C'est La Vie

What a beautiful piece of heartache this has all turned out to be. Lord knows we've learned the hard way all about healthy apathy. And I use these words pretty loosely. There's so much more to life than words..
I really think I'll be ok. They've taken their toll these latter days.
-- Over the Rhine, Latter Days


2001.04 2001.05 2001.06 2001.07 2001.08 2001.09 2001.10 2001.11 2001.12 2002.01 2002.02 2002.03 2002.04 2002.05 2002.06 2002.07 2002.08 2002.09 2002.10 2002.11 2002.12 2003.01 2003.02 2003.04 2003.05 2003.06 2003.07 2003.08 2003.09 2003.10 2003.11 2003.12 2004.01 2004.02 2004.03 2004.04 2004.05 2004.06 2004.07 2004.08 2004.09 2004.10 2004.11 2004.12 2005.01 2005.02 2005.03 2005.04 2005.05 2005.07 2005.10 2005.11 2006.02 2006.03 2006.04 2006.05 2006.07 2006.08 2006.09 2006.10 2006.11 2006.12 2007.01 2007.02 2007.03 2007.04 2007.05 2007.06 2007.07 2007.08 2007.09 2007.10 2007.11 2007.12 2008.01 2008.02 2008.03 2008.04 2008.05 2008.06 2008.07 2008.08 2008.09 2008.10 2008.11 2008.12 2009.01 2009.02 2009.03 2009.05 2009.07

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Contact Me

by email
change to proper format: pattyt81 at hotmail dot com
(I hate Spam)

By mail
(contact me for my new address)

Other Weblogs I enjoy
(In no particular order)

Katy Raymond


Recommended Readings

A Grief Observed

Wishful Thinking
Frederick Buechner

Divine Conspiracy
Dallas Willard (may never finish)

Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven
James Bryan Smith

Recommended Listening
(from my collection)

The Hymnal, Arkadelphia
Randall Goodgame

Land of the Living
Eric Peters

Laryngitis, Longing
Katy Bowser

Walk [EP], Carried Along, Clear to Venus, Love and Thunder, and live bootlegs
Andrew Peterson

In the Company of Angels
Caedmon's Call

Delusions of Grandeur
Fleming and John

The entire CD catalog
Eddie From Ohio

Bootlegs including Eddie From Ohio, Rich Mullins, David Wilcox, and Andrew Peterson

Things I love
(AKA: Ways to win my heart)
Music, gift certificates, ice cream, music, chocolate, meatballs, music, books, knowledge, music, good movies, music, animals, art supplies, music, cotton candy, fajitas, music, safety, music....

Things I wish I owned and could listen to or read
found at Relevantmagazine.com,
and at pastemusic.com, too

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

But then, there was a time I didn't have a church worth missing this much.

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Sundays for the past three years have meant going to my church, sitting in the same general area in which I like to sit (where I can always see the screen, even though I don't need the words much anymore) and usually going back to lead the jr. highers after our designated time to sing worship music, most of which is written by our music leader guy, and all of which are just incredible songs that I can't even begin to explain to you how different they are from.. well, let's just leave it at that.

For the past three years, that's been my Sunday very consistantly. Last summer, I had a few weeks out of town and such so that I missed church four times in two months. That is, missed my church. I always made it a priority to attend a service somewhere. At any rate.. in times when I've had a car or have ridden with someone else to a concert or such event, I've been known on a pretty regular basis to drive back at crazy hours of the night so I could make it to church in the morning, because my church is just so good and missing it really makes me sad. Not because I'm addicted, though there is something about being at Grace that really helps me through the week even more than any church I've ever been has done. It's not like church is some crutch for me. No, it's that I love the people, the time there, the songs we sing, the messages spoken, the community. I love the fact that I can step inside this building and feel so very at home.

When I took my trip to FL right after Christmas in my "new" car, I missed two Sundays in a row of Grace. I did go to church elsewhere each Sunday, and the latter service was quite good. However, I did miss those two weeks, and getting back on a Monday and going through a whole week of familiar surroundings and events with a new car I wanted to show to folks I care about (not to mention a trip to DC right in the middle of the week) made it even more noticible how long I'd been away.

Not that I would've cut that trip short if I had it to do over. Just that I missed my church while I was gone. Anyway, the week before last I drove back at an insane hour from a concert trip, and last weekend I had been up late on Saturday talking to out-of-town friends and yet got to church on three hours of sleep.

This weekend, I'll miss church. That's what this whole post is all about, really. I have missing my church. I've found the best church I've ever attended, one of the best churches in the nation, I'm sure.. and suddenly I'm missing 3 weeks outta 5.


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So on Friday, to celebrate the momentous occasion of my birth, my current roommate is taking me out for dinner.

Then on Saturday I'm going down to Winston-Salem with a bunch of friends for the Derek Webb and Andrew Peterson concert at WakeForest. (Ah, how I wish Jon was there this semester so that I could tease him about saying Wakeforest as all one word and so he could show me 'round his stomping grounds. Two and a half years isn't enough, Jonnyboy! You've gotta be there at least long enough for me to finally get a chance to visit, even if it is in the guise of going to another concert.) We'll be meeting up with a bunch of other friends there, and I've been really looking forward to this whole shindig for a good long while now.

Fortunately, I think I'll be mostly caught up on all my work by then.

And I'm making cookies. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of cookies.

And cheese straws.

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This semester is work- and reading-intensive. I don't have quite as much time to play around. Now that I have a car, I'm not forced to amuse myself for hours on end between early day classes/work and my later classes. I can actually go home for dinner (eating something during the day is a GOOD thing!) and I can actually run the errands I need to. I'm also on campus one day less a week now than last semester, so that's at least a couple of hours less per week I have this go round.

Thus, less updates on my blog. Longer delays replying to email.

If these are the worst of my problems, eh?

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Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Speaking of twins..

My twin brother's birthday is in a week and two days.

Guess what that means?

Mine is, too. :)

In lieu of gifts, please make anonymous donations to Compassion.

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So on Monday I stopped by to visit one of my favorite families from my church. Melissa, who is 8 years older than I, has four beautiful children and a very great husband. She and I get along very, very well and have a lot in common, except those noticible things like she's got four beautiful children and is married and was not raised with any Biblical context at all.

Her beautiful children are, in order of oldest to youngest: Morgan, Madison, Ezra, and Nora. Nora is a toddler, Ezra is 4, Madison is 7, and Morgan will be in my jr. high group next year.

When I visit, I think I'm visiting about equally to see Melissa as well as to see her beautiful children.

When I was there on Monday, Ezra came down with a balloon he'd apparently unknowingly swiped from his sister, Madison. Maddy explained to Ezra that she'd like her balloon back and they played a little game of chase 'till I jumped in there and grabbed him, at which point I proceeded to tickle him 'till he let go of the balloon.

When he stood up, he frowned at me and said "You're a meany."

(I wish I could type for you all the "accent" of sorts that Ezra has. Just an adorable way of speaking that sounds at once incredibly intelligent and yet as childish as he ought to be at four years old.)

When I just smiled at him, he then reminded me that I'm also a dummy, and stalked off to "play" by himself in a corner.

When I went into the same room to talk to Melissa, he kept staring at me and chanting, "dummyhead, dummeyhead, dummeyhead."

At which point I was amused at the way that children always seem to think that adding the word "head" to another word makes it all that much more insulting.

Within the next ten minutes, Ezra had travelled three rooms over into what serves as an office, where he found Nora running around in circles or some such.

He attempted to pick her up, which made her scream and sent Melissa and I both running in to see if she was hurt. Ezra had this look on his face that I wouldn't dare try to describe, as if he suddenly realized that he was misbehaving. (Under normal circumstances, it would've been ok for him to attempt picking her up. It was under his bad-attitude circumstances that it was not ok, because he was not considering whether or not she wanted to be picked up.)

He then stalked off again while Nora ran to Melissa for love and comfort.

I then caught him out of the corner of my eye leaning up against the back of the couch and mumbling to himself "I feel bad, so I'm trying to make Nora feel bad."

Fasinating, I thought to myself. This boy not only *DOES* what normal people, especially older kids and adults, do on a regular basis .. He actually VERBALIZES it.

How many people have you known that did not have to be told "You're only insulting that person to make yourself feel better" but instead knew exactly what they were doing, spoke such out loud, and went right on with life like this kind of extremely astute observation was normal for a four year old?

So later, Melissa pointed out to Ezra that since he didn't have a nap that day and was behaving the way he was behaving, perhaps they should go back to him having an afternoon nap.

He was adamently against this idea, yet verbalized another statement I don't think I'd ever heard 'from the lips of babes':

"I don't like being big."

"I like being little," he continued, noting that Nora gets a lot more attention and favoritism because she's the littlest, and yet he's not old enough to do the things his big sisters do.

This kid amazed me.

Ezra, by the way, also equates height with age. So that he realizes I'm younger than his mother, but he also thinks that one of his father's friends who is actually a couple of years younger than Joe must be older than Joe, because he's at least half a foot taller.

When I was a wee little girl, I used to say that my twin brother was 4 inches taller than me because he was 4 minutes older.


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Monday, January 14, 2002

(I decided that for the time being, "My Grandfather's new wife" will be a suitable enough title. Step-grandmother sounds odd, and it really does feel wrong calling her my grandmother just yet, even though I rarely used the full word for my Gramma. Gramma was always Gramma, or maybe Grandma at more formal occasions. Thus, saying "my grandmother" doesn't really bring back memories of Gramma to me, because that wasn't really her title after all. hmm...)

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I could see why he liked her. Janell was beautiful, charming, witty, and very kind. She didn't put herself first, nor belittle herself out of the low self-esteem ingrained in so many women alive today. With a remarkable past and a well-earned future, she was certainly a woman worthy of winning his heart.

I had only heard a little about her before we met in person. She was from Ohio, I knew, and her husband had passed away around the same time as his wife. In fact, they met in the hospital. Thus, when less than a year had gone by since the deaths of their spouces before they announced intentions to marry eachother, I admit I was a bit taken aback. It seemed much too soon, like the memories of the deceased were already no more than whispers. I've known him all my life, but not really well enough to either have predicted this or to see his motives.

I could be sure, however, that his motives weren't those horridly overused-in-our-modern-society motives of seeking wealth, power, fame, nor even a secret affair able to be made public after the tragedy of his wife's death. Indeed, through months of his wife being terminally ill and restricted to Hospice-care and bed-rest, even through several comatose days thought to be the end, he remained faithful to her. So there were only two possible reasons for this "sudden" engagement left. Loneliness and love.

My guess is that both played a part in the beginning, but love was surely the stronger part and is certainly the only one that matters now.

It was hard for me, though, to think that she could so quickly replace this woman I had loved so dearly, that he had loved so dearly. It was hard to think he could so quickly move on. And then I met her, and found myself doing basically the same thing.

It felt so natural to be around her, so easy to see her as his wife. And when I returned from my trip and showed friends the pictures, I heard myself telling them "That's my grandmother."

The first time, just a slip of the tongue. The second, I became more aware of my reasons. And each time after that, there was an echo in the back of my head. "Wait! She only just passed away in February. She was such an amazing woman, so powerful in your life, and already you're giving someone else the title rightfully hers?!?"

We were ready for my grandmother's death. She'd been somewhat sick most of my life, though also quite able-bodied 'till near the end. The end .. ah, surprising it was not. Painful, yes, to watch her suffer. Of course, being 14 hours away, I didn't really do a lot of watching. I didn't even see any pictures taken during her more sickly stages untill after she'd passed. But hearing the updates, waiting for the news, knowing that I could not be with her .. it was painful. Death always is.

All the same, we were ready.

I did a lot of working through my feelings before she passed away, so that between the time I got word she was gone and the memorial service a couple of months later, I wasn't the emotional wreck I've been with other deaths in the past. I cried, certainly, but there was less bitter weeping. It was true, as cliche as the expression has become, that she wasn't suffering any more. She had lived long enough to meet her first great-granddaughter, and it was just time for her to let go. And then at the memorial service, closure was abundant. The urn her ashes were in, the Euglogy, my grandfather sitting alone, the headstone, the flowers, the pictures. Never will I forget her or not love her, but I was able to get enough closure to deal with the grief of her death.

But when I found myself already thinking of Janell as "my grandmother", I began to wonder if I really have dealt with it. Am I just seeking a replacement, the way parents get their young children a new puppy when the old family dog passes away? I'd like to think it is simply because she's such a wonderful woman that she's no naturally fit into my life, into my grandmother's role. I can't be sure, though.

No one could ever replace Floyce Idell Love Torrey.

All the same, I'm very glad my grandfather has found love again in the form of this great lady.

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When you're familiar with computers, college classes introducing people to computers (required, for who knows what reason) are really not very exciting.

aah, well.. c'est la vie.

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Friday, January 11, 2002

I am not the person I was a month ago.

I'm not even the person I was 24 hours ago.

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Every night has its 3am. (That, by the way, is inspired by or basically pulled from the Emily Series by L. M. Montgomery.)

For the unlucky wakeful-and-not-distracted, 3am tends to be a very reflective hour. For me, 3am generally involves wondering why anyone would want to be friends with me, and then wondering if I really do have friends after all. At more rational hours, I can clearly see the friendships that have kept me going the past several years. At 3am, though, the darkness hides my true friends and the eerie pre-dawn glow reveals those people with whom I don't know where I stand. 3am tends to be insightful, and I've realized a few things in the recent darkest hours.

First, I am far too neglectful of my true friendships. Just the way that more accident occur near the residence of the person at fault because people stop doing what they need to do to be safe, so too do I let my efforts lessen once I've become comfortable with a friend, and thus let the friendship weaken because I no longer put as much effort into it.

Meanwhile, when I'm not secure in a friendship, I tend to read into everything the other person does, with the subconcious theory that I can catch that person's intention to hurt me before I'm abandoned, gossiped about, or taken for granted. I all but panic about the concern that I may lose a friend I never really had, instead of letting my true friends be true friends to me and allowing others the freedom to come in and out of my life without breaking my heart.

I've realized that there are those people I consider friends even though I only have any contact with them when I see them, which isn't very often. And I've realized that there are others I should feel the same way about and yet I expect more from them for any number of reasons.

So, having been struggling for the past year with who my real friends are and with defining the other levels of friendship, I've finally decided that it's not the people in my life confusing me. Indeed, it's ME that's forcing myself into this rediculous prison-cycle of doubt, feigned security, panic, and hurt. (Isn't that always the way it is? Obvious conclusion, especially considering how long it took me to come to it.)

I'm now attempting to end this cycle. I want to no longer read into what people say or do. Those that make the effort to keep in touch with me or spend time with me will continue to be among my closest friends. Those that don't will be pleasant visitors-to-my-life when I see them, but no longer unwitting tormentors when they're not around. Instead of allowing my ENFP-novelty-seeking side to reign victorious over my friendship security, I will put my energy back into treating my real friends like the true friends they've always been.

Since I'm more aware of God's love than ever, my finances are moderately secure now, I've got a car, and I intend to continue doing well in school, this step in de-stressing my over-worked heart should be nearly the final step in really knowing exactly who I am, being sure of what really matters, and being content while passing through this world.

I will always long for my home with Jesus, but life on earth doesn't have to be as frustrating as I've made it.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2002

General announcement:

For those of you that have emailed me and gotten the messages bounced back, please resend them. My mailbox is significantly less full now. (If it's a large file, please email me a seperate, small email telling me you have a picture or whatever to send me and I'll tell you which address to send it to.)

For those of you that have emailed me and not gotten any response, PLEASE do not think that I've forgotten you or not wanted to reply! If it didn't get bounced back to you, the assumption is that I have gotten it. I just haven't had much of any email access in the past month (and it's been a long while since I've had as much as I want to in order to really keep up with my internet life) and haven't been able to read more than maybe half of the emails I've gotten. On that note, because my time has been so limited, if I knew I was going to want to reply, I was less likely to read it unless I knew there was some extremely urgent information in it, because if I read it when I don't have time to reply, I'll often forget to reply. So that's the news for Patty's email accounts. Please be patient with me.. I do care.

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Monday, January 07, 2002

oh.. and by the way, I got straight A's (in my three easy classes) for my first semester of college. Yay!

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I was planning to post a few other specific thoughts I had during my trip to FL, but I'm yawning every other moment here, so I'm thinking bed would be a much better idea.

Tomorrow at some point I'll drive back to my home.

It feels so good to say "home" and really mean it about a place. I keep almost saying "I'm going home" referring to FL, but FL -- although familiar -- is very much not home.

And of course, there is no TRUE home for me on earth. Home is in Heaven, face to face with my God.

For the meantime, though, my current hometown will do just fine.

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When I hit I-95 in NC, I realized how, despite the fact that I was still at least 11 hours from the areas of FL in which I used to live, I felt very at home on 95.

When we moved to FL during Christmas break of '87/'88, we moved to a small town just starting out, named Coral Springs. (There were no springs -- just man-made canals, and there wasn't a whole lotta coral, either. But go figure.) Coral Springs is in the northwesternmost part of Broward County, FL (home of Ft. Lauderdale, and the county north of Dade County which houses Miami. Just to lend a little orientation to those not familiar with FL.) To the west of Coral Springs, as well as to the North, there are no roads because it's all swampland in the Everglades system. Beautiful place, lots of mosquitos. To the east, though, about 15 miles away, is the Atlantic Ocean off the coasts of Deerfield Beach and Pompano Beach. 95 runs right through these towns, and is the most convenient way to get almost anywhere in SouthEastern FL.

So for ten years, I lived with 95 being one of the biggest influences on my life as far as roads go.

And then I moved to CA. While I was there, my mother sold the house in Coral Springs and moved to Boca Raton. When I moved back in with her in Boca, we lived only about 1 mile from 95 and thus it really, really became the absolutely most common way to get anywhere other than right down the street.

So, since so much of my life, especially my formative years, revolved around this road and were spent on it during trips elsewhere, just the name 95 (few people call it I-95 unless they leave near another road named 95) really feels home-like to me. And being on the road during my trip south felt so nice.

For the first few hours.

On my return trip, the dreaded Jacksonville area (which, as anyone that's been through the 95 stretch in Jacksonville can tell you, is very, very, very long) and the so-close-to-home-but-I-can't-get-through-this-town stretch of Fayetteville were unpleasant encounters. And here's a little known fact: I-95 from about West Palm Beach to Miami (I think that's the official stretch) is known as the decapitation highway capitol of the world. See, the speed limit is something like 70 or 75 when there aren't too many construction areas (there were a LOT while I was down!) and all these trucks get on there with lots of odd cargo items that aren't secured very well, and then with the wind and everything, the items blow off the trucks and smash through windshields behind them and have often disembodied some poor souls along the way. (Often, of course, being a very relative term. This isn't a daily occurence or anything, but it does happen more often in that area than anywhere else.)

So anyway. That's 95. A home on the road, as it were.

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My "new" car's name is Gilbert Wayne Ellesiar. (I'm not sure I spelled his last name right. I have to check the book from which I got it to make sure.)

Gil is a wonderful car. And he's in great shape, too. I'm so fortunate to have him.

Meanwhile, I'm going to post some of the things that I wanted to post about while in FL but didn't have access to the internet and thus could not post. Many people reading in order-the-posts-appear-on-your-screen will read this current post after the other posts. Perhaps this will explain the time and motivation for these posts. And perhaps the post I posted a post ago will explain further. Those of you that read in chronological order (such as myself, most of the time) will be all the wiser for it. :)

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I have a car now!

The day after Christmas I went to the house of a couple from my church that are leaving to be missoinaries in Papau New Guinea (actually, assuming they got their VISA in time, they left New Year's Day).

Leaving the house, I was in my very own car. But I wasn't driving yet. I rode to th DMV and we registered the car in my name. Then I drove Mr. Man back to his house and dropped him off there and drove home.

When I got home, I put my suitcase in my car and immediately left for FL.

I drove for 11 hours straight 'till I arrived in St. Augustine at almost 1 am. I slept in the car that night (not the smartest thing I've ever done) and woke up a few times during the night to see my breathe when I took the sheet off my head. (I was very bundled up under my sheet.. problem was there was no blanket or other stuff over my sheet.)

The following morning, having attempted to call a friend in St. Augustine to have lunch but having not been able to reach her, I drove four hours to South FL.

I stayed there 'till the third, when I went to my granfather's house in central FL for dinner and to spend the night. Then I went to the next town over to stay with my former youth leaders at the house they're fixing up to move into when they retire and/or to sell for a decent profit over what they bought it for and thus to have retirement money. Then I drove up to NC where I spent last nite and planned on driving home today, but decided the roads were too icy for me to drive safely enough, so I'm going to wait 'till tomorrow when the roads will be even more dangerous but at least there'll be sunlight.

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Hippie: (after hearing Max wants to avoid the draft)You still have options man.
Max: Yeah, jail or Canada and they both suck. I mean I could never come home, so what is it, it's a choice of a 6x4 cell or an endless wasteland of frozen tundra.
Hippie: Montreal is cool.
Max:Man, they speak French there.
Groupie: So learn French. Learn French or die.
-- Across the Universe

"So how do i do normal
The smile i fake the permanent way
Cue cards and fix it kits
Can't you tell - I'm not myself
-- Frou Frou, Hear Me Out

"It's been known for a train to jump its track. It's ok, so you'll know, most times they come back. It's ok to lose your life, when you finally see your birth. It's ok to say, "I love you," and figure sometimes it's gonna hurt.
Don't forget to bring kindness, don't forget to say thanks. Don't forgot to spend your love, no it will break the bank. Don't forget to bring some empathy, for the saints and the sinners. Don't forget to bring encouragement. Yeah, we're all just beginners."
-- Bill Mallonee, Bank

"As a comedian, you have to start the show strong and you have end the show strong. Those are the two key elements. You can't be like pancakes, all exciting at first, but then by the end you're sick of 'em!"
-- (The late) Mitch Hedburg

"Hey, this is weird! I ordered one frozen yogurt and they gave me two. You don't happen to like frozen yogurt, do you?" "I love it!" "You're kidding! What a crazy random happenstance!"
-- Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

"Only one more trip," said a gallant seaman,
As he kissed his weeping wife,
Only one more bag of the golden treasure
And 'twill last us all through life.
Then I'll spend my days in my cosy cottage
And enjoy the rest I've earned;
But alas! poor man! For he sail'd commander
Of the ship that never returned.
Did she never return? She never returned,
Her fate, it is yet unlearned,
Though for years and years there were fond ones watching
Yet the ship she never returned.
--The Ship that Never Returned, Henry Clay Work

"It was Flannery O'Connor who said that 'grace must wound before it heals.' Her words help me to separate what is most true about life from the things we want to be true. We want life to be painless. True grace is a hard sell because in order for the human heart to understand forgiveness and love, it must first experience darkness and isolation. A life lived under the rule of grace is a life of need which allows us to receive an appreciate the gift of the giver of grace. This is why we will always have the poor with us; this is why God will not allow us to ignore injustice; this is why we are called to a life we cannot handle alone, which can and will break us in the effort to live it -- because grace must wound before it heals."
-- Justin McRoberts

Regarding 2007:
"the year has gone quick, but most of the days haven't"

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup !
And surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gies a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
for auld lang syne.
--Robert Burns, "Auld Lang Syne"

I thought Christmas Day would never come. But it's here at last, so Mom and Dad, the waiting's finally done. And you gotta get up, you gotta get up, you gotta get up, it's Christmas morning.

Did my sister get a baby doll? Did my brother get his bike? Did I get that red wagon, the kind that makes you fly? Oh, I hope there'll be peace on Earth, and I know there's goodwill towards men, on account o' that baby born in Bethlehem.
--Rich Mullins, You Gotta Get Up (Christmas Song)

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie,
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us we pray,
Cast out our sin, and enter in,
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels,
The great glad tidings tell,
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel.
--L.H.Redner, "O Little Town of Bethlehem"

Walk humbly, son
Walk humbly, now
And cherish every step
For a life well spent
On this earth we're lent
Will be marked by the void you have left

May you conquer (not curse) challenges
May you hold back the dark like a dam
May you lead your life with lion's roar
May you leave it like a lamb

Don't await rewards for your good deeds
A reward won't make them good
Don't await judgment of any foes
They'll receive just what they should

When you find the axis of this world
Don't tread too far inside
Run away as far as you think you can
Be well and enjoy the ride

Walk humbly, son
And store your pride
When you need strength later on
For your life's work will be judged if earth
Is saddened when you have gone

Walk humbly, son
Walk humbly, how
And forget not where you are from
May you go further than those before
And provide for those to come

Will you walk humbly, Son?
--Eddie From Ohio, Walk Humbly, Son

Strings of lights above the bed
Curtains drawn and a glass of red
All I ever get for Christmas is blue

Saxaphone on the radio
Recorded 40 years ago
All I ever get for Christmas is blue

When you play my song
Play it slowly
play it like I'm sad and lonely....

Weatherman says it's miserable
But the snow is so beautiful
All I ever get for Christmas is blue

It would take a miracle
To get me out to a shopping mall
All I really want for Christmas is you
--Over the Rhine, from Snow Angels

"In a little while I'll feel better
Gonna travel around the world
Gonna see it all

Gonna go to Paris, maybe Rome
But I'll feel better miles away from home,
Gotta figure some things out

So sell all my things, I'm not coming home
There's nothing there to keep me there
Just heartache and panic and worries and things that'll bring me down
My head feels much clearer being here

In a little while I'll feel better
Gonna spill my heart to every stranger in every town
I'll visit castles in Ireland, have some fella play the violin and play a song for me

So sell all my things, I'm not coming home
There's nothing there to keep me there
Just heartache and panic and worries and things that'll bring me down
My head feels much clearer being here
--Rosie Thomas, Sell All My Things, from Only With Laughter Can You Win

"Please tell me once again that You love me. That You love me. Please tell me once again that I matter to You and You really care. Please tell me once again that You're with me, forever. It's not that I could ever doubt you, I just love the way it sounds. I just love the way it sounds."
--This Train, I think it's from a song on Emperor's New Band.

"Every once in a while, a bannerzen posts."
--Me, during the 2002 Boredeys at Cornerstone Festival

"7:30. What kind of people have to be at work at 7:30?"
--Mr. Holland's Opus

have you seen my love
is he far away
have you seen the one for me
whose face lights up my day
i won't let one boy steal a kiss
or call me his instead i'll wait
for his voice to call out to mine
and carry these daydreams away
have you seen my love
is he far away
have you seen the one for me
who won't let me get away
please tell him that i'm
waiting for him praying for him
night and day for now i'll be a
lonely girl just longing for his sweet embrace
--Rosie Thomas, Have You Seen My Love, from When We Were Small

Traveling is significant because it takes so much effort. Either you're going to some place you love, or you're leaving some place you love. Usually it's both.
--Friend of a friend of a friend

I think I have Bond's ability to get into trouble but not his ability to get out of it. Someday I'll be in some foreign country with 5 thugs with automatic rifles pointed at me, and I'll just.... fart
--Peter, my twin brother, while we were talking about bicycle accidents.

"You had no alternative .. We must work in the world. The world is thus." --- "No .. Thus have we made the world."
-- The Mission (a movie)

The summer ends and we wonder where we are And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car And you both look so young And last night was hard, you said You packed up every room And then you cried and went to bed But today you closed the door and said "We have to get a move on. It's just that time of year when we push ourselves ahead, We push ourselves ahead."
And it was cloudy in the morning And it rained as you drove away And the same things looked different It's the end of the summer It's the end of the summer, When you move to another place
--Dar Williams, End of the Summer

Looking out the bedroom at this snowy TV.. ever since commencement, no one's asking 'bout me. But I bet before the night falls, I could catch the late bus.. take small provisions and this Beethoven bust. I could find work in the outskirts of the city, eat some fish on the way.. befriend an old dog for a roadside pal, find a nice couch to stay -- a pull-out sofa, if you please!"
--Eddie From Ohio, Fifth of July.

Ooh! Get me away from here I'm dying
Play me a song to set me free
Nobody writes them like they used to
So it may as well be me
Here on my own now after hours
Here on my own now on a bus
Think of it this way
You could either be successful or be us --belle and sebastian, Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying

"The trouble with folks like Brownie is they hold their life in like a bakebean fart at a Baptist cookout and only let it slip out sideways a little at a time when they think there's nobody noticing. Now that's the last thing on earth the Almighty intended. He intended all the life a man's got inside him, he should live it out just as free and strong and natural as a bird."
--Leo Bebb in Frederick Buechner's "Treasure Hunt"

"Life is a phantasmagoria .. It is a pell-mell of confused and tumultuous scenes. We try in vain to find a purpose - to bring an order, a unity to life. I suppose that is the appeal of art. Art is the blending of the real and the unreal, the conquering of nature. It is real enough for it to reflect life, but has the unity that life lacks."
--D., in a recent email.

"in time memories fade.
senses numb.
one forgets how it feels to have loved completely."
--Pedro the Lion, The Longest Winter

I've always had this feeling about Patty that she's complex and intriguing...I like Patty alot. She's got a good heart and tells terrible squirrel jokes.
--Julie, from her blog on 4/8, after a large group of friends from all over gathered at my house for the weekend.

"Try to remember that world-weariness isn't necessarily a bad thing. In the book of Mark, I think its Mark, Jesus looks at a blind man and sighs. Jesus sighed before even telling the man he would be healed. He sighed, and I'm not sure that there's a much more human expression of frustration than this. Faced with the horrid picture of a cursed earth and looking into the white eyes of a man blind from the day he was born, He sighed. The Creator of the universe in human form was sad "of the evils of this world," the world He created. Your Creator sighed for you in the same way before He healed you and made you His."
-- Jesse, in response to my Weltschmerz blog entry

"After the last tear falls
After the last secret's told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that's just too hard
There is love

-- Andrew Peterson, After the Last Tear Falls

"when you most need people, you don't need perfection - just to know someone gives a damn"
--Jamie, during a recent IM conversation

How will you answer when, years from now, your child asks you: 'Mom or Dad, what did you do to combat the evil of squirrel hazing?'"
--From Dave Barry's Blog

"My brother's always [telling me], 'You should be more mysterious--boys like that.' But I'm not good at that. It would just make me more uncomfortable."
--Rosie Thomas, in an interview with Kathleen Wilson

"Loners want to kill you, but not for any particular reason, and they'd probably like you if they weren't being guided by the violent voices in their head."
--The non-box result from a random quiz I took today. (No, I frankly can't recommend this quiz site, but if you're really bored and you're not seeking to remain pure, go right ahead..)

"No one wants to oil a snake these days!"
-- Emmett Otter, Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas (Found under the Specials section of the TV section of the Henson website.)

Jamie: "I am one of the greatest criminal masterminds in the world."
Her mom: "We're all safe."

-- Jamie Bevill and her mother during Christmas-Decorating dinner, December 20, 2002

"and if i were a jetson
i'd throw out all my shoes
i'd set up cans for friends
to dump their shoes senseless shoes
a pioneer of callouses
lordy-be and bless my soul
i'd be a barefoot spaceman
the first you'd ever know"
-- Eddie From Ohio, If I were a Flinstone

"The best way to have God's will for your life is to have no will of your own!"
-- Charlene Potterbaum, Thanks Lord, I Needed That!

"Generations circle and each one atones. The sins of the father are seperate from my own. In Pilgrim's Progress, it's forgiveness that makes whole, and as time levels and consoles, I place the daisies in your bowl."
--Jan Krist, Daisies in Your Bowl

"For a moment he just stared at her. Then, with an urf-urf-urf of laughter, he turned back to the controls."
"They made good time, despite the lingering tenderness of Mara's ankle and the distractions inherent in a faceful of itch."
-- Timothy Zahn, Star Wars: Heir to the Empire

"It's on the internet.. so, then, it must be true."
-- Five Iron Frenzy, The Untimely Death of Brad

"Be at least as interested in what people can become as you are in what they have been."
-- Steve Griffin

Blessed be the rock stars!"
--Justin Dillon Stevens

Get up for the shower.. wash and scrub and scour every part as if a cleaner man could better bear the shame..
--The Waiting, Look At Me

"She was eating gnarly amounts of calcium."
--Samuel Hernandez

Homeless man to girl trying to give him money: "No, thanks, ma'am. I never work on Sundays."
-- Amilie, the movie.

"Wow! I never thought I'd need a radar-guided spatula!"
-- Larryboy, Larryboy and the Angry Eyebrows

"Isn't it great that I articulate? Isn't it grand that you can understand? ... I can talk, I can talk, I can talk!"
-- Wilbur, Charlotte's Web (the movie)

I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know... I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: "You've turned up in the right place at the right time. You're doing fine. Don't ever think that you've been forgotten.
(and in another entry)
When we close our eyes to the deep needs of other people whether they live on the streets or under our own roof -- and when we close our eyes to our own deep need to reach out to them -- we can never be fully at home anywhere.
(and in another entry)
Maybe at the heart of all our travelling is the dream of someday, somehow, getting Home.
(and in another entry)
The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet. -- Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC

When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of "No answer." It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, "Peace, child; you don't understand."
-- C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

CCM: You've spoken a lot more about crying than I ever thought you would.
JK: Oh, I've cried a lot. Truthfully, I've cried a lot more this past year than I've probably cried in five years.
CCM: Why?
JK: It's fun to feel.
-- An Interview with Jennifer Knapp in the January Issue of CCM Magazine

"Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste for adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn't grow old because he has lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal. The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul. Preoccuptaions, fears, doubts, and despair are the enemies which slowly bow us toward earth and turn us into dust before death. You will remain young as long as you are open to what is beautiful, good, and great; receptive to the messages of other men and women, of nature and of God. If one day you should become bitter, pessimistic, and gnawed by despair, may God have mercy on your old man's soul."
-- General Douglas MacArthur

""Don't go matchmaking for me, Ilse," said Emily wit a faint smile... "I feel in my bones that I shall achieve old-maidenhood, which is an entirely different thing from having old-maidenhood thrust upon you."
-- Emily, from the Emily books by L. M. Montgomery

"I wish Aunt Elizabeth would let me go to Shrewsbury, but I fear she never will. She feels she can't trust me out of her sight because my mother eloped. But she need not be afraid I will ever elope. I have made up my mind that I will never marry. I shall be wedded to my art"
-- Emily, from the Emily books by L. M. Montgomery

"Tomorrow seems like a long ways away. But it will come, just like any other day... Deep inside, where the wounded creatures hide, I am afraid. Maybe I got lost somewhere along the way somehow. Please rescue me... Yea, though I walk through the valley of the dark shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me... Though I fear, though I am afraid, You are with me. Though I'm angry, tired, broken down and confused, You are with me. Though I sin like I've never sinned before, lose myself right out an open door, You are with me."
-- Waterdeep, You Are With Me

"The invisible people agreed about everything. Indeed most of their remarks were the sort it would not be easy to disagree with: "What I always say is, when a chap's hungry, he likes some victuals," or "Getting dark now; always does at night," or even "Ah, you've come over the water. Powerful wet stuff, ain't it?"" -- C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

"When People object... that if Jesus was God as well as Man, then He had an unfair advantage which deprives Him for them of all value, it seems to me as if a man struggling in the water should refuse a rope thrown to him by another who had one foot on the bank, saying, "Oh but you had an unfair advantage." It is because of His advantage that He can help."
-- C. S. Lewis

"But, you know, as a Christian, one of the big questions you always ask yourself is, "So we believe in Jesus, we believe in the teachings of the church, but what does that look like when it's lived out?" Because surely, one of the things that Jesus said that I think we often overlook is, "The person who hears my words and does them is like the wise man who built his house on the rock." He didn't say "the person who hears my words and thinks about 'em" or "whoever hears my words and agrees with it." But he said, "Whoever hears it and does it."
-- Rich Mullins, during a radio interview, as quoted in An Arrow Pointing to Heaven

"find that which gives you breath and grants you more to give
because life ends not in death but with what dies inside while we live"
--Christopher Williams, Breathe

"I have packed all my belongings. I don't belong here anymore. This pair of sandles, one pack to carry, this old guitar and this tattered old Bible. And I know I won't be afraid. 'cause I know, I know Home is where You are."
--Dog Named David, Heavenly Rain

"Open up your weepy eyes, everyone is dancing. Angels peer through sweet disguise, through a fire of cleansing.
--My Brother's Mother, Finest Hour

"Long hair, no hair; Everybody, everywhere: Breathe Deep, breathe deep the Breath of God!"
-- Lost Dogs, Breathe Deep

"You may be bruised and torn and broken, but you're Mine!"
-- Asiam, Relentless Love

"I don't deserve to speak, and they don't deserve to hear it. It's makin' me believe that it's not about me."
-- Justin McRoberts, The Story Stands Alone

"Kickin' against these goads sure did cut up my feet. Didn't your hands get bloody as you washed them clean?"
-- Caedmon's Call, Here I am Again

"They say God blessed us with plenty. I say you?re blessed with poverty. ?Cause you never stop to wonder whether earth is just a little better than the Land of the Free"
-- Andrew Peterson, Land of the Free

"Computers will know everything in the 21st century. They'll be like me in the 20th century."
-- Crabby Road