Sunday, December 31, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
-Relaxing with my sister after finally getting here by having a glass of wine, watching t.v. and chatting.
-Drinking coffee in bed this morning after sleeping in. My great book and my sister's great dog, Hayden, kept me company.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
-The way the light brought out the gold flecks in my starry-nightish painted dresser. I painted it in college, and still love it.
-The relief of having my bags packed and ready to go for our massive (17 hours-in-1-day) drive to Texas tomorrow. I'm riding with Rob and Karen, and they're promising coffee and donuts waiting for me when they pick me up before dawn. What fabulous friends.
Monday, December 18, 2006
-When I popped into a coffee shop for some iced tea (it's been in the mid 70's today), I noticed a sign on the door announcing they were closing early so the employees could celebrate Christmas all together. The baristas were more smiley and cheery than usual. I could tell they were excited about closing early.
-After finishing my Christmas shopping, I spent a leisurely afternoon going resale shop hopping. I found a great Harrod's bag that is big enough for a few large books and a notepad. It's shiny and a great deep blue color that turns purple in the sun.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
-Having a youth group member come down to my office after my sermon to excitedly tell me that they found my challenge word and all looked at each other and smiled. I had them give me a challenge word to fit into my sermon (they were kind, it was "dismal" and not "crunk" or something). It's sneaky way of getting them to feel like they have a part in the sermon and to keep them listening the whole way through.
-Spending a lazy Sunday afternoon glued to my couch.
Friday, December 15, 2006
-Collapsing into a two-hour nap after finally finishing all of my schoolwork for the semester. What a relief.
-The anticipation of a fun night of live music and conversation with a few of the other youth advisors from church.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
-Hearing a single seagull singing in the sky, and thinking that it must miss the ocean as much as I do.
-The way the Indian woman at the Farmer's Market pronounced "cho-co-la-te" as she asked if I had chocolate cheesecake in my bakery box. It was such a beautiful accent. This is a double glimpse of grace, because my fabulous neighbor Sandra is cooking dinner tonight for Robin and me, and I'm bringing chocolate cheesecakes for dessert.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
-Watching a Grandfather teach his Grandson to skip stones across the lake below my window.
-The exhilarating feeling of having a sermon that's been buzzing around my head for a week materialize in a rapid stream-of-consciousness frenzy of writing.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
-The tiny red and black dotted ladybugs that crawled around the outside door to my building.
-An unseasonably warm afternoon that allowed me to do my theology studying outside in the sunlight.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
-Being presented with a custom-built pulpit box for my sermon next Sunday at the session meeting tonight. I'm about a foot shorter than the pulpit's used to, so the box is a must. It was something I never actually thought of, but clearly Arch and Rick did.
-"Borrowing" a glass of wine from my generous neighbor Sandra to unwind after a long day.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
-Dancing the "grocery cart" through the middle of a dance circle with Zoe last night at the banquet (and then laughing about how nerdy we were).
-A random two-hour conversation at Java Monkey with the man that sat next to me on the red couch. He's a children's book author and professor, and we chatted about books, travelling, school, politics, religion and writing. It was a refreshing and affirming conversation, where I renewed his faith in young adults and he renewed mine in the power of talking to strangers.
-The 7-month-old baby who sat atop a table at Eddie's tonight during a bluegrass concert. She had these huge earmuffs on so she wouldn't be deafened by the sound, but the constant dancing of her feet proved some music was getting through.
Friday, December 08, 2006
-Having a two-minute conversation with my sister that involved singing a song from Sister Act (in a key I'm pretty sure we invented) to each other and laughing histerically.
-Getting to wear a fun party dress for our Christmas banquet tonight.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
-Last night at Jr. High Bible study, I was telling the young people that we can't say for sure that we know who's going to heaven and who's not, because it's ultimately up to God. I said that we can see salvation in our lives while we're still living, though. I asked them to give some examples of seeing God's salvation in our everyday lives, and one girl said, "You know when you're down, and your friend makes you laugh really hard? I think that's God's salvation." What wisdom.
-A present of Jaffa Cakes from Shirley's children. She's from England, and knew I loved them from when I lived in Belfast, and she had them bring me some when they came to visit. I had a great chat with them when I picked up my Jaffa Cakes about everything from politics to race issues to tomorrow night's dance. The dark chocolate and orangey treats topped it off. Jaffa Cakes are so good that there's a hotline on the box for "Jaffaholics Anonymous."
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
-Singing "All I Want For Christmas Is You" at the top of my lungs with the radio as I drove to work, and not caring a bit who saw me.
-Sneaking out of work (which won't be so sneaky once my colleagues read this) to do my sermon prep at Starbucks, overlooking Lake Lucerne. Watching the rippling water as I gathered my thoughts was cathartic.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
-The strong, pungent smell of the Farmer's Market as I enter. It smells like a combination of coffee and spices. It's a wonderful place where I find the most obscure fruit, wines and vegetables. I always hear at least three different languages being spoken around me.
-Receiving my first Christmas card from my parents' minister. She even included a little gift.
-Tree shadows painted onto the wall outside my apartment. When I first moved in, I loved the wall, with its red Georgia clay staining that makes it whisper of Tuscany.
Monday, December 04, 2006
-Being greeted by name at the coffee shop I go to. Once, when I was shopping at a resale shop around the corner, I met Joey who works at Mocha Match. It began to pour, so I gave her a lift back to work, and she's remembered me ever since.
-The little scrawny tree outside the coffee shop that was decorated with Christmas ornaments. Charlie Brown would love it.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
-The invigorating smell of pine trees as I walked out to my car.
-The cars that carried Christmas trees on their roofs. There were two in a row, and they turned different directions, so they weren't together. I noticed one had children in it. Picking out and tying up their Christmas tree must have been so exciting for them.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
-Turning on the tv this morning and seeing that the Nutcracker Ballet was on PBS. I used to dance in the Nutcracker as a child, and it is still probably my favorite ballet. This one was beautifully graceful.
-Getting a quick visit from Sandra and Chuck. He's in town for the weekend, and we all enjoyed a few minutes of sarcastic, humorous conversation.
Friday, December 01, 2006
-Elizabeth bringing strawberries with caramel and pralined pecans to us in the bookstore. We all shared it, and it was delicious.
-After letting a friend borrow my car, I walked out to it thinking I really needed to get gas. Then I saw that she had put a little in when she borrowed it.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
-The way an orangey sunset crept through the trees and kudzu vines at the edge of campus.
-The cheeriness of the white Christmas lights around an old window I have hanging on my wall. I only had one strand of lights last Christmas, and put them there. I loved it so much I couldn't bear to take them down. Now, they're finally seasonal again.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
-Chatting with Christine, who was a volunteer in Belfast after me, and knowing that we understood each other's experience there better than anyone else could. We'd never met before, but I felt like I knew her, because we both lived in and loved that wee corner called Northern Ireland.
-Knitting my first stitch ever. I've wanted to learn for so long, and today in about 15 minutes, I did!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
-My "The Power of One" DVD finally coming in the mail. I ordered it some time back after reading the novel, and am eager to watch it. I remember loving it when I was younger.
-Listening to Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song" on my record player. It's a Christmas staple for my family, and so it ushers in the season perfectly. I've never heard it on vinyl before this year, and it sounds so rich and clear, I can almost smell the chestnuts roasting.
Monday, November 27, 2006
-The man who works in the kitchen at seminary and always greets me when I get water from the refectory for the bookstore's plants. He is always so friendly to me, and today he said "you have a good day, now, you hear?" as I left.
-As I drove with my windows down, the sweetest floral smell wafted into my window. I couldn't see where the flowers were, but it made my drive home in traffic sweeter.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
-Seeing the twinkling city lights below from my plane window. They looked so small, and it was fun to imagine who lived there. I wondered what their lives were like, and if anyone had ever done the same flying over me.
-Entering the train in the airport that took me to baggage claim, and seeing Sara from school. I almost took the train before it, but changed my mind and went to the second one at the last minute. We were surprised to see each other, and enjoyed catching up after the holiday break. It was so nice to see a familiar face as soon as I got off the plane.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
-Having my favorite breakfast casserole this morning. I also had it at a bon voyage breakfast my family held for me before I went to Northern Ireland, so it brought back good memories.
-Drinking coffee on the back porch with my sister. It was still cool outside, and the steamy coffee and lazy conversation created a perfect morning.
Friday, November 24, 2006
-The fall-leaf-yellow butterfly that landed on a bright red flower in our backyard.
-Shopping arm-in-arm with my sister, so glad for the time together.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
-The whirr of the film projector that I could hear in the silence between previews at the movies last night. It made me feel like I was in a different time period, like the days of Katharine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier. I just watched "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" and that's probably what made me think of them. What a film before its time.
-Seeing Texas stars again. Orion was beautiful last night.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
(Again I'm late with the post...sorry! I've been traveling all around Texas visiting family.)
-Watching my Nana brush my Papaw's hair this morning. They're both in their eighties, and still clearly in love.
-The pungent and delicious smell of a neighbor cooking Mexican food that hits my nose as soon as I step outside.
-The way my Grandmother exclaimed, "Wonnnerful! Just Wonnerful!!" as we all munched on delicious oatmeal raisin cookies.
-Seeing my Papaw take four really big steps across the room. He's recovering from a stroke and knee trouble, and has been working incredibly hard. Those four steps were like running a marathon would be for me.
-The pinkish-yellow light cast across an abandoned building just as the sun begins to set.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
-The little boy at the grocery store who used the grocery cart as a jungle gym. He decided to help his Mom put groceries on the belt, and grabbed for the eggs while she wasn't looking. She caught them from his hands just before he dropped them all.
-Playing in the warm sunlight with our pets, Fritz and Rose. I'm not able to have pets at seminary, and I miss them a lot. Fritz is a little miniature schnauzer, and he is always falling all over himself (literally) to get my attention. I am in awe of how affectionate and unswervingly devoted he is.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
-In the airport, I was eating lunch, and a man sat near me. We started talking and it turned out that he was a part-time minister from England (orginally from Nigeria), in the US on business. I told him that I was in training to be a minister, and that I was going to be assessed as a Candidate for the ministry this weekend. When I said that I was interested in reconciliation ministry, and that I had worked in Northern Ireland, he said, "I thought you were Irish. I just had a feeling you were, and I guess you are on some level." He then said that I should follow my call wherever it leads. It was amazing. Then, he asked to pray with me. After getting over the initial shock of praying in public, I said yes, and he prayed over my travels, for my family and for my call. He prayed that I would be a peacemaker. I also prayed for him, and then we shared email addresses and parted ways. Had I not had his email address in my pocket, I wouldn't have believed he was real. He seemed like a guardian angel. I walked to my departure gate, bewildered, and more sure than ever before that I was going in the direction God wanted me to go.
-Having lunch at the Hobbit Cafe in Houston with my parents after my examination. It is a charming Lord of the Rings themed place, that's been a hallmark in Houston for over 30 years. The sunny outdoor seating under the trees, green wooden paneling and delicious food captures the cheer of Tolkien's Middle Earth.
-The way the sun shined through the glass ceiling of the antique shop my Mother and I walked through. It illuminated the peeling white paint and the brilliant stained glass.
-The feeling of relaxation that really only comes with being home again.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
-The tick-tock of my old wind-up alarm clock. I bought it ages ago in an antique store for 50 cents. At first, the tick-tock kept me awake, but now I can't sleep well without its rhythm. I also love how the face glows in the dark, so that I can always tell what time it is.
-Driving to lunch, we blared the Dixie Chicks "Not Ready to Make Nice" and sang at the top of our lungs. I love that song, with all of its bravery and honesty. It's refreshing to hear country music that isn't afraid to break out of its political mold.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
-Seeing Johanna in the library, she came over and hugged me and gave me a kiss on the cheek and then hugged me again. It was the warmest 'hello' I've received in a while.
-While studying outside, Rodger walked by with some candy, and plopped a couple of handfuls of it onto the picnic table. I needed the sugary pick-me-up as I studied, and so did the two students and security guard who walked by and were given some.
Monday, November 13, 2006
-The way the buildings in downtown Decatur reflected the cloudy blue sky and sunlight.
-Feeling accomplished (and famished) after working out for the first time in a while. Even though my legs were tired, I think I walked a bit taller (which for me is quite a feat) as I left.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
-I glanced over at a light on the way to church, and made eye contact with the taxi driver next to me. We shared a smile and a nice little nod.
-The quality of the light in the coffee shop this afternoon. It cascaded through the window in bright rays, making everything look softer and warmer inside (and making me feel softer and warmer inside).
Saturday, November 11, 2006
-The man who was biking with his daughter and used exaggerated arm motions to cue me that they were turning left. I didn't even know people used those anymore.
-An afternoon of coffee and conversation with Shirley, an exchange student from England. Kim and Elizabeth from school also happened to come by the coffee shop, and we all had a great chat. Accidental gatherings like that are the most fun.
Friday, November 10, 2006
-Getting my coffee in a smiley faced mug at the diner this morning. Its nose stuck out from the mug, and it had little hearts around it. It was very random and cute.
-After speaking at a seminary luncheon, they gave me one of the centerpieces. Beautiful roses, that are yellow and fade to pink. My apartment already smells like them.
-A much-needed Friday afternoon nap.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
-Rushing in to work this morning and kicking myself for skipping breakfast (again), only to discover that Ed had brought us the most delicious chocolate donuts. Coupled with Elizabeth's divine homemade eclairs last night, I'm in chocolate heaven.
-The warm feel of the paper as it comes out of the copier.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
-Treating myself to a hot, chocolatey mocha because I had to be out and about in the cold rain.
-The mother who waited at the bus stop with her baby son. She was holding him, and they were both looking at each other and smiling. Now that I think about it, I should have given them a lift.
Monday, November 06, 2006
-The way the sunlight crept through the brilliant yellows of this tree at Eastminster. I happened to glance up, and was stunned. God seems to be the most flamboyant during fall. :)
-The little old man that was walking down the sidewalk carrying a painting. It obstructed most of his face, and I couldn't make out what was painted on the canvas. Did he paint it? Was he taking it to someone, or just home? I guess I'll never know.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
-A new soft cardigan for the chilly weather.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
-At a meeting this morning, Tom, the sweet Aggie (from last Sat's post), was coughing. A woman got up and went all the way across the room just to give him a piece of candy to help with his cough.
-The zig-zagged imprint on the bottom of my Snicker's bar. Why do most chocolate candy bars have that same pattern on the bottom?
-Driving into Atlanta this afternoon, I saw the lovely skyline, and noticed that a mural along the road was completed. Last time I passed this mural, it was half-finished and had a sign on it requesting donations so that they could complete it. It looks beautiful and bright amid the grey of the city.