Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fingers Crossed for 2010!

Even-numbered years tend to be big for me.

In 2008, I landed my current job that led to my many wonderful friendships.

In 2006, I graduated from college.

In 2004, I frolicked (yes, frolicked-- harder than it looks) across Europe and studied in Oxford for a semester.

In 2002, I graduated from high school.

In 2000, I moved to Houston and got involved with my kick-a color guard.

In 1998, I graduated from eighth grade. Yes, graduated. From the only school I'd ever been to. IT WAS A BIG DEAL.

Oh, and in 1984 I was born.

I can't think of any monumental events that happened in an odd-numbered year.

Fingers crossed for 2010!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Slightly Distracted

Family traditions are straight up random when they don't belong to your family. We had an "Awkward Family Christmas... Party" for our youth kids this week and we spent part of the evening sharing traditions. A lot of people all wear new pajamas on Christmas Eve. Several families actually hide pajamas for everyone to hunt. One family plays a giant game of hide and seek in the dark late Christmas Eve - this includes Grandma.

I didn't ever think of our family traditions as odd... until I verbalized them to several people this year and everyone shook their heads knowingly. "Yep. Your family is weird too." Perhaps it was the fact that all of the kids slept in the same room (even as recently as just a few years ago), or the random assortment of goodies in our stockings (batteries, tic tacs, and a lint roller), but I think it was the fact that we still claimed our spots for our Santa gifts when I was 20 years-old. We also used to identify the earliest time everyone could wake up on Christmas morning. As soon as we stepped out of the Christmas Eve service at church, the bartering would begin. When we were really young we used to open Christmas gifts around 6:30am. We've now progressed to roughly 8:30 or 9:00am. I think Clay would still prefer for it to be earlier.
Christmas Eve for the past few years has been spent at my Aunt and Uncle's Church. We usually attend a later evening service. It's beautiful. They usually have a professional vocalist from the Houston Opera, a full orchestra, and a massive choir. The pipe organ is gorgeous. As I look around and see teenagers checking fantasy football scores and texts on their phones, I can't help but notice my own distractions. I have to turn off my desire to wonder about the fonts chosen for the bulletin or the turn-around for the next service. "You do not work here. Stop worrying about child-care." The distractions of the season are everywhere and they beckon us to concern ourselves with just about anything but the Christ-child in the manger.

We started a new sermon series in youth this past weekend entitled "Unwrapped." Our hope is to strip away everything that's been added and pull out just the story from Matthew and Luke. We spent this past weekend remembering that Mary was not chosen out of her perfection, but out of her willingness. This weekend we will examine that first "Silent Night" that was probably anything but silent. For while our Savior was sinless, he was most certainly fully human... and much crying he probably did make. You get the idea.

All this to say, in ten days, when you sit by yourself... or with your crazy family - in front of a tree, around a table, in a wooden pew, or on a cushioned chair... remember the 42 generations who awaited the birth of the Messiah. Recall the young teenage girl who gave up her expectations for God's amazing reality. Picture the infant breathing his first gulp of air and wailing - and then the man who cried out and gave up his last breath on Calvary. This God made flesh has come.

"Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation." Isaiah 25:9

Monday, December 7, 2009


When Lara went to England for eight months, we agreed that neither of us would watch our beloved “A Goofy Movie” until we were reunited again. Sometime while she was gone, though, I found myself holding the DVD case and contemplating the cover art.

“Do you think it would be cheating for me to just, like, watch the trailer?” I asked my friend David.

He considered for a moment. “I don’t think it would be cheating. I just think it would be like if you had a boyfriend and hugged another guy for a little bit too long.”


Once late at night, my college roommates and I realized that both of the bathrooms were out of toilet paper. Not wanting to go to the store so late, we discussed our options. Someone suggested we just pee in our backyard until we could replenish our supply. There was a beat, and then Kisha snapped us out of it.

“Guys,” she deadpanned. “If we peed outside, we would still not have toilet paper!”

I think we laughed for about five days after that one.


Sitting in our boring Literature for Children class one day, Lara and I took a break from our regular note-passing when we noticed our fellow classmates were squealing and screaming at something at the front of the room. Apparently there was a particularly large spider crawling across our professor’s desk, and none of the girls in the class would go near it. Finally, one popped up, dashed to the desk, and dispensed of the spider. The room was quiet with awe, until Lara broke the silence by meekly yelling out, “Bravery!”


I hoodwinked the group into watching yet another movie- this time “High School Musical.”

At one point in the movie, a heartfelt Troy Bolton asks, “Have you ever felt like there’s this whole other person inside of you, just waiting to get out?”

“Yeah,” David responded. “It’s called being pregnant."


And these are a few of my favorite funny moments from college.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day

We finished our feast on the beach after hours of snorkeling... fresh fish, fajitas, ceviche, guacamole - todo esta muy bueno.

Beyond thankful for so many blessings. May you be blessed this day!!

-Ginger and Valerie

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving Potluck

I’m surprised Val hasn’t fired me.

I have been woefully negligent when it comes to contributing to this random mess of a blog. We had a plan… and even a schedule. We both try and blog at least once a week… occasionally one of us will make it twice. This was not one of those weeks.

Next week will not be one of those weeks, for we are fleeing the country. The family is picking up and heading to Mexico to celebrate Thanksgiving. One of the girls at work asked me wide-eyed, “Are you going on a mission trip?” Um. Not exactly? I’m sure we will have opportunities to love and share with the people we come into contact with, but it will be at our hotel in Play Del Carmen and we will more than likely enjoy it without the turkey.

I don’t really enjoy Thanksgiving food. In fact, last year we all traded in the turkey for filet mignon. That’s right. Thank you Lord. When I was little (read: up until college) I would fill my Thanksgiving plate with dark meat, ketchup, crescent rolls, and maybe carrot sticks for good measure. I didn’t really care for anything else and the smell of German noodles kind of made me sick. Come to think of it, the smell of boiled onions at the other grandparent’s house also made me sick. I don’t think I’ve ever thrown up at Thanksgiving, but then again, I don’t think anyone ever forced me to eat green bean casserole.

ALSO – (random side tangent) why didn’t my family ever get the whole bird on the table like every movie ever made? Never. I’ve never gotten a piece cut at the table. I heard some excuse about the electric knife not reaching into the dining room and making too much noise.

Thanksgiving mash-up menus… jealous? I’m not.

Grandma Ann and Grandpa Joe’s:

  • Turkey
  • Stuffing
  • White Rice
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Baby Pearl Onions
  • Crescent Rolls
  • Cranberry and Orange Relish
  • Asparagus
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • Vanilla Ice Cream

Grandma Doris and Grandpa Glenn’s:

  • Turkey
  • Stuffing
  • German Noodles
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Crescent Rolls
  • Canned Cranberry Lump Thing
  • Beats?
  • Chocolate Pie
  • Lemon Meringue Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • A bazillion deserts that sit in Tupperware on the washer and dryer

Best Thanksgiving Memories:

  • Getting to drink soda.
  • Going to a movie every year… nice tradition.
  • Spending it freezing in Jamaica.
  • Almost dying when the car was stuck in the snow in Red Cloud New Mexico (no yelling by my parents in this moment.)
  • Sledding in the Sand Dunes of Red Cloud New Mexico
  • Really fun time with cousins
  • Really boring time with cousins
  • Standing in a giant circle dressed up, holding hands, and praying together.
  • Going around the table and saying what we were thankful for – Clay’s answer was highly sarcastic.
  • Having so many reasons to give thanks.

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Love's (Suffocating) Embrace

Have you guys seen the Kay Jewlers commercial for the new "Love's Embrace" necklace yet? Go watch it (you'll have to scroll down just a little bit and click "Watch the Love's Embrace commercial), and then we’ll talk.


Okay so seriously. Everything about this commercial gives me the willies. First of all, how creepy and smarmy is that guy? I think he learned everything he knows about women from watching OTHER JEWELRY COMMERCIALS. I mean really—who talks or acts like that? He really thinks he is smooth. (Do you want to break the news to him, or should I?)

Second, I really hate that stupid woman who has never seen lightning before. Clearly she has been living in a cave or some sort of underground bomb shelter, and in that case I really don’t think he should have made her stand right there and watch the fake raging storm through a giant glass window. Too much too soon, you know? Let’s take it one step at a time and start out with something easy like wind or fog, shall we?

Third, how creepy does he look after he tells her he's "right here" and then gets all serious, brings out the ring box, and menacingly threatens, “And I always will be.” Run away, girlfriend! That’s what us above-grounders call a stalker. And it’s okay to say no. He doesn’t own you! You’re every woman!

Oh, but wait! Looks like there’s something that SPARKLES inside that box! From the looks of that FAB diamond necklace, why would she want to get away now?

Am I right, ladies?

As we learned from Sarah Haskins, jewelry fixes everything!

By the end of the commercial, ol' Bomb Shelter up there is sufficiently convinced she is not dating/married to a serial killer (Do you want to break the news to him, or should I?), and tells Creepy McCreeperson, "Don't let go. Ever."

Ah, Love's Embrace. Love's cold...dead...embrace.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Speaking of Hope

"Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance." Psalm 66:8-12
Relationships are complicated. As I sat through the main service for the 3rd time this weekend, I wrote in my journal the names of so many friends that I have been richly blessed with. Some I've known for years, others I seem to have just met. But the truth is that regardless of the names, the people closest to us have the ability to hurt us the deepest. Investing in others does that. It's a messy business.
"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable." - C.S. Lewis
My new job is to build relationships with the teens of our church. These kids are broken. They are hurting because of the things said to them by students, teachers, and even parents. My girls seem to all be struggling with finding their worth in boys. The boys mask pain with pride and attitude. Instead of life they are merely existing. They've already been hurt one too many times and so they close themselves off again and put up another wall. Do you know the question I've been asked the most in my eight weeks of full time youth ministry? "Why do you care so much about me?" Why is my care and concern so puzzling to them? Sometimes I become discouraged and wonder how I can possibly shake the shoulders of each and every one of them. How can I speak to every kid and find out every story? It's not possible. Even if I spoke to one kid every day of the year I still wouldn't have connected with all the students in our group. It's overwhelming.
But my hope is in Him. He is the one who knows their hurts. He is the one who sees each life. He is the one who holds them as they fall asleep. So I will pray, trusting Him to be all that we cannot be. Trusting him to heal their hurts and hoping in Him to heal my own hurts. After all, relationships can be messy... we are flawed. But thank God we have Hope. Thank goodness for that.
"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him." Psalm 62:5

Monday, November 2, 2009

Catching Up

Last Wednesday...

My co-workers and I turned my office into Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory for Halloween. A bit of the finished result:

Also this:


**UPDATE** This just in.... my department officially WON the office decorating contest! Hooray!!!!! :)


My dear friend Amanda had her last day in the office before she leaves to be a missionary! Luckily my bestie is still in town for another month, so I get to soak up lots of time with her before she leaves the country!
Elizabeth and I wanted to send her off right, hence the shirts!

The registration department had a pirate theme for Halloween, so instead of working against their fun decorations, I decided to put it to use! I used their boat and turned everything into a "Bon Voyage" theme, complete with a bottle of sparkling grape juice for her to "break" on the bow of the ship!


Since I had already dressed up and decorated for Halloween, the actual holiday on Saturday was a lot more chill, and I spent the evening at some friends' house with a sizeable crowd that had gathered to eat pizza, hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, and watch... "The Changeling!" Yes, it was cheesy, but come on- any time an old fashioned wooden wheelchair is CHASING YOU DOWN THE STAIRS-- that is SERIOUSLY creepy. Case closed. (Also: The ball? That he threw in the river? IT CAME DOWN THE STAIRS AS SOON AS HE GOT HOME. AND IT WAS WET!!!! Yiiieeee!!!!)

We love us some Six Flags. So Stacy, Tamara, Amanda, and I jumped at the opportunity to enjoy some amazing weather and the very last day of Fright Fest. Here's Stacy and I on our first ride of the day: BATMAN! It doesn't get much better than this....

For the foreseeable future...

It's true. Manipulated Encouraged by Joey to sign up, I will now be joining him, Stephanie, Dani, Julie, and Katie as we all go insane for the month and attempt to complete a 50,000-word novel! It's a big undertaking, but I'm excited, and a good bit less daunted knowing now that I have so many of my pals along with me for the journey!
Of course, ask me again in a week and I may be wishing I were dead singing a very different tune....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I lied. In January 2002 I told a bold face lie to a circle of about 20 other sophomores in a room off the side of the Campus Center. We were preparing to leave for a semester in Oxford in just one day and had somehow found ourselves being led overseas by some really interesting characters. No comment.

To create more unity and team building (probably to avoid some form of culture shock - they liked to throw around that phrase about every two minutes to scare us into obedience) we were all supposed to go around the circle and talk about a present that we begged for as a child for either Christmas or a birthday. I panicked. I couldn't recall ever having begged for something so desperately as a child. I was not listening particularly closely to the answers as the conversation went around the circle, I was too busy crafting a story of my own design. I think someone mentioned a pony they never actually received, and another student talked about a keyboard. When it was my turn I said something about a surfboard so that I could surf at our family beach house in Galveston. My friend David promptly turned to me and whispered, "Show off."

I didn't know a lot about unfulfilled longings in my childhood. I was raised in an amazing home and really seemed to always have more than enough. I just don't remember agonizing over not possessing something. If only I could go back to that simpler time!

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:12

True story. I think my heart has been sick for a while. My current desire is for answers that feel as they are just out of reach. I've seen quite a few hopes drift off unfulfilled. At least that's how it feels.

I'm ready to see that tree of life come back.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Enthralling Movie Musical Numbers

Blah Blah Blah blog absence. Blah blah blah sorry about that. Blah blah blah, who cares, right? Moving on.

I read several handfuls of movie blogs a day. One of my favorites is Lara and the Reel Boy. Okay, so it might have SOMETHING to do with the fact that it’s written by two very dear friends, but they have some seriously quality reviews, retrospectives, and most importantly: lists.

Lara and David have some amazing ideas for Top 5 lists, like favorite “the child sending a favorite pet away scene,” or the top 5 barfing scenes. Random categories, but I love it. Recently they posted a list that I can’t help but chime in on: “Top 5 Most Enthralling Movie Musical Numbers.” Why yes, this does have my name written all over it, doesn't it?

Now this list does come with some slightly infuriating stipulations, but I wanted to play along the right way, so I am bumping a few of my favorites for the sake of staying within the bounds LatRB have set. They are:

"1. No Disney movies.
2. No musical performances by a band (i.e. Stillwater in Almost Famous).
3. No live action Disney Movies, which, apparently, goes hand-in-hand with no Disney movies. I hadn’t realized this until late in the process (Newsies, noooo!!!)
4. No putting on the stereo and singing/dancing scenes. Nothing that could be found in real life.
5. No animated movies.
6. No singing only, slow musical songs. Only songs with choreography invited."

Yeah. Big time stipulations. But I think I’ve figured it out, so without further ado…

Val’s List:

5. “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” from Hairspray.

This movie is just so joyful, and the ending culminates in a song that is so bursting with energy and happiness, I can’t help but smile! This epitomizes a lot of the reasons why I love musicals, chief among them the emotions that these characters can’t express outside of singing and dancing. “You Can’t Stop the Beat” is perhaps one of the most singalongable songs in the history of musicals.

4. “Cell Block Tango,” from Chicago.

I fell in love with this movie when it came out during my sophomore year in college. I mean, in love in love. My roommates and I couldn’t seem to do anything but talk about Chicago, unless of course we were singing the songs from it. We couldn’t go anywhere in the car without listening to the soundtrack, particularly “The Cell Block Tango.” We each had certain characters that we’d do the verses for, and those were always OUR characters. In fact, we loved this song so much, we sang made up an outgoing answering machine message song using the chorus (“We are not coming! We are not coming! We are not answering the phone! So try back later! Or leave a message! And we will call you when we get home!”) This song is powerful, cinematic, and completely hilarious.
*Sidenote: Julie and I always used to get the Ukrainian girl’s phrase, “a rendorsegen megmagyarazni,” stuck in our heads. And sometimes we’d confuse it with Elfish. Yeah, we used to be really cool.

3. “You Make My Dreams Come True,” from (500) Days of Summer

This is most definitely one of the best scenes in any movie ever. It perfectly accentuates how Tom is feeling in this moment in a way that makes you believe his excitement is liable to jump off the screen at any second. I can completely relate to this feeling that you just absolutely need a soundtrack to dance to and a marching bird and a little bluebird to flutter around because you are just feeling TOO MUCH. Absolutely incredible.

2. “Singin’ in the Rain,” from…well, you know

When I first wrote this list out, I gave the number two slot to “something from Singin’ in the Rain.” Because ALL of those songs are “enthralling movie musical numbers!” (Well, maybe not “Beautiful Girl”....) And I knew I’d pick one of those songs to go here, so I left it at that; something to think about later. Yet here I am, still debating, because I just can’t pick! I love this movie so dearly, and picking a favorite number is sheer torture for me. I actually narrowed it down to “Moses Supposes,” “All I Do,” “Make ‘Em Laugh,” “Good Morning,” and the title song. Which is not really a narrowed list much at all. So here I am, down to the (self-imposed) wire, having to pick one. And in the end, I just can’t pick anything but “Singin’ in the Rain” itself, for its exuberance, Gene Kelly’s mastery of dance, and for its representation of this film as a whole.

1. “Your Song,” Moulin Rouge!

And now we come to one of my most beloved movie moments in the history of film. I can’t even begin to describe to you the chills I get when Ewan Mcgregor opens his mouth and begins his mind-blowing serenade to Satine. I mean really-- his voice lights up Paris! And when he gets to the words "You see I've forgotten if they're GREE-EEN or they're blue!" Swoon.

Every single moment of this number is exquisite and breath-taking. From the song to the dancing to the clouds to the red umbrella to the moon to the glitter to the twinkle lights to the Eiffel Tower, it’s just…perfect.


So what's on your list?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Everywhere else.

Everywhere else
Anywhere else
I look
And I look
Everywhere else

Words on my arm
And lines on a page
Hoping for wisdom
To come without age
Wishing that this was easier
Hoping my heart was stronger
Doubting my future is filled
At all
With things that I dream that I wish for.

And so I look
Everywhere else
Anywhere else
But to you.

I hope to be brave
I try to be free
Sadly ending
Back at the start of me.

"O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning." Isaiah 33:2

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Is It Possible To Be EXCITED To Death?

I have been running around practically non-stop like a CRAZY person for the past 3ish days in an attempt to get ready to fly to NASHVILLE tomorrow! I mean, seriously-- crazy. I had Dani on the phone last night as I was walking into Kohls, whispering worriedly that I looked like a complete mental case walking around at 9:00 at night in laundry-day clothes and purple flats talking on the phone in a nearly empty store. AWKWARD. But that's been the story of my life lately, non-stop doing and especially SHOPPING.

Here's a fun shopping story: I tried on clothes at a certain store and when I was about to leave the dressing room I realized one of my earrings had popped off! I looked around my little area as best I could, then shrugged because Eh. In the grand scheme of Val's earrings, these... were not uber special. I get to the NEXT store and again enter a dressing room try on clothes, where I found my missing earring! Twilight Zone, right? Well I will let you venture your guess as to where it was, but first you have to read the rest of this crazy blog entry....

Because the point of all this? Is-- no, Julie. Not to make more records.

The point is tomorrow.

Because tomorrow? This:

(This video was taken the day we got to California in January. The song is "Fly By," which used to be OUR SONG. Too much fun.)

I'M TOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Because I get to go to Tennessee and be reunited with my ROOMMATES again! It's been WAY too long. Dani's wedding, in fact!

This time? This time we stand with our dear Julie, who so deserves this happy ending (and happy beginning!) with Todd, an awesome guy who is into Glee, which definitely makes him a winner in my book!

ALSO? I get to see my Pal Joey.

Also? I get to see the blog goddess herself, Miss Annie P.

I mean...can you even imagine?? Because I sure can't.

Okay, this needs to be all for now! Seriously. The bed? I need to get in it. And see if I can sleep. I don't know HOW though! I'M TOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!

But first! The thrilling conclusion to The Case of the Missing Earring! When we last left our story, my earring escaped its earlobe home and reunited with me in a completely different store thirty minutes later. How did it come to be there?

Well, if you guessed that it would later be found INSIDE MY BRA, then congratulations. You win! Also: you're super creepy. Why were you thinking about my bra??

The End.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rose is displeased. What to do?

So... I couldn't resist. We didn't use all of the footage from when Val came out to visit over Labor Day. I put some more together and I would really like to consider this a study in Valerie's facial expressions... especially her eyes when it comes to her displeasure. Keep an eye out for them. The eyes have it. That's how she rolls... (stopping now.)

Happy Wednesday everyone.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Live Blogging the EMMYS! (One Week Later.)

The Emmys this year were absolutely fantastic. Definitely the best I've ever seen the show. I jotted down my thoughts and impressions while watching last Sunday night, and am only just now getting around to posting them in a blog. So this isn't the most timely of blog entries, but I know you're dying to hear my thoughts anyway! Without any further adieu...

  • Neil Patrick Harris's opening number was incredible!!! Didn't see it? Don't worry, I've got you covered:

  • Whoever had the idea for an interesting commentator? One who does not simply droll on about how this is So-and-So's first nomination, or What's-Her-Face's second Emmy? Is a genius. John Hodgman is killing it.
  • Kristin Chenoweth had me simultaneously laughing and crying during her acceptance speech. I lurve her.
  • Supporting actress glasses- inspired. Those ladies are awesome. Strange, though, that Jane Krakowski seemed to be embarassed by the whole thing. Very odd. Kristen Wiig is hilarious, though, and Vanessa Williams = completely fierce.

  • Aww, Alec Baldwin dedicated his Emmy to Lorne Michaels! Sweetness.
  • Neil Patrick Harris should have a permanent job hosting the Emmys. He is absolutely amazing.
  • Whoa! Was that Andy Serkis? That was Andy Serkis! I KNOW that was Andy Serkis. I can spot any Lord of the Rings castmember a mile away. That was Andy Serkis.
  • I love Shoreh Aghdashlo. I haven't seen her in many things, but I love her. Her voice fascinates me. I want her to read me stories about fairies and princesses before I fall asleep.
  • Oooh! Look, it's Ian McKellan! See? LOTR-dar! Told you.
  • Dude! That Jim Parsons is a dream boat! Where have I been?
  • JIMMY FALLON!!! Not meeting and marrying him before he got married remains one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

  • Bravo to the creative team that completely revitalized the show. Every choice they've made thus far has been spot on.
  • That Variety package was amazing. Again, again!
  • The obscure IMDb finds for the presenters ("Night of the Lawyers?" "The Girl with the Crazy Brother?") are pure gold.
  • Ricky Gervais is absolutely brilliant. And that look that he and Tom Hanks shared?? Highlight of my life.

  • John Hodgeman just said that this was the Daily Show's 900th Emmy win. Hilar.
  • MICHAEL EMERSON just won for LOST! YEAH!!! What a super classy speech, y'all. Class. Y.
  • The live song over the "In Memorium" clips didn't work for the Oscars, and it doesn't work here.
  • Neil Patrick Harris. Seriously. He's just-- awesome.
  • Show's over! Time to watch it all over again....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Way back when.

When I was a kid I used to walk around and try to act like Sandy from Grease. I dressed in a pair of my mom’s wooden wedge heals that were the navy version of the exact shoes she wears at the end of the movie. I added black spandex pants and a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader jacket and I was set to walk down the hall, throw down a Barbie shoe (in place of a cigarette, of course) and quip, “Tell me about it, stud.”

I invited a handful of girls over for my second grade birthday party to spend the night. We watched Grease. It was one of those awesome moments for my mom when she realized that she didn’t quite remember how mature Grease actually was. I think the piece d’ resistance was when a girl piped up later “I know what sex is.” Can’t you just picture my mom’s eyes bugging out from her head? I know I can.

When we were kids Val and I used to play library and grocery store a lot. For a long time I thought I wanted to get my masters in library science. I think I really just liked those stickers on the backs of the books in the 90’s – the one with the due dates. I would have given my right arm to get to have one of those little contraptions that dispersed the stickers.

Included in our repertoire of fun things to play was the game, Land Before Time. One of us would be Littlefoot and the other would be Cera… and we would butt heads. As in be on all fours and go towards each other from opposite sides of the room. I would pay money to watch that now, but that is not one of the moments captured on our home movies. We do, however, have a home movie of Valerie and I singing, "dancing", and over acting where Val is wearing a pink leotard with Land Before Time characters on the front. This almost makes up for it.

I’ve spent the last ten years dispelling the belief of my parent’s that I was really just a great kid. I was a good kid, just very sneaky. I didn’t do anything illegal, but I just did a lot of lying. I would hide my vitamins behind the TV, shove my carrots in the floor of the playhouse, and drink cokes (which was totally against the rules about 50 weeks out of the year) and then put the empty cans in special hiding places. Why those hiding places did not involve the trashcan I’m not certain. My mom would leave for the grocery store and give us firm instructions on how to use our time. Usually it involved cleaning our rooms, working on homework, or practicing an instrument. We would instead, watch TV. As soon as we heard that garage door open we would bolt around the house looking very busy and very determined to accomplish our tasks. I was a whiz at setting the timer with only 7 or 8 minutes left to practice my piano when she arrived. “Look at me, I’ve been practicing SO hard for 38 minutes.”

With three kids needing to practice multiple instruments throughout the day, we had to resort to practicing at odd times. There was a large chunk of my life where I practiced the piano at 6:15am on the weekdays. I can’t even speak to people before 8:00am, so you can imagine how much I loved that. I figured out a way to practice AND sleep during that time. We had a full keyboard next to one of our pianos (some dads buy cars, my dad likes pianos), and I would record myself running scales, practicing one song, or working on chords, and then I would simply play my work on loop for about half an hour while I laid on the bench. My mom once caught me laying on the bench and playing scales with just my right hand. That went over really well.

All three of us kids have thrown up at the kitchen table. All three of us have thrown up green beans at the kitchen table. Eventually they stopped putting them on our plates. Good move.

I want to try to do some version of all of these things tomorrow, just for fun. Maybe not the green beans, but we’ll see. So, rebellious child you, what did you try to pull on your folks? Do tell.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Inside the Actor's Studio

The other night I found myself watching one of my favorite shows, “Inside the Actor’s Studio.” The guests were four members of the cast of “Family Guy,” and it was a pretty entertaining hour. The actors cracked a ton of jokes and did incredible impressions and did a great job keeping me laughing.

Finally, host James Lipton came to the portion of the program where he asks his guests a series of ten questions, such as “What is your favorite sound?” It's a part of the show that I always look forward to, as the guests tend to give their answers in rapid fire and seem to be feeling particularly open and honest by this point.

The last question in the series is always, “If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?” The answers usually range from the sweet (Peter Boyle: “Welcome home”) to the humorous (Conan O’Brien: “Conan, how did you do it?”).

I was very interested to hear what the “Family Guy” cast would have to say in response, but wasn’t quite prepared for show creator Seth MacFarlane’s answer to catch me off guard.

James Lipton: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?”
Seth MacFarlane: I’m really sorry about all my followers.

There was an awkward silence, and then just tepid, nervous laughter. Seth smiled broadly and chuckled, and then Lipton moved on to another actor. But my own smile at home faltered, and I've been thinking about his answer ever since.

Packs a bit of a punch, doesn’t it?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Never Being Alone

Arthur: Jenny, do you ever wish you’d never been born a queen?

Guenevere: Oh, occasionally. It’s never being alone that bothers me most. Do you know that I’ve never been without someone around me in my entire life? - from Camelot by Alan Jay Lerner

For the last 2 months I have entered into new uncharted lands of community. Obviously the show gave me some great opportunities to connect with new friends. Just a few weeks ago I jumped into the Youth Department at church and I’m now leading a Sr. High Small group on Wednesday nights, as well as my previous group from a local high school that meets on Tuesday nights. I started to dread the closing of the show, the return to the cycle of work and working out, when I realized that I can’t and won’t go back from here. As much as I enjoy my alone time, I’ve loved filling my life to the brim with people. No matter how ridiculous they may be, I have so enjoyed digging in and building relationships.

The next few months are brimming with possibility. I was texting with a friend tonight about the close of the show:

“Just finished cleaning up the theatre and eating with the cast. Done and Done! Can’t believe I just did that… the show, that is.”

“Perhaps there will be more to come?”

“I think so! Either another show or taking on the world… one of those!”


Yes, why not both?

*Photo by Arthur J. Zatarski

Monday, September 7, 2009

Things Sisters Do

Ginger and I have been having a grand old time here in Arizona, and luckily for YOU, we have been taking videos of all the fun-having that has been going on. Considering the two of us can make each other laugh more than anyone else, we have far more footage than you would EVER want to see that WE find hilarious, but you? Not so much.

Fortunately we whittled the fun down to just one video for your enjoyment, so without further adieu, BAM! G and V in action:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Before I Fly

I have spent the entirety of my evening laundrying and librarying and now I need to be PACKING but that comes naturally after BLOGGING. But this will be short, because… well, the packing! It needs to be done!

Packing, Val? Yes, PACKING, virtual blogging world, who now thinks I’m crazy for essentially talking to myself. Packing because I’m hitting the road tomorrow to Houston so I can catch a flight on Friday morning out to the Valley of the Sun, where you just didn’t think it could get any hotter but OH YES, it just did: PHOENIX! Ginger and I will be having ourselves a good old “Love Actually”-style reunion at the airport, I am sure. (Except with less cheek-kissing and more sidehugging.)

So Joey and I were recently discussing which celebrities we would hang out with if we could. Our “posses,” if you will. In Joey’s words, “The two main criteria in choosing your celebrity posse are: (a) you think you could be real friends and (b) all the members of your posse should be able to get along with each other.” I’m woefully late in posting my choices, but here they are nonetheless:

Kristen Bell
: She is hilarious in real life and just very spunky and quick-witted and all around awesome. Check out this video of her and Piz (aka Chris Lowell) “interviewing” each other and just generally being really down-to-earth and again, hilarious.

Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd: Because they just go together. They are a set. Billy and Dom are completely clever and hysterical, and they are just about my favorite thing about the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Watching them in the behind-the-scenes footage and listening to them on the movie commentary really just… makes my life. I mean really:

Plus, Billy and I share the same birthday! We'd just be all flying around the world, having more champagne, because it'd be the 28th again.

Jimmy Fallon: Again with the hilarity. But I just can’t help it! He makes me absolutely giggle, and also seems really just…normal. His impressions are genius and I just find him to be all around wonderful.

This posse would go really well together, because everyone would just be cracking everybody else up, but without being all “stand up” about it. It’d just be all natural and chill, with the occasional Jimmy Stewart impression from Jimmy or prank call from Dom. You just can’t beat it.

And hey- don't go thinking I just picked my favorites actors and actresses and called it a posse! Respect the sanctity of my thought process, people. I mean, do you see Kate Winslet or Rachel McAdams or Ryan Reynolds or Lauren Graham or John Kraskinski up there? No. They didn't flow with my posse. But also: Krasinski just got engaged and I'm still a little miffed with him, so no way does that kid get to roll with us.

Okay, well I guess that’s about it, then! I need to keep moving or I will never get all my little three-ounce bottles into a clear plastic Ziploc.

I now leave you with my very own GUEST BLOG that I was so flattered to be asked to contribute to Katie while she is away in Europe. I wrote up a little something-something about Veronica Mars, so if you get a minute, I’d be honored if you’d head over to read it! Just trying to spread the V. Mars love around!

Veronica: If I ever die, do me a favor. Go on Oprah and tell the world that I loved kittens.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. - Jane Howard
It's 11:34pm on August 27th. My parents flew in from Texas sometime this evening. In fact, they are currently sleeping in my room as I type this sitting on an air mattress in my living room. I haven't seem them today. I will have to wait for the morning. It feels good to know they are just a room away.

Tonight was the final dress rehearsal and preview performance for my show. My Arizona parents came to the show. We aren't related, but they took me under their wing the first week I arrived here. As I walked forward to take my final bow just a few hours ago, I looked out and saw four hands holding up the "I Love You" sign. I knew it was for me. And I started crying.

I awoke this morning so very exhausted. I work until 5:00pm and spend 5:30pm until 11:00pm at the theater. I don't stop moving. All day long. I snag time in the Word as I drift asleep or eat my breakfast. I almost cried on the way in to work today as I prayed for Him to take whatever load I was trying to carry. There was just too much to be done. I so wanted to walk in the Spirit. But as I walked up to the doors I was cheerfully greeted by two near and dears and I promptly shut down. I met their smiles and hugs with a brisk walk and frustrated tone. I had failed the moment I stepped out of my car. By the time I made it to a 9:30 meeting I was about to break down again. But two friends sat, listened and encouraged. I took a deep breath and made it to lunch.

This was my last week in the children's department. Starting Tuesday I will officially be working with the youth department at our church. It's a huge change and I'm every emotion under the sun. To send me off several friends and co-workers went to lunch. They were kind and generous with their words, and the exhaustion and stress once again lost their will to fight me.

I was worried about having everything ready for tomorrow. Val and Dad share August 28th for their Birthday. My mom and dad were Arizona bound and I didn't even have paper towels in my apartment. I was out of time. I was panicked about finishing filming in time to leave for the theatre and be ready for mic check. At 4:00pm all the power went out on the entire street. No lie. No more filming. No more work. Time to buy paper towels.

As I thanked the Lord for this unexpected gift I ran back to pack my bags and clear my desk. Sitting in front of my computer was a beautiful bouquet of flowers along with a card signed by some near and dears. I crawled into my car and sat amazed as the tears started to come again.

The final dress rehearsal was smooth... mostly. I never did eat dinner. I should already be in bed. But I can't sleep. I'm thinking about my sister coming to visit in one week. I'm setting out my Dad's Birthday card by the coffee maker, since he will be up hours before me and will probably have changed my air filters by the time I get up.

I'm tearing up again because HE is so good. He has blessed me beyond measure. My family is everywhere. And they are amazing.

Happy Birthday Val and Dad. I love you.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Who's Always Eager to Extend a Friendly Claw?

I spent this morning helping my friends Joanna and Elizabeth move out of their house. For the next few weeks they are in a slight state of limbo until they can move into their new apartment (curse those incompatible leases and move-in dates!!!). Elizabeth is bunking at one friend’s house for the next few weeks, Joanna at another, and their stuff at yet a third friend’s house. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

Nine vehicles showed up at their house this morning, ready to carry off the mattresses, boxes, toaster ovens, shelves, lamps, and books that make up an existence. I was skeptical that we would need quite so many means of transportation, as we did, after all, have multiple trucks, SUVs, and even one trailer. What would they possibly need my car for? My helping hands, eager demeanor, and clever quips that NO ONE gets tired of at 9:30 in the morning on a Saturday, sure, but my Elantra? My zippy little car? Meh. We’ll never need it.

SELF, you have officially been proven wrong! I was absolutely aghast at the amount of belongings that continued to pour out of their house. Little tables and big framed mirrors and vases of big decorative sticks (BECAUSE WHY NOT?) and books -good Lord in heaven, the books- were carried out bit by bit until we had stuffed every nook and cranny in every single vehicle to the point where I was concerned we would even have room for the drivers.

But just over an hour after arriving, our ragtag caravan (SOMEHOW with me in the lead) pulled out onto the little country road to make our way across town. And friends, you should have seen this hilarious prossession. I nearly laughed out loud at one point when I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw the trucks laden with dressers and SUVs with boxes piled to the ceilings following valiantly behind me.

We arrived at the place where Joanna and Elizabeth’s worldly possessions will be living until they can move into their apartment with our convoy somehow still in tact (do you know how stressful it is to have that many follow you to a place they’ve never been before and have it be your responsibility to not lose anyone and get all helpers and all belongings to the same place???). The next hour blurred by in waves of directing cars to back in and out of the little driveway, unloading each of them in a flurry of arms and sweaty hands and perplexed faces (Q: What IS this thing? A: It's a paper shredder, of course. Of course.) with no one stopping or complaining, simply looking for the next load, heaving boxes out of the cars, and asking for a hand with the big awkward chair (because that sucker just did NOT want to fit through the dang door!).

I marveled at the speed in which we’d accomplished this- moving SO. Much. Stuff. In only three hours. Managing to fit it all into all of the volunteered vehicles. Cramming everything into one room in a Tetris-style feat of engineering ingenuity, actually utilizing the shelves we had just moved in, cleverly stacking boxes and bins on top of one another, and using teamwork to Make It Work.

More than once I found myself looking around at these friends of mine, so proud of the unassuming way that everyone cheerfully showed up, asking for nothing in return, ready to help and heave and sweat just because someone asked them too. They weren’t even helping me, and I was taken aback by all the unselfish and generous people that thought nothing of giving up a Saturday morning for their friends.

Because let’s face it- not many people enjoy helping other people move. It can be difficult and cumbersome and, HELLO, unbearably hot- welcome to Texas. But God just blessed it all. He did. He had His hand on the entire day; I am completely convinced of it. It was an uncharacteristically cool morning, nothing broke in transit, everyone remained in good spirits, and somehow we all seem to be ready to do it all over again.

Oh yeah, did you catch that? Yes. We’re doing it all again. Everyone will be back at the same place we just moved their stuff INTO so we can move it all back OUT in September when they are finally able to move into their new apartment. But we’ll be there. We’ll make it fun, and we’ll get it done. (Even though next time I hear they are throwing STAIRS into the mix.... Bring it on.)

I guess sometimes we just need a tangible way to show our friends we care. To demonstrate that we’re willing to do whatever they need us to do. Point me in the right direction and I will HELP (full-on "fists on hips, cheesy grin, superhero" mode). Yes, I will wake up before 9am on a Saturday. Yes, I will carry the big awkward chair. And perhaps most importantly, YES, I will join you for lunch at Taco Bueno when we’re through.

Because Taco Sauce Face. Is a very good face to have.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

And to your left.

So it's 11:40pm and I should be tired. I should be laying in bed right now. But somehow I got talked into going to Denny's after rehearsal tonight. I ordered some sort of cherry limeade, that has nothing on Sonic, and then ended up freezing... so I ordered decaf coffee... and had two cups. This was around 10:00pm. I'm pretty sure that was the stupidest decision I've made today. Hands down. I'm guessing I will start winding down by two. But I figured if I was up, I might as well be productive.

Thus - you get the tour. Welcome to Monday.

Just below you will find two of the things that get me going and out the door every morning. I'm becoming quite dependent. Currently making my way through Ephesians.

Monday is my only day off during the week (for a while at least), so I spent this morning dusting and cleaning. The parentals come in just over a week.

I meet myself coming and going these days - these little things have saved me on multiple occasions. My fabulous bag that I carry to rehearsal (Christmas present - made locally and I got to choose the fabric!) and my trail mix and Craisins.

No extra time to get to the store, and I now have a hole in my running shoes. Awesome. But that's ok, because the only running I have time for right now is running lines and songs. (Ba dum ching.)

Inspired by Julie's brave cooking escapade, I tried making a new sandwich today. Excellent bread from the grocery co-op, pesto, spinach, havarti cheese, and some leftover grilled pork. Cooking WIN! Also changed out the verse on the board. Both so good.

Made the newspaper this weekend. That's right. I'm the one with the crown and really cheesy grin. Nope, the other one. What you can't see is that they spelled my name wrong. Mobey. So close.

Ah well. Pressing on... moving forward. I think that's the end of the tour, because really - this wasn't overly interesting. Hope you guys have a blessed week!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Excusing the Flaws for the Butterflies

There’s a key moment near the end of “Runaway Bride” in the middle of a montage of the all important "self-discovery." Julia Robert’s Maggie Carpenter finally makes an important life decision: she has picked her favorite kind of eggs. This is how we know she is learning about herself and becoming “her own person.” In the midst of a heartfelt montage set to “Blue Eyes Blue,” Maggie settles down to kind out what HER favorite kind of eggs are. Because all her life, her favorite kinds of eggs have been dictated by a man. Aw, snap.

Here we see Maggie with her many varieties of eggs. (Do you know the best way to eat eggs, Maggie? When they’re still warm and they haven’t been sitting on your counter for the past 20 minutes while you were cooking all the OTHER kinds of eggs!)

Okay, but seriously. She couldn’t be independent or learn about herself without realizing that eggs benedict are her favorite? This whole concept is pretty much ridiculous. I mean really. Come. On.

But, it must be said: I still love this movie. How could I not? It takes place in a small town, Ike owns a cat named “Italics,” he pushes her in a tire swing, Joan Cusack plays a quirky character named Peggy Flemming (not the ice skater)…what's not to love? As much as I’d like to just dismiss this movie… I can’t.

Isn’t that always the way with romantic comedies like this? You somehow excuse the nonsensical and the cheese for the overarching story. That’s the struggle I have with "rom-coms." As a movie fan, I really wish I could say I didn’t enjoy them. That I could scoff and turn my attention back to some serious Oscar contender or prestigious independent film.

But we watch movies as a form of escapism, right? Well, what are romantic comedies but just another form of escapism? They take us to a world where famous movies stars bump into average working class Englishmen on the street and fall in love. Where a newspaper reporter would actually be doing a story on a woman because she had been in a large amount of weddings and then they’d fall in love. Where a newspaper reporter would actually be doing a story that required them to go undercover as a high school student. Where of course they would meet a dreamy teacher that looks an awful lot like Michael Vartan. And then they’d fall in love.

I think you get the idea.

But still, even amidst the endless clichés and rom-com standards, we’re apparently still reeled in, aren’t we? Somewhere along the way, all the unrealistic moments and ridiculous plot points somehow dissolve into a cinematic form of magic that draws you into the story and envelopes you in frothy and sparkly escapism. We excuse the flaws for the butterflies, and in so doing, allow these movies to get away with much more than they rightfully should.

Take “The Holiday,” for instance. Now I know I’ve written about this movie before, and mentioned my negative feelings about Cameron Diaz’s storyline. Her acting is laughable, the situations her character finds herself in are seventeen kinds of ridiculous, and the romantic chemistry between her and Jude Law utterly lacking. But I couldn’t love this movie without finding some redeeming factors in those scenes (other than Jude Law, of course).

Enter the sublime Sophie and Olivia, Graham’s (Law) adorable English daughters who are devastatingly charming as they laugh at Dad’s “Mr. Napkin Head” and ooh and ah over the lovely Amanda (Diaz). One of my favorite parts finds Amanda, Graham, and the girls sprawled on a sea of pillows underneath a homemade blanket tent staring up at a collection of lazily drifting paper stars. It’s saccharine sweet and almost too over the top, but I can’t resist the delicate soundtrack, the soft orange-yellow glow of the tent, and those darling little girls- did I mention they’re English??

As they lie in quiet comfort, their conversation meanders through the name of Amanda’s lip gloss and the idea of a sleepover to the sweet revelation of the dad and daughters’ nickname for their little family: the Three Musketeers. This one scene elevates this entire storyline far above where it deserves to be, and truthfully nearly saved the movie for me. (Although all credit cannot go to the homemade tent scene, because I am far more enraptured with Kate Winslet’s next door neighbor Arthur telling her she has “gumption.” And of Jack Black writing her movie theme for her. I mean, seriously—he used only the good notes! GAH!)

It’s this balance of flaws and irresistible moments that I am fascinated by. Consider another favorite of mine, “Sweet Home Alabama.” It’s chock full of every cliché in the book, and yet I love it. The plot concerns New York fashion designer Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) returning to her Alabama roots to settle unfinished business with her family and friends before she can get married. It’s not the most high concept romantic comedy out there (it’s no simultaneous bet to get a girl to fall in love with you/get a guy to break up with you in a certain allotted time farce), but there are enough southern hijinx here to definitely make me wonder why I love this movie. Look, I definitely understand that there are people out there that live and talk like these characters, but they’ve pulled out every colloquialism and caricature in the book! Melanie’s dad throws out “bought air” and “ice box” in his first five minutes, while Mom talks about “Oh-pree” and the teller at the bank refers to ATMs as “them thangs.” Her parents names are EARL and PEARL. Et cetera, et cetera.

For all its flaws, and even though some of the dialogue makes me cringe, (like "Why didn't you tell me you came to New York?" "I needed to make something of myself!”), I can truly sit down and watch “Sweet Home Alabama” any time at all. Despite the ridiculous and over-the-top accents and archetypes, I adore these characters- Patrick Dempsey as Melanie’s New York fiancé is “just the ticket!” And Reese Witherspoon and Josh Lucas light up the screen every time they share a scene together. The story is fun and cute, and characters like Candice Bergen’s Mayor Hennings are a complete hoot. Truly though, I am just in love with the ending. Oh, that ending! It’s the textbook reunion/apology/happily ever after kiss, yes, but here we are also trated to soaring violins, slow motion camera work, glittering rain, and Melanie’s gorgeous wedding dress- all on a beach. Swoon! Seriously, wow. I am such a girl.

You can find it in almost any romantic comedy: redemption for all the crazy coincidences and unrealistic, manufactured scenes. Enough sweet moments to balance out the eye-rolling and head-scratching quotes and clichés that pile up and threaten to overwhelm the delicate and romantic scenes to which so many of us unrealistically aspire. That’s why I can excuse the eggs. I can see through my own eye-rolling (harder than you’d think) to the heart of the movie, and let myself escape to a world where guys might actually do Jimmy Stewart impressions in the park.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I would like to give you Meningitis.

Thanks mom!

As I mentioned, my folks are coming out for the opening of "Camelot" and I can't wait. Val is being so kind to come the second week, and that amount of visitors in 2 weeks is much more exciting than stressful. Anyone else want to come? I have 2 air mattresses.

I'm in the last stages of finalizing a trip this fall that would require more than just a few shots. Who's ready for some yellow fever and cholera? I know I am. Mom has been gracious enough to help with the cost of the meningitis shot, as Val and Clay both received there's in high school. Back in the 90's we apparently didn't have to fear the big M.

More details on the trip when it all comes together. Needless to say, I’m trying to hold it with hands out and open… not wanting to count those eggs before they hatch.

Rehearsal last night was great. I got to stand and be burned at the stake and watch about 10 guys die so that I could be rescued. Not a bad gig, eh? Tonight we have another dance rehearsal. Maybe I should try and sneak in a camera - then we could all laugh together. That would be swell.

Anyways - all this to get back to meningitis. I'm looking forward to it. It represents timing and waiting. Waiting on the Lord for his perfect, most perfect timing. I was reminded of this when reading about Jordan's own God moments this week. As she beautifully described them, "These moments happen every day – big or small. It’s when God intervenes in your life just enough so that you recognize what He’s up to. At some point, you have to let go and let God (as cliché as that phrase is). He isn’t going to explain the technicalities of what’s He is doing in these moments; He just asks us to trust Him and go along."

It's the following when you can't see what's next that seems to be the most challenging - agreed? As Abraham took Isaac up Mt. Moriah to sacrifice him to the Lord, he did not know when the lamb would show up, he simply trusted that the Lord would provide – and He did. Our provider, Jehova Jireh, sees exactly what we need and when. As Abraham and Isaac made the journey, He knew when to start the ram up the other side. How often do I find myself frustrated at the events in my life, not realizing that the ram is just over the hill?

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” (Genesis 22:12-14)

Just a year ago I was planning on moving to Uganda. I stepped out of the boat believing. I put my belongings in storage and expectantly faced the month of July.

7/2/2008 - The NO letter was sent Monday. I read it on Tuesday after a sleepless night. All of my things were finally in storage. I feel… foolish, lost, unfettered. I feel as though my dreams have stepped away from me. What now? I’m a blank slate. I am a lonely blank slate.

7/8/2009 - Thank you for your perfect timing.

The ram is just around the corner. He provides. Exactly what we need. When we need it. Trust that when He calls us to sacrifice the result of both ends and means is a deeper intimacy with Him –the Author and Perfecter.