Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Funny Thing About Christmas

I've just returned (well, not JUST. About three hours ago I did...) from the Stone Family Christmas gathering (my mother's side of the family). We did it a day early this year and yes, we are all at a loss of what we will do on Christmas Eve now.

Although half the family was missing, so many things remained the same. Chatting all long-time-no-see like with cousins. Stuffing our faces with finger foods. Singing "Children, Go Where I Send Thee" at the top of our lungs and in perfect three-part harmony. We are a musical family.

But also, asking the many kiddos what they've asked Santa for and if they've been good enough all year to get it. This is something we all do when we get around kids at this time of year, and it hit me today just how funny the whole thing is.

We sing, "he's making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty or nice." We've ingrained into ourselves and our society, this figure, this man who gives gifts only to good little girls and boys. It's a ploy to get good behavior out of our kids. When my nephew starts acting up, the first thing that comes out of our mouths is, "Santa's still watching."

We've conjured up this idea that we have to perform for our gifts. There's this imaginary list that we try and try and try so hard to get on.

But the funny this is that the real meaning of Christmas reflects the exact opposite. Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The very nature of God come to Earth in human form to save the entire world from the wrath of sin. He's THE gift of the season. The FREE GIFT of the season.

Unlike our gifts from Santa, we don't have to perform to receive the gift of Jesus Christ. In fact, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that we can do, on our own, to get Jesus. Nothing. That's why it's called MERCY -- compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an enemy, the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone, something that gives evidence of divine favor.

The bible says we were enemies of Christ but now we are co-heirs with Him in the kingdom of God. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. And we didn't have to do anything or perform any task or act a certain way to gain His favor. He met us where we were -- dead deep down in our sin -- and He laid down his life and raised us up out of the yucky mess that was our life and now, when we confess Him as Lord, we will reign with Him in eternity.

And, we don't have to wait until Christmas day to receive the gift. It's there for our taking every single day.

Now, that's a gift worth taking.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Your Weekly Sing-Off Indulgence

So I love my Committed boys from Alabama and they did fantastic this week. But Street Corner Symphony is quickly edging out The Backbeats for my second favorite. Except I really want to learn how to beatbox like that girl Courtney from The Backbeats. Anyway, everybody killed it on last night's show but SCS was just so good. So they win the honor of being spotlighted on el bloggo this week.



And they win an extra award for having a John Lennon doppleganger. Except it was especially freaky this night.



Jeremy Lister's voice is just genius. God knew what he was doing with that one.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Amazing Grace

I promise one day I'm going to do a post with actual words but things are just way too busy for me right now to try to form sentences that don't have anything to do with track and field and softball.

So, here a fantastic video of my home church, FBC Jackson (MS), singing "Amazing Grace" at this weekend's Carols By Candlelight.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Music Video Thursday (Or The Post Where I Post Sing-Off videos)

You're welcome in advance. These videos will be your favorite part of the day.

First a little Christmas fun from Northpoint Church.



Just get ready for me to post videos of this next group every week because I am slightly obsessed with how talented they are.







Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It Must Be Video Wednesday...

I figured since its 22 degrees outside, it's perfect weather for a summer video. Ha. I was looking through some videos on my computer and realized that I made this video of our family vacation and never posted it. So here it is. I hope thoughts of the beach warm you up on this cold night.

Walden Family Vacay 2010 from Katie Walden on Vimeo.

Sing Off

If you're not watching this show called "Sing Off" on NBC, then you'd better have something serious going on.

Y'all, these white boys from Oregon (On The Rocks) just rocked some T.I. and Rhianna. Rocked. It.

There's also a group from Nashville called Street Corner Symphony. But really, they are reppin' Mississippi because the Lister boys, Jeremy and Adam, are from Madison.

Committed is from Huntsville. That's in Alabama, y'all. And they are basically reppin' God because well, that's why they are named committed. They said they are committed to God first, each other second and music third. And there are some kind of good.

Then there's this other group, I forget what they are called. But they have a female lead singer who is insanely talented.

So, watch it.

Now.

Because I said so.

Have I ever led you astray?

This Makes Me Sad The Season Is Over. Oh, Wait...

It's not! 1.1.11. The fat lady will sing. And she will be singing "Hail State!"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I could watch this over and over again...

Blog-Linkity Goodness 12.1.10

On this Wednesday, I share with you:

1. Our Fox channel here in Birmingham, spotlighted my church recently and talked to our pastor about what we call The Radical Experiment. I know it's reached people across the U.S. and around the world because we hear stories from those people and pray for those people every Sunday. I have to say I'm humbled by what I'm seeing God do throughout this process and very thankful that I'm being led by such a man as David Platt, along with other men who have a passionate commitment to making disciples of all nations. Click here to see the news package and here if you have 24:06 to watch the raw video of his interview.

2. If you haven't gotten Dave Barnes' Christmas album "A Very Merry Christmas", you need to drop what you are doing and go to iTunes or Dave Barnes' website and get it NOW. Seriously. My Christmas music collection never knew what it was missing until baby came along. His original songs are amazing and his version of "The Christmas Song" is chasing Avalon's for best version ever made. And his video for "Christmas Tonight" has everything, including Jennifer Lowe Hewitt. Watch it now.






3. If you didn't see my post about fashionABLE or if you did and don't remember where you can get a scarf, go here. Y'all they are cutie-patooty and are for a great cause. I just ordered mine Monday and can't wait for it to arrive.

4. Annie Downs' book, From Head To Foot, comes out in SEVEN days, people. That's exciting. It's her first and I know it won't be her last. It's geared toward teenage girls but I know the themes in her book will touch all women, young and old. This is a writer I admire so so much, who inspires me to take hold of what God has for me, and who I consider one of my spiritual heroes. If you have a teenage girl in your life who is facing or about to face those tough, yucky teenage-y years, this would be a great gift for her.

5. If you haven't seen the video for David Crowder's song, "Shine", consider this your Christmas gift from me.



6. And what's an editioni of Blog-Linkity Goodness without a link to SCL. Jon Acuff hit the nail on the head with this serious Wednesday post about when things in life don't go exactly as you planned.

Monday, November 15, 2010

fashionABLE

Y'all, I'm going to go ahead and confess to you right now that I have a small obsession with scarves. Ahem, small.

I go through different phases about every six months where I become obsessed with some item, whether it be clothing, food, etc. Right now, it's scarves. And this one has lasted more than six months, I'm sad to say.

Mocha Club isn't helping my little addition at all. MC recently lauched a new line of handmade Ethiopian scarves. And y'all, these things are beautiful. Not just because they are pretty and can complete a solid outfit but because there's a story behind them.

I love story. I love hearing stories. I love telling stories. I love knowing the stories behind people, places and things and what makes those people, places and things tick and work and special.

FashionABLE is special. Mocha Club is special. MC director Barrett Ward is special. Barrett has seen first-hand how life-changing these scarves are for women in Ethiopia. Watch this video and hear Barrett's heart for what is being done in Ethiopia right now.



Still need more convincing? Go here and read the stories of women whose lives have been changed by this program.

How about that? These scarves are saving the lives of women all over Ethiopia. They are giving them a safe outlet in which to sustain themselves and their families. I don't know about y'all, but that's worth $22 to me. Actually, I think it's worth a whole lot more.

I don't know about y'all, but I love when the money I spend goes towards making a better life for people who really need it. When it means more than giving money and getting an item in return. With a programs like Mocha Club and fashionABLE, you're not just getting what you pay for. You're giving opportunity, empowerment, sustainability. You are giving life.

So, if you're still looking for Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers or are two months late on a birthday gift, go order one of these scarves.

It really is the gift that keeps on giving.

(And it keeps your neck warm.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's Our Time

I love these game week videos Mississippi State is putting out, and this week's has to be my favorite. It's got it all. Mourning and joy, highs and lows. While honoring our late fallen Bulldog, Nick Bell, it also sets into focus what Nick Bell would have wanted his team to focus on. BEATING ALABAMA.

I won't say much, but I will say this: I got a feeling. And it's not a bad one either.

And you better get ready to head bang and fist-shake with the best of them because this video will make you do that. And if you have a cowbell, get ready to ring it after you what it because well, you're gonna want to.

GO DAWGS!!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Things I Miss From My Childhood

I've been reminiscing recently about things from my childhood I really miss. I don't really know why but I sometimes get in these nostalgic moods where all I do is dream of the past.

Anyhoo, here's my list:

1. Billy Puckett (few will know who this is and what this means, but that kid forever changed my five-year old view of life)

2. Cold pizza for breakfast at LB's house and watching Muppets Take Manhattan in the green chairs.

3. Coca-Cola as a treat.

4. The days when Papaw picked us up from school and took us to the gas station to get junk food.

5. Being escorted across the street to my mom's school by Thomas Earl.

6. Kickball in Mrs. Parrott's class.

7. Music class with Mrs. Reed. And the recorder. And glockenspiels.

8. Backscratches from my daddy. I think still owe him upwards of about 3,000.

9. Playing restaurant and school with my sister.

10. Grandma's cooking.

11. Going to lunch at school on days when Grandma was subbing in the caf. I loved getting to see her when I didn't expect it.

12. Sandy, Cleo and Speck.

13. The time I found a dog in the gutter and begged mom to take it home. And I named it Gutter.

14. Saturday's a the Y pool. And the Phillips 66 gas station.

15. We (heart) Yogurt.

16. Old school Chuck E. Cheese. With the real talking characters.

17. Baton and tumbling.

18. Taco night.

19. Sister's homemade biscuit pizzas.

20. Dad's Mr. Pendelton story.

There are a lot more I could list but that would take days. Days that I don't have.

What are some of your favorite childhood memories.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

God of All Comfort

I'm praying this over a lot of people today.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort." (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ode To My Cowboy Boots

Oh, dear cowboy boots
How I love you so.
I fought it for a sweet forever,
but it's time I let you know.
Wearing you denies my own fashion instincts,
yet you've become my most comfortable shoe,
It's like you're hugging my feet.
I'm ashamed to say that it's so,
I shall never let you go.
Oh, dear cowboy boots,
How I love you so.


(These aren't my boots, but they sure are cute.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blog-Linkity Goodness 10.26.10

Here are a few links I've found interesting recently.

1. This has to be the greatest capitalization of the dumbest reality TV move ever. Mad props to Bachelor Kasey (or the person who approached him with this idea)! Click here for a refresher of the dumbest reality TV move ever.

2. This post of Annie's I really loved because a) I love surfing and 2) I can totally relate.

3. I haven't heard much from Andy Merrick in a while but like always, when he comes back, he comes back with a bang. I may or may not have read this post four times today already.

4. In six days, it'll be November. Which means it's officially acceptable for me to listen to Christmas music. And I can't wait to purchase this. And this.

5. I guess when your job is done, your job is done. His reward awaits him in Octopus Heaven. Also, please look at the writer's headshot and tell that doesn't look like a police mugshot. I dare you.

6. I'm sure this comes in handy at some point.

7. And lastly, I also may or may not have watched this video (and this one) about seven times. I can't get over just how humble this guy is, but I guess after all that he's been through and what God has pulled him out of, there's no other way to be. I strongly believe that God does great things through people who constantly point back to him and since we are talking sports, I'll just mention a few names -- Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy (and here), David Tyree and Kurt Warner.

I'm not talking prosperity gospel, I'm talking about a God who uses people for His glory and people who live their life to make His glory known throughout the world.

That's inspiration enough for me.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Marcel

Thanks to Annieblogs for sharing Marcel today. Marcel just made my Monday. I hope she makes yours.

MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON from Dean Fleischer-Camp on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

5000 Question Survey (Part 12)

1101. Continued...Let's see if I'm psychic.

You wrote three yes or no questions. Now I will answer them.

1. yes
2. no
3. no

Did I get any right?
No because I didn't write any.

1102. You wrote one question that can be answered with a color (example: what color is my car). I say....
White.
Is it true?
Maybe, sometimes the sky it white.

1103. You thought of a number between 1 and 100 and typed it down.

Was it 14?
I don't remember. But probably not.

1104. You wrote one more question, anything you wanted.
The answer is yes, 42, orange, Matt, Josh, Kim, Nicole, whatever or your mom. Does that answer your question?
No. The answer as penguin.

1105. Do you think that Britney Spears would make a good Bond Girl?
Absolutely not. I don't think Britney Spears would make a good anything until she gets her life in order. And I don't think that will happen until people leave her alone.

1106. Have you read anything by C.S. Lewis?
Yes, most recently, Mere Christianity.

1107. What is your favorite movie with Bill Murray?
There are a few. Off the top of my head? Groundhog Day, Ghostbusters, What About Bob.

1108. What is your favorite movie with Jack Nicholson?
Batman

1109. What is your favorite movie with Christopher Walkin?
I don't have a favorite. My favorite thing he's done is just about anything on SNL.

1110. What is your favorite movie with Johnny Depp?


What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

1111. What is your favorite movie with Orlando Bloom?
Elizabethtown

1112. What rhymes with 'orange'?
Sporange. Look it up.

1113. Why do guys have nipples if they will never need to feed a baby?
Because God made them that way. And they would look weird without them.

1114. Some people think that couples should be screened before they are allowed to reproduce (so that people who cannot afford to support a child don’t have one, or so that a child won’t be born into a dysfunction family or to unfit parents). What do you think about this?
I think God chooses to give people children for a reason. And no matter what happens, God gets the glory from those situations. I know plenty of people with sucky parents but they've turned out to be some of the most Godly people I know.


1115. Have you ever swallowed an object by accident?
I've swallowed candy and ice by accident. That's about it.

1116. Did you get it back?
nope

1117. Do you prefer He-Man or She-Ra?
He-Man

1118. Are you proud of yourself?
Yes

1119. Who should go to hell?
That's not my place to judge. The Bible says that those who reject God will go to hell.

1120. Is your eyesight 20/20?
Not at all.

1121. Have you ever had insomnia?
Don't think so.

1122. Does it bother you when people touch you?
Depends on the situation


1123. Is it better to get too much or too little sleep?
In my opinion, too much.

1124. Have you ever given away something you made? What?
I've given away several paintings as gift and I used to make stuff all the time for my mom and dad when I was little.

1125. Is it better to have kids when you are in your teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, or older?
Never in your teens. Mid-to-late-20s and after is good.

1126. What gets your adrenaline pumping?
Being a spectator at a sporting event, doing something adventurous, or being attacked

1127. Is hell all fire and brimstone or is it personal for everyone like in Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey?
No one knows.

Or does it not exist?
Oh, it exists.

1128. Do you ever talk about yourself in the third person?
Yes.

1129. What's your favorite radio station? What kind of music do they play?
Broadway on Sirius XM. The title explains itself.

1130. What did you think of these movies:
Election? Saw it once and didn't really get it.
Gone With the Wind? I've never seen it all the way through but it's one of those that as girl, you're kind of obligated to see.
Fight Club? Never seen it.
Spider Man? Great.
The Virgin Suicides? Never seen it.
Resident Evil? Never seen it.
Signs? Great.
Muppets from Space? The only Muppet movie I've never seen.
Pearl Harbor? Great.
Halloween Resurrection? Never seen it.
The Dark Crystal? I know I've seen it but don't remember much about it.

1131. Is everyone special?
Yes.

1132. Are your toes:
Painted (what color)? A pinkish-red
Manicured? not anymore
Sparkly? no
Soft? yes
Wearing a toe ring? no
Do you have hobbit-feet? no

1133. Do you believe there is anyplace still undiscovered in all the world?
There has to be.

1134. Whose picture would you like to paint a target on and throw darts at?
I can think of a few but I won't say.

1135. Is love all you need?
Should be.

1136. Ever caught a fish?
Yes.

1137. Are you adventurous?
Yes.

1138. Are you afraid of mediocrity?
Yes.

1139. Would you rather die tomorrow or have all your friends die?
Die tomorrow.

1140. What are 3 things you don't understand?
1. Homosexuality
2. Calculus
3. Why I'm so tired after eating at Salem's

1141. I would do anything for love but I won't do 'that'. What is 'that'?
Eat bugs

1142. Has your diary ever been rated?
No

1143. Do you do more than kiss on the first date?
No

1144. Are you very liberal or conservative?
Conservative

1145. What do you like about your neighbors?
They aren't too loud

1146. I read that by 2010 they expect to market a gene therapy procedure that will increase the life spans of adult human beings by double or triple. If this happened would you have it done?
Nope

1147. If you're happy and you know it clap your hands. Did you clap?
No

1148. Was this year a good year for you?
26 was trying. 27, good so far.

1149. What are you looking forward to next year?
Changes

1150. Are you a Jim Henson fan?
yes


1151. What do you think of these diarist names?
ToxicToast:
Solitary Music:
gemini_wish_star:
juneberry:


I don't care.

1152. Do you read the Diary Master’s diary?
No.

1153. Have you ever made an enemy on OD?
I don't know what that is.

1154. Have you ever (or do you know anyone who’s) been deleted from OD?
I don't know what that is.

1155. Were you ever in the first row of a concert?
Yes. Casting Crowns at my sister's church.

1156. Did you ever meet a celebrity? Who?
I've met several. Erick Dampier, Robin Roberts, Dick Vitale, Ethan Zhon, Sandi Patty, that's all the "celebrities" I can think of right now.

1157. Do you have any autographs?
Dick Vitale, Ethan Zhon, there are others.

1158. Can you visualize whirled peas?
No

1159. Are there some situations where love just isn't enough to keep 2 people together? When does that happen?
Abuse

1160. Do you have no attention span?
I have a small one

1161. What do you think of these entry titles?
me. back. home:
steak and butter:
The Smurfs Go Communist:
The controversial Athens:

I have no opinion.


1162. Have you ever been wrongly accused?
Yes.

1163. When you wash your hair do you blow dry it or let it dry naturally?
Blow dry.

1164. Where does your family go on vacation?
The beach.

1165. Have you ever been to:
Newport, Rhode Island? No
Dutch Wonderland? no
Salem, MA? no
Niagara Falls? no

1166. Have you ever given money to OD cares?
No

1167. Have you ever created an OD interest?
no


If yes, what interests did you create?

1168. What do you think of these entry names?
DEAR SOUL FRIEND 57 Loss:
I had a good title but i forgot it:
Left Alone:
yeah yeah...he kissed her:

These are dumb questions.

1169. If you have aol what is your 'you've got mail' sound?
I don't.

1170. What will you never have enough of?
Family

1171. Who can you only handle in small doses?
Jay Leno

1172. You are at a magic auction where you can bid on impossible things but you only brought enough money to buy one thing. Out of these..which would you buy?
entrance into whatever afterlife you believe in
a guarentee that you will have at least 3 books published in your life
a new car, house and boat each year
unending creative inspiration This One
ultimate compassion and acceptance of others
a trip into outer space
perfect health for the rest of your life

1173. In the above question if finding perfect love was a choice would you change your answer?
no

1174. What food is so fattening or unhealthy that you would NEVER touch it?

a fried snickers bar

1175. Which do you love more, your country or your planet?
my planet

1176. What do you think of:
Abba?
Brian Adams?
No Doubt?

They are all okay.

1177. Are you more logical or emotional?
emotional

1178. Do you think that tattoos and piercing are overrated?
no

1179. What do you think of these diary titles?
The Seamless Garment:
Your eyes can be so cruel:
What was, is no more:
shock me sane:


I'm tired of these dumb questions.

1180. Do you believe that Michael Jackson molests children?
I think Michael Jackson was severely scarred as a child and I don't think it's in my right to judge what he has done.

1181. Hypothetically, let’s say that he did molest them. Who would you feel should be held MORE accountable, Michael Jackson or the parents that allowed their children to go to Never Land Ranch unsupervised for sleepovers?
This is dumb

1182. Have you ever been to:
Manhattan? Yes
Disney? Yes
Paris? Yes
Anywhere cooler? London and the Netherlands are cooler, temperature-wise.

1183. What 3 music videos should everyone download?
I don't realy do music videos

1184. If someone bet you ten dollars that you couldn’t sing the whole Gummy Bears theme song, would you be able to do it and win?
I could do maybe the first two or three lines

1185. Do you like Bjork?
One song of hers

1186. How about the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club?
Never heard of them

1187. What do you think of Moby?
He's okay.

1188. What do you think of Alien Ant Farm?
They are okay.

1189. What do you think of the Flaming Sideburns?
Heard of them. Never heard their music.

1190. Do you believe that imps, trolls, giants, dragons, unicorns, etc. were real but became extinct?
No

1191. What sucks?
So far, these questions.

1192. What do you think of these diary titles?
Geologist to the Stars:
The Hussy Chronicles:
Gravy:
Napping in the Broom Closet:

1193. Do you ever think about suicide?
No

1194. Do you believe that Jesus Christ was a real person? How about Noah?
Yes and yes

1195. What is one luxury you refuse to live without?
my cell phone


1196. What is one luxury you feel you could live without?
TV

1197. Do you feel that you are high, medium, or low maintenance in a relationship?
medium

1198. What do you think of these diarist names?
N.Y.S:
Collapsibleman:
*})({*:
black dove:

1199. Do vegetables taste better from the store or from your garden?
I don't have a garden but when my Papaw had a garden, his veggies were so good.

1200. How long have you spent on this survey so far?

More time than I should've

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Date With Myself

I did something Friday night that is really out of character for me.

I did something ALONE.

If you know me, I can be pretty independent but when it comes to going and doing things (unless it is shopping or a trip to Walmart or something), I NEVER do things alone. And I think for a while now, that never-do-anything-alone thing has kind of defined my life a little.

When I was younger, I'm pretty sure I was as close to a shadow for my sister as you could get. Whatever she did, I wanted to do. Unless it had a dramatic ending like GA camp, and then I was out.

As I got older, I always had something to do with someone. Whether is was putt-putt golf or a get-together at someone's house or the movies or dinner with a boyfriend, I always had something to do and someone to do it with.

When I moved to Birmingham, away from friends and family, I basically had to start life all over again. That meant making new friends and finding my way around this new city. People have told me that I'm good at making friends. I tend to disagree. I'm good at making aquaintences when the opportunity presents itself, but establishing relationships and keeping those relationships has been something that I've had to learn how to do again since I've moved here.

(I'm by no means at a lack for friends here. I just realized that this post is starting to make me sound like a no-friends loser, but bare with me. I have a point.)

With my job being as time-consuming as it is, and with friends not always being available to do things whenever I can (and vice-versa), I've struggled with the fact that there are things that I miss out on because my time is very limited.

But lately, I've discovered a newfound sense of pride in myself and a go-get 'em attitude. So, I decided the heck with it, the next thing that comes along that I want to do, I'm doing it whether I have a buddy to tag along or not.

I have a friend who works at the Red Mountain Theatre Company in downtown Birmingham, and she is always raving about their shows. (I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that she is the public relations/marketing director and that is her job. Absolutely nothing.) There have been several shows there that I've wanted to see but haven't for lack of money or friend to go with.

This weekend was the last run of The Drowsy Chaperone and I've always wanted to see it. This was my last chance. Everyone I'd want to take with me either was working or lived three hours away. So, I decided to bite the bullet and go by myself. Besides, Nicole would be there working and I'd at least get to see her smiling face on the way in and out.

I could not have made a better decision. The show was incredible and the night was perfect.

And as I sat there in the audience, I realized how great it is to be a lover of the theatre. There is something about going to a show that sucks you in a takes you away. As soon as the house lights go down and the stage lights go up, you are instantly transported to another time and another place. (Cue Sandi Patty and Wayne Watson)

The characters on the stage become more than just characters. If they are good at their job, you immediately connect with them and they become life-long friends of yours. You laugh when they laugh. You cry when they cry.

I could not have had a better time this weekend on my first big outing alone. It was nice, for a change, to go enjoy something by myself without having to worry about what the other person with me wanted to do next.

I've often questioned God on why he has kept me single for so long. I've touched on the main reason - he wants me to want Him more than I want anything else. The other reason? I think he's wanted me to learn how to enjoy life by myself.

And I am.

24

Saturday night could not have brought me greater joy if Ed McMahon had been standing on my doorstep with a check for 22.4 million dollars. (That may or may not have been a gross overstatement on my part.)

Why?

Because this happened.


And then, this happened.

And Ole Miss lost. Which was really the icing on the proverbial football-shaped cake, if you ask me. And y'all, I've been snacking on that cake ever since. And it is G-O-O-D.
A few Monday morning SEC football notes for you:

- All but one SEC West team (can we guess who?) are in the top 25. Only one SEC East team (South Carolina, yay for the Beamers!) is still ranked in the top 25.

- Two weeks ago, everyone (who played) in the West won and everyone in the East (who played) lost. My friends, the SEC tide has turned.

- There are three SEC teams (Auburn, Alabama, LSU) in the top 8 of the BSC standings - no other conference has more than one. Thanks to @SECSportsUpdate for that tidbit of info.

- MSU is ranked for the first time in nine years. The last time the Bulldogs were ranked, I was a freshman in college. And then Florida whooped our hineys, 52-0, in the swamp, and that was the end of our top 25 days. Until now.
- The last time MSU won in The Swamp? 1965. That's a long beating. A long one.

- Feast your eyes on this lead in the game recap:
"GAINESVILLE, Fla. - No intimidation in the Swamp on Saturday. None at all.
In a venue where Florida has historically flexed its muscles with ease against opposing foes, on this particular night it was Mississippi State delivering blow after to blow en route to a 10-7 upset against the No. 22-ranked Gators in front of stunned crowd of 90,517 at Ben Griffin Stadium."

I didn't know Joe Galbraith could be so eloquent.

(Meanwhile, ESPNU is showing the replay of this game and my office TV is tuned and locked in.

Also, this guy...

Vick Ballard. Also known as, a maroon-colored mack truck with a turbo engine. And also known as, officially, my favorite 2010 Mississippi State Bulldog. This kid, this kid is mucho talented. And I'm so glad that Dan Mullen saw something in this kid that no one else saw because, as much as I would have loved Cam Newton to be our quarterback this year (no offense to Chris Relf and Tyler Russell, because I think those two are the best QBs Mississippi State has seen in a sweet forever), I'm glad Mullen got his claws in this one.

I've said it before, and been cautioned about saying it again, but Vick Ballard has Anthony Dixon/Jerious Norwood type qualities and he's going to do great things for Mississippi State football.

In summary, I see a bright future for Mississippi State football. Hopefully, we respond well to the success and make ourselves bowl eligible with a win over UAB this weekend. Then, let's take care of Kentucky, shock the world against Alabama, have a pig roast the week after, and then get rid of the black bear infestation that has come upon the state of Mississippi within the last week.

And GO SEC! (Boo Ole Miss!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Video Wednesday

1. Thanks to Dave Barnes for sharing this on Twitter on Monday. I don't know that I've laughed at Sesame Street so much in a while.



2. I think I used to know this kid.



3. Kurt and Rachel did this number on last night's episode of Glee and it made me think of Kathy Troccoli and Sandi Patty's version which then prompted me to YouTube this. What is your favorite duet?



What is your favorite duet?

Monday, October 11, 2010

May I remember this every day...

“Don’t surrender to an area of work or ministry, just surrender to God. Hold tightly to Him and nothing else.”

-Beth Moore

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Music & Film

Just two things I'm excited about today:

1. My church just released a brand new original worship CD. Go listen. Buy it. And marvel at how God is using the people in my faith family for His glory.

The God We Praise  Brook Hills Music

Every song is my favorite but I'll go ahead and say "In Your Arms", "Redeemer", and "Hallelujah" will change. your. life.

2. Did you know they were making "Blue Like Jazz" into a movie? And then did you hear that it fell through because they couldn't fund it? And then did you hear that it's back in production now because a bunch of people got together and raised the remaining money?

Yeah.

I'm excited.

That is all.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

You Can Thank Me Later

I've watched the following video approximately 184 times in the past 8 hours. And my joy increases each time. Yours will too. I hope. You can thank me later.



I don't know who I love more. Jimmy, Justin or The Roots.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Jesus Wants The Rose

I just read Ephesians 1 which led me to remember how great Romans 8 is which led me to read Romans 5 praise God for the powerful truth in these words. It makes me really want to challenge myself to memorize the whole freaking book of Romans. That's some good stuff to pull out when you've got nothing to say.

So speaking of Romans 5, I wanted to share this video of Matt Chandler. Powerful.


Monday, September 20, 2010

I would like to urge anyone who is trying to get rid of the arts in schools to please take a look at this video. Being the daughter of a music teacher, I've seen how classes like art and music can transform a student's life. This guy has a serious gift for not only teaching music but teaching a love and passion for it. These kids never cease to amaze me. And it's a new group every year.

Went To A Wedding And A Broadway Show Broke Out

Seeing how "musical-y" my mom, my sister and I are and see how much my dad loves to embarass his daughters with musical comedy routines like he did at my sister's rehearsal dinner, I can totally see this happening at my reception (especially since Fiddler On The Roof is my dad's go-to reference show). Only my dad would be singing "If I Were A Rich Man" instead of "To Life."

This is Tony Award-winning writer Lin-Manuel Miranda's wedding, most famous for In The Heights.

Enjoy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Linky-Video Madness

Y'all, the bloggy neglect is out of control. You don't have to tell me. This I know.

With the athletic season cranking up, I haven't had the extra time that I usually do to spend blogging away about the nonsense around me. Plus, those episodes of Friday Night Lights and Rachael Zoe Project on my DVR aren't going to watch themselves.

Anyway, to break the silence on the blog today, I thought I'd share some webby nuggets I've either found or been introduced to this week. So here goes...

1. This video by our Director of Multimedia Services here at Samford Athletics makes me proud to work with such talented people. And it gets me excited for next Thursday night.

2. Another incredible post by Don Miller. I love how he focuses in on character on everything he does. Becauser really, that's what we are. And the post is so fitting for me right now as I try to figure out what the next step is for me in life. It's so true that knowing where you are going keeps you out of trouble.

3. Also another fantastic post by Mr. Acuff. So good and again, so fitting for me right now. Sometimes I think what I want to do is impossible. Or even living life the way God wants me to is impossible. And I wonder why God makes it so hard. But His Word says that when we are at our weakest point, that is when God loves to show off. Read it. You won't be sorry.

4. Allow me to introduce you to Catalog Living, if you don't already know what it is. Brilliant.

5. And last but most certainly not least, I hope everyone is as pumped for tonight's MSU vs. Auburn game as I am. I'll be watching with a few State fans and a few Auburn fans and well, y'all pray that I'll display a Christian attitude toward the opposition.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Poverty Is A Twin Sister To Ignorance

This video breaks me. And I can help but see the irony in this little boy's name.

Look For The Reason

For the past few days and a large part of last night, I've been preparing for my first road trip of the year with the volleyball team. I gathered everything red, blue and khaki in my closet, threw it in a bag last night and shipped out this morning, with books and various Apple products in tow, ready to take on this massive nine-hour bus trip to the northwest corner of Arkansas.

However, when I get to work this morning at 9 a.m., I find out that the departure time was changed from 10 a.m. to 8 a.m. last night and no one bothered to fill me in. I'm a little annoyed that I wasn't informed of the time change, but I'm not angry at anyone. I'm just disappointed that I'm not on the trip. I was excited about visiting an SEC school that I've never been too. I was excited about spending time with people that I actually like to spend time with. And I was really excited to get to see the team actually play. So I'm not angry at anyone.

At least not anymore.

After much thought (Because that's what I do. Something happens and I can't help but just sit and play it over and over in my head. So annoying.), I decided that I've got to change my whole perspective on the situation.

What if I wasn't ever supposed to go on that trip? What is there's a reason that I didn't make it? What if God's got something planned for me here in Birmingham, this weekend? Something that he wants me to be a part of, and experience. Something he doesn't want me to miss.

I have to think that's the case. Because The Big Man has yet to steer me wrong. God's been testing my faith recently and I know for a fact that the tests are about to get much, much harder.

So instead of sulking about missing a bus trip to Arkansas, I should look at it this way:

1. I'm not stuck on a bus for nine hours.
2. I get to sleep in my own bed. In my own room. Alone.
3. I don't have to share a bathroom.
4. I can eat and use the bathroom when I want to. (And where I want to. Eat, that is. I'm pretty sure there's really one acceptable option for the other. Unless you're a bathroom snob.)
5. I can watch Big Brother and Project Runway tonight and not have to wait until I get home on Sunday.
6. I won't have to worry about being back in town on Sunday in time to see NeedToBreathe for the fourth time in about 5 months. For free!

In the meantime, I'm going to ask God to help me see the good in the situation. To help me be sensative to those moments that he held me here for.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Radical


Do not read this book. I repeat -- Do NOT read this book...unless you want your life turned upside down.

I read this entire book yesterday. And yes, I worked an eight-hour day as well. Someone call the Guiness World Record people because I think this may have been a personal record for me. I've never, EVER finished a book in a day. Unless it was Dr. Seuss or Berinstain Bears.

When you go to this book's website, you are immediate confronted with this question:

WHAT IS JESUS WORTH TO YOU?

Just like that. In big bold capital letters. And here is what follows:

"Do you believe that Jesus is worth abandoning everything for? Do you believe him enough to obey him and to follow him wherever he leads, even when the crowds in our culture -maybe even our churches- turn the other way?"

In Radical, David Platt invites you to encounter what Jesus actually said about being his disciple, and then obey what you have heard. He challenges you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated a God-centered gospel to fit our human-centered preferences. With passionate storytelling and convicting biblical analysis, Platt calls into question a host of comfortable notions that are common among Christ's followers today. Then he proposes a radical response: live the gospel in ways that are true, filled with promise, and ultimately world changing.


That doesn't even begin to scratch the surface.

I'm going to tell you, I have a love-hate relationship with this book. Why? Because I love and hate every word of this book. It's doused with conviction. Every word stings hard and then wakes you up to the reality that fills our world today. It leaves your brain thinking, "Are you kidding? I can't do that!" And all the while, your hands and feet are set in motion to shake the world by a force that is too strong to resist.

What is that force? It's faith, conviction, the Holy Spirit. It's the incredible urgency that you feel when you truly understand what we are called to do and you truly see the physical and spiritual need around the world.

And this isn't the first time I've heard of this "Radical Experiment" thing. I've been hearing about it throughout the last year. Every Sunday from the pulpit. I've even participated in it. I leave worship with such a burden that I feel like I should sell my car right there and walk the 20 miles to home because what good is me having a car when there are people around the world that are dying, inside and out?

So don't read this book. I'm begging you. Don't.

You'll find none of the things that you think matter in this world - money, fame, success -- none of them matter when there are 4.5 billion people out there who haven't even heard the name of Jesus Christ.

None of them know the love of a Father who works everything out for the good of those who love him. A Savior who looks at us in our sin and calls us, "My beloved," because the eyes of Jesus see no sin. A Lord who rules over all, protects us from all and is just in all his ways. A God who desires to see his glory and his name be exalted above anything throughout the universe because to desire anything else would be to deny the very nature of who he is.

So just stay away from the book.

This book leaves you broken -- for yourself, your loves ones and people you don't even know. It lights a fire in your soul that urges you to give up everything -- for some, material possessions; for some, entire careers; for some, both -- for the cause of Christ.

We all, at some point in ourselves, walk around wondering what our purpose in life is. We read book after book, seek advice, rack our brains and still come up with no answer. This book says that everything you ever wanted to know about what your purpose in life is supposed to be is found in the Bible. Specifically in Matthew 28:19-20.

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

So if you want your entire life flipped upside down, be my guest.

If not, don't read it.

I dare you.

This Makes Me Want To Go To Walmart And Bust A Move

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

5,000 Question Survey (Part 11)

1001. What has caused you to reinvent yourself or reevaluate who you are?
God

1002. Name three annoying bands:
(Do they have to be bands?)
Taylor Swift
Demi Levato
The Samford University marching band

1003. Have you ever been to a foam party (a big dance floor full of soap foam that people dance in at a club)? If yes did you get into the foam?
No. I missed that swap in college.

1004. Who do you take for granted?
I think I take friends for granted a lot.

Who makes you feel taken for granted?
Friends.

1005. Short, knee, or ankle skirts?
Any of them. Depends on the occasion and the style.

1006. Do you wear a hat?
Rarely. I do at the beach or if I'm running outside.

1007. Did you watch Sifl and Ollie on MTV?
No.

How about Liquid Television?
No.

The Maxx?
No.

1008. What do you like that is NOT part of pop culture?
God

1009. What music makes you feel:
Sexy? This.
Passionate? is.
Violent? the.
Romantic? dumbest.
Sad? question.
Happy/joyous? ever.
ecstasy? in life.

Different kinds of music make me feel different things but I don't know that any music makes me feel violent or ecstasy.

1010. Who's your favorite cartoon character?
The Powerpuff Girls

1011. Does break dancing impress you?
Definitely. I sometimes wish I could do it.

1012. Are you a smooth operator?
Not really.

1013. Would you rather be a police officer or a criminal?
Police officer.

1014. Do you believe that government decisions should be made based more on economics or more on social reform?
I think it's got to be a mix of both. You can't spend money you don't have and also you shouldn't give people money who are just going to turn around and blow it. Instead of helping the wealthy, we should be taking care of the needy. But also if we are taking care of each other like we should, there would be no need for welfare and food stamps and universal healthcare.

1015. Why do 'they' spend money to sterilize needles that are going to be used to give lethal injections?
Who knows.

1016. This summer have you
Been to the beach? yes
been to the movies? yes
Played mini golf? no
Gone for a walk? yes

1017. Would you rather lay in bed all night talking or have sex all night long?
Right now, I'd rather talk. Maybe it'll be different when I've found someone to marry.

1018. Have you ever eaten tofu?
no.

1019. Who needs a brain?
Scarecrow

1020. Who needs a heart?
Tinman

1021. Does the moon have an affect on your mood?
no

1022. Do you feel pressure on Friday and Saturday to have fun, go out and party?
no

1023. Many people will say that the Harry Potter books are pure fluff with no literary value. Do you agree?
I disagree

1024. Is Harry Potter comparable to The Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings?
Sure. I'm not a big Lord of the Rings fan but I think Harry Potter definitely fits into the same category when it comes to literature that has been a staple in children's lives.

1025. What are you doing next Wednesday?
Working

1026. Why do so many people think Elvis is still alive?
Because they. can't. let. go.

1027. What couldn't you live your life without?
God and my family

1028. Are your hands cold?
No

1029. Is your heart warm?
I'm sure it's somewhere around 98.6 degrees

1030. Palm trees or snow storms?
Palm trees. Definitely.

1031. What bands would be great if only the singing was edited out?
I don't know.

1032. What fantasy book would you like to see made into a movie?
I don't really read fantasy and the ones I have read have already been made into movies.

1033. Do you avoid risks and if possible stay at home?
no.

1034. What SCI-fi books do you read?
Zero.

1035. Would you be on that who wants to marry a millionaire show as a contestant?
Totally.

1036. Who's the best secret keeper you know?
Casey

1037. What is your favorite myth?
Bigfoot

1038. Is it easier to live when you're evil?
Probably. There's probably not as much consideration to the conscience.

1039. Have you ever belonged to a sorority or a fraternity?
Yes. Kappa Delta.

1040. Would you want to join one?
I'd do it again.

1041. If your friend were doing dangerous drugs would you tell their parents?
Yes.

1042. Would you rather be a unicorn, mermaid/man, or a sorceress/er?
I think probably a mermaid. Although being a sorcerer(ess) like Harry Potter would be pretty sweet. That invisibility cloak would come in really handy.

1043. Are leather pants sexy?
Absolutely not.

On you?
Not at all.

1044. Did you tell someone you love him or her today?
Not yet.

1045. Have you ever given blood?
Yes.

1046. Have you ever been thrown out of someplace?
I've been thrown out of class. Once. In grad school.

1047. What do you daydream about?
My future.

1048. Are you a miracle?
I think we all are.

1049. If America is one nation under god then are atheists citizens?
Yes. We all are under God's rule whether we want to be or not. And one day we will all bow down befor Him, some on their own accord and some by force.

1050. Should they be?
Yes.

1051. If you could pick any rock star to replace the Ozbournes in their reality show, whom would you pick?
This is a dumb question too. Why would you replace someone on their own show.

1052. What are your feelings about Mel Gibson's movie The Passion of Christ?
I loved the movie. It's hard to watch but it gives a great depiction of the events.

1053. What did you think about the last episode of Sex in the City?
I've never seen all of the episodes but that last one is really my favorite.

1054. What is your favorite movie with Adam Sandler in it?
Big Daddy

1055. What is your biggest problem?
Fear

1056. Have you ever been arrested?
No

1057. Can musicians be held responsible for influencing people to behave badly?
Sure

1058. Do you believe that there are subliminal messages embedded in some TV shows, movies & music?
Yes

1059. Is there anything that you believe should be banned for any reason?
Smoking

1060. How often do you eat too much?
all the time

1061. Have you ever descended into pure madness?
Maybe

1062. Would you want to?
No

1063. Do green m&m's make you feel sexy?
No

1064. If you died tomorrow, what mark would you have left on the world?
I hope a good one. One that reflects the glory of God.

1065. What movie would you NEVER want to see?
Anything with Freddie Kruger in it.

1066. What annoys you the most about yourself?
That I absolutely suck at waking up in the morning.

1067. How do you feel about capitalism?
It's okay.

1068. How do you feel about socialism?
Not so much okay.

1069. How do you feel about communism?
Hate it.

1070. Has anyone ever tried to injure you?
Yes.

1071. Has anyone ever tried to kill you?
No.

1072. How do you know when it's time to break up with someone?
When you just don't feel it anymore.

1073. What is your opinion of the Janet jackson/Justin Timberlake superbowl exposure incident?
It was dumb and stupid and given too much attention.

1074. What's the most annoying sound?
crickets

1075. Who was your childhood hero?
My daddy

1076. With nearly 100 channels why is NOTHING ever on?
One of those mystery's of life.

1077. Would you adopt a stray kitty wandering through your neighborhood?
No. I'm not a cat person.

1078. Describe what you look like:
5'3", short brown hair

1079. Describe what you ARE like:
Awesome.

1080. What bad habit do you have that affects other people as much as it affects you?
I don't know.

1081. How did you party new years eve 1999?
I'm sure I was partying with my youth group. I was a sophomore in high school.

1082. Does second hand smoke bother you?
Yes.

1083. Have you ever:
Dumped a drink over someone's head? yes
Dumped a drink over your own head? yes
Bit someone? yes
Torn at someone's clothes? no
Made out in the bathroom? no

1084. Which Lord of the Rings movie has the best ending?
I've never seen the ending to one of those movies.

1085. Do you have any interesting scars?
I have several scars from when I had chicken pox when I was four years old. Some are annoying. Some are cool. I also have a scar from when I busted my finger playing skee ball.

1086. Is it better for people to change and evolve their ideas or always be consistent?
If it's a constant back and forth, no. If it's a steady evolution, yes. You're surroundings and atmosphere will always be changing, some times you have to change with it. However, some things should never change.

1087. Warped tour, Lollapalooza or Area concert?
I don't know what any of these things are.

1088. What are you missing in your life?
A man.

1089. Do you ever know when someone is thinking about you?
Not really.

1090. What could you make a sculpture out of that's in the room with you right now?
I probably could do something fancy paper and scotch tape.

1091. Do you believe in the lost city of Atlantis?
Not really.

1092. Have you ever read The Little Prince?
I've seen the movie.

1093. This is Mr. fish <>< What's the best picture you can make on your keyboard?
:)

1094. What did Mr. Octopus say to Mrs. Octopus?
Nice legs.

1095. Let's see if I'm psychic. Write a yes or no question here.
Do you like blue?

1096. Write another yes or no question.
Do you like red?

1097. Think of just one more yes or no question.


1098. Type one question that can be answered with a color (example: what color is my car)
What color is the sky?


1099. Think of a number between one and one hundred & type it down.
78

1100. If you could be any color crayon, what would it be?
Sunrise.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Turning Indicator

Dear fellow drivers,

I have for you today, a word of the day. See below.

Turning indicator - Also called: blinker -- a device for indicating that a motor vehicle is about to turn left or right.

I hope this clears things up.

If not, I'll be happy to give lessons. For free.

Thanks,

Katie

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Burden's Getting Lighter

I think the burden that I've been feeling throughout the last six months is getting lighter because the vision for my purpose and my future is getting closer. Not because I can see it, but because I'm trusting the gut feeling called "God".

I just had to share John Acuff's post from today's Stuff Christians Like. It completely touched my heart and I felt like God told him to write that post just for me. Which he probably did.

I usually link to the post but I feel like, for some reason, that I should just include the whole post. No plagarism. All the credit goes to Jon Acuff.

Below is the post in it's entirety:

#831 Building benches instead of frisbees.

My dad uses his feet like hands, much like a gorilla opening a banana, when he loses frisbees in the pond at the disc golf course.


He’s not above stripping down to his shorts and diving in to recover discs. The pond is dark brown and is populated with turtles, snakes and frogs. If his disc lands in it, he walks around with his bare feet feeling in calf deep mud for it. Just typing that last sentence made me squirm a little.

But the course we played in Atlanta didn’t have that problem. There was no pond, just 18 holes of awesome spread across a massive park called “Wills.”

It did have a problem though.

Because the course was so spread out, it was hard to find your way from hole to hole. Some were literally a 1,000 yards away from each other so navigating the course was difficult. Or it used to be. Everything changed when a Boy Scout got involved.

He was earning his Eagle Scout badge. He was installing yardage signs that pointed the way between the holes. My dad and I ran into him one morning. He and his father were digging holes and dropping the poles in. When they told us what they were doing, the father said something that years later stuck with me. He said:

“He’s doing it for his Eagle Scout badge. Sure beats building a bench.”

On the surface, that’s not so profound. That doesn’t really leap off the blog does it? But the more I reflected on it, the more I realized it challenged my understanding of God.

See the truth is, I’m not completely sure God wants me to have fun. Like people who believe the first thing God will do if they turn over their lives to him is make them be missionaries in Africa, I’m not always convinced he wants me to really enjoy what I do.

When I sometimes imagine “doing the work of the Lord,” I imagine sweat and tears and hard work and being obedient and disciplined and self controlled. Turns out, in my head, I serve a God who makes me build benches.

But what if I’m wrong?

What if you’re wrong?

What if we’ve all been wrong?

What if God doesn’t want more benches?

What if God wants you to build signs for Disc Golf because he knows you love that game?

What if God wants you to write books because he knows you love that?

What if God wants to unearth all those things you’ve hidden because you thought you weren’t talented enough? What if he wants you to roll around in the joys you thought were too silly or stupid or not spiritual enough?

I don’t think that’s impossible. A friend of man argued as much when he told me his opinion about Matthew 11:28-30. Here’s what those verses say:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

My friend felt that when we find our purpose. When we surrender and are obedient to the Lord and find the thing he has uniquely prepared us for, the burden feels light. It feels easy. We’re in the zone. We could run a million miles or feed a thousand mouths or sing a 100 songs depending on what we’ve been called to do. We’ve got the entire universe of God pushing with us and there’s a sense of freedom and momentum there that is difficult to describe.

To other people, what we are doing will look difficult. They will not always understand. I felt that way writing the Stuff Christians Like book. Another blogger quit his job and stopped writing his blog while he wrote his book. He didn’t have any kids either. I on the other hand, kept my full time job at AutoTrader.com, kept writing the Stuff Christians Like blog, kept playing with my two kids, kept freelance writing for Chick-fil-A, kept writing for North Point Community Church, stayed plugged into my men’s Bible study and kept filling my wife’s bucket with attention and time. How?

The yoke was easy. The burden was light. I was doing the thing uniquely created for me. I wasn’t flailing against a park bench I was never designed for. I was serving the God “who satisfies your desires with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:5)

Life gets twisted when you try to build someone else’s bench. Life gets painful when you disrespect your gift or talent or calling because it “doesn’t count.” The devil is desperate for you to discount the thing God has called you to. The devil wants you to take on some other burden that isn’t light or easy.

I don’t know what God has in store for you. It won’t necessarily be easy. That Boy Scout was sweating as he dug those Disc Golf signs. Stuff Christians Like whips my butt some mornings. But that Boy Scout was smiling as he sweated and so am I because we’re not building benches.

Long live the God who doesn’t need our benches.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

And Then I Argued With NeNe From Atlanta About Whose Hair Was Real

Last night I dreamed that Jacqueline from the Real Housewives of New Jersey and her husband were building a house next to the house I used to live in in South Jackson. Basically, we had an extra acre or a hundred to spare in our backyard so the Laurita's took us up on our offer and started building their latest version of Buckingham Palace.

Caroline then suggested to her that she hire me as her nanny, and then her son Albie proposed to me. To which I replied, "I'll have to think about it."

Then I accepted a position with The Bachelor Pad to be the bachelors' "voice of reason". Basically, they would tell me who they were thinking about voting off and I'd tell them they were all idiots for being on this show anyway. Get a REAL job!

Then Rachel Zoe walked in and started spouting phrases like "This is bananas" and "I'd die." And Heidi Klum told her she was "Aut".

Hmmm. Maybe I've been watching too much reality television.

Maybe.

Friday, August 6, 2010

5,000 Question Survey (Part 10)

901. Would you rather have a candle scented like blueberries and creme or butterscotch pecan pie?
Blueberries and crème. Please and thank you.

902. Which ones are fruits and which are vegetables:
Banana – fruit
Cucumber – vegetable
Tomato – fruit
Apple – fruit
Carrot – vegetable
Eggplant – vegetable
Cherry – fruit
Pumpkin - vegetable

903. Does it annoy you when people talk loudly on their cell phones in public?
Although, I know I might do it occasionally…yes. Put there is absolutely no reason to talk on the phone in a public bathroom. Save it for the hizzle, my dizzle.

904. Is love a commitment to one person, or can you love more than one person at the same time?
There are many different kinds of love that a person can have. However, the romantic love that is a relationship between a man and a woman, I think that you can only truly LOVE one person at a time.

905. Cover or original:
Smooth Criminal: Michael Jackson or Alien Ant Farm? That’s a toss-up. I’ll go with MJ.
Blue Monday: Orgy or New Order? Never heard it.
I Want Candy: Aaron Carter or Bow Wow Wow? I don’t know this one either.
Love Song: 311 or The Cure? The Cure
It's My Life: No Doubt or The Talking Heads? No Doubt

906. What is the most uncomfortable feeling?
I would think pooping your pants.

907. Do you like Maroon 5?
Yes.

908. Would you ever go on a blind date TV show?
Absolutely not.

909. How much of your wardrobe is dry clean only?
Very little.

910. Who's arms would you like to crawl into?
I’m kinda in love with Jacob Black from Twilight right now.

911. What the hell is your problem?
You don’t want to know.

912. Look around you. What is the most beautiful thing you can see?
A picture of my nephew.

913. What is the most beautiful thing you can't see?
Probably sunshine outside.

914. Take a deep breath. Yawn deeply. Do you appreciate the things most people take for granted, like breathing?
Yes.

915. Do you appreciate breathing more when you have a cold and you're all congested and can't breathe right?
Yes.

916. Is congestion a positive thing because it helps you to appreciate breathing?
No. It’s still gross.

917. How is your life like a work of art?
Ask God.

918. Do you feel that your life influences and is influenced by many other lives?
I think every life has an influence on another life whether you believe it does or not.

919. Has a smile ever made all the difference in the world to you?
Most definitely.

920. Have you ever looked at a tree and considered how the roots could be miles long, trailing and entwining with other roots underground, all of them holding the soil together?
Actually, yes.

921. Do you notice the little things in life?
More now than ever.

922. Do you feel, as Jung did, that deep down, underneath our individual personalities we are all the same?
Kind of.

923. Do you feel a great oneness with the universe?
Not right now.

924. When was the last time you decided to really enjoy yourself?
On my birthday.

925. When was the last time you set yourself free and acted without caring at all what someone else thought?
On my birthday.

926. Have you ever held someone and appreciated how delicate and fragile all life is and felt that they were even more precious and beautiful because one day they would die…and so will you?
Not so much the dying part, but I think about that every time I hold my nephew or hug my daddy.

927. In ten years someone else might own your house and the room you are sitting in now. Someone else might be standing right next to where you are sitting now. So that means you could be standing right next to someone but you can't see him or her because they are ten years away. Ever look at life like that?
Not really.

928. When was the last time you:
Soaked in a bubble bath – it’s been years
Read a good book outside – last week
Held someone's hand – this weekend
Felt truly joyful – this weekend

929. What do you bring to this world that no one else can?
Me

930. Do you feel that you are part of every living thing in this world and that all those things are part of you?
No.

931. Are you more afraid of death or not completely living?
Not completely living.

932. What was the last thing you wanted to do but didn't or couldn't do?
Fly to NYC on a whim.

933. Why don't you try and do that thing now?
Because I. Is. Po.

934. What is the most wonderful thing happening right now in the world?
I don’t know about in the world but right here in my heart…God’s work.

935. Name 7 things going on around you that you normally wouldn't notice:
1. Michael is talking on the phone.
2. Michael is printing tickets and the machine is uber annoying.
3. Don’s phone is ringing now.
4. Zac is typing like a fiend.
5. Someone is watching Fox News.
6. I can here Michelle all the way down here in my office. (Which isn’t all that unusual.)
7. There goes Michael on the phone again.

936. Name three things you hate:
1. Smoking
2. Dipping
3. Negativity

937. Name one GOOD thing about each of those 3 things you hate.
There is nothing good.

938. What do you tend to see in black and white, rather than in shades of gray?
I tend to see a lot of things in black and white. I can see both sides of the coin though.

939. Admit three things you do that you are ashamed of but shouldn't be.
1. I’m not really ashamed of a lot.
2.
3.

940. What qualities make a person “good” in your eyes?
Trust, compassion, conviction

941. Do you have any of these qualities?
I believe I do.

942. Are you willing to do what it takes to achieve what you want to?
I think you have to be.

943. Name one bad quality about someone you love.
prejudice

944. Name one good quality about someone you hate.
humorous

945. Are you pro life or pro choice and why?
Pro-life.

946. If you are pro life write a reason someone might be pro choice. If you are pro choice write a reason someone might be pro life.
I think most people say they are pro-choice because there are extenuating circumstances that may cause someone to think about aborting a pregnancy.

947. Can you see the beauty in?
A bumble bee: yes
A man skating: yes
A woman combing her hair: yes
A box of tissues: yes
Yourself naked: yes
Light: yes

948. What are you most afraid of?
Losing the people I love most and not succeeding in life.

949. Whose life would you REALLY NOT want to ever have? Why?
Kate Gosselin

950. Can you come up with a reason why you might want their life?
Those kids.

951. Name one thing that is beautiful about your body.
I have pretty awesome legs I think.

952. Name one thing that is ugly about your body.
The innertube around my waist.

953. Name one thing that is beautiful about your mind.
My imagination

954. Name one thing that is ugly about your mind.
Some thoughts

955. Who was the last person you were rude to?
Hollie

956. Are your elbows soft?
Not today

957. Are you ticklish?
Very

958. Are you awkward or graceful?
Depends on what I’m doing.

959. Do you wear glasses/contacts?
Yes

960. If you wear contacts what's the longest you have ever left them in your eyes?
Overnight

961. What's going on where you are right now?
Craziness over people buying tickets to our season opener and the ticket machine is messing up.

962. What is your favorite thing to touch?
My dog, Randi.

963. What is your favorite kind of incense?
I don’t do incense.

964. What relaxes you?
Music and painting.

965. How much time have you wasted?A lot.

966. How do you afford your rock and roll lifestyle?
I don’t.

967. What does teen spirit smell like?
Teen spirit.

968. Do you mostly listen or hear?
Listen.

969. Look or see?
see

970. Do you comprehend all the things you read?
No. I re-read a lot.

971. Is it necessary to be repetitive in order to be creative?
Sometimes.

972. Do you control your attitude or does it control you?I mostly control my attitude. Occasionally it gets away from me.

973. Are your relationships mostly passion or conversation?
Depends.

974. Do you do what needs to be done regardless of the consequences?
Most of the time.

975. Is money how you keep score?
No.

976. Who can you do everything or nothing with and still have the best time?
Bethany

977. Just because you're angry does that give you the right to be cruel?
No.

978. What is maturity and where does it come from?
The ability to accept life as it comes to you and reacting appropriately.

979. Who is the maturest person you know?
My sister

980. Who is the most immature person you know?
There’s a coworker that comes to mind

981. If there was a fire and you could only rescue one thing from your room (all people and pets have escaped on their own, even goldfish) what would it be?
My computer along with my external hard drive

982. If you could, what 3 albums would you force everyone to remove from his or her CD collections?
1. I don’t really know.
2.
3.

983. Does Marilyn Manson scare you or bore you?
Both

984. What do you think of the Insane Clown Posse?
Weirdo

985. What's the best movie about high school?
10 Things I Hate About You

986. Do you like Michael Jackson better in the 80's 90's or today?
80’s

987. Is choosing a different store to shop in from most people really making a statement?
No

988. What's the riskiest thing you've ever done?
Going 100 mph.

989. Have you ever ridden in a car while the driver had been drinking?
No.

990. Who needs to get a life?
Perez Hilton

991. Do you write on yourself with milky pens?
Uh, no.

992. What should be different about high school curriculum?
More reading.

993. Right now are you exactly the way you want to be?
Not yet.

994. Who can save you from yourself?
Jesus

995. Are you a responsible person?
I think so.

996. "It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious."— Oscar Wilde
Do you agree?
No.

997. How many greatest hits albums do you own?
Maybe five.

998. Are you at risk for A.I.D.S.?
Nope.

999. Do you want to have it all?
No way.

1000. Do you collect green pictures of dead presidents?
Money? I wish it was that easy.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Someone Call The Authorities

...'cause this blog neglect is out. of. control.

I know there's only about four of you that actually read this baby, but that's four folks that care what I have to say (or are just really bored), so I apologize for the blog neglect lately and for the upcoming neglect as well.

It seems these days that my mind is going much faster than my fingers are willing to type, so therefore, by the time I sit down to write about the things that I've been thinking about, my mind tells my fingers, "Dude, you should've kept up with the train."

I did have a few things I wanted to share today though.

As always, for easy reading and aesthetic pleasure, a list:

1. If you love The Bachelorette (like me) and you are slightly obsessed with Aly and Roberto (like me), you'll either love or hate this joint-post by Bryan Allain and Tyler Stanton. These guys present, "15 Life Lessons From The Bachelorette". You can thank me later. My favorites? 1, 2, 3, 5, 12, 14...well all of them really.

2. I posted on Twitter earlier today that if I could be half the writer that Donald Miller is, I would consider that a blessing. Y'all, the man has some serious skillz. Emphasis on the "Z" meaning I'm serious about the serious part. If you've heard of him, you'll know he wrote Blue Like Jazz, Searching For God Knows What, A Million Miles In A Thousand Years, Through Painted Deserts. All good stuff. They always leave you wanting more.

He's an expert on story, and has some great insight on God. So, it's no suprise that Don's (see, it's so good that I feel like we could be on a first-name basis and comfortable to shorten his name to Don) blog is a bright spot in my day.

I have my Google Reader tuned in to bring me the latest and greatest from his blog every day. I've really been enjoying his stuff lately. Especially his Lucy series, blog posts "written" by his lab Lucy and this one and this one.

3. I know this might be a little cheese-tastic to some of you, but for those of you who read this little space of the internet and know what's going on in my brain right now, I think you'll understand it. This scene from Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit is really resonating with me right now.



4. This guy just sang what America was thinking.


5. And finally...

Never give up.


Remember people. You can do anything you set your mind to. All you have to do is:

1. Believe in yourself. No, really believe. See that time you didn't believe hard enough because it didn't work...there you go. 30th time is the charm.

2. Formulate a plan of action. Like believing that no matter how many times it takes, you WILL crack that board over your head. Come concussion or forehead-to-spine stitches. Just believe.

3. Follow through. Follow through...all the way to the ER.

Monday, July 26, 2010

They Say It's Your Birthday...

So Happy Birthday to me!

I really can't believe that I turned 27 today. Last week I read a piece that Annie wrote about her birthday. She said that turning was such a scary and daunting word, so she was choosing to twirl into the next year of life this time. I like that. And today, I've been twirling. Really.

Today really has been one of the best days I've had in a long time. And that's saying something for a work day. People have come out of the wordworks to wish me a Happy Birthday (even ESPN!) and I have felt so very loved. I even got flowers at work which, if you are a single girl, you know is a gift from heaven.

I'm not so much of an attention person (secretly, I am) but today, I've chosen to sit back and let God rain down his love and mercy over me through his people.

It really makes me laugh, and brings me to my knees, to see how far God has brought me in the last 20 years.

Twenty years ago, I gave my life to Christ. He came into my heart and took away my sin.

Ten years ago, I found myself on my way to college and falling quickly in love with a boy I'd never thought I'd see in a "romantical" way. Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of who the most important person in my life was supposed to be. First it became the boy, then it became me. I had forgotten that God, while loving and merciful, was a jealous God. And he frankly wasn't going to take it anymore.

Five years ago, God moved me out of my comfort zone and started working in the deep down yucky parts of my heart. He started by proving his faithfulness to me through provision and then he got down and dirty. He's shattered me like a clay pot and has been meticulously (there's a five million dollar word for you) been putting me back together. Slowly but surely.

He placed people in my life that weren't only teaching me from His Word but challenging me to put those teachings into practice. And that group of people ranges from pastors to close friends.

I read somewhere, and I think it might have been Jon Acuff's twitter, the following question and I may have shared this before. Does God have the right to crack the vessel if breaking it is the fastest way to share with the world what he poured into it?

My answer is a resounding yes.

I think along the way, I've been giving God a little piece of my life here and a little piece there. Recently, I just dumped it all into his big hands because that's where it should have been in the first place. For what I believe is the first time in my life, I'm stepping out on faith and leaving the rest up to Him. He knows better than I anyway.

I'd say 26 was an okay year, not without it's trials and hurts but I learned a lot from it. I'd say it was my growing pain year. (Emphasis on the pain.) Do you remember when you were little and your bones and your muscles would ache? You complained to your parents and they would diagnose it as growing pains. It hurt, but you came out on the other end of it stronger and maybe (not me) taller than you were before.

I know that I've still got my fair share of pains to endure. We all do. And they won't stop until we have reached the end of this life. And if they do stop, that means we've stopped growing in our relationships with each other and Jesus Christ.

However, if today is any indication of what 27 is going to look like, I'm quite pumped, to put it plainly. I see a lot of big things coming my way. One huge change, but one that will put me right where I need to be -- in the center of God's will.

I plan to take a lot of risks. Live life a little louder. And hope to make a difference for the glory of God the Father, in one way or another, everyday.

I listened to Francis Chan's last sermon yesterday and he said this: "There will be no cowards in Heaven."

I hope that when I reach the place of judgment, God looks down at me and can say, "Well done", because I dared to live radically for His namesake.