Rinse and Repeat

Enjoy this excerpt from my newest blog published online by The Bundle Magazine about my physical touch love language:

Some things you just know: the sky is up, chicken minis taste like heaven and everyone sounds better in the shower.

One night, my roommate Brooke was about to make the trek to our community bathroom for her shower. We had just been playing our ukuleles together and she asked me to serenade her as she showered. Apparently, I looked like a travel-sized Spotify playlist.

I asked her if anyone was in the bathroom, and when she said “no,” I propped the laptop up on the sink with the ukulele chords, held up my small Kala uke and sang “Reflections” by MisterWives and “Riptide” by Vance Joy to her while she showered. Of course, another girl from our hall walked in, so I clumsily explained why I was standing by the hand dryer with a Mac and a mini guitar. She laughed and encouraged me to continue.

As a previous choir nerd (shout out to the alto section), it makes sense that I would sing in the shower.

But I’ll be honest that it’s not just the shower – I sing everywhere. When I get ready in the morning, on the way to class and in the car. And through the joys of living in a community bathroom, I’ve realized that it’s not only singers who let loose when the suds start.

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A Cat, Not a Cat Lady

Enjoy this excerpt from my newest blog published online by The Bundle Magazine about my physical touch love language:

I don’t really like cats.

This is probably due to a combination of being scratched by one of my grandmother’s kittens as a kid, and never owning one because of my dad’s allergy.

However, the more time that passes, the more I’m sure I may not be a cat person, but I have become a cat myself.

To understand this analogy, picture an affectionate cat. One that rubs up against your legs, sits on your keyboard at the most inopportune times and loves to be held.

Before you get the wrong idea, I don’t cuddle up against people’s legs, but I did cuddle up next to my church small group leader during our “Tarzan” movie night. I don’t sit on keyboards, but I did sit on my roommate’s lap while she finished her calculus homework. The last one I will concede to: I do love to be held.

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My Roommate’s Big Fat Mexican Surgery

Enjoy this excerpt from my newest blog published online by The Bundle Magazine about my roommate and her unexpected surgery in Queretaro, Mexico:

My roommate Brooke and I are pretty dorky. We watch sunsets on rooftops, have “roommate dates” at Chipotle and jam out to “No Matter Where You Are” by Us the Duo. So when her dad organized a mission trip to Mexico and invited me along, we excitedly labeled it “roommates’ first trip.”

The first few days were magical. We sang Christmas carols in Spanish, guzzled down Mexican coke and shared the gospel with elementary school kids.

About halfway through the week, Brooke’s stomach started to hurt. I went into diagnosis-mode and credited it to a lack of sleep or bad tacos. But her stomach ache persisted.

She stayed in our motel while the rest of the team performed other concerts and serenaded other church contacts. When we finished our route, we got a phone call: Brooke’s pain escalated. Our missionary friend tried calling the family doctor but it was almost midnight – no one was picking up.

Her dad told me the situation and asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital.

“Yes,” I said. No hesitation.

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Choir. Bingo!

It wasn’t time for Bingo yet.

The blazing Los Angeles summer sun scorched me as I sat on the hot pavement with my decade-old Martin & Co. six string in my lap. Several retirement-age men and women at the homeless shelter milled around – some half-heartedly playing cards and some sitting quietly in their wheelchair.

As worship leader for our church’s summer mission trip, I pulled out my pick and started to strum a little bit as my all-girls team sat around me in a half-circle. Once I found the key, I started to sing, opening with everyone’s favorite Christian worship song: “Amazing Grace” by Phil Wickham. By the time I got to the chorus, a small crowd had gathered. Soon, the 70-year-olds joined the 17-year-olds.

 

My team sang softly along with me and so did the older folks, humming or just listening with content smiles plastered to their faces. As I continued, their smiles brightened and their eyes never moved from us. At the end of a few songs, they clapped and encouraged me to continue.

But I ended the set and packed away my guitar satisfied. It was time for Bingo.

I started my seven-year choir journey in 6th grade. Looking back, I experienced priceless personal growth being surrounded by 50 girls in uncomfortable black-beaded gowns. Despite the four-hour rehearsals, almost passing out in our Winter concert and those pokey dresses, I wouldn’t trade a second of it.

You can’t delete one experience without deleting a little part of yourself.

My pre-choir self would’ve been paralyzed by the thought of leading worship in front of people. Any music-related fear you could have, I had: fear of singing alone, fear of a crowd, fear of people listening.

But after one too many auditions, in-front-of-class singing tests and solos at contest, all these fears have been replaced simply with a fundamental joy to make music. Even more importantly, I’ve learned how to share it.

While I still sing shamelessly in the shower and to serenade my roommate Brooke, I didn’t join a choir at Baylor. But I do recognize this: Choir molded me so I could fearlessly share the talents God has given me.

And I plan on doing just that – in any place, anytime, anywhere that puts a sparkle in someone’s eye, joy in their heart and a smile on their face.    

Especially if it gets people excited for Bingo.

Everyone needs a David

It’s hard to remember to eat.

This may sound alarming but let me premise with this: I don’t have an eating disorder. If anything, I have an adventure disorder that causes me to get caught up in the activities of life and forget to eat lunch.

My roommate Brooke and I are the same way, which is why we have a food-accountability system set up now. Our conversations go a little like this:

“Have you eaten today?”

“No. Have you?”

“Nope.”

And in goes the microwavable Easy Mac.

One Sunday I was coming back to the dorm from Highland Baptist Church. My friend and I didn’t eat out afterward and with a thin college kid budget, you can’t have both Common Grounds coffee and lunch out. So we chose coffee.

Which left me without an actual meal that day. So as I walked up to my room, I went through the polite “Hey, how are you? Good” routine with various dorm students milling around in the lobby.

And then came the question from my friend David Foo: “Have you eaten?”

“No …” and I proceeded to offer him my weak excuse of choosing caffeine over meaningful calories. So he marched into his room and brought out a box full of a college kid staple: ramen.

“Choose.”

So I picked out the standard chicken noodle ramen and he did it all: heated up the water, put the mix in, stirred in the noodles, set out a plate, put my spoon on a napkin. He even pulled out a chair for me to sit in and played my little Kala ukulele while I ate.

The next week, he did the same for Brooke.

In college, friendships matter. As iron sharpens iron, the people surrounding us have a profound impact on our lives. There is an old Spanish proverb: Show me who your friends are, and I’ll show you who you are. In all the little ways, and the big ones, Brooke and I have been blessed by and learned about community in college and we unanimously agree on this:

Everyone needs a David.

The longest joke in the world

This is the longest joke in the world.

No, really.

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 11.54.36 PMOdds are (56%), you won’t finish it.

And no, I won’t tell you the punch line.

Long, typed out words on a piece of paper, or even a screen, are going out the window. In the same way that we can’t sit down and muster up enough concentration to finish a long joke, online content often can’t retain our short attention spans.

If it’s not over in 4 seconds, it’s not worth our time. After all, it fills our hearts with joy when the “Skip Ad” button pops up on YouTube to rescue us from wasting 30 seconds of our lives.

Washington Post just released an article revealing that 59% of links shared haven’t been clicked on. So if half of internet-perusers are mindlessly sharing who-knows-what article their aunt’s cousin’s friend sent them a link to, how do we stand out amid the content overload? How do we compete with the high-speed, get-it-done mindset?

Why even write this blog?

For starters, I’m writing for

11%ers

(Thanks for existing – you make content-crafters like me smile).

These are the 11% of people (myself not included) who actually finished the longest joke in the world … and enjoyed it.

So for the other 89%,  this blog is intentionally aimed at you – to draw you in, and keep you coming back for more.

Contact me here if it worked.