the thursday thirty, issue two.

my last 30 purchases, in no particular order:

  • wild honeysuckle lotion @ bath & body works
  • sweet pea shampoo & conditioner @ bath & body works [hey, there was a good sale.]
  • scrumptious lunch @ katy's pantry
  • gas, gas, and more gas
  • a venti shaken iced tea with two splenda @ starbucks
  • an iron
  • an ironing board [i am so my mother's daughter.]
  • textbooks [i sobbed when i bought these, believe me.]
  • cookbooks [!!!]
  • build-a-bear gift certificates for my sweet nieces
  • a chalupa @ taco bell [eek!]
  • make-up
  • frosted mini wheats [yum!]
  • milk
  • a belt to hold these pants up, yo
  • a cute basket to hold magazines for our suite bathroom
  • kyle & katie's wedding gift [no one can have too many casserole dishes.]
  • a bow to adorn said wedding gift
  • postage for sebastien's book order [i love that boy.]
  • a black ink cartridge
  • red diamond tea [!!!]
  • bread
  • mad church disease by anne jackson [can't wait to read this.]
  • a braum's burger [eek again!]
  • a haircut
  • nutri-grain bars
  • stamps
  • sushi from sum wo in edmond [yessss.]
  • thai chicken pasta @ zio's [yessss again.]
  • socks [who can have too many?]

any of these purchases look familiar? what would your list look like?


anger, plain and simple.

this will probably be the most difficult entry i've written thus far.
i cried, and sobbed, and sniffled my way through this ten minute segment of oprah last night. it was late, i had just gotten out of the shower, and was checking channel 5 one last time for school closing updates - and certainly wasn't expecting to watch an intervention. i wish i could find the actual video for you to watch. i wish you could see the raw emotion in these teenagers' words and cries. because i see so much of myself in their stories. from first grade through this morning, pieces of my struggle are echoed in theirs.
as a part of the obesity intervention being conducted with a group of teenagers and their parents, the kids were asked to come to the middle of the circle and complete this statement: "i'm angry that..." you cannot imagine what poured out of them from there. i wept for their sorrow, i wept for how liberated they must have felt as they let these things escape their lips for the first time. i wept for their parents who were stunned and heartbroken. "i'm angry that i had to ask someone to prom." "i'm angry that my mom is my best friend, my only best friend." "i'm angry that my dad left on my birthday." "i'm angry that when i see pictures of myself i just want to rip them up." "i'm angry that i'd rather be dead than overweight."
i crawled in bed after having seen enough, and couldn't doze off until i rolled through my own mini mental list. please don't misunderstand me: i know as one who is free in Christ that anger should not rule my heart, and i assure you it no longer does. but i'm still scarred by instances in the past, and i absolutely feel that a stage of anger is necessary to heal and move forward. in order to know me authentically, you must understand where i have been. if you're ready for that, then the following list may give you a glimpse. and who knows, it may even free you up to vocalize your own. :] 'cause believe me, it feels good.
i'm angry that there are no pictures of me smiling during my middle school years. i'm angry that there are barely any pictures of me from then at all. i'm angry that my mom had to cut out the tags of my t-shirts to stop the girls at school from reaching in to proclaim my size to everyone. i'm angry that i had to ask someone to prom too. i'm angry that when my co-workers begin talking about looks and what it means to be attractive, that i shrink in my chair and shut my mouth for fear they're all thinking the same thing: taylor wouldn't know anything about that. i'm angry that i fear my husband will take one look at me on our wedding night and change his mind. i'm angry that i constantly fear i'll never even get married at all. i'm angry that i gave in because i thought that was the best it would ever be for me. i'm angry that i loathe shopping for clothes because nothing ever looks good in the dressing room mirror. i'm angry that i lost thirty-five pounds my senior year of high school but still haven't met my goal weight. i'm angry that i have the tools and knowledge to change that, and yet i don't. i'm angry that i allowed comments and torments from kids at school to influence my opinion of myself. i'm angry that i never feel full. i'm angry that i gave up basketball because of the things people said to me during practice. i'm angry that my gorgeous senior photos were taken before my weight loss - making them not so gorgeous to me sometimes. i'm angry that i assumed being thin meant being happy. i'm angry that i feel out of place in most of my classes. i'm angry that i rarely left my house on friday nights. i'm angry that the people who were so mean to me in school would pretend to be my friends when they wanted something. i'm angry that i let them. i'm angry that i make jokes about my weight for fear i might not beat someone else to it. i'm angry that i rely on others for affirmation. i'm angry that i wasn't a star athlete like the rest of my family. i'm angry that the only think i'm good at is making great grades. i'm angry that even today, kids i serve at church tell me i'm fat. i'm angry that i've wasted so much time thinking about my weight.


thanks for the slice.

i love pie. boy, do i love pie. a nice, piping hot slice of any kind of fruit and crust with ice cream on top just can't be beat. but humble pie? eh, not so much. i'm definitely not as apt to order that off any cracker barrel menu.
back in november, amy beth at ministrysofabulous.com shared an entry on this very theme here - and let me tell ya, could i relate to it. now, a little over two months later, i feel compelled and prepared to share my own humility diddy - complete with a photo. your dream has come true! i walked in my first race for the cure last october with my sweet family and the many great gals that work with my sister at oklahoma breast care center. it was a gorgeous day full of courage, wisdom, and laughter. as we gathered to snap our team photo, i thought to myself, "shoot, i'm lookin' good for being here at the ballpark by 5 am. we're gonna have a smokin' team picture." mmhmm. that's right. and everyone did indeed take a fabulous snapshot before we began our mile or 5k trek. but there was a little surprise i didn't at all notice until my sister emailed the picture out to our team several weeks later: my barn door was wiiide open, there on the front row. yep. that's meeee.
thanks for the slice, Lord. :]
tell me about a recent embarassing or otherwise humbling experience. don't worry, no pictures required!


the thursday thirty, issue one.

30 most-played songs on my beloved ipod:
1. as if // sara evans
2. vancouver // reckless kelly
3. from the inside out // hillsong united
4. love must follow you around // randy rogers band
5. nobody's girl // reckless kelly
6. kiss me in the dark // randy rogers band
7. before i believe it's true // randy rogers band [noticing a trend here?]
8. wicked twisted road // reckless kelly
9. all-american girl // carrie underwood
10. get out of this town //carrie underwood
11. so small // carrie underwood
12. flat on the floor // carrie underwood
13. wake up older // julie roberts
14. crazy dreams // carrie underwood
15. over you // daughtry
16. i bless you // dennis jernigan & christy nockles
17. the toast // no justice
18. just a matter of time // randy rogers band
19. snowfall // reckless kelly
20. one more goodbye // randy rogers band
21. twisted // carrie underwood
22. you don't want me around // reckless kelly
23. desolation angels // reckless kelly
24. finally free // nichole nordeman
25. you're not sorry // taylor swift
26. the more boys i meet // carrie underwood
27. so close now // eli young band
28. out in the fields // mike mcclure band
29. someday // nichole nordeman
30. finder's keepers // pat green

wow, there's way more red dirt and country music on here than i thought there'd be! what does your music selection usually consist of?


phone-a-thon adventures.

while taking a fast-paced world religions course this month during j-term, i also have ventured into the world of telephone solicitation. oh yes, friends, i have become one of those. here at oklahoma baptist university, we use our j-term phone-a-thon to raise moolah for the school's general scholarship/material/random need fund. in my little cubicle, i dial alumni and friends from across the nation, tactfully and cheerfully reciting the same little phrases. this mundane process has proved to be surprisingly eye-opening, and dare i say even a wee bit enjoyable. we win coveted packets of shawnee mills mixes and sonic coupons by playing hangman and trivia games, and the competition for most pledges per evening is quite fierce. there are even cookies and sweet tea provided for us every night, which makes this endeavor oh so worthwhile. :] it never fails, however, that i get a few alumni on the other end of the telephone who choose the following reactions:

#1: the "nobody-can-hear-me-through-the-phone" alumni
"hi! may i speak to joe schmo?"
"who is this?"
"my name is taylor phillips and i'm a student calling from oklahoma baptist university."
"hold on." .... a whispered conversation will take place, in which one spouse tells the other obu is on the phone. he/she will then respond with, "they're just lookin' for money. hang up."
"he's not here."

#2: the former donor who just raises my hopes too high
"hi! may i speak to joe schmo?"
"hello, my name is taylor phillips and i'm a student calling from oklahoma baptist university. how are you this evening?
"great! if you have just a moment, i'd like to speak with you about the obu fund, which i see you have donated $1,000 to in the past five years. would you consider making another gift this year?"
"nah, i think we'll pass this year. but thanks!"

#3: the "i'm-too-busy-to-talk...but-i-still-answered-my-phone" alumni
[sigh] "hello?"
"hi! may i speak with blah blah?"
"this is she."
"hello, my name is blah blah blah. how are you this evening?"
"pretty good. you?"
"great, thank you for asking! i'm calling on behalf of the obu fund. do you have just a minute to talk about that?"
"oh. ... actually, i'm putting my kids to bed."

#4: the "i'm-angry-you're-interrupting-american-idol" alumni
"hi! may i speak with blah blah blah."
"just a sec."
"hi, my name is blah blah blah. how are you?"
"great! i'm calling on behalf of the obu fund. do you have just a minute to speak with me about it?"
"no, thank you. why are you calling on the american idol premier night?!"

#5: the "i-think-obu-sucks-now" alumni
[insert usual introduction here]
"honey, i will never give to obu, and i'd be glad to tell you why."
"i was a missionary with the southern baptist convention for 33 years, and i was fired after all that time for not signing the baptist faith and message because it's oppressive to women. as long as obu is supported by the sbc, i cannot give with a clean conscience. are you a missions major?"
"um, yes actually."
"oh dear. sweetheart, you gotta make some decisions early on."

friends, these are just some of the many conversations i've had in the last two weeks. don't be fooled, not all of my phone-a-thon nights have been this negative. i have been blessed with many wonderful conversations and lots of coupons and cornbread. :] but these adventures in phone calls have prompted me to ponder my past and future reactions to telemarketers or my gift-seeking alma mater. i now know how frustrating it can be to be hung up on, and to go through scores of alumni and not have one pleasant exchange [bear in mind they all graduated from a christian university...]. i sure hope this lesson in patience has also taught me to remember these very phone-a-thon adventures when i myself am called up by a poor college student who's just doing their job.
so what about y'all? have you ever taken a job as a phone-caller or been on the receiving end of a telemarketer? how did you react in various situations?


you're the God of this city.

today at church we sang one of my absolute favorite songs, God of this city. it was all i could do to keep from letting the happy tears flow [though they definitely let loose later in the message - invasions has been an incredible series!] as i thought of so many places the lyrics remind me of - my hometown of mountain view, my college abode in shawnee, the edmond/oklahoma city communities i've invested in these last two years, and istanbul. this city captured my heart in just two short weeks back in 2005. my vision is there, my dreams are with the turks, and a little piece of me remained there as our plane took off of the soil. as i copy and paste these lyrics, let me also leave with you one of my favorite photographs from that trip. my former youth minister's wife peeked her camera around the corner of this tiny street in an instanbul neighborhood and snapped a precious piece of time as we prayerwalked. He is the God of this city, and such bigger things than we can envision are already in preparation - for istanbul, for oklahoma city, for your hometown and mine. let's join in and be a part of what He's doing.

You're the God of this city
You're the King of these people
You're the Lord of this nation
You are
You're the Light in this darkness
You're the Hope to the hopeless
You're the Peace to the restless
You are
there is no one like our God
there is no one like our God
for greater things have yet to come
and greater things are still to be done in this city
greater things are still to come
and greater things are still to be done in this city


what's next.

this past year brought me new responsibilities that i never expected to come my way so soon. one of these is a position as the what's next coordinator for switch at the edmond campus of lifechurch.tv, where i have the opportunity to disciple new believers and follow up with them on their spiritual journey. discipleship is something i am deeply passionate about, especially when it comes to the youth i work with. it is so amazing to be a tiny part in raising up a biblically literate and spiritually mature group of kids! in the last two months at switch, He has allowed me to become close with a group of several high school girls who are all close friends themselves. they approached me together one week after switch to talk about recommitting their lives to following Christ, and He has opened up a great line of communication between us since. each girl has been faithfully attending church on the weekends and wednesday evenings, and their excitement at discovering new verses that are relevant to whatever they're experiencing at a given time is so delightful to witness! last night at switch, one of the girls expressed an interest in getting more involved at the church and finding a place to serve there. i was able to get her into contact with coordinators from lifekids, and i'm excited to see where this leads her! to me, this is such a demonstration of her growth in the last several months. one of the biggest fruits of faith is service to others in His name, and i cannot tell you how warm and fuzzy it makes me to get to see that emerge from behind the scenes. =)