Friday, December 5, 2008

i love christmas.

I love Christmas. I do. I always have. When we were younger, my sister and I used to itch to listen to Christmas music as early as possible. In my home, of course, there were classic albums that were played over and over during the holidays. Really, the only albums we owned. This may have been because we only bought Christmas music during one era of our lives and never got around to getting upgrades or (the more obvious and likely answer) these are the best Christmas albums to ever exist. Hard to say. Nevertheless, Christmas with the Stars 1996, Philips, Craig and Dean: Repeat the Sounding Joy, and the Dominic the Donkey tape are the songs permanently associated with the holidays in my heart. 

I just love the joy of Christmas. I love the way my heart feels so full when my family is together. There is something about the holiday season in America that just makes whatever really awful stuff is going on seem a little less in the forefront of our minds and brings the simply wonderful things to our attention. And it's not that people don't hurt over Christmas. Because I know they do. I know that for some Christmas is a dreaded time of year. But I also know that people are good. And they care for others. And that Christmas is one of the biggest times of year that people look beyond themselves and give to others. I love that too. 

Tonight I got to hear some pretty remarkable Christmas music and all at once I found myself swept away in the beauty of... well, Christmas. Not the holidays and the activities. Not even my family or our traditions. But the fact that Jesus - my Jesus - was born. It might sound silly or cheesy or naive, but the reason I love Christmas is because a baby boy was born and that same tiny little infant grew up into a man that cared so deeply for people that He died for them. For me.  I love the way that music makes my heart and soul stir. The way that I can feel deep inside me the words of these simple, familiar songs. I don't care that I've heard them thousands of times, a thousand different ways... I resonate with them.-- O holy night! The stars are brightly shining! This is the night of our dear Savior's birth. Fall on your knees! Can you hear the angel's voices? What a divine night! This night, when Christ was born. -- I just can't think of a more beautiful way to rejoice in the birth of Jesus. That's all. 

I love that Christmas reminds us to rejoice. To stop what we're doing and take some time to just say words like, Gloria! and Emmanuel! and Hark! Haha. We don't often allow ourselves or find ourselves in a position where it's comfortable to outwardly exclaim that we are so happy that Jesus was born and that he lived and lives still today. And tonight I just loved being swept away in that glory. Hope that's okay with you. And I don't mean to neglect those who experience less than okay holiday seasons for various reason. Because I know how important it is to be actively reaching out and seeing those people, helping them, and telling them that a baby was born so that they could have life. You know? Yeah. I just want to take some time to revel in the blessings of a time of year set aside to remember. Remember Jesus and family and hope and healing. 

A Blessed Christmas Season to you! 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

something greater.

Something monumental happened to me this weekend. I hung out with a group of girls. There is really nothing more to it, just that I was invited to and accepted the invitation to watch a movie with a group of girls. It was so good to be able to feel like I was apart of something again. I'll admit I've been hesitant to jump into any sort of friendship here because in my mind that means letting go of some of the dearest people I've ever known. But I can have both. And I do have both. I don't mean to be over-dramatic about something seemingly insignificant, but I'm deciding to outwardly praise God for providing this small stepping stone to hope that I can have a meaningful life here. 

On another note. I just finished reading a note that a friend posted on facebook that really just blessed my heart a little. Don't you love to feel your heart be moved by something? I was struck by the way that my heart felt after reading this note because I realized that it was a feeling that I don't think I have felt in quite some time. I don't know about you, but I have this need to be apart of something greater than myself. Whether it be a body of people or a worthy cause I know that my life was meant to contribute in ways that I'm not really sure of. I was reminded today of how easy it is to be swept away by life's circumstances and start thinking of only my own life's happenings. But there is an entire world that needs us. There are greater things to be a part of. Even just through everyday interaction and conversation. As humans we are constantly contributing to each other's lives. I don't want to do so in a passive and unintentional way. Sometimes I just think it is nice to be reminded that our stuff isn't the only stuff and while it's important to be an active participant in your immediate surroundings there is also so much more. There are people and places that need us. So I am going to start seeking more intently the ways that God has for me to contribute to this life. Maybe it's big. Maybe it's small. But I know that I can't just do nothing.

That may have not made a lot of sense, but I'm hoping for the best. Sometimes blogging doesn't always come as easily as I wish it would. :) Happy Thanksgiving! 

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Brace yourself, I'm about to mention the election. As you may well know the United States of America just elected their 44th president who is also the first black man to obtain this highly regarded position. If you don't know... well, yikes! 

Anyway, what an experience it has been. So many new things. One of those things being the large number of young people who got involved. Something this nation hasn't really seen in quite some time. The downside, however, of the young turnout is how irrational and passionate they/we can be. The night of the election Ryan and I spent some time on facebook watching everyone's reaction to the results. Lots of excitement as well as lots of disappointment. For those whose candidate did not win, the comments were less than respectful. I don't mean to generalize, because there were also many people who were gracious in the defeat, but it made me sad to see many of my Christian friends speak so hateful towards another person. And what really gets me is that many of these people speak this way because of the example shown to them in their own homes. Parents teach their kids to be hateful, to speak hatefully. When did it ever become acceptable for Christians especially to speak so terribly about or to other people under the name of politics? People are saying things like, "There goes all my money to people who don't work for it!" What a tragedy that this is the life we've claimed as the people that were called to live a selfless and love-filled life. Angry at the president-elect because of our money being taken away. But... I thought it was God's money? Is that incorrect? The attitude of being deserving of things of this earth is a very backwards one in my mind. Regardless of who I supported in this election, as an American I choose to support our new president. Because that's what brings unity and peace to a nation. 

Aside from the election, I had the amazing opportunity to give Nampa a surprise visit this last week. Probably the best trip ever AND I got Aimee good. Classic. I miss all those kiddies in Idaho, but thank you for a wonderful visit. It was just what I needed. Peace dudes. 

Monday, October 6, 2008

give me jesus.

I had the interesting experience this weekend of hearing a song and having it comfort me in a completely different way than it did the last time I can recall. Isn't it interesting how life often occurs in cycles like that? We visited a church on Sunday that... well, it wasn't great. However, this song that I'm referring to was sung and it was quite fitting for the time of year that it is. 

I'll just get right down to it. 5 years ago this weekend my brother's best friend died. An event that truly changed his and our entire family's lives forever. For the first time this anniversary of his death has felt like a lot of time has past. I was 15 and now I'm married. Crazy. Anyway, Scott and I sang a song called, Give Me Jesus at his funeral and that's the song they sang yesterday at this church. I was listening to the song later in the day, thinking about those days after Ryan died. Those were sad days, hard days. But what an extraordinary journey it has been and how faithfully present Jesus has been through it all. I praise God for the times that I can look back on my life and see His provisions along the way. 

Aside from Ryan, that song sang new words to me yesterday. The last couple of weeks have been hard for me. Feelings of loneliness have seemed somewhat overwhelming from time to time. To be honest, God has felt far away too. But in the words of that song I was reminded how Jesus is near every step of the way. There will be hard days. There are hard days. And I will keep going. Until one day I can look back and say the same thing I said above about how I'm feeling right now. God will provide. He always has. God will provide. He always has. 

In the morning when I rise, when I am alone, and when I come to die, give me Jesus. 

Monday, September 15, 2008

habits of husbands.

Oh Ryan. Sometimes he just does the funniest things. This last weekend I had to work so he was left to his own devices while I was gone. When I got home he had so very thoughtfully cleaned the whole house AND put the rest of the things that weren't on the walls up on the walls. Isn't that amazing!? You have no idea how much of a difference this has made in our home. It's so much cleaner and more peaceful... everything off the floor...just lovely.

But this isn't about that. This is about the way that Ryan cleans. He is truly an incredible housekeeper. He's super thorough and so much of a perfectionist that everything ends up just as it should be when he's done. BUT he has this tragic flaw. He hides and stows. As shown in this picture above. This is Ryan's sock drawer. Inside this sock drawer is everything that used to be on top of our dresser, but didn't belong including: painting tape, napkins my mom bought me, a returned wedding thank you, a card from aimee, and a deck of cards. So as I am putting the laundry away I open his drawer and just start laughing because of the contents of the drawer. Classic Ryan. When you look at a glance everything is perfect, when you search within everything is just tucked away... but neatly. 

I just thought everyone might appreciate this. Husbands are funny sometimes. Funny but nice. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

one of those movies.

If you know me at all you probably know that there are certain movies that have become staples in my life. They're either movies that you've probably watched with my entire family if you have ever visited my home or they're movies that I know by heart and turn on to just listen to because I already know exactly what's happening on screen. One of those movies... is You've Got Mail. Boy do I love that movie. 

But beyond my love for that movie and at the risk of sounding like an absolute moron, I've thought about a certain part in that movie more than once in the last two weeks. (I wasn't going to go through all of this, but I decided to explain my love for the movie in case someone came up to me later telling me that my thoughts resembled a movie they had seen). Anyway, living here has been tough. Being away from the people that I love and the places that I know is not necessarily something that I wanted to happen. I never saw myself leaving. But I did. And in the past couple of weeks being away has become increasingly difficult. So, here is where the movie comes in. There is a part in that movie after Meg Ryan has lost her business and she's saying how people always tell you that change is a good thing, but all they are really saying is that something you didn't want to happen happened and there's really nothing you can do about it. And then she says this, "The truth is, I'm heartbroken." (Man, I'm really setting myself up to look like a big cheeseball). But the truth is that I have been heartbroken. There have been days, maybe weeks where all I want to do is go back home. When I think about all the people in Nampa that know me. That miss me. It makes living in Kansas seem so pointless. Why live in place where no one cares who I am? 

Unfortunately, this story doesn't really have an incredible epiphany at the end. We did get the chance to visit home a week ago, however, and loved every second of it. It was wonderful seeing everyone. And hard to leave them behind. BUT there is hope. I have to believe that God would never send us to a place and not provide any sort of connection to the wonderful people who I'm sure live somewhere in this state. So we're going to wait patiently and openly for some really great friends and keep repeating this from Romans, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

i rule.

I realized something about myself a couple nights ago while hanging out with some people at our apartment's pool. I've been there a couple times and there are allllways people drinking like crazy. It's really quite funny because these people just hang out at the pool literally all day long. Just drinking away. My reaction to all of this was/is this has to be against the rules. 

There's a big sign posted on one of the fences of the pool that has the "Pool Policies" on it and I have been wanting to go read it for a while now. I wanna see what it says about drinking.... and just overall pool conduct, you know... anything I might need to be aware of. I haven't had the chance to read it though because there are always people sitting in front of it and I don't want to be that nerd so I just stay on my chair and play it cool. No big deal. 

But here's my big realization: I live for rules. Truthfully, this is not a brand new realization for me, but the magnitude to which I abide by rules dawned on me the other night in the pool. My friends were jumping of the part of the pool that pours into a lower pool and I was watching them thinking, "I bet they're not supposed to be doing that." Then I laughed at myself because I figured that most people in life don't seek out the rules so that they may be followed. They probably just keep doing things until someone says they can't... and then they stop... maybe. They probably don't ask for copies of their lease contract and read it several times to be sure they're doing everything right. 

This whole sequence of thoughts just made me laugh a little. I was just thinking about my desire to read those pool policies and not having the opportunity to was making me antsy. I should probably try and let go a little. Or maybe just continue my need for rules that is like a silent glue that holds my life together. Hard to say. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

the days go by.

It's week 2 for us here in Overland Park. Technically week 3, but the first week was like vacation with my parents in town for the move. Ryan is really enjoying Premier. He got the chance to record a really great band last weekend and had a lot of fun. The changes he is hoping to make to the studio or happening as quickly as I think he'd like, but that's okay. Currently, he is running sound for The Sailor Sequence for a couple of shows. Of course, he loves that. 

As for me, I'm just sitting at home mostly. I'm pretty bored to be honest. Some days I find things to do outside of the apartment, but usually I just kind of walk around. One day I made this pretty cool craft out of plastic grocery bags. So that was fun. Another day I started to paint our room, but I haven't really gotten back to that yet so there's just a tiny patch of orange on the wall. So as you can see life is pretty low key for me right now. But that's okay. I'm sure it's a good break before school starts. However, I have decided that if school turns out to not be too much work than I think I might get a job. It's weird to not be working at all. 

Well, I just wanted to give a small update. It was kind of boring I guess. Feel free to say hello to me sometime. I miss everyone in Nampa. Can't wait to see Leah and Louie back from their summer adventures! woo! Peace out. 

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Well, here we are! We made it to Olathe after a long, long drive that was fairly uneventful until we literally crossed the line into Kansas City where we began driving in one of the biggest storms I have ever been a part of. Apparently where we were was the actual heart of this storm... which probably wouldn't have been that big of deal but we had a moving truck to worry about. Those are a little more extreme weather sensitive. Good times though. It was a fun drive with my parents and sister. I very much appreciate their company. 

My family was able to stay for a week and help out with all the little things that come along with moving into a new place. Several days of shopping were also involved which I did not object to. :) It took quite a bit less time to move in then I thought it would really. So that was nice. Wednesday I said a sad goodbye to my parents. But, I feel okay. I don't feel hopeless. I kind of thought I'd feel hopeless and really alone. However, being here has made me feel a lot more hopeful about the future. There's a family here that I really love and who I think cares a lot about me. I think that has helped both me and my parents. So I'm glad for that. 

Anyway, I just wanted to say - So far so good! We love our little home and have had a good time so far. Ryan started work and is adjusting to that life. And I'm just hanging out at home. Woo hoo!!! peace for now. 

Monday, June 30, 2008


Well my friends, we are about to embark on the journey to Kansas. We leave tomorrow morning at 6AM and will hopefully arrive Wednesday evening. I think I'm ready at this point. We're packed, moved out, loaded up - good to go. Now I'm ready to hit the road. 

It hit me today, however, that even though I will indeed return in a couple of months for my brother's wedding - after tomorrow I will no longer be a resident of Nampa, Idaho. I know, groundbreaking isn't it? But even though I'll be back to visit for the wedding it is just strange to me that this technically won't be my home anymore (I'll always be from here of course) after tomorrow. 

So, with that said I want to say goodbye. I'm going to miss each of you more than I probably even know, but I'm so thankful for everything and everyone. Thank you to all of you that made my going away memorable and special. I appreciate it so very much. We both do. Goodbye Nampa. See you soon. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

don't ever do this.

So, I just got a letter from MidAmerica about financial aid. It was a letter, from a large institute, talking about money, telling me that the matter was urgent, and speaking of the federal government. SO, with all that information let me tell you this: the ENTIRE letter was written in Comic Sans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! COMIC SANS?!?!!!!!!!!!!! why, why, why? 

It's never okay to write anything in comic sans - especially one that's about finances. Bleh.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I'm using the blog world for things it may not be intended for again. BUT it's a good cause. 

It's just a little get together in order to get in those last goodbyes before we head off to Kansas. 

Here's the info:
When: June 29 7-10pm
Where: Seward House 2115 E. Greenhurst Rd
We're just going to be having a little barbecue and hang out time. You can swim if you want. But we'd love to have you! 

Let me know if you have questions. 

Sunday, June 15, 2008

the road to home.

I live in a town that I love. In the last month or so I have done my fair share of  "taking it all in" as my departure from this place is drawing closer and tonight as I drove home from my parent's house I had one of these moments. With the sun just getting ready to set, it's golden light that is so familiar in the summertime touching every part of the valley - I saw what I love...

The road to my parents house that I know like the back of my hand. The one I walked down to go to elementary school, rode my bike to Leah's house and wrecked more than one vehicle. The high school that I watched years of football games being played at and spent so many hours inside planning dances and assemblies. I passed the softball fields where I watched my sister and brother play and eventually learned myself. When summer finally arrives I always just see so much of my life around here. There are people walking everywhere with their kids and dogs... half of which I know the names of. As silly as it may sound, every street has so many memories. It's just that every time I drive around I see the last 16 years of my life. And then I realize why my heart is here. 

I saw Prince Caspian a while ago and somehow it just keeps coming back to me. There are these two songs that have really just meant a lot to me from the movie that talk about saying goodbye and what home is. Every time I hear either of them I think about this movie and how these siblings are torn between two homes and trying to figure out which one they belong in. And I say all that to say that tonight while I was driving down the street from my parent's house I finally felt like I could have both. This home will always have my heart, but I think that with time I will call Kansas home... and that will be good too. 

If you get the chance - The Call by Regina Spektor and This is Home by Switchfoot are definitely worth a listen and think of me when you do! :) 

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Well, today marks the 6 month that Ryan and I have been married! Half a year! Kind of weird to think about, but I love it. Wouldn't trade it for anything. I'd say I have one of the most legit husbands I've ever known. YAY!!!

That's really all I wanted to say. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

god is good.

Well, some good news. Our car is fixed! After quite a bit of deliberation and discussion with LOTS of people we decided to keep the car and hope for the best on our trip to Kansas. It's very very possible that this car will continue to be high maintenance - which is why we were wanting to just get rid of it. However, we decided that it was one thing that we really couldn't deal with right now. So... yeah! We have a car and for now it works and that is a good thing. Very good. 

God is good, I'd say. Whatever happens, I know He will provide. I think I'm just going to count on that for now. Continue to keep us in your prayers as we start getting ready to move! 

Friday, June 6, 2008

part the waters.

There is this song by a group that I love that says:

When I think I'm going under
Part the waters Lord. 
When I feel the waves around me
Calm the sea.
When I cry for help, oh hear me Lord
and hold out Your hand
Touch my life, still the raging storm
in me. 

Right now, I need that. I don't really love to just dive into my personal life much in the blogging world, but I know that a few of you who read this could be a bit of support. Life is getting hard for us right now. As many of you know, we are about to make a pretty big move. Well, a couple of things have arose in the last couple of weeks that are making the move seem fairly overwhelming. Our car is broken and the move is very, very expensive especially with the ever rising price of gas. Not to mention the already existent stress of moving away from my home, family, and best friends. I just don't know how to manage it all right now.

So, if you're into it, we'd really appreciate your prayers for us in the next couple of weeks. We're just really trying to trust that God is bigger and will take care of us. 

thanks dudes. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I had a conversations with my parents in the car the other night that made me think about a conversation I had a long time ago with Ryan. I think the thought is valuable so I'm going to share it with you now. 

We often use the tactic of "finding a place of belonging" to reach out to people in order to get them to come to church. A lot of times the idea of belonging to a community is what gets most people in the door and eventually it is why they stay. The thing is - every member of a congregation needs that sense of belonging. The pastor, the board members, those people that you think were probably birthed at church, every person joins the community of a church body, in part, for a sense of belonging. And yet, so many people feel like nobody knows them or recognizes them when they come to church. So many feel like they don't truly belong. In fact, it was Ryan that told me he felt this way many times on Sunday mornings and my heart hurts a little to think that some people walk in the doors of church in the morning who go there every week and feel the same way...every week. 

Ryan said something to me in that conversation that made me realize the potential danger, I guess, of the situation. He said, "No one at church makes me feel like I belong there." Then I thought, if we're all standing around church thinking that we don't belong then who is supposed to be making us feel like we belong? The point is, it is easy to spend a lot of time within a church body finding ways that other people aren't doing a good job of being a part of a church body. We all seem to think that it isn't our responsibility to be the one giving that sense of belonging; that church is for only me. And then I think, what have I done to make someone feel like they belonged at church lately? I just wonder if I spend so much time stewing about everyone around me doing a lousy job at loving me that I don't do much in the way of encouraging anyone else. 

It can't be only one person's job, you know? It's not just the worship team or the group leader's or the pastor's job to be the people that say you belong within this community. Wouldn't it be amazing if we all stopped stewing on Sunday mornings and just looked someone in the face and said, I'm so glad to see you today? Maybe this is stupid and something that is really "duh" to other people, but it was a really great reminder to me that I'm capable of making someone feel like they belong and I would have to imagine that by doing so the feeling would be reciprocated. So, I'm really going to try making a habit of doing so. 

*I apologize for the "we's." It isn't my preferred way of addressing church. Just couldn't think of another way to approach it. Peace yo. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

the scoop on the vacay. and other news.

Well, we are back from Portland. We had a lot of fun, I'm really glad we went. It felt like a real, live, grown-up vacation too. We went to the Seattle Aquarium, we shopped like crazy, went to IKEA, ate with friends from the area, AND stopped at Multnomah Falls on the way home. That's real life if I've ever seen it. 

We decided that, while we really enjoyed our stay, we don't really ever have the desire to live in Portland. I realize by saying so I have probably just offended half the people I know. My apologies. It just didn't quite fit our personalities I guess. Too hard core or something. I like me some open air and blue sky. :) Nonetheless, it is quite a green and beautiful drive and worth the trip altogether. 

I said goodbye to my best friend yesterday as she is headed off to Africa for the summer. We will have moved by the time she gets back. We had originally planned to stay till she got back, but she assured me that it was unnecessary to do so. This goodbye business is much harder and complex than I thought it would be. It hasn't really sunk in yet I guess. I just am trying to make it seem less of a reality. But I am really going to miss her... a lot. Keep in mind we have been best friends for 16 years. Which is kind of a long time to know someone and love them. Whew, I think it's going to be a long road for me. 

In other news, I had an interesting conversation with my parents tonight about the war, America and Obama. Always a touchy subject to get into with those two. Ryan and I bought a dresser at IKEA! Our car is having some technical difficulties. ANNNNNND I really miss Aimee Cork. She's a good friend. 

That'll be all. 

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Ryan and I are headed to Portland and Seattle this looooooong weekend to take that honeymoon we never got the chance to take! We're pretty excited and are looking forward to doing some shopping and perhaps some looking around of furniture for the new home. 

Just wanted to tell everyone. Like all 2 of you. So peace out my friends! But then also see you soon portland friends! 

Sunday, May 11, 2008

good reminders.

I'm not a super "deep" thinker. I don't love to over-analyze things or try and come up with the most profound thing possible. So with that said...

Today at church the Pastor announced the birth of a little girl who was born 6 weeks pre-mature and weighed in at 3 pounds. The whole story is pretty remarkable and it really boils down to a mom who had too much faith to lose hope in having this baby. This really incredible story seemed to make me more aware of all the little "amens" and "praise Gods" throughout the rest of the service. And then it occurred to me how these are the things that make me so thankful to be a Christ follower. I know that's kind of a weird way to say that, but I just appreciate these moments where the kind of church I go to and all the technicalities that work or don't work just really don't matter even a little. I grow weary of the constant church discussion, to be honest. I realize that it is a necessary conversation from time to time, but I hate how far it can take me from how incredible a God I serve. 

The reality is, God still works the same way He always has. I feel like some people immerse themselves so deeply into making "the church" be this effective tool and making sure things are exactly how they should be that they fail to remember how awesome God is. He is still doing great things - a lot of times in really simple ways. He just doesn't need our silly little solutions that we think are going to change the course of the church's history. Church is important, don't get me wrong and effective churches can accomplish great things, but God's just bigger than all that. Does that make sense? 

I guess what I really wanted to say is that 3 pound babies are still born and that's a really awesome thing. And God is just really incredible. And I love the reminders. That's all. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

free roses.

I love to observe. There are so many things to see. On my way home from shopping tonight I passed a church reader board that read, "Free rose for all moms sunday." My instant thoughts were as follows: Hahahahaha. What??? Why?? Who cares? I think that about sums it up. Then to top it off the very next church reader board said, "Unity not uniformity." How do those things even go together? They're bonded but don't wear the same clothes? I dunno. 

To me, this is a classic example of church working so hard to get people to come in their doors that they end up looking absolutely ridiculous. The free rose board is just beyond me on so many levels. First, why free? Do some churches gives roses to mom's by payment or suggested donation only? Was that their way of enticing all residing Nampan mom's to come to their church this Sunday? Second, Is a mother really going to come to their church just to get a rose? I can just see that mom, "You know, I want to do something just for me... I'll go to that church and get me a flower!" Oh please. These things just blow my mind. Churches just seem like they feel they have so much to prove or they need to offer some sort of incentive to get people inside. I'll be honest. That's not church to me. I'm sure my church is completely guilty of it - I'm sure most churches are - I just don't really wanna be a part of the enticement crew. There's just something about creating a trail of bread crumbs/programs/big screens/awesome music/free roses to make people come to your church that doesn't seem genuine or even right. 

The thing is, we shouldn't be using the reader board in front of our church as a means of attracting people. The reality of that tactic is: it doesn't work. Silly proverbs, Condemnations and the like aren't really the things that make or break the church-deal for most people, but those are the general things you see around Nampa on church reader boards. Maybe we should be looking for ways beyond our reader boards to get the message of Christ's love and how it exists in the church to our communities. You think? I think. 

I don't have any free roses, but Happy Mother's Day to all mom's this weekend. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

the rain today.

When I walked outside this morning there was sun. It was clear and bright actually. And then. It rained. Misted really. And all at once I was back in Africa. It was such a strange feeling because as I was walking, the ground looked so much like something in Africa. Which, sounds silly, but it's true. 

I miss Africa. I never thought another country could capture my heart like Kenya did. Don't you hate the feeling of forgetting (or at least remembering less) an experience that was so dear. I was thankful for this glimpse back today because I hadn't really thought about my trip in quite some time. Kenya taught me a lot. It shaped me and I miss it. I'll go back there someday. I will. So thank you Idaho for being my Africa today. 

On another note, today would have been my friend Ryan House's 22nd birthday. Every year I wonder what to feel or think on this day. Mainly, it's just a chance to say that I'm thankful for his life and that I miss him. Happy birthday Ryan. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

time's a wastin'.

It's pedal to the medal time here at ol' northwest nazarene. Finals are approaching and I have quite a bit on my plate. Therefore, no bloggin for a while. Sorry dudes. 

Thursday, April 10, 2008

for kathy.

This is going to be some coffee shop talk again. But hopefully worthwhile. I have worked at The Flying M for 2 years. In that 2 years I have met many, many people. Some good and some bad. And it's such a strange thing - these meetings - because they're so seemingly impersonal and fleeting and yet we become a part of each other's lives. I see relationships begin, I see them end, I meet families both separately and together, I watch hair grow and then get cut,  I see pregnancy both announced and progress, the list could probably go on and on. The point is, I witness so much of people's lives so passively. 

And that brings me to this. Last week one of our customers passed away. Her name was Kathy. And probably if you live in Nampa, you knew her or at least of her. When Flying M first met her we only knew her as "Jesus Lady." I'll explain, Kathy truly did love Jesus. In fact, she made sure that everyone she encountered knew about it. She always had shirts on that she had added on to say something about Jesus or a verse of some kind. Her forte, was crocheting. She crocheted these tiny little dolls and crosses and then just left them here and there for people. Sometimes she made them special for people. She was strange, but fairly unforgettable. A regular for sure. Everyday, sometimes twice a day she ordered a small coffee and a cookie. Everyday. And everyday she would look over the top of her glasses and say thank you always with a look on her face that said, "You kids." She walked everywhere because she had epilepsy. There was also some rumor about her skills in skateboarding, but I never got to witness that. She died of a seizure and - to be honest- life is better for Kathy in Heaven. (I know, I know this obvious). 

I'm sorry to ramble, but it's just been on my mind for a while. It's just so strange to lose a customer. Because I feel the loss, but I was such a passive part of her life that it's hard to know what to feel. I realize I don't need permission to feel anything, but its complex. Part of me wanted to write this blog to honor Kathy with some words because I'm fairly certain that her life was lived quietly and mostly unrecognized. I'm glad that I met Kathy. As not into crazy-about-Jesus-gonna-make-sure-you-know-it people I am, I truly believed that Kathy served the Lord whole heartedly. I hope she made Him a tiny little crocheted doll. She really is livin the dream.

So, here's to you Kathy. And life goes on for us at the M. But certainly we won't forget. Just somethin' to think about. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

grown-up steps.

Big news here in the Cork household: We bought a car! Our first car as a married couple! We're pretty excited about it. It's a cute little 2001 Passat in lovely condition. I've never had this nice of a car in my whole life! 

Anyway, I just thought I'd tell everyone the news. It was a big deal. We had to get a loan all by ourselves and everything. The loan thing makes me a little nervous because I'm fairly protective of money, BUT this will be great. We're really excited about it and feel very grown-up with such an awesome car. SO if you happen to be in the market for a 1999 Honda Civic - give us a call! For pictures see Ryan's blog. Yay!

Friday, April 4, 2008

have your cake.

I have a very sweet husband. Some girls talk about how their husbands are lazy or just don't "get it" or various other common stereotypes of husbands. My husband is not that way. Ryan LOVES to be a husband and it seems to be his constant to goal to try and accomplish all the things that "Good husbands" do. In fact, he will often say to me, "Claire, don't you think I'm just the best husband?" Which of course my response is a resounding yes. 

Last night I was working as I do every Thursday night. Ryan and I grabbed some dinner before because, on another note, we are still terrible at buying groceries that make meals. Anyway, the grabbing dinner experience didn't end as well as one would have hoped and we both left with a little bit of hurt feelings. I got a text later asking me what my favorite kind of cake was for a survey. About 4 hours later Ryan and Phil came marching into The Flying M with a giant platter in hand holding a warm, frosted carrot cake. I wish I could have taken a picture of Ryan's face. He was so proud. He had spent the last 4 hours making, from scratch a carrot cake for me. With cream cheese frosting and all. Can you believe that? He graded the carrots and made the frosting all by himself. I was impressed. He's quite the little baker. 

So, nothing of real substance today. I just wanted to show off my husband a little bit. He's very wonderful to me and just amazing at taking care of me. I wouldn't have it any other way. Cheers to Mark and Jacque for raising such a sweet boy. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I work at a coffee shop. In that coffee shop I see many people. I interact with them, serve them, take their orders. And to be honest I'm getting pretty tired of it. People just aren't very nice, is the thing. And as each day passes it seems to bother me more and more. Here's why:

I feel like in the customer service realm we are constantly told that the customer is, of course, always right. I have to disagree. There are instances when customers are BLATANTLY wrong. For example, a woman approached the counter today after ordering, threw her to-go bag of food on the counter and said, "I wanted a turnover, not a scone." My co-worker Nathan then responded, "Oh, you said scone" which she just returned a, "No." Nathan had no problem with giving this woman the correct piece of food, but our customer could never have been at fault, for she should be always right. Right? The fact is, this woman was paying so little attention to her interaction with us at the counter that she couldn't even faintly recall saying "scone" instead of "turnover." Just to be clear - it was certain between Nathan and I that this woman said scone, not turnover. I could give you countless examples of similar situations - people being jerks because of a mistake they made in the ordering process. 

At what point do we stop enabling people to blame all their actions on other people? I realize that it would be inappropriate for me to correct each person's mistake, but I feel like there should be a time for me, the server, to say to the customer - I'm sorry, you're incorrect. I just think that we (the world) enable people to be as self-interested and absorbed as possible. When is it right to say - "Hey! Don't talk to me like that!" Don't I have the right to be treated reasonably? For heavens sake, I'm giving these people a cup of coffee! They don't NEED this coffee, it's not something they're investing in - it's a beverage! So just chill out, slow down and order. 

I'm about ready to snap at the next guy that pushes my buttons.
P.S. next time you order your medium caramel latte with an extra shot, could you just say hello to your barista first? They'd appreciate it. We're not machines. 

Friday, March 28, 2008


The girl upstairs has been playing the guitar for the past 3 hours. It sounds terrible. She keeps stopping and starting.  Neighbors are not our friends. Not even a little. 


Well, it's Friday of the first week back. Not bad. I just found out this week that there are only about 23 school days left in the year. So that's encouraging to know. I think Ryan might actually finish this semester WITHOUT a chapel fine, believe it or not. It may be the first time. There's a big Art vs. Music Kickball game today at 5:30. I'm not really sure how I feel about it, but I'll be there. Livin' that kickball dream. I hope someone videotapes. 

So I had Ethics this morning. I really enjoy the class and often leave feeling very challenged and motivated. It's been nice to learn and think about some really crucial ideas about morality. However, there are some people in that class that drive me nuts! Today one kid in particular. You know those people who feel like it is necessary to say something about everything in a way that indicates they, in fact, know all there is to know? This kid was one of those. And I can almost guarantee that he does NOT know all that he thinks he does. First of all, he is a freshman. Not that I devalue freshman in any way, but when you are in a room with mostly people older than yourself I would say it would bode well for you to take into consideration the older views. Right? Anyway, this kid just starts going off about how its IMPOSSIBLE for America to ever change, that people are ALWAYS selfish because they will NEVER see past themselves, it's JUST human nature. All spoken as fact. He's obviously trying to play the role of total realist who see's the world just how it is - he doesn't need to "dress it up". That kind of attitude drives me nuts. Especially, as a Christian (both he and I). I mean, how will the world ever change if even Christian people think there is no hope for change in the world?? The one thing that gets me most is that this kid would probably argue that he really does believe that people can change, but he was "just saying." I just feel like a lot of times that's the problem. How can change occur when everyone is speaking in negatives? Words are not just words. We live by words! A majority of our lives or formed by what we say and hear said. You can't just assume that saying people are always going to be selfish and are incapable of acting altruistically has no effect on those that hear you. Who is this kid to even say things like that? 

Then I thought, that kid's god must be pretty small. Because my God is way bigger than any selfish human desires. My God can change the world. And probably that is what it boils down to. Speaking in the way that this kid spoke really makes God sound so much less capable. It scares me when we limit God so much. There is not limit with Him. So why do we say that He can only work in certain ways? In certain surroundings? Only as far as human boundaries? Something to think about. 

Anyway, sorry for the long blog and somewhat confusing middle section. Blogs are for venting right? :) 

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Monday, March 24, 2008


Just thought I'd talk a little bit about my past week. First of all, it was great to surprise my father-in-law for his fiftieth birthday. We got him good. I just love a good surprise. Especially when it involves a Cork. One thing I've learned about our two families is that my family will jump at any chance to catch someone off guard. We just love that element of suspense. The Cork side, however, seems to like things a bit more planned out. So, needless to say, it was pretty awesome to see Mark jump up with complete confusion and joy. Love it. 

Second, being in Kansas made moving there in 3 months a little bit more of a reality and to be honest it was hard. I'm not sure that I really fit in there and there's so much that I am going to have to learn. You have to understand, I've never moved - not that I can recall at least - so leaving the only place I've ever lived is kind of a big deal. Olathe is big... well, bigger than Nampa. And there are like millions of roads to remember and just when I think I've got it, I'm completely lost. I know I'm going to be calling Ryan some days just crying because I have no idea where I am. Really, I'm afraid. And sad. I love my family and my dear friends. I'll be leaving at some of the most pivotal points of their lives and I'm afraid I'll miss it. I've never had to make new friends and I'm afraid doing so will present a much bigger challenge than I wish it would be. I'm trying so hard to know that God is bigger than it all, but I'm realizing that my heart is a little heavy knowing I'll be leaving so... leaving indefinitely. So with that said, I think it's almost time to start learning to say goodbye - not all the way, just not holding so tight. Bear with me. 

Third, Easter was yesterday. I love Easter. I spent the first little bit of it on a plane, starting at 5 in the morning Kansas time which is 4 in Idaho. We were exhausted and even after taking a 3 hour nap still mananged to sleep in today until 10. But that's not the subject. Easter. Every year my church puts on this pageant called No Greater Love. NGL (as us old timers call it) has become such an integral part of my Easter season and I love it. It's cheesy and it's a little over dramatic, but in the end I'm always reminded of how awesome a God I serve. A God that lives. I just think that's amazing. I've been reading a Donald Miller book in which he talks about a relational God. How humans have always and continually pursue a relationship with the Creator and how He longs for the same. A perfect reminder in this season that our relationship with God is not inanimate, but active and living and real. I'm just really thankful for that. 

Happy Easter everyone! 

Friday, March 21, 2008

america. the beautiful.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed with thoughts that things are going to start to go really terribly really soon. Sometimes they're strictly about my life, but sometimes they extend to worldly concerns and the other night one of these overwhelming experiences occurred. It was about America. 

There's a lot of stuff going on right now in this here country, you know? War, poor economy, high gas prices, depletion of all our resources, lots of people hate us, the list goes on and on. So, the other night I was laying in bed when I decided that I think I'm fairly concerned about all this. All of a sudden I could just see America being taken over by another country and really making us pay for all the resources we've used and money we owe. I realize this may sound a bit dramatic and I'm not trying to make it sound creepy in any way. I just feel a little helpless knowing that so much is going on that could really potentially end poorly for us. I'm kind of afraid. I am really hoping to be proved wrong. Really really. 

To be honest, I don't really know what the purpose of this post is. I just wanted to vocalize those thoughts to this blog. Maybe that is just all to say I shouldn't watch the news as much. It's depressing. 

Monday, March 17, 2008

this is our bed.

here is a not very good picture of our very awesome bed. It's kind of hard to really capture it since our room is too small to get a picture of the whole bed. but oh well. i love it and it's awesome. built by scott seward.

Friday, March 14, 2008

a bed and spring break.

FIRST. happy day we got a bed! The other night my dear brother Scott brought over the newly finished bed he has been working on for a couple of weeks. It's quite spectacular. I'd even venture to say that it may be one of the sweetest beds I have ever seen. Sleeping away from the ground has been a nice addition to the week as well. As trivial as it may seem, I feel a little more grown up and married style with a real bed. I like it. 

SECOND. Spring break has finally arrived and the amount of excitement and relief that I am experiencing is immeasurable. For some reason this long stretch of the semester has just felt endless and not very fun. I gladly welcome the chance to spend time with family and not be working. It's been interesting because since we have found out that we will be moving to Kansas this summer my job and school have just had a lot less appeal. Before I had no real feelings against either. I really love my job, but for some reason I'm ready to get time away from there. I'm sure these feelings will subside once I'm feeling quite lonely in Kansas. We'll see. 

Either way. I'm so happy to be taking some time to chill out. Praise God for beds and spring breaks! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My house smells.

No seriously. I feel like every time I walk into this place all I smell is something I don't want to my house to smell like. Don't get the wrong idea, my house doesn't smell because there are piles of trash everywhere and we do laundry maybe once a month. No, no, I assure you that is not that problem (nor is that true). The most probable cause of this said smell is the lack of space we have. I am estimated that our apartment is just about 300-400 square feet. Therefore, when even one little scrap of food goes into the trash can its lovely aroma fills the air. Do we have a garbage disposal you ask? Ah, yes. Yes, we do. Unfortunately sticking things in it turns out to be less convenient then one would hope since we have to eventually stick our hands in it days later and dig out everything that went down. 

These are the joys of living in a small apartment. To be honest, I'm a little ready to get out of here. No complaints about our state of living by any means, it is just sufficiently inconvenient. The way that every time one article of clothing or piece of paper touches the ground the entire house is instantly in need of cleaning. I think these sudden feelings of claustrophobia in my home are just anticipations of spring. I LOVE this sun we've been seeing. 

So get outside! It'll make you more tolerant of your current state. 

Sunday, March 9, 2008


DEVOTE. is written on two post-it notes stuck together on my nightstand. Since we have yet to get our bed off the floor these post-its are right at my eye level when I lay down to go to bed each night. I've written this small reminder to myself because for lent I decided that I would faithfully do a devotional before bed every night and that I would take it seriously. I say "take it seriously" because I'm using a book and many times these books that lay out how our thoughts are supposed to go during time spent with God get discounted for their lack of... something. So here I am, this 5th week of lent, thinking about my devoting experience. 

Having been a Christian in a Christian home my whole life silly things like devotional books never really seem to cut it. I've bought several (you know the ones I'm talking about. Each day of the month laid out. Step-by-step instructions) and every time I start them I just get bored and stop reading them. But this experience has been different for me. I can't say it's because of this remarkable book that I found, but I feel like it's because of the commitment I made for the season. I enjoy the book, but more importantly I'm taking it seriously. When it says pray, I pray. When it says read the passage again, I read it again. A lot of times I feel reluctant to do what it says because I feel like I got it the first time just fine. Or maybe I'll just pray later and give what it said a little thought. I'm just wondering if sometimes long-time Christians feel exempt from the simplicity of something as fundamental as devotions? Because the reality is that these past 5 weeks of devoting have really been great for me. My determination to gain something from what I read and what I pray has in fact helped me gain something. Devotions are such a hit or miss deal. But sometimes I wonder if we set them up for failure before we even open the book (any book). 

Anyway, give it a try. Pull out a devotional that you might have dismissed before. And follow it's direction. Pray when it says pray. See how being willing to follow through on the simple tasks turns out to be fairly rewarding as far as bring Christ to the forefront of your thoughts. It did mine.