Tuesday, August 20

Another morning and I wake with thirst
for the goodness I do not have. I walk
out to the pond and all the way God has given us such beautiful lessons. Oh Lord,
I was never a quick scholar but sulked
and hunched over my books past the hour
and the bell; grant me, in your mercy,
a little more time. Love for the earth
and love for you are having such a long
conversation in my heart. Who knows what
will finally happen or where I will be sent,
yet already I have given a great many things
away, expecting to be told to pack nothing,
except the prayers which, with this thirst,
I am slowly learning.

                 - Thirst, Mary Oliver

Monday, August 19

On trusting God

I think my friends all hate me these days. I always used to freak out to them about everything: school, friends, guys, my hair, sour milk - everything.

And now, I'm learning to trust God. And I've hardly a care in the world (The exception being my upcoming algebra class. I'm scared silly about that.) because duh. Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world. (I know that He who is in me is greater than whatever mysteries are contained in the wonderful world of algebra, too. I'm working on really trusting Him even with that.) Nothing can pluck me from His hand.

In other words: God ain't gonn let nothin hurt you, hun.

Since I've started trusting God and surrendered myself to His will for me, things have been so very different, I hardly believe it's all real. I've been blessed beyond what I could possibly imagine. I've been given crazy opportunities that I've never had before. I've made wonderful friends I would never have expected.

But I've lost some things, too. I've had to give up activities and interests that I truly enjoyed. I've lost some opportunities that seemed oh so appealing. I've lost some friends that I thought would be with me forever. It's hard to give up the things of this life. God didn't say it would be easy. But it will be worth it.

God seems to have fun surprising me more and more with the amazing things He has for me. It's crazy whacked out that I'm so blessed, because I don't deserve any of what I have. It's true that every day with God is an adventure. I never saw it so evident in my life before.

Change is one of those potentially scary, unavoidable things in life (like death and taxes). It can be intimidating to think of leaving your comfortable overstuffed sofas and root beer float world to venture into the unexplored who-knows-where, but God has promised to be with us all the way.

So really, what is there to be afraid of?
"This book has pores. It has features. This book can go under the microscope. You'd find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion. The more pores, the more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you can get on a sheet of paper, the more 'literary' you are. That's my definition, anyway. Telling detail. Fresh detail. The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies. So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life. The comfortable people want only wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless. We are living in a time when flowers are trying to live on flowers, instead of growing on good rain and black loam. Even fireworks, for all their prettiness, come from the chemistry of the earth. Yet somehow we think we can grow, feeding on flowers and fireworks, without completing the cycle back to reality. Do you know the legend of Hercules and Antaeus, the giant wrestler, whose strength was incredible so long as he stood firmly on the earth? But when he was held, rootless, in midair, by Hercules, he perished easily. If there isn't something in that legend for us today, in this city, in our time, then I am completely insane."
-from Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

Sunday, August 11

Road Trip Survival Guide

Hey everybody! Guess what?

I'm going on an adventure!

Please tell me you read that in a Bilbo voice....

I'm actually smack dab in the middle of my adventure. Right now I'm in Tennessee, and tomorrow we'll continue on to Ohio. I honestly don't know what in the world we're doing  up there, or why we're going, but I'm told that at some point, we'll be going in a cave. (Auto-win!) 
I suppose right now things aren't very adventurous, since I'm sitting on a hotel bed, covered in blankets, sipping my Arizona tea and watching Duck Dynasty. (AND writing a blog post, because I'm just awesome like that.)

No, not exactly adventurous.

But they will be adventurous. Probably. Maybe.
Now. Since I'm in Tennessee, obviously I'm not in Pensacola. And that means that somehow, I got from Pensacola to Tennessee. And that's part of the adventure.

I rode in a van with five other people for eight hours. And lived to tell the tale (at least I have so far)
Road trips with your family can be challenging, but I've been on enough of them that I consider myself a sort of expert. Here are my tips on how to survive those delightful family road trips.

1. Headphones are invaluable when it comes to traveling with your family, particularly if you have younger siblings who have a tendency to be...vocal. I hope it goes without saying that you should also have good music to accompany your headphones. (Like Liszt's piano concertos)
2. Poptarts, just because Poptarts make things better. Always.
3. Books, simply because books are stinking awesome. They can keep you occupied for nearly indefinite periods of time, provided that you bring substantial literature.
4. Ideally, come into the trip slightly exhausted, so you can sleep. And sleep. And maybe sleep some more.

This is my fool proof method to survive long car trips. You can bet that I'll be the one zoned out in the back seat. And I'll be loving it.

Aren't you guys proud of me for writing a post while I'm gone? I'm hoping to get some pictures while we're up here, and if I get any good ones, I'll post some. 

Oh, and by the way, the sunsets are much prettier in Pensacola than they are here. 

Friday, August 9

My Life in a Top 10 List

I was sitting here with a blank expression, staring at the computer screen and wondering why there were no words appearing in the box.



A peek into the mind of Meredith.

I have another top ten list for you guys. I think I've done this one before, but it kind of changes based on what's going on in my life, so.....


1. God. It sounds kind of cliched, I'll admit it, but it's true. God has been very busy blessing me lately, and I am so thankful for His love and grace.
2. People. There are so many people in my life who have been a great encouragement to me this year, and they are more dear to me than I could ever tell them.
3. Cheeseburgers. Just cuz...well duh.
4. Music
5. Air conditioning. This is one of those things where you don't really appreciate it until it's gone. And ours was gone for about four days this week, and let me tell you, I appreciate it now.
6. Art
7. Vacuum cleaners
8. Shorts
9. My camera
10. Iced tea. Preferably minty iced tea. One of the simple things in life that makes me happy.

I'm chuckling as I read back over that list, because it really does sum up my entire life pretty perfectly. That's what I'm all about.

Here's a random picture of a baby that I think would be my spirit animal if I had a spirit animal, or if it was an animal.

Wednesday, August 7

Summer Memories #3 - Special camp edition

I went to camp again. It was fun. It was educational. I miss it desperately.
I did a lot of things I didn't really expect to do, too. 
I freaked out and dove into the bushes (not my fault...)
I made record time getting to dinner after rehearsal.
I played pool and didn't kill anyone (although my dignity did kind of take a hit)
I taught a complete musical illiterate to play the opening of the Super Mario theme (a surprisingly fulfilling experience) 
Okay, enough talking, on to the pictures. ;)
 This is the choir, which was AMAZING this year. I think the addition of the voice department really helped us out; we had some really good singers this year. (I was not one of them) And of course, we have a wonderful director, Mr. Owens.
 This woman is spectacular, magnificent, one in a million, talented beyond belief, motivating, inspiring, etc... It was a huge privilege to have a short time to learn from her.
 Of course, I was bored and since I was totally overwhelmed with this piece at the time, I decided to go all artistic in the practice room instead of practicing (a genius idea, I know... "I can't play this piece so instead of practicing LET'S TAKE PICTURES!!!! HAHAHA!!")
 This is my wonderful roommate/camp mom/forever best friend from Virginia, Jessica. She was always there to encourage me, fix my hair, lend me her shorts so I could go play outside...she is amazing and I love her. <3
 Two of mah gurls all dressed up funny for tacky Tuesday!
 More tacky Tuesday people. It's hilarious to see people's reactions.
 Me and Bekah! I was so glad she came for drama camp! Since we were both there for one of the brooding artist type camps, we got to see each other a lot! I love her! <3
 Do you see this child right here? He is the reason that I got scared and dove in the bushes. He is a meanie head. But also cool.
 We were being bad and getting photographic documentation of what a wonderful job our counselors do. ;) Seriously though, the counselors are all amazing. I think they must be super-people, because they do all the things they do on little to no sleep, and they put up with our antics and don't generally bite our heads off. It's awesome.
 Because I had the wonderful opportunity to play with the orchestra, I got to sit backstage and misbehave during orchestra rehearsals (as opposed misbehaving in the audience) I had a little too much fun with that...
 Also had a little bit too much fun with this guy. (Connor/Timothy/Nerd Boy/who even knows what this guy's name is?)
The gorgeous roses I got after the concert. I loved them. x)
 Me and Mo, who, simply put, is the coolest counselor ever. So is AJ. So is KiKi. So is Dylan. So is Kayla. So is Suzanne. So is Dylan (who is the lion to AJ's puppy...)
Me and the Barbosas, who come from Brazil every year to work with the orchestra. They were so much fun to work with and I'm so glad I got that opportunity this year.

So yeah! That was camp! And of course there were other things that I didn't feel like writing (because I am a terrible, lazy blogger) but that is the gist of it! I suppose I'll have another random post up soon, probably, maybe. I don't really know.