Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Last night, I got together with some friends and watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It was three hours long. Three. That's a long time. Aside from that, it was kind of depressing. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. It gave a unique look at life.

I layed in bed last night, wide-eyed. If you know me at all, you know I usually have no trouble sleeping for long periods of time, let alone, falling asleep. But last night, I couldn't even shut my eyes. As I was setting my alarm on my phone, I saw that it was already 12/31/08. Whenever something big happens in life, like the "last time" I do something before something else happens, you know, "life changes," I get a little nostalgic. Well, sometimes. (I know this makes me sound like a hyper, paranoid, emotional FREAK, but bear with me. I'm only slightly freaky this week... And people usually get reflective around New Years, right? Right...) As petty as it sounds, I got to thinking that it was the last night before 2009, the year I freaking graduate college and (hopefully) find a "real job" and the last night (probably) before we find out about my dad and before our lives will make some other kind of change. And the enormity of those two things, paired with the way I sometimes get after movies, I could not sleep.

I got to thinking about how my life has felt like it's sped up in recent years. And how that terrified me. And how I really want to slow down a bit and savor it. And how even through all the crap in 2008, God has been so good to me.

There was a part in the movie that really got me. It was a series of shots of about 5 different people and how they're on this "collision course" of sorts. If just one thing had been different - the man had been on time, or the woman hadn't forgotten her purse - then something horrible (suspense!) wouldn't have happened. The flipside of that is true, too, I think. There's probably been many times in my life when something horrible "almost" happened and I was protected because I was late or because I waited to tie my shoe or I because got lost or stuck behind a train. You know? Or maybe not. I'm not really sure how all that works except that God is sovereign. I know that. And he's been good to me. And I have a lot to be thankful for.

Ahh. Forgive these raw, undigested, rambling thoughts.

Basically: regardless of the news with my dad today, God is good. And SOVEREIGN. And also, I'd wait to see Benjamin Button till it comes out so you can pause it in the middle... to break up the three hours. (Did I mention it was THREE HOURS??)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Washed by the water.

Lately, I've been struck by the importance of water in my life. It sounds strange, I know... let me explain.

Water has always been important. Besides the fact that drinking it is essential to life, I've found that bodies of water give me great peace and joy... just watching it, being near it, or sometimes diving into it head first. (I think living by the Greystones harbor for three months ruined me for life. I'll always crave being near the water.)

We were supposed to go to the beach this week, in fact. But our plans changed the day we were supposed to leave (Friday), when my dad went into the hospital for a CAT scan and they found a large, "suspicious looking" mass in his lungs. (I am always struck by how plans change so much and so fast in life. It often reminds me I'm not in control. Which is a damn good thing.)

Anyway, please pray for my dad. We'll know more tomorrow after a biopsy. Even though this is not the week we had planned for, not the news we had hoped for... we're adapting. And God's still good.

Yesterday, I got up at 11:30. It was 60-ish degrees (which is crazy), so I took our dog for a walk. The sky was gray and sunless and drizzly. After living in Ireland, I've grown to love that kind of weather. So I walked. And walked. It was therapeutic, the brisk forward motion, the wind and rain in my face. When I came back, I just laid around and watched movies in my pajamas all day. Then I showered, merely for the ritual of it - the water, the cleansing. It sounds cheesy, but I actually thought about that in the shower as the water washed over my face. God can make all things new and good. And isn't water a beautiful picture of that? It's what I think of when I think of my baptism last summer - the water flowing over, cleansing, washing, creating newness. It's beautiful.

I'm in a point right now, where I need the water. I'm not going to belabor the metaphor by talking about "deserts in life"... in fact, the whole water thing probably sounds terribly trite and christiany. But it's been a reoccurring thought lately... a theme, of sorts. And I thought it was worth sharing.

Lyrics from a song I like:

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts rising
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water

(Washed by the Water, by Need to Breathe)

I guess that says it all. Please pray for my dad.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just thinking…

It’s 4:30 on a Tuesday afternoon. And I am sitting in Starbucks. I just wanted to get away, to get a Caramel Macchiato, and to pound on my keyboard for a bit. It’s funny how much I miss writing when I’m not writing everyday, all day. So, here I sit, at a small, round table, wedged in the front corner of the store. I’m surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows: chilly, but ideal for people watching, which I like to do sometimes. Christmas music plays softly as snow falls even softer outside... like a scene from a Christmas movie. I watch the hustle of people with agendas and schedules safely from inside my home away from home. I’m on break, and it’s very much delightful.

I like break. A lot. One of my favorite parts so far has been reading. I’ve read every day of break (completely for fun – mostly Anne Lamott), and hope to keep it up. My high school English teacher once told us that if we only do one thing to improve our writing, we should read. (More than anything else, including writing… just read.) So, I’m reading. It’s good for the soul, anyway. Like… chicken soup?

(Sidenote… I am a horrible eavesdropper. Or maybe I’m just a creeper. I keep getting distracted! But some guy with a beard just came in and ordered a 5-shot Americano! Now THAT is what I’m talking about. I have a huge respect for people who don’t mess around with their coffee.)

Anyway. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been writing a lot this past semester, because I’m now on break and have time to think, because I'm a Comm major, or maybe because I’ve been watching too many movies… But lately, I’ve been more… observant? I see a 30-something woman with three kids and I immediately wonder about her story. I wonder how she got here, if she once had dreams to be a soccer mom, or if life just happened along the way. I wonder about the business man sitting two tables over from me, talking loudly on his cell phone. Does he enjoy his job? Does he have a family? I have no idea why I am curious about strangers. I don’t know why I’m wondering, but I can’t stop. New people walk in the store, and I wonder some more. A couple in their 50's just sat down at the table next to me. They ordered hot chocolate. I think they’re on a date because they’re super awkward. It’s kind of cute. What about them? I can’t help but wonder about their stories.

Now that I have one semester of college left, I’m wondering: what next? How much of life is determined by small decisions? This is both exciting and terrifying to me. Well, not terrifying, I guess… but slightly humbling. I know there’s parts of life I cannot control, but I just want to be doing something I love, you know? I want to enjoy coming into work everyday. I know I don’t have complete control over the rest of life… who I meet, what happens, what happens next… but I just hope that love what I do. I want a job that matters… that I can really sink my teeth into. (Ew… is that gross? You know what I mean.) Thinking about my future is becoming more inevitable by the day. I’m just praying God’s got my back and that he’ll open or close doors for me. There’s nothing wrong with being a soccer mom or a business man or a single 50-something person. I just wonder if that’s what they want to be doing. Or if not, what happened? I wonder what was going on in their minds senior year of college…

(Ok, this window table is getting chilly. My NOSE is cold. And I just took the last sip of my drink. That’s always sad. BY THE WAY- someone just ordered a VENTI SALTED CARAMEL HOT CHOCOLATE. I had no idea people ordered those things. In venti. Sick.)

So anyway, I guess I should go. Peace until next time!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

alive and well.

7 semesters of college under my belt. yessssss.

it's mostly wonderful being home and being on break ... though i did order my cap and gown online the other day... that kind of creeped me out.

oh well. not thinking about the future. just for now. :)

more of an update to come later... i promise.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

christmas spirit.

i am officially in full-christmas mode. i was faithful, almost to a ridiculous point, of not celebrating christmas decorations or music before thanksgiving. but now? BRING IT ON, BABY! decorations, present shopping (or pondering), snow, christmas lights, christmas movies (we watched ernast saves christmas the other day - anyone, anyone??), and most importantly, CHRISTMAS MUSIC. every time we've had music on in this festive little apartment this week, it has been christmas music. it's delightful.

this is my first "dead week" at taylor that i'm living comfortably through. i don't anticipate pulling any all-nighters, which may be a first for me. and i only have 2 real finals next week. one of them might be a doozy, but... i don't really care so much. :) i am officially done with three of my four classes. PEACE OUT, SCRIPTWRITING, FREELANCE WRITING, AND THEATER & THE CHURCH. all i have on friday is specialized reporting, then i am d-o-n-e with this semester of classes. finishing is such a good feeling.

i recently aquired several free tall specialty drink coupons for starbucks. woo hoo. i got the gingersnap latte today, and it was ok for the first 3/4 of the drink. but then i got chunks... CHUNKS... of ginger. the word chunk should never be used to describe coffee. i freaked out. i cannot drink the rest. good thing it was free. gingersnap latte, i will not be ordering you again.

my roommate brought back a VCR from home, and i brought back about 20 VHS tapes from the good old days. last night, we watched parent trap. today, we fell asleep on the couch to robin hood. can life get any better than this?? i submit that it CANNOT! ...oh wait... J-TERM!!!!