Friday, November 18, 2011


I am still quite the pitiful blogger.

Well, I have been doing pretty well with NaNo. I have around 26,000 words right now, and I need to get to 30,000 by the end of the day to catch up. I was doing so well! And then the website messed up and my graph was off, and I've been busy and tired. But I'm more than halfway there! That's exciting, at least.

Let's see, in other news...
I have been bouldering at the Loft this week and last. Fun stuff. I love it. Mainly I love getting to work my arm and back muscles a lot, since I don't do that a lot with ballet. But I've seen improvement after the three days I've gone. Yesterday, I did one route that started as a slight incline, and ended up on the ceiling. I did it twice before my arms got too tired and my brain dysfunctional enough to do it a third. I'll do it again on Monday, if I can get up there after handbells before it closes.

Thanksgiving break is almost here (Praise the Lord!). Leaving Tuesday afternoon. SO glad to be going home to rest (ha ha, probably not). There's always so much going on, but I'm happy to be going back. I do miss my family.

On Sunday, the Outdoors Club is taking a group of us to the YMCA to work on kayak techniques. Namely, ROLLING! Yay! It's been a couple of months since I rolled, so I hope I can still do it. It's so much fun if you can do it, but it is exhausting, and rather scary as well. You are underwater, depending on the strength of your arms and hips to get your kayak right-side-up. And if you are on the river, then you are also worried about smacking your head on a rock that you can't see because your eyes are closed in the frigid water.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Yes... it's true. I signed up to do NaNo this year.

For those non-writers, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is November. Every year, thousands of writers get together to write a 50K novel in the 30 days of November. Scary and crazy, right? Yep.

I have not done this in the past due to school, so now I'm going to be even more insane and tackle it for the first time in college. Right. Smart. Anyway, one of my friends here is also doing it, so at least I'll have someone to keep me accountable, which was probably my failure when I attempted to do Camp NaNo (write the novel during the summer).

It starts in 16 days, so I have a little over two weeks to brainstorm and outline (if I dare... I may just do a rough sketch and write by the seat of my pants). AAAGGHH!! This is going to be super crazy.

Once it gets a little closer, I'll add a little counter to my page so you all can see how I'm doing (and encourage me to write every spare minute I have!). I'm really counting on the few of you who read to encourage me! It's going to be hard (those who have done NaNo know exactly how hard...)

A few days ago I was working on another blog post, but I had to stop in the middle for something, I can't remember, so now I have to wait for the muse to return to finish the other post. Until then, shalom!

Friday, September 23, 2011

By Faith

Over the past few months, I've really sought to become better about daily Bible readings. I've done very well with that, as I am currently reading two chapters a day. However, since I do this in the morning before I go to have breakfast, it feels more rushed than it could be, and I usually do not end up thinking about the scripture all day long, as I ought to be doing. I noticed this on Wednesday and asked God to help me out with this.

He surely answers. Thursday morning I rose, collected my things, and headed to the flounge (fake lounge) to do my devotional. I read in 1 Samuel 11 and Hebrews 11. The interesting thing about Hebrews 11 is that it is known as the "Hall of Faith." I ended up having no problems meditating on it all day. Thursday is a chapel day, and yesterday Keith Getty visited to speak at chapel, and also to do a concert that evening. One of the modern hymns he has written is called "By Faith." Here are the lyrics:

By faith we see the hand of God
In the light of creation's grand design
In the lives of those who prove His faithfulness
Who walk by faith and not by sight

By faith our fathers roamed the earth
With the power of His promise in their hearts
Of a holy city built by God's own hand
A place where peace and justice reign

We will stand as children of the promise
We will fix our eyes on Him our soul's reward
Till the race is finished and the work is done
We'll walk by faith and not by sight

By faith the prophets saw a day
When the longed-for Messiah would appear
With the power to break the chains of sin and death
And rise triumphant from the grave

By faith the church was called to go
In the power of the Spirit to the lost
To deliver captives and to preach good news
In every corner of the earth

We will stand...

By faith this mountain shall be moved
And the power of the gospel shall prevail
For we know in Christ all things are possible
For all who call upon His name

We will stand... 


The second verse is the one that got me that morning. "By faith our fathers roamed the earth/With the power of His promise in their heart" spoke back to the Old Testament, to the same things that Hebrews 11 was speaking of! Not only that, but the song itself gave me great encouragement about living by faith. It's a struggle every day, but when the Lord is on our side, what evil can stand against us?

Here is the song for your listening enjoyment.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Donations and the Exhaustion Later

Yesterday was a pretty big step for me on several levels. First of all, I had my first college exam in Chemical Science. Second, I had my first lab practical for Anatomy and Physiology. But the most important (probably) is that I donated blood for the first time. This is pretty big since in the past I haven't done too well with things like... shots. Oops. But yesterday I did okay. I felt a little lightheaded for a minute or so, but the nurse put my feet up and gave me some Pepsi to sip. That helped a bunch. And I lay there for a while, even after they were done collecting, just to make sure I was stable enough to stand and not collapse in a heap on the floor. That didn't happen, so I was free to go, collect my XL T-shirt (yes, I now have a new sleep shirt >_> ), grab a doughnut hole, and be on my way.

Unfortunately, "being on my way" meant many things in the evening. I had an SI (supplemental instruction) for A&P to study for the exam that was this morning (it helped a lot) at 7:00. I lost track of time, so I only had a sandwich for dinner en route to SI. SI went until 8:00. The first class for Ballet I started at 7:30, but I dashed from SI to ballet, praying that the teacher was nice enough to be okay with it since it was for school (she was). And then did bar work and other dancing things until 9, when I hurriedly changed and ran off to my job in the kitchen. We were done within an hour.

It wasn't until I stepped into the room that I realized how exhausted I was. I had no energy to do anything but sit on the floor against the bed. I didn't even feel like climbing up into my own bed, for I'm on the top bunk. Then I realized I had not thought through the day very clearly. I should have taken it easy after giving a pint of blood, and eaten a "hearty meal" (so the pamphet says) that day. I had a sandwich, and I was running for three hours. Fantastic. Good job, Sarah.

Even though I realize I was not thinking clearly yesterday, I did enjoy dance. It's been at least seven, maybe eight years, since I last took ballet, and three of those years have been spent learning Hebraic dance. It's very different. But surprisingly, once I stretched out and relaxed into the atmosphere of ballet again, I felt great. There are definitely a lot of things that Israeli dance is much more slack on, but I have confidence that at the end of the year, I will be able to improve my Israeli dancing style, too, and be more graceful, fluid, and also improve my lines. :D

So! Despite my stupidity on my first day of dance, I'm rather excited about the upcoming year and dance. Oh, speaking of which, I need to share a neat story from the past few weeks.

A few days before I left for college, my friend Aaron from dance told me about a girl named Ashley who was going to Messiah, and that she loved to dance. With that tidbit of information (along with her last name, which I won't post here due to the nature of the internet), I set out for school hoping to run into this girl. I looked her up on Facebook, and the first girl to come up was in the network of the school I had gone to. Strange, I thought. That couldn't possibly be her, I would have remembered her. Then her name started to pop out. We were both honors students. Outdoors club. So on and so forth.

I finally sent a friend request. It was with joy several days later that I received a note from her. We met for lunch, and have been friends since. With that, we're hoping to host a dance workshop to teach people Israeli dance. It is my hopes to start a class through the dance ministry for it next year or beyond. But this is a good start. :)

Now to see what God would have me do with all of this. :) Shalom!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Handbells and Kayaks

Of all the titles to have, I chose handbells and kayaks. What do these two things have in common? I love both of them, but do not often get to do them. This, I hope to remedy this year. Amongst the four classes and two labs I am taking this semester, I also signed up to audition for the handbell choir, and to get information from the outdoors club. There are a LOT of kayaking events on the calendar, so I hope to do a couple of them. ^_^ I also signed up for dance ensemble, but I don't have much information about that either.

The first two days of school have gone pretty well. My professors are all really cool, and so are the classes. Despite the fact that I'm taking anatomy and physiology, and chemistry, I'm really excited about them. I love science. I know they are hard classes, but so far, the resources for doing well have been provided, so I don't feel scared about the semester. I'm just excited in general. I hope it continues.

Well, until next time, shalom!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The next step of the joyful adventure

It has now been three days since I arrived on the grounds of Messiah College as a brand-new first year student. I was so happy to be here when I arrived, and I'm still pretty happy. My roommates are great, the campus is beautiful, the food is good. The schedule has, however, been crammed with necessary but annoying orientation sessions on all kinds of things. The things I'm most fuzzy on have not been covered in the sessions or schedule. Oye vey.

Classes don't start until Tuesday, and I'm both glad and anxious for them to come. Glad because some of my textbooks have not arrived yet... but overall, I'm excited for them to start. I'm taking some really cool classes (courtesy of being in the nursing program and the honors program), like the writing class on the amish, anatomy and physiology, and foundations of marriage and family. I'm so excited about anatomy and physiology, and also for chemistry. I am such a scientist because I LOVE to learn about God's creation and explore it. I love all the labs in chemistry, and I love learning about the body. Each system is so complex, so that when you put them all together, they completely blow your mind. How can anyone say that we came from a mass of exploding gases?

On another note, my dorm building's theme is "Choose Joy." This seems to be a recurring theme in my life. In middle school, back when I was that awkward little kid with the weird obsessions and such, my mom told me that I needed to choose joy in life, because if I looked at all the pain and sorrow and strife, life wouldn't be so hard. The first week at the Springs, Pastor St Cyr spoke about joy - real joy. So often people use "happy" and "joyful" synonymously, when they really aren't. Happiness is based on circumstance - "I'm happy to see you" or "You make me so happy" or even, as my friend's dad puts it, something can have "happy-making qualities." Joy, however, is rooted in contentment and in God. It is deeper than happiness. It is more than happiness. It is something that burrows deep into your soul and thrives in contentment.

Joy is beautiful. Happiness is fleeting, joy is eternal. It is only when we take our Lord as our companion that He shows us the priceless value in joyfulness.

So, it is fitting for my first-year theme to be "Choose Joy." It hasn't just been a first-year theme; it is a life theme. The picture here is a graphic my friend Aaron designed. His website is if you want to look at the other artwork he's designed. In any case, the scripture he's chosen for joy fits perfectly. Our souls are joyful because the LORD, the Lord Almighty, has compassion on his children. We are redeemed because he loves us so, and we rejoice because of that. Because of that, we find so much more joy in knowing God.

Shalom, and may you find simcha (joy) this week!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Everything thus far

Well, I am a pitiful blogist. The summer is just so busy and full of wonderful things. So let me begin with a brief overview.

I worked at White Sulphur Springs for two weeks at the beginning of the summer. That was absolutely wonderful; I have gone to camp there for now five summers, and this summer was my second on staff. Next year I hope to do senior staff. It is a lovely place, full of grace and beauty. The people there are gentle and respectful, but awesome and crazy in their own way. I became good friends with several of the senior staffers for this summer, and have been talking with them, even while we are not together. Such are the relationships there, that when you go, you know at least somebody, if not many somebodies! Often times, you will mention one person's name at a meal, to find that everyone else at the table knows them as well. It is a lovely community, one that I hope to stay part of for years and years to come. Even though I am not military, I still love the place as a retreat center, "a place apart, a place of the heart" and "where cares refuse to stay." O, how I love it there. Not just because it is nestled in the midst of the mountains. Not just because of the peace and quiet that greets you. No, it is a place of community, of fellowship with both people and of God.

Two weeks after the Springs, I volunteered in my church's Vacation Bible School as a small group leader for the fifth and sixth graders. Each small group was composed of one of the two grades and seven to eight boys or girls. My group was all girls (obviously). Those girls were so cool. Quest (the 5th/6th graders) did a shopping trip to buy food for a local food pantry one day, and did service projects at two local elementary schools on two other days. However, one of the days was insanely hot, and we opted out of working out in the heat of the afternoon. The kids were given the option to arrive at the schools in the morning to do a few hours of work before VBS. Even though my group had not originally signed up to do one of the schools, three of my girls and I showed up to one of the elementary schools to spray paint bike racks and throw mulch around. I was awed by their willingness to serve. One of the girls didn't even go to that school! She was homeschooled. That was really neat.

Note: I am not just randomly skipping the two weeks between the Springs and VBS, and the time between VBS and the Springs again. There's just a bunch of little things that went on in those periods that I may or may not get to later. We shall see.

Like I said, a week after VBS, I returned to the Springs, this time for camp. They run a number of youth programs, including Alleghany Outback! (nicknamed AO!) for high school kids. I did AO! for all four years of high school, including a special AOX this summer. AOX is an intense, slightly varied version of AO!, except that it is only for freshman in college and high school seniors. Mainly the freshman though. The other main difference is that the week is focused more on community, fellowship, and our relationship on God rather than on all the cool activities we do. Needless to say, we did do some awesome stuff, but I'm not at liberty to share that. ;) But in all seriousness, the best parts of the week were when we were celebrating, praising, or relying on God, either in community or by ourselves.

I'll tell you a story. In the midst of a day when everyone was tired and exhausted, we had a prayer time. Someone would call out a topic, and we would pray for it for about two minutes, and then another topic would be called out. At the beginning, I said, "Let's start out by praising God." By doing so, rather than complain to God about how tired we were and ask for energy, we praised him for the beautiful day, for eyes to see the beauty and muscles to allow us to be there to see it, etc. After that, we moved on to supplication topics. But it signaled an incredible shift. The rest of the day was filled with intentional conversations full of grace. Several of us exchanged verses we had memorized and discussed them. I told one girl about my experience at a Messianic congregation. And during that time, I laughed. And believe me when I tell you that you have never known laughter or joy until you have spent a day "praying without ceasing." I was so full of joy, I cannot describe it. All pain vaporized. I forgot the exhaustion, having traded it for pure, unending joy.

Joy isn't happiness. Happiness is too shallow to truly describe joy. Joy is deep and, I believe, is linked and closely entertwined with contentment. When you allow the Lord to be your sustenance, He rewards you with strength beyond your capacity and incredible joy.

"The Lord is my strength" moved to "The Lord is my stronghold" to "The Lord is my salvation" to, lastly "The Lord is my song."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Workin' on it...

I've been back from the Springs for a week now. Well, we were at the beach this past week. But anywho, I have been trying to come up with a blog post sufficient enough to describe the time at the Springs. But there hasn't been ample time yet. So bear with me, I am here. I just haven't had time to post yet. Sorry.

I hope to have something up in the next few days. Perhaps next week when I'm recovering from having my wisdom teeth out. We'll see.

I'll post again soon - I promise.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It is finished (for now)

I graduated on Saturday. Yay! Cum laude, too. (That means I got to hang a white cord around my neck.) :) Then on Monday through today, my class and I were at the lake, celebrating in our newfound freedom and mourning the loss of such an amazing class. And now, at 10:45 pm, I am sitting in my incredibly messy room with my duffle bag packed for White Sulphur Springs, and notes for thank you notes in front of me. And listening to the thunderstorm outside. Which, along with the late hour, is making me wish I was in bed. So these thank-yous will have to wait. And so will this blog. I'll be in the land of the internet-less, otherwise known as rural Pennsylvania, for two weeks, and then on to the beach with family. That will be LOADS of fun, so I'll be sure to mention that once I have Avniel (my trusty laptop) with me again and connected to the web.

So I must say adieu and good night!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Soon, but not yet

Well. Today marked the end of the last high school class I will ever take. It's a strange feeling - wonderful yet sad. I've been at my school (K-12) for 10 years. The people in my class are pretty much the only people I've known in classes. Several people are going to the same college, but only one other girl from church is going to the college I'm going to. And our schedules (stayed up late trying to find stuff to work) don't match up at all. Ah, well, to each major his own classes. I am excited for the new start though.

Despite the last day of classes today, I don't graduate until Saturday. That will be wonderful. I'm so excited!

Oh, and the title was taken from Tangled. Hehe. ^_^

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Of Carabiners and Exhaustion

I promised myself I would blog more often, so I'm trying. However, it is 10:30, and after a long day of school and rehearsal for the upcoming choral concert, I cannot think or write clearly. Thankfully, I have an arsenal of writing from creative writing during the fall semester. This is for the rock-climbing fanatics out there.

Climb Away

My muscles freeze
Refuse to move.
That smells wafts towards me from
The crevice I am about to
Squeeze my fingers into.
Wait. My nails
Scratch the face, bringing pain
And the awful sound.
Gravity pulls against me,
Ropes begging me to climb.
My arms and legs burn
From the position I squat on
The vertical face. Toes
Protest from the jammed cracks.
Warily I eye the potential hold.
Wearily I hold my position.
No spiders. Choose another crack.

The pitted rock is not comfortable
Under calloused hands. Fingers tremble.
I rest one arm
And then the other.
No change. Knuckles are frozen
Into place by exhaustion.
I dip my hand
Into the bag at my hip
And tighten the chalky hold.

Sweat drips down my undershirt
Chilly despite my warmth.
I fight the urge to wipe
My forehead. Hair is plastered to
My cheeks, the back of my neck.
Arms wobbling, I shove my toes
Into a hole. My legs burn
But I straighten.
Fingers find awkward holds—
Anything to keep from falling.
The rope holds me, wiggles in
Anticipation of the next move.
I sniff back liquid, inhaling the
Fragrance of sweat.
A carabiner jingles,
Anxious to be back in
The backpack, with his
I lunge for its twin,
My lips press a greeting on
The cold metal.
I settle back in the harness.
Every muscle groans with
Relief. But I’ve got the
Best seat right here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tears for Sacrifice

The past few months, I've felt an incredible surge in emotion when it comes to certain things. Previously when I didn't really "get" something, now, I get a wave of emotion. For instance, yesterday I was listening to the Les Miserables soundtrack in the car on the way back from a camping trip. Les Mis has so many parts that make me teary-eyed, but some of them are so full of emotion. But one of the huge parts was when Jean Valjean sings "Bring Him Home." Cosette is his adopted daughter, but it is so amazing how much Valjean has come to love her as his own. He wants the best for her. And he sees that what would make her happy is to be with Marius. He offers his own life for that of the man to become his son-in-law.

And today, I nearly teared up again. Tomorrow is Memorial Day, the day we set aside to commemorate all who have served our country in the armed forces. We live in a protected country. Not many countries can boast that much. But we are so incredibly blessed with men and women who give up their lives for us. They give up their lives for one another. Sacrifice! What a blessed thing!

What is it about sacrifice that touches each of us to the soul? Whether it is someone taking the blame for something you did, or giving their life so you could live, it touches us. In a world that refuses to love simple, sweet beauty, why have we clung to sacrifice as such a beautiful thing? We see it if we look - a mother laboring to bring her child into the world because she cares about it far more than she cares about herself; a father crying out in intercession for his child because he would rather be in pain than see that young one go through it; a friend, a classmate, a comrade, who steps into our place to take the blame for something, or even to give up their life so we can live. That is what is so amazing about our military. When men and women are fighting for something, they assume this incredible selflessness that turns all thoughts away from themselves and to others. They step into buildings themselves because they care more about their fellow soldiers. They crawl into an area where the enemy is shooting to retrieve their fallen friend.


Once upon a time, a man loved his brother so much that when the enemy aimed his gun at him, the man stepped forward and said, "Take me instead." The brother cried out, "Brother, you have done nothing!" The man gently told him, "I want you to live. Go to safety." Weeping, the brother ran into the safe zone and watched as the man bravely stood his ground before the enemy.
Some time later, the brother and his friend were in another battle when the friend was shot. The brother crawled forward, cradled his friend in his arms, and brought him back to safety. In the process, he was fatally shot. He waved off help, saying, "Help him first." In the end, the brother died, and the friend lived, but he, like the brother once upon a time, held that sacrifice close to his heart. If he has to choose, he will choose sacrifice.

What will you choose?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Journey

Yay! There's a new pretty background! I especially like the birds. ^_^ I'm changing the colors and format from this point on, but I'm going to leave the old posts. The light orange looks pretty with the pink (although it makes it terribly hard to read).

Anywho, I've sadly neglected this poor little blog. Not that very many people are reading, but I still feel bad about it. Let's see. I'll try to describe what's been going on in this long absence.

At my school, the seniors have to complete a senior thesis, complete with oral defense, during the course of the year, to be finished at the end of the year. We have to describe ten loci of the Christian faith, give an apologia on a topic we choose, and then integrate our faith into a chosen vocation. It's a tough project. Every one goes into this project fearing it. I wasn't as worried about it as others in my class, but I was a little nervous. This project came to an end on the 13th for me, and I did really well on the oral defense part of it! ^_^

With the end of high school, I plan on going to college to pursue a nursing degree. Those of you who know me well know that I love writing and wonder why I am not going to be a writer. My dad pointed out that I don't have to have a degree in creative writing to write novels. As long as I keep my craft up, I should still be able to write the rest of my life. So I'm going to college. During that time I'm trying to work out a study abroad in Israel for a semester which will be AMAZING if it works out. Once I have my B.S. in Nursing and have take the exam to be an R.N., I hope to work for a bit to save enough money to continue schooling to become a nurse-midwife. THAT I am really excited about. God's given me such a passion for unborn babies and expectant moms. He's really blessed me.

Of course, if God points me out to a nice young man in the midst of that, hehe, I'm going to have a talk with Him. ^_^ I really would like to focus on getting my R.N., but I do know that if God tells me the time is ripe to be married and to raise a family, I will very, very willingly do so.

Other things: I've been really involved in the drama and music departments at school. I worked crew for a production of Annie Jr. and also made a cameo in the N.Y.C. scene as a tourist. That was fun. And I've been singing this year in chorus, which has been amazing. One of my favorite songs of the year is "All Who Dwell in the Shadow of the Lord." That's a mouthful, so we often call it "All Who Dwell." It has such a beautiful melody, and the alto harmony is gorgeous. I can't describe how beautiful it is. And now, we're preparing for a pop concert, and I have a teeny solo in "I'm gonna wash that man" from a Rodgers and Hammerstein medley. I was a little less than thrilled about it, since I was hoping for the Eponine solo in "One Day More." However, I spoke with my director, and she's helping me with my projection. Maybe someday I'll get to sing Eponine.

I've also fallen in love with Les Miserables, but I believe that will have to wait for another day. :-)

I shall write again at a later date (not too late though!)