Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Buttons...

Last night, I got together with some friends and watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It was three hours long. Three. That's a long time. Aside from that, it was kind of depressing. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. It gave a unique look at life.

I layed in bed last night, wide-eyed. If you know me at all, you know I usually have no trouble sleeping for long periods of time, let alone, falling asleep. But last night, I couldn't even shut my eyes. As I was setting my alarm on my phone, I saw that it was already 12/31/08. Whenever something big happens in life, like the "last time" I do something before something else happens, you know, "life changes," I get a little nostalgic. Well, sometimes. (I know this makes me sound like a hyper, paranoid, emotional FREAK, but bear with me. I'm only slightly freaky this week... And people usually get reflective around New Years, right? Right...) As petty as it sounds, I got to thinking that it was the last night before 2009, the year I freaking graduate college and (hopefully) find a "real job" and the last night (probably) before we find out about my dad and before our lives will make some other kind of change. And the enormity of those two things, paired with the way I sometimes get after movies, I could not sleep.

I got to thinking about how my life has felt like it's sped up in recent years. And how that terrified me. And how I really want to slow down a bit and savor it. And how even through all the crap in 2008, God has been so good to me.

There was a part in the movie that really got me. It was a series of shots of about 5 different people and how they're on this "collision course" of sorts. If just one thing had been different - the man had been on time, or the woman hadn't forgotten her purse - then something horrible (suspense!) wouldn't have happened. The flipside of that is true, too, I think. There's probably been many times in my life when something horrible "almost" happened and I was protected because I was late or because I waited to tie my shoe or I because got lost or stuck behind a train. You know? Or maybe not. I'm not really sure how all that works except that God is sovereign. I know that. And he's been good to me. And I have a lot to be thankful for.

Ahh. Forgive these raw, undigested, rambling thoughts.

Basically: regardless of the news with my dad today, God is good. And SOVEREIGN. And also, I'd wait to see Benjamin Button till it comes out so you can pause it in the middle... to break up the three hours. (Did I mention it was THREE HOURS??)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Washed by the water.

Lately, I've been struck by the importance of water in my life. It sounds strange, I know... let me explain.

Water has always been important. Besides the fact that drinking it is essential to life, I've found that bodies of water give me great peace and joy... just watching it, being near it, or sometimes diving into it head first. (I think living by the Greystones harbor for three months ruined me for life. I'll always crave being near the water.)

We were supposed to go to the beach this week, in fact. But our plans changed the day we were supposed to leave (Friday), when my dad went into the hospital for a CAT scan and they found a large, "suspicious looking" mass in his lungs. (I am always struck by how plans change so much and so fast in life. It often reminds me I'm not in control. Which is a damn good thing.)

Anyway, please pray for my dad. We'll know more tomorrow after a biopsy. Even though this is not the week we had planned for, not the news we had hoped for... we're adapting. And God's still good.

Yesterday, I got up at 11:30. It was 60-ish degrees (which is crazy), so I took our dog for a walk. The sky was gray and sunless and drizzly. After living in Ireland, I've grown to love that kind of weather. So I walked. And walked. It was therapeutic, the brisk forward motion, the wind and rain in my face. When I came back, I just laid around and watched movies in my pajamas all day. Then I showered, merely for the ritual of it - the water, the cleansing. It sounds cheesy, but I actually thought about that in the shower as the water washed over my face. God can make all things new and good. And isn't water a beautiful picture of that? It's what I think of when I think of my baptism last summer - the water flowing over, cleansing, washing, creating newness. It's beautiful.

I'm in a point right now, where I need the water. I'm not going to belabor the metaphor by talking about "deserts in life"... in fact, the whole water thing probably sounds terribly trite and christiany. But it's been a reoccurring thought lately... a theme, of sorts. And I thought it was worth sharing.

Lyrics from a song I like:

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts rising
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water

(Washed by the Water, by Need to Breathe)

I guess that says it all. Please pray for my dad.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just thinking…

It’s 4:30 on a Tuesday afternoon. And I am sitting in Starbucks. I just wanted to get away, to get a Caramel Macchiato, and to pound on my keyboard for a bit. It’s funny how much I miss writing when I’m not writing everyday, all day. So, here I sit, at a small, round table, wedged in the front corner of the store. I’m surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows: chilly, but ideal for people watching, which I like to do sometimes. Christmas music plays softly as snow falls even softer outside... like a scene from a Christmas movie. I watch the hustle of people with agendas and schedules safely from inside my home away from home. I’m on break, and it’s very much delightful.

I like break. A lot. One of my favorite parts so far has been reading. I’ve read every day of break (completely for fun – mostly Anne Lamott), and hope to keep it up. My high school English teacher once told us that if we only do one thing to improve our writing, we should read. (More than anything else, including writing… just read.) So, I’m reading. It’s good for the soul, anyway. Like… chicken soup?

(Sidenote… I am a horrible eavesdropper. Or maybe I’m just a creeper. I keep getting distracted! But some guy with a beard just came in and ordered a 5-shot Americano! Now THAT is what I’m talking about. I have a huge respect for people who don’t mess around with their coffee.)

Anyway. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been writing a lot this past semester, because I’m now on break and have time to think, because I'm a Comm major, or maybe because I’ve been watching too many movies… But lately, I’ve been more… observant? I see a 30-something woman with three kids and I immediately wonder about her story. I wonder how she got here, if she once had dreams to be a soccer mom, or if life just happened along the way. I wonder about the business man sitting two tables over from me, talking loudly on his cell phone. Does he enjoy his job? Does he have a family? I have no idea why I am curious about strangers. I don’t know why I’m wondering, but I can’t stop. New people walk in the store, and I wonder some more. A couple in their 50's just sat down at the table next to me. They ordered hot chocolate. I think they’re on a date because they’re super awkward. It’s kind of cute. What about them? I can’t help but wonder about their stories.

Now that I have one semester of college left, I’m wondering: what next? How much of life is determined by small decisions? This is both exciting and terrifying to me. Well, not terrifying, I guess… but slightly humbling. I know there’s parts of life I cannot control, but I just want to be doing something I love, you know? I want to enjoy coming into work everyday. I know I don’t have complete control over the rest of life… who I meet, what happens, what happens next… but I just hope that love what I do. I want a job that matters… that I can really sink my teeth into. (Ew… is that gross? You know what I mean.) Thinking about my future is becoming more inevitable by the day. I’m just praying God’s got my back and that he’ll open or close doors for me. There’s nothing wrong with being a soccer mom or a business man or a single 50-something person. I just wonder if that’s what they want to be doing. Or if not, what happened? I wonder what was going on in their minds senior year of college…

(Ok, this window table is getting chilly. My NOSE is cold. And I just took the last sip of my drink. That’s always sad. BY THE WAY- someone just ordered a VENTI SALTED CARAMEL HOT CHOCOLATE. I had no idea people ordered those things. In venti. Sick.)

So anyway, I guess I should go. Peace until next time!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

alive and well.

7 semesters of college under my belt. yessssss.

it's mostly wonderful being home and being on break ... though i did order my cap and gown online the other day... that kind of creeped me out.

oh well. not thinking about the future. just for now. :)

more of an update to come later... i promise.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

christmas spirit.

i am officially in full-christmas mode. i was faithful, almost to a ridiculous point, of not celebrating christmas decorations or music before thanksgiving. but now? BRING IT ON, BABY! decorations, present shopping (or pondering), snow, christmas lights, christmas movies (we watched ernast saves christmas the other day - anyone, anyone??), and most importantly, CHRISTMAS MUSIC. every time we've had music on in this festive little apartment this week, it has been christmas music. it's delightful.

this is my first "dead week" at taylor that i'm living comfortably through. i don't anticipate pulling any all-nighters, which may be a first for me. and i only have 2 real finals next week. one of them might be a doozy, but... i don't really care so much. :) i am officially done with three of my four classes. PEACE OUT, SCRIPTWRITING, FREELANCE WRITING, AND THEATER & THE CHURCH. all i have on friday is specialized reporting, then i am d-o-n-e with this semester of classes. finishing is such a good feeling.

i recently aquired several free tall specialty drink coupons for starbucks. woo hoo. i got the gingersnap latte today, and it was ok for the first 3/4 of the drink. but then i got chunks... CHUNKS... of ginger. the word chunk should never be used to describe coffee. i freaked out. i cannot drink the rest. good thing it was free. gingersnap latte, i will not be ordering you again.

my roommate brought back a VCR from home, and i brought back about 20 VHS tapes from the good old days. last night, we watched parent trap. today, we fell asleep on the couch to robin hood. can life get any better than this?? i submit that it CANNOT! ...oh wait... J-TERM!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

mish mash.

random reflection: isn't it weird how when you're living life, you lose perspective? i always say that the day or the week or the semester is "flying by." but is it? or is that just the speed of life and i'm still not used to it?

hmm.

well anyway. a few things...

1. you should listen to vampire weekend. (the band.) mmm.
2. i sang karaoke last saturday night for the first time ever. we went out to a karaoke bar to celebrate a friend's birthday, and i ended up loving my life. i sang spice girls' "wannabe" with some roommates and a friend. it was ridiculous and hilarious. when we finished, a drunk man yelled out "DAMN NEAR PERFECTION!" and the woman in charge commented that we "wouldn't have any trouble finding lovers." HAHA. oh the things we do for our friends.
3. i've decided to start sending out more e-cards lately. i've decided that monk-e-mail and hoops and yoyo make life a lot better.
4. happy GOLDEN anniversary, parents! 24 years on the 24th. i'm really glad you decided to get married. :)

thanksgiving break is so close, i can taste it. it tastes like turkey.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

seriously, though...

10:05 pm - arrive at starbucks by myself. only one other kid in the shop. i pull out my laptop to start writing. it's quiet except for soft frank sinatra music playing in the background. beautiful.

11:05 pm - about nine couples have come and gone, and three are here right now. you know - the kind who are all about the PDA. (aka: i'm leaving.) where did they come from (ok- dumb question - TAYLOR) and when did starbucks become the cool place for couples to hang out and gaze at each other? AHHH.

seriously?? another one just came in. all couples - i swear.

bachman out!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lord, beer me strength.

i may have a problem. and by "may," i mean, i really do. caffeine seems to have lost it's effect on me. i mean, i usually don't think anything of this (this is not a new problem - it's just that i'm finally admitting it), but when i'm around friends who are shocked when i order a double or triple latte at 10.30 pm, asking how in the WORLD i'll fall asleep, and instead, i have serious trouble staying awake, it makes me wonder. (this has happened at least twice this past week.) and i thought i was doing better! i've cut back on trips to coffee shops! i recently started an excel document of all my receipts for the semester. i have a column called "coffee" and let's just say i've been convicted to spend less money on the java... seriously.

oh well. maybe i just need more sleep. probably.

in other more exciting news... i saw the decemberists in michigan last week! and it was magical. (not quite as beautiful as when i saw them in ireland... but still wonderful.) here's a few pics from the night.

how we feel about the decemberists.

(aren't they beautiful?)

so thanksgiving can come anytime now, please! i'm getting restless. it's not so much that i don't want to be here... just that i'm tired of homework. and i don't care. i mean... i want to do well, but i find myself with decreasing motivation to go to class and meetings. senioritis? i hate to admit it, but yes.

an encouraging verse i read the other day - with fresh eyes:

"i am the vine; you are the branches. whoever abides in me and i in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." -john 15:5


ok. i'm off to write a 10-page script for my scriptwriting class. the dumbest class ever. ok, maybe not, but really close.

Monday, November 10, 2008

mix it.

mmmm itunes.

i made a fall playlist over the weekend that i'm fairly proud of. too bad it's so freaking cold now... otherwise, i'd suggest you snuggle up with a blanket, a mug of java, and watch the falling leaves through your open window... while listening to this. alas. most leaves have already fallen. and there's frost on my car windshield right now. i'm talking... CAKED-ON frost... the pesky kind that won't thaw. WHAT THE HECK.

... i guess it is mid november, so i'll let the chilly weather slide. (BUT! SIDENOTE. it is NOT ok to listen to christmas music yet. it just isn't.)

that being said... :) here's my fall 2008 playlist of sweet, mellow goodness. enjoy!

1. Wild Honey - U2
2. Measure - matt pond PA
3. Heartbeats - The Knife
4. Honey and the Moon - Joseph Arthur
5. Call Me When You Get This - Corinne Bailey Rae
6. How the Day Sounds - Greg Laswell
7. Dan And Marie Picking Hum - (Dan In Real Life Original Soundtrack) - Sondre Lerche
8. The Only Living Boy In New York - Simon & Garfunkel
9. I Know I Know - Sondre Lerche
10. Traffic In The Sky - Jack Johnson
11. Hideaway - The Weepies
12. Love - Matt White
13. The Chain (Live from Webster Hall) - Ingrid Michaelson
14. Blackbird - The Beatles
15. Shoot The Moon - Norah Jones
16. Silver Trees - Rocky Votolato
17. Impossible Germany - Wilco
18. Each Coming Night - Iron & Wine
19. Jesus On The Radio - Guster
20. I Feel It All - Feist
21. I Am Mine - Brooke Waggoner
22. Stay Or Leave - Dave Matthews Band

i do love making mixes. perhaps that's my love language? music and coffee? yep. now you know the way to my heart.

Monday, November 3, 2008

today.

the weather has been ridiculously pleasant lately. today's high was 74 degrees. and people were freaking out. "it's NOVEMBER!" they said. "why is it SO nice??" they have a point. it is, afterall, november. and last week, it was in the 30's.

but i decided not to question. today was a gift and i chose to accept it, love it, and relish it... no matter "the reason" for the sudden burst of unusually gorgeous weather.

i worked out today, and instead of walking right back to my apartment, i took the long way back, around the loop. i don't typically walk the loop by myself, but i felt it was necessary today. so i walked it myself, soaking up the weather, the people, the changing leaves and the unusual burst of outdoor activities. it was all so lovely, but the trees were perfect. they made me think of this quote... perhaps my favorite fall quote ever.

"it was warm and bright and the trees were full in color, magnificent, explosive, like permanent fireworks -- reds and yellows, oranges, some so brilliant that crayola never put them in crayons, for fear the children would color outside the lines." --garrison keillor, eloise

isn't that great?

as i rounded the bend by wengatz, and spotted english hall, in all her glory, it hit me: a tiny twinge of... homesickness? that's the only way i know how to describe it. i have little reason to venture to that side of campus this year, so i guess the sight of it just... made me miss it. i wouldn't want to go back. no sir. i've done the dorm thing 3 times, and got a well rounded experience through english and olson, thank you. although i LOVE living off campus now, i'd be lying if i didn't admit to missing old wingmates and the innocence that came with being an underclassmen. that's gone now, because the real world is sneaking up on me, and sooner or later, i'm going to have to grow up... somewhat. (frick.)

on another note, i hit a raccoon tonight. my first roadkill. i mean, i hit the poor sucker HEAD ON... felt the bump, heard the crunch. and i screamed like a little girl. now that i've settled down, i'll admit i feel a strange sense of accomplishment. but seriously, this thing was begging for death... it froze in the middle of the road and looked up at me. there was a car coming the other way, so swerving was not an option. i slowed down, but so did he, and it was split-second stop and go game until i finally nailed it. oh well. guess there's a first for everything. my brother and the other guys in the car thought it was the best thing ever, showering me with high-fives and roaring laughter. so there's a memory, i guess.

alright. i'm off to do homework. or maybe to avoid homework, which is a skill i've recently MASTERED. helllloooo senioritis!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

sanity break.

it's been awhile since i last wrote. it's probably time for a life update on the past several weeks, but i'll do it later. :) not feeling it right now.

today was a blah day. it started out that way, anyway. i woke up with a headache, so it was doomed from the get-go. the headache got worse, and so did my outlook on life.  i took a nap.  then i grabbed my keys, slightly impulsively, and left.

first, i went to the most natural place to go when you need some joy infused in your life (starbucks), then i hit up the gas city park. (for those of you not from around here, yes, there is a nearby town called 'gas city.' ha-ha, i know.) anyway, it was chilly and beautiful, and for the most part, secluded, which is exactly what i needed. i picked a red park bench, painted in dappled patterns of afternoon sun and leafy shade. with tall caramel machiato in hand, i sat for a few minutes, clearing my head, being still.

then, i pulled out my Bible and journal, and did my thing. words dripped from my heart, from my pen, flowing faster than i could scribble.

when my fingers were too cold to keep writing, i shoved them in my pockets and watched the water in front of me for awhile. the whole thing was really just so picturesque, with the pond and the sun and the weeping willow blowing in the chilly breeze.

i don't know what it is about water and me, but when i'm near it, i get this sense of OK-ness. it doesn't matter if it's the mighty waves of the cold irish sea or the dinky pond in gas city, indiana, it's refreshing... comforting... needed. you know?

anyway, i'm feeling much better now... my head and my heart. sometimes, i just need to give myself room to breathe. a real update will come later, i promise. hold me to it. life gets busy and then i forget to write.


ps. isn't fall wonderful?

Friday, September 26, 2008

jim and pam.

i should be studying for my specialized reporting test tomorrow. according to the quad-shot latte i just finished, i should be good for a little longer (though it has yet to really kick in... hmm). but instead of studying, my mind drifts to the office season 5 premiere.

jim and pam are getting married. MARRIED. as it should be. as it always should have been.


i have to admit that last season's premiere was pretty spectacular, with meredith getting hit by the car and all (ha)... but JIM AND PAM GETTING ENGAGED in the first episode of this season?? it was unexpected, and i adore that. actually, can i just list the wonderful things about this engagement? ok great.

1. it's jim and pam. and they are FINALLY engaged. (duh.)
2. it was definitely not expected for a season premiere.
3. it happened in the rain. (sigh.)
4. it happened at a gas station halfway between the two of them in the middle of the day - so unexpected, but an obvious sign that jim missed her and needed her and loved her.

so basically, it was perfect.


perhaps i am a bit nerdy, but come on. if you love the office, you probably loved this episode, too. ...maybe not enough to blog about it. but then again, it is 1.30 am and i'm running on 4 shots of espresso... and an extreme will to procrastinate studying.

jim and pam halpert. AHHHH!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

bachman weekend.

last weekend was parents weekend at taylor. this year, all the bachmans came up for the weekend of mayhem. (on parents weekend, taylor has a specific schedule of events and activities and concerts... we never do any of them.) we do our own thannng.

on saturday, we watched women's volleyball (ellie was in 7th heaven), had a waffle breakfast in my apartment (thanks to my talented and rather domestic roommate, kaitlyn), we ate at 'hoes, we goofed off (naturally), we went to mi pueblo (more on that in a minute...), and then the parentals went to bed for the night. ...so what did the four bachman children do? we made a big pot of coffee and put in office season 4. and LOVED OUR LIVES. (we are such siblings.)

on sunday, we went to our baller church, had lunch at the cracker barrell, and then said our goodbyes.

such a delightful weekend. i'm rather blessed.

LOVE HER.
quatro!
at this delicious little mexican place called mi pueblo, they do this special thing for birthdays. they sing a mexican song and smother the birthday person's face in whipped cream. it wasn't james' birthday, but the possibility of this happening was too fantastic to pass up. so we lied when he wasn't looking. (watch the video below, taken right after the incident...) ahh ha ha, i love my life.

Friday, September 12, 2008

one life.

so, my freelance writing teacher talked for almost all 3.5 hours of our tuesday night class on the topic of... time management. he said a lot of things, most of them very convicting, and eye-opening, and whatnot. of course. and then he said, with great passion, "PEOPLE, life is not a dress rehearsal! this is the only life we get." ooh, so true.

he talked about how often we always say we're going to start doing ___ when ___ finally happens. but that's stupid. he's right - we only get so many days. we can't wait around. we are living life. this is it! my personal goal for this year is to live it up. it's a terrible cliche, but i honestly don't want to waste a moment. (maybe if i don't sleep...?)

recap on my life of late:

last weekend was perfect. i went to michigan (for the first time ever!) with my lovely, dear friend sarah. we wandered through st. joe. we layed out for multiple hours at the gorgeous BEACH. we chased seagulls. we laughed at the annoying, loudmouthed freshmen nearby. we imitated the annoying, loudmouthed freshmen nearby. we laughed. we talked. we took pictures. we soaked up the feeling of relaxation. it was delightful.

[living the life.]

this past week has been busy and tiring. i'm currently trying to find the balance between writing (aka: every class i'm taking, plus the newspaper) and life. i don't want to get burnt out, but weekly deadlines will do that to you... Lord, beer me strength.

i have had fun, though. i recently acquired the office season 4, which is scientifically proven to make life better.

[we screamed. kind of like we did last year when we drove to muncie to pick up season 3. we are devoted fans and lovers of this show.]

so basically, life is good but busy and tiring. i definitely need more sleep. and a semi-decent bedtime. what else is new?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

the semester of writing.

i've now officially had one of each class. i like most of them. i don't think i'll hate any of them. i may get sick of/overwhelmed with writing for the first time in my life, however. (scriptwriting, specialized reporting, freelance writing, and theater and the church. and i'm a co-editor for a section of our newspaper.) geeze. louise. i'm sure i'll survive and i'm sure i'll come out a better person and a better writer. i think i'm just in that first-day-syllabus state of shock.

as i was in our apartment kitchen this morning, pouring my coffee, the stove clock caught my eye. then i glanced at the microwave. according to both, i was already a minute late to my 8:30 scriptwriting class. and i hadn't even left my apartment. (great first impression, blake.) i was 5 minutes late to class, which i didn't think much of until the professor reached that part of the syllabus. he explained that tardiness was just "not cool" and how we're upperclassmen and should know better. ouch. so of course, i felt the need to apologize afterwards. as people were leaving, i walked to the front of class. "um," i started. "i... just wanted to say i'm really sorry for being late this morning. i have a chronic problem with lateness. it's no excuse, i know, but i'll work on it. and i'm sorry." he laughed, then asked if there was any problem he should know about that he could help accommodate for. "oh, no..." i said, "it's just me not being a morning person and not leaving soon enough. it's stupid and really not an excuse." he laughed and said he married a woman who has been late her whole life. "this is good to know, though," he said. he motioned toward my coffee mug. "i'll tell you what. if you decide to be late someday, just pour me an extra cup of coffee before you leave." um... deal.

it would seem i have some new cool professors this semester.

another cool professor is my freelance writing teacher in ft. wayne. it's a heck of a drive to get to the ft. wayne campus (1 hour there, 1 hour back), but after my first class on tuesday night, i'm thinking it will be worth it. he's intense, and extremely challenging, no doubt, but it's going to be so good for me, and so worth it. and he's unbelievably experienced, having written for magazines like TIME... and he's written books, too. (ok, those are lame credentials, but he is amazing! i just can't remember specifics.) anyway. we don't leave his class without being published, he said. that's exciting.

the echo is going quite well. i enjoy our section. this week, we're highlighting all the new things on campus, and one of my stories is on president habecker and mary lou's new SEGWAYS. i'm not kidding. if i get my way, we'll have pictures of president habecker and gob bluthe from arrested development on their segways, side by side. we'll see.

ok. this writer is hitting the hay. but before i do, i will say this... in regards to this crazy semester of writing. to quote sir kanye: "n-n-now that that don't kill me can only make me stronger." word.

Friday, August 22, 2008

returning thoughts.

summer didn't seem short until i arrived at taylor. as i turned left onto the loop, and saw the back of grace olson hall, it was like deja vu - floods of memories and emotions. it felt like i just packed my little red honda up a couple weeks ago, instead of three whole months ago. the feeling was vivid. time flies, no?

life is so familiar here. it is home. i don't mean that in a cute-sy way. i love st. louis, but my heart is here. i don't know if it's possible to adequately explain why i love this place so much. i mean, words come to mind... words like: cornfields, insane traditions, dear friends, paynes coffeeshop, wonderful/intentional/crazy community, the best professors in the world (i realize i am completely biased), handy andy, the student union, our beautiful campus, backroads, chapel (i can't wait), the way God works... you know i can go on... the joy it brings my heart to be with my friends really cannot be expressed. it's a huge family here. quirky brothers and dear sisters. sweet reunions.

right now, i'm a bit overwhelmed by God's goodness. i had a good phone conversation with my dear friend sarah on the way up to taylor. we both had a bit of a rough year last year, for some different reasons and for some of the same. but we're neighbors now. we live across the hall from each other in our brand new, BEAUTIFUL apartments. and we both had refreshing summers full of God's goodness and beauty. (granted, she was in IRELAND for half of it... but... my summer was still good. despite that.) i guess you could say we're kind of excited for this year...

i adore living off campus, by the way. if last year was a year of growth for me, i'm interested/STOKED to see what this year will end up being. i've already felt blessed in the two days i've been here. thanks, God. you are good.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

got baaaptized!

i just got home from my sweet swimming pool baptism! (literally. my hair is still drying.) but yeah... it was really great. since some of you couldn't be there, i'll let you know what went down... (and thanks, by the way, for being excited for me. i may have the best friends in the world? just throwing that out there. but really, your excitement means a lot. and this baptism meant a lot to me. it was that next step for me, you know?)

so i shared my "story," hitting on the spiritual highlights, from that sunday school classroom at age 4, to my missions trip to russia at age 16, to taylor, to a semester in ireland... there was so much more i wanted to share, but felt like i'd hog too much time, so i left it at those "highlights." then when i actually got in the pool (it was cold, and deeper than i anticipated when i hopped in), my pastor said some words, then "dunked" me (is there appropriate baptism terminology for that?)... and while i was under, i don't know what happened, but i started choking under water. then i came up and gasped for air and started laughing. way to go, blake. way to go. it was supposed to be this meaningful moment... which it was... but then i just had to add my little touch to things. oh gosh.

but it was great. and i love the timing... it's a good way to go into my senior year. speaking of which. i leave on tuesday. and i haven't packed a thing. ooops. better get on that. (i am the world's worst packer. i leave it all until the last minute because i hate it so much... ahh. you'd think after 3 years, i'd be a pro...)

Friday, August 15, 2008

sweet caroline.

there are few things or people in life that make me laugh more than my youngest cousin, caroline. she is four. and a fireball. and entertainment for anyone whose path she crosses. and i adore being big cousin "blakers" to her. when she comes over, we watch "disney princess movies," eat popsickles, and play with the dog. sometimes, i let her hold and listen to my ipod, which in her mind, is the coolest, most expensive item ever made. but our favorite thing to do is play "beauty parlor" in my room. it's the best.

caroline came over last week for an afternoon. i had some makeup samples that came in the mail. enough said?

caroline.


this is her "holding still" face. please notice the one green eye and one purple eye. it's because she wanted "one of each." and notice the lipstick. she did it all by herself.


"caroline, pose like a model for me!"

yeah. i freakin love this kid.

Monday, August 11, 2008

pool party?

soo... i'm getting baptized!

the story behind it is long, because it's been several years "in the making." i've wanted to be baptized for awhile, but just never felt a peace about it. until now. God's been doing some big stuff in my heart this summer, so when the doors opened for this to happen before i head back to school, it was like "YES! DOIN' IT!"

our church is pretty big, but the service my family goes to (quest) is smaller, so we're doing the baptism off-site. in a swimming pool. (i LOVE that.)

it's a big step, so i figured it was blog-worthy. it's next sunday, so i'm sure i'll have more thoughts later...

ps. on a completely unrelated note, why do mondays always suck? i mean, always... right down to the fact that my morning coffee was watery and since i was rushing out the door on the way to work (nothing's changed), i was forced to drink it. unbelievable.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

carpe diem?

aside from selected moments where i've gotten overwhelmed with the ominous "future" or just life in general, this has been the most fulfilling summer i've had in awhile, or maybe, ever.  instead of wishing my summer away so i can get back to my friends and the familiarity of that crazy town of upland, i've been enjoying my summer.  really enjoying it.  this is my last summer at home before i graduate.  and this year is my last year of college.  i'd be a fool not to soak this summer up and take it for what it's worth.  besides, st. louis is baller.  except for the humidity.
so, tomorrow is august.  that means i have 18 days left in the lou.  senior year is coming quickly, dudes.  i've been warned that once it begins, it flies.  although this is a bit scary, i think this summer has been prepping me on how to "soak it up."  if there's one thing i've learned these past few years, it's that life is not guaranteed.  it is a precious, precious gift.  i'm not going to wish a day away because i have a test or a presentation or an interview i'm dreading.  that's one day of my life, one day unlike any other i'll ever have again.  soak it up.  live it up.  those are my goals for senior year.  i have a feeling it's going to be a blast.  
alright, that's enough "seize the day" talk for one day.  on an unrelated and kind of opposite note, you need to listen to this...  go to tinysong.com.  type in "dead puppies" and click on the first result.  it is so funny.  (i'd have put up the youtube link, but some of them are, um, slightly graphic.)  enjoy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

full.

i am currently sitting on our oceanside balcony, watching and listening to the waves crash on the myrtle beach shore in front of me.  the sun's ready to slip behind the endless, blue horizon.  old men are fishing down the beach, with sailor hats and big guts.  palm trees shimmy in the ocean breeze.  kids in the pool play keep-away.  the wind plays with my hair.  the air smells salty.

i inhale deeply.  and smile.  drink it in.  thank you, God.
i've found this to be an especially relaxing vacation.  in fact, this has been an especially relaxing summer.  i've realized the need to not be so busy, to not go so fast, to just be.  and to enjoy it.  this, my friends, is revolutionary in the life of blake bachman.  i'm always "so busy."  and i'm usually late to things.  i call it "being fashionably late."  my mom sees it differently.  and she called me out on it one of my first weeks home.  "that's just who i am," i reasoned.  "and that's a cop out," she said.  dammit, she's right.  
i've been working on it.  i've also been working on some other things like saving money (starbucks expenses have drastically dropped), going to bed earlier (my normal 2 am doesn't work so well with the whole early morning job thing), working out (why hello, YMCA!), and setting other unflinchingly rigid routines (which are good for me to have...  like reading before bed and praying on the way to work... they sound trivial, perhaps, but they've been good for me).  i don't really know how to explain the result of this except that i am beginning to feel more "me" than i have in a long time.  i'm giving my soul room to breathe.  to figure things out.  and it's so terribly, wonderfully, beautifully refreshing.  i feel full. (not like after thankgiving dinner or girls' weekend at the lake (haha...) but i have this tremendous sense of OK-ness.  peace.  that God's in control.  that i'm ok now and will be after i graduate, too (deep breath).  and also, that God called us to live abundant lives in this crazy world.  ...i guess that's kind of what i'm working through, anyway.  baby steps.) 
the moon is out now, dancing faintly on the water.  it's exquisite.  i'd stay to write more, but my battery is dying.  and i think that's a good enough update for now.  
i think i'll go lean on the railing and watch the ocean some more.  drink it in.  be still.  be full.   goodnight.

Monday, July 7, 2008

check him out. for real.

an update is coming soon, i promise.

to tide you over until then (i'm sure you're dying to hear what's been going on in this brain, right?  er..) ...  youtube "greg laswell."  he opened for ingrid michaelson this past wednesday. (which, by the way, is in my top 4 concerts of all time, i think.  maybe even 3.  ok, probably 4.  but it was still so, so good.)  ingrid is a fricking genius.  but greg held his own.  i've never loved an opening band, and i'd never even heard of him, but he was brilliant.  he's funny and honest and talented.  such a great combo.  check. this. guy. out.
some of my favorite lyrics (from his song "embrace me"):
o river won't you take me
out into the sea
so i can get a good look back 
at the land that grounds me
and then a little further out
so i can feel alone
much more than i have these days

o then won't you embrace me
o won't you embrace me?

AHH.  so. good.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

beauty in time.

man, is God doing a lot in my heart.

so basically, every sermon since i've been home has been exactly what i needed to hear at that exact moment - like a personalized "here, blake, this one's for you." i actually started crying in the middle of church this past sunday - can you believe that? (i hid it fairly well.. but there were tears nonetheless.) the sermon was on ecclesiastes 3. yes- that famous chapter on the "times for everything." basically, like the chapter title says, there's a time for everything... sometimes this weird, crazy mix of things we call "life" adds up. sometimes it clicks and it makes sense and it's good. and sometimes it doesn't. for example, death. how is the heck is that good? how does that make sense? in the "times for everything," it says there is a time for mourning. for grief. it's a part of the greater picture, and to deny it is to deny being human.
here's what gets me (this might be a lengthy entry - i took a lot of notes) - God never designed for us to die. we were made to LIVE. everything about death seems wrong and strange to us because we weren't designed for it. at funerals, we celebrate life, we honor... we try to see the good. but if we're being honest, it sucks. it aches in that place inside you, where words cannot express.
this is when it really hit me. "he has made everything beautiful in its time." (ecc. 3:11.) this means that everything, everything will be beautiful eventually. do i believe that? could it be that there's something far bigger and far more beautiful about death than we could ever fathom with our finite, human brains?
april 26, 2006 happened, and i was crushed. i was crippled by the pain. maybe that sounds dramatic, but that's exactly how i felt for a long time. it's taken me over two years to be able to feel like i'm beginning to "heal"- whatever that means. it still hurts. it hits me at random times, and i don't hold back the tears. i let myself remember, because i think it's important to remember. but i also let myself realize all that's happened in those 2+ years. it's hard to say that "good" has happened because of it. i hate saying that. but i have to acknowledge that God has moved mountains in my life. i have to. it's very possible i wouldn't have gone to ireland without laurel's enthusiastic and earnest encouragement to go. (which still gives me goosebumps, by the way.) and i know i wouldn't have the perspective i now have on life. it's a gift. a precious gift. i've learned that time after time after time... after losing my sweet grandma; after losing a dad in our small group to suicide; after walking through life with a close friend who, at 20 years old, unexpectedly lost her dad.
all of that to say, we cannot even begin to fathom the way God works. we are fools to try to put him in a box. he does beautiful, permanent things in his time, not our's.
it's like this. God is weaving our lives together into a beautiful, permanent tapestry. (none of us know the picture.. not yet.) but we know it's beautiful and we know it's intricate.
sometimes, i think we get glimpses of the picture. we see the beauty of redemption, and we get a taste. we see sacrifice and grace and brokenness and healing and we see a little more. but often, for me at least, all i can see is the back - the confusing, frustrating parts - the knotted threads, the gaps, the tangled mess. i can't see beyond it. but what's so amazing is that while i can't see past the mess, the picture on the flipside is becoming clearer and more beautiful. i fully believe that. and i also trust that God uses the the gaps and the tangled threads for good. it's all part of the plan. to wish those away might mean to wish away the very things God wants to use in our lives to make us more like him. (WOW.)
God makes everything beautiful in its time. everything happens for a reason. everything. and there is a time for everything. God, please help me remember this.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

time to... save?


lately, i've been trying to save money.  (that's the responsible thing to do your last summer before your senior year of college, right?)  perhaps the best way to do that for blake bachman is to cut back on the relatively frequent trips to coffee shops.  but you know what?  i've realized i can only do this so much.

on the way home from dropping my sister off at volleyball early this morning (9am on a saturday is early...), the all too familiar craving came over me.  remembering that i have a giftcard in my wallet (recently found while cleaning up the basement, probably from 3 christmases ago), i navigated to the nearest caffeinated haven.  (giftcard = totally justifiable.)  grande caramel macchiato, please and thank you.  the first sip was heaven.  a smile instantly spread across my tired face.  as i drove home from the webster groves starbucks, windows down, music high, sipping my macchiato, i wondered if it was my imagination or if life was actually better?  it was then that i came to this conclusion: you can only deny yourself so much expensive coffee.  yes, it's good to save money.  yes, $4 is quite a lot to pay for a cup of joe.  but there are other drinks...  such as the iced double shot which is only $2.50.  (which only makes for more justifying on my part- i'm good at that.)  but money aside, it's coffee we're talking about, here.  the lifeblood of...  many people.  life paired with coffee is a beautiful thing, friends.  they go hand in hand.
my brother, paul, made a good point the other day.  "you can't really put a price on the joy you get from a good starbucks drink."  well said, young grasshopper.  well said.
in conclusion?  screw money.  not worth it in the end.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008

filling the vacuum.

"there is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus." -blaise pascal

so... the past couple church sermons have got this head thinking.  i think one reason why they've resonated so much with me is because they go hand in hand with some advice i got from my dear friend julia this past semester.  she told me that she has to be filled up with God before anything else makes sense.  even though she has a boyfriend and grad school and whatever else, those only satisfy certain parts of her heart.  her deepest longing is to be filled with Jesus.  and if she isn't, then none of the rest make sense.
hmm.
last week, our church decided to start a new sermon series called "living life on empty."  (again, i resonate, because this is kind of how i felt last year.)  the question was posed last week and this week: "what are we trying to fill our lives with that ends up being inadequate to satisfy the 'vacuum' in our hearts?"  hmm.  for me?  being busy.  i'm pretty sure that's my big one.  because if i stopped for one freaking second, i would realize that it's not all about what i have to get done or where i need to be.  even being home, taking a break from school, i struggle to make sufficient time for my Lord.  busyness cannot fill my God shaped vacuum; it only distracts me from it.  only when i make the time to make Christ my center will anything make sense.  (but you know, when things don't make sense, when my heart hurts, i shouldn't ignore the pain, because pain is what reminds us that we need God.  it reminds us we're human.  ...which sucks, but we need a reminder every now and then, right?)
i don't know if this makes as much sense written out as it does in my head and my heart right now.  it's kind of a bunch of truth jumbled together... but sometimes i think i need to just write it down to let it sink in.  i know for a fact that i fill my life with things that are ultimately unsatisfying at the end of the day.  it's my prayer that i start seeking eternal things more, that i start seeking God's face more, that i let God fill my God shaped vacuum.

Friday, May 30, 2008

the present.

as hilarious as this may sound, LOST has got me thinking. yes, the tv show.

the flash forwards are brilliant. i can't even begin to fathom how the writers manage to make it flow so seamlessly, keeping us guessing, speculating, intrigued. they clue us in on the future... then give us puzzle pieces to figure out how it happens.

last night, in the season finale, i found myself anxious as i watched (i'm a LOST nerd, yes), but i knew "the oceanic six" who would make it off the island, thanks to the flash forwards. i'd "seen the future" so i wasn't nervous for them. the flipside of this: in the episode before the finale, when they showed sayid and his wife, nadia, i didn't get attached to her character because i knew from the flash forwards that nadia would die soon.

what if we could flash forward in real life? i think i'd hate it. i'd start to plan my life based on what i knew would happen. perhaps i'd get too comfortable with the way things were and give up dreams because i knew how it would end up. honestly, that's a terrifying thought.

i have no idea what i'm going to do a year from now, when i'm all graduated. i mean, i could be an intern with the st. louis cardinals or i could be writing for relevant magazine or i could be a starbucks barista... here or perhaps... in ireland? haha. i know i'm going to have to worry about that soon, but for now, it's kind of exciting not having a clue what will come next. i don't normally like that feeling, but for some reason, it's oddly exciting to me.

i thank God we can't flash forward in real life. i don't want to know who i'm going to marry, how many kids i'm going to have, what career i'll end up with... not yet. i'm really ok with the present, being blake the college kid. i see all these facebook albums and relationship status updates... people my age, and younger, are getting married. yikes? i'm not ready for all that just yet. and that's really ok.

Monday, May 26, 2008

little things.

at the risk of sounding terribly trite and cheesy, i'm throwing it out there. it really is the little things that make me so glad to be home, so glad to be here, so glad to be living.

it's sitting on our front porch swing, being still, breathing deep, watching the brilliant thunderstorm roll in... appreciating.

it's driving a block farther, then looping around so i can listen to the rest of coldplay's "fix you," just so it ends perfectly as i'm pulling in the driveway.

it's watching youtube videos with mary kate shields. enough said.

these are silly little luxuries. but they're what make me smile, what put that little bounce in my step. at school last year, i often found myself just trying to get by. it was a vicious cycle of living deadline to deadline. though i definitely had some great times (and i don't mean to downplay those in any way), that's really no way to live. i was drained. praise God for a summer in st. louis. i'm beginning to feel refreshed.

Friday, May 23, 2008

mm, random.

since i'm just chilling at bread co, i decided to take advantage of the fact that i have wireless. blogging time!
randomness of my life this week:
i had high hopes of breaking my horrible caffeine addiction this summer. it's not going so well thus far. i'm thinking i should try to be a little less drastic?
work is good. i forgot how nerdy i am... i adore playing around with and editing newsletters.
i went to the doctor today. apparently, i have allergies. my throat is swollen and i'm not sick. and i sneeze allll the time. woohoo drugs.
i went to the wilco concert last saturday and sat in the 21+ section. in one word? heaven.

ok that's it for now.
ps. i love being home. :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

whirlwind?

i hate referring to my life or to school as "a whirlwind." i don't like the way that sounds... or feels. whirlwind. maybe it's because it makes me realize how fleeting life really is? anyway, i really can't think of a better term to describe life since i last wrote.

it's hard to remember all that happened. mostly, it was me struggling to keep my head above water. ever since the funeral, i've been playing catch up with school. (it's not a fun game; i wouldn't recommend it.) and then came dead week (which nearly killed me) and finals week. but SURPRISE - God is faithful. i somehow made it through and it looks like all my grades and assignments are accounted for. that is not by my own doing, friends. there are so many nights i can't believe i didn't fall asleep at my computer and so many mornings i'm shocked i didn't sleep through my alarm (which i'm known for doing). God is good.

so the last two weeks happened. and now i'm back in the lou. and honestly, i'm glad. i had a hard time coming home freshman year because i adored school and my wing (and after the accident, i just didn't want to be scattered all across the US). then last year... ireland. basically, no part of me wanted to return to US soil. but this year? i'm really ok with closing the chapter of my life known as "junior year." i had some great times, made some wonderful friends, and took some sweet classes that have sharpened my mind and softened my heart. but... it was a hard year. and it's just nice to have a breather, i guess.

so. summer 08. working part time at church again, part time nannying (hopefully?), and... taking a break from this freaking whirlwind. (i'll worry about senior year later.)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

life goes on.

isn't it strange how life goes on?  it doesn't stop when you hurt.  it doesn't stop when you leave.  it just goes on, dammit.
i just got out of my first class this week.  today is THURSDAY.  that just goes to show how far behind i am now.  teachers have been great, but that doesn't make the load less.  i just made my to do list.  it took two whole post-it notes - i had to connect them in the middle.  it was so depressing, i almost cried right in the middle of digital photo 1 class.
i got back to campus at 10:00 last night.  my closer friends were sweet and hugged me and told me they'd been praying.  but as a whole, campus was campus.  the union was hopping with laughter and energy.  i felt out of place.  like a walking zombie.  i was reentering the collegiate life after several hard days that grew me up.  
friday was one of the hardest days i can remember.  i awoke to the phone call from my mom.  "blake, honey...  mop is in heaven now.  i wanted to let you know."  what's ironic is that friday was grandparent's day at taylor.  and my other grandma was visiting.  so i had to kind of put on this happy face...  all day.  i felt like i was going to burst.  it's an awful feeling.  then when they left, i did.  what sucks is that there is no good place to cry on this campus.  sometimes all my heart needs is a good cry.  so literally the second they pulled away from campus, the tears welled up...  i climbed the outside staircase of olson hall and just sat.  i clung to the railing for awhile and sobbed.  and prayed.  and let it all out.  in a strange way, it was beautiful.  i felt like God was holding me in the palm of his hand, while i just cried and cried.
saturday was one of the best days i can remember.  yes, it was the 2 year anniversary of the accident.  but considering that last year, i was in ireland, essentially alone in my remembrance...  it was a beautiful contrast.  i was surrounded with my 1st north girls.  abby even flew in from california.  it was a sweet time that did my heart so much good.  God really knows when we need community, huh?  the sorrow of that day was overshadowed by the sharing of sweet memories and of just being.  i think i laugh the hardest when i'm with those precious girls.  God provided me the love and hugs and laughter i needed.  a hand would squeeze mine just when i needed it.  an arm would wrap around my shoulder when my mind started to drift to the next few days that would ensue.  we were definitely on the same page emotionally.  (thanks, God.  you know what you're doing.)
sunday-tuesday was a whirlwind of e-mailing profs, getting work subs, driving home, and helping prepare.  i ended up speaking at mop's funeral.  i decided about 11pm the night before.  although it was one of the hardest things i've done, i am so glad i did it.  my mom and uncle gave the eulogy, but there was a small part missing and that was what this woman meant to her 22 grandchildren.  a bunch of them came up to stand with me as i spoke on behalf of everyone.  (which i appreciated, because i almost lost it a couple times.)  i think she was honored.  and that's all i wanted to do.  she was a great grandmother who loved us all more than life itself.
and now i'm back at school.  with 14 days left.  i have absolutely no idea how that happened.  but i know God will pull me through.  even if i don't get sleep.  he'll take care of me.  i have no reason to doubt.  
and life will go on, right?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

dearest mop.

early this morning, my sweet grandma met Jesus.  she had a stroke last week and wasn't getting better, so we tried to prepare ourselves for this.  but i wasn't, really, to be honest.  i don't think you can ever prepare yourself for the phone call.  
the thought of never seeing her again breaks my heart.  some of my favorite childhood memories happened with mop and pop at their big, beautiful house on 120 plant avenue.  memories like making mickey mouse waffles on saturday mornings (after a slumber party with the grandkids the night before, of course); making secret tents out of bedsheets, scotch tape, and furniture; playing tetris and monopoly on mop's computer (in the early 90's, baby!); sleigh riding on their little hill behind the house...  i could go on for hours.  
but you know, as hard as it is...  she's free.  free from all her earthly suffering and pain.  free from physical limitations.  free to dance with Jesus.  (and that makes me jealous.)
last night, i couldn't sleep.  i never have problems sleeping; that's one thing i'm pretty darn good at.  but not last night.  i was wide awake between 2-5.30 am.  you know what's weird?  mop entered eternity at 1.20 am (2.20 my time).  i had no idea why i couldn't sleep, and i was so tired, it was annoying me.  so i prayed.  for her.  for my mom.  for my family.  and then i counted sheep.  still wide awake - something wouldn't let me drift off.  i somehow knew?  it sounds weird, but something in my heart knew...  without me really knowing.  (if that makes sense?)  my mom commented this morning how at peace she was when she left...  and how it happened at 1.20 am, which was fitting since she lived on 120 plant avenue for all those years.  i know that's probably a silly little coincidence.  but those are the things we cling to, right?  it brings me back to the beautiful memories.
so mop, you're in heaven now.  reunited with pop.  you finally made it.  and you are finally free. 
love always, your favorite, most beautiful and modest grandchild,  (how i used to sign all my cards to her)  :)
blake

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

growth.

i'm at paynes right now, sipping a foamy double caramel latte (from a mug - it's all about the mug - am i right?).  i came here with the intention of getting homework done.  then... got distracted.  i've spent the last half hour perusing my friend's blogs which i haven't looked at in weeks...  and then i went back and reread some of mine from this year.  i realized a bit of a theme.
first, if you've read from this blog at all in the past few months, you know that this year has not been an easy one.  it's been hard for many reasons.  a few of those: re-entering taylor after a beautiful semester abroad, switching wings, missing old friends, a rough classload (first semester), beginning to deal with some grief, spreading myself thin, dealing with "being homeless" all january from the flood (which really affected me more than i thought it would - it was hard being uprooted for so long; not having a real place to call my own), and just being drained - emotionally and spiritually...  even physically.  i haven't gotten a whole lot of sleep this year.  those may seem like smaller things individually, but they stack up.
i hate that this entry is all about me, but i guess this is my blog afterall.  i think this is worth noting.  you know what pattern i've been seeing?  
it seems this whole year has been one big growth experience.
even though it's been considerably harder than any of my other years here, i'm seeing that it's been good.  i can say that confidently because i know God's been working in my heart.  he's been molding it...  it's hurt, but i think that's because it's been bent a little out of shape...  in a good way.  i can feel the growth.  the Lord has changed some of what my heart aches for.  he's pushed me and stretched me in various circumstances - he's given me boldness where i would have hid before.  he's stretched me beyond what i used to be able to handle.  but he's also held out his hand when i just couldn't do it anymore.  he's held me when i had to get away from people and just cry out to him and just abide in him.
so.  all of that to say.  this year has by no means been a waste.  i never thought it was...  not completely...  but i'll be honest.  the thought has crossed my mind a few times: "what the heck and i doing here?"  am i even happy?  at times, i just felt so drained.  but God does not allow us to go through trials without growth.  and thankfully, as i'm nearing the end of this year, i'm beginning to see that.
thank you, abba father, for revealing yourself to me and proving yourself faithful time after time after time.  and thank you for growth.  you dream bigger dreams than i do.  and you knew i needed this time of personal growth.  so thank you for providing it.  help me to make the most of the rest of this year.  amen. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

heart vomit.

i don't think i've ever had so much on my mind that i can't express it.  too many thoughts and not near enough words.  i'll attempt an entry anyway.  for my sanity's sake.
 i've had so much on my heart and mind lately that i feel ADD.  as soon as i think about one thing, there's another thing.  and another.  it makes it hard to process.  i don't know why and i don't even know where to start.  i haven't blogged in awhile.
i guess i'll make a list.  i'm really into lists these days.
heart vomit:
1.  this is my first spring on campus since the accident my freshman year.  i didn't think it would be as hard as it's been, but to be honest, it's been rough.  the littlest things bring it all back.  the other day, someone mentioned taylathon coming up, and since the only other time i've experienced taylathon was right after the accident, my mind started racing.  and the fact that the prayer chapel is being built right outside my dorm room window - every hammer and bulldozer reminds me.  even the changing weather.  it sends me right back to spring my freshman year.  and it hurts.  the other night, we had an all-campus worship service.  about two songs in, i saw some old wingmates in front of us.  and then i remembered that i was sitting in almost the exact same seat i sat in that awful night when we gathered.  and waited.  and in an instant, i was back there.  it's hard for me to know how to deal with this, so i mostly bottle it inside.  i feel bad for my friends who are around me when i get in these "somber moods."  i don't feel like talking about it with anyone but my old wingmates, so i don't.  it's sacred territory - both painful and precious.  and it's been on my mind constantly.
2.  i'm also realizing that i have 6 weeks left of my junior year.  then comes the summer (and i have zero plans at this point - scary).  and then - da da daaa!  SENIOR FREAKING YEAR.  i am terribly excited about living in an apartment and taking sweet classes and just... being a senior.  but of course, my mind races beyond that and i get nervous.
3.  i went down to miami for spring break with habitat.  and holy cow, was that a sweet experience.  i'll write more about that later.  but really, i loved it so much more than i ever thought i would.  we became a family of 55.  i learned how to roof.  me.  blake bachman.  roofing.  22 hours in a van with the same people.  i never thought it could be such a beautiful experience.  minus my brother breaking his leg.  (ha- i'll write about it later, i promise.)
4.  and lately, there's been some frustrating things in my life (which i'll spare the internet from).  let's just say my journal and i have become well acquainted.
so yeah.  if i've seemed distant (which i have been on this blog for sure - ha), then it's not your fault.  it's me.  trying to figure things out.  look forward to a more upbeat post sometime soon?  i'm keeping my eye out for the sun.  i know it'll come.

Monday, March 3, 2008

sweet reunion.

i was so excited when they honked at me, i ran!

it was a beautiful weekend of randomness...

and just being together again.

even though we're scattered throughout the US now, some with new jobs and boyfriends and grad school classes, it was so great reliving the old 1NE.. just for a few days. did my heart a lot of good.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

a list.

yes, a list. of exciting things on my horizon.

1. a solid and much needed night sleep tonight.
2. haircut tomorrow. (yeah, that's right. exciting.)
3. LOST tomorrow. (best part of my thursdays. usually. sounds lame. but it's partly the best because i get to hang out with ireland friends. aaand partly because it's OUT OF CONTROL AMAZING.)
4. finding out if me and my future apartment-mates make it into the NEW university apartments! (we find out via e-mail friday.)
5. the thing i am the very most excited for: DEAR OLD GRADUATED WINGMATES COMING BACK TO TAYLOR!!! i don't know if i could put enough exclamation points behind that statement to appropriately convey my excitement. so let's just go with the three. (i really hate unnecessary exclamation points. though i am probably more excited about this weekend than i have been of anything this entire year.) julia and sam and dace and abby. they're all coming back. and it just... warms my little heart! it's going to be grand. like the old days... well, for like 3 days. but yeah. i am so looking forward to the massive bear hug attacks that will take place friday morning at chapel. it's going to be terrific.
6. going home in 2 weeks. (much needed.)
7. SB08: HABITAT!
8. BASEBALL. MARCH 31: OPENING DAY AT BUSCH STADIUM. COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED.
9. my decision to be more intentional about spending "alone time." (sounds lame, but i'm going on two hours of sleep, so bear with me. basically, i've realized that i need to spend more time with my Lord, and by myself. i can't function without it. whether it's quiet time, journaling, collaging, reading, or just driving by myself... whatever. i'm excited about being deliberate in that.)

mm, i think that's probably enough to keep me excited for now. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

sb08 = construction??

yes. it's true. i'm going on a taylor spring break missions trip to miami... with HABITAT! and i'm so.stinking.excited. we just had our first meeting tonight. as i scanned the room of faces i've never seen or met... and the faces i just want to know at a deeper level... i just got energized! the potential excites me. i love any type of event or trip that involves a team working together to accomplish a common goal and to serve our God. it's going to stretch me (a missions trip in the US that doesn't involve working with kids... but does involve using a hammer and paintbrush...) can't wait!

Monday, February 11, 2008

a mess of a blog entry.

i finally feel inspired to write. and like being vulnerable. so, with eyes near tears, sitting at a very public place (my dorm front desk)... here i go.

i've felt... hmm. i don't even know what word to use. lukewarm? weary? numbed? mentally/spiritually/emotionally out of it? i think i've done a fairly decent job at surpressing. hiding. and all the while, wondering what the heck is wrong with me. because i'm not myself.

i think i discovered part of my problem tonight.

my dear friend tracy (graduated last year) came back to taylor tonight. we went out for coffee. just talking with her... just sharing my heart... just hearing her share her heart... i am so blessed right now. (and dangerously close to tears - ha.) she shared with me how God is being faithful to her as she is taking great leaps of faith in her life. as she was talking, i could feel my heart being blessed. i can't even really describe the feeling. except that it made me feel alive. as cheesy as that sounds. and at that point, i realized something.

last year (well.. first semester last year), i went out multiple times a week with trace. we'd go to paynes. and we'd talk. she always asked me if i was in the word. she always asked me how the Lord was working in my life. even though i knew she would ask me, i was still caught off guard sometimes. i liked that, though. i needed that. and right now, i crave that.

i know it's important to talk... to write... to journal... to somehow express myself. but my "usual" friends i'd go to talk with are graduated or gone. and i haven't made an effort to set aside time to have coffee and talk with anyone else... not on a regular basis, anyway. i blame myself entirely. i also haven't been faithfully journaling. and my time in the word has been just "ok." that has to change. it all does.

i'm going to work on the whole talking thing. and being in the word more. but in the spirit of writing again, i need to get some things out in the open. a few of my "secrets," if you will.

1. i miss ireland. i'm tired of surpressing that because i think people will get annoyed when i talk about it. i miss the country, the culture, the community, the sea, the quiet times, the constant and intense beauty... i miss the independence and the times i'd sit on those massive rocks just watch the waves... just to be. i miss that more than i can say.
2. i miss laurel. i haven't talked or written about her in a long time. but that doesn't mean i don't think of her every day. my heart is healing. but that doesn't mean it doesn't still sting at times. my lack of writing about her is rooted in my feeling like i should be "getting over" the whole situation... like i should finally be ok. and time is helping for sure. but sometimes something will remind me of her... and it just hurts.
3. i miss having those older, Godly influences in my life (i'm mainly referring to my 1ne girls who graduated last year). i know that graduating is inevitable :) but it still sucks. and i still feel that void.

i have more, but i think that's more than enough for one blog entry. (but you know - just typing those out is so freeing! i'm tired of holding those inside.)

so now that i've spewed emotions all over this little blog (which is really more for my sanity's sake than anything else), i think i know what i need to do.

1. write more.
2. more coffee dates.
3. dare to miss places and people even when it hurts. (not acknowleding them hurts even more, i think.)
4. sleep more.
5. spend more time alone.
6. spend more time in the word.
7. spend less time doing homework and more time scrapbooking or collaging or writing notes... you know - the therapeutic stuff. :)
8. drink more tea. seriously. it helps.

whew. i feel so much better.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

pass that parcel.

you know those little pieces of truth you hear in sermons and talks that just stick with you?  you know - the kind you recall in the most critical times.  it can be a story or metaphor...  my mom calls them "nuggets."  haha.

well i got one today.  a good one.

in chapel, the speaker (who had the most amazing scottish accent!) gave the analogy of this british game (essentially hot potato for americans) called "pass the parcel."  in this little british party game, children pass a parcel around in a circle.  when the music stops, the object is to be empty handed.  ...did you catch that?

the object of the game - the only way to win - is to end up  empty handed.

i love this.  i almost started tearing up during this point in his message.  it was as if God was like, "here, blake.  this one's for you."  it was EXACTLY what i needed to hear.  see, i usually try to hold on to situations in my own strength.  but lately, i've felt the Lord slowly prying my fingers away...  from housing plans for next year...  from summer internships...  from relationships...  from future plans.  it's not fun, but it's freeing.  and i'm slowly learning to be okay with it.  He hasn't failed me yet.  i don't know why i worry.

so today, i prayed.  and i passed that silly parcel.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

d-o-n-e.

praise the Lord, i'm done with j-term! hello, new chapter of my year. :)

i'm off to kentucky for break! see you when i get back.

Monday, January 21, 2008

update.

so i'm back in my room now. with gray crap covering the 50+ bullet holes in our walls. and nasty/AWESOME red and yellow carpet that resembles "hotel carpet." (pictures to come, don't you worry.) but... at least we're not vagabonds anymore. which is great. and the massive dehumidifier fans are all gone. so life has returned to some form of "normal." still figuring out insurance junk. still no macbook. blah.

it's effing cold right now. single digits. kinda makes me hate indiana. (...except that pretty much everywhere is cold right now.) ah well. at least it's MLK day today. nooooo classssss.

i finally saw once. you know... that new musical set in dublin. it was.. different. but i really, really liked it. and of course it made me miss it even more... gahh.

clearly, i'm rambling now... i'm going to stop. i have more to say, but no motivation to say it. sometimes i'll be thinking about something and the next thing i know, i'm drafting a blog entry in my head. so i'm a freak? ha. don't answer that.

...more later.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

perspective.

isn't it funny what kinds of things change your perspective? it took a flooded room to change mine.

the story: last friday night, at about 1.30am, a pipe burst in the attic of my dorm. it flooded 3rd west and center and hit a bunch of rooms on 2nd west. my lucky room was one of the flooded ones. at first, i was kind of shocked. then annoyed. then... homeless. ha. now, four days later, it's still frustrating (don't know what's up with insurance and whatnot... my laptop, carpet, and potentially a bunch of other things are ruined...) but lately, i've come to realize that it's all just stuff. (and hopefully, it can all be replaced.) it sucks, but it's life. and it gave me a chance to see true community and servanthood in the wee hours of saturday morning. girls on the east side opened up their rooms to us... guys came over at 2... 3... 4am to help us clean and rip up carpet. all graciously, without complaining. it gave me another reason to be thankful i'm at taylor.

i'm still "homeless" (our rooms were deemed "unliveable" since they put in this huge inflated contraption that shoots SUPER dry into our rooms.. to pull out the water in the walls and ceiling)... and i guess i just feel really "unsettled" (my stuff is spread throughout 3 or 4 rooms)... but i'm ok. and alive. and so are the rest of the girls. so life is good, right? oh! and it's my birthday. i'm totally 21. :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

ah, taylor.

it's grand to be back. :)