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Disembarkation Day

I decided to do a small journal entry for Saturday because I started it before I got reception back. So there’s not much, but it’s still something!

7/15/17– Saturday

“Welcome back to Miami, where the Atlantic seems to be the same color as the Mississippi River.”πŸ™„
I feel like I’m leaving a dear friend behind. 😒

Coming back to America means reception… and more time to sit and do nothing.πŸ˜‚ I mean, at least it’s Saturday. Lol!

 This will probably be the last little bit of “journaling” I’ll do since I can text people. Maybe I’ll do another flying one.πŸ˜‚ we’ll see how I feel.


Jesus Freak Cruise – Day 4

This was the day I became a lobster. At the time of writing this, there are still things I can’t do. Let’s just say I retired early that night and didn’t finish journaling. Becky didn’t get to sing with K-Max, but we still had a GREAT time. 

7/14/17– Friday

I told my roommates that I snore and they’ve been telling me stories all week about my snoring.πŸ™„ y’all. I wasn’t kidding. Lol!

Today is Half Moon Cay day. So our trip is almost done. 😒 I’m super sad, but ready to get back to life. I’m gonna have a lot of homework to do. Haha!

It’s amazing and surreal how blue the water is!

Leaving Half Moon Cay.😒
You can’t get a view like this in too many places on the earth.πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ

I’m about to pay $25 for a regular Matthew West CD.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I hope it goes to a great cause. 

It’s amazing how much two measly hours on the beach will do to my skin.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜’ yeah, it’s a bit painful. Lol! I’m burned on places I’m pretty sure I’ve never burned before. 

When you save a spot in line for your friend but forget to tell her.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ now there are two of us in line in the same spot. Lol!
Karaoke with Kevin Max. Really, I just went with Becky. Lol!

Jesus Freak Cruise – Day 3

The most adventurous day of the 4, this was definitely my favorite.πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ

7/13/17– Thursday

Wow, I can definitely taste the rum in the rum cake. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ the back of my throat burns.

But the cakes are definitely delicious. πŸ˜‹
As you can tell, today was Nassau day. Wow. I love the atmosphere and all of the tour guides were SO nice! Becky and I got finagled into buying more than we bargained for.πŸ˜‚ moreso Becky than me, but I literally ran out of money so there wasn’t a whole lot I could do anyway. I’m really glad I didn’t bring my debit card with me… not that any of the local shops could’ve used it, but still. It definitely helped. 

Tonight’s the night for the DC Talk concert! A whole bunch of people are gonna hold their spots in line to get in first instead of going to dinner, like Becky and Brenda. I thought about doing that, but my mom paid too much for us to eat for me to not. Unfortunately, I just ate at the buffet.πŸ˜‚ I had tiramisu and it always makes me super full. Anyway, I’m really glad I came to dinner. Tonight is Italian night!πŸ˜‹

When you burp at a table full of strangers and are glad it’s a “ladylike” burp.πŸ˜‚πŸ™Š

Being a lyrics person has its perks. They’re totally using a lyrics screen… and I’m pretty sure no one else has noticed.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

The concert was LEGIT. Obviously. TobyMac was involved, it was bound to be great. Haha! Toby seems to be the “spokesman”, since he’s the one that speaks the most or the longest. I think that’s cool too, and I noticed that last night after seeing Kevin and Michael in their respective endeavors. 

At one point Toby mentioned that doing this cruise was like “dipping his toe in the water” to see how things would go. And it went well enough that it sounds like they might actually get back together! If only for a short while. Not his exact words, but that was basically my interpretation. 

Jesus Freak Cruise – Day 2

This day was our “sea day”. Not a whole lot happened, but you HAVE to read the story at the end! 

7/12/17– Wednesday

The most amazing coffee ever.

I feel like I’m gonna end up being that one person that doesn’t get a tan because I keep forgetting to be outside.πŸ˜‚ of course I say that as I’m sitting outside…

To think that only a hundred years ago the main mode of transportation was by boat or carriage. We’ve ridden in motor vehicles, flown in airplanes, and traveled on a ship FOR FUN.

I didn’t like the Newsboys A LOT. They were alright. I was on the floor though, since the other two wanted to do that for the experience. I don’t fangirl that hard anymore I guess. πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

The CRAZIEST thing happened. So we left the Newsboys concert early to go to the Solo Travelers thing. It wasn’t what we were expecting but that’s beside the point. As we were walking up the stairs to get to the lounge, I tripped and hit my knee REALLY hard. Like, I couldn’t breathe, think or function for at least two minutes. When I finally got up we went to the meeting, but the other two didn’t even want to be there! So we left. Well I left, but I was going the wrong way… so I had to turn around and get them. πŸ˜‚ I decided to go to the room myself and I’m glad I did. I had gotten ice from the staff at the lounge, but it was in a latex glove and it was leaking. So I wrapped it in a towel and had changed my clothes to go to bed. So I got up in my bunk, and just began to cry. I didn’t know what to do and I was so overwhelmed with sadness and pain that I just couldn’t hold it. I didn’t even realize I was dealing with that stuff. I wanted to sleep, but then I heard God start to tell me, “You can’t sleep.” Images of people passing out from pain came to mind, so I sat up and continued crying. Finally I told God that all I wanted was for Him to be close and for the pain to go away. So I began commanding the pain to go… and IT DID. And then I just sat there and began thanking God for all of the good things He’s doing to and in people on this cruise. I was crying for most of this time too, by the way. Then I decided since I was feeling better that I would go hang out with Becky and Brenda since well… that’s the point. Lol. 

Jesus Freak Cruise – Day 1

The following blog posts over the next week will be set up as journal entries. Some of them are factual (as in, what happened) and some of it will be my opinions on something. Nothing in here is meant to offend; they were simply things I thought of while I was out of service.

7/11/17– Tuesday
I’ve been up since 4:52am… officially. I could probably attempt to go back to sleep cuz I feel tired enough to, but I was awake enough that I was done sleeping. So I’m torn between taking a shower or just lying here in the dark. But lying in the dark usually means “falling back asleep.” I might feel worse after the fact. 

(Of course, sneezing always forces me to choose between lying in bed or saving my face from falling off.πŸ™„)

Being a time zone ahead is probably what threw me off, ya know, jet lag and all that. So technically I went to bed at “9” last night and woke up at “3”. Eh, oh well. 

Also, I kinda wish there was carpeting in the room. It would make it easier to move around without fear of waking the other two up.
When you realize it’s 9:15, and everyone went back to sleep, but you don’t want a repeat of yesterday where we were running around at the last minute trying to get stuff together. We all woke up super early, I never went back to sleep, and I must’ve accidentally woken Becky up. So she and I went to get breakfast (well it was second breakfast for me), and when we came back she decided she was gonna try to sleep some more. So she ended up falling back asleep. However, we were talking about being out of here by 11 and both of them need to shower still and Brenda wanted to eat breakfast, which ends at 10. There’s a schedule we gotta keep. So we’ll see how well that goes. I’m gonna wait until 9:30 and then wake Becky up. I feel like that’s the safer choice. 

And as my mom said, “The sooner you get in line, the faster you get on ship.” And I definitely imagine that in a Russian voice, like Anatoly from Arrow.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

(So the end of the story is that they woke up at 9:30 cuz they had alarms on.πŸ˜‚ so that’s good.)

In line for the ship and all of a sudden, I’m hungry, thirsty, and I have to pee.πŸ™„ this is too much! That’s also how you know I’m excited. Lol!

But at least the line is moving quickly. 

Men: hating pictures since they were a thing.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I’m sleeping on the top bunk and we got these cool water bottles! #winning 

The size of our room! And I’m in a bunk, so that’s nice. πŸ‘πŸΌ Thanks, Mom!
All of a sudden, a guy from Red Letter Management came over to our table and said DC Talk was doing a signing! They didn’t do a signing, but they were doing pics, so that was cool. Also, meeting TobyMac was almost as cool as I’d imagined it would be. He’s so humble.πŸ˜‚πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ Michael Tait was cool too; he seems like the funnier of the three, and then Kevin was almost a byline. I really wanted to tell Toby how much he meant to me, and although it didn’t work like I thought it would. I was able to tell him that he was my hero and I thanked him for everything that he’s done. He gave me two hugs.πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„ super cool!
Tonight was my 4th time seeing TobyMac in concert and the last time Nirva was singing with Diverse City. It was humbling to be there for that, but like Toby, I’m supportive of her endeavors. And as always, TobyMac and Diverse City was amazing! Apparently it was Brenda’s first time seeing him in concert.😳 and here I was knowing all the dance moves and nuances.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Now we’re waiting for the Pirates of the Caribbean movie to start. Lol! I know I’ve seen it a million times before and even own it, but will I ever get the chance to see it on a ship headed for the Bahamas? Probably not.πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ either way, I don’t know if I can ever say no to PotC… because I certainly couldn’t today. Lol!
When the pool water is salty and that is NOT what you were expecting.😳🀒
All in all, I’m really surprised at how easy the ship sails. Most of the time I can’t even feel it. But when I can, it’s not for more than 30 seconds. 
All these years, and I still laugh at the same parts.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Well, I watched all of about half the movie. Which is about all I ever watch anymore anyway.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ but it was nice cuz that was the first thing outside of the concert that we’ve really done together. So that was fun. 

Thoughts while flying

This is from my flying experience on 7/10/17, on my way to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, for the Jesus Freak cruise 2017. These are legitimately just thoughts I had and not the opinions of anyone else on the plane. Some of the notes go with the pictures. Thanks for reading. 

*No matter what people try to do to be “loners”, everything you do will always be about the people around you. Start paying attention to people. You have the hope they need. 

*Don’t take children under the age of 6 on a flight. You can drive. Take the extra time to do it. We don’t need people traumatized later in life because you were too selfish to take the time off for their mental safety and everyone else’s mental sanity. Does that sound mean? Yeah, probably. But I tend to empathize really well. Also, I don’t need more of a headache than I already have from being 37,000 feet in the air in a life-sized bullet going 300+ miles an hour. 

*Motion sickness bracelets and meds save lives. And lunches.πŸ‘πŸΌ
When Wheat Thins are a snack on the Southwest flight but you’re the only one super excited about it and you’re in a row with people you don’t know.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ pretty sure they’ve already started ignoring me. #fastlearners #winningforme 

*When they hand out the food on the plane and it suddenly sounds like snacktime at a daycare.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ 

But I don’t have a pen…πŸ˜•πŸ™ƒ

Jk. I totally had one in my bag.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰ #writerlife 

*The awkward moment when you legitimately forget where the lavatory on the plane is.😳

*”Finally fell asleep on the plane,

To wake to see we’re going down in flames.” — Relient K, Down In Flames

😳😳😳 maybe I shouldn’t be listening to this song while on a plane.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

*When you thought there was less time on the flight than there actually was… and you have to pee again. #fail 

*I swear, the Eagle Scout behind me is Kyle Heib’s twin (a nerdy but very sweet friend of mine). He sounds JUST like him. It’s almost creepy. 

When Bullies Win

I don’t know how much you know about me, but if you’re reading this, then chances are we’ve probably met in person. From what I’ve been told, love me or hate me, I definitely change the atmosphere of any room I’m in.

Has that always been the case? I mean, sure. Anybody who lives and breathes changes the atmosphere of the room they walk into, some just do it more obnoxiously than others… like myself.

Recently, I was talking to my roommates and jokingly I said, “I think when I was younger I was probably bullied, but it never turned out the way they thought it would because I always laughed with them.” And of course, we all laughed at that, but somehow saying those words out loud brought memories back of times I was actually bullied, but seriously did not know what was happening.

I texted my mom and told her that I had this revelation and she texted me back: “You were. It made me angrier than you.” Well alright then. This was 2 days ago, and since then it’s almost been burning in me that I need to say something. Not because I want all of this attention, because I don’t. But bullying has been a problem for about as long as language has been around… so why is it suddenly a big deal that people raise awareness for?

The answer for that I believe is because depression and suicide are so much bigger than they were before. Or at least, they’re both talked about so much more. I don’t have any big revelations or statistics to throw at you, just this: that what we say affects those around us.

In my case, I was completely oblivious half the time because I seriously didn’t realize that people didn’t like me. It’s made me who I am today, what I like to call a “clique-breaker.” I’ve never belonged in a clique and if people ask me if there are cliques, I honestly don’t know… unless people are intentionally pushing me out or I’m isolating my own self.

However, just because I didn’t struggle with depression or suicidal thoughts doesn’t mean I don’t know people who do or did. My dad struggled with depression for a good portion of his life. He was bullied for a good portion of his childhood. There are things I know based on stories from him and my mom that I can’t share here, but just know, my dad was ultimately a victim of bullying and in the end it cost him his life.

Am I blaming those bullies, or the Army, or some weirdly late case of PTSD for the fact that my father is dead? No, ultimately it was my dad’s decision to take his own life. He knew what he was getting into when he decided to entertain the thought of suicide, and despite our best efforts, neither Mom nor I nor anyone else could’ve said or did anything that would’ve changed the course of what happened.

Honestly, I’m at peace with that thought. Do I still get sad that my dad is no longer a part of my life? Yeah, pretty much everyday. What daughter doesn’t wish she had her father there to watch some of her biggest life achievements? I’m going to be graduating from the one school I’ve had a burning desire to go to since I was 12, and my dad doesn’t get to see me do it. That’s hard. I’m almost crying thinking about it.

What is my point, you might be wondering? Well, I’m glad you asked. Even in writing, I take the long way around a story.

The point is, my naivety (yes, that’s a correct spelling for the word, I just looked it up) in the fact that I was bullied is one of the things that I believed help me get through my dad’s passing. However, that naivety didn’t come from my stupidity or ignorance (though I do remember being called both as a child)… I believe it came from the protection of Jesus. I know, I just got super spiritual.

It’s kind of hard not to be “spiritual” when the reason I’m still alive is because I’m so grounded in my faith. Because let me tell you, if it wasn’t for Jesus, I definitely would’ve killed myself… or I would at least be a very depressed person.

I have depressed days, but I always fall back on the faith and hope that I have in Jesus Christ my Savior. He is always faithful, and He’s never left me even in my darkest times. Because He’s never left me, I’ll never leave Him.

Today, the bullies might think they’ve won, but they won’t win the war. It’s already been won. Darkness is receding, the light is breaking in stronger than ever. Because of that, JesusΒ is the reason that I and my family still live and breathe, and He is the reason that I am the way I am.

I was born to stand out. I was born to be a clique-breaker.