Monday, February 27, 2006

Bang it like you mean it.

This is my friend Hal.

Hal has been elected as my small group's new "Cultural and Social Events Coordinator" due to the success of this past weekend's activity (undertaken by a large contingent of the group based upon his hearty endorsement) of an evening at Rhythm, a jembe club in Chicago.

While my palms and forearms are still paying for it two days later with their share of soreness and bruises, late into the night on Saturday I pounded away my frustrations while attempting to positively contribute to the overall "music" of the drum circle. It felt good to let all of the thoughts and anxieties that have been crowding my brain for the past month or so be drowned out by the beat of the drum--a little kinesthetic therapy for a restless mind.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

On Display

I read an article today by author Connally Gilliam, of which the following is an excerpt:

"Last spring I was in Colorado for another conference. I spent one lunch hour with Esther, a wise and beautiful African woman, who in her fifties, is still single. She is the sort of woman whose eyes make me want to trade secrets. [I love that description!] Our conversation meandered from work to men. 'Esther,' I asked, 'do you think you've been called to be single?' She sat, quiet, and looked at me... With a lilt in her voice she said, "Yes, Connally, for today I am called to be single. I cannot say about tomorrow.'

"For today I am called to be single. I cannot say about tomorrow. That is how I want to live: not anxiously asking why but simply looking for what is supposed to be for today."

Connally goes on to reference the story about Jesus and the man who was born blind. The disciples ask Jesus who is to blame for the man's state, and Jesus responds, "This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."

Connally concludes, "Wouldn't it be something if the next time someone asked you, 'So, why aren't you married yet?' you paused, looked him or her in the eye, and then quietly replied, 'Honestly, the bottom line is pretty simple. The reason I'm not married is so that today the work of God might be displayed in my life.'"

Tonight I'm attending the 30th birthday bash of a gorgeous, intelligent, accomplished and godly girlfriend, who happens to be single. Over the past few years we've engaged in countless conversations about relationships, desires, heartache, growth, and life. I know she's heard this question scores of times, and felt the pain that goes with it.

Though it is slight balm for these wounds, I am so thankful for the friendship of this beautiful woman, in whose life I have been priviledged to see the work of God on display.

May it be so in mine.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Garment Care 101

If you ever find that you've dropped a sizeable glob of roasted garlic hummus on your faux suede skirt, I don't recommend wiping it off with a Kleenex.

Just so you know.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Happy President's Day

I wonder if Washington and Lincoln and especially Garfield and Polk ever thought to themselves, "I know I'll go down in the history books and all, and that's cool, but what would be really rad is if decades from now my memory and service to this country is honored with 25% off mattresses with free delivery and a B1G1F sale on pink sticker clearance shoes at Shoe Carnival, because THAT'S when you know you've made a difference in this world."

Friday, February 10, 2006

I (Heart) the Olympics

In just a few hours my apartment will play host to its biggest crowd yet as friends gather to watch the opening ceremonies. The costumes, the athletes, the pageantry, the snow capped peaks, the flame, the spirit...I love the Olympics!

Thursday, February 09, 2006


I've been musing on this story all week, but am just now carving out the time to post about it. So, here goes.

Sunday evening I was at a friend's house "watching" the Superbowl. Admittedly it was more like passive listening while knitting and letting my mind wander. As I sat there on her couch absently running my fingers through my hair, vanity and self-pity coordinated an attack and I found myself thinking, "You know, it really is a shame that I'm not dating anyone right now, because I am having a really good hair day and someone is missing out big time on the opportunity of tangibly appreciating that." Sad, but true.

Cut to the very next morning. I'm at Caribou before work, hunched over a table where I'm doing prep work for Tuesday's small group meeting, chin resting in my hand as I read. All of a sudden I feel a tug on my hair from the left at the same moment a lady emits a gasp on my right. She follows her gasp with a stern and reprimanding "Isaac!" directed to the 2 1/2 foot blond haired, blue eyed hair yanker, and an truly apologetic, "I'm so sorry" to me. Keeping a closer eye on her toddler, she sheepishly explains that he really likes girls with long hair. I give Isaac a wink, pull my hair in front a la Counsin It, and shake my head. He laughs, claps his hands, and gives another appreciative yank.

Even in my sinfulness, God in His tenderness sees fit to send a prompt reminder that He is more than capable of placing in my life a man (in this case, a rather short but adorable one) who will appreciate my hair (and hopefully my other qualities as well)...O for grace to trust Him more.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Something Beautiful

If you put your arms around me
Could it change the way I feel
I guess I let myself believe
That the outside might just
Bleed its way in
Maybe stir the sleeping past
Lying under glass
Waiting for the kiss
That breaks this awful spell
Pull me out...of this lonely cell

Close my eyes and hold my heart
Cover me and make me something
Change this something normal
Into something beautiful

What I get from my reflection
Isn't what I thought I'd see
Give me reason to believe
Never leave me incomplete
Will you untie this loss of mine
It so easily defines me
Do you see it on my face?
And all I can think about
Is how long
I've been waiting to feel you move me

Into something beautiful
Into something beautiful

And I'm still fighting for the
Word to break these chains
And I still pray when I look
In your eyes, you'll stare right
Back down into something beautiful

Into something beautiful
Into something beautiful
Into something beautiful
Something Beautiful by Jars of Clay

Friday, February 03, 2006

Oh to breathe deep.

The funny thing about renewal is that it must come from outside of ourselves, and yet it is the things we do and think and feel that both prepare us for it and keep it alive once it comes (or, conversely, keep it at bay and drown it shortly after arrival). It's been a week since the conference ended, and I have to say I've done a crummy job of fostering renewal. It's like last week, out in Colorado, after I'd been submerged for quite awhile, my head finally came above water, and then there I was treading, then happily wading, and then just for a split second walking on the surface, and then over the course of this week I've sunk to floating just beneath the surface, still close enough to see the beams of light refracting through the waves and feel the warmth of its source, but submerged enough to no longer breath deep of the fresh air of freedom. It's like I'm surviving on gills by default, when I was made for lungs.