Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Dailies Anniversary Week: Day 7....The Finale

 My blogs about restoration:

My blogs about my half marathon:

My second shortest blog:

Thank you all for supporting me and my blog! 

Blessings, Hugs, and Loves!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Dailies Anniversary Week: Day 6

Day six baby!!!   I didn't realize I had so many blogs. : )

My blog about False Alarms....featuring David Bowie and his tight pants:

My blog about being Irish:

My blog about not compromising when it comes to the truth:

My second favorite blog:

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Bollywood Blogs

 You thought I forgot didn't you!?

If you don't know what in the heck I'm talking about please click below:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Dailies Anniversary Week: Day 4!!!

Today I bring you more random favs.  Enjoy!

My blog about Mercy:

A blog in which I mention Big Bird and Waylon Jennings:

One of my favorite blogs about Expectations:

My favorite blog:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Dailies Anniversary Week: Day 3!!! Funny Blogs

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to The Dailies!!!  

Today I've posted some of my funny blogs.  I like to's my favorite.  I know there's a lot of them, but what can I say....I'm just full of jolly good hap-hap-happiness! : ) 

My blog about the many perils of shopping for a pair of jeans:

25 Random Things about me:

The story about the time I peed my pants:

The story about the time I lied about having an older brother:

My blog about the prescription for more cowbell:

My blog about joining a fancy gym:

My blog about single ladies:

My blog about feet and mustaches:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Dailies Anniversary Week: Day 2!!!.....

 Welcome back for day numero dos of The Dailies Anniversary Week.  I have picked three more blogs for today's Dailies Flashback.      

My blog about LOVE:

My blog about the beauty found in strength:

The nicest thing anyone has ever  written about me: 



Monday, August 23, 2010

The Dailies Anniversary Week!!!!.....

August 25th, 2010 will be the one year anniversary of The Dailies!  YAY!!  I can't believe it's been a whole year.  When I read back through my posts, I can see how much I have grown, changed, and how much I have learned.  Writing this blog has helped me heal, helped me find myself and God.  Sharing my secrets, hurts, mistakes, concerns, and struggles have taken the power away from them.  It's therapeutic to be able to write something and know that someone else is going to read it and identify with it.  I can't thank you all enough for reading and for supporting me.   This week, I'm going to take a little walk down memory lane and share some of my favorite or most popular blog posts.  I'm sure something ridiculous and share-worthy will happen this week, so stay tuned for a new blog here and there as well.

Where it all first blog post:

It was a dark and stormy night....

My shortest blog (one of my favs):

My blog about the importance of Giving:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

You Can't Hide Those Lyin' Eyes....

Saturday Story TIME!!!!

When I was a little girl, my best friend was Katie
McCord.  She is the baby doll lookin' cutey on the left and I am the blondie in the middle getting macked-on by a four year old Brian Bergstrom.  (The shoes, the shoes, it's gotta be the shoes! Sorry....old school Michael Jordan Nike commercial reference.  I remember majorly unimportant things.)  Today's story is about the time I convinced Katie that there was a magician named Myron living in my house that would grant me wishes.   This story happened last week.  KIDDING!  Thankfully, this was many moons ago....when we were in grade school. 

As you may recall from earlier blogs , I had an unfortunate talent for telling tall tales when I was a kid (and teenager....and maybe in college as well.  Totally over it now.  Or am I....!?).  And unfortunately for my BFF Katie....she was an innocent, honest, trusting, and kind hearted person that assumed that her friends are also innocent, honest, trusting and kind hearted.  I started with small lies....just to see if she would take the bait.  One night while she was sleeping over at my house, we were laying under my bed and telling stories.  It was late at night, everyone was asleep but us, and in the quiet moments in between giggles, you could hear creaking sounds in my house.  Katie asked me what the sounds were.  I had asked my mother the same question a while ago and my mom had told me that the creaking was because the house was settling and the reason you only heard it at night was because that was when it was quiet enough in the house to hear it.  I could have told Katie the same thing.....but I didn't.  On the spot, I made up a haunting tale.  I told her that when my parents were having our house built, one of the workers fell into the cement of the foundation.  By the time they realized what had happened, it was too late to save they left him buried there....forever.  They built the house over his body as if nothing had ever happened.  At can hear his unsettled ghost hammering....because he died before he could finish the job.  He doesn't know....he's DEAD!.....She bought it...hook, line, and sinker.  I had read The TellTale Lilac Bush and R.L. Stine waaaay too much.  The problem was.....I had managed to scare myself in the process.  We eventually turned on the lights and played Barbies in order to quiet our nerves.

After that night, I knew I had her.  She would believe anything.  Poor girl.

I believe it was around 4th or 5th grade when I finally worked my way up to the grand daddy of all tall tales.  I plotted and planned for days prior to Katie's visit.  I even got my parents in on this one.  My plan was to somehow convince Katie that there was a magician in my house and that he would grant me wishes.  I'm tellin' you guys....this was genius.  The amount of detail that went into pulling this off was quite impressive...if you look past the whole aspect of it being a cruel and dirty lie.  Before Katie got there I was told my brother and parents that I was just going to "have fun" with Katie and play a "little trick on her".  I told them my magician idea, but I didn't go into a lot of detail.  I didn't want anyone to foil the plan.  My dad had a collection of old books in the basement from when he was a school teacher.  There was one book in particular that looked especially old.  I poured over the contents of the book trying to find a poem or a story with something that might fit as a "spell".  I finally found it.  I can't remember now what it said, but whatever it sounded good enough to me.  I then took some of my sketch book paper and wrote a note on it from a magician named Myron.  I tried to make the hand writing look old.  Then i took the paper outside and rubbed it around in the dirt and crumbled it up and made it look really old.  I even snuck some matches outside and burnt the edges of the paper.  It looked old and....magical.  Then I buried it under the ground by my porch.  I also hid random things all over my house and my yard.  If I was going to convince Katie that a magician granted wishes, then I would have to have things appear now wouldn't, I? 

So finally the day comes.  Katie comes over to my house.  Her sweet innocent smile wasn't enough to deter me.  I got started right away.  I told her that I had something exciting to show her.  I took her into my room and showed her an old book I had found in the woods.  I explained to her that while I was reading through it I found this magical spell.  Once I said it out loud, a magician appeared and told me that if I say this spell he will come and he will grant me wishes.  At first...she didn't buy it.  She nervously laughed and tried to change the subject.  I had planned for this.  So I say the "spell" and then I ask that Myron make a necklace appear in my shoe.  And wouldn't you know it.....Katie goes over and grabs my shoe and right inside it....A NECKLACE!!!  She turned white and then grabbed the book out of my hand.  She fell right into my trap.  She said, "Do it AGAIN!".  And I happily obliged.  I went through the house having "my wishes granted".  When we went into the kitchen to talk to my mom, I winked at my mom and said, "Hey mom....I was just telling Katie about Myron the magician.  Isn't it amazing that he's REAL?! wink wink"  My mom played her part...she obviously wasn't as good at this whole lying thing than I was, but I very much appreciated her effort.  Then the piece de resistance.....I "asked" Myron the magician to show us he is real by writing us a letter and leaving in the ground.  I then go outside and start digging...and lo and behold....we found ourselves an old letter!!!  I handed the letter to Katie and she was in shock.  Then something happened that I hadn't planned on at all....she said...."Let ME try now!!!"  Ah oh!  I wasn't sure what to do.  I had to think fast.  I tried to tell her that it only worked for me.  That he was MY magician and that she would have to go find her own.  But she wouldn't buy it.  I guess my lie was so good that I had totally convinced her.  What a scary tiny charismatic leader I was.....thank goodness I didn't try and start a cult and plan an uprising.  She said the "spell" and then started asking for things to appear.  They didn't....of course....because I had already gone through all the stuff I planted.  So then she told ME to do it again since I'm the only one he will do it for.  So....I improvised by using my slight of hand to grab a necklace or an earring or anything and quickly plant it somewhere and then make them "appear".  Honestly....I was getting tired.  Hours of carrying on this lie was flippin' exhausting.  I was happy initially when I was able to trick her, but was too hard to keep up.  So I decide that it's time to tell her the truth.  I knew I wasn't going to get to play army or anything fun if I didn't get this crap over and done with.  I start laughing and telling her it was all made up.  As I am recounting to her how I had hid things and planned days in advance in order to trick her....she REFUSED to believe me.  She told me that I just wanted to keep the magic to myself and that was why I was saying all that.  I couldn't believe it!  She believed my lie way more than she believed my truth.  I continued to try and convince her that I had made it all up, but I had done such a good job that she just wouldn't listen.  Then....she starts crying.  I felt awful.  I had toyed with her thoughts and emotions and now she is going to have a mental breakdown on me.  I ran and got my mom and told her everything.  My mom went in and talked to Katie and explained everything.  She apologized that her daughter had somehow ended up being the spawn of satan, and she apologized that she had participated.  I was, of course, grounded for lying, and Katie's parents came to get her.  I decided after that day, that I was never ever going to lie again.  When I first got the idea it seemed so brilliant, but seeing how much it hurt Katie and how exhausting it was to keep up.....I promised myself and my parents that I would never lie again. 

That....was a lie. : )

The moral of this story, kids, is that lying is wrong......and exhausting.   I can't believe that Katie still talks to me.  I can't believe that she ever wanted to be my friend again.  Katie moved to Parkersburg, WV when we were in 8th grade, but we still talk about good 'ol Myron.  I'm glad she can laugh about it now. : ) I promise if she ever sends her beautiful daughter over to my house, I will NEVER lie to her....not EVER!  And one day, when I have little ones, I PROMISE to never participate in their schemes like my mom did.  Shameful. How did you sleep at night mom?  : )  KIDDING!  

So there you go.  Now you know.  Happy Saturday everyone!


Liar Liar Pants on Fire

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's A Little Bit Funny, This Feeling Inside....

I swear, I am not trying to use song lyrics for every blog title.  It's just happening on it's own.  It's organic...I can't stop it.  I know what I want to write about, and when I try and think of a proper title...BAM!....a random 70's or 80's song pops into my head and it's all over.

Oh my great gravy train!  I just had a novel idea!!!!  People should send me song lyrics or song titles and I have to find a way to blog about them!!!  Who's with me!????......just my mom?  Okay!  That's a good start!!  (She'll have me blogging Cat Stevens lyrics for months, so if you all don't want to read blogs entitled "Morning Has Broken," "Baby It's a Wild World", and "Peace Train" then you better participate). As I look up at the title I've chosen, I am wondering if it was a good idea.  It sounds like I am getting ready to blog about that iffy feeling you get after you eat 3 volcano tacos from Taco Bell.  And believe me....I could definitely blog about that.  BUT, I won't. At least not today.  (Maybe that title can be "I Don't Know Where I'm Gonna Go When The Volcano Blow...").

Anyway....I have a True Katiewood Story to share with you today.

I had to get up super early for work today; which isn't completely uncommon, but certainly not every day.  Many 'a early morning and night I have walked the mile to and from work or have waited for the bus or a cab, without really worrying about my safety that much.  I am, of course, always very careful and aware of my surroundings, even when I'm with people.  My Karate teacher father instilled in me at a very young age that I need to be hypervigilant to the point of having a stroke every time someone is able to sneak past my spidey sense and into my presence without my being aware.  I will for real go straight-up Chuck Norris on you if you try and scare me or sneak up on me.  Just ask some of the innocent "quiet runners" that plague my neighborhood what happens when they try to silently run past me.  I jump so far back that I almost cave in on myself.  If I had throwing stars....ohhhh buddy.....look out. My point is that I am always cautious when I walk or wait for the bus, especially when it's dark outside, but I have never had my keen ninja code red warning go off......until today.

I don't typically wake up in the middle of the night.  Sometimes I have a hard time falling asleep, and I usually wake up a few minutes before my alarm (much to my chagrin)...but I rarely wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to get back to sleep.  But, that's exactly what happened last night.  At around 4am, my eyes popped wide open.  I immediately felt uneasy and nervous.  I made sure no one was in my apartment (it's a studio, so basically, I sat up and turned on the light.  And just in case you were Edward Cullen).  Then I laid down to try and get back to sleep, but I felt too nervous to sleep.  For some reason, as I was laying there trying to bargain with God for more shuteye, I kept having thoughts pop into my head about getting robbed.  It was weird. I wasn't a fan.  Me no likey.  I had this vision of standing at my bus stop and having someone pull up in front of me, pull a gun on me (I freaks me out even to type it) and then try and rob me.  All of these thoughts went through my head.   What would I do?  How would I react?  It was really weird, because I just couldn't quit thinking about it.  At some point I finally drifted off into a dreamless sleep.

I woke up and got ready for work; thoughts of guns and robbery had already faded from my memory.  As I leave my apartment, it is still dark outside   I made my way to my bus stop and hung out listening to some Regina Spektor on the 'ol Ipod.  As I was standing there, a brand new red Mustang drives by me, pulls a u-turn and stops in the road in front of me.  The handsome young man driving  leans over and yells out of his  passenger side window at me.  I take my headphones out and step closer to ask him what he said.  He asks me where Constitution avenue is.  I tell him that it's not in Georgetown, but that I don't know how to tell him to get there.  He tells me that he has been driving around for awhile and isn't sure where to find it.  I tell him I'm sorry, but I'm not sure where it is and I step away from his car.  Instead of driving off, he pulls into the parking space in front of me.  I instinctively move away from the car, but didn't really think much of it at that moment.  He starts typing things into his phone, so I assume he is using a GPS or google or something in order to get him to Constitution avenue.  Then he leans back out the window and says that he needs to get to the White House and is asking me which way to go.  First of all, it's 6:00am.  What normal tourist needs to go to the White House at 6:00am??  And if he's not a tourist...then it REALLY doesn't make sense.  His persistence, the time of morning it was, the fact that I finally noticed that his nose was bandaged like it was broken (not that that automatically makes someone a total creeper, but it just struck me as odd), and more than all that....I realized that I was pretty much alone at this point made me remember my incessant thoughts of robbery that woke me up at 4am.

The summer is tourist season in DC, so I am no stranger to people asking me where things are, but it was his persistence when I told him that I didn't know that finally freaked me the heck out.  As I start slowly backing away from where I was standing, he asks me if I am at a bus stop.  I tell him yes.  He asks me where I am going.  I didn't answer.  I got goose bumps.  I was officially scared.  He then tells me that he could drive me to wherever I am going.  I don't respond.  I realized I had my work ID badge on, so took it off and I just started walking backwards away from him with my eyes darting from his face to his hands.   I didn't care if it was rude or weird at this point.  Especially since he had no problem being weird and rude.  I would rather be rude than robbed....or worse.  There was a gym about a block away that was open and I thought about running there, but I didn't want to turn my back on this guy.  So I just kept walking backward facing him as he continued to talk to me and telling me that he would drive me to work.  As I am walking, he begins slowly driving beside me.   I decide that I need to get the heck outta Dodge, and in that exact moment a cab comes up over the hill behind this guy.  I start waiving my hands and hailing him.  The cabbie is trying to pull over and pick me up, but this guy in the Mustang keeps inching forward.  So I  start straight-up running, and I jump in the cab NYC style. I say to the driver, "Go! Go! Go!!"  The poor cab driver just started driving, and then was like, "Go, go, go where?  Are you okay?"  I told cab driver what had happened and that the Mustang had pulled in behind us.  I tell the cab driver to "lose him", and he says, "no problem", and pulls a u-turn right there and speeds off down the street.

My heart was beating a mile a minute when we pulled up to GUH.  I wasn't just freaked out because the guy was obviously trying to get me in his car, but I was freaked out because I had just had thoughts of someone robbing me at that  bus stop just a few short hours prior.  What really freaked me out was that if I hadn't woken up in the middle of the night and had those weird thoughts, I might have handled that situation differently.  It scares me to think that's true, but it is.  I'm naive.  I know I am.  That guy had a brand new Mustang and he looked very handsome (other than the broken nose...WTH?) and well put together.  Not that I ever would have accepted a  ride from a stranger no matter what the circumstance, but...I might not have had a choice if I would have stood there any longer.  What would I have done if he pointed a gun at me?  Would I have run?  If I would have run, would he have shot me?  I don't know.  It's scary to think about.  It sounds so overly dramatic, but you just never know.  I do know for sure, that if I wouldn't have already been thinking about being robbed, then I would have been less likely to walk/run away when I did. I would have been a little nicer and stayed longer even though I was uncomfortable.

When Wajh (my bestie) got to work I told her all about it.  She was totally freaked out and told me that I had to tell hospital security since this happened near one of GUH's bus stops.  For some reason, right when I was about to talk to security, I said to Wajh, "Wait...I can't do it.  What if that guy really was just a lost tourist and wasn't planning on doing anything wrong?  I don't want to cause trouble for no reason.  Nothing happened. It's fine.  Let's just forget about this, and move on...okay???"  She says, " innocent tourist is going to be out driving around Glover Park in their brand new shiny red Mustang at 6:00 in the morning looking for the freakin' White House.  Not only that, he asked you to get into his car.  You're not overreacting.  You were scared enough to run.  Even though you were able to get away and nothing happened, you have to tell someone in order to protect other people."  So, reluctantly I did.  I don't know why I felt so guilty all-of-a-sudden.  If it would have been Wajh in the same situation I would have told her to do the same thing.  But because it was me, and nothing "bad" actually happened.....I felt bad for saying something.

GUH Security told me to call the Metropolitan Police since it happened outside of their jurisdiction.  So I called the Metro Police and they told me that unfortunately, without a license plate, there is absolutely nothing they could do.  I told them that the reason I didn't see his plates was because while I was backing away I  placed myself at the front of his car so that I could keep my eyes on him.  It never even occurred to me to get his plate numbers.  Isn't that weird?  The officer told me that unfortunately, this kind of thing happens a lot.  He told me that if I ever find myself in a similar situation, that the first thing I need to do, is ask the person for their license plate number.  He said, "I know it feels weird to say that to someone, but if they are up to no good, then they are just going to drive away when you ask them that.  If they genuinely need help or directions, then they will be more than happy to give you their plates or let you see them."  He told me that most people are so concerned with not being rude that they won't ask for the plates or walk away if they're uncomfortable....but that is exactly what we need to do.  My final take is this......skip the freakin' license plate and get away.  Crazy things happen every day, and unfortunately, you can't trust everyone.  This is hard for me.  I grew in WV.  It feels so safe there.  Even where I live in Georgetown feels relatively safe.  I'm so happy that I got that feeling in my gut this morning that something was wrong even before I got out of bed.  And I'm even more thankful that I listened to that feeling.  I'm gonna call it like it is....God saved my life.  I can't explain why I woke up at 4am thinking about getting robbed.  I can't explain why some guy tried to get me in his car this morning.  I can't explain why there was a cab in Glover Park at 6:00am going towards Tenleytown. (There are never cabs that early in the morning...especially cabs going up Wisconsin and away from DC).  All I know is that I am doubly blessed and that my Father came through on His promise to protect me.  Can I get an Amen!?

The moral of this story is:  If something doesn't feel right.....get. out. of. there!!!!!  Don't worry about looking rude, weird, and crazy.  Who cares if you overreact, as long as you are out of harms way.  God gives us these feelings for a reason.  Follow them.  And to all my fellow single ladies out there....please, please, please be aware of your surroundings and never ever put yourself in a position where you feel uncomfortable.  And if someone makes you the police. 



I wanna hear from you.  Have you ever had a similar experience?  Do you know someone that has?  What is some of the best safety advice you've heard?

Also....don't forget to submit your song titles for some future blogs! (I hope I don't have to say this...but I will....please keep them PG)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

You've Been Struck By A Smooth Criminal.....

This song is totally stuck in your head right now isn't it?  Are you thinking about that part in the music video where all the dancers lean over and defy gravity right before your eyes?  Me TOO!  Big Thank You to Michael Jackson for providing stellar titles for my blog this week.  I think this is the last one of this blog series...unless I can find something to blog about with the title of "Would You Tell Us That You're Okay?"....but I think that's pushing it a bit, don't you?  I love Michael Jackson and I don't care who knows it.  I watched the documentary "This Is It" a few weeks ago and you betta believe that I cleared the floor of my living room and shamelessly danced and sang to every single song (yes, I have a documentary addiction...don't even think about staging an intervention....I've seen too many documentaries about them and have prepared myself accordingly).  This is the beauty of being single and living by yourself.  You can do the weirdest, craziest stuff and there is no one there to laugh at you...except God, but that's okay, I like to think I provide hours of entertainment for Him.  It gives me the warm and fuzzies to think that  my general lack of shame and penchant for spontaneous merry making gets his mind off all the bad stuff going on in the world for a brief moment.  Speaking of bad stuff, I butchered every signature MJ move imaginable, but the point is....I tried.  I moonwalked until I couldn't moonwalk no mo!   (The secret is to wear really fuzzy socks.)  If you can watch that movie and not tear up when he sings Man In The Mirror (or Thriller for that matter), then I just don't think we're going to be able to be friends anymore.  I have a very detailed list of the things I require of a friend, and this is very close to the top....right under: #102- laughing at my jokes when they're not funny especially when there are hot guys around, #235 - not wearing a fanny pack or the equivalent thereof, #10 - not thinking that US Weekly is "the news", and most importantly...#2 knowing every word to every song from Moulin Rouge and singing it with me pretending that we have microphones.  This list, oddly enough, is for both my male and female friends.   This may explain my lack of friends.   But, whatever!?  If you don't want to strictly adhere to all 789.3 friendship requirements as plainly laid out in Katie's Friendship Manifesto ( revised 2010 addition), then I guess it just wasn't meant to be.  I took your advice from previous years and  added a Five Guys/Moby Dick Clause and removed the appendix with tables and graphs as well as the signature/notary/finger printing section, so what more do you people want from me!?

That was fun.  We'll have to do that again soon.

Anyway, back to the show...

All this talk about Jesus is making me hungry!  What am I hungry for you ask?  I am hungry for freedom.  I want to be free and I want you to be free.  Free from what?  (Man, you all are sure asking a lot of questions today!) I want us to be free from that smooth criminal...that sneaky enemy hiding and waiting to pounce on us. Any decent (irony alert) bad guy out there operates under the number one rule of bad guy-ness....super sneakiness.   And for the criminal-type bad guys and girls out is essential to their bad guy-ness that they be sneaky.  Think God Father, think American Gangster, think Scarface, think Casino, think Good Fellas, think Care Bear Adventures in Wonderland (what!? there was a bad guy in it.) These bad guys and gals (Sharon Stone...hello!) don't walk around wearing t-shirts that say, "Please stay back 30 feet.  I'm, like, super duper bad news." or "You feelin' luck punk? Well, you shouldn't, cause I'm about to jump you."  I think you all get where I'm going here.

Our enemy is out to steal, kill, and destroy us.  That is intense and scary stuff right there.  I'm about to go from funny to serious in .0006 seconds.  Please....fasten your serious safety belts.

I'm sorry to have to talk about this stuff.  I don't want to.  I would much rather make you laugh.  I love laughing.  Laughing is my favorite (along with whispering). But I have to tell you this stuff even if it makes me sound like a crazy person.  Truth be told, I am kinda crazy. I am crazy about people.  I l.o.v.e. people.  And because I love people, I can't sit back and say nothing as the enemy tries to ruin life after life....including mine.  It would be selfish of me to be too afraid to tell you the truth just because you might think I'm nuts for believing in the devil.    The enemy doesn't like to be pointed out and caught in the cross-hairs of discovery and truth. I know what some of you might be thinking: only ignorant, uneducated people believe in some evil dude that tries to destroy you; he is a fictitious character made up to scare little kids into doing their chores, and he wears red, has horns, a long tail, and carries a pitch fork.  He loves that a lot of people think this way.  It makes things way easier for him.  If you don't know he's there....then you won't try and stop him.  Do you know what the devil wants more than anything?  He wants to destroy the people of God.  Saying he hates us is the understatement of the century.  He is totally satisfied with the fact that there are issues in the churches of the world today and that no one wants to talk about it.  He wants there to be denominational divisions and disagreements over Bible verses.  He wants us to focus on our differences so that we destroy ourselves and he doesn't have to lift a finger.  He wants us to be fearful and legalistic.   He wants us to live in guilt, comparing ourselves to other people and then giving up because we never measure up.  He wants us to distance ourselves from the "other" people of the world.  He wants us to push people away that are different. He doesn't want Christianity to attract people. He wants people as far as away as possible from Jesus and the freedom that He brings.

I'm not talking about this in order to fill everyone with fear.  Love beats out fear every single time.  Fear is the enemy's favorite tool.  Fear, guilt, shame, hate, anger, lust, disrespect, depression, anxiety....these are a few of his favorite things.  Don't be scared, just be aware.  Like I said in my previous blog post....information helps us build a strong foundation.  We wouldn't need to build strong foundations if there wasn't an enemy that was going to try and destroy it.  We need to equip ourselves with the truth.  We need to aware that we are being hunted, so that we aren't taken off guard when we find ourselves under fire.  We need to be informed of our enemy's attack plan.  How do you defend yourself if you don't know you're under attack?  Boxers train in order to prepare for a match.  Armies train in order to prepare for battle.  Business executives strategize in order to prepare for a meeting.  We need to arm ourselves with information and faith in God.  Here is what this little book called The Bible says about it:

"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints...."  Ephesians 6:10-18

#1 on the list from Katie's Friendship Manifesto ( revised 2010 addition) = Fight on the winning team.



As always, please share your thoughts and opinions.  I love hearing from you all..

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Are You Okay Annie...? Part II

I've gotten some really awesome feedback over the last few days regarding the Annie Are You Okay? blog post.  Thank you to everyone that read it and thank you even more for starting some much needed conversations.  I am hugging you via my blog right this second!  HUGS!!!  One thing I can say for sure about Anne Rice's matter why or how it was written, or whatever your opinion is about it....God has used it for good.  It has caused us all to take a look at our beliefs a little closer, whether you are a Christian or not.  I love thinking. I love learning. I love conversing.  I love questions.  I wish that people would just ask more questions.  Let's start talking!  If I don't understand another religion, culture, opinion, or lifestyle....I just ask questions and try to understand better instead of jumping to conclusions based on something I heard or was told I had to or should believe. That is why I started off last week with blogs that asked some questions.  I didn't get a lot of responses, but that's okay...I didn't think I would.  The point was to get people thinking.

I think there is a lot of fear out there about things we don't understand.  If you are a non-Christian, maybe you're scared of looking at Jesus for yourself, because you've already decided that you don't want to be a Christian.  Maybe you've been against Jesus for years even though you don't know much about him and you don't want to look like a weak little wussy turncoat if you change your mind, so instead of testing just keep on keepin' on.  Maybe you've had a horrible experience in church and/or with Christians and you just can't bring yourself to believe in a God that would condone or encourage such things.  I know there are people that are expert theologians that know the Bible front to back and inside out....and they don't believe in Jesus.  This is where I think that faith and love come in.  Because, even though the Bible is amazing and still have to allow something you can't read, see, hear, or touch into your heart.  Faith and belief in God goes way way deeper than our intellect.  It goes into places where things don't make sense.  When things stop making sense and seem to crazy to be true....that's where I believe you'll find God.  I don't know...I'm just throwin' out some guesses here.  Mainly because almost all those were my reasons for not wanting to look into this whole Jesus thing.  Christians and non-Christians are doing the same thing.  No one wants to really learn about the other out of fear.  I think a lot of Christians are scared that our world might come crashing down if we start looking around and asking questions.  I find that the opposite is actually true.  We need to dig deep in order to lay a solid foundation.  We need to build that foundation out of sound material that will last and withstand the test of time and assault.  God tells us that if we seek, we will find Him (Matt 7:7).  Just like I believe the rest of the Bible....I believe this.  He doesn't just mean that we seek him on a superficial level.  He means that the further down the rabbit hole we go, we will only find more and more of Him.  A strong faith, comes from a solid understanding of that which you put your faith in.  If we don't know God and His ways in a deep way, then it is hard for us to have unending faith in Him.  If looking at another religion, lifestyle, opinion, or culture can cause you to lose faith in God......then maybe it's a good thing that you found out that your foundation was weak.  Because eventually, that house would have fallen anyway.  If you can't answer questions about your faith, or your faith changes with the blowing of the winds....then you need a better foundation. 

I feel that many people decide that Jesus isn't God based on the fact that they have been bombarded with a bunch of religiousness.  Us Christians throw holy sounding church words around and all that does is make people feel disconnected from us.  We through in a bunch of traditions and things that aren't in the Bible in order to find a way to "be good".  We are imperfect people doing our very best to do what God wants us to do.  Due to our imperfections, many times, we miss the mark.  It's easier for us to preach about fearing God, because deep down.....we are full of fear.  It's easier to fear than  it is to love.  Love requires sacrifice.  Love requires risk.  Love requires opening our hearts to people that we feel don't deserve it.  Fear makes us feel protected, but God doesn't want us to come to Him in fear.   I think we feel like if we "put the fear of God" in people then they will straighten up and fly right...but honestly....that is not a permanent solution to the human condition. And, it doesn't work.  God wants us to be so goofy in love with Him that we can't stand the moments in life when we aren't with Him.  It's easier to be judgmental and push people away than it is to love them.  Fear and judgment never makes anyone excited.  No one is attracted to fear and judgment. Love....makes everyone excited!  We LOVE love, even if we're afraid of it.  Unfortunately, we tend to be afraid of the very thing we are supposed to give freely.   The Bible is one big love letter to the world (This is a line from the book/movie Joshua...if you haven't read the book or seen the movie, please check it out. )  He loves us.  All of us.  If giving too much grace, too much mercy, or too much understanding and love is wrong....then maybe someone should let Jesus know, because that is exactly what He did.  I just don't want anyone missing out on the best relationship and friendship you could ever have, just because a bunch of people with good intentions made it more complicated then it really is.  Get down to the raw and real Gospel.   Don't judge Jesus based on the imperfections of His people.  Let Him show you who He really is.  Look past all of the religiousness and look for the relationship.  Surround yourself with people that have crazy faith and love that defies all logic.  Surround yourself with people that are crazy and goofy for God.  It is with these people that you will see miracles.  It is with these people that you will see the hand of God on Earth.  It is with these people that your soul will rest.  All I am give Jesus a chance.

Do you know what it was about my brother, Kirk, that drew me to him...and ultimately to Jesus?  Like a moth to a flame, I was uncontrollably drawn to Kirk's unconditional love for me.  Kirk was seeing me and loving me through the eyes of God.  He wasn't afraid to draw near to me just because I was a broken mess that cussed and drank like a sailor.  It didn't offend him.  He wasn't afraid that my sin would rub off on him.  He wasn't afraid that the way I lived my life would cause him to stumble.  He didn't pat me on the head and look down on me just because I wasn't where he was.  He didn't approach me like someone to be pitied or looked down upon.  He didn't try and use fear or judgment in order to "help" me.  He just plain loved the heck out of me.  Kirk's love for me was so overwhelming that sometimes I would just sit next to him and cry.  I couldn't speak.  I didn't understand it and I had never seen or felt anything like it before, but I knew that I wanted more of it.  Kirk never did try and chase me down, or be my crutch.  Sometimes, he let me fall.  But sometimes, that is what you do when you love someone.  You let them go so that God can come in and do what only He can do.  But no matter how far I pushed Kirk away, or how far I fell...I knew he would never push me away or throw dirt on me while I sat at the bottom of the pit I dug for myself.  Kirk's love was Christ's love.  Christ loved me through my brother.  Kirk's love was an encouraging, inspiring, and life changing love.  I am so thankful to Kirk for dying to himself so that I could live.  Kirk was obedient to God by loving me and speaking the truth to me, so that I could one day be saved from my darkness.  I can't thank Kirk enough, but he doesn't want my thanks.  That right there....was free of charge.  For years I have come to my brother with issues or fears and told him that I am afraid to make the wrong decision. I am scared to death of back sliding or going back down the wrong path that leads to my old life.  And instead of saying to me, "That's right, always be scared of back sliding and going down the wrong path, " he said to me, "Katie Kate, I'm not worried about you at all.  No matter what you do, or where you go, God won't let you go.  Has He ever let you go before?  Nope. He hasn't. Even when you weren't living your life for Him, He was there.  Whatever you do, I'm not worried you'll always find your way home."  He spoke life into me.  Even after all those years of making the same mistake over and over again, my brother had full confidence in God, and in me.  AMEN!  That is why I am so thankful for my Christian family and friends.  I need them because I need to see Christ's love for me through real live eyes, real live arms, real live hands.  I need people in my life whether they are Christian or not, because I have this aching need to give love and affection.  I need to.  I can't hold it in.  I need love and I need to give it.  I don't care if you believe what I believe or not....I frickin love you!  : )  What a WONDERFUL life I have!!!!   My purpose in life is to give love.  WOW!  And you what, there are more positions open for this job!  No application is turned down!  You are qualified for this position! 

Why am I qualified?  Well, Jesus loves me.  Jesus loves me.  Jesus loves me.  JESUS loves me.  Jesus loves ME.  Jesus. Loves. Me.  And He lives in me.  And I know it.  And not just because the Bible tells me so....which it does.  God shows me every single day how much he loves me.  He doesn't do it through fear, he does it through LOVE in the purest and simplest forms.  He is crazy in love with me.  And He is crazy in love with you.  Jesus loves YOU!  Go ahead, get excited!  You know you want to!  You know you need something to get excited about right now.  Well, this is something you can count on. Do you know how much He loves us?  He died for us, so that we wouldn't have to suffer and be weighed down by sin and fear.  "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love" (1 John 4:18). "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7Would you die for someone that didn't love you?  Would you voluntarily walk into imminent pain and death for someone that would ignore you and not even acknowledge that you did that for them?  You and I might not do that, but Jesus did.  The only way that I can thank God for His sacrifice is to allow Him to take me places I never dreamed of going, refine me in fires I would have never had the patience and willingness to go through, shipwreck me in storms that I would have never dared to steer through, mold me into a piece of art I would have never found beautiful, and die to myself in order to save myself and others.

I don't know the state of Anne Rice's heart.  I don't know where she is in her relationship with Jesus.  I can't judge it.  I don't want to judge it.  All I can do to make this world a better place is take up my cross and follow Jesus.   I will carry His burden which is to love the world and tell them the truth of his unending love, mercy, and grace.  He is not just the God of the second chance...He is the God of the 300th chance.  Trust me, I know.  People may think I'm not hard enough on sin, but believe me, I take sin very seriously.  Sin separates me from my best friend and that, to me, is unbearable.  Separation from God is what I fear, because that emptiness is something that I just can't bear.  I would rather go through the pain of the refiner's fire, the carver's chisel, and the potter's remolding than I would be able to stand spending time away from my Father, my best friend.  But the best new is....because I accept Jesus, I don't have to fear separation from God.  It is finished (John 19:25-30).  The only opinion that matters to me, in the end, is God's.  He's my best friend, my Redeemer, my Savior, my Father, my Protector, my Healer, my Helper, my Hero!


Katie, the One that Jesus Loved

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Annie Are You Okay?.....

The Christian Blogging Police just pulled me over.  They heard that it's been a few weeks since Anne Rice announced that she is no longer and Christian, but is still all about Jesus....and I haven't blogged about it.  They bought my excuse of "I didn't know there were rules about these things" and sent me on my way with just a warning.  I'm not really sure what the punishment is for such things if I don't comply, so I'm just gonna go ahead and get ta bloggin'.

Here's the dilly yo:

Anne Rice, famous author of books such as Interview with a Vampire, recently said this on her Facebook page:

"Today I quit being a Christian. I'm out," she wrote. "I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity. It's simply impossible for me to 'belong' to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious and deservedly infamous group. For 10 years, I've tried. I've failed. I'm an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.... In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen."

And then an hour later posts this as her status update:

"As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I'm out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of ...Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen." 

And then this:

"My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn't understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become."

Those are some pretty powerful words.

For a little history.  Anne Rice was born in New Orleans and was raised in an Irish Catholic home.  Anne left the Catholic church when she was 18 and went on to marry, have children, and become famous for her gothic, horror books.  In 1998, after some serious health issues, Rice returned to the Catholic church.  After returning to the religion of her childhood, she began to realize that the books she had written were all fueled by her need to understand a world without God.  She came back to the Catholic church and began writing books dedicated to Jesus.  A few days ago she decided to leave Christianity, but still believes in Jesus.

This has lead to many blogs and articles discussing the different opinions on whether or not what she has decided is "right" or "wrong".  I don't really know what to say other than give my own account of going from an agnostic/atheistic to a Christian.  I can't answer for Anne Rice, so I'll answer for myself. 

Her reasons for leaving Christianity were a lot of the same reasons that I was agnostic/atheist most of my life.  I grew up in WV, which is technically part of the Bible belt.  I grew up assuming that everyone was a Christian.  I thought that there was no choice.  Everyone knew that Jesus was God and that was that.  No questions asked. As I got older I realized that there were other religions in the world.  There were people that didn't believe in Jesus at all.  I realized that was something that was "allowed".  I had lots of questions.  I didn't get a lot of answers.  I also realized that this Jesus guy and I didn't to seem to have much in common and that his father seemed pretty violent and angry.  Any attempts at reading the Bible on my own were thwarted by all the "thees, thous, thys" etc.  I thought, well, if Jesus talks like this, then how is he going to understand me.  I'll be lucky to stop saying "ain't" and Jesus is throwing out some words that my friends and I aren't saying on the playground while we're singing the lyrics to Parents Just Don't Understand (Fresh Prince...holla!).  I didn't want to have anything to do with the hypocrites and miserable people that I saw sitting in church pews.  At some point I stopped saying I was a Christian.  I knew that I didn't know anything about Jesus or the Bible, so why would I call myself something just because I'm supposed to?  I felt that, no matter how miserable I was living life my own least I was having more fun than those grumpy, stuffy, judgmental, bigots that lived life like puppets.  I wanted them to take their fake smiles and their "thou shalt nots" and get out of thy face.  Going to a liberal college (which most are) didn't help matters much.  I was offended and pushed farther away by the Christian propaganda I encountered in high school and in college.  If you have to try so hard to sell it really worth it?   If you have to use fear to draw someone toward something, will they stay?  So many questions.

At some point after college, I began to see that what I thought being a Christian meant was much different than what Jesus meant for it to be.  It was my brother, Kirk that was the first person I knew that was able to show me what the love of Christ was meant to be.  For years after Kirk became a Christian I watched him like a hawk.  I had so many questions about this Jesus that Kirk loved so much.  The Jesus that Kirk loved was so different than the Jesus I heard about growing up.  Kirk wasn't perfect, but that was the beauty of it.  He didn't have to be.  There was a calmness he had about his weaknesses, imperfections, and mistakes.  He used each hardship or fall in order to draw closer to God.  He and I would be up for hours and hours talking about God.  I would ask millions of questions and Kirk would patiently answer them if he could.  Every idea I had about the Jesus I had constructed in my head began to fall away as I learned more and more what the Bible said and even more than that....the love Kirk had as he talked about Jesus.  It took me a lot of years, but at some point I began to fall in love with Jesus as well.  I still refused to call myself a Christian, but I found myself seeking information about Jesus more and more.  Most of the time I did my research in private.  I didn't want anyone to know I was falling in love with Jesus...because then I might be required to change my life or something like that....and I wasn't ready for that.  I didn't WANT Jesus to be the answer.  I kept fighting it.  I kept reading and researching hoping that I would come across something that would allow me to reject Jesus and roll on with my life.  But the more I searched, the more I found that Jesus is who he says he is.  The thing about the real Jesus is.....He wants you to ask questions. He wants you to wonder and ponder.  He wants to be desired and sought out.  He doesn't hide from us.  As we seek, we find.  We find Him.  Who He really is.  My heart found God, and my head shortly followed.  I spent a lot of years in spiritual blindness.  I spent a lot of years mocking Christians.  I spent a lot of years thinking that to be a Christian would mean that I would have to leave my intellect at the door and become a fundamentalist, right-wing, judgmental, screaming crazy person that wears cheap suits and have a book published with my face on the cover.  Luckily, none of that happened when I gave my heart to Jesus.  I still want to write a book one day, but I promise I won't put a pic of my face on the cover.....maybe just a small pic of me wearing a tutu and combat boots....on the back inside cover.  What I have found in my almost 5 years of being a Christian is that us Christians...well, we've done a great job of giving ourselves a bad name.  We are works in progress.  We will slip.  We will fall.  We will do something that gives Jesus a bad name.  All of us will at some point.  We are humans. We aren't Jesus.  Jesus tells us that we are made perfect in our weaknesses. (2Cor 12:9)  It is in our weakness that we lean on God.  Anything else we lean on will crumble under the pressure.  Jesus is strong enough to shine through all of His imperfect children.  The church is certainly imperfect, but Jesus loves us anyway.  If Jesus started the church (Matt 16:18), then it must be important to him.  If Jesus commanded us to love each other, how can we do that if we live separated from each other?  It's easy to love someone from a distance, but the selfless love that Jesus commands of us is usually done up close and personal.  If I don't allow myself to come into contact with people that disagree with me or challenge will I ever grow or learn?  I don't want to surround myself with a bunch of people that are exactly where I am and believe exactly what I believe.  I want to challenge my beliefs.  I'm so confident in Jesus that I'm not afraid of finding something that will cause me to stop believing in him.  God uses people to speak to us and change us.  If we push them away because they don't agree with us, then we are going to remain stagnant and fearful.  If our faith is so weak that we can't have a discussion with someone that doesn't share our beliefs, lifestyle or opinions then maybe we should do some seeking before we start casting stones of judgment.   If Anne Rice felt like she wasn't accepted or loved by Christians no matter what she believed, then I don't blame her for leaving.  Feeling like you can't be yourself and that you have to be two different people in your life, that's an awful way to live.  I've felt that way before.  Sometimes I still feel that way.  I struggle with "church" and "church people" as well.   I try to talk about my mistakes and weaknesses on my blog and in my conversations with people, because I value transparency.  We all struggle through life's difficulties.  It pains me to know that there are people sitting in churches every Sunday that are totally in love with Jesus, but that put on a fake face so that they won't risk being labeled as an outsider because of their questions, opinions, or struggles.  I believe in the freedom that Jesus offers.  I believe in love.  God is love.  My job is to love and spread God's word and truth.  I will do that.  But I will not marginalize people in the process.  I will not push people away because they are different than me.  I will not push people away or keep my love from them just because they don't believe in my God, or live a different lifestyle than I do, or don't share my political views, etc.   And I hope the people give the same back to me.  I hope that people don't hear I'm a Christian and automatically lump me into all of the negative things they think about Christians as a whole.  I love Jesus with all my heart and all my soul and all my strength.  He isn't #1 in my life....He IS my life.   He died on a cross for me, and for you.  I believe that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one gets to the Father but through Him.  I believe in His word, the Bible.  I lived a lot of years separated from God, and I will never turn my back on him.  My fear is that there are so many people in the world that don't know Jesus....simply because of His church.  And for that....I am truly sorry.

I think we all need a reminder about what love is:

Love is patient

Love is kind

It does not envy

It does not boast

It is not proud

It is not rude

It is not self-seeking

It is not easily angered

It keeps no record of wrongs

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

-1 Corinthians 13



Check out these blogs for additional views on Anne Rice and on doubt, struggles, and such:

Friday, August 6, 2010

DC Bollywood Moment III....

I have to interrupt my regularly scheduled week of harassing questions in order to bring you my most recent DC Bollywood moment.

Wajh, her sister Nabila, and I walked down to Thomas Sweet the other night for some ice cream.  Thomas Sweet is a little ice cream and candy shop on the corner of Wisconsin Ave and P St. in Georgetown.  They have the best ice cream EVER!  So, needless to say, Wajh and/or I find ourselves there fairly frequently.  Do you know what is even better than the ice cream?  A little somethin' I like to call...the 100% guaranteed instant ego boost.  Every time we walk in there the guys behind the counter smile at us like they've been waiting all their life for the moment we walk in the door.  Every. Single. Time.  Last night was particularly special because I got two marriage proposals AND the two proposers fought over me right there in the store. (I'm not talking fist fights.  Although that would have been a nice little nostalgic experience for me. It would have reminded me of the good 'ol days back in WV when the night wasn't over until somebody got punched in the face.  Seriously, my life was like Roadhouse.  I wish I was joking, but I'm not.)   The first guy told Wajh he wanted to marry me.  She, of course, advised against this union.  Not because he worked in an ice cream store...but most likely because the proposal didn't come with free ice cream.  Any decent guy knows....if you have access to ice cream...I betta get some fo free, holla!  Then the second guy takes a stab at proposing marriage. BUT, he came with free ice creams samples in hand.  Smart move, Sir.  Smart move indeed.  Although I didn't accept either proposal, I did feel quite honored and...well....special!  I mean, there was an entire line of people behind me....some of those people were women....and these two guys are falling over each other to talk to me.  Not that that doesn't happen every TOTALLY does.  Man, if I had a dime for every marriage proposal I got from a random stranger..I would have, ya know...I lot of dimes or whatever.  Anyway, so we go and sit down and do what we always do....get into deep deep life changing discussions.  I'm totally not kidding.  We can take a conversation about whether you can taste the difference between the blue sprinkles and the pink sprinkles and without trying......we turn it into a conversation that ends with us making a life changing decision complete with tears and hugs.  Usually we hold these discussions at, Brueggar's Bagels, but today, we discussed over ice cream. Ice cream topped with LOVE!  As we are in the middle of a very interesting convo, Boy #1 comes over to our table and starts hitting on me.  Boy #2 sees this and leaves the register to come over and intervene.  There are customers.  They want ice cream.  The guys are arguing over me.  It would have been embarrassing if it wasn't so AWESOME!  Boy #2 makes the winning move when he proclaims "God brings hearts together!  If you think you can take her from me, then try.  If she is for me, then there is nothing you can do. (Then he turns to me and shyly smiles)"  I was like, WHOA!  That is some Knight and Shining Armor stuff right there!  Forget the fact that he is probably 23, a college student, and works at an ice cream shop....THAT.....was deep stuff right there. The soundtrack to Karate Kid II played in the my head.  It was a beautiful moment.


Damsel in Distress

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Still Your Turn....

Go ahead, try and ignore me.  I triple dog dare you!  I'm going to keep asking questions until I GET SOME ANSWERS AROUND HERE!  I got all day, man.  Alllllllll day.  You can't ignore me, DAN! (Sorry, didn't mean to go all Fatal Attraction on you.  I promise not to boil your bunny.)

That's my bad cop impersonation....did ya buy it!?  What, you're not scared of THIS:

 I can be mean, I swear!!!!  (Weren't Kirk and I cute when we were little?!)

Next question:

Jesus.  Who is he to you?  What do you know about him?  Do you believe He is God?  Have you ever prayed to Jesus?  What has Jesus done for you?

Okay.  Question is posed.  Please write something. Don't make me give you THIS FACE: