3/5 This is the day the Lord has made
WARNING: “pity party of 1, your table is ready”
Today began at 2:00a.m. now to only be finishing my work at 1:00 a.m.- and even that is because of now passed deadlines.
I knew today was going to be tough:
2 essays due
1 group presentation
1 workbook due
1 report due
4 hours at my internship
25% of an 8-week online course due + final
running STUGO reviews
studying for a BIO quiz
an online COM assignment due
How much of that did I pull through on? Probably about 80%.
Will it effect my standing? Oh yeah.
I’ve ditched school 9x in the last two weeks just to get my assignments done.
I’m developing regular chest pain that’s getting a little scary on top of shakiness, migraines, & stomach pain.
My email and phone are constantly blowing up.
My mind and body are starting to shut down, only 2 more days until Spring Break.
I’m exhausted and scared on nights like tonight when around 2 a.m. I finally commit to saying “enough is enough”.
But on a night like this where I had to take two days on my calendar just for enough space to write in all I had going on for one I remember: THIS is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. In a weird, wonky, things your grandma forwards kind of way: what a comfort! The Bible says that even this day, a day that drains me like a kid sucking the last of a chocolate milkshake, is a day worthy of rejoicing- and it’s right. It was a beautiful day today.
I am honored to be alive today, covered in the grace of God.
It is my pleasure to rise in the morning and stretch my arms in my groggy stumble to the sink.
I was created for this day and it for me.
My day’s agenda is set, forget my little pad of papers (although when I start scheduling space to pee then maybe we should reconsider forgetting my planner).
Today was designed to make me strong.
To make me happy.
To make me resilient.
To make me radiant.
To make me a more polished reflection of He in whom’s blood I am covered and claimed.
Whether the formula for the reaction makes sense to me or not at the time, I can lay my heart to rest for the reaction is always consistent. It’s always perfect. Whether I see it while in the making or 5 years down the road. Each day is beautifully and wonderfully made- I am free to rejoice and be glad. Even in this day.
I don’t fight to be beat. 3 days later.
Feb 25, 2014.
On Saturday night I wrote about being “in the ring” and how I was heading into another “round” by faith. 3 days of being slammed harder than ever later, here I am again.
Here I am still standing.
Yesterday’s Monday was a Monday I never want to relive again. I hadn’t slept or hardly eaten in 2 days. I overdosed on caffeine in an empty bloodstream just to get through the workload ahead of me. I didn’t think I was going to be even able to drive myself home I was so destroyed.
But I stumbled in and when I looked at myself in the mirror, I stared straight back and said “I am in this to win”.
I decided to keep going.
I was disciplined enough to get some rest, but then I got up and made the choices I needed to to keep moving forward. I left the house, got my work done, and when I was done with that- though I could have stayed up and worked on the rest of my to-do list (I’d taken a nap after all), I set my clothes out for a morning in the gym and took a sleeping pill.
This morning, I hit the snooze button 5 too many times but as I reached for the 6th I said again “I am in this to win”. I got my butt up, and since I was shorter on time, I ran harder.
Self discipline has never been my area of expertise. But it’s that very fault that makes me so goal-oriented. I’m a fighter and this year, I’m taking on my biggest foe: myself. I’m going to tear this sucker down and come out on top. I forget sometimes that in taking on myself I want to get beat up. I want to be bruised and battered. If I don’t I will never conquer- I’ll settle. Which is what I’ve always done. Settling = procrastination, laziness, the inability to follow through. If I want to change that pattern, it has got to hurt. I’m not fighting to come out merely “beaten”, I’m fighting to win. This time when I’m hit, I’m hitting back twice as hard.
Like I said, my poor decision making this morning gave me less time to fight for a goal (working out), so I hit it back and ran harder.
And then, I finished first on my BIO exam today and aced every question + the bonus.
That up there is a picture of me right now in the library getting ahead on my workflow.
Stand back and watch me as I comeback. This isn’t over yet.
I came to win.
Update: Feb 22, 2014
This semester has me by the horns. I feel like I’m looking dead on into each day more than ever before. I’ve always been a dreamer, a reflector, a visionary but now more than ever I’m staring into the task at hand with all engines plowing straight ahead. It’s a good thing. Right? At least for a time.
Change is good, even if it’s only temporary. Keeps you on your toes. Keeps you growing. Keeps you palpable.
I’m taking 23 hours, am STUGO president, and am an intern for the Arizona Council for International Visitors (AZCIV). I’m training, planning, working, leading, and studying in an interconnected mesh that can’t be thrown off. Tuesday night into Wednesday morning I had a mini meltdown when I did get thrown off because consequently so did my whole train. This is a hard time but it’s a good time.
Last weekend, the Student Government took 30 students for a weekend in Tucson at the National Collegiate Leadership Conference held by the University of Arizona. Above you can see me and two of my officers modeling the shirts we had printed for the conference which read, “Do You Know Your STUGO? Ask Me!” on the back.
It was an inspiring but crazy weekend of lectures, workshops, little sleep and leadership application. I was so exhausted emotionally and physically by the time I plopped into bed Sunday night.
But one of the main takeaways from the conference was that progress is rooted in optimism and focus on what is going right rather than my go-to which is toiling with where everything could be better. So here are the positives of the NCLC weekend:
* We grew as a team
* I developed personal relationships with those we brought from our student body
* I had the opportunity to network with influential leaders from across the nation
* I reflected on the strengths and opportunities in my leadership capabilities
* I was encouraged in my plans and ambitions
* I came home with a game plan
Then the week began. Ooph.
Everything and it’s mother was due this week.
Exams, speeches, modules, essays, liability waivers, worksheets, internship tasks, fees, presentations, agendas, induction paperwork, projects, schedules, you name it.
I only went to one class this week. I couldn’t take it.
To my credit, this week was the first time I’ve missed any classes this semester… but yeah… that really doesn’t mean anything when I missed 86% of my week in order to do my assignments. And I feel like I’ve barely made a dent.
Among all of the craziness, I had multiple events this week too.
On Thursday night, I had my Phi Theta Kappa induction at 5 and then I had to rush off to an AZCIV reception for a visiting delegation of Middle Eastern experts on various social issues. My mom insisted on a picture (she was a Phi Theta Kappa) but in all the rush all we got was this in-between parking lot picture (woot).
Then Friday I had an all-day summit/workshop on intercultural communication and inclusion on the college campus. I left early to go to a leadership training course that I’m involved with this semester.
But finally, 4:00 came and I raced home.
It was Friday night, it’d been one straight-out-of-death week, and I was going dancing!
I haven’t seen myself smiling that big in a long time.
In the previous pictures, (if you know me well), you can see the underlying cake of stress and pressure. But in this one all I see is carefree, young, happy, and confidant.
I fell all over myself, I sweat like a hog, but I line-danced and two-stepped like I was straight out of Georgia. I had so much fun, came home late with blistered feet, and was bedridden against my better judgment in recovery today.
I usually listen to country music in the summer and now its clear to me why: country feels free and easy. Unafraid. Vibrant. Romantic. Sweet. Fun.
In the summer, I’m not running by deadlines. I’m not living by a stuffed calender. I’m “carefree, young, happy, and confidant”. Right now I’m in a stage that’s stress and work 24/7 but as I grow in my self-awareness I’m being made able to make healthy personal decisions. Like smiling big. Like remembering I’m 18. Like taking deep breaths. Like trying new things. Like dancing! Like hitting my 2nd and 3rd channel preset buttons (my country stations) more often than the others.
Everyday I have the chance to reinvent myself. I want the person I choose to be to have a big smile on her face. To be someone people want to know. To be able to laugh at herself. To be able to stand on her own. Who lives each day reflecting the grace that she’s been given.
I can’t control time, people who hurt me or circumstances that are tough, but I can take my time every day to remember that God is good and is every second shaping me with intentional artistry and passionate care.
So with that in mind, here’s to facing another week before it’s even begun. The next 7 days will pass and the 7 after that. I may be too “in the fight” to look around at the past and future but as long as I know that God’s not only in my corner but has built the very arena, crowd, and strength in my flesh replenishes me to take on another round.
The girl over there, the girl that I am.
She loves the way the first light of the day looks on a lonely morning.
Her favorite is yellow in theory, but she’ll have everything in pink.
If she’s driving, she’s speeding.
She may struggle at being direct but she’ll always be fair.
She’s acutely aware of herself.
Arts and stories feel nourishing to her on a hard day.
She likes her hair best when its lightly wavy.
She’s acceptably lonesome.
She has more opinions than your aunts and cousins combined.
Words mean the most to her but she doesn’t dare trust what she hears.
She smiles at the smell of vanilla.
She loves Jesus.
If she had her way, she’d fall asleep to the sound of rain in a good man’s arms.
She sometimes struggles between personalities.
The backstreet boys will always make her giggle.
She’s a fighter when she’s mad and a lover when she’s lovin’.
No mountain is too high to try in her mind.
Country music blasts on a sunny day.
Drinks a double espresso black.
She is protective of the ones she loves.
AC/DC serenades her walk to class.
She tries not to judge but she’s looking right through you.
She doesn’t slow down for anybody.
A little clumsy, oh look she’s blushing.
She closes her eyes and dances barefoot alone to a blues guitar.
She carries the poise of experience.
She’s both strong as a bull and weak as a reed.
Can be shy as a doe or the rooster crooning out alone.
A poet’s heart.
The depth of Thoreau.
A Russian’s rage.
A Romeo’s passion.
A Retriever’s loyalty.
The cuddliest little girl you ever did come across.
Likes dressing up in high heels.
Her favorite is holding hands.
Trembling with fearlessness, she’s ready for anything.
It’s going to be okay.
God is good and will take care of your trust.
He will never let you fall.
He is always at your side.
His hand is yours to hold.
His lead is yours to follow.
He is your protector.
He is your vindicator.
He is your advocate in times of loneliness.
He is your husband singing sweet songs.
He calls you beautiful.
He calls you lovely.
He calls you His own.
He will never reject you.
He is safe.
I am learning one day at a time.
learning how to grow.
learning how to be confidant.
learning how to be proud of myself.
learning how to love my quirks.
learning how to see trust.
learning how to lead.
learning how to smile.
learning how to hope.
learning how to live alone.
because I’m learning about You.
The depravity of my own heart and the world I live in reveals who You are, my king.