Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bowling Extravaganza

First, a brief update on what's been going on since the team got back on campus for part deux of Spring Break. This is mainly going to be entertaining for my bowling group only, because it's one of those "you had to be there" kinds of things. Moments like these I wish I had a video camera so I didn't have to say that little phrase that immediately comes after a flop of a story (you know the tell a story, look around expectantly with a huge grin on your face because of the fantabulous story you just told, waiting for everyone to burst into laughter, no one does, so you look down and mutter "guess you had to be there" and hope that the conversation quickly moves on)

Anyways, I'll preface this with: "you had to be there"
Bowling. Paradise Lanes. I really hope paradise is nothing like this bowling alley- that would just be sad.
Now I have no idea why there's a dude lying in this parking lot, but it's the only picture I could find of alleged paradise.
We figured on a Wednesday night there wouldn't be too many people there. Little did we know, Spartanburg is the home to some serious Wednesday night bowlers. Place was packed! (Maybe they were confused on the whole paradise thing..ok no more references to that I promise)

My team in bowling order: Katie, Pearce, Shelby, Andrea, Kim, and Me (obviously)
None of us were off to a very good start, and it's always just awkward right after you've bowled and you have to walk back to your seat. Should I act like I don't care that I just got another gutter ball? Do I act disappointed in myself to make everyone think I'm actually a really good bowler who is just having an off night? Or do I turn around and quickly walk back without even watching to see how many (or few) of the pins fell over? O the complexities of bowling!

We decided to overcome the awkwardness by creating different dances: there was the gutter ball dance (the embarrassment factor served as motivation to knock at least one pin over), the spare dance, and the strike dance/chest bump.

All the dancing definitely made it more fun, but the best reaction of the night came from dear Katie. After bowling, she turned around, flexed her arms, shook her curls, and let out some sort of mix between a roar a squeal and a battle cry. Quite loudly. I can't even remember if it was because she did well or poorly, but it was hilarious. But it must have worked because she had the second highest score. (no big deal I got a strike on the last frame, FTW)

And then there was Andrea. After perfecting the gutter ball dance and holding onto a score of 8, she decided to swallow her pride and go for the granny shots. But this wasn't just any granny shot. This was the Granny X-treme Edition. Andrea, ever so confident, walked up, bent over, legs shoulder length distance apart and during the swingback of the ball, POP her right leg would shoot out to the side on cue every single time, making her look like she was getting ready to do the Irish Jig. Quite impressive, quite hilarious, and oddly effective.

In all, a fun night!

Love these girls!

An Unloading of the Heart

The irony of my life is that during the school week I long for a day of nothing to do: time to sit, sip coffee, read, and contemplate. But as soon as I get the chance, I find it hard to actually get myself to sit down in my chair and do what I claim to "love".

I desire to have this amazing intimate relationship with God, but I hardly ever want to sit down, take time, and do the work it takes to study His love letter to me. That seems ridiculous already! If I truly viewed God as the lover of my soul and me as the Bride preparing herself for the Day of the Lord, then I should want to soak in every word of His letter to me.

The issue is taking time. I want to KNOW scripture, but I don't want to sit and read, meditate, and memorize it. I want to KNOW the Lord's will for me, but I don't want to take time to "call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding" or "look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure" (Pr. 2:3,4).

It's these moments that I have to realize that OF COURSE I don't always have the happy fuzzy feelings of spending time with God. We really are in the midst of a spiritual battle! And for this reason, I MUST arm myself with the armor of God and not live by my wavering emotions, for "the heart is deceitful above ALL things" (Jer. 17:9)

And furthermore, OF COURSE I often feel "off" or "empty" or "blah" as my roommates and I call it-- for my inward being (along with the whole creation) groans in eager expectation of the future glory that we have inherited as heirs of God (Romans 8).
It reminds me of this quote by C.S. Lewis: "If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world" Praise the Lord that this is not the end!

I love reading Revelation when I'm feeling "off". I want to be like the 24 elders who, even though they have been spending eternity worshipping God, they STILL fall on their faces EVERY TIME the living creatures start to sing "Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty!" (Rev 4, 5, 7, 11, 19)

So, I pray this song from Laura Story "Make Something Beautiful" :Listen!
That even though I may not FEEL like sitting and taking time, I CHOOSE to spend time with my Savior. And amazingly enough, He is faithful to give me the "emotions" I long for when I am obedient to spend time with Him. Praise God for appealing to my human desires to "feel something" and choosing to bless me with His grace!

"When I'm tired of pretending, and I can't recall my lines,
Do I say, I'm barely breathing., or just say, I'm doing fine.
I admit there is a yearning, for the hurting to subside,
But not at the risk of missing what You're doing with my life

All I know to do is lift my hands to you

Take all of my life, all of my life,
And make something beautiful.
I open my hand, trusting Your plan.
Make something beautiful so all will see
Your work in me, as You make something beautiful"

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Showers

My teammates and I always laugh at about our Coach telling us to "not think about things we can't control" because "we could have a race in these conditions" when it comes to practicing in incliment conditions i.e. blizzards, flooding tracks, freezing temperatures, 5AM name it, we complain about it, he tells us to suck it up (more or less). In his words, "mind over matter, if you don't mind, it don't matter".

Well today, we really did have a race in these conditions. Mother nature must have heard that Wofford was on Spring Break and took that as her cue to open up the skies in torrential downpour. Typical. So, while my friends are flying to Haiti, roadtripping to Colorado, laying out by the beach, or hanging out with their families, my teammates and I huddled under a leaky tent, envious of the richer teams who were able to afford TWO tents, or the kinds of tents that they have in Harry Potter where you walk inside and its a mansion- I don't think they even knew it was raining. Meanwhile us po folk tried our darndest to stay dry and tossed caution to the wind as everyone snuggled with everyone to stay warm. Spoon fest 2k11.

The warmest place to be was in the bathroom. Literally about 15 girls were in there at all times, and everytime the door would open and a chorus of "go ahead, we're not waiting" would erupt. People were lining up to take their turn at the hand dryer, dismissing the vehement odor that the little room exuded, and choosing warmth over fresh air. You better believe I was right there with them!

The highlight of the day came when we were told we were leaving early! Praise the Lord that our suffering was temporary and we were soon loading up the van and short bus to head back to Wofford!

Now I have my 3 days of Spring Break to look forward to! I'll be doing lots of this

...Minus the white sand, palm trees, hot guy, and pink leis. But basically.

And, for all those people who keep telling me "wow you're hair is long!" I'm getting a haircut. Speaking of which, what am I supposed to do with that comment, "you're hair is long" ? It is a compliment or a statement? Do I respond with "Thanks?" or "Yes, how very observant of you". To quote Stephanie, "no one even knows!" Anyways, I'm getting a haircut and hoping to immediately morph into this 
I'm legitimately hoping that one day I'll take a picture to the hairdresser and come out with the exact haircut AND face of the model or actress. I'll be practicing my autograph just in case.

Or maybe I'll take this picture with me and hope to automatically inherit Rory's lifestyle in Star's Hollow, working at the Yale Daily News:
Check that pout. Here's to hoping!

Happy Spring Break! And I apologize on behalf of Wofford for bringing the cold weather with us!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

To my true love... Abbey Ellison

Ok, so today I just want to briefly blog about how much I love Abbey Ellison.  I mean, she is literally just the best person ever!  I am so glad that she is my roommate!  She is the kindest, most generous, most humble and overall best person that I know.  She is truly a Glimpse of Grace and I just wanted to share that with the world.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Too much too soon?

Blogging is the new wheat crackers. And for those of you that know me, I really love wheat crackers. So now, I have this blog to be obsessed about. I consider myself an "all or nothing" type of person, so when I started this blog, I immediately wanted to make 5 posts in one day, but in an attempt to appear cool, suave, and nonchalant, I stuck with only one, and just made it 5 posts long.

So last night I layed in bed thinking about my blog (so much for cool, suave, and nonchalant). Too many cups of coffee and too much sleep the night before kept me alert until the wee hours of the morning with thoughts such as "What should I call my blog? What should I blog about next? How do I get my blog to look as cool as other peoples? Maybe all my friends will start blogging!" My first idea for a title was something punny with the word "burd/bird". But I really don't like birds. If I did; however, the title would be "The Burd Feed". But I just really don't like birds.

Finally I pulled out my Bible and flipped an attempt to find a catchy phrase that could serve as the title. I don't think the Bible was written with the intent of being made into blog titles, so I went with an overall idea instead. That's where I decided on glimpses of grace. Stephanie noted that it would be cooler if my name were Grace, but alas, I am still Caroline. And since "Creeping on Caroline" didn't really ensure many followers, I ditched the puns and play on names.

Glimpses of grace. Is that biblical? Are we only getting glimpses of grace while on earth? I think so. Like the verse in 1 Corinthians 13 says, "Now I know in part, then I shall know in full, even as I am fully known" Life with Christ is grace in and of itself, and I cannot even begin to grasp the fullness of His grace, or the amount that He fully knows me and fully loves me. That blows my mind. Even I get annoyed with myself the more I get to know me. So,  I'm excited to keep living day by day with Christ while trusting Him to continually show me glimpses of His grace.

And excited to blog about it...duh.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Daniel (very) Fast

The Daniel Fast is my newest nemesis. Actually, not anymore because I quit today. I had decided on a whim to do this fast with Kaitlin and Megan. It started off poorly when I didn't even begin on our original start day, but how could I resist Sarah's mom's delicious chicken salad and pasta?!

 These are the rules: eat like a bird. Not really but that's what it feels like: only fruits, veggies, beans, and nuts. I thought it would be a fun challenge, something to add to my list of what not to eats (since I've given up sweets since January 1) and I figured it wouldn't be too far off what I eat now (since I have been eating lots of Burwell salads.) So, Abbey and I went on a little excursion to the Fresh Market to get me some peanut butter, breakfast, and sweet little Abbey was so concerned about my health that she bought me a delicious trail mix of nuts and cranberries. This was going to be fun, right? O contraire! Not fun, and NOT easy.

Day 1:  I woke up at 5:30 and grabbed a handful of trail mix as I headed out the door for practice. Feelin good. Stayin positive. I got back to my room after the run and was excited about trying my Cracked Wheat.
I was expecting something similar to oatmeal.

More like crap wheat! I poured it into a bowl and it literally looks like bird seed. 

But I forged on, like the brave little engine that I am. I made it through lunch and dinner, raking in 2 salads, 3 apples, and lots of natural peanut butter and water. I felt so unsatisfied with everything that I ate- I wasn't hungry, just not happy with the 80% water diet. 

Day 2: I planned to wake up at 7:30 and get work done, take care of the hold on my account so I could register for rooming, and take my computer to IT since it has been sick with a virus for the past month (shout out to Abbey for unknowingly letting me use her computer right now). Instead, I layed in bed til 9:45-- and honestly it was because I just could't pull myself out of bed to eat more crap wheat. There could be a sin issue here. Do I really get out of bed in the morning because of food?? Shouldn't I be excited to wake up and enjoy some time with the Lord and be thankful for another day? This issue is still to be contemplated. But maybe it isn't so bad to want to read the Bible over a nice hot cup of coffee and some eggs and toast...

Once I finally pulled myself out of bed and made my breakfast..and added everything that I could to it to try to give it some taste (peanut butter, cranberries, raisins...) I headed to the track for practice.

Now maybe it's psychological but I felt wiped at practice. I literally just wanted to lay down on the grass and take a nap ( keep in mind I slept a full 10 hours the night before). Now, it could be that I am just a lazy person that would rather sun bathe than run in circles. That's valid. But I choose to blame my lethargy on my lack of protein, dairy, carbs, overall happiness... 

After practice I decided I was done. But the sweet potato saved me. I got to Zachs and the thought of eating lettuce repulsed me. But there it was: orange and wrapped in aluminum foil, the sweet aroma reaching my nostrils. I got so excited that there was something delicious (AND LEGAL!) for me to eat! No butter, no cinnamon sugar, no problem. 

Then came the cat lab. After 3 hours of dissecting a cat (sorry, not appetizing on a blog post all about food. but what about this post is appetizing anyway? Should I refer you back to the cracked wheat?) I got to Burwell for dinner, took a lap around, saw no beans, no bananas, no carrots and thought: THATS IT! No more apples, no more lettuce without dressing, and no more misery! 

I got a bowl of Fiesta Bean Chili (see, that's food that just sounds happier!) and spooned my way to health. I then proceeded to apologize to everyone that I had been a quitter. But I couldn't help it. This Daniel Fast conquered me. Props to Daniel for being wiser, faster, and stronger for it, but I met my match. This Daniel Fast was indeed fast for me. 1 day and 2 meals later, I'm back to eating like a normal human (minus the sweets of course!)