Saturday, December 31, 2005

so here's what happened...

i was working in the cafe today, when this guy came in who said he worked for the Detroit News, and was interested in writing an article about the cafe. i told him that i'm a freelance writer and wondered if the Free Press ever uses freelance writers. he said they do, and that i might be able to write the story about the cafe, since i work there. so he gave me his card, and the name and number of the editor-in-chief, and told me to call the guy on tuesday about writing for the newspaper!! how cool is that!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

from the movie "you've got mail"

"i lead a small life. valuable. but small. and i sometimes wonder if it's small because i like, or because i've not been brave."

i'm pretty sure a thought very similar to this one runs through my head everyday.
i do lead a small life. and while i do believe it's valuable, and often say that i love my life. it is small. do i love my small life? or am i just not brave enough to live any other kind of life? i climbed the ladder in my field of choice. i never reached the top, but i got farther than most. (or is it *further* than most?) i've switched to a new "field of choice", but i can honestly say that i'm not trying to reach the top. most of the time i think i believe that it takes courage to turn away from the world's definition of success, write your own definition, and pursue it. but then sometimes i think i'm just using that as an excuse to stay put in my small life.

at this point in my life, there's nothing i'd do differently. and sometimes i think that means something. but sometimes i think it means that i've just settled. have i tucked away my big dreams because it's not time for them yet, or because i don't have the courage to go after them?
i want to sit on the deck of a boat, in the ocean, with a crew of 30 teenagers, and look up at the stars. i even know the boat i want. i know of a builder in new york who'll build it for me. and i know it would cost $3 million. but i haven't done anything to make it happen. i haven't even learned how to sail a sunfish. maybe it just takes more effort than i'm willing to put into any one thing. maybe i've not been brave.

but i don't know how to tell

where my loyalties truly lie

while it's true that i've lived in michigan for over 12 years, it's also true that i was born and raised in nebraska. this means that, though i am a michigna fan, i am first and foremost a nebraska fan.

this being said...

WOOOO HOOOOO!!!! for Nebraska's victory over Michigan last night!!

the last play was crazy, and kinda shady. and i'm sure the die-hard michigan fans, and a myriad of sports commentators will b*!#ch about it for years to come. but the game is over. and nebraska finished on top.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

do it. you know you want to...

1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before? Went to Amsterdam and Eastern Europe, signed a publishing contract
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I can't remember the last time i made them
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? someone kind of close to me is supposed to have given birth by now. but i haven't heard. so i guess that means no...
4. Did anyone close to you die? no
5. What countries did you visit? The Netherlands, the Ukraine
6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005? drive, motivation, and focus
7. What date from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? not good w/dates
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? definitely the publishing contract
9. What was your biggest failure? hmm...
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? nothing serious. i was really sick when i got back from the Ukraine, but i always get sick when i come back from foreign countries.. so .. whatev...
11. What was the best thing you bought? a handmade chess set from a street vendor in the Ukraine. which i promtly gave to peter james barta
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? i think everything merits celebration. i just don't follow through well
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? mostly our government's, and people who took advantage of the disasters in the Gulf.
14. Where did most of your money go? bills. and probably coffee.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? my publishing contract (there's a theme here, isn't there.) :)
16. What song will always remind you of 2005? "Soul Meets Body" - DCFC, and anything from the Distillers
17. Compared to this time last year, you are: more sure of who i am, and more happy w/who i am
18. What do you wish you'd done more of? bigger payments towards my debt. and more time w/friends and family
19. What do you wish you'd done less of? procrastinate
20. How will you be spending Christmas? With my family
22. Did you fall in love in 2005? i had a crush, but it was short-lived
23. How many one-night stands? none. ew.
24. What was your favorite TV program? i was going to say 'buffy', but i watched the show 'numbers' for the first time on saturday, and that might take first place
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? not much of a hater
26. What was the best book you read? either 'the gutter' by craig gross, or 'cracked' by drew plinsky
27. What was your greatest musical discovery? AM ( he's incredible
28. What did you want and get? a publishing contract :)
30. What was your favorite film of this year? the favorite film i *saw* this year was either 'motorcycle diaries' or 'the runaway jury'
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? i turned 35 and i spent it w/friends
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? paying off all my debt, and falling in love
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005? finally finding and loving my own style
34. What kept you sane? God. friends, esp billie and christine
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? james marsters. or ben gibbard.
36. What political issue stirred you the most? they all stir me the most. hello.... writer...
37. Who did you miss? billie and christine. and my family now that i'm back from nebraska
38. Who was the best new person you met? val's friend whom i met at carolyn and dan's wedding. i'm sweet w/names so i can't remember hers, but we talked most of the night about traveling to other countries and stuff. it was awesome. oh, and ryan, who works w/me at the cafe. Who was the worst? no worst
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005: i don't learn life lessons. it's against my religion
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: theme song from 'friends'. and 'not alone' by jason upton

Friday, December 23, 2005

have a holly jolly christmas

it might be hard to see, but this is the Salvation Army guy outside Sears at Twelve Oaks Mall. he's not ringing a bell. he's playing a harmonica! that's right. a harmonica! :) so awesome.
dropped of my last christmas present to chel this afternoon. we finally hung out for a few hours last night. missed her so much, it was awesome to see her. i took this picture...
which is a perfect pic of a perfect chel face. :)
then my roommate gave me some awesome gifts, including a tiara! 'cause every princess needs a tiara. :)

so in a couple hours i'm off to nebraska. can't wait to see my family.
have a great Christmas. :)

Friday, December 16, 2005

a room with a view

Christine just sent me pics of her new apartment in Australia. Isn't this the coolest thing you've ever seen!! I love how dramatic and almost theatrical it is!
We talked for a little while last night and she told me about this program her church does with the local high school. it sounds incredible, and each school year they take interns. I need to pray about it, but it seems like it could be an incredible opportunity to learn how to effectively reach out to high schools. I could go, do the internship, then come back and implement what I've learned. The school year in Australia is from March to November, so I probably wouldn't go until '07 'cause I'm sure they already have their interns for upcoming year.
Anyhow.. the real point of this post is Christine's new apartment. 'Cause it's amazing!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

ladies and gentlemen

ok.. you can't see this very well, but it's my publisher's TIMELINE FOR MY BOOK!!!!!
by this time next year i'll be a published author.
holy everything!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

l.a. can't be your kinda town

yesterday i got a christmas card from billie.
it's hard enough, missing her and christine like i do. but i see their pictures and hear their stories, and i feel like i'm missing out. like they're living this great adventure i'm... well... here. in michigan.
i know life is tough for them, too. it's not all one big hollywood-esque scene. but they did it. picked up and moved to another country. and i always wonder if the reason i didn't go is because i really felt i wasn't supposed to, or if i was just scared. and i know it's not too late. i can still go. if not permanently, at least for a really long visit. but i'm worried that i'll always regret not trying.
when i was younger, i never played it safe. i never worried about how things would work out. i just did what was on my heart and figured things out as i went along.
i feel like i've lost my sense of adventure. or at least tucked away somewhere.
what happened to the girl who wanted to climb mountains? who wanted to have a sailing ministry for troubled teens? who wanted to build an adventure-based ministry and take kids rock climbing, mountain climbing.. set up camp under the stars and talk about God's majesty and His love.
i still quote jamie clarke. i still listen to his talks. i have his poster hanging up (almost) in my room. he was my inspiration.
and yet... all this time later, i haven't climbed one mountain. i haven't gone rock climbing in over a year. and i still haven't learned how to sail.
i miss the adventure.
i miss the dream.
i miss me.

Monday, December 12, 2005


my boss at the cafe is an awesome lady.
every friday and saturday night, we have live music at the cafe. mostly jr and sr high students. so it gets pretty loud and sometimes kinda rowdy.
a couple weeks ago, one of the glass tops to one of the tables got broken. we're not sure how, we just know that it happened when all the kids were there. when i asked what she was gonna do, she shrugged her shoulders and said "guess i gotta get a new table top."
that was it. i was totally expecting her say something about not having bands play there anymore, or not having so many kids there. but she didn't. i've since learned that, like me, she really wants to reach out to young people. and if it means replacing a few things along the way... so be it.
it was so cool.

Friday, December 09, 2005

who knew?

so it turns out that the Greek word translated as "preach" also means "publish". it's something i need to turn over in my head a few times but. we're called to preach. not only the spoken but the written word.
i like that.
here's something else i like,
i just found out that my favorite store in Amsterdam has a website, *and* a store in chicago.
who's up for a road trip!?
oh, and here's one more thing i like;
visiting chel at hot topic, because i haven't seen her in 8 millions years and miss her like mad.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

the gutter

i'm reading the book 'the gutter' by craig gross. the basic theme of the book is that it's time for christians to stop living in safe little christian bubbles and get out into the world that needs God's love and forgiveness. in it, he references Isaiah 49. i read through it this morning and came to this verse: "I will feed your oppressors with their own flesh, and they will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine."

i know that in other parts of the world, christian persecution is very real. but in the states, it seems like we're most often oppressed by our own kind. when christians choose to step out of the safe (read "boring and ineffective") christian sub-culture and get around people who don't know God, they're often criticized. often harshly. craig gross is one of the founding members of something called "". it exists to reach out to the seedy, unpleasant world of pornography, and the people enslaved by it. but these guys don't just sit and write articles, they didn't start a "christian support group". they go to porn conventions. yep. they set up a booth at porn conventions, right in amongst all the other booths, and show God's love to a group of people who desperately need it, but rarely see it.

needless to say, they've been pounded on by christians for being in that kind of environment. but how else will those people be reached for God? they're not gonna go to church or any other type of christian or religious function.

the band Chevelle is another good example. they're christian, and want to reach people in the music world. show them God's love, and also show that it's possible to enjoy life without sex, drugs and drunkeness. so they play at events like ozzfest and warped tour, right alongside marilyn manson, linkin park, and countless others. they too are pounded, told by 'christians' that they're setting a poor example, compromising their beliefs, etc, etc.

it's a common pattern in american christianity. those who take seriously Jesus' command to "go.. into all nations" are treated like enemies. criticized and rallied against.

yet the ones who criticize never seem to have an alternate plan.
just once, i'd love to see the guys from Chevelle or P.O.D turn the tables and say "if what we're doing is wrong, then how would you suggest we reach people like brody dalle of the distillers? how do you suggest we show the love of Christ to guys like marilyn manson, ozzy osbourne or members of linkin park? what's your solution?"

it makes me wonder how Isaiah 49:26 applies to 'christian' oppressors. will they, in fact, suffer this kind of fate, in some way or another? i know the knee-jerk response is "no, because if they're christians, they've been forgiven." which is true. they have been forgiven. they do have a place in heaven. but the more i study, the more i learn about God and His ways, the more i learn that things are rarely so cut-and-dried. so it makes me wonder what will happen will they stand face to face with God. what will their fate be? more importantly, will they think it was worth it?

this book makes me anxious to head to the gutter myself. to reach out to those whom the 'christian' world deems to dirty to touch. my involvement w/the kids at the internet cafe is a start. being there on friday nights, i'm surrounded by kids w/mohaws, pierced everythings, black clothing... a bunch of young brody dalles. but it doesn't seem like it's enough. although, i'm beginning to realize that the ones who venture into the gutter never feel like they're doing enough. their burden is so great that every effort they make pales in comparison to the needs they see around them. so if my feeling like i'm not doing enough means i'm become more like the gutter-dwellers craig talks about in his book, then i guess that's alright. i can't think of any other group of people i'd rather be associated with.

so those who wish to can keep their safe, boring, ineffective brand of christianity. as for me, i'm gonna hang out in

Thursday, December 01, 2005

upside down

"upside down, you turn me inside out and round and round"
lyrics to an old old school song. i'm sure it was about romance or something, but it's the first thing that came to mind after i met w/my publisher on monday.
we were talking about my book and i was sharing some of the struggles i've been having. mostly it's been things like; feeling there's no point in writing it, that i have nothing significant to say.. stuff like that.
sabrina said the thought that encourages her the most when the enemy starts in with his lies is remembering that, if he's a deceiver and a liar, then the opposite of what he's saying must be the truth.
so if he tells me i don't have anything important to say, it must mean that God has given me a significant message to share.
if he tells me i'll never be on financially solid ground, it must mean God plans to bless me abundantly in that area of my life.
if he tells me that i'll never be married, never enjoy the love and intimacy i long for, it must mean there's an incredible marriage somewhere in my future.

i've never thought about it like that before, but it makes sense, and it changes everything. suddenly his lies become encouragment, because i know what's really true. suddenly the things he's using to try and stop me, and bring me down, serve instead to spur me on, fuel my passion, and steady my resolve.
this is what Jesus meant when He said He had overcome the world. this is why we can stand with confidence, passion, and a resolute spirit and say that our enemy is already defeated. because his attacks truly are without foundation, and not only that, they can be used against him by the very people he intends to harm.
for the first time, i realize that the phrase "you got nothing" applies most accurately to the enemy. he truly has nothing. if we remember this simple "upside down" principle, he's got nothing.