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ɹǝʌǝ ǝƃɐdqǝʍ ʇsǝq

:ʇı ʎɹʇ ˙ƃuıɥʇ ʎןǝʌoן ɐ ɥɔns ˙˙˙s,ʇı ˙ǝɹnʇɐǝɟ sıɥʇ ɥʇıʍ ƃuıʇʇɐɥɔ unɟ ʇsoɯ ǝɥʇ ƃuıʌɐɥ ɯ,ı ˙sɹǝʇʇǝן uʍop-ǝpısdn oʇuı ʇxǝʇ ɹnoʎ sʇɹǝʌuoɔ ʇı ˙ʎɐpoʇ ǝʇısqǝʍ ʇsǝןooɔ ǝɥʇ punoɟ ı


How Remiss Of Me

I didn't do a happy birthday post for Maniac!
I feel so bad.
Maniac turned 16 on the 21st. In honor of this historic occasion, let us have a moment of silence to ponder the destruction and disarray Maniac will soon be wreaking on the world as soon as he gets his two last Supervised Drives over with.

Love Thinks No Evil,



To All The Knights

I would like to thank all the young men who have lately made me feel so reassured, comfortable, cared for, and truly special. There are so many little things you all do that bless me.

Today, I sang a duet with a young man from my church. Not only was he very nice to me even as I screwed up during our first rehearsal, but all the guys seemed to be rooting for the two of us as we did something we'd never done before.
The younger brother of one of my friends, who has always had a soft spot for me, I think, went COMPLETELY out of his way all this morning to encourage me and tell me I was doing a great job. He made me feel that it was alright, that even if I messed up --- that wasn't the point.
I walked into the choir room after accomplishing the first service's duet fairly well (better than I thought I would do) and I was immediately greeted by a chorus of "Great job, Brenna!" "That was awesome" "Nice going", "you have a great voice" etc. from the group of guys standing just inside the door. All I could do was grin, say "Thank you," and try to escape before I blushed myself to death. (You also have to understand, no one talks to me at church, usually. The only youth who are at all friendly to me are the Freshman and Sophomore guys. Little odd, little awkward, but rather a nice contrast to the... females.)
As a result of all this lovely treatment, I wasn't nervous at all for Second Service, and I did exponentially better. I didn't even recognize my voice, it was soooo pretty. Oh, the things you can do when you're relaxed and confident, singing for the Lord, and supported by a clan of Brothers in Christ.

At Awana, ALL I'm treated with is Respect. Doors opened, books picked up, food served, I've had a chair pulled out for me once. It's so nice. It helps having my older brother there. A protective older brother is something every girl needs, in my opinion.

I cannot express what a blessing this is. It gives me such a lift, and makes me feel so... female.

I don't think I could end this post without speaking directly to my brothers... who don't actually read this blog, but in the spirit of "Second Chances"... that doesn't matter.

Doc, you're amazing. You listen and you laugh with me and you keep me company and you're so, so kind. You're 10 times more mature than anyone your age that I've met, and I'm proud to call you my Little Brother. Thanks for the intelligent conversations, inside jokes, and ridiculous line counts. Thank you for analyzing all my problems to pieces and theorizing outcomes to actions. =P Thanks for listening. You're Going Places, and I'm honored that you choose to spend some of the between time with me.

Jester... there are many things I could say to you. But I'll stick with the things that mean the most to me.
What I Know About You: You've consistantly been trustworthy, softhearted, with a strong countenance and quiet spirit. You don't hide the fact that you care about people, and that is so valuable. You're constantly entertaining. Thank you for the phone quizzes, the pointless emails, the endless supply of jokes. Thank you for the long casual conversations about whatever came up, the short and surprising "I'm-only-here-for-a-minute" chats, the only-halfway-lucid conversations when we were both on Vicodin, the faceless conversation in a pitch black hallway when I was so very, very lonely, and the crazy facial expressions made across rooms. You mean the world, big brother.

Thank you Lord, for creating women after men. Thank you for the opportunity to love, support, and walk beside these wonderful images of You. And thank you for the strong and soft hearted young men you've surrounded me with. They mean the world to me, and they constantly inspire me to strive towards Godly Womanhood.

Love Is Ever Flowing,



Titles (Will Be Updated As Needed)

I thought I would explain my little nicknames for people.

I'm not going to come out and divulge their names, but I'll give sufficient hints for those of you who are in-the-know to figure them out.

In No Real Order:

Morwen is the female half of the '08-'09 quiz coach duo and my Mentor.
Jester is my older brother with different parents who was born after me. Quizzed in 2008 in the Blue Shirt.
Mei is AC's Administrator.
"Someone" is short for Someone Inconsequential, and actually IS a specific person. I'm just not his biggest fan. However, he has a hand in many of my Awana Stories, so I had to give him a name.
Coach is my new quiz coach, the one who led Morwen's team to victory.
Centurion would be the male half othe '08-'09 quiz duo, though he wasn't around much in '09, and I probably have absolutely nothing to blog about him.
Maniac is the Red shirt of Taylor Creek Team 2009, known for... falling off things and being uber-social. He's also my adopted little brother who I like to take care of at camp.
Doc is my adopted younger brother from Chicago, and an excellent quizzer.
Taylor is a friend of mine from the Awana Forums.
Luna is a girl at my Awana, red hair, rather spacey. Reason for nickname takes too long to explain.
Dots is the sister of Emily, a girl Morwen quizzed with once. She's on my quiz team, and I've taken rather a fancy to her.
Honey is my ride to BPPC. I love her. She's awesome. She's incredibly intuitive. She is smarter than she looks and talks, and she's a musical GENIUS somehow.
Carrots was the Green shirt and captain on my quiz team the first two years.

That Plastic Buzzer, It Was Holding My Hopes Up

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I found my Summit ring. I'm extremely happy about this, because my Summit ring doubles as my purity ring, and I wasn't enjoying the looks people sometimes give you if they get used to you wearing a purity ring and then see it missing. =P Plus, I paid a bundle for this ring (white gold, blue sapphire, and diamonds) so losing it forever would be very bad.

It appears we will begin Quizzing practice next week. Verdict's still out, apparently, on whether or not our Jester will actually be quizzing with us. And by "us" I mean "me", because I haven't actually decided whether or not those I will be quizzing with are going to be an "us" or a "bunch-of-people-sitting-in-a-huddle". We'll figure that out after a few practices.

I heard some disturbing news the other day, from Mei. She spoke with Brion Frakes about Journey Weekend Northwest, and he said that the Missionaries didn't want to get together this year --- so there IS no JWNW.
This just about sucked the life right out of me. I was ::thisclose:: to resigning myself to only Locals and NW this year, and concentrating on quizzing uber-seriously next year with a Wonderful Senior Year Team. Almost. I probably still would have fought to go to Summit with Cody's team or just go to watch and enjoy the Summit experience.
But this... this is SO MUCH. So much taken away. Three whole rounds. Two whole days. Months of preparation that I LOVE. All that.... snatched away with one sentence.
I know that I'm being melodramatic, and it's not actually that big a deal. There's one more year, right?
But... there was so much interest this year! 4 good teams that I've heard about, plus the team from Marysville that was becoming... competent... and there were 3 or so Idaho teams last year...
I mean, Taylor Creek Team doesn't exist anymore. We aren't going to be there to smother everyone. We're... gone. We've been tossed to the proverbial winds and scattered across the proverbial fields. Green Shirt and Maniac at a North Bend church. Me and Jester at BPPC. Mei at Christ Church. Pledged at Trinity.
All of those teams were planning on going to JWNW.
Now... we got squat.

Coach seems to be intent on going to Summit with whoever he's got, whether or not they're worth it. But maybe he's just being optimistic. I really don't know. All I know is that... I have to wait to find out.

So... despite all the complaining and angsting I'm doing, I really am excited for quiz this year. Quizzing will always excite me. I will always enjoy talking about it. I will always enjoy watching it, hearing about it, obsessing over it, living it.

Love Suffers Long,




This post is about: positive things.

Or rather, "how to think positively, as instructed by Jester"
This should be turned into a series.

LESSON ONE: "When people ask you how you are doing, say, "I'm fabulous!" It makes them smile, and you will automatically feel better. Win-win situation."

And you know what?

It works.

Try it sometime.

Love Bears All Things,



You'd Know The Truth...

"...if these walls could sing..." *

...They would tell how I pour over my devotionals late at night, asking God to convince me this trial has a Purpose.

...They would tell how my laundry piles up when I'm in the most pain, because I can't bend over to load it and wash it, and I won't let my mom do it because I hate looking like an invalid.

...They would tell how, when I feel good and my headache has retreated, I dance around my room to waltzes, the radio, silence, or whatever I happen to be humming at the time.

...They would tell how, when I hurt the most, I sit and stare out my window at the neighbors' rose garden, or at the canning jar terrarium I made in 7th grade.

...They would tell of all the songs I sing to myself when I'm home alone, the musicals, the rock songs I really can't pull off, the operas, the hymns, and the ones I make up as I sing them.

...They would tell how often I've read through my two tall bookshelves, especially those nights I couldn't get to sleep.

...They would tell how I fill all the black-and-white composition books with my sadnesses and joys, my longings, my loneliness and euphoria, my hopes and my prayers.

...They would tell how I feel when my friends take time to show they care. How I close my eyes and despair of a way to reciprocate the love they show me.

...They could tell how I toss and turn at night, waiting for my brain to stop talking so I can maybe - just maybe - get a little rest.

...They could tell how sometimes, my pills go in the trash or down the toilet because I hate the thought of drugs coursing through my already messed up body.

...They could tell how often I put books on CD on repeat so I can escape.

...They could tell how I have out-loud conversations with the voices in my head.

Love Believes All Things,


* From the song "Audrey, Start The Revolution" by Anberlin


Outside Our Box

[This post came about because I realized how whiny I sounded in the previous post, and decided I didn't like it. Please don't think badly of me because of it.]

"Do we not continually pass by blessings innumerable without notice, and instead fix our eyes on what we feel to be our trials and our losses, and think and talk about these until our whole horizon is filled with them, and we almost begin to think we have no blessings at all?"

~Hannah Withall Smith

Sometimes I think that, by reflecting constantly on what goes on in our lives and why it is going on (God's purpose in it), we hobble ourselves spiritually. We become so caught up in why God is putting us through things that we forget we aren't the only beings who are guided and provided for by God. Maybe a struggle isn't just for our edification - it could be to grow those who are around us and watching us and dealing with us in some way.
When we get wrapped up in what God's doing for us through struggles or relationships, we can easily forget that our purpose isn't to sit around figuring out what we're supposed to be learning - we're to take what we have learned already and apply it while working everything towards Him. After all, God's next to us throughout this race. Can't He just as effectively whisper what I need to hear in my ear as He jogs alongside me as He can stand up in front of me and teach?

Love Does Not Seek Its Own,



View Through A Cracked Windshield

You know... sometimes I just think that we're better off not planning ANYTHING.
Two years ago, I'll admit, I was planning just about nothing. But I did think that I'd be headed somewhere. I did think my grades would still be miles above average. I did think I would have friends, seeing how I was just emerging from the strange, sour, sunless pit of friendless existance I previously lived in. I did think I'd still be able to run and play baseball. I did think that I'd have a job. I did think I'd be in Running Start.
I'm 16 -- 17 in two months -- and look at me.

1) I've had to dump my intended major (acting/directing/stage management) because the Theatre World requires more stamina than I will ever have again. So much for all those college fairs! So much for being on top of it. Now I'm looking into Psychology. Sitting behind a desk and listening to people doesn't take all that much stamina. Plus I enjoy it.
2) My grades are fine, true, but it takes me forever to get to them. I AM still doing last year's work, after all. Right now, that means Algebra and Economics and American Goverment. I'm in Chapter 3 of Econ, 5 of AmGov, and 32 of Algebra. That's really pathetic. How am I supposed to do two school years when, right now, I'm suffering from major headaches ALL DAY that make it impossible to see straight, reason, and sometimes talk? Most of my school is at the computer, and that also makes things difficult, because sometimes the screen makes it worse.
3) Friends. True, I have them. I have some of the best friends anyone could wish for. But get this --- only ONE of those I actually trust lives in the same state. ONE. The rest are off in college or Chicago or somewhere else unreachable. One true friend within touching distance. And yes, I have more than that. But only one I really really really love with my entire being lives near. And I don't see him nearly often enough.
4) I can't run without throwing my pelvis out of alignment. I can't throw without my shoulder going out of whack. I can't sit down on the floor without popping a knee. I can't get up in the morning without being stiff. It's like old age, without any of the life experience or wisdom.
5) I have a one-day-a-week job with a co-worker I can't stand. Jeremy, I miss you. The upshot is spending time with my adorable kids... Gah. Jeremy, I miss you. The kids miss you too. At a rate of $8.55 an hour, I earn about $85.00 a month. This does not constitute a good job, nor will it get me through college once I graduate High School. I need a job.
6) No Running Start! For one thing, I'm a schoolwork-wise Sophomore. For another thing, my mother has no time to run me around to Green River CC, because Micah is ridiculously busy. I spend most of my time at home in front of the computer while he runs around to coffee shops for Spanish class, Trinity Baptist for co-op, Kentridge for percussion class, etc. What do I have? Oh, yes. I have Massage Therapy (don't be jealous, it hurts like you wouldn't believe) and Chiropractor! I'm learning so much about skeletal structure that I should be getting school credit.

I also used to think I knew what I was supposed to learn from this whole experience. Months ago, I thought I knew. I'm supposed to hand all my troubles over to God, who owns them in the first place. He put them in my life for a purpose --- it's my job to embrace the purpose and continue running headlong down the path He's laid out specifically for me and the people I run beside.
::sigh:: I still believe that. Really, I do. I cling to it every night when I go to sleep sobbing. I sing it to myself while I'm sitting home alone on an ice pack while the healthy people go about their lives. I pour it out when I play piano, each note striking a need inside me for Him.

But it's been a year. Over a year. The 4th was the Anniversary of that pathetic little crash. I sometimes wonder how the other people in the crash came out. The girl who ran into the people behind us didn't get hurt. She just sat on a curb looking lost and scared afterward. Mom went and got her a Starbucks while they waited for a tow truck to haul away the wreckage of the totaled vehicle that was crunched between her beater and our truck. The woman in the middle car was taken the hospital unconscious and bleeding. Will I ever know what happened to her? Is she okay? Does she still live with the consequences of that car accident, like I do? Will they follow her the rest of her life? Does she have scars?

What about the girl who ran into us? She was college age, and not from the area. I know for a fact she has no clue what's going on with me. I don't know what's going on with her. Does she think about us? The people she accidentally wounded? Maybe the woman in the middle car. But probably not those of us in the truck. I walked away from that accident laughing. No one except my family saw me 2 hours later, doubled over in pain and sleepless.

Isn't that kind of a messed up system? Here we are, three people who literally had a run-in a year ago, a run-in changed the directions of two of our lives. But we don't talk? We don't know what's going on with each other? We don't... reach out? My Insurance and the Insurance of the college girl seem to be working together in some kind of sadistic pact to kick me out of treatment. They've stopped paying for my various therapies. I'm really glad I never started going to the Psychiatrist, like my doctor suggested, because it'd just be another bill we don't really have the money to pay.

That's the other thing. Mother is, right now, off doing a job. She used to do jobs to fund my pianoing. Now, she's doing jobs to keep me in treatment. Treatment with no end in sight.

But............... one of my few true friends took time out of his life today to distract me from my pain. Somehow, that little, short, wonderful thing has made life seem bearable.

I have to think some more on all of this.

Love Endures All Things,



Bright Shining As The Sun

I was up all night thinking about heaven.
I can’t begin to imagine what it will be like to stand before the God who has comforted me, guided me, kept me company, disciplined me, talked to me, made me laugh, and DIED for me.
The God who gave me the family I have, and the wonderful friends that surround me now – and will still surround me then.
It’s a beautiful thought. My friends, the earthly, physical manifestations of God’s arms around me, will be with me for eternity, and we will laugh and talk and praise God together without ever tiring.
The friendships I’ve ruined, and the friends who have hurt me… they will be made new. Any anger, any hatred, any brokenness, whether because of genuine betrayal of trust or a misunderstanding… all will be forgiven. I will again be able to look them in the face and smile. I will again be able to love them without reservations. Without fear of being hurt again.
The people I scorned, barred from my life, lashed out in anger toward… scars I created will be healed, and I will be able to feel their forgiveness, and live without guilt.
The heros we have never met, the greatest men and women of God, will surround us and sing with us.
This body I live in… the scars, the crookedness, the weakness… it will vanish out of thought. I will have a new body, that has no weakness, no soreness. My mind will not be fettered as it is with the aftereffects of head trauma. I will be able to dance for the Lord.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the Sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.