Friday, April 30, 2010

Family Shopping

We went on a family shopping trip yesterday.

This is a scene in the shoe store when the cowboys in my family were trying on tennis shoes.

Here's a scene from the bike aisle, which illustrates the goofballs in my family and others who like to ride bikes in stores, including but not limited to my stepdad, my 19-year-old brother and (in the background) my other brother and sister. Oh, and Mom was around the corner behind me on her bike.

My brothers. Have I already mentioned goofballs?


As is typical in my family, nothing is ever complete without a good discussion post-action. In this case, we were talking about our bike purchase and at this precise moment, Mom was saying something about eating and John was pointing to Taco Bell. Daniel just has his mouth open for no reason.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Substitute Teaching Take One

My worst fear was losing a child. Or not being somewhere (i.e. the cafeteria) when I was supposed to be.

But neither of those two things happened and so life as a substitute teacher was great.

It was a first-grade class, 19 kiddos, one of me. Well, there was me and then there was the 7-year-old version of me.

"Timmy, shhh," monitored the captain of the class. "I will give you a warning." And the 'will' was uttered with such a vengance that Timmy shuddered in his seat and shut his mouth.

I tried not to laugh.

Yes, I had moments of complete chaos where I really did say, "Please no more talking!" 100 times in a row. Yes, I did break out my 'mean' voice and my stern eyes and the hand that waved when I was puncuating a point.

But by noon, I had hand-drawn pictures and notes that said things like, "You are the best teacher," "Please be are (sic) teacher," and "I love you so, so, so much." And I would turn around and bump into the same happy-faced little girl who was wrapping her arms around me for the 10th time.

And then, after I was helping two students, I looked up and saw a group of six little girls had gotten every single book off the shelf and had laid them all over two tables and were holding a bookfair.

I asked them to please put the books back on the shelf and in their seven-and-eight-year-old inexperienced-book-shelverness, they carried piles of books to the bookshelf, dumped them on the floor and proceeded to put them on the shelf one at a time.

That's when their teacher walked in.

But she was cool and didn't say anything about my moment of complete not being in control.

It was amazing; she walked in the room and it was like this cloud of serenity descended on everyone. Suddenly everyone was sitting (something I'd been trying to get them to do for 10 minutes) and no one was talking (miraculous!) and she was weaving in and out of their tables quietly and almost whispering compliments for good behavior and pointing out bad behavior that needed to be fixed (and was almost immediately.)

I was impressed.

And tired.

And I was only there half a day.

But it was fun and great and awesome and even the 'bad' kids were cute and funny.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Honest Skye

One of the many things I love about this dog is her honesty.

I always know where I stand with her. She never lies or embellishes or hides the truth.

Today I allowed myself to be frustrated by people's inability to tell the simple truth; people who would rather support a falsehood then deal with honesty. It didn't take long before I ended up on the doorstep of someone who I knew would be gut-level honest - Skye.


She is probably the closest thing to perfection when it comes to honesty. When she's happy to see me, me and everyone in a two-block radius knows it. She simply cannot contain herself. That's when she jumps her highest, barks her loudest, claws her hardest, wiggles her mostest.

When's the last time you and I allowed ourselves the freedom to be silly with excitement over seeing someone? Even someone you just saw 15 minutes ago. Even someone you know you'll see again in another, um, say, 15 minutes.

She knows when she's wrong and she tries to fix it as soon as possible. In her head, she knows when I say "bliven" (stay) she's supposed to stay until I release her. But sometimes her heart tells her differently and when she gets up to edge closer to me, she catches herself midstep and backs up to where she started. Or...she knows when I open the back of my car, she stays in it until I release her. Recently I opened it and she never stopped to think. Just went to jump down. Somewhere between the door opening and when her front paws hit the ground, she remembered. And tried to back herself back UP into the car but the force of gravity wouldn't let her. As soon as her back feet hit the ground, you've never seen a dog turn around and jump back IN a vehicle quicker.

When do I try to make a wrong right, as if it were my second nature? Or the knowledge that a hasty wrong act would bring displeasure/hurt to the people around me?

She loves unconditionally and that includes just about everyone she's ever met! She loves people. And you know it. When she meets people, she has a tendency to scare them to death. All they see is a wolf-looking 60 pound animal hurdling towards them. All she sees is another face to lick, a hand to pet her, a friend.

Are you and I blatantly passionate about people? Do people see us coming and brace themselves for our onslaught of love?

When I ask her to do something she doesn't want to do, she tells me. It cracks me up. Sometimes she really (really!) doesn't want to listen to me and when I ask her to sit or lay down or stay - she'll bark-argue with me the whole time she's carrying out her act. And it's this annoyed "I can't believe you just made me do that" bark.

How often do I pretend to like something I really hate just because I don't want to rock the boat? How often am I true to how I really feel about a situation? Oh yeah, and how often do I whine about the things I have to do? :)

There are a few things in this life she goes absolutely insane over: me, tennis balls, the opportunity to jump in a lake, riding in the car anywhere with me.

She reminds me all the time to enjoy (no, be absolutely crazy) over the simple things.

When she's tired, she carries her tennis ball to a shady spot and lays down. Then looks at me with her tongue lolling out of the side of her mouth.

I like to push myself to the point of exhaustion in every way possible. Maybe I just need to find the nearest shady spot and take a nap.


In all her honesty, she loves Micah, as evidenced by the picture above. You'd never know that mere minutes before I took that picture, the below video was shot:

video

See what I mean?

She's honest. I always know where I stand with her, whether she's having a good day or a bad day, whether she's happy or sad, angry or neutral, hungry, thirsty, bored, tired.

For all the things I've taught her, I'm glad for all the things she's taught me.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dancing

Daniel recently told some friends he "hated" to dance.

Um, excuse me?

So I coerced him into attending a ballroom dance fund-raiser with me in El Paso last Saturday night.

When I lived in Wisconsin and later Kentucky, I was a regular at a local swing dance club and loved it. My sisters, brothers and I would practice moves in our living room and have friends over to practice. In addition to the actual dancing, I love dancing to a live band.

And guess what? It was a live 18-piece orchestra scheduled to perform in El Paso. I told Daniel if we did nothing more then just sit and listen to the music and watch other people, it would be worth it to me.

He agreed.

We had super-duper great conversation on the way to El Paso, got lost a few times, was rescued by Google Maps on my Blackberry and arrived at our destination about 45 minutes late for the pre-dance lesson.

The swing refresher course was great and while the instructor wanted us to do triple-swing, Daniel and I stuck to our basic steps, which I guess influenced the instructors to change their instruction to the basic step. Much better! We learned a new step, practiced ones we already knew and waited for the band to start.

We danced every swing song they played. Daniel approached the dance floor much like he does a football field or basketball court.

"Okay, we're going to start out with the basic steps, then we'll do the kick move, the guy-turn, I'll spin you and we'll finish it off with the arms-over-the-head move." He even clapped his hands after he said all that as if finalizing the deal.

Our first dance we lost time to the beat a couple times so I just brought us to a halt and waited for the right beat. The dances after that were perfect.

I encouraged him to not watch his feet and instead of telling me what move he was going to do next, to guide me with his hands and body language.

"You're not going to be able to tell any other girl what you want to do next," I said. "You have to lead into it."

And he did. And it was awesome.

In his words, we "tore up the dance floor."

The only glitch was swing was the only dance he knew how to lead and it was the only dance I could follow intelligently. So when the band played rumbas and polkas and waltzes and foxtrots, we had to sit out.

Two hours later, when the bad recessed for 15 minutes, we decided to go see a movie. I mean, we were in the big city after all. Movie theaters!

Google Maps directed us to the nearest theater and we watched "The Losers." (great, funny movie, btw). Here's proof of my parking job:

I missed the turn into the theater from the frontage road and instead of going under the underpass, getting back on the Interstate, turning around and approaching the entrance again, we opted for parking in a warehouse parking lot and climbing this sand hill - in our ballroom dance attire and shoes.
Daniel was so pumped about dancing he wants to do it again. And again and again, which is totally awesome for me since that means I have a built-in dance partner. :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Big family...what?

I have a big family, yes? Yes. So we buy big family things like a twelve-pack package of paper towels and buckets (yes, buckets) of laundry soap and four gallons of milk at a time and commercial-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Which is why I don't understand this....

...the trashcan my mother purchased for our bustling family's kitchen. Your eyes are not deceiving you.

This....


...is what usually happens to this tiny 6-gallon trash can that tries so hard to be sufficient for our family. Trash is usually piled on top as high as possible before someone pulls out the trashbag. At that point, the trashcan becomes a trash supporter while the trashbag leans against it until it's full and taken out.
This is, by far, the most useless object we have in our house.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mom Friends

My relationship with my friends who are moms to young children has changed over the years as their families have grown but it's not worsened. It just means we've adapted our ability to have in-depth conversations amidst noise and sometimes seemingly chaos. Organized chaos, that is.

It means I sit on the toilet while Kristin gives five-month-old Ben his night-time bath. And we talk.

It means Jaclyn and I just talk a little louder over the obnoxiously loud motor that drives the automatic Winnie the Pooh bubble-blower. And we pause occasionally to laugh with two-year-old Norah when she sticks her face in the bubbles.

It means Sarah and I's conversation is post-poned due to the birthday kids (Luke, 4 and Norah, 2) opening their presents.

It means Brooke and I still watch our marathon of Snapped and discuss how stupid some of those women are, while I'm feeding two-week-old Vinn and she's folding a load of laundry.

It means that Greg, Kristin, Greg's mom and I get into a lengthy conversation about nearly-three-year-old Cate's bedtime routine and what songs she wants sung to her.

It means that my conversation with Sarah is interrupted to say "yes" to Malaika who wants me to go swing with her.

It means that Daniel, Kayla and I talk about their recent trip to Kenya with three-and-a-half year old Malaika's input. And pausing to get her food out of the microwave for her.

It means before I hug Kristin, I hug Cate. And kiss Ben.

It means I hear breathless stories from Luke and quiet words from Norah before I can greet their mother.

It means our trips to Wal-Mart involve just as much time getting everyone out of the vehicle (I'll grab the stroller; you get the baby) as it does actually shopping.

It means a lot of conversation happens over the dishwasher, the playroom, the lunch table, and the outside playhouse.

It means hanging up the phone when someone bumps their head or scrapes their knee or it's mealtime.

It means my life is fuller and richer because I have friends who are moms.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

2,710 miles. 8 days.

I am home - the place that is home because my family is here. I arrived back here after a trip to Murray, Kentucky - the place that is home because my extended family (I'll claim them all!) are there. I will tell you about it via my Facebook statuses over the past eight days.


"Holly: "I know what things are good: friendship and work and conversation. These I shall have. - Rupert Brooke."

Those things I did have. Nothing is more satisfying then sitting at Kristin's kitchen table or on Brooke's couch or Jaclyn's outdoor swing and having conversation. We talk about everything. These conversations (and many others!) I look forward to and relish when I'm having them. Every time I'm with my friends I realize just how great they are - every one of them.


"Holly is lovin' on my nephew this morning."


After spending the weekend grieving, birthday partying, walking, talking, eating, dog training and just generally hanging out, I headed to my best friend's house to spend this past week with her and her new little family. Baby Vinn was born two weeks ago and being the son of my best friend, he is my nephew. That's how we roll. He is the best snuggler ever and we did lots of it! And he smells good (bonus!) and even when he's crying, he's still precious. I loved every minute with him.


He was such a trooper too. His mommy and I enjoy shopping together and eating and lounging on the couch and talking and cooking and watching marathons of Snapped....we did all those things, just with a 7-pound 'football' nestled in the crook of one of our arms.


I got to tell him in person how amazing his mom is and how much she loves him and how he's so lucky to have her. He was crying when I told him that but I'm confident he registered the info.


"Holly has a new journal and I can't wait to use it."


It's true. All of it. And on the cover it says, "A girl's gotta doodle what a girl's gotta doodle," which is completely fitting for me since I have to doodle...on something...anything...especially when I'm engaging in serious conversation. This knowledge is so prolific in my family that prior to a serious discussion, my mom will hand me a napkin and a pen. Or a marker. Or a piece of paper because really, who wants to doodle on a napkin? But I'll take whatever's handy. If I'm not doodling, I'm breaking toothpicks or sprinkling salt on the table or tearing the napkin into microscopic pieces. It's just much better if I have a pen and a piece of paper handy.


"Holly is certain of many things right now: 1) I love road trips; my body does not 2) I'm very glad for improved use of my right pointer finger 3) my GSD is super great 4) my friends are even greater 5) I've been at this rest stop before 6) I wanna salsa dancing in El Paso 7) I"m looking forward to bed tonight."


I wrote this yesterday about 7 hours into my 18-hour drive home. Yes, I had been at that rest stop before. As a matter of fact, I've been at most of those rest stops and gas station exits along I-40 and I-30 in the past five years. They feel familiar to me even in Arkansas, which is just wrong. Because I really (REALLY!) don't like Arkansas.


And again, true. I love road trips...everything about them. But, unfortunately, my back, neck, hips, knees, elbows and arms do not agree. Actually, they protest very loudly. And that makes me sad.


My finger is much, much better! I'm actually typing with it right now for the first time in almost two weeks. Glorious!


Skye went with me to Kentucky. She's a good traveler and I enjoy the excuse she gives me to get out and walk. I also like the fact that people give me a lot of space when she's next to me. She doesn't prohibit conversation (Exhibit A: random guy at the rest stop) but she turns into a beast when she feels we're threatened.


I "snuck" her into my cheap hotel room last night in Garland, Texas. I desperately just wanted a bed. But I forgot the other amenities you get when you stay at a non-cheap hotel (Marriott, oh, how I love thee!) Things like a remote to the TV, a power and volume button that exist on said TV. Oh, and NO PARTIES NEXT DOOR. They got started about 10:30 p.m. and the noise just escalated. Pounding (POUNDING!!!!) music, shouting from two floors down, scraping against MY door and window...ugh. Finally, around midnight I called the front desk and complained. They quieted down but it didn't dissipate. I thought about calling the police to drive through the parking lot but I couldn't remember what exit I was off of and that was the thought I finally fell asleep to.


Skye, in all her awesomeness, was on full alert, pacing in front of the door, alerting when the sounds got too loud, never barking or growling, just watching...and waiting. She finally settled on the double bed next to mine and I guess fell asleep.


Salsa dancing, yes, and other types of dance, mainly swing and ballroom. I've recruited my brother. Well, in all honesty, I commanded him to go with me. He said he doesn't like to dance but I finally got an admission over dinner that he would go with me. Ah, the power of persuasion.


"Holly is always courteous to truckdrivers. I am not courteous to Honda Accords who get in the fast lane and brake to 40. And drift. And whose driver is rummaging on the floor. I honk at them."


I take my Interstate driving very seriously but I'll be the first to say that during the last leg of a long trip (this one being 18-hours) I get cranky and exhibit road-aggression. I won't call it rage because I'm in control of the vehicle at all times but SERIOUSLY, dumb lady driving the Honda Accord. FORTY?! In the fast lane? There's a reason it's fast and there's a reason why you should never drive on the Interstate again. So yes. I honked at her. And then passed her from the right. Actually, I did that a lot on this 2,710-mile trip. If riding your ass for .2 seconds doesn't give you the impression that you miiight want to get over, I will go around.

"Holly is back in the land of no radio stations. HOME!!!"



You guessed it. It's true. There are no working radio stations here. But that's okay because that means I'm home safely (no accidents, no tickets, no driving in the wrong direction) and that means I get to sleep in my own bed (JOY!)

I do miss my friends tonight, my community of family in a West Kentucky town that suits me.

I spent a portion of my trip home devising early retirement-to-there plans.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vast homeland

Tonight I am very tired but my life feels overwhelmingly full and blessed, which is why I'm here and not sleeping, although sleep will have to come very, very quickly.  

I've written about this before - an incredible sense of belonging when I'm here in this small Western Kentucky town.  It feels like ...being home...jumping on a down comforter and landing in a heap of soft pillows...comfortable...easy...

So here I am, nearing the end of my visit.  I told friends goodbye tonight at the park and loved their company.  

Sleep is screaming in my ear (thank you Simply Sleep!) and my fingers are making too many mistakes - missing keys on the keyboard, replacing 'l's' with 'p,s' and forgetting to hit the space bar.  

Here's to friends and me blogging more about them later.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The one about flying

Somewhere in one of my journals is a bucket list. And I can guarantee you that "flying a small plane" wasn't on it. But now, thanks to my obsessive list-keeping, I will put it on there just for the simple pleasure of crossing it off.

Yes, you read correctly. Crossing it off. Yes, that means I flew a plane.

The technical part of me wants to specify that I more temporarily guided the plane because in reality I had nothing to do with the preflight routine, the taxi-ing on the runway (which I always want to spell as run-away), the TAKE-OFF (hello! pretty important!), reaching cruising altitude and speed or just ensuring the overall safety of my passengers.

The non-technical part of me will show you this picture, PROOF that I did fly the plane!



My eyes are intently watching where we were going and the control that indicated our altitude. While the pilot snapped the 'proof' pictures, I gave myself a headache (not really) trying to maintain our altitude of 6,500'. And not turn too violently to the left or the right.

6,400.

6,300.

6,200.

I think around the 6,100' mark I started panicking because I couldn't remember in which direction to manipulate the joystick to gain altitude. This would be a serious problem in my piloting skills - not remembering at critical times what I'm supposed to do.

"I don't remember how to get us back up," I said. Thankfully, he did.

Here's the runWay and you'll be glad to know that at this point, I was no longer in control.


Daniel, for one, was very glad about this. He told me after we landed that when I took over, he was veryVERY nervous.


"The first thing we started doing was veering to the right and to the ground," he said. It took me a few moments to get adjusted to the control.


But, just in case, we did have a parachute that could be activated upon emergency. A parachute for the whole plane. Genius.

Some thoughts (in list form) I had when landed:

1) the take-off and landing were so.much.smoother then what I was expecting.
2) I actually believed we would make it back alive, which were not the thoughts I had when flying in a small plane at the age of 12 - an experience I don't clearly remember except for fear.
3) it was nearly as comfortable as riding in a car.
4) I never once thought we were going to crash.
5) my town looks even smaller from the air.
6) I am definitely not smart enough to actually fly a plane.
7) there's probably not a lot of people brave enough to get in a plane I was flying!
8) the one picture that didn't work was of me and the pilot

We were pumped; it was such a neat (unexpected) experience.
So, check. On something I didn't even know was on the list.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Contrast

Today there were a lot of factors leading up to my exploration.

1) I hadn't slept hardly at all the night before, which, you know, is a problem I have

2) I had a full tank of gas that was loudly calling my name

3) I needed miles of road to think and listen to music

4) I wanted to spend time with my dogs (call me crazy)

So I headed to a quaint West Texas town and a Prada "store" a friend told me about - CDs playing and the dogs riding in the back. And of course, thoughts racing.

Today I thought a lot about contrasts. I'm going to Kentucky unexpectedly this weekend to attend the funeral of one of my best friend's father-in-law. He died very suddenly of a heart attack yesterday. I will also be visiting and staying with my best friend who just had her first baby last week.

I will be celebrating life in two very different forms.

I drove through a lot of desert today and passed a lot of things traditional in the West Texas sand. Windmills, cows, fences, railroad tracks and ranch gates such as this one.

Then, out of the middle of nowhere, literally nowhere, appeared this block-shaped building with Prada written on it in boldfaced print. It's an art collection of the 2005 Prada collection situated in an unopenable building on land donated by a rancher. It's probably the single most random thing I've seen in a long time.

I pulled in and took a few pictures, wearing my jeans and cowboy (er, -girl) boots and wondered again at this contrast, these polar opposites.


Life. Death. Birth. Burial. Tonight I know that death doesn't come knocking, it charges in. I've written about death way too much this year and mourned the loss of a friend. Now I am mourning with some of those closest to me the loss of their patriarch in this seemingly unfair swing of the pendulum. Why him? Why now?


I don't understand. And I don't know what to say.


These probably aren't the thoughts most people have when they're standing in front of Prada displaying plate-glass windows. The contrast seemed fitting today, though, as I make plans...


...Plans to celebrate a life well lived and one yet to be.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ninja-like focus



I had my pointer finger slammd in my mom's truck door Friday afternoon. I was at Dollar General with my two brothers and sister and I was wrestling Micah for the front seat when Elsie, being the mature one, had gotten in the backseat. I rested my hand on the side of the truck and, as it turns out, onto the hinges of the back door.

Elsie slammed her door shut.

I paused a moment, registering what just happened. I didn't feel anything yet.

Daniel later said a "ninja-like focus" came over my face as I reached over and calmly opened the door. Part of me was yelling to have Elsie open it but I quickly realized she probably couldn't hear me and by the time she had, it would've been too late. That's when I instinctively decided to take matters into my own hand.

I gripped my released hand and started crying. Elsie was telling Daniel he "better hurry!" and I could hear her asking if my finger was still there. Even though I'd clearly still seen my finger attached, I started asking the same thing.

"I don't want to look at it," I kept saying, watching big blood drops hit the pavement. Daniel told me and everyone else wondering that my finger was indeed attached. We all got back in the truck and headed to the clinic. My finger was throbbing but we were all laughing.

Now, three days later, my finger doesn't hurt. As a matter of fact, its numb and very black and blue and very swollen. At the advice of one of my friends, I started massaging it last night to get the circulation flowing in attempts to keep the tip from dying. Hopefully there will be success.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Holiness

My 12-year-old brother recently described me to a non-family member as the following:

"She's very headstrong and blunt. She can be mean sometimes but most of the time she's a nice person. Oh and if you haven't noticed, she loves her dogs."

Check, check. Check, check and....check.

Sometimes my bluntness is unintended. For example, yesterday I was flying (in the air!) and the pilot asked me twice, "Holly, are you ready to fly the plane?" After the second time, I replied, "I don't know what you mean when you say that!"

My being blunt generally means you know exactly where I'm coming from and what my position is on a subject, any given subject. It's also earned me the title of "boss" on a few different occasions.

I recently expressed my opinion on a subject very explosive to me and in so doing, I prayed (out loud) for God to mellow me and to grant me wisdom to express myself without...scorching people. I have a tendency to passionately express my opinion without tenacity or grace. And isn't that what I judge other people for?

The discussion last week that raised my ire was an article denoting Christian marriage and a checklist of do's and don't's.

In theory the checklist was decent. I won't call it good but I can concede that Christian wives need to smile, have quiet time when they're overwhelmed and create a peaceful home environment for their husbands and children (grossly assuming that Christian marriages beget children).

My agitation with the article was an introductory paragraph addressing readers as "sweet little people" (shiver) and then going on to say what God's idea for marriage is and that his plan is holiness.

Enter...checklist and the insinuation that the checklist equaled God's idea of marriage and, more offensively, that the checklist equated holiness.

My insides began to boil and over the next three days, I ranted and raved and wrestled and discussed and prayed and tried to convey my opinion gently.

Why do we have to put human perimeters on God? More notably, why do we have to present our opinion with a preface of "God said" when (in my opinion!) he clearly did not? Why is it that we, as human beings, cannot even begin to fathom God's Name yet we put a checklist on the requirements of holiness? Who do we think we are?

I'm reading a book that's changing my life. Actually, I've already read it. And it's still changing my life.

Rob Bell says: "The moment God is figured out with nice neat lines and definitions, we are no longer dealing with God. We are dealing with somebody we made up. And if we made him up, then we are in control."

This is key for untold amounts of religious rhetoric bullshit. Bullshit that makes statements like: divorce is sin, meet on Sunday, Jesus rose on Easter. Or for faith followers who decry books such as "The Shack" because it dares paint Jesus as something other then the meek, longhaired, white Jew we've been programmed to believe He was. Or the "DaVinci Code" that speaks of the sacreligious idea that Jesus had a wife.

Are we that cemented in our lines and definitions of who God is that we don't dare allow revolutionizing works such as "The Shack" to impact our lives? The answer is yes, we are.

Later in his book, "Velvet Elvis", Bell makes the austentacious statement that we don't need checklists for holiness because we already are.

"The issue then isn't my beating myself up over all of the things I am not doing or the things I am doing poorly; the issue is my learning who this person is who God keeps insisting I already am." (Bell)

Exclamation point. Exclamation point. It's like jumping into a pool of the most refreshing water...ever. Jump again. Read it again.

Last summer I worked at a Christian camp for the first time in my life. Part of my responsibility was leading the teaching session one morning. I spoke about God writing our stories and trusting Him to do it.

Bell takes it a step further when he says, "God is retelling each of our stories in Jesus...our choice becomes this: we can trust his retelling of the story or we can trust our telling of the story. It is a choice we make every day about the reality we are going to live in...this reality then isn't something we make true about ourselves by doing something. It is already true. Our choice is to live in this new reality or cling to a reality of our own making."

How many times have we sung, "Holiness is what you want from me"? Maybe if we stopped and listened we'd hear him say, "You already are holy. You already are."

So, yes, I'm blunt. And headstrong. The examples for that are far less flattering, I assure you.

And yes, there was a reference earlier to me flying a plane. I'll get to that story later...with pictures!

In the meantime, be holy. And remember, you already are.