Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Off We Go

Off to the Carolinas for a few days--say prayers if you happen to think of it. :) I love travelin' the states with Beckycita! Here's to some good times ahead.

Luther or Southern--wonder which seminary Lauren will pick? We shall see.

I can't believe it'll be March tomorrow. Freakin' March. Crazy.


Catch ya later friends!!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Today we had a mini-retreat for the 6th graders at church and, as usual, I found myself trying hard to keep from laughing (quite unsuccessfully, I must add) as they said the silliest things. One boy (named Joe) insisted on being called Fabio the entire time. So of course I couldn't say that with a straight face. At any given point for the three hours we were together, either me or Steve (the pastor) might say, "Fabio, can you open your Bible and read this passage, please?" Oh my gosh, I couldn't stand it. And then, when Fabio DID read a passage, it was the one that talks about how, since Jesus has come to make all things new, there is now neither Gentile nor Jew, slave nor free, etc. Well, when Fabio reads this, he says, "therefore, there is not Genital or Jew. . ." He caught himself, which of course initiated a huge fit of laughter from everyone in the room, including Steve and myself. Luckily, Steve is more mature than I am. I sometimes worry about my "disciplinary skills"--I'm not the best at suppressing my laughter. And sometimes life is funny, even and especially at church. Kids say funny things--and the reason it's so hilarious is because it's so innocent. I guess as I get older, things might get less funny. . .I don't know. I just laugh so dang easily and once people (esp. kids) know how easy it is to get me off-topic, they definitely take advantage of it. They obviously like to make me laugh--I can't decide if this is a good or bad thing. :)

Talked to Court for a good two hours this weekend, which was lovely. I've missed her. Leah and I got to hang out and do nothing this weekend, too, which was nice. Shopped a little bit, packed up some old clothes to take to Goodwill, chilled out and watched TV. . .it was nice. And I was at church all freakin' day today, so I'm a bit tired.

Which means I'm outta here for now. Have a good week, friends.




I talked about Lent tonight with the high schoolers, and this quote stuck out to me:
We begin this season of Lent not only reminded of our death but marked for death, and that path of death is about our transformation.
~Dr. Marcus J. Borg

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I burned my tongue this morning in my eagerness to enjoy some hot chocolate. Annoying. Now everything I taste is doomed to not be as enjoyable as it could be or as it's expected to be. What exactly happens when we burn our tongues? Are our taste buds literally seared off? Hmmm. . .this sounds like a question for Mr. Rob West! I will, of course, welcome random insights from any of my readers in regards to the above question.

Becky and I are leaving for our big ol' trip to the Carolinas in a WEEK! We're going to visit Southern Seminary, where I am *almost* certain I will be attending beginning this summer. Then we're heading to Winston-Salem to vist some way cool new friends of ours who go by the mysterious yet quite stately titles of The Mayor and The Good Capn. If you know who they are, then you are obviously cool. And if you don't, then check 'em out! I bet you'll be impressed. :) We were. In fact, we were so impressed that we decided that we'd jump on a plane and go visit them! Crazy? No way. (And if they DO turn out to be, you know, weirdos. . .well then, at least we're together. . .right, Becky?) Anyway, I'm super excited about our trip. Plus, we get to spend the night at home in Arlington one night before we leave. Not that I'll get to spend tons of time there, but it's been a while and I miss my family. Yay for making mi daddy-o take us to the aeropuerto a las 5 in the morning! Spanglish, anyone? (You're the best, Pops!)

What else, what else? Our family could use some prayers right now--there's some stuff going on that's not necessarily bad, but not necessarily great, either. Please pray for wise decision-making in the next few weeks. Yeah.

Okay, I'm out. Haircut, then dinner at church (I love church meals!).

Peace.



Saturday, February 18, 2006

Texas Travelin'

Weekend in Houston: watching Sex and the City and horribly addictive trashy talk shows, "pouring" hot coffee in Rich's lap ("take it all!"), competing with Trish and Rich to see who could come up with the most inappropriate comments, hanging with Beckers and Mo (and seeing Nicole, too!), shopping at Vicki's with Trish and Becca, laughing about old friends and old memories. . .it was an awesome time. Lots of love to my H-town buds!

It's cold outside and I'm enjoying a quiet Saturday evening in my warm house. Yessss. Jerry Maguire's on TV, so I should be occupied for a while.

Have a good one!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Heart

Happy V Day!!!!!
(or VDDay, says The Guy)

I, for one, am pretty dang happy this day. I have my reasons, to be sure. And my hope is that you're having a happy day, as well.

*********

Thought these quotes were interesting--any comments?

Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves.
--Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations.
--Kahlil Gib

Love is eternal -- the aspect may change, but not the essence. There is the same difference in a person before and after he is in love as there is in an unlighted lamp and one that is burning. The lamp was there and was a good lamp, but now it is shedding light too, and that is its real function. And love makes one calmer about many things, and that way, one is more fit for one's work.
--Vincent Van Gogh



Celebrate love in your life today. . .all forms of it, everywhere it shows up. In the words of one of my favorite movies: "Love actually is all around you."

Friday, February 10, 2006

Get the Hint

It's almost 1 pm and I'm in still in my pajamas. It's my day off and I am in no hurry whatsoever to get dressed. Plus, it's rainy outside and rain just feeds my laziness.

I've been thinking about Guatemala lately--missing the people there whom I came to know and love during the relatively short time I was with them. I've kept in touch with an American who lives in the village as an accompanier for peace issues, and she e-mailed me yesterday. Her stories just made me really miss that place. It's been four months since my visit and I'm thinking of how I can get back there next October when the church goes again. It might be hard b/c I'll inevitably miss classes and such, but you can't say it's a vacation or a worthless trip. It might mean more to my future as a pastor than any class I take in seminary.

Do you ever wonder why some people behave the way they do? For instance, there's a lady at church who is infamous for her nonstop talking and chatting. Everyone practically runs when they see her coming because they know that, if they get caught by her, they'll be immediately and unwillingly pulled into a (very one-sided) conversation with her. In fact, I have a plan with some of my friends at church that, if one of us notices that Mrs. Talks-a-Lot has somehow managed to corner one of us, we know the drill: we approach the two and demand that our friend come help us with something right away. We even refer to it as The Rescue. "Time to go rescue Erika," we'll say. And Mrs. Talks-a-Lot doesn't even get the hint! I honestly don't think she understands how much a) she talks, and b) people hate talking to her. It's terrible. Many times--no, all the time--the subjects of her conversation have nothing to do with one another. She just switches gears in the middle with no apparent connections between the previous and current subject matter. It's kinda funny, but I feel for those who get caught with her. Our secretary has to deal with this lady a lot, and she's so kind. I wouldn't have the patience!

Anyway, I don't know why I thought to write about this. Some people just don't get social clues and it annoys me. But maybe they can't help it. Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on them. I can tell when someone isn't listening to something I'm saying, and I quickly get kinda embarrassed that I'm boring them. So I move on. But people like Mrs. Talks-a-Lot just don't get it. When I'm bored with her conversation, I'll literally look around, act like I'm in a hurry and really need to be somewhere. I even start walking away a little bit. . .but she still talks! Oh, well. I pity her husband sometimes. I sometimes wonder if she talks his ear off at night when they're in bed and all he wants to do is go to sleep. I honestly wouldn't be surprised. Poor guy.

Okay, time to be productive. . .I guess. :) Stay cool.





There's no combination of words I could put on the back of a postcard,
No song that I could sing,
But I could try for your heart.
~Jack Johnson

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Staring Game

So there I was, standing in line at Thundercloud Subs. And today I had an interesting and highly annoying experience which got my mind churning on the subject of staring--namely, men staring at women.

(Note: I do recognize that women stare at men, too. But come on, I think anyone would agree with me that men stare way more than women do. So that is why I'm writing this post particularly about men.)

Some guys can look at women and be fairly appropriate about it. (I say fairly because, just in case you guys out there didn't know, girls always know when you're looking at them. Always. It's like a sixth sense we have. And we're either creeped out or we like the attention. But mostly we're just creeped out. You can look, but please don't stare. Ew.) Some guys can stare at women and be completely inappropriate about it. And the latter describes Creepy Guy sitting at Thundercloud around 12:30 this afternoon.

So back to where I started. I walk into Thundercloud and stand in line. I get that weird feeling that someone is looking at me, so I glance to my left. There he is. He's sitting at a table not five feet away from me. At this point, when I glanced over to him, he should have looked away. Most guys would've, I would think. "You got caught, Creepy Guy. I saw you looking at me." But no, he stared at me. So I blinked and turned my head to face the front again, trying to shake the icky feeling. It didn't go away.

So I glance again after a few more awkward moments, this time looking at him with a "Seriously, why are you staring at me?" look. Not a mean look, mind you. Just a little warning look, a little raising of the eyebrows. I've looked at him twice now--get the hint, Creepy. Get the hint.

He didn't get it. He kept looking at me, as if looking into my eyes as he stuffed a sandwich into his mouth would suddenly make me fall in love with him on the spot. As if staring at me with that creepy look in his eyes would compel me to pull up a chair and pour out my soul to him. (Actually, I'm sure "true love" was far from his mind. I don't even want to know what he was really thinking about.)

And he didn't just look into my eyes. Nope. I watched his eyes quickly move up and down as I stood there, helpless. I really did feel helpless, like "I can't really move because I'm in line. . .and this guy just shamelessly checked me out." Creepy, come on, could you be any more obvious?? I feel violated and you're sitting five feet away from me! My goodness. Yuck.

I was relieved when it was my turn to order, and I got my sandwich and hurried outta there as fast as I could. And as I drove away, I thought a bit more about this experience.

Guys look at girls. It's just in their nature. And girls look at guys, too, but not near the same way. My dad is single, and well, very much a guy. When my dad and I are out somewhere together, I know immediately when he's looking at a woman. And I say, "Dad, stop staring at her" and he looks so shocked every time. He says, "How did you know?" and I say, "Dad, every woman knows when a man is staring at her. And every woman in the room can sense it, even the ones who are not the object of your stare." It hasn't helped him. I try, but over the past years, I've realized that men are men and my dad is not going to stop staring simply because I've enlightened him to the fact that women can pick up on it. And so, the above conversation happens practically every time I'm with my dad. And he's not even in any way comparable to Mr. Creepy Guy. I'm not just saying this because he's my dad, either. Anyone who knows my dad would agree--he is a very respectable, very faithful, very honest and loving man. But he's a guy. And he likes women. With that logic, what's wrong with a little stare here and there?

Really, nothing, I guess. Every girl I know has experienced an unwelcome stare. It doesn't matter if you're hot or not, guys: a stare is annoying and rude. Learn to control your eyes and it will make you more attractive, more mysterious, and more successful with the ladies. But you can look at us. It can be fun and exciting when you look at us in an appropriate, flirtatious way.

Bottom line: don't be like Mr. Creepy. We don't want to play the staring game with you.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Weekend Ups and Downs

Ups:
*Emily came to visit (always a highlight) and honestly, we really didn't do a whole lot. Went out Friday night for a bit, saw Memoirs of a Geisha (wonderful!) with Court and Lee-lee, went to the park to picnic and lounge, did a little shopping, took naps. . .sounds boring, but it was excellent.
*Got lots of sleep.
*Went to the Austin High musical to hear Jackie play in the pit, which was lots of fun. Also reminded me of my own high school musical memories, which always make me smile. Good times. I once told Janie that the crowd scenes were really just times when I would mock and make fun of my fellow cast members (well, not just me--it was mutual--I wasn't like the "musical bully" or anything, though that's a funny idea). You know, you're supposed to be acting like you're actually talking about something in the background, but no one can hear you. So I'd have entire conversations about really silly or gross things, all the while referring to the girls as "ugly, no-good ______" and the boys as "sick ______ " (insert whatever female/male insult comes to mind). You name it, we used it, and oftentimes in our poor British accents. It was always hilarious to us because to the audience, we looked like we were majorly in character. That we were. :)
*Hung out with my youthies tonight for our annual Super Bowl par-tay. They crack me up, as usual.

Downs:
*Court moved out Saturday morning. I randomly cry about it. I am very sad.
*I didn't get to hang out with some of my other old AHS buds who were in town this weekend. . .sucks. Scheduling didn't work out this time, but hopefully it will happen sometime soon!*

And now, I present to you:
A Day at the Park:
Snapshots of Emily, Lauren, and Leah
Leah drives us to Zilker.
Leah chills.


Lauren tells a story (what does that gesture mean? hmmmm. . .you decide).

Leah isn't very entertained by Lauren's story.

Emily looks like a model, as usual. :)

What are Em and Lauren reading? They seem to be enjoying it. Maybe it had something to do with Lauren's story she was telling earlier.

The end.

Have a great week, friends! Catch ya later.

*Leslie, next time you're in town, call me. We WILL get together sometime! :)

You found me when no one else was looking

How did you know just where I would be?

I guess that you saw what nobody could see.

~Kelly



Thursday, February 02, 2006

I am drained.

However, Em's coming tonight and we're gonna party all weekend, baby. Look out, Austin! I'm majorly ready for some BFF time. Probably more ready than I realize.






If it looks like it works and it feels like works then it works.
~Snow Patrol