Theme song

I like buying a new CD just before I'm about to take a road trip - it gives me something to look forward to when I'm in the car, and I know I can take the time to really listen to the lyrics. Saturday night I needed to pick up some accompaniment tracks at the Christian book store, so I bought Casting Crowns new CD. Having heard "East to West" on the radio, I thought it would be my favorite song, but I'm really loving "Somewhere In The Middle." I love these lyrics:

Fearless warriors in a picket fence, reckless abandon wrapped in common sense
Deep water faith in the shallow end and we are caught in the middle
With eyes wide open to the differences, the God we want and the God who is
But will we trade our dreams for His or are we caught in the middle

It reminds me of a quote that I love:

There is a God we want, and there is a God who is. They are not the same God. The turning point in our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is.
- Patrick Morely, The Seven Seasons of a Man's Life

All the last minute details

I've spent the last couple hours trying to finish up all the last minute details for the next couple days - laundry, packing, cleaning up the kitchen, stuff like that. There are just so many little things to do.

Heather and I spent some time walking around the art & craft vendors at Neptune festival today. I always have fun wandering through different booths, and its nice to just kind of stroll along, but Heather's right, it does seen like the same vendors are at every craft show in the area. My main goal was to find part of Kelli's Christmas gift, and I did.

I'm watching the House episode from this past week, and it references a case of mistaken identity. It reminds me of the mistaken identity case of two Taylor students from last year. I wondered how long it would take for that real-life story to make its way into TV.

Hello, fall

Fall is definitely here. Although I don't go to school, I don't have kids, I don't even do Young Life and run off that school schedule, I can still feel things change in September. Summer seems to have such a sedate pace, but in fall, life gets busier and everything just seems to be in transition somehow.

As for me, life certainly is getting busier. Life groups started last week, though this was the first week we actually met. I'm going to the Neptune festival on Saturday with Heather, then Sunday I'm driving to Frederick to spend the night at my parents' house before a work meeting near DC on Monday. And, Wednesday, I leave for Catalyst in Atlanta with a bunch of friends from church. We'll be back Saturday, and I think by that time, I'll be grateful to have Monday off for Columbus Day.

The biggest thing going on, though, is that after Friday, I won't be returning to my current job at the base. My contract expires at the end of September and isn't being renewed, so starting next week, I'll be working on other things for LJT (hence Monday's meeting). I'm not sure yet what I'll be working on or where I'll be working, but at the moment, my philosophy is just to wait and see.

Everything's a dollar

The problem with dollar stores is that its really hard to deny yourself anything, since everything is so inexpensive. I went in to buy something really specific, and bought three picture frames (one to give as a gift) and my first Christmas ornament of the year. At least it was only a dollar, right?

I bought this cabinet from a thrift store a couple months ago. It's originally from Target, and the perfect thing to hold paper supplies in my office. At some point I might paint it, or decoupage paper to the front, but for now it works. The only problem was, the box didn't contain the handles that were supposed to come with it. I had planned to call the company and ask they be sent to me, but just didn't get around to it, until I finally figured out this weekend that I could just enlarge the holes and use ribbon for handles. I wish I could take credit for the idea - I got it from my super-talented friend Kristina. I just can't believe it took me so long to think of it.

Poor little bunny

Dakota killed a bunny yesterday. This is actually nothing new (she killed a bird a few months ago) and, I know, just comes with the territory when you own a terrier mix. I didn't really feel bad for the bird, just kind of freaked out, but I felt sorry for the bunny.

Then today, Dakota was going a bit nuts at the fence, because there was a rabbit just out of reach on the other side. It occurred to me that it was probably the mom bunny, looking for her baby, who my baby had killed. That's when I realized that my dog is like all those evil villains in children's fairy tales.

The hunter from Bambi, the big bad wolf from The Three Little Pigs, T-Rex from The Land Before Time, and Dakota.


I forgot that today was the anniversary of 9.11 until I turned on the radio in the car this morning. Then, I remembered quickly - exactly where I was and what I was doing (in my car, driving to the train station for my commute into downtown Chicago), the song that was playing on the radio (Eve 6's "Here's To The Night"), the first person I called (my mom, at work - my dad was in class and I didn't think I should interrupt him).

And I remember the emotions I felt that day - shock, a lack of comprehension, uncertainty as to what would happen next, relief to know my family was safe, and a need to be with them and to help in some way.

What I think about now, though, are all those stories of heroism - flight 93, the firefighters who died when the towers collapsed. I'm reminded that those stories aren't limited to that day, that there are heroes still today. I'm lucky to count among my friends two firefighters, and another who wants to be. I've never seen them rush a burning building (and I hope I never have to), but I know them, and I know their hearts, and I know they would. They're the kind of guys you can count on.

Favorite season

I said a few weeks ago that summer was my favorite season. I just realized though, that I don't think that's actually true. There are things about most every time of the year I love.

I love, love, love Christmas. While walking in the mall the other day, I noticed that the Hallmark store had their Christmas ornaments out, so of course I had to go take a look. I rarely buy any there, except during the after Christmas specials, just because they are so expensive, but I love to look at them. I would actually be happy to get mostly ornaments for Christmas gifts every year.

And I like the feeling of a new start that comes in the fall (and at the first of the year, too). I don't get really excited about the leaves changing, or all the deep colors that show up in September or October, but I do like that the laziness of summer gives way to a busier season.

We suspended Life groups for summer, because with summer vacations, they just don't work, but we're getting ready to start them up again in the next couple weeks. I'll be leading one called S.H.A.P.E. - its about figuring out how your unique talents, gifts, and desires combine in serving people and the church. We went through this study last summer, but I'm really excited to do it again, especially with a new group of people. Its the follow-up to Starting Point, the study I led last spring.