Apologies for not posting in a week!  I didn’t even realize until I logged in today and noticed.  And then my jaw dropped.

Anyway, my first interview for the internship is tomorrow, and I am extremely nervous.  I have prepared a cheat sheet for all of the information the interviewers want me to be versed in.  I have an outfit.  But the one thing I am nervous about explaining is the fact that I don’t belong to a political party.

According to the information I was given, I have to be prepared to explain why I do not belong to a party.  Honestly, I wish that (to be fair) party members had to explain their political preference in their interview.  However, this is not the case.  The burden of defending political beliefs falls only on those of us who are NPP.

I do have my reasons.  I think that many (not all) Americans use their political party as a mental shortcut when it comes to voting.  It is an easy label that can be used to easily determine which candidates and which propositions to vote for.  I don’t have a problem with mental shortcuts-they are a naturally occurring phenomenon that allows people to make quick decisions.  However, when put into the context of voting for the laws of the land and our political leaders, those shortcuts are really scary.  I don’t belong to a political party because I don’t want to fall into a trap of not doing the research before a vote and choosing my party over my common sense.

The big problem is saying that without offending the panel of interviewers, many of which probably belong to political parties.  Any suggestions?

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This weekend Nason and I did something a little…crazy.  It was something that needed to be done, but we thought we would have to do it in stages.  But we took a breath, and cashed my paycheck to buy soil and gardening equipment.  And boy did we have fun!

We borrowed our friend’s truck, and went to Home Depot.  We bought so much soil that the fellows who were helping us just loaded a pallet into the truck bed.  We got the fencing we wanted, and the tools we needed, and even had some money left over.  As we left Home Depot, we realized that we had actually done it, and all that is left to do is buy the equipment for a drip system.  So this will be a week spent outdoors, digging trenches and filling them with soil, and starting to grow seeds, and reinforcing our garden fence.  I’m pretty excited, and glad that we did something a little crazy this weekend.

Some time ago, I learned about a situation involving one of the elders at my church.  It is pretty well known that he is an avid beer drinker, and he had posted something online about the brew he was working on.  A member of the church (I am not sure who) took offense to this statement and complained about how he was ‘not setting an appropriate example’ as an elder and youth ministries leader.

Although the story was told over lunch, and to quite a bit of laughter, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of annoyance.  This elder is a really good man, with a wonderful family.  He is smart, kind, and a natural leader, and here was somebody questioning his example because he brews his own beer!

I feel sometimes like we get so focused on the little details and the technicalities of following Christ, we forget that ultimately we are called to a life of freedom.  We get to enter into a relationship with the God of the universe, and here we are debating about alcohol and tattoos!  It’s annoying, to say the least.  In fact, it’s more than annoying.  It’s wrong.

I’m not saying that we get to live however we want (we don’t), nor am I saying that Christians are not called to a better, set apart way of life (we are).  What I’m saying is that when Christianity is treated as a ‘religion’ with rigid rules and a specific do and don’t list, the true beauty of salvation gets lost in the details.  This ‘set apart’ life we are called to is not always easy, and it comes with expectations, but it is so amazing and free and beautiful that it makes me sad when it is trivialized by legalization.

I could go on and on, but I think I’m going to go have a glass of wine and look at my tattoos.

First of all, I’m back!  I have almost completed my first round of chaos.  The research proposal is in, as is the homework, and the test I was supposed to take today was moved to Thursday.  I have already studied for it, so anything beyond what I have done will be less pressured, which is nice. 

Now, in my last post, I mentioned an internship I am applying for.  After the class I am currently sitting in, I am going to print out my updated resume and hand in my application, which means that I am done considering applying for this internship and now I am really doing it.  There’s something scarily final about turning in an application; it means that it is actually in writing somewhere that I have decided to pursue the path the application takes me.

So what is this path, you may ask?  Well, I am currently applying for the Arizona State Legislative Internship Program.  For an entire semester, I would work with state representatives, committees, and maybe even the Supreme Court or the Governor.  I would not be getting coffee or running errands.  I could work as a liaison, or present information to different groups in legislature.  I would be expected to research and write.  And, I would even get paid; not only is my tuition waived for the semester, but I am paid $4,200 for my work.  While this may not be a lot of money for four months, quite a bit of it could just be saved.  Plus, I would still receive federal aid in the form of grants, which could also be squirreled away.

So what’s the catch?  Well…it’s…in Phoenix.  And I can not commute from Tucson every day.  That means that I would have to live for a semester in Phoenix.  Since the internship is full-time, I could not transfer to another store, so I would have to either take a leave of absence or quit my job, and I am not sure if I can take a leave of absence due to the $4,200 I am being paid. 

I would have to move away from my husband, my immediate family and most of my friends (I have extended family and a few friends who are going to school in Phoenix, so I wouldn’t be completely alone).  It would also mean temporarily leaving youth ministry, and leaving my awesome, brave, smart, sweet students for four months.  Four months!  That may not seem like a lot of time, but so much can happen in that period of time.  I would miss everyone terribly, especially Nason.  I would miss our late night drinks and conversations.  I would miss hiking and gardening with him.  It’s a scary thought, to leave everything behind for a semester, but the opportunities and adventures that this internship  would provide are too good to pass up.

I’m getting ahead of myself here.  After all, I still have to make it through two rounds of interviews.  However, I can not help but think that it’s actually happening.

So…this week is pretty much my first week af madness this semester.  Here are the things I have to do in the next few days:

  • Write a research project proposal, including a literature review
  • Finish my homework for my english class
  • Study for an exam in Criminal Justice
  • Turn in my application for an internship next semester (along with letters of recommendation, an unofficial transcript, and a personal statement)
  • Read, read, and read some more

And this is just for school.  This week I am working a day more than I normally do, still have to get my lesson together for tomorrow night’s Bible study, pull together a band for this Sunday, and have to grocery shop.  Whew!

Needless to say, I am swamped.  Please forgive me for not writing until sometime next week, when my exam is finished and my homework is done!

today, as I was driving home from work, I decided to check the mail.  However, that proved to be problematic.  You see, when I pulled up to my mailbox, I was shocked to discover that it was missing.

Well that’s odd, I thought, as I quickly scanned the rest of the row to be sure that, yes, it was my mailbox that was gone, instead of some poor soul farther down the road.  But, it was indeed missing.  Upon further investigation, I found it.

In a cholla cactus.

Several yelps of pain and cactus spines in my leg later, I retrieved our mailbox, and I attempted to put it back on the pole.  Of course, it didn’t fit back on-the entire bottom was twisted up so when it finally did go back on the pole, it slumped to the side.  It was pathetic looking, really, and I knew that if I left it there it would simply fall off again and disappear-maybe even for good.  I didn’t know what to do.

So I took it home.

...I don't even know what to say.

Many questions are left unanswered.  Was it vandalism, or was it an act of God?  Why was ours the only missing mailbox?  Why our mailbox?  Where is our mail?  Did we even get mail today?  I fear that this mystery will never be solved, so the only question I should be concerning myself with is what are we going to do with the old mailbox?

I say we put it to a vote.  Should we blow it up?  Throw it away?  Keep it in our home?  What do you think we should do with it?

I was almost late to class today.  I didn’t oversleep, nor was I stuck in traffic.  I was rushed to get to school today because I spent time with my husband.

The mornings at our home usually consist of us waking up at different times and going about our business, separate from one another.  Before we head off to our days, we simply leave with a hug and a kiss and a “have a good day, love you.”  While most mornings it makes sense (typically I wake up either earlier or later than Nason, depending on my schedule that day), it is lonely sometimes.  Often I wish we could just spend the whole morning together, like we became accustomed to doing on Wednesdays this summer.  I miss that.

So this morning he blew off his bike ride and I sacrificed my leisurely morning routine to lay in bed together and hang out.  We talked and cuddled, and just enjoyed being together for about 40 minutes.  That is, before I looked at the clock and realized that I was probably going to be late.  After that we lapsed back into the routine.  But that short time…well, it was the perfect start to the day. 

I sincerely wish we could start all of our days like that.  Someday we probably will.  But until then, I’ll take what I can get.  Because when we get it, it’s wonderful.