Saturday, December 31, 2005

My Life as a Spectator in a Romantic Drama--part three

When we returned to the life at school, she joined the social group of Frisbee fun and dinners. And the intensity of the flirting continued to increase. I noticed it; everyone (not necessarily the town “Everyone”, but the smaller social group everyone) noticed it. Sarah and Daniel certainly hung out a lot and they were, well… flirty. Not being flirty myself, I have a hard time figuring out how one differentiates between friendly flirting and serious I-really-think-I-like-you flirting. This one definitely felt of the latter type. So, being her close confidant and friend after our bonding experience with the stitches, she told me how much she liked the fellow, and how confused she was, and asked what on earth she should do. Me, being the guru of all relationship advice, gave her what little I had, and told her to be patient, which is always good advice because no one ever follows it and thus no one can ever blame you for being wrong. Besides that, I gave her was support I could, a shoulder to cry on, a calm ear and head. That is really what most people need, someone who is calm and levelheaded. I almost always fit that category; it makes me nice and boring. So we, eventually titled “The Girls”, started hanging out in the company of Daniel (and often his brother Ethan) more and more often. And life went on; and life was fun. Sarah especially spent as much time as possible distracting Daniel from his beloved laptop computer, the source of all homework and a good number of procrastination techniques like instant messenger. Daniel has more people on his IM than anyone I know. One day when I procrastinating some myself in our local coffee shop, Sarah came in. Daniel was behind the counter and she walked up to the counter and gave it a smack. This is her normal “Hello, I am frustrated” greeting. Daniel’s response was: “Was that a Today-Was-Rough-Day smack or a We-Need-To-Talk smack?” BING! My curiosity was suddenly engaged. “We need to talk” is a phrase more rarely heard out of a guy’s mouth when there is no expressed relationship than a house getting absolutely no junk mail for an entire year. And up to that point I had not heard of any serious discussion between them. But I figured the truth would come out soon enough, no prodding needed. Sarah rarely needed prodding to spill anything and everything. So I waited. It did come out in a couple of days, by which time I had figured out that something had changed on my own. But it is always good to have your suspicions confirmed by those who actually have the information. She was surprised that I could tell, but then I gave her the clues and she was still surprised, but acquiescent. I tend to people watch and notice strange things. Sarah said that they had run into each other in one of the buildings on campus and had a DTR, of sorts. “Define the Relationship” talks are always weird but in this one they decided that they had both been flirting and they both liked each other, but Daniel didn’t know if he liked her enough. Enough to actually date her was the concern. I am afraid he might still have been a little wary after his last experience with whatever-her-name-was-that-I-would-change-even-if-I-remembered. Anyway, the poor boy was terrified and Sarah was frustrated. Thus, the confused venting increased, poor girl. She didn’t deserve his waffling. But that is what you get when you have flirty people.

--To Be Continued...

Friday, December 30, 2005

My Life as the Spectator in a Romantic Drama--part two

This camp is where she met “Daniel”. It is going to be so hard calling him that! I had known Daniel for a few years. He is very, very social and really just a little boy with a heart for the Lord and cows. Whoever got to know Daniel, soon learned more about cows than they ever thought possible. Daniel gets this little smirk on his face and a twinkle in his eye whenever he talks about cows. I had ridden to a Fall Conference a few years before with him and his brother “Ethan”, and some other guy who I can’t remember his name at all. But that doesn’t matter because if I could remember it I would just have to change it anyway. He was in my social group; we played Frisbee and were part of the same campus Christian group. He also volunteered at the local Christian coffee shop where I also worked. He, too, had a rough past: at least one stalker, and a serious girlfriend who had pretty well stomped on his heart. Poor boy. So, as you can imagine, he was also at this Spring Break, college workweek, camp thing. In fact, I rode in his truck on the way down with some other friends and at one point in the trip he stopped and pulled “cookies” in a gravel parking lot. That was fun. Sarah, Daniel, and I were all on the same work crew that week. We were building a ridge runner track for go-carts (sort of), cleaning barns, clearing tumbleweed (ow), and whatever else they could find for us to do. There was a significant amount of dead mice and live mice… I never thought I minded mice, but maybe now I do. Sarah and Daniel are both outgoing, kind of flirty people. So they flirted. I have to admit, there were a few times I was envious. Don’t get me wrong, I never wanted Daniel’s attention, but I was envious of how fast Sarah could get the attentions of a guy. I noticed their mutual attraction. It wasn’t quite so obvious until the last full day we were there, though. We were in jeep, and this jeep was going around the track we had built at a pretty good speed. And… suffice to say that the jump was really great… we flew… and Sarah’s head flew into the roll bar. Lots of blood, six stitches, a very queasy me (I hate needles, even ones not going into me), and we were sitting at a table with a free milkshake. I threw away my orange… I couldn’t force it down me. And I stared at Sarah. Who should show up but the dear sweet Daniel? Ahh, the knight in shining armor come to take care of the damsel in distress. It was romantic comedy at its finest. I sat back and watched and was highly amused. After all, I do like chick flicks.

--to be continued...

Thursday, December 29, 2005

My Life as the Spectator in a Romantic Drama--part one

I wish I could say that this story happened “once upon a time”, and in a way, I suppose it did. It happens all the time, to all sorts of people; it is going on at this very moment. It might have happened to you at some point… maybe it will. Most people in their lives have some experience with the infamous character of romantic love. I am probably the last person to ask advice on this topic because I have had so little experience personally. But I have counseled enough others to hopefully make my little perspective amusing.

I am going to tell you the story of “Sarah” and “Daniel”. I have, of course, changed their names to protect “Sarah” from the embarrassment of having her name in print, should this ever aspire to be there, and to keep “Daniel “ from getting a big head about it, as guys are like to do about things. Sarah, I had grown up with, to some extent. She was a year ahead of me in high school. She was romantically attached to “Jack” who made beautiful sculptures out of metal coat hangers. Everyone assumed that they were going to get married and everyone was surprised when post-graduation called off the connection. The “Everyone”, of course, always assume that they know everything, and in a town as small as ours, they usually almost do. But in this instance Rumor was foiled with the couple and had to find some other foul treat to feed herself. Sarah fortunately got over him and moved on to “Bill” who wasn’t in the picture long; he merely flattered her. (Advice to all females: never date a guy merely because you like attention. It is very easy for us to do that because we all like attention, a lot, especially male attention, a lot. But relationships take a little more than just attention, actually a lot.) Anyway, Sarah also got over him. Then she was single for a while, which I think had to be a novelty for her because she hadn’t spent much time as a single person since elementary school, or something like that. Then she had no social life. What? A person who has no boyfriend has no social life? Actually, no. At that point, I had never had a boyfriend, and I had a great social life… she just didn’t know how to go about it. So her mother signed her up for this camp during Spring Break, which was through a campus Christian group. We were all going to head down there and work on cleaning up this camp for all the teen groups that would be coming in that summer. Sarah was a little nervous because I was the only one she knew, but by God’s grace, everything worked out for her to come. She got let off work early and was able to take her car and she made it safe and sound.

--To be continued...

There is stupid and there is neat.

A little more stupid on this one.

And yet in some ways I identify here.


Okay... so I finally figured out how to put some pictures on my blog. Neato cool. But how does one but a picture in their profile? Can't figure that one out. Does anyone have any suggestions? Like someone who has figured this out?
I live in a great place!
How cool is that?
Just thought this was pretty... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


After Sorrow comes Hope.
Hummingbird heartbeats, hoof beats, a whirring thrum and thrill.
Flight of flicker, fancy, fantasy, fantastic flying yet fearful
Blink and blush, quickly and quietly, keep it buried, keep it below
It could get away, you know.
Skipping, tripping, flipping swiftly slowly silently sounding
Uncatchable; uncageable; unimaginable; so unreal
Barely beyond the brink of minds eye, mine eye
Moody and mopey and dusk, yet merry and maypoles at rising,
My time flies and butterflies and ladybugs and it flies.
Landing only lightly lately like lightning
In a flash, fearsome fire, and it is far fled
Or maybe not, it is near still, to burn and bleed and blossom.
Which peerless path shall it pick to plod or plough?
To turn and till the hearts of all the helpless heavenless hosts
And gift them heaven, a priceless precious princely gift:
Continuing courage, dauntless drive to do what can be done,
But also to bloom, petting petals out upon themselves
To keep and continue, constant, cheerful, cherubic
To lose it is like the loss of life and love and laughter
Celticly knotted, tied and woven with warp and weft
A tearless tapestry of dawning delight.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


I wrote this about a girl and her fight with God.
Slipping, sliding, softly, slowly;
Caressing the careful curves of a face
Carven and chiseled by the hand of God
Dripping, dropping down dearly
Over-swelling from an anguished heart
Each small jewel rewets its course
A prelude to the torrential rain to come
Gasping, choking, a twisting pain
A clash and crash and cry
If breaths were not so necessary for life
They soon would cease the struggle
The soul calls out a fractured prayer
The heart a broken song
Burdens of a grieving sadness hurt
And sorrowful aches of woe
But then the very arms of God
En-wrapping heartache strongly
A firm protective loving grasp
The misery is swaddled up
Comforted for a time
And resting
For final peace.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Today, the day after Christmas.

Giant orange-pink clouds are soaring across the purple-grey sky. It is the kind of soaring that makes your heart swell and rise. The magnificence is breath-taking in the truest way making you gasp and then forget to breath. It is the day after Christmas. The world is filled with the seasonal gaudiness that we all know and love here in the United States. And yet, the display of God is so much beyond anything that we could pretend to set up. If we celebrate Jesus’ birth with these decorations, and God celebrates each day with the beauty he portrays around us, what must his celebration of His son’s birth have been? What must His celebration of the homecoming of all his adopted children be like? If he gives us this for the closing of a day, the rest is grander than my feeble imagination can handle.

A Horrifying Voracious Monster

I was given a compliment this evening that struck me as particularly odd. The compliment was not really odd, in and of itself. However, what ignited the comment was odd. The man told me I would make a good wife, which was nice, I guess; except for the fact that all he knew about me besides my name was that I liked Raspberry-Vanilla Italian Sodas and that I had no real desire to go spend time at the mall. It was this last piece of information that instigated the compliment and he was off. Odd, yes, odd.

The reason that this whole mall issue is so oddly fascinating is that unlike most women of my generation, the mall holds no thrilling treasures or hours of fun. The idea of spending a day shopping is exhausting, and that is just the idea of shopping, let alone the action itself. Not to say that when I am looking for something that I do not go shopping for it in a mall. Occasionally, I have been known to step over the threshold into the den of discontent popularly known as “the Mall”. But in that case, I have a specific goal and purpose. I do not like to window shop or merely wander up and down… The mall is not a source of entertainment to me either. This probably stems from my childhood. I undoubtedly have unresolved issues, repressed memories, and the like… Things like responsible spending and having to work hard for your money and no allowance… These things make a person view the mall in a rather skewed light I am sure.

Past the psychobabble, I know I was raised to spend wisely. It is a skill that I often bless my parents for, despite the guilt that comes over me even when I buy something I really need, on sale…I should be able to get it cheaper somewhere… Whatever the case, the mall is a place to spend money. If one does not have money, the mall is a place to look at things that one cannot have and desire them. The mall is a veritable petri dish of covetousness. I know that every time I walk into a mall with no money and decently content, I walk out again with still no money and horribly frustrated about it. It is as if a horrifying voracious monster lives inside malls that eats your contentment and spits you back out, leaving only what is bitter and wretched…like those pre-ragged jeans you wanted to buy but couldn’t because they cost forty bucks. Those jeans were probably stolen from Goodwill. But, of course, you cannot stoop to buying your clothes from a thrift store…no, no, no…that is too expensive. Growing up, when people would tell me my outfit was cute, they would ask me the dreaded question, “So where did you get it? Old Navy?” “No,” I would reply with feigned enthusiasm. “I got it at a yard sale!” Ahh, the joys of wearing other people’s castoffs.

But what, you may ask, is a mall to the rich and prosperous? Having never been part of this elite society, I cannot know for sure, they have mysterious practices that people like my own poor self cannot fathom. One of my most horrifying memories was the fourth or fifth week of my sophomore year of high school. The girls in the locker room were comparing how long they could go without wearing the same outfit twice. Most of them had not reached that point yet. Some still had a few weeks worth to go. I, on the other hand, might have worn the same five outfits every week to school. Yep, I lost that competition. I do not mind, now. I understand how ultimately blessed I am not to have to deal with that amount of just stuff. Thus for the wealthy, the mall is a place to get more stuff. For girls, this means clothes, shoes, and shoes. But somehow, I imagine that even the rich come out not as happy as they ought to be. The monster in the mall lives there still. But instead of eating contentment, he eats money. Then next time when they want something and they have no money…then comes the aftershock of discontent. Perhaps even with their purchases having been made they are not satisfied. Perhaps the monster spits them out with displeasure written across their faces. To this I cannot testify. I have never been inducted into the great halls of the monetarily unchallenged. I cannot give first hand reports about coming home with something that you do not care about or need but bought anyway for some odd reason. For me it would be foolish, like Lydia Bennet buying a hat she hated because there were several uglier in the shop.

It doesn’t signify what they have in the shops…I am not buying. The only way I could, and I suppose that for most this is a possibility, is to spend money I don’t have. Brilliant! You say… money you don’t have. Credit cards give us the perfect and available source of funding for any worthless item we may have an unfounded desire for. But the monster is only more conniving here. You get what you think you want and you get an enormous bill a month later. I think this only increases the discontent because by the time you shell out the cash (or at least the minimum monthly payment) you are no longer consumed with the euphoria of having acquired something grand (or not so grand, such as the case may be). Then you add onto that the terrible realization that not only are you broke but you now have negative money. What could be more depressing? I am rather thankful that enough of my friends jumped into this pit of despair to render it entirely unappealing to me. I am sorry for them, but not sorry for what I learned from their mistakes.

So, as I said, I am not buying… I have not the funding and I refuse to spend money that I don’t have. I am not even entering such an establishment unless upon a directed mission. And even then, the monster lurks everywhere: clothing, jewelry, shoes, knick knacks…the list goes on. Beside and behind each of these the hungry monster waits, preying on your pleasures, vices, dreams, and desires. And as you leave this monster’s den, you feel as if one of the best parts of yourself has left. And I am sorry to say that it has. Your contentment has been eaten by the Mall Monster. You may grow and cultivate it again, but I would advise keeping it a while and avoiding the fiend who so easily ensnares us in his trap of advertising and sales.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

A Poem of Mine

And the love is lavished
Not lightly flowing
Deeply spreading
For I am His Child
Alone in the Void
An alien stranger
Unknown and un-understood
Inexplicable Love
For this is Love
True Love and Real
Solid and Strong
For I am His Child
Undeserving and Weak
Poor and Flawed
Wretched, Wrong and Ill
Yet loved...
Amazing and Beautiful
How great is the Love
Overflowing and Glorious
An abundant River
Drenching Dripping
Flooding and Filling
Fresh and Clean
Washing me White
Whiter than Snow
For I am His Child
Foolish Fearful
Far off in my own Mind
Forgetful and Ugly
But made New
Alive and Lovely
Because I am Loved
Made Beautiful
For a purpose Pure
Refined by Fire
Blazing Burning
Burnished Gold
Polished and Shining
Gleaming with Joy
Reflecting His Face
For I am His Child
Hated by the world
Disliked for my position
Rejected Refused
Trash under their feet
Trampled and Torn
But not Crushed
Beaten not Destroyed
For I am His Child
Protected and Prized
Valued and Guarded
Cherished Blessed
Cared for and Comforted
Uncondemned and Understood
Wrapped in His arms
Peaceful in His Presence
For I am His Child
Made for Love to Love
Sent to Love
Just as He was sent
To BE Love for me
For I am His Child
Born of Him
Confident and Awed
Believing Growing Strong
Fed on Love
From the Faithful One
Fantastical and Great
Miraculous Majestic
Marvelous Lovely
And loving me...
For I am His Child.

Friday, December 23, 2005


I have found a new pet peeve. I know that things shouldn't bother me, and believe me, I do realize that I am not going to lash out irrationally about such minor irritances.
A man came into the place where I work today. He was pretty big with one of those mustaches/goateeish things that takes daily maintenance which he does not give it. He had a bandanna on his head, undoubtedly to protect from the cold, but his overall appearance was that of motorcycle dude. This is not what bothered me. I am just fine with all sorts of people, really... What bugged me was that he called me sweetheart. I don't really like anyone calling me sweetheart. I remember the photographer at our school when I was in elementary school calling me sweetheart. It makes me shudder to this day. Other girls got off with equally terrifying names like cutie pie and cupcake.
The more I think about it, it isn't even the names themselves but that they seem to imply some sort of relationship. The problem I have is when strangers use these names. My friend Deborah and I call each other cutie pie and cupcake as joking names of friendship. But we know each other. My mother occasionally calls me sweetheart. That is okay. But complete strangers?
The type of relationships we have with people is very important. And what we call people reflects those relationships. I am glad to know that God calls me His child, His beloved, His bride...

My Favorite Christmas

The first Christmas after my siblings and I got a paper route was the most exciting Christmas I can remember. I was about 13 and we had never really bought Christmas presents for each other or for our parents apart from helping our parents go to the store. This was the first time we would really be in charge and it was our own money we were spending. Like the story of David and the threshing floor, the guy would give him the place to build an altar, but what sacrifice is there in giving something that cost you nothing? David insisted in paying for it, and this time it would be so much better than having one of us take the money from my mother and hand it to the cashier for a present we hadn't even thought about or worked for.

Without our parents knowledge, we saved our whole paycheck for months. We had no idea what we could get with how much money and we wanted to make sure that we could get something nice. The most exciting part of all of this was that my parents had no idea what we were doing. I mean, they knew we were up to something, but I don't think they knew what it was. Maybe I should ask them. When we finally went to the store, we knew what we wanted, if we could get it. We had been making lists of things my parents had mentioned maybe liking or wanting or things they thought were neat. We ended up getting so much stuff, at least we thought so. We spent probably almost 300 dollars. That was an unheard of amount of money to us. We got my mom her favorite perfume and my dad a cordless power drill he had wanted for ages. On top of these we got a random assortment of other things. We put them under the tree Christmas morning after hiding them in my bedroom for weeks. That still remains my favorite Christmas. I loved seeing the surprise on my parents' faces and their joy that we had picked perfect things. They were overwhelmed and it was so exciting. The secret between me and my siblings drew us together with a common joy and a common purpose.

That common joy and purpose is ours as Christians. It should draw us together and fill us with glee, no matter what time of year it is.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

A Chance Meeting

What do you see?
I see people.
What do they look like?
That is a good question.
Huh? Okay.
They look normal to most people.
But to you?
I see what they truly are.
What are they?
It depends on the person.
What about that person over there? The one with the T-shirt and jeans, he looks normal.
You see the clothes don’t you?
Well, yeah… he is wearing them.
I see his heart.
Oh. What do you see?
I see a man struggling to be good in a corrupt world and failing.
Oh. And what will that turn into?
It is only a downward spiral from there.
Downward? To where?
To Hell.
But isn’t he trying to be good?
He isn’t succeeding.
But isn’t trying enough. I mean, he hasn’t murdered anyone.
But he has hated, and has therefore committed murder in his heart.
But that isn’t fair, everyone has hated someone.
Yes, and everyone is condemned, that makes thing fair.
So you are saying that even good people aren’t good enough?
Where do you draw the line, murder, theft, lust?
I don’t know. So what is the line?
God is perfect.
But I can’t be perfect. I already lost that chance! Now what?
Now you live miserably, die, and go to Hell.
But it isn’t fair! Isn’t there any way out?
Does the way out have to be fair?
Well, I don’t know…
Is it fair for a perfect man to die in the place of a sinful one?
No. Not really.
What if I told you there was someone who loved you and had already taken your place?
I don’t think I would believe you, even my family hates me.
What if I told you it was me?
What! I don’t even know you!
No, you don’t. But you can if you want to. And I know you.
Not well enough! I am not a good person.
I know.
So, what do you want? What do I have to give in return?
Do you honestly think you have anything worth giving?
You mean, I don’t have to change? Do good works or stuff?
Being good isn’t enough, remember?
Well, yeah. But what do I have to do, like pray, sacrifices, all that stuff?
To obey is better than sacrifice.
Okay, what rules do I have to obey?
There are no rules. You would be free.
So I can do whatever I want and it won’t matter?
God changes you.
So, I don’t have to work for this?
Nope. Obedience is easy.
Wait a second! So I do have to obey! I knew there was a catch!
If you truly love someone, do you have to struggle to do what you know will please them?
Uh.. no, not really.
If you truly believe a tragedy will happen, do you struggle to decide to prepare for it?
Well, no.
So if you believe me and love me then the change is only proof of that.
So what do I do?
Seek God.
Thanks…that helps.
If you knock, the door will be opened.
Can you give me a clue about the door to knock on?
Start with the Word of God.
Okay. Are you just going to leave me to myself now to figure this out?
You can talk to me whenever you want.
So wait, you are God?