Monday, December 31, 2007

On the Way Home

Chicago Midway Airport

“Did you get all of your luggages?” The lady wasn’t talking to me; I was eavesdropping because that’s what one does when waiting over an hour for luggage from a flight that was delayed more than three. I think the lady was addressing her son, but I didn’t catch a glimpse of “him” so I can’t say for sure if he was blood-related. But I didn’t really care about him and his luggages; I was more concerned with the woman’s word choice. Luggages – plural, with an s. I’ve never heard that one before. Doesn’t luggage imply more than one? Kind of like fish? Then again, sometimes there is only one fish. Hmm…is it just me or did this woman have bad grammar?

Oh who cares; I just want my pizza. I tucked a slice in my luggage before checking it in Detroit thinking that it would be the perfect treat once I arrived in Chicago. I thought it would only be 3 hours before it would see the inside(s or no s?) of my stomach. But upon arrival in Chicago we were already well into the 7th hour; my soul (or something) was crying out for my Cottage Inn Pizza leftovers.

I tried to do some reading on the flight to calm my hunger, but the book I was reading wasn’t very good. I feel bad for thinking that because it’s one of those books that youth and college pastors insist that their students read. But I have to tell you, I did not enjoy reading Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. It’s not that the content is “bad,” the book is just boring to read. I read the first half on my flight to Michigan and intended to finish it on my way back to California, but I’m not certain that I will - especially since I have plenty of other things to think about, read about and write about. And probably ought to pray about as well.

I confess my prayer “life” hasn’t been the greatest since I’ve been on break. Sometimes I find myself vacationing from God while on vacation. It’s terrible, I know. I get altogether lazy – eating a bit more and working out a bit less. Reading my Bible becomes an optional activity – and praying happens only at meal time or when something traumatic happens.

And something traumatic did happen to me this break. It may not seem all that awful to you, but you have to remember, I’m a writer, so this is a major loss. You see, I had a rental car for my first weekend home and when I turned it back into Alamo rental, I also turned in my journal. It’s like I’ve lost 6 months of my life, possibly more, in the swoop of one careless car return. I’m rather certain it slid under the passenger’s seat. I filed a report, and prayed, but I’m convinced that it is gone.

Kind of like my eternal crush. He lost his eternal crush status when he called me up Christmas Day wanting me to set him up with one of my friends. He had one in particular in mind. I tried telling him that they aren’t a match. And he tells me, “Katrina, I need you to help me out here. I need a nice, Christian girl and if she’s friends with you she’s got to be pretty cool.”

And what’s wrong with me again?

So I ask my friend if she would ever consider dating him. She responds, “Hmm… I’m not sure. He’s prettier than me.” I inform her of his interest; she is flattered, but concludes that they probably wouldn’t work; I gloat in my rightness and inform my FORMER eternal crush that she didn’t think they were a match. And then I do the unthinkable. I succumb to confessing over a text message that I’ve been crushing on him for years. He thinks I’m joking; we’ll probably leave it at that.

My 8th grade crush asked me the other night if I was worried that I may never get married. We were out with friends from high school. There was lots of royalty present – a homecoming queen, a homecoming king, and a couple of prom queens (me being one of them). Everyone came with their spouse, fiancĂ©, or significant other – except me. I can’t remember exactly what I told my 8th grade crush, but I do remember him telling me he thinks I’d make a great mom.

The answer to his question of course is yes. Yes I fear that I may never marry. What’s interesting is that when I was 21 years old I wrestled with question, “Are you willing to die for the sake of the Gospel?” My answer was YES and I told God, “Take me anywhere. I’ll do anything so that others might come to know You - even if it means dying along the way.” The question wasn’t all that difficult for me to say yes to, but I struggle in answering yes to this question. “Are you willing to be single for rest of your life for the sake of the Gospel?”

My honest answer - hell, no. And I don’t use a lot cuss words, maybe 5 or 6 a year. The majority of which are spoken while I’m out surfing; some waves are brutal and there is nothing else you can say when you’re about to be pounded.

I was out surfing Trestles a couple of summers ago and I met this man who wanted me to write articles for his surf magazine. We talked for quite some time and he posed the question, “If you had to choose between marriage and a book deal, which would you choose?” The answer was easy – marriage.

But I feel lame for even talking about being single, because it’s like whining, and not being content or thankful for the many ways in which God has blessed me. People don’t want to hear about what you don’t have – like that slice of pizza. Where is my luggage?!?!

Wait. Is that it?

I grab my suitcase off the conveyer belt and wheel it to the side. I plop down on the ground, unzip the suitcase and there it is - my smooshed slice of cold pizza safely stowed in a zip lock bag. I open the bag, and then my mouth. Ah pizza. It has never tasted so good.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I'M not ENGAGED!!!

In my family it’s some sort of sin not to write a Christmas newsletter. It’s a duty; kind of like filing your taxes – you do it whether you want to or not. It’s not that I don’t want to write this. It’s just that I have a lot to say and I already know the average person will only read a quarter of this newsletter before checking out. Unless, of course, 2/3 of the way down I write in big, bold letters - I’M ENGAGED! But I’m not, and besides, I used that tactic a few years ago and I don’t feel comfortable using the same lie twice.

My biggest news of 2007 does not involve an XY specimen, but rather some special equipment that I’ve acquired to help me in my journey towards co-hosting a talk show. The following book excerpt explains.

Beginning of Excerpt
At the age of 29 I decided to commit social suicide. I had wanted to commit social suicide in junior high when all the cool kids were doing it (i.e. when it wasn’t so much social suicide), but the dentist told my mom it wasn’t all that necessary to have metal placed on my teeth to make them straighter. I successfully fabricated a retainer out of a paper clip, but I missed out on those pimp, colored rubber bands all because my dentist managed to convince my mom that my crooked teeth added personality. I think he told her this because he knew my parents were tight on money and paying the dental bills was already hard enough. He kindly waited until I was paying my own bills to recommend that I get braces.

Once I turned twenty-one I made it into a Leap Year-like tradition to go in every 4 years to get a free orthodontic consultation. Each place made me fill out bunches of paperwork before they would consult my teeth – I think to make sure I wasn’t a criminal. I hear they use dental records to help identify bad people, dead people, and sometimes bad, dead people.

The first place I went asked me to provide a reason why I needed braces. I jotted down, “I want to be a news anchor.” When I met with the orthodontist he adjusted my answer to “crowding of teeth.” I felt silly for writing down the answer that I did, but I didn’t feel too bad because it was an honest answer and I am certain the orthodontist recognized my integrity in my answer and was relieved to know that I wasn’t a criminal.

Although I enjoyed my first two orthodontic consultations, I passed on the braces both times because I thought perhaps I’d be moving to Africa to live where orthodontists do not. But instead of Africa, I moved to Southern California to live where nice teeth are more important than starving children.
End of Excerpt

Zondervan Publishing continues to be interested in my writing. And I continue to be interested in finishing the manuscript of my book – without the pressure of deadlines. The project is taking me much longer than I anticipated, mainly because of my job (still an RD at California Baptist University), my seminary work (still at Fuller), my surfing adventures, and my weekend excursions to cities such as Paris, France, San Francisco, and Phoenix, AZ.

For much of 2007 I felt rather incapacitated and didn’t progress much in my writing as I was going through some sort of hell. The torment ended in May when the Dean of Students affirmed me by saying, “Katrina, you have proven yourself this year. You have persevered and have displayed great character. You did a really good job this year. No wait - you didn’t just do a good job; you did a great job.”

Funny how James 1:2-4 is the passage that I never let go of. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

I continue to learn to lean on and trust in God’s character (i.e. his goodness, his faithfulness, etc.) throughout all seasons of life; I encourage you to do the same. Hold onto His promises; hold onto Him.

Merry Christmas Friends & Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tap Dancing at Starbucks

So I was tap dancing at Starbucks...

... yep. It's true. It happenened about an hour ago.

As one boss of mine (i.e. Kenny Grimes) once told me, "Katrina, you have no need to ever get drunk or high."

Hmm... I think he's right.

For the record, I've never been drunk or high, but I have jumped off a cliff, ridden a pig, and been mistaken for a homeless person.

The cliff was in Portland.
The pig was in Onsted (Michigan).
And the homeless mistakeness was in San Diego.

In other news, a friend mine (who I have an eternal crush on) recently asked me what I thought about online dating. I shared my e-harmony testimony (how I spent one hour on it) and explained that I would never return to the "that" scene again unless it was to use men for book material.

But is that ethical?