lead me on through the night…

This is gonna be a random one, so get ready, kids:

1. I just got the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack (even though I actually haven’t seen the movie yet…), and it is a perfect summer evening album–good for driving with the windows down, or sitting outside (or inside, if you’re a wimp like me) with a cold beverage of your choice. It makes me want to dance.

2. Also recommended: Blue Bell now makes a cookies and cream flavor with those vanilla Oreos instead of the regular chocolate ones. It is awesome. Makes me happy.

3. Today a bunch of friends and I, together with one friend’s three children and dog, went and had a picnic at the state park, followed by a three-mile hike. Loads of fun, and hey, now my farmer tan is gone. 🙂 I don’t really know why I don’t go hiking more–it’s good exercise, and a chance to get out in nature and get some sun and non-city air. Next time, however, I will have to wear something other than $5 Old Navy flip-flops on my feet (the blisters! the blisters!). Oh, and I got to swing on a swingset today, and I forgot how much it works those muscles by your hips. Also, my fear of falling off of stuff has apparently heightened the older I’ve gotten, since I got more freaked out the higher I got than I remember ever getting as a kid; perhaps this comes from having fallen off stuff more often?

4. Was reminded of this quote by Lauren Winner, and it has been extraordinarily useful in keeping me sane lately:

God is sanctifying [my friends] through marriage and parenthood, but He is not just blessing them and leaving me out in the unblessed cold. He is using my ridiculous jealousy and my endless self-pity to sanctify me.

5. Every generation of my family that I’m aware of has sent at least one of its men to the military (if not necessarily to war). Three grandfathers, two uncles, and now my brother. One of my nephews or cousins’ boys or one of my future sons may be the next one. And as much as I hate war and the fact that it’s even necessary, I honor their service, along with that of all the men and women who didn’t return.

6. File under the Sad News category: Right as he and his girlfriend are about to head to the airport to leave Hawaii, Jorge Garcia’s (the guy who played Hurley on Lost) dog gets hit by a car. Terrible.

7. File this under “The Western Hemisphere totally did not need more disasters”: 115 people died in a tropical storm in Central America. The picture they have up on the site is horrifying.

8. Okay, I’m tired, y’all. Good night.

“it worked.”

1. I’m in Houston, at my parents’ house. I came down on Sunday to watch Lost at Teacher Dave’s place (thanks again, dude) and hang out (like I did with Steph earlier). Heading back in the morning. Gonna go pack when I get done with this.

2. Okay, so, Lost–the thing is, I can see all the flaws with how they ended it, the weirdnesses and awkwardness of the narrative, and yet I don’t really care. I can’t explain why not; I’m not really sure why. But I think it turned the show into a statement on faith and spirituality, and why we need other people in that kind of endeavor. I obviously don’t agree with all of it, but it made a weird sort of sense to me in that I think I’d kind of been anticipating something like that. Call it a hunch. It feels sort of providential that it came around right about the time I am beginning to fall in love with the church, as I’m awakening to the understanding that I need other people and other people need me, to tell each other the Story.

3. That being said, I am also coming to the understanding that I am a person who naturally gets very excited by and drawn in by great stories, the ones that make me want to be a better person–and yet, I am not nearly as excited by the True Story, the one where the point is not making me a better person, but making much of the One who has. Asking that I may be consumed by that instead.

4. I may write something more substantial up about Lost. But for now, you get a survey:

a) What is the most important thing in your life right now?
b) What was the last thing you paid money for?
c) Where was the last place you drove to?
d) What was your favorite book as a kid?

Lost. (And Found.)

If you’re a Lostie, let us discuss in the comments. If you 1) have not seen the finale yet (Hannah Smith, I am looking at you), 2) have not seen the series but eventually want to, DO NOT LOOK AT THE COMMENTS until you see it or else you will probably want to kill me, and I don’t want that. So you have been warned.

on community.

When I was a freshman in college—
Still new enough in the world
To take on projects that were probably beyond me—
I sat down and tried to make a list
Of the names of every person I knew,
From my first grade teacher
To the dreadlocked girl who lived down the hall.
I gave up once I hit about
Five hundred.

At least five hundred people
Whose names and faces I kept
In some corner of my mind,
Crammed together in some sort of
Baroque filing system only
My long-term memory neurons get—
And only a handful that I think
Dwell in my heart (a much
Cozier cubbyhole),

Whom I would want to invite
To dinner underneath the blessing of
A Texas sunset, with whom I would
Break some bread, pour some wine,
Gather around a table like a
Company of warriors after a long battle.

And when I think of that feast
Your face is there, your name is spoken
With affection by everyone around.
We look over the plates and the forks and knives,
Catch the other’s eye, and smile knowingly,
Knowing that we are known,
We are loved, and we belong–
Not a list of anonymous names,
But lives, storylines, family.

let’s go!

All you non-Baylor alums who have just started reading (you know who you are), an explanation: For the past almost-sixty years, Baylor has put on this ginormous talent show called All-University Sing. Groups get together and put on these 7-minute Broadway-style acts; about 90% of the time these are sororities or fraternities, but there is a group for people who don’t want to go Greek but still want to do Sing, called Sing Alliance. I was in this group my senior year (you can see our performance here). Anyway, I’m probably the only one remotely interested in this, but here’s Sing Alliance’s act from this year, which won third place! All the costumes and set were made by the members, as was the choreography (a lot of groups hire outside people). Anyway, this makes me a proud alum:

how beautiful.

I have been growing to love the church a lot lately.

The past few months I’ve just watched as people have loved one another, have loved me, have loved God. I’ve been watching as their lives are changed by the Spirit and the gospel, and have been genuinely awed by it. I feel as though I am watching something sacred happening–heck, I am watching something sacred happening–and it’s almost embarrassing, because how do I get the privilege to see this? Ah, Lord, You give us not only Yourself, but one another, grace upon grace, and my cup overflows with it.