Saturday, February 28, 2009

Death By Country Music

What is it about softball/baseball that makes people want to play every bad country music song ever made?

If I were a fan, I'd just leave, but nevertheless, I have a job to do and I'm afraid I will die a country music death. My readers should know by know that I'm that big a fan of all the country music. It annoys me. Old school Dixie Chicks and Carrie Underwood is about as far as I go.

I'm afraid that by the end of the day, I will have thrown all common sense to the wind, abandoned what I'm really here to do and throw myself over the side of this balcony/make shift press box.

That is, if I don't get beamed by a ball first.

Have I mentioned I'm afraid of round objects smaller than a football hurled at me at exceedingly fast speeds? That's why I never took up the sport. I know I'm not a good catcher and I value my eyes, nose and mouth and teeth ...and the money spent on them. Thanks to the parentals.

If I somehow escape the hands of country music and runaway softball, it is possible I could catch my death of cold...or pneumonia. It's crazy cold outside and I'm downwind.

Say a prayer.

P.S. I've decided to give up carbonated drinks for Lent. That is, Cokes especially. I'm not a Lenter. I've never done this before. And I'm three days late starting. But our small group challenged each other and I think I'm in.

Pros: Possible weight loss and healthier complexion.

Cons: Irritability and headaches.

My Jesus, you're worth it.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Rain Came Down For 40 Long Day-sees Day-sees

I think my neighbor across the street is building an ark. Seriously. That's how bad it's been raining here today. It's been thundering and lightning all day long. The rains have not ceased.

However, I'm madly thankful for the rain today. Because of it, I somehow got out of going to work at all today. I was supposed to go score a softball tournament at noon today, but all games were canceled for the day and I didn't get out of my pajamas until 4 p.m. I mean I was ready to go to work by noon but I just didn't get out of my pj's until then.

I thought long and hard about actually getting out in this weather. Nevertheless, I had to because there was some much needed grocery shopping to be done and I knew I wouldn't have a chance to do it at a decent hour at any time this weekend.

So, at 5 p.m. I ventured out into a rain that had recently been downgraded from "monsoon" level to just "50 gallon drums of rain" level.

Now, people, I have somewhat of a anti-umbrella fixation. I have an umbrella but it gets used very seldom. It's just too much to handle, especially when you know you will be coming out with a lot more than you went in with.

I also have a small anti-shopping cart fixation as well. Although I use them at the store when I know I'm going to be getting more than I can hold in my arms, I loathe pushing them out of the store, especially when I am not parked right beside a shopping cart "drop-off area" (for lack of a better word).

This makes shopping in the rain a bit more challenging. But I'm always up for a challenge, right?

Good thing I had my trusty Sperry Topsiders on. I loathe having wet shoes. I'd just as soon go barefoot before having to walk around in wet shoes.

Anyway, I made it there and back but no before my car decided to go into Transformer Mode and turn into a boat. Any other way, I wouldn't have gotten home.


I love my new friend Zippy. Besides being one of the funniest people I've ever met, she's introduced me to two great artists in the last 24 hours. I introduced you to Landon Pigg last night. Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Eric Hutchinson.


As most of you already know, I have small obsession with anything to do with dancing. Especially dancing shows. So You Think You Can Dance has quickly made it to my top 10 of favorite TV shows. However, now I've fallen in love with MTV's Randy Jackson presents America's Best Dance Crew.

Besides the fact that Mario Lopez is the host and tries to be way more "street" than he really is, I L-O-V-E this show! People do things on this show that I wouldn't even imagine could be done. Insanity in motion put to some mad hip-hop mixes. It's crazy. And this season is my favorite because the best crew, in my opinion features two of SYTYCD's own top 10. Season one's Ryan and season three's Hok and Dominic. (I wish I could find something substantial to link to their names but it's late and I don't have the patience to search.)

These three guys are in Quest Crew, who I'm sure will take the title. See below videos for evidence. Although they were in the final three with two all-girl groups (who brought it every week), they are now in the finals with Beat Freaks, who I believe broke out one of the most insane and mind-blowing performances of all three seasons.

I leave you will more videos. The first two are of Quest Crew and the last is of Beat Freaks' crazy performance.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Randomness In My Head Pt. 2

1. Praise the Lord! My friend Raymond announced tonight that he "asked Jesus into his heart" on Sunday.

Confession: I knew on Sunday but couldn't congratulate him when I saw him because he wanted to wait and tell everyone at bible study tonight.

I'm so excited that he's a part of the family now! PTL! A star is born!

2. I never knew that reading random sentences from a book out of context could make me cry...from laughing so hard. It's even funnier when you think about it in the context of someone randomly reading them during a bible study.

3. I just realized how much I hate being talked over or interrupted while I'm talking. I loathe it. You'd think I'd be used to it since I'm the youngest but no.

4. Maybe that's why I come from a loud family. You have to fight to be heard as a Stone.

5. Have you guys heard of Landon Pigg? This guy is great. Go to iTunes and check him out. Or MySpace. He's great. I just downloaded about every song he's ever recorded. Good stuff.

6. Pico de gallo is my new obsession. It's so incredibly good.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ya Don't Say!

First, praise the Lord for a fantabulous weekend at home. I wish I was still there because there are so many people I didn't get to see because I was busy loving on my family. And in a selfish way, that's perfectly fine with me. My nephew is hi-freakin'-larious and definitely has Walden genes, and is definitely ALL BOY. He's gotten into the "I know you think it's funny when I do this so I'm going to keep doing it until it becomes annoying and then I'll do it some more" stage.

It was such a great weekend. Tacos and burritos were involved as well as some shopping with Mom and in-depth talks with Dad. Oh, and Mississippi State lost in overtime. Good thing the car was in park when the losing happened or I think my Mom would have run the van through the brick wall in our garage.

And another praise the Lord...a friend who was completely bound for eternity in Hell, became a Christian on Sunday and I couldn't be more excited for him. He hasn't announced it to anyone yet but the guy who led him through the process cheated and let us know. So I hope he doesn't read this and find out that we all know.

Anyway, on to today's post...Andy shared some interesting fun facts today on the After-Lunch Breakdance like, did you know that there is an arrow on the FedEx logo? Can you find it? (Look between the "e" and "x".)

He then asked the readers to share their own fun facts and the only one I could think of was that polar bears are left-handed. I heard this a while back when someone referenced "south paw". I think. Either way, it's one of those stupid things that stuck in my head.

However, my interest was piqued at what other fun facts there are out there so I did what any other red-blooded American would do in these types of situations: I googled.

And here is the cream of the crop:

- North Dakota is the only state in the US that has never had an earthquake.

- No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver and purple.

- A can of SPAM is opened every 4 seconds. (Um, gross.)

- On December 17, 1811, an earthquake in Illinois was reported to cause the Mississippi River to flow backward momentarily. The river changed its course in several spots as a result of the earthquake as new islands appeared and others disappeared in the river.

- If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

- 'Stewardesses' is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand. (You might see a left-handed theme progressing here. I can't help it.)

- If Barbie were life-size, her measurements would be 39-23-33. She would stand seven feet, two inches tall. Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. (a.k.a. Amazon Woman)

- Ninety percent of New York City cabbies are recently arrived immigrants. (Um, duh?)

- There are approximately fifty Bibles sold each minute across the world! (Yay, God!)

- A person uses approximately fifty-seven sheets of toilet paper each day! (My dad would beg to differ on this according to his household.)

- The cigarette lighter was invented before the match. (Talk about backwards inventing.)

- Average life span of a major league baseball: 7 pitches.

- Sherlock Holmes never said "Elementary, my dear Watson." (Well, then. Who did?)

- It is estimated that at any one time, 0.7% of the world's population are drunk. (Not surprised. And I'm sure half of that are fraternity boys.)

- Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least 6 feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush. (Um, I'm totally moving my toothbrush when I get home tonight.)

- To escape the grip of a crocodile's jaws, push your thumbs into its eyeballs-it will let you go instantly. (You hear that, Survivorman?)

Do you have any fun facts? Leave them in the comments.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

One Year Ago

First I wanted to share this video. It is a clip of a worship service held last night at Church of the Highlands, the church where Heather, the girl I mentioned in one of Monday's posts, attended. The first five or six minutes are really all you need to watch. The pastor gives a tribute to Heather and tells of her walk with Christ. He reveals something I hadn't known before -- Heather had only been a Christ follower for a few months before God took her home. She was an agnostic two years ago. The Lord works in mighty and mysterious ways!

Speaking of...

It was a year ago, today I think, that my world completely stopped turning. My world was threatened with the possible loss of one of the most important people in my life and I began to see that life was not as perfect as I had come to think it was.

However, throughout that situation, God began to show me how much he truly loved me. I felt him pour out his love on me and my family more than any other time in my life. And this time he didn't use people. I mean, he did. There were some amazing friends and strangers that became friends that completely ministered to my family at that time, but it wasn't through those people that I felt God's love the most.

I dove into His Word more that night than I ever have in my then 24 years of life. He led me to the story of Job and showed me His providence throughout that story. I began to see how my faith in Him was going to play a big part in this but that His faithfulness would continue to be unwavering.

When I found out the first bits of information, I called my best friend at the time, Jason. I knew that I couldn't divulge information like this to anyone but if there was anyone that I could talk to it would be him. Through all the crap that we had been through, he was still that one person I could go to and completely fall apart without feeling like a fool.

I remember as we were wrapping up our conversation that I said in a nonchalant, even unconscious way, "God will receive the glory for this. He will." And I think in a surprised tone Jason answered, "Definitely."

The thing is, as it came out of my mouth, I couldn't believe that I had said it. But I don't think I said it without the prompting of the Holy Spirit. See, at that time, our church was going through a series on God revealing his glory to Moses. I wrote about it here. I don't think I had ever understood the fullness of the statement, "May God receive the glory in everything." But it truly has become one of the most important statements in my vocabulary.

I understand now that he will receive the glory for it all if we give it to him. In the whole experience I went through last year, I saw God's fingerprints all over the place. His providence and protection was unmistakeably evident and I truly experienced that "peace that passes all understanding." I couldn't do anything but proclaim that is was God so that He alone was the one that was glorified.

Don't get me wrong, I cried. I cried a lot. And I still cry thinking about "what might have been." BUT, God completely rained down his grace and mercy and peace on my family and showed himself to us in an undeniable way.

It's amazing to me to look back and see how far God has taken me in a year. I grasp of reality is completely different and my hold on God's hand is undoubtedly tighter because of what he has shown me.

Great is his faithfulness. His mercies are new every morning. May the name of the Lord be praised.

"He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase
To added affliction, he addeth his mercy
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace
When we have exhausted our store of endurance
When our strength has failed and the day's half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father's own giving has only begun
His love has no limit
His grace has no measure
His power has no boundaries known unto men
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
-Annie Johnston Flynt

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Do Me

***My blog has temporarily turned into a contemplative gloom-and-doom what-is-this-life-all-about warehouse but this is a heavy week for many reasons. I promise it will return to its normal state of boring lists and surveys and sarcastic commentary. Until then...

"I Do Me."

Has anybody heard this statement yet? My guess is that if you don't work with students or listen to hip-hop or watch MTV, you probably haven't. However, in a not-so-hip-hop way, this has almost become a mantra for me.

As the most wise man in my life ( daddy) just reminded me, all I can do is be me. I am me. I can't try to mimic others' actions.

Lately, I've been somewhat looking at other people's lives and sort of "wishing" I had some of the same things. As I've stated before on this blog, I've felt very stuck where I am in life and I've been searching for ways out.

My prayer to God has been to help me be grateful for where he has me right now and help me prepare for where he is taking me because "right now" is a stepping stone for the future. I've had feelings of wanting to do bigger things, bolder things, and I think God is preparing me to do those things. But those things take a lot of sacrifice and I think the reason God is keeping me where I am is to help me build up to those sacrifices. God knows I'm willing. I tell him that everyday. Now he's in the process of showing me how to go about having that abundant life that he's promised. It's in committing to the little things that I'm able to do the bigger, bolder things.

I've thought a lot about who "me" is lately. The other day, as I was driving home, I laughed at how different a person I am.

We are all different, so I'm not really talking about different in the weird-creepy-she's-a-winner type way. I'm talking about all the different quirks that make up "me".

There's an old Michael Keaton movie, Multiplicity. Not one of my favorites but there's some funny truth in it. If you haven't seen it, here's the rundown. Basically, Michael Keaton's character has a little too much on his plate. He's a husband, a contractor, a dad, a son, a friend. He's got a lot of balls in the air and not enough hands to juggle them with. So he decides to go scientific with it and clone himself. Except the experiment goes haywire. Take a look.

I laugh at the thought of this Katie split into multiples. The little quirks that make me up in human form. I can envision a Katie who sings everything and has a dramatic flair to everything she does. A Katie who leaves things around in a mess and then a Katie that goes behind that Katie cleaning it all up. A Katie who is an extrovert and then an introvert Katie. A sports Katie and a girlie Katie. An evangelical Katie and a walk-on-the-wild-side Katie.

It would be funny to see all of those Katies interact with each other. Surely it would be mass chaos.

But that's the great thing about God. He took all of those different Katies and made one big Katie, a special Katie, so I'm told. All of those different quirks work together and balance each other out to make the Katie that I am. And I can't make any excuses for who I am because God made me that way because He wanted me to be that way. He made us all to display His glorious splendor (Isaiah 61:3) and I can only hope that I am doing that purpose justice.

And I'm different that all the other Katies in the world. Believe me. I'm met and known many other Katies and not one of them was like me.

So, because God made me Katie Walden, that's exactly who I'm goig to be. Not Katie Couric or Katie Holmes. Not any of the Katies that I knew in college. Not the Katie I met on that trip one time. I'm going to be me.

I do me.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
" Psalm 139:13-16