Thursday, April 30, 2009

On my 21st Birthday

Dear Younger Me,

It's our 21st birthday. I know, I never thought we would make it to this day either. Not because of anything morbid, but it just seemed so far away. There are a few things I want to share with you, so listen up.

On Looks:
You know how you hate your body? Stop it. You look awesome. Your thighs are super tiny and you look like you are supposed to look. I know you think that your hair looks awesome with that middle part, but it really doesn't. No worries, you discover the side part relatively soon. Keep running. It's good for you and you love it.

On School:
Pay attention in Spanish and do your homework. You will want that later on. And stick with the math. It stinks, but believe me, you need it. Enjoy every moment at LaGrange College and be careful in your Movement class. There is going to be a super rainy day. Watch your step going down the stairs to the science building. That fall is the worst. Don't get too sad when your time at LaGrange is over. Enjoy having your own room at home. Be willing to learn what you can at CSU.

On People:
Enjoy Grammy and Granddaddy while you can. They are gone before you know it. And call Grandma on a regular basis. Don't yell at the kids so much, you are going to want to start being friends with them soon and the past might get in the way a bit. Listen to Mom and Dad about the Plumber. They are right and you are wrong. Besides, Ben is right around the corner. Don't be so hard on Ben. Give a little more and don't expect so much. You are too young to get married anyway.

On Work:
Savor your job with Ken. There will never be another one like it. Throw yourself into Young Life sooner. The job with the B&B...yeah. Quit sooner.

On yourself:
Be willing to stand up for yourself. Be honest. Don't stay out in the sun so long when you are at the beach with Liz and Caroline, you will regret it. Watch out for that car when you are headed home from house sitting. You aren't going to be hurt, but you are going to cry. Play more, don't schedule every moment. Be ok with just "being." Slow down, you miss a lot when you go so fast. Do what you love and even though you might not like where you are, just keep being Theresa and it all turns out in the end. Read your bible more and pray hard. God is listening and you will know that for sure later on down the road. Enjoy being at home and don't be in such a hurry to grow up. Savor those roadtrips to Texas and the beach. You will miss those. Josie is awesome. (Disclaimer-Josie and Gigi are standing with me and Josie took over. You are going to love Tuesdays and Thursdays.)

Most of all, just enjoy the moment. Don't be too worried about how the future unfolds. Just focus on Today.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Beautiful, Scandalous Night:

This is one of my new favorite songs. It is by Small Town Poets. Enjoy!

Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified

Follow Christ to the holy mountain
Sinner sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul
In the fountain that flowed
For you and for me and for all

At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

On the hillside, you will be delivered
At the foot of the cross justified
And your spirit restored
By the river that poured
From our blessed Savior's side


At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified


At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This week I learned...

  1. Today will be a wonderful day.
  2. Joy comes in the morning.
  3. C.J. probably didn't give up.  Yeah...I don't think she did.
  4. Really, Paula?
  5. Paul Revere did not make the Midnight Ride.
  6. The Count left the Countess. What?
  7. Lame movies are more fun with my siblings.
  8. My birthday is only two days away!
  9. I'm The Real Housewives of New York City.
  10. Apparently, eyebrows are never too big. 

Monday, April 27, 2009

Does C.J. ever get a boyfriend?

Seriously, Simon was shot and killed? What was the point of that? Does C.J. not get the bad end of the stick enough from the writers of The West Wing? She says it herself! She is the second most visible person in the administration next to the President. She handles all of his dirty laundry 24/7 and the writers kill off the guy that she just kissed and I am pretty sure just fell in love with?
It doesn't make sense. Just like Rearcous not being here doesn't make sense. Just like academy kids writing messages to Rea on paper in the green room doesn't make sense. And just like the fact that we are planning a memorial service for Rearcous Smith doesn't make sense, it makes zero sense to me why the writers of The West Wing can't let C.J. get the guy.
It's situations like these, real life and fictional, that make you realize that you never know when someone is going to leave you. Like the grief councilor said last Tuesday, it's when stuff like this happens that you need to look at the person next to you and tell them that you love them. Tell them that they're ok. They're good people. Or tell them that they stink, but you love them anyway. And I am hearing a lot of "I love you" around the Springer community right now. I like it. I say "I love you" a lot and I like hearing others say, to me and to those around me.
I was supposed to see Charm School last Friday night and I didn't because I had something else that I had to do. And I was supposed to call Sally after my other thing and meet up with her and if I had done that, I probably wouldn't be kicking myself right now. I probably would have seen Rearcous and would have heard "Hey, Baby" one more time and gotten one more kiss and I probably would gotten to hear that infectious laughter one more time. But I didn't. I am still not really sure why I didn't. I just didn't. And I have to be ok with that.
But I don't want to mess up like that again, even though I am almost positive that it will happen again at some point in my life. Somewhere down the line, I will not be where I should have been and I will miss out on that last chance to just be. And I have to accept that that is the way that life works.

This week will consist of a memorial service honoring the life of Rearcous Smith and a funeral service in Macon, Georgia on Wednesday. The week will consist of moments of intense tears and laughter, realizations of the reality of the situation, and a sense of unity amongst our community.

The past week has already paved the way for opportunities for people to to express love to one another, to set aside differences, and just "be" with one each other. How fitting. Rearcous was all about talking and resolving. It seems only right that his death would bring more of that about.

Will be a wonderful day
because I have made such a positive change in my life.
I'm gonna make the choice to be all I can
because I know things are gonna work out right
if I have faith.
I can do anything, if I try.
I know that I can, I know that I will,

Will be a wonderful day
because I have made such a positive change in my life.
I'm gonna make the choice to be all I can
because I know things are gonna work out right
if I have faith.
I can do anything, if I try.
I know that I can, I know that I will,

I can do anything
I can do it if I try
I can do anything
I can do it if I try
If I try
Just watch me and see
I got love
I'll use it to treat my neighbor right
I've got faith
I'll use it to come alive

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Longest Weekend Ever

I feel like I haven't slept in days. Friday consisted of a day with Luke, "Charm School" at the Springer, dinner at The Market with Anthony, some cousin time, and finally a few hours of sleep. Saturday was a bit more hectic with the Young Life pancake breakfast, a 5k (that was really more like a 10k...SURPRISE), lunch with Mac, an hour's nap, and babysitting the Yancy girls. Whew. After that it was once again bedtime for T. A few more hours of sleep, church, a couple of errands, and now time with my family before starting what I am sure is going to be an eventful week.

Don't get me wrong. The weekend was awesome. Nothing compares to The Market or time with my Young Life family. And keeping those girls is always a highlight. Allow me to elaborate.

Stella: Here, you can sleep with this doll.
Me: Thanks, honey.
Stella: Where are you going to sleep?
Me: At my house.
Stella. Oh...I'm going to need that back.

Maggie: jhdsgfiutjndlgjargnr;g
Me: Say what, Maggs?
Me: Can you show me?
Points to her covers.
Me: Do you want the covers pulled back?
Maggie nods.
Me: OK.
I went to tuck Emma in and when I came back down the hall I heard:
Maggie: Ewe down't do dis wite.
Me: What is it, sweetheart?
Maggie: sdfkjghlsrjdhkslhd
Me (disparagingly): Show me, Maggs.
Maggie: Cuwtains.
Me: Pull them together?
Maggie: Wes.
Me: OK. Got it. That all, Princess Maggie?
Maggie (Sighs deeply): Wes. I wuv ewe.

And this is why I love keeping the Yancey girls.

Weekends are great, although I am partial to Sundays. I am sitting here watching a really lame movie with my family. And even though it is a lame movie, we are together and Ben is making silly remarks and Jess is doing his cockney accent and Mom and Dad are laughing our silliness. Yes. Sundays are good.

On to a busy week. More on that later.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A letter to my Dad

Dear Daddy,

Thank you for being there last weekend when I ran my 5k. Not an unusual thing for me to do, but for some reason I wanted you there and you were. And that means the world to me.

Thank you for being a provider. Thank you for knowing how to fix anything and everything and for figuring out how to fix it if you just happen to not know how. Thank you for being good at math. Thank you for letting me drive your car while you have mine fixed. Thank you for all the lunches and chit-chats about nothing in particular. Thank you for being excited when I tell you how far I ran today. Thank you for understanding when I needed to move out and when I needed to find a new church. Thank you for being committed to preaching Christ's name in our home. Thank you for getting us together on Sunday afternoons for bible studies, cereal dinners, and movies. Thank you for praying the same prayer every morning because when I don't know what to pray I pray the words I have heard you say over and over again. Thank you for teaching me how to sing. Thank you for teaching four measures to a dozen or so hymns.

Thank you for being consistent. Thank you for being my dad. Thank you for giving me your name. Thank you for sharing your faith, your home state, your love of tacos, baseball, boxing, running, and tradition. You aren't perfect and heaven knows we don't always agree, but I love you so much and I am so glad that I am a Garcia.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"We are close."

Rearcous Smith was a man among men. A killer smile, the voice of an angel, a talking voice that I could listen to for hours, a loving heart, a kind word for everyone (to their face and behind their back), and a way of saying "Baby" that could make my heart melt, Rearcous was just special. Plain and simple.

Several summers ago, I was interning at the Springer and I was the personal intern for Ron Anderson's son, Max, who has autism. At the time, Max was really struggling, although he is doing really well now. Anyway, Max was having a particularly hard time in Rearcous' Musical Theater class and everyday it seemed like there was something else. Rearcous' heart hurt for Max and I remember one specific day that we both just sat and cried together. The following days were much better as we worked together to make Rea's class the best possible experience for Max.

Another example of Rearcous' sweet heart was when we were both cast in "Suessical, The Musical." A heavy dance show, I have no idea what possessed Paul Pierce to cast me, but he did. Rearcous worked with me before and after rehearsal to make sure that I was ready for opening. And I was...for the most part.

Rearcous was a talented teacher, a triple threat in the world of theater, one of the kindest people I have ever met, and a very dear friend. I love him and I am going to miss those hugs and "Heeeeyyy, Baby!" mixed with that infectious laughter.

"Today will be a wonderful day because I have made a positive change in my life. I've made a choice to be all I can, because I know things will work out right if I have faith. I can do anything if I try. I know that I can, I know that I will. Today!"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This week I learned...

  1. Busy weekends lead to tired Mondays.
  2. I really am a runner.
  3. Joe Garcia is going to be a great wedding date.
  4. I am a sound sleeper.
  5. Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so.
  6. An hour or two with mom can make the whole day better.
  7. His love will quiet me.
  8. The Young Life community is one of my favorite aspects of my life.
  9. Chili's has the BEST salad.
  10. A Country's BBQ sandwich tastes good at anytime of the day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Good Friday and Easter

Good Friday started off like a normal Friday with little Luke. His sweet baby smiles and laughter filled my morning with serenity and calm. By mid-morning, though, I attending a funeral service honoring the life of George Holbrook, father of my friend, Jeff. It was at the graveside that I heard Sally say something I have heard a million times but hadn't truly thought about until that moment. She said, "I love Good Friday because it is the day that Jesus died on the cross for my sins." If you read my blog at all, you know that I am a Christian and have been a believer for almost 21 years. But, if you read my blog at all you know that it was in November of 2007 that I rededicated my life to the Lord and began my personal walk with Him. So, obviously, this thought it not a new one for me, but it is one that I pondered over a great deal this weekend.

This past weekend was Easter weekend. This is possibly the most celebrated holiday on the Christian calender. I personally love Easter. I love that the white shoes come back out, the dying of Easter eggs, the smoked hams, the gathering of family and friends, and the sugar coma that I am sure to fall into. But, it's the true meaning of Easter that I love the most. However, this is where I get hung up. What is the most important part of Easter? Is it the death of Christ or His resurrection?

This baby was born, in a manger in a barn, and he lived a normal little boy's life-only one with no lying, cheating, or sin of any kind-and he was a carpenter until he reached the age of 30 when He began a three year ministry to people of all stations in life. Then, at the age of 33, He was charged with no real crime and executed in the most horrifying and humiliating way between two thieves on a cross. And then, not only did He die, but He rose from the grave on the third day. He conquered death and ascended into heaven where He sits at the right hand of God, the Father. And I believe all of this to be true because of the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all eyewitnesses to Jesus (with the exception of Luke, a doctor and a gentile), each book written within one generation of Jesus' ministry, death, and resurrection, leaving little room for dispute since eyewitness accounts are in all five books dedicated to Jesus' life. Jesus, who lived this sinless, perfect life, died that horrific death because He loved me. Me. This sinful, ungrateful, wretched little person who doubts her heavenly father at least once a day and is less than faithful in our blossoming relationship. Yes, Jesus died on the cross out of His love for me.

Friday was a miserable day for Jesus. He was beat up, spit on, whipped, and He was nailed to a cross where He died. And yet Friday is a day of joy for sinners everywhere because it is in His death that we were set free for our sins; past, present, and future. On Saturday, Jesus lay in the tomb and early Sunday morning, He was raised from the dead.

I believe that it is the sacrifice of Jesus' life on the cross that is most important to sinners, but like love and marriage, you can't have one without the other. His death had to be accompanied by His resurrection. Without conquering the grave and death, His sacrifice would have been lessened. It's because of these events that God and sinners are reconciled and for that I am so very grateful.

This week I learned...

  1. Afternoons with nothing to do are nice.
  2. While I love thunderstorms, if they are accompanied by tornadoes I am not as big a fan.
  3. I love Good Friday.
  4. Always saying yes can also be described as "being stupid."
  5. Seeing Sally V.G.B. twice in less than a week is super nice.
  6. It's ok to not be ok with going back to the way things used to be.
  7. 10:00-10:30pm is my new bedtime.
  8. It's bad when you go to enough funerals to tell a good one from a bad one.
  9. Helen Keller was a communist.
  10. News can be spun however the network likes.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

69 days

It took me 69 days to realize that there wasn't going to be a call.
69 days feeling like I was going to fall.
Crying and trying not to cry.
Wondering and really knowing.
And has taken me 17 months (and counting) to regain all of my confidence.
17 months to know that it was for the better.
17 months of searching.
But it only took me about 69 seconds to realize that I was better off.
69 seconds to know that it's not too much.
It took me 69 seconds to realize that saying hello would have taken all of .69 seconds and I wasn't going to hear it.
69 seconds to know that not hearing "Hello" was just one more step towards regaining that confidence.

"...and you learn that love doesn't mean possession and company doesn't mean security...and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead, with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child. And you learn to build your roads today because tomorrows ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have ways of falling down in mid-flight... And you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong, and you really do have worth ,and you learn, and you learn..."-Veronica A. Shoffstall

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

This week I learned...

  1. Subtle awkward or obvious awkward, it's all awkward.
  2. I don't need a GPS. I have Richard.
  3. I like to cook.
  4. I need to put my smoke detector back up in my bedroom.
  5. One good morning to sleep in is much needed and overdue.
  6. I don't mind filling out forms.
  7. Diet coke does not need to be back in my fridge for a long time.
  8. Easter is only six days away!
  9. I feel teased and vulnerable after Saturday's beautiful weather and the past two days ridiculous craziness.
  10. Communication is key.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Homemakers vs. The Businesswomen

In today's society, there are two basic types of women. There is the Homemaker and the Working Woman. Now, within these two types of women there are the women that have children and the women who do not. Both types of women are hardworking, strong, and independent women. Both types of women represent the American Woman in all forms. Yet, society has varying views on the value of both the Homemakers and the Businesswomen.

The Homemaker is viewed in two different ways. The first is admiration. Her family takes top priority with nothing else vying for her attention. She cooks, cleans, does laundry, carpools children, and is a lover, all the while being a wife and mother. (Ooo. I rhymed. Extra credit right here.) The second is view is scorn. She does all of these things, yet is she content? Doesn't she have dreams? Doesn't she want more?

The Businesswoman is also viewed in two different ways. The views are the same as the Homemaker. The first is Admiration. She works in the corporate world and has a family. She is able to take care of her family and have a career. The second view is scorn. Is she able to give both priorities enough time and effort to make them both successful? Are her children getting enough “mommy” time? Is her relationship with her husband as a wife and lover able to grow and flourish? Is her job taken care of in a way that is productive to the company?

The answers to all of these questions are yes. There are women who are content being homemakers. There are women who want something different. A woman can succeed in the business world while succeeding as a wife and mother. Children with working mothers grow up to be normal human beings, just like those children whose mothers stayed home with them. Husbands whose wives work outside the home are loved and nurtured just like those whose wives stay at home. The two family types may function differently, but both can be happy, “normal”, loving families. Yet, with all this said, there are still parts of society that looks at the woman who works outside the home and says “ Tisk, tisk. That woman is neglecting her family.” On the other hand the Homemaker is looked at in the same way only on a more personal level, with worry focused on the person and not so much on the activities with which she is involved. Well, at least both sides are talking about the other and no one is being singled out.

Let's look at the Homemaker. Her job is not an easy one. She is constantly being pulled in several different directions. She has a full time job cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, raising children, and being a wife. The question “Does she want more?” still arises. It depends on the woman. Some women are perfectly happy being a Homemaker. They love their job as a wife and mother and need nothing else to fulfill them. They take time out for themselves when needed, but taking care of others is what keeps them going. Yet there is the Homemaker who wants more and is not content with “just being at home”. If she is not truly happy, how can she effectively take care of her family? There are women who do long for more than the role of homemaking and that is where we meet the Working Mother.

The Working Mother is not so different from the Homemaker. She also cooks, cleans, does laundry, has children, and a husband, but has a corporate job as well. She is a wife and mother and businesswoman all at the same time. She carpools children, goes to soccer games, little league games, sits on the PTA board, and takes care of her husband. Whether she is a doctor in the E.R., a lawyer, a CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation, or a politician on Capitol Hill, it does not change the fact that she loves her family. While it is true that it is not always a fairy tale life, the vast majority of women prioritize well (since that is what women do) and work hard at putting their families come first.

The Working Mother is a fairly new phenomenon. Only since the Second World War have women truly begun to work outside the home for any reason other than a financial one. Women have begun to work outside the home because they enjoy it. Whereas, during WWII, when they were forced to take up the jobs the husbands, sons, brothers, and fathers had had before the war, now women were realizing they enjoyed the idea of working outside the home. They wanted to be a part of the world in a new way. They had only recently acquired the right to vote and now they wanted to be a part of the work force that was truly affected by their vote.

I believe whole-heartedly that women can choose what they want to do. That women can be successful at whatever they put their minds too. I grew up in a home where my mom stayed home with us. I have friends who had moms working outside of the home. And we all went to college, are emotionally stable people, and are working towards our dreams. I work for a family where the mom works outside the home and I have full faith that little Luke will also go to college, be emotionally stable, and go on to be a successful adult who will make his parents proud.

The judgment and guilt put on women who work outside the home with a family in tow is unfair and wrong. And it is wrong for the working woman to look down with superiority on the homemaker. There are always going to be reasons behind the decision of each woman to stay at home or work outside the home. And we will never know all of those reasons. So where does the right to judge come from?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Please Pardon Our Progress

I found this new template that I really love, but I am still figuring it out. Please bear with me while I experiment.

Thanks and Love!