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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

east or west?

"Beloved these are dangerous times, 'cause you're weightless like a leaf from the vine."
-Derek Webb, Beloved

My friend and I were sitting in his  little purple hatchback Honda in the longest drive thru line Taco Bell had ever seen.  We had just completed a midnight Walmart shopping excursion after we completed yet another long, harrowing pasta night shift at the inn.

An excursion that included me knocking several things off of their respective shelves, talking movies with strangers and checking our blood pressure (his was 117, mine was 126 - I think that's because he was really stressing me out and arguing with me over every little thing...and because I have a heart murmur).

While we were waiting for our food, he looks at me and gets all excited, wants me to hear this song.  I looked on his iPod and I see the album "Video Games Live 2" come up.  He must have seen me wrinkle my nose, because he said, "Trust me, you'll love it." 


It was a song in Swahili, and he was singing along and stomping his feet on the floorboard, keeping a rather spastic time.  I asked him if he knew what it meant, to which he replied "It's the Lord's prayer in Swahili." 


He was right.  I loved it. 

He started translating the words and told me that he had been learning Swahili.  He told me he has a passion for different languages, and then he said that he wanted to learn some crazy language of some indigenous peoples that I can't remember the name of so that he could go and spread the gospel to people who had never heard it before. 

After he disclosed this to me, I smirked at him, thinking I was something sort of clever and teased, "So, what is it?  East or West...?" 

He looked at me and said with the upmost certainty, "At the center of God's will."

At that moment, I was put into my proper place: feeling about three inches tall and not very clever at all.

How incredible to be so confident in where you are in your life.  To be so sure that everything you're doing has a distinct purpose that everything you learn and work for is purposeful. 

Half the time I don't know what I want or where I'm going.  I feel just as weightless as D. Webb is talking about.  Like I've lost my vine, my grounded-ness all of a sudden and I'm just kind of floating along.  I mean I know I'm studying broadcast journalism and have a passion for travel.  But what on EARTH am I here for? 

It gets really frustrating.  Not only to me, but to my friends as well.  I have this other friend at Regent who is studying to be a counselor.  He's constantly asking me questions.  Hard questions like,  "What do you want, what do you think?  What do you want to do?" 

To which I run my hands through my hair and hide my face in his chest and say, "I don't know." I'm sure it comes out all muffled.  I do that pretty much every time he asks me a question.

It drives him up the wall.


So, what's a girl to do?  Just hope that even though I don't know east from west, that wherever I am, I am at the center of God's will for my life.




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east or west?

"Beloved these are dangerous times, 'cause you're weightless like a leaf from the vine."
-Derek Webb, Beloved

My friend and I were sitting in his  little purple hatchback Honda in the longest drive thru line Taco Bell had ever seen.  We had just completed a midnight Walmart shopping excursion after we completed yet another long, harrowing pasta night shift at the inn.

An excursion that included me knocking several things off of their respective shelves, talking movies with strangers and checking our blood pressure (his was 117, mine was 126 - I think that's because he was really stressing me out and arguing with me over every little thing...and because I have a heart murmur).

While we were waiting for our food, he looks at me and gets all excited, wants me to hear this song.  I looked on his iPod and I see the album "Video Games Live 2" come up.  He must have seen me wrinkle my nose, because he said, "Trust me, you'll love it." 


It was a song in Swahili, and he was singing along and stomping his feet on the floorboard, keeping a rather spastic time.  I asked him if he knew what it meant, to which he replied "It's the Lord's prayer in Swahili." 


He was right.  I loved it. 

He started translating the words and told me that he had been learning Swahili.  He told me he has a passion for different languages, and then he said that he wanted to learn some crazy language of some indigenous peoples that I can't remember the name of so that he could go and spread the gospel to people who had never heard it before. 

After he disclosed this to me, I smirked at him, thinking I was something sort of clever and teased, "So, what is it?  East or West...?" 

He looked at me and said with the upmost certainty, "At the center of God's will."

At that moment, I was put into my proper place: feeling about three inches tall and not very clever at all.

How incredible to be so confident in where you are in your life.  To be so sure that everything you're doing has a distinct purpose that everything you learn and work for is purposeful. 

Half the time I don't know what I want or where I'm going.  I feel just as weightless as D. Webb is talking about.  Like I've lost my vine, my grounded-ness all of a sudden and I'm just kind of floating along.  I mean I know I'm studying broadcast journalism and have a passion for travel.  But what on EARTH am I here for? 

It gets really frustrating.  Not only to me, but to my friends as well.  I have this other friend at Regent who is studying to be a counselor.  He's constantly asking me questions.  Hard questions like,  "What do you want, what do you think?  What do you want to do?" 

To which I run my hands through my hair and hide my face in his chest and say, "I don't know." I'm sure it comes out all muffled.  I do that pretty much every time he asks me a question.

It drives him up the wall.


So, what's a girl to do?  Just hope that even though I don't know east from west, that wherever I am, I am at the center of God's will for my life.




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Friday, December 24, 2010

mary, mary, all but contrary

I went to bed last night trying to think of ideas for my next blog post.

My worst gifts was what I came up with.  Of course I'd turn it around and let everyone know that Christmas is not about the gifts you receive. 

But every five-year-old kid remembers getting a package of embarrassing underwear, right?

Anyway, I woke up this morning with my heart so heavy, I couldn't even begin to pretend to be quirky and clever in my writing.

I woke, well, feeling quite sorry for myself, honestly.  It's my very first Christmas away from home.  I live alone, and most of my friends have vacated to their respective hometowns to be with their families.  And if I weren't in the food industry I'd easily be doing the same thing.  

And even though I had time to prepare myself emotionally for the absence of the things that make this holiday fun this season, it still feels like I've been orphaned out here.  My grandparent's Christmas Eve party has always been one of my favorite things, and I'm missing it to serve draft beers and french fries to strangers.  I just couldn't stand thinking that my whole family is going to be having a beautiful celebration this evening without me. 

Woe, woe, woe.  Big crocodile tears.  Crumpled on the floor, praying that my neighbors can't hear my blubbering.

Then I got the kick in the pants I truly needed. 

I have so many things to be thankful for.  I have a family to miss.  I'm not overseas, I'm not in the military.  I'm not putting my life on the line by serving tables (most of the time, anyway). 

And then I got to thinking about Mary, and how she must have been feeling that first Christmas eve.  The eve before the Son of Man was to be born.  She was just a mere child.

And I know there is a whole religion that addresses Mary as a Saint, but the truth was, she was incredibly human.  She was a woman.  She had mood swings.  She probably felt like most women feel every day.  Inadequate.  Like no matter how hard she tries, she can't be good enough, thin enough. 

She probably had a hard time keeping her apartment clean. 

And while God has never asked me to do anything like, you know, give birth to His son, I can relate to her.  I hope.  There have been plenty of things He has called me to do in my life that have been challenging.  And I always put up a fight. 

God, not me.  There's no way I'm good enough.  There's no way.  It's not me.  Please don't ask. 

But, look how Mary approaches the task the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE laid before her:

"'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered. 'May it be to me as you have said.'" (Luke 1:38)



Imagine if we all had this attitude about the things the Lord has called us to do in our lives.

Instead of this:

GOD: Brett, you're going to need to work a full time job in order to support yourself through grad school.  

Me: WHY?  THIS SUCKS, I'M AWAY FROM MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS. I'M ALL BY MYSELF I'M BURNING THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS AND MISSING OUT ON ALL THE FUN STUFF (caps indicate dramatic and exaggerated sobs). 

We'd have this:

Me: I am the Lord's servant.  May it be to me as you have said.  I know you have my greatest interest at heart. I know this education is preparing me for something big and wonderful.  I know you don't want me to be slammed with debt upon my graduation.


May it be unto you as the Lord has said this season.  





And if my humble blog post was not enough to lift your spirits if you're blue this season, hopefully this PRECIOUS video will (compliments of Miss Becky Honaker):



Merry Christmas, friends.

-Brett Elizabeth
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mary, mary, all but contrary

I went to bed last night trying to think of ideas for my next blog post.

My worst gifts was what I came up with.  Of course I'd turn it around and let everyone know that Christmas is not about the gifts you receive. 

But every five-year-old kid remembers getting a package of embarrassing underwear, right?

Anyway, I woke up this morning with my heart so heavy, I couldn't even begin to pretend to be quirky and clever in my writing.

I woke, well, feeling quite sorry for myself, honestly.  It's my very first Christmas away from home.  I live alone, and most of my friends have vacated to their respective hometowns to be with their families.  And if I weren't in the food industry I'd easily be doing the same thing.  

And even though I had time to prepare myself emotionally for the absence of the things that make this holiday fun this season, it still feels like I've been orphaned out here.  My grandparent's Christmas Eve party has always been one of my favorite things, and I'm missing it to serve draft beers and french fries to strangers.  I just couldn't stand thinking that my whole family is going to be having a beautiful celebration this evening without me. 

Woe, woe, woe.  Big crocodile tears.  Crumpled on the floor, praying that my neighbors can't hear my blubbering.

Then I got the kick in the pants I truly needed. 

I have so many things to be thankful for.  I have a family to miss.  I'm not overseas, I'm not in the military.  I'm not putting my life on the line by serving tables (most of the time, anyway). 

And then I got to thinking about Mary, and how she must have been feeling that first Christmas eve.  The eve before the Son of Man was to be born.  She was just a mere child.

And I know there is a whole religion that addresses Mary as a Saint, but the truth was, she was incredibly human.  She was a woman.  She had mood swings.  She probably felt like most women feel every day.  Inadequate.  Like no matter how hard she tries, she can't be good enough, thin enough. 

She probably had a hard time keeping her apartment clean. 

And while God has never asked me to do anything like, you know, give birth to His son, I can relate to her.  I hope.  There have been plenty of things He has called me to do in my life that have been challenging.  And I always put up a fight. 

God, not me.  There's no way I'm good enough.  There's no way.  It's not me.  Please don't ask. 

But, look how Mary approaches the task the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE laid before her:

"'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered. 'May it be to me as you have said.'" (Luke 1:38)



Imagine if we all had this attitude about the things the Lord has called us to do in our lives.

Instead of this:

GOD: Brett, you're going to need to work a full time job in order to support yourself through grad school.  

Me: WHY?  THIS SUCKS, I'M AWAY FROM MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS. I'M ALL BY MYSELF I'M BURNING THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS AND MISSING OUT ON ALL THE FUN STUFF (caps indicate dramatic and exaggerated sobs). 

We'd have this:

Me: I am the Lord's servant.  May it be to me as you have said.  I know you have my greatest interest at heart. I know this education is preparing me for something big and wonderful.  I know you don't want me to be slammed with debt upon my graduation.


May it be unto you as the Lord has said this season.  





And if my humble blog post was not enough to lift your spirits if you're blue this season, hopefully this PRECIOUS video will (compliments of Miss Becky Honaker):



Merry Christmas, friends.

-Brett Elizabeth
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

addiction at its best

The following conversation took place in my living room today.  I was on the phone with my "little" from my sorority days.

First, I make the unwise decision to flounce myself onto the couch with a cup of steaming coffee in my hand, fresh from the microwave.

Me: OUCH! UHG, aw man.  I just spilled hot coffee all over my lap!
Hannah: Oh my gosh, are you okay?
Me: Yeah, it's just such a waste of coffee.
Hannah:...That's the most psychotic thing I've ever heard you say.

Enjoy your Wednesdays, and keep that coffee in your cup! 


-Brett Elizabeth
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addiction at its best

The following conversation took place in my living room today.  I was on the phone with my "little" from my sorority days.

First, I make the unwise decision to flounce myself onto the couch with a cup of steaming coffee in my hand, fresh from the microwave.

Me: OUCH! UHG, aw man.  I just spilled hot coffee all over my lap!
Hannah: Oh my gosh, are you okay?
Me: Yeah, it's just such a waste of coffee.
Hannah:...That's the most psychotic thing I've ever heard you say.

Enjoy your Wednesdays, and keep that coffee in your cup! 


-Brett Elizabeth
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workjacked

God bless my coworkers.

It all started when I thought I saw my coworker's green explorer leaving the employee parking lot.  This seemed odd, because this particular person usually works the night shift.  He had been talking about switching and becoming a morning server lately, and I wondered if he had actually ventured over to the "dark side."

So, imagine my surprise when I saw this particular coworker at the hostess stand five minutes after I walked into the building. 

I think the conversation went something like...

Me: Oh, hi.  I'm surprised to see you here.
Coworker: Why?
Me: I thought I just saw you pull out of the parking lot in your car.
Coworker:  You did? My explorer?
Me: Yeah, it's green, right?
Coworker: Right.  Well...I do have to leave one of my doors unlocked.  It'd be funny if someone stole it. 
Me:  Hah, yeah.
Coworker:  Uh...actually you've got me freaked.  Will you watch my tables while I go outside and check to see if it's still there?
Me: Sure!

Coworker grabs his coat off the rack and heads out the door.  I dutifully march into the restaurant and watch over his tables. 

And scene.

Fifteen minutes later, I see this particular coworker walking toward me with one of our security guards.  He was holding a clipboard and looking very concerned.  They were speaking to one another in hushed, reverent tones. 

I looked over at him and said breathily, "Noooo!"

Then my coworker looked me square in the eye, and said, "Yeah, it's not there."

That's right.  His car had totally been stolen.  Right out of our employee parking lot.  In broad daylight.  I immediately started praying.  Oh, dear Lord, please let him find his car!  It hasn't been missing that long, maybe one of his friends was playing a joke on him...
Then the security guard started asking me questions.  What did the driver look like?  What time did you report for work?  When did you see the car pull out?  What road did they turn on?

I answered each question as best as I could.

Then my coworker broke character and started cracking up.  The security guard followed suit. 

They totally got me.  Something about me, I don't know what it is, makes it fun for people to prank.  Oh well.  If he ever cries "wolf," I'm totally not helping him.  Whatever.

My coworker's car, of course, was fine.  And in the two minutes it took to walk from the parking lot to the restaurant, he grabbed the security guard, and they both decided it would be fun to mess with me.

Well played, sir.  Well played. 

Any creative suggestions that won't get me fired, bloggies?  Send them my way! 
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workjacked

God bless my coworkers.

It all started when I thought I saw my coworker's green explorer leaving the employee parking lot.  This seemed odd, because this particular person usually works the night shift.  He had been talking about switching and becoming a morning server lately, and I wondered if he had actually ventured over to the "dark side."

So, imagine my surprise when I saw this particular coworker at the hostess stand five minutes after I walked into the building. 

I think the conversation went something like...

Me: Oh, hi.  I'm surprised to see you here.
Coworker: Why?
Me: I thought I just saw you pull out of the parking lot in your car.
Coworker:  You did? My explorer?
Me: Yeah, it's green, right?
Coworker: Right.  Well...I do have to leave one of my doors unlocked.  It'd be funny if someone stole it. 
Me:  Hah, yeah.
Coworker:  Uh...actually you've got me freaked.  Will you watch my tables while I go outside and check to see if it's still there?
Me: Sure!

Coworker grabs his coat off the rack and heads out the door.  I dutifully march into the restaurant and watch over his tables. 

And scene.

Fifteen minutes later, I see this particular coworker walking toward me with one of our security guards.  He was holding a clipboard and looking very concerned.  They were speaking to one another in hushed, reverent tones. 

I looked over at him and said breathily, "Noooo!"

Then my coworker looked me square in the eye, and said, "Yeah, it's not there."

That's right.  His car had totally been stolen.  Right out of our employee parking lot.  In broad daylight.  I immediately started praying.  Oh, dear Lord, please let him find his car!  It hasn't been missing that long, maybe one of his friends was playing a joke on him...
Then the security guard started asking me questions.  What did the driver look like?  What time did you report for work?  When did you see the car pull out?  What road did they turn on?

I answered each question as best as I could.

Then my coworker broke character and started cracking up.  The security guard followed suit. 

They totally got me.  Something about me, I don't know what it is, makes it fun for people to prank.  Oh well.  If he ever cries "wolf," I'm totally not helping him.  Whatever.

My coworker's car, of course, was fine.  And in the two minutes it took to walk from the parking lot to the restaurant, he grabbed the security guard, and they both decided it would be fun to mess with me.

Well played, sir.  Well played. 

Any creative suggestions that won't get me fired, bloggies?  Send them my way! 
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

you might epitomize bridget jones if...

 Any of the following criterion apply to you:

1.  Look down. Are you wearing turquoise and brown flannel pajamas that your mom got you for Christmas last year?

2.  Are you sipping a cup of earl grey?

3.  Are you attempting to knit a turquoise scarf for a fashionista friend for Christmas that you are convinced you will not be able to finish?

4.  Are you watching reruns of the Nanny on Nick at Nite?

5.  Have you done nothing all day but spend money that you don't have?

6.  Have you within the last 24 hours eaten pizza for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner?

7.  Do you currently own a copy of "O" magazine? 

8.  Do you have a recurring dream about Colin Firth?

9.  Is your clean laundry scattered across your dining room floor - partially because you neglected to fold it and partially because you don't have a dining room table so your "dining" room is more like your "clutter" room?

10.  Do you have dreams worth chasing, which means making a few sacrifices along the way?

Totally Bridget.  Singleton extraordinaire.
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you might epitomize bridget jones if...

 Any of the following criterion apply to you:

1.  Look down. Are you wearing turquoise and brown flannel pajamas that your mom got you for Christmas last year?

2.  Are you sipping a cup of earl grey?

3.  Are you attempting to knit a turquoise scarf for a fashionista friend for Christmas that you are convinced you will not be able to finish?

4.  Are you watching reruns of the Nanny on Nick at Nite?

5.  Have you done nothing all day but spend money that you don't have?

6.  Have you within the last 24 hours eaten pizza for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner?

7.  Do you currently own a copy of "O" magazine? 

8.  Do you have a recurring dream about Colin Firth?

9.  Is your clean laundry scattered across your dining room floor - partially because you neglected to fold it and partially because you don't have a dining room table so your "dining" room is more like your "clutter" room?

10.  Do you have dreams worth chasing, which means making a few sacrifices along the way?

Totally Bridget.  Singleton extraordinaire.
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diversity day

Most of the time, I have a pretty good attitude about things.  Most of the time. 

But sometimes, in life, you have to do ridiculous things for money.  Like sit through lectures teaching us about our differences and stereotypes.  These things I have a hard time having a good attitude about.  Especially when they conflict with my plans to skip town and have a long weekend at home with the family.

Oh well, at least I have some entertaining coworkers to fool around with.



So, yesterday I came into work with a grande coffee with a chip on my shoulder and a why-the-heck-am-I-here mentality.  Too cool for school.  The Swan Terrace people all sat together, joking, laughing under our breaths, sharing gingerbread man cookies with one another (well, they shared theirs with me, because I dropped mine on the floor).


It almost made me miss high school.

So at one point of the two hour lecture, we were all supposed to come down in groups and write generalizations that we've picked up on different demographic groups on these large easels in the front of the room: Mexicans, Arabs, Rich People, City Folk, Country Folk, Obese People, and Homeless People.

When this exercise was over we read them out loud as a class.  Some of them were pretty funny,  some were things everyone was thinking but no one would ever say. 

But one in particular broke my heart.

The people in our class ripped apart the homeless.  They wrote things like, "McDonald's is hiring," and that they were "lazy" and an "embarrassment."


And yes, while some were more gentle in their assessment, writing things like "bad luck," and "difficult life circumstances" the good did not outweigh the bad at all.

The HR director stood at the front of the room and asked if any of us could identify with any of the groups posted in front of the room.

One man raised his hand and said, "I was homeless."

For a split second, the room fell silent.  We weren't joking any more. He went on to say that, yes, some of the things that were written on the easel were true.  Some people were lazy.  Some people just can't get their lives together.  But there are always exceptions.  And he was one of them.


I really walked into this yesterday with the mentality that this was a waste of time.  And like many of the groups we generalized, I was quick make assumptions.  I think we all learned an important lesson yesterday afternoon.

And the greatest thing?  We got paid to learn it.
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diversity day

Most of the time, I have a pretty good attitude about things.  Most of the time. 

But sometimes, in life, you have to do ridiculous things for money.  Like sit through lectures teaching us about our differences and stereotypes.  These things I have a hard time having a good attitude about.  Especially when they conflict with my plans to skip town and have a long weekend at home with the family.

Oh well, at least I have some entertaining coworkers to fool around with.



So, yesterday I came into work with a grande coffee with a chip on my shoulder and a why-the-heck-am-I-here mentality.  Too cool for school.  The Swan Terrace people all sat together, joking, laughing under our breaths, sharing gingerbread man cookies with one another (well, they shared theirs with me, because I dropped mine on the floor).


It almost made me miss high school.

So at one point of the two hour lecture, we were all supposed to come down in groups and write generalizations that we've picked up on different demographic groups on these large easels in the front of the room: Mexicans, Arabs, Rich People, City Folk, Country Folk, Obese People, and Homeless People.

When this exercise was over we read them out loud as a class.  Some of them were pretty funny,  some were things everyone was thinking but no one would ever say. 

But one in particular broke my heart.

The people in our class ripped apart the homeless.  They wrote things like, "McDonald's is hiring," and that they were "lazy" and an "embarrassment."


And yes, while some were more gentle in their assessment, writing things like "bad luck," and "difficult life circumstances" the good did not outweigh the bad at all.

The HR director stood at the front of the room and asked if any of us could identify with any of the groups posted in front of the room.

One man raised his hand and said, "I was homeless."

For a split second, the room fell silent.  We weren't joking any more. He went on to say that, yes, some of the things that were written on the easel were true.  Some people were lazy.  Some people just can't get their lives together.  But there are always exceptions.  And he was one of them.


I really walked into this yesterday with the mentality that this was a waste of time.  And like many of the groups we generalized, I was quick make assumptions.  I think we all learned an important lesson yesterday afternoon.

And the greatest thing?  We got paid to learn it.
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

may your days be merry

Thanksgiving was a complete disaster.

It was my first holiday spent completely alone.  Well, by alone I mean with 20 other coworkers (also, "alone")  and 50 guests I waited on.  And let me just say, for the record, I was not an angel about it.  I woke up that morning with a horrible attitude, thankful for nothing.  And I do mean nothing.

My darling neighbor Hope yelled after me as I walked out of my apartment door, strapping on her coat over her flannel pajamas.  "Come over for leftovers after work," she said.  I could have started bawling right then and there.  We have only known each other for a few months, and she was inviting me into her home with her husband and adorable baby boy. 

That made my day so much brighter. 

The next ten (...eleven?) hours at work several of my friends invited me to spend Thanksgiving with their families.  I was so grateful, I thought if such gracious and loving people are continually placed in my life, maybe being out here by myself won't be so bad after all.

I went home to change and wound up falling asleep on the couch at 8:30.  Whoops.

So, this Christmas same story.  I'm spending it in Virginia Beach with the Founders Inn.  No holiday parties with the family.  No watching White Christmas, no running down the staircase looking for stockings, no little black dress, no uncomfortable "so, why don't you have a boyfriend?" conversations. 

It's enough to make you a complete scrooge.

I just completed my first semester of grad school (with the exception of a project I hope to finish today) and my mind for the last week had been constantly racing.  I was running on three hours of sleep, and had absolutely no time to think about God or what He has done for me. 

Pitiful, I know. 

But yesterday when I was waiting for my grande coffee with caramel flavor in the Starbucks drive thru, the song Silent Night came on the radio.  As I listened to the words, this overwhelming "all is calm, all is bright" feeling came upon me. 

It was like the Lord was whispering this in my heart.  The poor barista must have thought I was having a meltdown when I pulled up to the window with tears in my eyes. 

Suddenly, it didn't matter that I would only be home for Christmas in my dreams.  All that mattered was the miracle we celebrate at this time of year. 

And don't people crave the true meaning of Christmas?  Don't they long to forget the distractions and focus on what really matters?  Don't they wish for time to reflect on what Christ has done for them?

And guess what?  I have that opportunity.  And it's...well...surprisingly and against all odds...merry.
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may your days be merry

Thanksgiving was a complete disaster.

It was my first holiday spent completely alone.  Well, by alone I mean with 20 other coworkers (also, "alone")  and 50 guests I waited on.  And let me just say, for the record, I was not an angel about it.  I woke up that morning with a horrible attitude, thankful for nothing.  And I do mean nothing.

My darling neighbor Hope yelled after me as I walked out of my apartment door, strapping on her coat over her flannel pajamas.  "Come over for leftovers after work," she said.  I could have started bawling right then and there.  We have only known each other for a few months, and she was inviting me into her home with her husband and adorable baby boy. 

That made my day so much brighter. 

The next ten (...eleven?) hours at work several of my friends invited me to spend Thanksgiving with their families.  I was so grateful, I thought if such gracious and loving people are continually placed in my life, maybe being out here by myself won't be so bad after all.

I went home to change and wound up falling asleep on the couch at 8:30.  Whoops.

So, this Christmas same story.  I'm spending it in Virginia Beach with the Founders Inn.  No holiday parties with the family.  No watching White Christmas, no running down the staircase looking for stockings, no little black dress, no uncomfortable "so, why don't you have a boyfriend?" conversations. 

It's enough to make you a complete scrooge.

I just completed my first semester of grad school (with the exception of a project I hope to finish today) and my mind for the last week had been constantly racing.  I was running on three hours of sleep, and had absolutely no time to think about God or what He has done for me. 

Pitiful, I know. 

But yesterday when I was waiting for my grande coffee with caramel flavor in the Starbucks drive thru, the song Silent Night came on the radio.  As I listened to the words, this overwhelming "all is calm, all is bright" feeling came upon me. 

It was like the Lord was whispering this in my heart.  The poor barista must have thought I was having a meltdown when I pulled up to the window with tears in my eyes. 

Suddenly, it didn't matter that I would only be home for Christmas in my dreams.  All that mattered was the miracle we celebrate at this time of year. 

And don't people crave the true meaning of Christmas?  Don't they long to forget the distractions and focus on what really matters?  Don't they wish for time to reflect on what Christ has done for them?

And guess what?  I have that opportunity.  And it's...well...surprisingly and against all odds...merry.
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

wine

Confession: I know absolutely nothing about wine. 

Before I worked in the restaurant industry I didn't even know that white wine is chilled, and red wine is not.  Even after three months of working full time, that's about the only distinction I can make between the two. 

But while waitressing, my absolute favorite thing to do is present a bottle of wine to a table.

Why?

It's so fancy.  And, more importantly/realistically, because I'm a people watcher.  Watching people taste wine is about the most fun I've ever had while people watching.

The guest studies the folder with several dozen pages of our selection with a furrowed, studious brow.  After a moment, they look up and ask in a very intellectual tone for a bottle of the delicious Barboursville Phileo dessert white, or perhaps the Twisted Old Vine Zinfandel. 

I smile, and say, "Yes, right away." Turn, and head to the back of the restaurant where the wine is stored.  I retrieve a crisp, white napkin to drape across my arm, grab enough big, hand-blown wine glasses for the table, and the wine of their choice.  Before I return to the table, I read the label on the back of the bottle, quickly memorizing the date, and place the wine was stored.

I return to the table, place down the glasses and present the bottle to the man or woman who has ordered:

"Sir (or madam), your 2007 Phileo, from Barboursville, Virginia."

I wait for them to say, "Yes."

I skillfully (oh MAN it took me a long time to get this part down) open my wine key, and twist the squiggly screw into the cork and pry the bottle open.  I then pour the wine (label always facing the guest) so that they have just enough to do to the liquid whatever it is people do when they taste wine.

Wait for it...here comes my favorite part.

They (usually) lift the glass to their lips, smell, swirl then tilt the glass forward.  They wait a moment, swallow and set the glass down, looking at its sudden emptiness.  They then look at me and smile if they are satisfied, and I pour a glass-worth into their cup.

This is why I haven't been posting as many entries lately.

Wait, do those ideas even go together?  Oh yes, they certainly do!

See, I like watching people taste wine, because I write and read in the same way.  Writing, blogging and reading are all in the same accord.  They can't be greedily gulped and sputtered like a Pepsi.  You need to take time to sit, ponder and reflect.  You need time to be quiet, to retreat inside the place where only you (and perhaps your most intimate friends or partners) are allowed.

The same thing needs to happen with your relationship with God.  Perhaps this is why I've been struggling slightly to stay afloat, lately.  These things don't come easily, but they come when you wait patiently and quietly for them. 

I don't want to produce Pepsi products in any aspect of my life.  I want it to be meaningful, something of significance and worth.
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wine

Confession: I know absolutely nothing about wine. 

Before I worked in the restaurant industry I didn't even know that white wine is chilled, and red wine is not.  Even after three months of working full time, that's about the only distinction I can make between the two. 

But while waitressing, my absolute favorite thing to do is present a bottle of wine to a table.

Why?

It's so fancy.  And, more importantly/realistically, because I'm a people watcher.  Watching people taste wine is about the most fun I've ever had while people watching.

The guest studies the folder with several dozen pages of our selection with a furrowed, studious brow.  After a moment, they look up and ask in a very intellectual tone for a bottle of the delicious Barboursville Phileo dessert white, or perhaps the Twisted Old Vine Zinfandel. 

I smile, and say, "Yes, right away." Turn, and head to the back of the restaurant where the wine is stored.  I retrieve a crisp, white napkin to drape across my arm, grab enough big, hand-blown wine glasses for the table, and the wine of their choice.  Before I return to the table, I read the label on the back of the bottle, quickly memorizing the date, and place the wine was stored.

I return to the table, place down the glasses and present the bottle to the man or woman who has ordered:

"Sir (or madam), your 2007 Phileo, from Barboursville, Virginia."

I wait for them to say, "Yes."

I skillfully (oh MAN it took me a long time to get this part down) open my wine key, and twist the squiggly screw into the cork and pry the bottle open.  I then pour the wine (label always facing the guest) so that they have just enough to do to the liquid whatever it is people do when they taste wine.

Wait for it...here comes my favorite part.

They (usually) lift the glass to their lips, smell, swirl then tilt the glass forward.  They wait a moment, swallow and set the glass down, looking at its sudden emptiness.  They then look at me and smile if they are satisfied, and I pour a glass-worth into their cup.

This is why I haven't been posting as many entries lately.

Wait, do those ideas even go together?  Oh yes, they certainly do!

See, I like watching people taste wine, because I write and read in the same way.  Writing, blogging and reading are all in the same accord.  They can't be greedily gulped and sputtered like a Pepsi.  You need to take time to sit, ponder and reflect.  You need time to be quiet, to retreat inside the place where only you (and perhaps your most intimate friends or partners) are allowed.

The same thing needs to happen with your relationship with God.  Perhaps this is why I've been struggling slightly to stay afloat, lately.  These things don't come easily, but they come when you wait patiently and quietly for them. 

I don't want to produce Pepsi products in any aspect of my life.  I want it to be meaningful, something of significance and worth.
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Sunday, November 14, 2010

great expectations

I was so excited to go skating with my mom.

She and I watched countless hours of figure skating championships together.  I would sit in wonder, staring at the likes of Michelle Kwan and Tonya Harding.  They moved with such grace and perfection.  To me, they were perfection.  As beautiful as white swans gliding across the ice. 

But my absolute favorite to watch was Scott Hamilton.  He wasn't so much a beautiful white swan as he was a white stallion on the ice.  He was young, saucy and always had a fun routine.  And here's the deal sealer, making him my favorite figure skater of all time: He always did back flips on the ice. Always.

When the time came for my mom to take me to my friend's birthday party at Skate America - coincidentally my first time on skates - I was convinced that I could do a back flip.

Just like Hamilton.

My mother, bless her heart, never once crushed my dreams.  I bragged the entire car ride to the skating rink. 

"I'm gunna do it, Mom.  Just like Scott Hamilton.  I'm gunna flip." 

I put on the skates, and wobbled confidently to the edge of the rink.  My mom stepped onto the floor before me and held out her hand.  I stepped onto the rink.

"Okay, Brett," said my Mom.  "Show me your flip."

I froze.  I could not move.  More experienced skaters were flying by me.  I was standing at the very edge of the floor, unable to budge - and certainly unable to do a back flip.

Well, as the saying goes, practice makes perfect.  I must have made it around the rink that day without bruising or hurting myself in any way, because the fear of moving is all that stands out to me about that day.

Something similar happened to me the other day.

Here at Regent, I am the editor in chief of the Daily Runner (www.dailyrunneronline.com).  I assigned myself to cover the annual Clash of the Titans debate, an event in which famous/outspoken political affiliates come to discuss the state of the nation.  This year, Regent hosted James Carville, Laura Ingraham, Henry Ford and Charles Krauthammer.

I said to myself, "I am a seasoned journalist.  No problem.  I'll go to the event, ask a few people a few questions about their expectations, take notes and in t-minus two hours have a presentable and professional article to show for my hard work."

Oh, so false.

Because when I arrived at said Clash of the Titans debate, all my confidence was gone.  I was like that Kindergartner frozen on the skating rink.  I was literally hiding behind a large white pillar in the middle of the Communications and Art building.  I felt green, so fresh, so inexperienced. 

Sometimes, I think we all think like I did on that day.  We pick a challenge, we see what others are able to do with ease, and we say to ourselves, "Yeah, I should be able to do that - no problem."

Then the time comes for us to put our words to action and we freeze.

If I had the determination, persistence and skating lessons, I'm sure I could have eventually learned to skate like Scott Hamilton.  However, that day was rather discouraging to me.  I stuck to dancing.  Same challenges, except the floor isn't quite as slick.

However, I do have the determination to make it in the world of journalism.  And though others in the industry make it look so easy, I have to remind myself how hard those before me have had to work to get where they are today.

I hope you all will read this and be encouraged to keep your hand to the plow.  Even in the midst of discouragement or fear.

In the mean time, here is a video of Hamilton and his famous back flips.  Effortless.

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great expectations

I was so excited to go skating with my mom.

She and I watched countless hours of figure skating championships together.  I would sit in wonder, staring at the likes of Michelle Kwan and Tonya Harding.  They moved with such grace and perfection.  To me, they were perfection.  As beautiful as white swans gliding across the ice. 

But my absolute favorite to watch was Scott Hamilton.  He wasn't so much a beautiful white swan as he was a white stallion on the ice.  He was young, saucy and always had a fun routine.  And here's the deal sealer, making him my favorite figure skater of all time: He always did back flips on the ice. Always.

When the time came for my mom to take me to my friend's birthday party at Skate America - coincidentally my first time on skates - I was convinced that I could do a back flip.

Just like Hamilton.

My mother, bless her heart, never once crushed my dreams.  I bragged the entire car ride to the skating rink. 

"I'm gunna do it, Mom.  Just like Scott Hamilton.  I'm gunna flip." 

I put on the skates, and wobbled confidently to the edge of the rink.  My mom stepped onto the floor before me and held out her hand.  I stepped onto the rink.

"Okay, Brett," said my Mom.  "Show me your flip."

I froze.  I could not move.  More experienced skaters were flying by me.  I was standing at the very edge of the floor, unable to budge - and certainly unable to do a back flip.

Well, as the saying goes, practice makes perfect.  I must have made it around the rink that day without bruising or hurting myself in any way, because the fear of moving is all that stands out to me about that day.

Something similar happened to me the other day.

Here at Regent, I am the editor in chief of the Daily Runner (www.dailyrunneronline.com).  I assigned myself to cover the annual Clash of the Titans debate, an event in which famous/outspoken political affiliates come to discuss the state of the nation.  This year, Regent hosted James Carville, Laura Ingraham, Henry Ford and Charles Krauthammer.

I said to myself, "I am a seasoned journalist.  No problem.  I'll go to the event, ask a few people a few questions about their expectations, take notes and in t-minus two hours have a presentable and professional article to show for my hard work."

Oh, so false.

Because when I arrived at said Clash of the Titans debate, all my confidence was gone.  I was like that Kindergartner frozen on the skating rink.  I was literally hiding behind a large white pillar in the middle of the Communications and Art building.  I felt green, so fresh, so inexperienced. 

Sometimes, I think we all think like I did on that day.  We pick a challenge, we see what others are able to do with ease, and we say to ourselves, "Yeah, I should be able to do that - no problem."

Then the time comes for us to put our words to action and we freeze.

If I had the determination, persistence and skating lessons, I'm sure I could have eventually learned to skate like Scott Hamilton.  However, that day was rather discouraging to me.  I stuck to dancing.  Same challenges, except the floor isn't quite as slick.

However, I do have the determination to make it in the world of journalism.  And though others in the industry make it look so easy, I have to remind myself how hard those before me have had to work to get where they are today.

I hope you all will read this and be encouraged to keep your hand to the plow.  Even in the midst of discouragement or fear.

In the mean time, here is a video of Hamilton and his famous back flips.  Effortless.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I want to be a part of the world.
I don't want the world to be a part of me.
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I want to be a part of the world.
I don't want the world to be a part of me.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

grad school makes you weird.

No time for hair styles. 

No time to grow a stash.  Have to draw them on.
  
Sometimes I just want to hide.  And purposefully avoid opening e-mails.



Anyway, how are y'all doing?
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grad school makes you weird.

No time for hair styles. 

No time to grow a stash.  Have to draw them on.
  
Sometimes I just want to hide.  And purposefully avoid opening e-mails.



Anyway, how are y'all doing?
SHARE:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

madeline


"To the tiger in the zoo, Madeline said, 'Pooh-pooh!'" -Madeline

Why do I need to keep learning the same lessons over and over again?

Tonight I felt so completely overwhelmed with so many different aspects of my life.  I've been here about a month and a half now, I'm all in.  I'm not just testing the waters as a recent post-grad anymore.  This is it.

In utter exhaustion I came home from class, sat in my bathroom and cried terrific tears that I had been holding back for so long.  Then I went to Barne's and Noble and purchased a $7.99 paperback copy of my favorite childhood story, Madeline.  I sat in the children's section despite the shady eyes I willingly received and read it.  I decided that I couldn't part the store without it.

After that, a cup of coffee, an oatmeal-rasin cookie (yum!) things were looking up.

I went through my journal and stumbled upon words that I didn't even recognize as my own from Sept. 13th.

Dear Lord,

How utterly sweet it is to be loved by you.  I really think in the depth of my heart that I will be able to manage all of this.  Through and by you.  You are my Lord.  You are my all in all in times of peace, in times of struggle.  I thank you for the times of peace - but I also thank you for the struggles -  because that is when I truly feel your presence.  That is how I know your peace is real.

Lord, YOU KNOW BEST and I surrender it all to you.  Sometimes I forget that you know beter than I.  After all, you are Lord.  I am sorry that I get my priorities mixed sometimes.  All the times.  Every day.  But, Lord you are sovereign.  You are the famous one.  And all this is for you.

Know that I am yours and you are mine.  Death shall not part us.

____________

I certainly did not feel this tonight.  But knowing that just a few days ago I was in that place is so
c o m f o r t i n g .

It's like becoming familiar with a favorite childhood story.  You fall right into where you where when your bright, curious eyes first looked upon the colorful illustrations.  When you begged your Dad to read the story over and over again until you were safely asleep, floating on your dreams like bubbles riding breath.
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madeline


"To the tiger in the zoo, Madeline said, 'Pooh-pooh!'" -Madeline

Why do I need to keep learning the same lessons over and over again?

Tonight I felt so completely overwhelmed with so many different aspects of my life.  I've been here about a month and a half now, I'm all in.  I'm not just testing the waters as a recent post-grad anymore.  This is it.

In utter exhaustion I came home from class, sat in my bathroom and cried terrific tears that I had been holding back for so long.  Then I went to Barne's and Noble and purchased a $7.99 paperback copy of my favorite childhood story, Madeline.  I sat in the children's section despite the shady eyes I willingly received and read it.  I decided that I couldn't part the store without it.

After that, a cup of coffee, an oatmeal-rasin cookie (yum!) things were looking up.

I went through my journal and stumbled upon words that I didn't even recognize as my own from Sept. 13th.

Dear Lord,

How utterly sweet it is to be loved by you.  I really think in the depth of my heart that I will be able to manage all of this.  Through and by you.  You are my Lord.  You are my all in all in times of peace, in times of struggle.  I thank you for the times of peace - but I also thank you for the struggles -  because that is when I truly feel your presence.  That is how I know your peace is real.

Lord, YOU KNOW BEST and I surrender it all to you.  Sometimes I forget that you know beter than I.  After all, you are Lord.  I am sorry that I get my priorities mixed sometimes.  All the times.  Every day.  But, Lord you are sovereign.  You are the famous one.  And all this is for you.

Know that I am yours and you are mine.  Death shall not part us.

____________

I certainly did not feel this tonight.  But knowing that just a few days ago I was in that place is so
c o m f o r t i n g .

It's like becoming familiar with a favorite childhood story.  You fall right into where you where when your bright, curious eyes first looked upon the colorful illustrations.  When you begged your Dad to read the story over and over again until you were safely asleep, floating on your dreams like bubbles riding breath.
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

the diva walk



Just another reason why I love Regent.  Here is a classmate strutting her stuff in her new BCBG shoes.  We call this strut, the "diva walk."

Have a great week!

-Brett
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the diva walk

video


Just another reason why I love Regent.  Here is a classmate strutting her stuff in her new BCBG shoes.  We call this strut, the "diva walk."

Have a great week!

-Brett
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

workin' hard for the joy (so hard for it, honey)


I run into some very interesting people working in a restaurant.  Especially a restaurant within an inn.  People are here on vacation: they're here to relax.  Therefore they don't just want good food and service, they want to know all about my personal life.

Every day I'm asked questions like "Are you a student?" "Do you have a boyfriend?" "Where are you from?" and my personal favorite "What is 'Brett' short for?"  To which I happily reply, "Nothing.  Short for 'Brett.' You know, like 'Madonna,' 'Cher,' 'Shakira?' I'm just Brett."

The other night I was asked what my future endeavors are by a law student who was studying in the corner of the restaurant.  I told him that I was a grad student in the journalism program, and that so far, I was interested in doing some reporting, or news anchoring.

He looked at me with one of those future-successful-lawyer-smiles.  You know the ones I mean?  The smiles that seem to say, "I've got you all figured out." Not in a mean way, just as fact of matter.

"You're not going to make any money," he said.
As soon as those words flew from his mouth, I said "That's not what it's all about."

What I really wanted to say was..."So...?"

I'm not afraid of being poor, according to America's standards.  Otherwise I'd be living in constant fear.  I won't even go into how in some countries, simply owning a car of any make, model or year is a symbol of royalty.

What I am worried about is being poor in spirit.

It has been raining like crazy in Virginia beach today.  So much more than cats and dogs - it looks like straight milk is falling from the sky.

This morning I watched as my neighbor from downstairs carried his child in the rain and ran around a tree in the courtyard.  The child had this look of utter confusion on his face - the father was hooting and hollering as he made another venture into the rain.  His wife laughed and flirtily swatted at him with a dish rag - pretending to be annoyed that he was getting her child wet.

It was a beautiful moment to witness.

That right there.  Those moments, full of life in spirit: that's what I would like to be rich in.  You, Mr. Future Lawyer, can keep your green paper.  I'm seeking after priceless valuables.  I'm seeking after joy.

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workin' hard for the joy (so hard for it, honey)


I run into some very interesting people working in a restaurant.  Especially a restaurant within an inn.  People are here on vacation: they're here to relax.  Therefore they don't just want good food and service, they want to know all about my personal life.

Every day I'm asked questions like "Are you a student?" "Do you have a boyfriend?" "Where are you from?" and my personal favorite "What is 'Brett' short for?"  To which I happily reply, "Nothing.  Short for 'Brett.' You know, like 'Madonna,' 'Cher,' 'Shakira?' I'm just Brett."

The other night I was asked what my future endeavors are by a law student who was studying in the corner of the restaurant.  I told him that I was a grad student in the journalism program, and that so far, I was interested in doing some reporting, or news anchoring.

He looked at me with one of those future-successful-lawyer-smiles.  You know the ones I mean?  The smiles that seem to say, "I've got you all figured out." Not in a mean way, just as fact of matter.

"You're not going to make any money," he said.
As soon as those words flew from his mouth, I said "That's not what it's all about."

What I really wanted to say was..."So...?"

I'm not afraid of being poor, according to America's standards.  Otherwise I'd be living in constant fear.  I won't even go into how in some countries, simply owning a car of any make, model or year is a symbol of royalty.

What I am worried about is being poor in spirit.

It has been raining like crazy in Virginia beach today.  So much more than cats and dogs - it looks like straight milk is falling from the sky.

This morning I watched as my neighbor from downstairs carried his child in the rain and ran around a tree in the courtyard.  The child had this look of utter confusion on his face - the father was hooting and hollering as he made another venture into the rain.  His wife laughed and flirtily swatted at him with a dish rag - pretending to be annoyed that he was getting her child wet.

It was a beautiful moment to witness.

That right there.  Those moments, full of life in spirit: that's what I would like to be rich in.  You, Mr. Future Lawyer, can keep your green paper.  I'm seeking after priceless valuables.  I'm seeking after joy.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

wild at heart

"Safe?  Who said anything about being safe? 'Course he isn't safe.  But he's good."-C.S. Lewis

 

Lately I've been dwelling on the differences between men and women.  I know, I know, there's an original thought.  I've spent the past few days reading John Eldridge's Wild at Heart - and let me just say, I'm in love.

I, along with hundreds of thousands of other Christian, twenty-something women, have read Captivating (a book about the woman's heart, written by Eldridge and his wife Stasi), but never had I tried to unveil for myself what was happening "on the other side of the tracks" - so to speak.  Captivating was easy.

 I've grown up knowing that I want to be loved, that I want to be beautiful.  I was the little girl with long, curly hair twirling in her favorite, poofy dress.  They nailed it.  Perfectly pinpointed the desires of my heart.

But, men on the other hand, what's more a man's heart?  Never quite wrapped my mind around it, or even made the effort to figure it out.  But the difference was displayed for me quite plainly a few weeks ago.

A friend and I met in the Regent Village laundry room one evening (he was reading Captivating by the way --- which, I confess is partially what persuaded me to purchase Wild at Heart after I saw him earnestly trying to understand the opposite sex).  It was a beautiful night, so a walk around the apartment complex was definitely in order.

We'd been walking, wandering, for about an hour when we saw this beautiful fox come running toward us.  I was in awe, I had never seen a fox in person before.  We stood very quietly, as the fox ran gracefully, ever-near.

And, here, right here, is where I discovered the difference between men and women.  Are you ready?

My first reaction to the fox was girlish delight: "Oh my GOSH! Look!  A fox!"

His first reaction to the fox was skepticism/caution: "Stand back," he said as he outstretched his arms.  "He could be rabid.  If he comes any closer, I'm going to pick you up and put you over the chain-linked fence."

I just stood there, quite stupidly, my usual demeanor.  I was in shock.  It was just a fox.  But he saw a potential threat, and his immediate reaction was to protect.

He clapped his hands together.  The loud snap echoed and bounced off the walls of the apartment buildings and frightened Mr. Fox away. I smile when I think about that brief moment that interrupted our walk that night.

It is that, that protection, that thrill of danger, that I am discovering through reading this book.  What's more, I'm also learning about the "wild" side of God.  It's challenging to think about, especially since all of these years he's been the nurturing, blessing-giving God.  I've never really thought that I served an adventure-seeking, dangerous, thrilling Lord.

This should be the start of a pretty big adventure.

-Brett Elizabeth
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wild at heart

"Safe?  Who said anything about being safe? 'Course he isn't safe.  But he's good."-C.S. Lewis

 

Lately I've been dwelling on the differences between men and women.  I know, I know, there's an original thought.  I've spent the past few days reading John Eldridge's Wild at Heart - and let me just say, I'm in love.

I, along with hundreds of thousands of other Christian, twenty-something women, have read Captivating (a book about the woman's heart, written by Eldridge and his wife Stasi), but never had I tried to unveil for myself what was happening "on the other side of the tracks" - so to speak.  Captivating was easy.

 I've grown up knowing that I want to be loved, that I want to be beautiful.  I was the little girl with long, curly hair twirling in her favorite, poofy dress.  They nailed it.  Perfectly pinpointed the desires of my heart.

But, men on the other hand, what's more a man's heart?  Never quite wrapped my mind around it, or even made the effort to figure it out.  But the difference was displayed for me quite plainly a few weeks ago.

A friend and I met in the Regent Village laundry room one evening (he was reading Captivating by the way --- which, I confess is partially what persuaded me to purchase Wild at Heart after I saw him earnestly trying to understand the opposite sex).  It was a beautiful night, so a walk around the apartment complex was definitely in order.

We'd been walking, wandering, for about an hour when we saw this beautiful fox come running toward us.  I was in awe, I had never seen a fox in person before.  We stood very quietly, as the fox ran gracefully, ever-near.

And, here, right here, is where I discovered the difference between men and women.  Are you ready?

My first reaction to the fox was girlish delight: "Oh my GOSH! Look!  A fox!"

His first reaction to the fox was skepticism/caution: "Stand back," he said as he outstretched his arms.  "He could be rabid.  If he comes any closer, I'm going to pick you up and put you over the chain-linked fence."

I just stood there, quite stupidly, my usual demeanor.  I was in shock.  It was just a fox.  But he saw a potential threat, and his immediate reaction was to protect.

He clapped his hands together.  The loud snap echoed and bounced off the walls of the apartment buildings and frightened Mr. Fox away. I smile when I think about that brief moment that interrupted our walk that night.

It is that, that protection, that thrill of danger, that I am discovering through reading this book.  What's more, I'm also learning about the "wild" side of God.  It's challenging to think about, especially since all of these years he's been the nurturing, blessing-giving God.  I've never really thought that I served an adventure-seeking, dangerous, thrilling Lord.

This should be the start of a pretty big adventure.

-Brett Elizabeth
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Friday, September 24, 2010

still and free


You're a thief in the black night
you burst into my being
the shattering of crinkling glass
beneath the weight of cowardice toes.
You tip-toe on the line of faith
and step into the fervor.
Arguing vague rules of right.
Defending wrathful wrongs.

The heat of your breath
drips thick and slow --
its the flickering wick
on a slender candle,
it's the suffocating humid air
that breaks into my lungs.

You make me still and free.

***

Well, friends.  It's been a while.  No apologies, just excuses.  But I won't bore you with them here.  Let's just say with the changing of the seasons marks a very challenging, stressful, joyful --- and yes, wonderful time in my life.

There is nothing like the feeling of wonder when you feel as though you are truly following the will of the Lord.  I'm here.  I'm wandering the halls of a calling, something beautifully constructed just for me, before I was even spoken into being.

"With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith."
-2 Thessalonians 1:11



Brett Elizabeth
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still and free


You're a thief in the black night
you burst into my being
the shattering of crinkling glass
beneath the weight of cowardice toes.
You tip-toe on the line of faith
and step into the fervor.
Arguing vague rules of right.
Defending wrathful wrongs.

The heat of your breath
drips thick and slow --
its the flickering wick
on a slender candle,
it's the suffocating humid air
that breaks into my lungs.

You make me still and free.

***

Well, friends.  It's been a while.  No apologies, just excuses.  But I won't bore you with them here.  Let's just say with the changing of the seasons marks a very challenging, stressful, joyful --- and yes, wonderful time in my life.

There is nothing like the feeling of wonder when you feel as though you are truly following the will of the Lord.  I'm here.  I'm wandering the halls of a calling, something beautifully constructed just for me, before I was even spoken into being.

"With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith."
-2 Thessalonians 1:11



Brett Elizabeth
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

here are a few of my (new) favorite things




















1) Watching things grow.  I can't have a pet in my new apartment, so I'm one of those "plant ladies" now.  As you can probably tell from the seeds, these will be sunflowers. 



2) Mums (JMU mums to be more specific).  Their upkeep is easy, and HELLO, they're purple and gold.  I got them for $4.99 at the local Farm Fresh. 







3) Every year I come back from the Dominican Republic with a new obsession.  The first year it was mangoes.  Last year it was mariposas (butterflies).  This year I have added the avocado to my list.  The ones I pick out from the Farmer's Market will never be quite as good as the ones we plucked off the trees  in Santo Domingo. 

















4) Visitors from home.  Even when brief.  There's nothing like a good soul-bond session with the girls that you love to put things into perspective. 

























5) Big Sam's Inlet Cafe and Raw Bar
Now, I don't know if anyone of you has ever experienced a mouthgasm before.  This restaurant got my taste buds off.  I had the best crab cake sandwich of my life there.  Their fries were pretty superb too.  It's right off I-264 and is located on the waterfront.  I strongly suggest checking out this local hot spot if you are ever in the Virginia Beach area.
6) Public speaking.  Who knew? 

7) Finally, the people at Regent.  Today I played ping-pong for a solid half-hour with a freshman boy that I had never met.  Where else on earth could anyone do that?  I think there is a feeling of security knowing that everyone here has something very important and special in common.

What are some new fun discoveries you've made?
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