Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'm High!

I KNEW that would get your attention. Those of you who know me, know I am NOT high; well, at least not because of any illicit drug use. I'm on a LOVE high! I'm in LOVE again, for the first time in over a year. This has nothing to do with the McHotterson...I've always been in love with him. This has to do with someone who loves me even more than McH, even though that is somewhat unfathomable to me. This is someone who really isn't a someone at all. He is I Am. Do you know Him? I was introduced and fell in love with Him a long time ago, but just as quickly I fell out of love (not completely, but enough) with Him just about a year ago and I've been longing for the joy of loving Him since then. Guess what? I'm JOYFUL! And it is marvelous and overwhelming, and scary, and oh so amazing. He didn't go anywhere. I "checked out" for a while, but He didn't. I didn't want to be gone, and sometimes didn't even realize I was, but He knew and he beckoned me back all the while. He was wooing me. That was the tug; that was the longing in my heart; that was the part of Him I couldn't shake; that was His love for me. During this last year, I had lost something and was seeking it, but not in the right ways. I was seeking JOY from trying to get the things I wanted (i.e. a baby), instead of from being grateful and JOYFUL that I am His and that He is here! Oh, my heart is beating in my chest like I'm about to go on a first date, and in some ways, I am. But, I found JOY in a BIG God and I'm back people; the me that was there a year ago and somehow got lost in translation! And the JOY is back! Praise God!

So, as you can read my Walk to Emmaus was indescribable. I won't even try to explain with adjectives because they could never do it justice. But it wasn't the Emmaus Walk itself that changed was God's mercy and perfect timing and his use of others as his eyes, ears, hands and feet. I didn't SEE God, but I know He was there in full force. There were lots of what the world would call "coincidences" but we believers KNOW are not. Go here to read about one of them. If ANY of you are interested or have been contemplating attending a Walk to Emmaus, I highly encourage you to do three things: 1.) pray and listen to God's guidance
2.) Don't judge because of what others' have told you about it 3.) If you decide you would like to go, there is a walk in November and I would be honored and blessed to be your sponsor, so let me know.

After the Walk, I flew out of Midland to Dallas, spent the night with family and then flew out Monday morning for Kansas City, which is where I am right now. I am sitting in the airport with a heap of time on my hands so I figured what a PERFECT time to blog about what has been going on the last two weeks of my life...they have been a whirlwind. My mom is in Kansas City, MO as a grader for the AP Art History test, quite an honor I must say (and I have no shame in bragging on my Momma)! Anyway, I had this trip planned for weeks and I'm so glad I was able to come and spend some time with her while she is here. She will be here through Monday and I wish I could stay longer to keep her company and hang out with her. We have had the best time.

Monday night, we went to dinner and a James Taylor concert as part of his Summer 2008 tour! I know the pic of me in my new tee is backwards, but I took it with my computer so use your imagination! Those of you who know me well, know I LOVE JT! He is a rock star in my book! His voice is absolutely pure and the man could sing pretty much anything, as he proved at the concert. He came out and started and, yes, I pulled the total groupie, crazy fan move and teared up...I DID NOT cry...just tears and the lump in my throat and I turned to my mom and said, "I'm one of those dorky groupies who cry because they believe they are _______'s biggest fan!" She assured me I was tearing up because I was just so happy to be there with her. I decided to agree with her. So, that's my story...etc... ;)

The concert was at the Starlight Theater which we soon realized was an amphitheater! Thank goodness the flooding rains took a respite, and the night was perfect! This theater was breathtaking...very reminiscent of Shakespeare's Globe, don't you think? It even has Juliet's balcony (well, two actually)! It was very clean, too.

Momma and me waiting for the concert to begin...just before my teary lump formed.

This flashed up on the jumbo screens during intermission. I liked it.

This gives you an idea of what the stage was like. We were way back but still had great views and really who needed to see him? I just wanted to hear him! There were jumbo screens on either side of the stage. Notice the lighting? It changed from set to set...really beautiful and added nicely to the ambiance.

Because we were so far back, taking a picture of the man up close was out of the question, but momma, being the smarty she is, snapped some photos of the jumbo screen. Here's JT in all his balding glory! We did have binoculars (again, thanks to the smarty), so we could see closer when we wanted to.

Tuesday, while Mom was in "school" I spent the day sleeping in, walking around, finding Starbucks and reading (see my current read to the right...I've already finished it, am almost finished with another, and am about to start reading the first again), eating lunch in the Power and Light District. When mom was finished, we decided we would eat dinner and go to a movie. We took a cab to Country Club Plaza, which is an amazing high-end shopping center (for you Dallas-ites, it reminds me a lot of Preston Center in the Park Cities). Anyway, we had dinner at this little Italian bistro which was delicioso! Then, we saw Sex And the City. I will not make this a critique of the movie, but know I could have not seen it and been just fine (maybe even better off...GASP...I know, I know). We caught a cab back to the hotel and headed to bed.

Wednesday, I decided to brave it and took public transportation, i.e. the bus, to Union Station. This is an AMAZING place. Picture Grand Central Station on a smaller scale. This was a rail station built the year WWI started. It actually still is a rail station for Amtrak, but is also now an educational museum of sorts, a Post Office, it has two restaurants, lots of little shops, you can even take a Segway tour of the area. I visited Liberty Memorial, dedicated to veterans of WWI but didn't actually go into the museum. I saw the 3D movie on the Imax screen, Ocean Wild. Very cool show about the sardine run in South Africa. But the best part of the day was the Bodies Revealed exhibit. You have probably heard of this, but if you haven't it is a show featuring bodies of Asian men and women who have donated themselves to science. Their skin is taken off and their body parts have been preserved in their natural state. It blew me away! I had been wanting to see this show since last summer when it was in Branson, but we didn't If have time then and I haven't had the opportunity since. So, this time I jumped on it, it was incredible! If you ever get the chance, GO!!!!! I finally made it back to the hotel after a mistake on the bus route (my mistake, not theirs) and took a nap before we headed out to dinner. KABUKI!!! Yum, yum...some sushi and calamari and we were off to see a live theater show called "Perfect Wedding." It was hilarious and the perfect way to end my stay in KC. The theater was intimate, just like an off-Broadway show mom and I caught in NYC years ago, The Fantastiks. We drank coffee/wine and laughed and laughed and just had a blast. The area we were in is known as Crown Center.

The outside of Union Station standing WAY AWAY! Isn't the architecture stunning?
A closer view. You can see the banner advertising the Bodies' Revealed exhibit.

Inside Union Station. Isn't it gorgeous? If you've ever see Grand Central you can see the similarities.

This is a really nice restaurant smack-dab in the middle of the station.

And this is where I chose to eat. Not for any reason except the other didn't look open, but this place I found out, had a really cool story. Mr. Harvey an affiliate with the railroad system thought that travelers, especially those having to stay any time in the station (overnight or just layovers) needed a place to eat and get food without leaving the station. So, he started the Harvey House Diner and it has been around ever since then. There's a soda fountain in the middle (where I sat) and tables all around with a juke box playing hits from every era. I had their Country Style Chicken Pot Pie with a Buttermilk Biscuit and a scoop of strawberry ice cream...yum, yum!!!

I didn't know this until I got to the city, but Kansas City, MO is coined the city of fountains. There were several, I must say. Here is one between Union Station and Liberty Memorial. Something else I didn't know, but probably should have, is that Kansas City is in both Missouri and Kansas! Cool, huh? Not much the geography student am I.

This is Liberty Memorial (WWI) from a distance. It was beautiful, with lots of intricately carved detailing in the architecture. I wish I would have had time to visit the time!

And finally, here we are my last night with Momma at the play, "Perfect Wedding." You can see the set in the back giground and imagine just how small the theater was. Every scene took place on that set, so it was never changed. We sat on the very top row, so that gives you an idea of the size, as well. So fun. On the way back to the hotel, mom and I were talking about how it has kind of become a tradition for us to find a live theater show wherever we are. We decided we were going to make it an official tradition and see one, if we can, any time we are on a trip together. I can't wait! I love live theater!

So, that's pretty much my trip. Now, I'm waiting for my flight and am really ready to see my McHotterson...I won't get to actually see him until tomorrow afternoon and I'm so ready to plant a wet one on him!

If you ever have the chance or are just looking for a destination vacation you can take the kids on and know there will be things to do, I highly recommend Kansas City, MO! Especially the downtown area. It is filled with education, art, museums, water features the kids can play in, and so much more. Oh, and those of you reading this who only get to eat out in the tiny town you hale from, know there are restaurants galore...more than you can imagine! What a city! I'm ready for next year!

*In a post coming soon...The Shack! Read it, people, read it!!!!!!!


***6/13 By the time I have finished and published this post, I am back home, sitting on my bed. It has been so nice to be home. For those of you wondering, we found out today our second procedure was not successful but we are okay...really, we are. Of course I'm sad and disappointed and so is McH, but we are resting in God's ultimate grace and plan and we know HE has one. I am excited to see what it is!!!!! We are also taking some time "off" at least from fertility treatments. The mind, soul and body need a vacation. So, pray that we will continue to seek the Father in this matter and trust in Him and that we would find JOY even in the valleys.

"God, investigate my life, get all the facts firsthand. I'm an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I'm never out of your sight. You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too--your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful--I can't take it all in!"

Psalm 139: 1-6 of The Message (I encourage you to read the entire chapter of 139. It is beautiful and a calm in the storm).


  1. Oh, I see your pics, and sure 'nuff, it IS you! lol

    I'm loving, loving, loving reading about your Walk experience. Thanks also for linking to me. I hope it was ok that I wrote about you on my blog. I couldn't help it.

    James Taylor!? I'm very jealous, my dear. Verrrrrry jealous. I knew JT before you were born, but I'll share him with you cuz you're my friend, k?

    And, about the infertility. Been there, done that, too. 15 years of it. I wish my experiences would minister to young women who now face similar circumstances, but so far I don't think that's been in God's plan. Maybe someday. You see, my heart of hearts wants to give you just the right words and advice to brighten your world about it, but there aren't any. It's a very personal journey that's different for every couple, but there's one thing I DO know: God is carrying you through it to the end. You know He never leaves you until the thing He started is finished. As for us, He was listening all along, and we now have four kids. I like to joke that God has a sense of humor because, 15 years after the fact, He gave me a kid for every prayer. lol

    In His time, Sweetie, the blessings come. And they're always sweeter than you imagined they could be.

    Love ya lots!

  2. Charlie,
    I so missed you...and am glad you are back..I know you had so much fun with your mom in Kansas City. I am just glad you took all those pictures...You are so good. Thanks for sharing and if I ever get the chance to go I want you to be my tour guide....
    Walk to Emmaus...the best ever...It changed my life also...I need that back...I agree that people should experience a three days with a deep study of yourself and God!..Life changing!!!

    As far as the little sorry to hear..but I know the Lord is in charge and will reveal His plan in time.....

    Let's go eat some lunch next week and catch up!

    Love ya!

  3. Hey Lala,
    Enjoyed your short stop by here this week...It amazes me that we can be talking at 7 and look up at 11 and not know where the time has gone. I love you and Sich...praying for you this month!
    IS 49:15-16 is a good might want to check it out!!!

  4. Char.....WELCOME BACK!! I cannot wait to hear about your Walk in person and your trip -- sounded AWESOME -- let's go see something live in Amarillo soon! You know I am always up for some theater!

    De Colores :)

  5. So glad to hear about the trip and the Emmaus walk. I've been checking for updates, and WHOA, this was a big one! :)

    Will is home, but not for long, so we'll try to catch you guys on the phone this weekend. Love you and miss you sister.

  6. Thank you for sharing all the pictures and it sounds like you had a great time.... What a great time with your mom and some time to just be with yourself.. I am so excited that you ENJOYED "the Walk"...I would love to go...November wouldn't be a good time...but I will keep thinking and praying about it...About the fertility, I am sorry but I still think that God has a plan and you are in my prayers and thoughts...steph

  7. Glad to hear you are back!! I'm so glad you enjoyed your Walk!! I loved the pics, especially your shirt!! We will have to get together again and have the boys cook for us!!

  8. Hey, Charla!

    I just wanted to add a tidbit about the Harvey House...If you like Inspirational Romances, Tracie Peterson has a series about the Harvey House Girls, those that were the waitresses at the Harvey House restaurants. I really liked them, called "Desert Roses."

    IF you have free time, you may just want to check them out!

  9. Charla...
    I'm so glad you were reading the blog. Truth be told I have been reading yours for a long time and didn't have to courage to leave a message. You guys are in our prayers! Feel free to read any time as I read yours. It's a good way to keep in contact without having to email everyone the same information over and over. I love reading your stuff. I hope you had a blast in Kansas City. I don't if you remember I'm from Kansas, so I was excited to hear you were heading to an area I love. Brett and I use to live about 45 minutes south of KC, so we made frequent shopping trip there. Make sure to keep in touch

  10. glad you are home. i have missed hearing from you. we have got to get together and clear our "cells"!!!

  11. Charla,
    I have been reading your blog for a while and loved this post. It sounds like you had a great trip and an amazing Walk. I'm so happy you found it to be such a recharge. You and Richard have been and will continue to be in our prayers!

  12. Hello! I found your blog the Steece's Pieces blog which I began reading on a lonely 4th of July last year. I was not a blogger, but after reading so many interesting blogs and how open and honest people are about their lives and struggles, I decided to try it myself! Anyway, long story long, I love your blog and feel like we have gone through many of the same situations and walks of life. I am currently reading 'The Shack' which I LOVE too! I just wanted to introduce myself and let you know you are not alone. Visit any time, I would love to hear from you! Blessings - Kristy

  13. What a weekend! I was so glad to read a recap of everything that you have been up to. I am also so thankful that you had a wonderful Walk. You were in our prayers and you both continue to be! You are such a precious friend! I love you and miss you! Let's catch up soon!

  14. Charla,

    Hi, My name is Sallye and I ran across your blog on LPM blog.
    Welcome to 4th day. Isn't it amazing that God planned a whole weekend around just you? I don't know how He does it, but somehow there are 36 only women on the walk.
    I pray that you will keep what was given to you the walk. Find a reunion group, and stay connected with the community.

    De Colores,


Comment away, y'all!