October 2, 2010

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

Have you ever made someone a mix tape, only to get nervous that the recipient will read too much into the selected songs?

I haven't, but sometimes, when I recommend a song to someone (only because I think they'll like it), I become afraid they'll analyze the lyrics and get nervous that I'm trying to discreetly ("Ice Cream") or not so discreetly ("Your Love is My Drug ") trying to let them know my true feelings for them.

Although, I have never, nor will I ever, recommend "Your Love is My Drug" to anyone.

Anyway, that's not important. What is important is something I taught about at Bible study (which you've recently learned is my second greatest fear) the other night: boasting about the future. My poor heart has been convicted by this one.

I have always been a restless girl. I couldn't wait to graduate high school and go to college. I couldn't wait to graduate college and move to Texas. And now...there's no more graduating, no more definite changes, no more big change on the horizon, and I struggle with it. Terribly. I have found myself searching for another adventure-- not because it's something I think I'll love, but because I just need something to look forward to keep happy. So I devise grand schemes, great trips and adventures, and then congratulate myself in making choices that will make me happy...tomorrow. Because that's when they'll happen. So I can be happy today, because I know something better's coming.


I can disregard today's significance, because tomorrow's plans are better. And they'll make me finally happy. Isn't that how it works?

James teaches against this.

James 4:13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain."; 14 whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that." 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil."

All through high school, I had a teacher that was also a close friend. He was fairly young, not yet 30, and was adamant about using deodorant without aluminum. He had read somewhere that it caused Alzheimer's, and if he could take preventative action against developing the disease when he finally reached old age, he was going to do it.

He was hit by a car and killed a month before my high school graduation. That, more than anything else, made me realize that we are not invincible. I remember the deaths of both of my grandfathers, and while they were difficult, it didn't seem unusual for them to go. They were older, and they had lived full lives; however, when my teacher died, he was still really living. Anticipating reaching old age. He had no indication he would never get there. He lived his life (and bought his deodorant) in such a way that it was clear that he assumed he would have a tomorrow. Eventually, he didn't have a tomorrow.

And eventually, neither will we. How often I find myself saying, "I'll finally be happy if I just get through this, and then get to that..." or "Well, I'll get around to that tomorrow..." We are so reliant upon the future to ease the worries of our present. I read somewhere that this might be because we want our trials to end more than we want to cling to the presence of God in the midst of our trials-- I have found this to be true in my own life! I am so focused on the next step, or even just figuring out the next step, that I miss the precious moments of today. Moments to make a difference in my present circumstances, ideal or not.

Imagine if we thought of ourselves as we truly are, humbling ourselves to a place where we believe that we truly are just mists that will disappear in the morning light. Imagine how that would transform how we live our lives. No more saving the sharing of the Gospel with our family, friends and coworkers for a time that's more convenient. No more hoarding our "earthly treasures." Do you think we'd place as much emphasis on the clothes we wear and the cars we drive? The clothes others wear and the clothes others drive? How much more passionately would we love others?

I believe planning is healthy. I can't expect to go into a meeting, unprepared, and impress a client. I don't even believe excitement about the future is a sin: I look forward to one day having a family of my own...God willing. So make plans. Look forward to events of the future. Just be sure you're not letting them override what God has you doing today. And hold onto those future plans loosely, making sure you're placing security, joy and identity in Christ, and Christ alone.

Let the master planner handle it.

September 30, 2010

Talking in Circles

Tomorrow is October, which means I'm just weeks, maybe even days, from turning 24. Oh, but how quickly they grow up!

So many things have happened since I last posted, three months ago, and I don't even know where to start. I found out I have to have all four wisdom teeth pulled, which will finally force me to face my biggest fear: anesthetics.

My second biggest fear is leading Bible study, which I did last night.

My third biggest fear is the last mile in a half-marathon, which I signed up for tonight.

My fourth biggest fear is probably dogs, but that's not an imminent threat.

I passed the one year mark of work on Tuesday, returned from Vegas on Monday, and saw Taye Diggs on Sunday.

I also saw a man cuddle with a lion on Sunday. The things people do in Vegas. Madness, I tell you. Sheer madness.

Sarah, my dear Sarah, will be joined to Campbell in holy matrimony in three weeks, and Aubrey and Eric will produce the first of what looks to be a large brood next weekend.

I'm such a child compared to them. Maybe I'm not growing up so fast.

Whew. I didn't like where this was going in the beginning.

June 27, 2010

Soup makes a good meal.

This year, I spent Father's Day away from my dad, and I had to call him from London. For the second time in three years. I did, however, make sure he had a card to open, and my gift to him was coming home, as much as I didn't want to do it. So now that I am home, safely settled and only a text away, I have a belated thank you for him:

I've heard, "You're just like your dad," more times than I care to count, and while it's usually said in frustration, I have to stifle a smile every time, because to me, it's a great compliment.

I am a lot like my dad. I have my dad's all or nothing personality. I can't eat just one of anything, and neither can he. I can, however, eat nothing, as can he. We're great at weight loss. And even better at weight gain.

I have my dad's allergies, asthma and bad eyes. I do not, however, have his long, long legs.

I have my dad's stubbornness. You should see it when we argue. Although, to be fair, Mom says I'm the only person to ever get my dad to admit he's wrong.

I have my dad's sense of humor. I think he's funny. He thinks I'm funny. He might be the only person who thinks I'm funny (wait-- you do, don't you?).

I have my dad's love of planning. Big dreams, little ideas-- we love thinking them out, stewing on them, and then, sometimes, getting around to them. Dad, I'm holding you to this marathon.

I don't have my dad's heart for others, though, and for that I'm sorry. I don't lose sleep thinking about others, their problems, and how I can help them. I don't go out of my way to make sure everyone feels included and has fun. I don't have his hospitality, his tendency to offer anything to anyone. And feel guilty when he can't. I don't have the kind of unconditional love he's repeatedly shown. I don't have his patience when others repeatedly make mistake after mistake, or his open arms when they come back. I wish I did, because it's these things that make him one-of-a-kind.

Thank you for everything, Dad (and Mom-- you're not forgotten here). For making sure I always have what I need, and usually, what I want. For letting me be involved in everything. And being the chauffeur and ATM through all of that. For putting up with my "teenage angst." For doing my laundry. For a pony. And a pool. For letting me actually drive once I had my license. For loving my friends. For sacrificing. For rules. For trust. For respect. For letting me leave. For crying when I left. For letting me come home to the same house, and the same two parents in it. Most of all, thank you for doing whatever it is you did that allowed me to grow up feeling safe, secure and confident in myself, knowing I could do whatever I wanted because I had two people who would absolutely love and support me no matter what. I've always, always felt so loved.

If it's true that everyone has "Daddy issues," mine are of the very best kind: I'll never meet a man that loves me or thinks as highly of me as my dad. That's a problem I can live with.

Dad, I know you don't want me to grow up, get married, and have babies of my own, but I'm going to be selfish and do it, because I want to watch you be their poppy. I want to watch you play games with them and never let them win. I want to seat belt them into the truck with you for a trip to the dump. I want to watch you grimace when they pull themselves up for the first time-- with the help of your leg hair. I want to watch them help you buckle your belt, even though it takes longer. I want to hear you lecture them about why they need to keep their rooms clean-- maybe they'll actually listen. I want to watch you teach them to count with coins and read with Hooked on Phonics. I want to see them laugh every time they open up a package from you and find a dollar at the top of the pile. I want to send them off for a weekend at Nana and Poppy's house and get the tearful call-- they don't want to leave.

And I'll be sure they have a little pair of green pajamas to wear while they do it all.

Love you, Dad. More than you know. I hope I've made you proud.

And to the two men I didn't get to spend Father's Day with this year: Poppy Green and Poppy King-- I miss you and am thankful for every sweet memory of you.

June 25, 2010


On today's drive home, MercyMe's "I Can Only Imagine" came on the radio and spurred a trip down memory lane...

It was the summer of either 2003 or 2004, meaning I was 16 or 17, and I was at the lake house, in the middle of a long vacation. I was in the habit of going to bed with the radio tuned to the local pop station because I liked falling asleep to music.

This night was no different-- after a long day of skiing and swimming (and probably eating), I settled into bed in the front room, in the same bed that I now have in Dallas, and turned on the FM. I dozed off, lulled by the sweet sounds of Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson and Lifehouse and a fan breeze on my face.

Then, sometime during the middle of the night, I woke up, startled: the secular station to which I had fallen asleep was playing a Christian song. The lyrics were a dead giveaway: "Surrounded by your glory, what will my heart feel?" as was the twinkly accompanying piano. My first thought? Rapture! There could be no other explanation for something so ludicrous.

I was terrified. I had been one of those left behind. What did this mean? What about the rest of my family? My grandma, a wonderful, God-fearing woman, would be the litmus test. If she was still around, the whole radio thing was some sort of fluke. I sprinted to her bedroom, only to find her peacefully asleep, very much still present in this life. My heart started to slow down, and I went back to bed, said a few extra prayers, and fell asleep.

In the following weeks, I discovered that my night of terror was simply a result of MercyMe making the transition over into the secular music market, but I've since always had a bit of disdain for that song.

Interestingly enough, that was the first of a handful of rapture scares at the lake.

May 22, 2010

A Favorite


...I spend a few moments wishing Dallas had an H&M.


"Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book."
-- Author Unknown

"Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it."
-- P.J. O'Rourke

Reading is the cheapest form of travel. Just this morning, as I finished up "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" (a cheap copy I picked up at an estate sale months ago), I was in a sunflower field in southern Louisiana, sucking crayfish heads and drinking bourbon.

I'm always a little more emotional during and immediately after finishing a book, drawing bits and pieces of the characters that I loved and trying to make them traits of my own. It's a silly habit, probably not very healthy, but I can't help it. Sherlock Holmes and James Bond and Danny Ocean and Jason Bourne and have ruined me-- I'll never possess their cool-wise-confidence: a mental library of explosive powders, the ability to say the right thing at the right time, dead-on aim...

My favorite book is a bit of a cliche, "Pride and Prejudice," as I'm sure every girl thinks she relates to Lizzie, but I really do, you see! She dearly loves to laugh, she adores books more than people, she's loyal to her family, and she'd rather be alone forever, with herself, than tolerate. That's feminism.

I hate the idea of this.

May 9, 2010

Isn't she lovely...

Mother's Day is here. The only problem is, I'm not with my mother. I miss Tammy Faye King, and I wish I could hug her. And make her a meal. But instead, I had to send a card on a cross country trip and will be making numerous phone calls, trying to fill the void my absence no doubt has left.

So here's to Mom, my mom, with her beautiful smile and sparkly eyes. I love you for so many reasons: your goofy jokes and resulting laughter (even when you're the only one laughing), your pretty handwriting I grew up wanting so badly, your talents in the kitchen I obviously didn't inherit, your willingness to be a band mom year after year (and the cool one, at that!), the fact that you're still alive and sane after having three children in a year and a half, your patience with said smart-mouthed, stubborn children...

I love watching you be a great aunt, a patient, loving wife, a supportive sister and daughter...and I'm honored to be your daughter.

But most of all, I love you. Thank you.

And I can't forget the other two women in my life: my nanas.

To Nana Green, at whose home I spent the night more times than I can remember, who used to give me toaster strudels every morning, who has rescued my entire wardrobe from countless stains (and wrinkles), who understood my desire to be cool growing up and did everything she could to help me: thank you for everything you've done for forgetful me, whether it be giving me your lunch when I didn't have one, getting my cheerleading uniform ready, running home to grab something I needed, or playing taxi and turning your house into a diner between school activities. I hope I'm able to be someday be as selfless as you.

And to Nana King, who taught me that loveliness isn't just an extravagance, who taught me to make my bed so that the pretty sides of the sheets were always touching me, who opened her home to me (and my friends) for the best summer of my life, who makes herself available for midnight phone calls, who understands and encourages big dreams (even if they might be a little unrealistic), who used to listen to "As the Deer" on infinite repeat in her car just because I loved it: thank you for your endless prayers and for being a living example of faith. You'll never know what your confidence in those prayers taught me.

I'm a blessed girl.

March 7, 2010

Run, Baby, Run

I've been running a lot lately, but I hesitate to call myself a runner. Runners are, in my mind, an elite group; a people of scars and gruesome stories of pulled hamstrings and, at the the very least, thin, toned legs. I certainly don't have the legs thing down (see the infamous "skinny jeans" ordeal), I've never pulled a hamstring, and the closest thing I've gotten to running-related scars are the gashes I seem to always take out while shaving so that my legs are fit for gym shorts.

But the other morning, when I found myself getting up at 5:45am to run four miles before work, I entertained the thought...could I possible be a runner?

I think it all comes down to motivation. Mine is mainly food, specifically, the ability to eat more of it. Not for personal achievement, not for a challenge and not even for health. No sir, I run in the name of gluttony.

Give me some more time.

March 6, 2010

The Good Life

I often find myself complaining. Mainly about life. Just life. But life is good. I started thinking about some of the things I have experienced...

...Federer playing on Center Court at Wimbledon
...kissing in the snow
...creme brulee and champagne in Paris
...tapas and sangria in Spain
...a pet cow
...space camp
...skinny dipping in the Mediterranean
...moving to a foreign city where I knew absolutely no one
...celebrating my twenty-first birthday in Florence
...kissing the Blarney Stone
...U2 in concert
...spending Thanksgiving at a pub in London
...picking out my dinner from a fisherman in Sicily
...being a bridesmaid in a wedding at an Italian Villa (well, this is coming)
...a rendezvous under the Eiffel Tower...where the only prior communication was, "Meet me under the Eiffel Tower"

and, perhaps most overwhelmingly...

...God's grace.

Not bad for 23, huh? Life is good. God is good. Praise Him.

Under Contruction

I feel like my blog might be a bit boyish...maybe I'll revamp this weekend. A little "Spring cleaning," if you will.

January 2, 2010