Monday, February 28, 2011

"Make Yourself Necessary To Someone." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

What a concept.

We all strive to feel wanted, accepted, and loved. How do we do ensure that we are needed in the lives of others?

Be the person who listens, who has genuine conversation with their peers. Be the person who strives for higher ideals, and holds their peers to what they say they believe in. Be the person who loves others with their whole heart, soul, and mind.

By truly loving another, you become necessary to them. So go out and love others boldly. In doing so, you will make yourself necessary in their lives.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

is this heaven? no, it's (hampton,) IOWA.

This was a wonderful, craft filled weekend.

Yesterday, I got to see two of my favorite women from Panhellenic last year.
We went to Amelia's apartment to catch each other up on what is going on in our lives, laugh
and CRAFT!
We each made the first letter of our name. I really look up to and respect Amelia & Kari. They are both remarkable women who have done great things in their own chapter and continue to do great things in the greek world. I really miss having them on council, but I am glad we have become such good friends.

I also crafted myself a devotion book for this summer. I have a bunch of devotions scattered all over the place from the past two summers and I wanted a central place to organize them. So I made this:

My next project is to transfer all my random devotion notes into this notebook.

Today, I woke up, gave therapy, and then it was time for a ROAD TRIP!
Nikki, Emily, & I road tripped to Hampton, Iowa to visit Emily's hometown & the birth place of Kum & Go. It was hilarious, random, and really good to spend time with these two women.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from our tour of Hampton:
Being awkward.

After the grand tour, we went to Emily's house! Earlier this week, Emily suggested we do the old trade and craft, so we set out on our mission right away.

Nikki made hers for Emily, Emily made hers for me, and I made mine for Nikki. We are holding our  gifts in this picture:

They turned out great! We ended the day with a delicious meal made by Mrs. Hanson, gag collages for some friends who stayed home to do homework, and some McDonalds ice cream.

It was fun to see Emily's life at home. I love that Emily shared who she is with us even more today. It is cool to see where people come from, since you don't automatically know their history. Her small town was so precious, and her family is hilarious.

P.S. - Check out Emily's view of the day here!

Friday, February 25, 2011


Today, I had lunch with my friend Norah. She graduated last semester and is loving being a young professional. She is doing great things with social media and her company, and I am pretty sure she is going to change the world.

Norah & I were talking about how much we love getting together with people just to bounce ideas around. We realize that this doesn't mean something has to change, but it's fun to entertain the "what ifs" because we love to think and talk about how great our organizations could be.

While we were talking she said to me:
"As a result of your sorority membership, you should become a better person, and you should make your sorority a better organization."
Woah. I'm going to say it again:
"As a result of your sorority membership, you should become a better person, and you should make your sorority a better organization."
Okay, so you're not a member of a greek organization.
As a result of your involvement with ________, you should become a better person, and you should make ________ a better organization.

Think about it. The first half of this question is simple. I think, for the most part, it is easy to say yes to that part. We join organizations, especially social greek organizations, to become better people. We join because they benefit us.

But let's think about the second half of the question. Is your sorority or organization of choice a better place because of you? Have you elevated your group? Or has your involvement brought your organization down?

Let's take it a step further:
What would the world be like if every single person you came into contact with left a better person, and every person you came into contact with made you a better person?
Is every person you come into contact with better off? Harder yet, do you grow from every single encounter you have? Even the tough ones? It is easy to grow from positive, uplifting experiences. But think about the people who rub you the wrong way, who leave a sour taste in your mouth. Are you better for having interacted with them? Did you learn something about yourself from your experience? I think you can. If we don't look at our life and what we have experienced, how can we grow?

So let's do it. Let's allow the world to impact us, and let's make an impact on the world.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

And they'll know we are Christians by our love.

I really, really like themes. Sometimes, I think God purposefully places certain conversations, homilies/talks, and events in my life to help me focus on a theme. Last week, I think my theme was about becoming vulnerable in my relationships. This week, it's starting to be about love. It started with the homily in mass on Sunday, has continued in a few conversations with my friends, & continued through my reading for my religion class. When I got on blogger to write this, I saw that Sarah Wright had written about love as well.

It is easy for us to love people who we connect with, and who we are invested in. But what about everyone else? What about that professor you can't stand, that know it all in your english class, or that person in your peer group who always seems to disagree with you? What about the countless number of people you encounter on a daily basis but do not speak to? How do we love them?'

Jesus says "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." (Matt 25:40)

Peter R. Scholtes says in a hymn, "And they'll know we are christians by our love."

The two main questions this theme is forcing me to ask myself are:
1. "If you walk across campus with your head down, looking at your phone, how are you showing others the love of Christ?"
2. "If I judge people and think negative things about them, how is that Christ-like love?"

So this week, I am working on being more socially excellent. I am putting my phone away when walking, smiling at others, and creating conversations with new people when I can. When I catch myself judging or thinking negatively about people I don't really like, I am turning that thought into a quick prayer for them.

God tells us to love each other. I think it is just as important to love your "enemies" as it is to love your best friends. It's not as easy, but if we only love those who love us, how can we do what Christ has called us to do?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"And so, man was born. He was born that he" - Metamorphoses

I like surprises.

On Friday, Michelle Mooney came to Drake to visit Sarah Mooney. Michelle and I became friends at camp this summer. We were both Shoshojibwa girls. (Shoshone + Ojibwa = Shoshojibwa) I like Michelle because we have the same name, she is super fun, and is so loyal to all of her friends. She is going to make a great CILT this summer and will be such a good role model to all of her adopted campers.

Sarah thought it would be fun to trick Michelle into thinking I would be home this weekend. So we told her that I was going to go home for my dad's birthday on Friday, instead of Saturday. It was so fun to see her face in the DG house when I walked downstairs. I may or may not have screamed.

We watched Center Stage with a bunch of DG's and then had an impromptu devotion with Emily. We sat in a circle in middle four, turned off all of the lights, used my flashlight as a makeshift candle, and flipped through Cold Tangerines until someone said stop. We ended up reading "Puppies" and "Swimming" - two of my favorite stories from that book.

It was nice to reflect on our days with highs and lows, and genuine conversation about life, God, and relationships. Our conversation paralleled a lot of what we talked about in DG small group on Thursday. We talked about how in order to really connect with someone and to have a true friendship, you need to be vulnerable. More importantly, we need to do that with God. We need to open up and actually tell him what is going on in our life. What we are upset about, what we are angry about, what we are struggling with. Because he already knows it. But it means so much more coming from you, because it is a way of opening up your heart to him and letting him in. So that is what I am working on right now. Opening up more to my friends here on earth and to my father in heaven. And making more time for real talking.

Our impromptu devotion turned into an impromptu sleepover. It was great.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sitting in Silence

I started my current journal almost a year ago on February 17, 2010. It is almost full. So instead of buying a new one, I am in the process of making a new one with Lori.

I went to her house this afternoon, and just sat. I went through some magazines to find pictures, cut, pasted, and crafted. I didn't get very far, but it was so good to just sit and be still. We didn't talk that much today, but it was still nice.

I think that in today's crazy world we forget to take time to rest. Should I have spent three hours today sitting around and decorating a new journal? Absolutely not. I have endless to-do lists, and a test tomorrow. But I told myself that I was going to create more time for fun and more time for myself. And now I feel refreshed, rested, and renewed. I know I have the energy to make it through the rest of this week.

After the FOCUS conference, I wrote about cutting the noise out of your life a little bit. It's interesting how just sitting for a few hours in silence can help you feel better. I believe that silence is good for the soul, but I think people in my generation are scared of it. We are constantly entertaining ourselves, whether it be watching television, listening to music, texting, or facebooking. How often do you just sit, and think about life? I don't do it enough. I think it might be time to start putting this silent time in the middle of my day, as opposed to just at night before I go to sleep.

Monday, February 14, 2011

#31 - Don't Charge Anything To My Parents' Credit Card For a Month

I did it.

When I was typing up my life list over break, I added this one because I realized I am very dependent upon my parents financially. Seeing as I am graduating in a year and a half (yikes!), I decided I wanted to become more aware of what I spend my money on.

This experiment made me more conscious of what I buy and what I spend money on. When I felt like I needed something, I bought it myself instead of whipping out the Discover Card. I have started keeping track of what I charge to my credit card and what I pay for in cash, instead of just wondering where all of my money went.

So now, I feel as I am well on my way to becoming more financially responsible.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I went to my fifth conference of 2011 this past weekend. It was so great. Our IFC & CPC learned a lot and came together with some great ideas on how to implement positive change in our community.

I learn by inspirational quotes. When I am at conferences such as this one, I am most inspired and connect most with the message when a good quote is said. I have pages of quotes from this conference. I think the most effective way for me to share my experience is through a list. Therefore, here is:

The Top 21 Best Quotes from AFLV Central 2011

"I'm not here to throw sunshine at you and to make you all warm and fuzzy. If you want that, go back through sorority recruitment." - David Stollman

"The council president is always the anti-fun." - David Stollman

"Being silent is just as guilty as engaging in the behavior." - Response Ability Video

"Why do we do what we do? Why do we tolerate what we tolerate? - Mike Dilbeck

"Are you willing to go beyond that fear to be the leader who your founders intended you to be?" - Mike Dilbeck

"If you are not urgent, you are complacent."- Girl in my Pathway session

"Persist with patience and continue the movement towards change."

"We have to change or we will not just die, we will become irrelevant." - Dr. Bernard Franklin

"The universe does not drop us a dream that we cannot accomplish." - Dr. Bernard Franklin

"What if you were given that choice to change or die? If you didn't change, your time would end soon - a lot sooner than it had to." - Change or Die, Alan Deutschamn

"Our world is changing dramatically, swiftly, and exponentially. But we're not getting it in America because of our wealth. And that is unacceptable." - Dr. Bernard Franklin.

"We are sitting in America worrying about things that don't matter when people in Egypt are demanding change." - Dr. Bernard Franklin

"You are a child of God. Your being small does not help the world. We were all meant to shine and to transform the world around us. I beckon you to take your place and lead our world into the 21st century." - Dr. Bernard Franklin

"What would it look like if at every second of the day we were striving to live out our oath?"

"I'm tired of sweeping our problems under the curtain. I'm a part of the fraternal values movement because I want to be proud." - Jessica Pettitt

"There isn't an 'us' and a 'them.' There is just a 'we'." - Jessica Pettitt

"Watch what you want to on TV, but put up a barrier so that stuff does not infiltrate into who you are." - Corey Ciocchetti

"When you wake up in the morning, are you happy with your life?" - Corey Chiocchetti

"If it is important enough for you to think about if you were dying, why is it not important enough to think about everyday?" - Corey Ciocchetti

"When was the last time you dove headfirst out of your comfort zone?" - Corey Ciocchetti

"We are the ones we have been waiting on." - Hopi Prophecy

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

This is going to be the BEST weekend EVER.

It's AFLV time!

1. Leave at 4:45 AM.
2. Play at the City Museum.
3. Match in our new SWAG.
4. See my mom & sister!
5. Bond.
6. Learn how to be the best leaders possible.
7. See my friend Tyler from Futures Quest!
8. Meet awesome DG's from all over!
9. Do absolutely no homework.
10. Watch a step show.
11. Listen to a speaker talk about "Change or Die" (I'm already obsessed).
12.  Watch Amelia be the "most socially excellent undergraduate at the conference," and attempt to give her a run for her money.
13. Laugh.
14. See my best friend, Daria, from Carmel High School.
15. Take pictures for the new website.
16. Come home inspired to make positive change, to live out our fraternal values, and closer as a council.

Monday, February 7, 2011

FUN 101.

Today during Bible Study, two sister's from Nebraska joined us.

I'm not going to lie. Nun's freak me out a little bit. But, they were both so precious and loved God so much. It was wonderful.

We asked what a typical day looks like for them, and my favorite thing they told me was that every night they have recreation together. One of the sister's said (in not so many words), "I think it is important to have a little bit of fun in life everyday. We shouldn't be living for the weekend to have our fun, hating 5/7 days of the week. Fun should happen everyday. Yes, we have fun with our kids at school, but it is important that we share fun with each other, and enjoy our fellowship together." I totally support that statement.

In looking at my life, I totally don't take time to create a little bit of fun everyday. That is going to be my goal for February, I think. From here on out, I am making time for a little bit of fun everyday.

So whether this fun is watching a movie, crafting, going ice skating, going to a sporting event, baking, or an elaborate scavenger hunt around your town, I will be putting it into my schedule for this month!

P.S. Mirror Men have a great message about fun. And a pretty catchy song, as well.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"you got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart." - Beautiful by Carole King

On Friday, Panhellenic had a great leadership workshop with Erika from Pi Beta Phi. She was so quirky and fun. I definitely learned a lot from her.

She spoke to us about Kouzes & Posner's Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership. I have learned about these five things (model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, & encourage the heart) in ELM, Adam's Academy, UIFI, Futures Quest, and a few other leadership workshops. Erika brought a fresh perspective to this theory, and connected each idea to a few songs. She was all about having us decide what each step in this leadership process looked for each of us, and having us own it. I loved it.

At the end of the workshop, she said one of my favorite things I've ever heard. It's simple, too the point, and embodies how I want to live my life:
"You can't blow bubbles when you are mad."
Simple. Straight forward. And so true. It is so easy to get frustrated with the little things that can go wrong throughout your day. You wake up late. You get in an argument with a friend. You spill your coffee. You are completely and utterly overwhelmed by meetings and projects and homework. You are simply tired, worn out, and stressed.

But, you can't blow bubbles when you are mad. You simply can't. In order to create those fun, joyous, and peaceful little balls of soap, you need to stop, take a deep breath, and slowly exhale. We tried it in our workshop and it totally works. I think I'm going to start carrying a little pack of bubbles with me everywhere I go, especially if I'm going to go to a difficult meeting. People just can't be mad if bubbles are involved.

Maybe if we all just "got up every morning with a smile on [our faces] and show[ed] the world the love in [our] heart[s]," by blowing bubbles and spreading joy, our world would look a little different.

Because, come on, everybody is happier when bubbles are involved.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Heart in Prayer.

Side note: I was feeling very connected to God and very inspired after my research seminar last Thursday, and I took out my computer. This is what happened. I almost posted it, but then I deleted it off of my blog. I have been unable to write anything good since then. I'm not sure why I'm posting it, but I keep thinking that I should. So here goes nothing.

I’m discovering this intense transformation going on inside of me. Every time I talk about greek life, or about values, or about Jesus, or middle schoolers, or about compassion, I feel a deeper sense of urgency arise within me. I am discovering this intense and deep longing to know the Lord. I knew I felt this, I just never knew my desire to be so deep. 

God, thank you for answering my prayers to instill within me a desire to know you. I ask that now you instill within me the motivation and inspiration to act upon this longing. Show me how to pray. Teach me to talk with you. God, I do not know how to do right. I do not know how to do good. I cannot find these things out without you. I will turn to your teachings in the gospels, but I ask that you guide me. Help me seek the truth.

Lord, I cannot even fathom the plans you have for me, but I ask that you help me stay focused on you. And stay peaceful with the knowledge that you will lead me to holiness and righteousness. Help me to know, deep down to the depths of my being, that without seeking you, my life will be incomplete. That without you, my life will be a complete and utter failure. Help me extend your compassion and your love to all those I meet. Help me to loose my ego, help me to focus solely on you. Let me be teachable. Humble me with your presence, your light, and your love. Help me listen for you in the stillness. Help me find stillness in this crazy, loud world. Help me discern my calling with you. Help me be who you created me to be. Help me accept whatever plans you have for me. Help me to let go of my own longings and desires, and to focus solely on you. You have shown us immeasurable love and immeasurable kindness. I would be truly honored and humbled to be able to extend a fraction of that to others. 

Lord, I don’t know what you want me to “do” with my life. But I do know this: above all else I am called to serve. I am called to serve those in the world who do not know love. To show them who you are through the love you have given me. It is my purpose in life to be an instrument through which your love can shine. God, I ask you to use me as a humble instrument to change the world, one soul at a time.  

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

10 Highlights from January

1. Seeing Jess, Murph, Paige & Holly (even though it was less than 24 hours)

2. Question of the Week in Big Dorm

3. FOCUS Conference


5. Big Dorm bonding (see here)

6. Having something to do with Jesus on my schedule every day of the week

7. Singing at TVP (see here)

8. Bonding with the new PHC and already becoming friends at them.

9. Meeting Matt and Colleen Phired Up! and getting to hear them speak after much months of anticipation and years of reading their blog posts.

10. Sharing my fabulous ideas about DG bonding with Emily 10 millions times (LET'S WEAR OUR HATS TO CHAPTER!!!!)