Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The apple has fallen, and it is not very far from the tree.

Yesterday Chloe told me that as she was lying in bed the night before, she was trying to figure out why she was here.
"You mean, why we're here in New York?" I asked, rather slow on the uptake.
"No," she replied, "why I'm even here, why I'm alive."
"Did you figure it out?"
"Not really," she said.

(My brain shifted into high gear, and I paused to gather my thoughts and say a brief, "Help me do this right please, God," prayer. Also I sent a silent Thank You to the fellas who wrote Q&A 1 of the Westminster Catechism.)

"You're here because God knew you and loved you before you were even born, and God wants you to know and love him, too."

She was ok with that. I hope it's just the beginning of a life-long conversation.

Later, as I told Steve about our conversation, I had a strong memory of doing the same thing as Chloe--lying in bed, wondering, "If I was born to die, why was I ever born in the first place?" I wasn't 6 like Chloe, mind you, but I was pretty young.

"Well," said Steve, after I told him of my memory, "maybe you didn't know it fully at the time, but you weren't born to die. You were born to live. Fully. Through Christ."

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. Psalm 139:15

This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. I Timothy 2:3,4

What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and to enjoy him forever.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q&A 1

Memorial Weekend: Good Times, Noodle Salad

In our case, the noodle salad was the Vietnamese dish, Bun Xao. But we did have good times with Michelle and Dan as they visited the Big Apple and celebrated their 10th anniversary. Check out Michelle's blog for details.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Why New Yorkers Hurry So Much (my theory)

Levels of Hurry are directly related to reliance on public transportation. New Yorkers hurry because they just want to kick themselves when they arrive on the subway platform 2 seconds after the train doors close...because when they round the corner to see their bus pulling away, they know that walking just a bit faster would have done the trick...because when a person steps in front of them to catch the only empty taxi within 2 square miles, it is obvious that being quicker would have meant sitting in the taxi rather than standing in the rain.

The problem with this approach is that it is impossible to hurry enough...there is always public transportation to miss--it might just be the train or subway or taxi that comes before the train or subway or taxi you would have missed had you not hurried.

It's almost enough to make me want to amble whenever possible. Almost.
Maybe I'll walk just a bit faster than an amble, and I'll catch this next train...

Cue the Confetti

Sitemeter tells me that today Visitor Number 20,000 stopped by Grace in the City.

Welcome, Visitor Number 20,000! Hope the visit was worth your while.

(And Visitors 1 through 19,999, we wouldn't have made it to 20,000 without you. Hope it was worth your while, too.)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Here are the two best prayers I know: "Help me, help me, help me," and "Thank you, thank you, thank you."

--Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies

Saturday, May 19, 2007

It's Not Them; It's Me.

Last night I was feeling a bit,



A long week, a long day of work, and I was weary.

Steve and I were in the subway, on our way to catch a show of our friend Megan in Gotham City Improv. I glanced down the subway car and was confused by what I encountered.

What was this motley crew?
The people who were surely too young to look so worn,
The garish, painted red lips of the elderly woman with swollen ankles,
The angry stare of the young man sprawled over three seats, daring anyone to ask him to move,
The universal language of Cuss, the only words I could understand in the staccato speech of the Russian man standing in the aisle.

Where was my beautiful city?
The vibrant diversity, the inherent energy that I often feel among the crowds? Where was the model on her way to a photo shoot? The beatnik lost in his thoughts? The business woman in $400 shoes? The mother and children on their way home to the Bronx? The music of a dozen different languages?

It took me a moment to realize: It's not them; it's me,
my snarky self coloring the view of the people that swirled around me.

A moment more, and I was thanking God for seeing us
perfect and pure,
exactly as we should be

because of what Christ did for us.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Since the Beginning

The kids were playing in the tub. I was doing the dishes (it's very safe, my doing the dishes while they're in the tub. I'm quite literally 5 feet away from them).

Mayhem erupted.

Jonathan hit me!

Chloe threw this at me On Purpose!

Only because you hit me!

You did it first!

It's not my fault!

It's not MY fault!

The voice of reason (that would be me, in this case): Guess what? It's both your faults. Please apologize to each other.


says Chloe (and that little, unrepentant voice inside each and every one of us), it's only a little bit my fault, then.

Genesis 3:12 and 13

Monday, May 14, 2007

That About Sums It Up

"This has to be the most eclectic bunch of people in history."
-Steve, in a conversation after observing a woman push her dog in a stroller.

I love this place.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Because it's been at least a year since I last watched this:

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Lorraine tagged me, and now I'm It, which means it's time to share some things about myself which you may not know...

  • Today was day 2 of The new job. All is going well--much learning on the fly and multi-tasking, which I enjoy. Makes the day go by quickly.

    On the subway home this evening, I thought about all the jobs I've had in my life.


    16 different jobs since the age of 14, which is when I began waitressing at a local greasy spoon. Someday I'll blog about the things I learned over the course of these 16 jobs. There is enough to write a book. And the people I've worked with...well, they are stories in and of themselves.

  • I'm a music lover, but I'm somewhat, well, promiscuous about it all. Insightful lyrics? Why sure, I'll listen to that. Got a good beat and you can dance to it? Bring it on. Soaring melody? Tight harmony? All good. I even enjoy listening to our neighbor practice her arias at all hours of the day.

    The state of my iPod testifies to the breadth of my music loves. Sara Groves is next to Black-eyed Peas is next to Derek Webb is next to Norah Jones is next to Johnny Cash is next to Gwen Stefani is next to Iron and Wine...

  • I saw a woman wiping her chiuaua's rear end today, and not five minutes later I saw a woman taking her rabbit for a walk. Enough said about that one, I think.

  • I sample words like some people taste wine. A specific word strikes me, and I roll that word around in my mouth for a while, feeling the weight of the word, the body of it. Is it a tight word, that conveys its meaning succinctly, or is it laid back, stretching out and taking its time in telling you? Is it fizzy? Is it smooth? Does it leave an aftertaste? What other words does it complement? I take note and file the word away in the cellar, waiting for the perfect time and place to uncork it.

  • I played clarinet in high school marching band (go ahead, I'll wait for a moment while you make your jokes. But save a few, because what I'm about to write may give you cause for more). I was always a bit annoyed that clarinets were in the marching band, because everybody knows that the brass and the drums are the stars of that show. Clarinets get lost in the crowd, and you often can't even hear them in the midst of it all. In my junior year I got up the gumption to say as much to our band director. "You want to be heard?" he asked. "I'll give you something to be heard." And he proceeded to saddle me with the bass drum. Not the baby bass drum, either. I'm talking one of the big bass drums that weigh a good stone or two. I had crazy fun playing that thing.
So that's it for being It. I tag Ava.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

When You Come Visit, We'll Have Fun, Too.

Chinatown on a sunny Saturday

It was a vacation for me as well when some old friends (they're not old--the friendship is) came to the city this weekend. It's great fun seeing the sites with

Julie, who agrees with me that life should have a soundtrack and will most likely be humming or singing an appropriate song for the occasion


Katie, who leads the way through Dim Sum menus with assurance and an easy-to-spot pink jacket


selfless Nikki, who shopped like a pro, but not for herself--for all the people she loves back home.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Excuses for Lack of New Posts of Any Substance

I've been busy and scattered lately, unable to collect my thoughts so that I might post them here. It's not been a bad busy, really. Good things are happening. And the weather has been beautiful, so we've been gone from the apartment (and the computer) more often.

And...(drum roll, please)...I've gotten a job. It's an administrative position at the kiddo's school and it's as close to ideal as a job can get. I'm starting on Monday, so we've been trying to work out childcare logistics. I think we've got it covered for now.

Last night, in the marriage group that we're leading, Steve and I discussed how God continues to provide for us here. Most often, He provides in ways that we hadn't anticipated or planned for. And most often, it becomes obvious quite quickly that His ways are more beneficial than our ways. It's a good thing God is in charge of this church plant. We remind ourselves of that regularly. Our prayer, since the beginning, since before Steve graduated from seminary, has been, "God, if you open the doors, we'll walk through them."

And we're still walking.