Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oh, what news to share!

I'm home alone tonight. The cold wind and rain beat against the windows begging to come in. Yet here I sit, cozy in my pajamies with an avocado-honey-oatmeal face mask. Delightful. Well, maybe not delightful. My homemade face mask is a little chunky, so I have to stay very still so it doesn't start dropping on the keyboard. That definitely wouldn't be delightful.
Okay, onto the real news. JOHN MCCAIN IS COMING TO MY TOWN THIS WEEK! Sorry, I guess I shouldn't have been so loud about it, but I'm excited! (uh-oh, was that an avocado chunk that fell...) Unfortunately, the tickets are already gone (and they just started giving them out this morning) so I won't get to see him. Nonetheless, I'm thrilled he's visiting our little town and I hope he's able to persuade more of its inhabitants to vote for him and Sarah Palin.
And that's all for tonight, folks. My cozy evening has just begun but I don't plan to spend it on the computer. I have a whole stack of good books to keep me company.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ordinary Day, I'm glad to see you again

My poor little blog, I've neglected you so this month. But good news: the play is over. Now the sad news: the play is over. Looking back on the past two months, I see a lot of hard work. A lot of late nights. That crazy day I went to work with tightly-curled hair because that night I had to have my hair done for my character Elaine... Then I see the four shows this past weekend. I hear the laughter from the fantastic audiences. I remember the friendships formed as we actors worked towards a common goal. And the crazy-busy memories fade into the background as the sweet, special memories surface.
What am I going to do now that the play is over? Welllll, it doesn't take much time for me to answer that question. I'm so excited to have my weeknights back. Today was my day off work and what a delicious day it was. No commitments, nowhere to be all the delightful day. So-- I cooked and baked most of the afternoon. It looked like a tornado went through the kitchen, but I was a good girl and wiped counters and washed oodles and oodles of dishes. My bounty from all this effort, you ask? Apple butter, apple scones, coconut granola, and homemade deep-dish pizzas. The pizzas were from a Rachael Ray episode. The other three recipes are from the cutest cookbook ever, Fall, Family, & Friends-- it's one from the Gooseberry Patch series. I love those cookbooks. They are so cozy and homey and country-ish (I'm exhausted, so let me make up words if I want to, please).
Micah is hyper and happy as always, but I think he missed his walk with me this morning. If I can muster the energy, I'll take him out for an evening stroll. The colors are so beautiful, it will be worth it.
Last little tidbit before I become dutiful puppy-owner: I'm going to Kentucky!! Yay me! Three friends and I are going for a special horse farm tour going on this weekend. The tour will start out in Louisville and continue to Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. I'm really looking forward to a relaxing, enjoyable time with friends. Alright, it's 'mommy and Micah' time because I need to get back before dark.
Sorry this is rather boring and journalish (yeah, I know that's not a word either), but I'm feeling rather laid-back and lazy after my baking bonanza. Until next time...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Birds belong outside, not in public restrooms.

I am a firm believer in that. Especially based on my experience last night at play practice...
We were setting up the stage and preparing to begin running the show. I slipped out to *ahem* use the ladies' room in the back of the theatre. It's a charming restroom-- with a little primping area before you go back to the restrooms. So I open the large wooden door to the aforesaid primping area and step in. The next thing that occurs makes me feel like I'm in Alfred Hitchcock's film "The Birds." THe wooden door slams behind me and SWOOSH! Something flies in front of my face, flapping its wings wildly. Acting on impulse I race out of the restroom. Be still, my heart. I quickly glance around for the other actors, who thankfully are still busy with the stage. I gingerly open the door once more and peek my head in. There, on the table below the mirror, a little sparrow innocently tips his head to the side-- quite obviously confused at my fear. He blinks his little eyes at me and looks rather sweet. I determine he is harmless (plus I really need to use the restroom) so I oh-so-stealthily slip through the primping room. Fast forward to me exiting the restroom. Composed, I walk calmly back to the stage and inform everyone of the feathered visitor. They say they will take care of it. End of story.
Almost. One of the girls comes late to practice and before we realize it, she too has made her way to the back to use the restroom. You guessed it. She does the same thing I did. Enter bathroom. Exit bathroom. All within one second. Now being on the other side, I have to admit it was very funny.
I'm not sure what happened to the bird. I hope he found his way outside through the window, poor dear. After all, that is where birds belong. Outside in the trees and the sky-- not in public restrooms.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

So I Can Be Filled

"Empty me of the selfishness inside
Every vain ambition and the poison of my pride
And any foolish thing my heart holds to
Lord, empty me of me so I can be filled with you"

-"Empty Me," by Chris Sligh

I love it when this song comes up on the radio. I'll recognize it as I'm checking channels and then turn up the volume as I pray to the Lord through this song. It echoes my heart as I seek to weed out things that have selfishly occupied my time. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm going through a season of learning and stretching. I hope to simplify my life so that my purpose of living for God does not get overtaken by distractions and busyness. I am realizing I had heaped my plate full of activites that were fine in and of themselves, yet all together they stole my time and energy and focus.

There were the voice lessons, the barbershop quartet, the community theatre play, teaching CCD, Civil War reenacting, riding horses, being a youth leader...not to mention my dog, my family, my Grant, my outings with friends, my job as a nurse, and my relationship with the Lord. I had very little time for reflection and stillness. My relationship with the Lord was still there, but it lacked some of the depth it had previously had. My friends and family-- the living, breathing people in my life-- became secondary to my "vain ambitions." Although I sought these pursuits for personal enjoyment and to improve myself, I see now that my ideas of self-improvement were tinged with a worldly view and pride. I felt that my time was well-spent with this rich variety of activities. In a way, I began to define myself by what I did rather than who I was. The interesting thing is that most of this problem was within myself and not noticed by others (except my wise parents). Many people today are busy like I was and we all just shrug it off, not realizing we have a choice.

Praise the Lord for gently beckoning us from dangerous paths.

Somehow in the midst of my busyness, I began to crave quietness and heartfelt prayer. I believe God was calling me to draw closer to Him and my soul was aching for the peace that comes with it. He spoke through my conversations with my parents when I was stressed and they would encourage me to cut back on activities. It took me awhile to see it, but after I saw who I was becoming, I began to drop my actitivies, one by one. Sure, I miss a few of them, but giving more quality time to my original commitments and responsiblities-- being a daughter, a sister, a friend, a child of God-- brings a peace and joy that those activities could not. When I look at the precious relationships in my life, I am reminded that the sweetest, most beautiful times in the world are times spent with those we love. Being involved in less, I'm able to give more. Life is slower, richer, and more peaceful.

I'm still learning, though. I still have days where I feel too busy. I look forward to having my evenings back when the play I'm in is finished next month. Yet no matter what my schedule is, the main part of this change is in my heart, in my attitude. I know I'm on the right path now and that the Lord is leading me back to the truly important things in life. He is helping "empty me of me" so I can be filled with Him.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Of Mice and Memories

We cleaned out the attic above my dad's work building yesterday. My sister and I used to play house up there and so there were all sorts of dolls and doll clothing and homemade creations. Normally I would have been rather sentimental having to sort through it and give away or throw away items that hold such precious memories. Fortunately--or unfortunately, I'm really not sure which one-- I was distracted. You see, there has been a rumor lately of mice in the attic. I imagine I'm not the only girl with a fear of mice. There's just something creepy about them...they're fast and sneaky and they have teeth...So I climbed the attic stairs preoccupied with thoughts of the furry creatures rather than my childhood memories.
Thankfully, my mom took the worst job. She would pull out boxes from the deep, dark spaces for me and my brother to carry downstairs. I eyed each box or item carefully before touching it and oh-so-gingerly carried it downstairs, then dropped it at the base like it was on fire. I got a case of the shivers when what looked like a chewed-out hole in the bottom of the box. Nonetheless, we completed our task victoriously without any intruders. Insert sigh of relief here. I love happy endings.
Speaking of animals, this morning after church I was in my bedroom when I heard a faint meow. It sounded like it was coming from my room yet sounded far away. I called for my Maggie, thinking maybe she was under the bed. There it came again-- a tiny "help me" meow. I opened my closet, but no Maggie there. Finally, I looked at the wardrobe in front of me and opened the doors. My little pumpkin peeked her head out of one of the shelves and gave me a happy meow. I have no idea how she got in there without my knowing. Poor thing. She was there all during church! Hopefully she slept most of the time. She looked quite comfortable on my once folded and now wrinkled clothes.