Monday, March 24, 2008

Fish food for Easter

I headed up to Lawrence for Easter weekend. We had JT for Saturday since Sharon & David had a wedding to attend. Mom & I went shopping while Dad took JT for a “barber cut” and a special picnic lunch at the train depot. JT is all about trains - one conductor waved back, turned on his lights and blew the whistle as he passed. We got lots of play time in that afternoon before taking him home. Aunt Jen tends to wind him up pretty good. What else is his favorite aunt to do?!
Watched the KU Jayhawks kick butt in the NCAA Tournament Saturday night. Rock Chalk! Sweet Sixteen, baby!
After the Easter service at church, Mom had a delicious meal. JT, for some unknown reason, thought the ham & asparagus looked like fish food. “Thank you for the yummy fish food, Grandma.”
It was a good time with my family.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Best Ever

It’s St. Patrick’s Day. It brings back college memories. Some of you may wonder why a small engineering college in the middle of nowhere Missouri would have a large St. Pat’s celebration. Well, here’s a piece of trivia to for the deep, dark recesses of your brain – St. Patrick is the patron saint of engineering. What better excuse for a big party?

This year is MSM/UMR/MST’s* 100th “Best Ever”. I got my green for the first time ever – the special addition hoodie.

Some things that only my fellow Miners will understand:
- “Kill the snake, freshman! Kill the snake!” (Try explaining to a foreign student why a guy was beating the head off a rubber snake with a small tree while a guy was yelling at him like a maniac.)
- “Get your green!”
- “Only X days until the best ever!”
- Alice

* The university began as Missouri School of Mines (MSM) in the late 1800s. Sometime mid-1900s the name was changed to University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR). I graduated from UMR in 1996. Over the last few years, for some reason it’s been in vogue for Missouri colleges to change their names. So as of January 1, 2008, MSM-UMR is no longer. It is now Missouri University of Science & Technology or Missouri S & T or MST for short. I don’t like it. They’d just better not mess with Joe Miner with his pick ax, pistol and slide ruler.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Community. I have been wrestling with this word for a few weeks. I read something that triggered old heartache, insecurities, feelings of not belonging. I live in a conservative Midwest, family oriented city and as a 30-something single, I often find myself wondering where I fit. It’s not an easy topic to tackle, human nature is to gravitate towards sameness. For several years I was in a situation where I was the odd man out because I wasn’t married with kids. And I admit I’ve swung the other way now, partly in response to that, where I’m surrounded mostly with singles in my stage of life. And while it’s been a breath of fresh air, I know there needs to be a middle ground. So I’ve been mulling over this word and what it should mean when lived out.

Community is defined as a group of men or women leading a common life according to a rule. Fellowship, the word used for the early church in the New Testament, is defined as an association of people who share common beliefs or activities.

If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Philippians 2:1-4 (The Message version)

An excerpt from the book Now and Not Yet by Jennifer A. Marshall (not me) discusses the corporate responsibility of the church to singles but applies to community as a whole:
“Being single-sensitive does not necessarily require launching more programs and groups defined by age or marital status; it can be accomplished through the intentional integration of singles into the body of the congregation as a whole. The activities of the church should place value on interaction across generations and stations in life. The body of Christ is made up of people from different situations interacting and sharing a common life.”

I look at friends in other places who seem to have successfully incorporated couples, married with kids, and singles in their daily lives. I get jealous when I see that kind of community. Yet God has opened my eyes in the last few weeks as I’ve wrestled with this to show me the community I have around me – it’s not as dire a situation as I thought. I also realize I have a responsibility to create community. I have to be vulnerable and share my daily struggles. I have to make an effort to invite people in, to establish relationships with them. I can’t lay the responsibility for creating community solely on someone else – I have a role to play. I have to invite people in as well as be available when they ask. I also have to make an effort to be intentional in seeking diverse community.
I don’t have great answers to my questions but I know that I have to be intentional, responsible, vulnerable, and available.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The ordinary

Well, I don’t have anything exciting to relate with me. Life has been fairly routine lately. That’s not a bad thing, but there just doesn’t seem to be much outside of ordinary life.

I had high tea Saturday with Heather at Aunt Hattie’s Tea Room. It was delicious and we were stuffed with cold strawberry soup, tea sandwiches, chocolate covered strawberries, and scones with clotted cream and lemon curd. Yum!

I started projects that are more time consuming than expected. I began loading my cds into iTunes. This is a big job since I have about 150 cds. I have about 1/3 loaded so far. I did what was only right & proper and loaded my Waterdeep collection in first. Spring cleaning purge feeling is coming on. I'm going through 2 years worth of magazines (Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, and Midwest Living) and ripping out only the recipes & gardening info I want to keep and recycling the rest. I’m compiling the clippings in a notebook. Doing taxes last week meant purge time for the filing cabinet and a garbage bag full of the shreddings.

Among my friends there were 5 babies (welcome Gavin, Eli, Levi, Nathan & Isabella) and 1 engagement (congrats Amy!) in a week’s time.