Monday, December 27, 2010
“If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you.”
-Winnie the Pooh
Pretty wise words, coming from that sweet little bear I knew all too well as a child.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Eating frozen goldfish for example. Mom recently informed me that she only put them in the freezer to keep them from going stale.
My response: “Oh.”
Doesn’t everyone do that?
I’ve got more than just goldfish I could go on about, but right now I’m kinda stuck on the fact that no one else eats em’ cold.
Amberly recently introduced me to writer Brian Andreas, and I'm afraid there's no going back for me. I'm obsessed with the way he writes. Seemingly simplistic with this sudden depth that grabs you. Sometimes I don't even try to figure out what he's saying, I just take it in.
This is an intro to one of his books that "grabbed me."
"I’ve always seen hidden meanings in everything. Whenever I used to do those puzzles in children’s magazines, the ones where you’re supposed to find all the hidden pictures, I’d never find the right ones. I’d say I found the griffin, and the Wesselman steam engine, and the missing little finger of the mummy of Tut, and everyone would give me a strange look and say, All you’re looking for is a yellow duck…
…I believe the world still whispers. But we have forgotten how to listen…
…Take some time to listen to the voices around you…
…After that, work up to the voices of places you can only imagine. Ask where to find the griffin, and the Wesselman steam engine, and the little finger of Tut. I know they’re out there, and usually in the strangest of places.
And if you find the yellow duck, let me know. That’s the one I always miss."
I can't wait to get some of his works, but until then, I'll just read Amberly's book over and over every time I'm over there. I'm pretty sure she's ok with that too.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
People have always told me, “It’s just that season in your life. You’ll look back and realize how much you’ve changed, and why you went through that difficult time.”
Spring is always around the corner.
Sure, when I lived in North Carolina, these words were all too comforting. I knew that by April new life would be bursting forth and showing off its colors.
I guess my fear is that my life’s season will be like Florida:
a hot, humid summer that lasts a little longer than necessary,
followed by an uncommonly warm winter,
making spring a little less noticeable when it finally hits.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I’m old, but I’m young.
I fake my age all the time. Proving my maturity at times. Taking off the professionalism for a few nights out with friends. At the moment, it’s a bit exhausting trying to discover just where I fit.
Last night, my sister and I sat on the living room floor of our parents’ house as I looked up guitar chords. We sang and sang our hearts out with my attempt at playing cheesy Taylor Swift songs. I felt young.
A few weeks ago a student asked me if “people my age” still texted each other when they liked each other. I felt old.
I recently discovered geo-caching with a few friends of mine. Suddenly I became that little kid again. Looking for the missing treasure. Couldn’t give up or I’d be considered a “wuss.” Couldn’t handle being called a “wuss,” so I continued to search for a minuscule piece of rolled up paper for hours. I felt young.
The other day it hit me. I’m a 22-year-old on salary, expected to come in daily and teach English to middle and high school students. I felt old.
Yet part of me still longs to be that artist. To rearrange people’s thoughts and conceptions. To speak to people on a different level than my audible voice can deliver. There’s no age limit on that. Right?
There’s a loneliness that comes with being surrounded by people all day long and not really knowing what kind of me is appropriate for the moment at hand.
So much irony in that statement, but I promise it’s true.
I hold to my ever-consistent Savior in these times.
Trusting in his plan.
Relying on his voice.
*Finding my belonging not in my earthly endeavors or vain pursuits or people's perceptions of me.
*Working on that last one constantly.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I've been going through my room the last few days pulling out anything I can find that may come in handy for teaching English. I stumbled upon this...It's a piece of my writing that I feel like expresses my emotions in a way that I usually can't quite get across on paper.
I miss my grandmother. It would be so encouraging to hear her cheering me on during this new season in my life.
I thought I'd share it:
That was when I noticed it: a dramatically different side of the woman that taught me how to love, how to pray, and how to show proper tea etiquette should the Queen of England ever invite me to dine in her presence.
There we were at the Brass Pig⎯my cousin, my sister, and me ⎯a quaint tea shop that offered more than mere crumpets and Earl Grey. For us, it proved tradition and good exchange. And don’t let the name fool you. The only “pork” visible there was perhaps the dancing pigs located on the hundreds of Christmas ornaments or teapots for sale in the front room. There was a significance to the Brass Pig which only the right company could explain, and without my grandmother, I am sure that the charm would not have had the same effect.
And on this particular day, like other days where we shared meals together, my grandmother ordered her salad. I always felt that my own mother’s healthy tactics evolved from my grandmother’s influence, and this part of the story, if you knew us Poiriers, is as normal as eating cereal in the morning. I can remember that salad coming out with no crunchies on top and the attitude of disgust which was thrown so rashly at our innocent waitress. Now, describing a simple order at a restaurant and one incident involving my grandmother’s change of mannerisms is not enough for you to fully get the concept of what I am trying to portray. For one cannot understand the way she used to be unless given a chance to see the beauty of her spirit and mannerisms beforehand. So shift with me in your thoughts and leave that table in the quaint tea shop for a moment as I describe the woman I once knew and understood.
My grandmother was a woman of manners. She was a woman that knew how to be a true wife and homemaker. I can remember listening to her talk of recipes and tea times. The house was impeccable. Never did I see a room that had not been dusted or vacuumed. I began to think that dust did not exist at “Happy Hill”, as we liked to refer to my grandparent’s home, for I cannot note one instant that this powdery film dared to rest upon my grandmother’s furniture. It would have been considered a crime⎯just as hanging pictures too high or daring to set foot on the formal living room’s blue carpet as a minor (forbidden for animals and children under the age of fourteen) became. Never was it OK to rest your elbows upon a surface of any kind, but if you wanted to commit a sin you might try doing so at the dinner table. I can remember countless times of accidently “smashing the fairies” as it came to be called. I am now trained correctly and dare say that I ever want to obliterate another creature due to my lapse in table etiquette.
She was a woman of faith. I can remember nights at “Happy Hill” where fear would overshadow my little mind as I lay in the purple room surrounded by the howling wind through the thick layers of woods encompassing the densely concealed home. I have fond memories of the many instances that my grandmother would pray with me for long periods of time. Why is it that the human spirit feels in some cases another’s prayers are more adequate than their own? I always felt this way during those summers in Ohio when constant fear dictated my thoughts. I felt that she understood this about me, and as a result, perceived it her job to push my mind to encounter God on its own. She wanted me to realize that I too had the same power as she in protecting my thoughts from the evil one. In this I never knew how to thank her, for I felt that she understood the Lord in a way that I had only begun to, and perhaps this wasn’t something you thank someone for but simply accept.
Alta Poirier, my grandmother, had a way of making bread so the aroma filled the room at the precise moment I walked into the kitchen after a long drive from our home in North Carolina. She had a way of listening to me sing and egging me on for more despite the fact that she was hopelessly tone deaf—and we all knew it—which caused me to wonder if she could even tell if I sang well or just loved watching me try. She had a way of framing all of the grandchildrens’ artwork despite my sister’s admittedly less than average attempts at drawing the Nativity. She had a way of making herself unique and memorable to me.
Now, follow me back to the Brass Pig, the irritated waitress, and the place where things began to surface in my mind due to salad crunchies.
Crunchies: a salad topper that adds extra zing and power to a salad
⎯Just in case you weren’t too sure about it⎯I am not saying that these toppings affected the way my grandmother acted, but they were a part in me understanding something about her. The something that was completely different than the normal Alta Poirier I had always known. She was intense when she needed to be, but only in situations of some significance. The fact that she was bent out of shape for our waitress forgetting to put crunchie noodles on a salad weighed a little on my mind. I didn’t know how to take it exactly. It was just off. No one else would have noticed so much, but I did. I knew her enough to know that there was too much frustration in her normally soothing voice. There was an intensity that seemed to point at herself rather than the waitress. Forgetfulness just wasn’t an option. Not with the waitress. Not with her. She knew it was happening.
Yeah, I know you can’t be convinced that someone has a disease from a simple encounter at a tea shop with salad toppings, and I wasn’t at the time. I didn’t know what to think, for I was more irritated than anything. I saw something in her being that I never had seen before.
After that, things became more intense. It was as if the disease had a checklist of deterioration techniques to follow and would slowly accomplish each extremely effectively. The list was and is different with every family member, but for my personal list it was salad crunchies first. It escalated to forgotten family recipes and missing purses, to the point of an introduction every time I saw her. First the tears come fast and hard, and you don’t know how to comfort yourself, let alone your family. Then you get this sort of numbness where you can’t quite express how you feel, for you consider yourself wrong for not crying when the rest of your loved ones can’t hold it together with one glimpse or mention of her name.
My mother said something to me the other day that struck me. She told me she regretted in some ways that we hadn’t lived closer to Happy Hill. That my grandmother couldn’t have been at my birthday celebration and countless piano recitals. And as I sat there contemplating the words she had spoken, that’s when it hit me. Maybe I hadn’t even gotten the chance to truly know her; know her in a way that was more like a friend than an authority figure; know her as another type of mother to me; know her habits and life style; her major likes and dislikes. But it’s too late now, that lady before me is not my grandmother. I’ve convinced myself of this. Her eyes don’t know me, and her mind can’t figure me out. My grandmother is gone. For all that seems to be left is a memory and a shell of the woman that could put me to sleep with a prayer and the moments of baking bread and long talks of table manners that I might have taken for granted otherwise.
So instead, I try and picture her there with me. Clapping and cheering as I graduate from college. Sitting at my wedding where the man I love recites his vows to stay with me in sickness and in health just as my grandfather painfully has. Listening to me lead worship and realizing that I am beginning to accept and grasp the love of my heavenly Father that she once told me about. Blessing my first child. And the pictures sort of vanish away into a space called reality as she looks at me in that home⎯almost past me with those eyes⎯and holds her dinner fork up in confusion, wondering what exactly she’s supposed to accomplish with it.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
I've always unfairly had my beef with Donald Miller after his book Blue Like Jazz came into being, allowing us all to justify our "let's-have-a-drink-and-talk-about-Jesus" mentality. I'm not one to like the recently blurred lines of Christ's setting us apart in holiness. (Please don't tune me out after that...) But, after reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald has regained my confidence and respect.
He truly got me thinking. I'm not going to spoil the book and kill its message, but the jist of it concerns our creating a story worth remembering.
"I don't wonder anymore what I'll tell God when I go to heaven, when we sit in the chairs under the tree, outside the city... I'll tell these things to God, and he'll laugh, I think, and he'll remind me of the parts I forgot, the parts that were his favorites. We'll sit and remember my story together, and then he'll stand and put his arms around me and say, "Well done," and that he liked my story. And my soul won't be thirsty anymore."
I got really emotional reading this part yesterday. I blame 25% of it on the Temper Trap who were singing in my ears at the time, but the rest was all my thoughts towards the Lord. I kept wondering what I would say to my Redeemer on that day.
Maybe something like this:
Once I've come to grips with the fact that God is in front of me there, and I'm able to hold my composure, I'll probably start rambling, giving a play-by play of my life, like I tend to do.
...I'll apologize for the moments of doubt. Thank him for the moments I didn't deserve.
I'd ask him if he remembers the time I was hurting, and I couldn't breathe from crying so hard.
He'll tell me He was there all along.
Or why my beautiful grandmother, one of the most faithful people I've known, used to tell me she knew she'd see His return, and she died from Alzheimer's that summer of 2009. I'd ask Him why that happened. What kind of things could He see that I couldn't?
However He decides to answer this question, I know it will suddenly make complete sense.
Oh yeah, and I'd ask him if I could meet David and Paul...since the Bible makes them out to be pretty cool.
I'd probably crack some stupid joke and ask him if he was really a Republican like everyone thinks He is...
Then I'd apologize for rambling too long, and I'd ask him if I could sing to Him face to face. He'd already know I love doing that.
And in all honesty, I'm not sure I'd be able to utter a word with Him there in front of me.
But I'd love to sit there with Him and just listen to His sweet voice. Listen to His laugh.
Listen to Him fill my innermost longings with words of peace, love and complete satisfaction.
And as Miller said, "...My soul won't be thirsty anymore."
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
John Mayer posted this bit on life in his last blog post, and I couldn't take my eyes off of it...
"People want to be liked. We all crave attention and affection and we all reject shame. When we get embarrassed we send a thug version of ourselves to the forefront to do our fighting for us. We’re at the top of the food chain just under fear. We don’t want to be in a relationship to hear the words “I love you,” we want to be in a relationship to say the words “I love you.” We want to feel needed, and exceptional and we hate feeling insignificant. We want to ace a hearing test. We are binary creatures; if we’re the plaintiff, we want to win every dollar. If we’re the defendant, we want guard every penny. We want to make more money than last year. We don’t want to get cancer or die in our cars and we want the same for our loved ones. We go out on weekends to try and have sex while trying not to get punched in the face. We drink so we can be ourselves and not mind it so much. We’re desperate to be understood. We want to know someone else has felt it, too. We hate being judged unfairly. We want to make the person we heard wasn’t all that into us change their minds and admit they had us wrong. We want sunny skies with a chance of killer tornadoes, just to keep music sounding good. We take hours upon hours to admit to self consciousness. We don’t know exactly how to pleasure each other. We just want love. In any and every form."
I hated that this was so true. None the less, it's motivation for one to take action and share the hope and love of a Savior.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
It wasn't until she told me what he called her.
A "bald-headed nigger."
You cut her that time.
I'm glad I wasn't there.
I didn't know she'd had cancer.
I still don't know what kind.
Or where it ate away at her body.
I didn't ask.
I can't picture anything harming her.
I can't picture that with one of the strongest women I know.
Bet you didn't know, student.
The empathy she now carries.
From earthly pain wisdom can be acquired.
At least I think so.
"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom."-Proverbs 11:2
Friday, July 2, 2010
thinking of the times I'd sit at the lunch table laughing uncontrollably with these boys,
as we tried to out-do each other with our weirdness...
I never won.
I knew they'd be something then...
Where did you run off to?...
Sunday, June 20, 2010
"Well, it's what things look like," Meg said helplessly.
"We do not know what things look like, as you say," the beast said.
"We know what things are like. It must be a very limiting thing, this seeing."
"We look not at the things which are what you would call seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal. But the things which are not seen are eternal."
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Sitting there in the sweltering sun that only Florida can provide so effortlessly, we small-talked. After running out of mindless, meaningless things to discuss, she glanced at my tattooed foot asking me to quote the verse written there. I quickly regurgitated back to her Psalm 22:5, "In Him they trusted and were not disappointed, " that had ministered to me so much in times of uncertainty.
Her response was, "Mmmm.."
Like she was soaking each word in and chewing on it for a moment.
And after she'd saturated every bit of goodness from those words of truth that I'd spoken so loosely, her eyes looked past me, and she quoted some of the most beautiful words I've ever heard:
"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore."
It wasn't the way they were spoken: mumbled and quick, sometimes slurred. But suddenly I trusted, Alice. I believed those words more than if a pastor had quoted them from a pulpit. She lived them.
And after that I was certain we weren't different at all.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
I love thunderstorms. As I write this, I'm sitting outside waiting for one to approach.
With thunderstorms comes the memory of my dad and me sitting in our old garage for hours, watching the rain beat on the pavement. We'd sit there and count the seconds between lightning strikes and the soon to follow thunder. And maybe we'd make a few jokes here and there about God bowling in heaven again. We'd talk about our days, and I'd listen to his musings about the future and "adulthood."
Some people say that young people don't take advantage of their youth, or that they forget to value the simple moments. But I think even then, at my young age, I knew the worth of these moments. And I held on to them tightly...
So that ten years later, when I'm stressed about the future and anxious about where my life could take me, I can think about dad and me: relaxing, contemplating and dreaming. And that beautiful rain hitting our tree-tops.
We always made it a big deal, our escapades in the garage, but really it was just our excuse to hang-out together.
I think the Lord knew I needed that reminder of the kind of peace and blessing I felt from Him in those times, so I could cling to it again now.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Today I am missing these gentlemen...
And this place..
and this run...
and sleeping in this house...
even on those occasions when my body woke me up at three in the morning demanding that i walk creepily into the pitch-black night from my basement cellar room to the upstairs bathroom, all-along praying no crazy British late-night "pubbers" were out...
i even miss that.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I've given it thought.
Yes, I too have spent time staring at the pictures containing love-struck faces with matching looks of endearment to go with their perfectly placed interlocking fingers. And it makes me feel a bit nauseous. And it's not nausea surfacing from the giant hearts dancing along the added border of the already unmistakable photo. I'm disgusted at the idea of that happening to "those people" but all along praying that I'm next.
But when the time comes, and I'm standing there with mixed emotions, displaying a perfect medley of both tears and smile, waiting for the moment when we say that that which was once our own is now shared...
I know that he'll "get" me.
(But in the meantime, I have people like Becky Renko to get me through. :D)
Friday, May 14, 2010
That's right. It's my little Gracie's birthday today. To some shallow people this may mean nothing at all, and you may find yourself asking the question, "Who the heck is Gracie?" But for those of you that have spent more than fifteen minutes in the Hurndon home and claim the liberty of calling me your friend, this is a big deal.
OK, so I'm a bit biased, but this awkwardly large, fluffy-haired pup of mine is one of my favorite beings on this earth. And today is her tenth birthday! That's a milestone, people!
The festivities today include "puppy chow," the peanut-butter chocolate goodness that dog's are definitely not allowed anywhere near, a pink and purple jester-like collar only pulled once a year for this occasion and the presentation of a new toy. Excitement for sure.
Well, I gotta get back to the jubilee! Our honorary guest Becky Renko is calling for my attention, and this blog is embarrassing me by the minute. Well, maybe you fellow dog lovers can relate.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
After all my English classes throughout college, all my lessons on writing and the importance of it, all my lectures from Dr. Cotton on the ways in which writing allows one to understand one's self: I'm just now getting it. I think it's because I need it. At a time in my life where nothing is consistent. Friends are scarcer. Job hunting, and I mean "grown up" job hunting, carries with it this weight disguised as responsibility. It's funny how I used to dream of the day I was on my own and responsible for me, myself, and I, but suddenly I'm dying to be that little blonde girl whose daily challenges included finding the biggest box turtle possible and making her bed.
Oh what I wouldn't give to be that girl again on some days.
At times a familiar scent or action takes me back to those moments just for a second and I linger on it in order to forget the importance of my life's decisions in the present. Half of myself is ready for the newness, while the other half cowers in the corner at the slightest movement towards change.
So for now I'll ramble on in my writing. Hoping two things: I'll make sense of all my mess. And maybe my writing will improve.
Goodnight Auburndale. It's 1:11 and I'm wanting that wish.