Saturday, December 27, 2008


I think it was sometime in September when one of my professors asked me where home was.  He clarified by explaining that home doesn't necessarily have to be where I grew up or where my parents live, but rather, he wanted to know the place that felt like home to me.  In my head, that place was Lincoln, NE.  However, after spending the past 6 days in Norfolk, I've changed my definition of home, from being a place to being an experience or emotion.  Home is where I exhale.  It's where I no longer have to try, but can simply be.  Home is Lazlo's with the Seebohms.  Home is the couch at Renae and Jason's.  Home is the Taylor house in Norfolk, when it is brimming with friends.  Home is waking up in my bed in Norfolk, the getting  up to eat the very familiar waffles I grew up with.  Home is the anticipation of seeing Kate and Joie in a few days.  Home is where I don't doubt myself or my friends affection for me.  It's so good to be home.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Attachment Theory

After wrapping up a semester, I have looked back a little as to what I have learned.  There's a lot.  I think it might have changed me in some really good ways.  One of the things that have brought me peace is attachment theory.  Attachment is usually something associated with children, but this semester it was proposed that the need to feel attached is not just something kids need, but people of all ages.  Attachment asks, "are you available to me", "will you be emotionally responsive to me", and "will you engage with me"?  Attachment is someone being emotionally present and connected to you, regardless of circumstance.  This allows for someone to be in an uncomfortable situation and still feel comfortable.  For me, that would be something like being at a large gathering where I don't know many people.  If I am securely attached to someone, I can navigate  and engage with people.  Attachment also allows someone to share deeply without being afraid of how they will respond.  

We studied all of this in the context of marriage, marriage being a place to build a secure attachment, and to admit the need for attachment.  Attachment between a couple leads to intimacy which builds a marriage.  However, let's face it, I'm not married.  But I still have a need to feel attached.  Maybe attachment is what drives us to get married.  I know that this past semester was more emotionally difficult than I could have imagined.  I know that part of it is because I left a place, where amongst a small group of people I felt attached.  I've yet to attach in St. Louis yet, but that's okay, because it's all part of the the process of moving and change.  Change can disrupt in a good, yet painful way.

I feel like I should give props to the author who got all of this swirling in my head.  Sue Johnson wrote Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love.  I think it's a worthy read for anyone whose married.  For singles, it may scare you about being married or idealize it, so if you read it, be discerning.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's not over 'til it's over, and it's over!

10 minutes ago I finished semester #1 of 4.  It feels good!  I will now watch brainless television until I have to start reading some books for my Job class.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hope and Grief

I am always attempting to find a way to hang on to hope.  Hope asks us to look at the bigger picture in the midst of the in your face details.  As I look back on my first semester at Covenant, I am forced to reflect on the topic of grief.  Grief came up in class way more than hope.  It seemed to be the answer to way too many questions.  How does a person overcome A, B, or C, well they need to grieve.  They need to face the pain, the disappointment, the unmet expectations, the unfulfilled hope, the sin they've experienced or doled out.  There is a call to honestly looking at your heart, at what you long for (the beginning of hope) and desire, and to own and accept the fact that it hasn't happened or can't happen.  Hope tells us that the world isn't as it should be, and that it won't always be this way.  Grief happens in the middle.  We must acknowledge how much it hurts that we are in the not yet phase of our hope of glory.  Because of the entry of sin into the world I experience pain, suffering, hate, cruelty.  Our suffering often gets undermined or minimized because it is compared to something that is seen as much worse.  But, it's our suffering and pain to bear.  Sucking it up won't make it all better.  I believe that I must look at the disappointment I feel towards myself and others.  There is a time to grieve, and it's not just at funerals.  If we don't look at what hurts straight in the face, how can we then hope for what will be.  We need to grieve what has been lost, so that hope is realized.  And it really does hurt.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Feliz Navidad

We got a little festive in the apartment yesterday.  


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What I learned in class today . . . Abraham was a pimp!

Dr. Michael Williams, my God and His Word professor, whom I deeply respect, said in class today, and I quote, "Abraham pimped out his wife twice."  After much snickering amongst my classmates and I, he said, "That's the right word for it!"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Deserved Mockery

With the cold weather comes cold weather clothes, most of which I like.  However, the mock turtleneck should never have come to pass.  From the word mock means: attack or treat with ridicule, contempt, or derision. ridicule by mimicry of action or speech; mimic derisively. mimic, imitate, or counterfeit. challenge; defy: His actions mock convention. deceive, delude, or disappoint.


I would contend that mock turtlenecks fall into the definition of ridicule, contempt and derision.  What were the designers thinking?!  I feel like the only other thing I have to say is dickies?


[polldaddy poll=1123368]


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two J's in a pod

This last weekend Karen and I managed to do not one, but two spontaneous activities, both involving food.  First, on Saturday we went to Chick-fil-A.  Then, on Sunday night, after bringing the partridge (grilled steak, mashed potatoes, cooked carrots with brown sugar and butter, and a bottle of $6 wine)  we went to The Cheese Cake Factory.  It was 8:30 p.m. and very dark when we left, so we were rather impressed with ourselves.  Who says J's are spontaneous?!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

got hope?

As I was driving to church this morning, I saw this bumper sticker.  It took me a second before I saw the fine print of Obama's website.  It made me sad.  

Romans 8:18-25 says this:

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 

22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 2For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

My hope is in someone greater than Barack Obama, and I will wait with patience.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Today in history

I'm a big fan of knowing what happened long ago on today's date.  Here's what happened today. On Nov. 13, 1956, the Supreme Court struck down laws calling for racial segregation on public buses. 

On Nov. 13, 1850, Robert Louis Stevenson, the Scottish author best known for his novel "Treasure Island", was born. Following his death on Dec. 3,1894, his obituary appeared in The Times. 

On this date in:
1775U.S. forces captured Montreal during the American Revolution.
1789Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter to a friend, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
1856Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis was born in Louisville, Ky.
1927The Holland Tunnel linking New York City and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River opened to the public.
1942The minimum draft age was lowered from 21 to 18.
1969Vice President Spiro T. Agnew accused network TV news departments of bias and distortion, and urged viewers to lodge complaints.
1974Karen Silkwood, a technician and union activist at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron plutonium plant near Crescent, Okla., was killed in a car crash.
1977The comic strip "Li'l Abner" by Al Capp appeared in newspapers for the last time.
1979Former California Gov. Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.
1982The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C.
1985A mudslide triggered by the Nevado del Ruiz volcano buried the city of Armero, Colombia, killing some 23,000 people.
1997The Disney musical "The Lion King" opened on Broadway.
1998President Bill Clinton agreed to pay Paula Jones $850,000, ending the four-year legal battle over her sexual harassment lawsuit that spurred impeachment proceedings against him. Clinton did not admit guilt.
2001Afghanistan's ruling Taliban abandoned the capital, Kabul, without a fight, allowing U.S.-backed northern alliance fighters to take over the city.
2002Saddam Hussein's government agreed to the return of international weapons inspectors to Iraq.
2003Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who had refused to remove a granite Ten Commandments monument from the state courthouse, was thrown off the bench by a judicial ethics panel for having "placed himself above the law."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A plug for The Secret Life of Bees

On Sunday night, Suzy, Nathaniel and I went and saw the movie The Secret Life of Bees.  This was a most anticipated movie for me after getting completely sucked into the book, written by Sue Monk Kidd.  This movie is about relationship, healing, and redemption.  It's a crier, people.  Don't get thrown off by the odd spirituality portrayed in it, be discerning, because this one is worth seeing!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Toilet Paper Sin

I loathe buying toilet paper these days.  When did it get so freakishly expensive?!  I feel like it's such a waste of money considering it's purpose.  Plus, it seems like it's even more expensive in St. Louis.  Because I hate buying TP so much, it usually takes me a long time to choose what brand I will select.  It's gotten so bad, that I compare the price to the overall square feet I could take home.  I know what I want, Cottonelle. In my opinion, it's the best, but it's also the priciest.  And, it's got a puppy on it.  Last Wednesday I settled on Quilted Northern.  The commercials are dumb, and who cares if your TP is quilted.  I went for the package of 12 double rolls (450 SQ FT, 300 2-ply sheets per roll.)  It cost me about $8.  Toilet paper, it now costs me time and money.  

Sadly, due to its cost, I find myself wanting so somehow ration it, and make 3 square rules for its use. When you live with multiple women in one dwelling, there is usually one person who uses more TP that everyone else.  I'm not sure how you can prove it, but I resent her just a little bit.  Look what this world is coming to.  My sin over toilet paper: greed, coveting, hate, temptation to steal, lack of trust.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

half-way through

The books on the left I've managed to read.  The one's on the right, however . . . I'm workin' on it.

My professors have tried to make me feel better about the reading load by telling me they could have assigned more.  Seriously?  Seriously.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My classmate, Craig, told me that his students had really been enjoying this blog.  Check it out, it's definitely good for a few laughs.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I have been reading The Healing Path by Dan Allender for my Intro to Counseling class.  The topic of hope has come up, and some of you know that hope is as much an area of interest for me as it is a challenge.  Allender has come up with a definition of hope that resonates with the tension I feel towards it.

He writes, "Hope is not naive desire but a calculated risk that declares, whatever the loss, it is better than remaining where we are."

The tension for me is in the risk.  I know that pain may be right around the corner, but it is better to experience pain than continue in my desires without taking any action.  When I choose to hope, sometimes I experience pain, but more often than not, I experience a hint of my ultimate desire being met: to be known, to be in deep relationship with others.  Even in the pain, I feel more alive than when I remain paralyzed by the risk of hoping, refusing to put myself out there, where it is safe, and I am ambivalent, numb, static.

Hoping is embracing the life to which we are called.  Refusing to hope is remaining dead to our hearts.

So hope people!  It may hurt, but it will be worth it!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Bible makes me nauseous

So, for my Old Testament History and Theology class, I get to read the entire OT in a semester.  That means I have had to read 10-20 chapters per day.  Today I am in Leviticus.  I got to chapter 13, about leprosy and other skin diseases.  I had to skim.  I had to skim 2 chapters of the Word of God.  It was making me sick.  What if the Levitical priests of the time had weak stomachs?  If they threw up from looking at the lepers, didn't that make them unclean, too?  I could never be a dermatologist.

Tomorrow I will read about bodily discharge.  Now there's something I can handle!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

quote of the day

"You don't know what the triggers are until you can identify them."  

A doctor on Good Morning America talking about migraines.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

and the word of the day is . . .


The definition given to me this morning by Dr. Williams is, "an unclear word for clarity".  Cracks me up!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Last night I learned that 2 of my roommates enjoy licking people when they are unaware they are being licked.  It was a surprisingly long conversation for such a topic.  Strategy was discussed.  Licking people in swimming pools is advantageous, not only because they are wet and are less likely to notice, but because chlorine kills germs.  Having one or more friends join in the licking of an unlikely victim can be fun, so I've heard.  Licking elbows, also a good time.

I do not plan on ever joining in on this sort of "fun".

Monday, September 8, 2008

I have this tight feeling in my throat

Homesick (hōm'sĭk')


experiencing a longing for one's home during a period of absence from it

acutely longing for one's family or home

longing to return home

They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder.  I say that distance makes you realize what amazing friends I had back home, and how I kinda took it all for granted.

On Saturday night I came back from an all Covenant BBQ.  I watched the last 2 episodes of Gilmore Girls and realized that in saying good-bye to the show, I was dealing with my longing to be in Lincoln where I'm known and loved.  I have begun to grieve the loss of close community, and at the same time I hope that it will be created here in St. Louis.  I have marked my calendar for my fall break trip home in October.  I can't wait!

Lincoln People--thank you for being my friend!  You are each amazing, and you each contribute something invaluable to my life.

Oddly, my life right now reflects a country song.  I miss my home, I miss my friends, and I miss my dog. But, not to worry, I have beer to drown my sorrows in (just kidding).

Monday, September 1, 2008

First days

On Thursday I had my first day of classes at CTS.  I so wished I had some brand new #2 pencils to sharpen for the occasion, but alas, I purchased mechanical pencils.  I also bought highlighters and new ink gel pens.  I had an uncontained giddiness and idealism that has yet to be jaded.  I was alert (albeit freezing) for both of my classes, my brain whirring with all that there was to be learned.  There were hip new 3-ring notebooks for each class and unmarred syllabi to put in them.  

On my first day, here's what I learned:

I have amazing, passionate professors who want me to succeed.  One of them, Dr. Williams wrote the book Far as the Curse is Found, which I have been reading this August.

For a realist, I'm very idealistic about this season of school.

Take snacks and a long-sleeved layer to 3 hour classes.

This is going to be great.

Hopefully, forthcoming, is a picture of Karen and I on our way to class together.  I recalled the pics my mom used to take of my brother and I on our bikes (I had a banana seat) ready to pedal our way to our first day of elementary school, backpacks hanging over both shoulders, attired in new back-to-school clothes.  I bought a new t-shirt for Thursday.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

a barista again

On Sunday, just after church, I got a call from Kaldi's Coffeeshop informing me that I got the job I had applied and interviewed for.  I asked what my dress-code would be.  The response was, "T-shirts, as long as they are appropriate, and shoes, for your safety".  I love this dress-code!  Yesterday was my first day.  I worked for 6 hours and was completely wiped out.  I go back today for another 6 hours.  I think I'm gonna like it here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sundays are beautiful days

Yesterday was great.  After church I gathered with a smattering of PCA peeps and Covenant students to go on a float trip.  In Missouri when you go down a river, whether it be on an inner-tube, canoe, or kayak, it is referred to as a "float trip".  When you move to a new place you have to acquire the lingo.  Anyway, I rented a kayak for the day and floated down the Meramec River.  The kayak was a sit-a-top which is really quite cool.  They tip more easily and take on lots of water, I tipped once.  I had a great time with two old friends and many new ones.  All in all, it was a great day.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I figured I should update you

Well,  I'm still here in St. Louis awaiting the start of classes next Thursday.  Tonight is the President's Reception (semi-formal) and tomorrow is orientation.  Then on Tuesday I will sign up for classes.  



In the last two weeks I have managed to watch Seasons 3-6 of Gilmore Girls.  I feel like I live in Stars Hollow and that Lorelai Gilmore is my friend.  Here's what I've learned from spending so much time with my new fictional friends (television and movies can reveal a lot about one's self, especially since exaggeration of one's perceptions of the world make things so clear):

1. I wish I were more freely expressive and aware of how I'm feeling.  I wish when I was angry I could express that anger in the moment, but not in hurtful way to others.

2. Words are powerful.  It's so easy to hurt others with uncareful speech.

3. Small towns may not be so bad.

4. I'm glad I didn't grow up in New England in a really really wealthy family.  The unhealthy obligations of the rich are so insincere.

5. I hate when pride keeps people from resolving relational conflicts.  The show actually induced tears during several episodes when you could see two people in pain over stupid fights, and they missed out on so much because of it (I know it was scripted and fictional).

6. Jeep Wranglers are cool.

7. If Lorelai Gilmore were my mom she would be turning 48 this year instead of 60.  I wonder what our relationship would be like if she were a teenager when I was born and brought me up as a single-mom.  I'm thankful it's not the case, but TV and make many things look appealing.

8. Manipulation isn't worth it.

9. I wouldn't want to try to attend an Ivy League University, I don't like school that much.

10. I love it when people say what is true, even when it's hard to hear, because that's one way you know that they really see, know, and love you.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Well, I'm here.

I arrived at my new "home" at Covenant Seminary on Friday afternoon about 3:30.  Thankfully, after leaving such dear friends in Lincoln, Kate and Lou (2 former NE roomies) were here to meet me.  Talk about easy!  

I was very excited to finally be in St. Louis, and the transition is now full upon me.  I have met 2 of my 3 roommates and they are both great.  However, it's still not easy.  I feel like every interaction with new people takes extreme effort.  I feel like I have been called to be courageous.  It's a little bit lonely at times, and I have very little to occupy my time.  I watched all of Season 3 of Gilmore Girls from Saturday to Monday.  I'm still searching for a job.  That's a bit stressful.  I started reading "Far as the Curse is Found", since it is required reading for many of my classes.  I have sought out Trader Joe's.  I went to church Sunday at Crossroads PCA.  I liked it.  Eric and Elizabeth and Melynda formerly of Grace Chapel were there.  That was good.  I can't wait for classes to start, to have a full routine.

That's the update.  I miss all of you in Lincoln more than I expected.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Writer's Almanac

Here's another thing I like about NPR.  Every morning, just about 9:00, Garrison Keiler reads a poem and tells me what happened today in the lives of writers current and past.  There's the link as well as today's poem.  I like it.


The Good Nights

by Joseph Mills

On the good nights
when the bottle's empty
we always want 
just a little more,
half a glass,
a few sips,
a taste.
We know 
this desire
can be dangerous 
to pursue, 
that it can make 
mornings difficult,
so usually we
brush our teeth
let the dog in,
lock the doors,
but sometimes,
even as we say
We really should 
get ready for bed,
instead of loading 
the dishwasher
we will search
for the corkscrew,
all the while
shaking our heads
in wonder 
at this willingness
to ignore the clocks
and the fact we have
to work tomorrow,
this irresponsibility,
this evidence 
even after all these years
of the unquenchable desire
for each other's company.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Clearly Crystal

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="604" caption="Gina & Crystal"]Gina & Crystal[/caption]

I had a dicken's of a time getting a picture of Crystal for this post.  Don't google her, it's weird. 

Brief History:

I met Crystal just a few short years ago.  Maybe just 2.  She and I are both from Norfolk, though I had come to Lincoln already by the time she set foot on Nebraska soil.  We got to know each other through leading worship at Grace Chapel and through what is called "Bible Study", though I don't think it's an accurate name for our Wednesday night gatherings.

What I like about YOU!

Crystal is an amazingly talented worship leader, and what especially makes her so is that she can screw up in front of a crowd, acknowledge it, and win them over with her humanity.  There just isn't an ounce of visible arrogance in her.  She will talk to anybody and make them feel like there the only one around.

Crystal is full of pep and enthusiasm.  She makes you want to turn your frown upside down and giggle.  And she's witty!  Cracks me right up!  Very few people can bring out my playful side, but she is one of them.  It may be genetic.

My favorite side of Crystal is the thoughtful introspective side.  She makes me want to read the Bible, and frankly, that is not something I have done often lately.  I am attracted to her relationship with her Savior.  The waters run deep, and I admire her for persevering through the struggles and lonely places that have produced much fruit.  She is great at asking questions that help me to work out my faith, so that what I believe is reflected in what I do.

She is gracious and always believes the best about me.  I can't help but love her!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Brief History:

I met Gina at a Bible Study I was leading in the summer of 2005.  She and her husband Scott had just moved to Lincoln from Texas.  I felt like I connected with her like a bumble bee and and an open can of Coke.  We quickly found out we had quite a bit in common, and I desperately hoped she would like me as much as I liked her.  Gina is an amazing friend.

What I like about YOU!

Sometimes I think I get way more out of our friendship than Gina does.  She makes me feel like me.  What I mean by that, is that it is so okay to be myself around Gina, because I know she enjoys who I am.  I can talk dogs, kayaking, coffee, beer, spiritual failings/struggles, and she's right there with me.  She's safe.  She likes all the things I talk about too, and it makes me feel more at home in my own skin.

Gina has one of the best senses of humor I know.  She's the sort of friend that you want all of your friends to know because she is an absolute blast to hang out with.  She's one I want to be at every party I'm at.  If she wasn't married to such an amazing man, I'd want to have her as a roommate.

She is one whom I have entrusted the deep parts of my heart, where all the pain is.  And she can handle it.  She lets me be there.  She reciprocates as well, letting me in to her heart as well.  It just makes me like her all the more.  She's direct, and honest and makes me want to love God and people.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What I've seen in the last 17 hours

Joie and I made the road trip trek from Lincoln to Atlanta.  We left Wednesday around 2 p.m. and pulled into Shalimar Drive (my brother's street in Atlanta) around 7 a.m. Nebraska time.  On the way we saw: cars, Covenant Seminary, the Arch in St. Louis, Covenant College in Chattanooga, TN, Nashville, TN, McDonald's, KENTUCKY!!! (my first time).

We stared at my new TomTom GPS, which felt like a video game, for most of the trip.

Here's what we listened to.  Each time I road trip I like to make a special mix.  I really like Track 02:)  There is also a song on there (either track 10 or 12 I think) that starts with "You're pretty good-lookin' for a girl".  Love it!

Track 02
I'm Alright                       Jo Dee Messina                    Bye Bye
1234                               Feist                                    The Reminder
When the Saints             Sara Groves                          Tell Me What You Know
Falling Slowly                 Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová Once
Least Complicated          Indigo Girls                          1200 Curfews 
Don't Panic                     Coldplay                               Garden State
Track 10
Track 12
Track 01
Viva la Vida                   Coldplay                                Viva la Vida
Track 06
If I Had A Boat                Eddie From Ohio                  Portable EFO Show(Disc 2)
Sweet Lorraine               Patty Griffin                          Living With Ghosts
The Day                         Don & Lori Chaffer & Hey Ruth Old Stuff
High Noon                     Andrew Peterson                  Love & Thunder

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Joie, Jojo, Jojg

[caption id="attachment_128" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Joie & Foxy Lady"]Joie & Foxy Lady[/caption]



Brief History: I met Joie in 2003 upon returning from Zambia.  She was to be my roommate, and we would share a closet.  After out other two roommates married (not each other), we moved down the street into an apartment, in which we shared a room and a closet.  Eight months or so later, we moved again, this time into a house I bought.  We each had our own room and own closet.  As of June 1st of this year, Joie and I no longer are roommates, though after 5 years of sharing life and space, I still can't help but refer to her as my roommate.

What I like about YOU!

Joie is one of the most passionate people I know.  She is passionate in both the ups and downs of her life.  She is passionate about people, dance, church, reading, making a great meal, children (who are people too), traveling, art.  I don't think anything in the world is blah to her.  She sees the world, she experiences it.  I think it's what feeds her passion.  Joie is amazing at relationships with people, though she might tell you otherwise, let me inform you that she is gif-ted at getting people to open up their hearts so that you can really get a glimpse of them.  She's done it with me.  Jojg is one of the most compassionate and gracious people I know.  She rarely jumps to conclusions about someone's circumstances.  At the same time, she doesn't let you off of the hook when what you need is to be challenged about an attitude, action, excuse, hard-heartedness.  I like to be right, and I think I always am, but Joie points out the limited reach of my conclusions.  It humbles me in the exact way I need to be humbled.

Joie is generous.  She truly lays down her life for others.  I like to choose the path of comfort and laziness, but Joie will be there, go out of her way, lose sleep, whatever it takes for someone she cares about.

Joie is not afraid to be silly, just for the fun of it.  She sings, she dances, she would live a musical if she could.  She helps me to slow down and enjoy the moment, have fun, not worry so much about trying so hard.

Joie makes me feel really known and really loved.  She is an outstanding friend.

5:25 a.m. I stepped in dog poo

This morning, in the dark, on the front door rug, when I let Cash out to go pottie.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mrs. Pennock I presume?


Brief History:  We first met while I was home on a 3 week furlough from Zambia.  She came over when I cooked Zambian food.  Lou thought we'd really connect.  Upon returning home permanently from Zambia she became my roommate.  However, I didn't recall ever having met her before.  We were roommates for just shy of 2 years when she married her husband Andy and moved to North Carolina.

What I like about YOU!

Charity is the only person to whom I ever have given up the mother hen power.  What I mean by that is when I live with a group of gals, I am the mother hen.  I make sure that all of the household logistics are taken care of.  Cleaning, shopping, bills, etc.  Charity was the mother hen when we lived together.  It was so refreshing.  I trusted her completely, and became so reliant upon her, I rarely knew my own schedule.  I would ask her what I was doing next week.  She didn't know either, but because of her role in my life, I assumed she would and disregarded all time organizational skills that should have been mine.  It was lovely.

Charity is smart.  Really smart.  She makes you think about things you would never think about, or at least things I would never think about.  Such as intentionally living in a small space and optimizing it.  I think she even knows the escape and defense plan if Lincoln, NE is ever attacked by Zombies.  She really gets what's on the news too, she sees the bigger picture of the world and the people in it.  She just knows how to think.

One of my absolute favorite things about Charity is her ability to ask really great questions.  She asks great questions in such a way that you aren't hesitant to give an answer.  You know she really wants to know.  And her questions get was down into the core of your heart.  There are many memories around our kitchen table, hashing out life, and answering Charity's questions.  I value her take on my world, because she helps me understand it.  I often wish she were in Lincoln, because I don't always know the questions, and it always seemed to come so easily to her.

Charity introduced me to the pursuit of great wine.  That's all I'll say on that one.

I like that Charity can watch TV alone and laugh out loud just as loud as she would if there were someone else in the room.




Tuesday, July 1, 2008

We call her RT

RebeccaRebecca.  Her name starts with R, so I thought it would be appropriate for her to go next.

Brief History: I met Rebecca in 2003 after returning from Zambia.  She and her husband lived right next door to my roommates and I on 8th Street.  There was way more history there than I realized.  She quickly morphed from neighbor to friend.  For several years now she and her family have been apart of sharing dinner with me and some other folks once a week.  When I'm with her I can't help but be real.

What I like about YOU!

I like Rebecca's gitter-done mentality.  She seizes the opportunity to complete.  I have few friends who are like me in this way, so I feel a special connection or maybe I just feel more normal and that's relieving.

I love her hospitality.  When I go to her place to eat, she brings it all.  Homemade everything, uber yummy.  We also shares my love for hotdogs.

Rebecca understands what it means to lay down her life for others.  She chases after 4-year-old Livia every day, often to the point of exhaustion, but she keeps plugging on.  On top of that, she will always, always be there is you need her.  She'll be there for you even if it just makes things easier.

Speaking of her 4-year-old, I love her honesty about the challenges of parenting (and marriage).  I feel like I always get real life when I'm with Rebecca.  She doesn't downplay how stinkin' hard it is to be an extroverted stay-at-home-mom with a spirited child that is living out her sinful nature.  I love how she openly communicates what she needs.  Such as needing to go out with the girls, away from her child, and drink margaritas.

I mentioned that Rebecca is extroverted.  Well, let me tell you that her extroversion is delightful.  If she hears us chatting on the front porch she well pop her head around the screen door and either inform us that she's putting on her shoes and will be right over, or berates us about being out there and not calling her.  I love it.

Rebecca has the non-emergency police hotline memorized.  I think if they still existed, Rebecca's would be a McGruff House.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Bios of my buds

Forthcoming over the next few days & weeks will be biographies of my friends.  I often ask interviewees what their friends would say about them, and I wonder how on the mark they are.  So, in an effort to allow my friends to give truthful answers and not have to assume how I think and feel about them there will be biographies.  As a disclaimer, I hate thinking of my friends as buddies.  My thesis chair in graduate school called my pal once.  It made me squirm.  I couldn't think of a b-word for friends that was appropriate.  I did think of an inappropriate b-word, but Bios of my B-yotches might be crossing the line.  The bios come in no particular order of how I feel about my friends, so don't read into it people.  Below is the first.



First of all, she hates having her picture taken.

Brief History: I've know Renae for 10 years now.  We figured that out last week.  We had a moment.  We lived together for 3 years while we both attended grad school at UNL.  Then I went to Zambia, but she came and visited me for 3 weeks!  After moving back to Lincoln in 2003 we lived together for another 2 years.  I moved down the street and then a bit further down the street.  Now I'm living with her and her husband for the remaining few weeks/months of my time in Lincoln.  You know you have a good friend if they'll stick by you for 10 years and let you move in when you parent's won't (just kidding about the parent thing, but I really can't move back home).

What I like about YOU!

Renae is an idealist and a dreamer.  Very opposite of me.  But, I admire her for it.  As a realist I feel restricted by reality, so I hesitate to freely dream.  

Renae is one of the wisest people I know.  I think it's a gift, really.  She has an uncanny ability to listen and really hear what you tell her, and she speaks some incredible insight into your life.  I credit Renae with being one of the primary influences on my understanding who I am and liking that person.

Renae is an amazing hostess.  She goes big on parties.  She is also artistically creative and will try her hand at most crafts, art projects, quilts.  I love that she quilts.

Renae has a crazy memory.  She can always give very vivid specific examples of when something happened and how it went down.  She can find a paragraph or sentence in a book she read months or years ago in seconds, though there's no need because she just quoted it word for word

Renae is gracious, she is kind, she loves people well.  She speaks what is in her heart, so you don't have to wonder if she likes you.

There are many more things that I love about Renae, but I'm only sharing a snippit to keep the mystery of Renae alive, leave you wanting more.

Angry with myself

I learned something about myself this weekend as a pulled an open trailer full of my well-stewarded belongings to my parents' house for storage.  About 25 miles outside of Norfolk I was bombarded and pummeled with rain.  I had to pull over twice.  It only lasted 10 minutes, 10 minutes that felt like 20 as I berated myself for not putting a tarp over my stuff, defending my decision with past negative experiences with tarps.  The bottom line is that I made a decision that I thought was the best decision given the information I had.  I usually make good decisions.  I hate being wrong!  My wisdom was faulty!  Arrrg!  I stayed mad at myself all the way into Norfolk and for a good hour after I arrived.  I'm never one to hold a grudge or to stay angry, but I guess it's all different when I'm the one at fault with myself.  Perhaps I need to have lower expectations for myself.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Satisfying Evening

Last night after packing up stuff to move to Norfolk, I traversed back to my old neighborhood and hung out with the Zach's, who have been my favorite neighbors.  Paul started a fire and we sat on the deck, drinking a bottle of wine that we confiscated from our friend Lou's wedding.  Bianca was there.  We talked about doing this very thing, and I so wanted it to really happen.  I will definitely miss the community of my neighborhood when I move to St. Louis.  Here's to the Zach's!

I will be staying in their home in the coming weeks.  We may have to recreate the evening.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I saw Sex and the City the movie and I loved it!

Sex in the CityI realize that there is a lot of to do among Christian circles regarding the latest HBO film, Sex and the City.  I am a huge fan of the TBS broadcast of the original HBO series, because of it's handy editing, removing what could be construed at soft porn.  I was drawn to the premise of this show and this movie because I believe that the relationships between the 4 main characters are ones I'd like to emulate.  They are very real, very vulnerable, very challenging, very present.  I want to surround myself with friends like Samantha, Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda.  Furthermore, I want to be a friend like any of these 4 women.  They are strong, but not afraid to show emotion.  They are free to have differing opinions.  They are willing to enter into the crap and shame of their friends' hearts, unwaveringly.  They know when to push and when back off, and when to push again.  They let each other make bad choices, and then they don't judge them when they fall on their face.  They get mad when they're mad, they're not passive-aggressive conflict avoiders.  They fight and they forgive.  Once they reconcile, it's over, that's it.  They show up when one needs the other, even if it means great sacrifice.  Simply, they love each other really, really well.

The movie, sure there's sex in it, graphic sex.  I expected there to be.  It's called Sex and the City.  I'm a Christian, I paid money to see it, and I'd like to see it again.  It's a film of love, friendship, honesty, forgiveness, healing, and hope.  Sounds a little Christian to me.

Friday, May 30, 2008

moving: a haiku

boxes, packing tape

stacked up and separated

a home now a house

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Woe is me. I'm starting to pack.

Yesterday I started packing.  I have been putting it off, thinking, "there's tons of time".  Two weeks.  Two weeks!  Crap, and I have a ton of glassware!  So, I started going through my closet and separating clothes.  I packed up my books and whittled them down to just one box that gets to travel to St. Louis.  It took me 2 hours!

Emotionally, honestly, this is harder than I thought.  It's closure that I really don't want to have.  Good-bye to the first house I've ever owned.  I'll stop there.  Baby steps to good-bye.  

So, if anyone likes to pack.  Let me know and come on over.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Still a kid.

I got a birthday card in the mail today from my grandma.  Inside was a crisp $5 bill.  I will always feel like a kid when I get money in a birthday card from my grandma.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

B. is 3!

A birthday tribute to my favorite puppy dog who turns 3 today!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness Caddie?

Pink Cadillac SUVI know it's a Mary Kay thing, but couldn't we kill two birds with one stone?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

41 bottles of beer in my closet, 41 bottles of beer . . . .

Tonight I bottled my first batch of English Brown Ale.  It smelled good, so I'm hopeful that in 2 weeks (or optimally, 21 days) I will have good tasting beer as well.  I'm still not sure how to get a siphon to work well, but I managed.  I had beer all over my kitchen floor, counter tops, sinks, stove.  It was worth it.  Sitting in the closet of my spare bedroom are 7 six packs minus one bottle.  I was supposed to get approximately 53 bottles, but I due to extended boiling time and that darned siphoning, I ended up with 41.  

I think it's about time to start my next batch.

P.S. One may also spell siphon, syphon.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Afraid of the dark?

Okay, so something I have always wondered about down here in the Haymarket Scooter's is how long does the motion-sensor bathroom light stay on?  Does it know when someone new comes in if the light is already on?  I still don't know the answer, but this afternoon while I was using the potty, the light went off.  The bathroom was completely black.  I'm fine now.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Face Book

I have a new obsession.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bloggety, Blog, Blog

I read several blogs today containing apologies for not blogging.  Where is the pressure coming from that one feels like they have to excuse themselves for their lack of blogging.  Enough of the guilt and shame from not blogging.  I'll blog when I have something to say, and even then it may not be very interesting.  You in blog world will probably still read it.  You may not comment either, leaving me little motivation to blog again.  We are more than our blogs!  So blog off!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


A customer left their USA Today at Scooter's today. In the Life section is an article about Americans' perceptions of sin. Only 81% of Americans who were polled thought that adultery was sin. A pastor (guess who if you'd like) thought that sin wasn't a word worth mentioning in his ginormous church, because people already know what they're doing wrong. I think this article definitely reflects a clear picture of how American culture views sin. It's worth reading, especially with the approach of Easter. How can Americans appreciate the weightiness and reality of Christ's suffering on the cross if they don't have a clear understanding of sin? Have I, being steeped in American culture, lost sight or reduced the significance of sin in my own life? Have I found ways of justifying my sin by simply not regarding it as sin? Unfortunately, yes. It's easier than taking a posture of humility and acknowledging that I have exulted myself, others, or something above the One True God and King, minimizing His sacrifice on my behalf. I hate humility, it makes me squirm. I don't like to admit I'm wrong, that I have wronged. I think Americans might just be creating a loophole to avoid the squirm into humility, and it just morphs into a false reality, blinding us from the truth. Oh, that we might take the posture of the prophet Jeremiah and cry out to God on behalf of our nation.

If you want to read the article, here's the link:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

motorcycles and spring

One of the odd things I like about the oncoming of Spring is the motorcyclists, whose joy is renewed as they go for a ride for no other reason than being on their bikes.  They do the biker wave to other bikers also out in the not so frigid weather.  It makes me happy, and motorcycles kinda scare me 'cause they go so fast.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

progress regarding hope

I think about the concept of hope a lot.  I ask myself if it's okay to hope, if I am hopeful,  or what I'm hoping in or for.  A few months ago the idea of giving in to hope was too risky to embrace.  However, much has changed in my heart and in how I see myself.  I've flushed out a lot of crap regarding relationships, assumptions I place upon others to bear that frankly make the look pretty bad, shallow and heartless.  It's because I was afraid to hope.  I didn't want to feel pain or disappointment, so I killed all emotion, including hope.  I killed the good to avoid what may or may not have been bad.

We move about wanting so badly for people to like us.  In reality most actually do.  You have to be intentionally rude or cold to be unliked.  Unfortunately, I think it's more because we are self-consumed, we don't spend all that much time internally debriefing social exchanges and concluding how we feel about someone, unless we just met them.  We, instead, dwell upon ourselves, debriefing how someone might have felt about us. 

Here's what I now believe is true. People like me.  I am enjoyable and lovely.  God calls me his beloved.  He thinks so highly of me, and measures my worth by doing everything in His power to assure that I will have life and relationship with Him.  He had me in mind as his Son begged to have the cup of God's wrath taken away from him, and he didn't take it back.  He poured out His wrath upon his Son, for me.  

Am I liked?  Does it matter?  There is a God, and He is good, and he calls me beloved and his actions back it up.Can I live a life of hope?  Yup.  If my hope is in the right place.  Can I endure pain and disappointment?  I don't really want to, but in relationship to resting in the grace of God and never having to experience the wrath of God that I justly deserve, yeah.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A new wonderful obsession--The Dog Whisperer

This man is changing my world. I am the pack leader.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

sparkly white

my new toothbrushI absolutely love getting a new toothbrush. After my week long virus, I deemed it time to pitch my old brush and buy a new one. I don't mind dropping $5 on a new toothbrush, and I stand in the toothbrush aisle for at least 10 minutes browsing all of the possibilities. I have settled on Oral B for my brand of choice. The best thing about a new toothbrush--the first brushing. Ahhhhhh.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

So, lately I've been thinking

The stuff running through my mind lately is:

I really like black beans and rice.

When is it going to warm up? I really want to go outside and hang out with my neighbors. 

Walkin' in Memphis, do I really feel the way I feel?  

My friend Renae is a Momma.

Is it worth it to wash my car? 

I'm really excited that Ben Loos is the new assistant pastor at Grace Chapel.

I think change is in the air.  Will I freak out or trust God this time?

Is that sound coming from my hairdryer safe?

I should probably buy a new toothbrush.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Humility Virus

Since last Friday afternoon, I have been home sick with a virus.  It has sapped me of all energy and most of my humor.  I have had mock-able hair for those of you who enjoy picking on creative bedhead style.  I have had to muster the energy to get out of bed for a drink of water, of which I would have only taken sips.  I rejected offers of food, and subsisted on apple juice, chicken noodle soup, and fruit smoothies.  I have not at all felt like myself.  My dog has become over protective, rarely leaving my side, and barking at absolutely anyone who would arrive at our door.  She has been given back very limited bed rights, too.  If I'm in bed, she can be on the bed (I needed the companionship and body heat).  My roommates have been ever willing to help, fetching me food and drink, shoveling, letting the dog in and out, feeding the dog, being empathetic--good stuff.I went to the doctor Monday afternoon to find out I had a virus that just needed to run its course.  It's not virus she had seen as of late.  I have decided that it is the Humility Virus.  I feel absolutely helpless, and I hate asking for help.  I have had to rely on others for an entire week.  My bosses at work have been way to kind, letting me take all this time off and telling me to call if I need anything.  Allowing me to go home Wednesday after a 2 1/2 hour attempt at working that left me in bed the rest of the day recovering.   A male friend who had been over doing some handy-work commented to another guy that I actually looked like death (my self-esteem soared).  We had a weekend guest who has no idea what I really look like and her ex-boyfriend has now seen me at my worst.  I realize that looks mean little, but they are something of who we are, who we want to portray ourselves to be.In an effort not to neglect my blog any longer, this is what you get.  I dedicate this one to Renae 22 who had been bored lately with the lack of updates, and though she has been the primary force-feeder in my house during the Humility Virus, she still thought I needed to buck up and blog to keep her entertained.I hope to see many of you in real life soon, and predict there may be some Brook sightings in the very near future.  Until then, wash your hands regularly.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Why I like movies

A few moments ago I finished watching a movie, the title is unimportant, and I recalled what it is that makes me love movies . . . it's that I find the parts of me that are missing, hidden beneath the obligations, roles, assumed expectations.  I watch movies and I want to be more me, I want to be more honest with people, to touch their lives with words and actions that will impact them for a short moment or for a lifetime.  I want to be courageous, I want to be whimsical, I want to make a mark.  The characters in movies inspire me, in both their strengths and their faults, their victories and their over-dramatic sorrowful walks on dark rainy nights down lonely streets.  They inspire me to breath deeply and experience my life, not just let time go by.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Reflections on the Sabbath

I have been processing the purpose of the Sabbath, how I should spend it, what it's about, that sort of thing.  On Friday night I attended a Sarah Groves concert at a local Seventh Day Adventist church.  Their sabbath starts at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday.  Before Sarah was introduced, one of the students welcomed us and wished us a happy Sabbath.  The feeling I got was one of rest, of an invitation to join with others and rest, a reprieve from busy.  There is an unspoken commitment amongst the SDA folks to rest together, corporately.  It seems that most Sunday Sabitarians pick and choose their own rules, very individualistic, no accountability to resting, no intentionality to rest and observe a day for the Lord.  I want the Sabbath to mean something, but I want it to mean something corporately for me and the local Body with whom I worship.  I'm in process, and today I rested.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

So, I was thinking . . . not lately.

As of late I have been asked, "So, what's new?" and "So, what have you been up to?"  I figure I'm supposed to give some sort of reply that is interesting and exciting.  But, the reality is what I've been up to is:
taking down and putting away Christmas
deep cleaning and de-hairing my house 
watching the TBS version of Sex in the City
not drinking beer
not eating complex carbohydrates
getting a YMCA membership, which I have used twice
reading (I like it)
giving plasma
cooking seriously healthy meals (I'm hungry by the way and I ate 45 minutes ago)
reading the books of Leviticus & Numbers (riveting)
cleaning my dehumidifier 
working at Scooters
frequenting Cultiva Coffee (15th and South, check it out, and thencome see me @ Scooters)   

Very soon I will be:
getting a haircut 
doing my taxes   

What do you tell someone when they ask what you've been up to, and you life is lacking extreme excitement?