Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ways I know I'm getting older

1. I really enjoy talk radio.  Not the juicy gossipy stuff but the BBC news stuff.  On the way to my sister's house in New York I listened to talk radio for 2 hours straight.

2. My gray hair.  I have a significant amount of gray hair and the little boy I babysit asks me on a regular basis, "Bekah, since you have gray hair are you older than Grandma?"

3. I'm starting to care about politics and I crave watching the news.  

4. I like to get up and get my day started at a decent hour (note: decent doesn't mean 7 AM early).  In middle school and high school I thought there was nothing productive you could ever due before 11 AM on a Saturday.  Now I feel unproductive if I sleep in past 9.

5. Not only do I not know how to use advancing technology very well, I really have no desire to.  I feel like the next generation knows how to use my cell phone better than I do.  I actually had a dream last night that my future employer told me I was "out of date" and unqualified for my job because I don't know how to use twitter. I shutter at the thought of "proficient in twitter" going on a resume in 5 years.

6. I can say things like "ten years ago.." and "my generation..." to middle schoolers and under.

7. I look at children and say things like, "If I only had your energy..."

When did these changes happen?  When did I gradually start changing my perspective on things?  I used to look at adults and say, "You don't play with toys?  Your life must be boring!"  Now I love getting older.  Life just gets richer and richer.  With more pain and trials comes more joy and life.  Bring it on gray hair!  oh wait...     

Monday, February 20, 2012

Skiing...not so much

     This past weekend I got to go to Asheville, NC for a ski retreat.  Well, I guess it was technically a ski retreat but for me it was, minus the skiing and a retreat with great friends.  Why don't I ski you might ask?  Great question. Of course I have a story and a rational reason for my actions or inactions like I always do.

      Well travel in your mind with me to the West Point ski slop Christmas of 2010.  My Colorado blooded brother-in-law really wanted to go skiing for the day as well as other members of my family even though the West Point ski slope is just a mere innuendo of real skiing in Colorado. I have never been skiing since most members for my family have returned from youth ski trips with injuries.  Since I am so accident prone why would I ever go voluntarily do something where I am guaranteed to fall?  On a normal day that's walking up the stairs for me.  But, I have always been adventurous so I'm not sure why I picked skiing not to try.  I love anything on the water and heights but for some reason sticking fiberglass to bottom of my feet and flying down a mountain praying I have the control enough to not hit a tree or a person is just not appealing.

     Okay so back to my story as I remember it.  My brother-in-law said he would teach me to ski since he is an amazing skier.  However, I should have known that if someone is awesome at something they normally don't make the best teachers.  So I get pulled up the bunny huge slope and my brother-in-law (who I love I might add) mumbled something to me about just pointing my skis downhill and going.  Micah, I'm not sure how you remember this but I said something like, "Are you sure? Okay," and off I went without any real instruction.  I'm sure my lack of instruction was also due partly to my listening skills but that wouldn't make for a good story. So down, down, down I went.
    Thinking back to watching the winter olympics I followed what I have seen and tucked my poles and bent my knees not thinking about basic physics and gravity.  While looking like a pro I was yelling frantically, "HELP HELP HELP! MOVE! I CAN'T STOP! HELP!"  Then realizing that no one could possible help me I picked the best place to break my leg and crashed.  Okay so I didn't break my leg but I sure thought I was going to break something.  I'm sure you have picked up through my dramatic voice that this was a traumatic experience which I wish not to repeat for my safety and yours.  Trust me when I say you do not need me on the slopes. Count it as my public service to the skiing community that I abstain.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Stirring My Affections

      Longtime no blog.  Once again I will blame it on my lack of pictures.  I have a pathological fear of my last semester as a student at Clemson not being documented by pictures.  I can't even remember what I had for breakfast an hour ago forget what I did last weekend.  Alas, I will continue to try to share my life with my family and friends even in the absence of pictures.

     I want to share a little about how my semester is going.  It has already been a month and everything is off running at full speed. (except my Relaxation and Meditation class...)  In the midst of everything God is teaching me to pursue His Joy.  At conference, one of the things Pastor Matt Chandler asked is, "What things stir your affections for God?" Chiefly we rest in the message of the cross.  We pursue the Creator over the Created.  But I never realized that even though that is true he still wants us to enjoy the created so that it will push us more to the Creator.  I think this would be a great thing for everyone to ask themselves so that we will live our life with more joy in the Creator through the created.

So here are a few things that stir my affections for the Lord which I'm sure are different than the things on your list.  Mock me if you will.  I have no shame in my dorkiness.

1. Planet Earth.  You might think the monotone voice is enough to bore you to sleep but o contraire mon ami it is absolutely amazing to see God's creation for hours upon hours in places that have never before been seen by the human eye.

2. Old People. Yep I said it.  I love seeing someone that has lived such a long life and is like a walking story book.  I just see wisdom based on their experiences oozing out and I just want to sit on a park bench and glean their wisdom for hours. There are few things more encouraging to me than to see an 80 year old following the Lord daily.
                             I love you Nana and Papa!

3. Learning about the human body.

4. Exercise.  I love exercising my body and knowing that God created it for us to take care of it.  He even created endorphins to release while we are exercising so we just feel better! I know exercise feels good to my 21 year old body and in 20 more years I might not have the same sentiments, but let me enjoy it while I can.  I have to be one of those wise old people eventually right? 

5. Cultures.  It is a constant reminder to me that truth is concrete but culture is relative.  God wants us to grow from contact with other cultures so we can get a more full picture of who he is.  

6. Traveling and seeing new place. 

7. Organizing my things.  This may seem weird but I get so much joy out of things having a place and looking pretty and put together.  It reminds me that God has provided for me and he has called me to steward all that he has given me.  

8. Fresh Vegetables. 

9. Coffee Shops with "character." duh I'm a college kid with a touch of hipster.  Just a touch don't go crazy.  

10. Change. I love change of any kind.  It can be putting my clothes in a different place or things I can't control like the seasons.  Change revitalizes me by giving me hope that I am not always going to be stuck in the same patterns but that God does change me and he is changing the world.   

So those are just a few things on my list.  I hope you will sit down a make a list yourself and make sure what you wrote down is a part of your life so that we all will have greater affections for Jesus.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I don't know what to call this post...

Yes, my lack of blogging reflects the absence of any embarrassing moments, no traveling, back to school, and well just a slower pace of life.  This is probably my favorite time of the semester when classes start but the workload isn't bad so you have so much hangout time.  My weekends are so flexible because I don't have to schedule around study sessions. Ah Bliss.  If only it would stay like this.

I think I'm lingering on this slower pace a little longer than I ought.  Maybe it was missing my first assignment in one of my classes that cued me in?...We shouldn't have homework this soon right?

I also haven't blogged a lot because my camera is no longer.  Let's be real, you don't want to read, you want to look at pictures. My generation doesn't like to read.  Why did we even learn to read with all this technology we have?

Well I'll shoot you one better.  Here is a hilarious video from Campus Outreach National Conference that I went to over New Years.  With 5,000 of my closest friends it was one of the highlights break.

Go HERE to watch it.  Enjoy laughing at other people's expense.

More about conference:
This sermon by Matt Bradner changed the way I think about God.  That is a HUGE statement when you've been a church kid your whole life.  Don't you feel like you fight everything that you know you're not supposed to do with a "No! Don't do that!"  And does it work?  Normally not.  At least it doesn't really get your heart excited about God.  I so often think, wow, there is another thing I can't do as a Christian.  Well this sermon is about God being a God of Yes not a God of No.  Please listen to it.  It will rock your mind.  If you don't believe in God I also encourage you to listen to it because it may give you a different perspective on God that you haven't thought about before.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Just travelin', travelin, travelin...travelin' through

       Since my parents moved a few years ago, Christmas break for me is now a graceful ballet of travel arrangements.  Well...maybe not so graceful...maybe chaos, but it adds a little spice to my holiday hot cocoa.

My journey began in North Carolina for Christmas along with family.  Activities included being silly with my bestest cousin ever, Lolo, rock, paper, scissors, walks in the rain, time with family, and lots of eating...

These Dr.Seuss onesie pjs are probably the best Christmas gift I have received in a long time.  Some of you may not realize how much I love Dr. Suess.  In high school we were asked to write a huge research paper on an American hero. Guess who I thought deserved my attention and research?

My sweet cousin Lolo

North Carolina also meant spending time with Team Foxworth from California: my sister Jenn, her husband Russell, their beautiful daughter Hannah. (pictured below)

To all of you that don't have nieces or nephews yet, just so you know your family time will change dramatically.  Now we seven adults (and often times more) are completely content following a one-year old around arcades, parks, or any age appropriate event with silly grins on our faces looking like paparazzi.  

Here are my precious, god-fearing grandparents who do not need these wheelchairs which makes this picture so priceless.  

After NC I was off to Chattanooga for Campus Outreach National Conference. Which was so amazing I could talk for hours about it and if in some weird way that sounds good to you, just call me and I would love to tell you all I learned.  

The travels were not yet over after TN.  I jumped in a car with my parents and booked it to New York to welcome home my brother Josh from China!  It is so good having him back although for some reason he was in a hurry to scoot down to SC to see a certain someone...

After time with Josh and my parents I drove up to Watertown, NY to spend time with the Rue clan: my sister Keri, brother-in-law Micah, and their children Skylar and Finley.  Time with them never fails to meet my expectations.  There was a lot of pretending to be princesses, dance parties, ice skating, Micah's birthday celebration, watching documentaries (don't hate), and squeezing baby Finley's cheeks. I loved every minute of it.  Thanks again to Keri and Micah for their awesome hospitality and a little bit of spoiling...I can't help it, I didn't have any control over being the youngest.  

 I mean look at these cheeks! There is a lot their to squeeze.  

Now I am in transit back to Clemson where I am so excited to see my friends and finish my last semester at Clemson.  My holiday may seem chaotic but I would have it no other way.  I am so blessed to be able to travel and see my family.  As I walked through the airport a few minutes ago I am looking at all the destinations and wondering where I can go next...I think I'm addicted to traveling.   

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Rock Paper Scissors is no laughing matter

What you probably see as a silly game of chance my family takes very seriously.  Once a year that is. We started 5 years ago the Austin Annual Holiday RPS Tourney.  We have it at Thanksgiving or Christmas, whichever holiday has more family.  Yes, we really do this and yes, we really do take it seriously.  Please don't ask how this idea got started.  We were probably all sitting around asking: ok how can we make something completely harmless a REALLY BIG DEAL?

Our Tournament starts with the playing of the National Anthem (this year Beyonce did the honors).  We do a round-robin (everyone plays everyone) and then based on our record get seated for the double elimination bracket.  We stretch, practice our throws, and psychologically intimidate our opponents.  The stakes are high, bragging rights throughout the entire years AND a plaque with your name on it.  We really spend money on a legitimate wood plaque with brass plates and engraving because in my family bragging rights over a good competition is priceless.      

If you are lucky enough to attend a holiday with us then you are invited (and maybe pushed) to join in the competition.  Shout out to our guest athletes: Michaela Shoemake,  Danny Shoemake, Dennis Macintosh, and Akeem Robinson.

So here are some pictures documenting the years:

Christmas 2007 

This round must have required two referees.  Nice shirt Josh. 

Akeem interviewing the Champion athlete of the year.  

The podium 

Christmas 2008
My cousin Jeff Brown won this year and I didn't even make the podium so I guess it wasn't that memorable to me...

Christmas 2009 
My brother-in-law Russell won by PHONE from Hawaii.  After getting our tails kicked by someone thousands of miles away we decided that we would not allow any long distance athletes again.  We were all left sulky and sad without even someone to rub their win in our face.  very unrewarding. 

Christmas 2010 
My mom's infamous "RPS face."  I only see this face once a year and honestly that's more than I would like.   

The National Anthem- please note my dad dishonoring our country by texting.  

Margaret's intensity paid off earning her 3rd place. 

And Finally: Christmas 2011 
The National Anthem 

My dad's eyes reflect the intensity of the competition. 

Pure joy. 
I couldn't remake this face if I wanted to.  It only comes after sweet victory. Oh and yes I am wearing onesie Dr.Suess PJ's.  

and you can guess what this face is for. failure. 

Congrats Aunt Kim and Mom but I'm coming for you next year!  

Thanks Josh for always heading it up and thinking of this idea.  We missed you this year!  

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Cheer

"The best way to spread cheer is to singing loud for all to hear." OR if you want to be awkward and still make people laugh you can sing real loud with your ipod in and dance around in public with a tacky christmas sweater on.

Stay tune for my own version of this video hopefully starring my brother Josh....Josh what do you think?