26 December, 2006

Christmas Dance Show

Two weeks ago I was writing furiously, attempting to finish my projects and papers for school. Meanwhile, the fencers had voted for team captains, my admissions advisor at my new school was frantically trying to reach me, and my family still didn't have a Christmas tree. Life was crazy hectic in a way that I'd only had nightmares about, but was now facing in reality. John had a phrase that week that seemed applicable... "the only reason [the weekend] will come is 'cause time doesn't stop...not 'cause you'll be ready for it :-)." God gave me little reminders of grace throughout that period, one of which was that time seemed to move remarkably quickly, but my production rate didn't slow down. A professor was particularly kind and gracious by extending deadlines, which allowed me to give him something more worth reading, though the end of finals came later.

On Wednesday I went to Phipps Conservatory (at long last) with Susie and some of her classmates. Though I really didn't know most of them, we had fun tramping around the hothouse flowerbeds and exploring the new addition. Afterwards I went to Quaker Steak & Lube with John and Mike to meet other people there. Mike was...inexplicably giddy, but I had fun laughing at him. I was ready to collapse by the time we left QSL, and that was the first time I remember coughing. The cough became a constant. On Thursday I wrote MORE and MORE, then suddenly realized that I had about an hour to pack for a 5-day trip to Akron. Uhhhh...but everything got done in relatively good time. I was typing my paper up until the moment I reached Oakland, but I had clothes and a toothbrush for the trip. I showed Mom around the basement of the Cathedral for a while, which was fun, and we went to Lulu's. Good, good food...and lots of it. Then we met Bek, and I took off with her.

I'd like to go down a rabbit trail here. Schoolwork is stressful, yes, and at the end of this particular semester I had an interesting battle within concerning school. Obviously I didn't have the time I wanted to make my projects, papers, and exams as stellar as I would have liked. So priorities came into play, and one particular class got sadly ignored. It hurt to do this, especially as I loved the class. My teacher received my final project and seemed shocked at what I had turned in. She offered a deadline extension, and named a date that I expected to spend in Akron. I was washing clothes in preparation for packing when I received this news, and spent several hours debating what to do. I know I had turned in shoddy work, and could do better, so I seriously thought I'd cancel my trip with Bek, go later with John, and come home on Sat. with my parents. Or perhaps not even go at all. I had reached a point in stress where I was tempted to just break down instead of working through the issue. Yes, I considered it an issue. To some, school may take 1st place, but this was not simple. I prayed fervently, and God gave me some enlightenment. Why was I going to Akron? For the Christmas dance show. Why did I want to partake of that? To spread the gospel. Is that the only reason? No, I expect to be blessed with godly fellowship and worship, but through that I'm also expecting God to use me in a way that proves eternally beneficial. I expected God to change hearts at that dance show, and draw people closer to him. Why would I consider not going/making my stay shorter? Because of school. What is the importance of school? By staying home I could have changed my grade by a whole letter value, but considering that God had given me this opportunity to invest in his kingdom, how important is an A when a B is already there? I had been concerned over missing Akron, but through this I became more concerned with missing the Point. My ultimate priority remained with God, and all I am should be invested in him. So I'm getting a B instead of an A in a class. This made the weekend more relevant to eternity, and God surprised me with the grace to let go of my GPA in this regards.

I arrived around midnight at the Murphys. Bek is wonderful; I am so blessed by her friendship. The ride there was full of good music and conversation about God, college, etc. We raced to be the first to hug Jess, and I got the good old couch cushions herded into Jess' room ASAP and collapsed. However, at midnight I got a phone call from John's phone. I hung up and went into the hallway to text him without waking Jess. The caller was actually my brother, who was John's designated driver of the night. I kept losing signal, but found out that he and John had gone off the road, called a taxi, and were now safe at Hoffman's. WHAT? Just kidding! Ugh! Brothers! Crazy boys. More on them later.

The next day was very lackadaisical for me. Jess and Jen both worked, so I watched the Murphy boys played videogames all morning. In the evening we went to dance rehearsal where I was reunited with the Smiths and the Hoffmans. I sewed the backdrop together with fishing line while the dancers rehearsed, and would randomly be needed on stage. "Joseph," played by Steve, had grown a beard for the occasion. 'Twas sweet! We came home, and though I meant to shower I watched The Return of the King with the Murphy family.

On Saturday I fried apples for Jess, Jen, and Daniel before we took off for the church. The dress rehearsal was full of Joseph/Mary jokes. Lots. Even before the show we were teasing each other on Facebook. Once things started, though, Joseph and I would tease each other onstage since we weren't dancing. I'd hold the baby for a while, pass it off to Joseph, and he'd start cooing, "Who's the son of God? Oh yes! That's you! You're so cute!" then would get bored and hand it back. I'd sit there stroking the baby's face and Joseph would be watching the angels dancing around us. "Joseph! Stop flirting with the angels!" I'd snap, and he'd come back with "Well you know, the baby's not even mine." Yeah. Backstage, Herod (Micah) wanted to see the baby, and I pretended to get offended. Joseph immediately was like "hey, back off" and the two of them started teasing. So I was accused of flirting with Herod to get back at Joseph! Ah, the long twisted stories...the teasing helped to relieve stress but also, I think, helped several people to realize the scandalous affair that Jesus' birth seemed to be. Steve even said, "I'm starting to realize what Joseph went through about this."

I was kept quite busy massaging shoulders and feet between the first show and the second one. The day was long, especially for dancers, and I was glad to be of use to them. Even Phillip felt better after a back rub.

[3/21/07...unfortunately, I never finished this. But the shopping trip in Columbus afterwards was fun, too. Jess and I sang our throats raw, I rubbed more backs, and got nice hand massages that really helped the arthritic pain. The rest is, unfortunately, forgotten. But I'm glad I went!]

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