Sunday, November 27, 2005

Still here...

With a potential "all-nighter" impending, I am filled with deep thoughts and it occurred to me to blog again. As I struggle to critique an epidemiological article about the relationship of HIV with previous herpes simplex virus type 2 infection, the only things that I can think about are totally unrelated to that subject. I have discovered a new musical group that I love for the first time in a very long time and this always leads to a reawakening of my bohemian tendencies.

Tonight, just like many nights, I am wondering why I am doing what I am doing. Don't get me wrong, I never doubt getting married, but sometimes I wonder why I did everything in the "right" order. For example, I graduated from college in the obligatory 4 years with a very practical undergraduate degree and then entered the working world. Now, I'm back in school and doing all the "good" graduate student things like studying a lot and getting an assitantship (even though it's in a field of study that I wouldn't like to work ever). Why have I always done exactly what was expected of me? I've never fallen asleep in class (really, ever), never turned anything in late, never made a C, etc. There's a Derek Webb song that alludes to "trading in our crowns for paper or plastic lives" and this is my greatest fear.

We've built this unfathomably enormous ladder for ourselves to climb not knowing that at the top we'll find that we've passed all of the important things by. As much as my flesh tells me that I want the things of this world, my spirit cries that I am a citizen of Heaven.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Because I love you all very much, I plead with you to NOT go see the movie Jarhead. It is truly one of the most disgusting things that I have ever been subjected to. Filled with sexually explicit content from the beginning, it is neither entertaining or very informative on any level. I guess that I cannot vouch for more than the first 45 minutes of the movie because I left at that point, but I seriously doubt it gets any better.

If you have seen the movie I can say that I don't know anything about what it's like to be a Marine, but I am married to one and he is nothing like the ones depicted in this movie. I am very disenchanted by Hollywood right now. They put this slant on everything and we are supposed to accept that their truth is actual truth, when 9 and a half times out of 10, it isn't.

So, there's my two cents for what they're worth. And happy 230th to Marines everywhere.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Love me, love my cats

When I was in seventh grade, I had a t-shirt with "Love me, love my cats" emblazoned on the front alongside a picture of a little girl with a bunch of cats around her. This has always been an underlying motto of my life and, fortunately for me, I married a man that takes this particular role very seriously.

First of all, don't let him fool you, he loves animals as much, and sometimes I think, even more than I do. He had two ferrets as a kid named Ricky and Bouncer and I think that if you can tolerate nasty ferrets (not to mention our ear-piercing, vicious bird), then you must be an animal lover. The proof of his love for me through this love of animals, and namely cats, comes in the form of two stories.

The first one begins on our way to Wesley one evening while we were dating. As we passed through Five Points, we witnessed a most horrible accident: a cat being run over! I was so distraught by the situation that my boyfriend (now husband) turned his truck around and went back to the scene. The cat was still alive, although barely, and I couldn't stand the thought of it being run over repeatedly, so Brian mustered up all of his un-queasiness and picked up the cat and placed it in the bushes. Right then and there I knew that he was the one for me. (I actually knew it already, but this did help seal the deal as they say.)

The second incident happened today when we thought that our recently adopted cat, Jake, had been run over while we were at church this morning. We saw a cat that looked identical to Jake in the gutter near our apartment complex. I was a mess. So, my wonderful husband went to look and determine whether or not this cat was, in fact, Jake. He surveyed the scene, but could not come to any definitive conclusions. My mind could not rest, so he went back to the cat, took him out of the bag that he had put it in, and tried to make a decision. He could not, but, people, this is love. To study a dead cat just to ease your wife's mind!

The happy ending, besides that I have the most amazing husband in the world, is that it was not Jake. He is home now and we're not sure how much he'll go outside anymore!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

In Memory of Frances

My grandmother went home last Tuesday night. She doesn't live in Magnolia Estates anymore and of that, I'm sure she is very glad. She doesn't need her oxygen anymore. When we were trying to talk to Grace about it, she said, "Grandma's oxygen make her better." "Yes," we replied, "yes it did." But it wasn't the oxygen and it wasn't the thousands of pills and doctor's visits she's had over the past so many years since she began to get sick, it was the Lord himself that finally healed Grandma last Tuesday. Now she is whole, now she is perfectly who she was created to be. And I am overjoyed because of all this.

But I am really sad at the same time because my grandma is gone. She won't ever sit and drink coffee with us on Sunday afternoon again or tell us stories of how she and Daddy Fred met. She won't ever have us slip her wine into the assisted living home or laugh so contagiously here again. I loved her hands so much. She had one crooked thumb from an automobile accident and that made her hands so prominent. Her eyes were beautiful and they sparkled with quiet determination. She loved everyone around her more and gave of herself more freely than anyone, except for my own mother (her daughter), I have ever known. During the last two days of her life, everyone from the man who owns the assisted living home where she lived for the past two years to the cooks and cleaning ladies came by her room to tell her goodbye and that they loved her. My grandma was a woman who poured out the love of Christ. And now she knows it fully. What was mortal is swallowed up in life.

"And, Lord, Haste the day when my faith shall be sight..."

Monday, October 10, 2005

Heavenly dwellings

Tonight I sit amid the almost cool, although still quite humid, Georgia air at the intersection of Milledge and Lumpkin completely unable to concentrate on my task at hand, epidemiology. At the beginning of the semester it was my favorite class, but now my mind is so filled with other things that I just can't concentrate. The Asian man who is frequently up here has just finished a soothing round of classical guitar and every few minutes some undergrad pulls by blaring an all-too-loud country or rock or emo song. Brian sits, hooked up to his ipod, reading Constitutional law. The sound of espresso makers pounding out the grounds is barely muffled through the wall. Ah, another evening at Jittery's.

Our grandmother is really not doing well and so I've been thinking a lot about Home. Not our apartment or even the house out in Watkinsville, but Home. Heaven. I have no idea what it will be like. Paul uses the illustration of this life being spent in tents to compare it to the heavenly dwellings not built by human hands in 2 Corinthians 5. He says that as much as we long to live in these heavenly buildings, we still don't want to be uncovered of our earthly tents. Frances Reinhardt (my grandmother) will know Home soon. She will know peace soon. And I can't wish her to stay here in our tent village because both she and I know that this is the truth. She will dance with Fred again soon. There will be no more pain, no more new diseases, no more assisted living homes. Just the light of Jesus' face.

"And when from death I'm free, I'll sing on, I'll sing on..."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Update on Des

Since I last wrote, our zoo here has been changing a little. Desmond finally took the grand flight off of the back deck earlier this week and we last saw him descending into the trees. He looked like he was flying well and, frankly, he was making a huge mess in our study room, so I am not all that upset about his departure. Meanwhile, Jake the fluffy black cat has joined us. Brian even got him a litter box. He (Jake) jumped on my legs at five am the other morning and started biting me. Needless to say, I discourage him sleeping inside. It is fun to have a cat around though.

The best story of the week is that there was a spider on me during a class earlier this week. Yep, I had one of those little "stop the class because I'm freaking out, except no one else can see the spider" incidents. Gotta hate it when that happens.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Meet Desmond

...the newest member of the Magee family. We have sort of taken in a stray cat that we found attacking this little baby bird last Friday evening. I could not bear it, so our friend John rescued this little guy. He is now living in Paco's traveling cage until we decide what to do with him. He is really cute but he makes a terrible mess and I kind of feel bad for keeping him caged since he was never meant to be caged. Brian wants to release him at Big City Bread so that he can join the little flock of fellow finches there and live off of the bread crumbs. I just want to make sure he's completely well before we send him off. If you have any suggestions or if you want a cute little house finch, let us know. Until then, I guess our zoo will continue to grow!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Cold, Hard Truth

The National Geographic for this month is all about Africa. I have been completely distracted all day by it, looking at the pictures and reading the stories again and again. Did you know that 6500 people die EVERY DAY in Sub-Saharan Africa from AIDS? What is more, 8500 people in Sub-Saharan Africa contract HIV/AIDS every day. There are 40 million people living with HIV worldwide, 26 million of whom are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Fifteen million children were orphaned by AIDS as of 2003, 12.3 million of who live in, you guessed it, Sub-Saharan Africa. The list goes on and on. People, this is the same world that we live in! If you have any money left over after giving to the victims of Katrina, there are so many wonderful organizations out there that are trying to make a difference in Africa. World Vision, Blood Water Mission, Compassion to name a few. Please pray for Africa, then give if you can, but at the very least be informed about what's going on. And thanks, all 2 of you that might read this, for listening. Maybe now I can do actual, constructive things that I have been supposed to be doing all day.

"Look at all those fancy clothes, But these could keep us warm just like those. And what about your soul, is it cold? Is it straight from the mold and ready to be sold? Cars and phones and diamond rings, bling-bling, those are only removable things. What about your mind, does it shine? Are there things that concern you more than your time?"
-Jack Johnson

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


In the silence of this shadowed room, when the walls are pulled toward the center,
I'm afraid to be alone with you 'cause I'm dying full of splinters.
Why do you still want to hold me after a day like this?
All you can do is sing over me as if all has been dismissed...

You escape my words
You escape my words
I cannot consume what you offer, but in spite of myself,
I am yours

No, I cannot speak this language. You have quenched the thirst of these demands.
I can be no more than faithless, but this breath is from your hand.
You've released me from condition, someone's already been down this road before.
He has taken the scorn that I deserve, but my hands still move the sword...

My words cannot contain you. They cannot hold you down, close you in fill you up.

** I can take no credit for these words. This is a song by Sandra McCracken.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Hope for the future

"For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened-not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life." -2Corin. 5:1-4

"For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."
-Romans 8:22-25

"Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, but wine and milk without money and without price." -Isaiah 55:1

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


There are moments in life when you actually realize why you are doing what in particular you are doing. Although these epiphanies are few and far between for me, here are some really cool science quotes that "light my fire," so to say.

"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking."
-Albert Einstein

"All scientific work is incomplete-whether it be observational or experimental. All scientific work is liable to be upset or modified by advancing knowledge. That does not confer upon us a freedom to ignore the knowledge we already have, or to postpone the action that it appears to demand at a given time. Who knows, asked Robert Browning, but the world may end tonight? True, but on available evidence most of us make ready to commute on the 8.30 next day."
-Sir Austin Bradford Hill

That second quote alone makes me want to be an epidemiologist. Powerful!

Sunday, August 28, 2005


is what I'm best at I think. There should have been a major for us. But, since there's not, I'm moonlighting as a Public Health student.

On to a more thought provoking topic, I have been thinking a lot about how to tell a non-believer about my faith lately. Not that it's come up, but I feel like it will soon for some reason. Maybe because it's becoming so much more real to me now. Growing up in a very deep south, evangelical, Bible belt box I can be quite the cynic about things of those nature now. All I did were blindly follow rules that I didn't even know why I believed. Jesus met me on the floor of my dorm room one night during my freshman year of college though, and I think that that was the turning point. It became real, it became my own. I no longer believed in Him because my parents or my youth minister or anyone else did, but because I had met Him myself. Since then I have run the gamut of ministries from the very conservative, "group-dating," sect to the hyper-charismatic community church to find myself now in a quasi-traditional reformed church. All of these things have their own strengths and weaknesses, but I have never before felt like I could be a Christian and a "real person" at the same time. All of this to say, somewhere in the middle of this, I fell in love with Jesus. And I don't know much of what else to say right now.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

My Twilight-zonish week thus far

Actually, we have to dip into the last bit of last week also, but weird things are happening here at the Magee household. Oddly enough, most of it has to do with mail.

First of all, we received our vehicle registration last Wednesday from a private citizen who was nice enough to forward it on to us on their own 37 cents. The geniuses at the ACC tag office mailed our vehicle regisration to another random Athens man in the back of the envelope with his. Our vehicle registration, people! A $175 sticker that says 2006. Thankfully, Random Athens Man is very kind.

Secondly, Brian got a tax refund from 2003 this week out of the blue. Weird. Next there was the incident in which we returned home to find a UPS sticker on our door with the standard, "First attempt at delivery/Signature required/Will attempt delivery tomorrow," message. This would have been normal enough had the coffee maker being delivered (free with Lexis-Nexis points) not been sitting in the middle of the sidewalk! Apparently, it didn't make it back onto the truck.

Additionally to these, our student loan check, AKA life-blood-for-the-semester, was returned to the Student Accounts office marked "return to sender, no forwarding address left," even though it was correctly addressed to Brian at our current residence. Did they bother to try and call? You guessed it, no. It was just sitting in a pile of things in the back of the financial aide office until someone dug it out today when Brian went by there.

Oh, all of this has happened not to mention the fact that we found out that we have been married for a month longer than we thought. Yep, our marriage liscence states that we were "joined in holy matrimony" a month before we thought we were. Best of all, no one has noticed until last Friday when I was getting an ID made. And now it's been over a year and 1 or 2 months.

I will close with the incident in which our friend's dad discovered a dead body yesterday in Pennsylvania. Yep, like on CSI. So, I would like to say that we are "getting into the swing of things" here, but, somehow, it kind of feels like we aren't. Good thing we believe in a Sovereign God!

Monday, August 22, 2005


"...the greatest desire of man is to be known and loved anyway."
-Donald Miller, Searching for God Knows What

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Another picture...I had to

This is my favorite picture from Brian's graduation. Us and an M-16!

In homage to Sweden...

The country of Sweden is truly fascinating. I have discovered recently that this small, Scandinavian counrty has much to offer. The first are Volvos. They are always the safest cars and they are really nice looking also. I always tell Brian that's what I want as my "mom" car one day. Next is the phenomenon that is Ikea. Atlanta just got one and I went a couple of weeks ago. There are hardly any words for how amazing this "Walmart of Europe" is.

This weekend I discovered a little cracker called "Wasa." Also Swedish. No trans-fats in the things and cheese is way better on them than your ordinary Ritz. I heard from a friend that the store "H&M" is also a Swedish design, but I don't know that for a fact. It would make sense since it's an awesome place that is reasonably priced, but I don't want to give credit where it's not due.

Anyway, if you know any other cool things about what is rapidly becoming my favorite Scandinavian country, let me know.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Red, red, wine...

Red wine, and more specifically Cabernet Sauvignon, is by far my favorite beverage. Kroger had my favorite on special earlier, so I am now sipping a glass. Tonight I just have to give a short declaration that I am now the proud owner of the most beautiful necklace in the world. Brian gave me an anniversary gift last night (ours was in July but he was gone) and it is a freshwater black pearl/peridot/some other semi-precious stone necklace from Aurum Studios that is simply to-die-for. I feel very special indeed tonight with my wine and beautiful necklace!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Always Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

Okay, I can't resist ganking song titles for my posts. Please forgive me. Here I am again, sitting on the futon waiting until Brian gets done reading to go to bed. We've been married for over a year now, but I still don't like to go to bed without him. I was always the last kid to go to sleep at slumber parties, so I guess I will always somehow be stuck in this role. It is so incredible to have him home again. Most of the time I don't believe it. There's part of me that can't really settle down because something unconcious makes me think he might leave again. I know he won't, it might just take time. Matters are made more difficult by the fact that he has to study pretty much every minute he's awake, so we haven't even really gotten any time together yet. No time to process or just relax together. I guess Christmas break is only 4 months away now...

Is it weird to anyone else when everything seems to be going alright? This summer was such a dark valley in my life that I almost feel guilty for being happy now. Does anyone else experience this? I was so used to being quasi-depressed for the past 2 and a half months that it's almost like culture shock now not to feel like that. The truth is that I am incredibly happy and I don't really know what to do with myself. Give thanks to God, I guess is what I can do. It's all I have to give.

Monday, August 15, 2005

When in Rome

Well, it's been three years, but last week we were blessed with another wonderful album from Nickel Creek. If you haven't heard them yet, check them out! That's all I have to say about that. Anyway, it's all great, but the first song is by far the best. The last line of the song goes, "Where can a dead man go?/A question with an answer only dead men know/But I'm gonna bet they never really feel at home if they spent a lifetime learning how to live in Rome." And they they break out into this incredible, furious jam complete with stomping. It's trully invigorationg. The words are what really get to me though. For Christians, it all the sudden makes sense not to live our lives for anything here. I would hate to get to heaven and not feel at home because I lived for this earth so much. Lately, God has really been showing me through different events that this is not home. We do not belong here. There have been days this summer where every part of my being longs for heaven and I don't want to lose that just because Brian's home now. And speaking of, the above picture is of me pinning his Lt. bars on his uniform after he was commissioned.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Stumbling through the lines

How do I say I’m sorry after so much time? I feel like the whole weight of who I’ve been was dumped on me yesterday and I am disgusted by it. Bearing the name of Christ I have lived by the law, being proud when keeping it and hiding when I broke it. I have been mean, a hypocrite of the worst kind, and all the while thinking that I am the one living right. I am so sad right now.

In high school I was a visible Christian, a goody-goody, I even had a friend that used to annoy me by telling me I was perfect. I went to church, Christian summer camps and even sang at these places, all the while hiding the many sins in which I reveled. Stuck in my middle-class, American, Bible-belt box, I had no idea what the love of God really is, I’m not even really sure that I know now. Grace was definitely not spoken of except in prayers and songs and was a novelty of a word, hardly an idea or action. There are so many people I feel like I need to apologize to; for making the Gospel look like a set of rules and regulations, for closing myself off to them because I did not deem them worthy of my love and attention, much less God’s. I have written off so many people as “bad” people and walked around with my nose in the air and head in the clouds. And Jesus is nothing like that. He debased Himself as God by becoming human and living life perfectly and dying for me because I cannot. I deserve death because of the things I have done, but by the grace of God through the person on Christ, I have life. Jesus spent time with all kinds of people and showed no favoritism between groups while he lived on earth. He loved infinitely and never once took the attitude that He was better than others or more worthy of respect, even though he was the only living person who ever in fact was. This is the person I want to exemplify. The One who loved everyone despite what they had done in the past, what they were doing at the time, their social status or what they could give to him. I have gotten it all wrong for so long.

I am so sorry. God is so much bigger than I can ever imagine and His love is infinitely different and greater than mine. I’m sorry for the hypocrisy, please know that Jesus, the Son of God and Savior of the world, is so much different than me. He is not self seeking and He does not give his love with conditions. As a Christian, I am made right with God solely because of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, NOT anything I have ever done or will ever do. My heart is saddened today because I have tried for so long to earn salvation and I have turned people, my friends, people I love dearly, off to the Gospel or sent them spiraling down the same road of self-sufficiency that I have traveled for so long. Yet I take joy in the fact that, as my pastor so often reminds us, “It’s okay because that’s why Jesus died!” I am a sinner, I can’t do anything about it except be changed by the love of Christ, revel in the fact that I am justified before God by Grace Alone. I have been declared righteous. And I think, this is the beginning of the Gospel.