Sunday, April 29, 2007

Spring!!! :)

"Daisies...they're the happiest flowers, don't you think?"

Hooray for the wildflowers I picked on the way home Friday-- daisies absolutely make my day, and there's a field FULL of them, and blue cornflowers, which I pass every day on the way to school. Mom keeps our yard brimming with primroses and verdena and daffodils this time of year...all in all it made for some lovely bouquets. Praise Jesus for beauty everywhere!

(<-- I picked enough for my Mom, my nightstand (aka my Ryan-shrine ;D, AND my daisy-vase) Somewhere along my life I picked up the line from the old nursery rhyme, "...and she shall have music wherever she goes," and as I gathered these daisies in the glory of an April afternoon, the line changed, quite sweetly, to "...and she shall have daisies wherever she goes." Oh to be so blessed... :)

"If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom. ~Audra Foveo


"Earth laughs in flowers."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Hamatreya"


"Consider the lilies of the field; they neither toil nor spin, neither do they labor, yet I tell you that Solomon in all his splendor was never dressed such as these..."

"Not worlds on worlds, in phalanx deep,
Need we to prove a God is here;
The daisy, fresh from nature's sleep,
Tells of His hand in lines as clear."
~John Mason Good ("Naturalist's Poetical Companion")

Daisies on my Table

As Emma Goldman said, "I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck!" :)

Well, I'd rather have daisies. :)

This is my daisy-vase, which I sorely missed in Louisville. St. James Ct. in all its lovliness was only lacking in this one respect: no daisies!

"...and daisy-stars, whose firmament is green.
~Thomas Hood Plea of the Midsummer Fairies

(p.s. the picture is from a painting 'Primavera' by Boticelli-- she reminds me of the Flower-Child in MacDonald's
The Lost Princess)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Senior Melancholy

I attended the Furman Singers Concert last night with my parents, and it was strange and somewhat bitter to sit in the audience rather than stand with them and sing. The sounded AMAZING, and as we've had most of this music since Fall, they knew their parts well enough to be able to mix the choir (voice parts interspersed) which inevitably makes a choir sound even better!! Yeah. They're good all right! Anyway, afterwards Dr. Vick called up all the alumni or former Singers to join them for our traditional "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "Brown Eyes," and it was fun to join my friends, though I was the only soprano on that side of the stage... I think I may have made up some harmony. I could hear my friend Ryan (c/o 2005) making up words behind me, lol. Afterwards several of my friends --one who's a senior with me, another stood by me in Singers, and another is in my studio-- grabbed me and told me they miss me and what's goin' on and how weird it is to be done with another year... That made me smile. Though in many ways I feel as if I've already moved on from Furman's music dept., it will be sad to make that final break on June 2nd. Here's the Schoonmaker Studios at our Christmas Party (Dr. Bruce is my voice teacher, his wife Gail is another voice prof at Furman and we always do joint studio parties) this past Dec. So much fun!

Only a few more "events"... Senior Banquet was last week, Student Teacher Banquet on Mon., Singers Banquet in May, Graduation... then it's the Dispersion! ... It's not that those events are so important in and of themselves, but somehow they stand for something-- what's that called? Part standing for the whole? Hmmm... Time to be thankful for all the good memories, and look forward to the ones comin' up!! :)


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What's In a Name?

I'd just like to mention that my sister (Anna) and her friends have strange ideas about pet names. Anna just got a fish which they named Harvey. Last Thursday Anners & I went over to Kristen (also a senior at Southside Christian with Anna)'s house to meet her new kitten, which was TINY!! Anyway, it's named Warren. At least unless they determine it a girl. I thought that was a funny name (because the only two Warrens I know are 20-somethings who are completely NOT kitten-like). However, they maintained that it was a great pet name. So there you go.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Last week, I got a mysterious Facebook "friending" (for those of you who don't know what that means... ask an internet-savvy nerd/teenager near you) from someone... but I didn't know the name, and there was no picture to back it up, and no friends on her page I recognized. So I sent her a message asking how we knew each other. The response was an apologetic "No wonder you didn't recognize me! No pictures and a new last name!" It was my friend Amanda, whom I lost touch with when I moved to Kentucky -- come to find out she's had a year full of even more changes than I have! I was thrilled to hear she's still seeking the Lord, is now quite happily married, living in Atlanta, and doing wonderfully!! She also caught me up on the life of a mutual friend, Kelsey, and it's her blog I'd like to give a shout-out. Kelsey's in Denver, Colorodo, working in a ministry called "the Esther House." This house ministers to women coming out of poverty and destructive lifestyles, giving them not just rehab, therapy and "support," which any "half-way house" can do, but also giving them the one thing powerful enough to set them free: the Gospel. You can read more about it yourself by clicking the links of this post's title, or the link to the left (sidebar). The Esther House is part of a vision much like the one Immanuel Baptist (Louisville, KY) has-- to move into the inner city and reach its community with the Gospel of Hope. Oh for that vision to burn through America's suburban, wealthy "safe" churches!!

It's always fun to 'reconnect' with old friends, especially when you get to become friends with those who were once only acquaintances, or find that old friends are doing well! When you understand and treasure the Sovereignty of God, such meetings aren't happy happenstances, but rather intentionally orchestrated path-crossings of a relational, kind God. Jacqui and I were talking just the other day about how much "ordinary" becomes "miraculous" when you look at life this way: acts of God on behalf of His Kingdom and People, meriting praise and thanksgiving! When God does everything, what exactly does "ordinary" mean, anyway?

Hmmm... it could look "miraculous" for two people living completely separate lives to find that they are being simultaneously caught up in similar visions, in two entirely separate communities. (I'm thinking of Immanuel in Kentucky, and Kelsey in Colorodo) Sort of like Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz both coming up with calculus at the same time, completely independantly of one another. Way too weird a 'coincidence.' BUT on close examination, even if the two didn't ever interact, they were both drawing from the same body of research, and living in a time that encouraged the lines of thinking that led each man to his similar conclusions. I guess we wouldn't call it too strange if two men drew the same picture looking at the same mountain... My point? The Church should be looking at the same Glorious God all the time, and so should beat with a strikingly similar rhythm a remarkably resemblant tune. I love that we're living in a Day and Age where Christ's Kingdom and renown is expanding, and there will be more and more moments of Christians meeting with similar visions-- soldiers under the same marching orders. God in His Sovereignty, is re-connecting all the World with His Order-- let us look and work towards that complete Redemption; a New Creation!

"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, that you love one another... Father, I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and You in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see My glory that You have given Me ..." Jn. 13:35, 17:21-24

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Very Interesting...

Funny how randomly you come across things...

I came across this thought provoking blog-entry because its author commented on another friend's blog...gotta love linkage (there's to you, Toto). My friend Lisa is in Indonesia right now, learning the language, and bein' a nanny for some other friends of mine, Andy & Emily Morris. They're in Indonesia learning the language as well, looking to be church-planters there. Anyway, she writes well, takes great pictures, and will encourage you if you read them.

So neither here nor there, here's an excerpt I found quite thought-provoking. I've noticed a problem with some of my guy friends drifting from church, and also bemoaned the lack of godly encouragement between men that I know, even if they do go to the same church. You can access the full article by clicking on the date below. Thoughts?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I understand your sentiment about the shot clocks and about the "drive through" church. but what if someone were to come here that normally wouldn't come to a "normal" church like you and i attend. whatif they came and were so intrigued that they began to change their life and began to worship God in the way that He wants us to and then joined in fellowship with a "real" church? there could be some validity in this process. just a thought. -brandon

... Amen, that is exactly what is happening at Church for Men. I am one of the organizers. Men are coming who have not been to church in 9 to 11 years. They are not only finding Godly men and encouragement. They are finding home churches. -Mike Ellis, Church for Men Florida [...]

here is their website if you would like to look around.

the website addresses a concern that i myself have had for quite awhile. the content of much of the modern "praise and worship" movement filled with language of a dating relationship that if a non-believer were to walk in, it would be unclear if we were singing about god or our boyfriend/girlfriend. this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

so with the "church for men" i can stand in agreement with this.

i also think it is a valid concern that so many men who call themselves believers do not attend church with their families. again, i can stand with the "church for men" on this.

the website poses these "big questions"

• What is it about modern Christianity that is driving men away?
• Jesus was a magnet to men, but our churches repel them. What’s changed?
• Why do rival faiths inspire male allegiance, while ours breeds male indifference?
• What can we do about it? [...]
why is that that our church rolls are three times larger than the actual attendance? why is it that those who call themselves believers or identify themselves as christians don't live like it? what does the church need to teach and do to hold its members accountable?

all of this to say that my concern with "the church for men" is less with the questions that they are asking, but more with the solutions being provided. as stated in the news article, the church for men says that men aren't going to church because they are "bored stiff" [...]

is this a valid excuse?

our first question must be, why go to church?

it is for the worship of god that we go to church. [...] the new testament is clear that it is the teaching of the scriptures that holds prominence, and everything that is done when a church meets is ultimately done for god.

if we have to be coddled and convinced and accommodated before we go even once a month, are we even going for the right reasons?

men are supposed to be the spiritual leaders of their family. what kind of leadership is it that goes to church by itself once a month to a church that does things his way? [...]

the church, we often forget, is (biblically) made up of believers. the gathering of the saints is for worship by believers. however, in our pragmatic society, we have gotten things backwards. our church services have gone from the biblical model of the gathering of believers to worship and hear the word of god in order that they be taught, reproved, corrected, and trained in righteousness (just read paul's instructions to timothy and titus), to focusing on getting the lost into our churches and doing whatever it takes to keep them there with the hope that they will be converted.

this is a concern that does need to be addressed. of course a church should welcome all who want to come, but the church is made up of believers! the church is to train the believers who come in all matters of the faith, including evangelism, so that as these members go out to work, school, and the community, they are witnessing and sharing the gospel.

the church in the new testament was not an evangelistic gathering. it was a gathering of believers. [...]what i am saying is, a church that focuses, develops, and directs its corporate worship to a gathering of non-believers is neglecting the people the church exists to benefit.

i am all for organizations making an effort to evangelize and spread the gospel to non-believers. there are many groups that do this. [...] but they are not churches....

the unifying purpose of the church is the glory of god, and that is something all christians have in common. there is something to be said for "dying to self", even in the context of how we order our worship services."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Easter Break

You'd think I've been offline awhile, judging by my activity on my blog, or lack thereof. I've been "online" for sure, but online applying for jobs, registering for tests (yet another Praxis, urg), answering emails, filling in lesson plans (I HATE LIVETEXT), and...catching up on Facebook. ;)

I set off Wednesday before Easter (after a lovely breakfast with my Mommy) for the beautiful state of Kentucky, to (YAY) spend a few days there, seeing my favorite person in the world (Ryan, duh), and also my beloved Shueys! I spent the nights in my old apartment, #3 on dear 1463 St. James Court with my summer roommate Ashlea. We got to do the girly giggle thing-- she's one of the best people to talk to in my book, because she lets me go on about Ryan, and joins in freely :) -- and I got to make her breakfast, and spice up my coffee with the creamer she always keeps stocked. Louisville in Springtime is glorious!

Sina & Dave threw us an engagement party, with the most amazing assortment of GLUTEN-FREE goodness this girl has ever seen. Mocha Cream Pie, Apple Spice Cake, Chocolate-Pecan Pie, and coffee! ...yum!! Rob let me steal a little bit of his pies that I hadn't tried. It was wonderful to get to talk to people from Immanuel I hadn't seen since November, especially talking to them WITH Ryan. I love having shared friends with him! Lauren came, too-- my first Louisvillian friend (Ken & Raegan can't count). Ryan & I had dinner with his college roommate Josh, his wife Jessica, and their beautiful twins Alli and Caitlyn-- I've heard so much about them, and I'm afraid Josh's probably had an earful about me. Like so many others, they went to Boyce (the undergrad college of Southern BT Seminary), came to Immanuel, and now are somewhere else... [All those goodbyes aren't something I look forward to, by the way. But if it's for the sake of the Kingdom expanding, I'll be glad in it.] At first, it was pretty hard for me to not have many shared friends and memories with Ryan-- we've spent over 20 years building separate lives. But as we've persevered, and made efforts to blend our lives, I've come to see that we have twice as many opportunities to be blessed this way, AND that there is no lack of memories to be made together! Early in our relationship Ryan wrote me a note about building a memory coloring book, of pictures of all sorts of memories we color in. I thought that was a fun way to put it. :)

This Easter Ryan and I drove through HEAVY snow across the Alleghenies to Abingdon, VA to spend Easter weekend with his grandparents. I got to meet them, and his aunt Karen and two cousins Kasey & Kelly. Ryan's grandma gave me a photo album full of family pictures. That blew me away-- I love it! There's one picture of 2-year-old Ryan in Mr Potato Head glasses that I think is hilarious. I wished SO hard I had a camera through all this! Then I could add literal pictures to reinforce our "memory book." Oh, well. (Jessica and Grandma, if you have any copies of the pictures you took, and could send them, I'd be THRILLED!!) Our memories are full of GORGEOUS scenery-- there couldn't have been a more beautiful week for me to spend 24 hours in a car, or a more beautiful route-- Kentucky, Tenessee, Virginia, and the Carolinas are all absolutely breathtaking this time of year. Though we would've appreciated better driving conditions Friday night (the road was hardly visible through the dark and falling snow at times), all the frozen waterfalls and hanging icicles along the highway were beautiful. And cold weather is great for snuggling. ;D

A fun "page" we added was...the time Ryan and I were registering at Target on his lunch break before I drove back to Greenville, aka this Monday. It was still chilly, but warm enough that Ryan took off his jacket and decided to leave it in the truck. As he's drilled into my head, I locked my door before closing it. He got his wallet and phone out of his jacket pocket, and tossed the jacket in. Just as I closed the locked door, he said "wait!" Too late!! Keys in pocket, locked in truck... my purse, with my keys (needed for me to drive home!) was locked in there, too. "I said wait..." "But it was already closing..." "Ok, so we mutually locked our keys in the car." We both laughed quite heartily-- he looked at me and said "Christina, we are now "that couple"" HAH! Don't worry, Target sells screwdivers, and Ryan was able to force a window to get everything out ok... and we registered (that gun is fun!). I had to hurry my intended past the videogame aisle, though...

More later. Time for kindergardeners!
--"Miss Thompson"

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Quick Update from the Tower Cafe

Tuesday over already? It's gone so fast...I must've hit the ground running...


It's beautiful here (at Furman)! Springtime around this campus always is. Wedding plans (and lesson plans) are coming along... Ryan & I got a good deal done towards marriage prep: we registered (one down, two more stores to go), finalized our invitation design (and will order them hopefully by the end of the week!), looked at two house possibilities, and discussed everything from attendant gifts to reception menus to questions I - II on "The List" we have.

My mom said the wedding dress store called this morning and said The Dress is in and beautiful! I can't wait to pick it up...when they turn the fountains on here at Furman I'd like to go ahead and try to get portraits made before it gets hot. Looking at HOUSES was weird! To think that a boy and I are talking about colors and kitchens and what kind of furniture and flooring we want, and it ISN'T wishful thinking or jumping the gun... it's so unreal, and so much fun! We've found two we like, and Ryan's meeting with all sorts of people to discuss options this week. I'm so blessed to have a fiance that's been disciplined in his savings and lifestyle, so that buying a house is even an option right off the bat! That's SUCH a I do NOT want to take for granted! Same with my parents and their provision for paying for a wedding.

I'm kicking myself because I didn't take any pictures while I was up there. I want to take a trip at the end of the month with one of my sisters to pick out color schemes and all that... As far as wedding plans being hard, yeah, there've been some snags lateley- differences of opinion all around, disappointments and compromises. I was a crying mess last night. Poor Ryan...oh!! I miss him!

Pray for me-- I don't want to be divided! Pray for us all. When four sets of ideas come together (and no, that's not me, Mom, Nicole & Anna as Victor Abarotin joked-- but me, Ryan, my parents, his parents), there's bound to be conflict, even if it's as amicable and low-level as it has been for us. Ok... better go tweak my 1st-2nd grade lesson plan just didn't work ideally today.

--"Miss Thompson"