it’s another saturday night…

1. This has been an interesting week. Just saying.

2. So, I’m back at Target, but not anything out on the floor–I’m going to be working at the Starbucks inside a new store they’re opening in a month or so, so that’s at least something different. I’ve always wanted to do barista work, so here’s my shot. 🙂 It’s so funny, though–the day they told me I got the job, I’d woken up freaking out about it, how I didn’t want to work retail again, and then God goes and drops this in my lap. He’s faithful when I’m faithless.

3. Classes started this week, too, but I’ve only had one…my professor in that class looks like a slightly thinner Javier Bardem. Has the Spanish accent and everything (I believe he’s from Mexico). Slightly better haircut than Anton Chigurrh, so I’m not tempted to run screaming from the room. 😉 The class itself looks pretty interesting–it’s called Understanding and Serving Users, which is basically how to make stuff accessible so people aren’t pulling their hair out trying to figure out how it works. Rather important information to have around, I’d say.

4. Not much else to say, except I’ve been doing some exploring, both on my own and with some people, and I have to say, I love this city more and more every day. There are some seriously broken people here, lots of opportunity for the gospel to go out, and I think that’s part of the reason why I’m growing to love it–because it needs to be loved.

5. Just because I haven’t done one in a while, a reader survey:
a) So, what have you done this weekend?
b) What was the last thing you bought?
c) Where’s your favorite place to go in your city?
d) If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?

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t13 (the really late edition)

Work (yeah, work–more on that later) + Law and Order: Criminal Intent on USA + general procrastination = late T13. Sorry. Anyway…

This week: 13 favorite articles of clothing.

1. A red skirt from American Apparel I bought in New York that’s seriously one of the most comfortable things I own.
2. My “Keep Waco Wacko” t-shirt from Common Grounds that I intend to wear a lot while in Austin. 😀
3. This blue knit shirt from Old Navy…it’s hard to describe. But it’s cute.
4. A blue wrap dress that makes me feel like a full-fledged adult when I wear it (right now, I’m just kind of a quasi-adult, I feel like)
5. My black heels. I only own one pair, and I’ve had them since my junior year of high school, but they’re cute. And I can walk in them without falling over.
6. A red wool peacoat that I bought in Edinburgh for $12.50 at a charity shop.
7. A little ego trip: I made myself a pair of fingerless gloves, and they are ridiculously great.
8. This pair of brown pants that I almost never wear, but I like them a lot. I need to get more stuff that actually goes with them…
9. A pair of blue kneesocks with pink polka dots. Seriously.
10. I got a red plaid skirt from New York and Company that feels kind of like some kind of wacky kilt…it’s fun. I like it.
11. My official Junkmail for Blankets t-shirt, even though 1) he hasn’t really blogged since he and his wife had a kid (and who can blame him) and 2) my shirt has holes in strange places.
12. My fake Vans from Target. They’re pretty stellar.
13. An orange long-sleeved t-shirt with a hood. I don’t think you can technically call that a hoodie, but I don’t know what else you’d call it.

mix tape monday

This week: Cover songs.

1. Alien Ant Farm, “Smooth Criminal”
2. U2, “All Along the Watchtower”
3. Joe Cocker, “Come Together”
4. The Frames, “40”
5. Kevin Max, “Save Me”
6. Counting Crows, “Friend of the Devil”
7. Lisa Hannigan and Damien Rice, “Get the Party Started”
8. Johnny Cash, “Hurt”
9. Lori McKenna, “Fake Plastic Trees”
10. Iron & Wine, “Such Great Heights”
11. Nickel Creek, “Tomorrow is a Long Time”
12. Jars of Clay, “Lonely People”
13. Ben Folds Five, “She Don’t Use Jelly”
14. Damien Dempsey, “I Believe In a Thing Called Love”
15. Caedmon’s Call, “Diamonds On the Soles of Her Shoes”

i have no clever title.

1. I’m in that strange period of moving to a new city when I don’t really know anyone and I don’t have anything to do (not really), so I’ve been reduced to spending lots of time wandering around the city burning gas and spending lots of time reading at Starbucks and browsing the Internet. I’m antsy and anxious for something to do, and for a community to join. But at the same time it’s so sweet because in these moments when I don’t really have anything to hold me up, that’s when God meets me and reminds me that He is sufficient for me. Work and relationships are good, and I believe He will provide both (definitely work, anyway), but in the meantime I am learning and relearning to trust Him. And that’s good, because for a while I was going on autopilot, and I need this to refocus me before I get thrown into the mix of life for a while. I don’t really know why I’m telling y’all this, except 1) to encourage you, maybe and 2) prayer would be cool. Thanks.

2. Let’s see…to get this a little lighter, what can I say? Uh, I’m currently reading The Gospel In a Pluralist Society, which is all kinds of fun (although I definitely disagree with some of his arguments…), but good stuff. Listening to lots of podcasts, lots of John Mayer (woot), lots of Wilco and Andy Osenga…wanting to get some Adele, if only for “Hometown Glory”, which is glorious (listen to some of her stuff here). I had Amy’s for the first time today, and I can guarantee that I’ll be going back (the Mexican Vanilla is really, really good). Tried to go to a church today, but couldn’t find it (a testament to my lack of spacial reasoning), so I went to a local bookstore instead, which was fun, but not what I was hoping to do this morning, y’know? Knitting a sock (this pattern, if anyone cares). Thus ends my ramblings about stuff you’re probably not interested in–but that’s what blogs are for anyway, right? 😉

3. And that’s the weird thing about the tech generation–we’re so self-focused, but we have almost no real self-awareness, much less others-awareness. I wonder how that can change (I mean besides the very obvious answer of the gospel turning us upward and outward and–paradoxically–making us more truly aware of our own hearts…but maybe there’s no other real solution but that).

4. Geez, this is what happens when I have nothing real to do except think all day–I start babbling a lot. Thanks for putting up with it this long… 🙂

t13

This week: Because I’m really uncreative at the moment, 13 things that are on your mind that you can disclose.

1. I’ve had one of my friends weighing heavy on my mind for a while, and I don’t know why. Nothing’s really wrong, but something’s been bothering me and it’s driven me to my knees about it.

2. My parents miss me, which is really sweet. And I miss them. Thankfully, though, I’m not doing a repeat of my freshman year of college and calling to tell them how much I hate it here and I need to come home. 😀 Maturity helps with that quite a bit. 😉 Plus, I met some good people today.

3. I have terrible trouble remembering, when it comes to making relationships with other people, that I don’t need to impress them or make myself look cool so they’ll think Christians are cool. I mean, we’re not cool as far as the world is concerned, and if we are His it shouldn’t really matter. I don’t need to make Jesus or me as a Christian relevant or popular to my peers; He calls me to declare His name in word and deed without thought for that. I need to quit making other people my gods and instead submit to the true God so I’m free to love and enjoy other people without condition.

4. Registration is today. Hopefully I get into all the classes I need.

5. Where am I going to go to church this weekend?

6. Our apartment is a mess. I need to finish unpacking and get all these cardboard boxes out of here…

7. We need furniture. 🙂

8. Uh, so, orientation was today, and I met a lot of good people, and my adviser is a hoot, and this is a much more interesting field than I anticipated, so this is going to be a fun two years. 🙂 There are a bunch of folks from out of state, and we had a little after-party, and while we were there I discovered some of them didn’t know what queso was, which amused me.

9. Hot sun + walking + not eating = feeling kind of icky. Air conditioning + dinner helped remedy that quite a bit, though.

10. Started reading The Cider House Rules and The Gospel In a Pluralist Society today. Both very interesting. Looking forward to the rest.

11. What in the world should next week’s T13 be?

12. I need to start going to bed earlier…

13. I’m almost out of milk already. Need to go get some more tomorrow.

mix tape monday

This week: Your ridiculous music–the songs that make you laugh, the ones that make you wonder “Why do I have this?” until you listen to it and it’s so goofy that it makes you smile. For example:

1. Flaming Lips, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1” (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots)
2. Party Ben, “Galvanize the Empire (Chemical Brothers vs. John Williams)”
3. Paul Westerberg, “Mister Rabbit” (Stereo)
4. The Beatles, “Yellow Submarine” (1)
5. Bob Dylan, “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” (Bringing It All Back Home)
6. Strong Bad, “Everybody to the Limit”
7. Calibretto 13, “High Five” (Enter the Danger Brigade)
8. Five Iron Frenzy, “Oh Canada” (Our Newest Album Ever)
9. Steven Delopoulos, “Young Son” (Work to Be Done EP)
10. Two-Faced John McCartney, “Zombies Walk!!” (The King Mixer)
11. Veggie Tales, “Love My Lips” (Veggie Tunes 2)
12. Caedmon’s Call, “Oompah Loompah Song”

“the stars at night are big and bright…”

*clap clap clap clap* …somewhere outside of Austin. Too many streetlights here to see the stars; I’d probably have to hop on I-35 and wander outside the city quite a bit to see them.

But yeah, I’m in Austin. This is sort of surreal. Blogging thanks to Comcast and my father, who is good at setting up wireless routers (thanks, Dad). Sleeping on an air mattress set inside my bed frame, which is hilarious. Missing Houston people already, if not Houston itself, but I plan on keeping busy and meeting new people. I visited a church today and met some people already, so there’s that. 🙂 iSchool orientation is on Wednesday, so I’ve got a little bit to putter around, get a feel for the city, look for a job.

I do have a request for you guys: Pray that I will be a person who loves Austin, who wants to see it transformed by the gospel, who loves her people. Pray that I’ll love my fellow believers enough to remind them of Jesus; pray that I’ll declare the gospel to the lost here, in word and in deed. Pray that I’ll be brave and vulnerable enough to pursue good relationships here, to speak the truth in love. The seed of that’s been planted in my heart already, and I have faith that God will make it grow.

This is going to be good. I can just feel it.

a little bit of something.

I wrote the third draft or so of this during church on Sunday (sorry, Bill); this is the final version (for now):

I came to meet God today
I came to hear the voice that spoke the stars into space
the voice that was Word, Word that was flesh
flesh that is body and blood broken for us
bread and wine for the long road ahead
and I will taste and see that the Lord is good

I came to meet God today
and angels caught me unaware
as they went dancing up and down the stairs
hung in between heaven and earth
they taught me their one-song glory
and told to me the old, old story
of eternity invading time
of a kingdom coming for you, for me
for in the six days of nine to five
I stand a little less alive
like the silver cord that will one day break
(for dust we are, to dust we will return)
but today the Lord said let there be light
we are raised to life like a dry bone army
only to have the Spirit set us aflame

I came to meet God with His blood on my hands
but before this Judge I don’t fear to stand
because these stains are my safety and my alibi
so I raise them up rejoicing like a flag flown high in a hostile country
they are the marks of my longing for my true fatherland
I just came here to get a glimpse
to hear its song, to taste its riches

I came to meet God today
and at first I didn’t recognize Him because
He looked an awful lot like you
for we too are His body
broken and poured out like a drink offering
but raised up again to life and seated in Him in the heavens
sorry, ms. rowling, we are the real
order of the phoenix–and we don’t need spells
we are the children of the Deeper Magic before the dawn of time

I came to meet God today
and He left His kiss on my lips
and His name on my hands
(and in those days, he said, one will
write on her hands, “i am the Lord’s”)

I came to meet God
and He did not disappoint

thursday 13

This week: 13 good quotes from miscellaneous places.

1. “What we do of necessity can drag us down, and all too often the repetitive and familiar become not occasions for renewal, but dry, stale, lifeless activity. When washing dishes, I am no better than anyone else at converting the drudgery of the work into something better by means of playful abandon. The contemplative in me recognizes the sacred potential in the mundane task, even as the terminally busy go-getter resents the necessity of repetition. But, as Søren Kierkegaard reminds us, ‘Repetition is reality, and it is the seriousness of life…repetition is the daily bread which satisfies with benediction.’ Repetition is both as ordinary and necessary as bread, and the very stuff of ecstasy.” –Kathleen Norris, The Quotidian Mysteries

2. “Of all the anguish in the world, there is nothing like this—the sense of God, without the sense of nearness to Him.”—Jeremy Huggins

3. “People wonder why the novel is the most popular form of literature; people wonder why it is read more than books of science or books of metaphysics. The reason is very simple; it is merely that the novel is more true than they are. Life may sometimes legitimately appear as a book of science. Life may sometimes appear, and with a much greater legitimacy, as a book of metaphysics. But life is always a novel! Our existence may cease to be a song; it may cease even to be a beautiful lament. Our existence may not be an intelligible justice, or even a cognizable wrong. But our existence is still a story.” –G.K. Chesterton

4. “Christian, believe this, and think on it: Thou shalt be externally embraced in the arms of that love which was from everlasting, and will extend to everlasting—of that love which brought the Son of God’s love from heaven to earth, from the earth to the cross, from the cross to the grave, from the grave to glory—that love which was weary, hungry, tempted, scorned, scourged, buffeted, spit upon, crucified, pierced—which did fast, pray, teach, heal, weep, sweat, bleed, die; that love will externally embrace thee.” –Richard Baxter

5. “Through your own merciful dealings with me, O Lord my God, tell me what you are to me. Say to my soul, I am your salvation. Say it so that I can hear it. My heart is listening, Lord; open the ears of my heart and say to my soul, I am your salvation. Let me run toward this voice and seize hold of you. Do not hide your face from me: let me die so that I may see it, for not to see it would be death to me indeed.” –Augustine, The Confessions

6. “Oh, you who are!
“Ecclesiastes calls you the All-powerful; the Maccabees call you the Creator; the Epistle to the Ephesians calls you liberty; Baruch calls you Immensity; the Psalms call you Wisdom and Truth; John calls you Light; the Books of Kings call you Lord; Exodus calls you Providence; Leviticus, Sanctity; Esdras, Justice; the creation calls you God; man calls you Father; but Solomon calls you Compassion, and that is the most beautiful of all your names.” –Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

7. “There are good things going on in the wider world, and we must join in while always remaining on the lookout for the point where we will be asked to do something that goes against the grain of the gospel. There are wicked things going on in the wider world, and we must stand out against them while always remaining on the lookout for the point where we become mere dualists, retreating from the world, which is already charged with the grandeur of God. All this is difficult enough at the best of times and all the more so now because we in the West have simply not thought in these terms for a couple of hundred years. Once again, William Wilberforce and others like him have something to teach us. And suddenly all those shrewd remarks of Jesus come home to roost. It is time to figure out what it will mean, in the real world of the twenty-first century, to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” –N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope, p. 269

8. “Justification by faith means that I have nothing else on which to depend except my receptivity to which I can never own or manage. And this capacity to receive cannot be the result of effort. Faith is something given, not achieved. It is created by God’s word in Christ.” –H.A. Williams

9. “The story you tells reveals the story you inhabit.”—Dr. Phillip J. Donnelly

10. “Potato guns don’t kill people–potatoes kill people.”–Geof Manthorne

11. “It is something sensational to consider that there is, far and close, vague and defined, separate but intertwined, a God who watches all and is not confused, but sets the sun to its course, frames the trees with symmetry, and with like precision, judges each man’s heart as quickly as it beats. No poet, in the greatest of his imaginings, could conceive of anything greater than the real; this great plot pitting us against our death, this spinning sphere of color giving flesh to the story God is slowly telling Himself; a story growing nearer and nearer to its dramatic conclusion. It does not escape me that I am blessed to be included in this tale of a billion human conflicts and singular resolution.”—Donald Miller, Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance, p. 44

12. “Baby, I am tied to a tree in a jungle of mystery. I’ve just been tortured by a spinal surgeon and a genuine Iraqi. And you can’t bring yourself to give me one little kiss?”–Sawyer on Lost

13. “I got a plan.”
“Oh, thank God! What is it?”
“One…We die horribly and painfully, you go to Hell and I spend eternity in the arms of Baby Jesus.”
“Oh.”
–Gunn and Wesley on Angel

mix tape monday

This week: Songs over 7 minutes long.

1. Counting Crows, “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby” (August and Everything After)
2. Waterdeep, “Take Jericho”
3. The Decemberists, “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” (Picaresque)
4. Adelaide, “Elegy in A Minor”
5. Bob Dylan, “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” (Bringing It All Back Home)
6. Sufjan Stevens, “Majesty Snowbird (live)”
7. Iron & Wine, “The Trapeze Swinger” (In Good Company)
8. Patty Griffin, “Mother of God” (Impossible Dream)
9. Wilco, “Reservations” (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)

run time: 1 hour, 14 minutes