Thursday, December 25, 2008

We have a tradition at my house at Christmas time (actually, we have many traditions through the holidays, and as the youngest child and an especially sentimental individual, I feel it my responsibility to make sure they all continue). At Thanksgiving time, we each sit down to the table to find 5 pieces of corn in front of us. For each piece, after dinner, we say something we are thankful for. (It always ends up sappy, no matter hwo hard we try). In a similar fashion, On Christmas, we go around the table, each committing to different things we'd like to see changed that year.

It's strange, even though I know it is coming and I am typically an over-preparer, I never can predetermine either of these things. What I am thankful for is easy, I am blessed and I know it. I am surrounded by incredible people, and I am loved by an amazing God, who I actually get to KNOW in a personal way. But what I want to change....this is hard. Now, don't think that I find it hard to find things to change about my self and my life....that isn't hard. The challenge is that I am going to give myself to seeing whatever I say, actually accomplished over the next year. And my word at this moment, matters.

Tonight, I was shocked by one of the things I committed to, or more accurately, I was shocked by my immediate internal response. I want to be less of a selfish person. I want to give more of myself to the people around me. I do not want my life to become centered around my self!

I have old friends who I have been through the fire with, and even under fire with/from, lol. And these friends mean so much to me. I have two sisters who are priceless, and who are my best friends. And I have several people who I have met in just the last year (or just become friends with), who already are deeply important to me. I have two younger cousins who I love, and who test me daily, lol. I have two incredible parents! All of these relationships require actual tending, not only with time, but in my own heart and thoughts. I want to become better at spending myself on others- spending my time with them, and more time alone praying for them to be blessed and loved and protected and healed, and released into the amazing destinies each of them have. I care about people, A LOT, but what good is caring if I am not acting as an interceder for them, if I am not helping them and loving them by my actions.

This year, above all else, I want to love.

I want the people around me to feel it, and to rest in it. I want to stop protecting my heart from feeling the pain it is prone to feel when someone I care about is hurting. I want to learn what to do in that moment, when I know they are hurting...I want to stop thinking quite so much, and instead, think about THEM and what they really need. And be the portal for them.

I want to be a safe place, and I want all the things that make people feel unsafe around me to melt off. I want to be selfless. I want to be less aware of myself then I have ever been. I want to live in awe of an amazing God who is overcome with love for the person I am with in that moment.

I want this to be done in me. It sounds like too much to me at moments, but then I remember: today, I am celebrating a man who died one of the most disgraceful deaths of his day, for me. He can work his nature in me. And I can learn to love.

Monday, December 22, 2008

If I can find my cord to upload my pics and videos on my camera, you will get to witness one of the most amazing things ever-- last night at about 1am, I was sledding down 228th, yes, Nike Hill! The road was shut down because of the snow, so a few of us bundled up and headed toward the adventure. Once there, we found 30 some people, snowboarders, skiers, intertubers, sledders, some pool-loungers (hey, they used what they had), and quiet a few drunks :0

Levi, Barco, Brooklyn, Courtney, Elijah, Katie Hale and I had a few great runs down the massive hill. My first ride down was the most terrifying, I was in front and therefore steering...only I couldn't really see because my feet were flinging so much snow into my face, and I could see headlights down below. There was an ATV out, and what we foundat the bottom to be a parked car waiting for friends. They were sitting on the bed of the truck and when we came to a stop beside them, they congratulated us "nice turn!" I'm glad they were so excited about it, because my heart was pounding. I'd seen the lights and dug in my left foot to give us a sharp left turn around the car. About half way down my heart was pounding as I shouted "I can't see" and rather than direct me, my two passangers just shouted with pleasure "we are going SO fast!" Well, I didn't quite share their pleasure at that moment. No, it hit me then, I had two fellow riders who might very well let us die right now, rather then help by shouting directions (when you are in the back, you can see because the person in front blocks the snow). I started to drop my feet harder at that point, which made it harder to see, but it helped start to slow us down (we truly were flying and I was starting to worry).

The next ride, I went behind Levi. We've had a lot of practice as a team already this snowy week...he steered and I shouted directions from behind. We caught a couple snap shots on the way down, lol. Then, for our last ride (keep in mind, it's like a 10 minute hike back up the hill in the snow, for that 1 minute and 40 second ride down), Levi, brookyln and I piled into one of the sleds and started down. Initially, we had all three sleds hooked together like one massively long sled, but within a few moments we all let go. We video taped the whole way down, it was pretty fun. Hopefully, I can share that video soon :)

Never have I seen snow like this here!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Maybe I am more sentimental than most. Maybe I am more prone to a melancholy overload. Maybe, I feel the atmosphere around me more than others. But something about a beautiful, solitary moment can undo me, overwhelm me, and leave me completely delighted with tears. Yes, I start to fill up and before I realize it I am nearly crying. There is nothing uncommon, heartbreaking, or bewitching in the moment, just a book and a hot drink. Just a moment where no one is talking to me, but the house is full. Just one moment where my feet are warm and I’m lost in a fleece blanket and a new book. Outside, the snow has trapped us and inside the music is playing with us. Just one moment that feels so right. And I cry because I feel full, and I cry because of the those pieces missing.

Friday, December 19, 2008

WASHINGTON SNOW DAYS!!

We have had snow like we haven't in years. It's not that we've got TONS of it, it's that it's really cold and more powdery than normal. This snow isn't going anywhere. Today is my third day working from home. It's supossed to be freezing today and tomorrow (no melting snow), and then fresh snow in on Sunday :) Love'n it!!! Here's what I spent yesterday doing...


(This was right after we landed the jump for the first time- we were laughing and "oww-ing" at once, wile rubbing our bootees!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Not a Lily, But a Stone



“Her face was fair and pretty, with eyes like two bits of night sky, each with a star dissolved in the blue.”
-George MacDonald, The Princess and the Goblin

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Just like a lily, she thinks. MacKenna lays in the grass and stares up at the white columns towering over her at the edge of the patio. She can see her mother easily moving inside. The back of the house receives the cement patio with three sets of French doors, alternating with large bay windows. Her mother is lighting dozens of white pillar candles, wandering from the kitchen, past the wide staircase, into the living room, and then out of view into the dining room. From time to time MacKenna’s mother would decide to throw a big party.

This evening the young girl’s mind is full of all the people who will soon color her white home. MacKenna is convinced that it is not because their house is big, with its grand white entry hall and staircase, nor that its huge stone fireplace and oversized white coaches make it one of the most elegant homes around, the prettiest place MacKenna has ever seen. It is not even that her mother is the prettiest woman, though MacKenna is certain she is, with her blue mosaic eyes and lily-like frame. MacKenna knows that in less than an hour the house will be full because everyone loves her parents. She’d watched her mother chat with the other women in the school office on Fridays, laughing as she gracefully sorted through the files. Her mother whose beauty had the same affect on a room as a vase of flowers, and her dad who seemed to know everyone and just how to tease them. The unlikely, but perfect duo. On Sunday mornings, her dad would give the announcements at church, the highlight of everyone’s morning she was sure. It was abnormal for the whole congregation to not burst into laughter at least once in his routine. She’d smile, usually unaware of the joke, but she’d know her dad had made them all happy and that was all that mattered to her.

It is close to seven and in a few minutes friends will begin arriving for the party for her mother’s friend. MacKenna has been looking forward to it for weeks, counting how many days she had to wait every morning when she woke up. She lives for these parties, not just because of the colorful food her mom and dad make, but for the noise it brings into her house. The noise of people. If today had been a common summer day, she would have slept in a little late (her mom would have been grateful she didn’t have all five kids running around at 7am and would let her sleep in for a couple more hours if she wanted). Then, she’d have wandered down to the kitchen, her dark curls still tumbling from their sleep dance. She’d have smiled and gotten something to eat. Before noon her siblings would be back in their rooms, or cuddled in front of the fire reading their new favorite authors. She hated to read.

“How is it that you HATE to read?” her siblings often took turns grilling her. She didn’t know how, but she did know it could leave her mighty bored on a summer day when all her siblings flipped from page to page. Set in the middle of five children, she wondered how it was that all the others could be so enthralled in their books? She could easier enjoy watching a person read then sorting through the words herself. Only Grayson, her younger brother, would regularly side with her, opting to build a fort outside or wrestle their dog Lulu over reading a book. Braden now nineteen, Madison fourteen, and Kol just six could all consume a book for an entire day, just stirring to eat and drink. If the book was something amazing, even Grayson could sit for hours, using his right hand to rub the edge of his red hair at the temple, then switching the book from his left to right hand, and lifting his left to massage the other side. Nope, not me, thought MacKenna, I’ll pass on Braden’s science fiction and Madison’s Austen addiction, and she couldn’t understand a word of what her mom called the classics.

BUT TODAY HAD NOT BEEN A NORMAL DAY. TODAY HAD BEEN A PARTY DAY AND THAT MEANT A BUSY DAY FULL OF PREPARATIONS. NO TIME FOR ANYONE TO READ. THIS MORNING SHE’D CRAWLED OUT OF BED, NOISILY ENOUGH TO WAKE HER LITTLE SISTER. BEFORE HEADING DOWNSTAIRS, SHE WENT INTO THE BATHROOM. SHE BRUSHED HER HAIR AND HER TEETH, THEN MARCHED BACK DOWN THE HALL TO HER ROOM. FLINGING OPEN THE DOOR TO MAKE SURE KOL KNEW IT WAS A GREAT MORNING, MACKENNA WALKED IN AND OVER TO HER WHITE DRESSER, WHERE SHE PULLED OUT HER FAVORITE DARK BLUE JEANS AND HER FAVORITE PURPLE SHIRT.
SHE REACHED UNDER THE BED TO GRAB HER CONSTANT COMPANION, BUT IT WASN’T THERE. HER HEART STOPPED FOR A SECOND, AND SHE FELT LITTLE EMBERS RISE TO HER PALE CHEEKS. HER DENIM HAT WAS MORE THAN A FAVORITE HAT, IT WAS MORE THAN A GOOD-LUCK CHARM, IT WAS MORE THAN THE WARN-SOFT DENIM PIECE SHE CUDDLED AT NIGHT, IT WAS THE HAT HER BROTHER BRADEN HAD GIVEN HER THE NIGHT BEFORE HE’D LEFT FOR COLLEGE IN NEW YORK. “IT MUST HAVE FALLEN UNDER LAST NIGHT,” MACKIE TOLD HERSELF CONFIDENTLY AS SHE REACHED A LITTLE DEEPER AND SWEPT HER HAND ALONG THE FLOOR, FEELING THE LIGHT DUST ON THE WOOD PANELS. NO HAT.

AS SHE WIPED HER FINGERS ON HER JEANS, SHE TOOK A STEP BACK. SHE COULD SMELL SAUSAGE DOWNSTAIRS. ANOTHER REASON WHY SHE LOVED PARTY DAYS! BUT SHE WASN’T GOING DOWNSTAIRS WITHOUT HER HAT. IT DIDN’T MAKE SENSE FOR IT TO BE ANYWHERE ELSE, SHE COULD REMEMBER FALLING ASLEEP WITH IT IN HER ARMS LAST NIGHT. IN THE RARE BEGINNINGS OF A PANIC SHE BEGAN TO PULL BACK HER WHITE DOWN DUVET. NOTHING, SO SHE JERKED OFF THE TOP SHEET. WITHIN A MOMENT HER MATTRESS LAID BARE, AND SHE CRUMPLED INTO THE HEAP OF COVERS AND WHITE COTTON ON HER FLOOR. SHE WOULD’VE CRIED, EXCEPT SHE NEVER CRIED WITHOUT HER DENIM HAT TO COVER HER FACE, NOT ONCE SINCE SHE’D GOT IT LAST AUGUST.

HE MUST HAVE KNOWN MACKENNA WAS GOING TO TAKE HIS LEAVING HARD THAT LATE AUGUST DAY, BECAUSE WHEN BRADEN WALKED DOWN THE GREAT WHITE STAIRS, A DUFFEL BAG OVER HIS RIGHT SHOULDER AND A SUITCASE TRAILING IN HIS LEFT HAND, HE’D PULLED WHAT LOOKED LIKE A BLUE DOLL DRESS OUT OF HIS BLAZER POCKET. HER EYES HAD ALREADY BEGUN TO FILL WITH TEARS, ERASING THE IMAGE OF BRADEN WALKING TOWARD HER BEFORE HE EVEN REACHED THE BOTTOM STEPS. SHE HAD HATED IT. HER LAST MINUTES WITH HIM HAD LEFT TOO QUICKLY. HE HAD DROPPED BOTH HIS BAGS, AND BENT OVER TILL HE COULD LOOK INTO HER WET NAUTICAL EYES. THEN HE HAD OPENED THE DENIM PIECE AND PULLED IT OVER HER HEAD; IT WAS NOT A DRESS AT ALL, BUT A HAT. HER NEW FAVORITE HAT. BECAUSE OF HER TEARS, SHE COULDN’T SEE EXACTLY WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE, BUT IT DIDN’T MATTER. HER OLDER BROTHER HAD BOUGHT IT JUST FOR HER. HE HAD HUGGED HER GOODBYE AND GAVE HER A RIDICULOUSLY BIG KISS ON THE CHECK THAT MADE HER LAUGH. SHE WAS GLAD FOR THE EXCUSE TO WIPE HER CHEEK, ALLOWING HER TO QUICKLY REMOVE HER TEARS AT THE SAME TIME. SHE HADN’T STAYED TO WATCH HIM WALK OUT THE DOOR. INSTEAD, SHE HAD RUN UP TO HER ROOM AND WITH HER NEW FAVORITE HAT IN HER ARMS, SHE CRIED. SHE HAD CRIED UNTIL HER TEARS FED HER DREAMS.

“MACKIE!” WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” KOL STAMMERED OUT. HER BRIGHT AUBURN HAIR DIRECTING TRAFFIC EVERY DIRECTION IN THE ROOM. “MACKIE?”

“I CAN’T FIND MY HAT,” SHE SAID WITH A WHINE. MACKENNA DIDN’T EXPECT AN ANSWER, KOL WAS ONLY SIX AND COULDN’T BE TOO MUCH HELP. SO SHE THOUGHT, BUT ALL HER THOUGHTS WERE SMOKE-SMOTHERED BY THE SAUSAGE SIZZLING DOWNSTAIRS. SHE ROLLED OFF THE COVERS AND ONTO HER FEET AND SCUFFLED HER WAY DOWN THE STAIRS.

“MOM, DID YOU TAKE MY HAT?”

“WHAT?”

“MY HAT, IT’S NOT IN MY BED, ON THE FLOOR, OR IN MY DRAWER! I EVEN CHECKED UNDER MY BED! I CAN’T FIND IT ANYWHERE,” SHE STARTED TO WHINE. EVEN A PARTY DAY COULD BE AWFUL IF SHE DIDN’T HAVE HER HAT. HER MOM HADN’T LOOKED UP, AND CONTINUED TO ROTATE THE SAUSAGE IN THE PAN. “MOM? MY HAT?”

“SORRY MACKIE, I DIDN’T SEE IT THIS MORNING. AND I DON’T REALLY HAVE TIME TO LOOK FOR IT RIGHT NOW. I HAVE A HUNDRED THINGS TO DO FOR THE PARTY, AND A HUNDRED MORE I SHOULD HAVE DONE YESTERDAY. AND FIRST I NEED TO GET YOU FIVE FED, SO EAT UP.” MACKIE WASN’T VERY HUNGRY, SHE NEVER ATE WITHOUT HER HAT ON.

NO, IT HAD NOT BEEN A GOOD MORNING. SHE’D CONTINUED SEARCHING THE HOUSE, UNDOING MUCH OF THE WORK HER MOTHER AND OLDER SISTER ACCOMPLISHED. WHEN BRADEN, HOME FOR THE SUMMER, WALKED IN THE DOOR FROM WORK, HE’D FOUND HER ON HIS BED, EXHAUSTED, BUT DRY-EYED. SHE HADN’T CRIED, AND IT HAD TAKEN ALL HER STRENGTH TO HOLD BACK THE MASSIVE TEARS. HE COULD BUY HER ANOTHER DENIM HAT, HE’D ASSURED HER, HOLDING HER IN A GRIZZLY HUG. NOT A WORD CAME FROM HER. SHE DEBATED, BUT IT JUST WASN’T THE SAME, AND SHE’D EVENTUALLY TOLD HIM. HE RUBBED HIS SLIVERY FACE ACROSS HER SOFT CHEEK, UNTIL SHE LAUGHED AND PULLED AWAY. THEN HE WALKED INTO HIS CLOSET AND STARTED TO HUM. A FEW SECONDS LATER HE’D COME OUT, HOLDING HIS FAVORITE BLACK BASEBALL CAP. HE TIGHTENED THE BACK AS HE CROSSED THE ROOM, THEN SLID IT OVER HER DARK CURLS. EVEN WITH HER THICK CURLY HAIR, THE SMALLEST NOTCH WAS TOO BIG. HE COULDN’T SEE HER EYES, BUT HE COULD SEE HER SMILE, AND THAT WAS ENOUGH.

FINALLY SHE’D FELT SHE COULD THINK ABOUT THE PARTY AGAIN. SHE KNEW HER MOM WOULD NOT LET HER WEAR A BIG BLACK BASEBALL CAP TO THE PARTY, BUT SHE HOPED BY THEN TO FIND HER DENIM HAT. AND IF SHE DIDN’T, SHE’D AT LEAST HAVE BRADEN THERE TONIGHT, WITH HIS RED GROOMED SCRUFF ACROSS HIS FACE, DESIGNER JEANS AND BLAZER.

From the grass tonight, she can see her mom return into the kitchen and set the lighter on the white tiled countertop. It appears as though her mother smiles at her, but the dark night is hiding MacKenna’s contemplations about this morning from anyone in the light of the house. Next, her mother turns and pulls out the coffee pitcher and carries it to the sink, fills it, and returns. MacKenna watches her measure out the scoops, three-four-five-where dad would stop-six-seven. Her mother loves coffee deep, dark, strong. It is the only thing her mother doesn’t take white. She’d often teased that she needed a shot for each child. Early on, apparently she’d enjoyed lattes more; by the time Kol, the youngest was born it was a quad dopio espresso macchiato. Four shots and a scoop of crème. MacKenna watches her mother move a stem in the vase, arranging the tall bouquet on the counter. And MacKenna smiles proudly. They are hers.

THE DAY HAD TURNED EVEN WORSE AFTER THE LOST HAT. HER MOTHER HAD SENT HER TO GATHER A BOUQUET OF FLOWERS, MORE IN AN EFFORT TO GET HER OUT OF THE HOUSE SINCE MACKENNA HAD UPTURNED THE KITCHEN AND OPENED EVERY CABINET, DOOR, AND DRAWER LOOKING FOR HER HAT. THE HOUSE WAS NEVER WITHOUT FLOWERS, AND PARTY DAYS CALLED FOR THE BEST ARRANGEMENTS. HER MOTHER USUALLY SELECTED AND ARRANGED THE FLOWERS HERSELF, OR ON OCCASION, MADISON, THE OLDEST DAUGHTER, WOULD BE SENT OUT TO HER MOTHER’S CUTTING GARDEN.. MACKENNA COULD REMEMBER WHEN HER MOTHER FIRST GAVE THE CLIPPERS TO MADISON AND THE GROWN-UP WAY MADISON HAD CARRIED HERSELF THROUGH THE GARDEN. SHE’D SELECTED A BEAUTIFUL ARRANGEMENT, HER MOTHER HAD SAID. MACKENNA HAD STUDIED THE BOUQUET THAT DAY, KNOWING ONE DAY SHE’D FACE THE SAME MOMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY.

FROM THAT DAY, MACKENNA WAS SURE MADISON HAD EARNED A NEW ROLE IN THE HOUSE. SHE’D COME DOWN STAIRS AND CAUGHT THE END OF A CONVERSATION BETWEEN MADISON AND HER MOM, SITTING ON THE BARSTOOLS AT THE WHITE KITCHEN COUNTER. “IT IS BEAUTIFUL MADISON, YOU’LL SEE.” THEY’D STOPPED WHEN THEY HEARD HER ON THE STAIRS, AND WHEN SHE ROUNDED THE CORNER TO THE KITCHEN THEY SMILED THIS SECRET, KNOWING SMILE AT ONE ANOTHER BEFORE SHE COULD PIECE THEIR WORDS TOGETHER.

“MACKIE, GRAB THE WICKER BASKET IN THE GARAGE. IT’S TO THE RIGHT OF THE KITCHEN DOOR, “ HER MOTHER HAD INSTRUCTED AS SHE HANDED HER THE CLIPPERS. SHE COULDN’T SEE THE BASKET; INSTEAD, SHE GRABBED A 5 LB. BUCKET. WITH THE HANDLE OVER HER SHOULDER TO KEEP IT FROM SCRAPING, SHE OPENED UP THE GLASS FRENCH DOOR AND RAN ACROSS THE CEMENT PATIO. THE WET GRASS GREETED HER FEET AND SLOBBERED ON HER TOES, LEAVING TRACES OF YESTERDAY’S CLIPPINGS. SHE HATED THE FEELING OF DEW-COVERED GRASS, AND BENT OVER TO WIPE OFF THE SCRAPS. THEN, SHE SPRINTED OFF TO THE EDGE OF THE LAWN, WHERE HER MOTHER’S CAL LILIES, TULIPS, AND DAHLIAS WERE PLANTED IN AN ORDERLY FASHION. WHITE, MOSTLY. THE DAHLIAS AND TULIPS OFFERED A FEW BRIGHT ADJUSTMENTS, BUT NOT QUITE WHAT SHE WANTED.

SHE LOOKED AT THE DAISIES, THINKING THEY WEREN’T AS PRETTY WHEN YOU PICKED JUST ONE OR TWO, OR FOUR. SHE’D ONCE SEEN DAISIES ACROSS AN ENTIRE FIELD, THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL, THOUSANDS OF LITTLE PETALS, CONTENT IN THEIR SIMPLE HAPPINESS OF GROWING. THAT DAY HER FRIEND ASHLEY HAD EXPLAINED THAT OLD LADY KENDRICK HAD SCATTERED THEM AS A LITTLE GIRL. AS THE STORY WENT, HER DAD HAD GIVEN HER THREE DOLLARS TO SPEND HOWEVER SHE LIKED. SHE’D BOUGHT ENOUGH SEEDS TO COVER THE ACRE BEHIND HER HOUSE WITH WHITE AND GOLD DAISIES TO WIPE AWAY HER MOM’S ILLNESS. ACCORDING TO ASHLEY, SISTER KENRICK’S MOM DIED THE NEXT SUMMER. I GUESS SHE DIDN’T LIKE DAISIES MUCH. IF MY MOTHER GOT SICK, MACKENNA THOUGHT, A SMILE SUDDENLY STRETCHING ACROSS HER FACE, I’D PLANT LILIES AND BRING THEM TO HER EVERY MORNING WITH HER ESPRESSO. THAT WOULD MAKE HER WELL AGAIN. AND THEN I’D SING TO HER BECAUSE SHE’S TOLD ME MY VOICE IS LIKE AN ANGEL’S, AND WHEN THEY HEAR IT, THEY’LL ALL COME TO PLAY, CONVINCED THAT I WAS CREATED TO SING THEIR SONGS ON EARTH. SHE SAID THAT IF I WAS QUIET, I MIGHT HEAR THEM SINGING. MACKENNA LAUGHED. IF THE ESPRESSO AND LILIES WOULDN’T MAKE HER WELL AGAIN, THE ANGELS WOULD.


LAUGHING TO HERSELF, SHE’D CARRIED ON, EXAMINING EVERY ROSE, BACHELORS BUTTON, COSMO, AND PANSY. THEN, SHE HAD RETURNED TO THE LILIES AND COUNTED THEM. ONE. TWO. THREE. EIGHT. SHE HAD DECIDED TO CUT FOUR LILIES. THE PRETTIEST AND LONGEST STEMS. THE WHITE FLOWERS DREW OUT IN SIX LONG PETALS, THE LIMBS LIKE HER ARMS AND LEGS, ELEGANT AND LONG FOR HER AGE. SHE WAS THE TALLEST GIRL IN THE 4TH GRADE. AS SHE STARED INTO ITS HEART SHE SAW HER OWN FACE: FRECKLES AND LONG LASHES ON AN IVORY CORE. SHE DECIDED HER MOTHER WOULD APPROVE. AFTER ALL, IT WAS HER MOTHER IN HER THAT SHE SAW REFLECTED IN THE FLOWER.

THEN, SHE HAD CUT THE FOUR LILIES, LINED THEM UP AND TOSSED THEM INTO THE BUCKET, FRUSTRATED THAT THEY WEREN’T THE EXACT SAME LENGTH. THE BOUQUET ALREADY WASN’T PERFECT. THEN SHE SCANNED THE GARDEN FOR HER NEXT PIECE. SHE NOTICED THE TREES BEHIND. SHE THOUGHT OF THE BRIGHT BLUE FLOWERS SHE’D SEEN NEAR THEIR TREE FORT, YET SHE COULDN’T IMAGINE TRAVELING BEYOND THE REACH OF HER MOTHER’S VOICE. SHE CAN HEAR HER CALLING GRAYSON TO HELP UNLOAD THE DISHWASHER. EVERY FEW MINUTES SHE COULD HEAR THEM INSIDE LAUGHING AND JOKING, HER SIBLINGS SINGING AS AN OFF-KEY CHOIR. BESIDES, SHE’D SEEN VERY FEW WILD FLOWER ARRANGEMENTS, AND THEY WERE NEVER THE PARTY ARRANGEMENTS. INSTEAD, SHE’D PICK FLOWERS FOR A BOUQUET LIKE THE ONE AT THE CLINE’S LAST WEEKEND; ASHLEY’S MOTHER HAD PLACED LILIES, TULIPS, AND PURPLE DAHLIAS INTO A GIANT WHITE VASE. ALL THE WOMEN IN THEIR DARK FITTED JEANS AND SILK DRESS TOPS HAD REMARKED, “OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL BOUQUET LINDA.” YES, SHE WOULD PICK TULIPS AND DAHLIAS.

SHE CUT THE TULIPS, ONE YELLOW, TWO PINK, TO ALL DIFFERENT LENGTHS DESPITE HER BEST EFFORTS, AND PLACED THEM GENTLY IN THE PAIL. SHE GRABBED THE SILVER METAL HANDLE, AND TURNED TO THE RIGHT CORNER OF THE GARDEN, WHERE TWO PURPLE DAHLIAS GREW, THEIR FACES LIKE CHINESE DRAGONS. HER HAND TICKLED. SHE MOVED HER LEFT HAND INSTINCTIVELY TO BRUSH THE FLOWER OFF HER RIGHT, BUT IT TOUCHED NO STEM OR PETAL. HER EYES SHOT DOWN, AND CAUGHT THE FLASH OF A BLACK LITTLE CREATURE SCURRY OFF HER PINKY. SHE SCREAMED AND DROPPED THE BUCKET, SHAKING HER HAND. HER ENTIRE BODY SHOOK AND DANCED, AS SHE WHIMPERED. THEN SHE STOOD MOTIONLESS, STARING INTO THE GRASS, AS IF EXPECTING TO SEE THE SHARP BLACK SPIDER MOUNT A GREEN BLADE. WHEN HER EYES FINALLY FOCUSED, SHE SAW THE SILVER PAIL, TILTED ON ITS SIDE, PURPLE RAINDROPS SCATTERED ALL AROUND. SHE LOOKED UP AT THE KITCHEN WINDOWS. NO ONE. SHE GRABBED IT BY THE TOP RIM AND SET IT STRAIGHT. ON THE GROUND LAID FOUR WHITE LILIES, THEIR PETALS TURNED AND TWISTED. THREE TULIPS, MOSTLY SNAPPED AT THE STEMS. AND TWO DAHLIAS, BEHEADED.

MACKENNA FELL BACK, HER JEANS SOAKING IN THE DEW, AND TUCKED HER KNEES TO HER PURPLE SHIRT. HER CHIN HIT HER KNEES AND BRADEN’S BLACK CAP FELL FROM HER CURLS AND LANDED BESIDE THE BROKEN LILIES. HER TEARS DRIPPED DOWN HER IVORY AND FRECKLED FACE TO JOIN THEM. SHE’D FAILED TO MAKE ANYTHING BEAUTIFUL.

Thinking back to that moment now, she lay on her back in the grass, watching the tide go out in the sky. MacKenna’s thoughts fall into the star-like eyes of the Princess from MacDonald’s fairytale. Braden had told her one night the book was written about her, but she still doesn’t know if she believes him. Though she hates to read, she has always loved being told stories. Her grandmother’s story has always been her favorite. So many nights, it had been the same conversation,
“I want grandma to tuck me in. Grandma, will you tell me my story tonight?”
Her grandmother laughed, loving the way her blue-eyed granddaughter drew out her words when she was tired. “Again? I don’t know if I can remember it exactly.”
MacKenna had asked her to tell the story so many times, she knows it by heart, and she can sing the little tune exactly as her grandmother had all those nights, it is the closest thing she’s heard to an angel singing.
“There once lived a pretty young lady,
who tended a garden near a tree.
Happily she’d sing to her flowers,
and they’d call it “The Song of Mackie.”
“One, Two, Three, all the flowers grow with me
For (Five, Six) we both know a secret trick:
I whisper to them gently, sing the songs he sings to me.
Then reaching to the roots, His words spring life in every stick.”
She covered her mouth and laughed.”


MacKenna would always cover her mouth and laugh as well, just as she did now under the darkening sky. Then her grandmother would tell her not to hide her smile, and gently pull her little hand away from her face. “That’s better,” she’d say tenderly, her eyes appearing to water. Her grandmother’s eyes always looked like she was crying, 80 years of happiness pouring out of her heart, eyes, and touch.

THAT MORNING, AFTER THE BUCKET HAD FALLEN, MACKENNA HAD LOOKED AT THE UPTURNED PAIL, AND THE BROKEN NECKS OF THE LILIES. THE PETALS OF THE TULIPS WERE BENT BACK IN AN AWKWARD KISS. SHE HAD TAKEN THE PAIL IN HER LEFT HAND, AND BEGUN COLLECTING THE SPOILED FLOWERS WITH HER RIGHT, DROPPING THEM IN ONE BY ONE. THE YELLOW TULIP WENT IN BUD FIRST. SHE COULDN’T LEAVE HER VICTIMS ON THE FRESH LAWN FOR ALL THE PARTY TO SEE. “I’LL TOSS THEM IN THE RIVER, PETAL BY BROKEN PETAL.” SHE SWITCHED THE PAIL TO HER RIGHT HAND AND GLANCED BACK AT THE BIG WHITE HOUSE. WITH HER MOTHER OUT OF SIGHT, SHE STEPPED OVER THE HEDGE, A GIANT STEP FOR HER, REACHING HER FOOT UP TO HER THIGH AND THEN HOPPING. SHE HAD TURNED THE CORNER OF THE YARD, OUT OF SIGHT OF THE HOUSE AND STEPPED INTO THE BLACKBERRY- GUARDED PATH. THEIR FORT WAS A FEW YARDS FROM THE CREEK AND ITS WELL-TRAVERSED PATH WOULD LEAD HER RIGHT TO AN OPENING WHERE THE RIVERBED SPREAD WIDE AND SHALLOW. HER AND MADISON USED TO WADE IN HERE TO WASH THE SKUNK CABBAGE THEY USED FOR THEIR MAKE-BELIEVE SALADS.

WHEN SHE REACHED THE SPOT, SHE SET DOWN THE PAIL BY HER FEET, BENT OVER, AND ROLLED UP HER JEANS TILL THEY WERE TOO TIGHT TO FOLD AROUND AGAIN. SHE COULDN’T WAIT TO RINSE OFF THE GRASS CLIPPINGS, STICKS, AND DIRT THAT HAD CLUNG TO HER FEET AS SHE WALKED THROUGH THE WOODS. SHE PLACED BOTH HANDS ON HER HEAD, CHECKING TO MAKE SURE THE BLACK CAP WOULD STAY. THEN SHE GRABBED THE PAIL AND SPLASHED HER LEFT FOOT INTO THE COOL CREEK. SHE INHALED SHARPLY, THEN PLUNGED IN HER RIGHT. TWO MORE STEPS. SHE SET DOWN THE PAIL, HOLDING THE HANDLE UNTIL SHE WAS CERTAIN IT WOULDN’T FLOAT AWAY. SHE GRABBED OUT THE TULIPS, AND PULLED EACH PUNCTURED PETAL FROM THE STEM. THEN, SHE REMOVED THE FIRST OF THE FOUR LILIES. IT HAD ALREADY LOST TWO PETALS, AND THE FOUR REMAINING REMINDED HER AGAIN OF HER OWN DAINTY FEATURES, A GIFT FROM HER MOM. SHE PULLED THEM ONE BY ONE, TOSSING THEM INTO THE CURRENT OF THE CREEK. SHE WAITED UNTIL THE LAST PETAL HAD BEEN CARRIED DOWN STREAM TO A SMALL GATHERING OF STICKS AND TWIGS, AND HELD THERE. THEN, SHE PULLED OUT THE NEXT AND CONTINUED. WHEN SHE’D FINISHED WITH THE FOUR LILIES, SHE BENT HER KNEES AND SQUATTED TO RINSE HER HANDS.

SHE HELD HER HANDS UNDER THE WATER UNTIL THE CHILL WAS GONE, AS WERE THE RIPPLES. HER LONG DARK CURLS REACHED INTO THE WATER AND HER BLUE EYES SEEMED NATURAL, STARING BACK AT HER FROM THE CRYSTAL CREEK.
SHE COULDN’T SEE HER FRECKLES IN THE WATER, AND THE WATER GAVE HER SKIN A COLORFUL GLOW. “I’VE NEVER SEEN SO MANY COLORS IN MY FACE” SHE THOUGHT ALOUD. THEN HER EYES SETTLED ON THE RIVER ROCKS BELOW THAT COMPOSED HER FACE. SHE MOVED HER HANDS SLOWLY UNDER THE WATER AND TOUCHED THE BLUE STONES, THE PURPLE, AND THE ONES THAT LOOKED THE COLOR OF A GOLD FISH. SHE SAW HER SMILE ON THE SURFACE. THEN SHE NOTICED ONE IVORY STONE, STRONGER THAN THE LILIES AND SOMEHOW JUST AS PURE AND ELEGANT. SHE CLOSED HER FIST AROUND IT AND PULLED IT OUT. IT WAS THE FIRST SHE DROPPED INTO HER SILVER PAIL. THEN SHE GRABBED A PURPLE ONE, AND THEN A BLUE, AND ANOTHER PURPLE. SHE PULLED OUT ALL HER FAVORITE STONES, DROPPING THEM INTO THE BUCKET. SHE LISTENED TO THE ROCKS CLICKING ONTO THE PILE INSIDE AND THE RINGING FROM THE PALE, AND SHE HEARD THE REEDS AS THE RIVER RINSED THROUGH THEM, REACHING THROUGH THE ROOTS OF EVERY STICK, EVEN THE TREE THAT BRADEN HAD BUILT THEIR FORT IN. SHE LISTENED, AND SHE HEARD THEM SINGING HER SONG. SHE BROUGHT A FEW OF THE SINGING STICKS WITH HER, TOSSING THEM INTO THE BUCKET AS WELL. THEN SHE PICKED UP THE SILVER PAIL, NO LONGER WEIGHTLESS FOR THE YOUNG GIRL, AND DRAGGED IT DOWN THE PATH, PULLED IT THROUGH THE HEDGE, AND ACROSS THE FRESH LAWN. SHE REACHED THE PATIO, AND CLENCHED THE SILVER HANDLE OF THE WHITE FRENCH DOOR WITH HER WET LEFT HAND, NEARLY SLIPPING OFF OF IT. SHE PULLED AND FLUNG THE DOOR OPEN TO MAKE SURE HER MOTHER KNEW IT WAS A GOOD DAY. HER MOTHER QUICKLY SHUT THE FRIDGE DOOR AND SPUN AROUND TO FACE HER DAUGHTER. AS MACKENNA LOOKED AROUND THE OPEN HOUSE AT THE WHITE KITCHEN, THE WHITE COUCH, AND ALL THE WHITE WALLS, A FAMILIAR FEAR RETURNED, “HOW COULD SUCH COLOR FIT IN THIS HOUSE?” HER FACE GREW PALE.

JUST THEN MACKENNA HEARD LIGHT FOOTSTEPS RACE DOWN THE STAIRS. KOL APPEARED AROUND THE CORNER, STOPPING JUST IN FRONT OF MACKIE. SHE HELD OUT A PIECE OF DENIM. THE METAL PAIL RUNG OUT AS IT FELL TO THE WOOD FLOOR. “MY HAT!”
AS SHE TOOK IT FROM KOL’S OUTSTRETCHED HANDS, HER FINGERS STUCK TO IT’S SLIMY SURFACE. “GROSS!” SHE STUTTERED INTO KOL’S SMILING FACE. KOL’S SMILE FADED AS SHE STARED AT THE HAT IN MACKENNA’S HANDS, HERSELF REALIZING JUST HOW CHEWED UP IT WAS.
“LULU HAD IT. I FOUND HER IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM.”

MACKENNA HAD STOOD THERE, STILL, HER ARMS STRAIGHT OUT IN FRONT OF HER, AND HER EYES INTENT ON THE WET RAG. JUST THEN, LULU, AN 80 POUND CHOCOLATE LAB PADDLED THROUGH THE OPEN FRENCH DOORS, SPOTTED THE HAT AND IMMEDIATELY BEGAN TO WHINE AT MACKENNA’S HANDS. SHE LOOKED FROM LULU TO THE WET, WELL-LOVED HAT IN HER HANDS, AND THEN BACK TO LULU. “HERE,” SHE SAID. SHE PULLED HER HANDS FROM ONE ANOTHER AND THE HAT FELL TO THE GROUND. SHE WATCHED AS LULU SWEPT IT UP IN HER TEETH AND RETREATED TRIUMPHANTLY INTO THE LAUNDRY ROOM.

HAVING WATCHED MACKENNA’S SELFLESS GIFT TO LULU, HER MOTHER WALKED AROUND THE KITCHEN COUNTER AND PICKED UP THE SILVER PAIL FROM BESIDE MACKENNA’S FEET. SHE PLACED IT UP ON THE WHITE COUNTER. MACKIE CLIMBED ONTO ONE OF THE WOODEN BARSTOOLS AND STARED INTO THE BUCKET. SHE TRIED TO TELL HER MOTHER IT WAS NOT THE FLOWERS SHE HAD PLANNED TO PICK, BUT NOTHING CAME OUT FROM HER LIPS BUT A SMILE. WITH HER EYEBROWS IN FLIGHT TO HER HAIRLINE, SHE GLANCED UP AT HER MOM. HER MOM WAS NOT LOOKING AT HER, OR THE BUCKET AS SHE’D EXPECTED. MACKIE COULDN’T EVEN SEE HER. THEN SHE HEARD A SOUND BELOW, AND HER MOM STOOD UP WITH A LARGE VIOLET JAR MACKENNA DIDN’T RECOGNIZE. SHE CLOSED THE CABINET WITH HER FOOT, AS SHE PLACED THE JAR ON THE CABINET BESIDE THE PALE. IT WAS TRANSLUCENT, WITH AN ELABORATE ETCHING AROUND THE TOP THREE INCHES, AND LINES TRAILING DOWN TO ITS BASE. THE ETCHING WAS A DESIGN OF WINGS, STICKS, BIRDS, AND TREES. SHE SMILED INTO HER DAUGHTER’S EYES AND SAID, “IT WAS YOUR GRANDMOTHER’S. YOU HEARD THEIR SONG DIDN’T YOU? DID YOU HEAR THEM SINGING IN THE GARDEN?”

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tonight is the second performance of the play! :) I had a really fun breakfast with some of the greatest ladies (morgs, kaylee, and connie). I get to spend the night at the Morrills tonight, then tomorrow after the plays Aimes is spending the night with me! Then Sunday I get to go shopping with her and Kaylee after church, then it's our MC Christmas Party that evening!! Aww, I LOVE it!

I am so grateful for this holiday season where I get to fill my schedule with the people I love, more than with school and work! :)

I finished my short story and will probably post that soon, but not until miss MacKenna gets to read it ;)

Love you all, truly!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I am about to go turn in my LAST FINAL for the quarter, which I feel really good about! :) SOOO happy!!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I need to get cracking on my final, final (haha), but first I want to clear my mind with a little blogging. I turned in my writing portfolio today (at 2:02pm!), and I should feel great about that, but I don't. I know that I didn't do a couple short story reviews (I'd misunderstood something in the quarter and thought I didn't have to do them all, but apparently I did just some could be shorter). When I turned in my journal today, there were still 3 undone I believe. Also, I had emailed my teacher a question about a way I was considering structuring my story, and never saw her reply. When I got there she told me she'd emailed me, strongly suggesting I did not reformat it that way. Not hearing back, I chose to do it. Fantastic. She actually called it a "cheap trick." Ouch. I myself had thought the idea a bit of a crutch, and had fought it all along when a friend first recommnded, but then in the end I felt it would help the clarity of time in the story and so I did it. :(

Anyways, I don't want to blog about that. I want to blog about PEOPLE. I have begun dreading the end of the Christmas play, because I will miss getting to spend time with all these people. There are several of them that I really like but don't ever hang out with, and others who I try to, but in regular life there is no way I'd get to see them for multiple hours twice a week!

I chose to do the play completely out of obedience to the Lord. I felt clearly that he was telling me to do it, and I was excited about taking this new risk. When I got the piece of the script they wanted me to audition with, I cried. Suzanna's process mirrored what God had been doing in me, weeding out the old voices I was still listening to in my head and teaching me to only listen to His voice.

With that said, I didn't go in to the play with my main thoughts on how much fun I was going ot have with the others....but I am coming out of it so blessed with the people. I love Mara Baker (I know she doesn't read this, lol). She is an incredible person and I have always thought that, but I have never really spent much time with her (besides when she was an extern my student year). I see a lot of strength and grace in her, and I love being around her. She is a rare image of a young woman who simply, is. And that is beautiful to see.

And Ashley, I have had so much fun with you!! You make me laugh all the time and you are so encouraging. I love your "surely we can do it" attitude to life! And Esther, you are on of the coolest people, that's usually what I think when I see you. Just like a 3rd grader would say about the highschoolers, lol. You are bold and unique and I admire it. And todd, and rob both faves. And hanging out with Christian and jared has been a blast- two awesome guys that I previously had little opportunity to work and have fun with. And it's given me more time with Aime and Papa Morrill and you know I LOVE that! And Jami Drake, one of the sweetest young mom's (and daughter of the little guy I am totally in love with!) And so many others...it has been so fun!!

That is my thoughts. I have practice in a couple hours...our last practice, and I am going to miss the fun times with this group.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Smoke in Eden

Jannie doubted this crisp air would ever fully warm. Her fingers tingled and newly shaved legs stung as the goose bumps spread up them. Not a human voice could be heard, and the birds were using this quiet to compose their morning eulogy. She watched as the teenage neighbor, Jason emerged in back of his house. How old was he now? Close to driving age? She hadn’t seen him since he learned to count; he’d followed her mother around all that summer, counting every daffodil, dahlia and dandelion in the yard. He reached for something behind the wood stacks. An axe. He began cutting starter wood, and then returned inside. Within moments, the biting cold air was strung with the smell of smoke.

She closed her eyes and breathed the comforting scent in until her soul felt licked by flames, and her nose was burning from the cold air. She refused to open her eyes. The cars, busily rushing to work on the hidden highway sounded like an ocean. She listened to the waves crashing as the tide came in. She could see her mom and dad lounging in beach chairs in the distance, her little brother Robert helping her build a mote for the sandcastle. The sand rubbed against her ankles and between her toes.

She’d stay on this porch swing all day, drinking her hot cup of coffee, forgetting the world, hidden in her mother’s secret garden. The royal purple dahlias, weeping foxglove, and the pink bleeding hearts surrounded the porch and kept her company. The entire lawn, with its elaborate gardens and hedged-in borders had been designed for perfect viewing from mom and dad’s special swing. She didn’t need to think about the “details,” Robert said he’d take care of them all. The smoke in the air brought her mind back to her old family room, beside the fire, reading a book or watching a film with Robert and their parents. Her hair still wet from a nightly bath, her red flannel pajamas on. All at once the smoke became ashy to her, cremating her past. Her nose stung, and her eyes blurred. The garden around her looked unkempt, and she realized her tears were the first good watering the flowers had received all year.

When she’d rung Suzanne yesterday, she’d been told to take the week off. “I’ll call the other girls and we’ll take turns filling in. Don’t worry, just take the time you need.” Yet, work sounded filling, and Lord she needed something, something more than the old garden that surrounded the back porch, with this creaking swing. She needed something more than mourning birds and an imaginary ocean. She needed her mother. Her mother who could turn any mess into a garden.

When they’d moved here she was only 6, starting second grade at a new school. Her mother had adopted the field of weeds and slowly created an Eden. Eden. Her mother always belonged in a garden, it’s where she knew to love. It’s where she’d held Jannie and promised her she’d make new friends. It’s where her mother told her the news, with a broad-rimmed black Hepburn-like hat covering her baldhead and a pink peony in her left hand. The smoke lifted from the chimney and reminded Jannie she’d better call Robert; let him know she was okay. And ask when the will was to be read.


[My final portfolio is due Tuesday for my "Beginning Short Story Writing" class. Some of you may have read the first version of this piece of flash fiction on my cretive blog. Here is version 2. The assignment was to write a piece of flash fiction (300-750 words). I chose to use a piece I'd begun earlier for the previous assignment in which we were to spend an hour or so in a place, describing it (sound, smell, taste, temperature, anything and everything!), and then write a paragraph, infusing the place with the emotion our character would feel there. I chose one of my favorite places, my back porch swing at sunrise and the hour that follows. I wrote about my mother's masterful garden.]

Monday, December 01, 2008

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (almost, but it was so expensive!)
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (indoor)
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted (drawn!)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class (for like 2 months!)
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (if you count a fish)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love you all- I hope today is a great day of enjoying the important people in your life.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I am obsessed with creating.

I can't get the thought out of my head, I can't get the passion out of my heart- it's consuming me! I have to create something, something that altars the physical world around me, something that breaks open the people that surround me. I have to CHANGE things. I have to be part of making new out of the old. I have to be used for God's glory!

Seriously, I am obsessed with the idea, I must be posessed by the Creator.

And this hardly helped, it nearly compounded this stirring inside of me. Pressed down and shaken up...!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

This is from last night:

I just left the Healing Explosion meeting. I didn’t really want to, but after worship homework came back to mind and I just felt peace about leaving, and not about staying. I got in my car and started heading home, then pulled into a parking lot and turned around. I headed to the Rosehill Starbucks, and as I waited at a red light I realized, I feel the closest thing to drunk in the Spirit I’ve ever felt. Like, I am certain that if I close my eyes right now, I’d dream of heaven. And as that thought crossed my mind, I rolled my head back and contemplated going to sleep right there….at the light. And then I grew more certain, I’m pretty lost in the Spirit right now. I then realized- I can prophesy right now. And I started thinking—dang, who can I think of, I wanna get a word for someone right now- or like a million people right now. And yes, I’m laughing at myself at this point. Then I pull into the paring lot, grab my bag and walk inside. Set up. Yep, it hits me: I not only have no cell right now, but Starbucks has no internet. I can’t reach anyone, I can’t be distracted by text messages, phone calls, work email, or facebook. And I know undoubtably, I have just been totally set up. I feel the Holy Spirit rinsing through me so totally that my body feels fluid, my mind amazed and awake, and I have nothing but my laptop- and an infinite number of blank word documents. ☺ And the story begins there.
I open my laptop and I get lost in the prophetic picture from James. Awwww, let’s go find some danger- let’s go create in a world of danger. Let’s not be tame. ☺

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Prophetic Gift From a Friend.


Your journey begs some questions. Is there danger or certainty? What is the way? Must you be tame?
You cry for the wild, you crave the unknown. Let the world open before you to this unexplored frame!
Never decry your place! Never step back from the edge! YOU ARE NOT MAIMED!

The Wild lays before you, notice this as you go: the places you will be reaching require that you flow
With His heart, with His mercy! Open the books before you and let the words rise from the page. For letters will not come out, rather vines of life, of grace. Take this life, inhale it deep, as you do the life will come from you! Never again look at a library as a place of misspent age or knowledge but as a jungle of worlds and wisdom yet to be discovered.

Know this, in His jungle you have complete freedom! No fear, no false safety, it is danger but He has ALL things in His view. "Run! Run! RUN! You have total freedom Daughter!"

----
I'd seen several pictures James had created for friends, and finally last week I told him I'd really like one. (I found out the others had asked for theirs too...and here I was afraid to ask, lol). This is what I found tonight on facebook, with my name tagged on it. I absolutely love it, and it's description, as I told him, "breaks me open." Ah, yes, I cried, it struck something so true in my heart. Thank you James!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wow. (Ash, "wow!")

That's all I can say to life right now. I've been mulling over a lot lately, and I feel with each cycle of the material, my faith grows a bit more. I was at home vacuuming the day after elections and I was praying. I hadn't been as broken up as everyone else over Obama being elected, I'd remembered Dennis Peacocke saying the Sunday before that God would give His people what we need. And this was it.

I wondered some if I should be more upset- I mean, I care deeply about the unborn, and a man was just elected who doesn't. But I felt something in my spirit I couldn't ignore. Rona had shared at the mic about the verse that says forget the old for I am going to do a new thing....she elaborated how the Lord had been speaking to her that we have to not try to do things exactly how we did them before and it worked- in essence, we have to "forget" our old successes, because God is bringing new ones, and He is doing them in a new way.

The Lord started speaking to me as I "colored my carpet" (vacuumed), last Presidential election we were high on our success of voting in a God-fearing man. This time, God is going to do a new thing- a new success. I feel strongly that God is going to raise His people up and bring change from the bottom. It's His way! I already feel a new responsibility growing in me for my country and my realm. I can't rely that my country is a "God-fearing nation" because our head is a man who fears God- no, our country will be a God-fearing nation when the hearts of the people are turned and encounter a God who is worthy of being feared and adored.

I am excited! God is doing a new thing- a good thing. He's birthing something deep inside of us, and it's starting to grow. I've heard more people share revelations about their responsibility to pray for our leadership and for our country than I have in years, if ever (all my 21 years, hahaa). So pray, and seek God, own what you own...and Lord, extend our tent pegs.

At the ladies fall brunch Mrs. Tannehil (sorry, I know I spelt that wrong) mentioned the favor that is on us right now, and not fearing it. It's our moment. And I have to agree. Just that morning, I'd been driving, thinking of the favor I've recently had with my professors, and my manager, and with strangers! I feel like there is a new favor, and a new capacity.

I mentioned recently that I feel capable of doing my job in a new way. At work- I literally feel like all these boundaries were taken off of me, and I was told to just do it, and jump. And I have been, and I've been loving it! The same is true of so many places of my life- including the Christmas play- I knew the Lord was telling me to do it and to take the risk back in August. And over the past few weeks there have been a few times when I'd wished I hadn't- or maybe not, but at least reallllly disliked what I was doing. But in the last week, there's been another shift and I am enjoying living outside of the boundaries I'd once given myself.

This is such a sweet time to be taking risks! God is removing lies that I've believed about myself- He's convincing me that I have to be my encourager (as self-help as that sounds), we have enough other voices telling us we can't do 'that' and not to dare imagine it- but the voice the Lord is drawn near to is the one who says "Surely we can do it!" - maybe in a whisper at first. I want that to be the posture of my heart. If God is for us, who can be against us? That's reality. I don't want to be prideful, at all, but I also don't want to tie myself up before God does anything great through me.

I WANT TO DO SOMETHING GREAT- INCREDIBLE- UNBELIEVABLE, that MAKES PEOPLE BELIEVE!

I really do, and I feel like I can more than ever. God's showing me that the old boundaries aren't there, and He has big plans :)

This may be fall, but God is bearing much fruit in His people right now- don't go to sleep, you'll miss out on too much fun!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I love how when I am stressed out that I wont finish all I need to in time- I open up a new post and begin to blog. This shouldn't help, but somehow it does. Maybe it engages my mind in a new way, refreshing me. Or maybe it just gives me the level of distraction I need to vent and then return to the grind.

I finished my first short story last night- weird. I've never been forced to finish one of my stories. Okay- I have written a couple short stories, but the longest one was 6 pages. This one is 11 (by requirement it must be between 10-20 pages), and it will actually undergo peer commentaries and workshopping and then be turned in in final form for a big 'ol chunk of my grade.

Aime ended up helping me with it- I was spouting out some thoughts and concerns I still had. I had a title which I loved and was certain had come from God, but it didn't fit yet. REALLY didn't fit yet. It had a piece, but it was missing a huge element. Suddenly, Aime through out an idea and I LOVED it, she kept going and the missing pieces flowed out of her imagination (the God-inspired imagination) and into mine. It was honestly amazing!! I was so excited, and so was she. "I like creating with you" she said at the end. WOW. I think I hear God in my sister's voice ;)

Seriously, I know He says that when I allow Him to flow through me onto the page: "I love creating with you." And I smile, thinking how lucky I am to create with the Creator. :) It's in us too. I love it when I get to create with someone else and it's so clearly the Lord moving between us and through us...I think this was one of the most vivid examples of this I have had yet. I am so excited for my story- but NO, I am not posting it until I've had some time to redraft. Eventually I will be posting it on my creative blog, Poetry of Presence. I'll be sure to leave a quick comment here about it too.

Alright, in that same class I also need to turn in 5 peer commentaries and marked up drafts of my classmates, I have 3 to go so I better get on them. (I also have a meeting with my instructor after class, and I have to turn in my writing journal- which we are required to write in every day, 5 great first lines for a story, and a piece of work to discuss with her). This should be a fun class. :0

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I am thinking again of all the things I have to be grateful for, or rather all the people.

I read on a friends wall last week, "The most important things in life, aren't things" and isn't that the truth.


A couple months ago I wrote about two of my very special friends, Toddley and Aimers. Today, I feel rather inspired to write about my big brother Bryan, or as he is listed in my phone, "My brother the ninja Bryan Krumperman",
or as I like to call him, Brother Krump.

Bryan has been a big brother in a way I don't think anyone else quite has. He says he has years to make up for, and insists on a lot of teasing (followed of course by a laugh, and "oh kati" and a hug, which he somehow believes makes up for anything and everything, "Oh Bryan").

Our first meeting was at Family Camp, a few weeks before MCs started. We all sat around a camp fire and laughed, as he used his kneck to turn his head lamp into a strobe light. He started teasing me pretty much immeiately, which I wasn't sure I liked. And in the manner he continues to this day, as we all walked down the street a little later, he pulled me into a side hug (haha), and explained he was going to tease me because he liked me. Pretty much, immediately my big brother. I remember thinking at the bon fire, "Oh no, this is going to be a long year" as I watched him spaz a bit.

Through MCs, he was usually the guy I went and got as the "ref" in interesting confrontations. We didn't get a whole ton of conversation times in MCs, but the few we got meant a lot. And I found that he was not a spaz. :) quite the contrary.

In MCs, Bryan provided the "red back pack" complete with sowing kit (which saved my life at Elise's wedding!!), community toothbrush and deoderant, head lamp, and who knows what all else! He's a one of kind guy- who I'd like to tell more of, but don't want to let out too many of his hidden talents. He builds fires with flares (which I believe he keeps in his car at all times). Let's just say, he is probably the only person I know with a more detailed emergency car kit than mine (and probably more realistic too).

Though I am still waiting on my written prophetic word...Bryan is such a great brother. He's someone who doesn't really say it, but somehow makes me pretty sure he's a fan of me, even if I do plenty of things worthy of being teased.

I don't really know how to explain it, since I don't have a literal brother, but I imagine if I did, he'd treat me pretty close to how Bryan does.

Bry, I am so grateful for the man of God you are, for the words that have been spoken over you, for your love for ninjas, and for the way you care for me as a sister. I love laughing with you about life, and listening to the new revelations you get. You have a great destiny ahead, and I know you will enjoy the adventure of it all. I for one, enjoy watching you live that adventure and admire you greatly. I've learned a lot from your example already, and I think that's one of the core roles of a big brother. So, thank you.

Again, I am so blessed by the people in my life. Thank you Lord! :)

And one more.

Mrs. Rankin is probably one of my all-time favorite women. I remember being young, and before really knowing who she was, or who the woman whose name I had on a picture was, she'd given me a gift. Mrs. Rankin played soccer in High School with Michelle Akers, a member of the Women's National team in 1999. Being friends, she'd gotten me her book and picture signed. My dad was probably more excited than me initially, but I quickly caught up.

Then, in Junior High, I got to play for her at KJH, as well as take her Composition class. I remember loving both!! Through High School I grew to love Mrs. Rankin more and more, and I appreciated her coming to my games and cheering me on.

One of my favorite memories is playing soccer out in the backyard like we often did. It started to rain and somehow it turned into a game with all us girls out there playing, barefoot and soaking wet. Mrs. Rankin, Ramah, Elise I believe, jessica and myself all running from end to end. I loved that day.

In the last couple years I've come to cherish Mrs. Rankin even more, getting to spend time with her baking cookies and drinking coffee, and even once folding laundry, lol. I love who she is. She's a great image a woman who is athletic and lovely, she's fun and tender, honest with her thoughts, and also very wise. I admire you greatly. Thank you for your love, and how you make Rosie and I both feel like the world :)

PS, thanks for letting me meet Grammy, Rosie's been holding that over me for YEARS! :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Wow, a call for an update!

Okay, here is the DL. ;)

This week has been BIS-Z...crazy, sad, and at times fun! Let's start with Monday's breakdown.

Monday, I got back my first midterm, and hallelujah I praised Him! (said with soul please). I'd studied hard- really hard- but when the test got passed out, I didn't understand how it had anything to do with what he'd told us to study. I sincerely would have studied better I think if he'd told us nothing and we were left to guess. But, I did my best. I chose 3 essay questions (we chose 3 out of the 5), and answered to the best of my remembrance from class discussions and my notes (which I had made a point to re-read through, even though its NOT what he told us to do), then, I looked for every opportunity to make use of what he HAD told us to study, the "useful terms." I turned it in, noticing I'd written fairly less than most-- AND that I was turning it in before at least a third of the class. This worried me, I NEVER turn my tests in earlier than others. I'm the girl sitting in her seat, scribbling furiously while her teacher watched the second hand wind till the :30 mark, when break is up and the new students have to be in their seats.

Regardless, I got it back, and had got 9/9!!! Hal-le-lu-jah!

I'd also had my first opening shift at Starbucks- very exciting!

My training was done wrong I found out, lol.

I opened again on Tuesday, when my training was done wrong AGAIN, I found out. :)

I went from there to my other job, where I experienced my first real "layoff" atmosphere. It was strange, everyone was sad, but also relieved that they still had a job after Monday's surprise. I'd been receiving emails over the course of Monday afternoon and began to paste together what had happened.

The good side is I still have my job, and in fact, I am enjoying it more than I have in a long time. Today I have been incredibly busy writing. Yes-writing! I am being passed a number of different projects, and I already have learned my new manager is a "lets get it done now" person, which I like. She is up front and honest and trusts me to do my job....which is still being redefined.

I feel more "capable" to do my job, no need to edit after edit after edit, and never seeing what the final draft looks like anyway, and no more of no one even knowing I wrote it.

Tuesday night was play practice. Yes, for anyone who might not know, I am going to be in the Christmas play. I am being so stretched by it. Tuesday night, having to make the choice in myself before to just get over myself, I found myself enjoying it (though still, very stretched and uncomfortable! lol). I'm grateful that God see's what we need, and what we'll love, and He is faithful to lead us into those risks.

So Tuesday, was a looooong day.

Wednesday...school again. We are beginning work shop for our short stories, and I am getting excited (and nervous since I have 3 pages of what needs to be a 10-20 page story). We went home with our first 8 peers' stories to begin reading, reviewing and responding to.

Thursday, today, has been a blast. I got to open with Morgan this morning at Starbucks, and I definitely loved it. She trained me, and guess what, I wasn't trained wrong (or at least not that I know of yet, ey Morgs?). I got to work on the bar, which was good since it kept us both awake.

Now, I'm at my other job and realizing, I like my job again. I feel stretched, and challenged, and capable.

I also feel a little sleepy. :) Nap?

Tomorrow is my work-from-home day and I know I will enjoy it. I also get to have coffee with Bianca in the am, and hang out with Morgan Marie in the afternoon! :)

I have another thought, but I will have to share it later.

Friday, October 31, 2008

My Sister (the avid blogger) does a weekly Friday Fill-in which I believe is an act of the bigger blogging community. (I just cut n' pasted it from her page ;)

1. My favorite food seasoning is cinnamon (?)

2. Laughing is music to my ears- especially loved ones. :)

3. Lucky is having class cancelled!

4. My relationships is something I take very seriously.

5. Many people look like asylum escapees today!

6. Pumpkin Purea, instant vanilla pudding mix and eggs was the last thing I bought at the store.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I am going to do a little baking (pumpkin bread/pumpkin pie), read "The Lucky One" and potentially watch a movie with a couple friends, drink carmel apple ciders and eat whatever I baked, tomorrow my plans include coffee with Kristin Hale and doing homework and Sunday, I have church, play practice and I think Red Robs at some point :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I am home sick, or rather working from home. I need to be writing a couple abstracts for some speaking applications. And that of course, leads me to blog.

Follow-ups for my last couple blogs:

-sorry about adding the 'S' to Alderwood, lol.

-And as for the day I wore sweats. Not sure if Ty'd love me writing this or not, but without even knowing of my recent blog, he fed right into it. This morning he sent me a short text "Wearing sweats today...run into Jim and Kelsey at the bus stop" Isn't that the rule? It's not just me. lol. I never see people I know on campus or the way there, unless I didn't shower that morning, didn't wear makeup, spilt coffee down my shirt, or decided to wear sweats. It IS the rule.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling sick (and had several times throughout the night), but I had a paper to write and an appointment with my writing teacher to make. So, I toughed it out and got it done. I bundled up and headed into campus. I met with my writing teacher, printed out my paper, and headed to my first class of the morning (which my paper was due in). I think the neon lights intensified the headache, because part way through it was getting pretty awful, so I left in the break of my first class. I felt a little pathetic, but by the time my bus reached my stop, I was so glad I'd left, it was horrible, and I felt horrible.

So yesterday evening, Kris (who was also sick) and I watched P.S. I Love You, and I cried more than the last two times I've watched it. I cried probably 5 different times, maybe more. But one part of it struck me more than usual, laugh if you want. There's a scene where her husband is telling her that their life is already started and she has to stop waiting for something to mean it has. I don't know, maybe its my melancholic mood, but it inspired me. It's so easy to keep viewing your life as preparation for when you really start living and miss out on so much right now. I definitely want to prepare, but I also want to live right now and get everything out of this moment I can, and LOVE where I am. :) That's my thought.

Now, I HAVE to go crank out these abstracts...

(I just re-read this, and I think it is a little confusing. Sorry, my head is sort of a-moosh right now. And yes, I can use that word.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

MEK 101:

MEK denim is sold at Buckle (my favorite store), Nordstom, Metropark (? which I have yet to go into, but we got one at Alderwoods recently), and Sureel. I am sure they are sold many other places as well.

Here are a couple pics of some:
Womens:

Mens:

Monday, October 27, 2008

I liked my outfit today, and of course, saw no one I knew.

Last week, I wore sweats. I saw both Tyson, and Braden on campus, not a big deal, just ironic. But let's be honest, I then had the most attractive guy I think I've seen on campus in the last three years come sit by me with his novel to read, in his MEKs. Yes, I sat on the window sill drinking my white mocha and reading my short story, in my sweats, mentally chastising myself and laughing.

Thankfully, I don't take myself too seriously, and therefore I can share this ridiculous real-life humor with you my friend. :)

Life is nearly always funny in perspective.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm an avid reader of a few blogs, not many. One is my sister Kim's "I Smell Books." As I've mentioned before, she is tearing through books in a way I admire, and slightly fear. However, opening her blog today, I found she too has been stunted in her reading by the changing of the seasons.

This inspired my next confession of a tale.

Last night at homegroup, a friend brought up Thanksgiving break and how we need to do something. I gave a shy look, and they picked up on it. I was hoping they wouldn't ask, but they did.

What?

I replied sincerely, I was just thinking the other day how I really want to start my new book, but that I will probably have to wait for Thanksgiving break, and then I realized that all my friends will be on break then too, as will my family, and everyone will want to make fun plans for those days. I just want to sit at home, and finally enjoy all the reading I've been looking forward to. I bought a new book 3 weeks ago- and it has been sitting patiently on my shelf!! I however, have not been so patient in my head.

"Are you serious right now?" was the reply that came from two of the three people at the table with me. The third person was Elise, and she just shook her head and laughed.

Oh, I don't know how I have any friends at all, but boy am I grateful for them! lol. Even when they decide to leave me 19 voicemails, and 14 texts, and tons of missed calls all at once when I clearly don't have my phone. Oh yes, that is what I came home to last night after homegroup. I'd left my cell in my room, and as I drove away down the street I realized it and contemplated going back- but it would mean being late and I really wanted to be on time for the phone bank we were doing. So, I didn't. And when you leave your phone, you are always paranoid you will come home and discover everyone's been trying to reach you. Well, that paranoia was true yesterday evening. Kind of. A number of my friends were together, and they'd somehow got the brilliant idea to each leave me the exact same loooong detailed message with the adaption of "by the way, this is ______(their name)" at the end of the voicemails and text messages. They were funny. Except the second round of voicemails where they told me they weren't waiting any longer- "Kati, we're done waiting. We're starting the movie. We've busted into the ice cream and brownies. The Swedish fish are gone. We've opened the reeses peanut butter cups. you are mising the party. By the way, this is _______" Yes, those ones made me a little sad to have missed the party.

But oh well, I'd had a great evening, free from my phone, over at Jeff and Elise's visiting after homegroup. And what's funny, is I was talking about our generation and how bound we are to our phones, and how we expect that if we text or call someone, they should reply immediately. Oh, the prophetess I sometimes am. lol.

Still, I have great friends, and I am so lucky. Thank you for putting up with my affection for my books, and for leaving me 19 voicemails, and 14 texts, and for all the missed calls. I heart you guys.

Oh, By the way, this is kati. ;)

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Changes. Autumn means things dying so others can live. I don't like the dying part, even when it isn't really dying, just falling off and going dormant. It seems fall always brings these difficult changes, especially in relationships. And it makes me miss people so much...like Kim.

I really want to just increase in my desire for the Lord right now, and not get distracted by the changes going on in and around me. I love that the Lord has created me to love others, but I also don't want it to decrease my attentiveness to His heart, and grafting ours together. Still, there are always those seasons where you feel friendships changing, maybe permanently, maybe just for a time. Some moving further away, some just staying further away. Summer is a blast because you get to spend so much time together, no school, no homework. Then fall comes, it grows colder and the days shorter, and the responsibilities longer.

At the same time, fall is a time for contemplating and measuring, and can be one of drawing in to the Lord. I've been asking this week how mature I really am. I know with that question, there will need to come even more change, more deaths, and later, more life. :) It is a scary question to ask, especially when you truly desire an answer. How mature am I? How can I grow in maturity? What do others see?

Even in the quiet of fall there is always the promise of next Spring, when the whispered thoughts and exchanges of the autumn and winter suddenly burst through the ground and reveal what has been secretly amassing strength through the cold months. There is even now in my Spirit these unnamed expectations and desires being stirred. It is like the fog is there, but I can sense something great in it, and though I don't want to let myself call it out by name...I know it's near, and it's beautiful, and therefore I can accept the changes I feel shifting the ground around me.

"The Lord is with you mighty warrior. So rise...Spread your wings and fly. The four winds of heaven are blowing your direction, so fly." -Rick Pino

Monday, October 06, 2008

It is so grose feeling in my class room right now- like moldy moist feeling. :P

Furthermore, today is a no-makeup-day. For two reasons, it just felt like one of those low-key days (and I like ot have them on occassion...the day someone doesn't recognize me because I don't have on my makeup, is the day I throw it all away forever!) Also, I left it in my mom's car yesterday, lol.

But yes, It feels good to liberate my face for the day :)

This was not the intention of my blog today. Steering to the right...
I just checked up on Kim's book blog, my book-ravished oldest sister has just finished yet another book. And yet again, I decided I want to read it, so, I put it in the mental list.

Here is a chunk of the ever-growing list of books I wish to read, the order is random.
1. Something by Faulkner
2. The Endless Knot, book 3 in the Song of Albion trilogy
3. Lucky One
4. Sundays at Tiffany's
5. Beloved by Toni Morrison
6. East of Eden by Steinbeck
7. Catch-22
8. The Allegory of Love by CS Lewis
9. Surprised by Joy by CS Lewis
10. The Four Loves by CS Lewis
11. The Weight of Glory by CS Lewis (can you tell I like CS Lewis)
12. Till We Have Faces by Lewis
13. Something from Jane Austin
14. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Piccoult (I started it last spring...and need to finish!)
15. Dreaming with God by Bill Johnson
16. The Seeking Heart
17. The Brothers K

and then there's the list of the best 100 books written which I'd like to read...

:/ meanwhile...I'm reading Beowulf (again!) and other vast old and middle english pieces, in a very moist and moldy smelling room.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So, my sister tagged me for a meme - I'm not even going to pretend I know what this is.
(I should let you all know that my sister has become a serious blogadict. Jason teased me last summer, calling me a "blogadict" because every day (at least once) I was blogging, and taking pictures, for the blog. In MC's he'd tell me "put that on your little sheet", referring to our half hour time incremented sheets :) Last summer, it became "put that on your blog"- with most things involving Jason, you really have to HEAR him say it, lol. However, Kim has brought a whole new definition to "blogadict"- she reads probably 40 blogs regularly- correct me if thats off Kim.)

On to the meme of 6 Weird Things About Me.

here's the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write 6 random things/unspectacular quirks about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

Weird thing number one.
I continually am commentating my life in my head. Like to the extent that I struggle to remember sometimes what was in my head, and what was out of it. Every possibility rattles through- what they said, or could have said, what I could have replied with...what if that man actually turned right now with a gun, what could I do, what would I do. If a person was to come after me in this bathroom- which stall would be the most safe (the middle one- because there are two exit strategies? Two exit strategies also mean to entrance opportunities that I'd need to watch.) Which bathroom stall is likely least used? lol. I know this sounds paranoid, or negative, but its really more fun to me these days...and unfortunately, it's also hard to shut off. This is also what I blame for my random comments that slip out from time to time- my mind travel fast, and though it appears random to outsiders, it really had a logical progression within a matter of seconds. "German, Germane. Jackson, Jackson 5, tito!" There is usually a story running in my head, sp if you see me laughing by myself...please, don't worry (and don't ask me to explain, because it most likely wont make sense to you in the end.)

Weird thing number two.
I no longer do this, and it took much work (and if I let myself start one day in the car- I'm stuck for the ride!) When I would ride in cars, I'd find myself having to count the street lights. I'd want to stop, but couldn't. It was one-two-three-four-.... or else, it had to be a head nod at every one, or something with my hand. (I know what you are all thinking right now- I knew she was weird...but maybe it's a real clinical issue, she's worse than I thought. I know.) It wasn't only street lamps either, it was the little blue turtles, or anything!

Weird thing number three.
I believe The 100 Acre woods is the ultimate personality guide. I called my sister one day in the car to share this major revelation: I can classify every one of my friends by a character of the 10 Acre Woods, or else some combination of them. It's true, we have Tiggers, Eores, Owls, Kangas, Roos, Poohs, Piglets (I'm part Piglet- "OoOh DddddDear!"and I think part Poo) and the whole crew!

Weird thing number four.
I can be driven into an anxiety attack by Kris moving things in my room. I'm not kidding- and yes, I have been praying that the Lord changes this before I have kids. She will come into my room and flip little things upside down, slide a picture frame 3 inches to the right, slightly pull out one drawer, pull my curtain over a bit, move a pillow, or switch two objects around (she loves to turn HOPE upside down!)...if I see her doing it faster than I can fix them I can get totally overwhelmed and genuinely freaked a little...but usually she does it while I'm out of the room....just for kicks! And she knows I will walk in and see that its off! Yes, I may struggle with a little OCD (or as we say- CDO...as it should be, in alphabetical order).

Weird thing number five.
I LOVE to vacuum. Always have, always will (I hope). My mom started letting me vacuum back at our old house, so I must have been 3 or 4. She'd take off the middle piece so it was super short and she'd turn it on and let me vacuum. I love this about my mom, because you know that actually caused her more trouble than help...no doubt she'd have to go around and vacuum it all regardless, but still, she knew she was training me. (In hindsight, she might not have let me play with the vacuum if she knew I'd become so CDO. lol.)

Weird thing number six.
I cannot stand to have someone leave mad at me. I hate people being mad at me in general, and have had to learn to let it go at the times I can't do anything about it...but it KILLS me. My last words to a person can never be mean, and especially not "I hate you" (which I have never said seriously, but often say as a joke...even though I shouldn't). My sister Kris knows this about me more than anyone since I usually say I hate you to her as a joke, and then she will find a way to leave if possible (usually laughing and refusing to hear anything else- ensuring that those are my last words). She'd run into her room laughing and close the door, and I'll be standing outside it shouting, "I didn't mean it- I love you and you know it!" It's mostly humorous, but part serious, lol. weird. A step further, I will always try to say "I love you" when a person is walking out the door (family and closest friends in particular), because I want to ensure that those are always my last words to them...because, what if they ARE my very last words to them. Ever since I was little, I'd run to the door, and say "I love you" to my family as they'd leave, sincerely making sure that they knew that before they left. I just want people to know I love them.

When I was little, I'd lay on the floor outside Kris' door because you can see through a one inch slit under our doors upstairs. I'd lay there miserable, begging her to forgive me and not be mad at me...she'd be inside, wanting space, or finding it humorous,...or sleeping, lol. Sufficient to say, we handle conflict resolution differently...I need to forgive and be forgiven asap....she needs a little space first. :) I've gotten a little better, besides, I can't see under her door anymore so there's no use in that tactic. ;)

SO, I'm tagging the only two other bloggers I know (besides Rach, who Kim tagged):
Elise
Morgan Elizabeth

And to make it more fun- all you who read, but don't have blogs, list out your 6 as comments, I guess you'll have to keep them somewhat short. :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I am waiting for Aime to come over and help set up for a birthday party with me, and I am so excited to hang out with her! This got me thinking....

I have some incredible people around me, who I just end up loving more and more! With this new MC class just coming together (and watching a couple of my closest friends go in and meet their new classmates), I've been set on a number of flashbacks...and how they do delight me :)


Aime, I met at FC United (the family camp talent show) the august before we started MCs. She was sitting behind us and someone mentioned she was the oldest Morrill sister ad would be in our class. We all decided pretty quickly we liked her, as we sat at the top of the amphitheatre commenting and anotating the function- at times starting the applause early to end a painful episode. lol. I soon found out she was moving in to my neighborhood (though I was moving out), and also was going to be my carpool driver. Aime quickly became one of my closest friends in the class, I grew more with her that year then with most anyone else (save a couple other girls). In the years since, we've met some fire, but I don't think our friendship has ever truly been in question. Aime has to be one of the most faithful and mature friends I have, never doubting me, never discouraging me...always there to love and build me up, always there to challenge me and remind me about the great adventure that life is. I love her attitude towards God, life, and others...embrace it wholeheartedly, spend yourself and enjoy it deeply! And she does. I love our trips/hikes/getaways :) Aime, you are remarkable. I a so grateful for you in my life. I love that God brought us together in MCs, and that you continue to pursue deeper and deeper, and continue to learn to be pursued as well.


Todd, another I met at MCs. I think we didn't actually talk until weeks into the program, lol. I heard OF him from Bryan, Ryan and Tyson in the car ride to the Puyallup Fair the week before we started, but it wasn't until months later that i realized it was Todd they'd been trying to figure out. Oh, how funny now! Once we were placed in the same outreach (Todd, Tyson and I) we suddenly had tons of time to build a great friendship. He kept me laughing through much of the year, and continually surprised me with his new revelations and his willingness to change. I don't think Tod knows even now how much our class needed him, and how much all of us still benefit from who he is. In the first year out of MCs, only a few of us (again, Tyson, Todd and I lol) headed into school- most were slightly out of reach in the business of their Extern/Intern schedules. In that year Todd was a great brother, and served to help keep me tied in to the year we'd just had, as we also ventured into this very new and different season of our lives...and he again kept me laughing through it's struggles. I love that Todd and I have already gone through a lot, and he remains my brother regardless of every tide. I've seen him continue to grow in this past year more than I think any year up to it...he is becoming such an incredible man, and brother, and leader, and many of us see it. He is an outgoing entertainer, that everyone knows, but he is also a quiet and strong leader...in the past months I've seen it more and more.

more to come (but I MUST get back to my homework)...

I am a blessed young woman.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Okay ya'all. Time for a call up. You need to comment. If you read it, you should have some sort of response to it, so respond, pleease. lol.

Now that that is taken care of, on to other matters of importance. I am currently sitting on campus. Today is my first day of classes, and I headed in early to savor the experience. Tyson started at 8:30 and Braden at 9:30- we we all went in early together for coffee on the way :) We have some new comers too this year which I am very excited about, Samara and Andrew start at UW today, and we should get to see more of Pierce too. Plus Lyndsey (Abbott) is back after taking last Winter off. It is going to be a great quarter. I am taking all english classes, two lit and one short story writing. Also, I will likely be declaring my English Degree and applying for the Creative Writing School in the next couple of weeks. I am rather excited! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Last Days of Summer are here... thankfully they are beautiful ones, though their beauty bites a little :/






Monday, September 15, 2008

Hello friends, my blogging has slowed as of late, I know. Life has been wonderful, and exciting, and busy.

My Life's Table of Contents:
1. My friend, Heidi, is currently living in my room with me (she moves out next week to start MCs! very exiciting!)
2. I want to be a burning one! NO, I AM a burning one! I have been feeling passion stirring more and more inside me, and I am anticipating a great move to come soon! I am not sure what it is, but it is creative and powerful and its being birthed in me now!
3. School starts on the 24th! Woohooo, but I am still so not ready! :0
4. Work is....um, transformative still..just waiting and not being anxious.
5. Last Saturday was Revive night and it was amazing! God so met us in a sweet way. Seriously, I felt I could taste the sweetness of His presence on my tongue. I love Him.
Keep checking my creative blog, because I plan to post a pic of how the Lord spilt out of me that night. I was like- what?!! *but in a good way.
(notice how much fun I have with my grammatical symbols?...hmm, lol.)
6. Bill Johnson was at our church yesterday- morning and afternoon services, both incredible! I feel even more passion,...I think he tossed some spice in the spirit soup (yeah, again, I don't know where this comes from...lol.)
7. So many exciting new things- I'm taking new risks and starting off on new adventures, and I can't wait to give details..but I can't right now, some are forbidden to tell right now, but most details are just unknown. :0

There is something coming, turning, tubmling.....can you hear it?


HAHAHAAAAA!

(I love you all...!)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I have been up in the Canadian Rockies for the last 4 days, enjoying a wonderful birthday weekend for Aime and Brittany. Aimes has "always" wanted to go to Banff, so for her birthday weekend, she headed up a trip. It ended up her, britt, cami, myself, and two of Aime's friends from Spokane- Laurie and Lisa. (who were wonderful!)

Friday was a long day of driving, we started out by 8am, and made just a couple quick stops along the way. We arrived at our wonderful hotel (Thank you Morrills!!) by 7:30pmish. Grocery shopping next. Then that night, I introduced the other girls to the addiction that is Heroes!!! The other two (Laurie and Lisa) arrived around 1:30am, said hello and we all went to bed.

Saturday morning it was beautiful. Which was perfect because this was our planned day hike! We all piled in and headed to Banff National Forest (we were staying about 45 minutes outside of Lake Louise and the Fairmont hotel). Upon arriving, we took many pictures (as you see) and started off on our hike. The beautiful day had drawn many like minded adventurists, and parking was difficult to find, but when we left, ours was one of a handful of cars still waiting. As we reached higher, we all noticed something falling from the trees...or not quite. It was snowing! Still beautiful weather, I hiked up in shorts and a long thermal, having stripped off the heavy layers.
It was a pretty steep climb (I thought), but gorgeous, and so much fun with the other girls!
When we reached the top, Lake Agnes, we lunched at the Tea House. A small little cabin with no running water or electricity, this little establishment is run by a small team that actually lives up there, in teh same conditions! Their supplies are brought in my helicopter (I believe they said once or twice a year!) I don't know why people choose to do that, I could see Krista enjoying it though. However, we were so grateful that they did- we enjoyed hot drinks and delicious sandwiches while the snow fell outside on the mountain top. An incredibe view was ours as well. Three of the girls decided to take an extra mile loop for a better view, while myself and two others headed BACK into the little Tea House for some french press, the pleasure of group body heat, and our books! An horu later the cabin was closing and we decided to head to the outlet from the loop the other girls took...only they weren't there. We walked down further, than started heading back up. At some point, we ran into Aime- turned out they had headed back on the loop to the Tea House, and arrived just minutes after we headed down. We all met up at Mirror lake about 800 km down the mountain and had a good laugh.

As soon as we walked into our room, we pulled out the swim suits and hustled to the hot tub....oh yes! delight! Later we watched a movie and all squished on the pullout and enjoyed a platter of food (veggies and dips and popcorn and kettle corn!).


Saturday morning we woke to snow! Lots of it infact! Friday- rain. Saturday- sun. Sunday- snow? yep. We slept in, and then all soaked and journaled and spent time with the Lord until mid afternoon, when we finally got ready and went to downtown Banff to wander the village. It was a blast! We all found a little something and really just enjoyed being together, coffees in hand as we wandered the wet little town.

For the final night we went out to a special birthday dinner for Aime and Brittney. The night before, in the hot tub, we'd got to talking to a local woman and her daughter. We asked them where they'd suggest for a nice dinner. They had the perfect suggestion- it was a little elegant and a little bit casual fun. We had such a wonderful night. The earliest reservations we could get were 9:15, and weren't seated till after 10...but they were so friendly and never made us feel rushed to leave...we closed the restaurant. :)

The next day we packed up early and headed out. Stopped for starbucks, then stopped at the Radium Hot Springs for a couple hours. Again, we stopped for lunch a few hours later. And lastly, for one more starbucks...then it was straight home. We made it to the Morrills abotu 10:30 last night, where a few folks were still waiting around after Family Time to say hello to us.