Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How do I say thank you...

This season of life has taught me so much, more than I've been able to process and God just keeps teaching me more every day. But one of the things I have learned and continue to learn is that you simply can't make it through life on your own. You can try. You can kick, scream and fight to maintain some illusion of independence, but you're just going to wear yourself out. And if you're very lucky, when you're done throwing your little fit and have exhausted yourself beyond measure, someone will be standing there ready to unconditionally offer a hand.

When I moved to Austin it was on nothing more than faith. I didn't come with much, didn't know how much money I was going to be making and honestly wasn't totally convinced that my job was even going to go through. I was extremely blessed to be able to move in with my friend Kelley's parents and if it weren't for them I wouldn't even be here. I will forever be grateful for their willingness to let God use them in that way, not only for the opportunity to have a home when I first got here but for the amazing stories that came from Uhland, TX. :)

My time there was awesome and I enjoyed it, but the commute to and from Austin was getting exhausting. I was getting to a point where late nights at work were becoming more routine and I felt led to get more involved with the church. Truth be told, I don't even really remember how the transition happened, but somewhere along the line, Char offered to let me move in with her and her roommate Liz. I remember that the first time she asked I turned it down without even thinking about it. I had been sleeping on their couch periodically when I was going to be working late and I felt like they were already going above and beyond in letting me do that. Most people would have just let it go...lucky for me, those two aren't most people. And when asked again at a weaker, more exhausted moment, I agreed. That was on a Friday and by Monday I had moved a bunch of my stuff to my friend Ruth's house (another amazingly generous person) and had moved myself and what I needed to survive into a corner of Charlotte's room. That was September something and I've been there since then.

Char and Liz have been amazing servants in that time, always treating me as a friend and roommate rather than a temporary guest. They've shared everything they have and let me share in their lives. As my time there has come to an end, I've been thinking a lot about it, trying to take in everything God wanted me to learn.

I have a lot left to figure out, but I've come up with a few things so far:

When you pray for provision, you have to be humble enough to accept it in the form God's gives it to you. And when you respond in obedience, you'll be blessed beyond measure...and may even end up with some of the best friends you've ever known.

You don't have to pay back every favor you've ever been given and sometimes the favor is simply too big to be repaid anyway so don't drive yourself crazy trying to figure out a way to make it happen. Just enjoy the ride.

God gives us these opportunities, people and blessings that we may see a little of Him here on earth and the most important thing you can do with that, for lack of a better phrase, is to pay it forward. The only way for me to give back to God for what He's provided me is to do the same for others and when they ask why, tell them the story, and bring Him the glory.

I couldn't really begin to do justice to the amount of gratitude and love I feel for these girls, but I thought I'd at least give it a shot. Thank you ladies for everything you do, for this sweet time of my life and for letting God show me a glimpse of His great love through you. You're the best!

Monday's Fabulous Moments...

Fabulous Moment #1:

Background Info: My grandparents are driving down here on Thanksgiving to bring me stuff for my new apartment.

So, yesterday I get a message from my grandma that says, "Your grandpa has some extra hangers he'd like to bring you but he won't just bring a random amount so he needs you to call us back and give us an exact count of how many you need. Okay bye."


To be honest, I got a good chuckle and then totally forgot about the message so later on in the day I get a phone call from my mom who says, "Your grandfather is going to bring you hangers but needs to know exactly how many you need." Yes, right, I forgot. So I respond, "23 would be great." She goes and tells him and comes back on and says, "He will only do increments of 5 so I told him to just round up."

...people tell me I'm random ALL the time...Friends, I come by it naturally.

Fabulous Moment #2:

We've been working with Tiny Tim during Cracked Out Christmas Carol rehearsals to get him to work with his crutch (aka: stick) and walk with a limp. So far, we haven't been terribly successful. If he hasn't straight up forgotten that's how he's supposed to be walking, he's swinging his crutch around his head or crying about the fact that he looks "stupid" when he has to walk like that. Yesterday one of the fabulous black women in the cast said, "Hey Tim, let's work on your walk." He starts out with an okay limp and then somehow it transitions into a bit more of a ghetto walk. To which Marla cracks up and says, "Hahaha! Look at crunk little Tim!"

...I would have fallen out merely from her referring to him as "Little Tim." But "Crunk Little Tim?" Come on...

What in the world...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Oh. My. Word.

Emily: "ok...seriously my head about exploded EVERYWHERE. that is absolutely amazing."

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Monday's Fabulous Moment (or...entire evening...) Part Two

Okay, so since we're all waiting for the other person to post about it, I'm just going to do the thing.

Monday evening started with a fabulous trip to Mellow Mushroom with Char in which we discovered they have stickers that have a nun in a tie-dyed habit and say, "Get Into a New Habit." I of course freaked out and went into must-get-sticker mode. Naturally, they didn't have anymore. Dang it.

After dinner we were feeling, as we were later described, "feisty," and decided to journey over to Miss Emily's to cause some trouble, i.e. streamer Em's car. Trouble is never far if you have an ornery spirit and some crepe paper. We knew Em was home and inside her apartment with her roommate and had company over for dinner. This made our adventure a tiny bit risky, but totally worth it. She had parked on the street just outside of her sliding glass door. Luckily, there's a stone wall bordering her patio which made it possible for us to see the very top of her door and made it quite impossible for her to see us when we were on street level. Now, we won't talk about whether or not she can see you if you jump up on a stump and look over the wall right into the kitchen (Charlotte). But luckily, that didn't happen. ;-)

We parked around the corner and walked down the street which is lined with parked cars. I looked at Charlotte and said, "So...if somebody comes, what's our plan?" She said something along the lines of "Book it." Fair enough.

We didn't have many rolls of streamers but were going to make do with what we had. So we're wrapping this thing, moving along pretty well, (not counting the time one of the rolls got stuck under the car and I ventured under on my stomach to get it.) But we're moving along, rocking out to the streamering, trying desperately not to make too much noise when we heard voices coming towards us and around the corner of the apartment building. My immediate thought was that Em's guests were leaving from dinner. Char and I looked at each other, dropped the streamers and took off running.

Now...here's where things get a bit fuzzy for me and it would be best if someone else told the story. But seeing as how Charlotte literally can't tell it without falling on the floor in tears, I'll do my best. All I know is that I'm running up the sidewalk thinking surely whoever is coming around the corner is going to see me running. I think Char may have even said, "Duck!" So I've run past probably 10 or 12 cars and completely randomly jump down in between two that are parked on the street. The very instant that my feet hit the ground and I bend over...

pause: you know what happens when you take your little car remote and push "unlock?" you know how your headlights come on and your car goes "BEEP BEEP" or "BOOP BOOP" depending on what type of car you have? okay yeah...

So the second my feet hit the ground and I duck between these two cars with my eyeballs at headlight level the one to my left went "BEEP BEEP!" and the headlights shine right into my pupils. Now, keep in mind when involved in this kind of activity your heart is already beating faster than normal just from the excitement, then when you have to take off running because you're about to get caught, it just goes crazy. At this point my heart basically sunk into my butt and I was quite certain I had peed myself in the middle of the street but being that I was already feeling like a cat on a hot tin roof I apparently bounced right back out from between the cars and took off running again down the street and around the corner. Charlotte caught up with me and was laughing like, hysterical, goofy, uncontrollable laughter.

Once she managed to compose herself and we were certain those folk, whoever they were, were gone, we headed back down the street to finish up. We quickly finished with what we had and decided to take one last big risk. Take a picture and hope like heck that Emily doesn't see the flash from inside. So Charlotte is posing in front of the car and just as I'm about to hit the button I see two of Em's little black curls over the stone wall and her sliding glass door starts to slide open. Again, everything here is a bit fuzzy but apparently still feeling quite jumpy, I just took off in a sprint down the street. I was pretty much holding my breath the entire time I was running because I knew if I laughed and Emily was outside we'd definitely be busted. Char and I got back to the car but were not content to leave without a picture. So, after four trips around the block and a really good strategy about which direction our car needed to be headed to make the fastest getaway, we got this picture...
Not great, but at that point we were like, "Whatevs." So Char and I drive off laughing non-stop and about an hour later both receive voicemails from Emily that say something along the lines of "You stinkers. You punks. I know it was you. I know it was you. I know it was you." Awesome. We really had no intention of never getting found out and it was way more fun that we did since we got to go back over and share what we went through to get 4 rolls of crepe paper unrolled around her car. Like I was talking about before, Char literally fell off the couch with tears streaming down her eyes because she was laughing so hard so I went ahead and shared with Emily, her roommate and her roommate's parents about what had gone on just outside their door. It's was pretty much one of the best Mondays since I've moved to Austin. Well, pretty much one of the best Mondays of my life.
Alright Charlotte and Emily, I've told my version...now it's your turn.

The best dance party EVER...

Em is right...it is totally possible to have a dance party when you're sitting down in the backseat of a car.

And note to self: Always have a bobby pin and a paper clip in case my shirt falls off again.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesdays are changing a bit...

From Ridiculously Random Yet Strangely Endearing to simply, Videos You Need To See. And every Tuesday I'll just post one of my favorite videos of the week. :)

And since everyone is getting in the Christmas mood, I'm starting with one of my favorite Christmas songs...

Monday's Fabulous Moment #1...

Text Message from Emily first thing in the morning: "I love you LOTS! You better lose your business when you see the flair I sent you!"

The flair:

...my business = lost

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Someone else's fabulous moment...

So in light of the fact that I can always count on Sarah Kelley to cheer up my heart, I got one of the most amazing emails from her that I've ever received telling me an amazing story regarding one of her dementia patients. This is the beginning of the email...

Today this dementia resident comes wheeling into my office. Her name is Ruth but she thinks her name is Shirley. She's blind. She used to be one of those ladies that worked at a make up counter in a department store. She still insists on wearing bright red lipstick every day even though she can't see anymore, so it's usually spilling over onto her cheeks or her chin. Whenever you compliment her lipstick she says, "Thank you darling, it's 'fire and ice,'" even though none of her lipsticks are actually called fire and ice. It must have been her favorite once upon a time.So anyway... dementia...blind... this was our conversation:

What followed was a tiny bit PG and a tiny bit offensive, although truly one of the funniest things I've ever read in my life. So, if you want to know the rest of the conversation, let me know... I'll email it to you. Thank you Sarah! I love you girl.

Lyrics that I'm loving...

There Will Be a Day
By: Jeremy Camp

I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that tries to grab
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth
That we will enter in this rest with wonders a new
But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we’ll hold on to You always

I know the journey seems so long
You feel you’re walking on your own
But there has never been a step
Where you’ve walked out all alone

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face

But until that day, we’ll hold on to You always
Troubled soul don’t lose your heart

Cause joy and peace He brings
And the beauty that’s in store
Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting

I cant wait until that day where the very one I’ve lived for always will wipe awaythe sorrow that I’ve faced
To touch the scars that rescued me from a lifeof shame and misery this is why this is why I sing

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday's Fabulous Moment of the Day...

One of the all-time best. Unfortunately also probably one of those "had to be there" type things.

Sitting in our office was a very large, wooden, uh...shield. It was part of our AKA exhibit and belongs to the local chapter of the sorority. This thing is probably 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. The size was part of the issue but the larger problem was that because it normally hangs on a wall, it is round on the bottom and doesn't have a stand.

Earlier today my boss came and said, "Come help me package that thing up so they can take it back." This was the beginning of a long, tedious process of trying to figure out how to hold it upright while wrapping it in many layers of bubble wrap and packaging tape. Of course I ended up in a sea of bubble wrap, with those little styrofoam popcorn things stuck all over me and trying desperately to gracefully maneuver a roll of packaging tape while Para held the thing upright.

And so...the fabulous moment came when I was bent at the knees, trying to wrap the lower half and Para let go of the top of the shield. It fell on me, knocking me over into that sea of bubble wrap which promptly went...


Now of course, I'm laughing hysterically and trying desperately to get up but the more I try to get up the more the bubble wrap is going. Right as I'm thinking, "Oh, I'm going to wet my pants," our museum curator, who really is a woman of very few words, yells from her office, "Does someone have gas out there?"

I am crying I'm laughing so hard and in a moment of not thinking before I responded, yelled back, "I'm sorry Ms. Phifer...I had Mexican for lunch."

To which she says, and I quote...

"Sounds like you had more than one."

Friday, November 7, 2008

Just so you know...

The Villager is Austin's newspaper that represents the African American Community. The current issue has many people on the front page, most of whom, obviously, are black.

There are though, two white people in two separate pictures.

Those two white people are:

#1. John McCain

#2. Jennifer Corzine

I share a front page with McCain in a black newspaper.

...these things don't happen to normal people.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday's Fabulous Moment of the Day...

Today I went to Wolf Camera to get pictures developed and encountered one of Austin's finest...Kyle. I nearly kissed him by the end of our conversation for providing me with such a fantastic blog worthy moment, but that would probably have given a very wrong impression. I'll just transcribe our conversation as best I can remember it. If you watch The Office, think Dwight, not in looks, but in voice, mannerisms and actions. Unfortunately, writing this out can't begin to do it justice, but I'll try to let the conversation just speak for itself.

So, I walk in and sit down at the computer to decide which pictures to print. I've done this a million times. This guy walks right up and says,
"Hi. My name's Kyle and I'll be serving you today. Keep your arms and legs inside the aircraft and your tray table in the upright position."
Pause for a moment: I personally have never been in an aircraft where there was any place for my arms and legs to go except inside...but maybe he's been flying in something different.
Me: "Hi."
Kyle: "Do I know you?"
Me: "Um, I don't think so. I've been in here a lot though so maybe just from being here."
Kyle: "No, I've never seen you in here before."
Me: "Um...Alright then."
I begin to look at pictures to figure out which one to print. I pull one up of Ashlee, Katie and me at Ruby Tuesday.
Kyle: "What's that? Is that Halloween? Were you at a bar on 6th street?"
Me: "Um, noooo. I was at a restaurant with friends of mine."
Kyle: "Oh. What did you do for Halloween? Anything?"
Me: "I was a student ministry retreat."
Kyle: "Where?"
Me: "Camp Buckner."
Kyle: "Oh cool! Yeah, Camp Buckner!...I've never heard of it."
Those of you who know me well enough can imagine my facial expression at this point
Kyle: "So you work with students at a church?"
Me: "Yeah."
Kyle: "What church."
Me: "Austin Stone Community Church."
Kyle: "Austin's Stones and Community..."
Me: "No...Austin. Stone. Community. Church."
Kyle: "Are you all stoned all the time."
Me: "No."
Kyle: "So, where are all these pictures taken?"
Me: "St. Louis."
Kyle: "Oh St. Louis."
Me: "Yeah."
Kyle: "What is it they say about St. Louis again?"
Me: "Uh...I don't know."
Kyle: "St. Louis is the city that always gambles...or something..."
Me: "Really, I've never heard that."
Kyle: "Oh, if you get that picture like that you're going to chop those people's heads off. Can I crop it for you?"
Before I have time to respond, he has pushed the crop photo button and changed my picture size to wallet.
Kyle: "There, now their heads won't be chopped off."
Me: "Alright then."
Kyle: "So are you from St. Louis? What are you doing here? Did you go to school there?"
Me: "Yeah, I uh went to college there but I moved down here in June for a job."
Kyle: "What kind of job?"
Me: "I work for the city at a theatre."
Kyle: "Oh, you're an actress."
Me: "No, I'm in technical theatre."
Kyle: "So you don't act."
Me: "Well, I used to but now I just do technical theatre."
Kyle: "Hey, what's red and smells like blue paint?"
Me: "Excuse me?"
Kyle: "What's red and smells like blue paint?"
Me: "Um, I have no idea."
Kyle: "Red paint. (chuckles to himself) That's supposed to be a funny joke. I guess it's not really that funny now that I think about it."
Me: "No...it's pretty funny..."
Right about now I pull out my phone to text Char and tell her that Monday's Fabulous Moment of the Day is taking place as I'm texting. Seemingly deterred by my preoccupation with something else, he goes and talks to another customer and I finish up my order. I walk up to the counter when I'm finished and sure enough, here he comes.
Kyle: "So why don't you move to Hollywood?"
Me: "Excuse me?"
Kyle: "Why don't you move to Hollywood and become and actress?"
Me: "Um...because I don't really want to?"
Kyle: "You don't want to make lots of money and be famous?"
Me: "No."
Kyle: "Really?"
Me: "Really."
Kyle: "Oh. I want to move to Hollywood. I wanted to be an actor but then I realized I wasn't that good. Too much competition. So I decided if I couldn't be an actor than I'll just tell actors what to do. I'm going to be a director. Remember my name. You might see it on the front of a newspaper someday."
Me: "Okay. Good luck with that."
I hand him my credit card and he asks for my i.d. so I hand him my driver's license.
Kyle: "Good picture. Jen...so that's short for Jennifer?"
Me: "Yes."
Kyle: "Cool. Your pictures will be ready tomorrow at 11. Are you going to come back tomorrow?"
Me: "Well, I suppose so. I need to pick up my pictures."
Kyle: "Okay well don't be a stranger. I like our witty banter."
Me: "Right. Yes. Our witty banter. And like I said before, I'm in here a lot."
Kyle: "Oh yeah. Okay. Cool."