08 was great.

here's a litte month-by-month re-cap of some highlights...

- january - got to sing on my church's first record

- february - came on full-time with my amazing job

- march - survived a blizzard (then 3 days of snowboarding) here

- april - went to my first awards show

- may - beach trip with awesome nashville girls

- june - launched mocha club partnership with lady a at their fan club show

- july - midtown africa trip

- august - my first demolition derby

- september - best show of the year ...by far.

- october - traveled to the woods for our camping trip

- november - trader joe's grand opening!

- december - turned the big 2-7.

here's to 09...may it be full of joy, full of hope, full of life.


the old has gone...the new has come.

so my "christmas bonus" this year from work was (drumroll, please)...
a new laptop!!
y'all, i cannot even tell you what a blessing this is.
"old guy," as he is now affectionately called, was way past his prime (i got him summer 2004). and when your 9-5 hours consist of a conglomerate of internet, excel, email, and word documents, well...it kinda helps if your computer can keep up. and "old guy"...let's face it...he's seen better days.
"new kid" on the other hand? top of the line. should be a champ for years to come. and, thanks to a friend who works for apple & got us a nice little discount..."new kid" arrived on my doorstep this week!

oh yah...i can make videos now, too.



star of the story.

"The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back His lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves His palace, His throne — everything — to rescue the one He loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairytales that has come true in real life!
You see the best thing about this Story is — it’s true.
There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves His children and comes to rescue them."
[from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones]

Andrew Peterson read this passage at his christmas show this last thursday...and then my pastor quoted it again this morning.
[p.s. if you have never seen that show and/or don't have the cd yet (buy it here: Andrew Peterson - Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ), i highly recommend them both...a great way to soak in some christmas spirit...you can read annie's review here]

...i just love this idea of a story. it's so easy to get caught up in the sales (40% off? no way!)..the schedule (can we squeeze in one more ornament swap or tacky sweater gathering?)..the soirees (i had my 4th holiday-turned-wicked-dance-party of this season last night)..and end up forgetting about the story.
the world screams a different story at us...a loud noise of busyness and bank accounts...and we can't hear the real message of the manger...the sweet story of redemption.
"It truly boggles the mind:
the birth of a child
is to bring about the great transformation of all things,
is to bring salvation and redemption to all of humanity."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

i recommend reading Frederick Buechner’s christmas sermon named “the birth” ...he gives voice and background to the holiday story’s characters: the innkeeper, a wise man, and a shepherd.

this season may we pause and reflect on this Story, on the Star..and ask the Author what our role is - how we, too, play a part in the message of the manger.


hello 27!

27: the natural number following 26 and preceding 28.
27 is a perfect cube, being 3³ = 3 × 3 × 3.
- there are exactly 27 straight lines on a smooth cubic surface.
- there are a total of 27 books in the New Testament
- Uranus has 27 moons
- there are 27 current amendments to the US Constitution
- the code for international direct-dial phone calls to South Africa is 27.
[thanks wikipedia!]

...yesterday marked the start of my 27th year. i have a feeling it's gonna be a good one.



slumdog millionaire.

i got a chance to see the sneak preview of this movie tonight (thanks, jamie!) and it was intensely amazing. full of so much emotion...truth. love. despair. hope.

and is this kid not the cutest thing you've ever seen??

"We wanted to make as honest a picture as we could. Some of it is really tough, and you can't bring your Western pity to it. No, we wanted it to accurately reflect that [India] is hard and it's joyful. There is something extraordinary about it, and the people are ultimately what it's all about. There are a billion of them and they somehow manage to make it work...
...You don't go there and feel sorry for anybody. [In the slums], it is alive and jumping and selling and chatting. It's so important to us that this wasn't a film about poor old India. This is a film about India pumped up in the gym, heading to the front of the queue at a thousand miles an hour."

gift the story.

have you ordered your shirt yet???

we've been so overwhelmed with the number of people making the statement..sharing the story.

need more convicing? check out others who need africa, too...


the human experience.

i'm really looking forward to seeing this movie. here's the trailer:

..and the score sounds amazing...music is so powerful.


tennessee christmas.

so you remember TEN OUT OF TENN??

well, they have a christmas tour...and it's awesome. they kicked it off sunday night here in nashville, and let me tell you -- it's worth every penny.

check out the tour dates and see if they're coming to a city near you...and/or buy the christmas cd on itunes.


slow me down.

“slow me down, Lord. . . . i will never understand . . . if i do not slow down and listen to what the Spirit is telling me..."
walking on water: reflections on faith and art
madeleine l’engle

ever since i can remember, i've, as my mom says, "burned the candle at both ends"... how much can i fit into my day, how many people can i see and spend time with, how many social events can i attend, how many items can i check off my list, how much can i accomplish... and (usually) all that i'm trying to do are good things...just not always necessary. and i think as the days pass and the years go by, that pace continues to quicken, as i want to do and see more and more.

but i can't. i wasn't designed to. that was just one of the many lessons i learned in africa...to slow down. to pause. to enjoy each breath and each moment. it's just taken me 5 months to realize that i have to apply that here. i have to learn how to say "no"...i have to learn how to prioritize...i have to learn to be still...i have to learn to slow down.
my soul needs rest.



it's better to give.

here are my suggestions for meaningful gifts this christmas...

for your ears:
the midtown project cd (you may remember me blogging about it here)

for your feet:
tom's shoes...their "one for one" campaign donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair bought! (and they're fun and comfy!)

for your heart:
african leadership

(mocha club's parent organization) has a gift catalog...

...and of course this shirt! (proceeds go to one of our 6 project areas that you choose!)



ok, remember this?
we launched today!

want this really comfortable and super snazzy shirt?
read on.

When I think of Africa, the following images immediately come to mind: Starvation. AIDS. Child soldiers. Genocide. Sex slaves. Orphans. From there, my thoughts naturally turn to how I can help, how I can make a difference. “I am needed here,” I think. “They have so little, and I have so much.” It’s true, there are great tragedies playing out in Africa everyday. There is often a level of suffering here that is unimaginable until you have seen it, and even then it is difficult to believe. But what is even harder is reconciling the challenges that many Africans face with the joy I see in the people. It’s a joy that comes from somewhere I cannot fathom, not within the framework that has been my life to this day. [read more]