Saturday, July 31, 2010

San Diego, that's where I'll go.

Adventure. That’s what I live for. And this summer has been composed of a BUNCH of adventures, both big and little ones. Yesterday afternoon, I went to San Diego with Candice to hang out with her and her family until today. I’ll come back to this next statement later, but I’m going to go ahead and say it…I want to live in San Diego. Like forreal. Mission Beach, Old Town, La Jolla. I’m in love! Well, not so much with Gaslamp. Whew, now THAT was a doozy. I honestly can’t tell you how many people we passed (out of the BAJILLION people down there) were completely drunk out of their minds. It was actually quite humorous, you know, seeing hundreds of people tripping over their own feet. I am willing to bet a lot of money that Candice and I were one of the few people down there who were not obliterated, and even MORE money that we were the only ones down there without a sip of alcohol in our bodies. Designated driver + designated co-pilot = you get to laugh at everyone acting a fool. It’s a good thing that people-watching is one of my best talents. I got a LOT of practice in last night.
We stayed at the Double Tree Hotel and I only have one thing to say about that place: wow. My favorite part? I slept on a cloud last night. Okay, not really…but holy smokes. I literally melted into the mattress. The pillows even had “Sweet Dreams” monogrammed on them, which only foreshadowed the night of sleep to come. My dreams were definitely sweet!

This morning, the first thing we did was go to La Jolla and walk on the beach. We saw like 50 sea lions. And I almost died of excitement. I love the east coast; after all, it’s home. But I will say this: I have never seen so much wildlife in my whole life than I have in these past three months. Every time I’ve gone to the beach, I’ve seen dolphins or sea lions or crabs. And California’s sea gulls are like South Carolina seagulls…except these over here on the west coast are on steroids. They could kill our sea gulls. Like swallow them whole. Not even being dramatic.
After La Jolla, we went to Mission Beach. I felt like I was in Myrtle Beach for the first time because there were a TON of people on this beach. All the other beaches I’ve been since being out here have like 7 people on them. Having to weave in and out of people makes me feel right at home, which is exactly what happened today. Thennnn we rode the Mission Beach roller coaster and another ride called "Chaos," which would have eeeeeasily made Mr. TJ Bargeron sicker than he's ever been. So. Much. Fun. Theme park junkie, at your service! Candice and I also kayaked to part of Sea World in Mission Bay. In our regular clothes. And we were soaked. But it was so worth it! Afterwards, however, I noticed that people were looking at us funny. It had been about 45 minutes since we returned the kayaks, and I had pretty much forgotten about my shorts being wet. At least that was the case until I looked down and noticed that my shorts were drying from the outside and working their way, making it look like I was a tinkle queen. HA! Whooooopsy daisy. God must have thought we needed a good laugh, because we sure got one!
We left the beach, went back to the hotel to rinse all the sand off of us and picked up our bags, and headed north. While we were on our way, seeester called me to tell me her good news…(drum roll please)…she finally got a CAR! YAY! Melanie Henderson is going to be the flyest chick in town with her 1997 black Jeep Wranger! I am so excited for her. Let’s hope that some crazy driver doesn’t total this car. Sheesh! I was also informed that the Hendersons have a new ride, as well. A brand-spankin’ new 2010 Chevrolet Suburban. YIPPEE! I can’t wait to see the new wheels when I get home on Friday. Like the Friday that is quickly approaching. In SIX DAYS! Holy smokes, I am so excited that I seriously can barely stand it! Actually, I’m kind of sad right now…my family is going to the beach tomorrow for family vacation. Without me. And P. Sawyer and B. Davis are going to Wilmington tomorrow for the same amount of time. Without me. But no worries, I’m sitting in my apartment. By myself. Thinking about how I wish I was home to go with them.

Okay, that was my momentary lapse of optimism. I promise it won’t happen again for a while. I’m hanging out with Marisa tomorrow, which actually makes me super excited! She’s been in Minnesota for a few weeks, and it will be so great to catch up with her! I’m also going to try my best to see the beautiful Hannah Kreiner tomorrow since she’s in LA with her fam for a week. It would be a TRAGEDY if we didn’t get to see each other while she’s here, so we are definitely going to make it happen!

I already have Monday mapped out, too: sleeping in, being lazy, eating lots of ice cream, watching Disney Channel, and then there’s the grand finale…a matinee movie by myself. My FAVORITE! I am actually SUPER EXCITED about this date with myself, because I’m going to see Charlie St. Cloud. YAYAYAYAYAYAY! I have been counting down the days to see it and I am SO pumped it’s finally here! The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud is one of my absolute favorites, so Zac Efron better not let me down…not that he’s even capable of doing such a thing.

To end this post, I would like to point out a particular fact. Seven days from right now, I will be a GRADUATE of CLEMSON UNIVERSITY. Ummmm, WOW! I seriously cannot believe that this is real life. On Friday, I fly into GSP at 4 o’clock, get greeted and picked up by my family, Michal, and Teesh, hang out with them for a while, make my way to Clemson with Michal, Emilie Carol, and Teesh to celebrate the upcoming graduation with some of the best people on the face of the planet (who I will be tackle-hugging…so ya’ll get ready!), and then return to Greenville to have a slumber party at the Henderson household. And then there’s Saturday, which will be starting out with a swim in the Reflection Pond with P. Sawyer (so freaking pumped about this!), graduation, hanging out with all of the most important people in my life all at the SAME time (this is going to absolutely blow my mind, by the way!), and then have another sleepover with Whitney, Caitlin, and seeeester this time (oh yes!). Leaving out for Cali at 2 o’clock on Sunday afternoon is going to be super hard, but I know leaving Cali for good is going to be 23957890273756582892813947238957 times harder. I refuse to even think about that yet.

Welp, my eyes are closing…and I am SO ready to go to bed and sleep past 7 o’clock in the morning. YAY! Have a woooooonderful rest of the weekend, everyone!


P.p.s. Andddddd happy last day of JULY! How in the WORLD is it already August?! Man oh man, the Steve Miller Band definitely had it right...time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future. Which is even more reason to live each day to the fullest. Go out. Explore. Dream big. Have an adventure. :o)

Friday, July 30, 2010

be encouraged, as I am encouraged.

Today has been incredible. I woke up, took a shower, got ready for the day, left for work, chatted with Teesh during my drive, and then sat outside of the office until 7:55 a.m. (like always) to finish up my conversation with him. When I got off the phone, I got a message from an old friend that I hadn’t talked to in a few months. His. Words. Blew. Me. Away. I was reminded of the importance of always being a light for Christ. They say you never know who will be watching you, and that has never been truer than it is right now. I had no idea that this friend was going to speak these words to me, much less be positively affected by the way I live my life. Humbling? Oh my goodness, YES. I totally didn’t deserve his kind, uplifting words first thing this morning, but boy am I glad I got them. Once again, I was blown away by grace and reminded that my life is not my own.

Side note: did I mention how encouraged I’ve been, in the past 24 hours? I got two postcards in the mail yesterday: one from Emilie Carol and another from Camo. Caitlin made me cry with the beautiful words she wrote about me in her blog. And Michal sent me the sweetest text message, just to let me know she was thinking about me. The coolest part about all of these things? They all happened within five minutes of each other. I would seriously be dancin’ around the room with excitement when I would get hit with another dose of encouragement. I honestly don’t know what I did to get such wonderful and irreplaceable friends, because there is no way that I deserve a single one of them.

Okay, so back to today. After I was already filled with so much joy because of that message, I walked into work to my usual atmosphere: a “HEY ANNA!” from Anne, Jen, and Will all at the same time. Even if I were to have a bad day, that welcome would be more than enough to turn it all around. We did a little office work, had a few meetings, I found out some goooooooooood news about OTH (yay!), and then it was time for my final evaluation. I don’t know if you remember my thoughts about my mid-session evaluation six weeks ago, but I sure do. I left that meeting feeling like I was on top of the world. Like I could single-handedly change the world (which I still intend to do, by the way). Today’s evaluation? Even better. Yeah, go ahead and try to wrap your mind around all the awesomeness. It can’t be done. Not only did Anne and Jen tell me that I was one of the best interns they’ve ever had, but they told me something even more incredible than that: that Jesus’ light shined through every move they have ever seen me make. And then, as if the first part wasn’t enough, they prayed over me. It wasn’t just a “Please watch over Anna” prayer; it was a deep, meaningful, reach-up-to-heaven-and-pull-down-his-power prayer that ended with me having mascara all over my face and a Philippians 4:7 peace in my heart. I can’t even begin to describe how that prayer made me felt. I could literally feel the Holy Spirit filling me. So intense.

See what I mean? This day reached an all new level of awesome. My God is powerful. And he always shows up, wherever we may be, to share that power with us. The first time I tasted his goodness, I knew I’d never be able to settle for anything less. That truth becomes greater and greater every time I get a glimpse of him. Is there such a thing as being a glutton of God? If so, I am definitely guilty.

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.” -Psalm 104:33-34

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

no better friend than you.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how big of an impact people have on your life. Even people that you just walk past in the grocery store. Think about how it makes you feel when a complete stranger looks at you and shoots a smile your way. This may come as a surprise, but that’s one of my personal favorites. I think meeting new friends is just as important as keeping old ones.

I have been blessed with a lot of friends—definitely way more than I deserve. Nevertheless, I am unbelievably thankful for each and every one of them. Some people have different friends for different moments in their lives—friends to spill their guts to, other friends to go out and get crazy with, and even more friends to just hang out and lay low with. The cool thing about my friends is that all my friends, my very best friends, are there for every stage of my life. And some of them have been there for years and years and years. I love that my best friend from second grade is still one of my best friends today, 13 years later. I also love that the friends I’ve just made in the past couple of months have become some of my closest friends, too.

Although I can’t choose a favorite, I do have a friend that particularly stands out. This friend has been there for me since I was just two years old. She was the first baby I ever held in my hands. The first girl I ever played with. The first girl I ever fought with. The person that made me proud for the first time in my life. The little girl with the bowl cut who always had her thumb in her mouth, except when she needed to tell me something. The one who only answers her phone when she knows it’s me calling.
My baby sister.

Louise Gl├╝ck once said, “Of two sisters one is always the watcher, one the dancer.” That’s always been one of my favorite quotes, because I’ve always thought that was the perfect description of my sister and me. I used to hog the spotlight a lot when I was a little girl and I’m even guilty of it to this day, making me the dancer and her the watcher. But when she’s the dancer, there’s no way that I’d ever want to do anything but let her steal my heart and watch her steal the hearts of everyone watching with me. I think the thing I love most about our relationship is that we always support and encourage each other to press on and keep going. I also love how she can tell me something she’s thinking about doing and after I tell her that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard she takes a moment and then simply says, “Yeah, you’re right.” The same goes for me. She’s encouraging, but she’s honest. And through it all, she always wants the best for me. Just as I want the best for her.

We’re sisters. And we’re friends. We fight, but it never lasts more than five seconds. We get sick of each other, but we miss each other the minute we go our separate way. We go weeks without seeing each other, but no more than two days ever pass without an extremely long phone date that discusses, in detail, everything that has happened to us since we talked last. Out of all my friends, I know that she’ll be there the longest. And although neither of us had a hand in us being born into the same family, I am so thankful that we have become so much more than just two girls who happen to have the same mommy and daddy. The older I get, the more I realize how rare and precious our friendship really is. Especially when I’m across the country and can’t just walk into her room, make her stop everything she’s doing, and just do a little girl talk. Or sometimes a little crying. Whatever it may be at any given time, it’s always completely rejuvenating and exactly what we both need at the moment.

Melanie Elizabeth Henderson is a woman of God, and a strong one at that. She pushes me to be the best servant of Christ that I can be. She is humble. She would give every penny she owns to anyone in need. She is the best listener in the entire world. She is loyal. And she loves with every bit of her heart.

If I live to be half the woman that my little sister already is, I’ll have lived a life worth speaking about. If not, at least I can say that my sister/best friend lived a life that always made me reach for more and always believed that I was already there.

Do you think you could come and see me sometime soon? We could just hang out like we used to. It's late and I should go, but I can't hang up the phone until I tell you what I don't tell you enough: even though at times it seemed we were more like enemies, I'd do it all again. My sister, my friend.” –Reba

Monday, July 26, 2010

good times, sunshine & summertime.

I’ve had a couple adventures in the past 24 hours…but what’s new? Southern California might as well call me its OWNER because I have done quite a good job at exploring the mess out of it. They don’t call me ‘Anna “GO!” Henderson’ for nothin’!

Last night I went to the Orange County Fair with Candice and her two friends Rachel and Tori. It was so much fun! We didn’t ride any rides (because they charged you out the WAH-ZOO just to ride one ride) but we did see FAITH HILL in concert! That was pretty saweeeeeet, I’m not gonna lie! She sounded SO INCREDIBLE live. I was flabber-gasted...she blew us all away! Except for one part of the show…her stage presence was not so good. She kept repeating the same phrase: “Hey ya’ll, thanks so much for being so polite. (Awkward silence) Well, here’s the next song.” Haha, seriously? Ummm, Faith, how long have you been performing? Your voice is incredible. Your legs make me want to starve myself for years. And your songs always make me tap my foot. Butttttttt please work on engaging your audience more. Please and thank you!
After the concert, we ate us some goooooooooood fried food. Fried snickers. Fried Klondike bars. Fried smores. Oh my goodness. My mouth is watering just thinking about all that fried heaven I consumed. Mmmm! Except now that I’m thinking about what happened next, I’m feeling rather sick. Explanation? Well, here it is: while the crazy girl who was running around screaming at a rock concert was quite entertaining when she was sprinting up and down the aisles, our laughter soon turned to dry-heaving when she began projectile vomiting as soon as she stopped running. Gross. Gross. GROSS! We all thought we were going to die. I have a little advice for her, though...running while you’re drunk AND out of shape is never a good idea. She might want to limit her alcohol intake and purchase a treadmill. We were all but traumatized from that…yuck!
How did we lift our spirits after that terrible experience? We got our FACES PAINTED! Wahoooooo! I gladly take credit for this splendid suggestion. There’s nothin’ like feeling like a little girl again when you’re at the fair! The pink flowers all over the right side of my face even won me a couple fellas, one of which was quite persistent. His pick up line was, “Umm, excuse me. You’ve got something on your face. But don’t worry, it only adds to your beauty.” HAHA! That was enough to fill the rest of my evening with laughter, and I appreciated his enthusiasm. Too bad I’ve already got the best boyfriend in the whole pick up line is going to steal me away from my guy! :)
And I just have to say this…Candice Crawford is one of my favorite people in the world. I have been SO BLESSED by her since the first day I met her, and I am going to be so sad when we can’t have dates anymore. Booooooo. I already dread the day I have to tell her bye…along with everyone else I’ve met here. But that’s for another time…you know, when I’m on my way home and bawling my eyes out.

Okaaaaay, now back to the fun things in life! Today, my deeeear friend Dave and I hiked up to Sandstone Peak, the highest peak in the Santa Monica Mountain Range. It. Was. AWESOME! But…it almost killed me. Not only did my breakfast wear off about halfway up (causing me to have to stop every 15ish minutes to recompose myself), but both of my calf muscles decided to cramp. At the SAME time. I seriously felt like I was paralyzed for a few minutes. Dave had to stretch my legs out for me…while I screamed bloody murder. HA! While I can laugh about it now, I thought I was going to die. Forreal. Whew, that was a doozy and I am SO glad that’s over. Aside from those two mishaps, the hike up was UH-MAY-ZING. Creation is my favorite place in the whole world to be, and the views of Malibu from thousands of feet up in the air were absolutely phenomenal. We hiked the Mishe Mokwa trail, which was a 7 mile loop that took us up to Sandstone. We saw lizards, got attacked by flies (one of which is now D-E-A-D because of ME! Oh yes!), made small-talk with some of the nicest people either one of us had encountered in LA, and got to be completely surrounded by creation. Perfect day? Definitely. The best Sunday funday I’ve had in a while!
I’m also off work tomorrow (yippee!) but I don’t have any plans yet. I may not be able to get out of bed in the morning, so I’m gonna play it by ear. I’ll probably just spend the entire day day-dreaming about the Charlotte Bobcats and my P. Sawyer and B. Davis. And James. Whose birthday is TODAY, by the way! YAY! Remember when I said that no pick up line would steal me away from Teesh? Well, I lied. All James would have to do is make eye contact with me and I would be SOLD. Just like Janie Fricke said, it ain’t easy being easy. I don’t think we’re referring to the same thing though. Wait, what? P. Sawyer, you’re the only one who understands my love (obsession/infatuation) with him. What am I saving? Dasssss right!

So my head is pounding, my eyes are closing, and I’ve seen this episode of Hannah Montana at least a hundred times…I think that means it’s time for this girl to get some sleep. Goooooodnight! Sleeeeeeep tight! Don’t let the beeeeeed buuuuuugs bite! :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

but I'm holding out for what you are about, an inferno that burns to the bone.

Those words have been my cry for the past couple of months. Especially with my internship ending in just a couple of weeks and being a graduate of a highly-esteemed university in less time than that. Then what? That’s the burning question that everyone wants to know. It’s my human nature to want to know too, but for some reason, every time I go to search for jobs I always feel a tug at my heart that tells me not to. It’s not lack of motivation. Or laziness. Or anything else of the sort. It’s more like a peace. A peace that constantly reminds me that my life isn’t my own and God is taking care of everything.

I learned very quickly in life that the plans I make for myself are never up to his standards. I always sell myself short when I’m stubborn and insist to do things my way. And I know that God just chuckles and shakes his head thinking to himself, “Maybe one day that crazy girl will learn.” So for the past couple of years, I’ve been doing just that: learning. Learning to trust in his timing. Learning to trust in his faithfulness. Learning to trust in his unfailing love.

And here I am again. Still learning. Only this time I’m more in love with my Creator than I ever have been, making it much more difficult to resist his plan. You know that feeling you get when you know are supposed to do something but you’re scared of how everyone will take your big news? Fear. That’s all it is. But when you’ve got to choose between fear and faithfulness, there’s really no competition. Still, so many times we let fear overcome our desire to be faithful and we just stay where we are. In the place we’re tricked into believing is “safe.” The only thing wrong with that is this: we’re not called to be safe. We are called to be RADICAL. To break the mold. To CHANGE the WORLD. How? By going out into it and loving it.
When I was 16 years old, I was asked to be a counselor on one of the trips with my youth group. On the second to last night of the trip during our last session of the day, Dustin Willis spoke about our duty to be missionaries in our daily lives, no matter where we are. I’ll never forget that night as long as I live because that was the first time my heart truly broke for the people who don’t know my Jesus. I didn’t mention it to anyone, but Chris Barrineau (love that man!) immediately walked up to me, gave me a sly little grin, and confidently said, “You were called to be a missionary tonight, weren’t you?” Busted. I don’t know if he remembers those words he spoke to me that night, but he’s a big part of the reason that my heart changed on that late night in June. Jesus had spoken the same words that he had spoken to me to someone who knew me better than most people did, making it quite obvious that he wasn’t messing around. There was no doubting that fire in the belly at this point. Just like there’s still no doubting it five years later.

Everything that has happened to me in my life up to this point has been carefully crafted to prepare me for my future. Independence. Times of feast. Times of famine. A free-spirit. An undeniable obsession with creation. Determination. Discipline. A hunger for more. The ability to overcome. An unbearable yearning to serve people. The refusal to acknowledge anything bad in anyone I meet. Leaving my heart wide open in all circumstances. God gave me those characteristics for a reason. And I don’t believe it was so I would settle for mediocrity or self-absorption or being lukewarm in my chase after him.

I don’t know what that future is that he’s still preparing me for, but I know it’s big. When I’m ready for whatever it is, I know he’ll swing the door wide open for me. How cool is it that the creator of the UNIVERSE takes time to invest in me and equip me for something that he could easily do with one glance? Holy smokes. What a shame it would be to ignore the weight in my response to that.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” –Think Different, The Motivation to Change the World

Thursday, July 22, 2010

three is the magic number.

Today is Thursday, July 22, 2010. And while most of us are zooming through our ordinary days, there is a little boy in a small town named Simpsonville, SC that is most likely repeating these words over and over again to everyone he sees: "happy birthday to me!" That's what I do on my birthday, at least. And since this little boy is extremely chatty and overflowing with energy, I am convinced that my portrayal of him is accurate. If you've ever met the kid, you know what I'm talkin' about!

On this day three years ago, I woke up at 7 a.m. to find out that Candie (TJ's older sister) was in labor and headed to the hospital with Teeesh about five seconds later. Literally...five seconds. Then after hours and hours spent in the waiting room, Richard Trenton Chappell was born. Boy was he CUTE! And boy was he LOVED. Since that day, Trent has been the single most spoiled and adored kid on the face of the planet. Did I mention spoiled? Yep, that credit goes to the one and only Angie Bargeron, better known as "MiMi." I just hope she's prepared to spoil all 12 of my kids that way. I mean, she's had plenty of time to prepare, don'tcha think? :-P

Since being there on the day he was born, I have missed every birthday since. Awful, huh? I was at the beach for his first birthday, working in Clemson for his second, and now I'm across the country for his third. My track record for birthdays obviously isn't all that great, but I can promise you that the amount of love I have sent him every single day (near or far) since July 22, 2007 is in enormous amount. Maybe not the most out of everyone, but pretty close to the top! :)

So, once again, I'm sending all my love from the west coast to the east coast. As much as I love it out here, I can't wait to get home and hug the necks of everyone I've missed! Andddd go to Frankie's Fun Park. Wait, what? Yeah, you heard me. A strange thing to miss, but I promise you that will be the first date Teeesh and I go on when I get back. Good thing he's got a golf course in his back'd be a shame to get beat by a girl. Again. ;)

"The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age." -Lucille Ball

Monday, July 19, 2010

one life.

Imagine the difference we could make if we all had faith, perseverance, and a yearning for the heart of God like he did.

What will people remember about me when I'm no longer here? What will they remember about you?

"For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it." -Matthew 16:25

Sunday, July 18, 2010

for the world you love, your will be done. let your will be done in me.

Have you ever wondered why things happen? Like why you overslept or why you’re craving onion rings dipped in honey mustard at 2 a.m. or why hearing one certain voice suddenly makes your world better? I am definitely a thinker. Therefore, my mind is always searching for the deeper meaning behind every little thing that happens and asking questions like it’s going out of style. It’s really an incredible gift, because 99% of the time I end up being in complete and total awe and amazement of Jesus, also known as the creator of all of those little moments. Sure, not all of the moments are glorious ones; sometimes they even stink so bad that the only thing my mind can think about is the next moment. But even through the uncomfortable thoughts, I am reassured that God’s holding everything together just like Colossians promises.

At some point in everyone’s life, they’ve probably heard the phrase “Everything happens for a reason” at least ten thousand times. And while I don’t doubt that everything does happen for a reason (in fact, that is one of the things I believe in the most), I do think that those words have such a deeper meaning than most people realize. The third chapter of Ecclesiastes is one of my absolute favorites, because it guarantees that there will be pain and tough times alongside times of laughter and times of healing. If that’s not the ultimate encouragement, I’m not sure what is. Things do happen for a reason. You can argue that to the death, but that truth will prevail.

If you really take time to think about how carefully and intentionally God has crafted each of our lives, up to this point, I don’t see how anyone could not have their entire world completely rocked. Everything in this whole world really comes down to one simple fact of life: His plans are far too good to let us be in charge of them. We screw up and make mistakes for the majority of our lives, yet we’re still a part of a plan that God himself calls “perfect.” Wow. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to wrap my mind around that. A perfect testament to God’s mercy and grace? I think yes.

I bend and I break and I fall apart and things don’t always go my way and I get distracted and I sometimes forget why I’m here, yet Jesus looks at me and my mess of a life and smiles. Why? Well, that’s an answer I may never know. But I’ll always ask, because I want to know his heart. I want to see the world the way he sees it. I want to look at a disaster and see the potential it has to be great. I want to be so hungry for his righteousness that all I can do is live my life every single day the way he lived his. I guess that’s why I think so hard about everything and ask so many questions.

The man or woman who is wholly or joyously surrendered to Christ can't make a wrong choice. Any choice will be the right one.” I want to be the person that Tozer described in that quote. Free of worry. Living a life of total surrender. Illuminating with the love of Christ. Completely lead by the spirit. Awakened.
Any questions? :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

she either laughs or she cries.

Remember what I said about yesterday? Welp, everything I predicted was true. It was nothing less that EPIC. Kerbear got Top 6 in her first NATIONAL PAGEANT (so proud of you, roomie!) and Wakey!Wakey! was so incredible that I can’t even put it into words. Yepp, you guessed it…yesterday was UH-MAY-ZING! Exceptttttt for the following parts: the concert time was changed from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. without any notice, a skunk stalked me while I was trying to get into my car, and I sat in two hours of traffic on the way back to my apartment last night because they shut the freeway down. Those parts were quite frustrating, and I am happy to report that they are done. Whew!

I would also like to point out that Los Angeles at night for a girl all alone is a frightening experience. Being the free-spirit that I am (a.k.a. always giving my daddy heart attacks), I usually don’t get scared of really anything (besides clowns and spiders). Last night when I was driving around and getting a good look at all the hoodlums roaming the streets, I made sure my doors were locked and my mace was within reach. Even the cop I saw in Starbucks was freaky. For the entire 20 minutes I was in there, he legitimately never stopped staring at me. Five words come to mind when I think about that situation: throw up in my mouth. And I probably would have if my caramel macchiato wasn’t so daggum tasty! The only good part about roaming around LA for two hours was seeing Grubbs and his friends on the road TWICE! Even after passing them when I first pulled into the theater. SAWEEEET!

Okay, so back to the concert…Grubbs and Caitlin Moe tag-teamed the performance. And NAILED every second of it. I am a SUCKER for the violin, and Caitlin made me gasp for air several times during that hour and a half. Made me wish I would have stuck with it when I played in middle school. I was pretty proud when I won the “Best Bow Arm” Award in 6th grade, I must admit. Even daddy remembers me winning that award. Haha, those were the days!

That was tangent numero dos. I apologize. Okay, ONWARD! So during the concert, I kept thinking that Grubbs was making eye contact at me. I could never really tell though because of the lights, so I honestly didn’t think much of it. Once the concert ended, he said that he would be in the back signing autographs and taking pictures, so, of course, I moseyed on in that direction. As I was on my way, I stopped in my tracks because I spotted something that I’m surprised didn’t KILL me. What was it, you ask? Well, my friends, INDIA DE BEAUFORT was in the back of the room! Also known as MIRANDA from season 7! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I composed myself as much as possible (and boy was it tough) and jolted over to where she was. A couple was standing beside me and I asked if they wanted to trade cameras (who knew I could think so quickly when I was in my awe-struck state?) and take pictures for each other. They went first (mostly because I was dying) and when it was my turn, the first words out of my mouth were: “I’m so excited you’re here! I almost passed out on the floor when I saw you!” Ummm, how old are we? Word vomit is the precise reason I usually let P. Sawyer do the talking. India did tell me that my voice was “precious” though! I’ve heard that before, but somehow hearing that from her made me exxxxxtra happy! I got my picture (that I keep staring at) and gave everyone else a turn to stalk her. What a PERFECT surprise that was!
A few minutes later, Grubbsy walked back. YAY! And what did he do first? He smiled and walked up to ME and started up a conversation! And what did he say? Here are his words verbatim (since I’ve shamelessly memorized them): “Wow, your smile is even more beautiful up close than it was from the stage.” And what did I do? Well, that’s another thing I’ll remember forever. Only this time it’s because I did a wonderful job of embarrassing myself. The play-by-play: I choked on the air, coughed because I was choking, giggled, and then (here comes the unforgettable finale) I snorted. And he laughed…really hard. He even asked me what my name was! Now maybe he’ll remember me as “Anna, the girl who snorted” forever. If I’m lucky, that is! I got my picture with him, too, and I was officially the most excited girl in the world for the moment!

On a side note, I feel like I need to point out that concerts aren’t near as fun when you’re by yourself. Especially when you’re eavesdropping on other people’s conversations and you have no one to laugh about them with. The group behind me and the group in front of me in line were ridiculous. The girls behind me had an EXTREMELY skewed view of relationships and the girls in front me compared Kate to Lady GaGa. Ummmm, no. I had to laugh to myself. And immediately BBM those words to P. Sawyer, of course! They were out of their minds, and that's putting it nicely.

I got back to my apartment at 3 a.m. and went straight to bed…only to wake up at 5 a.m. for surfing with work today. Which was TOTALLY worth it, by the way! Good thing I’m a morning person AND an evening person. And it wasn’t hard to be in a good mood today with an excited with a bunch of chil’drens running around all over the beach. Even with practically no sleep, this 11-hour work day was one of the best. But then again, every single day so far has been! Blessed. Out. Of. My. Mind. Who knew three months could change your life so dramatically? I sure didn’t, but I definitely know it now. I just finished up my 11th week with Outdoor Adventures. Holy moses, I can’t believe it! I’ll remember this summer for the rest of my life, and that’s a fact.

This evening has been spent cuddled up on the couch in my pjs. And, let me tell you, it has been wonderful just sitting here watching my favorite channel. Any guesses? I’ll give you a hint: it starts with a Dis and ends with a Ney. DISNEY! YAY! I’ve already decided that I’m going to crawl into bed soon, watch Dear John (yes, again), and turn in early for the night. That sounds like a perfect Friday night to me. :)

In the words of Out of the Box, “So long, farewell, to you my friend. Goodbye for now, until we meet again!” Old-school Disney makes my heart oh so happy. That also makes me miss my Wilber. And the rest of my family. I can't wait to see them in just a few weeks!

Welp, that's all folks. Seeeeee ya!

p.s. I love you, Teeeshay. ;)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

so what will your legacy be?

Three words: HELLO SEASON 8! Oh my moses! I woke up this morning, look at the clock, and my very next thought was, “THEY’VE BEEN FILMING FOR FOUR HOURS BY NOW!” True life. Totally unashamed. Passion is one of my special gifts. Most of you are probably thinking that there’s an emphasis on the “special” part…and you’re probably right. Either way, I am STOKED! I even tweeted Sophia today. Even though she didn’t reply me, I am confident that her eyes at least SKIMMED over my words and she saw the avatar “amhende” for the very first time. That’s good enough for me! YIPPEEEEEE!

Tomorrow is also an epic day. Any guesses as to why that is? July 15th, 2010. The Bootleg Theatre. Los Angeles. 8 p.m. Figured it out yet? Okay, here it is…WAKEY!WAKEY! is coming to Hollywood and THIS GIRL will BE THERE to see it ALL! YAYYYYYYYYYYYY! I don’t even care that I’m going alone. Okay, maybe I do a little. Truth is, I wish P. Sawyer was here with me because THAT would make it perfect. FO SHO! I almost wish filming hadn’t started up just yet so that all the LA peeps would be here for the show. How SAWEEEET would it be if I walked in and Sophia, Austin, Stephen, and Kate were standing there? I. Would. DIE. So maybe it’s best that they’re gone. Michal and P. Sawyer know how star-struck I get. It’s quite embarrassing. Haha, yikes!

Maybe Chad will come…oh wait. But seriously. A girl can dream. And that’s what imma doin’!
Well, since I’m on the subject, I feel like it’s appropriate to freak out about something. Ready or not, here it comes. (drum roll please) IT’S OFFICIAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! P. SAWYER AND I ARE GOING TO WILMY AUGUST 24thTHROUGH 28th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Zipppppeeeeedeeeeeeedooooodahhhhhdayyyyyyyy!!! I wish I was going with her and B. Davis on the 1st, BUTTTTTT I get to go…(another drum roll) 23 DAYS LATER!!!!!!!!!! That HAS TO BE a sign. I’m tired of saving all my humps.

Waitttttt, what?

Whew, sorry about that. Anyways, I’m super excited to see Grubbsy tomorrow night. And by super excited, I mean I can’t even breathe when I think about it. Like right now, at this very moment, I am reaching for my inhaler. Haha, okay, maybe I’m not…yet, at least. :)

Maybe this time tomorrow I’ll be waiting in line to meet Michael Grubbs…again. Totally not bragging. Well, maybe a little. It will make me feel like I’m in Wilmy, which would be amaaaazing right now!

Cause I have made mistakes today. Yes, I have made mistakes today. Yes, I have made mistakes...”

Monday, July 12, 2010

and the sound of your heart. it’s the most significant sound in my world.

Welp, not only is my 55-day countdown over, but so are my 4 days with Teeesh. Isn’t it strange how we wish and wish and wish for a certain thing to happen and then when it finally does, the time passes by so quickly that we can barely take it all in? Fortunately, that’s just a small fraction of my thoughts from this weekend. Truth be told, it was the most refreshing couple of days I’ve ever had.

So I had it all mapped out in my head. When I saw him, I knew I would freak out and go into hysterical mode, run across the airport, fling my arms apart, and jump right into his arms. Even as I was driving to pick him up, I was bouncing up and down in my seat with excitement. When I pulled into LAX, I parked, got out of the car, and started walking towards terminal 5, still freaking out with spastic tendencies. As soon as I walked through the airport doors, down the hallway, and spotted him in the distance, however, the weirdest thing happened. I started walking slower, my stomach was all in knots, and I seriously felt like I couldn’t move. This was the first time in years that I was actually nervous about seeing him. I felt like I was in 7th grade again, seeing him for the first time in math class. This thought even popped into my head: “What if he sees me and realizes that he didn’t miss me as much as he thought he would?” When he saw me coming, however, he responded just the way I hoped he would: his eyes lit up like it was Christmas morning, he hopped up from his seat, power-walked over to meet me, dropped his bag, and gave me the best hug I’d had since May 1st, when he hugged me one last time before I left for the summer. I felt like I was in a movie—you know, the one where all the girls watching it are crying with huge smiles on their faces and all the guys are wondering why they ever agreed to sit through something like that. I was a character in my own fairytale, and we all know how much I love a good fairytale! ;)

After we left the airport, I gave him a tour of LA and then we headed to Dodger Stadium to see them take on the Cubs. I was proudly wearing my blue and red, in honor of the Cubs (I hope you’re proud, Steven Thornton!). On Saturday morning, we got up early and spent the day at Big Bear Lake. We hiked for the first part of the day, then just lolly-gagged around the town when our plans for kayaking got ruined by too much wind. Boo! We improvised by taking an unintentional tour of the entire perimeter of the lake and riding down the Alpine Slide. That thing was so cool! The rest of the day, we had random outbursts of “Jamaica has a bobsled team!” and it was awesome. We made our way back down the mountain and I introduced him to my favorite spot in town: the drive-in movie! We watched Despicable Me and Grown Ups, and I don’t want to play favorites, but Despicable Me blew Grown Ups out of the water! I am seriously thinking about naming my first little girl Agnes and buying her a stuffed unicorn in honor of the movie. SO! CUTE! Fact: when P. Sawyer and I have our next skype date, we WILL sing the unicorn song to each other. Mark my words!
On Sunday, my original plan was to take Teeesh to Catalina Island for the day. That was the plan until I researched prices and decided that the only thing I could do was to embrace my poorness. Plan B was to hang out at Santa Monica all afternoon, and that sufficed just fine! He saw and touched the Pacific Ocean for the first time, which is always an epic experience for anyone—I don’t care who you are! We hung out on the pier, rode the Pacific Wheel (one of my favorite things!), walked around the Third Street Promenade, and ate some yummy gelato! And speaking of gelato, remember that time they only accepted cash so we walked around for twenty minutes trying to find an ATM machine, only to discover that there was one in the gelato place right in front of our faces? Being observant is obviously both of our special gifts. At least we got some extra time to hold hands while we searched. :)

We left Santa Monica and went to Micki’s apartment for her birthday party! I was so excited that Teeesh got to meet Micki and Tomahawk, because I spend the majority of my free time with them and Kyle. It was also super cool to have three Hillcrest peeps in LA at the same time. Go Rams!

I took him by the Staples Center (which he actually enjoyed, despite the potential for that to just be salt on his open wound), then we came back to my apartment and just hung out.

We do a whole lot together, but my personal favorite thing to do with him is nothing. Because even when we don’t do a thing for hours at a time, I get to just be with him. We don’t have anything to prove to the world or to each other. We just are. And it’s always enough for both of us. We get to be weird. And quirky. And silly. And just laugh. I never laugh harder than I do when I’m with Teeesh. I also never scream and yell louder than I do when I’m with him. And that’s what makes me love him as much as I do. One minute we could be madder than hornets at each other and the very next minute, we’re legitimately rolling on the floor laughing at ourselves. I guess that’s what you get when you fall in love with someone who gives you butterflies and makes your heart skip a beat when he looks at you but also makes you want to cuss and brings out the absolutely worst in you.

I realized a couple years ago that love isn’t just an emotion. It isn’t something that you can have one day and not have the next. It doesn’t always come easy, and sometimes you really have to work at it. Love is a choice. A pursuit. It doesn’t always feel glamorous and you don’t always feel like you’re on top of the world. I still can’t believe that I have been blessed with someone who chooses to love me every single day just like Jesus loves me. It blows me away, yet it gives me peace.

I want to be with Troy Jerome Bargeron forever. Not because it’s all I’ve ever known or because I’m scared of change. But because I know that God made him especially for me. I could search the whole world and never find one single person that could ever love me more than he does. Or understand me better. And I want to be that for him, too. Always. And forever.

Yeah well, I guess I can’t really help it if I found the guy I wanna be with my first time out. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Maybe if we’re not out there looking for the one we wanna be with forever then what are we doing?” –Haley James Scott

Friday, July 9, 2010

eleven hours & counting.

You’ll have to forgive the next couple of lines I am going to write. I am warning you that they will be out of control. AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TEEEEEEEEEEEESH WILL BE HERE IN 13 HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I CAN’T BREATHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TROY JEROME BARGERON IS COMING TO CALIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay. Whew, that was a doozy! Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I think I should be good to go for the remainder of this recollection of my last few days. Maybe.

Last Thursday, we took a group of participants deep sea fishing off of Dana Point. We caught a lot of fish, saw a couple pods of dolphins (which was my personal favorite part!), and just got to spend some quality time together. There were a lot of new faces on this particular trip (to me, at least), so I was able to start building a relationship with them. Relationships are my favorite. I know, I know…that probably comes as a surprise to all the people reading this who know me. Anna? A fan of people and relationships? ‘Tis true. Another plus of the trip was that not a single person got sea sick. SCORE! There is nothing worse than being sea sick when you’re stranded out in the middle of the ocean for hours. I’ve only been nauseous one time my whole life and it was miserable!

I got to go home 30 minutes early on Friday. Saweeeet! Getting off early, no matter how early, is just one of those things that makes everyone so excited. It’s the simple things in life, I tell ya. On Friday night, I did some cleaning, washed a load of clothes, and just relaxed. That relaxation continued on into Saturday, and I was more than happy to let it consume my life for a while. I finally changed out of my pjs and went to dinner and a movie with Marisa! Olive Garden and Eclipse all in one evening? Epic. That’s the only way to describe it. Team Edward, I promise never to leave nor forsake you. Even when you make me want to leap into Teesh’s arms and never let go. Hey, now that’s an idea. And, oh my gosh, guess what? I GET TO DO JUST THAT IN 13 HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh dangy, I did it again.

Anyways, back to what I was saying…Eclipse was absolutely incredible. Even more so because I got to watch it at a drive-in movie. YESSIR! Fact: I am going to miss that drive-in movie theater so much when I leave.

On Sunday, I worked from 12-4 doing activities in the hospital and at TLC. We played BINGO and wore festive 4th of July hats in honor of the holiday. Awesomeness! After work, I headed to Manhattan Beach to celebrate with Tomahawk, Kyle, Lucas, and Justis. Micki and her parents met us down there later, which made me super excited because the whole group was together! Fireworks are one of those things that make me all googly-eyed, and this time was no different. I may have even been a little worse, because from the Manhattan Beach pier, I could see fireworks being shot all down the coast. Even up to Malibu. AMAZING! Every time I watch fireworks, I feel like a little girl again. They make me believe in magic and that everything is right in the world. I think that’s why I like them so much.

I was off on Monday, and I did the best thing ever: I had a personal day. I went to the movies to see Knight & Day, ate a large popcorn, drank a large Dr. Pepper, and ate a whole box of Milk Duds. By myself. Yepp, you read it right. The ultimate fat day. And it was fabulous! I ended my evening by watching The Bachelorette with my two roomies. I only have five words to say about that: Jake and Vienna are ridiculous. But we all kinda knew that from the beginning, so I guess all the suckers who watched the show officially know that our time was wasted. Dear Ally, don’t disappoint us this time! Please and thank you!
Tuesday and Wednesday, I was in Kernville, CA white water rafting down the lower Kern River with Outdoor Adventures. It was absolutely INCREDIBLE. I hadn’t been rafting in over a year, so it was definitely a breath of fresh air to be back out on the water. On Tuesday night, we camped outside and I swear to you—I have NEVER seen so many stars out in one night. Holy. Moly. I even saw the MILKY WAY. I don’t think I slept more than two hours all night because I was in complete and total AWE of how huge and magnificent and MIND-BLOWING it was. God was totally showing out when he created all that. And I am beyond grateful that he did, because I love it! I wish I could sleep outside under the stars every night. For the rest of my life. As wacky as this is going to sound, I love feeling inferior and small. It really puts you in your place. In a good way. And it’s so incredible to really be out in God’s creation. It’s exhilarating.

Today, I didn’t have to be into work until noon. YAY! I slept for 11 hours (yessir!), did a load of laundry, cleaned my room, tidied the apartment, stopped by Chick-fil-a to get some lunch, and talked to Melly and Teesh on the phone all before going into the office. I was on a roll. All that sleep made me feel like a new person…and it was amazing!

After working at the hospital and TLC, I made my way to Hollywood to celebrate Tomahawk’s birthday! Wahooooo! A group of us ate dinner together at Joe and Judy’s house—which was absolutely beautiful, might I add. We had plans to go out for a night on the town after dinner, but ended up just hanging out at their house all evening. What had planned on being a night full of worldly craziness ended up being a night filled with lots of talk about Jesus. How. Cool. Is. That. I don’t know why the Lord chose to show me so much favor out here, miles and miles from everything I’ve ever known, but he did. And I’m always floored by it. Instead of me buying Tomahawk a shot for his birthday (like I had planned), I got to lay my hand on him and pray for him instead. Every person there got to pray for him. I’m smiling from ear to ear at this very moment just thinking about it. All the words in the whole world couldn’t describe how anointed tonight was. I am honored and blessed to have Tomahawk as a friend. That’s a fact! Did I mention that I had originally told him that I wasn’t going to be able to make it tonight, but then showed up to surprise him? Welp, I did. Seeing that shocked look on his face made all my deviant behavior worth it. Haha! Thanks to Lucas and Kyle for keeping my secret and helping me out. Who would have ever guessed that I would gain such amazing friends in such a short amount of time? My heart has never been so thankful!

So, it’s currently 2:43 a.m. on the golden coast and I am not even remotely tired. I wonder why? Hmmm….I’ve got a pretty good idea. It’s probably because TEEEEESH WILL BE HERE IN LESS THAN 12 HOURSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He’s going to be shocked when he calls me at 3:30 a.m. (my time) and finds that I’m actually awake. I told him that would be the case, but I don’t think he thought I was serious. I’ll show him!

I’ve got lots of super fun things planned for his visit. Since he’s not interested in the touristy things in LA (mostly because he doesn’t even know what they are, haha), we’re going to go exploring my favorite get-a-ways of southern California. YAY! I am already dreading him leaving and he’s not even here yet. After nearly seven years, I’ve still got it bad for that boy. And it gets worse and worse every day. :)

I feel like it’s Christmas Eve and I’m too excited to fall asleep! Especially since I just talked to Teeeesh and he’s on his way to Charlotte! IT HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN!!!!!!!!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYYYYY!
I think I’ll go to sleep now to pass the time quicker! Gooooooodnight! Well, really, it's good morning. But we'll improvise just this once. Let the tossing and turning all night begin! :-D
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