Thursday, February 12, 2009

Spin Cycle

I have started taking a spin class. With Joe. At 6am. Which means I have to get up when he gets up. At 5.30am. Now, while I'm not a morning person, and as I type I am falling asleep on the keyboard for lack of coffee, I had a bit of an epiphany this morning. One of the guys in class asked me as I was headed out the door, "so you like spin class?" I thought for a moment and then said, "I guess I'm sadistic, yes. I like spin class." Part of the reason is that the teacher is great. He talks smack throughout most of the class, and the students throw it right back. There's a dentist that has been at the gym I think as long as Joe and I have (2 years or so..) and he's always been cordial to me when he sees me, despite my lack of 'morning person-ness'. The past 2 classes, he's been on the bike next to me and has been playing around with what to nickname me. He had been calling me Early Valentines Day, and Roses since I told them Joe had already gotten me roses, not for Valentines day, just because he loves me. (ok now, group 'awwwwww' and then turn and puke...) But today, towards the end of class, he started calling me 'the First Lady of Spin Class' as in, 'come on, First Lady, crank it up one' and 'it's ok now, if the First Lady wants to rest, she can rest.' It made me smile. So today, as I was getting ready to come into work, I found myself looking in the mirror differently. My weight may not be where I'd like it to be, but I'm getting into shape. And I had been babying my leg ever since the incident with the mountain...(I was skiing along just fine and then the mountain had to go and get in the way. Stupid mountain. We're still not on speaking terms.) But I can feel it getting stronger. The triathlon is in September, and I am considering running a half marathon with some friends in October. Those were things I had wanted to do before "THE INCIDENT", but never did. Time for excuses is over. Time for waiting is over. Spin class is only 2 days a week, but I will get up and I will go to it, and the First Lady will ride!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Home, Strange Home

So Steve has a way of reminding me where I'm from... in a good way. As you've read below (because I'm sure you've read all my posts, right?? You have, haven't you?? Come on, humor me...) I've been reading Prodigal God by Tim Keller. I'm in the section where the concept of 'home' really hits home.... Mr. Keller's point in the section I'm reading right now is that no matter what we think of as 'home', our memories can never be achieved, and even were we to go back in time to the actual occurrence of those memories, even that would be a shadow of the feeling. He posits this because as humans, we were made for fellowship with God, and our home was the Garden of Eden. Or more importantly, where God was. He poses the thought that we will never again feel that satisfying 'home' feeling until we are with God. Now, while I wholeheartedly agree with this thesis, Steve's facebook post to me this morning had me feeling more 'home' than I've felt in a long time. What was this miraculous post you ask? Steeler Ladies.
Now, I already was loving the original Beyonce song, although, since the teenager above me loves it as well and has a penchant for listening to it over and over again at 7am every morning, it's begun to wear on my nerves a bit. Today I got payback. I downloaded the Steel City version onto both of the laptops (Joe is not as thrilled that it's on his, as he's not a Steeler Lady), uploaded it my Ipod, and it is playing on seamless rotation as I type. Now, granted. I am a Steelers fan. A huge fan. I have a playlist of Steelers songs, including 3 versions of the polka. Some of the songs I have on the playlist on the laptop didn't even make it to the Ipod because they're from the Kordell era. I almost cut some songs from the 2005 Superbowl run because they refer to Plaxico. I don't like Plaxico. Now, I know that the song will eventually get old after listening to this latest version of Steeler Pride all day ,and I do mean all day. I took the Ipod to the office with me. (There was a brief amount of time where I listened to Rush. He's soothing. We've established this.) And I did listen to the Polamalu song a bit, some Paint it Black and Back in Black, but yes, mostly Steeler Ladies. Anywho, yes. It will eventually get old, but there is something hugely empowering about listening to this song and being able to parallel park in the city all while car dancing. (come on, you do it too, don't deny it. I SO know you do it!) The second verse is nice, yes, recounting all the players, and feeling cool because I know which players they're talking about. But strangely enough, its the first verse that's brought me back to myself. I'm not a typical lady. I certainly don't fit the mold of the fashonista NYC ladies. I'm from the midwest. I don't mind that it's 3 degrees. I'll wear another hoodie (preferably my big, comfy OSU one) I learned to yell at the refs from my dad. And while he doesn't have a Bradshaw jersey that I could swipe, I wear my Ward jersey(s) knowing one day they'll be there for my sweet little princess. But just because I'm from the midwest and have my 3 terrible towels, I can still be a city gal. I can parallel park pretty good, maybe even better than my dad. (I knew we'd turned a corner when the last time the folks were up to visit, dad declined the opportunity to drive, and let Joey chauffeur him around.) I can ride the subway, get in and out of a cab gracefully and run in 3 inch heels. Yet, just because God has moved me to New Jersey, I do not cease to be a midwest gal. I will sing along as Myron 'yoi's' his way through the polka. I will dance around the house to Steeler Ladies through Sunday, and beyond in the case of a win... because "i was raised this way, i know every play,...look at me now with my Terrible Towel." And I will dance the salsa the best I can, clap in latin rhythm at church and attempt the Wu Tang (as long as the New City Kids are doing it with me...) Just because my location of home has changed doesn't mean that all the things that went into me have to cease. "What we were plus what we are makes us Pittsburgh" This is the sum of me. Dancing in my jersey and enjoying every minute of it. Switchfoot, Style and Steeler Nation.... this is who I am.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I know, you're saying... um... Sarah, look at the calendar. It's January 15. You've overshot by a couple of weeks. But we did the actual Christmas dates down in Florida and then I went to Ohio (and Detroit, I have the CUTEST new little cousin Julia, plus got to see the ADORABLE Levi who is getting so big!) to do Christmas with my fam there, so last night, Joe and I finally had our Christmas together. It was wonderful. Pics will be posted on face book soon, along with video of the Speeder and his stocking. And this morning when we woke up to yet another FREEZING day here in Joisey, it was SNOWING!! So, yeah, pretty good Christmas for me. But, alas, because the rest of the world is unaware of the fact that yesterday was Christmas for me, Joe and I both had to go to work today. So as I was driving him to the train, muttering under my breath about all the folks who suddenly forget how to drive in weather, I found myself saying the following to Joe. (this is proceeded by me letting a driver from a side street make a left turn in front of me, with no acknowledgement of my kind driving.) Me: "You're welcome!. See that's the problem I have with all the drivers around here. I figure because I'm a kind driver, people will be kind to me, but that just doesn't happen." Which suddenly made a connection to a book I've been reading. My boss got it for me for Christmas, but Steve tried to get it for me too (Steve, side note, forget if I told you, but I should have taken that copy, the flight attendant on the flight home was asking about it and wrote down the title... wished I had it to give to her....) Anywho, one of Tim Keller's points is that the parable of the prodigal son was told to prick the Pharisees in the group who are represented by the older brother in the story. Because he'd lived a 'good' life, he expected to get all these blessings from his father. The pharisees of old lived much the same way. They kept to the law not because it was "life to their bones" but because they figured if they did all the right things, they would get all the right blessings from God. Not so much. And that's the way I've lived. I've been "nice and good" all my life (go ahead, Steve, break into 'into the woods' songs now...) expecting that God will bless me with all the things I want, no matter if they're the best He has for me. I've been good, and I want it so give it to me now. Yeah, I'm not a princess or anything. But even after reading it, and knowing it applied to me, it took crazy Jersey drivers to bring the point home to me. So thank God for Jersey drivers, and it's my prayer that I would love Him for HIM not for the things He can give me. That's my prayer for you too, this new year (well, newish... I know, I'm a few weeks behind...) That you would find a new depth of love for the Lord, that you would not be able to grasp how wide, how deep His love is for you and you would never tire of it. With the tough times we're facing ahead, He's all that matters.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Speaking the Unspoken

I wrote a blog in my head the other day... it was called "The Fear,Failure and the Fear of Failure." I often blog in my head. This makes it difficult for you to read them because unfortunately they haven't perfected the technology of mental blogging. Although this is probably good. If everything I thought immediately went into blog form for all to read, I would have been committed 4 years ago! So yes... until then and out of the friendly confines of a mental institution, I will actually blog on my computer rather than in my head.
The weekend was rough, had a bit of a breakdown Saturday night. Thanks to Jennn for listening to me rant and rave for a bit, I was able to relax for a bit today. Joe took the day off, because I had been planning to leave today on a trip to Vermont with a friend, but it fell through at the last moment. After a nice long bath (Lush products... MMMMM!) I said the following words aloud to Joe: "I don't think I'm an actor." This may come as a shock to most of you who have known me for any period of time. Do I think I may still act? Of course! Shoestring is moving in some really great directions, and I still find so much joy in being on a stage. But watching Natalie pursue her passion in the city has made me re-evaluate my own passions. I don't really like the build up to being the center of attention (yes Steve, I told you, SHOCKING!) The being on stage, the actual acting, that I enjoy. But I like seeing it come together from backstage, being the "man behind the curtain" in Oz if you will. If you asked me what my passions are, I love cooking. I love parties. I love cooking for parties. I love throwing parties, I love creating parties. I love shopping for parties. Things that drain the passion straight from my veins? Riding the PATH into the city for an audition. Reading copy or doing a monologue for the 12th time KNOWING I'm not what they're looking for. Showing up for yet ANOTHER Japanese project. The fakeness that goes into the business.
So where does this leave me? 2 of my drama team guys are good enough that one day they may be accepting an Oscar and thanking me. (I hope that doesn't sound as cocky as I feel it does!) Some things are around the corner that may make Memoirs take off. We're FINALLY opening our new building at church. YAY! My own stage! I may go to film school just so I can learn how to properly film things. I have finally found a formula that keeps 10 small children occupied and enjoying themselves. I would like to put that into a book. I enjoy writing. I have a laptop and can go anywhere I like and just sit and type.
So this is where I am. I have felt like a failure for some time now because I haven't been in a feature film and haven't won an Oscar myself yet. But that may not be for me. I'm not saying that I may not change the world by being an actor, but I have long felt that I was not to be an actor in a typical sense. I don't want to brag, but I am a good actor. I know that. But I also know I am not a typical actor. I mean, I'm not a typical person. None of us are really. We have been called to be peculiar people right? Here's to oddity.
On a small side note, if I could be so bold as to ask for prayer, I've finally made a Dr's appointment with a highly reccommended Dr. I was told by her office when I made the appointment that it would be a half an hour appointment with her. This woman is a Christian who is extremely good at what she does and has been reccommended to me by 3 of my friends. We're going to be doing a complete physical as well as exploring any other options as to why I haven't been able to shake this funk. Pray we'll find the best course of action and I'll see some differences in my life. Thanks for sharing my crazy life!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Joy Along the Journey

So here we are nearly 2 months into my experiment, and some things are indeed better. My eating hasn't changed as much as I'd hoped, tv habits have changed some, but not as much as they should. I have introduced some omega-3 foods into my diet, based on some things I've read, and sure enough, I am noticing a more positive outlook. I am seeing the difference. Joe asked me this morning to remind him of my goal. (we've been sitting down for a filling breakfast together lately, that has been good...) I've finally distilled the goal down to "to give Joe the best me I can give him." He smiled and said he would be praying for that. I took a bit of a shortcut for my 2 books this month since I'm down to the wire for the month... I am in the middle of 3 other books, all very close to the finish, but I read a novel earlier in the month and today finally finished one of the 88 page books Steve got us all for Christmas, "In Our Joy." The book really distills the Christian life pretty well, and at first I was thinking, "yeah yeah, I know all this already." But when I took time to quiet my heart and listen to what God had to speak to me through it, got some real important pieces out of it... I am a fan of distilling words... don't put in tons of extra fluff that's going to confuse me, just give me your point... so here are some points I got out of it..
1: Don't think of striving to get His favor. Think of striving with the favor of His help. 2: Forgiveness of sins and justification are at the bottom of our striving. We do not strive for them. We strive because we have them. 3: The mark of a true follower of Jesus is not yet perfection but rather an unrelenting battle of sin.
I am realizing that I am in many ways a perfectionist. Usually in many of the wrong areas. But my need for perfection is not so God would love me and accept me. That has already happened. I must strive to perfect my love for Him, resting in the knowledge that even that will not be achieved while I am here on earth. Lord move my motivation to you!
On a side note, I started my 'service small group' last night. Cooking classes and dinner thrown in with a short lesson from the Bible. I had 4 teenage girls sign up and a co-worker who is desperate to learn how to cook. (He recently moved in to an apartment with another intern guy so he's worried he'll starve...) and another co-worker whom I wasn't expecting but am excited to get the joy of knowing. Please pray over Trudy, Taylor, Danitra, Chaiylah (Kay-la), Daija (day-ja) and Will. That they may find our home a safe haven and that I would be able to love them as the Lord loves them. Pray also that the Lord comes through with a bigger house soon... including Joe, last night, we squeezed 8 folks around our kitchen table and a couple of tv trays.
Things I learned last night.... Trudy's grandma died before she was born. Most of the other girls have some sort of continuation of family, also ironic that they seemed to respond to the Grandma question singularly. Not sure how many have father's in the picture, let alone a grandma on dad's side... Also, up until recently Chaiylah lived with an aunt. She lived there because her mother had perished in a house fire. Trudy is a ball of energy held back by a huge smile. Her self-proclaimed schedule is sleeping and eating. Anything I mentioned eating she had a sauce or topping that she had to eat it with. An african-american girl, she loves adobo, usually a hispanic seasoning. She is bold, joyful and says 'salt' like a cross between 'soy' and 'salt'-- 'soilit'. Chaiylah is a beautiful spirit, well spoken and willing to participate in anything. She went out to Colorado on a mission trip this year and was touched by a mom from the church's neighborhood who told her that due to a death in the family, she had left the church, but thanks to Chaiyah and the team, she would be coming back to church. She was my last drop off of the night, so I got to hear how injustice towards people bothers her. She told me of reading about Jamaica, where there are so many beautiful resorts but if you go out of the gates, you can be robbed just because someone sees you with something they don't have so they take it. We talked about the devastation in Haiti, and how there was no one to help them. Her heart breaks for those in pain. I'll get photos later and will give you updates on the others later... Just pray. I have a feeling they may be part of my lifeline back to me....

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Seven years and 1 week ago I came to this city hoping to make it big. Seven years and two days ago I celebrated my 24th birthday with my brother, my friend Rachel and my 'sort of' boyfriend (soon to be husband) Joe. I marked the day by going to the city, walking through the stores in the basement of the Trade Center with Joe while Steve and Rachel took the elevator to the top to see the amazing view. Seven years ago today, God kept me through one of the hardest days this country has ever endured. Seven years ago today God provided a way home from NYC even though I had no idea even how to get back across the water to Jersey. Seven years ago today I was in the palm of God's hand. Though seven years later now, so much has changed, I am still in the palm of God's hand. I have been planning to write more about my journey, but today is not the day. Today is the day simply to remember that He is God, I am not, and despite my crazy world, it is still His world and He is still in control. Pray for the families that still ache, the cities that are healing and the salvation of the nations. (thanks for the thoughts Steve...)

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Good, The Bad and the Very Ugly

I've gone through nearly 2 weeks of my 12 week adventure. There were definately some highlights. I stuck to my eating plan for a week and finally go to reward myself with a new lunchbox. Therefore I've been taking my lunch with me to work more this week. I went to the big, nice shoprite downtown to get groceries so I actually had choices rather than the same-olds I get at Food Basics. That has livened up my diet a bit this week (veggie burgers anyone?) And then there was the weekend out at Flemington visiting the fam. Missy is in from across the pond, Caylee and Lys got baptized at their church, which we got to see, and Speedy got to play with his new cousins, Murphy the baby pug and Oliver the frenchbulldog. There was the (minorly) bad, though too. I knew we would be having cake, so I did indulge in a small piece, and when everyone was roasting marshmallows, I had 2 instead of 10 like I usually would. So even though that's technically "bad" insofar as my food intake is concerned, I'm learning to moderate. In fact, had I wrote this post on Monday as I'd planned, the title would have been "everything in moderation". But then this week came the very ugly. All week I've just felt on the edge, headed for a breakdown, and last night it came. We had planned to film some pieces for a skit they are doing on Sunday, 6 shots total, 3 of them 20 second face shots of nothing but the subject looking at the camera. The other 3 shots were 45 second vignettes that required no sound, and will eventually be turned into black and white. I wanted to shoot before rehearsal, but due to life groups, had to shoot after at 10. They ended up not showing up til 10.15 and we didn't start shooting til near 10.45. But all the while they're getting things ready, I'm trying to think things through. I have 2 munchkins who need to get home right away once they're done and I don't have a guy I need for my third shot. I finally excuse myself to go outside and cry. One of my leaders came out because she knew I was close to crashing, and she just sat next to me as I cried. We finally started talking, and she said "Don't let this get you discouraged. The problem is deeper than this." Which it was. I'm used to the craziness at my church. We plan major productions in 2 weeks wih no sleep. We're working on the set right up until the doors open (which is usually late). But that's not me. I lived in a rodeo hall in Texas for a month running the ATF show til we could do it in our sleep. By the time we got to the end of the tour, we could set up the whole thing in 8 hours. I'm used to a different kind of excellence, thus I feel like I don't fit here. My leader kept saying, "this is where you belong. This is your home." And I kept sobbing "then why don't I fit here?" Of course, one of my little guys chose last night to finally bring me the Narnia Song from Switchfoot:
I've got my memories, always inside of me, but I can't go back, back to how it was. I believe you now, I've come too far, no I can't go back to how it was. Created for a place I've never known. This is home. Now I'm finally where I belong. Where I belong. Yeah this is home. I've been searching for a place of my own now I've found that maybe this is home. Yeah this is home.
Relief over misery. I've seen the enemy. And I won't go back, back to how it was. And I've got my heart set on what happens next, I've got my eyes wide it's not over yet. We're miracles, and we're not alone. Yeah this is home, now I'm finally where I belong, where I belong. Yeah this is home, I've been searching for a place of my own, now I've found that maybe this is home. Yeah this is home.
And now after all my searching after all my questions, I'm gonna call it home. I've got a brand new mindset. I can finally see the sunset. I'm gonnna call it home.
Whoa, this is home. Now I'm finally where I belong, where I belong. Yeah this is home. I've been searching for a place of my own, now I've found that maybe this is home. This is home. Now I know. Yeah this is home.
I've come too far. And I won't go back, yeah this is home.

I think that's the root of what these 12 weeks is about. I desperatly want to find "home". It's not a place, it's not a house. It's an intangible feeling that I know I belong. Maybe that's why I haven't been myself for the last few years. I've seen the enemy here tightening his hold on everything around me and I've not found where I can feel "home". So I haven't had a good place to fight back from. So I've rolled over and let him win. So as you follow me through these next 10 weeks, I know there have been comments of support for which I am so greatful, I just need more of that. Please. If you read my blog. No matter where you are (i've looked at my site feed...where ARE you people?!? It said India for someone....) please pray that I can find home first within myself, that I will make my heart a home worthy of the Lord, and that He will bless us with a home.