Thursday, December 07, 2006
Tonight it was completely wilted. How does it get there that fast? This morning it seemed fresh and didn't seem to need my attention. Why do some days seem to suck the life right out of it while other times it seems that it lives for weeks on a drop of water? Maybe at this point you are wondering why I am rambling about a houseplant...or why I keep using the word "seems"...
It is a spiritual parallel to me tonight--as most mundane things seem to be to me. What I realized as I watched the leaves "jump" around, drinking in the life-giving water, is how quick the plant responded to my care. It didn't sag around for hours after I watered it...no, it started returning to its natural state as if I had never missed a beat. How true this is to my relationship with the Lord. Or, rather, how I want it to be. Some days seem to take the life right out of me and I want to come to Him for the life-giving water...but I don't want to wallow in the misery of my situations. I want to immediately respond to this quenching. And, I realized tonight that the longer the plant goes without its soul food, the longer it takes to perk back up. And, really, after that amount of time, it never fully returns to "normal".
That, in a nutshell, is the point of why I am rambling about my houseplant...
Monday, December 04, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
A couple of weeks ago, some friends and I went paintballing (is that even a word?--oh, well, it is now). I was so nervous at first and I felt like a wuss...of course, not many people welcome the thought of tiny marbles being shot at your tender skin from an aggressive church-goer.
Well, I am so glad I went! It was awesome...again, apart from the marbles being blown at you through a gun. Seriously, the pain wasn't that bad and it only lasted a second (for most) and it was worth a 3 hour hunt to shoot down some of your closest friends. I found myself to be super cautious and I stayed "hunkered
behind a bunker" (as James says it in a hick accent). My strategy payed off, however, as I did manage to outlast all the competitors in one game. Yay...something should be said for those who "watch and wait". It was cool to see people take risks and come alive in that, too. I just came alive in a different way...
Monday, November 06, 2006
Honestly, I hadn't talked to her since high school, but I knew she had gone to New York to pursue acting/modeling. She was doing fairly well up there until her brain tumor came back this year.
One thing that I was so encouraged by at her funeral was her ability to laugh at life and to take every moment like it was her last. She always seemed to live this way. I guess when you are almost taken at 12 years old and then get a chance to keep living, you think that way. But, it is foreign to me. I complain an awful lot and I don't pursue all the dreams that are in my heart because I keep thinking I will do some of them "later". There may not be a "later".
It is weird to sit in a room and see someone your age laying lifeless in front of you--sobering even. She had put together a scrapbook that chronicled her last months on earth and it was chilling. She had included journal entries, photos, quotes, bible verses, and prayers to the Lord to take the pain away. She had so much faith and belief in the goodness of God and I cried as I read her last page of the scrapbook. Scribbled out in her own weak handwriting, read,"This may be the last thing that I ever write..."
We'll miss you, Wendy Brantley. I'm so glad I knew her...
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
From my journal last week (regarding the topic of praying specifically vs. generally):
"I enjoyed our Bible discussion and I admitted to fearing the thought of asking the hard questions of faith in fear that if I get no answer from You, Lord, my disappointment will be greater because I expected of you. If I expect nothing [meaning I wasn't in line with God's will for a situation], and I get nothing, then I am not surprised. If I get something, it is a blessing from You. It is hard to argue with You and yet speak to You in the proper "You-owe-me-no-answers-at-all" attitude. Can I do both?
Prayer for me looks a little like this math formula at times:
expect nothing + get nothing=no surprise
expect nothing + get something (in line with the will of God for a situation)=blessing
expect something + get nothing=disappointment
expect something + get something=lucky break that I tapped into the will of God for that
So, pray specifically or gloss-over-general?"
Anybody else feel this way at times?
Saturday, September 23, 2006
I guess I don't really agree...I never have. I'm not saying that people will always be attracted to everyone (that, I know for sure, is not true), but I think "leagues" have a lot more to do with confidence than attractiveness. Case in point: there are plenty of popular people who are unattractive to most (ex: Mick Jagger--yum, not!) and there are tons of loners who are beautiful.
So, before you go out and ask that Hawaiian tropic model for her number and then blame me for her turning you down ("Katie said that leagues don't matter!"), hear me out. Signals and chemistry are still a must--I just think that you shouldn't rule out ANYONE before you've met them because you assume they'd never like you--you might be surprised. We see ourselves from such a warped lens and not everyone is tuned to that same frequency...sometimes they see the you that you try to hide from the world or they feel super comfortable around your quirkiness.
Or maybe I'm just crazy and arrogant because I feel I'm just as good as anybody else and I don't see any person on this earth as out of my league....
Anyone brave enough to share thoughts on this? :P
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
We've also had 3 poopie pants accidents in 2 days--2 from the crayola chunker if you can believe that stretch. Someone buy me a drink...or some valium (halfway joking)...
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Imagine 3 college grads with quizzical faces and lots of laughter...that sets the stage for last night. Finally, we figured out how to play (don't laugh--YOU try it!) and had a blast. It is fast-paced, disappointing, hilarious, and it only lasts an hour. I have found my new hobby...kidding, kidding!
Seriously, it was funny to be having trouble "getting" the games and look over to see the 10 year old dabbing away with a diet coke in one hand and her ink dauber in the other!
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
By the end of the day today, I thought, 'What the heck was I thinking when I wanted to change grade levels last year??!!' I must have been smoking crack the day I made that decision.
I am hoping that it gets better, or I will be planning an early retirement...to a mental institution.
Did you know that 3 boys--all age 5--can get simultaneously sent to the office from the library? They were jumping off of chairs...um, more than once. Thankfully, I was not there or my early retirement might have been to a different kind of institution. LOL
Monday, August 07, 2006
I didn't bring my camera in because I didn't know if I could and I left my phone in the car to make it stress-free inside. Sarah and I mosied to our seats and I think mine were some of the worst in the whole place. We were in seats, but out of the cool overhang that shields the sun and fans you. We were spitting distance from the lawn seats (which were like 20 dollars cheaper I might add) and on the very dead center aisle so that all the camera men and women blocked my view. We had to stand the whole time anyway because the lawn peeps kept standing in the aisle, so as you can tell, I had some of the worst seats. I was thankful that I didn't drag in my camera for this crap seat, let me tell ya.
Well, the show was incredible and she sang "Walk Away" as her final song before disappearing behind the curtain. Let me back up...by this time, the camera men had moved back some and set up barricades to COMPLETELY block my view of the stage, but I just listened to her sing without watching the show. So, as we are waiting for the encore song, people started leaving from my section and a few were moving in some. Sarah and I moved closer and boom! Up pops Kelly on a platform 3 feet from me. She said she wanted to give the crappy seat people a chance to be on front row (or something like that--I was still in shock). She sang "Breakaway" to us (or rather, the guy in front of me sang it to her...he actually distracted her by his loud voice and camera in her face) and then the concert was over. It was amazing! If I had my camera (I learned my lesson), this is the picture I would've taken...for now I'll just borrow someone else's picture who actually thought ahead.
Friday, July 21, 2006
I drove to Mississippi alone this time to be with my grandparents and my aunt on what would've been my dad's birthday. It has been six years, but sometimes it is like it was yesterday. Only I've cried enough tears for it to be twenty. My job on this trip was to visit with the relatives and spend the day with my dad's sister on his birthday. This time of year is hard because July 15th (the day after) was the day her other brother died a few years ago. And last year, her final brother passed away as well.
So, my grandfather's wishes are to have all 3 of his sons buried with him, so it was my job this year to "pick out my dad's box" for his ashes. I was sure that I would be fine, seeing as how I cried an ocean of tears on the beach in Nice, France last year. Side note...Bastille Day in France shares the same date as my dad's birthday, so it felt wrong to celebrate last year on such an emotional day. It was a huge release. So, I was up for the task this year, especially if it meant that my grandfather didn't have to do it himself.
My aunt and I started the day by eating at the Carriage house of an antebellum home in Natchez, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Southern meal (you know...a fried green tomato, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, greens, buttered biscuits, custard with praline sauce, and a chocolate tart--yeah, it's alot of food). I then toured another antebellum home and it was my favorite that I have ever seen.
When we finally went to the funeral home, we asked the husky southern man if they had any boxes to hold ashes. He said, "We have urns." I said, "Well, we really don't need an urn, just a decorative box." He said, "Well, I'll tell ya what works waell...some people have used dem igloo ais (ice) containers ta hold ashes een (in)...they work really nais (nice) for dogs an' cats an' such..."
I shot a bewildered look at my aunt and she read the words before they had to grace my lips. I was thinking, "Should I tell him that this box is for my dad and not for Muffy the cat or should you?" My aunt plastered a huge smile on her face and held back her chuckle as she blurted out, "Thank you sir, we will look elsewhere. Have a nice day!" We got up to leave and you could tell he thought the world of himself, thinking he had just saved us a ton of time and money. It was downright hilarious! My aunt and I laughed for the rest of the day...it seemed appropriate on my dad's birthday.
He was one of the funniest people I have ever known...here's to a life remembered. (With or without the igloo ais chaest)
Monday, July 10, 2006
My sister has been in town and I haved loved every minute of it! I adore her and she "gets" me completely (she better, after 28 years!). She even made me my favorite cupcakes--strawberry cake and strawberry icing--for those who care to know. I felt like I was 8 again, actually.
But there is another reason why I felt 8 again instead of 28 and it all came rushing back to me when she came to town. For some reason, sisters so close in age bring a huge amount of insecurity with them. If you don't believe me...ask the group of women who have sisters that I have talked to lately . I am even considering starting a club--maybe we could call ourselves "Sisterhood of the Time Traveling Insecurity"--cuz that's how we feel. For those of you who have been hanging out with us, don't freak. It's not something you said or did--it's me and it's history. All the 8 year old competition comes back, rearing its ugly head to ruin our sisterhood and friendship. I fight and fight and I feel that the Lord protects my favorite relationship on earth, but I have to constantly fight for it nonetheless. I won't go into detail, but it stems from years of looking like someone, having a similar sense of humor, and having them shine in the areas where you are weak. It is a natural insecurity vacuum...I would even say inevitable. But, as I get older, it is almost harder to fight against and I'm not sure why. Anyway, as I was bawling my eyes out this week about it, the Lord spoke to my heart through a decal on a car window in front of me. Stay with me here...
The image was a semi-normal outstretched hand that was reaching toward me. As your eye traced up the arm, you noticed that the hand belonged to a faceless "devil" with a black crow on its shoulder. The image invoked a little fear, but mostly curiosity. Why didn't it have a face? The following is what I later wrote down in my journal about how God spoke into my insecurity:
"It was at this point that I realized what I have been following. By looking only at the hand of temptation [insert your own here--mine at the moment was insecurity, but could be something else on any given day], I failed to see who's hand it was that I was taking. I am walking right into the grasp of evil. He [the devil, Satan, evil...whatever you call him] does not snatch us up like we'd love to believe he does, but we willingly go. Taking his hand, we are easily led astray like a naiive child to a stranger dangling candy--a tangible representation of temptation. I always wonder how a child can be so blind to not see the danger. Am I any different? Only difference is that my stranger has many faces, but his spirit is a familiar one, almost like an old friend you know you should stay away from. Every new face of my old "friend" fools me because I look no further than his outstretched hand at that moment of weakness. Currently, I'm listening to Caedmon's Call's, 'We must dance, dance, dance...dance in God's honor/We must yield all our steps unto the King.'
I think this is the only way I can throw the candy back into the stranger's face...scream, and run away."
Anybody else feel this way?
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
I thought I would be more excited to post about Africa. Truth is...I'm not. No offense, but I almost feel that putting it into words will cheapen the experience somehow. It's like being really excited about how you got this new job and then going to tell a friend who, in the middle of your story, gets distracted and then never turns the conversation back to your story. Do you let it go and eat your disappointment? Or, do you bring it back up and watch them muster excitement for an already fading moment in time? Although no one has been like that with me (yet), I don't want a life-changing experience to receive that kind of homecoming.
And, I will have to do it Sunday for church. I have wrestled with what to say--in 3 1/2 minutes, no less--to a congregation of people who intellectually and spiritually know that the trip was awesome, but can't relate because there is no way to "be there" with us--despite an incredible movie (thanks, Piatt) and 600 pictures of mine (They are a week away from being posted online, comments and all). God did amazing stuff in Africa, but it wasn't because of me. Wow, pause for the deflation of my ego. In fact, I think I was on the Kenyans' "mission trip", if that makes sense. They amazed me daily and the more I read about Africa in the news, the more I believe Americans should get involved--not to help them, but so that they can somehow help us.
I think the number one thing that I brought back with me was perspective. Who cares about manicures when everyone has red mud caked in their fingernails from digging a hole with a stick? Who cares about frizzy curls or highlights when your hair has been washed with a sponge bath and your scalp is peeling from the hot sun? Who cares about whether my chai has the right "water to tea ratio" when I am eating a fried egg-peanut butter-jelly-and tomato sandwich and a hot fanta for lunch everyday (that was star treatment if you can believe it)? Who even said you get to eat everyday?
I am not saying that I abandoned my luxuries completely as soon as I got home. I don't necessarily think that is the appropriate response. I guess I just stopped complaining about them. I think the best way to find out about Africa is to go. Not only on a safari, but to interact, and to love. I don't feel sorry for Africa--I feel empowered. I kind of think they should feel sorry for us.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Ok, now that I got your attention--her name was Daisy. She was taller than the building and she helped me live out my dream of "kissing" a giraffe. (Ok, so more like feeding them with your mouth while they lick your entire face with their humongous, blue, sandpaper-feeling tongue. A dream fulfilled, nevertheless.)
We are back from Africa and I am finally ready to post something. Not really--more will come. I have so much, but I am waiting for the words to catch up with my heart. When they do, I'll let you know all about it. I will probably be posting about Africa for months. Hope you want to hear...
By the way, the foot picture had to be thrown in--not just because I love feet, but because I wanted you to see one day's dirt mixed with a week of equatorial sun. Most of it is dirt though (I know, right?). Sponge baths by candlelight aren't the easiest way to clean your dirty self!
More to come, I promise...
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Today was the grumpiest day I've had this year at school. I'll give you the setting...
It's a cold, wet, drizzly day with 19 first graders (one dropped off at 8:15 today due to fever--of course, not the RIGHT one). Yesterday was indoor recess and a 'modified' schedule (sure to make any kid bonkers) for the upper elementary. Today starts off with my immediate shushing and snapping to get the 19 youngsters in line and silent. I mutter grumblings under my breath as I clear the sleep from my eyes. "Should I have stayed up that late?" I wonder. In walks the TAKS monitor telling me to keep my class quieter because they can 'hear us clear out in the hall'. I think we accidentally breathed in unison and created a loud sigh. Oops.
I rebuked my 'kids' in a strained whisper and gave an eye roll to really "communicate" my frustration with them. This continues all day until lunch. A jumper here...a knee hitting the floor there...each time, more rebuke as a sly smile crosses his face. "Will Miss Brown really blow steam out of her ears if I do it again? Or was that just a frustrated, ridiculous threat?" This goes on for hours.
After we walk down the hall in complete silence (all the while perfecting my 'evil teacher eye' with one student after another), I go for my 15 minute lunch break, only to find out that all the 'TAKS' teachers get a catered free lunch from an upscale place. All year they press us K, 1, and 2 teachers to "take the test seriously because we are TAKS teachers as much as the rest"--until the rubber meets the road, I see. At least the coke machine gave me an extra coke today...it knew it was about to meet its death for taking my money yesterday if it did it again.
There they are...19 little pairs of eyes, back in my room. They had to have a 'silent lunch' due to the test, so they are excited about recess. No recess, the TAKS gods say. No special areas either. That equals no bathroom for Miss Brown today. No rest from all the little questions and the massive amounts of shushing. Ahhh...Finding Nemo and an early release birthday pass for me. Salvation.
That chai tastes better today...I wonder why. I think I'm already feeling a cold coming on for TAKS day 2007.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
It was a sunny Valentine's Day in Mississippi. I was floating on air because I was a sassy 6th grader (the top of the school in Mississippi elementary schools, but no matter...). I finally started "going with" my longtime 5th/6th grade crush, Tad Doolittle (yes, that was his name--you'll see why in a minute). We changed classes in the hallway, along with 5th grade, and I anxiously awaited seeing him there because we had different homeroom classes. I wondered, "Will I finally get a card or rose this year?" I had never had a Valentine before. Oh, the anticipation.
There he was...scrawny, skinny, and lovely. Oh, so popular. He walked over to me with a rose in front of the whole upper elementary. Wow, so public a display! "This gets better and better," I thought. Everyone was watching as he handed me the rose...but, I noticed something wasn't right. The silk rose had been colored black with a marker. What's this? A note that read something to the effects of, "I don't want to spend Valentine's with you, Bucky!"
But, you're probably thinking...hey, your name is Katie. You may even be thinking, why did he call you Bucky? Funny you should ask. Well, at the time (before braces really started being slapped on at birth), I had extremely hidious buck teeth. [Please insert your thoughtful, "Wow, but your teeth look so hot NOW" comment, wink..wink] Darn that Tad Doolittle! He took a perfectly great holiday and potentially soiled it.
But I realized after I remembered the story with my friend that one "doolittle" can't wreck a day of the year when I celebrate and give thanks for the most important thing on earth...people and relationships.
It also helps to know that ol' Tad later went to prison for constructing a bomb or something. Poor guy. [conceal inappropriate laughter now]
Monday, February 13, 2006
My roommate said it well with this quote on her blog:
"I have enjoyed my singleness, but it's like being unemployed. It's easier to enjoy when you know when it will end."
So true. Well, I am here to have hope in Christ. As cheesy as it sounds to some people, He can be my Valentine--He's the most faithful one anyway. Also, I want to give props to my sister, best friend in PA, and my many friends who tell me (and show me) how much they care about me. Who said Valentine's was for couples?
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
The person I forgot to mention as one of the funniest people in the world to me: Brian Regan. I was thinking only of people I knew, but man, I have probably never laughed as hard as the times I am either listening to him, quoting him, or re-hashing the whole Cd or DVD with my sister. Dag, is he funny!
Monday, January 30, 2006
(They are really collecting dust for now, but I am mid-read)
1. Desiring God (John Piper)
2. Harry Potter (like #80 or something)
3. Having a Mary heart in a Martha World
4. The PH Miracle (a medical/health book)
4 Things I am learning:
1. Life and relationships are messy
2. Singleness is super fun when you have the right perspective
3. One can only truly give their hearts to a few solid people in life
4. Things are never as they seem; combined with God is more patient/merciful than I ever gave Him credit for
4 Celebrities I would love to have a date with:
1. Ewan Mcgregor (surprise, surprise)
2. Michael Vartan (ahhh...)
3. Jude Law (just for the eye candy and accent)
4. David Duchovny (smart & funny...you can't really go wrong with that!)
4 Jobs I'd like in the future:
1. Still Photographer for movies
2. Owner of a Tea House
3. World Traveler & Photographer...maybe write reviews for some cool magazine
4. Author/Illustrator of children's books (really, author of ANY book)
4 of my favorite clothing article that I would always pack on a trip:
(Depends on the place and time of year, so I'll go Europe in early March)
1. A hottie scarf
2. My J.Crew 'fit me perfect' jeans
3. Shane & Shane baby T
4. Cuddle Duds (like girls' long johns)
4 of my favorite drinks:
1. Starbucks--Tall Organic "Light on the Water" Chai Latte
2. Amaretto Sour
3. Freshly juiced Carrot, Red/Green Apple, Pear, Kiwi Juice
4. Pina Coladas
4 People that make me laugh:
(Wow, this is extremely hard to narrow down, cuz I think it is just about everyone...these are the ones that I shed 'laughter tears' on)
1. My sissie
2. My best friend, Amanda Hill
3. Ngofeen Mputubwele
4. David Grotheim
3. Bethany Reese
4. Jennifer Pennington
Saturday, January 14, 2006