Friday, June 30, 2006

I was hesitant at first

Last night I went to dinner with a few friends (WHAAAAD UP JCol, Brian, and Eddo - eddo and brian you can change the "whad up" to your own style if you like) and we hit this amazing burger joint in town. JCol and Brian ordered an appetizer that immediately made my nose turn up and my stomach do a flip flop.

Fried Pickles.

Just the idea of deep frying a pickle made me a bit nauseous. I’m not really a picky or high maintenance eater, I’m just a very visual eater and I get an idea of how something will taste in my mind and I convince myself that it must be naaaaasssssssty. So when the thought of a fried pickle popped into my brain I figured it couldn’t be good. (I live in Texas, land of the fried foods, and I’m hesitant about eating these crazy concoctions – shhhh, don’t tell anyone).

But being the risk taker that I am (go ahead and laugh, you know you want to) I asked Brian if I could sample one of the FPs and then if I could complain about how gross it was. I wanted to prepare him for my reaction that I was convinced would occur. He gave me this weird look (which is a normal thing for Brian to give me) and said sure.

So I selected my victim, took a deep breath, and bit into the fried picklelyness. Much to my surprise I liked it. I not only liked it, I immediately began to contemplate changing my order to four baskets of fried picklely bits of heaven. Is there enough nutritional value in a pickle and deep fried batter to make this worthy of a full meal?

So now I have a new guilty pleasure. It sounds pretty gross, and I’m still not over the mental assault that the words “fried pickles” bring to my brain, but the taste more than makes up for that.

Next thing you know I’ll be that person at the State Fair who consumes two deep fried corny dogs, a deep fried snickers, and a deep fried peanut butter, jelly, and banana sandwich. Ok, well maybe I’ll just stick to the fried pickles (and a corny dog).

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Evidently genes trumps blonde hair

In a phone conversation with my mother yesterday she was *ahem* a little distracted as she tried to talk to me and my dad at the same time. I called her on it (i'm such a respectful daughter) and she said that my phone was breaking up anyway so I should call her back later.

About one minute later my dad called me to explain that it was not MY phone that was breaking up but that my mother, so engrossed in her conversation with me (ahahaha), had carried the portable home phone out with her when they got in the car to drive away. Since, obviously, home portable phones don't have too much of a range the signal was giving out as they reached the end of the street. The best part is that my mother was oblivious to the fact that she was on the home phone, assuming of course that she was on her cell and that is must be MY phone that was dropping the call.

This reminded me of the time I was in a restaurant with a group of friends and reached into my purse to pull out my cell phone. I dialed and waited and nothing happened. I dialed again . . . . . nothing. Exasperated I looked down at my phone and realized that I had grabbed my portable home phone. Now I do have to mention this was in the late 90's so cell phones were big and bulky back then and my portable phone was black and small so the mistake was understandable (ok well maybe not all that understandable). I sheepishly looked around to see if anyone had noticed and quickly slipped my phone back in my purse.

So now I contemplate the future of any daughters I have. They will inevitably inherit the phone gene that my mother passed on to me. Maybe I should plan on having only sons.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Quiet Presence

The hurt has invaded her heart and settled with a cold and darkness deep inside. She’s wept until the tears can no longer come. Words at once flooded her mind; questions and cries. Why did you allow this hurt? For what purpose will this serve? Do you even hear my cries, do you even know I’m hurting. Pleading for a reason she cries out wanting answers, wanting an explanation, needing to understand.

The anger has taken root and fueled his frustration. Fists raised he challenges to be heard, to be answered. Why did you let this happen? How can you see this as good? Answer me. Explain yourself. Prove to me you hear me, prove to me you are there. Demanding for a reason he calls out wanting answers, wanting an explanation, needing to understand.

One reacts with cries the other with shouts but both are hurting, both are looking for answers. They expected God to answer on their terms, in their way. They were asking for answers but all they found was silence. And in the midst of that they resolved that He didn’t care, He never cared. For if He really understood the anger and the hurt, if He really saw what their hearts were struggling with, He would answer, He would respond. He allowed them to hurt, He sanctioned the pain, He even knew it was coming and did nothing to stop it. And now when they come asking “why?” to understand the purpose behind the pain, when they strain their ears to hear His voice, they find nothing.

But the Lord never has to explain Himself. He isn’t required to justify His will, plans, or actions. God bends His knee to no one, least of all me. And so the questions deserve no answers. We aren’t promised to understand. We aren’t even promised to know why. God never has to clear His will with our desires or our wants. Omnipotence trumps any rights we have as humans, even as His children.

And so in the midst of the cries, in the rebuttal of the anger, we find silence that is often so defeating. For we feel that God doesn’t hear, that He doesn’t care to answer. The truth is that it isn’t silence that we’ve been met with, but the quiet presence of God. Our questions deserve no answers. We’re never promised to understand, only to be loved. God promises to never withdraw His presence, to freely give His Spirit, and to be our Lord and Savior forever. But He never promises to speak, to give an account for His will.

So when we come to him with questions and accusations, we need not listen for a response. He hears the cries, He feels the anger, and yet He sees the heart of what we are asking. Behind the cries, behind the accusations lies the real questions we want to ask Him, “Do you care? Do you love me? Do I matter to you?” And His answer isn’t in words but in His arms wrapped around us, in the strong presence of His strength, in the tender touch of His gentleness. For it isn’t by our ears that we hear God speak, it is by our hearts that we know He is there and we hear the answers to the questions we are desperate to ask.

Silence isn’t an easy response to accept. Faith isn’t a commitment of ease. To trust that God’s love and His presence are there even in the midst of silence is the basis of faith. And yet I find comfort that God was apparently silent with Christ in moments of His greatest anguish. We don’t see a dialogue between Christ and God in the Garden of Gethsemane. Christ brings His questions, His pleas, and we don’t hear the voice of the Father giving explanation or answers. Instead an angel comes to comfort Him, and I can only imagine that Christ is reminded of the love of His Father, both for Him and for us. Instead of answers, instead of explanation there is the presence of the Father, the presence of love. Also on the cross when Christ cries out "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" we don’t hear a response from God. The Son cries to the Father for answers and it is in His silence that we see God’s love. Words weren’t going to quiet the anguish of Christ, words weren’t going to explain the cost of salvation. God didn’t need to explain His solution for the sin of man, even to Christ. For Christ, being fully God, knew His will, but also being fully man, cried out to the Father in need.

So when silence is our only response from God and it feels like we are all alone and without answers, we need only listen with our heart to know His presence is there. For His love and care isn’t known by words, or confirmed by His speaking, it is promised and fulfilled by His unending presence in our lives.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Simple prayer request

Actually no prayer request is simple because what I'm asking for isn't simple at all, it is an act of God (but then again when God intervenes and answers our prayers are they not all acts of God?).

There are prospective changes coming in my life. HUGE BIG GIGANTIC changes. I don't paticularly embrace change. I am a creature of habit in fact. I have a tendency to get comfortable in my safe if not boring life. But God seems to have other plans, or at least that is what it appears.

So friends, family, and those few silent readers that come daily (and you are extra special to me because you find something of worth in my measly words and encourage me just by your presence), I'm asking for you to give me a great gift. Will you please pray for me? Will you ask God to reveal to me in His perfect way what He wants of me and for me in this specific situation? Will you ask Him to be very blunt with me if the answer is "No" and make is abundantly clear? Will you ask God to order my steps and prepare the road if He is calling me to make such dramatic changes? Will you ask of Him to let my integrity and witness bring Him alone glory in all of this? Will you ask Him to provide exactly what needs to occur so that all these changes happen in His time and in His way? And lastly, will you ask Him to draw me all that much closer to His embrace in this situation, will you ask Him to increase my faith and my view of Him as I watch Him lead me in His perfect will, will you ask Him to let whatever happens be for Him and Him alone?

Thank you friends. I don't take a request for prayer lightly, and would be humbled for you to do so on my behalf.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Just Me

Funny how things strike you or I guess I should say it is funny how things strike me. I’m pretty sure that I get struck by things in an entirely different way than other people do. But then again, I’m not like everybody else (nor are you by the way) so of course I get struck differently.

Have you ever wanted to be somebody else? Maybe it was for just a moment or maybe it was for a lifetime. Maybe you wanted to be her or him or whoever you thought had the perfect life, or at least a life a little bit better than you. Maybe it wasn’t anyone specific; it was just someone, someone else, someone other than you. Maybe it was the “you” that you thought you were, or the “you” that others think you are, or the “you” that you’ve always wanted to be. Whatever, whoever, it was just somebody else. Not you or at least not the “you” that you are right now.

I’ve been that person. I’ve always been that person. Wanting to be somebody else. Wanting to be the kid that got invited to all the sleepovers, that was picked first in kickball, and that was that special student that all the teachers adored. Wanting to be the girl in high school that was so perfectly confident in herself, not arrogant, but comfortable with who she was. Wanting to be the woman who had found that all her dreams had come true, she was who she pictured herself to be as a woman. Wanting to be comfortable in my own skin, in my own personality, wanting to be what everyone else expected me to be, what I expected me to be. Wanting all that I though I lacked, all that I thought I needed. Wanting to be somebody else and yet still wanting to be me, just the “me” that wasn’t who I was at the moment. The “me” that was what I could be, what I should be.

I have a feeling this is a struggle for many. I hope that I’m not the only one who looks at herself in the mirror and wonders what it would be like to be that person, somebody else.

Maybe this is a longing planted deep within my heart that has purpose. Because I don’t look at another person and wish that I was them. Oh, sometimes I wish I had what they have but I still want to be me, just a different me. A better me. The “me” that others see me as and then sometimes I want to be nothing like the me that others see. It is such a conflicting thought, to want to be all the good that others see, to meet their expectations of you, and yet to want to be nothing like the parts of you that are offensive to others, that hurt others. I want to be the best version of me, but that is somebody else, it isn’t the “me” that I am right now.

But then I wonder if I will ever be content with the “me” of the moment. Is that longing to be somebody else planted inside me to draw me closer to the “me” that I am supposed to be? Is that lack of satisfaction, lack of contentment, of comfortableness a yearning that pushes me to change, or more, to be open to change>

Can I recognize that the “me” that I am right now is the “me” that is needed for right now and yet the “me” that I want to be, might be the “me” for tomorrow. Maybe wanting to be somebody else, to be somebody at all, is really a desire to be me after all.

Maybe somewhere in the midst of all the visions of me: Who I want me to be, who others want me to be, who they seem me as, who God sees me as, who God is changing me to be. Somewhere in the middle of all that there I am.

Just me.

Changing, growing, learning. Changing not into somebody else altogether but from me to me.

So maybe I do want to be somebody else, to be somebody, maybe I want to be me. A me that I don’t know yet, a me that I see off in the distance.

Just thinking out loud here. I’m me, I do thinks like this.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I came, I saw, I pulled out a clump of my hair and now have a bald spot

Ok, well maybe I don’t have a bald spot. But, one of my friends growing up would suck her thumb and pull a lock of hair over to rub on her nose (as a baby of course, I did not notice this behavior in high school). She did this so much that she had a bald spot on her head. Eventually, her parents decided to shave her head to break her of such a habit because no one wants a male-pattern-baldness baby, especially when it is a girl.

Back to my bald spot, or hypothetically, imaginary bald spot. Deadlines . . . . . insert dramatic music here. Deadlines are the bane of my existence. One because I hate them for myself, and two because I’m convinced the world is full of lolly-gaggers, late comers, foot draggers, procrastinators. WHY OH WHY must everyone wait until the last minute? The better question to ask is: Why if you decide to wait to the last minute, knowing full well that everyone else waited until the last minute do you get frustrated with me because I am not Superwoman, nor have I stolen the secret to clone myself from the Dutch dolly sheep quack doctors (because I am sometimes difficult to track with: the dutch doctors that cloned the sheep named dolly), and can therefore not handle the massive influx of questions and emergencies and requests all at once right at the deadline. DID YOU THINK I WAS LYING WHEN I TOLD YOU TO DO THIS EARLY? Do I somehow resemble chicken little?

And so because the world (or at least my small world) has decided to all wait until the last minute the last few days and the next might result in a newly bald Katie (Jes I think this might be the perfect opportunity for you to use your artistic expression and somehow produce a picture of me bald – scary as it might be I know it will make me laugh).

Alas in the midst of impending baldness I have been exposed to such oddities as a woman driving what can only be a Zamboni in the parking lot of my local grocery store. It was the size of a Zamboni, it was the shape of a Zamboni, and for some reason there was a thin layer of ice forming behind her and a school of penguins skating all in a line. Ok so maybe the last part was stretching it a bit. Seriously I think there was a middle-age woman driving a Zamboni in the grocery store parking lot. That is not really normal is it? At least not in Texas when it was still 85 degrees at 9:30 at night (ugh Texas heat). I almost followed this woman to see where she kept the Zamboni. For instance, was there some secret society of Eskimos in Texas that I did not know about? Was there a special ice rink in my town that had remained hidden? If so, could I lay upon the ice and cool my body in the sweltering heat of summer (oh wait that doesn’t start until tomorrow – UNLESS you live in Texas-land-of-the-sweltering-heat-and-humidity-that-turns-people-into-human-puddles-of-sweat and it starts in March). Alas, I had ice cream in my car (my dinner, don’t judge me I have a growing bald spot – which makes me wonder if my ridiculously shiny blonde hair hides a ridiculously shiny bald head) so I could not follow the Zamboni as it left to return to its igloo home.

Did I mention that when I’m busy and run-ragged I tend to go a bit more manic than usual? The good part is that it is usually entertaining to those around me.

(Don't worry the reflective, deep thinking katie is still around. Things are floating through my head and when something settles I'll post it.)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Deep Breaths

I use to have an extreme fear of heights. Wait, who am I kidding, heights still make me a bit uneasy. My palms get sweaty and I start to shake a bit, in fact I often get a bit dizzy when I am standing on some sort of precipice. Growing up this fear kept me from doing things that I would have otherwise jumped at. Roller coasters were a no-go, the sight of a ropes course or climbing wall made me sick to my stomach. Oh I found ways around facing the fear. Official bag holder while at an amusement park, group cheerleader at a youth retreat when everyone strapped in for the ropes course, picture taker at the climbing wall or cliff face. I was content to stand on the sidelines and let all the other crazies cheat death. Me, my feat were fully planted on the ground and I had reasoned my way into thinking that was the way I liked it.

That worked well for me until two opposing forces met head on. Oh both of these heavy weight champions were primed for a fight. In one corner was my hard-headedness that bloomed in full force as soon as I could walk and talk and never stopped developing. In the other corner sat my fear, deep seeded, dark, and fed lots of protein over the years it had grown strong and solid, a force to be reckoned with. When these two met in a battle it was a sight to see.

I think my fear got a healthy whoopin by my hardheadedness in the ropes course incident. See I was FAMOUS for being a wimp when it came to these. I had ducked and swerved so many times from being strapped into that whole diaper-harness-carbineer contraption that it was an art form. That all came to a head one summer in high school while at camp. I wanted to appear brave, well actually I just didn’t want to be the only girl in my teepee not doing the ropes course (again peer pressure can do so much) that I sucked it up and suited up ready to attack the course like a crying baby. I’m sure I shook the entire way. That is until a funny thing happened.

See my partner had neglected to tell me she was a freaked out as I was. So we got to this one part of the course where pipes veered away from and then back toward each other and all we had to hold on to were each other. I will admit I was scared to death, about to puke and die all at the same time. And then she just sat down on the platform and refused to go further. I almost started laughing. I was the one who was supposed to freak out, I was the one who was supposed to cry and stop and refuse to go any further. So there I was with my own fears ready to overwhlem me, my partner refusing to go forward, and here comes ol hardheadedness rearing to go.

I took a deep breath, looked at her in the eyes and from somewhere came “spider woman ropes course extraordinaire”. I pulled her to her feet and practically dragged her through the rest of the course. The best part was when our youth pastor/camp director came by after hearing about some girls getting stuck on the course (it happened more often than not). He actually laughed and told me that he thought it had to be me freaking out up there and not my partner.

The best part of this story is that the next summer there I was in the same predicament scared out of my self and going up again with a partner who seemed so confident on the ground and LOST IT up in the trees. I was back in the same position, pushing my fears aside and taking the lead.

That absolute fear of heights was soon conquered, oh I still get the stomach rumbling and sweaty palms on the first look down from a perch up high, but the jitters make it all the more fun.

Why am I taking you down this trip of memory lane?

I feel like I’m back in that same place once again, sweaty palms, nervous butterflies in my stomach, looking at this new and exciting thing that scares me half to death.

Am I willing to take a risk and step out into something new?

Am I ready to leave the comfort of the firm ground and start walking in the treetops?

Sometimes the only way to see the path ahead of us, is to leave the ground and head for the treetops where we get a better view.

Deep breaths.

Mondays are predictable

Four hours and I don't think I've stopped to breathe (drink coffee yes, breathe no). I'm sure if I did there would be something up in my noggin to share with you. Maybe later this afternoon when the whilwind calms down.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Tonight I'm going to an Edwin McCain concert with my friend Kristi and if we are really adventurous we'll be catching a late night showing of Nacho Libre. I'm anticipating lots of laughter tonight.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Something Light and Something Heavy

What better way to show you the conflicting (or maybe more complimenting) part of my nature than to offer two different types of posts, one light and fluffy that leaves you smiling and the other deep and heavy that makes you think.


Yesterday I embarked on an adventure with my “Old Lady Friends”. I use this term loosely because they really aren’t old but in comparison to me and the average age of most of my compatriots they are older, and married, and have kids, some in college, therefore they are called the “Old Lady Friends” with great love and laughter. Well we all piled into one car and headed for lunch and some shopping. After much laughter and absolute craziness we were scouting out desert and I suggest a place called Javalato, where they serve coffee (java) and gelato (lato). As we walk in facing the gelato display case with about 20 perfectly formed gelato tubs, one of the ladies, Angel (her alias to protect her identity), says rather loudly “What is that? Pudding?”. The face on the teenage boy behind the counter was PRICELESS. We laughed, he snickered, and we all bought our pud . . . gelato. I love my “Old Lady Friends”.


A while back I went to dinner with a few friends. We were doing what girls do best and sharing with each other what was going on in our lives at the time. I shared some struggles I was dealing with and was honest about the pain that I was feeling. My friend then shared some of her struggles and I remember remarking that my issues were nothing in comparison to hers. And then she said the most encouraging thing to me. She looked me straight in the eyes and said with complete compassion “Pain is pain.”

In that moment she offered me what I had been wanting, the freedom to hurt over what I was going through. The freedom to not have to explain my pain, or qualify it, or even compare it to someone else, but to be able to say I was hurting and that was enough. I was allowed to hurt for whatever reason. I was free to say that this was difficult for me and hard and that was all that mattered.

After thinking about this for a while I realize that often when we are hurting that is really all we want. We just want someone to say it is ok for us to hurt; it is ok for us to be in pain, and that while they might not understand the situation they understand that for us, in that moment, it is hard and we are hurting.

So often we don’t know how to help someone in pain. Do we offer an ear; do we point out how it could be worse so they get perspective; do we pull out our trusty list of responses and offer the great hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel, that all trials produce strength; do we try to logically fix their problem? None of these are bad or wrong. I’ve done all of these in an effort to help. But do we ever let someone just mourn what is a difficult time for them? Do we acknowledge that they are in pain and it is often times unbearable? Do we give them the freedom to hurt and to cry and to say that no matter what else comes my way in life, right here, right now, this is the worst I have ever had it and it hurts so much that I don’t know how to deal with it? Do we give them the freedom to have their own pain, separate from any that we have known?

Even in the Christian community this is a tough area. We want to give encouragement, we want to offer hope, we want to print out a list of uplifting verses to show them they “this too shall pass” (and it will eventually, thankfully). But is there a moment when the verses that champion perseverance and hope, the expectedness of trials, and the good fruits of tribulations fall upon ears that aren’t ready to hear? Are we in such a hurry to diagnose and fix a problem, or at least offer a reason for it, that we forget the human being before us that is hurting? Are we so quick to offer spiritual healing that we forget the healing of a hug, the comfort of a silent listener, and the compassion of someone to cry with you?

I’m not saying to forgo a response that is based on God’s Word. Not at all. I find myself turning to God in every hurt; it is the only place I can often turn. But I’ve never been met by God with a game plan in the midst of my tears. I’ve never been shamed because I feel pain for something that is nothing in comparison to what others are going through. If anything I have been met by a God that knows my heart and how it is breaking at the moment. I am met by a God that wept.

The shortest verse in the Bible, John 11:35 “Jesus wept.” We don’t get a peak inside Christ’s heart at that moment, but we do see His response to what He was experiencing. His friend Lazarus was sick and Mary and Martha have called on Christ to come quickly. Jesus, in His own wisdom, decided to wait and came only after Lazarus died. He arrives to a mournful place as they have already laid Lazarus in the tomb. Both Martha and Mary approach Christ and lament about the death of their brother, the inability of Christ to be there to heal him, and they both express faith that Christ is Lord. And so in the midst of this lesson on faith and power over death, I find not just an Almighty Lord but a compassionate Christ who recognizes that pain is true for these women.

John 11: 32- 35
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. "Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied.
Jesus wept.

Now many people have spoken of why Christ wept. I’m focusing on the fact that He did. Christ, the Lord, who would soon raise Lazarus from the dead and give eternal life to all, wept. He knew what was to come, He knew that this too shall pass and that joy abundant would soon fill the place, and yet He wept.

Often times I feel like Mary, throwing myself at the feet of Christ, pouring my pain and heart out to Him, lost in the brokenness of my heart, in the unknown of my limited humanity, hurting, crying, broken. And instead of a God who answers with “Katie, why are you crying? Why do you have such little faith? I am the Lord, I have it under control.” (and He has every right to say this to me, because it is all true), instead I am met by a Lord that weeps alongside me. He sees my heart, He knows my pain, and He meets me right there in the midst of all that despair and shows me through His tears that I am not alone, I am free to hurt, He knows the pain is real, He meets me in my tears.

The freedom to hurt is the freedom to be human. It is the freedom to let God come in and hurt alongside us, to comfort us, and to begin to heal us. Pain is pain, and Christ has wept alongside Mary and Martha and He has wept alongside me.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

It drew me in like a moth to a flame

As I was punching the remote last night not impressed by anything that summer re-runs have to offer I came upon an ad for a show that peaked my interest. I noted the time and made a mental note to make sure that whatever I was doing at 9 p.m. last night I would immediatly stop and desist and run to my television to witness what might be the most wildly entertaining show to ever grace the airwaves.

What might this show be you ask?

USA Rock Paper Scissors League

(Ok, stop laughing, at least I'm not watching pro wrestling)

Cab you belive that not only is there a league, but they televise it? TELEVISE people in a rock paper scissors tournament. And these people wear costumes. COSTUMES. It was like every possible joke to be made about pro-wrestling, trekkies, and clubs for non-sensical type things was gathered and packaged with a big bow attached for my viewing pleasure. There were history lessons on RPS (got the lingo down), behind the scenes shots of people mentally preparing for their matches, and then there were brief bios on the contenstants/players/throwers (not sure what they are called) and how they came into the exciting world of RPS.

It was CLASSIC, in the sense of not being classical or even educational but classic in the sense that I could not pull my eyes away from the television screen because I was sucked into an alternate reality where people actually compete for $50,000 by playing RPS.

In the vast desert of summer re-runs I had happened upon the mother load of stupid humor. I sat entranced at my television screen wishing, hoping, wanting someone to be there with me to stare wide mouthed and give that look (you know the look, it is the "I cannot believe this is real look", the "somone must be taping us as we watch this look because it cannot occur naturally in nature look", the "are you seeing the same thing I'm seeing look") and then after the look we would crack up laughing until our sides hurt. And then later we would be able to catch each other's eye and remember and laugh again.

And then I remembered my own childhood with RPS or as we call it down here in these parts: FARKLE. Don't argue about the name, it isn't worth you time, this is what me and my peeps call it so either get on board or wave at the party train as it passes you by.

Farkling was more than just throwing RPS, it always included a dare of some sort. Hmmm, I wonder who would eat this dog biscuit. Wanna farkle? That was how one dreaded sunday afternoon started for me in ninth grade. I lost, ate the dog biscuit, and my life with farkling began. There were many other farkles, often times involving embarrassment or public humiliation. Sometimes the farkle was for something good, like the last cookie, but those opportunities were few and far between. Often the farkle involved something gross, like sticking your head in the fred bucket at kamp (i feel as if i need to explain this, the fred bucket was a large garbage can filled with all the food waste of a meal, either left over food from plates, or uneaten food that would be dumped in the compost pile) - I did not lose that farkle by the way but laughed my head off at the guy who did and went head first into the can up to his shoulders.

Ahhhh farkling brings back such memories. Maybe I should suggest to the USARPS league that they liven these tournaments up with a consequence for each person who loses a match. That would take RPS to the Farkle level.

And yes I know that some of you call RPS Roshambo or some other nonsense. The official website for USARPS actually lists the history and you can read how the name Roshambo can to be associated with RPS here: (feel free to skip it if you are not interested) Fast forward 1600 years to the American Revolution, aptly named for the way it revolutionized the sport and provided it with a new moniker still used to this day – Rochambeau (RO-SHAM-BO). America has been the world capital of Rock Paper Scissors since the 18th century, when Lieutenant General Count de Rochambeau of France teamed up with George Washington to defeat the British at Yorktown. The Count was a skillful leader who understood the importance of Rock Paper Scissors in conflict resolution, and used that wisdom to become an American legend. He used RPS to train his troops in the arts of war – discipline, courage, intuition and hand-to-hand combat. In 1780, he and his hand-picked troops were sent to aid Washington against the English. And on October 19, 1781, 17,000 of Rochambeau’s troops surrounded Yorktown to witness the most important Rock Paper Scissors match in world history. British General Charles Cornwallis refused to surrender, and he had only one way out – a best of 3 grudge-match with Washington. A desperate Cornwallis relied on rock and stunned the American troops by crushing Washington’s repeated scissors. But just as Cornwallis’ smack talk had begun, the Count de Rochambeau stood tall with his fist high in the air. Witnesses claim he shouted “Hey Corny, you want some of this? I challenge you to a best of five, winner take all. Loser must surrender, and buy the winner beers tonight. Let’s throw down.” Cornwallis was too proud a man to walk away, and it was game on. With the future of America at stake, Rochambeau opened with rock to foil Cornwallis’ sneaky scissors. Then the Count used sheer brilliance with a sharp scissors to cut down the Brit’s paper. The Count never knuckled under the pressure, and with a powerful rock, he pummeled Cornwallis’ scissors along with his hopes of winning the Revolutionary War. Cornwallis surrendered, and Rochambeau’s name would be forever linked with Rock Paper Scissors and American History. Two years later, the Count delivered the knockout punch as he beat the King of England with three straight papers, forcing him to sign a fourth paper, the Treaty of Paris. Led by an adopted American hero Count de Rochambeau and his mastery of RPS, the war was over.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Nothing to say really . . . . . sigh

Friday, June 09, 2006

It's Friday and that deserves a random post

I must remember this for when I become a parent:

A friend told me that when they move to a new house they "mail" their goldfish by flushing them down the toilet. Then a few days after arriving at the new house the goldfish appears in his bowl after being magically delivered.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Been thinking . . . .

Been thinking lately, which is usually a dangerous thing. A lot of my thinking occurs in the twilight of the night as I try to fall asleep. Some people are blessed with minds that come with an off switch that automatically clicks over upon their head hitting the pillow. For me it is quite the opposite.

It seems that in the quiet and rest of trying to fall asleep my mind realizes that there aren’t one hundred and one things to occupy its time so it shifts into deep-thinking mode. I learned a while back to keep a notebook by the bed because it was in these quiet reflective moments that I needed to record my thoughts (and no you cannot read said notebook). The problem becomes that instead of drifting off to sleep my mind races and I am left tossing and turning thinking for hours.

It isn’t uncommon that I will spend an hour or two just thinking as the digital clock blinks the minutes away. This always isn’t good for my body as sleep is a good thing (a favorite thing in fact) but it often helps me to get a good grasp on where my head is at the moment.

So lately, I have had a thought going through my mind pretty regularly. It twists and turns as my mind tries fit it in a nice little box with a bow on top. Have I mentioned that I like to think something to a point where I’ve seen if from all angles, measured it, weighed it, and have a firm grasp of it? Hmmm, that might be my definition of “deep thinker” or better yet “borderline crazy” but really both of those phrases are pretty close.

So the subject of my late night reveling has been . . . . . .the sovereignty of God. Light fare for a late night thought party, wouldn’t you say? Ha, I could be pondering the purpose of the appendix (in the body not a book of course), or the status of Britney Spears’ marriage, or I could even be letting my mind wonder about how I can get some fresh seafood when I am 6 hours from the nearest coast. But no, I ponder sovereignty.

So this is what my mind came up with. My story, my life, exists on a timeline. There is a point of origin (my birth) and a point of destination (my death) and in the middle of those two points is a line stretched out that traverses all the events of my life. Each choice I make exists on that line. This of course makes the line veer from being a straight line and it instead looks like a cut-back trail going up a mountain. From an outsider’s point of view there is probably no rhyme or reason to the design of the line and from my point of view I can only see what is behind me but never what is ahead. This isn’t to say that the line doesn’t exist in front of me because I really do believe the line from the two points is already complete, marked out, and set. I have just yet to walk the line and set my footsteps upon the path that is “me”.

Now here comes the whole sovereignty part. God is the only one who knows the line in its completion. He was the one who placed the two points and he determined the breadth and length of the line. He also knows every kink, turn, loop-d-loop, and direction the line takes. He knows that because of one choice I made way back on the line that I will soon veer in a new direction sometime in the future. He also knows how many lines will intersect with mine, have paths of others will be crossed in mine. He know the length of time that these other lines (people) will travel close to mine and when they will diverge in their own directions. He knows when my line will slow down and crawl and when it will travel faster than I ever thought possible. God knows everything that has and will happen in my life. Nothing is hid from His sight, nothing falls from His grasp, nothing will happen on that line that He has not already known. And the greater part of all of this is that since He has seen my path, since He knows all that will occur, He continually prepares me for the next step. He knows I can’t see what is ahead, He knows that my feet move one in front of the other and each step is a new experience for me.

And in the midst of thinking about this two thoughts became apparent. 1) I’m glad God is sovereign and 2) I’m frustrated that God is sovereign. Very different thoughts aren’t they.

I’m so thankful that God is sovereign; I’m comforted by that truth. For it takes pressure off of me. I don’t have to wonder if this whole world is left up to chance. I don’t have to fear tomorrow or even the next hour because there is nothing determining it. I’m also glad that I’m not sovereign because I don’t have the shoulders to bear up that burden.

In the same breath I’m frustrated by God’s sovereignty, or more the outworking of it. There are times when I want to ask God why He allowed certain things in my life to happen if they were only going to come to the end that they did. I want to question Him and His motives. I want to understand His grand scheme. See I like God’s sovereignty but I just want to be clued into it. I want to know where I’m heading, I want a glimpse at the rest of the line. I don’t need to know the destination point, but just a quick glimpse at say the next few months would be nice, or a little preview of the highlights of the twists and turns.

The funny thing about this is that my second thought isn’t exactly compatible with my first thought. Liking the sovereignty of God but not trusting it leaves you in a tough spot. Oh I will probably always have questions, I will probably always want to know why, but the good thing is that having those questions brings me to the place where I can actually trust in the sovereignty.

As I lay awake at night with my brain processing all of this I reached the point where I found comfort in knowing that He knows the story, my story, and that I know Him. He knows how each event in my life will send out ripples to the rest of my life. He knows that as people come and go in my life the effect they have and the changes they inspire. He knows everything there is to know about me, even the things that I don’t know. And I know Him. I know Him. I know the God who sees everything, who knows everything, who marks it out and calls it forth, the God who lovingly never leaves me to walk my path alone, who lovingly set my path for my footsteps alone. And I love Him too. I know Him, I love Him, so I trust Him.

The sovereignty of God is such a big topic and I know I’m only dancing on the fringes of grasping it. In all actually, I will never grasp it, but I can experience it. I can live in it. But most importantly, I can trust in it, even with my questions, even with my doubts, because the sovereignty of God is part of God. I can’t accept Him without also accepting this part of Him.

This is a pretty heady post (as in you are taking a peek inside my head). Sorry for the length.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


If anything my life is predictable. Predictable in the midst of unexpected circumstances and unknown futures. Yes I am using a pretty wild oxymoron, but that also is predictable in my life. Sometimes I forget that often I have been down this path before, I have walked these steps, and I have encountered these same instances in life. The memories of these parts of my life have long ago faded into myth or stories, a fuzzy recollection of what once might have been. And then memories awake and the stories and myths turn into clear pictures of a past that I know I lived. The emotions, the feelings, the pain and the joy all come flooding back and I wonder how I forgot that I've been down this path before.

It is true that there is nothing new under the sun, mostly because there is nothing new in the creation of this world, in the creation of man. My life seems to be stuck on repeat, encountering the same valleys and mountain tops. Maybe it isn't the scenery that needs to change, the path might be the same over and over. Maybe it's my response to the scenery, my choices on the path that need some altering. I can't change the circumstances of my life but I can change how I respond to them.

I wrote this post on puzzles in October of last year. It seems to fit well with my life right now.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Just another Manic Monday

I figured I would finish out the music theme.

It's Monday, crazy, manic, tons to do Monday.

Who said summer was slow for schools? Not my school.

Add to that all the other things going on in my head: questions unanswered, directions unknown, future undecided.



Saturday, June 03, 2006

Further Evidence

While at the grocery store yesterday I heard the opening notes of "Faithfully" by Journey and made the decision to wander around a bit more to hear the song play through. I've now become that person that wants to purchase the "grocery store playlist". I think I might need some sort of professional help . . . . or my own reality television show.

(read the post below to fully understand the point of this post)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It was at this moment that I realized I am officially “different”

Grocery shopping how I have a love/hate relationship with you. First I love you because you provide food for me to eat. Eating is good, eating is necessary; eating is a way of life (literally). But at the same time I hate you because you force me to partake what can only be called the “adventure of shopping”. Shopping by my definition is supposed to be fun and relaxing and end with you going home with something pretty that makes your hips look amazingly slender. In an ironic turn of events, grocery shopping has the exact opposite effect on your hips. I think that they actually grow just by skirting past the ice cream aisle. Grocery shopping is what I like to call a “whipping”. Especially because I am forced to grocery shop at peak shopping times, which somehow coincides with the daily break times of all checkers, thereby creating an economic catastrophe of not enough supply to meet the demand. (See mom and dad that load of money you spent on my college education is showing its worth, both for the use of economic theory and my compound, complex sentence.) It also doesn’t help that I go grocery shopping while hungry so I am driven by the little voice in my stomach (which sounds an awful like cookie monster from sesame street) to purchase everything and anything that is in the line of sight of my cart.

Yesterday I succumbed and went shopping right at the pinnacle of disaster. It was 5:30 (hot shopping time for all us white, blue, green, purple, choose your own color–collar workers) and I was starving. Pulling into my local grocery store I scored prime parking for the time, only about 15 cars back but on a central aisle and right next to the shopping cart pen.

(It is now the point in the program where Katie pulls out her soap box: If you are one of those people who does not return your cart to the pen, but chooses to leave it wandering around the lot, or worse right next to my car which is parked in any adjacent slot, I hate you. Really I do and I curse your name as I walk your cart to the pen myself. You are lazy, really that is all it is, pure and simple laziness. Thank you, for listening to Katie’s soap box rant. We now return you to your normal programming.)

One thing I notice about grocery stores is that they always have music playing. Now back in the day when I worked at the Pig (Piggly Wiggly for you unenlightened who know of no such store) we had what could only be called muzak, really sad attempts at taking contemporary music and making it fully instrumental. My co-workers and I, all fun loving high school students (the Pig was THE place to work in high school), would make a game out of guessing the song. Well today they finally figured out that people like words with their music, especially if it is a rendering of a song that once had words but you removed the words because that might make it less contemporary and more grocery store or elevator friendly.

As I perused the crowded store with my strategic cart operating skills and cookie monster yelling at me every time I passed something that looked like it could be eaten at that exact moment, I found myself singing along to the soundtrack of this shopping endeavor.

My time spent in the fruit and veggies department was marked by the last half of “Ghostbusters”. I rather enjoyed singing along with that one, AND making the little do-do-do-do noises that accompany chorus. As I moved to get my bottled water, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler started up on the turntable and I really got into that one. I even think I might have closed my eyes at some point as I sang along and really “got into the song”. As I made my way to the cereal aisle what did my ears perk up to but “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls? This was the anthem of my all-girls floor my freshman year in college. Memories of us blasting it from every room and singing and dancing down the hallways came flooding back to my find. I’m proud to say I had the self-control to not dance my way down the cereal aisle but I did sing along (and by singing I really mean mouthing the words). I finished up in the frozen food aisle with “Can’t fight this feeling anymore” by REO Speedwagon where I lost all sense of shame and just let loose with the song. This is a good place to tell you that a few summers ago I went to a REO Speedwagon, Journey, Styx concert. Ahahaha, that was such a funny concert, not so much because of the bands but more the people there. Oh my goodness, talk about some interesting people watching.

For a shopping excursion, I think that might have been the perfect quadfecta of music. Now to all my musical elitist readers out there (you know who you are), don’t judge me. I like these songs, I know all the words to each of these songs, I sang along to every song, I might have even moved to the music to a few of them. In fact, nobody judge me. You can laugh, you can shake your head, you can think I’m “different” or “special”. You can even choose to never go grocery shopping with me for fear of how I might react to the play list of that certain store. But don’t judge, because I know you do the same thing. Oh you pretend to be all normal and not notice the music, you hide behind all your good taste in artists and whatnot, but you know that you get the urge to bop when “Ghostbusters” comes on, and you want to break into interpretative dance when you hear Bonnie belt out “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. And I know that as soon as “Wannabe” reaches your ears you have a desire to start speaking in a British accent and bouncing up and down in dance. And then the last, if not the best, you want to throw you head back, reach your arms out and do your best “emo” interpretation of “Can’t fight this feeling anymore”. You know you do the same thing as I do, just maybe not in the grocery store.

So yep, I’m a bit “different”. But at least I’m entertaining.