Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Check out my Brother!!

(Go to the left and click Dustin Merrill... he's not Rock Hicks. However, Rock Hicks, in person...totally looks like Taylor Hicks, the american idol lounge singer guy from a few seasons ago. Fun fact for ya.)


Tuesday, April 28, 2009


She had a horrible car accident and broke both of her arms.  He took care of her. He combed her hair.  He flossed her teeth.  
His wife was sentenced to life in prison after killing a young boy due to her personality disorder.  He drove two hours two ways everyday until she died to see her.
She had her whole enitre arm and side eaten by flesh eating bacteria.  He stayed.
She is getting the lawn seats for him.  She hasn't heard of the band.
He made her patio furniture, by hand.
He has cancer.  He still praises God, in every way, shape and form.  They love intentionally, and more unselfishly that I have ever seen.
He married a prostitute because he loved her.  She left him again and again.  He still loves her, still chased her to the Valley of Trouble and there it becomes the Door of Hope.
He took away the idols.  He pulled back the curtain to show that there are only illusions.  He graciously smashed idols that rob us.   He woos us back from desolate places.
I am just beginning to understand.  I have known.  But now I see.
He did the dishes last night.  They were all mine.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Starlings

This past weekend the volleyball team I have been helping out with had their first actual game!  I think it was actually the first game-like situation, as well.  (See pics below).
Which meant the goals that Brielle and I had for them were as follows:
1. Have at least six girls show up.
2. Do not get Bageled.
3. Do not require police involvement for diciplinary issues.
The Starlings are nation wide club team for girls of all socioeconomic backgrounds.  In our case that means that we practice at the middle school that the girls attend right after their school gets out because they have no way to get to practice otherwise.  Some of our girls parents are pretty unreliable and a few others have parents in prison.  We spend much more time at practice herding cats than teaching volleyball.
But I am absolutely crazy about them. 
Did they meet our goals?
1. We had seven girls the first day, six on the second. CHECK! 
2. We did NOT get Bageled.  In face one game the second day we scored 16 points!!  UNREAL.
3. We did not have to call the police.
So anything after that was total bonus.  Some of the highlights:
1. Watching them light up when we handed out the uniforms and jackets.
2. Watching them change from watching the other teams with fear to intently trying to learn from them.
3. Other parents offering to buy one of our players a pair of tennis shoes.  (I told them not to worry, she had shoes, she just FORGOT them )
4. Other people in the gym, other teams started cheering for us, encouraging us.
5. Every coach we played with asked us about our team and their story.
6. The second day EVERY girl showed up on time, ready to go.  Wearing actual tennis shoes.
7. Did I mention SIXTEEN points?
8. The girls wanted to practice after the game was over.  So we did.
9. In our pre-game warm up they all started spiking the balls... like really well!
10. The gracious officials who helped our girls learn how to referee and line judge.
11. The girls getting together to make up the COOLEST Starlings cheer.  Of course it was the coolest. "S-T-A-R-L-I-N-G-S We are the Starlings and we are the Best" Complete with cool little dance moves.
12. The put three hits on the ball once!  Amazing feat.
13. All the HILARIOUS stuff they said. "Oh my Goodness!  The Mac Donalds play place is my favorite place on earth.. Y'all don't even understand!"
14. Marshay, who for the first four practices wouldn't take off her hoodie, kept it zipped up to the top, got three serves in a row in bounds and was the captain first.
15.  And perhaps the most treasured bonus... The feeling that I felt for these girls, who are so clearly, outwardly, wordly, behind all the other teams in so many ways.  The feeling that reminded me of how God must see people.  He must see the whole story all the time, not just what shows up at gametime.  He sees the back story, the heart, the character of people when the world just sees screw-ups and faults. He sees the situation they came from, the tools they were given and the courage that it takes to just show up.  Brielle said she had more fun coaching this team than any other first ranked team she has ever coached.  They are difficult, frustrating, defiant, mouthy, infuriating, and currently can't play volleyball to save their lives, and I am crazy about them.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh Tina, How I Heart Thee.

A couple of stand-alone gems from 30 Rock, which, is just my fave:

"That hurts more than my foot botox." Jenna.

Liz: "Tracy did you even go home last night? And where is your shirt?"
Tracy: "1. No 2. At Large"

"Liz you are the closest thing to a man in this building."

Liz: "Jack, what are you doing here? I was sleeping!"
Jack: "I just heard you singing 'night cheese' "

"I am sorry to have to tell you such a grim story wearing such a silly T-shirt" Salma Hayak. (The shirt said "What the Frak?")

"Liz Lemon, isn't there a slanket somewhere you should be hiding your farts under?" Salma Hayak.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

As natural as April showers...

The Fall Cosbinox* is almost over. As evidenced by tulips in all their glory and big-diamond pattern sweaters being packed away... Men in the office are starting to switch to the brightly colored Hawaiian-esque Weird Al Yankovic shirts.

That's right folks. It's almost time for the Spring Yank-quinox*. Get excited, people.

(* I have been since corrected by singram, a.k.a still the funniest person ever, that humor rights, if any are warranted, to both terms do, in fact, go to me.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Because it deserves to be captured:

I was recently at a chinese buffet with friends and the small of stature proprietor was at the door upon my exit.

He said something to this effect:
"Oh... HeLOOO tall lady! I take you apple picking with me. I can never get to the apples at the top! Ah.. but we go pick strawberries and YOU hold the bucket!"

"I ask God why he make me so small. I can never get to the apples I want at the top of the tree!"

It was awesome.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

STL Tourism

Hooray for Marc's first baseball "match".

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

From Blue Like Jazz

"What great gravity is this that drew my soul toward yours? What great force, that though I went falsely, went kicking, went disguising myself to earn your love, also disguised to earn your keeping, your resting, your staying, your will fleshed into mine, rasped by a slowly revealed truth, the barter of my soul, the soul that I fear, the soul that I loathe, the soul that: if you will love, I will love. I will redeem you, if you will redeem me? Is this our purpose, you and I together to pacify each other, to lead each other toward the lie that we are good, that we are noble, that we need not redemption, save the one that you and I invented of our own clay?

   I am not scared of you, my love, I am scared of me.

   I went looking, I wrote out a list, I drew and image, I bled a poem for you. You were pretty, and my friends believed that I was worthy of you. You were clever, but I was smarter, perhaps the only one smarter, the only one able to lead you. You see, love, I did not love you, I loved me. And you were only a tool that I used to fix myself, to fool myself, to redeem myself. And though I have taught you to lay your lily hand in mine, I walk alone, for I cannot talk to you, lest you talk it back to me, lest I believe that I am not worthy, not deserving, not redeemed. 

   I want desperately for you to be my friend. But you are not my friend; you have slid up warmly to the man I wanted to be, the man I pretended to be, and I was your Jesus and, you were mine. Should I show you who I am, we may crumble. I am not scared of you, my love, I am scared you me. 

   I want to be known and loved anyway. Can you do this? I trust by your easy breathing that you are human like me, that you are fallen like me, that you are lonely, like me. My love, do I know you?  What is this great gravity that pulls us so painfully toward each other? Why do we not connect? Will we be forever fleshing this out? And how will we with words, narrow words, come into the knowing of each other? Is this God's way of meriting grace, of teach us of the labyrinth of His love for us, teaching us, in degrees, that which he is sacrificing to join ourselves to Him? Or better yet, has He formed our being fractional so that we might conclude one great hope, plodding and sighing and breathing into one another in such a great push that we might break through into the known and being loved, only to cave into a greater perdition and fall down at His throne still begging for our acceptance? Begging for our completion?

   We were fools to believe that we would redeem each other.

   Were I some sleeping Adam, to wake and find you resting at my rib, to share these things that God has done, to walk you through the garden, to counsel your timid steps, your bewildered eye, you heart so slow to love, so careful to love, so sheepish that I stepped up my aim and became a man. Is this what God intended? That though He made you from my rib, it is you who is making me, humbling me, destroying me, and in so doing revealing Him. 

   Will we be in ashes before we are one? 

   What great gravity is this that drew my heart toward yours? What great force collapsed my orbit, my lonesome state? What is this that wants in me the want in you? Don't we go at each other with yielded eyes, with cumbered hands and feet, with clunky tongues? This deed is unattainable! We cannot know each other!

   I am quitting this thing, but not what you think. I am not going away.

   I will give you this, my love, and I will not bargain or barter any longer. I will love you, as sure as He has loved me. I will discover what I can discover and though you remain a mystery, save God's own knowledge, what I disclose of you I will keep in the warmest chamber of my heart, the very chamber where God has stowed Himself in me. And I will do this to my death, and to death it may bring me.

   I will love you like God, because of God, mighted by the power of God. I will stop expecting your love, demanding your love, trading for your love, gaming for your love. I will simply love. I am giving myself to you , and tomorrow I will do it again. I suppose the clock itself will wear thin its time before I am ended at this altar of dying and dying again.

   God risked Himself on me. I will risk myself on you. And together, we will learn to love, and perhaps then and only then understand this gravity that drew Him, unto us.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Dear people who make Lincolns,

In the future, please take time to consider me, the scatterbrained mad-scientist when deciding on which side to put the gas tank.  I waste much precious fuel re-orienting my vehicle to the pump. Yes I KNOW there is a little arrow that tells me which side the gas tank is on, but old Pontiac habits die hard.   

Furthermore, if you DO decide make the poor decision to put the gas tank on the other side of the driver side of the car, please re-think the reasoning behind placing the button that actually OPENS the gas door ALL THE WAY back near the steering wheel.

Gas station attendants everywhere are wondering why the six-foot blonde lady is running laps around her car in the rain and cursing.

I'm tired. 



Monday, April 06, 2009