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“Are You Ok?”

I believe that when a person asks you, “Are you ok?” they don’t really mean how are you doing. Generally they expect you to say, “Oh! I’m doin’ just fine,” or “I’m ok,” or “Good. How about you?”

So when a friend asked me if I was ok, and when I replied that I, in fact, was not, she didn’t respond right away. When she did, I could tell from the hesitancy in her voice that she didn’t really know what to say to that.

I suppose in situations such as that we find out if the person asking us that question is truly a good friend. A genuine friend will ask how you are doing; then if you respond downheartedly, he will ask if he can help with anything; she’ll hug you to her and cry with you; he won’t tell you right away that “Everything will be alright” but that he’ll stick with you through these trying times anyway.

Even when life gets me down, especially as it has recently, I have to keep in mind that though my best friends here on earth are an amazing comfort, the one and only loyal and trusted Friend is Jesus Christ. And though I can’t talk to him face-to-face, I can thank him wholeheartedly that he hears my prayers and will answer each and every one of them in his own way, in his own timing, however he sees fit.

Thank you, Lord, for all with which you’ve blessed me. Please help me never to take it for granted.


This season doesn’t feel so wonderful after all.

I went over to see Shaina for one last time tonight. I thought all my tears were shed, that I wouldn’t wake up with puffy eyes again so soon. But I expect that tomorrow morning I’ll have a hard time opening my eyes all the way, just like the day before.

Why does she have to die? Why did she have to go half blind? Why did she have to get struck with a sickness that caused her head to be crooked from then on? Why does she have to grow old? Why does she have to be put down?

These questions are absurd. She’s just an animal, just a dog. She’s not human, she doesn’t have a foul.

But she’s so… Shaina. I miss her already and love her so much. Rest in peace, you amazing girl. 

A Part of Me Will Die

I was on my way home from some runnings-around. I had just pulled into the neighborhood when I got a text from Rob: “Hey, we’re going to be putting Shaina down on Wednesday. Wanted to let you know so you could plan to see her one more time.”

Immediately I started crying. I cannot imagine life without Shaina. She’s really old for a dog (about sixteen, I believe), but I’ve only known her since she was ten. I’m going to hate going over to the Scheribel’s knowing she’s gone forever. Knowing I’ll never see her familiar, crooked head, adoring face, gorgeous black fur, playful bouncing – ever again. (Pictures don’t count.)

I hate death. I hate suffering. I hate that we have to let her go not even knowing if we’ll see her again in the Kingdom.

Does she know that on Wednesday her life will be ended? Does she know her nose will never scent out anything again? That she’ll never eat any of her disgusting dog food again? That she’ll never jump around Mr. Scheribel’s feet, begging to go outside, ever again? Does she know how much I’ve cried for her since I found out last night? Does she sense from her family that something’s going to happen? Can she feel that something’s amiss? Is she slightly anxious about it?

No. She’s just a dog.

But she’s not just a dog. She’s wonderful. She’s frisky. She’s gorgeous. She’s amazing. She’s playful. She’s everything to me.

If it hurts this much to loose an animal to the clutches of death, how much worse to loose one’s life partner! I don’t think I want to marry.

Although it’s been said many times, many ways, “Merry Christmas to you.”

There’s something special about receiving cards around the holiday season. You trudge outside to the mailbox, soak your not-house-slippers-anymore in the slushy snow that overlays your driveway. Then, when you reach your destination, you jerk open the lid of the box and thrust your hand inside, hoping to connect with a two or three letters (so you don’t feel like you came all the way out here for nothing).

Ka-ching. You pull out five letters and as you make your way slowly back to the house you quickly flip through them. Verizon bill – for Dad. Kohl’s flyer with “free” items – that would be Mom’s. A couple more “to the family living in this house” letters – just dump those on Dad’s pile (or else in the trash). Then. You come to the last one. You got bored reading none of the other letters were addressed to you, so you’re pleasantly surprised with you see that this one is, indeed, carrying your name. 

The front door couldn’t seem farther away. You rush the rest of the way into the house, kick off your snowy shoes before your mom catches you and yells at you; then you toss the first four letters onto the tabletop and grab for the letter opener. You randomly decided you wanted to slit this letter orderly open rather than rip out the contents like a first grader. This is the first card you’ve received for, well, a long time, and you want it to look neat.

Sliding the letter opener across, you pull out the card and open it up. Sometimes it says, “Christmas Greetings, Friend – From Me To You. Hope Your Day Is Filled With Love, Hope and Joy, too.” Or it may read, “Remembering special friends like you are what make my Christmas nice.” Or it may just shout the good ‘ole fashioned, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” Whatever it says, you are glad to have it, because you know that somewhere out there, a friend is thinking of you. In that moment, you’ve forgotten all about your soggy boots, the letters thrown haphazardly on the table, the goosebumps that still line your thinly clothed arms. Because there’s nothing sweeter than knowing that you are on a friend’s mind.

Keep in mind the true reason of the season, especially as the media and general public try their hardest year after busy year to trash it with wishes of money money money and gifts gifts gifts. Remember that though giving and receiving presents holds joy, they are little enough reason to rejoice for the true reason we have this holiday. Merry Christmas.

Dear Life, I’m 18. That’s kind of creepy.

I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up I was one of those girls who would look up to those 18, 19 and 20-year-olds and think, “Wow, they’re old!” “They can do so many cool things now!” “I wonder what I’ll be able to do when I’m that age?” “Man, they have so much freedom to do stuff!” “They can make their own choices! I want to make my own choices about my life!” … once again, that’s little girl fantasy kicking in and ignoring reality.

Yesterday was my 18th birthday. I really wanted to do something epic to kick off my becoming an adult. I wrote a list of things (my bucket list, I now call it):

1) Fly to Australia

2) See the ocean – Pacific or Atlantic – for the first time

3) Go to a Broadway show

… yeah,  that list is not by any means exhaustive. But, of course, those are currently not possible for me to do. So I settled for a 9am chiropractor appointment, shopping with mom till 3:30, eating lunch with her at my dad’s work (mmm, a delicious salad and scrumptious blueberry muffin!), coming home and hanging out with my best friend for a little while, helping an elderly neighbor friend, then driving off with my older sister and younger brother to see the amazing movie Inception. It wasn’t earth-shattering, or mind-boggling, but it was still fun.

The next thing on my bucket list is to stargaze from my roof. You may be thinking that that sounds lame, but there are really only two ways to get to our roof: Climb on to a van parked in the driveway and try and hoist ourselves up, or easily crawl through my parents’ bedroom window. Neither of which my parents allowed me to do, and something which I’ve wanted to do for quite a few years now.

I didn’t get around to it yesterday. I want to do it with friends (who wants to stargaze on the roof by themselves?). And I couldn’t do it with friends because I couldn’t throw a birthday party this week because Thanksgiving dominates my birthday week. My parents didn’t plan this one out very well 😉 It’s NO fun having one’s birthday during Thanksgiving week. No parties, pies instead of birthday cakes… Haha. Just kidding. My little brother, Jake (whose birthday is today! : ) and I still have parties; they’re just week/s afterwards. And we do make our own cakes – we’re not forced to shove a candle in a pie (although a couple of times my brothers do for some reason want a pie for their birthday, and they did shove candles on top of those).

Hmm. I don’t feel any different. I don’t feel like an adult. I still feel 17. I wonder what I’ll feel like on my 23rd – my golden – birthday? Hopefully amazing! And hopefully I’ll do something waayy out there! Like bungee jumping, sky diving, unicycling down a mountain… JOKES. Those are dumb. I’d so something more like flying to Australia, or traveling to the ocean, or seeing a Broadway in London…

A Blessed Sore Throat?

I have a sore throat. Well, technically it’s not the standard sore throat. But literally, I have a sore. ON my throat. On my left tonsil, to be precise. The perfectly circular, tiny white dot is way more than annoying; it’s the sole reason I’m sneaking onto my sister’s laptop at 11:32PM to type up these seemingly unending random thoughts.

However, I was reflecting on the concept of one’s having a sore throat. Could it not be viewed as a blessing along side [what certainly seems like!] a curse? Consider this with me. We are living in the 21st century, where people are used to having their way NOW, and speaking what’s on their mind NOW, and having no patience at all for anything.

I think I shall come up with an example. Let us suppose there is this girl, a seventeen-year-old girl, going on eighteen.Let us also suppose she is healthy enough, meaning no sinuses are clogged up, no unusual pressure headaches are occurring, and her ears do not hurt with built-up wax (sounds disgusting, I know). Suppose further that she is the typical 21st century teenager – loud spoken most times, does not think through her thoughts carefully and rationally before voicing them, and informs her siblings her opinion even when it does not uplift or encourage them (geesh that sounds like STAR 88.3 or something). And then one morning, this girl randomly wakes up with a tender sore nestled in her throat.

Her day is spent quietly working on her school, whispering when obligated to speak her opinion, and all in all her mouth stays shut. She wonders at one point, Cannot a sore throat force on to become more humble? If one’s throat is truly sore, one wishes not to talk. For the girl, that eliminates 1) unnecessary and unthoughtful comments, 2) butting into other people’s business, and 3) singing and annoying siblings who are trying to finish their homework. (Okay, so that last point isn’t so major, but it still works.) Do you understand now how a sore throat could be a good thing? It all depends on how one looks at it.

So instead of viewing my predicament as a “dang-it, hurry-up-and-heal-already” sort of dilemma, I am trying to learn from this rare experience by practicing “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

Hope this post encouraged you : )

The Magic Hour

Though 23 is and shall forever remain my favorite number, I have come to the thoughtful conclusion that 12 is the Magic Number. (Or a magic number, anyway.) For the clock struck midnight warning Cinderella

to flee her Prince and hurry home. Without the number 12 we would not have a Dozen. (Baker’s Dozen does not count.) A boy or girl enters the pre-teen world at the age of 12. Annnd… 12:00PM stares me in the face most nights as I’m snuggled in bed reading, or at the table cutting and pasting scrapbook paraphernalia together, or sneaking on to the computer to type up random posts such as this.

There have got to be other reasons why the number 12 is significant. 12 makes up half the hours of the day? The 12 Days of Christmas? Hmmm… can you think of any? Let me know 🙂