Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sewing makes life so much cheaper

Halloween is this weekend, and I'm looking forward to dressing up! The past two years I went as a black cat and an Indian (Stephen brought me back a beautiful outfit from India, along with tons of bangles that everyone thought I got at Urban Outfitters). This year, I'm going with a group of six people, and our costumes all go together! I sewed my costume out of two shirts from Goodwill, for a total of $4. The fake eyelashes I bought to go with it cost $2 more than that. Thanks, Mom, for teaching me back in kindergarten how to sew and be creative. :-)  

I'm currently trying to figure out how I can acquire a car within the next six months or so at the latest. It's kind of daunting. I just now thought of a genius idea that could have earned me some money to put toward it, but of course, it's too late. :-) I love making costumes, and if anyone remembers the Human Torch costume I made Halloween of 2007 for John, it won two costume contests. Of course, part of it was his amazing makeup job, but the whole thing was just so much fun! Anyway, this is all just a massive lament of a moneymaking opportunity that slipped delicately through my oblivious fingers.

(I took this last one from someone's Facebook...)

Classes and Cubans

The weather is beautiful and I want to play outside, but I have homework to do. I thought I'd compromise and write on my blog instead.

This morning I registered for my last four college classes ever. Weird.... 
  1. Advanced Feature Writing (Required. Said to be very difficult, but I know the professor, and he's wonderful.)
  2. Writing for Online Publication (A "topics in journalism" class was required. This one came highly recommended.)
  3. Anthropology of the Himalayas (I needed an upper-division elective, so I just picked one that looked fun!)
  4. Village Life in India (I needed another elective, and it could be lower-division. Who knew lower-division classes could be so awesome?)
For the first time ever, I don't have labs. When scheduled out, it almost looks laughable. I know it won't necessarily be easy, but it will certainly be interesting, and my week won't be eaten up with labs I don't get credit for. I guess (well, I hope) it will give me plenty of time to prepare for graduation, getting a job, and oh yeah, getting married!

We had another international dinner party at my apartment last Friday, this time with friends from Colombia, Korea, China, Cuba, and Iraq. We got to try an interesting Korean rice drink, and a friend from Cuba spent three hours making the absolutely delicious meat-stuffed potato balls she brought! (Oh yeah, and she used to play for the Cuba national basketball team. She is basically superwoman.) I can't believe that before college, I didn't know the utter awesomeness of getting to know international students!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reflection and patience

I miss East Asia so much. I had a delightful conversation with my new PALS about all the words I could remember (the vast majority was descriptions and names of food...), I've been thinking about my wonderful "summer family," and I've talked with a few other people about it lately, so it's been on my mind. It wasn't all perfect, and I certainly battled with discouragement many times throughout the summer. There were mosquitos out the wazoo, and I didn't get a whole lot of sleep. But it was amazing. I keep looking forward and trying to apply everything to the now, and it's cool to see what God is doing, but my heart just longs to go back in time to the summer.

Here are some major themes of the summer:
  • "...And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." Acts 2:47
  • "'My food,' said Jesus, 'Is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work. Do you not say, "Four months more and then the harvest"? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest... Thus the saying "one sows and another reaps" is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.'" John 4:34-35, 37-38
  • "For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." 1 Corinthians 2:2
  • "You Said" by Shane & Shane
  • "Mighty to Save" by Hillsong
Any of those things automatically bring me back to a time when God did crazy, radical, life-changing things and we had to rely on Him. Maybe now I'm relying on myself more, and thus wondering why I don't see God working as much. But who am I kidding? God always stays the same. His character never changes.
But for now, I just want a big hug and some hotpot. :-(

*Took a break, walked away, washed the dishes, read the Bible, laughed, and came back to report*

"Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand." James 5:7-8

Right there, in today's chapter. Be patient. Establish your heart. I'm not sure I can add anything to that.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Addendum: a limerick

I love it when outside it's chilly
I just want to play and be silly
Can't sit in a chair
Twirl my hands in the air
I can't focus on homework, not really

And another:

I'm sprawled in her papasan chair
I wonder if Suzie's aware
It's my favorite of all
When I come to call
No other chair can compare!

Thank you.

Atmospheric transformation: an ode to cold weather and fuzzy socks

UT has this program called PALS, where they hook you up with an international student and you get to know each other, experience other cultures, and they get to practice their English. I've done it for several semesters, and it's still every bit as awesome. I finally got my two PALS last week, and I'm so excited to meet the two girls from China. I look forward to spending quality time with them and learning even more about Chinese culture (while hopefully exchanging a recipe or two in the process!). 

In other news: Austin is weird. Last week it was relatively chilly and rainy until Thursday, when it was in the 80s, hot and humid. Friday it was raining again and in the 50s, and I drank some hot apple cider in celebration. Today it is no longer raining, but it's still in the glorious 50s. It makes me so happy, because it makes me think it might actually be fall!  But of course, it will be in the 80s later on this week. It reminds me of this one day last December: The day started out in the 80s, dropped to the 40s and started hailing that evening, then dropped even more and snowed later that night. Only in Austin...

It's amazing how a chilly, clear day can automatically fill me with joy the entire day. I have a paper due tomorrow? Ok. I have to wait on the bus an extra 20 minutes? No big deal. The electrical outlet in my apartment is going crazy? Sure, but it feels great outside! My friends know that if the weather is beautiful, they will hear me saying it over and over again! My roommate and I get so excited when we can turn off the AC for good and just leave our windows open. Sure, our noses are cold and we walk around the apartment in sweatshirts and extra socks, but it's so wonderful to be able to feel how real the weather is, both inside the apartment and outside.

There's just something about weather that fascinates me though, and gives me a deeper glimpse into God's greatness. Think of how big of a concept weather is. In order for the weather to change, a million things have to happen on a really big scale, and it's all interconnected through the atmosphere around the world. Crazy thought, huh? But God is so much bigger than all that.

"The earth shook; the heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel." ~Psalm 68:8

The most violent storm is a puff of wind to the God who created the universe. Please read chapters 38-42 in the book of Job in the Bible for God's own words concerning His GREATNESS over His creation. It will blow your mind.