Monday, March 23, 2009


I've moved to Wordpress! Same blog, different place. I was trying to customize my blog a little and get it to look how I wanted, and blogspot just wasn't letting me get quite what I wanted. There will still proly be some editing done to my wordpress in the future, but I already like it more than I liked blogspot. Please update your links accordingly!

Hugs and kisses,


Saturday, March 21, 2009


Caught up on a couple posts that were overdue from mid-March. Backdated them so that they would be in the right place chronologically. You should go look at them - they have pictures!

Friday, March 20, 2009


My adopted mom, Robin, is part of a beautiful ministry called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. Robin is a photographer on the side of raising her two adorable little boys, and does weddings and family photos, etc. But she volunteers with NILMDTS. Hang with me a second while I explain it a little. 

NILMDTS gives the gift of photography to families who lose their babies very early in life. Photographers come in on a volunteer basis. When a baby passes away at the hospital, a photographer is called in to take professional-level family photos of the parents and babies. They do a beautiful job capturing the preciousness of these babies and the love the families have for them in the photos. For the parents of these babies, these photos are the only memories of them they'll be able to keep and treasure for years to come. (I'm not very good at explaining this. I linked to their website earlier in this post. Please check it out.) 

Tonight, the Apex art museum put up an exhibit of some of the photographers favorite photos they've taken of these precious babies. I tagged along with Robin and two of her sisters, and it was one of the most touching and breathtaking things I've ever seen. On the one hand, it was very difficult to walk through the rooms and see all these beautiful photos and realize that all of them were there because those families no longer have those children to share their lives with. But on the other hand, it was moving to see the love these families had for their children and to see what an impact this ministry had made on their lives and how it had helped in the healing process. The sense of loss was almost palpable in the room - but so was the sense of love, and the sense of healing.

There were so many touching photos there it was almost overwhelming. The one that I think touched me the most was this absolutely beautiful photograph of a set of twins, only one of which had been viable. In the photo, both the boys were laying on their sides facing the camera. The little boy that wasn't viable was in the front, his (living) brother lying behind him with his hand around his brother's shoulder, looking straight into the camera with these dark, captivating eyes that seemed to say that he knew exactly what was going on. You could see in the photo that he knew his brother, could see the comfort he found just in touching him, and you just knew that he was grieving and missing him. I could have stared at that one photo for hours. The emotion of it was arresting.

I felt somewhat like an imposter there. Most of the people there were the families that had been photographed, the NILMDTS photographers, or local nurses who had also known and taken care of these babies. As a 22-year-old who's never gone through anything like that, I felt somewhat out of place. But I realized I was more in place than I thought. Because my family is one of those families. My parents lost their first-born at 6 months old. Matthew Raymond Forrest Gursoy was born 2 months early and was never able to even leave the hospital. To this day we have pictures of him hanging in our house, memories of that precious six months my parents had to love him.

So I see the ministry that NIMLDTS is doing, and I can't help but marvel at it. I know how much my parents treasure the pictures and keepsakes they have from Matthew's life, and the opportunity to have professional, beautiful photos taken for the parents that have no other way to capture the memories they have with their babies is just overwhelmingly touching. Just walking through there had me crying. I'm not very eloquent tonight; I wish I had the words to describe what it was like. It was beautiful and incredibly moving. The photos were gentle and compassionate. At first thought, it seems like something kind of strange to do, but when you see the effect that ministry has on the families it touches, you cannot help but fall in love with it.

Yay Good Conversation

So I've had a couple really good conversations with a few friends over the last day or two. They've given me a little perspective. I've been thinking a lot recently on faith, on what faith means and what all it entails. But now I'm getting ahead of myself. 

I had a great conversation with a friend the other night. Very down to earth, very real. We talked about all kinds of things. God, childhood, innocence, faith, sex, mercy and justice, God's presentation in the Bible, lifestyle choices. He and I agree on probably none of these things, and it was one of the most encouraging conversations I've had in a long time. He said something at one point that really struck me. We were discussing my beliefs, and I was saying that I'm very open to being questioned about and challenged on my faith, because if I can't question it, I can never be sure of it. It's only if my beliefs can stand up to doubt that they can really be real. 

Anyway, right after that, he told me that be that as it may, he couldn't ask me the same types of things he would ask a normal friend. The kinds of things "the faithful don't talk about." I think he was expressing a really common stereotype (a stereotype that's far too often the truth) about Christians that I really have a problem with. 

My faith encompasses all of my life. There are no parts of it where it's like, "Hold on, this subject makes God uncomfortable. Let's not talk about it ever." My faith doesn't fit in a little box that I take out whenever it seems relevant to my current situation. Too many people pick out the parts of their faith that they can share in every day life and then just don't ever go near the parts that might seem awkward or uncomfortable. But God doesn't work like that. You can't out-awkward God. There's no question you can ask Him that's going to make Him blush and stammer. A faith that only pertains to some parts of your life and not others is not a faith worth having.

Every lifestyle choice I make is a direct result of God's love for me. It's not because of some arbitrary rule or some law that the Church preaches. My faith is real - I've questioned it, I've doubted it, I've really looked at it so that I'm not believing anything blindly but really understanding what I believe and why. It doesn't shy away from the hard things about life. It's not poetic little sayings that I can throw out when the going gets tough. The world is messed up, and terrible things happen every day. My friend I was talking to was telling me stories of things he'd gone through that absolutely broke my heart. 

God sees, and God knows. He sees our pain and He grieves right alongside us. He doesn't ever sit idly by and watch us struggle and hurt. He is always actively working in our lives. His goal for us is not to punish us for our wrongdoings; it's for us to come back to Him and see the absolute love, acceptance, and joy that comes through - and only through - a personal relationship with Him. 

That's radical. It's life-changing. Once you have experienced the love of God, you can't live the same way anymore. 

I feel kind of like I'm in a little faith bubble here. And in a way, it's been good. I've got a fantastic group of friends that are a solid foundation for me. God has blessed me with an absolutely amazing church whose goal is the Gospel and nothing else. I've been trained here. And I know I have a lot of training left, a lot of the world yet to see and understand. But I'm getting anxious. I'm ready to be out of my bubble. I want to be somewhere where I can share Christ with people and watch Him change their lives. I know that He can do it. I've heard other people's stories. And I want to experience it for myself.

The Gospel isn't quiet. It's aggressive, and it's offensive. It makes people uncomfortable. And shouldn't it? It challenges everything they believe and cling to. If we weren't made uncomfortable, we would never see that something was amiss. And if we never saw anything was amiss, we would never start to look for a solution for it. Fortunately for us, God already provided a solution. And the power of the resurrection is unstoppable. It'll change your life if you let it. I did, and I ain't never turning back. :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Post Spring Break Post

Short and sweet. I was hoping to finish my Journeymen application over break but altogether I got zero work done. For some reason, when I come home over breaks my family wants to like, spend time with me. I'm not sure what that's all about. :P

Played a lot of Scrabble, watched most of Season 1 of The Sarah Connor Chronicles (the Terminator TV series) with my brother, helped my mom teach 2-year-old Bible study (It makes Jesus so happy when we share!), hung out with my family, got new glasses with my new prescription, watched basketball with my dad, read Wicked, went to the water park with siblings and friends for an evening. Mom, Jennifer, Katherine, and I all went to the blood bank together to give blood all at once. They never really know what to do with all of us. What can I say, we're a party wherever we go! It was really good to see everyone and I really needed the break.

My hair looks weird in this picture. I don't have bangs. So just pretend it doesn't look like I do.

From left: Katherine, Jennifer, me. Mom in the chair.

Now it's back to UNC and chugging along til graduation. 2 months to go then I'm an official person with a degree and everything!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Finally saw the doctor

For those of you who don't know, I've had a chronic stomach issue for about ten years that basically resembles morning sickness (No, I'm not pregnant). I also have thinning hair and some other random symptoms. My grandfather (a retired doctor) recently referred me to another doctor in town to have him look at me and try and figure what's up. So my mom and I went to see him yesterday and he was really fantastic. My appointment was at 1.30 but I don't think I left his office until 2.45. He sat and talked with us for a long time, really gave us his full attention and listened and tried to come up with ideas that would explain all my issues.

The main culprit he suspects right now is a hormone issue. But they're doing five different blood tests to check several options. They're doing two different hormone tests, a thyroid test, a nutritional panel to see if I'm deficient in anything, and a test for a gluten (wheat) allergy. He also has put me on ginger tonic and melatonin to see if they'll help my stomach. I have an appt to get my test results back on April 3rd.

Maybe it's weird, but I'm actually pretty excited about it. I was so used to it that I kind of stopped thinking about it all as unusual or a problem until it started getting worse this semester for some reason. I'm excited to figure out what's wrong with me so we can go about fixing it. I'm kind of hoping it is a hormone problem, just because that means we can fix my hormone levels and everything will go back to normal, which would be super awesome. Now I'm just anxiously waiting for April 3rd!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dook Game!

Today was the Dook game! And boy it took some preparation.

First of all, I've spent the weekend with my adopted family, who has been just amazingly sweet and helpful and generous (especially considering they're all Dookies! Though I've been working on the four-year-old ... ). They took me on a last-minute run over to Raleigh to get us facepaint so we'd be able to paint our faces Carolina blue for the game. I love you, Jeremy and Robin!

Cat, Leigh, Tyler, and I met up right after church to dye our hair and paint our faces. We made a huge mess but it was lots of fun! I decided that as it was my last game as a student and the Dook game, I wasn't holding back. I did silly hair (as a general rule, I don't wear pigtails) and we got to work with the dye and paint. 

This photo seems somewhat narcissistic to me, but it was the best I could find that showed both my hair and my face. 

I met my friend Ben at the Dean Dome about 3 hours before the game so we could wait in line to get in. We had Phase Two tickets, but somehow when it came time for us to get in the Dome, there were still riser seats left! I was BESIDE myself I was so excited! So to the risers we went! Two hours to game time, and no sitting down. The humidity from several hundred people standing together for hours on end was oppressive and it got real hot down there real fast. But we were right on the floor!

It was like I could reach out and hug them all right there on the court!

The only thing weird is that they wouldn't let us have any water in the risers. Apparently they were concerned we were going to throw the water bottles at the players. Seriously? It was so hot down there, access to water would have been cherished! We wouldn't have wasted it on throwing it at players! A friend of mine actually passed out during the senior speeches after the game. At that point we'd been standing for almost five hours, only able to grab sips of water if we left the riser area. She's okay, but the principle stands. Let the people have water!

The game was really good. We had to fight to win it, but we managed to scrape by. Dook was up one at half, but whatever pep talk Roy gave the boys at half must have helped, because second half we played better and managed to get a lead and mostly keep it. Winning made us regular season ACC champs, so we got to watch our team cut down the net right in front of us after the game. After that was senior speeches, since it was our seniors' last home game. We had 7: J.B. Tanner, Jack Wooten, Pat Moody, Mike Copeland, Danny Green, Bobby Frasor, and Tyler Hansbrough. We're losing so many! They all gave really sweet speeches, and if Bobby Frasor had turned around and asked me to marry him on the spot, I'd've said yes without even hesitating. But I digress. Tyler's voice was breaking through his whole speech and you could tell he was on the edge of tears the whole time. I was really glad I got to be there to see all our seniors!

Post game, Tyler, Cat, Leigh, Ben, Danny, and I met back up all together and then we took a celebratory Taco Bell run. But not before Leigh's dad got a super cute pic of those of us who had painted up!

From left: Tyler, Leigh, me, and Cat. GO HEELS!

All in all, a good day. Soooo glad I got a ticket. And so glad we won! It was exhausting (slept until 11 the next morning lol) and it felt fantastic to shower and get all the paint and dye off me, but man - it was fun. :D

Monday, March 2, 2009

Random discovery today

Mushroom Farm Revolution. It's like Desktop Tower Defense, only better. That's right. Who knew it could get any more exciting than DTD? But it has. 

A good way to waste time and/or something to do when you're bored and want some strategy to keep you occupied. The farthest I've gotten so far is 33/45. Can you beat that?

EDIT: I tried out a new strategy that got me to wave 60/60  on world 5 before I died. It was easy peasy up through that wave though.


Hey y'all!

So, I'm hopelessly addicted to twitter. It's true! I avoided it because of all the hype for a long time, then I finally started one, and now I'm lost to it. Anyhow, I now have a personal twitter: Friend me!

In other news, snow today! 

In other news, only four more days til spring break and only 6 more days til the Dook game, to which I have a ticket! Yay face paint and temporary hair dye!

Friday, February 27, 2009


Q: What do you call a toothless grizzly bear?

A: A gummy bear.

Come on, you know it made you laugh!

In other news, my summer plans have been firmed up, so I'm going to go live with Tricia this summer. I'm super excited! Taco Bell within walking distance = Heaven. I'ma start calling around for jobs next week hopefully.

In other news, application is going well. Have a bunch of writing to do, most of which will happen over spring break (only one more week of class!). Once I get that stuff in, I'm pretty much done with the application, which I am excited about. Woot. 

In other news, God has blessed me with some great friends recently. It's funny how He does that out of nowhere. For the last couple months I've just sort of been chilling and doing my own thing, but God's been showing me that He doesn't want me to be complacent and content with that and to prove it He's been throwing people at me that as far as I can tell He wants me to cultivate friendships with. I love people, so it's pretty exciting. 

In other news, a few friends and I have decided that the BCM here on campus is not nearly as social as it should be, so we're gonna start making social events and such to get people more involved. I'm excited about that, as well. We're also going to clean out the attic at the house that BCM owns and organize it and find all kinds of cool stuff hidden up there (We found a 72" inflatable ball! Can anyone say Super Awesome Game Day?!). We were up exploring it at like 2am last night and it was superfun. Now we're all motivated to clean it up. There's all kinds of BCM history up there going back to the 40s, and we want to find that and make it accessible to everyone. We'll proly have an attic-cleaning day soon after spring break. I'm excited about that too.

So, overall, lots of exciting things going on. Yay God and yay friends!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I know that I owe you guys a for-real post, and I promise to get back to you about that soon ... ish, at least. Right now I'm starting to try and decide what I want to do this summer. At the moment, my desired time-track for going abroad would be training in October, leaving in January, so I'd have my summer mostly free. I could go home and live with my parents and work all summer. This would be viable, especially since they're kind of struggling with the concept of me being gone for two years. My best friend has also offered to let me sublease with her for the summer, which would be SUPERFUN, especially since I never get to see her, and I would still be near-ish my parents (only a 4-5 hour ride. Easily a weekend trip.), and I would work all summer. Pretty much no matter where I end up I need to work all summer. It's just a matter of where. Also what. I'm not real picky. Don't want to do fast food, but retail or something would be fine. Just want a job. Go to work. Come home. Not have homework. I'm just not sure where it should be. Should I live with my parents? Sublease with my best friend? Hmmmmm. Let me know if you have the answer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rushing Franklin St

Hark the sound of Tar Heel voices, ringing clear and true,

Singing Carolina's praises, shouting NCU (N! C! U!)

Hail to the brightest star of all, clear it's radiance shiiiiiiine.

Carolina, price! less! gem!, receive all praises thine!

I'm a Tar Heel born, I'm a Tar Heel bred, and when I die, I'm a Tar Heel dead!

So it's rah rah, Carolina-lina, rah rah Carolina-lina, rah rah Caroliiina, rah! rah! rah!

(the nice version :P )

Apparently, shouting N! C! U! didn't start up as a tradition until the 80's, and shouting (instead of singing) the priceless gem part is even more recent than that. Also apparently, the fight song didn't start being tagged on to the end of the alma mater until the 1920's, and they kept the original version (as cited above) until the mid-70's, when it was replaced by a not-so-nice phrase regarding our rival (Dook). Who, by the way, LOST tonight. Which makes four years in a row. That's right. Tyler Hansbrough has NEVER lost to Dook in Cameron Indoor. 

Go Heels!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Without God ...

I'm a mess. I had a great conversation with a friend the other night about the desperate need our country has for God. America has told God to leave the country, and He's not one to force Himself where He's not wanted. We talked about how the concept of encouraging greatness - not just success or wealth, but encouraging someone's capacity to really be great - has fallen by the wayside, about how it's rare to see people that are passionate about what they do. The very presence of God is encouraging, and inspires people to do more, to be more, than they otherwise would. Because with God, we're part of His plan, part of something bigger. It's not just about working this job to get enough money to buy nice things and impress all our neighbors. It's about living passionately in the joy of Christ. Think about that for a minute. Living in joy.

I'm reading a book right now called Desiring God, by John Piper. It's all about what he calls Christian Hedonism - living and displaying the joy of God, which can be found no where else and which is utterly life changing. Because unlike everything else in our world, the joy that's found in God is unconditional. 

My life often fails to live up to this. I make a concentrated effort to spend time with God every day. After all, if it's the most important relationship I have, shouldn't I be nurturing it? I go out of my way to encourage my relationships with my siblings, with my parents, with my friends. But for whatever reason, sometimes my efforts in my relationship with God seem to slide. And even though I can see it happening, most of the time I don't do anything about it right away. Maybe one night I'm up really late so my quiet time doesn't get done. It's not a humongous deal. But then the next night something happens, and it doesn't get done again. My mornings may get rushed and then my Scripture memorization time slides. And this will go on for a week before I stop and say, Wait a minute. I don't like who I am when I'm not abiding in God. I'm jealous and petty and unforgiving. I become less responsible. I become insecure and irritable and self-involved. 

After a week or so, I look at myself and I have to bonk myself on the head, because I did it again. I've done this so many times; don't you think I'd learn? God changes me. When I'm dwelling in and on His love instead of on all the frustrating and irritating things that happen during my day-to-day life, I'm happy, and I'm content, and I'm able to focus on others and on loving on and encouraging them. And that's how I want to be. Getting by is not good enough. Just like our country has done, when I ignore God, I start to lose my desire for greatness, my passion for life and for the things I love doing. I can get so wrapped up in what I'm doing that I totally forget that there are bigger things, that I'm part of a bigger plan - His plan. I want my life to be great. Not that I need success or wealth or to be famous or anything like that, because you can be great without any of those things. I want my life to be great in the way it honors God and brings glory to His Name.

I want to stand on the rooftops and persuade passers-by that God is the answer to their problems. He gives us hope. He loves us unconditionally. He delights in us. As the song goes, "I know I am loved by the King." Those are small sentences, but huge concepts. They're things that have changed my life, that have changed me, from the inside out. When I look at who I'd be without Him, who I am when I haven't been spending any time with Him, I'm reminded of just how important it is for God to be my everything. The pleasure and joy I gain in spending time with Him outweighs any excuse I have to spend that time any other way.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Feel free to ignore.

My, this blog feels very serious. So, to lighten the mood, I thought maybe we should get to know one another a little better. This is my story. 

My favorite food is cheesecake. I'm also addicted to goldfish, Carmex, and hanging out with people, be it in person or online. I love to read. Playing with little kids is one of my favorite things to do ever. I believe puns are the highest form of humor out there. I desperately and intensely want to go to Central Asia for two years after I graduate. My dream is to eventually get married and have lots of kids. Maybe six or so, if I can. I'd like to adopt, too, I think. We'll see. 

I love Scrabble and play online with multiple friends and family members. I'm 22 years old and already turning into my mother, and that makes me happy, because I love my mom and turning out like her wouldn't be so bad, you know? I love UNC basketball. It's very, very upsetting when we lose. I never have enough friends. 

God has blessed my life in major, major ways. Me without God = not a pretty picture. I like to journal, but I'm very inconsistent. My favorite restaurant is Taco Bell. I could eat there every day. I have claustrophobic toes, so I wear flipflops as much as possible. Sometimes this gets me in trouble. 

I love children's movies. Also, at one point I had all of The Lorax memorized, though now I think I could only get 3/4 of the way through without prompts. Belle is my favorite Disney princess. I love to dance. Ballet I think will always be my favorite, but any kind of dance. Recently I've been doing more ballroom and enjoying it. I also love to sing, but I'm not very good at it. 

I'm extremely competitive, which is usually one of my flaws, but can also make for fun times. I hate being tickled. Seriously. Don't ever tickle me. But I do like to laugh. Much and often. Just not the two at the same time. Or the former ever, really. I once dislocated my patella doing the worm (go ahead, laugh at me). It hurt. I love peanut butter. I tend to eat it by the spoonful. 

I have many nicknames. Bec(k), Bex, Rhae Rhae, and Rhaebies being the four most commonly used probably. I don't really like stupid movies, in general. They're fun to quote with people, but I don't actually enjoy watching them. I'd rather watch good movies like the Princess Bride or the Count of Monte Cristo. 

I absolutely adore Les Miserables. I read it (the 1500-page original) in English, and I really want to read it in French, but I don't think my French is quite that good still. I get together with friends regularly to play card games, notably Egyptian Ratscrew and Munchkin, both good games. I like people. I'm not shy, but sometimes I don't have anything exciting to say. I love to perform. 

I'm outgoing, but I hold back a lot. It takes a long time before I can really open up to people. I love the cheese danish sold at Bonson's in Eagle River, WI. I tend to have one or two really really close friends instead of lots and lots and lots of friends. I used to have really really long hair, but I cut it short now. Everyone is still commenting 3 months later. 

Right now, I'm sleepy. 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New blog!

Welcome one and all to my brand-spanking new blog! As a second-semester senior in college, I'm hoping to embark on some fun adventures once I graduate. I was going to make this blog once I knew where I was going and what I'll be doing, but that could be a while yet, and I felt like making it now, so here I am.

Brief update on my life: -

-I'm about to graduate, as of May '09, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Go Heels!) with a degree in International Studies and minors in French and Linguistics.

-I want to go abroad for a few years after I graduate, preferably to Central Asia, though there are other options afloat as well.

-I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life. Hopefully in the next two years God will just drop something in my lap and be like BAM. There you go. And then I'll live happily ever after.

This blog will probably be for serious things and for silly things and for lots of things in between. I haven't decided yet if there will be pictures. Let me know if there are any topics you're just burning for me to tackle!