Thursday, September 28, 2006

At which point I turn to the audience for help

I've got some posts simmering on the stove but they're just not ready for taste test yet.

In the meantime I figured I would open it up to questions.

Anything you would like to know about me?
Any advice you need? (just to answer the obvious question: No, leggings are not fashionable no matter what the runway shows and hollywood are telling you)
Any suggestions you would like to offer?

No question is too absurd. Although I reserve the right to point and laugh at my computer if it is a little bit "out there" but I promise to answer it either way.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


We are only as intimate with God as we allow ourselves to be.

I read that idea in a book recently and it struck me.

The God who made me . . . . . .

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139: 13-16

The God who saved me . . . . . .

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

The God who lives inside of me . . . . . .

. . . so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19

The God who knows my thoughts . . . . . .

You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O LORD, You know it all.
Psalm 139:3-4

The God who is over all things . . . . . .

That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Ephesians 1:19b-23

This God allows our relationship to be determined by us, at least the width and depth of our relationship. God’s already intimate with us. He created us, He redeemed us, He knows our thoughts, He watches our paths, He waits for the day when we will be in His presence, and yet are we intimate with God?

The burden of our intimacy is on us.

The burden of our identity is on us.

Just something I’ve been thinking about.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Formerly known as my house, now will be referred to as an obstacle course

I'm moving.

This means that I must pack.

I hate packing.

One aspect of my move is that it will be temporary with no set time frame. This means that other than those things that I use on a day to day basis, everything else must be packed for storage.

One good thing about packing is that it lets you re-evaluate the necessity of the junk you have accumulated over time. One bad thing about packing is that you must confront said junk when you pull it from the deep recesses of closets, cubbies, and other such places that junk likes to congregate while it plans for its attempt at world domination.

This means that my house is now a level five obstacle course that tests not only my limberness but also my ingenuity (and my falling skills – those are always being tested).

Case in point:

I needed to iron a skirt this morning. My ironing board was buried behind boxes, plastic tubs, and some furniture.

Step #1 - Bend here, rotate there, streeeeeeech, and I got it out of its prison
Step #2 - Find a place to actually set up an ironing board
Step #3 - Contemplated ironing on my coffee table – nixed idea when realized that coffee table was staging area for packing
Step #4 - Contemplated if the wrinkled look was a trendy type of professional dress
Step #5 – Finally Set up board in corner by nudging the legs securely between boxes
Step #6 – Kneel on bed to iron
Step #7 – Thankful for "monkey arms" and the reach they provide
Step #8 – Mission complete
Step #9 – cursing the steps to replace board in prior location as current one limits access to sleeping area
Step #10 – cursing packing

That was at least a successful endeavor. I won’t share with you how I fell off the top of the ladder and threw a heavy mirror/shelf across the room. That was fun.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Did you know . . .

that you should buy yellow note cards because you retain things written on yellow colored paper in your memory better and longer?

The more you know . . . . (insert musical tra-la-la here)

And now that you've been submitted to my random public service announcement I would like to direct you to a daily stop on my trek through the world wide web.


This is the perfect pit stop for me during the day, because

1. It's funny in a witty sort of way (as opposed to the not-so-witty type of funny characterized by the "pull my finger" genre of funny)

2. It appeals to my inner-math-nerdom

3. It's on fun little psuedo-notecards

That's all I got today folks.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Because . . . .

“Because it’s what Jesus would friggin do.” – Izzie, Grey’s Anatomy

Now I don’t often look for honest representations of the struggles of the Christian life on television, because as hard as you might look you’re often going to come up empty. And yet, there are those moments when pop culture stumbles upon a pretty honest representation of this thing we call life.

Take for instance the scene in which this line is yelled. For those of you who haven’t turned on a TV in the last two years, Grey’s Anatomy is a show about surgical interns in a hospital. It has all the makings of a popular show: drama, relationships, medical jargon, and lots of witty comebacks. In this specific scene one of the interns, Izzie, is helping another intern, Alex, study for his boards (doctor exams). The kicker is that Alex has recently cheated on Izzie and therefore she is understandably upset with him. All the other interns have been helping him behind her back, because, as Meredith, another intern, says, that is what you do when someone is in need, you help. And when Alex asks why she is helping him, she replies with this perfectly honest line.

So now that you’re caught up on the setting, let me tell you why I think this line is so real. In all honesty, it’s because there have been many times when I’ve wanted to yell the exact same thing, maybe not to anyone in particular but to myself .

Later in the scene you see Izzie crying, breaking under the weight of the pain that Alex has caused her and yet she stays, helping him. She looks beyond the pain he caused her, beyond the anger and hurt she feels, to reach out and help him because he is in need and because, as she so eloquently put it, “it’s what Jesus would do.”

Maybe I’m not far enough down the line of spiritual maturity to approach those moments in life when you really do have to exhibit a Christ-like character with joy and submission. For me, it’s sometimes little more than a knowledge of what I should do, but not at all what I want to do. Being like Christ isn’t easy. Heck, take a look at His life and tell me it was an easy one. No one signing up to walk the path that He walked is in for a jaunt skipping through fields of daisies. And much more, we’re asked to live a life that goes against everything in ourselves: selfishness, pride, retribution, anger.

And so I found myself watching this scene and realizing that somehow in the midst of the humor and tenderness these writers stumbled upon a truth in my life. There are moments when I don’t want to be like Christ, when I don’t want to love someone who has hurt me, to serve someone who has treated me badly, times when it hurts so much to do these very things. And yet, I find myself in the midst of doing what I can’t comprehend screaming “because it’s what Jesus would friggin do” through my tears and pain.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Oh how I forget

Have you ever had that moment in time when you reawaken to a truth that you have always known but have somehow forgotten?

I often do. I’m not sure if that means that I doubt too much, if I question too often, or if I just don’t hold fast to truths that are absolute even in the face of such uncertainty.

That’s the best part of a truth; it isn’t ever swayed by circumstances.

A truth is rooted deep in itself. It isn’t dependent on anyone or anything. It just is. Truth is not determined by the times, by the culture, by the laws, by anything really. Truth stands on its own, firm and solid in the whirlwind of our lives. And yet truth isn’t showy. It’s often quiet and unassuming, standing in the darkened corners of life. It doesn’t seek to be in the forefront or demand constant attention. Truth is secure in itself because it is truth, it is never changing. The value of it isn’t determined by the one who holds it, or by the importance placed on it by the one who possesses it. Truth is never absent. It doesn’t move in and out of our lives, instead remaining constantly.

And yet my view of truth, the worth that I give it in my life is very much elastic. I accept truth, I store it away, I even give it a great place of value, and yet there is stays, tucked away in my mind or heart, never claimed, never triumphed, never treasured as it should be. My attention, my thoughts, they focus on the things of this life that are changing, that are important in the moment. So often truth gets lost in the mix of life, deferred by the immediate, overshadowed by the overwhelming, hidden by the conspicuous, and traded for the captivating lie.

And yet, those moments come when suddenly you feel like you’ve reclaimed something so valuable that you wonder how you ever overlooked it. This discovery is so much more treasured, because you are redeeming something that you’ve always possessed. Truth is like that, we hold on to it, we tuck it away, and when we remember it again we are often struck by it all the more.

I have the two verses tacked up to my computer screen as a reminder of not only who my God is, but who I am in Him. What great truth to redeem in my life.

The LORD will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
Psalm 138:8

You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
Psalm 16:11

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pics, Vids, taking the easy way out

So this weekend an old friend (old as in I've known him for a long time, and his new bride for that matter) got married. Congrats Matt and Lindsay!!

These are "the girls" - a group of lovely ladies that have all at one time or another worked together in youth ministry, bonded over good food, shared laughter (and tears on occassions), and are a rowdy bunch when you get us together in a restaurant.

The girls all fancy

The hair. It seems that I scored on the genetic wheel of fortune to get my golden locks that have been coined "ridiculously shiny" by JCol (she gets the props for inventing the term). Eddie, in a moment of photog brillance, caught me in mid twirl and captured the patented pantene hair flip.

The patented pantene head twirl

(I think this got a bit corrupted in the cropping, but you get the picture (pun most definitely intended)

And then Scuba (Erica's husband, she's the hottie standing next to me in the group pic) sent me the re-formatted combo-vid of the Great Pumpkin Blow of 2005. So for your viewing pleasure I present that now.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Because it's Monday and this takes little brain effort

Complete the Thought:

Never again in my life: will I attempt to change the color of my hair

When I was five: I was known as a tom-boy

High School was: a long time ago

I will never forget: many things, I have a pretty good memory, no cracks about elephants

I once met: a dancing pink elephant, although I might have been dreaming

There’s this girl I know who: never ceases to make me laugh

By noon I’m usually: wanting more coffee

Last night I: met up with my “old lady” friends to catch up, where I did some strategic rearranging of my food so as not to let my green bean juice containimate my chicken strips or steak fries (I'm weird, I know, I'm seeking help)

Next time I go to church: will be on Sunday (am I supposed to have a more dramatic answer than this, like run screaming down the aisle or something random? Although I have belly-crawled under the chairs from the back of the sanctuary all the way to the front – in the dark no less)

What worries me most: is that I’m going to be in this state of “transition” for a lot longer

When I turn my head right, I see: a sweet hand-drawn picture of a precious 2nd grader and myself which makes me smile right next another drawing from the same little girl of a flower with one side of the page awash in yellow (sunlight) and the other side purple with dark clouds and rain – and when she gave it to me she said “It takes both sunshine and rain for flowers to grow” – and it was everything in me to not start crying right there in front of her

When I turn my head left, I see: a newly organized ginormous bookshelf of testing material

You know I’m lying when: actually I’m a really good liar so you might never know

If I was a character written by Shakespeare, I’d be: for similarity to name alone, I would say Katherine of Taming of the Shrew, though I think we only share slight personality similarities

By this time, next year: I’ll be somewhere else doing something else (please oh please oh please)

A better name for me would be: Kitty, if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em

I have a hard time understanding: pro-wrestling, I just don’t get it

If I ever go back to school I’ll: LOVE IT, I’m a nerd, I’m ok with that, I would go to school in a heartbeat

You know I like you if: I wake up in the middle of a nap (or the night) to answer your phone call

Darwin, Mozart, Slim Pickens & Geraldine Ferarro are: funky nail polish colors

Take my advice, NEVER: jump in a lake at midnight on New Year’s eve

My ideal breakfast is: coffee, oh wait ideal - then a big fluffy stack of pancakes with sausage patties

A song I love, but do not have is: Puff the Magic Dragon

If you visit my hometown, I suggest: preparing to sweat in the summer months, it’s a bit muggy down there

Why won’t anyone: tell Paris Hilton that her 15 minutes were over a while back

If you spend the night at my house, DO: bring everything you’ll need cause my home is in boxes right now

I’d stop my wedding for: stop it? As in call it off or just stop the ceremony? Hmmm, if the guy wasn’t who I thought he was I would stop it

The world could do without: mullets

I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: eat soggy bread

My favorite blonde is: ME, ahahaha, I had to say it

Paperclips are more useful than: rubberbands, and make better projectile weapons

San Diego means: it means something?

And by the way: feel free to offer up your own answers to any of these, or maybe you would like to offer an alternative to any of my own answers

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The one where I reminisce about catching my hair on fire

Aqua-net, how I loved thee. Cheap and yet it possessed the power to cause six inches of hair to defy gravity in such a way that I could perfect the hairstyle know as "mall-bangs" or "the wave". At the height of the 80's when fashion was at an all time low and ones hair must be teased, crimped, with bangs reaching into the air at least 4 inches, Aqua-net was every girls must have.

I really should have paid more attention to the physics of hair spray and fire in my youth. Helen Hunt provided a real life lesson on the combustible nature of hair spray in that classic teenage flick of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun". Hair spray + lighter = flame torch to scare off nasty guard dog thus ensuring that main female character gets to dance. I think they should have contracted Helen to do a Public Service Announcement on the danger of hairspray but alas they instead spent their time on drugs ("I learned it from watching you, Dad!").

And so my desire to be oh so cool and have the "it" hairstyle along with my ignorance of how alcohol loves an open flame led to the demise of my bangs.

It was "conserve electricity day" in fifth grade. This of course was a useless endeavor because one whole wall of our room consisted of large windows so we rarely turned on the clinical lights that cast a greenish and sickly glow on everything. And yet we each were told to bring a candle for our desks. Being the dutifull (read goody-goody) student that I was, I brought my nice taper candle and candlestick to do my work by.

Sometime during the day an order that rivaled the worst stink bomb overcame those of us in our little grouping of desks. It amazes me that the smell of burning hair can be so pungent. As we all glanced up to see what was causing the stank, I distinctly remember the eyes of my friend growing to three times their normal size. "You're hairs on fire!" she yelped thereby drawing the attention of the entire class. Whether by instinct or pure stupidity I reached up to my bangs in a swatting motion. Apparantly the aqua-net fueled fire was contained to only that area of my bangs that were lacquered into the air. With a quick brush of my hand the flames were extinguished but so were my bangs. Black ashes floated onto my desktop as I sat horrified that not only had I just set my hair on fire but I also had burned off my coveted bangs and drawn more attention to myself than any self-concious fifth grader would want.

And so may this serve as a warning to all you cheering on the return of the 80's fashion. If the bangs come back in style, warn those you love and cherish about the dangers of aqua-net and open flames.

This has been a public service announcement sponsored by Kpinion.

(insert theme music here)

The more you know . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

At which point I will protest by burning every pair of leggings I can find

80's fashion is back

I must go throw up now

p.s. I just realized my titles for the last two posts begin with "at which point", gah I'm not very creative today apparantly

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

At which point I wondered if this was really how I wanted to spend my 15 minutes of fame

The cheering was almost deafening as we entered the tunnel of people clapping, whooping, and yelping in excitement. It was a bit uncomfortable to be the focus of such attention, to have them cheering and yelling for us. I turned my head and saw Jes behind me and we shared a knowing glance of embarrassment and humor. It was humor that had been our good friend throughout this whole experience.

Saturday, 12:00 a.m.
After attending a concert with some friends (more on that later) I heard the familiar tune of my phone and wonder who would be calling me at such an hour. A quick look at the caller id and my interest is piqued. “Katie, what are you doing?” Jes’s chipper voice yells through my phone. I relate to her where I’ve been and that I’m heading home. “No, come spend the night with me and tomorrow we are going to wake up early and go to Macy’s at 6 a.m. and win a $1000 shopping spree, oh and I’ll buy you Starbucks.” Now, I’m not sure if I can explain to you my initial reaction to Jes’s plan. These are the key words I heard “wake up early”, “shopping spree”, and “Starbucks”. While I do love shopping and free shopping is my favorite and Starbucks is about as close to my heart as Dublin Dr. Pepper, the idea of waking up that early on a Saturday morning is almost blasphemous to me. It was decision time; I had to choose between my own comfy bed and hours of blissful sleep or an adventure with Jes. I turned my car toward her apartment and thus began what can only be called an adventure.

5:45 a.m.
It was early, too early. Jes must have once lived with a grizzly bear because she approaches sleepers with such gentleness and care so as not to incur the wrath of a grumpy sleep deprived me. After a little bit of reassurance that we did indeed need to wake up this early and that we would be fighting a long line of other pre-emptive shopping addicts, Jes and I embarked on the short drive to the mall. Let me now note that neither Jes nor I took a lot of time to get ready. This was a moment when neither of us could have been labeled high maintenance. Clothing, clean teeth, and hair pulled up in a messy bun was the extent our ready getting routine.

6:00 a.m.
I wanted to believe Jes; I wanted her to be correct in her belief that there would be a crowd of shoppers all flocking to the Macy’s parking lot at the butt-crack of dawn, vying for the coveted shopping spree. I wanted to believe, but deep inside I doubted. (Well maybe not so deep inside, because while I willingly participated in this adventure I wasn’t scared to state the sheer lunacy of it all.) So we rounded the corner anticipating other such die-hard shoppers and were met with a dark empty parking lot. Oh, there was an area marked off by some saw horses and police tape as well as a rent-a-cop guarding the parking lot from unruly shopping fanatics like ourselves, but that was it. We did a few laps wondering if we were in the right spot and debated whether to wait it out or go fulfill the promised Starbucks bribe that pulled me out of bed. After waiting for Starbucks to open (yes I said WAITING, on a Saturday morning, for Starbucks to OPEN, until 6:30 a.m. on a SATURDAY) we headed back, coffee and muffins in hand.

6:45 a.m.
It was a far-fetched hope, but I almost expected there to be people in the parking lot when we returned, and there were, but they were only Macy’s employees setting up the poles and velvet ropes to mark off the holding pen for the crowd. Eventually around 7ish two other cars pulled up filled with teenage boys (HA, like that would ever happen), with some other women who obviously anticipated a long line of shoppers. One lady had a back-up Macy’s planned in case this one was too crowded. Luckily at 7 a.m. she wasn’t in too much danger of being on the cusp of the 500 cut off.

7:30 a.m.
Now that the sun was coming up and more employees were arriving to decorate for the grand-re-opening, we figured it was time to trade our comfy car seats for a good stretch of concrete. The ironic part was that no one from the three cars that had been waiting for a half hour or so had made any attempt to go get in line. It’s almost like none of us wanted to be the first to move. Jes and I took on that challenge and made our way to the cattle shopper herding area and claimed our places of 1 and 2 in line.

This was about the part of the morning when I lost track of time, either because of sleep deprived delirium or my brain was trying to cope with the fact that I was sitting in the parking lot of a mall early on a Saturday morning. One of the saving graces in all of this is that Jes and I don’t need a lot to entertain ourselves when we’re together. We had lots of things to watch as a band set up and a dance troupe practiced. It was in this time period that we were informed of the actual opportunity for our great shopping spree. 500 gift cards were going to be handed out, one for $1000, two for $500, and the other 497 of them were for a whopping $10. The chance of obtaining one of the big amount cards was random so everyone had the same chances to win. Sitting there, I calculated the hour to dollar ratio and shared with Jes that we were probably going to earn a whole $2.50 per hour for our long wait.

The Press
I’m not sure I thought through the whole first in line bit when I woke up that morning, because we had not properly prepared ourselves to be at the mercy of the paparazzi. Being the first in line gsecured us as a prime photo opportunity. It’s a bit awkward to sit and look normal when you are having your picture taken over and over. And then the news cameras would inconspicuously swing around to focus in on us. "What’s your name? Where are you from? When did you get here this morning?" When we answered these questions we were always met with a look of disbelief and dare I say pity. After our initial photo shoot and interview I started laughing. Jes looked at me and asked what was funny. I told her that I realized we were those people that I always made fun of, the people that lined up for Wal-Mart to open the day after Thanksgiving, the people who lined up for days to be the first into the theater to see Star Wars (at least we weren’t in costume – a thought I shared with a photographer when she compared us to those star wars fanatics). And then the absurdity of the entire morning hit me as Jes looked at me and said, “Well at least you got a good blog topic out of this.”

10:00 a.m.
After a proclamation by the mayor, the official ribbon cutting, some highly inappropriate dancing by female Macy's employees who are way too old to shake their body parts in such a way, we were finally allowed to make our entrance into the store as the first and second shoppers. The velvet rope was unclipped and Jes and I made our way through the gauntlet of employees cheering and clapping. It almost felt like I was entering the Super Bowl of Shopping.

And so our adventure ends in the only way that it could, neither of us won the big money cards. Instead we delighted ourselves with our $10 gift cards and memories of a random and hilarious adventure.

Oh and we made the Dallas Morning News online paper (seen here). Let’s see, if I get 15 minutes of fame in my life, I’m wondering how many I used up on this escapade.

Monday, September 11, 2006

We all have a story, we all have a memory

He was an older gentleman, dressed in his state trooper uniform. His genial smile greeted me everyday as I rushed past him to clock in. He sat behind the plexi-glass wall surrounding the customer service center of the grocery store that served as my part-time job in high school. My assignment was to interview someone on where they were when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. In a moment of irony I choose him, the security guard, who also happened to be named John Kennedy.

He wasn’t an eyewitness, his story was like so many others, the news was abrupt, the new reality shocking, and his life was changed on that day if only in a small way. He remembered with clarity the details of where he was when he heard the news, the feelings and thoughts that assaulted him with the realization that the president had been shot. And years later, recounting that day to me, the emotions, the memories were still fresh.

In my paper I pondered what event would so define my generation, would it be another senseless act of violence that claimed our memory, which resonated within us for a lifetime. Had we already experienced that generational marker in the Challenger explosion, in the Oklahoma City bombing, in the tragedy of Columbine and other such acts of student violence? Could I have imagined over ten years ago that each of those events would be eclipsed by such an act of terror? Would I have known that my generation would one day face a question from our grandchildren of “Where were you on September 11?”

It was the fourth or fifth week of the school year. Elementary students were arriving for chapel and parents streamed in and out of the office. Still learning the ropes as the sole office staff, that morning was busy with phone calls, questions, and the busyness of the morning. A teacher called to say he was running late, a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center and he was watching the news. I told him I would pass on the message to our principal. At that moment, I’m not sure I gave much thought to the event that would prove to be the beginning of a day we would never forget. The morning was busy, there were many things to be done, and now I had a class of students to supervise until the teacher came.

Another phone call, it was the same teacher telling me another plane had crashed into the other tower of the World Trade Center; the news anchors were calling it terrorism. In the next few moments, my morning changed, our world changed. I ran into my principal’s office to tell her what happened as parents who had heard the news on the radio poured into the school. The normal activity of the beginning of a school day came to a stop as we all were transfixed by what was happening in New York. Conditioned to expect easy access to immediate information, I turned to the internet to answer my questions. Apparently, so did everyone else, because website after website would not connect. A radio was found and we were now experiencing the events as they unfolded. Standing in the office with three other employees we listened in disbelief as the chaos continued and news anchors struggled to relay events as they occurred and suppose why this was happening. I remember feeling shock, fear, and disbelief at what we were hearing. An employee said we should pray, and so the four of us grasped hands and did the only thing we knew to do at that moment, ask for someone greater than us to be in control.

The rest of the day was spent calming parents who feared other attacks. The truth was that we were in little danger, and yet any sense of safety was quickly erased with the changing reality. Many students went home, some because their parents feared what could happen next, and others because in a moment like this having your family close at hand brings comfort beyond understanding. A small television was brought into the office and we watched the news throughout the day as the tragedy only continued. School continued, math lessons were taught; lunch was eaten on the playground. Many of our students had no idea what had happened or they could not understand how the world changed for them on that day.

The days and weeks following were an odd combination of normal life existing in a different world. School continued, work continued, each day started anew with the same responsibilities and yet each day was different than before. The shadow of such an event invaded each activity. Our world was changed, we were changed. Our life would always be referenced by this point in time, a date that would not pass without memory.

And so today we cannot help but remember where we where, what we were doing, and how our lives changed five years ago. That is the legacy of September 11, we all have a story and we all have a memory.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Gifted, if by that you mean special, and really you should have said different, which is just another word for abnormal

My mother loves to tell me that I walked at 8 months, she also likes to recount the time that at the age of 4 or 5 I told my dad and grandpa how to put together the swing set because they were doing it wrong (and I was right), or the time that I decided to empty the fridge in the middle of the night of all its contents and by her extreme ability at self control I am still alive today. Really I’m not sure why my mother enjoys reminiscing about what a pain in the butt child I was, who at the age of two probably had convinced myself that I was the queen of the world (that is until the matching set of minions known as my younger twin sisters entered the world and took the attention away from me). I’m guessing I only survived childhood on angelic looks alone.

It seems that at the tender age of 8 months I, by some sheer act of will and hard headedness, stood up and walked. And just to show the world that I would one day conquer it, I didn’t stumble, didn’t fall (oh all this would come much later) I just stood up and started walking. Now you might assume that I was somehow gifted to accomplish such a feat, but in the subsequent 28 years I have learned that really I was just hard headed. I determined this because the act of walking early seems to have been my downfall for the rest of my standing/walking/and other such actions that require the use of legs years.

The old adage “you must learn to crawl before you learn to walk” should be followed up with “or you will suffer from a total lack of balance and ability to put one foot in front of the other without falling on your face for the rest of your life”. But then again, that doesn’t fit well on a little piece of paper stuffed into a fortune cookie or cross-stitched on a pillow with lace.

Things started off good for me and the whole walking thing, which might lead you to believe that I would become an expert walker, alas this was not to be. I have what we like to call the “gift of falling”. Oh, if you’ve been hanging around these parts for any length of time then you’ve heard of my exploits. For those of you lucky enough to know me in person then you might have even caught the “live” show.

My exploits are famous and wildly entertaining. I’ve found if there is something you’re good at then by gosh make the most of it, even if it is falling down. And I like to think that what others might see as a weakness I view as a talent that I can share with those around me to bring laughter to their day. It’s all about me giving of myself to you. So I have prepared the highlight reel of my greatest acts of falling down.

First we have the video taped one:
In early high school I was on a weekend retreat with my youth group. We were staying at a Christmas tree farm out in the country. In our exploring we came across a large ravine spanned by a tree that had fallen down. Not one to shy away from any opportunity to embarrass myself, I promptly followed my friends as we each took a turn walking across the tree. Of course, all of this was videotaped for posterity. As I made my way out to the middle of the make-shift bridge, one of my leaders turned to the camera and said “She’s a goner”. Her words would prove to be prophetic as I wobbled, attempted to throw my body onto the tree and grab hold for dear life, failed at that, and fell into the ravine which was conveniently filled with water. Let’s just say that I was FAMOUS in my youth group for that showing of my gift, and the video haunted me throughout the rest of high school, pulled from the archives for a good laugh at youth events for years to come.

The college years:
Now it’s one thing to show off my skills in front of friends, but I took it to a whole other level in college one day as I made my way across campus. My school obviously didn’t do any testing of what materials work best in wet weather when walked upon by idiots who are incapable maintaining any normal sense of balance. If they had, they would have determined that an inlaid pebble walkway did not offer the best traction. Minding my own business, I hurried across campus toward my next class oblivious that I would soon be performing for a mass audience. I slipped, flew into the air, landed and in the process threw my purse and backpack out into the crowd. Have you ever experienced a moment where time stands still and you can hear the common gasp of such a large group of people that you wonder if there will be enough oxygen for the next breath? I have. One thing I have learned from all my falling is that you get back up, quickly, and continue on as if you didn’t just make a complete fool out of yourself. Those closest to me, who were knocked out by my flying bags were kind enough to return my new found weapons to me and ask if I was ok. LAUGH, that is the key, laugh at yourself and it puts everyone else at ease. So I laughed, shrugged off the questions of whether I hurt myself and limped on to my next class.

Circus worthy talents:
My gifts are not limited to only standing and walking but also such skills as ball balancing, or lack thereof. As I posted about this before you can read my play-by-play in that old post and then mosey on over to Jes’s site to see handmade drawings no less.
CLICK HERE for my post
CLICK HERE for jes’s post

Now there are many more exploits to share with you, oh so many more. In fact just the other day I almost face planted into the wall as I tripped walking down the stairs and had to leap down the last three steps in a vain attempt to regain my balance. Luckily this adventure ended without me crumbled on the floor with my skirt over my head, but there's always tomorrow.

This is my gift people and I accept it and put it on display with pride.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Neither Here nor There

“Why are we here?”

Yesterday I posed this questions (read: I stole the idea from wise Tony over at Don’t Call Me Veronica) along with “How do you know that?”.

As I thought about my answer, I realized that “here” can mean many things. Oh there is a general “here”, an overall reason behind our existence. This idea has been debated by theologians, philosophers, and even musicians and poets. But what happens when you move from general to specifics, from grand schemes of reason to applicable moments of action?

“Why are we here?”

What happens when you start to look at all the different “heres”; a period of time, a job, a family, a friendship, or even a chance encounter? What do you do when your “here” takes on emotions, relationships, consequences, and faces? This is when the general moves to the specific, when theory becomes action.

“Why are we here?”

It took me a while to realize that “here” is both general and specific. Purpose isn’t just confined to the grandeur but also includes the minute. And sometimes we find our greatest reasons for being “here” in those tiny moments that slip away so quickly, in those random encounters with others, in the mundane and unremarkable. Sometimes we confirm the all-encompassing purpose by seeing the outworking of the individual moments.

“Why are we here?”

The other thing I struggle with is giving worth to the “here” of now, instead of the “there” of the future. I seem to live my life trapped somewhere in between “here” and “there”, always yearning for the “there” and forsaking the worth of “here”. It is an all too real struggle for me right now, as I wonder where I am supposed to be, what the future holds for me. I strain to see the end destination and yet I miss all the things along the road I’m now on. I’m forsaking the “here” for the “there” and not taking the time to answer the question of “Why are we here?”

So, “Why are you here?”

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Multiple choice?

Tony over at Don't call me Veronica posted about two questions that he's been "hmmmming" about.

"How do you know that?"
"Why do you think you're here?"

As I looked at the questions I found myself struggling to come up with answers. And then I realized that the questions took on a whole new meaning if you flipped them.

"Why do you think you're here?"
"How do you know that?"

I remember in school I liked essay tests much more than multiple choice because I got to "argue" my answer and reason out why what I thought to be correct might in fact be so. But with these two questions I think I would rather have the multiple choice option.