Tuesday, March 30, 2010


The older I get, the more I realize I have so little control over my own life.
God is so good.

This last week and a half was incredible, spending it with Jessa's family and going on a road trip with them to Orlando, hitting up Disneyworld for four days, then going up to Jacksonville to spend a couple days with her Uncle Keith and Aunt Torrie. 
After hours of driving then half a day flying home, I was on the bus headed back to my house when I mentioned off-hand to Jessa that at this point in my life, I think it's important that I be working and paying off areas of my life as well as pursuing school. I asked her to pray about it, she said she'd love to, and that was the end of it. 
I get home, unpack, work in the garden some to get it ready for this spring's planting, post pictures online of the trip, then head over to the Starr's for our weekly game night.
Desi tells me of two ways I can be making money. I call and set up an interview/testing for one, and the other is giving plasma, which I'll start next week. Even combined, these two will be able to completely work around my school schedule. 
God is so, so insanely good. He anticipated this stuff before I ever could have, and told me again today "I got you James. You're mine."

Thanks God for an amazing trip and for not letting me be the determiner of my own life. I've seen that job, and I don't want it.

Tonight at game night I accidentally farted really, really loudly on the bench I was sitting in, and Desi said "whoa James, that was like a cartoon fart."

Monday, March 8, 2010

On second thought..

At first I was angry. "Are you frickin kidding me? Right there? I just wanted to stand here, look out the window and relax for a minute...and now I have to watch this? Gross."
Then I had another thought. "Hmm...I guess I should be happy they're not doing it on MY roof."
I sipped at my water and resigned to be happy and not let it bother me. What did it matter, they were in love.
As I turned from the glass and went to go make lunch, I decided that yes, I would in fact be glad that the pigeons weren't mating on top of my house.
I'm glad we have neighbors.


"What's your AFSC?"
"I'm a 1A2X1."
"Really? That's pretty sweet. Do you get your wings for that job?"
"So when did you do SERE?"
"Two years ago...they've changed it since then. It was really good though."
"I'm sure. I've never been to Fairchild but I'd like to go. So you're a three-level or a five level then?"
"Five. But I'd like to commission."
"I heard that you get to keep your cell on you during OCS."
"We do."
"So you're in school then? Do you get BAH? Because I'm in school and I'm trying to figure out how to get it."
"As long as you're full time you should get it."

This weekend I worked down in the Springs for the military.
It was good, I was able to escape the overwhelming darkness of reviewing physicals documentation and instead do the eye review.
"Okay, go ahead and look inside, you're going to see a series of steps with a number on each one and a dotted line that goes across and intersects with one of the steps. Which number is it?"
Blank stare. "Huh?"
"Look inside."
"Oh, okay. It goes across...um...number...six?"
I look down and annotate their answer on a sheet that definitely looks really scary with a ton of decimal numbers and terms.
"Alright, plus...one exophoria"
"Wait. What does that mean? Are my eyes okay?"
Most of the day I spent stifling smiles and keeping a straight face while I convinced Reservists that no, this wasn't going to fail them out of the service or keep them from deploying shortly.

"It just means you have no depth perception at all. Do you ever walk into door frames, stop signs, or hit curbs while you drive? I'm just kidding...this test isn't very accure, it only really determines if you can discern depth up to a millimeter, which a lot of people can't. You're fine."

"Have you thought about strengthening your prescription?"

"Cover one eye for me please."
"Which eye?"
"Either one, doesn't matter. Good. Now look at the dot on the center of this grid and tell me if you see any waves, curves, or blind spots on the sheet."
"Okay. Now look for the green frog at the bottom of the grid. Do you see it?"
"No...I don't see a frog."
"It's little...see it yet?"
"No...*pause. Where is it?"
"That's okay, it's kind of hiding. Good job, that's all I needed."
"Where was it, at the bottom of the grid?"
"Actually, I was kidding, there's no little green frog, I've just been in this room a long time."
*Relieved laughter from a very concerned Lieutenant Colonel.

When was your last appointment? Did they polarize your retinas?"
"Good, if you said yes then you'd have to explain what it means because I have no idea. I just made that up."

"So it looks like everything's good, but there's something I'd like to throw out there, just if you're interested. It's called 'Keratomilleusis'."
*a pause, then the question.
"Okay, what does that mean?"
"Well it's a surgery where part of your cornea is literally shaved off of your eye. You have to stay awake for the procedure, so you'd have to see the whole thing being done."
"And you think I need that? Why, what did you see?"
"Actually, no. Your eyes are just fine. I figured it might be something you would enjoy. There's absolutely no reason for you to have it done, but it could be one of those experiences that turns into a conversation starter or a really good story. It costs thousands of dollars, but it might be worth it. You should think about it."

"No, no, say which line you're going to read then read it."
"Which line?"
"The lowest one you can."
"Can I squint?"
"That's not cheating?"
"No it isn't."
"Where's the number?"
"On the left of the line."
"Which line?"
"Whichever line you're going to read."
"Most of them are too blurry."
"Read one that isn't."
"With or without squinting?"
"You can squint."
"Oh, then I can read almost all of them."
"Good! So try...line 9a."
"I can't read it."
"How about...line 8. Can you read that?"
"I can read 9a if I squint though."
"Okay, good. Go ahead and read me off the letters."
"Uh....*pause. Still too blurry."
"How about line 8. Can you try that one for me?"
"I can, but I'll have to squint to see some of the letters that look the same."
"No problem, just go for it. Read off the line to me."
"Uh...C-D-H-V-O, K-E-F-Z-N."
"Great! You read both lines correct."
"I was squinting the whole time."

Friday, March 5, 2010

A moment, please...

I am now convinced in a way that says "I just came up with this, but I still think it's true" that the world is made up of moments.
The moment you hang up and think "that was a really, really good conversation. She loves me."
The moment you set the weight set down and go "whoa. That felt good."
The moment you tip back in your chair and feel very full.
The moment someone takes you aside to tell you that they appreciate you, or the moment you take someone aside to tell them you appreciate them and you see their eyes light up.
The moment when you're dancing in your room going "I'm never going to be too old for this."
The moment you get an unexpectedly good grade. "What?! That can't be right."
The moment you see a young man step back and let an older lady walk onto the light rail first.
The moment you get a cell phone call from someone you haven't heard from in a long time.
The moment the Father shows you something special, something intimate, and you can feel the Holy Spirit convicting you. "I love you, so I'm going to show you this. Will you give it to me?"
The moment you wake up to snow. "AAAAH, today's the day I take the bus. I'm going to be so. late."
The moment you remember you'd put toast in an hour and a half ago, now it's just thick, crumbly paper.
The moment...the moment...the moment.

Today I realized again just how involved God is in my life. In life.
I've been working my way slowly through "Life is Vapor," a book full of John Piper's small devotional vignettes.

Jonah 1:17 "The Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah."
Psalm 107:25 "He commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea
Luke 8:25 "Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?"
Psalm 147:15 "He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold?"
Isaiah 5:6 "I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it"
Job 36:32 "He covers his hands with the lightning and commands it to strike the mark."

For as long as I can remember I've been fascinated by the weather, had an Oedipidal love for it, and allowed it to fascinate me like few things can. I am now convinced that my moments of awe, the moments of fear, the moments where I found it beautiful in a way few things can compete with...they brought glory to God.
That through His hand He has created something so magnificent, so powerful, so out of reach of humanity, that I am now certain those child-like moments in my life that I've had, and will most likely continue to have, brought Him pleasure, and a smile to whatever His huge face looks like.
In enjoying a sunset, he quietly took it as a compliment.
In walking through the white that poured relentlessly down feeling overwhelmed with the inherent romance that snow brings, He realized that it was good.

And I'm sure He laughed when I yelled, peering through a windshield that protected me from being wet.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A good day.

Today was a good day. Why?

10 ounces of beef.
Slice of ham.
Jumbo hot dog sliced lengthwise.
Mayonnaise and ketchup.

All in all the burger weighed in at two pounds.
For $8.00 even.

My favorite part about that picture up there is the fat guy in it. Fat guys are awesome, even if they're only in pictures.

I finished mine, and afterwards I felt...thick. Real thick.