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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Why People Desperately Want to Believe in Aliens

This semester, in order to graduate, I'm in a ridiculous class about the "adaptation and evolution of biobehavioral systems." Funny thing is, its a psychology class, though the professor has yet to mention the word "psychology" other than when describing the course title. But I digress...

The little squirrely, French-accented professor loves asking the class questions and having students raise their hand, indicating what proportion of the class agrees/disagrees with what he just asked.

On the first day, he asked questions like "Is life abundant in the universe?" and "Is there intelligent life outside our galaxy (or even in our galaxy)?"

To my utter shock, the majority (save myself and two other girls) raised their hands confidently in support of life outside planet Earth. When I didn't raise my hand (and decided to wear my bright yellow, eye-catching cardigan. Curses.), he promptly asked me why I didn't think that. I would like to think I appropriately articulated what I was thinking and said I think life, especially intelligent life, is unique.

I was flabbergasted about how many people truly and confidently believed there was life outside of Earth. Then, I read this:

"The public wants to believe in aliens (or extraterrestrial intelligence, ETI), some say, because they believe that 'ETI comes from 'utopian societies which are free from war, death, disease or any other... mid-20th century problems' and could 'help mankind overcome its problems.'" (Howard A. Smith, "Alone in the Universe", American Scientist, Volume 99)
Initially I thought it was radiculus that people would a) want to believe in aliens and b) have enough faith in the idea to do so. Then after reading this, I realized we all, regardless of belief, have a deep longing for something greater than ourselves and greater than our world.

As outlandish as it seems, the desperate desire for intelligent life in the universe is actually a distorted longing for the most intelligent, loving, wise and just Being that ever lived.

(Side note: I'm still exploring if it even matters theologically that there is one form of intelligent life in the universe, but I feel like the Bible wouldn't leave out that pretty major detail (if intelligent life did exist elsewhere). That's definitely not the point of my discourse here, however.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

(Late) Monday Musings: Shopping Finds

This weekend we headed up to the mountains to see Miles' family. It was wonderful to get away for a few days and see his parents, brother, and grandparents! Plus, the weather was beautiful!

On our way out of town, we stopped by an antique store to peruse/buy some decor for the reception.

I spotted this guy: (Seriously does a Furby qualify as an antique? Even if it does, can we disqualify it for being creepy?)

And this adorable little washing machine. I would've snatched it up had it not be $8,749. Or $125. Same diff.

We also stopped in the grand Boone, NC mall and spotted the cutest Halloween costumes of all time, which naturally Miles pointed out. (Swoon.)

We rounded out the trip at World Market. Can I just buy everything in there? Seriously, its amazing.

This chair was too cute and all the buttons were different! 

I wound up with this gem in my basket and am sporting it to class today!

Aaaand we all know about my obsession with HK. I don't even like pink lemonade that much, but I'd buy this stuff in a heart beat. Good job, marketing people.

Giant ampersand + map = perfection.

These cheap chalk board labels are oh so pinteresting and cute!

Last goodie: the most beautiful quilt of all time. If anyone wants to get me this for gettin' hitched, go right ahead, then we can be best friends. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

High Five for Friday: Random

This first week of school was by far the most random. It was unexpectedly and indescribably weird going back to campus for classes. I feel like I'm already too old for college!

Here are my high fives for this oh so random week:

1. Early mornings
I kicked the week off by helping with a breakfast for teachers at Eastway Elementary, a school that is undoubtedly under-resourced and literally two minutes from my house. It was so wonderful to network with teachers and serve them!

2. Soul Sisters
I was told that Cori, my next door neighbor, and I look "JUST ALIKE." Funnily enough, I kinda see it.

3. Counting down the days til December 21st!
We went wedding band shopping. Note the hand.

4. Hanging out with muh frends.
I got to spend some quality time with all my GoUrban friends! I'm so thankful for this community! (And surprise we went to CookOut.)

I also tried Pelican's SnoBalls for the first time ever! I got a strawberry daiquiri flavor and it was delish!

My roomies on the other hand got some flavors they weren't so crazy about...

5. Sweeeepy puppy
Aaaand what would a H54F post be without a Buddy moment?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Freshmen, Here's Your Sign...

It's the first week of classes here at UNC and campus is buzzing with freshmen. How do I know? Here's how:

1) The girls are wearing heels to class.

2) They're also carrying purses, a la high school.

3) And there's an 84% chance they're wearing lanyards complete with a OneCard and room key.

4) You don't notice they're sitting next to you until they suddenly exclaim in an inappropriately loud voice, "BY THE WAY I'M MICHELLE." This, naturally, is for the purpose of getting your notes later on in the semester, which probably won't happen.

5) They act ridiculously impressed / weirded out when you tell them you're a senior.

Friday, August 17, 2012

High Five for Friday: Bye Bye Summer

I'm sad to say its the last Friday of the summer :(

This summer has flown by. Part of me is glad because its one season closer to the wedding, but the other part of me is sad because who doesn't love summer?

In honor of summer ending, I did some pretty summery things this week, all of which were definitely high five worthy:

1. Lots o' dates.
Miles and I went to this gem that's just right around the corner from my house. It's been around since 1942 so its super vintage, but not the trendy, we think we're cool because we're old.
The food was delicious and the outdoor seating that overlooked the old Durham Bulls stadium was adorable.

Then, last night, we went with a group to a trampoline park called Defy Gravity.
I really wasn't sure what to expect, but it. was. awesome. We jumped for an hour and it was definitely a workout! I was embarrassingly sweaty to prove it.
Aaaand then we had worked up an appetite for cherry limeades so Miles treated me to Sonic. It was the perfect ending to a fun and exhausting night!

2. House fixin'
Miles spent hours in my room working on hanging blinds for my roomie and I this week. He would get frustrated because the house is old, screw heads kept popping off (literally), etc., but he persevered and now we have beautiful blinds! He's pretty great.

3. Failed summer reading list. 
I never never ever read all the books I initially hoped to read in May come August. It just never happens. I'm not even sure its possible. And books keep piling up on the list, like this baby with a super cheesy couple picture - a requirement for all the marriage books I read.

4. Late night CookOut runs
You remember my friend Cortney from Indiana, right? Well this is my friend Mike from Indiana. Neither of them had ever had CookOut prior to this week. It was obvi a life-changing moment for the both of them. 

5. Sweet encouragement
This week wasn't the best in terms of job situations for Miles and I and to be honest it was hard. My thoughtful roommate wrote me a sweet note of encouragement (on a pig stickie note nonetheless) and it just made my morning!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dear K-LOVE,

 Dear K-LOVE,

We have a love-hate relationship. I love the fact that I can listen to Christian music in pretty much any city in America. That's pretty awesome. I hate the fact that you're all "positive and encouraging" all the time, because let's be real: the Christian life is not always rainbows and giggles. In fact, Christians often need to be reminded about the not so uplifting parts of humanity.

The other day I was driving around town listening to you, per yoush, and your DJ said something along the lines of...
"Do you want to change someone's life today? You just need to be bold! You just need to tell somebody about K-LOVE."
Uhhh what?

No. No, K-LOVE. A radio station doesn't change people. Jesus changes people, not a stinkin' radio announcer or cheesy Christian music. Jesus and only Jesus can save people!!

....Okay, break.....

This was my thought process a few weeks ago when I heard said K-LOVE DJ utter aforementioned words. I mean what in the world was he thinking? Sure, God might use a radio station to turn people to himself but ultimately it's God doing the working, not people calling in to hear Mandisa's good morning song (but let's be honest, it is catchy).

As you've probably gathered, I was preeetty mad when I heard the "challenge" to be bold and tell someone about K-LOVE.

But then I realized that I do the exact. same. thing. with other Christian avenues. 

I think I've done my Christian duty when I invite someone to church or sneak talking about Jesus into a conversation. And if I manage to present an abridged version of the Gospel to someone, I'm really getting some extra stars in my crown (ya know, the kind of conversation where I conveniently don't ask them what they think about what I've said or more importantly how they're going to respond to such bold and powerful truth). When it comes down to it, my ways of "reaching people with the Gospel" take about as much courage as telling someone about a warm and fuzzy radio station.

God has undoubtedly gifted the church with great tools like books and radio stations as avenues to bring people back to himself. But as Christians we often think bombarding people with Christian pop-culture or Biblical principles is enough. In order to evoke real life and heart change we have to help people encounter their Creator and Redeemer. We cannot deceive ourselves into thinking we have pursued someone enough by telling them we go to church or relating an everyday event to the Bible. We are called to help people encounter Jesus, by his grace, and in order to do that, we need true boldness.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Musings: Momentous.

This weekend was momentous because it felt so comfortable. I know momentous things are supposed to be out of the ordinary but honestly feeling normal and comfortable in Durham was momentous! This weekend was really the first time I've felt comfortable since I've moved and it was awesome.

I got to hang out with my housemates & Miles lots, which was exactly what I needed after a straight up weird week.

Here are some of the momentous highlights of my weekend:

1. I bought a supa cute planner at Target! I've had a love for organization goodies since I was little. And I especially love planners.
I sat down to write all the big things going on for the next few months and wrote things like "bachelorette weekend" and "honeymoon." Say what?!

2. I also found a random Starbucks gift card with $7.44 on it! 

3. My car hit a palindromic mileage! I know its nerdy, but I don't care.

4. My non-North-Carolinian housemate Cortney tried Bojangles and Cookout for the first time in the same day. Needless to say it was life changing.

And by life changing I mean she might've uttered the words "Ugghhhh Bojangles, I'm never eating you againnn!" after feeling not so great.

5. And to top of my weekend I got to hang out with this cutie and play tennis with another kid who lives on my street!

Friday, August 10, 2012

High Five for Friday: Weird.

Have you ever had one of those weeks that's just plain weird? Weird is the only way I can describe this week, and when I think about it, even that doesn't really cover it.

I'm giving weird high fives (with Lauren) for these things this week:

I went home for a few days (not long enough to get anything big accomplished, per yoush) and came back to Durham for the...

1. National Night Out.
 It's an annual night where neighbors across America get outside and hang out. The goal is to build community and safety through meeting each other. 
 That crazy girl is one of my roommates, Cortney. She's awesome and bold and loves Jesus a lot!
Everyone picnicing in NECD
My housemates!

2. The backside of dog ownership. 
Hey, remember all those cute pictures of our house dog that I tweeted/blogged about/instagrammed? Well he was cute for about 12 seconds. Until he decided he didn't want to poop outside and opted for our dining room about 3 times. And until he contracted some mysterious rash. Here's hoping for less weird diseases and normal pooping next week! (Seriously did I just write that? Who am I?)

3. This sweet face!
I got to babysit two of the sweetest boys around this week. I hadn't seen them in almost a month and was missing them terribly! I figure I have a pretty good gig going when I miss working!

4. Spending time with my man!
We explored Durham a bit and tried places we had never tried before: Beyu Caffe and The Q Shack. Both were a definite thumbs up. And getting to spend time with Miles wasn't too shabby either :)

His "I hate when you take pictures of me at restaurants to put on your blog" face. Super cute.

5. Hanging out with my dear friend, Ellen!
We hung out, talked, vented (read: I vented to Ellen), and got to go to the baby section of Target. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I. love. babies. Basically every time I go to Target I frequent the baby section, plan my kid's first birthday party outfit, imagine play dates, contemplate buying them clothes now, etc. You know, really normal things people who aren't even married do when they go to Target. Buuutttt, it was nice to have a legitimate reason to go to the baby section and not be a crazy person since Ellen had to buy a baby shower gift.

6. Funny pichas. 
This was seen during aforementioned Target trip:
 The note read: "Learn how to park." So awesome.

Aaaaand this basically summarizes my week.
Does anyone know if there's a "People of Dollar Tree" website? This is front page worthy.

And I realize that I had six high fives. Just deal. It's been that kinda day.