Nov 27, 2012 - Devotional    No Comments

Staying Carbonated

“My marriage just went flat… like a soda.”

A good friend of mine who was going through a divorce poured out his heart to me over sushi and sake several years ago. He told me how his life had changed since his wife left. How all the details from new checking accounts to new addresses had to be ironed out. Then he said something that has always stuck with me, “My marriage just went flat… like a soda.” One day he woke up and there was no more sparkle, pizazz or fizz.

So how do we stay carbonated?

How to we avoid such a fate in marriages and other long-term relationships? How do we not set patterns in relating to one another that slowly loosen the cap of our sodas letting out all the carbonation? I think this can be a common tale. We get busy and make time for everything, but each other. We’ve seen the relationships that seem more like co-habitation than marriage.

Honestly, that terrifies me. Even though I am not married and no where near being married, I am frightened that I could lose my carbonation. I am determined to have good relationships. I want to find ways to be pumping carbon dioxide back into my relational soda! Because, let’s be honest, life is hard. The cares and worries of life choke out our spontaneity our sense of wonder, our excitement with the everyday. Life consistently drains the carbonation from our relationships and our lives.  We must fight to keep the bubbles.

I don’t know exactly how to stay carbonated, but I know it should be my goal.

How about you – how carbonated do you feel right now?

 

Image from: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TlXK6EcyXdc/UBGkkTQERBI/AAAAAAAAPTw/Nk4auuz8pB4/s1600/soda_can.jpg

Nov 26, 2012 - Quotes    No Comments

Quote-tastic!

Like I’ve said before, I live my life in movie quotes. There’s nary a day goes by that I am not reminded of a situation and –even more importantly– a beautifully crafted line from one of my favorite flicks. I love the craft of writing and have been known to watch a particularly poignant scene over and over again until I get the transcription perfect! Here’s another salivating movie quote to get you in the Christmas mood! (Thankfully, transcription is courtesy of imdb.com!) But comments are all mine!

Arthur Abbott: [Octogenarian and former screenwriter] You know what I’ve been asking myself all night?
Iris: [Young, single Brit transported to L.A. for Christmas and healing from unrequited love!] What? Why I’m bothering you with all these questions?
Arthur Abbott: I’m wondering why a beautiful girl like you would go to a strangers’ house for their Christmas Vacation, and on top of that spend Saturday night with an old cock-up like me.
Iris: Well, I just wanted to get away from all the people I see all the time!… Well, not all the people… one person. I wanted to get away from one… guy.
[she sobs]
Iris: An ex-boyfriend who just got engaged and forgot to tell me.
Arthur Abbott: So, he’s a schmuck.
Iris: As a matter of fact, he is… a huge schmuck. How did you know?
Arthur Abbott: He let you go. This is not a hard one to figure out. Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend.
Iris: You’re so right. You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for god’s sake! Arthur, I’ve been going to a therapist for three years, and she’s never explained anything to me that well. That was brilliant. Brutal, but brilliant.

Am I the leading lady of my own life? Do I direct my own paths? How about you?

Nov 25, 2012 - My Story    2 Comments

The Soundtrack of my Life

I wish my life had a soundtrack.

It’s how you know something big is coming in a movie – the sappy, lovey-dovey music plays just before the first kiss. The tension slowly builds as the protagonist steels his nerves for battle – raising into a crescendo when the battle is won! I, on the other hand, was completely caught off guard during my first kiss! I wasn’t expecting it and there was no music as warning.

I wish my life had a soundtrack.

I wish the song from Chariots of Fire payed each time I was at the gym cheering me melodically on to run one more minute or lift ten more pounds. I wish that soft and somber music played when I was feeling lonely or sad. Music that allowed me to sit quietly and let the emotion swallow me for a time instead of pressing onward and avoiding whatever is bothering me. I want music to remind me of good times, important memories, difficult trials, successes, missed connections, love and loss.

As I type this I am listening to songs from my all time favorite band, Cool Hand Luke. I love complex, purposeful lyrics, and their ability to subtlely and patiently build to a climax. One of the songs, “Cinematic” reminds me of my first mission trip to Hungary. I used it during my presentation to the church after I returned to remind us all that successes and failures are not up to our efforts, but God’s will.


I remember listening to “One Time” on repeat as I finished my documentation after hours at my first real job – for which I felt woefully ill-prepared. I was a pediatric Occupational Therapist – responsible for the sensory, physical, mental, and academic development of my case load of children with disabilities. I typed to the beat of the music and sang the lyrics, “I can see for miles, you showed me that the mountain I’m climbing is not a mountain at all, but a gentle slope leading home.” It gave me strength to forge steadily onward in my job – and in life.

I remember describing to a friend in the car how I wanted to live my life. Free and unfettered, fully trusting in the Lord. I cued up the song “Friendly Jas” for her on my iPod and cried at the last few lines. They described my hopes, my philosophy of life, and my desire to share this journey with someone else. “Everything has changed, but our hope remains the same. And I want you to know that I’ll be here through a hundred years of rain. Together we run, to what we do not know, trusting on God who made tomorrow.” That’s how I wanted to live. It can still make me cry.

I recently had the immense privilege to meet Mark, lead singer of Cool Hand Luke through a mutual friend. It’s no secret; I was giddy. This guy, though we’d never met, had in one way walked with me in numerous trials and triumphs over the past decade of my life. The words, chords, and notes he wrote were a part of my story. It was a beautiful thing to shake his hand, encourage him for his focus on his craft, and say “Thank you, Mark, your music is very important to me. It is a huge part of the soundtrack of my life.”

My life has a soundtrack. And it’s more beautiful than I could have imagined.

Nov 24, 2012 - My Story    No Comments

Liquid Patience

There was a lot of texting going on yesterday. Friends saying, “Happy Thanksgiving!” or chatting about the fantastic deals they snagged on Black Friday. One friend’s comment caught my attention. He posted, “I’m drinking my liquid patience at Starbucks– getting ready for the mall.”

Liquid patience.

If only!

I needed liquid patience today. I didn’t sleep well, had rough patients, needed to have a potentially tough conversation with some friends. I felt off, un-resilient to life. My eyelids were heavy and my fuse was short.

I needed liquid patience.

But instead, I prayed. I prayed for grace for the moment. I prayed that as I drove home that I would have grace with the other drivers. I prayed that I would enter the house happily instead of crabby for my roommates’ sakes. I prayed that I would be given words of grace, seasoned with salt, instead of caustic, biting words. I prayed for liquid patience.

I think it worked.

And it’s cheaper than Starbucks and always available!

Nov 23, 2012 - My Story    No Comments

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

My brother is profound.

Especially for his age – he’s only fifteen, but can come out with some doozies.

This year, for the first time ever, I went Black Friday shopping. While I am not a fan of crowds, once inside I could sense the excitement and knew why people did this. It was like a drug. According to my receipts I saved over $200 today and spent just a small portion of that! My family frantically rushed from store to store to get the best Black Friday deals we could find. I snagged some seasons of hit TV shows for $8 a piece. Towels for just quarters and quality coffee for a few bucks too. My brother and I headed to Target at opening and waited in a line a few hundred people long to pay. We drove to three different stores to find the absolute best price on a Wii video game he wanted. As we were driving home, feet exhausted, packages piled high, he said, “Isn’t it funny that after we give thanks for everything we have on Thanksgiving, that we focus so much on getting more the very next day?”

Ouch.

So we take one day a year to give thanks, and our gratitude lasts only that long.

What would it be like to live in gratefulness? I think I’d like to find out.

Nov 23, 2012 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Quote-tastic!

I live my life in movie quotes. I it is one of my all time most favorite-est of things when I toss out a movie quote and others can play along. Not only is it fun and uniting, but often times my favorite quotes represent a beautifully crafted sentence which, as a wordophile, I envy!

Here’s a good one:

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” —Albus Dumbledore

Like, I said, beautiful sentence and sentiment, right?

I’m salivating at the possibility of crafting such a tidbit of truth!

Nov 22, 2012 - My Story    No Comments

My Green Dream

Last night I dreamed that I bought deodorant made out of used crayons.

It was the rainbow packaging that got my attention.

I remember walking through the grocery store aimlessly and finding myself on the health aisle. Then I noticed it. The rainbow packaging. So glittery, so sparkly. I wondered what this diamond in the rough could be.

It was crayons repurposed as deodorant.

I stopped my meandering and studied this new find. It contained every color of the rainbow swirled and glitteriezed. It sat quietly on the shelf, sanguine and self-confident next to the Degree. I picked it up, uncapped it, and breathed in slowly. I smelled that waxy new crayon box smell. I was instantly reminded of arranging my 64 count Crayolas into rainbow order. And explaining, in detail, the significant differences between green-blue and blue-green to my parents.

Now that I am awake, I wonder what this could mean. Other than the applaudable fact that my subconscious is apparently extremely environmentally conscious, what does this say about me?

Am I longing for a connection to my childhood? Am I longing for creativity and newness? Am I just really attracted to glittery things?

I’m not sure. But it was a fun dream that I’m thankful to remember and will continue to ponder.

What do you think?

Nov 22, 2012 - Devotional, Exegesis    No Comments

Words! How I Love Thee!

Hi. I’m Kelly and I’m a word-addict.

I love a good word. Something descriptive, whimsical, and multisyllabic. A solid use of persnickety or twitter-pated or kerfuffle or balderdash can make me smile any day!

A friend recently sent me a blog which discussed “25 Handy Words Which Simply Don’t Exist in English.” link here

It had some doozies in it! Some of my favorites were:

“Gigil (pronounced Gheegle; Filipino): The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute.” Here, I’ll even use it in a sentence! “I have to suppress my inner-gigil when I see chubby little infants.”

L’esprit de l’escalier (French): usually translated as “staircase wit,” is the act of thinking of a clever comeback when it is too late to deliver it. As in: “Wait! Come back! I have a snarky comeback now!! (muttered under my breath) L’esprit de l’escalier… the everyday comedian’s downfall!”

And, of course, my favorite was: “Desenrascanco (Portuguese): “to disentangle” yourself out of a bad situation (That is to MacGyver it).” In true MacGyver style, “I never have a plan. I find that the more elaborate my plan, the more can go wrong. I just aim to desenrasanco from whatever kerfuffle I find myself.” (double points for that sentence!)

These words got me thinking about other words that we have trouble translating into English. Words from scripture like agape, chesed, ezer, or paraclete. We can get part of the idea in our English translations of true love, merciful compassion, strong warrior, and steadfast advocate respectively We add adjectives to strengthen the meanings of the above words, but something is left wanting any time we translate from one language to another. This is why it is so crucial to support Bible translation efforts so that people can read the Word in their heart languages.

These thoughts got me thinking even more about translation and how to make ideas transcend literacy and linguistics. When God called Moses to His service via the burning bush in Exodus 3, Moses asks, “’If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” what shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And he said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel,  I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:13-14)

My pastor talked one Sunday about the I AM statements in the book of John and how they hearken back to this passage. He discussed in the sermon that everyone would have known when Jesus presented these I AM statements what he was talking about. Everyone would have known. In a world full of languages and translation difficulties, God chose to make his name something that all languages could handle. He used the most common verb in the world, the “to be” verb, and made his name out of that. This fascinates me because such a choice allows for translation into all languages. But there is a sense in which God cannot be identified by any word. He is bigger than our tongues. He chose to call himself something that would be accessible to Moses, the Israelites and people thousands of years later.

I AM.

He is.

Are there any words more beautiful?

Nov 21, 2012 - Devotional, My Story    No Comments

Welcome to my Crazy

I’ve decided that I’m crazy.
Maybe I stepped over the line whilst doing a jig in my kitchen waiting for the microwave to ding. Or maybe it was when I burst into laughter in the middle of a quiet room because I remembered something hilarious from the day before. Or maybe it was the practical joke that I planned for months and managed to keep secret. (See photo for evidence!)

 

But sometimes, my crazy isn’t fun or lighthearted. Like the time I tried to have a conversation, but it   consisted of mostly harrumphs and sighs because I was too frustrated and distracted to actually find words. My crazy is sometimes insidious. It’s the internal voice that harangues me whispering half-truths that I can be more.

So I’m declaring it. I’m crazy.

Maybe you can relate.

One of my professors in seminary said, “If stress doesn’t get out frontwards, it gets out sideways.” I know this first hand. Sometimes I feel resilient to disappointments in life. I can handle traffic or missed appointments or hard conversations. But sometimes I react more strongly than is warranted for the situation. That’s when I feel the most crazy.

But I’ve also come up with a treatment plan.

Writing.

That’s how I let my crazy get out. In controlled little bursts so as not to overwhelm anyone!

I process life best by writing and thinking through what happened, how I reacted, what could be different. Hence this blog. Because the title is true, I really do think on paper! This blog will contain stories, anecdotes, and general life processing. It will be real thoughts on virtual paper!

Thanks for being a part of my crazy.

%d bloggers like this: