because a dream without action is simply that.

"Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, ...for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible.” - T. E. Lawrence

So, my last post was a bit nostalgic. And for good reason. The Hold-Out was a life-changing experience for me. So much so that my first tattoo was based off of it. (I promise, I'll blog that soon. I need to make a list of what I'm blogging next.)
BUT I'm a firm believer in T.E. Lawrence's words up there. If all we do is dream while asleep, or reflect on sweet moments in the past, we will accomplish nothing. We will have beautiful visions of a world filled with peace and harmony... but when we open our eyes, the world is the same as it always has been: broken.

So how do we take action?

If you haven't heard, this semester, Invisible Children is focusing on their newest initiative: The Congo Tour. Get excited, friends. This is their biggest project yet. The goal is a rehabilitation center in the DRC for former child soldiers as well as.... wait for it...

Did you read that? No seriously. I'm not joking.
Ladies and Gents, this a protection plan like nothing IC has done before. And I, for one, am ready to see it put into action.

So make sure you make it out to a screening of Tony, the newest update video. If you're in my region (which covers some Central & East Texas/Central OK, I think), we are so lucky as to have Tony himself speaking after the film. Find a screening near you, sign up for TRI (if you aren't a member already), and lets build some radio towers.

All of that being said:

As you know, IC is so good at putting together nation-wide events. And this year, it's huge. So huge... that even I'm going silent.

On April 25, IC is asking everyone to go silent for 25 hours. "Speak out... without speaking." Each participant with also try to raise $25 to go toward the Congo initiative.
25 Hours.
25 Years of War.
25 Years too long.

Sign up here: http://www.invisiblechildren.com/25
You can order a sweet 25 Action Kit so that you'll be prepared for the event. And it gives you the opportunity to set up your very own fundraising page!
Show it off to your friends, ask them to donate, leave the URL on slips of paper at the food court, whatever you have to do.

And if you can't participate due to work or something, please donate to friends who are!

You know... I'm participating... so you can always donate to me!
http://bit.ly/e1wWpE I have no shame. But you're the one reading my blog. So surely you like me a little. I set a high goal of $500, but I believe that it is not impossible by any means. 

So get to a screening (and bring tissues). Think about committing $25 a month with TRI. Sign up for the 25 event. Donate to someone who is.

Open your eyes. Dare to dream while awake. Dare to take action.


What a difference a day makes.

 One. Whole. Year. 

My gosh it seems like last week. I still have to remind myself that it wasn't "last semester" or "a couple months ago." It's been an entire year since the Hold Out ended and my life has been so blessed since then.
March 9, 2010 was full of laughter, screaming, tears, excitement, dancing, jumping, running, reflecting, bittersweet goodbyes, and the most incredible hugs I've ever known. I could give you a play by play of the day because I can recall almost every glance and every sweet moment of joy. But I'll spare you most of those details... because unless you were there, it would just seem like a bunch of jumbled emotion. And if you were there... you don't need my account of the chaos anyhow.
That being said, I would like to take this space to quote some good friends of mine regarding the experience:
"It is difficult to pinpoint the most humbling moment in the course of the 11 days, or rather, the instance of time in which I realized that with these people beside me, there was no chance of failure.From the moment local community members began risking their livelihoods to provide us with shelter, showers, and food; to the scene of 50 people waking at six in morning outside in 30 degree weather, without a word of complaining; to the map that showed the distances traveled by all; to the nights shared in music and laughter; or to the final night, when nobody left, and we slept one more time in a row of sleeping bags on the concrete.
That last night was the final confirmation that the people who had gathered under the shadow of the Chase skyscraper were a force to be reckoned with. The relentless cold, the hardness of the ground, the sacrifice of time had faded to the background as the sense of purpose and community trumped all concerns." - Kenneth Transier
“The holdout was more than just convincing Senator Coburn to say yes, it was when a lot of us woke up to how much we still had to learn. In Oklahoma, I watched the effects of a father telling his son he was proud of him for the first time, a deli worker spend his hard earned money on feeding the crazy young people outside the building, a hungry demonstrator give his lunch to the homeless man down the street, and the list goes on. I learned how powerful a community can be, how passion can carry you through the most frustrating times, and that I’ve gained the best friends I could ask for.” – Abby Freeman
 "Remember that time when a group of total strangers came together and fought for something bigger than ourselves, and how we became family in just 11 days?
Remember that time when we thought we were helping change the lives of others for the better, but in reality it was us who had been changed?

Remember that time when we made the impossible possible just by pursing & fighting for justice, stubbornly persevering under trial, and loving the hell out of people?
Remember how a small group of people with no political power or authority changed the heart of the most stubborn senator, and now a bill was signed into L-A-W?

...Ya, me too."

(And this is just the beginning)."  - Jessica Walizer

 -Mark Nehrenz
Know that it was unbelievable. That time stood still for us as we ran and held on to each other amidst the tears of utter joy and disbelief. And then, it died down and we stood together once again as a family dedicated to peace. Knowing that this wasn't the end of our fight, but that this was a huge step. And that was breathtaking. I remember looking over and seeing Kenneth just laying on the concrete, staring up at the building, or at the sky, or perhaps just looking. It made me think of the distance we'd come; of the way we'd grown together; of the hundreds of people who supported us even if they couldn't be there; of the 24 years of war that still raged on, but that there was a small glimmer of hope for an end. It was so humbling to look around and know that I was surrounded by some of the most insanely dedicated activists, but that our job was not even close to done.
I slept under the stars in downtown Oklahoma City for one last time that night, and with the blanket of night came the heaviness of reality. Yes, we had gotten the hold lifted. And yes, we had become a family. And yes, that bill went on to be signed into law on May 24, 2010. But until the war is completely over, we have to continue to remember the lives lost by thousands of Central Africans. That this is not a game of "who can sleep out the longest" or "how many phone calls to a Senator's office can I make today?" This is real. This is life. So many families live in fear even still. We still have work to do. The Holdout represented the drive and love embedded in the hearts of young people across the nation by bringing together a small portion of those who have been involved in the peace efforts. And Kenneth's blog on Resolve today was a reminder that those 12 days outside also represent the actions taken to hold our government accountable for the human rights violations all across the world; that we will not sleep comfortably until they take a stand with us; that we will persevere through the roadblocks that try to knock us off the beaten path we have chosen.
We will stand in solidarity. We will not back down. We will see this through to the end. And you better believe that you'll see 50 familiar faces rejoicing together when at last the peace comes.
"Someday, the light
 will shine like a sun
 through my skin
 & they will say,
 What have you done
 with your life?

 & though there are
 many moments i think
 i will remember,
 in the end,
 i will be proud to say,
     i was one of us."
Did I mention there was screaming and jumping? There was.


when being at the top feels like the bottom.

I'll be real with you guys. All 5 of you who read this.

For the first time ever, I'm at the very top of my "healthy weight range" for my height/age. I've always tended to be around the middle of it-never really skinny, but never huge.
And now, even the thought of stepping on a scale again anytime soon makes me want to cry. 
I've been working out, trying to eat healthier, trying not to snack on crap I don't need. But nothing seems to help. And nothing seems to stick for long.

And, I know. I'm not fat. Whatever. I just don't feel good anymore. I'm to the point where I don't care how YOU think I look... but I feel gross. And no, I don't want to be 100 lbs. I don't have any expectations to ever look like an Urban Outfitters model or have legs like Abby Van Duker. But I want to feel good about myself again, and I can't seem to get there.

Here's the deal: At the start of the summer, I was already bigger than where I wanted to be. But I've gained constantly since July. For a while, I didn't care. I've heard that happens a lot. People either stop eating or they eat all the time. I was clearly the latter. It's almost like I decided that since I lost huge part of my heart, I would make up for it in resees and ice cream. I became empty and needed something to fill me. And though I turned often to the Lord and to prayer, I turned just as often to food. Not surprisingly, junk food didn't fill me. But I start school again and things get even more stressful as I'm trying to finish my degree. Late nights working on my capstone turned into eating crap again. Busy days left me no energy to work out or to even do much.

So here I am. 6 and a half months later, almost 20 lbs over what I want to be, feeling like my efforts to lose weight have been futile, and that I'm losing myself behind it.

And then there's the fact that eating healthy requires more money than I have. Which is none. I'm having a killer hard time finding a job, and so I'm sitting at home all day cleaning or sorting boxes and so what better time filler than snacking? And my house doesn't exactly keep the healthiest snacks around.

 I really want to start weight watchers but, as mentioned before, I have no money. That would give me some form of accountability program. I need to see people who are sticking to a healthier lifestyle and who are seeing results. So, maybe I just need to let people know. I need people to hold me accountable. People who know me and aren't afraid to call it like it is. I'm putting my initial goal weight on my wall along with the weight I'm at now and I'm going to try to keep to a healthy meal plan. Not an atkins or south beach diet program that would never last- but scheduling workouts and choosing water over sodas and things like that. Steps towards losing weight and staying healthy.

Can you guys be praying for me? It seems so silly. I'm just at a point where I'm in a new place, with honestly no friends, and I'm just having trouble keeping order in my life. Plano is horribly lonely thus far and I want to be able to at least start regulating some part of it. So can you be praying that I find some accountability and enough motivation to stick with this. I haven't felt a lot of motivation for many things lately, so this may be harder than it should be. Haha.

So there it is. A bunch of heart jumble and how I'm dealing with moving. Which isn't too well. 
There's a lot of changes I'm having to make, and adjusting is weirder than I expected it. This is just the thing that's kind of pushing me over the edge. Watching myself gain weight and not knowing how to even start to get my life back.



the story of His glory.

See, you come to the end of Malachi, and we see a mighty indictment against the people of Israel. This is to be the story of His glory?? It seems as though the people He placed on earth to display His kingdom have surely failed! Surely, His plan has failed, for His people have RUINED His name.

For 400 years we wait. After 400 years of silence, a whisper laughs across the expanse of the heavens!

"A King will be born."



Half of the time, I find myself asking a simple question.

"Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time 
for the important things in her life."

"Janelle. What are you doing?"


reminding me it's alright to dream.

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. 

Thanks, Invisible Children, for posting this.
(Otter are sometimes called the clowns of the wilds.)


Beats. Books. Blogs.

Battlestar Galactica! 

So, this was not what I was planning on writing when I got on here, but I don't have the energy to be creative. My head hurts, I'm tired, and I hate packing. But here's the deal:
I want suggestions on new music, new books, and new blogs to read. I had a conversation with a friend over coffee and we agreed to exchange good stuff we learned of. So I guess the first step of that is actually finding those good things we both are seeking.

That's where you come in- unless "you" means "Lauren Hunter" because... well... I can't give you new music if you gave it to me, eh? And it's very possible that LHunt is the only person who reads this blogs. Who knows.

What inspires you? You turn on that song, read this book,  get updates from such and such blog, and you just feel motivated, creative, ready. I want to hear those. So, pull up your bookmarked blogosphere pages or check out that well-worn bookcase and throw some suggestions my way.

I'd love you forever.

...Not that I don't anyway.

(Please forgive my blogging tonight. I have a migraine and may not make much sense.)


I planned

on blogging today.
But that didn't happen.

Hopefully tomorrow.
Until next time,