Wednesday, August 13, 2014

i forgot my journal


i'm old school.  i love paper.  i love pens.

how did i forget my journal for my night of reflection?

it's hard to feel like i disconnected very much without the ability to actually write things down on paper.  blogging and microsoft wording are not the same, kids.


on an unrelated note, i taught a sixth grader 'bumsauce' and 'awesomesauce' and expect he will be plugging them into his every day vocabulary henceforth.  you're welcome, world.

Friday, August 8, 2014

hunker down and listen

i am an introvert who does not process well externally.  and, in fact, i don't process internally very much, either.  let me explain--i process a lot.  there's just not a lot of 'doing.'  how i process typically looks like this:

i hunker down by myself.  i write just enough thoughts to clear the top of my brain off.  and then i wait.  i listen.  i let things marinate.  and then i wait.  and then i wait.  and then i wait.  and eventually, the process becomes part of me, part of my language.  sometimes i will share tiny bits, fractions of it. 

slicky processes at light speed.  that is not an exaggeration.  it literally knocks me on my butt sometimes to watch and hear her process.  i love how her brain is wired to arrange and connect.  it is like watching a super computer sift through a lifetime of information, repackage it, and deliver a finished product.  in 11 seconds.

i have told her before that my brain is far less like the giant cloud of information in her head and much more like an antiquated card catalog and filing system.  i am a tiny, creaky old librarian who shuffles between dusty drawers, tediously compiling data on yellowed parchment.

while our differences in process speed and available words in a day can make communication challenging at times, i am so thankful for the unique ways we work.  these differences have stretched and grown me tremendously.  i believe that we are being sharpened because of these differences.  and that is a pretty wonderful thing.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

dear world

i am still here.  i just have so, so many things to say that i am saying nothing.  it's a common problem for me.

so here are the highlights in my head:

nicaragua  <3

just...i don't even...ahhhhhh.  i have no idea what to say that actually explains this trip.  it was incredible.  i am deeply and madly in love with my team, with the country, with the people, with the way we did the trip...  just so so so many good things.  i am still processing so much that it is difficult to give sound bites.  my heart is full to the point of exploding.

the 6021

the house is not quite complete...still waiting on the river ghost to move in.  she's coming slowly.  :)  but slicky, last pitch, and i are in and waging war against the steroid-infused spider army that seems to occupy the basement.  i love living in community with ridiculous weirdos, so i am in a great place right now.  :)  and i get to mow again!  my heart is happy.

how to succeed in business without really trying

(not the musical, even though it's fantastic).  work stuff is shifting...for the better, i think.  in three months, things are going to be very different.  i am amused at the direction i am moving vocationally, but i can't wait to see how it continues to prepare and shape me for whatever adventure is next.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

things i'd rather be doing

...finishing 'a thousand dollar tan line'


...doing logic puzzles

...doing jigsaw puzzles

...playing 007 on nintendo 64 with kyle, heather, and travis.  paintball.  slappers only.

...getting new batting gloves and a softball bat hangout with jb and mj

...playing my guitar

...watching veronica mars with cousin bronsky

...learning to kick box

...sitting with a glass of red wine in [my almost] backyard

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

dancin like the floor's on fire

when i am stressed out, i make lists.

and then i make lists of lists.

and then i make spreadsheets with tabs of the lists of lists that are color coordinated. guess what i've been doing?  :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

what in the what of whats

oh, i have fallen into my negligent blogger ways again.  alack, alas.

quick update on my life:

i am done being a tiger.  or a tiger fairy.  or a tigerfairychameleonfrog.  there never really was much of a consensus.  it was exhausting and stretching and more fun than i expected.  i doubt i will do it again.  although i apparently said i would never run a half marathon again (as mj reminded me when i told her i was running a full marathon).

i leave for nicaragua in three weeks.  booyah.  should be good.  excited about our group.  excited to see what the Lord has in store. 

i murdered my ankle a couple of weeks ago playing softball.  it is slowly recovering, although i am not really helping it out much.  i babied it for a week, and now i am just annoyed it's not better yet.  ankles are dumb.  the moral of that story is that i need to be ever so slightly less competitive and have a better attitude in general.

i took a quiz to find out which anne of green gables character i would be.  either i am faulty or the quiz is.  it told me i would be gilbert, which i have no real problem with, except that at the end, it said i was very likely an ENTP. 

remember how i said i was leaving the country in three weeks?  yeah, it's also our goal to move before then.  so...that could be interesting.

that's all the news that's fit to print at the moment. 

willy out.

Friday, June 6, 2014


i mentioned this at small group last night, so i thought i would throw it out there for all you other randos reading my blog.

i have some ideas percolating in my brain.  or marinating, as my college roommate would say.  either way, we're using food analogies, so it's a win.

these ideas are about how the Lord has equipped me with a strange assortment of skills and interests.  and how he never leads me one place without using it as preparation for another place he plans to take me.  which can make crappy situations more tolerable and great situations really exciting.

so i have been letting thoughts float around in the back of my brain without really trying to nail them down yet.  i have found that if i wait quietly, they will eventually settle.  if i rush them, however, they tend to flee like startled deer. 

due to my waiting and settling process, i don't currently have a lot of details to share with you, but i can kind of draw big circles around what i am talking about--

~i work in a finance-driven world right now.  by and large, i don't care about money.  i think it's dumb, and i have no desire in getting lots of it just for the sake of having it.  but my goal is to give more and more away.  so even if i don't have a lot right now, i can use what i do have wisely.  what does this look like?

~while never really having much direction in my life, i care a ton about helping other people live out of their strengths and passions.  this is especially true for students.  what kind of partnerships and pathways might be formed here?

~i have english and counseling degrees, but i also have a knack for spreadsheets and organization.  i don't care about the formality of the business world, but the structure and function of it are interesting to me.  can my wide stretch of skills bring out the best in all these venues?

~i love to learn.  i feel more engaged in life when i am absorbing information.  lately, i have been soaking up so much about third culture, effective mission work, investments, etc.

~and most of all, i love God, and i love people. 

the list goes on.  so what do i do with all of these things?  i am a firm believer in micro changes making a macro difference.  by starting small around me, the effect could be multiplied out through the people i impact.  i don't have that figured out yet, but i hope you will partner with me as i pray and wrestle through these things.

i'd love to hear your thoughts on this one.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

what i do like to talk about...

so i like to find blogs and articles and send them to people.  this has multiple purposes.  one, i just like sharing things that are awesome.  recipes, cool apps, an unreasonable amount of pictures of my niece and get the idea.  two, when i resonate with the heart of the article/book/blog, sharing it is a way of sharing part of myself without having to come up with all the words on my own.  as an introvert, sometimes i just don't have enough words.  and three, sharing something important to my heart is a way to stimulate thoughts and conversation about real life stuff.

speaking of sharing, i hope you've been checking out mj's blog.  you can subscribe by email, so there's no reason not to!  just go here and do that quickly.  then come back.

ok welcome back.  :)

this blog i write is not about singleness.  it's not about introverts.  it's not about middle children.  it's about life--the stress, the mess, the grace, and the joy.  but because my life encompasses singleness, introversion, and middle children (ok, i don't write about being the middle child very often--it's probably more in the undertones.), i write about these things from time to time.

and let's face it.  it can be a struggle to be a single introverted middle child.  talk about the short end of the social stick, am i right?

so here's one of my shares: this week, i sent a link to this blog to a few people.  you'll notice it in mj's blog, too.  it has some great words, and i would love for you to read it.  it talks about singleness in a very real way.  what i love most about it is how continually inclines toward Jesus.  i think that's incredibly important when talking about anything that we are chewing on--matters of the heart that just don't sit or fit.  no matter where you're at or what you're feeling, learning to press into it.  search out God in it.

and i think it's helpful to talk about these things as they relate to the body.  it's difficult to be a single person in the church (thank you, Jesus, for my small group!), and it is easy to feel misunderstood or even forgotten.  but i think it's also tricky to articulate how we need the church to love us and care for us.  it's challenging at times to affirm in ourselves that we are not less-than because we do not have spouses.  it's hard hard hard to answer questions about why we are STILL single.  it's frustrating to carry the hope of being a wife and mother while also trying to live fully and authentically.

so we wait.  we pray.  we hope.  we cry.  and we wrestle with the questions.  we give ourselves to the process and to community.  we share, and we talk.

this is life.

Friday, May 23, 2014

being uncomfortable

a lot of things make me uncomfortable.  i mean, a LOT.  and since our instincts generally push us to find balance and comfort, i naturally want to avoid the uncomfortable things.  unfortunately for me, much of my discomfort comes from people.

so on a very regular basis, i am faced with the things that make me uncomfortable.  and i have choices in that.  i can push into the discomfort, or i can run away from it. 

i try to keep it really simple.  my purpose and passion are to love God and to love people. 

so when i am overwhelmed and uncomfortable, i just focus on that.  love God.  love people.  love God.  love people.  and once those truths have settled into my heart, i can think more clearly about how to do those things.

and i press into the discomfort.  i say yes to things that are hard fits.  i push myself to invest.  i do new things that stress me out.

you know what?  the Lord is very faithful and totally honors that.  despite the imperfect and messy way that i fumble through those hard things.  despite the awkward interaction.  despite my sin.  despite the fact that i feel out of place.  he brings blessing and encouragement and continues to grow and shape me. 

here's a recent example:

i got roped in to helping out with mission adventure (it's our version of vbs).  not just helping, but leading a team.  i am in charge of competitions.  we are challenging the kids to bring quarters in.  for every ten quarters ($2.50), a kid in india will have clean drinking water for a year.  (let that one sink in for a minute!)  so the kids will be in teams, and each night of mission adventure, the team with the highest percentage of quarters will get the travelling trophy and some candy.  and if all four teams meet the nightly goal, then our head pastor and children's pastor have to do funny/weird challenges.  so during the actual week of mission adventure, my job is pretty simple...count quarters, award the trophy, and make other adults do weird things.  awesome.  i can handle that.

but then i found out that i also had to create a character who would go into the classrooms on the sunday mornings leading up to mission adventure to tell the kids all about it and get them pumped up.  probably a bit unecessarily, i got extremely stressed out about this.  i felt pressed for time, rushed to work out details, and alone in the whole situation.

so i did something kind of unusual for me.  i shared how i was feeling with someone who had the ability to help.  and more structure was given to the situation, as well as encouragement and grace.  (i should note how thankful i am for the leadership in our church!)

so i created my character: wilhelmina argentina.  (but you can call me willy.)  i'm one weird animal!  i'm actually a morphing combo of animals...i have some monster feet, frog legs, chameleon arms and hair (i plan on changing the color every time), butterfly wings, and a tiger face. 

i got a mixed response from the kids at church.  the k-1 classroom thought i was pretty cool, but the 2nd-3rd grade classroom were a little skeptical.  so i wasn't sure if they even understood what i was doing or what i was trying to tell them.  and an older student told me that if i did this every week till mission adventure, the kids would get super bored.  so i felt a little discouraged.
but on tuesday, the children's pastor called me to share some really fun news.  two girls from the 2nd-3rd grade classroom went home and set up a lemonade stand to help the kids in India.  they raised $100 and are totally psyched to contribute during mission adventure.  so they heard the message, it got in their hearts, and they did something about it.  how cool is that?
this is what i am talking about.  when i press into things that are hard for me, the Lord moves and blesses.  he helped spark something in two little girls in indiana to care for 40 kids in india. that makes my heart explode.   
love God.  love people.  love God.  love people.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

she's even as good looking as a mailbox...

dear friends,

if you're not currently on top of your game, do yourselves a solid and start following  mj knows what's up.  she likes everything awesome in the world.  she has a great accent.  she plays hockey.  she's an exceptionally fun auntie.

by following her blog, you will get fresh fashion advice (for those of you who take it...we know how well it goes over for me), a veritable cookbook, breathtaking photography, thoughts of a faithful servant, sporting updates (brewers! brewers!), excellent book and music recommendations, and so much more!

do it. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

when i feel

it's scary for me to feel.  i don't do things in small measure...i'm either in or out.  so when i feel, i feel deeply.  that can make me feel off the edge and out of control at times. 

i think frustration can be one of the hardest emotions for me.  it makes me feel like a two year old when i go from chill to frustrated out of my brain in eleven seconds.  frustration is low level anger, right?  i'd rather just have some high level anger and be done with it.  because there's a rage period, and then it's over.

but frustration?

oy.  just so much oy.

frustration usually results when i am faced with a problem (sometimes a person) that i anticipated and did everything i could to avoid.  and then still have to deal with.

and it usually involves lots of extra work for me. 

see, i'm all about efficiency and creating models for myself--so once i do a great measure of hard work, i don't have to do it again for that same project.  and having to do the same thing over and over despite my best efforts at efficiency makes me go slowly insane. 

you heard it here first.  i am going slowly insane.  i'd sign and notarize it, but i am not legally allowed to notarize my own signature.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

baby danger: the legend grows

tonight, i am hanging out with my ridiculous nephew.  three and a half year olds are hilarious.  and exhausting.  luckily, this one's been sick, so he's not at full energy level right now.  which means he still has 400% more energy than me.

it's pretty fun to compare him to shorty mcgee...they are very very different.  she was extremely verbal very early on.  he is just getting to a semi-verbal point.  he mostly just repeats things in his stinking adorable voice.

dooby doob?  chardie browd?  bye, buddyyyyyyy.

baby danger and shorty are also very similar in some ways, though.  they are both super smart and super musical.  i am pretty sure shorty will, like her father, master every musical instrument and be the star of many stage shows.  baby danger will probably get totally into guitar and start a cool hipster band.  he'll definitely rock some skinny jeans.

the little man has the best smile, an incredibly joyful heart, and gives the greatest hugs and kisses.  although he is a total stinker, he is also a total sweetheart.

he is currently hiding under his jake and the neverland pirates blanket yelling, 'yuyu, where are you?' (not quite the master of l's yet) and then giggling to himself.

it's really too bad i don't like my nephew at all.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

table for one, please

i don't want to be around people
because people keep talking
and talking
and talking
to me
and social etiquette dictates
that i should not ignore
slash punch
gosh i'd hate to be
because standing and spewing nonsense to me
definitely isn't
rude it's just how society works
you know
there are
too too too
many words
too too too
much noise
and my cranky introvert heart
just wants to rip off
these freaking work clothes
put on some sweatpants
and be alone
in the quiet
for several hours
or years
depending on how it goes

Thursday, April 17, 2014

because why not?

i became a notary today.  what did you do?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

there's a song in my heart

i was in organized choirs for 13 of my formative years (even though my family swears they didn't know about 4 of them).  i love singing.  i love hearing voices blend and harmonies weave around melodies. 

i play guitar and have written bunches of songs and even recorded a cd, but i know i am not a soloist.  never have been and don't want to be now.  i am a choral singer.

i love singing alto.  most of the time, i don't have my mom's gift of being able to pick out a harmony just from hearing the melody.  as with most things, i have to work hard before i become ok at it.  but i really enjoy nailing the harmony once i have learned it.

we are doing a very small choral number at church on sunday, and we had a rehearsal last night.  i had a ridiculous amount of fun, and it made me miss being in choir badly.  i don't know if i miss it badly enough to throw on a fuschia dress and character shoes again, but...

my name is holly, and i love choir.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

heather jean

it is my big sister's birthday.  she is pretty rad.  33 is a cool number.

if you don't know heather, probably should.  here are some things to help you know her even better:

she has an alien baby in her leg.  there is a long story about it.  with many pictures.

she can keep track of sports facts like nobody's business.  if a player ever even once thought about playing for the colts, cubs, or pacers, she knows them.  and will track them for the rest of their lives. 

yes, she is a cubs fan.  this explains really so much about her.  even though i am a deeply devoted brewers fan, i can accept her love of the cubs because i know it actually stems from her love of grandma willman.  and that is a perfectly acceptable thing.

heather is 15.5 months older than me.  she was small as a baby, and i was big.  so many people thought we were twins.  we are not. 

i am not sure how this system started, but since we are close in age and both girls, we got many presents that were the same except for the color.  she got pink, and i got purple.  i don't think either of us really liked how that turned out.

heather and i have been on world adventures--we went to mexico three times together in high school.  but our real dream was to be on the amazing race.  we have loved that show since the beginning and auditioned for it when we were in college.  heather still has our audition tape.  yes, vhs tape.  we are old.

bean and i have done many interesting things together.  we are inventors of a perfume, we were put in charge of the children's ministry for a whole summer at grace, we got our ears pierced at the same time, and we roadtrip well--who wouldn't want to try and guess all the counties in indiana while you drive to wisconsin?

heather is a servant to everyone around her.  she loves really deeply. 

as the highly introverted middle child in a loud family, i have not always been able to enjoy having all my siblings around me all the time.  but living in wisconsin really gave me an appreciation for each of them individually.  especially since i moved back, it has been cool to see how i feel so thankful that heather is not just my sister but a dear friend to me.

happy birthday, dear bean.

Friday, April 4, 2014

5 quick thoughts

1) a post will be forthcoming regarding veronica mars, but i am waiting until kristen has watched the movie.  you are welcome.

2) my community here is challenging the crap out of me.  in such a good, loving, and grace-filled way.  i am so thankful for this season of life.

3) my room is the lame one in our apartment.  it is full of bugs and has produced leaks in two different places.

4) spring is fighting and clawing its way into existence in indiana, and i am cheering it on like nobody's business.  winter must die.

5) i am in the process of renewing my passport right now so that i can potentially go to nicaragua in july.  more to come.

Monday, March 24, 2014

curiouser and curiouser

so this weekend, i hosted a tea party.  the main conclusion i have drawn from this event is that tea parties are a crapton of work.

bean wanted to take her small group girls to aunt sue's tea house in marion.  because it's amazing.  duh.  but...there was a fire.  and since aunt sue's was no longer a viable option, my sister decided i was the obvious next choice, having never hosted a tea party in my life.  i think we all know i am very much a sweatpants girl, and my mother will attest to the fact that i have been rockin the sweatpants look my entire life.  lace is a swear word.

but i do love tea.  and cooking.  and eating.

so.  i hosted a tea party.

lovely, right?  we had to be careful.  the tea set was borrowed from my mother, and i have it on good authority that heather had to leave a kidney on deposit.

after the girls arrived, they were invited to choose the different types of tea they wanted to sample. 

the meal started with the choice of vegetable or tomato soup, followed by scrumptious chicken salad (made by travis, and it's amazing) and crackers. 

the next course was fruit salad and scones.  we used a new favorite recipe of mine: melon, berry, and feta salad.  it is fresh, full of unique flavors, and so tasty.  mj was kind enough to suggest two awesome scone recipes: caramel apple scones and petite vanilla scones.  i had never made scones before, so they were a decent first effort.  they tasted very good...they just may have been lacking in style points.  and there was nothing petite about my scones.  ha.

we then served finger sandwiches.  there was egg salad on white bread.  i made cucumber, cream cheese, and dill on pumpernickel.  and not so much a sandwich...we had bruschetta: fresh mozarella, basil, and cherry tomatoes on crusty french bread.

and finally, there was dessert.  like they needed more sugar after the scones.  i had my go-to dark chocolate brownies.  we made red velvet mini-cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  and then there was the peanut butter fudge.  it tasted really good, but i did something wrong when i made it, because it turned out pretty crumbly.

the girls were all in food comas at this point, so we kind of just rolled them out the door and sent them on their way.  good times.

not being a fancy girl, i never know, but i just assumed a good hostess should wear pearls.  was i wrong?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

it's a boy! it's a girl! it's an epidemic!

i was away from my desk for about 27 minutes.  when i came back and scrolled through my facebook newsfeed to see what i had missed over lunch, there were three birth announcements. 


i am excited for these friends.  they are from three different stages of my life, so it's neat to be able to watch as lives and families develop.


maybe three in half an hour felt like a little bit of piling on...especially on the day where it has been snowing for hours.

seasons.  seasons.  seasons.

they all end.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

oh i guess i could catch you up.

i've [slowly.] been doing things on my list.  it is highly unlikely i will accomplish them all before my birthday, but you never know.  if i assume that attitude, i just won't do anything.

on saturday, i participated in my 'fun/unique race.'  five of us ran an urban obstacle 5k.  participants were encouraged to dress as superheroes.  so...we did.  some of us got more injured than others.  this may surprise you, but i was NOT the most injured.  that title belongs to iron man.  yes, heather looks like someone literally attacked her on the mean streets of indianapolis.

pictured left to right:
kim: the sworn enemy of turtles.
liz: the spiderlanterine.
ashleyne: captain, my captain.
heather: leave no pebbles behind.
holly: almost had to punch a guy because he was dressed like the joker.

Monday, March 3, 2014

late again

i had a whole bunch of 'i need to do' things this weekend that somehow slipped past me.  like blogging on time.  oh well. 

i went on the women's retreat with my church on friday and saturday, and i think my biggest takeaway from it was this:

i am extremely blessed to have a community of single women in my life stage in my immediate and physical presence.  there have been many seasons of life where this wasn't true, and i am beyond thankful for it now.

but having our small group surrounded by many other women who are no longer in our life stage was useful, too.  because we have much to learn from one another.

i think many churches today struggle to serve single people--and single women in particular.  mj shared a really great blog the other day that discussed this very idea.  (here's the link, if you missed it:

so it is easy for me to sit in a group of women who are married and have kids and feel grossly misunderstood and forgotten.  it is easy for me to let waves of sadness drown me instead of listening to their hearts.  it is easy for me to close off and not want to be vulnerable with women whose lives look nothing like mine.

BUT--and this is a big old giant but--i know i do a huge disservice to my church (and the Church) when i allow bitterness and sadness and jealousy to cause me to miss the many ways they are really loving, connecting with, and serving me.  it is a delicate balance, and there will probably always be a tension surrounding it.  that's usually the case when people who are so different are in the same space.  that doesn't, however, mean that the tension cannot be couched with love and grace.

my favorite grownup has been loving on me, listening to me, encouraging me, challenging me, and speaking life into me for the past twelve years.  she and i have been in completely different life stages for that entire time.  i can't even begin to imagine all the wisdom, laughter, joy, and community i would have missed out on had heather dawn not come into my life...or if i had chosen to shut my heart off from her because our lives look so different.

my heart is free and vulnerable with heather dawn because she has modeled abundant life to me.  she has genuinely cared for me.  she has laughed and cried with me.  so i trust her.  i choose to be authentic with her because i believe she loves me.  if i am going to love the church well, i must consistently choose to believe that they love me.  even if their lives are different.  even if i feel misunderstood. 

because i believe that's what the church is supposed to be--intentional, authentic community moving toward one another in a spirit of love and grace.

Monday, February 24, 2014

by the bright shining light of the moon

oh, wisconsin.  how do you do what you do to me? 
as many of you probably know, i was in madison and appleton for a very brief stay this weekend.  i have recently been quoted as saying that i really love and miss wisconsin, but only in the summer.  turns out...that's not quite true... 
as soon as i got on the beltline, my heart felt different.  i drove past fish hatchery road and todd drive and was flooded with memories.  the places and faces and tastes of madison...there aren't enough words.  i got to see dan and holly.  i ate pho.  i played ultimate.  i got adjusted by chad, the best chiropractor in the freaking world. 
although it was butt cold, the weather was relatively cooperative and not much worse than indiana.
...and cheese.  OH, THE GLORIOUS CHEESES OF WISCONSIN!  it's something you just can't understand unless you have lived there.  when it comes to cheese, every other state is terrible.
and oh yeah, there was that great heart time with mj and jb.  nbd.  lots of giggling, quoting, and eating. 
considering i moved to wisconsin seven years ago on a pretty much just a whim, that state grabbed hold of my heart and refuses to let go, no matter how long i am away.
it's a terrible, good ache.  just think how bad it would be had i gone to a brewers game or the farmer's market or the farm...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


my brother recently sent this to me, and i found it amusing.  if you don't, you probably won't enjoy the rest of this post.  also, i'm shamelessly stealing them from the internet.

-did you hear about the crime that happened in the parking garage?  it was wrong on so many levels.

-i wrote a novel about a fellow who had a small garden.  it didn't have much of a plot.

-i was arrested after my therapist told me i should take something for my kleptomania.

-she was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

Friday, February 7, 2014

cradle it; don't crank it.

there is something wrong with my neck.

when i was a baby, my nickname was 'floppyhead.'

i don't know if it goes back to infancy, but there has definitely been something wrong with my neck since at least third grade.

i have a very vivid and awful memory of throwing my neck out in a game of duck, duck, goose in the gym at cumberland road elementary school.  for days or maybe weeks afterward, mrs. mcintire would have me come to her desk and help me straighten my head because i couldn't hold it up correctly.

it must have felt better after a while, and i don't even know if i told my parents.  but sometime later in that school year, i was running on the playground and turning my head too quickly.  23 years later, i still remember seeing a white flash and the feeling of lightning streaking down one side of my body.  i am not overstating the pain level.

now, i think we all know i have never been gentle on this body of mine.  it's just the way it goes.  i've broken my wrist, separated my shoulder, strained and sprained almost every joint, strained my groin, given myself a concussion, had multiple ribs go out of place, shattered my nose, etc. 

but.  my neck is the most sensitive place on my body (this is a big statement, because i have really sketchy wrists).

sometime after college, i was stretching to go for a run.  i tweaked my neck but just decided to go about business as usual.  as i was showering later, i noticed it was hard to lean my head back.  and as i drove to the house where i was babysitting that night, i could tell i couldn't turn to the right well at all.  by the time the parents got home, my neck was locked: my head was facing left and slightly down.  i, the champion of pain and wounds, was rendered helpless. 

at the doctor's office the next day, he tried to turn my head.  i screamed, burst into tears, and nearly kicked him in his boy parts.  i got a neck brace and muscle relaxers for my troubles. 

i don't know if my neck issues have contributed to my history of migraines.  i don't know if they factor into my stupid ribs sliding out of place.  i do know chiropractors must rub their hands delightedly when they see my cocked head walk into their offices.

so.  since your prayers were mighty and beyond powerful for chuck, i wouldn't hate if you directed some at my neck.  just saying.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

deep and rooted

i believe in the life-saving and life-giving power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

and i believe in the immense wild unknown of prayer.

i believe my Father hears me speak and delights to listen.

i believe that Jesus is a mighty healer, that he performed countless miracles while He walked on earth, and that He continues to perform them.

i believe in asking people to be prayer warriors and stand in the gap for everything, because i really do believe everything in life is worth praying about.

but there are things that are weightier and should be treated as such.

so right now, i am asking you to pray for chuck.  pray that his kidneys would miraculously start functioning.  pray that his body would stabilize so the doctors can make their next decisions about what to do for his heart.  pray that they can get a new pacemaker in soon.  pray that he would be filled with hope, peace, and the will to fight.  pray for his story of wonder and redemption. 

ask.  keep asking.  pray without ceasing.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

i'll try being delightful

just as a nice change of pace, today i will discuss delightful things.  let's see.  where to start?

1) a delightful memory: in fifth grade, we had classroom auctions.  my favorite thing i ever bought at one of these auctions was a typewriter.  i still own this typewriter, although it is sitting in my parents' basement.  i think typewriters are super cool.  i love the noise they make.  however, when i am writing on my computer, i edit while i type.  so...that would be tedious and awful on a typewriter.  also, typewriters make me think of frank in you've got mail.

2) a delightful movie: you've got mail.  enough said.  but not really...enough good things could never be said about this movie.  i love it, and it tightly binds my heart with mj and jb's. 

3) a delightful near-future event: jb is turning 30 in a few weeks!  this is wonderful, because she has graced the world for three decades.  and because it means i get to go to wisconsin. 

4) a delightful near-past event: i helped pull out one of shorty mcgee's teeth last week.  she was a lot like heather in this whole in, i could have blown on it to make the tooth fall out...that's how loose it was.  ha.

5) a delightful medical update: i used to have nosebleeds alllllllll the time when i was little.  but with the exception of being smashed in the face with a broomball stick and a frisbee, i can't think of any other recent nosebleeds.  heehee...i know you want to see this picture.  classic. 

(for those of you unfamiliar with the situation, i was playing broomball with junior high students and took a stick squarely to the face.  this picture was a few days after it occurred.  the result was a shattered nose, stitches, and two black eyes.  it.was.awesome.  (aside within an aside here: when i say it was awesome, i legitimately mean that.  i love injuries, and this was the first time i had ever gotten stitches.))

6) a delightful heart thing: our small group started last thursday, and i really love them.  i love them so much that i created a spreadsheet that has multiple tabs, and i contemplated how i could incorporate conditional formatting.  community and spreadsheets.  yesss.  which obviously leads me to...

7) a delightful work thing: spreadsheets are sooooo great!  i like that i have a job where i get to use them with regularity.

8) a delightful sports thing: i am delighted by the number of badgers in the super bowl this year.

9) a delightful food thing: aunt sue's tea house in marion certainly qualifies as delightful.  mmm.  tea.  scones.  i am drooling just thinking about it.  must.roadtrip.soon.

i bet you didn't know i had ten delightful things in me today, huh?  here it is:

10) a delightful truth: winter ends.  it always does. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


oh, the state of limbo.  i'm pretty sure it's one of those small states near new hampshire that everyone confuses. 

my state of limbo has been months long.  and it's annoying.

theoretically, it's about two weeks from being over.  but i doubt that's true.  (how did i wind up as a pessimist with positivity as one of my strengths?  cray to the cray.)

i am a small picture girl.  give me details and a solid framework.  don't ballpark it with me.  don't give me a big picture vision if you can't at least offer me some viable path to get there.  ugh.


rant over.  ish.


are you feeling like an area (or all) of your life is in limbo right now?  what are your processing strategies?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

ice cold

you may have noticed that i was done with people last week.  just.done.

a large part of that stems from the winter.  i don't handle it well, physically or emotionally.  i feel like i have talked about this ad nauseum; sorry, but i'm not sorry.  i am releasing in an effort to maintain some semblance of my sanity during this season.  and it's helped, but this winter just happens to be a beast.

well, the Lord has a sense of humor. 

this girl (the one done with people) got trapped in a house with three other people from saturday night through yesterday morning.

and it was really just what my heart needed. 

as per the usual, it was not what i would have chosen.  i was leaning toward that 'running away and hiding and waiting to slowly evaporate' thing.  but no.  there wasn't a place to run.  i didn't really have much alone time or quiet space.  we were all just kind of on top of each other for days.

the Lord can do some miraculous healing through community, you know that?  i started learning about it on summer project ten years ago, and the lessons just keep coming. 

my heart got a group hug that lasted for days.  and i walked out of there feeling so blessed and thankful that these are my people.  they love me and do life with me.  so that's pretty cool.

Friday, January 3, 2014

i think i'd be really good at

any trivia game involving the office
setting a world record for the amount of time spent doing jigsaw puzzles
going extremely long periods of time without talking to anyone
ultimate fighting
being an astronaut
running a cafe that serves one small group of people at a time for about three hours a day
snuggling with babies to keep them warm
living on a deserted island