A Slice of the Thirty-First 3.31.2016

“Th-Th-Th That’s all folks”

-Porky Pig-

It’s the last day for Slice of Life. It went both fast and slow. Really, the school year in general has sped by. It amazes me every school year, just how fast nine months really is.

I’ll  admit that this challenge was more difficult than I had thought it would be. First, it was difficult to conceive of a topic for thirty-one straight days. Sometimes I’d get to eleven o’clock at night and have absolutely no idea what I could possibly write about. Secondly, it was difficult to find enough down time to write. Being in the middle of a masters degree and a full time career really doesn’t give me much free time. There is an awful lot of writing and reading to do in college. I will say that it is easier now that I am older (than I was for my associates and bachelors) to organize my time, delineate the essential from the expendable, and muster the will-power to buckle down and get things done. All of that in conjunction with my desire to get my Masters done as fast as (sanely) possible (I took one and a half years as opposed to the two years that is expected) means I have little to no free time. What free time I do have ,I really just want to lay down and rest. Writing (after having done it all day for school) was not a exciting proposition every day.

Now that the last day is here I am kind of sad to see it go. I really do enjoy writing. I’m hoping that next year I wont have quite as many responsibilities. I’m hoping that I’ll have enough time to sit down and be as creative as possible. In fact, I think I’d really like to use next years blog to write a continuous fictional story. I’m already excited about next year!

…Until we meet again.

 

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A Slice of the Thirtieth 3.30.2016

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

-Robert Berns-

     I am a planner. I’ve already spoken about how much I like to make lists. Well, I like to make plans to. I’ve got five year plans. I’ve got ten year plans. I’ve got retirement plans. I’ve got finance plans. I’ve got career plans. I’ve got housing plans. The lists go on.

      What is important to know is that not all of those plans work out. This was a pretty big revelation to me post-adulthood. At 18 it seems like anything is possible. To a certain extent I still believe that. I do still dream. I do still plan. I do still have faith that with effort, hard work, persistence, passion, a level head, patients, and whatever else could could possible throw in there, plans can work out.

     I’ll be honest though, about half my plans haven’t worked out. Often they were too grandiose, flimsy, ill-timed, poorly executed, or in point of fact non-actionable. Regardless of the set backs or even failures I haven’t stopped planning. Why? I believe there is a great deal of good that comes from having something sitting on a horizon, something for which to strive toward. If it wasn’t there I’d have a very sedentary life. When you stop striving in conjunction you stop growing and stretching. You become stale and brittle, easily crushed beneath the weight of life’s inevitable blows.

     I will say this, though. I have come to learn that I have to hope for the best and plan for the worst (my plans need backup plans). I have also come to learn that I have to be okay when plans fall through. Emotional bracing for the impact of failure is a good life lesson. It’s also a good life lesson to know that just because a plan doesn’t work out it does not mean it is a failure. Sometimes you learn years down the road that it was for the best.

     So, regardless of success or failure, plans are a good thing!

A Slice of the Twenty-Ninth 3.29.2016

Falling flat on your face is a good thing! Didn’t you know that?

When you mess up big enough to make a fool out of yourself it teaches you more than a few things.

  1. How to laugh at yourself every once in a while.
  2. That you are in fact human and more than capable of (sometimes extraordinary) failure.
  3. That you are in fact human and capable of change.
  4. How to do, whatever it is, better next time.
  5. What you’re skilled in and in tandem what your not skilled in.
  6. That it’s okay not to be good at everything.
  7. How to see yourself for who you really are and be accepting of it.
  8. Who’s there to pick you back up again.
  9. Who’s there to push you further down.
  10. That what makes you a worthy individual has nothing to do with what you can do.

I’m not saying it’s a pleasant, comfortable, or always a fun thing. I am however, saying it’s a worthwhile experience.

It is an excellent deflator of pride, inflator of humility, and equalizer of mankind.

Like I said, falling flat on your face is a good thing.

A Slice of the Twenty-Eighth 3.28.2016

You know, my grandparents (on both sides) always told me that age is a matter of the mind. Both my grandfathers spend the majority of their lives in labor of some kind. My Grandma Grogan was a seamstress first for a factory then for herself. My Grandma Koch stayed at home and kept four kids and a husband clothed and fed. Both of my grandmothers are no slouches when it comes to giving a helping hand. In their day they could have hauled wood, rustled cattle, bailed hay, etc. right alongside they boys if they needed help (one of many things I admire them for).

With that background they still believed age was all in your mind. I’m not sure that I’ve felt that way. That is kind of amazing to me and something that I aspire to.

A Slice of the Twenty-Sixth 3.26.2016

Up from the Grave He Arose

Text: Robert Lowry, 1826-1899
Music: Robert Lowry, 1826-1899

1. Low in the grave he lay, Jesus my Savior,
waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!
Refrain:
Up from the grave he arose;
with a mighty triumph o’er his foes;
he arose a victor from the dark domain,
and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!2. Vainly they watch his bed, Jesus my Savior,
vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!
(Refrain)

3. Death cannot keep its prey, Jesus my Savior;
he tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!
(Refrain)

Today is Easter, I thought it only fitting.

The Resurrection (John 20:1-29) 

Early on Sunday morning,[a] while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed— for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. 10 Then they went home.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 12 She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her.

“Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”

14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. 15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her.“Who are you looking for?”

She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”

16 “Mary!” Jesus said.

She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).

17 “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 That Sunday evening[b] the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin),[c] was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

A Slice of the Twenty-Third 3.23.2016

“We’ll be friends forever, won’t we, Pooh?” Asked Piglet.

“Even longer,” replied Pooh.

The Adventures of Winne-the-Pooh

Today I had the great pleasure of going to brunch with two of my closest friends, Chelsea and Kevin.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last saw/talked with Chelsea and the better part of a year for Kevin.

You know what… we picked up right where we left of.

These wonderful friends of mine will soon be leaving the great state of Missouri to move to Colorado. First, I am so very very excited for them. I think this is a great opportunity for them both. I think God has so much in store for them that none of us can begin to comprehend. Secondly, I’m a little sad that they will not longer be 15 minutes away. Though we live so close to one another we don’t get the chance of hang out as often as any of us would like (sometimes adulting really stinks).

Despite this sadness I know everything will be fine. I know that we will be friends for the rest of our lives, no matter how many states apart we are. How do I know? Because of days like today, picking up right where we left off. Talking about things that matter. Depth of conversation is a big indicator to the longevity of any relationship you have in your adult life. If you have the ability or want to talk with someone about important, relevant, delicate, and in any way sensitive information with relative ease you’ve got a friend for life.

So while I will remain to be sad that my friends are leaving, I’ll be happy in knowing that it holds no weight in the structural integrity of our friendship.

‘ll also enjoy the silver lining ….that I’ll have a mighty valid reason to visit the ever beautiful Colorado on a semi-regular basis!

 

A Slice of the Twenty-Second 3.22.2016

You know what? I didn’t know I was shorter than the most people, until everyone told me so.  Sound ridiculous? That’s because it is.

I thank you for reminding me of my size. I routinely forget, despite the fact I’ve been 5’3 since 6th grade (please read the sarcasm there).

One time I was talking to Rachael (maybe Bethany, I can’t remember) one day at church. I happened to be wearing high-heels and Rachael (maybe Bethany) in the middle of conversation says, “It’s so strange being eye-to-eye with you.”

“Huh?” I responded.

“I just mean, usually I’m looking down into your eyes. We’re not usually eye level.”

It was kind of a revelation to me. You see it doesn’t really stick out to me when I’m talking to people. Unless your over a foot taller than me I don’t really notice that I’m looking up at your face. It may seem ridiculous, to those of you who are taller than me but I don’t generally consider how much shorter I am than most people.

I mean there are those moments that I have to adjust the microphone after a taller person uses it. There are the times I don’t have to duck under a limb or a banner but other people do. When I have to crawl on top of a counter, when junior size’s fit better, my feet swinging  off the floor from a deep chair, or my whole body goes into the washing machine to get out the last of the clothes. 

For the most part however, my size isn’t really an issue for my day to day. I don’t think about it much. Tease me if you want, I won’t take much offense. I enjoy a decent bit of self-depreciating humor. Just know, I may be small but I am a force to be reckoned with. You’d do well not to underestimate me.