December 27, 2000 – Wednesday – 10:44 a.m.

The day before Anna met my mom, we talked about marriage. God had been speaking to each of us individually about marriage for about two weeks. We were half expecting my mom to talk us out of it, but she did the opposite. She prayed for us and felt we were right for each other; that our union was God’s will. My mom was a blessing to us both.

Anna flew down to Florida for Christmas, and we agreed to look at rings together when she returned.

During Christmas, Kevin and I talked a great deal about our upbringing. Much was covered; some painful, but all good. It was so weird to see Nate as a full-fledged teenager.

There are five days left in the year.

2001 will be a jewel.

December 28, 1999 – Tuesday – 9:30 a.m.

It feels like much time has passed.  Four days remain.

Marie and I had a nice visit on the 23rd.  The next morning we went to Williamsburg with her family, who are adorable by the way.  I want so much to be a part of them.  Please God, may your will be done.

It snowed while we were in Williamsburg, and then I headed north to Waldorf, Maryland.  Every member of my mom’s side of the family was there, and we had a beautiful Christmas.  I left around 2:00 p.m. to head towards Mt. Airy, where I met up with Lindy.  She was her lovely self, and we talked about our wonderful friends.  She has found her home in North Carolina and will probably stay there forever.

Jason, my old youth pastor, sent me a Christmas card, and Tenielle called last night.

I miss Marie so bad.  How wonderful that my heart longs for her.  I will see her in about eight days.

The year is ending.

I’ll write more later.

December 23, 1999 – Thursday – 11:57 a.m.

Vince just left.  What a lovely three weeks we spent together between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We saw the winter solstice moon last night.  We made pancakes this morning. He is my truly great friend, and he is moving in Bolivia in May.

I wrote Marie a letter this morning.  I so much look forward to seeing her tonight.  I feel I’m letting go of life more and more.  I want so much to let everything that is in me be nothing but Jesus.  I want all my remaining days to me Jesus, Marie, and storytelling….in that order.

Take all of me Lord.  I see that every good thing comes from you.  I alone am full of sin.  You are my redeemer.  I only exist because of your love and grace.

This beautiful life is full of you Jesus.  It is because of your resurrection.  I love you so.

December 21, 1999 – Tuesday – 10:15 p.m.

Vince and I experienced the most beautiful sunset in the world last night.  We were out at Back Bay Wildlife Refuge.  It was unbelievable.  God is so big, so grand, and I see Him every day.

I called Marie this evening.  She sounded beautiful.  She said she wrote me a letter.  What a lovely creation oh God.  She is yours, not mine.

She will be here in two days, but I’ll only get to see her a little while and then she’ll be back eight days later.

This relationship is the truest one I’ve seen or known.  I am overwhelmed with joy and thanksgiving.

There are ten days remaining in this millennium.  Vince lies to my left reading Passion and Purity.  My small Christmas tree is blinking in front of us with wrapped Christmas presents underneath.  We are listening to Whisper loaned to me by a beautiful girl now in New Jersey.  But she feels so close to me tonight.

Justin visited with us yesterday and Sunday.  He is doing very well.  What a great friend!

God’s blessings continue to multiply, so much so that I feel I can’t contain all the joy.  He’s given me so much in talent, in Marie, and in friends.

It is in dying that we are born.

Jesus broke the bread before he multiplied it.

Did my breaking come my senior year of Lees-McRae?  My first year of Regent?  Or is my true breaking yet to come?

Oh Lord, please have your way.

Teach me about all that is good in you.  Melt me away.  I don’t want to exist.  Only you Lord.  Take me over.  Take me over.

I love you my sweet savior.

 

December 19, 1999 – Tuesday – 10:15 p.m.

The most beautiful morning of all!  Vince and Marie and I visited Tracey’s parents last night.  What a wonderful night of southern food and laughter!  We played Bible Trivia, and, of course, Marie won.

Marie and I had our Christmas together afterwards at her apartment.  We exchanged our presents for each other.  She loved the picture I gave her of my younger true self.  We then danced the night away to Jill Phillips’ “Everyday.”

And in the early morning hours of this very day we shared our first kiss.

Beautiful.  Soft.  Sweet.

She is on the road now to New Jersey.  Protect her Lord.

Thank you for this beauty Jesus.

Thank you for this life.

 

December 18, 1999 – Saturday – 1:20 p.m.

David just gave me a present from the youth group.  It is a journal with an bald eagle on it.  Yet Marie and I have talked about looking for a church to attend together.  She said she doesn’t feel right about co-teaching with me at Parkway now.  Guide us Lord.

It is a week until Christmas.  Last year our show at Parkway opened.  This year I’m looking forward to giving Marie her Christmas present.

Vince leaves on Wednesday, Marie’s parents pass through on Thursday, I head to Maryland on Friday, and I will return here on Sunday.

I talked with Allen yesterday.  I believe he and Jessica will get married on June 10th at sunrise.  He wants me to be in the wedding.  What an amazing thing!  I pray Marie is there with me.

Curtis will marry Megan in April.

Marie said she would like to go with me.

 

December 17, 1999 – Friday – 10:50 p.m.

Marie and I went to Williamsburg today.  We visited my wonderful grandparents.  We shared a meal with them.  Everything my grandfather said was ten times funnier than usual for the simple thought that Marie was experiencing it for the first time.  I adored the way my grandparents said her name.  It was as if she was already family.

We walked to the reservoir and sat on a newly built pier; perhaps it was built just for us.

We visited Colonial Williamsburg at night.  I pretended in my own mind that we lived in another century.  Each window of these ancient buildings held a candle, as if the eyes of the past, present, and future were watching us walk through our own unknowingness.

We stopped at a bench beneath an ancient tree beneath a more ancient moon.  And there we pondered the other twin souls who might have stopped underneath this very tree throughout all its years.  But the tree whispered its secret to us; that God had created him for the sole purpose of providing a special atmosphere for Marie and I on the night of December 17th in the final year of a millennium.  And there the moon revealed it true purpose of creation, to shine on the two of us.

Sweet Marie.

On the way home we drove through the Christmas lights of Norfolk’s botanical gardens.

Tomorrow night is our Christmas.

Each night is our birthday.

December 15, 1999 – Wednesday – 9:31 p.m.

Clown of God has been over for a few days now, and total strangers are still complimenting me about it.  Classes are also over, which means I won’t have another course with Marie.  She grows in beauty and we grow in our special friendship.

I have a little Christmas tree up, so I’m doing my best to get in the spirit of Christmas.

Two of my scripts made it through the next stage of judging; one more stage to go.  I also was cast in two theater productions in the spring: Davis in In the Flesh and Luke in Pilate.  They both open in March.

Vince had to go home to get a root canal.  His car broke down, so he had to take a bus home.  He and Marie and I saw LaRue and Russ Taff in concert.

And, well, it seems as though life can’t be captured in these pages anymore.  I feel my journaling must change shape because I feel I don’t know its purpose, its style, or its reason.

Perhaps I feel that my emotions are stable and I no longer need to vomit them out onto a page in order to sort through my sense of self.  Or perhaps I just no longer have the time. Or perhaps I feel whoever eventually reads this will not care.  I wonder if I write so much of how I am out in screenplays that I no longer have anything left to say in these pages.  Maybe I just want to give all of me to Marie and not to these Books of Days.

Whatever the reason, I will continue to write.  Even if it all turns into abstraction, I will write.  For I must not second guess that the me I give to these pages is a gift to myself.  Whatever fleeting thought I jot down is all these pages are ever supposed to know.

 

December 10, 1999 – Friday – 1:00 p.m.

Last night, and a little into this morning, Marie and I became little kids together.  We went for a walk in a small forest of light-covered trees and ended up in front of a fireplace, a nativity set, and Christmas lights, where we held each other’s hands and spoke of family and the past.

She is lovely.

I feel God is changing my relationship with my youth group.  I felt disrespected on Wednesday and I got angry with them.  I fear they see me differently now.  We’ll see.  Maybe I’m not supposed to be in that form of ministry.  Have your way God.

In a month we’ll be finished with principal photography for Dang!.  I only have two classes next semester.

Marie just called!

See ya!

 

December 4, 1999 – Saturday – 12:05 p.m.

Another week has passed and I’ve finally found time to write.

I saw Toy Story 2 with Tracey’s family and then Vince arrived on Sunday.  Marie returned from her visit him and we spent some time together and had dinner at Applebee’s on Wednesday.  She shared with me a family photo album, which she brought from home.  I got to see her family as well as pictures from her trips to Israel and Egypt.  She even showed me her diary, which she’s been keeping since the age of six.  It was the most precious thing I’ve ever seen.

I told her that when I was that age I was doing similar things and that I dreamed there was a girl out there doing the same thing as well.  Seeing picture of Marie in high school, wow, it was like I had seen her before in my dreams.

God, please take care of our hearts.

Rehearsals for “Clown of God” have been crazy, but the show opened last night and it went well.  Vince and Marie came and we went out for ice-cream afterward.

We also had a location scout on Friday and God gave us a lot of favor.  It was weird because I’m the director, but I didn’t need to do anything.  Everyone else was just doing their job and I just sat back and watched it all come together.  It was very humbling.

It has been a joy to have Vince here, but it is also very weird combining Lees-McRae and Regent.

I have a show this afternoon, then I’ll work on some papers due next week.  The show runs all next week and ends on December 12th.  I’ll take my finals and then everything ends on the 15th.  I’m sure Marie will leave soon after that.  We are trying to make plans to see each other around Christmas.  I’ll stay and work at the bookstore until the 22nd and try to get pre-production completed for Dang!.  Marie may spend the new year here.  I’m not sure.  Vince will go back on the 22nd, and I’ll drive to Uncle Jeff’s house in Maryland for Christmas.

I wish life would slow down.

Just a little bit.