Thursday, December 30, 2010

Short Story #3

At the Wishing Well

As the money floated for a split moment, I squeezed the tiled fountain ledge, and watched it spiral down and join the hundreds of other glittering coins. Would I ever forget the familiar odor of lobby system air fresheners mixed with chemical-laden disinfectant? Some people call it clean; I call it hospital.

“Hello.” A boyish voice interrupted my brooding.

I glanced up to see a kid in a wheelchair rolled up to the fountain.

“Hi,” I answered, hoping he could hear me over the white noise of the spraying water.

“Did you make a wish?” he asked.

I took another chug of Mountain Dew. How could I tell him I’d just found the two pennies under the vending machine? And worse, that I’d been standing here imagining how many Big Macs could be bought with all those coins?

The kid thrust a hand at me.

“My name’s Joey. What’s yours?”

I stepped over and grasped his hand with a slight shake.

“Nice to meet you, Joey. I’m Nick,” I said, trying to ignore the clear oxygen tubes that looped under his freckled nose.

“How old are you?” he asked.

“Guess.” I replied with my “cool” smile.

Joey stared at me intently for a moment and then stated confidently,


“Wow. Dead on, dude.” I slapped him a high five. “I’m impressed.”

“Do you want to guess how old I am?” Joey asked eagerly.

“Well,” I began, noting how big his fire engine T-shirt looked on him. “I’m guessing you’re younger than my little brother; he’s seven, so—”

Joey’s laugh interrupted me.

“I’m eight and a half,” he boasted. “Mommy says I look littler because I’ve always had this tiny hole in my heart. But don’t worry, she said it’s going to be okay.”

That explains his purplish-blue lips. I thought.

“Have you ever played the waiting game?” Joey asked.

“Yes,” I answered. “It’s my little brother’s favorite game—well, he’s my step-brother, but he’s a great kid. I think you two would get along great.”

“I wish I had a brother,” Joey said wistfully. “What’s his name?”

“Matty.” I answered, thinking back to when his random headaches had suddenly turned into nightmarish migraines last year. The tumor they’d found wasn’t cancerous, but it had been a dangerous operation.

“Is that why you’re here?”

I nodded glancing up again at the big Tweety Bird clock. My wait was going on two hours.

“It looks like you’re playing that waiting game now,” Joey said with a sly grin.

I laughed. This kid was good at getting my mind off of the fears that had been resurfacing since Mom’s call this afternoon.

“So what is he waiting for?” Joey asked.

“I’m not sure,” I said, feeling my smile dissolve. “We thought we were done waiting after his brain surgery last month, but Matty suddenly got another migraine today, so they brought him here to get it checked out.”

Hoping to steer clear from the foreboding thoughts of Matty in pain, I asked, “So are you waiting for them to fix your heart?”

“No, I’m getting a new heart,” Joey said brightening.

“Is that why you’re here?” I asked surprised.

Joey shook his head with a scowl and explained, “We come every month for a check-up.”

“How long have you been coming here?”

“One and a half years.” Joey replied in a matter of fact tone.

“That’s a long time.”

Joey nodded, and I noticed the first rain clouds blow across his young face.

“It’s getting harder to wait, and now I hardly ever feel good.”

I sat my empty can on the damp fountain ledge.

“Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get a new heart,” Joey continued. “One time I heard Mommy telling my aunt Sarah that there’s a really long waiting list for hearts. She cried—and I don’t like to make anyone cry.”

Then he tried to put on a brave smile, much like the one Matty had given me right before he was wheeled into surgery. Joey cocked his head like a question mark.

“Have you ever had a wish come true, Nick?”

I cleared my throat, and stammered, “I—I don’t think so.”

“Do you think God hears our wishes?”

“Probably,” I answered, avoiding his restless grey-blue eyes.

I felt trapped. I couldn’t tell him I didn’t believe in wishes.

Joey’s hand dove into his pocket and fished around for a moment.

“Maybe you need a shinier one,” he said waving a new penny. “My first one was really old and dull, so I don’t know if God saw it. But I’ve been saving this one. Daddy says it’ll take a miracle to get a new heart—that’s why he gave it to me.”

I followed Joey’s glance across the lobby to the waiting area where a couple—probably in their early thirties—were talking to a pink scrub-clad nurse.

Joey continued. “Mommy says we have wishing-wells so God can see all the wishes collected in one place. That way he doesn’t have to search for them and they can get answered faster.”

“I see,” I mumbled, frustrated. Why do they have to have things like wishing wells to get these young kids’ hopes up? It just isn’t fair!

I watched as Joey took a deep breath, squeezed his eyes shut, and sat very still. He stretched his thin arm out over the liquid surface with his penny grasped in his hand, palm down. His thin lips started to move—then suddenly he closed his mouth and opened both eyes to look up at me.

“I want you to have it,” he said thrusting his penny toward me.

“No, Joey,” I tried to push his hand back. “I can’t take your wish.”

“No, take it,” he insisted. “You were here first and I want you to have a go at your wish.” He grabbed my reluctant hand with both of his and pressed the warm coin into my palm.

“Anyways, I always ask for the same wish when I’m here,” he said. “I’m sure they can all add together to equal one shiny penny. Besides, your other ones weren’t shiny at all.”

I looked down at the piece of copper and then back up at Joey with a strange feeling in my throat.

“Go ahead,” he coaxed. “But don’t tell me the wish or it won’t work.”

I held the penny above the water feeling self-conscious as the fountain lightly sprayed my skin.

“Make sure you give it an extra big splash when you drop it,” Joey whispered anxiously.

I closed my eyes and thought of little Matty while spots of light reflected off of the glittering miniature tiles in the water.

I found myself whispering into the dark turmoil of my heart.

“God, if you’re there, please, let me see a miracle,”

The water received my penny with a splash-like gulp, and I held my breath until the shimmering coin rested on the mosaic design of a red heart.

“Thank you, Joey,” I said quietly as a calm welled up inside of me.

We were both silent for a few minutes.

“So what do you want to be when you grow up?” I asked, picking up my soda can and fidgeting with the tab.

“A firefighter,” Joey answered enthusiastically. “I want to save people.”

I smiled, but felt ashamed. Once I had wanted to be a marine. Now I was taking pride in perfecting the art of spinning pizza dough at Bambino’s.

“What do you want to be?” Joey asked.

“Batman,” I said seriously.

Joey looked at my unsmiling face for a moment. My mouth twitched, and we both burst out laughing.

Suddenly, an exclamation from across the large lobby caught our attention, and I saw Joey’s mom digging in her big purse while trying to clutch at her husband’s arm. They’re eyes swept the room until they found us. Then they were running toward us, waving a beeping pager.

“Nick.” I spun around hearing the desperate tone in my Mom’s voice as the laughter died in my throat.

Her lips seemed to be moving, but I couldn’t understand her as she collapsed into my arms and clung to me sobbing.

Dread clawed at my heart, and I struggled to breath as if I were drowning. Helplessly, I looked at the nurse who was now standing at a respectful distance fingering her clipboard.

The green frogs on her scrubs seemed to jump and swim in front of my eyes as my Mom’s choked words hit my gut like a sinking ship.

Did she just say something about an aneurysm?

Joey’s excited voice dove into my numb mind, reviving me for a moment.

“Nick!” He was twisting around in his chair and waving at me ecstatically as a nurse was wheeling him away. His mom kept trying to kiss him and his dad was talking animatedly on a cell phone.

I couldn’t see him through a sudden blur, but Joey’s words rang in my mind as he disappeared behind the swinging white doors.

“God has to be real, Nick! My wish came true! I got a new heart!”

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Short Story #1


The lights went out when she squeezed her eyes shut. Perhaps if she didnt look, her angry reflection wouldnt stare back so accusingly. With a frustrated sigh, she turned from the long mirror jerking the brush through her hair.

Mousy. Stick straight. Dishwater. Those were a few of the words that her classmate, Lillian Johnson, used to describe her hair yesterday. The whole English composition class had laughed.

“Jolie!” Her mother’s muffled yell came from the kitchen on the other side of the wall. “You’re going to be late for the bus, and you haven’t eaten breakfast yet.”

“Who cares?” she muttered as she jerked her hair into a shoulder-length ponytail and flopped onto her bed. If only she could stay here where no one would look at her.

The lone light bulb above her mirror suddenly flickered, and the rumble of the bus turning the corner down the street forced her to her feet. Swiping at her flat bangs, Jolie finished buttoning her flannel shirt, wishing, as always, that it was a size smaller.

“Jolie, the bus!”

Swinging the overstuffed backpack to her shoulder, Jolie grasped the doorknob and turned to face the mirror.

“I hate you,” she whispered. But her voice seemed to follow her out the door and into the kitchen.

“Mom, my mirror light is acting up.”

“Again?” Tired green eyes glanced up from examining the dirty bowl being scrubbed. “Wasn’t that blinking a few days ago?”

“No, that was the bathroom light,” Jolie said flipping on her iPod to mute the concerned query about breakfast as she let the screen door bang shut behind her.

Her breath escaped in a faint puff as she stepped off the porch and pulled on a gray baseball cap. Stuffing her hands into her worn jeans pockets, the crunching chorus of leaves underfoot hurried her toward the big yellow vehicle of doom.

Ahead, Lillian was boarding the bus. Jolie noted the tall girl’s perfect weight, perfect fashionable coat, perfect skin, perfect hair—the sun that dared to shine today seemed to expose Jolie’s dark thoughts like a spotlight on a cold stage. What she would give to be invisible—then no one at Pike High School would see how much her mood matched her ugly face.

* * *

Clink. Clink. Clink.

Jolie awoke to a dark room. She sniffed. Yup, she must have cried herself to sleep again. Another horrible day at Spite High was over. She rolled, reaching for a tissue before she realized she was still wearing her cap and sneakers.

The light above her mirror flickered again; this time it stayed on. What is wrong with this house? Of course it was lighting up the hated object of her room. Stupid mirror! Wishing for a bowling ball, Jolie threw her hat at it instead.

Clink. Clink. Clink.

Jolie sat up as a chill crept up her back—it sounded like glass was being tapped by something tiny and hard. The noise was definitely coming from behind the mirror. Wading through dirty clothes, scattered DVDs, and CDs, she almost tripped over her abandoned backpack before reaching the mirror.

Clink. Clink. Clink.

Jolie stared uncertainly at it before she reached up to lift the heavy frame off of the wall. But as soon as her fingers closed over the wooden edges, a warm energy erupted, shooting through her fingers and up her arms. The glassy surface rippled, and her panic-filled face dissolved, suddenly replaced by the image of a white-haired lady. Screaming, Jolie jumped back.

“There, there, dear heart. Don’t be alarmed.” The voice grew louder as a face came into focus.

“This appearing act scares me every time too—it’s definitely my least favorite part of this job."

Jolie’s eyes were riveted to those under matching bright blue eye shadow.

“Finally, you touched the mirror.” She said with a happy sigh. “I had almost run out of tricks to get your attention. But thanks to this piece of magic—” she waved a long fingernail at Jolie, “I can finally break the sound barrier with a tap.”

She was so close to Jolie that tiny silver stars were visible on the periwinkle backdrop of her fingernail. But Jolie’s knees wobbled as she sank onto the edge of her bed and looked around bewildered. This was still her messy room—the fifth one she’d moved into in seven years. A faint sweet odor that tingled with safety and danger wafted toward her. This could not be a dream.

“Wh-who are you?” she asked weakly.

“Oh, don’t you know about mirror fairies?” The lady shook a star-tipped wand at Jolie’s blank stare, and her gentle laughter filled the room with warm light. “I am the Lady of the Mirror, but everyone calls me Miranda.”

“What are you doing here?”

“Several years ago,” Miranda’s said, her face turning serious. “I watched you lose something very important—your smile.”

“Why should you care?” Jolie spluttered in angry surprise. “There’s nothing worth smiling about in my life anyway.”

“That is where you are mistaken, dear heart—which is why I am here.” She leaned out of the mirror toward Jolie. “In truth, I have seen your tears just as I have felt your confusion and sorrows.”

Jolie looked at her doubtfully. “Is this where you wave your glowing wand and spout off some gibberish before I find myself flouncing around in a fat gown?”

“Not quite.” Miranda smiled. “Actually, this old thing is for effect.” She waved it glibly as she spoke, and then tossed the glowing wand over her shoulder where it silently disappeared. “We fairies really don’t have to use them; we just have to speak and the magic does the rest.”

“But life in this world isn’t a fairy tale.” The bitter edge crept back into Jolie’s voice.

“Then who do you think I am?”

Was that a smile that tugged at the corner of Miranda’s pink lips?

“Since you must know everything, tell me what I need help with?” Jolie retorted.

Miranda’s voice grew earnest again. “What happened in the bathroom at school today?”

Jolie’s stomach twisted, and she felt her cheeks grow hot. She glanced at the dresser where an empty package of cookies sat. She was afraid to look into those penetrating eyes.

You heard that?”

“I know you aren’t sick, Jolie. Just like I know why you stopped wearing short sleeves.”

“You don’t know anything about it!” Jolie snapped. “I’m not even pretty to start with, but even your Cinderella was beautiful in her rags. I’m just big, awkward, ugly—the perfect candidate for a nobody.”

“Oh, Jolie. Just because you think, feel or treat yourself as a nobody doesn’t make you one.”

Jolie unconsciously rubbed her arm blinking rapidly to push the tears away.

“Now I might be tempted to call Sleeping Beauty a nobody, since all she did was sleep!” Miranda said. “But Belle, Belle was beautiful because she sacrificed what was dearest to her—herself.”

“So, are you going to, like, punish me or turn me into a frog or something?” Jolie said, swiping an angry tear from her check. “Isn’t that what fairies from your world do to bad people?”

“I am not here to judge you, Jolie.” Miranda looked like she would continue, but stopped and clapped twice instead. “Our time is running out tonight so I will leave you with two wishes to consider. I will be back in the morning to hear your decision. Are you ready?”

Jolie nodded uncertainly.

“Wish #1. I will grant you the makeover of your dreams so that you will look beautiful according to your own terms.”

“You can actually take my zits away and give me curly hair?” Jolie said incredulously.

Miranda nodded before she added. “But one warning accompanies this wish.”

“And that is…?”

“Your happiness cannot be guaranteed.”

“Do I look happy to you right now?”

“Wish #2." Miranda continued as if she didn't hear the anger in Jolie's voice. “I will teach you how to accept the beauty that you already possess, and—”

Jolie interrupted with a snort. “What beauty?”

“—it will be a long process, but your reward is lifelong happiness.”

“Wait! But that’s not fair! Can’t you make me both beautiful and happy?”

“You are beautiful, Jolie.” There was a sense of urgency in Miranda’s voice. “Can’t you see that you are the only one making yourself miserable?” She abruptly pulled herself back into the mirror. “Until tomorrow, dear heart.”

With that, the light flickered and the glass turned liquid as Jolie watched her own troubled face reappear.

* * *

Her slender fingers pressed hard against the cool glass with a desperation that could have bent it. A pretty face surrounded by curly hair peered at her as she leaned into the smudged mirror.

“Miranda, can you hear me?” she whispered, vainly searching for a glimmer of movement on the silent surface. Had it only been a year since she made that fateful decision?

“Please, come back." Her voice choked as tears dripped off her chin. "You were right."

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Ultimate Bug Exterminator

Disclaimer: this writer is not responsible for hysterics or broken computer screens that this picture may generate.


It was the first week of school and our eighty-year-old dorm was airing out after having her doors shut for the summer.

I closed my textbooks and arose from my desk as anticipation mounted inside of me. My “favorite” time of the day had finally arrived and I would greet my beloved pillow once again when I saw it—

“It” was a creature of disproportional size, but known to brazenly roam territories unknown to mankind in the dark cracks and crevices of buildings all over the city.

“It” was the terror from the dark whose strategic surprise tactics are known—on sight—to evoke immediate shrieks of terror as unsuspecting damsels add “in Distress” to their title.

Yes, this horror of BH was none other than my first TUFW centipede who dared to dance on its fifteen pairs of hairy legs across our room floor.

Had I known the danger I was in my reaction might have been different, for I forever disgraced the halls of Bethany with a sigh of mild unconcern as the little intruder scurried behind the bookshelf.

A sudden faint instinct rose inside of me, and for a moment, I eyed its wooden refuge and contemplated whether I should attempt to kill it.

This uninvited visitor, however, posed no threat to my psyche or my life—and I confess that I have an aversion to killing bugs that, when squished, leave too much behind. So I decided against performing the execution with my ever-present intelligent reasoning:

It’s doing me no harm.

The following afternoon I was studying at my desk when two heroic bug exterminators on their dormly rounds showed up at our door with deadly weapons in hand:

“Got bugs?” one asked.

I had barely ended my centipede-sighting story before the two had entered and strategically sprayed the corners of our room.

I admit that I have nursed a suspicion that questions whether these bug exterminations—complete with glamorous puffs of chemical-laden mist—really work, or merely serve as a psychological soother to damsels awaiting distress.

My suspicions were verified that evening when a movement caught the corner of my eye and I turned from my ever present textbook just in time to see that intruder actually run out our open door.

I think I broke all codes of Damsels in Distress by laughing out loud as I strained to see if he was carrying a suitcase.

I have since been reprimanded by an anonymous former Damsel in Distress—a great lady who, on one occasion, took 40 minutes and a shoe to dispose of said terror from the dark.

I blame myself for what took place over the following nine months and wonder at times whether our history would have been different had I killed it. For this creep, with his numerous family members of varying sizes and leg lengths, haunted our halls for the rest of the school year.

It became a common occurrence.

It wasn’t winning the lottery or earning a good grade that brought girls running into the halls in hysterics.

Day-sightings punctuated the air with shrill blood-curdling screams of unique pitches. At night, stifled shrieks were heard through the walls as furniture scraped against the floor and a series of thumping and hitting followed as I imagined the damsel gingerly running after the fleeing long legs armed with that No. 1 Bug Killing Weapon of the Twenty-First Century: the Flip Flop.

Although I know several damsels who irrefutably believe that these centipedes are a result of The Fall, I can’t help but think about how these creepy crawlies can be compared to the presence of sin in my heart. I only wish I would scream as loud as my neighbors every time I see it.

Its presence is everywhere—hiding behind the bookshelves of my mind and creeping through cracks and crevices kept in disrepair by my unsurrendered sin.

But instead I grow dull to sin as our culture—even within “Christian” circles—accept and even promote the very conduct that God calls evil, foolish, vain, worthless, crude, and immoral.

Why? Why do I allow this in my life, my mind, my mouth, when I carry the Name of Jesus Christ?

I have grown careless, and in fateful moments of each day I reason myself out of taking action against my sin:

Perhaps this little sin isn’t threatening enough. Perhaps if I see a visible or immediate consequence then I’ll commit to do something about it. Perhaps I’m just too tired, too lazy to exert the energy, or too afraid of the mess it will make.

But unlike our own earthly and heroic bug exterminators who seem to succeed only in scaring away these terrors for a time…our Ultimate Sin Exterminator can smash them! Yes, it gets dirty, my friends, but we can have victory if we strive to wield our weapons surrendered to Christ!

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:7-8

Monday, March 30, 2009

God & My Alarm Clock

My spring break is over.

I successfully got both of my feet into my dorm for five minutes before a classmate reminded me of an assignment that I had forgotten. It was due the next morning.

To make matters worse, I was already planning to get up early to study for a Dr. Hensley quiz for the same class which started at 8 a.m..

What a way to end spring break.

All day I had taken great care to remain afloat on happy memories made in the previous 10 days with family and friends. Now it all dissolved into thin vapors of reality as I came dropping down to earth with a thud felt in my stomach.

This means I need to get up earlier than early.

With a sigh, I set my alarm for 6 a.m.. I was tired and already retiring several hours later than planned.

I could almost see happy dream clouds floating above my bed reminding me that head + pillow = sweet sleep. A great equation even if Jacob of the Old Testament had a different definition for the term “pillow.”

When I finally crawled into bed and happily avoided hitting my head on the bunk above me, I suddenly began to fear whether I would actually wake up to my alarm. Obviously previous scares from such things have left me scarred.

While I was praying (a nighttime habit from my childhood that I’m in the process of reawakening), I asked God to specifically wake me up the next morning. I knew that if I groggily "shut the noise off" and slept in even 10 minutes the chances of getting a good grade would probably move toward extinction. Then I promptly fell asleep.

There’s something incredibly relaxing about falling asleep knowing that God hears silent prayers in the dark.

Imagine with me now what one might hear in our room during the wee hours of the morning as Amber occasionally moans and moves restlessly while our haunted water pipes CLICK and CLANK loudly overhead as if Scrooge's deceased friend, Jacob Marley, is on his way down. Kristina’s breathing is somewhat louder since she’s fighting a cold—though she’s been known to attempt to sing the Winnie the Pooh refrain in Russian. And I might be interrupting the atmosphere with sound waves that resemble sighs, "groans" (as Amber claims) and, on rare occasions, a few incoherent sentences.

Suddenly I was awake. I realized that my alarm hadn’t gone off yet, but I felt strangely alert. This can mean only one thing. My insides twisted as the big foreboding words “I overslept” darkened my vision.

I grabbed my phone and flipped it open. The glaring numbers that stared back at my squinting unfocused eyes read 5:57 a.m.. Strange.

For “some” reason, I decided to checked my alarm settings and found, to my amazement, that in my sleepy state of mind last night, I'd forgotten to activate it.

Some people will call it “coincidence,” but I can’t. Rarely do I ever find myself laying wide awake in bed at 5:57 a.m..

Once again God had surprised me. He knew and He cared enough to wake me up.

Apart from feeling compelled now to argue the fact that there is no such thing as “an ungodly hour,” I must confess that I broke all Night Owl Codes of Morning Behavior when I actually smiled into the dim morning light that penetrated our dark room with its bluish-grey hues.

God makes no secret of the fact that He cares for every single one of His children. The real question is—

Do I care enough about Him to ask Him to be apart of my every day?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Be My Valentine

A throbbing headache pulsed through my brain as I sleepily pulled on clothes. It was Saturday morning and my class started at 8:30 am—and it wasn’t scheduled to end until 5 pm.

I desperately wanted to go back to bed, but missing even a few hours of this class would cost losing valuable information that I needed to know. Then I remembered:

Today is Valentine’s Day.

I looked down at my navy blue shirt and blue jeans. One of these has to go. I was determined not to wear the funeral garb of a depressed single on the national pink and red day of romance.

Since I don’t own a pair of pink or red pants, I changed into a red sweatshirt that had light blue heart designs on the sleeves—even if it is the same thing I wore last Valentine’s Day.

My headache was bordering migraine status and I was feeling sick and dizzy when I finally pushed open the door of Bethany Hall.

The mystic silence that has accompanied snowfalls since the beginning of time met me as I entered a fairyland of big drifting white snowflakes—and this is not even the magical land of Narnia. Everything was covered in a delicate layer of snow, and a sense of delight swept over me.

I am aware that the word “snow” may create in my readers a mix of emotions from fear of its evil cousin, Ice, to the grumpiness that follows disappointed wishes for the warmth and sunshine of spring. But for about two years now, snow continually points me to its Creator. It doesn’t matter what time of year or season it should be, snowfalls will always help me catch a glimpse of God’s mysterious and unfathomable love for me.

I think I even smiled as I started down the sidewalk. Just because I don’t have a boyfriend doesn’t mean I’m not loved.

I had walked past a little white candy sweetheart sitting forlornly on the wet cement when my curiosity—and perhaps my sentimental girl nature—got the best of me.

I walked back and stooped down half expecting a corny message like “Get Lost” or “Got Love?” to be written on its surface. But wait, the pink words were partially washed off but I could just make out—

“Be Mine.”

Were those tears that stung my eyes or just the cold wind?

He didn’t have to do it.

An unexpected snowfall points me to an outer-worldly God Who exists outside of time and has no need for my love—but offers His unconditionally.

Someone’s forgotten candy heart whispers a worldly message that symbolizes love, and turns it into a sweet reminder that God delights to be a part of my every day.

Both embraced me with the warmth of real God-love.

Love that reaches through space and time.
Love that can touch me no matter what time of day or season.
Love unshakable and love unchangeable.
Love that holds the promise of eternity with Christ.

On the days when it is so easy to think of what or who I don’t have, do I remember Who and what I do have?

Yes, my head still throbbed and I still had a long day of class ahead of me, but is He enough?

Or is He just a forgotten and unappreciated part of my daily life?

Only His touch can make the dreary and the forgotten truly beautiful. Only His finger can leave sweet messages on the sidewalks of life.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Liquid Ice

The icy water flowed over my head, weighed down my hair, and successfully gave me a royal neck ache. Briefly I questioned why my head was hovering over this big sink in the laundry room of Bethany Hall—when I remembered: It was Sunday morning, 6ยบ F outside, and the hot water that had mysteriously quit Friday night still remained conspicuously absent from our dorm pipes. Why did the hot water have to be out today of all days?

This current attempt at hair washing had become a desperate last resort when I realized I had two options: 1) not wash my hair and suffer the embarrassment of church attendees distractedly wondering how long it had been since I’d washed my hair <painful answer: a week>, or 2) wash my hair and be able to focus on the sermon knowing that everyone was doing the same while blissfully ignorant that they could have witnessed a wild Laurie morning.

My eyes were squeezed shut when both my head and I agreed that we couldn’t handle this liquid ice for another moment. My skull had approached that painful stage called “nearly numb” that comes right before it shuts down. This feels worse than the icy mountain streams of Yosemite that we swam in years ago!

With a few numb handed twists the faucet was silenced and I stood there, my hair dripping over my face, trying to voice my agonized gasps of pain while the obnoxious THUMP, CLUNK, THURNK, of the malfunctioning middle dryer filled the room. Why, oh why couldn’t the hot water just miraculously turn on?

Back in my room, with my hand thawing around my regular morning cup of tea, I felt my body relax as I pulled out my Bible and a little notebook titled: “Journal of Daily Thanksgiving to God.”

It was something I’d started two years ago when I realized how little I thank God for the every day things of life: Thank You Lord for this new day! Thank you Jehovah-rapha for no headache today! Thank you—

As I thought through the little and big things of my life that I could write down, my grudging heart realized how much I had that I was not crediting to the generous hand of my God. I mean, the hot water goes out and I take on the attitude of a martyr!

I don’t live in a country where drinking water is the murky color of mud, nor does it takes two hours to fetch, and our land is not experiencing a drought.

What if I didn’t have water at all? –No clean dishes, no clean clothes, no tea, no running toilets, no showers...

I have so much and yet when one little part of it takes a vacation, I resort to grumbling in my heart. I forget that my God is the God of Living Water that never stops flowing—my only source of true joy that never should grow cold.

Thank You God for running water!

"...but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him
will never be thirsty again.
The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water
welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

Monday, January 26, 2009


"In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind." Job 12:10

After years of contemplating, praying, and tossing around the idea of starting a blog, I finally have been convicted to just do it and allow God to work despite my weaknesses and fail attempts.

There is nothing glamorous or special about this blog but it is dedicated to encourage, refresh, inspire and convict those who read to live a life more fully with Jesus Christ--Who is the only One who really matters in the long run.

What is written here are my thoughts as I seek and struggle to live this one life before my God, with my God, and for His Name and glory.

Join me as as together we seek God with our every breath in the "every moment" of every day.

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!" Psalm 150:6