The Most Wonderful Time..

How are you, dearest bloggites?

I hope that you're happy, healthy, and at peace - and that you've sufficiently satisfied all your turkey-and-dressing cravings for 2008, 'cause it's holiday season. And that's what we do.

I'm still basking in the holiday glow and unashamedly enjoying the leftovers, myself. Oh, yes, I am. I kidnapped [with permission, which makes it sooo much more legal] all three of my precious nephews at Christmas, and I've been having a blast bonding with them and with my family during this season.

Yes, we're being fat and lazy.

I make no apologies.

So the hectic part of the festivities has passed, and between tossing back the leftover cookies and Christmas fudge I seem to be consuming at alarming rates, I'm working on a list. [You may recall that my melancholy mother is to blame for the listmaking tendencies, but I bear her no ill will. Live and let list, I say.]

I think it's important to make lists around this time of year. Why? I'm not completely sure, but I know that people do this religiously, so I feel compelled to join. That's the sanguine in me, copycatting the melancholy in you.

My Must-Do List
[before 2008 is gone and I'm haunted by my lack of listing]

Find gainful employment
Start dieting again
Make cookies with my nephews
Try not to eat too many of the cookies we made
Eat too many cookies
Wake up earlier every day to work out
Take naps watching cartoons with my nephews
Work out
Chase my nephews around the house
Pare down my wardrobe to make more space
Buy adorable sweater on clearance
Catch up with old friends I've lost touch with this year
Avoid the town gossip at Walmart because my hair isn't fixed
Journal more memories before I forget them
Take [and make!] more photo opportunities with my family

As you can see, I'm off to a rousing start. I do have something to show for all of my listing [besides extra pounds and a fabulous sweater] though; Leah and I had a chance to take all three nephews for a spin in their new outfits [yes, yes I do have fabulous taste in little boy clothes, thankyouverymuch!] and we snapped a few a load of pictures.

Behold the cuteness that is Damien [10], Tyler [6], and Raiden [6 months].

I know. It's too much.

So... The year is drawing to a close; have you tossed out the 2008 edition of your to-do list yet?



Say Hello...

..To my little friend, the Spurs widget. Because everyone needs to know exactly what they're doing, yes?

No? Step aside, naysayers, this team is the best in the business.

Due to a period in my life that I fondly refer to as 'the San Antonio times' [shoutouts to my homies from HOPE!] I became a deeply devoted fan of all things Spurs. My family, curious about my sudden support, decided to check 'em out... And became deeply devoted fans, naturally.

One of my favorite things about the team is their commitment to the community. The Spurs team members are great about taking active part in community enrichment, and the community loves 'em right back for it.

'Cause these are our boys, yo.

Even newbie George Hill [who is so lovable I want to keep him in my pocket!] is in on the generous action; he just made a couple of SA-area kiddos very, very happy for Christmas.

*le sigh*

I heart you, you wonderful, ridiculously large, basketball-playing boys.




Funny, Punny You!



I got to go see this gal do her thing last night at Improv, and it was hee-larious. Anjelah Johnson is one of my all-time favorite comics. You may remember this nugget of trivia if you saw my post about 'Beautiful Nail'. [If you didn't, we must not have been friends for long. It's ok. Now you know and it's all good.] The girl is golden comedy. And she loves Jesus, so she got jokes that be clean, y'all.

I hearted the feature comic, too - he's an Italian from Tennessee, by way of New York City [and if that isn't fodder for the jokes, I don't know what is. I'm just sayin'..] and he loves Jesus, too, so basically, it was like hitting the clean comedy jackpot.

And I do love to win stuff.

Thanks to a nice young man at the welcome desk, we also got some of the best seats in the house- almost directly in front of the mic, but just beyond the circle of spotlight. Y'know, where the cool cats hang out.

As if all of that funtasticness isn't memorable enough, nachos and drinks set me back $35. Aaaaaah. Now that's memories. ;o)

My official gifting advice for this holiday season? Get tickets. But please, please don't order the nachos.



I Shot A Buck.

Okay, that's not entirely true. [Although I do have a hunting story for another time and place.]

But I have reached 100 posts! Yeay! I feel like that's a true milestone. Or an indication of deep-rooted insanity. Either way, I'm so glad you've stuck around for the ridiculous awesome displays of insanity that spew forth from my fingers.

You may not know this, but composing a 100th post is stressful. Should I be serious? Should I be effusive and thankful? Sassy? Should I be witty? Can I be witty - is that even possible?

You can see where this is a problem.

So instead of worrying about that, I want to share a superfantabulously cool blog that I re-found today. I visited awhile back, and like the sometimes-not-so-brilliant gal that I can be emulate, I forgot to bookmark the page and couldn't remember the url to save the whales!


I was thrilled to see that the author was a guest poster at the always-entertaining SCL today, though, 'cause that means I can stalk visit his page more often. Just for the wallpapers, naturally.

This one is the one I'm currently using. Sassy, yes? Seriously, you should go check out all of his desktop wallpapers - you won't be disappointed.



Notice anything new?

*whistling a ditty, pointedly rolling eyes upward*

See it yet? Okay, good. Here's the story; I'm lucky blessed enough to have a sister who is patient and kind enough to put up with me when I have random ideas like 'let's go downtown and take pictures!'

Yes, she's that fabulous. No, you may not keep her in your pocket.

So yesterday was a beautifully grey day [which, if you're expertly ameteurish like me, you'll know spells clear, crisp pictures without squinty-eyed shots from the sunlight] and the perfect opportunity to avoid studying and do something completely unneccesary, so we did just that. Leah got some fun shots; these are my favorites, taken in front of an abandoned historic building. I'm loving the colors!

The only problem is that I have so many new possibilities for bloggy designs now that my creative little heart is almost overwhelmed.

It's a sickness.

I'll be trying out new designs featuring the photography of my favorite sister when I have more time to put my elusive ideas into proper .jpeg format, but for now, I'm going with a rough draft of another 'hello, alohilana!' design.

You'll just have to check back for more. ;o)



Sloooowly I Click..

Merry Wednesday, dear bloggites. I hope you're well.

Me? I'm doin' GREAT! Thanks for asking. ['Cause I know you did. Right?]

I mean that most sincerely, despite the final exams still looming over my head and the bronchitis-like cough currently rattling my lungs out of my ribcage. Life's still good!

My biggest problem these days is the fact that I'm So. Stinking. Distractable. Point in case: I keep getting sidetracked by Christmas every time I crack open another textbook. Seriously, how am I supposed to think about physiological psychology and learning and memory studies in the 20th century when I could be elbow-deep in crafty, adorable holiday things, getting my fill of fat little snowpeople and wonky gingerbread cookies and Mexican hot cocoa.

It's enough to drive a sane girl like me to the brink of loony, I tell you. Especially when I see adorable projects like the ones featured at The Empire That Is Martha and I immediately feel an urgent need to replicate them. For some strange reason, their paper Christmas trees are begging me to make them. I kid you not. Martha is killing me with her daily holiday projects, y'all.

But I still heart Martha Stewart and her vast array of creativity ninjas.

[By the way of a byline, this title will only make sense if you're an I Love Lucy fan. Viva vaudeville!]



We Interrupt This Season...

Y'all. Personal Insight #236: I am a blogging fiend when I should be studying for the 7 finals and Spanish paper I need to finish before Tuesday.

Because there's nothin' like prioritizing.

That being said, I realized something today. In the midst of the here-and-not-here blogging madness that has become my little web journal here, I neglected the traditional Thanksgiving post.

Why, you ask?

I'm so glad you asked.

It's not that I have nothing to be thankful for; quite the opposite is true, in fact. My heart brims with love and appreciation for everything I've been blessed with. I have a supportive, caring, doting family that can only be described as the absolute best. I have friends that support me, encourage me, humor me, and remind me of the important things in life. I have health [minus the near-constant stream of apparent allergic reaction to oxygen that I have lately endured] that many people only dream of.

But lately, it's been difficult to put into words how much it all means to me, because truly, the blessings in my life are what keeps me [somewhat] sane in a crazy, insane life.

I'm truly, madly, deeply thankful.

But I'm also thankful for the insights into other lives; lives where pain and fear and joy and hope reflect shiny little glimmers of those very emotions in my own life. See, there's a whole population of people who celebrated our traditional day of giving thanks missing pieces of their hearts. People who make sacrifices daily for what we have. No matter what your stance on war and military endeavors may be, there are men and women who willingly volunteered to serve a country that they may very well die for. Because they believe in what we have.

This season, in the midst of thankfulness and gift giving and cookie baking and caroling, there are young fathers in the middle of a sandy desert, looking at pictures of babies they have yet to meet. There are mothers who are longing to be baking cookies for their families and wrapping gifts for under the tree, and there are families here who are one place setting less than a full table for holiday dinners.

If you don't look beyond the warmth and joy of your family celebrations this year, I won't judge you. I encourage you to bask in the glow of the holiday season; it's the most wonderful time of the year, after all.

But if you do nothing else, thank a soldier. Thank a family missing loved ones to an ongoing endeavor for middle-eastern stability, however that elusive goal may or may not be reached. It's not hard to do; in fact, corporate big guy xerox [yes, surprisingly enough!] has made it easy for you with their 'Let's Give Thanks' campaign.

You've probably been there, done that, right? It's soooooo 2002. Most people have peeled away their yellow ribbon car magnets and moved on to economic discussions and Obama dissertations. Except that those soldiers are still there. The constant spotlight may have faded, but your support, your prayers, and your love are even more important than before.

So do it again, ok? This year. And hug someone you're thankful for. 'Cause some people would give anything to do just that.


It's Hair-Raising!

Whoever said the days of hairdos teased and fluffed to epic proportions and glued into place by the power of hairspray are over?

It wasn't me. 'Cause I'm all about big hair.

Just in case, though, you're not a fan of helmet hair, you can still show your love for super spray on behalf of all the Aquanet junkies out there [like, you know.. ME!]. Hairspray is magnificently versatile; if you don't believe me, just check out this public service announcement.

And enjoy. ;o)


He's Delightful.

The book of Psalms. Chapter 37. Verse 4. Know this one? If you cut your first baby teeth on the edge of a church pew like I did, you may just have it engraved in your brain. 'Cause we love us some promise.

"Delight yourself in the Lord,
and He will give you the desires of your heart."

This oft-quoted verse was penned by David as divinely-inspired encouragement to longing, hopeful hearts, and it's a beautiful reminder of our Father's love.

But there's more.

Encouraging the downtrodden in times of trouble is something that we, as ambassadors of Jesus, should do well and often. It's all a part of living His love. But sometimes, we carelessly toss around Ps. 37:4 as a pat-phrase response to very real problems. But in doing so, we relegate Jesus to genie-in-a-bottle status. It goes something like this [cue commercial announcer voice]:

'Are you pining for your special someone?
Are you desperate for a new job?
Really, really,
really want that solo? Aww, honey,
you delight yourself in the Lord and just see what happens!'

Psalm 37 has a lot more to say about taming the wild, frantic beatings of a heart desperate for answers. Cue verses 5-8:

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.

Don't fret. Trust in Him. He will make your righteousness [that's you, hanging on when questions and fears whirl around your mind at the speed of light] shine like the dawn. I love that, y'all. Dawn is the brilliant awakening of the sun after a dark, dark night. Is that not a promise to sink your tether into? I'm just sayin'.

But here's where a lot of people stop paying attention. It's much easier to believe that our current wishes will be fulfilled than to face the painful truth that we may be wishing for the wrong things.

It's even harder to fight the fear that He's not really delighted in us, that our righteousness is paltry and insignificant, and that we'll never know the fulfillment that we dream of.

Oh, stop it, you. Don't act like you don't know. It happens to all of us. It's that whole human thing.

Stick it out to the end, though. Verses 39 and 40 are the closing lines:

The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

Jesus isn't measuring your righteousness and providing your wishes according to how full your righteous meter is. He's promising you this: if you run to Him for refuge, He will take your confusion and your agony and sing to you a song of hope.

And those wishes? Prince Charming, the solo, the job? Maybe they'll be fulfilled exactly like you plan. Maybe they'll be provided in different ways.

The promise to cling to, though, is that we'll see the hand of Jesus when the dawn breaks and the answers to our hopes and dreams are illuminated in the shining light of our Refuge.



Hola, Mexicanos!

Hi there! Are you new here? Maybe you [like several visitors this month] googled 'Mexican word of the day'?

Well, here's one. Juneau. No, not that hardy little township in the snowy regions of Alaska. Juneau as in 'Juneau who made these tamales?'

What's that you say... Did you want to see 'puppies Rache'?

Well, today is definitely your lucky day. I aim to entertain and inspire, so feast your eyes on the cuteness that is a beagle puppy. [Although I don't know what this has to do with me, but hey - you asked!]

I know, it's too much.

I'm amused and intrigued by the ways that people are finding my blog [thank you, Google Webmaster Tools, for snooping around and finding these gems for me!] but by all means, keep googlin' and visitin', y'all.

Even if you didn't really mean to stop by at all. It's ok. Hopefully you'll stick around for the good parts. ;o)


St. Tarjay

Tarjay, how I love thee. Let me count the ways... You keep me enthralled with your clearance racks, you provide me with endless hours of entertainment in your fabulous home decor department, you stock KitchenAid mixers in three colors, and you pretty much lay down the smack on WalMart. One word: Choxie.

So I was Christmas shopping tonight with my sister and got a little sidetracked. I fell madly in love with this happy little pair of platform sandals; I knew my heart was gone when aforementioned sister pulled them off of the shelf with an incredulous look.

'Oh. My. Gosh.' Says my sister [in chucks] 'Who would wear these?!?!?'

...She didn't need my reply, since I was bouncing down the aisle with a pair in my size to try.

The story ends well for my Christmas list, though; I was good, y'all! I paraded around the shoe department for a minute or twenty [which was no small task, considering the rubber band that held my feet captive] and painfully decided to put them back. I couldn't help but beg for a quick picture, though, 'cause these babies are hawt! That $30 can be better spent, but I want to remember that I wore them. ;o)


On A Wing And A Prayer.

At the [very high] risk of sounding like a lunatic, I have to admit something to you, my favorite bloggites.

I heart Skymall.

I have to diverge here for just a moment, though, because I might have forgotten to mention that I recently embarked on a one-weekend, whirlwind trip from Texas to Ohio and back to take part in the wedding festivities of my lovely friends Tara and Ryan.

I know. My unfaithfulness to blogdom is shameful. I do hereby sincerely repent for my unbloggy ways.

I'm going to totally make it up to you by sharing the highlights, though, ok? Seriously, I had a blast just seeing old-new-old friends in Ohio; I have so missed them all since coming back to Texas.

If that wasn't cool enough, though, [and it totally was, but I'm just sayin'] I got to cruise the Ohio plains in a Dodge Charger. And I looked 'fierce' - if the guy at the rental desk wasn't lying to me. Sneaky little man, I see you upselling to me!

Plus, I got to go to Calvary and worship with the church family that embraced me for 10 months. And I got to spend some quality time shopping at a super-top-secret-hush-hush-employee-sale at my favorite store with a Secret, thanks to my lovely hostess Addie. $6 sweats from the Pink line - that's all I'm saying. [Yes, she rocks. No, you may not keep her in your pocket.]

It was a wonderful experience, full of laughter, a few tears, and quite a bit of sugar to cement the memories. Oh, and I also brought back The Coolest, Most Amazing Magazine Ever.

What, you say? What is this bastion of goodness?

That would be none other than the Skymall magazine, my friend. I have nothing but love in my heart for the wonders that unfold in its pages. I'm not going to lie. After the plane had lifted into the air [by God's grace, because I was definitely talking to Him about it] and the conversation about my seatmate's sailboat and his passion for Italian food started to fade, I had mercy on the poor fellow [he was beginning to shift uncomfortably at my random conversation] and started examining the contents of the seat pocket in front of me.

And that's when I found The Magazine. [It is only appropriate to refer to it in titling, btw.] And that's when I started dog-earing that sucker like a pioneer woman with a Sears and Roebuck. A blanket with sleeves, aptly monikered 'the slanket' and available in 5 colors? Oh, yes. Yes please. And whoever invented the personal toothbrush sanitizer must have been divinely inspired, because I think the Lord wants me to have one.

I wasn't as keen on the 'Richard The Lionhearted Throne' or the 'Deer Head Shelf', to be sure, but you can't fault them for covering all the bases. I'm just sayin'.

Do yourself a favor. Book thee a flight [anywhere is fine, but if you're looking for not-so-lovely weather, fantastic food, and great company, I recommend Texas] and throw yourself into this magazine with wild abandon.

Or, you know, you can check out their website. It's your call.

But don't say I didn't warn you.


Hope. He's Coming for Me.

Have you ever been so intrigued by the nuances of a written passage that you read it a million times before you were satisfied with your own interpretation?

I'm going to go with yes here, because it's my blog and I did that today. [It's possible that I'm just that slow, but that just doesn't seem right.. ;o)]

I read the lyrics to this song for the first time, and I was leg-dropped by it's incredible eloquence and understatement, because it's deeply, movingly profound. Elegant understatements fascinate me, because clearly, I'm a gal who is all about the words. And this song uses them so well to weave emotion, homesickness, questions, and hope into a melody that I just can't help but share.

I know.

I need therapy for my youtube obsession.


'The C.S. Lewis Song'

If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy,
I can only conclude that I was not made for here
If the flesh that I fight is at best only light and momentary,
Then of course I'll feel nude when to where I'm destined I'm compared

Speak to me in the light of the dawn

Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan as I wait for hope to come for me

Am I lost or just less found? On the straight or on the roundabout of the wrong way?

Is this a soul that stirs in me, is it breaking free, wanting to come alive?
'Cause my comfort would prefer for me to be numb
And avoid the impending birth of who I was born to become

Speak to me in the light of the dawn

Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan as I wait for hope to come for me

For we, we are not long here
Our time is but a breath, so we better breathe it
And I, I was made to live, I was made to love, I was made to know you
Hope is coming for me

Hope, He's coming for me



The Slippery Slope.

Is it even possible to eat healthy foods for free [or cheap] dollars with 0 extra minutes to spare? 'Cause the unthinkable has happened, y'all.

My cute little color-coded food pyramid [inspired by, of course, the official government agency on all things food] is officially in a funk.

Because living in my life is tough work.

Okay, okay, so there really is no excuse, but somewhere along the path, my 2008 resolution to eat colorful, crunchy vegetables in abundance [and therefore set free the skinny woman inside me] turned into a decision to consume the cheapest, most filling, most quickly obtained substances possible.

Cue Taco Bell. And Burger King. And Panera. And Chipotle. And Cane's.

Oh, yeah. It's that bad.

At first, the change was subtle. It would be okay as long as I texted Diet.com for every fast food meal, counting calories and fats and basing my decisions on the least evil choice. Then it was okay because I already knew the calorie count of a Whopper, so I was prepared. I was determined to keep the fat girl from re-emerging, victorious and a little smug; so determined, in fact, that I made a valiant effort to cook my own food. That quickly turned into 'cook my own Lean Cuisine', which quickly turned into 'throw some Pizza Rolls' into the oven while I'm writing this paper.

Clearly, this less-than-healthy approach is doing nothing for the skinny girl inside me, so I have a plan to do battle against the fat girl again...

Right after I finish cooking those Pizza Rolls.



fail owned pwned pictures

Go ahead. You know you want to ell-oh-ell. I sure did!

I stumbled onto the Fail Blog and guffawed (oh, yes. In the most undignified way, I can assure you) through 21 pages of madness before catching myself and getting back to work.

True story.

You may want to choose the 'G-rated fails' option to weed out some of the accidentally obscene, but seriously. Wasting time? Belly laughs? Feeling superior because you caught the fail? Yes, please. I'm all over it.

(And before you ask, yes, I probably will be a sporadic bloggite for a little longer, but please don't sue me. I'll be back to my post-happy self soon. Promise.)



You Go, Girl!

I heart it when women make a forcible impact on the history of a nation.

What, you don't think that's possible? Talk to anybody who has a wife. ;o)

Enough said.

So I'm doing this project (also known as a projecto to my Spanish teacher, who is adorable and also quite adept at randomly mixing Spanish and English during class) for my Spanish class about las soldaderas during the Mexican Revolution, and I'm loving it. These ladies were fierce, y'all! I've read that they stepped up when the men were being chickens (or pollos?) and kept leaving their posts to curl up in a corner and nap - they fought with babies strapped to their backs, wearing layered skirts and bandoliers - and rockin' the look, naturally.

These gals are a testament to the fact that women can still be ladies and show true grit and determination. I hope that in an opportunity for greatness like a revolution, whether in thought or deed, I'd be able to show strength in the face of adversity and stand for my beliefs, just like a soldadera.

So hug your favorite girls today, y'all - you never know when the strength of a woman might be your saving grace.

Just ask your momma. ;o)



On Patience..

I borrowed this picture from my brother's album because it makes me giggle. This is sweet baby Ray, clearly being very longsuffering while Dad snaps just.. one... more. ;o)

Seriously, the cuteness there is simply overwhelming. *grin*


Because I Can't..

..Leave well enough alone, according to some. [No names mentioned to protect the innocent.. ;o)]

I'm revitalizing a perfectly good pair of shoes I bought.

Why? Because. They can be cuter.

So - anyone have any ideas? I've replaced the laces with ribbons [and adjusted the bows to less Minnie Mouse-ish proportions, in case you were worried..] so far, but they're still a little 'blah'.



La Musica!

Kristy Starling.

If you don't know of her, you definitely should. She's working on releasing her sophomore album, but I'm loving her self-titled debut album from 2003ish. So far, 'Something More' and 'Broken' have been on constant repeat [back off me, y'all, it's good stuff!] and the lyrics to either [or both] could have been pulled directly out of my heart and woven into music. I'm pretty sure.

It's just too bad I didn't write them first. Drat.

Check 'em out, y'all! You won't be disappointed!


Our Deepest Fear.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Marianne Williamson, "A Return To Love: Reflections On The Principle Of A Course In Miracles" Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3 (Pg. 190-191).



Ay, yi, yi!

It's official. I'm reverting back to my germophobic ways.

Why now, you ask?

Well, the sorrow on my [oddly shadowed, thanks to the bathroom light fixture] face in the picture above tells the story in a thousand words, but here's the short of it; I'm infected with a mysterious bacteria that is slowly chipping away at my sanity.

I know. It's tragic. If you look closely, you can see the tears and the redness that have overtaken my eyeballs. True story.

Okay, now to clarify; I fell asleep in my contact lenses a couple of weeks ago and it happened to give me a nasty little infection in my eyes, so I'm weeping and itching and medicating my way back to health. But the loss of sanity part is definitely true, y'all. I'm going nuts!

So this whole experience is making me want to be a germophobe again, because apparently, this awful malady can be spawned by touching dirty things and transferring the bacteria to my eyes.


I have an appointment next week to ensure that my [ridiculously expensive] eyedrops have taken care of the problem so that I can wear my contacts again.

Until then, I remain yours truly.

Four Eyes.

[That's Ay, ay, ay, AY!, if you're counting....]



Dear Ike;

This message is in regards to your scheduled arrival in our area on Saturday. We would like to request that you stay far away from us. Yes, really. We are aware that the Gulf coast is pretty much shrouded in awesomeness, and we all know that you'd like to be a part of Texas history. Who wouldn't? But your arrival seems to promise quite a bit of commotion, and we're just not feeling up to all of that mess, so please listen to our prayers and stay away - got it?


The People Of The Texas Gulf Coast Region Against Hurricanes And Their Subsequent Messes (TPOTTGCRAHATSM)



I Heart..

Eddie James. Not only does he put out some pretty amazing songs, he's raw and real in his worship. All that, and he sings one of my all-time favorite songs.

Seriously, he's non-stop.

So this song, Jared Anderson's 'Rescue', became an anthem for me awhile back. I'd heard it many times before, but it didn't hit home until Florida. Then, as NW sang it one Sunday evening, it became mine - and when I came close to the point of insanity [which was often. I'm just sayin'...] and all I wanted to do was scream at a seemingly unresponsive heaven and pound my fists in frustration, I'd tearfully, painfully sing a line or two. A cry for help. A cry for hope.

Clearly, it's a pretty special little ditty. So when I found this youtube video:

which is a let-out-all-the-stops, raw, real version of this song:

I had to immortalize it in blogspeak. Here. 'Cause y'all, this thing is amazing. Listen and love. You won't regret it.

Oh, and have a happy Friday!



What The Calorie?!

Does this picture scare you?

If not, then you definitely need to read this article, which will surely give you nightmares and heart palpitations at the sheer volume of calories that you've probably consumed in your lifetime.

I'm just sayin'.

I used to be quite the fan of Chili's 'Paradise Pie' - in fact, for my 18th birthday [and yes, I still remember this] I was promised an entire paradise pie instead of birthday cake and was crushed when it never appeared on my doorstep.

I can be thankful it didn't, though. At 1,600 calories, 78 grams of fat, and 215 grams of carbs, I was actually pretty lucky I didn't have a whole pan of the stuff to tempt me.

I'm officially convinced that I need to jump back on the diet wagon now.

Thank you, MSN.


Hitching A Ride.

There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his daughter, all the way you went until you reached this place. (Deuteronomy 1:31)

I got leg-dropped by the Bible today.

[Almost] True story.

Okay - more precisely, this precious promise from Jesus dropped peace into my spirit today, reminding me once again that this journey is taking me to a deeper place in Him. That's totally like being leg-dropped, I think.

Sometimes it's easy to forget that promise of better days and clearer views when we're groping around in a foggy present.

Trust me. I wouldn't lie about a thing like that.

But whether or not I can see what my future holds, I can see the past. I see how I've been carried through dark nights when the ache in my heart threatened to suffocate my soul. I know who held me when I cried until there were no more tears, begging to be allowed the luxury of not feeling anymore.

See, I grew up believing that I am destined to do great things for Jesus' kingdom; not because I'm convinced that I'm God's favorite child, but because I felt the weight of His calling pressing indelible marks into my spirit. [Never mind that when I was 4, I thought that great things for Jesus meant marrying my favorite preacher.] He was marking my soul for something great.

Unfortunately, I possess very little of that virtue we call patience. When things don't work out like I assume they will, my first instinct is to switch into Plan B Mode. It happens when I decide that He must not have been serious about those soul tattoos.

But Plan B Mode is completely faithless and fearful. Especially because my plans pale in comparison to the promises He's given me. In fact, I'm pretty sure that my plans get me into situations that require my being rescued. Maybe often, too. I'm just saying.

When I drop my lists and plans and see my life for what He is making it to be, it's not difficult to look down the road I've just traveled and see the places that He carried me through, despite my mental shortcomings and daily hindrances. Like the Father that He is, He patiently rescues me from my schemes and plans and guides me toward what He is calling me to be.

I trust Him. These waters are not so uncharted as I've made them out to be in my own mind. A wiser mind than mine is laying plans. Stronger hands than mine are guiding me.

And a deeper heart than mine is loving through me.

So just when I'm ready to throw up my hands in surrender and retreat from this strange walk of responsibility and adulthood and ministry to everyone, everywhere, every time, I hear a faint whisper of His promise again.

I'm one step closer to my destiny today. Because He carried me.



Who's Reading You?

I'm not the most up-to-date person when it comes to celebrity news, I'm not going to lie. The pitifully small bank of knowledge I possess about Angelina Jolie and John Mayer and David Beckham [and other famous people who aren't coming to mind] is laughable - just ask my sister, who knows everyone, celebrity or otherwise. Seriously.

99% of the year, I stick with my standards - the Bible, textbooks, inspirational books, and a few blogs - all the things I should be reading. But I always buy celebrity rags when I'm flying. No questions, please, really, because I have no good answer. ;o) That doesn't matter when I'm flying, I guess, because with the surety of the rising sun, I settle into my seat armed with the latest copy of US or OK and read up. Every time.

[Then I base my entire celebrity knowledge on those magazines until I book another flight, because I'm good like that.]

Why is this important to you? Because you're reading my blog, of course! ;o)

My familiarity with People magazine may not apply to you, but is it a sign of zip-code Christianity [read: the ability to become or to act differently while on vacation or away from one's home church] in me? Whether or not I know anything about celebrity splits and hits, it's important that my faith and my adherence to the principles of Phil. 4:8 never changes.

No matter where I am reading, someone will be reading me.

[Oh, and the CosmoUK was borrowed. I wasn't flying, I was slumber-partying, so I was off celebrity rag duty. I cannot tell you what 1,000 men said or what they revealed about Miss Blondie, and for that, I am very sorry.]



Blog Years!

I'm parked in front of a borrowed computer at this very moment, munching away at a pile of pizza bites [for which I am deeply sorry, but not at all repentant] and poised and ready to tell you what's kept me from blogging for a month.


Ok. Good.


Yep. That's how it went down. I'd have said so sooner, but I've had wireless internet access exactly twice since burning up the highway into Texas.

You can see where that would be a problem.

The past month has been full of surprises. If anything, I've been reminded again how I am not in control of the future that God has planned for me. And how that's okay.

You are the Potter, Lord. I'm the clay. Make me and mold me according to Your will.

See, I packed my worldly goods into my Honda and left Ohio with a P-L-A-N, y'all. Bossy people like me always have plans. But life didn't parade from point A to B [color-coded on college-ruled notebook paper, thankyoukindly] like I'd directed it to do; two weeks after moving, I found myself unexpectedly without a place to stay, still without a job, still 2000 miles away from the church I love, and now staring at a pile of work for this semester that might make a grown woman cry a river of tears. I'm just saying.

I'd like to say that my story is now complete with a tale of miraculous reversal of every problem that I've faced since I moved, but then I'd be lying, and that seems like a terrible thing to do in a blog.

This is a journey blog. Simple and honest.

I definitely don't know the plan. There's a reason He's God and I'm not. But I'm willing to learn what He's teaching me, and providing that I have access to wireless internet and pizza bites [um, because I might have eaten the whole pile already - I'm just saying] I'll share them here for you to verify. Just in case I'm wrong.

I'm growing, I'm learning, I'm changing into what He wants, and even though I'm not even pretending to understand the whole plan, He's the Potter.

Make me and mold me.



What The Blog?!?

Hey, y'all!

So we can say, with great authority, that the world does go on without my bloggin' little self at the keyboard. That's the good news!

The other news is that I still don't really have time to do justice to blogging. For that, I repent in sackcloth and ashes. Or I would, if that wasn't a really complicated thing to do. ;o)

In the last week, I've driven over twenty-three hours (from Ohio to Texas, if you're stalker-curious) alone, stayed in a creepy hotel alone, started two psychology courses, finished one, gotten two fillings (my dentist probably hates me - I hardly ever get to this part of the country to see him!), sent roughly two billion text messages, consumed about ten gallons of coffee, loved on three precious nephews, and learned to play tennis - and I've won approximately zero times, if you're following the counting binge.

And among all of that, I really thought I was going to be able to throw out a blog post or two..

[okay, okay - I couldn't help it, though!]

But clearly, that was a false assumption on my part, and for that, I'm sorry, y'all - I've got all these rambling things to share, but not enough time to stop and share it!

As a peace offering, though, I want to share one of the highlights of my week:

Hanging out with these three little guys was a BLAST! I had a lot of stored-up cuddles [I haven't seen these kids in TOO LONG] so there was a lot of that going on.

I'm going to try to throw out a tweet here and there on twitter, so do keep an eye out for me zooming through, and I promise, I'll be back soon, okay?

Lots of blog loves, y'all! ;o)

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