Hola, Néih hóu, Bula, Bonjour, Aloha, Konnichi wa, Mogethin, Kia Ora, Hi

-Hola, Néih hóu, Bula, Bonjour, Aloha, Konnichi wa, Mogethin, Kia Ora, Hi-
No matter what your language, cadence, or creed, I'm glad you're here =)

"She's tired of flat lands and cornfields, Seashells traced in snow. She wants more bugs on her windshield, She don't want to go alone...She talks about her waterfall fountain, And her house out on the bay. She's in love with broken glass mountains, Fireplace cafes."

Translation, please!

Monday, August 20, 2012

10,000 Reasons

There's a song we sing at church that I really, really love. It's called 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redmond and this is a link to a YouTube video of it. Musically speaking, I honestly prefer the way I've heard it in worship rather than the original, but that is mostly because I love drums. But that doesn't matter because the lyrics are what make this song so close to my heart.

"Bless the Lord, oh my soul, oh my soul. Worship His holy name. Sing like never before, oh my soul. I'll worship Your holy name."

Something about that resonates with me. Maybe it's the desire to somehow repay God for the good He's done. Maybe it's an attempt to display complete adoration of my King. I don't really know, but every time I think of these words, something stirs in my heart and I am moved beyond belief.

This might sound natural to those of you who have experienced something similar, and would probably sound totally insane to those of you who haven't. But the presence and love of God is very, very real.

I can't think of words that accurately describe the pull I feel, or the reaction I have to certain things. But I do know this - as much as they well something up in my spirit, I have no idea what they mean.

I have no idea how to "bless the Lord." I can't fathom how my weak and human and sinful soul could bless the highest power, the most loving Father.

I started thinking about this about a month ago, and I still don't have an answer, but I have a theory. The sermon at church isn't online yet so I can't give you a link. But let me tell you, I am the luckiest girl alive to have such an incredible, dedicated, and wise community around me. Anyhow, the sermons on Sunday centered around God as a Father.

One of the men preaching told a story about his young daughter had cut her foot and he had to take her into the ER for stitches. She was only about 6 years old and she was scared [and really, who can blame her? No one, that's who]. But she pulled closer to her dad, and he drew closer to her and it was a natural response because even though there was pain coming, they love each other. He said that even though it was scary and his little girl was in pain, it was one of his fondest memories of the two of them and he was so blessed by her closeness.

And THAT is my thought process. That God loves His children and it's that simple. That our Father is blessed by his kids' love, by our closeness.

It's not some tradsies thing, it's not some kind of test or gamble. It's really just love. And from that love stems our obedience and the beautiful, beautiful thing that is relationship with God.

Cool, huh? =)

Thanks for reading =)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Camping recap and a small smorgasbord of emotions.

The last few days, I've been camping with my family and a couple of friends. I always look forward to camping, I'm always up for an adventure. But it seems that year after year, trip after trip, I end up sick. It seems that my body doesn't adjust well to different germs, but alas.

The trip was only four days, but we just did too many fun things to mention all of them. My brother caught and killed his first fish, we saw a UFO [almost definitely not, but it looked like no other flying vehicle I've ever seen before], went canoeing [fell out of the canoe as well], and really just got to spend some time away from the every day. Which was lovely =)

One thing I was struck by though, was how much I missed the regular crew of people I pray with and hang out with. I mean, we were only gone four days, and we knew we were coming home. It wasn't like, "we're leaving and we're not sure when we're coming back." And I had my family plus a couple extras with me, so it's not like I was lonely. But I was really hit pretty solidly how important that particular group of people is to me, and how much my life is impacted by their presence. I've never been so challenged in my life, and I've never been more committed and on board with a cause as I am right now. They're my team mates and some of my best friends and I KNOW that they have my back and that they love me.

That being said, I came home to a video that my lovely friend had posted on Facebook and I was really impressed with the eloquence and wit that this woman conveyed her message with. Waiting for the man God has for us is something that I think most girls my age [of all ages really] have a hard time with, and I'm sure there's more than a few men who struggle with the same thing. This woman does such a good job being funny and being wise and encouraging, even if you're not a fan of spoken word, I strongly suggest you give her a listen.

Thanks for reading =)

Saturday, August 11, 2012


On Monday, August 6th 2012, I experienced something semi horrific, but mostly hilarious. I was at Applebees with some friends for trivia night. The evening was winding down and the game was wrapping up and I had to make a trip to the ladies' room. So off I went, minding my own business.

Now, I have this irrational fear that I will somehow end up in the men's restroom in public places. I often have a sudden jolt of fear, "Am I in the right bathroom? Are those women's feet in the stall next to me?" This time was no different, I walked into the stall and noticed the seat was up and had my little mini panic session. Shoulder helper number one made an appearance and whispered, "Don't be dumb, Netti. It's the end of the night, they just cleaned the bathrooms." That was good enough for me, I went about my merry way and finished my business. 

I was so very lost in my own world that I didn't even hear another person enter the room. I exited the bathroom stall and headed for the sink When, to my horror, I noticed a man - a MAN - standing at a urinal - I repeat, URINAL.

That's right. I was INSIDE the men's restroom at Applebees, and hadn't noticed until I had to walk behind a man standing at the urinal. He glanced over his shoulder slightly, but I don't know if he saw me, apparently men don't make eye contact in the bathroom =P 

It didn't compute at first. My thought process went kind of like, what is that man doing in the bath-OH MY GOSH I'M IN THE MEN'S ROOM.

And then I was faced with the dilemma of hand washing. I had already been en route to the sink, but had changed course to the door, but then every ounce of habit revolted and I went back to the sink, when shoulder helper number two yelled, "ARE YOU CRAZY?! You're in the men's bathroom! Do NOT wash your hands, RUN!"

So I did.

I booked it right out of that bathroom and walked calmly [but briskly =P] back to my table where I promptly applied hand-sanitizer and texted my mom the story. Who, then told me that my dad had picked up her phone and had dissolved into laughter =P

However, that is not the end of the story.

We finished the night, and one of the teams of friends sitting near by had been one of the runner ups. A man approached them and began explaining to them that when their team wins second or third place, they give their prize to the runner up. I looked to see who this man was, and it was HIM. So again, I did the sane thing, and ran. 

My brother found me outside and laughed at my embarrassment, as well as laughed with me over the awkwardness of the situation.

True story, I can't make this stuff up, I love my life. 

Thanks for reading =)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The demon wasps of Green Peter

It began with a group of friends wanting to enjoy the sun in Oregon's fleeting summer. And if we caught a few fish in the process, that would make the outing that much sweeter.

We met too early in the morning, which accounted for our goofy behavior, but I feel that goofy is one of the better emotions to begin the day with. The seven of us (Myself, Jay, Kessi, Jon, Jeremiah, Megan, and Calvin) caravan-ed our two cars out to Albany where we added an eighth member (Josiah) to our crew. A quickish stop at the store and we were off!

We stopped at a little diner for breakfast right off the highway...I actually have no idea what the place was called, but it was phenomenal. We did have to wait a while for our food, but it was well worth the wait. Our portions were more than generous (I gave half of mine to the fellas I was sitting with) and the prices were more than fair. Many of us opted for the "Super Special" which consisted of two eggs, two links, and a giant (I mean GIANT) pancake (one pancake was probably the size of 4 normal ones.) for a grand total of $4.25.

We made our way to Green Peter Reservoir, passing through Lebanon and parts of Sweet Home, and ended at a place called Thistle Creek. I'll admit, I did choose the spot partially because of its name. I just really like thistles. And it didn't disappoint! I did see one thistle off the trail, and that was enough for me =)

We parked in a nearly empty parking lot - where there was no fee for the day use area! - and unloaded. My poor little sister started feeling sick so she stayed up top in the picnic area with a book. But the rest of us grabbed snacks, fishing poles, and swim suits and headed down the trail.

There is a reason the area is called "Green Peter", the water is colored a stunning emerald green and looks like sea glass from higher up the mountain. The view was terrific and I was, not for the first time this summer, struck by how lovely our state is and how incredibly glad I am to live here. We settled on a spot that we felt could have some decent fishing advantages as well as swimming space for those who weren't fishing.

Megan and I had gone back up the trail a ways to make sure that where the guys were headed was where we wanted to settle for fishing, and we decided that they were right and the place they were at would do. So we went back and began the little climb down to the water.

The park we were at was heavily wooded and although the trail was clearly marked and well maintained, the trees around it were showing signs of the warm months. The fallen trees had become mossy and rotten during the winter, but had dried up and turned brittle in the summer heat. It was messy, but definitely looked safe and harmless. I looked at where the guys had climbed down and saw a spot just barely up the trail that looked like a more gradual climb and I thought that would be better seeing as both Megan and I had our hands full.

We began to tromp through the corroded mess, excited to have a grand old time. We walked past this old fallen log and I leaned on it for support as I tried to decide where my foot should step next. This was when things took a turn.

Megan gave a short shriek and I asked, "you ok?"

"There was a bug. Oh my gosh, it bit me!"

I turned around to brush whatever was on her off, and was met by something I had not anticipated. Black wasps, so big I thought they were beetles at first, were swarming around my friend, covering her back and landing on her arms.

I reached for her to help, but she was already running back up the hill. That was when they began to come after me.  I hadn't realized we were in trouble until I felt the panic of not being able to get them off me. I dropped my things, abandoning them where Megan had hers, and ran. Megan reached the top and ran right, I ran left, both of us trying to get the nasty creatures off of our skin. My brother heard our screams from the bottom of the hill and had been hollering, asking what was wrong. Somehow, I don't know if Megan or I had screamed that there were bees, or if he had seen them chasing us, but he figured it out and began yelling instructions.

"TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF!" Came the order from the water. I was already ahead of him there and had stripped off my flannel, leaving it on the trail and running away from the mess of stingers and sharp teeth (or whatever wasps have in their mouths). I stood at the top of the hill shaking, watching the wasps swarm around our abandoned things. I'm not sure who asked what, they guys' voices were kind of mushed together in my brain at this point, and I couldn't see any of them. But someone asked if we were ok and what we wanted to do and all I could think was that I wanted my fishing pole. Which was just plain silly because there was no way I was going to venture back down there for a fishing pole and knowing how the stings felt, I was definitely not going to ask anyone else to.

It is no secret that I have a very -healthy in my opinion- fear of flying insects, especially things that can hurt me, specifically bee and wasp type creatures. I thought I was scared then, but that the worst was over and soon they'd settle and Megan and I would be able to walk down where the guys had previously stepped and it would be fine. It was right then that a few wasps began to fly around my head, landing on my arms. I ran a few steps down the trail - my scream alerting the guys (who were waiting for the wasps to settle so they could come up to us) and I heard Jeremiah say that they might have marked us. Apparently wasps and some bees are not only equipped to sting over and over without losing their stinger and dying, but they also mark their enemies so that they can find them by smell and finish off the job. I'm fairly certain I was marked as a threat because they chased me. Literally. I ran, and they flew in a straight line behind me.

When I couldn't hear them anymore, I stopped running to catch my breath and try to sort out what was happening in my brain. I can't remember the last time I've felt so terrified. You can call me a big wuss if you want, but this was horrific for me. So I stood there watching my hand shake and trying not to cry, when *Bonk!* ANOTHER ONE HIT ME. I didn't take the time to count, I just ran. I know I heard my brother yelling something, but I don't know what or if it was to me or not.

They took care of poor Megan, who got stung much more than me, and in much worse places. But she was able to stay pretty close by because I suppose they were too busy chasing me to keep bothering her. Once the guys had given her neosporin and made sure she wasn't going to have a heart attack, my brother came to find me. I was a fair distance back up the trail by the time he found me =P But he was really good at being a calming presence and telling me to buck up at the same time. We headed back down the trail where Megan met us with neosporin and deodorant (Thanks to Jeremiah! Apparently deodorant helps to hide the scent that they use to mark enemies so we weren't such a target anymore.) When we got back to the "path" to the water, we were met by Calvin risking being stung and retrieving our things. Both with his hands and long sticks =P What a guy =)

I did my best to kind of patch Megan up, she got stung up her back and a couple of places on the back of her arms that she couldn't reach. We picked up our newly rescued things and walked carefully down to the water, where Megan and I spent pretty much the entire day. We were glad for the water both because of paranoia/fear and because the cool temperature was soothing on our war wounds. We spent the day floating on a log and performing acrobatic tricks that required great skill also on said log, and watching the fellas create a raft and paddles from various logs and materials they found.

Despite the pain and fear, it really was an incredibly fun day. I am so blessed by the friendship I have with these guys (and Megan and Kessi!). It is so awesome to know that I have so many men in my life who are protective of me and care enough for me to have my back and take care of me when I'm hurt or scared.

We plan on going back to Green Peter someday, Megan wants to, in her words, "extract my revenge and kill them all!" and we also want to fish and enjoy the beauty of the place without worrying about everything we hear buzz.

Thanks for reading =)

P.S. Yes, I know we did destroy the wasps' home and they had every right to defend it - I apologized to them, but I don't speak wasp so I think my meaning got lost in translation.

Also, in case anyone is interested, we're pretty sure this is what got us. Apparently they have one of the most painful stings in the wasp family. This made us feel much less like big babies for whining about the pain just when the wind blew across our injuries =P