Thursday, December 31, 2009

Altitude & Mountain Men

Well, I’m not sure I can officially call it a “ski trip” considering I only skied half a day and that was ski school. I think I should rename it “altitude sickness trip.” Oh yes, I got sick and for about two days thought I wasn’t going to make it out of the mountains. You think I jest, but no, I thought I would die and had the bright idea that it may be better to rent a car and drive back to Dallas (my girls, Sarah, and Mel can attest to my feeling-badedness…I couldn’t stop crying, kind of embarrassing). In spite of this, I still had a great trip enjoying the cold, the cute town, and the fabulous people and will probably go again next year? Eek, I’m a little nervous about that…

The last day I was finally hungry and feeling like a normal person, so Mel, Leanne, and I ventured into town. Leanne is a new friend who I quickly began to love! It shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering she is Sarah’s cousin and I already know how fantastic she is; must run in the family. Anyway, before heading into town, we learned a snow storm was coming that night so, being the smart girls that we are, asked Mel if we could leave early. She informed us she was not in charge of the schedule. Of course we followed that with asking who we could ask to leave early. She told us we were high maintenance. Little did she know…

Later that afternoon back at the lodge, an employee came up to talk to Mel about checking the road conditions, etc for us. After he walked off, Mel exclaimed how nice he was, which I took to mean she had a crush on Mountain Man as we coined him. Leanne and I then made it our goal to get a picture of Mountain Man, though blurry, and encourage conversation between the two, though not hard to do considering he was looking up road conditions for us. Sadly, we left and learned Mountain Man is a smoker. On the trip home, Leanne found a book in a grocery store with the keys for all of us to find our own Mr. Rights…too bad we didn’t buy it. Mel could have her very own Mountain Man who loves her and sweet Bingley right now. *sigh*

Mountain man

The solver of all our Mountain Man problems!!

Aside from the taunting, sickness, and playing, I did have great times with the little girls. Club each night (well, the times I went…) was fabulous and I greatly appreciated Braun’s talks and Jarrod’s worship leadership. All of which led to great discussions and lots of good sharing amongst the girls. I am ALWAYS excited and encouraged when they share openly about hard things in order to receive accountability and be pointed back to Truth.

Till next year ole mountain…I will defeat you, I know I can.

Sarah the expert skier and CPA!!!!!

Ally, Allie, & Morgan, sweet darlings
Mel and me...pre Mountain Man taunting...

Leanne and I as snowmen
We're skiing!!!! hahaha

This is actually from the trip to Crested Butte, but Mike's mug
pose makes me laugh every time I look at it

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Christmas Story

I absolutely love to hear kids’ versions of stories as their simplistic way of looking at the world is so precious. Apparently yesterday at preschool, McKenzie’s class made Christmas decorations for their parents including a dictated note of what the Christmas story is. This is what McKenzie’s said:

God gave him to an angel, the angel gave him to Mary. They walked to Bethlehem, there were lots of people, they had to go to the manger. They laid baby Jesus in the manger, the shepherds were there. The three wise men went to the manger to bring a box of money to Jesus.

I love it. And in case you’re wondering about the box of money, we think she got it from frankincense (“cents”) and that it comes in a box since that’s how all of wise men are displayed in nativity scenes. Another sweet moment my sister in-law, Heather, heard was McKenzie playing in her room alone and stopped to say Dear God, thank you for the first day of Christmas, love McKenzie.

On another note, while my mom was here this past weekend, I got my Christmas present from her which are these:

I LOVE them! (And have worn them everyday this week, which is saying something considering I love shoes and accessories and am quite obsessive with switching things out). They are super comfortable and look cute with jeans or tights! And we all know how Sarah feels about tights! Perfect timing, too, for Colorado.

Speaking of Colorado, we leave tomorrow night for ski trip. I'm excited, but feeling a little overwhelmed. See, there's no schedule, at least that I know of. Which usually wouldn't bother me one bit since I'm definitely not a schedule person (my mom actually laughed with my aunt this weekend when I came up with a plan...I'm so not a plan person!). For some reason, though, it's stressing me out that I don't know things such as the amount or type of clothes I may need. And coffee. If you knew the number of emails Sarah and I sent about coffee this week (and to Mel...) you'd laugh. So, I suppose I'm not that worried about the actual schedule, per say, more the extraneous things.

I'm also a little overwhelmed because I'm finishing up Christmas presents, at least the ones that have to be finished (i.e. I haven't completed my grandparents' gift, but know they will appreciate it after Christmas, too). Last night I worked on McKenzie's, which is proving to be a wild undertaking. I can't share too much, but my ambitiousness when it comes to creating things out of thin air can sometimes wear me out. Though I love the challenge, too.

Happy almost Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Here are some of my Christmas presents!

First, journals. In case you can't read it (I wasn't a great picture-taker), they each have French words embroidered on it.

L'arbre = tree
Le neige = snow (top left)
Le petit gateau = cupcake (top right, and gateau is supposed to have an accent on the "a")

Purse for Mel

Ornament! I made others to correspond with the journals, but forgot to take pictures

I also made Katie a Baylor snuggie! Sarah took a picture of her in it; I'll post that one at some point when she sends it.

On another note, I'm a little sad because the planner I work with, Courtney, is transitioning off the primary account we work on together. It's a GREAT experience for her, so as her supervisor I'm excited for new growth and experiences. But selfishly I'm bummed because she is fabulous. Not only just in her work ethic, but she's a fun person, hilarious, and we work really well together. At least she doesn't sit very far away, though. :)

Have a great weekend! I'm off to meet my mom who's paying me a visit with my cousin, Georgia.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I'm quickly having new things I want to post, so thought I'd do a little catch-up before those all flood in at once.

1. This is my new favorite picture of our community group (sans Caryn). It was taken at Stacy's birthday party last Thursday. The reason it's my favorite? Oh, after viewing it, Karla exclaimed "I look like her child!" It may not be funny to you, but Karla is the shortest one below and is in a group of tall girls (I think we all may be above the average height, too). And, she chose to stand in front of Katie, our tallest member, without shoes on. We had some great laughs at this one.

2. Pride and Prejudice. I LOVE the book and LOVE the Hollywood version (with Keira Knightley). Sarah has the six-hour BBC version and we decided since it was a nice cold day to watch it this past Saturday! The girls came over at 11 and Katie had cooked up a marvelous breakfast feast. We watched for a while (I missed about an hour and a half to get my hair cut), took a late lunch break, and finished the movie about 6:30, right in time for the Big XII championship game. I enjoyed the movie and thought it was definitely true to the book, but I will say, I still have an affection for the Hollywood one. All-in-all it was a splendid time with friends!

3. I am obsessed with the fact it's cold. Temperatures in the 30s are my favorite as it's cold, but not so much so where you can't feel anything (at least to me).

4. I'm almost done with all of my Christmas presents! I finished shopping for things this past weekend (I'm making most things, but purchased a few). I gave my first gift of the year yesterday and will be giving five more today! I'll start posting pictures of things once they've been given. Not to be braggy-sounding, but I think everything is turning out well!

5. We had our small group Christmas party last night. I didn't take a single picture, but it was fun as always. Our girls are hilarious, particularly Ally, Allie, and Kate last night. Sweet Cade joined us again this year; he is quite the little flirt. :)

6. And finally, I'm wearing purplish-pink tights today. I've always wanted to wear colored tights, but haven't branched out beyond brown. I don't know if it's all this embracing of my creativity or what, but I've definitely been more brave in fashion these days! Yay for the tights! :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Home and Healed

I often avoid my computer like the plague over the weekend, unless I have to work which I did not this weekend. Given this, I just now saw the saddening news that Laurren Smith went home to be with Jesus this weekend.

Thank you, Lord, for using a little girl to touch the lives of so many, even those who have never met her, and to share your grace and love. Thank you for the reminder that you are the ultimate Healer and the assurance for Laurren's family and friends that she is completely whole and without pain, dancing and smiling in your presence. Please continue to wrap your loving arms around them as they grieve.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

I'm kind of running out of things to say and completely forgot to write last night. Eh, oh well.

Today, I switched my calendar at my desk to December. I LOVE my calendar, it's a Kris-10 Creation and the 2009 theme for Kristin was a love for God's Word. It's interesting how when I opened the calendar way back in January and read her note about the selected theme, I thought "oh, that's cool" but honestly didn't realize how it would become a central truth in my life this year. While I of course know the importance of Scripture, it came alive to me this year in ways I couldn't have dreamt. I'm not always perfect at reading it daily and sticking to decisions to memorize things by X date, but my reliance on his Word continues to deepen as I realize more and more it is the ultimate source of encouragement, correction, teaching, etc. etc.

The theme verse for December is "And the word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory" John 1:14. I couldn't imagine a more perfect verse to encapsulate the essence of Christmas and this fabulous season. What a splendid reminder that He, who existed at the beginning with God and the Spirit, humbled himself and came down into our world to live. And not just to wander around the earth and check out broken human life, but to live perfectly and without sin in order to take on every single one of our sins, die a horrendously excrutiating death, and defeat dead three days later so that we may be reconciled in him.

Hark the herald angels sing indeed! Glory to the newborn King!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Should Have Flown

I'm tired. I left San Antonio at 2 and didn't get home until 8:30. 6 and a half hours!!!! Ridiculous. I knew there would be traffic, but traffic amidst heavy rains and such just made it glorious, lemme tell you. Thankfully I got home in time for some Brothers & Sisters, but not to decorate. Oh well.

Back to work tomorrow.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Last day

Another laid back relaxing day in San Antonio with sewing, Christmas movies, football, food, and just enjoying the day. I don't have much more to share other than being bummed I have to drive back to the real world tomorrow. Hoping for little-to-no traffic so I can get back in time for Brothers & Sisters and a little Christmas decorating with Katie! Then also excited for CityCraft lounge night on Monday with Sarah.

On another note, I only have two more weekends and three weeks until ski trip. I'm excited but getting a bit freaked out since I not only have zero ski clothes but don't even know what I'd need. I was hopeful my dad would have a coat I could borrow, but it didn't work out. I may be the only person in a 3/4 length wool coat, sweater, scarf, and jeans since that's how I know how to dress winter-style...could be interesting...

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday?

Today was not so black for me. I started the day with sleeping in, unintentionally, and was woken by two funny dogs wanting to play. I then watched some cheesy Christmas show with my mom, followed by sewing!!! Funny thing, my mom, the former fashion designer proceeded to tell me the pattern I selected was too hard and complicated. And that I chose quite possibly the most difficult fabric to work with. I was (and am) optimistic as I LOVE to challenge myself!

We didn't get crazy far as we decided to go see a Christmas carol in 3d. It was good, but definitely too scary for kids! At least little ones. We had yummy leftovers for dinner and completed the night listening and singing to Christmas music outside by my parents' chiminea (a firepit-like thing).

All in all a great day of relaxing! And to top it off, my brother set my grandmother up on facebook! Too cute. (he's in Arkansas at his in-laws for thanksgiving but swung by to spend the afternoon with my grandparents in Fayetteville to see them, even more since my grandfather just got home from the hospital).

Now getting some reading in and it's early to bed!

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Thursday, November 26, 2009


Meet Winston. He is my parents' rescue basset hound. He was about two when they adopted him (so the vet thinks). He was not well loved, awfully skinny, and a nervous nelly when they got him, but sweet nonetheless. Winston hates to be alone and follows you everywhere. He's not very intelligent, though I grew up with golden retrievers (still weird that my parents have bassets!) which are incredibly intelligent, so probably not fair to compare.

Winston loves the longhorns. He didn't have a choice, really, because God chose to make him burnt orange and white! His favorite cuddly blanket is a fleece longhorn one. Though his choice chew toy is a random.

Winston helped cheer on the longhorns tonight for a win against the aggies. He was nervous right there with my dad and me, but cheered along! (I must be honest and say he actually just laid on the floor wrapped in his blanket, chewing on hedgehog. Like I said, he doesn't like to be alone! But I pretend he was cheering).

Thanks for the spirit, Winston. I hope you enjoyed your thanksgiving as much as I did.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gobble Gobble

I woke up this morning and immediately after going into the kitchen to get coffee was greeted with a very cheerful, "gobble gobble, happy thanksgiving!" Yes, my dear roommate is a morning person and super cheery and funny in the morning. Well, she's funny always, but still. :)

So, since I gave Christmas some attention and we haven't even gotten to Thanksgiving, thought I'd devote a posting to it, too! Of course I have a greater love for Christmas, but there are some reasons I like Thanksgiving:

1. It's based in history and we all know I LOVE history!
2. It feels very fall-like (well, except in Texas but I like to pretend) which I also love, including the wonderful colors!
3. It's about thankfulness, which I have much to be thankful for
4. Rolls, mashed potatoes, and pie!
5. Macy's Thanksgiving Parade...yes, I watch it every year and was super excited when I discovered which network aired only the floats, which is my favorite
6. A mini break and fun times with family
7. Football! Especially watching the Longhorns kick the Aggies' tail :)
8. And finally, it's the official start of Christmas!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Will You?

For the past few weeks, I have been working on a project at work that causes me to be knee-deep in engagements, weddings, and lovey talk. Most of the time I'm able to sort through it and just focus on doing my best work, but I ran across a statistic that keeps ringing in my ear. The average age for brides is 26. And I'm 28.

I know this is a statistic and reflects the middle of a higher and lower age, but it's still a bit disheartening to see over and over in my presentation (well, it's only on one slide, but you get the picture). After a day of working on this particular project, I headed to Anthropologie solely to wander. I was successful at only wandering and getting ideas for things when I ran across a few kids items they were selling. I was immediately drawn to them because they were oh so darling and previously vintage. My mind was filled with dressing my kids in similar fashion (though I'd find a way to make it since $60 for a kids' sweater is ridiculous).

I left the store with these visions dancing in my head and was then reminded of the average age of brides and was saddened. It's amazing how my mind works; one minute I'm dreaming of things and the next I'm a little bummed.

I don't have an "ah ha" moment to share, simply the realization that I am never too far from struggling with singleness (yes, recently my head has been full of other things and I seriously thought I didn't care anymore). This continues to point me to my reliance on God alone. And gave me thankfulness that I have a darling niece to spoil and give cuteness to. I sure am glad she's a girly girl princess! ;)

Tomorrow I head home for thanksgiving; yippee! Excited to see my parents!

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Monday, November 23, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

In light of Sarah’s recent post, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Christmas things! I, too, primarily avoid Christmas-like things (aside from getting/making gifts) until after Thanksgiving, though I have listened to a song here or there and Katie and I embraced the start of the cheesy Christmas movies this past weekend…

As I’ve said before, I have a love of all things vintage and 30s/40s. When I picture the “ideal” Christmas, it is almost always embodied within classics, cold air, and hats. I know, random, but it’s how I picture things and you’ll probably notice the theme throughout my list! Oh and I created four categories and am limiting myself to five choices within each (because I could seriously get crazy with it…).

Favorite Music
1. Christmas with the Rat Pack – Frank, Dean, and Sammy
2. The Christmas Collection – Frank and the fam
3. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
4. Billboards Greatest Hits Christmas – variety
5. A Holiday Celebration – Peter, Paul, & Mary

Favorite Movies
1. White Christmas (singing, dancing, Bing, Danny, and Rosemary, what’s not to love?!?!)
2. Christmas Vacation (ALWAYS makes me laugh)
3. The Bishop’s Wife
4. It’s a Wonderful Life
5. Miracle on 34th Street
For the last three, ONLY in black and white; I’m not about the weirdo colorized versions

Favorite Treats!

1. My mom’s chex mix…WILDLY better than the bag stuff; and by the amount we eat, it’s a given as to why we only have it at Christmas
2. Sausage cheese balls!
3. Gingerbread, in any fashion (I have a great cookie recipe!)
4. Christmas Eve dinner of wine, cheese, sausage, crackers, and fondue
5. Christmas morning breakfast of pigs and a blanket, sausage cheese balls, cuties, and mimosas (consumed post present opening)

Favorite Christmas Gifts (mine and my family)
1. My fabulous Barbie house when I was five…got lots of use and love over the years
2. The year my brother, our two best friends Brenda, Kyle, and I all got new bikes (I think I was 9 or 10?); we spent the entire day riding around and around the neighborhood
3. When my mom gave my dad a tee time at Pebble Beach and set-up a scavenger hunt around the house ending with a jar full of pebbles, water, and sand…it was fun to follow him around confused! (I was young, probably 7 or 8?)
4. My brother’s Omega Virus game; we played it for hours that Christmas at my grandmother’s with my aunt Ulrike…she thought it was hilarious!
5. The year we went on a family cruise as our Christmas gift; many fun memories of that week!

And another funny Christmas-related thing. Apparently the "new" thing this year is Elf on the Shelf. My brother and sister in-law got one for McKenzie. I wish I could see it, but when they tell her to do something, she looks up at the elf and then obeys. Silly Kenzie.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Well stink. I missed another day. Oh well.

This weekend was relaxing and great. Friday night I had the priveledge of going to Emily, one of my small group girl's, musical Beauty and the Beast. She played Babette the French maid. It was awfully hilarious to watch her flirt with Lumier, the candlestick. The show was fun and many of the kids were very talented. It was also fun to meet all of Emily's family.

Saturday I wasn't feeling too fabulous so spent much of the day working on things on the couch or taking a nap. Katie and I did go to the wonderful CityCraft to pick out fabric to make Christmas stockings to hang in our house! They're going to be super cute! Then Saturday night we had a girls' night at our favorite Gloria's to celebrate Sarah! She's an amazing example of perseverence to me as she has endured much this year and been working through the CPA exam (seriously, that test is brutal...I wouldn't survive!). This was the last section, praying for the result! And Sarah, know you are a rockstar and living the perseverent nature described in James. Love you!

Today, I almost finished one Christmas present that I'm REALLY excited about! I designed the patterns and it all turned out super cute! Can't wait to share! :) Then Katie and I were rebels and skipped church/shoreline. We both werent feeling fabulous so decided just to take it easy. Instead we watched some cheesy ABC Family Christmas movie and heard this ridiculous Baskin Robbins ice cream cake commercial, with a super cool rap, about 100 times. I'm now singing the song in my head...ridiculous.

Excited for thanksgiving and time with the family! :)

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Smoreful Thanks

This Wednesday, we decided to have a special Thanksgiving small group! We met as a large group at my house and thankfully we had all but four of our girls! Yippee!

We started the night with some praise and worship led by Molly and me. I was a little off; I hadn't really played my guitar in a while (need to get back into it) and my present cold/allergy hoopla was making it difficult to sing. In spite of that, it was a good time and the girls didn't mind our amateurness. :)

We then transitioned into sharing "highs/lows" for the semester. I continue to be impressed by our precious girls' willingness to pursue Christ. No, they do not do it perfectly as none of us do, but they have hearts that want to know him and live by his power. After that, we had a "Bible drill" in which the girls were tasked with looking up a verse to encourage the girl to their left in what they shared. It was hilarious watching them sift through the hodge podge of Bibles we gathered at my house for those who didn't bring them (kind of obnoxious, but watching them flip through a one year Bible and an Amplified Bible made up for the obnoxiousness). I think this was a great challenge that we stole from the wonderful Katie. I plan to implement it into small group more consistently as they learn to encourage one another in Christ, not just with their own words.

After that, we moved outside for smores and campfire time! At this time, I realized I have never started a fire in my life. Well, apart from a candle, but that doesn't count. I had a fire starter log, but we could not for the life of us get it going. Thankfully Lisa is a camping pro and shared some great tips! (she also magnificently put the fire out without burning us up) Anyway, our girls continue to make me laugh and the pictures below represent a few of our funny smores-time. I'm so thankful to be a part of their lives!

Fire finally started...looks like the Galvin girls are singing!

Morgan prefers her smores a la microwave

Haha for so many reasons...oh Ally and Madeley

The group and our magnificent fire

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I don't have much to say tonight. I thought earlier I'd write about our small group from last night, or something, but think I'll save that for tomorrow. And then I thought I'd write about the yoga thing I'm going to try, but will save that too.

The reason for my attitude? Well, I'm just a little anxious about something I have tomorrow and have recent happenings that make it all the more nerve-wracking. So, I'd rather save those other updates for when I can focus well and give them the attention they deserve.

Sorry this is a boring one, but I suppose not everything in life is wildly exciting.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's Journey Time!

It sure is odd to open an email in the morning with a picture of you and some words you wrote over a year ago! Yes, folks, my Journey entry released today. (Side note: for those who do not know, my church has a ministry called Join the Journey in which we read through portions of the Bible across the year and each day a devotional written by members of the church accompanies the passage. This year we are reading through the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes)

The 2009 devotional entries were submitted sometime last September or October and I feel like I submitted mine on the last date (gotta love it). I didn't save a final version of my entry nor did I save my bio thing, so I was a bit anxious to read what I had written!

Anyway, my first thought in re-reading the words God laid on my heart so long ago was how much MORE true they are today than they were then. I had just begun CR when this was written and really had barely scratched the surface in living in community. Praise God that he placed something on my heart from the passage in Psalm (Psalm 119:153-176 to be exact) and did not let it stay there. He continues to move and shape my thoughts, heart, views, etc, molding me into a transparent woman seeking to follow after him with my everything. He continues to teach me what it looks like to live wholly for him and in true community.

My second thought was how short my hair was then! Hahaha. And how dark it is; I LOVE dark hair and guess I still don't think mine is that dark. Well, it sure was in this picture! Guess I won't be coloring it anytime soon. ;)

Well friends, I pray God's word, both the passage in Psalm and the words he laid on my heart, encourage you today. I pray you will draw into a deeper relationship with him and that praise and thanksgiving will be on your lips! I love you all.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Take a Chill Pill

To get into my building from the area of Dallas I come from, you have to make a left turn at a light and immediately go over DART train tracks. Not only is the DART nutty, but the turn signal is quite fickle and there have been multiple accidents at this intersection since I began working here, one fairly bad one involved a coworker.

Needless to say, this morning, I was not aggressive in my turning and thereby angered a man quite badly. Let me back up. I was sitting at the turn signal behind a line of cars. The light turned green and everyone started moving. When I was almost at the light, it turned yellow. On a typical day, I'd run it since it had just changed. However today, there was a line of cars trying to turn into our building parking lot and I would have ended up parked on the train tracks for at least a minute or two based on the back-up (not sure what was going on there...think it was affected by the construction next door to us). So, I chose to wait out the light rather than risk being stuck on the tracks.

Well, this made the guy behind me SOOOOOOO mad! He began honking, flailing his arms, and trying to find a way around me, which I didn't understand since the light was now red and there was plenty of on-coming traffic. I did find myself getting frustrated with him, wanting to find him in the parking garage and explain. Of course I'd never really do that... I don't know what his deal was or why he was in such a hurry (he doesn't work here, not that I was anywhere near the 8:30 sign-in).

Angry driver man, I'm sorry I made your blood pressure elevate. However, I'd hope you'd see I was not only helping keep myself safe, but you also. Have a good day!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Black & White or Color?

Friday night around the fire, the question was brought up of whether Its a Wonderful Life should only be in black and white as it was filmed or if the colorized version was good. Not everyone shared their thoughts, but the large consensus was black and white. Not only is it the original, but it evokes a sense of nostalgia to the christmases of old and a simpler time.

I personally LOVE old movies and feel all should be kept in their original form (black and white or color). I'm definitely a lover of film noir! Sometimes I think maybe I was born in the wrong era based on my love of all things 30s and 40s. The music, fashion, movies, etc; I love it all! I think some of it is just how I am, but I also think a lot comes from my grandmother. She introduced my mom to the entertainment of her youth and then introduced me, too, both through my mom and times with just me. My Mammy always has music playing as she cooks or works in her sewing room. I have many memories of watching and playing and learning from her to the sounds of Frank, Dean, Peggy, Ella, and the gang.

All of my Christmas favorites are also vintage. Every year I watch many of the classics (along with the Hallmark and ABC Family cheesy ones), but White Christmas and the Bishop's Wife are top on the list (along with Christmas Vacation, but that doesn't really fit here...).

With that said, what is your opinion: black and white or color?

Oh I love Christmas! So excited to listen to my Christmas music and watch the fabulous movies!! Fingers crossed it stays cold, too!

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Sunday, November 15, 2009


Today was definitely a day of rest. Katie and I both slept late and then enjoyed a relaxing day of cheesy hallmark movies (yes, we both have a love of the cheesiness and can't wait for the Christmas ones to start!), reading, and craftiness. Well, I crafted. I'm so excited for my Christmas presents!

We didn't leave the house until 5 for church! It was a perfectly relaxing day amidst some busy, busy weeks.

Back to work tomorrow!

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Saturday, November 14, 2009


Recently, a new store opened in Dallas that I love. It's called CityCraft. Lisa, baby Jack, and I went today and greatly enjoyed looking through the beautiful fabrics, ribbons, trims, books, etc. The store owner is my age, which I love even more! I got fabric for a few Christmas presents and began working this afternoon. Oh how I love to create!

Anyway, CityCraft has lounge nights on Mondays where folks can bring projects to work on while enjoying provided food and drinks. I definitely want to go to that.

I'm excited about my various Christmas presents. I finished a few today but you'll have to wait until after Christmas to see them.

Here's the link:

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Quelf & Firepit

It's technically Saturday morning, but since I haven't gone to be I'm counting this as Friday!

Tonight my roommate, Katie, and I had people over for a game night and firepit hang out. We played Quelf for a while, the worlds funniest game. It did not disappoint tonight either as people laughed, did crazy things, and were transformed into ninja pirates.

Game time was followed by hanging around the firepit. Thankfully it was a little more chilly so smores and the fire were fabulous!

All in all, a fun night. And now I'm exhausted and heading to bed. Planning a day to work on Christmas gifts tomorrow! Yippee!

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

6 Observations

I've had a few random observations and thoughts today. Six to be exact.

1. I had to run a quick errand over lunch today and at the store, a guy tried to accuse me of printing my own money because the $5 I gave him was too stiff. He crinkled it and glared at me, after which I assured him I didn't know the first thing about printing money. Weirdo.

2. I work on the 12th floor and spend time in the elevators each morning, evening, and randomly throughout the day (usually only when heading down to 1 where another guy on my team sits; we have a thing about using the stairwell). It's interesting to guess who works here and who works at the other companies that office in our building. I'm usually correct in my guesses; advertising people have a "look" about them, I suppose.

3. In the 12th floor bathroom, one toilet has a penny at the bottom with a sequin stuck to it. It's been there for several weeks and I always wonder a) why did anyone have a penny with a sequin stuck to it? and b) how did it end up in the toilet?

4. There are key times of the months and days of the week for sales reps to call. Their parting line is typically "I'd like to send you some information..." I always let them, even if it is the farthest reaching idea ever. Needless to say, I get a lot of email.

5. Every day I am baffled by the blog posting time as it is always WAY off. I don't know where it gets it's time from, I'm thinking it thinks I am writing from California maybe. In any case, I don't know how to fix it so continue to find it odd that it says I posted at 5:30am when I knew I was sound asleep then.

6. With the #4 email phenomenon, I am an obsessive email deleter. I actually get extremely stressed when I have too many as I use it as a sort of "to do" list. My ideal amount is around 15. Right now I have 66. Does that say anything about my workload this week? Or my email deletion laziness? Hmm...I'm going with the former. With that, better get to the emails and stop with this posting.


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Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I don't really have much to say today. I had these lofty ideas of things to share, but then was quickly disappointed when I found out that once again, only ONE of my small group girls can come tonight. I don't know what's going on with our group, I think we're under some spiritual warfare or something. We had SO much growth last year in which all the girls were growing in the Lord and together and now they skip. I know it's about them, but I can't help but question my ability, love, leadership, etc.

On a positive note, the one who is able to come agreed to just grab dinner with me. I haven't spent one-on-one time with her in a while, so it will be good to catch-up. And tomorrow is a girls-only leaders meeting. I look forward to that time, knowing we can all encourage each other (as I know several others who are having similar difficulties).

Aside from that, not much exciting happened today. I realized a little while ago I look like a Baylor bear...I'm wearing a green scarf and gold earrings. I don't have anything against Baylor, so am fine with that; plus they house one of the best coffeehouses, second only to the wonderful Mozart's (which wins in that it holds many college memories and is on a lake).

And then lastly, before I close, please take a minute today to thank God for the many veterans who gave of their lives to allow us to live in freedom.

That's all folks.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Can You Tell Me How to Get... to get to Sesame Street!

Like many American kids, I grew up with the gang on Sesame Street. I have always had an affection for all of the cuddly Muppets, including the Fraggles, Muppets, Muppet Babies, etc. One of my favorite Christmas memories was watching the Muppet Family Christmas, in which all the puppet friends join together for an old fashion Christmas at Fozzie’s grandmother’s house. And the many other old school Muppet flicks.

Well, you may be aware that it is Sesame Street’s 40th birthday. One of my favorite avenues for the celebration has been Google’s daily Sesame Street-themed design on their homepage. So playful and fun, capturing the essence of the characters! Here are a few of my favorites (you can view all of them here):

Of the characters, Grover has always been my favorite, particularly Super Grover. My parents tell a story of when I was maybe 2 and shouted loudly during takeoff on an airplane “it’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Suuuuuuper Grover!” Apparently the folks sitting around us laughed and were thankfully not annoyed with my outburst.

Anyway, happy birthday Sesame Street! Thanks for entertaining and helping to teach me my ABCs, 123s, and how to share.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Stand With Arms High and Heart Abandoned

I really do not like my sin. It’s safe to say I hate it. I don’t hate it because it’s what I shouldn’t do; oh no. I hate it because it causes hurt, pain, etc in my heart as my relationship with God is strained. He grieves my sin and longs to restore me continually so I can live in his fullness and freedom. I hate that I so easily forget his goodness and think a particular thing can fulfill me, satisfy my hurting heart, or lead me to distrust God’s word and promises. I have one particular sin pattern that I greatly despise and that can steal my joy. It’s one I don’t fully understand and have struggled with for years, continuing to pray for freedom and strength to beat down the enemy in it. I have covered great ground in struggling well, but sadly it still overtakes me at times. This weekend being one, and I battled greatly.

I went to church last night and had a difficult time singing during worship because I was so angry with my continual battles with this sin. So for most of worship, I sat in my seat and prayed the words from the songs with every ounce of my being. The last song was The Stand, by Hillsong. I again sat and mumbled the words and then when we sang “You stood before my failure, carried the Cross for my shame, my sin weighed upon your shoulders, my soul now to stand” I couldn’t help but be overcome with thoughts and feelings I cannot even explain. I quickly stood and when we reached the chorus, I lifted my hands and literally just broke down. I don’t think that’s ever happened to me to the degree with which it did last night. I was crying somewhat uncontrollably (though I was able to control it to where I don’t think anyone around me noticed; at least I know Katie didn’t) as I stood in the assurance and truth that I my heart was abandoned, in awe of the Lord and his provision and my soul wholly surrendered to him.

Katie and I went to dinner after church and talked through things, both church and my struggles. I am so thankful for my community, and for being able to live with someone who loves the Lord and is even in my community group. Then this morning, I was struck by the beauty of God’s perfect timing. I opened the book we are going through in community (Experiencing God’s Story of Life and Hope…I highly recommend it) and found I was on a lesson on “assurance.” It discussed the imperative need for us to live within the security, knowledge, and truth that God loves us. For some reason, this truth is extremely difficult for me to consistently believe. There were a slew of verses outlined on the page speaking of this truth and rather than simply skimming them to finish the lesson, I spent the entire time reading each carefully and allowing the truth to overtake me. With that, I want to share with you today. I know there are a lot, but I pray you, too, read and re-read God’s words to us. Since God’s love is not simply a feeling, but an action, I know it has the power to change hearts and free this wretched heart from the sins that plague me.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. John 10:27-29

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:5-8

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14

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. Ephesians 3:16-19

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:19-23

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 1 John 3:18-20

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:11-12

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:15-16

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Texas, Texas YEE HAW!

Well, stink! I missed a day of blogging...I'll make up for it.

It was that time of year again for the Draw, the annual country western dance/country-type events party for student ministry which occurred last night. I have to be frank and say this is one of my least favorite events we do. Partially because I am just not a country person and actually find country music quite annoying. There are other reasons, too. In any case, I actually enjoyed this year! I think a huge reason was the fact that instead of having to ride on yucky ole buses out to Kaufman, it was hosted right here in Dallas.

Anyway, as I often do, I didn't take very many pictures and sadly only have one with a small group girl! Kristin took several (including one with most of our darlings and with the trifecta), so hopefully one will turn out. You'll also notice my "country" gear. Let's face it, this vintage-loving girl just isn't country. But hey, longhorns live on ranches! And Texas, Texas yee haw is one of our cheers! :) I will also say, I'm not a big fan of myself in most of these pictures...grr... But here it goes!

My fellow longhorn buddy, Karla!

Community! We missed Jen and Caryn

My dear Emily and the only picture I have with a small group girl!

Mel et moi
The cowboy girls!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Haven't Met You Yet

I have a crush. And I think he needs to meet me, because we would be a perfect match (side note: I actually can’t believe I forgot him during our San Antonio road trip perfect match-playing last summer!). I find him incredibly attractive, both physically and because of his fabulous voice. And hey, we have the same taste in music!

I was introduced to him years ago while I was in college and spent my mornings with Regis and Kelly. He was just beginning his career, had just launched his first record, and was performing on the show. I IMMEDIATELY went and got the CD (oh the days before iTunes) and quickly was obsessed. I now have every album he has released.

With this in mind, you can understand why the single from his latest album is just fabulous. And I like to pretend he’s singing to me, hoping for the day we meet and fall in love. The iTunes album has a video that I like better than this one (it’s just him singing and dancing around), but I couldn’t find it on YouTube, so this will have to suffice.

Okay, obviously I’m being quite extreme (and am laughing at myself for most of what I just wrote), but I do love Michael and do think he’s ridiculously cute. The preppy, vintage, classic look is my favorite in guys. :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Make it Work

Oh how I love Project Runway! It is my absolute favorite show. What's not to love? Creativity, fabulously talented designers, drama, intrigue, and the marvelous Tim Gunn. I'm a little sad that this season is almost over. Not only just because I love it, but because Katie, Stacy, and I have a sort of weekly tradition to watch after our community group or leaders meeting (whichever occurs each particular Thursday).

Anyway, my favorite for this season is Carol Hannah. She is talented, down to earth, and genuine. I think Irina is incredibly talented, but she is just plain mean which diminishes her talent to me. Every time I watch, especialy now that I've begun sewing, I try to imagine how they execute their ideas. It's so facinating to watch them become inspired and create something out of fabric (or flowers, or trash, or whatever crazy material, though this season was primarily just fabric).

Anyway, and now I go to bed after a long week and many late nights.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Swirly-Headed Explosions

Holy moly. I legitimately feel like my head is going to explode today from thinking and working on quite possibly the most tedious and crazy confusing project ever. It is taking 100 years to complete and of course needs to be done ASAP so it took the majority of the day and kept me from other projects that are equally important. Oh my, there are just not enough hours in the day. All that to say, it’ll probably be a late night tonight, especially since it’s a small group night. Oh well, comes with the territory! :)

On another note, what happened to our beautifully cool weather? Did we go backwards in time to September? Sheesh, I was getting hopeful for coats and scarves (though let’s face it, I’ve been wearing scarves regardless). I am getting excited for Christmas. Katie keeps talking about ideas for decorating our house and we get so stinking excited! We’re going to have a Christmas party and I think it’ll be just fabulous. If for no other reason than we are very likely to have a wonderfully decorated house. And hey, we’re fun people (plus Katie’s hilarious…dipped cone anyone?!?!)!

I’m reaching…running out of things to say since I’ve spent 99% of today knee deep in TRPs, :15s/:30s, Everlon, Celebration Diamond, and Shared Heart. Whoa, leaves you a little whipped.

A demain!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Random Thoughts on Creative Encounters

In my job, I not only build lots of presentations but also see presentations. Well, yesterday we had a lunch meeting with a certain large television network group who, quite frankly, had a horrifically ugly presentation. I'm talking cattywhompus (no idea how to spell that, sound it out) boxes, words and images bleeding over lines, random fonts, etc. It was so visually displeasing that I had a difficult time seeing past it, though thankfully the content was interesting. I'm not trying to be a snob, but I know I can build good presentations. I learned from a visual master (you know who you are!) who used to tweak and tweak things until they looked as perfect as possible. I've also managed to create the most bizarre and cool things via powerpoint (seriously, kind of want to learn how to do graphic design). Anyway, it just disturbs me when presentations are hideous, especially from so-called creative people.

On the same creativity vein, yet on the whole other spectrum, I started an "idea" book this weekend. The thought came after spending time with dear Sarah and Mel Sunday night and thinking later about the amount of random ideas of the creative nature that float through my mind at any given time. It gets a bit overwhelming (and leads me to think I'm a tidge crazy...) so decided rather than think on them, I'd capture them. Maybe then I could connect it and eventually create or be inspired. I had an idea book in college, so we'll try it again!

And lastly, I made this necklace this weekend and am quite proud of the outcome. It was just something I played at and didn't really expect it to turn out well. I was going for an Anthropologie-esque look. Speaking of that store, I popped in on Saturday (the benefit, or curse, of living basically next door) to wander. I wasn't planning to buy anything, nor did I, but holy cow did I get so many ideas just from looking at their many treasures! Oh how I love it's vintage, Frenchiness. Very me. :) And I'm actually thankful it's pricey as I'd go broke if it was more affordable! My practical, thinks everything should be $20 max self can't rationalize spending that much on things. But I love it nonetheless.

Monday, November 2, 2009

30 Days

So, after seeing Sarah's challenge to participate in the National Blogging Month and write a blog every day for the next 30 days, I was intrigued. I began to second-guess myself thinking I would definitely not succeed nor would my writings be interesting which is when I decided to take this challenge as well, and add onto it (more on that in a second). Side note: I find it quite hilarious there is a whole month devoted to blogging. Though I suppose it shouldn't surprise me since there are "holidays" such as National Talk Like a Pirate Day. Anyway...

Well, as you can see, I'm one day late, but alas! I'm not letting this day get the best of me so I'll just end on December 1st instead. As I said above, I added a few more challenges to this 30 days, which are of a more practical sense:

1. In times with God, focusing on his character, promises, and love for me. I am prayerful and confident this will help continue to shape my thinking and belief that he loves me and desires for me to know that. I'm not reading a particular book of the Bible, just editing my thinking as I read and pray

2. Establishing a real budget and sticking to it. I always know generally how much I have for this and that, but know a budget would help in many facets as I save, pay off things, and am generally a better steward of my gifts

3. Work out, ugh. No, I'm not planning to work out straight for 30 days, but committing to finding times and ways to add activity into my schedule

So that's it. No, my 30 days of blogging will not simply focus on these challenges. I'm not sure what they will entail; maybe I'll begin sharing some of my fictional stories and such that swim in my mind quite often (or not, been a long time since I shared that sort of writing). Or maybe I'll just post random thoughts of Sarah. In any case, I know it'll be interesting!

Happy blogging mateys!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Laughs, Italics, and Food

Heather has been my supervisor or boss for the majority of the past five and a half or so years. Today is Heather’s last day of work as her husband accepted a promotion and they will be moving to Northwest Arkansas. I am excited for their new adventure, but am sad to see her go. She has been a great boss, taught me lots, and made the craziness more interesting. In honor of her departure and her love of humorous things (and italics!), I thought I’d share a few of my most memorable memories over the years:

Putting 21 hours on our timesheet when we left the office at 4am. Not quite fun, but memorable nonetheless

Endless late night dinners at Bakers and Chipotle to stay under the $7 limit; so many that we could order for each other without even asking

Watching Wedding Crashers with our client; I still can’t believe we had to do that…

Walking off the elevator at our hotel in Orlando to find we were wearing basically the exact same outfit

Calling Brendan multiple times on night at, oh probably 11pm, and me laughing so hard I couldn’t talk; thankfully he and I were buds so he thought his multiple laughing messages were equally hilarious

Late night dinner at Potbelly’s followed by Pokey-O’s; entirely too much food and too much information on who Ashley thought has a good body…

Jim dropping peanut shells on the floor in your cube as if he were in a bar, and the wonderful cartoon Jim on a Post-it

The Stars game…enough said

When the competitive presentation crashed at 11pm and I was so stressed out I just sat in your cube and cried, but thankfully it all came together as everything always does

And probably my all time favorite, the entire Orlando trip when Larry fell on Ashley and me in the van, tried to convince Jim to get a tattoo, the dancing Sunday dress, and…

Heather, thanks for the many memories, pushing me to always do my very best, teaching me, and striving to make our many work hours as fun as possible. I’ll miss working with you every day, but am excited to hear about all of the new Arkansan adventures. And finally following you on facebook. :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

They Should Call it Hini-way!

A few weeks ago we had our annual high school retreat out at Pine Cove. Thankfully this year was better than last year by leaps and bounds, and I greatly enjoyed the time with our "little" eleventh grade girls!

Oh and if you're curious about the title, Ally thought they should change the name of the retreat from Hideaway to H1n1-way due to the swine flu, but pronounce it "hini." Silly girl. :)

Classic. Dancing, and Allie almost falling on the cord


Ghetto-tastic Katie K!

Yay for community! We missed Jen and Caryn

Darling Galvin girls

Flamingo kickball, girls' advantage

Flamingo hockey! Super funny

Morgan and Molly preferred to dance

Em and Molly

We're tough

And cute!

Flamingo spoons

Ally's sad she lost :(

Lotsa candy...

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

I write this morning with a heavy heart and tear-filled eyes. Two years ago, I began following the story of a young girl named Laurren through her family’s CaringBridge blog. Her family met the Holmes family, one of Watermark’s ministers, while their children were both being treated for cancer at Children’s. The Holmes’ have a blog, too, and have directed readers to Laurren’s page for prayer frequently.

I have never met her, but feel connected to her story as I have prayed for her over these last two years. She was initially diagnosed with osteosarcoma which has since spread to her lungs. After a series of different treatments and surgeries and even experiencing heart failure which terminated one course of treatment, her blog today said the largest tumor in her lung has grown significantly since her last scan (which I believe was not too long ago). This sweet young girl has battled one of the most horrendous diseases possible (if not the most horrendous) and continues to shine and point to the Cross. Her family has been extremely authentic in sharing their hopes, fears, etc, but again, always leaning on Christ for understanding.

At the end of their post today announcing this new, heart-breaking news, Laurren’s dad finished with:

Daniel 3:16-18
"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, WE WANT YOU TO KNOW, O king, that WE WILL NOT serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

That verse holds a dear spot in my heart of hearts, because that is exactly how I feel. Everyone wants Laurren to be healed. Our baby girl will be healed of this horrible disease. It will be in Gods timing and not ours, either on this side of Heaven or in Heaven. He is our ONLY HOPE. All our HOPE is in Him.

Precious Lord, you hold this darling girl in your hand and we know you know her pain even more than her parents, friends, or strangers who have joined in her story. I pray you continue to envelope her family in your peace as they trust you for healing. We know you will heal her in your time, in your way. May her story bring glory to your name above all else. May she touch our hearts to remember you, what you have done, and to trust you. I thank you for the beautiful story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego her dad referenced. Not only did they face the fire with pure trust in you, but they were not alone. They had each other and ultimately you, who appeared IN the fire with them. I thank you for promising to walk through the fire with us.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not My Thing

I've decided wrestling with decisions, especially when they are so ambiguous I can't quite wrap my head around what they even are, is one of my most unfavorite things. In the past year and a half or so, I've had a thought swirling through my mind. I wasn't sure what it was or if it was just "dreamer Sarah" and not anything ever actionable. I hadn't shared and when they popped into my mind, found myself pondering, praying, getting more confused, and pushing it aside.

Until last night when I had the brilliant idea after making a late night diet pepsi run (sad, I know) to send an email about my random thought. Why oh why do I do that? Irk! In a moment of weakness I share and then fairly quickly miss the days of AOL when you could unsend and unread email... Grr...

Anyway, so if course that opens a can of worms and the thoughts have been ever-present in my mind today, and I've since shared with two more people, feeling more confused and frustrated than before. I want to climb into a hole. Seriously.

I don't process things well. I get overwhelmed, think I'm doing it wrong, and don't really know how to pray through this since it's so flipping ambiguous.

So I blog instead. And stir. And have anxiety. And want to cry. And desperately need some direction. Though I could just push it away again; maybe that's the best bet.

*sigh* I'm tired and ready for bed. Bonsoir mon amis! A bientot.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, October 5, 2009

Girl Scout Pledge

So this first part is going to be a bit vague, and I apologize for that. I’m just not ready to share with the world.

After dinner on Friday night, my four dear friends Sarah, Jen, Katie and I had the bright idea (well, it was Katie’s really) to do something. It ended up just being Katie and I who embarked on this new adventure as Sarah had to go home and pack for her Cabo trip (still jealous :)) and Jen, well, I suppose she just escaped…for now. Anyway, this thing we did kind of weirded me out and has continued to do so since. Primarily as it involves feeling rejected, yet hopeful, yet cautious, yet crazy confused. Are you confused now, too? If you are a highly curious person who knows me and would like to know what I’m referring to, ask me and I’ll most likely tell you. I’m just not ready for large broadcasts yet…

On another note, I had a wildly awkward experience on Saturday. Awkward is really not a strong enough word; I should really go with one of the most uncomfortable moments ever (not the most, but one of for sure). Anyway, to the story. I went to a conference on Saturday about hurting kids with a group from student ministry. It was at another church that used to be a movie theater and still has resemblances of being one. We all arrived early and were sitting and chatting waiting for the conference to start. During this time, a random man sat in the row behind us and started talking to Kyla. He seemed slightly strange, so Sarah and I chatted amongst ourselves (we were the other two sitting by Kyla) and eventually he walked off.

Conference starting. I have my journal out and pen ready to take diligent notes when all of the sudden, random man appears in my row and comes up next to me. He’s holding a gaggle of papers and a coffee which he proceeds to spill a bit on me and the chair in front of him. He’s handing me his coffee and papers and I’m sitting there baffled and unsure what to do. I notice David peering back and mouths if I need his help to let him know. I nod and Sarah or Kyla tell me just to place his papers on the floor, which I do. Okay, I can concentrate again.

Then he sits down and I get a whiff of horrid cigarette smoke and burnt coffee. Not a good combination. I’m forcing myself to ignore the stench and instead focus on the speaker’s words and cheesy jokes (another story). Then I notice random man scooting closer to me. Ugh, there’s not an armrest! As he scoots closer to me, I edge closer to Sarah. Next thing I know, random man is leaning on me (and I’m in turn leaning on Sarah) and then proceeds to start rubbing his leg on mine. I cross my leg and twist to try and force my back toward him, but it doesn’t help.

At this moment, I’m afraid to look in his direction as I’m fairly certain more is going on. I’m greatly creeped out and quite unable to focus. Sarah begins trying to convince me to get up and move, but I’m conflicted with not wanting to disturb the people around me or place her in the same situation. A few minutes later, SarahBeth (who was sitting in front of us) passes Sarah a note asking if everything is okay and if she needs to tap David. Sarah responds that I’m moving, after which I stand up (amazingly without falling on random man) and pretend to use the restroom; however, I really just circle around the back and sit down on the other side of our row. Sarah places my purse in the chair to stave random man off of her. He eventually leaves. Phew, safety.

At the first break, several people in our group begin questioning me about what happened. At this time, David expresses his deflation in not having had the opportunity to disturb the conference to chat with the guy. Then Mel made me do a pledge resembling that of the girl scouts (I’m guessing, was never a girl scout). I literally had to hold my hand up and repeat after her. Oh Mel, you make me laugh, but I appreciate your protective, loving nature.

I don’t think random man really cared about kids. He seemed very off, possibly drunk? He didn’t really look homeless to me, but you never know. All we know is, he did not show up again. Though we were taunted with shares-his-opinions-in-awkward-times man. What a character he was.

Aside from that, though, it was a pretty good conference. I think the speaker could have cut back on his cheesy jokes and shortened some aspects, but all-in-all, I’m glad I went.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Potentially Nonsensical Thoughts from my "Journal"

***Warning: this is long and originally not intended to be a blog posting. I was just processing through thoughts on my own and only through that felt it should be shared. Additional “warning notes” at the bottom***

Something, or someone really, is stirring up my heart. It feels as though a swoop of wind has turned it about and dust is swirling in the air. You know, when it almost looks like a mini dirt tornado? Or at least I used to think of that as a kid. Anyway, all that to say, something is brewing.

Lately, I’ve been trying to evaluate “how I’m doing” with God and whether I’m in his will. It’s something I think about periodically and never quite have a good grasp on what the answer would look like. I mean really, what does “doing well with God” look like? In my mind I think it’s being problem-less and happy. But that’s not Scriptural. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds... (James 1:2) So then I think maybe it’s when I feel complete comfort and have hit an obligatory “plateau” like the American Dream. Again, not Scriptural. Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15) Okay, so maybe I have to sell everything I own and move to live in a hut before doing well? Or something entirely different? I really don’t know.

And then I thought, why do I have to have a measure for what this looks like? I am not God, I do not know where he is taking me in this life. If I am daily laying my life at his feet, holding the pieces of this world with open hands, and pursuing him wholeheartedly, how am I to say that is not what “doing well with God” looks like? We are so quick to create comparisons to determine how and where we stand, whereas God does not compare us to anything except perfection, which we failed miserably on. But thankfully because of Jesus, he does not see my failures and instead sees a broken person covered in the perfect blood of his son.

So then I thought, how am I doing with pursuing righteousness, living open handed, humbling myself before him, and loving others? Enter irksome feeling in my heart. Why? Because I do not often enough follow Moses’ instructions to watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol… (Deuteronomy 4:15-16) I, instead, am like the Israelites who got bored thinking Moses had disappeared with God and decided to make a calf to worship. Our hearts are created to worship something and if God is not holding that place firmly, we will naturally sway to something else. Always. In discussing these concepts and passages during small group Wednesday in the context of trials (studying James this semester), sweet Anna said she was drawn Moses’ urging to watch yourselves very carefully. Coupling that with the knowledge that we will have trials is very profound.

Okay, so how on earth do I pull my heart that is prone to wander back to God? How do I take my somewhat spontaneous, inconsistent, non-planner-like self and maintain consistency? How do I make myself pursue God when I’m so tired and just want to enter the world of slumber? I don’t know. Except, that it takes grace and forgiving myself when I do fail as opposed to internally beating myself up to the point where I don’t have the energy or desire to focus the next time.

Here’s the thing. I’ve been drawn to the story of a girl who gave up her conventional, American life to live for God and love others in Africa. My friend Sarah introduced me to her story and in reading how God is working in her life, began to compare myself and feel useless and ineffective. And a mix of jealousy for her calling and fear that I could be called to this life. As I wandered around over lunch today, thoughts were swimming in my head and God whispered quietly that I am not to compare myself to her or anyone. I should be challenged and encouraged by her story, but mine is different.

So, what IS my story? Am I living it? Am I living it well in a way that God will one day say “well done my good and faithful servant” in the way that I so hope and pray? Yes, I love on and serve my precious girls, but is there more I should be doing? Do I focus too much on me, spend too much time with friends, artsiness, music, entertainment, etc etc etc? Am I missing the point? I desperately want these sorts of words to be said about me and not for my fame, but to know that I truly opened myself up to the point where God shined SO brightly through me that these words would be true:

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13

I truly do not know the answers to those questions. To be honest, I have an extremely difficult time “evaluating” myself as I tend to see the negative, the sin, the ugliness. I hear the lies being whispered in my ears and strive to shut them up, but they weasel their way back in through the form of doubt. But I think about some aspects of myself that are drastically different than before, even just a year ago. I have shared tough, ugly things about myself with people; women in community, CR, my girls. This is NOT of me as I prefer to bottle it all up and put on a somewhat smiley face. This is one huge aspect of growth in my life.

But it’s not enough for me. I don’t want it to stop here. I want to pour out every single solitary last ounce of myself for Jesus. For others. I want my life to count for him and only him. I want for people to not see me, but instead see Jesus shining through me. And I am not saying this lightly as I know the magnitude with which God moves and his hatred toward lukewarmness. No matter how hard, difficult, uncomfortable, or painful this may be, I know it will mean I am in Jesus’ hand, in God’s will. Making a difference for him.

I don’t really know what this looks like or where God will take me. One passion God has given me (which is hopefully quite obvious to most of you) is for his young girls to know him and pursue him. To shepherd their hearts, teach and learn about his word with them, and to use myself, my sins, my struggles, and any other aspect of me he chooses to encourage their hearts. The last of which I never thought would occur to the degree with which it has, but that’s what happens when I open myself up to God. I get that irritatingly uncomfortable heart racing and full-body heat which is the Holy Spirit encouraging me to share. And Praise Him for not allowing it to return void as anytime I’ve opened myself up, he has filled it back with girls who need encouragement and to not feel alone, or something else entirely.

So, with that and after my bit of rambling I end and thank you for bearing with me. As I said in my intro, I had no intention in sharing this as a blog post. I was just writing and thinking. It wasn’t until about halfway through that I thought there could be an element of encouragement to someone out there. Someone with whom God could use my words to speak to their heart or, if nothing else, as another way for me to become more transparent. I will say, in an attempt to keep this raw and how it flowed from my heart through my fingers, I did not re-read anything. So, please forgive me if you get confused, read bad grammar, or find my thoughts confusing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Group - Be Here

One of my favorite things to do is listen to music in my car and sing. I pretend no one can see me and just belt it out (which I’m sure plenty of folks have pointed at me and laughed, but I could care less). There’s a road between Austin and my parents house through the “country” that is my most favorite place to blast music. It was my road home while in college and I tended to drive it at night. Night is by far my favorite time to drive, thereby my favorite time to sing.

Monday night my small group co-leaders and I met to catch up and chat through the year. Times with them are always so encouraging and I left the frigidly cold Starbucks full of warmth thinking about the great things God has in store for the year, be it times of difficulty or times of ease, it’s all in his hands. I’m sure many of my student ministry friends would share my sentiment in this, but I am often asked by others how I spend the time and energy I do with my girls. They are shocked to hear I have been in their lives since seventh grade, meet with them multiple times a week, pray for them, spend weekends on retreats with them, etc. My answer is easy as it is a joy, and each one of our precious girls are enfolded into the fabric of my life. I know God uses me, but he has used each of them in great ways as they learn more about him, encourage and love one another, pursue righteousness, embrace authenticity, experience rough times with grace, and trust. I am constantly praising God for his works in their lives and for giving me the opportunity to be a part. I could go on and on.

As I drove home Monday night, I reflected on some great times over the years with our girls. One of my most favorite times was our retreat last year. We got away as a group to the lake, enjoying one another, and simply hanging out with sweet Jesus. Aside from sharing times, an incredibly special moment God gave us was on the drive out to the lake. We were in the middle of nowhere and after listening to endless Hilary Duff, High School Musical, etc, one of my girls asked if we could listen to praise music. Of course I said yes and the last hour of our drive was spent praising God together as a group under the stars. I had a glimpse of what heaven must be like as I listened to their sweet voices sing truths. We also had praise time over the weekend in which I led worship with our talented Molly.

I’ve recently become quite obsessed with the below song, which I found through my random search of relatively unknown music (another one of my favorite things J). It’s called Likeness of Jesus and is by Jonathan David Helser. My prayer for my precious girls is God makes this the cries of their hearts. As the lyrics say, there is nothing keeping us from God since the temple veil was torn after the death of Jesus. Praise Him.

I want the cry of Moses
I want the ears of Samuel
I want the heart of Mary
Most of all
I want the likeness of Jesus

I want the prayers of Daniel
I want the voice of John
I want the walk of Enoch
Most of all
I want the likeness of Jesus

From glory to glory,
I am transformed,
Nothing between us,
The veil has been torn

I want to be holy as he is holy
I want to be righteous as
He is righteous
I want to be loving as
He is loving
Most of all I want to
Be like Jesus