Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Josh's 2nd Visit to Indiana

All dressed up for church.

Photobooth fun. ;)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Doth Loveth Thou With Me Whole Hearteth

Josh and I

October 8, 2011

goofin' off

6 inch rule?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Best Friends Forever + Eternity + Infinity & Beyond…

I was fourteen and discontented with life, at a point when nothing really mattered. I had lost sight of the things I had once held so dear, not caring to find my way back.

Our family had just started attending a new church in Newburgh. The moment I stepped inside that building I wanted to leave. There were too many teens, more than I was used to, and I did not care to make new friends. In fact, I did not care much to be happy in this situation at all.

We were not there long before some of those teens came up to greet my family. They attempted to start a conversation to make me feel more comfortable and welcome, but in return they did not get more than monosyllable responses. I tried my best to make them feel as stupid as possible. Something I always did when I felt uncomfortable and awkward. In causing them to feel worse than me, I felt I had succeeded in my mission. They would leave me alone to be me. We could get through the evening service in peace, head home, and hopefully never return. What a disappointment when I found out that my parents and the rest of my family enjoyed it and planned to make this our church for the time being.

After a few weeks, I had managed to scare almost everyone off, much to my enjoyment. However, there was one girl in particular that was very bothersome to me. She was so obnoxious and sarcastic. Always laughing too much and making jokes about everything. She would try to talk to me and somehow convinced me to sit at their table a few times during later fellowships after church. She would talk to me as if she had known me forever and no matter how hard I tried, she would not leave me alone. She would just not shut up. I tried to work my ‘magic’ but it did not seem to have an affect.

One day, she asked, “Why don’t you like me?”

“Excuse me?!”, I replied.

“Why do you treat me like I’m an idiot when all I’ve done is try to make you feel like a part of the group?”

I was surprised and caught off guard. “It’s not that I don’t like you, I don’t even know you, I just have no desire to get to know you or anyone else here,” I responded.

She added, “If you would let go you might actually enjoy life and have fun. It’s not that bad of an experience.” Then she just shrugged, and went back to what she was doing. Adding a simple, “but whatever. Just be miserable.”

I could not stop thinking about what she had said. I had always tried to make others feel dumb, but no one had ever said anything about it. I was at a turning point. I had been confronted at the least expected moment by the one person I disliked the most, Haley Harris.

That was the beginning of our relationship. Our first real conversation was an argument. After that night, I actually made somewhat of an effort to get to know the other teens. I began to have fun again and enjoy myself. Before I realized it, I had stumbled upon the path that would lead me back to real freedom.

There was something about Haley. She had stood up to me and now seemed intimidating which caused me to have a sort of respect for her. This aggravating, sarcastic, outgoing, care-free girl that I had detested so much had a brain, could think for herself, and was not going to take nonsense from someone like me.

Almost four years have passed since then, and we are now closer than ever. I could not ask for a better friend. We have been through some hard times, but have had far more good times, together, all the way. Yes, she is still sarcastic, loud, and does not care about what others think of her, but I love her just the way she is and would never want her to change. She managed to knock some sense into me, and I will never forget it. Now, whether she likes it or not, she is stuck with me. Lord willing, that will never change.

Johanna Oliver - 2009

Early Memories

A tiny girl, sitting outside her home, awaits her brother’s return from school, watching, as snails crawl by. She has been endowed with medium length light brown hair, big green eyes, freckles stretching from one cheek to the other, and a loud mouth. The porch on which she is sitting leads up to a small white farm house with greenish colored shutters (snails were always covering the top step of that front porch). Humidity was high, typical Florida weather, but it did not bother her too much. The shade from the huge tree in the front yard protected her from the beating sun.

This is a picture of me that has been stored in my mind for years and has kept the scene of my early home crisp. I have many fond memories of my early childhood years, including my many quirks and some unforgettable family experiences.

One specific recollection of my childhood is when I would often get into the stack of old books, take the biggest of the bunch, and find a nice comfy seat where I could just sit and “read”. Amusingly, I did not know how to read just yet, but I remember looking through those books wishing I could understand the words that filled each page. When I did finally learn how to read though, I would become upset, because when I had to read aloud, I could barely clamber over the words because of my thick stutter. Come to think of it, I was never very graceful; I was always spilling drinks, knocking over paint cans, and tripping over small objects. So, all the dreams I had of becoming such graceful creatures as ballerinas and princesses stayed exactly that. Dreams. I would thrive on hearing stories about them and would spend long hours playing “make believe” with my little sister. I knew those books contained whole new worlds, and an extra life was trapped in there, waiting for me to live it.

In reflection, much of who I was then remains the same to this day. Yes, there’s been some mountains in my life that have called for some serious climbing, and coming out of something like that is important and has made me a stronger person, but having the experiences like camping out on the beach illegally with nothing but a tarp under us and having to wake up early to sneak away before getting caught, that’s what really counts. It reminds me that, in reality, I haven’t changed at all. I’m still that little girl that plays “make believe” and has a deep love for her family and friends. I still love books, am as curious and mischievous as ever, adventurous, and can’t wait to find out what the future holds.

Johanna Oliver - 2009