Monday, February 27, 2012

My body double

When I was ten years old, I used the hair from my American Girl doll to help create a life-like body double. As a kid, sometimes you've got to fake being in bed taking a nap when what you're really doing is spying on the neighbors next door. This is what I did.

I wanted to trick my mother and sister into thinking that I was in bed taking a snooze while I was up to some mischief. So I took one of my pillows and shoved it under the covers vertically, then wadded up a blanket and hid it under there to form the appearance of legs. I'm not the first kid to pull this trick. Most often what happens is the parent/sibling gets suspicious and looks for the rise and fall of breathing. When that doesn't happen, they rip off the covers to find the clever child has fooled them with nothing more than a pillow. So what you've got to do is sell the lie with realistic hair.

I had an American Girl Doll--Samantha--who had brown hair like me. She came in handy more than once. I would tuck her under the covers and pull some locks out onto the pillow. This is how I usually sleep--completely enveloped in the covers, body and face hidden from the cold. Nobody is going to rip the covers off of you when they very clearly see that your hair is on the pillow, because that obviously means that your head is under the covers and you are sleeping soundly. Or it just means you are as clever as me and happen to own a doll with your matching hair color.
 This little trick usually bought me about two or three extra hours. Nobody knew it wasn't me in that bed until 2pm rolled around and my Saturday chores still weren't done. Then the covers would get ripped off.

I was reminded of this little exploit because last week I was sleeping on the love seat in the living room for at least 45 minutes and neither of my roommates knew I was there, since I was completely wrapped up in a blanket. Eventually I startled Mandy when I woke up and stretched out of my curled up ball position. She about choked on the chili she was eating.

Not to make anyone paranoid or anything, but I usually hear a lot of interesting information from people when they think that I am in other locations. In reality I am just snuggled up in a blanket taking a nap, or planting tulips beneath your bedroom window, or trapped in a closet in your living room. I don't set out to overhear your conversations; it just happens.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I have dinner plans at the old folks home

It's 9:01am on Saturday and I'm sitting here catching up on the 346 blog posts I have in Google Reader, wondering when Mandy will wake up so that I can run the vacuum. For all I know, Mandy is awake and reading in bed and wouldn't mind if a little vroom vroom came down the hall. I haven't vacuumed for at least three weeks and it's really getting to me. Every time I feel the motivation to vacuum, someone is sleeping. Do you know what is visibly at my feet on the carpet right now? Four shriveled Cheerios and a dried up pea. Gross. I guess I shouldn't be eating at my desk.

Also, every time I feel like doing yard work, it rains. This is why I fail at being a domestic queen.

In other news, last week a second grade girl asked me why I was chewing gum at school if it wasn't allowed. I was totally busted. I wanted to support school rules even though it was after school hours, so I went and spit it out, even though it was a fresh piece.

You know what else I did last week while at an elementary school? Upchucked in the playground's garbage can. Nothing like barfing at work while you are supposed to be supervising 40 children. I didn't have the flu or anything, I was just going on day four of MyBodyHatesAllFoodExceptVegetables. My weird digestive issues continued for five days. One would think that not eating may cause you to lose a bunch of weight, but it really doesn't. It just makes you feel miserable. I think I am okay now, because I fully ate breakfast this morning and feel fine as of this current moment. I am supposed to eat dinner at an old folks' home this evening, so that may change.

I am attending the 94th birthday party of my best friend's grandpa. It's taking place at his retirement home. We're eating at like 4:30pm, which is fine with me, because, like old people, I'm always hungry at about that time. I am really excited to visit, because old people can be quite funny. Hopefully an entertaining blog post about the event will follow. I think retirement homes are really great places to hang out. Usually nobody is using the game room and there is cable television on huge screens. And they have fish aquariums in the lobby. This one time my sister and I went to hang out at a retirement home, but we couldn't get in because we were underage and the whole hiding behind a pot of flowers thing didn't really work. It's a really good story. You should read it.

Now I'm going to go watch some episodes of Tailspin on DVD. My mother got it for me for Valentine's Day. If you don't know what Tailspin is, I feel very sorry for you. My very first crush ever was on Kit Cloudkicker, the little bear on the show. He's was a total bad boy with his backwards hat, surfing around in the clouds and all. I wonder what he looks like now that he's grown up.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

10 Things I Done Wrong

1. Didn't run when I should've ran.
2. Didn't cry when I should've cried.
3. Didn't speak when I should've spoken.
4. Wasn't brave when I needed to be.
5. Trusted too few.
6. Noticed what was wrong too late.
7. Didn't try to fly when I had wings.
8. Hid in the dark.
9. Wrote words all too wrong.
10. Fell asleep when I should've been wide awake.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Must Read

I've got to read these books. Don't spoil it for me by telling me anything about them. On my list:

1.The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
2. The Hunger Games by some author I don't know but everybody is talking about how great the book is and apparently there is a movie coming as well.
3. I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
4. Twilight Breaking Dawn. Bahahha. JK. Sorry if you don't find that funny. I found out all I need to know on Wikipedia. Saved me about 7 hours and a lot of annoyance.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Good Wife/Bad Wife

So you're a guy and you're wondering to yourself, what would it be like to be married to Joelle? It's okay if you've thought this. Your mind is a private place. Except that you know, God can see your thoughts. I've more than once wondered to myself If I were married to that Italian guy I had met in the library, would he have driven thirty minutes out of his way to return my overdue copy of The Penultimate Peril to save me 40 cents in fines? Just because we wonder these things doesn't mean they are going to come true. But in case they do...

I'm not going to keep anything from you. You don't need to be the person who dates me for three months just to find out that I am haughty when it comes to the use of apostrophes. I will let you know my faults right now.

So here we go. The reasons I would be a good wife or a bad wife:

1) The sleep shirts I wear to bed are from 1997, no lie. They are super comfy and two of them I got from the bowling party my orthodontist sponsored when I was in middle school. They feature a stick figure kid wearing braces. So not sexy on so many levels.
Verdict: Bad wife

2) I had a bed-to-wall dependency issue for 15 years. I always had to have my bed against a wall in order to feel comfortable sleeping at night. Apparently this is an issue if you are married, because people don't like to feel trapped in a corner or crawled over in the middle of the night. I've since weaned myself of this dependency. If you have a bed-to-wall dependency, I'm fine with it.
Verdict: Good wife

3) I'll probably keep writing love letters to strangers. I'm on the writing team for and really enjoy it. This work means I write words of encouragement and love to people I've never met. You might not like this idea. Maybe it weirds you out. But if you marry me, I promise you I will write you the very best love letters, and not just really sappy, lovely dovey ones all the time. Some may include puzzles or a secret code.
Verdict: you decide

4) I can't go to sleep without brushing my teeth first.
Verdict: Good wife

5) I like brushing my hair just about as much as I enjoy untying a hundred sailors' knots without the use of thumbs. If you end up marrying me, I'll probably try to convince you to comb my hair for me, because my arms get really tired after a while. I know this doesn't sound like fun. But I'll do something for you that is equally as unpleasant, like waxing your back hair. You're getting a deal here.
Verdict: probably bad wife

6) I find nothing wrong with putting a spoon into a carton of ice cream and eating directly from it.
Verdict: you decide

7) I can be ready to go in 15 minutes flat and look pretty cute in 30. If you don't think this is a short amount of time, then talk to men who are already married. 
Verdict: Good wife

8) I will probably blog about you. But it will only ever be about how awesome/funny/sweet/handsome/clever/smart/talented you are. If you really want, I won't say your actual name. My favorite author, Meg Cabot, refers to her husband as He Who Must Not Be Named in her blog. And she always blurs out his face in photos. On our first date I'll probably make you sign a release.
Verdict: Bad wife (but one who brags about you, so maybe good).

9) You will be able to keep nothing from me. You know, because we'll have a relationship based on honesty, trust, and mutual respect. Plus I'm a detective and can figure anything out. I might not let you know that I know, but I'll know. So if you try to plan a surprise for me, you better be five times as sneaky as you think you need to be, because chances are I'll discover what you're up to.
Verdict: Bad wife

10) I still pretend things. I might as well be ten years old. I enjoy building forts and wearing disguises and talking with accents. I've got a sharp imagination that some may call delusional. Three weeks ago I cut a square out of a cardboard box, put it on my head, and pretended to be inside a TV, all in the name of a children's church lesson. But really I just wanted an excuse to play pretend again.
Verdict: depends on your own level of sanity

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

God's Valentine

I present to you, a lovely gift from David Bowden:

Lyrics are available here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

I love you, you asshole

 Raziel sat draped across her bed, writing in her journal, feeling like a moronic middle school girl even though she was a 23 year old college graduate. She figured she might as well still have braces for the sort of progress she’d made over the years, which was none. The things in her life were still crooked and wrong and needed wire to keep them together.
Eight months earlier, at the beginning of the summer, she had told her little brother’s best friend that she liked him. Talk about a dumb idea. Raziel hadn’t a clue how the attraction had begun. How did she go from wanting to kick him and her brother out of her playhouse to wishing he’d want to spend one-on-one time with her? Micah was only a year and two months younger than her, but he had been that kid. The one she’d seen wearing Batman underwear when she was eight.
And now she liked him? The admission hadn’t gone over well. Micah told her that he was sorry, but he wasn’t interested in her. That he just didn’t have any of those feelings for her at all. However, eight months later, here she was, writing about how she still liked him—no, loved him—even though he basically thought of her as a sister. Raziel contemplated going through her entry and dotting all of her i’s with hearts, because everything was so ridiculous anyway. Might as well be a pre-pubescent teen about it.
She thought, Is it too much if I drive over to his house on a night that it is pouring rain? And I ring his doorbell at 9pm and am standing on his front step with soaking wet hair? That sort of thing happens all the time in movies, but is it too much if I do it in actual real life?
But she was determined. She needed to hear him say “I can never love you, and I will never love you.” It was the only way she could move on. All this time she had been clinging to some psychotic hope that he would change his mind, that he would see her in a different light.
With my luck I’ll drive over there and he won’t be home, she thought. Or worse yet, his roommate will answer the door instead of him. Then all the drama would be lost. That’s the thing about real life. It’s rare that anybody acts out the script you’ve written in your head.
If she was really being honest with herself, what she wanted most was for Micah to show up at her door—whether it was raining or not. She had thought about this many times—how she would hear a knock on the door, open it, and see Micah standing there saying, “I was wrong about you.”
It wouldn’t even matter that she’d be wearing sweatpants and have no make up on. She knew that if he were to show up at her door, she wouldn’t be lucky enough to be dressed attractively like the girls in the movies. No, it would probably be 2pm on a Saturday, and she’d still have her elastic waisted pajama pants on. But it wouldn’t even matter, because he would be there. For her. To ask for a second chance. And what she would do is look at a clock and note the time, so she could remember the exact moment in history when Micah came to his senses. Then she would say, “I’m so glad you’re finally here.”
As it was, Raziel could not count on that ever happening, and the not knowing drove her mad. She wanted to forget about him, but she couldn’t. She hadn’t expected this. For the three weeks immediately following Micah turning her down, she was fine. There were no tears, no heartbreak. She even signed up for
But when that first message arrived in her inbox from a stranger, asking her more about herself, she realized she couldn’t do this. She didn’t want anybody but Micah. She would rather wait three years for him to change his mind than be in a relationship with a man who was sup-par to Micah. And everyone was sub-par to him. She couldn’t reason how anyone else could be better than him. It just wasn’t possible.
Raziel had self-diagnosed herself with psychosis. That had to be it. Who else reasons like this?
Yes, driving over to his house at night and showing up in the rain seemed like just the movie-esque thing to do. The reason scenes in movies never happen in real life is because people aren’t brave enough to attempt them. They are terrified that the other person won’t respond the way they envisioned, and so they go about their lives in a mundane, non-dramatic sort of way. Raziel didn’t want this to happen to her. She wanted to be the girl who at least tried to get a cinematic scene. She was determined to gather all of her shredded bravery and bind it together to form enough new courage to take on this challenge.
There was no evidence at all to suggest that Micah had changed his mind about her. There was really nothing hopeful about the possibility of showing up on his doorstep, but she needed to hear him say that he would never love her. She figured those words said in person would be enough to cut her to the core, to pull her out of her psychosis and realize that she needed to stop being crazy and move on.
Raziel practiced some lines during the drive in her car.
           "Michah, you are an asshole." She said it many times over, changing the inflection in her voice. But no matter how many times she rehearsed this particular sentiment, she couldn’t believe it to be true. She was not any madder at Micah than before. She was not angry at him at all. He was not an asshole. He was kind and sweet and clever and strong and handsome. He was everything she ever wanted in a man, and it was a pity that all those wonderful qualities had to be enveloped in the very person who didn’t care about her in the least.
Sure, there were a few things about him that she initially was not attracted to, like his wardrobe. The guy wore numbered jerseys just about every day of the week. How many times had she wanted to explain to him that jerseys were something you should wear for sports games, that they were not acceptable as actual attire? But she didn’t care about that anymore. She found them endearing, adorable—hot even. Micah could wear those stupid jerseys every day of the week and it wouldn’t bother her if he just wanted to be with her while he wore them.
Raziel tried a new line. Both hands gripping the steering wheel, she spoke over the dashboard and into the darkness with as much feeling as she could muster. “I love you, you asshole.” 

 An hour and a half later she drove past Micah’s college campus. She turned left and then right, finally pulling up to the curb on the street that Micah lived on. The house sat four driveways down. The lights inside the living room were on, and his car sat parked outside the garage.
Was she really going to do this? Make a complete fool of herself?
Sometime later she found herself on the outside of the white wooden door. Her finger hovered over the doorbell with such violent shaking that you’d think she was pressing the button that ended the world. About thirty seconds later the door opened, and there Micah stood in socked feet, wearing a Lakers basketball jersey and a five o’clock shadow across his jaw line.
It was act 1, scene 2.
“Tell me you will never, ever love me.”
“Raziel, what are you doing here?”
“Tell me you find me repulsive and you can never love me.”
She could see that he was considering whether or not this was a trick. Was this a prank or was Raziel serious? He wanted to respond safely.
“Dammit, Micah, I drove all this way and have been standing in the rain for ten minutes trying to get the courage to push your doorbell, and you won’t even say your line. You need to tell me that you don’t want to love me.”
Slowly the words fell out of his mouth, like he was testing them to be true. “I don’t want to love you.”
“I didn’t want to love you either. You are not who I expected I would love. But I love you now, and I can’t stop. Even though you dress like a moron and need to shave. I used to think those things were stupid, and now I just find them endearing.”
Micah treaded carefully. “Razi, I’m sorry. I thought you understood. I don’t like you that way, and my feelings aren’t going to change.” The words tumbled off his lips like boulders rolling down a mountain and squashing a hiker who was trying to reach the top.
A few drops looking suspiciously like tears collected in his eyes. But maybe it was just sideways rain. “I’m really sorry.”
Dammit, this wasn’t supposed to be hard for him. He wasn’t supposed to feel anything. How could he not love her, but still be pained to say so? Did he have to be kind? Why couldn’t he be an asshole? Slam the door in her face and say “You’re a creeper, don’t ever come near me again!”?
“Look, Razi. Someone is going to be crazy about you. I know it. They’ll want to spend every waking moment with you and every slumbering minute next to you. There is someone out there for you…It’s just not me.”
Raziel did her best to feel a broken heart. She wanted to have every faint glow of hope extinguished from inside of her. She wanted to feel what it was like to have no hope in the development of a relationship. Her psychosis had taken over her mind, though, and she still did believe. She still trusted that anything could happen, and she would not give up hope until Micah was taken by somebody else. She would respect that. How could she not? She loved him and wanted him to be happy, so if he found happiness in another girl, she would smother out her own feelings and turn them to ash.
Raziel nodded. She wasn’t going to tell him this. If he knew she still had hope, he might worry. She didn’t want him to have any unsettling feelings.
“Micah, please. Please get a girlfriend. For my sake.”
Raziel turned around and walked back in the rain to her car. She didn’t look back. What she wanted was for him to come after her. To race out into the street and say It was all a lie. I want to love you. I can love you. I was wrong. But this isn’t a movie. It’s not a Nicholas Sparks book, either. It is real life, and those things don’t happen.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Middle Kiss

 Opposites attract if you're a magnet.

Sometimes you watch movies or read books where the two main characters start out hating each other, but then end up falling in love at the end. This story isn’t like that.
Katherine and Tom didn’t exactly hate each other, but they weren’t particularly fond of one another either. Despite the fact that Katherine and Tom would rather not spend time together, they did. All too much time. It was Katherine’s best friend’s husband’s fault. Sarah was best friends with Katherine, and Sarah’s husband Matthew was unfortunately good friends with Tom. Whenever Katherine attended an event that included Sarah and her husband, Tom was more than likely invited as well. The two had even spent an unfortunate three days camping together in the woods.
To make matters worse, Sarah and Matthew were just positive that Tom and Katherine should date.
“Sarah, you don’t understand. He posts excessive question marks on Facebook. It irritates me to no end. And don’t even get me started on his habitual use of lol.”
“Not everybody gets as bothered by incorrect punctuation and text lingo as you do.”
“Not everybody gets bothered by seeing people in the nude, but that doesn’t make it okay to walk down the street without clothes on either.”
Tom had his reasons to dislike Katherine as well. In his opinion, Katherine was snobby and vain. During the aforementioned camping trip, Katherine had actually bothered to spend time curling her hair in the community bathroom before a fishing trip. It caused the boat to leave 45 minutes late and thus Tom never caught his coveted Rainbow Trout.
Besides the ridiculousness with the hair, Katherine would bring up her Master’s degree whenever she got the chance. She’d start sentences with “In my professional opinion…” or “as someone with a background in blah blah blah.” It drove Tom mad. He hoped that one day she’d be at the library and an encyclopedia would fall on her head. It was a very juvenile thing to wish upon somebody, but that was fitting since Katherine found Tom to be quite juvenile.

One evening, Katherine found herself in an unfavorable predicament. She was at Sarah’s husband’s surprise birthday celebration and had too much to drink. She blamed her increased desire for insobriety on the fact that earlier that week her car had been smashed into while she was waiting to make a left hand turn. As it was, she felt that a birthday and totaled car was more than enough reason to drink excessively.
At one point, Sarah asked Katherine if she wouldn’t mind going up to the second floor guest room to get some extra fold-up chairs out of the closet. Katherine didn’t mind at all and enjoyed the opportunity to get away from Tom’s annoying stories of his college basketball days. Katherine didn’t return immediately, so Sarah sent Tom upstairs to help her.
Tom found Katherine inside the closet, which was actually more of an attic crawl space. She was lounging on a bean bag chair with her eyes shut. Tom thought it would be funny to scare her, so he stepped inside the closet and slammed the door behind him. Katherine jumped and let out a tiny scream. Tom was sad that he missed her expression through the darkness of the closet.  
“What in the hell are you doing?” she demanded.
Tom laughed and went to open the door. It was locked.
“You idiot. You got us stuck in here.”
“What kind of closet has an automatic lock on it?”
“The kind that are in old houses with haunted spirits,” Katherine replied.
The two fumbled around feeling for a light switch, but found none.
“Just what I wanted. To be stuck in a confined space with Tom Graphton. Without my margarita.”
“You’ve had enough drinks. Sarah sent me up here to help you.”
“Of course she did. She’s always scheming to get us together.”
“What do you mean?”
“You haven’t noticed? Of course you haven’t. You’re a moron. Let me explain it to you.” Katherine spoke slowly. “Sarah and Matthew think we should date each other.”
 It was really an absurd thought. The only thing she found attractive about Tom was his perfect nose. It really was an irritating thing about him. Many times she had wanted to run her fist into it and make it a bit crooked, but not now. She was too intoxicated for that sort of hand-eye coordination.
“What do you think?” Tom replied.
“I think you are too cocky and self-centered to make for a pleasant personality.”
“This from the girl who is drunk and got us locked in a closet.”
“I never invited you into this closet. And you’re the one who shut the door.”
Tom smirked in the shadows. “You probably locked the door ahead of time hoping I’d come up here and find you. It was all a plan. You did it because you wanted to make out with me.”
“What is this? Seven Minutes in Hell? Like I said, you are cocky and self-centered. I have no desire to kiss you whatsoever.”
“Right,” Tom said, disbelievingly.
“Do you want me to kiss you or something?” Katherine jokingly leaned forward.
“Are you kidding me? I find you completely unattractive.”
“Even in the dark?” Katherine snorted.
“Do you want me to kiss you or something?” Tom moved closer to her.
“No. Absolutely not.”
“Good. Then we have established that I don’t want to kiss you and you don’t want to kiss me,” said Tom. His face was positioned six inches from hers.
“Don’t forget, we have also established that you are arrogant and narcissistic. And you blame others for your stupid actions.”
“Sure, that too. But you are vain and snobby.”
Katherine put her head two inches closer. She could feel his breath. “How many mint leaves did you eat before coming up here?” she accused. “You were looking for Audrey, weren’t you? You were hoping she’d be so low on self-confidence from her recent break-up that she’d make out with you, weren’t you?”
“No,” Tom said.
Katherine continued. “If I kissed you, you’d be the worst Middle Kiss of my life. And I don’t need that haunting me. Joey Ringle in 7th grade was enough.”
“Middle Kiss?” Tom said.
“Yeah. You know how people have a First Kiss, and then later in life, a Last First Kiss? Well, in between are Middle Kisses. People like to brush over the value of them, like they don’t even matter.”
“Who’s Joey Ringle?” Tom asked.
“My first kiss. It happened in the back of a bus on the way to the Lewis and Clark Museum field trip.”
“Oh. Really terrible, huh?”
“Yeah. Joey had Dorito breath and he was as slobbery as a dog. And then on the way back from the field trip, Joey switched bus seats and kissed Claudia Harper. Which just goes to show you that our kiss meant absolutely nothing to him…Why am I telling you this again?”
“You were talking about regret and Middle Kisses.”
“Oh yeah. I could never kiss you. You’d be the worst middle kiss of my life.”
“You said that already. But I have to agree with you. You’d be the worst middle kiss of my life. I don’t usually regret kissing girls, but you would be a definite indiscretion.”
Katherine wanted to slap him.
Tom brought his face closer. He could smell Katherine’s strawberry lip gloss. He bit his bottom lip and blinked.
Even though it was dark inside the closet, Katherine could feel Tom staring at her. They both breathed in and out, in and out, inches from each other. It was a game to see who was lying. Who would go in for the kiss first? But I told you at the beginning that this story doesn’t end like that.
They weren’t lying. Tom found Katherine unattractive, and Katherine found him to be a terrible asshole. She wouldn’t put her lips on that. The two sat in the dark across from each other for thirty-five minutes.
What finally broke the stalemate was Katherine’s need to use the bathroom. She found her bladder at maximum capacity and could hold it no longer.
“I really need to get out of this closet.” Katherine moved toward the door and started banging on it. “Help! Let me out of here!” she yelled.
Tom wanted to get out equally as badly, so he started to scream as well.
“Help! I’m locked in a closet with a psycho and I don’t want to be murdered!”
Katherine punched him in the side for that one.
After about five minutes, they finally heard steps padding up to the second floor. There was some fumbling at the door and then it opened. Sarah, Matthew, and two other party guests peered in at the captives.
Katherine scrambled out and ran to the bathroom. Tom stepped out and asked for another beer.
Sarah smiled to herself, thinking her secret plan had worked. They were going to like each other after all. Her hopes were dashed two minutes later when Katherine returned from the bathroom and announced to the entire living room, “I just want everyone to know that getting locked inside a closet with Tom was a complete accident, not enjoyable, and we did not kiss whatsoever.”
“Yeah, I totally did not kiss her,” Tom said.
Nobody believed them.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The phone call that changed my heart

Maybe you've been to church and heard those outrageous stories about the woman who lost her job, didn't have enough money to pay rent, but trusted in God and gave her weekly tithe anyway. Then a fatty check just appears in her mailbox the next day. Or that story of how a man knew God was asking him to give up $1000 to an African missionary, but what he really wanted was to buy a new MacBook. He relinquishes the money, but four weeks later he ends up receiving an unexpected $1500. I've heard those stories. I believed they were from God, but I never thought outrageous blessings like that would happen to me.

But one did.

Several weeks ago I received a completely unexpected phone call. It changed how I see myself and miracles. They can happen to me. See, a few days earlier I had received the first building facility rental bill for Bible Club. We don't get to use the space for free, if that's what you were thinking. The per hour price is very reasonable, but it adds up when you are there four days a week for a month and only have a temporary part-time job.

When I first got the bill in the mail, my stomach dropped. The bill wasn't a surprise, but it wasn't a blessing either. I battled in my head if I should ask if people wanted to sponsor the club and pay the rental fee for us. Then I decided that was the wrong thing, because I fully was capable of paying this bill, it just wasn't a joy. I started this project and I was determined to carry it through. I didn't begin Bible Club expecting others to take care of it. I did it because I knew it's what God wanted me to do.

Then that phone call came. The person on the other end wanted to give me money to pay the building fee because she wanted in on this thing. She wanted to share it with me. She wasn't some rich 40 year old woman with loads of money to toss out. She is a young woman not living in a mansion who could have spent her money in other ways. But God had blessed her and she wanted to bless others through that. I love that.

So now I've received enough money to:
*Pay building rental fees for Bible Club through the end of the school year
*Buy children's bibles for all of the students who participate
*Put on a family game and dessert night
*and more! Because God has planned more.

The day I got that phone call, I felt so incredibly blessed. God has good things to give me. That wasn't something I believed in before. I knew that God loves me and will take care of me, but I never thought an outstanding blessing like this was for me. Those happen to other people.

It was a great feeling knowing that somebody wanted to support what I do. That somebody said "Hey, I want in on that." It wasn't a pleading or a begging, but someone's desire. That has power in it.

So I want to give a big shout out to:
God, because you have good things planned for me. You will take care of me and bless me when I don't expect it. I'm sorry I didn't believe that before.

Anonymous Donor. I know who you are, you know who you are, and I thank you very much for what you have done. I'm not sure if you want other people to know it's you, so I didn't mention your name, but please let me know if it's okay to let others know what a wonderful gift you gave. Thank you for wanting in on this. Thank you for the encouragement. God is going to bless you even more, I know it. You are beautiful, inside and out.

Emily. I don't do Bible Club alone, folks. My friend Emily jumped right on the chance to help me out when I told her what I was starting. She is incredibly enthusiastic and knows her stuff. It's such a blessing to have her there with me in the mornings.

God wants to give you good things. Believe it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

David Bowden

If you have never heard of David Bowden, you should go listen to him now. He is a spoken word poet and I am really enjoying his work. He has many recorded performances on YouTube, and his user channel is breathforthemute.

Some of my favorite poems are:
Return, Return
One Drop

Watching and listening to these makes me want to wear a knit hat and speak rhythm into a mic at a coffee shop. Guess I'd have to write one first.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Twitter and FB in Bible Times

Last week in Bible Club, I read the story about how David had to go into hiding because King Saul wanted to kill him. The kids had a few remarks.

Me: David had 600 men with him. They were his friends and were loyal to him. Isn't that a lot of people?

2nd grader: Wow! It's like Facebook!

Me: Saul had an army of 3,000.

4th grader: Or maybe it's like Twitter. With all those followers.

Me: You're right. David's friends and Saul's army are a lot like Facebook and Twitter.

I had another conversation with a first grader while at work. I was helping him with some math problems, and he was getting stuck.
Kid: You know how I can count to 11?

Me: How?

Kid: I pretend like I have an extra finger.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

If you'd just let me

I did this last year on my blog and it was super fun. I requested your addresses and sent off valentines day cards to my lovely readers. It doesn't matter if we've never met in real life. It doesn't matter if you are trying to be secretive and not let me know that you read my blog. You don't even have to tell me your name. I love secrets and mystery. You can use a covert alias, like Girl in Pink Lipstick or Guy in Gray Pants. But don't be too over reaching, because if you request that I send a card to "Commander Frank Sinatra" the postal service may not deliver your mail. 

If you are male and feel weird about letting me send you a valentine, don't be. Because I won't send you a valentine. I will send you a valeMANtine, which is totally different and involves no pink or glitter, but rather steak sauce and mechanical grease. Maybe you saw last year's video.

 If you would like to receive a handmade valentine crafted by moi, please e-mail me your address at It would be best it you got it to me by Feb. 10th, so your card at least has a chance of getting to you in time. You can request a card for a friend as well, because nothing says love like a paper note from a complete stranger. Limit one. I am not making cards for all your friends. This isn't a Hallmark factory.
Again, I am doing this because j’adore the readers of TRP. And I like to make things. And I have a vault of love stored up and I need to share the wealth. Let me do this for you.
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