Updates from July, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • acleveland 10:23 pm on July 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    I love the weekend. 

    If this turns into a lot of meaningless paragraphs, sorry. Also, sorry if this makes no sense. Because I’m exhausted and not really paying attention to what I’m writing. Band camp is seriously stressing me out. If anyone that really reads this wants to text/call me and say “Everything does NOT suck”, I’d be MORE THAN FINE with that. 

    Crazy story — yesterday, I was pretty mad when I got home from camp all day. Going back to band camp is like going back to school, except I’m outside and running around in a highschool parking lot all day. I was frustrated because all summer I have been hanging out with people that make it EASY to follow Christ because they don’t cuss and say bad things and all that. So to come back to this was not what I’ve gotten used to, and for some reason it kind of took me by surprise. I came home feeling really frustrated and thinking it’s WAY too hard to not follow the crowd and just do what it takes to make them happy. (I wrote something about this a few days ago, I think.) So then, I was about to go to sleep and I opened up a random book that I read about 2 years ago because I was going to reread it. I opened it up to an index card and the lyrics for the song “Opposite Way” by Leeland, and the index card had this verse on it:

    Ecclesiastes 12:12 – “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man”.

    It was really cool, actually. A lot of things have been happening like that lately, and I like being able to recognized it when I’m being talked to by Him.

    You know why I think we have imperfect days? So we appreciate the good. If everything was completely perfect all the time, we would take it even more for granted than we do right now. And if everything was perfect all the time, and then something went way wrong, we wouldn’t know how to deal with it. A bad situation or a bad day would be foreign, and it would shake us up way more than it should have. If there was never someone being mean, we wouldn’t appreciate everyone being nice. Maybe next time I have a bad day, I’ll remember  just how great I have it, I won’t take it for granted when I have a good day, and I’ll be grateful for even the small nice things that come my way. Because without the bad, the good could be forgotten.

    New favorite song: 1,2,3,4 by the Plain White T’s

    • ohtay 10:45 pm on July 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      reading this made my day a whole lot better. i miss you so much. oh..and everything does NOT suck:)

    • liza 4:49 pm on July 31, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      oh my goodness I love 1, 2, 3, 4!
      And everything most definitely does not suck!!!
      Haha I love you:)

    • Kelli 5:43 pm on August 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I never really thought of it that way. I mean I hate the bad days. Like really hate them. Part of me kinda dreads going back to school because there will be alot more bad days when nothing goes right and I make the wrong decisions, but I understand you. If everything was great, we wouldn’t feel like we needed Him anymore. That is what alot of atheists and people feel because they think they can handle everything on their own just fine. But when things start to suck we realize that we need Him. Unfortunately many times once things get better we forget Him until we need Him again. But the good days help because they surround us with Godly friends who make it easy to follow Him and not get distracted. Hard days are helpful and yet it still sucks when you are in the middle of one, but lets hope the bad days are few and God is with us through all of them.

  • acleveland 5:00 pm on July 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    rain rain, please stay. 

    Because if the rain stays, then we don’t have to go back outside during band camp after dinner break today. Band camp actually hasn’t been too bad yet. Really tiring, but kind of fun. It’s been really awesome to see everyone that I’ve missed all summer… But yesterday I collapsed right when I stepped through the door of my home.

    I’ve been thinking lately about the way people try to make themselves better. Sometimes we look in the wrong places. I’ve heard people talking about better phones and more expensive cars and prettier clothes. It’s easy to find our value in worldly things. There are girls that find their value in guys, and people that only think they are as good as their grades or who they hang out with or where they live or what they do or what they say or what they wear or what they own. We build up all of these unimportant things in our mind so much that they determine how we see ourselves. It’s all so, so temporary, though. In ten years it won’t matter what type of jeans you wore. It won’t matter what cell phone you had, or where you bought your shoes. And living in a nice house doesn’t make you a better person than someone that lives in a tent. And you’re not more important because you have a great car.. I just hadn’t really thought before about where people find their value. But I’ll find my value in God.

    New favorite song: Sympathy by the Goo Goo Dolls


    • Kelli 5:37 pm on August 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      We talked about this in Sunday School some. We get so caught up on “I really want this” or “I really want that” that we forget who and what we should focus on. Lots of things may seem super important now, but all they are doing is distracting us from the prize.

  • acleveland 9:50 pm on July 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply  


    Band camp. = No life for the next two weeks. Wooo. It’s worth it, but wow.

    After band camp, I’m gone for a week. Then school starts two days after I get home. It sure has flown by faster than I thought it would. It’s hard to think about going to school, because honestly, from 8:30 to 3:30, Monday through Friday, I would rather be anywhere but school. It’s stressful, and not really the best atmosphere. It’s easy to follow Christ and show it when I am surrounded with my youth group, where we all live for the same higher purpose. But at school… It’s not like that. It’s hard to sit and watch friends say and do things that I disagree with, and to be put in those uncomfortable situations. It’s hard to block out the crap that I hear everyday when just walking through the halls.

    I won’t leave anything that’s become a part of me behind when I walk through those school doors. No, I’ll keep Him with me more than ever, because that’s when I’ll need it the most. I’m not going to try to please other people by dropping my beliefs, because I live to please HIM and not my highschool :] It’s really a blessing in disguise.

    New favorite song: Swim by Jack’s Mannequin

    • Kelli 12:44 pm on July 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      i almost jumped out of my chair when i watched that commercial!
      i do understand where you are coming from. its hard to be the one who won’t participate in stupid jokes and mean remarks. its hard to be different. but church on sunday and wednesday is a life saver!

    • kasey 12:28 pm on August 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I agree! I’m not too excited for school. I am to see friends (like you!) though. (:
      And I love swim! That’s a really good song.

  • acleveland 12:10 am on July 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    i love you, you love me, we’re a happy family 

    Who do you say that I am?

    You are the smile that tugs the string of planets into orbit

    You have warmth that heats the sun

    You send renewal from streamers of quiet rain

    You laugh in booms of thunders, bursting at the seams of clouds

    A perfect circle – no beginning and no end

    The last puzzle piece, the message in the bottle

    The picture on the other side of the mirror

    The fulfilling story behind the empty written words

    True love unveiled at no cost of our own.

    I walk behind in your footsteps,

    Attempting to step exactly where you lead me,

    Never straying, always trusting.


    Life is great. This past week has been one of the best yet! High school blast for the youth group was on Tuesday, and it was great. Thursday, I went whitewater rafting for a birthday party and came way too close to being thrown out of the raft. It was so much fun. At one point, the water was calm and we all jumped out. The next day, I went on a hike with my best friends to Grotto Falls up in the mountains. It was beautiful, and a great hike. On the way to the waterfall, it was all uphill. But we stopped to enjoy the scenery and take many, many pictures. Tonight, my brother, my friend Matt and I went to a concert downtown. It was with Copeland, Barcelona, Anchor & Braille, and Sherwood. Matt has a seriously unhealthy, stalkerish obsession with Stephen Christian, the lead singer of Anchor & Braille and Anberlin. He got countless pictures, never stopped smiling, and about had a heart attack when we talked to him after the concert right outside the Square Room. Matt even confessed to faking Stephen’s autograph on a poster that’s on his wall. It was a great night, a great week, and overall it’s been a great – but hectic – summer so far.

    New favorite song: Adelaide by Anberlin

  • acleveland 12:52 am on July 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Oh, brother. 

    My brother is an interesting guy. For those of you that know what I’m talking about, this is payback.

    Will Honestly, I think that’s adorable. Look how cute he is! And that dress…

    Really though, Will is seriously awesome. When he entered the youth group, I thought it was going to be awkward. I couldn’t imagine sharing Resurrection and all the retreats with him. I didn’t even know if he would take it seriously. But ever since he started youth group, which was just in this past year, he’s shown me, and everyone else, that he is on fire. The past few nights, he’s come into my room and we’ve done devotions together for at least 20 minutes. Last night, we decided to make it something we do every night. We’ve really come a long way…before, I never would have dreamed that Will and I would spend time together in that incredible way.

    The Struggle Of Stress

    Breathe in, and hold it.

    Feel the need to breathe

    As you carry the weight

    That seems invisible to the rest of the world.

    Pressure to grow relationships,

    To exceed expectations,

    To meet every deadline,

    To take control of every responsibility.

    Each added brick of burden

    Causes the clock to move a little faster, stealing precious minutes.

    Input overload.

    Too much to do, too little time.

    Meanwhile, the clock’s steady

    Tick – Tock tempo increases along with you

    As you struggle to keep up

    With the countdown of the remaining hours in the day.

    Breathe in, and hold it.

    Finally, breathe out.

    Blow away your worries,

    Your schedule,

    Your remaining time,

    Your to-do list.

    Unchain the weight from your shoulders

    And hand it over to your creator.

    Release the pressure of the clock and the calendar

    Drown out the tick-tock, and allow it to be slowed back to normal.

    Close your eyes, trust, and collapse backwards

    Into the arms that shook the stars into the sky.

    Breathe out, and relax.


    New favorite song: Sleepless – Until June

    • Will 10:52 pm on July 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Who’s that guy in the picture? That’s not me… Have you been messing with photoshop again???

    • liza 12:06 am on December 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      This is my all time favorite! I love the poem so terribly much and the picture isn’t half bad either. Love you girl:) oh yeah and I love your poems too.

  • acleveland 12:10 am on July 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply  


    I LOVE music. I love playing it on piano and guitar, and listening to it. When I was younger, I never listened to the lyrics. I just paid attention to the tune and didn’t even attempt to figure out the words. That’s changed! Last night there were some lines from songs that stuck out to me. All of Mat Kearney’s songs are incredible… Girl America, Bullet, Nothing Left To Lose… I would put all those lyrics on here if I could! But this one really stood alone yesterday.

    “There is no guilt here
    There is no shame
    No pointing fingers
    There is no blame
    What happened yesterday…has disappeared
    The dirt has washed away
    And now it’s clear

    There’s only grace
    There’s only love
    There’s only mercy and believe me it’s enough
    Your sins are gone
    Without a trace
    And there’s nothing left now
    There’s only grace

    You’re starting over now
    Under the sun
    You’re stepping forward now
    A new life has begun
    Your new life has begun.”

    Only Grace: Matthew West

    For the first part of the song it talks about how our sins have disappeared without a trace.  I can think of so many times when people have done things to let me down, and I can’t seem to forgive and forget. Their hurtful act was a spill that left a stain on my memory, marking that person as “the one who did this”. He doesn’t hold a grudge.

     When it talks about leaving our old life behind, I thought about change. When I was younger, my parents stripped the wallpaper from the living room and replaced it with paint. To me, this was the end of the world. I begged them repeatedly to not mess with the room, because I didn’t want to have to adjust to the differences. I wished it was all under my own control. Obviously, I’ve never been a big fan of change. But to turn the opposite way and change into a new person…that’s something I could deal with. It’s not a total turn around if you pick and choose what changes and what remains the same. Completely different, like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. A 100% renewal  is not temporary, and not partial. Permanent. Whole. It takes a lot of trust to let Him have control. But it’s worth it.

    Favorite song today: Iris – Goo Goo Dolls

    • Liza 2:47 am on July 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      i love it! & you! you should totally keep up the amazing specfabular work! it’s splendidly splendatious !!!:D

  • acleveland 8:04 pm on July 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Will says hey, by the way. 

    Hope: –noun  1. the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

    It’s crazy how even a dictionary definition can open my eyes  🙂

    Last Sunday in Sunday school, my friend Carly and I taught the class. We had been trying to come up with a topic to talk about, and then we decided to talk about hope. Some of the things we talked about really jumped out at me. Even in the little things that we experience everyday, we can take them as an opportunity to feel that HOPE.

    Waking up in the morning and telling ourselves that it’s going to be a GREAT day! Our own smiles. Other people’s smiles. Sunshine. Writing. Getting through a test. Finishing a school assignment. Family. Friends. Pets. Good songs on the radio. Encouraging words. A good grade. The bus ride home from school. A pretty day. Sleep.

    For me, all of these things could help make my day a little better and give me a better outlook on each day. The first step is to recognize these things as something to be happy and grateful for. Then, we went over one of my favorite bible verses, Romans 4:4-5. It talks about how God will help you out with any job that’s too big for you…you don’t have to take care of it alone. That sure gives me hope!

    Have a GREAT day.

    Favorite song today: Awakening by Switchfoot

    • Will 8:15 pm on July 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Nice title!
      And I liked this a lot
      good job

  • acleveland 1:31 am on July 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    pretty outside 

    As hard as I try to capture the beauty of anything, really, I can’t. Not with words, a camera, paint, paper. Today has been a good day. Aaaand here’s a poem I wrote a while back. It goes with the pictures.

    My master artist.
    Delicately, he paints the light and wonder in clear blue eyes. The color is inspired by
    the deep blue sky. My expert painter dipped his
    brush into the well of intangible blue and
    perfected his holy creation.
    He paints the hesitant smile, the loving hug,
    the flicker of concern on a mother’s face.
    He paints the flowers. Bright, beautiful, radiant.
    Each fragile petal was splashed with love, a
    smile, and a dash of glowing pink from the morning’s sunrise.
    He’s painting my life, my thoughts, my dreams,
    my world.
    He’s painting my future, my goals, my time, my love,


    Favorite song today: The Space Between by Dave Matthews Band

    • liza 6:41 pm on July 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      oh my goodness amanda I love you!
      those pictures are pretty awesome
      & that poem is magnificently amazing!!!

  • acleveland 3:47 am on July 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Where is the end of the rainbow? How does water from a waterfall never stop falling? Why is silence so easy sometimes and so hard at others? Where does the sun hide at night? What good are words that nobody hears? Can a reflection be wrong? What is the maximum amount of emotion that can be threaded into words? Is the glass half full or half empty? Where does history go? How many stars are there in the sky? Why is music so powerful? Will all be forgotten?Are you born knowing how to love people? What is the purpose of the letter “K”? Why does Connecticut exist? What if I had never met you? Where is the center of the sky? Where is the center of the ocean? When are you considered “old”? What is the answer to an unanswerable question? What are people like when nobody else is around? Why does the day only have 24 hours? Why did seven eat nine? Where is paradise? Is pain imaginary? What is the answer to why?

    New favorite song: Between The Bars by Elliot Smith

    • ohtay 1:44 am on July 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      why does connecticut exist?

      i love you:)

    • Kelli 2:06 am on July 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      i can only answer some of those questions but ill try. words are good when no one hears them because they reassure the person who said them that they are true. A reflection only shows what the world sees so it can definitely be wrong. first assumptions are wrong so reflections are too. history goes into the future unless u learn to apply that knowledge. music is universal so everyone understands. will all be forgotten? depends on what is “all”. if all is the stupid things we have done then yes. but we can never forget the love we have shared and the people we shared it with. the letter k spells my name so it has purpose. connecticut connects rhode island to new york (thats how i remember where it is!) finally, the answer to why: because he loves us. always. and dont u forget it.

    • Kelli 2:19 am on July 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      one more thing: pain imaginary? amanda have u ever had a sunburn? i seriously believe pain in not imaginary. iwish it was, but i still hurt when i get stung by a bee or fall down.

  • acleveland 9:06 pm on July 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    It Fits. 

    Sitting here all by myself, wondering, how did I get here? Was I pushed? Was I shoved? Did I simply volunteer?

    Maybe others weren’t the architects of my home to a sore heart. All along I blamed the world – Could I have played the biggest part?

    Tricky designs of confusion were carried out before my eyes. I point my finger at the crowd – draw all attention away from me! Surely I am not the creator of this lock without a key.

    Now I see I shouldn’t have blamed the world when my own turned upside down.

    My own worst enemy was none other than me. But now, with a little help, I have found the key.

         Favorite song today: Someday We’ll Know by Jon Foreman/Mandy Moore

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