Thursday, November 29, 2012

Today's Hidden Gift

Check out my post over on A Thousand Hidden Gifts. The photo today was snapped after a sudden stop, a U turn, and a quick dig through my bag for my camera.

"I love the rainbow in the sky, the promise that it implies of hope and forever life. I love how the orange bleeds into the pink, which turns slowly to purple and the designs of the tree against it all creating a lacy framework. I love how it represents so many different things, diverse, yet together creating a beauty that stops traffic, that causes you to sit and stare for a bit, marveling at the glory of it. I love the splendid evidence of God's enjoyment of color and vividness."

How can I even describe how I feel or what I think, when focusing the camera on such a beautiful painting? It inspires me to worship, it inspires me to awe as I wonder about the One who creates it every day.

A moment from my aventura today.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Look at this gorgeous moon tonight. I just snapped this picture, so I can hold it forever.
Go outside and see it yourself, not glowing from a computer screen, but from an unseen brightness...go look at this gift from God, this beauty, just because. This is what fills me with worship tonight. It fills me with awe and wonder and amazement. La luna. So beautiful. A gift from God to us. I am grateful.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Step By Step Guide To Directing A Wedding

Steps to directing a wedding.

  1. A week before, create detailed schedule of events and include info on who, what, and where. 
  2. Begin packing and making lists of everything to take with you to the wedding site.
  3. Rise early and attack the shopping for all the wedding food on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  Stop for coffee with Mom.
  4. Prepare and organize the last details of various decor projects and pack car.
  5. Stop and have Thanksgiving dinner with family!
  6. Rise early on Friday and go to three different places to cut greenery for decorating the church. Bag, and somehow fit everything into the car, with space remaining for three people. Be sure the Ipod has some battery life!
  7. Pack a lunch, or grab all the Thanksgiving leftovers.
  8. Drive two hours to the wedding site, jamming out to various musical selections by your 16 year old sister. Including headbanging at a stoplight. Never going to see those folks again, anyway.
  9. Arrive the wedding site, collect the key, and eat lunch. 
  10. Move tables and arrange seating and serving areas in the reception hall. Do some massive cleaning.
  11. Iron tablecloths on a makeshift ironing board. Listening to the Beatles helps. 
  12. Sort out table decorations and start putting together what goes where. Meanwhile, more folks arrive and start decorating cupcakes and cutting veggies and working on food. Party time!
  13. Get sisters started on decorating the sanctuary. Delegation and letting go is a beautiful thing.
  14. Direct traffic for where things are going and what needs to be done. Find various bits and pieces needed, and an extension cord for the kitchen.
  15. Keep an eye on the time so everyone will have a break to rest before rehearsal.
  16. Finish all tablescapes and check bathrooms.
  17. Call a break for everyone and begin dressing for rehearsal. Remember that you forgot to bring shoes. 
  18. Go over ceremony seating with the ushers. Work with Dad on directing the flow.
  19. Shut things down and help lock up so everyone can go to dinner. 
  20. Play musical chairs at dinner as you try to talk to everyone there. Discover you feel a cold coming on.
  21. Back to the church with a couple of sweet helpers to finish cleaning up and put finishing touches on things. No stopping till its all done, but with help it doesn't take long!
  22. Back to the hotel, only to find that an important document was left at the church. Back to the church to search for that, only to find it was in my suitcase all along, in my car. Back to the hotel, where I went to bed.
  23. Wake early and roll over and go back to sleep.
  24. Wake again, and give letters to the bride that everyone wrote to her as a wedding day surprise.
  25. Begin dressing.
  26. Go get breakfast for my sister and grab some for me, too.
  27. Begin the hair and nail operation for the bride. Turned out great!
  28. Pack up the luggage to check out of the hotel, and head to the church.
  29. Arrive at the church and double check lots of odds and ends, take a few pictures with my camera.
  30. Help bride dress and prepare for photography time.
  31. Corral all the appropriate people in the sanctuary for photos. With two big families, that can be quite the feat!
  32. Eat a quick lunch.
  33. Start keeping an eye on the time as people start coming. Freshen up hair and makeup for the bride.
  34. Reassure kid brother usher that he knows what to do and where people go.
  35. (More pictures)
  36. Cue the grandparents to be seated.
  37. Cue the music and candle lighting.
  38. Cue the mothers to be seated.
  39. Cue the groom to enter.
  40. Sit and be thankful for a kind soul who thoughtfully put kleenex on my pew.
  41. And they're married! Let the party begin!
  42. Greet everyone at the reception and circulate, answering questions and making people feel welcome. Meanwhile, eat a cupcake.
  43. Gather grandparents in the sanctuary for more photos.
  44. Laugh and talk with people you haven't seen in way too long.
  45. Coordinate the bouquet toss! Hooray!
  46. Direct folks outside for the bride and grooms exit. Everyone has bubbles to blow, and with three hip hip hoorays, the bride and groom prepare to leave.
  47. Watch as dozens of balloons are emptied from the truck and then popped by eager children. 
  48. Announce for everyone to take cupcakes home with them!
  49. Eat a cupcake.
  50. Say goodbyes.
  51. Begin directing clean up. Everything back in place, ready for Sunday. 
  52. Make sure key is turned back in.
  53. Drive my brother to the hotel to pick up his wife and daughter. 
  54. Go to dinner.
  55. Drive home.
  56. Unpack cars and van.
  57. Collapse into bed. 

A Heap of Blessings

My blog has been silent for quite some time. The aventura de la vida has been taking up every moment, with no time for writing the past couple of weeks. But now I have a chance to catch my breath and think again. And write.

Through all the busy times, there have been so many things for which to give thanks. Here are a few of them:

  • My brother who lives in Canada flew down with my niece for a surprise visit! His wife has joined us now, so we get to enjoy catching up after not seeing them for 2 years, and not at home for 5!
  • My niece, Ella, laughing and playing with Papa (my Dad). 
  • A weekend in Georgia with my best friends, going to a fantastic party and hanging out with some wonderful people.
  • A crazy Thanksgiving with sudden out of town guests, pulling together a Thanksgiving meal, and laughing at the table with my grandparents who were giving wedding advice. 
  • Decorating and preparing for The Wedding with my sister and brother and listening to the Beatles. 
  • The fun of two families who joined together to make a memorable and sweet wedding. Working together, laughing together, and eating together!
  • A precious moment or two with my sister, right before the wedding ceremony. 
Family is one of the most important things to me. These moments with family are the moments I will always remember. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I'm feeling kind of quiet and reflective. I've had a lot going on the past few weeks, and its all coming to a point soon. I've been mulling over some things and looking back and rethinking. Its draining and exhilarating at the same time. One of those moments when the next breath might change your course, never to return and make a new decision.
In the midst I keep trudging on with every day tasks and thoughts, and take out these others during repose or moments of respite.

I've been thinking of re-reading my blog and journals. Every year, near the start of the new year I like to look behind at where I've come from in order to gain some perspective of where I might be going. The path behind is often indicative of things that are patterns or directions that might be missed if we never reviewed them. Its time for this review, time to take stock and see where I am and who I am.

Somehow, the girl who started out this year feels so different than the one ending it. I'm almost afraid to look at who she was, and cringe a little at what I might see. I hope its a better version of Katie at the end of the year than at the beginning. I hope its a deeper and more mature Katie, one showing growth and change in a positive way.

There have been so many adventures, so many dark places, and yet a lot of light, too. I feel like I climbed a mountain, took in the view, and now...what's next? Coming off the mountain top experience can be sort of like getting the breath knocked out of you. But it is a view everyone should experience and remember vividly. Its a vision, really, of where we should be aiming to live. A big picture viewpoint.

So as this year winds down, I begin to reflect and revisit places in the path, ebenezers and markers, to see where I've been, and catch a glimpse of where I'm going.

Most of all I want to follow Jesus. Where ever that might lead.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Peaceful Sleep

I curl up in my lovely bed, and muscles begin to relax into the softness of the sheets and the warmth of the blankets. Pillows billow everywhere, and my eyes close slowly and I float away into blissful oblivion.

I'm so lucky to have this soft bed. And pillows. And blankets. And sheets, smelling of wind and sun. When I lie here, letting them soothe and calm me, I am blessed beyond measure.

Just as I close my eyes, the sleep starts pulling, my body starts resting, and my brain starts running. But gradually it too calms, and then my thoughts float freely and I float, too. Then all I know is dreams and a deep, peaceful darkness.

I like to snuggle deep under the covers, with only the tip of my nose poking out for fresh air. I like thin, flat pillows that I can move and pummel. I like the security of a thick blanket or quilt protecting me from the cold, and I like the deliciousness of waking up slowly.

Peaceful sleep. I wish everyone a peaceful, deep sleep that is uninterrupted and completely refreshing. It is a luxury. Peaceful in quietness, peaceful in safety, peaceful in repose and peaceful in nothing to worry or cause anxiety.

Sueños conmigo. Dream with me. Dream together. Dream of the joys and impossible things. Dreaming is fascinating and lovely, and I often dream something so real that when I wake, I think it is not a dream. Or its so lovely, that I wake but try to keep the dream a little longer. I hate for it to disappear and become reality again.

Peaceful sleep, breath coming slowly and rhythmically, body perfectly relaxed.

Sueños conmigo esta noche. Dream with me this night.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

To Run Without Stumbling

Almighty and merciful God, it is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service: Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP)

To run without stumbling.  How may we run without stumbling? How may we focus on the path and on the goal and manage to still run, full speed ahead and not stumble?
How may we run to obtain the heavenly promises? 

To run without stumbling has been in my mind all day. Between the everyday things I have been doing, and the conversations I've had, between eating, showering, sitting and staring at my computer, the phrase has been in the background, and my mind has been wondering and thinking about it. 

To run without stumbling. Oh how I want to run without stumbling. To run, muscles working, breath fast and bursting my lungs. To run, feet hitting pavement with a firm and steady slap, steady and eating up miles. Running towards the heavenly promises. To run the rocky terrain, never missing a step, never stumbling, never falling. Racing for the prize. 

Almighty and merciful God, grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises.