Thursday, September 30, 2010

When the Spaghetti Comes Rolling Down

Spaghetti. It has ALWAYS, and I mean always been one of my favorite foods. So no doubt about it, when I heard we were having it for dinner at my sorority house last night, I was 110% there. Who knew I would soon find significance and depth in lifeless noodles and meat sauce? I had just finished eating my truckload of food and talking to some friends when out of nowhere I saw and felt NOODLES and MEAT SAUCE rolling down my body.

I am NOT kidding you. A friend had dropped an entire plate of spaghetti down my shirt. Imagine your horrifying scences from a Lizzy McGuire, Boy Meets World, Amanda Bynes, Amelia Bedelia, LUCY RICARDO movie/episode/book and that was me. I think I even pulled a noodle out of my tennis shoe. Yet, these events are everyday life for me, so I laughed it off and said, "IF THIS IS ANY INDICATION OF THE REST OF MY NIGHT, I NEED TO LEAVE NOW."

I should have hit the ground running. Oh, how I LOVE irony.

After dinner, we had practice just like every other Wednesday, Yet, this would be a different practice for good old me. Long story short, my feet came out from underneath me, and I hit a brick floor head-first. The entire room went silent, and when I sat up, people were untying my shoes. It is never a comforting thought when people think you're incapable of taking off your own shoes. I tried to shake it off, but tears were flowing down my face from my throbbing head. I went upstairs and laid on an ice-pack, but soon they told me I needed to go to the doctor as a precaution. So, Maidee and I got in Chelsie's car, and she drove us to the ER. It is a really overwhelming moment in life when you look down on a sheet of paper and see your name with "head injury" beside it.

After the infamous ER wait, me trying to crack corny jokes with the workers, getting taken through two different rooms, discussing my last lady cycle with a male nurse, touching my nose with my fingers multiple times,taking a urine sample that of course the MALE nurse had to come receive, and seeing the actual doctor, I was told that they were going to do a CAT-scan to check for any possible complications like swelling or a brain leak.

Swelling or leaking in the brain. Those are extremely large words to swallow at nineteen.

My mind began to race. I began to think of every possible head injury I had ever heard about, and all I kept thinking was that this could not be the case for me. I was only nineteen. I had to master Accounting 201, convice 900 girls why they should be a DG, successfully park in between two cars without backing up a thousand times, and worry about missing the latest Glee episode. Not a brain leak. I know it seems overdramatic, but I am an honest worry-wart. Then a nurse came in with a wheelchair, and I had to leave my friends behind. As I was slowly pushed towards the next room, anxiety permeated my mind. I had never been to a hospital without my mother there (she did however drive like a bat out of Hades and got there right as I was dismissed), never had to have my head checked, and never heard the possibility of "brain leak." When we arrived in the room, I saw a screen that I had seen a thousand times in Grey's Anatomy and similiar TV shows, but this machine wasn't for a fictional character. It was for me. That's another horse pill to swallow. However, the system was down, and the guy had to leave me for a brief second before the scan began. As I sat in the room alone facing a screen with a diagram of a brain that would soon show my own, I felt like my "spaghetti had come rolling down." My once compact, undisturbed, mixed together, and neat plate-of-spaghetti life had now come rolling down. It was messy. It was chaotic. The noodles were separated from the sauce. I didn't have my friends, I didn't have my strong-as-a-mule mother, and I didn't have the answers either. I only had one place to turn when my spaghetti came rolling down. With tears in my eyes as I was waiting for the man to come back, I started praying out loud. Although I desperately hoped the man did not come back to see me talking out loud to the empty room and think I was much worse off than I was and send me to a mental instituition, I did not care. I was talking to the only One who could reassemble my spaghetti. I was talking to the only One who could comfort me when things were messy. I was talking to the only One who can give hope when your plate comes rolling down.

The CAT-scan results were minor. I had a slight concussion, and the only consequence I received was a very sore head/neck and a week without physical activity. My plate was neatly reassembled. Yet, this would not have been possible without two amazing friends, a God-send of a mother, and faith in One a lot larger than me.

So although my incident is minor compared to a BILLION of other people's unfortunate days, I learned a lesson from it all, and the lesson came from the beginning of my crazy-Lucy day- the spaghetti. When your perfect plate of spaghetti comes unexpectedly rolling down, where will you turn? When no one else around you can help you and you are alone, how will you make sense of the mess? When your noodles and meatballs are scrambled, where will you find strength and peace?

"Cast all your anxieties on Him, for He cares for you."- 1 Peter 5:7

Let me rephrase this for you: "Give me, your dropped plate. Give me every slimy noodle and every enormous meatball. Don't worry. I will make your mess into something neat again.I will reassemble your spaghetti."

So, the next time your spaghetti comes rolling down, remember there is always someone waiting to take your mess, give you hope, and reassemble every noodle.

Monday, September 20, 2010


So, today my blog is a little different than usual. On most days, I have a ridiculous, embarrassing story that takes up the majority of my blog. No fears, I still have a Lucy moment, but today I am being selfish with my blog and just pouring out my thoughts lately. However, before I get there- here's Lucy for you. Friday night, I was at the KA House (if you read Capsized, you're probably wondering why I even go back to the house- I am asking myself the same question as I type this) and I was once again, minding my own business. Then, long story short, a French exchange student comes up to me out of nowhere, tells me my jeans are too dark for my shirt, proceeds to tell me that my name is the name of an extremely hot car, grabs my hands, I have panic attack, and finishes his comedy act with "Don't be shy, leave your friends" and starts pulling me away. I quickly excused myself. That was seriously real life. No exaggerations. One day when I get to those gates, I am going to ask God the significance in my little French friend. Now, there's Lucy- now to my blog.
See-Saws. That's what is on my mind lately. Although these are generally associated with chidhood, I feel like they possess such a deeper representation in our lives. Given, we learned the basic foundation of its lesson when we were younger. One person has to come down before the other person can go up, and at times, you're going to be the one on the bottom.

Throughout our lives, we are constantly on a see-saw. We are as high as the clouds without a worry in the world, and suddenly, we are jerked back down so quickly that sometimes we don't land on our feet. Yet, that is the lesson and challenge in life- making the most out of your see-saw experience. Celebrating the highs and learning how to push yourself back off the ground when you're on the bottom. Just as a see-saw is rarely seen being balanced by two people without moving up and down, our lives do not promise perfect balance. No, they are full of high and lows, and life is what happens in between.

Furthermore, friendship is a see-saw. You should surround yourself with people that are willing to see-saw back down to the ground to lift you back up. That is the true definition of friendship. Likewise, you must do this in return. Friendship is constantly lifting the other person higher than yourself and lifting them back to their feet when they're on the bottom. On the other hand, when you're on the bottoom end of the see-saw, you have to rejoice for the friend who's experiencing the high. You have to love even when you're at your lowest and even when it's not you that's experiencing the tip-top of the "see-saw."

Finally, and what I feel like I am dealing with lately, is letting God control the see-saw called life. He doesn't always explain why you're on the bottom, but He does say, "Hey, hold tight, you'll be back on top soon. Trust me, and I can teach you something while you're down here." He doesn't promise that there will be perfect balance and peace in your life, but He does say "I have a plan for your life. Every high and every low- I'm right there with you- and there's a reason for your ups and downs." He doesn't promise that you'll always be on the top, but he does say "See the people who are on the bottom. They need my love. I came down so that you could go up. Therefore, go and lift them up as well."

So, in life, the see-saw is a continous motion. It is your choice who you put on the see-saw with you, if you make the most of the bottom, and who you let guide you even when there's no balance.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Where's the Enthusiasm?

So, school is DEFINITELY back in full swing. I survived my first Accounting test- although I have yet to see the fateful grade so crossed fingers would be appreciated- and have made it through a week of a speech, a paper, a quiz, and three tests along with a date party and meetings almost every day. Also, I am now on Rebel Radio on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8, so this has become a new addition to the crazy agenda. Yet, I love it and would not have it any other way. And I am ever so thankful for this crazy hectic agenda because it keeps me moving and walking off all of the amazing food that I consume on a daily basis at the Deeg. So thank you crazy life. However, the inspiration for my post goes back a few weeks.

Public speaking. Did you know it is actually the number one phobia in the United States? (Thank you psychology class.) I, however, have never had a problem with chatter, so I felt fully confident when we received our brief presentation assignment. We just had to talk in between a minute and a half totwo minutes and give a speech of self-introduction. I had this in the bag.
I figured out my clever introduction, I practiced it until I had it perfectly memorized and perfectly timed, I even had a visual aid for my speech. What could possibly be missing? I walked into class confident and ready to give my speech. After all, I was prepared. When it was my turn, I went to the front of the class, delivered my speech with minimal errors, and felt good about the grade I would receive.
Well, if you know me even the slightest bit, you know I can be obsessive about grades. Yes, this has gotten much better since I came to college and realized I am Elmer Fudd among some Einsteins and Sir Isaac Newtons, but it for the most part has still remained to a certain degree. Therefore, when I got my speech grade back I was horrified and infuriated that I got a 33 out of a 35. This is a little embarrassing to admit considering that if you do the math, this is 94%, but it was what the teacher wrote on my review that upset me.
"Smile, just a bit?"
I had points deducted from my speech because apparently, I did not smile and lacked enthusiasm. I have never thought of myself as an unenthusiastic person or definitely someone who won't smile. However, apparently to my teacher I am incapable of both. My first reaction was outrage. I delivered a great speech. I was 100% prepared. I mentioned Paula Dean and Rachel Ray and made corny jokes, and the class laughed. I even brought a visual aid. And the teacher has the audacity to tell me I DIDN'T SMILE. Like I said, I can be rather obsessive with grades. I would show her. I would go in the next time with eyebrows to the ceiling and a smile as big as the creepy cat in Alice and Wonderland and be the EXACT replica of June Cleaver.
After I calmed down, I began to think that maybe I didn't smile as much as I could have. Maybe I got so lost in trying to give the perfect presentation that I forgot the simple task of smiling. I was focusing on the words and not the delivery. I wanted it to be perfect but was distracted by the process of getting to perfection.
This reminds me of the two sisters Martha and Mary. Martha is a lot like me and my speech. She was scrambling around like a chicken-with-her-head-cut-off trying to have the PERFECT dinner and welcoming for Jesus. She was 100% prepared. She had it all planned out. She had the perfect delivery and felt confident about her work. Yet, Martha forgot to smile.
Yet, Mary knew how to smie. Mary was not concerned with the preparation, the delivery, memorizing all the right words to say, or being perfect, She simply just smiled. She was captivated by Jesus and was radiating in His every word. Mary had ENTHUSIASM.
I feel like we are Martha in our daily lives. We want everything to be so perfect, and we try so hard. Yet,we forget the most important aspect- ENTHUSIASM. We get caught in the preparation and forget to SMILE. We try so hard in life, and we try so hard in our daily walk. Yet, we fall so short. We cease to realize our preparations are not needed. We are called to do one thing. Show the enthusiasm of Christ through our lives. So quit worrying about your silly speech. Quit planning the perfect dinner like Martha. Quit planning what you will do tomorrow and trying to make everything fit into your 24-hour day.
Sit back, smile, and remember your enthusiasm.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"A City on a Hill"

I really don't even know how to begin.
Empathy is impossible.
Sympathy is endless.
Faith is essential.

I believe that God sends people in your life for several different reasons. Some are sent to teach you. Some are sent to guide you. Some are sent to serve you. Some are sent to forgive you. Some are sent to love you, and some are sent to INSPIRE you.

Mr. Tom Risher was sent to inspire.

Although I did not know Mr. Tom on a deep, personal level and did not see him on a daily basis, the times that I did see Mr. Tom, a radiant smile was permanently etched into his face. You could not bump into him and expect a brief encounter. No, Mr. Tom wanted to know how you were doing, how was your family, how was school, and anything else that finds its way into a caring and compassionate conversation. Mr. Tom genuinely cared for others, and his extraordinarily friendly manner and love for others was contagious and yet again, INSPIRING.

For those of you that know Mr. Tom and his story the past few years, you know that he is a true inspiration. He fought when the odds were against him and conquered in the midst of storms.

Yet, the main thing that made Mr. Tom a true inspiration was his unwavering faith. He would not hesitate a minute to tell you the blessings that God had bestowed in his life, and Mr. Tom gave God the glory in all things. Even when he faced trials, when most people would turn away and grow weary, Mr. Tom clung to God with a passion and a strength that can only be admired and wished for in most lives. My favorite place to see Mr. Tom was where, to me, he was in his perfect element. Standing outside of the church doors, he was there every Sunday with that beautiful, inspiring, smile waiting to greet you and tell you how glad he was to see you. Mr. Tom's faith was INSPIRATION.

The last time I saw Mr. Tom was a week or two before I came back to Oxford. I was at Newks with my parents, and when we went to find a table, we saw Mr. Tom eating and asked him to join us. Instantly, he came and sat down with his smile on his face and ready to talk. That conversation with Mr. Tom confirms my belief that Tom Risher was sent to the world to inspire. We were there for over an hour, and Mr. Tom talked the majority of the time about what God had done in his life, how thankful and blessed he was, how amazing God was, and one of the last things he shared was how excited he was about his newest form of service through ministry. If that does not shout inspiration to you, I do not know how else you could even fathom to define it.

This was a man who had faced a major trial, yet it did not even phase him due to his faith. No matter what came his way, he was busting at the seams to tell everyone what God had done in his life, constantly thanked God for everything in his life, talked about how amazing God was, and he could not wait to SERVE him. If we all had the passion, love, and drive that Mr. Tom Risher had for Christ and serving Him, our world would be a radically different place.

Mr. Tom Risher was "a city on a hill," and his light could not be hidden. His light touched and inspired numerous lives, and all that had the privilege to meet him will forever have part of his light with them.

The beauty of death in Christ and the Christian faith is perfectly stated in Mercy Me's song, and that's how I will end this tribute to an inspirational man.

"In Christ, there are no good-byes, and in Christ, there are no ends. So, I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have to see you again."

I know that tonight Mr. Tom is standing in Heaven with that magical smile on his face, and I know that one day when I walk into Heaven, I will be greeted by that magical smile again.
Until then Mr. Tom, keep smiling. I love you.