Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I have been involved in a small discipleship group the last few weeks. Last night was our last "official" meeting, until we decide where to go from here. I've really enjoyed learning from Heather, my minister's wife, and being able to share with the girls in a small group setting. Last night's discussion was really good and challenging, so I thought it was a great way to end the time together.

When I got home, then, after DGroup, imagine my surprise at finding fresh flowers on my doorstep, along with an unsigned note and a bracelet, which I am guessing, traveled here from Thailand. Wonder who all that could be from? What a sweet surprise! I thoroughly enjoy surprises like that :)

Tonight should be another good night of surprises, although of a less sweet and more ridiculous nature..... it's the TALENT SHOW!

I'll be participating in 2 amazing acts tonight at the BL Talent Show. This should be good.....I'll try and post some videos, as the guys in the office are sending me with a video camera so I can capture the craziness in all its glory. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 28, 2008


Honestly, I had a great whirlwind weekend, and feel like I should recount what happened here.

However, I've typed it up twice, and neither version made the weekend sound like as much fun as I had. So, here's the weekend in a very small nutshell.

Definitely, Maybe. Good talk with new friend Katherine. Hornet-less night. Bagel. Dance practice with Teran. Lots of laughter. Visit with Allison, John and baby McKinley. Fun kayak excursion. Unexpected dip in the lake. Wonderful hot shower. Chinese food. Dark Knight. Making fun of Teran's reactions. Hearing stories from East Asia. Worship. $5 burger, fries and drink. Shopping spree at Express. Killer jeans at an even-more-killer price. "Serving" at the hot dog/ice cream social. Dinner at Moe's. Deep thoughts with my mentor. Early to bed.

Sounds good, doesn't it? I love weekends :) Next one will be as much fun, if not better as I head to the BEACH!!! Hurrah!! Cannot wait, although I have some fun things ahead of me this week to keep me occupied before Saturday rolls around :)

Happy Monday, friends.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Is it pathetic that I cannot do a single push-up? Seriously, I knew I was weak but I had no idea it was that bad!

The guys are doing a push-up challenge, where they all have to do 100 push-ups. I tried to see how many I could do. The answer? 1 pathetic little try. I even tried the "girly style" and couldn't complete one.

Oh my gosh, my left shoulder really hurts right now from trying. This is ridiculous.

How many can YOU do, and any fancy styles? One handed, on your fingertips, clap in between...Let me know what I'm missing out on by being so unbelievably weak!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Helpful hints for men

Dear gentlemen:

It has come to my attention recently that perhaps you were raised on another planet where certain things are acceptable and even appreciated in how you deal with women. I am sorry to be the brunt of these customs, and sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your outdated attempts at getting our attention don't serve your purpose very well. Hence, here are a few friendly reminders.

When you see a lady walk around the other side of your dump truck to avoid coming into your direct path while you weed-eat, please understand this is not an attempt to be coy. Even if she is wearing a nice dress, this is not an invitation to gawk. If said lady does not respond to the stares boring into her backside as she walks away, this should be a clue to resume your activities. Her obvious lack of interest can be determined by the fact she still has not glanced back at you, despite the fact that 5 of you have now shut off your machinery and there is dead silence. Furthermore, when silence reigns, this is not an opportune time to verbalize your thoughts. Especially not in the form of expletives you yell out as said lady passes.

Although you might like to use the excuse that Hispanic men do this with seemingly good results, you need to be aware that we are not in Mexico. While they may be given a slight bit of leeway for gawking at the tall, blond foreigner for novelty's sake, you, my dear sir, are neither Hispanic nor unaccustomed to seeing tall blonds.

Please take these thoughts to heart. Consider keeping your eyes to yourself and your mouth shut in the event of just such an event occurring again. Decent women will never throw their phone numbers at you if you continue to relate to them like you do a hot car. Trust me on this, ok?

Sincerely - Someone who cares

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lazy Sunday...notsomuch

Why is it that Sunday is no longer a relaxing day for me? It used to be in college, and life "should" have slowed down, but it seems to only have sped up!

College Sundays: Church at Fellowship, Social Sundays lunch in Coburn (oh, how I *miss* those days of nasty turkey/dressing/stuff and a buffet of other unedible things. The socialization was great though!), a nap - sometimes spanning a few hours, dinner at Moe's with the roomies, Executive Committee meeting at the lodge, followed by regular ZTA meeting, then maybe a movie or some TV, maybe some homework (not really), chat time with the girls, and to bed.

"Big girl life" Sundays: Go to church AND Sunday School (since I'm on leadership, I can't, with good conscious, skip out on either. No Bedside Baptist for me! I need that accountability though, so no worries), a usually long lunch with friends or mentor (lasting until 2:30, generally), run home and walk the dog or take him to the dog park, get back in car and drive downtown to play soccer in the park, go pick up food/contributions for dinner, dinner and Bible study with my small group, get home around 9:30 and start getting ready for bed.

I love my life, don't get me wrong. I just miss lazy Sundays which afford me time for naps and such. My "day of rest" has become a day of fellowship/evangelism and that wears me out sometimes. I don't mean for this to sound whiny, because I know most people would love to have money to eat out on, friends to eat out with, legs to run around on, a dog to play with, a group to study the Bible with, and a schedule filled with "pleasure activities" instead of work.

Ok, I am blessed. I know it. I'm just a little sleep-deprived too.

(By the way, anyone catch the reference for the title? 10 points to you if you do!)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I know, I know!

I have been praying the Lord would open opportunities up for me to meet non-believers and share with them.

Most of my time here, I feel like I live in a bubble (Bay Leaf friends, you know the illustration I'm talking about :) . I work at a seminary, go to church, and don't really interact with a lot of people on a personal basis who I know are non-believers. So, I've been asking the Lord to give me some opportunities to talk about him!

Chance #1) Last week on my way to church, it was monsoon-ing. I am talking a serious downpour here. As Lindsay and I were driving along in my car, I saw a woman walking along the side of the road, completely drenched, going who knows where. I thought about it, but didn't stop to offer her a ride. I even mentioned it to Lindsay after we had passed her, and still kept driving. For goodness's sake, I was on my way to church and didn't stop.
Chance #2) Yesterday, on my way to my car at lunch time, a woman walked up to me asking for money for McDonald's for some food. I told her I didn't have any cash on me (I had a $20...). She asked if I was going to McDonald's, and I told her honestly that I was headed in the opposite direction. I thought about offering for her to come eat lunch with my friend and I downtown, which is where I was headed. Once again, I didn't.

What is wrong with me? Why am I so weak and scared that I can't even offer to help someone out who is obviously in need? Is it that I am just afraid of being inconvenienced? I think that's a large part of it. I have been asking for these chances, but since they don't come prettily wrapped as something easy for me to do, I bypass the chance. The Lord was inconvenienced for my sake; he died on a cross for me. And I can't even offer lunch or a ride to someone who needs it? I am no better than the priests who passed the broken and hurting man on the road, leaving his "enemy" to care for him. I talk about loving others, but when it comes time to put it into practice, I am no good at putting it into practice. At what point did my own safety become of such paramount importance that I neglect the needs of others and the words of the Lord to "do unto the least of these"? He never promised me a safe life; I don't know why I think that I deserve one.

Lord, give me opportunities, give me wisdom, and give me boldness.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


It has just hit me what a huge, messed up, Jesus-needing world I live in.

Frankly, the darkness of people's hearts scares me, and the reality of how God is calling me to be His instrument in the darkness terrifies me. I have no idea what I am doing, only why.

People need to hear the message of the gospel: We are messed-up, disobedient people and therefore, separated from the Holy God. Yes, He loves us, but he is just, and therefore we have to be reconciled to him to bridge the gap between his holiness and our ugly, sinful nature. There was no other way for a lost world to be given access to a perfect God other than through the atoning sacrifice of Christ Jesus. That's it, in a nutshell.

Like a bag of bricks being laid on me, I suddenly realize the implications of committing to be a missionary. It's not going to be an easy, tidy job. It's going to be really hard, and only through the sufficiency of my Savior will it be possible for me to do anything to tell people about Jesus.

So, I have NO idea what my future looks like, only that I am terrified about where it could take me, but also completely assured that the God who saved me will daily be the God who sustains me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Perpetually tired.....

I don't know what is wrong with me but I seem to be perpetually exhausted these days, which, judging by my age and activity level (moderate) should not be happening.

This weekend was all about some R&R for me, thankfully! Up until Saturday night, I had activities planned every night from the Monday before through Friday. Being that I am a girl who needs her alone-time, this was a lot of socializing, even though I enjoyed all of it. But boy was Friday night, post-socializing (though the social stuff was great too!) wonderful! I went shopping alone, went and got a movie alone, and watched a movie alone. It was marvelous :)

The weekend was moreof the same, with a slow, sleepy Saturday and Sunday. Love times like that! It sure made Monday hard though, with a downpour when I woke up and when I went home for lunch. There is almost nothing I like more than taking a nap, listening to the rain outside. Going to work while it is a perfect nap-day was difficult!

In other, more exciting news, I made a few new purchases last night.
#1 - A new PURSE! If you know me personally (ha, purse-onally) you know I have had the same, large, brown bag for 2+ years. I have been on the hunt for a new one, and I found it. It's slightly smaller, but more structured looking. While it doesn't have as many pockets as I like normally, I think it will force me to be more strategic about what I put inside, as anything that gets tossed into the main compartment has more of a chance of getting lost since it's not strategically placed into one of 5 areas.
#2 - I finally bought some kayak paddles! They're SeaSense X-Treme, 96" paddles with feathering options and hand-grips. They were a great bargain, price-wise, so we shall just see now how well they hold up! They got some good reviews as beginner paddles, so I hope I am satisfied with them. They're longer, which is good since I am taller and my boat is wider. Also, they're breakdown paddles, which are fairly light at around 35 ounces. Nice. At some point I'll probably want to upgrade to some 4-piece breakdown paddles so they fit into the bag with my kayak for travel, but for now, hopefully they'll do! ETA is Friday, so I have already made plans to go out on the water on Saturday and try them out :) I've got more paddles planned then if they work good, including testing my skills at sea-kayaking during beach retreat. Whoop whoop!

That's all from my end! Sorry this isn't more exciting after a week's worth of not posting. I know my you all have probably gotten anxious for a new peek into my life....Right. Anyways, I've got more on my brain, but not really feeling like sharing it on here just yet, so maybe a more exciting post in the future :) Happy Tuesday, readers!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy birthday, America!

*Warning, long post ahead!*

After Christmas and Thanksgiving, I think the 4th of July might be one of my top favorite holidays. Granted, I suppose that opinion changes depending on plans and activities, but this past weekend was a GREAT time of celebrating our country and celebrating friendships!

I went with some great people to the mountains of NC and TN this weekend. The crew consisted of Teran and Paige, our hostesses who call Western NC home, church friends Jeff, JJ and Adam, and new friend Ginny. The seven of us spent Thursday night-Sunday afternoon together sharing fun activities, tasty food and tons of laughs.

Here's some highlights of the trip, with no particular rhyme or reason!

-Highlight #1: Our dinner stop at Zaxby's in Statesville. It was my first ever Zaxby's visit, and though the food was decent, I was.....uh, how do I say, less than impressed with the employees. The girl behind the front counter (who I swear had 14 syllables to her name) "was kinda new." This meant she didn't know a lot of things. Here's how our conversation went.

Me: "How many chicken tenders are in the Zax Pak meal?"
Lashandawitarethalanda: "Uhh.....I'm not sure. I'm kinda new."
*Silence while I waited for her to figure it out. More silence as she stared at me waiting for me to order something anyway.*
Me: "Ok then, I guess I'll just get that and hope it's enough. Can I get onion rings instead of fries?"
Lashandawitarethalanda: "I don't know."
*Silence on my part. More staring on hers.*
Lashandawitarethalanda: "Do you need me to ask somebody?"
Me: "That would be great, thanks."
*Slight glance to the left. Eyes on me again.*

Lashandawitarethalanda: "She on the phone."
*Silence and staring*
Me: "Can you just go ahead and sub my fries for onion rings? The onion rings are cheaper, so I'm sure it wouldn't matter."
Lashandawitarethalanda: "I don't know how to do that."

Guess what I got with my chicken? French fries. I gave up, unlike Paige who held her ground. She asked 3 times while ordering for no pickle to be put on her plate. She hates them, and so when they put it on there anyway, she insisted they remove the pickle from her plate and give her a fresh meal, without pickle-juice contamination. Lashandawitarethalanda told her it was against their policy to remove pickles. Really, Lashandawitarethalanda? Are you sure there is a policy about pickles that you do know? She then proceeded to ask Paige if she was scared of pickles. Yes, yes she is. Just take the flippin' thing off.

-Highlight #2: We took a lovely little hike to Pickens Nose, a rock formation named after Andrew Pickens of Revolutionary War fame. Had a photo shoot up there, and all of us nearly busted it a time or two. The views were gorgeous and the weather was great, even including the rainstorm that moved in and out quickly.

-Highlight #3: July 4th night. I ate some killer ribs at Fat Buddy's Barbecue, and we had a great conversation about OCD, love of the spotlight (surprisingly, not in relation to me), and weird quirks/habits we have. After dinner, we enjoyed small-town USA as we strolled around the park in Franklin, people watching (saw a niiiice mullet) and listening to some great old songs. Of course, fireworks were included and they were pretty good. I love July 4th festivities. We then went back to Teran and Paige's place for some apple pie, sparklers (safe sparkler experience, don't worry!) and good conversation in the hot tub. How much more American can we get?

-Highlight #4: Saturday we went white-water rafting on the Pigeon River. It's a great little run, and thanks to my old boss, we got a good deal and a great guide! Supposedly we wanted "the craziest trip possible," so our guide Paul did his job - by taking us backwards through Class IV rapids. We survived (Jeff and I about bit it on one of the rapids. He grabbed me and kept me in the boat and I grabbed his paddle when he removed his thumb from the T-Grip and dropped it. Great teamwork!) After narrowly escaping death, Jeff, Teran and I jumped out of the boat for a little swim and some rock-jumping. I belly-flopped, which was slightly painful but fairly funny, but hopefully we got some cute pictures out of it! Also, apparently one of the river guides is named Ricky Bobby. No joke. As he was floating by we heard him yell, "Tell so-and-so Ricky Bobby is looking for her!" Oh boy. Welcome back to TN, huh?

-Highlight #5: Playing Balderdash (my first time. Seems like this is a recurring pattern this trip!) We were deliriously tired and throwing in every inside joke we had come up with to this point. "Hackmatack: A hotel chain in Kentucky." Good fun.

-Highlight #6: Meeting an Amish family and hearing Teran and Paige's grandpa (Giaddi) offer their 12 year old a Bud Light. Classic. They even offered to give us a ride in their buggy if we came to Amish country in Indiana. Next road-trip location, anyone?

Anyways, those were just a few of the laughs. We had a wonderful trip, a horrible time trying to get home through the storms, but a ton of fun hanging out with one another, eating, relaxing and cracking up at our weirdness. Gotta love road trips!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Take a ride on the Crane Brain Train

As is usual, my thoughts are all over the place. Care to follow along and see how my thought processes go? This might give you some very valuable insight into following my logic....I'm just saying.

Here goes.

1) Started out thinking about the upcoming weekend, which is the July 4th holiday. I'm heading to the mountains with some friends for a weekend of hiking, fireworks (yes, I'm bringing sparklers. Fall off the horse and get right back on, right?), festivals (including a cow plop contest? I'll give details later), and white water rafting. Should be an excellently fun weekend.
2) This led me to wishing I had a cute, long, bohemian dress like I have seen at Old Navy to wear Friday evening. They no longer have them in their online store, so I moved over to Ebay to look.
3) Talked with my mom last night about Ebay and selling stuff on there to earn a little extra cash. While looking for dresses, I started thinking about stuff I had I could sell. I also wanted to look and see what kinds of things in different categories actually sells. I think I may have the most luck with some of my clothing.
4) I looked at the paintings on Ebay, to see if I could paint something and sell it, and to see if there were any I wanted to buy. I like some of what I saw, but thought that with a little bit of practice, I should be able to make some cool stuff for my apartment, without spending $150+ on someone else's work.
5) That got me thinking about redecorating. I feel like my living room, especially, is kinda bland and too duo-tone. It's black and red. (Shout out to MHS and its fearsome colors.) While those colors might have worked on football players, I think my living room needs a bit more personality, so I started looking at decorating ideas and how to upgrade a living room with just a few changes.
6) While on the subject of redecorating/painting (also an idea), I thought I might as well look through the real-estate section of the paper to see if there were any houses or townhomes I might be persuaded to buy. There was. I found a townhome in a local neighborhood for $93k. I thought that sounded like a BARGAIN, so I asked one of my coworkers for his home-buying advice. (By the way, this is a monthly occurrence. I waver on my decision of whether or not to buy every month or so, depending on the kinds of deals I see.) He told me not to bother with that one, but to look into buying a brand new place, as he thinks it would be better in the long run. The thought of all that work made my head hurt, so back to internet browsing I went!
7) Saw an open tab with cute one-piece bathing suits I had been looking at, so I thought I'd check it out again. That got me to thinking about the event I need a one-piece for -- Beach Retreat with Bay Leaf. I am pretty stinking excited about it!
8) That then moved my thoughts to the night before I leave for the beach, when it looks like I'll be going to Durham to meet Team Canada (baseball) as they practice for the Olympics. How fun!
9) At that point, I realized I needed to stop letting my thoughts wander and get back to work. So I did.
10) First I blogged about it, because I was so in awe of my own scatteredness I thought it worth sharing.

Ok, state papers and website maintenance and article ideas, here I come!