Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Am the Master

Okay, not really. I was selected by Heather to list six things in which I am a master. From there, I will tag six of you who I feel are a master of friendship. I have to say, I agree with Heather that you can never truly master anything as there is always room for learning, growing, etc, but we'll play the game. And, in Heather's honor, I'm throwing in some italics. :)

1. Music
This may sound strange. However, I'm a very musically inclined person. I have played seven instruments in my life (flute, piano, piccolo, french horn, flugal, trumpet a little, and guitar) and am a GIANT music snob. Yes, I'm admitting it.

One of my favorite things to do is discover new music. I love supporting quality, beginning artists across many genres. And there's a bit of fun knowing few people know who they are, and yet I have the opportunity to introduce them to others. The problem arises when that musician becomes mainstream and my "exclusivity" disappears (i.e. Michael Buble, or the growing Ingrid Michaelson). But in reality, as long as they stay true to their roots, I'm okay with that. Though it does make me sad when their concerts switch to bigger venues.

Anyway, I'd say also my taste in music is fairly broad with the exception of country which drives me nutty, hard core hip/hop, and some pop. Though my favorites are indie acoustic, jazz (not of the Kenny G variety), classical, and praise. Oh and I think I can sing ok; no Pavarotti, but ok.

2. Expanding creative horizons
I have always been drawn to anything remotely creative but really until the past two or so years have I begun sharing these ventures with anyone beyond my immediate family. In any case, I'm willing to try pretty much anything in this realm. One fun thing to me is to get an idea and figure out how to bring it to life. A few years ago I made my mom a nativity that we have coined Baby Jesus in a Hammock. It's a long story, took a while to determine how to make it work, but I think turned out cute. And obviously you have all been privy to my newest craft of sewing. I think it's definitely my favorite and I'm still shocked that with my mom and grandmother, it took this long for me to have interest.

3. Remembering
Remembering, you ask? Why yes, I have a wildly good memory when it comes to life circumstances. Now I can forget a simple detail incredibly easily and have to create lists at work or many projects would fall through the cracks, but life experiences? I'm like, well, an elephant. Which was embarrassingly my "nickname" on an old team at work. Seriously? Heather, I'm so coming after you and Ash someday. :)

Anyway, for the most part, this skill is great; however, it certainly has pitfalls when others do not remember something or as it relates to conflict. Also, the memory is based on my point of view, which I know can be skewed, and I must remind myself others may not remember these same situations. For the most part, though, it's good. I have a mental home video swimming in my brain (it's in video format, not photo :)).

4. Giving of myself
I love to serve. Love to give gifts, particularly those I created. Love to have the blessing to love and help others. This isn't hard for me at all. Probably what is hard is ensuring I still maintain healthy boundaries (stink, I'm so behind on reading that book, Sarah!) and allowing others to give of themselves to me. I have a problem in which I don't believe I'm worthy of gifts (in a larger sense), and have to allow people to humble and bless me. I'm a work in progress. :)

5. Driving
Okay, so no, I couldn't go join a NASCAR team (nor would I want to, could you imagine ME at NASCAR? Yeah, no), but I do have a nice, perfect, unblemished record. And not from any traffic school, solely because I drive perfectly.

Do you believe that? Don't. It's not because I drive perfectly, I'm pretty sure my ticketless driving career is partially based on pure luck. Yes, I do consider myself a safe driver, but I have been stopped twice and the officer chose not to give me a ticket. One time I am positive it's because he loves the Longhorns (I was on the way home from the Texas vs. A&M game outside College Station and obviously wearing orange). In terms of accidents, same thing. I have been blessed to be accident-free. Unless you consider the current scrape an accident, but I don't think that counts.

6. Being willing
To do whatever my dear Father wants of me. I may be slow in understanding what that may be and may struggle for a bit, but ultimately I believe and trust him and know only he can satisfy. And it requires daily reminding, and daily encouragement from my precious community.

So, curious if you've been selected?!?! Well Sarah, Jen, Caryn, Kristie, Kristin, and A you are the lucky six! A, I know you're my brother, but you're still my lifelong friend and, to be honest, I'm anxious to see what you'll write! Because let's face it, you're hilarious.

Are you excited? You should be. It's a great honor; one of the highest in the land. Your prize for best list may be a date with Father Patrick. Hahahaha, sorry Sarah, I had to do it. :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Where's Sarah

Stan Richards was on a program on KERA recently talking about the agency. If you scroll to I think the 15 minute mark, they filmed an infamous stairwell and, if you look closely, you'll see me. It's like Where's Waldo (haha I'm even wearing red and glasses!).


Some of you may also be interested in learning a little bit more about the agency and want to watch the entire program. I haven't seen it all, I just scrolled through bits.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thankful Heart

I'm currently laying in bed with tears in my eyes. You'd think those tears were because I'm battling a seemingly neverending bout of dizziness (another story), but thankfully it's not, though that is why I can't fall asleep. However painful the dizziness is, in this instance I'm thankful for the inability to sleep as it has allowed me to see a beauty, a blessing, that I may otherwise have missed.

Curious? Well, as I'm fighting my swirly head, I'm listening to my iPod, specifically my God shaped hole playlist. Essentially this is a list of favorite praise and worship songs to remind me of the only satisfier of my soul, the God shaped hole.

Well, Prodigal Me by Shane Barnard shuffled it's way into my list, and it quickly brought me to tears. Why?

Tonight I had the opportunity to talk to my dear "aunt" Jody (she's my mom's very best friend, she's always been in my life so i frequently refer to her as aunt Jody) and learn of the new direction God is taking her. I am soo excited for her and am always blessed through our discussions as she is very wise and I am incredibly inspired by her creativity, loyalty, and dedication. Through learning about her new ventures, I was able to share about some things God had laid on my heart and talk about my precious girls (who, let's face it, I am always blessed to talk about!).

After that, I was catching up on my reading through the Bible (I'm a little behind). I was reading the beginning of Judges and was once again struck by the theme of the Israelites quick disobedience and quick "spiritual amnesia" as my dear roommate Katie puts it. For a minute I thought, "these dingbats; God told them to remind themselves daily back in Numbers of what he had done. To write it everywhere so they don't forget. Yet they don't listen and, surprise surprise! Forget and fall into idol worship."

If that isn't a bang upside the head, I don't know what is! How on earth can I judge them when I have been brought through equally huge miracles, have the Holy Spirit IN me and yet I too easily worship the idols of pride, praise, performance, and even my own gifts!?!

So, all of this is swimming in my already swirly head, and this song pops on. I am immediately brougt to tears (and I had to play it twice), not simply because of the power of the song's words and the beautiful story it represents, but because of how awesome God is. And it ties to a recent shoreline message series that spoke to my girls' hearts profoundly, but also mine.

Who knew that some six years ago when He softy stirred my heart after a Raise the Mark service to join the student ministries team, that He would use this ministry to bless me beyond belief. I joined the ranks scared that I would screw up a bunch of junior high girls, and instead God has folded me (and vice versa) into the lives of each one of them. Girls I pray for, pour into, am crazy proud of, love dearly, and am incredibly blessed to share in their lives.

And He didn't stop there! He used this ministry as a catalyst to teach and bring me into a community. A community who dares to walk alongside one another, and not selfishly but in order to grow closer to our Father. And in the meantime they have become the dearest friends I have ever known.

I know I talk about this frequently, but I'm following Moses' advice, refusing to forget and will shout my thanks from the rooftops if need be (though maybe not rooftops...I'm a little afraid of heights, but that's irrelevant).

Oh God, my heart is overwhelmed. I am so very blessed and so very thankful. Thankful to serve, to love, to be loved, and to grow closer to you with others. My head may be dizzy, but my heart is on-fire. Praise you and thank you.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wow, how quickly I forget things. I saw a tweet from Matt Chandler earlier about preparing for his talks for UT’s Rez Week. I had COMPLETELY forgotten about Rez Week!

Rez Week is a week devoted to 24/7 worship and prayer bringing together all Christian ministries across UT. It occurs annually over Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter). A house of prayer is constructed in the heart of campus as a place to pray, worship through music, art, or anything really. Large gatherings occur nightly with various speakers and corporate worship. Anyone is welcome to go, ask questions, ask for prayer, just share, etc. The whole purpose of the week is to pray for all of UT to be radically transformed by God’s glory.

My freshman year, I was weirded out by Rez Week, feeling it was extreme and an impossible mission (mind you, my heart was in a completely different place then). As I found a church home and drew closer to the Lord, I began to better understand and have conviction for the heart of the ministry. The Texas tagline is “What Starts Here Changes the World.” What a better catalyst for this ministry; impacting hearts and lives to find freedom and then spread that good news once they graduate and spread around the world.

All that to say, I truly believe God continues to do great things on the UT campus and I was excited to read more about how the Rez Week ministry has expanded beyond an annual program. They now have prayer occurring over the campus 24/7/365 (wow!) and have begun a UT-focused missionary program in which students are purposely choosing to live in dorms, join clubs, intramural sports, etc to build relationships with and love on others, sharing the wonderfully great news of Christ.

One of my other favorite things about Rez Week was the diversity and exposure to different forms of worship since it included all ministries joining together with one single-minded purpose. UT is blessed to have students from all walks of life and countries around the world; it is certainly a melting pot and I loved having my eyes and heart open to different ways to worship our God.

All that to say, I was thankful for the simple reminder of an event that I took part in many years, not as a trip down memory lane, but as a reminder to continue praying for the students, faculty, and transformation across the campus. Selfishly, I pray at least one of my darling girls attends UT, not because I want them to be Longhorns, but because I know they would greatly impact every life they touch for God and be Lights for him in everything they do. But of course I know God will lead them exactly where he wants them, while continuing his magnificent work at UT.

Bless ‘em oh Lord. Transform the heart of the campus. Bring revival. And “May the God of hope fill [them] with all joy and peace as [they] trust in him, so that [they] may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jama Party

Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of entertaining this little darling for the night while her parents were rocking it out at John Mayer (can you rock out to John Mayer?).

We had a little "jama" party full of homemade pizza, popcorn, and Enchanted. Seriously, the girl loves princesses. Anyway, there were a few funnies that McKenzie shared:
1. She doesn't quite get the concept of roommate and proceeded to refer to Katie not by name, but as "sister." And she was quite disturbed that I was not helping my sister with her dishes.
2. Although I tried to sell her on the wonderfulness of a princess birthday party, she is dead set on having a Texas Tech 5th birthday this summer. Child is brainwashed. Her response when I said she could have a pink cake was "Daddy likes Double T." Oh well. :)
3. Kids notice aspects of movies that are blind to me. She laughed hysterically when the chipmunk in Enchanted was so scared he pooped. I had never noticed it before, but I'll always picture her contagious giggle from now on!
4. For some reason she's grossed out by kissing scenes (of which there are maybe two in Enchanted?) and proceeded to bury her face in the couch to avoid it. What a goof!
5. She knows the story of Christ, which just makes my heart smile. Although she randomly became shy, she told Katie about what he did on the cross and where he lives now.
Sadly it was only about 12 hours, most of which was sleep-time, but I'm thankful Dallas gets better concerts than Lubbock and I was able to see her for that time!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Little of This and a Little of That

Holy moly has it been ever so busy lately! Work, student ministry, life in general (aka car issues, which I will not talk about for my car is hopefully better...). As for work, we're down a person on one of my accounts which is SUPER active right now and the other has about five media plans going at one time. Not complaining as it's good to be busy during this economy, but certainly draining. Today I left feeling as though my brain were mush. Not good considering I have my Wednesday Morning Meeting presentation this week (for those who don't know, it's an internal presentation to the entire media group...kind of intimidating. Mine is about the new Middle America. Feeling better about it since my boss said it was very interesting).

For student ministry, we had Dtown last week, our annual in-town retreat. We had I think 16 girls (is it bad I can't remember with all the coming/going?). It was a strange Dtown in comparison with previous years. Partially due to my in-going attitude; it started smack dab in the middle of my car issues and I was car-less that weekend. But the girls were also very low key and we actually skipped the annual photo scavenger hunt to get Pinkberry and watch Clueless at the house. Hilarious to think the girls were babies when that movie came out! While deciding what movie to watch, Kristin (one of my co-leaders) and I were sitting in our bed playing Words with Friends...against each other. Yes, we're a little sad. :) I will say, the relaxed nature was nice and our host mom was so wonderful preparing yummy food for us! All in all, low key weekend. Still can't believe we only have one more Dtown...

On top of all the busyness, though, I have still found time to embrace my inner right brain (are you surprised?!?). Katie was gone this past weekend and I found myself with lots of alone time. So, in between working, I created two things that I am a little obsessed with. The first is for a friend's bachelorette party. I've gotten over the slinky lingerie-giving and instead prefer to give feminine, practical sleepwear. I was going for an Anthropologie feel here (again, surprised?!):

The second project will be revealed at a later date as it's for someone who reads this blog. I LOVE it, though, as it was something I designed completely and it actually turned out exactly as I envisioned! Not always the case with my mind.

With that, I must get back to rehearsing my presentation. If you happen to think of me Wednesday morning at 8am, say a little prayer! I'm sure it'll be fine, but you never know...