Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday Randomness

  • The reading from Daily Hours included Mary's Magnificat (her song from Luke's gospel) this morning - apparently on March 25th, the church celebrates the angel appearing to her - 9 months before we celebrate Christmas. Kinda neat methinks...
  • I had an oil leak in my car from Friday afternoon until this morning. If anyone wanted to stalk me, they could trace a path from my driveway to church. Of course, if anyone were stalking me, those aren't exactly secret locations. (Don't worry, I got it fixed.)
  • I wish Rich Mullins were still around writing music.
  • I have very encouraging...and patient friends - for which I am extremely grateful. I also have a random encourager here in the office who left this note for me on the dry-erase board outside my office:

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A few wicked pics...

Just got the pictures from last Friday's trip - here are a few highlights:

Monday, March 20, 2006

That giant sucking sound isn't another tornado...

...It's the sound of the Big 10's performance in this year's NCAA Tournament.

And that's a shame. Especially my beloved Illini.

I love March Madness: hearing the brackets be announced, filling out brackets for different pools (I ALWAYS pick Illinois to win it all - always), and then watching the first few days of games when teams (especially the underdogs) play with their hearts and hopes on the line. (Go Bradley! And go whatever little school beat UNC! And the team that beat Tennessee...oh yeah, Wichita State!)

And I've been an Illini fan long enough to know how to handle defeat - but some losses are harder than others. I have been known to hold grudges against the teams that knock us out of the tournament (Florida, Kansas, Arizona...). Unfortunately our recent loss to Washington started to remind me of the Elite 8 game in 2001 (the game I refer to as, "the game of which I will not speak"). I tried not to think about it while the game was in progress, it's just hard when it's almost like deja vu. I just have one thing to say: foul trouble is the worst kind of trouble for a Big 10 team in the tournament.

Another level of sadness is saying goodbye to the seniors - it always comes too soon. This year it's especially hard to say goodbye to Dee Brown - one of the most dynamic players Illinois has had in a long time. Not only did I hate that we lost so soon - but I hate for his last college ball experience to be a missed 3-point shot. Dee, thanks for playing 4 years of college ball, thanks for your leadership and energy, and thanks for bringing so much positive press and attention to the Illinois program.

(Happy Illini bball memories here)

This is cheesy - but whatever:

Hail to the orange - hail to the blue
Hail alma mater
Ever so true (so true)
We love no other so let our motto be:
Victory, Illinois! Varsity!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

It's all grand, and it's all GREEN!

No, I'm not Irish. But I am LOVING St. Patrick's Day...

I don't know why I use holidays as mile-markers...but it is interesting to use them to see what was going on a year ago (or 2 or 3 or...).

In 2005, a group of us spent a day from our Brooklyn mission trip sight-seeing in Manhattan. I love the city - and that day is a fun memory to look back on:

This is one of my very favorite pictures of one of my very favorite people (on the Staten Island Ferry, no less):

And then in 2006, I was lucky enough to spend one short day in the Windy City with another favorite person.
We were lucky to have pretty nice weather - and we had a GREAT time.
There was:

The show was really great - I may attempt more coherent thoughts on that sometime later. I'm still buzzing from it right now. I also borrowed a camera yesterday, so hopefully I'll have some pictures soon.

I say spending St. Pat's in a BIG city is the way to go...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Everything's the same - except not....

Life's been a little weird lately. Lots of hard things happening around me - to people I love - and it's HARD stuff. And I don't know that I handle it well. I don't know what to say - or what to do. But I can't separate myself from it either - I feel things deeply. And in the midst of all the "stuff" - life seems to go on as normal. Even with something like the tornadoes we had - my house is fine, my car is unscratched, I had power 6 hours later, and I don't have a curfew in my neighborhood. And I have posted the struggle I have [see 9/06/05 entry] before - when you realize that literally every day someone is hurting or struggling - how do you deal with that honestly without slipping down into despair?

I was reading last night from a "seminary" book - and the author quoted this song. Different verses were written in different times throughout history when the various authors faced trials (from the Civil War to the Cold War). Then he mentioned that his favorite version was sung by Eva Cassidy - who sings it soulfully & triumphantly - even though she was in the middle of fighting the cancer that eventually took her life. And somehow - reading it last night - I wanted to sing along:

My life goes on in endless song, above earth's lamentations
I hear the real, though far-off hymn, that hails a new creation
Above the tumult and the strife, I hear its music ringing
It sounds an echo in my soul - how can I keep from singing?

When tyrants tremble, sick with fear, and hear their death-knell ringing
When friends rejoice both far and near - how can I keep from singing?
In prison cell and dungeon vile our thoughts to them are winging
When friends by shame are undefiled - how can I keep from singing?

What though my joys and comforts die, the Lord my Savior liveth
And though the darkness round me close, songs in the night He giveth
No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that Rock I'm clinging
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth - how can I keep from singing?

(Credit Reggie Kidd, With One Voice - Discovering Christ's Song in Our Worship)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A picture's worth....something, right?

Partly because my brain is fried...

and partly in keeping with the theme of my class from last week (where I learned about multiple forms of communication in worship)...

I would like to sum up my last week in a few pictures:

And since I'm probably about the only one that this makes sense to - it just goes to show you images can't completely stand alone....

Friday, March 03, 2006


It's now officially March (breaking news, I know)...

and I believe my blog is going to suffer for it. While I'd like to be really thoughtful, insightful, and artistic - I am feeling more disjointed than anything else, lately.

In the next few months and weeks, there is much to do and much to look forward to:
  • A week intensive class up north with some really cool worship students
  • Quick trips to Indy (maybe) and Chicago, and the viewing of musical productions from the high school to professional level
  • The Easter presentations (help us all)
  • Easter Sunday (oh my)
  • Small Groups Conference (pressure pressure pressure)
  • The due date for my really big and scary paper (AAAAHHH pressure pressure pressure)
  • GRADUATION (have mercy)

And I'll try to update or reflect on the interesting things - but in the meantime, I'm sure you're wondering why I titled this post "retrospective" if I was just going to look ahead.

Well I wanted to share some noteworthy events from this week. So here they are (with my commentary, of course):

  • Getting a voicemail from Phil of the UIUC Black Chorus singing. Best voicemail I've gotten in a long time.
  • Seeing people from my small group handle tough things with grace - and seeing a church community come and support each other - it's hard but there is hope.
  • Ash Wednesday service with Kara downtown over our lunch. ("Remember you are dust, and to dust you will return.") I also liked the concluding prayer: "As we go, we go with both the sign of our mortality and of the Grace of God. Go faithfully and hopefully in this sign. Go out into the world to make this news known, Jesus Christ has set us free. We are forgiven and made new in the cross of Christ. The Lord bless you now and forever."
  • The charge for the parking garage was 50 cents. I had a $20. The parking attendant guy said I was nuts. I look around in my purse and come up with $.35 - he's unimpressed. He tells me TWICE to bring him 15 cents sometime. (Suuuuure)
  • Car ride with BB - both of us talking - both of us listening. Good deal. Oh and Sonic drinks too.
  • I think that lately my hair looks better in a ponytail than down. Though it probably makes me look "young" - I don't care...
  • Lessons were learned as I bid farewell to Plan A, agonized over Plan B's demise, and then dragged a friend into Plan C. (Thanks for your help, anyways...) Plan D will come tomorrow.
  • I am blessed beyond what I even can understand - let alone beyond what I consider on a regular basis. I pray that I'm faithful with what I've been given...