16 December, 2007

So I'm auditioning for this show in January...the directors have asked for us to prepare a pop song...and the age of the character I'd be playing is about 17. Now, I don't own a vast array of pop teenager-y music but I had a little bit in the archives. I found a song that I feel encapsulates where I was at 17 and where I think most slightly naive, big dreaming, optimistic, bored, ready to go 17-year-olds are. It's kind of weird to not be that kid anymore...the one who has never gone through anything. I can jump right into a character who would say these words and feel these emotions because I was her at one point but I'm no longer her. Once you're on the other side of heartbreak, life experience, or tragedy even...you're not glad youre there. The pain is real. The confusion is real. And the reality that is as honest as a mirror shows you that you're way more imperfect, flawed, and vulnerable than you had thought or even hoped. But when you've never experienced anything that involves passion or adventure, you so desperately want to--and you're ready to count the cost. I'm not exactly back in that place again just yet. Maybe some day I will be. But here are the lyrics nonetheless:

Is it enough to love?
Is it enough to breathe?
Somebody rip my heart out
and leave me here to bleed
Is it enough to die?
Somebody save my life
I'd rather be anything but ordinary please
I'd rather be anything but ordinary please

06 November, 2007

Sometimes the pain feels overwhelming.
Sometimes I feel like I just have to cry.
Sometimes the crying surprises me.
Sometimes I feel invincible.
Sometimes I feel optimistic.
Sometimes I feel like starting all over sounds daunting.
Sometimes I trust.
Sometimes I don’t.
Sometimes I think “what could I have done differently?”
Sometimes I think “how could I have spared myself from this pain?”
Sometimes I am thankful.
Sometimes I have no regrets.
Sometimes I feel seasoned—like I’ve really seen a thing or two.
Sometimes I feel so innocent.
Sometimes I wish it had never happened.
Sometimes I think a broken heart is better than a cold heart.
Sometimes I know everything’s going to be totally fine—better than fine.
Sometimes I think it can only get better from here.
Sometimes I just want to feel how I feel.

I always said I really wanted to experience life. And I guess that’s exactly what life is. Feeling conflicted. Feeling overwhelmed. Feeling ok. The pain is simply an aspect of the beauty. Maybe that’s really real life. Not having conclusions. Things not being so neat. That’s about as conclusive as I can get right now…

09 October, 2007

"Oh to be young again!"

It's been called to my attention that I haven't blogged in awhile. And thought i normally don't "blog on command" (or do much on command for that matter) I thought there would be someone somewhere who'd want to humor me and hear about the latest in the somewhat nomadic existence of a sort of actor/adult in the post-college strange stage of life that i'm in. Let's see...what's new...
Well, it seems I haven't written in the past 1-2 months because I've been tied up with something simply wonderful: MY FIRST PROFESSIONAL ACTING JOB! I must've gotten the offer right around the time that I wrote last but it either slipped my mind or wasn't applicable to the blog. I'm not sure. Either way, since around the 1st of September my miserable time working for the Mouse was replaced by the joys of singing, acting, and musical comedy-ing my way all over a stage. I can't tell you the joy that I experienced realizing I was (about halfway) paying my expenses by simply doing what I loved. And not only has it been fun for me to perform, it's been rewarding talking to the audience members after each performance. In our contracts the cast members agree to do "meet 'n greets" with the audience after each show. So many times during this run I had slow moving elderly people come up to me with smiles spread wide across their faces and say, "You absolutely made my day." "The show was a delight." "It was so wonderful to hear those songs again." "South Pacific is our favorite show and has been for 50 years!" "We met while we were serving during WWII. It was so special to see this show tonight." The sweet comments and warm gratitude filled my chest and watered my eyes many afternoons and nights over the past month. It really is why we do what we do. Not until moments like those am I reminded that all those silver-haired, achey looking people are just that--people. One afternoon a lady came up to me and said "You were so CUTE dancing across that stage! Oh to be young again!" Only her body has aged. In her mind she is just a spry and full of life as I am. I am reminded though that life is a one-time deal. I have to be consistently self-aware and live and love in the knowledge that I only get one. I'm only 22 once. I will be for about 6 more months. We have to ask ourselves questions like: When I'm older will I be satisfied with how I spent my early 20's? Is there anything i wish I could've done? Anywhere I wish I had gone? Anything I wish I hadn't done? Living fully in the present is both a challenge and a gift. I pray all our souls are satisfied with how we've spent our time.

24 August, 2007

Reflections on the after (college) life

Again, it’s been a long while since I’ve written so I’ve decided it’s time to flesh out my thoughts a bit and tell you what’s been going on in my life. First of all, not since I packed up and left Nashville to move 500 miles away to Virginia in 2003 have I experienced as much change as I have over the past 2 months. I’ve moved to a new city: Orlando, experienced life outside of a Christian school for the first time in my life, attended 12 auditions and callbacks for professional acting jobs, house sat a lake house, lived with my friend Rachel’s family for a month and a half, and moved into a huge house with 3 relative strangers that work with Josh at Disney. I’ve also not gone back to school in August for the first time ever and had to budget and pay for my own bills.
That’s a lot of changes.

And now, a few observations:

1. When it comes to money, having 1 solid full time job is a better situation than having multiple part time jobs. You always know exactly how much you’ll make which really lends itself to staying on top of things financially.

2. It’s kind of cute how much I thought moving into the real world and being around 90% non-Christians would be an easy adjustment. It’s not. For a committed Christian, (or maybe just me?) it’s infinitely easier to live out your faith when you’re surrounded by people who get it. Every day I pray and make attempts at being salt and light, but I don’t even know how much of an affect I’m having—if one at all. It’s strange too because I’m not growing close, personal relationships with people at work…so far there hasn’t been a vast array of opportunity for “heart to hearts.”

3. I think I’ve finally got my “worst job I ever had” story. On Monday and Thursday nights I work at MGM Studios selling merchandise for a show there called Fantasmic. If I’m lucky I get to stand at a stationary cart and sell the toys but if I’m not so lucky I have to strap on a tray full of light-up crap and walk up and down the aisles of the theatre. Ever so slightly demoralizing. On the up side there have been a few aspects of this job that have been beneficial. First, it supplies me with a free pass into Disney. And since my boyfriend is in every show/parade (practically) on the property, it’s great to be able to wander in and watch. Second, I work with a lot of international students and that’s really cool. Just last night I worked with a girl from Brazil, a guy from Cannes, France, a girl from Ireland and two girls from Shanghai. And third, and most importantly, every time I go to this job I despise, I’m re-inspired to work hard at what I love. Every hot and uncomfortable night of work makes me more and more sure that I will rock it out in my next audition, or have my music memorized before the first rehearsal, or apply to grad school early.

4. This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned this summer: the more you audition the better you get at auditioning. And the better you get at auditioning the more likely you are to get a job. I know it sounds kind of obvious but truly with every audition I gained a better perspective of what casting directors were looking for and how to present the “total package” so to speak. Aspects that are very important? Picking the correct song for you and the show you’re auditioning for, being self-assured and friendly when you walk into the room, feeling positive and optimistic about your performance, dressing for success, and just being well-prepared. In addition, I’ve learned how much potential I have—if I explore it. The small tragedy about my college experience is that by the end of it I thought I had reached my talent’s potential. I thought that the talent I possessed was all I was capable of. I’ve learned in the post-college theatre world that performers are always learning new things, sharpening their skills, taking dance classes, getting more flexible, reading up on acting techniques, and studying voice. If I really focus and hone my skills who knows where I could be in 10 years.

5. Being a person who has always gone to school when August rolls around, it's hitting me hardcore to not be in classes right now. A little part of me does feel like I'm missing out, even though in large part I'm very, very, very glad I'm where I am. I think I left Liberty right when I should have. I think some people outgrow Liberty and stay there long after they should peace out. And for those of us who left right when we should have its kind of shocking thing to not be in Lynchburg come year 5. I know the longer I'm away the more I'll be used to it and feel like my life is really exactly where i am...

I’ve got to go to Anthropologie now so reflections are getting cut off here, but that’s probably the 5 main ones anyway. In other news, one great thing about not returning to college this week is that I get to go to Miami for the weekend with 2 of my best friends. Real life does have its perks—and for that matter, my life has its perks.

22 June, 2007

A Friendly Post-College Update

Hello hello and hellooooo

It's me Hil. You may think I've been living under a rock but alas, no, I've been living in a lake house.
Life has changed in a multiplicity of ways over the last month. I've moved from Lynchburg, VA to Orlando, FL--at least for the time being. The near future remains quite dubious as I don't know what state I'll be in residence at come July 1. At first I really enjoyed this whole "flying by the seat of my pants" thing but now I'm ready to get in a groove. As adventurous and random as I like to think of myself as, I am totally a girl of routine. Little known fact: I love lists. And this isn't a thing that came about once I was 21 and a junior in college. Nosiree. My mom (and this is embarassing) found a notebook full of lists dated 1996. That would've made me 11. 75% of me I think of as free-spirited and planner free. But who am i kidding? As much as I like the abnormal, I like to plan. I like to know what's up. I like to think of the big picture and know everything's gonna be just fine--or, even better than I expected.
So this whole Florida thing. You're probably wondering what I'm doing here. Why I'm here. What tricks I have up my sleeve. Well, here's the situation in a summarized fashion.
I came down to Florida shortly after graduation to audition for a job performing at Disney World. Most people don't know that height is very important at disney. (ie: you can't have a Minnie Mouse that's 5'8" and another that's 4'11") and as fate would have it according to Disney Entertainment I am 5 feet 3 and 1/2 inches. Which is great if you want to be normal. And completely generic. And the exact same height as a million other girls who are auditioning to work at Disney. They only need so many chip 'n dales and ariels. Which means that I am in the "character pool." Aka the waiting list. When (if) a job opens up within the next 6 months for someone who looks like me and dances like me they'll call me up. If not, I can audition again come November.
What you may not know is that there are 2 divisions of disney entertainment. One side is the character performing that you see in all the parades, autograph signing, and lip-synced shows. The other consists of Equity performers. These are performers who are considered professional singers and dancers. If you see a performer at Disney that is singing they are equity. Someone dancing in a show (and it looks rather complicated) would be equity as well. These people get paid better and can go on to attend equity auditions for broadway shows and national tours. For you non-theatrical people basically "Equity" is short for Actors Equity Association. It's a union that is a little bit difficult to get in to. You have to be a legitimate professional performer--having performed in about 50 weeks worth of work. The perks are that you get more respect, better auditions, better backstage treatment, and higher pay.
Ok anyway.
So, there are more auditions for Equity coming at Disney in the future. In July and August they'll be looking to cast lots more people for their Christmas shows. There's a chance (not a huge one) that I could get cast from that pool and that would be stellar. Then I'd really be doing what I loved loved loved.
But while Disney isn't coming through with the whole making my dreams come true thing, I'm auditioning other places as well. Sunday I'm going to audition at a professional theater in Nashville that is doing the show "Urinetown." The same theater is doing "Into the Woods" in October. Both of these shows I'd love to audition for. Also, in July there is an audition in Orlando for a repertory theater company here. And then later this fall there are theaters in Nashville and Orlando that are doing shows that I'd like to audition for.
In addition to all that, I've applied for an internship at a magazine for the fall and I'm considering applying for an internship with Harpo productions. At this point I'm just trying to knock on as many doors as possible until the right ones open! :)
Oh and if you didn't know, what makes this whole situation unusual is that I've signed an acting contract for Mill Mountain Theatre (www.millmountain.org) in Roanoke beginning February 2008-June 2008. So it's an interesting balancing act trying to figure out if I want to hop into a professional job in communications right now or if I just want to audition for shows while working retail or if I want to get an internship at a magazine. There's lots of choices, lots of opportunities, and lots of options. Right now I'm just trying to take some deep breaths and make the most of the opportunities given to me today! So I'm living at this lake house the rest of June. I'm going home to Nashville Saturday-Tuesday to audition at the Boiler Room Theatre. If all goes well there (and when I say well I mean ridiculously amazing) I'll be moving home later next week. If not I'll be locating a roommate and getting situated in Orlando for atleast another month.
I'm just tring to remember right now that there will come a time where I won't be able to be this random and carefree. I'm just trying to soak up the freedom and thrills of growing up right now. Life couldn't be better.

16 May, 2007

Today is Wednesday May 16th. It’s probably one of the most mixed feelings-filled days of my life. Today I finished my last final exam and my last paper for college. I’m really, truly done with college. Four years of work, 160 hours worth of college credits earned, and it’s all complete. I am officially equipped to go into the field of journalism. I have a bachelor’s of science. I am 22 and I’ve finished 17 years of consecutive school. But this week that should be so momentous, so exciting, so liberating, is also very, very sad. Dr. Falwell, our beloved chancellor, pastor, and leader died yesterday.
When I was a sophomore, Dr. Falwell fell ill and went into the hospital for a while. The campus was in shock and felt caught off guard. No one ever considered that our leader could be controlled by mortality. Sometimes at this great institution, we forget that the leaders, the amazing men and women who have made so many dreams into reality, are just as capable of being gone as anyone else.
Yesterday I had just finished my 11:00 final. It was my last journalism final which was an accomplishment in and of itself. It meant that I was really done with my major. My friends Leslie and Amanda and I went over to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch. We stayed near school because Amanda needed to head back to work in the Theater office after lunch and I needed to go watch a dvd of a live performance of “Kiss Me, Kate” to analyze for a performance critique for my Advanced Musical Theater class. We had just ordered our lunch when I got a call from Josh. The phone was on vibrate in my purse but for some reason I happen to open my purse in that moment. I don’t even know why. I answered it and Josh said, “What’s going on with Jer??” And I said, “What are you talking about?” Then he told me that Dr. Falwell had been found unconscious that morning in his office and that he had been rushed to the hospital. Josh, a former Liberty student, had seen it on CNN at his house in Florida. We then began to watch the story unfold on the big television screen on Fox News at BW3’s. “Jerry Falwell in gravely serious condition.” We saw some men in Liberty polo shirts who were on the phone so Amanda decided to ask them if they knew anything. “We’ve been told that Dr. Falwell passed away, but it hasn’t been confirmed.”
I was in shock.
We headed back to campus and as I walked into the Fine Arts building I got a text message from Josh: Dr. Falwell died. It just broke all over the news.
I had just seen Dr. Falwell 2 weeks before when he sat on the front row and watched a performance of “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” He had just told my friend Brad, who played the leading man, that Brad “ought to do that the rest of his life—that he had a gift.”
How could this man so full of life, so excited about the future, so involved, suddenly be gone?
We found out later that Dr. Falwell had just had breakfast with Dr. Godwin, our Executive Vice-President, at Bob Evans mere hours before he died.
I’ve been connected to a multitude of unexpected tragedies this semester. My professor from Focus on the Family Institute, Dr. Sheryl DeWitt died from cancer in April. My friend Jordan, who I’ve been in 2 shows with at Liberty lost her boyfriend Josiah in a motorcycle accident less than a month ago. The Virginia Tech shooting happened only an hour and a half away from here. My friend Lauren MaCauley’s mother Laurie has been battling cancer of the pancreas all semester. The cancer has so overtaken her body that Lauren moved up her fall wedding to the Friday before last, because she wanted to make sure her mother was a part of her wedding day.
My mom said to me today “I wonder what God wants to teach you through all this.” And I said, “Do you really think this is all about me?” She quickly said “Not all about you. But certainly God wants to teach you something through this, in addition to other people.”
I began to think about the brevity of life. And the enormous thought that for Believers being separate from your body on earth only means that you are with God. And how weighty and huge that is. I’m reminded that we can never get too comfortable here. Or relish too long in our temporal triumphs. But be ever ready for the surprise twist. Life never claimed to be predictable. We need to make choices that reflect our knowledge that life is short. For me, it is easy to be caught up in the excitement of graduating, of getting a professional acting job, of the possibilities of traveling, and romantic future, and growing up, and all the beautiful aspects of life. But the most beautiful, the aspect that we must daily focus on first is that life is all about God. We are meant to bring glory to Him. How we all do that, of course, is different and will be different. But we must live in the knowledge of the brevity of life and the purpose of life—and live accordingly.
So this weekend I’m going to graduate. I’m going to experience it to the fullest. Soaking in all the memories I possibly can. But I’m also going to know and reflect on the fact that in light of eternity that milestone is a small one. We are so blessed to be a part of God’s story—the symphony of the entire universe He holds in the palm of His hand. May we all live each day, in every moment, in every single breath to the fullest. Not only would that undoubtedly make Dr. Falwell proud, I think it makes our Creator proud too.

04 May, 2007

As much as I'm ready to be rid of Lynchburg and Biology and lots of homework...

I'm starting to think I will miss studying. I was just looking at my "Study Sounds" playlist on my itunes. And I suppose I won't need it for awhile. That's a little sad to me...

*a real update on life coming soon.

17 April, 2007

Hope Beyond Here

Tonight I went to the Chamber Singers spring concert. It was nothing short of heavenly. I worshipped more in that hour-long concert than I have in a church gathering in quite some time. In between each song someone in the choir read a verse (or verses) of scripture out loud that pertained to the lyrics in the song. The voices and sounds that resonated through Pate Chapel were more beautiful to my ears than anything I've heard in a very long time. It made me think, just as I was astounded and moved today by the sound of beautiful voices singing and the sound of scripture being read aloud, how much more will I be astounded by the sights and sounds of Heaven. For Believers...let us never grow comfortable here...it's not our home. With so great a loss of life in the past week...how can we not be sober and vigilant and reminded of the brevity of life.

Psalm 130
Out of the depths I call to You, Lord!
Lord, listen to my voice;
let Your ears be attentive to my cry for help.
Lord, if You considered sins,
Lord, who could stand?
But with You there is forgiveness,
so that You may be revered.

I wait for the Lord; I wait,
and put my hope in His word,
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning--
more than watchmen for the morning.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord.
For there is is faithful love with the Lord,
and with Him is redemption in abundance.
And He will redeem Israel from all its sins.

05 March, 2007

Way too busy to sit here and reflect these days. So I've borrowed some reflections I completed while getting paid. I posted this on libertyu.com on Friday. Enjoy. :-)

Does Spring Break really start next week? Granted, the first half of this semester is a week shorter than normal (Spring Break doesn’t fall precisely midway this semester because Graduation is a week later than normal). But really, am I practically halfway through my final semester of college? Where has the time gone?? A lot of the time has gone to studying—which, I understand, is the primary purpose I am here…but I sure hope I don’t look back on my last semester of college and remember little besides trying to decipher Biology jargon or trackdown police officers for quotes for a story for Investigative Reporting. For me the single most lovely and rewarding thing about college has been the friendships made. Hands down. So why is it that my final semester the overachiever is beating the social butterfly in the arm wrestling match in my head? Is this me growing up? Finally becoming legitimately responsible? Or is it just facing the facts—if I don’t buckle down and do this work I will risk not graduating on time and waste tons of my parents money… Maybe a little of both. It’s been hitting me lately that in a couple months my life will radically change. I’m not trying to be overdramatic, I’m just trying to prepare myself. Since I arrived at college in 2003, I have grown acutely accustomed to being surrounded by hoards of peers—people in my stage of life, around my age. Soon, more than likely, I will be transported to a different environment. One where I will have much fewer social options. In other words—the majority of my hundreds of facebook friends will be hundreds of miles away. And Friday night will still come—and I won’t be tied up with 24 credit hours of class—and they won’t be there to hang out. It’s just gonna be weird, that’s all I’m saying. I know in the case of friends that have already graduated and moved on (God bless them and their courage to leave the bubble) one of the biggest adjustments to grown-up life is simply not having many friends their age to hang out with. Now granted, there is something wonderful about jumping back into the real world where there are senior adults, little waddling children, and teenagers (well, maybe I could do without the teenagers.) But I know for a lot of people, that adjustment can breed loneliness. So, is there some way to prepare for that? I dunno. Ok, enough reflection. This week has been busy in preparation for my 12-day getaway. I’m missing 4 days of class so I have had a lot of work-ahead stuff to do. I think I’m pretty on top of things. I just don’t exactly have a moment unplanned n the next 5 days. But I’m ok with that. A lot of times I work better under pressure. The trip to Charlotte last week was a lot of fun. Mel’s family was super hospitable letting me stay with them for a couple days. The audition went well though I don’t feel like it was my 100% best. My mom tells me that I’m consistently critical of my auditions, but I think it’s because only I really know how I did in comparison to my potential. I should hear (or not hear) something back by the end of March. I really have no idea what’s gonna happen. And, I’m ok with that. In other news, my brother-in-law got an acceptance letter in the mail these week from the PhD program at the University of Edinburgh! It’s pretty much his dream school. He likened it to me getting offered a role on Broadway. He and Ashli are very stoked. They’re gonna spend a week in Scotland during Spring Break exploring the city and talking with professors. A cool life indeed. Well, I gotta run…a busy day awaits. Have a great weekend!

17 February, 2007

On Life and Living

I think as my time in college steadiy comes to an end, I am daily becoming more thoughtful about it all. The turning of chapters. The growing up. The honest fact that life changes never reverse.

I ran across this fantastic blog by way of another friend's blog this morning:


This man is 93-years-old and writes regularly. He writes candidly and humanly. Reading about how he feels about coming to the end of his life really reminds me that we are all the same. We may be from different places, been born in different decades, but there is something very unifying about being a part of humanity. When authenticity comes out, so does relatability. Reading his thoughts on life makes me wonder what I will/would reflect on about my life when I am 93. I think the more interesting things I go and do and the more I invest in my family, the happier I will be. I don't want to regret not traveling. I don't want to regret not having that fourth child that I desperately though quietly longed for. I don't want to regret spending more time typing on my computer than investing in the people around me. I don't want to regret not communicating what I am passionate about, and voicing what is right. I pray that we all live fervently. I pray that we live the life we are meant to lead. I pray we live in love and peace and remain ever mindful of the brevity of it all.

12 February, 2007

Step #1 in the process of getting a real theater job is underway. Yesterday one of my dearest friends John, (who is obviously going on to a successful career in photography) took some headshots for me to use. When it comes to professional theater you always show up with at least two things: a resume and a headshot. The first of many auditions for me is happening in just a matter of weeks. I covet your prayers! I am counting on the Lord to open the doors that I'm supposed to walk through. Ah! This time of life is so exciting!

07 February, 2007

gpa's, snow, and 25 years of schooling.

After a long awaited grade change, I finally got my real GPA for last semester...



This is my best gpa yet and I'm very excited.

If you haven't caught on, this is shameless, shameless self-promotion. (Good job Hil!)

By the way, it snowed in the burg last night so we have a beautiful blanket of white....what's not beautiful is that classes aren't cancelled...

An additional side note, I'm writing again for the school paper this semester and so far I have gotten published in both of this semester's editions. I am currently working on a profile of a really nice greek professor named Dr. Croteau. He went to school WITHOUT stopping from the time he was in highschool until he was 30. 30 years old. He never took time off. Can you believe that?

31 January, 2007

I love Jason Robert Brown

I wish normal people in the world would take the time to fall in love with music from musical theater. Here are some amazing lyrics by one of my favorite composers, Jason Robert Brown. These are from a show called "Songs for a New World." I get the pleasure of singing both of these songs this semester.

Opening: The New World

A new world calls across the ocean
A new world calls across the sky
A new world whispers in the shadows
Time to fly, time to fly

MAN 2:
It's about one moment
The moment before it all becomes clear
And in that one moment
You start to believe there's nothing to fear
It's about one second
And just when you're on the verge of success
The sky starts to change
And the wind starts to blow
And you're suddenly a stranger
There's no explaining where you stand
And you didn't know
That you sometimes have to go
‘Round an unexpected bend
And the road will end
In a new world

A new world calls for me to follow
A new world waits for my reply
A new world holds me to a promise
Standing by, standing by

It's about one moment
That moment you think you know where you stand
And in that one moment
The things that you're sure of slip from your hand
And you've got one second
To try to be clear, to try to stand tall
But nothing's the same
And the wind starts to blow
And you're suddenly a stranger
In some completely different land
And you thought you knew
But you didn't have a clue
That the surface sometimes cracks
To reveal the tracks
To a new world

MAN 1:
You have a house in the hills

You have a job on the coast

MAN 2:
You find a lover you're sure you believe in

MAN 1:
You've got a pool in the back

You get to the part of your life

MAN 2:
You hold the ring in your hand

MAN 1:
But then the earthquake hits

And the bank closes in

MAN 2:
Then you realize you didn't know anything

WOMAN 1, WOMAN 2, MAN 1, & MAN 2:
Nobody told you the best way to steer
When the wind starts to blow

MAN 1:
And you're suddenly a stranger

WOMAN 1, WOMAN 2, & MAN 2:
All of a sudden

WOMAN 1, WOMAN 2, MAN 1, & MAN 2:
You life is different than you planned

MAN 1:
And you'll have to stay ‘til you somehow find a way

WOMAN 1, WOMAN 2, MAN 1, & MAN 2:
To be sure of what will be
Then you might be free

A new world crashes down like thunder
A new world charging through the air

WOMAN 1 & MAN 1:
A new world just beyond the mountain

WOMAN 1, WOMAN 2, & MAN 1:
Waiting there, waiting there

WOMAN 1, WOMAN 2, MAN 1, & MAN 2:
A new world shattering the silence
There's a new world I'm afraid to see
A new world louder every moment
Come to me, come to me!

I'd Give It All for You
MAN 2:
I had a house while you were gone
The week after you left me
I found a couple acres
Near Severna Park
I had a house while you were gone
A house with silver shutters
And a driveway laid in marble
And thousands of rooms to fill
And miles of space to fly
And I tried to believe it,
It was better without you
I was safer alone

No, I'd give it all for you
I'd give it all for you by my side once more
Oh, I'd give it all for you
I'd give it all to hold you again
To feel I'm completed
To know there and then
That all that I needed
Was you to fight the fear
And now you're here...

I took a trip while I was gone
I cashed in all my savings
And bought an El Dorado
Drove to Tennessee
I took a trip while I was gone
I drove across the country
And I stopped at lots of diners
And stared at a million stars
And thought I could touch the sky
And I tried to believe it,
It was better without you
I was finally free

No, I'd give it all for you
I'd give it all for you by my side once more
Oh, I'd give it all for you
I'd give it ‘cause the mountains I climb
Get higher and higher
I'm running from time
And walking through fire
And dreams just don't come true
But now there's you...

MAN 2:
God knows it's easy to hide,
Easy to hide from the things that you feel
And harder to blindly trust
What you can't understand

God knows it's easy to run,
Easy to run from the people you love
And harder to stand and fight
For the things you believe

MAN 2 & WOMAN 1:
Nothing about us was perfect or clear
But when paradise calls me
I'd rather be here
There's something between us
That nobody else needs to see

There were oceans to cross

MAN 2:
There were mountains to conquer

And I stood on the shore

MAN 2:
And I stood on the cliff

MAN 2 & WOMAN 1:
And the second before I jumped
I knew where I needed to be

Oh, I gave it all for you
I gave it all for you by my side once more
Oh, I gave it all for you
I gave it ‘cause it's harder to touch
The things that are dearer
I love you too much
To trust something clearer
I know I fell too far
But here you are...

15 January, 2007

On Authenticity and Love

So, this is the part where I have something cool and/or thought-provoking to share but I have to preface it by admitting something slightly embarrassing.

I get email devotions.

Having said that, the one that I got this morning had alot to do with some thoughts that have been going through my head since the end of the semester and throughout Christmas break. Here is what I received in my email:

The apostle Paul wrote, "Though I give my body to be burned but have not love, it profits me nothing." He says that our sacrifices have no spiritual significance if they're not motivated by love.
Let me offer a modern paraphrase:
"Though I keep a spotless house and though I'm faithful in church attendance and though I work in the church nursery every other Sunday and though I lead a Bible study or teach a Sunday school class and though I home school my kids, and all that that requires, if I do it without love, I am nothing. And if I make enormous sacrifices for my family but do it out of a sense of obligation or a desire to impress rather than love, it's worth nothing."
Do you want your life to count for something? Ask God to fill you with His love.

This thought lined right up with my thoughts, not because I have been doing all these acts of service for the Lord out of a sense of obligation, or even that I've been doing all that much (my car is clean. my room is not. :), but something that I've been mulling over since I've been home can be summed up in one word: authenticity.

For some people I think being authentic is very, very challenging. Perhaps it's because they have problems with trusting others, they've been hurt or disappointed after they've been real with someone. For others, they are too insecure and are worried about being accepted by others, so they wear a mask of inauthenticity. For others maybe they are just shallow...I don't know.

But something that I've found to be integral in my close relationships is one thing: being real. I was talking with a friend the other day and she was saying that one of my closest friendships is pretty unlikely. And I said, "why? because i'm a girl and he's a guy and it's always been platonic?" And she said, "No, because you're a preacher's daughter who hasn't necessarily made huge mistakes in life, and he's--well, definitely not."
After thinking about it, I realized that my most valued friendships aren't necessarily the ones with people who have it "all together." My most valued relationships are with people who don't give a crap. They're just real. And I love that. Of course, there are characteristics in friends that I look for and am drawn towards. I love talented people. I love passionate people. I love hilarious people. But above alllll of that, I want to surround myself with people who are authentic. Real. Incapable of being fake just to impress someone or to keep a status quo.

I know people who have "spiritual" personas. They lead Bible studies, frequent church services, carry their Bibles. But the thing is, there are people they refuse to love. Refuse to minister to. Refuse to even be around. How is this love? Is love conditional? I just don't see how you can be authentically used by God but refuse to love some people. Based on choices they've made or whatever.

So, something that I'm striving to do, especially this last semester, is to be authentic and to love. Love the girls who've betrayed me and lied to me. Love the boys who struggle with porn or homosexuality. Love people and be real with them.

When it comes down to it...as Christians...isn't that the basics, anyway?

11 January, 2007

The never ending story

"Nothing Better"
(by the Postal Service)

Will someone please call a surgeon
Who can crack my ribs and repair this broken heart
That you're deserting for better company?
I can't accept that it's over...
I will block the door like a goalie tending the net
In the third quarter of a tied-game rivalry
So just say how to make it right
And i swear i'll do my best to comply
Tell me am i right to think that there could be nothing better
Than making you my bride and slowly growing old together

I feel I must interject here you're getting carried away feeling sorry for yourself
With these revisions and gaps in history
So let me help you remember.
I've made charts and graphs that should finally make it clear.
I've prepared a lecture on why i have to leave
So please back away and let me go
I can't my darling i love you so...Oh, oh
Tell me am i right to think that there could be nothing better
Than making you my bride and slowly growing old together
Don't you feed me lines about some idealistic future
Your heart won't heal right if you keep tearing out the sutures
I admit that i have made mistakes and i swear
I'll never wrong you again
You've got a lure i can't deny,
But you've had your chance so say goodbye
Say goodbye

10 January, 2007


To all the Broadway Producers Who Read My Blog:

I have a fantastic idea for you.

Turn this --------------->
into a musical.
I won't even demand royalties.

04 January, 2007

Falling Back in Love with the Nash

If you weren't ready to move to Nashville just yet, this may change your mind.

Nashville is cool.

Cool enough to live in.

Where have I been?