Thursday, January 27, 2011


I drove from Yakima to Seattle today. The sun wasn't ready to do its job yet, so the fog was extending its stay, morphing me into a melancholy mood. I sat in silence for a lot of the time, thinking my thoughts--letting them crash into each other and take their turns--dealing with each one as it came. A few were more persistent than the others, demanding more of my attention. These ones put on quite the production, with props, different characters and alternate endings. I don't like alternate endings. Just let it be what it is.

The drive is beautiful, though. A snowy mountain pass equals awed eyes and lifted spirits. At one point I was drivin' too high for the fog to touch me--I could see it down there in the valleys--merking up people's vision. But up HERE I could see clearly. I was moving forward with clarity and purpose and EXCITEMENT--and when you get that high a car is too constricting. You just HAVE to roll down the window, SHOVE your whole arm out and SING at the top of your lungs. "...This is the sun, these are your lungs. This is the day you were born..." (good ol' Switchfoot has been stuck in my head for at least 3 weeks now).

I have my final interview with World Vision in about an hour. I don't feel nervous, surprisingly. I feel...what do I feel?... I feel anxious? Is that the same as nervous? Maybe. Maybe I'm just masking it under a different name because I want to seem tough and in control. Some cards I hold tight to my chest, only letting MYSELF peak every once in awhile. The hard thing is when you have friends that know you're bluffing.

Well, whatever happens, it's ok. There are plans in place. I know it. God has worked too hard to get me where I am to just abandon me now. Good thing, huh?

Monday, January 24, 2011

this phase

I have a phone interview with World Vision tomorrow at 11am (2pm EST). I'm nervous (So I feel you Jones, and Graves, and Nick, and Jessi...oh man THIS PHASE!). Prayers, thoughts, well-wishes, crossed fingers, chants, limericks, haikus--or however it is you choose to support your friends--are welcome at this point. Maybe just put us all in a clump when you do it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

it's like, ah.

I couldn't sleep last night. My legs were restless--really, really restless. I've had pink eye and blue thoughts, and that equals a homebody, and a homebody equals not much activity, and not much activity equals unhappy legs. They were aching to move--pushing from the inside out--all the way down to my toes. So I ran--inside my bed.

Swish swish swish swish swish. Right in between those sheets. (That's about the time my cat growled and jumped off my bed.)

There, is that better legs?

No? Alright then--Eat, Pray, Love it is.

I did lots of sit-ups last night. Not because that's what I do when I can't sleep (I wish) but because I needed to UNDERLINE. This Liz Gilbert, man, she is sayin' some good freakin' stuff. I would be reading and then WHAM, exactly! So I'd shoot up and underline. Then I'd lay back down. Then I'd shoot up and underline. Then lay back down. (My cat was pretty irritated with me at this point.)

So here are some things that my good friend Liz said last night. Don't skim. They're worth reading.

"People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it...It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments."

"The search for contentment is, therefore, not merely a self-preserving and self-benefiting act, but also a generous gift to the world. Clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way. You cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself but to anyone else. Only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people."

I LOVE this last one. Get out of the WAY self! MOVE OVER. We've got people to serve and no time for your (my) misery.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fun Fact-oids

Did I say fun? That's definitely not what I meant. Factoids though. Factoids are what I have.

Here's a little factoid for you that I didn't know before tonight--I was in daycare when I was a kid. Yup, didn't know that. I was probably like those kids in Toy Story 3, dismantling bodies and salivating on anything plastic. And you know what else I didn't know? When I came home from daycare one day I had SCABIES. That's right. Scabies. My brother had it too. Then my dad had it. Then my mom had it. Our family had SCABIES. (scabies rabies babies)

I had lice when I was a kid too. Do you know how to get rid of lice on someone with hair like mine? My mom does. Yes, my mom knows very well.

And you know what else? When I was in sixth grade I had a skin rash called impetigo. Don't google-image it. I did on accident recently--it took me forever to find the exit button, because I couldn't look at the screen.

And currently, I have pink eye. Still, you say? Not still. AGAIN. The other eye has decided to take up the pink-ish hue.

I found out some of these things at dinner tonight. On the way home, I was venting to Jess and being all dramatic about me having SCABIES and being in daycare and all the other gross things that have happened to me. She laughed and called me a "festering wound." Gross.

Gross. Gross. Gross.

And so there are some things, friends, that you didn't know about your pal Tara. Aren't you glad that I wrote it out in a blog for you?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

i should be sleeping

I've been reading Eat, Pray, Love since I've been in Walla Walla. I underline a lot in books. I got teased recently because, really, if I underline everything, I'm never going to be able to go back and find the things that are most significant. But everything she says is so good to me right now. Some of the quotes just hit me straight on. Quotes like this:

"There's a reason they call God a presence-because God is right here, right now. In the present is the only place to find him, and now is the only time."

I don't know what's happening with my future. I don't know where I'm going to work, who I'm going to marry, if I'm even going to get married, or if I'll always be scared of the bathroom. And so sometimes the thought of my future is disconcerting. I get this overwhelming feeling of 'I-don't-know-what's-going-to-happen-and-I'm-scared-that whatever-does-happen-isn't-going-to-be-as-good-as-I've-dreamed-it.' I spend a lot of time (confession alert) thinking and talking about these things with my friends, especially the girls. We love dreaming and giggling and scheming about how our families will go on trips together, and the men we marry will all be great friends, and wouldn't it be great if we all lived in the same neighborhood? I spend so much time talking about the future that I forget that God is trying to do stuff with me now. If I focus on God right now, then I think it's safe to say that I'm going to be ok with how the next 70 years play out.

"Faith is a way of saying, 'Yes, I pre-accept the terms of the universe and I embrace in advance what I am presently incapable of understanding."

I don't understand how God works. I understand the cliche things we say about how God works, but sometimes I don't know if that's how it is, or if that's just how we've always said it is. Either way, I think that I'm starting to really love God again. Actually, let me rephrase, I think I'm starting to remember how much God loves me, which makes me have this supernatural warmth in my heart for God. I've got questions about our theology, the way prayer works, why there's so much crap in the world, but I've decided that what I need first--before I can answer any of those questions--is to just know Him. How am I going to get answers if I'm not even close enough to hear what He has to say?

I get overwhelmed with this longing sometimes. I can just see how different my life can be with God--and then my heart starts to beat faster--and I can feel life start to grow.

"I just want God. I want God inside me. I want God to play in my blood stream the way sunlight amuses itself on the water."

Me too, Liz Gilbert, me too.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

externally internal

I realize that it's a little vain to have a picture of myself like this on my blog. BUT the significance of what you see up there is--significant. When I made my hair cut appointment I didn't have this in mind. No bangs. No crazy layers. Nothing DRASTIC.

But something happened inside of me today while driving between Yakima and Walla Walla. I talked to God. And it was good. Do you know what talking to God and just being painfully honest does to your soul? You probably do. You've probably done it much more than me. But after I just BARED IT ALL I felt so FREE. And READY. And STRONG.

And so I thought, why the heck not? Why not embrace something different and new? The reactions were funny. I think it would be fair to say that mostly people were just shocked. Nothing negative, or even positive. Just shocked. Comments like, "I don't even know who you are!" and "Where did your curly hair go!?" were shouted. And the best one. The very best one. Was when my dad walked into the house and INTRODUCED himself to me. He thought I was one of my friends! Oh man. That was wonderful.

But my point here is... the haircut isn't why I feel like a different person today. It is helping, to be sure, but it's not what did me in. I think it was God. I think that something has finally clicked and I'm finally ready.

I'm finally ready to work really hard. Really hard on life. I'm ready to use this transition period as a real period in life--not some flowy, jell-o-y, murky bog of... not life. I've been blessed with this free chunk of time and I have JUST now realized it.

Anthony says that you can always tell that a girl is going through something if she does something drastic to her hair. Well hot dang, I guess he's right.