Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Driving around North Carolina in Autumn is one of my favorite things to do. I love watching the world fade into a sepia snapshotthe leaves change color and the temperature drops, everyone pulls out their scarves and gloves, little kids' noses turn pink, driving on the Raleigh Beltline becomes something I find excuses to do because it's like speeding through a painting—everything is absolutely gorgeous.

Other than how pretty Fall is, I think it's my favorite because it's a season for traditions. Year after year, there are some things that you can just count on happening in the Fall. School starts, youth groups go on yearly retreats, turkeys are carved, and Christmas bells begin ringing far too early. I get extremely nostalgic during the autumn months, especially this close to Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving will be my favorite day of 2009.
I've had other days so far this year that have been really awesome, but I am completely positive that none of them will come close to making me feel as loved, comforted, and at home as I'll feel tomorrow. I love that I can tell you exactly what I'll be doing from tonight at 7pm until Saturday at 8am. I'm not sure if I like admitting that I'm that okay with such a routine, but I'm a creature of habit and I truly think that there's nothing better than knowing that when my family arrives from Jacksonville, Fayetteville, Charleston, Alabama and Ohio tonight we'll all head over to my Grandma's house for rigatoni, we'll sit around her dining room table and catch up on what all of the grandkids are up to and then the uncles will start telling the stories we hear every year about large women in polk-dotted socks, beef stroganoff and radiation suits, and riding on motorcycles with skeletons. There will be coffee and an assortment of pies and we'll eat until our pants don't fit. There will be lots of people, lots of food, long naps, coffee, laughing, and probably a private concert by uncle Matthew.

I can't wait.

Monday, November 23, 2009


So I'm sitting here in Global Village on a rainy Monday afternoon. Blogging. Oh dear, what am I getting myself into? I never thought that I would ever have a blog. I never thought that I would ever have anything to blog about. But now I think I might have something worth adding to the blogging community. Maybe. Still not quite sure, but I'll experiment. If I realize that the stuff I'm writing is too reminiscent of my 10th grade livejournal posts I promise I'll stop. I want to spare us all from a blog in which I attempt to make much of myself by elaborating upon every little detail of my less than interesting life.

I'll start by saying: I notice little things. I really love people-watching and I'll admit, sometimes even people-listening. Don't judge me- you do it too. People are so complex. I enjoy pondering the motivation behind why people do whatever it is they do. Sometimes people just do funny things. Or sad things. Or really stupid things. I find myself thinking about these people who I have never met more than I probably should. For example: last week I spent the whole bus ride to school trying to understand why the couple sitting across from me was okay with just sitting next to each other as they each listened to their own iPods as they stared at the floor. The guy had a hickey and the girl had a nose ring.

The bus is a great place to observe people. Everyone just sits and does their own thing; staring straight ahead, or straight up, or reading, or texting, or sleeping (which I don't really get- what if you really fall asleep and miss your stop?) or talking on their bluetooth headsets, or, in very rare cases, trying to make conversation with the people around them, which is never very successful. Or at least it doesn't seem to be very successful. Sometimes I wonder what someone would do if I were that weird stranger who initiated a conversation with them on the bus. I mean, saying "Hi, how are you?" isn't that invasive of a question, but even commenting on the weather is intimidating when you're sitting next to a stranger on the bus.

It's scary to think that you could try to talk to someone and be totally rejected. You could be ignored, flipped off, cursed at, or punched in the face for asking someone how their day is going, right? No. The only thing you put on the line when you start a conversation with a stranger is your pride, and really you shouldn't be that hurt if someone you don't know chooses not to talk to you. You will probably never see them again.

So people don't talk to strangers on the bus.

Great blog, right?

Okay, here's the point: I think we should talk to strangers on the bus. As a Christ-follower I am confident in saying that Jesus would love riding the bus for the very reason many of us hate it. He would use the opportunity to create relationships with the lost. He would love those he sat next to. He would ask them about their lives, their classes, their families, interests, and so on. Even though we all try to block out others with our iPods and crossword puzzles, we all long for human connection. We're just too afraid to make the first move.

Too often I forget that if I don't tell those around me the good news of Jesus Christ, they may never hear it. Am I so ashamed of my Lord that I will ignore what he commissioned me to do? How can I read Matthew 28:19 and not lovingly proclaim Jesus to those that God puts in my life? A lot of the people who ride my bus are there every week. I have had the whole semester to create friendships with them and to share my hope with them. Have I taken advantage of it? Not at all.

Buses are full of people, many who may be desperately searching for the joy that I have. How dare I withhold that joy from them?

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Matthew 28:19-20