24 April 2009

Hi My Name is Carrie and I am:

1). A News Junkie. That's right. I'm house sitting for some friends who are in Austrailia for a month and they have a dish. (I don't have cable or a dish because I'm not home enough to watch it and justify paying for it...) So while I've been house sitting I've been glued to FoxNews and CNN. Randomly enough I hop between the two. And I pretty much don't watch anything else. Unless I find an awesome rerun of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Then I'll deviate from my news consumption.

2). A Pop Music lover. Unabashedly I've had a love affair with pop music since I was... I have no idea how old I was. But it started young. It started with Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey. Then it morphed into *N Sync, the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and Christina Aguliera and Kelly Clarkson. Now it's gone international: Wang Lee Hom (he can be pop when he wants..) F4, 183 Club, Arashi... I love pop music! (For the record, I don't just love pop music. I love rock, classic rock, oldies, rap, hip hop, r&b... pretty much anything besides thrash metal.)

3). A romantic deep down. Although I still don't see myself as a traditional romantic (ie I'm not a chick who likes red roses, being treated like a princess... that kind of thing) I still like romance. But as I've gotten older, had my heart broken... I've discovered I appreciate the subtleness of love. Big gestures can be nice (however, they do kind of weird me out personally...) I love the simple things. A bouquet of hand picked flowers. Someone cleaning my car (since it's a mess this would be a true act of love!). A collection of photos put together in a frame. Someone holding my hand. Someone not afraid to stand up to me. A kiss to the forehead. A smile that shows me I was on their mind. Comittment that when it gets hard, he won't leave. That's what I'm looking for. And I don't think it's impossible.

4). An Old Soul. It's much more fun for me to watch black and white movies, musicals, pretty much anything made before 1965 that is cheesy, has dancing and singing. Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, Grace Kelly, Rita Hayworth, Van Johnson, Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Any movie by Hitchcock, Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn, Judy Garland... And so many more! They made great movies worth watching.

5). A geek. I've become obsessed with learning random things on my computer. Latest purchase: video editing software that I am going to spend the better part of the next two weeks learning how to use. And I am so excited. For being an extorvert, I'm suddenly craving some time by myself and my computer and endless opportunites to make mini movies.

6). A Person who is more vulnerable than I let on. I present a pretty tough exterior. I've had my heart broken a lot. Not just by a fiance or a boyfriend but by friends, backstabbers, coworkers. I'm sure everyone has. But this tough outside, protects a heart that is actually quite sensitive. A heart that doesn't want to hurt but understands hurt is part of life. A heart that wants to be vulnerable but is afraid to open because it doesn't know if it can take one more rejection.

7). A crazy woman. I want to experience and do so much. I have so many varied and wide interests I sometimes wonder what I was meant for in life. I'm learning a new language (Korean), I know sign language, I'm learning to edit videos. For my job I'm learning how to utilize the internet for advertising. I'm working with radio stations. I'm talking with magazines across the country. And I love it all. Even though I stumble and fall through life, I'm learning to pick myself up and keep going. Because I know the end result will be worth it if I just keep going.

18 February 2009

Whatever Else Anything Is, It Ought to Begin By Being Personal

That, my friends, is a line out of the classic Nora Ephron movie "You've Got Mail" which I take any opportunity to watch again and again when I can.

As I was watching this movie I realized how much I truly loved it. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are - if you're honest - not the most attractive people on the planet. They have such a lovely air of normal about them it makes their story believable. Not hot and heavy like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" but so beautifully... normal. Like you could have friends like them and be able to watch their love story unfold.

Watching it again, I heard so many funny, beautiful, true one liners but this was one of the big ones that stuck out to me. (For those who don't know and probably don't care and for those who have seen the movie but can't remember where this line is from, I'm about to explain...) This line comes in after Kathleen's store has closed. She's sick and Joe Fox comes to visit her with a bouquet of dasies. Which are her favorite flower (she told him that at the beginning of the movie). She's irritated that he's shown up and is actually being nice. He worms his way into her apartment and she finally realizes he's not going to leave. So he makes her tea as she collapses on the couch (dress in her pajamas with an overcoat thrown on)... And as he hands her the cup of tea (after they both apologize to each other for how horrible they've been to the other) Joe looks at her and says "It wasn't... personal."

To which Kathleen scoffs,"What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn't personal to you. But it was personal to me. It's *personal* to a lot of people. And what's so wrong with being personal, anyway?"

Joe gets nervous and responds with, "Uh... nothing."

And then she sums it up with this beautiful line. "Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal."

For some reason, that line really reasonated with me. We live in a society that is free with so much superficial stuff. We ask people how they're doing, but do we really care how they're doing? We have friends and family around us but how much do those closest to us really know us. How personal are we with them?

Now, granted I'm not suggesting we get personal with everyone. But I know that I need to examine my own life and see who I am really being personal with. How is the Lord directing me? Do I have things to share with people but I'm holding back because I fear that I might be rejected if they don't agree with me? Do people have things to share with me, that the Lord might have for me from them and they're not sharing because of the same fear?

This world has become so impersonal. I could site many different ways it has but I should look in the mirror and see I've become impersonal along with it. I was talking with my boss today about several different things including marriage and singleness. I mentioned to him that there was a very important lesson I'd learned over the last five years. So many of us go into marriage or relationships looking for what we can get from people. We're always so concerned about what other people can do for us we miss out on how the Lord is calling us to do for others.

I've realized in the last 5 years that this is the wrong attitude. Phillipians 2 says "3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus... what powerful words! And what is the mind of Christ? He was consumed with the will of His Father for Him, which ultimately was the most heart wrenching, beautiful sacrifice of His blood and body for us. As the body of Jesus... as His followers, His disciples... where is this attitude in us? Why have we dumbed down His gospel in exchange for the riches of this world... for the comforts of the flesh instead of sacrificing the flesh for the revelation of Jesus in our spirit.

I know it's probably kind of weird that I started this out with a movie quote but I think it is so applicable. Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being person. And the 'being personal' should start with Him.

03 February 2009

The Cost of Living

I know, it's been forever since an update. I have no excuses. Only my deepest apologies for anyone reading this. Now onward to the awesomeness about to be thrown at you!

The following article was from a blog that I subscribe to elsewhere. It is powerful in its simplicty of truth. It so encouraged me and Jesus continued to challenge me through it. In many ways (some of them a little crazy and off the beaten path) I'm very thankful for the brother in Jesus that posted this article this morning. We may not ever meet face to face but he has encouraged me in many ways these past couple weeks. I'm praying for him as he continues to be a witness for Jesus in some very dark places.

Anyway, my prayer is that this piece encourages and challenges you the way it did me. (I've bolded and underlined the parts that really stuck out to me. Honestly it's pretty much the whole thing but there are specific sections that Jesus really tagged me on... but I'd love to hear from anyone if any part of this struck you or convicted you or encouraged you.)

The Cost of Living - Jason Valloton

The cost of living is high; it is not for the weak or the faint at heart. Anyone can survive but not everyone can truly live. Living requires courage; it will take all the tenacity that you can muster. Take a walk down the path of life and along the way you will find many surprises. Men are shaped by the heavy storms that adversity brings, if you are smart, you will prepare ahead of time. The high road is never the easy road; it will grind you down to the bone and reveal the weakness on the inside. You will be given the opportunity to take advantage of each obstacle that comes in your way, for the visionary, these look like advancements, to the lazy man these look like “unfortunate times”. A man with out vision will never take the high road, there are to many punishing storms that drown the week and break the un determined. These men hope for good jobs and steady pay, they settle for mediocrity and patriotism only to forget that it was the paid bills of another man that created this freedom that they so carelessly enjoy.

There are no hero’s without war; no victories with out a battle, there cannot be a testimony with out a test and no advancement without resistance. What are you in this life? What category do you fall into? Living must be intentional; failing to plan is planning to fail. Success does not knock on anyone’s door; it is hidden for the kings of this earth to search out. To measure your success in life you have to take a look at your potential and then go beyond that. We are not called to what we can do; we are measured against the standard of Heaven. If you are living in what you can manage, then you are settling for what you can produce and that is way below Heavens standard. Try taking a step beyond what you are capable of and place your foot in the steps of Jesus.

So you don’t think you have what it takes, you are right, this road requires supernatural help. Our battles are not against flesh and blood, we are not fighting human beings or bad decisions we are warring against a force that is unseen to the human eye. Your discernment will be honed and your courage will be heavily tested. Living the good life is living a life that is out of your control with the peace of God covering you. Control is almost a myth, you can control yourself but you cannot control the circumstances of life, you can only decide what your response will be to these events. A response should be pre meditated, it comes through the years of structure that has been carefully crafted inside of a person. Building structure inside of you takes years of renewing your mind and consuming truth. The more you eat, the stronger you will be, eat once a week at church and you will be anemic unable to fight or feed yourself.

The cost of living is high. Life is worth living and it is worth living right. Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it will not grow. Count the cost before you start; look at your life with the end in mind. We are all going to die someday, but we will not all live. What will you be?

07 January 2009

Who's the Lamest of them all???

Yeah, that'd be me. And I know it. I am fully admitting it in front of God and everyone.

I'm lame.

I don't know what I was thinking. Trying to start a book review during the holiday is basically blog suicide. I was so pumped. I would read these books and then post the reviews and it would be awesome. Then Christmas showed up. And a broken toe. And my sister left home. And New Years. And I sneezed seven times in one day.

Yes, I basically came up with any excuse I could to not blog. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I read all these awesome blogs and when it comes time to do my own post, I go completely numb. I become full of fear that I am an inferior blogger. I know that I am a funny person when I'm talking to people. But wit and humor seem to flee me when I sit down at a keyboard. The cursor mocks me, daring me to write. I try to prove it wrong but I can't seeem to find words. I read and reread what I've written and then delete it because I think it stinks.

Maybe I just need a topic. I'm going to ask a question and I want responses. I know there are people reading this... so talk to me. What topics do you like to read about on a blog? Anything ranging from ridiculous to serious... I just need some brainstorming.

And maybe, eventually, I'll post that book review.

29 December 2008

She is leaving home...

Ten points to anyone who knows the artist to the song above. :) (I don't know what points do but I give them to you freely.)

Anyway, this is going to be a setimental blog post. You see, something happened today that has never happened in the history of my immediate family. One of us is moving away. That might not seem monumental to many because usually kids move away out of high school to go to college or pursue a job or what not.

However, with the things that my family has gone through the last ten years, we've stuck together. If we weren't living in the same house, we were living in the same city. As a family, we've definitely had our fair share of ups and downs. There have been many bumps in the road as we've followed Jesus and what He's called us to do. But the amazing thing is that it hasn't torn our family apart. We've grown stronger through the trials we've had to face and I know that Jesus has blessed us with a closeness not many families share.

Nonetheless, there comes a time when one must break off and find their own way. And that's what my youngest sister is doing. She's moving to California today, to strike out on her own. While I am sad and it breaks my heart to see her leave, I am so very proud of her. It's time for her to go out and see what she's really made of. My baby sister needs the chance to be her own person outside of our city and all that's happened in the last ten years. I think deep down she needs to know if she can make it on her own.

I have nothing but the very deepest faith - not only in her - but in the Lord to take care of her and to guide her on this new adventure. And while I'm sad I won't see her sweet face a few times a week, I am so excited to see what this move does for her.

So if you think about it, pray for my sister Carly as she travels and sets up a new life in CA.


(Carly, me and my other sister Kalli)

20 December 2008

One Day - Hopefully Soon

The above picture in my blog title is a picture of Seoul, South Korea. I was going to keep the snowflakes up there until after Christmas but I decided against it. Lately the burgeoning (yes burgeoning) desire I've had to live there has flared back up again. It's not that it had died, but I had been a little distracted by something else to pay much attention to it. But that fire that's been in my heart for Asia - specifically Korea and Taiwan - has started stoking itself again.

It is my heart's desire (and I hate those words because they are so Christianese) to go there. I've taken Korean language lessons (which I need to pull out my books and start practicing again) and have a very deep longing to go live and minister there. I don't really know what started it. I know for a while, probably the last 4 years I've wanted to adopt (when I'm married) from China or Korea. What might have helped is that I have 2 friends who started making me watch Asian television about 3 years ago. I got hooked on these Asian dramas (and subsequently got other pepole hooked on them) but there was just something about them. Watching the dramas was entertaining enough. And I really fell in love with the music because it was an easy way for me to be able to pick up the language.

But over the course of watching and listening, I fell in love with this people group. Like my friend Katy who adores Africa, or my friend Heidi who loves Eastern Europe... I believe Jesus awoke a passion for the Asian people in my heart. The amazing thing about it was that Jesus confirmed this call through my parents about a year and a half ago. (Which is another blog for another time, but it really was incredible.)

Now I'm just in wait mode with the Lord. I don't know when or how He's going to send me over there. The most obvious choice would be to teach English as a second language. But I don't want to do that, nor to I feel like that is what He is calling me to do. I think that how I get over there is going to be so amazing that people will look at it and say "Only Jesus could have done that."

So until that happens, I wait. But I keep learning and I keep my ears open and I watch. Because Jesus has brought some awesome people into my life to really encourage that call. Iknow they've been God moments and He's been encouraging me to keep waiting through those meetings. It's going to happen, it's just a matter of when. And while I wait, I'll stay faithful to what He's called me to right now.

19 December 2008

My Christmas Vacation

Yes it is Friday. Glorious, wondrous, beautiful Friday. Why, you may ask, am I so delighted with this day? Well not only is it the end of the work week – but it is the end of my work week for two solid weeks. Thank. You. Jesus.

Yes my friends I am embarking on a beautiful little thing called vacation. A time where I will plan to get tons of things done (like sorting out the clothes I don’t wear any more, washing them and giving them away or cleaning my room, or even organizing the books that are staging a take over in my living room.) I’ll have the best of intentions and end up frittering away most of my days to reading and probably ‘catching up’ on that sleep I’ve been losing the last 11 months of the year.

While most of that is true, what I’m really planning to do is get some reading out of the way. And in doing so, creating on this blog a book of the week. (Yes, it is possible to read a book a week and that is my New Year’s resolution of sorts. Only I’m not calling it that because I’ll end up not doing it.)

So my plan is to read a book then post a picture of it and write a review of sorts. I know all one of you who read this will simply be teetering on the edge of your seat to read my opinions, which is why I’m doing this. To make you, the reading public, informed and well armed to face the world.

Okay not really. But working in Christian retail, I do get some very interesting books that come across my desk. So I’ll be reading some of those and reviewing them. I’ll also be reading classics, fiction… pretty much anything that I find interesting – stretching my interests and hoping to spur you on do to the same. There will be more posts in between the book reviews so I'll make sure that I make it obvious when I'm reviewing. Like posting reviews on Fridays. And with the words BOOK REVIEW in the title for easy browsing. Also, I'll post a teaser of the book I'm reading so you know and maybe you can check it out for yourself as well.

So without further adeiu... the first book!

A description of the book from the website Christless Christianity
"Christians have always had their differences, but never in church history have there been so many statistics indicating that many Christians today are practicing what can only be described as "Christless Christianity."
Christless Christianity guides the reader to a greater un-derstanding of a big problem within the American religious setting, namely the creep-ing fog of countless sermons in churches across the country that focus on moralistic concerns and personal transformation rather than the theology of the cross. Michael Horton's analysis of the contemporary church points believers back to the power of a gospel that should never be assumed. "

With that mulling around in your brains, I'll let you know what Michael Horton has to say next week! (Also, as an FYI, any comments or questions are greatly encouraged and appreciated! I love to dialouge so come join in the fun!)