Saturday, February 26, 2011


Guys...oh my word! Today, I met Mr. CSR (Corporate Social Responsiblity...[cough] chelsea) for World Vision!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a beautiful day! I literally could not stop smiling. He came to my cube three times this afternoon. The first time he came over to figure out my last name so he could invite me to a meeting about CSR next week. He loves to talk about CSR, I love to talk about CSR and we have a whole hour to do all the talking we want next Tuesday! Oh when will Tuesday come!!!

The second time he came to my cube was to give me a book to read about CSR...don't call me this weekend...I will be busy! The third time he came to my office was to give me the corporate stewardship booklet that TOMS just put out this year. He is the big Kahuna working with TOMS at World Vision. My co-worker Kim is actually headed to Honduras for a shoe drop with TOMS tomorrow! (I told her to check what the shoes were actually like...for Nick and my peace of mind)

My TOMS shoes actually brought me and Mr. CSR together today. We were both in a meeting over the lunch hour and he noticed my choice of foot wear. He pointed it out to the entire room. Then, he wanted to meet me after! Wahoo. He shook my hand! Then my supervisor told him to stay away and not to take her intern...haha.

Guys...World Vision is awesome!!! God is so good.

And in other news...
  • Tara and I went to look at our first apt yesterday...that was fun...we felt all grown up and stuff.
  • Tara and I also just skyped to remember those days when we were in different states instead of just different rooms.
  • The Blaser's cat loves me...even though it scratched me the other doesn't like to have it's back legs touched...I got too close!
  • I bought skinny hangers for my clothes. I love them. Tara thinks I am crazy.
  • It is Chris Clouzet's bday today...we miss him...I am quite certain I can speak for the group on this one.
  • I am living without a car...not very well, but I decided to stop complaining about it last week. Depending on other people is fun too. It reminds me of my first two-years of college...oh darn...
  • My choir teacher from High School now teaches choir at Auburn Academy. I haven't seen her in like six years...I got to see her tonight. She is quirky and delightful and Russian and exactly the same!
  • I met a bunch of Tara's friends from Walla Walla last weekend...they are cool. I hope they think I am cool too.
  • Have I mentioned that I LOVE my job...cause I do. Oh man...can it please be for forever...or a very long time at least? I sure am overwhelmed with all the acronyms and stuff. They actually use all those business terms I was supposed to learn in college! I work for wise and wonderful women and I am excited about how much I will have to learn (re-learn).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

three cheers for new adventures

I woke up this morning to a new adventure! New bed, new city, new internship. The explorer in me is super excited, but the logical/pessimistic me is holding me back just a little...playing it safe. Don't have high expectations of a great time, don't get overly confident because that could all change, my first day of "work" at World Vision. Just be even-keeled, don't let your emotions have full reign and try not to spend too much time thinking of that darn rainbow-skyed future. Mostly, I just want to scream and do a little dance and yell, "I'm finally growing up!" at the top of my lungs.

So really...I just want to act like a child.


but really...we'll see...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Book Review: The Cost of Discipleship

The Cost of Discipleship
Author: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I have now tried to write this blog 3 times...each time it gets erased somehow...I wonder if that is a sign.

The Overview: 
Dietrich...I am pretty sure he could have been a might fine mathematician because most of this book feels like one large proof to me. He is wise and thoughtful...that is for sure.
The Good: 
Even though this book was first published in 1937, I was surprised at how applicable it still felt for a 2011 Christian. He really emphasized the idea of "Costly Grace"...the grace that results in a life change and not just a few free words. I really liked how he went through the Beatitudes and made them a little more impactful (I don't think that is a word) with his particular form of passion for Christ.
The Bad: 
I am quite certain I only actually understood about 1/3 of what I was reading. If I were to describe this book in one word it would be heady...but it is good to read hard things...right? I think actually comprehending would've had more of a positive effect, but hopefully I gleaned a few morsels of wisdom.
The Memorable: 
Chapter 14 is the only chapter I dog-eared and then highlighted the I am guessing I was a big fan. Here is talks about the in the world/not of the world idea:
"We are therefore confronted with a paradox. Our activity must be visible, but never be done for the sake of making it visible...That which is visible must also be hidden. The awareness on which Jesus insists is intended to prevent us from reflecting on our extraordinary position. We have to take heed that we do not take heed of our own righteousness. Otherwise the 'extraordinary' which we achieve will not be that which comes from following Christ, but that which springs from our own will and desire."
Throughout the book, he takes the position of "Why not? It is for our own good." Which is so true, but often hard to remember. The harships...well, that seems hard. The mercy...seems like something we should deserve (to our selfish brains). The sacrifices...that seems like something everyone else should be required to endure, but not us. Dietrich is pretty blunt about it all. We signed up...we carry the cross, not because it is easy, but because it is good.
Here is another quote I liked: 
"If when we judged others, our real motive was to destroy evil, we should look for evil where it is certain to be found, and that is in our own hearts. But if we are on the look-out for evil in others, our real motive is obviously to justify ourselves, for we are seeking to escape punishment for our own sins by passing judgment on others, and are assuming by implication that the Word of God applies to ourselves in one way, and to others in another. All this is highly dangerous and misleading. We are trying to claim for ourselves a special privilege which we deny to others."
The Recommendation:  
This book was good...but it took me a super long time to finish it. I wasn't super stoked about picking it up, but there were little gems of wisdom to be found every time I did. Game? Go for it...heady is good once and awhile, but if you aren't up for the challenge then don't feel bad.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Middle-aged woman can still shake it...

The wrap-up...

Finding my way around other college campuses is hard. Good thing I ran into trumpet playing–electrical engineering–didn't have class til two, who helped me find my way to Ehly Hall or I would have been wondering around in the bitter cold for awhile (walking from class to class would have been AWFUL here). So much for maps being helpful...I never have been very good with directions. Finding the mass comm departments on the college campuses in our area was my final assignment as the Communications Intern at Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota. I collected a prize at the end of my scavenger hunt...not really, but hopefully my boss does...a new intern. I'm off to my new internship next week...yipee!

Dear married man...

I see the ring on your finger. It is clearly visible. Discreetly, but not so discreetly waving it in my face does not in fact make me any more aware of its existence. Dropping the wife bomb every other word is also unnecessary...just an fyi. I am sure you love your wife, I hope you love her deeply, but you and I are just having a conversation...just chit-chatting, worries! I am guessing that you think I am probably attracted to you, being I am a young ring-less female and you are a dashing, but "taken" man. But relax married man...who ever you are...who says I am attracted to you anyways? We ring-less females are completely capable of having sincere, but platonic conversations with the married, male peers in our lives. If you are making your wife a constant part of our conversation for your sake...go for it, but if you are doing it for my sake...then there is no need.

Like a Polaroid picture...

I am often the youngest in my Zumba class (don't hate, or judge, but you can laugh if you is comedic most days). Middle-aged women everywhere are shakin' what their momma...two plus children...and numerous birthday cakes have given them...and me too...haha! It is music and fun dance moves! Plus, the best part is I don't want to kill myself after 5 minutes like when I try and run on that darn hamster wheel for humans they like to call a treadmill. It is probably not the best cardio, or the best work-out in general, but I don't gets my heart pumping, my hips a shakin' (please don't picture that!) and my core feeling it the next day. Watch out for the grandmas though...whoohoo...their hips don't lie! Sooo cute!

Well...that was a random bit of nonsense...

          Sunday, February 6, 2011

          Year of the Cat

          Happy Vietnamese Lunar New Year!

          Sitting and watching, observing, taking it all in and hopefully coming out with a bigger picture of the world and more understanding of how we can all fit together. I love festivals, cultural events, rodeos, farmers markets...anything where a subculture exists and invites others to observe and even join in if they so desire. Last night I went to the Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival at the local National Guard Armory...haha! This festival, affectionately called Tet is a very important celebration for the Vietnamese culture. They prepare for and welcome in the new year, by cleaning the house, gathering with family and giving the children lucky money for the year ahead.

          The expected: food that I couldn't pronounce or recognize was being served. The women walked around in high heels and beautiful cultural dresses next to men that I could look in the eye. I felt almost tall (at 5'4") and my blond hair didn't really help me blend into the crowds. I saw an umbrella dance by the cutest four-year-olds ever. The fan dance was cool too. Oh...and the dragons made their dancing debut by teenage boys in furry pants!

          Che - I felt like I was eating eyeballs in coconut milk
          The dresses were SO cool.

          The unexpected: The almost suggestive hip-hop dance by two twelve-year-olds was an eyebrow raiser. The plethora of Justin Bieber hair...asian version.

          Overall thoughts on the evening...glad I went. I wish I would have remembered my camera though! Then I could have shown you some of those beautiful dresses! They were my focus for most of the evening! They were all the same general form, but all so unique and different...all really beautiful. That is what I love about tasting the uniqueness of other cultures through food or experiences. You come away seeing first hand the beauty that their subculture brings to your world even though that beauty takes a different form from what you are used to viewing.

          And to all my dear friends born in 1987...this is your year! The year of the cat!

          According to the program last night:
          The Vietnamese year of the Cat symbolizes sensitivity, gentleness, and kindness. People born in the year of the cat are naturally attentive and hospitable because they do not like unpredictable situations; they have the tendency to feel contrived in promoting a comfortable and peaceful atmosphere. Cats pay great attention to detail. They always get anxious when everything is in chaos. They gravitate towards safe and conservative decisions, thus missing good opportunities in life. Sentimental and compassionate, Cats wear their hearts on their sleeves. As a result of being empathetic, Cats make great friends.
          I would have to all make great friends, even if this only describes some of you! haha. (How could everyone born in the same year be the exact same personality? That is my question.) The program went on to describe Cats in a career and a love it if you are curious. This blog is in no way encouraging Vietnamese Zodiac usage, but the blog author did find it an interesting read while she was waiting for the program to

          Saturday, February 5, 2011


          Thanks to Kessia for posting this article on her blog. Check it out. Read and be informed.

          Here is a Traffick911 PSA

          Natalie Grant and Tenth Avenue North PSA for Traffick 911 from Nate Bernard on Vimeo.

          Spread the word. Join the fight. Pray for those enslaved.

          Friday, February 4, 2011

          Book Review: The Hole in Our Gospel

          The Hole in Our Gospel 
          Author: Richard Stearns 

          The Overview: 
          "Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it."
          "Well, why don't you ask Him?" 
          "Because I'm afraid He would ask me the same question."   
          ~ Anonymous 
          The Good:
          I very much enjoyed most of this book. Richard Stearns very eloquently, very simply, very powerfully put words together on these pages to display the huge need for us as individuals and churches to get involved in the needs of those around us and the needs of those who find themselves at the mercy of circumstance all around the world. I did not feel preached at by his words, but perhaps that was because these are the ideas and passions and compassions we (friend group) have been talking about for so long now.
          The Bad:
          Ask me in person sometime.
          The Memorable:
          An explanation of this book in his own words:
          "The idea behind The Hole in Our Gospel is quite simple. It's basically the belief that being a Christian, or follower of Jesus Christ, requires much more than just having a personal and transforming relationship with God. It also entails a public and transforming relationship with the world."
          An eye opening perspective:
          "For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved."

          An appropriate question:
          Where is the Church of Jesus Christ?
          "One of the disturbing things about Church history is the Church's appalling track record of being on the wrong side of the great social issues of the day. If the Church is indeed a revolutionary kind of institution called to foment a social revolution by promoting justice, lifting up the sanctity of human life, fighting for the underdog, and challenging the prevailing value systems in our world, then it seems we should be out in front on social justice issues rather than bringing up the rear."
          "Imagine how stunning it would be to the watching world for American Christians to give so generously that it:
          • brought an end to world hunger
          • solved the clean water crisis
          • provided universal access to drugs and medical care for the millions suffering from AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis
          • virtually eliminated the more than twenty-six thousand daily child deaths
          • guaranteed education for all the world's children
          • provided a safety net for the world's tens of millions of orphans"
          The Recommendation: 
          Really good. A good thinking book...that hopefully leads to action in whatever way you and God decide is best.

          Thursday, February 3, 2011

          Secret Animal Sign Language

          I think my dog told my cat the house rules...

          Somehow she knows that she can be on the rug but no further...look, her toes are in bounds, even if her nose is not...

          She knows the dog is choosing to break the rules here and she can't look...

          Somehow she just knows where she is supposed to go and where she is not. She doesn't go upstairs, she doesn't get on the counters and she knows that mom and dad's room is OFF LIMITS. She even has it figured out that her job is to lick the plates clean so the dish washer doesn't have to work as hard (is that gross...sorry...each family to their own I guess).

          How did she learn these things. She technically has different rules than the dog. The dog can't come upstairs...she could if she wanted to, but she doesn't...because the dog doesn't.

          Can dogs and cats communicate? Can they tell each other secrets and plan mischief? Can they teach each other the ways of the world?

          The wind snowed us in today

          we pushed dad out of the snow this morning
          45mph winds last night
          foreshadow of water in a different form
          there used to be a driveway behind me