Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Church At Its Best

When it works the way it should, there's nothing sweeter. Here we are, back in Houston, staying at a beautiful house...for free. Driving a borrowed car...for free. Friends offering lunch, offering dinner, offering rides, offering fellowship, friendship. Meeting our needs when we've done nothing to deserve the kindnesses. The body of Christ helping a couple of wandering artists find their way.

I'm overwhelmed. So thankful. And hoping I've done something to meet their needs. Hoping I've filled a missing piece somehow, as they've done for me.

To whom much is given, much is required.

I'm hoping that one day I can offer someone a place to stay, or give them my car, or feed them a good, home cooked meal. Or maybe I'll be the person they know will pray for them. Who will listen without judging. Encourage. Care. I'm hoping that I'll remember how much has been given to me.

We need each other.

I'm learning how important that is.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I have never been more glad to be in Houston than in these past two days. The most beautiful day in the whole history of Houston was Sunday. 60's. Big clear blue sky. Birds singing right outside my window. In FEBRUARY!!

I took a walk Monday. One, because it was such a beautiful day. Two, because I'm so used to walking around town that it's not right to stay holed up in a house or in a car, or wherever. And three, because I can't get enough of that Texas sky. It was always one of my favorite things about Houston.

Almost as good as my friends here. I'm having such a good time visiting my friends that I, at times, wonder why we left at all. I wonder for a fleeting moment, and then I remember. I know we were right to leave. But it makes me long for heaven when we won't ever have to leave our friends, our family. Or if we physically leave them, no big deal, right? Because it all goes on forever and we'll be back in no time. Literally, no time. Which is weird. I've taken the notion of writing everyone a letter. A big, sappy letter to every person I know in Houston. Even my (guys, close your eyes)...girlie doctor, who I visited on Monday. She was so nice to me that I wanted to write her a letter. A letter to my OB/GYN? Yeah. It's kind of ridiculous. Even my dentist! Who I visited today, for only $10. Heck, I should write my insurance company a letter!

I rehearse in the evenings, so my days are play time, basically. I wake up late. (A little like heaven, too, I think.) I make coffee. I sometimes watch Ellen. I go to doctors and run errands. I get my toes and eyebrows done with my friend, Super Churchlady. And then I go be Belle for the evening. It's...I don't's...INCREDIBLE.

When I first got here on Thursday, it felt like I had left a week ago. I remembered everything so perfectly. It was like New York was a vacation and I was coming home. Then I woke up the next day and felt nostalgic and out of place. Like everything was so foreign and strange. And NOW, I want to write everyone a letter. This is so weird and good and fun and sad.... I'm a mess.

Friday, February 15, 2008

This is Awesome

Direct from Chaotic Hammer. Caption by: The Cachinnator:

"Shaun Groves, Seth Ward, and The Cachinnator Walked into a Bar..."

Nice going, C-ham. And the caption, Cach...right on.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Beauty and the Beast

I'm leaving for Houston this week to play my favorite role of all time. This is really exciting for me. Truthfully, I've been waiting for a chance to play this role, and here it is!! I hope it's not the last time, but it's definitely the first!

Tickets are on sale at

Here's directions to The Stafford Centre.

Would love for any of you Houston-ites (or not, my parents are coming in from Oklahoma =-) ) to come see the show! Spread the word!

Public Transportation...

is the bomb-dot-com. ESPECIALLY when it's FREE!!!!

FREE shuttle to Ikea. From New York City to Elizabeth, NJ. Non-stop. And returning. Absolutely FREE!!!

Have you ever eaten at Ikea? Pretty darn tasty. I highly recommend the Swedish Meatballs, and the Chocolate Mousse Cake. Because it's all pretty delicious. Oh yeah, and HALF THE PRICE. How do you do it, Ikea? Really, how do you do it?

A fancied future field trip: A Saturday lunch date to Ikea in New Jersey. It would be the cheapest date of all. Hey, it could even be a Valentines date if you bought those cute little Ikea ice cube trays that freeze the ice in x's and o's.

Except Valentine's Day is on Thursday, not Saturday, and the shuttle is only free on Saturday and Sunday.

I love you, Ikea.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Two Weeks and One Day Ago

My husband almost died two weeks and one day ago. From choking on an oyster cracker. I came home that day and found Seth sitting in his favorite brown leather desk chair. A sight I'm used to and one that I like. He would turn around and smile and say hi. He turned, but instead of a smile and a hello, said I'd never guess what happened to him that day. When he told me, I told him what I tell my one-year-old boy that I babysit, "Chew, baby. Chew." But that was after I knelt beside my husband and cried with my arms around his neck.

As I held onto him, I thought of what I would do if I lost him. How empty and unsafe I would feel. Empty. How my life isn't meant to be lived without him. It wouldn't be right. It doesn't make sense. And how could God let that happen? How it all seems up to chance. That God isn't in control. If he was how could Seth have almost died? Where was God's protection? It's all pandemonium. God leaves us all to chance, and a faulty bite at dinner could strip my best friend in the world from me. Thirty more seconds, and he could have been gone from my life in an instant.

And I suppose you think, but he didn't die. Right. He didn't. And maybe you're also thinking, God WAS protecting him. He didn't die. And you'd be right. You are right. And thankfully within a reasonable time, I began to have those thoughts, too.

But what if he had died? People die every day. Seth will die one day. Maybe even before me. Maybe I'll have time to prepare. Maybe it will happen when I least expect it. No matter what, it will feel like the end of my world. It will feel empty. It will feel unsafe. And what will I think then? Will I think it all chance and that God had turned away from me?

We sang at Redeemer Presbyterian here in New York this past Sunday: "Give Me Jesus," which Seth adapted from the well-known spiritual and added his own verses and bridge. I think they liked it, but I remember the sermon that Tim Keller preached. He preached from a passage in Job, about the fear of God amidst despair. That when despair enters our lives, what we really need more than anything, what Job realized he needed, the only answer to it all, is wisdom. And wisdom comes from the fear of God. Those who have not the fear of God have not wisdom. They are fools.

He described the fear of God, as not so much a scary fear, like the fear of an intruder, or the fear of what any bad person or person with bad intentions might do to me. The fear of God is believing in the purest good, even when that good allows for bad. This is wisdom: Realizing that yes, the world at times works the way it should. Hard work equals reward. Following God equals blessing. Following the rules equals fair. BUT the world is fallen. And alot of the times it doesn't work the way it should. Hard work ends in suffering. Following God ends in despair. And nothing is fair. Wisdom is knowing in these times, that we serve a God, who, actually, (yes), allows all around us to be black and dismal, allows the bad to enter our lives, does NOT prevent it, and at the same time, not only has control of our lives, but loves us more than we can we struggle through the darkness and hurt through the despair and beat our fists demanding justice. Amidst the darkest despair, TRUSTING and BELIEVING in that all-powerful goodness, in that love, and ultimately in the justness of it all. That is fearing God. That is wisdom.

Will I have learned wisdom when that time of despair comes? Will I forget that this world is fallen, that it doesn't follow the everlasting law of God? That it yearns for restoration? That it will be restored. Will I be a fool?

Job 28:12: "But where can wisdom be found...?"

Job 28:28: And he said to man,
'The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,..."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

City Sights

Something tells me I shouldn't eat here.