Saturday, July 25, 2009


I put Lizzy to bed for the last time tonight. As she lay her head down on top of mine, she said her prayer without any prompting: "Deauh Fadder, 'ankoo fadis Sabba day. In 'esus nem, amen."

And then she asked about town. We've told her she's going to town tomorrow to get ice cream with Nurse Lisa. And she is. But the truth is that after she gets ice cream, she's going home. And she knows it. Because after she asked about town, she then asked, "an 'en home?" She knows. She saw the tears in my eyes. She's sad too.

Lately, I've been trying to extend the length of every moment that I have with her; trying to hold on to something that I know is slipping away. I play her puzzle with her for longer each day, I talk to her more before bed, and I let her mess up my hair for longer each night. Lizzy loves long hair. She loves to put it over my face and rub it in circles.

Words cannot capture the beautiful person that is Lizzy. She makes me laugh. She makes me smile. She makes me cry. She makes me sing. She changes my life. She hides peanut butter sandwiches in puzzle boxes. She finds me special sticks and holds my head down when I don't want to take my ear drops. She got me pudding today because I didn't have any. She loves "buhhitoes" (burrito's), peanut butter, juice, and washing the trays. She folds down the bottom of my jeans when they are folded up, and folds them up when they are folded down. She steals my sunglasses and loves to give hugs. She loves boys: Brian, Alex, Joel, Laury, and Pastor Dan in particular. She loves sunny days, showers, the pool, and "Bo' rides!" (Boat rides)

We sang special music tonight for chapel. She stood inside the guitar strap with me and sang in her heart-lifting way. Her words, slurred and unclear, echoed mine in the most beautiful notes of praise that I have ever heard.

I don't know if I will ever see Lizzy again. It's not likely that I will return to camp for another summer. Plus, she is over 50, which is fairly old for a person with Downe's syndrome. But Lizzy has been the biggest blessing of my summer. I cannot wait to meet Lizzy in heaven. She's such a prankster now; imagine what she'll be like in heaven!

So I sang her a lullaby, gave her a goodnight hug, and turned out the light.

"I love you, Lizzy."

"Luh oo too"

Monday, July 20, 2009

life collage

This is Lizzy. I take care of her. She has been spending 3 weeks of her summer at camp cherokee for over 30 years. Lizzy has Downe's syndrome. She brightens my day, every day.

Day off #2 (from last Tuesday)
My camera lens broke about a week before camp began and it took several weeks to get it "repaired". My mom sent it up with my aunt this past week and I had it for a total of 3 days before it started being ornery again. Unfortunately, my camera lens got stuck just before we reached the top of Big Slide so you'll have to look at Shama or Alex's blog sometime in the future to see the summit pictures. But here are some pictures I took while my camera was still functional.

I heard once that photography can be lonely. I discovered that this is true. And that is part of why I like it.

I'm an introvert. An outgoing introvert, to be sure, but still an introvert. I like photography because I like freezing beautiful moments and trying to capture space, mood, and emotion into a 2 dimensional format. But I also like it because it provides ample opportunity for solitude. Not everyone wants to take the time to stop at every turn on a 6 hour hike to capture the mountains from each possible vantage point. I found myself enjoying time to practice my trail running as I scrambled to catch up to the others who had continued on as I took pictures of the small miracles that caught my eye. And not everyone wants to get up at an unearthly hour just to capture that certain pinecone in the early morning light. (Thanks Emily for being my early morning running companion and being patient with my picture taking :D)

I am enjoying myself :) but I miss my camera.

Here's a freebie of my brother, just cuz I love it! (Bekah took it!):

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Now I Am Filled

I am lonely.

I am surrounded by people, yet I am lonely.

Sometimes I enjoy being lonely. It is a deep, penetrating emotion. It curls around your soul and its heaviness gives you solidity.

Additional human contact is not always the solution for loneliness. Sometimes solitude can be the answer. Other times, it is a certain type of interaction that is needed; one that goes so much deeper than the surface level.

"Emotion recollected in tranquility" I love times like that, like this. I love moments when emotion, intellect, body, and time all meet. I love spending these moments on my rock by the lake. The immense star-lit sky overhead, a loon calling across the lake; my God next to me, behind me, in front of me, over me, under me, and all around me.

"All day long, I have been with Jesus
And it has been a wonderful day
I have climbed just one step higher
In that good, old gospel way
I have spoken words of kindness
And Lord You know if I've done wrong
I will go and make it right
So I can testify tonight
I've been with Jesus all day long"

I started out lonely. Now I am filled.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Inductive Significance

Date - July 3, 2009
Time - 18:18:18
Place - Couch underneath my bunk bed at home
Listening to - Palestrina - Lamentations of Jeremiah the Prophet: Book IV Feria V in coena domini Lectio 2 by Giovanni Pierluigi

I like numbers and data. I like having specific details like date, time, and place. I like statistics.

I really enjoyed my nursing statistics class this past semester (I think I was the only one who liked it) and was especially intrigued when I began to apply what I was learning to life. Unfortunately, I've never been much of a theorist. I admire those who have inductive reasoning skills. They can take small details and develop an overshadowing theory or principle. Deductive reasoning is more my thing. I can take large principles and break them down into smaller bites. However, statistics class this past semester was a different story. I began to theorize. I was able to take the small details I was learning and piece together principles for my life. I'm still not much of a theorizer but here is an attempt:

A few necessary terms:
Research hypothesis - statement that says that a relationship exists between two or more variables and differences observed are caused by a specific intervention.
Null hypothesis - statement that says there is no relationship between to variables. This is accepted as true in the absence of other info until research proves otherwise.
Significant - any difference between attitudes of two groups that is due to some systematic influence (i.e. not by chance)
Significance level - the risk associated with not being 100% confident that what you observe in an experiment is due to the manipulation you imposed
Statistical significance - the degree of risk that you are willing to take to reject the null hypothesis when it is actually true

An example of a null hypothesis: There is no correlation between the rise of gas prices and the rise of ocean levels.

Researchers have to decide whether to accept or reject the null hypothesis. They make this decision by estimating the probability that the difference observed could be obtained by chance alone. If this probability is less than the predetermined significance level, the data is deemed to be statistically significant and the null hypothesis is rejected.

So, whether the null hypothesis is accepted or rejected is all based on a predetermined number.

Here is a chart depicting what might happen:

Significance is usually set at 0.05 or p<.05. That means there is a 5% chance of rejecting a true null hypothesis (Type I error)

Why not set it the significance level at 0.0001? There would certainly be less chance of error! But there would also be a much greater chance of missing something incredibly significant. That would be a Type II error - there really was a correlation between the rise of gas prices and the rise of ocean levels, but your significance level was so tight that you didn't notice the relationship. So you accepted the null when it was actually false.

My theory:
I think this principle can be applied to human relationships as well. If our fear of error is so great that we set an incredibly small significance level, we're liable to miss something earthshaking. But if our significance level is too big, than we are more likely to be making errors.

You'll have to do the applying to your own individual situation, but I've found it to lead to some intriguing observations in my own life. It helps if you figure out what the null hypothesis would be in your specific case and then fill in the chart with different scenarios depending on whether the null is true or false.

1. This is life we're talking about. We can't just run a quick statistical test to find out whether the null hypothesis is true or false. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) people don't always compute down to data. Therefore, this theory is good for thinking a situation through, but it won't give you hard facts until time passes and you discover by trial and error whether the null was true or false.
2. Again, humans are not numbers. We have these feelings called emotions that tend to affect our decisions. I'm still trying to figure out what part emotions play in my theory. Do emotions render mathematical theories applied to humans as futile?
3. My biggest conundrum is this: what role does God and the Holy Spirit play? Does He shatter all theories? Or does He lead us to choosing the perfect significance level for our situation?