Friday, September 30, 2005

Friday's Feast

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Feast Sixty-Four / Friday, September 30, 2005


When was the last time you visited a hospital?

It's usually not supposed to be "fun" visiting a hospital (new babies excluded), but on Labor Day weekend our good friend John -- husband of Brandi -- was in for some tests and a few of us visited and played games. It was so much fun, and so nice to see John laughing and having a good time. Well, the best time you can have from a hospital bed, anyway.


On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how ambitious are you?

Sigh. I'm just not one of those people. I have my goals, and I do alright, but when it comes to just taking off with my ideas I am probably a 3 or 4.


Make a sentence using the letters of a body part. (Example: (mouth) My other ukelele tings healthily.)

Knowing Never Explains Everything. (Does that even make sense?)

Main Course

If you were to start a club, what would the subject matter be, and what would you name it?

Don't know for sure that I would call it a "club" but I have thought it would be great to get the youth or university students involved in knitting some bears (or other neat little things) with me to give to...those in the hospital? Shut-ins? Something along those lines. What I like about it is that, not only would we be doing something to help others, we would be doing it together. Service with others is always a wonderful thing. Now, of course, since I am not the most ambitious person (as mentioned above), it might take me longer to get something like this off the ground. Oh, and I would name it...Knitting Hearts.


What color is the carpet/flooring in your home?

We only have carpeting in the bedrooms, otherwise it's tile or hardwood flooring. The carpet has some kind of name like "Ambition" -- ha! Isn't that a funny coincidence? (If you don't get it, you haven't been reading!) It's a very neutral color. The hardwood flooring looks like...hardwood flooring. We do have a checkered rug over it in the living room, and that is some reds and browns and greens.

Friday, September 23, 2005

One-sided conversation overheard today

"I heard there was going to be rain tomorrow. Do you think that's true or false? I vote false!"

Friday's Feast

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Feast Sixty-Three / Friday, September 23, 2005


Name something someone has done lately that impressed you.

In view of the recent hurricane tragedy, I have seen many people doing many things that impress me. Yes, Oprah gave $10 million of her own dollars, and that is wonderful, but even the smallest deeds are just as great. I am proud of the students in our campus ministry, and their dedication in visiting the coast next weekend to help in any way they can.


Do you have any relaxing rituals? If so, what are they?

When I am driving alone in the car, I sing. I have a list of rotating songs that I sing (and no, I won't tell you what they are) at the top of my voice. Singing gives me a center and a calming. It is difficult for me to sing in front of most people, but I do okay with Casey and with Junebug, the cat (she likes to hear "Roxanne").


If you could spend the winter season somewhere other than your current location, where would you choose to stay?

Phoenix has really nice winter weather, but I would rather be somewhere with water, so I'll say Hawaii.

Main Course

When was the last time you had dinner out, and what was the name of the restaurant?

Oh, I just blogged about this! Casey and I went to Chili's for our four-year dating anniversary.


If you had a boat, what would you name it?

The S.S. Grace

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Knitting a sermon?

So, remember when I was talking about Cloths For Katrina? I printed out three patterns (butterfly, peace sign, and teapot) and bought six balls of yarn in the hopes of making two cloths per pattern. I started on the butterfly pattern first (because it's just too pretty), and as these patterns are some of the easiest I think I've ever seen, I was sure there would be no problem. Maybe that was my first mistake, because there were problems from the very beginning. I was dropping and adding stitches like a madwoman, and twice I had to rip out several rows. As it turns out, this cloth thing is not as easy-peasy as I thought it would, be. And yet, I persevere. Lunchtime today proved yet another unfruitful time of knitting, where I sadly discovered that I will again have to rip out a few rows. The good news? I found a bit of an analogy in there (hoping 'analogy' is the correct word). As we are the clay and God is the potter, so we are the yarn and God is the knitter! And we get all tangled up and we must ask him into our hearts to catch that dropped stitch that we let go, or to please rid us of that extra stitch that we wish had never been there. And so on...I'm not trying to preach here, honest -- I just thought I would share a few of my little knitting highs and woes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

"...and after you have done everything, to stand..."

For our struggle is NOT against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. ~Ephesians 6:12

Behcet's has been a big monster for the past week, seemingly overshadowing my highs and lows...seemingly taking away my ability to control my emotions. I have been angry, not fearful, of this monster that is actually a glitch in my own immune system.

For our struggle is NOT against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. ~Ephesians 6:12

I have been directing my anger at the wrong source. My anger should not be aimed at the weakness in my body, because we all have weaknesses in our bodies in one form or another. My weakness is not yours, nor your weakness mine. But when my faith becomes weak, my temper short, my tongue quick to speak harsh words...this is not my disease. This is evil doing its best work -- the lion prowling, the snake deceiving. I am in need of my armor.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. ~Ephesians 6:13-18

Friday, September 16, 2005

Friday's Feast

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Feast Sixty-Two / Thursday, September 15, 2005


Do your closer friends tend to be male or female? Why do you think that is?

Hmm...I would say it's changed a bit. Back in my college days I used to have two of the best guy friends, but that changed when dating came into the picture. I would say that I still have at least one male friend whom Casey and I are very close to and haven't seen in ages. But I think that the close friend thing changes when one gets married. For me it did, anyway. I have always had some very close female friends in my life (25 years and counting, Crystal!), but as I've gotten older I have started to really cherish them more. It is so important to have those girls to talk to (my daily email buddy Melissa will hopefully second that!).


If you could wake up tomorrow with a new talent, what would it be?

I think I would go with a combo of being able to whip up a really great meal plus being an awesome hostess so that I would feel more confident about having people over more often. It's so nice to have others over and share your lives together.


Name a household cleaning item that you would recommend to others.

Bleach! I would not have been able to clean out our fridge and freezer and many other things when we moved into our house without that stuff! I just put it in a spray bottle with some water and it totally did the trick!

Main Course

What do you strive for in life?

Wow, that's a huge question! Now keep in mind that I am struggling to succeed at these things, but I mostly strive to be a faithful servant of God (which entails sooooo many things), a loving and giving wife to my husband, and a helpful encourager to family and friends and others around me in my daily life. One day, if God blesses us with children, I will strive to be a godly mother.


On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how funny do you consider yourself?

I think I do alright, although I know that Casey is much funnier than me. I'll go ahead and give myself a 6.5 (hoping that people don't see that and go, "Whatever, Tracey!"). And just for the record, when the yearbooks came out my senior year, I was shocked and amazed to find my name on the 'Top Ten Funniest People' list. Seriously...I didn't think enough people knew me to vote. I still think it was a joke!

Yarns abound!

Casey and I went out to dinner last night to celebrate our four-year dating anniversary (which is actually today, but we can't make tonight work). The very short version of our story really begins with 9/11, that horrible-crazy day. We took a long walk around campus and then went to IHOP. I ate all my food, and our waitress called me 'Miss Piggy'. No joke. Five days later, September 16, we took another walk around campus together, but this time we stopped to have a long talk about starting a relationship. At about 4 a.m. we visited IHOP again (different waitress this time, whew!) and talked until 7 a.m. Less than one year later we were married. I said it was the short version!

Before dinner last night, we visited Walmart to pick up some odds and ends, and I got to pick up my yarns to start knitting for Katrina victims! I was soooo excited to get started, but by the time we got home I was just exhausted. I did knit one leg for a teddy bear pattern (
Cloths For Katrina is taking soft baby toys as well), but that's as far as I got. Hopefully I'll do lots of knitting this weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

It's nice, isn't it?

So many people are doing so many wonderful things to help those in need after that horrific storm named Katrina. It really fills my heart to see such willingness in all people, young and old, working and sweating to lift the burdens of others. God made us to help others, not ourselves. And have you ever noticed just how good it feels when you do something, any small thing, for another human being? Satisfaction from self-fulfillment lasts mere moments, while stepping outside oneself to help your fellow man can last lifetimes. I promise that I am preaching this all to myself. I am looking for ways to help, knowing that my body with its chronic pain will not endure a long physical cleanup trip, such as the one our campus ministry is planning in the next few weeks. Casey and I have decided that it is best for me to stay home that weekend. That is frustrating, especially at my age, but I can still do something, and I have already found ways to help at Cloths For Katrina. I am excited to get going on my projects! Now my body can still get its rest, but at the same time I will be able to make something with my own hands that can benefit others.

May God bless all the work you are doing to help these victims!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sixteen years ago today -- a memory of kindness

I said a few words about this last year, but I wanted to recognize this day as the anniversary of my family becoming naturalized U.S. citizens. Sixteen years ago today, my parents stood in a crowded auditorium and took an oath. Because I was only 13 years old at the time, all I had to do was sit somewhere else and watch them and I automatically became a citizen along with them. There is not a whole lot I remember about it, but I do have a very vivid memory of us riding in our brown van through downtown San Antonio, Texas. We were nearing an intersection when a young blind man was trying to step off the curb to cross the street. He misjudged the distance off the curb and fell onto the street. My dad says he doesn't remember this, but I do -- I watched as my dad quickly put the van in park, jumped out and ran over to the man to help him up off the ground.

I don't remember a single word said by anyone that day, but my dad's actions still ring loudly in my heart.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Friday's Feast

This is something I will try to do every Friday. Click the post title or the link in the sidebar to have a feast of your very own!

Feast Sixty-One / Friday, September 09, 2005


Who is the easiest person for you to talk to?

That is easily Casey, my husband. We had a sense of humor connection from the very beginning, and that is a big thing for us. I have also learned so much from Casey, and so I love talking with him and asking him to help me think some things through.


If you could live in any ancient city during the height of the quality of its society and culture, which one would you choose?

Um...can I pass on this one? It's Friday, and I really wasn't that great in history!


What is the most exciting event you've ever witnessed?

I know I'm going to type something and then later realize I should have put (insert other event) instead. I think for now I will be superficial and say it was a Sting concert. I've been to five, but I'll pick the most recent because I was on the fifth row! It was something I really wanted to do before having children (and Sting only tours once every four years)...I just had a blast, and it was all made so very special because Casey was there with me.

Main Course

If you were a celebrity, what would you do for a publicity stunt?

I'm drawing such blanks on these questions! Sorry readers!! What I would not do is go with the getting-engaged-right-before-my-movie-premiere-stunt...that is just too obvious.


What do you consider the ideal age to have a first child?

I haven't had my first child, but I still won't say that I think thirties is ideal because I have many, many friends who have had their children in their early twenties and have done very well. I really just think it depends on the person and their own maturity. If I had been asked this at 18 years of age, I would have blurted out, "Twenty-two!" or something to that effect. Who knows. But honestly, if I'd been married and had a child at that age...I would not have been ready, especially spiritually. God has made me wait, and I mean that in the best way. He knows so much better than I do. So, the ideal age for me to have my first child will be...when I have my first child.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Autumn hope

I am not one who has always enjoyed the cooler weather. I turn on my space heater at my office desk during the summer, for crying out loud -- so sue me, they keep it cold in there! And when spring is around the corner, my heart almost skips a beat. Springtime brings a feeling of hope and renewal for me. But lately, I have actually found myself waiting (there's that word again!) for cooler weather. Go figure! The crispness of the falling leaves and the cool, sunshine-splashed air has started to feel like a rejuvenation time as well. Not that we're actually experiencing that weather at the moment, but in the can feel it. Autumn and its hope is on the way.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Floating thoughts

Sarah just blogged about her goal to "say something simple and real, something with hope in it." She has been inspired, and in turn inspires me! I want to thank Sarah for her inspiration, and I myself am looking to share hopeful things (sometimes just humor though) here. However, I am experiencing one of those days in which that meanie known as fatigue is bearing down on me. I am feeling inspired, and yet my body is saying, "Um, sorry...nothing we can do right now. You'll just have to wait it out." I struggle to know how exactly to give glory to God through my occasional pain and fatigue. I trust that he will use me where needed, but it is a tough thing for me to figure out. And waiting...well, waiting is just not my thing! We all wait at one or more times in our lives for something, and yet there are some who handle it so much better than others. God has much work to do in me! Meantime, I continue to appreciate so many who inspire me and challenge me to be more than I am.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Helping Bill

You know how easy it is to feel helpless when there are so many people suffering through the aftermath of this storm? I've been so busy at work that I have not truly thought through all of it. I've prayed for all of them, but I haven't sat down and really considered how horrible all of it is.

Then something happened yesterday that made it a little more real to me. Yesterday was our office's busiest day in the entire semester, so I have been running around like a crazy woman. In the midst of helping students, I saw a gentleman walk in looking fairly distressed. His name was Bill. He and his family are from Louisiana, and they are staying in a hotel in town. They don't know if they still have a house left. Bill needed to use a computer, just to find some documents and print them out and make a few copies.

We immediately offered Bill an available computer, as my boss had to leave the office for a bit, so hers was free. Bill was in such a state of anxiety that he apologized over and over for getting in the way. I don't know if I ever helped him to understand how good it made us feel to help him, even in the smallest way. We all want to do something, and this was an opportunity.

All I did was help Bill print out a few things and made some copies to give to his relatives. I hardly lifted a finger to help this man, but rarely have I seen such gratitude. Bill asked for a sheet of paper and a pen so he could write a thank-you note to my boss.

Yesterday was the busiest day our office sees for the entire semester, but I don't think I complained once about helping anyone after Bill was gone.
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