Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Year Ago Today

Dear One-Year-Ago-Today Rosemary,
Today is your last Saturday in Birmingham before you move to Auburn.
Life's coming for ya. Hard and fast. All that you're afraid of, you're going to face. And there's nothing you can do about it. Now, this is really uncool and lame to admit while being a freshman, but freshman year won't be the best year of your life thus far; you're going for that again sophomore year. Freshman year is actually going to be just as hard as you're afraid it will be in all the ways you don't expect. But God won't let go. You'll survive it; He'll carry you through. He'll carry you to your 8 AM's when you can't find a reason to get out of bed in the morning. He'll carry you to RUF so He can hear you sing at least once a week--not because He needs that from you, but because He knows you need it to feel better. He'll carry you to His word when you can barely find the strength to open it. He'll carry you up 280 to remind you where home is. And he'll carry you into the arms of the people who will eventually make Auburn just that. God won't ever let go of you. He'll teach you. He'll teach you that you love writing, and art, and music even more than you thought before. He'll teach you that you're an even more terrible steward of your time than you thought before. He'll teach you that you have a big place in your heart for girls not much younger than you. He'll teach you that even though you think you can't live without whatever it is, you can and you will and you do. Because He'll teach you that He really IS all you need. and He really IS all that can satisfy. The countdown you keep from January 29th forward will not make it end any sooner, but you'll make it through your freshman year, I promise. You'll even blog to yourself about it a year from now while you go through freshman year's pictures, moving them to the Mac that Dad does finally decide to buy you in the end.
So, de-stress. You're as ready as you're gonna be.
... And on March 10th of your senior year, when you wrote that letter to your one-year-older self in Dr. Leonard's Bible class, you wrote that you hope you're more in love with the Lord than you ever have been before, and one-year-ago-today self, that only happened because you went to college.

Yours Truly and Literally,

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm Down With That

"My beloved is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand.
His head is the finest gold; his locks are wavy, black as a raven.
His eyes are like doves beside streams of water, bathed in milk, sitting beside a full pool.
His cheeks are like beds of spices, mound of sweet-smelling herbs.
His lips are lilies, dripping liquid myrrh.
His arms are rods of gold, set with jewels. His body is polished ivory, bedecked with sapphires.
His legs are alabaster columns, set on bases of gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as the cedars.
His mouth is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem."
Song of Solomon 5:10-16

... I think the Bible just described the hottest guy I've ever heard of. Sweet. 
My husband is going to be so hot.

Good Grief

You know, about thirty seconds ago, I titled this blog post with plans to open it with "Good grief, a lot can happen in one year," but right after I typed that title, I actually thought about it.

"Good Grief"

What the heck? Why do we speakers of the English language say that?

Good grief?
Good grief
Good grief?

Since when was grief ever a good thing?
(Man, I've already typed the word "grief" enough times for it to look really strange.)

Follow me while my keypad breaks this down for my brain....

Okay, "good grief" goes right into the same bucket as "holy 'crap' (for sparring of a different word that would probably drive my point home a little better)" which there is absolutely NOTHING holy about. It's contradicting and impossible, inferring that whatever the statement that follows it is too. The statement that follows expressions like these must be at least somewhat unbelievable since it is introduced with such an unbelievable opening.
So, "good grief"... that concept is unbelievable. Right?
Maybe.... I'm not really sure.

Matthew Henry said,
"We should not pray so much for the removal of affliction, as for the wisdom to make a right use of it,"
and Henry was a pretty wise dude for those of you unfamiliar with his name.
C.S. Lewis (another scholarly guy) said,
"Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn... my gosh, do you learn."
So, what about the affliction and the experience of grief--do these statements apply there? I think so...
but on the flip-side....

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
(Revelation 21:4)
Why would God do this in heaven if grief was good?

God is so over my head. SO over my head...
but, good grief, I'm glad He is! How awful would life be if I understood it all?

... And that leads me to my original thought:
Good grief, a lot can happen in one year.

A lot of things prompted this thought: talking with the people who are so kindly taking the title of "freshman" off of my hands, getting ready to rush other girls instead of go through rush myself, reading my blog posts from a year ago (talk about good grief), etc, etc, etc....

A lot sure has happened in the past year. Heck--I went to college! Just saying that alone implies all sorts of change that for sure, without a doubt, nothing less than happened.

For the past few months, I've joked a lot about my "glory days" and how they're over. In high school, I always turned my nose up to the people who I thought were living theirs then, but sometime second semester I thought to myself, "Oh, crap. That was me."

I mean, honestly, guys: senior year I had it all together. I mean, I was kickin' butt in the drama department, I was senior class president, my boyfriend wrote me songs and was president of the entire high school, I took the easiest classes ever, my job was literally to do what I love while being the boss of people, my world hinged on fine arts, and I even managed to dabble along on a varsity sports team I didn't deserve to be on--what wasn't perfect?????

yeah, right.

I went to college and watched every one of those things gracefully (or in some cases, not so gracefully) bow out of my life.
I told myself for a while that this naturally signified the end of my glory days, but, good grief, it did not!

Watching my facade (realizing it was only a facade) of "all-together-ness", my facade of I's and me's and my's, fall apart hurt. I felt grief. But that grief was good for me. That grief was God's tool of sanctification. And woe to me, talking about "glory days"--what do I deserve glory for anyways? OH, yeah: nothing. The only good I do is the Lord's doing in me. The only gifts I have are from Him. All I can offer is an offering of myself back up to my Savior.... Glory days? Please. Those are for heaven, and glory is for God.
What am I thinking?

Frank was right, the best is yet to come.

I am bound for the promise land, and grief on earth is the only way I can realize that. That's why I don't understand God's plan. That's why I don't understand God. That's why a lot can happen in one year. That's good grief.

That's all I've got for my soapbox today. Stepping down now, but before I leave the crowd, I'll use some pictures to fill you in on more of my summer.

(This is the longest post ever.)

For starters, this cute little girl in navy went to France in the beginning of June, and this was the last time I saw her.
We gave her a going away party before she traded us all in for Europe, but she's coming home this week!
In this shot, I'm doing nothing less than the classic dance-move from Sunday School Musical (oh, yes, it's a real movie). 
Ruthdog bought an underwater digital camera.
Big fun to say the LEAST.

In early July, I said goodbye to my ASUS's pet dragon Conrad who terrorized my life as a PC user,
and I said hello to this little beauty!

Dad took his five ladies to Sandestin for our annual 4th of July trip.
Thanks, again, Daddy-O.
... Also, this photo urges me to defend the truth that I am naturally blonde.

pool-side polo hats

I really could dedicate an entire blog post to this group of girls, but these will have to suffice.
This was my huddle group at Camp Briarwood. I worked Jr. High week, and it was definitely the best ten days of my summer. Five of these girls are rising seventh graders and three are rising ninth graders--so they are about to start their first year of Jr. high and high school at different public schools in Birmingham! Pray for them! The little lady on the right in red was my partner in crime. Fondly known as "America" (God bless her), Lacey Entrekin (youngest of the ten-part Entrekin family legend) led the huddle group with me. All of these girls have such beautiful hearts that are so thirsty for the Lord. I learned so much from all of them and everyone else at camp.
Camp is such a humbling haven of spiritual blessings. I wish it could be forever.

Here's the huddle group again!
We call ourselves Socks n' Sandals.
We even had a theme song to go along with our FAILING attempts (if you can call them that--don't know that anyone actually attempted anything) at Cabin Clean-Up.
(Yes, Disney's "So Random'" did copy us.)

This is Pascal. The second best camp pet ever.
(Second only to his owner John Morson who is the first best camp pet ever.)
Read about Pascal on Caroline's blog One Day at a Time.

fried chicken dinner + tacky night + Skate Zone 2000 = a summary Camp Briarwood Jr. High Camp
... in one simple math equation
(I broke out the old clown dress from the Jack and the Beanstalk/Clowns' Play drama days.)

Sandy chillaxin in the pool.
I just love this picture and my old, fat mama dog.

"Summertime, and the living is easy. Fish are jumping and the cotton is high.
Your daddy's rich, and your mama's good-looking. So, hush, little baby, don't you cry.
'Cause one of these mornings you're gonna rise up singing, and you'll spread your wings, and you'll take to the sky.
But until that morning, oh, nothing can harm you with Daddy and Mama standing by.
(I sing that song when I see this picture.)

I spent the majority of my summer hanging out with these cute girls! They're my buddies, and there's no one I'd rather babysit for than them! They are sweet to each other and sweet to me.
Pool days, Chic-fil-a, various parks and playgrounds, libraries, ducklings, even some shopping...
we've had almost all the fun you can have.

I'm not even going to say anything about this,
but I've gotten to clown around with this old friend a lot this summer.
She's so great... as you so obviously can see.

Caroline Neel and James Wesley are now, by law, Mr. and Mrs. James W. Wesley.
This is a picture of our little dance squad reppin' Briarwood Class of 20-10 at the reception;
I stole it from the wonderful Carol Anne Clark.
This was literally the best weekend of my summer.
Watching the wedding happen and hearing their story reminded me so much of how awesome our God is, and how beautiful His plans for us are. Every detail of the wedding weekend was so centered on the Lord and brought him so much glory--just like Mr. and Mrs. Wesley. I loved seeing the grace of God in action as it brought Caroline and James together. Weddings are my favorite; they are such a beautiful picture of Christ's love for us. I wish I could go to one every weekend. I'm even more excited about my own now. I've pretty much got it all planned out, the only thing I still have to do is find a groom (anyone, anyone?), and then we'll be good to go.

This is Linley Taylor Davidson!
( if she had the option not to be--both of her parents are, too, so of course, she is.)
Ruthie and I went to visit she and her mama last Sunday and had the best time cuddling with her and chattin' it up with Me-Mom and Grace! Grace said no to the camera, but know it's coming for her eventually. I think Linley looks just like her (even though she doesn't see it).

Ruthdog and baby Linley... great picture of both of 'em.

This is a framer... Linley and her great-grandmother
(Weird. Me-mom, you are just a regular grandmother!)

Little Linley and I!

To summarize this whole long blog post:
God has been teaching me. I've really started to believe this truth in my heart and not just my head lately:

"Look among the nations, and see;
wonder and be astounded.
For I am doing a work in your days
that you would not believe if told."
Habakkuk 1:5

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

War Eagle?

This is a screenshot of my current courses for this coming semester. There should be A LOT more squares filled up on this calendar.
I have 9 hours, 3 of which are elective (I'm already finished with my elective hours).
I need 6 more, but I still have 9 to be thankful for.
My life verse is Proverbs 16:9,
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."
Well, I literally planned my courses... and they aren't working out.
... Needless to say, I'm pretty excited to see how God's gonna work out this one.
'Cause this is no big for Him.

... And the good news is, I finally decided that I WANT to be an English teacher.
So, I know all this trouble is worth it at least.

Friday, July 8, 2011

What If I Loved It?

You know, there's an awful lot of crap I talk about loving.
Loving to do.
Loving to love.
Loving to learn about.
Loving to be.
How often do I actually do these things I love?
How often do I log onto
etc etc etc (The Weather Channel... true story. I like to know the forecast. Get off me.)?
Alot more often than I should.
Alot more often than I enjoy the love of what I love.
Alot more often than I open my journal (let's fill the new one by the end of summer. 3 weeks).
Alot more often than I paint (giant canvas blank for 2.5 years) and sketch and craft.
Alot more often than I write poems and short stories (and I'm about to be an English major).
Alot more often than I read (with an exception of blogs and internet funzies... I read those alot) (never finished the Harry Potter series... no midnight premiere for me) (oh, and then there's that English major thing again).
Alot more often than I run (still holdin' onto those last few lbs like a champ).
Alot more often than I sing (and it kills me that I know I'm not as good as I used to be... kills me).
Alot more often than I teach myself to play musical instruments I still don't know hardly anything about (guitar sitting in the corner of my room for 6 years).
Alot more often than I break out the old and trusty Canon Rebel Xsi (my sixteen-year-old self would be so mad at me for not putting a summer of camp paychecks to use).
Alot more often than I learn the new things about that Canon I keep saying I will (like the musical instruments).
Alot more often than I clean (my neat-freak dad would die if he walked upstairs right now).
Alot more often than I love on people (like Jesus did).
Alot more often than I ask for forgiveness (that I need desperately).
Alot more often than I take the time to actually care about a person instead of stalk them via the internet (good thing I'm pride-repelant and would NEVER judge a soul by tweets/facebook pictures/etc).
Alot more often than I surrender (my yoke is difficult and my burden is heavy--but i'll handle this, God. Don't carry anything for me).
Alot more often than I dwell on the fact that I'M GOING TO HEAVEN and that's something to dance and sing and paint and write and go crazy about with joy (instead, I'll whine about how hard my poor, little life today is. poorrrrrr meeeee).

Good grief, do I waste alot of time.

*note: please, ignore the dreadful grammar, overuse of parentheses, and obnoxious rambling style of this post (It all goes back to that English major thing--strike 3... good thing blogger's not baseball, and that no one's paying me to make analogies.)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

O Heart Bereaved and Lonely

O heart bereaved and lonely, 
Whose brightest dreams have fled
Whose hopes like summer roses,
Are withered crushed and dead
Though link by link be broken,
And tears unseen may fall
Look up amid thy sorrow, 
To Him who knows it all

O cling to thy Redeemer,
Thy Savior, Brother, Friend
Believe and trust His promise, 
To keep you till the end
O watch and wait with patience, 
And question all you will
His arms of love and mercy, 
Are round about thee still

Look up, the clouds are breaking, 
The storm will soon be o'er
And thou shall reach the haven, 
Where sorrows are no more
Look up, be not discouraged; 
Trust on, whate'er befall
Remember, O remember, 
Thy Savior knows it all

Monday, July 4, 2011

Thoughts From the Beach

Over the past few days, the Jager family has been enjoying our annual 4th of July beach trip.
We bought three fold-out chairs from Publix this year, and it is arguably the best thirty-dollar investment we've ever made (and by "we" I really mean "Dad").

Today, I sat in one of the three fold-out chairs for a couple of hours and just thought.

and thought.

and thought really hard.

This is a summary of what all my thoughts added up to:
What would it feel like if you could dump the entire ocean straight onto your head?

but really.
The same way Mom used to rinse the shampoo out of my hair in the bathtub-- she'd fill up one of Dad's giant Auburn football cups from the concession stand with bath water and pour it all out on my face.
... What if you did that with the ocean?
Think about that.

.... anyways, it inspired some really abstract idea for a short story.
I'm gonna write it.
I hope.
I always say that to myself, but how many stories do I actually have?

Well, this one I'm gonna write.

and then I'm gonna move to Europe or New York City and dump out the whole entire ocean on my face.

I'll blog about it and let you know how it all goes.

"Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls
all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. 
By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, 
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life."
Psalm 42:7-8