Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow Church

In my entire life, I have only missed church twice due to weather. Both of them were because it would not have been safe for us to drive to church, never because church was cancelled. My church has a motto, "Church does not have a snowday. If the service is schedule to happen, it will come to fruition. It's up to you to decide whether it is safe for you to come to church or not. We will be here." We've even had pastors spend the night at church to make sure the service would happen.

My church at school doesn't follow this same mantra. Yesterday I received an email,

In the least surprising news of the day, church services have been cancelled for tomorrow. Be safe and please let me know if you have some special need that the deacons of the church might be able to help with (especially if someone finds themselves without power, heat, etc.).
Huh? Most of my friends received similar messages from their churches. At dinner, we decided we needed to take matters into our own hands and made an executive decision to have our own church service. When there's no church, come to to Snow Church. (please read that sentence aloud)

What started out as a bizarre idea for our apartment and the guys' apartment to get together to share life turned into an epic worship service where over sixty people braved the ice-covered sidewalks and slid in to worship. There were no microphones, no sound system, no sermon... the only real plan was to be done in an hour.

An hour and a half later, we all dismissed and slid across campus to lunch. That unplanned, pure worship was phenomenal. An acoustic guitar started us off with a few worship songs and we ended the day with a piano-led hymn. In the middle, we opened up the floor for anyone led to share: sing, talk about God, pray, read scripture, share a testimony, etc. I was prepared to share about the falling snow but the opportunity never presented itself and I don't regret that. Instead, Snow Church embraced the latest push on campus to be transparent.

I love being in a community where we can be vulnerable and share our pasts and be open about challenges of sexual abuse, pornography additions, suicidal intentions, drug use, abortion... The list goes on. I love being in a community where we can put aside these histories and view each other with compassion and love. I love being in a community that even when we represent a plethora of different denominations we can be united as one body. I love being in a community where even snow and ice cannot keep us from gathering together and worshipping our God.

Coming off of Celebration Week, we would not let satan have our Sunday morning and sixty-some brothers and sisters in Christ united as one and praised our Abba Father.

I think it's safe to say Snow Church was epic!
<>< Katie

"For where two or three come together in My Name, there am I with them." -Matthew 18:20

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Suite Life

The first and last time I bribe my suitemates to dinner by volunteering to drive in the snow...
Katie: Okay, girls, I'm going downstairs to get my laundry. When I come back we're going to dinner. Five minutes.
Elizabeth: We need ten minutes.
Katie: Be fast! I'm hungry, and I have a headache.
Nikki: I think Katie's just crabby because she hasn't blogged today.
Katie: I HAVE blogged today which you'd know if you ever read my blog.
Elizabeth: I think Katie should go blog again.
Katie: Seven minutes! You just wasted three sassin' me.

Twenty minutes later
Katie: Girls. Car. Now. Hungry. Headache. Remember?
Nikki: Go scrape the snow off; we'll wait here. Pull the car up right here on the sidewalk for us.
Katie: You want it on the second floor, too?

A few minutes later
Elizabeth: I'm wet!
Amy: KATIE!! Nikki hit me with a snowball.
Katie: Nikki, get in the car!
Amy: You need to drive me to the hospital.
Katie: I'm not driving you to the hospital.
Amy: But it hurt me!
Katie: Then you can borrow my bike, but this car is headed to the caf. Nikki Raye, get in the car!
Elizabeth: I'm cold, Roommate, close the door.
Nikki: I've hit two of my eight roommates with snowballs! No, I mean, two of my seven roommates. I'm going to get them all!
Amy: You're going to get yourself, too? There are only seven of us total.
Katie: Hit me with a snowball, and you're walking back from dinner.

At dinner
Amy: How's your headache?
Katie: Annoying enough that I've decided to name it: Amy Nikki Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: Why am I last?
Katie: Because you took my car keys. Give them back or we're all walking, and I have no problem walking in snow.
Elizabeth: [giggling] I don't have them!
Katie: I don't know which one of you has them at the present moment, but I know all three of you are equally guilty.

After dinner
Elizabeth: ["whispering" from the passenger seat to the back seat] Hey, Nikki, did you ever talk to Tony about that thing?
Nikki: Huh?
Elizabeth: You know! Amy, I think you were there, too.
Katie: Why are you trying to talk in code if Nikki and Amy were both there? Clearly you're trying to hide your secret from me. I'm a bit more perceptive than you've given me credit for being, thank you very much.
Nikki: Katie, let's just say things happen in our apartment that you wouldn't approve of.
Katie: Well, as long as they don't happen in, what bedroom am I? C! As long as they don't happen in C.
Amy: Well, there were two men in there...
[all three burst out laughing]
Katie: Stop breathing; you're fogging up the windshield.
Nikki: Oh, Kax. Hey! So I finally registared on the Wii today and it asked me if I was your friend. I sat there for a minute and thought before I decided to click yes.
Katie: You are not my friend right now.
Nikki: I'm sorry I hit you with that snowball.
Katie: No you're not but I forgive you.
Nikki: You're right: I'm not. [evil Nikki cackel]

Just before bed when I emerged from my bedroom for the first time in a few hours
Adam: Katie, were you doing your thing in there that whole time?
I gave him a confused look. Where I'm from, we always say "Mom, Puke did his thing" to mean "the cat threw up," and no, I did not vomit.
Allyson: Blogging.
Katie: Oh, no. I was writing.
Adam gave me a face that said, "There's a difference?" Silly science major.

This was last night. We walked tonight. Who knew it could take twenty minutes to walk less than a mile...
<>< Katie

Concierge Adam

Today is Adam's birthday, and even though he doesn't read this blog, I feel compelled to write him a birthday blog. Yesterday my suitemates were taking turnings asking if they were in my blog. Without thinking, I could answer yes. Then it was Adam's turn, and I hesitated. Most of my funny memories with Adam are eye glances and smiles that cannot be explained in words. It's like we understood something no one else did but cannot voice our thoughts. How do you blog to explain why I just shot him a dirty look for closing the door?

Last September, we were just getting used to living in a new building with co-ed laundry facilities. Nikki had left her laundry in the drying a bit too long and returned to find them folded. In a panic, she walked into the breezeway,

"A BOY FOLDED MY CLOTHES!!" She shouted, wearing her hamper on her head and waving her hands for emphasis. This fiasco created quite a spectacle.

"How do you know it was a boy?" Everyone asked.

"Because! The underwear is folded on top. A girl would NEVER leave another girl's underwear on top. Girls ALWAYS know to tuck the underwear inside the top shirt. It's just common courtesy."

This became a major discussion for the next several hours.

"Oh, those were your clothes I folded," Adam fessed up when he heard Nikki's rampage about a boy folding her clothes.

"ADAM TOUCHED MY PANTIES!" She shouted loud enough for the entire building to hear. Of course, everyone loved to tease about Adam and Nikki's panties.

A few weeks later, Adam left clothes unfolded in the dryer and waited for the owner to return to reclaim the clothes and vacate the dryer.

"I got fussed at last time I tried to fold someone's clothes," he explained.

One afternoon, Allyson, Adam, and I were playing Rack-O on the floor in the living room. Elizabeth was in the kitchen chopping an apple with her back to us.

"How was the end of your book?" Adam asked.

"I don't know. Well, you see, this person that was dead isn't dead anymore. And now there was this prophesy about Percy, and we don't know if that's good or bad..." She explained for literally five straight minutes with an elaborate plot summary.

"Oh?" Adam asked "What do you think about that?"

"I don't really know. I like that the person who was dead isn't dead anymore, I think, but Percy..." she continued for five more minutes before finally turning around to face us.

Much to her surprise, Adam, Allyson, and I were all trying really hard to stifle our laughter. We were expecting a simple, "It turned out well" or "I want to read the next book in the series" or "I didn't like the ending" and instead got a detailed plot summary followed by Elizabeth's thoughts on the novel.

Yes, Adam egged her on, but she thought he was genuinely interested in the novel. While we all found this hilarious, she was "offended" and stormed to her bedroom for a few hours. :-) We joke about it now, though. Periodically we'll ask for a Percy update and she just go "Humph!"

I love it when Adam and Allyson go on "dates" but can't get off campus because it often involves them cleaning our living room. Luckily, our fussing hasn't stopped him from doing our dishes, emptying our garbage, and tidying up our living room.

Happy birthday, Concierge Adam! Thanks for your willingness to serve, your witty humor, and how comfortable you make yourself in our apartment.
<>< Katie

Friday, January 29, 2010

Falling Snow

Earlier this week, we sang a song by Chris Tomlin entitled, "You came like a winter snow."

It talks about how Jesus could have come to this earth like a hurricane, like a flood, like a burning bush... But He didn't. Instead He came to earth like a peaceful, calm winter snow.

When I first heard this song, I didn't completely agree with it. I don't think winter snow is calm and peaceful. Honestly, you say "falling snow" I think blizzard. I think wind howling through the fireplace. I think thunder snow and icy madness.

Today when I walked out of the prayer room officially bringing my Celebration Week to an end there was snow falling gently to the ground. Calm and peaceful.

Perhaps I was wrong. Winter snow can be peaceful and calm it's just not normally the case. God can be presented as a baby but that isn't normally the case. Yet it happened. He came to earth like today's falling snow.

<>< Katie

Crash Boom Bash

"I'll give you a ride back to your apartment," Jessica offered as we walked out of practice tonight. Then she added only half-jokingly, "If you don't mind riding with me."

I could have walked back to my apartment, in fact I seriously considered it. However, the dangers of riding with Jess seemed less than the dangers of walking across campus alone in the dark.

As I got in her new car, I thought back to that warm October day. I remember getting in her car that morning and thinking, If we crash, these color guard flags are going to cause some serious internal damage. We did and they didn't.

This past October, Jessica and I were headed to an academic event when we blew a tire by running off the road to avoid getting hit head-on by a line of Dodge Rams. God sent us some of our classmates to change the tire. We were going to get to our destination and get a new tire since we were in the middle of nowhere and were headed towards a bigger city.

In this brouhaha our GPS got messed up. It was telling us to get on the freeway, get off at the next exit, get back on the freeway going the other direction, get off at the next exit and on and on and on. Since we were driving on a spare tire, we didn't think it was wise to be on the freeway at all but neither of us knew an alternative route. Well, it wasn't long before we needed more than just a new tire.

We pulled over in a vacant parking lot to adjust the GPS. Destination reset, directions make sense, knew where we're going, put the GPS down, and continued our journey. Not a mile later we t-boned a Dodge Ram.

Afterwards I didn't talk about the accident much because, well, there's no nice way to say, "Jess and I totaled her car yesterday." Besides, the conversation was always more or less the same.

"Oh my gosh, are you ok?"

I'm fine. Yes, I'm a bit sore, we totaled a car for heaven sake, but I've been more sore from tennis practice. No ambulance ride. No ER. No nothing. No, that answer isn't going to change if you call back in two hours.

"Were you scared?"

First off, what kind of question is that? Who crashes a car and isn't scared? Me apparently. I watched the truck stop at the stop sign, cross oncoming traffic, cross the left lane, appear directly in front of our car. The only few seconds I cannot physically see were us making contact, the airbag deploying, and the trunk spinning. It would have been logical for me to close my eyes, after all there was an airbag colliding with my face (not to mention the truck colliding with our car). Even though I can't see those few seconds, I can hear the crunching of mental. With confidence I could tell EMS that my head was not responsible for the cracked windshield on the passenger side.

"Does the other driver have insurance?"

Can you drive a car without insurance? He admitted it was his fault and apologized. He said he never saw us but did stop at the stop sign. I know this to be true. I watched him do it.

Although it's not something I'm happy we experienced, we've both learned a lot from this day.

First off, we are thankful for flat tires. Since we were driving with the spare tire, we were driving slowly, ten to fifteen miles under the speed limit. It's not hard to notice that if we had been driving the speed limit, the hood of our car could have easily gotten stuck under the truck. That's would have made for an entirely different outcome.

Secondly, it is a miracle that we had no injuries. The car took the brunt of the impact. Besides the dashboard, the only thing inside that was broken was Jess's GPS. (Which was already not in proper working order). Both of us were offered medical care. Jess opted for on-site evaluation, and I turned it down. For days I wondered if this was something I was going to regret, but I don't because I was not injured. In all honesty, I'm kind of disappointed we totaled a car and the only bruise on my body was from where I'd gotten body-slammed into the counter the week before. We are incredibly thankful for God's arms of protection surrounding us.

God provided us with compassionate people all the way through the day. From the other students who helped us change the tire to the woman who stopped to make sure we had a phone to call 911 to the bikers who waited with us until emergency personnel arrived to the emergency personnel themselves. Even the other driver was nice. There's no way I can ever thank everyone that helped us. I thought to thank some on the scene but some I didn't and that is one thing I regret from that day.

The other thing I regret is not being more of a backseat driver. I had been watching the truck the whole time. Jessica said she'd never heard me, "Jess, are you watching that truck? He doesn't see us. Jess! Truck!" I'd already been a backseat driver that day (as always), so I was trying not to be obnoxious. I was not screaming. Except for the millisecond as we were about to make contact when I doubted myself, I knew the whole time that he was not going to make it across the road before we both tried to be in the same place at the same time. I've resolved myself to forever be a backseat driver because I'd rather be annoying than be in a crushed car.

There are a zillion reasons why this accident didn't make sense:

- Periodically throughout our journey, Jess had been texting or talking on her cell phone. Texting/talking and driving has always bothered me. The irony is that she was not messing with her phone when we crashed.

- We should have never been on that road at all in our journey. If the GPS hadn't been messed up we would not have gotten off the freeway. If we would not have done the safe thing and pulled over in the parking lot, we would not have had to travel back down the road to get back to the freeway.

- If those first trucks and their ATVs had not made Jessica so nervous, we would not have swerved so far off the road that we hit the curb and popped her tire, so we could have been to our destination on time.

- If...

If, ands, and buts aside, we had an accident. That's exactly what this is: an accident. Except not to God. God doesn't have accidents; He may be the only one to know why it happened. But it did happen, and God is good. All the time.

Just because God is good doesn't mean our day was good. I mean, we got up on a Saturday to leave campus at 8am on what should have been a 55 minute drive only to return to campus at noon (the time I normally wake up on Saturdays) having never made it to our destination.

No, we did not get credit for the academic event we tried to attend. When I told the professor we tried to go and got into a car accident she looked me in the eye and essentially said, "Bummer." That irked me. If someone tells you they totaled a car trying to go to your event: do NOT under any circumstances say, "Bummer!" Even an, "I'm sorry" would have been nice... and necessary.

I've really struggled with this blog. Writing about the accident isn't hard; telling people about it is. However, I've really felt God's give me a story to tell, and I've been disobedient by keeping it to myself. I wrote this post a week ago and have revised/ rewritten it several times since then. Except I haven't posted it. I put it in my "next time I don't have something to say" collection of blogs. Face it, I always have something to say. I couldn't figure out why I was being so selfish and keeping this story silent.

Last night, I figured it out. Worshipping three rows in front of me was Jessica, my driver. Whether we like it or not, she and I will always have a bond because we crashed a car together.

Sitting in front of her was a different girl, also named Jessica. This other Jessica was in a car accident when she was in high school. A horrific accident where people died. She almost did, too. I'd known this for years but never really knew her story. Seeing her today helped me realize why I was being shy about sharing my story. The night before we crashed, Jessica told me about her car accident. She should not have lived! We talked about how God has healed her, physically and emotionally.

It clicked tonight seeing her for the first time in months. She was in a car accident and almost died, and God has used her story. I was in a car accident and walked away without a scratch; God can and will use my story, too.

I will not be silent any more!


PS. If you read this all the way through you deserve a hug because it's the Microsoft Word equivalent of three pages (without the photo). I'm sorry. Honestly, I tried to keep the details minimal. If I included everything I wanted to this post could have easily been fifteen pages. Ask me if you want more information because I'll freely give it. :-) Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I don't know if it is like this on all college campuses, but here you cannot spend time on campus without having at least one story about our housekeeping staff. The housekeepers LOVE to talk. Perhaps that's an understatement. They will start up conversation with anyone and everyone. Last year, a trip to the bathroom that should have taken eight steps took forty-five minutes because Miss Jessie caught me and I was without a good exit excuse.

Now that I no longer live in the dorms, I am no longer forced to interact with them as frequently as I once did. However, I still see them around campus. Just yesterday, Miss Anna had no problem interpreting my prayer to tell me about how she working double shift in order to attend the funeral of former housekeeper the next day. I figure God wouldn't mind if I spent five minutes talking to her while she changed the garbage bag in the prayer room.

Except that they're long winded, Miss Jessie and Miss Patty never have bothered me because I can understand them. It's the older women like Miss Rose and Miss Joy that make me nervous because they have the thickest accents I have ever heard. With Miss Rose, my motto has always been smile and nod politely as she tells me all of the gossip for the week.

With Miss Joy, smile and nod doesn't work. In the words of one of my professors, "Miss Joy was a housekeeper for almost a million years, so when she retired they invited her to audit any classes she wants. As I'm sure you've noticed, that means she sleeps through them all."

When she'd speak up in class, all eight of us (including the professor) would listen intently trying to hack through her deep drawl and old age to formulate some comprehensible statement and interpret it for the rest of the class. I could understand maybe three words every fifteen.

Since then, she's gotten older and her health has deteriorated taking some of her verbal skills with it. This means if I could understand one word before I can't understand anything now. That's a problem because like all of our other housekeepers, Miss Joy loves to talk. I knew I was in trouble when I spotted her sitting outside the cafeteria after dinner tonight.

"Good evening, Miss Joy," I said. There was no way around it; I had to acknowledge her presence.

"Hello. Slkjadansdmasd," she responded.

"Excuse me?"

"I like your blue coat."

"Thank you," I said. It's purple, I thought to myself. Everything I own is purple; Wonder Jacket is no exception. Poor Wonder Jacket is often confused to be blue and now she's feeling blue because of it (I just decided that if my coat has a name it should have feelings, too). Instead of correcting Miss Joy, I let it go.

"Yes, I think blue is your color."

"Thank you very much," I said trying to appear flattered as I walked away insulted.

BLUE?! My color? No you didn't! Purple is my color! A quick glance around my room confirms this. From my desk I see the following purple items: two backpacks, two Nalgenes, two blankets, four pens, my watch, post-it notes, tennis shoes, slippers, a purse, a hammock... Today even my sweater and socks are purple! My world is purple.

Blue is not my color.

See the blue? There's not much of it: blue books, blue pen (professors prefer blue to purple; why is that?), blue jump drive, blue tissue box (only because Wal-mart was out of purple), blue jeans, blue hand... No, not mine. Well, yes mine. It's made from paper and hanging on the wall above my desk. It's my reminder to see the blue.

In 2008, Peder Eide released a CD entitled See the Blue. The whole idea is that blue is everywhere around us but if we're not looking for it we don't see it. Likewise, God is everywhere around us but if we're not looking for Him we don't see Him.

Even though she insulted my jacket and me, Miss Joy reminded me to see the blue, to open my eyes and see God. Thank you! Maybe I will hold the door for you again.

View the Blue,
<>< Katie

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I really love that this is Celebration Week for one reason and one reason only: Nikki is busy being Captain of Logistics, so I can say all sorts of facetious things about her, and she won't see them for a few days. :-)

This morning I read StorytellERdoc write, "I thought I might be getting pranked by one of my smart-ass friends. Why do I let those types into my life?" Instantly, Nikki was laughing as she sat in the forefront of my mind.

Not a half-hour earlier I ate breakfast with her where she reiterated her enjoyment in this new-found game of licking things to gross me out. Did you know: supposedly if someone licks you on the back of the arm just above the elbow you don't feel it. Part of me hopes that's true, so I don't have to feel it when Nikki tries. The other part of me prays it's not because then she'll be sneak-attacking me around every corner. I'll never be able to wear short-sleeved shirts in her presence again!

"Sorry, I'm late," she said sitting down at breakfast with me. My bagel (with extra cream cheese) was half eaten already. "My hair decided it wanted to be uncooperative today."

"I'm sorry," I said with a smile, I understand all too well what it's like to be the victim of uncooperative hair.

"It's ok. Who really cares if my hair has this need to stick straight up on my head? Not me. There are much worse things that can go wrong than uncooperative hair."

I like that positive attitude. I need that positive attitude. This is why I let the smart alec types in my life: sometimes they make good points and the rest of the time they just make me laugh and squirm. With Nikki, even though one of her main goals in life is to vex me as she picks at my "particular personality," I still love her and desperately need her friendship and joy in my life.

<>< Katie

Ok, so I lied about why I love Celebration Week. I really love it because it gives our campus an opportunity to unite as "one voice, one spirit, one heart to praise Him. We are the body of Christ." Annoying Nikki without her knowledge is just an added bonus and a delightful change to the norm!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Good Vibrations

Sitting in worship tonight I heard a phone vibrate. A quick arm on my bag told me it was my phone disturbing everyone. I pulled it out, glanced at the caller-id, and smiled to myself.



Let's be honest, we all wish we could ignore our parents from time to time. I had the chance to do so tonight! What a rare, unique, wonderful opportunity.

All too often, God calls and we hit IGNORE.

Katie, God has never called me on my cell phone.

He hasn't called me on my phone either, but sometimes He uses people to call on the phone. Sometimes He grabs your attention through (insert anything here; the more random the better). We're too fast to hit IGNORE instead of answering His call. It's not rare, unique, or wonderful. In fact, it's frequent, awful, and needs to stop.

Take a break from what you're doing and answer the call.

<>< Katie

PS: Five points to anyone who knows the artist who wrote the song namesake of this post. Ten points if you can tell me what song my phone would have played had it not been on silent when Dad called... Same artist, different song. Points are equally important to those in "Whose Line is it Anyway."

PPS: I'm pretty sure updated my blog three times today makes me the blog-war winner, right?

To Poetry, An Ode

It's no big secret that I don't like poetry. This semester I have to take a class that will involve some poetry. A lot of poetry. Much more poetry than I would like in my entire life is shoved into this one class. Little known fact: I changed my concentration because I didn't want to take a poetry writing class. Yes, any poetry is too much for me. I've been assured that someday poetry will just "click" in your brain and you'll want to read every poem you can find. That's the same thing I was told in high school about chemistry, and I'm still waiting. My goal this semester is to gain an appreciation for poetry. I have no need to call myself a poet; however, I should appreciate poetry.

One of the reasons I dislike poetry is because it doesn't follow traditional grammar rules. In fact, it strives to break them! The nerve! In high school, I was in our poetry club (gasp!), and we had to read poems aloud. That's why I always got after Nick for never punctuating his poems because reading those poems required big breaths. Now, I can talk for a long time without pausing to breathe but reading is a different story. Please put periods and commas in your poems!

Now, a poem.
Written earlier this semester to give myself a starting point for how bad my poetry skills are. Please don't laugh. :-)

"To Poetry, an Ode"

Oh, how I loathe thee.
Why must your torment me incessantly?
Are your frustrations never ending?
Why, oh, why?
For I am a writer,
not a poet.

Give me full-lines,
give me verbose,
give me dialogue.

Hold your couplets,
no need for rhyme scheme,
vanish your pentameter.
It pleases me not.

Free me from your confines,
for I am suffocating, yearning
to breathe again.

Oh, poetry, how I loathe the,
please let me be free!

<>< Katie

This Means War!

In case I need any more incentive to update my blog, my friend Kevin has challenged me to a blog war. I don't really understand why Mr. Kassakatis believes he's going to win this war. Mean, my name is a dangerous weapon while his is the inflammation of the kassaka. What on earth is a kassaka?

<>< Katie Ax-Your-Face

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rushed Prayer


For some unknown reason my friend Kevin thought it wise to tease me about updating my blog 3 to 4 times a day. First off, I have only updated three times in one day once (ok, maybe twice). Second, you should see some of the stuff I write and don't post! Third, blogging is the cool thing to do not having a blog and abandoning it for a month! Last yet most important, at least I didn't buy whitey tighties at Wal-mart while wearing a pink shirt...

Today's been a long day. I left my apartment 6 hours ago and haven't been back since. After this next meeting, I'll be able to run a back there for maybe an hour, leave for dinner, go back for another hour, and I have three hours of class tonight. It's been a busy day but this was perhaps my favorite fifteen minutes.

Prof, please let class out. I have to get lunch.

"Class dismissed."
Thank you! The race begins: you have nine minutes to get to the caf, find lunch, and get to the prayer room. Go!

Congratulations, you made it in the building. Six minutes. Good luck.
Please swipe cards faster, can't you tell I'm on a time limit here?

"Hi, Emily. Yes, I can do coffee tomorrow. Hi, Steven. I'm good, and you? Hola, Stephanie. Hey, Jeanie. What happened to your underwear, Quailman? Hi, Brittany. Hi, hi, hi..."
Gosh, darn it! Why do I have to be so friendly? Five minutes and an empty to-go box. Double time, Katie!

Pizza or rice? Pizza or rice? Who likes milk in a paper cup? Yuck! Do I want grape juice for breakfast and lunch? Well, milk is out, so grape juice it is. Please don't be out of grape juice. Do I want dessert? What do I want for dessert?

"Have a good day, Katie," David shouted across the caf. I looked up just long enough to wave to my normal lunch pals and give them a faint smile. Oh, how I wish I could stay to listen to Claire interpret David's argument to say married women are ugly. No time for that. Tight schedule.

Hey, Katie.
"What?" I asked aloud, my tone of voice really said, "In a rush, can't talk now." I was tripping up the back stairs of the chapel spilling grape juice up my straw and all over my face (don't ask me how that happened but it did).
I'll see be here when you get here.

Flick off the shoes, I'm entering Holy Ground. Whew! I can breathe again! I made it: with one minute to spare.

Why'd you rush? I'm still here. Remember what we talked about in Guatemala about being late?

My campus is currently taking part in a 24/7 prayer campaign where we have someone praying for the campus and the world twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. I accidentally signed up for a time during my lunch hour instead of picking a time I was free (like now in the two o'clock hour). I'd encourage you to take some time out of your schedule today, this week and pray for your world. Your campus, your town, your state, your country, your world. It doesn't have to be an hour. You don't have to shove a pizza in your mouth as you pray, "Thank You, God, that I have food." But take a minute to pray today.

With love,
<>< Katie

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sweet Suitemates

Reason number 5,602 why I love my suitemates

Yesterday in the car in the Sonic parking lot:
"Amy, do you want hand sanitizer?" Nikki asked.
"No, I'm good," Amy responded.
"Amy's going to get swine flu," I taunted. Swine flu doesn't scare me. Seven people living in close quarters, and one of them being sick scares me.
"Nikki," Amy said giving me a dirty look, "Can I have the hand sanitizer?"

Two minutes later:
"Does anyone care if I drive while eating my burger?" Elizabeth asked. "Katie?"
"As long as you're still safe," I told her. Gosh, they know me too well. :-)

Ten minutes later:
"Anyone want my last cheese stick?" Nikki asked the car. "They're just too big to shove in the last one. The last fry, no problem, but that last cheese stick is too heavy."
"I'll take it. I was watching you eat them before thinking about how good they looked, but I wasn't going to ask for on because you only get like six, so it's perfect that you offered the last one," I said smiling as I ate a mozzarella stick.
"How perfect. Oh, and you shouldn't have been afraid to ask me for the cheese stick because I love you more than I love cheese sticks. And you love cheese."
"Yeah, and I need to watch how much cheese I eat."
"We'll get you some fiber cereal, too."
Thanks, girls.

Reason Number 5,603
Today Allyson and I walked out of our bedrooms at the same time and smiled at each other across the kitchen. Her hand was in the air and she was kind of posed. Most girls probably would have snapped her hand down quickly and turned red, embarrassed she was just caught. Not Allyson. For the next ten minutes, she and I danced around the living room to "Desert Song" by Hillsong.

Reason Number 5,604
We cleaned together today. Sounds pretty basic but for an hour this afternoon our apartment was a cleaning machine! It needed to be done, and six of us were around to do it (Amy was exempt because she was home for the weekend). We've kind of envisioned Sunday afternoon cleaning as a suite but in the six months we've lived together it had yet to come to fruition. Today it finally did! Most of us just did the chores that we enjoy, but some of us did chores we don't like (yay, Eizabeth!). We listened to each other, got out of each others' way, and even organized the honkin' huge closet.
"Let me know if I'm in your way."
"No, you let ME know if I'm in YOUR way."

God's placed some great girls in this apartment, and I feel incredibly blessed.

<>< Katie
Reason number 5,605
My suitemates are currently licking all of the silverware and putting it back in the drawer just so I have to rewash everything before I eat here again.


In my living room right now is a huge poster my small group made last semester listing everything we fear. Some of them are irrational fears like mice, wet paper, spiders, germs (ok, that was mine), fire (that's mine, too)... However, some of them legitimate, colossal fears like dying young, unintentionally pushing people away from God, accidentally killing a patient, rejection, failure, car accidents,not having what we need, running out of time, etc.

Since we've made that poster, I've come to realize that a lot of these fears control my life. I am slowly learning to let them go. Our current Sunday School study entitled "Fearless: Imagine A Life Without Fear" is helping a lot.

Today we discussed the fear of running out. What? We listed things we can run out of: gas, time, energy, and even hope. I didn't think this really applied to me until I was standing in Wal-mart an hour later with a case of water in my arms. I still had a two-gallon of water in my apartment (not to mention tap water but I think it tastes gross and has black floating things it in) but there I was buying more water. Unintentionally, I always ration my water, especially when I'm driving. I always leave one last schluck in the bottle until I arrive wherever I'm going. What if I get really thirsty before I get to my destination? What if I start hacking up a lung and don't have any water?

The fear of running out.

Worry. That's the root of this fear. Being concerned about something without considering God's involvement. Honestly, I don't think God's going to let me choke to death on air before I arrive unless that's His plan for me. Maybe it is. I don't know, but I can't spend my time worrying about it.

Matt showed us a variety of other ways to deal with our fears:
1. Pray first- 1 Peter 5:7, first means before anything else
2. Easy now- Psalm 37:7, take it to Jesus and be specific
3. Act on it- treat it like mosquito that lands on your arm.
4. Compile a worry list- look at them again next week. How many were really as big of a deal as you though?
5. Evaluate- do you see any themes appearing?
6. Focus on today- Hebrews 4:16, one day at a time
7. Unleash a worry army- let others share in your concerns and pray with you
8. Let God be enough- Matthew 6:32-33, even if you run out of everything else, He is there
That spells out:

Be peaceful instead of worrying.
Go to God instead of being consumed by fear, even if you can't form a complete sentence. It happens. "God. Scared. Help!" will work.

"I will fear not evil." - Psalm 23:4b

Go in peace and serve the Lord,
<>< Katie

Friday, January 22, 2010

Freudian Slips

I am a writer. I love words. That doesn't mean words always love me. In fact, sometimes I think I speak really awkwardly. I don't always think before words come flying through my mouth, or I think too late to fix the bad statement. Just for laughs, this are my latest Freudian slips...

Last night, Adam called Allyson and I played secretary. I told him she was unavailable at the moment and I would have her call him when she became available again. Confused, Adam hung up. I made an effort to defend my moderately odd way of beating around the bush: I was not going to tell Adam that his girlfriend was in the shower. Face it, most people shower naked. While I like to think Adam isn't going to leap into the gutter, I wanted to protect Allyson from an awkward situation and took the humiliation on myself when I tried to explain. It came out poorly as I announced to my busy living room filled with a co-ed audience, "Some girls don't like to talk about showering with guys."

As we were leaving the bowling alley on Sunday, I told Josh I had to go because my group was mobilizing. Except it kind of got mixed up with "group is moving" and sounded shockingly southern as it came out, "My groupe is movilizing." Later, I was laughing to myself about how badly that conversation could have ended and I told my friends (all female) what had happened. Well, when I tried to say "groupe is movilizing" I messed it up worse and said, "My grope is boobilizing." Yeah, that was the worse case scenario I had envisioned in my head. It's going to be a long time before they let me live this one down.

Amy asked me to send a text message on her phone. Well, she uses T9 and I don't. I much prefer to type out every individual letter of the words and I can do it rather quickly. In fact, more quickly than I could have using T9. I tried to type, "We are coming" but it ended up, "Bacon accountant."

It's no wonder my roommates like to make fun of me: I'm an easy target. :-)

I'd love to hear about your Freudian slips. Or I suppose you can remind me of some of my other ones because, well, I have a lot of them. :-)

Learning to laugh at myself,

<>< Katie

PS: I composed this blog this morning and then had a great slip this afternoon. Nikki and I work for the same department and our latest project requires us to spend long hours in Dr. T's office. Today, as we were sitting there working, I looked at her and said, "Nikki, all of our Nikki-Katie time is in Dr. T's office. We're nerdy enough to do that." Well, she heard, "Nikki, all of our Nikki-Katie time is in Dr. T's office. We're dirty enough to do that."

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Last night I went to practice expecting to be learning a new song. Well, Queen Emily is drained right now, so she didn't have time to write a new song. Instead, the thirty of us girls spend the next hour drafting signs for "Let the Waters Rise" by Mikechair.

It was a song I hadn't heard before but I do enjoy it. These are the lyrics we were trying to convey:

Don’t know where to begin
It's like my world's caving in
And I try but I can't control my fear
Where do I go from here

Sometimes it's so hard to pray
When You feel so far away
but I am willing to go where You want me to
God I Trust You

There's a raging sea
Right in front of me
Wants to pull me in
Bring me to my knees

So let the waters rise
If You want them to
I will follow You
I will follow You

I will swim in the deep
Cuz you’ll be next to me
You’re in the eye of the storm and the calm of the sea
Your never out of reach

God You know where I’ve been
And You were there with me then
You were faithful before You’ll be faithful again
I’m holding Your hand

There's a raging sea
Right in front of me
Wants to pull me in
Bring me to my knees

God Your love is enough
You will pull me through
I’m holding onto You
God Your love is enough
I will follow You
I will follow You

The trick with ASL that it's not translated verbatim from English to sign. There is a lot of room for interpretation and with these songs we account for what God is saying to us through those lyrics at that very moment. This means that our gloss (ASL words) were all over the board. It seems each group focused in on a different stanza of the song, each group had a different line that really spoke to them. While I firmly believe that 30 girls is too many to be writing any one thing, it was very interesting to hear the different ideas.

As our hour drew to a close, the Queen asked for prayer. She asked if anyone else had prayer requests and I was shocked as hands flew up all over the room. It's the second week of the semester who on earth has that many prayer requests already? I hate to imply that some prayer requests are more important than others because God hears them all, but these weren't "I'm stressed" or "I want it to snow" prayer requests. These were heart-wrenching requests that will bring even the strongest of people to their knees. Requests like, "tuition was due last week and I haven't payed yet because my dad lost his job," "I was in the ER yesterday and might need heart surgery," "my uncle was in Haiti when the earthquake happened," "my mom's got a bad disease and there's nothing they can do," and "I can't tell you anything but just saying the word 'unspoken' makes me cry." Before we prayed, there were at least four different people crying and by the time we were done, I don't know if there was a dry eye in the mirror room.

For the last hour we'd spend laughing and pouring our hearts into a song. It's no wonder we all focused on different things because different things are plaguing our lives right now. Go read the lyrics again.

"Don’t know where to begin/It's like my world's caving in/And I try but I can't control my fear/Where do I go from here/Sometimes it's so hard to pray /When You feel so far away/ but I am willing to go where/ You want me to /God I Trust You /There's a raging sea Right in front of me /Wants to pull me in /Bring me to my knees /So let the waters rise /If You want them to/ I will follow You /I will swim in the deep /Cuz you’ll be next to me /You’re in the eye of the storm and the calm of the sea /Your never out of reach /God You know where I’ve been/ And You were there with me then /You were faithful before /You’ll be faithful again/ I’m holding Your hand."

Ladies and gentlemen, our family of faith is hurting. Family prayers for each other. Will you join us in prayer? Not just for these girls that are so important to me but for our family all around the world.
Let me know how I can prayer for you more specifically.

Con Amor,

<>< Katie

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Most of you who know me well understand that I don't sit still. I'm a fidgeter. When I'm writing, I fidget with the capslock button because I like to watch the light go on and off. Even in composing of these few sentences I've played with it three times. Every time I pause, I hit "CAPSLOCK, CAPSLOCK, CAPSLOCK" until I have the words to continue my thought. Sometimes I even play while I'm in the middle of a word, thinking about spelling. I choose capslock because it doesn't do anything, hitting "SHIFT, SHIFT, SHIFT" or "TAB, TAB, TAB" doesn't quite have the same effect. It's really easy to turn capslock off and I normally don't have to retype more than a few letters. (I just did it again, "CAPSLOCK, CAPSLOCK, CAPSLOCK.") My other habit is worse.

When I'm reading or editing, I like to click the mouse of my laptop repeatedly. This means I highlight the word, the sentences, and then the entire document. I was staring at words, oblivious to the fact that I was highlighting words, sentences, paragraphs, etc. I finally decided how I wanted to rephrase a sentence, so I hit, "Delete" and there it went. All 55 pages. Gone. Vanished. Blank.

That's what God does. He highlights our entire life and in one foul swoop deletes it all and replaces it with Himself. He wipes our slate clean.

Don't worry, I was able to undo my mistake with the wonderful "Control Z" but I don't understand why you would want to do that in real life. Let God delete your sin, your imperfections, your failures. Let Him replace them with His plan, His purpose, His perfection.

Does that make sense? (CAPS, CAPS, CAPS).

<>< Katie

PS: Allyson just appeared in my room and threw me a gold fish. I caught it! And ate it. Without washing my hands! She told me I had to put that in my blog.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Letter to You

Class prompt: Spend one hour right now responding to a letter you received from a friend who is struggling with the Christian faith. For the next hour, I cried, I prayed, I scribbled, and I erased. Ultimately, I didn't write this; God did. I am the pen; He is the writer. I tried to edit the grammar mistakes without recrafting sentences I don't like.
Feel free to put your name in when it says, "Friend."
In Christ,
<>< Katie

Dear Friend,
It saddens me to hear about your struggles regarding faith. First of all, I would like you to understand that I am praying for you as you go through this challenging time.

God adores you, Friend. Psalm 139 talks about how He knit you together before you were born. He's chosen you to be His creation, formed to be exactly who He wants you to be. Here's the kicker: He's not done yet. He's still working on you because you're a work in progress. He hasn't given up on you, so I'd encourage you not to give up on Him.

In your letter you talked about how to know God is real. You're right, it's hard when you can't run in to Him at Wal-mart. Not in a physical way, at least. However, just because you can't see and touch Him doesn't mean He isn't there. Personally, I find that to be the cool part: He's always there, even when I can't hear and feel Him. Sometimes He likes to be silent. I like to imagine He's watching and observing and just enjoying being with you. He's not gone. He hasn't moved at all, actually.

You mentioned one of the hardest parts about God is the whole prayer thing. You're right, sometimes it is like you're talking to wall. You talk and pray and pour over your words unsure what to say. Don't give up before you say anything at all. It's just like talking. Nothing special. No fancy words needed. In fact, you can completely eliminate all of the "thees," "thous," and "shalls," if you want. I mean, if you really love those kinds of words go ahead and keep going with them. My suggestion is a simple prayer Bob Lenz taught us back in 2004. Remember? "God, help. Amen." Simple. Yet profound. I also love the Lord's Prayer and it can be found in Matthew 6.

On Friday I was reminded of something cool. Christianity is potentially the only religion that offers forgiveness. Sure, you messed up. So have I. God knows our mess-ups. That's terrifying, right? I know. But it's also cool. Cool because He knows everything we've done but He still loves us. He's still forgiven us, still accepted us, still died for us. That's the beauty of grace and mercy. Mercy is God not giving us what we deserve (death because we've messed up). Grace is God giving us what we don't deserve (life, namely eternal life). My friend Ron explained it to me once like this: say you're outside playing and you get all muddy before running through the house and making a huge mess. Mercy is your mom not getting mad and punishing you. Grace is when she hands you a plate of cookies even though you made a big mess. She still loves you. God loves you through your skrew-ups and your questions.

Questions are good, my friend. Questions help us know people are thinking. Never be afraid to ask questions. The challenge is that sometimes we ask questions and don't get answers we want or worse don't get any answers at all.

Silence stings.

I've been there. Sitting in the silence waiting, wondering. However, I am learning to enjoy the silence. Learning to realize I don't need answers to all of my questions. If I knew everything about God then there would no longer be the need for faith. "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1). We all memorized that verse in confirmation class way back in the day.

Back when we studied baptism, communion, the ten commandments, confirmation, etc. All of the things that you find challenging now. I suppose 8th grade as a long time ago. Have you been asking unanswered questions since then?

I will confess, I have. They're not all unanswered, of course, but a lot of them are still unanswered. Especially the "why" questions I don't anticipate those answers on this side of heaven. In fact, many of them I've written down and set aside as if to say, "I'm not dwelling on this anymore."

I've got to head to class and I want to get this in the mail before the post office closes. Can we get together to chat in person? I've love to hear more of your thoughts, questions, and uncertainties.

Until then, realize God loves you so much that He sent His Son to die for you. Have you ever had anyone die for you? What about Someone who died for you but didn't stay dead? Someone who knows your anxious thoughts and desires to soothe your fears? Someone who cares a lot about you.

Have you ever watched an engaged father play with his young child? Whether they play baseball or ride bikes or paint the house or just plain be together. The joy you see between the two of them sharing life together. That's the joy God wants in sharing life with you.

He loves you, Friend. With an immeasurable love that is beyond what we can fathom.

In the words of Max Lucado, "God thinks you're great."

And I do, too.


Monday, January 18, 2010


Gosh, I love Mondays. Hear the sarcasm. My first class starts at 9am and my last class ends at 9:50pm. Yes, please pray fr me on Mondays especially. This is relational exercise in patience.

I knew it was going to be a weird day in my ASL class this morning. We were talking about different shapes and the professor signed, "KNOW MEDICAL DOCTOR SERVE HAMBURGER CIRCLE IN BOX." Huh? Must have zoned out because that didn't make sense. Yeah, it was "McDonalds" not "Doctor." Both signed "MD" with one on the back of the hand and the other on the inside of the wrist. Oops. Wrong me. Mental exercise.

This afternoon, I was sitting in my hammock reading about poetry. My favorite thing. More sarcasm. It's no wonder I couldn't focus. So, I looked across my room and noticed my bike. Let's go for a bike ride! Ladies and gentlemen, it is JANUARY and I went for a bike ride without my jacket. The terrain here is different than I'm used to and I'm completely out of shape, but even my short bike ride was enough to get some exercise, clear my brain, and enjoy the wonderful weather.

One of my suitemates is currently taking violin for the first time. Back in the day, I used to play viola. Not well, mind you, but I played never the less. Everyone took a turn trying to play her violin and everyone sounded awful. Sorry, girls. When it was my turn, I played an old simple song I remembered and jaws dropped. I remind you, I am not a good violist, but it was great to have a stringed instrument in my hands again. Excellent exercise for my fingers and my brain.

Part one of my Christmas present arrived in the mail today, our Wii. I call it the "you and your suitemates aren't good enough at killing time" gift. It was later followed by a Wii Fit, the "you need to lose weight" aspect of the gift. Huh? The Wii Fit isn't here yet but my shoulder hurts from bowling and tennis. More physical exercise.

However, the most challenging exercise happened in my night class. This is the first time we've met, but the professor has had all of us as his students previously. Prior to even handing out the syllabus, he stated a vague situation and gave us an hour to respond to it privately. This was an excellent writing exercise in my religion class, and I might post what I wrote tomorrow. Really, it was a masked-exercise in discovering Christology. However, it was hard! An emotional and spiritual battle. At the end of class, the professor apologized for "any tear and sweat this may have caused." It caused both. Spiritual and emotional exercise.

Are you in shape? Relationally? Emotionally? Physically? Mentally? Most importantly, spiritually?

<>< Katie

PS: Yes, I realize this was kind of a "I had peanut butter on my bagel instead of cream cheese" post and no one really cares, but it was just a very interesting day and I think you should hear about it. I tried to tie it together. Oh, and I don't really believe the Wii Fit joke aspect of the Christmas present, by the way.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Rule

"What did you do over break?" Ruth asked me on Friday night.

"Blogged, scrapbooked, blogged, wrote, blogged," I told her. I little while later I was telling her about my new blogger obession, and she laughed at me!

"You're right, you did blog all break!"

I can't help it. On Friday, I had a little while to check my email before class. I checked all of my email addresses, read blog updates (a lot of people updated on Friday, might I add), and still had a few minutes left before class.

I'm missing one, I thought to myself. There's some website I always check that I haven't checked yet this morning.

I thought about it for about thirty seconds before it dawned on me and I literally laughed out loud. In the library. I had not checked facebook!

With that said, I proclaim a new rule.

I know, "Too many rules; no more rules." My mom tells me that all of the time, but I think she will approve of this one.

No blogs before homework is completed for the next day.

This doesn't mean I can't check blogs during my class break on MWF but only AFTER I eat breakfast. Learned that lesson last week... ask my ASL class about my noisy estómago. :-)

However, I cannot read blogs in my apartment until after I've done my homework (or at least a significant amount it). Otherwise we have weekends like this one.

What did I do this weekend?

Friday: blogged, chilled at the northern harbor, and wrote (very productive)
Saturday: blogged, scrapbooked, and went out to dinner (wonderful social time)
Sunday: church, blogged, had dinner in, and went bowling (Disappointed with myself)

Do you see a lot of homework being done here? I don't. I see a lot of blogging. :-)

Don't get me wrong, I loved my weekend, and I'm slowly getting better regarding my recent blogger obsession, but it's still the first thing I want to do everyday.

No blogs until after I've done my reading. Sorry, yall.

<>< Katie


Last night, seventeen of us went out to dinner. Of course, with a group that size you need four cars, and somehow I ended up in the Deep Theological Conversation Car. I should have guess that by noticing the four men in the jeep with me, but I didn't mind.

"Ok, what kind of cool thoughts has anyone had about God lately? Let's start there," Keith said nonchalantly.

For the next hour or so we discussed forgiveness. One of the many conclusions we finally drew was that forgiveness is more for the forgiving than the forgiven. Forgiveness also doesn't mean what the other person did was right. Forgiveness does not make the sin acceptable. Rather, forgiveness is admitting, "Yes, what you did was wrong, but I've decided to put in the the past and move on. I wish you well."

This conclusion became important at dinner. Trey tried to throw an empty sugar wrapper at Matthew and missed, hitting me in the face. Me getting hit in the face is actually incredibly common. I narrowly avoided being hit in the head with a bowling ball tonight. I'm actually kind f sad it didn't hit me because that may be the only sports ball that has never collided with my face at some point in my life. Sometimes I really wonder if there is a magnetic field connecting my nose to anything being thrown.

Through laughter and tears, I told Trey I forgave him. I wasn't saying hitting me in the face was ok, but I was willing to move past it and be friends with Trey again. I wish Trey well.

While I was home for break, our church service times changed and no one bothered to tell the college students. Of course, we all showed up this morning and realized there was 45 minutes before the service started. Emily figured Matt told us. Matt thought we were on the email list. Really, it came down to John who completely forgot to mention it to us.

"I'll forgive Emily and Matt; it wasn't their responsibility. But I won't forgive John," Amber said, kind of in jest. "Ok, I'll forgive him, but not until after I tease him for it."

One of the things we pondered last night: is it ok to tell someone you forgive them if they don't know they wronged you? We concluded: no, you're shoving it in their face. Your sole motive is to hurt them back. That's wrong.

John came over and apologized. We teased about it for awhile. And then expressed forgiveness. We admitted what John did (or didn't do) was wrong, but opted to move on and wish him well instead of holding a grudge against John. After all, what had it hurt us? We lost forty-five minutes of precious sleep but that's it. No real harm done. Yes, Kevin, no real harm done; it was only 45 minutes.

Find it within you to forgive someone today. That doesn't make what he/she did right. It makes you willing to move on and wish that person well.

<>< Katie


Hey, guys, thank you for all of the new comments, your support, and feedback. I was beginning to wonder if I had any readers, but according to my calculations this my 200th post and I have about ten readers. That's not too bad, is it? My ten readers are a fun mix of people (except for the few of you who are anonymous because I don't know who you are), which is exciting. Thanks for reading!

When I complete something, I'm pretty proud of it. Be it a paper, a blog, the newsletter, my scrapbook, anything. When I manage to complete a project, I love running my hands over it, rereading lines I've written, and enjoying the finished product. I love being able to talk about my projects in a non-braggadocios way. I am an artist, and I'm proud of my creation.

Likewise, God is an artist. You are His creation. He is proud of you. He wants to show you off, run His fingers through your hair, and enjoy just being with you. The only difference is: His work is perfect and He's allowed to brag about you.

You make your Heavenly Daddy proud,
<>< Katie

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Used Books

My suitemates and I were discussing buying books online verses in the bookstore. Everyone was sharing how much money they save buying used books online. I've used that avenue to purchase my share of books, but the hassle almost isn't worth the money I save. I mean, who wants to spend their time worrying about when the book will arrive? Will it come in at a time when the post office is open? What if I have homework before I have the book? After shipping and handling costs are added, did I still save money?

The questions don't stop when the book arrives. Is this the right book? Is the cover/spine destroyed? Did the former owner spill coffee (or anything else gross) on it? Did the former owner make useless marks all over the pages like a loser? Are there missing pages/ corners? Was the book well cared for?

Most of these things I am learning to overlook, but there is one question I cannot bypass: How many times was this book used to block a sneeze?

I guess I'm just too particular about my stuff to truly enjoy the treasures hidden in used bookstores. Enjoy the troves and allow me to savor the crisp spine and pristine pages of my more expensive bookstore books.

<>< Katie

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Little Moments Matter

After I got out of my three-hour class this afternoon, I noticed something unique on my walk back to my apartment. It was the dog that caught my attention but the kid that kept it. A golden retriever, a mom, and a young son were playing in the grass. It was wonderful to watch them from a distance. Honestly, I could not figure out who was having the most fun.

Between classes today, I ran in to town with some friends. Andy told a story I hadn't heard before and it touched my heart.

A few weeks ago he was in a store and he noticed a little boy wearing a plastic hat and a fake police badge. The boy noticed Andy's EMS jacket and his jaw dropped. Andy knelt next to the boy and they compared badges. In their brief conversation Andy explained he doesn't drive a police car but rather an ambulance. A little while later Andy saw the boy again, hat in hand instead of on his head.
"Mom," he said, "I'm not going to be a police officer. I'm going to be a paramedic!"

To Andy, it was a sacrifice of two minutes. To this little boy, it was the world.

Take the time to notice, talk to, or play with a child sometime soon. To you it's not a lot of time lost, to them it's an infinite amount of time gained.

<>< Katie

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Today was my least favorite day of the semester: Syllabus Day because it means I'm stressed. Yesterday was my favorite day of the semester: Spring Retreat. Of course, why not save the best day for the worst day and blog about them in reverse?

Yesterday we did a lot of introspective stuff and spend a lot of time talking about being transparent and revealing ourselves to each other.

One question we had to answer: What keeps you from sharing?

The most common responses was fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of humiliation. Fear of vulnerability. And on and on. Fear.

Do we run our lives based off of fear? Why do let fear control us when the only One whose opinion matters has already made up His mind? I've blogged about this before. Just once or twice. :-)

God loves you. Never forget that!

I love you, too,


Door Decks

Last night at 11:30pm when I sat down to blog, no words were here, and I wanted to be in bed in the next half-hour. I'd had a plethora of ideas throughout the day, but they had all vanished. Instead of blogging, I spent the last half hour of my day talking to my sweet suitemates. Sorry, few faithful readers.

Yesterday was Tony's birthday, and I felt it necessary to give him a birthday blog. The problem is that I don't really have a lot of stories about Tony (except the time he got bit by a squirrel but I've already written about that). This morning we were both in the computer lab at the same time and he laughed as he asked me how many blogs I have. Only two: a personal blog and a work/school blog.

This semester, Tony is my RA. This means he's responsible for making our door-decks (aka name tags for the door). Several of the girls in my apartment don't go by their proper names. Well, our door-decks all say our proper names. Tony knows us and should have known to change the names. So we were giving him a hard time about it.

"Ok, listen," he said. "Keith was there when I was making the door-decks, and when I said, 'Which name should I use?' He got this devious look on his face and kind of laughed--"

"Are we ready to go to dinner?" Keith asked bursting in to our apartment in the middle of Tony's story. All of our eyes darted from Tony to Keith. Drama Queen Keith figured out what story was being told, grunted, and stormed out of the apartment.

"KEITH!" We screamed, running after him to take our anger out on him instead of Tony. Love you, Keith.

Happy birthday, Tony! We now know the truth: you are mostly innocent in the instance of the mislabeled door-decks.

<>< Katie

Monday, January 11, 2010

That's Weird

I wasn't going to update my blog today, but my friend Kevin (who says I already update my blog too) much forced me to do it. To make Nikki happy, it's a short blog. Gosh, I'm such a people-pleaser.

Everyone things I spend my entire break on blogger, and they aren't too far off...

In blogger, your choices for gender are:

When I first created my blog, I wanted to be more anonymous, so I opted for an "unspecified" gender. Even though I don't use place names, I have grown more content in revealing pieces about myself. I went to change my gender to "Female" and noticed I'd messed up. Instead of hitting "Unspecified" I had been blogging as a "Male."

When I was talking to my friend Kevin about why I updated my profile, I said, "Yeah, I'm not a man anymore."


Five minutes later we saw a cult of four matching white trucks changing the reflectors in the road. Weird.

At the same time we said, "That's weird."

That's weird.

<>< Katie

Él es grande

Well, I've finally finished scrapbooking Guatemala! Phew! That was job! Approximately sixty pages in a month (on top of Christmas and other bizarre family somethings :-)). Ok, minus the page with my roommates because it's going to take a lot of laughter to explain why Heather in the shower could hold hands with Caitlin in bed.

Today I was making a short list of things didn't make the cut and fit into the scrapbook.
- "Ok, let's see if my suitcase closes. I took out some socks, but I put in some chickens and a hammock." Oh, Heather. This can go on the Guate-mate page.
- "Él es grande."

When Neal was playing basketball with a Guatemalan woman she kept saying "Él es grande; él es grande." This literally translates to, "He is big; he is big."

When I wrote this I used a capital "É" since it's the beginning of a sentence but that made me stop and think.

"Él es grande."
What if we change the "Él" to mean God instead of Neal?

"Él es grande; Él es grande."
He's big; He's big.

God is big. Dios es grande.

Never forget that.

<>< Katie

PS. Spell-check doesn't like this post. Do you like it?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Crisis Averted

After almost a month of scrapbook, I'm getting close to finishing my Guatemala scrapbook. It's been wonderful to relive that week and reminisce about the silly stories, the God moments, and the tedious work.

One day, we went to Lago Atilan and took a boat ride to a market on the other side of the lake. The bus ride to the boat was about three hours and at one point we hit construction traffic so bad that our driver turned off the bus. The peddlers loved this as they swarmed our bus like bees on a piece of fruit. I can just imagine them saying to each other, "Look at that bus of rich American tourists! Let's go sell some stuff!" First of all, college students are not rich. Secondly, we wanted to buy our souvenirs at our final destination not on the road to the market.

Neal had a short list of items he wanted to take home to his kids, and he knew he wanted to get his son a slingshot. The peddlers had a cute slingshot with a man on the handle. Neal opted against passing up this opportunity and purchased a slingshot through the window.

Evan, one of our team members, had a sunhat he'd been wearing all week. Not very diligently, I might add, or he would not have been burnt to a crisp. Well, while we were on the boat, his hat blew off. We continued out journey leaving Evan's beloved hat in the distance. We teased about the Guatemalan kayaker who would enjoy Evan's hat and cherish it like a prized possession.

As we were about to disembark, our host warned us about an idol worshiped in Guatemala. Since we were indeed a Christian mission team, it would not be good for us to buy this idol but rather use that moment as a witnessing opportunity and scream "SOLO JESÚS CHRISTO" as we fled. :-)

"What does the idol look like so we don't buy it by mistake?"

"It's a man with a cigar and a sun hat," Neal explained.

"Sort of like Evan's that just blew away?"

"Yes! God took care of that one for us," Neal said with a smile.

"Hey, Neal," I asked, "what's the difference between this idol and the little man on the slingshot you bought for your son?"

Oops. The slingshot didn't actually have the idol on it but rather a similar knock-off, but either way Neal could not give this gift to his son.

Be careful what you buy and don't fret if you lose something, maybe God was just taking care of the situation for you.

In Christ,
<>< Katie

Friday, January 8, 2010

Are you going to pass me or not?

I enjoy people watching. You never know when you're going to see something that's worth using in a story (or blog).

Yesterday we were dumped with snow which made for some great people-watching as I drove around town today. The snowplow shimming around the corner to push the snow further and further off the road. The woman using all of her strength in vain to push the snow blower up her driveway caked with at least a foot of snow. The father (brother?) who lead his young son down the street with a sled ready to take advantage of this blizzard. My favorite, however, was the van that drove behind me through downtown.

He appeared out of nowhere and was not content to drive behind me. On days where the roads are properly plowed and there are no parked cars, this road has a left lane and a right lane. Much to Mr. Impatient's dismay, today was not one of those days. I drove in the left lane, the cleared lane. The problem was that he couldn't pass me on the left due to the no-passing zone (and the minor detail of oncoming traffic). Instead, he opted to pass me on the right. He'd move over into the half-plowed right land and prepare to make a move when all of the sudden directly in front of him was a displaced snowbank or a parked school bus or the mailman. Every time, he'd slow down and sadly return to his place behind me and I'd smile.

That sucks, I thought to myself with a little laughter inside. Not going to lie, I was amused by his poor luck and repeated failed attempts to get around me.

Eventually we made it to a stop light and he pulled up next to me. The light turned green and the race began. I know better than to drag race especially downtown, but I couldn't help myself. This van had been trying to get around me for at least a mile and I wasn't about to let him to it now! A few blocks there was a string of parked cars, and I was going to make it to them first because then Mr. Impatient in the right lane was going to have to return to his position behind Miss Always-Drive-The-Speed-Limit-Katie in the left lane.

Mr. Impatient doesn't drive the speed limit. He won. But only because I let him. Playtime was over.

<>< Katie

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Captivating in Mexico?

I won't update my blog again tonight... I don't think.

A lot of people confuse my sister Laura and me. For some reason they don't understand we're twenty-seven months apart and not identical twins. I've blog-complained about this before. However, it was taken to a whole new level tonight.

She burst into my room to tease me for reading so many books over break.
"Have you ever read Captivating?" She asked me.
"Yes, in Mexico."
"Which Mexico trip?"
"I've only been to Mexico once," I told her. Duh!
"Nooooo.... I read Captivating in Mexico."


I think I was so stunned by her book recommendation (normally I'm the one saying, "You have to read this book!") that I was confused. In my own defense, I must have read Captivating in the Bahamas. Or maybe not. Now that I'm looking for my own copy of Captivating, I can't find it. I know I read that book! And I'm pretty sure it was pool-side.

This is almost as great as the time I called my friend Laura on the phone.
"Hi, Katie," she answered. This threw me off.
"Hi, Katie; it's Laura," I responded.

After umpteen years of being confused with my not-twin twin sister now I'm confused... apparently.

My name is Katie. My name is Katie. My name is Katie. My name is Katie.

And I need to go to Mexico and read Captivating to straighten out this mess.

<>< Katie

Book Review: The Condition by Jennifer Haigh

I wasn't going to post another blog today, but then I realized I'm only a week in to 2010 and I've finished reading two books. True, the first one was mostly completed before 2010 starts, but it still counts. At the rate I'm going, this'll be a good year! (Yeah, right, I'll get back to school and not read for fun again for three months).

Oh, and warning: this book review includes a bit of a spoiler. Sorry. One thing wasn't right at the end and it bothered me. It would make for a great discussion in an English class, actually.

After finishing The Condition by Jennifer Haigh I am left with mixed emotions. The novel isn't so much about Gwen McKotch and her Turner's Syndrome but rather about the entire McKotch family and their peculiar lives. Apparently Haigh is known for her family stories and that's exactly what this is: another family story. The 390-page novel details the lives of five separate adults bound together by blood, not love. It provides the back story for every single detail rather than employing a need-to-know mindset. Honestly, who cares about some of these obscure characters the family encountered thirty years ago? On the contrary, those stories that would be helpful (for example, more about Paulette's relationship with her late boyfriend Donald who left her a significant sum of money) were vague. In Haigh's defense, these characters are well-developed and sometimes creative yet also sometimes stereotypical.

In the end, she creates a picturesque finish, almost too good to be true. I kind of wanted to say, "And they all lived happily ever after." Except I was too busy wondering about those things not tied neatly into a bow. (Don't say I didn't warn you; skip to the next paragraph if you plan to read this book, sorry). For example, is Ian's (or Scotty's) ADHD ever officially diagnosed and treated? Where does Ian go to school? Does Scott find a new job (carpentry?)? Why couldn't Gwen drive a midsized car at Christmastime but had no problem getting behind the wheel of Rico's truck? How did Billy and Sri get back together? Why don't Gwen, Rico, and the boys travel to the states to visit her family? If the family is all together reunited picture-perfectly why is Gwen in the Caribbean? Does this mean she's been ousted from the family? I don't know but that's how I was left feeling.

I do know that this is the kind of novel I want to write, yet this is the kind of novel I don't want to write. Can I achieve both? I love the character development but there is a fine line between enough and too much. A line I'm trying to find. A line Haigh has crossed. As a writer, the book was inspiring and it taught me a lot. As a reader, it seemed to drag at times; I often wondered why I was reading this and who cares.

I'll say a 7 out of 10. Not a must read but still enjoyable.

<>< Katie
"If I stopped to think about how my editor (or a reviewer or my mother) would react to a particular scene, I wouldn't be able to write at all." - Jennifer Haigh

Never Underestimate the Power of a Good Book

On the way to the airport to come home for Christmas, my friend Kevin (who sometimes reads this blog) told me he rarely reads books anymore and never books that are more than 200 pages. I asked him if he'd read a 201 page book if I wrote it, and he said no. He's pretty serious about this 200 page rule.

The other day I jokingly asked him if he's read anything good over break and he said yes! Just from the tone in his... er... text message, I could tell he was excited about this book. Yes, a quick google search revealed it is less than 200 pages but that isn't the point.

That's all it takes, one good book. Earlier this break I was feeling lazy and apathetic. All I did all day was blog, participate in "family somethings," and play Bejeweled Blitz. That is until a spontaneous trip to Barnes & Noble changed (and charged) by break.

I'm now deep in to two books. Whether I love them or not is beside the point because once again the words are flowing. While I haven't written a substantial amount, maybe five pages, there has been a lot of plotting and some major changes. In this case, change is good. And I owe it all to the 300 pages I've read this week. (Ok, and my Almighty God who has given me the words to speak).

Excuse me now why I go disappear into a comfortable recliner with a blanket, a good book, and a glass of wine on this beautiful blizzarding day. (Ok, just kidding about the wine... maybe).

Be verbose!
<>< Katie

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Happy Epiphany!

This is the day celebrated to be when the magi found baby Jesus bringing Him gifts of gold, frankincense, myrrh. Even though they found Him in a lowly manger (or so it is commonly accepted) they brought Him gifts fit for a king. What gifts can you give the King?

This also means our Christmas trees can come down. The formerly self-decorating living room tree didn't quite make it to Christmas and is now puking bows.

Remember, wise men still seek Him!
<>< Katie

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chula Schwann's New Do

Have you met my skeleton?

Some people have skeletons IN their closet… I have a skeleton ON my closet. This was not always the case. Last year around Halloween the cleaning woman in our dorm decorated for the holiday. This included putting a life-size green skeleton on the wall right outside my dorm door. Every time I walked around in my room he’d catch my eye, and I always thought there was someone outside my door. This actually creeped me out. I figured I’d just move him down the hall a little bit further, and he wouldn’t bother me anymore. Maybe I’d give him a name, too, because that’s a nice thing to do for a skeleton.
Well, I was telling my friend Laura about him, and she had another idea. At 3am on a Friday night, Laura and I decided this poor green skeleton needed a makeover. I was in a Human Biology core requirement at the time, and we’ just finished learning the bones of the body. What better way to study than to label the bones on the skeleton in the hallway? Well, when we’d finished my skeleton we moved on to the two other skeleton’s in the building, repositioning them to live directly outside of Laura’s dorm and a mutual friend’s dorm.

Of course, these skeletons needed names (as did the mice living in their ribs and feet). I don’t remember were “Chula” came from, but “Schwann” was from the Schwann cells of the Peripheral Nervous System (what we were presently studying in my biology class). We toyed with names like, “Glial”, “Axon”, “Dendrite”, too, but “Schwann” seemed to be the strongest. Yes, Laura and I get mega-nerd points. I'd like to add that Laura waned to label the muscles on the fully-clothed witch, but I felt that was a little over-kill. Either way, our adoptive father is an anatomy professor (but not my prof) and was incredibly proud of us for our hard work.

The cleaning woman wasn’t quite as proud. In fact, she was upset that we moved the skeletons. Lucky for us, we had earned her forgiveness before it was time to de-decorate. I think it had something to do with her perception of us being nursing majors and she thought it was just part of the gig in being a nursing major. Boy did we have her fooled! Laura and I are religion and writing majors… not even close to nursing. Independently of each other, Laura and I both asked her if we could keep the skeletons. The cleaning woman forgave us and gave us the skeletons. Somehow Laura got the purple one while I got the green one. We used Sharpie to re-label the bones on the third skeleton, Jobab Schwann, and mailed it to our friend Natalie who was studying for the MCAT.

For the remainder of the year, Chula Schwann hung on my wall and Toby Schwann (Laura’s purple skeleton) hung on her wall. Well, that is until Toby imploded and then he lay collapsed on top of Laura’s microwave. Like Yossarian in Catch-22, I had a dead man in my room. Unlike Yossarian’s dead man, Mudd, my deadman didn’t have any stuff. In fact, Chula learned to be a pretty good dancer as we’d periodically rearrange his appendages throughout the year.

At the end of the year, I brought Chula home with me (amputating his leg in the process), and I couldn’t figure out what to do with him. I wasn’t quite ready to part with my nerdiness, so I did the only logical thing I could think of to do: I hung him up. Of course, the only space in my room open enough to hang a paper skeleton is on the closet door. This is how I have a skeleton ON my closet rather than IN it.
Today I gave Chula Schwann a new do. No clothes for the skeleton, nor did I remove the notecards differentiating between his mandible and maxilla (which I might have finally learned, thank you).

The newest book I'm reading is called A Novel Idea and each chapter is written by a different published author in the Christian world. The chapter I just read is by Angela Hunt and it's entitled "The Plot Skeleton." Like the title suggests, she talks about plot in terms of a skeleton. Since I'm a visual learner, I figured I should draw this out, and what better specimen than the skeleton on my closet?

I, of course, can't take a picture of Chula in his present condition because that would give away too many details that I don't want to reveal, but I can give you a quick summary of Hunt's chapter.

First the skull, the protagonist. This protagonist has two problems, also known as eye sockets. One is a clearly defined, known problem while the other is more hidden. Head down (pun intended) to the cervical vetebrae, or neck, where the protagonist experiences some sort of problem further introducing the reader to the character and exposing coping mechanisms. This isn't the catastrophe, that's waiting somewhere around the thoracic vertebrae (middle of the back, for those of you who don't have skeletons at your disposal). Throw in at least three ribs of complications and muscle in between as resolution. Chula doesn't have any muscles between his ribs, but he does have a mouse in there, so we had to improvise. Move on to the femur, considered to be the bleakest moment where Hunt forbids miracle fixes to the protagonist's problems. Move past the knee and you hit two helpful parts: the fibula and the tibia. One is an external force that pushes and encourages the protagonist to keep going; the other is an internal decision the protagonist makes thus solving the previously hidden problem and learning a lesson. Hit the foot and it's time to wrap it up. The end.

Here's my problem, this skeleton Hunt has created is a double-arm amputee, but I amputated Chula's leg, remember? Well, just like reconnecting Chula's leg, I'm entertaining the idea of making the arms subplots involving other characters that interact with the protagonist. Not quite sure yet, and I'd love your opinion.

As always, thanks for reading!

<>< Katie

Monday, January 4, 2010

Book Review: Love Languages

I asked for the Five Love Languages for Christmas. Grandma thought it sounded dirty but didn't consult my mother before buying it. She figured the singles edition would be cleaner, so she made the executive decision that I needed The Five Love Languages: Singles Edition.


Upon further investigation, I realize I do fit the target audience.
Adult? Check
Single? Check
I could not help but laugh to myself because receiving the singles edition of a book is in stark contrast to the Christmas with the other side of the family the night before ("Katie, any cute guys at your school?"). The irony is that the stalking-family doesn't invite boyfriends/girlfriends to Christmas and the book-gifting side included four boyfriends in our midst. Mixed messages here, folks.

I put the "You're going to be single for the rest of your life" condemnation aside and read the book. Enjoyed it, too.

Gary Chapman analyzes five ways people feel loved:
1. Quality time
2. Gifts
3. Acts of service
4. Words of encouragement, affirmation
5. Physical touch
He argues every person enjoys all five but has one specific love language they need in order to truly feel loved. I struggled to figure out my own primary love languages but had no trouble discovering the love languages of those around me. It was actually really fun to think about the important people in my life and how I can best express my love and appreciation to them.

Even though I am not currently in a romantic relationship, I feel this book was worth my time. I'd recommend reading it (singles edition or normal edition) to anyone who interacts with people on a regular basis. Chapman is not humble when discussing how the concept of the five love languages has saved countless marriages. I don't know if this is true or not but I can see how it could be helpful between couples, struggling or not. I would love to someday read it again with my fiancé prior to our marriage because I think it's an area where we should be on the same page.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, the singles edition isn't actually cleaner but neither book is dirty. I've read things in class that are dirtier than this (BEFORE I took an entire semester of Beat Lit).

One book down for 2010, meaning 14 to go!
<>< Katie

Two Fish Named Earwax

This definitely was a "You had to be there" story and no one remembers exactly what "there" was, but I'm going to do my best to explain why my sister has two fish named Earwax.

Several years ago, my mom had a student we'll call Eric for one reason and one reason only: that is not his name. Eric had this fascination with earwax. One day, we were sitting at the kitchen table eating our after school snack while Mom was doing dishes and telling us about Eric's earwax obsession. She started a sentence, "He has these two fish..."

"Named Earwax?" I asked, finishing the sentence for her in the only logical manner possible. No one knows what the real end of her sentence because we were all ridiculing Eric's supposed two fish named Earwax.

Eric never had two fish named Earwax but the joke stuck. Even when our other pets earned themselves obscure names based on bodily discharges, "earwax" was reserved for the two fish we didn't have. Oscar became "Booger," Christina became "Rash," Cassie became "Turd," and our male cat named Misty became "Puke" ("Puke did his thing"). Our family was Rash, Booger, Turd, Puke, and two fish named Earwax.

The only problem is that we still didn't have any fish much less two of them with the same unique name. For years, this is where the joke stayed (well, except for my aunt and uncle naming their dog Fish and our new cat being nicknamed Cow... our poor animals!).

This Christmas, Christina received a fish tank. Of course, now we could finally have our two fish named Earwax! Even though she calls her three fish Mo, Curly, and Larry they will forever be Earwax, Earwax, and Fishy to me. Frankly, my names are better because it took Christina a week before she realized she'd named her fish after the Three Stooges.

When she got a fresh-water shark, she named him Bruce after the shark in Finding Nemo. Creative? I think not. I renamed him "Juice." I then learned he's a red-tailed shark, but he looks more like an orange-tailed shark, so he became "Orange Juice."

Today's new fish was a catfish cleverly named "Kitty." Growing up, my mom had a catfish named Flat Bush. She said for awhile she even forgot he was catfish; he was a flat bush in her eyes. Therefore every catfish will forever be named Flat Bush.

"Man, Katie, your family is weird," you say.
"If you only knew," I respond.
"UPGRADE!" Laura screams.

Be sure to check in every week to hear about the newest additions to our family. Christina can have up to 11 inches worth of fish but not all in one fish and they have to be added one a week.

<>< Katie

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Daily Mullings

I don't know what to write about today. I wrote a blog about smashing glass against the fire place, and I'm proud it as a writer but it doesn't have a point. I might post it anyway. I've toyed with the idea of explaining why my sister has two fish named Earwax but I think that's a "you had to be there" story and no quality of writing will do it justice. I could blog about Lyme disease since that's something that's become close to my heart and my aunt and uncle's dog was just diagnosed with it (missed by the first vet, big surprise there...). Or I could make reading this blog worth your time unlike the book I'm reading right now.

As of yesterday when I went to the bookstore, I am currently reading The Condition by Jennifer Haigh. Supposedly it's about a woman with Turner's Syndrome, a disease I did a case study on in 9th grade. Well, I'm 126 pages into it and I'm not quite sure what it's about. Way too many details about too many people. I understand explaining the lives of the five people in the family since they are all adults, but the lives of every person each individual has ever met is a little bit of overkill. Why am I reading this? I don't want you to ask the same about my blog. That is, assuming you're still reading. Is there anyone but Melissa here?

Oh! Storytime!
Since the story involves Bob you have to hear me like Bob hears everything I say: supersonic speed in a pitch so high only dogs can understand (I've been frequently told I'm "Telemundo in English").

A few weeks ago, I was the only attendee of HIGH SCHOOL Bible study. This isn't the first time this has happened, but in all previous instances I was still, well, the target audience. This particular week Bob had been prepared to teach on messianic prophesies as found in Zechariah (that's means everything in Zechariah the predicted Christ's coming). It was time to start and Bob looked around the room, "There's no one here," he announced.

"Am I no one?" I retorted.

"You know what meant," he said with a smile. Of course I did. I've only known Bob for seven years; that's enough time to know anyone's quirks (trust me, we both have plenty).

The two of us took a big step in our relationship and sat at the same bar table to investigate these passages. Even with both of our brains put together we could not wrap our minds around some of these passages. "But how does this predict Christ's coming?" "Are they talking about Christ here or not?" "Why do we insist this is Christ? This part came to fruition but not the rest of this." "What does this mean?" "The study Bible said THAT?"

Yeah, not a very educational but incredibly challenging. It was relaxing to wrestle with these ideas without a facade. Without either one of us needing the answers. Both of us were willing to admit we didn't understand.

"Maybe it's a good thing no one came today," he said at the end of our time.
"I came."
"That's what I mean. You're probably the only one who's ok leaving with more questions than answers," he said and paused. "I feel like a failure."
"You're not," I assured him. He was right: I was ok leaving with more questions than answers.
"I'm a failure. You're a failure," he said with a laugh. Thanks for the support, Bob. :-)

Learn to be ok with questions. They don't all need to be answered but that should not stop you from asking them.

What does this mean?
<>< Katie

Broken Glass

"You cannot say you've never had the urge to throw a glass against a fireplace," my family said, almost in unison, as all eyes fell on my aunt.

I thought for a second about the question.

Honestly, no. I haven't ever had the urge to throw a glass against a fireplace much less the lack of self control to act on such an impulse. Sure, I've wanted to throw people against walls and sometimes I've thrown other things but never a glass. It'll break.

"You're never so frustrated you just need to break something?" The family continued.

Sure but not glass. Perhaps it's because my mother spent most of my childhood walking behind me, "Don't touch broken glass. Don't walk in the street barefoot just in case there's broken glass. Leave the broken glass alone. You don't want to cut yourself." Grandma has the scar to prove broken glass isn't something I want to be playing with.

"Yes," my aunt confessed. She once threw a glass against the wall out of frustration, "But then I was even more mad because I had a big mess to clean up!" Broken glass is pretty common at her house. When she and my uncle buy wine glasses they always buy two and without fail one is broken on the first use. We tease at her house no one needs individual charms to identify wine glasses everyone just gets an unique glass because no two glasses are the same.

Everyone else concluded the mess isn't a problem for them. Cleaning it up helps relieve the frustration (until they cut themselves and then they're re-living the frustration, I'm sure).

"Dad throws glasses against the fireplace all of the time," Grandma said.

"Once... MAYBE twice," Grandpa defended himself. This made everyone laugh remembering a similar conversation a few years ago. When my mom and her siblings were growing up my grandpa sneezed egg all over the wall. According to my aunt, this was a weekly occurrence. My mom realizes not quite weekly but quite often. Grandpa, on the other hand, swears it only happened once. Just like he only threw the glass against the wall once.

<>< Katie