Tuesday, June 21, 2011


(a dramatic retelling of a not-so-dramatic experience)
It was a glorious afternoon at the beach, that day my life changed forever. I had no premonitions of impending disaster, no chill up my spine, no icy fingers of dread whispering across my mind. But if I had known, surely I would have closed the window shades, hung a sign on my door that read “Closed until Further Notice,” and retreated back under the covers of my bed. But with no one able to foresee the disaster approaching, I instead leaped out of bed with a song on my lips, and prepared for a day of fun and frolics with friends and family.

A glorious day, indeed it was. The sun hid it’s most fierce rays behind a wall of beautiful gray clouds, and the ocean waves raised their voices in a grand symphony that only the great fathoms below can play.

It began with all of us young people taking at trek to the sand dunes bordering the parameter of our favorite beach. I don’t know who’s idea it was that was the catalyst to my demise. It really doesn’t matter. All I know is that before long, my friends and family were jumping off sand dunes.
Now, not all sand dunes are created equal. This particular sand dune was by far not the largest I’ve seen, but at it’s approximate 10 feet of height, it was still a formidable giant for us two-legged creatures to attempt to stretch our non-existent wings over.

It’s also important, as I set the stage, to realize that I can be something of a stick in the mud at times. Or maybe the more appropriate word would be simply “chicken.” And this chicken wasn’t feeling the faith that her two stubby wings would land her safely down below, despite the eagles around her exhibiting grandiose abilities in flying.

So I, the chicken, watched. It really DID looked like such fun. I was the only one NOT jumping, sticking out like an ostrich among pigeons. Not even the camera in my hand was big enough to hide behind. I was self-ostracized by my own fear.

“Alright! I’ll do it.” A voice spoke out. Who was it? Wait, no, surely that wasn’t MY voice. But alas, it was. Trying not to show the quaking in my legs and the thumping of my heart, I stepped up to the vast crater below me, pretending more courage that I really felt. Everything seemed to fade around me, the voices of encouragement, the laughter of those at the bottom…all drowned away and lost in the dramatic thump-thump of my heart, while the depths below only seemed to be magnified, it’s evil beckoning hand mocking my fears.

And then….I jumped.

Time stood still. Then the rushing, rushing, rushing of the air in my face, my stomach seemed to take wing, my hair levitated itself from my head. The adrenaline coursed through my veins, screaming at me as I defied gravity. There was no turning back.

And then….BAM! I was on the ground. But something was not right. In observing my friends, they had all consistently landed on their feet. But as I felt my body make impact with an unforgiving terra-firma, I was not standing, neither was I even kneeling.

I was sitting.

And the impact of tailbone and hard sand dune is not a pleasant experience, let me tell you. And in the moment of impact, THAT is when my life was changed forever. With the sound of the THUD from my unfortunate landing, it also was the sound of the door flying wide open for my battle with back pain. You don’t land like that and come away unscathed, believe me…

The moral of this story? Following the crowd can be detrimental to your health. And always remember…

Sand dunes are very, very dangerous.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Vignettes of Today

A little bit of the Hear & Now of my life, as well as a few extras:

What I'm Reading: "Storm Surge" by Rene Gutteridge (I'm a sucker for detective novels!)

What I'm Listening To: Jaime Jamgochian "Reason to Live" album (at least at this moment I am)

What I'm Watching: Lark Rise to Candleford, season 2

What I'm Studying: Photography, since I'm taking a photography class.

What I'm Eating: Asiaga Cheese Bagel and Sour Gummy Worms (what a breakfast...)

What I'm Drinking: water like a good girl.

What I'm Wearing: Why not a picture?

What I'm Wishing/Praying For: Lots of things, not the least of which is a new car. =)

A Random Fact: I bough my own car seat and keep it strapped in the back of my car (an old Buick "Holstein" (aka. a white car with patches of gray showing through the dreadfully peeling paint) so I can easily take my nieces around with me. Hopefully people don't get confused, haha!

A Life Goal: to see a Disney on Broadway.

Ok, that's all for today. Didn't have time for a full-fledged post this morning, so enjoy Vignettes of Today. =)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Music I Love: Kari Jobe

Kari Jobe
I knew the name Kari Jobe long before I truly discovered her music for myself. But once I did, she quickly has become a favorite in my playlist. Not just because her music is pretty or enjoyable (it is indeed both), but I love it most for her heart for the Lord. Few artists are able to capture true feeling and honest worship in their songs, but Kari Jobe has nailed it.

The style is accoustic, in a style I would call "light contemporary", with both fast and slower songs. I can't say enough about how "worshipful" her music is, that really is the predominant theme! She doesn't dwell on man's failures and needs (as many contemporary artists do) but it's all about JESUS, Who He is and What He does. It's true worship.

It's hard to pick which songs are my favorite, but I'd probably pick: I'm Singing, Joyfully, Beautiful, and Sweep Me Away.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Reminders: Fear

Note to self:

"When I am afraid I will trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust;
I shall not be afraid."
Psalms 56: 3 & 4
Now, I don't generally do the "flip open your bible and look at the first verse you see" tactic in hearing from God (I would discourage this practice as a very strong general rule)...but this morning I felt like I needed a special word from God. I just felt clueless as to what it was or where to find it. I flipped pages...and landed on Psalms 56, and read the above verse. "When I am afraid" LEAPT out of the page...and I knew that I was afraid.

My fear hasn't been a fear of what's on the outside - a fear of the dark, a fear of being kidnapped, a fear of driving off a bridge, etc. My fear is a different kind of fear altogether. I'm afraid of God never speaking to me; afraid of always being alone; afraid of never been seen as "worth-ful" again; afraid of the foolish fancies of my own heart (fancies can be so powerful); afraid of always being disappointed.
Instead of looking soley to the Lord and trusting in Him, I've been placing my eyes on my problems. In so doing, the problems only grew, while my grasp on God only weakened. I do not need to be afraid, or nervous, or unsettled - even if what I face IS "worthy" of all those feelings - but rather, calmly and quietly reminding myself of who I serve, who owns me, and that "this I know, that God is for me." (vs. 9)
The issues remains. But it's looking ALOT smaller now as I subdue my fears and remember that God is at my side and even this petty ordeal is being taken care of by Someone who is all for me.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend - Civil War Reenactment

As maybe you've guessed, my family does Civil War Reenacting. This weekend was one of our biggest events and also one of our favorites reenactments so far! Several families from our church also reenact with us, and we are all part of the 43rd Virginia Cavalry, also known as Mosby's Rangers (an actual historical unit of soldiers). We camp out in the soldier's camp for the weekend, dressed up in period costume (or "replicas" as we reenactors prefer to call them). We have met many new friends, on both the Confederate and Union side. We reenact on the Southern side, but hold no malice or spite against our Yankee friends. =) Here's some snapshots of our weekend...

Rebel Canon. Notice the smoke ring...

Just arrived. Me and my two sisters, Katheryn and Karis.

Katheryn and Karis.


Yours Truly.

Confederate lines.

Yankee troops.

My beautiful little sister Karis.

43rd Virginia! My dad is third from the left, my brother Seth second from the right. The guy on the far left and the guy right in the middle with the sword and fierce face our church friends.

My 11 year old brother, Stuart. He's a nature lover, note the itty-bity fuzzy caterpillar on his arm...

My brother Scott loves the Word of God. He's rarely without a bible either in hand or in pocket.

My gentleman bandit brother Seth. =) I made the frock coat he's wearing.

Sunday evening dance. A beautiful night...

Watching the dancers through the window.

Karis dancing, as seen through the window.

I laugh every time I see this picture. Don't let his face fool you - he really does love me. =)

My amazing parents.

Once again, me