Sunday, November 13, 2011


Today in Church the Pastor talked of true greatness. We read through Mark 9:30-40 and the Pastor summarized the idea of true greatness as humble servitude. He then went on to name many families in the Church who provided examples of living out this true greatness. One family took in foster care children because their own children were in school every day and another couple purposely bought a house with extra bedrooms so that they could provide them for people in need. He spoke of many people who used their professions to serve instead of increasing their job status/income. They all provide such beautifully inspiring examples of using their lives to serve others. It immediately reminded me of my dad and specifically when we lived in the old Victorian house. My dad worked in plumbing, heating and air conditioning at the time. (It definitely wasn't what he wanted to be doing or anything like what he studied in college, but it was the job God provided at the time). He worked long, hard, physically grueling days and came home exhausted every evening. I remember my siblings and I running and screaming through the long hallway to the kitchen door to greet daddy. (Side note: I also remember one day that Dad told Zach that Mom got the first hug each day and then he would hug all of us. So, in typical Zach fashion, he would devise new ways to try to sneak the first hug every day. Hahaha, I love him and my whole family and I can't believe this was so long ago.) Anyway, I remember countless evenings that my dad would sit down to dinner with us only to be called away with a phone call from a Church member with a plumbing, heating or air conditioning issue. He would try to help them over the phone if he could (I would always try to figure what he was explaining :P), but usually he ended up leaving to go help the family. And there were times when my selfish heart was mad that someone else was taking away my daddy when I hadn't seen him all day and when he was visibly exhausted. But my dad never complained. He always wanted to help in any way he could. Now, my dad knows Hebrew, Greek, Bible Doctrine, Advanced Physics and Advanced Calculus, but the way that God was calling him to serve at the time was in plumbing, heating and air conditioning and he always served in such humility.  I know that he has helped countless families in the Church who were struggling financially by offering his expertise and service. My heart still harbors much more selfishness than I would ever like it to, but I now see what a beautiful example of humble service my Dad has always been and continues to be. So many more examples are running through my head right now. I pray that I could be even half the person, half the servant that he is someday.
I must apologize for I quite obviously have not kept up with or even started my goal of incorporating Scripture into my blog posts. All I can say is that I am once again reminded of how marvelous and necessary it is that my life is not dependent on my actions or consistency. Thank you Lord for your grace and mercy.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I am so very, very busy. However, it's a good, lots-of-great-things-to-do (mostly dancing) busy, nothing like last year's actually-falling-asleep-on-a-noisy-bus-to-D.C.-because-I'm-so-drained-from-never-sleeping busy. Anyway, in all of this great busyness, I need to keep my eyes and heart focused on the Word of God, the unchanging truth. In an effort to do that more consistently, my blog will cease to be it's normal sporadic posts of Rachel ramblings for a little while and become a place where I share a Scripture passage I've been reading and reflecting on. In this way, I can provide myself with some accountability and hopefully provide encouragement to others as well.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

best college purchases...

Rain Boots -- I usually have a shoe crisis each morning trying to figure out which shoes match my outfit, but recently my rain boots have solved all my problems because it rains so often in Erie that I just always wear my rain boots. Also, they happen to rather adorable so I don't mind at all.

Tide-To-Go Stick -- I am a very messy eater. A good friend once told me that my bangs were like a beard for my head because I always get food in them. It still makes me laugh every time I think of her saying it. Anyway, between that and just being very klutzy, my Tide stick has saved my life on a daily basis.

Sticky Tack -- The wall on my side of the dorm room is made of cement bricks so pretty much nothing sticks to it except, of course, sticky tack. My wall is covered in pictures, paper, letters and even a write-on, wipe-off board all because of sticky tack. And this is very important mostly because I love decorating. It does, however, make the room feel a little more like home and a little less like a white box.

Chocolate -- It's simple. Chocolate is essential to life. Well, at least my life. I don't know what I would do without it...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What do you use post-it notes for?

Soooooo my crazy (and seriously nice, fun, entertaining, friendly) roommate has recently become obsessed with this YouTube video where this lady keeps talking about how much she loves cats...I am not a huge fan of repetitive, senseless YouTube videos (as most of you know). My roommate learned this rather quickly and when I came back to my room one day I found this on my wall...

...and there were more, they were all over my room... of course I retaliated...

...and then a war began...

...she rearranged a message I left inside her closet door...

...she left a note in the fridge...and then I did too :P...

...she actually doesn't like cats...

...these were on her desk, I hid them under her newspaper...

...and it's not over yet...I looked up last night to see this on the ceiling above my bed...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I miss my siblings sooooooo much...

I miss Midget. I miss all of her intelligent comments. I miss her huge vocabulary. I miss her constant desire to support and serve everyone around her even though she is usually the youngest by far. I miss her little face always looking up at me asking if we could just spend some time together. I miss her stories about her class (always told as they were the most extreme dramas occurring on earth). I miss her adorable smile.

I miss Joel Bean. I miss his dedication to finding every secret level, life, etc. in every video game we play. I miss his eye rolls as he tries to explain Xmen to me for the hundredth time. I miss his one word answers to every question I ask. I miss how quietly he watches things for hours at a time. I miss all of his thoughtful observations. I miss how patiently he waits to make those observations while the rest of us keep on rambling about nothingness. I miss his random spazz attacks. I miss his desire to protect those around him, especially little ones. 

I miss Zachy. I miss the passion he puts into everything he does. I miss his great enthusiasm. I miss the times I would wake up before six to find him studying. I miss his play by play descriptions of gym class followed by a few words to summarize the rest of the day. I miss how often dinner would end with me chasing him around the house because of something he said or did just to bother me :) I miss debating the finer points of super powers.

I miss Mimi. I miss hearing about every part of her day in intense detail and dramatic reenactments. (It really feels like a whole part of my life is gone.) I miss staying up until two in the morning talking and laughing. I miss arguing about what shade of pink something is just because we're both so stubborn. I miss her need to rearrange our room every couple months. I miss her great cooking and baking. I miss always having someone to hang out with and do crazy things with just because we can :) I miss how easily she can get a great conversation going with anyone. I miss how much she cares for everyone around her.

*photo credit for all photos in this post: Cyndi Sain (she takes gorgeous pictures) 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Present Salvation

The Lord has blessed me with an abundance time in this season of my life and I am so thankful for this. It has been a much needed break after the unmanageable chaos I attempted last year. This lovely Sunday afternoon I was able to spend several hours sitting on a bench in a beautiful little alcove on my school's campus. It's surrounded by towering trees and cascading ivy. Flower beds bring brilliant splashes of color to this beautifully reflective place. The gentle wind was blowing the trees and the temperature was just right to wrap a shawl around myself and sit comfortably for hours. The focal point of this alcove is a large stone structure that provides a back drop for what I believe is a statue of Mary, but what really caught my attention was the small cross above the stone structure with the rays of the sun spilling from behind. The view is simply spectacular and very refreshing. I sat there reading in the Valley of Vision today and creating art with pastels. I came back covered in pastel chalk (my face, my arms, my hands, my jeans, everything) and feeling that "it is well with my soul". I couldn't describe it better than this. This prayer guided my time...

"Creator and Redeemer God,
Author of all existence, source of all blessedness,
I adore thee for making me capable of knowing thee,
        for giving me reason and conscience,
        for leading me to desire thee;
I praise thee for the revelation of thyself in the gospel,
        for thy heart as a dwelling place of pity,
        for thy thoughts of peace towards me,
        for thy patience and thy graciousness,
        for the vastness of thy mercy.
Thou hast moved my conscience to know how
    the guilty can be pardoned,
    the unholy sanctified,
    the poor enriched.
May I be always amongst those who not only hear but know thee,
    who walk with and rejoice in thee,
    who take thee at thy word and find life there.
Keep me always longing
    for a present salvation in Holy Spirit comforts and rejoicings,
    for spiritual graces and blessings,
    for help to value my duties as well as my privileges.
May I cherish simplicity and godly sincerity of character.
Help me to be in reality before thee as in appearance I am before men,
        to be religious before I profess religion,
        to leave the world before I enter the church,
        to set my affections on things above,
        to shun forbidden follies and vanities,
        to be a dispenser as well as a partaker of grace,
        to be prepared to bear evil as well as to do good.
O God, make me worthy of this calling,
    that the name of Jesus may be glorified in me and I in him."
                 ~Valley of Vision

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I keep talking about my beautiful campus, but I've never gotten a chance to take pictures before dark. Today I got to walk around and take lots of pictures. I'm not so great at taking artistic pictures, but these should give you a good idea. I hope you enjoy...


I realized in my dance audition yesterday how often I watch people through the mirror instead of actually  looking at them. For those of you who aren't crazy enough to spend your life inside of a practically empty rectangular room dressed entirely in spandex, at least one entire wall of every dance studio is covered in mirrors. This allows the dancers to examine their own bodies and correct themselves as well as practice staying in unison with the other dancers. When I am standing on the side of the room watching other dancers practice, I often watch them through the mirror. I realized though how much more I see when I actually look at them (a ground-breaking realization, I know). However, this applies to the rest of life. I often look at people through the image that is first projected and most visible, a flat and purely external image. I rarely take time to turn around and look at them from other, more true and less contrived, angles. I rarely take time to see people as more than just the image that they are trying to project to the audience.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Things I like...
...the absolutely gorgeous and generally peaceful campus (every day I think I've found the new most beautiful spot on campus) laundry and free printing
...unlimited access to the dining hall for super strange dance rehearsal times or peaches and Hershey's Brand ice cream at 9:30pm :)
...six blends of Starbucks coffee waiting in the dining hall for me every morning
...sitting on a bench in the marvelous park eating ice cream and discussing the perils of "balancing" being an AP high school student and a pre-professional ballet student

Things that have surprised me...
...having classes that start at 12:25 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and not being allowed to sign up for more classes because I'm a brand new Freshmen
...going back on pointe for the first time in three months and experiencing relatively little pain
...finding out that I was placed in a ballet class two levels up and I'm taking ballet with a few sophomores and juniors and several seniors as well as four other freshman
...loving ballet class and experiencing a general lack of nervousness in a new ballet class which is very rare for me
...looking down in the middle of modern to realize that I had blood on my hand and then realizing that I scraped my foot (I have really bony feet and there is a lot of floor work in modern) and it was bleeding
...listening to the modern teacher tell my class that the combination he gave in the last 20 minutes of class was now going to be video recorded one at a time
... realizing that having a last name that begins with C means that I got to go second in this impromptu solo performance which included several skills that I could not accomplish
...knowing that, as intimidated as I was, I will learn quite a bit from this modern teacher
...hearing about soooo many clubs and organizations that I could join and trying to restrain myself

Sunday, August 28, 2011


"In one sense faith is the opposite of straining. It is ceasing from the effort to earn God's approval or to demonstrate your worth or merit. It is resting in the gracious promises of God to pursue us with goodness and mercy all our days. Faith is intrinsically easy. But this ease of faith assumes that our hearts are humble enough to renounce all self-reliance and self-direction and self-exaltation."
~John Piper

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Whenever someone asks me what I hate, I respond immediately with: "presuppositions". One of my favorite quotes is by George Elliot: "Manners must be very marked indeed before the cease to be interpreted by preconceptions." Yet, I often don't realize how many boundaries I have set up for myself simply because of my own presuppositions. I took a modern class this morning and the teacher made a point of talking to us about not being afraid to look ridiculous. She told us that teachers will always look for and want to work with the person who can step outside of everything and is willing to try anything. And to be honest, those are the people I admire the most. As she was speaking, I thought of several personal heroes who are so amazing and inspiring to me because they aren't bound by social tensions or what they think others might think of them or even what they know others think of them. They aren't afraid to present themselves as exactly who they are and they also are willing to try anything they're given (in choreography and class work). They're unique because they aren't afraid to stand out from everyone else. As I enter college and the larger dance world, my greatest struggle and yet the most important thing I will do is work to break down the preconceptions I set up have set up for myself, often unknowingly. As long as I dance (and live) in fear of what everyone else is thinking, I will never be free to reach my potential as an artist or to fully enjoy my art.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

To be a college dancer...

To be a college dancer means finding your center of balance and focusing the energy within your body at 9:30 in the morning.

To be a college dancer means you will not really miss home for another four to six weeks because you just feel like you're at another summer intensive.

To be a college dancers means that you all like pizza, but not one will touch it until someone else does.

To be a college dancer means that you all watch a football game and get excited when you actually understand what's going on for a few seconds.

To be a college dancer means no one recognizes you with your hair down because it's been in a ballet bun every day.

To be a college dancer means that you know how to get from your dorms to the dance studio and that's about it.

To be a college dancer means that you are simultaneously ecstatic and terrified about the fact that your dance classes are now your school classes.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Well my parents and I drove the 7 hours to Erie today :)

The van before... 

...and after... for the day...

...driving through the mountains...

...with gorgeous clouds (which always make me think of Lady Kathryne)...

...and, finally, watching the sunset over Lake Erie...

...yes, today was marvelous :) 

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Today is my last day in the state of Maryland. Tomorrow I leave for Erie, PA. This week has been very hard. Every person I've seen has looked at me with tears in their eyes (or falling down their face) and very softly said: "goodbye". When you have lived in the same state since you were two, when you have attended the same church since you were two, when you have home-schooled from pre-school through tenth grade and when you have attended a very small private school for the last two years of school, this repeated experience is truly heart wrenching. Each one of these people has known me very personally and has had a very strong impact upon my life on a very frequent (as in: multiple times per week) basis. Living in a close-knit family of seven also means that I have always done everything with my family. We eat most of our meals together. I usually help at least two people get dressed in the morning (in matching clothes). We all go to each other sports games (or ballet performances). We take all of our trips as a family. I also have a very personal relationship with each of my siblings. Not being able to see and interact with each one of them on a daily basis is going to very hard. In short, going to college is going to change my life completely. For the first time in my life I will only have to tend to myself and for the first time in my life I will be living on my own and I will be in charge of myself. I'm about to embark on a very new adventure and I'm excited to see all the new things that the Lord will be teaching me and that he will be teaching my friends and family in this new season of our lives.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


So it's been quite a while...spending the summer without a lap top was a stressful and frustrating growing experience for me...anyway, finally on to another blog post...

"We will be in love forever..."
 This is a line from Sleeping Beauty's love song (I've been babysitting all summer) and it's echoed everywhere. There is something enchantingly beautiful about an eternal love. We long for it, we dream of it, we fantasize about it. It seems enchanting because it seems a bit impossible, something for only our dreams and fantasies. We are afraid to speak of it because we are afraid we will realize how absurd we sound and we will just be in need of another reality check. We know we can never love perfectly or eternally because we are corrupted by sin. We know we cannot expect it out of any other person for the very same reason. However, we need to look further still. Our greatest love cannot be found on earth. The only love that is perfect in every way is a love we cannot possibly return, but with which we can forever live in fellowship. The love we truly long for isn't anything like Prince Philip. He was created in the image of this love, but he pales in comparison. Our hearts, our inner longings, will only truly be satisfied with the perfect, eternal love of Christ.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Tears have been streaming down my face for hours. Today was definitely the hardest "last day" I had to experience as a high school senior. I have moved to a new house and I have met new, and said goodbye to old, teachers and students throughout all of middle school and high school, but almost every single day, I have gone to the dance studios at Milstead. More of my life has been spent in those studios than anywhere else. Dance has been my constant, and even though I'll never stop dancing, I will no longer be with the students and teachers and mothers and friends I have grown up with. The various ages and levels and positions of people that make up my little ballet studio in Harford County have been a second family to me for eight years. I have made many irreplaceable friends in many places, but there's something different about the people you have danced with. You have a different connection with them than you will ever have other people. They understand your unexplainable connection to an art form that can never truly be documented. Each performance fades into the theatre never to be seen again. Video recordings will never convey the sweat, the blood, the tears, the emotional and physical stress and joy that make a ballet performance the beatifully breathtaking art that it is. Thank you to all the teachers and dancers that have made my dance experiences as amazing as they were. I'll be back as soon as I can...

Monday, June 6, 2011


"..for prayer is communion with a transcendent and immanent God who on the ground of his nature and attributes calls forth all the powers of the redeemed soul in acts of total adoration and dedication." ~Arthur Bennett 

communion- "fellowship; a state of giving and receiving" ~Noah Webster, 1828 dictionary 

transcendent- "[L. transcendens.] very excellent; superior or supreme in excellence; surpassing others" ~Noah Webster, 1828 dictionary 

immanent- "[L. in and manens, maneo, to abide.] inherent; intrinsic; internal" ~Noah Webster, 1828 dictionary

on the ground of his nature and attributes- because of who he is 

total- "[L. totalis, totus.] whole; full; complete/ whole; not divided" ~Noah Webster, 1828 dictionary

acts of total adoration and dedication- acts of service out of love 

God requires all of me to be fully and completely devoted to him. Prayer should not become part of my day, like eating or going to ballet, but must instead envelop my day. 

"I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God, it changes me." ~C.S. Lewis 

Friday, June 3, 2011


"Morning by morning I wake up to find
the power and comfort of God's hand in mine.
Season by season I watch him amazed, 
in awe of the mystery of his perfect ways.

All I have need of his hand will provide.
He's always been faithful to me.

I can't remember a trial or a pain 
he did not recycle to bring me gain.
I can't remember one single regret
in serving God only and trusting his hand.

This is my anthem, this is my song,
the theme of the stories I've heard for so long.
God has been faithful, he will be again.
His loving compassion, it knows no end."

~Sara Groves

Two of my dearest and most inspirational friends sang this song a few months ago when our school's beloved headmaster left to pursue a new path in serving the Lord. I had heard the song before, but it definitely left a more meaningful impact on me when I heard it that morning. During the few months since then, this song has become the anthem of this season of my life. It's been a rough year. My family has been overworked and stressed on a daily basis. However, it has been a good year. It's been good for many reasons, but mainly because God has been faithful. Each step I felt that I couldn't take, God was there providing in miraculous ways. From things like finding a ride home from school to things receiving large scholarships to multiple colleges, God has provided each step of the way. And now, I'm about to pursue a new path in my own life. Tonight I graduate from high school. I can hardly believe that I've been a senior all year, let alone grasp the fact that I'm graduating this very evening. Yet, through all the big transitions I'm about to make, I can trust God's faithfulness. 
God has been faithful, he will be again. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I would like to share an absolutely beautiful piece of writing I read today...
"I used to be a pianist.  Growing up I sat on the hard bench for hours each day.  The pads of each fingertip pressing into the ebony and pearl-like bars.  Just like a bar of gold holds worth so these bars hold worth of another kind.  Each reverberating tone is a voice.  My ears delight to hear the keys sing and praise as my fingers dance over them.  I’m transported to another world.  Loveliness that only comes from being pressed yet not broken.  We are all pressed at times.  Pushed and even pounded.  If we are willing it can produce a melody so beautiful that tears are the only perfect words for the soul.  An outpouring of praise.  A building crescendo that is a beauty so pristine yet it can only come through being touched.  Sometimes through pain.  Each persons life is one of those keys.  A voice.  Being played by the Master Composer. " ~Miss Elaini, 

To continue this thought: Our lives are being played by the Master Composer to bring Him glory. Sometimes joy and prosperity will bring that glory and other times it will be sadness and pain. We will never know, but He does...We just need to keep letting ourselves be played for His glory. 

Monday, May 23, 2011


In keeping with the theme of my last post, I would like to share something I read on thesweetersong's tumbler. I don't know this girl personally, but I wish I did. She has the some of the most true, good and beautiful convictions I have ever come across and she has such an eloquent way of sharing them. 

With each day l have found more and more satisfaction in Jesus, the more the people around me grow discontent.  They question, “Is she afraid of being hurt?” “Does she even have desires or cravings for love?” And the latest, “Is she a lesbian?”

When it comes to dating and relationships, very few people grasp the fact that I am diffidently waiting. My sister has been trying (and very unsuccessfully) to match me up with any single male acquaintance she knows. I have had suggestions so incomparable, I could only snicker at the proposal. If she invites me to a night out now, l often have to evil glare at her, raise my eyebrows and ask, “What’s the catch? Or rather, who’?’
Humour aside. I truly believe that the Lord has put me in this beautiful season to focus on Him, and Him alone. He is teaching me what true love is honestly all about, and I can tell you that it is definitely not found in a moment‘s sultry kiss shared between two lovers. I can tell you that it goes beyond hormonal urges, or any desire spurred out of lust. Possibly the greatest lessons I have had to learn is that love goes beyond any emotion, or heated feeling.
Standards are a dying beauty in this world. It’s heartbreaking, and it’s worth tears of anguish over. Yet, this is what sets apart a woman eager to serve her King. Her standards. Her modesty. Her unwillingness to pursue the male, even if it seems like she is missing out on “great” catches.
Standards are what He has been building since I handed my life story over for Him to write. My sister‘s casual suggestions for suitors can be lovely men, but they aren‘t exactly what I want. In fact, they are worlds apart, simply because they miss the mark on the highest standard I have.
See, ever since He has been showing me what love is about, the more I have been falling drastically in love with Him. His love is so selfless, and radically different to the world’s views on such a notion. It’s hard to compete with. His love is pure, and filled with tenderness. It goes beyond emotional passion, and yet, it is the most passionate I have ever experienced. It’s transformed my very desire of what I want in a man; A future spouse. So what do I want?
I want a man that has his heart set on one thing; To most ardently desire to be a reflection of Jesus. I want him to care about little else. I don’t even want to be a close second in his heart, for the love I want him to have for our King will be endless. He will scream masculinity. He will know his place as a man. Simply put, I want a man with the courage to love. No hesitation. No uncertainty of where his feelings for me lie, for they lie at the foot of the Cross.
If this means I never encounter such a man, and I remain this mortal life forever single, then let it be so. Singleness is such a beautiful He gives some of us, despite what the secular and even Christian world says. Jesus is my portion, and He is revealing Himself to me more and more on this journey I walk. He is silencing my cravings. He is becoming more than enough. His love could quench a lifetime of fulfillment, and beyond. My standards for a man are high...
But I will not settle for anything less. 

Breathtaking, right? When my mom first shared with me years ago that a marriage is a picture of Christ and the church, I honestly thought it was the craziest thing that I had ever heard. However, Christ has continued to shape my understanding and I now can't think of anything more beautiful. Christ-like love is the most pure love and a Christ-centered relationship is the most pure kind relationship simply because it's not about us. It's about Him. 

Friday, May 13, 2011


"He loved us when we had no beauty to attract his attention." ~David Clarkson

I had a great conversation about compliments with a friend a few days ago and, at some point, he was talking about how all girls struggle with appearance. Initially, my thoughts went something like: “I don’t need compliments. I’m perfectly fine with the way that I am.” And, all of two seconds later, my conscious retorted with: “Then why do you like compliments?” All self-assurance and pride aside, I do struggle with appearance and I’m pretty sure that everyone else does too. We want to be attractive and beautiful and noticeable. And God did create us to enjoy and desire beauty. However, that desire, like every other desire, can lead us astray when it consumes us too fully. I've often witnessed girls seeking to change themselves so that they appear more attractive to their latest guy interest. First, how awesome is it then to be pursuing Christ? He has already shaped us into exactly what he wants us to be. Second, how incomprehensibly marvelous is it that Christ still continues to pursue us after we have completely marred the beautiful image he gave us? We were already exactly as he wanted and we destroyed ourselves. He then ruined his perfect self and became the image we had marred so that he could continue to pursue us. He still desired us when we were hideous and corrupt in every way. "He loved us when we had no beauty to attract his attention." An even now he cotinues to change us to be more like him...It couldn't be any better...

Friday, April 29, 2011


College...dare I speak the word?

I haven't posted much about college because if I did I'm pretty sure I would have exploded (or imploded... my dad says he would prefer I implode because it's less messy), but now the topic is unavoidable.

I am going to be a Mercyhurst Laker in the fall :)
**Don't ask me what a Laker is. I tried to have a logical conversation with my mom about it and she told me I was being too analytical (shocker, I know). **

Mercyhurst is a small, Catholic school in Erie, Pennsylvania with one of the best ballet programs in the United States. It didn't initially attract my attention because it is a small, Catholic school in the "middle of nowhere". However, visiting the school was all it took to convince me that those things in no way disqualified the potential the school had for me. I've never been in a class with more than 20 students ever. And usually, in both ballet and school, my class size is under 10. While I wouldn't mind going to large university, I'm almost positive that a small class dynamic is much more suited to my learning preferences. The Catholic title was initially a turn-off as well. However, Catholic or secular, I'll have to "fight" my battles with professors. They'll just be slightly different. And the students will be the same. Also, while a religion class is required, I can take a class on any religion I like. I might try Buddhism :) Finally the location is actually beneficial to me because it means I will be only a hour away from an amazing person who is attending Grove City in the fall and it's much closer to Maryland. So I should be able to come home on a more frequent basis.

I loved the college visit to Mercyhurst. I met with the director and she is one of those people that you just know will make the perfect ballet director. I can't exactly explain it, but everything about her just said: amazing, firm, dedicated women who can lead a program perfectly. The whole atmosphere of the dance program was very endearing. It reminded me a little bit of home. In fact, just enough to asure me that it would be a great home away from home. Also, I loved the teacher of the class I took. I'm really excited to get to learn more from him in the fall :) The school campus is not quite as astounding as Butler's, but it has a more gentle, realistic, weathered beauty about it. The academic structure of the school also allows me to double major in Engish. This is really beneficial to me because an English major opens a lot more doors in case ballet doesn't work out for any number of reasons.

So, what about Butler?
Well, prior to last summer I had no idea where I wanted to go college. I've always known that I wanted to be a ballerina, but I never had a particular path in mind and I don't think I ever will. That being said, I started to research good classical ballet schools. That alone brings the search to under 20 schools in the entire country. However, I felt like I didn't know enough about any of the schools to be able to realistically determine my top choices. My mom told to just pick one that looked nice. So Butler looked beautiful and I had always heard great things about it. It was the first good college visit I went on and so, naturally, I got excited about it. The school does have an amazing ballet program and getting accepted will definitely be beneficial for my resume. They also gave me some of the best scholarships they offer. Yet, Mercyhurst offered me a better package. I need to be realistic about the fact being ballerina and hopefully one day being a wife and mother means that I will never obtain a high income career. That doesn't bother me in any way, but it does mean that having a large amount of student loans just doesn't make sense for me. With Mercyhurst I'll still have a small amount of loan, almost no good college gives a full scholarship any more, but it will be much more manageable.

So, without futher ado, I leave you being personally in a much more peaceful state simply because I finally know what's happening to me next year. Resolution makes me so happy. I have no idea which Princess face my computer screen is being given right now, but it's whichever one has a big cheesy grin invovled :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

happy easter :)

"And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep."      
~1 Corinthians 15:17-20

"...But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead..."
in fact--in truth, in reality; there is nothing simply symbolic or imaginary about this resurrection
raised from the dead--death could not contain Chirst

Thursday, March 31, 2011

thank you God for...everything :)

I am thankful for..

parents who put forth more than they have for my family and my school

a little sister who not only tends to herself but constantly asks how she can serve her older siblings

a little brother who offers me his snack because he is concerned that I won't have enough to eat before ballet

a brother who carries my school bags to the van without even asking

a sister who forces me out of my comfort zone at her own expense because she knows it's good for me

a school family who extends grace and compassion continually

teachers who begin their classes with prayer and scriptural encouragement

friends who start by asking: "How can I pray?"

friends who open their Bible and share a verse they were reading for devotions that morning

friends who listen while I ramble through everything that is going on in my life

friends who like to talk about the symbolism in the current literature novel during lunch (being nerdy isn't a crime)

guys at school who go out of their way to open doors for the girls

guys at school who make me laugh over the silliest things (like brick walls and fuzzy penguins)

extended family that lives less than half an hour away

grandparents who stop by the house while my family is at school just to bring homemade jelly

a grandmother who drives me to dance classes and who comes to every single one of my performances

a grandmother who has taught me how to sew and lets me come over to her house and sew all the time

warm blankets and a real fireplace

bookshelves in almost every room of my house

a whole shelf full of tea and lattes

two fridges and an extra freezer just for keeping food

more shoes and clothes than I know what to do with

a warm house

..and so much more :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

how to convince nature that spring has arrived

Nature is apparently unaware of the season change and I have therefore developed a plan for solving this atrocity...

1. Wear your favorite pastel purple leotard with classic pastel pink tights to ballet class

2. Add pink and purple glimmer eye shadow

3. Finish your look with a sparkly butterfly hair clip positioned on the side of your bun

4. Throughout your ballet class, dance like a beautiful spring fairy

5. Hope that nature notices your beautiful performance and changes it's weekend plans accordingly

Monday, March 14, 2011

music :)

"Living life without the love of Christ is like living life without music." ~Mr. Wes Harris

How simply beautiful is that?

As a dancer, I present my life and many stories through movement to music. Music is the path that I follow. Music is the guide to my art.

In my spiritual life, the love of Christ should be my guide. The love of Christ should be path that I follow through this life.

"For breadth the love of Jesus is immensity, for length it eternity, for depth it is immeasurably and for height it is infinity." ~Charles Spurgeon

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"I have spoken with many godly men who have told me that if young women started keeping their standards high rather than settling for mediocre men, then guys would be forced to make serious changes to their masculinity. And even if you are mocked, ridiculed, or ignored because of your stand, you can be sure that God will honor your decision. He paid for the treasure of your heart with His own blood. You disregard His amazing sacrifice for you when you allow your femininity to be trampled in the mud. You are a daughter of the King, so hold out for a man who has royal blood coursing through his veins." ~Leslie Ludy

I found this quote on a friend's Tumbler. I don't know much about Mrs. Ludy, but this quote just fit a little too perfectly to be passed over.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I read two different blog posts today about reading in the Word of God and, being as it was something that I was just praying about yesterday and talking to mom about a week or two ago, I think it's something God wants me to pay attention to right now. These posts both talk about the lack of time spent in the Word and it's something I have been convicted about many times. It leads me ask why I keep finding myself in the same struggle. First, and foremost, because sin doesn't disappear and fighting my flesh will be a continual struggle. But why do I, someone who is often accused of spending too much time in books (a.k.a. a bookworm), struggle to stay consistent with reading the greatest book of all? In most literature, the reader can find himself in one of the characters. And, more often than not, the reader can find himself in the main character. Maybe not always in the same way, some people may find a similar character trait while others may find a similar struggle to one they are experiencing or have experienced. But in some way they walk the journey of the plot with the character. And, when the resolution finally comes, the reader feels that he too has triumphed. (I will omit the morbid terror of the normal endings accompanying American literature from this summary and save them for another post at a later time.) The Bible, however, shows us our weakness. It constantly and consistently asks us to grow and change, to recognize our error and turn from our sin. I just told a friend yesterday how much I love that every time I read the Bible I understand truth in a new or different way. But maybe that's the very same reason why the Bible is isn't always the first book I turn to. The Bible doesn't allow me to feel good about myself. The Bible shows me just how awful my state is and how much I need a Savior. Secular literature allows the main character to be the center of attention. The Bible asks me to focus on my Creator and Savior and, in light his magnificence, to see myself for what I am. Secular literature allows me to be the unlikely hero or the failure that never finds his way, but either way I'm looking at myself. The Bible asks me to first look at Christ. Secular literature feeds my pride. The Bible teaches humility. The Bible shows me the truth that I, in my sinful state, don't always want to see.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Screwtape Letters

I was doing some blog searching yesterday and found a friend's blog that she has just started updating again, but I read through some of her old posts (I love reading other people's blogs) and found this quote from Screwtape Letters. First, C.S. Lewis never ceases to bring me back to my knees. God gave him an amazing mind and he used it for the glory of God. How much better does it get? He has an amazing ability to look at and analyze life and then explain it in a way that brings a better understanding to his readers. Even if you have already heard the truth he is sharing, he shares it so that you understand it better or differently and are freshly convicted. Second, this just fit much too perfectly with my last post and the struggles I am facing right now. For those of you who haven't read Screwtape Letters I suggest reading it at your earliest convenience or even sooner, it is just brilliant. It is a series of letters written from one fictional devil to another explaining how best to tempt a human. The enemy referenced in the Letter is therefore God. Enjoy...

“It is far better to make them live in the Future. Biological necessity makes all their passions point in that direction already, so that thought about the Future inflames hope and fear. Also, it is unknown to them, so that in making them think about it we make them think of unrealities. In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most completely temporal part of time-for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays…Hence nearly all vices are rooted in the future. Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead…To be sure, the Enemy wants men to think of the Future too-just so much as is necessary for now planning the acts of justice or charity which will probably be their duty tomorrow….He does not want men to give the Future their hearts, to place their treasure in it. We do. His ideal is a man who, having worked all day for the good of posterity (if that is his vocation), washes his mind of the whole subject, commits the issue to Heaven, and returns at once to the patience or gratitude demanded by the moment that is passing over him. But we want a man hag-ridden by the Future-haunted by visions of an imminent heaven or hell upon earth-ready to break the Enemy’s commands in the present if by so doing we make him think he can attain the one or avert the other…”

Friday, January 21, 2011


I have been so worried about the next few years of my life and how they will shape the rest of my life. I have been worried about which decisions will be wise and beneficial, what paths will potentially follow each decision, and what factors should or could play into making these decisions. All of these worries are good things to contemplate. The problem is that they are worries in the first place. My youth pastor taught last night on the concept of worry and I'm pretty sure it was the most convicting and yet best thing I could have heard at this point in my life. At one point he asked us: "How can we trust God with the eternity of our lives and entirely depend on Him for our salvation and yet not trust Him in the little things of life?". I think the reason we don't trust Him in the little things is because we feel like we can or do have some level of control in those situations. How arrogantly presumptuous is it though for me to think that, in any given situation, I could handle it better than God or that I have a better idea of what the outcome should be? I worry because I don't trust God. I don't trust God because I'm too consumed in myself. At the point at which I understand how entirely dependant I am upon God and how entirely helpless my state is, I will cease to worry. And when I stop worrying about the future, I can enjoy the present and all of the beautiful things God is doing right now. I've been thinking so much about what might happen that I haven't been enjoying right now. I don't have to wait to know what is happening with my life next year to see God's hand at work, to know God's plan. His plan is happening right now and it's just the way He has determined it should be.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


A long time ago (actually just about two years ago), when I wasn't busy all the time, I used to read the therebelution blog rather frequently. At one point they were blogging on life and death and they said the following: "We don't hold our lives. We can't avoid death...We need to change our thinking from "I'm invincible because I'm young" to "I'm invincible until God calls me home." ...God's timing is perfect." I've kept this quote on my wall ever since. The first sentence is striking because I struggle daily with wanting to take control of my own life and, therefore, not trusting God. The fact that I don't control my existence is probably the most blatant example there is for my lack of control. The second sentence only further proves my powerless state. Not only do I have no control over my existence, I also have no control over my time on earth and I can't do anything to change that. The last part of the quote is equally striking. Life on earth isn't permanent, it's temporary. Often I become convicted of trying to plan too far ahead and not trusting God's sovereign plan. But maybe I'm not looking far enough ahead. Maybe I need to stop thinking about five years from now and start thinking about eternity. Finally, no matter what happens, "...God's timing is perfect."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


This post is dedicated to a family in my Church.
Human life and relationships on earth are a gift from God. They evoke our deepest emotions, our greatest depth of feeling.  Love that springs from close relationships is also a gift from God and one that teaches us much about our God and his love for us. Broken relationships and conflicts often cause life long pain and suffering. There is a deep power in the bond between human beings. Often we are sucked into pursuing our relationships with humans more steadily than our relationship with our Creator. When someone we love leaves this earth, we feel that part of our heart has been ripped out. Sometimes this suffering leads us from God. It tells to avoid ever becoming vulnerable again and it tells us to question God's love. Yet sometimes this suffering bring us into a closer relationship with God. It shows us His love in giving His Son. It teaches us to trust his sovereignty. It helps us to have an even greater understanding of the hope we have in our future life beyond this earth. A family in my church has recently experienced the death of a loved one. And their love and devotion to her is obviously great. But greater still has been their love and devotion to their Savior. It is easy to give in to the sin pulling on your heart, but this family has been an amazing example of showing Christ's love and of trusting God, even when they face suffering on earth.

"She was a gift to you and your love was a gift to her. But no matter how fully you loved her, Christ can and does love her better. She faced suffering on this earth. Only Christ can heal her. Only He can make her whole." ~my mother, when talking to one of the girls in the family