Monthly Archives: November 2010

Once upon a time…

Standard

We all have a story.

 

I can vividly remember being four or five and fully believing my life was a storybook. I thought someone else was reading my story, and when I went to sleep at night, that the reader shut the book and stopped reading. Perhaps I watched a few too many Disney movies that caused me to think someone else was reading my life story.  However  a little over a week ago, I was reminded of myself doing this as someone announced in one of my classes she did the same thing. I thought this was my secret shame.  I thought I was the only peculiar, little child that did this.

I still have a warped sense of reality, but that is alright. Who wants a real sense of reality? But if my life were a real storybook, there would be so many elements and sub plots. And the characters? Oh, my. There are just so many characters. And now, I am at the point in my story where I am not sure where I am going. But, I am thankful for the people who are accompanying me on this journey.

Somehow, the year 2010 flew by and tomorrow is Thanksgiving. And that is where my imaginary reader of my story has dog-eared the page to stop. It’s hard for me to comprehend that my last year of high school is half over.  I have reflected a bit upon this year. So, while the reader has paused in reading my book, here are some of the major characters or blessings God has placed in my life.

Emily to the second power

Other than my immediate family, there are several poor souls who put up with me. One of which being my other half. I am not sure why the writer of my storybook made us have the same name, but He did. So, Emily Winton, I am very thankful for you. Thank you for putting up with me the past four years of high school and being my best friend. Yes, you deserve that title. Not many people have a Winton, but I do. You carve pumpkins with me, dye  Easter eggs, and take me sledding. You translate bbajgall into the word “Mexican” and take me to Los 3 for Aztec chicken. You even speak telepathically with me, and are still my friend even though I am sure I have embarrassed you on countless occasions while out in public. Yes, bless your soul.

And we danced the night away. Sorta.

Of course she isn’t the only friend who puts up with me. She is just one of the few who deal with my madness on a daily basis. There are plenty of other characters in my story that help me out along the way and keep me sane. It is no secret that I am weird or say the wrong things at the wrong time. But there are those friends who are always there to go to Wal-Mart with me, to order the same meal at Burger King every time, or to spend hours at Hastings gazing at books. They are always there to share the moment and laugh with me. Or at me. Most of the time it is at me. So, Katie Fults and Milton Jones, thanks for being there this past year as we encountered all sorts of surprises and random moments.

It doesn't hurt to see things in a new way.

Other than just my friends, though, I have an entirely different family. They spend almost two hours a day with me everyday. They see scary sides of me, but most importantly they see the quirky, uncoordinated side of me. I would have to say that they are most creative bunch of people I have ever met in my life. The EDGE. That’s what they are called to the outside world. They are all so unique and talented. And man, they all write so well. It’s no wonder they live in the insane asylum at school with all the fire turtles, ceiling ninjas, and real life superheroes. I am blessed to have each of these people in my life. So my little EDGE people, I am thankful. Thankful for each and every one of you. All of you put so much laughter and liveliness in my life each day. How can I not be thankful for all of you?

The EDGE in true form.

Tomorrow really is Thanksgiving. I can’t believe it. There are so many people in my life that I am thankful for, and I would be sitting here all day if I named all of them. However, most of the unsung characters won’t be sitting with me tomorrow when I devour my turkey and dressing.  So, thank you those who have listened to me blabber when I am upset, been my second mother, and allow me to live in your classroom. Or those of you who let me take you on crazy car trips that lead us into following the mail man, and being someone I look up to even though you are younger than me. Thank you all for blessing me by being in my life.

They say count your blessings. Well, you all are the blessings I am counting. My imaginary reader is turning the page now, but before she starts reading again, Happy Thanksgiving.

Do you quack like a chicken?

Standard

Starting September 5 at five o’clock, I had twenty kids. I had little ninjas and ballerinas, and yes I even had some chickens. Of course they are not all my kids. I half them with my co-leader at church who started the new kids program we have.  We didn’t know what to expect when we started J.A.M. or Jesus And Me. All we knew is that we had kids ready to serve God with their talents.

Today, our little chickens and ninja showed off their alter-egos in front of the church in two different services. I was proud of them. While dealing with kids is fun, it can also be frustrating. However, my J.A.M. kids surprised me. They knew what they were doing after all.

The whole purpose of the skit was that we can act any certain way, but that does not necessarily mean we are what we say we are. That is exactly what the kids portrayed today. Some rolled on stage with their ninja moves trying to be the next Karate Kid or mimicking the moves from the Wii.

Some of my other kids were clucking like chickens, and no none of them laid eggs on the altar. The narrator of the skit always pointed out they were not really “chickens” or “ballerinas.” Our fourth grade narrator really got the point of that across when the “Christians” took center stage. The narrator asked if they were going to heaven and if Jesus was in their hearts. Since the “Christians” answered no to all of the above, the narrator proceeded to tell them what they needed to do get real and make their hearts right.

At the end of their performance the kids asked the audiences what was in their hearts. I was proud of all my J.A.M. kids at that point. They understood the message they were representing. I hope it made so people realize they can’t keep quacking like chickens.

Helping feed 1100 people is quite the adventure

Standard

As I stepped outside my house this morning, I watched the ruby red leaves fall out of the trees, and I enjoyed the sunshine. I had no idea what to expect out of this day. I had never fed 1100 people before now.

Starting last year, my church began a Thanksgiving outreach meal to feed those that might not experience Thanksgiving any other way. I was definitely not as involved last year as I was just a mere hostess. However, my friend Katelyn and I wanted to be apart of experience this year. We wanted to help deliver meals.

And help deliver meals we did. We went to the assisted living to drop some meals off there, and then we made our way back to church to retrieve our route plan. Ragsdale Road? No, sweat. We got this. We loaded up our 29 meals and went on our way.

It didn’t take long to discover we didn’t have this. I was the leader of this excursion as I was the one driving. I missed every single house but one. I turned around in so many driveways. It was not so bad until one guy actually did notice we were turning around. That gentleman was actually rocking on his chair on the front porch when we turned around. He didn’t seem to mind, though.

Our sixth stop was where the adventure lived up to the full potential of the word. I missed the house five times. This wouldn’t have been a big deal if the people expecting the food weren’t outside waiting on us. I know they snickered and laughed a bit as my Camry zoomed by the fourth time. They even sent their son by bicycle to try to retrieve us. Thankfully, I turned in the correct driveway before he reached us.

All day long including this visit, I watched as these people expressed their gratitude. One elderly couple didn’t even know a meal was coming. Too add to that, one of them was partially deaf and the other partially blind. But aside from that, their tears of thankfulness spoke enough volumes.

It took us two hours to finish the trip, and we finally made our way back to town. It took some major effort including following the mailman until we were sure we were going the right way back to town. If we had not followed the mailman, I would still be driving I am sure of it.

This day taught me some much though other than the fact that I need a little help navigating. God blessed my life by letting me play a small part in helping today. More importantly, God blessed the lives of the people we reached today even if it was through a ham and a piece of pumpkin pie.

God can speak through a Zac Brown Band song

Standard

This week has definitely not been what I would call a good week, but it could have been worse. I received all sorts of words. Hateful ones, encouraging ones, angry ones, etc. You can name any type of words, and I have had them said to me in some way this week. However, I think everything happens for a reason.

Towards the end of my week, I received one huge reality check. It was said kindly but that didn’t necessarily mean I liked all of what was said. I wasn’t angry rather just boggled. I was not sure how I was going to approach all the different obstacles I knew I would be facing.

I have thought and thought. Eaten some Mexican (three times) and even biked a mile with my dog. I accomplished an economics project with my friends and hung out. And, somehow I ended up at Wal-Mart.  I wasn’t even planning on going. I had no reason for going but my friend did. She needed yarn. She crochets.

This is where Zac Brown comes in. I ventured into the music section and splurged. I bought five different CDs, and I honestly had intended to keep the new Zac Brown album for my mother for Christmas. That didn’t happen. I can’t buy presents that far in advance and keep them hidden. I get too excited for that.

I gave my mom the two albums I bought her and loaded them. The first song on the album is “Let It Go.” Now, Zac Brown Band is definitely not a Christian band by any means. I mean whiskey is one of their favorite words that they use within their songs, and occasionally a cuss word might slip in a lyric or two.

But Zac Brown has a point within the sweet melody he plays. In “Let It Go” he sings this:

“And know you’re not the only ship out on the ocean
Save your strength for things that you can change
Forgive the ones you can’t
You gotta let ’em go”

I sat there and thought. Hm. Zac Brown has a point here. Then in the next verse he says something that kept my attention. He sang this one simple sentence.

“But you only get once chance at life to leave your mark upon it”

God gets our attention in really weird ways. It took a reality check and a Zac Brown song to get my attention. Within the New Testament God tells us to “Fear not” 127 times. Obviously, God is trying to say don’t be so scared. Why? Because God is there. Sometimes, I forget that I don’t make this walk alone. God is always there. He always will be and that’s what matters.

I can’t fix everything. I am not perfect. Only Jesus was perfect. No amount of stress or worry I place on myself will magically fix my problems. Only God has that power. So here I am. I am just gonna let it go as Zac Brown would say.

When you are quiet, no one proves you wrong

Standard

What was really a simple assignment for most people became a slight task for my friends and me. All we had to do was go to Motlow and get a library card. Easy enough. Or so it seemed. So off we go from school after receiving some weird glances from this lady we had never seen. Perhaps it is due to the fact that my friend looks  like a twelve-year-old and was driving a mini van. But off we went all the same.

We made our way there just fine. I was just sitting there just being quiet and in my world. Occasionally my friend would ask if we were going the right way. We were for the most part. However, my other friend had it right I just heard her wrong. She mentioned something about turning at Crockett’s but I thought she said something not even close to that. I ignored it completely.

We passed lots of pretty houses and a homeless man before we realized we were not on the right road. The only problem was none of us ever said anything about going the fact that we were going the wrong way. We just sat there riding. I am wondering if the driver had never spoke up how far we would have gone. I am sure eventually we would have said something since we didn’t see Motlow. It just took us twenty minutes for us to speak up.

Once we went the correct way my friend had earlier suggested, we did get there and managed to find the library. Of course, their had to be some card malfunction when it was my turn to get the card. That is just my luck. After the little card machine started working, we got our cards and got out of there thankfully only making a minor spectacle of ourselves.

Mosh pits and penguin suits

Standard

I have never been in a mosh pit with 1500 of my closest friends. No, I can’t say I have done that before until last night. When I heard my one of my favorite alternative bands would be touring in the U.S., my friend got us tickets. We were ecstatic. We were going to see Jared Leto and 30 Seconds to Mars. We were happy campers.

Two hours before the concert started we found ourselves waiting with friends. Finally, they opened the doors to the concert venue and let us in. At first, I could see the stage just fine. Since this was a standing only concert, I knew I would be at a disadvantage. I am 5’3”. For the first half hour it was a sea of short people, and we liked it that way.

However, the concert started and all the tall people weaseled their way up front. How? I am not sure except for the fact they were bigger than my friends and me. After two bands and a forty-five minute wait Jared Leto and the rest of the band appeared on stage. I have never seen so many people jump in a tightly packed area before now. It was either jump or get squished. I learned that hard way of course.

Through much elbowing and pushing, we made our way three rows from the stage. Huge, sweaty boys were standing in front me. Then bam. Something hit me square in the chest. I had no idea what is was until my friend looked down to see that Jared Leto had thrown me his guitar pick. I was elated.

I never made it to the very front row through many feeble attempts. I did not fall down exactly, but I fell into lots of people bigger than me and got stepped on. It was worth it. Mosh pitting to see Jared Leto was worth it. Once the encore was over, we ventured on home and to get something to eat.

I walked into McDonald’s and there walking out of the bathroom was a penguin. I laughed. I laughed at that poor soul in the penguin suit. My friend had no idea I was in a fit of hysteria until she looked up. It was that point she lost it too. I forgot it was Halloween, and it was past midnight. His friend then proceeded to take our picture with that penguin boy. I have no idea where that picture will end up.

I am not sure if this will be my last mosh pitting experience. It will depend on who is playing. Thankfully, I did not get stepped on and got a guitar pick. Plus, it is not every day I get my picture taken with a penguin.