Wednesday, June 29, 2011

hit the road jack

Tomorrow, I become a nomad.

For 21 consecutive years now, I have spent a considerable portion of the summer roaming around the country (and, sometimes, world). It's just one of those things that goes hand-in-hand with being a member of the Smith family. Last summer, I lived out of my suitcase from the middle of June until the day school started back for the fall. This summer is not quite as drastic, but still - things are about to get a little crazy. Here's my itinerary for the rest of summer break:

June 30 - July 1: New Garden, Ohio
July 2 - July 24: Bethel, Maine
July 25 - July 27 - Wilmore, Kentucky
July 28 - July 30 - Jackson, Mississippi
July 31 - drive 10 hours back to Kentucky
August 1 - August 7 - Sumpango, Guatemala
August 8 - August 11(ish) - Wilmore, Kentucky
August 12(ish) - Leave for Oxford, Mississippi for SENIOR YEAR of college

Jealous? I thought so. Really, though. I am about to have some incredible adventures. Leaving Kentucky is going to be so much harder than I thought; it's amazing how quickly this place has become a part of me, and I only have about a week left at "home!" But I am so, so excited to get to Maine. Three full weeks in a cabin on a lake with my kayak, lots of books, and - hopefully - lots of sunshine. Because of this whole nomadic lifestyle traveling thing, I'll have limited internet access, but I will attempt to share some of the good things that take place over the course of the next month when possible. If you need me, call me (no matter where you are, no matter how far...)

T-19 hours until departure time (because every normal family leaves at 5:30 PM for a road trip) so I better get back to that suitcase. Here's to a hectic but beautiful rest of the summer!

Monday, June 20, 2011

post-ichthus observations

- Worshiping for three full hours with Hillsong UNITED under a gorgeous and unexpected sunset is a taste of eternity.

- The Aftermath CD is insanely good and you should download it.

- Driving through the General Parking Lot = mogul skiing, but in a Toyota.

- Main stage bathrooms are amazing, if you can come up with a way to get back there to them.

- My new friend Abe is a pretty awesome singer and has the exact same sense of humor as me.

- Escaping the heat at the Troyers' pool is both necessary and entertaining, even if Brian is out of the country. Also, the owl statue floats.

- Lecrae has one of those good, commanding voices that makes you automatically listen and take seriously everything he says.

- Members of screamo bands can instantly tell I never listen to screamo music.

- Harry Potter references go a long way when trying to relate to people who are completely different than you.

- Matthew West does an excellent Justin Bieber impression.

- Chris Tomlin concerts are not over when you think they are; he comes back out for a few minutes so everyone can sing more, celebrate more, and jump around like crazy people.

- When no one has slept in four days, piling on couches and watching YouTube videos until 2:00 in the morning is definitely a good idea.

- Living in Wilmore during Ichthus > being from anywhere else.

and in that moment of glorious surrender,
was the moment You broke the chains in me
lifted out of the ashes, i am found in the aftermath
[Hillsong UNITED, Aftermath/aerial view of Wednesday night]

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

singing in the rain

I'm sitting at work watching some serious lightning out the window right now. Sometimes I love rainy days, especially good summer rains. Because the weather's been perfect lately and just yesterday I spent hours outside, today I would be completely content to stay inside for a change - sit at work, watch the dark clouds out the window, read a book, and top off the night with some old school indoor fun such as, perhaps, the Train Game.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the greatest game ever. Officially known as Ticket to Ride, it is more affectionately referred to as the Train Game, and several nights have been set aside specifically to play it so far this summer. What better way to spend a rainy evening than by building railroads from Seattle to LA and by fighting with friends over access to Montreal? (You think I'm exaggerating, don't you? It's ok. I thought Laura's friends were exaggerating too. Confirmed. They're not. Buy the game, catch the obsession, then call me up to come play.)

So why not? Why not have the calm day and restful Train Game-filled night, staying out of the storms? Because, friends, today is the first day of Ichthus. (Ichthus for my Mississippi friends = a 3 day Christian music festival that brings unprecedented numbers of people to Wilmore.) The "Expect Heavy Traffic" signs start as early as Man O' War on Harrodsburg Road, and we've watched each day this week as more and more tents go up out at the field. They joke that it rains every year, but the show always goes on. Hope they're right, because the forecast for tonight says "Strong Storms" and Hillsong is supposed to go on the Main Stage circa 7:00.

A little water never hurt anything, right? Still crossing my fingers the storm rolls out, but, if not, looks like thousands of people tonight will still be singing in the rain. Looking forward to being led in worship by these guys tonight, whatever the weather.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

quote of the day

I've been surprised this semester by how few of my peers have heard anything about G.K. Chesterton, especially in light of his influence on C.S. Lewis. But, truthfully, I can't give anyone a hard time about it, as I'm just now actually sitting down to read some of the works I've heard of for years... the ongoing predicament of my life: too many books, too little time. Anyway, here's some truth from Chesterton's Orthodoxy to think about today.
As we have taken the circle as the symbol of reason and madness, we may very well take the cross as the symbol at once of mystery and of health. Buddhism is centripetal, but Christianity is centrifugal: it breaks out. For the circle is perfect and infinite in its nature; but it is fixed forever in its size; it can never be larger or smaller. But the cross, though it has at its heart a collision and a contradiction, can extend its four arms forever without altering its shape. Because it has a paradox in its center it can grow without changing. The circle returns upon itself and is bound. The cross opens its arms to the four winds; it is a signpost for free travelers. [G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Chapter 2]
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