Category Archives: Uncategorized

Showers: Helping you figure your life out since always

“So Anna, what are you going to do with your life?”

“Anna, what’s your passion?”

“Anna, what are you going to study in college?”

“Anna, what are your plans for the future?”

These questions used to terrify me and irritate me to no end. Every day, someone asks what I’m up to or what my plans are, and up until about 35 minutes ago in the shower, my response ranged from “Well, I think I’ll go out for running back in the Dallas Cowboys*” to “Let’s be honest, I’m going to die alone with 74 cats and nobody will notice until 3 weeks later.” It was a sad, unfulfilling existence with no real direction or passion. And then I realized what has been in front of me this whole time.

The world.

All of it.

The whole thing.

I want to see it. 

If you don’t believe me, check my travel board on Pinterest.

Allow me to expound a little.

For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.

-Hebrews 13:14 NLT

If you’ve grown up in church, or even attended church for any length of time, you’ve either heard this verse or some iteration of its message. We are sojourners and pilgrims in this world. We have no permanent residence here, we are simply passing through. One might even venture to say that we are merely guests here, passing through on our way to the Home that Christ is preparing for us in Heaven (John 14:1-4).

Fair warning, this could get a little eisegesis-y, but bear with me.

So we’re guests of the world. It’s an interesting thought. This place is not our home, we are just stopping through on our way Home. And what does a proper guest do for their host? I believe Miss Manners (yes, I just did make that ancient reference.) would say that a gift is in order. Do you see where I’m going with this? Flip back to John 15, if you have your Bible available (and if you don’t, open another tab and google it. The internet is a magical thing.) and check out vs 18-27. This is the part where Jesus is briefing His disciples on everything that is going to happen after He ascends into Heaven. Jesus wasn’t just going to leave us to our own devices when He went to prepare a place for us, He planned ahead and left us the Helper, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is often referred to as a gift. When we receive salvation, it is said that we receive the ‘gift of salvation’ or the ‘gift of the Holy Spirit.’ A gift. Are you tracking with me? Guests give their hosts gifts, the Holy Spirit is a Gift, and the logical conclusion is…

Obviously to buy the world a novelty corkscrew and a nice bottle of wine to say thanks for letting us stay for a bit.

Ok no really though.

When Jesus was training the disciples, He frequently commanded them to spread the gospel wherever they went.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

-Acts 1:8 NKJV

And since the Holy Spirit is now within us, our job is to be witnesses wherever we are. Consider it a thank-you gift to the world for putting us up as we pass through. But above all, we are following a direct command from God. 

This is the part where my wanderlust comes in.

I’ve always loved to explore. I love to see new places, try new things, go on adventures. I can distinctly remember being approximately 7 years old, going out for a date with my daddy in his work car, telling him I wanted to go to India. I had no idea where India was or what was there, but I wanted to go there. And then I got older and Tanzania sounded cool. And now I’m looking at going to Bible college in Italy. This dream of traveling the world is becoming more of a reality as time goes by. It is now that I realize that the world is my passion. I want to see the as much of it as I possibly can. I want to meet new people, and hug them, and tell them about Jesus. Geez I sound like a starry eyed traveler. But it’s all becoming clear to me now, this is what I want to do with my life. Not necessarily be a missionary, but rather be a sojourner. I realize now that I have this incredible gift, the gift of salvation, of the Holy Spirit, and I want to share it, share Him, wherever I land.

That’s what I want to do with my life now.

Fact of Life: If you listen long enough, Jesus will tell you what to do. And if it’s really His idea, He’ll provide the means to make it happen, too.


*Note: After a few offers from the Cowboys, I’ve had to stop telling people that’s what I wanted to do. They didn’t seem to understand the joke.

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Stuff I learned

I know. I’m sorry. It’s been TOO LONG! But I finally have something worth posting, so here you go. 🙂

In the beginning of this semester, God showed me something rather profound. Before God gives man a blessing or the fulfillment of a promise, He first gives man a task. Take, for example, the accounts of Adam, Noah, and Abram. God promised each of them great and perfect blessings, but first they had to complete the task God gave them. Adam had to name all the animals before God created Eve to be his helper. God promised to save Noah and his family from a flood, but first Noah had to construct an ark. Abraham was promised a son when he was 75 years old, but he did not have the child God promised until he was 99 (Abraham fathered a child when he was 86, but God made that child into a nation that still seeks to wipe out Israel, all because of Abraham’s disobedience.) When God gives us a promise of something to come in the future, we can almost always be certain that God will give us a task to keep us busy from the time the promise is given to the time the promise will be fulfilled. Sometimes that task is simply to wait patiently (which is more difficult than it sounds!), but God is faithful to keep His promises.

First, let’s take a look at Genesis 2:15-25. At this point, God has just created the Garden of Eden, and placed man in it with all the animals. Here’s verses 18-20, pay close attention, “And the Lord God said, ‘it is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.’ Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.” Before God brought the animals to Adam to name, He declared that it was not good for man to be alone. Yet instead of immediately forming Eve, God brought all the animals to Adam to name. All of the animals. Can you imagine how long that would take? Every single type of animal that God created? Can you imagine what must have been going through Adam’s head during this whole time? “Hey, all of these animals have mates. Same kind of animal, but they were made for each other. How come I don’t have one of those?” But God is faithful; He did not leave man alone without a suitable helper. After Adam completed the task God had given him, God blessed Adam with Eve.

A few chapters later in the book of Genesis, we see this same concept at work. In Genesis 6:12-22, we see God, fed up with the wickedness in the world, speaking to Noah, the one righteous man who obeyed God. In this account, God tells Noah to build an ark. How did Noah know what an ark was? Beats me. But God provided, and that’s the important thing. Later on, in Genesis 7:5-6, there’s a bit of a time lapse. That ark wasn’t built in a day! God gave Noah the instructions about the ark 120 years before the flood even happened. One hundred and twenty years, during which time God did not speak a word to Noah. What was Noah thinking that whole time? “Well, this is cool. Just building this giant… thing. For a flood, whatever that is. It’s been a while since God said anything, but I guess if He had changed His mind, He would’ve told me.” And God was faithful, indeed. After 120 years of silence, the time finally came for Noah, his family, and the animals to board the ark. God kept His promise, but only after Noah had obeyed God’s command. That’s not to say that God’s promises are always conditional upon our obedience, but rather sometimes God gives us things to do before He fulfills His promises to us.

However, sometimes the hardest task of all is to wait patiently for God to act. Take, for example, the account of Abraham. Genesis 13:16 shows God promising Abraham descendants as innumerable as the dust of the earth, but his wife remains childless. At this point, Abraham is approximately 75 years old. If we jump down to chapter 16, we see Sarah ten years later, still childless, getting uneasy and taking matters into her own hands. By circumventing God’s plan, Abraham bore a son when he was 86 years old, but that son ended up causing all manner of trouble for the entire nation of Israel later on down the road. Finally, in chapter 17, Abraham is 99 years old and still no sign of descendants as numerous as the dust of the earth, or any descendants as promised by God. That is the part where God came in and reminded Abraham that He had not forgotten His promise, and would in fact give them a son. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was finally born, 25 years after God had originally promised descendants to Abraham. Waiting indefinitely is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult things to do. Did God forget? No. He is faithful, and He is teaching us to sit still long enough to let Him work it out in His own time.

I can most relate to Abraham at this point in my life. God has promised me all manner of good things, but I must wait in order to receive them. How long? I don’t know. I do know, however, that the Lord has had my life planned out since before He created the world. My life is in good hands, and now all I need to do is trust Him and wait on Him, and He will fulfill His promise when the time is right.


Oh Noes!!!

Ruh-roh!!! I made a tumblr!! What’s going to happen to this blog?? Don’t worry! I’ll still be writing here, but the sermon notes will go up on tumblr. Which means this blog gets reserved for more interesting tidbits. At least that’s my excuse.

Check it out here (hint: click on the word!)

And check the tumblr! Follow me if you’re on tumblr!


I be Trippin! Part 3: Final Stretch


(We’re chilling out in Colorado today, no road progress.)

Food: Pankey’s BBQ

     Mom: Pulled chicken sandwich

     Anna: Potato salad

     Lucas: Pulled pork sandwich

Geocache: (There was one… Didn’t record the name though.)


BEGIN Wake up: 4:40, Time out: 5:03 Mileage to date: 2348.1 Avg MPG to date: 28.2

Route: US13-N_I80-W_US191_Jacksonhole, WY

Gas: $3.59 purchased 5.5 gallons 7:47-8:10

Pit Stop: 11:07-12:00 Jackson Hole, WY

Food: Moo’s Ice Cream

          Mom: Oreo Cookie

          Anna: Mango Sorbet

          Lucas: Butter Pecan

Gas: $3.49 purchased 5.65 gallons

Route: 191-W_SR22-W_SR33-W_Idaho31-W_26-W_I15-S_86-W

BUNKDOWN Time: 6:10 Mileage: 3074 Avg MPG: 28.5

Endpoint: Torye Shivel’s house. Boise, Idaho


BEGIN Time out: 9:00

Gas: $3.49 purchased 13.25 gallons

Geocache: “The Rockpile”

En Route: 9:34

Route: US20_US55_I80-W

Gas: $3.86 purchased 8.6 gallons. 13:15-13:30

Geocache: “Humboldt Canal” 1/1 13:41

Gas: $3.55 purchased 5.75 gallons 16:15

ENDPOINT Woodbridge, CA. Time: 19:05 Mileage: 3664

My commentary on the trip so far

Some of this may seem like mindless drivel… and it probably is, but this is what’s been happening so far:

Color Commentary

Roadtrip 2012


And so begins what could be the most epic adventure ever. I’m sitting in the Sacramento airport right now, waiting at the gate to board the plane. From the looks of it, we’ll be flying with a bunch of models to Long Beach.

Security was surprisingly easy to get through. Heads up to whoever reads this, Toms shoes are the best airport shoes in the world. Seriously. They’re easy on, easy off, and if you’re a light packer like me, you can get through security in less than 5 minutes.

The lady at the gate desk is on the mic talking about how something is wrong with the AC on the plane, announcing a delay. I think it’s funny how they try to be amusing. It doesn’t work at all. Everyone knows that airports are all business and no fun. No one who works in an airport is allowed to have a sense of humor while they’re working. It’s just how things are.

Flight is boarding now, ETA to Long Beach is approximately 2 hours-ish.

–Long Beach—

Ok so when you think Long Beach, you think… beaches, rich people, movie stars, etc. right? You’d think they’d have a nice airport. Noooooope. The thing is, I kid you not, two portable buildings smashed together. Each portable building is approximately the size of two classrooms, and the place is packed to the gills with people. No joke, there’s probably 500 people in a building that should legally be maxed out at 250, maybe 300. And of course, the AC can’t keep up with so many people in such a small space.

Right so it looks like they scheduled about 3 different flights to take off within 5 minutes of each other. There’s boarding calls going all over the place and people shuffling all over each other. Oh well. Flight’s boarding now, we have a lovely red-eye to Dulles Airport.

Aaaaaaand there’s about 7 babies on board. Aaaand they’re all crying. Awesome.


–Washington D.C.—

Good morning, all! It’s 5:15 local time, I’ve been awake all night. Mom and I are going to freshen up really quick before heading out to meet Luc and Bre.

Woo! It’s good to be back with my bro. I’ve been up for about 22 hours now, and I’m starting to feel a little loopy. I’m not going to take a nap though. There’s too many other things to do and see. Luc, being the awesomest brother in the world, greeted me with a giant Monster. We’re headed to Arlington National Cemetery now for Luc’s famous tour, and then we’re going to breakfast with a few of his buddies.

I’ve been awake for 28 hours straight. Starting to feel loopy and sick. Gonna take a quick nap now.


Ladies and gents, the game’s afoot.

Holy humidity Batman!! Good lord, it’s hot.

Ok that little diner that we had dinner at was probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. It was this little country place that had a 5 piece bluegrass band playing. Tried fried pickles for the first time… those are my new favorite in the whole world now.


Kentucky rest stops remind me that California is broker than… California is really broke. Seriously, this rest stop is suuuper nice.

Dinner is more of a late lunch today at a little diner in Kentucky. Aiming for Kansas City, MO tonight.

So I’m watching Transformers on my laptop in the car right now… Watching those car scenes in a moving vehicle makes it super crazy awesome!!


Kansas City is stupid. None of us knows if we’re in Kansas or Missouri right now… we’ve seen about 5 signs for the Kansas City limit.

Commence Batman marathon.

We’re taking a lunch break in Hamburg, Iowa. Does that make the residents Hamburgers?

So the happenin’ place in Hamburg, Iowa is a drugstore called, I kid you not, Stoner Drug. Of course, we adventurers had to check it out and let’s just say… it was more about the experience. It was a cute little place, part antique store, part drug store, part soda fountain. Pretty sure the town hadn’t discovered internet yet. The food was mediocre at best, the shakes were pretty good, but the people were the best part, I think.

Just dawdled through Plattsmouth, Nebraska. It was much like Ione or Sutter Creek. It was a quaint town, and reminded me a little of the town featured in The Wonder Years (which, if I recall correctly from an interview I saw, was meant to be Anytown, USA.)

Aaaaaaaaand there’s cornfields. Lots and lots of cornfields. Actually, I’m pretty sure this whole state is cornfields. And telegraph lines, which are more than likely the main mode of communication around here. It’s nice though, listening to Panic at the Disco while looking out at rolling cornfields and joking with the family (when not watching Batman Begins, of course.)

We crossed into Mountain Time and dropped an hour, current time is 21:05. Got to Wyoming at 22:21, hope to be in Cheyenne in about an hour. Once there, we’re going to drop mom off at the hotel and then Luc and I are heading to the local cinema for the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. Haven’t stopped for a pee break in about 4 hours… I’m starting to notice.

7-20-12 *technically

The Dark Knight Rises was mind-blowingly awesome. Pretty sure I’m going to have to see it at least 4 more times before I can really grasp the whole thing though, because that’s generally how Christopher Nolan movies are.

Heading for Craig, Colorado today. That’s where Mom’s friend Lynn lives, so we’re gonna go crash at her place. We got in around 3:30 this morning so I didn’t get much sleep. I’m gonna sleep in the car.


Chill day in Colorado today. We went to Steamboat Springs and shopped around a little bit… my hippie senses were tingling. SO MANY CUTE THINGS!!

Fact of Life: Did you seriously read this entire thing? Slow clap for you, my friend!

I be Trippin! Part 2: Day 3

The trip continues.


BEGIN Wake up: 8:00 Time out: 10:02

Route: (projected) 70-W_29-N_US2-W* Projected end: Cheyenne, WY

*Expect brief detours on 29-N for OP Conus

**May bypass Omaha and take state road from 29_80

***If making good time, endpoint may be moved to Laramie or Rollins.

Gas: $3.36 purchased 10 gallons

Geocache: “Cache Spring” 1/1.5 10:25

En Route: 10:30

Geocache: “First and Last Pony Express Site” 11:55-12:21

Route: I29-N_ Detour through Kansas for geocache_ I29-N_

Pit Stop: Hamburg, Iowa. 13:42-14:39

Food: Stoner Drug and Soda Fountain

          Mom: Ham Salad Sandwich & Cherry milkshake

          Anna: Nachos & Pineapple shake

          Lucas: Hotdog and Chocolate malt

Stopped at John Deere for pictures.

Route: I29-N_US34-W

Geocache: Unable to retrieve in Iowa, due to lack of network.

Geocache: “The Jerky Cache” 1/1.5 nano 15:30-15:50 (Plattsmouth, NE)

Gas: $3.64 purchased 10.5 gallons 17:30

Gas: $3.59 purchased 4 gallons 19:20

Route: (Time 21:00)80-W_Cheyenne, WY *anticipate arriving at 23:00*

22:21- Cross into Wyoming.

BUNKDOWN Time: 22:53 Mileage: 2015.0 Avg MPG: 29.1

Endpoint: Hitching Post Inn Cheyenne, Wyoming


BEGIN Wake up: 7:00, Time out: 7:24

Route: I80-W_Laramie_

Gas: $3.25 purchased 11.26 gallons 7:34

Geocache: “Home for the Holiday” 2.5/1.5 7:44

Route: (projected) I80-W_State road 230_127_125_US40

*Captain’s Note: route appears hilly and full of serpentines. Not expecting good gas mileage.

En Route: 7:50

BUNKDOWN Time: 12:08 Mileage: 2232 Avg. MPG:

Endpoint: Falloons’ House

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I be Trippin! Part 1: Days 1&2

Beloved readers,

Please accept my deepest apologies for my neglect these last few weeks (months?). I can’t honestly say that I was so busy I had no time for you, the truth is I was just plain lazy, and I’m sorry.

I am currently on a cross-country road trip with my mom and brother, which, so far, has been amazing. We’ve been keeping a running log of everything we’ve done so far, which, to one who doesn’t know what they’re looking at, looks rather messy. However, I know at least the guys in my family will appreciate it. I promise to write color commentary in the car today for the rest of you. So without further ado, herein lies the Captain’s Log of the Shannon Family Roadtrip 2012:


BEGIN Mileage: 17139 Time: 11:00

Startpoint: The Fusselodge Ft. Belvoir, VA

Route: I95-S_I66-W_81-S_*detour*_95-S_64-W

Lunch Stop: Charlottesville, VA 15:00, Mileage: 180.8

Geocache: “Come to Homercles” University of VA

Gas: $3.09, purchased 10 gallons

Food: Baskin Robbins, Bagels & Ice Cream

Dinner Stop: Salem, VA 19:20-20:20

Food: Sugar Grove Diner

          Mom: Chicken Salad

          Anna: Chicken Salad, Fudge Cake

          Lucas: Mt. Man burger, Fried pickles, Blackberry cobbler

Gas: $3.19, purchased 10 gallons. Jct. 48-81

BUNKDOWN Mileage: 706.3, Avg MPG: 27.9 Time: 00:45

Endpoint: Comfort Inn Mt. Juliet, TN


BEGIN Wake up: 7:30 Time out: 11:15

Gas: $2.95 purchased 6 gallons. Mt. Juliet TN

     Geocache: “Shell Game”

Official Start Time: 11:50.

Route: (projected) I40-W_24-W_57-N_64-W

Pit Stop: 12:50-13:25 @ Kentucky state line rest stop

Geocache: “Rest is Welcome” 1.5/1.5

Route: I24_Pennyrile Pkwy-Hopkinsville Kentucky-

Lunch Stop: 15:27-16:25 in Henderson, Kentucky

Food: Gene’s Restaurant

          Mom: Turkey Deli Sandwich

          Anna: Turkey Club & Lemon Ice Box pie

          Lucas: Dagwood & Chess Pie

Route: 41-N_Evansville, IN_

16:35- Crossed Ohio River into Indiana

Geocache: “Get in the Zone” 1.5/1.5 16:45

Route: 41-N_64-W_I70-W_

Pit Stop: 17:41-17:55 Illinois State line rest stop

Geocache: “Take a Rest on the Wabash/Travel Bug Motel”

Pit Stop: 19:25-20:25 in Okawville, IL. Ski and DQ*

Gas: $3.45 purchased 12.05 gallons

BUNKDOWN Time: 00:26, Mileage: 1289.0, Avg MPG: 27.0

Endpoint: Day’s Inn Blue Springs, Missouri

Welcome to My Life

Hello there, Jeremiah. You smell funny. Like you’ve been playing soccer or something. But that’s beside the point. I’m just going to stand here with a creepy face and make you feel really weird. Is it working? No? What if I made funny noises in your ear like an athsmatic pug? Oh! Pugs are so cute! I can make a face like a pug too!

Oh look, you got the ball, Jeremiah. I guess I’ll stop now.


Fact of life: That’s exactly what happened. Happens all the time, in fact. Not really sure why, but I guess us soccer people seem to have this obsession with pugs. Or something like that.

Second fact of life: Headbands rule.

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Happy Thanksgiving, readers! (All 8 of you…) I was going to add some stuff that I’ve been working on, but it seemed weird to just let Thanksgiving pass without so much as a nod. Today is a day completely dedicated to giving thanks to our Savior for all the blessings He has given us. All too often, we get lost in all of the food, the family gatherings, and Black Friday scouting to sit back for a moment to just take stock of ALL of the blessings we have. I’m sitting on a desk chair in warm, comfy clothes typing this out on a fancy new computer. Blessing. I gorged myself silly on FANTASTIC food with my awesome family today. Blessing. I just turned around to snuggle my cat. Blessing. I live in a house. Blessing. I could go on and on about this, but I’m sure you’re starting to get it. If you haven’t done this already today, take a moment to reflect on everything you take for granted that is a blessing. It will lift your spirits considerably.

Psalm 136: 1 – “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His mercy endures forever.

And while you’re thanking God for all of those blessings, don’t forget the big one: He created man with enough intelligence to make this thing called pie. It’s delicious. Huge blessing there. Also, God created turkeys that are very tasty when properly cooked. I’m a vegetarian, but I broke down just for today… totally worth it. Thank you, Jesus, for delicious food!

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I’m Not a Doormat (Personification Paper for English)

Decoration. Beauty. Accessory. Coverage. It’s what I was made for, but all I get in return is dirt, vacuums that suck the life out of me, and some of the vilest things you can imagine. My name is Persian, I’m a rug, and this is my story.
            From my childhood, I knew I was made to be an exquisite work of art. I was not made to be a doormat. I remember the care that the child in the sweatshop took in weaving my threads to make a breathtaking design. That was the extent of my pampering. When my family bought me from the black market, I knew my days of lounging in a posh steel building were over. As soon as I was loaded in the car (not gently, I might add,) I was assaulted with the smell of spilt coffee and stale French fries. There were three small children screaming violently in the back seat, arguing over who got to pet the dog first when they got home. My thread ran cold at the thought of a filthy, slobbering dog rolling his flea-infested carcass over me. Soon, the children got hungry and screeched until their parents appeased them with ketchup doused hotdogs from a local fast-food joint and a red sugary drink with all the staining super power of coffee and permanent marker mixed together. For about two seconds, the little devils were quiet. As soon as the parents stopped looking, however, the children devised a brilliant game: see who can make the coolest design on the new carpet with their red sugar drink. If I could have screamed, I would have done so before my new family had even made it out of the parking lot. Alas, I was confined to the back of this miserable sport-utility vehicle.
            It seemed an eternity until we arrived home, but the family finally made it. I had long since dashed my hopes of living a glamorous life against the rocks of reality. I was already stained and beaten, I didn’t know how much more I could take. Just in case, though, I kept one eye open as I was hefted from the car and hauled toward the front door of the house. It was a nice neighborhood. The lawns were manicured, the houses were gorgeous. I wondered if this was really their house. However, my misgivings were immediately put to rest when we were greeted at the door by two  Jack-Russel Terriers that were hyper enough to  run directly through the door before it had even opened. I sighed morosely and resigned myself to living in misery until I was too worn out to be of any use. I peered around the house one last time to accept my fate and realized something rather startling: the house was immaculate. There was no sign whatsoever that the demon children who had decorated me in the car had ever taken residence in this home.
     “Mom? Dad?” The woman who had purchased me called into the house. An older couple, maybe late 50s, appeared in the grand entryway. The pair whom I had presumed to be my family presented me with an air of apology to the older couple. “Sorry, the kids got a little restless in the car,” the mother offered in explanation. The older woman just smiled as her husband took me and walked me toward the most magnificent living area I had ever seen. There he gently placed me on the spotless cherrywood floor and began to unroll me. He left for a few minutes to say goodbye to the family who had brought me here.
After they had gone, the lady of the house knelt over me and began to spray my stains with detergent. She hummed cheerily as she massaged the soap into my fibers, lifting the defacement easily. When she finished, she disappeared from the room and climbed the stairs of the house, reappearing within a minute in a balcony overlooking the living room.
     “It’s perfect! George, we can bring in the piano now!” she declared to her husband in the other room. Piano? I should have known there was a catch. Well, at least I’m not a doormat.
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