things i love...#11.

it's been such a joy building my personal library the past few years (i'm actually kinda a snob about owning books...i love to be able to highlight and underline all i want.)
i just wish i had more time to carve out to actually READ them all (reality: i'm sure the time is there...it's a priorities issue)

currently reading: cold tangerines...this book really is a celebration of the simple joys in everyday life...i'm loving it.
(thanks to christine for the recommendation!)

i love anything by Larry Crabb.

connecting has continued to be one of the most influential books of the last few years.

i also recently started becoming a true spiritual community - which corresponds perfectly with the journey i'm a part of at midtown.

when it comes to wisdom, i love me some double-initial-dead-guys. (C.S. Lewis, A.W. Tozer, G.K. Chesterton...)
a favorite is definitely knowledge of the holy by Tozer - i've probably read it 3 times, and it never gets old.

and i love how Lewis weaves gospel themes into simply beautiful stories in chronicles of narnia

what are some of your favorites?


opinions, please!!

opinions. you got 'em, i need 'em. (not to be confused with onions - which is what i typed at first.)

i'm trying to search for a new car (because, as we all know, big red is no longer with us) and, well, i need some help. i want something that won't kill me on gas...but i also want something that can tote around lots of people and stuff. (and let's face it...can you really see me in a sedan?)

so, blog-friends...cast your votes.*

do not go on colors, here...that will come later. this is simply for make & model.
do you drive one of these? do you know someone who does?
do you/they love it...or do you/they hate it and wish it was something else?

the contenders (in no particular order):

#1: Toyota Matrix

#2: Jeep Compass

#3: Nissan Murano

#4: Ford Escape Hybrid
(probably not in my price range...but a girl can dream.)

#5: the write-in ____________________

*i reserve the right to totally disregard all of your opinions if i so choose. :)



remember this? well, this morning it was officially pronounced totaled.


In Memory of
Marisa's Red Toyota 4Runner

May 2001-February 2009

Devoted to Defensive Driving
Loving Learner of New Lanes
Responsible on Road Trips
Constant Carrier of My Crap

Gone But Not Forgotten
Thanks For the Memories

he looks just fine from the rear...

...but apparently not even a face lift can help this little guy.


we are family.

i think one of the most beautiful pictures of the church and real spiritual community is that of family. it provides a sense of belonging and identity. it is a place of provision and of discipline. love, loyalty, and respect are birthed and nurtured within one's family.

definitely one of the sweeter things i've come to treasure about nashville is the "family feel" we have in our community. we have a large group of people just doing life together. i've found an amazing group of friends through my church that i love dearly. and then there's even a greater ring of community that spreads across different churches and different circles.
lately we've started something called "sunday suppers"...where we get together, take turns making dinner, and gladly step into each other's journeys. i continue to be amazed at the authentic joy and rich depth that surface in these times.
one constant in this tradition is the newly coined phrase "cookie drunk" (thanks to jason) which has nothing to do with alcohol and everything to do with lots of sugar. it never fails -- we all eat a lot and then get slap-cookie-happy. and then there's the laughter...lots and lots of laughter.

since the oscars were tonight, i decided to fancy sunday supper up a bit. the menu included:

smoked salmon pizzas

(after much enjoyment...the empty pitcher)

and of course the desserts: cookies, cookies, and more cookies!
here's chris, skip, and jason...full of sugar.

candid family snapshot:

"just let me state for the record, we're giving love in a family dose." (thank you, sister sledge)


back to the burbs.

so yesterday was moving day for the mocha club office. it's our 3rd move in a year and a half (renting and borrowing space...brentwood to nashville and now back to brentwood).
now we finally have a home - and hopefully one that will last awhile.

i'm bummed that i'm adding another 15 minutes to my commute (aka more traffic....boooo.) i'm sad that i won't be a short trip to meetings at fido and frothy monkey (or any other cool non-chain establishment) and really sad that baja burrito and calypso are no longer my easy lunch options.

but i am trying to be positive and see the good things about moving. let's see...
we're combining with our parent organization, african leadership...so collaboration and shared resources and all that good stuff should be awesome.
our office won't smell like a combination of mexican food + mold + warehouse funk (thank-you nolensville)
having chick-fil-a right down the street is a definite plus. (this georgia girl still can't believe the sparcity of chick-fil-a's in this town)
i can grab some after-work groceries from fresh market or publix, which we don't have in the city. (still no trader joe's, though.)

so as much as i will miss the skyline during the day...i think it will be good for us, and it was time to settle in.
hello, suburbia, it's been awhile.

here's our truck...I Haul? U Haul? We all Haul!!

one of my favorite shots: we hired some local refugees to help us out.
this is our couch...not exactly the easiest thing to move.

we've still got a looong way to go. but this is a start...



our staff team did a little photoshoot with our friend and talented photographer, skip. (check out his work here!)

here's some of my favorites...

we love our macs!

i'm so grateful for my amazing team!

I need Africa shirts.

i don't even know...


iPhone to the rescue.

you may have caught wind that i got in an accident this morning.
here's a picture of my car being towed...

it happened so fast. i was just minding my business, driving to the Y (kinda makes you lose your motivation for early morning workouts) long story short, the sweet lady that hit me assumed i had a stop sign (but i didn't) so she came right out in front of me...i slammed on my breaks and tried to miss her, but no such luck. [man, am i so thankful i swerved, though, b/c she had her 18-month old kid in the backseat...wow. thank you, Jesus.]
i was pretty shaken up (i do remember screaming as it was happening) but thankful that nobody was hurt.

and then...i panicked -- i couldn't find my insurance card.

ironically, just last night a group of us were talking about how cops are cracking down on having up-to-date insurance cards in the car with you -- and they're writing tickets for it. i knew my insurance was fine, but yup, just as a suspected...old card. so here's where the ol' trusty iPhone comes into play...

i pull-up the allstate website, log-in, and before the cop can even ask for my stuff, i show him the screen w/ my current insurance, apologizing that the physical card is back at my condo.
his reponse? and i quote: "wow, this is a first. if you're willing to pull that up, it's fine by me. i don't think in all the accidents i've reported, i've ever seen insurance on an iPhone."

so there you have it. reason #5372 why the iPhone is my new best friend.

and thanks to enterprise (they picked me up) i now will be driving this beautiful baby until my 4runner can get back in the game.

insurance cards? there's an app for that.


file this.

so you may or may not know that i kinda love being on camera. (one of my goals for 09 is to get an agent and start auditioning for commercials.) so when annie called me and told me there were open auditions for talent for those attorney commercials (you know the ones) of course i said "done and done."

and we documented our experience for your viewing pleasure...enjoy.


love song for no one.

february 14th.
pink. red. hearts. flowers. candy.
how did this hallmark holiday become such a big deal? why do restaurants feel they have the right to form fixed-price, multi-course menus? why do roses become a commodity overnight? why do 3rd graders (read: me) feel the pressure to define themselves by how many valentines they get in their shoebox (or grown-up mailbox)?
did you know that st. valentine has a sister called singles awareness day? oh yes...there's even a website about it. yikes.

the only good i can see in the day is the opportunity to celebrate love. the love of community, of family, of friends, of life. to "see what kind of love the Father has given to us..." (1 john 3:1)
so whether you've got a love song in your heart or not...take today to love the people in your life.

one thing i sure do love is some john mayer. so this is as good an excuse as any to play a little video... (and i was actually at this show in 02!)


the movie everybody's talking about.

i went with a group of 10 girls this last weekend to see the much-anticipated he's just not that into you. and man have i heard some very strong opinions about it.
myself? i actually enjoyed it. it's funny and it's entertaining. sure, there are parts that remind you how sinful and messed up we really are, how messy relationships are, and how in control we all really want to be. but there's also a lot of truth to it.
i'll be the first to admit that i all-too-often make assumptions (and i'm sure make a fool of myself) when i'm positive that cute boy i meet at a party is so into me. i know for a fact that i believe the lie that (despite the fact that it's the same scenario, the same type of guy, the same situation) this time it will be different.
we girls are easily blinded by our need to feel affirmed and admired.

but thankfully i know truth that can set me free from that. i know that the Lord looks at me and says "you are precious in My eyes, and honored, and I love you" (isaiah 43:4) that i am "fearfully and wonderfully made" (psalm 139:14) and that i am "clothed with strength and dignity, and can laugh at the days to come" (proverbs 31:25).
i want to be a woman who can laugh at these scenarios, clothed with strength and dignity, confident of my identity and position.

and fan of the movie or not, you can't deny that it has a rockin soundtrack -- highlighting nashville's own erin mccarley!!

and this video will surely make you smile...



(author's note: all links in this blog will go directly to people's twitter accounts...just because)

A.T.M.S. is a phrase i've recently coined with my friends annie and skip and stands for Afraid To Miss Something. it has now become popular "twitter language" among my nashville friends when we hear of something going on (and let's face it...something is always going on.)

i've said for a long time that my greatest fear is missing out...of knowing that something awesome is happening and i'm not present to experience it...or just the fear of not even being aware of said awesome thing and constantly being left in the dark.

[now, if you know me, you're probably thinking "marisa, seriously, your social calendar couldn't be any more full..." and you're probably right. it's often too full. but the fear exists none-the-less.]

there's the obvious surface reason -- i'm an extravert, i love people, i don't like missing out on fun times. but it's deeper than that.
"so what's at the root of this fear, marisa?" my friend andy asked me last week. i couldn't answer him right away, so i've been trying to do a little digging. and what i've come up with is this: a scary combination of insecurity + lies/doubt.

now i may not come across as an insecure person...but don't worry, it's there. i desperately want you to like me (and more than your other friends). i want to be the best at everything (because life is a competition, right?) and if i'm not sure that you like me or that i'm the best, then i need to be around you more and prove my awesomeness to you. then doubt creeps in when i least expect it, and he's usually accompanied by his good pal, lies. lies will pull me aside and say stuff like "marisa, if you miss out on this thing, you'll probably lose every single one of your relationships you've ever had. ever." i believe lies, doubt who i am, and that in turn feeds my insecurities.

so how do we battle these feelings and lies?

well i ended up talking with another friend, david, tonight about this as well. we talked about how deep down, we're all afraid of the unknown. but that it's about realizing our FREEDOM. we're free to say no, we're free to miss out. (and free to slow down i keep reminding myself) we have to speak truth to ourselves (and each other) ...and that truth will set us FREE.

the message version of matthew 6:33 tells us "don't worry about missing out."
plain and simple.

ok, God...i'll try.