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.