March 31, 2009

sometimes we get lost, but soon we'll be found

well, I'm back in Denver... trying to regain some semblance of a normal life after this crazy month or so. I got to finally spend some good time with my friends Allison and Beckie today after not seeing them for practically a month... so I'm feeling more and more in the loop again with every passing moment! and you know how I like to be in loops. all loops, really. lets just be honest. I am big into loops and being in them and all that loops entail. We know this about me... the hopeless extrovert. such is my plight. (let it be known that in the past, I have used 'plight' incorrectly. this seems more right. we'll see.)
so that is life. Spring Break was more of the same, spending time with my two sweet nieces and getting my butt kicked in board games by both of my cutie pie nephews. it really was a lovely, relaxing week. and can we talk about how it is going to be APRIL tomorrow??? I mean, how did that happen? seriously. where does time go?
this week is pretty basic... it is spring break at Denver Christian so I get two more days off internship. since at one point I toyed with going to San An this weekend (and now am definitely not), I had asked off work too! So I have two WICKED long shifts tomorrow and Thurs (9 and 6 hours respectively... what the heck) and then friday, saturday and sunday I have... get this... NOTHING GOING ON. what does that even mean? I forget what you even do when there is nothing on the schedule! here are the things I am toying with: pedicures, shoe shopping, matinees, being really ambitious and going to the mountains... the world is my oyster! Denver is, anyway. I'm going to a concert on Saturday night with some friends which I'm excited about too. I don't know many of the performers (there are 10!) but the ones I do know are Butterfly Boucher, Katie Herzig (a young life singer!), and Erin McCarley. all things that include being in the loop thrill me to no end. it's like I'm 15 and I just got ungrounded or something. only my parents didn't ground me... life grounded me. what? what am I talking about? I have been over-utilizing metaphors lately and I get myself (and probably others as well) confused. no more metaphors for me today. promise.

did I mention that I chaperoned the DC 8th grade dance last weekend? well, I did. it was hilarious... not much going on in terms of awkward slow dancing or anything, but the kids had fun even if they claimed that at times "it was, like, sooooo lame." whatever. don't think I didn't see you having fun, you little brats. I got to play the roles of gatekeeper (no, I'm sorry, you can't go outside by yourselves), counselor (what's the drama? why are you crying?), nay-sayer (no, I'm sorry boys, even if you pay me $20 with your pooled funds from your velcro wallets I will not leave and drive you to the movies), hair stylist (why yes, I would love to straighten your hair for you), and excellent dancer (yes, thats right, we danced too! at one point one of the 6th grade teachers was bouncing her butt off of mine and I thought I might die from the pure hilarity of the moment). it was pretty fun and highly exhausting. here was my outfit for the "hollywood" theme - with Allison, one of my co-interns:If you're wondering, no one else dressed up other than me and Allison. but if you ask me, we looked like a million bucks, and every 8th grade boy asked if they could borrow my "scarf" at one point or another. and yes, I meant to type 'boy,' if you were confused.

finally, here are my two favorite pictures from the week at home:
shelbs borrowing my Uggs:
and, timmy, the slerber head:
and that is that!
keep praying for Audrie and Wilson... I would like for cancer to leave them alone! they are two of the strongest people I know. I feel pretty lucky to have such amazing role models!

and finally... I am brought back, again, to Habakkuk today:
"though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls - yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior."
How lovely that even when everything sucks (which I firmly believe is the contemporary way of recapping part one of that verse), God never changes. God is always something to rejoice about. times are sucky and yet we rejoice; we find joy. I think that's lovely.

March 27, 2009

memorabilia and the like

When I was home in Wichita for spring break, I got a little scanner happy. it started with pictures... then I couldn't resist when I ran across these three things... how's this for funny:

the first is the map that Mrs. Marhaver, Kelly's mom, made for me when I turned sixteen. Please note the important things that are on it, like Towne East mall, the Palace (movie theater), Hobby Lobby, Quik Trip (for fountain drinks, obv) and Kelly and Jacquie's house. that map was a lifesaver. It got a little embarrassing when everytime I wanted to go somewhere I had to say, "Thomas, (who was what, like, 12 at the time?) can I have directions to Kelly's house?" Thank you, Mama Marhaver.
For the next two we need to spend a minute talking about how awesome my cousin Elaine and I were growing up (and still are, clearly). This is the Official Pen Pal Pact. She mailed it to me and I had to sign both of our copies and send hers back. I have had it ever since. We have never been very good at honoring the pact, if I'm not mistaken, but the thought is definitely there. big hearts Lainey, my FDHT. Only very lucky people know what this stands for...

This last one is near and dear to my heart. it is my fake ID that MFAJ (My Favorite Aunt Jer) made for me (and Elaine, MFDHT) so we could play college. We had this elaborate setup where Gram's guest bedroom was our dorm room, we made class schedules out of stuff Gram had lying around, and we were the captains of everything. And I do mean everything. We basically made a list of activities (i.e.: volleyball, water volleyball (we went to the pool alot), synchronized swimming, cheerleading, dance team... you get the idea) and then divied up who got to be captain of which activity. Elaine and I were the captains of everything that our imaginary college had to offer. Apparently being captains of things was the end-all-be-all of coolness. The year Elaine went to college she wrote me a letter explaining that college was not quite what we had planned for it to be, and that I should be prepared for that. Please note that we lived in California, my name was Kristine Michaels, and that my picture is a cut out of the Christmas card that year. Delightful.

Here are some other things I scanned, for your viewing pleasure:
Me and the infamous Elaine painting american flags on our nails on the 4th of July:Amie, me and Audrie at my high school graduation, looking really stellar:
Thomas, me and Ben at Old Time Photos, which we always ALWAYS wanted to go do at the Lake... please note that I am making sure that you cannot see my braces. Not that I was embarrassed, I'm just all about authenticity, and I'm pretty sure in the olden times they didn't have braces. and this, I mean, I just can't help it. What the heck am I doing?OK I'm sorry... I can't stop... look at our shoes! And Ben's dorky face. I just love it.

AAAAAAAND that's how I spent my Spring Break! jealous?
well... that's not entirely true. I got to hang out with Em and Joel... we didn't take any pictures because we went to a movie and that would have been weird. I also hung out with these two hooligans and we took about a billion pictures of ourselves on photobooth:all in all... it's been a really great week!

March 13, 2009

apparently I'm rambly in the wee hours

It is 12:30 and I am up late thinking about my lovely Bible study tonight. Let me say first - it lasted like 5 hours. Between visiting before, doing the hour study, discussing the hour study, prayer requesting, praying, and then spending time together, I don't see how that will ever end up being a timely situation.
Secondly and more importantly, I think I might love this group. I definitely have a little crush on it, and I might even like like it - and I'm toying with dropping the L bomb. Needless to say. I was struck tonight by the uniqueness of this group, at least in my own life. I have been in some pretty fabulous small groups, in my opinion, but this one is standing out to me so far (and we're only on week 3). I know that it's the people who are making the difference here - and I want so badly to put it into words. I think there are a few things I can put my finger on...

Last week, since I had to fly home at the last minute, I missed our study. I called the leader, my friend Joel, and told him what had happened and that I wouldn't be there that evening. In calling him, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I would be prayed for and that my family would as well. And yes, that isn't terribly novel - but I hardly know these people! They don't know much about me or I about them. But I knew that they would meet that need authentically and awesomely. That's the only way I know to describe it. I took note of this as a unique feeling.

I thought a lot tonight about community and what community should really look like as followers of Christ. As one sweet woman shared about her terribly personal struggles with infertility, filled with apprehension in sharing and subsequent gratitude at our response to her, I was struck by how so often we are resistant to share what is really on our hearts. As deep as her grief in the loss of two pregnancies, her babies, runs - she was still worried about what our response would be to her. This tells me one thing: there is something going terribly wrong with the church and with the body of Christ as a whole. Christian community should be a safe place to bear one another's burdens, to comfort and cover one another in prayer. I don't know if you have ever found yourself sharing something of yourself and suddenly feeling the urge to apologize for yourself? That is what I'm talking about. Tonight in my new friend's story I heard that longing that we all share to be who we are despite all the crap that infiltrates our lives and the shame we experience as a result. We got to share in our different losses together and be there for each other in a way that was really quite beautiful.

Lastly, as we rallied around another member who is struggling to quit smoking, I listened to these friends of mine talk to this guy as though we were about to go into battle with him. An intense analogy, but the point is that this guy is struggling and asking for prayer and people are going out of their way and instead of going through the week praying, "Please let so and so quit smoking" and that be the end of it - asking what WE can do as a community and as people who care for him to help him. Simple, yes. Easy, not so much. I wondered to myself in that moment if I was as willing as these two soldiers to join with this almost complete stranger in battle - and I found that I really was. As he was prayed for by another member of the group, they prayed that our friend would know that we, as a community, were prepared to be warriors for him - that we were ready to be there for the battle. I know that when I need them, these people will rally around me in the same way.

I am so so so thankful, at this point in my life, that I have such brave warriors to fight with me. I definitely wouldn't limit that to this group - but I would without hesitation extend it to my family, to my sweet friends here in Denver, in Kansas, and in Texas. I think I got a great picture tonight of what genuine Christian community is intended to be like. We fight for each other; we bear one another's burdens; we cover one another in prayer. We are who we are and we ignore that urge to apologize for it. We care for one another on a deep level beyond how well we know one another.
Every now and then I think we get a glimpse of something really, really, deeply good. Something that is really true. The main character in the book I just read for book club, Perry L. Crandall, is a mentally challenged (but not retarded) man who wins the lottery. Perry would always bounce when he got really excited about something. Nights like tonight make me want to bounce.
And in the words of Perry L. Crandall:
"That is so cool."

March 11, 2009

a note on job security

So I'm in this coffee shop trying to study. Simple enough. However, I am not sure which is more perturbing: the fact that I simply cannot make my fingers type words about the nature of personhood, or the 27 (quite possibly not an exaggeration) teenyboppers who just infiltrated Solid Grounds with their skinny jeans and swoopy hair and hair ribbons and general LOUDNESS. don't get me wrong - I love a good teenybopper. It is a known fact - I truly do. but at this moment I am finding myself filled with very little teeny love.
Here's what I see from where I sit: three giddy teeny girls trying very hard to act cooler than they are while a clearly very cool teeny boy with a metal studded belt holding his pants in place directly in the center of his butt approaches to sweep them off their collective feet. Awkward teenybopper side hugs as far as the eye can see!! Maybe I can count this time as observation hours or something for my degree. That sounds fair, right? and that way I'm not totally wasting my life at this moment.

I'll just keep telling myself that this scene should inspire me to learn as much as I can so I can be a really good counselor to teenybopper girls who are enraptured by teenybopper boys with their pants that show their butts. They need my help, they need my help, they need my help...

Ok. The decision is made. I legitimately cannot get anything done in this environment - albeit inspiring. Off I go to my home where I will inevitably be enticed more by my bed than my ethics book and personhood paper. Such is life. At least I have been reminded that the need for my profession will be alive and well as long as teenyboppers are still teenyboppers. Job security is always a good thing.

March 6, 2009

one day at a time

i'm here, and that's good.
it's been a rough couple of days. my grandpa, Jim, passed away on Thursday morning after a long battle with his health, cancer, old age, and all that. I am so sad to lose him, but I'm thankful that his struggle is over and that he's not in any pain anymore. Tomorrow Thomas and I will go to Kansas City for a reception in his honor, to be with our Nana as well as Dad and cousins, etc. I have such great memories of Jim when I was a little girl - I just thought he was the greatest person. He was funny and joyful and made me so happy. We always called him Jim because he was our Dad's stepdad, but Mom tells me that whenever I talked about them I called them "my Nana and my Jim." He will always be My Jim.
I am also spending time with my sister Audrie and the rest of my family as Audrie fights stupid cancer in the hospital. She is a rockstar and a constant picture of strength and dignity and I'm just glad to get to be here spending time with her. I ask for your continued prayer over her, that God would heal her body, that the doctors would be given wisdom and discernment as to her treatment and care. It is so nice to be home with my family, all together during this crappy time. you can read what is going on at Aud's CaringBridge page:
Thanks to all of you who are already praying for me and for my sister and family. I have felt so much love from all sides, and I am so thankful for all of my friends in Denver and all over the place. We are so blessed and I am so happy to be all together here in Wichita. Keep the prayers coming!

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.... Therefore we do not lose heart." 2 Corinthians 4

March 1, 2009


in the "put a penny in the slot" post I used the word 'awesome' more often than I'm comfortable with. I'd like to take a moment to apologize for not putting more effort in for more thoughtful adjectives. I'll be more conscientious in the future. promise.

it's my prerogative (doo doo doo doo doo)

in other news, you may have noticed that I am trying out new blog titles. I'm a little bit sick of "exactly how you hear it," even though it has treated me well over the year (and some change). the times they are a changin'...

put a penny in the slot

here's what I'm doing: cleaning. deep cleaning. and laundry. including sheets. organizing my life. getting ready for another busy week. recovering from a busy weekend of birthdays and general merriment. being excited about the 2 hour movie event of Brothers and Sisters tonight!

here's what I'm loving: the season of Lent - seriously - I am loving it. I went to an awesome Ash Weds service and since then have just been all about this Lenten thing... this is potentially the first time I have taken the time to take Lent really seriously and actually wonder about what the whole deal entails. we had an awesome sermon this morning about giving God what we least want to give. so good.
I'm also loving my internship... I am having so much fun getting to know the kids. I have one 2nd grader who I see on a fairly regular basis - and every time I go to his classroom to pick him up, he pumps his arm and says "Yesssss!" under his breath. makes my day every single time.

here's what I'm listening to: "I Don't Know" - by Lisa Hannigan. It is the best song I have heard in a LONG time... I can't get enough. here's my fave line: "I don't know if you can dance - if the thought ever occurred to you; if you eat what you've been given or you push it around your plate... I'd like to cook for you, all the same. If you want to, I am game." I'm also enjoying Ingrid Michaelson's live cover of Radiohead's "Creep." both are more than worth the 99 cents on iTunes.

here's what I'm reading: Lottery, by Patricia Wood... for Book Club! I like it so far... and Mom and I have the same book for our respective book clubs this month! so fun! I also read for school every now and then, too.

here's what I'm looking forward to:
my spring break trip to Houston and San Antonio. the Bachelor Finale tomorrow night (finally I get my Monday nights back!). my friend Juli from high school moving here this summer! my friend Jenn from Trinity visiting and potentially moving here this summer as well!

here's whats new: I started attending a new Bible study and we're doing the Truth Project - just like Mom and Tim are doing in Wichita! I enjoyed the first week a lot. The question that he posed at the end has me thinking: "Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?" umm... do I? I mean, I'm tempted to say yes... but my life pretty much says otherwise. if I believe in the mighty, saving grace of God... well, lets just say that my life doesn't so much reflect that I believe that. which troubles me pretty greatly. I believe a lot of lies. I'm looking forward to being reminded of the Truth!

here's what I'm laughing at

that about covers whats going on in my life. just wanted to keep you up to date. and I've got to be honest... I also just wanted something easy to add and cross off my to-do list. I love adding silly things like "upload pictures to facebook" and "update blog" and then crossing them off like I've really gotten something big accomplished. it's the little things, I suppose.