/running tomorrow with Ang for the season. I usually don't start until camp starts, but I figured, why not get ahead of the game this year? I'm hoping to also get a car soon...and I mean my very own car...so if you're selling, let me know and we'll try to negotiate...haha
As far as the wishlist goes, I've been eyeing up new guitars. I love my first guitar, and it plays well, but now that I'm playing in church and probably camp this summer, I'm going to need one that actually plugs into the sound system without a pickup... That would be nice.

I also have felt like I'm in the middle of things for the last few days. I hate when I see people obliviously destroying their lives and reputations. I don't want to get into specifics, but it hurts me and I really wish I didn't have to care, but I have no choice and no way of letting it go until I know there is nothing I can do and it's in God's hands. I'm such a worry-wart.

I guess that's the extent of things that have been on my mind lately...didn't really know what else to type up for all...3 of you. :) Pin It

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


"The apparition of these faces in the crowd,
Petals on a wet, black bough."
~Ezra Pound (In a Station of the Metro)

I just read a piece in A Thousand Splendid Sons by Hosseini, and was completely inspired to do my term paper on individuality and the importance of having that feeling of bringing a useful trait to the table of the world.
"She (Laila) would never leave her mark on Mammy's heart the way her brothers had, because Mammy's heart was like a pallid beach where Laila's footprints would forever wash away beneath the waves of sorrow that swelled and crashed, swelled and crashed." (pg 130)

This segment made me think about the struggle I live with all the time of comparing myself and trying to be good at something that I could bring to the table. I think many, if not all of us struggle with this sometimes. I know last summer I had the hardest time with this, and feeling like I was a worthless ailment to the staff I worked with and as. I saw how well someone could dance or how amazingly someone played basketball and I crashed. Everyone would find those people cool and want to hang out with them, and I felt like I had nothing to offer. I faded out behind all the shining faces.
Of course, I realized that these comparisons were ridiculous and that it was nothing but the enemy trying to bring me down for an entire summer, but I still find myself pondering what I can really bring to the table. I still tend to blend in most of the time.
I feel that this whole issue of individuality and uniqueness is universal. It's a common theme across cultures, and this is why I believe it would make a great paper topic for my comparison of A Thousand Splendid Sons and other American Literature that share this theme. Pin It

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Today was quite the spontaneous day for me. It began with me having nothing to do or anywhere to go, but then one of my friends, Anthony called and we decided to go up to Manistee and have some lunch at pizza hut with Angela, since she's stuck in the office all day on a rather decent day. After a great lunch and a time of hanging out, Angela went back to work, and Anthony and I decided to go up to camp and say hey, since we were close to it already, and the weather was so marvelous.
Once there, we walked around and I showed him around camp and the different buildings we had and some of the ropes elements. We walked around the woods and checked out some of the ropes stuff, as well as watched spring bloom all around us as the creek flowed through the back 40 and birds were flocking and singing about all around us. It was a great time. On our way back, we stopped in to see Eric and found out he was headed to Traverse City with Daniel for the day, and we decided to tag along there too...
After spending the rest of the evening shopping and hanging around Traverse City, we decided to head back to camp and call it a day. It was a day that went from no plans to a full day of fun and having fun on a gorgeous day.
I love those spontaneous times in life where you have no clue what is around the corner, but you know it's going to be good. I really feel that way about the next six months of life right now, with Dominican, Camp and going into my new degree at school in the fall. I have little clue as to what to expect, but I know it's going to be an amazing journey. God has truly called me to each of the things I have to look forward to, and if He brings me to it, He'll bring me through it! I'm quite excited for what life has to throw at me right now... Pin It

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I realized today just how much I love to dream. I love to slumber away at night in anticipation for the dreams that will visit my creative mind. I find that I gain inspiration from some of my dreams and even spark and idea for something to write.
I love dreaming during the day about as much as I love dreaming at night too. I feel like I want to just drift away from the piles of homework and random jobs I have to do and just sit there and dream about the what ifs, remember whens and wouldn't it be nices...
Reading a really good book does this for me too. I can pick up a great novel about some far away culture and just place myself there for a good hour a day, putting myself if the situations with the characters and seeing what life would be like if I lived in another country. Not only does reading take me to those places, but they also help my writing in sparking ideas and inspirations for new techniques.
I can't wait to actually be entangled into another country for real and get my inspirations sparking again. There is nothing more inspiring that actually living out the thing that inspires you. I've been needing to discover myself again for awhile and going to the Dominican Republic will bring back those old passions and fervent longings again. It's going to be awesome. Pin It

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I long...

I long for warm embraces of faces I have never met before until the day we touched each others' hearts. It's interesting how we go to reach out and help when in the end I feel as if my heart was the one touched the most and my walk made stronger. I can't wait for nightly gorgeous sunsets and humble swaying palms as crickets and voices carry out into the moist, darkening air. Our team dynamics always made me smile. We leave as a team, but return as a close-knit family, living in agony of the absence of each other for the weeks after the journey has ended. Little do we know, the trip continues on and the family grows as we realize we still approach each other regularly, sharing things that remind us of those small moments that took place before our eyes and the experiences we all shared in our own individual, unique ways. We share things that only our eyes, ears and tongues would understand the joy to.
The rubbished, wet streets having children, dogs and random vehicles occupying them always welcome us with friendly smiles and waves and even an "Hola" now and then. There's nothing like that culture shock that really defines you. You find yourself somehow out of all the madness. Even though there are tongues speaking words that you don't understand all around you, and eyes staring and ways of life you never imagined possible, somewhere in that blur of culture and babble there is you.
Mostly, I can't wait to see the work God has for me. I never can imagine what He'll use me for and I never truly realize it until it's done and over with, and I'm back home eating my three meals a day, and sleeping in a bed with warm blankets. When I find myself underestimating me, I am able to stop and truly see that I am used by God. He always moves in the most amazing ways. Nothing can beat the smiles He shows me from those kids or the relationships He brings into my life. The Dominican Republic has already revealed God to me in amazing ways once, and I'm positive it won't let me down this time. I'm already feeling so wonderful about the ways He is moving as we had our indoor yard sale this weekend. Our team is really bonding together and getting ecstatic about the approaching climax to our journey together!
Nothing beats it. Pin It