Friday, April 28, 2006



Wrapped in leaves as opposed to ribbon?

like a mack truck

(no, that's not me, and no that's not what my bouquet looks like...i just liked what her veil was doing...WOOOOOO!!!)
mom and i bought some flowers the other day to play with so we could see what we wanted to order as bouquets for the wedding. i was at her house, and i put on the bridesmaid dress (i liked it so much that i bought one!) and we decided on just sunflowers with greenery, which was NOT what we were planning on doing. it looks awesome. then i put on my wedding dress (it still fits...*whew*) and held the sunflowers and i looked in the mirror and thought "cool. that looks good." and then i held up the one hydrangea that we had been playing with (we only bought white hydrangeas and sunflowers) and thought "eh. that's okay. looks dinky." i went in the den and got the rest of the hydrangeas - they were the big honkin ones. one "blossom", which is really made up of hundreds of tiny blossoms, was the size of large softball or slightly bigger. i held all three of them together with the leaves poking up everywhere and it was about the size of a basketball.

i've seen the movies where the girl stands in front of the mirror in her wedding dress and cries. i've always thought that was dumb and fake. but when i stood in front of the mirror with my wedding dress on and that basketball-sized fluff of white hydrangeas, i started involuntarily bawling. no, i didn't say crying. i said bawling. it was WEIRD. i felt like i had been abducted by aliens or something. i mean, i'm an emotional person, and i cry a lot (all the time even) but i never thought that THAT would make me cry. don't know why...i guess it just reeeeeeally hit me what's going to happen in 36 days...

so i walked back in the den with a red face and said "well, i have my answer." i told mom the hydrangeas made me cry, and she said, "oh. in good way or a bad way?!" hah! it was funny.

it feels good to make a decision like that. and it's nice that my bouquet will cost something like $10 as opposed to $100 like other people quoted me. three hydrangeas. that's all i need, thank you very much.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


welcome to the world baby creighton andrew burke!!!!

he's just the best. and if you can read the scale there, yes, it does say NINE pounds ELEVEN ounces!!! (technically it's 10.5 ounces...) biggest baby EVER!!! i know, i know derek. who cares? not you, that's for sure.

the burkes are people that i consider my second family. david, the husband, not seen here, is the campus minister at utc for the presbyterian campus ministry - affectionately called the 'pres house' or just 'the house'. and he's also an associate minister at my church. they moved here about 6 or 7 years ago, and when they had their first baby, hudson, kelsey called me to babysit one tuesday night - the night their ministry meets during the week - and it became a regular thing. hudson was 4 months old then. he's going to be 5 years old next month!! i haven't done it in about a year b/c the small group i've gotten involved in meets on tuesdays (bummer), but for 4 years, i kept hudson every week, and there were a couple of overnight jobs in there, one being over a week long where i was his "mommy" and he was SICK SICK SICK the whole time. talk about birth control!!! anyway, i kind of feel like he's my own kid. mclean (pronounced "mclain") is 18 months old and the most precious girl in the world. and now little crew is here!! oh - they're calling him "crew"!! how cool!!!

daivd and kelsey are also doing chris and my premarital counseling b/c they're the best in town and b/c they already know our story. chris has kept the kids with me a lot in the past, so they know him too. oh and one more thing, david is marrying us, and hudson is going to be the ring bearer. :)

the funny part about getting the news of crew's arrival was that it was 10:30 last night and mom and i were in the middle of reconfirming all the wedding invitations. i was taking a break to talk to christopher and i checked my email and i started absolutely bawling. i was already running on not-enough sleep, and this whole wedding thing has me emotional at times. i was shaking and crying uncontrolably!! baby crew is here!! he's actually here!!! i can't believe how big he is...and i absolutely cannot wait to meet him!!!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


you know, i have all these people's blogs i visit regularly who always have the most creative and fun title for their entries. mine are always so dumb. for example, this post will have nothing about sprite in it. it is simply that there is a sprite bottle sitting on my desk and i didn't have anything else to say...

christopher, my incredibly handsome, wonderful, and very trendy fiance', called me yesterday. it was around 4pm. i knew he had taken his spanish exam - his last exam, and last bit of work, for college, ever. i answered expectantly in a small voice, "hello?!" in a quiet, monotone voice, he answered, "i just finished college." did i whoop and hollar?! did i leap from my chair and do the happy dance?! did i throw the phone to the side and stand on my desk proclaiming "it's the day we've been waiting for for four years!!!!" no. i did what i least expected to do. i cried. cried!!! all i could say to him was "i don't know why i'm crying!!!!" shoot. it was a stinking good moment. now all he has to do is walk across the stage on saturday and he's home for good.

speaking of chris moving home, he ain't moving in with his parents. no sirree bobtail! he's moving into our very own dadgum apartment!!!! in a nutshell, the appearance of this place (actual outside appearance and otherwise, ie, price) didn't seem like what we wanted. well, the price changed when i told the lady we couldn't afford it, and she said she would be able to give it to us for cheaper during the summer months (the regular price includes the price of heat...WOW!) and our impression of the actual appearance changed when we walked inside. both of our eyes popped out. literally! it's not like a palace or anything, but it's COOL!!! the walls are, like, stucco or something, and there's little windows everywhere, which makes the surrounding trees very visible (it's the second floor) which makes it feel like you're in a treehouse, and there's a back porch, and the living room is HUGE, and there's hardwood floors, and it's just so awesome!!! so it's now ours. the deposit is paid, the lease is signed, and we are happy apartment-renters. YIPPEE!!! and we decided it would make more sense for christopher to live there alone for a month than for me to live there alone for a month. (so he wouldn't have to move into his parents house and then move out again in merely a month, he's just moving there and i'm staying put for another month, and maybe might have some friends stay with him during that time. awesome!!!) and whoo, i tell you what. the more i go along and experience these little events that make up my life, the more i'm realizing that God is real and He really does care about the little things. 1 peter 5:7, man. we prayed for Him to make it possible for us to move into the neighborhood where we go to church so we can reach out to the people in the community (most of our church's mission statement) and He made it possible! WOO! and not just possible, like in a run-down, gross, in a scary part of town way. it's an awesome, coolio mama way!! we'll have to have you over, whoever is reading this...

i can't believe we're getting married in just a little over a month...38 days to be exact. i'm going to look back at this very blog entry and say "hah! look at how silly i was. so impatient. bwahahaaa!!!" *sigh*

and this paragraph is for all of us to boo christopher's blog. ready? go. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! i mean, look at it! it's all, like, not updated and stuff. "soon to be gone" my foot. more like "here forever! never changing!!!" (and yes, i did shamlessly steal some clever comments from others. big deal!!!) so BOO! and booooo.

in other news, derek brown used to eat "breakfast" in the shower. he would eat cheese-its and generic sprite. but you must know that "sprite" is pronounced very southernly...i don't know how to type it. let's see...spriiiiit. (the "i's" are "long".) i believe the actual name of it was mountain thunder? or maybe that was generic mountain dew? hmm...derek? what was it that you would stack up in your dorm room? i can't remember. oh and i guess he drank the sprite rather than ate it...

so there. i tied in my title. bwahaha!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

cats, trains and overly generous people

i'm housesitting christopher's parents' house this week while they're in arizona and i love it! it's a nice house in a nice neighborhood, it's at the end of a cul-de-sac, has a giant garden in between a screened-in porch and their swimming pool, is nice and quiet and wonderful to be in. it's closer to work than my apartment, too, so it's a great chance for me to get to work early (or on time...). yesterday i left a little late b/c i had to take care of all the cats - they have four "stray" cats that they feed. they're all precious. but i finally got out of there and drove the freeway and spent literally at least 10 minutes STOPPED on the freeway b/c traffic was so stupidly congested. i was late.

so today i decided to go a different way. i even left earlier than i did yesterday b/c i took care of the cats quickly. i was making such good time! then a giant pickup truck pulling the BIGGEST trailer i've ever seen pulled out in front of me. SUPER! so i couldn't see anything. we all slowed down when we approached the railroad tracks that i've NEVER seen a train on, maybe a bit too much. i thought "SHEESH! someone really cares about their shocks..." and then, "come on people. that's taking it a bit too far" when we stopped completely. then i heard it. "HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!" oh you've got to be kidding me. a train. i thought maybe, just maybe it would be just the engines, or maybe a little train. 10 or 15 cars long? no way dude. i didn't count, but it was at least 1,078 cars. and the further it went by us, the slower it got. i said out loud in my car, "if it stops across the tracks..." and didn't finish b/c i was too scared to even think it. well, it didn't stop completely, but it did suck 10 minutes out of my commute.

then the people in front of me decided to be nice to giant dump trucks that work in a plant on the way there and STOP in the middle of the road just to let them pull in front of them. *sigh* so i was late again. *sigh again* it got kind of funny, but not really. i mean, come on people. there's a line between being generous and overly generous. make that stupidly generous.

in other news.....nah. that's really none of your business.

Monday, April 24, 2006

sad article

sad as in hilarious. i mean, the article itself is really sad, actually...but...well, you'll see what i mean...

easter egg baseball

easter was 2 weeks ago. i realize this. but that doesn't mean that we can't play easter egg baseball again. i don't even remember when it started happening, but one easter, the walkers and the beenes (my cousins who we do everything with) decided we were too old to just hunt the eggs, but we all still secretly liked hunting them. so in order to justify our childish desire to hunt eggs, we added destruction to the game. we proceded to the dead-end road to see who could throw their eggs the farthest and who could get the biggest *splat* by throwing their egg the highest. we really got fancy when someone went to get gege's (our nickname for my uncle...) golf driver. we had fun for a little while with that, but no one really played golf, so we really couldn't get a good *smash* with the club. i think it was forrest (my brother) that had the brilliant idea of getting the baseball bat, and the rest is history. every year since then, we have a hunt or two (sometimes it's full-body-contact) and then play a beautiful game of easter egg baseball. the best part about it is that the whole family takes part - in the hunt and the game. we have some of the greatest pictures of splats and people getting covered with egg debris, but alas, i do not have a scanner.

a couple of years ago, the game changed dramatically, and our lives have never been the same. katie and chase (cousins) had a baby. the first year alice was old enough to hold a bat (she wasn't even 2!) i went and bought a big red "bust-a-bat" for her to use. we would help her swing, and the egg would just bounce off of it and roll away. she was so young that she lost interst pretty quickly. when she went in for her nap, we old folks got the big red bat and swung away just for fun. HOLY. SMOKES. that bust-a-bat produced SUCH better splat and distance results, i almost cried!!! it was remarkable! not to mention the loud *BOOM* that resulted from every precious hit. oh wow. the game was changed forever!!

a couple of years ago, i drove down to berry (where chris goes to school) and took a bunch of easter eggs, and we had a big hunt and baseball game. it wasn't just the two of us. that would be weird. daniel and kirby came with us (interesting fact: it was that day that i joked with daniel that he should totally date kirby, and now they're engaged!!!) and we had the BEST time! one of the funniest things that happened was christopher, bless his heart, just couldn't hit the eggs well. he would either foul tip them until they were so destroyed he couldn't get another hit out of them, or he would swoosh them completely. the bright idea of "pretend it's a tennis racket!" came up and HOLY SMOKES AGAIN!!! he started hitting them WAY father than any of us!!! he grew up playing tennis, not baseball, and that's just what his body was used to. it was amazing!!!

we had a lovely game of it this past easter (and i discovered that smashing hard boiled eggs is a FABULOUS stress reliever. it truly did get rid of a LOT of my anxiety. maybe that should be my treatment...) but chris couldn't join the family b/c of school work. they're all going to be done with school TOMORROW (!!!!) so i'm going to walmart after work, buying a ton of eggs, boiling them, and taking them, along with the big red bat, of course, down to berry tomorrow (or maybe wednesday) after work to have a celebratory game of egg baseball (not easter egg, b/c i'm probably not going to dye them...) i am so, so excited!!!

Friday, April 21, 2006

tummy rubs and revenge

my parents' cat, hobbes, is over 10 years old. i could write a novel about how wonderful he is, and you still wouldn't be able to grasp the awesomeness of him. i wish i had a picture of him but, alas, i do not. he's really big, has short, custardy-blonde hair, and a little 1-inch bend in the tip of his tail. it was like that when we got him as a tiny kitten. who knows what happened. when he was younger, he would come home completely mauled by the neighborhood cats. they say if a cat is injured on his body, he was attacked, and if he's injured on his face or head, he was the attacker. hobbes always had head and face injuries. he has scars on his little nose from the deepest wounds. one day he came home and was missing one of his upper "fangs". and since then his other one is broken in half. he's not a rough cat at all with us. but when he's out in the cat public, you better watch out!

he goes through these spells where he'll get a look of intensity on his face and then take of tearing through the house as fast as possible just playing. one night i had just turned the lights out in the front of the house and all i heard was what sounded like a horse charging me. all i could do was stand in the darkness and scream! it was hilarious. we never let him in the back of the house, and he wanted to go in my room. he's sneaky. he also used to get in the bathtub and just go insane with his tail! he would run around in circles and rare up on his hind legs and fall on his back and just attack that tail! he's hilarious.

he's not very cuddly. oh man, he will lay there and let you pet him and rub him down for hours. but try to get him in your lap and he's gone for the rest of the day. but very occasionally, if you're really, really lucky, now that he's a bit older, he'll jump up in your lap and stay for 5 minutes or so. that is awesome. basically, anything that happens to him has to be his idea.

sometimes when you're petting him - mainly giving him a belly rub that he always asks for - he's suddenly grab you with both paws - claws OUT - and bite down before you know what's going on. WHAT?! dude! you were just purring and closing your eyes in ecstasy, and now you're attacking me??!? he's just always done it. but i really don't think he's trying to be mean. i think it's his way of saying "wow! you're great!!! *gnaw*gnaw*gnaw*" or something. i can usually read him and tell when he's about to turn on me and get away with very minor, if any, scratches. well, not the other day.

observe picture #1.

these scratches are the ones that always hurt the worst. they don't exactly bleed, but they always scab over a few days later leaving you in pain, and then in itching pain. yesterday they hurt like a MOTHER. today they hurt whenever i accidentally rub them against something, which is basically constantly. dangit hobbes.

observe picture #2.

the "surface" one is close to a scratch, but i put it in the "puncture". but the one labeled "deepest"...oh brother. hobbes really did it this time. his claw literally got stuck in my skin. i had to grab his paw with my other hand and pull it out. GAH! dangit hobbes! it hasn't hurt that badly since the incident, but right after it happened...holy smokes! have you ever gotten a tetanus shot? you know how your arm is sore for a few days b/c of how deep and in-muscle the needle goes? yeah. it felt like that. the stinking claw went into my little delicate muscle and BAM! *throb* *throb* *throb* dangit hobbes!!!

and of course we were loving on each other a few hours later. i was whispering in his ear how mad i was at him and how badly he had hurt me. and it's not like i'm swallowing down a big grudge against him. i truly am over it...WHY?! why do i continue to like cats? i must be insane....

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

light in the darkness and wetness

man oh man, did it ever just storm. i looked out my window at 9:45 and could barely see the people walking by my window! it was the darkest i have ever seen it during a daytime storm. i must admit, i got a little scared and wondered if we should all be taking cover instead of going outside to look at the sky. what really freaked me out was that all the sensor-lights were on. they all thought it was nighttime!!! then the rain (and a little bit of hail) came. the drops were the size of quarters!! then the thunder and lightening came. nothing too terribly scary. a couple of really close hits, but none of the earth-shattering cracks. i turned my computer off and unplugged it b/c i didn't want it to get fried. i was the only one though. after i asked "is it okay to have computers on?", a girl actually said, "well, if you don't have anything to work on you can turn them off..." or something like that. i found her especially weird at the moment. fried computer...working on things...hmm....

i wondered if the power would go out, and it reminded me of a little girl i used to babysit for who demanded us to turn out all the lights so she could play with her flashlight. she was about 3 at the time and said, in her high-pitched little girl voice, "see?! it's so you can see in the darkness!!" it made me laugh - still does to this day - that she called it "darkness" and not just "the dark". don't know why...

believe it or not, though, this is not the highlight of adventure in our lives as admission workers today. we got to work this morning to learn that in the night one of the sinks in a bathroom up here (top floor of a 3-story building) busted and leaked water EVERYWHERE. the two floors below us are pretty much destroyed. the 2nd floor just remodeled not even 2 months ago. all that new carpet...all that new "wood" flooring...wet and gone. it was apparently running down the walls all night long. there was something like 2 inches of standing water on the 1st floor. and it already stinks down there! we've had professional "fire and water cleanup" people here all day. there's floor dryers going so loud we can't hear each other when we need to communicate. WHAT?!

such is life in the day of me. in other news, i ate a "divinity" cookie, and now i feel sick. curse you, sugar!

in more other news, i look at what i was doing 45 days ago, and i really do feel like it was yesterday. a doctor's appointment, lunch with a friend...well, 45 days FROM now, i will be wedded to christopher. bizarre.

Monday, April 17, 2006

simple pleasures

so today's my birthday. the calendar says "april 17" and it feels weird. i slept way too late and was going to be exactly on time, but my wonderful fiance called. he said he had a scenario he wanted me to imagine. (he's an english major and is in his last 6 days of class, so he's been writing stories like a madman and has had me brainstorm with him a couple of times, so i thought this was another early-morning brainstorming session.) he said to imagine travelling around in circles with my friends - i pictured hang-gliding, for some reason - to the music of amy grant and chicago. so i was trying to imagine "baby baby" and "your the inspiration" blaring over some giant loudspeakers for the hang-gliders to enjoy while gliding through the wild blue yonder. then chris said "then you hear a booming voice say "lyndsay walker! come to the middle of the skating rink!" ah ha! we're skating! not hang-gliding!! then chris proceded to ask me, in the booming voice, how old i was (i told him eleven) and he sang the funky skating rink version of "happy birthday" to me. how lovely!

so far i've received one birthday present on my actual birthday. it was a smoothie that smelled and tasted like a rotten, dirty, smelly old sock. mmm. i took all that time to peel the kiwi, add the yogurt, frozen pineapple, frozen strawberries, and then poured in the horrible, rotten, totally expired juice. i bought it last week and it expired in early march. GROSS BI-LO!!!! *sigh*

other presents received have been much more pleasurable. chris gave me a bobby mcferrin cd that absolutely rocks my face off. it's from the 80s and is called "simple pleasures". he gave it to me first and said that it went along with my other present - a fabulous and wonderfully delightful banana hammock. but it's not hung up that way - he got me these awesome ropes so all you have to do is wrap them around the tree, loop it through the loop and then put the metal rods through the end of the hammock and voila!! you're chillin!!! he gave it to me on friday night, and i've already used it four times - that night to test it out, on saturday at the lake house (story to come later), easter sunday at my aunt's house, and easter sunday early evening in my parents' back yard to write thank-you notes for my bridal shower. it's awesome.

his mom gave me a big bright pink mesh beach bag and a big bright pink beach towel with my name embroidered in it in big bright blue curly letters. it's awesome b/c it's so bright and girly!!! bwahaha!!

saturday the high was 87 and we all went to jency's grandparents' lakehouse and it was absolutely fabulous. there were 12 people there. all we did was eat typhoon (mmmmmm) and cookie cake, and lie around the docks in the sunshine. it was, as mentioned before, absolutely fabulous. it was sort of for my birthday, sort of to celebrate the fact that Jesus is risen from the dead and everyone was home for it.

another sort of birthday present i got today was chris sent me a copy of the confirmation email he got from booking out hotel room at the beach for our honeymoon after disneyworld. weird!!!! i emailed him back and said "wait...why are there only 2 guests? i mean, what about your parents?!" it's weird that in merely 47 days, we will be able to go places by ourselves without supervision or chaperones....WACK!!!

long post. it's a beautiful day. i wish i could set my hammock up out there in the courtyard...alas. work calls.

Friday, April 14, 2006

nervously breaking down

well, i've heard about it happening to people and have never understood. ignorance has been bliss, but now i'm breaking down and beginning to understand what people mean when they say they've had a nervous breakdown. i bet people are even beginning to say it about me behind my back. "who, lyndsay? oh, she's in the middle of a nervous breakdown...don't listen to a word she says." last night...well, let's just say my heart went wOoOoOwooOOOwOOoWoOOOo over and over again and then raced and pounded the entire night and i couldn't get it to stop. (it's been going on for a couple of years. no one really knows what it is, so they just blame it on anxiety...) i slept for about an hour, i guess. which absolutely stinks because when you're lying there with a racing heart in the dark at night when the rest of the world is peacefully sleeping as they should be, it's scary. that in itself is enough to send you into a nervous breakdown...

so this morning i'm trooping through, trying to focus on the fact that God really is FOR me and that means no one can be against me, and the fact that today is the day that Jesus died...really died for God's glory and for my sins. but 30 minutes after i got here (yes, we have to work on good's craziness) my boss told me that the letter i faxed to a boy's father - who was already upset that we hadn't sent him a letter...he and his wife are divorced and i didn't know he wanted a letter too - had the wrong student's name on it. "dear mister smith. sorry, but johnny has been put on our wait list" which is hard enough to take in, but when mister smith's son's name is really steve, it's just rough. i cried. my boss didn't really know what to do. i told him to blame it all on me, that i just don't know what's wrong with me lately. stuff like this keeps happening here at work...i wonder if God's slowly leading me somewhere else...

so i've concluded that it's a nervous breakdown. now at least i can call it something. does this mean i can go home? *buries her face in her hands*

i turn 27 on monday. i'm growing to dislike birthdays more and more, and i'm not sure why. i mean, i don't really mind getting older...i guess. i just don't like people to make a big deal about it. especially with this wedding coming up...people are doing enough nice stuff for me. can we please just forget it's happening this year? grr....

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

not growing old

a girl i graduated high school with emailed me randomly the other day. i knew she had gotten married a little bit after we graduated, which makes her automatically old. but she told me that she and her husband are building a house, which makes her even older. and then she told me that she has two children. two children! a four year old and a ten month old. good grief!! i guess it makes sense since we're in our...i don't even want to say it...late twenties. but it's just weird. i don't feel any older than i did the day i graduated from high school. i mean, i know more things and i don't do stupid immature things like smoke cigarettes or openly make fun of people. but i just don't feel any know? and all these people that are younger than me are getting older when i'm not. like kids i used to babysit for are driving cars now. what?! and people that graduated from high school 4 and 5 years after me are interviewing for job openings in my office. what?! I don't even feel old enough to have a real job...maybe getting married will help me realize it's time to grow up a bit and stop wearing birkenstocks to work...nah. probably not. seeing that we're going to disney world for our honeymoon, it's pretty obvious i'll always be a kid.

in other news, there was a wasp in our apartment this morning. i can usually trap them in a glass and slide a piece of paper under it and free them. but he never landed on anything where i could get him. he landed on our chandelier and started grooming himself (you know, like cleaning his antennae and stuff) so i left him alone for a while, thinking he would fly away eventually. i had my devotional and got dressed and he was not moving, tucked into a little corner of the chandelier. it was like he got all comfortable for a morning nap or something. so i just left him there. is that bad? his name was wallaby.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

annoying hurts

i hurt my thumb this morning. it's the annoying kind of little wound that distracts you all day long. i basically rammed the bottom area, where my little bit of hair grows, into the edge of a cabinet. so it's not only broken, sort of shaved-off skin, it's bruised and makes the entire thumb hurt b/c i rammed it so hard. stupid cabinet. they should have made them wider.

the emmaus community is just amazing. ever heard of it? in high school it's chrysalis, in college it's crossroads, and for old folks it's walk to emmaus. i went on my "pilgrim walk" in october of 2003, and i've worked every walk since - 2 a year, so this was my 6th walk. my life will never be the same after this walk. i promise i'm going to write a book about it. God is so big and beautiful and wacky awesome. why do we ever doubt that He has good things for us? why do we ever doubt that He is actively working in our lives to draw us closer to Him? why do we not follow Him as we should and tell people about Him as we should?

53 days to go. good grief. that's so soon!!!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

prayer works

all praise to Him who reigns on high!! they were thinking that dick had a major stroke, but as it turns out, he was just reacting to some medication (blood thinners) and drained stuff away and now, apparently, all is well. at least, as well as it could be. thank you for praying...

Okay gang.

Here's the latest. Dad is talking a bit. And Mom says he's doing GREAT. Praise God. The surgery went very well and I'm told his greatest annoyance is that Mom doesn't get to stay in the room with him all the time. I'm also told that he's annoyed that he completely missed the helicopter ride. I saw him last night and he reminded me of Dana Carvey in Master of know, the turtle? Although my sister thinks he looks like Squidward (Spongebob Squarepants). He was even joking with the nurses, asking if they had to shave his head (he and Mom had done that last weekend...he was looking mangy).

He doesn't have much drainage going on but the docs got most of it already. They're just watching to see if there's more bleeding right now. In a couple of days they should take him from Neurological ICU and move him to a regular room. And hopefully it won't be long in there.

Again, he's at UT hospital in Knoxville as are Mom and my sibs. Guys, I can't thank you enough for rallying like you did. It was awesome to see this family of God hustle into a daunting force against the enemy. God had things in place and opened His ears and arms to receive all that was being lifted up to Him. Thank you prayer warriors....thank you.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

do you pray?

if you pray, then please pray for dick cleveland. he's 60-ish, had heart surgery about a month ago, and has been recovery weirdly well. an email from his daughter came below:

I need to ask that the community begin praying for Dad. He is being air-lifted to UT hospital as I type. Mom wasn't able to wake him this afternoon. He isn't in a coma and they're trying to make sure it doesn't go that way. Graham just happened (Ha, yeah right...just "happened") to be driving by the house when he called to check on dad and mom told him she couldn't wake him. So Graham took things in hand. He had mom call an ambulance and they did a catscan(?). They saw blood around his brain and so that is causing some pressure. He'll be going straight in for surgery and I know he'll want the prayer warriors lifting him up. Also please pray for mom. She's strong and I want her to stay that way. She's pretty rattled right now and she needs God's calming hand upon her. All in all, just PRAY. Graham is driving Mom and Cathy (my sister) to Knoxville since they're not in a good place for driving just now. I'll let you know what is happening as I get it. THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

more white flowers


well halleluia!! someone used white tulips arranged the way i would want them!!! except, of course, without the gross black ribbon. i don't know i would use...just white? probably...but this is pretty much what i'm seeing now...


okay. forget about the color, but i think i really like tulips and calas together! it would be white with white...or what about white tulips with rust calas...hmm....

and now, white flowers

so what if plans have changed a whole, whole lot as far as flowers go? brainstorming is where ideas come from, right?! i'm likin white flowers now.

i mean, i like calas, but i'm not totally crazy about them...i'm really thinking more along the lines of tulips. but my goodness! nobody uses them! here's some in pink...


i mean, i just love tulips. is it so wrong? i can't find any in white though! good grief!!!


okay. picture white hydrangeas and white tulips instead of blue hydrangeas and white roses...kind of a stretch, but try hard!!! keep trying!!!


okay. i changed my layout. i was getting tired of the skinny little column of typing, so i looked for one that had a wide space for words. this one wins. it's not the greatest. it reminds me a little bit of matthew's old wolf shirts, but it will do. a lighthouse, i suppose, is a good metaphor for what we're supposed to be doing on this earth...being a beacon for Jesus' love, to put it in one sentence.

i also changed the name of the blog...frankly, i was just getting tired of looking at "best blog ever" and envisioning a little 8th grade girl with glitter all over her face talking in a valleygirl voice saying "ohmagah! this is the best. blog. ever!" and "staying the course" kind of goes along with the lighthouse/ship metaphor...doesn't it? yes. it does...i'm so right.

in other news, i'm hungy. make that hungRy. i'm off to eat something besides the silly putty i'm currently playing looks so good....

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

scrounging for words

have you ever talked about something until you're tired of talking about it? like when i broke my hand in 5th grade, people would ask me what happened, and i would just groan and give them the one sentence response. they would take it personally and think i was mad at them, when in reality i was just tired of talking about it.

and it can even be something good, unlike breaking an arm - an experience i'm sure i didn't like reliving. like, for example, this wedding. i am more excited and ready for it than i've ever been for anything in my entire life. it makes me smile to think about and it truly is a dream come true for me - to be able to marry chris. but that doesn't mean that i want to share every single little detail every day with everyone. there are people at work that ask me how things are going every day, and when i don't give them a word for word update on what's changed since the last time i talked to them (usually the previous day) they think i'm mad at them OR they think i'm not excited about the wedding. the worst part about it is that there's no way to explain that to someone. you can't say "i'm sorry. i have 8 bridesmaids, 8 groomsmen, a mother, a future mother in law, and a groom that i need to keep updated on things. i don't really see you as someone who needs to stay up to the second on my wedding planning." i mean, no offense or anything, truly. but does that make sense?

it's also hard because a lot of people ask how things are going and then don't really listen because they just want to talk about their experience. now. i appreciate the fact that your children have been married, and i'm glad that you pulled it off without killing anyone, but i'm really not interested in hearing what color the placemats were...for the fifth time. *groan*

and the absolute worst part about it is when someone asks me how the wedding planning is going, and no matter what my response is, if one of the people whom i haven't updated to the latest second - meaning, they think i'm not excited about getting married - is present, they never, never fail to make the comment that "she's not always excited about it!! sometimes you ask her how things are going and she just doesn't want to talk about it!" well guess what? just because i don't want to talk about it with you doesn't mean it's going badly or that i'm not excited.

so then i get caught in the downward spiral of feeling like i have to please everyone and make everyone think everything is just fine...but that's not why i'm on this earth. i'm learning that i'm on this earth to become more like Jesus...but if becoming more like Jesus means loving people, and in order to make certain people feel loved i have to share all the details of my life, should i do it? hmm...there's the rub.

old words, new hope

it's amazing to me how words from long ago can encourage and move and change years later. take the Bible for example. have you read it lately? i mean, really read it. try it out. really read it and pray for God to open your eyes to it's excitement for one week and see what happens.

one of the best singer/songwriters of our time is andrew peterson. check out one of his old journal entries.


Hard to Breathe

"Trust him though you cannot see him and he has no silver hand to hold. Trust him though you have no name to call him by, though out of the black night he leaps like a stranger to cripple and bless."
--Frederick Buechner, Son of Laughter

I just got back from Roman Polanski’s film The Pianist, a true story of a famous Jewish pianist in Poland and his survival of WWII. How is a man to feel about the holocaust sixty years after the fact? Movies have been known to over-dramatize and exaggerate events and situations in order to have a greater effect on the watcher, but I have a feeling that anytime one sees a movie about WWII the opposite is true; I don’t believe any movie could come close to truly conveying the horror of actually seeing the blood, bones, and bodies strewn through the streets. As hard as a movie like this is to watch, remembering what happened can keep it from happening again, or at the very least it can make us long for peaceful and quiet lives. In the ghettos of Warsaw there were dead bodies lying in the streets, and people stepped over them in the market with less concern than we Americans today walk over dead rats in the gutter. Children were shot and beaten to death. One child was trying to crawl under a wall and German soldiers on the other side beat him to death while the pianist tried to pull him through. It’s the children that make me cry the most, because each little boy I see is one of my sons, Aedan or Jesse. Each little girl in rags has my daughter Skye’s face, and when the mothers and fathers are pale with desperation because of the hopelessness of their time I see me and Jamie, fraught with despair because it’s our children who are starving, shot, beaten.
Here we are in 2003 on the verge of war again, and I fear for my children. Some days I can’t shake the feeling that the last strains of the song of peace are sounding and the walls that allow for America’s long isolation from the hellish world so many live in is slowly thinning, like a bubble about to pop. From the Egyptians to the Babylonians to the fall of Rome every great society has crumbled in upon itself when the beams of its ideals were too weak to sustain its bulk any longer. Who knows how many generations have heard tales of great wars from their grandfathers and prayed that peace would hold? Who knows how many generations have looked out on the burning cities and thought that surely this must be the end of all things? Did the Jews who lived in Jerusalem in 69 AD have any real premonition of the coming destruction, charging them like a mad bull far off in the distance? Some say that no great war of history erupted until there had been at least a generation or two in-between to forget its horror. With the greatest generation dying of old age at a rate of a thousand a day, is the last great reminder of the worst the world can be dying with it? Either man will destroy himself or God will destroy man because of the dark smoke of the burning dead that rises to heaven and offends the angels in their keeps.

We ought to be destroyed, I sometimes think. Even the best of us has it in him to do unspeakable things, so why keep the game up any longer? Why allow the machine to continue to churn and clank and scream along? Millions of people with picket signs all over the world from Greece to New York to Sydney gathered in February to protest the potential war. The news showed them chanting for peace, and you can’t help feeling that no matter how loud they chant, once the ball of war is rolling a sort of mindless inertia will drive it on to its bloody end. Maybe war is sometimes necessary, like it was in the 1940’s, but the fact that it’s ever necessary is a wrenching thought.

Who can stop war? It is a beast that awakens and possesses nations the way demons possessed the wild man among the tombs. It foams and froths at the mouth; whatever chains we put on him are broken like string, such is the power of the madness of war. Jesus could step in on his sandaled feet and with the merest gesture of his hand cast the demons into a herd of pigs if he wanted, at least for the sake of the children who are shot and torn to pieces, but WWII happened and God was silent in his faraway glen tending to the sparrows, or so it seems on days when finding hope is like finding air at high altitudes. It’s there, but you have to work for it.

I still live in a world where I can drive in my heated car to a warm movie theater with my clean-smelling wife to spend a leisurely hour or two in a theater. A world where my boys are safe in their beds, and my daughter has a baby monitor in her room so that we can hear her from ours if she starts crying in the night. I live and work and sing in this world knowing that one day the bubble is going to pop. I pray it bursts at the coming of the King, and not the coming of another great war, though either would be terrible to behold. The world feels stretched thin and unwary of the dark at the door. The Pianist depicted the world of Poland eroding into a kind of insanity that cackled in the night with glee and gobbled up the dispossessed and hopeless. One scene showed the German soldiers throw an old grandfather, wheelchair and all, out of a five-story window to his death while his family watched. Then the Nazis marched the family downstairs and outside, past the crumpled remains of their patriarch to be shot while they fled. Who were these Germans? Were they even men any more? How had they so utterly buried the image of God in which they were made? The mind balks at the attempt to grasp that it really happened at all.

I feel like a shallow coward for thinking that my life has ever been hard. For thinking that because of what little adversity I’ve faced I’ve ever had any right to doubt God’s presence. How quickly it seems I would’ve cast my belief in the gutter as a thing as dead as the children of the ghetto the minute I caught a glimpse of the madness and horror that Marlon Brando’s insane character embodies during the Vietnam War in the Coppola film Apocalypse Now. Where was God in the 1940’s? Where is God now? I believe he’s there, but on some days I can’t help asking.

Jamie and I just returned from a Compassion International trip to Bolivia, where the thin air can be thick with the smell of poverty. Flies buzzed around faces and in homes, each fly a rank reminder that the demons of this world are many and strong. We walked the cobbled streets and littered mountain paths to adobe brick homes that clung to the sides of mountains, and we saw in the tearful faces of the Christians there the same unspoken question we’ve all asked: Where is God?

In one village near La Paz a woman wept and showed Jamie her four-year-old boy who’s brain was being eaten by cancer. She pulled his eyelids open and kept saying, "No responda, no responda." His fingers were curled into claws, and his toes were upturned. They fed him through his nose with tubes. The poor mother’s eyes were desperate and bloodshot, and she looked at us pleadingly, as though we could somehow raise him up like Jesus would’ve. Her brow was furrowed with worry, her tender hands clinging to her little boy, and somehow God was silent. We sat there and cried with her, because I didn’t just see her little boy there dying in her arms, I saw my own son, and I almost drowned in the pain I saw in her dark eyes. The mother and father had sold everything they had to pay for medical bills only to find out that they were too late; the tumor had spread too far and surgery was no longer an option. We stood around the little boy and prayed for him and the family. I mustered up all the faith I could find in my heart to ask the Healer to heal him. I asked God to snap his mighty fingers and take the cancer away. I begged God with all that I had inside me. I wasn’t asking a mountain to jump into the sea. I just wanted the boy to live. At the "amen" I opened my eyes slowly, looking hopefully at the child, but he lay there on the dirty floor still as a statue with the same clawed hands and curled toes. The cancer was eating him alive before our eyes, and somewhere in Hell a dragon was laughing. What glory would’ve been God’s if the boy had blinked, sneezed seven times, and sat up on one elbow there before us. What glory. In a moment of mercy, Jamie gave the mother her diamond wedding band to sell. I like to think that the dragon’s laughter was cut short. Still, the boy died a week later.

Towards the end of The Pianist there’s a scene where the emaciated protagonist is discovered hiding one night in a bombed-out house in Warsaw by a high-ranking Nazi. The Nazi asks him what he did before the war, and he answers, trembling with fear, "I was a pianist." The Nazi beckons him to sit at the piano in the bomb-riddled parlor and play, and I watched through tears as the bearded, beggared, once-great pianist made music that night in the bloody hell of WWII. The music was like a thousand lilies swaying in a green field, like the feeling of letting yourself float to the surface of a warm pool. The song echoed throughout the rubbled husk of the broken city and rose on up past the moon. I hope God heard it, and that maybe it was like the Hebrews crying out from Egypt, "Save us."

God, save us from ourselves, from war and horror, and in so doing show us on the last day your holy face, not that we might know the answers to all the dark questions, but that we might delight in your love at last and forget that we had to ask at all. I hope it’s true, what Frederick Buechner said in his novel Godric: "What’s lost is nothing to what’s found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would barely fill a cup." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Monday, April 03, 2006

dancing ladies and sky watering

hear ye! hear ye! ellen franklin now has a website!!! well, sort of. you can at least SEE her artwork.

it's quite breathtaking if you ask me.

i have her linked in my "blog stuff" section. please visit her site often and inquire about prices and options and encourage her in her work!

in other news, christopher edward slaten has begun his blog!!! maybe he'll update it oftener than some.

me and johnny

i had a dream last night that johnny depp and i were friends. i was sitting at a bar somewhere and he came walking up. he was all frustrated and discouraged about his job and life in general. i sat there and talked about how talented he was and tried to convince him that i honestly did think he was a great actor and i liked all of his movies and that i wasn't just saying it because he was sitting right there. he didn't believe me and kept looking at me desperately and sadly. i think i might have even looked at him pitifully and put my sympathetic hand on his knee. it was bizarre. so now i have this weird feeling in my chest that we really are friends and i should call him up to see how he's doing. and i feel like i should pray for him or something. i know, weird. but i say that whenever anyone random comes to my mind out of the blue - like friends from high school or people i haven't thought of or seen in forever - that it's God's way of getting me to pray for them...who knows. maybe johnny needs the Lord right me weird. but that's what i do.

in other news, the weather is so wonderful that i seriously considered calling in sick today. mmm. springtime.