The hardest part of holding on is letting go

Saturday, November 04, 2006
Tonight my family was at a small party, and my sister-in-law was, of course, being asked many a question about her very soon delivery of her baby boy Jackson. He'll be born in 1 week and 6 days now. But baby Jackson isn't going to have the healthy delivery everyone always hopes for. Instead, right after he's being born he's going in for a heart surgery, only to go back a few months later for another heart surgery. When he's about three years old, he'll need another surgery. Finally, the doctors are guessing that when he approaches the age of thirty or so, he'll need a heart transplant.

Chelsie, my sister in law, was saying how so many times she's been asked (by people who don't know this whole situation) "aren't you so excited to have the baby? Can't you just not wait to finally stop being pregnant?" And Chelsie's answer? No.

Chelsie explained how she wants baby Jackson to stay in the womb forever. He's safe in there. He has absolutely no complications whatsoever and he's happy as a clam. It's not until he's born that he starts all his problems. She doesn't want him to experience that. She wants to hold on to him and keep him safe.

How often are we like that? We struggle with something and God asks "please! Give it to me, I'll carry it for you!" but we shrug Him off and answer "No thanks, God. I can't. It's not safe. No one can care for it the way I do." "But I can," God replies. "No thanks, God. It'll get hurt."

We try to protect ourselves by holding on to something we're afraid will hurt us if we let it go out of our power. We don't realize that, if we give it up to God, He'll help us with it. He'll carry our burdens. He wants to. He asks us for them.

How come in our world, we always wish we had no problems, no pains, no sorrows? But when God asks for them, we simply answer "no thanks God. I need to protect this on my own."

Give it to God! It'll be hard, believe me, I know. We can't possibly believe He'll do a better job with it. At least when we have it, we know how to control it. But by giving it God, oh man... it'll be great. God will take care of it. God will protect it.

Just like God will protect my little nephew when he's born. Chelsie may think that she's the only one that can protect him right now. But God is going to be in the delivery room with her, ready to protect him in His big arms as soon as he's born.
posted by Joanna at 9:11 PM | Permalink | 0 commenti

How lucky I am...

Thursday, September 07, 2006
To have known someone that was so hard to say goodbye to.

Meet some of the people that have had the greatest impact on my life. From left to right: Laura, Cory Bosse, Christina, me, and Cory Mitchell. They've been there for me for a long time. It all started last summer. Through a series of unfortunate events, I got closer to each and every one of them. But how fortunate it turned out! They've seen me through thick and thin. They each know when to give me a hug or when to give me a smile. They never once say no if I ask them to pray for me. They're always willing to give me a few moments of their time so I can chew their ear off, cry and just be held, or just sit there in silence and appreciate it. I love them SOOOO much. I haven't had such amazing friends as them before. Ever. They were what made school the happiest place on earth.

But see the problem now? See the difference? All green and one white. One loan junior, standing in the sea of green, knowing she still has one more year without all her friends. It's still an exciting journey, but so different. Because age requires them to be pulled apart physically. Society says "You go to college!" and "You go to highschool!" It's weird. It's different. It's harder than I've ever imagined.

Will I see them again once they all leave? I hope so. I really, really do. We've all had our share of arguments and disagreements. But we love each other. Hawaii, walking around talking, Van number 7, My bonnie lies over the ocean, "OH CRUM!", Skinny trees, happiness, God, FRIENDSHIP. This is all wrapped up in our little clan of five.

Last summer was so great. When I think of last summer, I think of those people up there. Yeah, lots of hurt came. But still, they were all there.

It's so hard to be younger. And I'm not even younger than all of them. But I'm a grade lower. And with that comes one more year of highschool.

I'm going to miss you guys so so much. I hate seeing the difference between us as you all go to college and I continue in highschool. It's an obvious difference and it makes me sad. But, I know we can make it. I know it.

posted by Joanna at 5:09 PM | Permalink | 1 commenti


Friday, September 01, 2006
I feel yucky. This morning I woke up with a sore throat, and it's gotten a lot worse. It feels like my throat is swelling up and it's hard to get air through. And my nose is getting plugged so when I breath it takes just much too much energy. No!!! I can't get sick! Chandler comes home tomorrow and I need all the energy I can get!! Being sick is poo. Nope. I refuse to get sick. Refuse refuse. Stupid swollen glands, sore throats, plugged noses, and being too tired to really do anything. :(
posted by Joanna at 6:29 PM | Permalink | 0 commenti

When I look at the stars, I feel like myself.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I was in Ojai tonight, and it's amazing how many more stars are visible out there than back here in Camarillo. I love stars. I think they are one of my favorite things that God created (besides puppies, of course!). They're pretty. They make the navy blue color of the night dance. Not only that, but they amaze me. What look like tiny little specks to you, are, in reality, gigantic things. It's incredible. I can't comprehend it.

Then I think about it. We live in the Milky Way. It's a galaxy. A HUGE galaxy. And we live in it. But wait. We can see it. It's like seeing earth, but still standing on its ground. It amazes me. It really makes no sense to me. I don't understand why we can see something we're in.

It's nights like these when I'm just reminded, time and time again, how incredibly amazing our God is. He's so creative, so talented. I don't thank Him enough for it.

So, next time I gaze up at the stars, maybe instead of trying to figure it all out, I'll just thank God for a beautiful night sky to look at.
posted by Joanna at 9:30 PM | Permalink | 1 commenti

Can we survive the storm?

Friday, August 18, 2006
Someone pointed something out to me today. After a two hour long conversation about dreams, his dream in particular, we ended with one conclusion: Christ is coming back. Are we ready for it? We Christians are going to be put through so much crap, tested so much, tempted, everything. Do we love our God enough to be willing to put our lives on the line? Can we stand up against the devil himself? The devil is a disgusting, powerful creature. He wants to take the hearts of the people that love God. Can we stand up against him? Are we strong enough?

This world is so material. I'm sad to say that I often find myself falling under that category of a "material" girl. I try not to be, but on the other hand, it's always just so much easier to fall in line with the rest of the world.

But we need to stand out. As Christians I believe it's our job to be different than the other people. We need to prepare for Christ's return. We aren't told when it's going to be. We're just told it's going to be soon, and we need to prepare for it. But how are we going to prepare? I don't think going to the mall and buying your best outfit will help you prepare. I don't think treating others in a great way will help you prepare. No. I think the only way to prepare is to prepare our hearts. We need to focus 100% on our Lord. We need to seek Him, and Him only. The drama in life? It's no big deal. There should be no drama. Drama is from being wrapped up too much in your own life. Focusing on God, I believe, will help eliminate that.

We need to love God with our entire heart. We can't love this material world. There's a song by Casting Crowns that says "I made the world my friend, and it left me high and dry." This world is far from eternal. It's going to end. It will always let us down. But our God won't. He will never leave us. He will never let us down. We need to stop focusing on the bad of this world, and start focusing on the greatness of Jesus.

I've been really stupid this past year. I've made a lot of mistakes. And today it finally clicked. I'm not proud of my life a few months ago, or even a week ago. But mistakes happen. We need to learn from them, and learn how to avoid them in the future. We need to give all our problems to our Lord, and sacrifice our lives over to Him. I haven't been doing that. And it's completely changed who I want to be.

I want to be someone who does not conform to this world. I want to be someone who is completely, and totally, in love with my Father. I want to be ready when Jesus comes. I want to feel like I did alright in this life. I want to leave a mark. Not a mark of being beautiful or popular. I want to leave a mark that says I loved God in a way that no one else has. That's what I want to be known for. How stupid I've been for thinking otherwise. How stupid I've been for abusing things God has given me. I should be thanking God daily for my life. He has given me life. But instead, I'm asking for more. How lame is that? God gave me His Son. But I ask Him for more.

I want to be different. The good different. I want to go to Heaven and hear those words "well done, good and faithful servant." Have I been good? Have I been faithful? Am I even a servant of God? I say I am. But do I act like it? Does my heart believe it?

There's a song that goes
"Make me a servant, humble and meek. Lord let me lift up, those who are weak. And may the prayer in my heart always be, make me a servant, make me a servant, make me a servant, today."

I want to be God's servant. I want to praise Him with my life. Not just half of it or part of it. All of it.
posted by Joanna at 4:50 PM | Permalink | 2 commenti


Thursday, August 17, 2006
School starts soon. And I'm SO excited!! I've always loved school. I started going there as a sophomore after my parents divorced (no more homeschooling, woot!), and I've loved it ever since. At first, I'll admit, I was a bit hesitant. But at the time I had miss Vienna with me, and she helped me get through EVERYTHING. And now I'm a school-aholic. My sister is quite disgusted with me, but I don't see why. It's just something I enjoy. The good majority of my friends are from that school... not to mention my two ex-boyfriends... and it's just fun. Ali thinks school is for learning only. I say nah. Love the socialization. :)

So yay. Monday morning I'll be headed up to school (dogless, sadly) and it'll start. This year is my senior year. It'll be full of college trips, senior trips, band tours, etc. I'm super duper excited. It's gonna be good. :)

Hey look! ^ I can se me!! Sorta the front row, wearing a gray sweatshirt with red lettering. That's me! :) Oh, by the way, that's our entire school. A wopping 190 students. :) It makes me happy.

posted by Joanna at 1:45 PM | Permalink | 2 commenti

Back to School Rush

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Everyone knows how people climb all over each other, bite each other, scratch each other, race each other, and practically do anything to make themselves look a little bit stupid, just to get the clothes you want at the prices you want. I should know. I took part in the Back To School Rush at Khols today.

Was it worth it? Oh yes, of course. I bought so many clothes. My sister and I have never been so successful in shopping. Spending $178.00 in just under an hour is quite the accomplishment, believe me. It wasn't easy.

Yesterday I had seen a Khols commercial. "EARLY BIRD SPECIAL!" it announced. "GREAT SALES FROM 7am - 1pm ONLY!" Knowing we needed to go shopping, and having a feeling Khols would be our place of choice, I told Ali we must go. So, at 7:30am I aroused rather casually, then remembered, today was the day to shop. I got Ali out of bed and she took a shower, and I followed her. By the time we got up to the store, it was 8:55. But, why were all the people still in their cars or outside? I squinted my eyes and read "store opens at 9am." Wow. Was I ever thankful it takes two girls so long to get ready.

Apparently there had been lots of miscommunication between tv commercials and billboard ads. Ali and I were not the only ones who came a bit early. I actually heard one older man say he had been waiting since 7am. Wow, sir. I hope it was worth the wait.

A bit embarrased that we were one of those "ready to go" people, Ali and I sat outside and waited, trying to stay casual. Everyone was nervous. They were biting their fingernails and smooshing their faces against the glass doors, yelling out to their children where they would first attend. It reminded me of an amusement park and mapping out your day before you even entered. When the doors open, I kid you not, the people rushed in. Ali told me to go. I told her to be laid back. We sat out there for probably thirty seconds, then realized we probably looked even more stupid than everyone else.

It was pretty much a free for all once you entered. Red SALE signs were everywhere, blurring your vision as you walked. It was almost beautiful. You heard the mothers cry and the babes giggle. It was a sight.

You pay for your clothes and realize that, even though you spent an obscene amount of money, it was worth it. Ten shirts, three pairs of pants, and a skirt. When you put it like that, it doesn't seem like it should be as much money as it was. But, it was completely and totally worth it.

Call me a shop-aholic if you want. Call me a crazed person. Call me anything. I prefer to refer to my sister and myself as "the best back to school rush shoppers in town."

Thank you very much.

posted by Joanna at 10:43 AM | Permalink | 1 commenti

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Location: Camarillo, California, United States



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