Friday, May 30, 2008


After a bit of thought, I feel the need to preface this post by saying that I think that Samuel Burns Collins is absolutely fantastic. His charm and wit draw you to him along with his sweet nature and akward, but loving, attitude towards others.

I have this friend. His name is Sam. Sam is an interesting character. He is a bit younger than me. He attends Samford in Birmingham, Alabama where he makes incredible grades and had a 4.0 Spring semester. Whatever. My point is that he is brilliant, in a creative way, and he knows it. He has a fanciful imagination and uses words like "fanciful", "endearing", and "little one" in everyday conversation. He also ends his sentences with an upward inflection, making him sound not only pretentious, but a tad bit British as well.

Sam and I like to compare everything and everyone to books that we have read, our favorite being "Pride and Prejudice." Sam likes to talk about theology and try to get me riled up (which works most of the time). We like to cook, read, listen to music, talk about pretty much everything, and go for rides in Isabel (the jeep).

A characteristic to be noted in regards to Sam is his ability to dig himself out of the seemingly bottomless holes in which he gleefully throws himself into on a regular basis. Last night, for instance, we were cleaning the kitchen after my scrumptious meal of authentic Mexican food (made authentic by the fact that a real Mexican made it) and we were having a fairly typical Sam and Theresa conversation. We start talking about one of our favorite people, Allison Ross, and I say that I feel like she and I are fairly similar. Sam says "Sometimes. But she's smarter." Ummm. Excuse me? I give him a blank stare, followed by the infamous (somewhat annoying) shriek that, this time, contained the name "Sam" and of course followed the shriek with a well deserved slap on the arm. Sam begins to stutter and backtrack and started comparing himself to Bob Ross (Allison's husband) and stated that Dr. Ross was smarter than himself. This comment was followed by "But, I'm wittier." He rambled on about book reviews and the fact that he would choose mine over Ms. Allison's because mine "would be wittier and would be churned out in five minutes", but that if asked who understood the book better, he would have to say Allison. Seriously? Really? At this point, I am beginning to wonder why we are even friends, but it got better. As he continued to talk about book smarts and school and who is smarter than who, he adds this little kicker "I mean, come on T, you don't do intelligent." I'm sorry, he said what? Yes. That's right apparently, "T" doesn't "do" intelligent. Upon seeing the look of wonder on my face, he again begins to backtrack saying how creative and "witty" I am. Why he thinks saying "witty" five million times will make it better, I have no idea. He continues to praise my "wittiness" and says that I would be most likely to own a paper or magazine (how this has anything to do with being "witty" is beyond me). At this point, I am laughing uncontrollably at the absolute absurdity of the entire conversation. Sam has acquired a sly grin, knowing full well he is off the hook. I congratulated Sam on the saving of his scrawny behind through roundabout reasoning and looks of helplessness.

The above account is a shining example of my relationship with Sam. I am fully aware that Sam will probably read this and I'm OK with that. I've said everything that I have written to his face. So, here's to Sam and the ridiculousness, the charm, the wittiness, and the sheer hilarity that he embodies. He's a pretty swell guy.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"I sing because I'm happy..."

This hymn is a favorite of mine. It has been dubbed as "traditional", but was actually written by Civilla D. Martin and Charles E. Gabriel in 1905, according to Wikipedia which is, by the way, a horrible place to go to for information. For me, this song embodies the way we, as Christians should go through life. Singing, happy, and joyful, knowing full well that worry should be the furthest thing from our minds because we serve a God whose "eye is on the sparrow." If His eye is on the sparrow, does He not look out for those created in His image?

Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come? Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home? When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free. For His eye is on the sparrow. And I know He watches me.
"Let not your heart be troubled," His tender word I hear. And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears. Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise. When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows fall? Why should my heart be troubled, When all but hope is gone? When Jesus is my fortress. My constant friend is He. His eye is on the Sparrow, and I know He watches me. His eye is on the Sparrow, and I know He watches me!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"That Good Kind of Aching"

Yeah. I don't know what that means either. OK...maybe I do know what that is. And you do too. I've had that "good" kind of aching before. Its been awhile though. It happens when you are completely and incandescently happy. Like when you go away from home for the first time. Or when you experience your first kiss. Or like that time he held you in his arms and whispered your full name and followed it with "I love you." And there was that one time that you went on that trip and got some pretty awesome shots of that mountain...maybe that one's just me. Maybe they are all just me. Those are the times when I, Theresa Naomi Garcia, got that "good" kind of aching.

Lately, however, I have been aching in a not so good way. It's been an aching that just plain hurts. Like that time you stubbed your toe on the doorway going into the living room. And that time you poked yourself in the eye. Or that time you cut yourself shaving. And then there was that time when that boy did that thing and was a jerk and you cried. Not such a good kind of aching. Actually, that one is pretty bad. It hurts the worst. More than the toe, the eye, and the razor cut combined. As in, I would rather have all three of those happen at the same time than ever have the latter happen. Ever.

Grandma Jo was right...again. Boys are more trouble than they are worth. Who knew?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Day's Details

In my last post, I talked about Grandma Jo and her advice on keeping a journal and recording the day's details. I've been thinking a great deal about journal keeping, considering whether to keep it on this blog or write it out in an actual journal. I've come up with two lists containing the pros and cons of online journal keeping verses a hard copy. Allow me to share.

Pros of online Journaling:
  1. It's faster.
  2. I have easy access.
  3. Everyone can read it.


  1. The art of writing is a dying form.
  2. Who wants to read it?
  3. There might be details that I don't want to make public.
Ehh. Who knows? I think I'll stick to the daily details being in my hard copy journal. Still Grandma Jo is right. Per usual.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Don't mess with Texas.

I was talking to my sweet grandmother, Joanne, on Mother's Day and we were catching up on life's little details. Grandma Jo is a true Texas woman. She is one smart lady and I value her opinions a great deal. She is almost always positive and chooses to find the silver lining in most circumstances.

We talked about school, work, our family, and boys. We talked about books and politics, manners and today's society. We talked about writing and photography. I want to share some of the words of wisdom that she gave to me.

  • Travel. As much as you possibly can, Travel. Jo has been all over our beautiful world has stories galore to share. She can tell you about Italy, France, England and a lot more.
  • Read. Read a lot. Read the classics. Read biographies and novels. Read for pleasure and read to learn. Read to be a better writer. (The last one was specific to me.)
  • Keep a journal. Write out the day's details. Write out your emotions. Your communication skills will flourish and grow. Not only that, but you will have something to share with your children one day. (Jo also said that when I become famous and die, my biographers will need to be able to write about me. I am so tempted to write a scandalous life story in a few journals and leave it in plain sight when I die. However, now that I have given away my secret, I don't think that will work.)
  • Show compassion for others. You don't know their background or what their day was like.
  • Have respect. Treat others how you would like to be treated.
  • Boys aren't worth half the trouble they cause. (That's probably the best one)
  • Love to the fullest. Don't hold back. Life is too short to not tell or show the people you love the most just how much you care.
  • Be smart. Being nice doesn't mean letting yourself be walked on. Use the brains God gave you and take care of yourself.
  • Live simply. There is more to life than nice clothes, cars, money, and a fancy house. Use the money for lesson number one. :)

Again, one heck of a lady. I hope I am half the woman she is.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It is well with my soul.

From time to time, we all have moments when we stop to evaluate the world around us. We start sorting and organizing. It's like a good cleaning right before the start of a new season. We weed out the bad, water the good, cut out the old, and cultivate the new and growing. We scrub the floors to make clear the beauty of our foundations. We wipe the windows so that we can better see the world we live in and others can better see who we are. We dust off the furniture that represents the fixtures in our lives so that we can rid ourselves of the marks that are unpleasant and displeasing to the eye. We work hard all day and into the night. We strip the beds and wash the sheets. We light candles and prepare a light dinner. After dinner, we take a cool bath and relax our weary bodies. We then fall into a clean, freshly made bed and close our heavy lids. We have accomplished what we set out to do. We have evaluated all aspects. The emotional, spiritual, and physical aspects that make us who we are. The joys and sorrows, the ups and downs, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. There is a sweetness in the air that comes with the new, clean feeling.

It is in these moments that we are able embrace the stillness that these moments create for us and whisper "It is well with my soul."

Friday, May 16, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...

I absolutely love quotes and I love to share them. These are some of my favorites.
  • "A girl needs to express herself, and I could certainly use a release...I want to dance." ~Audrey Hepburn

There is something about Audrey Hepburn and her innate sense of style and glamour that makes me smile. This particular quote is from "Funny Face" in which she starred opposite of Fred Astaire.

  • "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."~Eleanor Roosevelt

One of my favorite ladies of all time. Eleanor Roosevelt was strong-minded and independent. She believed in dreams and a future in a time when dreams were all we had and the future was all but bright.

  • "A woman who is convinced that she deserves to accept only the best challenges herself to give the best. Then she is living phenomenally."~Maya Angelou

This quote is encouraging to me. It tells me that it is just fine to accept only the best because it causes me to give the best to others. And I believe that the people in my life deserve the best. Why not do all that I can to make sure that they get just that.

  • "Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does, the better."~Andre Gide

This quote reminds me that any gifts that I have came from above and I had nothing to do with it. It reminds me to remain grateful in all I do.

  • "I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances."~Martha Washington (1732 - 1802)

Yet another courageous, strong woman. I admire Martha Washington because of her loyalty to her family and her country. I admire her positive outlook on life and her service to others. Her wisdom shines though this particular quote.

  • "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."~Dr. Seuss

Yet another reminder "To thine own self be true..." Not only does this serve as a reminder to myself about me, but also as a reminder to myself about others. We are all unique and beautiful. If someone really matters to me, then I should be willing to accept them for who they are.

  • “I think the job of the artist is to remind people of what they have chosen to forget.” -~Arthur Miller

I love this because it reminds me of the real reason of why I do what I do in the theatre world.

  • While I dance I cannot judge, I cannot hate, I cannot separate myself from life. I can only be joyful and whole. That is why I dance. ~Hans Bos

Just another quote about dancing. This embodies, for me, why I dance, whether it be ballroom or for a show or in my bedroom. I do it because it fills me with JOY.

  • "May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let His presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and everyone of us."~Mother Teresa's prayer

Not so much a quote as it is a prayer, but I love this. It speaks for itself.

  • And I smiled to think God's greatness flowed round our incompleteness ...~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth said it all when she said this. No matter where we are in our journey, God's greatness never changes and is there in spite of us. In the words of Paul Pierce "Jesus is like air freshener. He's going to be there anyway."

  • Grace finds beauty in everything. ~U2

This speaks for itself.

  • "The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord."~Psalms 45:11

A constant reminder that God thinks I am beautiful and precious. Hmmm. Bliss.

  • "... as much as necessary and as little as possible." - Paul Pierce
  • "As my grandmother said....'it's just not done'" - Paul Pierce (I could have an entire section devoted just to him)
  • "Don't ever interrupt my mugging for acting." - Paul Pierce. "We don't want acting. We just want the lines." - Jens Rasmussen
  • "I'll try to keep it real." - Paul Pierce"The Springer Opera House......keeping it real since 1871." - Kim Hickman

These are because I love my friends and they make me laugh.

"Do you ever have those days where you wake up and you just feel alone?"

The question that prompted this post was posed to me last night by one of my Young Life girls at our weekly bible study. I didn't really have to think about my answer before I responded, but I took a moment to formulate my thoughts. "Yes!" I replied. "I feel this way more than I would like to admit."

As part of my study with the girls last night, we talked about the relationship between Ruth and Naomi. Ruth refused to leave Naomi, no matter what the cost or pain or suffering. She supported them both by doing basic slave labor. She stayed true to her mother-in-law and was adamant that she remain by her side. There was a bond there. This bond was created because of immense sorrow at the loss of people that they loved dearly. In the end, Ruth's devotion to Naomi brought her a romance beyond compare and pulled her into the lineage of Jesus Christ. How awesome is that? The relationship between Ruth and Naomi provides us with an incredible glimpse at the bond that Christ desires to have with us. As sinners, we have experienced incredible loss. God sent His son for us to have a relationship with. To give us someone with whom we could bond and share our joys and sorrows with. Someone with whom we can experience a romance beyond compare. He sent His son to give of Himself in a way that only true friendship and love could. In the end, the reward for our faithfulness to our friendship with Him brings us into the family of Christ and we are able to experience all the benefits of being sons and daughters of the King!

In our discussion time, we talked about friendships and the bonds that we have with various people in our lives. We all contended that we had friendships that never seem to fail us. That no matter the time apart, we were able to pick up where we left off. We discussed the reasons behind these friendships. Most of them were created because of some type of similarity in our lives where we were experiencing the same type of situation. These relationships and bonds are precious to us because we feel a connection. There is a sense of safety in common ground. We crave the companionship of someone who can share in our emotions and feelings, whether good or bad.

While I thought about my own feelings and began to sort out the mess and confusion, I found that there has been a lack of companionship that embodies common ground. Now, please do not take this to mean that there has been a lack of companionship in general. Quite the contrary! I have been surrounded by loving, compassionate friends who have been there for me when I needed them most. Their love and encouragement has prodded me to happiness and joy because they exude happiness, joy, and contentment in their own individual situations. They prayed with me and for me and pushed me towards my Heavenly Father. On those dark mornings when I wanted to pull the covers back over my head and fall back into a dreamless sleep, I reached out to my Rock and Redeemer. On those mornings when I thought "It will be by the grace of God that I get through today...", He never once failed me. He always saw me through. I learned that I didn't necessarily need an earthly companion that had been through the exact same thing that I had been through. What I needed was a Savior who had suffered enormous pain and grief and died on the cross for me. What I needed was His all consuming love, grace, and mercy. And he gave of all three, willingly and to the fullest.

As our time together came to an end, I began to encourage the girls to cultivate their friendships with each other, but more importantly to cultivate their relationship with Jesus. In the moments when we need Him most, when others fail us, He is there. He will never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)

" I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever." -Psalm 121

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Motto of the Day

I've spent the past few days going back over my blog, reading some old posts, and thinking about the "Who, What, When, Where, and How"'s of the past four years. That's a long time, folks. For those who know me, I like to say "My motto is..." a lot. I've come to realize that I have a variety of motto's and it would probably be more appropriate to say "The Motto of the Day is..." Today, I have decided that the Motto of the Day (MOTD) is "No regrets, only lessons learned." I have learned a great many lessons over the past few years. That's supposed to happen though. It's a part of growing up. Scratch that. It IS growing up. The lessons are what make us who we are.

Another little tidbit that those who know me are fully aware of, is my love of lists. So, with no further ado, here is an infamous list.

Lessons learned (with full gratefulness)**:

  1. Not going to Covenant College was the right desicion. LaGrange was the place for me and I am so glad I was there.
  2. Not dating in High school was a blessing in disguise. There is no way that I was truly ready to deal with the pressures of dating and relationships.
  3. Mom and Dad are right...for the most part. I'm not ready to say that they are always right, because everyone is wrong sometimes, but I am convinced that they have known better than me on many an occasion.
  4. Siblings are a gift from God. My mother used to say that I had only child syndrome. I wanted to be the only child so badly, but looking back, who would have played "Little Women" and "Little House on the Prairie" with me if I hadn't had my sweet sisters?
  5. Plumber Boy was not who I thought he was. Ah, what can be documented as the romance of 2005. I'm ok with that lesson and I can say that honestly.
  6. Sometimes you have to lose someone or something to fully realize how much they meant to you or how much you needed to lose them.
  7. Accepting that it was in your best interest to lose them is a hard lesson, but one that needed to be learned.
  8. You can burn water.
  9. It's ok for plans to not work out. It's better to go with the flow anyway.
  10. God's plan is always better than yours. Period.

**Author reserves the right to keep secrets. Although, I must add that I admitted wrong on the plumbing situation a long time ago.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

"Can you make yourself love? Can you make yourself be loved?" ~Ann Brashares

Interesting question, yes? In my opinion, love just happens. You just love the child that you bring into the world. You just love your parents. You just love your siblings. You just love your best friend. You just love your partner. Even if something happens between you and any one of the above, you still love one another. It is also my humble opinion that love never really goes away. It may change according to the varying seasons of life. It may wane for a time, but true love never goes away.

I know from personal experience that you cannot make someone love you. Nor do you want to have to make them love you. It is far better to have a natural love than a forced one. Yet, as humans, we sometimes yearn for that one person to love us more or better than anyone else. The one person who cannot (or just will not) love us like we want them to. There can be a myriad of reasons, none of which we want to listen to or accept. Still the reasons are there, staring us down. Daring us to argue. And being the fallen creatures that we are, we argue. We argue until we are blue in the face. We cry until we have no more tears. We feel the hurt and pain until we can feel no more. And even then, there are those of us who cannot give up. Who must argue on. And argue we do. This can go on for days, weeks, months, years. It goes on until we accept the fact that the love is not there and never will be. And still the feelings linger. We still love. We still feel the, arguably less intense, pain of loss and emptiness.

Sounds dramatic, yes? Yet you are having a hard time denying that you have felt this, no? It might have been when you were in the 3rd grade and that cute little boy or girl in your class just didn't pay attention to you. Or it might have been as a teenager when you ached for the love of a parent, a person of the opposite sex, or of someone you admired greatly. Or maybe you feel those feelings now, as an adult. What do you do? Is it old enough that you have moved on or is it fresh and new? Does it only come to mind now and again when you are inadvertently reminded of it? Do you try and push it out of your mind? Do you ignore these feelings by occupying your mind elsewhere? Do you cling to something familiar and sweet?

I, personally, cling to my faith. I reach out to my Savior, the One who knows me better than I know myself. He tells me "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness..." (2 Cor. 12:9) I repeat His promise over and over to myself. He gives me His grace and that is all I need. My feelings of weakness allow Him to bring me closer to Him. He fills me with His love and reassures me that this is enough. He loves me with a love greater than I have ever known. His love is the greatest example of love ever given to mankind. I love because He first loved me. (1 John 4:19) He tells me that there is nothing that I can do to make Him love me and yet He does. This is the "just because love." And it is the best kind.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Young Life

The other morning I received a pretty regular email from Young Life. It was reminding us that we have a concert coming up on the 8th of June. This concert is featuring Allen Levi and Bebo Norman and all the proceeds will go towards a new building on Sharptop Cove. The building will be in memory of Carter Butts, a Young Life kid/leader who was killed in a car accident last year. James Rockwell, our Area Director, wrote a column of sorts about Carter and his Young Life leader, Lumpy. James talked about the Journey that we endeavor when we set out to minister to our high school friends. He shared something another Leader shared with him: "Treat every kid we meet as if we are going to know them the rest of our lives."

For those of you who don't know what Young Life is, it is a group of adults who go into the high schools of any given area and share the gospel with teenagers. We build relationships with these kids and invite them to come to "Club", which is where we sing, play games, share the person of Chirst, and share our stories. You know you have them hooked when they come to "Campaingers" which is our small group bible study. It's at Campaingners that we dig further into the Word and answer the questions that our highschool friends have.

However, Young Life goes beyond Club and Campaigners. It goes beyond baseball games, prom, lunch at the school, and graduation. We have the ability and the opportunity to be at these events because of the relationships that we share with our high school friends. These relationships happen because of God, first and foremost. Because of Him, we (the Leaders) get those 2am phone calls, have our houses rolled and our cars written on. More importantly, we get the opportunity to love on these kids and to make an impact on their lives. Young Life goes beyond graduation. We get to be at weddings and baby showers. We get to be there for life's small accomplishments and the big ones too. Not only do we give these kids their own personal cheerleaders, we gain lifelong friendships and cheerleaders of our own. I love my high school friends and I can't wait for them to be college friends, married friends, mom friends, and old lady friends.