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Archive for November, 2007

changing seasons

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Friday just got proportionately better! It went from being wonderful to being FABULOUS.

I had just posted the following (see below post):

I’m excited about what is just around the corner – I don’t quite know what that is, but I’m seeing inklings, and it’s fabulous. Absolutely fabulous.

My very specific requests to go part time at the firm after the 1st of the year, plus for time off for some work related training conferences for my other job, were just granted.

WAHOO! This crazy work schedule I’ve been doing for the last seven months is finally coming to a close.

I am thrilled. Very thrilled.

They say nothing worth anything comes easily. Or something like that. ;p And I remember being a young girl and having my mother instruct me that my father put his social life on hold during his twenties in order to pursue med school but the temporary social sacrifice paid off in the end…and his diligence and discipline were rewarded when he became a physician. That instruction has stayed with me throughout life.

People have asked me why I’ve pushed myself so hard to make this career change. I liken it to the above, or to my collegiate career. In order to achieve anything, there are times one must work especially hard, make sacrifices, and take time to prepare. There are reasons for delayed gratification. And there are reasons for giving up my active social life for over half a year, for working crazy hours, being more tired than I would like, for moving from working in the field of law, with a consistent, well-endowed paycheck to going into “ministry” (I put “ministry” in quotes because I don’t see a separation of the secular and sacred) in order that I can work with college students. People invested in me when I was a college student – to be able to invest in students’ lives, and give back what I received so abundantly, is a beating passion of my heart and the pursuit has been worth the sacrifices, both time and financial, that I’ve made.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!

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it’s friday!!!

It’s a beautiful day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s Friday. It’s gorgeous outside. A coworker brought it warm, yummy cinnamon coffee cake for the office. I have a date tonight with my best friend to hang out. Last night, another close friend surprised me with dinner and I was able to spend the evening with her, catching up.

I’m excited about what is just around the corner – I don’t quite know what that is, but I’m seeing inklings, and it’s fabulous. Absolutely fabulous.

Oh, and I absolutely love relationships in which two people are able to be totally and completely honest with each other – that they have that level of trust, love, and care for one another that they can have a rich, reciprocal relationship and dialogue about tough issues, both about each other and the world. I’ve been blessed with a few girlfriends in my life with whom I have that kind of bond/relationship, and it’s an amazing, wonderful, awesome gift to have. And that I have it with more than one person? Priceless. ;p

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blessed

i have the best seventeen year old brother in the world.

[exchange through email]

ian: love you

christy:  love you, more.  m*wah!

ian: well i know better than to argue with women.

Hahahahaha.  Not only is he loving, supportive, fabulous, intelligent, kind, strong, creative, funny, and engaging but he’s also WISE!

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Last night, I tossed and turned in bed. I eventually got up, wandered around for a bit, climbed back into bed, tossed and turned some more…then got out of bed, yet again, found a note from my roommate just outside my door which made me smile, went to the kitchen, had a glass of water, climbed back into bed, and continued to be restless.

Turning onto my side, I slipped my hand underneath one of my pillows upon which my head was rested and was startled to feel something cold and scaly…I quickly grabbed it and realized it was…an orange.

I proceeded to burst out laughing, for I realized it was the work of none other than my former roommate Anna, who must have been in the apartment earlier that evening.

We have a long history together; well, I should say, I have a long history of being on the receiving end of many of Anna’s pranks, pranks including desecrating my bed with various objects. One night, I fell into bed exhausted, only to hit my head on a large, hard butternut squash. That was a first.

Another night, I started climbing into bed, exhausted, and slipped my fingers under my pillow while I was turning down the bed sheets and felt something furry…I flung back my pillows only to find a dead skunk in my bed. Yes, a skunk. I screamed bloody murder – enough that Anna and her now-husband, who were outside at the time about a block away, heard me. She had taken a real skunk’s skin and placed it under my pillow, making good her threat of putting “road kill” in my bed.

At my scream, she came running into the house, up the stairs, and started laughing at me, upon which I started to hit her with the skunk skin.

So even though we no longer live together, and I miss her like crazy, she still manages to torment my bed chambers with her “gifts.” Crazy how one lone orange can make you feel right at home.

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changing tastes

Had a couple of paradigm shifts today; it’s been a crazy day. And I’m out in half an hour and on my way to campus.

I have the best seventeen year old brother in the world.

In case anyone was wondering. =)

I’m restless. Here, there, everywhere. It’s a good thing my mind can keep me somewhat active and entertained during office type work…or I’d go nuts. I’m not a good drone.

I want to read the Lord of the Rings next month when I stop working full time here…that would be a delicious treat. Right now, I’m enjoying the occasional dive into A Wrinkle in Time, one of my favorite childhood books.

Sometimes I wonder if I can enjoy some of my childhood loves – my parents were careful not to pick candy-only books but books that would expand my mind, stretch me, teach me, educate me, edify me. But some that I read today…I become bored or impatient with the poor writing.

What I will watch, what I will read, what I will enjoy has definitely changed since my college education – or maybe it has nothing to do with college, persay, but everything to do with growing and changing through life. But what once made me laugh no longer does, what I once thought was great fiction no longer is…what I once enjoyed listening to, I no longer do. This is not to say everything has changed…but, for example: I used to love romantic comedies. Didn’t matter the quality, per say…now, it has to be absolutely the best quality…and even then…I’m a huge critic. Do the characters portray life-like, conflicted, layered souls? Is there character development? Are the emotions and feelings and exchanges believable?

Not only has my taste in movies morphed and changed, but my taste for books, for writing, for music…for food…

Have I been so spoiled by the “great” that I cannot truly, sincerely enjoy the good anymore?

Hmm.

I’m rambling.

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restless

One moment upon another
Indescript
Solitude
Amidst a sea of bodies
The comforting hum
Pitter-pattering the senses
Life
Just out of reach
Eighteen minutes
A lifetime passes
Breathe in, breathe out
And then, then, your day is over
You embrace the drive home
Drinking in your freedom

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just sayin’

If someone brought me a hot chocolate or a mocha or anything hot right now, I think I would love them forever.

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northern girl

I currently cannot feel my toes. The heat was cut in the demolition of the adjoining suite, which means, since I sit near an open door right at the edge, and they are painting today and have the windows opened to the 32 degree world outside, I am the main recipient of the frigid air.

Beyond being uncomfortably cold to the point of shivering and no longer being able to feel my feet, I am concerned as I currently have a depressed immune system due to the crazy hours I work. Hoping and praying this does not lead to sickness, as all the girls at work and my roommate are already sick and I’ve been managing to stave off illness. This new development, however, may push me over the edge. ;)

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The cigarette smoke clung to him lazily as he leaned against the brick wall on his break; we worked at the same coffee shop and he was the quintessential bad boy, as night as I was day, but I adored him.

He was a flaming liberal; I was super conservative. He had to get gas at an even numbered pump; I didn’t ask questions. He drank caramel lattes as if they were going out of style.

He blasted Counting Crows and Jeff Buckley into the warm summer night as we drove around for no apparent reason but simply to drive and feel the wind whipping through our hair.  This was a new concept to me.

We’d argue for hours at a time about anything and everything; he vowed he was always right, but we both knew better.

He still pretends he’s always right. I just smile.

He was an atheist turned agnostic; I was a hardcore Jesus-follower. He went to church with me on a dare; he came for two years. We made it a ritual – we’d grab coffee beforehand and then sit outside the church, drinking our coffee while he smoked one last cigarette before going into the sanctuary; we sat in the front row. He stopped coming the day the pastor said the tsunami could be a judgment from God. I didn’t blame him.

We’d watch Stephen Hawking science videos until the late hours of the night; he’d pause the videos every ten minutes to make sure I understood everything and he’d scribble down drawings and diagrams for me on pieces of paper. He loved science and he loved to teach. Watching him watch a documentary on science was like watching a kid on Christmas morning. His whole persona would just glow with excitement.

He taught me how to laugh again.

He’d show up in my driveway, in his battered minivan, a family hand-me-down that he named Bessie – the smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe, his window rolled down while he waited for me. He hated that minivan. “Hey babe, we’re going to a movie, no excuses.”

I’d protest because I had work in the morning. He pretended not to hear. We went every Friday night. I looked forward to Friday nights.

He never protested when I wanted to go for a walk; even when he had injured his big toe and was in a lot of pain, he went on a walk with me. I only found out about the toe after the walk when we sat on my front porch and watched the sun go down. He shrugged it off and simply said “You wanted to go.”

He was a Star Trek freak; he made me promise to never, ever tell his friends. We’d watch episodes together just so I understood his love; when I jumped at the slightest provocation on screen, he laughed at me.

He had a whole other life he kept separate from me; he told me about it but he didn’t want me entering into it. One time he debated with himself about bringing me to his favorite club. He decided not to. Something about a pole.

One summer, we spent every spare minute I had together; that was one of the best summers of my life.

We’d drink coffee until the late hours of the evening… we talked until we got kicked out of the coffee shop because it was closing and then we’d linger outside enjoying the warm summer evenings, looking at the stars. He loved astronomy. He explained the sky to me, time and time again; I tried to remember certain stars but usually failed miserably. He still taught me.

He used to be a race car driver. To mess with me, he’d take curves really fast just to hear me scream.

He’d start yelling about politics and I would just laugh at him. Our first conversation was a six hour argument about Aids in Africa. At the end of that conversation, I thought he hated me; he knew he loved me. Said it was because although I was completely wrong on the topic, I could think and had reasons for my beliefs.

He respected that.

We became friends.

People still wonder how we became friends. We wonder with them.

For his birthday one year, I taught him how to bake a pecan pie, his favorite dessert. He had no idea what he was doing in the kitchen and wondered if baking powder and baking soda could be interchanged. I just smiled and told him to stir.

He grinned with delight when we took the pie out of the oven and he took his first bite.

He held me after my heart was broken. And he let me rant and rave about men, not mentioning that he was one. He didn’t think pointing it out was relevant at the time. He shared his stories. And I held him, stroking his hair, letting my tears mingle with his.

When I announced I was becoming a nun and shutting myself up in a convent, he laughed and told me I was right on time; when I questioned him, he informed me I have a male freak out (where I decide I am never speaking to another male) about twice a year. I told him he was sorely mistaken – it’s only once a year. And I reminded him it doesn’t last very long.

He reminded me I can’t become a nun unless I become Catholic.

He took me to see the movie “Monster” for his birthday; I walked out of the theater halfway through the movie and drove home; he came over later to apologize and tell me about the rest of the movie; we laughed; he never made another mistake about which movie to take me to.

When we worked at the coffee shop together, he was my supervisor but he spent most of his time visiting with the customers, dancing around the shop, and taking smoking breaks – he gave me all of his tips. He was the best to work with; our shifts flew by because we argued about everything under the sun and we laughed. We laughed a lot.

His laugh was infectious, as was his grin. And in the quiet moments sitting on the steps of his garage because he wouldn’t smoke inside, he showed me his heart, his soul. We spent a lot of time on those steps.

When I was in the middle of a fight with Mom, he drove me home, picked up a broom, and started cleaning, just because; I went upstairs to get some things done and came down later to find him dancing crazily in the kitchen with the broom, singing Motown at the top of his lungs. My siblings, watching, laughed with delight.

He left his sweatshirt at my house; I kept it hostage for a month and didn’t care – it smelled like him, and he was comforting.

I eventually gave it back.

He loved to get me riled up, saying ridiculous things he knew would cause a rise and then sit back and laugh at me.

I changed his thoughts about marriage; he changed my thoughts about liberals.

He always forgets my birthday; I never forget his. I forgive him for that.

One time, we spent the entire day together, doing whatever I wanted just because. We ate at a hippie vegan restaurant, grabbed coffee at my favorite coffee shop, walked downtown and people watched, drove to a neighboring mall and window shopped; he told me I was decorating his next house and we went into Pier One and picked out what we’d get. We passed a chocolate shop, Godiva, and he stopped me and told me to get whatever chocolate I wanted. I asked why. He said, “Because I know you absolutely love it.” We nibbled on dark chocolate for the rest of the afternoon.

We argued about evolution, marriage, the government; war, politics, our relationships; he always told me like it was.

When I flooded his email inbox with my writings, disabling his account for a few days, he didn’t get mad. He just smiled and suggested maybe I shouldn’t send “quite” so many emails at one time.

He has the Counting Crows’ “Rain King” song tattooed on his right arm.

He never likes any of the men who come into my life, except the one who broke my heart. I don’t like any of his women, either. They’re usually psycho.

He has the most fabulous sense of style and has the greatest rings ever.

He first introduced me to the television series, Alias. I still have his dvds hostage. But he has about 900 of my books and cds, so we’re even.

He’s one of my biggest fans but also one of my most honest critics.

He once wrote me a love letter – a platonic love letter – the kind of letter expressing love other than and deeper than Eros love – he titled it “el phantasmo and the chicken run blast-a-ramma.” I tried not to laugh when I saw the title, and then when I read his letter, I proceeded to cry. I still have that letter.

Seasons have come and gone and it has been many years since we first became friends; we don’t find the opportunity to hang out as often as we once did, but we are still connected to each other in the tangled way one is connected to one’s closest friends. He still smokes like a chimney and I try not to yell at him about it too much. Whenever we have dinner together, inevitably we find ourselves arguing and laughing simultaneously about something ridiculous or not so ridiculous.   And sometimes, sometimes we just sit together, in silence, his cigarette smoke clinging to me lazily like a comforting sweatshirt.

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There’s a reason U2 is one of my favorites. When words fail, when you want to go on strike, when you are ready to pack your bags and move to Alaska…you’re reminded, once again, that it’s a beautiful day.

[U2’s “It’s A Beautiful Day”]

The heart is a bloom
Shoots up through the stony ground
But there’s no room
No space to rent in this town
You’re out of luck
And the reason that you had to care
The traffic is stuck
And you’re not moving anywhere
You thought you’d found a friend
To take you out of this place
Always
Someone you could lend a hand
In return for grace
Always

It’s a beautiful day
Day
The sky falls and you feel like
Day
It’s a beautiful day
Day
Don’t let it get away
Day

You’re on the road
But you’ve got no destination
You’re in the mud
In the maze of her imagination
You love this town
Even if that doesn’t ring true
You’ve been all over
And it’s been all over you
Always

It’s a beautiful day
Day
Don’t let it get away
Day
It’s a beautiful day
Day, day
Touch me
Take me to that other place
Teach me

I know I’m not a hopeless case

See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by clouds
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light and
See the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out

Day, day

It was a beautiful day
Day
Don’t let it get away
Day
Beautiful day
Day, day

Touch me
Day
Take me to that other place
Day
Reach me
Day
I know I’m not a hopeless case
Day

What you don’t have you don’t need it now
What you don’t know you can feel somehow
What you don’t have you don’t need it now
Don’t need it now

It was a beautiful day

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Through the storm we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And I’m waiting for you

With or without you
With or without you
I cant live
With or without you

And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away

[U2’s With or Without You]

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into the woods

I currently live in suburbia right outside a huge metro city but I work about an hour north and one of my coworkers lives an hour further northwest on a farm; today, she told me she raises chickens, which makes me supremely nostalgic, remembering the time my family raised chickens. Why did we? Because beyond wanting fresh eggs, my father wanted us to know where our food came from and to appreciate the value of hard work. (Which is also why we grew most of our produce, as well, during the summer months and attempted almost everything under the sun at least once; I do NOT, however, recommend rendering your own lye; that is one task that I will gladly leave to the soap companies as it produces the most incredibly foul smell one can ever imagine.) And so, in the pursuit of education, we ordered baby chicks and set about learning everything we could about how to raise them (neither of my parents were raised on the farm) before their arrival.

We had about twenty-five incredibly majestic Buff Orpingtons (the biggest chicken, standing about two feet high). Seven of them were roosters (we had them sexed and ordered three but ended up with seven, whoops). Dad also had us learn how to design and then build a chicken coop. And this wasn’t just any chicken coop – oh no, our chickens lived in style. They had their chicken doors, a huge fenced-in pen area to run around and play in, and a skylight, yes a skylight, to provide them “natural light” when they were inside the coop.

We were intent upon having the most healthy chickens possible.

On top of that, we lived on wooded property nestled up to thirty acres of woods…so we’d let the chickens free-range all day, and they’d venture into the woods and be gone all day, but at night, like clockwork, they’d come home to roost, without fail. We never lost one.

Their freedom, however, was curtailed when a neighbor built a house across our lane (we had been the only house on the lane for years)…the chickens were great for the first few months, but one day, I looked out a second-story window and was dismayed to see a chicken proudly and boldly not only cross the dirt lane but march right into our neighbors’ new, open, attached garage. I sent out my younger brothers to retrieve the miscreant and from that time forth, we had to keep a close eye on them to make sure they did not pay our neighbors a social visit unannounced. ;)

All of this to say, Mary, my coworker, is bringing me in fresh farm eggs tomorrow, and I am sooo excited – it has been years since I’ve had fresh eggs – and the taste and quality of fresh eggs makes any other egg pale in comparison.

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uh huh

Upon asking my former roommate and closest friend, Anna, what her plans are for the week, I received the following email response:

Tonight I am reenacting the battle of Hastings in my living room. Tuesday I will hone my blacksmithing skills after I finish the kiln. Wednesday I plan to eat an entire bushel of apples (not because I am really enamored with apples, but just to make sure that they don’t go to waste). Wednesday I am putting the finishing touches on the Senate bill that I am writing; I hope that it doesn’t get filibustered. On Thursday and Friday I am going to watch the entire Little House on the Prairie TV series.

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another day

and you find yourself wondering.

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Jon was home from law school this weekend and last night, I joined him and two other friends, along with his parents, his sister and three of her friends for a Thanksgiving meal; it was so good to be around the dinner table again, for it used to be a common occurrence for a handful of us to meet for dinner and then hang out all night discussing life, theology, philosophy, politics, science, relationships…until Josh got married swiftly and moved to California, Dan and Annika moved to New York, and Jon went off to Boston, all within the span of five months.  (Yes, I miss that group like crazy.  ;)  The few of us left gathered last night, but the familiar faces that were missing around the table were a reminder that life swiftly changes, seasons come and seasons go, and we should take hold of every moment and savor it.

Anyway, after dinner, the four of us made our way to the living room to sit before a fire, drinking wine while one friend played guitar in the background, and we caught up with each other since it’d been a few months since we’d all seen each other. 

It was a lovely evening…an evening that made me pause and remember just how amazingly I am blessed with deep friendships and rich conversations/exchanges.  One of the men brought up how he had just finished reading A Grief Observed, journal entries from C.S. Lewis’ personal writings which detail his grief journey after losing his beloved wife, Joy, to cancer.  I highly recommend the book (it’s a short read), for it’s a very raw view of the pain one goes through when losing someone so close, so treasured.  I read it a few years after I lost Dad, and although I have never lost a spouse, I identified with many of the stages Lewis detailed…I nodded my head, underlined, and scribbled my way through the margins of the pages…devouring the book. 

Lewis, self-described as the most reluctant convert in all of England was an atheist who became a Christian…and so when he faced his wife’s passing, he faced it within the framework of a Christian worldview, but what I love is Lewis’ honesty – there are no pat answers, no trite, comforting phrases. 

I watched my mother lose her best friend, her partner, her love…I saw the devastation.  And I lost my father, my protector, my friend, my teacher.  I saw what loss does to a family; how it rips your heart into shreds, how it tears into your understanding of life, of security, of love, of safety, of familiarity – how it claws into the hearts of ones you love. 

Lewis’ doesn’t try to sugarcoat the depth of pain, the anger one experiences, the questioning of God.  He doesn’t offer some simple solution or formula for working through the experience of loss.  He allows you, nay he grants you, permission to wrestle, to question fiercely, to weep, to be angry.  And for that, for that I loved the book and continue to love it.

The glimpse that Lewis gives of his personal grief provoked one friend last night to comment that after reading that book, he is reluctant to get married, to know someone that well, that deeply, that intimately and to risk losing them or, alternatively, dying first and leaving them to face that pain, that loss.  If Lewis, one of the greatest Christian writers found himself so distraught after losing his wife, so shaken to the core…”What hope do I have?”, he voiced.

The question of what this life is for, the purpose of this life came up in response…should we build walls, refuse to enter into that kind of relationship because we know that we will face that pain one day?  Do we close ourselves off to one of the best relationships we can possibly experience simply because of the inevitable?

The marriage relationship is one of the most character-developing, growing, stretching, and challenging relationships one can enter into…do we not enter into that kind of deep connection with another for fear of the pain we shall face?  Is it like not taking a vacation because it will end? (as one friend questioned).  If we use that logic, should we not also develop and sustain deep, non-romantic friendships as well?  Because the deeper and closer the relationship, the more propensity for hurt and pain.  I think we all know the answer but the questions needed to be voiced.

While two of the members of our group last night were wrestling with the above questioning, the other two were eagerly anticipating marriage, in spite of the capacity for pain, loss, etc…; together, we were able to challenge and encourage each other – the idealists being reminded of reality; the cautious being reminded of the great joy that a marriage relationship can bring. 

This question is one that many in my generation seem to be asking.  Newly married couples, single adults, engaged couples –  Will I be able to survive the grief of losing a spouse?  Will my faith in God, after being so shattered and tested be restored eventually?  Can I risk allowing someone else to suffer that kind of loss?  Do I want to allow myself to become that vulnerable, that dependent, that in love with another person that to lose them would mean devastation? 

I’m thankful that the resounding answer I continually hear to those very real, poignant and valid questions is “Yes!”

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question

Does your life ever seem surreal at times?

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sublime

Whoever created organic coffee yogurt has my fondest regards.

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grin

It has been an absolutely wonderful holiday thus far.

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sigh

Watched United 93 tonight for the first time and bawled.

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on going home

One of the hardest things in the world is to leave your eight-year-old brother who is begging you to stay.

One of the best things is he’s begging you to stay.

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thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

[Nichole Nordeman]

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Over the Rhine, “Jesus In New Orleans”
recording: OHIO

The last time I saw Jesus
I was drinking bloody mary’s in the South
In a barroom in New Orleans
Rinsin’ out the bad taste in my mouth

She wore a dark and faded blazer
With a little of the lining hanging out
When the jukebox played Miss Dorothy Moore
I knew that it was him without a doubt

I said the road is my redeemer
I never know just what on earth I’ll find
In the faces of a stranger
In the dark and weary corners of a mind

She said, The last highway is only
As far away as you are from yourself
And no matter just how bad it gets
It does no good to blame somebody else

Ain’t it crazy
What’s revealed when you’re not looking all that close
Ain’t it crazy
How we put to death the ones we need the most

I know I’m not a martyr
I’ve never died for anyone but me
The last frontier is only
The stranger in the mirror that I see

But when I least expect it
Here and there I see my savior’s face
He’s still my favorite loser
Falling for the entire human race

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[From the musical Camelot, ARTHUR:]

“How to handle a woman?
There’s a way,” said the wise old man,
“A way known by ev’ry woman
Since the whole rigmarole began.”
“Do I flatter her?” I begged him answer.
“Do I threaten or cajole or plead?
Do I brood or play the gay romancer?”
Said he, smiling: “No indeed.
How to handle a woman?
Mark me well, I will tell you, sir:
The way to handle a woman
Is to love her…simply love her…
Merely love her…love her…love her.”

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For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
– Ephesians 3:14-21

I read an article the other night by Marvin Olasky that commented on the object of our thankfulness…he was talking with an atheist friend who said he was thankful after swimming in the ocean…and Olasky questioned thankful to whom or to what?

Olasky penned, “Many of us are giving thanks this week on a day designated for that purpose, but are we thanking God, or thanking our friends or throwing into the air an undirected thanks?”

I ask the same question. For things beyond our friends and family, to whom are we giving thanks? Today at lunch, a coworker said Thanksgiving is just a reason to get off work. And I protested with a smile and told her that for me, it is much more than simply a reason to not work or a reason to eat turkey and get together with friends. I told her it was a time to step aside from my usual routine and thank the Creator.

I can’t imagine giving thanks without knowing to whom I am directing my thanks…the One who has created me and gives me breath each and every minute. And so when I approach “Thanksgiving,” it is with a genuinely thankful heart to the Lord of the universe, for from Him stems everything else.

When you’re a kid, you take life for granted – you take it for granted that there will always be food in your fridge, that there will be a roof over your head, that your parents will always be there. Or so, I did. I grew up in an ideal family situation…but it’s not the same for my brothers…their world was torn apart when they were just babes, and so questions about security, provision, and life have been part of the fabric of their lives. So when they say “thank you” they really understand what it means to still have Mom around, to have a good, home cooked meal, to have a home. They are not so quick to take for granted what I easily did because they have a different vantage point and different life experiences.

What I now see as an adult, just how rich of an unbringing I had, I am grieved at the thought that my brothers don’t get to experience the same life…and that countless others don’t as well. They don’t know what it is like to have a dad wake up on Thanksgiving and help cook the meal – what it is like to have two parents cooking and baking and directing us kids to clean our rooms, straighten up, get dressed neatly and set the table; they don’t know what it is like to watch football with Dad and have him wrestle you to the ground during the commercials…or what it looks like to curl up on his lap or lay your head on his shoulder when you’re all too stuffed to move, visiting with your grandparents, eating pumpkin pie, drinking coffee (and hoping he’ll sneak you some of his wonderful chocolate-coffee-milk creation without Mom noticing and yelling at him for slipping it to us kids ;).

But we can’t change life; and I can’t go back in time and stop my father from dying…all I can do is love on my brothers today – be 100% present when I am with them, listen to their hearts, listen to their eyes, let them crawl onto my lap and lay their head on my shoulder as we watch a movie together, and play games with them.

This year, I don’t know if we’ll have the energy to prepare the full “traditional” Thanksgiving meal, but I know that none of that matters in comparison to the time spent together, to the memories created, to the love shared. And my brothers may not have the same memories I do of my childhood, but the God who sustains both me and them is still faithful, is still true, and is still gracious, and they may know His goodness in a different way, but it is still the same goodness.

And for that, for that, I am thankful to Him “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” May my brothers and all of us know “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”

Happy Thanksgiving.

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playful

I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. I cannot wait to be done with work today! As such, 9 p.m. cannot come too soon. ;) Only because freedom is so tantalizingly close. I’m spending time with family, and I’m hanging out with Anna (former roommate of two plus years) at some point, a close friend is coming in from Boston, so it’ll be great to see him, and I have a movie or two I’d love to watch should time permit, plus I’m in the middle of some great books and it’d be great to delve into those more.

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thankful, part one

And no, it’s not just because tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the U.S… ;)

I’m thankful for so many things and hope to write a post later today on the subject…but in the meantime, what are you thankful for?

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abundant

To quote my sister, “I’m stuffed like a frog!” Of course, she was two or three when she coined the infamous phrase, but it became a family staple around the dinner table.

Had a yummy lunch comprised of a chicken fajita.

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it’s official

i have the best twelve year old brother in the world

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brink

Ever feel like you’re just on the verge of something great and fabulous? Even if it’s just the prospect of the ability to take a nap? ;)

I’m setting things into place to drop down to part time at the firm, and I’m excited. Ecstatically excited. Visions of more sleep, more exercise, and more time with friends keep distracting me from work today.

And I’m also excited a four day weekend is fast approaching; I only have to work one of the four days, and so the thought of having three days off from both jobs is absolutely magnificent! There is so much I want to cram into those days while simultaneously doing nothing. Maybe I can achieve both if I’m artful. ;p

There are days I wish my life was much different – days in which I wish I could get up, take my laptop to a coffee shop, plop down in an oversized leather chair, observe the world around me and just write. What I consistently lose myself in is writing. And yet, I feel as if I have very little time to hone the craft, to find my voice, to develop my skill. I’d love to freelance one day. For now, I do not have the time, but one day, one day…

In the meantime, I’m thankful for blogs that act like sketchbooks that catch all my scribblings and randomness.

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moonstruck

I discovered a new café this weekend, heralded as a chocolate café. I was hanging out with my girlfriend and her nineteen month old son so we didn’t stop in, but I’m ecstatically excited at the thought of a chocolate café and eagerly look forward to trying it out in the near future. A café boasting of two of my loves? Delightful.

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