Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I wanted to title this post "Things the Kid Ringing Up Your Groceries Wants You to Know", but that was just too long, so I'm going to call it what it is: a public service announcement.

I've spent this summer enjoying learning about the things that come along with working a real, actual job. I've learned not only a myriad of different numbers that represent different fruits and veggies, but I've also learned that shopping carts can be dangerous, Wellness mats are the bee's knees, and sometimes, people can be difficult.

Most of the people I've encountered through my job have been simply delightful individuals. Of course, there are always those few that make my job less fun. So without further ado, here are some things I wish everyone in the world knew/adhered to.

Talking on the phone is rude. Talking on the phone while getting your groceries (or merchandise) rung up might not seem like a big deal,  but to the person behind the register, it is. When your attention is elsewhere, your cashier feels as though they are interrupting something when they just want to ask how your day is or inform you of your total. That's what they are there for. Suspending your call for the short amount of time needed shows that you at least recognize that there is a face-to-face interaction at hand. That's helpful.

Dividers are there for a reason. When you don't use one of the provided dividers or make it explicitly clear where your things begin and someone else's end, you run the risk of unwanted overlap. Dividers are your friend. If you aren't going to leave a space roughly half the length of the belt, please use one...a couple of inches isn't enough differentiation. Just because you know where the dividing line is, doesn't mean the cashier does.

I don't know the price of everything in the store. If you tell me that your kid drank a single-serving bottle of milk and threw it away before you got to the register, I'm not going to be able to ring it up. Even if you tell me what brand it is. Bar codes, folks. Bar codes.

It's not my fault. Cashiers don't make the rules. They don't set the prices. They don't stock shelves. They don't program things into the computers. If there is a discrepancy of some sort, please don't take it out on us. Don't get mad that I don't know the price of your kid's milk. If you look like you're 16 and don't have a valid photo ID, I can't sell you cigarettes. I just can't. Also, if you aren't willing to abide by the coupon rules, you can't get the coupon price. That would be anarchy and a complete disaster. If you don't like our promotions, that's okay, but don't go off on the cashier telling them that the system is a scam and they need to fix it, because it's not, and they can't.

Pay attention to the light. If the light for the register number is off, that cashier is unavailable. No, you can't just sneak in because you think it'll be quick--because other people see you and try the same thing. The next thing you know, the cashier has been there for an extra 20 minutes. Your cashier probably has had to pee for a couple hours and needs to go on break...or home after a 10 hour shift. They turned the light off so they could indicate they are just finishing helping the customer they are with.

Please don't yell at us. Occasionally, we do screw up. I'd like to tell you we don't, but that would be a lie. When that happens, please be gracious about it. It was more than likely an honest mistake. Going off on us will not help the situation even a little bit. Also, we aren't allowed to yell back, so that gives you an unfair advantage. We have a lot more going on that we have to be mindful of than you might think. When we have bad encounters, it makes being pleasant for future guests that much harder, and it isn't fair to them. This one boils down to simple Golden Rule stuff.

Now, I realize that I live in a broken world, and to expect everyone to be friendly and understanding all the time is impossible. But being aware of the other side of things can't hurt.

Ephesians 5:1-2 ESV
Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wrecking Havoc

Story time! For months I've been eying Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith every time I walk through the books at Target, thinking to myself, "Self, that looks like fun. You should get one." Then, during this last quarter (possibly the one before it), one of my very dear friends pulled one out of her backpack while excitement dripped from every essence of her being, further perpetuating my notion of fun. Then finally, yesterday, I found myself in Target's books, and I bought one.

For those of you who may not know what Wreck This Journal is, it's a book with a different instruction on each page with the intent to ruin this bound volume. Some of the suggestions include things like ripping out pages and folding them into a paper airplane, or spilling your coffee all over it, or coloring/drawing lines, or making a general mess of things.

I have a problem with liking things beautiful and pristine. I buy notebooks and don't write in them because I don't want to ruin them. But here I have something tangible, telling me to ruin it. It really goes against my nature, but I'm reminding myself that is the PURPOSE of this book. Of course, there are some instructions that I don't think are good ideas at all (licking a page with a candy stained tongue or using a page as a napkin just seems like a recipe for ants...and I overreact to swarms of ants in my room*), so we'll see how I deal with those. But in the meantime, it's liberating to have something that I can exact the inevitable messiness of life upon.

I Peter 5:10 ESV
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you."

*In the summer of 2011, I had a package of DumDum lollipops on my desk leftover from Halloween that was found by a massive swarm of ants. They were all over my desk, my computer, the wall, etc. I panicked, and ended up spraying down that whole corner of my room with Raid, I threw away bags and bags of unnecessary "stuff" that lived in my room (major declutter process), and for good measure, I repainted my whole room and reorganized all my furniture. And I love the result. (Seriously, my room is awesome and vibrant now). But to say it was an overreaction is an understatement...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Refreshing Freshness

This morning I was wasting my life away enjoying some Pinterest time, and I was inspired to do something creative. However, since I'm not at home, I'm not near my sewing machine, scrapbooks, smash books, my room, or anything else that I can revamp. That left me with one other outlet: here. So I took a leaf out of Clarissa's book and played around with settings and new websites and such, and well, this is what I came up with. It's vibrant and orange and obnoxious and I am rather fond of it all. Sometimes you just need a little freshness in your life.

I also realize that I haven't posted anything since finishing school. Sorry. I was recovering. Anywho, I've returned to the Midwest for the summer and let me tell you this is a whole different ballgame than it was last year. Last year, my brother was working a crazy schedule, my sister-in-law was out of town most of the summer training for a new job, and I spent the beautiful summer days sitting on the couch watching Netflix and reading books. This year both Kyhl and Charity are here, and working normal, daytime hours. I also was blessed to find a job in a grocery store near the apartment.  God has heaped blessings on me this summer, y'all. I feel refreshed, in more than just the I'm-in-a-new-environment sort of way.

My soul feels refreshed. This summer has been significantly more stormy than the one I experienced last summer, and I don't do well with storms. I can barely handle thunder and lightning, but when you add the possibility of tornadoes I become a hyperventilating puddle of uselessness. But through these storms, I've been reminded that my God is bigger than it all. He is bigger than the storms of life, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. And that is comforting to my terrified soul indeed.

Hebrews 1:3a ESV
"[The Son] is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power..."

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Breaths of Freedom

*inhale* *exhale* Those are breaths of freedom. Yes, I made it through my junior year of college. EEP!! That makes me a senior. *PANIC* ...
This quarter was a lot, but I made it. And I think I did fairly well. Not as spectacularly as I could have, I'm sure, but well. I have one class that I know I got an A in...due to his weighted grading system, it will probably be a B, but I earned an A, and I feel pretty good about my other three classes. This is so encouraging in comparison to some other quarters I've had.

But on to more important things. SUMMER.

I suddenly find myself with free time. Genuine free time. No papers. No mandatory blog posts. Reading for fun. Oh my goodness. I nearly forgot what reading for fun was! In my excitement, I bought nine (yes, nine) new books over the last two weeks. I'm so jazzed! I now get a few days to mill lazily around the house before I go back to Iowa for the summer. (Where I think I have a job lined up! BLESSINGS.) I'm so excited to get to see the fam-bam, and hopefully there will be more hanging out this year than last year.

I have so much to be thankful for and excited about. I'm taking time to appreciate that, while trying to recover from the extreme exhaustion this quarter caused. So if you don't mind, I'm off to take a nap, then sit down with a book for who knows how long.

Happy Summer, Friends!!

Isaiah 30:18 ESV
Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

In the Thick of It...

Yeah. Next to no free time. The little bit that I do get is filled with the nagging thoughts of unchecked items on my To Do lists. It's sad. =( But it also means that I've been so ridiculously productive in the last three weeks. I actually think I've been more consistently, academically productive in the last three weeks than I have been in...probably four years.

Because of my schedule and carpooling, I have three and a half (+) hours of down time where I just sit in the library and do homework before my first class. I'm pleased to say that I'm actually utilizing that time the best I can, instead of wasting it away on Pinterest or Tumblr. And I've been so pleasantly surprised with how satisfying the feeling of productivity is. I really love the feeling of crossing things off my list. It's the bee's knees.

In other news, HAPPY EASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Matthew 28:5-6 NIV
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay..."

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Oh Boy...

I finished my first week of this quarter and have come to the conclusion that I will have next to no free time during the next 10 weeks. This quarter is going to be incredibly time-consuming and project-laden, and it will require no small amount of effort. I'm attempting my first online class, maintaining a second blog* as part of a quarter-long project, and reading. Endless reading. My book stack for school stands 17 novels high, and while some of them are simple reads (The Hunger Games, The Kite Runner, and The Catcher in the Rye), some of them are not so simple (The Odyssey, Gulliver's Travels, and Heart of Darkness). I've had two days of classes thus far and I've finished one of the books on my reading list; my goal is to finish two more this week. So we'll see how that goes.

I'm hoping that I manage to stay on top of everything and not get too overwhelmed with my schedule, because this has the potential to be a really good, really interesting quarter. But while I sit here writing this, I am shaking in my metaphorical boots with the worry that is ebbing around the periphery of my mind. My fragile wall of confidence will not withstand any cracks, and if I get behind on even one assignment, my state of mental sanity will collapse like the walls of Jericho. I know this. God knows this. Making it through this quarter will be nothing short of a miracle. If I hold up to my end, God will hold up to His. Therefore I'm committing here and now, publicly, to be The Little Engine That Could. In the past I've complained that being productive is exhausting, because (let's face it) it is. But that will merely be a hurdle. A hurdle is an obstacle meant to be completely cleared, not lingered on.

So this is me. Taking off running, clearing hurdles, armed with highlighters, lists, and prayer.

Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

*If you are just dying to read about my class and the news (etc.), you can follow my school blog here.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Big Things are Happening

I don't even know where to begin this post. I'm not one of the movers and shakers of this, but I want to do what I can to help, so bear with me as I fumble around here.

I guess I should start with Clarissa. If you've been around Daisies and Daydreams before, you might recognize my very dear friend Clarissa from Blunders & Blessings. Well, she has moved from B&B to Clarissa Doesn't Explain It All. And with this move, God has her doing big things. I still don't know all the ins and outs of it, despite her graciously telling me about it several times. What I do know, however, is it involves an organization called No. 41, Rwanda, employing and empowering women and, in turn, feeding hungry children. (For a more in depth explanation of all the amazing goodness going on, check out the No. 41 link above or this post on Clarissa's blog. No. 41 also has a blog keeping inquiring minds informed.) This year, God has called Clarissa to go big in her support of this organization. She has opened a shop on Instagram called @shefeltlovely in which she is selling absolutely adorable handmade headbands with the full proceeds going to support No. 41. Her goal is to sponsor 50 children by April 1 (4-1), and she is halfway there. So if you are a fan of darling headpieces and/or being used by God to further His kingdom, you should check it all out. #headbands4fullbellies

Galatians 5: 13-14 NIV
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself".

Monday, March 10, 2014

Thoughts From a Monday Afternoon

Nostalgia and reminiscence abounded in my brain this afternoon. I have about a million things on my to do list for this week (including a 12 page paper that I haven't started), and I got distracted. Not that that's anything new.

It began yesterday afternoon. I saw a friend from high school whom I love dearly, and still try to talk to on occasion, but our lives and schedules often get in the way. Then, this afternoon, I found myself scrolling through some of my old pictures on Facebook. I was quickly reminded of why I drop my head in shame whenever I think of fashion choices I made in my high school days (the day I decided to give up on eye shadow altogether was one of great rejoicing), and of how absurdly awkward I am. I was also reminded of how thankful I am to NOT be in High School anymore. Whoever said those were the best four years of your life must have been a very sad individual indeed.

Of course, not all memories are as uncomfortable as those. I found some pictures from a beach trip a group of my friends (including the aforementioned) and I took right after we graduated. There were only a handful of us, and the pictures opened the floodgates of good times. I was saddened, suddenly wishing for those friendships again--none of them are the same now as they were that day. I miss the easy fluidity with which we conversed, talking about nothing and having it mean something. Now, it's all about the simple "how are you"s with no real answer because you just don't know them anymore. You can't delve into what happened last week because the context is all wrong, and there are too many gaping holes in the fabric that once kept you together.

I get sad when I think of these friends that have moved away and moved on, because I so often feel as though I've been left at the starting point, abandoned. I didn't get to move away to experience adventures. Not yet, anyway. I still live with my parents, in the house in the town I grew up in. Nothing has changed.

Except that it has.

Everything is different, even though it looks exactly the same. I wasn't abandoned by these people. I didn't stagnate here in our memories. I too have moved on, albeit differently. My priorities are different. My friends are different. Everything important, really. Time can be cruel, severing those connections you treasure or altering them ever so slightly--so it seems the same, but there is a subtle vibe that pulses it's mantra of different. different. different. But it also brings good change. New faces, new friends.

So yeah. I miss parts of my past, and I don't like that those relationships aren't as easy and familiar as they were. But I love the parts of my present that have appeared.

Psalm 59: 17 NIV
You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


I just wanted to give you an update, in case you are interested, on the matter discussed in my last post. I ended up with a mere 2 1/4 pages worth of material...It was supposed to be four. I stumbled over my words like a baby deer just learning to walk stumbles over it's legs. (Except it wasn't cute and adorable. It was just awkward and painful). But after hours of sitting in front of a blank screen with a blinking cursor, I decided that was as good as it was going to get for that assignment and I called it a night. With my head hung low, I turned it in the following day and waited for the inevitable F--praying for some sort of Divine intervention in the clarity department, and promising myself I'd do better with the next one.

Fast forward to the next class. My professor handed the essays back and I just sat at my desk for as long as I could without flipping to the back page to see the grade. Why I was so melodramatic about it, I don't know. I already knew it wasn't good, so why prolong the agony? Anyway. I finally mustered up the courage to check. There, staring me in the face, was a capital C, preceded by the words "feel free to revise for a higher grade". I was elated. IT WAS A PASSING GRADE. Then I flipped through and saw that she made all sorts of helpful suggestions throughout the course of the analysis. HUGE BLESSING.

I haven't had an opportunity to revise it yet, but I have a long weekend this weekend, so I should get it resubmitted on Tuesday. I'm pretty jazzed about it, especially since I think I get it now. I have also since written a second one of these, on which I managed 3 full pages in an hour and a half and received a perfectly acceptable grade (B+). With two more of these in tow, I'm feeling confident that I might not be such a horrible linguistics student after all. It still isn't my favorite area of study, but it is fascinating, and I can appreciate it as a field.

Hebrews 4:16 ESV
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


So, I'm gonna let y'all know that I'm blogging right now because I don't want to write a paper that's due tomorrow. Yes. I'm procrastinating writing one thing by writing another thing...I often do the same with books....what does that say about me? Hm.

Anyway, I'm taking this linguistics class this quarter, and I have never felt more out of place in a class than I do in there--Math classes included; that's saying something. Linguistics is so not my area of expertise. Nearly everyone else in that class is totally comfortable with the subject and even excited about it. And here I sit, completely horrified because I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm supposed to be writing this analysis on...something. I don't even know what I'm looking for, let alone how to articulate it and discuss it's importance. What do I do? Where do I start? Help!!

Wait...I'm having one of those "aha" moments. Maybe this is going to be my lesson for 2014. Last year was all about learning experiences. Is this one going to be about doing things that scare me? Jumping in head first? Yikes. That sounds terrifying. And yet, it's not something I have much experience with. I like my safe little box in which I am comfortable and understand things. I like this little box almost as much as I like lists.

Man. I hate these epiphanies because now I have to respond to it. I can't just sit and pretend that it didn't occur (as much as I might like to). *sigh* Well, alright. Here goes, I guess. Here's to jumping in and finding my way as I go.

2 Corinthians 12:9a ESV
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Heralding the New Year

Happy New Year, friends!!!! I know...I'm 17 days late. Sorry.

I've been meaning to come give a little update on life, but I have been having some issues with suffering trauma of the literary nature...I know I mentioned that I might blog about The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, but I just don't think I'll be able to muster up the emotional strength to accomplish it. I very nearly burst into tears just thinking about it. So here's what the main point would be: Just go read it.  Plus I've finished both Divergent and Insurgent (I actually finished Insurgent roughly half an hour ago). Let me tell you, my copy of Divergent had 75 pages of bonus material that I mistook for story. I was so mad when I discovered the truth. My parents came home at eleven pm to me laying on my bed shouting, literally, SHOUTING, at a paperback--and then my mother laughed at me! She doesn't understand. *sigh*

Literary trauma aside, 2014 is shaping up to be quite lovely (And let's face it, the literary trauma does bring me joy. Sick and twisted? Maybe. Regrettable? Not even a little bit.)

I've gone back to school and this quarter...doesn't suck. All of my classes, while not ideal, are tolerable, as are my professors. This is a huge blessing after the last few quarters of majorly aggravating circumstances.

In completely unrelated news, I bought a telephone booth.
True story. It's beautiful. It's not in my house yet, because I just finished paying for it today, but it is beautiful.  It also contains shelves--so it is functional (re: I was able to justify the purchase). Needless to say, I'm super jazzed about it. It should be delivered on Monday. EEP!!!

All in all, it's looking like a beautiful new year.

Psalm 7:17 ESV
I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.