I find more and more every day that the Grace of God is ever present and unceasing. He is giving me the desires of my heart and molding me into a vessel although ever flawed, ever aims to be more like Him. For a long time I have made my aim something of this world and something totally worthless; like a college degree to make me feel better than a girl who I used to go to school with, or a job that makes me lots of money to show people that I am smart and have the skills to be successful. The more time I spend with Jesus and reading God’s own Word, I find that all of these things are in vain if they are not done solely for the glory of God. No wonder I have felt aimless and confused and have questioned my reasons for doing the things that I do and what purpose they serve. I am more excited than ever to follow God and His plan for me in whatever I do. Sometimes, I have so little faith that the same God who made the universe and is so worthy of praise that even the mountains and trees praise Him, and often I doubt that He is big enough to care for me and guide my steps. I will never truly understand how big or how awesome God is, but I know that I will see glimpses of His Glory and His Grace and His Provision all throughout my life. I have no doubt of that.
Here are some of the yummy black and white photos that I edited from Australia the other day. I really like these even more than the last ones. I love the slightly warm tone and the shapes in all of these. I should say that the first photograph is of a lovely white building in Fitzroy, which is a suburb of Melbourne. There were lots of neat shops in Fitzroy, and it was really homey and sort of hippie-like, and looked well lived in. It was sort of dingy, but it had so much character.
The second photograph is especially special to me. I was at Mungo Lake, a World Heritage site where some of the oldest traces of Aboriginal life have been found. I walked across the dunes and saw piles of cracked emu egg shells where the people who lived there so long ago had sat and eaten them and I saw a small dune where a burial site was located among many other things. I also saw miles and miles of empty lake bed where there had once been a considerable sized lake. But when I got to the top of the dunes and was away from the group a little ways it was quiet. I was with Gail Farran, one the TAFE Institute workers, and she and I decided to walk on the dunes the way the Aborigines would have walked on them. Barefoot. We took off our shoes to brave the winter breeze and the coolness of the sand. It was amazing to be in a place like that and to imagine people living there and standing where I had stood. The lines in the sand seemed to tell a story of lots of time and lots of people past. It was my favorite time in Australia. Quite moving actually.
The last photograph is of one of my friends on the trip, Megan. We had the most in common I think and we loved wandering around taking photos of anything and everything. On our last night in Australia, we made tea and drank it on the balcony of our apartment. That night the Australia and New Zealand footie game was going on and so there were a TON of people in the city for the game. We had sat down for tea when the game let out and all of these people were making their ways through the city streets back to hotels and apartments for the night. Now, Megan and I were 9 stories up in a nice little apartment with two balconies, one that overlooked some other apartments, and the one we were on overlooked some beautiful old goverment buildings and also the dumpsters straight down. We sat and drank our tea and Megan smoked and we were enjoying the nice humid air when were heard some men down in the alley. They were laughing and carrying on, mostly drunk sounding, and seemed to be getting further into the alleyway near where the dumpsters were. Megan and I looked over to see three men peeing behind the dumpters! Of course it was quite dark and we were 9 stories up, so naturally we didn’t see anything but we positively howled with laughter. We couldn’t believe it! She and I were laughing so hard that we were crying and when we looked over the egde again, the guys were looking up to see what the ruckus was. I think they knew we were laughing about them. It was quite the tea time I must say! But those are the stories behind the photographs that I love so much. Look for more to possibly come later…
I am in such a mood to listen to my old records but I haven’t found a record player that I liked yet. I don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on one right now anyway, so I’ll just keep waiting. There are some really cool players out there that will record the original vinyl record into an MP3 right on your computer! I was listening to some old 40’s music on XM Radio this morning. Some of the artists who I have records of were on and I wished I could hear a nice, warm, crackly, hissing version of the song. One of these days I will. I like how old records have strange noises going on while you play them and in between tracks, there is always still some sort of noise going on. You can hear the texture and shape of the vinyl itself. I have always been fascinated with it. Oh! I am so excited! I am going to go on a hike this weekend up north of here to a place I have never been. It’s all go’s unless somebody gets sick or something. It’ll be nice to have a hike. I have to start doing my taxes here soon too. I am going to try not to wait to the last minute. Well, I should probably clean up the wreck of a room that I in the middle of since I won’t have time the rest of the week.
Well dangit, I just got over having a cold a couple of weeks ago, and now I have an acute throat infection. At least that’s what the doctor said. They put me on antibiotics for 5 days and so hopefully that will get rid of this crud. I hope I can go hiking this next weekend on a hike out near Sheep’s Bridge and Seven Springs. I guess there is a cave out there that Heath and Myke said was supposed to be really neat. I hope I can go. I have been missing hiking a lot and really want to get outside. Well, I should go drink some more water and juice. Maybe I’ll do some Bible study while I have a lot of quiet time on my hands. Watching this show on TV about killer volcanoes is a little depressing.
OK, so last night was the Superbowl and I was invited to a friend’s house for a party. After the party had gotten well underway, a family of friends who I know showed up with their young daughter to join into the fun. Izza is about 11 or so and she is a real sweetie, but she and I didn’t want to watch football so we decided to get a pool game together. Izza had never played pool before, so I told her I would teach her. Heath and Julie played on a team against us, and Izza and I decided to be the underdogs. Now an inporant part of this story is a detail about how we watched the game. From the patio where the pool table is, you can see the TV in the office and so in-between turns we would watch what everyone in the living room was yelling about on the game. Izza and I were doing great and then we had the curse of the 8-ball. She had even made a tough shot while leaning backwards over the edge of the table (her own concocotion of course) and didn’t even scratch! We had gotten all of our balls into the pockets and we only had the formidible black ball to get into the last pocket. As I took the shot that I thought couldn’t be made, the cue ball glanced off of the cursed 8-ball and slid right into the side pocket. Just as Izza and I started to rejoice on our win (finally), the Cardinals made a much needed touchdown and so everyone inside started yelling and screaming too! Both of these events happened within a half-second of each other. You should have heard the commotion!!! Of course, Izza and I ran in to tell her mom that she had just won her first pool game ever since we didn’t really care about the football game. It was so much fun to play with her and teach her the game so she could play with us “big” kids. It is sort of strange to be a “big” kid now that the younger kids look up to and think are “old”. I remember being her age and thinking that people who were in their 20’s seemed so neat because they were grown-ups, but they still liked to have fun. I hope that I can be a mature “big girl” that Izza can look up to. I really love being around her and her family. It was a fun night that ended with some mad games of Taboo and Cranium. Joe and Heath and I played against Liz, Jake and another girl whose name I sadly don’t remember right now. It was so funny watching Jake try to act out his impression of John Wayne and Julia Childs, and to watch Heath draw an picture of tug-of-war. We all laughed so hard. It was good fun and a great time spent with awesome friends. I am so thankful for the time that I have to spend with the people who are such blessings in my life.
I had a blast tonight! I laughed harder than I had in a while. I went and played mini-golf and raced go-karts at CrackerJax. Of course, golf turned the into ultimate mini-golf game with all of us trying to keep the others’ golf balls from going into each hole. After we had a mad game of golf and had our own VERY competitive version of the Indy 500, we went to In-N-Out for burgers. Also, a very hilarious experience. Jake was talking about some movie and the bad word in it and then he kept talking about it under his breath. So just to be funny, but let him know that I didn’t really like it, I poked him with a french fry. I think it hurt a little more than I wanted it to, since it was a little over-cooked and it sorta decintigrated when I smashed it into the side of his face. I felt kinda bad, but I also thought it was crass to say a word like that even in talking about a movie. I said I was sorry since it hurt. After the seven of us ate we sat around for a while and talked and then Brandon all of a sudden says to me, “Your hair makes you look like a witch.” All I could do was start to laugh. I knew that I was having a bad hair day, but I didn’t know it was that bad. Of course he said I looked like a good witch, so at least he tried to redeem himself. We finished up there and then decided to go to Myke’s house to play poker and when we got there, we couldn’t find any poker chips, so we dug up a tiny amount of change (like nine coins per person). All of the coins were worth the same amount since we didn’t have very much of the same thing, and the game didn’t last long since 9 coins only goes so far with 7 people playing. You know. Odds. So we are all going to go to a Superbowl party at Myke’s house tomorrow and I think it’ll be fun. I hope to laugh some more. Ok, so the Coke part of the title to this blog post is for the photo at the top. I have loved this photograph that I made in Australia ever since I took it, but I wanted to make it seem brighter and just hadn’t taken the time to learn to do it right. So today I was out on Lynda.com and learned about quick masks and some color editing. I love lynda.com! Well, since it’s almost 1am, I think I have sufficiently wound down my mind with writing this and I hope that I am not too tired to stop making sense. Sorry if I missed something important here, but it’s being up since 6:30 yesterday and 7:57 this morning with late nights in-between that are at work on me now. Happy poker and Coke night ya’ll… I am so glad I got to laugh. God, thank you for laughter and friends to enjoy it with!