Friday, August 29, 2008


Let us be determined to be happy;
make the most of blessings that come to us;
look on the bright side of everything.
Cheerfulness is not always spontaneous,
but bears cultivation.
One who can carry a smiling face through a world where there are so many troubled hearts may unconsciously be a public benefactor;
for “the merry heart doeth good like a medicine,” and not alone to its possessor.

~M.P. Wells

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Don Miller, Astronaut

Blue Like Jazz is one of my favorite books. While perusing Don Miller's web site yesterday I ran across some interesting news ...

Apparently they are making a movie based on the book. It was filmed earlier this year and should be released soon.

I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of Blue Like Jazz as a movie, but I do know I'm excited about this little tidbit ...

Here's what his site says about his next book:
Don’s next book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years humorously and tenderly chronicles Don’s experience with filmmakers as they edit his life for the screen, hoping to make it less boring. He then shares the principles storytellers use to make a story meaningful and exciting, exploring their affect when he applies those principles to his actual life.

Of his new book, Don says: “It might be the greatest book ever written. I don’t think anybody is going to read a book again after they read my new one. I think God is proud of me. I am going to make a killing off this thing and I’m going to use the money to go to space."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Paging Jack Bauer

I watched a few minutes of the Democratic National Convention on TV last night. Did any of you see it? Didn't it feel a lot like a pep rally from high school?

Anyway, they interrupted the broadcast with breaking news about two men who had been arrested for plans to kill Barack Obama while he was giving his acceptance speech on Thursday. Apparently the shooter had planned to use a high powered sniper rifle from the top of a nearby building.

Um ... does this sound familiar to anyone?
I'm thinking 24, Season One.
The first season takes place in LA on the day of the presidential primary, when politician David Palmer is set to be nominated for candidacy. Jack and his elite team of agents discover a plot on Palmer's life, and they have the next 24 hours to track down the perpetrators before they have the chance to execute their plan.
Pretty creepy. I wish Jack Bauer was real.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Life of Becky

I've had a couple friends mention over the last couple days that although we haven't talked much lately, they keep up on my life through my blog. So I figure I better post some stuff to keep them up to date.

So Karen, Sara, (and whoever else might be interested in my life) ... this is for you. :)

1. My summer housemate Brionna just left early this morning to go back to school in California. I'm excited for her and sad for me. It was great having her around and I'm really going to miss her! Havana provides decent companionship, but she certainly doesn't do her share of the housework.

2. Speaking of Havana, we started CGC class last night. That's Canine Good Citizen class. According to the web site: CGC is a certification program that is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. Those of you who have met Havana can understand how something like this might be beneficial.

3. As of a few weeks ago, I've stopped drinking coffee. There were several factors that went into this decision. First of all, it's become a bit of a habit for me and so stopping is an exercise in discipline. I don't like being chemically dependent. Secondly, it's a health thing. I have to drink something in the mornings, so if it's not coffee, it's usually orange juice or water. That's much healthier. And finally, I like expensive coffee so it was costing me quite a bit of money to keep myself supplied. I'm hoping this new plan will save me roughly $30 a month.

4. I'm getting wood floors put on the main level of my house next month. When I first bought my place, I didn't bother replacing the already nasty carpet because I knew I wanted a puppy, but it's just gone from bad to worse. I can't wait! I get grossed out every time I run the vacuum. Or look down.

5. I've begun running! Just two miles. And just one or two times a week. It's still not my favorite thing. Probably never will be. (Spinning will always be #1.) But it's a great way for me to exercise myself and my dog at the same time. The key for me is good tunes. I hate running, but if I have good enough music to listen to, I can stand it. Any suggestions?

So there ya go. My life. Exciting, huh?
Have an excellent weekend, ya'll!

Salu. (My friend Roberto from El Salvador told me that's how they say goodbye there.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

This Ordinary Day

Have you guys heard of

Oh ... you haven't?
Well. You're missing out. It's my new favorite blog.

This post is one of my favorites.

Straight from their site, here's what this blog is about:
This project came to mind after a particularly rough time. I was spending too much time out of the day focusing on the hard aspects of life. Mean people. Frustrating students. No coffee on days I desperately needed it. As often happens with things such as those, the attention I gave them only served to make all the bad worse and the good harder to see.

Then one day someone told me to stop. As simple as that, she said I needed to see my life for what it was, a compilation of a million moments - some of them hard and painful, but many more of them overwhelmingly wonderful. For the first time in a long time, I took good advice the first time I received it and I did stop. I stopped looking at the bad and I started searching for the good.

What I found was startling.

Not only were there shining moments of beauty and grace happening all around me, but there were also everyday moments of ordinary life that were wonderful all in their own right. When I took away the lens of the negative and forced myself to look at the positive, I found that there were far more things worth celebrating in the everyday than I had ever realized. What I took from all of this was that this is it.

The kids playing in the park.

The crossing guard who smiles at me every morning when I pull into school.

Even the sweaters my neighbor puts on his dog (as unfortunate as animals in clothes are).

This is what our world is made up of. These ordinary things. And if we’re willing to take the time to see it, we’ll realize that this ordinary day is wonderful because it’s simple and complicated, beautiful and mysterious and wholly ours.

Once I realized all of this, it seemed high time to share it. I gathered the best minds I knew of. Some I’ve known for the better part of 20 years (bad 1st grade haircuts and all) and some I’ve only been lucky enough to meet recently. But all of them make my world a better place. These are people who live hard, who challenge the ordinary, who comfort and share in ways I can only hope to be like when I’m living life as the best version of me.

I asked them to think about the ordinary and celebrate the extraordinary. I asked them to write it all down and share it with the world and have faith that putting those ideas out there would help to add to the good in this world and take away from the bad.

And they said yes.

So here it is. Our take on the ordinary. Six days a week (because everyone needs one day of rest) we’ll have one writer share one set of thoughts, inspiration and hope. We hope these words find you well and help to make you more aware, inspired and connected to the things unfolding around you. We hope you will come back each week and take part in this project with us.

But most importantly, we hope you are striving to see the wonder in this ordinary day.
You're welcome.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Convicted at the Mall

You'd never know we were in the midst of an economic recession judging from the crowds at the Park Meadows Mall yesterday. It more resembled the Saturday before Christmas. We drove around for almost 10 minutes looking for a parking spot. It was ridiculous.

I've never really been a huge fan of the mall. I'll go occasionally to shop, but it's far from my favorite place to spend my time. Yesterday as I walked into the mall, I was hit hard with the materialism of our culture. We entered through the food court and literally every single table was full. There were long lines at all of the restaurants and strollers and shopping bags everywhere. I suddenly got really sad. I wondered how many in the crowds of shoppers had any idea what the rest of the world is dealing with right now. And if they are aware, do they care?

It's hard for me to believe that many people would be so calloused that they would willingly ignore the needs of so many suffering people. I actually had a moment where I saw myself standing on a chair in the food court and yelling, "How can you just eat and shop like normal?! Do you guys have any idea what's going on in Haiti? How kids get one meal a day and that's just if they're lucky? What is wrong with you?"

Of course I didn't do that. I just walked through the food court and continued shopping. But I couldn't really enjoy the day because I kept thinking about Youvens. And about whether I should feel guilty about the $40 hat I bought. Where do I draw the line? Does being a good steward of my money mean buying only the necessities and giving the rest away? Or is it okay to spend money on something I don't need if I regularly give money to the poor?

I think maybe I got a tiny understanding of what fired up the Old Testament prophets. Have you ever had a "prophet" moment like this? I'm struggling now with what I'm supposed to do with my experience yesterday. I have no doubt the Holy Spirit was the One convicting me. But what do I do now?

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I know God promised that He'd never destroy the world with a flood again, but I think He might be trying to give us a warning.

It's been raining for two weeks now. In Colorado.

This is practically the desert. We don't know how to handle so much water. Everything is soggy. Things are actually turning green. Weird.

If these past two weeks are any indication of the kind of winter we're in for, I'm definitely going to move.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Blog Twins

I write for the Compassion blog and my friend Suzanne writes for the Boundless blog and today we wrote eerily similar posts.

We Are Family
God in the Water Cube

Isn't that weird?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Nose Clips and Swim Caps

Thanks for all the book suggestions! I've got a lot of reading to do. However, at present my reading has slowed considerably now that the Olympics are happening. How can you NOT get pumped up watching Michael Phelps do his thing every single time?! I mean seriously, the man is a machine.

Speaking of swimming, did you happen to notice that swimmer (I think he might be German) that wears a nose clip? I find it extremely weird that someone who swims well enough to make the Olympics still needs to wear a nose clip.

And another thing ... can anyone tell me why the swimmers wear two swim caps? When I was on swim team, just wearing one cap gave me a headache. I can't imagine what wearing two would do. Of course with their bodies smooshed so tightly into those tiny little suits they probably aren't worrying much about their head.

Go U.S.A.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Own Top 100

I love reading. I've loved it for as long as I can remember. Maybe it comes from growing up in a house without a TV. I don't know. But I tend to get addicted to reading.

One of the things I love about being in the "real" world [read: not in school] is that I can read whatever I want. I visit the library about once a week. Heck, I even have my library card number memorized!

I always enjoy book lists and saw a Top 100 list on a friend's blog. Apparently this list is from the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read program. I've only read 16. Out of 100. Yikes.

However, none of my favorite books are on the list. So I'm thinking I need to create my own Top 100 list. I need your help. I've started a list below. These books are my favorite ... they aren't necessarily classics or best sellers. Just Becky's picks. Here's 10 to kick the list off.

1. Marley and Me - John Grogan
2. Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer
3. The Testament - John Grisham (what is it with Johns?)
4. A Walk to Remember - Nicholas Sparks
5. The Mark of the Lion Series - Francine Rivers
6. Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller
7. What's So Amazing About Grace - Phillip Yancey
8. The Kindness of Strangers - Katrina Kittle
9. My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
10. Peace Like a River - Leif Enger
(the following were inspired by your comments)
11. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
12. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruden
13. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
15. Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers
16. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

What is, hands down, the BEST book you've ever read? And why?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

It's Pickin' Time

One of my memories from our family vacations to New York was picking fresh fruit. Mmmmm....

Sister #1

Sister #2

Sister #3 (plus an add-on)

At the blueberry farm there this barn with a cool door.

And one more photo of the little guy ... just 'cause.

P.S. I can't believe it's August already. I think summer was shorter this year.

Friday, August 1, 2008

"Aunt Becky is My Favorite!" -Micah

Time in Albany has been great so far. And the fun news ... the trip is only halfway over! This little guy has made it worth every second. I'm seriously considering a move to New York for the next 18 years.