Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The All Purpose Toy

In order to promote their breakfast muffin sandwich and their new breakfast dollar menu, Burger King has a new commercial that just brought back images of one of my most traumatic childhood memories.

In this commercial, there are two guys standing in a desert looking area. The guy who just made a smart decision by buying his breakfast muffin off the new dollar menu is squished inside a large tire. The other guy stands behind him verifying how smart he is and that due to saving money, he can now afford to make dumb decisions. Then without warning, he gives the tire the ol' heave ho and rolls his friend down the hill. I looked for the video on you tube, but unfortunatley I couldn't find it.

When I was about six years old, my cousins inherited an inner tube from a large tractor tire. I'm not quite sure how they came into such an amazing inheritance, but it was a favorite play thing for quite some time. This was such a multipurpose toy and with the imaginations of two 6 year olds and an 10 year old, there was always some new way to play with it.

My personal favorite was to use the inner tube as a trampoline. It was especially fun if someone was across from you to bounce you up even higher. But, my cousins, being the boys they were, quickly grew tired of using it as a trampoline. So, they began to find new uses for it. We played human bowling where you would roll it at the kids trying to run from it (on second hand, maybe it was a little more like inner tube dodgeball). We took it to the lake and swam with it. We used it like a basketball hoop. We laid around on it and used it like a lawn chair. For that entire summer, I coveted that inner tube. I thought it was the greatest thing ever.

Until one day.

We were rolling it around the front yard of their house when they convinced me to get inside. it may have had something to do with the fact I was the only one small enough to actually fit in it. Or, it may have been that I was the only one they could convince to do it. I was a fairly shy child, but I could be talked into anything by the right people. Those cousins were the right people. I remember climbing inside. I was terrified. But very gently and very slowly, they rolled me around the front yard. It was kind of fun. I climbed out and we continued to roll the inner tube around the house and into the backyard. Again, they convinced me to climb in so they could roll me down the hill. Now, this hill was probably the length of at least two houses. It was one of those hills that all the neighborhood kids came out to sled on when it snowed.

And my cousins wanted to roll me down it. In an inner tube.

My older cousin told me that he'd go down to the bottom of the hill and be there to catch me. He was always standing up for me and very over protective and always watching out for me being the only girl. I'm sure I told them that I didn't want to do it. And I'm sure there was some name calling involved. And I'm sure I got my feelings hurt.

But, I did what any seven year old girl who trusted her cousins with her life would do. I let them roll me down a hill in a huge black inner tube.

Now, the memory gets a little fuzzy, but I'm pretty certain the moment the tire left my cousin's hands the tears started to flow. I do remember wanting to jump out, but I was afraid I would get hurt. So I stayed put inside the tire. I let it roll me for what seemed like forever. And then, I crashed. Not into my cousins arms as promised, but into a huge wooden fence post. And it hurt. And I cried. And my cousins took off running. I'm pretty sure that was about the same time my mom came running out the back door.

I learned that day that it was okay to say no to things I didn't want to do. It's definitely a lesson I've had to teach myself over and over these last 23 years. Occasionally, it's something I still have a hard time with. Especially having a hard time disappointing others. But I've come a long way since that day I volunteered to get rolled down a hill in a huge inner tube.

And just as a side note, I could probably pin point this story as having something to do with some of my trust issues. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

White Water Adventure

This weekend, I took a much needed break from studying and went white water rafting with the youth. I was pretty excited about this trip. Mostly because the last time I went white water rafting I was their age. It was the summer after I graduated high school.

Everyone had a great time. And we brought everyone back safely.

Here’s some pictures of our white water adventure.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Candle Holders For a Cause

My college friends Jenny and Stuart are begining to raise money for thier adoption process. They already have 18 month old twins (who are stinkin' adorable!) and are planning on expanding their family by adopting from Ethiopia.

In order to raise money, they'll be selling candle holders that are perfect for tealights or votives. Head on over to their blog and help support an amazing family! You can place orders through their blog, or you can email for more info.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Last week we had a youth event for local missions. My church has had a very strong presence in the flood clean up over the last couple months. And there is still plenty of work to be done. This was a three day event where they helped with flood relief during the day, hung out during the afternoons, and had worship at night, followed by more time to hang out and get to know each other.

Due to having a 8-5 (or 9-6, depending on the day) job, I was unable to be around for the full event. Though I would have much rather been installing dry wall with those kids than what I was really doing. I was able to stop by the church Wednesday night to help serve dinner and be there for worship and to hang out for a bit. I was asked if I could help lead the discussion for our campus after worship. Little did I know what that meant.

At the end of worship, these 25 middle and high school kids gather around the steps of the stage to discuss confession and sin. And that's when the conversation turned incredibly real. I wasn't expecting the the things we discussed to surface, but it was the most real, raw, authentic conversation I've heard in a long time. One by one, they opened up their hearts and shared with other people, what was really going on. What they were really struggling with. What they were really afraid of.

And one by one, I saw these kids breathe a little easier. I could physically see that their load was lighter. So why is confession something that doesn't seem to get much attention. Why do we try to fix things ourselves? Why are we so afraid to be completely authentic?

After thinking about it for a few days, I really think that it's fear.

Fear of rejection.
Fear of not being loved.
Fear of failure.

We should be able to come together with other believers and be truly authentic. And I'm so proud of that group of students for opening up and letting others see into the deepest, grittiest part of their unexposed hearts.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Chicago...In Pictures

Cloud Gate Against the City

The reflection of the city in Cloud Gate

Me at Buckingham Fountain

I loved seeing the reflections of all
the buildings on the river

View from the womens bathroom on the
96th floor of the John Hancock Center

View from the Signature Lounge on the 96th
Floor of the John Hancock Center

John Hancock Center

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Chicago, Here I Come!

I was at lunch last week with a co-worker, telling her that I had $130 toward a flight that was about to expire and that the opportunity to use it hadn’t presented itself. I had originally planned on using it for my trip to San Antonio in August, but when I tried to apply it toward that ticket, it told me that it was going to expire July 8. At that point, I only had three weeks to find a use for it. I had asked a few friends if they’d be interested in going to Chicago (or anywhere, but Chicago was the cheapest option) over a weekend, but none of them could work it out with their schedules or finances. So at that point, it seemed like I’d be traveling alone, or it would just expire and go to waste.

Until that moment, sitting in a barbeque joint across from my co-worker, hearing her say, “I’m not doing anything fourth of July weekend… I could go with you.”

Thirty minutes later, plane tickets had been purchased and we will be on our way to Chicago in just days!

What's the one thing I have to do while I'm there?!