Friday, December 26, 2008
We were bowling, playing pass the remote. My grandpa is a really good bowler in real life and in Wii world he wasn't too shabby either. In fact, he bowled a plethora of strikes. Boppy bowled a strike and my uncle (to be! Yay!) bowled next. He, too, bowled a strike and we were very impressed. (Greg's not a big bowler).
"I was just watching Jim," he said about my grandpa.
Next it was Grandma's turn. She bowled well but it was not a strike.
"I was just watching Greg," she said about my uncle.
We all laughed, but God spoke to me at that moment. No matter how great of a bowler Greg is, Boppy will always be better. Even if Grandma had made each move exactly the same way as Greg, she may not have bowled a strike. After all, Greg's strike was just luck (love ya, Greg!). If Grandma had watched Boppy instead she may have bowled a strike. His movements were true. Greg's were copied.
Sometimes we watch earthly leaders thinking they're good enough. True, they may be close to God. It's always important to fill our lives with Godly mentors, but we also need to look to our Heavenly Father for the best guidance. Everyone here on earth is just trying to be like God. Why should we watch them instead of watching Him?
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
After lunch, I pulled back into the theater parking lot just as the movie ended. We then had to go to the mall. One day before Christmas. In a blizzard. Puke.
It was very easy for me to say, "If the glasses people hadn't broken my glasses the first time they tried to fix them, I could just go home now and finish making Christmas cookies. Wrap the presents? Oh, yeah, gotta do that, too." No. I had to be sitting in the mall... for an hour... while they replaced the lens of my glasses and then tried to tell me I needed to pay for it. In reality, they broke it, and eventually they replaced the lens for free.
While I was stalling for an hour, I ran over to a department store looking for a specific item. Well, apparently they don't make the size I need. Surprise, surprise. My entire body doesn't fit into the sizes made. Shoes, pants, shirts, you name it... it doesn't fit properly... After many hours (or at least many, many minutes) of searching, a sales associate approached me and asked if I was finding everything alright. I answered honestly (no) and told her what I was looking for. She then tried to convince me I needed to sign up for a charge card for that particular store. Well, if I can't find the product I want, why do I need to save money by signing up for a card? I told her no literally four different times. She then went to find another sales associate to ask if they make the size I was looking for. The second associate said no without offering any other suggestion. I walked away in frustration, and I heard the two sales associates making jokes. Maybe they weren't directed at me, maybe they were just having fun, but I highly doubt it. Needless to say, I promptly left the store.
My sister and I left the mall and I asked her where the package was. Her boyfriend is coming for Christmas and I didn't know what to get him, so she was going to go buy something while I was picking up my glasses. Well, apparently she couldn't find what she was looking for, so she bought nothing. Now I have no present for Boy. For tomorrow. Crap.
Drove home. Yeah, let's plow the roads.
Found a message waiting for me from a friend who wants to get together before break is over. Well, I had most of last week free, but she couldn't do anything. Now I'm booked and she's moderately free. I really, really want to get together with her, but there seems to be no time. It's frustrating!
Ok, awful day, eh?
So I come home, wrap the presents I do have (I figured out something for Boy), and took out my anger on our Wii. I bowled a 168! That's a personal record for me. I then upped my skills level on Wii Tennis to 606 (We've had this game for two days...).
At least the virtual world likes me.
Although, my shoulder wants to kill me.
I hope your day was better than mine!
Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow we remember the Savior of the world entering His creation in the form of an infant. Not just any infant, but an infant who was born in a stinky, smelly stable to a carpenter and his teenage wife-to-be. Perhaps my situation wasn't the only one that's less than perfect.
Monday, December 22, 2008
The other day at work, a mother came to pick up her son. Two of us went to get him (me and student). The mom yelled down the hall to her son not to put his shoes back on. He nor the other student heard her. "Mom said not to put your shoes on because you have to put your boots on instead," I told him and then he actually listened. She laughed about the incident and said, "At least someone listens to me." She went to go help her son find his boots and I went back to work.
"Katie," the mom called again. "Merry Christmas."
Simple words, yet they stuck with me the whole day. If I would have passed her at some other point in time and she wished me a Merry Christmas I probably would not have thought anything of it. Yet, she called me back to wish me a Merry Christmas. Not a happy holiday. A Merry Christmas. I knew her before I was working with her son, and we're both Christians, yet I think it made both of our hearts smile to be able to wish sisters in Christ a Merry Christmas without worrying about offending anyone. After all, Jesus is the reason for the season.
"But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with Child and give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.'" Luke 2:30-33
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Today's date is a palindrome and that makes me smile.
Today is also the shortest day. "The shortest day came..." and what's that speech about darkness that I've only heard nine times?
I had communion today for the first time since August 10th. And it was good. Actually, that's a lie. I had communion over Thanksgiving, but I only got a half a wafer ("Worship here on a regular basis and we'll give you the whole wafer" - Pastor Russ)
Last week I made up my offering envelope and left it in the cover of my Bible in the car. So I turned it in this week, crossed off the date, and wrote "oops". haha
I drove on the freeway today. Longer than just one exit, thank you. I'd like to once again point out: just because I choose not to drive on the freeway does not mean I can't, haven't, and won't.
It's is COLD! The hockey arena was actually considered warm considered to outside... Just because my mom (sorta) looks like Sarah Palin does NOT mean our weather must replicate that of Alaska...
I was on the jumbotron dancing to "Cotton Eyed Joe"... last time I was on the jumbotron I was wearing a Mrs. Potato Head Costume (and it wasn't Halloween...) My family failed at getting a picture yet again...
I got my glasses fixed the other day, but now the lens is warped... meaning I have to go the mall again tomorrow... two days before Christmas... because they didn't fix them properly the first time... (and this injury to the glasses was NOT my fault, haha)
Spiritual connection, oh yeah...
"Imagine the Creator of the Universe shoving Himself into a baby's body." - PT
"Every snowflake is different, yet look at what they can do together." - P Ras
Thursday, December 11, 2008
For the strangers who keep giving me the once-over, yes, I'm talking to you. No, you don't know me.
To the woman on the loud speaker, shut up.
To the man driving the golf-cart, I don't care how many times you offer me a ride. I have three hours and am able-bodied. I am good to go, thank you.
To the man complaining about his son, maybe we should trade books. You read Disconnect by Chap Clark and I'll read "Parents apparently don't play a role in their children's upbringing" that you've got your nose stuck in.
To the woman sitting in front of me, I don't care how many times you slam your body into the chair, it doesn't come back any further. In fact, those are my knees you're hitting. It hurts me just as much as it hurts you.
To the woman who can't get on this flight, I'm sorry the flight is full. Maybe next time it would be a good idea to book ahead of time.
To the woman with the small child, ever considered a sedative? (For yourself or the child)
To the man yawning while walking on the moving walkway, don't walk. It saves energy. Don't yawn, I've been up since 6:45am (in a different time zone), and I have four hours until I even get home. Twelve hours ago, I was finishing class for the day. My grades for that class are already posted. Should we compare long days?
To whoever thought it was smart to put flashing lights at the end of the moving walkway, you idiot. I'm very glad I don't have a photosensitive epilepsy.
To the people with the wheelchair on the moving walk-way, that was quite hilarious.
To the grounds crew who can't properly close the cargo door, thanks for delaying us 45 minutes. Just close it, let the pilot lie and say it's closed and move on. Whatever you do... DON'T CALL... Maintenance!
To the pilot who had the nerve to tell me we were flying right over my final destination, just let me off this darn plane! Give me a parachute, get me close, and we'll be good to go!
To everyone else who has caught my eye, thank you for your amusement.
Have a great day, here or wherever your final destination may be!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
This is my 100th blog, by the way!
Monday, December 8, 2008
I remember one day in high school, I needed to collect 15 signatures to support me in running for an office. A mixture of those signatures had to be students of varying ages as well as teachers. I hated working up the courage to ask teachers to sign my paper. It's not that I didn't think they would, it's that I didn't want to ask.
One day, Brian came up to me and wanted to buy a candy bar I was selling as a fundraiser. I put down the piece of paper awaiting signatures and went to get Brian his candy bar. He yanked the sheet off the table and started pulling out a pen.
"Can I sign this?" he asked. Of course, I wasn't going to say no. Normally teachers were supposed to ask students about why they wanted to hold this title, what were their qualifications, could they be objective, etc. The awful interrogating questions that drive me nuts. Here, Brian had not only not asked me the annoying questions but offered to sign my sheet without me having to ask. He then added, "I'm not going to waste my time with the questions. I know your heart is always in the right place."
He walked away with his candy bar, and I walked away with my signature, yet my brain was mulling over so much more.
"I know your heart is always in the right place," his words echoed in my mind.
Was that true? Is my heart always in the right place? Of course not. But apparently it was in the right place often enough to convince them. Ever since then, his words still echo in my mind.
How many people know your heart? Are you being open enough and honest enough with people for them to know your inner-thoughts? Are you allowing them to see your true self? At the same time, is your heart true? Do you strive to make sure it's always in the right place (isn't that something we can all work on)?
Happy birthday, Brian!
"Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgressions, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:7-8
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Morning comes all too soon. Do I really need a shower? Um... YES! Time for class. I still didn't finish the book we were supposed to have finished two days ago. It's going to be a loooong day. Where's that Mountain Dew? I knew I didn't finish it on purpose! Oooo... flat... my favorite.
Have a great day!
(written around midnight one day this past week when I should have been sleeping...)
Friday, December 5, 2008
Sitting right there in the middle of small group I had a God moment. God used that confusion moment (or confusion moments) to teach me about searching for answers.
How often do we search and search unable to find what we're looking for? We're confused, frustrated, and uncertain. We're crying out to him not understanding anything and then all of the sudden... BOOM! There is your answer! And low and behold, it had been right in front of you the whole time. If we'd have asked Stephanie to read her translation earlier, the passage would have made sense sooner but nooooo... we had to do our own thing and struggle with it on our own until she piped up and offered.
Pay attention to what's right in front of your face! Ask others for help in clarification. You don't have to do it on your own.
Monday, December 1, 2008
July 2, 2000, was when our basement flooded.
March 6, 2007, was when my cat died.
You know, the random things.
December 1 has two memories attached to it. I think it'll be a day I tell my grandkids about. I seem to tell someone every year. My mom has taken to rolling her eyes and groaning, "I know, on December 1st..." Sometimes I wonder if I'll have a child born on December 1st or something.
On December 1, 1998, we were allowed to take our jackets off at recess. That means it was approximately 60 degrees
On December 1, 2006, we had a snow day. Enough snow fell that they couldn't plow the roads fast enough to make them safe for school buses.
What a contrast.
Have happy day! I wonder what God has in store!
Friday, November 28, 2008
When this tradition started, they were serious about getting deer. The year was a let down if they didn't get at least two nice-sized deer. I remember years when they were worried about exceeding the limit of two deer per man. Well, it's now been several years since they've gotten a deer.
In recent years, they'd get up at the crack of dawn, go hunting for a short bit, and spend the rest of the day sitting in a friend's kitchen solving the world's problems over some beer. The fellowship of the four of them turned into a bigger deal than the hunting itself. The hunting was a pretence to go sit in a tree in Herb and Arnie's yard, watch the sunrise, then sit in Herb's kitchen for the next several hours.
Well, it's now been a couple of years since Herb and Arnie were both living at home. My first day of college Arnie passed away. This past New Years' Eve, Herb passed away as well. Even though my dad and grandpa can still hunt on the land the used to be Herb and Arnie's, it was just too hard.
Dad and Grandpa went out and started the morning in a normal fashion, but it came to a quick end. Instead of continuing the hunt or returning home, they took a six pack of beer and went to the cemetery. This isn't the first time they've broken a few laws to have some beer with the boys.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
"Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results."
I turned the roll on it's end and it actually stayed on the shelf.
Now I'm officially insane. And according to the plethora of ADHD tests online, I am also ADHD. Life is good... I guess...
"Just because I can have ten conversations in two minutes does NOT mean I have ADHD!"
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Afterwards, a small group of maybe 30 people gathered waiting for the artist to come out and sign posters, CDs, etc. We waited for at least 45 minutes, unsure if he would appear or not. Finally his manager pulled him out by his ear. Just kidding... a little.
He didn't have much time to give us because he was awaiting an important phone call, but he still took the time out of his busy schedule to sign our papers and take pictures. A group of younger students were in front of me and they were a little over zealous to meet this poor man. Each person had like 10 things for them to sign. They needed pictures of him signing everything as well as with them, group shots, everything. Perhaps they were oblivious to the fact that there were others waiting and he was on a tight schedule. Either way, I was starting to get annoyed.
The tip of the iceberg was when two girls (who'd already had their shirts, CDs, bracelets, etc. sign and taken several photos) asked him to sign their Bibles. He flipped it open and tried to find a certain verse, but his search ended in failure and he just signed the inside cover. That just doesn't sit right with me.
Perhaps it would have been better had he circled a verse and initialed it or something. Surely there has to be a compassionate way to say, "I refuse to sign your Bibles." Either way, now his signature is in the front cover of their Bibles.
The sad thing is now those girls probably won't use their Bibles. That'll be their Famous Artist Bible. Too good to be used because what if it falls apart? What if the signature is smudged? What if it's lost?
Thoughts? Would you sign a Bible?
The dinner party was an exclusive party and only certain people had been invited. I'd heard about it via word of mouth (from the hosts and others), so I didn't realize it was such a secret thing. Maybe it wasn't, but either way, I'd just done what I've sworn I'd never do.
I hate it when people are talking about parties in front of others who haven't been invited. Let is be a birthday party, dinner party, Guitar Hero party, anything. Whether it be they were intentionally uninvited or it just so happened that they hadn't heard about it. Either way, I strive to not mention events in front of others if I can help it.
Then I screamed down the hall to Keith about a party. There was only one person within my viewing area that hadn't been invited (and not because she wasn't invited but because it's a Spanish party and she doesn't speak Spanish), but I don't know how many heard me. I probably wouldn't have thought anything about it except that Keith had the decency to call me out on what I did. He compassionately let me know that it was in invitation-only event, so I should probably keep it quiet.
Even though it made me feel awful, I'm glad he let me know that what I did was wrong. We all need friends like that. To let us know we're wrong, even when it hurts. Even if we didn't mean to be wrong. Even if we don't like to hear that we're wrong.
"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction." 2 Timothy 4:2
God has this tendency to make us a bit uncomfortable.
This year I became a small group leader for a wonderful group of girls. God literally shoved me out of my comfort zone and forced me to put down the pen and use my voice instead. Now, I have no problem talking. I love it, actually. But there are so many reasons I didn't want to talk in front of people: what if I tell them something that's not of God, what if I talk too fast (quite possible since apparently I'm "Telemundo in English"), what if I sound stupid, what if they don't understand what I'm trying to say. What if I make a fool of myself?
Well, I have made a fool of myself. (Although I'm not the one that thought she was really smart when she realized you had to be a Jew to be Jewish). :-D It happens. Just goes to show I'm human. But guess, what: God still loves me no matter how silly I sound (or look).
Like I've told my small group girls: I'd much rather write about God and how amazing He is because that's easy. He doesn't want me to only thank because it's easy. He's thrown my way out of my comfort zone, but He hasn't left me there.
Do we see a trend? How many times now have a blogged about God pushing me out of my comfort zone but not leaving me there? You'd think I'd have learned by now...
"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 that is in Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 8:38-39
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Even with all our work and needs to be done, we still need to give time to God. He is more important than anything we're studying in class. Twenty years from now, Snowden's secret in Catch-22 isn't going to matter. God will still matter. Let's give this time to Him!
With that said, I have about four blogs that are in the process of being written (both mentally composed and on here as drafts). Hopefully those completely blogs will come to fruition with in the next couple of days.
God loves you! He thinks you're beautiful!
"Behold, you are beautiful, My love, you are beautiful." Song of Solomon 4:1a
Thursday, October 30, 2008
"Who was that?" I asked Amber.
"I don't know. All I know is that he just walked by, his hand disappeared into your hair, and he walked away," she responded laughing. (She actually though his finger went into my ear... which would have been really gross...)
I eventually recognized him as our campus minister who's leading my mission trip this spring break.
I contemplated to myself how to retaliate for such an absurd act. Later this afternoon I got an email from him about the trip. He has saved us a significant amount of money, and we're all super stoked about it. Couldn't he have told me that at lunch instead of poking me in the head?
In about two hours, he went from being on my "hit list" to my "favorite people for the day" list. Does God do that? Does He fluctuate between your, "I don't have enough time right now" list and your "I LOVE YOU!" list? Shouldn't He always been on the top of your list?
"There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call--one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:4-6
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The youngest son spend quite a while leaping off of the couch attempting to retrieve a lady bug from the ceiling. Eventually he was successful and ran to show his parents in the kitchen.
"Look, Dad! He's not dead anymore!" The son stretched out his finger allowing his father to take a closer look at the ladybug stretching his wings.
"I don't know; I think he's dead," the father teased.
"No! Dad! Look! He's not dead! He's moving!"
"I don't think he's really moving; I think it's your imagination."
"NO! DAD! LOOK!!" The son insisted.
Eventually the lady bug flew up right into the father's face and onto the window.
"You were right, son!" the father admitted as they both watched the ladybug explore his new freedom.
Like the son worked persistently to retrieve the bug, we have to persevere in life. Even once we're successful, there will be skeptics telling us we're wrong. However, in the end, our efforts will not be futile because God is faithful.
This most certainly is true. :-)
"More than that we rejoice in our sufferings because we know sufferings produce endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us down to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I left the caf this morning and walked across campus to my first class. I eat breakfast with the same two girls just about every morning and one of them heads to the same building I do afterwards. I let her slide under my umbrella and we walked to class. We went up the steps onto the porch and were just about to enter the building when she goes, "Oh, crap! I just remember I have class in the library today!" We spent 5 minute walking to this one building trying not to get wet, only to realize she needed to go one building over from where we just were and had to get wet to do so. I felt bad.
Was all that effort to say dry futile?
Two classes later, I left a building and a friend ducked under my umbrella. We were halfway across the parking lot before he was like, "Where are you going?" I told him I was headed to the caf and it turned out to be a different building than I was, but he needed to pass the caf anyway. We walked along together for awhile (can I please say it's hard to hold a small umbrella over two people when you both have huge backpacks!) and I needed to enter the building. He jumped in front of me and opened the door for me. (He then decided he would stop in this building on his way to class). It made me ponder general roles in today's society (wow, that sounds like an essay topic...). Thoughts?
Have a fantastic day and do a random act of kindness!
"But just as He who called you is Holy, so be Holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be Holy because I am Holy.'" - 1 Peter 1:15-16
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Last night, I plugged in my printer, told it to print my outline for small group, and walked across the room. Since my printer is up on a "shelf", it usually throws it's completed jobs onto the heap on my desk. Well, yesterday the heap was too huge. I heard the paper fall and knew it was done but the fall sounded huge. I turned around and what did I find: the printer threw my paper all the way across the room. Not just onto my desk. Not onto my chair. Not even onto the floor. No, all the way across the room (just goes to show the size of my room...)
As I bent over to pick it up, I realized the printer had achieved Satan's primary goal. Satan isn't happy to just to pull us away from God a little bit and throw us on the desk. No, he wants to throw us all the way across the room away from God so we couldn't reach Jesus if we tried.
Are you going to let Satan pull you away or are you going to stand firm?
"Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we have become conscious of sin." -Romans 3:20
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I remember when I was really little, I was sorting socks for my mom and commented that my dad had a lot of black socks. She told me he he pretty much only wears black sock. I remembering thinking that was nuts and could not understand how anyone could only wear one color of socks.
Well, friends, the tables turned a few years after that and since I was like eight, I've only worn white socks. I will admit, I spend more time musing about socks than any sane person should (I have home socks and college socks and they're all white, it's that bad), but it wasn't until last night when I was talking to Megan that I realized something important regarding white socks.
As the hymn says, "Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow." Jesus washed away our sins just like He washed the feet of the disciples in John 13. I was a member of the black foot tribe, but He washed my feet clean and now they're white.
And that is why I wear white socks. In case you were ever wondering.
"Jesus answered, 'A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.'" John 13:10
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
"Hello? Uh huh. Uh huh. Oh, you want Laura? Ok, here she is."
Even though I am a firm believer that Laura is a four year old somedays, her reaction would probably be, "What the crap?"
Although it would go perfectly both with what the speaker was discussing tonight and an "argument" Laura and I were having.
Laura and I were trying to decide who loves the other more. She said she loves me more and wins the argument because she's older (this is my friend Laura). I came back with the fact that I love her more because I am younger and come with the love of a child. I won even if I did have to call myself a child. Sometimes being a child is a good thing, sometimes it's not. Natalie would love to discuss how breast milk is perfect for babies but not so good for adults...
The speaker tonight was discussing Matthew 16:13-16 and how we need to go deeper with our relationship with Christ than just what we learned in VBS and Sunday School. VeggieTales only teach one so much. If you're still thinking the Babylonians prevented their wall from being knocked down by throwing slurpies, you need to think again. Great story for kids, not so good for college students. Dig deeper, respond to God. It's not just find "A", "B", and "C" plug them in and get "X" (Thank goodness because I hate math!), it's a lot harder than that and we need to search and answer who Jesus is for ourselves.
Good news: God doesn't need a banana "phone" to talk to you. That way it doesn't get all mushy in your hair! He's calling, go pick up!
"'But what about you?' He asked. 'Who do you say I am?" Matthew 16:15 (emphasis mine).
Monday, September 29, 2008
Kaitlyn's my sisters' friend that I haven't seen in four years. Were she in any other condition, today would go on as normal. Instead, it's causing me to pause and reflect and find a good Kaitlyn story. I could tell countless stories about her big sister. Several about her family in general, but Kaitlyn? There's the memory of crouching in the closet listening to her pace the hallway calling my name during an intense game of "Hide and Seek". Or the time we were in the basement for the tornado warning with their grandma.
A different story comes to mind and causes me to feel guilty. I usually wasn't the girl who made fun of other kids, but one afternoon I made fun of one of Kaitlyn's friends for being a little different. Kait's sister totally called me out on it.
"It's not her fault she has a speech impairment."
Ouch. I was caught up in the physical attributes of this girl and missed who was hiding behind her crimped blond hair. Kaitlyn was able to look beyond that and see a good friend. Let's learn from Kait's love and Katie's mistake! :-)
(This was supposed to be posted yesterday... oops)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
When I get sick, it attacks my speaking voice first followed by my singing voice. Even though I've sounded like crap all day, I was able to sing to God tonight and actually keep the song in the right key! It was an amazing miracle!
By the end of night, my singing voice was going quickly and I started squoaking. Well, go figure the next song was "Praise You In This Storm" by Casting Crowns. My sign choir did this song last year, so when my voice disappeared, I praised God with my hands.
Lord, God, I give You all that I have. I will praise You will all that I have. Whether You take those abilities away from me or not, I will praise You!
"I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever." Psalm 86:12
Saturday, September 20, 2008
One Friday evening, Laura and I were sitting at the coffee shop and decided we needed to go to Wal-mart. Instead of going to our “normal Wal-mart” we need a change of scenery and headed to the other one relatively equidistant from here as the normal one. Except this one is over state lines. One the return trip, we crossed back into the proper state and less than a mile down the road was a group of police officers stopping every single car both entering and leaving the state. The car three in front of us was asked to pull over. The following two cars were allowed to continue on. We were asked to wait while a car at the cross road was checked. The police officer was kind enough to turn his flashlight off so he didn’t blind us as he stood next to our car preventing us from continuing our journey home.
When he returned, he requested Laura’s drivers’ license. I asked if he wanted mine, too, and he said only if Laura was driving with a permit. Of course, because she looks like she’s under 16. And I look like I’m several years old than she is. Clearly the police officer’s did not have any age-guessing perspicacity but that’s ok. He took Laura’s license and commented about where she was from: neither the state we had just left nor the state we had just entered, nor any other state bordering the two aforementioned states. He guessed she was here for education and she quickly gave the name of our school, less than ten minutes up the road. He handed her license back to her and said we were free to go.
The entire way back to campus, Laura and I brain stormed possibilities for the random security check point. We came up with everything from boredom to being worried about an alien attack (just kidding… but only a little). Our best guess was that they were preventing someone from entering or leaving the state. However, that did not explain why they only wanted Laura’s license and not mine. I admitted I had hoped they wanted mine so they could be completely confused as to why we represented two different states half-way across the country, neither of which were the two we were driving between. She admitted she wanted to be pulled over so she could inquire about the situation. We then imagined the two of us being asked to walk a straight line. Both completely sober: she’d fall over and I’d stumble and bumble my way through. As the flair says, “We’re not clumsy, we’re uniquely coordinated.”
Unique is one word for the night. I’d seen similar security check points in Mexico but never had to stop at one because I was a tourist on a big flashy bus. We did have to stop in the taxi when the taxi driver had to stop and prove he was really a certified taxi driver. That was reassuring to know since he spoke minimal English and I was not in the mood to translate and conjugate all in an attempt to communicate.
The only other time Laura had ever had to stop like that is when she drove over the border into Canada. She said today—all two minutes of it—was more of a shebang than that was.
We later learned there had been a strange car accident in the same spot a little while earlier (actually, we saw the repercussions of it on our way to Wal-mart). Luckily no one was injured (to my knowledge), but it is suspected that our police stop was a DUI check point. Good thing we decided against buying the beer at Wal-mart! (Just kidding… about contemplating to buy it, that is). Neither Laura nor I had ever gone through anything like that before, but Amber said she gets stopped for that all the time. Personally, I think it was a bit early for a DUI check point and those police officers should wait until bar time but that’s just me.
No spiritual connection at the moment. However, I do present to you a new vocabulary word:
Pusillanimous is an adjective meaning lacking courage, unmanly, fearful, and spineless.
Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter is a pusillanimous character.
Check out the other stories in “Adventures of Katie and Laura” series:
Part One: Getting lost in a one stop-light town
Part Two: playing Marco Polo at the nursing home
Part Three: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
"Be still, and know that I am God." - Psalm 46:10a
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The Last of the Mohicans, Introduction by Cariss Karatin has just been released. As a reporter for USA Today, you need to do a book review to help the general American public decide whether or not this is a book worth buying.
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fennimore Cooper is an American classic that should be owned by every household. That is not to say everyone should actually read this novel. Rather it would be the perfect book to sit upon a bookshelf and collect dust along with the Tales of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain. After all, periodically brushing dust off of these fine novels is considerably better than attempting to actually read and understand them.
In all actuality, if the reader enjoys Indian tales and is willing to chop through an overgrown forest of verbosity in order to understand the story, then this is the perfect book. If the reader enjoys old literature with a classic love scene where the beautiful Cora must choose between death or the bed of her enemy, then this book is worth pursuing. However, if the reader prefers a straight-forward, easy to read story, then this is one of which to steer clear. Perhaps anything would be a better choice.
Should the reader be brave enough to open the cover of this book only to close it again once the book has been completed: more power to him. Actually, should the reader ever successfully finish the novel with the slightest understand of its plot, the reader has gained bragging rights over a majority of American society.
Over all, The Last of the Mohicans: The Cariss Karatin Edition earns two starts out of ten for its compelling and intriguing introduction, only to be followed by a let-down of a novel.
I either need to go to bed, find some hobbies, go hang out with friends, or (d) all of the above.
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children." Ephesians 5:1
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
"In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you." John 14:2
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Come to Me, you who are weak.
Let My strenght be yours tonight.
Come and rest, let My love be your bed
Let My heart be yours tonight.
Peace, be still, peace be still.
Please be still and know that I am God.
And know that I am God.
Come empty cup, let Me fill you up.
I'll descent on you like a dove tonight.
Lift your head, let your eyes fall into Mine.
Let your fear subside tonight.
Peace be still, peace be still.
Please be still and know that I am God.
And know that I am God.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah...
American Sign Language does not match up word for word with English. Sometimes we change the words in order to get across the general concept. This is what we basically say:
Come to Me, all My tired children.
I offer My protection and rest to you tonight.
Come to be, relax, be comforted, let Me satisfy you.
Let My heart and yours be one tonight.
Everything you're going through wipes into peace.
Your busy-ness wipes into peace.
Please, son, have peace and know that I am God.
Know that I am God.
Don't give up. I'll give you My plan.
Jesus sacrificed, and ask for peace to fall down.
Look towards Heaven, pray, be in My presence, and worship.
Let your past frustrations and being overwhelmed wash away and be forgotten.
Everything you're going through wipes into peace.
Your busy-ness wipes into peace.
Please, daughter, have peace and know that I am God.
Know that I am God.
Please, children, have pleace and know that I am God.
Know that I am God.
Please, know in your heart that I am God.
Look towards heaven, worship Me, from now-on.
(or something like that... it's a lot cooler in ASL...)
Go listen to the Rush of Fools song. Eventually we'll have a choir version of the song on facebook. :-)
Peace, be still.
Three or so years ago, I went on a retreat with my church. Picked at random, Courtney was my roommate. She was also one of two other people I knew on the trip. That night, we were too excited about the trip to go to bed. I really wanted a picture of her to commemorate our fun times, but she didn't so much like that idea. Instead, she wrapped herself up in her covers and refused to show her face (I have photos of that). So I pushed her off the bed. Then, when we finally settled down and were ready for bed we learned a very small detail about our room that created some very big problems. You see, the architect put light switches right next to each bed. Our conversations went something like this,
"Good night for real now."
Two minutes of silence.
Five minute conversation.
"Good night for real now again. I promise this time!"
"Suuure you do. Good night."
Two minutes of silence.
Eventually, we did finally go to sleep. The following morning we were quite rudely awakened by the singing of "Cock-a-doodle Doo" outside our door with the banging of pots and pans. It just so happened our telephone wake-up call came at the same time. Since Courtney kept me up all night, I allowed her to find a way to answer them both simultaneously. :-)
Even though she has a passion for light switches and a strong desire to wake me awake at night, Courtney and I have some great memories and great black mail stories to tell at a later date. :-) Happy birthday!
My favorite Amanda quote:
"I think this place is closed," Brittany as we pulled into a parking lot to ask for directions.
"If it's closed, then how do you account for all of the cars chillaxin' in the parking lot?" Amanda asked with a very serious tone.
"Um... it's a car dealership," we all responded laughing.
"[Jesus] said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.'" Mark 16:15-16
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
It's what I long for.
it's what I need.
It's what You want from me.
It's what I long for.
it's what I need.
It's what You want from me.
It's what I long for.
it's what I need.
It's what You want from me.
How often do we add our own verses?
It's what I long for.
It's what I need.
It's what You want from me.
It's what I long for.
It's what I need.
It's what You want from me.
NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let's sing the bridge instead
So take my heart and form it
Take my mind, transform it.
Take my will, conform it.
To Yours, to Yours, oh, Lord
We're only a few weeks into the semester and I'm already burnt out. As I look at what I'm doing as for extra circulars: they're all for Him. Most of them are Campus Ministries organizations. I'm quickly learning I can't participate in everything I want to participate in or I will probably die. I'd do better to listen faithfully to Him. THEN hear and obey the answers He gives, not the answers I want!
Oh, if only it were that easy!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ: He is a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come." 1 Corinthians 5:17
(Add that to the board in the youth room... that was from memory! :-))
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Personally, everytime I see a map, typically a weather map, I search for my home state. Usually it's not on there, but I still automatically look for it everytime. They say you've really moved when you stop watching the weather for your old home... I guess I haven't really moved yet.
Life is like a road map. Some people open it up and find where they want to go. Some people open it up and look at where they've been. Some people open it up and search for their current location. Some people can't even get the thing unfolded!
What do you look for when someone hands you the road map of life? The places you've been? Where you are currently? Where you want to go? Have you even managed to get the map open yet?
OK... Since I started typing the last paragraph God has told me something else to tell you... are you ready? It's a bit out there...
Sometime between when last semester ended and this semester started, Sam's Choice changed the bottle for their bottled water. How do I know that? I buy Sam's Choice while at school and didn't buy it all summer long... I think this new bottle is more economically friendly because it uses less plastic or something. I don't really know.
Anyway. This new bottle uses less plastic and therefore is thinner. When it's full, the bottle is firm. As the water disappears (and your body becomes more hydrated... yay water!) the bottle becomes less firm. It moves around very easily and doesn't keep it's solid structure. Once the water is gone, it's like you could pop it with your bare hands.
When we fill ourselves with Christ (or allow Him to fill us with Him, if you prefer), there's not much Satan can do to break us. But, little by little, if we allow him (Satan) to work at us and work at us and spend less time with Christ: we become more flimsy. If we try to exist, completely without Christ, like the empty bottle, it doesn't take much for the enemy to destory us.
Does that make sense?
Road maps and water bottles. I promise, the one from class is even more creative. :-)
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord. 'Plans to prosper and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11
Sunday, August 31, 2008
There are some people you recognize but don't know their names, some people you know by name only, some people you know a little bit about, and some people whose heart and soul you know. My friend Annie is one of those people that knows me really well. She and I were in the same small group freshman year, and our whole group bonded really well. We had no problem sharing our inner-most thoughts, fears, concerns, prayer requests... We were always really open with each other, and even know, we know there are eight other girls on campus (ok, seven, the brilliant one graduated already) who are willing to be shoulders on which to cry, etc.
I asked my friend Annie to give me a ride to church today, and she willingly agreed. After church we stopped at Wal-mart and on the way home we raced to make it back to campus before the caf closed (we made it with three minutes, thank you very much... and this time Annie didn't run any stop signs and only sped up to barely make it through one yellow light. haha).
At Wal-mart, Annie asked me a question, thinking it was about my major. I was able to answer her question but it stirred a conversation about my major.
In the car on the way back to campus, we were comparing the new church we visited with our home churches. I made some comment about one of my pastors and she looked at me (yes, while driving...) and said, "Wait, I thought your dad was a pastor." Nope. The closest we will ever get to seeing my dad in pastoral garb is... my dad in a toga. :-)
I then said something about a large ministry I was involved in, and she was shocked I didn't know everyone. I told her that was pretty much impossible in a church our size and she thought I was playing a practical joke on her.
She said, "I really thought your dad was the pastor of a church of about 200 or 300 people." Definitely not. Anyone who knows my dad and my church, is probably pretty much rolling on the floor laughing. :-) I told my dad about this and he felt sorry for the 200-300 people he was leading and promsied to buy them all a beer. I love my dad and I love my church but he's definitely not the pastor and it's definitely not only 200-300 people.
How many people do you think you know only to learn you really don't know them as well as you thought you did? How many people have misconceptions about who you are? Are you judging without really knowing? Have you been misinformed about the situation? Do you need discernment? At the same time, are you living under a facade and not allowing people to see your true self?
I should add, I think no less of Annie after this interaction. I see where her misconceptions came from and it's an understandable mistake. I love that she was strong enough to admit she was wrong. :-) I think she and I need to hang out more. Although, now I am kind of curious what other thoughts people have about me (they all already think "Ax" is my last name... and I had a professor ask if I was nondenominational...)
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Basically our amazing Queen Emily (the director) translates songs into American Sign Language, teaches them to us, and we perform them. We've done songs like "God is God" by Steven Curtis Chapman, "Praise You In The Storm" by Casting Crowns, and "My Savior, My God" by Aaron Shust. Right now we're working on "Give Me Your Eyes" by Brandon Heath.
There is a nice musical interlude in the middle of the song during which we keep signing. We sign about getting rid of our view of the world and changing our eyes so we see what God sees. Well, every time we signed this part, I seemed to be a beat ahead of the group. I don't know how it happened, but it did. It always does. I finally figured out I wasn't signing "God" big enough. My God wasn't big enough.
Which led me to thinking: how often to we think our God is too small? How often do we not give Him the benefit of the doubt. Instead of knowing He can do something but has chosen not to, we prefer to think He can't do something.
The ASL sign for God is a flat hand that starts at your waist, travels up above your head, and comes back down in front of your face. Apparently it looks like a reverse candy cane (sometimes I don't quite understand Queen Emily's explanations...). When I signed it, I wasn't signing it high enough in the air, hence becoming a beat ahead of the group. My God wasn't high enough.
Do we lower God to human standards? Do we personify God? He's so much higher and more almighty than we can ever imagine. Why are we making Him low as if we should fit Him into a box. He's the omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God. His ways are not our ways. That's probably a good thing to remember.
"God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding." Job 37:5
Monday, August 25, 2008
This encounter made me think of another famous Grandpa quote. Last summer, my mom called my grandparents, but for some reason the phone wasn't connecting. My family is very prone to phone issues. We've had phone issues ever since my parents went on their honeymoon and a friend had their phone cancelled as a prank... haha
Anyway, this conversation between my grandpa and my mom was your typical:
"Hello? HELLO?! Is anyone there? HELLO?!" Meanwhile, my mom is on the other end screaming that she can hear him, she's really there... but it's not going through. Finally he just got so fed up, he said, "PICK UP THE PHONE, YOU BIG DUMMY!" He then hung up on her.
Obviously he had no idea it was my mom calling and thought she was a telemarketer. Just goes to show you never know the full story. You never know what kind of day someone else has had. Before getting snippy or rude with them, remember maybe today is the day where everything in their life has gone wrong. Even though you weren't being very loud while video chatting in the middle of the afternoon, the neighbors were having a rough day and took it out on you. You never really know what's going on unless you ask (and even then you only know as much as they are willing to tell).
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. " John 13: 34
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Like many other college students, I live in a closet with a roommate. We have three outlets. One in the middle of the room that we share. It's fully with our clocks, bed lamps, fridge, microwave, etc. One on her side of the room that also has my stereo plugged in. At least for today. I'm thinking about moving it to my side of the room because it's kind of inconvenient. Even more inconvenient is the fact that my outlet up and fell off the wall. Just boom. Done. Dangling by two cords.
Fire hazard much? Yeah. We put in a work order for it twenty-four hours ago, and nothing has been done about it. I'm really quite frustrated because I have no tv, dvd player, printer, light, etc. Those things I can really live with out. But when my computer battery dies... or my cell phone? (Both of which died today, imagine that). I kind of feel like I'm living in ancient times over here without any power.
Did you fall off God's wall? Are you dangling by a few random strings? Guess what, He wants you to be fully restored. He's reaching out to you, calling for you, can you hear Him? Will you answer Him? Get plugged back in! (And be faster about it than maintenance is about our fire hazard).
After all, life without Christ is a fire hazard. Sure-fire way to the fire pits of hell. :-) (Ok, it's getting late. I really shouldn't blog late at night... instead I should sleep).
There's a church down the road that had written on their marquee: Eternal Fire Insurance. Available Free Inside". Or something like that.
Have a great night. Thanks for reading my ramblings... More deep thoughts coming soon... (Jesus is also coming soon... we'll see what happens first!)
"They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:42
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
At 5 o'clock, I headed towards the caf out of habit. I stopped in Laura and Becky's room (aka my other room). Laura wasn't there, and Becky was headed to Chic-fil-a. I was going to join her, but then realized I had to be back for CMU stuff, so I didn't go. I wandered to the caf figuring I'd meet up with someone or find some lonely person eating alone. I walk in, and see no one that fits that description. I got a plate of pasta and sat down by myself. I seriously knew NO ONE in the caf and no one was sitting by themselves... I really tried to be outgoing and it failed miserably!
I ate my pasta by myself and got a cookie. Really sitting alone wasn't that bad because I am an introvert and recharge by being by myself, and I was by the door so I got to greet people as they came in. I ate my cookie by myself and got a salad. I was a good majority of the way through my salad when my friend Xan came in and chewed me out for eating by myself. I told her I was almost done and it wasn't a big deal. Then my friend Annie came in a yelled at me for eating by myself. I told her I wasn't eating by myself, I was watching Monk, the news, and ESPN simultaneously. Then my friend Lauren came over and we chatting for awhile.
I had literally two bites left of my salad and Annie came back and forced me to her table. So I finished my salad, put my dishes up, and sat down with Annie and her friends. Annie was telling some story about how a church leader came up to her at the club fair today and invited her to his church. He asked her if she'd ever considered going to church which is really funny because Annie has Bible verses all over her dorm room and we met in small group last year. She finished the story and realized she hadn't prayed. She asked each of us individually if we'd already prayed and we all said yes. I told her I'd pray again with her. We teased around about who would pray and were just being silly. There was minimal praying getting done and my friend Tiffany walked up. I half-jokingly said, "Tiffany, will you pray with us?" She said sure and prayed for us. Then she walked away and Annie was like, "I really don't even know who that was."
I love Christ, sometimes the people He throws at me are just so amazing! The fact that some random person can just jump up and pray at dinner cracks me up!
As luck would have it, I ended the day in the exact same fashion. As I lay there in bed praying midnight would come and visitation hours would end for their male friends with big booming voices would be forced to return home, the air conditioner turned on. That was all God needed to do to get my attention.
You see, my friend Kaitlyn (who I blogged about a few weeks ago) is so sensitive that she can't tolerate ANY noise. The noise of the air conditioner is too loud.
Thank You, God, that I can tolerate a certain level of noise.
Thank You God for the ability to hear.
Even if I'm unintentionally eves dropping.
Take a minute and thank God for those things you often overlook or become annoyed with. The gurgling fridge. The ability to smell, even if it is the garbage. The ability to see, even if you see more than you want to. The ability to touch, too bad you got your fingers stuck together with glue. The ability to talk, even when those crude four-letter words slip out.
"Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Eventually we got to "How Great is Our God" and the leader put it in a key right out of my range. Some songs I sing high, some songs I sing low. I prefer to sing high, but I can do both but I can't do the middle. Don't ask me to explain it any better than that because I can't. I know I have the approximate range of the treble clef, but somehow I seem to have this gray-area problem. I don't know but it's annoying.
Anyway, so I was really struggling through "How Great is Our God" and I felt so bad for the people sitting around me because of course I didn't think to sing quietly. Quiet? What's that? I'm singing for God, and He doesn't care.
CLICK! I light bulb in my brain went off as if God said,
"Katie, this isn't about you. It's about Me. I don't care how, where, or when you sing I just care what you're singing about. Why are you trying to please everyone else? Remember why you're singing."
We moved on to the next song and this one I could actually sing. I was sitting on the cement hugging my knees with my eyes closed. All of the sudden I heard this noise next to me and realized everyone in front of me and on my right was standing. Of course, as an instant reaction, I stood up as well. As soon as I hit full height I regreted it. God didn't need a real tree branch to whack me upside the head. There He was again,
"Why does it matter what they're doing? You said you didn't want to be influenced by others. Why are you standing? You're standing because they're standing. I thought you didn't care what others thought of you? Don't be shaped by this world; be your own person. Katie, I created you to be different. You aren't going to blend in with those around you no matter how hard you try. Stop trying and let Me do My work."
"I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills His purpose for me. " Psalm 57:2
Friday, August 15, 2008
"Some football player died," Jonathan said nonchalantly.
"Sad day," I said glancing at the tv before turning back to my phone.
"Did you just hear that conversation?" Nathaniel got really excited.
"What?" I inquired, thinking Brittany had just said something I would need to quote (we had about ten one-liners that hour meal...)
"Jonathan just informed us some football player died, you glanced up said, 'Sad day' and kept right on texting. It's like, 'He's dead. Sad. Text,'" he mocked me. I told him I was fully aware of the conversation and knew exactly what I said.
How often are we unaware of what we say? How often are we not paying any attention to those around us. Sure, we may have heard what they said, but do we hear what they don't say?
Someone is your life is screaming for attention. Are you listening with your heart? Try it tomorrow. Strive to hear the unsaid conversation.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. " Psalm 139:23
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I'm glad we're not on God's assembly line where we're just shuffled haphazardly from one spot to another. Believe it or not, God doesn't just have a people assembly line when He creates us either. Each one of us is hand-crafted by God. We're not generic. God doesn't throw a handful of confidence, a little compassion, and, oops, forgot the charisma into our personalities. He creates each of us individually with specific amounts of everything to be exactly the way He wants us. Thus making each and every one of us different but none more loved than another.
In the words of the David Crowder*Band, "You make everything glorious, and I am Yours. What does that make me?"
My friends Laura and Natalie are on my heart and mind today because I saw Natalie and can't wait to see Laura on Monday! Laura is filled with compassion but sometimes lacks confidence in front of large groups of people. Natalie has no problem speaking in front of people but admits she often fails in the compassion department. (That's why the two of them made such a great team last year! I'm going to miss my small group! :-)) They're two very different people but both of them were hand-crafted by God. If I wanted to know how God can speak through just about anything, I'd ask Natalie. If I wanted to know how to help my hurting friend, Laura's my girl! Two different people, both Godly women. Both stupendous!
You are also hand crafted by God. How cool is that?
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
But it's weird. This year I'm living in a new building and all that goes along with it. New hall. New room. New roommate. New hallmates. New RA. New ResTech (that reminds me: need to call her... haha). New air conditioner that keeps blowing on me. New just about everything.
I've only seen a handful of my friends because most people aren't back yet. Then there are the friends who aren't coming back. Some graduated. Some transferred. They're still not going to be here, and it's weird. I'm glad there are still people coming because right now I feel like there's a huge hole that needs to be filled! (Get your rear ends here, ladies!)
My parents have been stalling in leaving. I mistakenly allowed them to wander campus unchaperoned while I was in a training session. Luckily, most of the faculty are on a retreat right now so they aren't here to be interrogated. However, my parents went to talk to some people with a real purpose and they ran into the director of my sign choir. They talked to her for about ten minutes before she connected them with me. They said it was like a light bulb went on and she said,
"Oh, Katie! She's one of my girls!" I'm not one of the girls in her choir. I'm one of HER girls. :-) I've heard her refer to some other members in such a fashion, but never me. After all, there are thirty of us, can she really know us all? I figured I can be quiet, I probably slipped through the cracks. Nope, she knows us all. We're her girls. It's a pretty fun feeling.
Imagine what God says about us.
"Oh, Katie! She's one of my girls! I'm especially fond of her. I love her so much." It makes me smile just to think about it. :-)
One of His girls,
"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12
This past Sunday was my last Sunday home before leaving for college again. Go figure, we sang "How Great is Our God." We've sung it periodically throughout the summer, and I haven't thought much about it. It seems to be the song we sing before I leave. It's a good reminder of God's greatness!
"How Great is our God.
Sing with me,
How great is our God.
And all will see,
How great, how great is our God."
Like the talking to a little kid,
"How big is Kayla?"
"SO BIG!" as her arms fly into the air.
"How big is God?"
Saturday, August 9, 2008
"People that irritate me..."
People irritate me.
I realized today that it's not the shopping that I hate, it's the people I run into while I'm shopping. The parents who walk off as their screaming young child struggles to step onto the elevator. The woman who demands a refund because the price she paid was ridiculous. I really don't mean to sound racist, but I feel like nobody speaks English anymore, either.
Then there's my name. Katie. You have no idea how popular it is until it's your name. Everywhere I go I get yelled at because some little kid--who just happens to share my name--is disobeying her parents. I can't go out in public without getting yelled at! It drives me nuts.
OK, so I'm not allowed to blog about shopping anymore because they are never possitive blogs... This was today's rant. I promise, I'll try and make more deep connections, less ranting. I have a sixteen hour drive coming up, that should be plenty of time for God to say something inspiring. :-)
"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8(RSV)
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Last night, I was listening to my iTunes on Party Shuffle, not really paying any attention. I usually play my iPod because the internet makes noises (the virtual door slam was just a few seconds too early there, oops.) and it drives me nuts. For some reason, this perticular day I had iTunes on instead, but I didn't think much of it until I went to shut down my computer.
Then I heard it. Again. The opening chords to "Angels" by Amy Grant. This time it really was "Angels" by Amy Grant!
So I woke up yesterday morning hoping "Angels" by Amy Grant would be the first song I heard in the morning. Instead, it was the last song I heard at night. Ironic? I think not.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
We threw the frisbee around for quite awhile before the chaperone called the last throw. Where does the frisbee happen to go on its last throw of the night? Go figure it's flying at me. I was shocked and amazed when it actually landed in my hands instead of bouncing off my nose. I caught the last pass of the night!
Those memories flooded back to me today when our frisbee game was almost over. The game resumed after an injury time out, and my team was about two steps from the end zone (Like that sports lingo, Melissa?). There were three or four of my teammates in the end zone, but I was the closest to the person with the frisbee. Go figure I just far enough away where I could drop it. The frisbee left his hands, glided across the air, and landed gently in my arms. I caught the last toss! I scored the last field goal! It was pretty exciting for uniquely coordinated me.
My youth leader was on the other team, and he'd been teasing me most of the night about my amazing athletic abilities. He came up to me after I caught it. No "nice catch." No "Good game." (He may be uber competitive, but his team whooped the butts of my team). Nope. What do I get? A "Wouldn't it have been funny if you dropped it?" Thanks! I smacked him with the frisbee. :-)
No deep theological connection today. Just connecting frisbee memories with both of my readers. :-)
"He said to me: 'It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.'" Revelation 21:6
Friday, August 1, 2008
There it was. Right there inside my inbox.
Subject: God Believes in You
From: Max Lucado
Of course, I read the devotion that went along with it, but really the subject line hit to the heart a whole lot better. I'm keeping it in my inbox. Not because I haven't read it (in fact, I first read same devotion in a book recently) but because sometimes you need that subtle reminder that God believes in you.
In the words of Point of Grace, "When I think I'm all alone and the phone starts to ring: It's just the voice I needed to hear on the other end. You do it again, You do it again. You speak to me just like a friend. You always seem to show up right on time. You do it again, I guess You know when my heart needs to hear Your voice... I could be driving in my car, I turn the radio on. Trying to figure out my thoughts, then I hear the perfect song. I can open up Your Word and not be sure where to turn, but I start to read and it's like You know just what I need."
Hey, God believes in you, too!
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8
Thursday, July 31, 2008
My best friend Mary came over last night. I got home from work and had a splitting headache (remember, the sick part?) and wasn't thrilled about having to play hostess. I kind of vegged around the house and did nothing until about 8:30pm when my phone rang. Without looking at it or talking to her all day, I knew it was Mary, and I knew it was because of the construction. I answered the phone,
"The bridge is out. Sorry, I forgot to tell you."
When she got here, my headache kind of disappeared, and we played games all night long. Cribbage, Life, Scattergories, Stratego, Rack-O, etc. All classic Mary and Katie games. Surprisingly, this time we actually played by the rules and didn't make up our own rules. We've played Cribbage where if you don't want to throw into the crib you don't have to. If you don't like the letter rolled in Scattergories, you can roll again (ok, we did do that a few times, but, come on, how many pizza toppings, diseases, and Biblical women start with "K"?) Although, we still did some of our quirky traditions like naming our kids in Life as they came along...
I've known Mary since I was two. It's fun to hang out with someone like that who knows you soooooo well. We've teased that we aren't allowed to speak at each others' weddings because too many embarrassing stories will come out. Like the flair on facebook says, "We'd better stay friends forever because if we become enemies, we'll have too much blackmail." Even though Mary and I no longer have any common friends, experiences, or hobbies, we can still hold a multi-hour conversation. It's not one-sided. It's not "Oh, you weren't there for that." It's not "Do you know this person?". It's not awkward when the conversation finishes. A few minutes of silence is fine before the next conversation starts itself.
That's how things should be with Jesus. He shouldn't be awkward to talk to. He's always been there. He knows all of the same people. It should be an easy conversation. When the conversation ends, the silence of just being together should be nice before the next conversation begins.
When Mary got hungry while she was here, she didn't ask if I had any food. She'd help herself to the pantry and find food I didn't even know we had. If she wanted something to drink, she found a glass and filled it with ice. Let Jesus raid your pantry. Allow Him to fill your cup! "Have a Mary heart in a Martha world". Sorry, that was bad. See Luke 10. (Did that link really work? That'd make me uber happy if it did!)
After spending twenty-four hours with Mary, I would have expected myself to be sleep deprived. Shocking we were in bed, lights out, talking put on hold by 1 am. It's appalling because we normally try to stay up all night! Even though I got enough sleep, I have no voice. Too much talking (again, remember the sick part?). People here need to learn ASL because I hate not being able to communicate effectively. :-)
"[Martha] had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. " Luke 10:39
My family and I were having a conversation the other day and it was quite humorous. My sister and I realized that I'm going to have little girl kids and she's going to have little boy kids. Why? Because she loves to run around like a crazed maniac and wrestle, etc. While I love to sit and cuddle and have tea parties, etc. After dinner the other day, Christina looked at me and said,
"Katie, if you have little girls, they can have my American Girl doll clothes." I thanked her and reminded her the clothes were mostly mine to begin with. ;-)
Laura then added with a laugh, "Katie, if you have little boys and I have little girls, you can have my little girls and I'll have your little boys."
"And Grandma will take them all to the zoo, right?" I added.
It was around this point that my dad returned from outer spaced and wondered what the heck we were talking about and quickly commented he wanted no more kids.
Last night between our two games of Life, I had no boy kids but three girl kids. Foreshadowing???
Sorry, no deep Biblical connection today. Tomorrow perhaps.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
In early July, my mom started a new diet that involves controlling what she's eating, how much she's eating, and when she's eating it. It's caused some major changes in our house. For example, it's 7:30pm, and we haven't eaten dinner yet because she can't eat for another 30 minutes. We're also had some pretty interesting food around here lately. The muffins aren't too bad once you get over the burnt-brown coloring, the crunchiness from carrot chunks, and fresh pineapple mush in them. We affectionately call her bread "Wood Chip Bread" because it seriously looks like mulch. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited to return to my college-diet of daily pizza.
My dad is taking another stand and attempting to save the environment. That's not to say he won't blow four cans of Raid in five minutes. Rather he's avoiding watering the grass and turning on the air conditioning. As a result, it's almost August and we haven't turned our air conditioner on all summer. It's ok because all of us (except Dad... how ironic is that?) like the breeze from having the windows open. I leave for school in two weeks and today, for the first day all summer, we turned on our sprinklers.
Mom's going organic.
Dad's going green.
We're going to die!
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1
I had to go to the DMV today to renew my driver's license, and I wasn't really excited about it. In fact, I was pretty much dreading it. So, there I went first thing this morning, and perched myself in a chair where I figured I would sit for the next four hours. I tried studying for my final, I played Yatzee, and I people-watched. I saw some pretty fun folk.
A woman in scrubs with a young deaf girl probably four-ish.
A girl not much older than I am with two young boys. I'm pretty sure she's the nanny but it was still interesting.
A woman with an ity bity baby sleeping on her lap. Her older daughter was taking a road test.
A sixteen year old who failed his roadtest.
It was pretty fun to watch the people, but all of the sudden I looked up and my number is on the screen. It's been so intent on watching the people that I missed my number being called. Luckily I made it up to the lady before missing my opportunity completely, but I was embarressed.
Sometimes are we so busy watching other people that we miss God calling our names? That's bad. Sometimes we're killing time doing nothing, He's calling us, and we're ignoring Him. That's bad.
"No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our sins." Isaiah 64:7
Monday, July 28, 2008
I wrote a blog during work today but wasn't pleased with it, so I saved it and decided to finish it later. It was talking about how all morning on Sunday I had different songs from Casting Crowns' Altar and the Door CD rotating through my head. I finally got them to go away and they sang "Everyman" in church. Annoying? Yes.
I then came home today and learned one of our family friends is in the hospital with a life threatening illness. She's younger than my youngest sister, and she's been really sick for several months. They finally have a diagnosis, but treatment will require multiple months stay in an out-of-state hospital. Prayers are much appreciated! I was texting my friend (her older sister) not really listening to my iPod as it played on shuffle in the background. Our conversation ended and I realized the song that was playing is on that I consider "her song." Of the 2,869 songs on my iPod, playing today was one of the two songs she gave me when they moved away. Perfectly planned? Of course.
I got an email update about her sister a few hours later in which she shared this story that went right along with this theme. She was driving yesterday with Casting Crowns Lifesong CD playing. She said it was a bright and sunny day when "Praise You In This Storm" came on. By the time the song hit to the chorus, rain drops were falling. When the song finished, so did the rain. Coincidence? Not with God.
In the words of Mandisa, "Who knows how He'll get a hold you. Get our attention to prove He is enough. He'll do and He'll use whatever He wants to, to tell us: 'I love you.'"
"Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His Holy Name...Who forgives all your sings and heals all your diseases." Psalm 103:1,3
Yesterday I drove the car my sister typically drives. (No, it's not her car). There were huge key scratches running from the driver's window to the keyhole. The car's a mess inside and out (two weeks ago I spent an hour plus cleaning this car... what the crap?). I get to the point where I actually turn the car on and the gas needle barely moves. Less than 1/4 of a tank of gas. What? That car shouldn't have less than 3/4 of a tank of gas! THEN Stellar Kart comes BLASTING through stereo. That 1999 stereo can't stand Stellar Kart! Ok, enough of my rant.
I pop out the CD and threw in The Altar and the Door by Casting Crowns. Good CD, but by the time I got to church I'd heard the whole CD. For the next three hours the songs rotated through my head. I finally stopped singing them and what song is part of the sermon? "Everyman" by Casting Crowns. Thanks, buddy!
Back to work!