perder la vida

Learning to Live Missionally and Mindfully

I keep on falling… May 23, 2007

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 3:49 pm

I am quite possibly one of THE clumsiest people on the face of the planet. I run into chairs and walls, stumble over wires and toys, and slam my extremities into doors and small spaces. I attribute my clumsiness to a lack of good depth perception – I think I simply can’t tell how close my body is to another object, therefore… I run into it, fall over it, or shut it in something. I am rarely bruise-, bump-, or burn-free at any given point in time. 

I have learned to live with this flaw of mine… my inability to recognize harm when I am facing it. But, today, I did something totally ridiculous and hiarlious all at the same time. 

I fell out of a chair. And I have nothing to blame it on except for my own stupidity. 

I climbed up in our rolling desk chair to hang a picture (brilliant, I know). As I wheeled myself around (still standing!), I felt myself crashing to the floor – face first. I landed on my nose (a literal “nose-dive”) and just started screaming “I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m okay!!!” as my mom reached out to help me up. I stayed on the ground for a minute or so trying to catch my breath and take in what had just happened. I kept checking my nose to make sure it wasn’t broken, and I really was okay – I just didn’t want to get up quite yet.

It reminded me of Thanksgiving 2005 when Greg and I went with his sister, brothers, Phil, and Rachel to the playground. Some of us were jumping out of swings and I was getting pretty good at it. I decided to do this skate-boarder type trick where I would tuck my legs in and then extend them in order to land on my feet. 

Yeah, right. 

I landed on my chest. And as everyone was giggling and sputtering “Are you okay’s” at me, I couldn’t help but just lay on the ground and be still for a moment. 

I don’t recommend falling on your face, but it will put a lot of things into perspective for you. The way we carelessly hurl ourselves into harmful situations and then end up… on the ground… face-first… unable and unwilling to move. But, it’s in those moments that we are the most thankful. In those extreme moments of grief, anger, hurt, betrayal, and pain that we are the closest to God.

In our weaknesses, he is made strong.

So, thanks God for letting me fall flat on my face… over and over again. Because it’s only in those moments that I realize how thankful I am… for everything.

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True Love May 17, 2007

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 6:45 am

There is beauty in 1 Corinthians 13 that most of us (me included) are deaf to because we’ve heard it so much. Sometimes I like to read and re-read the famous passage so that I can try to appreciate it more – because, after all, love is what it’s all about and these scriptures give us God’s definition of love. 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 from The Message

Love never gives up.
Love cares for others more than for self.
Love doens’t want what it doesn’t have. 
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

I just love these verses… I remind myself of them often because sometimes I think love is supposed to be easy and that if it isn’t easy, it isn’t real love. But, that’s the world’s view of love. God’s view of love is that it takes hard work, it takes self-sacrifice, it takes guts and a lack of pride, it takes honesty and integrity, it takes patience and grace…. everything God has taught us. I try to live by these at all times. I screw it up every day.. particularly the parts that say ‘isn’t always ‘me-first,” ‘puts up with anything,’ and ‘trusts God always’… Those things are harder to do than the words imply.  

I say the new Golden Rule should be “Treat others the way God has treated you” – NOT “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Because, essentially, I want others to treat me the way God has treated me and them.

 

Expectations for Summer May 16, 2007

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 8:33 am

After Saturday at nine o’clock in the evening, I will no longer have two jobs.  I am already getting excited about all the things I want to do this summer since I’ll be working from home: volunteer, get a tan, clean out our spare room, organize all of my photographs, pay of my credit card, go to Colorado, go to New Orleans, turn 22… the list goes on and on. In fact, I sent Greg a list of about fifty things that I want to do this summer. There’s something in the air this time of year – and it isn’t pollen! It’s the smell of freedom and adventure, memories in the making, and lots and lots of sunscreen.

Sometimes I wish summer lasted forever. Eternal Summer, I would call it. We would all have it easy, be able to lay out every day, and catch fireflies in our front yards. We’d wash our cars every day in the sweltering heat and go on random road trips with our closest friends. We’d take vacations with our families, sleep late, and catch up on all the talk shows and soap operas. 

I know it could never happen… well, maybe that’s what retirement will be like. But, for now, the seasons keep changing. Life keeps changing. Sometimes it’s a breeze and sometimes it’s so hard that I can barely breathe. Sometimes it’s lackadasical and carefree and sometimes it’s heavy with worry and fear. Without the hard times – without the falls and winters and allergy-ridden spring, I wouldn’t appreciate summer as much as I do. 

And, if I can imagine a tiny, tiny piece of Heaven – I would think it’s like an Eternal Summer… complete freedom in the presence of God.

 

I saw my daddy last night! May 3, 2007

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 6:22 pm

I used to have dreams that my dad was dead, but last night… I had a dream that he was alive! Very, very alive! He was wearing his favorite orange/blue/red/white/buncha-other-colors Polo shirt and some jeans…. doing what he loved most: piddling with a garden. He walked up to me and asked me to help him do something, and in a fit of frustration, he plopped his hand on top of his head and sighed – something he did when he got frustrated or confused. I heard his voice, too, as he talked to me for a few brief moments. I haven’t heard his voice since the night he died… and it was wonderful! 

I don’t remember what he was saying to me, I just know he was asking me for his help… it all seemed so, so real. But, then as my dad and I were talking, my mom walked in the room where we were and said, “No, no, Katie, you can’t talk to him.” My heart was broken – she thought he was dead, but I tried to convince her that it was really him. But, deep in my heart, I knew I was only talking to a ghost. I knew it wasn’t really my daddy. 

And then I woke up. 

I don’t know what any of that means, but it was wonderful to hear his voice. It is so strange that I can’t hear his voice in my head – even when I try really, really, really hard. But, I heard him so clearly last night. And I remember how much I miss him. His voice, his funny gestures, his love for gardening and cooking…. his snoring. 

But, I love the fact that I was able to see my dad for the person he was… not as a lifeless body lying in ahospital bed or a casket, which has been the only image of him in my head for the past seven months. I got to see him waddling around carrying plants and being content with life. It was the best dream I have ever had.

 

The Ringing Bell by Derek Webb: A Review of Sorts May 2, 2007

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 7:56 am

I have had a copy of The Ringing Bell for a little over a month now. One of the perks of working at a Christian bookstore is that distributors send pre-releases of albums, and our music manager made sure I got the only copy they sent us.

The Ringing Bell, which was released yesterday (May 1), is great, to put it simply. I love the way this album flows. It definitely has Beatles influence running through it – the instruments (I believe I even hear a tamborine!!), the beat, melodies – but it is still very “Derek.” One thing that I love about his albums is that I never want to listen to just one song – I want to listen to the whole thing because that’s the way it was meant to be heard, and this album is no different. (Please forgive me if some of the lyrics aren’t accurate – I haven’t been able to find them on paper, so I’m just typing what I think I’m hearing.)

The beginning ironically begins with the song “The End,” which leads into the next track, “The Very End.” The second song has a whimsical, almost circus-ey sound to it, while the words and his voice are quite the opposite. 
     
The song “Name” is probably one of my favorites on the album for its style and lyrics (“Oh my darlin you must be a moving target just like me/ they call you right, they call you left, they call you names of all your friends”). 
     
I love “I Wanna Marry You All Over Again,” because it makes me want to get married and then get married all over again. I love its story format. It reminds me a little of Jack Johnson’s “Do You Remember?” except that their styles are obviously very different!

“A Savior on Capitol Hill” is clearly political… I mean, duh. But, I love it! It’s short and it’s a rant, but it’s good stuff. “Trading up an evil for a lesser one” – I love that line, that’s how I feel about every election!!
    
But, my favorite song on the album is the very last song, “This Too Shall Be Made Right.” It breaks your heart, and then you’re reminded that “this, too, shall be made right.” 

I always appreciate that Derek approaches topics that most Christian musicians won’t even talk about in interviews. This is the meat-and-potatoes type of music that provokes questions and discussions that go far beyond the “Jesus loves me, this I know” redundancies. (Yeah, if it wasn’t redundant to an extent, then the song wouldn’t proudly exclaim “THIS I KNOW”). Don’t get me wrong, I need to be reminded of just how much I am loved by God each day – the magnitude of His grace and His sacrifice is something I will never fully comprehend. But, there’s got to be a time when Christians stop focusing inward so much and start focusing outward. 

Much of Christian music today is a little too self-centered and cautious. Heck, I’m even a little too self-centered and cautious. We are so careful not to offend, challenge, or question… but Derek really speaks the Truth. It isn’t always beautiful, it isn’t always easy to hear – in fact, the Truth is never easy to hear! But, it is so desperately needed. This is one reason I chose not to work at Conservative Monoploizing Christian Bookstore that is coming to town… because although I believe their business has touched people and done some great things, I also think it completely ostracizes others that need the gospel most that are right here in our own city. They seem to ignore the Truth for what is “socially acceptable.” But that is a whole ‘nother post.

I think this album is definitely worth purchasing… I think I am even going to buy the “Deluxe” package – comes with a CD, a limited edition graphic novel (which I believe includes the lyrics to all the songs) and an immediate digital download of the entire album, and it’s only $20 which isn’t a bad deal to me! You can buy it here. You can also read a real reivew here.