Friday, January 30, 2009

28 Memories from 28 Years

I just celebrated my 28th birthday last week, and in honor of that, here are 28 great memories.

1.   The time I met my future husband on a bridge in Austin, Texas.
3.   The time my brother and I drove across the country and went to the Spam Museum, the Corn Palace, Mount Rushmore, and the Devil's Tower.
4.   The time Suzanne, Renee and I drove my blue Sunfire to Florida and back for Spring Break, writing haikus, going bowling, and singing a lot of bad country songs.
5.   The time we played spoons (the card game) as a family and Sandy kept insisting on going everywhere dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
6.   The time we played football on Thanksgiving and made the Casey Cup out of crap we found in the attic.
7.   The time we did a talent show in the midst of the Annual TU New Year's Extravaganza.
8.  The time Havaleh, Syvisoi and I went to Youth Jam and we sat in the hallway of the hotel charging a toll to walk down the hall.  I think we made $1.20.  I also think I was embarrassed when this guy Chris asked me to dance.
9.   The time Hannah, Andy, Levi, Ruth, Christine and I stayed at that really cool hotel in Watamu, Kenya with the balcony, and we ran into the Fulbright Scholar Butterfly scientist while out for samosas one night.
10. The time Paul, Joel, Drew, Sheila and Ruth dumped 10 gallons of water on me in honor of my 21st birthday.
11.  The time after Beth and Noah's wedding, when I was trying to help clean up the church and kept running around frantically saying, "Does anyone know how to dispose of the body and blood of Christ?"
12.  The time Clay, Sarah, Dan, DeJon, and I drove up to Austin to see the Old 97's, and we accidentally got to see Billy Harvey open the show.
13.  The time Sean and I wandered around Vegas together in the middle of the night, taking random photographs and singing Kenny Rogers songs.
14.  All the times I had parties during Senior Year of High School and kept accidentally inviting like, 50 people.  Oh yeah, and the incredible skittle wars.
15.  The time my friends threw me a Bridal Shower that included making Play-Doh sculptures and finger painting under the auspices of the theme, "Play with Clay."
16.  The time that the whole wedding party broke out into choreographed dance at Chris and Janelle's wedding reception.
17.  The time Danara, Don King, and I got free tacos and red-pepper name badges from "Brian" at the Taco Bell/KFC in North Webster, Indiana.
18.  The time Renee came out to visit Washington on a 1-day's notice.
19.  The time Pam, Renee and I surprised Beth with a Bridal Shower and caught it all on videotape, which we almost recorded overtop of Beth's Senior Recital.
20.  The time I sent flowers to Beth in the hospital after she had Lily, and the card on the flowers read, "Love Angie Heather," instead of "Love Auntie Heather."  
21.  All the times that Hannah, Andy, Levi and I used to hang out with Dr Bennett and Justin and Imani in Nairobi.
22.  All the times I used to go to record shows with Dad and sit under the tables while he wheeled and dealed.
23.  The time Mom, Dad, Sean and I were at the Scott Antique Show and discovered a Beatles' Record Player marked down to 1/4 its value.
24.  The time I got crowned the "King of Janelle's Heart" during a mystery kisser game at her Bridal Shower.  (After 5 people, including her fiance, kissed her on the cheek, she had to guess which one was Chris, and she guessed me!)
25.  All the times Lynn and I used to sit in the galleria together, stalking "Mr. Inconspicuous" every MWF during Spring Semester 2001.
26.  All the times Renee and I used to pass notes back and forth while pretending to study in the student union.
27.  The time we visited Tulalip in honor of Clay's birthday and Stuart jumped in the fountain.
28.  The time Sean, Rachael and I saw the zombies march down the streets of Vancouver.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Great Flood 2009!

I felt very much like a pioneer on my way to work this morning. My normal route, taking State Route 531 to Interstate 5 was closed because the mighty Stillaguamish had overtaken it...once again inching towards the O'Brien Turkey House.

Ah-ha! I thought... I'll take State Route 9 north and sneak around a back road to cross the river. No success, because before I reached my "shortcut," the river stopped me. It was crossing State Route 9. All the minivans were lined up on the side of the road watching the monster trucks ford through it. I paused and recounted my days of crossing rivers on the Oregon Trail, debating, "Do I attempt to ford the river?"

And then I remembered how devastated I always was on the Oregon Trail when I forded the river, but we were swept downstream and lost 4 boxes of ammunition, 8 sets of clothes, and 100 pounds of food. So...watching all the big trucks from my much-lower vantage point in my Pontiac Sunfire Coupe SE, I did the wisest thing I could think of: turn around.

This involved driving about 5 miles out of my way to the Smokey Point exit, south of Arlington...then of course, I headed north again, this time "safely" on Interstate 5. When I arrived at Exit 208 (my normal route), the on-ramp was swamped and the river was ever-so-gently giving the interstate a hug. (Not surprising though, there was still a brave line of people waiting to buy cigarettes at the Stilly Smoke Shop.)

I successfully completed my drive, thankful that the northern roads have cleared up enough that hydroplaning is no longer an ever-present risk.

Happy Flood 2009! (There's a great photo of Haller Park in Arlington at the Seattle Times.)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Late Night Reflections on Learnings...

I started class #2 at Fuller: Medieval and Reformation History!  Woohoo!  Tonight we were talking about evangelizing the barbarians of the 8th century.  Argh...  During class, I contemplated whether or not it's okay to consider naming our first son Merovingian.  It seems like a good rugged manly name, and apparently bears a connotation with a "long-haired king."  (Why, hello Aragorn.)  

Tonight in class, I discovered that it's difficult to listen to your professor talk about the Benedictines when you're simultaneously watching updates on the final minutes of the Fiesta Bowl on your computer.  (It helped that there were a few Texas fans in the room to pass secret scowls and cheers to in the midst of the lecture...but it was hard to focus on the part of the lecture I was most interested in when I was also waiting to see if Texas had scored a touchdown with :16 on the clock.  Gah!)  

Lately, unrelated to class, Clay and I have been reading The Emotionally Healthy Church.  Clay recommended we read this book together after we had a conversation about wanting to be connected on a deeper emotional level. (A shout out to Duane and DeJon for introducing it to him!)  While it might seem odd to read a book about creating a healthy church in order to improve marital's actually not.  Why?  Because the health of our church is a symptom of the health of the people in the church.  So--this book is pretty much all about things you can ask yourself in a quest to become a more healthy person--and thus able to serve God better in ministry.

Clay and I often question our value based on how we're feeling that particular day about our effectiveness and involvement in our ministries.  To now step back and evaluate ourselves not by the external measurables, but about the health of our own hearts, is pretty radical.  When we actually stop to examine every single defense mechanism, coping strategy and crazy neurosis we do to get through our day, it's pretty incredible to see what hurting and broken people we really are--and how that holds us back from really loving others as well as we could.

The book revealed to me that my biggest area of growth is needed in living in more brokenness and vulnerability.  The funny part is that if I had read through the list before taking the helpful little survey, I would have picked it out of the bunch.  The book is allowing me to take a candle to the dark caverns of my heart and begin to sweep out the cobwebs.  Lately, I've been able hear that extra snap in my voice, to hear that burst to want to insert my two cents into the dialogue, to quickly step up and correct someone for mispronouncing a word..and I think, "Wow...I'm so, so afraid of appearing weak...what is going on in my heart that's led me to this place?"  

I'm claimed 2009 as the year of health.  Emotional health, spiritual health, physical health.  I don't want to go anywhere special or do anything grand...I just want to be more healthy...less afraid of my own shortcomings...more authentic about my own brokenness...more able to recognize where I've failed.    

I pray that 2009 has good and wonderful things in store for you as well!