Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Christmas Gift to the Internets.

I had my wisdom out this week. I'm a teense swollen.
I'm sore, and I keep throwing up.
But it's not so bad.
Merry Christmas!
(That is really a real me when I was a baby.)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

You're the Prickliest Pear.

This. Is. Incredible.
Ivory Road.
King Charles.
Please look at the lyrics.
Here are a few:
You're my mind's rest
You're the strings on my guitar
You're the wax in my moustache
The keys to my car.
And I know that you glow
From the inside out
You can keep it for yourself
And I'll go without.
Well you're the Oscar Wilde short stories in my bookcase
You're positively 4th street isolated in my itunes
You're the word in the dictionary that I can't spell
Can't describe, can't put in a sentence but use all the time.
Your own pair of trousers look better on me
The boots of spanish leather
And the bottom of the sea
Every symbol of love that doesn't relate to a meaning
Every feeling, every sensation
Only real when I'm dreaming.
I'm the elephant in the circus
Oh, you're my trainer
You'd never let me go
But if you did I would stay here
In love there is freedom
But it must be returned
There must be sacrifice
Love must be learnt.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Suggestion.

Hey. Um, go read this beautiful beauty of a blog post. Feel it.
It touched me.
well, bless my soul.
That there's the link, pookie pie.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Even Though We Know It's Not.

I know you almost definitely have read this quote before, but I had, too. Let it rock your world for a minute, baby doll.
"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. [Here's the kicker.] I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find until after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of my life to press on to that other country and to help others do the same."
C.S. Lewis.

I've been listening to Wild Sweet Orange a lot lately. It's been good...
"Oh my God, is this really what You want? Would You tell us if it's not? And could You rewrite the plot, and come and get us? Cause we can't stop doing what we think we want, even though we know it's not. This place is merely a subplot. Come and get us."


Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Highest Form of Flattery.

Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.
—Maurice Sendak

People just don't understand these things like Maurice Sendak and I do. Biting really does mean I love you. Promise.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Laugh in the Face of Danger.

Hi there.
Well, something I've learned from camp training is that you're always supposed to begin these sort of things with saying that everybody's fine. Cause I guess when parents get a call from camp they think their child must be hurt. So, you begin each call home with, "Hi Mrs. Dillinger. This is Becca from camp. First, I want you to know that Johnny is fine..."
So, I will begin this blog with this:
Hi everyone that loves me. First of all, I'm fine. Everybody's doing great. We are all okay. Praise the Lord, right?
(Although, this would totally make for better writing if I saved the "Everybody's fine" for the end. You guys would be on the edge of your seats.)

And so we begin.
Last night, November 12th, 2010, started as any Friday night would. I spent a few hours at Barnes & Noble; I worked on homework for a while in my friend's room; some friends came over to watch a movie, although we ended up talking instead. Then, of course, we made a Taco Bell run.
Taco Bell runs are a blessed sacrament, particularly at one in the morning. This particular holy rite included:
1. Myself. You know me.

2. Peter Blankenship. Peter is a funny guy. He's always cracking jokes. Especially this one: Two fish are in a tank. One turns to the other and says, "Do you know how to drive this thing?" Classic Peter. (Also, if you think about it, he looks like Anne Frank.)

3. Rachel Wilder. Rachel is a hoot. She is the one who was a part of my first pumpkin carving/first pumpkin funeral.

4. Ezekiel Bandy. More commonly referred to as Zeke. Zeke has a mustache. He's a real class act. I actually don't know what that phrase means. But I'm sure he is one.

5. Jane Roommate. She's my roommate. She likes Dr. Dog.

Well. The five of us were practicing the holy rite of the late night Taco Bell run, and I hit my tire on the curb of the drive-thru and got a little worried about my tires. So Peter got out and looked at it, because all men know things about cars. I think it's in their blood. He said it was fine, but it felt weird, so I started driving extra carefully. This proved to be our saving grace (foreshadowing!).
As it was now two in the morning and our Taco Bell had not fully settled, we were still doing a little meandering. Peter wanted to show us his house, so we went with it.
Twenty minutes later, we're on the interstate, driving (carefully, you'll remember) and listening to slow jamz. Okay, that part about the slow jamz isn't true.
Regardless, we were driving, having loads of good clean college fun.
Suddenly, a car comes flying in front of us. Literally, feet in front of us. Now this, this is a dramatic moment. I braked and avoided a collision, but the car bounced off the wall and was coming at us again. I quickly swerved to the left lane, saving us from a crash, but not saving the side of my car from the flying debris.
After getting us away from that car, my brain stopped working.
Uh... what?
Then, as if Hercules himself was in the back of the car, Peter took over like a hero. He said in the most calming voice possible, "Okay. It's okay. Becca, turn the music off and pull over. I'm calling 9-1-1."
I pulled the car to the shoulder and turned on my hazards. Peter was on the phone with the emergency operator. She was asking him so many questions, "Is the passenger bloody? Is anyone pinned?"
"I don't know, ma'am. I'm not really that close to the wreck. Do you want me to go look or something?"
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, aka in the driver's seat, the slow realization of what had just happened was dawning on me. Thoughts flashed through my mind like the blue lights did in my rearview mirror. We could have died. What if we had been a millisecond closer? I think I just witnessed someone die. How did we not get hit? And something between hyperventilation and crying erupted from me.
Then, somehow, all of my friends were hugging me. Sort of. I mean, as much as you can hug someone among all of the obstacles in a car. Regardless of the degree of hug, it was a very, very comforting moment. And there's the cheese for you.
So after our beautiful moment, we emerged from the car to check if the passenger was bloodied or pinned, and to make sure she was comfortable, which I always thought you weren't supposed to do. So, we walked. We walked along the side of I65 shaking, partially from the cold, and partially from the still dawning reality of our scrape with danger.
We found the car and talked to some guys who had seen the girl. The driver of the car had fled the scene. She'd pulled herself out of the car, said, "I can't be seen here," and she'd run. There were police cars checking the Sonic parking lot for any sign of her. I couldn't believe she was able to move, much less flee the scene of an accident.
So, we were almost hit by a fugitive. Okay.
The policeman "took my statement," I suppose. That just sounds like a strange phrase to be an actual part of my life. Regardless, he got me to tell him what happened. And then he got my address. And my phone number. And my social security number, which seemed like overkill, but that's his thing. Brentwood's finest. Gotta love 'em.
We all filed back into my car with Zeke driving this time. I felt like I'd filled my successful driving quota for the night. "If you want, we can go to my house and have some hot chocolate," Peter offered. I loved the idea of hot chocolate, and everyone needed to use the restroom, so off we went.
Once at Peter's house, we discovered that he didn't have a key. To his own house. Awesome.
Okay, so we'll just call his mom? No answer.
Let's knock on the front door. No answer.
Twenty-five or so minutes later, we were ready to give up. Peter murmured, "Let me try..." and disappeared behind the house.
We kept expecting him to reappear, and when he didn't, we plunged into the dark caverns of his backyard. And, sure enough, we found him, talking to his parents through a window.
We decided it might be nicer to talk inside the house and met at the front door.
Peter's mom is a wonderful, wonderful woman. She goes to the church I've been going to, and every time after church, we talk for like fifteen minutes. She is so sweet and so caring. I just want to keep her. She's a beaut. His step-dad is really excellent, too. And they are both amazing to let us barge into their house at three in the morning and drink their hot chocolate.
So we all calmed down over a good homey conversation and headed back to campus.
I do feel like I should say that in the amount of time that I was driving, I managed to save all of our lives, and in the comparatively small amount of time that Zeke was driving, he managed to kill a baby bunny and run a red light. Makes you think twice about who you want driving your car, right?
At five AM, I got a call from the officer letting me know they found the fugitive. She was fine, but drunk. Surprise! But seriously, praise Jesus we are alright. It was a close one, I tell ya.
We got back to our rooms around five thirty, and Jane and I ended the night by watching the sunrise.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How Long Will I Carry These Bones?

And I'm so far from not caring.
And I'm so far from not caring.
And I'm so far from not caring.
And I'm so far from not caring.

I miss:
wearing my hair in a ponytail.
walking barefoot.
my beautiful Youth for Jesus family.
being outside of this country.
biting people.
silence being okay.
watching Gilmore Girls with my mom (and dad).
Grandmama's cornbread.
ribbons that lead to a "water bed" at Christmas.
not having bangs.
inside jokes I've had since kindergarten.
"Once upon a time, a goose drank wine, a monkey chewed tobacco on a street car line. The car broke. The monkey choked. And they all went to heaven on a billy goat."
Gulf Shores.
Target pizzas.

I'm thankful for now because of:
writing letters.
good music.
Sierra Mist in the caf.
gazebos and tulips and gardeners.
declaring a double major in religion and English with a writing emphasis and a minor in education.
Marcus the pizza guy.
Milky Way Midnights.
the picture of my mom next to my bed.
writing and rambling.
the cold.
good movies.
nice friends.
the thing that I use to wash my dishes. It's so handy.
getting good at talking on the phone.
my Oxford sweatshirt I stole from my mom.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

For God Alone My Soul Waits in Silence.

I have labored in vain.
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity.
Yet surely my right is with the Lord,
and my recompense with my God.

"Then you will know that I am the Lord;
those who wait for Me shall not be put to shame."

"Behold, I have refined you...
for My Own Sake, for My Own Sake, I do it."


Friday, November 5, 2010


This is a picture that my friend Haley took of my hands. She’s a genius with a lens. Anyways, for a long time I’ve thought that this picture tells a story. And even though I know exactly what was going on when this picture was taken, I felt like this picture tells some bigger grander story. Like it tells the truth. But I couldn’t find it.
Tonight, I found it.
Tonight, I feel very dirty. In light of the purity of the holy One, I find myself shamefully unclean. Not only the dead in my transgressions bit of me, because, hallelujah, I am raised to walk in newness of life.
The newness of life bit of me is the dirty part.
I am supposed to be freed from futility. And yet in my striving, and sometimes in my not-so-striving to become worthy of the One, I fail.
I fail, I fall, and my hands get dirty.
Tonight, I just looked at this picture for a minute, and I saw it.
My hands are dirty. Hopelessly.
They reach out, trying to grasp, well, anything.
They are weak.
But on my finger, my Jesus has placed the sparkling and pure beauty of his love.
And though my hands get dirty, his love remains. Clean enough for my hands.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And in the End.

Today. Steve died. It could have been yesterday, but regardless. Steve is dead.
The pumpkin, of course.
He grew mold and just sort of smushed up, just like Rachel's plague. It was terrifying.
We buried him unceremoniously in the hall trash can.
The End.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Here's to Steve.

Tonight, I carved my first pumpkin. It was a night among nights, to say the least. If you have never carved a pumpkin before, let me tell you: you are missing out. Just kidding if it's because you're not allowed. You should submit to your parents.
Anyways. This has been a beautiful evening. My Christian Doctrine professor, Dr. Steve Guthrie, invited us to his home tonight for a little Halloween shindig. He is the kind of professor who tells you you can call him Steve, and I am the kind of student who just can't bring herself to do it. To his face, at least.
He is a wonderful professor. Christian Doctrine is probably my favorite class.
So. He invited us to his house, and we went. I went with my friend Rachel. She's a new addition. And she's a laugh a minute. (I always wanted to be described that way, so I thought I'd throw it out there.) We drove the twenty-five minute trek to Pegram. (Not Pea-gramm. It's Peh-grum. Apparantly.) And then we settled in with other Christian Doctrine students and Steve's kids to carve pumpkins.
This is the fruit of my and Rachel's labor:

Yes. He has a mustache. This guy was a beauty to behold. So, we took him outside and lit him up:

I have never felt so magical. Okay. Maybe I have. But this was pretty darn magical.
We spent the rest of the night talking and eating and watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown". All in all, a good night.
Also, we got to play with his kids. And it made me realize how very much I miss kids. It's a lot. For some reason they don't keep kids at college. Whatever.
I talked to his daughter Sophie. She was the coolest thing.
I miss babies.
The end.

Then, we named my pumpkin, (Steve, of course.) and were on our way. With all safety measures carefully taken:

Thank you to everyone who made my first pumpkin carving a success!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

You Were Made to Meet Your Maker.

"For of what use is the existence of the creature if it cannot know its Maker?"
St. Athanasius.

Well, hello there.
So, I've been thinking lately.
A lot has been about that there quote up there.
A lot has been about some other things.

I think I have a little bit of a confession. Or something.
I think I like to put things on here that I think about, and that should change me, and that could change me. And I think I like to make observations about my life and how it should be different. And I think that I like sometimes for this blog to look like I am really thinking things that are affecting me and effecting change.
And I do think those things. Otherwise, they wouldn't be here.
But a lot of the problem is the effecting change.

For example, a couple o' blogs ago, I talked about doing things to help the poor and the orphan and the widow. You know, James 1:27.
But I didn't do anything.
I didn't do anything.
I didn't do anything.

I've been reading loads about poor people in Isaiah, and God's heart for them is so evident.

For the fool speaks folly, and his heart is busy with iniquity, to practice ungodliness, to utter error concerning the LORD, to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied, and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
Isaiah 32:6.

On my way home from home last week, my iPod went out and on the radio there was this cheesy preacher talking. But for some reason I stopped and listened for a minute.
And he said something quite poignant, "Prayer can become a copout for not offering direct aid."
I think that is a very true thing.
A lot of times we offer prayer or money for those who are doing something, and those things are wonderful and marvelous. Truly, almost no one could really help someone without prayer or money.
But, I think it's very important to actually help out, to get your hands dirty, to do.

So this is me. Telling you.
I'm going to do something.
Sure, I can offer excuses. (I have a list of them forming in my head right now.)
But I won't. I'm going to move.
I won't leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied or deprive the thirsty of drink.

I should probably tie that first quote into this now.
Here it is again so you don't have to scroll back up.
"For of what use is the existence of the creature if it cannot know its Maker?"
St. Athanasius.

The more and more I think of it, the more I want it tattooed across my forehead.
I am nothing if I cannot know my Maker.
If I am not living and doing for Him alone, I am nothing.
What's the point? It will all amount to empty earthly dead praise and love and pride.
But I don't want to see me from earth's standpoint.
I want to see me from my Maker's standpoint.
And my Maker's standpoint, at least in part, is telling me to love the poor, to love the ones I don't want to love, and to live a life contrary to the empty and futile one into which I so often fall.

"In these bodies we will live;
In these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love,
you invest your life."

"Awake, my soul. You were made to meet your Maker."

Awake My Soul. Mumford & Sons.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Look how much my hair has grown since I've come to college.

And apparently it changed colors. Go figure.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Deliver Me.

"We all have emotional needs: the need to love, to be loved, to be accepted, to feel a sense of accomplishment, to feel a sense of self-worth, to feel important, to feel needed, to protect ourselves, to attain status in our own eyes and in the eyes of others, to be secure."
That is from my rhetoric book. Highly insightful for a book on debate.

This is a prayer.
We prayed one very similar to it at a prayer walk at that church that SMI partners with during Easter. And I suppose always.

Lord deliver me from the desire to be noticed,
                from the desire to be loved,
                from the desire to be exalted.
Lord deliver me from the desire to be favored, 
                from the desire to be popular,
                from the desire to be chosen,
                from the desire to be acknowledged.
Lord deliver me from the fear of being wrong,
                from the fear of being forgotten,
                from the fear of being ignored.
Lord deliver me from the fear of being humiliated,
                from the fear of being left behind.
Grant that I may seek to comfort rather than be comforted by others.
Grant that I may understand and love more than be understood and loved well.
Lord deliver me from the desire to be noticed and encouraged.
Lord deliver me from the desire to be appreciated and included.
Lord deliver me from me.
Lord deliver me to You.

That is just something I need sometimes. Like now. And always.
This prayer is beautiful, I think.

Lord, deliver me from the desire to be noticed.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

This is Haley.

This is Haley.
She is one of my favorites.
She is my best beast.
This picture is blurry because she did not take it.
I did.
If she took it, it would have been beautiful.
I would put her flickr thing on here so you could believe me, but I don't really know if that's my place.
Haley's got brains AND brawn.
She's the whole package.

Quite truly I would like to tell you about my Haley.
This story has several different beginnings, but we can start in Costa Rica. Because so many good things start in Costa Rica.
Haley went on a mission trip with me to Costa Rica. That week was a hard and beautiful time of my life. There's nothing like working side-by-side with someone for Jesus to weld your souls together. And that's what happened. Before Costa, Haley thought I hated her, and I thought Haley hated me. Then, miracle! Friends Forever.
In Costa Rica, we depended a lot on each other.
And after Costa Rica, we depended a lot on each other.
Haley shows me what it means to be known by your love.
She shows me that it's possible to be selfless.
And she shows me that breaking can be really, really good.
Haley is someone who knows what it means to be loved and redeemed by Christ.
She belongs to the Lord.
She knows what I am feeling sometimes before I feel it.
And she knows how to say words that sometimes I can't.
And she is blessed with marvelous gifts and talents. She is gifted and talented. Put her in a special smarty school.
She takes pictures that mean things and say things and are a beauty to behold.
She loves like other people don't.
She has a way of understanding and desiring scripture in a beautiful way.
She is wise beyond her years.
I love her as my friend and as my sister.

This is Haley.

Friday, October 1, 2010

This Blog is About the Bathroom.

Tonight, I had to go to the bathroom. My friends and I were watching a movie, Donnie Darko, and it was after visitation hours, so we were sitting outside trying to shield ourselves from the elements, aka the ever sprinkling sprinklers and the newly arriving cold. But, I simply had to go.
So, I got someone to let me into a dorm building so that I could go to the basement restroom and relieve myself. I walk down a flight of stairs and search the basement, with the constant fear of that creepy bunny Frank from Donnie Darko popping up around each corner. No bathroom.
Luckily, there's a creepy tunnel passage to a place with a bathroom. A long creepy tunnel passage that seems to extend with the ever growing urgent urging of my bladder.
Finally, after what seems like a mile's fidgeting awkward dance to the bathroom, I push open the stall door to find..
No TP.
Maybe in the handicapped stall?

At this point in the story, the main character is at a crossroads. She is really in a Catch-22. There is no way to tell her bladder no, and yet there is no way to get to an appropriate toilet in time. Please bear this in mind as you take in the next bit of the story.

Well, after much deliberation that took place in the accelerated but convoluted state of reason that is imminent urine mind, I came to the relatively reasonable conclusion to use the men's restroom. I'm in the basement, so who's gonna come in here, right?
Well, as I am making use of the gentlemen's facilities, I hear the honking creak of a door desperately in need of WD-40.
"So, how's it going, man?"
"Doing alright, how are you?"
"I'm good. And, man in the stall, how are you?"
"He must be sick or something... Man in the stall, you doing alright?"
With the realization that these guys are not going to leave until they've smoked me out, "There was no toilet paper in the women's bathroom, okay? I had no choice!"
Stifled laughter.
"Hey, that's alright. I use the girls bathroom ALL the time."
Me, silent, waiting for the sound of zipping to ensure my safety from the view of any undesired images.
Finally, ziiiiiiiiiip.
And they were gone.
And then came the awful walk of shame past the bathroom boys and back to Donnie Darko with color rising in my cheeks every minute.

Thank you, bathroom boys. Thank you.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Homeward, These Shoes.

Sometimes, I google earth my house.

That was just a little confession.
But here's the great news: I'm coming home! For the last week or so, pretty much every song that has flitted through my head has been about home. And my dreams, too. It's like thoughts of home are tangled in my hair, and they just keep slipping back through into my brains.
What I'm saying is there's been a lot of Iron & Wine in me.
And "Paint Me a Birmingham," but you don't need to know about that.
Things at home that I can't wait for:
1. Hugs. I really miss knowing people well enough to do hugs.
2. SMI. I miss my family there. Church is not the same without them.
3. Watching football with my dad.
4. Target. They have them here, but it's just not the same without Haley.
5. Eating dinner with my family. That my mom cooked.
6. Jonathan and Kristin Owen. And that kid of theirs.
7. Driving in Birmingham. And being able to park. Somebody should tell Nashville about parking lots.
8. Having real conversation with home people. Talking on the phone is kind of iffy for me. And skype is just weird.
9. Comfort. Don't seek comfort. But hey, it's nice sometimes.
Here is what I am up to:
We played intramural kickball. We dominated in spirit. (In reality we lost 20-1.)
I went to a movie. It was expensive and ehhhh.
I had a chemistry test. Still no idea how I did.
I have to memorize the Apostle's and Nicene Creeds by Wednesday. Too bad I didn't grow up Methodist.
I watch Alabama football by myself.
I really am liking the friends I am making.
Jane Roommate forgot she had toes.
Mostly I do homework. And eat. And sleep.
We went to a really cool church on Sunday. The service was long and beautiful.
"For God alone my soul waits in silence." Psalm 62. That is being a real big part of my life right now.
Something else is that I keep trying to write. And it just comes out all squashed. I think it is because I feel a little squashed. By which I mean... Well... I think I mean that I don't feel full right now. I haven't found a church which is really throwing me off. And I just feel that I'm in between. In between what? I don't know. But there it is.
I want to write something like this:
"Homeward, these shoes worn to paper, thin as the reason I left here so young."
Iron & Wine.
Or this:
Or this:
Or this:
Mostly i just want to write, but it's stuck in me.
Last thought. Today, I was reading my Christian Doctrine textbook. We are talking about humanity right now. You know, what it means to be made in the image of God, sin nature, the lot of it. And this bit struck me, "To be in God's image means to hear God's word and to respond obediently to the will of God, living one's life coram Deo, before the face of God, faithfully reflecting God's character and concerns in the world." Faithfully reflecting God's character and concerns in the world. Am I doing that as a Christian?
What is God's character? That question is beyond what I can answer, but there are a few things I do know about Him. He is beyond and within, above and beside. He is holy, perfect, glorious. He is beyond our conception. He is a mystery. He is kind. He is love. He is humble and huge, patient and jealous. He is paradoxical and yet He is the only way that things make sense. 
Perhaps the most important way we should convey His character is by love. Christians are to be known by their love. (John 13:34-35) So I suppose it would be good for me to start by loving fully and unconditionally, to focus less and less on myself and my needs and wants and desires and more and more on the needs and wants and desires of others. I really suck at that.
What are God's concerns? He has many of course, but to me, some of the most prominent ones in scripture are for the poor, the orphan, the widow. (James 1:27)
What am I doing for the poor, the orphan, the widow? Not much. I have been spending most of my time trying to make friends so that I would feel comfortable, trying to live so that I don't have to face anything beyond me. I'm far, far too focused on me.
Forgive me, Jesus. And use me, please.
Sorry this blog is so long.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

There's No Way To Grow That Don't Hurt.

I feel very.. feel-y.
And I miss the people that know me.

"There's no way to temper your thirst
With lasting impressions or pictures of home
There's no way to grow that don't hurt"
She growled from the station then hung up the phone.

~Iron & Wine.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Of Books and Youthful Expeditions.

Today, I went to the library.
Libraries are a beautiful thing. They make me kind of giddy.
Ever since I was a wee babe, the library has been a good thing.

But especially, exploring libraries is a good thing.

When we were little, my brother, my mother, and I went on escapades through the Hoover Library. I still remember my first time downstairs in that place. We were on our way to the library theater. I remember peering around the corner, overjoyed to see that there was a whole other green-carpeted library world hidden beneath the first level's bookshelved floors. We always spent our summers going to library science shows and listening to books on tape. And that day was the beginning of many happy memories in the annals of the Hoover Library.
When we got older, Logan started doing research projects. As it turns out, libraries do not always have all the researches you need. So, we trekked the long three miles down 31 to the Vestavia Hills Library, named after Richard Scrushy at the time. (At this point in time I thought that this new library was practically in another state.) We took the elevator to the third floor, and Momma and Logan started searching for books on flying squirrels. But, to young me, flying squirrels weren't quite so exciting as they sounded. So I wandered. And I found miracles. Books. That antiquated little home library held mysteries that even smelled reverent. In the end, I found myself in the adult section holding some book I could hardly lift about presidents or something like that. They are killing that place soon.
There have been other libraries, the Birmingham Library where I gained a rational fear of escalators, the education library at the University of Alabama, full of oversized children's books. Libraries have never let me down.

And today. I took an excursion to the Lila D. Bunch Library at Belmont, and let me tell you, I felt like a movie.
It's not an imposing library, actually. Indeed, it's nothing compared to the University of Kentucky library. But that is what made it so lovely.
This library is old and has perfect comfy chairs that my feet reach the floor in. It smells like library, and there's that library feel in the air.
So I sat. And read my homework.
But after a while I couldn't resist. The library pulled me away.
I slipped off my shoes, straightened my cozy green dress, and dashed off into the aisles of wonderland.
And sure enough, wonders I never imagined awaited.
An entire wall of books, each titled "Life" with a different year emblazoned on every spine. I plan to investigate those guys one of these days.
I skipped up the stairs and found the music section, the children's section. I found a mural of books painted on a wall.
I felt invigorated. I was seven years old again.
However, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People still sat in my chair, lecturing silently from floors away that it was time to return to my homework. And slowly, unwillingly, I peeled myself away from the exploratory wonders and finished my arduous homework.
I think that The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People should include library exploring. I feel more effective today than I did yesterday.

Thank you, Lila D., you've treated me well.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Mamas and the Papas.

I am Becca. I have a mom and a dad.
They are named Gary Edwin and Janey Lee Campbell Kennedy.
Sometimes I call him GarBear.
Those two have always been the mama and the papa of me.

Sometimes when you always have the same momma and papa, you don't think too much about it.
Then, one day, you do.

For college, I had to write a paper, a very long paper on something that happened to my family. Familial Rhetorics Paper, it was called.
The basic idea was to write about something that has happened to my family that has affected my life. Something about my family that struck me as "alien" or "different." Something that was "heavy" for me.
I was drawing a blank.
Then, my father came through for me. He thought of the story.

Some of you people may not know that before my parents had me and my brother, Logan, they had another son named Geoffrey.
When he was born, my mom had preeclampsia and they had to do a c-section at 31 weeks.
Geoffrey was very sick. For his whole life, he was in and out of the hospital. The longest period of time he ever spent at home was something like 6 months.
At 18 months, Geoffrey passed away. He had an infection in his brain that gave him crazy fevers and seizures.

So, this is the story that I chose.
It was obviously heavy. It was different. But did it affect me?

When I called my mom to straighten out the details to this story, we ended up talking about it for something like thirty minutes. She told me how worried my dad had been when she was sick, how kind Geoffrey's nurses and doctors were, how the hospital staff became their friends, how they had a schedule while Geoffrey was in the hospital: Momma got off work at 3:15, and went to spend time with Geoffrey, Daddy got off work at about five and met his wife and son at the hospital, they spent a while there, then went home. She told me about the first week they spent at home with Geoffrey, they took him for a walk in his stroller and it was beautiful. She told me about the schedule they worked out when Geoffrey was home, how Dr. Logan would stop by twice a week on his way to work, just to check on Geoffrey. She detailed their final week with Geoffrey, telling the story of taking little Geoffrey's temperature and the mercury going all the way to the top of the thermometer. She described Geoffrey to me, his expressive eyes that could, so aptly, share joy or disdain.

And after listening to all of this, all I could think was, "How did you do it?" She was young. This was her first baby. She and my dad had barely been married a year when Geoffrey was born. She must have been something else.
So I asked her. And she answered, simply, "You just do it."
I don't think I could ever "just do it." (No Nike pun intended.)
I think I would sob and cry and scream and break. I think I would let God know that He had handed me too much, that I was in over my head.
But my parents, they just trusted.

In Brennan Manning's The Furious Longing of God, he prays, "Jesus, human words cannot bear the weight of Your mercy and compassion. My union with You is like being so attached that life seems impossible without You. Detached from You during my days of sour wine and withered roses was a shadow life. I have no sense of myself apart from You. My bones say thank You for this now moment. Amen.”
Since reading this, I have longed for that kind of radical faith in my Jesus. To "have no sense of myself" apart from Christ. That's what I want. To make no sense without Christ.

And, in writing this paper, I realized that's what my parents' life is.
As I sat here in my dorm room trying to figure out how it was that they were bonded together rather than being torn apart, how it is that despite this great loss, they are still now so in love after, what, 22 years of marriage. I tried to figure out why losing a child pushed my parents to clutch Logan and I less tightly, to hold us with open hands, to give us fully, with no reserves, to God's will, even from the time we were tiny babies, how this pain caused my parents to trust all the more fully in God's rich sovereignty.
And I couldn't. I couldn't figure it out.
It made no sense.
No sense at all.

Apart from Christ.

So, I guess the point of this post is to exclaim my joy in seeing that I have two parents whose love, and whose life makes no sense apart from their Savior.
It's some of the best news I've learned.
And I'm jealous of them.