Archive for the Church Category

Posted in Church, family, i love my life, perfect brightness of hope on February 20, 2008 by drbolte

i wish it were tomorrow at 2 p.m.

then, regardless of the news, i would at least know.

mom’s biopsy results come in tomorrow.  well, i would imagine they are already in, sitting in some innocuous file folder with her name on it on some doctor’s cluttered desk, waiting for the appointment tomorrow.

while i’m sure that the people involved know how much they mean to the people who are waiting for them, for most of them, it’s just another day.

for us?

it’s more than that.

i am not worried. and i am petrified.  i am at peace. and i am counting the minutes.  i have faith. and i am asking for even more prayers, knowing as i do that what will happen will happen and that i have very little control over it.  it feels wrong to ask for it to all be fine.

and yet i have begged for it in every prayer that i have uttered for the past few days.  as it gets closer, i get more worried.

but not at the same time.

i don’t know how to explain it.  i really don’t.

i just want tomorrow afternoon to come.

if i know, i can at least act.

my life seems calculated to teach me patience and faith.  even if i don’t want to let it.


this? this is my over the moon face.

Posted in blogging, books are bliss, Church, ghetto life, me, sports, teaching, TV and me are pals, you have to be a chick to understand on January 14, 2008 by drbolte

If you don’t know where that quote comes from, let me introduce you to something that will change your life forever.

I’m indulging in a little bit of Monday hodge-podge, friends.  Follow along at your own risk.  You may find your logic strangely set aside for my whimsical (really hate that word, actually) ramblings, and then where will you be?

…Walking by the redneck frat–I’m sorry. I don’t know what their real name is. Alpha Gamma Rho? Who cares? Alpha Gamma HELLO is more like it–was oh so very delicious this afternoon.  Boys barbecuing outside in the sunshiny slightly nippy Florida winter air? Yummy.  Boys wearing John Deere hats and blue jeans and steel toed boots? Yummy. Boys who only drive excessively large trucks? Yummy.  The fact that I STILL have a thing for boys in trucks (since high school…for real), who often come with a whole set of obnoxious redneck attitudes that drive the feminist in me NUTS? Not so very appetizing.  Also, that I used yummy a lot? Oy.

…Hallelujah, it’s not 85 degrees outside. I woke up excessively early this morning just because I had to turn off my fan I was that cold, even under my comforter.  Sigh.  Love it!  Of course, that combined with the fact that I had to take Advil PM last night to even manage a REM cycle means I woke up infinitely later than I had anticipated.  It was lovely, though.

…My week is shaping up to be ridiculously busy.  I am looking forward to that, actually.  It’s odd.

…I watched 3 minutes of “Rock of Love 2” last night and immediately recognized Megan.  I couldn’t place her. I racked my brains. I tried to log on to  All of this took place in about 45 seconds. And then I realized…she’s from Beauty and the Geek!  This realization brought me two different conclusions: 1) I watch far, far too much reality TV if when I recognize someone off of another show I think that I know them in real life and 2) people have no real ambition if what they want to do with their lives is jump from one crazy reality show to another.

And, btw, if Bret Michaels would clean up his act and go to church, I’d date him.  Haha.

…I can’t decide if getting my hands on Twilight, this vampire teen romance saga, is worth the purchase price or if I should just wait until I can get it from the library or borrow it from someone.  If I’ll read it multiple times, it’s probably worth it.   It seems like such a completely frivolous expense, though.

…I had a dream yesterday afternoon, during the requisite Sunday afternoon nap, that I couldn’t turn on the light to save my life.  I mean, not literally to save my life, but you get my drift.  I wonder what that means. I haven’t had a really solid symbolic dream in ages.  I love them, and it’s usually how I dream.  People are rarely the people that they should be. My best friend once was played by John Stamos.  That was funny, since they look nothing whatsoever alike and have an age difference of about 20+ years.  I used to have an online dream dictionary bookmarked, but I haven’t had need for it in a while.  Maybe I need to dust that puppy off.

…I should be working on my class preparation. I’m already behind.  Sigh.

…What’s interesting to do with chicken?  I have some boneless chicken breasts and the spark of a desire for something different. I’m thinking I might try fried rice and lemon chicken.  That might be fun, yes? Ah, who knows. I’ll probably just slap some barbeque sauce on it and call it a day.

…I’m in such college football withdrawal that I am now watching parts of NFL playoff games.  I watched the Patriots, just with the fervent hope that they would finally be defeated.  I watched the end of the Chargers-Colts game yesterday because 1) Philip Rivers is from NC State and played there while I was there and I think he’s a phenomenal QB and 2) anytime a team can take out the SuperBowl champion from the AFC championship game, I’m happy.  But, really? When did this sports thing happen? I never used to be like this…it’s odd. But I quite like it.  The man who gets me will be a lucky guy…unless of course he doesn’t like sports.  And that DOES seem to be the kind I attract…sigh. That one gets a double sigh.

Have a lovely Monday, everyone. Six more days until we have to face another one!


Posted in Church, drama drama drama, friends, ghetto life, Life, me, yet another reason why i don't understand men, you have to be a chick to understand on January 9, 2008 by drbolte

I’m still in a funk.

I still don’t know why.  I’m beginning to wonder if I am getting sick or if I’m still tired or if I’m just overwhelmed at being back.  Adulthood and responsibility, after almost a month of basically none, is for the birds.  I’m wondering if my expectations were far too high. I’m wondering if these challenges of insecurity and discouragement are meant to take my eye off the prize–the two goals that I came back to attack. I was all ready to do them. I had confidence that I could slay those two beasts.

Now I’m having trouble thinking about anything other than the things that I don’t want to think about at all.

I’m a little pissed off that I had to deal with the drama right when I got back.  I guess I’m glad that I could do what I was supposed to do–and, yeah, I was supposed to talk to that person and that person was supposed to recognize responsibility and take some measure of accountability, of that I am certain–but I’m not happy about how it opened the door again to something that I was so much happier not to have in my life.  Now I’m wondering how to close the door again.  I’m wondering why it is that I have to keep closing this door.

What am I supposed to be learning?  Whatever it is…it’s exhausting.

I’m a little ticked off that I am mad at the person I shouldn’t be mad at.  It doesn’t make any sense.  I really don’t like being upset at this person and it makes me feel all out of sorts.  Truly. That’s the best way that I can describe it–I’m completely out of sorts.  Being upset at this person makes me feel like I’m betraying them in some way–isn’t that weird? I should be completely grateful and feel closer and more connected…and all I am is…angry and detached.  Of course, if you are angry, you are not at all detached.

That’s probably the problem.

I was thinking about this last night, and I realized that it felt like well-timed waves of challenge that are hitting me.  Just when I get clear, when I find my footing again, when I feel like things are going well and I’m completely happy, something else hits me.   Something that requires a great deal of strength, of discernment, of spiritual understanding.  Something that just requires a great deal of thought and pondering–or something that at least elicits a lot of that from me. I have been caught up in my head a lot lately.

I guess that’s life, right?  And I was oddly grateful for that fact when I realized it.  If I wasn’t being hit with all of these challenges, I wouldn’t be growing and progressing as much as I hope that I am.

I don’t know.

I’m just tired.  So tired.

truth and consequences

Posted in Church, Life, me, teaching, you have to be a chick to understand on December 15, 2007 by drbolte

i failed a student this semester.

and i didn’t wrestle with it much at all.

the student didn’t fulfill the expectations of the semester–2/3 of the work that was to be turned in never was submitted during the semester and in what i can only assume was some kind of hail mary pass to attempt a passing grade, one-third of that missing work was turned in literally as i was finishing grades.

so i didn’t accept it.

i felt a little bit badly about that but it seemed appropriate.  i mean, if you don’t do the work, why should you benefit as i you did? if you make a choice, whether intentional and well-considered or one of a refusal to act and deal, there are consequences for that choice.

we all face them.  in some ways, i think the greatest courage we can have is in the facing of those consequences with honesty. can i escape certain realities? that i prefer ice cream to brussel sprouts and that my bigger-than-i’d-like butt demonstrates this preference? that i am about six months behind where i’d like to be on my dissertation because i like my social life and my laziness more than i have motivation to move forward–or, more truthfully, that i hesitate because with the completion of this dissertation comes the smack in the face called real life and a real job?

we face the positive ones as well.  i certainly don’t mean to downplay those.  my entire life right now is a testimony to the good choices i’ve made–to be obedient, to be kind, to invest in the relationships that keep paying dividends that i don’t even understand yet.  that i have the people in my life that i do, to the degree that i do, means i must be doing something right.

sometimes, though, as i am learning, at times i am a main player in someone else’s drama of consequence.

sometimes, my actions are meant to demonstrate that there are consequences for actions, whether they be stupid, shortsighted, unkind, illogical, hurtful, fantastically kind, generous, or loving in the grandest way possible.

it’s a bit of a strange position to be in, though.  i’ll admit that.  it makes me feel both a bit…unconnected and of great use.

i’m beginning to wonder why me.

more me, part two

Posted in blogging, books are bliss, Church, dissertation, Life, me, someday I'll be a real middle class girl on December 12, 2007 by drbolte

I love…with my whole heart. daisies. the smell of vanilla. bundling up with covers on winter nights. holding hands, especially in public. the gospel of Jesus Christ. feeling of use. reading. the thrill of having a moment of academic brilliance. playing in playgrounds at night. my birthday (probably far more than i should). chocolate (again…probably far more than i should). facebook. the feeling of peace that comes from knowing that what you’ve done is right.  hope.

I ache…after i have been on my feet all day. for all the things i didn’t do. for people who hurt when i can’t help. for my dreams to come true.

I always…wear my seatbelt. cringe when i see grammatical errors in print. believe the worst of myself when given the opportunity.

I usually…see the glass half full. am about five minutes late for everything related to church. bounce back fairly quickly. can find the humor in any situation. will make others happy before myself. can speak intelligently about a general interest topic for at least five minutes.  drive over the speed limit.

I am not…your typical only child. as old at heart as i am in body. amused by people telling me what to do or who i am. as independent as i seem, nor as tough.  the ugly duckling anymore.

I danced…twice at my senior prom.  without abandon at the winter formal, especially when kanye came on.  too close to the fire of heartbreak…and got burned, but was nevertheless surprised.

I never…swear, as i think it’s unimaginative and inappropriate (but i am far too apt to say things that i shouldn’t lately). liked green beans until i started making them myself. thought that i would be friends with who i am friends with now…or have not spoken to who i have not spoken to.  imagined that i would be a PhD and yet i am a breath and 200 pages away. will be an outdoorsy girl who doesn’t want a shower after two days or who likes to pee in anything other than a toilet, but that doesn’t mean i’ll never camp.  want to look back at my life and wish i’d done more.

I rarely…exercise, which is something i’m hoping to change. say no to opportunities for social interaction. am not in the mood for ice cream.  miss the point of a joke.  dislike teaching, except when i’m grading.

I cry…when i read one particular blog, only because she manages to say what i want to say so much better than i can ever imagine doing it myself.  at hallmark commercials. when i am so frustrated i can’t speak. too much lately. at almost everything–any excessive emotion and out comes the waterworks.  not often when other people cry.

I am not always…kind enough. sassy. smart or confident. sure where i’m going or what i’m doing.

I lose…stuff on my desk routinely.  my motivation for working on my dissertation too often. sight of what i’m really here for amid the distractions of everyday life.  clothes in the black hole that is my closet. hope in men when some of them act the way that they do. my cynicism when i play with my cats or my roommate’s dog.  my fear on good days.

I’m confused…by contemporary ideas of celebrity. why i love TV so much. the crack-like nature of Publix donuts. why people like me so much. any math other than algebra. how everything is so expensive all of the time and how i am ever going to pay off my credit cards.

I miss…my best friend more than i can articulate. the carefree feeling of childhood.  christmas mornings with stockings stuffed.  being someone’s girl.

I need…at least seven hours of sleep in order to function.  copious amounts of water a day for the same purpose.  too much reassurance sometimes. to stop acting like i know what’s best for everyone all of the time and learn to be humble. to be a better budgeter.  to learn to love research.  to scourge the lazy out of me. to remember who i am more often. to see beauty when i look in the mirror more often than not.

I should…keep working on my list of things to do before i die. risk. take more bubble baths. never apologize for my wit and spunk. recognize my blessings. blog more and more honestly.  move confidently and assertively into the future.  stop wishing to know where i’m going and enjoy the journey.

because i needed to be reminded…

Posted in Church, Life on November 26, 2007 by drbolte

From Elder Boyd K. Packer:

If you suffer from worry, from grief or shame, from jealousy, disappointment, or envy, I have something to tell you.

Somewhere near your home there is a vacant corner lot. Although adjoining yards may be well tended, a vacant corner lot somehow is always full of weeds.

There is a footpath across it, a bicycle trail, and ordinarily it is a collecting place for junk. First someone threw a few lawn clippings there. They would not hurt anything. Someone added a few sticks and limbs from a nearby yard. Then came a few papers and a plastic bag, and finally some tin cans and old bottles were included.

And there it was—a junkyard.

The neighbors did not intend it to be that. But little contributions from here and there made it so.

This corner lot is like, so very much like, the minds of many of us. We leave our minds vacant and empty and open to trespass by anyone. Whatever is dumped there we keep.

We would not consciously permit anyone to dump junk into our minds, not old cans and bottles. But after lawn clippings and papers, the other things just don’t seem all that much worse.

Our minds can become veritable junk heaps with dirty, cast-off ideas that accumulate there little by little.

Years ago I put up some signs in my mind. They are very clearly printed and simply read: “No trespassing.” “No dumping allowed.” On occasions it has been necessary to show them very plainly to others.

I do not want anything coming into my mind that does not have some useful purpose or some value that makes it worth keeping. I have enough trouble keeping the weeds down that sprout there on their own without permitting someone else to clutter my mind with things that do not edify.

I’ve hauled a few of these away in my lifetime. Occasionally I’ve tossed these thoughts back over the fence where they came from, when it could be done in a friendly manner.

I’ve had to evict some thoughts a hundred times before they would stay out. I have never been successful until I have put something edifying in their place.

I do not want my mind to be a dumping place for shabby ideas or thoughts, for disappointments, bitterness, envy, shame, hatred, worry, grief, or jealousy.

If you are fretting over such things, it’s time to clean the yard. Get rid of all that junk! Get rid of it!

Put up a “no trespassing” sign, a “no dumping” sign, and take control of yourself. Don’t keep anything that will not edify you.

The first thing a doctor does with a wound is to clean it out. He gets rid of all foreign matter and drains off infection—however much it hurts.

Once you do that spiritually, you will have a different perspective. You will have much less to worry about. It is easy to get all mixed up about worry.

The full talk, entitled The Balm of Gilead and which is amazing, can be found here.

playing small

Posted in Church, family, friends, Life, me on October 9, 2007 by drbolte


Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone. And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others. –Nelson Mandela

I have been thinking a lot about choices lately.

The choice to be happy versus the choice to avoid hurt.

The choice to be vulnerable and growing versus the choice to be tough and impenetrable.

The choice to embrace everything in my life versus the choice to fight what’s clearly meant to be.

The choice to believe that I am everything that I am versus the choice to continue to believe that I am less than I actually am.

The choice to take the giant leap of faith versus the choice to remain behind.

Basically, I’ve been deciding whether or not I want to live small and safe or live big, proud, and magic-filled.

I’m choosing big, proud, and magic-filled. I’m choosing to surrender.

(Even if that means that, at some point, I’m going to have to accept the fact that I have big hips and always will. Find the magic in that, will you please, and let me know?)

Do you know how liberating that is? To decide, really and truly, that no matter what happens–the frustrations, the disappointments, the hurts, the broken hearts, the days without justice–you are going to embrace the perfect brightness of hope?

Surrender is in no way giving up. In some ways, I think the moments that I surrender are the moments when I can truly begin to exercise my agency.  Until then, I’m just fruitlessly banging my head against the wall.

The thought process that has led up to this decision has been an incredible one. And changing my attitude has truly led to a great deal of happiness.

So, here’s the thing I want to say today on the day that I turn 30…I’m amazing.

I say this not to be smug or self-righteous, cocky or arrogant.  I say it not in false bravado or a desire for others to pay attention to me.

I say it because it’s true.

I say it because there’s nobody like me here on this earth.

I say it because it’s the way Heavenly Father feels about me.

I say it because it’s the way my family feels about me.

I say it because it’s the way that countless others, close to my heart, feel about me.

I say it because it’s true.

One of my goals for this birthday was to make a list of 30 reasons why it’s amazing to be 30…and to believe them. The longer I think about this, the more I think that there’s really only one reason why it’s amazing to be 30.

I know who I am…and I dig her.

That’s the biggest gift a girl could ask for.

(But I’ll still take whatever you got…so hand over the loot!)