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Adventures Beyond the Comfort Zone

Monday, May 22, 2006

Blogging in Spurts

Okay, so, I imagine some of you will be disoriented by the post from a couple days ago that didn't actually appear until today.  My Internet access is a little diminished out here at the lake, so I'm just gonna keep on blogging and upload them all at once whenever I get the chance.

After a nice quiet weekend with the [stilldon'tfeelrightusingtheirlastnameonline]'s, I started working today.  I started out bright and early at 7:30 at the E-Education office of DSU.  Last time I worked for them, I remember it seemed a real struggle to keep me busy..  Not a problem this year with a couple backlogged projects for me to pick at between the other work that comes at random.

I may actually be a morning person.  When I've said "so long" to my late-night Self, my early-morning self feels fantastic.  Though Latenight keeps coming back...  I'm gonna try to change the locks next time he goes out..

Wow I'm tired..  Early is going to have a great morning tomorrow.

No, wait.  I should mention my first official Interning meeting with Zach this afternoon.  He asked my opinion on web layouts and content.  It was good; I tend to 'experience' the web rather than analyzing what keeps me coming back to certain sites.  The process led us through a lot of sites that I'm going to want to keep going back to both experience and analyze.

Then we talked about posters and such; brainstorming ideas...  I've got a few simmering in the back of my mind..  I may even share once they come to a boil.  Although, you'll eventually be able to see some of them on-line anyway. 

I took it pretty easy for the rest of the afternoon/evening.  And now I'm gonna start bed-time prep.  so's Early can take another crack at that piece I'm working on for the other blog before work.  I'd really like to get that up this week...  I've got other areas I want to cover.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Settling in...

I finally got myself out of Brookings yesterday. After sifting through much clutter, I picked out what I'd need in Madison, put aside what I could do without, and pitched out what I wouldn't miss. In my return visits to home this summer, I'm hoping to do a lot more of the latter. In this rediscovering-of-self process I've started, I'd really like to gouge out the pack-rat within.

Tangent{ MercyMe just released a new song called "So Long, Self." I was instantly enamored by the creativity of a break-up song written to the singer himself. But it also set me thinking about how I related to my Self after starting a serious relationship with Jesus.

In years past, I'd done my best to leave myself behind, but in these last few months, I found Him re-introducing me to my Self.

I feel more like mySelf than ever.

It's funny... that line in Corinthians about letting the old Self die so the new Self can really live has always been one of my favorites, but I guess the second half didn't really sink in until recently. I wish I could remember where I heard it, but someone on the radio said, "Jesus doesn't only want to pull you from the burning car wreck of sin, He wants to drive you to the hospital and make sure you get better." } <!--end of tangent-->

Getting back to last night: I unpacked and settled in. The [shouldIreallyspilltheirlastnameonline]'s shared with me their dinner, which tasted much better than the frightful descriptions of what salmon supposedly tastes like. Then I crashed in front of the tube with my hero, Dr. Phil (and I stayed there for the rest of the evening).

At some point, Laura came down to see that I was able to make myself at home. She found that I had already put down roots and become a potato.

I enjoyed a warm shower in the bathroom directly adjacent to my beautiful room before finally collapsing in my large, comfy bed (the largest bed I've ever had).

I went out for breakfast McDonald's this morning and discovered long-not-seen Justin as well as one of those awkward encounters where I recognized someone who recognized me, but could not think of her name or how I knew her...

Then followed an exciting trip to Jubilee for my very first attempt at buying food for myself. I couldn't help wondering how obvious it was that I'd never fended for myself before.. It didn't help that I had another one of those awkward encounters on my way through the produce section. I'm not even sure she saw me; one of the produce guys returned my greeting instead...

Anywho, I think I'll manage. I only need to survive a few months of my own cooking...

Oh, yeah. Finals ended fairly well. Most of the projects finished with a good 5 to 10 minutes to spare, and a solid 'B' average for the semester. Evidence enough for me that the perfectionist within is finally going away.

amended a few hours later:

This is a very special entry from Kevin's accountability partner, Matt! Kevin has been behaving himself, and for that, I am very proud of him! Good job Kevin!

And accept for his sneaky addition to my entry there, I would like to say the same for Matt.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Accidental Sabbath

Final Project Tally:
4 complete
1 remaining

I know it wasn't really an accident, but neither was it my idea. Not at first.

So it started early Sunday morning after getting myself up for the early service at WCB. I had an appointment that afternoon with the folks who are taking me in for the summer, and was hoping to get some of my stuff packed to take over there ahead of the post-finals rush.

So after church and one last meeting with the Wild at Heart group, I returned to my room to pack... except that a few hours earlier, I learned that this was the day of the vote as to whether or not we move forward with the plan to build the new church building. Since I'm an actual member there, I felt I should be part of that.

The vote was at noon... which only left me about an hour in my room before the meeting. Instead of packing and/or cleaning, I decided to try and blog (can you guess how well that went?). I wanted to write about my growing interest in how men and women relate to each other after the various books I've been reading. ..yeah.. that's gonna be a whole 'nother entry..

Moving on: the meeting lasted about an hour. At the very end of which, just before the ballots , someone spoke up about his concern that the new building wasn't going to be big enough. I was surprised, but he actually swayed my opinion. If the new building is only slightly beyond our current needs, how much more room for future growth is there?

I'm digressing again...

After the meeting, I met Matt and Rayleene at Taco Johns, where Tom wandered in late in the meal. My initial companions took off, and I stuck with the old friend I'd not seen in months for a while.

This left me just enough time to Google the directions to my summer home. Which, as it turns out, even though the address says that it's in Wentworth, turning toward Wentworth actually took me in the opposite direction of my destination.

I hadn't met them before a freak meeting at McDonalds about a week ago when Sarah pointed them out and introduced us. Everyone I told who I'd be staying with responded with some variation of "lucky!" or "I'm so jealous!"

Wow. Not only are Marvin and Laura great people, but their home.... the house... It's a beautiful house. It's a Big, beautiful house. A big, beautiful, Lake-side house! (sorry, Mom. You may not see much of me this summer)

After a nice talk/tour, I headed back to Madison, already late for the Bring Your Own Meat party. And on that drive back is when it struck me that I'd not done anything that could be considered productive all day. I considered skipping out on the BYOM party... but then I started having flashbacks. Mostly within a week or two.

I've heard it come up a few times from a couple different sources now: a reminder of God's command to keep the Sabbath holy. To take a day off once a week. No really, like totally off.

I had about a 20 minute drive to ponder this. I knew this was important. It did make His top ten, after all. So I decided to try. Something to the extent of "not wanting our relationship to suffer just because I was busy." (of course I've had a few days now to consider how to say that.. It started out kinda selfish.. more like "if I do what He wants, He'll help me get through finals, like I want to")

So I spent the next hour or so with my friends, eating meat and playing soccer. It was good. I'm sure it was my last chance to see several of them. (though quite a few, it seems are going to linger here in the Madison area)

After the Meat party, things got more interesting... Back in my room, with little to distract me from my impending deadlines, my thoughts quickly swayed from "this Sabbath thing isn't so hard" to "am I crazy?!" I had to make myself look it up to remind myself that the command was really there.

I could have emptied my head into the movies out in the lobby, but I was pretty sure that vegetating the day away wasn't really what He had in mind for the 7th day either. I wound up spending the rest of the evening listening to DM LIve and picking up my room a little. Yeah, technically, that's work too, but not the pressured/frenzied kind. Actually, it helped me to have something else besides the radio to focus on; made it easier to convert fear to trust.

I don't want to make it sound like a trade of services, but I know He's been with me this week ever since. Taking the whole day away from my school work.. Logic said I was being foolish, and yet... 4 out of 5 projects in on time. The 5th due tomorrow afternoon. I know He's been there, giving me the strength to keep getting up early and pushing myself forward.

I'm really not sure how I'm going to pull this last one off, but I'm not really worried.

hmm... seems like I'm not capable of writing a short blog.. more time 'wasted'? Time will tell.

Back to work.