Saturday, April 23, 2011


I just watched the most recent episode of The Office and I have tears pouring down my face. This may be one of the only times that that show has literally made me cry out of sheer sadness.. I dearly, dearly love the show and I am so sad to see Michael leave. Michael has made me laugh for years and harder than almost anyone else. At perhaps the highest point of my obsession with the show I would say to someone, "Hey, remember when Michael said (funny quote) " and I would laugh, really hard. Then whoever it was would say, "Wait, who's Michael? how do you know him?"  Me: "oh yeah, uh, I meant Michael Scott, uh from The Office,  not like a friend of mine or anything. . ." - this happened a lot. We were close & he has meant a lot to me. I love that in an awkward moment he can make me cringe to the point where I'm  covering my eyes because I don't want to see what I'm hearing -  that's how you know it's good.. I still can't watch the episode, "Phyllis' Wedding" - it's almost unendurable. But that's amazing, it's what amuses me and I love that push. Despite how much I have loved the show I really am surprised by how sad I am. I didn't know how much I loved & cherished having Michael Scott actively participating in my daily or weekly life. To quote him about how I feel right now, "It's simply beyond words. It's incalculacable". So, in an Ode to Michael here are some of my favorite  quotes of all time. I hope these quotes make you laugh & maybe make you watch some old episodes, please feel free to leave a favorite quote of yours below. 

Here's to you Michael,

"I swore to myself if I ever got to walk around the room as manager, people would laugh as they saw me coming, and they'd applaud as I walked away."

"That is a perfectly good mini Christmas tree. We are going to sell that to charity because that is what Christmas is all about."

"Would I rather be feared or loved? Um... Easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me."

"This is our receptionist, Pam. If you think she's cute now, you should have seen her a couple years ago."

"Armani get me Armani. (pause) You're not going to Paris."

"I'm very fast. I'm like Forrest Gump"

"This is an environment of welcoming, and you should just get the hell outta here,"

"Yeah, I went hunting once. Shot a deer in the leg. Had to kill it with a shovel. Took about an hour. Why do you ask?"

"Yes. It is true. I, Michael Scott, am signing up with an online dating service. Thousands of people have done it, and I am going to do it. I need a username, and... I have a great one. "Little Kid Lover". That way people will know exactly where my priorities are at."

"Toby is in HR, which technically means he works for corporate, so he's really not a part of our family. Also, he's divorced, so he's really not a part of his family." 

Prank call: "Hey, Ryan, this is your girlfriend and I'm mad. (out of control laughter)" 

"You may look around, and see two groups here. White collar, blue collar. But I don't see it that way. You know why not? Because I am collar-blind." 

To Toby: "Why are you the way that you are? Honestly, every time I try to do something fun or exciting, you make it not... that way. I hate... so much about the things that you choose to be."

and finally . . .

"That's what *she* said." 

Thanks for the laughs buddy,

Monday, April 11, 2011


{ s u n d a y . . . }
I had the sunday of sundays this week and I am so excited to share with you. I hadn't quite intended to go to church, I didn't set an alarm and decided that if I woke up too late I would do pilates and clean the house. Bryce was working and I usually don't have the drive to get up and go without him. However, I woke up in time,  called my mom and we were early enough that we had time to grab some coffee and sit outside of church before it started. So nice. 
Four boys were baptized that morning, I saw and talked to a lot of old faces and met a few new ones. My parents and grandmother were there with me for the beginning part of the service, we worshiped together and celebrated the boys. After the baptisms my family left having attended the earlier service and having other places to be. I sat alone in that beautiful church and I was so comfortable and happy that it surprised me.

{ b a c k g r o u n d }
it is necessary for me to tell you this so that you will grasp the meaning of this sunday.
For approximately five years I have been seeing the numbers 925 everywhere I look. Five years ago they were part of a phone number that I called all the time, and that I ceased to call after a painful break-up. I began seeing 925 EVERYWHERE. Each time I would look at the clock morning or night, it was 9:25. It made me crazy. I hated the reminder, the taunt, the pain that I associated with those numbers and I couldn't escape them. Over time their appearance subsided with the occasional flare-up. It felt like a sickness but I hadn't had it for some time. However, last month I began seeing them again; on the clock in my car, on my phone, even on my computer which is unfixably, off by 8 hours. I  turned on an X-Files episode and the first thing I saw was "925" on the side of a huge ship. I was stunned, it was too much and I felt angry. Why was I seeing 925 again?
I shared this issue with a counselor and he immediately, before I could finish going through my list of places, said, "Do you think it could be a scripture reference?"
I looked at him and said that I couldn't think of one but that I would run home and race through my Bible. He suggested I not do that. "Wait for God to reveal it to you," he said, "don't force meaning where it doesn't belong". 

So I waited, & then Sunday happened.

{ . . . s u n d a y }
My pastor began reading out of John 10:10 "I came so that you might have life and have it in abundance". Beautiful. I begin reading that passage where Jesus is calling himself my shepherd and me a sheep. I'm not too flattered but i know it's true. As I'm reading I realize that chapter 9 is just the column to the left of where I'm reading. I think, "why not? I'll look, it'll probably be something about directions or names or just something too random. but I want to know". I read the passage leading up to my numbers. It's the story of the blind man that Jesus has healed. The Pharisees are questioning the man and telling him it wasn't Jesus who healed him because Jesus was a sinner. Then, in John 9:25 the man says, 
"Whether he is a sinner or not I do not know.  
One thing I do know, I was blind but now I see"

Amazing Grace. That was my first thought, it's one of my favorite hymns and was the dearest of ideas to me five years ago when I had lost so much and felt that I had so little. I had Jesus' amazing grace, I had been blind and I was just beginning to see. 
Alone in the back I sat shaking as I read the passage over and over and over again. I had not forced this meaning, this is what 925 had meant all along. This was my verse, my 925, my reason, my grace. I sat there and was struck and overwhelmed by the deeply personal way God was communicating to me. That he was changing those numbers that I had so hated into numbers of tearful joy, into a gift that I will cherish for the rest of my life. 
That morning was a testimony of so many things. God's redemption, goodness, intimate love, personal grace and divine timing. I am overwhelmed still and have to tell myself even as I see 925 now that it isn't bad anymore, I can now see.

my heart is so deeply grateful for sunday and I just had to share it with you.


Saturday, April 9, 2011


this has been a victorious week for me my friends. In the light of one decision that has set me free so many other little moments of sweet revelation have followed. I received so much affirmation from you and others in my life and it has been utterly thrilling. God did not have to add other hearts to mine, as I was confident and happy in my decision to delete the thesis, but He did anyway. As always with God, He overwhelms my soul.

I've been buried in James Joyce this week and if you are aware of my academic history you know how happy that has made me. I first encountered the illustrious Mr. Joyce in HS where I attempted to read Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man - it is one of two books I didn't finish in HS (I've added many more to that since but I'm trying to stress how great my hatred was). I hated him.
In 2007 I decided to take a study abroad course in Dublin, Ireland. The course was a seminar in James Joyce. I didn't care anymore, I wanted to go to Ireland and that was my ticket. While there is a very special Dublin story that I could share here I will wait and save it for it's anniversary date in June - this post is for Joyce. 
In Dublin my classmates and I read Joyce's collection of short stories called Dubliners in the first week and in the subsequent two weeks we tackled Joyce's epic and monstrous Ulysses. The 700+ page book takes place in one day and each event happens on a specific and actual street or place in Dublin. I ate the same sandwich Leopold Bloom ate at the Davy Burns pub and walked the shores of Sandy Mount where Stephen Dedalus pondered "ineluctable modality." I have read a lot of books, mostly classic titles and I am proud of my reading list, my crowning achievement thus far is having read Ulysses. This book is not for the faint of heart, the casual or naive reader. You should probably be 24 before you read this book and even then, this is not an add to go read it. However, if you are an English major (and I suspect that many of you dear readers are) then this book is a must for you, it just might change your life. I didn't realize the impression the book, the place and the experience had made upon me until months or maybe a year after I got home. I had carried that book with me everywhere for three solid weeks and even after that I continued to carry it, we were dear friends, my companion in my first great journey. 
I got to re-read another story of Joyce's this semester, a short and lovely little story called "Araby," the name captivates me, I'd name my daughter that if I could, but I will probably have to give it to a second or third basset hound as the first one will obviously be "Ulysses." Anyway, this story I can recommend to you, snatch it somewhere, take 25 minutes to dig in and read it, fall into it, fall in love with it and then sit up and clap yourself on the back, you have read and survived James Joyce. 
Besides just wanting to talk about Joyce, I decided it was probably time to explain that "shellcocoacoloured" is a Joycean creation from one of the first chapters in the book. The phrase, like "Araby" caught me. It is simple, beautiful, with familiar words re-fashioned into a phrase that holds it's own meaning for each reader. I selected it because I find myself and most people feel that way about themselves. We are each made up of pieces of so many different words that we can hardly ever use just one. Joyce doesn't want to, doesn't have to because he's Joyce, so he writes "shellcocoacoloured" and prints a moment of the sublime onto a page.
I suppose in my own way that is what I have set out to do. I don't quite know what I am yet or what this will become, but being "shellcocoacoloured" is a sweet, and enchanting place to start.


Monday, April 4, 2011

a thinky thing

I have been in the depths of my mind this last month, evaluating life decisions, relationships, goals and new ideas. It's been an interesting time and a difficult one as well. Change is a'comin' and that scares just about all of us I think. 

I have made a big decision and I mean really crazy, big, drastic decision: I am no longer going to write a thesis on Hamlet. If you had suggested to me just a couple months ago an alternative option to finishing my masters degree I would have stubbornly and with determination said that I wanted to write it, to have a book, a big bunch of pages that I had written - looking back, I think it was an ego trip. I don't care anymore about the thesis, I do still care about the topic. My passion for Shakespeare hasn't died, but my drive to teach or participate in the academic community has and I am still in a little shock over it. 

My priorities have changed drastically over this last year, slowly but drastically. Bryce and I were sitting in the "New Members" class at our church, a church I have attended for every year of my life and that I am now excited to intentionally commit to. But sitting in that class our pastor started sharing different people groups that are untouched in our surrounding community. I sat there and my heart hurt for them, I wanted to talk to them, explain grace & Jesus and in that moment the grand idea of my thesis fizzled. I realized my time will be better spent without it - as I imagined and realized that reality, my stress level vanished, I was smiling, I felt value and purpose in my decision, a rightness with God. Amazing yeah? I wasn't in a church service, I wasn't even thinking about school, but God came and graced me with peace, joy, and a satisfaction in my decision to do the exam that I never could have imagined. 

I'd love to tell you more but I have to be off to work. Maybe I'll drop in later tonight, my heart is full and the blog is a little empty. I've been caught in this "thinky thing" - a fantastic little phrase my dear friend shared with me (a quote from a professor - yes, see I could teach!) - and I am coming out of it now. I am processing and getting so excited. 

Life is filling up with meaning again.