Soldier’s “B”log

“Plosh”, the sound of the phone diving into the crystal clear depth of the toilet bowl. Immediate. Panic. “Man down! Man down! Mayday! May–!” Wait. How can I call for help without my phone?

Julieunscripted and I have often talked about “going off the grid”. We’ve wondered what it would be like to get tiny houses and “live off the land”. Although, I’ve never been as convinced as she is that gridless living is a viable option for us. One main reason, communication. The subject of how we would communicate in the case of catastrophic events – such as a zombiepocalypse – is a frequent visitor in our conversations. To the point that I seriously considered getting us two-way radios and evacuation kits for Christmas – that in itself is proof  that 1.) I should not have watched World War Z, and 2.) someone would make lots of money recording us. Needless to say, a world where Julie and I would not be able to immediately contact each other is not a world we are particularly excited about. Hence why we are still very much on the grid.

Now, back to my cell phone’s brief, but fatal, swim in the toilet and my panicked realization that I am totally disconnected from my world. How can I request for backup? I hate driving without a phone – what if I am ambushed by a flat tire or an accident – how will I call in reinforcement?


Initial panic has morphed into confusion. I’m alone in the concrete jungle of Downtown West Palm Beach. How will I find the rest of my troop for breakfast? I don’t have change. How will I pay for parking if I can’t dial in? Julie had intel about great finds at Stone Button Studio. I wanted to go in and do some reconnaissance. How will I navigate my way around the unfamiliar Northwood territory? Frustration is setting in.

The emergency evacuation team has transported the unresponsive phone to a coma of dry rice. All efforts to resuscitate have failed. Reinforcement will be shipped within 24 Business Hours. Weary inconvenience has set in as I, suffering from post dramatic stress disorder, lie in a vegetative state on my couch. Oh, that would be a great picture. No phone. I should put this funny comment on Twitter. No phone. What’s Julie doing? No phone. I need to set my alarm clock. No phone. What was on my calendar for the rest of the day? No phone. What does Google have to say about this recipe? No phone. Sigh… I should blog about this… No phone.


At the end of each day

It’s a problem when I can’t even remember the last time I blogged. But since a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s mine:

This pretty much sums up my life (all aspects of it) at the moment – lots of clutter, lots of things to trip over, lots of unopened boxes. But there is a light with a puppy full of love at the end of each day 🙂

Giving Thanks

I am thankful that God is faithful! He gives me the Holy Spirit to guide and support me in all circumstances. He disciplines me and provides people, family, friends, trials and triumphs to mold and shape me into the woman He created me to become. And most importantly, He gave His Son as ransom for my sin, my debt, my death so that I may truly live (aware of His grace and conforming to His truth) now and forever more.

Giving thanks for love, emotions,  connectedness, communication, music, words, talent, gifts, prayers, tears, laughter, hugs, smiles, senses, beauty, pain, touch, warmth, colors, life, death…

Nichole Nordeman, My Offering

Be(ing) Thankful: A Lesson in Three Phases

Phase I – The long-awaited call finally comes on Wednesday, October 17th. Of course, I am immediately thankful. After all, it has been one year, three weeks, and five days. More specifically, I have been waiting exactly two weeks for this particular phone call. Of course I am thankful! But I am just as quickly flooded. My mind is swimming laps around thoughts of what I need to do next. Who I need to call first. Somehow, I know this isn’t right. This is not how one shows deep gratitude for the end of a year-long drought. “Stop and be thankful”, my spirit warns. But, I already am. Aren’t I?

Phase II – At the tail end of my second unsuccessful call, it hits me: the elation, the relief, the sudden release from a heavy burden that makes it impossible to stop smiling. It’s un-containable, the joy. The realization that something has ended and something wonderful is beginning. I cannot stop laughing. I am succumbed to a complete lost for words. I am overwhelmed with the emotions of gratitude. I am swept away by the attempts to articulate praise. Where could I begin? The last year? The last seven years? The last 32 years? It all seems so much… and yet… I feel it… there’s something more.

Phase III – The uncontrollable joy turns into ceaseless tears. I try to compose myself. I try to find the words to express myself. But I cannot. I finally realize what I am truly grateful for. I understand what I must “stop and be thankful for”. As the memories flood my thoughts, I know what I don’t want to ever forget. I acknowledge that it is not God’s provisions that move me, although they are wonderful and miraculous. No, what is stirring me to blissful tears are His withholding. The comfort He withdrew, the ease He prevented, the peace He frustrated, the resources He withheld, the fiery furnace He did not cool, the prayers He did not answer, the pain He did not thwart… The circumstances, though grim, that brought me to my knees. The heart breaks, though painful, that caused me to love Him more. The fire, though scalding, that refined the gold. That is what I’m deeply grateful for – to have learned to be content with little, to stand naked before my maker with this season’s dross fallen at my feet and know that He is truly delighted; that for that perfect moment, I am purely beautiful… that is what fills me with inexplicable joy. That is when I finally learn how to be thankful.

P.S.: It’s official! I am the new Assistant Director of Student Success – FYE at Palm Beach Atlantic University!!

How to Have a Happy Day

1. Wake up with gratitude
2. Realize that your dog is hyperactive because he is happy to see you after several hours, and even though you’re not a morning person, appreciate it
3. Go for a long walk
4. Enjoy the pink sunrise
5. Be thankful for walks
6. Listen to a chapter of an encouraging book while on your walk (sermon or uplifting music will also work)
7. Have a healthy breakfast
8. Drink a strong cup of coffee (or brown water if decaf is your thing, not judging)
9. Be thankful for coffee
10. Take a nice shower
11. Bother to shave your legs (or arm pits or beard if you’re a guy and mountain man isn’t working for you)
12. Get dressed even if you are working from home
13. Don’t open your mail
14. Be thankful for distractions in the shape of bright-colored stickies
15. Create a “to do” list
16. Call your mom/dad/sibling(s)/crazy uncle/etc.
17. Spend time with at least one friend
18. Make sure to check off at least three things from your “to do” list, even if you had to add some of them after you did them
19. Continue to ignore your mail
20. Decide to ignore Facebook as well
21. Use the fact that your classroom is “flooded” as an opportunity to teach your students about trusting God
22. Use the fact that you forgot your shoes at home as a reason to walk instead of drive across campus
23. Try to have a moderately healthy lunch
24. Use the fact that the network is down and you have to lecture without your PowerPoint presentation as an opportunity to teach your students about God’s faithfulness in teaching us to trust on Him
25. Be thankful for a day where nothing went according to plan
26. Spend a few minutes outside playing with your dog (or cat, not sure how that will work but interested to find out)
27. Set better goals for dinner
28. Open your mail
29. Regret you opened your mail
30. Be thankful