I’m feeling–how shall I put it?–feeling tired.  Or as the southern might better say, “Tahred.”  Pretty much as wrung out as my buddy Spud, pictured here:

The ICEC conference is finally over, but it was so much more than I expected it to be.  It pushed me into some decidedly unfamiliar or uncomfortable (as in: comfort zone) territory, but it also ended up being a galvanizing and inspiring time for me.  My days were crazy-full: waking up EARLY to be at school at 7:50 a.m. to practice with an amazing worship team, leading worship twice a day, helping on the setup crew that prepared tables for 400 guests to eat lunch and supper in the decked-out gym, attending seminars, being interviewed by a video production team, etc.  And in the middle of all that activity, I received a top-secret job request from a stranger in the States that had me feeling very much like a hotshot private detective!  It was fun–in an “I can’t tell you about it or people dressed in fedoras and trench coats might have to kill me” kind of way.

Things I learned in the week since school let out?

– I love (read: cherish and relish) working with MKs.  There’s just no higher calling at this point in my life, given what my life has been and what my life’s purpose is.

– I know MKs…which is an odd statement from someone who is one.  But somewhere along the course of 16 years in this place, I think I began to forget why it was that I came for a year in 1991 and ended up staying until now.  I came because I felt I had something to offer, given the vantage point of a lifetime spent as the child of missionaries.  This conference offered conversations with friends and strangers that reminded me that I really do have a unique perspective as a survivor of the harsher realities of missions and a miraculously healed former walking-wounded.

– I need music.  It had been such a long time since I’d used my voice to lead others in worship, and I realized again, as I stood on stage with a group of talented musicians listening to 400 believers from around the world mingling their voices in praise to God that there are few moments in life when I commune more closely with my Creator than when I’m leading others to join me in praise.

– I chose my college major correctly!  Being involved even briefly with the video crew shooting promotional material for a DVD meant to recruit new ACSI teachers, I found adrenaline flowing down synapses it hadn’t reached in a while.  “Acting” in the reconstruction of a classroom lesson, answering tough questions during a personal interview, and paying attention simultaneously to form, content and appearance during several segments reminded me of the original reasons I chose Communications as a major!  I’m not directly involved in what I studied anymore (except for the massive informal communication relationships require), but it sure is nice to remember that I love what I studied and that what I studied is helping me love others.

– I require sleep.  AND, I’m pleased to say, it’s still cool enough at nights that I can cozy up to my comforter and purr.  And that, my friends, is one of the greatly overlooked luxuries of life! 

But in the midst of all of the conference busyness, I had the wonderful honor of meeting a young lady named, quite appropriately, Stargirl–and I can’t end this entry without introducing you to her!  She turned up at my apartment after one particularly tiring day and, along with her cohorts, created one of the funnest memories of this “break” so far!

There are several reasons she earned my respect.  The first is that she knows how to deal with the likes of my nemesis, Collin.  When he stepped a bit out of line, earlier that day, she let him know by sinking her pearly white teeth into his pasty white skin…and leaving a mark that was still there hours later!

And she further comforted my shredded self-esteem by proving that I’m not the only female who makes Taelyr convulse in utter fear and trepidation:

But I most enjoyed just observing Taelyrpan and Stargirl being together after too many months of separation.  I’d say more, but it’s pretty much indescribable.  Suffice it to say that being in the same room as them is a whimsical, joyful and ludic experience!  Kind of like the “Happy Feet” movie!

I can’t summarize that evening without making note of two other newcomers to my apartment.  Eliza is Collin’s surprisingly sane sister, and I’m pretty sure I detect a uniquely insightful and profound poet’s heart in her!  As for the redheaded cohort whose real name I can never remember, he now goes by the name of Lief–not sure why.  But it works and I remember it, so I’ll call it brilliant and let it rest!  He eats Jellybeans like nobody’s business, by the way.

And now?  Now I have a handful of days to recuperate before heading off to Italy for three days–and recuperation, in Michele’s world, looks something like this:

Have a blessed Easter, everyone!



  1. woah..i didn’t know she was visiting him! that’s exciting! as for yur unnamed visitor, his name is nathan strietzel, if you were still wondering. and as for your painting, i went, i looked, but sadly i didn’t find anything. it was mostly portait artists as usual and the few artists that i saw that WEREN’T painting cheesy paris paintings didn’t look anything like what you described. i saw a couple paintings of drainpipes…that was weird. but no chandeliers through windows…i even had 5 pairs of eyes looking (they weren’t all mine by the way). sorry i couldn’t turn up better news. and considering whenever you were there and saw this guy was probably a long time ago, it was a heck of a long shot anyways! but yeah..all that to say i tried. and that picture, that last one, is absolutely adorable! hope the rest of yur break is as restful and relaxing as you expect it to be!

  2. oh golly.  thanks for the reassurance.  that makes me feel so, so, so, so much better. 

    it’s just that the AC has kind of become that place where i can do whatever i want to do (excluding the obviously undesirable things, of course) and not feel any pressure to behave or sit up straight or shave or say “excuse me” when i sneeze.   and a public video piece on us might get us patronized, which is the opposite of what we’re after.  i’d rather have someone mad at us than someone shrug their shoulders and say “oh well.  they’ll grow out of it someday.”

    i’m really flattered, though, that you thought to mention us.  thanks.

    isn’t stargirl something ELSE?! man, i love her.  she talked a lot about you, by the way.  (we were out until 2 am in Kandern walking around.)  she really likes you, and that’s something.

    thanks again for your assurance that our favorite place to be crazy will stay ours.  that means a lot to me.



           does it really feel that elitist?  we want to keep people who aren’t interested in adventuring from joining because they won’t have a good time and it would undercut the club, but if someone’s really willing to have fun with us, they’re more than welcome.  i wonder if we need to make that more clear.

  3. i really wish i could have been there 🙂

  4. i just read your comment and i WILL come to your class on friday…. i´ll probably miss all the rest, but i i´m going to come in – probably at lunch – and not miss that class for anything 🙂 thanks for the encouragement by the way… and about that bite stargirl gave collin – he probably deserved it! haha 

    see ya


  5. Sounds like you are reliving being a teen but with an adult perspective and a little less energy.  Glad you had a wonderful time enjoying so many great things and experiences and people!   Love ya and Blessed Easter.

  6. michele… I love reading your entries…

    so we talked… but I couldn’t believe I hadn’t expected this kinda reaction from him… you know what I mean? like, of course I should’ve expected that from him! but… I hadn’t thought of it… more details to come during our next long distance date night… or early morning.. hehe

    and.. I was talking to a friend. and I told him that best things in life will come to you when you take risks… and he thought that was the most profound and true line.. of course, I gave you the credit.. ^^

    and you just made me realize again how subtely (however you spell that) wise you are… of course I would be motivated to talk to more americans if you incorporated counseling and mk ministry into it.. if you remember what you said that is.. hehe.. but yes, I will do something about my attitude……..

    I love you and miss you so much, michele…

  7. ok…………..so for your information…….(both beth and michele)



    and then i asked if i could shorten “Stargirl” and just call her “girl”

    but she said that wasnt why she bit me

    thanks for the good time


  8. Yes, I think the conference did the same for me…it reminded me that I know and LOVE MKs…

    We are blessed, aren’t we???

    Italy, here we come!!

  9. Mishelly, I hope I didn’t seem too much in a funk over the phone…I feel like lots of things are pending…even life…you know what I mean.  I am burdened and very aware of my sinful nature these days.  Don’t worry, I’ll have some “sanguine” in me when we get together tomorrow because being with you pumps me up!  I love you, friend!

  10. You survived without sleeping in!! awesome! Anyways, how’s Germany? I realy miss German weather right now.. As much as I dislike it…

  11. Michele, I love you!  What does effusive mean?  Hehe!  You are such a wordsmith!  Hey, I am a Gemini!  Haha!  Two sided, if you believe in such things…hehe!  Oh, I am blasphemous!  Have a lovely time in Italy and thanks again for the yummy goodies!  All gone!  hugs, Renee

  12. michele you scared the …………. out of me when you said you were moving back to canada..man nice april fools..i have lots of stories for you by the way..its funny watchign ahram squirm when we talk about swimming tehhee..miss you michele..we will have lots to talk about when i get back! i’m sure of it

  13. alright.

     so i’ve heard of the amazing creative writing classes, and i think i’ve seen you strolling the halls a time or two before,

    but I must say.

    I was feeling a bit down last night and somehow i landed on this page and it made me smile. not for any particular thing that was said, but it just made me happy.

    thank you for the good feelings.


    : ]

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