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Thursday, November 5, 2009

These are some of those lyrics that have simply stood out to me lately. I am nothing with out Christ. All I have is ugliness, bitterness, anger, frustration, jealous...but when he looks at me, all he sees is a reflection of him. I have been moved by these words, changed by the truth that they bring....so I thought I would pass them along.....


THE ONLY THING: Ronnie Freeman

I heard someone say the other day
They'd seen in me true love displayed
Blessed by something I had done for them
No sooner had they said these words
I found myself somehow disturbed
Uneasy as I took their compliment
Cause I know the heart inside this man
I know the truth of who I am...

(Chorus)
The only thing that's good in me is Jesus
The only thing that's good in me is Jesus
I know me well enough to know
No matter what this life may show
The only thing that's good in me is Jesus

If you could walk the hallways of my heart
And see things as they really are
I wonder if you might be surprised
Seeing faded walls of pride and fear
Rooms I've filled with faithless tears
And corners where I've stood in compromise
But you'd see the work His grace has done
You'd know just how far I've come

In a thousand years
When the dust of this world clears
And I look back on my life
And see in perfect light

(Chorus)
The only thing that's good in me is Jesus
The only thing that's good in me is Jesus
I know me well enough to know
No matter what this life may show
The only thing that's good in me is Jesus

The only thing that's good in me is Jesus
The only thing that's good in me is Jesus
I know me well enough to know
No matter what this life may show
The only thing that's good in me is Jesus

Todd Agnew - Something Beautiful Lyrics



I am struggling to find a way to make myself attractive to You
Attractive to You
I am trying to be more deserving of the gift You gave to me
So free

CHORUS
It's funny how all I can be
Is someone completely ugly
And yet when You look at me
You don't see a wretch, You see a reflection
Of something beautiful

I am searching for the water that can wash me clean enough
To earn Your love
I want to stop all the things that break Your heart
But come so natural to me, naturally

CHORUS
It's funny how all I can be
Is someone completely ugly
And yet when You look at me
You don't see a wretch, You see a reflection
Of something beautiful

I can't believe you could fall in love with me

CHORUS
And it's funny how all I can be
Is someone completely ugly
And yet when You look at me
You don't see a wretch, You see a reflection
Of something beautiful

You don't see a wretch, You see a reflection
Of something beautiful

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My first interview

So...I have been searching for a job for sometime now...I had my "first interview" several weeks ago. I thought I had it all figured out...I knew what bus I would take to get there...well the three to four options I had...I knew how I would get home, I knew who my supervisor would be, I knew the agency inside and out...........but someone once told me that when God closes a door...he opens another one. Well, he shut this door. She shot my dreams.....but he has continued to open others. I had a second interview...this one for a position that I have absolutely no experience and limited knowledge, but I'm learning to trust. God isn't going to throw me into a position that I won't fit me. He isn't going to leave me empty handed. He is has promised to care for me, to equip me, to provide for me and to stand by me during the good and the bad. So its hard...its hard to get a no...especially when someone else tells you. Its hard to have your dreams shot down. Its hard to have your plans change. But...I don't want to live out my dreams...I want to live out God's will for my life...and that means continually taking myself off the thrown and keeping him on it..it means seeking him with a whole heart and digging into his truth. And.....I'm getting there....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cane Travel and Bus Etiquette

So...since I don't have a job I have been taking this opportunity to learn the streets of Rochester. I have had "professional" training and have really appreciated it...even though it has made me step outside of my comfort zone. So...let's start the Bus Etiquette...because honestly...I was appalled. Learning the bus system is a challenge in itself. I have to know where I am, where I'm going...what bus number to take there and wait...which direction do I go to. If a transfer is required I need to know where to make that transfer...because some buses do not stop at my favorite bus stations (such as the library). Add to that I need to plan when I can leave and when I need to be there by...because that can complicate things. So...now that we have learned those details of the bus...let's add manners. The front section of teh bus is primarily for thos with disabilities, small children or the elderly. Ok...so yeah....I have a disability and it is soooo much easier to sit in the second straight forward seat on the right hand side by the window...but I can manage. So...I don't get too upset when someone doesn't give me a seat...but I have my cane out...so its not like I'm not noticeable. It angers me more for the person that can't adapt, the person that can't adjust to where there is a seat. And standing...not fun. Subway standing is bad...bus is worse.
So....how else have I grown. Traveling with a cane is NOT my preference. It puts a label on me and a sticker on my forward that says "watch out, blind girl." But if I miss my stop because I couldn't see and the driver doesn't know that I don't see well...it is no one's fault but mine. Plus...that curb I missed on my way to a friend's house last week...yep wouldn't have missed it if I had my cane out sooner. So...God has definitely humbled me to rely on others and to be bold with myself...letting it be ok that I use a piece of equipment to help me...its only far to myself and others.
What else have I learned about the city? Well did you know that all streets run North and South and all Avenues run East to West...or they are supposed to. Plus...if you are looking for a house number...EVEN numbers are on the North or East side of the street and all ODD numbers are on the South and West. Someday I will have mastered this city. Until then I am in awe of the things I learn. I am learning to like the bus. Someday, I will love it. But please...use your manners.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Getting To Know You

When I think about those that I love and know well, I often think about how I got to know them. First I think to those awkward, nor not so awkward, moments of introduction. Those first impressions that stick with us, whether we break through them or we are forever reminded of how they are true. My college roommate...she introduced herself ot me. I thought she was going to cry...but really she wasn't. She was wearing a light blue long sleve shirt, her hair pulled back in a clip. I think of my current roommates. One which I met at camp...yeah...confused her with another girl...was confused as to who had just returned from spain. The other...was hyped up on coffee...and yet I still live iwth her. Just over 8 years ago I met a girl at Cornell, I went to go get her for breakfast in the morning...she was not a morning person...and now...we see each other regularly and my love for her has grown significantly. How about that intimidating junior who introduced herself to me when I was a scared freshman? I never thought our relationship would be built to where it is today.
But let's take a step back. I often hear people and partake in conversations about "love languages." So...I started to try and understand them...but I couldn't. I can't pin point my "love language." I just simply have come to a place to recognize what I appreciate in a person. So what are those things? I appreciate undivided attention...not in a selfish way. But I have come to a place where I have a healthy respect for technology...and I can't stand it when someone is only half there, spending their time texting or what not...when we could be...who knows. I appreciate the times when conversation goes deeper to a heart level...and when we can simply be in each other's company and share a movie...or a story...or a game. I appreciate a hug from some, a laugh from others. I appreciate a gift from some and words of encouragement from another. I appreciate a gift from the heart, that quality time and "I was thinking of you" stuff. I love long walks, beaches, dinners. I love serving together and loving together. I love road trips and adventurous things...anything from horseback riding and gardens to white water rafting and skydiving. I love it when someone goes out of their way to say "i love you." Its that unexpected phone call, that unexpected letter. Its that simple checking in to see how things are going....that is what I appreciate in others.
And yet...as I think about the things I love in others...I think about all the times I fall short of my own standards. I value setting an example...If I expect something of someone else...I expect even more of myself. So for all the times I have fallen short of my own standards...I'm sorry. I am human...but I seek to serve others with the love God has given me. I seek to love others as they love me.


Yeah...if this doesn't all make sense....its ok because it doesn't always make sense in my own mind.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bring The Rain

My heart is quite full. And I don't feel as though I have the emotional soundness to really explain why...But this song speaks to where I am, how I am feeling and what has been running through my head...


Bring The Rain
By: Mercy Me

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I love the odd things we see in the places we live. Sometimes they seem so normal to us...but to the outsider they seem so odd. Other times, we continue to thing they are odd...or we come to a new place, or even a familiar place and notice new things. Things that just don't fit. Now living in the city I cracked up one day as the ice cream man drove down the street. Growing up I always saw the ice cream man in my travels. It was always this truck with a "beautiful" song coming from its speakers. Pictures of ice cream plastered on its side always accompanied by a friendly face. In fact, we even had one come through our small town a couple times one summer. But this time when I saw the ice cream man coming down the street, I couldn't help but laugh at the different sight I saw. Words cannot explain it....so just make your own comments regarding the sight I saw.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Danielle

Growing up my family was surrounded by families. We lived in a small village where everyone knew who you were, who your parents were and what they did for a living. Everyone was on a first name basis and we could never do anything wrong as kids...because if our parents didn't find out directly...well they would find out from so and so's parents. I can name several families we were close with. There was the Fruscella gang, the Godfrey boys, the Ellis and the Hudons...along with others. Danielle Hudon was four years older than me, her sister Nicole slightly older than her. Though time has past I can still remember the memories so clearly...
Danielle and Nicole were always a source of joy. They were like two older sisters that were always there. When tough times came, we joined together to support them. I can remember going to their house to pack up, make meals, clean and simply be there during their mom's divorce. I can remember visiting them, a 16 hour car ride to Alfaretta, Georgia with my family. Endless hours of playing in the pool, taking pictures when the girls went off to their prom. We were there for the good times, and there for the bad. Danielle gave me one of my favorite stuffed animals, which has since fallen to pieces. They cared for me as a sister. I was there to get them off the bus on our school break, the cute little kid who had nothing better to do. The girls were there to teach the puppies how to swim...or rather throw them in the pool. We spent endless rainy days playing pool, pinball and dangerous games of ping pong in the basement. We spent many sunny days in the pool or screaming our brains out at Six Flags. I am pretty certain the girls played hookie more than once while we visited. ...and now, Danielle has left us in a tragedy that shocked the whole community. Danielle was killed in a murder-suicide in her home in Indian Hills Colorado. Her Boyfriend and her were planning to return to the Barneveld, NY area this month and the landlord was showing the house to perspective tenants when the bodies were found in separate rooms. The boyfriend is the suspect and had also killed the dog. She is survived by her mother: Bambi and stepfather Rogger, Father Dan and his wife Jody. She has a sister, Nicole who lives in Barneveld where the girls grew up. Her cousins, Erica, Ashley and Michael were dear friends of mine growing up. Many other family members have joined together in grieving her loss. Danielle Lynn Hudon: November 12, 1981-August 23, 2009...you are missed

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Walk In The Woods

I have always enjoyed hiking and trips in the woods. I have always enjoyed the outdoors and the wonders of God's creation. So a book regarding the Appalachian Trail was recommended to me several months ago. During this book the author and his companion begin to and complete most of the trail that runs from Georgia to Maine. As I read this book a lot of things that I had been taught about faith began to make sense. But, it was not until last night's discussion on what it means to stay focused on God and walk forward...did it all sink in. Every time Bryson and Katz veered from the main trail, it seemed other problems arose. Like the time Bryson lost Katz for a day and a half. It is like this in life too. If we stay on the path, looking forward at the perfect peace, we will move forward. But if our focus changes we begin to fall to the side. Our attitude changes, our feelings begin to control us and we lose sight of who God is and what he is doing in our life.
In the same way, we had talked about what it means to trust in God several months ago. If we deny the promises of God we are denying who God is and what he is doing in our lives. for me, this sunk in as I was corrected in recognizing the work God has done in my life. God has recreated relationships, torn them apart, destroyed them and rebuilt them on his terms. He has provided so much for me, financially enough to live on, relationships to support me, a house to live in and so much more. He has taught me to trust in him, to let him control my future, my emotions, my actions. He has given me a hope, a faith, something to trust in. He has given me the opportunity to love and serve others. Why shouldn't I be thankful?

So as I face today with worries, frustrations, burdens and who knows what else around me. But I put my focus on the Goal. I put my focus on what is ahead. I take each moment captive...living today moment by moment.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Temporary Buildings

In my five years at Roberts I spent most of my time wandering through the old, ugly, weak and weather worn temporary building of Mersereau. Ok, so we knew the whole time that it was temporary...but it simply became a part of campus. A part that we knew would leave, that we all hated...yet secretly we all found comfort in Mersereau. Dr. Skiff's office was merely a closet on the "3rd floor." Yet somehow we fit three people in there to complete Social Work interviews. Dr. Grinion's offices was larger...but scattered with mounds and mounds of old papers that were never returned....yep...still haven't gotten some back. And the classrooms...there was never a happy medium of warm and cold. In the wintertime you could feel a draft through the outlets. And how about that basement classroom? What did it used to be used as? Oh, of course...it was the rat room for the nursing majors.
So...when I returned to campus and found caution tape around the outside reading DO NOT ENTER...I was shocked! Yeah...we knew that the goal was to move into Carpenter Hall, we knew it was temporary, and we knew that if they moved out...the building was a gonner. It was supposed to happen several years ago...but now...its happening. The tape is up, the building (I am assuming) is empty, and its marked as "condemned." So many memories, so many lessons learned. So many joys and challenges. But...just because they happened in Mersereau...does not mean that they change. My learning is not dependent on where it happened...just that it happened. This eyesore will ceace to exist at Roberts any longer, and it is a joy and a sadness to see it go. But, its time. Goodbye dear Mersereau.

P.S. After talking to a classmate...she informed me that the Chair of the Social Work division said that the building may stand for another year...even if its empty...because there is no money to pay for the demolition. o Roberts!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Under the golden sun...

Seems I have difficulty in updating my blog...o well....i'll get better.
this summer has been full of several adventures. I spent About a week at home with my parents...two more weeks...and then an additional weekend in Alex Bay with my family. For so long I have found it a struggle to return to my biological family. There is tension, hard feelings, regrets...but this summer I found joy in it. We spent endless days swimming, playing games, being a family. I spent a lot of this time even with family I don't get to see very often. And it was such a joy. Trevor came home for a good chunk of the summer, well a week and a weekend and brought Colleen with him...which was nice. He taught me many new things...like wake boarding...and with my family we embarked on many of our old traditions...jumping off rocks...long canoe rides (this time with two kayaks)....and late nights of scrabble and old home videos. For Papa's 70th birthday we all headed to Alex bay for a day on the Uncle Sam's Boat tour. It was lovely and exciting. A great chance to catch up with family we don't see much.

But I also had many adventures. A camping trip with my roommate, a trip to North Carolina for a wedding. And I celebrated yet another year of life and a year of being In Christ. Two very exciting things. With being a year in Christ, I have learned so much, grown beyond where I could have imagined. I am taking on new adventures and becoming who he created me to be. As I reflect on another year on this earth...I spent it joyously with those I love. A day hiking at Chimney Bluffs with family and a friend, spending time with a new family I have come to love and appreciate as we serve them and with brothers and sisters who I love dearly. It was a great way to be celebrating my life by sharing it with others...because as we all know I like to feel loved...but I don't do well when I am the center of attention in groups.
As I look forward to what God has next in my life. I am enjoying spending this time reading, studying God's word, deepening my relationships with others. It is so exciting to see the relationships with those I live with, my discipleship partner and a friend who I have seen more in the last six months...then the rest of the time I have known her these eight years. It is such a joy and I am excited for where God is taking our relationship in the next year.
So...this summer is coming to a close. I still have no job...but am learning to be content with where I am and who I am, trusting that God will provide in his perfect timing.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Bucket List

We can sit here and laugh our heads off at the humor that was placed into this marvelous movie. We can be disgusted by the coffee Edward Cole drinks, the way in which Carter can answer every question on Jeopardy and the relationship they had. But, they had something more and there is much more to gain from this film.

The Bucket list was once describe dto me by my 10th grade biology teacher. He said it was a list of things we wanted to accomplish before we "kicked the bucket." Well, some of those words probably come from this movie. But...in all honesty, why shouldn't we have a list of things we wish to desire in life. For many years I had selfish ambitions. Many of these were worldly things I wanted to see or do. Then, as my faith developed and I surrendered my life to Christ... I realized that my soul desire was to love others unconditionally, with the love of Christ, and deepen those relationships so that they too may know the truth and walk humbly with Christ. Ok, so yeah, its a complex desire...but it is sole honesty. And many of those things remain "on" the list...they are just changed. For instance: I would like to visit the Netherlands...however I would like to do this with my dad. I would like to continue climbing mountains....but I would like to do so with the opportunity to spend this time with my sisters and brothers in Christ.
Faith, is a complex thing....
Edward Cole: I envy people who have faith, I just can't get my head around it.
Carter Chambers: Maybe because your head's in the way.

Carter, is so right. Too often we let our heads get in the way of our faith. "Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11.1) At another point in the movie both men are sitting on top of the pyramids and discussing life. Carter asks Edward Cole two questions:
1. "Have you found joy in your life?"
2. "Has your life brought joy to others?’”

So...how do we answer these questions? How do we measure our life? What is the real purpose behind each and every thought and action we take? Are we living our lives as fully surrendered disciples of Jesus Christ...or are we simply crossing off wordly desires that we placed on "The Bucket List?"

Then...there is this line: "I believe that you measure yourself by the people that measure themselves by you." How true is this? We do it all the time. But is it the truth? It is certainly our human nature, but if we measure ourselves by others, we are not measuring ourselves by the grace of God.

So...as I reflect on this movie...I reflect on my life and what would happen if I died tomorrow. It is an creepy concept...however it is the truth. How much of a difference would we have made for the Kingdom of God if we passed away tomorrow?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Shack

For the second time I have read through...well actually listened to...The Shack by William P. Young. I realized this time around that I was in a different place than the first time. The story hit me in new ways, deepening my understanding of God and ultimately my relationship with him. I could never reflect on the whole book here...however I would like to point out many aspects that are still at the forefront of my mind.
How often are our ideas of theology, doctrine, belief, and faith challenged? Are we really living for God or are we just singing praises to him on a Sunday? As I dug through the pages of this book I found my belief of who God was challenged. He wasn't just a being somewhere or a king telling me what to do. But he was Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is wanting to be in relationship with us just as Father, Son and Holy Spirit are ina mutually submissive relationship with one another. As they submit to one another, they build each other up. How awesome would it be if we mutually submitted to one another? We would see very similar outcomes.
flying. We see it as this lofty thing that birds can do, soaring above the ground and enjoying a beautiful view. Or, we see it as this convenient way to travel across the country. But what about a lesson in flying? Papa says while standing in the kitchen with Mack:
"Consider our little friend here," she began. "Most birds were created to fly. Being grounded for them is a limitation within their aility to fly, not the other way around... You, on the other hand, were created to be loved. So for you to live as if you are unloved is a limitation, not the other way around." ....."living unloved is like clipping a birds wings and removing its ability to fly, not something I want for you."
God created us to be loved and to shed his love on ohters. Each time we deny the fact that we are loved...we stay grounded. This was a new concept for me. And I quickly realized all the ways I deny the love that God and others have for me. So today I fly a little higher, trusting in God and allowing the love of others to pour through me.
So...we all know that God specifically informs us not to judge others. But how often do we continue to do this? How often do we compare ourselves to others? How often do we judge God for what we feel his is doing or not doing? I know in my life it is far too often. I judge those who I love most. I judge those who I barely know at all. Young clearly depicts how we judge others in the portion of the book where Mack is given the opportunity to judge and to choose which children of his will spend eternity in hell and which will spend eternity with God.
At one point during the book Mack is in the garden with Sarayu. He is walking through a beautiful and wonderful mess. And Sarayu is tearing everyting up. All the flowers and all the weeds. Confused....Mack and readers soon learn that this garden is a representation of Mack's life. When I stopped to think of my own life as a garden....I thought of how messy it was prior to my baptism. And even now....it is a mess because my old self likes to creep in like weeds. But as I continually surrender to God, each day this garden becomes more and more beautiful, it becomes more and more as God intended it to be. So, this illustration allowed me to see that God still has an incredible work to do...and I need to let him do it. Just as I need to let him love me. For it is thorugh his love that this work will be done.
ok...this next one is one I might need a little help with...responsibility and expectation. It wasn't until reading another book that I came to a point of understanding responsibility and how God intended it to be...think of it more as Response Ability. Young uses the word Expectancy rather than expectation...but I haven't fully grasped this one. Is it suppsed to be expectancy of what is to come or what is to happen? Not quite sure.

Though this book is fiction, the illustration of Father, Son and Holy spirit living out mutual submission and the healing process of the wounds and false self in our life is powerful enough to change our mindest. It is powerful enough for us to step out of the traditions of men and intot he truth of God. So.....dwell on it, and let it sink in. Let these words shape your life and inspire and motivate further study of God's word, letting that too change your life.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hakuna Matata!

Once upon a time an amazing movie came out. The Lion King. Shortly after this...every Disney movie sent out into our homes went downhill. For some reason...this movie stuck out in my heart...maybe in yours as well.
As I sat and watched this movie I was reminded of how many awful messages are portrayed through the movies that children surround themselves with...but at the same time I realized that this movie portrayed a few great messages. We are reminded of who we are. Too often we focus on our faults, on the things that tear our relationship with Christ apart. I find myself focused on the lies, the things that speak against who Christ has created me to be. But...the adult Simpa is reminded of who he is by his father:


Rafiki
: [after guiding Simba to a spot where he says will show him Mufasa Mufasa] Look down there.
Adult Simba: [looks into a pool of water] That's not my father. That's just my reflection.
Rafiki: No, look harder.
[touches the water, as it ripples Simba's reflection changes to that of his father]
Rafiki: You see? He lives in you.
Mufasa's ghost: [from above] Simba.
Adult Simba: Father?
Mufasa's ghost: [apears among the stars] Simba, you have forgotten me.
Adult Simba: No. How could I?
Mufasa's ghost: You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life.
Adult Simba: How can I go back? I'm not who I used to be.
Mufasa's ghost: Remember who you are. You are my son, and the one true king. Remember...

As I look to the relationship of Simba with his family. I see two things. First, I see a strong bond of trust, reliance and dependence. They worked together to provide for each other. Never was anyone left in the dust, never to fend for themselves or struggle, they are a true represnetation of family. Yet, they have their mistakes, they have ther faults. They challenge each other. But as Simba was reminded of who he is, he is challenged to face those mistakes he made, face the hurt and the pain of family. In a way...he sacrificed himself, his pride, his dignity to stick up for the truths he believes in.

Ok...so on a lighter note.....we all could use a good laugh...and this was the song I found myself singing as I walked through the apartment last night:

Rafiki: Asante sana Squash banana, Wiwi nugu Mi mi apana!
Adult Simba: Enough already! What's that supposed to mean anyway?
Rafiki: It means you're a baboon... and I'm not.

And who can forget our two favorite friends:
Hakuna Matata! it means: there ain't no worries!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Transition

It amazes me how time flies sometimes. It feels as though just yesterday I walked into my first dorm room...Anderson 111...and met my RA for the first time. And yet since then I have walked across the graduation platform twice...this time...never to return to the education world as a student. Maybe they should have told me 22 years ago that a masters degree did not guarantee a job...so where do I find myself now?
I have recently moved into a new apartment in the city with two lovely women. I am delighted to claim both of these women as my sisters. I love them so dearly and I am looking forward to the ways in which God will be using us in the lives of each other as well as the lives of those we come in contact with.
My head was held high as I accepted my masters diploma and hood a few weeks ago. What does this all mean for me? Well...I am quite thankful for the people in my life who made it possible. My parents, friends, and classmates fought along side me financially, emotionally and battled the mountains of papers. My professors challenged me way out of my comfort zone...bringing me to a place of moving out of old thoughts and behaviors, allowing me and encouraging me to grow and learn. One professor in particular expected our best...so we gave it to her. She expected us to take our learning to the next level...or as the previous program director said "you are at the center of your learning."
So now...the job search begins/continues. I am searching heard...but I find myself discouraged. I am reminded daily of the provision of God, trusting in him for he has a perfect plan. He has already mapped out this wonderful plan and will continue to provide for me and my household. But for now...I wait, I trust...and I keep hitting "apply" and making phone calls.