April 27, 2007

phriday photo: overgrown

April 22, 2007

the door

Imagine that you are standing in front of a door. And you know that what is behind this door will completely fulfill your life. It will bring into fruition every dream you have for yourself. It will bring you what you’ve always hoped and wished for. So you go to push open this door, and much to your frustration you find that it won’t budge. You keep pushing, adding more and more pressure until finally the weight of your body is leaned against this door. It still does not open. You step back and get a running start, thinking surely you can force this door open. When that does not work, you pray that God will open this door for you. After all, you know that God wants all good things for you, so surely He would want you have what is on the other side of this door! Unfortunately, even prayer does not open this door. Confused by the difficulty of this seemingly simple task, and deeply hurt by the perceived rejection of your Creator, you finally give up.

In the moment you take the pressure of your will off of the door it begins to slowly open – towards you! In all of the excitement over this door’s promises, you never thought about the way the door was designed to open. All the time you were pushing, it only needed to be pulled; or at least opened by someone from the other side. Because not only do you see it open towards you, but a hand is on the other side of this door, guiding it open. This is not what you expected to see waiting for you there. You hear a voice say your name and immediately know who it is. “Dear child, all this time I have been trying to reach you, trying to open this door for you, but you have been resisting me. You have been pushing against this door and keeping me out. I have so many plans for you, so many things I want to give you and show you. Beautiful things that I made just for you. Exciting things that you have been hoping for. Why did you resist? I was here all along, on the other side of this door, ready to give you your heart's desire…ready to make your life complete.”

Paul said in Philippians 4:12, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” I think this secret he knew was shedding HIS own agenda, and taking ownership of God’s. It has become clear to me that I have been resisting God. And in so doing, I have been forfeiting His plan for my life. I have been putting all my energy into accomplishing MY will and consequently disabling God’s will for me.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Romans 5:5 -- “and hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”

I wrote this story and compiled the scriptures for a women's Bible study a few months ago. I post it here for you today, hoping it finds you living freely in submission to God's perfect plan for your life, and enjoying the blessings He so desperately wants to give you.

If not, go ahead....

step away from the door, and watch what happens.

April 20, 2007

a friendly warning to Randy Travis & Josh Turner

Last night I did something I never do. I went a show at Douglas Corner Cafe featuring local singer/songwriters. My friend Susan seriously makes a hobby lifestyle out of going to these shows. You can find her at any random dive/live music venue on any random night of the week, supporting the lesser-known folk in their dream of making it big in the music industry. Not only does she listen to the music, she meets the artists AND becomes FRIENDS with them. She's so cool. *sigh*

Anyways, she was telling me earlier this week that a mutual friend of ours was singing back-up for a local singer/songwriter opening for another singer/songwriter at Douglas Corner this Thursday night. I'd been wanting to see her perform for a while, so I figured this was my chance.

As much as I enjoyed the opening act...it was a little long. Tell me, since I don't go to these things that much...is it OK to perform 14 songs when the main event is only doing 10? hmmm....just a harmless question.

So one hour later Matt Jenkins finally takes the stage. And I mean FINALLY. As good as Charla was, there was a clear distinction in talent and professionalism displayed by this guy. Oh, and if Randy Travis or Josh Turner happen to be reading this (yah I know you two stalk my blog), y'all better watch out. This guy is good. Now don't get all bent outta shape here...it's not like he STOLE your voices (because he definitely has his own unique sound). It's more like he's just better than you. *GASP!* did I just write that out loud? Oh, get over it. It was gonna happen at some point. We all have our 15 minutes, and yours is up.

I'm just kidding. Randy, Josh, you two are lovely. But there's a new boy in town. Get ready.

phriday photo: fish out of water

April 19, 2007

anonymously yours

I have had some complaints from the greater populace regarding my blog's ban on anonymous commenting. The reason I set it up this way was in attempt to defy the laws of spamming. I don't get a lot of spam on my blog, and I'd like to keep it that way.

But in an effort to better serve my readership, I am, at this time, lifting the ban and accepting 'anonymous' comments. If you are commenting without a Blogger account, please tag your comment with at least your first name, or some other identifying nom de plum. Otherwise, I will assume you are a stalker and may possibly delete you from the face of the earth your comment.

Don't test me.

Disclaimer: If at any time the lifting of this ban results in increased spam, we'll resume to 'account-holders' only and all y'all non-account holders wishing to comment will just have to contact me some other way.

Anonymously Yours,
For The Love Managment

April 18, 2007

looks like they let the intern handle this one

My roommate and I have a saying. Whenever we're watching t.v. and something goes wrong with the program - like the sound goes out, or the show gets cut-off and another random shows begins mid-story (believe me, it's happened - enough times that we have a saying for it), we'll look at each other and say, "guess the network left the intern in charge."
So earlier this morning I got one of those annoying 'funny forwards', only this time, it was funny.
The premise of the email was mapping directions from New York to Paris.

All I'm gonna say next is Google has some mighty fine interns.

Scroll down to direction #23, if you will.

April 16, 2007

does anyone else see E.T. on a stick?

It scares me sometimes how quickly time goes by. I guess hitting 30 will do that to you. I can only imagine how it's gonna hit at 40...at 70...

"The week ends the week begins" (Dave Matthews)

Sometimes in my mind I put the day in fast-forward and I can see myself lying in bed, already reflecting on things that haven't happened yet . On Sunday nights I tend to look ahead to the week that lies before me and I can see a fairly accurate image. I will go to work. I will go to church. I will excersize at the Y. I will eat, I will sleep. I will do certain things each evening depending on the day of the week. I will see the same people, do the same job, drive the same roads, and do the same things I've done every week for who knows how long. This is the unchanging framework of routine which surrounds me. But I am a blur of motion.

The only things I can't foresee are those little surprises that seem to make the dull constancies worth it. Like getting an email from a long-lost friend. Or watching a community come together post-disaster to take care of their own. Planning a road trip with friends...seeing a really great concert... reaching those rare moments of success. It's those little surprises that become the defining moments of each week, and it's the defining moments of each week that become the mile-markers of a life. They are the landmarks that keep every stretch of road from looking like the last. They are the points of interest that prove there was growth along the way. And even though each day may have looked more or less the same, over time threads of change were braiding their way through the monotany.

Bottom-line: I guess it's not really the pace of the current that scares me. It's forgetting to appreciate it while it lasts.

Enjoy your day. Each one that you get.

April 14, 2007

faithful to me

Listen to this:

All the chistles I've dulled carving idols of stone
That have crumbled like sand 'neath the waves.
I've recklessly built all my dreams in the sand just to watch, them all wash away.

Through another day, another trial, another chance to reconcile
To One who sees past all I see.
And reaching out my weary hand I pray that you'd understand
You're the only one who's faithful to me.

All the pennies I've wasted in my wishing well
I have thrown like stones to the sea.
I have cast my lots, dropped my guard, searched aimlessly for a faith
To be faithful to me.

Through another day, another trial, another chance to reconcile
To one who sees past all I see.
And reaching out my weary hand I pray that you'd understand
You're the only one who's faithful to me.
You're the only one who's faithful to me.

your MOM'S a pinky...

You Are a Pinky

You are fiercely independent, and possibly downright weird.
A great communicator, you can get along with almost anyone.
You are kind and sympathetic. You support all your friends - and love them for who they are.

You get along well with: The Ring Finger

Stay away from: The Thumb

I took this test online this morning. I've seen it posted over at Rae's and also at Kat's. What can I say? It looked fun. I'm just glad my results weren't 2 fingers to the right, ifyaknowhatahmean...

April 13, 2007

phriday photo: nashville oil mill

April 12, 2007

God Bless You Mr. Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut
November 11, 1922 - April 11, 2007

I started reading Vonnegut when I was in college in '97. Like many other readers, it was his most widely acclaimed Slaughterhouse-Five that introduced me to him. Then it was Breakfast of Champions that hooked me. In this author, I experienced a style of writing that to me was endearing. It wasn't flowery or pretty. It was plain and truthful. It was irreverent at times, but honest to his heart. Best of all, it was funny. I just noticed I am using past tense here - not because he is gone, but more because I'm reliving those first days of my Vonnegut-discovery. I am tempted to say I'll miss him, but I didn't know him personally. What I know of him I read in his books, which are still with me and available to be read and reread. I am sad to realize, however, that there will be no more new releases. No more original chicken-scratch illustrations. But, "so it goes," he would have said.

So it goes.

Dear Mr. Vonnegut:
You once said that "a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive, at least a little bit." You should know that I put you in this category of artists, just as you do The Beatles.

if you can't stand the 1st amendment, stay off of our blogs!

Watch out JL Kirk & Associates. Nashville is Talking about you. All of us.

the stupid stuff i witness
Bob Krumm has verbed you
Malicious Support
Tiny Cat Pants
Women's Health News
Comments on "She's Been Served"
Bill Hobbs

How's all of that for libel free speech?

Don't worry, there's more. And there will continue to be more. This is just a small list to get you started on all the certified letters you need to get out. Also, there are links on each page that will take you to more prospective certified letter recipients. You may just want to send one big fat one to Google too. I've also heard there are couple of newspapers about to excersize their first amendment rights as well, so you better get on that too.

I'm with you. We really can't be letting people express their personal opinions on their personal blogs. But that's just my personal opinion on my personal blog.

Oops. Better add me to that list now too...


April 10, 2007

there is an unspoken rule about this kind of thing

Last Sunday my roommate Holly and I brunched at Sophie's Bistro on Nolensville Road. The service was...surprising.

As I ordered my 3-egg omelet with 5-year cheese, spinach, and bacon, the waitress gazed intently into my eyes, nodding her head, drinking in every word of my order, her doe-eyes silently communicating concern and approval simultaneously. I get nervous when this phenomenon occurs.

My roommate ordered a similar dish - the 3-egg omelet as well, only with 3 other choices inside, specifically I do not remember. I apparently was not the only one.

As the waitress whisked herself away to put in our order, I immediately looked at Holly, held my left hand out, palm up, and began to imitate the motion of writing with my right hand, as if to silently say, "write it down lady!" She nodded in agreement, then excused herself to the restroom.

No more than 15 seconds after Holly left the table, the following conversation took place between me and our waitress, whom we will refer to as Sophie.

Sophie: I'm sorry Miss, I did not write down your order and I have forgotten what your friend said she wanted in her omelet. (I am internally shocked and sympathetic of course, but remain externally calm and unaffected.) Now, you ordered the omelet with bacon, spinach, and cheese - is that right?

Me: Yes, that's right!

Sophie: I just can't remember what you're friend ordered - do you?

Me: No, I'm sorry, I really wasn't shooting laser signals through her pupils with my eyes like you were paying attention when she was ordering.

Sophie: Oh, yes, I see...well I'm almost certain she ordered the onions, cheese, and sausage. Though I wish I could be sure...

Me: (nodding and gazing sympathetically at her with the best doe-eyes I could muster)

Sophie: Did she go to the restroom?

Me: Yes.

Sophie: Ok, well I'll go put this order in!

Me: (thinking, "so, what - are you going to pop your head in the restroom and ask her?")

About 2 minutes later, Holly comes back to the table. "I had a visitor," she says.

April 08, 2007

the answer

This morning, as I was getting ready for worship, I had my iTunes on shuffle listening to music, and Sarah McLachlan's The Answer came on. I was about to hit 'next' because I was in the mood for spirituals, and then it hit me - what this song has always made me think of.

I don't know who Sarah wrote this song for, or what it means to her, but I'm pretty sure she did not write it from the perspective of Jesus Christ. For some strange reason, this song has always created a scene in my head that comes from John 19:38. It begins right after Jesus has died.

"Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there."
There are other accounts of Jesus' burial in the gospels, but John's is the one I think of, because John was 'the one whom Jesus loved'. They were best friends. And I think no other disciple was as affected by Jesus' death quite like John. It's like John is writing a tribute to these two men who thought enough of his best friend to use their resources and positions to care for the body that once housed a man who had changed all of their lives.

I imagine this song playing, like a soundtrack, if we were watching this scene in a movie. I imagine these words are Jesus'. I imagine Joseph and Nicodemus wrapping his body with linen and tears and remembering their friend. Remembering what He told them:

I will be the answer
At the end of the line
I will be there for you
While you take the time
In the burning of uncertainty
I will be your solid ground
I will hold the balance
If you can't look down

If it takes my whole life
I won't break, I won't bend
It will all be worth it
Worth it in the end
Cause I can only tell you what I know
That I need you in my life
When the stars have all gone out
You'll still be burning so bright

Cast me gently
Into morning
For the night has been unkind
Take me to a
Place so holy
That I can wash this from my mind
The memory of choosing not to fight

If it takes my whole life
I won't break, I won't bend
It will all be worth it
Worth it in the end
'Cause I can only tell you what I know
That I need you in my life
When the stars have all burned out
You'll still be burning so bright

Cast me gently
Into morning
For the night has been unkind.

Later this morning, as we worshiped, we happened to sing this hymn:

I believe in the One they call Jesus
I believe He stilled storm Galilee
I believe that He walked on the water, and
I believe that He's the answer for me.

Yes I believe in the One they call Jesus
I believe He died on Mt. Calvary, and
I believe that the tomb was found empty, and
I believe that He's the Answer for me.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter. I hope that for you, it's not all just about candy and eggs. I hope for you that it's about that empty tomb - where no one had ever been laid, and where no one lays today.

April 07, 2007

he's not just all about candy & eggs

When I was little, my bedroom was a small village of stuffed animals. I loved them, and I believed that each one was real and that they all came to life when I wasn't around. Even before hearing The Velveteen Rabbit, and MUCH before Toy Story was ever a glimmer in Disney's eye, this was my childhood belief.

One animal in particular was, and is still, my favorite - the leader of the pack, the chief of the tribe. He was small in stature, but what he lacked in size he made up for in kindness, friendship, and wisdom. All the other animals looked up to him (well...down, but you know - figuratively up) because they knew that he was my most admired animal. And there was no jealousy because...well because they are stuffed animals and this is MY story and MY childhood, so there was no jealousy amongst them. Only harmony. :)

Sam was given to me in 1984 during the summer Olympics. In the moment we were introduced we became instant friends. Inseparable, genuine BFF. He went everywhere with me that my parents would allow, and he was always left in charge of the other stuffed animals when I had to leave the house for school or church or birthday parties.

Years went by and Sam earned the merit of a worn and tattered complexion; the tell-tale sign of a child's true affection. His yellow beak smudged with an era of kisses and tears. His soft brown fur resembled worn shaggy carpet. And the red, white, and blue-striped covering of his trademark hat unstitched at the seams to reveal a hard, plastic hat-structure that threatened to undo the magic that I believed was held within. The dingy yellow beak I hardly noticed. The brown shaggy fur was nothing by which to be alarmed. But the unravelling of the hat, hanging by a thread, revealing the Bald Eagle underneath, was more than I could bear, and I began to mourn the loss of my friend.

One Easter morning I woke to find no Sam beside me. But being Easter morning, I had other exciting treasures to keep me occupied. Easter morning always meant wearing a brand new pretty dress to church. It meant ribbons and eggs and candy and baskets. But this Easter morning was going to mean much more. For in my basket, proudly watching over the candied eggs nestled in green plastic grass, was my Sam - sewn up and repaired, magic still intact.

I didn't know the Easter Bunny had a sewing kit, or was so domestically-inclined. And I don't know if the Easter Bunny ever knew how much that gift meant to me. But maybe, just maybe, if he reads my blog, he may know now.

no lie, this is what msn weather wrote

Special weather statement:

Some things are just awesome to me.

April 06, 2007

inaugural phriday photo

My friend Brian does 'Friday Foto' on his blog and I've always thought that was such a great idea. Now that I've got my super-sweet Canon 30D, I want to try my own version. Hope you don't mind Nicklaus.

I'm taking today off work!! Happy Good Friday to all.

April 03, 2007

no vacancy

Last night, this dude tried to move into my apartment.

He did not have rent, so I had to put the smack down.



April 02, 2007

good times

yoga: toddler-style

My nephew does Downward Dog on command.
Good nephew. Good.


This one I call 'Potted Plant', but he still thinks he's doing Downward Dog.

Kids are cute.