Wednesday, September 28, 2011

in the dark

I left right as the sun started streaking it's bright glow across the sky. Orange, pink, yellow, so bright! It's so pretty out. And there's just enough time to be back by dark. I thought, as I headed out for a run.
I took a left down a street I'd never gone through in my neighborhood. It took me out to another random street. It was kind of fun not knowing where I was going. I liked running in a new place. A good change of scenery. Somehow I ended up running past a church and a park. I took a left at a stoplight because it wasn't green and I didn't want to jog in place or stop running at all. I was completely lost, I'd never been down that road and I had no idea where I was going, but I couldn't just stop and ask for directions. The sun was zipping down faster than I thought it would. Shoot. I found Home Depot, and turned on Whitman, a street that sounded familiar. I ran until I recognized the area but it was dark out. Good thing for the college place water tower or I'd be in bad shape. My sense of direction is awful!
I really enjoyed running in the dark. There were one too many strange men on bikes, I would gladly do without, but for the most part, I really enjoyed it. I liked the feeling of not knowing where I was going. If I had all the time in the world I wouldn't have stressed out at all, but as soon as it got dark, I got a little panicked and my heart started to beat a little faster. It was DARK. Like, night. There was nothing but the street lights to show me the way. Part of me wondered if I'd ever make it home. But that's part of the adventure. Getting lost. Being blinded by the darkness. Wondering about the unknown. It's kind of risky, but not TOO risky. I guess all you can do is hope for the best and keep running. HARD until you reach home.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Puzzle Piece

An excerpt from the paper I wrote for Bible class today:
Starting my Senior year, I was an R.A. for the dorm. I felt obligated to not just know God, but to REALLY know Him enough to lead others to him. So I started the search. And in all honesty I’m still searching, still struggling. It’s been a little over a full year now, and I still can’t seem to find Him. What do I need to do? How? Where do I turn? Even after 12 weeks full of fun at Mivoden, the place God supposedly goes for the summer, I can’t see Him. Even after the miracle with Josh. Even after the tear filled Friday nights surrounded by fire light and my campers with incredibly inspiring stories, I’ve got nothing. It’s like somewhere along the line I just kind of ran off the road map and got lost in the confusion of the rest of the world. So now, I guess I’m just waiting for Him to find ME.
And Rob Bell says this to that:
"Elijah looked for God in all the wrong places, in the wind, earthquakes, and fire. But it's in the SILENCE when you hear God's voice."
What is it about this piece of the puzzle that just never seems to find its spot in my life?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer." -Barbara Kingsolver

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I have a hard time comprehending this statement.
"I'm so locked up here."

How? Why? I don't get it. How can you feel so trapped in a place like this? We're in college, with so much more added freedom than before. We aren't dorm, we don't have a curfew, we aren't served cafeteria food, we're handed choices. There's nothing keeping us here. We could leave for a day and no one would ever know. So leave if that's what's needed. Pack up your bags and put your freedom to the test.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Everybody's got it.
Even if you're tone deaf.
Even if you can't keep a beat.
Even if you can't dance.
You've got it.
The sound of a toothbrush moving across teeth.
The sound of shoes against floor.
The sound of air filling lungs.
The beats of life.
Your life.
Your rhythm.
It grows.
Other people can't help but hear it.
They stop,
They listen.
Your life.
And that's when you KNOW you've got it.
Deep down.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Grocery Shopping 101

I never knew grocery shopping could be so difficult. What do I want to eat for the whole week? I guess I've never really had that option before, it's always just been set in front of me. Mom makes dinner every night. UCA provides all my meals. I never get to choose for myself what I personally want to eat. It's so weird to think about now. My sister and I sat down to write out our grocery list and she asked me what I wanted. "Uhhh... Cereal..." That's all I could think of. I don't want to cook for 1 person. My sister is on a raw foods diet this week so she can't eat hardly anything. The past two days I've been living on a pear in the morning and an apple in the afternoon.
We got to the store and I still hadn't thought of anything, so I decided I was just going to have to cook, that's just the way it's gotta be. I was tired of not knowing what to do. So I got some peppers and zucchini, and grandma has some onions and hummus, we have tons of tortillas in the freezer. We have lemon juice and spices. I'm going to make something good. Not completely sure what, but maybe I can jumble things up a little and make a new favorite concoction. I think I could grow to like this.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's 3 AM and I can't sleep. My brain is speeding at 100 mph.
-How am I going to get my bike there?
-Should I just walk to school?
-I need a bike lock.
-I'm going to be gone all tomorrow. Shoot. I need to finish packing.
-I need to finish my resume and cover letter.
-I need to do laundry.
-Will Grandma let me eat at her house this week?
-I wonder if she has any odd jobs for me to do?
I toss and turn, it's too hot...
-Maybe I am going to be crying and calling home asking for help. I thought I could handle this. Maybe not.
-I have to get all that financial stuff done by Wednesday.
-I have to set up a bank account.
-I REALLY need a job.
-I thought next week was going to be easy, just a fun relaxing social week. Sheesh! I won't have ANY time for socializing.
-I need to write a letter to Kessiah.
-I have to move my bed into my house.
-What am I going to do with all my stuff? Ahhh!
-Good thing by working a few hours tomorrow I get paid $100. That should buy my groceries and gas for this week, right?
-What if the homeworks hard and I have NO TIME for friends?
-Gah, my sister said she wakes up super early and goes to bed super early, I have to do that too?
-When am I going to have time to finish all this stuff by Sunday AND have time to get there and unpack and move in and find a job and finish all my forms, and...
-Sheesh! All this brain power and I'm starting to get hungry. What am I going to eat this next week? How do I have money for this without a job! Ahhh!
-About an hr or so left before someone wakes up in this house. Maybe I should start working on everything now...
-Oh dear. Maybe this isn't such a fantastic thing. Moving out that is.
-I'm going to be dead tomorrow.
-Well... Happy Sabbath.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Good as Gold

Photographs by Caressa Rogers
Today was good. All 16 & 1/2 hours of it. I woke up at 6:30 to go with my dad to take my brother into school. My brother made me laugh when we dropped him off and he started flirting with a girl as she walked through the door. Oh gosh, Ben trying to pick up a babe young! Sheesh! Did he not learn from his sisters? Patience is key... Guess not.
So my dad and I had an hour to spare until my doctors appointment. He asked if I was hungry. "Nope, already ate." He almost asked if I wanted coffee but decided that probably wouldn't be the best idea since I was going to the doctors office and they were going to check my blood sugar. Then he asked if I wanted a donut. "Yeah, cause that's better than coffee..." But I knew he loves donuts so I agreed, or maybe he just drove there, one or the other. We ended up at Davis Donuts, the only donut shop I know of in town. He ordered his traditional apple fridder, and I looked for something chocolate, but changed my mind when I saw something blueberry. He asked again if I wanted coffee. "Eh, sure, why not. Go big or go home right?" So I got a mocha with a caramel espresso shot. My dad ordered some chocolate milk. We found a table latched to a window in the front and we sat and talked about college, and how I guess I'm going to have to go figure everything out by myself and try to find a job so I can live. We laughed and made jokes about Ben and doctors and coffee and college. It got silent for a while and I sipped my steamy coffee that reminded me of the $1 coffee I would grab early in the morning before school at UCA down at the gas station. It was too sweet, and it made my stomach upset. I watched as my dad stared out the window, people watching. This has got to be his most favorite thing in the world. People watching, eating donuts and drinking chocolate milk. It reminded me of the Flatirons mall in Colorado where my dad would sit and people watch with me and my sister. It reminded me of the fishing trips we took when I was little and the donuts and chocolate milk we'd get to eat for breakfast 'cause we left so early in the morning. It made me get all warm and happy on the inside, and I wondered what dad was thinking about. Does he realize his little girl isn't so little anymore? That I'm off to college, 18, and completely capable of handling this big, bad world alone? And if I'm not, I'm going to have to learn how pretty quick.
We went to my doctors appointment. We drove around town. My dad likes to putz and go inside every place we drive past if he can think of something interesting inside worth looking at. "I'm just comparing the price" he says. I forgot how my dad does errands. It's been awhile since I've gone with him. Probably 3-4 years now.

I look back on the day as a whole now and it was really good. Surprisingly good. Like, the best day I've had with my family in a long time. Maybe a good 3 years or more. We joked like a family, we laughed like a family, we talked like a family. No one accused anyone for anything, no one spoke harshly, no one critisized, or made fun of someone enough to hurt feelings, no one insulted, no one raised their voices, no one made put downs or turned a cold sholder. It was like a day inside the smiling pictures, but it wasn't fake. I was treated like an adult, with an opinion worth hearing, like I really was worth something. And that to me, is pure gold.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stepping Out

Worn & Dusty
shut tight--wrapped closed.
Dark & Misty
4 cardboard walls caving in.
so Square, so Rigid.
no moving
Sturdy, Solid, Strong.
no bending
18 and trapped
inside a claustrophobic world.
3 days from now--
the tape will be broken
the doors swung wide-
i'm bReAkInG fReE
to satisfy my gasps with
fresh air.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I think I could live like this forever.
Waking up... well, whenever I do.
Cooking up a HUGE breakfast & eating it with friends.
Visiting with people I miss.
Doing adventurous, daring, and crazy things.
Telling jokes.
Playing games.
Mongolian BBQ.
Sky high.
Fro Yo.
2 good movies in a row.
Long & good catch-up chats.
Coffee, Chai & African tea.
Hot tubbing.
Moonlight swimming...
Peruvian cookies.
4-wheeling on the trails.
Garden touring and taste testing.
Corn mazes.
Anne of Green Gables Marathon (Gingers totally have soul!)
Korean food.
Watermelon & brownies at sunset.
Rollerblading in the park.
Breakfast on a train.
& the drive away is always so quiet.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Bad & The Good

As I drove home tonight, I thought about the good and the bad in life. Just this morning I was surfing behind the boat in the summer sun, crouching low to touch the water with my hand as I practiced cutting and weaving on the wave. How heavenly it was, wrapped in the sun and surrounded by friends like family. How good life can be, and how fast it can spin in the opposite direction.
I just don't understand it. How can someone live with themselves. How do they deal with all that guilt? Where is there conscience, that good voice inside telling them that they know better. Everyone has one of those... right? I guess it's like Emily said last week in one of her talks. Everyone has some good in them and some bad. Like the killers in Africa who one minute were after the small orphaned children and the next helping them move their stuff to a different building. I just don't get it.
I'm so oblivious to life. Generally I can only see the good in people. It'll take at least a couple years for me to spot some fault in someone. I notice that more and more as I get older. There's a lot that I don' t know about people. But I choose to know only the best things. I want to know someone's accomplishments, I want them to inspire me, I want to know about all the good they've done in life, I want to be friends. I don't want to hear that they're not perfect, that they struggle with things like I do, that they have problems too. I want them to be stronger, to show me how to get through the rough times without having to experience them, I guess.
Everyone has a rebellious side, right? Maybe some more than others... and I guess that CAN be bad. But this isn't even cosidered rebellious, it's just plain wrong. It's straight up BAD. How can someone be SO bad! Why do some people have more bad in them then others. Why?! How?!
This evening I pulled into the Lake City Jr. Academy parking lot, the school and church I basically grew up at, the supposedly safe place I once called home, to find my sisters car rear door window broken, with glass on the pavement and everything inside disheveled and practically gone. All of her clothes, gone. Her laundry basket with more clothes and miscellaneous items, gone. Her trunk stuffed to the brim with more things including an REI sleeping bag and rock climbing gear, gone. Her ipod hidden in the small pocket between the two front seats, gone. The only things left were a couple dresses and sweatshirts on the ground, a pillow, Emily's books in a box and a few empty envelops left on the ground from the glovebox. I saw all of this as I walked up to the car window and wanted to cry. It's not even my stuff but I couldn't imagine breaking the news to my sister. I had JUST picked my car up from the Hayden church that evening. It could've just as easily been me, and I really wish it would've been. Although I had all my stuff from camp in my car as well, I didn't have nearly as much. I wish they would've taken mine.
Where did they run off to? How could someone not have spotted them sooner?! Aahhhh! This makes me furious. I try to talk myself through it, maybe whoever it was needed these things more than she does... maybe it's for a good cause... maybe it's really going to help someone in serious need... but then I just don't understand and I go back to thinking about how wrong it is and how they never earned any of it like my sister did, she spent so much time working for all of it, it was all her own money, they cheated, and stole. How could you do that to someone? It's not like we can just replace it all in an instant and not have it effect us. We struggle financially too. I wonder, will they sleep tonight? 'cause I'm pretty positive my sister won't. Will they walk around tomorrow feeling guilty, or maybe turn and hide when they hear a police siren. Why didn't the stealer think about these things before they stole? I guess the bad must've outweighed the good, but I sure hope it's not like that in all of us.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I was talking to my struggling Atheist friend the other day. They got me to thinking. Is there a God? For real? Where is He? How can I be sure? Am I crazy?
Then I thought about the days I lay out in the sun and can't fathom anything more perfect. And I remember the orange/pink glow behind the mountains that reflect off the lake. I remember the bright beams sparkling in the sky at night and the way they fall down from heaven. I picture myself rocking in a hammock in the woods and listening to the songs that fill the trees, the leaves harmonizing with the birds, and the squirrel leaping for joy at the sound. The serving people I meet everyday... And I correct my doubting.
Oh yes. There is a God.


I was laying out out my towl in the lawn inbetween lakefront rooms and the lake on the other side. It was sunny and bright, but not hot, and there was a small breeze, but it wasn't cold. It was perfect, perfect temperature, perfect everything. I lay out there reading and thinking. I looked back on my day:

Dishes in the morning stacked as high as the sky because the night before, my night off, no one did any. I was stressing out and not sure if I'd make it out of there by lunch when I had to be back to do more dishes. A lady walked in and said, "Wow. You need help, let me get you some more volunteers." So she walked out and grabbed the mic and announced that the dish room girl needed lots of help this morning. At least 10 volunteers showed up. Wow. That sure made me happy. Even if 1 person volunteers, I can't even describe how appreciative I am. Next year, I'll be sure to help out in the dish room when I can. I was done at 9:40 the quickest all week, and I made it to camp council.

Dishes at lunch... a few old, single ladies, that were signed up to help. They were grumpy and grouchy to each other and to me. "I sure hope I don't have to do ALL those dishes!" One said. Well if you don't do them, who's gonna? Me? Yep, you're right. Thanks. You're so kind. Bah! Another one said, "You're just in the way! If you're not going to be helping GET OUT!" Sheesh! They're just TRYING to help lady! As they continued to bicker it was a painful afternoon, but we finally got them finished... well, I ended up finishing everything.

So as I sat on my towl, I thought. I am SO selfish! I hated having those ladies in the dish room with me. They completely ruined my day... well, that's what I thought at the time, but it turned out to be pretty good. I wanted to scream back at that lady, "YOU GET OUT!" But, HELLO! they're HELPIG ME! Where is my gratitude and appreciation that I show to everyone else who walks in and helps. Well maybe if they didn't gripe and complain so much... Nah, I am SO selfish. Bah! So I started over.

God, thank you for the trees that provide shade on a hot day. Thank you for the grass tickling my feet. Thank you for the sun making the perfect temperature today, and the breeze that cools things off and makes my hair fly and go free. Thank you for Mivoden. I'm almost done here, but it has been one of the best summers of my life. Thank you for the ants crawling on my towl, they're gross, but you're smarter than me. You have SOME reason for creating them. Thank you for friendships. Thank you for service. Thank you for such an abundant filled life. Thank you for dying to save me. Thank you.

Getting rid of the selFISH and becoming selfLESS.