Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

Neee-ther.  Nigh-ther.  Eeee-ther.  Eigh-ther.  Let's call the whole thing off.  (In singsong voice please!)

Because I am super cool I've been thinking about pronunciation lately. Okay that's not true:  I always think about pronunciation.  I think it all started with the name Augustine.  I guess lots of things started with Augustine.  But I digress.

It's mission week at Memorial so lots of people say the word "roof" since we're doing home repairs.  Say that word aloud to yourself right now.  Was it "ruff" or "roooh-f" or "roo-uf?  I had a friend in seminary who would say "to err is human" which is all well and good but it sounded like "to ur is human."  Turns out you can say "err" or "ur." Aren't words beautiful and fascinating?

Are there words you mispronounce or say in unorthodox ways? I pronounce the word crayons "crowns."  Earlier this week I tried saying cray-ons but it just felt wrong.  For the life of me I cannot say the word rural.  I think I've said "sherbeRt" all my life though there is only one "r" in sherbet.

If you read this far it's one of three things for you:
1.  We are kindred spirits.
2.  You are bored.
3.  We are friends.

Happy week to you!

Friday, July 13, 2012

By our love

I am grateful for a week with students at camp.  I love them already but being with these rascals 24/7 actually grows that love.  They're hilarious.  They're silly.  They're goodness are they thoughtful.  They love Jesus and they want to follow him.  They love one another.  They even get angry for the right reasons.  It's pretty awesome.  

Sometimes adults pull a "get off my lawn" attitude with students.  Yes they throw things.  Yes they eat amazing amounts of candy.  Yes they can be distracted easily.  But (and this is a big but and yes that STILL makes me laugh) they are also generous.  They want to do right.  They love fully.  They want to make a difference.  They want to follow Jesus.  They listen and I even think they are respectful.  

PASSPORT has introduced several new songs to us.  One is "By Our Love" by Christy Nockels.  It's a challenge for sisters and brothers in Christ to be known by love.  That's what we all should want, right?  Is that what we want?  I hope so.  

The first verses are sung in first person, but the final verse is addressed to children--asking them to stand in God's truth, to reach beyond their comfort zones, to be known by love.  And I think it's asking we trust they will do just that.  Do you trust the next generation to carry the gospel message?

If that's difficult for you I'd like you to try something.  Get to know a teenager.  I'm not asking you if you've seen a student:  I'm asking you to know him.  Find out which sports she plays.  Call out his name when you pass by him on the way to Sunday School.  Stop by the youth room--even if it smells like pizza and teenager poke your head inside and tell a joke.  Call a student on his birthday.  Pray for all students of your church.  Every day.

Even if you're not called to youth ministry please please please invest yourself in the life of a teenager.  Think about it this way:  It's an investment in future deacons, lay people, pastors and churches.  It's that important, friends.  

Catch the pillow when they throw it at you:  It'll be okay. Take time to know them and be part of their lives.  Then they will know you by Christ's love.  And in turn they'll want to be known by Christ's love.

Take a listen to the song.  It will bless you.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Three Nationals games in three days:  Huzzah!  1-2:  Not so huzzah; however the all-star break will be restorative.

I love baseball.  Game day excitement is palpable.  The metro is filled with red, white and blue.  The city is actually abuzz with Natitude which is welcome relief after so many years in last place.  Don't get me wrong: I loved the Nats when they were losing too...but first place feels GREAT!   

I love cheering for Ryan Zimmerman.  I love keeping score.  I love the smell of hot dogs (in general, but especially at the ball park).  I love jumping up in excitement when a sweet play is made.  I secretly love feeling superior when I sing "cracker jack" instead of "cracker jacks."  I love watching fans dance in glory.    

I blame my family.  I can't remember a summer I didn't go to Busch Stadium. We would arrive hours early just to watch batting practice.  The St. Louis Cardinals were it.  My favorite was watching Ozzie Smith do a back flip before the game.   My family continues to practice absolute loyalty to the Cards, while I've made room on my scorecard for the Nats.  Most of them have disowned me, which is painful yet I appreciate their loyalty.
KM color blocking at an early age.

If you haven't already please enjoy America's past time this summer.  It's a great game.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


We are not pals.

I think it's the way they travel slithering right, left, right, left ad infinitum.  You never know how long it will take them to reach their destination.  The destination is my legs and they want to kill me or at least lick me with their lanyard-like tongue.

But on the 4th of July I make an exception.  I appreciate fireworks like the next person Katy Perry, but my favorite tradition is snakes.  Snakes come in a tiny box and look like tic-tacs.  (Do not eat them.)  You simply put a snake on the ground and light it on fire.  It grows to be a foot long black ash thing in a matter of seconds.  No sparks.  No frills.  No explosions.  Just a lovely black ash snake that gets soot all over your person:  It's wonderful.

Last year I went to the fireworks booth and told them I wanted to buy a box of snakes.  "That'll be $1.00."  I was living large that day and bought two.  When I was a girl they were only black, but not they come in a rainbow of colors.  I took them home and grew a family of snakes.

I searched for a picture of snakes, but that search yielded terrifying pictures of actual snakes so you'll have to look for yourself.

Happy 4th of July!  Enjoy your day.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Power to the People

On Friday night a massive storm ripped through the Washington, DC metro area.  It was terrifying.

Sam and I took a jaunt to Pinkberry for frozen yogurt (HOW is it so delicious?) around 10 and then stopped by Whole Foods for a few breakfast items.  As we closed the car doors the storm began raging.   Wind gusts were 50-80 mph.  Five minutes later all the traffic signals and street lamps were dead.  It was raining cats and dogs elephants and T-rexes.  I could hardly see.  At one point we had to turn around because a ginormous tree had fallen across four lanes of traffic.  We thought about pulling over, but what if a tree fell on our car?  Is it safer to drive home or try and find an open area to park?  There were two people in the car and two different answers to that question.  Happily we arrived home in one piece.

We were without power for a few days which was actually not such a big deal.  My dwelling stayed relatively cool and Sam and I played cards and board games.  We were almost 48 hours without reliable electronics (cell phones/email were spotty), but somehow--just somehow--we made it:). 

I found myself enjoying the seemingly slow pace of life those days.  I didn't feel the need to check email every hour and phone calls weren't going through.  Maybe that's why the day felt so long, but long in a good way.  I didn't feel rushed.  There was time for most everything we wanted to accomplish.

I'm reading two books about listening.  Both challenge me to be a better noticer.  Noticer isn't even a word but that's what I'm trying to be.  And it's difficult to be a noticer because our entire lives are wrapped in noise.  Every moment is filled with some sort of communication or tweet or sound or opinion.  I like communication, tweets, sound and most some opinions, but there can be too much of a good thing.

In the last week I met two new friends but it is only because they noticed me.  One was at the mall in line for the bathroom and the other on a nighttime walk.  On both occasions I was checking email as I walked.  Come on, Katie.  Get a grip.  You can wait 10 additional minutes before checking email.  If it's an emergency someone will call you.

I saw both ladies, but they noticed me.  At the mall it was a teenage girl.  Her eyes were tear-stained and she was mortified.  Bless her heart.  She was struggling with an issue all teenage girls struggle with and I was able to help.  It ended as a funny exchange and I can tell you in person if you want to know.  Bless her heart.  But I would have missed this opportunity for friendship and ministry if she wouldn't have noticed me.  I was too busy checking emails that absolutely can wait.

The other new friend I met on a walk.  She caught my eye.  I stopped to exchange pleasantries when she struck up a conversation.  In a matter of moments we discussed divorce, sabbatical and everything else between.  I would have missed this opportunity for friendship and ministry if she wouldn't have noticed me.  I was too busy checking emails that absolutely can wait.

I am happy to have power once again, but hope I can remember some of life's sweetest moments require eyes to see them.  If my head and eyes are buried in electronics or other silly things, I'll miss God's grace all around.