Friday, November 30, 2007

My Playlist

My current musical playlist. Go check these songs out… the lyrics at (unless otherwise noted). These songs are resonating with me for various reasons. Either the lyrics are reflecting different events in my life or the songs are just so amazing, musically and lyrically, that I can’t stop listening to them.

1. Stay – Sugarland (It’s just vocals and a guitar. It will blow you away.)
2. You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This – Toby Keith
3. Winner at a Losing Game – Rascal Flatts
4. Take Me There – Rascal Flatts
5. All I Want for Christmas – Love Actually Soundtrack (this won’t be on
6. Kerosene – Miranda Lambert
7. Lost In This Moment – Big and Rich
8. A Long Trip Alone – Dierks Bentley
9. Nothin’ Better to Do – LeAnn Rimes
10. Our Song – Taylor Swift
11. Teardrops on My Guitar – Taylor Swift
12. Everybody – Keith Urban
13. Ready, Set, Don’t Go – Billy Ray Cyrus, feat. Miley Cyrus (this is a beautiful father/daughter song!)
14. International Harvester – Craig Morgan (this is just a fun, good ole’ boy song)
15. Easy to Ignore – Sixpence None the Richer (this isn’t on, either)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving weekend is now come and gone. Dinner was ok. I cooked for the family again this year. Time spent with my family is always stressful for me. But, I somehow survived yet another family outing. How, I don't know, but I did.

After dinner was the annual movie outing. My sister and I decided to go see August Rush. Can I just say, for the official record, how much I love Jonathan Rhys Meyers?? He's definately on my freebie list.

He's so pretty. Plus, he did all of his own singing in the movie. Which was amazing. He also plays Henry VIII in the Showtime series "The Tudors". And, he's also an Irish boy. Really, I haven't found much at all that I can put in the negative column.

After the movie, I headed out to Living Faith in Sherman, for what turned into be the great Under Grace/You Tube Thanksgiving Extravaganza 2007. It was quite the event. A little awkward, as Skoog and I were the only ones not part of a touchy-feely couple. But it was a good night. Watched an ridiculous amount of You Tube videos, including two on some Russian singer that was horrifying, yet, I couldn't not watch.
Friday and Sunday was spent working at home. I finally got the living room painting finished, outside of the trim along the top that I am not tall enough to reach. That will have to wait for me to either get a stepladder, or a really tall helper.
Saturday, Ella Marie was a "court child" at the 2007 Beaux Arts Ball. She looked beautiful!!! She really was the princess of the night. I'm so proud of my baby girl!!!
Well, life now gets to speed up exponentially for the next few weeks. It will be interesting to work for a church during the Christmas season!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Rhythm of Life

One of the seminars I attended while at the National Youth Worker’s Convention earlier this month was entitled “The Rhythm of Life”. The speaker, Mike King of Youth Front, brought forth a rather radical thought for most Christians: the idea of enjoying life and being human.

Most Christians today prescribe to the philosophy that they must strive to be more like Christ: divine, holy, pure, etc., etc. The hardest thing with this, however, is that most, if not all, will fall short of this goal because it is impossible to attain.

People are also suffering burn out from too much “bad stress”, he said: unreasonable job descriptions, lack of boundaries, unrealistic measurements of success, idealism, lack of support structures, identity confusion, conflicts, lack of friends, busyness, and neglect of the soul.

This isn’t what God wanted for us, according to Mike. He proposed an idea that some traditional Christians would consider a bit unorthodox and radical: that while Jesus came to show us how to be holy, Jesus was also fully human and showed us how to be fully human as well.

It is great to be holy and living for Christ. But, God created this earth for us to enjoy our life on it as well. He asked us the question: What makes you fully alive??

Before we answered this question, he gave us a few suggestions on how to be fully human, following the examples that Jesus set for us. The one that hit home for me is this: To be fully human, we must be rich in experiences of encounters with God and others. This is one that I see a lot of Christians failing in. While it is great to surround yourself with Christian friends, it is the experiences with those outside of your comfort zone that really enrich your life. I have seen this in my own life lately. While my church friends are great, I have richer, greater, and in some cases, more “Christian” experiences with my non-church friends. I often see Christians that are sheltered and have very few experiences outside of the church, and I marvel at the experiences and people that they are missing out on. I know several people that are like this. They are so wrapped up in the church and church activities that I often wonder about how full their life really is. Don’t misread what I am saying here at all. I think it is great to be active in church activities. I am very active in church activities myself. I direct camps, serve on the Regional Youth Committee, and many other activities which I love and am very passionate doing. However, I also have many other non-church activities that I am involved in as well. I think “having a life outside of church” is what makes me even better in my church activities. Spending time watching tv, listening to secular music, going to movies, hanging out at various places, etc., etc., these are all things that then spill over into my Christian life on a regular basis. One concrete example of this is how I used my love for Superman to create my camp theme for this past summer, The Gospel According to Superman. From the feedback I have received about my camp theme, it has affected many, campers and staff alike.

The seminar speaker then revisited the question: What makes you fully alive? If I had to answer that question today, it would be several things:
1. The kids. The kids are a huge part of my life. I love every minute with them. I can’t even imagine my life now without them. It’s great to have that unconditional love that they give. Last night was a great example of this. When I got to the Kurmann household, Clayton, my 3-year-old, had fallen asleep on the couch. When he woke up, his parents had both left for the evening. He was a little upset at first, because Mommy wasn’t there, but when he realized that his Randa was there, he curled up on my lap, laid his head on my chest and ended up falling back asleep on me. The love and trust there is incredible to me.
2. Camp. Yes, it’s a church activity. I have always loved camp at LSBC. My friends on the Regional Youth Committee always tease me about how even now, in November, I already have a camp theme picked out for next summer. In addition to my one week of jr. high camp, I am now co-directing a worship camp with Mr. Robert Reynolds, leading a jr. high weekend camp in September and a college-age camp in May. Camp is one of my greatest passions in life.
3. Movies and television. Yes, there are a lot of people out there that are “above” watching tv. They are too busy, or “have better things to do than watch some mindless television show”. For me, however, it’s a way to unwind at the end of the day, a way to escape the issues and problems that I struggle with on a daily basis. There’s nothing that I like better on a lazy afternoon than popping in a tv series on dvd and just getting away from the world for a while. If that makes me a bad person because I like losing myself in a good movie, then so be it.
4. Writing. I love to write. I don’t do much creative writing anymore it seems, but I love when I can. I love journalistic writing as well, sometimes even more so than creative writing.

What makes you fully human? What is your Rhythm of Life?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Bachelor

Monday night was the finale of the Bachelor. In a shocking twist, he sent both girls home. No one got the final rose, no one got a diamond engagement ring.

I'm still in complete shock over it. Never in the history of the show has the Bachelor rejected both women. There have been times when he hasn't proposed, but to reject all the women outright is definately a new twist. Last night, the two finalists, Deanna and Jenni, got to confront Brad and ask the questions that we all wanted to know the answers to. And boy, did they grill him! At one point, I almost felt bad for him, but he kind of deserved it for leading them on the way he did. I was totally behind Deanna the whole time she was talking to him....and I agree with her, it's so confusing to tell a girl that "she's perfect and that he could see himself spending the rest of his life with her...but I have to tell you goodbye". What a wanker.

I loved Jenni and Deanna's comments at the end.....Jenni really nailed it on the head. "This is why I don't wear my heart on my sleeve or put myself out there, because I just get crushed in the end." AMEN SISTER!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sense and Sensibility

Two posts in one day. I have been doing laundry all day at my sister’s house, and don’t have much else to do here but watch movies, write blog posts, ponder life and wait for laundry to wash and dry.

I am currently watching Sense and Sensibility, starring Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Greg Wise and Alan Rickman (and a young, unknown named Hugh Laurie). It is one of my favorite Jane Austen novels, second only to Pride and Prejudice. The movie won a Golden Globe, and does an excellent job of remaining quite faithful to the book, thanks to Emma Thompson rewriting the screenplay herself.

There are several themes in this novel (and movie) that stand out to me, and each time I watch the movie or read the novel, I always get something different from it. This time around, there are several themes/questions that I am pondering as of late:

1. Is it better to be reserved with emotions, like Elinor, or be blatantly obvious with them, like Marianne, in regards to feelings toward the opposite sex? This theme also came up briefly in Pride and Prejudice, when Charlotte Lucas told Elizabeth Bennett that it is better to show more affection than you feel to secure the man in question as quickly as possible before he is lost to someone else. Elizabeth Bennett disagreed with this theory. I believe in the past, I would say I have been more like Elinor, very reserved with my feelings and emotions. And I wonder if that hasn’t been part of my problems with guys in the past, that I have been too reserved. For me, it’s been a defense mechanism. But I also wonder if it’s not what is preventing me from really having the relationship I long to have.

2. Marianne meets and instantly falls in love with John Willoughby. He courts her for several months, and then without any notice, leaves and goes to London. When she goes to London with Mrs. Jennings and the rest of the party later, and runs into him at a party, he acts very indifferent toward her. She writes to him to ask what is going on, and his cold response tells her that he wishes to apologize if he was too free with his emotions and conveyed sentiments that he did not intent to convey; in other words, he’s sorry if he led her on, but he never meant to make her think that he liked her as anything other than a friend. She is heartbroken, and ends up going for a walk in the rain, catching an unnamed illness and almost dying because of it. My sister and I now use the phrase “I’ve been Willoughby-ed” in reference to guys that lead someone on and then decide that “you are just friends” or “you are reading too much into it” or do anything Willoughby-esque. I am tired of being Willoughby-ed. I am tired of guys that make you think one thing, just to find out later you were wrong. In Willoughby’s case in the novel, however, he really did love Marianne, but due to circumstances, some of his own doing and some beyond his control, he cannot marry her, and instead marries for money. She can at least take solace in the idea that it’s not because she’s not good enough. That is something that I am also tired of. I’m tired of not being (fill in the blank)-enough. Tall enough, smart enough, pretty enough, funny enough, etc. etc.

3. The end of the movie does give one hope, however. Elinor has fallen in love with Edward Ferrars, and finds out from her friend Lucy Steele that Edward and Lucy have been secretly engaged for the last five years. She thinks that it is over forever, especially when she hears that “Miss Steele and Mr. Ferrars were married over the weekend.” Turns out, Lucy runs away with Edward’s brother, Robert, which frees Edward up to ask Elinor to marry him. Edward had been in love with Elinor since he met her, but refused to act on it due to his honor and duty to his previous engagement. So, even though her heart had been broken, she finds out that he loved her all this time and she gets her happy ever after ending. It gives me hope that even though I think that men are wankers now, that one day I may get my happy ever after ending as well. Jane Austen wrote fiction, yes, but not fairy tales. The endings were actually endings that could happen in “real life”.

So…what do I take from this? Many things. But also many more questions have been prompted. Thanks, Jane.

Observations from BRU

As many of you may know, I work a few hours a week at Babies R Us for extra cash. Ireland was expensive, and I am still trying to pay for it. It’s whittling down slowly, but until I make more of a dent in it, I am slaving away in a crap job for crap pay.

Working there, however, I have learned a few things. People can be really stupid sometimes. Like this whole Bumbo recall. Bumbo had to recall their infant seats because stupid parents were leaving their kids unattended and sitting on kitchen counters or tables and the infants were wiggling out of them (they do not have a safety restraint system) and falling off the counter or table or whatnot. One child had actually fractured his skull in the fall. I really don’t see how it is Bumbo’s fault. We had one at the daycare, and I would have never left a child in that seat unattended. It’s not that the seat was faulty; it’s stupid parents not paying attention to their kids!

One of the greatest challenges in working there, however, is watching all of the happy married (and usually now pregnant) couples coming in. Not gonna lie, as I get older, it is getting to be one of the hardest things about the job. When I moved into my apartment in the park, that became one of the very few things I don’t like about living in the area. When I’m feeling down or depressed, watching the happy little couples strolling through the park, holding hand, pushing baby prams, having picnics, etc., just makes me want to sit on my front porch with a BB gun and shoot at them whenever they come near enough.

At the store, it’s even worse. Everyone is so freaking happy and glowing and crap that it makes me want to vomit. But what is the worst is some of the couples that do come in. There are these ladies that are so scary looking that they didn’t just get smacked by the ugly stick, they fell out of the tree and hit every branch on the way down. For example, this one person that came in the other day. From the neck up, this person resembled the late great Rich Mullins, only about 200 pounds heavier and with thinning hair in the front and in the back. From the neck down, this person was several pounds overweight, obese even. My coworker Katie and I had trouble even figuring out whether or not this person was a man or a woman. However, to my shock and dismay, this person was wearing a wedding ring set and carrying a purse (so we decided on female). But the depressing part of this was the realization that not only was she married, but someone had slept with her in order to produce a child.

And yet, I am still single and alone.

Today at church, Pastor Jeff talked about the parable of the vineyard workers (Matthew 20) and how envy can destroy your heart and cause lots of problems in your life. As I was thinking about that today, I can see how envy can be part of my problem. I want that happy life. I want to get married, have children and grow old with someone. How can I not but be envious when I see someone else living the life I so desperately want? I see people dating, getting married and starting families everywhere I go, and they make it seem so easy. It’s hard, especially for someone like me, not to be envious of something like that.

However, although I can admit to the envy part, I wonder if there isn’t something more behind it. I don’t think it’s all just envy. However, I don’t know what the other part of it is. If anyone has any insight into what it might be, let me know, so I can destroy it and move on with my life already!

I have a busy week ahead. Only a three day work week, which is good, yet bad in the sense that I have to get a week’s work done in just three days. I actually went in to work for a couple of hours this morning before hitting the 10:45 service at CHBC.

Friday, November 16, 2007

New Baby

Welcome to the world Conner David!!!!!

Conner was born Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 10 a.m. He weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces, and was 20 inches long. Baby, Mom and the rest of the family are doing fantastic!

I headed up to the hospital to visit and bring presents. Nathan and Scott were, of course, running around like the village idiots. In between runnings, however, Nathan kept demanding to hold the baby. He did a pretty good job....unfortunately, he doesn't always understand that when he done holding the baby, he needs to let someone know, rather than just letting go. This is why someone sits with him while he holds the baby. It's a learning curve for him, I'm sure. The last time he was around a baby was when Scott was born, and he was just 2 at the time.

Julie is looking great (if you are reading this: yes you are...don't argue!), if a bit tired. But then again, I hear labor does that to you. Not that I'd know from experience or anything, but that's the word on the street. And of course, when I mean streets, I mean those little fake streets they have there at the zoo. (10 bucks if you can name the quote).

For baby gifts, I decided on a new, bigger and more stylish diaper bag than the one she had for Scott, a couple of panda bear binkys (of course) and John Deere baby toys (another given). I think Scott will be playing with the tractor keys more than anyone...he was very excited about them.

I told Julie that I think I like having kids this way. Someone else does all the work, and I just get the good stuff, like playing and cuddling and all that jazz.

And, speaking of babies...........congratulations to Amanda and Toby!!!!!!! Lucas will be a big brother in July!!! It's all very exciting! Hopefully, Lucas will have updated his blog by then.....

Other than that, just trying to get ready for Thanksgiving!! So much to do, so little time to do it. Dierks Bentley and Jack Ingram are in town tonight. I may try to head over there if I can find someone to go with sucks when most of your friends are married with kids, or just don't like country enough to go to a concert with you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Returning to Blogging

Wow, according to my sign-in page, my last post was July 8. Several months have past, and it's been an interesting/crazy few months at that.


* Went to Ireland, Scotland and England for two weeks. Unbelievable trip. Trip highlights to come in future post, for sure. Until then..Ireland was amazing. Words cannot express how much I loved Ireland. The food was unbelievable. I am now ordering it online and having it shipped to my house, that's how much I loved it! England was also amazing. I think I was born in the wrong country.

* Got a new job! Yay for me! I am now the Director of Communications at St. John's Lutheran Church. Yeah, I know...Lutherans. It sure is different than being in a Baptist Church. But, so far, it's been good. More to come on that as well, I'm sure.

* Love life is all screwed up now. Men are selfish, stupid wankers that should burn in the deepest depths of hell. I have learned two very important things these last few months.

1 - There is a reason I don't date much. You only get screwed over in the end. It's not worth it anymore. I'm tired of the games and the crap. I'm tired of them being spineless and not talking about anything. I'm tired of being led on and then told that what you were thinking and feeling was all wrong. I'm just tired of it all. I am really wondering why I ever even tried in the first place.

2 - I am destined to die alone, only to be found three weeks later, half-eaten by wild dogs.

* Getting ready for a busy holiday season. Ella Marie is going to be in the Beaux Arts Ball on the 24th, and sometime between now and Thanksgiving, another Goebel baby will have been born. Plus, in addition to all the normal holiday craziness, I am making Thanksgiving dinner again this year, which will be fun, and I'm working at a church, so this will be our "super bowl".

* The kids are cracking me up more than anything lately. Ella Marie is starting to think boys are cute. She told me the other day how much she likes the Jonas Brothers (a singing group on the Disney Channel), and apparently she likes a little boy on Barrett's soccer team. She is growing up so fast!! Barrett and Clayton are being goofy as usual. Barrett is now hit the tech age and is emailing all the time now. His emails crack me up! Nathan and Scott are getting excited for the new baby. Scott believes that they will name him "Dan Zanes", which is his favorite children's singer. I told him I don't see that happening, but he insists. Scott also told me that he'd marry me. Nathan then informed me that I am supposed to marry the person I live with, like his mommy is married to his daddy. I informed him that I didn't live with anyone, and his response is, "well, then you just have to go outside and find someone to marry and tell them that you are getting married and then you get married." FINALLY!! Now I know what I've been doing wrong all these years!!!

* Last weekend, I went to the National Youth Workers Convention in St. Louis. It was such a great weekend, for several reasons. I learned a lot, as always, and had a great time, as always. But, it was also nice to hang out with Bob for the weekend. I stayed at his place because it turns out that his new apartment is right across the street from the Edward Jones Dome, where the convention was held. On the downside, I twisted my ankle, and I think I did some damage to my foot as well, because it's not getting much better.

* I had sort of a life-changing epiphany that weekend as well. At the convention, I made an appointment with one of the convention pastors, Dr. Gerali. I've known Dr. Gerali for a while now, as he used to be a professor at Judson College and we have a mutual friend. Anyway, Dr. Gerali is usually at the conventions, so each year, I always try to schedule in a Dr. Gerali mental health check appointment. This year was very crucial for that appointment, as my life has been a virtual roller-coaster for the last few months: lost a job, got a new job, went to the UK, met a boy, learned that men are wankers, and then my friend Bob's dad passed away. It was very sudden and unexpected. So, in a sense, I was dealing with all of my own crap, and trying to be strong and be a friend for Bob. Dr. Gerali made me see a few things:
1 - I can't always handle everything myself. It's ok to ask for help. That's something I have a really hard time doing.
2 - I have a right to my feelings and emotions, and I shouldn't be afraid to express them. That's something else I have a really hard time doing. I'm not one to "talk things out" and let people know what's going on in my head. So, I guess I need to start doing that more.
3 - I don't get enough rest. Not in the physical sense (although I don't get enough there, either), but in the emotional and spiritual sense. I am always so concerned about other's feelings, that I don't have time to deal with my own. My assignment from him was to go to the prayer chapel, turn off the cell phone, close my eyes, and just rest, and allow myself to cry if I need to. And I'm supposed to do that often. Which is really hard for me, because if you know me at all, you know I don't cry much. And when I'm pulled in so many directions, it's easy to then "lose it" if I don't take enough time for myself.

Well, that's the last few months in a nutshell. Christmas is coming up, then New Years and Singles Awareness Day. It's going to be a busy few months!