Monday, January 09, 2006


Everyone is searching for something. Searching for love, acceptance, purpose. During the summer between my junior and senior years of high school, I felt like I had to stop searching for at least one thing. I had just returned from a trip to inner-city Houston with a youth group from South Carolina. There was a bible study after I got back at the Neistrath's house, led by our then-youth intern Andrew Finney. I'm not sure if it was during prayer request time or when, but I mentioned that after being in Houston, I had decided that I should go into Youth Ministry. I remember feeling a great sense of purpose and even satisfaction in my decision. My sister was also there. I don't recall any exact words, but I remember her face. She seemed very proud (in a good way) and showed sincere support in my decision, as if she knew I was making the right choice.
From that summer through the end of my senior year, I felt my confidence in that decision grow and grow. I had become a leader in my youth group and a stronger believer in the way of Christ. As I went into my freshman year at ACU, that belief became even stronger. Although I felt like, to some extent, I didn't fit with many of the other Bible majors, with their experiences from big churches and their fathers who knew the professors personally, I still had a strong sense inside that I was going to be used to not just Change the World (ACU's motto), but Change Lives. I was assured in knowing what degree I wanted to get and what I wanted to do with that degree and my life. Even with insecurities about fitting in with such people as Bible majors, my belief in my purpose never wained. I felt like I was gaining tools to use on my work ahead. That is, until my sophomore year...
During the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college, I did an internship down in Brownsville, TX. Without going into details, it will suffic to say that I made some poor decisions, and many poor decisions were made around me. After that summer of seeing my arrogance and a church with no purpose to exist, things became rather dark for me.
I often refer to my second year in school as the darkest year of my life. Though there were fights with depression and that type of darkness, I refer more to the lack of light. I saw no light at the end of the tunnel, no light to guide my direction. I did see, however, my ability to alter persons' lives...though not the way I originally sought. So, during my sophomore year, halfway through the Fall semester and after considering transferring, I decided to change majors. It may have been a hasty decision, maybe it wasn't. But I felt I had lost purpose, direction. I saw what I was capable of when I was "at my best" and it was nothing I wanted any part of. I saw what people in "church" truly believed, and wanted nothing of that either. I still believed in prayer, though I stopped praying for months. I never stopped believing in God or that he had an overall purpose for life on Earth. I just stopped believing in myself or that I should have any involvement in his purpose. I did, however, start believe that in order for God's purpose to be fulfilled, I should stay out of the way, so as not to block his Light or be a hinderance to his saving ways.
I don't know that I've totally stopped believing anything that I've just said. This past summer was probably the best 3 months of my life. It was like God was allowing me to be used again, ever so slightly, in the lives of people who needed him. But I still long, hope, yearn for a sense of purpose even close to the one I used to have.
It's a bit foggy in my life right now. I don't know when the road will curve, wind, or stop. I don't know what paths I'll take. But at least this time there is a light, ever so dim, peeking through. Maybe one day I will see it in full brightness.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Jeans and Money

I saw this Ameritrade commercial where a teenage girl come in to the room and asks her dad for $80. There's a whole story about investing, but my point is this. The dad still gives the $80 to the girl in the end. EIGHTY DOLLARS FOR JEANS!! I understand the general concept of higher price equals higher quality. It isn't always true, but I understand it. But when it comes to jeans, that doesn't apply. You might be able to say that "Wal-Mart" brands aren't as good as, say, Banana Republic, American Eagle or the Gap. I'll give you that (only because it isn't the point of my arguement). I'm talking more about the difference in name brands. Banana Republic costs more than the Gap. But what most people don't realize is that it's the same company, Gap Inc.! As with many companies with this set-up, they probably were made in the same factory if not at least the same type factory. Can you really tell me that Banana Republic jeans will last longer than Gap jeans?!
I think the Gap is too expensive, so I'm not taking up for them. Actually, it can't be that great of a company considering their products are so expensive, but they still managed to go bankrupt in the early part of this century. But here is my point. I'm a person who considers the Gap and AE to be high class. Not in quality, but only for the image they attempt to project. Old Navy cheaper than both of these. But they also are owned by Gap Inc. So, consider this: You could buy Old Navy jeans for $25-$30*, Gap jeans for $45-$50*, or Banana Republic jeans for $80-$125*. Knowing that all three are under the same parent company, Gap Inc., would you really buy either of the latter two?
My best pair of jeans I bought on sale for $19.99 at American Eagle. I usually freak if they are more than $25. I don't know what I would do if who I wanted to be required me to spend $50-$100 (or more) on jeans. I guess I'd only own one pair and have no shirt, underwear, socks, or shoes. Most people I know aren't dumb enough to fall into this trap. Thank you Mom for giving me a sense of worth when it comes to clothing.

*Prices found at,, and, respectively. Sales prices were not taken into consideration.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Okay, so I like my car. For a 4-door sedan, I really like the way it handles. And it gets up and goes pretty good. But after the mechanic called me this morning to tell me what was wrong with my car, I could here the healthy voice of my Grandpa. Let's just say...he's never been a big fan of Fords. I wanna say he owned a Model A or something, but didn't never after that. I remember the Chevy trucks, two Cadillacs and one Impala (although G-ma bought that one really). But at 9am, I could here him talking about Fords. Of course, that would have been the guy 5-10 years ago. My uncle Kenny said something to Grandpa at the nursing home about buying a Ford recenctly, and he didn't really have much to say. But everyone there (well, except for maybe my cousin's husband and my youngest cousin who is only 15) knew what he would say. And a few went ahead and said it for him because they could hear it too. But m&d (codeword for mom and dad) have two chevy's in their garage...and a yamaha, but that's another story. So grandpa would be proud of them.

Funny how the mind works. Mechanic tells you bad news about the car, and you hear the voice of a man who no longer talks.

(Just to clarify. If you can't tell, this blog is more about that man than the car.)