Friday, January 30, 2009

Evangelism Linebacker

This is great. My favorite part -- "Get off the flo and go doh to doh!"


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

I just got back from the dentist. I don't think that I've ever been one of those people who does not like going to the dentist...ever. Today, I became one of those people. (It could possibly be the "Froggie-Full O' Treats" at my old dentist's office, but that's neither here nor there.

I had the same dentist/orthodontist for 20 years and then when it was time for me to go to a "big girl dentist", I just went right across the street to my parents' dentist, a fellow church member, and an office where my favorite dental hygienist, Alice, had moved. Alice is my favorite because she was one of the first people to clean my teeth when I was a baby. And she is always, ALWAYS, smiling. Always.

So, needless to say, Alice was truly missed today. The lady who did my teeth today (who shall remain nameless only because I can't remember her name because she obviously didn't make that good of an impression on me) was so not Alice. She took FOREVER! Alice is a speedy chick. Speedy, but efficient. And before she starts poking around in my mouth, she always asks me how things are going. Even though she heard me say the same thing out in the hallway just five minutes ago. She brags on how she just loves to hear my "momma" sing and how sweet my daddy is (of course, he is). She continues talking to me while she's poking around in my mouth and pretends to understand what my responses are to her questions even though I have a mouthful of Alice's hand. And the four words that people hate to hear, "You have a cavity", well they were never as daunting coming out of Alice's mouth.

And then there's Dr. Boteler. Bill. Now this guy is a dentist. For realz. You can tell by his bowtie. Dude can pull off a bowtie. But also, he is one of the most gentle creatures I have ever meet. The guy loves the Lord and is not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even if I didn't know him from church and I was a bum off the street, I could tell that he is a servant of the Lord because Christ's love just radiates from him. His smile is gentle, calming and of course, perfect. And I know he prays for every single one of his patients.

He also does pro bono work with Mission First, a branch of the First Baptist Jackson ministry for people who can't afford to go to the dentist.

He, like Alice, loves to brag about my mom and dad and what great people they are. Of course, they don't have to tell me that. I mean, I am their daughter but it's just a great feeling when you hear it from someone else. You know how parents get when people brag on their children to them? Well, that's how I am when folks talk about my mom and dad. The pride wells up inside me and I can hardly contain it.

Needless to say, my first trip to the dentist in Birmingham left much to be desired...except for that Sports Illustrated with Tim Tebow on the cover that I barely skimmed in the waiting room before they called me back. Other than that, let's just say, I'm not looking forward to my next visit.

I guess Dorothy was right after all.

There is no place like home.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Somebody Get This Woman A TLC Special....And A Blog

Article taken from www.foxnews.com

BELLFLOWER, Calif. — Eight babies born to a mother in Southern California — only the second live-born set of octuplets in the world — were in stable condition and breathing on their own, doctors said Tuesday.

Dr. Mandhir Gupta, a neonatologist at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center, told ABC television that the babies "are doing actually very, very well."

Two of the newborns were initially put on ventilators, but their breathing tubes have been removed.

"Only three babies need some sort of oxygen through the nose right now but they are breathing on their own," Gupta said on "Good Morning America."

The six boys and two girls were born Monday, weighing between 1 pound, 8 ounces (0.67 kilograms) and 3 pounds, 4 ounces (1.47 kilograms). The mother's identity has not been released.

The world's first live octuplets were born in March 1967 in Mexico City, but all died within 14 hours, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

The United States' first live octuplets were born in Houston in 1998, three months premature. The tiniest died a week after the birth. The surviving siblings turned 10 in December.

Their parents, Nkem Chukwu and Iyke Louis Udobi, told The Associated Press that they were delighted to hear another mother managed the same feat.

"It's a blessing, truly a blessing," Chukwu said. "We'll keep praying for them."

The parents of the California octuplets and their doctors had been expecting only seven babies. Just five minutes after the first birth, the unexpected eighth baby came out. (WHAT?!?!?!)

"It is quite easy to miss a baby when you're anticipating seven," said Dr. Harold Henry, chief of maternal and fetal medicine and one of 46 doctors, nurses and assistants who delivered the children by Caesarean section.

Doctors said they repeatedly conducted practice sessions in anticipation of the deliveries and were well prepared.

The babies — dubbed with the letters A-through-H — will probably remain in the hospital for at least two months and the mother should be released in a week, said Dr. Karen Maples, chief of the department of obstetrics and gynecology.

The most encouraging news was that the smallest — Baby E, a boy — no longer needed a ventilator. Gupta described him as "very feisty" on Tuesday.

The doctors cautioned that there is still the possibility that one or more of the octuplets may need a breathing tube again, and more dangers await when they begin feeding.

The mother checked into the hospital in her 23rd week of pregnancy and gave birth to the premature babies seven weeks later. Hospital officials would not say whether she had used fertility drugs.

Dr. Richard Paulson, director of the fertility program at the University of Southern California, said the latest births likely resulted from the use of fertility drugs, and that the children could face serious health risks.

"It's a risky decision to try to have all eight babies," said Paulson, who had no role in the delivery. "I would not recommend it under any circumstances, but I respect a parent's decision."

The Bellflower medical center, located about 17 miles southeast of Los Angeles, has an advanced neonatal unit. The most infants previously delivered at the hospital was five, the Los Angeles Times said.

***************************************************************

Okay, I thought I'd just let the article speak for itself but considering my track record of letting something speak for itself...well, we know what my track record is.

EIGHT BABIES AT ONCE! And one of those was a surprise! Oh my gosh! Can you imagine planning for seven the whole time and then just out comes another, like it was stowed away in some kind of secret compartment or something?!?!

I know what I would name that kid -- Shockanah. Like "shock and awe". Because, y'all, those are the only two words that I can think of right now that would completely describe what I would be feeling if that had happened to me. In my Dad's words, "Good grief!"

Good thing, Jane Doe (I call her that because we, as the people, don't know what her name is yet. And if I were her, I would consider that a blessing) has two months until the babies can think about coming home because she's going to need to go out and by one more of everything. Um and recover from delivering EIGHT BABIES!

Girl's got a whole heap of blessings and obstacles in front of her. I know I've just added her to my prayer list. I pray that all of those little bundles develop and grow strong and healthy so they can all enjoy being a family. As tough as eight little boogers sound, it also sounds like so much fun.

Here I go again. I can hear my Mom now, "You better stop talking about that stuff. God's gonna give you a load of 'em."

Bring it on.

Monday, January 26, 2009

What Are You?

I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm a
Self-Knowing Extroverted Self-Improver


I know what I am. A Self-Knowing Extroverted Self-Improver. That's what. Except I can totally be introverted when I really want to.

Thanks, Rossie, for sharing. Go to www.43things.com to see what you are.

Happy Birthday Daddy!


Today is my Daddy's birthday and I'm so sad that I can't be there to celebrate with him. He and my mom are on their way back from the Cayman Islands. They went there with a group that my mom sings with to perform at a church that the Southern Baptist Convention planted (I think) down there in Grand Cayman.

I know he had a wonderful time enjoying God's creation and getting to talk with the natives, but I know it would have been better if he had been able to go snorkling or swimming with the Manta Rays. The sea is Dad's favorite place to be.

Anyway, I just wanted to post a little Happy Birthday message for my Daddy. He is truly my best friend and I can't imagine having any other daddy but him. He's been my biggest cheerleader all of my life and is so proud of whatever I do. He introduces me as "The girl who knows everything before anyone else does" and boasts that I knew about MSU's coaching hire before anyone else did. I try to explain that I only know because I'm part of that grapevine of athletics, but still he persists.

He's taught me how to love my Lord wholeheartedly and how to laugh at myself. He's shown me how to lean on God in the difficult times and not on my own understanding. He's been a great example of a true follower of Christ, sacrificial love and living out God's mission with reckless abandon. He's shown me how a woman should be loved by a man through his proud love of my mom, and has given me a glimpse of how my Heavenly Father could love me so much.

I'm so proud to call him my Daddy. And I never pass up the chance to tell people that he played football for MSU. And that he held records in track and field for Mississippi until just a few years ago. And that he coaches the Peeple's Jr. High soccer team to their first soccer championship.

He's my friend, my hero, my coach, my cheerleader, my teacher, my audience, my Mr. Fix-It, my favorite hug-giver, my fishing buddy, my counselor, my book of reference, my leader.

He's my Daddy.

Happy Birthday, Daddy! I love you like a hog loves slop!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Who Are You?

My ticker to the right of the screen (that way ------------------------>) is about to (or just did) get to 5,000. That means that this measly old blog has had 5,000 hits.

(And I know that about half of them are probably me. But that's neither here nor there.)

Anywho, I want to know who is reading. I want to know who you are. All five of you.

Did you know there's actually a holiday for this? It's called Delurking Day. And I think I missed it by like a month. Delurking is when you read a blog and don't comment...or something like that.

I just want to know who reads. And I know you do. Because of my handy-dandy button over there (------------------------------------------------------->)

I don't know you by name, just location. And it's fun to see the different places. Someone in Australia totally loves me. Which is understandable considering I love Australia. But I'm pretty sure it's more because they keep googling things that I write about and Mr. Google brings them to me.

AND I get lots of referrals (that's a fancy word in the techno language) from LT's blog. I want to know who you are.

So please, take a second to leave a comment. All of you. Tell me who you are, even if I don't know you. I've done this plenty of times on the blogs of strangers so have no shame.

Let me know who is reading, this also includes you people who are my immediate family.

If you don't have a Blogger log-in, you can leave an anonymous comment, just make sure you leave your name.

And don't forget to keep reading!

I hope I've entertain and informed. As a broadcast journalism major, those two things are supposedly my calling in life.

So...

LEAVE A MESSAGE AT THE BEEP...

BEEP!

He Showed Up

For a while now, I've had this deep longing to see that God has used me to affect someone's life. Let's call it what it is -- selfish. It is. I know.

I mean I know God has used me to affect a number of lives, especially in places that I've taken mission trips to like Arlington, Tex., New Orleans, La., and Honduras. But in my own vain conceit, those are just people that God intended for me to touch. So I thought.

(If this seems weird as you are reading, no worries. It's even more weird to read what my hands are typing as I write it. At this point, I'm just letting my heart do the talking.)

But lately, I've been wondering if God had used me in the lives of people that I had actually built strong relationship with. Long-time friends. Co-workers. People I went to high school and college with. Old flames (yikes).

For several years now, I've pleaded with God to show me some glimpse of the work that he had done through me. Up until now, I never knew that he wasn't showing me because he wanted me to see what he was doing in my life first.

I mentioned in this post that I wrote earlier in the week that I "ugly cried" in church on Sunday. And as I said, it was definitely God-prompted. My dad asked me why I "ugly cried" and I (jokingly) told him that I got the Holy Spirit and He prompted me to cry. But in a weird way, I think I was telling the truth. If you've been reading my blog for the past month, you know I've been struggling with some things that I've chalked up to "obedience issues". I've been feeling a little out of the loop in my little 25-year-old world, very unattached in my realm of community (friendship and church community not neighborhood community) and have felt a tug to do something that would completely take me out of my comfort zone but would be more fulfilling personally and spiritually.

Sunday, our pastor was talking about spiritual community and the fact that we should be able to share the burdens we have with our brothers and sisters in the faith family and know that they are there to support us in anything, if only through prayer.

I, of course, started thinking of people that I knew who were going through trying times and knew that I should pray for them, but then something happened.

(At this point, I should probably mention that I usually sit by myself in church because I'm consistently about four minutes late and can't find my friends or because I think that if I sit by myself, I'm less prone to be distracted. This particular Sunday, I started out by myself, until a new friend asked to join me. I welcomed her with open arms.)

You know, when I said that the Holy Spirit came upon me? Yeah, well, I'm pretty sure He came and sat in the chair next to me and whispered in my ear.

For the third part of the sermon (there were three parts to the sermon in which Aaron Keyes lead worship in between parts), I seriously wrestled with the Holy Spirit. He kept telling me that I'm not the one that should be thinking of people to pray for. I mean I am, but not right now. He kept telling me I have a burden that's pretty big that I should ask people to pray for. That there was no shame in asking people to pray for me, because the burden that I think is "no big deal" is still something that I shouldn't have to sort through on my own.

Somewhere after that, our pastor asked people to stand up who were dealing with certain burdens whether they be sickness, sin, divorce, obedience, or if we were wrestling with God about what direction our life was going in. And after those people stood up, the people around them would gather and pray for that person. At this point, the Holy Spirit and I had words. It went a little something like this...

HS: Katie, that's you.

Katie: It sooo is not. I don't have any burdens. I'm not physically sick, I'm totally not dealing with a divorce, no one close to me has died recently. I'm not grieving or in pain or whatever.

HS: Yeah, but you're carrying a burden still. Stand up.

Katie: No. It's not even that big of a deal.

HS: Stand up.

Katie: No.

At this point, and I'm not even lying, God somehow raised me up out of my seat. Without my permission.

And the water works commenced.

And the sweet friend sitting next to me, put her hand on my shoulder and started praying. And then I felt another hand on the other shoulder. And another on my back. And another. And another. And another.

At that point, I cried out (silently of course), "God just show me what you want me to do. I want to know that I'm affecting people's lives. Put me in a place where you'll allow that to happen."

And then He showed up. And He showed me something that I've never seen before.

Starting Sunday night. And the showing hasn't stopped.

In the past five days, God has brought people back into my life to show me what He has done, and get this, WITHOUT ME.

Years ago, God placed people in my life that He wanted me to build relationships with and start praying for. And I did. Faithfully. Even when those relationships seemed to crumble to dust.

Through those relationships, God planted a seed. Some seeds I thought were doomed from the beginning but God proved me wrong. He used me for a part of his plan but then I realized this week that I'm not the only person that God can use.

God showed me this week that He is the God of Restoration. And although he chooses to use me in certain situations, he doesn't need me at all to accomplish His will. And that gives me more of an appreciation of the fact that I can be called His daughter who is allowed to be a part of the restoration that He is doing.

I'm not sure any of this made sense but I'm sure that I needed to write this down.

"But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope...The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." Galatians 5:5-6

"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently...Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
Galatians 6:1-2


"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins."
James 5:13-20

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Queens and Kings

Ok, first did anyone see Aretha Franklin's hat yesterday when she sang "My Country 'Tis Of Thee" at the Inauguration? It was something only she could pull off. And by pull off, I mean people were saying, "Don't mind Aretha's hat. That's just her. And don't say anything to her to ruffle her feathers." Don't wake the beast, right? I mean, I love the Queen of Soul but I've heard stories of what happened between her and Mariah Carey at "Divas Live."



Also, if I have never cornered you and made you watch this video, consider yourself lucky...and now consider yourself cornered to watch this video. You will thank me later.



I'm pretty sure I went to high school with this girl.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Know What You're Thinking...

and no, I'm not going to post 4 billion times a day. Only today. So get over it. It's just that I have a lot to share. Sometimes I wish that there was a way that I could blog and do mission work all day long and get paid for it. But I haven't found such job yet. So I'll just keep asking God to provide that for me.

I did want to share this excerpt from Tara Leigh Cobble's Here's To Hindsight that I read last night. Not the whole book. But almost.

It was like I was reading the words that have been floating around in my head, only in a more coherent and articulate sentence form.

"In retrospect, I'm not sure I would've chosen this life had I known what I was getting into. It is exciting and fulfilling, but it is also harder than I ever imagined in every facet. I love my job -- the nuts and blots of it -- but I hate the consequences of it. Relationships and friendships are pretty close to impossible. Every singe one of them is a long-distance relationship that requires great effort."

Thanks to TLC and Andy, I've realized I'm not alone.

This Guy Is Good

Please go read this post by my new favorite blogger, Andy. And if you like it, read his series "Why Guys Aren't Asking You Out". I promise you will be hooked. And if you get hooked, tell other people about him. Because he's awesome like that. Or, I guess I should say, God is awesome like that.

Andy is going through a similar situation that I am, except he actually knows what he is supposed to do. I, on the other hand, am still trying to figure that small detail out.

However, in today's post, he mentions the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30).

And I couldn't say it any better so I'm going to post what he said. Giving him all the credit, of course.

"In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the story of three men who were given money by their master. Two of the men invest their money and make a return. When the master returns, they’re rewarded for their diligence. But the third man hid his talent in the ground and was punished for his laziness.

I feel like I’ve been the lazy servant all this time – that I’ve buried my talent in the ground – keeping a job I don’t like because it makes me feel safe and comfortable and secure and important."

As I said before, I don't think I could have said it better myself.

If you are the praying kind, please pray for Andy as he ventures out on this journey (listen to me talk about him like I actually know the guy). And pray for me as I seek wisdom about what God is calling me to do from the only One who can give it (James 1:5-6).

I Wish I Knew

I'm watching the Inauguration on ABC (America's Favorite Channel - not really, I just like yelling at the TV and telling Diane Sawyer that she's making stuff up), and I think it's finally hit me, that magnitude of the day.

I didn't vote for Obama nor do I agree with much of what he plans to do as our president, but I can appreciate what this means for our country, and I have no doubt that God has raised him up for a reason. He can do that; He's God.

(I must pause a minute and say how incredible gifted John Williams is. He could arrange the Alphabet Song into a masterpiece.)

However, I can't shake the feeling of...cynicism, for lack of a better word. As a matter of fact, I don't really think that's the right word to use at all.

I just wish that I could really feel the magnitude of this day. I mean, to me, it's just another inauguration. Another guy becoming president. I don't see an African-American up there becoming the President of the United States. I see just another American fulfilling a dream, which is, I guess, how it should look, right?

I grew up in intergrated public school. I never looked at people who didn't have the same skin as me as different people. They were just a different color. I wish down to my core that I could feel what other people are feeling today, but maybe it's just a blessing that I don't.

My parents were in high school when the schools in Jackson were integrated. I sometimes ask them what that was like. And they explain it to me. And usually it comes across that it was really no big deal, or at least to them it wasn't.

(Ok, I just got a glimpse of something cool. Do you realize that two miles in a straight line directly across from Obama's view is where Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his unforgettable speech. Have we really come full-circle?)

So, now, I'll got back to procrastinating work and watching ABC and yelling at Diane Sawyer that she's making stuff up. ( And if she talks one more time about how surprising it is to see how GW seems to "actually like Obama" I'm going to go to Washington myself and punch her in the nose.) But, hopefully, I'll feel a little of what other people are feeling today. Or maybe I won't.

P.S. I had a friend ask today if America will be more unproductive today than they will be in two months during the first round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I told him, I don't know about the rest of America, but I know that I will most definitely be worthless on a day when there is a college basketball marathon on television.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Random Musings 1-19-09

This is my second post from the iPod touch. I promise I won't keep count of every one I do.

I love that my iPod touch is smart enough to correct my spelling and punctuational errors. It's like there's a small Katie inside this thing.

I "ugly cried" in church yesterday and about 1,000 people saw me. Seriously. Ok, maybe only the 100 I passed when I got up to go blow my nose. It was good though. God prompted it because he knew I needed it. And a sweet friend prayed for me, right there. I don't think she will ever know how much that meant.

My nose has bled twice today. Yes, twice. This never happens to me. I'm attributing it to the fact that our house never gets above 64 degrees and I hover around a space heater until I get into bed. Or maybe I got myself too riled up with the thought of a new episode of 24 tonight.

Is it bad that I've come to resent coworkers who are married because they have "plausible" reasons to ask off from work?

I don't think the magnitude of tomorrow has really hit me yet. It's still just another day for me right now. Maybe it will come soon.

Ok, gotta go. Jack is about to "fake kill" somebody. This ought to be good.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Fix You

I'm a "fixer". Really. If something is wrong with my computer, I try to fix it before I let someone else do it. A piece of furniture is broken or an electrical appliance goes haywire -- I try to fix it. I change my own flat tire. I change other people's flat tires. Basically, I'm a girl version of MacGyver. Or at least I like to think so.

I definitely get it from my dad, though. My dad is the world's greatest Mr. Fix-It. And no, I'm not biased at all. If I can't fix it, I call my dad because I know he can. And 99.9% of the time, he does. And if he can't, he knows exactly who can.

I love putting things together, after I take them apart. I guess that's the hidden engineer in me that I never worked hard enough to get out, on account that I was to lazy to do so. I rock at puzzles. That's like my little piece of heaven. I don't do them so much anymore but when I was younger, I was always putting together puzzles. There was always a masterpiece at work in the playroom over the garage. And it's something that my Grandma and I would indulge in together. That's something that I'll always hold close to my heart. I think this is another level of my "fixing". I like to see what's wrong with a picture and figure out the part that is missing, and put it together.

When I put together puzzles, I always find the outside pieces and put together the frame and then go from there. I figure, if I get the outside complete and fixed, it will make it easier to figure out the inside.

I think I used to apply that concept to real life. I realize now how backwards that is. I don't really have to explain that. You get it, right?

I'm not just a fixer of physical, tangible things. I'm an all-around fixer. In every relationship that I've had, I've always been a fixer. I pick out a guy who I think has a few flaws that conveniently fall into my level of expertise and I jump right into figuring out how I can fix them.

In fact, my longest relationship was one long project. I didn't realize it then, but they say hindsight is 20/20. And I'd have to agree on this one. I think it's probably one of the main reasons that relationship went south. I was obsessed with fixing this person's issues myself instead of letting him figure out on his own what was wrong. To my defense, my intentions were always good, mostly trying to lead him to seek his Heaven Father to help him with what he was dealing with. But as they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. And y'all, I was totally trying to make this horse drink. I would repeatedly nudge...okay, push...his head in the water to try and force him to drink the water that I thought he needed to drink. What I couldn't see was that all I was doing was drowning him.

When all of that turned sour, I became obsessed with fixing myself. And let me just tell you, the fixer cannot fix himself/herself. That's what all throughout the Bible it says that without God, nothing is possible and that only through his strength are we able to do anything. I know that now.

I was introduced to a song a couple of weeks ago, as I started (and finished in four days) Tara Leigh Cobble's Crowded Skies: Letters To Manhattan. Can I just take a moment to recommend this book to anyone who is going through a "quarter-life crisis" or is just looking for a good book to read. It's great.

TLC is a Tennessee-born singer/songwriter, who got her start in Nashville and eventually moved to NYC to "find herself" and fill a void that Nashville just wasn't filling. (Or at least that's what I get from her book.) It seems things have worked out for her. But I digress.

In her book, TLC writes about her adventures in moving to NYC and the challenges she faced and adaptations she had to make. She wrote about a song that became her favorite when she moved to NYC because it really spoke to her and as I read it, I felt like God was singing over me.

The song is Coldplay's "Fix You". I know was some of you are thinking. Coldplay is far from a Christian band, but I'm telling you, the lyrics to this song are nothing short of divinely inspired. Check it for yourself:

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse.

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
"Just what your worth"

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream, down on your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face and I...

Tears stream, down on your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face and I...

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you.

Now, aside from the fact that the lyrics say, "try to fix you", I feel like someone has been watching my life for the past 8-10 years and writing a song about it. When I listen to this song, I love to imagine God singing this over me, except instead of him saying, "And I will try to fix you," he says, "I have already fixed you."

Because he has.

Two thousand years ago, before my great-great-great-great grandparents were even a twinkle in someone's eye, God fixed me by sending his Son to die the most embarrassing and excruciating death possible to defeat Death right where it stood so that I wouldn't have to endure that wrath.

So, basically, I can stop trying to fix things. At least, things that aren't household appliances or pieces of furniture.

I'll just stick to the 500 piece cardboard puzzles and leave the more complicated stuff up to God. He's more than able fix all the rest.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Link-sys

- Please go here and read this guy's series entitled Why Guys Aren't Asking You Out. It's hilarious, gut-wrenching and so true all at the same time. And he is totally biblical about it. It's good stuff. Thanks Annie for sharing.

- And this. Several people I know have already blogged about this before. I just got into reading this family's story and it is amazing. It's even more amazing to read what Angie writes as it is so entwined with a testimony of our God's graciousness and protection. It's a must-read, people.

- And finally, I saw this video on Jordan's blog and had to share it as well as pitch in my own two cents. Check out the lone white kid on the far right of the screen. The kid totally doesn't fit in and yet he does in some strange way. And you've got to give it to him, white boy has some made rhythm (and I totally just spelled that with my R-H-Y T-H-M chant that Mrs. Jennings taught me in sixth grade. Who says knowledge retention is moot these days.)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Full Circle

Ok...

A) it is wicked cold outside. So cold that the water pipes at my house are frozen and therefore, my relationship with hot water at home is suspended indefinitely. Or at least until it gets above freezing, which I'm about 95% positive didn't happen today.

B) Don't you just love when God throws a brick of truth at you?

Yeah. I totally got a brick of truth yesterday. And I'm not talking the little red bricks. I'm talking one of those ginormous concrete bricks they make interior walls out of. Yeah. That kind. I'm still a little bruised.

See this is what my mind has been doing lately: You know, I'm suffering from a quarter-life crisis, right? No? You don't? Let me catch you up. Read here. And here.

Caught up?

Good. Now I may continue.

So I was thinking yesterday about how I see my life in seasons. Not like fall, winter, spring, summer. Or even football, basketball, baseball, summer. (Although, the latter could most definitely be true.) I mean, I guess it's easier to describe it as chapters in a book. Or verses of a song. Or movements of a symphony. Yeah, I like that one.

Anyway, I've been on this roller coaster lately, trying to figure out how I feel about my life. Why would God have brought me to Birmingham (which I most definitely feel He did) just to pick me up and move me again three years later, only one year after I get a "real-big-girl-full-time job" (which I still don't know that He's actually going to "move" me yet)?

Then yesterday it dawned on me.

Birmingham is where I had my first "crisis of faith" (if you can call it that) and where I really figured out what FAITH was all about! I was 14, about three weeks away from 15 -- the breaking point of all adolescent life.

Just a little background here: I grew up in church. I was the churchy-church girl at school. Goodie two-shoes (except for those few wild years in 1st-3rd grades when my parents had to bribe me with Little Caesars pizza so I wouldn't get my name on the board. But I digress...).

We were there every time the doors were open. Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night. Sunday School, Discipleship Training, Bible Drill, Children's Choir (Perfect attendance! Woo! Woo!), Mission Friends, Girls In Action, blah blah blah. You name it, I was there.
And when the fair came to town, and all my friends went to the fair on Wednesday night, which was the cool night to go, I was at church. Except for that one time in eighth grade.

I "asked Jesus into my heart" when I was seven. I saw a dramatization in "big church" by the youth of Ray Boltz's "Thank You". Still one of my favorite songs ever. Right there, a seven-year-old's heart was touched in a way I still don't understand. All I knew was that I wanted to be in Heaven with Jesus and God when I died and that everything else would fall into place. I didn't have to understand it all at that point but I would someday, somehow. I just wanted to go to Heaven.

Y'all, I cried. Wept like the seven-year-old little girl I was. I wanted Heaven so bad I could taste it. That night, as I said my prayers with my Daddy, as I did every night, my Daddy led me to the Lord. And for that I am eternally grateful. And I know he is too.

Flash forward about seven and a half years. I'm sitting in the Wright Center on the Samford University campus. (Yep, the same Samford University that I work at right this moment.) I was at Friends Forever '98. Thank God I had my sister in tow, or rather she had me in tow, or I don't think I would have gotten through the week. That was a seriously spiritually draining week for me. I was a new teenager trying to find my way through a seriously rigid teenage wasteland. One in which I was a popular kid. That's not easy.

Anyway, so I became friends with a friend of a friend (are you following me?), we'll call him Kenny. (Lame, I know.) Kenny was a stud. Like seriously, dude was a cutie. But Kenny was seriously lost. LOST. (That's big-time lost for those of you following along.)

Every night, the camp pastor would ask people who wanted to be a Christian (in so many words) to raise their hand (while all heads are bowed and eyes were closed). And every night, without fail, Kenny would raise his hand. EVERY TIME!

And everybodoy knew it.

Preacher Man finally called him out on it one night. He asked him why he kept raising his hand and Kenny said, "Because I need to be saved...again." Then Preacher Man explained the "once saved, always saved" clause to my dear friend. He explained the phenomenon of what I know now as "We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone" and that nothing we can DO FOR God will save us. It's only through what Christ did on the cross for us that puts us right before the Almighty God.

At that point, I hit a wall. I started crying. And I had doubts. DOUBTS. About my salvation! This was not good. At least in my eyes it wasn't.

My sister could definitely tell something was wrong and I was tenderly led out of the auditorium by my big sister's comforting hand. I talked it out with two of my spiritual heroes -- my sister and Karen Stewart.

The above was explained to me like it can only be explained to an emotional, hormonal 14-year-old. At that moment, I understood. Nothing I do can merit me salvation. Good things don't happen to good people, bad things don't happen to bad people. Bad things don't happen to good people, good things don't happen to bad people. IT'S ALL UP TO GOD. (I never would have guessed I would be standing in front of my best friend a year later trying to explain the same thing. Can you see God's handprints yet?)

Still don't get it? Click here and read Romans 8. Plain and simple.

"You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Galatians 3:26-29

So I became the Christian I wanted to be, at that moment. I did what I thought I should do according to what I thought a Christian girl should do.

My faith stayed strong throughout the rest of my high school career and on into college. I hit some major road blocks in college, MAJOR, but I always ended up turning to my Bible for help. Still, I felt a little lost. I felt like nothing that I "did" made me feel better. Nothing made me feel good enough. I was in an intense situation and needed out fast. I think I cried out to God for that relief one night, not knowing that he would actually deliver.

God picked me up out of Starkville and transplanted me into Birmingham, and Samford, a place I swore I'd never see again. (That'll teach you to swear, Katie.) He brought me back to the place where I first struggled with him and he won. Full circle. (Hence, the title of this post.)

My life has been majorly transformed while I've been here. I think I've finally experienced that "faith enough to move mountains" thing. Seriously. I haven't moved any mountains or anything but the more faith I've had, the more God has shown himself to me, in big and small ways. It's been freaky and exhilarating all at the same time. And fun. God is fun.

I was priveleged to be a part of a conversation a few weeks ago with my Daddy and a lady at FBC Jackson. We talked about having faith as small as a mustard seed. And we all agreed that that was all we, personally, had to cling to. We all admitted that we didn't claim to be very smart people, and by smart, I mean like brain surgeon, cardiologist smart. Those guys know a lot about a lot. And they are all about some proof and significant evidence.

But see, me, I don't know a lot about all that science stuff (my daddy did most, okay, all of my science projects and usually the day before they were due) and I don't really want to know. It makes my head hurt. (So does ham.)

All I know is that the thing, THE God, I believe in feels really real. All the time. And I'm a feelings person. I'm a writer. And a musician. Those things are all about some feelings, ya know? Nothing I've ever known has made me feel so safe. That's got to mean something, right?

There is something that a friend in college told me when I was struggling with my best friend's rejection of Christ. And it has never left me. Here it is (not so much word-for-word):

"Think about it this way. If you believe and it's not true, you've gained a lot (knowledge, friends, assurance) and lost nothing. But if you don't believe and it is true, then you haven't gained a thing and you've lost everything. So why not believe, and when it turns out to be true, you've gained everything and you've lost everything and you get to party in Heaven."

Yeah. Let that marinate a bit.

So I guess I say all that to say this, God is poetic. And not poetic in the biblical psalmsy sense of the word (which he is) but poetic in the ironic sense of the word.

Yeah, God, I see you winking up there. Next time, could you use something a little lighter than a concrete block. No? Okay. Just checking.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

iTouch You

Ok, maybe this wasn't the best title for this post but I wanted something clever for my first post written from my iTouch.

(I'm still obsessed.)

Given that I'm typing on a keyboard that would give the smallest of fingers a fit (and y'all...I've got some wicked small fingers), I'm doing a pretty dern good job of typing. And fast, might I add.

Can I just take a moment to mention the plane that is floating in the Hudson River right now? Um, holy cow!! I just watched an interview with a guy who was on the plane (I think) on Fox News and dude was visibly shaken. Who can blame him, right?

(Dude, I'm like typing lightning fast.)

Anyway, if I were in NYC right now, I would totally be in the midle of all the hoopla, as much as a curious bystander can be. You know, it's like a train wreck (or a plane crash, literally)...you just can't turn away, right?

But since I'm not, and I'm here, at work, at a basketball game, I'll leave my fantasy world and saunter back into reality and do my job...and pay attention.

Go team.

(I'm totally excited that my hecklerd are back. Gotta love good heckler. Especially when they are member of your own women's basketball team.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

24 Rundown

First, I must say that last Monday night was the first time I really actually realized that 24 is a for-real man's soap opera. It contains all the essential elements: love triangles (Milo/Chloe/Miles or Jack/Audrey/Tony), evil doings, backstabbing, illegitimate children (you know there's got to be some floating around somewhere, and people coming back from the dead (like some kind of Marlana-is-possessed-Hope-is-buried-alive-Stefano-has-a-billion-lives kind of stuff from Days Of Our Lives, back when it was good. Now it's just ridiculous.)

In honor of the four-hour start of one of my most favorite shows, I'd like to do a little rundown of the surprising, maybe shocking, and new happenings on said show.

1. Tony's back. Tony Almeida is back, people. And if you don't remember, he was shot in season five. (And yes, I shed a tear. Such a waste of man-ness.) Shot and killed. Or so Jack thought. It turns out that Tony was rushed from CTU to the hospital just after Jack saw him (ready for the air quotes) "killed". He's back and he's bad. Or so Jack thinks, again. Nonetheless, Tony's got too much patriot in him to plan terrorist attacks on the U.S. He's just undercover, trying to slowly but efficiently foil the terrorists' plots. So yay for Tony's return.




2. This chick. (It's Janeine Garofalo. And she's skinny. I almost didn't recognize her.) She's the new Chloe. No worries. The old Chloe is still here (and just as feisty as ever, might I add). Janis (Garofalo's character) is just the FBI version of Chloe. Just as quirky, and just as feisty. It's almost like they are twins separated at birth (just not identical). She's already made me love her and hate her at the same time (in true Chloe fashion). We shall see...





3. This guy. His character's name is Sean Hillinger. And he's totally Milo incarnate. (If you don't know Milo, go here. Basically, he was a victim of his own demise. Poor naive little Milo. He tried really hard to be a hero. Fail.) He's an FBI agent, too. Like Janis. In fact, Janis and Sean have already had words (a la Milo and Chloe in Season 6). But dude is already making fake phone calls and tricking the FAA into beleiving he's got orders from the White House to do certain things. You, sly dog, you. Watch yourself though. Don't let Jack find out. You're playing with your own fate, amigo.




4. Bill Buchanan's new look. The guy looks like he channeling Tim Gunn from Project Runway except way more manly. I'm so used to seeing him in a suit and tie, but since CTU has been debunked, Bill's got no style restraints as far as work attire goes. He and Chloe have housed their underground/rogue CTU operation in a warehouse and nothing screams warehouse couture than a black turtleneck (a la Simon Cowell). He's scruffy too. I'm guessing when you are trying to thwart evil doings in order to save the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, there's no time to stay clean-shaven. Or maybe he's just getting a headstart on No-Shave November, um, 10 months early. But I digress. Either way, it's good to see him back and any moment I expect his "lovah" Karen Hayes to pop out from behind a stack of crates and take over the operation.

That's all I've got for right now. 24 and LOST are about the only two of my favorite shows that I end up being depressed by the end of every episode because I want to see more. See, I started watching each show being able to watch one episode after the other. We bought my mom the first season of 24 for her birthday back when I was in college and I watched all the previous seasons of LOST last year online. At work. While I worked on my volleyball media guide. I'm telling it passed the time so quickly. Anyway, so now, after an hour, I crave more.

I think I may have to investigate Charter Cable's DVR package. I can't handle the possibility of missing an episode of work.

It's okay when work interfere with my social life, but the line is crossed when I miss Jack Bauer saving the world because I'm stuck at a women's basketball game. I mean, c'mon!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Have a laugh courtesy of some regular people doing some stupid things.

The Hitching Post

This weekend was fantastic. Everything went off without a hitch...or with a hitch. Depends on what part of the country you're from.

Although it rained most of the day, it stopped by the time the wedding started and not a drop fell for the rest of the night.

It was a beautiful ceremony with a beautiful bride and a most handsome groom. I'm so excited for them. As a matter of fact, as I type, the happy couple is on their way to Jamaica. The land of opportunity. Or not.

My favorite part was when Mark Coon said, "You may now kiss the bride," and Dane returned with, "Bring it."

Of course he would.

I've never seen Dane so serious about something though. And if there's something to be serious about, this is it. Because he knows the damage I can do, not to mention the half-dozen football players, most of whom are in the NFL, that would come to Casey's rescue if anything were to ever happen to her.

I kid.

Kinda.

Anyway, I created a little montage/slideshow of pictures from the festivities. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jack Bauer For President

In honor of the part one of the 24 season premiere tonight, I've compiled a small list of reasons why Jack Bauer should be our next President. I know it's four years away (and Jack Bauer is in fact a fictional character), however, it's never too early to start campaigning.

1. He never raises his voice unless it is absolutely necessary. The rest of the time he just whispers.

2. Dude has like 9,000 lives. He takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'...or kickin'...boo-tay.

3. He gets eventually gets what he wants, at all costs. Don't mess with him or he will bite your jugular until you bleed to death, stab you in the knee with a letter opener or threaten to gouge your eye out with a Bic ink pen, color blue. So, watch yourself.

And finally (bonus perhaps)...

4. He's got a way of talking a woman into going along with any plan, no matter what kind of danger she will be put in. Somehow I think she's lead to believe that with Jack Bauer, she has complete protection from any harm. In which case, she would be absolutely correct.

My fellow Americans, do we want a president who just stands and give orders or do we want a president who will go and get the job done himself?

Vote Bauer.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Mindless Blogging

I've been up since 6 a.m. this morning, drove three and half hours to Jackson for wedding festivities and now I'm back home after a great rehearsal dinner at Sal and Mookie's, trying to get my feet back to their original form. I always forget that those shoes kill after standing for long periods of time.

Anyway, I'm mucho tired-o and have the will to blog but no more gusto left in me to think of something clever to write about. So, I've yet again stolen one of those survey thingies about 2008 from LT's blog to use as fodder for today's post.

Enjoy. And maybe post your own.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
I went to a Dave Matthews concert. Oh, and saw the Red Sox play in Tampa.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions in '08, and have you made some for '09?
I don't do resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My cousin Laura did.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My grandmonther, Dearmom

5. What countries did you visit?
No countries this year. I would have loved to go to South Africa but it just wasn't the right time.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Money is always a good answer for this but I would also say new friends, patience and understanding.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I don't remember the exact dates but there's one day in March when my world pretty much stopped. God found me prostrate on my bedroom floor and picked me up and showed me who he was. The other was in late May, the day my Dearmom died. Oh and June 29th. That's the day I saw the Red Sox play.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Making the transition from intern to full-time

9. What was your biggest failure?
I failed to learn how to play my guitar. Again. Seventh year is the charm, right?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope. Not really.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hmmm. Nothing really comes to mind. I bought a lot of good movies.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Michael Phelps. For realz. Oh and while we're on that subject Tim Tebow too. Dude's got a rock-hard witness and I love hearing him talk about Jesus.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I'm sure Rosie O'Donnell did something to piss me off. If you really want to know how I feel about her, check out these posts.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent. And food. A girl's gotta life.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Um, seeing the Red Sox play. Going to a Dave concert. Each time I got to go home and see family, especially William. Pay day.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
That song that says, "Apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur". Thanks to Chris and Bethany.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier in some ways. Sadder in others.
(b) thinner or fatter? Give or take.
(c) richer or poorer? Richer. Mos def.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I had been able to fellowship and cultivate friendships with people.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Work.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
In Jackson. For 10 days. With the fam. Good times.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
If Michael Phelps and Tim Tebow count, then yes.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
24, The Office, LOST, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Jon and Kate Plus 8, So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol and The Hills

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate is a harsh word. But no, I don't dislike any new people.

24. What was the best book you read?
The Shack and Redeeming Love. By far. Go get them and read now. I now see God in so many ways that I hadn't seen him before.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Francesca Battistelli. Girl can rock. And she's only like 21.

26. What did you want and get?
A job.

27. What did you want and not get?
A husband. Ha.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
The Dark Knight

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned the big 2-5 and I went to Sal and Mookie's with the fam.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More mashed potatoes.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
I am definitely more trendy than I have ever been. I've also figured out that I am really good at shopping for other people.

32. What kept you sane?
Definitely my faith.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Again, Michael Phelps.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
I'm guessing the Presidential Election.

35. Who did you miss?
My buddies.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Definitely my coworker, Holly. We have way too much in commom. Except for the whole going to Alabama for that. It's okay. I forgive her.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
No problem is ever too big for God to handle. Give him the control or he will snatch it from you and knock you on your booty.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"Oh no, you never let go,
Through the calm and through the storm.
Oh no, you never let go,
In every high and every low.
Oh no, you never let go,
Lord, you never let go of me."
-Matt Redman

Thursday, January 8, 2009

White Boys CAN Jump

Still tied, 7-7. OU is punting. Just in case you were wondering. But the game will probably be way over and done with but the time all five of you readers are reading this so just disregard the previous statement.

I must talk about tonight though. Samford's men's basketball team played it's first conference game at home tonight.

(Sorry, I have to brag a little bit on the employer.)

Anyway, they played a pretty tough Furman tonight after falling to Davidson (and Stephen Curry) by 21 on Saturday. Samford won tonight. By 11. So that's a positive.

(Tebow is pumping the crowd up. I must watch. Be back in a second.)

See, our guys, although they are 8-6 on the season, have had a pretty rough go of it to start out this year. I mean they lost to Ohio State 59-22 in the fifth game of the season. At Ohio State. And were down 30-6 at the half. Their coach seriously felt sorry for us.

Anyway, so it was good to get a win tonight. At home. (Especially since Stephen Curry and the Wildcats will be making their way to The 'Ham in about three weeks to play us. On national television.) Big confidence points for our boys.

Now, Samford is a pretty small school. Private school. We aren't really big on the sports radar. We've had our moments but we're no Notre Dame or anything. So we don't usually see much excitement on the court in the form of slam dunks and alley-oops. It's just not popular. Especially with our coach. He's a fundamentals, Princeton offense kind of guy.

(Touchdown Gators! I know you're enjoying my mid-post updates. You don't have to thank me. Just send money.)

So you can imagine my surprise to see, two, count 'em, two slam dunks tonight. One by a black player and one by a white player.

See, brothas are supposed to dunk. That's just what they do. They dunk. White boys make free throws. It's an unwritten rule in basketball. So it didn't surprise me to see Trey go aerial and dunk over two guys with one minute left to play in the game.

However, it was all shock-and-awe when one of my favorites (Yes, I have favorites. I can do that) B-Fry, as well like to call him (First name - Bryan. Last name - Friday. B-Fry) got a steal and took it to the hoop for a very humble dunk shot. One-handed might I add.

I had flashbacks to Shane Power's dunk in '05. First and last dunk for the kid. It will probably be the same for B-Fry. You know, white boys just have to prove that they can do it sometimes. But, who knows, there's still a lot of ball to be played and he could surprise me again.

So, I say to you, white boys can jump. And dunk. Even if they don't have all their teeth.

(Seriously, he had like eight teeth knocked out last year. Ok, maybe like two or three but still. He's got a hole in his mouth. And he's not afraid to admit it.)

(And if B-Fry happens to stumble across this post one day in a random Google of himself...Bryan, you know I only tease out of admiration. So no personal business here. I speak out of pride.)

Okay, there are way too many injuries happening in this National Championship right now. I must go and watch.

Go Gators!

Vicarious Freak Out

I completely forgot to include this in my last post, but now that I think of it, it just didn't tie in with the Reading Rainbow theme. Reading Rainbow. That should have totally been my post title. Eh. We live. We learn.

Anyway, I'm totally freaking out because my bfry (I'm totally stealing this from Annie because I HATE writing out B-E-S-T F-R-I-E-N-D) Casey is getting married on Saturday! Yikes! I told her the other day that I was freaking out for her and she told me that it was cool because she's completely calm in a totally weird way.

I'm so excited. Dane was one of those people that comes along at just the right time and sweeps you off your feet. He totally did that with Casey. He swept her off her feet. Right there in GAP. And then later, he swept everyone else of their feet. Even her parents, hence the upcoming nuptials.

Anyway, when you first look at him, he's totally not Casey's type, but the minute he opens his mouth, you know they were meant to be. And he's a die-hard Bulldog fan. Which is a must in our realm of friendship and family.

So needless to say, the first time I met and hung out with Mr. Dane, I knew he wasn't going anywhere.

Stay tuned for pictures of the glorious day. I'm so excited. I hope I remember to take pictures.

What Have I Become???

Y'all...I am a bookworm. What the hey???

If you know me well, this should come to you as a surprise.

I don't know how this happened. All through middle school and high school, it was like pulling teeth to get me to read a book. I remember the annual Read-A-Thon in elementary school. Friends, family and neighbors would pledge a certain amount of money for each book you read. I, in my ever-illusive way would naturally just write down every book I'd ever read in my life up to that point. Including, the Bible and the entire Bearenstein Bears collection.

I don't think I finished one book in my whole middle school and high school career. Wait, no. Two. Night by Elie Wiesel and The Great Gatsby, or maybe I just think I finished Gatsby because we watched the movie after we finished the book. The others, I'd either get halfway through and quit or get to where I only had like two more chapters, and quit.

(I do have to admit that there was this one series of books called The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle, written by Bill Myers, the acclaimed creator of the McGee and Me series. The first book was entitled My Life As A Smashed Burrito With Extra Hot Sauce. The series is a focuses on the strange adventures of 6th grader Wally McDoogle. While telling his real-life story, he writes his own hilarious science-fiction shorts that intertwine comedically into his life. A must read for a kid who loves some funny business. I used to read these in church when I was bored. I know. I know.)

I'm serious, y'all. I'd sit down and try to read and three pages in, I was conked out. The sheer thought of reading a whole chapter of a book put me in a lethargic state soon followed by a deep coma.

This is where my friend Ashley would come in. Ashley was a bookworm. I'm serious. She could probably sit down and read every Harry Potter book ever written in about 12 hours. Girl had some mad reading skillz. She was like SuperReader on steroids.

One of the reasons I never worried about finishing a book was because I knew Ashley had finished it two days after it had been assigned and I could always get her to fill me in. She was like my own personal human version of Cliff's Notes. It was great.

Except not really. Ash was really good at filling me in, but I would always forget that the teachers wanted details. BIG details. Especially Mr. Avalon. Dude would seriously take one word on page 162, Chapter 6, 13th line from the top, and go crazy on analyzing it. And I LOVED him for it. He was seriously my favorite teacher...and I'm pretty sure I was his favorite student. He made me a writer. But I digress.

Skip to present day. When in the past it would take me two months to finish just one book, I have recently read several books in one week spans (each), Multiple Blessings in three days, The Shack in four, and I just order three more books that I'm sure I will read quickly. I started Crowded Skies: Letters To Manhattan by Tara Leigh Cobble last night and had to stop myself before I read the whole thing in one sitting.

And not once was I tempted to fall asleep.

What is the deal?

Have I grown up? Has my A.D.D. dissipated? Or am I just reading more interesting books? I've actually, recently, bought some of the books that I half-read in high school, or found them at my parents house (Mom, did we get rid of those books?), just so I can finish them. Because I know they were good books. My teachers wouldn't have made us read them if they weren't.

So there you have it. My name is Katie Walden, and I'm a bookworm. Sue me. Or buy me more shelf-space. I'm totally running out.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Thinking More...

This is a tidbit of a conversation that I had today. Through email, of course. I wanted to put it on her for shear reason of looking back on it a year from now and remembering what I was thinking. And also to solicite your prayers and help myself and other people understand what is going on in my head.

I think (some people) think that I'm unhappy with my job. In a sense, (they are) right. I haven't, however, said that I hate my job. I just feel "trapped", which is a word I seem to be using a lot lately.

I really do like my job, but as I've said before, I am a 25-year-old single girl and I have NO social life. No real friends here except for MAYBE two or three people that I would feel comfortable calling and saying, "Hey let's go do something."

And it's not because I haven't tried. I don't have time to try. I know (some people) say that I just need to make time, but the fact of the matter is, I don't even have time to make time. It's frustrating because I really thought I had figured out what I wanted to do. I remember talking about people who had gone through college and ended up not doing what they went to college to do or didn't even finish college and having no idea what they were going to do. Now, I have no reason to judge because I now know what they were feeling. To some degree.

There is a strong feeling that I am being "lead" to do something else. I don't know what that is yet, but for obvious reasons, I can't ignore that feeling. I actually hate that I'm feeling this way because I don't like change. And now that I think about it, I should've seen this coming. I would be perfectly fine staying in this job if I didn't have other goals and aspirations and desires for my life.

Point blank, I really don't think that I'm going to be able to cultivate true friendships and find a guy to marry me if I don't make a major change. My work doesn't excite me anymore and as I told my mom, I feel like I have exhausted my resources and my abilities here. She looks at it as me only having been here for six months, and although that's a technicality, that's completely not true. I've been here for three years. Doing the same thing. I just get paid more for it now. I really don't think that I've taken on anymore responsibility than I would have been expected to take on as an intern.

I've always said that this profession takes a special person, and I used to think I was that person. But let's face it, I am not the person I was three years ago when I decided that this is what I want to do. The desires of my heart have completely changed; they've become more streamlined with God's desires for me. And I honestly don't think that I can be a true servant with the job that I am in. My heart is heavy because I feel like my time is wasted here and I can do so much more.

I had three people last night invite me to do things but I had to tell them no because I had to work. That is so frustrating. I have not once been able to do one service project (besides our every-other-Tuesday-night outing at Highland Manor with Randall and Kisha) with my small group because it is always on a day that I have to work. And there have been only two social things that I have been able to do with that group because they were the only things that didn't fall on work nights.

It's frustrating to watch my "friends" do things and talk about things and laugh at inside jokes and plaster pictures up on the wall and share stories and know that I wasn't included because I had to work. No regular 25-year-old should feel like that.

I know some people may look at me and say, "Well this is the life you chose," but no one ever said that I couldn't change my mind. Or become a different person.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Take You There

I'm totally bored. Deal with it.

1. Put your iTunes/MP3 player on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.

1) If someone says, "Is this okay?", you say?
Hit Tha Floor (I have no idea why this is on my computer.)

2) What will your last words be?
Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone (Oh, so poetic. And true.)

3) What do you like in a guy/girl?
Inspiration (Oh, so fitting too. I love Chicago.)

4) How do you feel today?
Summer Lovin' (Dude, I wish.)

5) WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?
This Is Why I'm Hot (Man, iTunes is for real on a roll. With every click, another surprise.)

6) What is your motto?
Less Like Scars (Sweet poetry, Sara Groves)

7) What do your friends think of you?
Psalm 62 (Hmm...)

8) What do you think about often?
Pon de Replay

9)What is 2+2?
Emmanuel (The answer to all equations.)

10) What do you think of your best friend?
Revelation Song

11) What do you think of the person you like?
When the Coast is Clear - Jimmy Buffett

12) What is your life story?
One Life To Live (More poetry!)

13) What do you want to be when you grow up?
Run It (I was so praying it didn't shuffle to Womanizer or something crazy like that.)

14) What do you think of when you see the person you like?
Made Me Glad (Haha)

15) What do your parents think of you?
Where Are You Christmas (I know, mom and dad, I wish Christmas would come back too.)

16) What will you dance to at your wedding?
Grace Kelly (It definitely won't be this. Probably more along the lines of Dave Barnes or The Temptations.)

17) What will they play at your funeral?
How Can I Keep From Singing (Good choice.)

18) What is your hobby/interest?
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

19) What do you think of your friends?
Piano Man

20) What's the worst thing that could happen?
The Way I Are

21) How will you die?
Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It (Apparently, I will be channeling Humpty Dumpty.)

22) What is one thing you regret?
Whatever You Like (That's deep)

23) What makes you laugh?
Pretty Fly For A White Guy (You have no idea.)

24) What makes you cry?
Yahweh (Oh, yes he does.)

25) Will you ever get married?
More Than You'll Ever Know

26) What scares you the most?
Party Like A Rockstar (Seriously. It does.)

27) Does anyone like you?
Do You Hear What I Hear? (Silence.)

28) What hurts right now?
Away In A Manger (Apparently I loaded my iTunes with Christmas music recently.)

29) What will you post this as?
Take You There (By my favorite Jamaican-American)

Feelin' Funky

Ok, I am officially in a serious funk. Jesus, Lord, help me get out of it. Shine some sunshine in my life and help me realize that I am in a very good situation, considering, and that things could be much, much, much worse.

Self-pity is a BEE-otch. (Sorry, mom.)

There is something major going on I must address here.

I have to say that my heart hurt little when I heard the new of John Travolta's son's death. I don't know these people from Adam, but I have lost a family member unexpectedly and it is not something I would wish on my most hated enemy (of which I don't believe I have at all). The questions and confusion that comes along with it is both overwhelming and exhausting.

It is said that the 16-year-old died due to a seizure which was just one effect of Kawasaki disease, an illness that can lead to inflamed blood vessels, that the young man had suffered from since the age of two (can you tell I've done my homework? Just you wait.)

However, this is the part that struck me hard. Jett Travolta's mom, Kelly Preston has blamed household cleaners and fertilizers for the condition and said a detoxification program based on teachings from the Church of Scientology helped improve his health, according to People magazine.

(Follow the link to learn more about Scientology. It's Wikipedia. The end-all and be-all of modern research.)

I don't know a lot about Scientology, so I can't judge. What I can do it state my beliefs, the belief in one true God.

Wikipedia says Scientologists hold a common belief that psychiatry and psychology are destructive and abusive fields, which much be abolished.

I say leave well enough alone and to each his own. If psychiatry and psychology were destructive and abusive, then there are some very close friends that I should be worried about. I've seen friends over the years who were destructive and abusive themselves (or were involved in those types of relationships with family members or significant others) and psychiatry and psychology, along with a whole heap of prayer, were the ONLY thing that saved them.

From my point of very, these two methods of medicine (psychiatry and psychology) are very much a way of processing thoughts and feelings as well as figuring out what chemical effects of the body have on the brain and the nervous system. Don't quote me though. I was a broadcasting and PR major. I can't quote the periodic table, but beware of my editor's eye and strong need to correct news, sports and pop culture facts. But I digress.

Anyway, my point is, I'm going to prayer very hard for the Travolta family. First, for their loss because that is extremely hard. But more importantly for their immense need to see God work in their lives. I pray that God will show himself as ruler of the universe, healer and destroyer of all things evil and maybe even most importantly, a loving, forgiving, protective, passionate, can-live-without-us-but-doesn't-want-to God who pursues a deep and meaningful relationship with us all and chose us to be his before we were even one atom.

There may not be undisputable/irrefutable evidence (as they say in the NCAA and NFL rulebook) for the existance of one supreme being, but I've got evidence in my life that I am loved without a doubt by something bigger and more powerful that I could ever imagine being.

And you know what they say.

Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Do I Have To Choose?

First things first...

A) I think I look really, really cute today. Just nod your head in agreement. I know you would think so too.

B) Freakin' GO KNICKS! My Knickerbockers beat the Celtics last night and I totally just watched David Lee go aerial and do some serious dunking. Man, I love that kid. God bless Sportscenter and highlights.

C) I realize that my post yesterday probably seemed a little jumbled and made little to no sense at all. Take that as a view of what my brain looked like. (I was also distracted for a bit by the SNL Special Edition on NBC with a collection of sports spoofs throughout the years. Who knew Tom Brady was such a clown, and a good actor might I add. Michael Phelps, not so much good at the acting. But I'll still take ya, Mikey. No worries.)

Basically, I'm in a rut. A serious cold season in my life, if you will. I feel strapped and confined by my job and the little Katie inside is screaming to get out. I didn't realize how loud she was screaming until this morning when I had to go back to work, but nevertheless, she is screaming.

I just texted my friend Kyle and asked him if he wanted my job because I don't really want it anymore. Um, yikes. And nothing bad has actually happened. I'm just restless. There are things here that just don't excite me anymore. And when you're job doesn't excite, it's time for a change, right?

Anyway, onto the less depressing, more fun and reflective stuff. It's survey time. This should be interesting. My favorites from '08, straight from LT's blog. With my own answers, of course.

Favorite song in 08: Hmmm...this is hard. I like songs. I have lots of favorites. I think I'll just say my most recent favorite. Cindy Morgan's "Praise The King." Major old school but so much goodness in it. It really sums up my year.

Favorite movie in 08: Definitely, without a doubt, The Dark Knight.

Favorite new friends of 08: Coworker Hollye. Oh, and sweet church friend Raegan. It's so exciting to see God work in her life and listen to her talk about it all. It makes me so much more desperate for Him and proud that I know Him in the same way she does.

Favorite concert in 08: Hands down, Dave Matthews in Memphis. Although is was wicked hot, it was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime thing and an amazing show.

Favorite musical group in 08: Leeland and Hillsong. Both have cranked out some doozies that have seriously broken me down in a great way.

Favorite purchase in 08: I don't really remember a lot of the things that I've purchased in the past year. Nothing really huge I don't think. Just the necessities like clothes and food. But I did buy The Italian Job from Walmart for $5 a few months ago without even having seen it before and I watched it for the first time last night. As it ended, I whispered to myself while patting my shoulder, "Good call, Katie." That's one good movie.

Favorite baby born in 08: I don't know really any babies born in 08. My nephew was born in October of 07 and he's most definitely my favorite baby ever. Although, my cousin had a baby in the Spring and he's pretty darn cute too.

Favorite TV show of 08: Here we go...The Office, 24, LOST, Chuck, So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol, Aces of Cakes, Project Runway

Favorite vacation spot of 08: Most definitely the beach, any beach. But this summer it was Ft. Walton Beach. Pedro's!

Favorite photo taken in 08: Well, considering that I don't have all of my pictures on my computer here, I'll just pick from the ones I have.

This picture has nothing to do with me but it's of one of my favorite moments of 08. It's right after my men's tennis team had won the conference championship and the young man that you see on the ground is Hank. That's him mom and our grad assistant Manny with him. The championship came down to his match, and it was against our most heated rival. Hank fought through major cramps and a nagging injury to win the championship for the team. He was determined not to give up and play his heart out. And when he finally won, he just collapsed. Hank was a senior and what made this moment so great was that he was in the same position just two years ago. The championship rested on his shoulders and things didn't go as well as they did for him this year. I remember sitting behind him with another administrator and his family. And seeing the pain in his eyes in the third set. He was hurting. He hesitated a bit on one serve and the coach ran over. The coach said, "What's wrong? What do you need?" And Hank answered, "I just need you here." I think I cried a little. That is what it's all about. That's the great thing of having a coach-player relationship like that. You know that you always have someone on your side, especially when it's an individual sport like that. I will always remember that moment.

So there ya go. That's my look back to 08. Now I'm looking forward to 09. Whatever it may bring.