Read every word, and no one gets hurt.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Old News and a Vow

First the Old News, which all of you know by now. But it's related to the vow, so I have to include it. Here it is: I am leaving mid-August to spend the next school year (ten months or so) in northeast India. I will be teaching two missionary kids, 3rd and 6th grade, and seeing what else God has for me to do over there. The nearby Youth With A Mission's DTS program has a fine arts focus, so there likely will be opportunities to work with them in music and drama, which has potential to be very fun. But anyway, the point is I'm leaving.

Now for the Vow. In light of my upcoming departure, I am setting a goal. It is my intent to finish blogging about my Vietnam trip before I leave. Hey, stop rolling your eyes. You have no idea how much there is to say! Two and a half months will be barely squeezing it in. I'm calling it a vow, just to make it sound more official and important. Maybe then I'll actually do it. :)

I give you permission to get on my case if it looks like I'm going too slow!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

I Must Be Bored...

... because I created a quiz about myself! If you're bored, too, go ahead and click here: http://www.quizyourfriends.com/takequiz.php?quizname=050526224346-22733"
And have fun while you're at it.

PS - I will be posting again about Vietnam, don't worry. Just hang in there.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

A Narrow Escape

I saw the creepy guy from "One Kind of Flattery" at Perkins the other day. I quickly walked away and he didn't see me.


Friday, May 13, 2005

"Just the Bear Facts"

I have a journal with chairful of adorable teddy bears on the cover. Just above the picture it says "JUST THE BEAR FACTS." Very cute. And very untruthful.

Bare facts are not exactly what went in this journal. Oh, there were plenty of factual events I related from my own life, but most of it is a little more colorful. I received this journal from a friend when I was ten years old. I named it "Josie" (don't ask me why) and I wrote in it haphazardly for a couple years, at which point it began to appear too childish for me, and I graduated to a notebook. But from time to time my notebooks would fill up, and this teddy bear journal would fill in until I got a new one. I've had fun paging through it tonight.

My very first entry is a rather boring account of my brother's birthday party.

My very second entry is exactly three months later. (I had a little trouble getting into the habit of writing.) This entry is a list of all my relatives. Really. It's thrilling. But the last paragraph got me thinking...

About three weeks ago, my dad found out that the place where he worked had shut down, so now he won't have a job after June somethin' or other. You might be surprised, but I'm really not worried about it. One night in Minnesota, mom prayed with me about it. I've never worried about it since. I'm really trusting God that he'll provide our needs, job or no job. He's praying about applying for a North West job in Minnesota. I'm not sure I'm ready for that.

The loss of my dad's job way back in1991 was the first real "trial" I had encountered so far in my life. And how reassuring it is to look back and realize that in that very first uncertain time, God made His peace known to me. Can't I count on Him to do the same thing now? I know I can.

Lest you think I was a super-spiritual little preteen, here's an exerpt from 7-8-93:
Tonight we took Jodi out to Burger King. We talked to some relatives there, and then I saw Gary Mayhew. He is so cute. SSSOOO CCCUUUTTTEEE!!! Dreamy. But he never even looks my way. Why should I care?

After 1993, the teddy bear journal became an outlet for strange impulses. In eighth grade, I wrote a series of journal entries as a character I was playing in "Loudmouth George" at Child's Play Theatre. In ninth grade I went through a phase of writing down absolutely everything I ate every day. (That's a real page-turner, now.) There's a poem or two as well, and then....

Guess what? We started going to Bloomington Assembly a few weeks ago. (Who knew we'd end up in a big church?)

After that, a short story. Pretty darn good, I think. But I'm not including it here. There's a few pages of Scripture quotes and then we skip ahead to a very momentous day.

I feel so strange. This is my "last" night home, and my journal is packed away. I move in to NCU tomorrow morning. I should be excited, nervous, scared, sad, or happy. But in the midst of all the packing and rushing around, I've felt... almost nothing. Just an odd sense of vague uneasiness.

Oh Mindy, Mindy. Little did you know. Your last night home? No, dear one. Your last night home is yet to occur, but it's on its way. And I do know it will feel strange. Just how strange I have yet to discover. I imagine I will be excited, nervous, scared, sad, and happy... all at the same time. Or will I again feel nothing? Time will tell.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

It's Okay, You Can Laugh at Me

I am about to open myself up to endless ridicule, I know, but I can't help it. This story is too good not to share.

On Wednesday, I was about thirty minutes ahead of schedule, and I ended up having some time to kill before I began teaching piano. So rather than sit in my car outside my students' house for half an hour, I drove about three blocks to a nearby sledding hill, which of course right now is lovely and green.

For most of the next half-hour, I went over my notes for youth service. (I was speaking that night.) The warm breezes were blowing through the open windows of my car, and the sun was warming my skin. About five minutes before I needed to head back, I stepped outside the car and stood at the top of the hill, surveying the so-far unparalleled spring day. Sunshine sparkled off a nearby pond, and the trees at the bottom of the hill swayed contently. And that's when it happened.

I decided to run down the hill.

Now before you laugh at me or patronise me, take a moment's pause. Haven't you ever been overwhelmed by the joy of a beautiful day? Have you ever been so caught up in the excitement of just being alive that you had to do something? I remember one day when I was in high school, my mother and I took a walk. It was a lovely day and I was happy with life. So I skipped a bit. I twirled around once or twice. Then I remember asking my mother if it was because I was young that I was doing this, or if it was simply because I was me? She just looked at me, confused. I came at it from another angle. "Mom, when you were young, did you dance around when you were excited? 'Cause you don't now." She answered in the negative. So I decided that it had more to do with Mindy than it did with youth, and I figure that even when I'm eighty I'll be a little bouncier on beautiful days.

Anyway, all that to say... I decided to run down the hill. (Go ahead and laugh, now that you've taken pause.) It's a pretty steep hill, so as I ran I got a little out-of-control. It was that feeling of my feet just spinning under me - there is no way I could move my legs that fast on purpose... they just sort of went. And I knew that if they sort of didn't go... I would end up on my face. So I'm glad they made it on their own.

I ended my brief, downhill sprint at the bottom of hill, breathless and laughing. It was great. Then I turned around and climbed back up to my waiting car. End of story. Or not.

See, when I got to church that night, I went to put my cell phone into my purse and... couldn't find it. The batteries had died earlier that afternoon, so I thought I had just left it in the car somewhere. I didn't see it, but I wasn't worried. My car was a mess - it was in there somewhere - I'd find it when I got home that night.

I didn't. Neither did I find it when I looked again the next morning. Getting more concerned, I searched my purse again, my room, my pockets... Aha. My pockets.

A hypothesis began forming in my mind. My cell wasn't in my car, or anywhere else that I could discover. If I had happened to have it in the pocket of my cords, it should still be there. Except... memories of racing down that darn sledding hill came creeping into my consciousness... if it had been there when I ran down the hill...

I got in my car and drove back to the same spot. I examined the parking lot thoroughly, and then started on the hill. Rather embarrassed to see a dog-walker and his pooch staring curiously nearby, I nevertheless proceeded to walk a slow, back-and-forth pattern across the approximate path I just yesterday had careened wildly down.

Please let it be here, please let it be here.... changed to... God if it's here let me see it as I reached the end of my search. My heart sank and I felt pretty silly standing there. And then I saw it. My precious cell phone laying on its face in the grass just a few feet from where I stood! Yes! Feeling a strange mixture of triumph and embarrassment, I scooped it up and headed back to my car.

So there's the story. My cell phone is none the worse for the wear, and I enjoyed a good laugh after it was all over.

Plus, running down the hill was just plain fun.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Chapter Six - The Bombshell

No, there were no bombings in Saigon while we were there (or since we were there, for that matter.) But Thursday evening at our team meeting, some news was dropped on the group that felt like a mortar explosion to some of us. Allow me to explain...

...on one condition. You must request this one personally, folks. You know the drill. Email me, or post a comment right here (as long as I already have your email address.) It does start getting really good, at least in my humble opinion. So email me. Or comment. Whatever.