Friday, September 29, 2006

Just a minute

Will you take a minute and pray for Rob and I?

Our trip to encourage our missionaries keeps getting more complicated. Our dates had to change and now the trip is over the holidays. That doesn't bother us except that it makes it more expensive. We're pretty discouraged.

Pray that God will bring all the loose ends together really soon.
Pray that God will keep telling us why we're going.
Pray that we'll be able to sense God's leading and follow him without doubting.

Thanks, friends.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Yea for good art!

We went to a Mute Math concert last night. I've heard them when Rob made me, and that was only a couple times. They aren't Norah Jones, that's for sure. So, they didn't draw me in right away. But, Rob convinced me they are amazing, so I expected much last night.

It was a great concert. They are musicians and performers. They keep you enthralled the whole time. Their performance was so engrossing that I often didn't know a song was finished until 5 seconds afterward. I recommend their music, but I think you will like it even more once you've had a chance to see them live.

Our group didn't fit in last night, but I think we're all beyond the point of caring. We were just excied to be there.

It's funny how much humans enjoy watching others do art and share what they've created. Like I said earlier, it seemed like I was like no one else there, but as the music played I felt a bond.

Grace, Jen, and I were standing in the back on the stairs (the short people section). It was the best place in the house, actually. I ended up standing right next to another shorty. He looked like he belonged: really stylish, neo-mullet hair, a very thought-out outfit, and all black. Me: a t-shirt and jeans, my orange jacket tied around my waist, and a simple pony tail that I did my best to poof up. Who knows, we could be the two most similar people ever, but from the outside he looked like sushi and I looked like homemade cookies.

As Mute Math did their magic, both of us were enjoying the same thing. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see his head bobbing in-sync with mine, and suddenly he felt like a friend.

Mute Math didn't lead us in worship. They were sharing their art, that's all. But, I was enjoying abundant from my perspective.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

For my pearlies

I went to the dentist today. It was amazing! Rob and I have been married for two years, and only recently have we had dental insurance that lets us go to anyone! Hallelujah! Let me just tell you; I'm convinced that HMO dentist lists don't have any good dentists on them.

My last dentist was terrible. One time I went for a simple cleaning and check-up and left 2 hours later! Every single thing that needed to be done "required" a new person. I don't know why you need a specialist for flossing. Plus, I also had to wait at least 15 minutes between each person.

After much experience in the realm of good and bad dentists, I have compiled a list of how to know if a dentist is bad:

1. The office isn't very nice looking. I think the good dentists put thought, time, and money into making their offices comfortable and very nice looking.

2. All of the hygienists look like they just graduated from high school. I'm used to hygienists that look like my mom. Those are the ones I trust.

3. They don't listen to your concerns, make you feel like your concerns are silly, and get impatient with you. Duh. Bad dentist.

4. They don't give you a free toothbrush at the end of your visit. All my life I thought that was a rule of humanity. I learned the truth, and the truth is that only good dentists give goodies.

5. There are so many people in the office that you can't tell who's a hygienist, dentist, receptionist, or the garbage man. And, they all look like they just graduated from high school.

All that to say. I'm so appreciative of good dentists. It's a blessing for sure, and I won't take it for granted this time around.

Monday, September 18, 2006


I'm not very good at hearing God's voice. Actually, it's more that I'm not very good at believing it's him and then listening. I sometimes ask God if he'll start me out with easy stuff so that when the big stuff comes, I won't be so opposed to it.

I heard a story of some cool evangelist who felt like God was telling him to go to the park in the middle of the night. He went and ended up finding some desperate guy and led him to the Lord. Instead of hearing that story and getting exited, my first thought was, "Oh Lord, please don't ask me to do that kind of stuff because I probably won't listen and then I'll be disobeying you."

Last Friday I was up at 5:30 a.m. helping Rob get off to work. Usually when he leaves I go back to sleep for another 3 hours. On Friday, I started thinking about Ruth, our elderly neighbor. Immediately I tried to push her out of my head because I was so opposed to the idea that God would want me to go down to her apartment and check on her. It took me about 30 minutes to push it out. Then I didn't know if I was causing myself to think of her because of my immediate assumption or if God was still trying to speak to me.

Well, I didn't go down there. I've been thinking about her ever since wondering if she fell and broke something or died or needed to talk about God. I went down there today, and she was fine. No broken bones, no death, no revelations.

I've struggled with hearing, believing, and obeying God's voice for a long time. There have even been times when I thought he was telling me to do something kinda strange, and I'd do it only to look back later and laugh sure that it wasn't a God thing. One time I got in the listening and obeying mode and soon felt like I was on a wild goose chase being told to do only the things that I didn't want to do, like go to my neighbor's house at 5 in the morning. That's when I stopped and decided that it wasn't necessarily God. I've been confused ever since.

Just a random tidbit of my week.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Our next big adventure

In December, Rob and I are planning to go across the Atlantic once again. But, this time our purpose is much different.

We're going to Central Asia and the Middle East to visit missionaries from Sandals. It's not just us though; you're going with us. Ok, so maybe not literally, but we want to be your representatives. Rob and I, as an extension of you, our church family, are going to go love on some missionaries, encourage them, see and try to understand their ministry, bring them stuff, experience what they experience, meet their friends, eat their food, maybe help them... We want them to know that the church came to them.

Then, we're coming back as their representatives to connect them to you. We want to show you pictures, tell their stories, catch their vision and give it to you.

We're really excited and sometimes scared, so keep us in your prayers. Tell us your ideas if you have any. If you want to bless them with gifts, letters, hugs... we'll bring them.

Also, we need help getting over there. But, we have a really exciting idea for how you can help us. Go to Rob's blog to read about that!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Sometimes when Rob and I are lying in bed, I'll be close enough to his neck that I can see his pulse. Whenever that happens, I'm always struck with how fragile the body is. We're kept alive by a living system that has nothing to keep it going but the calories and nutrients we give it? I'm definitely not an expert on the body and what keeps it going, but that is crazy. It's crazy that we depend on our heart, a lump of muscle that decides to keep pumping regularly.

When people die, we get sad and confused. Even though we all know it's going to happen and could fairly happen at any moment, there's just something in us that is opposed to it. We think it's wrong. That's interesting.

Right at this moment, I don't think it's weird when people die. I am thinking it's weird that people stay alive. How in the world does our mass of flesh keep our soul on this earth?

This convinces me that it's not really our bodies at all, but truly God who has control of it all. Duh, right? But, I don't think of it like that very often. Our bodies are amazing, but they're not capable of living. God breathed life and when it's time, he stops supplying the earthly part of it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Another story

I have a new student who's in Kindergarten. He's a little shy, and still getting used to me. He's very cute and the typical beginning know still kinda a baby but starting to become a big kid.

Today he started opening up to me. I was encouraging him saying that he's such a fast learner. To that he responded with, "I learned how to dance tonight."

"Wow, will you show me?"

"I learned how to crump."

He stands up and wiggles around quickly with his arms flying around. I pretend to be really impressed. "That's so good."

"That's how boys dance."

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Here's a jumbled post for ya. It was a good weekend, so I might use the word "really" a lot. Bare with me.

Rob and I just got back from a Photoshop conference in Vegas. Really, really cool weekend. I learned a ton and also realized how much there is still to learn about this program. But, I'm pumped about it all. It's the closest thing to school that I've had in 2 1/2 years, so it was fun. (I liked school, by the way).

We got to hang out with Rob's boss, Brit (also from Sandals), the whole weekend. Fun to get to know him since before this weekend I only barely knew him through Rob's stories and a couple conversations. He's a great guy.

On Friday night, we all had dinner with some of Brit's long-time friends. They made us give sushi another try. We successfully put it in our mouths, chewed, swallowed, and even enjoyed it. I was a little worried about the chewing and swallowing part. My last experience with sushi made me decide that I hated it, but now it has been redeemed. I still don't understand why people adore sushi, but maybe that'll come after my 5th time eating it.

Anyway, Brit's friends were a ton of fun -- refreshing, funny, and easy to talk to. Then we found the Veitch's house at the other end of Vegas and hung out with Jon for the rest of the night (I think he's one of those who spells his "jon" like that). I knew Jon before, but we never got the chance to really hang out with him. Pretty much the funniest guy ever. It's cool because he'll be really really funny and then the very next second say something totally profound that'll stick with you. Another cool guy.

Hanging out with Jon was great, and it also reminded me how much we need to be praying for their ministry over there. Sometimes I forget what I need to be praying for, so times like these are good reminders. He explained Vegas as a place where they almost literally have to snatch people out of hell. It's urgent, dangerous, and in need of the right kind of ministry - a ministry that will convince people and draw them to the real life that's in Christ.

Good times. I'm full.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Loving my enemies

I know that I need to be thankful for how blessed I am. However, there are a few silly things about life that are my arch enemies, and I decided to share those with my blog. But really, even these silly things I should be thankful for because they are privileges that not everybody gets to do or experience. Still, I don't enjoy them.

I hate going to the bathroom. This is especially true if I'm in the middle of something important, really relaxed, sleeping, or in a public place. No fun. I think it's a waste of time. However, God did think of everything didn't he? We need a way to get rid of the stuff we put in. I'm not sure I would have covered that detail.

I hate my bedtime ritual. Rob always tries to get me to skip it and just go to sleep when we're super tired. But, I can't. I've always done all of it, and I just wouldn't feel "ready." I have to wash my face, brush my teeth, floss, and go to the bathroom (we already know how fun I think that is). If I take a shower too, it all lasts an eternity. The worst part of all of that -- brushing my teeth.

I hate taking showers. Rob is different. He'll get in the shower and get stuck because he loves it so much. I have to remind him to finish. Me, it's a battle to get me in there, I manage my way through it, and it just takes so long.

(Wow, I guess these all involve hygiene).

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Thanks for the help

If you read my last post, you know that I've been thinking about art lately and how to do art that's true. Well, I don't have all my answers for sure, but I just read Mike's blog and now I have at least one good example of a person creating art that speaks.

Go read his blog if you haven't already.

This tells me that you don't have to create the Mona Lisa in order for your art to mean something and help someone else experience life.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I need your ideas

Today I got to live life with one of my best friends, Jen. At one point we were talking about jobs and how "non-ministry" jobs sometimes make you feel like you're wasting time doing nothing significant. I like my jobs, but sometimes I feel that way.

Jen said that my job teaching music lessons is very important in her eyes. She went on to explain how important art is to her. Sometimes when people ask her how she feels, she would rather not use words but compose a symphony instead. Art helps us see things more deeply in a way that normal words can't.

She also mentioned that most "Christian" art is bad art. That's why she thinks my job is a cool one because I get to teach kids music, a way to express themselves and a way to display the unspeakable to the rest of the world.

That raises three questions for me.

1. How in the world do I teach kids how to do art...not just how to play the notes right? How do I teach them to express themselves in a real way, not a manufactured and oh-so-typical way?

2. Why is so much of the Christian art that we see so bad? Why, when we have such a powerful inspiration, are we so lacking in how we express it?

I was thinking about question # 2 tonight. I am wondering if the really powerful Christian artists are just too much for us. They're too weird; they don't fit the church mold; they're too bold. So, we place them in the fringes where they won't disturb us too much. We ignore them. Or, we call them non-christian. That leaves us mostly with non-influencial artists who keep re-creating the same thing over and over. Somehow they end up in the spotlight representing and trying to explain life to us.

I consider myself an artist. Honestly, I think I'm lacking too. When I paint, I use someone else's idea. When I write songs, they seem so typical. When I play piano, I'm stuck in a rut. That brings me to question #3.

3. How do Christians use the Spirit inside of us and make real art? How can I stop copying and start creating?