Monday, January 28, 2013

The Curse of the Big Mouth and the Snoopy Mother

Chapter 1

Although it wasn't termed a "date", she was excited to go. She was
flattered that a boy thought her stylish and she was happy to help him
find some classy black shoes for work.  Deep down she hoped there was
more than shoe shopping in order.

They agreed that Nordstrom Rack would be a good place to start and had
fun trying on shoes. Some were sleek, some were elaborate, and some
were plain old fugly. They learned a lot about one another through
their shopping experience. She was clearly an impulse buyer while he
was very contemplative about what he would purchase. She opened him up
to the idea of "placing items on hold", something he didn't even know
was an option.

Her shopping aura convinced him to buy the shoes. She didn't even need
to say, "you are young, single, and you owe yourself a nice, new pair
of shoes." She said she liked them. He bought them.

After shoe shopping she waited for him to suggest the next activity.
He explained that he had a dinner group to attend but offered no
invitation. This made her sad. Then he said, "you know, I would rather
have dinner with you. Want to get dinner?"

She thinks to herself- "um, of course I want to get dinner. I only
helped you picked out beautiful shoes at a great price...."

She said, "sure, that would be great."

Chapter 2

They ate dinner at a Mexican chain restaurant because it was right next 

to the shoes. It was the first place he saw, proving great planning on his

He made her really nervous at dinner because he said, "I am going to
ask you something and I don't want you to be embarrassed or feel bad
because I would never want to tell you anything to make you feel bad."

She freaks out inside. What is he talking about??!

 "Does your mom happen to have a Linkedin account? It sends me an
e-mail every time someone looks at my profile and it told me she has
been checking up on me online," he asks with a smile.

Her jaw drops.

"What is linkedin anyways? Why would my mom have that? Oh my gosh. I
am so sorry. I am mortified. My mom likes to know what is going on in
my life. Not that anything is happening with us I just know that I
mentioned you when she asked me what I did last weekend. I said I
went to a museum with you and that it was fun..." Oh my gosh, oh my
gosh, OH MY GOSH!

"I am flattered. I am sure your mom and I would be best
friends if we ever met. Really, I didn't mean to make you
uncomfortable. I think it is funny. Also, my dad googles girls all of
the time."

Sigh of relief, but not really.

The rest of the evening they had some great conversation and she
apologized about 1 zillion times about the cyber stalking.

Moral of the story. Don't tell your mom to google a boy. He will know
that she did and by default, know that you told her to do it.

The end

Monday, January 21, 2013

Burning the Pages

I was looking through some old journals tonight.


It made me almost cringe reading the entries where I was talking about how much I thought a guy liked me and realizing how much he really didn’t or how much he changed.

I felt like I was “that guy” in the movie theater who yells advice to the characters on the screen. I was like, “Oh my gosh Char! Don’t go out with him again! He is bad news!” and was also surprised how much my “crap filter” has gone up. No more pulling those kinds of stunts on this Char.

Older and wiser ladies. Older and wiser.

But man those entries were like a train wreck. I couldn’t stop reading even though I knew exactly what was going to happen.

Sly texts sent from across the room just to make me laugh.

His friends telling me he liked me.

Another girl gets shot gun in his car.

Buy one get one free dates.

Cuddling on the first date.

Breaking up 2 weeks later.

Showing up on my porch in the middle of a snowstorm.

Then my latest jam came on my ipod.  

“I would rather learn what it feels like to burn than feel nothing at all.”

Guys are unpredictable, messy, sweethearts that get under your skin and leave marks for better or worse.

Burning certain pages,


Friday, January 11, 2013

No Name Boy, A Number and Hearing Aids

I had a lot of good options.

Tall ones, short ones, freckled ones, ones with contagious laughs, ones that maybe wouldn’t be jerks….

I was ready. This party was stocked with eligible bachelors.

Oh good! One was walking towards me.

No Name Boy: “Char!”
Me: “Um…hi?”
No Name Boy: “I haven’t seen you in forever! How’ve you been?”

Okay. Quick. How does this guy know my name? Have we had class together? Gone on a date? Were neighbors as children?

Best idea? Fake like I know him. Yeah. That will be good.

Me: “I know! How have you been….friend?”

Oh crap. I don’t know his name! And now I’ve pretended like I know him. Think, think, think!

No Name Boy: “Oh you know…school and work and I’ve joined lots of extra curricular things so that’s keeping me busy”.

After a few minutes of chit chat and deciding I’m not super jazzed about this fellow I try and peace.

Me: “Well…I need to go talk to Kristine but it’s so good to see you!”
NNB: “Well let me get your number so we can hang out again!”

Again? We’ve already hung out? I need to start taking me some memory vitamins.

We exchange digits and then horror of horrors I realize I’m gonna have to type his name into my phone as he is looking over my shoulder. The name I don’t know.

As my little cursor blinks at me on my phone he looks at me and I say all nervously,

 “Oh…how do you spell your name again? I know it’s like way different.”
NNB: “It’s mumble, mumble, mumble.”
Me: “What?”
NNB: “It’s mumble, mumble, mumble.”
Me: (again)” What?”

Seriously, after my memory vitamins I’m going to get hearing aids.
NNB: “It’s Brad. B-R-A-D”.

Oh my! That was too easy of a name! Hurry! Think of something! Cover your lie with another lie!

Me: “No, no. I know your first name. It was your last name that was really tricky and long.”
NNB: “F-O-X. My last name is Fox.”

And that was when he looked at me and realized I had no idea who he was.


Moral of the story ladies: Don’t try and pretend that you know someone’s name. Own up.

Or at least stock up at memory vitamins and hearing aids.

Gold medal in creating uncomfortable situations,


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Inspiration from "The Hobbit"

"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all."
~Helen Keller

I watched "The Hobbit" last night with two of my good friends.  While the film was amazing, especially in 3D, I left with much more than a smile.  I found myself to be inspired.

The movie begins with a view of the everyday life of "Mr. Baggins," a hobbit.  Right off the bat he has an unexpected visitor come an offer him the adventure of a lifetime.  Scared and confused, Mr. Baggins immediately declines the offer and runs inside his house to where he thought he would be safe.  However, later that night he finds the foreshadow of an adventure on his doorstep and inside his house before he can say no.  

Thirteen (maybe twelve, I don't remember exactly) dwarves rummage through Baggin's pantry, dishes and cabinets while tracking mud on the floor and having burping contests.  Baggins naturally freaks out because he is not in control and feels threatened by this unexpected company.  Next Gandoff (the leader of the pack) offers Baggins a great adventure and a seemingly unbelievable role to play in the journey.  Baggins refuses, thinks about it, and refuses again.  He says he does not want to leave "home", the comfort of his books, his maps, and his fireplace is where he belongs, and he would rather play it safe than go on an adventure that does not even promise him a safe return, much less his life. 

Fortunately, the next scene shows Baggins changing his mind, grabbing his bags and running full throttle into a   life-changing adventure.

I found this first part of the movie to be the most inspiring and relatable.  You see, there comes a time in each of our lives when God, much like Gandoff, offers us the adventure of a lifetime; one that will change our lives forever.  He never forces us, but gently explains the offer (leaving out all the details of course,) then leaves the decision up to us.  Although He has hand picked us for the journey and prepared us beyond our knowledge to thrive through it, we as humans doubt and fear the unknown, thus making for a terribly hard decision.

The safe, logical choice is to stay where you are comfortable.  Stick with what you know, safe and secure.  Yet the downfall to this is that you never grow, never change, never see the next level of the glory of God.  The fact is, we're being selfish.  We are choosing our preferred lifestyle over God's.  Who knows what kind of people you could help through your adventure if you open up to the uncertain.  (Check out Dorothy.) The second choice however, gives us a big huge box wrapped tightly with a bow.  We know it's huge and we know it's exciting, but we have no idea what to expect.  All we have is hope and faith that God will carry us through the journey and teach us to be stronger men, wiser women, and more gentle people of love.  

I've seen one friend after another come to this point.  I wrote a short book on my journey through this decision process.  But my question is--have you came to this point?  What did you do?  

Perhaps God is tugging on your heart right now, asking you to leave the familiar and jump into his arms for a journey you'll never forget.  Will you trust him?
We were all designed for a specific role to play in a huge adventure, but if we doubt ourselves we are doubting the God that created us.  Listen to your Lord and jump into the unknown with him.  He wants to give you that exciting life if you'll let him.

P.S. For more inspiration and to find out how Mr. Baggins held up, watch the rest of the movie--in theatres now.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, 
for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

"The wicked man flees though no one pursues,
but the righteous are as bold as a  lion."
Proverbs 28:1

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith;
be courageous; be strong."
1 Corinthians 16:13

What is God gently tugging you to do??

Monday, January 7, 2013

Semester Reflections: Dorothy

At the end of every semester I like to reflect and pick at least three big themes God has helped me mature in during the previous season.  Many times this takes the form of an essay, journal entry, or blog post.  Today I journaled and now I am blog posting, hopefully you can relate and respond to my lessons as well.

Without going into much detail, the three big themes I picked out for Fall 2012 are DorothyGrace, and Money.  I plan to go into more detail on each theme in separate posts.  First, I shall conquer Dorothy.

Hopefully you all know the lovable character Dorothy from the movie "The Wizard of Oz."  Dorothy is a young girl searching for who knows what when she finds herself in the middle of a tornado that whisks her away to a magical city of munchkins, witches and a large yellow brick road.  After landing in this city, Dorothy's mission is finding her way back home.  Along her journey to find the Wizard of Oz, whom has all the answers, she picks up three friends who are also in search of something.  Throughout their journey together they encourage each other, laugh together and cry together.  The group of four find themselves fighting evil monkeys, begging gatekeepers to let them pass, and all sorts of other exciting things.

The reason I have titled this post "Dorothy" is because I heard a sermon once about doing discipleship "Dorothy style."  It really helped put discipleship in perspective for me, and when my roommates and I watched "The Wizard of Oz" about a month ago, it hit home to me what Dorthy-style discipleship was all about.  In fact, I realized that had been a huge theme of my semester here.

Dorothy did two things that capture the essence of discipleship.  First she entered in.  Dorothy was on a journey when she met Scarecrow.  She had one task to fulfill and she knew how to get there.  Very easily could she have dismissed Scarecrow and went on minding her own business, making the journey alone and deceivingly much faster.  I see most of us today doing just that.  We are very task-oriented individuals, and we are also very aware of the ever ticking time-bomb.  Therefore our society tends to think the "me first and me only" mentality is the fastest and easiest way to go about a job.  When in fact, this is a lie from Satan.  "Me first and me only"  leaves you lonely, confused, and destroyed by Satan.  Dorothy understood this, and so she chose to enter in.

Follow this link to see a clip from the movie:
(I apologize there was no embedded option on this video.)

Dorothy could have easily kept going, ignored the scarecrow, and  focused on her desires, but instead she chose to enter in to a relationship with Scarecrow.  As you saw in the video, first she asked him a few questions about himself, then she introduced herself, and soon she was helping him down off of the pole and inviting him to journey with her to the Emerald City.  THAT is what discipleship is about.  Entering in.

The same process is repeated when she meets Lion and The Tinman.  Dorothy is quick to invite others along for the journey, despite the fact that she herself has not much clue of what to expect or what to do.  That's where her second inspiring action takes place, she journeys with.  Discipleship isn't about knowing everything then pouring out to others when you think you know enough, it's more about journeying with others and finding out TOGETHER what it takes to achieve the dreams and goals God has put before each of you.  You don't have to know everything and you definitely don't have to need only to lay everything before God and take each day one step at a time--you and your teammates.

The biggest blessing of this fall has been living with two of my sheep.  I've seen and lived discipleship on a deeper level than I've ever seen.  It's been extremely hard, it's been very humbling. and its been very encouraging.  The growth and beauty I've seen come from these two girls has been more of a lesson for me than anything else I've experienced.  I've seen first hand how one person can't go in the journey alone, and the value that close Christian community brings to a family.  This was how the church was designed to live.  This is how the Acts Christians did life.  Discipleship was life.  Life was discipleship.  Today we separate the two, when in fact it was meant to be one sanctity.

At times during the semester I tried to hard to focus on my outward ministry, and it was during those times that our household was rocky and tense.  It took a great roommate and friend talking frankly with me to pull me back in.  The truth is, God blessed us all with the community of each other, and first and foremost that is our focus..."to build one another up in love."  It may have took several months for me to understand the opportunity at hand, but living and breathing discipleship daily gives believers the perfect opportunity to serve God by "not giving up meeting together...encouraging one another daily..etc." (Hebrews 10:23-25)

What a huge blessing this Dorothy Discipleship semester has been.  God has really humbled me and taught me throughout it all, but I am forever grateful for the opportunity and praise my God for his goodness.

If you have a chance over this break, I'd like to encourage you to watch "The Wizard of Oz."  Study Dorothy and how kind and gentle she is while she invites others to join her on her journey.  However, she realizes the journey isn't about her at all.  It's about helping others find what they are looking for too.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Years Pump Up


Please recite the following mantra….

Hi, my name is ____________. And I’m a Spinster.

With this New Year, I will:

Initiate conversations

Never be a doormat

Do something every day that scares me

Write down my awkward interactions with boys. They will be funny later. Maybe.

Not yell while driving

Refuse to be offended

Open my heart

Give guys the benefit of the doubt

Balance my checkbook

Give myself 5 compliments in the mirror every day and make sure to give out at least 5 more to others

Fake it till I make it

Stay classy

 Pretending to know what we’re doing,

Gertrude and Charlotte