What Happens When You Go to the Movies Alone

So there I was at the movie theater on a Saturday night…alone. (Yes, I’m one of those people.)

Since the theater was lightly occupied, I’d selected a seat smack-dab in the middle of the row. A smattering of couples sat here and there, the nearest being down the row on my right and one three rows down.

The movie was more than half over when I noticed the guy a few rows down get up, leaving his date. (A strange fact about me: I always notice when someone is missing out on the movie. I wonder what on earth could be so important to forego the foundational pursuit of answering “What’s going to happen?” I make up scenarios in my head…and end up missing that much of the movie myself.)

In my official deduction, Mr. Truant had consumed too much Coke, because when he returned, he did not have any additional concessions in his possession. (Go ahead; say that three times fast. It’s fun.)

As much as I thought I was tuned in to the movie, my brain was busy tracking Mr. Truant’s movements. Not because he was attractive or noticeable, but because even I knew he’d missed his turn. His girlfriend was three rows down, but he just kept coming up the stairs. Continue reading “What Happens When You Go to the Movies Alone”

The First/Last Christmas Tree

It was December and I was wearing shorts and sunscreen. There’s something wrong with this picture, I thought.

My family and I had just traded hemispheres, and this was our first Christmas Down Under. Only a couple weeks before, my parents, older brother, and I had stepped off the plane from the States onto New Zealand soil, where we planned to settle.

Christmas in summer was the new normal. Gulp.

When in Rome, right? Barbeque for Christmas dinner? Of course! Go to the beach after opening “prezzies?” Why not? Watch the Queen’s address after tea—naturally! Continue reading “The First/Last Christmas Tree”

Spiraling Down, Inching Closer (There’s More series, pt. 6)

Image courtesy of Rawich at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It was as if an old version of me stood before the current me, whispering a lesson I’d forgotten.

I was kneeling next to my bookcase, an old Bible study guide in my lap. Moments before, out of nowhere, I’d gotten the overwhelming urge to clear through my bookcase. I’d pulled all the donatable books two weeks ago, but today, I’d decided that wasn’t enough; I had to get rid of some others. They wouldn’t be donated, just put out of sight.

Even though I was being rather fast and furious in my “everything, be gone” spree, there was one book I had the urge to flip through. I’d been doing shockingly well not flipping (as book lovers are often wont to do), but I couldn’t resist this urge as I held the old Bible study guide, even though it evoked bittersweet feelings. Continue reading “Spiraling Down, Inching Closer (There’s More series, pt. 6)”

What No One Else Can Hear

ID-10011893Why do we associate silence with loneliness? Perhaps we mistake the blessing of solitude for the curse of loneliness.

Crazy as it may sound, I’ve learned that both solitude and loneliness can be good.

In the silence of being alone, the emptiness echoes a truth we don’t hear when we have people to turn to and the static of busyness to overpower the noise inside.

It’s the truth that our souls are utterly alone before God. Continue reading “What No One Else Can Hear”

Along the Back Roads

20140810_122833The woman looking at my paperwork glanced up and verified my hometown. “How’d you get here to South Dakota?” she said, almost in passing.

Picturing the miles between where I started and where I ended up, I smiled and said simply, “Via some back roads.”

Isn’t that the case more often than not? How often do we set about to do something and end up in a completely unexpected place?

As I got thinking more about back roads, I began to see ways God has used them to bring me closer to His plan. Continue reading “Along the Back Roads”

Clash of the Accents: “Here” vs “Hair”

Time for a humorous story! Things have gotten a little heavy around The Empty Inkwell lately, so I thought I dig deep into my abounding arsenal of awkward experiences and serve up some self-deprecation for everyone’s amusement. Enjoy a cringe on me. 😉


ID-10076950When I lived Down Under, accents got me in trouble more than once.

One instance stands out particularly well in my memory because it is forever etched with the hot iron of mortification.

It was at a hair salon where I’d never been before. Now, anything that involves hair, for me, is emotionally scarring. At that point in my life, my hair frizzed and puffed on the brink of hopelessness. Even if the hairdresser smiled politely from behind the bush in the mirror, the look in her eyes said, “I can’t do miracles, so don’t ask for any.” Continue reading “Clash of the Accents: “Here” vs “Hair””

If Infinity Is the End

528264_10202086302389989_1795801970_n (1)For one moment last month, I thought I was going to die.

And now that you probably have a vision of me flipping a car or falling off a roof, I must admit it was nothing so dramatic. I was struggling to breathe, choking on a bite of food I’d hoped would give me the energy I needed before I dashed out again for a job interview. Nonetheless, when the Heimlich maneuver didn’t work for the second time and I feared making the problem worse, a thought came like a whisper: is this it?

Continue reading “If Infinity Is the End”