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Wow, it's been a while since I've posted an entry on here!

I turned 20 on April 23rd and I've been meaning to write all about my birthday celebrations before I forget the details! So here it goes:

Friday, April 18th: Katie had me dress up and picked me up at 6. She took me to a little Italian restaurant in Fremont, where I was surprised by Christine, Brittany, and Jessica! Now that I think about it I wish we would've gotten more pictures because everyone looked so beautiful!

Saturday, April 19th: Sarah took me to Strings in Livermore for dinner. There was a live band and we had great food and conversation!

Wednesday, April 23rd: My birthday!! I went to school. At 1:30 my dear friend Cathy picked me up and we went out for smoothies with tapioca (which I LOVE!). She made me a little chocolate cake and got me some things for my "new" room! I had dinner with my family. Around 7 Cary came over and we baked a chocolate cake. Best friends and good times and great conversation...there is no better way to spend a day to me. And all through the day I was getting "Happy Birthday" calls, texts, and facebook and myspace comments which made me feel very special :) Best birthday so far!

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 25th to the 27th: I went to LA with April and Tara and we visited Jessica and Ariel. We went to Laguna beach and Bucca de Beppo (sp?) and Yogurt-land and Ben & Jerry's and Chipotle and Starbucks (a lot!) and stayed at Masters and then Biola. On our way home we were mooned, which was a first for me haha. It was a good weekend of fellowship and fun.

Tuesday, April 29th: Sara took me out to get pie, which is "our thing" :) She also bought me a few cute things that she said remind her of me. I don't think she knows how much I love spending time with her.

Wednesday, April 20th: Cary took me out for lunch! I don't remember how to spell the name of the place but it was a nice little place in Pleasanton. Even if we didn't make a cake and go out for my birthday, it still would've been so special just hanging out with her!

All to say...my birthday was the best I've had because this year I was able to spend the most quality time with my friends. That's why I don't prefer having a party, because I value quality time above all and that is what the Lord blessed me with. He divinely appointed everything and I'm most thankful to Him for such a great couple of weeks! He's gonna have a lot to live up to next year ;)
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I watched the proverbial sunrise
coming up over the Pacific and
you might think I'm losing my mind
but I will shy away from the specifics...

'cause I don't want you to know where I am
'cause then you'll see my heart
in the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

Stop right there. That's exactly where I lost it.
See that line. Well I never should have crossed it.
Stop right there. Well I never should have said
that it's the very moment that
I wish that I could take back.

I'm sorry for the person I became.
I'm sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to try and never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.

I talk to absolutely no one.
Couldn't keep to myself enough.
And the things bottled inside have finally begun
to create so much pressure that I’ll soon blow up.

I heard the reverberating footsteps
sinking up to the beating of my heart,
and I was positive that unless I got myself together,
I would watch me fall apart.

And I can’t let that happen again
‘cause then you’ll see my heart
in the saddest state it’s ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

Who I am hates who I've been
and who I am won’t take the second chance you gave me.
Who I am hates who I’ve been
‘cause who I’ve been only ever made me...

So sorry for the person I became.
So sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I’m ready to try and never become that way again
‘cause who I am hates who I’ve been.
Who I am hates who I’ve been
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For Thanksgiving Guy and I are driving up to Oregon to visit my married sister, Amy. Please pray for our safety because it's a long trip in a small car, very early in the morning - we're leaving at 4am. Though I'm somewhat apprehensive, I'm excited because I love Amy and Rob so much, which leads me to miss them so much, and it will be good to spend this holiday with them. It will also be good for me to have so much time in the car with my brother. We've needed that for a long time.

After planning on this trip, I was invited to go to New York with some good friends the weekend after and just last night I decided I'm not going to. That was a really hard decision to make and I was close to tears when I was writing my decision to my friend, but I think financially it's the wisest thing to do right now. Still, I will probably be sad that weekend to be home instead of in New York. That's so near to where I grew up, and I haven't visited since my family moved away. It's alright though, I have convinced myself that the Lord will provide another opportunity to go in the future because of how much it means to me. And because He tends to be amazing like that.

I have to say...fall is now by far my favorite season solely because of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love everything about these holidays. No work. No school. Family. Friends. Presents. Cards. Decorations. And a ton of food :) But most importantly of course, everyone stops being so busy in order to gather around the King and offer thanks and praise for all that He is and has done for us. I especially love having the chance to spend time with family and friends that are usually far away. To me, it's like a taste of heaven.

Well, I'll leave you with a verse that has been very comforting to me lately:

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10
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so...my friend april inspired me to write about my days more. SO, random week update:

sunday (10-21): went to neighborhood with cary. then i went to lunch with katie, which was good because i don't get to see her much! then cary came over and we just hung out at my house and i forget what we did!

monday (10-22): school from 9:20-1:10. caffino from 2:30-8:30. and then gwen came over at 9. we talked for 2 and a half hours straight! but that is not a shock when it comes to us. i love gwen...i just wish she knew Jesus.

tuesday (10-23): worked at hollister from 11-5. i didn't go to college group. instead, i studied for midterms.

wednesday (10-24): went to school from 9:20-1:10. then i met with my friend sarah at cal state. we meet for an hour every wednesday to talk about life and our walks with God. i love it. i went to lunch with jimmy at 2:30. we had one of the best/deepest conversations we've ever had. i am so proud of him. he's really maturing in the Lord. i went to dinner with my fam at redwood around 5:30. then cary came over around 8 and we watched "a league of their own" because it was my assignment for school.

thursday (10-25): didn't go to work at hollister so i could study...caffino from 2:30-8:30.

friday (10-26): school from 9:20-1:10. psych mid-term. cary came over around 2 and we went back to cal state. i met her group of school friends which was cool. now i'll finally know who she's talking about when she tells me stories about them! after she left i studied for my remaining midterms.

saturday (10-27): worked at caffino from 8-2:30. cary came over at 3. we went to april's at 7 and went hot tubbing yeah baby! so fun. tara came late. we watched premenition...trippy movie. got to sleep at 2.

sunday (10-28): church with cary, tara, and april. studied a lot of the day. cary came over for a little bit.

monday (today): school. visited jill at chabot. caffino. now home. dang it lauri's kicking me off the computer...
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Fall School Schedule:

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday:
9:20AM - 10:30AM PSYC 4210 - Theories of Learning
10:40AM - 11:50AM PSYC 3210 - Principles of Survey and Test Construction
12:00PM - 1:10PM PSYC 3500 - 01 Social Psychology

ONLINE:
Recreation 3202: Women and Leisure


Fall Work Schedule: (hopefully!)
Monday: Caffino 2:30-8:30
Tuesday: Hollister 1-5
Wednesday: Caffino 2:30-8:30
Thursday: Hollister 1-5
Friday: Caffino 2:30-8:30?
Saturday: Caffino 8am-2pm


Fall Church Schedule:
Monday: Small group at 9pm
Tuesday: College group at 7:30pm
Sunday: Church at 9am and 6:13 at 6:13pm.


Fall Friend Schedule:
Hmm...
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random updates on my life:

i got my first speeding ticket a couple of weeks ago.

i was recently in my second car accident (ps i was the passenger in both).

i still work at caffino.

my second job is jamba juice, which i am QUITTING tomorrow, thank God.

my second job will now be hollister.

i do not have a boyfriend.

i do not like anyone as of...last week.

i'm not dating, i'm just waiting.

i still love God and walk with Him daily.

He still puts up with me somehow.

i'm getting so much closer to tara, april, and kelly. i love them.

i love the small group kelly and i started!

i'm excited for jen getting MARRIED!! :)

i'm learning to cook.

i'm going to be a junior at cal state in the fall, majoring in psychology.

i love working with becky!

i LOVE ariel.

cary and i are still close, by God's grace.

i am missing sara right now.

i just want to have great conversations with gwen in heaven too...

a little brother (daniel, 14) just had his first kiss. that girl better watch out. haha, just kidding, kind of.

this summer has been the oddest and most painful summer of my life, but it is worth the fellowship i've had with Jesus.

but i wouldn't mind if it got a little more enjoyable before it's over...!
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i know this is a little late to write but...

I OFFICIALLY HAVE MY ASSOCIATE DEGREE!!! :)

since i didn't go to the graduation ceremony it just hit me today when i got the letter from my school. SWEET! :)

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I just want to say...the Lord is faithful. He does not disappoint. If you put Your trust in Him, He will always come through.

Even if you feel like you are lost in a pitch black room, you don't need to worry about where the light switch is. Even the darkness is light to Him. He sees all and will lead you accordingly. He can always be trusted.

I am so prone to doubt. I am so vulnerable to disbelief. But over and over and over again I have seen that I can trust in one truth: The Lord is faithful. Even when I am faithless, He is faithful.

I cannot comprehend His purity. All I've known are fallen people and my own deceitful heart and deceived mind. I am so far from His holiness. Yet He sanctifies me. Yet He reveals Himself to me. I am so unworthy. I will never deserve this life. I will never deserve this kind of fellowship. I am in awe of Him. There's nothing I can do but raise my hands and lift my head up to the sky and praise Him for who He is. Even praising Him for eternity is an eternity too short.

I am completely in awe of God right now. Utterly floored. Absolutely astounded. Why? Do you have months straight to listen to everything I could say? We'll wait for heaven. We'll go to some cafe on a cloud (haha, you know what I mean). And I will gladly tell you everything. For now, just trust me on this. The Lord is faithful and worthy to be praised.
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(Chorus:)
After the fire is over
After the ashes cool
After the smoke has blown away
I will be here for you

After the stillness finds you
After the winds of change
All that is good and true between us
This will remain the same

Slowly...slowly
We turn the page of life
Growing...knowing
It comes at quite a price

(Repeat chorus)

After your time of wand'ring
Along this lonely road
There will be many voices calling
Mine will say, "Welcome home"

Slowly...slowly
We turn the page of life
Growing...knowing
It comes at quite a price

(Repeat chorus)

I will be here for you

by Amy Grant

this song is close to my heart because it has encouraged me tremendously in a friendship that only by the Lord's grace i still have.

thank You.

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This last year has been marked with so much pain and defeat. If you've kept up with my journal that would probably be so evident to you.

A part of that pain was death to self, and that is what I want to write about. For the last 6 months I've been so focused on dying to myself that I forgot the reason for it. "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it," Matthew 10:39. I was so focused on being so weak in myself that I didn't realize how much strength I have in Christ. I thought so much about Jesus' death that I lost sight of the glorious, victorious life He now lives. This is why it was hard for me to find hope in my situations. God used this to pull me so much deeper in my walk with Him and to so much more greatly grasp the price He paid for me. And then the devil used it to blind me to His victory, which has become my victory.

Now though, I am beginning to embrace my state in Christ. I am free! I am victorious over sin! I am more than a conquerer in Him! He has defeated the power of death and destruction in my life! He has paid the price so I am completely free to go! I live in truth. He has exalted me to reign with Him over all of the powers of Satan.

Reading Romans 8 today affirmed all of these truths and I want to run up and down my street right now proclaiming it all!! The truth has really set me free!

Romans 8:18, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." PRAISE GOD for that!! I feel like I've suffered so much these last few months, and to hear that even great suffering does not compare with the glory we will behold makes it all worth it.

Romans 8:31, "What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?" I have felt so attacked and defeated by the devil...and this is also exactly what I need to remember. But this has already been proved to me in my life. That's why my heart rejoices with this truth right now!

Romans 8:35 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
'For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." This passage almost leaves me speechless. So many times I have thought that hardships and sin separated me from God even while being a Christian. But it can't. Not even death can separate me from my eternal Refuge. He is mine and I am His.

Even so, these are all just words without it being true in your life. I am so fulfilled right now because I have actually witnessed these statements as true in my own life. I have not merely heard, but now I have seen. Thank God, I have seen!
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