perder la vida

Learning to Live Missionally and Mindfully

Saying Goodbye January 21, 2010

I have said “goodbye” far too often over the past few years. When I stop and think about the grief my family and I have endured since 2006, it overwhelms me. Sometimes, out of nowhere, feelings of anger and bitterness rise up because I randomly remember that life is not fair.

On Saturday, I heard about a 25-year-old acquaintance of mine who died in a boating accident. This acquaintance of mine, Matt Miller, was golden. I am not going to elaborate on his life here, but just know that he was the kind of person everyone should have the opportunity to know. I was shocked by his death. Angry, even, that God could somehow think that Matt Miller’s life on earth was complete. Matt’s death reminded me so much of the car accident that took my 18-year-old cousin, Jonathan’s, life in May 2008. I remembered my dad’s quick illness and sudden death in 2006. I remembered all the people I have known who have died in the past three and a half years. There are too many to name.

Then I remembered that just one year ago today, my granddaddy left this earth. I remembered how perfect his last few days were. We were ready to say goodbye. Watching my granddaddy fade from one life to the next was much like watching a ship sail out to sea. We prepared ourselves for his leaving, savored each moment, and took him to a place where he could be set free. And in those very last days, there we were, my family and I, standing at the shore waving our last “goodbye’s” until he had sailed so far away that we could not see him any more.

Saying goodbye is hard. Whether you have the opportunity to bask in a loved one’s final sunset or if someone’s life is ripped from this earth like a tree cleaved from its roots, saying goodbye is hard. It is never easy.

It’s not supposed to be.


Back in the Saddle. January 17, 2010

Filed under: 1 — Katie @ 11:32 pm

Now that the new year has begun, I’m back on the worship team. My time with the preschoolers has ended and I’m back to singing and leading and doing the things I love most. Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s pretty clear I love kids. I mean, my whole degree is based on the education of young children. But, when it comes to church, worship is my passion. And it’s not just music.

Worship is part of our everyday lives, of course, but corporate worship is where I find rejuvenation and a breath of fresh air. Last semester, I had a hard time connecting during worship and spent a lot of time finding alternative ways to worship (writing, praying, etc. instead of singing). But the past few services have led me straight to the Throne.

I love worshiping the Lord. I really, really do. I love coming together as a community, singing His praises, and pouring ourselves out to Him. There is just something really precious about being able to do that. Vineyard is such a wonderful place to participate in worship. Today was particularly great…. or, at least I thought it was.

I love singing, of course. But I also love not singing. Sometimes, I just stop singing, stand back, and listen to God’s people sing to Him. It’s absolutely beautiful. This morning, Jon let me lead the Apostle’s Creed. I grew up reciting the Apostle’s Creed every Sunday and it’s a tradition that I really miss. A few Sundays ago, I actually skipped the message portion of our service to go to the Presbyterian Church, where they say the Creed. I told Jon about this the other day and he actually wanted to do the Creed at Vineyard! If only I had known sooner! It’s definitely not something we’re going to do every week, but… it’s just nice to hear the body of Christ proclaiming our beliefs and standing firm as one community.

Now I’m just rambling, but…. I just wanted to remember this day.

It was a beautiful morning… a beautiful service… and a beautiful way to start off the week.


Poor QBs. January 12, 2010

Filed under: 1 — Katie @ 4:46 pm

Dear Colt,

I told you they hit hard.



Dear Tim,

I took your advice and quit before they made me cry on national TV.




I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself.


“WE DID!” January 8, 2010

Filed under: 1,fun times,ME — Katie @ 3:48 pm

Yesterday, I had some doubts. Just like I had doubts about beating Tennessee, beating Auburn, winning the SEC championship, Ingram winning the Heisman… I had a lot of doubts this whole season. Not to say that I didn’t think our team could do it, but I was trying to be cautiously optimistic.

And that, my friends, must be the sign that we’re about to do something extraordinary.

Last night’s game was incredible. The first few minutes were terrifying. I think we were all holding our breath, hoping that the boys’ sloppy plays were indicators of nervous jitters rather than an upcoming poor performance. Then the unthinkable happened. Texas’ star QB, Colt McCoy, suffered a shoulder injury early in the game that would keep him out for the duration of the Rose Bowl. We know now that our QB, Greg McElroy, was also playing injured… but a few cracked ribs didn’t stop him.

At first, McCoy’s injury really made me angry. Here we were at the National Championship ready to take down a Texas titan and he wasn’t even able to play. And his replacement wasn’t looking too hot. I didn’t want to win on a technicality because it wouldn’t feel like a true win. But after shaking off his own nervous jitters, Texas’ up-and-coming star QB, Garrett Gilbert, found his groove and brought his boys together to put up one hell of a fight. At one point, it looked like he was about to lead his team to victory. But, they were no match for our onslaught of talent. Texas may have had Gilbert and Shipley, but we had guys like McElroy, Ingram, Richardson, Cody, Arenas, Julio, Johnson, Dareus, and not to mention the entire Tide Nation cheering them on.

What I love, at the end of the day, is that we have a great TEAM. We’re not a one-man show. It’s the entire Alabama Family that makes Alabama football what it is. It’s the coaches, the players, the administration, the students, the alum, the fans, the kids…. it’s a family. No one gets to stand alone here.

And, if Nick Saban knows what’s best for him, he’ll give me a cut of that $400K bonus he received, seeing that my new-found fanaticism is the only explanation for this year’s extraordinary performance.

Get ready… because Bama’s back.


Well. January 7, 2010

Filed under: 1 — Katie @ 9:45 pm

This could be it. This could be the night we (and by “we,” I mean the Crimson Tide) make history. We could be bringing home National Championship #13.

I’ve got to admit, I don’t know what to believe. Apparently Alabama is the favorite coming into this game, which makes me nervous. I don’t know enough about football to make some sort of accurate prediction of who could win (and really, who really knows???). But, I do know this…

I didn’t think we’d beat Auburn.

We did.

I didn’t think we’d beat Florida.

We did.

I didn’t think Ingram would win the Heisman.

He did.

I don’t think we can beat Texas.

And hopefully tomorrow, I can end that statement with, “WE DID.”

No matter what, I just hope the boys play a good game. That’s all I ask. But for now, I’m going to go get ready for some Longhorn steaks (no, really. That’s what we’re serving at my family’s party.) and find every piece of Crimson Tide apparel I have so that I can cheer on the tide!!

Roll Tide!!!


Hello, Goodbye. December 31, 2009

Filed under: family,frenz,fun times,general information,mindful living — Katie @ 3:59 pm

It’s time once again to reflect on a great year. But, not only am I reflecting on a great year but also on a great decade. The decade began, as you know, with the potential for disaster. Though no computers crashed and the world didn’t end, my family encountered quite a disaster. Apparently my uncle inhaled too many smoke fumes from the fireworks and ended up in the hospital! Quite a way to ring in the new year, right? Other than that, the beginning of the decade was uneventful.

But, the decade itself was quite eventful. I graduated high school, sang in Carnegie Hall, went to Disney World three times, went in and out of college, experienced great loss, went to Honduras, led worship, left the Church, returned to the Church, became a Derek Webb fan, fell in love with New Orleans, adopted a dog, saw Alison Krauss in concert, built a house, moved about ten times, watched my friends get married, watched my friends become parents, discovered what I wanted to do with my life, and met some truly amazing people along the way.

It’s been a great decade. I am not who I thought I would be or doing the things I thought I’d be doing at this point in my life, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m finally looking forward to finishing college and I know exactly what I want to do with my life and exactly where I want to do it. I’m praying that the 2010’s (not sure what to call the upcoming decade…) includes student teaching in Greece, moving to North Carolina, working towards a Master’s (never thought I’d say that!), adopting another dog, traveling to Asia, getting an iPhone. 🙂

But first, before I can move forward, I need to look back at this past year. I wasn’t sure what to expect in 2009 and I’m beginning to think that’s the way to look at everything… with low expectations! I certainly didn’t have any big plans for 2009, but this has been one of my best years yet.

The year began with a “Friendship Day” with Miss Ashley Martin. We hung out all day and watched Tyler Perry movies and then semi-successfully made Hoppin’ John’s (a New Year’s Tradition). A few days after this, I started taking classes at the University of Alabama… something I swore I’d never do. The rest of the year was quite a whirlwind. Here’s a recap:

– January 21 – my sweet granddaddy passed away. Though it was sad, it was peaceful and my family and I enjoyed our last days and moments with him. A few days after, we had a Celebration of Life service (rather than a funeral) and man… it was awesome!!

– Went to Gulf Port for a mission trip. Learned how to skirt a trailer.

– Spent four hours in a car with Rob & Benji while traveling to South Alabama to see Misty & Bobby get married. Rescued a turtle on the way. Pretty sure it was a TMNT.

– Had an Easter Sunday picnic on the Quad with some incredible friends.

– Went to Tennessee with Rachele to renew her driver’s license and then drove back. That was a random day which included a tasty lunch at a cute little diner in Podunk, Tennessee.

– Traveled to Honduras! This was definitely a highlight of my year.

– Had my wisdom teeth taken out. Then had an allergic reaction. Times two. Then had severe dry sockets. This was definitely not a good experience!

– Went on a 10-day road trip with my mom up the coast and back. Saw Louisville, Cincinnati, Greenville & Guilford (ME), NYC, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, and the Blue Ridge Highway. Rode in a sea plane. Spread my granddaddy’s ashes in Moosehead Lake. And I touched a zebra.

– Ended up in the E.R. one night thinking my intestines were obstructed. Just a kidney infection… you know, no big deal.

– Went to the beach with Rachele and did NOTHING. Except lay in the sun.

– Had a dream that I received a hefty financial aid package. Found out not long after that I did, in fact, receive a hefty financial aid package. 🙂

– Turned 24. Had a rockin birthday party.

– Interned in a kindergarten class (and survived!).

– Traveled to North Carolina (one of my resolutions!!) to seemy dear friend Alisa get married!!

– Rolled my first house (sorry, Chris McCay!).

– Determined what the heck I wanted to do with my life.

– Became a semi-avid football fan after attending the UA/TN game.

– Had a root canal. WAY FUN. Not.

– Went to Disney World for Thanksgiving with some of my extended family. Rode Mt. Everest not once, not twice, not…. okay, we rode it FIVE times. In a row.

– Finished my first professional semester at UA.

– Bought a ukulele.

And those are just the big moments. Lots of amazing little moments in between…. dates with Ashley at City Cafe, reading lots of incredible books, a mini-weekend in Birmingham with Carla, way too much time spent in the dentist’s chair, and lots more. This year really was an incredible one.

So, to wrap things up… it’s time for resolutions. I think I did pretty well with last year’s:

1. Start UA and work towards my degree (obviously) and towards getting accepted into Teach for America

Done. All A’s, both semesters.

2. Pay off my car loan!!!
Done. Waiting on the title!

3. TRAVEL! Even if it’s just to NC to see Alisa!
Done. LOTS of traveling this year!

4. Draw boundaries (and stick ot them) with the way I spend my time and energy.

Done. Though it was difficult and I’m still not that great at it!

This year’s resolutions are:

1. Travel to a state I’ve never visited. (I have been to about half so far.)

2. Try a new food/cuisine at least once a month and write about it.

3. Learn to sew/monogram and use the Cricket.

I don’t even put “read more” on my list of resolutions because I think I do that anyway.

What a year. My feeling is that 2010 is going to be a year of preparation… I’ll apply to two major programs this year (to do my student teaching overseas and to Teach for America). I could have a job contract by November 23 of next year. That freaks me out a little bit! So, hello 2010. You have a lot to live up to!


What the heck? December 28, 2009

Filed under: 1 — Katie @ 1:14 pm

I generally do not like posting any sort of political or controversial thoughts because… well my brain is all fluff and I never think about that stuff anyway. 🙂 But. Question.

How in the world does a man whose own father has written in saying his son has been radicalized and may participate in a suicide mission get through security and onto an airplane? How is he not a priority? And how the heck does HE get on a flight without being strip searched and I can’t even take my frickin coffee through security unless I buy it beyond the checkpoint??

I’m all about taking every precaution available and am more than willing to take off my shoes and take my laptop out of its case and dispose of any food or beverage items before the checkpoint and not leaving my suitcase unattended but…. it’s moments like these when I wonder if the government is doing these things to really and truly protect me or just to make me feel like they’re actually doing something?

Party crashers and an attempted terrorist attack make me think the government doesn’t have the first clue as to what the heck they’re doing.

I vote James “Sawyer” Ford for president.