27 November 2009


So Wednesday afternoon I was cycling home. It was four in the afternoon, so it was already dark, of course, and rush hour, which in Oxford, as in most cities, is the exact opposite of its name. Cars were at a dead stop along the main road, waiting, and I was delighting in my freedom as I flew past them in the cycle lane. I had my bike lights on, so I was completely visible and legal, but it was all in vain. Two university-age boys were standing on the sidewalk ahead of me with their own bicycles, obviously waiting to cross the street, and when I was about five meters away from them, the first, without even looking, stepped in slow motion off the sidewalk into the cycle lane. He looked up just as my cycle meshed with his, literally and dramatically sweeping me off my feet.

"Oh my gosh! I am so sorry! That was all my fault! Are you all right? Are you all right?" I couldn't help myself, laying on the pavement I started laughing. "Yeah, I'm fine. Are you okay?" He carefully helped me up, dismissing my question with a quick nod, "Are you really all right? I am so so sorry! That was completely my fault. Are you really okay? I am so sorry!" (All of this in a charming British accent that matched his charming British looks.)

It was at this point that I failed. I should have asked for his number.
Seriously. If he's going to sweep me off my feet, might as well make it worth it!

But instead I replied, still laughing, "Yes. I'm totally fine. Promise. Don't worry about it. Glad that neither of us got hurt." And continued on my way.

Epic fail. Sigh. Next time...


"If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" Ecclesiastes 4:10

26 November 2009

you were all just waiting for it to happen

I have now officially been swept off my feet by a British boy.

Details to come...
(Shameless cliffhanger, I know. Don't you wish you knew the rest of the story...)

"...God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me." Genesis 21:6b

22 November 2009

all the things i am not going to blog about today

Soon I shall tell you about my weekend. Some bizarre experiences, which may or may not end up being too trippy to put in a blog, but overall, solid good times.

I also have lots of thoughts about God.

And I've got some great photos of Mel & Corey & I's little Hanging of the Green video adventure.

For now, though, I seriously need to write a paper. So I just feel the need to share just a tiny smattering of my favorite Christmas-time things that just don't exist here in England.

Have a sweet Sunday.

I miss Summer Staff reunions. (And I miss T&D's house.)

I miss ignoring studying for finals in The Box.

I miss CUA dances.

I miss bonfires at Kelley's mama's house.

I miss Christmas in Ely.

I miss the part in every single home video my grandmother has ever filmed where the camera is sitting on her lap for at least five minutes before you hear her exclaim: "Oh, is this on?!"

I miss road trips.

I miss pajama church at Kelley's when it's just too icy to get off the Hill on a Sunday morning.

I miss Fine Time Family Christmas.

I miss running around on the square like hooligans.

I miss having too many people at our house to fit around the table.

I miss the Decorating of the Tree in Eaton.

I miss the Secretary of State's office.
That is a lie. I do not miss it at all.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven..." Ecclesiastes 3:1

20 November 2009

off balance

I am incompetent at interacting with people today. I don't know when to say something and when to shut up. And when I do talk, or write, or email, I say weird things. And even when I say something true, I can't say it right.
Ulgh. I am a freak.

19 November 2009

cracked in a hundred places

Hey all.
What better way to explain how I feel than to echo the words of my heroine: Anne of Green Gables?

"Anne," said Marilla abruptly, "Miss Stacy was here this afternoon when you were out with Diana."
Anne came back from her other world with a start and a sigh.
"Was she? Oh, I'm so sorry I wasn't in. Why didn't you call me, Marilla? Diana and I were only over in the Haunted Wood. It's lovely in the woods now. All the little wood things- the ferns and the satin leaves and the crackerberries- have gone to sleep, just as if somebody had tucked them away until spring under a blanket of leaves. I think it was a little gray fairy with a rainbow scarf that came tiptoeing along the last moonlight night and did it. Diana wouldn't say much about that, though. Diana has never forgotten the scolding her mother gave her about imagining ghosts into the Haunted Wood. It had a very bad effect on Diana's imagination. It blighted it. Mrs. Lynde says Myrtle Bell is a blighted being. I asked Ruby Gillis why Myrtle was blighted, and Ruby said she guessed it was because her young man had gone back on her. Ruby Gillis thinks of nothing but young men, and the older she gets the worse she is. Young men are all very well in their place, but it doesn't do to drag them into everything, does it? Diana and I are thinking seriously of promising each other that we will never marry but be nice old maids and live together forever. Diana hasn't quite made up her mind though, because she thinks perhaps it would be nobler to marry some wild, dashing, wicked young man and reform him. Diana and I talk a great deal about serious subjects now, you know. We feel that we are so much older than we used to be that it isn't becoming to talk of childish matters. It's such a solemn thing to be almost fourteen, Marilla. Miss Stacy took all us girls who are in our teens down to the brook last Wednesday, and talked to us about it. She said we couldn't be too careful what habits we formed and what ideals we acquired in our teens, because by the time we were twenty our characters would be developed and the foundation laid for our whole future life. And she said if the foundation was shaky we could never build anything really worth while on it. Diana and I talked the matter over coming home from school. We felt extremely solemn, Marilla. And we decided that we would try to be very careful indeed and form respectable habits and learn all we could and be as sensible as possible, so that by the time we were twenty our characters would be properly developed. It's perfectly appalling to think of being twenty, Marilla. It sounds so fearfully old and grown up."

"To think that this is my twentieth birthday, and that I've left my teens behind me forever," said Anne, who was curled up on the hearth-rug with Rusty in her lap, to Aunt Jamesina who was reading in her pet chair. They were alone in the living room. Stella and Priscilla had gone to a committee meeting and Phil was upstairs adorning herself for a party.
"I suppose you feel kind of sorry" said Aunt Jamesina. "The teens are such a nice part of life. I'm glad I've never gone out of them myself."
Anne laughed. "You never will, Aunty. You'll be eighteen when you should be a hundred. Yes, I'm sorry, and a little dissatisfied as well. Miss Stacy told me long ago that by the time I was twenty my character would be formed, for good or evil. I don't feel that it's what it should be. It's full of flaws."
"So's everybody's," said Aunt Jamesina cheerfully. "Mine's cracked in a hundred places. Your Miss Stacy likely meant that when you are twenty your character would have got its permanent bent in one direction or 'tother, and would go on developing in that line. Don't worry over it, Anne. Do your duty by God and your neighbor and yourself, and have a good time. That's my philosophy and it's always worked pretty well."

Sigh. Yep. It is what it is.
I have to admit, I haven't really been excited about a birthday since I turned fifteen. But it's okay. I am at peace (for the moment). It's time to do some more growing up, some more changing and learning and marveling. I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope to be in another world.
But by the grace of God, I am not what I was.

"From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother's womb you have been my God." Psalm 22:10

"Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life." Deuteronomy 30:19-20a

"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it." I Thessalonians 5:23-24

16 November 2009

bow side

I'm hesitating as to whether or not to write this because I'm afraid one of my rowing buddies might see this. Melody probably will. And I can just imagine her reaction: head tilts to side, face gets really rebuking, no smile, she just says "Really, Megan? Really."

But she'll forgive me...

Rowing this morning was incredible. All the way along the 45 minute walk to the river it was pitch black and storming and wet and a cold wind was gusting like crazy. When we finally got to the boathouse at 6:30 am, and as we prepared and got in the boat, it was still pitch black except for an ominous pink/orange tinge in the sky. The wind was furious, throwing slanting sheets of rain against our faces, the current was frighteningly strong, the water dark and choppy. We could barely hear our coach above the wind. And to top it all off, it was our first time out with all novices and a novice cox. We almost didn't go out, but I'm so glad we did. It was crazy adventurous and exciting, like paddling through floodwaters in a typhoon to rescue some stranded villagers. I was soaking wet, freezing my hands off, strands of hair whipping into my face, tense and nervous and ready to respond to any command from our cox that would keep us from capsizing, an absolute hot mess (as Lex would say) and I loved it.

And here was our reward. As we pulled in to the raft, swung the boat up over our heads (yes, that makes me feel really strong!) and carried it indoors, we realized that morning had come. The winds had died down, the sun was prying its way out from behind a cloud, and a rainbow welcomed us back to dry land.

Here's our wet and tired and beautiful team on the path back, laughing with sheer delight to still be alive. :D

I doubt I'm athletic enough to keep rowing after novice season, but I'm not sure how I'm going to give it up. I love this sport.

"That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, 'Let us go over to the other side.' Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, 'Teacher, don't you care if we drown?'
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet! Be still!' Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, 'Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?'
They were terrified and asked each other, 'Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!'" Mark 4:35-41

09 November 2009


I just used the word "multitudinous" in an essay.

"Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance..." 1 Samuel 2:3a

08 November 2009


May your voice be louder,
may your voice be clearer than all the others.
Than all the others.

May your face be dearer,
may your words be sweeter than all the others.
Than all the others in my life.

Please keep my eyes fixed on you;
please root my heart so deep in you.
Keep me abiding.

"My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning." Psalm 130:6

07 November 2009


I have the stellarest nephews and nieces in the world. It makes my heart sad that I don't get to spend much time with them, as my sisters and I are spread out all over the world at this point. But I am in love with them. They are extravagantly beautiful and funny and precocious and delightful. They are my favorite people in the whole world.






Also, speaking of love and beauty and photographs, I had a delightful surprise yesterday. I enjoy following Jeremy & Ashley Parsons' photography blog because they have mad skills and an eye for magical beauty. Yesterday, when I checked in to see if they had any new shoots up, what should come up but Jimmy & Lindsay's engagement photos! They are beautiful, almost as beautiful as Lindsay and Jimmy! Check it out: http://wearethebloggers.com/?p=1078

And two final bits of news:
~Will we ever get another roommate?? No. The girl who was supposed to move in with us "found other accommodations." I take that to mean she didn't want to live with us. I'm not resentful at all...
~Will we ever get internet?? Yes! But not until at least November 17th. Let me tell you, untangling the webs of communication and responsibility at this school has been quite a feat. We have finally found someone competent, however, to handle this issue for us. Wahoo!!!

I'm off to watch the kick-off match of the autumn rugby internationals: England v. Australia! See ya later!

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:3

06 November 2009

all this beauty

There's not much news in my life. I've pretty much just been in the library all day every day for the last week. Yep. But here's that exciting place so you can see it!

And here's what the rest of the library looks like:

So exciting, I know. And here's my view out the window:

So that's all the news in my life!
The end.

Just kidding.
Here are some other important places in my life you should see. Those of you who've spent time in Oxford can look and reminisce...

These are the Exam Schools where I have all of my lectures every week:

I actually only have one lecture I have to go to every week, but why limit yourself to one when there's a million crazy interesting subjects that I could be learning from really smart people? Well, I guess maybe if you wanted to avoid the label of "nerd"... But I've been going to some great lecture series that are fulfilling my thus-far thwarted desire to take religion classes at Jewell: The Gospel of John, History of Israel, Doctrine Before Nicea, The Christian Doctrine of Creation, and Liturgy, as well as Comparative Government and Plato's Republic. Oh yeah. So they're pretty much like normal classes in the U.S. except for the fact that they're at Oxford, so of course they're in some crazy cool building like the Exam Schools and of course they're in huge impressive lecture halls:

This is the street I ride my bike down every day to get to the Exam Schools: High Street (affectionately known by locals as "The High"):

Not going to lie, I feel really cool riding my bike around town. I think it helps me blend in. Here are some of the sights to see on the way there. First of all: Blackwell. I have gushed about Blackwell before, so I'll just say that it is to bookstores as the National Cathedral is to churches. I know it doesn't look that impressive on the outside, but on the inside, it goes on FOREVER:

And here's the Rad Cam, the classic icon of Oxford:

It's used to house books for the Bodleian.
Moving a little closer to home, this is the road we live on:

And here's the grocery store we shop at in Summertown. We actually live closer to Summertown on Banbury Road than we do to City Centre. Anna would like this place...

Moving towards Regent's, here's a sweet cemetery I like to hang out at:

And here, just for De, is the Eagle and Child. Yes, Regent's Park College is immediately behind it. Incredible.

De, if you come visit me, I'll take you there... pleeeease??
Regent's Park is a relatively new college. The organization that eventually became RPC was started in 1752, and the college didn't move to this location until the 1920s. But it's still beautiful, albeit in a very different way from the huge impressive colleges. Here's our quad:

Melody took a few pictures when we were down at the river for rowing practice the other morning. Here's the river at 6:45 am:

It's magical. We walk back through Christ Church Meadows along this path. That's Christ Church College at the end, well-beloved by all Harry Potter fans:

And here's Christ Church on the left and a distant Magdalen College tower on the right:

All this beauty... you might have to close your eyes
And slowly open wide.
All this beauty, we traveled all night.
We drank the ocean dry, and watched the sun rise...

"He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men..." Psalm 107:7-8

05 November 2009

not as smart as i thought i was

Today is one of the few times in my life that I've ever felt subpar in intelligence, like I am just too dumb to understand what I'm learning. I'm working on an economics paper exploring why Britain emerged relatively unscathed from the main economic effects of World War I compared to continental Europe, and I am just really struggling to understand some of the concepts. Economics is not my forte. It is SO abstract and jargonistic. It takes me hours to read and understand one chapter, and then I have no idea how the various parts of it fit together.
This is me phoning a friend. If anyone has a five page, double-spaced answer to the question, let me know asap.
Maybe I should stick to something closer to my intelligence level. Like politics. Or coloring.

"For it is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.'" 1 Corinthians 1:19

03 November 2009


This week has been one of the most shattering and the most joyous I've ever experienced. Someone in my life died, and someone was born. And I can't help but think about the two together.

One of my rowing teammates, a freshman girl at Regent's, was found dead in her room this week. They're thinking at this point it was an extremely swift onset of bacterial meningitis. She was absolutely fine that morning, vibrant and sweet and dreaming and planning and living. It's broken the entire college's hearts, including mine.

And yet my joy cannot be greater: I have another new nephew. Luke Alan Seiler was born yesterday and even though I haven't met him yet, and won't get to for another eight months, he has my entire heart. Nieces and nephews are my absolute favorite people in the entire world.

So... yeah. I don't have any answers. I hold my palms up, filled with questions that create more questions. But even though I'm offering them, no one is lifting them out of my outstretched hands. They just sit there, weighty and messy. Friends have reached out to hold my hand, regardless of the dirt, but the bulk of it remains my burden. (I am so very grateful that they love me enough to reach for my hand, and not a Clorox wipe.) Maybe eventually God will plant something in the dirt.
Like a daffodil bulb.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance..." Ecclesiastes 3:1-4