Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Thursday, October 28, 2004

A Prayer

From Thomas Merton's Thoughts in Solitude:

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

A 5 year-old's thought process

Nathan: Where's Mommy?
Debbie: She went to vote.
Nathan: Okay.
Twenty minutes later...
Nathan: Hi Mommy!!!
Brandi: Hi monkey!
Nathan: Did you have fun on the boat?
Brandi: What???
Debbie: I told him you went to vote.
Brandi: Oh...No Nathan, I didn't go on a boat. I went to vote.
Nathan: Oh . . . Did you have fun with Vote?
Brandi: Yes, I had fun voting.
Nathan: Okay.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Still in Waco

I'm sitting at a computer in the Bill Daniel Student Center at Baylor. I'm illegally parked in the student parking garage, boldly displaying my expired sticker. Feels like old times!
I came to campus to meet a professor but soon learned she was double-booked and had to reschedule for tomorrow. But it's nice hanging out here, even though I feel old! Either I've aged or the students have gotten younger. And it's only been five months! Crazy!!
Things were insane at my brother's house this weekend. My friend Becca came in town for homecoming. Eric(Bird) and Brandi decided at the last minute to have a garage sale, so my mom also came with me to help watch the kids and get things ready for the sale. Brandi's mom came up from Houston for the same reason. So there were six adults and three children (5, 3, and 8 months). If that wasn't crazy enough, when Becca and I came home from the game on Saturday my dad's car was in the driveway! He got bored at home all alone and decided to drive the three hours to Waco. Silly man! I don't know how we did it, but we all survived and the kids loved having the grandparents around to spoil them.
Before the madness began, the family all got together Thursday night to watch the final Astros game. We're proud the Astros made it so far but very sad they lost. Maybe next year. Everytime the 'Stros hit a run we would celebrate and the kids thought it was the funniest thing. They would run around the livingroom yelling "YAY!" for the next ten minutes. It annoyed Brandi that everytime a St. Louis player scored or made an amazing catch Bird, Sha, and I said we hated him. She's too tender-hearted for the game.
Overall, I've had a good time and am looking forward to my next three days in town. Since Dad came up, he was able to take Mom home with him this afternoon, so that means I can stay longer. The weekend was full of homecoming stuff, so I'm glad to have extra time to hang out with those I didn't get to see. But I know I'm just prolonging the inevitable. I desperately need to start actively looking for a job!

Poem of the Day

Love (III)
by George Herbert

Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.

"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here;"
Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee."
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
"Who made the eyes buy I?"

"Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
"My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


In an hour I'll be on the road to Waco. I can't wait to see family and friends - it's been over four months! I was hoping to make it into town for the college worship service this evening, but rumor has it they're not having it tonight. That's disappointing. But that does mean my friends will be available to hang out. Yay!
This weekend is Baylor's Homecoming! I'm excited to see fellow alumni who will be in town. I'll be with my old college roommate and best friend, Becca, for the majority of the weekend. Other friends are also getting together for a bar-b-que, which should be fun and hopefully taste better than my British bar-b-que experience back in July. Besides all that, I'll be staying with my brother and his family and I am so very excited about finally seeing my niece and nephews again! I probably won't be able to blog since my brother no longer has internet access, but we'll see.
Aright folks, peace out!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Poem of the Day

Baseball Is
by Greg Hall

Baseball is grass, chalk, and dirt displayed the same yet differently
In every park that has ever heard the words play ball.
Baseball is a passion that bonds and divides all those who know it.
Baseball is a pair of hands stained with newsprint,
A set of eyes squinting to read a boxscore,
A brow creased in an attempt to recreate a three-hour game
From an inch square block of type.
Baseball is the hat I wear to mow the lawn.
Baseball is a simple game of catch
and the never-ending search for the perfect knuckleball.
Baseball is Willie vs Mickey, Gibson vs Koufax, and Buddy Biancalana vs the odds.
Baseball links Kansan and Missourian, American and Japanese,
But most of all father and son.
Baseball is the scent of spring,
The unmistakable sound of a double down the line,
And the face of a 10-year-old emerging from a pile of bodies
With a worthless yet priceless foul ball.
Baseball is a language of very simple words that tell unbelievably magic tales.
Baseball is three brothers in the same uniform on the same team for one brief summer
Captured forever in a black and white photo on a table by the couch.
Baseball is a glove on a shelf, oiled and tightly wrapped,
Slumbering through the stark winter months.
Baseball is a breast pocket bulging with a transistor radio.
Baseball is the reason there are transistor radios.
Baseball is a voice in a box describing men you've never met,
In a place you've never been,
Doing things you'll never have the chance to do.
Baseball is a dream that you never really give up on.
Baseball is precious.
Baseball is timeless.
Baseball is forever.


I just finished watching the Astros win game 5 of the NLCA. It was beautiful - BEAUTIFUL, I tell you!!! The Cards must be kicking themselves for letting Berkman walk and setting up a three run homer. The look on Kent's face as he crossed homeplate, threw his helmet in the air and ran into the arms of his teammates was priceless. What a joyous moment for Houston! =o)
I prayed all night for a homerun and it finally happened! This win is extra special because I know my grandpa was sitting at home watching every second. When I think of Grandpa I think of baseball, and vice versa. Especially after reading this post from my Uncle Thinkling Blo. My family is praying the Astros all the way to the World Series! Yeah, baby!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

On sleepless Nights

Today I did something I haven't done since high school - I slept until 2 in the afternoon! Isn't that pathetic? I didn't even know I was still capable of sleeping that late. I guess that's what happens when you stay up until 5. No, I wasn't out partying or anything. Arriving home so late last weekend started a vicious cycle of staying up late and waking up late. It doesn't help that we're a family of night owls. (((My college roommate, Becca, found it hilarious that I would wait to call my parents until 11 or midnight - I knew they would be home and available to talk at that time. She said her parents, and everyone else's parents for that matter, would be fast asleep by then. Not in my family - my oldest brother, David, is usually the one to peter out first.)))
Anywho, around 10 last night I found a box full of scrapbooking materials and mementos I started collecting three or four years ago. I then searched the house for tape, scissors, glue stick - anything that would be useful in creating my very own scrapbooks. Why the sudden burst of inspiration after years of inactivity, I don't know. Perhaps it's because I'm sick of doing nothing all day (I really need a job). I worked steadily for about three or four hours . . . and only have four scrapbook pages to show for it. Sad, huh? However, much of that time was spent looking for boxes full of pictures. I never found them.
I read a bit of Jude the Obscure after putting away the scrapbook. Unfortunately I wasn't able to read myself to sleep. After tossing and turning for 45 minutes I got out of bed and turned on the tv. Die Hard was on HBO, so I watched that. When it ended Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil started on another station, but it didn't hold my attention. Perhaps it was all the commercials. I made it halfway through but eventually fell asleep. Next thing I knew, it was 1:45. Oi! Perhaps waking up for church tomorrow morning will help me piece together the shards of my sleeping schedule. One can only hope.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Poem of the Day

by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Thoughts on Dieting

So I agreed to join my mom on a new diet. What was I thinking??? My response to her after drinking a shake for lunch for the third day straight: "I was drinking better than this while I was on a 40 day fast!"
Hee hee . . . I'm not the happiest of dieters sometimes. Nor am I the happiest of fasters, but I think I'd rather do the latter.

Poem of the Day

Holy Sonnet 1
from John Donne's Holy Sonnets

Thou hast made me, and shall thy work decay?
Repair me now, for now mine end doth haste;
I run to death, and death meets me as fast,
And all my pleasures are like yesterday.
I dare not move my dim eyes any way,
Despair behind, and death before doth cast
Such terror, and my feeble flesh doth waste
By sin in it, which it towards hell doth weigh.
Only thou art above, and when towards thee
By thy leave I can look, I rise again;
But our old subtle foe so tempteth me
That not one hour myself I can sustain.
Thy grace may wing me to prevent his art,
And thou like adamant draw mine iron heart.

Monday, October 11, 2004

To Be Home Again!

It hasn't quite hit me that I'm home to stay. Not just United States home, but living with my parents home. I have at least 11 months of living with Mom and Dad ahead of me after six years on my own. Yikes!
Fortunately my parents aren't all that bad. They're actually rather funny. Here's a tidbit of conversation from Saturday night:

Mom: So, what church are we going to tomorrow?
Debbie: Bedside Baptist?!
Mom: I wouldn't mind that...I'm very tired. But what about First Baptist?
Dad: Yeah, that sounds good to me.
Debbie: First Baptist??? Why aren't we going to Bro. Roland's church? (Bro. Roland is an old family friend who's church we're members of.)
Dad: Because First Baptist comes on t.v. and we don't have to leave our livingroom. When Bro. Roland's church is on t.v. then we'll go there . . .

Hee hee . . . Oh, to be home again!
I can't wait for a jump start in my social life, though. I'm sure if I actually contacted some of my friends in town then I wouldn't be stuck at home all day everyday. But I'm not quite ready to be bombarded with questions about my life the past few months.
I need a jump start in my work life as well. I need a work life! Every job I've had for the past seven years has just fallen into my lap. I have no idea how to look for a grown-up job. Yikes! Coming back home and back to reality is hard.

Poem of the Day

Pied Beauty
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things-
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls, finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced-fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Safe and Sound

Well, it's 12:50 a.m. and I am sitting in front of my parent's computer in San Antonio, Tx. I can't believe that less than two weeks ago I was sitting in front of Dave and Hannah's computer in Bedford, UK. Unbelievable. It feels as though those three months were all a dream.
Gone are the days of living out of a suitcase. Yay!
Gone are my days of sleepless airplane rides! Today was especially rough. I had to call for a shuttle and they picked me up at 3:30 even though my flight wasn't until 7:15. THEN, my flight was delayed for over an hour. OI! It was Southwest Airlines, so not the most comfty, and it was a full flight. It was the longest three and a half hour flight I've ever been on. All that to say, I am so very tired but glad to finally be home. It's been four months since I've seen the parents, so it's good to see them. I'll be heading to wacky Waco next week to see the brothers, the sister-in-law, the nephews, the niece, the old college friends, and the old church. Fun times!

Poem of the Day

Prayer of the Selfish Child
from A Light in the Attic
by Shel Silverstein

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
And if I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my toys to break.
So none of the other kids can use 'em. . . .

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Back to Reality

I didn't think I would be able to post for at least another week. I'm staying with Elaine in Washington D.C. and she doesn't have internet at home, so that makes checking email and blogging a little difficult. But we jumped on a bus and then the metro and then walked a couple of blocks and arrived at Common Grounds. Now you Wacoans may be thinking of 8th St Common Grounds, but unfortunately it is not the same place. It's a fraud. But it's still a proper coffee shop where we can hang out. It almost feels like old times.
I can't believe I've been back in the States for two days already. It feels as though the last three months have all been a dream. It's already October?! Unbelievable!
I had a good journey, considering that it started at 3:30 am, that I cried off and on throughout the whole flight, and that I slept a total of two hours in 35 hours. It was weird arriving in the airport after being gone for over three months and having no one there to greet me. I'm sure Mom and Dad would have been eagerly awaiting my return if I flew directly to Texas. Oh well.
Elaine and I have been sitting here talking about life. Coming here to visit I've realized that even though we will remain close friends, we now have completely different lives. Things will never be like they were before. We knew it was coming and happening, but that doesn't make it any easier. So sad.
Well, I just wanted to let you folks know I made it back to the States safe and sound. It's good to be back and I look forward to seeing my family next week. But I did leave my heart in England and at King's Arms and I'm praying about whether I will be returning next year. I sure do hope so! But for now I must face the reality of living life in the here and now.
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