Thursday, May 6, 2010



  I decided to pick up a book before my little trip to my old stomping grounds in West Palm Beach I wanted to finish it on vaca and yes, I expected inspiration, and yes, I got it.

Donald Miller's new book  " A Million Miles In A Thousand Years "

 'What I Learned While Editing My Life'    is like the new,  mature, go getter , glass half full, older brother of his well known book
" Blue Like Jazz ".

This definition got caught in my mind.
A part in the story where it changes everything, alters everything from how it was to there's no choice but to change. To launch into what is next.
 The term is used by Screen Writers called the " Inciting Incident " in stories, plays, movies.

What is an Inciting Incident?

The inciting incident is the moment or plot point in a script that kicks the story into motion. It occurs after the set up or exposition and everything that follows the inciting incident should be a result of the inciting incident. It is where a story really begins.
It is that moment in the script where the protagonist’s world is turned upside down and he/she must then set about resolving the change in circumstances that the incident has brought about. It is generally a clear and defined moment that is easily identifiable.

That incident that launches your story to change.

We all have things that flash through our minds- experiences that are almost highlighted in  happy annoying yellow. The ones that altered us.

Example of some of my inciting incidents: I'll list the two off the top of my head.

The Boy gave me a ring, I said yes

Getting a disease as a healthy 18 year old

The boy gave me the ring, and it suddenly changed.
I decided there to promise sacrificial love until I die, and will re-promise at our wedding, but it happens right then, right there.
The disease altered life, everything turned upside down.
I was utterly humbled, utterly desperate, utterly fell in love with Jesus.

It all in some way changed everything , turned the page, altered my story.
Moving to a new place does this instantly to most people and it's the most common Inciting Incident I believe. Which I've done. A few times, and I'm so glad I did.

A line from Donald Miller's book:

"Humans naturally seek comfort and stability. Without an inciting incident that disrupts their comfort, they won't enter into a story. They have to get fired from their job or be forced to sign up for a marathon. A ring has to be purchased. A home has to be sold. The character has to jump into the story, into the discomfort and the fear, otherwise the story will never happen. "

Most of us don't want anymore " waves " in our lives.
My dad is 50. He ran a marathon, his ankles popping out of socket, lightning and everything,  I haven't even done this.
My good friend got yet another bad health report in which he's had health issues his whole life. Do I have that perseverance? 
This boy who has autism , I stopped feeling bad for him, -he has kindness pouring out of his eye sockets,so much so It gave me chills and made me want to cry, he thinks of others, the most innocence I've experienced in a long time. Do I have that kindness?
Marathons are "waves", health issues, autism.

The thought of our stories we are living giving us our character, the conflict being the thing that changes us.

another quote from the book:

" We are designed to live through something rather than to attain something, and the thing we were meant to live through was designed to change us. The point of a story is the charatcer arc, the change. "

You know, before I got really ill.  I was taking advantage of grace.
Nothing could affect my heart anymore.
I was full of myself.
I wasn't talking to God anymore, I didn't believe in him, I didn't want to HEAR anymore about Him.
I grew up in the church, I'm a pastor's kid, I worked FOR a church and yet... what happened to my faith?
Until, My story changed. My life was called to action.

God used the very thing people apologized about to me saying:
 " You are to young to have a disease, I am so sorry you have to go through this. "
But, God healed my soul through the disease that racked my body.
This is when the beginning of the concept of that life is not supposed to be comfy, that maybe that is true that we are designed to endure things, for the sake that we are going to be changed.
The Inciting Incident throwing us into a better story.
This is not something that is easy for well...anyone, I mean , I rather watch Elf some days 
( Elf can be watched  at anytime of the year in my mind. ) with Nutella , and refuse to confront some of the ( excuse my french ) crap, that life flaunts.
It is adventure, it is trusting God, It is throwing yourself into a better story to live.

I want to live a better story.



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thumbs up.

I tend to listen to Pandora Radio- a lot.

I love how they have there option of 
Thumbs up or Thumbs down to a song-
If it's thumbs down- BYE BYE song that my ears dislike and if thumbs UP'd it remembers that you felt warm and fuzzy feelings inside when it came on. You get the point.

         Today, I pressed the thumbs down button a little too much , I know this because if you press it TOO much it won't change the song. It gets mad and says:
" You are way too picky, screw you ,I work hard all day and you thumbs down me, I'm keeping this song on, you're way too demanding. "
Ok, Pandora probably doesn't have these emotions, but this is where my brain wanders.

I wish life came with a thumbs up and thumbs down option.
You know- Awkward social situations.... THUMBS DOWN and poof- GONE! Move on!
Or those special moments- like Luke and I saw a shooting star the other day , I would of definatley THUMBS UP'D it and ask for that to reoccur.

But life doesn't work like that.
It works more like today where I Thumbs down'd the heck out of Pandora and it didn't budge.

I can thumb down days/experiences and those moments all I want, but they aren't going anywhere.
They stare at me and say " HA HA you're stuck with me and you have to deal with me "

I'm thankful for this.
If I got everything I wanted when I wanted , I'd be in a big mess.
I wouldn't have faith,endurance,courage even.

You know those experiences you have in life you can always look back to and say 
" Atleast it's not as bad as when _____ "    and all of our " Blanks " are different.
Perspective is a very reviving thing.
I crave perspective, even down to what does " Broke/No money " mean to me verses others.
What does " Hungry " mean to me verses another.
What does " Hurt " mean to me verses another. And ect.
Whether emotionally I feel " injured " or if I'm overtired and I therefore think the whole world is falling apart or simply my biggest "thing" is being overwhelmed.

Today I had a moment- a thumbs down moment actually.
If life were a song played on Pandora I would be pressed the thumbs down button going " HEY HEY did you not get the memo that I do not like this ?!"
Even thought to God " I don't like this. " even reiterated--- " you know I don't like this. "
Like that'd drive my point to God even more.
I thought to myself- " Atleast this is not like the time I was lieing on the bathroom floor, eventually begging for my Life at the beginning of my disease....... "
Eeessh. Ouch right in my face.
I might still throw tantrums because something isn't " fair ", or " that " didn't work out how I wanted it to.......
The list goes on.

But it's okay.  wow Pandora what a profound point you drove into me today.

So here's some Thumbs UPS!

Free Starbucks Coffee Today- Score! Thumbs up!

 Luke and I- Always a Thumbs Up Thing.

I hope you decide to have a Thumbs Up rest of the day too.

Right on.

I'm gonna go Zumba and have a popsicle. 
That's a thumbs up time.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010



 Honestly if I sit at my desk for too long at work I get antsy ,and I text my amazing fiance and just put-

" I want to go sky diving "

And he immediatley knows I am antsy.
Most normal human beings wouldn't jump right to sky diving or getting something peirced out of sitting at there work desk for too long, but I do.

I will say It doesn't help that i've been reading so much about William Wilberforce that it heightens the ants in my pant and then I therefore start acting like the guy from 'House'

Some would say this is good, others say this is bad.
He's a jerk, but he's a really funny jerk.
I get antsy and want an adventure.

If you don't know much about William Wilberforce he was the leader of the pack to abolish slave trade.
His life changing experience with God is truly entrancing.
It's nothing so profound in our human standards... yet his life became so profound.
He was what you call  " the good kind of crazy. "
You can know more about his life from the movie ' Amazing Grace ' which I am not a cry-er at movies but this... it was a goosebump/crying/mess . Or just google him. It's inspiring.

His life reminds me of the verse 
   " Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. " 2 Corinthians 9:6

I guess what makes me pay so much attention to this man's life is he did sow generously with his life.
Years and years, tears, health decay, passion... And it did eventually abolish slave trade.
Was it worth it? Almost driving him to insanity?          - yes.
 I loved that this once young man just wanted to be in politics to play cards, drink, be social, be on top of the food chain, in essence be comfortable not confrontational let alone start a revolution.
I will say I admire how he is all or nothing.

" See what Godly sorrow has produced in you: what eagerness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done... " 2 Corinthians 7:11

I love running across people who are indignant, concerned, eager... with the readiness to do what's right.
Those people whether good or bad- are going to do something wth there lives.
You know people ask you if you could have an hour to talk to any celebrity of choice- I'd pick him.
But he is obviously dead, so I must find his journals.
He totally tops Chris Martin the lead singer of Coldplay- but he made the running too.

Eh and Francis Chan too- which I was revisting his " Crazy Love " book last night before bed and the whole thought of people getting so caught up in the safety of things -  in being comfortable in their lives- let alone christian lives. How does that coexist?

This: is a rare thing.
I do want to be eager, indignant, even concerned with doing the right thing.
It's a fight to keep that lull of being passionless out of life so it can push us past being " comfortable "
, and into "unsafe" territory ( and I'm not just talking about a literal PLACE )

I do want to " sow " generously with life. Not just for the benefit of " reaping generously "
But because Life is short-
And definatley to short to live it passionless.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

W.W.J.D.--- Zumba.

Happy Tuesday to You.

You know when you think you're incredibly hilarious but really you end up being the only person amused.
Yeah,this is a daily thing for me, and the scene I type below explains.
My point is how I do not enjoy if someone asks "W.W.J.D."
 I actually think they are joking. That is horrible, but true.
I just think they have a stunning dry sense of humor and appriciate it.
I'm not saying I don't want to think about what Jesus would do.
I just don't like the bracelets. Or someone glaring at me saying it.

I responded to my last SERIOUS "W.W.J.D" question like this...

" W.W.J.D.? "       ( What Would Jesus Do -for the layperson )

Me. Pausing to catch the social cue that they are obviously joking.
Missing the cue that they are NOT joking, they don't practice that non-sense called a sense of humor.
pff, silly me.
So I respond- seriously.

" Zumba. "

This really didn't go over well.
A. The person didn't know what Zumba was
B. When I explained they didn't really seem to be fond of the whole " shaking it " thing.
C. But it was really funny

 I guess I find it the most freeing thing to be in a room packed full of woman of all ages shaking whatever they have- to songs that all they talk about well is....shaking it.

Main point to Zumba: Shake it.

check it- " Ditch the workout, Join the party! "   ---OK!

Sipping some espresso and about to go to Zumba- to shake it.
I suggest this to anyone. 

Now you see Zumba is nothing like this below,  But this is pretty impressive. ( bunny trail of my mind. )
Have a smashing day-------- Courtney

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bridezilla and Hanson

I am packed and ready for this weekend's 2nd prep for marriage in Georgia ( 2nd prep yeah, we're overachievers ) 
I'm hoping this 2nd one doesn't involve powerpoints, laser pointers, awkward jokes.. 
The Finance discussion part did have a laser shaped like a money sign... As entertaining as that was,
we'll see what we come back with this one, friday,saturday,sunday.
Marriage talk. 
It should be baller.
 Coffee-ing myself as I type.

I laugh at the whole term ' Bridezilla ' I honestly think it occurs with some estrogen dominant female has longer than 4 months to plan a wedding and therefore goes insane.


Bridezilla's come to pass when the female has dreamt about every detail of her wedding her entire life.
I mean the girl is 7 and knows she wants a halter top wedding dress - you have W.O.T.B.S.
 " Wedding On The Brain Syndrome "  ( W.O.T.B.S )
You know who I'm talking about, they're single, and always on the prowl for " The One "-typically at church gatherings , even more at ' singles ministry ' meetings aka: meat markets.
They're always sharing details on how their wedding, AND marriage is going to be OH OH and even how their non-existent husband is going to be.
This W.O.T.B.S syndrome is rampant and creating Bridezilla's probably even acid reflux/digestive problems-ok I take that back , but it could be true.

When I was 7, I wanted to be the 4th member of Hanson, I'll admit it.
I wanted to not lose at ' P.I.G.' to my big brother.
I really wanted a paper shredder- ( I got one   -score. )

As time went on, I still never saw ' Marriage ' for me.
I thought Marriage messed people up.
They suddenly become co-dependant and unsocial and just...weird.
But then again if you're single for too long too you get weird too...
So I guess there's that rare balance.

Let's just say I thought my odds of being the 4th member of Hanson was greater than marriage.
In 2007 I got a disease called ' Lemierre's Syndrome '
Long story short, I almost died a lot... and not like how people say " I almost died! " but like I literally..almost died.. Ok you get the point.
God changed that. A lot.
 Here I am at 2010.
And I am NOT the 4th member of Hanson, but I am getting married in June, and I am not a Bridezilla.
I don't think I will be carrying a gun on the day of my wedding like the picture above, nor pick up a smoking habit- A.  because my lungs are nothing to write home about and  B. gross.

I'm off to a fun 3 hour drive with my love.
Rest assured being thankful to be alive DOES cure Bridezilla-itis.
Cheers to all those who see life being more than just ONE life event.

I'm gonna Wang Chung today.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Provoking Wang Chung?

Well .
Since this my THIRD blog I've created, and the only one I decided to actually write on,
I guess I'll stick with this one.
(Yes I sound like a virtual scared-y cat , I know.)

Let me start with the definition of provoke.
I just like this word.


[pruh-vohk] Show IPA
–verb (used with object),-voked, -vok·ing.
to anger, enrage, exasperate, or vex.
to stir up, arouse, or call forth (feelings, desires, or activity): The mishap provoked a hearty laugh.
to incite or stimulate (a person, animal, etc.) to action.
to give rise to, induce, or bring about: What could have provoked such an incident?
Obsolete. to summon.


Now you know that classis 80's song " Everybody Have Fun Tonight " by Wang Chung.
Well that lyric ---- " Everybody have fun tonight, Everybody Wang Chung tonight ."

Gets stuck in my head . Just that one part.

So ,while working at The People's Church walking around the office, I swing my arms over my head and, I personally think I'm in some kind of movie like ' 13 Going on 30 ' going along my day, wang chunging.

So I guess while I was swinging my arms over my head going about my day singing
' Wang Chung ' around the "holy ground " raises eyebrows and sounds like a ' Naughty ' word
'Everybody wang chung tonight' hmm. yeah. ok ok ,here's the definition.

Main Entry: wang chung
Part of Speech: v
Definition: go out socially and have fun
Example: Everybody wang chung tonight.
Etymology: 1983; fr the band Wang Chung and its song "Everybody Have Fun Tonight"
Usage: slang

Aha! As you can see why I love the meaning of Wang Chung.
I gladly told my co-workers Wang Chung is NOT a body part, nor.. well you get the point.
My fascination with the word Provoke and just Provoking others in general,
and Wang Chung making me laugh and the definition being well, killer.

I decided today, We need some more Wang Chung in the church .

I mean what a cool sermon title?!
' Everybody Wang Chung Tonight '

hello virtual world of my mental explosions.

SO For my first blog ever ...going by ' Provoking Wang Chung '

That's precisley what I want to do.

Smile, Enjoy Today.

Everybody Wang Chung Tonight.